Puslapio vaizdai

considered other possible attractive good works, and incidentally leaving ness in herself or those about her. a comfortable fortune to his heirs.

Now, the widower, ever alert to new The little girl was nurtured in an impressions from the world's limitless atmosphere of luxury and culture; and abundance, had strayed from his more that no due family observance might or less strict Methodist outlook and ob- be neglected, Marshall Wellman even servances and had become enamoured summoned a portrait-painter from New of the doctrines of a spiritualistic cult. York, who immortalized all the memAmong the devout sisters of this group bers of the household on his canvases. of seekers after truth he met Flora "Few mothers of great men have Wellman, a tiny, fair woman in her been happy women," some one has early thirties, hailing from Massillon, written, and Flora Wellman seems to Ohio. Once more in the London fash- have been no exception. Capacity for ion John wasted no moment in binding happiness may have been a part of her to him his desire.

heritage, but fate was extraordinarily The next visiting day at the orphan- cruel. Somewhere around her thirage, on which he had planned to escort teenth year, I have it from her, she his betrothed to meet his daughters, fell victim to a fever that physically found him ill; and when the unsus- stunted her, and probably accounted pecting Eliza and Ida were bidden to for her short, sparse hair and for certhe stiff reception-room, imagine their tain melancholic tendencies. "I canastonishment to see an unknown wo- not remember the day when my man, hardly above their own height, mother was not old," Jack London and with short-cropped hair, rise and more than once declared, while relaannounce that she was to be their new tives, and friends of long standing, mother.

have asserted in her advanced years, "She has always been very much as

you see her now.” It would seem In Jack London's heritage through that the fever almost entirely robbed his mother, again the blood of Great the unfortunate young soul of youth Britain predominates, for Flora Well- and gladness. Her eyes were ever man's ancestry leads back to England fixed upon decline and dissolution, or and Wales, and includes strains of peering into the hereafter of her spiritFrench and Dutch.

ualistic faith. Flora, born August 17, 1843, was Jack London was born in San Franthe youngest child of Marshall Well- cisco, California, on January 12, 1876. man. Her mother, Eleanor Garrett He weighed nine pounds, which was Jones, had married Marshall in 1832. one tenth of his mother's weight. Her father, a devout circuit-rider of She called him John Griffith, the midWelsh extraction, called "Priest"

” dle name being in memory of Griffith Jones, well beloved and valued adviser Everhard, a favorite nephew. The to the country-side, had been a pioneer Londons having no formal church settler and upbuilder of Ohio when affiliations, the infant was never christhat State was thought of as the whole tened, and answered to "Johnny" until West. He passed away an honored the day when deliberately he selected, member of Wooster's society, full of and made splendidly his own, the terse

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British name that has girdled the less angel.” In the Cloudesley Johns world wherever books, adventure, and correspondence I find this from Jack: abundant life are known.

"Hair was black when I was born, The house in which he first made then came out during an infantile sickhimself audible was at Third and Bry- ness and returned positively white ant streets, occupied by the Slocums, so white that my negress nurse called friends of Flora, the master of the me 'cotton ball.”” home being a prosperous member of Later, to an epidemic of diptheria a well-known printing establishment. was due the exodus of the Londons Contrary to the more or less general from San Francisco. The baby fell a belief that Jack London was born in a victim, followed by his shadow, Eliza, shanty on a sand-lot, the dwelling was agonizing doubly on his account; while a large and not inelegant one, for this the terrified mother turned to and had been a fashionable neighborhood heroically nursed the two, as when a in the changing fortunes of the gay girl she had with deathly fear couraWestern metropolis, and had not yet geously brought through smallpox her lapsed into the subsequent "south of sister Mary's son, Harry Everhard. Market" social disfavor.

To this day Eliza holds that a certain Unluckily, Flora was unable long to mortuary suggestion from her stepnourish her lusty babe, and he speedily mother whipped her to consciousness grew thin and blue. John London and a winning fight for life. Both she looked about and discovered among and Johnny were lying in what the the men working for him one whose doctor pronounced a condition border

a wife had lost her latest born and who ing upon dissolution. The exhausted, was willing to become wet-nurse to but thrifty, Flora asked him if it the white child. Mrs. Prentiss was a would be feasible to bury them in the full-blooded negress, and proud of it. same coffin, when the aroused girl Now she became “Mammy Jenny" opened her horrified eyes and feebly, to an appreciative foster-son whose but unmistakably, protested. faithful and affectionate care she was The physician, having proved a poor until his death; since then I have as judge of their resistance, dropped back naturally assumed the trust, over and upon the time-honored recommendaabove the provisions of his last will and tion of a sojourn in the country, and testament.

the first lap toward this end was merely It was a veritable cherub that the to the large San Francisco suburb of black woman undertook to mother in Oakland, to the east, across the bay, her essential capacity, white as snow, that wide expanse of capricious waters exquisitely modeled, with dimpled that set in Jack London's eyes the far hands and feet surprisingly small for look of the Argonaut. Thus Oakland, his firm, plump torso. He soon be in the County of Alameda, for him came pink-cheeked, with eyes of violet, came to be the center to which he his seraphic face haloed in white-gold always referred as his home town, ringlets too fragile-fine to seem real to from which he fared forth to the adthe worshiping African, the devotion ventures in which he recaptured the of whose bereaved heart was instant spirit of romance for a growingly blasé and abiding toward the “teenty, help- civilization.

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Falls of Fautaua

I Walk With a a Princess


Drawing, from photograph, by W. Fletcher-White


HE falls of Fautaua, famed in ing. Wear little, for it will be warm,

Tahitian legend, are exquisite and bring no food.”
in beauty and surrounding, "I will obey you literally,” I said,

and so near Papeete that I "and you must find manna or charm c

walked to them and back in a ravens to bring us sustenance.” day. Yet hardly any one goes there. I had coffee opposite the marketFor those who have visited them they place in the shop of Wing Luey, and remain a shrine of loveliness, wondrous chatted a few moments with Prince in form and unsurpassed in color. Hineo, the son of the Princesse de Before the genius of Tahiti was smoth- Joinville, who would have been king ered in the black and white of modern- had the French not ended the Kingism, the falls, and the valley in which dom of Tahiti. No matter what time they are, were the haunt of lovers who Hineo lay down at night, he was up at sought seclusion for their pledgings. dawn for the market and his early

A princess accompanied me to them. roll and coffee and his converse with She was not a daughter of a king or the sellers and the buyers. There queen, but she was near to royalty, once a day for an hour the native in and she herself as aristocratic in car- Papeete touched the country folk, riage and manner as was Oberea, who and renewed the ancient custom of loved Captain Cook. I danced with gossip in the cool of the morning. her at a dinner given by a consul, and The princess—in English her familwhen I spoke to her of Loti's visit to iar Tahitian name, Noanoa Tiare, Fautaua with Rarahu, she said in meant Fragrance of the Jasmine was French:

in the Parc du Bougainville, by the "Why do you not go there yourself bust of the first French circumwith a Rarahu? Loti is old and an navigator. admiral, and writes now of Egypt and Ia ora nat,” she greeted, me. “Are Turkey and places soiled by crowds of you ready for adventure?" ' people; but Rarahu is still here and She handed me a small, soft packyoung. Shall I find her for you?" age, with a caution to keep it safe and

I looked at her and boldly said: dry. I put it in my inside pocket.

"I am a stranger in your island, as The light of the sun hardly touched was Loti when he met Rarahu. Will the lagoon, and Moorea was still

, you not yourself show me Fautaua?” shrouded in the shadows of the expir

She gave a shrill cry of delight, and ing night. As we walked down the in the frank, sweet way of the Tahitian beach, the day was opening with the girl replied:

“morning bank,” the masses of white "We will run away to-morrow morn- clouds that gather upon the horizon before the trade-wind begins its diur- God.” She laughed. “I am not innal sweep, to shift and mold them all terested in religions,” she explained. the hours till sunset.

"They are so difficult to understand. Fragrance of the Jasmine was in a Our own old gods seem easier to know long and clinging tunic of pale blue, about.” with low, white shoes disclosing stock- We had arrived at the part of the ings also of blue, and wore a hat of beach into which the broad avenue of pandanus weave. She carried noth- Fautaua debouched. ing, nor had I anything in my hands, The road was beside the stream of and we were to be gone all day. I Fautaua, and arching it were magregretted that I had not lingered longer nificent dark-green trees, like the with Prince Hinoe over the rolls and locust-trees of Malta.

This avenue coffee.

was in the middle of the island, and We fared past the merchants' stores, looking through the climbing bow of the Cercle Bougainville, and the steam- branches I saw Maiauo, the lofty ship wharf, and over the Pont de needles of rock which rise black-green l'Est, or Eastern bridge, to Patutoa. from the mountain plateau and form a The princess pointed out to me many tiara, Le Diadème, of the French. A wretched straw houses, crowded in a quarter of an hour's stroll brought us hopeless way. They were like a to a natural basin into which the stream refugee camp after a disaster, imper- fell. It was of it that Julien Viaud, manent, uncomfortable, barely hold shortly after he had been christened ing on to the swampy earth. One Loti, wrote: knew the occupants to be far from

The pool had numerous visitors every their own Lares and Penates.

day; beautiful young women of Papeete "Those are the habitations of people spent the warm tropical days here, chatof other islands," she said. “The ting, singing and sleeping, or even diving people of the Paumotus, the Australs, and swimming like agile gold fish. They and of Easter Island settled there. went here clad in their muslin tunics, They were brought here by odious and wore them moist upon their bodies labor contractors, and died of home

while they slept, looking like the naiads sickness. Those men murdered hun

of the past. dreds of them to gain un peu d'argent, We were already warm from walka handful of gold. Eh b'en, those who ing, and I, in my pareu and light coat did it have suffered. They have of pongee silk, looked longingly at the faded away, and most of their evil water sparkling in the sun; but the money, too. Aue!"

princess took me by the hand and led The church of the curious Josephite me on. religion was near by, and in the mis- “It were better to go directly up sion house attached to it I saw the the valley and out of the heat," she American preachers of the sect. advised. “We shall have many pools

"What do they preach?” I asked to bathe in.” Noanoa Tiare.

It was at the next that I took from “Those missionaries, the Tonito? my pocket “Rarahu, ou le mariage de Oh, they speak evil of the Mormons. Loti," a thin, poorly printed book in I do not know how they speak of pink paper covers that I had possessed

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