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the emperor's armies. If it is his will that the young man. "Who gives his health you know, then it will be revealed unto for mine?" you. If not

"To-morrow," bowed the priest, gently, "But I shall know !" he cried again. “when the sun is here on the dial, come. “One thing I would know, if

Not before, not after. Pray. it please you," said the priest,

The gods will heal you.” courteously — "one thing not im

And you may call me pious. You come in a kago.

Toya," laughed the young man. Even your bearers are samurai

"The Lord Toya,” agreed and wear two swords. Then

the priest. it must be that you are above

Then the priest went his way, the samurai, perhaps a young

and the lordly bearers carried daimio, perhaps even a kuge?"

the young man to his kago, sing“Secret for secret!" laughed

ing a strange song.



Nor your

III. THE LOTUS-BLOSSOM OW, when Akimo knew that the priest. “And you will not tell me your young man was coming, he hid name? Nor your father's ? the girl in the pedestal of Jodin, mother's?”

behind the fretwork. When he The girl shook her head wilfully. had gone, she few forth to pray:

“But his—his name?” she asked. "Namu amida, Jodin—"

"No," said the priest. “I do not know The priest interrupted her:

it. Like you,

he makes a false name, Toya." "Jodin can wait,” he smiled, "and also “Toya!” The girl rolled it upon her the young man. You heard what I said —

tongue happily. eight weeks? To the Feast of Lanterns?” “Toya,” nodded the priest, not ignoThe girl nodded.

rant of this. “What is your name?"

And to-morrow, when the sun is at the “Hasu-San.” She smiled, and the priest red stroke on the dial, may I hide again knew it was not her name; but he nodded. beneath Jodin?"

“Hasu-no-Hana,” he replied, “the Lo- "It is sin," said the priest, “to use a tus-Blossom. But you are not a geisha; god to gratify a woman's curiosity." that is a geisha name. Are we to know “Curiosity ?" questioned the girl. neither you nor him?"

"Curiosity," denounced the priest. "Some day I will dance for you.

Then “No,” said the girl at last, “it is not you will know whether I am a geisha. curiosity. It is something which makes You will wish me for a temple-dancer, to my heart beat twice where it should beat please your gods. Ah!"

I have been curious before, oh, For the wise priest had shaken his head. yes, --I am a woman, but it never made

“Some day! In the eight weeks to the my heart to beat twice where it should Feast of the Blessed Dead, which Jodin beat but once. has fixed for the healing of

"It is this I have feared," the youth, there will be no

said the priest, ominously. dancing-no more than he

“Therefore," begged the could dance now who sat

girl, "when he comes tohere. You are to take the

morrow She pointed to youth's illness. And ever

her hiding-place under Jodin. after-no dancing."

"To-morrow,” said the "Well," sighed the girl,

priest. "he will be in the guards;

That night the acolyte set I shall have sent him there.

food beside Hasu-San, and He will be my soldier-mine.

other food before the god. Think of that! Was ever a

And he also made a light begirl in Japan so very useful

fore the god that would not before, so happy ?"

die till the Feast of Lanterns “Not often,” agreed the

that he might be kind.

but once.

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FTER that, every day when the would never see him again. Indeed, there sun was precisely at the red was a moment in which she almost begged mark Akimo had made on the Shaka not to make him quite well, so that

lacquer, Toya was taken from he would come to the temple now and then, his kago by the bearers and put on the bro- no matter how few his visits. But she was cade cushion before the god. And so it in time to recall that wish before it could went on till the bearers came no more into possibly have reached the ears of Buddha. the temple, but waited outside while their "Tell him," cried Toya, laughing, to young lord entered alone, and sat on the the bent old priest on that last day, “who cushion; until one day there were no gave his legs for mine that I am taking longer kago or bearers. Instead,

them to Port Arthur to serve there stalked into the temple a

the emperor.

When that is tall young man in the uniform

over, I will bring them back of the Imperial Guards, with a

to him. And that he may know sword on his thigh!

that a soldier pays his debts, And each of these days a

take the ring my father wore, small face, growing paler and

and his, and his unto antiquity. paler, was pressed to the fret

And he shall fetch it to me and work in the base of Jodin, and

claim his legs, or anything my a small heart beat two to one

purse, my heart, my unborn until he had gone. After that, her

souls can give him.” heart would beat only one where

“The secrets of God are sacred it should have beaten two. And

in the temple," warned the priest. on the last day the beleaguered

But they saw that the ring little organ stopped entirely; for

was engraved with the Tokunow he would go away, and she

gawa crest.

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FTER he was gone, they found “But you cannot !"
the Lotus-Blossom in the pedes- And what they meant was:
tal, quite dead," it seemed.


shall not!” But no; she lived there in For Hasu was now so much a part of the temple ever after, though more like a them that, to go awaybroken-stemmed lily than any lotus.

"She would die," said the priest to the For as Toya got well, Hasu truly be- acolyte. came ill.

"So should we," laughed the acolyte, But she was very happy, and, strangely who had rapidly grown to be a young enough, the face which had been beautiful before, with the oval Yamato beauty of On another day Hasu-San said: the princesses of oļd, became almost di- “Also, I should tell you my name.

For vine.

now it does not matter. I shall tell it to The acolyte had been a worker in bam- you." boo before entering the priesthood, and And again both cried out, "No." he now wove for Hasu a wonderful chair, For now they were afraid to know who with soft bamboo wheels, in which they she was, lest it might be their hard duty would push her about the pleasant gar- to take her to her home. dens of the temple.

And again she said: Said she to Akimo and the acolyte one “I said I would dance to you, to the day:

gods, in red hakama, with bells sewn to “Me? I should go away. I have done the hems; but now I am breaking my what I came for. Why do you not send promise. Send me away, I honorably beg me away?"

of you!" And both cried out at once:

"And I," the old priest broke in, "said

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that in eight weeks, when the Feast of the Now, who would willingly be attainted Blessed Dead came--you will remember of impoliteness-in Japan? what I said. Therefore are no promises “Then," murmured the girl, "you combroken."

mand that I remain-perhaps even to see "Oi course," the girl interrupted quite this great soldier, with the glory of war heinously, "you know that the legs which for the emperor fresh upon him-perhaps might dance are at Port Arthur.”

to speak to him, face to face?” “Also that some day they will be back. “Yes!” said the priest, terribly. What, then?”

“How can I ?” begged the girl. “Me? "Then," --and the heart of the girl Certainly I shall die. Permit me to go could be seen in its tumult—“then? Then away, august bonze!” I shall not be here. I shall die.”

The bonze denied this permission, and “That,” said the priest, with the very from the shrewd twinkle in his eye one greatest of Japanese severity, “would be might suspect that he did not fear her exceedingly impolite."




ND presently it was too late- “You cannot go unless we take you,”
far, far too late; for the war agreed the priest.
was over. There had been that

Alas! glad you are that I have no legs. amazing ceremony at the War And as for him, great soldier that he is, Temple in Tokio, and Toya was coming he will crush me like an ant." to this temple with his medals and all his But the priest and the acolyte not only glory to lay them at the feet of the man did not agree to that, but became preterwho, he said, owned them.

naturally savage at the mere thought Well, would you have run away from it. that had you been Hasu-San?

“I repeat," said the girl, “that he will In fact, it was as sleepless for her as crush me like an ant." those days leading to the Feast of Lan- "She repeats," prompted the studentterns, and she trembled more now than she priest, “that he will crush her like an did then. However, it must be confessed

ant.' that she also laughed more. But that in- But the old bonze only smiled. constant heart! It would beat two to one, “What am I to him?" and then reverse itself and beat one to "True," agreed the priest, "what are two, which phenomenon, as any one with

you to him!” the least therapeutic intelligence knows, “Or- or he to me?" must be stopped, if one is to live on.

But here Hasu-San looked down. And what of her going? “I cannot go “True," nodded the old priest, with a now unless you take

glance to the acolyte me," sighed the girl.

"true, or he to you?” “You cannot go un

And later the priest less we take you," re

and the acolyte had a peated the acolyte, with

jolly laugh together in evidences of the great

which that phrase of est satisfaction in her

hers was repeated, "Or infirmity.

him to her!”




swer was:

UT the great day came a bit sud- might see it the better, dropped on his knee
denly. Without the least warn- before her chair.
ing, Colonel Toya strode into And then and there I fear the wonder-

the temple. Fortunately, the ful business of love, as we call it on the student was alone; Akimo was pushing Western Hemisphere, was accomplished. Hasu about the garden, for it was the be- "Child," said the officer, “thy face is ginning of the cherry-blossoms. However, like Usume's." it was only a moment until they were to- And observe that he used the ancient gether.

and honorable mode of address, used by “Now," cried Colonel Toya, if you princes to their ladies, and that he thought please, quite overlooking Hasu, "where is her as beautiful as the celestial dancer, she the man whose legs I have?"

who had lured the sun goddess from her The hand of Hasu reached and cave when the world was dark! pinched that of Akimo.

And all little Hasu could an"Man?" compromised the priest with his conscience. "I know not."

“And you are gl-glittering"You must find him for me,”

like the war-god, Lord." While said Toya in a soldier's way.

she reached out a timorous hand, "Surely, Lord," said the priest,

and, like a child attracted by toys, suavely. "And, Hasu-San, who is

touched the medals on his breast. very wise, though a girl, will help,

"You are gl-glorious as Hachiwill you not?"

man, Ojin Tenno, Izaniga-all “Surely," said the girl.

together." "No secret of the temple shall

But truly the glory of war meant stand between me and honor," cried the nothing to the young officer here, in the soldier.

temple garden, with a face as beautiful as “Though the secrets of the temple are Usume's before him. sacred,” said the priest, precisely as he had For to understand how beautiful that said it before, "yet Hasu-San and I and was, you are to be reminded that Usume Chugori-all will help you to find this,” was fair enough to make even the sun Shall you be offended if you are told that goddess jealous. the old priest stopped to laugh? "Man!" "And what is thy illness, child?" the he said then, and a certain occult salute officer went on. of the eyes passed between the three of It was the priest who answered: the temple.

"Legs." And Colonel Toya, having his atten- He shook his head hopelessly. tion called to Hasu both by the words of “They shall be healed, they shall be the priest and her own musical voice, made entirely well,” cried the soldier. turned up her face and then, that he “Silence!" To Akimo's mute protest.




“Do I not know? Was I not more ill was fairly bursting. Who had ever heard than she is? Did not Jodin heal me?" of a soldier bothering about a woman!

“Ah," said the priest, but who will "Yet," the priest went on, “what know take her illness? In all the world there we of this girl who comes to be healed ? was none for you until—" Almost it Pooh! She may be a beggar. She may came out—but for the sharp nails of Hasu be an eta. What know we of her?" in his palm—“until he came who took “And what know I of him who took yours, Lord Toya. He! Who will take my illness? Was he a prince? Was he her illness? A woman!"

a beggar? And if a beggar, is my debt “I,” said the soldier. “I owe it to some to him less than if he be a prince? Did And since you will not find me the he give me less, if a beggar, than he would

A soldier pays his debts, and those have given me if a prince? As for this of honor damn one to the hells if not maiden" paid."

He turned and looked long at her. At which no fewer than three pairs of Something very good came into his eyes; hands flew into the air, and three pairs of something very gentle spoke in his voice. eyes lifted themselves to where the myri- “As for this maiden, whether she be ads of the gods were. Such madness! beggar or princess, the gods have made

“I have said it," cried the young sol- her face, and the goddesses her heart. And dier. “Yes, I have said it. Now, either they have sent her to me, even as the you will find this man who gave his legs moon-maid was sent, all neatly packed in for mine, or I will heal this woman!" a bamboo-joint. So. Do we ask the line

“Thou hast truly said it, Lord Toya," age of the gods' gifts to us?" bowed the priest and the acolyte, with And then Prince Toya, if prince he humble haste. And the

the strangest old priest added benignly:

thing he had yet done. “That is an unheard of

He placed the two soft thing, for a great soldier

hands of the girl on his to bother about healing a

cheeks. mere-ahem!woman. But

“Gods!”cried the priest, -- thou hast said it, and

"a woman for a soldier !" a soldier keeps his word.

But when he and the So, if the man who healed

acolyte were alone, he thee cannot be found, thou

placed his hands upon the wilt heal this woman.”

shoulders of the boy and “I have said it,” re

said: peated the soldier.

"Boy, Shaka is good, And Hasu-San's heart

Shaka is very good!"

was, did

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OWEVER, out of all this grew tle lady Hasu wished that she were well; a beautiful camaraderie, for the but then just as suddenly she blotted out soldier came to the temple every that wish, and meant to pray all night for

day, and the four were forgiveness. If she were well, what would happier than the three had been. He told he be? For so far as she understood the them of his battles, and the glory and workings of the god Jodin, precisely the honor of it all. But sometimes they were process which had secured Lord Toya a alone, he and Hasu-San. Then he never pair of good legs would be reversed if she spoke of battle. It was of the gentle were to have her good ones restored. things. For all soldiers are poets in Japan. Sometimes he would take her hands

“I wish you were healed,” cried the while he talked and pass his rough ones young man one day.

over the satin of them. Then Hasu would "Why, Lord ?" asked the girl.

close her eyes and go 'straight to Buddha's “Then I would marry you,” answered bosom. One day it was so exquisite that the soldier.

tole from under one lid. He put And suddenly, deep in her soul, the lit- his handkerchief over the tear, and then

a tear

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