Puslapio vaizdai

platforms, on the top and middle one of which was a golden frame which was to receive the royal urn, and under which, within the closed middle chamber, were a closely packed pile of dry fagots.

At each of the four corners of the large main platform were the praying-towers, where the yellow-robed priests sat reciting the Buddhist scriptures.

The pillars and walls of the crematorium were beautifully ornamented with a groundwork of gold, over which scenes from the sacred books, worked in blue silk, gave a charming effect. On each platform were delicately carved figures of angels and of yaks (devils), the former in attitudes of devotion and prayer, the latter holding the large pagoda-shaped umbrellas, the emblems of royalty. The ceilings had a beautifully chased design in gold and blue, alternating with inlaid mother-ofpearl, and from the inside of the eaves hung great golden curtains lined with red. When we consider that almost every inch of this enormous building was elaborately ornamented in hand-painting, carv

ing, or inlay-work, some idea may be formed of the time and money spent upon it-all to be destroyed in a few minutes.

As we took our seats in one of the pavilions that surrounded the crematorium, and awaited the entrance of the royal procession, about us was a living sea of white, silent and expectant. Already the priests in the praying-tower had begun their monotonous incantation. There was a slight smell of burning incense, and the stewards were making final preparations for the reception of the distinguished mourners. There was a moment of hushed expectancy, and over the still and torrid air came the sound of a low wail, which grew louder and louder as the Tamruet Band, 300 strong, clad in scarlet, came marching slowly along the broad Palace Road, the drummers leading, behind them the silver trumpets, then the long line of conchshells, and last the clarionets and flutes. Some distance behind the band, looking very pompous and sedate, marched the high officials, carrying great jeweled swords, long silver spears, golden vessel,



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 pyre.

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 vain poplar leaf, and gold on willow-stem;

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 eyes.

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.

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"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


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 tow St. Thomas-on business. Seem' lak a long ways f'om home, Sis' Myra."

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

"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.

"Yen't yo' goin' speak tow me no mo', 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' eyes, an' Ah draw yo' back tow da sunlight. Trus' tow me, Sis' Myra. Trus' tow me."

She shook her head hopelessly. "Dat all done pass," she said. done been marked faw sorreh."

He shifted his ground.

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


-She had listened, crouching low over her knees; but now she sprang up, flinging her arms wide, like one stifling.

"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."

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'T will all pass erway-all pass erway," he urged. "Yo' know ma housewho 's got er betteh? Yo' know me what 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'! 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 sung with her lost lover by moonlight on 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 road, shaking her head and muttering to "Ah herself; but she turned sharply at the sound of Gumbo Jim's melancholy but courteous, "Good ebenin', Sis' Mame." He was passing on, but she called him back peremptorily.

"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,

"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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