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Title: Sunny-San
Author: Eaton, Winnifred
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 "Sunny-San" ***

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Libraries.)



                               SUNNY-SAN

                   *       *       *       *       *

                             ONOTO WATANNA



                               SUNNY-SAN

                                   BY

                             ONOTO WATANNA

                               AUTHOR OF
            "A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE," "WOOING OF WISTARIA,"
                   "HEART OF HYACINTH," "TAMA," ETC.

                         McCLELLAND AND STEWART
                         PUBLISHERS : : TORONTO



                            COPYRIGHT, 1922,
                       BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

                             [Illustration]


                PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



                                   TO
                               MY FRIENDS
                     CONSUL AND MRS. SAMUEL C. REAT
                  IN REMEMBRANCE OF SUNNY ALBERTA DAYS



                               SUNNY-SAN



                               SUNNY-SAN


                               CHAPTER I


Madame Many Smiles was dead. The famous dancer of the House of a
Thousand Joys had fluttered out into the Land of Shadows. No longer
would poet or reveller vie with each other in doing homage to her whose
popularity had known no wane with the years, who had, indeed, become one
of the classic objects of art of the city. In a land where one's
ancestry is esteemed the all important thing, Madame Many Smiles had
stood alone, with neither living relatives nor ancestors to claim her.
Who she was, or whence she had come, none knew, but the legend of the
House was that on a night of festival she had appeared at the
illuminated gates, as a moth, who, beaten by the winds and storms
without, seeks shelter in the light and warmth of the joyhouse within.

Hirata had bonded her for a life term. Her remuneration was no more than
the geishas' meagre wage, but she was allowed the prerogative of
privacy. Her professional duties over, no admiring patron of the gardens
might claim her further service. She was free to return to her child,
whose cherry blossom skin and fair hair proclaimed clearly the taint of
her white blood. Hirata was lenient in his training of the child, for
the dancer had brought with her into the House of a Thousand Joys,
Daikoku, the God of Fortune, and Hirata could afford to abide the time
when the child of the dancer should step into her shoes. But the day had
come far ahead of his preparations, and while the dancer was at the
zenith of her fame. They were whispering about the gardens that the moth
that had fluttered against the House of Joy had fluttered back into the
darkness from which she had come. With her she had taken Daikoku.

A profound depression had settled upon the House of a Thousand Joys.
Geishas, apprentices and attendants moved aimlessly about their tasks,
their smiles mechanical and their motions automatic. The pulse and
inspiration of the house had vanished. In the gardens the effect of the
news was even more noticeable. Guests were hurriedly departing, turning
their cups upside down and calling for their clogs. Tea girls slid in
and out on hurried service to the departing guests, and despite the
furious orders of the master to affect a gaiety they did not feel, their
best efforts were unavailing to dispel the strange veil of gloom that
comes ever with death. The star of the House of a Thousand Joys had
twinkled out forever.

It was the night of the festival of the Full Moon. The cream of the city
were gathered to do honour to the shining Tsuki no Kami in the clear sky
above. But the death of the dancer had cast its shadow upon all, and
there was a superstitious feeling abroad that it was the omen of a bad
year for the city.

In the emptying gardens, Hirata saw impending ruin. Running hither and
thither, from house to garden, snapping his fingers, with irritation and
fury, he cursed the luck that had befallen him on this night of all
nights. The maids shrank before his glance, or silently scurried out of
his path. The geishas with automatic smile and quip vainly sought to
force a semblance of exhilaration, and the twang of the samisen failed
to drown that very low beat of a Buddhist drum in the temple beyond the
gardens, where especial honour was to be paid to the famous dancer, who
had given her services gratuitously to the temple.

In fury and despair, Hirata turned from the ingratiating women. Again he
sought the apartments where the dead dancer lay in state among her
robes. Here, with her face at her mother's feet, the child of the dancer
prayed unceasingly to the gods that they would permit her to attend her
mother upon the long journey to the Meido. Crushed and hurt by a grief
that nothing could assuage, only dimly the girl sensed the words of the
master, ordering her half peremptorily, half imploringly to prepare for
service to the House. Possibly it was his insinuation that for the sake
of her mother's honour it behooved her to step into her place, and
uphold the fame of the departed one, that aroused her to a mechanical
assent. Soon she was in the hands of the dressers, her mourning robes
stripped, and the skin tights of the trapese performer substituted.

Hirata, in the gardens, clapping his hands loudly to attract the
attention of the departing guests, took his stand upon the little
platform. Saluting his patrons with lavish compliments, he begged their
indulgence and patience. The light of his House, it was true, so he
said, had been temporarily extinguished, but the passing of a dancer
meant no more than the falling of a star; and just as there were other
stars in the firmament brighter than those that had fallen, so the House
of a Thousand Joys possessed in reserve greater beauty and talent than
that the guests had generously bestowed their favour upon. The successor
to the honourable dancer was bound to please, since she excelled her
mother in beauty even as the sun does the moon. He therefore entreated
his guests to transfer their gracious patronage to the humble descendant
of Madame Many Smiles.

The announcement caused as much of a sensation as the news of the
dancer's death had done. There was an element of disapproval and
consternation in the glances exchanged in the garden. Nevertheless there
was a disposition, governed by curiosity, to at least see the daughter
of the famous dancer, who appeared on the night of her mother's death.

A party of American students, with a tutor, were among those still
remaining in the gardens. Madame Many Smiles had been an especial
favourite with them, their interest possibly due to the fact that she
was said to be a half caste. Her beauty and fragility had appealed to
them as something especially rare, like a choice piece of cloisonnè, and
the romance and mystery that seemed ever about her, captivated their
interest, and set them speculating as to what was the true story of this
woman, whom the residents pointed to with pride as the masterpiece of
their city. An interpreter having translated the words of the manager,
there was a general growl of disapproval from the young Americans.
However, they, too, remained to see the daughter of Madame Many Smiles,
and pushed up near to the rope, along which now came the descendant.

She was a child of possibly fourteen years, her cheeks as vividly red as
the poppies in her hair, her long large eyes, with their shining black
lashes, strangely bright and feverish. She came tripping across the
rope, with a laugh upon her lips, her hair glistening, under the
spotlight, almost pure gold in colour. Bobbed and banged in the fashion
of the Japanese child, it yet curled about her exquisite young face, and
added the last touch of witchery to her beauty. Though her bright red
lips were parted in the smile that had made her mother famous, there was
something appealing in her wide, blank stare at her audience.

She was dressed in tights, without the customary cape above her, and her
graceful, slender limbs were those of extreme youth, supple as elastic
from training and ancestry, the lithe, pliable young body of the born
trapese performer and dancer. She tossed her parasol to her shoulder,
threw up her delicate little pointed chin and laughed across at that sea
of faces, throwing right and left her kisses; but the Americans, close
to the rope, were observing a phenomenon, for even as her charming
little teeth gleamed out in that so captivating smile, a dewdrop
appeared to glisten on the child's shining face. Even as she laughed and
postured to the music that burst out, there a-tiptoe on the tightrope,
the dewdrop fell down her face and disappeared into the sawdust.

Like a flower on the end of a long slender stalk, tossing in the wind,
her lovely little head swayed from side to side. Her small, speaking
hands, the wrists of which were lovelier than those celebrated by the
Japanese poet who for fifteen years had penned his one-line poems to her
mother, followed the rhythm of the music, and every part of that
delicate young body seemed to sensitively stir and move to the pantomime
dance of the tightrope.

In triumph, Hirata heard the loud "Hee-i-i-!" and the sharp indrawing
and expulsions of breaths. Scrambling across the room, puffing and
expressing his satisfaction, came the Lord of Negato, drunk with sake
and amorous for the child upon the rope. He pushed his way past the
besieging tea house maidens, who proffered him sweets and tea and sake.
His hands went deep into his sleeves, and drew forth a shining bauble.
With ingratiating cries to attract her attention, he flung the jewel to
the girl upon the rope. Returning his smile, she whirled her fan wide
open, caught the gift upon it, and, laughing, tossed it into the air.
Juggling and playing with the pretty toy, she kept it twirling in a
circle above her, caught it again on her fan, and dropped it down onto
the sawdust beneath. Then, like a naughty child, pleased over some
trick, she danced back and forth along the rope, as it swung wide with
her.

A grunt of anger came from Hirata, who approached near enough for her to
see and be intimidated by him, but she kept her gaze well above his
head, feigning neither to see him, nor the still pressing Negato. He was
calling up to her now, clucking as one might at a dog, and when at last
her glance swept his, he threw at her a handful of coin. This also she
caught neatly on her opened fan, and then, acting upon a sudden
impetuous and impish impulse, she threw right in the face of her
besieging admirer. Jumping from the rope to the ground, she smiled and
bowed right and left, kissed her hands to her audience, and vanished
into the teahouse.

With an imprecation, Hirata followed her into the house. The little
maiden, holding the tray, and pausing to solicit the patronage of the
Americans, had watched the girl's exit with troubled eyes, and now she
said in English:

"_Now_ Hirata will beat her."

"What do you mean?" demanded the young man, who had rejected the
proffered cup, and was staring at her with such angry eyes that Spring
Morning dropped her own, and bobbed her knees in apology for possible
offence.

"What do you mean?" repeated Jerry Hammond, determined upon securing an
answer, while his friends crowded about interested also in the reply.

Half shielding her face with her fan, the girl replied in a low voice:

"Always the master beats the apprentice who do wrong. When her mother
live, he do not touch her child, but now Madame Many Smiles is dead, and
Hirata is very angry. He will surely put the lash to-night upon her."

"Do you mean to tell me that that little girl is being beaten because
she threw back that dirty gorilla's coin to him?"

Spring Morning nodded, and the tears that came suddenly to her eyes
revealed that the girl within had all of her sympathy.

"The devil she is!" Jerry Hammond turned to his friends, "Are we going
to stand for this?" demanded Jerry.

"Not by a dashed sight!" shrilly responded the youngest of the party, a
youth of seventeen, whose heavy bone-ribbed glasses gave him a
preternaturally wise look.

The older man of the party here interposed with an admonitory warning:

"Now, boys, I advise you to keep out of these oriental scraps. We don't
want to get mixed up in any teahouse brawls. These Japanese girls are
used----"

"She's not a Japanese girl," furiously denied Jerry. "She's as white as
we are. Did you see her hair?"

"Nevertheless----" began Professor Barrowes, but was instantly silenced
by his clamouring young charges.

"I," said Jerry, "propose to go on a privately conducted tour of
investigation into the infernal regions of that house of alleged joys.
If any of you fellows have cold feet, stay right here snug with papa.
I'll go it alone."

That was quite enough for the impetuous youngsters. With a whoop of
derision at the idea of their having "cold feet," they were soon
following Jerry in a rush upon the house that was reminiscent of
football days.

In the main hall of the teahouse a bevy of girls were running about
agitatedly, some of them with their sleeves before their faces, crying.
Two little apprentices crouched up against a screen, loudly moaning.
There was every evidence of upset and distress in the House of a
Thousand Joys. To Jerry's demand for Hirata, he was met by a frightened
silence from the girls, and a stony faced, sinister-eyed woman attempted
to block the passage of the young men, thus unconsciously revealing the
direction Hirata had gone. Instantly Jerry was upon the screen and with
rough hand had shoved it aside. They penetrated to an interior room that
opened upon an outbuilding, which was strung out like a pavilion across
the garden. At the end of this long, empty structure, lit only by a
single lantern, the Americans found what they sought. Kneeling on the
floor, in her skin tights, her hands tied behind her with red cords that
cut into the delicate flesh, was the girl who had danced on the rope.
Through the thin silk of her tights showed a red welt where one stroke
of the lash had fallen. Before her, squatting on his heels, Hirata, one
hand holding the whip, and the other his suspended pipe, was waiting for
his slave to come to terms. She had felt the first stroke of the lash.
It should be her first or last, according to her promise.

As the Americans broke into the apartment, Hirata arose partly to his
knees and then to his feet, and as he realized their intention, he began
to leap up and down shouting lustily:

"Oi!--Oi! Oi-i-i-!"

Jerry's fist found him under the chin, and silenced him. With murmurs of
sympathy and anger, the young men cut the bonds of the little girl. She
fell limply upon the floor, breathlessly sighing:

"Arigato! Arigato! Arigato!" (Thank you.)

"Hustle. Did you hear that gong! They're summoning the police. Let's
beat it."

"And leave her here at his mercy? Nothing doing."

Jerry had lifted the child bodily in his arms, and tossed her across his
shoulder. They came out of the house and the gardens through a hue and
cry of alarmed attendants and inmates. Hirata had crawled on hands and
knees into the main dance hall, and every drum was beating upon the
place. Above the beat of the drums came the shrill outcry of Hirata,
yelling at the top of his voice:

"Hotogoroshi!" (Murder.)

Through a protecting lane made by his friends, fled Jerry Hammond, the
girl upon his shoulder, a chattering, clattering, screeching mob at his
heels, out of the gardens and into the dusky streets, under the
benignant eye of the Lady Moon, in whose honour a thousand revellers and
banquetters were celebrating. Fleet of foot and strong as a young Atlas,
Jerry, buoyed up with excitement and rage, fled like the wind before his
pursuers, till presently he came to the big brick house, the building of
which had been such a source of wonder and amusement to the Japanese,
but which had ever afterwards housed white residents sojourning in the
city. With one foot Jerry kicked peremptorily upon the door, and a
moment later a startled young Japanese butler flung the heavy doors
apart, and Jerry rushed in.



                               CHAPTER II


She awoke on a great soft bed that seemed to her wondering eyes as large
as a room. She was sunk in a veritable nest of down, and, sitting up,
she put out a little cautious hand and felt and punched the great pillow
to reassure herself as to its reality. There was a vague question
trembling in the girl's mind as to whether she might not, in fact, have
escaped from Hirata through the same medium as her adored mother, and
was now being wafted on a snowy cloud along the eternal road to
Nirvanna.

Then the small statue like figure at the foot of the great mahogany bed
moved. Memory flooded the girl. She thought of her mother, and a sob of
anguish escaped her. Crowding upon the mother came the memory of that
delirious moment upon the rope, when feeling that her mother's spirit
was animating her body, she had faced the revellers. Followed the
shivering thought of Hirata--the lash upon her shoulder, its sting
paining so that the mere recollection caused her face to blanch with
terror, dissipated by the memory of what had followed. Again she felt
the exciting thrill of that long flight through the night on the
shoulder of the strange young barbarian. He had burst into the room like
a veritable god from the heavens, and it was impossible to think of him
otherwise than some mighty spirit which the gods had sent to rescue and
save the unworthy child of the dancer. In an instant, she was out of
bed, her quick glance searching the big room, as if somewhere within it
her benefactor was. She was still in her sadly ragged tights, the red
welt showing where the silk had been split by the whip of Hirata.

The maid approached and wrapped the girl in one of her own kimonas. She
was a silent tongued, still faced woman, who spoke not at all as she
swiftly robed her charge. A servant in the household of the Americans,
she had been summoned in the night to attend the strange new visitor.
Goto, the house boy, had explained to Hatsu that the girl was a dancer
from a neighbouring teahouse, whom his young masters had kidnapped. She
was a great prize, jealously to be guarded, whispered the awed and
gossiping Goto. Hatsu at first had her doubts on this score, for no
dancer or teahouse maiden within her knowledge had ever worn hair of
such a colour nor had skin which was bleached as that of the dead. Hatsu
had discovered her charge in a sleep of complete exhaustion, her soft
fair hair tossed about her on the pillow like that of a child.

Now as the maid removed the tawdry tights, and arrayed the strange girl
in a respectable kimona, she recognised that those shapely and supple
limbs could only be the peculiar heritage of a dancer and performer. A
warmth radiated lovingly through her hands as she dressed the young
creature confided to her charge. It had never been the lot of Hatsu to
serve one as beautiful as this girl, and there was something of maternal
pride in her as she fell to her task. There was necessity for haste, for
the "Mr. American sirs" were assembled in the main room awaiting her.
Hatsu's task completed, she took the girl by the sleeve, and led her
into the big living room, where were her friends.

Even in the long loose robes of the elderly maid, she appeared but a
child, with her short hair curling about her face, and her frankly
questioning eyes turning from one to the other. There was an expression
of mingled appeal and childish delight in that expressive look that she
turned upon them ere she knelt on the floor. She made her obeisances
with art and grace, as a true apprentice of her mother. Indeed, her head
ceased not to bob till a laughing young voice broke the spell of silence
that her advent had caused with:

"Cut it out, kid! We want to have a look at you. Want to see what sort
of prize we pulled in the dark."

Promptly, obediently she rested back upon her heels, her two small hands
resting flatly on her knees. She turned her face archly, as if inviting
inspection, much to the entertainment of the now charmed circle. The
apprentice of the House of a Thousand Joys upheld the prestige of her
mother's charm. Even the thin, elderly man, with the bright glasses over
which he seemed to peer with an evidently critical and appraising air,
softened visibly before that mingled look of naïve appeal and glowing
youth. The glasses were blinked from the nose, and dangled by their gold
string. He approached nearer to the girl, again put on his glasses, and
subjected her through them to a searching scrutiny, his trained eye
resting longer upon the shining hair of the girl. The glasses blinked
off again at the unabashed wide smile of confidence in those
extraordinary eyes; he cleared his throat, prepared to deliver an
opinion and diagnosis upon the particular species before his glass.
Before he could speak, Jerry broke in belligerently.

"First of all, let's get this thing clear. She's not going to be handed
back to that blanketty blank baboon. I'm responsible for her, and I'm
going to see that she gets a square deal from this time on."

The girl's eyes widened as she looked steadily at the kindling face of
the young man, whom she was more than ever assured was a special
instrument of the gods. Professor Barrowes cleared his throat noisily
again, and holding his glasses in his hand, punctuated and emphasised
his remarks:

"Young gentlemen, I suggest that we put the matter in the hands of Mr.
Blumenthal, our consul here at Nagasaki. I do not know--I will not
express--my opinion of what our rights are in the matter--er as to
whether we have in fact broken some law of Japan in--er--thus forcibly
bringing the--ah--young lady to our home. I am inclined to think that we
are about to experience trouble--considerable trouble I should say--with
this man Hirata. If my memory serves me right, I recall hearing or
reading somewhere that a master of such a house has certain property
right in these--er--young--ah--ladies."

"That may be true," admitted the especial agent of the gods. "Suppose
she is owned by this man. I'll bet that Japan is not so dashed mediæval
in its laws, that it permits a chimpanzee like that to beat and ill-use
even a slave, and anyway, we'll give him all that's coming to him if he
tries to take her from us."

"He'll have his hands danged full trying!"

The girl's champion this time was the youthful one of the bone ribbed
glasses. Looking at him very gravely, she perceived his amazing youth,
despite the wise spectacles that had at first deceived her. There was
that about him that made her feel he was very near to her own age, which
numbered less than fifteen years. Across the intervening space between
them, hazily the girl thought, what a charming playmate the boy of the
bone ribbed glasses would make. She would have liked to run through the
temple gardens with him, and hide in the cavities of the fantastic
rocks, where Japanese children loved to play, and where the wistful eyes
of the solitary little apprentice of the House of a Thousand Joys had
often longingly and enviously watched them. Her new friend she was to
know as "Monty." He had a fine long name with a junior on the end of it
also, but it took many years before she knew her friends by other than
the appellations assigned to them by each other.

Now the elderly man--perhaps he was the father, thought the girl on the
mat--was again speaking in that emphatic tone of authority.

"Now my young friends, we have come to Japan with a view to studying the
country and people, and to avail ourselves of such pleasures as the
country affords to its tourists, etc., and, I may point out, that it was
no part of our programme or itinerary to take upon ourselves the
responsibility and burden, I may say, of----"

"Have--a heart!"

The big slow voice came from the very fat young man, whose melancholy
expression belied the popular conception of the comical element
associated with those blessed with excessive flesh. "Jinx," as his chums
called him, was the scion of a house of vast wealth and fame, and it was
no fault of his that his heritage had been rich also in fat, flesh and
bone. But now the girl's first friend, with that manner of the natural
leader among men, had again taken matters into his own evidently
competent hands.

"I say, Jinx, suppose you beat it over to the consul's and get what
advice and dope you can from him. Tell him we purpose carrying the case
to Washington and so forth. And you, Monty and Bobs, skin over to the
teahouse and scare the guts out of that chimpanzee. Hire a bunch of Japs
and cops to help along with the noise. Give him the scare of his life.
Tell him she--she is--dying--at her last gasp and----"

(Surely the object of their concern understood the English language, for
just then several unexpected dimples sprang abroad, and the little row
of white teeth showed that smile that was her heritage from her mother.)

"Tell him," went on Jerry, a bit unevenly, deviated from his single
track of thought by that most engaging and surprising smile--"that we'll
have him boiled in oil or lava or some other Japanese concoction. Toddle
along, old dears, or that fellow with the face supporting the Darwinian
theory will get ahead of us with the police."

"What's your hurry?" growled Jinx, his sentimental gaze resting
fascinatedly upon the girl on the floor.

The young man Jerry had referred to as Bobs now suggested that there was
a possibility that the girl was deaf and dumb, in view of the fact that
she had not spoken once. This alarming suggestion created ludicrous
consternation.

"Where's that dictionary, confound it!" Jerry sought the elusive book in
sundry portions of his clothing, and then appealed to the oracle of the
party.

"I suggest," said Professor Barrowes didactically, "that you try
the--ah--young lady--with the common Japanese greeting. I believe you
all have learned it by now."

Promptly there issued from four American mouths the musical morning
greeting of the Japanese, reminiscent to them of a well known State
productive of presidents.

"O--hi--o!"

The effect on the girl was instantaneous. She arose with grace to her
feet, put her two small hands on her two small knees, bobbed up and down
half a dozen times, and then with that white row of pearls revealed in
an irresistible smile, she returned:

"Goog--a--morning!"

There was a swelling of chests at this. Pride in their protégé aroused
them to enthusiastic expressions.

"Can you beat it?"

"Did you hear her?"

"She's a cute kid."

And from Monty:

"I could have told you from the first that a girl with hair and eyes
like that wouldn't be chattering any monkey speech."

Thereupon the girl, uttered another jewel in English, which called forth
not merely approbation, but loud and continuous applause, laughter, and
fists clapped into hands. Said the girl:

"I speag those mos' bes' Angleesh ad Japan!"

"I'll say you do," agreed Monty with enthusiasm.

"Gosh!" said Jinx sadly. "She's the cutest kid _I've_ ever seen."

"How old are you?" Jerry put the question gently, touched, despite the
merriment her words had occasioned, by something forlorn in the little
figure on the mat before them, so evidently anxious to please them.

"How ole?" Her expressive face showed evidence of deep regret at having
to admit the humiliating fact that her years numbered but fourteen and
ten months. She was careful to add the ten months to the sum of her
years.

"And what's your name?"

"I are got two names."

"We all have that--Christian and surname we call 'em. What's yours?"

"I are got Angleesh name--Fleese. You know those name?" she inquired
anxiously. "Thas Angleesh name."

"Fleese! Fleese!" Not one of them but wanted to assure her that "Fleese"
was a well known name in the English tongue, but even Professor
Barrowes, an authority on the roots of all names, found "Fleese" a new
one. She was evidently disappointed, and said in a slightly depressed
voice:

"I are sawry you do not know thad Angleesh name. My father are give me
those name."

"I have it! I have it!" Bobs, who had been scribbling something on
paper, and repeating it with several accents, shouted that the name the
girl meant was undoubtedly "Phyllis," and at that she nodded her head so
vigorously, overjoyed that he threw back his head and burst into
laughter, which was loudly and most joyously and ingenuously entered
into by "Phyllis" also.

"So that's your name--Phyllis," said Jerry. "You _are_ English then?"

She shook her head, sighing with regret.

"No, I sawry for those. I _lig'_ be Angleesh. Thas nize be Angleesh; but
me, I are not those. Also I are got Japanese name. It are Sunlight. My
mother----" Her face became instantly serious as she mentioned her
mother, and bowed her head to the floor reverently. "My honourable
mother have give me that Japanese name--Sunlight, but my father are
change those name. He are call me--Sunny. This whad he call me when he
go away----" Her voice trailed off forlornly, hurt by a memory that went
back to her fifth year.

They wanted to see her smile again, and Jerry cried enthusiastically:

"Sunny! Sunny! What a corking little name! It sounds just like you look.
We'll call you that too--Sunny."

Now Professor Barrowes, too long in the background, came to the fore
with precision. He had been scratching upon a pad of paper a number of
questions he purposed to put to Sunny, as she was henceforth to be known
to her friends.

"I have a few questions I desire to ask the young--ah--lady, if you have
no objection. I consider it advisable for us to ascertain what we
properly can about the history of Miss--er--Sunny--and so, if you will
allow me."

He cleared his throat, referred to the paper in his hand and propounded
the first question as follows:

"Question number one: Are you a white or a Japanese girl?"

Answer from Sunny:

"I are white on my face and my honourable body, but I are Japanese on my
honourable insides."

Muffled mirth followed this reply, and Professor Barrowes having both
blown his nose and cleared his throat applied his glasses to his nose
but was obliged to wait a while before resuming, and then:

"Question number two: Who were or are your parents? Japanese or white
people?"

Sunny, her cheeks very red and her eyes very bright:

"Aexcuse me. I are god no parents or ancestors on those worl'. I sawry.
I miserable girl wizout no ancestor."

"Question number three: You had parents. You remember them. What
nationality was your mother? I believe Madame Many Smiles was merely her
professional pseudonym. I have heard her variously described as white,
partly white, half caste. What was she--a white woman or a Japanese?"

Sunny was thinking of that radiant little mother as last she had seen
her in the brilliant dancing robes of the dead geisha. The questions
were touching the throbbing cords of a memory that pierced. Over the
sweet young face a shadow crept.

"My m-mother," said Sunny softly, "are god two bloods ad her insides.
Her father are Lussian gentleman and her mother are Japanese."

"And your father?"

A far-away look came into the girl's eyes as she searched painfully back
into that past that held such sharply bright and poignantly sad memories
of the father she had known such a little time. She no longer saw the
eager young faces about her, or the kindly one of the man who questioned
her. Sunny was looking out before her across the years into that
beautiful past, wherein among the cherry blossoms she had wandered with
her father. It was he who had changed her Japanese name of Sunlight to
"Sunny." A psychologist might have found in this somewhat to redeem him
from his sins against his child and her mother, for surely the name
revealed a softness of the heart which his subsequent conduct might have
led a sceptical world to doubt. Moreover, the first language of her baby
lips was that of her father, and for five years she knew no other
tongue. She thought of him always as of some gay figure in a bright
dream that fled away suddenly into the cruel years that followed. There
had been days of real terror and fear, when Sunny and her mother had
taken the long trail of the mendicant, and knew what it was to feel
hunger and cold and the chilly hand of charity. The mere memory of those
days set the girl shivering, for it seemed such a short time since when
she and that dearest mother crouched outside houses that, lighted
within, shone warmly, like gaudy paper lanterns in the night; of still
darker days of discomfort and misery, when they had hidden in bush,
bramble and in dark woods beyond the paths of men. There had been a
period of sweet rest and refuge in a mountain temple. There everything
had appealed to the imaginative child. Tinkling bells and whirring wings
of a thousand doves, whose home was in gilded loft and spire; bald heads
of murmuring bonzes; waving sleeves of the visiting priestesses, dancing
before the shrine to please the gods; the weary pilgrims who climbed to
the mountain's heart to throw their prayers in the lap of the peaceful
Buddha. A hermitage in a still wood, where an old, old nun, with gentle
feeble voice, crooned over her rosary. All this was as a song that
lingers in one's ears long after the melody has passed--a memory that
stung with its very sweetness. Even here the fugitives were not
permitted to linger for long.

Pursuing shadows haunted her mother's footsteps and sent her speeding
ever on. She told her child that the shadows menaced their safety. They
had come from across the west ocean, said the mother. They were
barbarian thieves of the night, whose mission was to separate mother
from child, and because separation from her mother spelled for little
Sunny a doom more awful than death itself, she was wont to smother back
her child's cries in her sleeve, and bravely and silently push onward.
So for a period of time of which neither mother nor child took reckoning
the days of their vagabondage passed.

Then came a night when they skirted the edges of a city of many lights;
lights that hung like stars in the sky; lights that swung over the
intricate canals that ran into streets in and out of the city; harbour
lights from great ships that steamed into the port; the countless little
lights of junks and fisher boats, and the merry lights that shone warmly
inside the pretty paper houses that bespoke home and rest to the
outcasts. And they came to a brilliantly lighted garden, where on long
poles and lines the lanterns were strung, and within the gates they
heard the chattering of the drum, and the sweet tinkle of the samisen.
Here at the gates of the House of a Thousand Joys the mother touched the
gongs. A man with a lantern in his hand came down to the gates, and as
the woman spoke, he raised the light till it revealed that delicate
face, whose loveliness neither pain nor privation nor time nor even
death had ravaged.

After that, the story of the geisha was well known. Her career had been
an exceptional one in that port of many teahouses. From the night of her
début to the night of her death the renown of Madame Many Smiles had
been undimmed.

Sunny, looking out before her, in a sad study, that caught her up into
the web of the vanished years, could only shake her head dumbly at her
questioner, as he pressed her:

"Your father--you have not answered me?"

"I kinnod speag about my--father. I sawry, honourable sir," and suddenly
the child's face drooped forward as if she humbly bowed, but the young
men watching her saw the tears that dropped on her clasped hands.

Exclamations of pity and wrath burst from them impetuously.

"We've no right to question her like this," declared Jerry Hammond
hotly. "It's not of any consequence who her people are. She's got us
now. We'll take care of her from this time forth." At that Sunny again
raised her head, and right through her tears she smiled up at Jerry. It
made him think of an April shower, the soft rain falling through the
sunlight.



                              CHAPTER III


Only one who has been in bondage all of his days can appreciate that
thrill that comes with sudden freedom. The Americans had set Sunny free.
She had been bound by law to the man Hirata through an iniquitous bond
that covered all the days of her young life--a bond into which the
average geisha is sold in her youth. Sunny's mother had signed the
contract when starvation faced them, and reassured by the promises of
Hirata.

What price and terms the avaricious Hirata extracted from the Americans
is immaterial, but they took precautions that the proceeding should be
in strict accord with the legal requirements of Japan. The American
consul and Japanese lawyers governed the transaction. Hirata, gloated
with the unexpected fortune that had come to him through the sale of the
apprentice-geisha, overwhelmed the disgusted young men, whom he termed
now his benefactors, with servile compliments, and hastened to comply
with all their demands, which included the delivery to Sunny of the
effects of her mother. Goto bore the box containing her mother's
precious robes and personal belongings into the great living room.

Life had danced by so swiftly and strangely for Sunny in these latter
days, that she had been diverted from her sorrow. Now, as she slowly
opened the bamboo chest, with its intangible odour of dear things, she
experienced a strangling sense of utter loss and pain. Never again would
she hear that gentle voice, admonishing and teaching her; never again
would she rest her tired head on her mother's knee and find rest and
comfort from the sore trials of the day; for the training of the
apprentice-geisha is harsh and spartan like. As Sunny lifted out her
mother's sparkling robe, almost she seemed to see the delicate head
above it. A sob broke from the heart of the girl, and throwing herself
on the floor by the chest, she wept with her face in the silken folds. A
moth fluttered out of one of the sleeves, and hung tremulously above the
girl's head. Sunny, looking up, addressed it reverently:

"I will not hurt you, little moth. It may be you are the spirit of my
honourable mother. Pray you go upon your way," and she softly blew up at
the moth.

It was that element of helplessness, a feminine quality of appeal about
Sunny, that touched something in the hearts of her American friends that
was chivalrous and quixotic. Always, when Sunny was in trouble, they
took the jocular way of expressing their feelings for their charge. To
tease, joke, chaff and play with Sunny, that was their way. So, on this
day, when they returned to the house, to find the girl with her tear-wet
face pressed against her mother's things, they sought an instant means,
and as Jerry insisted, a practical one, of banishing her sadness. After
the box had been taken from the room, Goto and Jinx told some funny
stories, which brought a faint smile to Sunny's face. Monty proffered a
handful of sweets picked up in some adjacent shop, while Bobs sought
scientifically to arouse her to a semblance of her buoyant spirits by
discussing all the small live things that were an unfailing source of
interest always to the girl, and pretended an enthusiasm over white
rabbits which he declared were in the garden. Jerry broached his
marvellous plan, pronounced by Professor Barrowes to be preposterous,
unheard of and impossible. In Jerry's own words, the scheme was as
follows:

"I propose that we organise and found a company or Syndicate, all
present to have the privilege of owning stock in said company; its
purpose being to take care of Sunny for the rest of her days. Sooner or
later we fellows must return to the U. S. We are going to provide for
Sunny's future after we are gone."

Thus the Sunny Syndicate Limited came into being. It was capitalised at
$10,000, paid in capital, a considerable sum in Japan, and quite
sufficient to keep the girl in comfort for the rest of her days.
Professor Timothy Barrowes was unanimously elected President, J. Lyon
Crawford (Jinx) treasurer; Robert M. Mapson (Bobs), secretary of the
concern, and Joseph Lamont Potter, Jr. (Monty), though under age, after
an indignant argument was permitted to hold a minimum measure of stock
and also voted a director. J. Addison Hammond, Jr. (Jerry), held down
the positions of first vice-president, managing director and general
manager and was grudgingly admitted to be the founder and promoter of
the great idea, and the discoverer of Sunny, assets of aforesaid
Syndicate.

At the initial Board meeting of the Syndicate, which was riotously
attended, the purpose of the Syndicate was duly set forth in the minutes
read, approved and signed by all, which was, to wit, to feed, clothe,
educate and furnish with sundry necessities and luxuries the aforesaid
Sunny for the rest of her natural days.

The education of Sunny strongly appealed to the governing president,
who, despite his original protest, was the most active member of the
Syndicate. He promptly outlined a course which would tend to cultivate
those hitherto unexplored portions of Sunny's pliable young mind. A girl
of almost fifteen, unable to read or write, was in the opinion of
Professor Barrowes a truly benighted heathen. What matter that she knew
the Greater Learning for Women by heart, knew the names of all the gods
and goddesses cherished by the Island Empire; had an intimate
acquaintance with the Japanese language, and was able to translate and
indite epistles in the peculiar figures intelligible only to the
Japanese. The fact remained that she was in a state of abysmal ignorance
so far as American education was concerned. Her friends assured her of
the difficulty of their task, and impressed upon her the necessity of
hard study and co-operation on her part. She was not merely to learn the
American language, she was, with mock seriousness, informed, but she was
to acquire the American point of view, and in fact unlearn much of the
useless knowledge she had acquired of things Japanese.

To each member of the Syndicate Professor Barrowes assigned a subject in
which he was to instruct Sunny. Himself he appointed principal of the
"seminary" as the young men merrily named it; Jerry was instructor in
reading and writing, Bobs in spelling, Jinx in arithmetic, and to young
Monty, aged seventeen, was intrusted the task of instructing Sunny in
geography, a subject Professor Barrowes well knew the boy was himself
deficient in. He considered this an ideal opportunity, in a sort of
inverted way, to instruct Monty himself. To the aid and help of the
Americans came the Reverend Simon Sutherland, a missionary, whose many
years of service among the heathen had given to his face that sadly
solemn expression of martyr zealot. His the task to transform Sunny into
a respectable Christian girl.

Sunny's progress in her studies was eccentric. There were times when she
was able to read so glibly and well that the pride of her teacher was
only dashed when he discovered that she had somehow learned the words by
heart, and in picking them out had an exasperating habit of pointing to
the wrong words. She could count to ten in English. Her progress in
Geography was attested to by her admiring and enthusiastic teacher, and
she herself, dimpling, referred to the U. S. A. as being "over cross
those west water, wiz grade flag of striped stars."

However, her advance in religion exceeded all her other attainments, and
filled the breast of the good missionary with inordinate pride. An
expert and professional in the art of converting the heathen, he
considered Sunny's conversion at the end of the second week as little
short of miraculous, and, as he explained to the generous young
Americans, who had done so much for the mission school in which the
Reverend Simon Sutherland was interested, he was of the opinion that the
girl's quick comprehension of the religion was due to a sort of
reversion to type, she being mainly of white blood. So infatuated indeed
was the good man by his pupil's progress that he could not forbear to
bring her before her friends, and show them what prayer and sincere
labour among the heathen were capable of doing.

Accordingly, the willing and joyous convert was haled before an admiring
if somewhat sceptical circle in the cheerful living room of the
Americans. Here, her hands clasped piously together, she chanted the
prepared formula:

"Gentlemens"--Familiar daily intercourse with her friends brought easily
to the girl's tongue their various nicknames, but "Gentlemens" she now
addressed them.

"I stan here to make statements to you that I am turn Kirishitan."

"English, my dear child. Use the English language, please."

"--that I am turn those Christian girl. I can sing those--a-gospel song;
and I are speak those--ah--gospel prayer, and I know those
cat--cattykussem like--like----"

Sunny wavered as she caught the uplifted eyebrow of the missionary
signalling to her behind the back of Professor Barrowes. Now the words
began to fade away from Sunny. Alone with the missionary it was
remarkable how quickly she was able to commit things to memory. Before
an audience like this, she was as a child who stands upon a platform
with his first recitation, and finds his tongue tied and memory failing.
What was it now the Reverend Simon Sutherland desired her to say?
Confused, but by no means daunted, Sunny cast about in her mind for some
method of propitiating the minister. At least, she could pray. Folding
her hands before her, and dropping her Buddhist rosary through her
fingers, she murmured the words of that quaint old hymn:

    "What though those icy breeze,
    He blow sof' on ze isle
    Though evrything he pleases
    And jos those man he's wild,
    In vain with large kind
    The gift of those gods are sown,
    Those heathen in blindness
    Bow down to wood and stone."

They let her finish the chant, the words of which were almost
unintelligible to her convulsed audience, who vainly sought to strangle
their mirth before the crestfallen and sadly hurt Mr. Sutherland. He
took the rosary from Sunny's fingers, saying reprovingly:

"My dear child, that is not a prayer, and how many times must I tell you
that we do not use a rosary in our church. All we desire from you at
this time is a humble profession as to your conversion to Christianity.
Therefore, my child, your friends and I wish to be reassured on that
score."

"I'd like to hear her do the catechism. She says she knows it," came in
a muffled voice from Bobs.

"Certainly, certainly," responded the missionary. "Attention, my dear.
First, I will ask you: What is your name?"

Sunny, watching him with the most painful earnestness indicative of her
earnest desire to please, was able to answer at once joyously.

"My name are Sunny--Syndicutt."

The mirth was barely suppressed by the now indignant minister, who
glared in displeasure upon the small person so painfully trying to
realise his ambitions for her. To conciliate the evidently angry Mr.
Sutherland, she rattled along hurriedly:

"I am true convert. I swear him. By those eight million gods of the
heavens and the sea, and by God-dam I swear it that I am nixe Kirishitan
girl."

                   *       *       *       *       *

A few minutes later Sunny was alone, even Professor Barrowes having
hastily followed his charges from the room to avoid giving offence to
the missionary, whose angry tongue was now loosened, and flayed the
unhappy girl ere he too departed in dudgeon via the front door.

                   *       *       *       *       *

That evening, after the dinner, Sunny, who had been very quiet during
the meal, went directly from the table to her room upstairs, and to the
calls after her of her friends, she replied that she had "five thousan
words to learn him to spell."

Professor Barrowes, furtively wiping his eyes and then his glasses,
shook them at his protesting young charges and asserted that the
missionary was quite within his rights in punishing Sunny by giving her
500 lines to write.

"She's been at it all day," was the disgusted comment of Monty. "It's a
rotten shame, to put that poor kid to copying that little hell of a
line."

"Sir," said the Professor, stiffening and glaring through his glasses at
Monty, "I wish you to know that line happens to be taken from
a--er--book esteemed sacred, and I have yet to learn that it had its
origin in the infernal regions as suggested by you. What is more, I may
say that Miss Sunny's progress in reading and spelling, arithmetic, and
geography has not been what I had hoped. Accordingly I have instructed
her that she must study for an hour in the evening after dinner, and I
have further advised the young lady that I do not wish her to leave the
house on any pleasure expedition this evening."

A howl of indignant protest greeted this pronouncement and the air was
electric with bristling young heads.

"Say, Proff. Sunny promised to go out with me this evening. She knows a
shop where they sell that sticky gum drop stuff that I like, and we're
going down Snowdrop Ave. to Canal Lane. Let her off, just this time,
will you?"

"I will not. She must learn to spell Cat, Cow, Horse and Dog and such
words as a baby of five knows properly before she can go out on pleasure
trips."

Jinx ponderously sat up on his favourite sofa, the same creaking under
him as the big fellow moved. In an injured tone he set forth his rights
for the evening to Sunny.

"Sunny has a date with me to play me a nice little sing-song on that Jap
guitar of hers. I'm not letting her off this or any other night."

"She made a date with me too," laughed Bobs. "We were to star gaze, if
you please. She says she knows the history of all the most famous stars
in the heavens, and she agreed to show me the exact geographical spot in
the firmament where that Amaterumtumtum, or whatever she calls it,
goddess, lost her robes in the Milky Way just while she was descending
to earth to be an ancestor to the Emperor of Japan." Mockingly Bobs
bowed his head in solemn and comical imitation of Sunny at the mention
of the Emperor.

Jerry was thinking irritably that Sunny and he were to have stolen away
after supper for a little trip in a private junk, owned by a friend of
Sunny's, and she said that the rowers would play the guitar and sing as
the gondoliers of Italy do. Jerry had a fancy for that trip in the
moonlight, with Sunny's little hand cuddled up in his, and the child
chattering some of her pretty nonsense. Confound it, the little baggage
had promised her time to every last one of her friends, and so it was
nearly every night in the week. Sunny had much ado making and breaking
engagements with her friends.

"It strikes me," said Professor Barrowes, stroking his chin humorously,
"that Miss Sunny has in her all the elements that go to the making of a
most complete and finished coquette. For your possible edification,
gentlemen, I will mention that the young lady also offered to accompany
me to a certain small temple where she informs me a bonze of the
Buddhist religion has a library of er--one million years, so claims Miss
Sunny, and this same bonze she assured me has a unique collection of
ancient butterflies which have come down from prehistoric days.
Ahem!--er--I shall play fair with you young gentlemen. I desire very
much to see the articles I have mentioned. I doubt very much the
authenticity of the same, but have an open mind. I shall, however,
reserve the pleasure of seeing these collections till a more convenient
period. In the meanwhile I advise you all to go about your respective
concerns, and I bid you good-night, gentlemen, I bid you good-night."

                   *       *       *       *       *

The house was silent. The living room, with its single reading lamp,
seemed empty and cold, and Professor Barrowes with a book whose contents
would have aforetime utterly absorbed him, as it dealt with the
fascinating subject of the Dinornis, of post-Pliocene days, found
himself unable to concentrate. His well-governed mind had in some
inexplicable way become intractable. It persisted in wandering up to the
floor above, where Professor Barrowes knew was a poor young girl, who
was studying hard into the night. Twice he went outdoors to assure
himself that Sunny was still studying, and each time the glowing light,
and the chanting voice aroused his further compunction and remorse.
Unable longer to endure the distracting influence that took his mind
from his favourite study, the Professor stole on tiptoe up the stairs to
Sunny's door. The voice inside went raucously on.

"C-a-t--dog. C-a-t--dog. C-a-t--dog!"

Something about that voice, devoid of all the charm peculiar to Sunny,
grated against the sensitive ear at the keyhole, and accordingly he
withdrew the ear and applied the eye. What he saw inside caused him to
sit back solidly on the floor, speechless with mirthful indignation.

Hatsu, the maid, sat stonily before the little desk of her mistress, and
true to the instructions of Sunny, she was loudly chanting that C-a-t
spelled Dog.

Outside the window--well, there was a lattice work that ascended
conveniently to Sunny's room. Her mode of exit was visible to the
simplest minded, but the question that agitated the mind of Professor
Barrowes, and sent him off into a spree of mirthful speculation was
which one of the members of the Sunny Syndicate Limited had Miss Sunny
Sindicutt eloped with?



                               CHAPTER IV


To be adopted by four young men and one older one; to be surrounded by
every care and luxury; to be alternately scolded, pampered, admonished
and petted, this was the joyous fate of Sunny. Life ran along for the
happy child like a song, a poem which even Takumushi could not have
composed.

Sunny greeted the rising sun with the kisses that she had been taught to
throw to garden audiences, and hailed the blazing orb each morning,
having bowed three times, hands on knees, with words like these:

"Ohayo! honourable Sun. I glad you come again. Thas a beautiful day you
are bring, an I thang you thad I are permit to live on those day. Hoh!
Amaterasuoho-mikami, shining lady of the Sun, I are mos' happiest girl
ad those Japan!"

The professional geisha is taught from childhood--for her apprenticeship
begins from earliest youth--that her mission in life is to bring joy and
happiness into the world, to divert, to banish all care by her own
infectious buoyancy, to heal, to dissipate the cares of mere mortals; to
cultivate herself so that she shall become the very essence of joy. If
trouble comes to her own life, to so exercise self-control that no trace
of her inner distress must be reflected in her looks or conduct. She
must, in fact, make a science of her profession. To laugh with those who
laugh and weep with those who find a balm in tears--that is the work of
the geisha.

Sunny, a product of the geisha house, and herself apprentice to the joy
women of Japan, was of another race by blood, yet always there was to
cling to her that intangible charm, that like a strange perfume bespeaks
the geisha of Japan. In her odd way Sunny laid out her campaign to charm
and please the ones who had befriended her, and toward whom she felt a
gratitude that both touched and embarrassed them.

Her new plan of life, however, violated all the old rules which had
governed in the teahouse. Sunny was sore put to it to adjust herself to
the novelty of a life that knew not the sharp and imperative voice,
which cut like a whip in staccato order, from the master of the geishas;
nor the perilous trapeze, the swinging rope, to fall from which was to
bring down upon her head harsh rebuke, and sometimes the threatening
flash of the whip, whirling in the air, and barely scraping the girl on
the rope. She had been whipped but upon that one occasion, for her
mother was too valuable an asset in the House of a Thousand Joys for
Hirata to risk offending; but always he loved to swing the lash above
the girl's head, or hurl it near to the feet that had faltered from the
rope, so that she might know that it hung suspended above her to fall at
a time when she failed. There were pleasant things too in the House of a
Thousand Smiles that Sunny missed--the tap tap of the drum, the pat pat
of the stockinged feet on the polished dance matting; the rising and
falling of the music of the samisen as it tinkled in time to the swaying
fans and posturing bodies of the geishas. All this was the joyous part
of that gaudy past, which her honourable new owners had bidden her
forget.

Sunny desired most earnestly to repay her benefactors, but her offers to
dance for them were laughingly joshed aside, and she was told that they
did not wish to be repaid in dancing coin. All they desired in return
was that she should be happy, forget the bitter past, and they always
added "grow up to be the most beautiful girl in Japan." This was a
joking formula among them. To order Sunny to be merely happy and
beautiful. Happy she was, but beauty! Ah! that was more difficult.

Beauty, thought Sunny, must surely be the aim and goal of all Americans.
Many were the moments when she studied her small face in the mirror, and
regretted that it would be impossible for her to realise the ambition of
her friends. Her face, she was assured, violated all the traditions and
canons of the Japanese ideal of beauty. That required jet black hair,
lustrous as lacquer, a long oval face, with tiny, carmine touched lips,
narrow, inscrutable eyes, a straight, sensitive nose, a calmness of
expression and poise that should serve as a mask to all internal
emotions; above all an elegance and distinction in manners and dress
that would mark one as being of an elevated station in life. Now Sunny's
hair was fair, and despite brush and oil generously applied, till
forbidden by her friends, it curled in disobedient ringlets about her
young face. The hair alone marked her in the estimation of the Japanese
as akin to the lower races, since curly hair was one of the marks
peculiar to the savages. Neither were her eyes according to the Japanese
ideal of beauty. They were, it is true, long and shadowed by the
blackest of lashes, and in fact were her one feature showing the trace
of her oriental taint or alloy, for they tipped up somewhat at the
corners, and she had a trick of glancing sideways through the dark
lashes that her friends found eerily fascinating; unfortunately those
eyes were large, and instead of being the prescribed black, were pure
amber in colour, with golden lights of the colour of her hair. Her skin,
finally, was, as the mentor of the geisha house had primly told her,
bleached like the skin of the dead. Save where the colour flooded her
cheeks like peach bloom, Sunny's skin was as white as snow, and all the
temporary stains and dark powder applied could not change the colour of
her skin. To one accustomed to the Japanese point of view, Sunny
therefore could see nothing in her own lovely face that would realise
the desire of her friends that she should be beautiful; but respectfully
and humbly she promised them that she would try to obey them, and she
carried many gifts and offerings to the feet of Amaterasu-ohomikami,
whose beauty had made her the supreme goddess of the heavens.

"Beauty," said Jerry Hammond, walking up and down the big living room,
his hair rumpled, and his hands loosely in his pockets, "is the aim and
end of all that is worth while in life, Sunny. If we have it, we have
everything. Beauty is something we are unable to define. It is elusive
as a feather that floats above our heads. A breath will blow it beyond
our reach, and a miracle will bring it to our hand. Now, the gods
willing, I am going to spend all of the days of my life pursuing and
reaching after Beauty. Despite my parents' fond expectations of a
commercial career for their wayward son, I propose to be an artist."

From which it will be observed that Jerry's idea of beauty was hardly
that comprehended by Sunny, though in a vague way she sensed also his
ideal.

"An artist!" exclaimed she, clasping her hands with enthusiasm. "Ho!
_how_ thad will be grade. I thing you be more grade artist than
Hokusai!"

"Oh, Sunny, impossible! Hokusai was one of the greatest artists that
ever lived. I'm not built of the same timber, Sunny." There was a touch
of sadness to Jerry's voice. "My scheme is not to paint pictures. I
propose to beautify cities. To the world I shall be known merely as an
architect, but you and I, Sunny, we will know, won't we, that I am an
artist; because, you see, even if one fails to create the beautiful, the
hunger and the desire for it is just as important. It's like being a
poet at heart, without being able to write poetry. Now some fellows
_write_ poetry of a sort--but they are not poets--not in their thought
and lives, Sunny. I'd rather be a poet than write poetry. Do you
understand that?"

"Yes--I understand," said Sunny softly. "The liddle butterfly when he
float on the flower, he cannot write those poetry--but he are a poem;
and the honourable cloud in those sky, so sof', so white, so loavely he
make one's heart leap up high at chest--thas poem too!"

"Oh, Sunny, what a perfect treasure you are! I'm blessed if you don't
understand a fellow better than one of his own countrywomen would."

To cover a feeling of emotion and sentiment that invariably swept over
Jerry when he talked with Sunny on the subject of beauty, and because
moreover there was that about her own upturned face that disturbed him
strangely, he always assumed a mock serious air, and affected to tease
her.

"But to get back to you, Sunny. Now, all you've got to do to please the
Syndicate is to be a good girl _and_ beautiful. It ought not to be hard,
because you see you've got such a bully start. Keep on, and who knows
you'll end not only by being the most beautiful girl in Japan, but the
Emperor himself--the Emperor of Japan, mark you, will step down from his
golden throne, wave his wand toward you and marry you! So there you'll
be--the royal Empress of Japan."

"The Emperor!" Sunny's head went reverently to the mats. Her eyes, very
wide, met Jerry's in shocked question. "You want me marry wiz--the Son
of Heaven? _How_ I can do those?"

Again her head touched the floor, her curls bobbing against flushed
cheeks.

"Easy as fishing," solemnly Jerry assured her. "They say the old dub is
quite approachable, and you've only to let him see you once, and that
will be enough for him. Just think, Sunny, what that will mean to you,
and to us all--to be Empress of Japan. Why, you will only need to wave
your hand or sleeve, and all sorts of favours will descend upon our
heads. You will be able to repay us threefold for any insignificant
service we may have done for you. Once Empress of Japan, you can summon
us back to these fair isles and turn over to us all the political plums
of the Empire. As soon as you give us the high sign, old scout, we'll be
right on the job."

"Jerry, you like very much those plum?"

"You better believe I do."

Sunny, chin in hand, was off in a mood of abstraction. She was thinking
very earnestly of the red plum tree that grew above the tomb of the
great Lord of Kakodate. He, that sleeping lord, would not miss a single
plum, and she would go to the cemetery in the early morning, and when
she had accomplished the theft, she would pray at the temple for
absolution for her sin, which would not be so bad because Sunny would
have sinned for love.

"A penny for your thoughts, Sunny!"

"I are think, Jerry, that some things you ask me I can do; others,
no--thas not possible. Wiz this liddle hand I cannod dip up the ocean.
Thas proverb of our Japan. I cannod marry those Emperor, and me? I
cannod also make beauty on my face."

"Give it a try, Sunny," jeered Jerry, laughing at her serious face. "You
have no idea what time and art will do for one."

"Time--and--art," repeated Sunny, like a child learning a lesson. She
comprehended time, but she had inherited none of the Japanese traits of
patience. She would have wished to leap over that first obstacle to
beauty. Art, she comprehended, as a physical aid to a face and form
unendowed with the desired beauty. She carried her problem to her maid.

"Hatsu, have you ever seen the Emperor?"

Both of their heads bobbed quickly to the mat.

Hatsu had not. She had, it is true, walked miles through country roads,
on a hot, dry day, to reach the nearest town through which the Son of
Heaven's cortege had once passed. But, of course, as the royal party
approached, Hatsu, like all the peasants who had come to the town on
this gala day, had fallen face downward on the earth. It was impossible
for her therefore to see the face of the Son of Heaven. However, Hatsu
had seen the back of his horse--the modern Emperor rode thus abroad,
clear to the view of subjects less humble than Hatsu, who dared to raise
their eyes to his supreme magnificence. Sunny sighed. She felt sure that
had she been in Hatsu's place, she would at least have peeped through
her fingers at the mikado. Rummaging among her treasures in the bamboo
chest, Sunny finally discovered what she sought--a picture of the
Emperor. This she laid before her on the floor, and for a long, long
time she studied the features thoughtfully and anxiously. After a while,
she said with a sigh, unconscious of the blasphemy, which caused her
maid to turn pale with horror,

"I do not like his eye, and I do not like his nose, and I do not like
his mouth. Yet, Hatsusan, it is the wish of Jerry-sama that I should
marry this Emperor, and now I must make myself so beautiful that it will
not hurt his eye if he deigns to look at me."

Hatsu, at this moment was too overcome with the utter audacity of the
scheme to move, and when she did find her voice, she said in a
breathless whisper:

"Mistress, the Son of Heaven already has a wife."

"Ah, yes," returned Sunny, with somewhat of the careless manner toward
sacred things acquired from her friends, "but perhaps he may desire
another one. Come, Hatsusan. Work very hard on my face. Make me look
like ancient picture of an Empress of Japan. See, here is a model!" She
offered one of her mother's old prints, that revealed a court lady in
trailing gown and loosened hair, an uplifted fan half revealing, half
disclosing a weirdly lovely face, as she turned to look at a tiny dog
frolicking on her train.

It was a long, a painful and arduous process, this work of beautifying
Sunny. There was fractious hair to be darkened and smoothed, and false
hair to help out the illusion. There was a small face that had to be
almost completely made over, silken robes from the mother's chest to
slip over the girlish shoulders, shining nails to be polished and hidden
behind gold nail protectors, paint and paste to be thickly applied, and
a cape of a thousand colours to be thrown over the voluminous many
coloured robes beneath.

The sky was a dazzling blaze of red and gold. Even the deepening shadows
were touched with gilt, and the glory of that Japanese sunset cast its
reflection upon the book-lined walls of the big living room, where the
Americans, lingering over pipe and hook, dreamily and appreciatively
watched the marvellous spectacle through the widely opened windows. But
their siesta was strangely interrupted, for, like a peacock, a strange
vision trailed suddenly into the room and stood with suspended breath,
fan half raised, in the manner of a court lady of ancient days, awaiting
judgment. They did not know her at first. This strange figure seemed to
have stepped out of some old Japanese print, and was as far from being
the little Sunny who had come into their lives and added the last touch
of magic to their trip in Japan.

After the first shock, they recognised Sunny. Her face was heavily
plastered with a white paste. A vivid splotch of red paint adorned and
accentuated either slightly high cheek bone. Her eyebrows had
disappeared under a thick layer of paste, and in their place appeared a
brand new pair of intensely black ones, incongruously laid about an inch
above the normal line and midway of her forehead. Her lips were painted
to a vivid point, star shaped, so that the paint omitted the corners of
Sunny's mouth, where were the dimples that were part of the charm of the
Sunny they knew. Upon the girl's head rested an amazing ebony wig, one
long lock of which trailed fantastically down from her neck to the hem
of her robe. Shining daggers and pins, and artificial flowers completed
a head dress. She was arrayed in an antique kimona, an article of stiff
and unlimited dimensions, under which were seven other robes of the
finest silk, each signifying some special virtue. A train trailed behind
Sunny that covered half the length of the room. Her heavily embroidered
outer robe was a gift to her mother from a prince, and its magnificence
proclaimed its antiquity.

It may be truly said for Sunny that she indeed achieved her own peculiar
idea of what constituted beauty, and as she swept the fan from before
her face with real art and grace there was pardonable pride in her voice
as she said:

"Honourable Mr. sirs, mebbe _now_ you goin' say I are beautifullest
enough girl to make those Emperor marry wiz me."

A moment of tense silence, and then the room resounded and echoed to the
startled mirth of the young barbarians. But no mirth came from Sunny,
and no mirth came from Jerry. The girl stood in the middle of the room,
and through all her pride and dazzling attire she showed how deeply they
had wounded her. A moment only she stayed, and then tripping over her
long train and dropping her fan in her hurry, Sunny fled from the room.

Jerry said with an ominous glare at the convulsed Bobs, Monty and even
the aforesaid melancholy Jinx:

"It was my fault. I told her art and time would make her beautiful."

"The devil they would," snorted Bobs. "I'd like to know how you figured
that art and time could contribute to Sunny's natural beauty. By George,
she got herself up with the aid of your damned art, to look like a
valentine, if you ask me."

"I don't agree with you," declared Jerry hotly. "It's all how one looks
at such things. It's a symptom of provincialism to narrow our admiration
to one type only. Such masters as Whistler of our own land, and many of
the most famous artists of Europe have not hesitated to take Japanese
art as their model. What Sunny accomplished was the reproduction of a
living work of art of the past, and it is the crassest kind of ignorance
to reward her efforts with laughter."

Jerry was almost savage in his denunciation of his friends.

"I agree with you," said Professor Barrowes snapping his glasses back on
his nose, "absolutely, absolutely. You are entirely right, Mr. Hammond,"
and in turn he glared upon his "class" as if daring anyone of them to
question his own opinion. Jinx indeed did feebly say:

"Well, for my part, give me Sunny as we know her. Gosh! I don't see
anything pretty in all that dolled-up stuff and paint on her."

"Now, young gentleman," continued Professor Barrowes, seizing the moment
to deliver a gratuitous lecture, "there are certain cardinal laws
governing art and beauty. It is not a matter of eyes, ears and noses, or
even the colour of the skin. It is how we are accustomed to look at a
thing. As an example, we might take a picture. Seen from one angle, it
reveals a mass of chaotic colour that has no excuse for being. Seen from
another point, the purpose of the artist is clearly delineated, and we
are trapped in the charm of his creation. Every clime has its own
peculiar estimate, but it comes down each time to ourselves. Poetically
it has been beautifully expressed as follows: 'Unless we carry the
beautiful with us, we will find it not.' Ahem!" Professor Barrowes
cleared his throat angrily, and scowled, with Jerry, at their
unappreciative friends.

Goto, salaaming deeply in the doorway, was sonorously announcing
honourable dinner for the honourable sirs, and coming softly across the
hall, in her simple plum coloured kimona with its golden obi, the paint
washed from her face, and showing it fresh and clean as a baby's,
Sunny's April smile was warming and cheering them all again.

Jinx voiced the sentiment of them all, including the angry professor and
beauty loving Jerry:

"Gosh! give me Sunny just as she is, without one plea."



                               CHAPTER V


There comes a time in the lives of all young men sojourning in foreign
lands when the powers that be across the water summon them to return to
the land of their birth.

Years before, letters and cablegrams not unsimilar to those that now
poured in upon her friends came persistently across the water to the
father of Sunny. Then there was no Professor Barrowes to govern and lay
down the law to the infatuated man. He was able to put off the departure
for several years, but with the passage of time the letters that
admonished and threatened not only ceased to come, but the necessary
remittances stopped also. Sunny's father found himself in the novel
position of being what he termed "broke" in a strange land.

As in the case of Jerry Hammond, whose people were all in trade, there
was a strange vein of sentiment in the father of Sunny. To his people
indeed, he appeared to be one of those freaks of nature that sometimes
appear in the best regulated families, and deviate from the proper paths
followed by his forbears. He had acquired a sentiment not merely for the
land, but for the woman he had taken as his wife; above all, he was
devoted to his little girl. It is hard to judge of the man from his
subsequent conduct upon his return to America. His marriage to the
mother of Sunny had been more or less of a mercenary transaction. She
had been sold to the American by a stepfather anxious to rid himself of
a child who showed the clear evidence of her white father, and greedy to
avail himself of the terms offered by the American. It was, in fact, a
gay union into which the rich, fast young man thoughtlessly entered,
with a cynical disregard of anything but his own desires. The result was
to breed in him at the outset a feeling that he would not have analysed
as contempt, but was at all events scepticism for the seeming love of
his wife for him.

It was different with his child. His affection for her was a beautiful
thing. No shadow of doubt or criticism came to mar the love that existed
between father and child. True, Sunny was the product of a temporary
union, a ceremony of the teacup, which nevertheless is a legal marriage
in Japan, and so regarded by the Japanese. Lightly as the American may
have regarded his union with her mother, he looked upon the child as
legally and fully his own, and was prepared to defend her rights.

In America, making a clean breast to parents and family lawyers, he
assented to the terms made by them, on condition that his child at least
should be obtained for him. The determination to obtain possession of
his child became almost a monomania with the man, and he took measures
that were undeniably ruthless to gratify his will. It may be also that
he was at this time the victim of agents and interested parties.
However, he had lived in Japan long enough to know of the proverbial
frailty of the sex. The mercenary motives he believed animated the woman
in marrying him, her inability to reveal her emotions in the manner of
the women of his own race; her seeming indifference and coldness at
parting, which indeed was part of her spartan heritage to face dire
trouble unblenching--the sort of thing which causes Japanese women to
send their warrior husbands into battle with smiles upon their lips--all
these things contributed to beat the man into a mood of acquiescence to
the demands of his parents. He deluded himself into believing that his
Japanese wife, like her dolls, was incapable of any intense feeling.

In due time, the machinery of law, which works for those who pay, with
miraculous swiftness in Japan, was set into motion, and the frail bonds
that so lightly bound the American to his Japanese wife, were severed.
At this time the mother of Sunny had been plastic and apparently
complacent, though rejecting the compensation proffered her by her
husband's agents. The woman, who was later to be known as Madame Many
Smiles, turned cold as death, however, when the disposition of her child
was broached. Nevertheless her smiling mask betrayed no trace to the
American agents of the anguished turmoil within. Indeed her amiability
aroused indignant and disgusted comment, and she was pronounced a
soulless butterfly. This diagnosis of the woman was to be rudely
shattered, when, beguiled by her seeming indifference, they relaxed
somewhat of their vigilant espionage of her, and awoke one morning to
find that the butterfly had flown beyond their reach.

The road of the mendicant, hunger, cold, and even shame were nearer to
the gates of Nirvanna than life in splendour without her child. That was
all part of the story of Madame Many Smiles.

History, in a measure, was to repeat itself in the life of Sunny. She
had come to depend for her happiness upon her friends, and the shock of
their impending departure was almost more than she could bear.

She spent many hours kneeling before Kuonnon, the Goddess of Mercy,
throwing her petitions upon the lap of the goddess, and bruising her
brow at the stone feet. It is sad to relate of Sunny, who so avidly had
embraced the Christian faith, and was to the proud Mr. Sutherland an
example of his labours in Japan, that in the hour of her great trouble
she should turn to a heathen goddess. Yet here was Sunny, bumping her
head at the stone feet. What could the Three-in-one God of the Reverend
Mr. Sutherland do for her now? Sunny had never seen his face; but she
knew well the benevolent comprehending smile of the Goddess of Mercy,
and in Her, Sunny placed her trust. And so:

"Oh, divine Kuonnon, lovely Lady of Mercy, hear my petition. Do not
permit my friends to leave Japan. Paralyse their feet. Blind their eyes
that they may not see the way. Pray you close up the west ocean, so no
ships may take my friends across. Hold them magnetised to the honourable
earth of Japan."

Sitting back on her heels, having voiced her petition anxiously she
scanned the face of the lady above her. The candles flickered and
wavered in the soft wind, and the incense curled in a spiral cloud and
wound in rings about the head of the celestial one. Sunny held her two
hands out pleadingly toward the unmoving face.

"Lovely Kuonnon, it is true that I have tried magic to keep my friends
with me, but even the oni (goblins) do not hear me, and my friends'
boxes stand now in the ozashiki and the cruel carts carry them through
the streets."

Her voice rose breathlessly, and she leaned up and stared with wide eyes
at the still face above her, with its everlasting smile, and its lips
that never moved.

"It is true! It is true!" cried Sunny excitedly. "The mission sir is
right. There is no living heart in your breast. You are only stone. You
cannot even hear my prayer. How then will you answer it?"

Half appalled by her own blasphemy, she shivered away from the goddess,
casting terrified glances about her, and still sobbing in this gasping
way, Sunny covered her face with her sleeve, and wended her way from the
shrine to her home.

Here the dishevelled upset of the house brought home to her the
unalterable fact of their certain going. Restraint and gloom had been in
the once so jolly house, ever since Professor Barrowes had announced the
time of departure. To the excited imagination of Sunny it seemed that
her friends sought to avoid her. She could not understand that this was
because they found it difficult to face the genuine suffering that their
going caused their little friend. Sunny at the door of the living room
sought fiercely to dissemble her grief. Never would she reveal uncouth
and uncivilised tears; yet the smile she forced to her face now was more
tragic than tears.

Jinx was alone in the room. The fat young man was in an especially
gloomy and melancholy mood. He was wracking his brain for some solution
to the problem of Sunny. To him, Sunny went directly, seating herself on
the floor in front of him, so that he was obliged to look at the
imploring young face, and had much ado to control the lump that would
rise in Jinx's remorseful throat.

"Jinx," said Sunny persuasively, "I do not like to stay ad this Japan
all alone also. I lig' you stay wiz me. Pray you do so, Mr. dear Jinx!"

"Gosh! I only wish I could, Sunny," groaned Jinx, sick with sympathy,
"but, I can't do it. It's impossible. I'm not--not my own master yet. I
did the best I could for you--wrote home and asked my folks if--if I
could bring you along. Doggone them, anyway, they've kept the wires hot
ever since squalling for me to get back."

"They do nod lig' Japanese girl?" asked Sunny sadly.

"Gosh, what do they know about it? I do, anyway. I think you're a peachy
kid, Sunny. You suit me down to the ground, I'll tell the world, and you
look-a-here, I'm coming back to see you, d'ye understand? I give you my
solemn word I will."

"Jinx," said Sunny, without a touch of hope in her voice, "my father are
say same thing; but--he never come bag no more."

Monty and Bobs, their arms loaded with sundry boxes of sweets and pretty
things that aforetime would have charmed Sunny, came in from the street
just then, and with affected cheer laid their gifts enticingly before
the unbeguiled Sunny.

"See here, kiddy. Isn't this pretty!"

Bobs was swinging a long chain of bright red and green beads. Not so
long before Sunny had led Bobs to that same string of beads, which
adorned the counter of a dealer in Japanese jewelry, and had expressed
to him her ambition to possess so marvellous a treasure. Bobs would have
bought the ornament then and there; but it so happened that his finances
were at their lowest ebb, his investment in the Syndicate having made a
heavy inroad into the funds of the by no means affluent Bobs. The
wherewithal to purchase the beads on the eve of departure had in fact
come from some obscure corner of his resources, and he now dangled them
enticingly before the girl's cold eyes. She turned a shoulder expressive
of aversion toward the chain.

"I do nod lig' those kind beads," declared Sunny bitterly. Then upon an
impulse, she removed herself from her place before Jinx, and kneeled in
turn before Bobs, concentrating her full look of appeal upon that
palpably moved individual.

"Mr. sir--Bobs, I do nod lig' to stay ad Japan, wizout you stay also.
Please you take me ad America wiz you. I are not afraid those west
oceans. I lig' those water. It is very sad for me ad Japan. I do nod
lig' Japan. She is not Clistian country. Very bad people live on Japan.
I lig' go ad America. Please you take me wiz you to-day."

Monty, hovering behind Bobs, was scowling through his bone-ribbed
glasses. Through his seventeen-year-old brain raced wild schemes of
smuggling Sunny aboard the vessel; of choking the watchful professor; of
penning defiant epistles to the home folks; of finding employment in
Japan and remaining firmly on these shores to take care of poor little
Sunny. The propitiating words of Bobs appeared to Monty the sheerest
drivel, untrue slush that it was an outrage to hand to a girl who
trusted and believed.

Bobs was explaining that he was the beggar of the party. When he
returned to America, he would have to get out and scuffle for a living,
for his parents were not rich, and it was only through considerable
sacrifice, and Bobs' own efforts at work (he had worked his way through
college, he told Sunny) that he was able to be one of the party of
students who following their senior year at college were travelling for
a year prior to settling down at their respective careers. Bobs was too
chivalrous to mention to Sunny the fact that his contribution to the
Sunny Syndicate had caused such a shrinkage in his funds that it would
take many months of hard work to make up the deficit; nor that he had
even become indebted to the affluent Jinx in Sunny's behalf. What he did
explain was the fact that he expected soon after he reached America, to
land a job of a kind--he was to do newspaper work--and just as soon as
ever he could afford it, he promised to send for Sunny, who was more
than welcome to share whatever two-by-four home Bobs may have acquired
by that time.

Sunny heard and understood little enough of his explanation. All she
comprehended was that her request had been denied. Her own father's
defective promises had made her forever sceptical of those of any other
man in the world. Jinx in morose silence pulled fiercely on his pipe,
brooding over the ill luck that dogged a fellow who was fat as a movie
comedian and was related to an army of fat-heads who had the power to
order him to come and go at their will. Jinx thought vengefully and
ominously of his impending freedom. He would be of age in three months.
Into his own hands then, triumphantly gloated Jinx, would fall the
fortune of the house of Crawford, and _then_ his folks would see! He'd
show 'em! And as for Sunny--well, Jinx was going to demonstrate to that
little girl what a man of his word was capable of doing.

Sunny, having left Bobs, was giving her full attention to Monty, who
showed signs of panic.

"Monty, I wan' go wiz you ad America. _Please_ take me there wiz you. I
nod make no trobble for you. I be bes' nize girl you ever goin' see
those worl. Please take me, Monty."

"Aw--all right, I will. You bet your life I will. That's settled, and
you can count on me. _I'm_ not afraid of _my_ folks, if the other
fellows are of theirs. I can do as I choose. I'll rustle up the money
somehow. There's always a way, and they can say what they like at home,
I intend to do things in my own way. My governor's threatening to cut me
off; all the fellows' parents are--they're in league together, I
believe, but I'm going to teach them all a lesson. I'll not stir a foot
from Japan without you, Sunny. You can put that in your pipe and swallow
it. _I_ mean every last word _I_ say."

"Now, now, now--not so hasty, young man, not so hasty! Not so free with
promises you are unable to fulfil. Less words! Less words! More deeds!"

Professor Barrowes, pausing on the threshold, had allowed the junior
member of the party he was piloting through Japan to finish his fiery
tirade. He hung up his helmet, removed his rubbers, and rubbing his
chilled hands to bring back the departed warmth, came into the room and
laid the mail upon the table.

"Here you are, gentlemen. American mail. Help yourselves. All right, all
right. Now, if agreeable, I desire to have a talk alone with Miss Sunny.
If you young gentlemen will proceed with the rest of your preparations I
daresay we will be on time. That will do, Goto. That baggage goes with
us. Loose stuff for the steamer. Clear out."

Sunny, alone with the professor, made her last appeal.

"Kind Mr. Professor, please do not leave me ad those Japan. I wan go ad
America wiz you. Please you permit me go also."

Professor Barrowes leaned over, held out both his hands, and as the girl
came with a sob to him, he took her gently into his arms. She buried her
face on the shabby coat of the old professor who had been such a good
friend to her, and who with all his eccentricities had been so curiously
loveable and approachable. After she had cried a bit against the old
coat, Sunny sat back on her heels again, her two hands resting on the
professor's knees and covered with one of his.

"Sunny, poor child, I know how hard it is for you; but we are doing the
best we can. I want you to try and resign yourself to what is after all
inevitable. I have arranged for you to go to the Sutherlands' home. You
know them both--good people, Sunny, good people, in spite of their pious
noise. Mr. Blumenthal has charge of your financial matters. You are
amply provided for, thanks to the generosity of your friends, and I may
say we have done everything in our power to properly protect you. You
are going to show your appreciation by--er--being a good girl. Keep at
your studies. Heed the instructions of Mr. Sutherland. He has your good
at heart. I will not question his methods. We all have our peculiarities
and beliefs. The training will do you no harm--possibly do you much
good. I wish you always to remember that my interest in your welfare
will continue, and it will be a pleasure to learn of your progress. When
you can do so, I want you to write a letter to me, and tell me all about
yourself."

"Mr. Professor, if I study mos' hard, mebbe I grow up to be American
girl--jos same as her?"

Sunny put the question with touching earnestness.

"We-el, I am not prepared to offer the American girl as an ideal model
for you to copy, my dear, but I take it you mean--er--that education
will graft upon you our western civilisation, such as it is. It may do
so. It may. I will not promise on that score. My mind is open. It has
been done, no doubt. Many girls of your race have--ah--assimilated our
own peculiar civilisation--or a veneer of the same. You are yourself
mainly of white blood. Yes, yes, it is possible--quite probable in fact,
that if you set out to acquire western ways, you will succeed in making
yourself--er--like the people you desire to copy."

"And suppose I grow up lig' civilised girl, _then_ I may live ad
America?"

"Nothing to prevent you, my dear. Nothing to prevent you. It's a free
country. Open to all. You will find us your friends, happy--I may
say--overjoyed to see you again."

For the first time since she had learned the news of their impending
departure a faint smile lighted up the girl's sad face.

"I stay ad Japan till I get--civil--ise."

She stood up, and for a moment looked down in mournful farewell on the
seamed face of her friend. Her soft voice dropped to a caress.

"Sayonara, _mos_ kindes' man ad Japan. I goin' to ask all those million
gods be good to you."

And Professor Barrowes did not even chide her for her reference to the
gods. He sat glaring alone in the empty room, fiercely rubbing his
glasses, and rehearsing some extremely cutting and sarcastic phrases
which he proposed to pen or speak to certain parents across the water,
whose low minds suspected mud even upon a lily. His muttering reverie
was broken by the quiet voice of Jerry. He had come out of the big
window seat, where he had been all of the afternoon, unnoticed by the
others.

"Professor Barrowes," said Jerry Hammond, "if you have no objection, I
would like to take Sunny back with me to America."

Professor Barrowes scowled up at his favourite pupil.

"I do object, I do object. Emphatically. Most emphatically. I do not
propose to allow you, or any of the young gentlemen entrusted to my
charge, to commit an act that may be of the gravest consequences to your
future careers."

"In my case, you need feel under no obligations to my parents. I am of
age as you know, and as you also know, I purpose to go my own way upon
returning home. My father asked me to wait till after this vacation
before definitely deciding upon my future. Well, I've waited, and I'm
more than ever determined not to go into the shops. I've a bit of money
of my own--enough to give me a start, and I purpose to follow out my own
ideas. Now as to Sunny. I found that kid. She's my own, when it comes
down to that. I practically adopted her, and I'll be hanged if I'm going
to desert her, just because my father and mother have some false ideas
as to the situation."

"Leaving out your parents from consideration, I am informed that an
engagement exists between you and a Miss--ah--Falconer, I believe the
name is, daughter of your father's partner, I understand."

"What difference does that make?" demanded Jerry, setting his chin
stubbornly.

"Can it be possible that you know human nature so little then, that you
do not appreciate the feelings your fiancée is apt to feel toward any
young woman you choose to adopt?"

"Why, Sunny's nothing but a child. It's absurd to refer to her as a
woman, and if Miss Falconer broke with me for a little thing like that,
I'd take my medicine I suppose."

"You are prepared, then, to break an engagement that has the most hearty
approval of your parents, because of a quixotic impulse toward one you
say is a child, but, young man, I would have you reflect upon the
consequences to the child. Your kindness would act as a boomerang upon
Sunny."

"What in the world do you mean?"

"I mean that Sunny is emphatically not a child. She was fifteen years
old the other day. That is an exceedingly delicate period in a girl's
life. We must leave the bloom upon the rose. It is a sensitive period in
the life of a girl."

A long silence, and then Jerry:

"Right-oh! It's good-bye to Sunny!"

He turned on his heel and strode out to the hall. Professor Barrowes
heard him calling to the girl upstairs in the cheeriest tone.

"Hi! up there, Sunny! Come on down, you little rascal. Aren't you going
to say bye-bye to your best friend?"

Sunny came slowly down the stairs. At the foot, in the shadows of the
hall she looked up at Jerry.

"Now remember," he rattled along with assumed merriment, "that when next
we meet I expect you to be the Empress of Japan."

"Jerry," said Sunny, in a very little voice, her small eerie face
seeming to shine with some light, as she looked steadily at him, "I lig'
ask you one liddle bit favour before you go way from these Japan."

"Go to it. What is it, Sunny. Ask, and thou shalt receive."

Sunny put one hand on either of Jerry's arms, and her touch had a
curiously electrical effect upon him. In the pause that ensued he found
himself unable to remove his fascinated gaze from her face.

"Jerry, I wan' ask you, will you please give me those
American--kiss--good-a-bye."

A great wave of tingling emotions swept over Jerry, blinding him to
everything in the world but that shining face so close to his own. Sunny
a child! Her age terrified him. He drew back, laughing huskily. He
hardly knew himself what it was he was saying:

"I don't want to, Sunny--I don't----"

He broke away abruptly and, turning, rushed into the living room, seized
his coat and hat, and was out of the house in a flash.

Professor Barrowes stared at the door through which Jerry had made his
hurried exit. To his surprise, he heard Sunny in the hall, laughing
softly, strangely. To his puzzled query as to why she laughed, she said
softly:

"Jerry are afraid of me!"

And Professor Barrowes, student of human nature as he prided himself
upon being, did not know that Sunny had stepped suddenly across the gap
that separates a girl from a woman, and had come into her full stature.



                               CHAPTER VI


Time and environment work miracles. It is interesting to study the
phases of emotion that one passes through as he emerges from youth into
manhood. The exaggerated expressions, the unalterable conclusions, the
tragic imaginings, the resolves, which he feels nothing can shake, how
sadly and ludicrously and with what swiftness are they dissipated.

It came to pass that Sunny's friends across the sea reached a period
where they thought of her vaguely only as a charming and amusing episode
of an idyllic summer in the Land of the Rising Sun. Into the oblivion of
the years, farther and farther retreated the face of the Sunny whose
April smile and ingenuous ways and lovely face had once so warmed and
charmed their young hearts.

New faces, new scenes, new loves, work and the claims and habits that
fasten upon one with the years--these were the forces that engrossed
them. I will not say that she was altogether forgotten in the new life,
but at least she occupied but a tiny niche in their sentimental
recollections. There were times, when a reference to Japan would call
forth a murmur of pleasureable reminiscences, and humorous references to
some remembered fantastic trick or trait peculiar to the girl, as:

"Do you remember when Sunny tried to catch that nightingale by putting
salt near a place where she thought his tail might rest? I had told her
she could catch him by putting salt on his tail, and the poor kid took
me literally."

Jinx chuckled tenderly over the memory. In the first year after his
return to America Jinx had borne his little friend quite often in mind,
and had sent her several gifts, all of which were gratefully
acknowledged by the Reverend Simon Sutherland.

"Will you ever forget" (from Bobs) "her intense admiration for Monty's
white skin? She sat on the bank of the pool for nearly an hour, with the
unfortunate kid under water, waiting for her to go away, while she
waited for him to come out, because she said she wanted to see what a
white body looked like 'wiz nothing but skin on for clothes.' I had to
drag her off by main force. Ha, ha! I'll never forget her indignation,
or her question whether Monty was 'ashamed his body.' The public baths
of Nagasaki, you know, were social meeting places, and introductions
under or above water quite the rule."

"I suppose," said Jerry, pulling at his pipe thoughtfully, "we never
will get the Japanese point of view anent the question of morals."

"It's the shape of their eyes. They see things slant-wise," suggested
Jinx brilliantly.

"But Sunny's eyes, as I recall them," protested Bobs, "were not
slanting, and she had their point of view. You'll recall how the Proff
had much ado to prevent her taking her own quaint bath in our 'lake' in
beauty unadorned."

A burst of laughter broke forth here.

"Did he now? He never told me anything about that."

"Didn't tell me either, but I _heard_ him. He explained to Sunny in the
most fatherly way the whole question of morals from the day of Adam
down, and she got him so tangled up and ashamed of himself that he
didn't know where he was at. However, as I recall it, he must have won
out in the contention, for you'll recall how she voiced such scathing
and contemptuous criticism later on the public bathers of Japan, whom
she said were 'igrant and nod god nize Americazan manner and wear dress
cover hees body ad those bath.'"

"Ah, Sunny was a darling kid, take it from me. Just as innocent and
sweet as a new-born babe." This was Jinx's sentimental contribution, and
no voice arose to question his verdict.

So it will be perceived that her friends, upon the rare occasions when
she was recalled to memory, still held her in loving, if humorous
regard, and it was the custom of Jerry to end the reminiscences of Sunny
with a big sigh and a dumping of the ash from his pipe, as he dismissed
the subject with:

"Well, well, I suppose she's the Empress of Japan by now."

All of them were occupied with the concerns and careers that were of
paramount importance to them. Monty, though but in his twenty-first
year, an Intern at Bellevue; Bobs, star reporter on the _Comet_; Jinx,
overwhelmingly rich, the melancholy and unwilling magnet of all aspiring
mothers-in-law; Jerry, an outlaw from the house of Hammond, though his
engagement to Miss Falconer bade fair to reinstate him in his parents'
affections. He was doggedly following that star of which he had once
told Sunny. Eight hours per day in an architect's office, and four or
six hours in his own studio, was the sum of the work of Jerry. He "lived
in the clouds," according to his people; but all the great deeds of the
world, and all of the masterpieces penned or painted by the hand of man,
Jerry knew were the creations of dreamers--the "cloud livers." So he
took no umbrage at the taunt, and kept on reaching after what he had
once told Sunny was that Jade of fortune--Beauty.

Somewhere up the State, Professor Barrowes pursued the uneven tenor of
his way as Professor of Archeology and Zoology in a small college.
Impetuous and erratic, becoming more restless with the years, he escaped
the irritations and demands of the class room at beautiful intervals,
when he indulged in a passion of research that took him into the far
corners of the world, to burrow into the earth in search of things
belonging to the remote dead and which he held of more interest than
mere living beings. His fortunes were always uncertain, because of this
eccentric weakness, and often upon returning from some such quest his
friends had much ado to secure him a berth that would serve as an
immediate livelihood. Such position secured, after considerable wire
pulling on the part of Jerry and other friends, Professor Barrowes would
be no sooner seated in the desired chair, when he would begin to lay
plans for another escape. An intimate friendship existed between Jerry
and his old master, and it was to Jerry that he invariably went upon his
return from his archeological quests. Despite the difference in their
years, there was a true kinship between these two. Each comprehended the
other's aspirations, and in a way the passion for exploration and the
passion for beauty is analogous. Jerry's parents looked askance at this
friendship, and were accustomed to blame the Professor for their son's
vagaries, believing that he aided and abetted and encouraged Jerry,
which was true enough.

Of all Sunny's friends, Professor Barrowes, alone, kept up an irregular
communication with the Sutherlands. Gratifying reports of the progress
of their protégé came from the missionary at such times. Long since, it
had been settled that Sunny should be trained to become a shining
example to her race--if, in fact, the Japanese might be termed her race.
It was the ambition of the good missionary to so instruct the girl that
she would be competent to step into the missionary work, and with her
knowledge of the Japanese tongue and ways, her instructor felt assured
they could expect marvels from her in the matter of converting the
heathen.

It is true the thought of that vivid little personality in the grey rôle
of a preacher, brought somewhat wry faces to her friends, and
exclamations even of distaste.

"Gosh!" groaned Jinx sadly, "I'd as lieves see her back on the
tightrope."

"Imagine Sunny preaching! It would be a raving joke. I can just hear her
twisting up her eight million gods and goddesses with our own deity,"
laughed Bobs.

"Like quenching a firefly's light, or the bruising of a butterfly's
wings," murmured Jerry, dreamily, his head encircled with rings of
smoke.

But then one becomes accustomed to even a fantastic thought. We accredit
certain qualities and actions to individuals, and, in time, in our
imaginations at least, they assume the traits with which we have
invested them. After all, it was very comforting to think of that
forlorn orphan child in the safe haven of a mission school.

So the years ran on and on, as they do in life, and as they do in
stories such as this, and it came to pass, as written above, that Sunny
disappeared into the fragrant corners of a pretty memory. There is where
Sunny should perhaps have stayed, and thus my story come to a timely
end.

Consider the situation. A girl, mainly of white blood, with just a drop
of oriental blood in her--enough to make her a bit different from the
average female of the species, enough, say, to give a snack of that
savage element attributed to the benighted heathen. Rescued by men of
her father's race from slavery and abuse; provided for for the rest of
her days; under the instruction of a zealous and conscientious
missionary and his wife, who earnestly taught her how to save the souls
of the people of Japan. Sunny's fate was surely a desirable one, and as
she progressed on the one side of the water, her friends on the other
side were growing in sundry directions, ever outward and upward,
acquiring new responsibilities, new loves, new claims, new passions with
the passing of the years. What freak of fate therefore should interpose
at this juncture, and thrust Sunny electrically into the lives of her
friends again?



                              CHAPTER VII


On a certain bleak day in the month of March, J. Addison Hammond, Jr.,
tenaciously at work upon certain plans and drawings that were destined
at a not far distant date to bring him a measure of fame and fortune,
started impatiently from his seat and cursed that "gosh-ding-danged
telephone."

Jerry at this stage of his picturesque career occupied what is known in
New York City, and possibly other equally enlightened cities, as a
duplex studio. Called "duplex" for no very clear reason. It consists of
one very large room (called "atelier" by artistic tenants and those who
have lived or wanted to live in France). This room is notable not merely
for its size, but its height, the ceiling not unsimilar to the vaulted
one of a church, or a glorified attic. Adjustable skylights lend the
desired light. About this main room, and midway of the wall, is a
gallery which runs on all four sides, and on this gallery are doors
opening into sundry rooms designated as bedrooms. The arrangement is an
excellent one, since it gives one practically two floors. That, no
doubt, is why we call it "duplex." We have a weakness for one floor
bungalows when we build houses these days, but for apartments and
studios the epicure demands the duplex.

In this especial duplex studio there also abode one t, or as he was
familiarly known to the friends of Jerry Hammond, "Hatty." Hatty, then,
was the valet and man of all work in the employ of Jerry. He was a
marvellous cook, an extraordinary house cleaner, an incomparable valet,
and to complete the perfections of this jewel, possessed solely by the
apparently fortunate Jerry, his manners, his face and his form were of
that ideal sort seen only in fiction and never in life. Nevertheless the
incomparable Hatton, or Hatty, was a visible fact in the life and studio
of Jerry Hammond.

Having detailed the talents of Hatty, it is painful here to admit a flaw
in the character of the otherwise perfect valet. This flaw he had very
honestly divulged to Jerry at the time of entering his employ, and the
understanding was that upon such occasions when said flaw was due to
have its day, the master was to forbear from undue criticism or from
discharging said Hatton from his employ. Hatton, at this time, earnestly
assured the man in whose employ he desired to enter, that he could
always depend upon his returning to service in a perfectly normal state,
and life would resume its happy way under his competent direction.

It so happened upon this especial night, when that "pestiferous"
telephone kept up its everlasting ringing--a night when Jerry hugged his
head in his hands, calling profanely and imploringly upon Christian and
heathen saints and gods to leave him undisturbed--that Hatton lay on his
bed above, in a state of oblivion from which it would seem a charge of
dynamite could not have awakened him.

For the fiftieth or possibly hundredth time Jerry bitterly swore that he
would fire that "damned Englishman" (Hatton was English) on the
following day. He had had enough of him. Whenever he especially needed
quiet and service, that was the time the "damned Englishman" chose to
break loose and go on one of his infernal sprees. For the fourth time
within half an hour Jerry seized that telephone and shouted into the
receiver:

"What in hades do you want?"

The response was a long and continuous buzzing, through which a
jabbering female tongue screeched that it was Y. Dubaday talking. It
sounded like "Y. Dubaday," but Jerry knew no one of that name, and so
emphatically stated, adding to the fact that he didn't know anyone of
that name and didn't want to, and if this was their idea of a joke----"

He hung up at this juncture, seized his head, groaned, walked up and
down swearing softly and almost weeping with nervousness and
distraction. Finally with a sigh of hopelessness as he realised the
impossibility of concentrating on that night, Jerry gathered up his
tools and pads, packed them into a portfolio, which he craftily hid
under a mass of papers--Jerry knew where he could put his hands on any
desired one--got his pipe, pulled up before the waning fire, gave it a
shove, put on a fresh log, lit his pipe, stretched out his long legs,
put his brown head back against the chair, and sought what comfort there
might be left to an exasperated young aspirant for fame who had been
interrupted a dozen times inside of an hour or so. Hardly had he settled
down into this comparative comfort when that telephone rang again. Jerry
was angry now--"hopping mad." He lifted that receiver with ominous
gentleness, and his voice was silken.

"What can I do for you, fair one?"

Curiously enough the buzzing had completely stopped and the fair one's
reply came vibrating clearly into his listening ear.

"Mr. Hammond?"

"Well, what of it?"

"Mr. Hammond, manager of some corporation or company in Japan?"

"What are you talking about?"

"If you'll hold the wire long enough to take a message from a friend
I'll deliver it."

"Friend, eh? Who is he? I'd like to get a look at him this moment. Take
your time."

"Well, I've no time to talk nonsense. This is the Y. W. C. A. speaking,
and there's a young lady here, who says she--er--belongs to you.
She----"

"What? Say that again, please."

"A young lady that appears to be related to you--says you are her
guardian or manager or something of the sort. She was delivered to the
Y. by the Reverend Miss Miriam Richardson, in whose care she was placed
by the Mission Society of--er--Naggysack, Japan. One minute, I'll get
her name again."

A photograph of Jerry at this stage would have revealed a young man
sitting at a telephone desk, registering a conflict of feelings and
emotions indicative of consternation, guilt, tenderness, fear, terror,
compunction, meanness and idiocy. When that official voice came over the
wire a second time, Jerry all but collapsed against the table, holding
the receiver uncertainly in the direction of that ear that still heard
the incredible news and confirmed his fears:

"Name--Miss Sindicutt."

Silence, during which the other end apparently heard not that
exclamation of desperation: "Ye gods and little fishes!" for it resumed
complacently:

"Shall we send her up to you?"

"No, no, for heaven's sake don't. That is, wait a bit, will you? Give me
a chance to get over the----" Jerry was about to say "shock," but
stopped himself in time and with as much composure as he could muster he
told the Y. W. C. A. that he was busy just now, but would call later,
and advise them what to do in the--under his breath he said
"appalling"--circumstances.

Slowly Jerry put the receiver back on the hook. He remained in the chair
like one who has received a galvanic shock. That Japanese girl, of a
preposterous dream, had actually followed him to America! She was
here--right in New York City. It was fantastic, impossible! Ha, ha! it
would be funny, if it were not so danged impossible. In the United
States, of all places! She, who ought to be right among her heathens,
making good converts. What in the name of common sense had she come to
the States for? Why couldn't she let Jerry alone, when he was up to his
neck in plans that he fairly knew were going to create an upheaval in
the architectural world? Just because he had befriended her in his
infernal youth, he could not be expected to be responsible for her for
the rest of her days. Besides, he, Jerry, was not the only one in that
comic opera Syndicate. The thought of his partners in crime, as they now
seemed to him, brought him up again before that telephone, seizing upon
it this time as a last straw.

He was fortunate to get in touch with all three of the members of the
former Sunny Syndicate Limited. While Monty and Bobs rushed over
immediately, Jinx escaped from the Appawamis Golf Club where for weeks
he had been vainly trying to get rid of some of his superfluous flesh by
chasing little red balls over the still snow bound course, flung himself
into his powerful Rolls Royce, and went speeding along the Boston Post
Road at a rate that caused an alarm to be sent out for him from point to
point. Not swift enough, however, to keep up with the fat man in the
massive car that "made the grade" to New York inside of an hour, and
rushed like a juggernaut over the slick roads and the asphalt pavements
of Manhattan.

Jerry's summons to his college friends had been in the nature of an S.
O. S. call for help. On the telephone he vouchsafed merely the
information that it was "a deadly matter of life and death."

The astounding news he flung like a bomb at each hastily arriving member
of the late Syndicate. When the first excitement had subsided, the
paramount feeling was one of consternation and alarm.

"Gosh!" groaned Jinx, "what in the name of thunderation are you going to
do with a Japanese girl in New York City? I pity you, Jerry, for of
course you are mainly responsible----"

"Responsible nothing----" from the indignant Jerry, wheeling about with
a threatening look at that big "fathead." "I presume I was the _only_
member of that--er--syndicate."

"At least it was your idea," said Monty, extremely anxious to get back
to the hospital, where he had been personally supervising a case of
Circocele.

"You might have known," suggested Bobs, "that she was bound to turn out
a Frankenstein. Of course, we'll all stand by you, old scout, but you
know how I am personally situated."

Jerry's wrathful glare embraced the circle of his renegade friends.

"You're a fine bunch of snobs. I'm not stuck myself on having a Jap girl
foisted on to my hands, and there'll be a mess of explanations to my
friends and people, and the Lord only knows how I'll ever be able to put
my mind back on my work and---- At the same time, I'm not so white
livered that I'm going to flunk the responsibility. We
encouraged--invited her to join us out here. I did. You did, so did you,
and you! I heard you all--every last one of you, and you can't deny it."

"Well, it was one thing to sentimentalise over a pretty little Jap in
Japan," growled Bobs, who was not a snob, but in spite of his profession
at heart something of a stickler for the conventions, "but it's another
proposition here. Of course, as I said, we fellows all intend to stand
by you." (Grunts of unwilling assent from Monty and Jinx.) "We aren't
going to welch on our part of the job, and right here we may as well
plan out some scheme to work this thing properly. Suppose we make the
most of the matter for the present. We'll keep her down there at that
'Y.' Do you see? Then, we can each do something to--er--make it--well
uncomfortable for her here. We'll freeze her out if it comes down to
that. Make her feel that this U. S. A. isn't all it's cracked up to be,
and she'll get home-sick for her gods and goddesses and at the
psychological moment when she's feeling her worst, why we'll just slip
her aboard ship, and there you are."

"Great mind! Marvellous intellect you got, Bobs. In the first place, the
'Y' informed me on the 'phone that they are sending her here. They are
waiting now for me to give the word when to despatch her, in fact. Now
the question is"--Jerry looked sternly at his friends--"which one of
your families would be decent enough to give a temporary home to Sunny?
My folks as you know are out of the reckoning, as I'm an outlaw from
there myself."

Followed a heated argument and explanations. Monty's people lived in
Philadelphia. He himself abode at the Bellevue Hospital. That, so he
said, let him out. Not at all, from Jerry's point of view. Philadelphia,
said Jerry, was only a stone's throw from New York. Monty, exasperated,
retorted that he didn't propose to throw stones at his folks. Monty, who
had made such warm promises to Sunny!

Bobs shared a five-room bachelor flat with two other newspaper men.
Their hours were uncertain, and their actions erratic. Often they played
poker till the small hours of the morning. Sunny would not fit into the
atmosphere of smoke and disorder, though she was welcome to come, if she
could stand the "gaff." Bobs' people lived in Virginia. His several
sisters, Bobs was amusedly assured, would hardly put the girl from Japan
at her ease.

Jinx, on whom Jerry now pinned a hopeful eye, blustered shamelessly, as
he tried to explain his uncomfortable position in the world. When not at
his club in New York, he lived with a sister, Mrs. Vanderlump, and her
growing family in the Crawford mansion at Newport. Said sister dominated
this palatial abode and brother Jinx escaped to New York upon occasions
in a true Jiggsian manner, using craft and ingenuity always to escape
the vigilant eye and flaying tongue of a sister who looked for the worst
and found it. It was hard for Jinx to admit to his friends that he was
horribly henpecked, but he appealed to them as follows:

"Have a heart about this thing. I ask you, what is a fellow to do when
he's got a sister on his back like that? If she suspects every little
innocent chorus girl of the town, what is she going to say to Sunny when
that kid goes up before her in tights?"

It is extraordinary how we think of people we have not seen in years as
they were when first we saw them. In the heat of argument, no one
troubled to point out to Jinx that the Sunny who had come upon the tight
rope that first night must have long since graduated from that
reprehensible type of dress or rather undress.

Finally, and as a last resort, a night letter was despatched to
Professor Timothy Barrowes. All were now agreed that he was the one most
competent to settle the matter of the disposition of Sunny, and all
agreed to abide by his decision.

At this juncture, and when a sense of satisfaction in having "passed the
buck" to the competent man of archæology had temporarily cheered them, a
tapping was heard upon the studio door. Not the thumping of the goblin's
head of the Italian iron knocker; not the shriek of the electric buzzer
from the desk below, warning of the approach of a visitor. Just a soft
taptapping upon the door, repeated several times, as no one answered,
and increasing in noise and persistence.

A long, a silent, a deadly pause ensued. At that moment each found
himself attributing to that girl they had known in Japan, and whom they
realised was on the other side of that door, certain characteristic
traits and peculiarities charming enough in Japan but impossible to
think of as in America. To each young man there came a mental picture of
a bizarre and curious little figure, adorned with blazingly bright
kimona and obi--a brilliant patch of colour, her bobbed hair and
straight bangs seeming somehow incongruous and adding to her fantastic
appearance. After all, in spite of her hair, she was typical of that
land of crooked streets, and paper houses, and people who walked on the
wrong side and mounted their horses from the front. The thought of that
girl in New York City grated against their sensibilities. She didn't
belong and she never could belong was their internal verdict.

It may have been only a coincidence, but it seemed weird, that Hatton,
lately so dead to the world, should appear at that psychological moment
on the steps of the gallery, immaculate in dress and with that cool air
of superiority and efficiency that was part of his assets, descend in
his stately and perfect way, approach the door as a butler should, and
softly, imperturbably fling that door open. His back retained its stiff
straight line, that went so well with the uniform Hatton insisted upon
donning, but his head went sideways forward in that inimitable bow that
Hatton always reserved for anything especially attractive in the female
line.

Upon the threshold there looked back at Hatton, and then beyond him, a
girl whom the startled young men took at first to be a perfect stranger.
She wore a plain blue serge suit, belted at the waist, with a white
collar and jabot. A sailor hat, slightly rolled, crushed down the hair
that still shone above the face whose remarkable beauty owed much to a
certain quaintness of expression. She stood silently, without moving,
for what seemed a long moment to them all, and then suddenly she spoke,
breathlessly and with that little catch in her voice, and her tone, her
look, her words, her quick motions so characteristic of the little girl
they had known, broke the spell of silence and let loose a flood of such
warm memories that all the mean and harsh and contemptible thoughts of
but a moment since were dissipated forever.

They crowded about her, hanging upon and hungry for her unabashed and
delighted words, and dazzled by the girl's uncanny loveliness.

"Jinx! Thad are you! I know you by your so nize fat!"

She had not lost her adorable accent. Indeed, if they could but have
realised it, Sunny had changed not at all. She had simply grown up.

Jinx's soft hands were holding the two little fragrant ones thrust so
joyously into his own. The fat fellow fought a sudden maddening desire
to hug like a bear the girl whose bright eyes were searching his own so
lovingly.

"Monty! Oh, you have grow into whole mans. _How_ it is nize. And you
still smile on me troo those glass ad you eye."

Smile! Monty was grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat. That case of
Circocele at Bellevue hospital had vanished into the dim regions of
young Monty's mind. Anyway there were a score of other Internes there,
and Monty had his permit in his pocket.

"Bobs! Is thad youself, wiz those fonny liddle hair grow om your mout'.
_How_ it is grow nize on you face. I lig' him there."

Any doubt that Bobs had experienced as to the desirability of that
incipient moustache vanished then and there.

And Jerry! Jerry, for the last, to be looked at with shining eyes, till
something tightened in his throat, and his mind leaped over the years
and felt again that dizzy, tingling, electrical sensation when Sunny had
asked him to kiss her.



                              CHAPTER VIII

That "even tenor of their ways," to which reference has already been
made, ceased indeed to bear a remote resemblance to evenness. It may be
recorded here, that for one of them at least, Sunny's coming meant the
hasty despatch of his peace of mind. Their well laid schemes to be rid
of her seemed now in the face of their actions like absurd aberrations
that they were heartily ashamed of.

It is astonishing how we are affected by mere clothes. Perhaps if Sunny
had appeared at the door of Jerry Hammond's studio arrayed in the
shining garments of a Japanese, some measure of their alarm might have
remained. But she came to their door as an American girl. That Sunny
should have stood the test of American clothes, that she shone in them
with a distinction and grace that was all her own, was a matter of
extreme pride and delight to her infatuated friends. Appearances play a
great part in the imagination and thought of the young American. It was
the fantastic conception they had formed of her, and the imagined effect
of her strange appearance in America that had filled them with misgiving
and alarm--the sneeky sort of apprehension one feels at being made
conspicuous and ridiculous. There was an immense relief at the discovery
that their fears were entirely unfounded. Sunny appeared a finished
product in the art of dressing. Not that she was fashionably dressed.
She simply had achieved the look of one who belonged. She was as natural
in her clothes as any of their sisters or the girls they knew. There was
this difference, however: Sunny was one of those rare beings of earth
upon whom the Goddess of Beauty has ineffaceably laid her hands. Her
loveliness, in fact, startled one with its rareness, its crystal
delicacy. One looked at the girl's face, and caught his breath and
turned to look again, with that pang of longing that is almost pain when
we gaze upon a masterpiece.

Yet "under the skin" she was the same confiding, appealing, mischievous
little Sunny who had pushed her way into the hearts of her friends.

Her mission in America, much as it aroused the mirth of her friends, was
a very serious one, and it may be here stated, later, an eminently
successful one. Sunny came as an emissary from the mission school to
collect funds for the impoverished mission. Mr. Sutherland, a Scotchman
by birth, was not without a canny and shrewd streak to his character,
and he had not forgotten the generous contributions in the past of the
rich young Americans whose protégé Sunny had been.

All this, however, does not concern the devastating effect of her
presence in the studio of Jerry Hammond. There, in fact, Sunny had taken
up an apparently permanent residence, settling down as a matter of
course and right, and indeed assisted by the confused and alternately
dazed and beguiled Jerry.

Her effects consisted of a bag so small, and containing but a few
articles of Japanese silk clothing and a tiny gift for each of her dear
friends. Indeed, the smallness of Sunny's luggage appealed instantly to
her friends, who determined to purchase for her all the pretty clothes
her heart should desire. This ambition to deck Sunny in the fine raiment
of New York City was satisfactorily realised by each and everyone of the
former Syndicate, Sunny accompanying them with alacrity, overjoyed by
those delicious shopping tours, the results of which returned in Jinx's
Rolls Royce, Monty's taxi, Bobs' messenger boys, and borne by hand by
Jerry. These articles, however, became such a bone of contention among
her friends, each desiring her to wear his especial choice, that Sunny
had her hands full pleasing them all. She compromised by wearing a dress
donated by Monty, hat from Jinx, a coat from Jerry, and stockings and
gloves from Bobs. It was finally agreed by her friends that there should
be a cessation to the buying of further clothes for Sunny. Instead an
allowance of money was voted and quickly subscribed to by all, and after
that, Sunny, with the fatherly aid of a surprisingly new Hatton, did her
own purchasing.

Of her four friends, Jerry was possibly the happiest and the unhappiest
at this time. He was a prey to both exhilaration and panic. He moved
heaven and earth to make Sunny so comfortable and contented in his
studio, that all thought of returning to Japan would be banished forever
from her mind. On the other hand, he rushed off, panic stricken and sent
telegrams to Professor Barrowes, entreating him to come at once and
relieve Jerry of his dangerous charge. His telegrams, however, were
unfruitful, for after an aggravating delay, during which Sunny became,
like Hatton, one of the habits and necessities of Jerry's life, the
Telegraph Company notified him that Professor Barrowes was no longer at
that particular school of learning, and that his address there was
unknown. Jerry, driven to extremities by the situation in his studio,
made himself such a nuisance to the Telegraph Company, that they
bestirred themselves finally and ascertained that the last address of
Professor Timothy Barrowes was Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Now Red Deer
represented nothing to Jerry Hammond save a town in Canada where a wire
would reach his friend. Accordingly he despatched the following:

        Professor Timothy Barrowes,
        Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

    Come at once. Sunny in New York. Need you take her charge. Delay
    dangerous. Waiting for you. Come at once. Answer at once.
    Important.
                                   J. ADDISON HAMMOND.

Professor Barrowes received this frantic wire while sitting on a rock
very close to the edge of a deep excavation that had recently been dug
on the side of a cliff towering above a certain portion of the old Red
Deer River. Below, on a plateau, a gang of men were digging and scraping
and hammering at the cliff. Not in the manner of the husky workers of
northwestern Canada, but carefully, tenderly. Not so carefully, however,
but the tongue of the Professor on the rock above castigated and nagged
and warned. Ever and anon Sunny's old friend would leap down into the
excavation, and himself assist the work physically.

As stated, Jerry's telegram came to his hand while seated upon aforesaid
rock, was opened, and absent-mindedly scanned by Jerry's dear friend,
and then thrust hastily into the professor's vest pocket, there to
remain for several days, when it accidentally was resurrected, and he
most thoughtfully despatched a reply, as follows:

    Jeremy Addison Hammond,
        12 West 67th St.,
            New York City, U. S. A.

    Collect.

    Glad to hear from you. Especially so this time. Discovered
    dinosaur antedating post pleocene days. Of opinion Red Deer
    district contains greatest number of fossils of antique period
    in world. Expect discoveries prove historical event
    archeological world. Will bring precious find New York about one
    month or six weeks. Need extra funds transportation dinosaur and
    guard for same. Expect trouble Canadian government in re-taking
    valuable find across border. Much envy and propaganda take
    credit from U. S. for most important discovery of century. Get
    in communication right parties New York, Washington if
    necessary. Have consul here wired give full protection and help.
    Information sent confidential. Do not want press to get word of
    remarkable find until fossil set up in museum. See curator about
    arrangements. May be quoted as estimating age as quaternary
    period. Wire two thousand dollars extra. Extraordinary find.
    Greatest moment my life. Note news arrival New York Sunny. Sorry
    unable be there take charge. Dinornis more important Sunny.

                                    TIMOTHY BARROWES.

What Jerry said when he tore open and read that long expected telegram
would not bear printing. Suffice it to say that his good old friend was
consigned by the wrathful and disgusted Jerry to a warmer region than
Mother Earth. Then, squaring his shoulders like a man, and setting his
chin grimly, Jerry took up the burden of life, which in these latter
days had assumed for him such bewildering proportions.

That she was an amazing, actual part of his daily life seemed to him
incredible, and beguiling and fascinating as life now seemed to him with
her, and wretched and uncertain as it was away from her, his alarm
increased with every day and hour of her abode in his house. He assured
himself repeatedly that there was no more harm in Sunny living in his
apartment than there was in her living in his house in Japan. What
enraged the befuddled Jerry at this time was the officious attitude of
his friends. Monty took it upon himself to go room hunting for a place
for Sunny, and talked a good deal about the results he expected from a
letter written to Philadelphia. He did not refer to Sunny now as a
stone. Monty was sure that the place for Sunny was right in that
Philadelphia home, presided over by his doting parents and little
brothers and sisters, and where it was quite accessible for week-end
visits.

Jinx, after a stormy scene with his elder sister in which he endeavoured
to force Sunny upon the indignant and suspicious Mrs. Vanderlump, left
in high dudgeon the Newport home in which he had been born, and which
was his own personal inheritance, and with threats never to speak to his
sister again, he took up his residence at his club, just two blocks from
the 67th Street studio.

Bobs cleared out two of his friends from the flat, bought some cretonne
curtains with outrageous roses and patches of yellow, purple, red and
green, hung these in dining room and bedroom and parlour, bought a brand
new victrola and some quite gorgeous Chinese rugs, and had a woman in
cleaning for nearly a week. To his friends' gibes and suggestions that
he apparently contemplated matrimony, Bobs sentimentally rejoined that
sooner or later a fellow got tired of the dingy life of a
smoke-and-card-filled flat and wanted a bit of real sweetness to take
away the curse of life. He acquired two lots somewhere on Long Island
and spent considerable time consulting an architect, shamefully ignoring
Jerry's gifts in that line.

That his friends, who had so savagely protested again sharing the burden
of Sunny, should now try to go behind his back and take her away from
him was in the opinion of Jerry a clue to the kind of characters they
possessed, and of which hitherto he had no slightest suspicion.

Jerry, at this time, resembled the proverbial dog in the manger. He did
not want Sunny himself--that is, he dared not want Sunny--but the
thought of her going to any other place filled him with anguish and
resentment. Nevertheless he realised the impossibility of maintaining
her much longer in his studio. Already her presence there had excited
gossip and speculation in the studio building, but in that careless and
bohemian atmosphere with which denizens of the art world choose to
surround themselves the lovely young stranger in the studio of Jerry
Hammond aroused merely smiling and indulgent curiosity. Occasionally a
crude joke or inquiry from a neighbouring artist aroused murder in the
soul of the otherwise civilised Jerry. That anyone could imagine
anything wrong with Sunny seemed to him beyond belief.

Not that he felt always kindly toward Sunny. She aroused his ire more
often than she did his approval. She was altogether too free and
unconventional, in the opinion of Jerry, and in a clumsy way he tried to
teach her certain rules of deportment for a young woman living in the U.
S. A. Sunny, however, was so innocent and so evidently earnest in her
efforts to please him, that he invariably felt ashamed and accused
himself of being a pig and a brute. Jerry was, indeed, like the
unfortunate boatman, drifting toward the rocks, and seeing only the
golden hair of the Lorelei.

Sunny had settled down so neatly and completely in his studio that it
would have been hard to know how she was ever to be dislodged. Her
satisfaction and delight and surprise at every object upon the place was
a source of immense satisfaction and entertainment to Jerry. It should
be mentioned here, that an unbelievable change could have been observed
also in Hatton. The man was discovered to be human. His face cracked up
in smiles that were real, and clucks that bore a remote resemblance to
human laughter issued at intervals from the direction of the kitchen,
whither he very often hastily departed, his hand over mouth, after some
remark or action of Sunny that appeared to smite his funny bone.

The buttons on the wall were a never failing source of enchantment to
Sunny. To go into her own room in the dark, brush her hand along the
wall, touch an ivory button, and see the room spring into light charmed
her beyond words. So, too, the black buttons that, pressed, caused bells
to ring in the lower part of the house. But the speaking tube amazed and
at first almost terrified her. Jerry sprang the works on her first.
While in her room, a sudden screech coming from the wall, she looked
panically about her, and then started back as a voice issued forth from
that tube, hailing her by name. Spirits! Here in this so solid and
material America! It was only after Jerry, getting no response to his
calls of "Sunny! Hi! Sunny! Come on down! Come on down! Sunny! I want
you!" ran up the stairs, knocked at her door and stood laughing at her
in the doorway, that the colour came back to her cheeks. He was so
delighted with the experiments, that he led her to the telephone and
initiated her into that mystery. To watch Sunny's face, as with parted
lips, and eyes darkened by excitement, she listened to the voice of
Jinx, Monty or Bobs, and then suddenly broke loose and chattered sweet
things back, was in the opinion of Jerry worth the price of a dozen
telephones. However, he cut short her interviews with the delighted
fellows at the other end, as he did not wish to have them impose on her
good nature and take up too much of the girl's time.

The victrola and the player-piano worked day and night in Sunny's
behalf, and it was not long before she could trill back some of the
songs. Upon one occasion they pulled up the rugs, and Sunny had her
first lesson in dancing. Jerry told her she took to dancing "like a duck
does to water." He honestly believed he was doing a benevolent and
worthy act in surrounding the young girl with his arms and moving across
the floor with her to the music of the victrola. He would not for worlds
have admitted to himself that as his arms encircled Sunny, Jerry felt
just about as near to heaven as he ever hoped to get, though
premonitions that all was not normal with him came hazily to his mind as
he dimly realised that that tingling sensation that contact with Sunny
created was symptomatic of the chaos within. However, dancing with
Sunny, once she had acquired the step, which she, a professional dancer
in Japan, sensed immediately, was sheer joy, and all would have been
well, had not his friends arrived just when they were not wanted, and,
of course, Sunny, the little fool, had instantly wanted to try her new
accomplishment upon her admiring and too willing friends. The
consequence was Jerry's evening was completely spoiled, and what he
meant just as an innocent diversion was turned into a "riotous occasion"
by a "bunch of roughnecks," who took advantage of a little innocent
girl's eagerness to learn to dance, and handled her "a damn sight too
familiarly" to suit the paternal--he considered it paternal--taste of
Jerry.

Jerry, as Sunny passed in the arms of the light-footed Jinx, whose
dancing was really an accomplishment, registered several vows. One was
he proposed to give Sunny herself a good calling down. The other he
purposed curtailing some of the visits of the gang, and putting a stop
once and for all to the flow of gifts that were in his opinion rotten
taste on the part of Jinx, a joke coming from Monty, plainly suffering a
bad case of puppy love, and as for Bobs, no one knew better than Jerry
did that he could ill afford to enter into a flower competition with
Jinx. That Rolls Royce, when not bearing the enchanted Sunny through the
parks and even on little expeditions into the byways and highways of the
Great White Road, which runs through Westchester county, was parked not
before Jinx's club, or the garage, but, with amazing impudence before
the door of that duplex studio. Jerry intended to have a heart-to-heart
talk with old Jinx on that score.

Even at home, Sunny had wrought havoc. Before she had been three days
upon the place, Hatton, the stony faced and spare of tongue, had
confided to her the whole history of his life, and explained how his
missus had driven him to drink.

"It's 'ard on a man, miss. 'E tries to do 'is best in life, but it's
'ard, miss, when there's a woman 'as believes the worst, and brings out
the worst in a man, miss, and man is only yuman, only yuman, miss, and
all yuman beings 'as their failings, as no doubt you know, miss."

Sunny did know. She told Hatton that she was full of failings. She
didn't think him a bad man at all because once in a long time he drank a
little bit. Lots of men did that. There was the Count of Matsuyama. He
had made many gifts to the Shiba temple, but he loved sake very much,
and often in the tea-gardens the girls were kept up very late, because
the Count of Matsuyama never returned home till he had drunk all the
sake on the place, and that took many hours.

Gratuitously, and filled with a sudden noble purpose, Hatton gave Sunny
his solemn promise never again to touch the inebriating cup. She clapped
her hands with delight at this, and cried.

"Ho! How you are nicer man now. Mebbe you wife she come bag agin unto
you. How thad will be happy for you."

"No, no, miss," sadly and hastily Hatton rejoined, "you see, miss, there
was another woman in the case also, what the French call, miss: Shershy
la Fam. I'm sorry, miss, but I'm only yuman, beggin' your pardon, miss."

Sunny had assumed many of the duties that were previously Hatton's. The
kitchenette was her especial delight. Here swathed in a long pongee
smock, her sleeves rolled up, Sunny concocted some of those delectable
dishes which her friends named variously: Sunny Syndicate Cocktail;
Puree al la Sunny; Potatoes au Sunny; Sweet pickles par la Sunny, and so
forth. Her thrift also cut down Jerry's bills considerably, and he was
really so proud of her abilities in this line that he gave a special
dinner to which he generously invited all three of their mutual friends,
and announced at the table that the meal was entirely concocted by Sunny
at a price inconceivably low.

The piéce de resistance of this especial feast was a potato dish. Served
in a casserole, it might at first sight have been taken for a glorified
potatoes au gratin; but, no, when tasted it revealed its superior
qualities. The flushed and pleased Sunny, sitting at the head of the
table, and dishing out the third or fourth serving to her admiring
friends, was induced to reveal to her friends of what the dish was
composed. The revelation, it is regrettable to state, convulsed and
disconcerted her friends so that they ceased to eat the previously much
appreciated dish. Sunny proudly informed them that her dish was made up
mainly of potato peelings, washed, minced and scrambled in a mess of
odds and ends in the way of pieces of cheese, mushrooms, meat, and
various vegetables garnered from plates of a recently wasteful meal.

Her explanation caused such a profound silence for a moment, which was
followed by uneasy and then unrepressed mirth, that she was disconcerted
and distressed. Her friends consoled her by telling her that it didn't
matter what she made dishes of; everything she did was exactly right,
which made it a bit harder to explain that the shining pan under the
kitchen sink was the proper receptacle for all leftovers on the plates.
She was reconciled completely moreover, when Jerry assured her that the
janitor was kicking over the empty dinner pails that she had been
sending down the dumbwaiter.



                               CHAPTER IX


Sunny had certain traits that contributed largely to what seemed almost
an unconscious conspiracy to rob Jerry Hammond of his peace of mind.
There was a resemblance in her nature to a kitten.

To maintain a proper decorum in his relations with his guest, Jerry was
wont, when alone, to form the firm resolution to hold her at arm's
length. This was far from being an easy matter. It was impossible for
him to be in the room with Sunny and not sooner or later find her in
touch with him. She had a habit of putting her hand into his. She
slipped under his most rigid guard, and acquired a bad trick of pressing
close to his side, and putting her arm through his. This was all very
well when they took their long walks through the park or up and down
Riverside Drive. She could not see the reason why if she could walk arm
in arm with Jerry when they climbed on the top of one of the busses that
rolled up the wonderful drive she should not continue linked with her
friend. In fact, Sunny found it far more attractive and comfortable to
drive arm in arm with Jerry than walk thus with him. For, when walking,
she loved to rove off from the paths, to make acquaintance with the
squirrels and the friendly dogs.

Her near proximity, however, had its most dangerous effect in the
charmed evenings these two spent together, too often, however, marred by
the persistent calls of their mutual friends. At these times, Sunny had
an uncanny trick of coming up at the back of Jerry, when that
unconscious young man by the fireplace was off in a day dream (in which,
by the way, in a vague way, herself was always a part), and resting her
cheek upon the brown comfortable head, there to stay till her warm
presence startled him into wakefulness, and he would explode one of his
usual expressions of these days:

"Don't do that, I say!"

"Keep your hands off me, will you?"

"Don't come so close."

"Keep off--keep off, I say."

"I don't like it."

"For heaven's sake, Sunny, will nothing teach you civilised ways?"

At these times Sunny always retired very meekly to a distant part of the
room, where she would remain very still and crushed looking, and,
shortly, Jerry, overcome with compunction, would coax her to a nearer
proximity mentally and physically.

Another disturbing trick which Jerry never had had the heart to ban was
that of kneeling directly in front of him, her two hands upon his own
knees. From this vantage point, with her friendly expressive and so
lovely face raised to his, she would naïvely pour out to him her
innocent confidences. After all, he savagely argued within himself, what
harm in the world was there in a little girl kneeling by your side, and
even laying her head, if it came down to that, at times upon a fellow's
knee? It took a rotten mind to discover anything wrong with that, in the
opinion of Jerry Hammond.

However, there is a limit to all things, and that limit was reached on a
certain evening in early spring, a dangerous season, as we all know. "If
you give some people an inch they'll take a mile," Jerry at that time
angrily muttered, the humour of the situation not at all appealing to
him.

He was going over a publication on Spanish Architecture, Catalonian work
of the 14th and 15th centuries. Sunny was enjoying herself very
innocently at the piano player, and Jerry should, as he afterwards
admitted to himself, have "left well enough alone." However it be,
nothing would do but he must summon Sunny to his side to share the
pleasure of looking at these splendid examples of the magnificent work
of the great Spanish architect Fabre.

Now Sunny possessed, to an uncanny degree, that gift of understanding
which is extremely rare with her sex. She possessed it, in fact, to such
a fine degree, that nearly everyone who met her found himself pouring
out the history of his life into her sympathetic and understanding
little ear. There was something about her way of looking at one, a sort
of hanging absorbedly upon one's narrative of their history, that
assured the narrator that he not only had the understanding but the
sympathy of his pretty listener.

Jerry, therefore, summoned her from her diversions at the piano-player,
which she hastened to leave, though the record was her favourite,
"Gluhwormchen." Her murmuring exclamations above his shoulder revealed
her instant enthusiasm and appreciation of just those details that Jerry
knew would escape the less artistic eye of an ordinary person. She held
pages open, to prolong the pleasure of looking at certain window
traceries; she picked out easily the Geometrical Gothic type, and wanted
Jerry's full explanation as to its difference to those of another
period. Her little pink forefinger ever found points of interest in the
sketches which made him chuckle with delight and pride. The value of
Sunny's criticism and opinion, moreover, was enhanced by the fact that
she conveyed to the young man her conviction, that while of course these
were incredibly marvellous examples of the skill of ancient Spanish
architects, they were not a patch on the work which J. Addison Hammond
was going to do in the not far distant future. Though he protested
against this with proper modesty, he was nevertheless beguiled and
bewitched by the shining dream she called up. He had failed to note that
she was perched on the arm of his chair, and that her head rested
perilously near to his own. Possibly he would never have discovered this
at all had not an accident occurred that sent Hatton, busy on some task
or other about the studio, scurrying in undignified flight from the
room, with his stony face covered with his hands. From the kitchen
regions thereafter came the sound of suppressed clucks, which by this
time could have been recognised as Hatton's laughter.

What happened was this: At a moment when a turned leaf revealed a sketch
of ravishing splendour, Sunny's breathless admiration, and Jerry's own
motion of appreciation (one fist clapped into the palm of the other
hand), caused Sunny to slip from the arm of the chair onto Jerry's knee.

Jerry arose. To do him justice, he arose instantly, depositing both book
and Sunny upon the floor. He then proceeded to read her such a savage
lecture upon her pagan ways, that the evident effect was so instantly
apparent on her, that he stopped midway, glared, stared at the crushed
little figure, so tenderly closing the upset book, and then turned on
his heel and made an ignominious and undignified exit from the room.

"What's the use? What's the use?" demanded Jerry of the unresponsive
walls. "Hang it all, this sort of thing has got to stop. What in Sam
Hill is keeping that blamed Proff?"

He always liked to imagine at these times that his faith was pinned upon
the early coming of Professor Barrowes, when he was assured the hectic
state of affairs in his studio would be clarified and Sunny disposed of
once and forever. Sunny, however, had been nearly a month now in his
studio, and in spite of a hundred telegrams to Professor Barrowes,
demanding to know the exact time of his arrival, threatening moreover to
hold back that $2,000 required to bring the dashed Dinornis from Red
Deer, Alberta, Canada, to New York City, U. S. A., he got no
satisfactory response from his old-time teacher. That monomaniac merely
replied with letter-long telegrams--very expensive coming from the
extreme northwestern part of Canada to New York City, giving more
detailed information about the above mentioned Dinornis, or Dynosaurus,
or whatever he called it, and explaining why more and more funds were
required. It seems the Professor was tangled up in quite a serious
dispute with the Canadian authorities. Some indignant English residents
of Canada had aroused the alarm of Canadians, by pointing out that
Dynosaureses were worth as much as radium, and that a mere Yankee should
not be permitted to carry off those fossilized bones of the original
inhabitants of Canada, which ought, instead, to be donated to the noble
English nation across the sea.

As Jerry paced his floor he paused to reread the words of the motto
recently pinned upon his wall, and, of course, it was as follows: "Honi
soit qui mal y pense." That was enough for Jerry. There was no question
of the fact that he had been "a pig and a brute," terms often in these
days applied by himself to himself. Sunny was certainly not to be blamed
for the accident of slipping from the arm of his chair. True, he had
already told her that she was not to sit on that arm, but that was a
minor matter, and there was no occasion for his making a "mountain out
of a molehill."

Having arrived at the conclusion that, as usual, he, not Sunny, was the
one to blame, it was in the nature of Jerry that he should hurriedly
descend to admit his fault. Downstairs, therefore again, and into the
now empty studio. Sounds came from the direction of the kitchen that
were entirely too sweet to belong to the "pie-faced" Hatton, whose
disgusting recent mirth might mean the loss of his job, ominously
thought Jerry.

In the kitchen Sunny was discovered on her knees with her lips close to
a small hole in the floor in the corner of the room. She was half
whistling, half whispering, and she was scattering something into and
about that hole, which had been apparently cut out with a vegetable
knife, that looked very much like cheese and breadcrumbs. Presently the
amazed Jerry saw first one and then another tiny face appear at that
hole, and there then issued forth a full-fledged family of the mouse
species, young and old, large and small, male and female. The
explanation of the previously inexplicable appearance in the studio of
countless mice was now perfectly clear, and the guiltlessness of that
accused janitor made visible. Jerry's ward had been feeding and
cultivating mice! At his exclamation, she arose reproachfully, the mice
scampering back into their hole.

"Oh!" said Sunny, regret, not guilt, visible on her face, "you are
fright away my honourable mice, and thas hees time eat on hees dinner."

She put the rest of her crumbs into the hole, and called down coaxingly
to her pets that breakfast would be ready next day.

"You mustn't feed mice, you little fool!" burst from Jerry. "They'll be
all over the house. They are now. Everybody in the building's kicking
about it."

"Honourable mice very good animals," said Sunny with conviction. "Mebbe
some you and my ancestor are mice now. You kinnod tell 'bout those. Mice
got very honourable history ad Japan. I am lig' them very much."

"That'll do. Don't say another word. I'll fix 'em. Hi! you, Hatton!
Doggone you, you must have known about this."

"Very sorry, sir, but orders from you, sir, was to allow Miss Sunny to
have her way in the kitchen, sir. 'Hi tries to obey you, sir, and 'hi
'adn't the 'eart to deprive Miss Sunny of her honly pets, sir. She's
honly yuman, sir, and being alone 'hall day, so young, sir, 'as
'ankerings for hinnocent things to play with."

"That'll do, Hatton. Nail up that hole. Get busy."

Nevertheless, Hatton's words sunk into the soul of Jerry. To think that
even the poor working man was kinder to little Sunny than was he! He
ignored the fact that as Hatton nailed tin over the guilty hole his
shoulders were observed to be shaking, and those spasmodic clucks
emanated at intervals also from him. In fact, Hatton, in these days, had
lost all his previously polished composure. That is to say, at
inconvenient moments, he would burst into this uncontrollable clucking,
as for instance, when waiting on table, observing a guest devouring some
special edible concocted by Sunny, he retired precipitately from service
at the table to the kitchen, to be discovered there by the irate Jerry,
who had followed him, sitting on a chair with tears running down his
cheeks. To the threatened kicking if he didn't get up and behave
himself, Hatton returned:

"Oh, sir, hi ham honly yuman, and the gentleman was ravim' so about them
'spinnuges,' sir, has 'ees hafter calling them."

"Well, what are they then?" demanded Jerry.

"Them's weeds, sir," whispered Hatton wiping his eyes. "Miss Sunny, I
seen her diggin' them up in the lot across the way, and she come up the
fire escape with them in 'er petticoat, sir, and she 'ad four cats in
the petticoat also, sir. She's feedin' arf the population of cats in
this neighbourhood, sir."

Jerry had been only irritated at that time. He knew that Sunny's "weeds"
were perfectly edible and far more toothsome in fact than mere spinach.
Trust her Japanese knowledge to know what was what in the vegetable
kingdom. However, mice were a more serious matter. There was an iron
clad rule in the building that no live stock of any kind, neither dogs,
cats, parrots, or birds or reptiles of any description, (babies included
in the ban) were to be lodged on these de luxe premises. Still, as Jerry
watched Sunny's brimming eyes, the eyes of one who sees her dear friends
imprisoned and doomed to execution, while Hatton nailed the tin over the
holes, he felt extremely mean and cruel.

"I'm awfully sorry, Sunny, old scout," he said, "but you know we can't
possibly have _mice_ on the place. Now if it were something like--like,
well a dog, for instance----"

"I _are_ got a nize dog," said Sunny, beginning to smile through her
tears.

Apprehension instantly replaced the compunction on Jerry's
face--apprehension that turned to genuine horror, however, when Sunny
opened the window onto the fire escape, and showed him a large grocer's
box, upholstered and padded with a red article that looked suspiciously
like a Japanese petticoat. Digging under this padded silk, Sunny brought
forth the yellowest, orneriest, scurviest and meanest-looking specimen
of the dog family that it had ever been Jerry's misfortune to see. She
caught this disreputable object to her breast, and nestled her darling
little chin against the wriggling head, that persisted in ducking up to
release a long red tongue that licked her face with whines of delight
and appreciation.

"Sunny! For the love of Mike! Where in the name of all the pagan gods
and goddesses of Japan did you get that god-forsaken mutt from? If you
wanted a dog, why in Sam Hill didn't you tell me, and I'd have gotten
you a regular dog--if they'd let me in the house."

"Jerry, he are a regular dog also. I buyed him from the butcher
gentleman, who was mos' kind, and he charge me no moaney for those dog,
bi-cause he are say he are poor mans, and those dog came off those
street and eat him up those sausage. So that butcher gentleman he are
sell him to me, and he are my own dog, and I are love my Itchy mos' bes'
of all dogs."

And she hugged her little cur protectingly to her breast, her bright
eyes with the defiant look of a little mother at bay.

"Itchy!"

"Thad are my dog's name. The butcher gentleman, he say he are scratch on
his itch all those time, so I are name him Itchy. Also I are cure on
those itch spot, for I are wash him every day, and now he are so clean
he got only two flea left on his body."

"By what process of mathematics, will you tell me, did you arrive at the
figure of two?" demanded the stunned young man, thrusting his two fists
deep into his pocket and surveying Sunny and the aforesaid dog as one
might curious specimens in the Bronx zoo.

"Two? Two flea?" Sunny passed her hand lovingly and sympathetically over
her dog's yellow body, and replied so simply that even an extremely
dense person would have been able to answer that arithmetic problem.

"He are scratch him in two place only."

Jerry threw back his head and burst into immoderate laughter. He laughed
so hard that he was obliged to sit down on a chair, while Hatton on the
floor sat down solidly also, and desisted with his hammering. Jerry's
mirth having had full sway, hands in pocket he surveyed Sunny, as,
lovingly, she returned her protesting cur to its silken retreat.

"Sunny! Sunny!" said Jerry, shaking his head. "You'll be the death of me
yet."

Sunny regarded him earnestly at that.

"No, Jerry, do not say those. I are not want to make you death. Thas
very sad--for die."

"What are we going to do about it? They'll never let you keep a dog
here. Against the rules."

"No, no, it are no longer 'gainst those rule. I are speag wiz the
janitor gentleman, and he are say: 'Thas all ride, seein' it's you!'"

"He did, did he? Got around him too, did you? You'll have the whole
place demoralised if you keep on."

"I are also speag ad those landlord," confessed Sunny innocently,
"bi-cause he are swear on those janitor gentleman, account someone ad
these house are spik to him thad I are got dog. And thad landlord
gentleman he come up here ad these studio, and I show him those dog, and
he say he are nize dog, and thad those fire escape he is not _inside_.
So I nod break those rule, and he go downstairs spik ad those lady mek
those complain, and he say he doan keer if she dam clear out this house.
He doan lig' her which even."

Jerry threw up his hands.

"You win, Sunny! Do as you like. Fill the place full if you want to.
There's horses and cows to be had if they strike your fancy, and the zoo
is full of other kind of live stock. Take your choice."

Sunny, indeed, did proceed to take her choice. It is true she did not
bring horses and cows and wild animals into Jerry's apartment; but she
passed the word to her doting friends, and in due time the inmates of
that duplex apartment made quite a considerable family, with promise of
early increase. There was besides Itchy, Count and Countess Taguchi,
overfed canaries, who taught Sunny a new kind of whistle; Mr. and Mrs.
Satsuma, goldfish who occupied an ornate glass and silver dish, fern and
rock lined donated by Jinx, and Miss Spring Morning, a large Persian
cat, whom Sunny named after her old friend of the teahouse of a Thousand
Joys, but whose name should have been Mr. Spring Morning.

It was a very happy family indeed, and in time the master of the house
became quite accustomed to the pets (pests he called them at first), and
had that proud feeling moreover of the contented man of family. He often
fed the Satsumas and Taguchis himself, and actually was observed to
scratch the head of Itchy, who in these days penetrated into the various
rooms of the apartment (Sunny having had especial permission from the
janitor gentleman) so long as his presence was noiseless. He wore on his
scrawny neck a fine leather and gilt collar that Monty sent all the way
to Philadelphia to get for Sunny, thereby earning the bitter resentment
of his kid brother, who considered that collar his by rightful
inheritance from Monty's own recent kid days. Monty's remorse upon
"swiping" said collar was shortlived, however, for Sunny's smile and
excitement and the fun they had putting it on Itchy more than
compensated for any bitter threats of an unreasonable kid brother.
Besides Monty brought peace in that disturbed direction by sending the
younger Potter a brand new collar, not, it is true, of the history of
the one taken, but much more shiny and semi-adjustable.



                               CHAPTER X


On the 20th of April, Sunny's friend, "Mr. dear Monty" as she called him
(J. Lamont Potter, Jr., was his real name), obtained an indefinite leave
of absence from the hospital, and called upon Sunny in the absence of
Jerry Hammond. He came directly to the object of his call almost as soon
as Sunny admitted him. While indeed she was assisting him to remove that
nice, loosely hanging taupe coloured spring coat, that looked so well on
Monty, he swung around, as his arms came out of his coat sleeves, and
made Sunny an offer of his heart and soul. These the girl very
regretfully refused. Follows the gist of Sunny's remarks in rejection of
the offer:

"Monty, I do not wan' gettin' marry wiz you jos yet, bi-cause you are
got two more year to worg on those hospital; then you are got go unto
those John Hoppakins for post--something kind worg also. Then you are go
ad those college and hospital in Hy----" She tried to say Heidelberg,
but the word was too much for her, and he broke in impetuously:

"Listen, Sunny, those _were_ my plans, but everything's changed now,
since I met you. I've decided to cut it all out and settle down and
marry. I've got my degree, and can hang out my shingle. We'll have to
economize a bit at first, because the governor, no doubt, will cut me
out for doing this; but I'm not in swaddling clothes, and I'll do as I
like. So what do you say, Sunny?"

"I say, thas nod ride do those. Your honourable father, he are spend
plenty moany for you, and thas unfilial do lig' thad. I thang you,
Monty, but I are sawry I kinnod do lig' you ask."

"But look here, Sunny, there are whole heaps of fellows--dubs who never
go beyond taking their degree, who go to practising right away, and I
can do as they do, as far as that goes, and with you I should worry
whether I go up in medicine or not."

"But, Monty, I _wan_ see you go up--Ho! up, way high to those top. Thas
mos' bes' thing do for gentleman. I do nod lig' man who stay down low on
ground. Thas nod nize. I do nod wan' make marry wiz gentleman lig'
those."

"We-el, I suppose I could go on with the work and study. If I did, would
you wait for me? Would you, Sunny?"

"I do not know, Monty. How I kin see all those year come?"

"Well, but you can promise me, can't you?"

"No, Monty, bi-cause mebbe I goin' die, and then thas break promise.
Thas not perlite do lig' those."

"Pshaw! There's no likelihood at all of your dying. You're awfully
healthy. Anyone can see it by your colouring. By jove, Sunny, you have
the prettiest complexion of any girl I've ever seen. Your cheeks are
just like flowers. Die! You're bugs to think of it even. So you are
perfectly safe in promising."

"We-el, then I promise that mebbe after those five, six year when you
are all troo, _if_ I are not marry wiz someone else, then I go
_consider_ marry wiz you, Monty."

This gracious speech was sweetened by an engaging smile, and Monty,
believing that "half a loaf is better than no loaf" showed his pleasure,
though his curiosity prompted him to make anxious inquiry as to possible
rivals.

"Bobs asked you yet?"

"No--not yet."

"You wouldn't take him if he did, would you, Sunny?"

"No. Not yet."

"Or any time. Say that."

Sunny laughed.

"Any time, Monty."

"And Jinx? What about Jinx?"

"He are always my good friend."

"You wouldn't marry him, would you?"

"No. I are lig' him as frien'."

Monty pursued no further. He knew of the existence of Jerry's Miss
Falconer. Dashed, but not hopeless Monty withdrew.

That was on the 20th of April. Bob's proposal followed on the 22nd. He
inveigled Sunny into accompanying him to his polished and glorified
flat, which was presided over by an ample bosomed and smiling "mammy"
whom Bobs had especially imported from the sunny South.

His guest, having exclaimed and enthused over the really cosy and bright
little flat, Bobs, with his fine, clever face aglow, asked her to share
it with him. The request frightened Sunny. She had exhausted
considerable of her stock of excuses against matrimony to Monty, and she
did not want to see that look of hope fade from Mr. dear Bobs' face.

"Oh, Bobs, I are _thad_ sorry, but me? I do not wan make marry jos yet.
Please you waid for some udder day when mebbe perhaps I go change those
mind."

"It's all right, Sunny."

Bobs took his medicine like a man, his clean cut face slightly paling,
as he followed with a question the lightness of which did not deceive
the distressed Sunny:

"You're not engaged to anyone else, are you, Sunny?"

"Emgaged? What are those, Bobs?"

"You haven't promised any other lucky dog that you'll marry him, have
you?"

"No-o." Sunny shook her bright head. "No one are ask me yet, 'cept
Monty, and I are say same ting to him."

"Good!" Bobs beamed through his disappointment on her.

"While there's life there's hope, you know."

He felt that Jinx's chances were slim, and he, too, knew of Miss
Falconer and Jerry.

Sunny, by no means elated by her two proposals, confided in Hatton, and
received sage advice:

"Miss Sunny, Hi'm not hin a position exactly to advise you, and hits
'ardly my place, miss, but so long as you hasks my hadvice, I gives it
you grattus. Now Mr. Potter, 'ees a trifle young for matrimunny, miss--a
trifle young, and Mr. Mapson, I 'ear that 'ees not got hany too much
money, and hits a beggarly profession 'ees followin', miss. I 'ave 'eard
this from Mr. Jerry's hown folks, 'oo more than once 'as cast
haspirations against Mr. Jerry's friends, but hi takes it that wot
they're sayin' comes near to the truth habout the newspaper as a
perfession, miss. Now there's Mr. Crawford, Miss----"

Hatton's voice took on both a respectful and a confidential tone as he
came to Jinx.

"Now, Hi flatters myself that Hi'm some judge of yuman nature, miss, and
I make bold to say, hif I may, miss, that Mr. Crawford his about halso
to pop the 'appy question to you, miss. Now, hif hi was hin your place,
miss, 'ees the gentleman hi'd be after 'ooking. His people hare of the
harristocrissy of Hamerica--so far, miss, as Hamerica can 'ave
harristocrissy--and Mr. Crawford his the hair to a varst fortune, miss.
There's no telling to wot 'eights you might climb if you buckles up with
Mr. Crawford, Miss."

"Ho! Hatton, I lig' all those my frien' jos same. Me? I would lig' marry
all those, but I kinnod do."

"'Ardly, miss, 'ardly. Hamerica is 'ardly a pollagamous country, though
'hit his the 'ome of the Mormon people."

"Mormon?"

"A church, miss; a sex of people wots given to pollagummy, which is, I
takes it, too 'ard and big a word for you, miss, bein' a forriner, to
hunderstand, so hi'll explain a bit clearer, miss. The Mormon people
hacquire several wives, some helders 'avin' the reputation of bein' in
the class with hour hown King 'Enry the Heighth, and worse, miss,--with
Solomon 'imself, I 'ave 'eard it said."

"Ho-h-a-!" said Sunny thoughtfully. "Thad is very nize--those Mormon.
Thas lig' Japanese emperor. Some time he got lots wife."

Hatton wiped the sweat from his brow. He had gotten upon a subject
somewhat beyond his depths, and the young person before him rather
scandalised his ideas of what a young lady's views on such matters
should be. He had hoped to shock Sunny somewhat. Instead she sighed with
an undeniably envious accent as he told her of the reprehensible
Mormons. After a moment she asked very softly:

"Hatton, mebbe Jerry ask me those same question."

Hatton turned his back, and fussed with the dishes in the sink. He too
knew about Miss Falconer.

"'Ardly, miss, 'ardly."

"Why not, Hatton?"

"If you'll pardon me, I 'ave a great deal of work before me. Hi'm in a
'urry. 'Ave you fed the Count and Countess Taguchi, may I ask, miss."

"Hatton, _if_ a man _not_ ask girl to make marry wiz him, what she can
do?"

"Well now, miss, you got me there. Has far as Hi'm hable to see
personally, miss, there haren't nothing left for 'er to do except wait
for the leap year."

"Leap year? What are those, Hatton?"

"A hodd year, miss--comes just in so often, miss, due to come next year,
halso. When the leap year comes, miss, then the ladies do the
popping--they harsks the 'appy question, miss."

"O-h-h-! Thas very nize. I wish it are leap year now," said Sunny
wistfully.

"Hit'll come, miss. Hit's on hit's way. A few months and then the
ladies' day will dawn," and Hatton, moving about with cheer, clucked at
the thought.



                               CHAPTER XI


A week after Bobs proposed to Sunny, Jinx, shining like the rising sun
by an especially careful grooming administered by his valet, a flower
adorning his lapel, and a silk hat topping his head, with a box of
chocolates large enough to hold an Easter bonnet in his hand, and a
smaller box of another kind in his vest pocket, presented himself at
Jerry Hammond's studio. Flowers preceded and followed this last of
Sunny's ardent suitors.

He was received by a young person arrayed in a pink pongee smock,
sleeves rolled up, revealing a pair of dimpled arms, hair in distracting
disorder, and a little nose on which seductively perched a blotch of
flour, which the infatuated Jinx was requested to waft away with his
silken handkerchief.

Sunny's cheeks were flushed from close proximity to that gas stove, and
her eyes were bright with the warfare which she waged incessantly upon
the aforesaid honourable stove. In the early days of her appearance at
the studio--by the way, she had been domiciled there a whole
month--Sunny's operations at the gas stove had had disastrous results.
Her attempt to boil water by the simple device of turning on the gas, as
she did the electric light was alarming in its odorous effects, but her
efforts to blow out the oven was almost calamitous, and caused no end of
excitement, for it singed her hair and eyebrows and scorched an arm that
required the persistent and solicitous attention of her four friends, a
doctor and the thoroughly agitated Hatton, on whose head poured the full
vials of Jerry's wrath and blame. In fact, this accident almost drove
Hatton to desert what he explained to Sunny was the "water wagon."

After that Sunny was strictly ordered by Jerry to keep out of the
kitchen. Realising, however, that she could not be trusted on that
score, he took half a day off from the office, and gave her a full
course of instruction in the mysteries and works of said gas stove. It
should be assumed therefore that by this time Sunny should have acquired
at least a primary knowledge of the stove. Not so, however. She never
lit the oven but she threw salt about to propitiate the oni (goblin)
which she was sure had its home somewhere in that strange fire, and she
hesitated to touch any of the levers once the fire was lit.

Most of the dishes created by Sunny were more or less under the eye of
Hatton, but on this day Hatton had stepped out to the butcher's.
Therefore Jinx's arrival was hailed by Sunny with appreciation and
relief, and she promptly lead the happy fellow to the kitchen and
solicited his advice. Now Jinx, the son of the plutocratic rich, had
never been inside a kitchen since his small boyhood, and then his
recollection of said portion of the house was of a vast white place,
where tiles and marble and white capped cooks prevailed, and small boys
were chuckled over or stared at and whispered about.

The dimensions of Sunny's kitchen were about seven by nine feet, and it
is well to mention at this moment that the room registered 95 degrees
Fahrenheit. Jinx weighed two hundred and forty-five pounds, stripped.
His emotions, his preparations, his hurry to enter the presence of his
charmer, to say nothing of a volcanic heart, all contributed to add to
the heat and discomfort of the fat young man down whose ruddy cheeks the
perspiration rolled. Jinx had come upon a mission that in all times in
the history of the world, subsequent to cave days, has called for
coolness, tact, and as attractive a physical seeming as it is possible
to attain.

Sunny drew her friend along to that gas stove, kneeled on the floor,
making room for him to kneel beside her--no easy "stunt" for a fat
man--opened the lower door and revealed to him the jets on full blaze.
Jinx shook his head. The problem was beyond him, but even as his head
shook he sniffed a certain fragrant odour that stole directly to a
certain point in Jinx's anatomy that Sunny would quaintly have
designated as his "honourable insides." The little kitchen, despite its
heat, contained in that oven, Jinx knew, that which was more attractive
than anything the cool studio could offer. Seating himself heavily on a
frail kitchen chair, which creaked ominously under his weight, Jinx
awaited hopefully what he felt sure was soon to follow.

In due time Sunny opened the upper door of the oven, withdrew two
luscious looking pans of the crispest brown rice cakes, plentifully
besprinkled with dates and nuts and over which she dusted powdered
sugar, and passing by the really suffering Jinx she transferred the pans
to the window ledge, saying with a smile:

"When he are cool, I giving you one, Jinx."

Wiping her hands on the roller towel, she had Jinx pull the smock over
her head, and revealed her small person in blue taffeta frock, which
Jinx himself had had the honour of choosing for her. Unwillingly, and
with one longing backward look at those cakes, Jinx followed Sunny into
the studio. Here, removed from the intoxicating effects of that kitchen,
Sunny having his full attention again, he came to the object of his
call. Jinx sat forward on the edge of his chair, and his round, fat face
looked so comically like the man in the moon's that Sunny could not
forbear smiling at him affectionately.

"Ho! Jinx, how you are going to lig' those cake when he is getting
cold."

Jinx liked them hot just as well. However, he was not such a gourmand
that mere rice and date cakes could divert him from the purpose of his
call. He sighed so deeply and his expression revealed such a condition
of melancholy appeal that Sunny, alarmed, moved over and took his face
up in her hand, examining it like a little doctor, head cocked on one
side.

"Jinx, you are sick? What you are eat? Show me those tongue!"

"Aw, it's nothing, Sunny--nothing to do with my tongue. It's--it's--just
a little heart trouble, Sunny."

"Heart! That are bad place be sick! You are ache on him, Mr. dear Jinx?"

"Ye-eh--some."

"I sawry! How I are sawry! You have see doctor."

"You're the only doctor I need."

Which was true enough. It was surprising the healing effects upon Jinx's
aching heart of the solicitous and sympathetic hovering about him of
Sunny.

"Oh, Jinx, I go at those telephone ride away, get him Mr. Doctor here
come. I 'fraid mebbe you more sick than mebbe you know."

"No, no--never mind a doctor." Jinx held her back by force.
"Look-a-here, Sunny, I'll tell you just what's the matter with my heart.
I'm--I'm--in love!"

"Oh--love. I have hear those word bi-fore, but I have never feel him,"
said Sunny wistfully.

"You'll feel it some day all right," groaned Jinx. "And you'll know it
too when you've got it."

"Ad Japan nobody--love. Thas not nize word speag ad Japan."

"Gosh! it's the nicest word in the language in America. You can't help
speaking it. You can't help feeling it. When you're in love, Sunny, you
think day and night and every hour and minute and second of the day of
the same person. That's love, Sunny."

"Ah!" whispered Sunny, her eyes very bright and dewey, "I are _know_ him
then!" And she stood with that rapt look, scarcely hearing Jinx, and
brought back to earth only when he took her hand, and clung to it with
both his own somewhat flabby ones.

"Sunny, I'm head over heels in love with you. Put me out of my misery.
Say you'll be Mrs. Crawford, and you'll see how quickly this old bunged
up heart of mine will heal."

"Oh, Jinx, you are ask _me_ to make marry wiz you?"

"You bet your life I am. Gosh! I've got an awful case on you, Sunny."

"Ho! I sawry I kinnod do thad to-day. I am not good ad my healt'.
Axscuse me. Mebbe some odder day I do so."

"Any day will do. Any day that suits you, if you'll just give me your
promise--if you'll just be engaged to me."

"Engaged?" Bobs had already explained to her what that meant, but she
repeated it to gain time.

"Why, yes--don't they have engagements in Japan?"

"No. Marriage broker go ad girl's father and boy's father and make those
marriage."

"Well, this is a civilised land. We do things right here. You're a lucky
girl to have escaped from Japan. Here, in this land, we first get
engaged, say for a week or month or even a year--only a short time will
do for you and me, Sunny--and then, well, we marry. How about it?"

Sunny considered the question from several serious angles, very
thoughtful, very much impressed.

"Jinx, I do nod like to make marriage, bi-cause thas tie me up wiz jos
one frien' for hosban'."

"But you don't want more than one husband?"

Jinx remembered hearing somewhere that the Japanese were a polygamous
nation, but he thought that only applied to the favoured males of the
race.

"No--O thas very nize for Mormon man I am hear of, bud----"

"Not fit for a woman," warmly declared Jinx. "All I ask of you, Sunny,
is that you'll promise to marry me. If you'll do that, you'll make me
the happiest bug in these United States. I'll be all but looney, and
that's a fact."

"I sawry, Jinx, but me? I kinnod do so."

Jinx relapsed into a state of the darkest gloom. Looking out from the
depths of the big, soft overstuffed chair, he could see not a gleam of
light, and presently groaned:

"I suppose if I weren't such a mass of flesh and fat, I might stand a
show with you. It's hell to be fat, I'll tell the world."

"Jinx, I lig' those fat. It grow nize on you. And _pleass_ do not loog
so sad on you face. Wait, I go get you something thas goin' make you
look smile again."

She disappeared into the kitchen, returning with the whole platter of
cookies, still quite warm, and irresistibly odorous and toothsome
looking. Jinx, endeavouring to refuse, had to close his eyes to steady
him in his resolve, but he could not close his nose, nor his mouth
either, when Sunny thrust one of the delicious pieces into his mouth.
She wooed him back to a semi-normal condition by feeding him crisp
morsels of his favourite confection, nor was it possible to resist
something that pushed against one's mouth, and once having entered that
orifice revealed qualities that appealed to the very best in one's
nature.

Jinx was not made of the Spartan stuff of heroes, and who shall blame
him if nature chose to endow him with a form of rich proportions that
included "honourable insides" whose capacity was unlimited. So, till the
very last cooky, and a sense of well being and fulness, the sad side of
life pushed aside _pro tem_, Jinx was actually able to smile indulgently
at the solicitous Sunny. She clapped her hands delightedly over her
success. Jinx's fingers found their way to his vest pocket. He withdrew
a small velvet box, and snapped back the lid. Silently he held it toward
Sunny. Her eyes wide, she stared at it with excited rapture.

"Oh-h! Thas mos' beautifullest thing I are ever see."

Never, in fact, had her eyes beheld anything half so lovely as that
shining platinum work of art with its immense diamond.

"Just think," said Jinx huskily, "if you say the word, you can have
stones like that covering you all over."

"All over!" She made an expressive motion of her hands which took in all
of her small person.

Melancholy again clouded Jinx's face. After all, he did not want Sunny
to marry him for jewelry.

"I tell you what you do, Sunny. Wear this for me, will you? Wear it for
a while, anyway, and then when you decide finally whether you'll have me
or not, keep it or send it back, as you like."

He had slipped the ring onto the third finger of Sunny's left hand, and
holding that had made him a bit bolder. Sunny, unsuspecting and
sympathetic, let her hand rest in his, the ring up, where she could
admire it to her heart's content.

"Look a here, Sunny, will you give me a kiss, then--just one. The ring's
worth that, isn't it?"

Sunny retreated hurriedly, almost panically?

"Oh, Jinx, please you excuse me to-day, bi-cause I _lig'_ do so, but Mr.
Hatton he are stand ad those door and loog on you."

"Damn Hatty!" groaned Jinx bitterly, and with a sigh that heaved his big
breast aloft, he picked up his hat and cane, and ponderously moved
toward the door.

In the lower hall of the studio apartment, who should the crestfallen
Jinx encounter but his old-time friend, Jerry Hammond, returning from
his eight hours' work at the office. His friend's greeting was both curt
and cold, and there was no mistaking that look of dislike and
disapproval that the frowning face made no effort to disguise.

"Here again, Jinx. Better move in," was Jerry's greeting.

Jinx muttered something inarticulate and furious, and for a fat man he
made quick time across the hall and out into the street, where he
climbed with a heavy heart into the great roadster, which he had fondly
hoped might also carry Sunny with him upon a prolonged honeymoon.



                              CHAPTER XII


Sunny poured Jerry's tea with a hand turned ostentatiously in a
direction that revealed to his amazed and indignant eye that enormous
stone of fire that blazed on the finger of Sunny's left hand. His
appetite, always excellent, failed him entirely, and after conquering
the first surge of impulses that were almost murderous, he lapsed into
an ominous silence, which no guile nor question from the girl at the
head of his table could break. A steady, a cold, a biting glare, a
murmured monosyllabic reply was all the response she received to her
amiable overtures. His ill temper, moreover, reached out to the
inoffensive Hatton, whom he ordered to clear out, and stay out, and if
it came down to that get out altogether, rather than hang around
snickering in that way. Thus Jerry revealed a side to his character
hitherto unsuspected by Sunny, though several rumblings and barks from
the "dog in the manger" would have apprized one less innocent than she.

They finished that meal--or rather Sunny did--in silence electric with
coming strife. Then Jerry suddenly left the table, strode into the
little hall, took down his hat and coat, and was about to go, heaven
knows where, when Sunny, at his elbow, sought to restrain him by force.
She took his sleeve and tenaciously held to it, saying:

"Jerry, do not go out these night. I are got some news I lig' tell to
you."

"Let go my arm. I'm not interested in your news. I've a date of my own."

"But Jerry----"

"I say, let go my arm, will you?"

The last was said in a rising voice, as he reached the crest of
irritation, and jerking his sleeve so roughly from her clasp, he
accomplished the desired freedom, but the look on Sunny's face stayed
with him all the way down those apartment stairs--he ignored the
elevator--and to the door of the house. There he stopped short, and
without more ado, retraced his steps, sprang up the stairs in a great
hurry, and jerking open his door again, Jerry returned to his home. He
discovered Sunny curled on the floor, with her head buried in the seat
of his favourite chair--the one occupied that afternoon by the
mischief-making Jinx.

"Sunny! I'm awfully sorry I was such a beast. Say, little girl, look
here, I'm not myself. I don't know what I'm doing."

Sunny slowly lifted her face, revealing to the relieved but indignant
Jerry a face on which it is true there were traces of a tear or two, but
which nevertheless smiled at him quite shamelessly and even
triumphantly. Jerry felt foolish, and he was divided between a notion to
remain at home with the culprit--she had done nothing especially wrong,
but he felt that she was to blame for something or other--or follow his
first intention of going out for the night--just where, he didn't
know--but anywhere would do to escape the thought that had come to
him--the thought of Sunny's probable engagement to Jinx. However, Sunny
gave him no time to debate the matter of his movements for the evening.
She very calmly assisted him to remove his coat, hung up his hat, and
when she had him comfortably ensconced in his favourite chair, had
herself lit his pipe and handed it to him, she drew up a stool and sat
down in front of his knees, just as if, in fact, she was entirely
guiltless of an engagement of which Jerry positively did not intend to
approve. Her audacity, moreover, was such that she did not hesitate to
lay her left hand on Jerry's knee, where he might get the full benefit
of the radiant light from that ring. He looked at it, set down his pipe
on the stand at his elbow, and stirred in that restless way which
portends hasty arising, when Sunny:

"Jerry, Jinx are come to-day to ask me make marriage with him."

"The big stiff. I pity any girl that has to go through life with that
fathead."

"Ho! I are always lig' thad fat grow on Jinx. It look very good on him.
I are told him so."

"Matter of taste of course," snarled Jerry, fascinated by the twinkling
of that ring in spite of himself, and feeling at that moment an emotion
that was dangerously like hatred for the girl he had done so much for.

"Monty and Bobs are also ask me marry wiz them." Sunny dimpled quite
wickedly at this, but Jerry failed to see any humour in the matter. He
said with assumed loftiness:

"Well, well, proposals raining down on you in every direction. Your
janitor gentleman and landlord asked you too?"

"No-o, not yit, but those landlord are say he lig' take me for ride some
nize days on his car ad those park."

"The hell he did!"

Jerry sat up with such a savage jerk at this that he succeeded in
upsetting the innocent hand resting so confidingly upon his knee.

"Who asked him around here anyway?" demanded Jerry furiously. "Just
because he owns this building doesn't mean he has a right to impose
himself on the tenants, and I'll tell him so damn quick."

"But, Jerry, _I_ are ask him come up here. Itchy fall down on those fire
escape, and he are making so much noise on this house when he cry, that
everybody who live on this house open those windows on court, and I are
run down quick on those fire escape and everybody also run out see
what's all those trouble. Then I am cry so hard, bi-cause I are afraid
Itchy are hurt himself too bad, bi-cause he also are cry very loud."
Sunny lifted her nose sky-ward, illustrating how the dog's cries had
emanated from him. "So then, everybody _very_ kind at me and Itchy, and
the janitor gentleman carry him bag ad these room, and the landlord
gentleman say thas all ride henceforth I have thad little dog live wiz
me ad these room also. He say it is very hard for liddle girl come from
country way off be 'lone all those day, and mebbe some day he take me
and Itchy for ride ad those park. So I are say, 'Thang you, I will like
go vaery much, thang you.'"

"Well, make up your mind to it, you're not going, do you understand?
I'll have no landlords taking you riding in any parks."

Having delivered this ultimatum as viciously as the circumstances called
for, Jerry leaned back in pretended ease and awaited further revelations
from Sunny.

"--but," went on Sunny, as if finishing a sentence, "that landlord
gentleman are not also ask me marry wiz him, Jerry. He already got big
wife. I are see her. She are so big as Jinx, and she smile on me very
kind, and say she have hear of me from her hosban', that I am very
lonely girl from Japan, and thas very sad for me, and she goin' to take
those ride wiz me also."

"Hm!" Jerry felt ashamed of himself, but he did not propose to reveal
it, especially when that little hand had crept back to its old place on
his knee, and the diamond flaunted brazenly before his gaze. Nobody but
a "fat-head" would buy a diamond of that size anyway, was Jerry's
opinion. There was something extremely vulgar about diamonds. They were
not nearly as pretty as rubies or emeralds or even turquoise, and Jerry
had never liked them. Of course, Miss Falconer, like every other girl,
had to have her diamond, and Jerry recalled with irritation how, as a
sophomore, he had purchased that first diamond. He neither enjoyed the
expedition nor the memory of it. Jinx's brazen ring made him think of
Miss Falconer's. However, the thought of Miss Falconer was, for some
reason or other, distasteful to Jerry in these days, and, moreover, the
girl before him called for his full attention as usual.

"So you decided on Jinx, did you? Bobs and Monty in the discard and the
affluent fat and fair Jinx the winner."

"Jerry, I are _prefer_ marry all my friends, but I say 'no' to each one
of those."

"What are you wearing Jinx's ring for then?"

"Bi-cause it are loog nize on my hands, and he _ask_ me wear it there."

New emotions were flooding over the contrite Jerry. Something was racing
like champagne through his veins, and he suddenly realised how "damnably
jolly" life was after all. Still, even though Sunny had admitted that no
engagement existed between her and Jinx, there was that ring. Poor
little girl! A fellow had to teach her all of the western conventions,
she was that innocent and simple.

"Sunny, you don't want to wear a fellow's ring unless you intend to
marry him, don't you understand that? The ring means that you are
promised to him, do you get me?"

"No! But I _are_ promise to Jinx. I are promise that I will consider
marry him some day if I do not marry some other man I _wan'_ ask me
also."

"Another man. Who----?"

Sunny's glance directed full upon him left nothing to the imagination.
Jerry's heart began to thump in a manner that alarmed him.

"Jerry," said Sunny, "I going to wear Jinx's ring _until_ that man also
asking me. I _wan_ him do so, bi-cause I are lig' him mos' bes' of all
my frien'. I think----" She had both of her hands on his knees now, and
was leaning up looking so wistfully into his face that he tried to avert
his own gaze. In spite of the lump that rose in his throat, in spite of
the frantic beating of his heart, Jerry did not ask the question that
the girl was waiting to hear. After a moment, she said gently:

"Jerry, Hatty are tell me that nex' year he are come a Leap. Then, he
say, thas perlite for girl ask man make marriage wiz her. Jerry, _I_ are
goin' to wait till those year of Leap are come, and then, me? I are
goin' ask _you_ those question."

For one thrilling moment there was a great glow in the heart of Jerry
Hammond, and then his face seemed suddenly to turn grey and old. His
voice was husky and there was a mist before his eyes.

"Sunny, I must tell you--Sunny, I--I--am already engaged to be married
to an American girl--a girl my people want me to marry. I've been
engaged to her since my eighteenth year. I--_don't_ look at me like
that, Sunny, or----"

The girl's head dropped to the level of the floor, her hands slipping
helplessly from his knees. She seemed all in a moment to become purely
Japanese. There was that in her bowed head that was strangely
reminiscent of some old and vanished custom of her race. She did not
raise her head, even as she spoke:

"I wishin' you ten thousand year of joy. Sayonara for this night."

                   *       *       *       *       *

Sunny had left him alone. Jerry felt the inability to stir. He stared
into the dying embers of his fire with the look of one who has seen a
vision that has disappeared ere he could sense its full significance. It
seemed at that moment to Jerry as if everything desirable and precious
in life were within reach, but he was unable to seize it. It was like
his dream of beauty, ever above, but beyond man's power to completely
touch. Sunny was like that, as fragile, as elusive as beauty itself. The
thought of his having hurt Sunny tore his heart. She had aroused in him
every impulse that was chivalrous. The longing to guard and cherish her
was paramount to all other feelings. What was it Professor Barrowes had
warned him of? That he should refrain from taking the bloom from the
rose. Had he, then, all unwittingly, injured little Sunny?

Mechanically, Jerry went into the hall, slowly put his hat on his head
and passed out into the street. He walked up and down 67th Street and
along Central Park West to 59th Street, retracing his steps three times
to the studio building, and turning back again. His mind was in a chaos,
and he knew not what to do. Only one clear purpose seemed to push
through the fog, the passionate determination to care for Sunny. She
came first of all. Indeed she occupied the whole of his thought. The
claim of the girl who had waited for him seven years seemed of minor
importance when compared with the claim of the girl he loved. The
disinclination to hurt another had kept him from breaking an engagement
that had never been of his own desire, but now Jerry knew there could be
no more evasions. The time had come when he must face the issue
squarely. His sense of honour demanded that he make a clean breast of
the entire matter to Miss Falconer. He reached this resolve while still
walking on 59th Street. It gave him no more than time to catch the night
train to Greenwich. As he stepped aboard the train that was bearing him
from Sunny to Miss Falconer all of the fogs had cleared from Jerry's
mind. He was conscious of an immense sense of relief. It seemed strange
to him that he had never taken this step before. Judging the girl by
himself, he felt that he knew exactly what she would say when with
complete candour he should "lay his cards upon the table." He felt sure
that she was a good sport. He did not delude himself with the idea that
an engagement that had been irksome to himself had been of any joy to
her. It was simply, so he told himself, a mistake of their parents. They
had planned and worked this scheme, and into it they had dumped these
two young people at a psychological moment.



                              CHAPTER XIII


For two days Sunny waited for Jerry to return. She was lonely and most
unhappy, but hers was a buoyant personality, and withal her hurt she
kept up a bright face before her little world of that duplex studio. In
spite of the two nights when no sleep at all came, and she lay through
the long hours trying vainly not to think of the wife of Jerry Hammond,
in the daytime she moved about the small concerns of the apartment with
a smile of cheer and found a measure of comfort in her pets.

It was all very well, however, to hug Itchy passionately to her breast,
and assure herself that she had in her arms one true and loving friend.
Always she set the dog sadly down again, saying:

"Ah, liddle honourable dog, you are jos liddle dog, thas all. How you
can know whas ache on my heart. I do nod lig' you more for to-day."

She fed Mr. and Mrs. Satsuma, and whistled and sang to them. After all,
a canary is only a canary. Its bright, hard eye is blank and cold. Even
the goldfish, swimming to the top of the honourable bowl, and picking
the crumb so cunningly from her finger, lost their charm for her. Miss
Spring Morning had long since been vanished with severe Japanese
reproaches for his inhuman treatment of Sunny's first friends, the
honourable mice, several of whose little bodies Sunny had confided to a
grave she herself had dug, with tears that aroused the janitor
gentleman's sympathy, so that he permitted the interment in the back
yard.

The victrola, working incessantly the first day, supplied merely noise.
On the second morning she banged the top impulsively down, and cried at
Caruso:

"Oh, I do not wan' hear your honourable voice to-day. Shut you up!"

Midway in an aria from "Rigoletto" the golden voice was quenched.

She hovered about the telephone, and several times lifted the receiver,
with the idea of calling one of her friends, but always she rejected the
impulse. Intuitively Sunny knew that until the first pang of her refusal
had passed her friends were better away from her.

Little comfort was to be extracted from Hatton, who was acting in a
manner that had Sunny not been so absorbed by her own personal trouble
would have caused her concern. Hatton talked incessantly and feverishly
and with tears about his Missus, and what she had driven him to, and of
how a poor man tries to do his duty in life, but women were ever trouble
makers, and it was only "yuman nature" for a man to want a little
pleasure, and he, Hatton, had made this perfectly clear to Mr. Hammond
when he had taken service with him.

"A yuman being, miss," said Hatton, "is yuman, and that's all there is
to it. Yuman nature 'as certain 'ankerings and its against yuman nature
to gainsay them 'ankerings, if you'll pardon me saying so, miss."

However, he assured Sunny most earnestly that he was fighting the Devil
and all his works, which was just what "them 'ankerings" was, and he
audibly muttered for her especial hearing in proof of his assertion
several times through the day: "Get thee be'ind me, Satan." Satan being
"them 'ankerings, miss."

In normal times Sunny's fun and cheer would have been of invaluable
assistance and diversion to Hatton. Indeed, his long abstention was
quite remarkable since she had been there; but Sunny, affect cheer as
she might, could not hide from the sympathetic Hatton's gaze the fact
that she was most unhappy. In fact, Sunny's sadness affected the
impressionable Hatton so that the second morning he could stand it no
longer, and disappeared for several hours, to return, hiccoughing
cravenly, and explaining:

"I couldn't 'elp it, miss. My 'eart haches for you, and it ain't yuman
nature to gainsay the yuman 'eart."

"Hatton," said Sunny severely, "I are smell you on my nose. You are not
smell good."

"Pardon me, miss," said Hatton, beginning to weep. "Hi'm sadly ashamed
of myself, miss. If you'll pardon me, miss, I'll betake myself to less
'appy regions than Mr. 'Ammond's studio, miss, 'as it's my desire not to
'urt your sense of smell, miss. So if you'll pardon me, I'll say
good-bye, miss, 'oping you'll be in a 'appier mood when next we meet."

For the rest of that day there was no further sign from Hatton. Left
thus alone in the apartment, Sunny was sore put to find something to
distract her, for all the old diversions, without Jerry, began to pall.
She wished wistfully that Jerry had not forbidden her to make friends
with other tenants in the house. She felt the strange need of a friend
at this hour. There was one woman especially whom Sunny would have liked
to know better. She always waved to Sunny in such a friendly way across
the court, and once she called across to her: "Do come over and see me.
I want you to see some of the sketches I have made of you at the
window." Sunny pointed the lady out to Jerry, and that young man's face
became surprisingly inflamed and he ordered Sunny so angrily not to
continue an acquaintance with her unknown friend, that the poor child
avoided going near the window for fear of giving offence.

Also, there was a gentleman who came and went periodically in the studio
building, and whose admiring looks had all but embraced Sunny even
before she scraped an acquaintance with him. He did not live in this
building, but came very frequently to call upon certain of the artists,
including the lady across the court. Like Jinx, he always wore a flower
in his buttonhole, but, unlike Jinx, his clothes had a certain
distinction that to the unsophisticated Sunny seemed to spell the last
word in style. She was especially fascinated by his tan-coloured spats,
and once, examining them with earnest curiosity while waiting for the
elevator, her glance arose to his face, and she met his all embracing
smile with one of her own engaging ones. This man was in fact a well
known dilettante and man about town, a dabbler a bit himself in the
arts, but a monument of egotism. He had diligently built up a reputation
as a patron and connoisseur of art.

One Sunday morning Sunny came in from a little walk as far as the park,
with Itchy. In spite of an unexpectedly hard shower that had fallen soon
after she had left, she returned smiling and perfectly dry; excited and
delighted moreover over the fortune that had befallen her.

"Jerry!" she cried as soon as she entered, "I are git jost to those
corner, when down him come those rain. So much blow! Futen (the wind
god) get very angery and blow me quick up street, but the rain fall down
jos' lig' cloud are burst. Streets flow lig' grade river. Me? I are run
quick and come up on steps of house, and there are five, ten other
people also stand on those step and keep him dry. One gentleman he got
beeg umberella. I feel sure that umberella it keep me dry. So I smile on
those mans----"

"You _what_?"

"I make a smile on him. Like these----" Sunny illustrated innocently.

"Don't you know better than to smile at any man on the street?"

Sunny was taken aback. The Japanese are a smiling nation, and the
interchange of smiles among the sexes is not considered reprehensible;
certainly not in the class from which Sunny had come.

"Smile are not bad. He are kind thing, Jerry. It make people feel happy,
and it do lots good on those worl'. When I smile on thad gentlemen, he
are smile ride bag on me ad once, and he take me by those arm, and say
he bring me home all nize and dry. And, Jerry, he say, he thing I am too
nize piece--er--brick-brack--" bric-a-brac was a new word for Sunny, but
Jerry recognised what she was trying to say--"to git wet. So he give me
all those umberella. He bring me ride up ad these door, and he say he
come see me very soon now as he lig' make sure I got good healt'. He are
a very kind gentleman, Jerry. Here are his card."

Jerry took the card, glared at it, and began panically walking up and
down the apartment, raging and roaring like an "angery tiger," as Sunny
eloquently described him to herself, and then flung around on her and
read her such a scorching lecture that the girl turned pale with fright,
and, as usual, the man was obliged to swallow his steam before it was
all exploded.

In parenthesis, it may be here added, that the orders given by Jerry to
that black boy at the telephone desk, embraced such a diabolical
description of the injury that was destined to befall him should the
personage in question ever step his foot across Jerry's threshold, that
Sambo, his eyes rolling, never failed to assure the caller, who came
very persistently thereafter, that "Dat young lady she am move away,
sah. Yes, sah, she am left this department."

It will be seen, therefore, that Sunny, a stranger in a strange land,
shut in alone in a studio, religiously following the instructions of
Jerry to refrain from making acquaintances with anyone about her, was in
a truly sad state. She started to houseclean, but stopped midway in
panic, recalling the Japanese superstition that to clean or sweep a
house when one of the family is absent is to precipitate bad fortune
upon the house. So she got down all of Jerry's clothes and piously
pressed and sponged them, as she had seen Hatton do, being very careful
this time to avoid her first mistake in ironing. So earnestly had she
applied herself to ironing the crease in the front of one of Jerry's
trousers that first time that a most disastrous accident was the result.
Jerry, wearing the pressed trousers especially to please her, found
himself on the street the cynosure of all eyes as he manfully strode
along with a complete split down the front of one of the legs, which the
too ardent iron of Sunny had scorched. Having brushed and cleaned all of
Jerry's clothes on this day, she prepared her solitary lunch; but this
she could not eat. Thoughts of Jerry sharing with her the accustomed
meals was too much for the imaginative Sunny, and pushing the rice away
from her, she said:

"Oh, I do nod lig' put food any more ad my insides. I givin you to my
friends."

The contents of her bowl were emptied into the pail under the sink,
which she kept always so clean, for she still was under the delusion
that said pail helped to feed the janitor gentleman and his family.

All of that afternoon hung heavily on her hands, and she vainly sought
something to interest her and divert her mind from the thought of Jerry.
She found herself unconsciously listening for the bell, but, curiously
enough, all of that day neither the buzzer, the telephone nor even the
dumbwaiter rang. She made a tour of exploration to Jerry's sacred room,
lovingly arranging his pieces on his chiffonier, and washing her hands
in some toilet water that especially appealed to her. Then she found the
bottle of hair tonic. Sniffing it, she decided it was very good, and,
painfully, Sunny deciphered the legend printed on the outside, assuring
a confiding hair world that the miraculous contents had the power to
remove dandruff, invigorate, strengthen, force growth on bald heads,
cause to curl and in every way improve and cause to shine the hair of
the fortunate user of the same.

"Thas very good stuff," said Sunny. "He do grade miracle on top those
head."

She decided to put the shampoo-tonic to the test, and accordingly washed
her hair in Jerry's basin, making an excellent job of it. Descending to
the studio, she lit the fireplace, and curled up on a big Navaho by the
fire. Wrapped in a gorgeous bathrobe belonging to Jerry, Sunny proceeded
to dry her hair.

While she was in the midst of this process, the telephone rang. Sambo at
the desk announced that visitors were ascending. Sunny had no time to
dress or even to put up her hair, and when in response to the sharp bang
upon the knocker she opened the door she revealed to the callers a
vision that justified their worst fears. Her hair unbound, shining and
springing out in lovely curling disorder about her, wrapped about in the
bright embroidered bathrobe which the younger woman recognised at once
as her Christmas gift to her fiancé, the work, in fact, of her own
hands, Sunny was a spectacle to rob a rival of complete hope and peace
of mind. The cool fury of unrequited love and jealousy in the breast of
the younger woman and the indignant anger in that of the older was
whipped at the sight of Sunny into active and violent eruption.

"What are you doing in my son's apartment?" demanded the mother of
Jerry, raising to her eyes what looked to Sunny like a gold stick on
which grew a pair of glasses, and surveying with pronounced disapproval
the politely bowing though somewhat flurried Sunny.

"I are live ad those house," said Sunny, simply. "This are my home."

"You live here, do you? Well, I would have you know that I am the mother
of the young man whose life you are ruining, and this young girl is his
fiancée."

"Ho! I am very glad make you 'quaintance," said Sunny, seeking to hide
behind a politeness her shock at the discovery of the palpable rudeness
of these most barbarian ladies. It was hard for her to admit that the
ladies of Jerry's household were not models of fine manners, as she had
fondly supposed, but on the contrary bore faces that showed no trace of
the kind hearts which the girl from Japan had been taught by her mother
to associate always with true gentility. The two women's eyes met with
that exclamatory expression which says plainer than words:

"Of all the unbounded impudence, this is the worst!"

"I have been told," went on Mrs. Hammond haughtily, "that you are a
foreigner--a Japanese." She pronounced the word as if speaking of
something extremely repellent.

Sunny bowed, with an attempted smile, that faded away as Jerry's mother
continued ruthlessly:

"You do not look like a Japanese to me, unless you have been peroxiding
your hair. In my opinion you are just an ordinary everyday bad girl."

Sunny said very faintly:

"Aexcuse me!"

She turned like a hurt thing unjustly punished to the other woman, as if
seeking help there. It had been arranged between the two women that Mrs.
Hammond was to do the talking. Miss Falconer was having her full of that
curious satisfaction some women take in seeing in person one's rival.
Her expression far more moved Sunny than that of the angry older woman.

"No one but a bad woman," went on Mrs. Hammond, "would live like this in
a young man's apartment, or allow him to support her, or take money from
him. Decent girls don't do that sort of thing in America. You are old
enough to get out and earn for yourself an honest living. Aren't you
ashamed of yourself? Or are you devoid of shame, you bad creature?"

"Yes," said Sunny, with such a look that Jerry's mother's frown relaxed
somewhat: "I are ashame. I are sawry thad I are bad--woman. Aexcuse me
this time. I try do better. I sawry I are--bad!"

This was plainly a full and complete confession of wrong and its effect
on the older woman was to arouse a measure of the Hammond compunction
which always followed a hasty judgment. For a moment Mrs. Hammond
considered the advisability of reading to this girl a lecture that she
had recently prepared to deliver before an institution for the welfare
of such girls as she deemed Sunny to be. However, her benevolent
intention was frustrated by Miss Falconer.

There is a Japanese proverb which says that the tongue three inches long
can kill a man six feet tall, but the tongue of one's enemy is not the
worst thing to fear. The cold smile of the young woman staring so
steadily at her had power to wound Sunny far more than the lacerating
tongue of the woman whom she realised believed she was fighting in her
son's behalf. Very silken and soft was the manner of Miss Falconer as
insinuatingly she brought Mrs. Hammond back to the object of their call.
She had used considerable tact and strategy in arranging this call upon
Sunny, having in fact induced Jerry to remain for at least a day or two
in Greenwich, "to think matters over," and see "whether absence would
not prove to him that what he imagined to be love was nothing but one of
those common aberrations to which men who lived in the east were said to
be addicted." Jerry, feeling that he should at least do this for her,
waited at Greenwich. Miss Falconer had called in the able and
belligerent aid of his mother.

"Mother, dear----" She already called Mrs. Hammond "mother."
"Suppose--er--we make a quick end to the matter. You know what we are
here for. Do let us finish and get away. You know, dear, that I am not
used to this sort of thing, and really I'm beginning to get a nervous
headache."

Stiffened and upheld by the young woman whom she had chosen as wife for
her son, Mrs. Hammond delivered the ultimatum.

"Young woman, I want you to pack your things and clear out from my son's
apartment at once. No argument! No excuses! If you do not realise the
shamelessness of the life you are leading, I have nothing further to
say; but I insist, insist most emphatically, on your leaving my boy's
apartment this instant."

A key turned in the lock. Hatton, dusty and bedraggled, his hat on one
side of his head and a cigarette twisting dejectedly in the corner of
his mouth, stumbled in at the door. He stood swaying and smiling at the
ladies, stuttering incoherent words of greeting and apology.

"La-adiesh, beggin' y'r pardon, it's a pleasure shee thish bright
shpring day."

Mrs. Hammond, overwhelmed with shame and grief over the revelation of
the disreputable inmates of her son's apartment, turned her broad back
upon Hatton. She recognised that man. He was the man she and Jerry's
father had on more than one occasion begged their son to be rid of. Oh!
if only Jeremy Hammond senior were here now!

Sunny, having heard the verdict of banishment, stood helplessly, like
one who has received a death sentence, knowing not which way to turn.
Hatton staggered up the stairs, felt an uncertain course along the
gallery toward his room, and fell in a muddled heap midway of the
gallery.

Sunny, half blindly, scarcely conscious of what she was doing, had moved
with mechanical obedience toward the door, when Mrs. Hammond haughtily
recalled her.

"You cannot go out on the street in that outrageous fashion. Get your
things, and do your hair up decently. We will wait here till you are
ready."

"And suppose you take that bathrobe off. It doesn't belong to you," said
Miss Falconer cuttingly.

"Take only what belongs to you," said Mrs. Hammond.

Sunny slowly climbed up to her room. Everything appeared now strange and
like a queer dream to her. She could scarcely believe that she was the
same girl who but a few days before had joyously flitted about the
pretty room, which showed evidence of her intensely artistic and
feminine hands. She changed from the bathrobe to the blue suit she had
worn on the night she had arrived at Jerry's studio. From a drawer she
drew forth the small package containing the last treasures that her
mother had placed in her hand. Though she knew that Mrs. Hammond and
Miss Falconer were impatiently awaiting her departure, she sat down at
her desk and painfully wrote her first letter to Jerry.

"Jerry sama: How I thank you three and four time for your kindness to
me. I am sorry I are not got money to pay you back for all that same,
but I will take nothing with me but those clothes on my body. Only bad
girls take money from gentleman at this America. I have hear that
to-day, but I never know that before, or I would not do so. I have pray
to Amaterasu-oho-mikami, making happy sunshine of your life. May you
live ten thousand year. Sayonara. Sunny."

She came out along the gallery, bearing her mother's little package.
Kneeling by the half-awake but helpless Hatton she thrust the letter
into his hand.

"Good-bye, kind Hatton," said Sunny. "I sawry I not see your face no
more. I sawry I are make all those trobble for you wiz those gas stove
an' those honourable mice. I never do those ting again. I hope mebbe you
missus come home agin some day ad you. Sayonara."

"Wh-wheer y're goin', Shunny. Whatsh matter?" Hatton tried vainly to
raise himself. He managed to pull himself a few paces along, by holding
to the gallery rails, but sprawled heavily down on the floor. The
indignant voice of his master's mother ascended from the stairs:

"If you do not control yourself, my good man, I will be forced to call
in outside aid and have you incarcerated."

Downstairs, Sunny, unmindful of the waiting women, ran by them into the
kitchen. From goldfish to canaries she turned, whispering softly:
"Sayonara my friends. I sawry leaving you."

She was opening the window onto the fire-escape, and Itchy with a howl
of joy had leaped into her arms, when Mrs. Hammond and Miss Falconer,
suspicious of something underhand, appeared at the door.

"What are you doing, miss? What is that you are taking?" demanded Mrs.
Hammond.

Sunny turned, with her dog hugged up close to her breast.

"I are say good-bye to my liddle dog," she said. "Sayonara Itchy. The
gods be good unto you."

She set the dog hastily back in the box, against his most violent
protests, and Itchy immediately set up such a woeful howling and baying
as only a small mongrel dog who possesses psychic qualities and senses
the departure of an adored one could be capable of. Windows were thrown
up and ejaculations and protests emanated from tenants in the court, but
Sunny had clapped both hands over her ears, and without a look back at
her little friend, and ignoring the two women, she ran through the
studio, and out of the front door.

After her departure a silence fell between Miss Falconer and Mrs.
Hammond. The latter's face suddenly worked spasmodically, and the strain
of the day overtook Jerry's mother. She sobbed unrestrainedly, mopping
up the tears that coursed down her face. Miss Falconer fanned herself
slowly, and with an absence of her usual solicitude for her prospective
mother-in-law, she refrained from offering sympathy to the older woman,
who presently said in a muffled voice:

"Oh, Stella, I am afraid that we may have done a wrong act. It's
possible that we have made a mistake about this girl. She seemed so very
young, and her face--it was not a bad face, Stella--quite the contrary,
now I think of it."

"Well, I suppose that's the way you look at it. Personally you can't
expect me to feel any sort of sympathy for a bad woman like that."

"Stella, I've been thinking that a girl who would say good-bye to her
dog like that cannot be wholly bad."

"I have heard of murderers who trained fleas," said Miss Falconer. Then,
with a pretended yawn, she added, "But really we must be going now? It's
getting very dark out, and I'm dining with the Westmores at seven. I
told Matthews we'd be through shortly. He's at the curb now."

She had picked up her gloves and was drawing them smoothly on, when Mrs.
Hammond noticed the left hand was ringless.

"Why, my dear, where is your ring?"

"Why, you didn't suppose, did you, that I was going to continue my
engagement to Jerry Hammond after what he told me?"

"But our purpose in coming here----"

"_My_ purpose was to make sure that if _I_ were not to have Jerry
neither should she--that Japanese doll!" All the bottled-up venom of the
girl's nature came forth in that single utterance. "Do let us get away.
Really I'm bored to extinction."

"You may go any time you choose, Miss Falconer," said Jerry Hammond's
mother. "I shall stay here till my son returns."

                   *       *       *       *       *

It was less than half an hour later that Jerry burst into the studio. He
came in with a rush, hurrying across the big room toward the kitchen and
calling aloud:

"Sunny! Hi! Sunny! I'm back!"

So intent was he in discovering Sunny that he did not see his mother,
sitting in the darkened room by the window. Through dim eyes Mrs.
Hammond had been staring into the street, and listening to the nearby
rumble of the Sixth Avenue elevated trains. Somehow the roar of the
elevated spelled to the woman the cruelty and the power of the mighty
city, out into which she had driven the young girl, whose eyes had
entreated her like a little wounded creature. The club woman thought of
her admonitions and speeches to the girls she had professionally
befriended, yet here, put to a personal test, she had failed signally.

Her son was coming through the studio again, calling up toward the
gallery above:

"Hi! Sunny, old scout, where are you?"

He turned, with a start, as his mother called his name. His first
impulse of welcome halted as he saw her face, and electrically there
flashed through Jerry a realisation of the truth. His mother's presence
there was connected with Sunny's absence.

"Mother, where is Sunny? What are you doing here? Where is Sunny, I
say?"

He shot the questions at her frantically. Mrs. Hammond began to whimper,
dabbing at her face with her handkerchief.

"For heaven's sake, answer me. What have you done with Sunny?"

"Jerry, how can I tell you? Jerry--Miss Falcon-er and I--we--we thought
it was for your good. I didn't realise that you c-cared so much about
her, and I--and we----Oh-h-h," she broke down, crying uncontrolledly,
"we have driven that poor little girl out--into the street."

"You what? What is that you say?"

He stared at his mother with a look of loathing.

"Jerry, I thought--we thought her bad and we----"

"Bad! _Sunny!_ Bad! She didn't know what the word meant. My _God_!"

He leaped up the stairs, calling the girl's name aloud, as if to satisfy
himself that his mother's story was false, but her empty room told its
own tale, and half way across the gallery he came upon Hatton. He kicked
the valet awake, and the latter raised up, stuttering and blubbering,
and extending with shaking hand the letter Sunny had left. The words
leaped up at him and smote him to the soul. He did not see his mother.
He did not hear her cries, imploring him not to go out like that.
Blindly, his heart on fire, Jerry Hammond dashed out from his studio,
and plunged into the darkening street, to begin his search for the lost
Sunny, who had disappeared into that maelstrom that is New York.



                              CHAPTER XIV


Despite all that money and influence could do to aid in the search of
the missing girl, no trace of Sunny had been found since the day she
passed through the door of the studio apartment and disappeared into the
seething throngs under the Sixth Avenue elevated.

Every policeman in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx; every private
detective in the country, and the police and authorities throughout the
country, aided in that search, keen to earn the enormous rewards offered
by her friends. Jerry's entire fortune was at the disposal of the
department. Jinx had instructed them to "go the limit" as far as he was
concerned. Bobs, his newspaper instinct keyed up to the highest tension,
saw in every clue a promise of a solution, and "covered" the
disappearance day and night. Young Monty, changed from the cheeriest
interne at Bellevue to the most pessimistic and gloomy, developed a
weird passion for the morgue, and spent hours hovering about that
ghastly part of the hospital.

The four young men met each night at Jerry's studio and cast up their
barren results. Jinx unashamedly and even noisily wept, the big tears
splashing down his no longer ruddy cheeks. Jinx had honestly loved
Sunny, and her loss was the first serious grief of his life.

Monty hugged his head and ruminated over the darkest possibilities. He
had suggested to the police that they drag certain parts of the Hudson
River, and was indignant when they pointed out the impracticability of
such a thing. In the spring the great river was swollen to its highest,
and flowing along at a great speed, it would have been impossible to
find what Monty suggested.

Jerry, of all her friends, had himself the least under command. He was
still nearly crazed by the catastrophe, and unable to sleep or rest,
taking little or no nourishment, frantically going from place to place,
he returned to his studio to pace up and down, as if half demented.

Despite the fact that her son seemed scarcely conscious of her
existence, and practically ignored her, Mrs. Hammond continued to remain
in the apartment. Overwhelmed by remorse and anxiety for her son's
health and sanity she could not bring herself to leave, even though she
knew at this time her act had driven her son far away from her. A great
change was visible in the mother of Jerry. For the first time, possibly,
she acquired a vague idea of what her son's work and life meant to him,
and her conscience smote her when she realised how he had gone ahead
with no encouragement or sympathy from home. On the contrary, she and
his father had thrown every obstacle in his way. Like many self-made
men, Jerry's father cherished the ambition to perpetuate the business he
had successfully built up from what he always called "a shoestring." "I
started with just a shoestring," Jerry's father was wont to say, "and
what's more, _I_ didn't have any education to speak of, yet I beat in
the race most of the college bred bunch." However, his parents had had
great faith in the change that would come to Jerry after matrimony, and
Miss Falconer, being a daughter of Hammond, Sr.'s, partner, the
prospects up to this time had not been without hope.

Now, Jerry's mother, away from the somewhat overpowering influence of
his father, was seeing a new light. Many a tear she dropped upon Jerry's
sketch books, and she suffered the pang of one who has had the
opportunity to help one she loved, and who has withheld that sorely
needed sympathy. For the first time, too, Jerry's mother appreciated his
right to choose his own love. In their anxiety to select for their son a
suitable wife, they had overlooked his own wishes in the matter. Now
Mrs. Hammond became poignantly aware of his deep love for this strange
girl from Japan. She began to feel an unconscious tenderness toward the
absent Sunny, and gradually became acquainted with the girl's nature
through the medium of the left behind treasures and friends. Sunny's
little mongrel dog, the canaries, the gold fish, the nailed up hole
where she had fed the mice, her friend the "janitor gentleman," the
black elevator boy, the butcher gentleman, the policeman on the beat who
had never failed to return Sunny's smiling greeting with a cheery "Top
o' the morning to yourself, miss," Hatton--all these revealed more
plainly than words could have told that hers was a sensitive and rare
nature. In Hatton's case, Mrs. Hammond found a problem upon her hands.
The unfortunate valet blamed himself bitterly for Sunny's going. He
claimed that he had given his solemn word of honour to Sunny, and had
broken that word, when he should have been there: "Like a man, ma'am,
hin the place of Mr. 'Ammond, ma'am, to take care of Miss Sunny."

Far from reproving the man, the conscience-stricken Mrs. Hammond wept
with him, and asked timid questions about the absent one.

"Miss Sunny was not an hordinary young lady, begging your pardon, ma'am.
She was what the French would call distankey. She was sweet and
hinnercent as a baby lamb, hutterly hunconscious of her hown beauty hand
charm. You wouldn't 'ave believed such hinnocence possible in the
present day, ma'am, but Miss Sunny come from a race that's a bit
hignorant, ma'am, hand it wasn't her fault that she didn't hunderstan'
many of the proper conventions of life. But she was perfectly hinnocent
and pure as a lily. Hanyone who looked or spoke to 'er once would've
seen that, ma'am. It shone right hout of Miss Sunny's heyes."

"I saw it myself," said Mrs. Hammond, in a low voice.

After a long, sniffling pause, Hatton said:

"Begging your pardon, ma'am, I'm thinking that I don't deserve to work
for Mr. 'Ammond any longer, but I 'avent the 'eart to speak to 'im at
this time, and if you'll be so kind to hexplain things to 'im, I'll
betake myself to some hother abode."

"My good man, I am sure that even Mr. Jerry would not blame you. I am
the sole one at fault. I take the full blame. I acknowledge it. I would
not have you or anyone else share my guilt, and, Hatton, I _want_ to be
punished. Your conscience, I am sure, is clear, but it would make us all
very happy, and I am sure it would make--Sunny." She spoke the word
hesitatingly--"happy, too, if--if--well, if, my good Hatton, you were to
turn over a new leaf, and sign the pledge. Drink, I feel sure, is your
worst enemy. You must overcome it, Hatton, or it will overcome you."

"Hi will, ma'am. Hi'll do that. If you'll pardon me now, Hi'll step
right out and sign the pledge. I know just where to go, if you'll pardon
me."

Hatton did know just where to go. He crossed the park to the east side
and came to the brightly lighted Salvation Army barracks. A meeting was
in progress, and a fiery tongued young woman was exhorting all the
sinners of the world to come to glory. Hatton was fascinated by the
groans and loud Amens that came from that chorus of human wreckage.
Pushing nearer to the front, he came under the penetrating eye of the
Salvation captain. She hailed him as a "brother," and there was
something so unswervingly pure in her direct gaze that it had the effect
of magnetising Hatton.

"Brother," said the Salvation captain, "are you saved?"

"No, ma'am," said the unhappy Hatton, "but begging your pardon, if it
haren't hout of horder, Hi'd like to be taking the pledge, ma'am."

"Nothing is out of order where a human soul is at stake," said the
woman, smiling in an exalted way. "Lift up your hand, my brother."

Hatton lifted his shaking hand, and, word for word, he repeated the
pledge after the Salvation captain. Nor was there one in that room who
found aught to laugh at in the words of Hatton.

"Hi promise, with God's 'elp," said Hatton, "to habstain from the use of
halcoholic liquors as a beverage, from chewing tobaccer or speaking
profane and himpure languidge."

Having thus spoken, Hatton felt a glow of relief and a sense of
transfiguration. He experienced, in fact, that hysterical exhilaration
that "converts" feel, as if suddenly he were reborn, and had come out of
the mud into the clean air. At such moments martyrs, heroes and saints
are made. Hatton, the automaton-like valet of the duplex studio, with
his "yuman 'ankerings" was afire with a true spiritual fervour. We leave
him then marching forth from the barracks with the Salvation Army, his
head thrown up, and singing loudly of glory.

                   *       *       *       *       *

On the third day after the disappearance of Sunny, Professor Timothy
Barrowes arrived in New York City with the dinornis skeleton of the
quaternary period, dug up from the clay of the Red Deer cliffs of
Canada. This precious find was duly transported to the Museum of Natural
History, where it was set up by the skilled hands of college workmen,
who were zealots even as the little man who nagged and adjured them as
he had the excavators on the Red Deer River. So absorbed, in fact, was
Professor Barrowes by his fascinating employment, that he left his
beloved fossil only when the pressing necessity of further funds from
his friend and financial agent (Jerry had raised the money to finance
the dinornis) necessitated his calling upon Jerry Hammond, who had made
no response to his latter telegrams and letters.

Accordingly Professor Barrowes wended his way from the museum to Jerry's
studio. Here, enthused and happy over the success of his trip, he failed
to notice the abnormal condition of Jerry, whose listless hot hand
dropped from his, and whose eye went roving absently above the head of
his volubly chattering friend. It was only after the restless and
continued pacing of the miserable Jerry and the failure to respond to
questions put to him continued for some time, that Professor Barrowes
was suddenly apprized that all was not well with his friend. He stopped
midway in a long speech in which words like Mesozoic, Triassic and
Jurassic prevailed and snapped his glasses suddenly upon his nose.
Through these he scrutinised the perturbed and oblivious Jerry
scientifically. The glasses were blinked off. Professor Barrowes seized
the young man by the arm and stopped him as he started to cross the room
for possibly the fiftieth time.

"Come! Come! What is it? What is the trouble, lad?"

Jerry turned his bloodshot eyes upon his old teacher. His unshaven,
haggard face, twitching from the effects of his acute nearness to
nervous prostration, startled Professor Barrowes. Lack of sleep, refusal
of nourishment, the ceaseless search, the agonising fear and anguished
longing took their full toll from the unhappy Jerry, but as his glance
met the firm one of his friend, a tortured cry broke from his lips.

"Oh, for God's sake, Professor Barrowes, why did you not come when I
asked you to? Sunny--_Oh, my God!_"

Professor Barrowes had Jerry's hand gripped closely in his own, and the
disjointed story came out at last.

Sunny had come! Sunny had gone! He loved Sunny! He could not live
without Sunny--but Sunny had gone! They had turned her out into the
streets--his own mother and Miss Falconer.

For the first time, it may be said, since his discovery of the famous
fossil of the Red Deer River, Professor Barrowes's mind left his beloved
dinornis. He came back solidly to earth, shot back by the calling need
of Jerry. Now the man of science was wide awake, and an upheaval was
taking place within him. The words of his first telegram to Jerry
rattled through his head just then: "The dinornis more important than
Sunny." Now as he looked down on the bowed head of the boy for whom he
cherished almost a father's love, Professor Barrowes knew that all the
dried-up fossils of all the ages were as a handful of worthless dust as
compared with this single living girl.

By main force Professor Barrowes made Jerry lie down on that couch, and
himself served him the food humbly prepared by his heartbroken mother,
who told Jerry's friend with a quivering lip that she felt sure he would
not wish to take it from his mother's hands.

There was no going out for Jerry on that night. His protestations fell
on deaf ears, and as a further precaution, Professor Barrowes secured
possession of the key of the apartment. Only when the professor pointed
out to him the fact that a breakdown on his part would mean the
cessation of his search would Jerry finally submit to the older man
taking his place temporarily. And so, at the telephone, which rang
constantly all of that evening, Professor Barrowes took command. A
thousand clues were everlastingly turning up. These were turned over to
Jinx and Bobs, the former flying from one part of the city and country
to another in his big car, and the latter, with an army of newspaper men
helping him, and given full license by his paper, influenced by the
elder Hammond and Potter. Finally, Professor Barrowes, having given
certain instructions to turn telephone calls over to Monty in Bobs'
apartment, sat down to Jerry's disordered work table, and, glasses
perched on the end of his nose, he sorted out the mail. The afternoon
letters still lay unopened, tossed down in despair by Jerry, when he
failed to find that characteristic writing that he knew was Sunny's.

But now Professor Barrowes' head had suddenly jerked forward. His chin
came out curiously, and his eyes blinked in amazement behind his
glasses. He set them on firmer, fiercely, and slowly reread that
two-line epistle. The hand holding the paper shook, but the eyes behind
the glasses were bright.

"Jerry--come hither, young man!" he growled, his dry old face quivering
up with something that looked comically like a smile glaring through
threatened tears. "Read that."

Across the table Jerry reached over and took the letter from the famous
steel magnate of New York. He read it slowly, dully, and then with a
sense as of something breaking in his head and heart. Every word of
those two lines sank like balm into his comprehension and consciousness.
Then it seemed that a surge of blood rushed through his being, blinding
him. The world rocked for Jerry Hammond. He saw a single star gleaming
in a firmament that was all black. Down into immeasurable depths of
space sank Jerry Hammond.



                               CHAPTER XV


Sunny, after she left Jerry's apartment, might be likened to a little
wounded wild thing, who has trailed off with broken wing. She had never
consciously committed a wrong act. Motherless, worse than fatherless,
young, innocent, lovely, how should she fare in a land whose ways were
as foreign to that from which she had come as if she had been
transplanted to a new planet.

As she turned into Sixth Avenue, under the roaring elevated structure,
with its overloaded trains, crammed with the home-going workers of New
York, she had no sense of direction and no clear purpose in mind. All
she felt was that numb sense of pain at her heart and the impulse to get
as far away as possible from the man she loved. Swept along by a moving,
seething throng that pressed and pushed and shoved and elbowed by her,
Sunny had a sick sense of home longing, an inexpressible yearning to
escape from all this turmoil and noise, this mad rushing and pushing and
panting through life that seemed to spell America. She sensed the fact
that she was in the Land of Barbarians, where everyone was racing and
leaping and screaming in an hysteria of speed. Noise, noise, incessant
noise and movement--that was America! No one stopped to think; no polite
words were uttered to the stranger. It was all a chaos, a madhouse,
wherein dark figures rushed by like shadows in the night and little
children played in the mud of the streets.

The charming, laughing, pretty days in the shelter of the studio of her
friend had passed into this nightmare of the Sixth Avenue noise, where
all seemed ugly, cruel and sinister. Life in America was not the
charming kindly thing Sunny had supposed. Beauty indeed she had brought
in her heart with her, and that, though she knew it not, was why she had
seen only the beautiful; but now, even for her, it had all changed. She
had looked into faces full of hatred and malice; she had listened to
words that whipped worse than the lash of Hirata.

As she went along that noisy, crowded avenue, there came, like a breath
of spring, a poignant lovely memory of the home she had left. Like a
vision, the girl saw wide spaces, little blue houses with pink roofs and
the lower floor open to the refreshing breezes of the spring. For it was
springtime in Japan just as it was in New York, and Sunny knew that the
trees would be freighted with a glorified frost of pink and white
blossoms. The wistaria vines would hang in purple glory to peer at their
faces in the crystal pools. The fluttering sleeves of the happy
picnickers threading through lanes of long slender bamboos. The lotus in
the ponds would soon open their white fingers to the sun. Rosy cheeked
children would laugh at Sunny and pelt her with flower petals, and she
would call back to them, and toss her fragrant petals back.

It was strange as she went along that dirty way that her mind escaped
from what was before and on all sides of her, and went out across the
sea. She saw no longer the passing throngs. In imagination the girl from
Japan looked up a hill slope on which a temple shone. Its peaks were
twisted and the tower of the pagoda seemed ablaze with gold. Countless
steps led upward to the pagoda, but midway of the steps there was a
classic Torrii, in which was a small shrine. Here on a pedestal, smiling
down upon the kneeling penitents, Kuonnon, the Goddess of Mercy, stood.
To Her now, in the streets of the American City, the girl of Japan sent
out her petition.

"Oh, Kuonnon, sweet Lady of Mercy, permit the spirit of my honourable
mother to walk with me through these dark and noisy streets."

The shining Goddess of Mercy, trailing her robes among the million stars
in the heavens above, surely heard that tiny petition, for certain it is
that something warm and comforting swept over the breast of the tired
Sunny. We know that faith will "remove mountains." Sunny's faith in her
mother's spirit caused her to feel assured that it walked by her side.
The Japanese believe that we can think our dead alive, and if we are
pure and worthy, we may indeed recall them.

It came to pass, that after many hours, during which she walked from
67th Street to 125th, and from the west to the east side of that avenue,
that she stopped before a brightly lighted window, within which cakes
and confections were enticingly displayed, and from the cellar of which
warm odours of cooking were wafted to the famished girl. Sunny's youth
and buoyant health responded to that claim. Her feet, in the
unaccustomed American shoes--in Japan she had worn only sandals and
clogs--were sore and extremely weary from the long walk, and a sense of
intense exhaustion added to that pang of emptiness within.

By the baker's window, therefore, on the dingy Third Avenue of the upper
east side, leaned Sunny, staring in hungrily at the food so near and yet
so far away. She asked herself in her quaint way:

"What I are now to do? My honourable insides are ask for food."

She answered her own question at once.

"I will ask the advice of first person I meet. He will tell me."

The streets were in a semi-deserted condition, such as follows after the
home-going throngs have been tucked away into their respective abodes.
There was a cessation of traffic, only the passing of the trains
overhead breaking the hush of early night that comes even in the City of
New York. It was now fifteen minutes to nine, and Sunny had had nothing
to eat since her scant breakfast.

Kuonnon, her mother's spirit, providence--call it what we may--suffered
it that the first person whom Sunny was destined to meet should be Katy
Clarry, a product of the teeming east side, a shop girl by trade. She
was crossing the street, with her few small packages, revealing her
pitiful night marketing at adjacent small shops, when Sunny accosted
her.

"Aexcuse me. I lig' ask you question, please," said Sunny with timid
politeness.

"Uh-h-h?"

Miss Clarry, her grey, clear eye sweeping the face of Sunny in one
comprehensive glance that took her "number," stopped short at the curb,
and waited for the question.

"I are hungry," said Sunny simply, "and I have no money and no house in
which to sleep these night. What I can do?"

"Gee!" Katy's grey eyes flew wider. The girl before her seemed as far
from being a beggar as anyone the east side girl had ever seen.
Something in the wistful, lovely face looking at her in the dark street
tightened that cord that was all mother in the breast of Katy Clarry.
After a moment:

"Are you stone broke then? Out of work? You don't look's if you could
buck up against tough luck. What you doin' on the streets? You
ain't----? No, you ain't. I needn't insult you by askin' that. Where's
your home, girl?"

"I got no home," said Sunny, in a very faint voice. A subtle feeling was
stealing over the tired Sunny, and the whiteness of her cheeks, the
drooping of her eyes, apprized Katy of her condition.

"Say, don't be fallin' whatever you do. You don't want no cop to get 'is
hands on you. You come along with me. I ain't got much, but you're
welcome to share what I got. I'll stake you till you get a job. Heh! Get
a grip on yourself. There! That's better. Hold on to me. I'll put them
packages under this arm. We ain't got far to walk. Steady now. We don't
want no cop to say we're full, because we ain't."

Katy led the trembling Sunny along the dirty, dingy avenue to one of
those melancholy side streets of the upper east side. They came to a
house whose sad exterior proclaimed what was within. Here Katy applied
her latch key, and in the dark and odorous halls they found their way up
four flights of stairs. Katy's room was at the far end of a long bare
hall, and its dimensions were little more than the shining kitchenette
of the studio apartment.

Katy struck a match, lit a kerosene lamp, and attached to the one
half-plugged gas jet a tube at the end of which was a one-burner gas
stove. Sunny, sitting helplessly on the bed, was too dazed and weary to
hold her position for long, and at Katy's sharp: "Heh, there! lie down,"
she subsided back upon the bed, sighing with relief as her exhausted
body felt the comfort of Katy's hard little bed. From sundry places Katy
drew forth a frying pan, a pitcher of water, a tiny kettle and a teapot.
She put two knives and forks and spoons on the table, two cracked plates
and two cups. She peeled a single potato, and added it to the two
frankfurters frying on the pan. She chattered along as she worked,
partly to hide her own feelings, and partly to set the girl at her ease.
But indeed Sunny was far from feeling an embarrassment such as Katy in
her place might have felt. The world is full of two kinds of people;
those who serve, and those who are served, and to the latter family
Sunny belonged. Not the lazy, wilful parasites of life, but the helpless
children, whom we love to care for. Katy, glancing with a maternal eye,
ever and anon at the so sad and lovely face upon her pillow was
curiously touched and animated with a desire to help her.

"You're dog-tired, ain't you? How long you been out of work? I always
feel more tired when I'm out o' work and looking for a job, than when I
got one, though it ain't my idea of a rest exactly to stand on your feet
all day long shoving out things you can't afford to have yourself to
folks who mostly just want to look 'em over. Some of them shoppers love
to come in just about closin' hour. They should worry whether the girl
behind the counter gets extra pay for overtime or if she's suffering
from female weaknesses or not. Of course, if I get into one of them big
stores downtown, I can give a customer the laugh when the dingdong
sounds for closin', but you can't do no such thing in Harlem. We're
still in the pioneer stage up here. I expect you're more used to the
Fifth Avenue joints. You look it, but, say, I never got a look in at one
of them jobs. They favour educated girls, and I ain't packed with
learning, I'm telling the world."

Sunny said:

"You loog good to me,"--a favourite expression of Jerry's, and something
in her accent and the earnestness with which she said it warmed Katy,
who laughed and said:

"Oh, go on. I ain't much on looks neither. There, now. Draw up.
All--l-ler _ready_! Dinner is served. Stay where you are on the bed.
Drop your feet over. I ain't got but the one chair, and I'll have it
meself, thank you, don't mention it."

Katy pushed the table beside the bed, drew her own chair to the other
side, set the kettle on the jet which the frying pan had released and
proudly surveyed her labour.

"Not much, but looks pretty good to me. If there's one thing I love it
is a hot dog."

She put on Sunny's plate the largest of the two frankfurters and
three-quarters of the potato, cut her a generous slice of bread and
poured most of the gravy on her plate, saying:

"I always say sausage gravy beats anything in the butter line. Tea'll be
done in a minute, dearie. Ain't got but one burner. Gee! I wisht I had
one of them two deckers that you can cook a whole meal at once with.
Ever seen 'em? How's your dog?"

"Dog?"

"Frankfurter--weeny, or in polite speech, sausage, dearie."

"How it is good," said Sunny with simple eloquence. "I thang you how
much."

"Don't mention it. You're welcome. You'd do the same for me if I was
busted. I always say one working girl should stake the other when the
other is out of work and broke. There's unity in strength," quoted Katy
with conviction. "Have some more--do! Dip your bread in the gravy.
Pretty good, ain't it, if I do say it who shouldn't."

"It mos' nices' food I are ever taste," declared Sunny earnestly.

While the tea was going into the cups:

"My name's Katy Clarry. What's yours?" asked Katy, a sense of well-being
and good humour toward the world flooding her warm being.

"Sunny."

"Sunny! That's a queer name. Gee! ain't it pretty? What's your other
name?"

"Sindicutt."

"Sounds kind o' foreign. What are you, anyway? You ain't American--at
least you don't look it or talk it, though heaven knows anything and
everything calls itself American to-day," said the native-born American
girl with scorn. "Meaning no offence, you understand, but--well--you
just don't look like the rest of us. You ain't a Dago or a Sheeny. I can
see that, and you ain't a Hun neither. Are you a Frenchy? You got queer
kind of eyes--meaning no offence, for personally I think them lovely, I
really do. I seen actresses with no better eyes than you got."

Katy shot her questions at Sunny, without waiting for an answer. Sunny
smiled sadly.

"Katy, I are sawry thad I am not be American girl. I are born ad
Japan----"

"_You_ ain't no Chink. You can't tell me no such thing as that. I wasn't
born yesterday. What are you, anyway? Where do you come from? Are you a
royal princess in disguise?"

The latter question was put jocularly, but Katy in her imaginative way
was beginning to question whether her guest might not in fact be some
such personage. An ardent reader of the yellow press, by inheritance a
romantic dreamer, in happier circumstances Katy might have made a place
for herself in the artistic world. Her sordid life had been ever
glorified by her extravagant dreams in which she moved as a princess in
a realm where princes and lord and kings and dukes abounded.

"No, I are not princess," said Sunny sadly. "I not all Japanese, Katy,
jos liddle bit. Me? I got three kind of blood on my insides. I sawry
thad my ancestors put them there. I are Japanese and Russian and
American."

"Gee! You're what we call a mongrel. Meaning no offence. You can't help
yourself. Personally I stand up first for the home-made American article
but I ain't got no prejudice against no one. And anyway, you can _grow_
into an American if you want to. Now we women have got the francheese,
we got the right to vote and be nachelised too if we want to. So even if
you have a yellow streak in you--and looking at you, I'd say it was gold
moren't yellow--you needn't tell no one about it. No one'll be the
wiser. You can trust me not to open my mouth to a living soul about it.
What you've confided in me about being partly Chink is just as if you
had put the inflammation in a tomb. And it ain't going to make the least
bit of difference between us. Try one of them Uneeda crackers. Sop it in
your tea now you're done with your gravy. Pretty good, ain't it? I'll
say it is."

"Katy, to-night I are going to tell you some things about me, bi-cause I
know you are my good frien' now forever. I lig' your kind eye, Katy."

"Go on! You're kiddin' me, Sunny. If I had eyes like yours, it'd be a
different matter. But I'm stuck on the idea of having you for a friend
just the same. I ain't had a chum since I don't know when. If you knew
what them girls was like in Bamberger's--well, I'm not talkin' about no
one behind their backs, but, say--Sunny, I could tell you a thing or
two'd make your hair stand on end. And as for tellin' me about your own
past, say if you'll tell me yours, I'll tell you mine. I always say that
every girl has some tradgedy or other in her life. Mine began on the
lower east side. I graduated up here, Sunny. It ain't nothing to brag
about, but it's heaven compared with what's downtown. I used to live in
that gutter part of the town where God's good air is even begrudged you,
and where all the dirty forriners and chinks--meanin' no offence,
dearie, and I'll say for the Chinks, that compared with some of them
Russian Jews--Gee! you're Russian too, ain't you, but I don't mean no
offence! Take it from me, Sunny, some of them east side forriners--I'll
call them just that to avoid givin' offence--are just exactly like lice,
and the smells down there--Gee! the stock yards is a flower garden
compared with it. Well, we come over--my folks did--I was born
there--I'm a real American, Sunny. Look me over. It won't hurt your eyes
none. My folks come over from Ireland. My mother often told me that they
thought the streets of New York were just running with gold, before they
come out. That simple they were, Sunny. But the gold was nothing but
plain, rotten dust. It got into the lungs and the spine of them all.
Father went first. Then mother. Lord only knows how they got it--doctor
said it was from the streets, germs that someone maybe dumped out and
come flyin' up into our place that was the only clean spot in the
tenement house, I'll say that for my mother. There was two kids left
besides me. I was the oldes' and not much on age at that, but I got me a
job chasin' around for a millinery shop, and I did my best by the kids
when I got home nights; but the cards was all stacked against me, Sunny,
and when that infantile parallysus come on the city, the first to be
took was my k-kid brother, and me li-little s-sister she come down with
it too and--Ah-h-h-h!"

Katy's head went down on the table, and she sobbed tempestuously. Sunny,
unable to speak the words of comfort that welled up in her heart, could
only put her arms around Katy, and mingle her tears with hers. Katy
removed a handkerchief from the top of her waist, dabbed her eyes
fiercely, shared the little ball with Sunny, and then thrust it down the
neck of her waist again. Bravely she smiled at Sunny again.

"There yoh got the story of the Clarry's of the east side of New York,
late of Limerick, Ireland. You can't beat it for--for tradgedy, now can
you? So spiel away at your own story, Sunny. I'm thinkin' you'll have a
hard time handin' me out a worse one than me own. Don't spare me, kid.
I'm braced for anything in this r-rotten world."



                              CHAPTER XVI


It was well for Sunny that her new friend was endowed with a generous
and belligerent nature. Having secured for Sunny a position at the
Bamberger Emporium, Katy's loyalty to her friend was not dampened when
on the third day Sunny was summarily discharged. Hands on hips, Katy
flew furiously to her brother's defence, and for the benefit of her
brother and sister workers she relieved herself loudly of all her
pent-up rage of the months. In true Union style, Katy marched out with
Sunny. The excuse for discharging Sunny was that she did not write well
enough to fill out the sales slips properly. Nasty as the true reason
was, there is no occasion to set forth the details here.

Suffice it to say that the two girls, both rosy from excitement and
wrath, arm and arm marched independently forth from the Emporium, Katy
loudly asserting that she would sue for her half week's pay, and Sunny
anxiously drawing her along, her breath coming and going with the fright
she had had.

"Gee!" snorted Katy, as they turned into the street on which was the
dingy house in which they lived, "it did my soul good to dump its
garbage on that pie-faced, soapy-eyed monk. You don't know what I been
through since I worked for them people. You done me a good turn this
mornin' when you let out that scream. I'd been expecting something like
that ever since he dirtied you with his eyes. That's why I was hangin'
around the office, in spite of the ribbon sales, when you went in. Well,
here we are!"

Here they were indeed, back in the small ugly room of that fourth floor,
sitting, the one on the ricketty chair, and the other on the side of the
hard bed. But the eyes of youth are veiled in sun and rose. They see nor
feel not the filth of the world. Sunny and Katy, out of a job, with
scarcely enough money between them to keep body and soul together, were
yet able to laugh at each other and exchange jokes over the position in
which they found themselves.

After they had "chewed the rag," as Katy expressively termed it, for
awhile, that brisk young person removed her hat, rolled up her sleeves,
and declared she would do the "family wash."

"It's too late now," said Katy, "to job hunt this morning. So I'll do
the wash, and you waltz over across the street and do the marketin'.
Here's ten cents, and get a wiggle on you, because it's 10.30 now, and I
got a plan for us two. I'll tell you what it is. There ain't no hurry.
Just wait a bit, dearie. First we'll have a bite to eat, though I'm not
hungry myself. I always say, though, you can land a job better on a full
than a empty stomach. Well, lunch packed away in us, little you and me
trots downtown--not to no 125th Street, mind you, but downtown, to Fifth
Avenoo, where the swell shops are, do you get me? I'd a done this long
ago, for they say it's as easy to land on Fifth Avenoo as it is on
Third. It's like goods, Sunny. The real silk is cheaper than the fake
stuff, because it lasts longer and is wider, but if one ain't got the
capital to invest in it in the first place, why you just have to make
the best of the imitation cheese. If I could of dolled myself up like
them girls that hold down the jobs on Fifth Avenoo, say, you can take it
from me, I'd a made some of them henna-haired ladies look like thirty
cents. Now _you_ got the looks, and you got the clothes too. That suit
you're wearin' don't look like no million dollars, but it's got a kick
to it just the same. The goods is real. I been lookin' at it. Where'd
you get it?"

"I get that suit ad Japan, Katy."

"Japan! What are you givin' us? You can't tell me no Chink ever made a
suit like that."

Sunny nodded vigorously.

"Yes, Katy, Japanese tailor gentleman make thad suit. He copy it from
American suit just same on lady at hotel, and he tell me that he are
just like twin suits."

"I take off my hat to that Chink, though I always have heard they was
great on copying. However, it's unmaterial who made it, and it don't
detract from its looks, and no one will be the wiser that a Chink tailor
made it. You can trust me not to open my mouth. The main thing is that
that suit and your face--and everything about you is going to make a hit
on Fifth Avenoo. You see how Bamberger fell for you at the drop, and you
could be there still and have the best goin' if you was like some ladies
I know, though I'm not mentionin' no names. I'm not that kind, Sunny.
Now, here's my scheme, and see if you can beat it. Your face and suit'll
land the jobs for us. My brains'll hold 'em for us. Do you get me?
You'll accept a position--you don't say job down there--only on
condition that they take your friend--that's me--too. Then together we
prove the truth of 'Unity being strength.' We'll hang together. Said
Lincoln" (Katy raised her head with true solemnity): '"Together we rise,
divided we fall!' Shake on that, Sunny." Shake they did. "Now you
skedaddle off for that meat. Ask for dog. It goes farther and is
fillin'. Give the butcher the soft look, and he'll give you your money's
worth--maybe throw in an extra dog for luck."

At the butcher shop, Sunny, when her turn came, favoured the plump
gentleman behind the counter to such an engaging smile that he hurriedly
glanced about him to see if the female part of his establishment were
around. The coast clear, he returned the smile with interest. Leaning
gracefully upon the long bloody butcher knife in one hand, the other
toying with a juicy sirloin, he solicited the patronage of the smiling
Sunny. She put her ten cents down, and continuing the smile, said:

"Please you give me plenty dog meat for those money."

"Surest thing," said the flattered butcher. "I got a pile just waitin'
for a customer like you."

He disappeared into a hole in the floor, and returned up the ladder
shortly, bearing an extremely large package, which he handed across to
the surprised and overjoyed Sunny, who cried:

"Ho! I are thang you. How you are kind. I thang you very moach.
Good-aday!"

It so happened that when Sunny had come out of the house upon that
momentous marketing trip a pimply-faced youth was lolling against the
railing of the house next door. His dress and general appearance made
him conspicuous in that street of mean and poverty-stricken houses, for
he wore the latest thing in short pinch-back coats, tight trousers
raised well above silk-clad ankles, pointed and polished tan shoes, a
green tweed hat and a cane and cigarette loosely hung in a loose mouth.
A harmless enough looking specimen of the male family at first sight,
yet one at which the sophisticated members of the same sex would give a
keen glance and then turn away with a scowl of aversion and rage.
Society has classified this type of parasite inadequately as "Cadet,"
but the neighbourhood in which he thrives designates him with one ugly
and expressive term.

As Sunny came out of the house and ran lightly across the street, the
youth wagged his cigarette from the corner of one side of his mouth to
the other, squinted appraisingly at the hurrying girl, and then followed
her across the street. Through the opened door of the kosher butcher
shop, he heard the transaction, and noted the joy of Sunny as the great
package was transferred to her arms. As she came out of the shop,
hurrying to bear the good news to Katy, she was stopped at the curb by
the man, his hat gracefully raised, and a most ingratiating smile
twisting his evil face into a semblance of what might have appeared
attractive to an ignorant and weak minded girl.

"I beg your pardon, Miss--er--Levine. I believe I met you at a friend's
house."

"You are mistake," said Sunny. "My name are not those. Good-a-day!"

He continued to walk by her side, murmuring an apology for the mistake,
and presently as if just discovering the package she carried, he
affected concern.

"Allow me to carry that for you. It's entirely too heavy for such pretty
little arms as yours."

"Thang you. I lig' better carry him myself," said Sunny, holding tightly
to her precious package.

Still the pimpled faced young man persisted at her side, and as they
reached the curb, his hand at her elbow, he assisted her to the
sidewalk. Standing at the foot of the front steps, he practically barred
her way.

"You live here?"

"Yes, I do so."

"I believe I know Mrs. Munson, the lady that keeps this house. Relative
of yours?"

"No, I are got no relative."

"All alone here?"

"No, I got frien' live wiz me. Aexcuse me. I are in hoarry eat my
dinner."

"I wonder if I know your friend. What is his name?"

"His name are Katy."

"Ah, don't hurry. I believe, now I think of it, I know Katy. What's the
matter with your comin' along and havin' dinner with me."

"Thang you. My frien' are expect me eat those dinner with her."

"That's all right. I have a friend too. Bring Katy along, and we'll all
go off for a blowout. What do you say? A sweet little girl like you
don't need to be eatin' dog meat. I know a swell place where we can get
the best kind of eats, a bit of booze to wash it down and music and
dancing enough to make you dizzy. What do you say?"

He smiled at Sunny in what he thought was an irresistible and killing
way. It revealed three decayed teeth in front, and brought his shifty
eyes into full focus upon the shrinking girl.

"I go ask my frien'," she said hurriedly. "Aexcuse me now. You are stand
ad my way."

He moved unwillingly to let her pass.

"Surest thing. More the merrier. Let's go up and get Katy. What floor
you on?"

"I bring Katy down," said Sunny breathlessly, and running by the pasty
faced youth, she opened the door, and closed it quickly behind her,
shooting the lock closed. She ran up the stairs, as if pursued, and
burst breathlessly into the little room where Katy was singing a ditty
composed to another of her name, and pasting her lately washed
handkerchiefs upon the window pane and mirror.

    Beautiful K-Katy--luvully Katy!
    You're the only one that ever I adore,
    Wh-en the moon shines, on the cow shed,
    I'll be w-waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door!"

sang the light-hearted and valiant Katy Clarry.

"Oh, Katy," cried Sunny breathlessly. "Here are those dog." She laid the
huge package before the amazed and incredulous Katy.

"For the love of Mike! Did Schmidt sell you a whole cow?"

Katy tore the wrappings aside, and revealed the contents of the package.
An assortment of bones of all sizes, large and small, a few pieces of
malodorous meat, livers, lights and guts, and the insides of sundry
chickens. Katy sat down hard, exclaiming:

"Good night! What did you ask for?"

"I ask him for dog meat," excitedly and indignantly declared Sunny.

"You got it! You poor simp. Heaven help you. Never mind, there's no need
now of crying over spilled beans. It's too late now to change, so here's
where we kiss our lunch a long and last farewell, and do some hustling
downtown."

"Oh, Katy, I am thad sorry!" cried Sunny tragically.

"It's all right, dearie. Don't you worry. You can't help being ignorant.
I ain't hungry myself anyway, and you're welcome to the cracker there.
That'll do till we get back, and then, why, I believe we can boil some
of them bones and get a good soup. I always say soup is just as fillin'
as anything else, especially if you put a onion in it, and have a bit of
bread to sop it up with, and I got the onion all right. So cheer up,
we'll soon be dead and the worst is yet to come."

"Katy, there are a gentleman down on those street, who are want give us
nize dinner to eat, with music and some danze. Me? I am not care for
those music, but I lig' eat those dinner, and I lig' also thad you eat
him."

"Gentleman, huh?" Katy's head cocked alertly.

"Yes, he speak at me on the street, and he say he take me and my frien'
out to nize dinner. He are wait in those street now."

Katy went to the window, leaned far out, saw the man on the street, and
drew swiftly in, her face turning first white, then red.

"Sunny, ain't you got any better sense than speak to a man on the
street?"

"Ho, Katy, I din nod speag ad those man," declared Sunny indignantly.
"He speag ad me, and I do nod lig' hees eye. I do nod lig' hees mout',
nor none of hees face, but I speag perlite bi-cause he are ask me eat
those dinner."

"Well, you poor little simp, let me tell you who _that_ is. He's the
dirtiest swine in Harlem. You're muddied if he looks at you.
He's--he's--I can't tell you what he is, because you're so ignorunt you
wouldn't understand. You and me go out with the likes of him! Sa-ay, I'd
rather duck into a sewer. I'd come out cleaner, believe me. Now watch
how little K-k-k-katy treats that kind of dirt."

She transferred the more decayed of the meat and bones from the package
to the pail of water which had recently served for her "family wash."
This she elevated to the window, put her head out, and as if sweetly to
signal the waiting one below, she called:

"Hi-yi-yi-yi--i-i!" and as the man below looked up expectantly, she gave
him the full benefit of the pail's contents in his upturned face.

The sight of the drenched, spluttering and foully swearing rat on the
street below struck the funny side of the two young girls. Clinging
together, they burst into laughter, holding their sides, and with their
young heads tossed back; but their laughter had an element of hysteria
to it, and when at last they stopped, and the stream of profanity from
below continued to pour into the room, Katy soberly closed the window.
For a while they stared at each other in a scared silence. Then Katy,
squaring her shoulders, belligerently said:

"Well, we should worry over that one."

Sunny was standing now by the bureau. A very thoughtful expression had
come to Sunny's face, and she opened the top drawer and drew out her
little package.

"Katy," she said softly, "here are some little thing ad these package,
which mebbe it goin' to help us."

"Say, I been wonderin' what you got in that parcel ever since you been
here. I'd a asked you, but as you didn't volunteer no inflamation, I was
too much of a lady to press it, and I'm telling the world, I'd not open
no package the first time myself, without knowin' what was in it,
especially as that one looks kind of mysteriees and foreign looking. I
heard about a lady named Pandora something and when she come to open a
box she hadn't no right to open, it turned into smoke and she couldn't
get it back to where she wanted it to go. What you got there, dearie, if
it ain't being too personal to ask? I'll bet you got gold and diamonds
hidden away somewhere."

Sunny was picking at the red silk cord. Lovingly she unwrapped the
Japanese paper. The touch of her fingers on her mother's things was a
caress and had all the reverence that the Japanese child pays in tribute
to a departed parent.

"These honourable things belong my mother," said Sunny gently. "She have
give them to me when she know she got die. See, Katy, this are kakemona.
It very old, mebbe one tousan' year ole. It belong at grade Prince of
Satsuma. Thas my mother ancestor. This kakemona, it are so ole as those
ancestor," said Sunny reverently.

"Old! Gee, I should say it is. Looks as if it belonged in a tomb. You
couldn't hock nothing like that, dearie, meanin' no offence. What else
you got?"

"The poor simp!" said Katy to herself, as Sunny drew forth her mother's
veil. In the gardens of the House of a Thousand Joys the face of the
dancer behind the shimmering veil had aroused the enthusiasm of her
admirers. Now Katy bit off the words that were about to explain to Sunny
that in her opinion a better veil could be had at Dacy's for
ninety-eight cents. All she said, however, was:

"You better keep the veil, Sunny. I know how one feels about a mother's
old duds. I got a pair of shoes of my mother's that nothing could buy
from me, though they ain't much to look at; but I know how you feel
about them things, dearie."

"This," said Sunny, with shining eyes, "are my mother's fan. See, Katy,
Takamushi, a grade poet ad Japan, are ride two poem on thad fan and
present him to my mother. Thad is grade treasure. I do nod lig' to sell
those fan."

"I wouldn't. You just keep it, dearie. We ain't so stone broke that you
have to sell your mother's fan."

"These are flower that my mother wear ad her hair when she danze, Katy."

The big artificial poppies that once had flashed up on either side of
the dancer's lovely face, Sunny now pressed against her cheek.

"Ain't they pretty?" said Katy, pretending an enthusiasm she did not
feel. "You could trim a hat with them if flowers was in fashion this
year, but they ain't, dearie. The latest thing is naked hats, sailors,
like you got, or treecornes, with nothing on them except the lines.
What's that you got there, Sunny?"

"That are a letter, Katy. My mother gave me those letter. She say that
some day mebbe I are need some frien'. Then I must put those letter at
post office box, or I must take those letter in my hand to thad man it
are write to. He are frien' to me, my mother have said."

Katy grabbed the letter, disbelieving her eyes when she read the name
inscribed in the thin Japanese hand. It was addressed both in English
and Japanese, and the name was, Stephen Holt Wainwright, 27 Broadway,
New York City.

"Someone hold me up," cried Katy. "I'm about to faint dead away."

"Oh, Katy, do not be dead away! Oh, Katy, do not do those faint. Here
are those cracker. I am not so hungry as you."

"My Lord! You poor ignorunt little simp, don't you reckernise when a
fellow is fainting with pure unadulterated joy? How long have you had
that letter?"

"Four year now," said Sunny sadly, thinking of the day when her mother
had placed it in her hand, and of the look on the face of that mother.

"Why did you never mail it?"

"I was await, Katy. I are not need help. I have four and five good
frien' to me then, and I do not need nuther one; but now I are beggar
again. I nod got those frien's no more. I need those other one."

"Were you ever a _beggar_, Sunny?"

"Oh, yes, Katy, some time my mother and I we beg for something eat at
Japan. Thad is no disgrace. The gods love those beggar jos' same rich
man, and when he go on long journey to those Meido, mebbe rich man go
behind those beggar. I are hear thad at Japan."

"Do you know who this letter is addressed to, dearie?"

"No, Katy, I cannot read so big a name. My mother say he will be frien'
to me always."

"Sunny, I pity you for your ignorunce, but I don't hold it against you.
You was born that way. Why, a child could read that name. Goodness knows
I never got beyond the Third Grade, yet I _hope_ I'm able to read that.
It says as plain as the nose on your face, Sunny: Stephen Holt
Wainwright. Now that's the name of one of the biggest guns in the
country. He's a U. S. senator, or was and is, and he's so rich that he
has to hire twenty or fifty cashiers to count his income that rolls in
upon him from his vast estates. If you weren't so ignorunt, Sunny, you'd
a read about him in the _Journal_. Gee! his picture's in nearly every
day, and pictures of his luxurious home and yacht and horses and wife,
who's one of the big nobs in this suffrage scare. They call him 'The Man
of Steel,' because he owns most of the steel in the world, and because
he's got a mug--a face--on him like a steel trap. That's what I've heard
and read, though I've never met the gentleman. I expect to, however,
very soon, seeing he's a friend of yours. And now, lovey, don't waste no
more tears over that other bunch of ginks, because this Senator
Wainwright has got them all beat in the Marathon."

"Katy, this letter are written by my mother ad the Japanese language.
Mebbe those Sen--a--tor kinnod read them. What I shall do?"

"What you shall do, baby mine? Did you think I was goin' to let precious
freight like that go into any post box. Perish the idea, lovey. You and
me are going to waltz downtown to 27 Broadway, and we ain't going to do
no walking what's more. The Subway for little us. I'm gambling on Mr.
Senator passing along a job to friends of his friends. Get your hat on
now, and don't answer back neither."

On the way downstairs she gave a final stern order to Sunny.

"Hold your hat pin in your hand as we come out. If his nibs so much as
opens his face to you, jab him in the eye. I'll take care of the rest of
him."

Thus bravely armed, the two small warriors issued forth, the general
marshalling her army of one, with an elevated chin and nose and an eye
that scorched from head to foot the craven looking object waiting for
them on the street.

"Come along, dearie. Be careful you don't get soiled as we pass."

Laughing merrily, the two girls, with music in their souls, danced up
the street, their empty stomachs and their lost jobs forgotten. When
they reached the Subway, Katy seized Sunny's hand, and they raced down
the steps just as the South Ferry train pulled in.



                              CHAPTER XVII


That was a long and exciting ride for Sunny. Above the roar of the
rushing train Katy shouted in her ear. Perfectly at home in the Subway,
Katy did not let a little thing like mere noise deter the steady flow of
her tongue. The gist of her remarks came always back to what Sunny was
to do when they arrived at 27 Broadway; how she was to look; how speak.
She was to bear in mind that she was going into the presence of American
royalty, and she was to be neither too fresh nor yet too humble.
Americans, high and low, so Katy averred, liked folks that had a kick to
them, but not too much of a kick.

Sunny was to find out whether at some time or other in the past, Senator
Wainwright had not put himself under deep obligations to some member of
Sunny's family. Perhaps some of her relatives might have saved the life
of this senator. Even Chinks were occasionally heroes, Katy had heard.
It might be, on the other hand, said Katy, that Sunny's mother had
something "on" the senator. So much the better. Katy had no objection,
so she said, to the use of a bit of refined ladylike blackmail, for "the
end justifies the means," said Katy, quoting, so she said, from Lincoln,
the source of all her aphorisms. Anyway, the long and short of it was,
said Katy, that Sunny was on no account to get cold feet. She was to
enter the presence of the mighty man with dignity and coolness. "Keep
your nerve whatever you do," urged Katy. Then once eye to eye with the
man of power, she was to ask--it was possible, she might even be able to
demand--certain favours.

"Ask and it shall be given to you. Shut your mouth and it'll be taken
away. That's how things go in this old world," said Katy.

Sunny was to make application in both their names. If there were no
vacancies in the senator's office, then she would delicately suggest
that the senator could make such a vacancy. Such things were done within
Katy's own experience.

Katy had no difficulty in locating the monstrous office building, and
she led Sunny along to the elevator with the experienced air of one used
to ascending skyward in the crowded cars. Sunny held tight to her arm as
they made the breathless ascent. There was no need to ask direction on
the 35th floor, since the Wainwright Structural Steel Company occupied
the entire floor.

It was noon hour, and Katy and Sunny followed several girls returning
from lunch through the main entrance of the offices.

A girl at a desk in the reception hall stopped them from penetrating
farther into the offices by calling out:

"No admission there. Who do you want to see? Name, please."

Katy swung around on her heel, and recognising a kindred spirit in the
girl at the desk, she favoured her with an equally haughty and glassy
stare. Then in a very superior voice, Katy replied:

"We are friends of the Senator. Kindly announce us, if you please."

A grin slipped over the face of the maiden at the desk, and she shoved a
pad of paper toward Katy.

Opposite the word "Name" on the pad, Katy wrote, "Miss Sindicutt."
Opposite the word: "Business" she wrote "Private and personal and
intimate."

The girl at the desk glanced amusedly at the pad, tore the first sheet
off, pushed a button which summoned an office boy, to whom she handed
the slip of paper. With one eye turned appraisingly upon the girls, he
went off backwards, whistling, and disappeared through the little
swinging gate that opened apparently into the great offices beyond.

"I beg your pardon?" said Katy to the girl at the desk.

"I didn't say nothing," returned the surprised maiden.

"I thought you said 'Be seated.' I will, thank you. Don't mention it,"
and Katy grinned with malicious politeness on the discomfited young
person, who patted her coiffure with assumed disdain.

Katy meanwhile disposed herself on the long bench, drew Sunny down
beside her, and proceeded to scrutinise and comment on all passers
through the main reception hall into the offices within. Once in a while
she resumed her injunctions to Sunny, as:

"Now don't be gettin' cold feet whatever you do. There ain't nothing to
be afraid of. A cat may look at a king, him being the king and you the
cat. No offence, dearie. Ha, ha, ha! That's just my way of speaking.
Say, Sunny, would you look at her nibs at the desk there. Gee! ain't
that a job? Some snap, I'll say. Nothin' to do, but give everyone the
once over, push a button and send a boy to carry in your names. Say, if
you're a true friend of mine, you'll land me that job. It'd suit me down
to a double Tee."

"Katy, I goin' try get you bes' job ad these place. I am not so smart
like you, Katy----"

"Oh, well, you can't help that, dearie, and you got the face all right."

"Face is no matter. My mother are tell me many time, it is those heart
that matter."

"_Sounds_ all right, and I ain't questionin' your mother's opinion,
Sunny, but you take it from me, you can go a darn sight further in this
old world with a face than a heart."

A man had come into the reception room from the main entrance. He
started to cross the room directly to the little swinging door, then
stopped to speak to a clerk at a wicket window. Something about the
sternness of his look, an air savouring almost of austerity aroused the
imp in Katy.

"Well, look who's here," she whispered behind her hand to Sunny. "Now
watch little K-k-katy."

As the man turned from the window, and proceeded toward the door, Katy
shot out her foot, and the man abstractedly stumbled against it. He
looked down at the girl, impudently staring him out of countenance, and
frowned at her exaggerated:

"I _beg_ your pardon!"

Then his glance turning irritably from Katy, rested upon Sunny's
slightly shocked face? He stopped abruptly, standing perfectly still for
a moment, staring down at the girl. Then with a muttered apology,
Senator Wainwright turned and went swiftly through the swinging door.

"Well, of _all_ the nerve!" said Katy. Then to the girl at the desk:

"Who was his nibs?"

"Why, your friend, of course. I'm surprised you didn't recognise him,"
returned the girl sweetly.

"Him--Senator Wainwright."

"The papers sometimes call him 'The Man of Steel,' but of course,
intimate friends like you and your friend there probably call him by a
nickname."

"Sure we do," returned Katy brazenly. "I call him 'Sen-Sen' for short.
I'd a known him in an instant with his hat off."

"I want to know!" gibed the girl at the desk.

The boy had returned, and thrusting his head over the short gate sang
out:

"This way, please, la-adies!"

Katy and Sunny followed the boy across an office where many girls and
men were working at desks. The click of a hundred typewriters, and the
voices dictating into dictagraphs and to books impressed Katy, but with
her head up she swung along behind the boy. At a door marked "Miss
Hollowell, Private," the boy knocked. A voice within bade him "Come,"
and the two girls were admitted.

Miss Hollowell, a clear-eyed young woman of the clean-cut modern type of
the efficient woman executive, looked up from her work and favoured them
with a pleasant smile.

"What can I do for you?" The question was directed at Katy, but her
trained eye went from Katy to Sunny, and there remained in speculative
inquiry.

"We have come to call upon the Senator," said Katy, "on important and
private business."

Katy was gripping to that something she called her "nerve," but her
manner to Miss Hollowell had lost the gibing patronising quality she had
affected to the girl at the door. Acute street gamin, as was Katy, she
had that unerring gift of sizing up human nature at a glance, a gift not
unsimilar in fact to that possessed by the secretary of Senator
Wainwright.

Miss Hollowell smiled indulgently at Katy's words.

"_I_ see. Well now, I'll speak for Mr. Wainwright. What can we do for
you?"

"Nothing. _You_ can't do nothing," said Katy. She was not to be beguiled
by the smile of this superior young person. "My friend here--meet Miss
Sindicutt--has a personal letter for Senator Wainwright, and she's
takin' my advice not to let it out of her hands into any but his."

"I'm awfully sorry, because Mr. Wainwright is very busy, and can't
possibly see you. I believe I will answer the purpose as well. I'm Mr.
Wainwright's secretary."

"We don't want to speak to no secretary," said Katy. "I always say: 'Go
to the top. Slide down if you must. You can't slide up.'"

Miss Hollowell laughed.

"Oh, very well then. Perhaps some other time, but we're especially busy
to-day, so I'm going to ask you to excuse us. _Good_-day."

She turned back to the papers on her desk, her pencil poised above a
sheet of estimates.

Katy pushed Sunny forward, and in dumb show signified that she should
speak. Miss Hollowell glanced up and regarded the girl with singular
attention. Something in the expression, something in the back of the
secretary's mind that concerned Japan, which this strange girl had now
mentioned caused her to wait quietly for her to finish the sentence.
Sunny held out the letter, and Miss Hollowell saw that fine script upon
the envelope, with the Japanese letters down the side.

"This are a letter from Japan," said Sunny. "If you please I will lig'
to give those to Sen--Thad is so big a name for me to say." The last was
spoken apologetically and brought a sympathetic smile from Miss
Hollowell.

"Can't I read it? I'm sure I can give you what information you want as
well as Mr. Wainwright can."

"It are wrote in Japanese," said Sunny. "You cannot read that same.
_Please_ you let me take it to thad gentleman."

Miss Hollowell, with a smile, arose at that plea. She crossed the room
and tapped on the door bearing the Senator's name.

Even in a city where offices of the New York magnates are sometimes as
sumptuously furnished as drawing rooms, the great room of Senator
Wainwright was distinctive. The floor was strewn with priceless Persian
and Chinese rugs, which harmonised with the remarkable walls, panelled
half way up with mahogany, the upper part of which was hung with
masterpieces of the American painters, whose work the steel magnate
especially favoured. Stephen Wainwright was seated at a big mahogany
desk table, that was at the far end of the room, between the great
windows, which gave upon a magnificent view of the Hudson River and part
of the Harbor. He was not working. His elbows on the desk, he seemed to
be staring out before him in a mood of strange abstraction. His face,
somewhat stony in expression, with straight grey eyes that had a curious
trick when turned on one of seeming to pin themselves in an appraising
stare, his iron grey hair and the grey suit which he invariably wore had
given him the name of "The Man of Steel." Miss Hollowell, with her
slightly professional smile, laid the slip of paper on the desk before
him.

"A Miss Sindicutt. She has a letter for you--a letter from Japan she
says. She wishes to deliver it in person."

At the word "Japan" he came slightly out of his abstraction, stared at
the slip of paper, and shook his head.

"Don't know the name."

"Yes, I knew you didn't; but, still, I believe I'd see her if I were
you."

"Very well. Send her in."

Miss Hollowell at the door nodded brightly to Sunny, but stayed Katy,
who triumphantly was pushing forward.

"Sorry, but Mr. Wainwright will see just Miss Sindicutt."

Sunny went in alone. She crossed the room hesitantly and stood by the
desk of the steel magnate, waiting for him to speak to her. He remained
unmoving, half turned about in his seat, staring steadily at the girl
before him. If a ghost had arisen suddenly in his path, Senator
Wainwright could not have felt a greater agitation. After a long pause,
he found his voice, murmuring:

"I beg your pardon. Be seated, please."

Sunny took the chair opposite him. Their glances met and remained for a
long moment locked. Then the man tried to speak lightly:

"You wished to see me. What can I do for you?"

Sunny extended the letter. When he took it from her hand, his face came
somewhat nearer to hers, and the closer he saw that young girl's face,
the greater grew his agitation.

"What is your name?" he demanded abruptly.

"Sunny," said the girl simply, little dreaming that she was speaking the
name that the man before her had himself invented for her seventeen and
a half years before.

The word touched some electrical cord within him. He started violently
forward in his seat, half arising, and the letter in his hand dropped on
the table before him face up. A moment of gigantic self-control, and
then with fingers that shook, Stephen Wainwright slipped the envelope
open. The words swam before him, but not till they were indelibly
printed upon the man's conscience-stricken heart. Through blurred vision
he read the message from the dead to the living.

"On this sixth day of the Season of Little Plenty. A thousand years of
joy. It is your honourable daughter, who knows not your name, who brings
or sends to you this my letter. I go upon the long journey to the Meido.
I send my child to him through whom she has her life. Sayonara.
Haru-no."

For a long, long time the man sat with his two hands gripped before him
on the desk, steadily looking at the girl before him, devouring every
feature of the well-remembered face of the child he had always loved. It
seemed to him that she had changed not at all. His little Sunny of those
charming days of his youth had that same crystal look of supreme
innocence, a quality of refinement, a fragrance of race that seemed to
reach back to some old ancestry, and put its magic print upon the
exquisite young face. He felt he must have been blind not to have
recognised his own child the instant his eye had fallen upon her. He
knew now what that warm rush of emotion had meant when he had looked at
her in that outer office. It was the intuitive instinct that his own
child was near--the only child he had ever had. By exercising all the
self-control that he could command, he was at last able to speak her
name, huskily.

"Sunny, don't you remember me?"

Like her father, Sunny was addicted to moments of abstraction. She had
allowed her gaze to wander through the window to the harbour below,
where she could see the great ships at their moorings. It made her think
of the one she had come to America on, and the one on which Jerry had
sailed away from Japan. Painfully, wistfully, she brought her gaze back
to her father's face. At his question she essayed a little propitiating
smile.

"Mebbe I are see you face on American ad-ver-tise-ment. I are hear you
are very grade man ad these America," said the child of Stephen
Wainwright.

He winced, and yet grew warm with pride and longing at the girl's
delicious accent. He, too, tried to smile back at her, but something
sharp bit at the man's eyelids.

"No, Sunny. Try and think. Throw your mind far back--back to your sixth
year, if that may be."

Sunny's eyes, resting now in troubled question upon the face before her,
grew slowly fixed and enlarged. Through the fogs of memory slowly, like
a vision of the past, she seemed to see again a little child in a
fragrant garden. She was standing by the rim of a pool, and the man
opposite her now was at her side. He was dressed in Japanese kimona and
hakama, and Sunny remembered that then he was always laughing at her,
shaking the flower weighted trees above her, till the petals fell in a
white and pink shower upon her little head and shoulders. She was
stretching out her hands, catching the falling blossoms, and,
delightedly exclaiming that the flying petals were tiny birds fluttering
through the air. She was leaning over the edge of the pool, blowing the
petals along the water, playing with her father that they were white
prayer ships, carrying the petitions to the gods who waited on the other
side. She remembered drowsing against the arm of the man; of being
tossed aloft, her face cuddled against his neck; of passing under the
great wistaria arbour. Ah, yes! how clearly she recalled it now! As her
father transferred her to her mother's arms, he bent and drew that
mother into his embrace also.

Two great tears welled up in the eyes of Sunny, but ere they could fall,
the distance between her and her father had vanished. Stephen
Wainwright, kneeling on the floor by his long-lost child, had drawn her
hungrily into his arms.

"My own little girl!" said "The Man of Steel."



                             CHAPTER XVIII


Stephen Wainwright, holding his daughter jealously in his arms, felt
those long-locked founts of emotion that had been pent up behind his
steely exterior bursting all bounds. He had the immense feeling that he
wanted for evermore to cherish and guard this precious thing that was
all his own.

"Our actions are followed by their consequences as surely as a body by
its shadow," says the Japanese proverb, and that cruel act of his mad
youth had haunted the days of this man, who had achieved all that some
men sell their souls for in life. And yet the greatest of all prizes had
escaped him--peace of mind. Even now, as he held Sunny in his arms, he
was consumed by remorse and anguish.

In his crowded life of fortune and fame, and a social career at the side
of the brilliant woman who bore his name, Stephen Wainwright's best
efforts had been unavailing to obliterate from his memory that tragic
face that like a flower petal on a stream he had so lightly blown away.
O-Haru-no was her name then, and she was the child of a Japanese woman
of caste, whose marriage to an attaché of a Russian embassy had, in its
time, created a furore in the capital. Her father had perished in a
shipwreck at sea, and her mother had returned to her people, there, in
her turn, to perish from grief and the cold neglect of the Japanese
relatives who considered her marriage a blot upon the family escutcheon.

Always a lover and collector of beautiful things, Wainwright had
harkened to the enthusiastic flights of a friend, who had "discovered"
an incomparable piece of Satsuma, and had accompanied him to an old
mansion, once part of a Satsuma yashiki, there to find that his friend's
"piece of Satsuma" was a living work of art, a little piece of
bric-a-brac that the collector craved to add to his collections. He had
purchased O-Haru-no for a mere song, for her white skin had been a
constant reproach and shame in the house of her ancestors. Moreover,
this branch of the ancient family had fallen upon meagre days, and
despite their pride, they were not above bartering this humble
descendant for the gold of the American. O-Haru-no escaped with joy from
the harsh atmosphere of the house of her ancestors to the gay home of
her purchaser.

The fact that he had practically bought his wife, and that she had been
willing to become a thing of barter and sale, had from the first caused
the man to regard her lightly. We value things often, not by their
intrinsic value, but by the price we have paid for them, and O-Haru-no
had been thrown upon the bargain counter of life. However, it was not in
Stephen Wainwright's nature to resist anything as pretty as the wife he
had bought. A favourite and sardonic jest of his at that time was that
she was the choicest piece in his collections, and that some day he
purposed to put her in a glass case, and present her to the Museum of
Art of his native city. Had indeed Stephen Wainwright seen the dancer,
as she lay among her brilliant robes, her wide sleeves outspread like
the wings of a butterfly, and that perfectly chiselled face on which the
smile that had made her famous still seemed faintly to linger, he might
have recalled that utterance of the past, and realised that no object of
art in the great museum of which his people were so proud, could compare
with this masterpiece of Death's grim hand.

He tried to delude himself with the thought that the temporary wife of
his young days was but an incident, part of an idyll that had no place
in the life of the man of steel, who had seized upon life with strong,
hot hands.

But Sunny! His own flesh and blood, the child whose hair had suggested
her name. Despite the galloping years she persisted ever in his memory.
He thought of her constantly, of her strange little ways, her pretty
coaxing ways, her smile, her charming love of the little live things,
her perception of beauty, her closeness to nature. There was a quality
of psychic sweetness about her, something rare and delicate that
appealed to the epicure as exquisite and above all price. It was not his
gold that had purchased Sunny. She was a gift of the gods and his memory
of his child contained no flaw.

It was part of his punishment that the woman he married after his return
to America from Japan should have drifted farther and farther apart from
him with the years. Intuitively, his wife had recognised that hungry
heart behind the man's cold exterior. She knew that the greatest urge in
the character of this man was his desire for children. From year to year
she suffered the agony of seeing the frustration of their hopes.
Highstrung and imaginative, Mrs. Wainwright feared that her husband
would acquire a dislike for her. The idea persisted like a monomania.
She sought distraction from this ghost that arose between them in social
activities and passionate work in the cause of woman's suffrage. It was
her husband's misfortune that his nature was of that unapproachable sort
that seldom lets down the mask, a man who retired within himself, and
sought resources of comfort where indeed they were not to be found.
Grimly, cynically, he watched the devastating effects of their separated
interests, and in time she, too, in a measure was cast aside, in thought
at least, just as the first wife had been. Stephen Wainwright grew
grimmer and colder with the years, and the name applied to him was
curiously suitable.

This was the man whose tears were falling on the soft hair of the
strange girl from Japan. He had lifted her hat, that he might again see
that hair, so bright and pretty that had first suggested her name. With
awkward gentleness, he smoothed it back from the girl's thin little
face.

"Sunny, you know your father now, fully, don't you? Tell me that you
do--that you have not forgotten me. You were within a few weeks of six
when I went away, and we were the greatest of pals. Surely you have not
forgotten altogether. It seems just the other day you were looking at
me, just as you are now. It does not seem to me as if you have changed
at all. You are still my little girl. Tell me--you have not forgotten
your father altogether, have you?"

"No. Those year they are push away. You are my Chichi (papa). I so happy
see you face again."

She held him back, her two hands on his shoulders, and now, true to her
sex, she prepared to demand a favour from her father.

"Now I think you are going to give Katy and me mos' bes' job ad you
business."

"Job? Who is Katy?"

"I are not told you yet of Katy. Katy are my frien'."

"You've told me nothing. I must know everything that has happened to you
since I left Japan."

"Thas too long ago," said Sunny sadly, "and I am hongry. I lig' eat
liddle bit something."

"What! You've had no lunch?"

She told him the incident of the dog meat, not stopping to explain just
then who Katy was, and how she had come to be with her. He leaned over
to the desk and pushed the button. Miss Holliwell, coming to the door,
saw a sight that for the first time in her years of service with Senator
Wainwright took away her composure. Her employer was kneeling by a chair
on which was seated the strange girl. Her hat was off, and she was
holding one of his hands with both of hers. Even then he did not break
the custom of years and explain or confide in his secretary, and she saw
to her amazement that the eyes of the man she secretly termed "the
sphinx" were red. All he said was:

"Order a luncheon, Miss Holliwell. Have it brought up here. Have Mouquin
rush it through. That is all."

Miss Holliwell slowly closed the door, but her amazement at what she had
seen within was turned to indignation at what she encountered without.
As the door opened, Katy pressed up against the keyhole, fell back upon
the floor. During the period when Sunny had been in the private office
of Miss Holliwell's employer, she had had her hands full with the
curious young person left behind. Katy had found relief from her pent-up
curiosity in an endless stream of questions and gratuitous remarks which
she poured out upon the exasperated secretary. Katy's tongue and spirit
were entirely undaunted by the chilling monosyllabic replies of Miss
Holliwell, and the latter was finally driven to the extremity of
requesting her to wait in the outer office:

"I'm awfully busy," said the secretary, "and really when you chatter
like that I cannot concentrate upon my work."

To which, with a wide friendly smile, rejoined Katy:

"Cheer up, Miss Frozen-Face. Mums the word from this time on."

"Mum" she actually kept, but her alert pose, her cocked-up ears and
eyes, glued upon the door had such a quality of upset about them that
Miss Holliwell found it almost as difficult to concentrate as when her
tongue had rattled along. Now here she was engaged in the degrading
employment of listening and seeing what was never intended for her ears
and eyes. Miss Holliwell pushed her indignantly away.

"What do you _mean_ by doing a thing like that?"

Between what she had seen inside her employer's private office, and the
actions of this young gamin, Miss Holliwell was very much disturbed. She
betook herself to the seat with a complete absence of her cultivated
composure. When Katy said, however:

"Gee! I wisht I knew whether Sunny is safe in there with that gink,"
Miss Holliwell was forced to raise her hand to hide a smile that would
come despite her best efforts. For once in her life she gave the wrong
number, and was cross with the girl at the telephone desk because it was
some time before Mouquin's was reached. The carefully ordered meal
dictated by Miss Holliwell aroused in the listening Katy such mixed
emotions, that, as the secretary hung up the receiver, the hungry
youngster leaned over and said in a hoarse pleading whisper:

"Say, if you're orderin' for Sunny, make it a double."

Inside, Sunny was telling her father her story. "Begin from the first,"
he had said. "Omit nothing. I must know everything about you."

Graphically, as they waited for the lunch, she sketched in all the
sordid details of her early life, the days of their mendicancy making
the man feel immeasurably mean. Sitting at the desk now, his eyes shaded
with his hand, he gritted his teeth, and struck the table with repeated
soundless blows when his daughter told him of Hirata. But something, a
feeling more penetrating than pain, stung Stephen Wainwright when she
told him of those warmhearted men who had come into her life like a
miracle and taken the place that he should have been there to fill. For
the first time he interrupted her to take down the names of her friends,
one by one, on a pad of paper. Professor Barrowes, Zoologist and
Professor of Archeology. Wainwright had heard of him somewhere recently.
Yes, he recalled him now. Some dispute about a recent "find" of the
Professor's. A question raised as to the authenticity of the fossil.
Opposition to its being placed in the Museum--Newspaper discussion. An
effort on the Professor's part to raise funds for further exploration in
Canada northwest.

Robert Mapson, Jr. Senator Wainwright knew the reporter slightly. He had
covered stories in which Senator Wainwright was interested. On the
_Comet_. Sunny's father knew the _Comet_ people well.

Lamont Potter, Jr. Philadelphia people. His firm did business with them.
Young Potter at Bellevue.

J. Lyon Crawford, son of a man once at college with Wainwright. Sunny's
father recalled some chaffing joke at the club anent "Jinx's" political
ambitions. As a prospect in politics he had seemed a joke to his
friends.

And, last, J. Addison Hammond, Jr., "Jerry."

How Sunny had pronounced that name! There was that about that soft
inflection that caused her father to hold his pencil suspended, while a
stab of jealousy struck him.

"What does he do, Sunny?"

"Ho! He are goin' be grade artist-arki-tuck. He make so beautiful
pictures, and he have mos' beautiful thought on inside his head. He
goin' to make all these city loog beautiful. He show how make 'partment
houses, where all god light and there's garden grow on top, and there's
house where they not put out liddle bebby on street. He's go sleep and
play on those garden on top house."

Her father, his elbow on desk, his chin cupped on his hand, watched the
girl's kindling face, and suffered pangs that he could not analyse.
Quietly he urged her to continue her story. Unwilling she turned from
Jerry, but came back always to him. Of her life in Jerry's apartment, of
Hatton and his "yuman 'ankerings"; of Itchy, with his two fleas; of Mr.
and Mrs. Satsuma in the gold cage, of Count and Countess Taguchi who
swam in the glass bowl; of the honourable mice; of the butcher and
janitor gentlemen; of Monty, of Bobs, of Jinx, who had asked her to
marry them, and up to the day when Mrs. Hammond and Miss Falconer had
come to the apartment and turned her out. Then a pause to catch her
breath in a wrathful sob, to continue the wistful tale of her prayer to
Kuonnon in the raging, noisy street; of the mother's gentle spirit that
had gone with her on the dark long road that lead to--Katy.

It was then that Miss Holliwell tapped, and the waiters came in with the
great loaded trays held aloft, bearing the carefully ordered meal and
the paraphernalia that accompanies a luncheon de luxe. Someone besides
the waiters had slipped by Miss Holliwell. Katy, clucking with her
tongue against the roof of her mouth, tried to attract the attention of
Sunny, whose back was turned. Sniffing those delicious odours, Katy came
farther into the room, and following the clucking she let out an
unmistakably false cough and loud Ahem!

This time, Sunny turned, saw her friend, and jumped up from her seat and
ran to her. Said Katy in a whisper:

"Gee! You're smarter than I gave you credit for being. Got him going,
ain't you? Well, pull his leg while the going's good, and say, Sunny, if
them things on the tray are for you, remember, I gave you half my hot
dogs and I always say----"

"This are my frien', Katy," said Sunny proudly, as the very grave faced
man whom Katy had tried to trip came forward and took Katy's hand in a
tight clasp.

"Katy, this are my--Chichi--Mr. Papa," said Sunny.

Katy gasped, staring with wide open mouth from Senator Wainwright to
Sunny. Her head reeled with the most extravagantly romantic tale that
instantly flooded it. Then with a whoop curiously like that of some
small boy, Katy grasped hold of Sunny about the waist.

"Whuroo!" cried Katy. "I _knew_ you was a princess. Gee. It's just like
a dime novel--better than any story in Hoist's even."

There in the dignified office of the steel magnate the girl from the
east side drew his daughter into one of the most delicious shimmies,
full of sheer fun and impudent youth. For the first time in years,
Senator Wainwright threw back his head and burst into laughter.

Now these two young radiant creatures, who could dance while they
hungered, were seated before that gorgeous luncheon. Sunny's father
lifted the top from the great planked steak, entirely surrounded on the
board with laced browned potatoes, ornamental bits of peas, beans, lima
and string, asparagus, cauliflower and mushrooms.

Sunny let forth one long ecstatic sigh as she clasped her hands
together, while Katy laid both hands piously upon her stomach and
raising her eyes as if about to deliver a solemn Grace, she said:

"Home, sweet home, was never like this!"



                              CHAPTER XIX


Society enjoys a shock. It craves sensation. When that brilliant and
autocratic leader returned from several months' absence abroad, with a
young daughter, of whose existence no one had ever heard, her friends
were mystified. When, with the most evident pride and fondness she
referred to the fact that her daughter had spent most of her life in
foreign lands, and was the daughter of Senator Wainwright's first wife,
speculation was rife. That the Senator had been previously married, that
he had a daughter of eighteen years, set all society agog, and expectant
to see the girl, whose debut was to be made at a large coming out party
given by her mother in her honour. The final touch of mystery and
romance was added by the daughter herself. An enterprising society
reporter, had through the magic medium of a card from her chief, Mr.
Mapson, of the New York _Comet_, obtained a special interview with Miss
Wainwright on the eve of her ball, and the latter had confided to the
incredulous and delighted newspaper woman the fact that she expected to
be married at an early date. The announcement, however, lost some of its
thrill when Miss Wainwright omitted the name of the happy man.
Application to her mother brought forth the fact that that personage
knew no more about this coming event than the "throb sister," as she
called herself. Mrs. Wainwright promptly denied the story, pronouncing
it a probable prank of Miss Sunny and her friend, Miss Clarry. Here Mrs.
Wainwright sighed. She always sighed at the mention of Katy's name,
sighed indulgently, yet hopelessly. The latter had long since been
turned over to the efficient hands of a Miss Woodhouse, a lady from Bryn
Mawr, who had accompanied the Wainwright party abroad. Her especial duty
in life was to refine Katy, a task not devoid of entertainment to said
competent young person from Bryn Mawr, since it stirred to literary
activity certain slumbering talents, and in due time Katy, through the
pen of Miss Woodhouse, was firmly pinned on paper.

However, this is not Katy's story, though it may not be inapropos to
mention here that the Mrs. J. Lyon Crawford, Jr., who for so long
queened it over, bossed, bullied and shepherded the society of New York,
was under the skin ever the same little General who had marched forth
with her army of one down the steps of that east side tenement house,
with hat pin ostentatiously and dangerously apparent to the craven rat
of the east side.

Coming back to Sunny. The newspaper woman persisting that the story had
been told her with utmost candour and seriousness, Mrs. Wainwright sent
for her daughter. Sunny, questioned by her mother, smilingly confirmed
the story.

"But, my dear," said Mrs. Wainwright, "You know no young men yet. Surely
you are just playing. It's a game between you and Katy, isn't it, dear?
Katy is putting you up to it, I'm sure."

"No, mama, Katy are--is--not do so. _I_ am! It is true! I am going to
make marriage wiz American gentleman mebbe very soon."

"Darling, I believe I'd run along. That will do for just now, dear.
_I'll_ speak to Miss Ah--what is the name?"

"Holman, of the _Comet_."

"Ah, yes, Miss Holman. Run along, dear," in a tone an indulgent mother
uses to a baby. Then with her club smile turned affably on Miss Holman:
"Our little Sunny is so mischievous. Now I'm quite sure she and Miss
Clarry are playing some naughty little game. I don't believe I'd publish
that if I were you, Miss Holman."

Miss Holman laughed in Mrs. Wainwright's face, which brought the colour
to a face that for the last few months had radiated such good humour
upon the world. Mrs. Wainwright smiled, now discomfited, for she knew
that the newspaper woman not only intended to print Sunny's statement,
but her mother's denial.

"Now, Miss Holman, your story will have no value, in view of the fact
that the name of the man is not mentioned."

"I thought that a defect at first," said Miss Holman, shamelessly, "but
I'm inclined to think it will add to the interest. Our readers dote on
mysteries, and I'll cover the story on those lines. Later I'll do a bit
of sleuthing on the man end. We'll get him," and the man-like young
woman nodded her head briskly and betook herself from the Wainwright
residence well satisfied with her day's work.

An appeal to the editor of the _Comet_ on the telephone brought back the
surprising answer that they would not print the story if Sunny--that
editor referred to the child of Senator Wainwright as "Sunny"--herself
denied it. He requested that "Sunny" be put on the wire. Mrs. Wainwright
was especially indignant over this, because she knew that that editor
had arisen to his present position entirely through a certain private
"pull" of Senator Wainwright. Of course, the editor himself did not know
this, but Senator Wainwright's wife did, and she thought him exceedingly
unappreciative and exasperating.

Mrs. Wainwright sought Sunny in her room. Here she found that
bewildering young person with her extraordinary friend enthusing over a
fashion book devoted to trousseaux and bridal gowns. They looked up with
flushed faces, and Mrs. Wainwright could not resist a feeling of
resentment at the thought that her daughter (she never thought of Sunny
as "stepdaughter") should give her confidence to Miss Clarry in
preference to her. However, she masked her feelings, as only Mrs.
Wainwright could, and with a smile to Katy advised her that Miss
Woodhouse was waiting for her. Katy's reply, "Yes, ma'am--I mean, Aunt
Emma," was submissive and meek enough, but it was hard for Mrs.
Wainwright to overlook that very pronounced wink with which Katy
favoured Sunny ere she departed.

"And now, dear," said Mrs. Wainwright, putting her arm around Sunny,
"tell me all about it."

Sunny, who loved her dearly, cuddled against her like a child, but
nevertheless shook her bright head.

"Ho! That is secret I not tell. I are a tomb."

"Tomb?"

"Yes, thas word lig' Katy use when she have secret. She say it
are--is--lock up in tomb."

"To think," said Mrs. Wainwright jealously, "that you prefer to confide
in a stranger like Katy rather than your mother."

"No, I not told Katy yet," said Sunny quickly. "She have ask me one
tousan' time, and I are not tol' her."

"But, darling, surely you want _me_ to know. Is he any young man we are
acquainted with?"

Sunny, finger thoughtfully on her lip, considered.

"No-o, I think you are not know him yet."

"Is he one of the young men who--er----"

It was painful for Mrs. Wainwright to contemplate that chapter in
Sunny's past when she had been the ward of four strange young men. In
fact, she had taken Sunny abroad immediately after that remarkable time
when her husband had brought the strange young girl to the house and for
the first time she had learned of Sunny's existence. Life had taken on a
new meaning to Mrs. Wainwright after that. Suddenly she comprehended the
meaning of having someone to live for. Her life and work had a definite
purpose and impetus. Her husband's child had closed the gulf that had
yawned so long between man and wife, and was threatening to separate
them forever. Her love for Sunny, and her pride in the girl's beauty and
charm was almost pathetic. Had she been the girl's own mother, she could
not have been more indulgent or anxious for her welfare.

Sunny, not answering the last question, Mrs. Wainwright went over in her
mind each one of the young men whose ward Sunny had been. The first
three, Jinx, Monty and Bobs, she soon rejected as possibilities. There
remained Jerry Hammond. Private inquiries concerning Jerry had long
since established the fact that he had been for a number of years
engaged to a Miss Falconer. Mrs. Wainwright had been much distressed
because Sunny insisted on writing numerous letters to Jerry while
abroad. It seemed very improper, so she told the girl, to write letters
to another woman's fiancé. Sunny agreed with this most earnestly, and
after a score of letters had gone unanswered she promised to desist.

Mrs. Wainwright appreciated all that Mr. Hammond had done for her
daughter. Sunny's father had indeed expressed that appreciation in that
letter (a similar one had been sent to all members of the Sunny
Syndicate) penned immediately after he had found Sunny. He had,
moreover, done everything in his power privately to advance the careers
and interests of the various men who had befriended his daughter. But
for his engagement to Miss Falconer, Mrs. Wainwright would not have had
the slightest objection to Sunny continuing her friendship with this Mr.
Hammond, but really it was hardly the proper thing under the
circumstances. However, she was both peeved and relieved when Sunny's
many epistles remained unanswered for months, and then a single short
letter that was hardly calculated to revive Sunny's childish passion for
this Jerry arrived. Jerry wrote:

    "Dear Sunny.

    Glad get your many notes. Have been away. Glad
    you are happy. Hope see you when you return.

    JERRY."

A telegram would have contained more words, the ruffled Mrs. Wainwright
was assured, and she acquired a prejudice against Jerry, despite all the
good she had heard of him. From that time on her rôle was to, as far as
lay in her power, distract the dear child from thought of the man who
very evidently cared nothing about her.

Of course, Mrs. Wainwright did not know of that illness of Jerry Hammond
when he had hovered between life and death. She did not know that all of
Sunny's letters had come to his hand at one time, unwillingly given up
by Professor Barrowes, who feared a relapse from the resulting
excitement. She did not know that that shaky scrawl was due to the fact
that Jerry was sitting up in bed, and had penned twenty or more letters
to Sunny, in which he had exhausted all of the sweet words of a lover's
vocabulary, and then had stopped short to contemplate the fact that he
had done absolutely nothing in the world to prove himself worthy of
Sunny, had torn up the aforementioned letters, and penned the blank
scrawl that told the daughter of Senator Wainwright nothing.

But it was shortly after that that Jerry began to "come back." He
started upon the highroad to health, and his recuperation was so swift
that he was able to laugh at the protesting and anxious Barrowes, who
moved heaven and earth to prevent the young man from returning to his
work. Jerry had been however, "away" long enough, so he said, and he
fell upon his work with such zeal that no mere friend or mother could
stop him. Never had that star of Beauty, of which he had always dreamed,
seemed so close to Jerry as now. Never had the incentive to succeed been
so vital and gloriously necessary. At the end of all his efforts, he saw
no longer the elusive face of the imaginary "Beauty," of which he loved
to tell Sunny, and which he despaired ever to reach. What was a figment
of the imagination now took a definite lovely form. At the end of his
rainbow was the living face of Sunny.

And so with a song within his heart, a light in his eyes, and a spring
to his step, with kind words for everyone he met, Jerry Hammond worked
and waited.

Mrs. Wainwright, by this time, knew the futility of trying to force
Sunny to reveal her secret. Not only was she very Japanese in her
ability to keep a secret when she chose, but she was Stephen
Wainwright's child. Her mother knew that for months she had neither seen
nor written to Jerry Hammond, for Sunny herself had told her so, when
questioned. Who then was the mysterious fiancé? Could it possibly be
someone she had known in Japan? This thought caused Mrs. Wainwright
considerable trepidation. She feared the possibility of a young Russian,
a Japanese, a missionary. To make sure that Jerry was not the one Sunny
had in mind, she asked the girl whether he had ever proposed to her, and
Sunny replied at once, very sadly:

"No-o. I ask him do so, but he do not do so. He are got 'nother girl he
marry then. Jinx and Monty and Bobs are all ask me marry wiz them, but
Jerry never ask so."

"Oh, my dear, did you really _ask_ him to ask you to marry him?"

"Ho! I hint for him do so," said Sunny, "but he do not do so. Thas very
sad for me," she admitted dejectedly.

"Very fortunate, I call it," said Mrs. Wainwright.

Thus Jerry's elimination was completed, and for the nonce the matter of
Sunny's marriage was dropped pro tem, to be revived, however, on the
night of her ball, when the story appeared under leaded type in the
_Comet_.



                               CHAPTER XX


There have been many marvellous balls given in the City of New York, but
none exceeding the famous Cherry Blossom ball. The guests stepped into a
vast ball room that had been transformed into a Japanese garden in
spring. On all sides, against the walls, and made into arbours and
groves, cherry trees in full blossom were banked, while above and over
the galleries dripped the long purple and white heads of the wistaria.
The entire arch of the ceiling was covered with cherry branches, and the
floor was of heavy glass, in imitation of a lake in which the blossoms
were reflected.

Through a lane of slender bamboo the guests passed to meet, under a
cherry blossom bower, the loveliest bud of the season, Sunny, in a
fairy-like maline and chiffon frock, springing out about her
diaphanously, and of the pale pink and white colors of the cherry
blossoms. Sunny, with her bright, shining hair coifed by the hand of an
artist; Sunny, with her first string of perfect pearls and a monstrous
feather fan, that when dropped seemed to cover half her short fluffy
skirts. Sunny, with the brightest eyes, darting in and out and looking
over the heads of her besieging guests, laughing, nodding, breathlessly
parrying the questions that poured in on all sides. Everybody wanted to
know who _the_ man was.

"Oh, do tell us who he is," they would urge, and Sunny would shake her
bright head, slowly unfurl her monstrous fan, and with it thoughtfully
at her lips she would say:

"Ho yes, it are true, and mebbe I will tell you some nother day."

Now among those present at Sunny's party were five men whose
acquaintance the readers of this story have already made. It so happened
that they were very late in arriving at the Wainwright dance, this being
due to the fact that one of their number had to be brought there by
physical force. Jerry, at dinner, had read that story in the _Comet_,
and was reduced to such a condition of distraction that it was only by
the united efforts of his four friends that he was forcibly shoved into
that car. The party arrived late, as stated, and it may be recorded that
as Sunny's eyes searched that sea of faces before her, moving to the
music of the orchestra and the tinkle of the Japanese bells, they lost
somewhat of their shining look, and became so wistful that her father,
sensitive to every change in the girl, never left her side; but he could
not induce the girl to dance. She remained with her parents in the
receiving arbor. Suddenly two spots of bright rose came to the cheeks of
Sunny, and she arose on tip-toes, just as she had done as a child on the
tight rope. She saw that arriving party approaching, and heard Katy's
voice as she husbanded them to what she called "the royal throne."

At this juncture, and when he was within but a few feet of the "throne"
Jerry saw Sunny. One long look passed between them, and then, shameless
to relate, Jerry ducked into that throng of dancers. To further escape
the wrathful hands of his friends, he seized some fat lady hurriedly
about the waist and dragged her upon the glass floor. His rudeness
covered up with as much tact as his friends could muster, they
proceeded, as far as lay in their power, to compensate for his
defection. They felt no sympathy nor patience with the acts of Jerry.
Were they not all in the same boat, and equally stung by the story of
Sunny's engagement?

Both hands held out, Sunny welcomed her friends. First Professor
Barrowes:

"Ho! How it is good ad my eyes see your kind face again."

Alas! for Sunny's several months with especial tutors and governesses,
and the beautiful example of Mrs. Wainwright. Always in moments of
excitement she lapsed into her strangely-twisted English speech and
topsy-turvy grammar.

Professor Barrowes, with the dust in his eyes and brain of that recent
triumphant trip into the northwest of Canada, brushed aside by the
illness of his friend, was on solid enough earth as Sunny all but hugged
him. Bowing, beaming, chuckling, he took the fragrant little hand in his
own, and with the pride and glow of a true discoverer, his eye scanned
the fairylike creature before him.

"Ah! Miss--ah--Sunny. The pleasure is mine--entirely mine, I assure you.
May I add that you still, to me, strongly resemble the child who came
upon the tight rope, with a smile upon her face, and a dewdrop on her
cheek.

"May I add," continued Professor Barrowes, "that it is my devout hope,
my dear, that you will always remain unchanged? I hope so devoutly. I
wish it."

"Ho! Mr. dear Professor, I am jos' nothing but little moth. Nothing
moach good on these earth. But you--you are do so moach I am hear. You
tich all those worl' _how_ those worl' are be ad the firs' day of all!
Tell me 'bout what happen to you. Daikoku (God of Fortune) he have been
kind to you--yes?"

"Astounding kind--amazingly so. There is much to tell. If you will allow
me, at an early date, I will do myself the pleasure of calling upon you,
and--ah--going into detail. I believe you will be much interested in
recent discoveries in a hitherto unexplored region of the Canadian
northwest, where I am convinced the largest number of fossils of the
post pliocene and quaternary period are to be found. I had the pleasure
of assisting in bringing back to the United States the full-sized
skeleton of a dinornis. You no doubt have heard of the aspersions
regarding its authenticity, but I believe we have made
our--er--opponents appear pretty small, thanks to the aid of your father
and other friends. In point of fact, I may say, I am indebted to your
father for an undeserved recommendation, and a liberal donation, which
will make possible the fullest research, and establish beyond question
the--ah----"

Miss Holliwell, smiling and most efficiently and inconspicuously
managing the occasion, noting the congestion about Sunny, and the
undisguised expressions of deepening disgust and impatience on the faces
of Sunny's other friends, here interposed. She slipped her hand through
the Professor's arm, and with a murmured:

"Oh, Professor Barrowes, do try this waltz with me. It's one of the old
ones, and this is Leap Year, so I am going to ask you."

Now Miss Holliwell had had charge of all the matters pertaining to the
dinornis; her association with Professor Barrowes had been both pleasant
and gratifying to the man of science.

If anyone imagines that sixty-year-old legs cannot move with the
expedition and grace of youth, he should have witnessed the gyrations
and motions of the legs of Professor Barrowes as he guided the Senator's
secretary through the mazes of the waltz.

Came then Monty, upright and rosy, and as shamelessly young as when over
four years before, at seventeen, he imagined himself wise and
aged-looking with his bone-ribbed glasses. The down was still on Monty's
cheek, and the adoration of the puppy still in his eyes.

"Sunny! It does my soul good to see you. You look perfectly
great--yum-yum. Jove, you gave us a fright, all right. Haven't got over
it yet. Looked for you in the morgue, Sunny, and here you are shining
like--like a star."

"Monty! That face of you will make me always shine like star. What you
are doing these day?"

"Oh, just a few little things. Nothing to mention," returned Monty, with
elaborate carelessness, his heart thumping with pride and yearning to
pour out the full tale into the sympathetic pink ear of Sunny. "I got a
year or two still to put in--going up to Johns Hopkins; then, Sunny,
I've a great job for next summer--between the postgraduate work. I'll
get great, practical training from a field that--well----I'm going to
Panama, Sunny. Connection with fever and sanitary work. Greatest
opportunity of lifetime. I'm to be first assistant--it's the literal
truth, to----" He whispered a name in Sunny's ear which caused her to
start back, gasping with admiration.

"Monty; how I am proud of you!"

"Oh, it's nothing much. Don't know why in the world they picked _me_. My
work wasn't better than the other chaps. I was conscientious enough and
interested of course, but so were the other fellows. You could have
knocked me down with a feather when they picked me for the job. Why, I
was fairly stunned by the news. Haven't got over it yet. Your father
knows Dr. Roper, the chief, you know. Isn't the world small? Say, Sunny,
whose the duck you're engaged to? G'wan, tell your old chum."

"Ho, Monty, I will tell you--tonide mebbe some time."

"Here, here, Monty, you've hogged enough of Sunny's attention. My turn
now." Bobs pushed the unwilling Monty along, and the youngster,
pretending a lofty indifference to the challenging smiles directed at
him by certain members of the younger set, was nevertheless soon
slipping over the floor, with the prettiest one of them all, whom Mrs.
Wainwright especially led him to.

Bobs meanwhile was grinning at Sunny, while she, with a maternal eye,
examined "dear Bobs," and noted that he had gotten into his clothes
hastily, but that nevertheless he was the same charming friend.

"By gum, you look positively edible," was his greeting. "What you been
doing with yourself, and what's this latest story I'm hearing about your
marrying some Sonofagun?"

"Bobs, I are goin' to tell you 'bout those Sonofagun some time this
nide," smiled Sunny, "but I want to know firs' of all tings, what you
are do, dear Bobs?"

"I?" Bobs rose up and down on his polished toes. "City editor of the
_Comet_, old top, that's my job. Youngest ever known on the desk, but
not, I hope, the least competent."

"Ho, Bobs. You _are_ one whole editor man! How I am proud of you. Now
you are goin' right up to top notch. Mebbe by'n by you get to be
ambassador ad udder country and----"

"Whew-w! How can a mere man climb to the heights you expect of him. What
I want to know is--how about that marriage story? I printed it, because
it was good stuff, but who is the lucky dog? Come on, now, you know you
can tell me anything."

"Ho, Bobs, I _are_ goin' tell you anything. Loog, Bobs, here are a
frien' I wan' you speag ad. She also have wrote a book. Her name are--is
Miss Woodenhouse. She is ticher to my frien', Miss Clarry. She are----"

"Are! Sunny?"

"'Am'. She am--no, is, very good ticher. She am--is--make me and Katy
spik and ride English jos same English lady."

The young and edified instructor of Katy Clarry surveyed the young and
edified editor of the New York _Comet_ with a quizzical eye. The young
editor in question returned that quizzical glance, grinned, offered his
arm, and they whirled off to the music of a rippling two-step.

Sunny had swung around and seized the two plump soft hands of Jinx, at
whose elbow Katy was pressing. Katy, much to her delight, had been
assisting Miss Holliwell in caring for the arriving guests, and had
indeed quite surprised and amused that person by her talent for
organisation and real ability. Katy was in her element as she bustled
about, in somewhat the proprietary manner of the floor walkers and the
lady heads of departments in the stores where Katy had one time worked.

"Jinx, Jinx, Jinx! My eyes are healty jos' loog ad you! I am _thad_ glad
see you speag also wiz my bes' frien', Katy." She clapped her hands
excitedly. "How I thing it nize that you and Katy be----"

Katy coughed loudly. Sunny's ignorance at times was extremely
distressing. Katy had a real sympathy for Mrs. Wainwright at certain
times. Jinx had blushed as red as a peony.

"Have a heart, Sunny!"

Nevertheless he felt a sleepish pride in the thought that Sunny's best
friend should have singled him out for special attention. Jinx, though
the desired one of aspiring mothers, was not so popular with the
maidens, who were pushed forward and adjured to regard him as a most
desirable husband. Katy was partial to flesh. She had no patience with
the artist who declared that bones were æsthetic and to suit his taste
he liked to hear the bones rattle. Katy averred that there was something
awfully cosy about fat people.

"I hear some grade news of you, Jinx," said Sunny admiringly. "I hear
you are got nomin--ation be on staff those governor."

"That's only the beginning, Sunny. I'm going in for politics a bit. Life
too purposeless heretofore, and the machine wants me. At least, I've
been told so. Your father, Sunny, has been doggone nice about it--a real
friend. You know there was a bunch of city hicks that thought it fun to
laugh at the idea of a fat man holding down any public job, but I guess
the fat fellow can put it over some of the other bunch."

"Ho! I should say that so."

"Look at President Taft," put in Katy warmly. "He weighs more'n you do,
I'll bet."

"Give a fellow a chance," said Jinx bashfully. "If I keep on, I'll soon
catch up with him."

"Sunny," said Katy in her ear, "I feel like Itchy. You remember you told
me how after a bath he liked to roll himself in the dirt because he
missed his fleas. That's me all over. I miss my fleas. I ain--aren't
used to being refined. Gee! I hope Miss Woodhouse didn't hear me say
that. If she catches me talking like that--good-night! D'she ever make
_you_ feel like a two-spot?"--Scorch with a _look_! Good-night!"

A broad grin lighted up Katy's wide Irish face. Shoving her arm
recklessly through Jinx's, she said:

"Come along, old skate, let's show 'em on the floor what reglar dancers
like you and me can do."

Sunny watched them with shining eyes, and once as they whirled by,
Katy's voice floated above the murmurs of the dance and music:

"Gee! How light you are on your feet! Plump men usually are. I always
say----"

And Katy and Jinx, Monty and Bobs and the Professor and all her friends
were lost to view in that moving, glittering throng of dancers, upon
whom, like fluttering moths the cherry blossom petals were dropping from
above alighting upon their heads and shoulders and giving them that
festival look that Sunny knew so well in Japan. She had a breathing
space for a spell, and now that very wistful longing look stole like a
shadow back to the girl's young face. All unconsciously a sigh escaped
her. Instantly her father was at her side.

"You want something, my darling?"

"Yes, papa. You love me very much, papa?"

"_Do_ I? If there's anything in the world you want that I can give you,
you have only to ask, my little girl."

"Then papa, you see over dere that young man stand. You see him?"

"Young Hammond?"

"Jerry." Her very pronouncement of his name was a caress. "Papa, I wan
speag to him. All these night I have wan see him. See, wiz my fan I are
do lig' this, and nod my head, and wiz my finger, too, I call him, but
he do not come," dejectedly. "Loog! I will do so again. You see!" She
made an unmistakable motion with her hand and fan at Jerry and that
unhappy young fool turned his back and slunk behind some artificial
camphor trees.

"By George!" said Senator Wainwright. "Sunny, do you want me to bring
that young puppy to you?"

"Papa, Jerry are not a puppy, but jus' same, I wan' you bring him unto
me. Please. And then, when he come, please you and mamma stand liddle
bit off, and doan let nobody else speag ad me. I are got something I wan
ask Jerry all by me."

The music had stopped, but the clapping hands of the dancers were
clamouring for a repetition of the crooning dance song that had just
begun its raging career in the metropolis. Sunny saw her father clap
Jerry upon the shoulder. She saw his effort to escape, and her father's
smiling insistence. A short interval of breathless suspense, and then
the reluctant, very white, very stern young Jerry was standing before
Sunny. He tried to avoid Sunny's glance, but, fascinated, found himself
looking straight into the girl's eyes. She was smiling, but there was
something in her dewy glance that reached out and twisted the boy's
heart strings sadly.

"Jerry!" said Sunny softly, her great fan touching her lips, and looking
up at him with such a glance that all his best resolves to continue calm
seemed threatened with panic. He said, with what he flattered was an
imitation of composure:

"Lovely day--er--night. How are you?"

"I are so happy I are lig' those soap bubble. I goin' burst away."

"Yes, naturally you would be happy. Beautiful day--er--night, isn't it?"

He resolved to avoid all personal topics. He would shoot small talk at
her, and she should not suspect the havoc that was raging within him.

"How are your mother?"

"Well, thank you."

"How are your frien', Miss Falconer?"

"Don't know, I'm sure."

"Hatton are tol' me all 'bout her," said Sunny.

"Hatton? He's gone. I don't know where?"

"He are officer at Salavation Army. He come to our house, and my father
give him money for those poor people. Hatton are tell me all 'bout you.
I are sawry you sick long time, Jerry. Thas very sad news for me."

Jerry, tongue-tied for the moment, knew not what to say or where to
look. Sunny's dear glance was almost more than he could bear.

"Beautiful room this. Decoration----"

"Jerry, that are your beautiful picture you are made. I am remember it
all. One time you draw those picture like these for me, and you say thas
mos' nize picture for party ever. I think so."

Jerry was silent.

"Jerry, how you are do ad those worl'? Please tell me. I lig' to hear.
Are you make grade big success? Are you found those Beauty thad you are
loog for always?"

"Beauty!" he said furiously. "I told you often enough that it was an
elusive jade, that no one could ever reach. And as for success. I
suppose I've made good enough. I was offered a partnership--I can't take
it. I'll----I'll have to get away. Sunny, for God's sake, answer me. Is
it true you are going to be married?"

Slowly the girl bowed with great seriousness, yet somehow her soft eyes
rested in caress upon the young man's tortured face.

"Jerry," said Sunny dreamily, "this are the Year of Leap, and I are lig'
ask you liddle bit question."

Jerry neither heard nor understood the significance of the girlish
words. His young face had blanched. All the joy of life seemed to have
been extinguished. Yet one last passionate question burst from him.

"Who--is--he?"

Slowly Sunny raised that preposterous fan. She brought it to her face,
so that its great expanse acted as a screen and cut her and Jerry off
from the rest of the world. Her bright lovely gaze sank right into
Jerry's, and Sunny answered softly:

"_You!_"

Now what followed would furnish a true student of psychology with the
most irrefutable proof of the devastating effect upon a young man of the
superior and civilised west of association with a heathen people. Even
the unsophisticated eye of Sunny saw that primitive purpose leap up in
the eye of Jerry Hammond, as, held in leash only a moment, he proposed
then and there to seize the girl bodily in his arms. It was at that
moment that her oriental guile came to the top. Sunny stepped back, put
out her hand, moved it along the wall, behind the cherry petalled
foliage, and then while Jerry's wild, ecstatic intention brought him
ever nearer to her, Sunny found and pushed the button on the wall.

Instantly the room was plunged into darkness. A babble of murmuring
sounds and exclamations; laughter, the sudden ceasing of the music, a
soft pandemonium had broken loose, but in that blissful moment of
complete darkness, oblivious to all the world, feeling and seeing only
each other, Jerry and Sunny kissed.


                                THE END



                               Transcriber Notes:

    Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.

    Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

    Throughout the dialogues, there were words used to mimic accents of
    the speakers. Those words were retained as-is.

    Errors in punctuations and inconsistent hyphenation were not
    corrected unless otherwise noted.

    On page 13, "firmanent" was replaced with "firmament".

    On page 16, "pantomine" was replaced with "pantomime".

    On page 40, "avaricous" was replaced with "avaricious".

    On page 48, "Sutherlond" was replaced with "Sutherland".

    On page 52, "firmanent" was replaced with "firmament".

    On page 61, "parent's" was replaced with "parents'".

    On page 109, a quotation mark was added after "I am personally
    situated."

    On page 121, a quotation mark was removed after "J. ADDISON HAMMOND"

    On page 123, "asumed" was replaced with "assumed".

    On page 123, "imcredible" was replaced with "incredible".

    On page 137, "asured" was replaced with "assured".

    On page 138, "archietects" was replaced with "architects".

    On page 156, the comma after "'ooking" was replaced with a period.

    On page 173, "ensconsed" was replaced with "ensconced".

    On page 184, "reeciver" was replaced with "receiver".

    On page 194, "repellant" was replaced with "repellent".

    On page 197, "belligerant" was replaced with "belligerent".





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