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The corpse is
the multitudes of flies and bees attracted by mutual agreement of bride and groom, if, after the honey-pots, made us think of moving. The years of happiness together, they wish to cechief of our escort, not seeing, as he expected, ment the tie more closely, the pair simply the pleasure depicted on our envoy's face, told attend the holy communion together in church, him that there was a still better room above, and the marriage is then looked upon as inwhere he could receive his friends in quietude dissoluble. and make a perfect little sanctum. We looked There is a touch of the old Roman around in some surprise, for no signs of a stair- “Mark-Antony-over-the-body-of-Cæsar" cusway were visible. One of the servants smiled tom about Abyssinian burials. upon us with a certain touch of contempt, and, brought from the house of death to some jumping on the dais, seemed to crawl up the prominent clearing in the town, where the wall like a cat, disappearing through a hole, women relatives and hired mourners sit around out of which he eventually looked down upon in a circle, lowly chanting some weird dirge. us, expecting the envoy to follow. Whether The chief mourner in the case that I saw, the the Queen's representative thought it, in virtue mother of a child, stood upright over the little of his position, beneath his dignity to go through body, which with exposed face lay on a these gymnastics, or whether he thought his stretcher. With loud lamentations she beat days of cadet-like agility had passed away, he her breast, tore her hair, bewailing her loss; did not accept the invitation to explore further presently in softer tones she extolled the perthe wonders of the place, but returned to his sections of her lost one. Then she raved camp, leaving this abode of Abyssinian hos- again, growing more and more frantic every pitality to the original occupants.
moment, till her slave entwined her arms about Abyssinia is a country where, if marriage is her mistress and led her sorrowing away. After a failure, it can be easily dissolved. There is that the men, who had been standing all the absolutely no legal or holy tie. When a man time at a respectful distance, came in and is desirous of marrying a girl he directly ap- bore the body of the child to the burial-place, plies to her parents. The maidens, like those the women returning to the house to prepare in many European countries, are seldom con- a feast for the male mourners' return. sulted on the question; the lover arranging We found that in many parts of the town of with the father or male relatives regarding her Adowa we were looked upon with the greatest dower, which generally means a few beeves, horror by the womankind. In passing down a sheep, or pieces of cloth, and sometimes gold. narrow street the women would keep close to On the marriage day the bridegroom presents the walls, turning their backs on us and whishimself with his best man at the house of his pering, “O you creatures with pink skins!” future father-in-law. Much feasting goes on Throughout Abyssinia, cloth, colored pieces of till the bride is carried off by her husband, handkerchiefs, and bars of rock-salt ten inches generally on his shoulders, while the male rela- long, serve as the ordinary medium of barter. tives closely follow, making a canopy of their The only coin in the country is the Marietogas to keep off the rays of the sun, or per- Thérèse silver dollar. Twenty-four bars of salt haps the effects of the evil eye. Behind come go to the dollar, therefore I always avoided a crowd of young girls and boys, methodically changing dollars, and for small wants got on lifting their arms above their heads, and clap- well by trading empty beer-bottles, of which ping their hands to the measured beating of we were always adding to our supply, getting tom-toms carried by men running along the for each two chickens and a dozen eggs. Worflanks of the procession, who also blow long cestershire-sauce bottles ran higher because of trumpets. The happy couple that I saw married their glass stoppers. If I had felt inclined to outstripped their followers, with the exception settle in that country, I could have taken a of their best man, and at last reached the town chief's daughter in marriage, in spite of my green, where the groomsmen formed a screen green eyes and pink skin, on account of a with their cloaks round the happy pair, when large cut-glass cologne bottle, with a bulbous the deferred courtship began. It is a custom glass stopper, that I happened to have with for the supporters of the groom, generally six me. in number, to be present on this occasion, and When King Johannes eventually came to for many days afterward to go round visiting meet us, for many hours before the advancethe houses of the mutual friends of the married guard of his army appeared on the hills overpair, extolling the beauties of the bride and looking Adowa the forty royal speaking-drums the accomplishments of the groom, generally were sounding his advent in measured beatings, finishing up with a grotesque dance, which is which could be heard for miles. Throughout much enjoyed by the enthusiastic neighbors, Africa the drum has been the long-distance crowding round the open doorway. Though telephone of the natives from time immemothis marriage can be annulled according to rial, for they literally speak with their drums
Mr. Glave, who has recently returned from sponging out of the guns after each discharge. the tributaries of the Upper Congo, tells re- They thought this part of the function unnemarkable stories of what this drumming can cessary delay. It was lucky, after all, that Ras do in that part of the country.
Alula sent for our men to work the pieces. In Abyssinia taxes are collected by the sound The camp-followers with the baggage now of the drum, and woe betide the tardy husband- made their appearance in large numbers, and man if his beeves, sheep, or bread are not forth- tents of all descriptions were soon pitched up coming. Slay-spare not!” roll the distant hill and down dale, the beasts of burden makthunder of the king's drums, and the cavalrying for the fields and eating up the grass like collectors swoop down on the village. The locusts. The inhabitants of Adowa had been low, deep sound of the tom-tom has a weird- brewing tedge and making bread for the last ness about its tone which is highly effective, three weeks, but how they were to provide for certainly to those not subjects of the King; and this inroad of 7000 warriors and their animals in the morning in the silent darkness the drums was quite a puzzle. The King's hospitality signaled the coming of Johannes. It was an toward us began that evening, much to the exceedingly grateful sound to us, for we had delight of our servants, for two oxen, several been virtually prisoners, anxiously awaiting his sheep, 500 loaves of bread, many jars of tedge arrival. The morning light was well on the hills and honey, and a few horns of red pepper were as the advance-guard of the King descended brought into camp by the royal slaves. This into our valley. First came irregular cavalry, quantity became our daily allowance while we who scattered over the uneven ground without were guests of Adowa. any particular order or formation. Then in a The interior of the royal residence had nocompact body came the Abuna and other thing to recommend it above other native church dignitaries, with a choir of boys in their interiors. The walls were of plain mud, and front, chanting. At an interval of a few yards of stone unevenly fitted, and without any atrode the King, dressed in a black silk gabar- tempt at decorative art, and not even draped dine, bareheaded and barefooted, mounted with cotton cloth, as some are. The earthen on a mule richly caparisoned with silver and floor was bare, with the exception of a few red leather. A large magenta silk umbrella well-worn pieces of Brussels carpet, leading was held over his head by a page running by from the entrance up to the foot of what served his side. At a respectful distance, to prevent for a throne. There was no attempt at state ; the pressure of his unruly subjects, were foot- a few domestics lolled against the walls, and men marching in Indian file at short inter- on the left side of the throne stood a priest, vals. The King's son rode beside his royal whose seeming occupation was to keep the father, also mounted on a mule. The rear flies from his own nose with the aid of a piece was brought up by the army, infantry and of cow's tail, but in reality, and in conjunction cavalry all huddled together, fighting their with a servant swaying a horse-hair switch, way to the front so that they could get a bet- was keeping those little torments from feedter view of the arrival at the palace. The pal- ing off the butter on the royal head; for his ace- if the three huts which constitute the Majesty indulged in grease as well as his lowly king's residence can be called one—is perched subjects. The Negus squatted in the middle in a walled compound on one of the highest of his throne, his body totally covered from hills looking down on Adowa. The courtyard tip of nose downward, to show his dignity, is entered by one narrow gateway, with a sig- pride, and exalted position, and the utter innal-tower above it. On each side of it two difference he felt to everything and everybody seven-pounders, presented by the Admiral to else. And thus he remained till our numerous the King, had been placed the night before. presents were brought in and placed at his At the last moment Ras Alula was struck with feet, when he even condescended to smile his the brilliant idea of firing a salute in honor of thanks, which lighted up his otherwise gloomy his monarch's entrance into Adowa, so he hur- face and made it rather pleasant. It is lean riedly sent down to our camp for the necessary and wan, broad just over the brows, which are men and blank charges. When our scratch perfectly arched; his large black eyes are deepcrew arrived the people were too excited to set; his nose is slightly Jewish, but small; pay any attention to the order to stand clear and his mouth and chin- for he now graduof the guns, and with great difficulty six rounds ally dropped his toga, which fell slowly down at very varied intervals were got off, to the over his knees, discovering the order of Soloastonishment of the crowd, who rushed about mon in gold, attached to a chain around his after each round in great wonderment, some neck, glittering on a gown of black silk — warriors riding up flourishing their spears at showed a weakness that belied the upper part the mouth of the ordnance. What these in- of the face. His color is almost negro in its trepid warriors could not understand was the blackness. There appeared to be no one in
particular to keep the door or to lift the cloth intestines of the animal, flavored with ox-gall as one entered or passed out. When we did and red pepper, to make it more piquant. the latter, after asking permission to depart, The Abyssinian soldier is generally a frugal which the King cheerfully responded to by creature; on the war-path he has to put up saying, “ Echee,” which means in plain Eng- with rations of jerked beef and a little flour, lish “ All right," — we had to move the cloth which he carries slung over his shoulders tied for ourselves. Once out of the royal presence, up in an end of his toga. A slab of stone will an unruly mob of soldiers and servants jostled serve whereon to mix the flour with a little us wherever we walked. Sometimes an indig- water, the quality of which he is not particular nant chief would lay about him with a stiff about. He will then make a paste; a fairly bamboo, clearing our way for a time, but the round stone is sought for and heated in the people were like flies; their appetite for curi- camp-fire, and is then used as a center around osity seemed all the more sharpened, and they which the dough is built. This stone dumpswarmed around in large numbers. In a corner ling is then placed in hot ashes, and in a few of the compound I noticed that a large bower moments is cooked sufficiently to serve as had been erected to cover with its leafy shade bread. Red pepper made into a paste with at least 500 men. This was where the warriors, grease is carried in a small horn attached to chiefs, and courtiers of the King feasted. We his girdle. Of luxuries the Abyssinian soldiers were none of us invited during our stay to have few. Smoking is not allowed, and the these entertainments, Johannes knowing full breaker of this rule is liable to lose his nose well that Europeans are not accustomed to and lips in punishment. Each man carries his the luxuries of an Abyssinian banquet; and for little pot of snuff in his belt. A short time after one, I was heartily glad we were not honored the coming of the King we returned to the with this mark of his favor. The food was, as coast, and our mission was ended. usual, warm raw flesh, with a sort of haggis of
HRISTIE was very small, so it really did not make very much difference.
even for his tender years, It frequently happened that when night came and he had red hair and on he found himself without any money at all. the freckles that always go On these occasions he would spend the night with it. As far back as at a shed on a pier in the East River. Christie could remember Christie was a great favorite with the watchhe had sold newspapers man at the pier, and the old man was always
on the streets. The expe- rather glad when the boy had had a bad day rience he had gained in this line was a very and was forced to spend the night in the shed, extensive one, and had completely destroyed for Christie was very good company, and sat any ideas he might otherwise have had of a up until late at night telling the old man of his domestic life. For the last few summers he had day's adventures, and making plans, and getgiven up the paper business, and blackened ting advice for the future. Young as he was, boots on a ferry-boat. He might have done Christie had seen more of New York than most very well at this, but he preferred to sit on the men of forty. He knew the Bowery and the deck and listen to the three Italians who played East Side, every bit of it. As for the other side popular airs on a harp and two violins. On the of the town, he did not care forit; his ambitions last few trips Christie would generally find that did not lie in that direction. He had already he had no money to pay for his supper and tired of New York, and wanted to get out in lodging, so he would get down to work and the world and travel from place to place. He try to make enough to keep him until the fol- was an enthusiastic admirer of the country and lowing day.
the water; and the little green parks of the meHe was a very improvident character, was tropolis, and even the waters of the bay, did Christie, but he had no one depending on him, not afford him sufficient of either. He was a born rover, and heartily dreaded any kind of haired boy amused him by recounting some of regular employment. So far as he could see, his escapades in New York. He used to embelto travel with a circus would about suit his ideas. lish them a good deal, for Christie wanted to But his friend of the pier looked to something appear a person of importance in the eyes of higher for his protégé, and constantly told him his employer, and had, indeed, strong hopes of the many hardships the circus people had to of some day becoming a junior partner of the endure: how they never slept, but worked all Allied Shows. day and traveled at night. This view of the situ- The proprietor's liking for the boy gave Chrisation did not strike Christie's fancy at all. It tie a certain importance in the eyes of the other was the music, the always changing crowd, and employees, and he was generally regarded as the out-of-door life that he wanted. Whenever the mascot of the company. But Christie did he saw a circus billed he worked very hard and not care very much for most of the people. He slept on the pier so that he might save enough lavished all the affection he had on one family money to be able to go just as often as possi- called Boynton. There was Boynton, his wife, ble. When the first day came for him to go and their little girl Patricia. The man did a he never did any work at all, but went over bare-back act, in which he was assisted by the to the grounds early and talked to the tentmen little girl. The woman, who had been born a and any one connected with the circus who little above the circus business, confined herwould listen to him. The accounts they gave self to riding around the ring dressed in a habit him were not very encouraging, and generally and a high hat. She really rode very well, and tallied with those of his friend on the pier; but the
act was extremely popular with the masses. Christie would not be convinced.
The friendship between Christie and the famIt was in the spring of the year, and Christie ily came about through the boy's devotion to was not yet twelve years old, when he got a the daughter Patricia, or “ Patsy," as she was chance to satisfy his life's ambition. It was called by the circus people. She was very not a first-class circus, but it had two rings, and pretty, with her long yellow hair and blue eyes, sometimes played as many as three days in one and Christie no sooner saw her than he found town. The duties assigned him were not very himself very much in love with her. The first onerous, and his salary was correspondingly time he saw Patsy was when she was doing small. Before the performance began, he stood her act with her father in the ring. Dressed in behind a wooden stand and helped a man to sell a short, red silk dress, with red stockings and peanuts and lemonade. At eight o'clock they gold shoes, she was led out from the dressingleft the stand, and while the man carried around tent. Her father took her on the horse with trays of lemonade Christie peddled peanuts him. Then he stood up and held her out at among the audience.
arm's-length, with one of her feet resting on his For all of this Christie was paid only five dol- hip, while the horse slowly galloped around the lars a week, but he was pursuing his chosen ring. The act ended with the little girl standing profession, and was much happier than he had on his shoulders while the horse jumped some ever been before. His great pleasure was in the low hurdles. When, amid the shouts of the morning, when he rode a donkey in the pro- audience, Boynton led the girl from the ring, cession, and afterward stood outside the tent Christie followed her, and talked with her and was surrounded by a circle of small boys about her act, and how she had learned to do of the town, and was sincerely envied as an it, and what she generally thought about while attaché of “ Clyde's Monster Allied Shows.” she was doing it.
Marcus Clyde, the proprietor of the show, In a short time the two children became was perhaps no better or no worse than the great friends, and the Boyntons almost adopted proprietors of small circuses usually are. He Christie as their own. The girls he had known had originally been a butcher, then a horse- in New York were very different from Patsy. dealer, and on account of some bad debts had So different was their language and the way taken an interest in a small circus. From si- they spoke it that the low English voice of this lent partner he had drifted into sole proprietor. girl sounded almost like a different tongue to Now he wore a high silk hat, and a diamond Christie. There was much time in which neihorseshoe in his shirt-front, and drove about the ther of them had anything to do, so the two chilcircus grounds in a buggy, which was always dren used to go on trips of exploration around taken along for his personal use. He knew the the town in which the circus was stopping, or name of every man and woman connected with out into the country, where they played like the show, and frequently superintended the other children who do not have to work for raising of the tents when the manager, Mr. their living. As long as Christie was with her Ross, was indisposed or drunk. He knew Chris- he did not think of the circus, and was only sorry tie well, and frequently honored him with a when the time came for him to go back to the ride in his buggy. On these occasions the red- peanuts and the lemonade.
It does not take a girl of twelve very long to she had to spend her life traveling she insisted reciprocate such a strong passion as Christie's, on doing a turn, as it gave her a certain amount so in a short time Patsy came to care for the of excitement and a little more money for the boy as much as he did for her, and together winter months, when they were idle. they even planned to marry some day and have Now Christie had noticed that the relations a circus of their own. He would have a buggy between the two had been very strained of late, even better than Clyde's, and she would al- and he thought he knew the cause. There was ways drive by his side. Some day they would a man connected with the business part of the make enough money to retire, and together circus who had been very attentive to Mrs. they would go back to her home in England, Boynton, and Christie saw that the husband which she told Christie many times was the was desperately jealous. The woman had almost beautiful place on earth.
ways borne such a good reputation in the comIt was in August that Boynton came to the pany that no one attached any importance to manager one morning and said that his girl was the affair, regarding Mrs. Boynton as perhaps too ill to appear. She had some sort of fever, a little foolish, but nothing more. The firand the doctor said she must not leave the hotel. tation had been going on for several weeks, Then he suggested that Christie might be al- when they came to a little one-night stand in lowed to try the act with him. The manager Connecticut. Patsy and Christie had gone out consented, and the horse was brought out into for a walk after the afternoon performance, and the ring, and Christie had his first rehearsal. It had eaten their supper in the tent with the other was not very difficult, and so long as he kept employees on their return. When Christie went cool there was really very little danger of falling to his stand that night the man asked him if he off
. He was a little shaky at the afternoon per- had heard the news. formance, but at night he felt more at home, “What news?" said Christie. and when he had finished the act and ran out Only Mrs. Boynton has run off with the into the dressing-tent, with the applause of the business manager, Ross. That's all.” crowd ringing in his ears, he was happier than Christie looked very serious, and ran his finhe had been or ever hoped to be in his life. gers through his red hair. He had never had The next day Clyde got him a beautiful red any experience in domestic tragedies before, suit of his own, with silver spangles all over it, and as a friend of the family his duties were not and a white wig to cover his red hair, which, it at all apparent to him at first; but after a few was found, did not match with the red of his minutes' hesitation he went to look for Boynsuit at all.
ton. He found him alone in one of the small In a week Patsy was up again, had rejoined tents. It was dark, but Christie could hear him the circus, and was able to go on with her act. sobbing like a child. If it had been any one else than she, Christie “Do you and Patsy do the turn to-night, Mr. would have very seriously objected to his re- Boynton ?” he said. turn to the peanut-stand. But as long as it was Boynton looked up suddenly, and then, seePatsy, he was only too glad to see her out ing who it was, said: and able to start again on their long walks. “Yes, Christie; if I never do it again." But now that the ice had been broken, and Christie stood for a moment in the doorway. Christie had been tried and not found wanting, He saw the man who had been as good as a Patsy often resigned her place in his favor, and father to him with his head buried in his hands he had many opportunities to wear the red and shaking from head to foot like a leaf tremtights and the white wig.
bling in the wind. And yet Christie was not perfectly happy. “ Clyde would hardly expect it,” he blurted He had seen so much of the Boyntons that he out; "and really, Mr. Boynton, I 'm afraid knew their affairs pretty well, and his New York you 're not fit." training had not dulled his powers of taking in a "Don't you worry, Christie," said Boynton; situation. He knew that Mrs. Boynton was not “I'll be steady enough when the time comes.' altogether happy in her present position. She But Christie did not think so. He saw the had left a comfortable home to run away with danger of accident or even death for the girl. a circus performer, and had gradually drifted He started off in pursuit of Patsy. He found into the business herself
. As time wore on, and her just as she was going into the women's the romance wore off, she put the blame of her dressing-tent. He recognized her by her long position more and more on the man who had white ulster, and a big hat that shaded her taken her from her home. As for Boynton, he pretty, delicate face. He called to her, and worshiped his wife as much as men usually do when he came up he saw that she knew nothing who marry above them and are never allowed of what had happened. to forget it. He tried to keep her out of the Patsy,” he said, “I 'd like very much to ring and away from the public, but as long as do the turn to-night."