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Title: In Macao
Author: Gunnison, Charles A., 1861-1897
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "In Macao" ***

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IN MACAO.

by

CHARLES A. GUNNISON.



Press of
Commercial Publishing Co.
34 California St., S.F.



_FRAU JULIE FISCHER._

_geb. von Seckendorff-Gutend._


_Die beifolgenden, widme ich Ihnen, als Beweis in welch' unvergesslicher
Erinnerung, die von mir in Beyern verlebte Zeit, gehalten wird, und
besonders die unvergleichlichen Tage welche ich im Rothem Schloss zu
Obernzeen zubringen durfte, Tage welche zu den schoensten meines Lebens
zaehlten, und nie aus meinem Herzen verwischt werden koennen._

                                                _Charles A. Gunnison._

_San Francisco, Cal., Xmas, 1892._



California.


     This is thy form, dear, native home of mine,--
     A gold-net hammock swung from palm to pine,
     Moved by the breezes of the peaceful sea,
     And in the net, smiling so drowsily,
     My mother California, queen divine,
     Rests, while the poppy garlands her entwine.

     In her warm arms, 'neath cloudless summer skies,
     As child I heard her bee-hummed lullabies,
     Saw her red malvas, blue nemophylæ,
     Pink manzanitas, deep-hued laurel tree,
     And what were marvels to my childish eyes,
     Her mariposas, (tethered butterflies).

     What of the rich and wondrous foreign things
     Which each new tide to her in tribute brings!
     Although from olive, orange, fig, and vine,
     Her own fond children all their wealth consign,
     'Tis Flora's gifts my royal mother sings,
     As, joined to palm and pine, her hammock swings.



In Macao.

_A Story from the "Grasshopper's Library."_


I was seated one pleasant day in the garden, which was given to the city
of Macao by the Marcos family, near the grotto sacred to the poet
Camoens, when a Portuguese priest came from among the wilderness of
flowers and sat beside me. He spoke English with a pleasant accent and
we read Bowring's effusion together, as it is engraved on the marble
slab nearby. Scarcely had we finished, and the father was telling me of
Goa in India, when my uncle Robert came from beneath the great banyan
tree and stood before us. The father jumped to his feet, and throwing
back his brown robe, rushed forward toward my uncle with a stilletto
held ready for an upward stroke. Quickly my uncle drew a revolver and
fired--and the father fell dead at my feet.


I

To those who have been in Southern Europe and have seen the towns along
the Riviera, the first view of Macao, as the steamboat approaches from
Hong Kong, gives the impression of having been suddenly transported to
the sunny Mediterranean. Were it not for the colour of the water, and
the Chinese junks, Macao would indeed be a perfect representation of any
of those lovely spots, as she lies along her crescent bay, from Mount
Nillau to Mount Charil, defended by the frowning forts of Sam Francisco
and Our Lady of Bom Parto. Beautiful as this picture is, it was doubly
so in the brilliant sunset colouring of a certain March day, as the
steamer slowly came to her wharf and the passengers stepped ashore
beneath the blue and white flag of Portugal, in this, her farthest
eastern possession. The houses with their delicate washings of pink,
blue, yellow or green, with white stucco ornaments, now golden in the
light, had a warmth of colouring well set off by the dark foliage of
camphor and banyan trees showing above the garden walls. The few
passengers soon dispersed, in chairs or on foot, leaving but one of
their number upon the wharf. He was apparently expecting some one to
come for him, for he refused all offers of assistance from the coolies
and seated himself just outside the gate. American, of medium height,
brown haired and tanned by a tropical sun, Robert Adams was as good a
specimen of Anglo Saxon youth as England herself could boast of. He was
the last descendant of a New England family, which had preserved its
purity for three centuries as unmixed with continental blood as though
the three centuries had been passed in the quiet vales of Devon, instead
of in the New World with its broken barriers.

For three years, after a successful college course, he had been in the
only shipping house in Hong Kong which sickly American commerce of the
day was able to support in the once flourishing China trade. A small
fortune and a good salary, a constitution which even an Eastern summer
could not break down, and above all, the heart of the girl he loved,
were surely possessions which any king might envy him. Presently a neat
bamboo chair borne by three liveried coolies came at a trot down the
street, and being placed before this last of the passengers, carried him
away into the darkness which, with the suddenness of the tropics, had
fallen upon the city. The stillness was broken only by the noise of
escaping steam from the boat and the regular patter of the barefooted
chair carriers. When the chair had disappeared up the narrow, winding
street, a Portuguese wrapped in a black cloak came from behind a wall,
then by another way walked rapidly over the hill and down the other
side to the Praya, arriving in front of one of the largest houses on
that most beautiful promenade just as the coolies put down their burden.

The oil lamps along the Praya had been lighted, stretching out to the
Estrada Sam Francisco, where the bright windows in the hospital of Sam
Januarius seemed to be the lake of lights into which this long stream
flowed. No one was abroad, no steps sounded along the pavement except
those of the sentry as he walked, and _smoked_, before the neighbouring
residence of the Governor. Death at night and sleep in the day time are
the characteristics of Macao. No one seems to work, play, sing, dance or
even read unless the latter indeed may be done in what Alphonse Daudet
calls _la Bibliotheque des cigales_.

As Robert Adams stepped from the chair, the Portuguese came forward with
outstretched hand saying: "What is the news Dom Robert in Hong Kong?"
"Oh, Dom Pedro, you came out so suddenly I thought I was attacked. No
news, unless it is that the rector of St. John's is to join me to the
loveliest girl in Macao or the world, in just three weeks." "I hope you
won't disappoint him Dom Robert, you came very near doing so to-night,"
said Pedro de Amaral with a laugh. "How, pray?" asked Adams as they
entered the now unbarred gate. "You were within three feet of the water,
if you had fallen in, that would have disappointed him. Not? Three feet
is near. Not?" "Yes, and the boiler might have burst," replied Adams
laughing. "Or more improbable yet the Portuguese government might have
revived Macao, which would kill me with astonishment my dear Amaral."

Having entered the house he was followed by Dom Pedro, who bent upon him
such a look of hatred as only the eyes of Latin races can give. The
Portuguese turned to the right to his own apartments and Adams following
a servant to the left, was soon in the dimly lighted library of Dom Luiz
de Amaral the father of Dom Pedro. There were not many books on the
shelves but a superb collection of Oriental swords and knives was
arranged in the cases from which the shelves had been taken. Two old
engravings, one of the poet Camoens and the other of Catarina de Atayde,
his beloved, who died of grief at his banishment, hung on the wall; the
rest of the furnishings was of that cosmopolitan character which is sure
to collect in the home of a European resident in the far East.

"Can't you see me Robert?" said a laughing voice of great sweetness from
a corner of the study. "One would think that both your eyes had met the
same fate that the right one of poor Camoens did in Morocco." "My
darling Priscilla how could I see you ten feet away from the light? You
know olive oil don't give the brightest illumination. But its enough
though." "Don't!" "Just one," and then a sound not unknown to many of us
put a stop to the conversation. "Shall I leave the room children?" came
in merry tones from another corner and immediately an old lady came
forward giving both hands to him. "That miserable oil of Dom Amaral's
has put me into a pretty mess," said Adams half annoyed, but laughing as
he greeted the lady. "Don't berate me before my face dear friend about
my light, especially when you are so soon to take our brightest light
away from us." "Fairly trapped, Dom Amaral," cried Adams laughing
heartily at this third interruption. "And here is Dom Pedro dressed for
dinner," he continued as the younger Amaral entered the room. "I'll be
with you presently and have my eyes toned down to your Macao standard."

Being so constant a visitor, Robert Adams had his own rooms at Dom
Amaral's, where he found his bags unpacked and the clothes laid out by
those deftest of servants, the Chinese. According to custom the dinner
of Macao was served at the late hour of nine.

Dom Luiz Diego de Amaral was one of the wealthiest Portuguese in the
city, having, unlike most of his fellow citizens, investments abroad
which brought him a considerable income after the birth of Hong Kong
killed Macao and left it a city of the past, of poverty and pride.
Having in his youth married a Spanish woman who bore him one son, Pedro,
he was left a widower before the age of twenty-five.

Some years after, being in Boston where he then had large shipping
interests, he took a second wife, Priscilla Harvey, and returned to
Macao. Madam de Amaral's only sister, wife of Captain Fernald had one
child which was left an orphan at an early age by the drowning of both
parents in Portsmouth harbour.

This orphan, Priscilla Fernald, was taken to her aunt in China and
became a member of the household of Dom Amaral. It was a strange
transplanting for such a flower from the cold coast of Puritan New
England to the tropical, Roman Catholic colony in the heart of
heathendom. But the flower of so sturdy a stock remained true. It was
long accepted by all, even by the maiden Priscilla, that young Amaral
was to be her husband though nothing had been said on the subject.
Later, the small circle of Macao society, of which poverty and pride
were the ruling features, became too dull for the young girl and her
foster parents took her often to Hong Kong where she met with those of
the outer world.

In that hospitable society of the "city of the fragrant streams," where
the dinner table seems to be the only rendezvous, save a garden party
now and then, a Tarrantella dance or a Government House ball, the fair
Priscilla met young Robert Adams, a native of her far away and almost
unknown home. The acquaintance blossomed into friendship and ripened
into love. The lover was accepted, and now a courtship of two years was
in three weeks to see them married. There were many disappointed youths
and envious of Robert Adams, but all took their misfortune as in the way
of the world, except young Amaral, who, in silence, had watched the
course of events and now hated the happy suitor with all the fierceness
of his Southern blood.

That night Robert Adams, unlike the conventional lover, but like a
healthy, light-hearted fellow, fell asleep without a sigh, listening to
the waves as they broke regularly on the stone embankment before his
window. In the room below, Dom Pedro walked until the early morning, no
beating of waves could lull him to sleep, for his head ached and his
eyes burned in the fever of jealousy. Thus he brooded over his loss till
the sun gilded the hermitage fort of Our Lady of Guia.


II.

The following day was Sunday, the liveliest, or rather the only day with
any life at all, in Macao, for the visitors from Hong Kong then go about
the city sight seeing to be ready for the early return of the steamboat
on Monday morning.

A pleasant spot, and one not often molested by visitors on account of
the somewhat toilsome climb required to reach it, is the church of Our
Lady of Pehna on the summit of Mt. Nillau. Built in 1622 on this high
point to be more easily protected from any possible invasion of the
Chinese from the main island of Heang Shang, the church serves now only
as an addition to the picturesqueness of Macao, and though repaired in
1837 is again in ruin. Priscilla and her affianced chose this for their
Sabbath walk, for it is only through nature that the Protestants in
Macao can worship nature's God, and surely the incense of flowers could
bear to Him on high the thanksgiving of those two happy hearts, as truly
as the frankincense and myrrh which the good Fathers of the last century
burnt upon Mt. Nillau. The narrow but well paved streets with their
stuccoed houses, barred windows and little peep-holes at the doors, for
questioning the doubtful applicants for admission, even the two months
old posters of Chiarini's circus had a new charm this Sunday morning;
for Adams it was a day of quiet after his week of noise and bustle in
Hong Kong, while for Priscilla it seemed a gala day full of life after
the six silent days of sleepy monotony. "I can see that Pedro is not
friendly toward you Robert," she said; "I could hear him walking during
all the night and am sure he is planning something to annoy you, I know
his ways so well." "Don't worry, Priscilla, Dom Pedro was probably
troubled over some loss at the fan-tan table; they say he won five
hundred Mexicans last week and then lost that sum doubled."

"That may be so, Robert, but our approaching marriage is a great cross
to him. It is hard to tell what Pedro's thoughts are; his eyes are like
our Macao windows of isinglass and let very little light either way."

The winding road between ruined walls of gray stone, half covered with
clinging ficus, spanned by broken arches, with here and there a fallen
urn, led them through picturesque turns and by mossy steps to the foot
of the huge black cross erected before the empty church. Neither spoke;
they did not care for words and the only expression which framed itself
audibly was that oft repeated _jubilate_ of health and youth, "How
beautiful it is to live!"

Dim in the distance, of almost the same shade as the sky, rose the
White Cloud Hills; lesser hills more distinct in waving outline lay
before them; then rocky promontories and islands with grotesque forms
like the twisted dragons of Chinese embroideries, and the low stretch
which marked the position of the wonderful city of Canton. On the yellow
water here and there were junks with tanned sails and gay banners;
islands with graceful pagodas were seen, and the huge white cathedral of
the near dependency of Taipa. Then in the foreground at their very feet
was Macao, a feast of colour, red roofs, many-hued walls, green trees
and brilliant gardens, beautiful as the jewel-set sheath of a Venetian
dagger, with its poison and death-dealing wickedness hidden.

Dom Amaral with his wife had gone to the new cathedral to services;
their well appointed chairs had scarcely left the court and the gates
been bolted behind them when Dom Pedro came from his room. His face had
changed greatly since the day before; the loss of sleep and the
bitterness of his heart had made him look pale and thin. For the first
time in his life he had spoken harshly to his valet, and that meek
Celestial wore an expression of grief and surprise, for Pedro Amaral,
whatever his faults, did not have the vulgar one of venting his spleen
upon his inferiors, so that his lifelong servant was at a loss to
account for the sudden change.

Dom Pedro walked to the library and drawing the curtains behind him sat
down before the cases filled with brilliant steel. Suddenly he looked
away and picked up a book from the table, opening it at random but
constantly his eyes reverted to the cases before him. Slowly his
features relaxed and with a broken sigh he was about to replace the book
when a small photograph card fell from its pages; the face was that of
Robert Adams, the book Priscilla's "Common Prayer." Like a flash the old
lines came back in his forehead; he went to the case and opening the
glass doors, carefully took down a small, silver sheath, the work of
some artist of Goa, wherein the influence of both India and Europe
showed in the execution. The pressure of a button pushed out a grooved
dagger which fitted so low in the sheath as to show only the head of its
jeweled hilt. Dom Pedro removed the dagger, wrapped it in his
handkerchief and then putting it in his breast pocket replaced the empty
sheath in its old position.


III.

The government of Macao derives its greatest revenue from the licensing
of gambling houses, and these form one of the principal attractions in
the city to the European from Hong Kong as well as the native
Portuguese and Chinese. Whatever fault the visitor finds, on moral
grounds, with these houses he must admit the fact that they are quiet
and orderly, while the picturesqueness of the life within them and that
peculiar glamour which varnishes all that pertains to a great gambling
hall where fortune shows herself directly face to face with us, has a
charm which hides the immorality from even the most straight-laced
Puritan.

One of these houses was the favourite and nightly resort of Dom Pedro,
where he played high or low according to the state of his finances at
the moment. Dom Amaral, though himself a devotee of the fan-tan table,
observed with fear this controlling passion of his son which he believed
would some day destroy the comfortable fortune he had amassed with so
many years of labour.

Adams would have certainly preferred to spend the whole evening in the
family circle, but Dom Pedro urged him with so much, and such unusual
kindness to accompany him to the gambling house that he consented, and
at about eleven o'clock the two young men left the Praya and walked into
the town beneath the soft lights of the oil lamps. The streets were
deserted as usual, here and there a policeman, hooded like a pilgrim,
sauntered leisurely along, or the Chinese watchman with drum and
clapper woke the echoes of the lonely ways warning thieves of his
approach.

The only illuminated houses were fan-tan houses and these presently
became numerous; now and then music was heard but not of a very
seductive kind. Into one of the largest and most gaily decorated houses,
Dom Pedro and Robert Adams went, climbing to the second floor by stairs
bordered with shrubs in huge Chinese pots.

The main playing room contained several tables or counters arranged
along the walls, behind which sat the croupiers; at one of these Dom
Pedro stopped. On the table was a plate of metal divided into quarters
of about a foot square by deep cut lines crossing it, each square being
marked in Chinese characters indicating one, two, three and four. The
croupiers rattled a pile of bright brass coins, with square holes in
them, called cash; then as Dom Pedro made a sign that he was about to
play, the croupier drew away a part of them under a bowl and Dom Pedro
placed his wager on number three. The croupier with a bamboo wand then
counted out the remaining cash one at a time in sets of four, until
finally there were but three left; this being Dom Pedro's number, he won
the stakes.

"In good luck to-night," he said, turning to Adams, "Try if this is a
lucky day for you." Robert Adams placed his money on the same square
which Dom Pedro had won from, and again the croupier counted the
remainder slowly, having drawn away some of the cash under the bowl,
four at a time until but two remained and Adams' stake became part of
the bank. "Lucky in love, unlucky at play" he said with a laugh, "I
shall bet no more to-night." Dom Pedro's face darkened but in silence he
continued winning at every count.

Above the table was a square hole in the ceiling opening into an upper
room where those could sit who did not wish to be seen, and were thus
able to let their bets down in a little basket and with the same draw up
their winnings. This upper room being purposely kept in half light
enabled its occupants to see those below without being seen themselves.

Dom Pedro's luck was astonishing and quite a crowd of onlookers gathered
about. Robert Adams growing weary of the play in which he took no
interest, left, saying that he would walk slowly as far as the ruined
cathedral of St. Paul and on his return step in again. As he stepped
back from the table he looked up toward the opening in the ceiling where
were two women with faces wrapped in black silk robosas, which showed
only the eyes; as the eyes seemed fixed upon him he raised his hat. The
action seemed to cause the women considerable consternation, for both
hurriedly sprang back from the rail and in doing so one let fall, upon
the table below, the basket with a bit of paper and several Mexican
dollars which rolled about the room. Everyone looked up laughing at the
accident but no one from above claimed the money. Adams left the room
glad to be in the fresh air under the clear, starlit sky.

No more lonely or picturesque ruin ever existed than the church of St.
Paul; though human habitations crowd close upon it, they are however the
houses of Chinese and make the Christian edifice seem the more solitary.
The church is of that favourite style of architecture so common in new
and old Spain, which always brings to the mind of the wanderer in
foreign lands the name of good San Xavier.

The half moon had risen high enough to illuminate the whole front as
Adams climbed the broad, massive steps to the paved space before it.
Leaning against the heavy balustrade he enjoyed the picture. The shadows
were deep and through the sightless windows shone a few silver stars.
The magnificent front of solid granite with graceful scroll-work and
carved outline, blackened here by smoke and there by age, with vines and
trees growing from crevices, stood in wondrous beauty.

The detail showed clearer than by day; the panels in high relief, of
full rigged ship, the double dolphin and the skeleton seemed too fragile
to have stood through earthquake and typhoon and the conflagrations of
war for more than two hundred years. The exquisite frieze composed of
many unconventionalized flowers extending across the front, wherein the
artist and worker had been one, was a petrified garland. This scene was
a revelation to Adams for often as he had viewed and sketched the ruin,
he had never been there by moonlight when its beauties were enhanced and
its defects hidden. He could see plainly each Chinese character upon the
carved scrolls and the words "Mater Dei" above the doorway.

Slowly the shadows crept along, making the six broken saints in their
niches seem alive; slowly the shadows upon the ruin crept along, but a
swifter shadow suddenly came forward from the steps and Adams having
forgotten, in the entrancing scene the murderer and thief who lurk in
all Macao's corners, turned as he heard a soft step, just in time to
receive in his right arm the upward blow of a dagger aimed at his side.
He lost his balance falling backward down the steps, striking his head
upon a heap of broken roof-tiles where he lay insensible. As he fell, a
woman's scream pierced the night. There was hurried tramping of sandaled
feet, as of a dozen or more coolies. The shriek was again heard and
then all was silent and the plaza empty.


IV

Sleepy Macao the day after the attempted assassination of Robert Adams
was treated to a sensation such as had not been its experience since the
memorable day in 1848 when the old Governor de Amaral lost his head at
the Porta de Cerco. Murder, attempted or accomplished, could not have
stirred them up to such an extent, for that was too common an
occurrence, but the mystery of the event was the cause. Priscilla Harvey
and her maid with one of Dom Amaral's most trusted men servants had
disappeared as completely as though the earth had swallowed them.

Robert Adams, since the night of the attack had not recovered his
senses, and lay in the house of Dom Amaral apparently between life and
death. The surgeons from Sam Januarius hospital had decided that to save
him, the amputation of his arm would be necessary, for the dagger which
had cut it had been poisoned.

In the midst of this trouble, Priscilla's absence was discovered, and
Macao was alarmed. Men were sent from the Governor's house in all
directions to search the public houses, the fishing boats, and every
possible place within the small territory. Word was sent to Taipa. While
the officials were thus employed, private parties of searchers went over
the entire peninsula looking among the rocks and copses of the Estrada
and even the Parsee Tower of Silence was examined, but all in vain. The
fan-tan house proprietor told of two unknown women with a Chinese
servant who had visited his house, but when they had left he did not
know. No more was learned though the search still continued, for large
rewards were offered by Dom Amaral as well as by the Governor.

Dom Pedro directed the movements, taking greatest interest in all that
seemed possible to form a clue, and did not rest for nearly forty-eight
hours. Days soon formed a week but no news came, and Macao began to
drowze again. Detectives from Hong Kong came, made the usual fuss and
reached the usual conclusions of their kind, that it was a mysterious
event.

Contrary to all predictions Robert Adams, having become convalescent and
the surgical operation by which he had lost his arm having proved
successful when having heard the awful news, did not have a relapse into
the fever but seemed with a determination to become more rapidly strong,
and in five weeks was able to be about. He, of all Priscilla's friends,
was most hopeful. To his mind vividly came the scene at the Ruins of
St. Paul and that last sound he had heard. Adams' first walk was to the
scene of his attempted assassination and Madam de Amaral, who was much
broken with grief at the terrible event, accompanied him in her chair,
Dom Pedro going with them.

It was the month of May and the heat being oppressive Madam d'Amaral
after viewing the scene was carried home and the two young men walked on
to the Marcos garden. "I have a clue Dom Robert," said Dom Pedro as they
seated themselves beneath a broad banyan tree from which a view of St.
Paul's ruin could be had. "There began your troubles," he said pointing,
"and there this morning I received a paper which will I hope lead to a
solution of this mystery." He handed Adams a bit of Chinese paper on
which was written in Portuguese, "Come to the Praca de Luiz de Camoens
at 8 A.M. to-morrow; follow the guide who meets you, and the lady
Priscilla will be found." "I do not trust anonymous communications,"
said Adams, "but we must clutch at a straw now." "Nor do I," replied Dom
Pedro, "and I will go with you; we will go well armed." Adams glanced
down at his own empty sleeve and a cruel smile passed over the face of
Dom Pedro as he noticed his comrade's pain.

The 22nd of May will be long remembered in Macao and never forgotten by
the family of de Amaral. Early in the morning Robert Adams was up and
impatiently waiting for Dom Pedro, who appeared a little before eight
o'clock and the two, after a hurried breakfast, went to the Praca de
Luiz de Camoens where a Chinese sailor met them. They followed him to
the shore where a sampan was waiting in which they seated themselves and
were soon gliding rapidly toward a huge junk of fine build which lay at
anchor some distance beyond the Portuguese man-of-war, in the direction
of Taipa. The tide was very low and the vessel did not seem far from
shore.

The Sampan reached and made fast to the junk, and Adams followed by Dom
Pedro climbed upon the deck.

Quick as a flash Adams' arm was seized and bound to his side while Dom
Pedro stepped before him. "Fool!" he cried, "you have stepped into the
trap with little trouble. It was I who stabbed you, Dom Robert, it was
I, who took the bride who rightfully belonged to me, as it is I who will
use you for my own good till I may throw you away. You of Northern blood
are fools."

"I thought you my friend, Dom Pedro, and I thought you a man," was the
only reply.

Every appointment of the junk was of exquisite finish, such as is
seldom seen, and kept scrupulously clean. The men at work on deck, with
usual Mongolian nonchalance, went about their business without giving
the least notice to the events occurring. "The lady Priscilla waits you
in the cabin," said Dom Pedro. "She knows my plans and though I shall
not intrude upon you I have a Chinese on guard who will kill you if any
attempt is made to free you. Enter." Adams stepped toward the cabin at
the stern, where the usual shelf-like arrangements of a junk had been
transformed into a cabin suited to European taste, with comfort and
luxury. Adams entered and the door was closed. By it stood a guard with
drawn sword; in the farther corner sat a woman at a table with her face
buried in her hands.

"Robert, as you love me stay where you are. Do not move a step, but sit
down where you are." Her voice was so full of pleading that Adams forgot
his first impulse and obeyed her. "I know all that has occurred dear
Robert, your sacrifice and pain and the pain of all my friends during
these sad weeks. Do not move toward me or you will be killed. I will not
look up, dare not look up. On that Sunday, which now seems so long ago,
when I bid you good-night at the library door, when you and he went to
the fan-tan house, I followed you with his valet and my maid, for I had
been fearful of his intentions toward you, and when his valet told me
that he had seen him secrete a dagger in his coat that morning, and when
I found one missing from the case, I had my fears confirmed. We followed
and sat in the floor above you and tried to call your attention. When I
won at the table at last I put in a warning note and then overturned the
basket. You did not see the paper but he did, and read it. For the rest,
you were followed at once by him, and we as quickly as possible followed
both, but only in time to see you fall and to be seized and carried away
in a closed chair to the yellow house in the Marcos square where, till
yesterday, I have been confined to the court and inner rooms, with only
my maid as company and a daily visit from him at which I learned the
news of your progress toward recovery. Last night we were removed to
this vessel, and I have expected your arrival with hope and fear. His
idea is to force a marriage with me by threats against your life, or to
sail for Hainan or Formosa and accomplish his designs where law and
justice for us are unknown."

Hurried cries from the deck and a call at the door in Chinese were heard
and the guide sheathing his sword rushed from the cabin. In a moment the
lovers were together. The bonds which held Adams' arm were cut and
Priscilla pointing to the little window cried, "Robert, God is with us!"
With his one arm encircling Priscilla they looked from the window.
Apparently a strong gale had suddenly sprung up from the south east and
rain was falling in torrents; the wind continued to increase though the
rain passed by, but in the distance appeared a dark tower of water
slowly moving toward Macao, rushing with bending, changing outline from
water to sky. The gale became fiercer and the tumult on deck increased.
Immediately from Taipa came the sound of cannon and it was answered by
Macao with her heaviest ordnance as if a battle were raging, and, indeed
it was a terrible battle, one between man and the elements, but man was
victor and the water spout was broken. The force of the tornado however
had yet to reach its climax and for fully five minutes swept over the
terrified city and bay with fearful power. Sampans and junks were hurled
like egg-shells upon the shore, where but for the low tide, thousands
instead of hundreds of lives would have been sacrificed. The men-of-war
and the river steamboats did good service, for the course of the
tornado, was so restricted that though but a hundred yards from its
limit of violence they were untouched. Dom Pedro's junk with others was
torn from its moorings and overturned, but not before Adams and
Priscilla had jumped from the deck. Even in the awful confusion and the
terror of the first plunge which carried them below the surface of the
angry waves, she kept her hand clasped upon the empty sleeve of her
recovered protector. Being both good swimmers they assisted each other
with that knowledge of the water and the trust which all coast born
people have in the mother sea. A boat from one of the war vessels picked
them up and in a short time they were both beneath the roof of good Dom
d'Amaral, and rumor with unusual tread, but suited to Macao, slowly
announced the fact of Priscilla's return.

Dom Pedro weak, and with a broken arm, was also carried to the house of
his father and none but the principal actors in the tragedy understood
the mystery.

Priscilla had returned in the midst of the tornado, and that was all.
The unfortunate young woman was completely prostrated by the terrible
experiences through which she had lately passed and lay as if lifeless.
The physicians dreaded an attack of fever would follow, and their worst
fears were realized. Several weeks went by in anxious watching by the
sick woman's bedside when at last the fever turned and she gradually
grew better. Nothing was said of the occurrences which had brought the
illness about, and Priscilla remembered nothing of them apparently, for
she asked for no one and seemed happy and content to be left with her
Chinese _ama_. When she had recovered strength enough to be carried
into the court-yard it was with joyful expectancy that Adams went to
greet her, yet his heart sank with sorrow when he saw the marks of the
great suffering in her face and a terrible desire for revenge seized
him, which became the dominant passion of his life.

The saddest part of this tale may be given in a few words. Priscilla
Harvey never regained her reason, though she found pleasure in all the
beauties of nature and her life was happy during the two years before
her death. Dom Pedro went to Hong Kong and soon disappeared. Robert
Adams remained in Macao taking charge of the d'Amaral foreign business.
He was the daily companion of the unfortunate Priscilla in all her walks
and it was but a year after her death, when I visited my uncle Robert in
Macao, when the tragic event occurred which is narrated at the beginning
of this history.

My uncle is near my own age and we are more like brothers and have been
together, since the death of Dom Pedro at Camoen's Grotto. The Courts of
Macao exonerated Adams and though the good Dom d'Amaral would willingly
have had him remain in the house at Macao it was not pleasant to think,
that, even justified as he was, he had killed the only son of his host.

It was early in the morning when we left the drowsy city; the sun had
just touched the windows of Sam Januarius, and as the river boat dropped
into the stream, the church of Our Lady of Guia received its morning
salutation. The period had come to this story of love and loss, and the
book closed.

Perhaps it is just as well not to work, or play, or read except in "the
library of the grasshoppers" as do my own good, sleeping friends in
Macao.



My Sapphire Ring.


     Where have I seen the sapphire rimmed with gold?
     When on the dark blue Carribbean sea,
     Floating at sunset, dreaming lazily,
     I saw the God of Day the world enfold;
     There did my eyes the sapphire rare behold.

     I saw the sapphire, when the day was young
     In royal Venice, as I lay and gazed
     Into the morning sky, and saw, amazed,
     Its deep hued brilliance, ere a bird had sung,
     Or Matin bells from San Stefano rung.

     Once when my course, with myriad sea-flowers strewn,
     Was o'er Formosa's waves of purple dulse,
     Rising and falling like a fevered pulse,
     Moved by the hot and southern born monsoon,
     I saw the sapphire glow in tropic noon.

     But in our home, beneath our own blue skies,
     Before I knew these treasures of the Earth,
     I saw the sapphire of far greater worth--
     The first born friendship in your boyhood's eyes--
     Of which this ring as token now I prize.



The Hen That Could Lay and Lie.


I had the following story from the bill of an old Spanish hen, an
inveterate cackler, who used to fly over the neighbouring fence and
wander, with happy, self-communing clucks about my vegetable garden.

"Yes young man you are young, you may feel bigger than I am, but you are
not quite so tough, indeed toughness alone has saved me my life for a
good many Christmas mornings. I am a tough old hen, I have seen the
world; I have traveled. You know the island in the Napa River just above
the railroad bridge? Well, I was wrecked there in my young days and it
happened in this manner.

"The spring of the year 18-- was a wet one; snow fell in the foothills
and when it melted, the waters rushed down through the cañons and filled
the river. Our coop, (I say ours as I had a husband then,) stood near
the bank, and the rising water carried it away. I shall never forget the
night. It was Billy's last night on earth; Billy was my better half, and
a handsome, young cock he was, all the young pullets in the yard had
yellow combs, from envy, the day we were married. Old Partlett with her
brood of twelve ducks tried her best to get him, but Billy said he
didn't think it was quite the most moral thing in the world for a hen of
her age to hatch out ducks and it set a bad example to the young
'broilers' who were growing up about us, so he declined her proposals
with thanks and sent her off with her ugly-mouthed off-spring. Well, as
I was saying, our coop was carried down the stream, Billy and I
balancing ourselves on the upper roost and speaking words of comfort to
cheer up each other's fast fainting gizzards. We hens have a proverb
which says, 'A life without hope is an egg without a yolk, a gizzard
without gravel,' and that night proved the words to be true. Suddenly
down went Billy into the roaring flood. I can see his yellow spurs as he
went under, and his clutching claws, those beautiful, shining claws that
only walked the path of virtue, as far as I knew. Alas how I fluttered,
I tried to crow for help but it was useless, I could no more do it than
the hens of your genus can whistle. Billy went out forever.

"How I remember his kindness now; how he would find the best worms and
grasshoppers and always call me to see them before he ate them, not as
that old beast Cochin China does, who not even lets his wife look at the
delicious morsels he swallows.

"Billy is gone, so I will not regret him for he is probably chief
crower in St. Peter's hennery now. How Peter must blush when he hears
Billy crow, if he has any shame for his past sins. They say St. Peter
has to keep all the dead cocks as a sort of punishment and reminder.

"That night I pulled all the yellow feathers out of my tail, (I have
Cochin blood in my veins,) and I have gone in black Spanish costume ever
since out of respect for Billy.

"By morning I was cast with the coop upon a deserted island; there was
nothing but a coarse grass that was eatable, but I was almost dead with
hunger, and was about giving up in despair when a happy thought struck
me, and, I laid an egg, which with a little grass made me a good meal.
Each day I laid an egg and ate it, feeling that my life at least could
be saved, though I must be forever without society, yet I thanked heaven
that hens were made with such resources. Alas! I began to notice that
the eggs grew smaller each day and I felt starvation again taking me by
the wattles. To die without friends on a desert island, horrible! Alone!
Why? Can I not hatch these eggs, can I not raise a brood of little
pullets who shall lay eggs for themselves and me? Time passed and I
brought from the shells eight little chicks, but alas they were all
cocks; poor me. What are they good for on a desert island? They cannot
even keep themselves. Perhaps I had thought too much of Billy during the
setting and that influenced the eggs. But my complaint was punished, for
all of the brood were caught one day in the current and carried away.
Poor, little, posthumous chicks, how your father Billy would have loved
you and taught you to crow. Again I tried; this time with more success
and brought from the eggs six little, fluffy pullets. All lived and we
took turns, off and on, supplying the family with eggs, till one day men
passing in a row boat, saw us and took us aboard. We had been on the
island for two months. All my six pullets lived and married, and are now
in the yard over the fence."

All this time I had been so interested in the story, that I had not
noticed the narrator who was in the midst of my lettuce bed busily
pulling up the young plants.

"Shew there! What are you doing?" I cried. Off she flew with a cackle of
derision.

Looking after her in astonishment and at my poor lettuce bed, I caught
the eye of an old turkey, roosting in an apple tree; he was smiling
grimly.

"So you have been taken in too," he said, with a suppressed gobble. "You
needn't believe a word of that tale, and if you knew anything about
raising poultry you would have seen the weak point in her story. It was
only to play on your sympathy while she made a meal of your lettuce.
That old hen is one of the toughest confidence operators in the yard,
and if you take my advice, (and I have lived over four Thanksgivings,)
you will keep an eye open for all black Spanish hens who have lost a
husband."

I thanked the old fellow and came into the house, and since then have
kept on the guard against widows of every genus, with better success
than Mr. Weller the elder attained.



"Oceanic" at Sea.


     What shall I sing of thee, my ship,
       Lone center of this orb of blue,
     Horizoned by the rosy light
       Of peeping dawn, and sleeping evening too?

     Thou art the pupil, ship of mine,
       Which lights this round and azure eye,
     Rimmed by the rosy lids of dawn,
       And lost in sleep when evening rules the sky.





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