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Dill's fishing-boots, and Mrs. Antonia nose in a book. Some said he was a Sparrow's red flannel mittens; but, by good fighter; I dunno." the gods, the spectacles were my own, "But did n't you-how did he talk, and mine the puffing, the cramped for instance?''
" calves, and the breath that froze white “Talk? Talked like other folks, I on that itchy collar! Past an inlet suppose. But he wa'n't a fisherman, with grasses caught in the snow- like the rest of us. Oh, one time he drifted ice; along the frozen beach, tanned my hide for tearing up some which stung my feet at every pounding papers with writin' on 'em that I
' step; among sand-dunes, which for a swiped for gun-wadding." moment gave blessed shelter; out “What did he say then?" again into the sweep of foam-slavering “He said," wind, the bellow of the surf, I went. On second thought it may not be
I sank all winded on the icy step of discreet to report what Jason said. Captain Abiathar Gould's bachelor Beyond that Captain Gould testishack.
fied only: He was not deaf and he was not dull “Guess I kind of get him mixed up at eighty-seven. He came to the door, with the other fellows; good many looked down on me studiously, and years ago. But”-he brightened grunted:
"I recollect he wa’n't handy round a “What do you want? D'yuh bring schooner. No, he wa'n't much of a me any hootch?”
fisherman." I had n't. There was much con- When I got back to Kennuit my versation bearing on that point while I nose was frozen. broiled and discovered new muscles by No newspaper had been published his stove. He had only one bunk, a in Kennuit before 1877, and I unswirl of coiled blankets and comfor- earthed nothing more. Yet this very ters and strips of gunny-sacking. I blankness made Jason Sanders my own did not care to spend the night; Cap- province. I knew incomparably more tain Gould cared even less. I had to about him than any other living soul. be back. I opened:
He was at once my work, my spiritual "Cap'n, you knew Jason Sanders?” ancestor, and my beloved son. I had
' "Sanders? I knew Byron Sanders, a sense of the importance and nobility and Gideon Sanders of Wellfleet and of all human life such as-I acknowlCephas Sanders of Falmouth and Bes- edge sadly—I had never acquired in sie Sanders, but I never knew no Jason dealing with cubbish undergraduates. -oh, wa'n't he Byron's pa? Sure I I wondered how many Jasons might remember him. Eight or nine years be lost in the routine of my own clasolder 'n I was. Died in foreign parts. ses.
ses. I forgot my studies of Ben JonI was a boy on the Dancing Jig when son. I was obsessed by Jason. I was, he went fishing. Only time he ever I fancy, like a jitney pilot turned racwent. Wa'n't much of a fisherman." ing driver.
“Yes, but what do you remem- Quinta Gates,–I don't know,ber—"
when I met her at the president's re"Don't remember nothing. Jassy ception in February, she said I had never went with us fellows; had his been neglecting her. At the time I I
supposed that she was merely teasing; have portrayed. In "The Gem” Cap
. but I wonder now. She was—oh, too tain Gould rhapsodizes: cool; she had n't quite the frankness I had come to depend on in her. I don't We boys was a wild lot, sailing on care. Striding the dunes with Jason, them reckless ships. But Captain Jason I could n't return to Quinta and the
Sanders was, well, sir, he was like a god discussion of sonatas in a lavender twi
Not one of the crew would have
dared, like he done, to spring overboard light over thin tea-cups.
in a wintry blast to rescue the poor devils $ 4
capsized in a dory, and yet he was so
quiet and scholarly, always a-reading at I gave Jason Sanders to the world in
his poetry books between watches. Oh, a thumping article in “The Weekly them was wonderful days on the barkGonfalon."
antine Dancing Jig! Much of it was reprinted in the New York "Courier's" Sunday literary sec- "The Gem" reporter must have tion, with Jason's picture, and—I note taken down to Abiathar some of the it modestly–with mine, the rather in- "hootch" I failed to bring. teresting picture of me in knickers I was—to be honest, I was unacasitting beside Quinta's tennis-court. demically peeved. My hero was going Then the New York “Gem" took him out of my hands, and I wanted him up. It did not mention me or my back. I got him back. No one knew article. It took Jason under its own what had happened to Jason after he saffron wing and crowed, at the head went to Greece, but I found out. With of a full-page Sunday article:
a friend in the European history de
partment I searched all available recVICIOUS EUROPEAN CONSPIRACY
ords of Greek history in 1853-54. I had HIDES DEATH OF GREATEST AMERICAN BARD
faith that the wild youngster would
tear his way through the dryest pages I was piqued by their theft, but I of reports. was also amused to see the creation of We discovered that in '54, when the a new mythical national hero. “The French and English occupied Piræus, Gem" had Jason sailing nine of the a mysterious Lieutenant Jasmin Sanseven seas, and leading his crew to dec appeared as a popular hero in rescue a most unfortunate Christian Athens. Do you see the resemblance? maiden who had been kidnapped by Jasmin Sandec-Jason Sanders. The the Turks—at Tangier! About the romantic boy had colored his drab little matter of deserting his wife and Yankee name. Nobody quite knew son "The Gem" was absent-minded. who Lieutenant Sandec was.
. According to them, Jason's weeping not Greek. The French said he was helpmate bade him, “Go where duty English; the English said he was calls you,” whereupon he kissed her, French. He led a foray of rollicking left her an agreeable fortune, and de- young Athenians against the French parted with banners and bands. But lines; he was captured and incon“The Gem's” masterpiece was the tinently shot. After his death an interview with Captain Abiathar American sea-captain identified LieuGould, whose conversational graces I tenant Sandec as a cousin of his! He
testified that Sandec was not his name, York, at a pageant representing the though what his name was the skipper great men of America, he was enacted did not declare. He ended his state by a clever young man made up to the ment:
life, and shown as talking to Poe. "My cousin comes from the town of That, of course, was inaccurate. Then Kennebunkport, and has by many he appeared as a character in a novel; been thought to be insane."
he was condescendingly mentioned by Need I point out how easily the a celebrated visiting English poet; his Greek scribe confused Kennebunk- death was made the subject of a paintport with Kennuit? As easily as the ing; a motion-picture person inquired miserable cousinly captain confused as to the possibilities of "filming” him, insanity with genius.
and he was, in that surging tide of new Do you see the picture of Jason's living, suddenly murdered! death? Was it not an end more fitting than molding away in a sail-loft,
§ 5 or becoming a grocer, a parson, an The poison which killed Jason the associate professor? The Grecian af- second time was in a letter to “The Gonternoon, sun glaring on whitewashed falon” from Whitney A. Edgerton, wall, the wine-dark sea, the marble- Ph.D., adjunct professor of English studded hills of Sappho, and a youth, literature in Melanchthon College. perhaps in a crazy uniform, French Though I had never met Edgerton, we shako and crimson British coat, Cape were old combatants. The dislike had Cod breeches, and Grecian boots, started with my stern, but just, review lounging dreamily, not quite under- of his edition of Herrick. Edgerton standing; a line of soldiers with long had been the only man who had dared muskets; a volley, and that fiery flesh to sneer at Jason. In a previous letunited to kindred dust from the bright ter in "The Gonfalon" he had hinted body of Helen and the thews of Ajax. that Jason had stolen his imagery from
The report of these facts about Chinese lyrics, a pretty notion, since Jason's fate I gave in my second arti- Jason probably never knew that the cle in "The Gonfalon." By this time Chinese had any literature save people were everywhere discussing laundry checks. But now I quote his Jason. It was time for my book.
letter: Briefly, it was a year's work. It contained all his writing and the lives I have seen reproductions of a very of three generations of Sanderses. It bad painting called “The Death of Jason had a reasonable success, and it made Sanders,” portraying that admirable of Jason's notoriety a solid fame. So, young person as being shot in Greece. in 1919, sixty-five years after his death,
It happens that Mr. Sanders was not
shot in Greece. He deserved to be, but he began to live.
he was n't. Jason Sanders was not JasAn enterprising company published min Sandec. The changing of his own
. his picture in a large carbon print honest name to such sugar-candy was which appeared on school-room walls the sort of thing he would have done. beside portraits of Longfellow, Lowell, But he did n't do it. What kept Jason and Washington. So veritably was from heroically dying in Greece in 1854 he living that I saw him! In New was the misfortune that from December,
'53, to April, '58, he was doing time in I did not make any especial haste the Delaware State Penitentiary for the to communicate my discoveries. proved crimes of arson and assault with It was a New York “Gem” correintent to kill. His poetic cell in Dela- spondent who did that. His account ware was the nearest he ever, in his en
was copied rather widely. tire life, came to Greece. Yours, etc.,
The pictures of Jason were taken WHITNEY EDGERTON.
down from school-room walls. The editor of "The Gonfalon" tele- I returned to the university. I graphed me the contents of the letter was sustained only by Quinta's faith. just too late for me to prevent its As she sat by the fire, chin resting printing, and one hour later I was against fragile fingers, she asserted, bound for Delaware, forgetting, I am "Perhaps there has been some misafraid, that Quinta had invited me to take.” That inspired me. I left her, dinner. I knew that I would “show too hastily, it may be, but she is ever up," as my students say, this Edgerton, one to understand and forgive. I
The warden of the penitentiary was fled to my rooms, stopping only to interested. He helped me. He brought telephone to my friend of the history out old registers. We were thorough. department.
. department. He assured me that We were too thorough. We read that there was a common Greek family Jason Sanders of Kennuit, Massachu- name, Palatainos. You will note its setts, married, profession sailmaker, resemblance to Palatinus! At this was committed to the penitentiary in I jiggled in the drug-store telephoneDecember, 1853, for arson and mur- booth and joyfully beat on the rederous assault, and that he was incar- sounding walls, and looked out to see cerated for over four years.
one of my own students, purchasing a In the Wilmington library, in the bar of chocolate, indecently grinning files of a newspaper long defunct, I at me. I sought to stalk out, but I found an item dated, November, could not quiet my rejoicing feet. 1853:
I began my new letter to “The Gon
falon” at ten in the evening. I finWhat appears to have been a piece of
ished it at five of a cold morning. I wretched scoundrelism was perpetrated at the house of Mr. Palatinus, a highly remember myself as prowling through esteemed farmer residing near Chris
the room with no dignity, balancing tiansburg, last Thursday. Mr. Palatinus myself ridiculously on the brass bar at gave food and shelter to a tramp calling the foot of my bed, beating my desk himself Sanders, in return for some with my fists, lighting and hurling slight labor. The second evening the down cigarettes. fellow found some spirits concealed in In my letter I pointed out-I virtuthe barn, became intoxicated, demanded ally proved that the Delaware farm
— money from Mr. Palatinus, struck him,
er's name was not Palatinus, but Palacast the lamp upon the floor, and set
tainos. He was a Greek. He could fire to the dwelling. He has been ar
not have sheltered Jason "in return rested and is held for trial. He is believed to have been a sailor on Cape Cod.
for some slight labor," because this Where are our officers of the peace that
was December, when farm-work was such dangerous criminals should roam slackest. No, this Palatainos was an unapprehended?
agent of the Greek revolutionists.