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the unwilling head of One-Two, who thereafter sat apart, outwardly magnificent, but filled with superstitious brooding. One-Two's splendor paraded the Infant's dreamland, and when in the morning he found that the mother had seized the bangle for her own bedizenment, a first black shadow fell across his shining new world. This was not like the House of Glittering Things. There the Lady of Cakes and Tea made peace and security for every one. He wished they would give him back his big green ring-just to play with; but they never, never would. He went and sat silently on his Important Town, with the corners of his mouth drawn down very far.

It was not like the House of Glittering Things, because here the days often promised happiness when they meant to end in sorrow. Once, while he played Bad Old Man with OneTwo, there came a shower, and One-Two ran to shelter, shaking moist paws, to stand astounded at the antics of Hoo Chee. The Infant pranced with open mouth, delighting in the smart drops on his cheeks. It was superfine! And it was a headlong pitch from bliss to find himself pushed rudely into the house. by his father. Up the stairs Hoo Chee must hurry, and Hoo Chee must stay to dry by the rice-pan-coals, while the rain made merry music, glistening and beating on the panes as if to ask why this little boy would not come out to play. And he wondered if the rain knew the Lovely Lady who had a deep, warm porcelain pond, and even urged people into it. Then the calm of another morning brought him the joy of a rusty pan a-brim with water, which must at once be made a lake for his Important Town; for the pan needed only a little fish to be perfect. But the little fish that after a whole day's strategy he managed to borrow from the amah's basket would not wag its tail and swim in the pan, and though he hid behind a corner and peeped ever so quickly out at it, still it floated disgracefully stiff on its side with its mouth stark wide. This would have been another bootless day; but the learned Dr. Wing Shee, who read your heart from your face as surely as he read the future from the stars, observed the Infant's listlessness, and came with a kindly smile to the fence. They talked of the wind and the sky, and the doctor promised to tell Hoo Chee some day the story of how the «Wretched Dragon Made the Sun Wobble.>>

«And I'll tell you about the Sarcastic Turtle,» said the Infant.

It was not wrong to talk to a man, and the women Hoo Chee had not seen. The women were Sum Fay-Sum Chow's wife and their

daughter, Sum Oo, whom a beautiful American patron had once addressed as Miss Oo, which had become Sum Oo's pet appellation. THERE came love's month of May. The rains had ceased, and the skies were passing fair. The city lawns shone everywhere with summer plants; but Hoo King's yard was barren save of weeds. The learned Dr. Wing Shee, once looking over into the desolate space, threw a handful of seeds among the hills and valleys by the Important Town, where the cabbageleaf trees lay pelted into the earth. Out of the doctor's benefaction grew a garden for a child. The sun touched the place with magic, and the Infant saw with amazement his territory transformed. A morning-glory shot out of the ground, and ran hand over hand up a broomstick, shaking out its tender blooms like banners. A beautiful yellow nasturtium raced up, following, and its blossom bobbed in the breeze to One-Two and Hoo Chee, as they stood and wondered at it. The Infant must march with exaggerated steps, singing:

Peely mow-wow-pilly willy wop! Peely mowwow-pilly willy wop!

which were words of his own invention. In such luxury of two kinds of flowers one imagined oneself in a bower of the House of Glittering Things, with the Lady of Cakes and Tea within call.

And the warm day arrived when the Infant, sitting on the ground in speculation as to whether a Wretched Dragon was as big as a cloud, heard a new sound. It was a delicious sound. It was not a bird. It came from the other side of the fence, -tones unlike any he had heard,—and it kept saying, joyously and gurglingly and fascinatingly, «Yai-yai-yah! Yai-yai-yah!» which was clearly an expression of delight with all the world. The Infant hastened to the fence. The merry «yai-yai-yah » kept on with a relish of life in it impossible except for one whose title to her big green ring endured unthreatened. The Infant forgot about whether a Wretched Dragon was as large as a cloud or only as large as some land, and he stood with his hands on the fence, looking up at the tall boards that shut the sweet sounds away. The tiny voice sang to itself and talked to an older voice near by, all in the same pleased syllables. At length it subsided to a contented coo, and then it was still, and it did not come again. But it lingered in the Infant's ears like strange new music. At dusk he paused solemnly at the doorstep; he wished they might know that over here there was a little Hoo Chee and

his cat. But they were gone, and they would never know. Then, to his own astonishment, he dared to shout, «Yai-yai-yah!» whereupon he hastened up the stairs, frightened at his boldness.

He dreamed that the Sarcastic Turtle came and promised to let him stand on it to see over the fence. And the Turtle crawled and crawled with the ever-expectant Hoo Chee on its back, but the fence was always just so far away. And the Turtle kept laughing and laughing, and bidding him rise on tiptoe, till the Infant awoke frowning, with his toes in tight bunches.

In the morning he and One-Two ran speedily into the yard; but it was too early for the little voice. All the brilliant forenoon he listened for it, as he pulled the shed hairs from One-Two's coat, and laid them one by one away in a little box; some one had said that the cat would need its hair again when the cold rains came. He would keep the box in the ginger-jar, where he hid his treasures now, and the ginger-jar should go in a secret place inside the Gruesome Go-down. Then, in the afternoon, and none too soon, he made a grand discovery. It was a knot-hole in the dividing fence.

He looked upon a place where many flowers were, and the grass grew all of one height, like soldiers. And presently came out Sum Chow's young wife bearing a mat. Behind her trotted a little dame of scarce three summers, carrying a fat cloth cat. It was Miss Oo, and the Infant knew she was a girl, because she wore her tiny braids in two little horns that were part of her spangled cap. The Infant saw the mother leave Miss Oo to play alone upon the mat that lay on the grass. These, then, were the women of Sum Chow, who were to be avoided.

Miss Oo sat down, and made remarks in her own peculiar language to the fat cloth cat, and emphasized them by shaking it up and down by the tail. Then she rolled over and kicked her infinitesimal feet in the air, and murmured demurely:

«Yai-yai!»

Her eyes traveled along the clear sky until they met the sun. They looked without winking straight into the glittering ball, in solemn satisfaction that it should be there, and for a long time there was no movement in her contented body but the occasional wiggle of a raised and bangled foot cased in a silver-trimmed slipper as big as an ear. The Infant stood tight to the fence, fascinated beyond measure. In all the adventures of little Quong Sam, from the beginning to the

hero's arrival at the House of Glittering Things, there was nothing so delectable as this. Now it was occurring to Miss Oo that the sun made her warm and happy, and that it was a good sun. A smile began at her coalblack eyes, and ran down and tugged at the curling corners of her ample mouth, until her brown face was all aglee; and she-kicked and laughed and shook the fat cloth cat and shouted:

«Yai-yai-yah! Yai-yai-yah!»

Then she turned on her side, and in a few moments she had gone asleep with her thumb in her mouth, and the memory of the smile remaining on her round cheeks, while Hoo Chee and the cloth cat stared and stared and stared.

All the next day the Infant sought the fence at the slightest sound; but there were clouds, and Miss Oo came only when the sun invited. The clouds made him sad, and the day dragged like a faint headache. His night's slumber was invaded by a tiny maid carried in a splendid car, with all the background a gorgeous yellow blur of priests and gods. And the tiny maid shook a fat cat at Hoo Chee, and said, «Yai-yai-yah!» whereupon Hoo Chee stepped into the car with her. But just as they began to play Bad Old Man the car changed into tissue paper, and they fell through it and slid terrifically down the clouds, and the wee maid disappeared. And another night, just as a red toy-balloon was floating him over the fence, a Wretched Dragon, that was bigger than some land, gleefully gulped the balloon; and Hoo Chee and the tiny maid tugged and tugged at the string that hung from the Wretched Dragon's mouth until it had a fit, and writhed and wriggled and shrieked so that the sun wobbled in the sky, whereupon the string broke, and Hoo Chee and the tiny maid sat down together very hard with the string in their hands, and he awoke to find her gone.

But the next day the clouds dissolved, and the sun sailed on as if nothing had occurred, and after he had tarried for hours by the fence he saw the procession of the mother and the mat and Miss Oo and the fat cloth cat. The Infant watched Miss Oo playing, and cooing, and rolling in the sun, till he wondered how it was that little Quong Sam had succeeded in crawling through the bamboo pole when he wished to get on the other side of the wall, and Hoo Chee made a little sound with a stick on the fence. Miss Oo turned to listen, and when he knocked again she discovered the knot-hole. The Infant's heart gave a funny jump; she had stood up, and was coming to examine the fence.

<< Little eye!» she said. Whereupon Hoo Chee felt a hand upon him, and was whirled away from her sight.

«Go into the house, fool offspring!» exclaimed his father. «If you gossip with that girl again I'll keep you out of this yard for a thousand years!»

Hoo King pushed the stick through the knot-hole, and Miss Oo grasped it, unaware of the tragedy just enacted on the other side. When he drove it hard through, that it might not be withdrawn, a splinter caught in the small maid's finger. It did not hurt much, but she felt that something was wrong, and with her finger held up she trotted off to find her mother. Hoo Chee had gone with little steps into the house, with the corners of his mouth drawn down very far, hurrying as if something pursued him. A thousand years! The penalty was fearful even to think of, and it hovered about him for hours, like an oppressing spirit bound at last to drag him to despair. In a thousand years the Important Town would go to ruin, and lie at the mercy of the Monstrous Rat that lived in the Gruesome Godown; in a thousand years One-Two would tire of staying indoors, and would go away and seek the sun and the fresh air and the fat cloth cat. And Hoo Chee would gaze out of the window and see Miss Oo and the two cats playing and playing and playing, and only once perhaps in a hundred years would they remember and look for Hoo Chee's mournful face behind the pane. It was true that all this was only a threat, but he felt it closing upon him as if it was real. He wished he knew how to find the Lady of Cakes and Tea.

He thought of it the next morning as he rummaged in the Go-down, which first had stood so high in the attractions of the yard, because it was doubtless owned by the Monstrous Rat, with whom he had expected many a sanguinary joust before he conquered it. But now he had forgotten about the Rat. The dim interior, piled with dusty crates and packing-boxes long disused, was suited to his mood. Among the empty boxes he had discovered a light one which he could handle, and back of it he had found another, much larger, into which by crawling a distance one could squeeze and be quite out of the world. A loosened board on the side of the Go-down that fronted on a strange yard let a shaft of sunlight into this retreat, and as he sat there he meditated breaking off relations with his family, and abiding there permanently, to sally forth only at night. But a few minutes of such life told him of its loneliness. He

emerged, and for want of occupation trundled the lighter box into the yard.

How this box would have been used if it had not been for the awful threat, the Infant knew. Its awkward dimensions would have been struggled with until it was finally mastered and made to stand against the fenceso! And then it would have been easy to bring that little fruit-crate and hoist it on top-so! After that it was baby's play to fetch these flower-pots and fit them-so and so and soone over the other, till, boxes and all, they made a tower half as high as the fence! It was an imposing structure, hidden behind the Gruesome Go-down, and he longed to show himself how he would have climbed up on it -if it had not been for the thousand years. All you had to do, you see, was to step on the big box-so! Then it was easy enough to reach the small box, and you caught hold, like this, of the bit of frayed rope nailed to the fence, and simply pulled yourself up to the fence-top-like that; and-oh, dearthere she was!

He stood breathless. Miss Oo lay asleep with her thumb in her mouth, and the fat cloth cat lay in the sitting attitude confirmed of fat cloth cats. A tall calla bent and nodded its benison upon Miss Oo, and her parted lips showed peeping teeth like rows of little novices.

Suddenly she startled the Infant by opening her eyes directly upon him. For an instant she caught his full stare; but his glance fell away, and his tongue searched the corners of his mouth. He dared not look at her. Miss Oo began to smile.

«Little eye!» she said.

And the Infant twisted himself in such confusion that he was in danger of falling from the flower-pots into an ignominious heap in the middle of the Important Town. Miss Oo kept looking straight at him, and he would not meet her eyes, but looked quite over her and beyond, at space. She crawled some way, then rose, and came toward the fence.

«Little boy?» she inquired.

Which so embarrassed the Infant that he sank down out of view, leaving nothing visible to Miss Oo but eight small grimy fingertips on the fence-top. Womanlike, she made no effort to get him back, but waited in silence until the Infant began to wonder if she had gone, and he found courage to pull himself up to see. She was there, sitting on the grass, absorbed in the finger-tips. At sight of him the big smile came again.

«Miss Oo?» she said.

Which frightened him so that he sank down

once more. But as he sat in cover, and heard nothing from Miss Oo, he was at length moved to say, but little above a whisper:

«Yai-yai!»

Whereupon Miss Oo responded with a giggle in her small voice, «Yai-yai-yah!» and the Infant could not refrain from calling back in louder tones, «Yai-yai-yah! » which Miss Oo repeated each time louder than the Infant, so that soon the merry contest of their voices had risen to such screams that it reached the ears of Hoo King. Hoo Chee's diffidence departed, and Miss Oo seemed charmed. When they were tired of shouting she searched her small collection of words. When Miss Oo liked people she talked to them.

«Rice cake?» she said, after a moment. The Infant bethought him of the pocket of his bib, and found therein a bean-meal cooky, which he promptly dropped into her lap. Miss Oo immediately began to devour it while Hoo Chee waited.

<< Little girl? » he inquired at length in her

own manner.

But she was too busy to answer. She looked at him over the cooky with two grave eyes, while the particles of bean-meal collected about her mouth. The Infant yearned for more conversation. He smiled engagingly, and shouted, «Yai-yai-yah! » and kicked the boards for her attention. But when Miss Oo looked up again she saw not even the eight grimy fingers. The flower-pots had given away, and the entire edifice of his love had fallen, bringing him to the ground in a mixture of boxes and broken clay. He had bumped his head, too, and his eyes filled with tears. Oh, if the Lovely Lady had been there he would have run to her and cried in the folds of her gown, and she would have comforted him, and taken him up in her arms! But instead he heard the voice of his father. He must not weep; he would need his tears. The thousand years were coming. He should never see the fence again, and there would n't be even a flower-pot balcony for him to come out on. His heart thumped against his ribs, and his pallor was evident even to his father.

But Hoo King did not suspect the gravity of the offense, and the penalty was merely that the boxes and the fragments all must be removed to the shed whence Hoo Chee had fetched them. The labor which had been lightened by novelty, and by a magnetic attraction that had governed his will without a protest, now became an endless evil toil, and when it was finished Hoo Chee was well nigh exhausted. Miss Oo had long ago been taken into the house, explaining the crumbs of bean

meal on her face with the words, «Little boy.» The Infant went to sleep without a thought of supper, dreaming that he was an executioner, and must keep chopping off a head that forever flew up in the air and flew back, tight to its body.

When he came into the yard once more he was in no frame of mind to play Bad Old Man with One-Two. How gloomy the yard was, anyway, thought the Infant. It was a prison, where one might never do what one liked most. Oh, if the Lady of Cakes and Tea would but come and take him to the house where all was light and freedom and peace! He went off in a reverie of her, and of the wonderful porcelain pond where, if one was not too frightened to search, there were probably funny little wiggly fishes and hoppity frogs. He was interrupted by the man who peddled the flesh of the abalone, and who came through the gate to interview Hoo King, whose wrath at being disturbed sent the abalone man away, leaving the gate ajar for revenge. The Infant saw the forbidden street, and turned his back, for it invited him to run away. With a weary spirit, he absently made pictures of rice-cakes with a stick in the main street of his Important Town.

The abalone man had gone to Sum Chow's, and seemed to be doing business there. The steps which the Infant heard outside were not the abalone man's; they were too light. It was some one coming into Hoo Chee's yarda woman, probably-some woman humming to herself in a quiet way. The Infant scratched out the rice-cakes, and tried to make a picture of the golden fruit the Lady had given him. One-Two had gone to the gate. The small hum stopped, and the Infant heard a little voice: «Yai-yai?»>

His heart beat in his throat. There she was. She stood, with a bright smile, well inside the gate, bearing the fat cloth cat. One-Two was sniffing the extraordinarily phlegmatic creature with the stuffed tail, and Miss Oo was pausing for welcome. The Infant sat, rooted with fear, giving no sign. Miss Oo waited but a moment; then she came and laid her hand upon his cheek.

«Miss Oo?» she said.

The wee fingers were very soft, and the big black eyes looked straight at him in frankest liking. But the abalone man was coming, with his noisy cry. The father might think to have a glance at the yard-and it would mean a thousand years! The Infant did not know how to make her go away. In his heart he wished her to stay. The impulse to hide away with her came upon him like an instinct, and he

took her hand and led her into the Gruesome trouble for a while. Hoo Chee must take his Go-down.

He would crawl and show her into the packing-box, she had followed him so trustfully. He picked his way over the flower-pots and behind the boxes to where he squeezed through the long and well-concealed passage to his cubbyhole, and Miss Oo, holding the fat cloth cat, followed at his heels as a matter of course. She crawled into the big box and arranged herself close beside him, while he eyed her with half-prevailing pleasure. One-Two sat before them gazing contemptuously at the fat cloth cat. Miss Oo looked about her and was deeply pleased.

«Little house?» she said sweetly. Hoo King was outside. He went to the gate, then came back and looked for a moment into the shed, then went again to the gate. He called sternly to the abalone man across the street. Then Hoo King hammered at Sum Chow's open gate, and there was presently a hurried conversation half audible to the two in the cubbyhole. With one accord Miss Oo and the Infant remained silent, and in a short while the voices subsided and were forgotten. The Infant found his precious ginger-jar, and he began to show his treasures-the many bits of colored crockery, and pins and buttons and scraps of cloth, and every odd and end from the débris pile that had a brilliant hue or shape unusual. The small girl cooed, and reached for them as he silently handed them over one by one. Then he put them all back in the jar, where the box of One-Two's fur lay securely tied, and Miss Oo took the jar and rattled its contents, and threw it down, laughing at Hoo Chee's efforts not to lose the treasures when they scattered about the floor. Each time the good-natured Infant laboriously collected them all, the box of hair first, and each time the maiden rattled the jar and threw it down again. Miss Oo's attention was drawn from it only by a big cooky that dropped from Hoo Chee's bib.

«Little cake?» she said, holding out her hand.

He gave it to her, and received the gingerjar in return. She insisted that he take a bite with each of hers, and Hoo Chee, though he was not hungry, must accept when she stared at him, and thrust the cooky under his nose. For him the cooky was not a success; it was almost like medicine. Conflicting emotions greatly disturbed him within for all his pleasure in this lovely comrade. Now Miss Oo was busying herself with baring her feet of her tiny shoes, an act forbidden by her mother. Her glee at this quite drowned the Infant's

shoes off, too; and it was hilarious fun to put them on Miss Oo's smaller feet, and see her giggle and kick them off against the ceiling of their little house. She became interested in her big toe, and brought it up to look at it. She began to frown: she could not remember its name.

«Little thumb?» she inquired doubtfully, staring at the wonderful member. But that did not seem right. In her perplexity she turned to Hoo Chee.

«Little nose?» she ventured.

<<That's your little big toe,» said Hoo Chee; whereupon Miss Oo repeated the words after him, and went off into an ecstasy of laughter over her new knowledge. She shook the fat cloth cat by the tail, just as she had when he had seen her flirting with the sun. And Hoo Chee was so enchanted that he tried to shake One-Two by the tail. The young persons were severely startled by One-Two's instantaneous denial of this privilege. One-Two turned a somersault in the air, and sputtered and spun, and made expressions of most painful character, and disappeared in a rage that was really half jealousy. Then, in the narrowness of their little house, they began to lack new things to play with, and Miss Oo stared at Hoo Chee in expectancy.

<< I'll tell you about the Sarcastic Turtle,>> said the Infant, finally, in an inspiration. «There was a man lost his head, and could n't find it anywhere-and was n't it too bad about the poor man? So he took some crutches and went to hunt it-so far that he wished he was home again. But the Sarcastic Turtle said, I'll take you across. And when they got out in the middle the Sarcastic Turtle said: You must promise never to tell my secret when you get home. If you do I'll drown you right now! And the man said, What is your secret? And the Sarcastic Turtle said, (Well, all the other turtles can say Yang-tse-kiang, but I can't! And the man said—but I'll tell you about a Little Boy,» said the Infant, observing signs of failing interest in Miss Oo. She was sitting propped up in the corner, with her eyes half closed. She could n't follow the story; but it was pleasant to hear some one talk in a steady voice, when she felt as she did

now.

<< A Little Boy went out one day," said Hoo Chee, thoughtfully, and followed her up the street. And she let him in, and it was the House of Glittering Things! It was all white inside, and there were plenty of cakes,» said the Infant, whereupon Miss Oo opened her eyes suspiciously, «and it was lighted with

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