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The Lady and Sada San A Sequel to the Lady of the Decoration   By: (1863-1941)

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The Lady and Sada San

A Sequel to

The Lady of the Decoration

By

Frances Little

New York The Century Co. 1912

Copyright, 1912, by

THE CENTURY CO.

Published, October, 1912

TO

ELLEN CHURCHILL SEMPLE

AND

CHARLOTTE SMITH

MY FELLOW WANDERERS THROUGH THE ORIENT

The Lady and Sada San

ON THE HIGH SEAS. June, 1911.

Mate :

You once told me, before you went to Italy, that after having been my intimate relative all these years, you had drawn a red line through the word surprise. Restore the abused thing to its own at once. You will need it when the end of this letter is reached. I have left Kentucky after nine years of stay at home happiness, and once again I am on my way to Japan this time in wifely disobedience to Jack's wishes.

What do you think that same Jack has "gone and done"! Of course he is right. That is the provoking part of Jack; it always turns out that he is in the right. Two months ago he went to some place in China which, from its ungodly name, should be in the furthermost parts of a wilderness. Perhaps you have snatched enough time from guarding the kiddies from a premature end in Como to read a headline or so in the home papers. If by some wonderful chance, between baby prattle, bumps and measles, they have given you a moment's respite, then you know that the Government has grown decidedly restless for fear the energetic and enterprising bubonic or pneumonic germ might take passage on some of the ships from the Orient. So it is fortifying against invasion. The Government, knowing Jack's indomitable determination to learn everything knowable about the private life and character of a given germ, asked him to join several other men it is sending out to get information, provided of course the germ doesn't get them first.

Jack read me the official looking document one night between puffs of his after dinner pipe.

Another surprise awaits you. For once in my life I had nothing to say. Possibly it is just as well for the good of the cause that the honorable writer of the letter could not see how my thoughts looked.

I glanced about our little den, aglow with soft lights; everything in it seemed to smile. Well, as you know it, Mate, I do not believe even you realize the blissfulness of the hours of quiet comradeship we have spent there. With the great know it all old world shut out, for joyful years we have dwelt together in a home made paradise. And yet it seemed just then as if I were dwelling in a home made Other Place.

The difference in the speed of time depends on whether love is your guest or not.

The thought of the briefest interruption to my content made me feel like cold storage. A break in happiness is sometimes hard to mend. The blossom does not return to the tree after the storm, no matter how beautiful the sunshine; and the awful fear of the faintest echo of past sorrow made my heart as numb as a snowball. To the old terror of loneliness was added fear for Jack's safety. But I did not do what you naturally would prophesy. After seeing the look on Jack's face I changed my mind, and my protest was the silent kind that says so much. It was lost! Already Jack had gone into one of his trances, as he does whenever there is a possibility of bearding a brand new microbe in its den, whether it is in his own country or one beyond the seas. In body he was in a padded chair with all the comforts of home and a charming wife within speaking distance. In spirit he was in dust laden China, joyfully following the trail of the wandering germ. Later on, when Jack came to, we talked it over. I truly remembered your warnings on the danger of impetuosity; for I choked off every hasty word and gave my consent for Jack to go. Then I cried half the night because I had.

We both know that long ago Jack headed for the topmost rung of a very tall scientific ladder. Sometimes my enthusiasm as chief booster and encourager has failed, as when it meant absence and risk. Though I have known women who specialized in renunciation, till they were the only happy people in the neighborhood, its charms have never lured me into any violent sacrifice... Continue reading book >>




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