Puslapio vaizdai

and the insignia of state. Next in line was the holy prince priest (brother to the late king, borne aloft on a high palanquin, and reciting passages from the sacred books.

Immediately behind the prince's palanquin came a force of 220 men, clad in scarlet and gold, who drew by a double rope the great state car on which rested the jeweled gold urn in which reposed the body of the king. Two of his sons knelt in front of the car, and two behind. On each side marched officers of the dead king's household, bearing the insignia of royalty,-white, pagoda-shaped umbrellas, -great clusters of peacock feathers, and enormous fans.

Two standard-bearers came next, and then the chief mourner, the young King Kajiravudh, dressed in a field-marshal's uniform. He looked a pathetic figure, walking alone, with head bent low and evidently feeling his loss very keenly. A few paces behind marched a number of princes dressed in the picturesque court costume of King Mongkut, with flowing white silk cloaks and quaint, green, conical hats.

Then came the various representatives of foreign powers in conventional garb, offering a strong contrast to the Oriental

nature of the scene, and to the very picturesque costumes of the group who marched behind them-the chiefs of various petty Eastern states. The length of the naval and military procession that followed may be gathered from the fact that it took one hour to file past and take up its position round the grounds.

Before the steps of the crematorium the prince priest conducted a religious service and preached a short and eloquent sermon, which seemed to appeal forcibly to the nobles and members of the royal household, and then, amid much ceremony, he sprinkled holy water on the urn, which was being slowly moved from the state car to its lofty position on the


A moment later, all being in readiness, the young king was seen mounting the steps leading to the middle portion of the crematorium. The great curtains swung to, and for the last time he was alone with the dead body of his father. There was an impressive silence. Then suddenly the silver tones of a trumpet rang out sharp and clear. It was the signal that the king had lighted the great pyre, and the bands struck up the national anthem. The people of Siam had taken their last farewell of a great monarch.



HE rain that fell a-yesterday is ruby on the roses,

The grief that chanced a-yesterday is silence that incloses
Holy loves where time and change shall never trouble them.

The rain that fell a-yesterday makes all the hillside glisten,

Coral on the laurel and beryl on the grass;

The grief that chanced a-yesterday has taught the soul to listen. For whispers of eternity in all the winds that pass.

O faint-of-heart, storm-beaten, this rain will gleam to-morrow,
Flame within the columbine and jewels on the thorn,
Heaven in the forget-me-not; though sorrow now be sorrow,
Yet sorrow shall be beauty in the magic of the morn.


Drawn by Charles Johnson Post

Half-tone plate engraved by H. C. Merrill "HER MIND HAD BECOME THE REFLEX OF SIS' MAME'S"







IDDIE LADY MYRA" danced and sang no more. The washing-beach no longer heard her laugh, nor the public square, when on market-days her friends came down from the hills with calabashes piled high with red and golden fruit, and yams, and yellow meal. When, with the swift fall of the tropic night, the signal conch-shells blew along the heights, and the chattering pleasure-seekers went past on the dark street, the glimmer of their light dresses fluttering in the night wind like wavering moths, she would crouch on the door-sill, and, chin in hand, gaze out across the darkness with sullen, hopeless


For the blight of the hoodoo was on Myra. Her piquant little face grew thin, and shadowy rings deepened about her eyes, which gave no answering look to the awed and furtive glances of passing friends. Though she was dying there before their eyes, no one openly recognized the change. It stood like a wall between them, weird and mysterious, but as impassable as the wall between the living and the dead.

Only Gumbo Jim braved her introspective hopelessness. Night after night he would saunter up the road, and, dropping on the step at her side, with a fine assump


tion of gaiety, would veil his shy lovemaking under an incessant stream of gossip. Though she never welcomed his coming, and rarely spoke, she missed him when suddenly his visits ceased. His presence had been a check on her brooding thoughts, and now in her long, solitary vigils under the quiet stars, to her naïve, superstitious mind every rustling leaf seemed a whispering voice, and the night wind blowing across her cheek the touch of a ghostly hand. Then one sunset she saw his tall, shambling form come up the path again, and her heart stirred faintly with the first thrill of pleasure that it had known for months. Nevertheless, she gave him only a curt nod in greeting.

"Well, heeh Ah am once mo', lak a bad penny," he said lightly as he seated himself. "Seem' lak Ah been gone a yeah." She bridled at that.

"Nobuddy as' yo' tow come," she said, "or done miss yo'."

He laughed, unnoticing her mood.

"Ah done miss maself," he replied, "an' nobuddy yen't goin' keep me away. Sis' Rose Ma'y she done call out tow me, yen't Ah comin' tow do Co'al Bells' ball dis ebenin', an' Ah say I got somepin' betteh tow do dan shakin' ma foots wid obbe dem-an' heeh Ah ahm a-doin' it." He


gimme da chance, an' Ah lead yo' right smack out in da sun, laughin' lak yo' ust


glanced at the girl, hoping to see some little flicker of interest soften the impassiveness of her averted face; but saw none. He sighed, but went on: "Ah done been She had listened, crouching low over tow St. Thomas-on business. Seem' lakher knees; but now she sprang up, flinga long ways f'om home, Sis' Myra." ing her arms wide, like one stifling.

"Forty mile'!" she said, with a scornful toss of her head.

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'Dat so," he agreed; "but forty mile' is bad as a million when yo' cain't see what yo' wan' tow see-an' is longin' tow see.'

She made no reply, and he dropped into her silent mood, and watched the closing day. As he looked, the red, white-crossed flag on the fort at the water's-edge, standing straight out on its staff, dropped swiftly as the boom of the sunset gun echoed among the hills. Far down the street Sis' Angelica, crying the last of her hot arepas, lifted her voice in a whining treble. On the white road, a donkey, drawing a high cart, trotted past with drooping head, its long ears flapping in unison with its dainty stepping. The jut of land northward changed from white and green to gray and brown madder, and then suddenly became black. All at once the silent lover was aware of the stars blazing overhead.

'It yen't no sorteh use talkin' lak dat," she cried; "faw Ah done tuhn ma back on joy, an' cain't tuhn no mo'. Ah nebber can laugh no mo', er sing, er dance. Ah 'm done wid obbe dem."

"'T will all pass erway-all pass erway," he urged. "Yo' know ma house— who 's got er betteh? Yo' know mewhat Ah can do faw yo'. An' Ah 'Il do it, an' mo'. Mah'y me, an' come home tow joy." He looked about him with an affectation of dread as he continued: "Ah tell yo', Sis' Myra, dis yerry yen't no place faw a young gal; no 'm. Hit's tow whispeh'y. Heah dem trees a-blowin'! Heah dat bird a-singin' mou'nful!"

She looked up with shuddering fear. "Don' Ah heah it all?" she cried. "An' mo'; yes, mo' 'n yo' heah."

"Den tuhn erway wid me!" he urged. "Tuhn erway, Myra gal!"

A primal creature, she was being wooed by the practical side of life-she who had

"Yen't yo' goin' speak tow me no mo', sung with her lost lover by moonlight on Myra?" he asked pathetically.

She laughed with sad bitterness. "What Ah got tow speak erbout tow anybuddy?" she asked. "Ah done come down tow da Valley o' da Shadeh. An' Ah 'm walkin' in da darkness; Ah cain't see da light no mo'. How Ah goin' speak tow yo', 'way up in da high, light places?" "Lift up yo' liddie hands, an' Ah raise yo' up," he cried eagerly. "Lift up yo' "Lift up yo' eyes, an' Ah draw yo' back tow da sunlight. Trus' tow me, Sis' Myra. Trus'

tow me."

King Hill, and had danced with him in an ecstasy of emotion, with the threat of death in the air. She missed the romance, but she longed, too, for rest and peace. But she could not yield.

She sprang nervously to her feet.

"No sorteh use!" she exclaimed. "No sorteh use!" and passed into the house. He could hear her walking restlessly about in the dark.

It was then that Gumbo Jim, going away, met Sis' Mame, the obi-woman.

She was walking in the middle of the She shook her head hopelessly. road, shaking her head and muttering to "Dat all done pass," she said. "Ah herself; but she turned sharply at the done been marked faw sorreh."

He shifted his ground.

"Yo' know me what Ah ahm," he pleaded. "Some folks call me Gumbo Jim, an' some say Laughin' Jim. Dat 's right. When Trouble comes a-knockin' at ma do', Ah laugh an' say, 'Come in, ma frien'.' An' he doan' come. Ah 'm da bes' stevedo' on da beach. Missa Roach say so; ebrybuddy say so; faw Ah doan' dribe ma men: Ah lead 'em. Ah lead 'em wid a laugh. Gimme da chance, honey,

sound of Gumbo Jim's melancholy but courteous, "Good ebenin', Sis' Mame." He was passing on, but she called him back peremptorily.

"Seems lak some folks mighty lowsperited dis ebenin'," she said good-naturedly. He looked down at his feet and sighed.

"No eend o' trouble an' mis'ry, Sis' Mame," he replied; "no eend, an' dat 's er fac'."

"What yo' call mis'ry?" she demanded.

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Sis' Mame laughed light-heartedly. "Plumb fool talk, Jim; plumb fool talk," she assured him. "She's jes ersheddin' her heart."

He looked at her blankly, and she gave a little scornful sniff, and took up her sidling march up the middle of the road again; but fifty feet away, she turned and sent back a cackling call.

"Doan' yo' b'liebe Ah know what Ah know?" she snapped. "Go 'long, fool yalleh man! Ah was suckin' aigs 'fo' yo' mammy cut her toofs; er yo' gran'mammy, eider. Yah!" And turning her back again, she derisively waved her staff over her shoulder, and went muttering up the road.

MYRA was sitting on the door-step in the hot morning sun as the figure of a woman appeared on the steep, white road that curved upward to her gate. A brown dress flapped in the trade-wind about her meager form, and round her head was bound a high, spotlessly white bandana. She came sidling up the road, leaning on a stout stick, first one long step, then two short hitches with the other foot; she stopped frequently to rest. One could see her head wag, as if she talked vehemently with herself. It was Sis' Mame.

It was not until she turned in from the road and stopped to rest under a tamarindtree that she lifted her eyes to the girl. She cackled breathlessly, throwing back her head as she laughed.

"Oh, ma Lawd!" she exclaimed, "dis yerry hill done beat da ol' 'ooman! Ya! ya!" She sidled up and dropped on the ground in front of Myra, fanning herself with her skirt. "Marra, chile. Yen't yo' goin' say 'Marra' tow Sis' Mame, comin' all da way up yerry hill faw tow see how yo' is?" she demanded, glancing about her carelessly.

"Marra, Sis' Mame," replied the girl. "How yo' is dis marra?"

"Me? Libely 's er lizard." She ducked. her head in soundless laughter. "How yo' is yo'self?"

Myra turned away her eyes. "What yo' eyes faw if yo' cain't see widout tellin'?" she asked sullenly.

"Who? Me?" demanded Sis' Mame. She lifted her claw-like hand to her mouth to hide her laughter, then leered into Myra's face, her own darkly grim. "What ma eyes faw?" she repeated. "Tow see mo' 'n yo' kin, gal-tow see da libin' an' da dead, an' obbe doin's. Huh!" She snorted scornfully.

For the first time the girl looked at her with other than indifferent eyes. A grayish hue of fear settled upon her tense face.

"What yo' see, Sis' Mame?" she whispered.

The old woman gazed long in her face. At first the girl dropped her own eyes, but that narrowed, unwinking look held her like a bird in a snare. It was a serpent threatening to spring, a wave about to engulf her, and, like one in a nightmare, she could not resist. With a moan of surrender, she raised her eyes to its compelling insistence.

"What yo' see, Sis' Mame?" she repeated tremulously.

Sis' Mame caught at the girl's dress.

"Ah see yo' foots go creepin', creepin' down in da Valley o' da Shadeh," she muttered hoarsely; "Ah see yo’—”

With a little cry Myra threw her skirt over her head and rocked to and fro in terror. "Doan' say da wud, Sis' Mame!" she moaned. "'Foh Gord! doan' say da wud!"'

Sis' Mame seemed not to hear. She had locked her hands about her knees and, rocking slowly on her heels, dropped into a singsong drone: "Yo' go creepin' down dah, an' den Ah cain't see yo' no mo', faw dah yen't no light; an' Ah cain't heah yo' foots, faw dey done gone die; but Ah heah yo' soul er-flyin' roun' an' er-cryin' an' er-mou'nin' 'ca'se it cain't find yo' body. But Ah feel yo' body go walkin' by; but it doan' know, an' it doan' see, faw yo' soul 's done gone erway."

Myra could hear no more. From the terrifying realism of Sis' Mame's picture of her actual dissolution she shrank with an unspeakable horror that her old morbid resignation to the thought of death had been far from bringing. With a wailing sob she threw herself forward, clasping Sis' Mame's knees. "Hush, Sis' Mame!

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