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We are very thankful that God has been pleased to permit your present mission to be carried out so that we have met, and we once more look upon the person of Colonel Steinberger, who has returned.
We are very grateful to the President and Government of the United States of America, in that they have been pleased to reappoint Colonel Steinberger to live in Samoa, because it is true he is a gentleman who has a great deal of true love, and is very useful to our Government, and in all matters regarding our laws. Our minds are quite made up that he will dwell with us in Samoa if God wills it; only if he were to die, that is the only thing that will separate us.
All the directions given to us by Colonel Steinberger are, to our thinking, very right and useful.
Your mission also is excellent, and the behavior of all the people in your vessel before all the people of Samoa is very good indeed. Nothing whatever unseemly has been done by any of your crew since you came to Samoa. But our fear is very great lest any Samoan behave badly, and cause your displeasure and your return with bad tales to the Representatives and the President of the American Government. You are aware that the Samoans are not accustomed to foreign manners; probably they will become acquainted with them, however, ere long.
All the words of encouragement which are written in your letter, and which you spoke to us on that day, we shall never forget; we shall preserve them, and make ourselves familiar with them, and put them past that future generations of Samoans may see them.
We also pray to God that he may hasten the time when Samoa shall carry out all the directions that you have given us, and that you may hear reports some other day regarding the Government of Samoa whether the good seed which you have sown on their account bears fruit or not. All this will take place if the Lord pleases.
We are very much pleased at the present time because we have got a good flag for our Government; we are glad, and admire it because the sign of enlightened nations has been set up in this our land.
We are very much pleased and thankful for the weapons given us by the great Government of America, to make our Government respected. We are indeed strong on account of them.
Our Government and our laws were very much hindered during these years which passed since we parted with Colonel Steinberger up till the time of his return now, but all these hinderances have now passed away; no sound of quarreling or proposals for war are any longer heard, such as were the foolish customs of this our land in former days.
Now we cultivate friendship with all foreigners liv. ing with us in Samoa, provided they do what is right in accordance with the laws of our Government.
Our friendship is still great towards the great Government of the United States of America, on account of the true friendship towards us who are ignorant and weak.
With these few words we desire to reply to your address and your encouragement to us. But your letter, with all that it contains, and this, our reply to it, will be, as it were, the means of our having intercourse together in the future when we look at them.
May you have health and strength from God, and may your voyage end happily.
HOUSE OF THE TAIMUA OF SAMOA,
TO THE Chief Colonel A. B. STEINBErger,
We have already written a few words in acknowledgment of the many encouraging and kind words addressed to us by Captain Erben, the commander of the war-ship Tuscarora, at our meeting at Mulinuu on the 22d day of April, 1875.
We have also written a letter of thanks in reply to the letter of his Excellency the President of the United States of America-thanks because he has been pleased to entertain our desires which we made known to him. We are going to preserve his letter as, in our sight, precious property, in order that we may constantly look at it, as also future generations of Samoans. We beg you to be kind enough to give our letter to Captain Erben, in order that he may take it to the President of the United States of America, if the Lord be pleased to permit his safe return.
Our joy and thankfulness is very great indeed because you have come back to Samoa, with your true love to us. On this account you have left the good and pleasant things of your own land and your family, in order to come and assist us.
Our fears were very great indeed during the time now gone by when we were far distant from one another; we thought you had forgotten Samoa. But now that we again look upon you, great are our thanks to God, and our thoughts are that our Government and our laws will now be thoroughly consolidated, because you have returned; for although the Samoans have been well trained by the missionaries in reading, and the word of God, and many other good things. with the modes of government and law-making we
are not conversant.
We think that we and all the Samoan people at the present time are blessed, and are about to obtain permanent peace by legislation and through God's blessing, whereas former generations of Samoa have passed away in darkness and distress.
And now, with reference to the presents from your Government which you have given to us, our pleasure is very great indeed, and you have the thanks of all the people of Samoa, because what you said is true. Samoans can do many things for the Government, but it is impossible for any one in Samoa to manufacture guns. The Samoan Government has been greatly strengthened since you came and gave us these cannon, and the arms and clothes for the police, all which things Samoans are observing.
Samoa was on the point of again getting into trouble, if God had not been pleased to bring you quickly back to Samoa, but now there is no longer to be heard the sound of war or any other thing to cause trouble to the Government of Samoa.
A great many false stories were circulated by wanderers from other lands who are in Samoa, during the time that you were far away, and this gave rise to great concern, and some were disheartened. But notwithstanding, we waited with patience and courage, because we knew well the friendship and energy which you displayed during your first journey, and now the result is that your kind words and promises of former days have come to pass. We now therefore receive you with joy and friendship, as is your great friendship for us and all Samoans.
You spoke to us about some arrangement to allow people of your Government to bring their vessels into our harbors, and for us to respect and protect them when they come to Samoa. We are perfectly and heartily willing for this.
We also thank you for the new flag that you gave us to deliberate about; we are unanimously in favor of it; that flag is of great use as an emblem that the Government of Samoa is united and established.
On that day, the 22d of April, 1875, that we were all together at Mulinuu, and that you gave us the letter from his Excellency the President of the United States of America, and that we also listened to your encouraging words and those of Captain Erben, the commander of the war-ship Tuscarora, the hearts of all the people of Samoa were filled with great joy, because we thought that for the first time our Government was established holding sway over all the different lands of Samoa.
You have given us some account of the Sandwich Islands, referring to the happiness they possess, and
their Government being thoroughly established and respected by all the great nations; with this in view, it is right for us all to work hard at the present time, and pray that God may be pleased to hasten the time when Samoa also may have the same blessedness.
You have also told us of some gentlemen who came with you to assist us; we are very thankful and glad that there are other useful men to direct the Samoans. Our desire is very strong that they should still remain in Samoa, and not be soon disheartened on account of the ignorance and slowness to learn of the Samoans. As to your many encouraging words and useful directions given to us on that day at Mulinuu, we think them very good indeed. We wish also to attend to all good advices which you may give us from day to day, because we know well it is your desire to do what is right and what will be best to consolidate and thoroughly establish our Government and laws.
With these words, we desire that God may be pleased to hasten the time when all these desires of ours shall come to pass.
We hope that for many days and years we may live together and labor together for the good of the Government of Samoa.
May the Lord give you life and health. (Signed)
TAIMUA OF Samoa.
Written by order of the Taimua. (Signed)
LD Jonathan Roby had been a crusty, crotchety, closefisted bachelor, who had, penny by penny and dollar by dollar, scraped together a small fortune in a long life of hard work and shrewd dealing, and who kept tight hold of all his gains. When he died, his will was a surprise to his neighbors. He bequeathed all his money to three trustees, who were to invest it until it increased to a certain sum, and it was then to be administered for the benefit of the deserving poor of the town.
The three trustees named in the will were to be replaced, one at a time, by an annual election by the legal voters of the village; and the Board of Control, as the trustees were styled, was to be perpetuated in this way. It was directed that the fund should be called "Roby's Christian Charity."
When the money became available the trustees began to use it by the easy and simple
VOL. XXXVIII.— 6.
method of distributing to nearly all applicants orders for fire-wood, clothing, food, and medicine, by the terms of the will their discretion in administering the trust being almost unlimited.
This simple management of the Charity was soon hotly attacked from two sides. Jonas Rand, editor of the local "Plaindealer," set up the socialistic argument that the greater part of the fund being interest, and largely accrued after Roby's death, it never rightfully belonged to him, but to the people at large; and it should be immediately returned to those needing it, in the form of loans without interest. Then Stanton Roby, a nephew of old Jonathan, took up the cudgels and made active warfare through another local paper, both upon Rand's theory and upon the actual management of the trustees. He criticized the existing plan as simply a premium upon idleness and incompetence, and advocated a scheme of enlightened philanthropy based upon experience and guided by economic principles.
Rand and Roby had been neighbors' children and companions all their young days, though they were singularly contrasted in character and appearance. Rand was a short, thick, shock-headed boy, of a stubborn and passionate disposition. Roby was taller, fair and slender, with a bright, handsome face and a pleasant, smiling look. They never had a serious quarrel until they became rivals for the same girl's favor. Then Rand's dogged attachment to Roby changed to a dogged hatred that showed no abatement after years had elapsed and both were married men with families growing up about them. Roby married the girl for whose favor they had been rivals.
In the contention over the Charity which now arose between them, Roby carefully and contemptuously avoided any allusion to Rand, but riddled and ridiculed his reasoning with merciless logic, sarcasm, and absurd illustrations. Rand, on his part, seemed eagerly glad of an occasion to pour out his wrath upon Roby, and attacked him with almost savage personality, which it may be supposed did not grow less bitter under Roby's laughing scorn. The warfare between them was waged long and sharply and revived whenever the Charity came into public notice. By degrees the community divided upon the question into two hostile parties that ranged themselves under the respective leadership of Roby and Rand.
This culminated at the fourth annual election after the maturing of the fund, before which the meetings had been a mere form. When Roby entered the place at that time he saw at a glance that the meeting had been silently packed by Rand, who sat with a face of grim determination in the midst of a solid body of his adherents.
Roby hastily sent out for reënforcements and set himself doggedly to delay action until help should arrive. He made use of every device that his wits could command, raised points of order, argued and made motions of every kind; and breathless men arrived more and more rapidly, singly, and by twos and threes.
Rand had the chairman on his side, and they overruled Roby point by point and forced on the business with all their might. Roby continued to fight for time and disputed every minute that elapsed, but at length a vote was called in spite of him and they made him a teller to keep him quiet.
Rand was named for trustee, and Roby nominated a man who was not present, but who was popular among all classes. The result of the first ballot was reported as a tie. On the second ballot Rand was defeated by one vote.
Neither Rand nor Roby took any further part in the proceedings that night. Roby ap
peared to collapse as completely and instantly as Rand. He sat still in his place and did not say another word; but as the meeting broke up Rand confronted him, white with rage. "Stan. Roby," he said close in his face, "I'll hunt you for this as long as you live."
Roby dropped his head and turned away. That was the turning-point. The trustees consulted Roby and adopted some of his plans; finally they made him superintendent, and he was confirmed year after year. He corresponded, studied, planned, and made of the fund an embodied beneficence.
Rand pursued him relentlessly, condemned his action at every step, and accused him of taking this artful way of evading his uncle's will and absorbing the property. Roby never. retorted, and heard Rand denounced with impatient distaste. People found him difficult to understand; he had grown stern and reserved. It was sometimes remarked as strange that the single person whom he treated with habitual gentleness, after his wife and only daughter, Lucia, was Jonas Rand. Then his wife died, some thought from exposure in carrying out his plans among the poor; and his bitter grief seemed to have a hardening effect. He was strict with his boys, and especially harsh towards the slightest untruth. The youngest and brightest of his children was restive and went astray.
This was partly due to a plausible fellow, whom Roby brought from town to teach in his "Artisan School," who corrupted his bright boy and ended by running away with a daughter of Jonas Rand. Rand met Roby at the time and fiercely accused him; and though Roby was of course not responsible, he took the matter to heart. And when the girl suffered the consequent misery and desertion and her father refused her shelter, Roby had her cared for through charitable city friends.
Years passed, and the enterprise became Roby's absorbing passion. As the Charity grew in favor, Roby became more distant and dark, and Rand more bitter, if possible, in his denunciation. Rand's violence and his revolutionary opinions alienated many, and his business suffered in consequence. By and by it was whispered that he was in difficulties; but still he worried along with a bold front, and his womankind dressed as showily. Finally, one year, it became known that things were thickening about him; and he showed care in his face. His creditors brought suits to recover their overdue claims.
One day in the fall of that year Roby learned that an execution against Rand was out and in the sheriff's hands. That night Roby sat up late alone; by turns he sat thinking, went over accounts, made calculations, and sat thinking long again. After midnight he put on his hat
and coat and went out. It was a wild night, he found, as he walked across the town to Rand's home. All the house was dark, except one room on the ground floor. It was Rand's working-room, and through a gap in the curtains Roby saw him sitting there, sunk together and utterly broken, with despair in every line of his haggard face.
Roby wandered on a little way, then came back. Rand still sat in the same place, and Roby stood by a tree at the fence, watching him. He could not leave the spot, though the wind went through him. After a while Rand got up and moved about awkwardly, then went to his desk and scrawled two or three lines on a scrap of paper. He left it lying there, and turned away.
He crossed the room and passed out of Roby's sight; and a minute afterward the hall-door opened and he came out and down the steps. He wore neither hat nor coat, and the wind blew his grizzled hair about, but he did not seem to feel it. Roby went forward to the gate and stood in his way. Rand stood confounded, then he spoke furiously:
"Get out of my way, or I'll kill you." Roby did not move, but answered quietly: "That would n't do you any good." They stood so a minute, then Roby added: "Come in; I've got something to say." He passed Rand and went in; and Rand followed, dumb with passion. In the house they faced each other.
"What do you want?" Rand asked. "If you are in need of money," Roby replied, "I can let you have some."
Rand sat down and stared speechlessly. After a little he asked:
"Do you come here to pry into my affairs?" Roby flushed, but took out and handed Rand a check made payable to his order, dated and signed, with only the amount left blank. Roby mentioned a sum which he could spare. Rand sat holding the check, staring at it, till it began to flutter and his body to heave. He answered hoarsely :
"Half of that would save me and my family from ruin."
Roby took the check and went to the desk to write. The scrawl Rand had left still lay there, but he saw it and came quickly and covered it with his hand. He let his hand lie there a moment, then took it away.
"No: read it," he said roughly. "I don't
He sat down again, and Roby read the paper and stood still; he rested on the desk with both hands and did not move for a minute or two. Then he took up the paper, crumpled it in his hand, and thrust it into the stove, shutting the door. He went back and
filled up the blank, turned and handed the check to Rand without looking at him.
Rand looked at it awhile and turned it over, looked at it again, and let it slip through his fingers. It was for five thousand dollars. He began to gasp and choke, doubled up and coughed, and shook as if he would go to pieces. The room was cold and the fire low; Roby threw on coal and set it going. He looked at Rand, who still shook as in a deadly ague. "Where is your coat?" he asked. His voice sounded harsh to himself. Rand looked about and made an impotent gesture, and Roby pulled off his overcoat, threw it over him, and turned and came out of the house. The dawn found Rand sitting where Roby had left him, with the check lying on the floor beside him.
The coat was sent back the next day without a word. Two or three days later Rand stopped Roby in the street, looking as if he had been sick.
"What security do you want?" he asked. "None," Roby answered.
"Is it to buy me off from criticizing?" "I hope you will keep on. Some of your points are good."
"Well, I don't understand. What do you mean by it?"
"I can't tell you," Roby replied, and went on his way.
Roby was unusually quiet at home that night, though gentle with Lucia as always. The next day was Sunday; but he had dropped off going to church a good while back. As Lucia was going out she saw him looking sad, and offered to stay with him, but he answered:
"No; your mother would not like you to stay away from church."
Lucia looked at him, then said gently: "Don't you think she would be sorry not to have you go too?"
"Yes, I suppose so," he answered, and turned away with a darkened face. So she went alone, sadly.
Again years passed. Rand's affairs took a turn for the better, and he moderately prospered and paid Roby off by degrees. Roby extended the Charity more and more, but he got little joy of it himself.
One year a vague fear crept over Lucia about her father. Finally she could not bear it any longer, and besought him to tell her his trouble; then he broke down and confessed it all. It crushed her at first, but her faith and truth prevailed.
"I would have told them before but for you," her father said.
"Then do it now for my sake," the brave girl answered.
The annual meeting came on, and a vague
expectation packed the house. Lucia pleaded to go with her father, and she was the only woman present. They were a little late. Jonas Rand was there, and the trustees sat together with grave faces. One of them, named Robson, came and whispered to Roby; and he stood forth and wheeled round slowly once or twice before the expectant throng. Lucia stood looking up at her father while he spoke.
"I had better begin at the beginning," he said. "My whole management of this trust, my life all these years, has been based on a fraud. Jonas Rand secretly packed the fourth annual meeting, and I was determined he should not get control; I believed he would wreck the Charity. I was proud and scorned deceit, but I was greatly excited, and in a moment, before I knew, I fell. I was fighting for time and just fell short. I was one of the tellers, and saw how the vote would result. Rand had one majority on the first ballot, and I counted him out. I made it a tie by swallowing one of his ballots.
"That was the foundation. I vowed I would bring good out of it, but I could not. Evil would only beget evil. It has caused misery and death, made orphans, and ruined more than one life besides mine; and now it has had its natural end. I became reckless and risked the money of the Charity for a greater income, and most of it is lost."
He sat down, and Jonas Rand rose up slowly and stormed:
"Aha! aha! now I understand."
He moved to ballot for trustee, and in excitement Rand and another were named. A slip was handed to Roby, and he voted "Jonas Rand." Rand was elected by one majority. Then Trustee Robson resigned, and Rand named and elected his successor. Robson stood on a chair and finally obtained a hearing.
"Mr. Roby has not told all," he said. "He assigns all his property to the trust; and though something is lost, the Charity is richer than when he took charge of it."
Roby and Lucia started to leave, and Rand sat petrified. His jaw worked and his head went back. Then he called loudly:
He came forward noisily and waved them back. His strong, harsh voice made all quake who heard him.
"Now it's my turn. It is true I packed the meeting and Roby beat me; he has told you how. I have hated and hunted him for it ever since. But he has no right to say he has wrought only evil; you all know it is false. You know this whole community is better for his work. I know it, I have known it for years. I know it better than any one, and I want to own it. He has paid me only with good; he
saved me from suicide, and my children from ruin more than once. If any one thinks I am going to wreck his work now, he is mistaken." The following Sunday morning Lucia came and looked earnestly into her father's face, as he sat in troubled thought.
"Won't you come with me?" she asked. "I want you to come."
He went with her, and on the street they met Jonas Rand. The two men shook hands soberly, the first time since boyhood, but found nothing to say. Lucia spoke gently:
"We are going to church. Won't you come with us?"
"I never go to church," Rand replied. And Roby said, "I have n't been in nine years."
Lucia urged, modestly: "Please come, Mr. Rand; my father has been telling me how you used to play together."
Rand hesitated, then went with them unsteadily, going from side to side. People turned to look, and stared after them as they went along.
The old minister had intended to preach about the house built upon the sand, to show that truth is the only solid foundation, and whatever is without it comes to naught. But seeing beside the gentle girl those two gray heads bowed together before him, that he remembered when they were tow-heads, a tremor came over him, and he could not keep his voice quite steady as he rose and gave out for his text:
"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."
As the congregation slowly dispersed, the three went away together without speaking to any one. Roby was grave and still; Lucia clung tightly to his arm, and Rand wandered along moodily on the other side. Nothing was said between them; but though Rand was a large man, there was something in the dogged way he plodded on that brought sharply to Roby's mind the shock-headed stump who had trudged so many a mile of country at his side when they were boys.
They went on so in silence till they came to Roby's gate. Then there was a moment of hesitation. Lucia looked from one to the other. Rand turned to speak, but either found nothing to say or did not know how to express himself. He made a movement as if to go on, but Roby stopped him and asked him to come in, saying he was afraid they did not have much for dinner, but they would be glad to have him share what they had. He went in with Lucia, and Rand followed doubtfully.
In the house Rand stood staring about him. Roby asked him to sit down, but he did not seem to hear. Both men were thinking of the