Puslapio vaizdai

the unwilling head of One-Two, who thereafter daughter, Sum Oo, whom a beautiful Amerisat apart, outwardly magnificent, but filled can patron had once addressed as Miss 00, with superstitious brooding. One-Two's splen- which had become Sum Oo's pet appellation. dor paraded the Infant's dreamland, and when in the morning he found that the mother had THERE came love's month of May. The rains seized the bangle for her own bedizenment, a had ceased, and the skies were passing fair. first black shadow fell across his shining new The city lawns shone everywhere with summer world. This was not like the House of Glit- plants; but Hoo King's yard was barren save tering Things. There the Lady of Cakes and of weeds. The learned Dr. Wing Shee, once Tea made peace and security for every one. looking over into the desolate space, threw a He wished they would give him back his big handful of seeds among the hills and valleys green ring-- just to play with; but they never, by the Important Town, where the cabbagenever would. He went and sat silently on his leaf trees lay pelted into the earth. Out of Important Town, with the corners of his the doctor's benefaction grew a garden for a mouth drawn down very far.

child. The sun touched the place with magic, It was not like the House of Glittering and the Infant saw with amazement his terriThings, because here the days often promised tory transformed. A morning-glory shot out happiness when they meant to end in sorrow. of the ground, and ran hand over hand up a Once, while he played Bad Old Man with One- broomstick, shaking out its tender blooms like Two, there came a shower, and One-Two ran banners. A beautiful yellow nasturtium raced to shelter, shaking moist paws, to stand as- up, following, and its blossom bobbed in the tounded at the antics of Hoo Chee. The In- breeze to One-Two and Hoo Chee, as they fant pranced with open mouth, delighting in stood and wondered at it. The Infant must the smart drops on his cheeks. It was super- march with exaggerated steps, singing: fine! And it was a headlong pitch from bliss to find himself pushed rudely into the house

Peely mow-wow-pilly willy wop! Peely mow

wow-pilly willy wop! by his father. Up the stairs Hoo Chee must hurry, and Hoo Chee must stay to dry by the which were words of his own invention. In rice-pan-coals, while the rain made merry such luxury of two kinds of flowers one music, glistening and beating on the panes imagined oneself in a bower of the House of as if to ask why this little boy would not Glittering Things, with the Lady of Cakes and come out to play. And he wondered if the Tea within call. rain knew the Lovely Lady who had a deep, And the warm day arrived when the Infant, warm porcelain pond, and even urged people sitting on the ground in speculation as to into it. Then the calm of another morning whether a Wretched Dragon was as big as a brought him the joy of a rusty pan a-brim with cloud, heard a new sound. It was a delicious water, which mustat once be made a lake for sound. It was not a bird. It came from the his Important Town; for the pan needed only other side of the fence,-tones unlike any he a little fish to be perfect. But the little fish had heard, --and it kept saying, joyously and that after a whole day's strategy he managed gurglingly and fascinatingly, « Yai-yai-yah! to borrow from the amah's basket would not Yai-yai-yah!) which was clearly an expression wag its tail and swim in the pan, and though of delight with all the world. The Infant hasthe hid behind a corner and peeped ever so ened to the fence. The merry yai-yai-yah » quickly out at it, still it floated disgracefully kept on with a relish of life in it impossible stiff on its side with its mouth stark wide. except for one whose title to her big green This would have been another bootless day; ring endured unthreatened. The Infant forbut the learned Dr. Wing Shee, who read your got about whether a Wretched Dragon was heart from your face as surely as he read the as large as a cloud or only as large as some future from the stars, observed the Infant's land, and he stood with his hands on the fence, listlessness, and came with a kindly smile to looking up at the tall boards that shut the the fence. They talked of the wind and the sweet sounds away. The tiny voice sang to sky, and the doctor promised to tell Hoo Chee itself and talked to an older voice near by, all some day the story of how the «Wretched in the same pleased syllables. At length it Dragon Made the Sun Wobble.»

subsided to a contented coo, and then it was « And I 'll tell you about the Sarcastic still, and it did not come again. But it linTurtle,» said the Infant.

gered in the Infant's ears like strange new It was not wrong to talk to a man, and the music. At dusk he paused solemnly at the women Hoo Chee had not seen. The women doorstep; he wished they might know that were Sum Fay-Sum Chow's wife and their over here there was a little Hoo Chee and


his cat. But they were gone, and they would hero's arrival at the House of Glittering never know. Then, to his own astonishment, Things, there was nothing so delectable as he dared to shout, « Yai-yai-yah! » whereupon this. Now it was occurring to Miss Oo that he hastened up the stairs, frightened at his the sun made her warm and happy, and that boldness.

it was a good sun. A smile began at her coalHe dreamed that the Sarcastic Turtle black eyes, and ran down and tugged at the came and promised to let him

stand on it to curling corners of her ample mouth, until her see over the fence. And the Turtle crawled brown face was all aglee; and she kicked and and crawled with the ever-expectant Hoo laughed and shook the fat cloth cat and Chee on its back, but the fence was always shouted: just so far away. And the Turtle kept laugh- « Yai-yai-yah! Yai-yai-yah ! » ing and laughing, and bidding him rise on Then she turned on her side, and in a few tiptoe, till the Infant awoke frowning, with moments she had gone asleep with her thumb his toes in tight bunches.

in her mouth, and the memory of the smile reIn the morning he and One-Two ran speed- maining on her round cheeks, while Hoo Chee ily into the yard; but it was too early for the and the cloth cat stared and stared and stared. little voice. All the brilliant forenoon he All the next day the Infant sought the listened for it, as he pulled the shed hairs fence at the slightest sound; but there were from One-Two's coat, and laid them one by clouds, and Miss Oo came only when the sun one away in a little box; some one had said invited. The clouds made him sad, and the that the cat would need its hair again when day dragged like a faint headache. His night's the cold rains came. He would keep the box slumber was invaded by a tiny maid carried in the ginger-jar, where he hid his treasures in a splendid car, with all the background a now, and the ginger-jar should go in a secret gorgeous yellow blur of priests and gods. And place inside the Gruesome Go-down. Then, the tiny maid shook a fat cat at Hoo Chee, in the afternoon, and none too soon, he made and said, «Yai-yai-yah!» whereupon Hoo Chee a grand discovery. It was a knot-hole in the stepped into the car with her. But just as they dividing fence.

began to play Bad Old Man the car changed He looked upon a place where many flowers into tissue paper, and they fell through it and were, and the grass grew all of one height, slid terrifically down the clouds, and the wee like soldiers. And presently came out Sum maid disappeared. And another night, just as Chow's young wife bearing a mat. Behind a red toy-balloon was floating him over the her trotted a little dame of scarce three fence, a Wretched Dragon, that was bigger summers, carrying a fat cloth cat. It was than some land, gleefully gulped the balloon; Miss 00, and the Infant knew she was a girl, and Hoo Chee and the tiny maid tugged and because she wore her tiny braids in two little tugged at the string that hung from the horns that were part of her spangled cap. Wretched Dragon's mouth until it had a fit, The Infant saw the mother leave Miss Oo to and writhed and wriggled and shrieked so that play alone upon the mat that lay on the grass. the sun wobbled in the sky, whereupon the These, then, were the women of Sum Chow, string broke, and Hoo Chee and the tiny who were to be avoided.

maid sat down together very hard with the Miss 00 sat down, and made remarks in string in their hands, and he awoke to find her own peculiar language to the fat cloth her gone. cat, and emphasized them by shaking it up But the next day the clouds dissolved, and and down by the tail. Then she rolled over and the sun sailed on as if nothing had occurred, kicked her infinitesimal feet in the air, and and after he had tarried for hours by the fence murmured demurely:

he saw the procession of the mother and the « Yai-yai! »

mat and Miss 0o and the fat cloth cat. The Her eyes traveled along the clear sky Infant watched Miss Oo playing, and cooing, until they met the sun. They looked without and rolling in the sun, till he wondered how it winking straight into the glittering ball, in was that little Quong Sam had succeeded in solemn satisfaction that it should be there, crawling through the bamboo pole when he and for a long time there was no movement wished to get on the other side of the wall, in her contented body but the occasional wig- and Hoo Chee made a little sound with a stick gle of a raised and bangled foot cased in a on the fence. Miss 0o turned to listen, and silver-trimmed slipper as big as an ear. The when he knocked again she discovered the Infant stood tight to the fence, fascinated knot-hole. The Infant's heart gave a funny beyond measure. In all the adventures of jump; she had stood up, and was coming to little Quong Sam, from the beginning to the examine the fence.


« Little eye!» she said.

emerged, and for want of occupation trunWhereupon Hoo Chee felt a hand upon him, dled the lighter box into the yard. and was whirled away from her sight.

How this box would have been used if it «Go into the house, fool offspring!» ex- had not been for the awful threat, the Infant claimed his father. «If you gossip with that knew. Its awkward dimensions would have girl again I 'll keep you out of this yard for been struggled with until it was finally masa thousand years! »

tered and made to stand against the fenceHoo King pushed the stick through the so! And then it would have been easy to bring knot-hole, and Miss 0o grasped it, unaware of that little fruit-crate and hoist it on top-so! the tragedy just enacted on the other side. After that it was baby's play to fetch these When he drove it hard through, that it might flower-pots and fit them-so and so and sonot be withdrawn, a splinter caught in the one over the other, till, boxes and all, they small maid's finger. It did not hurt much, but made a tower half as high as the fence! It she felt that something was wrong, and with was an imposing structure, hidden behind the her finger held up she trotted off to find her Gruesome Go-down, and he longed to show mother. Hoo Chee had gone with little steps himself how he would have climbed up on it into the house, with the corners of his mouth -if it had not been for the thousand years. drawn down very far, hurrying as if something All you had to do, you see, was to step on the pursued him. A thousand years! The penalty big box-so! Then it was easy enough to was fearful even to think of, and it hovered reach the small box, and you caught hold, about him for hours, like an oppressing spirit like this, of the bit of frayed rope nailed to bound at last to drag him to despair. In a the fence, and simply pulled yourself up to thousand years the Important Town would the fence-top-like that; and-oh, deargo to ruin, and lie at the mercy of the Mon- there she was! strous Rat that lived in the Gruesome Go- He stood breathless. Miss Oo lay asleep down; in a thousand years One-Two would with her thumb in her mouth, and the fat tire of staying indoors, and would go away cloth cat lay in the sitting attitude confirmed and seek the sun and the fresh air and the of fat cloth cats. A tall calla bent and fat cloth cat. And Hoo Chee would gaze nodded its benison upon Miss Oo, and her out of the window and see Miss Oo and the parted lips showed peeping teeth like rows of two cats playing and playing and playing, little novices. and only once perhaps in a hundred years Suddenly she startled the Infant by openwould they remember and look for Hoo Chee's ing her eyes directly upon him. For an instant mournful face behind the pane. It was true she caught his full stare; but his glance fell that all this was only a threat, but he felt away, and his tongue searched the corners it closing upon him as if it was real. He of his mouth. He dared not look at her. Miss wished he knew how to find the Lady of Oo began to smile. Cakes and Tea.

u Little eye!» she said. He thought of it the next morning as he And the Infant twisted himself in such conrummaged in the Go-down, which first had fusion that he was in danger of falling from stood so high in the attractions of the yard, the flower-pots into an ignominious heap in because it was doubtless owned by the Mon- the middle of the Important Town. Miss 00 strous Rat, with whom he had expected many kept looking straight at him, and he would a sanguinary joust before he conquered it. not meet her eyes, but looked quite over her But now he had forgotten about the Rat. The and beyond, at space. She crawled some way, dim interior, piled with dusty crates and then rose, and came toward the fence. packing-boxes long disused, was suited to his « Little boy ?» she inquired. mood. Among the empty boxes he had dis- Which so embarrassed the Infant that he covered a light one which he could handle, sank down out of view, leaving nothing visiand back of it he had found another, much ble to Miss 00 but eight small grimy fingerlarger, into which by crawling a distance one tips on the fence-top. Womanlike, she made could squeeze and be quite out of the world. no effort to get him back, but waited in silence A loosened board on the side of the Go-down until the Infant began to wonder if she had that fronted on a strange yard let a shaft gone, and he found courage to pull himself up of sunlight into this retreat, and as he sat to see. She was there, sitting on the grass, there he meditated breaking off relations with absorbed in the finger-tips. At sight of him his family, and abiding there permanently, to the big smile came again. sally forth only at night. But a few minutes «Miss Oo?» she said. of such life told him of its loneliness. He Which frightened him so that he sank down once more. But as he sat in cover, and heard meal on her face with the words, « Little boy.» nothing from Miss Oo, he was at length moved The Infant went to sleep without a thought to say, but little above a whisper:

of supper, dreaming that he was an execu«Yai-yai!»

tioner, and must keep chopping off a head Whereupon Miss Oo responded with a giggle that forever flew up in the air and flew back, in her small voice, «Yai-yai-yah!» and the In- tight to its body. fant could not refrain from calling back in When he came into the yard once more he louder tones, « Yai-yai-yah! » which Miss Oo was in no frame of mind to play Bad Old Man repeated each time louder than the Infant, with One-Two. How gloomy the yard was, so that soon the merry contest of their voices anyway, thought the Infant. It was a prison, had risen to such screams that it reached the where one might never do what one liked ears of Hoo King. Hoo Chee's diffidence de- most. Oh, if the Lady of Cakes and Tea would parted, and Miss Oo seemed charmed. When but come and take him to the house where all they were tired of shouting she searched her was light and freedom and peace! He went small collection of words. When Miss Oo liked off in a reverie of her, and of the wonderful people she talked to them.

porcelain pond where, if one was not too « Rice cake? » she said, after a moment. frightened to search, there were probably

The Infant bethought him of the pocket of funny little wiggly fishes and hoppity frogs. his bib, and found therein a bean-meal cooky, He was interrupted by the man who peddled which he promptly dropped into her lap. Miss the flesh of the abalone, and who came 0o immediately began to devour it while Hoo through the gate to interview Hoo King, Chee waited.

whose wrath at being disturbed sent the « Little girl?» he inquired at length in her abalone man away, leaving the gate ajar for own manner.

revenge. The Infant saw the forbidden street, But she was too busy to answer. She looked and turned his back, for it invited him to run at him over the cooky with two grave eyes, away. With a weary spirit, he absently made while the particles of bean-meal collected pictures of rice-cakes with a stick in the main about her mouth. The Infant yearned for street of his Important Town. more conversation. He smiled engagingly, The abalone man had gone to Sum Chow's, and shouted, « Yai-yai-yah! » and kicked the and seemed to be doing business there. The boards for her attention. But when Miss Oo steps which the Infant heard outside were not looked up again she saw not even the eight the abalone man's; they were too light. It grimy fingers. The flower-pots had given was some one coming into Hoo Chee's yardaway, and the entire edifice of his love had a woman, probably-some woman humming to fallen, bringing him to the ground in a mix- herself in a quiet way. The Infant scratched ture of boxes and broken clay. He had bumped out the rice-cakes, and tried to make a picture his head, too, and his eyes filled with tears. of the golden fruit the Lady had given him. Oh, if the Lovely Lady had been there he would One-Two had gone to the gate. The small hum have run to her and cried in the folds of her stopped, and the Infant heard a little voice: gown, and she would have comforted him, and « Yai-yai?» taken him up in her arms! But instead he His heart beat in his throat. There she was. heard the voice of his father. He must not She stood, with a bright smile, well inside the weep; he would need his tears. The thousand gate, bearing the fat cloth cat. One-Two was years were coming. He should never see the sniffing the extraordinarily phlegmatic creafence again, and there would n't be even a ture with the stuffed tail, and Miss 0o was flower-pot balcony for him to come out on. pausing for welcome. The Infant sat, rooted His heart thumped against his ribs, and his with fear, giving no sign. Miss Oo waited but pallor was evident even to his father. a moment; then she came and laid her hand

But Hoo King did not suspect the gravity upon his cheek. of the offense, and the penalty was merely « Miss Oo?» she said. that the boxes and the fragments all must The wee fingers were very soft, and the big be removed to the shed whence Hoo Chee had black eyes looked straight at him in frankest fetched them. The labor which had been liking. But the abalone man was coming, with lightened by novelty, and by a magnetic at- his noisy cry. The father might think to have traction that had governed his will without a a glance at the yard--and it would mean a protest, now became an endless evil toil, and thousand years! The Infant did not know how when it was finished Hoo Chee was well nigh to make her go away. In his heart he wished exhausted. Miss Oo had long ago been taken her to stay. The impulse to hide away with into the house, explaining the crumbs of bean- 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.

shoes off, too; and it was hilarious fun to put He would crawl and show her into the pack- them on Miss Oo's smaller feet, and see her ing-box, she had followed him so trustfully. giggle and kick them off against the ceiling He picked his way over the flower-pots and be- of their little house. She became interested hind the boxes to where he squeezed through in her big toe, and brought it up to look at the long and well-concealed passage to his She began to frown: she could not remember cubbyhole, and Miss Oo, holding the fat cloth its name. cat, followed at his heels as a matter of course. « Little thumb? » she inquired doubtfully, She crawled into the big box and arranged her- staring at the wonderful member. But that self close beside him, while he eyed her with did not seem right. In her perplexity she half-prevailing pleasure. One-Two sat before turned to Hoo Chee. them gazing contemptuously at the fat cloth « Little nose ? » she ventured. cat. Miss Oo looked about her and was deeply « That's your little big toe,» said Hoo Chee; pleased.

whereupon Miss Oo repeated the words after « Little house?» she said sweetly.

him, and went off into an ecstasy of laughter Hoo King was outside. He went to the gate, over her new knowledge. She shook the fat then came back and looked for a moment into cloth cat by the tail, just as she had when he the shed, then went again to the gate. He had seen her flirting with the sun. And Hoo called sternly to the abalone man across the Chee was so enchanted that he tried to shake street. Then Hoo King hammered at Sum One-Two by the tail. The young persons were Chow's open gate, and there was presently a severely startled by One-Two's instantaneous hurried conversation half audible to the two denial of this privilege. One-Two turned a in the cubbyhole. With one accord Miss 0o somersault in the air, and sputtered and spun, and the Infant remained silent, and in a short and made expressions of most painful charwhile the voices subsided and were forgotten. acter, and disappeared in a rage that was

The Infant found his precious ginger-jar, really half jealousy. Then, in the narrowness and he began to show his treasures-the of their little house, they began to lack new many bits of colored crockery, and pins and things to play with, and Miss Oo stared at Hoo buttons and scraps of cloth, and every odd Chee in expectancy. and end from the débris pile that had a bril- « I 'll tell you about the Sarcastic Turtle, liant hue or shape unusual. The small girl said the Infant, finally, in an inspiration. cooed, and reached for them as he silently « There was a man lost his head, and could n't handed them over one by one. Then he put find it anywhere-and was n’t it too bad about them all back in the jar, where the box of the poor man? So he took some crutches and One-Two's fur lay securely tied, and Miss 0o went to hunt it-so far that he wished he was took the jar and rattled its contents, and home again. But the Sarcastic Turtle said, threw it down, laughing at Hoo Chee's efforts (I'll take you across. And when they got not to lose the treasures when they scattered out in the middle the Sarcastic Turtle said: about the floor. Each time the good-natured You must promise never to tell my secret Infant laboriously collected them all, the box when you get home. If you do I'll drown you of hair first, and each time the maiden rattled right now!) And the man said, "What is your the jar and threw it down again. Miss Oo's secret?) And the Sarcastic Turtle said, "Well, attention was drawn from it only by a big all the other turtles can say Yang-tse-kiang, cooky that dropped from Hoo Chee's bib. but I can't! And the man said- but I'll tell

« Little cake?» she said, holding out her you about a Little Boy,» said the Infant, obhand.

serving signs of failing interest in Miss Oo. He gave it to her, and received the ginger- She was sitting propped up in the corner, with jar in return. She insisted that he take a bite her eyes half closed. She could n't follow the with each of hers, and Hoo Chee, though he story; but it was pleasant to hear some one was not hungry, must accept when she stared talk in a steady voice, when she felt as she did at him, and thrust the cooky under his nose. For him the cooky was not a success; it was « A Little Boy went out one day,” said Hoo almost like medicine. Conflicting emotions Chee, thoughtfully, « and followed her up the greatly disturbed him within for all his plea- street. And she let him in, and it was the sure in this lovely comrade. Now Miss 0o was House of Glittering Things! It was all white

Oo busying herself with baring her feet of her inside, and there were plenty of cakes,” said tiny shoes, an act forbidden by her mother. the Infant, whereupon Miss 00

pened her Her glee at this quite drowned the Infant's eyes suspiciously, « and it was lighted with



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