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Susan Proudleigh

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BYTHESAMEAUTHORJANE'SCAREER

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, .SUSANPROUDLEIGHBYHERBERTG.DELISSERMETHUEN&CO.LTD.36ESSEXSTREETw.e.LONDON CO/Ollia/Library

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First Publishedin19I.5

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CONTENTSBOOKI CHAr. I.SUSAN'SDILEMMAII.APASSAGE-AT-ARMSIII.THECASEINCoURTIV.WHATCAMEOFTHECASEV.LETITIA'SINVITATIONVI.SAMUELJOSIAHJONESVII.THEANNOUNCEMENT.VIII.SUSANGIVES !1 AJOKE"IX.JONESISWARNEDX.!!THESWORDOFTHELORD"BOOKIII.THELANDOFPROMISEII.JONESCHANGESHISMINDIII.SUSANSETTLESDOWNIV.THEFLYINTHEOINTMENTV.THESUBSCRIPTIONPARTYVI.JONESDEMONSTRATESVII.SUSAN'SLASTEFFORTv 1'.-------------'AG .. 1122137 53678699III121131 144 15516 5172183194

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VISUSAN PROUDLEIGHBOOKIIICHAP.I.THEFAMILYARRIVESII.CATHERINELEARNSSOMETHINGIII.THEMEETINGIV.THENIGHTOFTHEFIREV.THEANONYMOUSLETTERVI.SAMUEL'SDETERMINATIONVII.WHATHAPPENEDATCULEBRAVIII.SUSAN'SLUCKIX.JONESSPEAKSINTHEPREDICATE PAGS 207218225237249258 26 7 /280/ 296

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ISUSANPROUDLEIGH

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Thisstorywasfirst published serially inthejamaica"DailyGleaner,"underthetitle of "Susan:Mr.Proudleigh'sDaughter,"having beenpresentedbythejamaicaTobaccoCo.tothereadingpublic oftheIslandofjamaica.

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH'BOOK ICHAPTERISUSAN'S DILEMMA

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2SUSANPROUDLEIGHintheimmediatevicinity, between Susanandwhom a fierce feudhadexistedfor some months.Itwasbornofenvyandnurturedbymalice.andSusanknewthatwell.Shedressedbetterthanmostofthegirls inthelane, she lived in a"fronthouse," whilemostofthemhadtobecontentwith ordinary yard-rooms. $he frequentlywent for rides on the electric cars, whereastheycould only afford such pleasure onSundaysandon public holidays.Shecarried herselfwithanairofsocial superiority which was gallandwormwoodtotheenvious;andoftenonIwalkingthroughthelane shehadnoticedthecon-Itemptuouslooksofthosewhom, with greater contempt,; she calledthecommonfolksandtreatedwithbutIhalf-concealed disdain.Onthe whole, shehad rather enjoyedthehostilityofthese people, foritwas in its. wayatributetoherown importance.Butnow a dis comfortingdevelopmenthadtakenplace inthemannerinwhichthedislikeoftheneighbourhood habitually showed itself.ThiseveningSusansatbyoneofthewindows dthelittlehouseinwhich she lived,andwhich openeG onthelane.Itcontainedtwotinyrooms:the inne apartmentwasherbedroom,hertwo sisters sleepiDj withher;theouterone was a sitting-roombydal and a bedroomatnight, whenitwas occupiedby her fatherandmother.Thehousehadoriginally bel'l paintedwhiteandgreen,butthedustof Kingsta' haddiscolouredthepaintingsomewhat;hence ib' appearance was nowshabbyandfaded,though nct asmuchsoasthatoftheotherbuildings oneither sidt of it. Opposite wasanancient fence dilapidatee

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SUSAN'S DILEMMA 3 and almostblack;behind this fence were two long rangesofrooms, in which peopleoftheservant classes ,lived. Thecomparison between these andSusan's residence was all in favour ofthelatter;andasthishouse overlooked the lane,andwas detached fromthebuildingsintheyardtowhichitbelonged,itsrentalvalue was highanditsoccupants were supposedtobeofa superior social position. Thegutterson both sidesofthe lane ran withdirtysoap-water,andbananaskins, orange peelandbitsofbrown paper were scattered overtheroughly macadam ized ground. Lean dogs reclined in the centreofthepatch, or prowled about seeking scrapsoffood which they never seemed to find.Inthedaytime, scantily clad children played inthegutters;afewslatternly WOffil1n, blackandbrown, drawledouta conversation with one another as they lounged upon the doorsteps;allduring the long hoursofthesunlight the soundofsinging was heard as some industrious housewives washedtheclothesoftheir familiesandchanted hymnsastheyworked;andnowandthen a cab orcartpassed downthelane, disturbing for a little while the peaceful tenorofits way. There were no sidewalks, or rather, there were only the vestigesofsidewalks to be seen.Forthespace whichhadbeen left for thesebythe original foundersofthecityhadmoreorless been appro priatedbyhouseholders whothoughtthatthey them selves could make excellent use of such valuable territory. Here a house waspartlybuilt on what wasoncea portionofthe sidewalk; there a doorstep marked the encroachmentthat had takenplace on public

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4SUSAN PROUDLEIGHproperty;between theseanemptyspace showedthattheowneroftheintermediateyardhadnotasyetbeenadventurousenough toextendhis fence beyonditsproperlimits. Mostofthehousesthatopenedonthelane wereofone storey,andbuiltofwood, with founda tionsofred brick. Anairofslow decayhungover nearly allofthem, though nowandthen you saw a newlypaintedbuilding which looked a littleoutofplace in such surroundings. Susan sawthathers wasbyno meansthe shabbiestofthese houses,andSusan knewthatshe was the finest-looking young woman inthatsectionofthelane in which she lived.Itwas her physicalattractionsthathadhelped hertocomparative prosperity. Intheeuphemistic language ofthecountry, she was engaged"to a youngmanwho wasIvery liberal with hismoney;he cametoseehertwo or three times aweek;andthoughoflatehehadnotseemed quitesoardentas before, Susanhadnottroubled to inquirethereasonofhis shortened visits. Hehadneverhithertofailed on aFridaynight to bring forherher weekly allowance,andthatshe regarded as asufficiently substantial proofofhis continued affection.Butnow she feltthatshemusttakesome thoughlofthefuture. Thrice duringthecurrent weekshe had been openly laughedatbyMother Smith,apeculiarly objectionable old woman who lived about ahundredyardsfartherupthelane. Mother Smithhadpassed her house, and, lookingupatthewindow,hadutteredwith a malignant airoftriumph, youcan'tcatch Quaco, you can catch his shirt." Meaningless asthewords might have appearedto the

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SUSAN'S DILEMMA5'uninitiated, Susanhadimmediately divined their sinister significance. She knewthatMother Smith had a daughter ofabouther own age, whosechallenging attractivenesshadalwaysirritatedher. BecauseMaria,though black, was comely, Susanhadmade a point ofignoring Maria's existence; shehadnever thoughtofMaria as a possible rival, however,soconfi dent was sheofherascendancy overherlover,andso certain was shethatMaria could never be awarded the prize for styleandbeautyifSusan Proudleigh happened to be near. Still, there could be no mis takingthetriumphantinsolenceofMother Smith's glance orthemeaningofher significant words. Tom's growing coldness now foundanexplanation. The base plothatchedagainstherstood revealed inallits hideous details.Whatwas shetodo?Shedidnotwantto quarrel with Tom outright, andsoperhaps frighten him away for ever.Thatperhapswaspreciselywhatherenemies were hoping she woulddo.After thinking over thematterandfinding herselfunable to decidewhatcourseofaction to adopt,shehadputtheproblem beforeherfamily;andheraunt,MissProudleigh, happening to come injustthen,shealsohadbeen invited to giveheropinionandsuggest aplan. .'..Susan soon began to realizethatshe couldnotexpect much wisdom from theirunitedcounsel. .Theyall knewthatshe wasnotlikedbytheneigh bours; 1.mfortunately, MotherSmith'sdesign was a : factor inthesituation which seemedtoconfuse them utterly. Theyhadgone overtheground againandagain.Catherinehadsaid the last word,anditwas

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6SUSANPROUDLEIGHthereverse of helpful. For a little while theysat in sIlence, thenSusan mechanically repeated Catherine's words, Ifthemcan injure me,themwilltrytodoit." They does dislike you, Susan," agreed her aunt,ibywayofcontinuing the conversation, an'ifthem canhurtyou, them will do it. But, after all, the Lord is onyourside." This remark proved to Susanthatatsuch a crisis as thisherfamily was worse than hopeless. She turned impatiently from the window and faced Miss Proudleigh."Idon'tsaytheLord isnoton my side," she exclaimed;,,'butMotherSmithis against me,an"the devil is onherside, an'ifI amnotcarefulMother.Smith willbeatme."Asno one answered, she went on, Mother Smith wouldn'ttalklike she is talkingifshe didn't know whatshe was talking about. She want TomforMaria,herbig-mouth daughter. She an' Maria tryin' totakeTom fromme-Iknow it. But, Lord! Iwillgoto prison before them doit!"She had riseJI while speaking,andher clenched hands and gleamin! eyes showed' clearlythatshe wasnotone overwhonaneasy victory could be obtained. She was of middle height, slimly built, andof dad brown complexion. Her lips were thin and poutin& herchinrathersalient;hernose stood out defiantl]: suggesting a somewhat pugnacious disposition. He hair, curlybutfairly long, was twisted intoseveralplaitsandformed a sortofturbanon herhead; he eyes, large, black, and vivacious, were the featuresdwhich she was proudest, for she knew the uses to whi they could be put.Asher disposition was natural1)

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lively, these eyesofhers usually seemed tobelaughing. Butjustnow they were burningandflashing with anger; and those who knew Susan well didnotcaretocross her when one of these moods came on. Her father sawherwrath andtrembled;then immediately castaboutin his mind for some wordofconsolationthatmightappease his daughter. Hewasa tall, thin man, light brown in complexion,andpossessedofthatinability to arriveatpositive decisions which is sometimes described' as a judicial frameofmind..He was mildly fondofstrongliquors; even when under their influence he managedtomain tain a degreeofmental uncertitude, a sortofin tellectual sitting onthefence, which caused his friends to believethathis mental capacity was distinctly above the average.Bythese friendshewas called Schoolmaster, he worethetitle with dignity.Bywayoflivinguptoitheusually took three minutes to say what another person would have said in one. That is to say, he delighted in almost endless circum locution.Itwas even relatedof Mr. Proudleighthat,one night, nolamp havingyetbeen lit, he surreptitiously seized holdofabottlehe found on a tableandtook fl. large sip from it, thinking the liquoritcontained was rum.Ithappened to be keroseneoil;butsuch was his self-controlthat,insteadofbreaking into strong language as most other men wouldhavedone, he mutteredthatthemistake was very regrettable, and was merely sadanddepressed duringthere mainderofthe evening. Such a man,itis clear, was not likely to allow his feelings totriumphover his

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8SUSANPROUDLEIGHjudgment, thoughuponoccasion,andwhenitsuited his interests,hewas ready to agree withthestrongerpartyin any argument. Though he now felt somewhatalarmedbySusan's suspicions,andknewitwasIamatterofthefirst importancethatTom,herlover,andespeciallyTom'swages, shouldberetainedasan asset inthefamily, he couldnotquiteagreethatSusan had very good cause for serious apprehension as yet. Up to now hehadsa.idverylittle;he was convincedthathehadnotsufficient evidence before him on which to pronounce a judgment.Hethought, too,thathis hopeful wayoflookingatthesituation might help heratthismoment;so,his mild, lined face wearing a profoundly deliberative expression, he ga ve his opinion. Idon'tthink you quite righ t, Susan," he observed; but, mind, Idon'tsayy'uis wrong. Mother Smit is a woman Idon'tlikeatalLButde Scripture told U!, judge not lestwebe not judged, an' perhaps Mother Smitdon'tmean youatall when she talkaboutQuaco." On hearing this, Susan's mother, a silent, elderly black woman with a belligerent past, screwed up her\ mouth by wayofexpressing her disapprovalofher husband's pointofview.Mrs.Proudleigh was a firm believer intheunmitigated wickednessof sex,butjudgeditbesttosay nothingjustthen. Susan, however, annoyedbytheperversenessofher father,burstoutwith: Then see here, sah,ifshedon'tmean me an' my: young man, who can shemean?Don'tMother Smith always say I am forward?Don'tshe passthe

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--SUSAN'S DILEMMA-9housethis morning an'throwherwords onme?Don't Maria callout'Lookather'when I was passing her yardyesterday?Tut,me good sab,don'ttalkstupidnesstome!Ifyoudon'thavenothing sensibletosay, youbetterkeep you'mouthquiet. Iamgoing to Tom's house to-night, to-night. AndTomwill 'ave to tell meatoncewhathimhaveto do with Maria.""Iwill go withyou,"said Catherinepromptly. Shewas asturdyyoung woman.ofnineteen yearsofage,andnotherselfwithouta sneaking regard forTom.Hence, on personalaswell as on financial grounds, she objected toTom'sbeing taken possessionofby Maria and Maria's mother. The old man,ratherfearingthatSusan'swrathmight presently beturnedagainst himself, discreetly refrained from makinganyfurtherremark;buthis sister,anangular ladyoffifty, with a great reputa tion for intelligenceandmilitantChristianity, seeing that Susan's mintl was fullymadeupas to Maria's guilt, and being herself inthehabitofpassing severe comment ontheconductoftheabsent, determinedtosupportherniece. Butsome. female are reallybad!"she observed,asif in a soliloquy."Somefemale are reallybad.Nowhere is poor Susannotinterfering wid anybody.Shegotherintended.Hetakehis own footan'hewalk downthelane, an' he fall in love with her.Itistrue shedon'tmarryhimyet,butshe is engaged.Sheis engage, and thereforeitisanunprincipled sinforanyotherfemale to troubleherintendedan'takebim away from her.IfMaria want a young .man,

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10SUSANPROUDLEIGH why don'tshegoan' look forone?Why she an' hermotherwant to trouble Susan's one poor lamb, whenthereis ninetyandnine others to pick an' choosefrom?Really some female is wicked 1 A speech like this, coming from a woman whose lackofphysical charms was morethanmadeupforbystrengthofmoralcharacter, was naturally hailed with great approvalbySusan, Catherine,andtheir mother. The oldmanhimself, never willing tobeIpermanently in a minority, now wentsofar astoadmitthatthe whole affairwas"very provocating,"iandaddedthatifhewas a younger manhewoulddoseveral thingsofa distinctly heroic and dangerousIcharacter.Butall this, though in its way very encouraging,Iwasnotexactly illuminating.Itonly brough t Susanbackto .the point from which she had started. "WhatIamI todo?"she asked for the last time, reducedtodespair, and sinking back into her 'seat despondently. IfI was you," said Catherineatlast deliberately, I would catch holdofMaria, andbeathertillshebawl."This advice appealed toSusan;itcorresponded with the wishofherown heart.Butshe doubted theefficacyofphysical force in dealing with a difficultanddelicate situation.No:a beating wouldnotdo;besides, intheeventofan encounter,itmightbeMaria who woulddothebeating! Susan saw plainlythatno wordofa helpful nature would be forth coming from anyoftheanxious group, who usually appealed to her for adviceandassistance.SowhenMiss Proudleigh was again about to give some further

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SUSAN'S DILEMMAIIOpinIOnSon the general wickednessoffemales, she gotupabruptly, sayingthatshe was going round to Tom's housetosee him. Catherine rose to accompanyher,andafterputting ontheirhatsthe two girls left the room.

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CHAPTERIIA PASSAGE-AT-ARMSIT wasabouteight o'clock; and, save for afew. ligh ts gleaming faintly hereandthere in the yards' and the little houses, the lane was in darkness.Itwas quiet,too;only three or four persons weretobe seen moving about, andtheinnumerable dogs wouldnotbegin tobarkuntil nearly everybody had gone to bed. A stranger standingatoneofthe numerous crossingsthatintersected the lane, and lookingupor down the narrow way, might imaginehewas peering into some gloomy tunnel wereitnot for the brilliancy of the stars overhead. The cross streets were very much brighterandlivelier, andthatone towards which Susanandhersister directed their steps was particularly bright. A Chinaman's shopatthe lane corner opened upon this street. Totherightofthis,andalso opening onthestreet, wasanothershop presided overbyan elderly woman.Itwas small,butcontained a com paratively largequantityofthings which found ready sale intheneighbourhood; such as pints ot' porter, little heapsofripe bananas, loavesofbread, coarse straw hats, charcoal, piecesofsugar-cane, tin whistles, reelsofthreadand peppermint cakes. On 11

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A PASSAGE-AT-ARMS13the opposite sideofthecrossing were other shops,andoneither hand, eastandwest, as far as the eye couldreach,were still more shops standing between fairly large two-storeyed dwelling-housesofbrickandwood.Onthe piazzas womensquattedselling native sweet meats and fruit. Tothewest, in the middle distance, two or three taverns blazed withlight;awaytotheeast was a great crowdofpeople singing,andinthe / midstofthis crowdjetsofflame streamed upwards fromthe unprotected wicks of huge oil-lamps. These@j lamps gaveoffthick columnsofblack smoke whichslowlydrifted overtheheadsofthesable, white,/ clothed revivalists who passionately preached onthe ry / always approaching endoftheworld, and called upon / their hearers to repentthemoftheir sins. People were continually passingupanddown. They passed 'singly or in groups, thelatterdiscussing loudly their private affairs, careless as to who might hear: even love--making couples ignored the proximityofother human beings,andlaughed andchattedas though there wasnoone within a mileofthem. Manyofthese pedestrians were barefooted,butmostofthem wore shoes or slippers of some sort. A few wereinrags,butthemajority were fairly well dressed, for this was a populous thoroughfare,andthe people took,somepride in their appearance. A numberofchildren hung about, playing with one anotherorgazing idly at the passing show; a fine grey dust lay thickuponthe ground; gas-lamps placedatwide distancesapart'burned dimly,sothatlarge spacesofthestreetwereinshadow. Cabs conveying' passengers homeoron visits drovebyfrequently,andevery nowandthen

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHtheelectric cars fiew by, stirringupa cloud ofdustwhich almost blinded one, and which for amomentshrouded thestreetwith a moving, impalpable veiL" There was life here, there was movement,and therevivalists prayedandpreached inthedistance,'thecandy sellersnearbyplaintively invitedthe young tocomeandpurchase their wares, the proprietors01little ice-creamcartsdeclaimed vociferouslythat theY. sold the best cream ever manufactured,andthevelldorsofpea-nuts screamed outthatbaked pea-nUbj were strengthening, enlivening, and comforting.This..was the lifeofthe street. 'Atthe right-hand cornerofthe lane, where the Chinaman's shop stood, was a gas-lamp,andthe gossiping groupsaboutthespot indicatedthatit was 1a favourite rendezvousofthe peopleofthevicinity. Susan never condescended to linger for amomenlthere;thatwouldhavebeen beneathherdignity.ButMaria, her rival, sometimes pausedatthe corner when going for a walk, to talk for a while with apossible'admirer or with a friendifshe should happen tomeetone. To-night Maria was standing underthe Iconversing gaily with two girls. Evidently she was in ahappyframeofmind. '. ,Yes,"she was saying, in answer to a questionputto herbyone ofthegirls,"Iam goin'to tel! herso. She is proud an' sheisforward;but slit will soon sing a different tune. I wonderwhat sIi( would say nowifshe did knowdather lover writ! me two letters last week, an' saythathim love met Idon'tanswer' him yet,buthim say him comiI1ff tosee me to-morrow night. You watch!IfI

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ISA PASSAGE-AT-ARMStoteckTomfrom her, Ihaveonly to lift me littlefinger.An'Iamnottoo sureIwon'tdoit."She laughed as she spoke ofherprospective victory overSusan;buther friends, thoughtheyhatedSusan, werenotparticularly delighted withthenews they heard. They were agreedthatSusanoughtto be humbled,butthatwas no reason why Maria should be exalted.Itwas, therefore, not altogetherina cheerful toneofvoicethattheelder one asked Maria:'. Y'uthinkTom going to cometoyou?" Him almost come to me already," replied Maria,withpride."Lookwhat him send for me last night! Shethrusther hand intoherpocket as she spoke.Asshe was takingoutTom's present, Susan andhersister emerged intothelight. Both Susan and Mariacaughtsightofeachotheratthe same moment. And each realized in a flash that theotherknew thetruepositionofaffairs.The'glareofhatefrom Susan's eyes was answeredbya contemptuous stare and a pealofderisive laughterfromMaria. Susan's sisterandMaria's friendsatonceunderstoodthata desperate strugglehadbegun betweenthetwo. Maria's ringing jeer was morethanany ordinary woman could tolerate. Susan' tried to answerit. with a laugh as contemptuous,butfailed,herwrath dloking her. Then sheputall pretence aside,andswiftly movinguptoMaria she thrusther face into the face ofthe other girl."Seehere,ma'am,"she hissed, "Iwantto ask you onething:isitme you laughingat? "

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16SUSANPROUDLEIGH"Butstop!"exclaimed Maria, backing away a little,anddefiantly placingherarms akimbo."StoplYou ever see mytrial!Then Ican'tlaugh without your permission,eh?"Saying which shelaughedagain as contemptuously as before, and swungroundwith a flouncesoas to bring oneofher elbowsintounpleasant proximity to Susan's waist. Idon'tsay youcan'tlaugh, an' Idon'tcareif,y'uchoose to laugh till you drop," cried Susan bitterly; butIwantto tell youthaty'ucan'tlaughatme! Soyou'rebetterthaneverybody else? "sneeredMaria."Y'uthink you are so pretty,eh?Well!there is a miss foryou!Shecan'teven behaveherselfin'de public street, though she always walkan'shakeherhead asifshe was a princess, an'though,she callherself'young lady.'Butperhaps she think she lose something good, an'can'trecover from tile loss asyet!"And againthatmaddening peal d laughter rang out. Susan didnotanswer Maria directly. Sheeyedthatyoung woman swiftly,andnoticedthather was oldandhershoes pooranddusty. This gave her Itheadvantageshe needed in dealing with a girlwhowas allcontemptwhile she herself was alltemper.She turnedtoher sisterandto Maria's friends,andpointedtoMaria with scorn. Lookather!" she cried."Lookhow she standi Her face is like a cocoa-nut trash,andshedon't even have a decent frock toPtlton! II, .Maria might have passed. overthereference to herface;she knewitwas only spiteful abuse. But the allusion 'to the scantinessofherwardrobe Wa\

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,.. 17A PASSAGE-AT-ARNIS,f/ 1absolutely unforgivable.Ifnotexactly true,it. et approached perilously nearthetruth,andsoitcut her tothequick. No sooner were the words utteredthanMaria's forefinger was wagging in Susan's.face,and: Saythatagain, an' I boxyou!..she screamed. Box me ?..hissed Susan."Boxme? My goodwoman,this would be the last dayofyou' life. Take you' handout ofrme faceatonce-takeitout, Isaytakeitout!"-andwithout waiting to see whether Maria would removetheoffending member, she seized it and pushed Mariaviolently away. In a momentthetwo were locked in one another's arms. There was a soundofheavy blows, two simul taneous shrieksof Murder!..and ahastymovement l ofabout forty persons towards the sceneofthecombat. Catherine nowthoughtittime to interfere. She threw herself uponthecombatants, making a desperate but vainattempttoseparate them. Maria's friends protested loudlythatSusan was ill-treating Maria, though, as thelatterwasatleast as strong as Susan,itwasdifficult to see where the ill-treatment came in. A dignified-lookingmanstanding onthepiazza.loudly remonstrated with the crowd for allowing .. those two femalestofight,"butmadenottheslightest effort himself toputa stop to the struggle.Thelittle boys and girls inthevicinity cheered loudly. The one thing lacking was a policeman. Noticing this, the dignified looking man audibly expressed his opinion ontheinefficiencyofthe force.IILet mego,I say, let mego! gasped Susan, her head being somewhere under Maria's right arm. 2

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18 SUSANPROUDLEIGH You wants to kill me!"stammered Maria,whosesides Susan was squeezing with all the strengthshe pussessed-" murder,murder!"Butneither one would let the other go. Neither one was muchhurtas yet. The struggle continuedabouta minute longer, when some one inthecrowd shouted, Policeman coming! Then indeedbothSusan and Maria came to their senses. They separated, and vainly tried toputonanappearanceofcomposure.Itwas time, for yonder, moving leisurely throughthecrowd, now composedofover a hundred persons, was the policeman who had been spiedbyone ofthespectators. The girls made no effort to run, forthatwould surely have provokedthepoliceman toanunusual displayofenergy, and,justlyangeredathaving been compelledto exert Ihimself, he mighthavearrested thembothonthechargeofobstructing him in the executionofhis duty: T.hey waited where they stood, their eyes still flashing,theirbosoms heaving,andtheir bodies tremblingwith.rage.Butangry as she was, Susan had already begun to feel ashamedoffighting in the street.Shehad alwayshada horror ofstreetscenes; peopleofher class didnotparticipateinthem;before this event she wouldnothavethoughtitpossiblethatshe could ever be mixedupin suchanaffair as this. Oh, the. humiliationofbeing handled by a constable! She heartily wished she were a thousand miles from the spot.Inthemeantimethepoliceman. having arrivedatthe outskirtsofthe crowd, began busily to work

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A PASSAGE-AT-ARMS his way through tothecentre. True toitstraditions,thecrowd was hostiletohim and friendlytotheculprits;sosomeofthewomen managedtoputthemselves in his way, then angrily asked himwhathe was pushing them for."Whatis alldis?"was his first questionashecameupto the spot where Susan and Maria stood. Whatis de meaningofthis?"Helooked fixedlyatthe gas-lamp asifbelievingthatthatobject could give himthemost lucid explanation ofthecircumstances. Nobody answered. Whatis all dis, Isay?" he again demanded in a more peremptory toneof \oir:c. "Thesetwo gals wasfighting, sah," explained a small boy, in the hopeofseeing somebody arrested."Mindyour own business,buoy!"was all the rewardthepoliceman gave him for his pains,andthenthearmofthe law, feelingthatsomething was expectedof him, proceeded to deliver a speech."Thetruthofdematteris dis," he observed, lookingroundwith an airofgraveauthority: common folkses are too ignorant. You are ignorant \.J/" to extreme. You ever see white ladies fight in de f street?Answer methat!" No one venturingtoanswer,hecontinued:"Whitepeopledon'tfight in de street, because them is ladies and gentleman.ButIcan'tunder standthepeopleofmy owncolour;they have no respect for themself!"He spoke more in sorrowthaninanger;almostasthough he were bitterly lamentingthedeficienciesoftheworking classes.ButSusan, though in trouble,

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20SUSAN PROUDLEIGHwouldnoteven then allow herself to be classed withthepoliceman and others inthecategoryof tt common folkses." tt I amnotcommon," she answered de fiantly; "I am not yourset!" "Silence,miss!"thundered the policeman, scan dalized."Iamthelaw!Doyou knowdat?"\. V"I neverseea black law yet," cheekily replied Susan, who thought that,ifshe had to be arrested, there would beatleast some satisfaction in humili atingthepoliceman. "If y'usay another impertinence word I willarrestyou!" wasthepoliceman's threat."Nowde wholeofyou walk right off! Rightoff,I say, or I teck you all tojail!"Heincluded the crowd withonecomprehensive sweepofhis arm, perceivingthathis edifyingattemptto awaken in his audience a senseofrespectabilityhadnot been favourably received. There wasnodisputing his authority, especially as hehadbegun to get angry. Susan knew. too,thatshe had mortally offended him by claiming to belong to abetterclassthanhis:which remarkhadalso lost her the sympathyofthe greaterpartofthe crowd.Soshe wasthefirst to take advantageofhis command,andMaria followed her examplebydisappearing as quickly as she could.Inanother minute or two the normal activityofthestreethadbeen resumed, andthepolicemanhadagainstarteduponhis beat, hopingthathewould no more be disturbedthatnight.Butboth SusanandMaria,knewthatthe fight would have a sequel.Forwarhadnow openly been declared between them.

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CHAPTERIIITHECASE IN COURT IWILLha\'e to bring'erup!" It was Susan who spoke. Shehadreturnedtothehouse, wherethenewsofthefighthadpreceded her. The whole familyhadbeen onthepointofissuing forth toherrescue when she appeared, and nowtheywere again assembled in full conclave to discussatlength this new aspectofthesituation. 'Vengeanceismine,'''quotedheraunt;"butthere is a time for all things. An'ify'udon'tteach agurllikeMaria a lesson, she willgofar wid you." She is a very rude youngooman!"exclaimedMr.Proudleigh with indignation, followinguphis sister'sremark;he feltthathemustlend hisdaughterhis moral support."EfI was a youngerman,"hewent on, I would...I would...well, Idon'tknowwhatI wouldn'tdo!ButMother Smit is a dangerous female to interfere wid,andde cramps is troubling me in me footsobadlydatI wouldn't like 'er toput'erhand'pon meatall." Efshe ever touchyou,"his wife broke in, old as Iis,shean'me wouldhaveto go to prison.""Youwas always a courigous gal, Mattie," said the oldmanapprovingly;"butIdon'twant to see or

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22SUSANPROUDLEIGHy'uget intoanyquarrel;an'totell you de trute, Idon'tfinkI could help youatall. Susan is' goin'tobringupMaria,an'thatis a satisfaction. I are going to de court-house wid 'er to encourage her." "But suppose Susan lose thecase?"Catherine suggested. Shehadbeen a witnessoftheencounter,andthough. she fully intended to forget every factthatwould make against Susan inthecourt-house, she was sagacious enough to realizethatMaria's friends wouldnotdo likewise."Losemecase?"asked Susan incredulously. Thatcan'tbedone!She provoked me first, an'thejudgemusttakenoteofthat.Besides, I am goin' toputa good lawyer onher:nota fool-foolmanthatcan'ttalk,buta man whowillquestion her properly an' makehertell detruth." Datisright,"saidMr.Proudleigh with proud anticipationofcoming victory."Sue,I adviseyou'to get de Attorney-General." "Inever hear abouthim,"MissProu dleigh remarked;"an'itwon'tdo for Susantoget a lawyerwedon'tknow.Butwho toget?" AsMr.Proud leigh knew nothingabouttheleaderofthelocalbarexcept his name, he decided not to urgetheclaimsofthathigh official upon his daughter. One after another,thenamesofthe several lawyersofwhomthefamilyhadheard were mentioned, andtheirvarious merits were discussed. Asthiswas tobethemostimportantcase evertried-oratleastsothefamilythought-itwasoftheutmostimportancethatthe brightest legal luminary shouldbeobtained:thedifficulty wastoselect one fromthemanywhose

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THE CASE IN COURT23reputation for ability commended them allasfitandproper persons to prosecute Maria Bellicant for assault and abusive language.AtlastMissProudleigh suggested a lawyer whose cleverness in handling witnesses determined to perjure themselveshadoften appealed to her admiration. Having once mentioned his name with approval,theworthy ladythoughtitwas incumbent upon her to argue away allthatmightbesaid against himandallthatmight be urged in favourofother solicitors;andatlength Susan decidedthatshe wouldgoto see Lawyer J ones inthemorning.MissProudleigh wassodelighted withtheprospectofhavingMr.Jones proceed against Maria,thatduring the restofthe time she remainedatthehouse she couldtalkofnothingbutthatlawyer's merits.Buton leaving she reminded Susanofthe valueofprayeras a consolation for allthetroublesoflife,andsug gestedthatsupplications made properlyandin a reverent spirit might leadtoMaria's being afflicted with manifold illsthroughoutthe restofherdays. AfterMissProudleighhadleft, the familysatupuntil twelve o'clock discussing the fightandthecoming case. And inmanyoftheyardsandhousesofthelane the fight also formed the topicofdiscussion.Intheyardwhere Maria lived somethirtypersons assembled to expresstheirsympathywithherandtogive fervent utterancetothehopethatshehadbeatenSusan properly. They were comforted on learning from Mariathatshe had. Mother Smith herself performed a sortofwar dance aboutthepremises, showing in pantomimewhatshe would do as soonasshe should lay handsuponSusan and Susan's people,

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHdown to thethird arid fourth generation. Everybody' agreedthatMariahadbeen most shamefullyilltreated,andone ofthegirls whohadbeen with Mariaatthestreet cornerwentsofar as to think"shehad,seen Susan draw apairofscissorsoutofherpocket,;'. presumably tostabMaria. Indeed, in someofthe tenement yardsitwas actually reportedthatbloodchadbeen drawn, one eye-witness even undertaking': to describe the wounds. Altogether,itwas a very exciting night inthatsectionofthelane in whichthe,girls lived, and almost every one was gladthatSusanhadatlast methermatch. The excitement waskeptalive the nextdaybythe newsthatSusanhadbrought up Maria. Mariahadbeen expecting this, for she had rightly calculated'thatno girl in Susan's financial position would forgotheluxuryofa case in court after such a fight, Maria, was poor,butshe feltthatthe only proper thing to do in the circumstances was to cross thewarrant";soshe went and crosseditthatsame day,andMother Smith began to sell someofherscanty stockoffurnitureto raise enough money to employ a lawyer. Susan acted very rapidly when her mind was made up. After leavingthecourt-house shehadsent a note to Tom telling him to come round to seeherthatnight;andTom, whohadalready heard aboutthefight,came.as requested.Hewas a short, stoutish young fellowofabout.twenty-six yearsofage,andsomewhat lighter in complexion than Susan. His watery eyes, weak mouth, and tip-tilted nose showed amanoflittle'strengthofcharacter;you would rightlyhavede-

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THECASE IN COURT25" scribedhimas a nondescript sortofperson.Hetookgreat pride in his appearance, always used cheap scents on Sundays,andcarried on his amoursassurreptitiously as possible.Hehada horror of domestic quarrels, and thoughitwas truethathehadbeenattractedbyMaria's appearance, fear of Susan'stemperhadkepthimfairly faithful to hisvowsofeternal constancy.Hehadflirtedjusta littlewithMaria.Hehad madeherone or two presents. : Jie had written her a coupleofletters;he wasrather(perhaps dangerously) fondofwriting letters.ButSusan overawed him, and inthemidstofthese amorous exerciseshehaddevoutly hopedthatshe would never suspect himofeven speaking to Maria.Judgeofhisconsternation, therefore, when, after greetinghimcoldlyandsayingthatshehadsent for him becausehedidnotseem to care nowaboutcoming to seeherasoften as before, she launchedoutupon a seaofreproaches,andoverwhelmed him with perfectlyjustaccusations. Naturally, he denied all intercoursewithMaria, though remembering with a sinkingheartthat his own handwriting might be produced againsthim.ButSusan evidently knew nothingabout thoseletters:perhaps he could induce Mariato r return them to him. He began to takeheart-too soon.ForSusan did not believe a'Nordhe said, though she pretended to dosoin order to gaintheendshehadin view. She heard himouttotheend, and afterhehadexpressed his indignationatthe.conductofMaria, and agreed with Susanthatthatyoungwoman deserved severest punishment, she fsaid, !

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH26 I bring Mariaupto-day." Tom was thunderstruck."Youmean,"hestammered,"thatyougoingintoa court-house withthatgirl? " Yes," she answered; "I make up me mind.""An'then," he protested heatedly,"my naIl!e will be called, an' I will be mixed up init! What you talkin' about,Sue?""You'namewon'tbe called," she answered" in flexibly."Whatyou frettingabout?Ifyou knoWI as you say,thatyouhavenothing todowithMaria,.you needn't trouble you'self.Itismebringingherup,notyou. Who is to call you'name?" Tom looked intoherface, and realizedthattherewas no turningherfromherpurpose.The two were alone intheday-sitting-room;buteven ifthe restofthe family were there, he reflectedruefully,thatwould hardly assist him.I. Idon'tlikeit,"hemuttereddismally. Don'tfret about anything," she cheerfullyadvised him as he badehergood-night."You' nalhe won'tcome into the case."ButTom leftherwith a sinking heart. The eventful dayofthecase dawnedatlast,andfound Susan andherfamily in a stateofintenseexcitement. The case was to be tried inthe Police Court, a building whichhadonce been a barracks fortheImperial soldiers when troops were stationed inthecityofKingston. The courtyard of thi! building opened on onehandupon the city'scentralpark, a large plotofland planted out in umbrageous

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THECASE IN COURT27evergreensandflowering shmbs; ontheother hand,. itopenedupononeofthecity'sbusiest thorough : fares.Thus ontheone side wasanoasisofpeaceandbeauty, while intheadjoiningstreettothewestallwassqualorandconfusion. This street itself .wasfilled with little shopsandcrowded with clamour-Iing;gesticulating people. Amarketwas there,and..theechoesofshrieksoflaughterandsudden volleysofabuse sometimes came tothemagistratesandlawyersastheytransacted their businessinthecourt;but they accepted these minorintermptionsaspartofthe settled orderofthings,andnever complained about them. Carts rattling overthebrick pavement, electric cars passingatfrequent intervals and in cessantly sounding their gongstowarnthecarelesspeopleoutoftheirway, diminutive venders shoutingoutthenatureandsuperior qualityoftheirwares-allthis,withtheinevitable cloudsofdustwhich sweptoverand enveloped everything, madeupthelifeandactivityofthestreet. And dominatingthewholescenestoodtheweather-worn, ugly, two-storeyed building whichtosomany thousandsofthepeoplewasthe awe-inspiring symbolofa vague and tremendous power called Law. Both SusanandMaria knewtheplace well. They arrived there with theirattendantretinuesata littlebeforeten o'clock,thehouratwhichthecourt begantosit. Policemen were to be seenaboutthelarge courtyard, clad in white jacketsandblue serge trousersandwhite helmets. They werethevisible and self-conscious representatives of might, majesty, dominion,andpower. Habitual criminals made

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHremarks about them astheypassed upand do amongstthescores of people who loiteredin."courtyard;butthey paid no attention to these, 'f. freedomofambiguous speech istheprivilegeofaI.habitualcriminals. Soonaftertheir arrival, Susan and Maria entered' thecourt-room with their friends to wait untii theu, case should be called. Theyhadbeen theremore'thanonce before as spectators,butnow, as. principal actors in such a tremendous drama, thel' gazedaboutthem with newandstrange Theroom was furnished intheplainest mann" possible.Atthe southern endofitwas a PlatfOImtj on which stood a deskandachair:these were for the magistrate. To the magistrate's right was the:witness box, and just below his desk was a with anumberofchairs around it. Here the C01ltt serjeant, one or two police inspectors, and the lawyers: sat. Behind these, and facing the magistrate, WU' thedock;behind this dock were ranged afew woodell'l benches without backs,andapparently designed for the purposeofinflictingthemaximum amountW physical discomfort on those who might choose' tositon them. These were for the useof thel spectators. A case over, a trifling thing relating to a younglady"with fifteen previous convictions for al;msivelanguagelthe caseofSusan Proudleighv.Maria Bellicant was', called. Maria, as the accused, took up her stand: behindherlawyer, who roseandinformed the:' magistratethathe appeared for her.1"SusanProudleigh!"calledthecourt serjeant,

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.THECASE IN COURT .SusaIf rose.Butthepolicemanatthedoor, whoedasthe crier ofthecourt, wouldnotbedefrauded hisprivilegeofshouting outhername;soimme Ctiately his voice washeardscreaming. "Su-u-u-sanPounder!Su-u-u-sanPounder!Su-u-u-sanPounder!" Andanotherpoliceman outside took up the cry with,"Su-u-u-sanPlummer!"rSu-u-u-sanPlummer!Su-u-sanPlummer!" and wasabout toreturnthe verdictof .. No answer," when he learntthatthelady was inside. -Susan was motioned towards the witness box afterMariahad vehemently pleaded not guilty tothechargeofassault andbattery. She felt nervous as she gazedaroundthe crowded room,butshe was comfortedbythereflectionthatshe looked very well inherwhitelawnfrock trimmed with blue ribbons, withhattoatch.IShetook the book inherhand as directed, andsworethatshe would tell nothingbutthetruth.Thenshe stated her case. _" MyHonour, I was walking me wayquitequietan'peaceful down Blake Lane on Thursday nightlastweek; I was goin' for a walk, my Honour, an'.thinkingabout--"...Never mindwhatyou were thinkingabout,"saidthemagistrate: goon." ..Yes, my Honour. I was thinkin'aboutme poor oJd fatherathome, when allofa sudden I see Maria ellicantatthe corner. I was goin' to tell'ergoodevening,because as I know I neverdohernothing, I hadnobad feelings against 'er.and--" Oh,never mind allthat!" interruptedthemagis-

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SUSAN.PROUDLEIGHtrateimpatiently; "we don'twanttohearyourfeelings. Tell usthefacts.." ."'1This was distinctly disconcerting. Susan, whohadbeentryingtomanipulateherth'sproperlyso makea good impression uponHisHonour, now began tothinkhewas prejudicedagainsther.However;,shewentbravelyon.," I goupto Maria,myHonour,an'I wasgoing to' say,'Goodevening, Maria,' whenshelookat laugh. An' she say, Lookatthiswort'less gal!I. t say to her, 'But,Maria, why youcaUmewort'less1',an'I goupnearerupto'erin a friendly spirit;a:n', shetake'erelbow an' push me,an'I hold 'er an' she collarmean' begin to beat me, an' I bawlfor'murder."....Shepaused,for this washerversionofthe truth; thewholetruth,andnothingbutthetruth. lawyer askedhera few questions,theanswers to all tendedtocorroborateherstory. She felt satisfied, believingthatshehadalreadywonthe case';: butMaria's lawyer rose very quietly, and intimated thathe desiredtoask her a few questions. Yournameis Susan Proudleigh?"he asked, the toneofhis voice suggestingthathethoughtthe nanie might beanalias: Yes.""YouliveatNo.101BlakeLane? " Yes, sir.' Yourintended'sname is ThomasWooley?" ...." Whathasthattodo withthecase?" asked thf magistrate. : A great deal,yourHonour," answeredthe 30

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THECASEINCOURT31IINow,Susan," hewenton, remember youareon 'youroath!Yoursweetheart'sname isThomasWooley,isn'tit?", Susan lookedathimdumbly.Buthis"Answer ; me!" was too peremptory tobedisobeyed."Yes,"she answered,andherheartsank, for she rememberedwhatshehadsaid to TomabouthisDamenotbeing called . "Arid heis'tiredofyou,isn'the ?"herquestioner continued mercilessly, rejoicing in her confusion. What youmean?"I""Answermy question,miss!"was againthecommand. No;him ne\ er tell me so.".. Ah,now,don'tyou knowthatThomas is in love'withMaria?"."Idon'tknowdatatall;in fact, you'a\'eno business--""Don'tyou dare argue withme!Now when youmetMaria Bellicantthatnight,andwhen you toldherthatshehadstolentheclothes shehadon--" I never tell 'cr so! Susanbnrstforth. "I tell'er;she didn't'avea decent dress towear! " Oh!soyou provoked her, did you ?" Susan perceivedthatshehadblundered,butthe lawyer didnotgivehera chance to recover herself. .. Why did you provokeher?Answer meatonce! heinsisted,andshe wasabouttoblunder further,whenherlawyerroseandaskedthemagistrateifhis client. wastobeintimidatedandbullied inthatfashion? He suggestedthatSusanhadoffered no

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SUSAN PROUDLEIG H provocation whatever, and, although the;magis promptly stopped him, Susancaughtthecue. had to admit, however,thatshehadstruckMafter she herselfhadbeen struck,andMaria'slawas satisfiedthatSusan's principal witnesswadmit far morethanthat. This witness was a young man, one HezekiahThphilus Wilberforce. Catherinehadtakenillaatthe last moment, fearofthecourt-house ha much to do withhersudden illness; so Susan haQ to fall backuponthe assistance of Hezekiah. she been sophisticated she mighthavetried toobthe services of a professional witness. A fewof.'are always to be found in every West Indian towD, any.importance,andthey performtheusefulfuneofswearing to thingsthey never saw. You re the circumstances to them, andtheyfindthat.'were in the vicinityofthe occurrence (whatever. was)onthedayor night inquestion;and,ifwere not seenbyanyofthe other witnesses, that beattributedto the factthatthe excitement intense. These menarewell known tothemagistrates lawyers,andsometimes they are called upon toexp their astonishing ubiquity.Butamanisby BritS law considered honest untilheis proven to be' scoundrel,sothese witnesses continue to flourish green bay trees. Susan, however, knew nothing the high mysteriesofthelaw and thecustomsofcourt.SoHezekiahhadbeen selectedbyher, on the strength of his own recommendation, as apemost likely to give a graphicandsatisfactory ae32

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THECASE IN COURT the ill-treatment shehadsufferedatthehandsof :)lana Bellicant. :"'. Hezekiah had alwayshadanambition to figureISsomething in a courtofjustice. Not being able.toprosecute anybody himself, he longed forthetime itwhen he should kiss de book," and then proceedto f' tena story which should assist in sending a fellow .creature to prison. On his name being called,hecame the court all smiles,andholding high his shining head. as one who realizedtheimportanceofbeing a 'tness.HerepeatedthestorythatSusanhadtold, Y,arying itonly by a detailed descriptionofthetreatto which shehadbeen su bj ected. Askedbythe iDagistrate why hehadnotattemptedto separatethe lids. he replied with a grinthat"horsedon'thavebusiness in cow's fight," a reason which, he thought. amply explained hisapparentcowardice.Thatsaid.".hewasabout to step down from the box, not anticipating that anything further would be requiredofhim. when Maria's lawyer abruptly asked him wherehewas 'gomg to? He paused. confused bythesharp and even threateningtoneofthe lawyer, who knew his typewell. .IIHezekiah, whatdoyou do for aliving?"was "Ute first questionputto him . The question wasquiteunexpected, anditwas simply impossible for Hezekiah to answeritstraight forwardly. Forthetruthwasthathe did nothing for a living. While he stared open-mouthedatthelawyer. wondering what to say,thelatter called His 'Honour's attention tothefactthatthe witness could answer a simple question about his own meansof3

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34SUSANPROUDLEIGHlivelihood, and then suggestedthatHezekiah must either be a thief or a loafer.Themagistrate was peremptory."Whatdoyoudo for a living? he asked, Memother help me, sah, an' me uncle," stam mered poor Hezekiah, reduced to the sad extremityoftellingthetruth, Now,sir! thunderedthelawyer, do youmean'totell methata big man like youisliving on apoor'oldwoman?Andhaveyou nothingbetterto M than'come to the court-houseandtell lies? " Idon'ttell no lie, sah! grumbled Hezekiah. Don'tbe impertinent,sir!Now rememberyouareon youroath:didn'ttheChinamanatthelane'corner once threatentoputyou in charge for stealing a packofRosebud cigarettesoffhiscounter? Thequestion came like a thunder-clap. Hezekiah's love for these cigarettes was well-known to allhis'friends,buthehadfondly hopedthatthatlittle'episode, which mighthavehadsounpleasant atermination,hadbeen forgottenbythe Chinamanhim-, self. How didthelawyer knowofit?Inhis ,be wildermentitdidnotdawn on himthathiswhole'life-history, insofaras Maria knew it,hadbeen'told with point and circumstance to Maria's lawyer. "Fearnow took possessionofhim-abjectfear. Afew-,more questions likethelast,andhisreputationin the',' 1lane would be ruined for ever.Hemovedaboutinhis' circle as a manofsome importance, for he playedtheguitar, swore with remarkable fluency,andclaimed'superiority onthegroundthathe neither workednorwanted. This examination was notatallwhathehad'

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THECASE IN COURT35bargained for.Ashe explained afterwards, the lawyer took a mean advantageofhim.Butthe fierce inter rogatoryhadhadits effect; for when the lawyer asked him,"Now,didn'tyou see Susan Proudleigh assault Maria Bellicant first?..hemeekly answered, Yes." Afterthatthe truth, or as muchofitas Hezekiahcouldremember, came out. AllthatSusan's lawyercoulddowas to provethatMariahadbeen as quicktoquarrel as Susan. Long beforethewitnesses werefinishedwith,ithadbecome cleartothe magistrate that hehadhere a simple caseofjealousy to deal with,and,ashehadacquired somethingofa reputationasa makerofcompromises (which satisfied nobody)hethoughthewould interposeatthis pointandsostill furtheraddto his fame as a peacemaker. Looking sternlyatSusan, he toldherthatshe couldgoonwiththecaseifsheliked;butthatthough itwasclearthathe would have to fine Maria for pro voking her to a breachofthe peace,byputtingherhand inher(the prosecutor's) face, whichactamountedtoa technical assault, he saw clearlythatwhen Maria Bellicant's case came on he would also have to fine the present prosecutor. Bothhadused insulting words;bothwere to blame. So he would advise themtomakeuptheirdifferencesoutofcourt, especiallyasthey appeared to be two decent young women. Being amanofdecided views on morality, he was particularlyhardon Tom.IIThatyoung man, Tom Wooley,"hesaid, hasreally beenthecauseofthis quarrel. I wish he was heresothatI could deal with him.ButI hopethat

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHsome one will tellhimwhatI say. He seems tobea very loose character,andI fearthatthereareonlytoo many such in Kingston. I have nodoubtthatheis deceiving anumberofother women,andhis actsmaylead to some of them going to prison one day." The speaker glancedatthereporters to seeiftheyweretaking down his little speech. Satisfiedthattheywere,hewent on to urgeupon the girls the necessityofleading a respectableandself-sacrificing life. This theymost faithfully promised to do, all the while thinkinghimanold crank who interfered too freely with other people's business. Much pleased withtheapparent: resultofhis efforts to rescue SusanandMaria fromthe, broadandeasy way,andproudthathehadeffected another compromise, he ordered the serjeant to callthenext case,andtheyoung womenandtheir several friends left the court. Maria was delighted, for Susanhadtoall intentsandpurposes losthercase. Hezekiah wasdazed,his mind being awhirl with newanduncomplimentary thoughts about His Britannic Majesty's courts. They were to him places where mean advantages weretakenoftruthful witnesses,andin hisheartofheartsheknewalsothathehadfallen from grace for ever, in so farasSusan was concerned .. As for Susan, she wasfurious.Shehadnot succeeded in getting Maria punished, Shehadbeen lecturedbyan olefool"as shecalled' thelearned magistrate. Worstofall,Tom'snaine'1hadbeen repeatedly mentioned duringthetrial.It hadbeenanentirely miserable affair, and, for her, a humiliating defeat.

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CHAPTERIVWHA T CAMEOFTHECASETHEthing aboutthetrialthatseemed to 1\:fiss Proudleigh the unkindestcutofall wastheutterfailureofLawyer Jones to rise to the occasion and pulverize his legal opponent with arguments. Shehad accompar:ied Susan to the court-house with proud expectancy. Lawyer Jones had been recom mendedbyher, and she feltthatshehadcertain proprietary rights inhim;thatshe was, in a way, responsible for his good behaviour as a lawyer. Andnowhehadfailed, failed miserably; hehaddisgracedher;she regarded him as guiltyofa base deception.Onthe way home she urged this pointofview upon Susan,andher brother agreedthatthe lawyerhadindeed acted most strangely. The wholeofthem cheatme!" said Susan bitterly. There is no justice in dis countryatall. Fromthejudge down, themisall a setofthief! " Solomon saythatitisbetterto chop ababyin two dangoto law," observed 1\1r. Proudleigh, "an'Iseeto-daydathim isquiteright. Nowifyou did half murder Maria, them would only fine you, an' you wouldhavede satisfaction to knowthatyou giveitto her properly. Insteadofdat,you bring'erupin37

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHa respectable style,an'puta lawyer on 'er, an' pay him two pounds to persecute her, an' all de justiceyouget isdatthe judge telly'uto make up de quarrelorhim willfineyou too! "" Leave them all toGod!"said Miss Proudleigh piously. Leave them to de devil, you mean! Susan rapped out."Thejudge abuse me about me intended, an'thelawyer take me money and don'tdonothingforit;an' now you tellmeto leave them toGod!Thetruthofdematteristhatall these judgean'all these lawyers is simply humbugging poor people in this country. Themwantnothing betterthanfor we' to. leave them to God,solong as them can get de money. But whilewewalk to church to pray,themdriveinmotor-car!"Wrathhad made Susan a rebel, and contemptuousofthethings shehadalways regarded with respect;butMissProud leighhadher Christian reputationtothinkof,and she couldnotjoin her niece inherviolent protest.Asfor her father, though he was inclinedtothink Susan was right, he did not care to express his. opinionofthe judge too freely in the open street. When they got home, Susan stationed herselfby the window, her favourite pointofvantage,andthere shesatfor hours nursingheranger. Nowandthen, as she looked around her,theprideofpossession filledhersoul. The room contained two American rocking chairs, andfivecane-seated chairsofa yellowish hue. There was a long wooden bench without a back placed against oneofthewalls,andtwo deal board tables;bothcovered with gaudy worsted spreads. On one

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WHATCAMEOFTHECASE 39ofthem was a kerosene lamp, a coupleofhymnbooks, and a few earthenware ornaments. Theotherwas crowded with thick tumblers, someoffantastic shapes, and aheapofcheap crockery ware. Onthewalls hung coloured printsoftheKingandtheRoyal Family, and picturesofladies dressed in exiguous garments, and smoking cigarettes withanairofenjoyment. All these things belonged to her.Theyhadbeen given to herbyTom. Andintheinnerroom shehadaniron bedonwhich was astrawmattress,andtwo more chairs,anda bigtrunkcontainingherclothes,anda basin-stand, on which shekepther"china"basinandewer.She had, besides, a large looking-glass on a little table intheroom. And all these household godswerecomparatively new. She took pride inherfurniture. Onlymarriedpeopleofherclass usuallyhadas much,andcertainly Mariahadnot."Afterall," she morethanonce muttered to herself, I'avea comfortable house tocometo,an'perhaps l\faria don't'avea pennyto-day."Yet she wasnotlong comforted by this reflection. Mariahadpractically triumphed, and her successatthe court-house might embolden her toattempttocaptureTomoutright.Susandidnotcare much forTom;infact, sheratherdespised him.Buttimes werehardinKingston,andlovers werenoteasytoobtain;soifMaria should succeed.... Butthatcan'tbedone," sheconcluded;for what was Maria when compared withher?Susan wasnotgiventofollowingoutatrainofthought foranylengthoftime;she usuallyjumpedfrom one subject toanotherasitcameupinhermind.

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4SUSANPROUDLEIGHButtheexperienceofthatmorning, and its unknownbutdreaded consequences, caused her now todwelllengthily upon the days before she became acquainted with Tom. Herpasthadnotbeen a pleasantone .. Herfatherwas a carpenter,andwhen in good health. hehadearned a fairamountofmoney by workingathis trade.Butsome sixteen years before hehadbeenprostrated by a severeattackofrheumatism,andwhenherecovered he foundthathehadalmost lost theuseofhis lower limbs. Thenherbrother went awaytoNicaragua, and only wrote occasionally, sometimes sending afewdollars to his parents. Afterherfather's illnesshermotherhadturnedwasherwoman,andwhattheold woman earned helped to keep the familyfromstarvation. Her father did a few light jobs, whenhecould get them,butthese did not bring inmuch.Susan herself, on leavingtheGovernment elementary school when a little over fourteen yearsofage,hadtried to find asituation;butthere was hardly anything she coulddoatthatage.Inthose days she lived in a yard-room withtherestofthefamily. She could remember herself as often. standingatthe gateoftheyard, her feetthrustintoa pairofslippers, and looking with envyatthosegirlswho could afford to wear shoesandgoto all the Sunday school picnics and treats. There were days whenshewent to bed without dinner, a fate by nomeansunknown to hundredsofotherpersons inherposition. Onotherdays she was gladifherdinner consistedof.a pieceofdry bread.Therentofthe roomherfamily occupied was alwaysthegreat problemthatfacedthem continually; forifitwas not paid theirfew

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WHATCAMEOFTHECASE41belongingsmightbe levied upon,andthe old people -wouldhave to go to the almshouse. Semi-starvationwasbetterthanthat,sotheynotinfrequently starved. When she was nearly eighteen,whatshe called aluck"befell her. She was inthehabitofattending,every Wednesday evening, a little church nearwhereshe lived. There had been revival meetings in that church ashorttime before shehadtaken to goingtothe services,andnearly everybody in its immediate neighbourhoodhadbeen converted. Amongst these converts was a young fellowofnineteen, a clerkby ocCupation; andseeing Susan inthechurch onceortwice, he was moved toattemptthesavingofhersoul.He only succeeded in losing his heart. For some months he gave her five shillings a week outofthe fifteen heearned;then he unfortunatelylosthis situation, and Susan's father awoke to a senseofoutraged morality.Itwas edifying to hearMr.Proud leigh lecturethatyoungmanon the moral obliquityofendeavouring to"drawa youthful feminine away from religion." There wasnoarguingwithhim, for very little argument is left in any youthwhohas lost hissituation;sotheyoung man quietly driftedoutofSusan's life. For some time longer the family was compelled to exist on the mother's earningsandonwhatMr.Proud leigh's soninNicaragua occasionally sent home.ItwasthenthatSusan tried herhardestto obtain workofsomekind.Butitrequired influence to secure a position as abarmaid;the small shops haP. as many assistants astheyrequired,andinanycase usually employed young women fairerthanshewas;as for

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHcrochet-making,thathadbecome so common that very few.persons now cared to trim their clotheswithcrochet. She might have got a situation asnursein oneofthewealthier familiesofKingston,buttodomestic work shehada strong aversion.Itwasnot,in her opinion, genteel. She didnotwantto bewhatshecalled"a common servant."Soshe waitedinidleness dayafterday, a prey to discontent,andwonderingifherluck would ever turn.Itdidturnwhen she was twenty years of age. She was standingatthegateofheryardone Sundayafternoon, very plainly dressed,butwith herhairneatlycombedandplaited. Tom was walking downthelane, with no object in particular,andseeing herallalone he thought he might as welltryto makeheracquaintanceandhave a littlechatwith her.Ashewaswelldressed. from his polished yellow bootsupto his new straw hat, Susan didnotobject tohisinquiry afterherhealth;and beingthusencouraged he made further advances.Thatafternoon he talkedoftrifling things foraboutaquarterofanhour. The following evening heagainwalked down the lane, and Susan was once moreatthegate. Onthesubsequent night, when Tommet.herbyappointment, she asked him why he didnotcome inside,andon his acceptingherinvitationhewas welcomedbyherfamily with everymarkofcordialityandrespect.Infact, they all went outof theroom and lefthimwith Susan,sothattheyoungcouple's conversation might not be interrupted inanyway. A week afterthat,she removed into the housewhich

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WHATCAMEOFTHECASE 43 $he now occupied. Thus shehadrealized,ata bound,lone 9f thegreatambitionsofherlife. But now Maria wastryingto come betweenherandTom. And this case--now thatshehadlost it, 'she wasrathersorry shehadtakenitto court.Tom's:namehadbeen repeatedly called,andhehadwarnedheragainstthat.Andhermoney, the moneyhehadorigihally given her,hadgone for nothing.Ifthatt-hadbeen all she wouldnothavecared much,butshe .felt sure shehadnotyetheardthelastofthefight and the trial. She wished she could believethatshe had.Itwas inanuneasy frameofmindthatsheateherdinnerbythewindowthatevening,puttingherplate ona chair in frontofher. She was still eating when herauntreturned tothehouse forthepurposeoffurther discussing the detailsofthecase;anditwasonlythenthatSusan'sfatherandthe others came into the sitting-room, which -theyhadavoided all during the day, perceivingthatSusan was too sorelysickatheartto appreciate conversation.MissProudleigh, who, morethanallofthemto gether, was versed inthenewspaper reportsofthecourts,hadconceived a brilliant idea,andwished toloseno time before letting Susan knowofit. Ithinks, Susan," she said,aftershehadsatdown, thatthecase wasnottryfair. An'Ithinks you ought to appeal." Appeal? asked herbrother."Whatisdat?"NowMiss Proudleigh didnotknow exactly. Sosheanswered vaguely, Somethingto make de casetryright. ,

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44SUSANPROUDLEIGH .r""Thatwon't help," said Susan decisively."Dejudge tell me Ibetterdropthecase, an' I agree. ,It is all done away wid now.Whatis botheringmeisI'theway de judgetalkaboutTom.It'sgoingtobeall over Kingston to-morrow, for I saw thenewspaper'manwritingitdown.Whata pieceofbadluck faD upon a poor gorlto-day!An' I didn't do asinglesoulanyt'ing." :: I It Butdon'titfinishnow?" askedtheold hopefully. It Idon'tknowaboutdat,"Susan replied. "Tom's'namecall,an'him goingtovex."IThis was indeedwhateverybody feared;butMiss!Proudleighhada never-failing source of. comfort in Iherprinciples as a religious woman. .I It Susan," she said, youmusthave faith. WheD' did you' intended see you de firsttime? K on a Sunday evening? Nowifitwas on aMondayoraSaturdayor anyotherdayofde week, youwotildsayitwas a sortofaccident.Butwhen an important eventstakeplace on a Sunday, allofa sudden,itisyou' businesstoacknowledgethatthe Lord havemadespecial interposition inyourbehalf. You mustn'tbeungrateful. Sue. The Lord is not mocked.Blessedis demanthattrustethin Him. An' though the teXt saystman'itmean woman too. Everythingisgoin'.togo right. Tomwon'tvex too much." It Thatis what Ithinksmeself," agreedSusan'S'father, who was only too glad to catchatanyrayofhope. It Susan is de childofmany pr'yers.Frollithedayshe borntodis day, I been prayin' forher.Nota thing can happentoher!De night

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WHAT CAMEOFTHECASE45 'shebecame acquaint wid Mister Tom,Idreamdat f amangotree growupin me room, an'Iknowthat 'sametimethatsomet'ing was going to happen. Now _lastnightIdreamdatacowmaltreatMother Smit,an'at firstIthoughtedthatSusan was goin' to windecase.ButI see nowdatitmeanthatMister Tomisnotgoin' to'avenothing more to do wid Maria." "Well, sah," answered Susan petulantly,"allIhaveto sayis,thatyou' prayersdidn't'elp me much .thismorning! .This,Susan's latest expressionofinfidelity, simply startled her audience. Their Providence was one that struck with blindness orinstantdeath anyofHiscreatures who dared to question His wisdom orgoodness,and who bestowed no blessings upon thosewhoworked ontheSabbath Day. To other sins Hewaslenient.Healways allowed ample time to thesinnersto repentofthem. One could also think hard thingsofHim, for what was not spoken aloud mightescapethe hearing evenofthe higher Powers.Butsoopenly todoubtthe efficacyofprayer, as Susan haddone,was to tempt Providence; and she herselffelta little frightened after the wordshadescaped her .MissProudleigh, who herselfhadmuchofSusan's temper, and who could never forgetthatshe stoodhighin the estimationofher"leader"intheWesleyanchapelofwhich she was an honoured and vocal member,wouldnot allow this last speechofSusan's to pass without reproof. Ifyou goin' to talk likethat,Susan," she said severely, .. I will 'ave to leave the premises. Ican't

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGH sit down an'hearyou laugh atpr'yer. Idon't want tobe include inthegeneraljudgment;for whentheLord's time cometolaugh, Him going to laughfor'true." Her indignation having been expressed, faithimmediately rose to higher heights,andshe went on. Asfo' Maria, she will be punished, an' youan'me will live to see Mother Smith beggin' bread.IHewill smitetheoppressor, an' the wicked Hewinutterly destroy.' I am goin' toprayfor Mariaan'her mother. I am goin' to praythatthemwon'thave bread toeat;-an' when a woman like mekneeldown an"pray,herpr'yers must beheard!" I gwine to pray too," cried the old man, with en thusiasm."Fourknees isbetterthantwo. Iaregoing to church next Sunday night to offer upmesupplication against all Susan's enemy. Sue,"he'concluded, turning to his daughter,"you' happen to have a small coins abouty'uto lendyourolefader?I feel weak in me chest, an' a littleruman' ani sou would help de feeling." This request for a loan, coming after hisexpresseddetermination toprayagainstherenemies,couldnotwell be refusedbySusan;andshe wasabouttohandhim threepence, whenthefront dooropenedquicklyandTom stepped into the room. As he entered,theold man rose and gave him a' military salute.Buton this occasion Tomsimplybrushedpasthim without saying anything,andwentatoncetoSusan. Such brusqueness wasuno'usual, andMr.Proudleigh, still inthemilita.ry attitude, staredatTom with wonder in his eyes.

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WHAT CAMEOF THE CASE 47 The young man was angry. They all sawthat.Atany other timetheywould have left him alonewithSusan,butnow curiosity got thebetterofrespect,andthey remainedtohearwhathehadto say . II Susan," he began, without even biddinghergoodevening, II didn'tI telly'unot totakethecaseto court ?" II You gain' to quarrel wid me aboutitnow? washer answer."It'snotmyfaultdatI loseit!It's Hezekiah wid his foolishness. An' insteadofsympathizing with me, you walk intothehouse,likea nager man, an'don'tspeak tonobody!Seehere,Tom, ifit'sbecause I losethemoney you giveme,I will work an' pay youback." II Never mind, Susan, never mind," interposed her aunt, anxious to playtheblessedpartofpeace maker."Mr.Tomdon'tsay anythingofan aggra vating nature. Two young peoplemustn'tquarrel.Youisto live in peace,an'--" II Idon'twant to hear anything from you," snapped Susan."Tom'ave no righttocome into de houselikethis." Thus she tried toputTom in the wrong, feeling thatif she frightened himbya displayoftemperhewould not say very much about his name being called inthecourt-house, a circumstance which she lierself regretted greatly. Buttheold man, alarmedatTom'sattitude,andfearing lest Susan should drive him awayatatime "when Maria, and probably others, were spreading their nets for him,thoughtthatnow was the oppor.,. tunity for proving to Tomthatin everyimportant

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGH domestic crisis he would have the headofthe on his side. i :"Susan,"he commenced, with some fear in his', heartas to how she would receive his admonition", Idon'texproveofyou' conduct. Mister Tomisa young man, an' a young manissupposed to get .;. vated. Ef I did knowthathim tell you positivenotto take de case to court, I would have tell youthesame meself. The factofde matteris,I did tell you', so.Forwhen you look upon one thing, an' alsouponanother--",ButSusan would listen tonomore. Shesprangfrom her chair."Seehere!"she asked,lookingrapidlyateachofthem in turn,"youall wanttoabuse me to-night?WhatIdoanyofyou?Eh?Whatyou interfering with mefor?" But Tom was now in a desperate mood, andSusan'srage did not seem to frighten him. He glared backather."Didn'tI tell you I didn'twantmename call in the court-house? he demanded .. Y'uhadnobusinesstofight with Maria.Ifyoudidn'tspeak to her, she couldn't have troubledyou.Butyou infernalwomen--"..Don'tcall me infernal,Taam!Don't y'ucallme infernal!It'snotbecause you paying merentthatyou must use me an' take an advantageofmeasifI was a common street gurl. Don'ty'udoit,Tom!" Well, whether you likeitor not, I sayitalready," replied Tom 'bitterly. ." Asto the rent,y'uwillhave to payityourself ne;xt month!""Ohyes?"retorted Susan."Soyou gwineto

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... WHAT CAME OFTHECASE49Maria,eh?Well, I tell youstraightthatI will pull every plaitoutofshe head! An' as for you, me goodman,Idon'tknow what foot you goin' totaketowalkgoto Maria's house! Lor-r-rd!"she screamed."Lookwhatthismancomean' tell me to me face! Him say him goingtothis woman, Maria, an' is leaving me! and she burst intoangrytears. Ididn'tsaythatatall," Tommutteredsullenly. ".1 said I amnotgoing to payanyrentnext month. Somebodygoto-day an' tell Mr. Jacobsallthatdejudge sayaboutme, andMr.Jacobspayme two weeks'wagesandtell me himdon'twantme any more."Itwas only too true. Tomhadmanyfriends who envied him his job, anditwas oneofthese whohadhastenedtohis employer with a full accountofSusan'scase.Inhis narration this friendhadmanaged to convey the, impressionthatSusanandMaria were not the only two ladies who enjoyedthegood thingsoflifeatTom'sexpense; and asMr.Jacobs thought thatitwasnotTom.buthe himself, who might later onsuffer through Tom's excessh e gallantry, he con cludedthatthewisest thing to do was to get ridofhis philandering employeeatonce. Thushadthe blow fallen with dramatic swiftness. Susan realized whatitmeant. She ceased sobbing. This was no time for angry tears.E\enherauntfeltthata religioustextwould not relievethegravityofthesituation.Theoldmangazed inblankamazementatTom. Susan's mother and sister were dumbfounded."Thenwhaty'ugoing to do,Tom?"Itwas Susan who askedthequestion;she knew she was4

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50 SUSAN PROUDLEIGHthe causeofthecrisis,butdidnotwish to facethe blame."P'rhaps,"she went on, withoutwai.tingfor an answer,"'youwill get anotherjob?Mr.Jacobscan'tsayy'urob him, an' him must giveyou a character paper." Tom shook his head despondently."Whenamanlose his job in Kingston," he said, "itis the hatdest thing for him to get anotherone."Hehadsat down, no longer angry,buta preytodespair. His natural weakness was beginning toreassert itself. "Butyoucan'tlive widout working? saidSusan. You mean to saythaty'udon't.know anybodywhowill hireyou?Don't you have education? " Yes, Mister Tom," her father remarked encourag ingly, dipping into the convers<;l.tion; "aejucated' gen'leman like you is not common. Trust to God! "ButTom was not to be comforted."Ibeenwith Mr. Jacobs six years," he said,"an'everybodyisgoin' to saythatitis funny him discharge me allofasudden." Then whatyou gain' to do?"Susan askedagain.."I'mgoing to Colon." Colon?"repeated Susan, with mingled hopeandfear in her heart. Yes;Colon.""Well,Colon is a very good place," said theoldman reflectively. He was entertaining hopesofbeingtaken to Colon himself."IthinksMissSusan wiU likeit." Ican'ttake her. Idon'thave sufficient money.""Thenwhatyou goin' "to do widme?"asked

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WHAT CAMEOFTHECASE51Susan, seeing her worst fears about to be realized. Leave mehere? II" I will send for y'u, Sue," Tom answered,"ifIgeta job.ButIdon'tknow what is gain' to nappen. ",.It'sall yourfault."' This wassotruethatthe rebuke was accepted insilence.ButSusan did not wish to be left behind,forMaria and her mother to triumph over her downfall. Tom," she pleaded, take me withyou!I canwork,an' there is plenty0'work in Colon.""Weall can work," said her father anxiously, though why he should have included himself was somethingofa mystery."Ihave always wanted togooversea like me son. The fambily could makes you very happy, Mister Tom." He paused, forhesaw that nobody was payinganyattention to him. Tom, in fact, was explaining to Susan how im possibleitwas forhimto take her to Colon withhim,and was mingling his explanations with weak reproaches. Susan listened dumbly. She was thinkinghowfewofherfriends and acquaintances would sympathize withher;how the front house would have to be given up,andperhaps someofherfurnituresold.Nor wasthatall.ForifTom didnotsendforher, as he promised, the old life mighthaveto be resumed; andthatwould be more intolerable now than before. She would miss allthatshehadbecome accustomed to. She might have to faceactualwantshewhohadfor one full year enjoyedwhatshe con sidered luxury. ,.."Whenyou gain'?"she askedatlength, afterTomhad said his say,

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH,tSaturday."This was Wednesdaynight:three days more and hewould be gone. She cried, this time in real distress. Tom wu touched, or he thought, erroneously,thatshe waS crying because he was going to a foreign land where he would be far away from her. Don'tfret, Sue,"hesaid, trying to sootheher. Colon is a place where a lot0'money is making now.IfI strike a job, you will be all right. Inthemeantimey'umustdo you' best." "",Whatthatbest was,andhowitwas to be was not: apparent to Susan.Butthe old man fai&. fully promised TomthatSusan woulddoher best. An' when you is arrive, Mister Tom, write todeole man,"Mr.Proudleigh added, rising, for Tom had risen togo.. God bless you, me son," said his wife, as Tomshookhandswithher;"youhas been kind toMissSusan," Putyourtrustin de Lord," saidMissProudleigb, '. an' He shall renewthystrength." Susan's sisters saidnothing;Susan herself put onherhatto walk with him a portionofthewayhome, partly forthepurposeofdiscussingcertamfinancial matters,partlyto make surethathe"didnotcallatMaria's yard.:"They went out together,andthen Catherine remarked: IfSusandidn'ttakede case to court, this happen." Whatwegwinetodo now ? leigh dolefully.Nooneansweredthequestion.

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CHAPTERVLETITIA'SINVITATION IDON'T do too badly this week," said Susan,as, sitting atthethresholdofa little room, which was oneofa rangeinayard, she slowly counted anumberofsmall silverandcopper coinswhichshe held inherlap ..How much youmake?"asked Catherine, whosatona little box near to the door, watching Susan's addition with interested eyes .....I make eight shillin's and sixpence, an' two shillin'sisowingoutto me, allofwhichisprofit.IfIdid'ave anybody togoan'dunforitlast night, I would 'ave ten shillin's an' sixpence this morning.Nextweek I going to sell n1Qre, for I am goin' toputmorethings intheshop." :"Business is good," said Catherine, .. butitwill soon getbetter;soevenifTomdon'tsend for you,Sue, YQu willbeallright." ..Yes,Iamindependent now," returned Susan, with a touchofpride inhervoice; .. butI sickofthis life. Everydayit'sde same thing. I'aveto work; too hard,an'sometimes Idon'tmakeas much in adayas Iuseto spend on car ride when Tom was here. Ifeel'so tired; Ican'tevengoto church dis morning.53

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54SUSAN PROUDLEIGH If I wouldsendKate could goan intendedinAn' yet I have some good frock. I going to saveupmoney meself an'gotoColon,evenifTom don'tsendfor me." If Thatis a very good resolution, Sue," saidherfather, speaking from insideofthe room. If Colonisa better place dan Kingston. I heardatyou canearnmoney there like water, an'that'sde place I want io goto. Ef you' brother could only sepd me afewdollars,I would giveitto you, an' then you couldgoan'sendfor the wholeofwe." If Yes, sah," replied his daughter. for you, an' mammee, an' Eliza. widme.P'rhapsKate would get Colon." If I wish so," said Catherine wistfully; If deyoungmen in Kingstondon'thave nothing." If Itwasn'tsowhen I was a young man,"observedMr.Proudleigh, harking back to the past. If Indosedays a man could make plenty money, an' he treat de females like a king.Mefirst sweetheart rob meoverten pounds,an'yetI didn't miss it.Butnow amandon't'ave ten shillin's to give a gal, much-lesstenpounds for anybody to rob." If You right," agreed Susan. If Dis is not theplacefor me. ColonorPortLimonisthe country togoto, an'ifme business prosper I going to save an'gothere." She noddedherhead determinedly, then tiedthemoney inthecornerofa handkerchief,putitinherpocket, and went towards the backofthe yard. Her father cameautand sat on the spot shehadvacated. He didnotlike to question Susari-too

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LETITIA'SINVITATION55closely;butofCatherine, who wasofa milder disposi tion, hehadno fear. ."Kate,"he said, youfinkSusan will really save money togoaway?""Soshe say, papee," Catherine answered.IIAn'shedoing very well. She make ten an' six this week, an' she gain' to make more.""Thatis good," said the old man.IIEfyougowidher youmustn'tforget you'olefather, Kate. I don't want all me children to be away from me when I dead. An'ifyoudon'tsend fa' me when yougoaway, Idon'tsee how I can ever go."AsKate saw no immediate prospectofleaving Jamaica herself, she didnotpursue the conversation.Andboth she andherfather continued sitting thereforsome time in silence, gazingatnihility,andthuskeeping the Sabbathdayholy. They were still living in a lane,butnot the lane in which they had lately lived for fully a year. This onewascalled Luke Lane,andtheir yard wassituatednear the northern endofit, close toNorthStreet.Itwas some eight weeks since Tom had left,andmuch had happened in the interval. The first four weeks had been a trying time for Susan, for, even before Tom sailed for Colon, Maria and hermotherhadheardofhis dismissal. They spread the news rapidly and all Susan's enemies rejoiced withoutanyattemptat,concealment. They assembledatthe gatesoftheiryards when she passedupanddown the lane,andlaughed loudly.They.made remarks which she knew were intended for her hearing. Maria, re-: membering Susan's fatal allusion to her dress,attired

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHherself every Sunday in her most gaudy garmentsandwenttosee some people who lived oppositeto.:..Susan, sothatthelatter'scupofhumiliation shouldbefull. She knewthatSusan's establishment could not be maintained long after Tom's departure, unless some extraordinary piece ofgood fortune should befall her. 'fhis Maria confidently hoped would nothappen:shehadmissed taking Tom away from Susan;butstill there was great satisfaction in knowing that if shehadlost what she mighthavehad, Susan had lostwhatshe actuallyhadpossessed. Susan endured all these insults with considerable fortitude,andwent aboutherbusiness quietly, keepingherown counsel as to what she intended todo.About a monthafterTomhad left for Colon, sheand her family, aidedbya cart, removedwhatremainedof.herfurniture (for shehadsold some),andwent to live elsewhere. They removed lateatnight,andsilently; for Susan's pride revoltedattheveiythoughtofbeing seen taking last leaveofthebeloved front house. Removing lateatnighthadits inconveniences, for it was certaintobe saidthatshehadleft without themonth'srent, and withouttheknowledgeofthe landlord. Night removals intheWest Indies (and they are very frequent) are alwaysattendedwith this suspicion, a suspicion based upon extensive experience.Butin this instancethelandlord knew all about Susan's intention, for shehadgiven him the proper' notice,andattheendofthemonthhadgone to himandpaidhimtwo-thirdsoftherentthatwas due. As shehadbeen a good tenant, he made a virtueof

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LETITIA'S INVITATION57'necessity and. generously allowedhertoowe himthebalance.Yetall this didnotpreventitfrom "beingcirculated in certainquartersofthelanethat.-Susan,truetotheprinciplesofmanywho live in yard-roomsandlittle front houses,hadavailedherselfofthedarkness to coverherrent-escaping tracks.;She heard from Tom beforeherremoval.Inhisletterhementionedthatthechances werethatheshouldobtaina good situationifhedidnotfallilloffever. Like a sensible girl she concludedthathischancesofbeing ill were probably asgreatas his prospectsofgetting ajob;soshe told her aunt, Ibetterlookfor meself."Herwayoflooking for herself wasnotoriginal;butitproved successful. Tomhadgivenhertwo pounds before leaving. Shehadalso saved afewshillings.Andthis moneyhadcome in usefulforthe settingupofa small business.Shehadrented a little shopandhadstockeditwiththe things she knew would sell.Theshop was built againstthefence,andopenedbothintheyardandonthelane.Itwas constructed of oddbitsofboard and roofed withthreesheetsofcorrugatediron.Itcould scarcely accommodate two persons. Cus tomers werenotallowed inside. They stoodinthelaneand madetheirpurchases over acounterwhichwasmerely a squarebitofboardcutoutofthatsideofthe shop which facedthelane. Thiscounterformed a shutteratnight;you fixeditintotheopeningandsecureditbymeans ofaningenious systemofbarsand Asthieves mightbreakinandsteal, Susan usually removed someofhergoods to a safer placeat

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGH.night;the room in which she and her familylivedbeing the only place available to her. She sold breadand"grater cakeII(a cake madeofdesiccated cocoa-nut stewed with sugar). Thepricesofthis sweetmeat ranged from a farthingtothree farthings each,andshe did a considerabletradeinit.Forthechildren heldthata halfpenny spenton.a small loafofbreadanda small grater cakeyieldedabundantsatisfaction, and even grown-uppeoplefrequently made their lunchoffthe same articles. She sold cocoa-nut oil, sugar-cane, mangoes, bananas,andflour-cakes. These last were madeofflourandsugar and plentyofbaking-soda, were very cheapandfilling, and were openly despised by everybodyandsecretly eatenbyall. She sold Rosebud cigarettes, for that, shewiselycalculated, would be a good bait for the boysandmen, and she wantedthebiggest custom possible. She sold firewood, and yams and plantains,andgingerbeer. Icealso;and she proclaimedthatfactbymeansofa red flag, hung out diagonally on apole,andhaving sewn uponitthree ill-shaped letters,inwhite calico which spelt out the word,ICE. She was,in short, a full-fledged higgler, and as she sat in her shopsurrounded by boxesandbaskets,andlittle heapsofbread-stuffs, she assumed the important facialexpression commontoall higglers, thoughinhercaseneither ugliness nor slatternlinesshadsetitssealuponher;which alone differentiated her sharply frommostofthe other women who followed her trade..'There were manyofthese inthelane. Theywererivals,butamong them Susan easily stood first.For ,

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LETITIA'S INVITATION59the stockofnoneofthem was ever worth morethansevenor eight shillings,andsometimesnotworth evenhalfofthatamount. She, ontheother hand,hadboldly investedthirtyshillings in purchasesatthestart,andtheventurehadbeen justifiedbysuccess. Her looks helped her.Theyoung men who passedbyher shop patronizedherandattemptedtomakelovetoher;butthey were obviously poor,sowhileshewas polite to them shekeptthemata distance. Her family was alsoofgreatassistance.Hermothermadethe"gratercakes"andboiled the cocoa-nut oil ; her sisters went in the mornings far beyondthenorthernboundariesofthe city to meetthecountrywomen coming down to market,soas to buy fruit cheap from them.Bythis means Susan saved money, an im portant consideration, for a shilling a day was the very mostthatshe could spend on food for allthefamily.Asfortheold man, he renderednomaterial assistance; but he personally feltthathis moral influence upon the situation was immeasurable. With thetatteredremainsofan old soft felthatupon hishead-henever went without it. for he imaginedthatitadded to hisdignity-apipe in his mouth,andhis feetthrustintoslippers, he hoveredaboutwhathecalled"de little shaps," feeling himselfthenaturalprotector of his daughter,andthe inspiring geniusofthe family. He was proudofSusan. The problemoflivinghadpresented itself to him with distressing intensityonthe nightthatTomhadannounced his intentionofgoing to Colon. Hethenhadseen nothing before himselfandhis wifebuttheUnion Poorhouse,aninstitution which hethoughtof with a shudder.He

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60SUSANPROUDLEIGH'.knewhecould do nothingtohelp himself, thoughhenever would have acknowledgedthatto anyone;',so,even thoughthegirlsmightshift for themselves,'.he could see no rayofhope for himselfandthe old woman. Susan, however,hadsolved the probleI11 byunexpectedly developing commercial instincts; and he reflectedthatmostofherabilitymusthave been inherited from him, since hehadnever credited his wife with much intelligence. Ashesatthis Sunday morningatthethresholdofthesingle room they now lived in, he felt placidly contented. The shophadbecome a certain sourceofrevenue,andno Maria could interfere withit.Hewasquitesatisfied net totakemuch thoughtofthemorrow;andthechangethathadrecently takenplacein Susan's circumstances was accepted by him with a temperamental equanimity which could only bedisturbedbyfearofthe almshouse orofimmediate starvation.Helookedabouttheyard, seeing nothing. Such sceneshehadbeen familiar with all thedaysofhislife.Itwasanordinary Kingston tenementyard;thelow rangeofrooms, each room being separated fromtheotherbybutathinpartitionofboard;thebroken-downkitchen;thewater-pipe continually dripping, sothatapartoftheyardwas neverdry;babies sitting in little boxes stuffed with rags to preventthelittle creatures fromhurtingthemselves; bigger babies creepingabout; wash-tubs everywhere; it waswhathehadalways seen ,in every similar place.Theprevailing squalor didnotaffecttheoldmanand his wife,andeven Catherine and his youngest daughter

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"LETITIA'SINVITATION6rhad reconciled themselves to iL ButSusanrebelled;shefeltthatshe ought not to be reduced to living in a yard-'room. ThisSundaymorning, however, shewasbetterpleasedthanusual, for she sawthatifhercustom continued to increase she would soon be in a position to save money. Up to now shehadbeen living on every pennyofherprofits, for therentoftheshopandthe roomtogetherwas sixteen shillings a month.Butgoodluck was plainlyattendingher,andalready shewasspeculatinguponwhatshe would do inthefuture. Presently shereturnedto whereherfatherandCatherine were still sitting. Catherinemaderoom for her onthebox,andMr.Proudleigh, neverhappyifcompelled to remain silent fot long, asked her when next she expectedtohearfromTom. II How can I tell, sah?"washervery reasonable reply."Himonly write me once sincehegonetoColon;an'Iwantsto believehe beinthe, hospital.FromalldatIhearaboutColon, Tomdon'tlikely to get on there. Him toosoft!Kingston is all rightenough;butinColon-soIhear-ifyou lookona man too hard, him wants to shootyou;an'ifyoudon'tlook on him hard, himwantstotakeanadvantageofy'u.Thatisnotthesort0'place for Tom." Then how you expects togodown tohim?" asked her father."Efhimis such a youngmanofunre ligable nature, Idon'tsee how you canteckupyou'self an'putyou'selfunderhis protectionan'care."Susan laughed scornfully. "I was everunderhis protection an' care in ] amaica ? she asked.

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62SUSAN PROUDLEIGR "No,"said Catherine;"buthere everything is quiet. Down in Colon a young gurl must 'ave a young: man to look after 'er; otherwise there may be bodera tion. I wouldn't like togodownbymeself that way." I would go," said Susan decisively.rrAfterall,whatevery'umeet in this worlditisyou' luck.Ifyou to dead in Colon, you will dead there.Ifyoutocome back to Jamaica,y'uwill come back." This note, struck with suchconfidence,awoke a responsive echo intheheartsofher hearers."Youis right," said the old man.IfA'manshouldn't bother him head about what goin' to happen to-morrow, for himcan'tprevent what is gwine.1o happen. Therefore, sufficient to de day is theevilthereof. You saving money togo ? " Don'tI telly'usoa little while ago, sah?"askedSusan, though she knewthatthe old man wouldrepeatthequestion every day.IfIdon'tmean nothing by askin' you," he explained; only,efI was you, I wouldn'tputme moneyintoany bank. I hearthatbank is a thingthatbrokeevery now an'then;though," he continued sagaciously, "Idon'tsee how such a strong place can broke." When abankbroke," explained Catherine,"itmeanthatde clerk rob you' money." "Oh!I seeIBut,even then, Idon'tfinkSueshouldputher money in a bank, forifthem robherfew shillin's,whatshe gwine to do?"" The Government bank is safe," said Sue,consciousofsuperior knowledge."Nobodycan rob it, an'themgive you interest on you' money." ,,'

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LETITIA'SINVITATION .;" Then you gwinetoputyours in de Government bank? ""Yes,sah;to-morrow morning I gain' to lodge three shillin's:itis me nrst commencement.It'stohelpmetogoaway.-Whothat?..Some one had knockedatthegate,andthe person thus addressed loudly answered: Me!.. Who me?"asked Catherine."Letitia Samuels: can you hinform meefMiss Susan Proud leigh resideshere?" Both SusanandCatherine rose simultaneouslyandrushed towards the gate. They opened it,anda young ladyofabout twenty, glossily black, fat,notbadlooking, and extremely stylish, walked into the yard.Shewas dressed in a white lawn frock trimmed withanyquantityoflace;wore high-heeled shoesandcarried a pink parasol.Herhatwas amarvel;'her cheeks were covered with white powder. She kissed both the girls loudly, said she was feeling" fine," shook hands withMr.Proudleigh,andthen was takenintothe room. There she met the old woman, who spoke to her, then went outside, withthetrueWestIndianin stinctofhospitality, to prepare some refreshment forher.The room, originally small, was divided into two apartmentsbya cloth partition, one sideofitbeing reserved fortheold people.theother being occupiedbySusanandher sisters.Letitiasatintheone chair that she saw, while CatherineandSusan perched themselvesonthebed.

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHLetitia was an old friend. Shehadknown Susan' ai:. theelementary school,andSusanhadadmired and enviedherbecauseofher possessionofsmallcoin. Letitia's father was a plumber ina good position,andhe looked after his daughter well. She was a RomanCatholic,andloudly sang hymnsinhonourofthesaints;Susan, ontheother hand,wasa staunch Protestant,andstrongly objected to "the worshipofidols."Butdifferencesofdoctrine didnotdisturb their personal relations,andevenMr.Proud leigh's efforts to convert the erring Catholic to II.truer. faith didnotsow the seedsofdiscord. For thoughhistheology (from aProtestantpointofview)wasperfectly sound, he never ventured on moral admonitions. This was satisfactory, for Letitia still enjoyedthefavourofthepriests and nunsandother important personagesofthe Church,andgratefully inthe present securityofa suspected virtue. She was very excited. Ididn'tknow you move,Sue;I went roun'toBlake Lane, an' them tell mey'umove.Itwasyou'aunttold me yesterday wherey'ulive.""Yes,me dear," was Susan's remark. "My intended gone away,soI have to look for meself. Just see where I livingnow!" Cho! nevermind!Y'usoon get anotherintended. Now guesswhatIcome to telly'uabout?" What?'! .,." A picnic. A big picnicIFatherMouldermakingitatCumberlandPento-morrow, an'it'sonly one an' sixpence for train ageandhentrance to thepen:You'aveto provide you' own refreshment;but

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LETITIA'SINVITAnONthatcan'tcost more dan one an' six.Iwantyoucome.Y'uwillcome?" Susan's answer wasinterruptedbytheentranceofher mother, whobroughtin a mugofchocolateanda plate containing a big sliceofbread. Letitia spreadoutherhandkerchief inherlap, and restedtheplateon it, then tookthemug from the old woman.Eatinganddrinking, she continued the conversation."Y'umustcome, me child!It'sgoin'tobegrand. Alltheyoung men in Kingston is goin'. There is to be six pieceofmusic, an' dancing all day," Catherine's face lighted up, then fell as she re memberedthatshehadno money. Susan shookherheadslowly,thewish to go struggling withherdesire to save. Itwill cost me three shillin's," she said, If an' I don't see how Icanmanageit."She paused asavisionofthedancing onthesward rose before her mind's eye. I engage abagofcoal for Thursday, an' Imusthave totakeit. An' I'aveto savemoney.." Cho!"pleaded Letitia."Come,man! It's only once! The old man, still sittingatthe threshold,hadoverheardtheconversation.Byway of showing disinterested generosity,hecalledout: Don'tfret you'selfaboutt'ree shillin's, Sue. Go an' enjies you'self.Don'tkill you'self, me daughter.Youlookin'thin." Then how is Sue togotoColon? asked Catherine,5

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66 SUSANPROUDLEIGHwho, seeing no prospectofgoing to the picnicherself,: wasnotinclinedtobe enthusiastic about it. The old man rememberedthathe also wantedtogoto Colon,andimmediately regretted hisprecipitancy.Buthis wordshadhadtheir effect.ThestruggleinSusan's soul was over.Ina moment she passed from a calculating to an excited frame' of mind. It Allright!"she cried, jumping from the bed; It I will go." Excitedly, It I will wear me bluedress,an' me newstrawhat!Lord!I gain' todanceeverydance!I goin' to enj oy meself! What athing! She was dancing already,andallthoughtofsavingwas thrown tothewinds. It Come for me in the morning, Letitia,early,"wereherlast words toherfriend, when shebadehergood-byeatthegate.

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CHAPTERVISAMUELJOSIAHJOESTHATafternoon Susan made special prepara tions forthegreateventofthemorrow.Hairdressing being a veryimportantpartofhertoilet, she literallysatatCatherine's feet, who,armed wiJh a strong combandapotofscented castor oil, bent overhersister'sheadandspent fully three quartersofanhourin combingoutthehair, oiling it, plaiting it, and twistingtheplaits intotheshape dictatedbythelatest fashion.Thatdone, Susan tiedupherhairvery carefully in a towel, sothatit shouldnotbecome disarranged. Then shetookoutherblue dressandhungitupovertheheadof her bed. She polishedhershoes, carefully looked overherhat,andfishedouta fan fromthebottomofher trunk. When all this work was over,sheuntiedherhead, dressed hurriedlyandwenttochurch, her sister going with her.Bothherparentsstrongly approvedofchurch-going;andthoughtheoldmanhimself never wentouton Sunday,hewouldnotallowthedaytopasswithoutreading aloudthefirst Psalm, laying special stress ontheopening words which proclaim a blessing on those who walknotin the wayoftheungodly.67

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68SUSANPROUDLEIGHSusanandhersisters enj oyed the service. They usually did. The large church, nearly filled with people dressed in their multi-coloured best, thedeeptoned organ,theheartysinging in whichtheyjoined,thebrightlight from the electriclamps-allthis was, a weekly sourceofpleasure to girls who hadnicedressestowear on theSabbathday. The sermon might consistofdenunciationsofthe popularwayofliving. They listenedtoitwith interestandagreedthattheparson was, from his pointof view; perfectly right.Buthe,sotospeak, was lookingatlife theoretically, whiletheywere compelledtoregarditfromthepracticalstandpointofdaily bread.Ifhe expounded doctrine, they appeared engrossed in his words,andfollowed his meanbg with a fair degreeofunderstanding.Whatthey liked bestwerethehymns;andwhentheservice was over,andthey mingled withthecontented home-goingcrowds,they feltthatthey were,afterall,notvery farfromtheKingdom. Susan went to 'bed immediately after goinghome,notomitting to bindupherhead once more.Shewished to beupearly inthemorning.Herfather talked toherfor a while from hispartoftheroom,a 'clothpartitionplacing no obstacles in the wayofconversation;butthoughhewas very anxioustohearaboutthesermon,sothathe might givehisopinion ontheparson's theology, she soonshuthimupbysaying she wished togoto sleep. Then silence reigned unbroken,butforthebarkingofthedogsinthelane;forbynine o'clock practically all the inmatesoftheyardhadretired,aftera day spent for

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; SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES69the mostpartin lollingaboutand avoidingI:any unnecessary work. At half-past four inthemorning Susan was awake.Shehurriedoutofthehot, stifling roomtowashherfaceunderthewater-pipe, then went in againtodress.Shewas readybyfive0'clock.Herdress fittedhernicely;andthough blue was perhapsnotthecolour that best suitedhercomplexion,itwas more striking than white wouldhavebeen,andshe wantedtoattractattention. She wore a pink sash,andherhatwas trimmed with pink rosesandribbons.Herhigh heeled shoes were gorgeous with buckles. When fully arrayed,andaftershehadgulped downhercupofcoffee,sheturnedherself roundandroundtobeadmired. CatherineandEliza surveyed her critically."Youis all right, Sue," saidthefirst,andheryounger sister agreed.Hermother smiled,thenwentaboutherbusiness.Herfatherwas vocal inhispraise."EfI was a youngman,"he said approvingly, I would fall in love wid you.Datfrocksuityou'figure.Everybodygwinetodance wid you, an' you mustn't fo'got to bringsomeringnice fa' me." Susan, satisfied with this appreciation, promised to bring home for him apartofwhatever shemightget;andLetitiacoming injustthen,bothgirls went out to catchtheelectriccarthatshouldtakethemto the railway station.Itwasnotyetsix o'clock,sotheairwas still com paratively cool.Itwas a public holiday, conse quently theymetnumbersofother pleasure-seekers like themselves, all gaily dressed. Theycaughtthe

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGHcar,andittook thembya circuitous route to the station, going first towardsthenorthofthe cityfornearly a mile,thensouth again, then east towheretherailway station stands. On the way they passed handsome villas; those werethehouses, they thought, wheretherich people lived, peoplesomuchabovetheirown station in lifethatthey never dreamtofenvying them. The whiteandthe higher classesoffair coloured people belonged to one world. They belonged to another.Butenvy andhatreddidnotembittertherelationsofone class with another, though their .m.terests in life were superficially as differentaswastheyard-room or little front house fromthespacious-looking residence with its gardenoftropical shrubsandflowers blooming in frontofit. They alightedatthe railway station,andfounditcrowded.Everycolour of therainbow wasrepresented inthedressesofthewomenandthenecktiesofthemen;anda strangernotaccustomedtoa West Indian crowd might well havethoughtthat there couldhavebeennogreater confusionattheTowerofBabel. Everybody talkedandnobodylistened. Everybody gesticulated. Laughing,push ing, screaming, scrambling throughtheirongates,thegood-humoured picnickers made towardstheplatform,andthenbegan to fight their way into tMe train.Invaintheguards shouted.Invain thty tried to directthepassengers. Disciplineandorderwere thrown tothewinds on this holiday morning, whenthechiefthoughtofevery one was to obtainallthefunandexcitementthatthe day could afford.Inthestruggle for a good seat Susan was nearly

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SAMUELJOSIAHJONES71separated from her friend.Butbya vigorous useoftheir elbowstheymanaged to keeptogether;and whenatlast, breathlessbuttriumphant,theywereseated, they began to lookaboutthemtoseeifanyoftheir friends were near. Susan sawmanypersons whom she knew. Amongst these was Hezekiah,andhim shestaredoutofcountenance.Shenodded totheothers,andcommenced with lively anticipationtodiscusstheprospectsofthepicnic with Letitia, whenthetrain, with a sudden jerk, pulled outofthestation. Slowlyatfirst, then quickly,andcrowdedtoitsutmost capacity,itranoutofthecityandintotheopen, sunlit country.Thetransition wasabrupt.Within a minute Kingstonhadbeen left behind, andbroadfields and forests soon appeared oneitherside, all steeped intheearly morning lightandstill greenandfresh withthe de\ovs ofthenight.Thehotanddustycity lay baking inthesun behind the pleasure-seekers;thecountry, with its wonderful beautyofdeep blue skies, giant trees,andvariegated green; withitsdark-gleaming ri\ ulets, placid streams and leaping waterfalls, unrolled itself before them. Peepingoutofthe windows, they could seethecattleand horses browsing inthepastures,thedistantskyline brokenbya long chainofdream-like verdure "clothed mountains,thelong, delicate tendrilsofparasiticplantswaving gently inthebreeze,andclumpsofwater-hyacinths glowing inthepondsorin some quiet backwaterofa stream. All, all was beautiful. A majestic peace pervadedthespacious countryside, andthegreatyellow sunofthetropics lighteditup

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72SUSANPROUDLEIGHwith splendour. There was something alluring, en--., ticingaboutitall;something enervating too in its luscious appealing beauty.ButSusan and Letitia gave nothoughttoitall, nor did manyofthepeopleinthetrain. Their minds were centred upon one.subject-thispicnic to which they were speedingandwhich was'toafford them a whole day's intensest pleasure."CumberlandPen!"The guard shouted the name of the station, the train slowed downandstopped,thedoorsofthecarriages were thrown open,andthenthescramble and hubbub beganonce\ more. Parcels were grabbedatand secured,andthen-aphenomenon which one observes in every countryandon every occasion among passengerson a.: train-everyone pushed forward to alight as quickly as possible,andas though a second longer spent "uponthetrainwould lead tothemost unpleasant results. The siding was soon crowded, and already a strag gling streamofhumanbeings was pouring towardstheCumberland Pen gate, where stood two menwhocollectedtheticketsandindulged in argumentswiththose who pretended to be scandalizedatthe amount they were called upon to pay as entrance fee.Itwasquick workatthisgatein spiteofthe chaffingandarguing;thenothertrains came in from Kingston,andsoon morethana thousand persons wereassembled on a grassy sward, spaciousandfairly smooth,andshaded hereandtherebyleafy treesthatgrew singly or in cool inviting clumps.Butshade trees werenotin demandjustnow, except as convenient

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SAMUELJOSIAHJONES73placesforthestoringofparcelsandbaskets filledwithrefreshments, which someofthemoreprudentor more fastidious picnickershadbroughtwith them.Theseimpedimentaputaway forthepresent,thepleasure-lovers broke into groups,anda loud cry formusicarose. Then rosethepiercing squealoftheclarionettes, the squeakoffiddles,theblareofcornetsandthe. bangofa big drum. There was noise enough,andthe dancers calleditmusic.Theyoung men tookofttheirjacketsandwavedthemwildly intheairto showtheirappreciationoftheband. Girls with arms akimbo swayed their bodies to and fro, keepingtimewiththetune. Thus encouraged,themusicians redoubledtheirefforts andthediscord was infernal; but partners were rapidly selected, places taken,and in a few minutesthere were nearly fivehundredcouples dancing ontheswardandunderthenow burning, blisteringraysoftheforenoon sun. Susan was inherelement. Quadrilles followed lancers, polkas followed quadrilles,andmentoes, a sublimatedWestAfrican phallic crance, followed "7the polkasandwerethemost popular with a certain sectionofthepeople.Thegirls danced these, swayingontheir hips. Some ofthewomen, however,andamongst these was Susan, didnotcaretodance these mentoes, onthegroundthattheywerenotquiteproper.Sowhile mentoes were being danced, Susan satatthefootofa tree fanning herself,andtryingtomop up withherwet handkerchiefthefloodofper spirationthatstreamed fromherface. Gazingintentlyatthedancers during oneofthese

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGHintervals, she didnotnoticethatamanhadapproach her, till sheheardherself addressed. "Younglady,"saidthestranger, you ;nW dancing?" No," she answered shortly, without looking rouDd':'i tosee whothespeakermightbe. Why?""Idon'tdancementa."It But why youdon't?"Thepersistencyofherquestioner annoyedher:itwas common enough for girls to be accosted by strangersatapicnic;butshe didnotwant to make anymore acquaintancesthatday, for the reasonthatshe was tired. The stranger, wasnotto be denied.Hedeliberately sat doft nearher,andresumedtheconversation. ; .... "Well,"said he,"allowme to introduce Myname is Samuel Josiah Jones from Spanish 1 I been watchin' you allthetime you been sitting here: an'when I see a beautiful young femalenot enjd herself, IthinkI ought to dotheconsequential." -+Susan hadnotthefaintest ideaofwhat the sequential might be,butthe word pleased her. sides, Samuel Josiah J oneshadcalledher beaut' andsuch a compliment predisposedherto be As she didnotexactly knowwhattoreply, she athim with an inquiringair;butthatdid notin tllI' least disconcertMr.Jones, who blandly wenton.. .II "Myname," he repeated,"isSamuel Jo .'Jones." (He plainly expected the repetition of; name to have a talismanic effect.)"Spanish 101ft ismypaternity. Where you comefrom?"..74

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75SAMUELJOSIAHJONES" Kingston," said Susan briefly; then she added, ... What isthattoyou? "Oh,don'tbe vex," said Jones appealingly .. Don't expostulate with me. Idon'task you for nothing.Butyoudidn'tintroduce you'self pro perly,soI interrogated you. Youangry? Susan saying nothing in reply, Jones's voice became moreconfidential. "I wouldn't tell you a lie. I havehada few good drinks to-day. But me head is strong,an'when I see a young lady like you, I wouldratherdiethandisgracemeself."Ifa youngmancan'tbehave himself inthecompanyofladies,"hecontinued, still speaking confidentially,"heoughtnotto frequent their com pany.Don'tyou think I amright? Susan was obliged to nodheragreement. Pleased with this, his voice took on atriumphantring. IIQuite so,"heresumed."AsI tell these boys here, sobrietyisthegreatthing;sobriety an' temperance.Take a drink wheny'uwantone;butdon'tdisgraceyou'self-likeme." "Butyounotdisgracin' you'self," said Susan, flatteredbytherespectheprofessed for her,buta little puzzledbyhis last sentence."No,"said Jones, thatiswhatI say. Idon'tdisgrace meself. I set a good example. Idon't.tnoman to saythatSamuel Josiah Jones disgraceselfin public." Mr. Jones leaned back againstthetree, obviously proudofthe example he was setting,andquiteas

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHobviously pleased withtheworldandhimself.Susan'lookedathim curiously.Hewas a young manof -hero 'co plmciOfI;tlTairl0--sa,y,daFk :brown.Hi features were good, his facefrank ana lively, and when he spoke two big gold teeth gleamed brig ty,showingthatMr.Jones didnotbelong to thecommonclasses.Hewas tall,andflashily dressed, his necktie reminding oneofa Scotch plaidofthe mostpronouncedpattern.A gorgeous fob hungoutofthe trousers pocket in which hekepthis watch.ItwasplaintoSusanthathe was a young manofsomeimportance,andbythe words he used she judged himtobe amanofconsiderable education. Shewaspleased too hehadrecognizedthatshe was ayounglady, forsome"fastandforward youngmen"ofheracquaintancehadnotalways been ready to do that. She wasratherglad nowthathehadpersistedintalking to her. His preference forhercompanywasa distinct compliment. She sawthathis sobrietyhadbeen tempered with a fairquantityofstrong drink.Hehadhimself saidso.But templtrance folk were held in strongcontemptbyher,andshehadalways heardherauntquotewith great approvalPaul'sadvice to Timothy,thathe shouldtakea little wine for his stomach's sake. Miss Proudleigh faithfully followed this advice herself : everynightbefore going to bed she drank,nota little wine,buta little rumandwater;andSusan's parents wouldhavedonethesamehadtheybeen abletoafford it. So shethoughtmore highlyofMr.Jones for being abletoenjoy himself inthefreeandindependentmanner which his appearance denoted.She

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SAMUELJOSIAHJONES77wasabout to continuetheconversation whenLetitiacameup. ThelatterstaredatJones,notexactly surprised,foronsuch adaya girl might pickuphalf a dozen new acquaintances. Susan introduced her,andJones, rising withgreatdignity, assuredherthathis namewasSamuel Josiah J ones,andaskedhertotakea seat. It Inotsitting down," said Letitia, shakingherhead."IcametohenquireifSue are goingto'aveherlunch." (Letitia was very carefulofherdiction in company.) It Lunch ?" saidJones; .. lunch?Ofcourse!Theinnermanmustbe replenished. We willhavelunch immediate. Miss Susan,arise! MissSusan arose, as bidden,andseeingthatLetitiashowed no objection to acceptingMr.Jones'shospi tality, she followedtheyoungmantothespotwhere refreshments were being sold. Under a tree,andprotectedbyabarricadeofdeal board tablesandlow wooden benches, were anumberofwomenanda man, retailersofrefreshments,andallbusyattendingtothecrowdofcustomersthatsurrounded them. Quick-temperedandaggressive, the womenbustledaboutwiththeirsleeves drawnupabovetheirelbows,andtheupperpartoftheirskirts tuckedupintobundlesaroundtheirwaists. Withintheenclosure, hugepotssteamedandbubbledonimprovised fireplaces; and barrelsandboxes con tainingaeratedwaters,andbeerandwhiskyandJamaica rum. stood invitingly open. The smellofstewed beef mingled withthatof

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7 8 SUSANPROUDLEIGHstewed salt-fish,andtheheavy odour of cocoa-nutoilrose from two five-gallon cans in which rice andredpeas were boiling. The women ladled the food into coarse earthenwareandenamelled plates asitwasordered, andthemanserved the liquors. J onesandthegirlssatdown to a lunchofstewed fishandrice-and-peas. He ordered whisky for himself,andasked his companionswhatthey would have. After some hesitation,theydecided on beer, this being a luxury they didnotoften enjoy. Hecalledfor two glassesof thebestbeer," and the girls gulpedthestuff down, declaring with grimacesthatittasted bitter. Letitia noticedthat]ones paid a good dealofatten tion to Susan. "I wonderifhim speaking'erup ?" washerthought,butpresently she ceased to think,thebeer having setherhead a-swimming. Susanfeltdizzy too,andhadto cling to J ones for supportwhenthey rose fromthetable.Heoffered anarmto eachofthe girls, and gallantly escorted them back tothetree. Theysattherefora little while, Jones talking, SusanandLetitia hearing nothing.Thepipes still screamed,andthe fiddles squeaked,andthe dancers continued dancing. A good many personshadstrolled down to the riverthatran throughthepen, to bathe. Hereandthere somesaton stones or logs ofwood,resting;contented-lookingcowscroppedthegrass within a stone's throwofthepicnickers, no longer frightenedbythe unusual noise; children climbedthetrees tohuntfor mangoes;biggreen lizards pursuedtheirprey amongthestonesand

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SAMUELJOSIAHJONES79.leaves;anddown on menandbeastsandtrees camethefiery raysofthenow vertical sun, scorching, blistering, burning,but powerless toexhausttheenergyofthemusicians ortoputanendtothedance. I( Thissun,"remarked Jones,tris thehottestsun Ifeelfor a long time.Itmakemesweat like a bull. ButIcometodance,an'Imustdance.Whatyou say? His words were addressedtoSusan, who faintly murmuredinreply, Toohot."Twoorthreeminutes passed in silence,andthenthebeer, acting in conjunction withtheheatandtheexertionofthemorning, completed its work. Re clining against the tree, Susan slept. Letitia, whowasnotsoeasily affectedbystrong drinks asherfriend,laughedatfirst;then, findingitdullsittingthere,askedJoneswhatheintendedto do. I( Remainhere,"he said.trA gentlemanmustbehave gentlemanly.Can'tleave this female alonewhenshe isnotinhersenses." If Allright,"saidLetitia;"Igoin' to dance. Iwillcomebacklater. iTell Susan so when she'wake.". J ones nodded,thenstretchedhis legsoutmore comfortably, covered his face with his handkerchief,anddisposed himself to reflect on his own superior manners, whileLetitiawalked away. He dozed,andfor anhourbothofthemlay there, recumbent inthesun. Jones woke first. Although desiringtobe gentle manly,hisfirst impulse was to goandjointhedancers;fora chance meetingata picnic did not, he felt, compel

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80. SUSANPROUDLEIGHhimtoremain constantly inattendanceupononeyoung woman. Insteadofdoingso,however,hebentoverandshook Susan slightly. She openedhereyes, yawned loudly, stretchedherarms aboveherhead, yawned again, then remarked, I seems to 'ave been sleepin',Mr.Jones." Yes,"hesaid."Youbeen sleepin' all the time. An' I been watching you, in caseanyofthesecommonyoungmenwantedtotakeanyliberty with you. I wouldn't move a foot while you reposed." Thankyou,"saidSusan;"butImustn'tkeep y'u back fromdandn'." Don'tmention," saidJones;"itwould bepreposteroustoleave you in a somnolescent state.Willyoutakesome more beer ?" She shookherhead firmly."Itmakemegiddy," she confessed. All right, then, youstayhere till I come. Iamgoin' for arum;I soon beback."Hewentofftotherefreshment stand, and Susan followedhimwithhereyes.Hewas showing her a lotofattention:did he meananything?She quickly persuaded herselfthathedid;otherwise why should he have remained withherallthetime?Itmight behergood fortunetoget another intended inplaceofTom. Shethoughtoftheyard-room andtheshopwith disgust. This fellow was evidently welloff,decent looking, generous....She smiled whenhereturned,andreadily rose when he suggested that they shouldtakea little walkandthen have a dance. Y'ulike Spanish Town,Mr.Jones?" she asked him as they moved away.

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SAMUELJOSIAHJONE81 So,so," he replied;"butI been living in Kings ton these last tenyears-upin AllmanTown." Funny I never seey'u,"said Susan, though thereseemednothing really funny in hernothaving beforemetone particular person in a city of over sixty thousand souls."Thatis so," Jonesagreed; "it is a peculiar incident. And herewehavebecomeacquaintedjustwhenI am goin'away." Goin'away? Susan asked, surprised."Where?""Panama.Theywants mechanics down there.An'Mr.Hewet,anAmerican manthatwas down here three months ago hiring labourers, send for me. They wants amanlike me to help them digthecanal," he proceeded grandiloquently."Fifteendollars a week, an' quarters. Here Ican'tearn much morethanthirty shillin's, an' Ihavesomany people to boss me that sometimes Idon'tknow what to do."Thisis a worthlesscountry"he continued."Noprospectsatall.Itismuchbetterforeign. Idon'tthink I willbothercome back to ] amaica."Sohewasn't"speakingherup"afterall!Thedisappointment she felt was keenerthanshe would have thought possible.Herhastily constructed castleinthe air came toppling down, and onlytheshopandthe yard-room remained in their sordid reality. TomhadgonetoPanama.Jones was going. Sheknewthatevery week scores and hundredsofotherpeoplewent,andthatthe dreamofalmost everybodyshehad met was togotoColon orPortLimon,or"anywhere,"as one man toldthesteamship clerktowhomhe applied for a decker's ticket. "Anywhere."6

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82SUSANPROUDLEIGHAnywhere outsideofJamaica. That wasthewishofthousandsofpersons in all classesandranksofsociety,andshehadcaughtthegeneral infection. She too wantedtogoaway. Shehadheardofthe richesofPanamaandCosta Rica,andhadoften talked about those places with her friends. Life there, they believed, was free asair;money almosttobe hadfortheasking. True, returning emigrants toldoffearful fevers,andunsympathetic policemen,andmonthsofcontinuous rain,andthedarkimpenetrable jungle;butthebright fantastic picture paintedbyimagination cast no shadow in spiteofall these dreadfultales.The emigrants who returned toJamaicaalmost \ invariably went back. The fascinationofthesemicivilized Central American countries, once felt, wastoooften irresistible. Hundredsofforgotten inCentral America contained the bonesofmenandwomen who .had gonethitherwith high hopesofen-riching themselves;butstilltheexodus continued. The restless longing for change, for new scenes,fora new life, acted as a spur to discontent. Susanhadbecome silent and depressed. Jones noticed thisandaskedher: You tired ?" No," she said, I was thinkin'!" Whatwas you thinkin'about?" She hesitated,thensaid quitefrankly: I would liketogotoColon." Jones pushedbackhis jippijappahatandstaredather. So she was dissatisfied withJamaicaalsoIHalf-jestingly he askedher: .. Youwanttogowith me?"

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SAMUEL JOSIAHJONESShe, onherpart, surprisedbythequestion, looked at him with eager eyes.Herheartbeatquickly,herface litupwith excitement. Buty'udon'tmeanit?" she asked. Nowhereally didnotknow whetherhemeantitornot.Hewas a very impulsive man, who did most things onthespurofthemoment.Hewas also a very gallant man,andwasted muchofhis substanceon"females."Hehadno permanent connexion withanyoneofthemjustthen,however;andon Susan asking himwhetherhereally wanted totakeherwith him or not,itoccurred to himthatitmightbe a very fine thing indeed to land in Colon withsoattractive a companion. The idea was worth playing with."Aman,"heanswered Susan, say a lotofthingshedon'tmean. Buty'udon'tanswer me question yet. You would like to come with me ?" Shemadeuphermind to a straightforward reply. I wouldn't mind,if--" Ifwhat?" Ify'uwouldtreatme good." Oh," he remonstrated."Doyouthinka gentle manlymanlike me wouldtreaty'ubad?Ineverdosuch a thing in me life! " Idon'tthinky'uwould," Susan graciously replied. Youdon'tlook like thosesortofyoung menatall." This compliment pleasedJonesimmensely."Youare intrinsically correct,"heassured her."Nota femalehavea word to say against SamuelJosiahJ ones. An' you will find when you get to ColonwhatsortofmanIam."

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH Then you goin' to take me ?" Susan asked quickly. Ofcourse! Don'ty'uwanttogo?" Herheartgave one great bound. Here was the opportunity come to heratlast! All right," she exclaimed."Iwill come.Whenyou goin' ?" Three weeks' time. I give noticeatthe Railway already,butI have tofixupme business.Wherey'uliveinKingston? ""LukeLane. Y'u must come widmeto-night, let me introduce you to me parents. The place don't too nice,butyoumustn'tminddat." Certainly not. You are nice, an'thatisenough." He feltthatsomething more was requiredofhimsomethingthata lover in oneofthe novels he had read would have thought appropriate to the occasion. At the moment only one thing in the wayofwhathecalled poetry came to hismemory;butstillitwaspoetry, and therefore suitable. He repeated it, stand ing still and looking fondly in Susan's face:!'FleecylooksandblackcomplexionDonotalterNature'sclaim,Skinmaydiffer,butaffectionDwellsinwhiteandblackthesame."He expected applause.AsSusan did not know what the verse was intended for, she simply answered, Yes." Let usgoand tell Letitia," she added, catching holdofhis arm and dragging him with her in her excitement. Nothing loth, he followed, and soon they found Letitia, to whom the good tidings were told. Hezekiah heardittoo. He was standing near bywhen

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,.'SAMUELJOSIAHJONESSusan was speaking toherfriend,andSusan spoke loudly on purposethathe might hear. I goin'inthreeweeks' time. Inotcomin' backtoJamai caatall!Sam goingtogetthreepounds a week!Whata good luck, eh,Letitia?Whata luck! Hezekiahhearditall,andsawJonesintheflesh, smiling withtheconsciousnessofirresistible masculine attractionsandgreatpotential wealth. Hezekiah couldnotdoubt,andsothatnighthedidexactlywhatSusanhadcalculated on his doing.Notonly Maria andhermother,buteverybody elsethathemetinBlake Lane was toldthatSusanhadgotanother intended withplentyofmoney,andwas going toColon. Dis worlddon'tlevel,"1was Maria's bittercom ment on Susan's undeserved good fortune.1Fortuneisnotfair.

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)CHAPTERVIITHEANNOUNCEMENT"WEmusttakea 'bus," said Jones, whenheand Susan alighted fromthetrain at Kingston."Don'tbotherwith thecar.It'slate already."Hehailed a cab,andbothofthem,afterbiddingLetitiagood-bye,gotinto the cab and droveoff,butnotbeforethecabmanhadexchanged some sharp words withthepoliceman who was regulating the traffic. Joneswantedtotakesides withthecabman,partlythrough anaturalinclination for argument,partlyfrom a desire to impress Susan with his uttercontemptfortheguardianofthelaw.Butshe urgedthecabman to drive on, fearing any serious quarrelatthevery beginningofher newcareer;andthe cabman obeyedaftersome grumbling, though hewasclearly inthewrong. She was gladtobe back in Kingston, glad toberiding once more throughtheill-lighted streets, tobeamongsttheslow-moving, chattering people,tofeelthedustofthecity inherface. She thrilled with excitementatthethoughtofherparents' surprise;thewholeyardwould wonder whoitwas thathadbroughtherhome splendidly from the86

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THEANNOUNCEMENT plcmc. Then she remembered the roomandfelt ashamed."Theplaceshabby,"she again warned Jones."Mean' me family arepoor;butweare decent.Mefather 'ave cramps in hisfeet;thatis whywe'aveto live in a little room." She said nothingaboutTomandthe house in Blake Lane; Jones again declaredthatthe place she livedindidnotmatterto him. "I can'tstay long," he said, when the cab stoppedatSusan's gate. "I will havetogohome for medinner."He entered theyardjauntily,andSusantookhimupto the room, sittingnearthe door andatthethresholdofwhich were herfatherand motherandsisters,andherauntwhohaddropped in to see them, as she so frequently did. They were expecting Susan,butwhen theyheardthe cab stopatthegatetheyhadnotimagineditwas she whohadcome home in it. Seeinghernow with a tall youngmanwhose face they couldnotdistinctly makeoutinthedarkness, they all rose, each one lookingathim intently. This isMr.Jones,"saidSusan; "I methimatthe picnic." "My best respects, sir," saidMr.Proudleigh, takingoffthe remainsofthehathewore-"mydistantrespects.""Sameto you, sir," said J ones, feeling a trifle awkward. Won'tyou stepinside? askedMissProudleigh."Theplace is small,butdeheartis warm. Susan, showthegentleman inside."

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88SUSANPROUDLEIGHShe stepped inside herself as she spoke, being curioustoknowwhothegentleman was; and whathehadcome for.Thathehadsome sortofdesign upon Susan shehadnodoubtwhatever;fornoman takea young woman home without a very definite interpretation being given to this ostensibly innocent act. Susan led Jones into the room.Mr.Proudleigh transferredintotheapartmenttwo chairs from hispartoftheroom, andonthese heandhis sistersat;J ones tooktheoneremaining chair,andSusansatonthebed. CatherineandEliza stoodbythedoorway, curious, while their mother disappeared, as usual, being a \-voman whorarely indulged in conversationorobtruded her presenceuponanyone."Verynoice picnic, Mr. Jones?"inquiredMr.Proudleigh."Plentyofmusicandenjiements? Hope you enjie you'self ?" Magnanimously," saidJones; "I met you'daughteran'wehada nice conversation. You have a beautiful daughter, Mr. Proudleigh." Cho!"said Susan deprecatingly,butnevertheless pleased. Oh yes, sir," agreed Mr. Proudleigh;"shetakeafterme. Shehavemyfeaturesandmydisposition. I always sayshe is me owndaurter." Hi!papee," cried Eliza, a trifleindignant; don'tweare you' own daughtertoo?" Ofcourse," assented herfather;"butSueisdemostoldest;an'shetaketheworld upon her shoulder. "Theworld was really himself andtherestofthe

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THEANNOUNCEMENTfamily,anda good dealofthe deferenceheshowedtoSusan was inspiredbythefearthatshe mightsomeday throwtheburdenoff. Yes," said ] ones, wishing to come tothepointat once;"Iseldom see a female like Miss Susan.Sheis perfectly emphatic.""Quitetrue, sir," saidMissProud leigh ;"butwemust rememberthatbeauty is only skin deep,andexcept a young lady have the fearofde Lordinher heart, shecan'tprosper.Whatsociety you belongs to,Mr.]ones?" Society?Me?"said]ones; "I never belongtoanysociety since I usetogoto Sunday school when Iwasa boy. Church is a very good thing," he continued, "buta young man is wild." Yes," saidMr.Proudleigh, Ididn'tjine societymeselftill I was long time over forty. Then I felts that I was a ripe man, an' could do meduty.I don't like to see a young man goin' too muchtochurch.Thatis like de Scribes an'Pharisee;itis hypocritical. " Well," his sister was beginning,buthere Susan's impatience got thebetterofhermanners."Whydon'tyou tellthemwhat you'avetotell them? she asked ] ones. Every one's ears were pricked up.Whatwasitthat he could havetosay?MissProudleigh forgot entirely the remark shehadbeenabouttomake. Catherine glanced quicklyfrom]ones to Susan,andback again. I am gain' totakeaway your daughter altogether

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9SUSANPROUDLEIGHfrom you," said J ones totheold man, and strockanattitude.Sothatwasit!Everybodyhadheardthe altogether," andMr.Proudleigh and his sister immediately cametotheconclusionthatJones wished tomarrySusan. It was a most unexpected announce ment,butMr.Proudleigh loved dramatic climaxes, and, fearing lest his sister should forestall him, he quickly rose from his chairandgrabbed Jones bythehand. I esteem y'u,sir!"heexclaimed."Itis true I never meet youbefore;butMissSusanisabigooman an' must judge for herself. Besides, Icanlook 'pon you an' telldatyou are a honourable gen'leman. Miss Susan will makes a goodwife,betterdanall--"Hestopped, seeingthatJ ones was shakinghisheaddecisively. Ididn'tsay I was goingtomarried-yet,"Jonesexplained;then he lookedatSusanasifexpectinghertocompletetheexplanation. It'sall right," shesaid;"papeeunderstand."Mr.Proudleighsatdown again. He was sorryhehadnotgraspedthepurportofJones'swordsfromthestart, foritwasratherembarrassingtohavementioned marriage when marriage was not immediately intended.ButMiss Proudleigh rosetothe occasion."EfSusan are satisfied," she said,"thereis nobodytointerfere. A respectable young manmaynotfeellike marrying now, an'yetthatdoes not signify thatheistoremain widout apartnerin life. Afterall,

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'tV THEANNOUNCEMENT9I.r whomakethemarriage Don'titis man ? IReadtheBible, an'y'uwon'tfind a wordofitthere. \Y' 'Isaacan'Rebeccadidn'tmarried in achurch;an' yet look how lovin' them live together. Iama I, .Christian woman,an'I knowwhatis right from wrong.ButIdon'tagree wid all those stiff-neck people who saythateverybodyoughtto married rightoff.Thatisnota practical view."Mr.Proudleigh sawthegolden bridge whichhissisterhadbuiltfor him,andhe went flying overit."Thatis my own opinions,"heremarked with emphasis."'Wheni\IisterJonesmention dismatter,I didthoughtitwas funnythat...I meanthatI thoughtdata young man wouldwantto know the sort0'female him goin' to get married to. Before I married, I was along widSusan'smotherfortenyears. Ihadthetwinsthatdead,an'me son whoisnowoversea-agood buoythat.Then I married,an'Susan was born. An'p'rhapsIwouldn'tmarried at alleftheparsonofde church I use toattendsome timesdidn'ttalkto me an' tell me Ioughtto jine societyan'don'tlive no more in sin. Idon'tregret I are married,butI wouldn't tellanyyoungmantomarriedrightoffifhimdon'twantsto.""ThatiswhatI say meself,"putinCatherinefromthedoor."Ifa gurl get a young man, she wouldbefoolish to drivehimaway becausehimdon'twanttomarriedatonce.Afterall, if him isfree,she is free too." Now Catherinehadnoyoungmanin view,sofarasMissProudleigh was aware. And thoughmany

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92SUSANPROUDLEIGHexcellent arguments might be found to show that Susan and Jones were doing almosttheright and proper thing inthecircumstances existing,MissProudleigh feltthata stricter codeofmorality ought to be enforced insofar as Catherine and Elizawereconcerned,atanyrateuntil the time shouldcomewhen moral theory might wisely be dispensed withonthetacitunderstandingofa marriage in perspective. She purseduphermouth."Idoesn't thinks," she observed, thata young gurl shouldtalkin that way. Susan is different.Butyou an' Eliza don't know de world yet,an'you should be modest.WhenI was young, meparentswouldn't allow me tomakesuch a remarks." Catherine bridled up, Eliza tittered, Susan laughed outright. Catherine made a peculiar noise withhermouth which is locally known as"suckingyourteeth,"andwhich expressesbothcontemptanddefiance. Miss Proudleigh would have volubly resentedthis,hadnotherbrotherinterruptedherbygoing tothedoor and calling his wife. H Mattie," he explained, when she answeredthesummons,"MisterJ ones is takin' Susan as anintended. Him is a decent young gen'leman, an' I tell himweis pleased to welcome him.""Yes,"said his wife;"wevery pleased, sah." She lookedatJonesas she spoke,notliking himaswell as shehadliked Tom,butyetfeelingthatSusanwas woman enoughtomakeherown choice."Iam goin'tomake you'daughterverycomfortable, oldlady,"said Jones, involuntarily glancing

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THEANNOUNCEMENT 93 roundthelittle room."Whenwegoto Colon wegoingto havefinetimes." He spoke loudly and gaily, for the effectoftheliquor hehadbeen drinkinghadbyno means wornoff,andheheld himsclf to be somethingofa herowhohadarrivedjustin time to rescuc a good-lookinggirlfrom povertyanddistress. The old woman smiled, thenasked:"Youan'MissSusan gain' to Colon, sah ?" Yes;three weeks' time. They offered meanoccupation down there, an' Iamtaking Susan with me." Well! there iscoincidence!"exclaimed Miss Proudleigh."P'rhaps,Sue, you will meetT--.""Whatyou gain' to say now,ma'am?"askedSusan,in a threatening tone.MissProudleigh heard and understood in time.III was sayin'thatp'rhapsyou might meet you' brother;butIjustremember he gone to Nicaragua an'notPanama,"she replied, with admirable presenceofmind. Sue didwanttogoto Colon all this time," saidhermother;"an'now she can go." She glanced againat] ones, and left the room; thenthatgentlemanroseto bid them good night, saying as he didsothatthey would see him onthefollowing night. Susan accompanied him tothegate, wheretheyremained talking for a little while. When she re turned she was clinking a few silver coins inherhand, and smiling gaily. Well!"she said, you see me luckdon'tdesert me! I did think I would 'ave to work an' save be-

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94SUSANPROUDLEIGHfore I couldgoaway;an' before I save a shillin' I get a friend to take me." An' you remember, Sue," said her father,"thatitwas me who strongly advisey'utogoto depicnic.Ihadasortoffeelingthatyou shouldgo.Something saytome, Make her go.' Iamamanwhofollowme feeling all detime;an'p'rhapsifI didn'tdoit, youwouldn'thave gotted such a chance togoforeign. Well, nobody can say Idon'tdo me best fo'mechildren," he proceeded, in a self-satisfied tone."An'ifthemshould forgetme,thecurseofGod mustfallon them. All night long I lay down and thinks about them. When you believe I are sleeping I am thinkingaboutyou."Ifsnoring be a proofofwakefulness, thenitmust beadmittedthatMr.Proudleigh spent all thelonghoursofthenight in anxiously reflectingonhischildren'sfuturewelfare.Infact, on the strengthofsuch evidence,itmight reasonably be contended that he never knew whatitwastosleep. Ontheother hand,itwas difficult to reconcile his claims to habitual insomnia with hishabitoffrequentdreaming;forevery morning hehadatleast one dream to relate, and nearly every dreamofhis was fraught with prophetic meaning.ThatheshouldhOWbeanxioustobind his children,andespecially Susan, tohimbythebondsofgratitude wasnatural.Andthereason was obvious.If Susan wenttoPanamaand didnottaketheothers withher,or agreetosend something regularly for them, the prospectsofhimselfandtheold woman might again become serious, howeveritshould fare withthetwo

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". THEANNOUNCEMENT95girls.Inmentioning the vengeanceofGod upon ungrateful children, therefore, he felt hehadstruck a notethatwould vibrate to good effect,andinwardly congratulated himself on his diplomacy. Susan,however,didnotneed to be remindedofthenecessityofdoing something for her people before sheleft;shehad already madeupher mind as tothatwhile driving home from the railway station.Sobywayofanswer toherfather's remarks, she began to tell themofher plans. "Ican'ttakeKatewidmeagain, as I was goin' todoifI didgobymeseH," she explained."An'Ican'tpromiseto send for anyofyou, for Samnotgoing tolikeit.IfKatecan manage to come to Colonbyherself,after I get downthere,datwill be all right,forI would like someofme own family near me.ButI not sending for her. And Idon'tseewhatyouwoulddoin Colon, sah," she went on, turning toherfather, for you're old, an' youcan'twork." "Me! exclaimedMr.Proudleighindignantly;butSusancalmly continued with her statement, without taking any noticeofhis protest, or giving him the opportunityofshowing how extremely usefuljustsuch a man as he would be in a country devoted tothestrenuous taskofbuilding a great canal. I am goingtoleavetheshop, an' allofyou canlookafter it, same asifI was in Jamaica.Itgettingonwell,an'ifyoudon'tact foolish you will make a profit every week. An' I will send something fory'uwhenever I can. And see here! RememberthatI don't want nobody to talk about Tom when Sam cometoseeme.Aunt Deborah nearly doita little while

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9 6SUSAN PROUDLEIGHago when Sam was here,an'itis allthatsortofstupid ness Idon'tlike." You needn't express you'self inthatway, Susan," protestedMissProudleigh severely. "I didn'tmean anyt'ing.Itonly occurtomethatJ ones might meet Tom, an' Tom mightmakeconfusion." Himmake confusion! retorted Susan scornfully. "Whatabout?Whathim send formesincehimgoneaway?I onlyhearfrom him once, an' himsaythatifhedon'tgetsick him will send forme;an'hedidn'tevenputa dollar in de letter.It'stwo months now since him gone.IfIdidn'tlook for meself Imighthave been dead by this time. Besides, after all, I am me own woman, an'ifI choose to get another intended,that'smy business! " Butsuppose Jones meet Tom inColon?"saidCatherine. Well, what aboutdat?Jones couldn't think that he is me first lover. Iamnothis first sweetheart. Idon'twanthim tohearanyt'ing about Tom, for Idon'twant anychatin Kingston before Ileave;butifhim meet Tom an' I seeanyconfusion gain' tocome,I will simply look for something todo,like Ibeendoing here since Tom leave. Once IaminColonI will be all right."ButMissProudleigh,notpleased with Susan'sconfidence and self-assertion,andperhaps resenting her niece's continued good fortune, assumed a dismally prophetic air andutteredthis doleful prediction : Idon'tquite like this, Susan. This young man'snameis Jones,an'thelawyer who lose you'caseagainst Maria is Jones. N owifyouputtwo an'two

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THEANNOUNCEMENT97together, an' reflect in a general way onthecoincidence, y'u will seethatthere is trouble before you. Howsoever--" Howsoever," flamedoutSusan, "it wouldbeagoodthingifeverybody mindthemown business.Itwasn't me who select LawyerJones;an' alotof people in Kingston havethesame name. Those who envy me canthinkan' believewhatthem like." Then she asked for her dinner, which shehadbeentooexcited all this time tothinkof;andaboutanhouraftereatingitshe wenttobed.Butherexcitement preventedherfrom sleeping; and withtheexcitement was mingled someanxietylest Jones should change his mind inthemorningandnot come back to see herafterall.Thatwasnotimprobable, for a man sobermightthinkmuch diffe.r ently fromthesamemanwho, accordingtohis own admission,hadtaken"a few gooddrinks"duringtheday.Yetshe was inclinedtobelievethathehadbeenin earnest. Hehadgivenherfive shillings when biddinghergood-byeatthegate,andno one who was not very much in earnest wouldhavedoneso.On the whole,afterthinkingthematter0\er, she felt shewascertainofhim. She begantothinkaboutherapproachingmigration.Toher, ColonandPanamameantone andthesameplace,the lesser thus beingmadetoincludethegreater.Shecould form no ideaofwhatthetownmightbelike,butofone thing she wascertain:she would enjoy herself there immenselyandallthetime. Shewouldhaveplentyofmoneytospend. She would have many fine dressestowear.IfJ ones didnot7

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9 8SUSANPROUDLEIGHtreathernicely? Well, she wasnotthesortofyoung womantosubmittobadtreatment. She would notstaywith him.Butshe liked SamuelJosiah;hewasattentiveandgenerous. She speedily decided thattheywould get on excellently together. ... As for all those who disliked her, how she had triumphed overthem!They wouldhearofhergoodluck, and gnashtheirteeth with envy. Maria? MotherSmith?They were entirely beneath her notice now. She dweltuponthisthought with delight forsometime, then gradually fell asleep.

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CHAPTERVIIISUSAN GIVES AJOKE"UNLIKESusan,Jonesslept very soundlythatnight.Itwasnotuntilthenext morningthathe thought overtheproposal hehadmadeto Susan,andhe didnotregret it. He wasattractedbyher, moresothanhehadbeenbyanyotherwoman he could remember.Hedidnotknow the reason,andwould have been the last person in the world tohavethought about reasons in such a connexion. He simply believed he was in love with her,andnotin quite the same waythathehadbeen in love some twenty times before. He felt happier nowaboutgoing to Colon. ThetruthisthatJones, in spiteofall his talk,hadbeen rather uneasy about leavingJamaicaandgoing to a land where he might meet with no one whomheknew intimately. Susan's will was strongerthanhis. Herswasa more determined character.Thatwas one causeoftheattractionshehadforhim;impulsive, uncertain, volatile, and talkative as he was,itwasnotsurprisingthata girl who usually knewherownmindinmattersthatdirectly concerned her,andwho could stick toherown point with remarkable tenacity, should exercise considerable influence over him almost99

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100SUSANPROUDLEIGHfromthemomentoftheir first meeting. Then she was good-looking, lively,andof excellent figure. She wasnotcommon either, he was sure, for shehadnot welcomed his advancesatthestartassomany other girls would have done. Consequently he was satisfied withthearrangements ofthepreviousday;and he lost notimethatevening in going to see her. Whenheappeared, Susan's lastdoubtvanished. Shewasnowquitecertainofhim. SoonMr.Proudleigh began to speakofhim as his son-in-law, and Susan's sisters regarded him as their brother-in-law. CallingJonesbrother-in-law appealed tothegirls' senseofpropriety, whileitsuited theiraunt'sreligious viewstoconsider Jones as almost married to Susan. The family's standardsofrespectability demandedthatsome deference,ifonly in words, should be paid totheconventionsofrecognized propriety. J ones went toseeSusan every night, sometimes takingheroutfor long car rides. Usually they were left alone whenathome, for, asMr.Proudleighputit, "A courting coupledon'tlike disturbation."Onthese occasions the restofthefamily distributed them selves amongst the other people who lived intheyard, orsattogether intheyardonboxes talking about Susan's good luck..Both Catherine and Eliza would then dearly expressthehopethata similar strokeofgood fortune might befall them, for they were heartily tired oftheirpresent wayoflife.Butwhenever they voicedtheirdiscontentMr.Proudleigh would ask themtohavepatience, assuring thematthe same timethathewas praying for them as he had prayed

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SUSAN GIVES It AJOKE"rorforSusan,andwas expecting a similar answeratanymoment. Onenightitrained, andthenallofthem were obligedtoassemble indoors.ItwasthenthatMr.Proud leigh tooktheopportunityofmentioning certain fearsthathe professed to feelinregard to Samuel's and Susan'sfuture;though, ifthetruthmust be told,hehadbegun to thinkthatas J ones alreadyhadagoodsituation in Jamaica,hemightas well remaininthe island with Susan and endeavourtobe happy, insteadofgoingtoa place wherehe(Mr.Proudleigh) might notbeable to follow them.Notwithout some hopeofdissuading Jones from leaving Jamaica,heremarked: You know, Mister J ones, I been hearingdatPanamaisa dangerous place for a young m&.n. A person tellmethis morningdatthe Americansdon'tlikeJamaicapeopleatall;an'thatthe first word you saytothem, them shooty'u.""Thatdon'tfrighten me," said Jones. It No Americanmanis going to shoot Samuel Josiah. Icandomywork. an' whenthework is done, I go about me own business, an' leavetheAmericanstothemselves. Besides, I hearthatally'uhave to doisto tellanAmerican you are a British subject,an'he wouldn'tputa finger on you." SoIhearmeself," said Susan."Ifyou belongstoanother race,them will takeanadvantageofyou. Butsolong as them knowy'uare an English subject, them will respecty'u.""Isdatso?"asked the old man,ratherdisap pointedathearingthatBritish citizenship was such

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102SUSANPROUDLEIGHa sure protection against the dangersofwhich hewaswarning Samuel;"buthow isitthatIhearthem sometimes illstreat folksesthatgoaway fromhere? "Itcan't be Americans doit,"said Jones, quite positively. Now Mr, Proudleigh, although not gifted with particular quickness of wit, could perceivethatthere was something lacking in Jones's reply."Notreburtingyou, Mister Jones," he said,butevenefitwasn'tde Americans who half-murdertheJamaica mens,itwas somebody. An' those people didn't seem to minddatJamaicapeople was British subjects." This wayoflookingatthematterwas certainlyofsome importance; Jones, however, wasnotonetoallow himself to be easily beaten in an argument. The Jamaica people couldn't have been Jamaica peopleatall," he answered."Fora British subjectcan'tbe touched." Idon'tsee howdatcan be," saidMr.Proudleigh dou btfully, for thoseJamaicapeople did really born in Jamaica.""Thenthey were a setoffools," replied Jones shortly."MostJamaicapeople is foolish; theyhaveno cranium whatsoever. Ibetyou thosemennever told they were British subjects. Now,ifit was me, I wouldhavemade everybodytounderstandthatI wasanAnglo-Saxon, an'thatiftheytouch ahairofme head,warwould be declared.That'sthe way to talk in a foreign country. I wouldn't make a bluff me out. No,sir! " Datis all right, Mister Sam," saidtheold man. "Butp'rhapsthemwouldn't care whaty'ucall you'-

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SUSANGIVES"AJOKE"103selftillafterthem finishbeaty'u. An'thenIdon'tseehowitwould help y'u, evenifthem publicly ex pologize to you as you are a Britishsubjec'." Butwhyy'uwanttofrighten Samuel, papee ?" asked Susan, who now began to suspectthatherfatherhad motive in arguing like this."Don'ty'uthinkSam can lookafterhimself? An'don'ta lotofotherpeople gonetoColon an' nothing'appentothem?Why you talking likethat?"Mr.Proudleigh may neverhaveheardoftheproverbwhich assertsthatdiscretion isthebetterpartofvalour, but he certainly liveduptoboththe spiritandtheletterofit."Y'umisunderstand you' poor ole father,Sue,"heanswered, withthesuggestionofa reproachinhis voice. "I only wanted to hinform MisterSamas towhatI hear. I knowhimcan look after himself. Him is as brave as a...a..."Hecastaboutinhis mind for a termofcomparisonthatwouldtranscend all such other commonplace terms as" lion"and tiger,"andfinally cameoutwith-"as a hedgehog." Hehadnotthefaintest conception what sortofanimal a hedgehog mightbe;butthatin itself inducedhimtothinkofitas possessing remarkable qualitiesofcourage. His children, whohadreadatthe elementary schoolofthehedgehoganditsways, laughedoutright;butJ ones was notatall offended."Youare right, old massa," he observed,"ify'uputyourhandon a hedgehog, he stick you with his porcupines, an'that'slike me. I am a wordanda blow allthetime.Ifanymaninterfere with me, he get the worstofit."

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104SUSANPROUDLEIGH Butnobody going to interfere wid you," Suein-sisted."Y'uwillmind your own business, an' leave everybody else alone." GivenJones'stemperament, this was highlyimprobable.Buthe agreed with her. Besides,IIheadded, "it isquitetruethattheycan'tdowhattheylike with a British subject. That's undiscussable.' I wonder whydatisso? askedMr.Proudleigh. I alwayshearso,butIdon'tunderstandde reason.""ItistheKing," explained Catherine."Them'fraidoftheKing.Ify'udo one British subject anything,an'theKing hearaboutit, him send ships to fight for you. Him 'ave sojers an' ships, an' nobody canbeatthem. And asJamaicabelongstohim, himprotectus."Catherine's displayofpolitical knowledge deeply impressedherfather. "I see! he remarked."It'slikewhatQueen Victoria used to do. I hear dat when she cometothethrone she getuponedayan'say,tIdon'twantany more slaveinJamaica,' an' the moment she say so, them sendan'free every slave!Thatwas a good ooman. An'thatis why she livesolongthatI was beginning tothinkshe would never dead. An'herchildrentakeafterher, or them wouldn'tprotectus whenwegoforeign." It'snotonlytheKing," said J ones, anxioustoshowthatheknew much about such n'atters."It'stheParliament as well. The Parliament look after British subjects wherever themgoto." Yes, eh ?" saidMr.Proudleigh, still more deeply impressed;"whatis deParliament? "

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SUSANGIVES"AJOKE"105Jonesthought foraninstant, then answered, It'ssomething likeourLegislati\ e Council. A lotofdukes; an' they all discuss an' argue. I hear, too,menare elected toit;big men, like lords,andthatsometimes them fight, butthemdon'tfight often.Theyare all white, for in Englandy'unever see a black man.Butifa black mangotherean'justsayheisa British subject, they doanythingfor him.Theylove him,y'uknow, because he isbornunder the British flag.""That'sa place I would like togoto,"saidMr.Proudleigh. "I would like to see de King. Howsoever,efheprotectJamaicapeopleinColon, you an'MissSusanwillbeall right there." Thenthetalkdriftedto other subjects,andMr.Proudleigh made nofurtherattemptsto persuade Jonestoremain. The daysflewbyquickly. Duringthelastweek that she was to remain in KingstonSusanbusied herselfin goingroundtoherdebtorsandlettingthemknowthatCatherine would collectthemoneys duetoher, in going to seeherfriends to bidthemgood-bye, and in going for longcarrides intheevenings with Jones.It was when she was returning from oneofthese rides onenightthatshe stopped suddenly and looked backata woman who was walking slowlyatsome distancebehindher. What'sthematter?" asked Jones."Nothing,"she replied. "I thought Ididknow that person backofus;butIcan'tseeherface. I must be mistaken."ButthatnightafterJoneshadleft she saidtoCatherine:

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106SUSANPROUDLEIGH Kate,y'uknow who I could swear I thought 1 sawinthelane to-night? If Who ?" asked Kate."MotherSmith.AsI was coming down, I pass a personthatlook familiar. An' something saytome, 'Turnback.' An' when I look back, the person seemtobe Mother Smith,butI wasn'tsure;an'asSam was wid me I couldn'tgoupto her." Butwhatis MotherSmithdoin'here?"asked Catherine."Mariawas with 'er ?""No.P'rhapsitwasn't her, after all.Ifitwas'er, shemust'ave been walkin' this way to see what sort0'young man Sam is, for Hezekiah must 'ave told her an'herbig-mouth daughterthatI going toColon.1 hope she see what she cometosee! Thank God!Shecan'tinterfere wid meanymore-theold wretch! Then she dismissed Mother Smith from her mind. She was to sail on Saturday,soonFriday nightquitea numberofher friends came to see her.Shehadspecially invitedthem;for though, theexigenciesofspace forbidding, she could not give a dance, shehadheardthatrich peoplehad"athomes,"andshe saw no good reason why she should not have one herself. She did not callitan "athome";shemerely tolq. her friendsitwas to be "ajoke";but shemeantitto be a very seriousandfashionablejoke,which was what she conceivedan athome"tobe.Letitiawas there, and Cordelia Sampson, a reddish brown young lady, very much freckled, and with a voiceofastonishing shrillness. Cordelia sanginthe choirofan Episcopalian mission church in oneofthe suburbsofthecity, always spokeofherself as"a

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,. SUSAN GIVES AJOKE"107choir,"andwas always alludedtoas achoir"bythosewhoknew her. She wastheterrorofthe mild mannered clergyman who, for someutterlyinexplicablereason,believedthatshe was endowed with a splendidvoice,andthather resignation,sofrequently threatened, would mean a great loss to the church.IYousometimeshadto persuadeherto sing when shecameto seeyou;but, once she began,theproblem washowto persuadeherto stop. She was clothed inpinkthis evening,andwas aggressively prepared tobemusical; in fact, shehadbroughta music foliowithher,andshesatwithitinherlap,soas to bereadyfor all emergencies. There were four othergirls,twoofthemblack,andtheothertwoofthedark brown shade known as samba. Alloftheseweredressed in light white frocks which fitted them to perfection.Nomenhadbeen invited, except Letitia's brother; for Susan did not think highlyofthefewyoungmen she knew. The clothpartitionintheroomhadbeen takendown,andthebeds removed. Some chairshadbeen borrowed fromthepeople intheyard, who, since they hadheardofSusan's good fortune, treatedherwith marked respect and never neglected to address herasMissSusan. There was therefore room fortheguests, who,iftheydid sit rather close to one another, and perspired profusely, didnotseem to mindthatmuch.Asfor refreshments, Susanhadlaidouteight shillings in cakes, aerated watersandsyrups, being determinedthatnoone should callhermean.Shewas expecting Samuel;buthe, she told her friends, mightnotcome until nine o'clock.

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108SUSANPROUDLEIGHThere wasbutone thing to talk about,ofcourse. I may'avetosingatyou' wedding, Sue,"saidMissSampson."Forifa youngmancanfall inlovewith a young ladyatfirst sight,an'take'erawaywith 'im,itis likely he may marry'er." I believeso! said Letitia."Themoment IsawSue an' Jones together, I know'imlove 'er.Y'ushould seetheway him look on 'er.Sortoffunny,y'uknow...in fact, you could see love alloverhis face." Well," said Susan complacently, ifit'smylucktomarried, I will married.ButInotputtingmehead onthat.After all, a lotofpeople marriedan'don'tbetteroffthanme to-day;soefIdon'tmarried I won't fret." Y'uright, me child," said Letitia."What'sdegoodofgetting marriedifyou 'avetowork 'ard? I know some married womanthattoils like aslavefrom morningtonight, an' Idon'tsee whatthemget for it.Thatwouldn't suitme! " Nor me," observed oneofthe other girls."Whatanywoman goingtokill herselffor? " ButI say, Sue," she went on, inadvertently turningtheconversation;"y'uever hear anything aboutthatgurly'ubroughtupin decourt-house?Ineverseey'usincedattime, an' I wantedtoaskyou about'er." I never see her. Idon't'avenobadfeelingsfor'ernow, for if shedidn'tinterfere wid me, I wouldn't be goin' away to-morrow.ButI glad shedidn'tget Tom, forthatteach people like shenottointerfere wid other gurls' intendeds," Susan replied.

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SUSANGIVES"AJOKE"109"Shean' her mothermustbe cursingy'u,"said Cordelia with a shrill laugh."Youare all right,an'they are all wrong!Y'uoughttosing'SoundtheloudTimbrel o'erEgypt'sDarkSea,' Sue, because y'u reallybeatthemout."andshe fingeredhersongfoliosuggestively. Ladies," said Susan,takingthehint, don'tyou thinkMissSampson should favour us with asong?" Her careful pronunciationandformal speech was,asit were, a calltoorder;itmeantthattheserious businessoftheevening wasaboutto begin.MissSampson simpered, opened her book, said,"Youmust'elp me withthechorus," andthenuttereda terrifying scream. Inthechoir shemusthavebeen a disturbing ele ment. As a soloist she was indisputably remarkable.Yetthatdid not preventthecompany from assistingherwiththechorus tothebestofthe abilityoftheirlungs; and whenthesong was endedtheyexpressed themselves as enraptured.ItwasafterthatthatSusan'ssisters handedroundglassesofkola and bitsofcake in saucers,andwhile the guests were enjoying these refreshmentsJonescamem. He was duly introduced,butwould not sit down. Some friendsofmine,"heexplained,"wanttogiveme a send-off; so while you girls enjoyin' you' selves here, I willgoan'enjoy meself with a few males." This was disappointingtothegirls, whohadalreadybeguntofind the societyoftheirown sex a little dull."Wewould like to enjoy you' conversation, Mr.

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noSUSANPROUDLEIGHlones,"Cordelia suggested."I'vejustrendered a,song,an'nowwewould like you to say 4 Butloneswouldnotbe prevailed upon tosaysomething. He shook hands with them, toldSusanatwhathourhe was coming for her the next day. and went out. Susan followed him to the gate,as usual. andherfriends, fmdingtheceremonial of' an"athome"much too stiff for enjoyment, began to discuSs himandSusan and their own affairs in an intimate manner,andwithout payinganyspecial and irksomeattentionto the pronunciationoftheir words or the grammatical sequenceoftheirsentences.Thissortoftalkwas congenial to Susan herself, and she heartily joinedinitwhen she returned to the room.Andwhenherfriends were leavingherata little past eleven. o'clock, she agreedthatshehadhada veryfineevening,andthatthe"joke," althoughnotbyany meansas lively as a joke with musicanddancing, hadnevertheless been a very good jokeofits kind. Yet, when all the guestshadgone,hersisters noticed a puzzled look on Susan's face. Whatisit?" asked Catherine. Susan wrinkled her brows."Iam sureMotherSmith was outside thisyardto-night," she answered. I sawherwhen I went to degatewid Sam. Whatisdatwoman coming about mefor?Whatcanshemean?"

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CHAPTERIXJONESIS WARNEDIN the meantime Jones had gone to meet his friends. On leaving Susan, heturnedsouthwards, and as he emerged from the lane on to a crossinganoldwoman approached him, asifwiththeintentionofspeaking to him. Thinking she was a beggar, hetooknonotice of her,buthurriedly continued on hisway.In abouttenminutes he came to a saloon, overtheprincipal entranceofwhich was a huge signboardwiththe encouraging invitation, Welcome to All."Hewentupashortflightofsteps, pushedtheslatdoor,which swung back on its hinges behind him, andfoundhimself in a large well-lighted room. He knew the place well. Facingtheentrance was a longbarofdark polished wood,andbehind it, against thewall,were a numberofshelves arrangedintheformofa pyramid. These shelves were stocked with bottlesofall sorts and shapes, allofthem containing liquors. In the centreofthepyramid was a huge mirror, theonlyone intheroom.Atone endofthebarwas a great pitcheroficed water, and scatteredaboutitwereglassesandice-bowls and long silver-plated ice-spoons. Behind thebarstood two bright-lookingdarkgirls, tIl

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IIZSUSANPROUDLEIGRgaily dressed and busily attending to the ordersofthe customers. Oneortwo of thelatterwere lounging against the bar,butthemostofthem were seated atlittlemarble-topped tables scattered here and thereaboutthe room.Thepeoplewhofrequented this place were nearly all clerks, shopmen,andsuperior artisans.Itwas towards oneofthe tables, roundwhichfourorfive men were seated,thatJones walked immediately on enteringthesaloon. One ofthemen held a newspaper in his hand, and was talking loudly."Rullo,Sam!"heshouted, whenhecaught sight of our friend, I thoughtyouweren'tcomin' again. Make room, boys, ma)
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JONESISWARNEDII3and kicking, Septimus, an'yetyou talking to-nightlikea dying duck in a thunder-storm. You are too pessimistical, man.""Youdon'tknow whaty'usaying," repliedthe. serious Septimus seriously."Iknow you are amandon't readthenewspaper,butyou should hearwhatProfessor been readingto-night!..Curious,Jonesturned totheProfessor, who im pressively read from a localjournaltheviews of a European astronomer on Halley's Comet, then visibleinthe morning sky. Joneshadheardofthecomet, likemostotherpeople intheisland, and, like them, hadnotgivenitmuch thought. Now, however,helistenedtowhatthe newspaperhadto sayaboutitwith agreatdealofinterest.Itappearedthatsome body inEuropebelievedthathehaddiscovered certain greenbandsin the tailofthe comet, which indicated a poisonous gas, and nowthatastronomer was warningtheinhabitantsoftheearthoftheir possible exterminationatan early date. The whole articlewasreadoutaloud by the Professor (forthethirdtime),andnearly everybody intheroom listened intently. 'When the reader stopped, the seriousmanagain tookupthe burdenofhis lamentations."Thereyouare!"he exclaimed dismally."Ihave been expectingthatthing for Idon'tknow howlong.Itis written in the BookofRevelationsthatbeforethelastday there shall be signs and wonders. The Kingston earthquake ",as a sign. An' this cometisa perfect wonder; for when I sawitthe firsttimeafewdaysagoitonlyhada head, an' yesterday morning I only saw itstail!Oh!you can laugh as8

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHy'ulike"(Joneshadlaughed)"butI tell you the situation is serious." The seriousnessofthesituationsoovercamehimthathe called foranotherdrink. Well," said Jones,"Iwouldn't trouble aboutthat.Idon'tseethecometyet;an' you sayyouonly see the tail.Butifyou see the tail, youseethecomet. An' if you see the comet,thehead must be somewhere." This reasoning appealed to the Professor, a light complexionedmanofabout thirty, who hadoncebeen an elementary schoolmaster."Iagree with you, Jones," he said. "Besides,theBookofRevelations is unscientific. Thereissomethingabouta three-footed horse in it, isn'tthere?" A pale horse," said Septimus reprovingly. "A three-footed horse is aJamaicaduppy1story.""Evenso," saidtheProfessor, "a horse cannot be pale.""What'stohinderit?" asked the seriousman. Ifa man can be pale, a horse can be pale too.Thepale horse in Revelations was a sign;an'I tellyouthateverythingy'uread inthatbook is coming, true. I wouldn't leaveJamaicanow, mebrother1Allwe candoin theselastdays is to watch and pray. IthinkI'll take a little rum."Hetook it,then-"It'sratherhard,"hesaid, "that after amanspend his whole life looking after his family, a comet should come likethisto destroy him.Whathave Idone?"1Ghost.

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JONESISWARNEDII5J ones found the conversation distinctly depressing, though there was no denyingthatmany persons in the room were listeningtoitwith very serious faces.Hewas going awaynextday,andhe begantofear that,atsea, he might be more directly exposedtodanger from the cometthanthose on land. I like to talk about big scientific things, meself,"hesaid, butIdon'tseethegoodoftalkin'aboutthe endofthe world.""Well,perhaps you are right," said the serious man."It'snot everybody who can face these ques tions like me. You know, I was broughtupvery religious.Megran'mother was a very strictwoman;sheused to make me say me prayers every morning, an' sheflogme whenever Ididn'twant togotoSundayschool.That'swhy Iturnoutsowel1."This claim to superiority nettled Jones. "I havebeenbrought up religious meseH," he said, a little in dignantly."Supposeweha\ea gameofbilliards? " No, Sam," Septimus replied gravely."Thisis not a time for billiards. IthinkI shallgoto churchonSunday.Itistime toturnour thoughtstohigher things. I nearly got killed two years ago, an' since then Inottaking any risk with my soul."Y'ugoingtojoin Church when yougotoPanama?""No,"said Jones, "I don'thave nothing todo with churches; the fact is, Idon'tunderstandthematall." A chorusofapproval greeted these words."Something should be done to reform the churches," said the Professor. Then he added impressively, Some thing is going wrong somewhere."

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1I6SUSANPROUDLEIGH Ifthechurches werebetter,"said Jones, there would be less sin in the world.That'swhat I always say." Thatis so," saidSeptimus;"thechurches are to blame." Then calling totheyounger barmaid, he said, Missis,youhearaboutthis comet? "Iamprepare, "thegirl answered, "wheneverthecall shall come." That'safinegirl," saidJonesapprovingly."IfIwasn'ttaking one with metoPanama, I wouldtakeher."Hespoke loudly enough forthebarmaid to hear him,andshe (though prepared forinstantdeath) imaginingthathe was making fun at her, promptlyfaCedhim with an indignant rejoinder. See here, MisterJones!you really wouldn'tberudetome to-night.It'snotbecausey'useemeservin' behind abarthatyou must thinky'ucan laughatme!I am a lady, though I ampoor;an' if me dead father should know I was workin' here, him would dead again from grief! " I wasn't making anyfun! protested Jones."Iwas only admiring you. An' I meant what I said! " Stop!"said his serious friend."Youreally takin' a female withyou? " Yes," said J ones gaily."Youdidn'thear? " No!y'udon't mean to tell me you married an'didn'tlet me know? You will regret it, me friend! Youdon'tknow what marriage meanyet!A man whohavea wife an' children have a feelingofresponsibilityhecan'tget over, nomatterhow hardhe_try, art...Jien you Ihavetried very hard.How-

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JONES IS WARNEDII7ever,weallhavetoshoulderourburden, an' do our duty, an' soletourlight shine." Heretheelder barmaid happeningtopass nearbyhim, he (for he seemed to be ontermsofsurprising familiarity with her) tried toputhisarmroundherwaist. She drew away giggling,andhe nearly losthisbalance.Buthis goodhumourwas imperturbableinspiteofhis fearsofthe comet,andof the heavy responsibilityofwife and children, which, ashealleged, weighedhimutterlydown.Jones speedily reassured himandhisotheranxious friends."It'sonly a female I taking withme,"he said. Sheand I became acquaintedrecently." What'shername)" asked oneofthemen who hadhithertotakennopartintheconversation."MissSusan Proudleigh. Fine girl,man!Fallinlove with methesamedayshe see me. I amgoingtocuta dash with her in Colon." Proudleigh?"asked the Professor, lifting his eyebrows as if trying to remember something. "I think I knowthatname....Yes, shehada caseincourt some time ago.""What'sthat?"Jones asked sharply."Youmake a mistake, me friend. She isnotthesortofgirlanybody cantaketo court-house. She is a perfect incomparable,man!""Ididn't :5ay anybodytakehertocourt-house, Sam;butshedidhavea case. Idon'tremember it exactly,butIthinkshebroughtupa girl." Itcan'tbeso," said Jones,"forI neverhearanythingaboutit.Itmust be somebody else."

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IIBSUSANPROUDLEIGH"Perhapsso," said the Professor, who hadnospecial objecttogainbycontendinghewas right,andwho knew alsothatthere might be other Susan Proudleighs in Kingston besides the one he remembered having read about. Yes,y'ucanmakea mistakeabouta name," said Septimus,"butyoucan'tmake any mistake about this comet. The newspaper sayithave sanatogen in its tail, an' sanatogen isnota thing to foolwith." Cyanogen," corrected the Professor;"sanatogenis atonic-somethingyou drink." Well, whatevery'ucall it,it'sa dangerous thing. However, let us hope for the best. Jones, old man,ifweeven don't meet again, let's have a drink before we part." He ledthewaytothebar, and eachofthemorderedtheliquorhemostpreferred.Itwas a farewell glass,andthesincerity with whichJones'shealth was drunk showedthathis friends really liked him. Under their hilarity there was emotion concealed. Whichofthemcould know for certainthathe would ever see Samuel Josiah again?This last glass was the signal forthebreaking upoftheparty. J ones livedtothewestofthe city,andthe Pro fessor saidhewas goingthatway. So they badetheother fellows good-byeatthetaverndoor, andstartedhomewards. Theyhadhardlygone fifteen yards when an elderly, respectable-looking woman boldly accosted them; she spoketoJ ones, calling himbyname:couldshespeak to him for a ? She was close enough for him to perceive that

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JONESIS WARNEDIIgshecould not be a beggar.Hewonderedwhatshe could have to saytohim.Hestopped,andaskedhisinvariablequestion:"What'sthematter?""Y'umustn'tvex because I stop yououthere,mygentleman," saidtheoldwoman:"butI came up to speak to you in Luke Lane to-night,an'you walk on before I couldstopy'u. I onlywanttotell y'u one thing. Iheary'ugoing away sometimedis month wid Susan Proudleigh.Thatisyourbusiness. But let me tellyou-forIdon'tbelieve she tell youherself-datshehasa young man in Colon already, an' is only making you a fool. You can askherto nightaboutTom Wooley! Idon'tliketosee a nice lookin' young gentleman like you deceive;soI tell you aboutthesarpent you is nourishin' in you' bosom." She ceased and said good night, having donethework shehadbeen striving for severalnightstoaccomplish. Theoaththatshehadtakenonthenight when Susanhadfought with Mariahadbeen by no means forgotten, for MotherSmithwas a revengeful woman, and,bitterlydisliking Susan, would have gone fartoinjure her. TothinkthatSusanhadbeen morefortunatethanMaria was gall and wormwood toheralreadybitterspirit. Only one chanceofstrikingatSusan was opentoherand shehadseized it. She wanted Jonestoknow thetruthaboutSusan;how he wouldactshe could not guess,butshe hoped fortheworst."TomWooley," said Samuel's companion asthewoman walkedaway-"why,that'sthenameoftheman mentioned inthecase I was telling youabout."

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120SUSANPROUDLEIGH ., J ones, whohadbeen astonishedatthe old woman's reason for stopping him, continued his walk. "I don'tsee throughthiswhole business," he saidtohis friend."Whatshemean? Professor, whohadreadthecase in the newspapers,hadeasily grasped the situation. He explained:"Theold woman'sdaughterwas the girl yourintendedbroughtup;sotheold lady want to put a spoke inherwheeL""Yes,ofcourse!"saidJones;"whata woman,eh?She nearly frightenedme!NowwhatshethinkIcando, me dear sir ?" A question which showedthathe intended to donothing;which indeed was the decisionhehad arrived at.Ashehadnever had any reason to supposethathe was Susan's first lover, he could (J notprofess to feel shockedatlearningthata former l flame of hers was now in Colon. Nor did he really feel aggrieved, for even though she hadnottold him ofthecase, there was clearly nothing to her discreditaboutit, since shehadbeen the prosecutor. He wouldhaveliked to askherabout it,andsaid to himselfthathe would dososomeday;butthetruthisthathealready knew Susan well enough to understandthatshe might losehertemperifquestionedaboutanything she didnotwantto discuss. On the whole,hedid not seethatSusan'spastmattered to him,anymorethanhis couldmatterto her. This con clusion was characteristic of J ones. Beforehehad his house hehadbegun to talk of anothersubjecthaving no relation whatever to Mother Smithandhestory.

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','"-' CHAPTERX THESWORD OFTHELORD"ONtheafternoonofthe following day a wharfattheeastern sectionofthecitywas thronged with people, chiefly blackandbrown. Scoresofcabs weredrawnupatboth sidesoftheentrancetothe wharf,andany number of porters were conveyingtrunkson their headstotIle ship which lay anchored alongsideofthe pier. Steam wasup;a donkey enginerattledand clattered as the sailorsloweredsome packages intothevessel'shold;thecaptain stood on the bridge shoutingouthis com mands with a fine senseofultimateauthority:thepassengers streamedupthegangway, while their friendsandrelatives whohadcometosee themoffstood onthepierandlooked with envy and admiration at those who were about to bravetheperilsofthedeep.Itwas a scene characteristically West Indian.Thelong wooden pier crowded with a jabbering, multi-coloured throng,themountainsofcoal fromwhichhne particlesofcoal-dust came flying astheseabreeze swept overthewharf;thenoise,theconfusion,thetotallackofall appearanceoforder-thoughorderofa kind was certainlymaintainedthe dark faces, eager ortearful;theragged porters121

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122SUSANPROUDLEIGHwho balanced on their heads packages weighing over ahundredpounds each as though they were feather pillows;thefew white men moving perfectlyateaseamongsttheexcited people;thebrilliant sunlight,thegreatarchofdazzling sky,thegently-heaving green-tinted water,thecrowdsofboys,who,simply cladinashortpairofbreeches, swam and divedlikefishes inthesea, shakingtheirheads as they rose tothesurface,andshowing their strong white teethastheylaughedandshouted tothepeople on theshipallthiswas typicalof-a British West Indian island on adaywhen a vessel leavestheport.ToSusanandJonesitwasnotstrange, and the noise couldnotpossibly confuse them. They pushed their way throughthecrowd, followedbyMr.Proud leigh, his wife,MissProudleigh, and Susan's sisters;butatthegangway they were stopped by oneofthe Steamship Company's officials, who firmly told themthatonly passengers were allowedtogoon board. Heretheyseparated. Susan kissed all herfolk,J ones shook hands with them, and then thetwoclimbedupthegangway,andSusan found herselfatlastonthedeckofthesteamerwhich was to take hertoastrangeanddistantland.Forthefirst time doubts assailed her. For the firsttimeshe realized fullythatshe was leavingherhome, perhaps forgood;andas she looked fromthedeck down upon her people a lump gath-ered to herthroatandshe begantowonderifshe were alto gether wise.Yetshe would riot have given up her purpose for a moment. She was too deeply bittenbytheprevailing desire togosomewhere.

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"THESWORD OFTHELORD"123Sheleaned againstthevessel's rail, nowandthen exchanging a wordatthetopofhervoice with Catherine orherfather. Jones was asgayas ever,andwasloudly explaining to someofhis friends onthepierthathe would have travelled first-class hadhenot beentakinga female with him.Hewas in the condition locally known as"merry"(this term indicating generally a half-way stage between sobernessand intoxication), and seemedtoentertaina cheerful expectationofbeing shot immediately after arrival in Colon;butSusan saw nothing exhilaratinginsuch a prospect,andmorethanonce suggestedtohimthathe should stop talking nonsense.Shewas to travel second-class; bu t forthepresentsheremained standing amongst the deck-passengers. There wereoverahundredofthese,andthedeck onwhichthey were gathered was littered with boxes and trunks containingtheirclothes,andwiththedeck chairs on whichtheywould sit duringthedayandsleepatnight.Itseemed a strange scenetoSusan's wondering eyes. Thebeatoftheengines stunnedher,the smells nauseated her, she was consciousofa throbbing inherhead. Suddenlyitseemedtoher as thoughthepier and the people onitwere moving backwards. She heard agreatshoutof"Good-bye!"She saw a great waving of hands. They werE' going, going, and now she broke downandbegan to cry outright. Lookaftertheshop good,Kate!" she calledoutto hersister;and"Good-bye,mammee-good-bye,papee!good-bye!"Her mother waved in reply, two bigtearsstealing

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124SUSANPROUDLEIGHdown her withered cheeks. Her father, thoughmuchcomfortedbythereflectionthatthe shophadbeenlefttothefamilyasa sourceofrevenue,yetfeltsad.Buthe waved hishatandshouted, t( Takecareofyou'self, Susan,an'write tome!"andcontinued waving hishatlongafterthere was any possibilityofitsbeing seenbyher. Then, when the crowd on the pierhadbecomeanindistinct mass, Susan wenttothesecond-class passengers' deck and begantowonder once more whatsortof life awaited her in Colon....Steadily Kingston dwindled into a collectionofwhite houses nestling amidst a forest of trees and backed by a noble rangeofsmoke-blue mountains. And astheship steamed through the narrow channelthatformstheentranceto the city's harbour, the shrill voiceofa woman rose in a quavering chant, and soon allthedeckers were singing the wordsofsomeplaintive hymn.Itwas their wayofbidding farewelltoJamaica. Thus singing,theyleft the land behind. "Susan!getup!This is not a timetosleep." Susan, whohadbeen sleepingbutfitfully, awokeatonce with astart.] ones was rapping loudlyather cabin door. Something in his voicestartledher. t( Whatisit? she asked, frightened. t( Thecomet!It'sthefirst time I seeit."Susan dressed in aminute;she hurriedoutofthe cabin and wenttothewell-deckwith]ones.Itwasaboutfour o'clock inthemorning,butthere was as yet no signofthecoming day. A crescent moon was glowing above,butthelightofitpaled into

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". THESWORDOFTHELORD"125insignificance beforetheradiantsplendourofthemorning star. There intheEas.t hung Venus, like a great lamp illumining all heavenandearth, a diamondsetagainst a magnificent backgroundofmillionsandmillionsofstars. These indeed were strewn almostasthickly inthesky as sand in adesert;look whereyouwould, you saw them, some faint, some bright,andsome like silverdustscatteredprofuselyaboutthelofty silent domethatoverarched and coveredthewidecircleofthesea.Thegleaming planetandscintillating sky were alone sufficient to impress thosewhobeheld themthatmorning with a senseofwonderandof a"ve. Their sereneandlofty beauty, im measurable grandeur, andvastincalculable distance musthaveappealed eventothemost indifferent care blunted mind.Butit wasnotupon thesethathundredsofeyes wereturnedwhen Susanandher lover reached thestarboardofthe vessel, where a crowdofpersonswerealready standing. All lookedatbutone object-agreatbandoflightthatstreamed up from below the eastern horizon and swept across the skytothesouth-west, whereitdipped intothesea. Clearanddistinctitshone, in spiteoftheradiance aroundit: a flaming portent, asitseemed, emerging suddenly outofthemysteriousdepthsofspace. Mostofthetravellers on the ship sawitfor the first timethatmorning. They lookedatitstartled, and with pal pitating hearts. The comet," whisperedJones again,and" The swordofthe Lord," said calmlybutdistinctly an oldmanwho stood amongst the deckers. Almosteveryonetalked in whispers. Something

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126SUSANPROUDLEIGHoppressed them -a vague, uncanny feeling. The women pressed theirhandsagainst their hearts. They were alone onthesea. On land theywouldnothavefearedsomuch, for nearly all calamities,orimagined indicationsofcalamity, the West Indian peasantcanface with a calmness which springsfromhis deep-rooted fatalism.Buthere they were amidst, surroundings strange tothem;they were aloneina wor)d which they regarded with apprehension-aloneuponthesea with the swordoftheLord flaming in the heavens above them. Thesearanswiftly, wave racing after wave, blackandfoam-crested. They dashed against the sidesofthevessel, flinging high intotheair a glisteningshowerofspray which fell back uponthebosomofthe waters in sparksofliquid fire. The prowofthe shipseemedto plunge into argent flame; in its wake writhedandtwisted a long serpentoflight. The phosphorescent gleamsofthe tropic sea flashed an answer to the brillianceofthe tropic sky above, and fire seemed glancingandblazing everywhere.Thewind blew steadily from east to west, and the throbbingoftheengines added to the roarofthe leaping, hurrying waves. Nowandagain a murmuring sound was heard amongstthepeople on thedeck-asound as if they prayed. Longandearnestly they gazed uponthecomet;andtheninto Jones's mind came the wordsofhis friend Septimus, spoken so shorta time before.Hebentdown and whispered in Susan'sear: You thinkitmean anything,Sue? "Idon'tknow," she replied, almost inaudibly;

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"THESWORDOFTHELORD"127 .. but it'sawful;an'ifitwas to come close an'weshouldall dead, where wouldwegoto,Sam?"Asifin replytoherquestion,theoldmanamongstthedeck passengers, who had calledthecomet TheSwordoftheLord,"again lifteduphis voice, this time repeating some words from theScriptures: .. Behold,theLord'shand isnotshortened,thatitcannotsave;neither His ear heavythatHecannothear.Butyouriniquities haveseparatedbetweenyouand your God,andyour sinshavehidHis facefromyou,thatHewill nothear."Susanheardandtrembled;a woman inthecrowdofwatchers groaned out, Yes,Lord!" Havemercy!" sobbed another.Someone began repeating the hymn; Jesus, LoverofmySoul." .. Christ,havemercy," prayedtheshivering people .. Sue," whispered Jones, I heard onFridaynight that the cometwon'ttouch the worlduntilWednesday;sowhenwegettoColon to-morrow morningwebettermarried. Thissortoflifeisnot one to face death in. Iamnot a coward, Sue, but, after all,itwill bebettertodie right."Animmense weight seemed liftedoffSusan'sheartasshe heard these words.Herpresent modeoflife ascalled" living insin"by the ministersandreligiousfolkofhercountry;andsopersistentlyhadthisviewofitbeen inculcatedthat,in common with housandsofothers, she had come to regard unsanctiedconnexions as the one offence really worth con idering. True. she had never gonefurtherthaniving her intellectual assent to this proposition;

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128 SUSAN PROUDLEIGHbutthen she had never seen agreatcometblazingin the sky before. She now agreed with.itwithallher soul. You right, Sam," she whispered;"letusmakeour peace widGod,in case anything happen."Andas she spoke the thought flashed through hermindthat,ifnothing did happen, she would beMrs.Jones, a prospectofsocial advancement which, evenatthat tremendous moment, gavehera thrillofdelight. Someofthe deckers were audibly praying now. The old man, who in Kingstonhadbeen awell-knownstreet-preacher, kept on repeating tagsofScriptureandwordsofwarning;butgradually, in spiteofhiseffortsto terrify the passengers into hysterics andthusestablish his spiritual supremacy, theygrewmorecalm, and soon began to talkattheir ordinary pitchofvoice. For the sky was lightening. Slowly themorningstardimmed her brightness, the other starspaledand flickered out, the comet shonebutindistinctly, andthemoon grew white. Beforeitwasfiveo'clock"TheSwordoftheLord"haddisappeared.Andas the sky changed from black to grey, andfromgreytopinkandpearl and loveliest azure,asthephosphorescent brillianceofthe water diedawayandthesun came surgingupoutofthesea, a great palpitating globeofgolden fire,thepassengersbusiedthemselves with their toilet, and laughed and chatted as thoughtheyhad not,butan hour before,beenthinkingofimminent death. The transformation was complete. The sunhadrestoredtheircourage, and had banished for the

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tr THESWORD OF THELORD"129moment all fear from their minds. As for Susan,shefell sick duringtheday, her stomach no longerbeingable to enduretherockingandvibrationofthe ship.Soshe didnottalk muchaboutanything, and did not even trouble to mentionthemarriagewhichsheandJoneswere to celebratethenextdayinColon,as a sortofspiritual insurance againsttheeternal fire with which the greaterpartofmankind might bethreatenedon the 18thandafter.9 /'

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BOOK IICHAPTERrTHELANDOFPROMISETHEcomet was again visible ontheensuing night,butthehorrorsofsea-sickness were too acute, the misery ofthepassengersfartoo intense, for them to care greatly aboutthefutureofthe world and of themselves. Wordhadbeen passed around the shipthatthecomet wouldnottouchtheearth for a few days yet, andthatwas a blessed respite.Inthemeantime there was no cessa tionofthestrange agony causedbya rolling, pitching vessel which was traversing nearly sixhundredmilesofthe roughestpartoftheCaribbean Sea. Someoftheemigrants were secretly oftheopinionthatthecomet couldnotbe worsethantheship, and certainly wasnotjusttheninterfering with their bodilycomfort;theyhad also heard the sailors jestingattheir fears,andthatgavethema sortofcourage,notunmixed with hope. Thentheex-street preacher, inthemidst of one of his urgent appeals fortheinstantconversionofall sinners, had been suddenlytakenwith a desire to rushtotheship's side. The people were tooillto laugh,butsomeofthem smiled faintlyattheunfortunate gentleman's 131

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHmishap. And smiles, coupled with sea-sickness, must inevitably reduce religious terrorism totheridiculous. So the secondnightwore on, and J onesinhis cabin,andSusan in hers, slumbered fitfully,takingcomfort as they remembered, when theystartedoutof adoze,thatthe morning would bring an end to their present misery. Asitdrew towards morning they found sleepimpossible.Itwas as though they were in a steam bath,theawful, close, clammyheatwas something they had never experienced before. They struggledoutoftheir bunks, as did alltheothersecond-class passengers,theperspiration streaming from their bodies."Thismustbe the beginningofhell," Jonesmutteredimpiously, thoughnotwithouta certain senseofterror.Hewas still sea-sick,andthis, and the terrific heat, inclined him to believethathehadnow sounded. theultimatedepthsofhumanmisery. "I wonder why Ibothercome to this infernalplace?"hegrumbled, as he struggled into his clothes with the intentionofgoing on deck. He peeped outofhis porthole, trying to peer throughthedarkness. Heheardoutside the labourers jabbering as they movedabouttheship;the swish of water asitpoured fromtheupperdeck intothesea warnedhimthatthey were swabbing down the decks, and he guessedthatColon couldnotnow befaraway. He hurriedout.of his stifling cabinandwent to call upSusan;she was ready dressed,butpaleandweak;she gladly came out,andtogether they wenttotheship's side, anxious for a first glimpseofthe land.Theprospect was sufficiently depressing. The sky

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THELAND OF PROMISE133above wasdarkwith heavy rain-cloudsthathunglow andthesearanfiercely-onevastexpanse.ofslate coloured water. The rain was falling, not in a torren tial shower,butsteadily, pitilessly, unceasingly,andat quick intervals the pallid lightning flasheduponthe scene,andthelow rumble ofthunderproclaimed the gathering storm. Colon! Thecrycame from oneofthewatchers ontheemi grants'deck, from oneofthemanymen whohadcometoseektheirfortune in thislandof adventureofwhich the worldhadheardsomuch for some fourhundredyears."ColonI"The word signified for themthelandofpromise, the landoftheir thoughtsanddreamsformany a long day. The cry was takenupandre echoed from many lips.Thesufferers forgottheirsickness.Themagic wordhadcharmeditentirely away.JonesandSusanbentforward quickly, electrifiedbythe shout.Inthe distance they saw somethinglikea hugebankofcloud onthehorizon,andatonce theythoughtitwas theirdestination-Colonatlast.Bystraining one's eyes one couldjustperceiveit;butitwasnotColon, forthattown lay fully fifteen miles away. Still,itwaspartoftheIsthmusofPanama,andas the sunlight began to fightitsway slowlyandpainfully throughthecloudsthathungoverlandandsea, you could perceive, stretchingawayfor milesandmiles,thelow-lying inhospitable shoresofthecountrywhichhasoneofthemostromantichistoriesintheworld. TherethemainlandofPanamalay, dreary, ugly,

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134SUSAN PROUDLEIGH )uninviting. One could see the waves breaking listlessly against the shore,justas thoughthevery energy ofthewater were affectedbythe terrible steamingheat.There was something unspeakably gloomyaboutthe scene, somethingthatsubdued onetosilence; andsoitwas in silencethatalmost everyoneon board watchedthemangrove-covered banUs slipbyastheship sped onherway.Thelightning flickered more frequently, the rumble ofthethunder became louder, more insistent.'Thedeckers, whohadnever undressed duringthethirty six hoursofthepassage, now began to make them selves presentable for going ashore,andJonesandSusan forced themselves to re-enter their cabinsforthepurposeofgathering together their possessions.Itwas daylight now, though the sun could notbeseen.Asthey drew nearer to the townofColon therainslackened somewhat. The steamer sloweddown,stopped,andlay idly rolling in the dark, oily water, waiting until the officialsoftheport should comeonboard. Susan could now see before her the townofwhich shehadheardsomuch. To her inquiring eyes it looked a smallplace:there was a clusterofugly wooden piersjuttingoutintothe seaandroofed with corrugated iron paintedblack;behind these was astreetor roadthatranalong the seashore as farasshe could follow it,andbehind this street rose a line. of frail-looking wooden buildings two or three storeys high.Butfarther away totheright, as one gazed landward fromthedeck ofanincoming ship, couldbeseen bungalows of a description superior to the

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THELANDOFPROMISE 135 buildingsnearby;these bungalows stood amidst rowsofcocoa-nut palms and light green shrubs evidently plantedandtendedbythehandofman. Thistouchoftropical scenery redeemedthetown fromthestigmaofutterugliness. Evenso,andin spiteofthewell known enchantmentofdistance, Colon stood con fessed a mushroom town, a low, damp, rain-sodden bitofland which accidenthadmadethe terminusofa famous railway, and,afterthat,thesiteoftheAtlanticentrance ofthegreatPanamaCanal. Something like disappointment was expressed on Susan's faceandin her voice as she turned to Jones, saying: Whatyou thinkofit,Sam?" Can' t sayyet,"he replied dubiously;"howsoever, Iamreadytogoashore." Hestartedto stroll away, though hehadno ideaofwhere he was going to, when a swarthy littlemanunceremoniously sprang infrontofhim, caughthimbythearmand waved him back. Joneshadnotobservedthelittle man before. Thelatterhadcomeonboardatthesame time asthedoctor, and perhapshethoughtthatJones wantedtodisappear from view whenitwas necessarythatheshouldbevisible. Anyhow,headdressed Samuel in a perfectlyunintelligible tongue, muchtoouryoungJamaican'sastonishment, and wildly waved his arms."Whatyoumean?"indignantly demanded J ones, planting his feet firmly on the deckandrefusing to move. Thelittlemanappeared tobeannoyed,andagain poured forth a floodofSpanish. As Jones couldnotunderstandwhathe was saying,andcouldnotpossibly

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHguesswhathewould be at,heconcludedthatthe man was a fool,andsaidsoloudly."Youseem to be preposterouslyignorant!"he exclaimed, addressing his excited aggressor."Youcan'teven talk English!Whatyou callyou'selfChineseorCuban, orwhat? N owthemali couldnotspeak English,buthe understoodjustenough ofittograspthefact that J ones was insulting him. So he again addressedMr.J ones in a violent manner,andgave him a backward push. Lookhere! exclaimed Jones. It'sabout time you finish pushing me, youunderstand?I am not a Colon man,butanEnglish gentleman, an'ifyou touchme again I will boxtheheadoffyou' bodyI Thelittlemanwasnotdaunted;indeed, he appeared to increase in pugnacity.Butjustthen, fortunately, one ofthepettyofficersoftheship, seeingthata serious quarrel was imminent, interfered. You'dbetternotargue withthatman," he said toJones;"he'sthe CaptainofthePort." Butthatisnoreason whyheshould pushme,"argued Jones,bentupon establishingatthe outset his claim to deferentialtreatmentatthe handsofforeigners."Whathe push mefor? " Thought you were doing something you shouldn't do, I suppose. They areratherfunny, these people. Thereareall sortsofrules you haveto obey down here."Jones fell back, notatall pleased with his first ex perienceofPanamanian methods.Buthe waited quietly tillthedoctor, who wasanAmerican official, cameupthesecond-class deckandassured himself

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'" THELANDOFPROMISE137that the passengers there had all been vaccinatedathomeand were suffering from no serious complaints.Ittook-a longer time to examinethedeckers: the doctor was verystrictwith these.Butitwas all over atlast;theofficialsoftheportboarded their re spective launchesandsped away (Jones following the launchoftheCaptainofthePortwith eyes expressiveofunmitigated contempt), and thentheship begantodraw towardsthedock. The gangways were shoved out, word was passedthatthepassengers werefreeto go ashore. SusanandSamuel prepared toland,thelatterstill fuming over histreatmentbya little dark fierymanamongst whose serious offenceswashisutterinability to speaktheEnglish language.Onthe piertheyhadtohuntfor their luggage,whichwas mixed withthatofotherpeople whose frantic exertions to recover their belongings impeded themselves.Butthe baggage was assortedatlast,andnow cametheinquisitionoftheCustoms officers.Thesewerequiteyoung men, almost boys, and their slight, emaciated frames, sallow faces,andleisurely movements didnotatall appeal toJones'ssenseofwhat was proper in Government officials. He watched them with amazement as they delvedintohis boxesandturnedupeverything, carelessly motioning himtore-arrange his things when they were through."Sue,"heobserved impressively, when the ordealwasover, this isnota civilizedcountry;"and,having thus announced his discovery, he acceptedtheofferofa truck-man, who wheeled theirtrunkstothe gateofthe wharfandthencoolly demanded a dollar for the job.

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.. SUSANPROUDLEIGHAsthisbitofwork wouldnothavebeen worth morethana shilling in Jamaica, if as much, Jones and Susan were scandalized,andprotested loudly againsttheimposition.Butthemancalled a little policeman toarbitratein the matter. This policeman spoke Englishofa kind, andtheintentionofhisdiscourse wastoassure Jonesthat,as he hadmadeno previous bargain with the man, hemustpay what the man asked.Hesaid this with all gravity, but with a pronunciationsopeculiarthatJones expressed. his great anxietytoknowatwhatschool he hadbeeneducated.Itwas rather lucky for himthatthe policia didnotgrasp his meaning.Itwas drizzling still,butvery slightly. Thecloudsoverhead, however, and the continuous flashesoflightning warned our friends,that thedownpour might come onatany moment. They hailed a cab (driven by a West Indian), and J ones toldthemanthathewanted togototheCanal Commission's DepartmentofLabour and Quarters. He askedthecabmantodrive slowly, sothatthey might see somethingofthe town as they wenton.With their luggage piledinfrontofand around them they began their ride throughtheprincipal streetofColon.Itwas a busy thoroughfare. To their left, as they drove towardstheCommission's DepartmentofLabour and Quarters, were the principal storesandshops and cafes ofthe town, wooden buildingsall,painted pink, dull yellow, grey, or light blue, with pointed roofs, broad verandasmnninground the first and second floors, and a paved piazza mnning along the whole lengthofthe ground floors. The

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" THELANDOFPROMISE 139 projecting floorsoftheverandas above formed a shelterfrom sunandrain,andthe piazzas were thronged withpedestrians. All sorts and conditionsofhuman <.,. beingswere represented in thesecrowds-WestIndianlabourers,EastIndianpedlars, Chinese, Greeks;menfrom everyconntryinEurope;natives ofPanamaandColombia, ranging in colour from pure black to asallowwhite;Americans-themen with theirjacketsthrown over their shoulders, energetic,masterful;the women, in cool white dresses and bareheaded,whowalked along as unconcernedly as thoughtheyweretaking a strollinBroadway. Susan noticedthatthe Panamanian women 'were careful tohaveshawls thrown over their shoulders though their unstockinged feet werethrustinto slippers downatheels.Nooneseemed to mindtherain. The shops were stocked with all sortsofshowy goods; the cafes were crowdedandbusiness in them appeared to bebrisk;thecabswerewell patronized,andtheir drivers abused one another with a fluency ofbadlanguagethatdidnotargue much forthevigilance or the good hearingofthePanamapolice. It was a busytown-thatshe could see, at once. A peculiar town, too, fromherpointofview, for borderingthestreet were railway lines, and trains were passing or shuntingupanddown with a continuous tootingofshrillwhistles;while immediately beyond the train lines wastheragged, sea-beaten shore of Colon,destituteofa sea wallandugly. She wasnotsurethatshe liked Colonatfirst sight,yetitsbustle, its evident prosperity, appealed to her. Suddenly, and even while Susanwaslookingatthe shopsandhouses,withoutturning

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHoutofthestreetthecab passed intothatpartofoldColon which is known as Christo balandwhich the. Americanshadtakenover aspartof their territoryandconvertedintoan American settlement. Here sheandSamuel found themselves in the midstofthe bungalowsandcocoa-nut treestheyhadsighted. fromthesea. There were no shops here, nonoise,nobustle;there was absolute cleanliness and asenseoforderthatformed a sharp contrasttothecareless lifeofthePanamaniantown theyhadjustleft behind them. Gardens bloomedinfrontofmanyofthe houses, the sanitation wasperfect;thewire-screened doorsandwindowsofthe buildings gave them thequaintappearanceofhuge cages,andbehind those wire-screens (a protection againsttheonce-virulent mosquitoofColon) peered many a white face, the facesofAmerican womenandchildren who during the long warm daysthoughtwistfullyoftheir homesintheNorth. This, to Susan's mind, lookedaneminently respectable locality."Iwould like to livehere,Sam,"she remarked, more than intheotherpartofthetown." The cab stopped in frontofa large building neartheendofthestreet,andJones jumped out, bidding Susan wait for him.Hewent intotheoffice indicatedbythe cabman, where he found someothermen wait ing. He gave his name,andmentionedthathe had been engaged inJamaicabyoneoftheCanalCommission's agents, whohadpromised him quartersintheCanal Zone."Youmust have been expecting me," he observed, with an airofconsequence. Ikain'tsay we have," replied the tall American

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THELANDOFPROMISE141whoattended to him, butI guessit'sall right. I kain't give youquartersto-day,anyhow;I'vegot.toseewhat roomwehavefor mechanics. Youkin him into work right here in Christobal to-morrow, an' when you come I'll seewhatwekin doaboutputtin' youup."Withthatheturnedawayabruptlytoseewhatanothermanwanted, and Jonesmadehisway back outside. Where were they to gotonow?Itwasthecab man who suggested a wayoutofthedifficulty.Heknewa place, he told them, where they couldgeta room for the night if theywere willingtopaya dollar fortheaccommodation. Jones protestedthattheprice was"ridiculous,"butagreed neverthelesstobe taken totheplace, Susan shrewdly suspecting that they were being victimizedbythecabby, whoknewthatthey were strangers. Back they droveintoColon,stopping for aminuteata shop to purchasesomebread and cheese.Thenthecabmantookthem to a houseatthebackofthetown, chargedthema dollaranda half forthework hehaddone,anddroveawaywell satisfied withtheinnocence or ignorance of "doseJamaicafools."Hewas aJamaicanhimself, but sophisticated. The house, in whichtheysecured a room forthenight, was a long woodenbarndivided into small apartments. Each roomhada woodenshutterfor a window, and the placehadoriginally beenbuiltupon a swamp. The piles driven intotheswamp still remained asthebuilding'sfoundation;theland behindthehousehadonly lately been cleared by the American authoritiesandwas notyetfilled

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGH up.Sothe ground was covered with a sheetoffetid water, and a little behind this the mangrovebushes'flourished, dark green and horrible, a sombre back ground suggesting fever and loathsome ailmentseventotheleast observant mind. A dank heavy smellofrotting vegetation permeatedtheair. The room was almost as stifling as the ship's cabinhadbeenthatmorning.Nosooner had they taken their things inside when the thunder-stonn, which had been threatening for hours, burst in full. force upon Colon;thelightning writhed likemaddened serpents throughtheblue-black sky, thecrashofthe thunder was deafening. Susan shudderedwithfear. EvenJones looked lugubrious. Thiswasa poor sortofwelcome to the landofpromise. They set to and madethebestoftheircircumstances. The room contained a cot, one wooden-. seated chair, a table with a tin basin, a ewerofwateranda glass, and another table, placed in the centreoftheapartment and suggesting by its position thatitwas intended as a sortofornament.Jones, seated on the chair, placed the edibleshehad procured on this centre table, and pulled aflaskofrum outofhis pocket. He offered someofthe liquor to Susan,whorefuseditwith a shakeofher head. He helped himself liberally, then ate some ofthebread and cheese, while she watched him sullenly. She felt downhearted, almost inclined to cry. Buttherum had inspirited him, and already hewasbrighter."What'sthematter?You sorryyoucome? he asked her. Notexactly," she replied;"butI don't know

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THELANDOF PROMISE143, ;. asoulhere;I feel lonely an' miserable, and disIrain--"She could find no wordstoexpressherdisappointment. It IfI was tostaylong in thisroom,I would dead," she plaintively concluded. Don'tfret,"hecheerfully advised. It To-morrowwewillget good quarters, an' even here will soon be better. From allwhatI'hearabouttheAmericans,theyarenotthesortofpeople to procrastinate in improving conditions.Asfor you, you are all rightnow,Sue. Iamgain' to make a womanofyou. Iammorethanamatchfor anythingI"Hesuddenly rememberedthecomet. It Thatis, if wedon'tdead,"hehastily added, It in which casewehadbetterbegintoprepareoursoul."Herelapsed into seriousness again,butnotfor long: therumhehadtaken fought successfully against an access of melancholybroughtonbythe prospectofearly death throughtheagencyofetherealbodies.He saw with genuine regretthatSusan couldeatnothing.Thebreadandcheesehedidnotlikehimself.Buttherain soon begantofall less heavily,andthethunderbecame moreandmore distant.Susannot caringornotable to talk,hewaited insilenceuntil only a drizzle remainedofthetremendousdownpour.ThenheandSusanputon theirhatsandwentoutintothestreetsofColon once more.

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CHAPTERIIJONESCHANGESHISMIND "THEfirst thingwegot to do is to find aplacewherewecan get some good food,IIsaidJ ones, whose mind wasjustthen centreduponpractical matters. There wasanabundanceofsuch places inthenarrow streets in whichtheysoon found themselves,buttheywere crowded with men and Susan hesitatedaboutentering them.Itseemed tobothherselfandSamuelthata very large portionofthehouse space of Colon was devotedtobars, the doorsofwhich stood wide open,thusallowing the passers-by tostareatwillatthose whosatinside industriously playing dominoes or cards,ordrinking beer.Nowthatshe was away fromthehouse near theswamp,andamidstpedestrians whom she could hear talking English, Susan felt a little easier in mind.Butshewas painfully awareofherbodily weakness, causedbysea-sicknessandlackoffood. She was decidedly hungry.Inaboutten minutes, in a narrow back streetofnotvery prepossessing appearance, they carneupona building overthedoorsofwhose lower storeywasdisplayed this legend:"TheJamaican'sHeavenof '44

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JONESCHANGES HIS MIND145Rest; Welcome all to Dine." Heavens in whichhotdinners were provided were particularly welcome to Susan and Samueljustthen,anditwas evidentthatthis place was' ownedorlooked afterbysome one from "home," They gladly entered. The room was dark and not over-clean. Two long tables covered with greasy cloths,anda numberofchairs,constitutedall its furniture.Atone endofit, totherightas you entered, was a smallbarwell stocked with liquors,ofwhich Colon consumed an extraordinaryquantity;at the other end was a door leading into a kitchen which could be plainly seen and smelt,andwhich appearedtobe overcrowded with cooksandwaitresses, all slatternly attired,andas greasy astheywell couldbe.Seated aroundthetables, some eating, some waiting to be served, were a numberofmen, Susanwasthe only woman guest,so,ofcourse, all the meninthe room paused to have a good lookatheras she and Samuel took their seats,'Lunchwas quickly served, and J ones orderedsomewhisky, whichhepromptly drank. After afewminutesofrapid mastication, he looked about theroomwith an inquiring air, with the viewofengaginginconversation with some communicative person,Oneman noticed his look,andsawthatSamuelwasa stranger."Comethis morning ?"heasked. Yes," said Jones quickly, "by theship. This is a rainy place,eh?When youthinktherain will stop? " About November,"theman answered.IINovember! You makin'fun!Why, man, thisisonly May! "10

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGH"Waitan'see,"wasthesignificant rejoinder."Whenrain commence to comeindis country, itdon'tknow when to stop. How isJamaicawhen,you leaveit?" Oh,prettywell," replied Jones. Dull as usual, an' little cash. Allthatthe people talkin' about over there isthecomet."Ashe mentioned the comet he remembered that hehadundertakento marry Susan beforethedreaded 18th, whentheearthwould pass through the comet's tail.Hesuddenly grew grave. t( This is a very serious time," he observed."Inafewhourswemaybe all before our Maker." This remark, apparently aproposofnothing, astonished those who heard it.InPanamathey were not accustomed to discussthehereafter at lunch. Someofthemen laughed;themanwhohadaddressed him asked : You are a evangelistic preacher ?""No,"saidJones;"ofcourse not.Butdon'ty'u knowthatthe comet is going to destroytheworld? " The othermanshook his head doubtingly. tl Whosayso?"heasked."Thenewspaper," Samuel answered, mentioningtheonly sourceofinformation he knewof."Itcan'tbethelatest paper,then,"observedtheother; It fortheStarandHeraldto-day have a telegramthatsaythereis no reason for anybodytofrighten:thecomet isnotgain' to come near us." t( Isthatso?"exclaimed Samuel in a voiceofprofound relief."Thenweare all rightISue,youhear?"

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JONESCHANGES HIS MIND 147 Yes," replied Susan,"butwhich newspaper is right? "IIThe latest,ofcourse;everydaya newspaper learn something new." if Thatmay be so," said thestranger;"butI don't depend on newspaper to tell meaboutthe endofde world.I are satisfied tothinkthatthis world was lasting from Adam was aboy;an'ifit'don't get destroybya comet all this time,itnotlikely to destroy now." This wayoflookingatthe matter, coupled with the lateststatementintheIsthmian journal, con vinced J onesthatno d.mger to his existence was tobeapprehended fromthecomet. He wassode lighted to learnthatthecomet was innocuousthathedidnotpursue the conversation,butquickly finished his lunch, eager now to explore Colon and to beginthatgaymannerofliving to whichhehadlooked forward with such expectation for weeks.HepaidthebillandheandSusan lefttheeating house. Theyhadnotgone ten yards whenJones heard his name calledbysome one behind him. He turned round, wondering to find himself known already in this strange town. He saw a black man, short, strongly built, with a genial face on which there was a smileofrecognition. Thismanwas over forty yearsofage,andhis whole appearance indicated self-confidence and prosperity. Jones thought he remembered his face,butcouldnotjustthen remember his name or wherehehadmethim. Clearly, however,thestranger knew him. for he.1. r);

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHclapped him ontheshoulder in a friendly way and asked himwhathe was doing in Colon. I come here tofillan occupation,"J ones replied;"but,to tell the truth, youhavean advantageofme.What'syourname?I am Samuel Josiah Jones." Oh, I knowthatwell," laughedtheother;"youused to tell ussoeverydayatde railway..Youremembernow?Mackenzie.? Macthatwasatthe railway when you was learningtrade?""Ofcourse!"cried Samuel, now completelyenlightened."Sue,thisisMr.Mackenzie, whoyoualwayshearme talk about. Shake hands." Susanhadnever heard Mackenzie mentioned before,butdidnotsay so. She shookhandsas directed. "\-Vhen youcome?"was Mackenzie's next question."Thismorning, an'itbeen rammg ever since.Nastyplace for rain. I wasjustgoin' home,Mac,when you accostme;butnowwemustgoan' take a drink together for luck. Where canwego? " Butwhatabout you'sister? asked Mackenzie, glancingatSusanandnoticingthatshe did notseemto relish Jones's proposal. She ismyintended," said Jones (Mackenzie had already guessed as much),"andshe cangohome in a 'bus. Sue,mydear," he wenton,turning to her, Mr.Mac is a particular friendofmine,an' I wanttohavea little confabulation with him. Take a 'bus an'gohome, like a good girl.I soon be there."IfMackenziehadnotbeen a stranger, Susan would certainly have protested against being disposedof

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JONESCHANGESHISMIND 149 insosummary a fashion, especially asthiswasherfirst day in Colon. She was wildatbeing sent backtothe miserable room while J ones was preparingtogoaboutthetown and enjoy himself.Butshe let him hail a passing cab, into which she got,andshe leftthetwo men standing ontheside-walk without saying a single word to eitherofthem.Itwas seven o'clock beforeJoneswent back to her.Forhours shehadremained inthewretchedden,nursinghermisery andherwrath.Ithadcomeon to rainagain-asteady rainthatheld outnopromiseofstopping and whichhadnotceased when Samuel returned. Hehadbeen sufficiently thoughtful to bring with him some bread, a canofpreserved meat,andapintofwhisky, for he judgedthatshehadnotbeenoutto dinner. On these thingsheproposedthattheyshould dine, and Susan watched him in silence while he placedthemonthetable and went outside to borrow some platesanda knife and fork. Shemadeno effort to help him.Hewas not perfectly sober,yethe was sober enoughtoperceive that she was angry.andhehadsomewhere. deep downinhisheartanuneasy feelingthattherewas some justification forheranger.Hebecame determinedly and manfully cheerful. To-morrow." he remarked, as he begantoeat,"we'llbeinbetterquartersandwill settle down peaceful andregular;inthemeantime wemusteatan' be happy. " Why youstayoutsolong?" Susan asked; speak ing forthefirsttimeandshowing no inclination either toeatortobe happy.

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH q" Couldn't helpit,"he replied."Macwanted to treatme good, an' I wouldn't have been a gentleman if I refused him." A sandwich in one hand, a glassofwhisky in the other, he smiled jovially asifin approvalofhisownmeritorious conduct.Buthe gavehernoopportunity to comment on his ideasofgentlemanly behaviour. You know, Sue," he observed, I think youarea luckygirl?Iamacquainted with about twenty other females, an' them would kill themselves tobehere to-night.ButIama manofemphatic decisive ness, an' when I select a gurl I will stick toher-ifshe behave herself." He paused, in orderthat she might mark the proviso well. Then he added, rr But you will behave you'self."Tellyouwhat!"he went on enthusiastically. I am gain' to raise cain as soon as I meet a few more'Jamaicaboys like Mac. No Americanmanis gain'toboss me. AJamaicanis morethana matchforanybody;an'ifamanever talk to mehardin this country, I kickhim!""Y'ucan'tkick anybody in this country," said Susanquietly;"it'snothome." Don'tmatter. They got to think a lotofmeinthis low-down place. I won't let a man interfere with you, either. I intend to stick to you." Susan, sitting onthecot, shifted her position a little. Shehadlistened carefully to allthatSamuelhadsaid;shehadnoticed how persistently he dweltuponhis intention to sticktoher-shehadespecially noticedthathe expectedherto behave herself. Buttoone matter, whichhadbeen in her mind ever since

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JONESCHANGESHISMIND151they landed, hehadnotonce alluded. She intended thatitshould be discussedthatnight. See here, Sam," she began, with simple directness,"yousay on boardtheship night before last that you was goin'tomarryme as soon as yougettoColon.Butall day to-dayy'udon'tsay nothing about it. You goin' to doitto-morrow? Samuel Josiah Jones paused in theactofconveying a glassofwhiskytohis lipsandstaredatSusan with a countenance expressiveofprofoundest astonishment. Susan's question appearedtohim a most unreasonableone.Hewas silent for some seconds, then in atoneofvoice which was eloquent with reproach, and even with sorrow, he answered: You mean to saythaty'udidn'thearwhatthatman tell us to-day in the cook-shop? " Yes," said Susan, "I did hear what himsay;Itbutthatdon't'ave nothingtodo withwhatyousay on board the ship.Y'upromisetomarryme becausewewasn'tliving quite correct, an'ifthatwastrueyesterday morning,itmustbetrueto-night." Susan's rejoinder wassostraightforwardandclearthatJones could only reply indirectly. WeIll"he exclaimed, apostrophizing the ceiling;"Inever see peoplesounreasonable likeJamaicafemales. They have no logical perspecuity. They aresoambitiousthatIcan'tunderstandthem. Susan, you forgetthatwhen Italkto you about marriage an' allthatsortoffoolishnesswedidn'texpect to live an other week? You forgetthat?Idon'ttell youthatifthe comet was really goin'tokill us I wouldn't get married.Butnow, seeingthatweare safe,itwould

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHbetheheightofstupidness in me to pick up an'enterinthebondsofmatrimony, which, when yOD, once get into it,y'ucan'tget outofitatall.What'you take mefor?Specify!"" Then younotgoin' to marry me again ?," wai', Susan's only reply to this long speech. "Don'tI have signified toyou?" he answered:,'andas shesatthere lookingathim darkly, he hastened topacify her. "Butyou are all right,Sue;you goin' to Jive', like a queen. After all, whenweleave Jamaica we didn'tthink about married. Besides, lookwhatI do for youalready! ,:She didnotseethathehaddone much forher'atall, for she wasnota woman easily satisfied.But,Colon wasnotKingston;shehadno friends here:: 'alltheadvantage would be on Jones's sideif she, quarrelled with him now. She was well aware too .. thatshe could scarcely claimthathe had brought ... herwith him under false pretences. Nevertheless she felt bitterly disappointed,andJones's way of"looking upon marriage withheras being only a sensible: action when death appeared imminent, wounded her:: vanity.Ifhehadnotpromised to marry her on'theship, she wouldnothave mentioned the'matter;but : hehadcreated hope in her,hadawakened a dormant; ambition,andshe understood how advantageousit, would be forherto have a legal right to his name in thisnew country. She now felt, therefore,thatshe' hada grievance,andherresentment was increasedby':hersenseofentire dependence upon Jones.It was' true thatshehadboasted in Jamaica about goingto

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JONES CHANGESHISMIND 153asan independent womantoearn her own ; but her few hours' experience inthattownhadtherthatwith girls like herselfthatwas more saidthandone. Catherinehadproved rightall.The young woman who did not know a wellmusthave some onetoassist her.Shedid not propose to argue any more with Samuel.. her family were with her, she reflected,thesitua might be very different, for togethertheywouldybe abletoearn a decent living, andthenshe d not feelsomuch obligedtotolerate anything neglect from Samuel. Or again,ifshehadsomeyand knew Panama, shemightbe able to make way about with ease.Butshe was not preparedbecomea servant. She knewthatwomenofa I*ltai'ln type flourished in Colon,buttotheir depths would not and could never sink.Hermind ran Tom: she knew shehadinfluence with him, and II a last resort she could always appealtohim for liiistance. Truthtotell, however, shehadfelt TCID's departure as a reliefafterhehadleftJamaica: IIae had. never cared for him. Samuel was wild, astable, butwasnotintentionally unkind....She Jbdhim. Sitting ontheedgeofthecot, one leg crooked over the other, her chin supportedbyherright hand, she. thought thematterover. The soundoftherainand ,Jlle thunder's long roll came toherears.Inthenext a girl wassinging-sheknewthewords, 'Ibe had heard them inJamaica: EfIdidhearwhatmemammcedid say Iwouldn'tbein dis wort'lessColon."

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154 SUSAN PROUDLEIG HButno onehadwarnedheragainst Colon; shehadwished to come to this place, she was here, she makethebestofit. She listened tothesinging.Itseemed toherthat,despitethewords, the singer's voice was cheerful. Samuel, on his part, wasnotworrying. Hewasnot sober. He was quite satisfiedthathe wasacting.withthemost becoming proprietyandin strictaccordance withthehigh gentlemanly standardsofSamuelJosiah Jones. His mind was filled withpleasing I anticipationsoftheparthe would play in thesocietyofthetown. Hehada dazzling visionofhappiness, nowthathehadrecovered from his first feelingofdiscontent,andwas no longerhauntedby fearof approaching dissolution. He was determined tomakeSusan comfortable; he would earn lotsofmoney,dress well, sport, distinguish himself: therewerenospotsjustthenupon the bright sunofhis reflections.Sohe went to bed in a merry frameofmind;but Susansatupfor some time longer, thinking.To,ne thing shehadmade up her mind when shefinallyetermined to rest. She would save money, andsosecureherpersonal independence.

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CHAPTERIIISUSAN SETTLESDO'vVNTHEclanging of bells awakened SusanandJ ones the next morning. The sharp peals came insistently from different directions; from Christobal, wherethelabourers were being warned that the day's work would shortly begin oncemore;fromthe shuntingtrainsand engines alongthewater frontofColon; fromtheships in the harbour. Thenoisepervaded the little town, and sooneveryonewasstirring and preparing for the labours which, however diverse and apparently unconnected,hadall a very definite connection with the one great under takingofPanama,thebuildingofthe Canal. Jones was soon ready to report himself fordutyatChristobal. Whatever his failings, shirking hisworkwas not oneofthem;he had been trained in the workshopsoftheJamaicaGovernment Railway,wherediscipline was well understood and where eachmanhad been well drilled into his work.Joneshadgrumbledathis chiefsattherailway,butnowhethoughtofthem with pride and was determinedtoshowthe American bossesthata British subject who had servedtheGovernment was in no wise inferiortoany man from the States. '55

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHHehadanearly breakfastatthe cook-shophehadlunchedtheday before, then hurried off Christobal, where Mackenziehadpromised to himateight o'clock. Mackenzie appeared on andtogether they went intotheofficeofLabour Quarters. Herethearrangements between JonestheCanal Commission were promptly concluded. J ones was to work intherailway shop in Chris asanunder-mechanic.Hewas to receive fif dollars a week, payable..every fortnight, and. have free quarters' intheCanal Zone, house acco tion being regarded aspartofhis salary. He g accepted this offer ofhouseroom,butwassomdisconcerted when Mackenzie asked himifhe pro to leave Susan to livebyherself inColon. ct Can'tshe come with. me ? he asked, Mackenzie,partlyoftheAmerican clerk. ct Who is she'? inquired the latter. ct A femaleofmine,"hereplied-ct a young ladyIamtalking to." ct Well, youdon'twanttotalkto a woman allthetime, do you ? askedtheAmerican. ct Is she yom: wife? "ct Notexactly," saidJones; ct she is a young female undermyprotection an'care;I am responsible to herparents for her. We are practically husband 811' wife, though Idon'tputa ring on her finger asyet." ct N othin' doin'.! returnedtheclerk emphatica1ly . ct Wekain'tallow them sortofthings here. You'Ve' got to marrythatfemaleofyoursifyou want her to: live intheZone.JudgeRiggs in the court buildiDf nearhere willfixyou right now if yougoto him, ancl

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SUSAN SETTLES DOWN 157 I'll give you married people's quarters. Now I 'there's some other people waitin'onme,so'd better makeupyour mind quick, or getout." CIles staredattheclerk, wonderingifheshould immediately resent his peremptory mannerof,gofSamuel Josiah J ones,butMackenzie tookasideand explained to himthatbyan ordinancesometime before, in obedience totheoutraged sentimentsofAmerica,itwas made compulsory only married men and women should live together 1he Zone."Itis ahardrule," said Mackenzie, ,a lotofpeople only formthattheymarried. Americansdon'tbother them, unless theycan'tit.Butifthem finditout, an' have totake IlllDtil're, there is a big fine.That'swhy I warn you in P'rhaps youbettermarried you' sweetheart, get a comfortable little house in the Zone, like aofotherJamaicapeople."Of ')le ?"said Jones."Ilet amanforce me to .any ifIdon'twant todoit?No, mebrother!It'saninfringementofthe rights ofthesubject,that's what I callit!I have a good mind togoback to that man an' tell him I am a British subject an'born Deler the English flag!".. That's what a lotofpeople fromJamaicais always ayin' here," replied Mackenzie dryly."Only,some III them say they're a British object.".IfAn'whattheAmericansdo?"inquired Jones aaiously. IfLaughatthem, an' say themdon'tcare what sort .. object Jamaicans are. Youdon'tbluffoutan American easy in this place, J ones. Themdon'ttalk

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHa lot likewedo inJamaica;wid someofthemitisa wordan'a blow, an' a blow first if you cheek themtoomuch." Youdon'tmean to tell methatthem ill-treat amandownhere?"asked J ones, beginning tofeelalarmed. No;notifyoudon'tinterfere wid them.Thereis plentyoflaw' in the Zone, like in Jamaica.Ifyoumind you' own business, do you' work,an'keep you'self to you'self, you will be perfectly all right. Butof. courseifyou abuse them,an'goaboutan'talk allthetimeaboutyouare a British subject, someofthem'willhurtyou. You meet someofthe toughestmenin the world down here. Idon'tknow wherethemcorne from!" This is a funny place, me friend! criedJonesindignantly."Theydon'tseem to care about aman'sfeelingsatall.IfI was a marriedmannow,what(thatAmericansayardo wouldnotaffect my peaceofmind;butIamnota married man. An' yet I don't liketheprospective viewoflivin' in Colon, an' I can't leave Sue to livebyherself. Youdon'tthinkshecould corne with me asmecousin ?" Mackenzie explainedthatthe Canal Zone authorities drewtheline sternlyatunmarried cousins.i Well, inthatcase Sue an' me will have to liveinColon,an'theAmericans can keep their house. WhatamI to do now?"Mackenzie advised him to report himselfatthe railway machine shop without delay,andproposetoturnintoworkthenext morning. They wouldallowhim timetogetquarters in Colon. He, Mackenzie,

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SUSANSETTLESDOWN159 was onvacation this week,andwould helpJonesto find a suitableapartmentin a decentpartofthetown. Together they went tothemachine shop, whereJonesbeheld in one great building more enginesthanhehad ever seen in his life. They wereofall sizes,fromthe diminutive engines used on soft groundorforconveying materials to the workmen, tothegiantlocomotivesthatcould pullanynumberofladenfreightcarsathigh speed. Hundredsofmen wereatworkin this place repairingtheengines,theair re'soundedwiththeclangourofhammers striking on metal, the workers swarmed underandaroundtheiron monsters as though they were ants. Joneswasimpressed. Here was somethinghecould under stand: this mere collectionofrailway machinery told him,asnothing else could have done,thatthe buildingofthePanamaCanal was a stupendous undertaking.Heallowed Mackenzie todomostofthe talking forhim,anditwas agreedthathe shouldnotreporthimselfforservice until eight o'clock on the followingmorning.Thismattersettled, they went back to Susan, whohadmanaged to procure some breakfast inthemean time; thenthethree of them setouton thehuntfor a large apartment.Therain, having temporarily exhausted its energies duringthenight, wasnotfallingnow,indeed Mackenziethoughtthatthere wouldn'tIbemuch rainthatday.Itwas gloomy enough over 'head,buthereandtherethecloudshadbroken, allowingtiny patchesofmuddyblue to be seen. Colonwaswet;but, compared with its condition onthedaybefore,itmight almost be saidthatColon was

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160SUSANPROUDLEIGHbright. The people moving about were in cheerful spirits. Susan herself began to feel liyely. ThroughtheassistanceofMackenzie theysecuredanapartment in Cash Street,atreasonableterms.Cash Street, probably originallysocalled onaccountofits poverty, ran inaneast and west direction,wasthethirdlong thoroughfare behindFrontStreet,andtherefore was near tothewater-front and in theveryheartofthepopulous town. There werenumerous.cross-streets in Colon, running in a north and soutll directionandindicatedbynumbers;thehouseinwhich Susan was to live was situatedatthecomerofoneofthese crossings:6thStreetitwas called.Itwas a new building, three storeys high, allofwood,with very wide verandas, and painted a brightpink.The ground floor or first storey was devoted tocommerce; there a haberdashery shop, a barber'ssaloon,and a flourishing public-house found accommodation, andall these businesses did a thriving trade.Susanselected a comer room onthesecond storey, aroomopening on a veranda six feet wideandcommandingIa viewofCashand6thStreets. Her inspectionofthepremises showedherthatprivacy-evensuch limited privacy asthepoorest might enjoy in Kingston-wasnotappreciated here.Forthetenants kept their doors wide openandwere singularly indifferentastowho should see them orwhatthey might be seendoing,whileitwas as easy to gaze intotheapartmentsofIthehouses oppositeandwatch the inmates going abouttheir intimate household duties. She noticed toothatthe people living in the apartments near' hers spoke English. As amatteroffactmanyI

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161SUSAN SETTLES DOWN -, ofthetenantsin this house were British West-Indians.Theroom engaged, theystartedouton another important errand, and again Mackenzie wasofgreat assistance.Hetook them to a furniture shop. whereSusanselected a set"[suite]offurniture, which wastobesent tohernew addressatonce. The salesman,beinga Chinaman. didnotimaginethat"atonce"signifiedsome time in the indefinite future, hencethefurniture arrivedatits destination soon afteritspurchasers did.Itdid not take long to arrangeitasSusandirected;this done,themen went forthe trunks which Susan andJoneshadtaken with themtothe lodging near the swamps the night before.Thesetrunkscontained not only clothingbutsome domestic linen, or. to be accurate, some domesticcalico,andwhile the men were away Susan bought a coupleofsmall iron stoves, afewplates, and some other things which a good housekeeper must have.Shelearntthatthe cooking and the washing must bedoneontheveranda or intheopen courtyard below,whichwas always wet and could be stared intobyallthe people passing by. She decided fortheveranda.Inthe courtyard, in addition to washtubsandcooking-stoves, were quite a numberofbabies ranging from six months to five yearsofage,andall stark naked, in accordance withtheprevailing fashionoftropical Spanish America. To naked babies shewasnot accustomed.Soshe resolutely setherface againstthecourtyard. She wouldnothavethe mengooutfor lunchthatday.She provideditathome,andas shehadatumII

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162SUSAN PROUDLE1GH for cooking,itwas a very good mealthatsheplacedbefore them in about an hour's time. She provided coffee also, with a view to preventing Samuelfromindulging in whisky orbeer;andasthemengulpeddownthehot, fragrant liquid and puffedattheir cigars, a feelingofcontentment stole over themandtheygave vocal expression to their appreciationofSusan as a housewife. She was satisfied.Herdiscontentof. the night beforehadvanished. Possessedofa new offurniture," which wasbetterthanthethings shehadbeen obliged to sell in Jamaica, settledina busy partofthetownandfairly far from the noisomeswamps,with Mackenzie also as a good friend ready toaidthem with his adviceandtoputhimself tosometrouble on their account, she feltthather fatewasbyno means an unpleasant one."Wenotgoingtobatterabout from pillar to post any more," she ob servedtoJones when lunch was over."Wearecomfortable here." And, to crown her happiness, when J ones and Mackenzie were preparing togooutthatevening. they invited her togowiththem. They didnotreturn home until ten o'clock thatnight;in the interval Susanhadseen as muchofColon as she cared to see,andthatwas nearly allofit. They dined out. They walked about the streets, Mackenzie conductingtheparty;they hired a cab.anddrove alongFrontStreetandthrough Christobal,andtheglitterofglassandlights in the open bars,thecrowdsthatgambledatcards and and. dominoes in these places,theshops, which kept their

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SUSAN SETTLES DOWNdoorsopentoa late hour, appealedtoSusan, andevenmore to J ones, with a peculiar fascination. Here what was done in publicbypeople unashamed,couldonlytakeplace behind closed doors in Jamaica.Herethe peoplehadmoneytospend,andspentitfreely.Here there were contradictionsandanomalieswhichwere nevertheless enjoyable.Atthecornerofa street, in a chapel built entirelyofany old bitsofboard, a self-ordained preacher fromJamaicaheldforthto a small congregation ontheerror of theirways,though his ways didnotdiffer from theirs inanyessential particular. Opposite to this buildingwasa merry-go-round in full swingandabundantlypatronized. Ontheother sideofthestreet, onthesecondstoreyofa high tenement structure, a dancewasin progress,theguests footingittothesoundgivenforthbyan execrableband;ata little distanceawaya moving-picture palace invited with flaring posterstheloversofsilentdramato come withinandbestewed in a steambathprovided by corrugatedironandtheclimateofColon.oFrom thisspota walkoftwo minutes brought them to Christobal,andtheretheycould see dimly the huge concrete piersjuttingoutintothesea-thepiers which grewdaybydayand which were designedtoaccommodate easilythelargest vessels intheworld.Itwasquiethere:listening, they could hear the cocoa-nut palms moving their long fronds if eversoslight abreathofwind stirred,andthelongwavesoftheCaribbean dashandbreaketernally on the coral shoresofColon. Soon theyturnedtheir backs on Christobal, and a

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHleisurely strolloftenor twelveminutesbroughtthemnearly totheopposite endofthelittle island,nowartificially connected withthemainland, onwhichColonandChristobal were built.Atthispartof. Colon there was a park,quitenew-aparkwithpathsandseats, little fountains, evergreen shrubs, flowering hibiscus,andbananatrees. Theysatherefor a little while,chattingaboutJamaicaand the lifetheyhadlived there,andafterthatMackenzie bade his rtew friendlt good nightandthey went home. Susan washappy.This dayhadbeensodifferent fromtheprevious one.

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CHAPTERIVTHEFLY INTHEOINTMENTJONES went to workthenextday,andashewas a competent manhehadno trouble withtheworkmenofsuperior grade orthebossesofthe shop, who were all white men. He was pleasantly surprised to findthatthese bosses werequiteeasyintheir manner, speaking in a friendlyandencouragingfashion tothemen who were under them. Theywerefar more familiar during working hoursthanany Englishman in their position wouldhavebeeninJamaica.Lateron he addedtohis experience. WhereastheEnglishman wouldhaverecognized him outsideoftheshop,andwould even have been affable,hisAmerican chief did not seemtobe awareofhis existenceafterwork was0\er. Jones didnotthinkthat this wasatall correct.Butthepay here was nearly doublewhatitwas .inJamaica, andthework wasnotsohard. Joneswastoo loyal to concede, even to himself,thatanyAmerican could be abetterworker or organizerthanan Englishman.Buthe likedtheeight-hourdayofthe Zone workshopsandtheliberal wages.Hefelt toothathedeserved these things.Hedeserved .65

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SUSAN ,PROUDLEIGHthemin his character of British subjectandby virtueofbeing Samuel Josiah Jones.Inthemeantime Susan was pickingupsomeacquaintances. This wasnotdifficult; she hadmoneytospend;andas she lived in anapartmentofa distinctly decent type, she was regarded as a desirable person to knowbyyoung ofmore orlessherown class. Someofthese shehadknown in Jamaica,buthadlost sightofforquitea long time.Theseyoung women were either married or engaged,"andtheir menfolk were all in fairly good positions.Whatwith visiting one another, going to church on Sundays whensoinclined, taking chances in the National Lottery, and gatheringattheparkonthosenights whentheNationalBandinsisted upon playing, Susanandher friends passed their days pleasantly. Those who could obtain a girl fromJamaicahad a very easy timeofit;butin a country where themenoutnumbered the women no girl remained a servant for long.Evenso,Susan foundthatshe couldsendsome of her washing tothelaundry, and couldeasily wash andironthelighter thingsathome.Cookingshe liked, and she could makeherown clothes. Samuel was generous,andnowthatshe knew Colon she foundthatthecostofliving neednotbe very highifonedidnotwish to be extravagant. She saved money.Butshehadone troublethatgrew astheweekswenton. After his first few days in Colon, Samuelhadbeguntoleaveherevery night,andsometimeshedidnotreturnuntil eleven or twelve o'clock.Shewasofa jealous disposition: one night. shefollowed him. She tracked him to a cafe by, 166

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THEFLYINTHEOINTMENT 167 .where he played for money' with someothermen. had fallen in with a fewofthewilder spiritsof thetown,butas these men played fairandhe wascleveratcards. he won more oftenthanhe lost.Thisencouraged him to continue, and sometimeshewould come home with as much astendollarsmorethanhehadtakenoutwith him.Hewas always a little tipsy then, and disposed to contend loudlythatPanamawasthefinestcountryintheworld.Sheratedhim bitterlyattimes,andalways tookgoodcare tosubtracta portionofhis winnings, whichsheputaway in some place where he couldnoteasily getatit.Buthe mindedtheloss far lessthanhernagging;hewould have given herthemoney for the asking. When she upbraided him he wouldbarkbackatherandswear to leave herifshe did not behave herself.Butthisthreatdisturbedhernotatall;sheknew he did not mean it. Thenextnight, however,hewouldgotomeet his comrades again. Mackenzie was a frequent visitor, and Mackenzie made no secretofhis liking for Susan.Heeven went so far, once or twice, as to remonstrate withJonesabout his leavinghersomuch to herselfatnights. But Jones was glad when Mackenzie cametosee them, forthatgave himtheopportunityofpointing out to Susanthat,with friendsofbothsexes coming to see her, she shouldnotcomplainofneglect. Susan welcomed Mackenziealways:she couldtalktohimfreelyabouttheshortcomingsofSam.andhehabitually sympathized with her.Itwas he, too.whohadfirst begun to addressheras Mrs.Jones

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH168incompany, an example which was speedilyfoll bysomeofher less intimate acquaintances .. tactflattered Susan, There were nights Jones did not leavetill house before eight o'clock; on those occasions. '.Mackenzie happened to be there, J ones wouldpairinto his ear a long recitalofhis grievanGes; as Mackenzie wasnotmuchofa talker, Samuel an attentiveifsomewhat amused audience.J .. Inow pretended to a fine contempt for all'American,andasthecolour line wassome ..._...strictly drawn in Christobal he was moved to frequ protests when supportedbyhis friends. He objecte4 to white men beingbetterpaidthancoloured _. to there being separate whiteandcoloured quarten in the Zone,andto the Americans not permittiDI coloured people toattendtheir sports. One eveniDl he especially enlarged upon these grievances Mackenzie. Mackenzie making no comment, Jones: was nettled.Heputa question pointedly. ..What., do you thinkofall these differences ?" he asked. Well," answered Mackenzie deliberately, ..this placedon'tbelong towe.Itbelong to the Americans, an' I amquitesatisfiedifI get a chance to earn a good bread fromthem."J ones snorted contemptuously, despising such prudence. I couldn't earn as much in Jamaica as I earn here," Mackenzie continued,"an'thesame istrue.ofeverybody who come to Panama. Then whatisthe useofcomplaining? I do me work, an'gotome own sports, an' Idon'tcare what de Americans \'.

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THE FLY INTHEOINTl\lENT r69'10longas thempaymean'don'tinterfere with after workin' time.Thatistheonly way to get !Fhen you not in you' owncountry."Jones felt the rebuke conveyed in Mackenzie's ,lyremarks, He was further disconcerted when expressed her agreement with their friend. right,Mr. Mac," she said sharply."IfIedid mind them own business, an'didn'tgogamblin' every night,itwould 'elp thembetter interfering widwhatdon'tconcern them. AlltJamaica people know to do is to saythatthericansdon'ttreatthem good. Thenwhatcome herefor?Ifyou know you goin' to findt,youbetterstayhome.Idon'twanttogothe American peopledon'twantme.IfIinmeown countryitwould be different;butIam'gn,an'Ican'texpect everything me own way."Mackenzielooked pleased when he heard his opinions tIaus openly appreciated.Jones looked still more tJisdainful. ,IIThere is accounting for diverse tastes,"he mnarked loftily."Iread one time in a bookthat if youbray a pig in a motor he willreturnto his wallow, and though present company is always ex 'ceptional Imust beg to convey my entire dissension from the opinionsthatpresent company ha,;e ex pessed. These Americans are a rude setofmen, an'Idon't temporize with them. But.ofcourse,iflDIIlepeople like to betreatedlike a dog, they can ClOIltinue toputup withit."Mackenzie frownedandwould have answered,butSusan was before him.

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170SUSAN PROUDLEIGH" You gain' to be rudetoMr.Macnow, afteraUhis kindness to us?"she asked tartly, and Jones:" who guessedthatMackenzie, for all his placid exterior, was amanwho couldnotbe insulted with impunity, deniedthathe hadanysuch intention. He infonned Susanthathehadknown Mackenzie foryears, ,J whereas shehadonly known him for months,andthathe wouldnotallowanyfemale to suggest that he couldthinkofinsultingsofirm and tried a friend as Mac. Susan was satisfied with this speech,and Mackenzie was gladnotto be compelled to take offence.Hedidnotwanthis friendship with Susan andherlover to end abruptly. A few minutes afterwards the two men wentoutquite amicably together. On anotheroccasion-Joneshadnow beenfourmonths inPanama-hecomplainedofthedifficulty which every one experiencedofsaving money in that country. You can saveifyou reallywantto," wasMackenzie's reply. "I know plentyofmenwhosendmoney home toJamaicaregular. Some thingsisdear,butifyou are economical youdon'tneedtobuydear things all the time.""Youare warm you'self, eh,Mr.Mac?"asked Susan, whohada great respect for the powerofmoney,andno little curiosity concerning thosewhopossessed it. So-so," he replied, smiling. "I save a little when I was in Jamaica, an' I been working steady intheZone for about four years. Them pay me pretty well,an'Idon'tspend all Iearn."

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THEFLYINTHEOINTMENT171 -.. "Idon'tbelieve in livingmean,"was Jones's : remark,whichhestrove to makeappearas a statementapplicable only to himselfandhis inclinations, but which Mackenzie knew was in tended as a reflec-tionon the disposition andhabitsofJohnMackenzie.Onthis occasion, too, Susan took himupsharply. It'snotliving mean totryan'save money," she snapped."Foolsmake feast for wisemanto corneah'eat. An' when you spendoutall you' moneyan'don't'ave one farthingtorubagainst another,youwill begin to say, 'IwishIdid know.'Betteryousavewhatyou 'ave,thancry when youdon't'aveit."J ones made no reply to this,butsulked a little.Hewas beginning to dislikeIVlackenzieandhis prudenceandhis' sensible wayoflooking upon life. Mackenziewasembodied criticism, eloquent even in his silence,andnoman likes a critic on his hearth. And though Jones didnotthinkthatSusanhadany particularlikingfor Mackenzie, yetheragreement withthatperson's remarks, especially when those remarks were intended as a sortofrebuke to Samuel Josiah Jones, anna ed him more and more every day. He was no10er pleased when Mackenzie carne to see them. e avoided Mackenzie now.

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THESUBSCRIPTION PARTYMISSSUSANPROUDLEIGHandS.J.JONES,ESQ.and set forththat tt A unique entertainment inthe, formofa refined dance will take place(D.V.) atr '7'CHAPTERVONEafternoon Susan was sitting alone in apartmentwhenthe goor was abruptly. open and three young women, friendsofh rushed in. They weresoexcitedthatthey did not eviiI trouble to apologize for their unceremonious This is a business visitI"exclaimed the first, Wbo'< appeared toactas leaderoftheothers."We comi wid a written invite to a subscription dance th&t. some gentlemen givin'nextweek' Wednesday at Mrs.Driscole house." ...'?" Youdon'ttell meI"cried Susan, delightedwith theprospectofsomething new.'. :.:" Y seetheinvite;readitfor you'self,"said her friend, shoving into Susan'shandan open enveloPe ,.containing a gilt-edged card with lettersofgold,whichSusan hastily pulled outandperused. The invitation was addressedto

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THESUBSCRIPTIONPARTY173 Driscole's establishment.Yourattendance is estlyrequested:subscription, twoanda halfrsfor males, ladies freeifbroughtbygentlemen. reshments will beprovided;subscriptions payable three days in advance. Only ladiesandgentlemenbeadmitted: R.S.V.P." Thecard was signedbyfour persons describing Jlaemselyes as TheDance Committee,"andSusan it over three times with pleasure.Itwas the.tstylish thing inthewayofinvitationsthathad'come her way, and she argued fromtheelegant raneeoftheinvitation card, as well as from thelIDountofthe subscription asked,thatthedance would be a very high-class affair indeed ...Lotsofpeople goin'? she asked, and the leader cl the girls promptly answered: amount. Invitations post to allpartsof the Zone,an' some young men asfaras Empire coming_ ell Wednesday. Itakesix to deliver meself, an' I bring yours. You will come ?" .. Iwilltryan' get Sam to bring me," saidSusan;IIIwouldreally like tocome." Then the young women departed to inviteotherladiesto the dance,andthenextday,aftertalkingoverthematterwithJones, Susan senttenshillingstothe Dance Committee .Shewas gladofthecoming diversion. Mackenzie !lad been removed some three weeks before to Culebra. lOme forty milesaway"uptheline,"andSamuel still persisted in spending his evenings with his gaming companions. She couldgooutwhen she pleased,aDd'this she often did,butshe was nowbitterly di5-

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SUSAN PROVDLEIG H 174contented with Jones. She couldnotaccusehim positive unkindness, andhewas as generous as ever.; Butshe feltthathe neglected her, and this she resentecL Hereadily consented togowith her to the dance, however, which pleasedhergreatly. Wednesday evening came in due time, and sbe andSamuelstartedout early for the dance.Ithappened tobe.afine evening, for Colon; it, WII warm,buthadnotrained for a coupleofdays. Theli was a moon visible,anda clear blue sky. In spiteCli these weather conditions Samuel insisted upon to Mrs. Driscole's in a cab, explaining as his reaSOll thatitwas absolutely necessary to do the thing ia'" styIe." .'. Mrs.Driscole lived in Bolivar Street, where she made' a mysterious livingbyproviding forthe ofherfellow-creatures.Herfloor wasatthe dispos;al' ofanyone with moneyenoughto pay for its use; to nightitwas to be utilized by the Dance Committee'andtheir guests,andshe had pulled down a partition .andthrown two rooms into one, which formed a dance halloffairly large size.Inthis and in twoofthe adjoining roomstheguests were rapidly assembling when SusanandJones arrived. Dark ladies clothed in dresses of pinkandwhite and blue, their well-combedhairplaited tightlyandtied with whiteorpink ribbon, their necksandarms laden with silverandeven goldenornaments;swarthy gentlemen, some in tweed suits,themore punctilious (and these were not afew)inregulationdress-suits-theseformedquitea merry, laughing crowd. Many knew one another. Strangers were formally introduced, then immediately afterwards

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THESUBSCRIPTION PARTY 175 ueed themselves, andtheceremony proceeded this fashion : "Mr.Smith,MissBrown;MissBrown,Mr.Smith."."Gladtomeet you, Miss Brown.Mynameis .laekiel Smith.".." The same I am gladtomeet you,Mr.Smith;my MIne is Rosabella Brown." Then they would shakehandspolitely,andMr.'th.or whoeverthegentleman might be, would 'ably declarethatthiswasthehottestnight had ever known,anopinion with whichthelady ..would invariably agree. / Susan glanced roundtheball-room as she entered, eyeslightingupas she saw so many gaily-dressed .people.The room wasdecorated;themusicians .:were tuning their instruments.Jones whisperedto.herthathe would shortly return, and wenttojoin somemen whom he knew. Susanjustthencaughtsightofthe girl whohadbroughthertheinvitation,andstartedtogoovertospeaktoher. Half-way acrosstheroom shehaltedsuddenly as a youngmanturnedandlooked, surprised, into her face ...Susan!"..Tom!"Thus they greeted one another. Then Susanputout her hand, whichTomshook lightly ...I knew you was in Colon," hesaidatonce,butspeaking quietly."You'sister, Catherine, writemelast weektoanswer aletterI write you about amonthago,an' which she open an' read. She said you leave Kingston with a youngmannamed Jones, an'

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH.thatyou only write them once since you leavehome...Susan, you think youtreatmefair?" ."Whatyou meanbyifItreatyoufair?"sheasked, almost hissing the words."Fromthetimeyou leave home tillthetime I come toColon,youever send anything forme?You only writemeoneletter,an'you surely couldn't expect me to liveonwind inJamaica?IfIdidn'tcome here wid Jones, I might have been deadofstarvationbythis time." Everybody was talkingandlaughing, and the musicians still were coercing their instruments intotheproper pitchofmusical perfection.ButSusan was uneasy lest they should be overheard.Heranswer staggered Tom for a second ortwo,butheputthequestionthathadbeen in hismindever since he had heard from Catherine: "Well,whatyou gain' td donow?" Do ?Whatyou expect me todo?"was her answer. He hesitated as to his reply, and she savedhimthetroubleofreplying. See here," shesaid;"letus understand oneanother this same time. Idon'twant you to makeanytrouble here between meandJones, for I not leavin' him to come to you. Y'u leave me alone in Jamaica,thoughI beg youhardto bring mewid. you. I come here withanotheryoung man,whopay me passage an' been supporting me all the time Iamhere, an'sowhatwas between you an'meisdead an' gone. Idon'twantno sortofconfusion here now.Y'uhear?" ;'fom Wooley heardandhisheart -was as water;

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THESUBSCRIPTIONPARTYInHesubsided,notfinding words with whichtoblame the fickle fair.Hehadbeen crueIJyused;hefeltsureofthat.Butheknewthathemight be stillmorecruelly used,andby Jones, who, if he mightlackSusan'ssharptongue, might morethanmakeupforthatdisadvantage by hishardfists. ThomasWooleywas amanofpeace when sober,andby nomeansbelligerent when drunk. Sohemerely answered,"Yes,Susan," and askedherto pointoutJonesto him. That gentlemanhadalready noticedthewhispered conference between the two,andwas actually goingupto them when Tom made his humble request. Susan decidedthatthebest thing to do was to intro duce them,andthis she did, remarkingatthesame timethatTom was a friendofherfamily, andhadbeen verykindtoherparents.AsSamuel ] osiah heardthename,heremembered what Mother Smithhadtold himaboutTomandSusan onthenight before he left Kingston for Colon. The storyhadlong since passedoutofhis mind.Nowalso he recalledwhathis friend, Professor,hadsaid aboutthecase in which Susanhadfigured, andheobservedthatSusan was anxious to speakofTomasa sortofcasual friend. Tom Wooley was short,soJones looked down upon him. And fromtheloftystandpointofphysical as well as intellectual and financial superiority he condescendingly addressed the youngmanwhohadonce been Susan's lover. How isitI neverseeyou in Colonbefore?"was his question. I workin'upthe line," saidTom-"atPedro 12

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHMiguel.ButI used to be in Colon,an'as I getaninvitation to the dance, I come." I see," saidJones;"well,come an have a drink,Mr.Wooley, which is the best,thingwecandowhenweboys meet together from Jamaica." Tomaccepted'theinvitation. Susan heard and was delighted. She was certainthatTomwouldsay nothingabouttheir old relations in Jamaica,andshe was equally certainthatJones couldknownothingofthose relations, Again, she felt, her luck was intheascendant. Then some one touchedheron the arm, and, turning, she saw Mackenzie. The two moved quickly to a corneroftheroom,for the dancers were now preparing to begin a waltz. Mackenzie explainedthathe had received an invitation to this party,andalmostatthe last moment' had accepted, thinkingthatSusan would probablybethere. Hehadcome over to Colonbya'latetrain."Sam don't seem to like me much now," heremarked; that'swhy Idon'ttake arunoverona Sunday to seebothofyou, though I firiditsortoflonely upatCulebra." Then he askedherto dance,andshe consented, and they joinedtheslowly whirling groups. The room was terribly warm. Although the windows were all wide open, nobreathofwindwasstirringthatnight,andthe movementsofthe dancers in thecrowded"ball-room" causedtheperspirationtostream fromtheirfaces and drench their bodies. Only West Indians would have found pleasure in dancing under such circumstances,andeven these felt the discomfortoftheheatafter a time.

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THE.SUBSCRIPTIONPARTY 179 Lord!ithot!"pantedafatlady as she bounded acrosstheroom-theywere now dancing asetoflancers. "I suffocate," giggled athincreature, as a burly fellow claspedherto his breast.Butstillthemusicians played with undiminished energy,andstill the dancers danced. Andthestampingoffeet upon the floor ceased only when one dance was -at an. end and a new set was being formed. Tomhadtwo drinks with Jones,andthenreturnedtothe dancing-hall, wherehestationed himself against a wall, watching Susanandreflecting on his forlorn state. Those two drinkshadreduced himtoa maudlin condition, andjustthenhis loss appearedtohim as the one calamityoftheworld, though hehadmanagedtobearitwith equanimity since leaving Jamaica. J oneshadalso returned,haddanced once with Susan and once with another lady, and thenhadadjournedtothe refreshment-room, where, on a long table sur rounded by chairs, stood a numberofbottles containing various liquors, and some huge dishes filled with ham, beef,andchicken sandwiches. A few men were seated round this table, and theseJonesjoined. Conversation ensued,andthis, probably becauseofthe drink imbibed, soon turned to topics con nected withtheirold life inJamaica.Being Jamaicans, these menhadgrievances. Being British subjects, their grievances were againsttheJamaicaGovernment. De Jamaica Governmentdon'ttakeenough careofwe," observed a heavy-looking man, who, when in Jamaica,haddisplayed extraordinary ingenuity in evading thepaymentofhis taxes."We'aveno pro-

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180SUSANPROUDLEIGHtection in dis place, an'sothese foreigners herecahtreata Jamaican like a dawg." Thetis a fact," agreed a dapper little fellowwhosported eyeglasses, and who was a clerk in oneofthe mercantile housesofColon (he had been a lawyer's clerk in Kingston). There is no protection here what ever. A man's rights arenotregarded.Thelabourers are badly treated andhaveno redress. Representa tions shouldatonce bemadeto the British GovernmentabouttheJamaicaGovernment, who are neglect ful.Itis my intentiontowrite to theJamaicapapers in re thematter."J onesatonce recognized in this speaker a manofdistinguished ability.Heasked him to have a drink with him, and then made his contribution to theconversation. You are right," he said."Thereis no justice or jurisprudence in this place. I am a British subject,butit'sno use a man going totheBritish Consul here, for hedon'teven want to listen to you. It'smore thanhard,"he continued reflectively. Amancan'tget a goodjobin his own country, an' whenJ1e come to a God-forsaken foreign land he has no protectionatall.InJamaicayou have to dieofstarvation, an' here you luckyifyoudon'tdieofneglect." InJamaicaitis only taxes you hear about alldetime," said the heavy-looking man. (All his remarks invariably gravitated towardsthesubject of taxation.) TheGov'nmentdon'tcarewhatbecome of yousolong as them can getthetaxes.It'sashame! Look what them do wid a man down here. I live

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f' THESUBSCRIPTIONPARTY181. outatGatunan'themwon'tevenletme keep a female helpmeet in a respectable way.ThemwantmetomarriedINowdon'tyou seethatiftheJamaicaGovernmentdidlookafterusasitshould, allthatsortofadvantagecouldn'tbetakeof aman? "Yes,"assented Jones. "I havea female meself, an' Ihavetolive in Colon becausetheywon'tlethercometoChristobal.Theyputmetoanyamountof expense, all forthesakeofform." Thethruthofthematter,"observedtheerstwhile lawyer's clerk, isthis:"theAmerican methodsareconducivetoimmorality.Ifamanleaves his gurl inColon,how ishetoknowthatsome.otherfellow isnotgoingafterher?"Heputthequestion withanairofconviction.Hehimselfhadagreatreputationfor gallantry,andmightbe supposedtobespeaking from experience."Youknow, youareright!"exclaimed Jones, staringathimwith semi-drunken gravity.Thisaspect ofthesituationhadapparentlynotoccurredtohim before. Now, however,itbegantoloom large in hismuddledbrain.Hegrew indignant.Hevoiced animaginarywrong."Fancy,"hecried, justfancyamanworkinghardalldayan'supportinga female in comfortan'proficiency,andanothermangoin'tothe house inthedaytimean'enjoying himselfatmyexpense!"Heforesaw himself being wronged, all throughtheneglectoftheBritishGovernmentandthefaultymethodsoftheCanal Administration. AhI"sighedtheex-lawyer's clerksympathetically, "a manhasa lottoputupwith inthiscountry.Hecannotbe too careful.WhatI say,

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182SUSAN PRQUDLE1GHgentlemen,is: -don't trustany wemen, noteven you' ownmother.". This advice strongly appealed toJones. It inspiredhimwith a desire to be vigilant.Thatyoung man, Tom Wooley, who was even now inthedancing-hall where Susanwas-whatbase designs might he notbeharbouring againstthedomestic peaceofSamuel ] osiahJones?Hehadbeen warned against Susan.Herfriendliness towards Tom was apparent. Yes,hewasnotbeingtreated failly, he was sureofit;neithertheGovernmentofJamaicanor Susan was treating him fairly. He became suddenly angry."Gents;"hesaid, rising, '\1 haveenjoyed you' company,butaman must protect himself. An advantage is beingtakenofpoor Samuel. I mustgoinside an' look after me rights."Theheavymannodded a solemn acquiescence, andJones, with lurching steps, proceeded tothedancing hall, wherethedancers were now clapping their handsandstamping their feet in a perfect ecstasyof enjoy ment.

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CHAPTERVIJONESDEMONSTRATESJONES enteredtheroom with a stridethatwas intended to be impressive. Unhappily,the. one or two persons who observeditmerely laughed, and this didnottendto sweeten his temper. He glared round the room, and presently saw Susan dancing with some onehedid notknow;his eyes searched the company again. He was looking forTom;the desireuppermostin his mindjustthenwas onceandfor all topreventthatyoungmanfrom ever thinkingofSusan inthelightof a lover, or even as a friend."Thisthinggot to stopatonce," he muttered. "I mustdemonstrate."Whathe intended to do, preciselywhatstepshe proposed totaketo banish all amorousthoughtsor conjugal ambitions fromthemindoftheoffending Tom Wooley. he didnotknow himself.Hewas perfectly satisfiedthatjustthen he wasbentuponthe accomplishmentofanutterlyheroictask;some thinghadto be doneandhe was themantodo it.Hesmiled proudly as' he thoughtofhis entire devotion toduty.His eyes soon foundtheman he was looking for. Tom was still leaning againstthewall,andstill engaged in following Susan's movements withre-IB]

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHproachful glances. The influence of those two drinks was upon him still,andhe too imaginedthathe pre sented a romantic figure,thathis appearanceatthat moment constituted an eloquent appeal even to hardheartedSue. Shehadseen him allthetime without appearing todoso.Nowandthen her upper lip curled with conscious contempt. Susan hadnorespectforthelover sighing like afurnace;such a manwas too soft," in her opinion.IthappenedthatJones caught sightofTomata moment when thelatter'sgaze was morethanusually ardent. Susan was whirlingbyher ex-intended atthemoment, and her eyes caughthis;the next moment she was a coupleofyards away.ButJones sawwhathe instantly believed to be an exchangeofmeaning glances. Straightway he became convincedthata most dishonest plot was being hatched against his domestic happiness. Nothing could, in his opinion, surpass the dignity with which, to the intense amazementandconfusionofthedancers, he strode across, the room towards where Tom was standing. He shouldered the men aside, brushed the women away asifthey did not count, disturbed and brought to anabrupttermina tionthedancing, andso,of course, aroused the ireofa scoreofpersons at once. Notwithstanding his tre mendous dignity, he foundthemaintenanceofhis equilibrium a taskofexceeding difficulty;hecouldnotforthelifeofhimunderstandwhy the floor wassounevenandwhytheelectric lights would persist in movingoutofplace. Nevertheless he succeeded in planting himself before Tom, and then, with por-

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JONESDEMONSTRATESI8S tenteus solemnity, and unheedingtheindignant'wonderoftheguests, he addressed his rival. Il Mr.Wooley," said he, Idon'twantno quarrelItomarthefelicityofthisfestivity;butI shallhavetointerrogate youononepoint:where didy'uknowSusanfrom?"Tomwas startled, bothbythequestionputto himandbytheattitudeofthequestioner.Atthemomenthismind was unpleasantly dominated by a senseofJones's heightandstrength.Hediscreetly answered,IIFrom home." Il I know you must knowherfrom home," repliedJonesseverely, for I am not a fool, though you seemtotake me for one.But...butthatis notthequestion.Theposition isthis:whatdid youhavetodowidherathome?"Tomrealizedthatitmightnotbe safe to tellthetruth. He hurriedly explainedthathehadknownSusancasually, through her being a friendofhissister-abeingofhitherto unknown existence. Il Buthow,"persisted]ones, with a cunning leer,IIhowifshe was only an acquaintance through you'sister,you couldtakesuch a interest in herparents?Shedidn'ttell me anythingaboutyou' sister a littlewhileago. An' amanlike youisn'tgoing to be friendlywithold people for nothing." Tom sawthathis questioner was trying totraphim, that Jonesentertained suspicions which evasive answersmightonly inflame.Tomnoticed toothatanastonished grouphadgathered round them,andthatthemen especially didnotseem to be kindly disposed towards J ones. He became defiant.

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186SUSANPROUDLEIGH I "Whatright have youtoask me anyquestionabout me self ?" he demanded, endeavouringatthejsame timetoedge away from Jones."Whatright Ihave?"asked Jones, asifthe question wereanactofhigh treason."Whatright: Ihave?Well!Whatrighthaveyou tobehere? : ThatiswhatI got to know to-night. Y'u think Ididn'tsee you when you was whispering toSusanbefore she introduce your miserable carcase tome? \iVhat right Ihaveto askyo'uanyquestion?Iwillsoon tellyou!Come outsidean'let me beat 'the skinoffyou' bodyICome outsideandlet me gyrate upon your personality! I ""ill show you thedifferencebetween meanda-a--"Buthere Samuel Josiah lostthethreadofhis speech,andcouldnotrememberthecomparison he wished to institute.Nothing,however, would satisfy himbutthatTomshouldimmediately proceed outsidetoundergo corporal punishment,andasMr.Wooley firmlydeclinedthatinvitation, Jones abruptly grabbed himbyhis shirt collar, proposing to remove himbysheerforce. Thisofcourse wasthesignal foranuproar. A dozen men sprang forward to drag J ones away;thewomen shrieked infright;Susan, terror-struck theattitudeofJones,utteredtheword whichrosesoeasily to thelipsofall frightenedJamaicanwomen_ItMurder!"Aperemptory rapattheouterdoor;followedbythetrampoffeet, wastheimmediate answertotheclamour'and exclamation. J ones, confused, and,ifthetruthmustbe told,nota little frightened himself,staredaround himin

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JONESDEMONSTRATES bewilderment. Tom, seeingsomany friendsathisside,became heroicallyvaliant and manfully glaredathis foe from behind an impregnable barricadeoftwostrong men.Buthis lookofdefiance gave placetooneoffear whenthreediminutive-looking persons entered the room. They were dressed intheuniformofthe Panamanian policia. The insignificant sizeofthese policemen gave no indicationoftheir ferocity when roused to anger.Theyhadbeen feelingoflatethatit was incumbentuponthem to do something which should show how thoroughly they realized their obligationtomaintainlawand order. Theyhadheard the cryof"murder,"theyknewitcame from Mrs. Driscole's house.At oncethey determinedtomake an exampleofherand'ofsomeofherguests, being movedtothatmoral determination by thecertaintyofthe prisoners beingableto pay to the Republic a fine, andofMrs. Driscoleherselfeffecting a compromise with them in sofarashershare in the disorder was concerned. The momenttheguestscaughtsightofthepolicemen, they rapidly made a lane through whichthelittlemencouldadvance towardstheoffenders.Itis regrettabletorelatethatsoanxious were one or twoofthecompanytoescape eventheappearanceofevilthattheydidnothesitate to pointoutJonesandTom as.theculpritstothe preserversofthepeace. The two young men were sensible enoughnottomake any effort to move ortoresist, being aware of the Panamanian policemen'shabitofarguing with their clubs insteadofwith words.Asfor Mrs. Driscole, she appearedonthe scene, fat, trembling, obsequious,

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHandprotesting volubly in broken Spanish that me inno'centofanyintentionofbreaking the lawsof Republic. As she imploredthepolicemen to backthenextday,soastogivehertheoppoofprovingherinnocence, they left her alone. knew she would be abletooffer substantial (in specie)ofherignoranceofanycrimewithshe might be charged.Buttheyhadalready J onesandTom guilty, andsotheymotioned towardsthedoor with somenotvery gentle prods their clubs. This indignity brought tearstotheeyesof 'J Only inthelast resort would a Jamaicapollhave venturedtoenter a private housewhena was going on. And the most he would have in the absenceofvisible wounds, would have beea takethenamesoftheproprietor and the parties aofdisturbingthepeace.Yethere washe, Sal_II Josiah J ones, being draggedoffto gaol by men he WOlIllj. have laughedatinJamaica!.Inhis excitementhecompletely forgot S. who wasatthatmoment almost frantic with temIL She knew nothing about Panamanian law, and,G( course, fearedtheworst. Sam might be sent to pra. withouttheoptionofa fine; she herself might arrested asthefirst causeofthequarrel.ItMackenzie who cametoherrescue.Hehad not fered withtheyoungmen;hehadbeen keeping eye on Susan allthetime. When Tom andJhadbeentakenaway he wentuptoher. .. Y; bettercome home," he said. Whentheygot outside, she broke down comp .188

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'I JOiNES DEMONSTRATESI OIl think will go to pnson,:Mr. Mac ?" she between her sobs, Prison?whatfor?"said Mackenzie,"Themonlyfinehim to-morrow;that'salL" .. But what abouthisjob?..said Susan,\\ho never lost sightofthe financial aspectofany question. Hisjobisall right," Mackenzie replied."WhatinColondon'tconcern the people in de Zone." ThenIdon't too sorry him gone to the calaboose," Susan spitefully."Himisalways boasting thinking him can dowhathim likeI teach him a good lesson."..Joneshavenolesson to learn,MissSue," said lackenzie sententiously."Heis a young manthatalways get himself in trouble. Him talk too much, t did he want to fight the other youngmanfor"ght?"IIBecauseIdid know Tom from home," replied ..Youwasfriendly widhim?"asked Mackenzie '1imtly., IfYes."IfDid Jonesknow?" .. No;Iwill tell you whyIdidn'ttell him." She told Mackenziequitetruthfully allaboutTom .There wasno occasion for Sam togoon likethat she added in conclusion; "I wasn'tgoin' 'ave anything to do with Tom.Iamnotthatsort prl, Mr.Mac;ifIhaveone intendedIstick to him. Sam not behaving himself now, an'Igoingbackto1amaica." ley had arrivedatherhome, Afraid to be left

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\ iSUSANPROUDLEIG H190alone,yet,also fearingthatifMackenzie wentinwithherthere might be some talk aboutitamongsttheneighboursofa suspicious 'turnofmind, she stoppedandhesitated, "It is late," said Mackenzie, butI want to have atalkwith you,soI will come in for a little."Afte,rthis,ofcourse, she could say nothing. You mean to tell me," he said, as he satdown. thatJones not gain' on nobetterthan before?", No,Mr.Mac; him gamble too much, an' stay,outlateevery night. Hewon'thear what I saytohimatall." Whatyou gain' to do ?" I make upmemind. Iamgain' back to Jamaica."Hewas silent for the spaceofa minute. Then: Insteadofgain' back, whydon'tyou getmarried?"heasked. The proposal was madesosimply-forSusan under stooditas such quitewell-thatittook her breath away. ,She knewthatMackenzie liked her,butithad never occurred to herthathe would ever wanttomarryher. He had been a good friend,buthadnever shown anysentiment;hehadeven tried to induce J ones to keep in her good graces. Nowthatshe had saidthatshe was returning to Jamaica (though,inspiteofher. emphatic words, she wasnotatall sure that shemeantit)-onlynow did Mackenzie revealhisinnermost feelings. She was surprised. Confused too, for she did notquiteknow what answer to give. She began pickingatanendof.her handkerchief with her teeth,whilesherevolved in her mind this strange, unexpected

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] ONES DEMONSTRATES Marriage meant agreatdealtoher.Itwouldgiveherposition. security...and shehad'merethansufficient excuse for leavingJones. .........-.. evertheless she hesitated to agree. Mackenzie was fully twiceherage. She liked him as a friend,DotasshehadlikedSamuel;and ,was very different from an engagement. IfyougobacktoJamaica,whaty'ugoing to do?" Mackenzie asked, seeingthatshe could notmakeup her mind,1'."I don't know," she answered frankly.IMackenziewas well awareoftheimportanceoftheproposal hehadmade.Itwas much to offermarriageto Susan, for though she was good-lookinganda capable housewife, and would easily find someonetotake careofherifshe deserted J ones andremainedinPanama,there werenotmanymen in hispositionwhomightbe willing tomarryher. Andifshereturned toJamaicaher chancesofa comfortablelivingwouldnotbemany.Buthe also knewthatJoneswas a much younger manthanhe, a moredashingkindofman;and perhaps Susan wouldpreferanotherofthesame type, even though hemightnot offerhermarriage. He, Mackenzie, however,wouldnotbreakhisheartifSusan refused him.Therewasnotmuch passion in his composition. Susan remembered how Joneshadpromised tomarryher,andthenhadbroken his promise. Shehadneverquiteforgiven himthat.Thenthehabitofdrinkingmightgrow upon him. She was wellawarethathe drank,notsomuch through inclination,asfroma desiretovie with others who didso.His

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1 \SUSAN PROUDLEIG:(-I ambition was to beconsidered"a sport-," buthemightbecome a drunkard. And she had no claim upon him.. Mackenzie was a steady man.Ifshe marriedhim,she could become a memberofa church.Thatwouldmean a definite rise inthesocial scale; herrespectability wouldthenbe beyond challenge,beyondIquestion. The ring on her finger would be theoutward and visible signofher right to respectful treat l ment onearthbelow,andalsothepromiseofan.1uninterrupted passage to heaven intheunfortunate eventofdeath. When she hadthoughtofall these things she came to a provisional decision. Ican'tanswer you right away, Mr. Mac,"shesaid, foritis like dis. \\Then a gurl goin' totakeIa step like marriageitis right she !>hould thinkwellwhatshe doin'.Don'tIright?" Mackenzie nodded his agreement.I Well, then, I will writey'uonFridayan' tellyoume answer. I know you willtreatme kind,Mr.Mac.""Tellyouwhatwebetterdo,then,"saidMackenzie, who believed in businesslike arrangements. Ifyou write me on Friday morning,Iwill gettheletterduringtheday.Ifitis all right,Iwillgeta licence from de judgeatCulebra,an'he willperformtheceremony when you come. Whenyouthink you will come ?""Saturday.ButIwould prefer a parson to marry me.""Thatnoteasy, forwedon'thavetime.Thejudge married almost everybody indeZone.Yougoing to tellJones?"

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JONESDEMONSTRATES 193 No IWhyyou askdat?""Idon'tsee why youshouldn'ttell him.Himwould only talk an' bluster,buthim isnotthesortofman to do anything. Howsoever, follow you'ownmind."He said good nightwithoutanyattemptaten dearment. Susan sawhimdownstairs;itwasverylate. Being much tootiredtodo any thinking, she wenttobed and fell asleep, spitefully hopingthatJones would reflect upon his conduct all nightinthecalabooseofColon..13

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CHAPTERVIISUSAN'S LASTEFFORTONthefollowing morning Jones was fined ten dollars for a breach ofthepeace-alight sentence, since the policehadatfirst beeninclinedtocharge him withattemptedmurder. Tom escaped with a fineoffive dollars, presumably because hehadnotbeenmurdered;andbothmenwereseverely warnedthatthenexttime they appeared beforethecourtitwouldgohardwith them, and that inthemeantime the police would be instructed to keepaneye upon them.Inaddition to this Samuel lost half a day's pay, to say nothingofsome hours in a cell sharedbyinsects which 'vigorously disputeditspossession with him.Itwasanembittered Jonesthatwent home that afternoon. His friends, instead of going to bail him,hadavoidedthevicinityofthecalaboose; Susan herselfhadnotcome near him.Hehadbeen desertedbythose who should have rallied to his cause, though he himself would have stoodbythem to the end.Hesolemnly sworethathe never again wouldputhis faithinJamaicans. Susan waited until hehadvoiced his complaints,andhadeatenhis dinner.Thenshe opened her attack. '9'1

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SUSAN'SLASTEFFORT195 Sam, younotashamedofyou'self ? He was,butwasnotpreparedtoadmitit.Thatwouldbe a loweringofhis dignity."Whatfor?..heaskedhersullenly. Thatyou goin' on in this way tomakeme fret.Youquarrel, an' fight, an' drink, an' gamble, an' won't hear what I say. You think you goin' onright?.."Butwhatis all this fornow?"hedemanded angrily."Insteadof feeling vexthatthemwantedtohang mewithouta trial in Colon, you begintoaskme all sort of foolish question. Youwanttoprovoke me ? " Idon'twantto provoke y'u,butI am going toaskyou one plain question.Don'tyou think shouldtryto behave you'self now,an'marryme, afteryoubring me to Colon an' make meminddisturbed night an'day?Suppose the policeman did kill you lastnight:whatposition I would beintoto-day?.. You meantosay you going backtoallthatfoolishnessagain, Susan ?..he cried, scandalizedbyher per sistence in stupidity. "I am not going totalkabout marriage, an' as Ican'thave peace inthisplace, I amgoingout."Then, before Susan could makeanyfurther remark,heseized hishatandlefttheroom in a temper. Then Susan locked the door, took pen, ink, and paper outofoneofher cupboards,andsatdown to write. Shehadgiven Samuel a last chance. Hehadansweredherashehaddone before.Ina sentence or two she informed Mackenziethatshe would leaveColonfor Culebrabythesecondtrainon Saturday morning.

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196 SUSAN PROUDLEIG H Then she indicted aletterto her father. This was'animportant epistle, for she calculated upon itsbeingshown to a largenumberofpersons in Kingston.Sheinformed herfatherthat"When these few linescometo hand, hopingitwill reach you inthesamegoodhealthitleave me,youraffectionatedaughterwillbeMrs.JohnMackenzie, for I am goingtomarried to a nice gentleman working withtheAmerican peopleupatCulebra. Jones is too bad. HemeetTom theothernightata dance,andmake a rowandI have to fret too much.ButI wouldn't leave him all the sameifI wasn't a girlthatlike religion as you brought me up, and besideitis an honourable life togetmarried. TellKateandEliza themmustfollowmyexample, for God bless meandsmile on me, and Ihaveeverything IwantandMackenzie care forme,otherwise himwouldn'twanttoputa ringonmefinger.Ifitwasn'tthatI always feartheLord this good luck wouldn'thappento me, and I going to pray for allofyou. TellKateand Elizathemmustn't keep any bad company in Kingston,andmakeMariaandher old obeahmotherknowthatI married, for it willhurt them. Tell mammee and Aunt Deborah that I will ritethem.-Yourstrulyloving daughter, SUSAN."Then an idea occurred to her,andshe added a postscript. I send some money for allofyououtofwhat I save.Itis a wedding present." This wedding present consistedoffivepounds.Onlyonce beforehadshewrittento her people,andthen

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SUSAN'S LAST EFFORT197shehadenclosedthreepounds. She thought,andnghtly,thatshe was acting generouslybythem. She regarded this composition with no little pride, then, though fatiguedbysuch unwontedmentalexertion, she proceeded to compose another letter.Itwasbriefandto the point. DEARSAM,-When I ask you Thursday evening after you leave the jail if you was going to keepyourpromise on board shipandmarryme yousayno. Alright then. I am obliged to leave you for Iamgoing to marry another gentleman who you know.Mr.Mac has been goodtome,andwhen you getthisletter I will beMrs.Mackenzie,butifyou did behave yourself I wouldn'tgoaway from youbutitis allyourownfault.-Yours affectionate,'"SUSANPROUDLEIGH."She folded these letters, enclosed them in envelopes, and carefully addressedthem. She wouldpostMackenzie'sthatevening. To-morrow she would buy postal orders for five pounds and then registerthelettertoJamaica;inthemeantime thelettersthatweretobepostedthenextdaywere carefully locked awaybyherin a littleboxwhich shekeptatthebottomofher trunk. Susanhadcarefully observed how absconding wives acted in moving-picture dramas. These wrote their last farewells inthespaceoffive seconds, read them overwithfrowning brows, sealed them,andplaced them in a most conspicuous position in orderthatthey shouldnotbyany possibilitybeoverlooked. A wifeofthistypewould scarcelyhaveleftthehouse beforethehusbandwould return,andthere, onthetable, would betheletter waiting for

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.....7\'\ 19 8 SUSANPROUDLEIGHhim, as large as life.Buthe never sawitatonce.Some occult influence, apparently,kepthis eyes away from it.Hewould look roundtheroom, search the t!eiling forthemissing one, scrutinize thefloor,surveytheatmosphere, and would be on the pointofleaving the room when his eye would falluponthe table and theletterwould be seen. This procedure would probably give himjustsufficient timetorush into the street, summon the motor carthatalways attends uponthemovementsofrepentanthusbands, and dashofftotherailway stationortheship's dock, or the house to which his wifehadfled. A second more and he wouldhavebeen too late.Inthemoving-picture world, however, time itself is subordinate to theimperious demandsofdomestic felicity,andthe recon ciliation takes place dramatically with a public embrace.ThatJonesmight rush totherailway station, she knew.Butinsteadofa reconciliation there mightbea quarrel. There might be an arrest. She concludedthatshe would post Sam'sletteratoneofthe stationsatwhichthetrainwould stop while on the way to Culebra;bythetime he receiveditshe would have been already married. Shewentoutand posted Mackenzie's letter, called on a friend to discuss the sceneofthepreceding night, and returned home to find Samuel waiting for her. He was much earlierthanusual. Thetruthis,he was still very much frightenedandwished to runnofurther riskswithvigilant policemen.Hehadopinions to express,andhe soughtthesecurityofhis own dwelling to give utterance tothem;Susan gathered

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SUSAN'S LASTEFFORThimgo,thenhastily madeherfinal preparations.Shepacked all the things she needed into l\ trunkandastraw"grip," ran downstairs, summoned a cab,hadhertrunkbrough t down,andgave thekeyofherapartment to a neighbour, whom she askedtobandittoSamuel when he should come homethatafternoon.Then she drove totherailway stationatCbristobal,half-fearing, half-wishingthatJonesmightseeher.Inafewminutes shehadpassed throughtheirongatesofthestationandhadtakenher seat in asecond-classcarriageofthe train.Shewas conscious nowofastrangesensation somewhereaboutherheart. There was a tighteningthere;therewas a lump in herthroat;theinclination was J stronguponhertoquitthetrain,-toturnback,toleave marriage-and-Ma-ckenzie-a:lone. She was nervous, excited,butse did not feel happy.Ina vague dofway se realize Ba se was cu ing l'ierself-off-fromthe pas,entering a new life....Thetrainmoved outofthestation.Itgatheredspeedandflewtowards Culebra. She lookedoutofthe window, seeing the long low rangeofbuildingsinwhichlivedthecoloured employeesoftherailway;shesawtheverandasonwhichtheclothes werehungloutto dry, wherethefood was cooked, wherefruitofallkinds was exposed for saleandhealthy-lookingchildrenplayed to theirhearts'content. Soonthetrainwas running throughtheswamp outsideofColonandonthemainlandofPanama.Long grass grew inthe black water, a thick jungle where fever lurked,anddeadlytarantulasandall sortsofevilthings; I butthe swamp was passedandnowgreen pastures

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH202appeared, andinthedistance she could catch a glimpse of green low-lying hills.Thetrain stopped every now and thenattheLabourTowns along the route. Massesofwooden buildings clung to hill-sides,theforest grew beyond them,defiant,theriotous vegetationofthis stripoftropicalAmericastriving ceaselessly withmanfor the mastery.Thesetowns seemed alive with workers, there was activity everywhere, an eternal movement. And everynowandthenan almost interminable trainofcars,ladenwith rocks and earth dugoutofthe great Cutat Culebra, would rushatfull speedbyher train with a thunderous deafening roar.Onandon,through the forest. Montelirowasreached, and here she asked a fellow-passengerwhohadarrivedathis destination to post Sam's letterforher. Frijoles,and now she saw the turbulentChagres,theproblemoftheCanal Administration'sengineers,rolling peacefully, abroadand shining river,betweenitsverdant banks.Itstretched away into the dis tance, travelling through a luxuriant country tothesea, its surface lightedupbythesun and breakingintoiridescent flashesofsilver light. She sawitall,buthalf unconsciously. The natureoftheground begantochange. The soil was red; low, rounded hills went rising one after another tothefar-off horizon;thetowns were becomingmorenumerous too, each oneofthem a clusterofslate-I roofed buildings with well-constructed streetsandpathswinding inandoutamongst them. San Pablo, Gorgona, Matachin; the land wasrisingnow. Black earthandhuge black rocks proclaimed

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SUSAN'S LASTEFFORT203thevolcanicnatureofthe soil.Thecountrybecamemoreopen,theforests had disappeared. She wasnearingEmpire. The nextstationafterthatwouldbeCulebra. There Mackenzie would be waiting for her; there, inatthe latest a coupleofhours hence,shewould becomeMrs.Mackenzie.Thatthoughthadnever lefthermind;itnow obsessed her to the exclusionofevery other thought. So she was actuallygoingto bemarried!Itwasnotthesortofweddingshewouldhavepreferred, notthesortofceremonyshewouldhavehadin ] amaica.Inthatcountrythebridegroom would have hiredthreecarriagesatleast;andsix bridesmaids, all dressed in white,wouldhave waited upon her inthechurch. And alltheguests would have been gailyattired;thewomen unaffectedly excited, the men striving to show how imperturbably serene they could be even in the faceofsuch a crisis. She picturedthescene;her triumphalparadein a carriage tothechurch, with the black-coatedmanbeside her who wastogive her away-herfather, of course, though she didnotthink hebecametheposition well. She was beautifully dressed; a long veil flowed overherheadandshoulders; inherrighthandshe carried a hugebunchofliliesandwhite roses.Theceremony over, returned withherhusbandtothehouse wherethewedding feast was prepared. As she appearedatthedoor a choiroffemale voices, ledbyherfriend,CordeliaSampson,burstintosong-"Letus opentheDoortotheChildren, the Door oftheKingdomofHeaven." Then would comethecongratulations,andinquiries would be madeofthespinsters as to

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGH204when they would follow her good example and, afewmen supremelyhappy;something wbidl. Susan knew,theywere quite ready todoatmoment, the only obstacle being the reluctance of men to be made happy. And thenthewedding feast. She sawthedecoratedtablecovered with cakes and sweets glasses, andattheheadofitall, towering everything else,thebridal cake. Behindthisstood herselfandherhusband,buthedid not Mackenzie. His face, his form, his voice, hisIhis gestures, were thoseofJones;itwas Joneshadmetheratthechurch door, Joneswhohad I will,"Joneswho was with hernow,ready respondtothetoastto the bride and The speeches were stereotyped: she already kmw them by heart. She and her husbandwere lit_ first to a pairofturtle-doves, then afterwards to a pIIf ofwhite pigeons,thewinged creation figuring pro_ ently as typesofmatrimonial constancy and Then IsaacandRebecca would be mentioned,...some ambitious speaker, anxious to excel in OlatolJ; butrather weak in scriptural knowledge, might pare themtoAnanias and Sapphira. Eventually and her husband would leave while the dancing goingon,first taking care to make such despen'" effortstoescape unobservedthatthe departure become as public as a well-advertisedshow.would be a shower.ofrose petals, a chorusof cries-...." Culebra!"Thetrainstopped. Looking down upon the --==_ and the railway line was a large building the veralllll!

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SUSAN'S LASTEFFORT205 which was adorned with a flowering vine. And buildings besideandbehind this one, and steps into the high slopingbankwhich led up to them.ofpeople were hastily descending fromtheatthis station, she amongst them. She lookedd."Thetrain arriveintime to-day," said enzie pleasantly. t afternoon she became Mrs. Mackenzie.

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BOOKIIICHAPTERITHEFAMILYARRIVESIfTHIShill really hard to climb,an'de cramps is troubling me feetsomuchthatitmakeIme feelfunny,"saidMr.Proudleigh dolor-ously.\"Thelongest journey musthendatlast," hissisterconsolingly observed, as Mr. Proudleigh haltedinthemiddleofthesteeppathandgazed upwardsattheheight whichyetremained to be climbed."Ifyou did know you couldn't walk it, pupa, you shouldn't come," said Catherine irreverently."Oldpeopleshouldn'ttryanddowhatthemknow them can't do.""Y'udon'thaveno feelings for you' poor olefather,Kate,"repliedMr.Proudleigh sternly."IfIwasa young gal, I wouldtreattheold folkses re spectably. There is a commandment in de Biblewhichsaythatforty she bear destroythechildren that mockatElijah,and--""Youare misquoting de Scripture,Jim,"criedhissister;"an'thoughKateshouldtreatyou respectfully, which is your own daughter, yet I really '

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGH'thinksyou should makeanendeavour to reach Susan house before night come down." Mr. Proudleigh groaned,butstruggled manfully forward. After thepartyhadtoiled slowlyupwards for another couple of minutes they sawcomingtowardsthemtwo young Americans busilyengagedin conversation. When these drew nearenoughMr.Proudleigh accosted them, giving them his favourite military salute.ItGentlemen," he panted,Itcan you directdeold t mantowhereMrs.Susan Mackenzie live?DeLordwill blessy'uefyou canrender--"Buttheyoungmenhadpassed on without even lookingathim.ItWell,whatmannersI"exclaimedMr.Proud leigh.ItNobody evertreatme likedatbefore!" With this remark he made a movement asifhewouldsit downbythe roadside, perhaps for the purposeofreflecting on the discourteoustreatmentjust received..ButCatherine was obdurate.ItYou can't sitdown,pupa,"she insisted, with somethingofSusan's severity.ItYou got totryan' walk it, evenifyou tired.An'don'task any more Americanthewayto Susan's house, for themnotgoing to answer you, an'itisnotto be supposedthatthem can know where everybody live.Ifwe see a man fromJamaicawecan ask him;butwenotgoin' to meetanybodyifweloiter here." Again Mr. Proudleigh groaned,andagain hefeeblytotteredforward, too exhausted now to indulge inanyfurtherobservation. Presently they came to more level ground: as they reachedthisthey saw yawning,totheir left, a tre mendous chasm, into the depths of they plunged208

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THEFAMILYARRIVES209 '" their eyes affrighted, fortheyhadhadno ideaofwhat they would come upon. The threeofthemhalted simultaneously,Mr.Proudleigh delighted with anyexcuseto pause for a moment. They were accustomedtothe steep precipicesofJamaica, declivitiesofa thousand feetandmore, with almost sheer perpen dicular walls,vastopenings intheearth, to peer down into whichmightmakeone sickanddizzy.Butthiswasdifferen t.Oneither sideofthegreat Cuthadbeen carved gigantic terraces, asortofgiant's stairway,andalong the whole lengthofthese terraces, as far as theireyescould reach, were railway lines,andalong theselineslong trains were passing continuously, and menwereeverywhere below, movingupanddown, and looking like pygmies in the distance.Itwasbuta small sectionoftheCulebra Cut, and not the busiest,thatMr.Proudleighandhis womenfolksawthatafternoon. Little given as they weretospeculationorto thinkingaboutthingsthatdid not directly concern them, they perceivedthata great mountainhadbeen cleft in twainbythehandofman,andthewonderful signsofintense energy that the busy scene below presented couldnot fail to impress them.Butnotfor long.Mr.Proudleighwasweary,andso was moreintentjustthenupon findingoutwhere Susan livedthanuponadmiring the workthatwas being carried on before his eyes.MissProudleigh, ontheotherhand,perceived a comparison betweenthedividingofCulebra Hillandthe partingofthewatersoftheRedSea forthesafe passageoftheescaping Israelites. The lattershe14

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:210SUSANPROUDLEIGHnaturally approved of.Butthis work on thehillafllictedhermindwith misgivings. Ifthe Lord did intend the hill tocutin two,"shesaid, astheyresumed their walk, "He would havecutitHimself.Butnow manthinkhe can improve God's handiwork, an' p'rhaps he is only provoking the Lord towrath." Thatis so,"herbrother agreed;"disCanalmaybring a judgment.Ifthem offer me ajobon it, I won't teckit1Whatthemwant to digoutall dis dirt for? I rememberthatwhen the Car Company was layin'deelectric car line in Kingston, I dream onenight--" it You willhaveto both sleepan'dream outhere'to-night, sab,ifyou go on talkin' foolishness an' don't hurryup!"exclaimedCatherine, now thoroughly impatient. it Ifthemdidn'tcommence diggin' the Canal, Susan wouldn't married, an' you wouldnowbe. inJamaicainsteadofhere." Viewed as a contributory causeofSusan'sgoodfortune,Mr.Proudleigh instantly agreedthatthere was a great deal to be said fortheCanal. Hewouldhave explaineditsgood pointsatlength,butCatherine absolutely refused to listen.Insilence, therefore, they continuedupontheir way. They could alreadyseebeforethema numberofwooden buildings, one, two, andthreestoreys high;itwas obvious to themthatthey were now approaching a townofno inconsiderable size. They saw people too, and they gladly observed that someofthese were coloured men. Catherine undertooktoquestion one of them. Didheknow Mrs. Mackenzie? He did not,butthoughtthatCatherine would easily

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THEFAMILY ARRIVES2II find the person she was seekingifshe inquiredatthe quarters where the coloured people lived. These were a little farther away,'and there was nothing foritbutthat they should proceed thither without delay.Mr.Proud leigh would have protested,buteven he realizedthatprotests would beofnoavail. Happily, theyhadnot a long distance togo.And whentheoldmancaught sightoftheneatverandaed wire-screened cottages provided fortheskilled coloured employeesofthe Canal Commission, his spirits revived wonder fully. Catherine soon found some one who knew where Susan lived. Thismanwas kind enoughtoguide them totheplace.Itwas a four-roomed single-storey house,builtuponhighfoundationsandprovided with a comfortable little veranda. Though Susan's relativeshadbeen expecting to findhercomfortably situated, this housewasdistinctly superiortoanything theyhadimaginedshewould have.Mr.Proudleigh immediately cal culatedthatinJamaicaitsrental value would beatleast two pounds a month, and the classofpersonswhocould afford to live in such residences were, from his pointofview, very welloffindeed. Asthefront door and windows were closed, Catherine timidly knockedatthe door."Comein," said a voice, which theyatonce recognized. They opened the door and entered. Susan was sitting in a rocking-chair, sewing some thingthatlooked like a waist.Asshecaughtsightofher visitors shestartedupwith an exclamation."Kate!Papee!What'sthematter?Why you come?"The personsthusaddressed faced her a little con-

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212SUSANPROUDLEIGHfusedly.MissProudleigh remained in the rear, thus discreetly leavingittotheothers to bear the brunt ofSusan's questioning. Medearestdaughter!" exclaimedMr.Proudleigh, evading any direct replyjustthen by a magnificent displayofpaternal solicitude, I can't tell youhowyou' poor ole father is glad to seeyou!From you leave me inJamaicaI beenfrettingafter you, an'nowtothinkdatIseeyou widmeown eye in yourownmansion!"Heseated himself ashespoke, somewhat discon certed to observethatSusan showednoinclinationtokiss him,butstill continued lookingathim andatthe others with a puzzled stare."What'sthematter?"she again. Where is mammee an'Eliza?Whyy'ucomehere?" Mammee an' Elizaquitewell, Sue," said Catherine. "Them both remain behind in Jamaica. "Shepaused, leavingittotheothers to explain ""hy theyhadcome to Panama. Shehadfollowed her father's example andsatdown. SohadMissProudleigh."Thesea voyage was very rough, Susan,"remarkedthelatterlady, as though a recitalofher sufferings would sufficiently explain her reason for coming to Panama, as wellasrelieve the obvious embarrassmentofthesituation."Inever wassosea-sick before. Icouldn'tmove for a whole day.""Norme," asseveratedMr.Proudleigh promptly. I never sick likedatbefore. I thought I wouldvomitmeheartout,an'de more I sick,themoredevesselroll-..ButI comfort me self wid the reflectionsthatI would soonsee me own daurter again, whowas

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THEFAMILY ARRIVES2 13marriedtoa noble gentleman;an'whenIdwelted upon that,itsortof seem to methatIdidn'tsicksomuch."HeglancedatSusan's face to see how this au thentic accountofthe effectoffatherlyaffection on sea-sicknesshadappealed to her.Not very much encouragedbyherlook, he hurried on. Inearlydied;nevertheless,thanksbe to God,Isurvive me agonies, an' nowthatIsee you oncemore,Icandie in peace. You rememberdatoldmanintheScriptures, Sue, who say, ( Lord, nowletThyservantdepartinpeace'?--" "Youmeanto tellme,pupa,thatyou only come heretoseeme,andthen dieafterwards?" demanded Susan."Well,notexactly, Sue, forIarenotprepared fo' death. " Thenwhaty'ucomefor?" Driven to his last ditch,IV[r.Proudleighdeterminedtooffer no defence,buttocasthimself upontheenemy's clemency. Sue," said he pathetically, youdon'tappearstobe glad to see me.Butifitwas you who did cometoJamaica,Iwould have killedthefattedcalf foryou."This reference to the fatted calf wasnotonly intendedtoconvince Susanthatshe wouldhavebeen welcomedbyhim,bntalso to indicatethatbodily refreshment would bemostacceptableatthatmoment. Susan wouldnotimmediatelytakethehint.Butshehadbynow recovered fromherfirst feeling of astonishmentandwas beginningtobeglad to see someofher people once more. She knewherfatherandheraunt,however;she was well awarethattheywouldhavewrittento tellheroftheircominghadthey

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGHthought she would have approvedofthereasonforit. She was still suspicious; theyhadasyetexplained nothing. She turned to Catherine with aviewofgettingatthebottomofthe mysteryatonce,whenher father, asifsuddenly inspired,startedout without further circumlocution on the perilouspathoftruth. The factofde matter, Sue,"hesaid,"isthat I didalwayswantto come to Colon. An' when Igotyou'letterthatsay you was going to married, an' receivethefive pounds, for which Godisgoin'tobless you,ifHimdon't bless you already, I saytoyou'mother:'Iam gain' to follow me daurtertoColon an' keep her company, for she must be lonely.' An' I tellthemto sell the things inthelittleshops,which wasnotdoin' too well since you leftedus,an' I advisethemall to come wid me.Butyou' mother misjudge you, an' say you wouldn't likeit;but I know you wouldn't mind, foritis methatbringyouupsince you was born, an' lookafteryou, an' train you intheway you shouldgo,an' I persuadedmeselfthatyou wasnotgoin' to be ungrateful. But you' motherwouldn'tcome, an' Elizahadto stay widher;butyourauntand Kate come with me, an' they are sensible, for you always hear me say I would like to come to Colon, an'ifyou ,didn'twantme to come you wouldn't send five pounds for me inyou'letter." Then you mean to tell me,pupa,"cried Susan, that-thaty'ucome heretolive in this house, an'didn'teven write to tell me? "" We wantedtogive you a pleasant surprise, Sue," said Miss Proudleigh. to whom prevarication did not appear as a heinous offence.

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" You mean you knowthatI wouldn'twantyou tocome,soyou keepitsecret! exclaimed Susan."Inever hearofsuch a madness before. \Vhat y'ugoing to donow?Youcan'tstayhere:Mackenzie wouldn't likeit."Catherinehadbeen fearing some such announcement.Now,in self-defence, she said, Ididn'twantto come, Sue." II Butyou are more all rightthanpupaan' Aunt Deborah," said Susan."Youare young an' can work; an' Idon'tthinkMackenzie would mindifyou stay with me.ButAuntDeborah an' papee shouldn'tcomehereatall, for themdon'thave much use for old people in thiscountry.""Hexcuseme, Susan," saidMissProudleigh \vith impressive dignity. butI objects to being called old. Iamonly forty." I thought you was fifty," said Susan rudely. You right,Sue!" exclaimedMr.Proudleigh. "I amsixty year of age, an' I rememberthevery day you'auntwas born. Idon'tseewhy shewantto hide 'er age; age is no disgrace, an'ifa ooman keeps herselfrespectfully she should have no concealment from her fambily. Now, when you'auntwasborn--"Shockedbythedesertionof lVIr. Proudleighata moment whenitwas vitalthattheinvading forces should present a solid front to the enemy,MissProud leigh deemeditadvisable to leavetheage question severely aloneandadopt a pacificattitudebefore her brother should adduce the damaging testimonyofdaysanddatesagainst her. Shecuthimshortwith a diplomatic remark. II I amnotyoung an' strong like you, Sue," sheTHE FAMILY' ARRIVES ::US

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216--SUSANPROUDLEIGHsaid,witha propitiatory smile, an' the Lord have _notblessed me like you,thoughIamnotungrateful forHismanifold kindness.ButIdidn'tcome here tolive on you. Things isveryhardin Jamaica, an' as Iknowthatyou married an'haveinfluence over here, Ithoughtas youmighthelp me to get a little dressmakin' or washingsoasto keep me independent. Idon'twantanythingbutwork." Norme," said Catherine sturdily."Nobodycan tellmethatIcan'tmakea good living in Panama,thoughI couldn't be aservant."Mr.Proudleigh said nothing. Nowthatthetalk was of work, and he was actually in Panama, he didnotcare to remind anyonethatwhile in Jamaicahehadnever lost anopportunityofproclaiming his readiness tt earn his own living whenever the chanceofsodoing should present itself to him.ButSusan wasn'tthinkingofhis capabilities just then.Inheraunt'ssuggestion she saw a way out ofthedifficulty."Youcanget plentyofwashin'ifyouwantit,"she said quickly,"eitheruphere orinColon. You an'pupawill 'ave to live togetherbyyou'self,butKatecanstopwith me." I prefer togobacktoColon," said Kate."IlikewhatI seeofit,an'thisplace look dull." Itdull fortrue!" agreed Susan, an' though I would like you tostaywithme, I know Colon livelierthanuphere." Mr. Proudleigh, whohadbeen secretly hoping to spendatleast somemonthsinthe-comparative calmofCulebra, did notapproveofthe suggestionthathe should live with his sister orthathe shouldreturnto

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--Colon.Nordidhelike Susan's referencetothe dullnessofthelabour town in which she lived.Itdidnot argue a contented mind.Thehouse she was mistressof,thefurniture she possessed,theleisure .sheevidently enjoyed seemed tohimenough to make any womanhappyfor the restofherlife, especiallyiftoallthese things could be addedtheblessingofa father's presenceandwordsofcheer."Youshould be very comfortable, Sue," he suggested. "A young married ooman like you shouldn'thavea thing to fret her." Don't you are now a member of society,Sue? askedheraunt."Yes;I belong to deBaptistchurch up here,an'Igoingto jointhechoir.""Anddon'tyou' husbandtreatyougood?"in quiredherfather. OfcourseIIdidn'tsay himdidn't!..Thissharpanswer, given intheformofa threateningquestion, checkedatoncetheimpendingflowofMr.Proudleigh's interrogatory.Butfurther to preventanymore personal inquiries,andremembering that her relatives must be hungry, Susan invitedthem the dining-room, wheretheyfound a table coveredwitha clean cloth, a meat-safe,anda few chairs. Shetooksome cold food outofthemeat-safe and placeditbeforethem, offering the older folk,inaddition, alittleJamaica rum, which Mackenzie alwayskept jn thehouse.Thistheydrankatonce, Mr. Proudleigh secretly hoping for afurthersupplyofthesame liquor.Heex pressed his astonishmentatthethirstcreatedbythePanamanian climate, then prepared himself to dine.

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CHAPTERIICATHERINELEARNS SOMETHINGSUSAN was no longer annoyed with her people for their unexpected appearance. Nowthatithadbeen decidedthattheywere to livebythemselvesanddosomething toearntheir living,shefelt gladthattheyhadcorne to Panama. Theywouldnot be veryfarfromher;she couldgotoseethemfairly often;theold associations, severed whenshe.left Jamaica, were renewed once more. Withherelbows onthetable and her entwined fingers sup:.. portingherchin, she watched themeatwith a pleasant glowofhospitality."Tellme all about home,"shesaid."You ever see Maria ?" No," said Catherine;"butI meet Hezekiah one day,an'him tell methatMariahearthatyoumarried:somebody write from Colon to tell her. She will never get a man to pu ta ring on her finger.You ever see Tom an' Jones since you married,Sue?""No;Idon'tthink them ever comeupthis way; an' since I married, going eight weeks now, I never leave Culebra once." Jones never writeyou?" askedheraunt. No!Himcouldn'tdothat. I have nothingmoreto do widhim." .. 8

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'CATHERINE LEARNS SOMETHING :;II9 ,lneverdid likedatyoungman,"saidMr.Proud with grave deliberation."Hetalk too much,himalways using big wordsdatI couldn'tunderd.I neverthoughtedthatyou wouldbehappyhim,Sue." DidJones ever do you anything,pupa? .. asked sharply. No.Himcouldn'tdo me anyt'ing. I wouldn't make himtakea liberty wid meI .' II An'when you used to borrow a shillin' fromhim. ,every nowan' then, behind my back, though you know JOucouldn't pay him back,heever refusedyou? ThislittlematteroftheloansMr.Proudleighhad hitherto regarded asanentirely private business arrangement between Samuel Josiahandhimself; 'indeed, hehadalways prefaced his request for aJoanwith a speech onthewisdomof not lettingone's hand knowwhatone's right hand did.Hehad 'Dever failed tointimateclearlythatSusan was oneofthose symbolical lefthandsthathadalwaysbetterbekept in ignorance of all important financial transactionsbetween manandman.Butnowthat,tohisintensesurprise. Susan mentioned his past obligations to ,Jones,he asserted with assurance, I goin'topayhimbackevery farden, I will write an' send de money."Anexcellent resolution, though he didnottroubletomention when he would write or wherethemoneywasto come from.IIWell,seeingthatJoneswas kind toyouin Jamaica, Idon'tseewhyy'ushould say youdon'tlikehim," Susan continued."Wedidn'tgeton toowellsometimes in Colon. for him was a little wildan'

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220SUSANPROUDLEIGHhegot into bad company.Thatis why I leavehiman'married Mackenzie.ButIdon't'aveanythingtosayagainst him, for himdidn'tstintme inany-, thing, an' him never ill-treat me." "I always likedMr.Jones, though I neverborrowanymoney fromhim,"said Miss Proudleigh untruth fully, pleasedatbeing able to get even withherbrother for his recentattempttoestablish her ageatfifty."Hewas always politean'gentlemanly." Mr. Proudleighhadinthemeantime filledhis,mouthto itsutmostcapacity, with a viewofshowingthathecould notwithoutgra\e inconvenience takeanyfurtherpartin a conversation which was becoming unpleasantly personal. Catherinehadfinished eating. Seeing this, Susaninvitedher into the kitchen, on the excusethatshe wished to prepare somethingforMackenzie. Youhaveitdull,Sue?" asked Catherine, assoonasthetwo found themselves alone."Lord,yes!Everydayitis one thing overan'over. I know someofde people here,butyou can'tmakea dance when you like,or'ave much merriment." Butyouhaveyou'husband."Susan twistedhermouthslightly,.afacial contortionwhich Catherine interpreted as meaning that Mackenzie's existence didnotcontribute materiallytomaking lifebrightatCulebra. Mac is all right enough," Susan explained, buthimis veryquietan'serious." After a moment's hesitation, sheadded:"J ones was livelier." Then why you lea\ e Jones) "

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CATHERINELEARNS SOMETHING usan letthequestion pass."Marriageis dull," shesaid:"youarenotyou'ownmistress.Itis true you'avea honourablePQsition,butwhatis the goodofthatifitdon'tmake .-yoU anyhappier?" ,Withunconscious inconsistency she continued. AP-/,It; (ISampromisedtomarry me whenwewasatsea,buthewouldn'tdoitafterwards.Itwouldhavebeenbetter forhimifhe did keep his word." Catherine was lookingathernarrowly as she spoke.ShesawquiteclearlythatSusan wasnotsatisfied withherpresent situation. Andyetshe was in a position that hundreds would have envied . /I Perhaps if you did wait,Jones would have marriedyou,"Catherine suggested. /I Idon'tthinkso.Him was wild an' foolish,an'thoughtthatI care for him somuchthatI wouldn'tleavehim.Ifhe was different I would be with himnow,evenifhimdidn'tmarriedme."Catherine looked wise."Ialways sayitisbetternotto married too quick," sheobserved;"foryou JIlay find you make a mistake,an'thenyoucan'tdo nothing. But here Susan thoughtthatperhaps shehadsaidtoomuch, even to her sister. So she remarked, with emphasis,that,afterall, she was very comfortable,andthat Mackenzie was kind toherandnever quarrelledwithher. "I don't'ave a wordtosay againsthim,"sheasserted truthfully. Then sheandCatherine rejoinedtheothers, for shewasnow expecting herhusbandatanymoment.Hecame in presently, glanced inquiringlyatSusan,

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222SUSANPROUDLEIGHwho wasaboutto say whothestrangerswere,whenMr.Proudleigh, who for a weekhadbeen rehearsing a little speech he had prepared to greetMackenziewith, stoodupin hasteandunceremoniously inter rupted his daughter. The oldmanhadbeen anOddFellowinhis younger days,andhadfrequentlyfiguredas chaplain"in the lodge.Henow chose to regard Mackenzie as an embodiedOddFellows Society,andforthwith addressed him assuch: Mynobleking!When first I hearthatyoumarried Miss Susan, who isthebest daurter I have, an' when Ihearabout you from alldepeople.whocome back to Jamaica fromhere-forI can tellyouyou are wellbeknown-Isay to meself: Iwillarisean' never behappytill I see me son-in-law. An' here I come, though sea-sickness nearly killme,towelcomeyou into de fambily; an' I can tell youatonce that I are goingtodo everything to make you comfortable. Wedon'tacquainted well yet,butwhenweareacquaint--"Whatwould happen whenthefurther acquaintance ship hintedatbyMr.Proudleigh should have developed, will never be known. Forjustthen Mackenzie quietlyputa stop to his oratorybyremarking: Soyou are Sue'sfather?Iamglad toseeyou,sir,"andthenshook hands with him. He greetedMissProudleighandCatherine with similar cordiality, assuringthemthathe was happy to see them. Then they allsatdown. Come on a trip, or to dobusiness?"he inquiredofMiss Proudleigh, who somehow he took to be the leaderoftheparty.

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CATHERINE LEARNS SOMETHING 223 "Things beingbadin Jamaica,"thatladyreplied,III took a thought an' came with mebrotheran' niecetoseeifI could get a little work in Colon. I am a hard-working woman, an'solong as I can make an ,honestliving, I are satisfied." "Quiteright,"said Mackenzie;"nothinglike independence, ma'am. You goin' to stop too,sir? heaskedMr.Proudleigh. "Well, yes," said his father-in-law; "I thinks Iwill.I likeupherewell;it'sa nice climate." "Well, you canstophere afewdays;gladify'uwould,"said Mackenzie hospitably,butthislimited invitation finallyputan end toMr.Proudleigh'slingeringhopeofbeing invited to stay for good. "I hopeSue beentreatingyougood?"Mackenzie wenton,"andthatwehavesomething nice fa' supper.Sue,wemust get some beer an' spend a nice evening. It's not all timeswehavefriends from home."Heasked to be excused while he wentoutto get thebeer.Both CatherineandMissProudleigh concluded thathewas a kind man, easily satisfied,andgenerousina thoughtful, cautious sortofway.ButMr.ProudleighfeltthatMackenzie's invitation to him implied a narrow and unappreciative spirit.Mr.Proudleigh already voted Mackenzie a failure as a son-in-law. That nighttheysatupuntillatediscussingtheconditionofJamaica. FromMr.Proudleigh's remarks, a stranger wouldhavegatheredthata perfectly peacefulisland wasjustthenon the eveofrevolution. Hedidmostofthe talking, Mackenzie agreeing with whathesaid with allthepolitenessofa host. For four days didthevisitors remainatCulebra.

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224 SUSANPROUDLEIGHIISusantriedto prevail upon Catherine tostaywithherfor good,butthather sister wouldnotdo;she was boredatCulebra. She noticedthatSusan and Mackenzie seemed to get onverywell with one another,andthatMackenzie wasapparentlyquite satisfied with his marriage.Butshe was convincedthatSusan was not."Shedon'tlovehim,"thought Catherine; shedon'thappy.Bettershedidn'tmarried."Butthough she felt sorry for Susan, she wouldnotshareherloneliness. Shewentwith her father andherauntto Colon.

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CHAPTERIIITHEMEETINGIThadbeenarrangedthatSusan should go to see her peopleassoon astheyhadsettleddowninColon: two weekslatershesetoutonthejourneytothe littletownshe knewsowellandmissedsomuch. Shestartedintheforenoon,herplanbeingtospendthenightinColonandreturntoCule.brathenext day.Inlessthantwohoursshe arrived, and, taking a cab,drovetothehouse whereherrelativesnowlived,theyhavingwritten to givehertheaddress.Shewas effusively welcomedbythem.Theyhadtwosmallapartmentsin oneofthenumeroustenementbuildingsofColon. Miss Proudleigh,althoughpreferringdressmakingasa more genteel occupation,hadbecomeaprivatelaundress, as moremoneycouldbemadethatway.Shehadhired agirltohelpher;particularly,togo forandtotakehometheclothes,forthatneithershenorCatherine would consent todo.Catherine assisted withtheironing.Theywere pleased to findthattheyearned fourorfive times asmuchatthisworkastheywouldhavedoneinJamaica. This almostcompensatedforthemenialcharacterofthework.Mr.Proudleigh discovered elementsofdignityinit. His onlycontributionwasgratuitousadvice.IS

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226SUSANPROUDLEIGHCatherinehadnews for Susan. Guess who I meet in Colon,Sue?" was her first remark, after Susanhadtakenoffher hat. Jones'" said Susan instantly. Hean' Tom.Themtell me allabouttherow,an'Jones come here sometimes duringthedayan'intheevening.Himmaycome here to-day," sheconcluded, with a glanceathersister to see how she tookthenews. Susan felt herheartleap as Catherine mentionedthepossibilityofJones'scalling at the housewhileshe was there.Butshe affected indifference. Idon'twant to seehim,"shesaid;"butitwon'tmatter." Ofcoursenot,"observed her aunt, for you are a lawfully married woman now." An' nobody cantakedatfrom you,"Mr.Proud leigh insisted, asthoughsomeattempttorob Susanofhermarriedstatewasnotatall unlikely. Nobody needtry,"laughed Susan, pluming herselfuponbeing:1l'lrs.Mackenzie; "I haveme marriage certificate. " Thatisa very good thing tohave,"Mr. Proud leigh agreed."Buty'uneedn'tfretthatJoneswon'ttreatyou respectfulindishouse:hehaveto!But Imusttell you, Sue,thathimisa very decentyoungman. He confinetome all histroubles;an'I must really tell youthatIthinksy'utreathim hard, forhe is a noble youngman."Fromthese remarks Susan gatheredthatJoneswasonce more advancingtoherfather small loans, toberepaidata hypothetical future date. :rhe old financial

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:fHE MEETINGrelationshadbeen re-established between thetwomen .. Butshe wasnotdispleasedtohearherfatherspeakhighlyofSamuel. She didnoteven resenttheoldman's mild reproach. When twelve o'clock came, she found herself anxiously wondering whetherJoneswould callthatday.Fromtwelve to two o'clockhewouldnotbe working;hewould have ampletimefor a visit.HerauntandCatherine were ironing onthatpartoftheveranda upon which their rooms opened. Shesatontheveranda talking to them,andevery nowandthenshewould glance down intothestreetto seeifanyonesheknew was passing. She saw some acquaintances,butalways with a feelingofdisappointment;as twoo'clockdrew near she grew silent, a change which Catherine wasnotslow to notice. Whenthehourstruckandshehadto recognizethatthere was no possibilityofSamuel's comingthatafternoon,'shemadenoefforttoconceal from herselfthatshe wasbitterlydisappointed: in her inmost heart, also, she confessedtoherselfthatduring allthejourney from CulebratoColonhergreat hopehadbeenthatshe should seehim,meet him. Forwhat?Shehadherreasonready.She told herselfthatshe wanted to knowhowhehadtaken her sudden departure, how hehadfaredintheintervening ten weeks, how he would greet her,and whether hehadbeencapturedbysomeotherwoman.When she reflected on the possibility of his having beencaptured-justas though his personal responsibility inthatmattermustbe almostnil-she;.becamefiercely antagonistic towards the unknownwoman.She resentedherexistence,hatedher bitterly.If -.

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228SUSANPROUDLEIGHDuring the restoftheafternoon she was rathermoody;butwhen six o'clock came she grew cheerfulandtalkative once more. An hour passed, and then Catherine suggestedthatthey shouldgofor awalkaboutthe town. She agreed. As they went along, Susan peeped into all the cafes thattheypassed. She well knew the old favouritehauntof Samuel, and she ledhersister pastit;but, thoughthedoors were wide open as usual, she saw no signofSamuel. They called on oneortwoofSusan's friends, and to thesethestoryofher marriage wasrelated;her hearershadno doubt whateverthatshehadacted wisely in leaving Jones; there wasbutone opinion onherexcellentgoodfortune. The congratulations she received heartenedhergreatly;itwas much to be a married \voman; now she knew shehaddone a sensible and proper thing.Itwas half-past nine when sheandCatherine went back tothehouse. A stranger is upstairs," said Catherine, as they ascended thesteps;"thatisnot papee's voice." Susan paused for a moment,herheartbeating violently."ItisJones,"she whispered. Catherine listened."Yes,"shesaid;"himmust have been here a long time, foritis late already. Y'unotcomingup? she asked, for Susan was standing still. Slowly Susan followed her sister. The latter enteredtheroom first. Susan stepped in after her with a well-assumed airofindifference. Some one rose. She heard his voice addressing her. Good evening,Mrs.IHackenzie. I hope I seeyou

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THEMEETING229well?Yourhusband'shealthis propitious, I pre sume? Shewas equal totheoccasion."Goodevening,Mr.Jones. Yes,thanky'u,Mr.Mackenzie isquitewell.He would 'avesentyou his complimentsif-hedid know I wouldmeetyou."Shesatdown. Their eyes met."Thatdon'tmatter,"said Jones,mostloftily. "Compliments are only words, an' nobodydon'tmeanthem. I amnotsending anybodyanycom pliments. I have no friends, Mrs. Mackenzie, an' I compliment nobody. Amandon'tknow who to trust in this world.""Quitetrue,Mr.Jones, quite true," observedMissProudleigh, whohadnever forgotten Susan's receptionofheratCulebra."Thereisbutone Friend whowe can trust, an' to Himwecantakeallour troubles. Whenmandesert us an'playusfalse,wecan take them totheLord inpr'yer."Inthisway the good lady endeavoured to convey toJonesher opinionofSusan's general behaviour. Jones enjoyedrvIissProudleigh's sympathy.Hefeltthathe was amongst friends. Hehadhelpedthemwith his advice since theyhadbeen in Colon,andMr.Proudleighhadconfessed to himthatinMr.Proudleigh's opinion Mackenzie wasnotfit to unloosethelatchetofSamuelJosiah'sshoe.AtthatmomentSusanwasata disadvantage.Hewas lookingathernarrowly.Hersojourn at. Culebrahadimprovedher:he didnotthinkhehadever seen her looksowell before. She was iingularly attractive. Dressed in cool white, she

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230SUSANPROUDLEIGHfaced him self-possessed, while on thethirdfingerofherlefthandgleamed a broadbandofgold, the ofher new condition. Everandagain his eyes lingered onthatring. Hehatedit.Buthedetermined to show he was indifferent, C!-S indifferentasshe appeared tobe;in his most bombastic manner he resumedtheconversation."Iam thinkin'ofreturning to menativeland.ThetemperatureofPanamais deleterious tomyconstitution, an' theyhaveno decent administration inthecountry. Some people,ofcourse, are contented with it.Ifyou kick some peopleitwill please them.But Samuel Josiah J ones isofa different characteristic ; besides, I am oneofthose men who canmakea living in me own country, an' Ididn'tcome here to passallme life diggingdirtfor American people." Idon'tsuppose anybody else come here fa'good,either,Mr.Jones," replied Susan sharply, feeling it incumbent upon her to defend herabsenthusband against all covert attacks."Iexpect meself togohome before long.""IsMac gwine to Jamaica,Sue?"asked herfatherquickly."For,efso,I wouldn't mind takin' atripmeself, an' I could come back widyou.""Idon'tknowwhatMackenzie is goin' todo,papee," answered Susan severely."Butperhaps,asyou an'Mr.Jones is so friendly, you can go wid him." Oh,that'sallright!" exclaimed Jones."Icantaketheold man. I havethecash, an' no one eversayyetthatSamuel Josiah was mean.WhenIamgoin', old massa, you can come along." Thank y'u, me sonI..Mr.Proudleighburstout.

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THEMEETING231"YouisthesortofyoungmanI didwantformeson-in-law." Hehadno sooner spokenthewordsthanhere gretted them. They expressed histruesentiments, but how would Susantakethem?Catherine laughed."Wishesdon'talterfacts,"said Miss Proudleigh sourly,"thoughsome people, in spiteofalltheymay pretends, would be glad if facts could bealtered."Susan understood thisremarkandhatedherauntvery thoroughlyatthatmoment."Isupposeyoubeen wishin' for a lotofthings you neverget-eh,AuntDeborah?"she said."Youmust'ave wishedtogetmarriedfor a long time before you .::;ut old,butI hear you never evenhadanintended." What!"criedMr.Proudleigh, before his sister couldhurlthefull forceofherscornattheoffending Susan, mydear daurter, youdon'tknow you'aunt.Yougrowupan' find'erin religion,butshe was a little devil when she was young. I remember one night mefatherhalf-murderherbecause she used to stayoutlate, an' a youngmanbeatheronedaybecause she was carryin' on wid another young man, while she was engagetode first one.Butwhen she comenearforty,ofcou'se,an'she see she wasgettingold, sheteckto religionan'becomesanexampletoyou young people." You are an infernalliar!" cried Miss Proudleigh fiercely, roused nowtobitterestangerbythisgratuitousdetailingofherearly history,andentirely forgetfulofthevirtueofChristian forbearanceandgodly con versation inherdesiretomaintainherclaimtohavingalways led a pureandspotless life."Sinceyou come

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----232SUSANPROUDLEIGH'to Colon Idon'tknow what come over you!Allyouseem towantto doisto make funofme, an' abusemecharacter;butas you remember somanythings that never happen, you might as well rememberdatitismewho is helping you to live in Colon,an'notSusan.""Thisdon'tneed anyquarrel,"observed Jones hastily."IfI did want to quarrel I could find plentyofreason,butIbearall theill-treatmentI receiveinsilence, being disposed theretobyanequanimitousattitudeofmind." Thatisthesame likemyattitudeofmind," peacefully remarkedMr.Proudleigh,"forifthereisamanthatdon'tlike confusionitis me. I didn't mean to vex Deborahatall,an'I beg to ask her pardon as shegetoffendedbywhatI say.Infact, Idon'tsee how she shouldthinkI could wantto'insult me own sister before a perfec' stranger like Mister Jones,an'sheisvery wrong tothinkso.Butitisbecause Iamold an' poor.EfI was a young man,an'earning me two pounds a week, all de sortofwordsdateverybody give me now I wouldn't hearatall.Butwhen a manispoor, dog can barkathim an' himcan'tsay
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THEMEETING233annoyed,therecital of his grievancesandwrongsIwouldformthemain topicofall conversations forthenext three or four days.J "I haven'tdetermined on adatehitherto, lVIrs. Mackenzie," ] ones replied,"butI contemplate aspeedydeparture from these regions.IfIwasn't a/ manofstrong mentality, all the sufferings Ihavehadtoputupwith in Colon would drive me mad.ButI have a solid brain,an'whatwould kill some peoplepassesbyme like theidle wind I That is Shakespeare," he "We;l, a __ able gohomewhenyu hke;-Mr:-] ones,anyou areanmdependent ---man with no responsibility.My'usbandhavetoworkhardto keep his wife in comforts, so hecan'ttravel about like you, an'gooutto see his friendsan'enjoy himself every night. Some people like to'aveeverything, you know, withoutanyresponsibility,butMackenzie is different." Idon'tknowanythingaboutyourhusband,Mrs.Mackenzie,"Jonesanswered superciliously."Heand Iwasnever friends inJamaica:wedidn'twalk inthesamestreetatall. Of course, when amancome to aplacelike Colon, heget to know a lot of people hewouldnever knowathome. I moved in good societyinJamaica. The very night before I leave for Colon Iwasentertained by, a few high-toned educatedfriendsofmine,an'if Ihadpaidattentiontowhatoneofthem saytome, I wouldn'thavebeen made afoolofhere.ButI was alwaysofa confiding an' trustful disposition, an'puta lotoffaith in females." A sarcastic laugh fromMissProudleigh, directed

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t. J\234 PROUDLEIGHatSusan, welcomed this remark.ButSusan tooknonoticeofit.Itwas nowpastten o'clock,andCatherine was repeatedly yawning. Jones rose to leave."Thishas beenanunexpected pleasure,Mrs. hesaid, as hebadeSusangood night. If notmeet again, you may sayto Mr. Mackenzithaty'usaw me here in excellent spirits."Heflorished hishatandbowed as he spoke,thenmarched withstatelystepoutofthe room. Datisa perfec' gen'leman," said Mr. Proudleigh. Susanthoughtso too. Afterthatvisit to Colon, Culebra becamemoredistastefulthanever to Susan.Inspiteofherpossessionof comforts," her life seemed tohertobesingularlyuninteresting;she feltthatshehadnothing new to expect, she experiencednopleasantthrillofanticipatedadventures;she loved excitement, andatCulebra, except for the accidents,therewas nothing like excitement to look forward to. She might have hildren.Butthough she possessedtheinstinctofUlOtherhood as fully as any other normally developed woman,thecomingofchildren seemedtoherto be a merematterofcourse, something toothatwould bind her down more tightly to herhumdrumexistenceasMackenzie's wife. She began to regret even the days inJamaicawhen shehadtheshop-daysthatnowseemedsovery far away, though only a few monthshadpassed since shehadcome toPanama.Shehadnodoubtnow, she no longer strovetoconceal from herself,thatshehadmadea mistake

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THEMEETING235marrying Mackenzie.Hewas a good husband, steadyman;buthe was over fortyandveryun, teresting. She couldnoteven quarrelwithhim:e did nothing to provoke a quarrel.Ifshe was etulant, he waspatient;if she became a little nreasonable, he yielded with a goodhumourwhich e instinctively felt wasnottheresultofweakness. :hestood in some aweofhim;as a friend hehadbeen altogether desirable,butnow asherhusbandshe!discoveredthathis disposition was alientohers;sherespectedbutcouldnotcare for him. She could not even complainthathe restricted her liberty, for he did not. She was free in reason togowhere sheliked;if shehadnotleft Culebrabutoncesince her marriage,thatwasnotbecause she couldnothave donesohadshe wished. The situation, clearly, was hopelessly annoying.Assome onehadtobe blamed for it, sheblamedJones.Itwas all his fault.Heshould haveacteddiffer ently.Itwasnotbecause hehadrefusedto marry herthatshehadleft him.Itwas because hehadtaken to drinking, gambling,andbadhabitsgenerally; because hehadmade himself objectionableandmightatany momenthavefound himself withinthefour wallsofa prison. Shehadchosenthebestwayofescape opentoher,andeverybody agreedthatshe had acted wisely. She was in no wayatfault.Butthis self-vindication didnottendtoconsole her, for,byanapparentlyperversearrangementofthings, she wasthesufferer while J ones was as free as air. Susan was too intelligentnottofeelthat,however tragicallyJonesmight conduct himselfjust

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236 PROUDLEIGHnow,hewas likely find consolation as time went on. She believed profoundly in her lasting influence over everymanwhohadfallen in love withher;there was Tom's base asanillustration.Butshe doubted whetherthatinfluence would keep anyone like Jones fro falling into the clutchesofother women, especially as she was married and separated from him fo/' ever."Thesame way he coulddowithout me before I know him, he willdowithoutmenow," shthoughtruefully;andthis was the more certairy.{ he should return to Jamaica. Andifhe did whatchance would there beofhis coming b e'k, in ahurryatanyrate?Besides, evenifhe did come back, how wouldthathelpher?They nowmetas acquaintances merely. She addressed him asMr.Jones. He spoke to her as Mrs. Mackenzie. Everything was asitshould be from the pointofviewofpropriety:hetreatedheras a married woman ought to be treated. Yet she would have much preferred abitterquarrel with him,anopen flingingof'reproaches from one to the other, passionate upbraiding. Why, she did not exactly know, savethatthesarcastic politenessofboth,andthethinly veiled innuendoes theyhadin dulged inatherrelatives' house on the nightoftheir meeting, seemed tohera meresham:theyhadnot spoken to one another as they would have liked toIspeak. Theyhad merely acted apart.She wonderedifall married women felt, as she did,thatmarriage was an awful bore. And she wonderedIif her endurance couldstandthestrainofthatboredom for years.

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CHAPTERIVTHENIGHTOFTHEFIRE II MACKENZIE,"said Susan one evening, somefourdaysaftershehadbeentoColon, youeverseeJones? "" No,"he replied, Idon'tthinkhimevercome this way. An' Ineverhearanythingofhim;per haps he gonebackhome." Idon'tthinkso," Susan said, forKatetell mewhenI wasinColonthisweekthatJonesgo to see them sometimes. I wasthinkingthatmaybehimwillgetmarriedhimself." Cho! laughedMackenzie, Jonesisnevergoin'todoanything.Some girlmaymarryhimif she reallywanttogetmarried,andcantakehimtoa church,butitwillbeshe who will do it. Youtakemyword for it, somedayJonesis goingtogobacktoJamaicawidoutacentinhis pocket.Hewill have nothingtoshow for allthetimehimspend here.""Ithinkso meself," agreedSusan;"hedon' t steadyatall like you, Mac." This direct compliment,attheexpense ofJonestoo,pleased Mackenzienottheless because he felt it was deserved.Hesmiled complacently. I alwaysthoughtfromthefirsttimeI see you in'37

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238 SUSAN Colon, Sue," he said, thatyou was too good for a fellow like Jones.Hehas good points, for hecanworkhardan' he know his 'j0rk. Buthim like toshowofftoo much, an' he never fnow his own mind." YouthinkI eaktohim if Iever meethim?You see,hemaygoto see me family whenIamthere, an'Iwouln'tlike to speak to him if youdidn'tlikeit.""Why,ofcourse you can speak tohim;Idon't see why you Hedon'tdo you nothing, an'Idon'tsee he should vex because you leave himtoget married.IfIsee him meselfIwill speaktohim: ayif himdon'tchoose to answeritwillbeallthe tome." ");ou right,Mac.Ifyou holdoutthehandof yiendship an' Jonesdon'tchoose totakeit, that's up tohim'as the American people here say.An'Iwill follow your adviceandspeak to him if Iever see him, for Idon'tbear anybody malice." Malice is foolishness," said Mackenzie emphatic ally. "If Iwas to meet JonesuphereIwould invite him to come an' spend a evening in me house. Idon'tknowifhim would come,butthatwould show himthatI have nobadfeelings towards him." She said nothing toherhusbandofherhaving alreadymetSamuel Josiah.Butnow she feltthatshe could with a clear conscience be politetoJones whennextshe should seehim;andperhaps, afterthatmeeting, she might tell Mackenzieofit...thatwould be wise. She was going to seeherpeople again,butshemustnot seem in anyhurrytodoso;shemustforce herself to wait. She allowed two weeks

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THENIGHTOFTHEFIRE239toelapse before she went, taking care to let Catherineowbyletterbeforehandthedayon which to expecther,She arrived in Colon intheafternoon,andthatevening J ones came round tothehouse.Heexpectedtomeet her. For alittlewhiletheydiscussed indifferenttopics;thensuddenly Susan gave asharpturntothecon versationandsurprised everybodybysaying: IhearthatI have to congratulate you,Mr.Jones." Me?What for? he asked. Ihearyou goin' to get married." Youdon'tsay!"exclaimedMr.Proudleigh, im mediately becoming interested. Joneshadbeencomingso often to see them,andhadbeensoobliginginthematteroftheloans,thattheold. gentlemanhadbegun tothinkthatamatchmight be arranged betweentheyoungmanandCatherine."Ineverhearofitbefore," said Jones,"butpeoplealways know aman'sbusinessbetterthanheknowithimself."(Mr.Proudleigh's face lightedupwith pleasure.)"Ihavenothingmore to do withanywoman, Mrs. Mackenzie,an'don'tintendto."(HereMr.Proudleigh's hopes fell tozero-acommonenoughoccurrence.)"Women do me enough alreadyinthis world. I have been fooled once,butthatwasnotmy fault.IfI allowanybodytofool me again, however, I would be morethanstupid."Susan's questionhadbeen deliberatelyputforthepurposeoffindingoutif Samuel's affections were still unengaged. She was therefore delighted with hisreply,Butshe answered tothepoint."Ididn't

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240SUSAN \know you ever was married before,\Mr.J ones,socouldn't have been fooled." \ P'rhapsitis a very good thing him was neermarried," observedMiss caustically, lee vinghermeaning to be understood qy Susan. Perhaps so," replied Susan promptly, forifMr.J ones was married him might all his wife'soldrelations wanting to live on hi91'" It'snotamatterof relations," said Jones,"forwhen Iputmehand me pocket, I can always find money there to help anybody.Butfemalesarenotto be tru.ied andas Idon'ttake away anybody's wif;.}-wouldn't like anybody to take away mine." -----I agree wid you, Mister Jones," saidMr.Proudleigh; butyou don't have no occasion to worry you'self,foras you not married, nobody can teck away you' wife." He laughed as he ceased, being proudofhis logic."Well,marriage isnoteverything," said Susan; butas I hearthatMr.Jones was goin' to get married-Iforget who tellme-Ithought I wouldmentionitsoas to congratulate him.Butsinceitisn't true, I congratulate him all de same." Ithankyou kindly," said Jones with a sweeping bow, andwithout indulging in any processofvitu peration, I venture to submitthatsome people would have abetterlife with Samuel Josiah J onesthanwith other men I could mention. Some married people haveitdull, you know. Now I am a sport, an' any body who is along with me must enjoy themself." Susan immediately credited herauntwith having been talking aboutherto Jones. Her suspicions were just. Yet J oneshadsaid enough to indicate

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( THENIGHTOFTHEFIRE 241 he was still regrettingherdesertionofhim,andthllsestablished a sympathetic understanding between theywerebothpartnersin misfortune."Whatthatword,'vituperation,'mean, Mister Jones? inquiredMr.Proudleigh, who was interestedinpolysyllablesbutsometimes foundthatJones'stermsleft him bewildered in a mazeofhopeless con jecture. Itmeans," said Jones, beginninganexplanationwhichmighthave left the oldmanno wiserthanbefore, .whenashoutin the streetattractedtheir attention,aridtheyhearda babbleofvoicesandthesoundofhurrying feet. ".Fire criedMr.Proudleigh, moving quickly towardstheveranda."Whata place Colon is forfire!Almost every week dere is one.""TheysaytheAmerican doctorsburndownthehouseswhentheycan'tcurethefeveranyother way," said Jones,hurriedly followingMr.Proudleightotheveranda."Thepeopleburnitdown themself whenthemwanttorob,"wasMissProudleigh's hypothesis,whichprobably did account formanyofthefireswhichafflicted Colon. Fromtheveranda they could see a red glare againstthenorth-western sky,andagreatvolumeofsmokesurgingupwards. The glare grew brighter every moment; denser becamethesmoke. It'sa bigfire!"cried Susan excitedly, an' nearlyallthe house in Colonisofwood.Itmayburndowndewhole town!"itI gwinetoseeit!"Mr.Proudleigh exclaimed. I never miss a fireyet."Hehurriedintotheroom. 16

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ISUSANPROUDLEIGHfor hishat,spurred to unusual activity bythep'ospectof oneofhis favourite amusements."Butsupposeitcomethisway,pupa?"cned Catherine in a frightened toneofvoice."Whatabout / we cl.9thes andotherthings? "j3ut Mr.Proudleigh was already half-way down the (airs,andcallingoutloudly to askifthey were not going with him.MissProudleigh refused to move,notbeing willing to leaveherroom tothemercyofwandering thieves. Catherine, after a moment's hesitation, ran after her father. J ones and Susan wentouttogether.Thestreetbelow was crowded. Half the peopleinColon were running towardsthesceneofthec.onflagration,shouting"Fire! with allthepoweroftheir lungs. Cabs tore throughthenarrow thoroughfare, mounted men appeared from nowhere and begantourgetheirhorses throughthehurrying throng with a fine disregardofother people's safety. The excitementwas contagious;itinfected Susan and Jones, who,handin hand, began torunalso, immediately losing sightofCatherineandMr.Proudleighandthinking onlyofthemselves. Soon they came tothespotwhere a huge crowd was collected near a blockofwooden buildings, someofwhich were now blazingIfuriously.Fortunatelythere was no wind,sothesparks were not carried to any considerable distance.Buttheyrose to a tremendous height intheheatedair,andatthatmoment thousandsofanxiouspeoplewere wondering whether a single house wouldbeleft standing in Colon when morning dawned.The fire brigades were on the spot,thetown brigade

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THENIGHTOFTHEFIRE243 as well asthatfrom Christobal.Themen workedlikedemons. Long silver streams poured upon the blazing buildings; uniformed men in shining helmets swarmed upthesides ofthedoomed structures, splinteringandsmashingthewoodwork with theiraxes,giving fiercebattletotheyellow monster which leaped from rooftoroof, roaring dully as if gloryingindestruction. The Panamanian police were everywhere,thelittle fellows runningaboutandclubbingoutoftheway whoever ventured too neartheburninghouses.Soonitwas seenthattheflames were threatening to leap across a narrow street, the housesinwhich were already warpingandblistering undertheterribleheat.Ifthose houses should once ignite, it would be withthegreatest difficultythattheycouldbe saved. A sudden scatteringofthe crowd indicatedthatthepolice were impressing men to help them fightthefire.They seized every able-bodied man theycouldlay theirhandsupon, tolerating no showofresistance; people on the outskirts of the crowd, knowingthatanunpleasant time would be in storeforthemifoncetheywere impressed, were hastily makingoff,andJones, who was among them,thoughtit eminently wise to follow their example as quickly as possible. Pulling Susanbythe hand, he hurried away.Whenhethoughtthathehadputsufficient ground between himselfandthe police he halted. From where they now stoodtheycould still seetheflames fighting their way upwards,andthe huge massesofheavy black smoke spreading like a pall overthetown."Ihopethemwon'tholdpupa,"pantedSusan,

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-----SUSANPROUDLEIGHstaring with wide-open eyesatthecurling smokeIandlurid sky. Theywouldn'tbotherwithhimj'Jonesassuredher; "he is too feeble; in fact, heshouldn'tbeinthatcrowdatall.Itis the strong mentheylooking for to-night.Theywilltryto y61d people like me an' Mackenzie."/.Mackenzie's name slif,Ped outalmost withoutJones knowingthathe pad pronounced it.ItshowedthatMackenzie a large portionofhis thoughts in these mentionofthename alsoledtoa which seemed strangelyoutofplaceat _a--time when Colon appeared to bethreatenedwith wholesale destruction. You an' you'husbandevertalkaboutme? heasked Susan. She was surprisedatthis question,sooutofkeepingitwas withherthoughtsjustthen. Still staring towardsthe fire, she said, Why youaskthatnow? "BecauseI would like to knowwhatyou sayaboutme, an' this istheonly timercan ask you.rsuppose Mackenzie laughatmean'thinkram a fool tolethimtakeyou away from mesoeasy? " Whyyou always like totalkdisagreeable things,Sam?"she answered, unconsciously dropping back intoherold familiar wayofaddressing him.Ther.ewas no pretencenow;there was a touchofregret inhervoice as she wenton:" Mackenzie isquiteupatCulebra, an' youisdown here.rgoingbackto-morrow.What'sdegoodoftalkin'abouthim? "Butcan you tell me nowthatyoudon'tsorry

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THENIGHTOFTHE'FIRE245youleave me,Sue;thatyou are ashappyas youusedtobe?Idon'tmakeanypretence like you. I miss you, an' I tell yousoplain.""Itwas your fault, Sam. Before I went away I askyouifyou was goingtokeep you' promisetomarryme,an' you say I was talking foolishness. I knew Mackenzie was going toactdifferently, and,afterall,himdo for mewhatyou would never do.""Thatistheway youputit.Butyoudidn'ttellme Mackenzie offered tomarryyou. You stoleawayfrom me like a thief inthenight.Ifyouhadtold me you were going,andwhy you were going, I wouldn'thavemade yougo,an'wewouldhavebeenmarried to-day.Butyoudidn'tgive me a chancetoknow.Why?I couldhavedone you nothingifyouhadtold me." There wassomuch inwhathe said,thatforthespaceofa few seconds Susan remained silent.Thensheanswered."Youtalklikethatnow, Sam,butyou would have talked different if Ihadtold you. I wasafraid." Afraid," he repeated bitterly,"thoughI never lift mehandtoyou in me life! An' supposeithadcometo a big quarrel or a fight. You was livinginthe same house with alotof people:whatcould Idoyou?An' if I didmakea fight,thewrong would have been onmyside, an' you couldhaveleft me with a clear conscience. How isitnow?You mean' totell methateverydayof you'naturallife you goingtobe content withthesame sortoflife you living now? I know allaboutit. Youcan'tpreventyou'peoplefromtalking. Besides, I know something about

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----SUSANPROUDLEIGHCulebra;and I know Mackenzie. An' ifitis bad now,whatisitgoin' to belateron?You are goingtobemiserable, you going to fret, you going towishyou weredead;an'so,for all your name isMrs.Mackenzie, an' youhavea ring on you' finger,andallthecomforts you want, Idon'tseethatyou are aswelloffas before you got married. Sowhatis the goodof Outthere, in the streetsofColon, inthetown wherIas she nowsokeenly remembered, shehadhasomanyhoursofhappiness, Susan felt the full ofSamuel's words. Bothofthemhadforgottenthefire.Their own affairs wereofsupremest importanceinalltheworld."Itis no use talkin' now," she said dismally. -"What--is done-<:an't-beu:ndone." Thatis true. You make your own bed an' must lie onit.""Welive an' learn," said Susan."Youcan't know if youdon'ttry." What'sthe senseoftryin' onceifyou can nevertryagain ?" She said nothing,andhe continued, as if talkingtohimself :"Youcan'tmarry again, once you're married;that'sthehardpartof it. You leave me,butyoucan'tleave Mackenzie....Youcan't....But,Sue,youcan!Letusgoaway from here toJamaica!1/No such propositionhaddefinitely formed itselfinhis mind when he first begantospeak. The sudden nessofitwas a revelation to himself.Yetthe ideamusthave been lurking somewhereatthebackofhismind, for hehadneverentirely givenupSusan.Now

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247 r \I tqo he went on as though the whole courseoftheir future conducthadbeen carefullythoughtoutbyhim. Wecangoto Jamaica, Sue,an'we'll be all rightIhere. I will arrange all aboutthepassage; you can :.come down here from Culebrathenight beforetheship ,sail,andwe can leave in the morning. Youneedn'tsaya word to anybody,notevenyourown people;youcan write them when youare in Jamaica. Whenweget there, Mackenzie can only divorce you, for he can'tdoyou anything in Jamaica.Butevenifhe divorce you,itwon't matter, for I will marry you then. Mackenzietakeyou away from me,soitis only fairifI take you away from him.Whatyousay?""No,Sam!This is different. When I leave you I wasn'tmarried;I was me ownwoman;now Iamnot.Itwould be a disgrace for me togoaway widyouan' leave me lawful husband. Besides,itwouldbea sin.Don'tyou knowthatifa married woman 'ave anything todowithanothermanitis seven years' trouble forbothofthem?"Itcame into Jones's mindatthatmomentthat,ifsuch were the case, theremustbe large numbersofpersons in Central Americaandthe West Indies enduring long seven-year periodsoftribulationjustthen;buthe only said, That'sall foolishness, Sue." Itis not. Marriage is a different thing from every{ ootherthing;thatis what I learn,andthatiswhatnobody can take outofme head. An' suppose Mackenzie was to divorce me. YouthinkI would like tohaveme name disgrace likethat?" Thenwhatwegoing to do ?" For answer, Susan began to walk slowly inthe-

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directionofherpeople's house. There were many persons inthestreets now. The fire was burning still,buthadbeenmastered:the fearthatitmight consumethewhole townhadBassed away. People were beginningtoreturnto t?eir homes, all talkingaboutthedanger whichtheyhadescaped. Thestreetin whichtheywere was filled withthemurmurofexcited voices. They walked on,Jones/atherside. It Pupamustbegone home," she remarked."Webettergo back too." / Asshe spoke she saw amanwho was passingintheopposite directionturnandlookatherandher com She glanced over her shouldertolook ._ athim,Jonesalso turning to stare. The man had stoppedandwas staring. Theybothrecognized whoitwas,andSusan noddedherhead. Themanreturnedthebow,butJones lookedathimas if he were a post."Thatis the jackass," he said,"whocause all thistrouble;"andhe spoke loudly enough for Tom Wooley to hear.Theycontinued ontheirway, arrivingatthe house in a few minutes. There they found Mr. Proudleigh relating his wonderful experiencesatthesceneofthe fire. HeandCatherinehadbeen separated in the crowd,andhe related howthepolicehadtried to inducehimtoassist in extinguishingthe fire, and withwhatarguments hehadeffectually preventedthemfrom laying sacrilegioushandsupon his vener able person. A story which showedthatthe old manhadinhimthemakingsofan ingenious newspaper reporter,andwhich was listenedtobyhis sister with every manifestationofprofound disbelief.

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CHAPTERVTHEANONYMOUSLETTERMR.THOMAS WOOLEYhadnever been credited with moral convictionsbyanyone who knew him. Among his mild boasts,utteredin the companyofcongenial com panions, certain alleged breachesbyhimoftheseventh commandmenthadfrequently flourished:togain a reputation for gallantry hehadnotscrupled to libelhimself.Butonthatnight when he saw SusanandJonestogether inthestreetsofColonthesacrednessofthe marriage tie appealed to himstrongly;he felt that a great wrong was being done to marriage as aciviland religious institution,andhe remembered that he himselfhadbeen badlytreatedbySusanandbyJones. That, he decided in his mind,hadbeenfreelyforgiven.Hewas magnanimous.ButSusanwasnow a wife,anditwas clearly wrongthatsheshouldhave anything whatever todowith Jones,whowas,in Tom's opinion, a desperateandmalignant character who pretended. to be friendly with youatfirstfor the purpose of ill-treating you afterwards.Tomarguedthat,shocked though he was, hehadnoright to interfere personally with J ones. Hewouldnotremonstrate with him on the evil tenorof

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250/IsUSAN PROUDLEIGHhis way.Buthe reflected with intense satisfactionthatMackenzie was, if anything, Jones's physical supe;:ior, as well astherightful lordandmaster Mackenzie, then, could read to Jones a moral lesson, could deal with Susanas / anoutragedhusbandshould, and, generally, coulddoall those things which Tom wanted to see done, but couldnotdo himself. The problem was, how to acquaint Mackenzie withtheatrocious actionsofSusan and herlover?Tomfeltthathehadbeen a martyr. Hehadsuffered much becauseofSusan.Butmartyrdom, hewasconvinced, should not be allowed togobeyond reason able limits, and should, as a general rule, be carefully avoided whenever possible. Hehadlost his situation in Kingston, hehadbeen roughly handled andfinedin Colon. These things hehadendured without murmuring.Hewas now prepared to becomeanactive agent intheworkofSusan's moral redemption, and, incidentally, inthedeserved punishmentofJones;hehadno doubt whateverthatin endeavouringtocall Mackenzie'sattentionto the wrongsofwhichthatinjuredmanwas still ignorant, he wouldbeperforming a highly meritorious act.Butcautionmustbe displayed. J ones was very likelytotake a singularly narrow-minded viewofhis action,ifheshould everthinkthathe, Tom,hadmeddled with his affairs. There was only one way in which to approach Mackenzie, andthatwas throughthemediumofananonymousletter-alettersoworded that suspicion couldnotpossibly fallonTom Wooley. Tomhadbeen removed to Christobal. Early the

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THEANONYMOUSLETTER next morning, with a fine feeling of noble endeavour, somewhat mingled with apprehension lest, in spiteofallhis efforts, his identity should be disclosed,hesatdownandwrote to Mackenzie. The morning after this, on callingatthePost Officeonhis way to work, Mackenzie was handed aletterwhichhe openedandread as he slowly walked away."DEARSIR,"itran, this is to inform youthatthings arenotquite straight. Everybodyhasa respect for you,anditwould be a shameifa friendofyours donotlet you knowthatyour wife isnotbehaving towards you as she should." Here Mackenziestopped readingandglancedatthe end oftheletter to see from whomitcame.Itwas signed, "A True Friend," a signaturethatleft him nonethewiser.He continued reading."Yourwife is always in Colon with Jones,theyoungmanshe was with when you married her. Iseethem together overandover,andthis isnotright,forshe is your wifeandshouldthinkofyour feelings. I therefore take this opportunityofmaking you acquainted with the facts." Mackenzie read thelettertwice, then studied the handwriting:ittoldhimnothing. He folded'theletter, carefully placeditin its envelope,putitawayinhis pocket,andwent thoughtfully to his work. Susanhadreturnedtheday before. Shehadtold him allaboutthe fire,ofwhich hehadalready read a sensational account inthatmorning's papers.Shehadtold himthatsheandherrelativeshadrun out to see the fire (which iswhathe knew they would have done),thattheyhadmetJones in the crowd,

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----SUSANPROUDLEIGH-.,andthatshehadspokentoJ ones. There was nothing improbable whatever inherstory.Herememberedthathehimselfhadadvisedherto speak to Jones if she should ever meet him. This anonymous letter said thayshe was often in Colon with J ones. But he, knewthatSusanhadonly been twice since shehadbeen his wife.Sothatassertion a lie.Theperson whohadwrittentheletter, whoeveritwas,musthaveseen Susan speaking toJonesonthenightofthefire,butSusanhadnotkeptthata secret. Thismantoo, who signed himself ATrueFriend,"mustsurelybearSusan a grudge,andperhaps was also an enemyofhimself.Forthe fellow evidently wanted to make mischief,andthatnotruefriend would do. Mackenzie didnotlike theletter;itworried him a little.Hedidnotcare tohaveSusan's name coupled withthatofJones:the association wasnotpleasant.Buthedid not, for he could not, believethestory.Hedecided he would showtheletterto Susanlateron.Hehandedittoherwhenhewent home for lunch. Y ouhavesome enemy in Colon, Sue," hesaid; oritismyenemy. I get thisletterto-day, an'itisno good person write it. I wonder ifitis a woman?..Susan tooktheletterandglancedatthehand writing. She knewitatonce. Although Tom had triedtodisguise his handwriting,andbelieved hehadsucceeded, his endeavourhadbeenatbest a clumsyone;she gave no sign, however,thatshe knewtheauthoroftheanonymous communication; she didnotwish MackenzietoseekoutTom and demandanexplanation, which might be very in-

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-convenienttoher. She readtheletterslowly. She realizedthattheattempttomakeitappearthatshewas continually meeting Samuelhaddefeated,itsownend. She feltthatonly a fool like Tom couldhaveblundered so badly. He hadn'teven mentionedthefire,soeager washetoconceal hisidentity.Herheart wasbeatingquickly, though shetriedtoappearunconcerned. She strove to controlhervoice whenshespoke."It'sa wondertheperson who writes thisletterdidn't say I was two weeks widJones,"she said,asshehandedtheletterbacktoherhusband. That'sthewaythatworthless people tell lies onotherpeople!Theywantto rob meofmecharacterbecausethemis enviousofme!""Well,itiswhatyouhavetoexpect,"said Mackenziephilosophically. "I know you only go twicetoColon to see you' family, an'Joneshavehis worktododuringtheday, sohecouldn'tbewithyou."Hesaidthismore forthepurposeofsettinghermindateasethanbecausehewasanylonger interestedinthe subjectoftheletter;butSusan was inwardlytooanxioustoletthematterrestthere. Noneofherrelatives,notevenheraunt, wouldbetrayher;butsupposesomeotherperson should followTom'sexample? A bold idea suggested itselftoher. "I wonderifitisJoneshimself writeit?" she remarked. Mackenzie was surprisedatthesuggestion. Whyy'uthinkso?"heasked."Joneswouldn'ttella lie on himself ?""Idon'tknowaboutthat.P'rhapshimthink,youcouldn't sayanythingto him,butmightwant

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254 / SUSANPROUDLEIGHto quay-el wid me. Men are bad, an' Jones mightwant/oget me into trouble because I wouldn't take mU9li noticeofhimtheother night when I saw him fire, as I told you." Mackenzie lookedattheletterhe still held in his hand. He shook hishead;thehandwritingwasnotlike Jones's. Hemayhavebegged oneofhis friend to writeit,"urged Susan. Maybe,"admittedMackenzie;"itmaybe Jones.ButI wouldn't like to accuse him till I was sure:thatwould be foolishness." Well,don'tnotice it, then," said Susan, pleased with Mackenzie's prudence. "I don'tcare what anybody sayaboutme,solong as me conscience don't trouble me an'itdon'tputyou out.ButI wouldn't like anybody else do me a thing like this again, for my character is alldatI have, andwhatone person do another may do."Butas Mackenzie preferred always to deal with facts andnotwith possibilities, he let the subject drop, andbythe time he returnedtohis work that afternoon hehadceased to thinkabouttheletter.Notforaninstant, however, did Susan ceasetothinkofit. Sh e was desperately frightened. As.he hadsaidto Mackenzie,whatone personhaddoneanother might do, and then Mackenzie would begin to grow suspicious. She feared to meet Samuel again,yetshe wanted to see himatleast oncemore:shewanted to warn him. How could she seehim?...Ifshe risked a meeting some enemy of hers might learnaboutit,andthis time she mightnotbe able

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THEANONYMOUSLETTER255tofind a ready excuse.ItistruethatMackenziehadtoldher she should be polite to Jonesifshe shouldseehim,butatthattime no anonymousletterhadcoupledhername withthatofherformer lover. And to meet Jones the verynexttime she went to Colonwouldof a surety have a suspicious look. Should she writetohim?Letters wentastraysometimes,andSamuel was careless. Thenwhatwas shetodo ? She worried herself allthatafternoon, trying to think a wayoutofthedifficulty. Suppose Mackenzieshould meetJonesandmention theletterto him? Jones might say somethingabouthis meetingheratherpeople's house...andthen! She felt sickofthe difficult position in which shefoundherself, wearied todeath;shehada sensationofbeing tiedhandandfoot,ofbeing a prisoner; she longed for release,andshe knewthatonly one avenueofescape was open to her. She could leave Culebra, leave Panama,andgoback toJamaicawith Jones. She would be happier there, free, more like what she used to be before her marriage..Whatdidthehardships and discontentsofthattime now seemtoher?They were asnothing;she rememberedonlythatshehadbeen happier,andwhatwasthegoodofmarriageifitbroughtbutboredomanddisgust?But there was the divorce court tothinkofalso,andherterrible fall from respectability.Evenif Mac kenziedidnottakethetrouble to divorce her, shewouldbe a byword amongst those persons who shouldknowheras a woman whohadleftherhusband for another man. She couldnotfacethatshame.

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\SUSANPROUDLEIGHShe decidedthatshemustwait. Nothing mighthappeninthenextcoupleofweeks.Attheendofthattimeitwouldnotseematall strange if she wenttoColontosee her people; then,ifshemetSamuel,shewould tell himoftheletterandputhim on his guard. She felt grateful to l\Iackenzie for his confidence in her. Such cQnfidence displayed by amanlikeTomwould merely have awakened hercontempt;but sawthat her husband was perfectly sincere, and deter mined totakeherpartagainsthertraducers. Had hedoubtedher he wouldha\eshown itatonce,hewoldhavemade inquiries, and the sequel would have/beenterrible. That, she argued, would have beenunjustto her. Shehaddone nothing deservingofblame. ShehadmetJonestwice;shehadnottoldherhusbandthetruthaboutthose meetings;butontheotherhandshehadrefusedtoflywith Samuel, and onthatdemonstrationofvirtuous feeling she greatly preened herself. Shehadbehaved splendidly; after such conductitwould have been most unjustifMackenziehadactedanydifferently from how he had acted. And to thinkthatitwas Tom whohadtriedtoinjureher;to think toothatnothing painfulcouldbe done tohim!She thirsted for revenge,yetsheknewthatTommustescape scot-free.Theslightestattemptatreprisalsmightbutleadtoexposure.Thethoughtthat she couldnotpayback Tom with heavy interest was like wormwoodtoher soul. When Mackenzie came homethatevening she againbroughtupthesubjectoftheletter. She thought thatifshe dwelt upon it, showed no anxietythatitshouldbeforgotten, herhusband'smind wouldbeclearedof

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:THE ANONYMOUSLETTER257 any shadowofsuspicionthat,unknowntohimself, might be lingering in somedarkcorner there. Mackenzielaughed ashelistenedtoherextravagantlyexpressed wonderthatanyone should be base enoughtolieagainstanotherperson anonymously.'. "I remember,"hesaid,"abouteight years ago,whenI was workin'attheJamaicarailway, somebodywritealetteraboutme to de manager.Hedidn'tsignhisname,butI knew allthetime whoitwas, an' the manager knewittoo. The manwantedme job, an'heaccuse meofrobbin'therailway's goods an' sellin'themoutside.ButI was morethanamatchfor him. I could account for every screwthatpass through mehand.Allthatmanever get for his lie was to lose hisjob,an'thatteach himnotto write letters againstotherpeople infuture."Mackenziehadnever forgottenthatincident..Ithadmuch to do with his disbelief in anonymous letters."Soitisnotme alone.thatthemtryto injure," saidSusan,gladthatherhusbandhadalso beenattacked.byan anonymous scribe."However,Inotgoingbackto Colon.""That'sstupidness," said Mackenzie."Yougoin'tomake a lie troubley'u?Youmustgo an' see you'peoplesometimes." This remark wasjustwhatshewantedtohear;herhusband himselfhadnow advisedhertogoto Colon whenshewanted!Butshe wouldnotavail herselfofthisadviceto rushofftoColon. Althoughherinclinationwasto do so, she fought against it, forcing herself towait.Her patience and prudence were rewarded when,fivedays after,hersister Catherine appearedatCulebra. q

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\\I ICHAPTERVI DETERMINATIONCA 1!HERINE hadcomebyoneoftheafternoon .-.A;IIains; as shehadcalculated, she found Susan ;:alone. )Ibetyou youdon'ttell me why I come hereto-/day?"she saidtoher sister, droppinghervoiceasthough shehadanimportantsecret to impart. Susan expressedherinabilitytoguess, but,withtheanonymousletteralways in her mind, became feverishly curious to knowwhathadbroughtCatherineupto Culebra. Was some scandalaboutherbeingcirculated in Colon? Catherine produced a sealed, unaddressed envelope'andplaceditinhersister'shand;Susan broketheseal;theletterwas from Jones. Catherine observed Susan'sstartofsurpriseandalarm. She hastenedtoexplainthatJ ones hadnotpostedtheletterbecause he wouldnottaketheriskofitsfalling into any other hands except thoseofSusan.Hehadnoteven addressedtheenvelope,lest,inadvertently,thehandwriting should be seenandrecognized. Samuel paymytrain age from Colon touphere,an'backagain," said Catherine."Ididn'twantto'58

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SAMUEL'SDETERMINATION259come,buthe beg me hard,an'IthoughtitwasbetterI bringtheletterthanthathimshould askanybodyelse."She looked inquiringlyatSusan, anxioustolearn whatJoneshadwritten about. Susan said nothing. She was readingandre-readingtheletter.Itwaswrittenin Samuel's most grandilo quent style,andopened with a declaration of his intention to poison himself,throwhimself on a railway tracktoberunoverbya train, drown himself, or commit suicide in someotherunpleasantmannerifhewerecompelled to endure much longer his presentagonyofmind.Hewantedto see Susantotellher"something veryimportant."Hehadtosee her,andhebegged her togotoColon as early as she could.Heendedbysayingthathewas leaving forJamaicain aweek'stime, wishing as hedidto die in his own country,andthatshe would never cease to regretitif she lethimleavePanamawithoutseeing her. Shemusttell Catherineifshe wouldgoto Colon, and when. There was apostscript:"Andwhen I am de. parted hence, forlornandforsaken, you will eventuallycometo findthatyourdesertationofme was a catas trophe worsethanever youhaveknown;butalas!itwillbe toolate."."Youknow what Sam write to meabout?..saidSusan,searching Catherine's face withhereyes. Catherine shookherheadnegatively."Himwantyouto leave Mackenzie?.."Notexactly.Himwantto seeme,butIcan'tgoto Colonjustnowatall." ."Why?Noharmcan be done. Nobody willknowwhyy'ugo."

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260SUSANPROUDLEIGH-"Waittill I tell you something," said Susan, and she told Catherineofher conversation with Jones onthenightofthe fire,ofltheir accidental meeting with Tom, andofhow;romhadacted. She had intendedtokeep all tJ{is secret,butnow was glad/to have some one to whom she could confide her / cares. ./ breathless,butnot surprisedat whayhe heardabout Jones. Shehadnever been decerved bytheformal conversations hehadcarried with Susan on the two occasions theyhadmetatthe house in Colon.Butwith Tom's treachery shewasdisgusted. Shehadonce entertained a kindly feeling forhim;now she felt contempt. All her sympathies were with her sister, and she agreedthatitmight indeed be a risk for Susan togojustthen to Colon; shehadbetterwait for some time longer. She proposed toreturnto Colonthenextmorning,andshe promised to explaintoSamuel why Susan couldnotsee himjustthen;she also promisedtowarnhimagainst Tom,atthesame time impressing uponhimthatanyrash action on hispartcoulddonogoodbutmight merely createanunpleasant scandal. All this agreed upon, Susan professed herself satisfied,thenimmediately added, Butsuppose Samgoawaywithou tI see him? Thatwas possible. She did nottakeseriously histhreatsofsuicide;theywere merely intendedtofrighten her.Butthathe was thinkingofreturning toJamaicashe could well believe. His andimpatience might easily cause him to do tllat, and quickly,and... and she wanted to see him again.

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-----SAMUEL'SDETERMINATION26r Tellhim,"she saidtoCatherineaftera pause, /Ithathemust'avepatience.""Butpatience forwhat?"asked Catherine, and \Susancould give no answer. The following morning CatherinereturnedtoColon. That evening, when J ones came roundtothe house asagreed, she quietly took himoutontheverandaandtold himtheresultofhermission. When they went back intoMr.Proudleigh's room,Jonessolemnly walkeduptoMr.Proudleighandshookhandswith him. Old massa, you have nothingtodo withit,"hesaid-"nothingatall."Mr.Proudleigh immediately agreedthathehadn't,andthen anxiously inquiredwhatitwas with whichhewassoentirely unconnected."YouknowthatI lovedyourdaughter,didn'tyou? asked Jones. "Incourse! agreedMr.Proudleigh briskly."Datiswhat I always say. I'aveseenmanya youngmanallinlove all times,butI never see one like you.Yourlove istruelove, Mister J ones, like mine when Iwasyoungan'good-Iookin'. I remember I was inlovewidthreedifferent youngladyatone time, an' I couldn't say which one I love de most. Oneday--" "Verywell," said Jones, who was more anxioustoair his grievancesthantolistentotheyouthfulidyllsofMr.Proudleigh."Y'uknowthatItakeheraway from Kingston, Jamaica, an' bringherhere? "Sartinly.I was downatde wharf de day youleave.Sun washotthatday, mefriend!"

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262SUSANPROUDLEIGH/ Very well. Andy'uknowthatI bring her here an' look afterherkindly, an' nearly went to prison forher? /"Yes,y'utell me allabouyit.Butshe say it was yourfault;but, as I tell her, a youngman--""Verywell. me fair an'square:doyouthink Susan acted right to leave me in ruinateinthe ___ e?" Well, to telly'ude truth, Mister Jones, youislooking very welljustnow. Ef I wasyou, I wouldn't bodder me headabouta young ladythatactsofoolishas to leave me an'goan' married. De same thing happen to me once,butitdidn'tmake a toothinmehead ache. An'ifyou want another han'someintended, there is MissCatherine--""Pleaseto leave me outofyou' conversation, pupaI .. came peremptorily from Catherine,andMr.Proudleigh halted promptly in the midstofhis match making endeavour. Itdon'tmatterhow I look," saidJonesangrily: it'show I feel.Ifitwasn't for one thing, Iwouldthrow meself in the sea this very night." Thatwouldnotbe Christianlike, Mister Jones," saidMissProudleigh, whohadbeen listening atten tively totheconversation."Wemustpatiently bear our crosses. Besides, Idon'tsee whatyouworrying you'self about, for there, is some things that is a good riddance. Y'udon'tseeitnow,butyouwillseeitlateron." Thatmay be true,butI am speakingofnowan'notoflater on," said Jones."Iwantyou all to under-

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SAMUEL'SDETERMINATION263 standthatIhavebeendrivenlike alambtotheslaughterbySusan Mackenzie. Shegetmarried. withoutmyknowledge; she tookaway allthemoney I give her,an'whatsheusedtotakefrom me whenshethoughtIdidn'tknow;an'now she is living like .a atCulebra.Ifitwasn'tformeshemighthavebeeninJamaicato-daykeeping a little shop,withoutanextrafive shillin's.Yetwhen I sendhersistertoaskher--""Whaty'ugoingtosaynow?"cried Catherine, seeinghewas ontheverge ofblurtingoutwhathehad agreed should bekepta secret."WhatIamgoingtosay Iamgoingtosay,"repliedJonesimpetuously."Iamgoin' awaytoJamaica,an'I sendan'ask Susan to comean'tellmegood-byeandhaveatalkbefore Igo.Whatshe do? She say shecan'tcome!Isthata decent waytotreata man, especially amanlikeme?Whenshe left me Ibearitin silence, though Imighthavebeen very disagreeable.Yetnow shetreatmelike if I was a dog! .. Thisangryoutburstwas received in silenceby t,hose whoheardit.Theyhadnever seen J onesina temper before. You knowwhatIamgoingtodonow?"heasked after amoment'spause."IamgoingstraightuptoCulebratotellSusanwhatIthinkofher!" Y'ucan'tdothatatall, Mr.Jones,"said Catherine firmly."Itold youalreadywhySuecan'tcome now, an' youmustremember she is marriedan'datherhusbandwouldn'tlikey'utobring no confusionintohis house."-

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH Herhusband cangotothedevil!"exclaimed Jones."Whois herhusband?" Butsuppose him meet you an' have a fight? saidMr.Proudleigh, thinkingthatsuch a prospectmighthavea deterrent effect upon Jones. IfMackenzieelmfight, I can fight too," repliedtheyoung man. 1,," Ifhedon'tinterfere withme,Iwon'tinterfere 'jith him.ButI am going to Culebra.""Well, Misjer Jones," saidMr.Proudleigh,"ifyou determte togo,Ican'tstop y'u.Butdo, I beg you, saydatweknowanyt'ingatall about it. You/ee, Idon't'fraidofanymanin de world,but qyarrel is a thing I keepoutof.Mackenzie isme soIcan'tsay nothing against him .. buty'uknow what Ithink;an' if you takemyfoolish advice you wouldn'tgoto Culebra.""Don'tcall my name, whatever you do," said Catherine."Isorry I have anything to do wid your business, for I can see you going to act like afool.Andafterall, what cany'uexpect Susan todo?Ifyougoan' make any trouble now, herhusbandwillbelievewhatthatliar, Tom, write an' tell him." Whatisdat?"askedMr.Proudleigh quickly,butCatherine refusedtoreply.Herreticence, comingafterher allusion to Tom and Mackenzie, causedtheold man to feelthatthesituation was more perilousthanhehadthoughtitwas. As forMissProudleigh, she loudly liftedupher voice in denunciationofsin and its consequences,thistime with a good dealofsincerity bornoffear."Susanhave much to answer for," she cried; she bring all this trouble on herself an'herhusband

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--SAMUEL'S DETERMINATION265an'Mr.Jones. Your sin will find you out, an' who shall flee fromthewrathtocome! IhavenothingItodowith it. She is me niece,butshe nevertreatme respectfully. She deserve all she going to suffer,andshe going tosuffer fortrueIButI sympathize wid :her,for we are toldnottobearanymalice." .Astheold lady seemed to betryingto qualifyforthepositionofa modern Jeremiah, Catherine brusquely demandedifshewantedall the peopleinthe house tohearwhat she was saying."Theywill allhearsoon enough," replied Miss Proudleigh grimly."Thereis going to be waran'rumoursofwar.""An'Iamgoing to makethewar,"said Jonesfiercely."Imakeupmy mind to die." Don'tdothat,me son," imploredMr.Proudleigh.1/Death isnota thing to meek fun with.Waitan'havepatience." Patience forwhat?"AsMr.Proudleigh couldnotsay, he merely suggestedthatJoneshadbetternotactrashly,butSamuelwouldnotallow his mind to be affectedbysuchadvice.Hetook hishat."Whenyou goin' to Culebra? asked Catherine, wonderingifshe would have time to warn Susan. Why youwanttoknow?" Never mind,ify'udon'twantto tellme!" she snapped, "buttake carewhatyou doin'.""IknowwhatI am doing," answered Jones,andleftthe room.

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266 / SUSAN PROUDLEIGH /Y outhinkhim will reallygo?"Mr.Proudleigh anxiouslyofCatherine, after the door had closed behind Jones. Catherine pondered a moment.IIIfhim couldgoto-night, him wouldgo,"shesaid;"buthecan'tgo to-night. To-morrow himmaychange his mind. Jones is a manthatwilldoa thing in a temper,butnototherwise." Catherine's estimateofSamuel's characterwasshrewd.Butitis not always possible to foresee the actionsofany human being.

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CHAPTERVIIWHATHAPPENEDATCULEBRAIT was rainingatCulebra-hadbeen raining for days.Formiles and milesthesky was over cast,hourafterhourtherain came down, now swiftlyandin showers, now in a light drizzle whichgavetothesurroundingcountryanaspectofgreyness, a cheerless, depressing hue.Itwas between eightandnine o'clock inthefore noon;herhusbandhadgonetohis work and Susanwasbusying herself with her household duties. Shewaspensive, movingaboutas one whohadnoenergy;hermind wasnotsetaboutwhatshe was doing,herthoughts werefaraway. She knewthatCatherinemusthavetold Jonesontheprevious night her answertohisletter:shewaswonderingwhathehadsaid, whether hehaddeterminedtogobacktoJamaicawithoutseeingher,whetherall was over betweenthemnow....There was a knockatthefrontdoor:she wenttoanswer it. She openedthedoor:ontheveranda stood Samuel,thelast person intheworld she ex pectedtoseeatMackenzie's housethatday. "You!"she exclaimed."Whaty'udoingup here? "

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268SUSANPROUDLEIGHShe stood guardingthedoorway, asifto preventhimfromentering;she was trembling all over with fear,notof Jones,butlest her husband should un expectedlyreturnandfind Samuel there. tI Younotgoingtolet me in ?" asked J ones, with a noteofpleading in his voice;"Ihave onlycometohave a talk with you." You shouldn't come," she answered."Whata trial isthis!I toldKateto tell you Icouldn'tcometoColon now, an' here you come to Culebra to make trouble.What'sthegoodofall this,Sam?" She did not wait forhimto answer. Youmustgorightback,"she insisted,"forthe neighbours goin' to tell Mackenziedata strangemancome here to-day, an'ifyou stay an' him findoutitis you, he will believewhatTom write an' tell him. Youcan'tremain here, Sam."Herwords, her earnest 'manner, her evidentdeterminationnottolethim enter, left J onesata losswhattodo.Hehadtakentheearly morning traintoCulebra;hehadleft Colon for the purposeofspeaking his mind toher:he wanted to relieve his feelings. While inthetrainhehadkepthis courageuptothestickingpoint;again and again he had rehearsedtohimself his grievances; even when he leftthetrainandwas climbingthehill he feltthathe would be able togothrough with the scene which hehadpictured.Butwhen he neared the house which was pointedoutto him as Susan's, hehadbeen con sciousofsome hesitation in his mind,ofaninclinationtopauseandconsider whether he was acting wisely.Hehadfought downthatinclination; he wasnow

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WHAT HAPPENED AT CULEBRA269 standing face to face with Susan.Butshe, though frightened, was resolute,andhestood beforeherperplexed, uncertainwhatto do. You going to stayatthedoor allday? he askedher."No,for Idon'texpectyou goin' to remain here." Younoteven going to ask me to take aseat? " Whatfor? " I am tired. Ididn'tsleep all lastnight;I walkfromthetrainstation to this house, and all you doisto insult me like a dog. I only came here to tell you good-bye. I am takingthesteamer toJamaicatomorrow." To-morrow? "Yes.Idon'twantto stop here any longer." Her eyelidsfluttered;she gazedathim inblanksilence; she feltthathehadspoken thetruth,had made uphis mind to leave Panama.Ina little whilehewouldreturntothestation, in a few hours hewouldbe on his way...home. Thepatterofthe rain ontheroofsandground played a heavy accompaniment tothebeating ofherheart. Through the thick atmosphere came steadily the booming soundofdynamite explosions intheCut.Boom,boom,boom:theheavynoise assaultedtheear,butshe herself was conscious only of a deadly stillness within her. Suddenly Jonesputouthis hand."Good-bye,"he said. For answer, she stepped backwards."Comein and sit down a little,ifyoutired,"she said. He entered, glanced carelessly around him,and

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\270SUSANPROUDLEIGHsatdown. She leftthe gbor open, threw open allthewindows also, as if there were a dead bodyinthehouse. Anyone pasJmg could see them, noonecould imagine or say t9at she was entertaining Jones clandestinely."Mackenzieshouldn'tcome back before sheremarked;"butifhecome you himthatyou comeuphere to tellhiman' ,e good-bye." She saatsome distance from him, and by oneofthean windows. atyou going todoinJamaica? she asked. Idon'tknow, an' Idon'tcare. I should never have cometothis place.Infact,"he added, breakingouta little, I am goin' to kill meself! "" Stoptalking stupidness,Sam,"she said quietly: you knowy'unotgain' to do nothingofthe sort. I supposeatfirst you thought you would make a quarrel wid meuphere? Hefeebly protestedthatsuch athoughthadnever entered his mind,butknewthathe did not convince her.Hewas aware nowthata quarrelatCulebra wouldhavebeen a hopelessly foolish thing.Bothofthemfell into silence after this. There seemed nothing more to say.Bothofthem appearedtobe listening to the rain, tothatpersistent boomingoftheexplosions; bothofthemwere wonderingifthis were really their last leave-taking. One question formed itself againandagaininSusan'smind:"Woulditnotbebetterto sacrifice respectability, religion, andgowithhim?"Sitting face to face with him, knowingthatto-morrowhewouldbeon his way to Jamaica,theanswer "Yes"

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WHAT HAPPENEDAT CUlEBRA:i7I waswhisperedtoherfromherheart. Asifheknewwhatwas passing inhermind, he askedhersuddenly::"And youwon'tmakeupyou' mindtocome withme,Sue?,.If"Yes"rosetoherlips, she resolutelyshutthem.Afewseconds passed before she replied. "Somethingtell me, 'Betternot,' Sam.ButIam.sorry. She coveredherface withherhands. Kiss me an' tell me good-bye, Sue."Hehadrisenandwas standing over her. She gotup,glanced quicklyoutside:no one was passing.Shekissed him.Heleft the house, walking hurriedly away. She fellbackintoherchair, crying as shehadnever cried before.J oI).es walked rapidlyinthe directionoftheCulebra station. He knewthatSusan cared for himstill;he believedthatifhe waitedandpersistedhewould beableto break downherresolution.Buthemight havelongto wait,andhedidnotfeel equal tothat.HisworkatChristobalhadbecome a dreary drudgery.Itwould bebetterto go back to Jamaica,andthathewoulddothenextday.Hedidnotblame Susannow;he felt forhernothing but kindnessandaffection. It was Mackenzieheblamed; Mackenzieitwas whohadinveigled herawayfromhim:Mackenzie wasthecause ofherunhappinessandhis.Buteven while hethoughtthis,hefelt in hisheartofheartsthathe himselfhadbeen the first causeofSusan's desertionofhim.Hehadpromisedtomarryherandhadbroken his word. He-

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272SUSANPROUDLEIGHhadmade a foolofhimself in Colon.Hesoughtforexcuses for hisconduct;he foundmany;.yet hi! self-accusationpersisted:conscience wasbyno means dead in Samuel Josiah.Hereachedthestation;therehelearntthatthere would be notrainleaving forthenextcoupleofhours . This delayhehadnotforeseen: he wondered whatheshould do with himself in the meantime.Hecouldnotreturnto Susan's house. He lounged aboutthestation for afewminutes,buthis thoughts troubled him and inaction was irk some. He must do something, he would walk about alittle:heturnedhis backtothestationand took the road leading down into the CulebraCut. He had never been inside the Cut before. Troubled in mind ashewas, the scene there made demandsonhisattention. Soon he was looking about him with wondering ::yes. On eitherhandofhim rose lofty wallsofrock and earth, carvedintowide terraces which formed the buttressesofthe mighty Cut. He was walkingalongoneoftheseterraces;on it and on alltheotherstrainlines were laid. The trains were passing up and down, powerful engines dragging twenty, thirty, forty dump-cars laden with the stonesanddirt thathadbeen dug outofthispartoftheCanal;and atthebottomoftheditch and alongthesidesofit steam shovels wereatwork. He watched these shovels curiously. He sawlongcranesattachedtoengines, andattheendofeach craneaniron box with a movable lid and bottom. The crane swung round, was lowered,theiron boxor

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WHATHAPPENEDAT CULEBRA 273 mouth bit into a pileofearthandtackshatteredby dynamite, gorged itself, swung round againuntilithovered over a dump-car. Thenthebottomoftheboxopened slowlyanda massofearthandstones was poured into the car. Againtheshovel swung back, and again and again wasthisprocess repeated.He rememberedthatMackenzie was engaged on oneofthose steam shovels,andthoughtthatperhaps hewas,without knowingit,watching Mackenzie's shovelatwork. Then he resumed his walk,thankfulthathehadworn his waterproofthatday, for now blackandheavy rain-clouds were brooding overtheCut. He walked along rapidly, knowingthathehadnot much more timetospare. The farther on he went, the more intense becametheactivityoftheworks,themore impressivethescene around him. Thousandsofmen were earnestlyatwork;groupsof West Indians were manipulatingtheair-drills which boredIthe holes forthedynamite charges, scoresofsteam shovels were toilingtoremovetheheaped-up debris, dozensofsteam-engines were hurryingtoandfroandsending forth shrill screams. Fromtheescapesofthesteam .shovels came puffsofgreyish smoke, from the funnelsoftheengines a thick black smoke was belched, fromtheair-drills little spurtsofsteamdarted, and from all around cametheheavy detonationofdynamite discharges, shakingtheearth. Penned inbythehigh walls on either side,thesmokedriftedhitherandthither, forming a gloomy pall.The cliffsofCulebra flung backthedeep boomofthe explosions,thehurrying trains seemedtothreaten.atevery momenttocome into violent collision. Jones18

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH274,jsaw West Indianlabourers carelessly carrying boxes dynamite on their heads and shoulders, andrememberedthatmany a man had, thro1,1gh his careless ness, beenshatteredtopieces inan instant. Hesawmorethanoneofthemtrip and the boxestheycarried almost hurledtotheground. The men laughed. Familiarity with dangerhadrendered themcontemptuousofit;butJonesshuddered;he could not appreciate the indifference and recklessnessofthese workers. Boom, boom,boom:thatsound dominated every other.Itwas answered soonbya thunder-crash from above,andthen the driving rainstorm burst over Culebra. The rain came roaring down, an opaque volumeofrushingwater;objects a yardortwo away were completely blotted outofsight;the blacknessof night was above.Butstill he heard the whistling screamofthe trains, stilltheheavy detona tions warnedhimthatthe dynamite was blasting the solid rock. Nothing could be allowedtostay thiswork;themen, clad in their waterproofs, toiledon; the deafening noise ceased never for a moment. He was drenched in spiteofhis cloak. Yet, becauseofthe awful heat, he was in a profuse perspiration. He begantothinkhehadlost histrainafterall;hewould havetowait until another one came infromthecityofPanama. Happilythedownpourwasceasing; it was too violenttolast. He waited untilitbecame a drizzle, cast a regretful glance beforehim,for he wished hehadbeen abletogofartheron,and was abouttoretrace his steps when a shout fromsomemen in frontofhim caused himtolook hurriedly

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WHA T HAPPENED AT CULEBRA275opposite, towards where these men were pointingwithwildgestures. Then he saw a sightthatalmost paralysed his heart. The mountain-side immediately. oppositetohimwas slipping, coming down with a rush, as thoughithad been struckbyaninvisible hand and was being hurledtothebottomof the chasm. Hundreds oftonsofloosened rockandearthwere crashing downwards,and the horror-stricken men who sawwhatwashappening were shouting, screaming, gesticulating,forwell they knewthefateofany who should be struck unawaresbythe swift-descending mass. Jones startedtorun, then stopped, apprehensiveofwhatmighthappennext;he could notbecertainthatthewallwhich towered above him, or even the terrace onwhichhe stood, mightnotalso suddenly slip away. Hismindwas dazed; .he feltthathehadbeen very neartodeath, and, for all he knew, might be neartoit still.Helooked abouthim;hundredsofmen were running towards the huge pileofdebris below. He noticedthatthetrainlines down therehadbeentorn a\vay and twisted asifthey were merelywire; som' machineryhadbeen dashed to pieces Was anyonekilled? he wondered. -People were clambering down the sidesoftheterraces; herantowards them, joined them,andfoundthathe could descend without great difficulty.All the men seemedtoknow in what directiontheyshouldgo;heheardthemsayingtoone another that the rock-fallhadnot been unexpected,thatthe engineers had noticed cracks some days before, whichhadled themtobelievethatonce again Culebra

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/SUSAN PROUDLEIGHwouldputtheir patiencetothe test. He gatheredthaton thisparticularsection much work was not beingdone;perhaps, then, no onehadlost hislife.Butthemen certain;the slide was a bigger onethan yrlinary. Thus talking in snatches and exclamcyJons, slipping, climbing, running,theyreached oftheCut. Here a crowd was already collected, a crowd work ing withmightandmain, digging awayatsomethingasiftheir lives depended upon it.Jonespushedhiswaytothefront;hesawthatthediggers wereatwork upontheearthandshatteredrockthatcovered a steam shovelpartly.This shovelhadbeeninoperation whentheslideoccurred;haditbeen afewyardsfarther backitmusthave entirely escaped.Asitwas, the men who mannedithadhadno warning,hadnotbeen abletoleap clearofthe machine andgetaway in time.Itwas doubtfuliftheywere yetalive;butnothingwas being left undone to save them,iftheycouldbesaved. Who arethey?"J ones heard one Americaninthecrowd ask another."Anywhitemen? "Two,anda colouredman,"wastheanswer: poor fellows." The newsspread;darkfacesturnedashen with horror. Athousandpeople waited tohearif there wasanyhope-ornone. "What'stheirname?"Joneskepton askingofpersons whopaidnoattentionto him.Atlastoneofthemwho worked in thispartoftheCut, hearingthequestion, replied, The white mennameJacksonan'Campbell;theblack man is Mackenzie."

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WHATHAPPENEDATCULEBRA Joneswent suddenly cold."Mackenzie?"herepeated."Mackenziebeing suffocated todeath?"Hefought his waytowherethemen were digging ..Thethoughtuppermost.in his mind wasthathis old friend was dying, dying horribly."GoodGod!"heexclaimed, andthenextinstant,seizing a shovel fromtheheaps whichhadbeen hurriedlybroughtup,hewas diggingamongstthelabourers like amangonewild .Notashis rival,notasthehusbandofSusan, didhethinkofMackenzie now.Forthose fewmomentsofhis life Jones wasutterlyunselfish. Somebody caught himbytheshoulderandpushedhimback;his assistance wasnotneeded. Careful now," said a commandingvoice;"bring'emoutcarefully." Here'sone," cried a man,anAmerican likethefirst."Backthere,back!"came a peremptory order. Four doctors were already onthespot;thecrowdwasbeing forcedback;thesame remarkable organiza tionthatmadethebuildingofthegreatCanal a matter of routineandorder was in evidenceatthistragedy too.Ittook lessthanaminuteforthedoctorstopronouncetheirverdict.Themenhadbeen killed instantly, couldnothave realizedwhatwashappening. :fhe bodies were placeduponstretchers,andthestretchers were hoistedinto'a railway car.Thepeople began toreturntotheirtemporarilyinterrupted work. Tragedies werenotrareatCulebra.Onecannotbuild agreatcanal without lossoflife.

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHWet, muddied, horror-stricken still, Jones slowly followedthereturning labourers, intending to get outofthe as quickly as realizedthattheman whQ... hadstood betwgn'him andSusanhadbeen removed;-Out-t-1:l.e----manner of Mackenzie's removal terrified him.HadMackenzie sickened and died,itis possiblethatJones would have seen the handofProvidence in the circumstance.Butthis suddendeath--adeath, too, which mightsoeasily have overtaken himself had he been on the opposite sideofthechasm-seemedto him to be somewhat devilish;hewas afraid. He vehemently told him selfthathehadnever wished Mackenzie dead, though he knewhehadoften doneso;thenhe said to him selfthathehadnever meant his wish. Whether he hadmeantitor not,itwas realized.Hewas startledbythefact. This wasnogoodthing:why should Mackenzie have died like that,justthen?He forgot the two white men entirely. He gotoutofthe Cutatlast, wonderingifhe should goandtell Susantheterrible news. He decidedthathewouldnot:she would probably have hearditalready,andhe wasnotexactly the onetoinformherhow Mackenziehadcometohis end.Butthere was something he could do.Hehurried to the telegraphstationand dispatched a message to Susan's people in Colon, telling themwhathadhappened and advisingthemto come over to Culebra without delay. Afterthathewent to the coloured sectionofthe town; he sawmanypeople in andaboutMackenzie's house.SoSusan knew. He went back totherailway station to awaitthearrivalofSusan's relatives.

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------WHATHAPPENEDAT CULEBRA Hesatdown on the edgeofthe platform, thinkingofallthathadhappenedthatday.IfSusan had left the house with him and theyhadafterwards heardofthisdeath!Whata narrow escapeithadbeen! And then with his mind's eye he saw Mac kenzie as Mackenziehadgreeted him onthedayofhisarrival in Colon, a cordial, helpful friend. Hesawhim as a visitor, always contentedandhappyin the house.Hesawhimas a corpse onthestretcher, suddenly struck dead."PoorMac," hemutteredagain and again,"poorMac; poor fellow." Andhecried like a child in contritionandsorrow.

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.80 CHAPTERVIIISUSAN'S LUCKWHENthetrainfrom Colon came in,MissProudleigh wasoneofthe firsttostep on to the platform, closely followedbyhernieceand brother. The old man was dressed in a suitonceblack,butnowof a greenishtintandshiny as though ithadbeen polished; he also wore a bowlerhatofapatternthathadprobably been fashionable thirty years before,butofwhichfewspecimens could at this time have beenextant.Catherine and herauntwere attired in white ironed dresses and newstrawhatstrimmed with black ribbon. Samuel sawthattheyhadcome ready-dressed for the funeral, whichmusttake place onthefollowing morning. The severityofMissProudleigh's demeanour indicatedthatshe was abouttoofficiateata very important function, andthelargestrawfan which she carried inherrighthandwould have informed anyone who knewtheladythatshehadnot brought forth her favourite symbolofauthoritywithout a determinationtoestablish her claimtoprecedence and poweratany cost.Jones approachedthelittle group."Iwas waiting for you," he said.

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SUSAN'SLUCK"Thenyou meantotell mey'unotarrested?"wasthestartling question of Miss Proudleigh."Thereseemstobe no lawatall inPanama!" She edged away from Jones as she spoke, lookingasshedidso towardsanAmerican policeman whowasstrolling about the platform. Whatam Itobe arrestedfor? askedtheyoung man, surprised."What'sthematterwithyou'aunt?" he saidtoCatherine."Shetakin'leaveofhersenses ?" Didn'tyou' telegram saythatMackenziedead?" asked Catherine. Yes;butwhat isthattodo withme?" I know it wasn'tyoudatkill him, me son," Mr. Proudleigh now observed."WhenI getyou'tele gram, I saidtomeself:'MisterJones is amanlikeme.Himtalka lot,buthe wouldn'thurta fly :himis too afraidofde court-house.'ButDeborah would insist it was youdatkill Mackenzie, for youleavethehouse last night in a blind temper, an' youcomeuphere to-day, an' Mackenzie dead very sudden." Itis very suspicious," saidMissProudleigh."Idon't understanditatall.""Well,itis not everythingy'ucanunderstand,"said Catherinepractically;"andit couldn't beMr.Jonesthatkill Mackenzie, otherwise him would beinjail." Datisso," agreed herfather;"only,IheardatinPanamay'ucanpaytendollars an' kill anybodyyoulike.""Thatisall stupidness," said Jonesimpatiently;

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SUSANPROUDLEIGH itistheCanalthatkill Mackenzie, notme.What was I goin'tokill himfor?.. A snort fromMissProudlcigh was her only com ment onthisspeech. She was not willingtobepersuadedthatMackenziehadnot been a victimofthe machinationsofSamuelandher niece.Astheywent on, J ones explained how Mackenziehadcomebyhis death,andhow he himselfhadbeen a witness,ofthe tragedy. Allofthemhadheard beforeofthelives which the Culebra Cuthadclaimed, and now as Jones spoke doubts rose once more in the minds ofMr.Proudleighandhis sister astothe wisdom and proprietyofhumanbeings attempting to unite two oceans. I always thoughtthatsome great disaster would occur becauseofthe iniquityofman in trying to join what God separate," saidMissProudleigh;"butI never dreamthatdedisaster wastocome onmeown family; for, after all, Mackenzie was my nephew in-law. "Butshe did not seem unduly oppressedbythe calamity. She foundabundant comfort inthepro spect of a funeral, and intheopportunity now given herofbewailing in publicherirreparable loss.Shecould now proclaim her past fore bodings and hintatothertragediesthatwould shortly followup,onthisone. Properly managed,this funeraJ could not f?oil toafford some edifying exhibitionsofreligious fortitude, Christian resignation, and personal piety, mingled discreetly with an insulting attitude towards those whom she might happentodislike. As forMr.Proudleigh,atthatmoment hewas

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SUSAN'S LUCK chiefly afflicted with fears for his personal safety.Ifa landslide or something like it could kill Mackenzie, there was nothingtoprevent a landslide from killinghim.This was a dangerous country. We will havetoleavethisplace as soon as poor Mackenzie is in de grave," he remarked, as he labouredon."Whaty'ugoin'todo wid you'self, Mister Jones? " When? "To-morrow.Afterweburyme son-in-law." Idon'tknow," said Jones. You stayinguphere widMissSusan? " Thatwould not be proper," observed Miss Proudleighsternly."Itisnoneofmy business, an' I don't wanttointerfere.ButifthedayafterMackenziebury, a youngmanshouldstayin the sameplacewiththewidder,themwillputheroutofany church she belongto." Idon'tthinkSusan canstayhere much longer,nowthatMackenzie is dead," said Jones."Shewillhaveto leave soon, for the American people willwantthe premises.""Well,shebettercome backtoColon wid me," .saidMr.Proudleigh;"an'nowthatMacisdead,MisterJones--"But Samuel, guessingthenatureoftheold man's forthcoming proposition, hastilyinterruptedhim with another recitalofthatday's tragedy. He was still speaking whentheyarrivedatSusan's house.Allthe doorsandwindows were open, and threeorfour persons were moving about within. Thesewerefriendly neighbours whohadcome overtohelp Susan with her dead.

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHShe was expectingherfamily. As amatteroffact shehadtelegraphed to them.Buthavingreceived Jones's message earlier, theyhadleftforCulebra before Susan's telegram was delivered at their house. She was veryquietand composed. When the newsofMackenzie'sdeathhadbeen broken to her shehadshrieked in terror.Herfirstthoughtwasthattherehadbeen a fight between Samuelandher husband, andthatthelatterhadbeen murdered. A few wordsofexplanation relievedhermindofthis horrible fear,thenshe weptbitterlyasifstrickentotheheart. Shehadnever cared greatly for herhusband;buthis sudden death,theoverwhelming memoryofhow,thatvery day, shehadhadto fight againstthetemptationto abandon him,therecollec tionofall his kindnesses, touchedherto genuine sorrowandregret. She recovered her self-possession a littlelater qn andstraightwaysetaboutmaking prepara tions forthefuneral. She was still engaged on these when Samuelandherfamily arrived. She hardlyappearedtonoticeJones, who kept himself inthebackground. She suffered herselftobe embracedbyherfather, whothoughtitpropertoassureherthathehadhastened to comfort her, though he himself was grief-strickenandcould not say whenheshouldbeable totakeaninterestinlifeanymore. Mr. Proudleigh then deposited his hat on a tableandelaborately wiped his eyes. This cere mony being gone through, he sat down.ButMissProudleigh wouldnotsit down.Shetook Susanbythehand. "It is the willofGod,"

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SUSAN'S LUCK---sheloudly proclaimed, an'mencan only say, 'Thywillbe done.' Wemustbeprepared tomeetourGod.We must takeupourcross an' follow Him. Husband-a, son-a, mother-a, wife-a, whenthecall come wemustgivethemallupto Him who gave them life. Wecannotrebel, fortheLord gavean'ItheLordtakethaway-blessedbethename oftheLord. We cannotpreventthetears from flowing,forthatisnature;buttheheartmustbe submissive."Shepaused to notetheeffectofher words, which she considered sufficiently stirring to moveSusantotearsandtheotherpeople in the housetosympathy.Butmostofthe peopletheredidnotknow Miss Proudleighandwere paying no attention toher;Susanremained dry-eyed; Catherine appeared' unsym pathetic. Only herbrotherseemed attentive,andasshedidnotregard himasanaudience worth having, !She concludedthatspiritual consolationshadbetterbereserved for alateroccasion. You cangointothedining-room an' wash you' hands an' faceif you like,AuntDeborah," said Susan quietly."Itis fixed up.""Whataboutthebody? demanded MissProudleigh."Thebody fixedupalready.Everythingis arranged. SomeofMackenzie's friends lookingafterthe funeraL"Itwasbitterlydisappointing to Miss Proudleigh to findthatshehadbeen forestalled; still, oppor tunities for usefulnessmightpresent themselves later on. She went intothedining-roomasinvited, feelingthatSusan's calmness was most unbecoming

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286SUSANPROUDLEIGHatsuch a moment. A widow, with a proper senseofwhat was expectedofher, shouldhavegiven way to a wildoutburstofgriefatthe sightofhersympathizing family. Presently Susan asked heraunttogointo the room where Mackenzie's body was laid out. Mackenzie had beenstruckmainly by descending massesofearth;thushehadescaped disfigurement.MissProudleigh glancedattheset face, saying with real feeling, Poorfellow;justasifhe was sleeping." Then she mastered this inclinationtoweakness, and, layingherhandupon the cold, sheeted figure, she shookherheaddeterminedly."Notenoughice,"she said.
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----SUSAN'S LUCK Iments affecting the corpse. Sheadaptedhervoicetosuithernew dignityandnow spoke in impressive stage whispers.Butwhere wasSamuel?Susanhadlostsight of him ; hehadquietlyslippedoutofthehouseafterobserving how she was conducting herself;hewas gladItoseehercalmandcollected,buta certain delicacyoffeeling warned himthathe shouldnotremaininthehousejustnow.Hewas dampanddirty;butthere were shops inthetown where he couldbuysome ready-made clothing.Hebought a. suitandwasallowedtoputitonina room behindtheshop;ifitdidnotfit him well,atleastitwas cleananddry. The day's work was over in theCut;everybodyhemetwas talkingabouttheaccident.Henoticed'Ithat they all spoke --well ofMackenzie; he wondered whether,ifhehaddied like Mackenzie, his acquaint 'anceswould have spoken likethatofhim. The rainhadceased entirely,butthesky was sombre still. He rememberedthathehadeaten nothing from morning,buthe had no appetite, didInotfeel like eating.Helingeredaboutthehousesandtheshops till longafterdarknesshadfallen.Atabout eight o'clock,hewent back to Susan's house. Re enteredandsilently took one ofthemanychairsthathadbeen borrowed from friendly neighboursforthe accommodationofthe people whohadcomeandwere coming tositupfor a few hourswithSusan. Every one wasquietandreverential,and those who talked didsoin lowandmournful tone. A solitary light was burning in the room where thebodyofthe deadmanlay. Those who wishedtodo

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288ISUSAN PROUDLEIGH Iso, stole intotheroom and peeped at it,thenstole back gloomilytotheir seat{ The subdued conversa tion was about Mackenzie; in particularanddeathingeneral, and whenanelderly woman remarked that Mackenzie was aman 'Jho could ahvays be depended upon, and groanedby ofemphasizing her remark,Miss ed also, as though parting with Mackenziehadbee oneofthe most awful experiences of her life. Then the woman whohadcontradictedMiss thematteroftheicefeltitincumbent tosay something. /' I remember poorMr.Mackenzie when he firstcome uptoCulebra," she said."Sucha quiet, mannerly -' gentleman. Andtothinkhediesosudden!" Inthe midstoflifeweare indeath!"retortedMissProudleigh aggressively. I not stayin' here one day longerthanI canhelpit,"saidMr.Proudleigh earnestly. "I neverdidwant muchtocometoColonatanytime;butmechildren wishin'toseeifthem could make a good living over here, I saytomeself,(Imustn'tdesert them. Don't care what happentome,itismejutytogowiddem.' So I come here,butI not goin'tostopanylonger, becauseitmust be a very funny countrywherea hill-side broke down without nothing do it, andkillmeson-in-law.EfI are to die, I wanttodie inmebed in Jamaica." Parents must devote themselvestotheirchildren," said oneofSusan's neighbours. ThatiswhatI 'ave always done," said Mr. Proud leigh with dignity."ButifSusantakemyadvice,

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--SUSAN'S LUCK-289-shewill go back widmetoJamaicaas soon as sheburyherhusban'. I can't teckanymore risk in Pana,ma." The Lordisstrongtosave, wherever His people are," remarkedMissProudleigh rebukingly.Her was proving very profitable, and she needednofurther evidence to assure herofthe omnipresentI tare ofProvidence. .Justthenthe young woman whohadalready angeredIMissProudleigh, feelingthatshe was being eclipsed,wentuptoSusan, and, throwing her armsaboutIthewidow's neck, exclaimed, "Myheart bleed foryou,"I and audibly wept.ButMiss Proudleigh was mistressofceremonies, and Susap herself was now subjecttoheraunt'sauthority.Thata stranger, an insolent stranger, should have daredtoset the exampleoftearsinthemidstofa conversation, was morethanMiss Proudleigh could stand. Extraneous sympathymust.notbe allowed to.pass theboundsset by decorumand. established practice.HappilyMissProudleigh knew that she was equaltoany emergency. Whipping out f ofher pocket a hymn-book which she had thoughtfully brought with her from Colon, in a shrill and belligerent treble she begantosing"Peace,Perfect Peace." Thehymnsounded like a declarationofwar without quarter,andthe sobbing young lady recognizeditassuchandstruggledbymeansoflouder sobstomairitaintheposition she had won.ButMissProudleighhadgreatallies. For mostoftheguests, tiredoftalkingorsitting still, joined in the hymn, singing with genuinefeeling.Risingandfalling in measured cC\.dence, thesound floated far away, and menandwomen in other houses19

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i SUSAN PROUDLEIGH thinking perhapsofthe days whentheytoohadwatched beside the corpseofsome one deartothem. Perhapstheirmemory was touched,andthey thoughtofa grave somewhere on a mountain-side, under the shadeofrustling trees, in some far-off West Indian island whichtheycalled home. The singing ceased;thenanotherhymn, even more patheticthanthefirst, wasstarted.All took it up, singingsoftly:!'DaysandmomentsquicklyfiyingBlendthelivingwiththedead,SoonshallyouandIbelyingEachwithinhisnarrowbed."A pictureofMackenzie lying alone in the room, cold, motionless, swathed in dripping cerements; a pictureofhim as he went forththatmorning, cheerful,confident, strong, with never athoughtofdeath inhismind, rose before Susan's mental vision. She broke down and cried.Jones wiped his eyes repeatedly . Others were crying quietly.Forthe first time that nighttheyfelt themselvestobe strangers in a strange land, menandwomen whohadcometoseek a livelihood in a foreign country from which, for all they knew, they might never return. Whe.n Susan lifted her head a little while after,hereyes caught thoseofJones.Eachknew what the other was thinkingof.Inthe forenoonofthatsame day theyhadwronged Mackenzie in thought, almost in act, and he haddied without knowing it. But didhenotknow?Did he not knownow?Neitheronecouldboastofbeing free from superstition: whatif

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--SUSAN'S LUCK--291Mackenzie's spirit were near, reading allthatwas passing in their mindsandhearts?Susan shuddered. Samuel's heart failedhimin spiteofhis desperate inward struggle with his fears. They lowered theireyesagain. Twelve o'clock came,andmostofthepeople rosetoleave. Only a few would remain untilthemorning.Some,however, wouldreturnin time forthefuneral. They all endeavouredtopersuade SusantogoandlieIdown,andtrytosleep,butshe was afraid. She might dream.Inher sleep Mackenzie's spirit might accuse her!ISoall night sheandSamuel sat inthesame room, wakeful, alert, thinkingover and over againofwhat 'had taken place betwern them afewhours before,andofthe tragedy in Culebra Cut.Atsix o'clock inthemorning Miss Proudleigh began to set things in order, and, shortly after,themenwho were looking after IVlackenzie's funeral arrived: They workedquickly:byseventhe'bodywasin the coffin, which was lifted intothesittingroomuncovered, in orderthatall who knew Mac kenzie mighttakelastleaveofhim. Flowers were scarceatCulebra,butthemournershadgathered a I few.Thesetheystrewed over thecorpse,andtheevergreenstheyhadbrought werearrangedhere t I a,ndt4ere 'abouttheroom, giving toita freshandverdant appearance. Onebyonethemenandwomen whohadcome to attend the funeral steppeduptothecoffin, gazed aIlittle whileatthedeadman'sface,andturnedaway.,. Then the m;n;sler, a young Englishman connecledL

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292JSUSANPROUDLEIGHwith Jjlmaica, whohadfollowed the people toPanama might still bekeptin touch withthereligion own country, arrived. :rhe people made / wa y for him respectfully, glancingathim with prideandadmiration;hewentup to Susanandshookhandswithhersympathetically, speaking afewwords whichhemeanttobe consoling,butfeeling,notforbyany meansthefirst time in his life,howpoorly words express real sympathy.Thenhewastaken possessionofbyMiss Proudleigh, who led him to a chair which shehadcovered, for no very obvious reason, with a white lace curtain. Ready?" he askedherquietly, book in hand."Yes,minister;but"(she hesitated a little) don'titis right to read the will first? "Thatdepends," saidtheparson."DoesMrs.Mackenziewantitread?Isthere a will ? MissProudleigh lookedatSusan inquiringly.Itwasnotusual to readthewill before afuneral;butMissProudleigh fearedthatifshe didnotmakeuseofthepresentopportunityshe might never knowwhatMackenziehadleft, and whetherhehad be queathed hispropertyto Susan alone or not.AsforSusan, she wasnotanxiousthatherprivateaffairs should be exposed,butherauntwas nowthepre. dominant person inthehouse,andshe didnotwant to appear secretive."Myhusband usedtokeep his papers in his owntrunk,"shesaid; I will look."Ina minute or two she returned with a document which shethoughtmustbe the will; whichitwas. Proudleigh tookitfrom her andhandeditto the minister, asking him to read it.1

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----SUSAN'S LUCK293-Sothewill was read. A small house in Kingston, ,tenacresoflandin St. Andrew (not far from Kinglton),a life insurance policy worth a hundred pounds, md allthemoney lodgedinMackenzie's name in a inPanama-everythingwas left to Susan. [is willhadbeen made three weeksafterMackenzie'sDlarriage,andSusan knewthathehadatleast eightypoundsinthebank. She was well-off!Thatwasherthoughtas the parson ceased reading."Itis myoIdluck!"-thewords formed themselves inhermind:hergood fortune,herluck, never seemedto'desertherfor long. She was a woman with property, ,money. She saw in the facesofthepeople intheroomthattheywere surprisedthatMackenziehadleftsomuch. Miss Proudleigh was consciousofa feeling'ofre sentment,bornofenvy.Butwithitstruggled afeelingofpride:she was gladthatshehadaskedthatthewill should be read.Forwas shenotrelatedtoalltheseriches;wasitnotshe whohaddirectedthefuneral arrangements in the houseofa man whohadlefthis widow insocomfortable a position? There wasdignity in her lookandvoice as she saidtothe minister: Minister, willweproceed ?" The officesofthe dead tookupbutlittle time. Six strongmenlifted the coffin, and, headedbytheminister,thefuneral cortege moved slowlyoutofthe house.rSusanandher father walked immediately behindthecoffin,therestofthemourners following with 'lout regard to precedence. Mr. Proudleigh'sthoughtswerenotofan unpleasantnature.NeverhadheI

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294 heardofany widow like Susan possessingsomuch riches.Heconcludedthatshemustbe worth hundredsofpouns,andto a mind which, forsomeyears,hadbeen cntenttothinkfinanciallyin termsofsixpence, shilli gandeighteenpence, a hundred poundsmeantne rly as much as a million. Neverhadhethought5highlyofMackenzie, never had he felt so please with Susan's marriage.Jones?WhatwasJonesom pared with Mackenzie? When would amanlike ones ever be abletoaccumulate afortune?He w,?s more likely to wasteone;and hereMr.Proudl1igh began seriouslytothinkthatSusan oughtto 1;le warned againsthavinganything to do with osiah inthefuture.Mr.Proudleigh saw hisdutysafatherplain before him,butgravely doubted wetherhe should evermusterenough courage0perform it. However, he, as Susan's fathe ,aparenttoo whohadalways been tender and __________ considerate, should now be comfortable for life. He marched bravely on, forgettingtobe fatigued.Panamawasnotsuch a bad placeafterall,ifyouknewjustwhen to leave it. Catherine wonderedather sister's luck. Shewasnotofanenvious disposition; she felt quite able to makeherown way in the world.ButSusan seemed to be extraordinarilylucky;even incidentsthat'at first appearedunfortunatewere afterwards seentohavecontributedto Susan's good fortune. Catherine wondered why this wasso.She had been told at schoolthattherewasnosuch thing as luck,thatoneonly gotwhatone worked for or deserved. Shewasby no means assuredthatthatwas true. 1

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----SUSAN'S LUCK .AndJones?He too sincethereading ofthewillhadrealizedthatagreatchangehadtakenplace in Susan's financial situation. She was actuallybetteroffthanhewas-verymuchbetteroff.Shemightcare for him.Buthe couldnotforgetthatshehadlefthimtomarryMackenzie,andonlyyesterdayhadrefused to desert Mackenzie for him. Now there forethatshe knew herself to be independent, how would sheact?Many men would be glad enough tomarryhernow:she could afford to wait,andto pickandchoose. She wasvain;she wouldtrytomakethemostofherimproved position. She was very lucky.Butthereseemed no endtohisillfortune. Susan alone, duringthatprocession to the cemetery, didnotdwell onhergood fortune. Afterherfirst thrillofpleasure on hearing the termsofthewill, shehad depressedandsad:she was again realizingthatMackenzie's kindness and thoughtfulness wereofsterling worth. And he was dead,deadandgone for ever, thismanwhohaddone so much for her,anditwasofhimshe thought. Soontheycame tothecemetery.Thefuneral service was read,thegrave filled,andSusanturnedaway,theone real mourner therethatmorning.Butnotthemost demonstrative, for Miss Proudleigh, feelingthatfull justicehadnotbeen done to Mackenzie's memory,burstinto loud sobs whenthelast spadeful ofearthwas thrown uponthegrave,andhadto be led awaybytwo unnecessarily sympathetic men.

PAGE 302

"II.CHAPTERIXJONESSPEAKSINTHEPREDICATE .. wHAT a lotofthings happentomesince I cometoPanama, said Susan, as with her hands she smoothed out the black skirt, heavily trimmed withcrape, which she wore. This is a world wherey'udon'tknow to-day what goin'tohappen to-morrow," remarked her father, his tone suggestingthat in better-regulated worlds one would know beforehand everythingthatwas likelytooccur. .. A few months ago I was only Susan Proudleigh,"thewidow continued,"an'Ihadto work formeliving;now I am a widowandeverybody respectmean' sympathize with me." You are morethana widder," saidMr.Proudleigh ;"youare a young oomanofproperty, an' there is very fewthatcan saydesame thing." .. Forwhichwemust bethankful,"MissProudleigh interposed. .. Providence is al"yays looking after the widow an' theorphant;butIsometimes theydon'tdeserve it, andthatiswhy, peradventure,thatsome widows with their money go likebutteragainstthesun.ButSueisnot goin'tobeoneofthose." SincethereadingofMackenzie's willMissProud'96

PAGE 303

----JONESSPEAKSINTHE PREDICATE 297leighhad cometosee qualities in Susan which she nad not been abletoperceive during all the previous months shehadlived in Panama. Cordial relations had therefore been re-established between the two, andMissProudleighhadnowrevertedtoher long ignored habit of seeing most thingsthatconcerned Susan from Susan's pointofview. "I am glady'umake up you' mindtogoback nome, Sue, nowthatyou not marriedanymore,forthe house which you' husband, who is now in heaven, leavetoyou in Kingston, needs somebodyto,look after it,an'you 'ave otherpropertyin Jamaicatoseeabout. An' you can'ttrustno strange persontodoit, forthemwill rob your eye outofyou'head;andifyoutakethemtolaw the judge may tell youtomakeupthecase peacefully, likethattime when youbring up Maria. Therefore,"MissProudleigh ,concluded, goandlook after your businessyou'self." I 'ave nothing more to do with court-house," saidSusan, nor wid Maria and her mother either. They can't trouble me again." " They havenottroubled youatall," said her aunt.IIAlltheir wickedness have beenturnedaside,an'youhave not dashed your foot against a stone..Thatiswhat Isayfrom the first. You seewhatit isto'ave faith? Inher cheap black muslin dress (providedbySusan)MissProudleigh looked as though,byfaith, she wouldbeabletomove mountains,ifonly she should determinetoexert herselftothatextent."EvenTomtrytomake mischief against me,"Icontinued Susan, still bent upon recounting her ex--

PAGE 304

-,--__ il 298 PROUDLEIGHperiences;"buthe didn't succeed any morethanMaria an'her moUler." Well, me dear daurter," saidMr.Proudleigh,"datwas because I was always havingy'uinmethoughts. I don't know wha you could do without me. Tom was abadyounglpan;but when I kneel down every night an' about him, an' pray datsomeharm would beffll him because he was tryin' to disturb y'u, I fe}t thatmypr'yerwould be answered." Anything h'appen tohim? asked Susan."Not replied herfather;"butI hear this m2fning thathim gone away todecapital with a female who used to beat her other intended; an'don't ,fou see datifshe couldbeatone, she willdode sa" withTom?" Asan, knowing Tomasshe did, thought it highly robable."Lethimgoabout his business," she said, thus diSmissingTomand his affairs from her mind."Iamsorry, Aunt Deborah,thatyou an' Kate won't come home with me;butofcourse you candobetter here."MissProudleigh nodded affirmatively."Butnext year, please God," she said, "I will take a trip hometoseehow everybodyisgetting on."Itwastheninth day after Mackenzie's death. Susanhadbeen allowed to remain for afewdays in the houseatCulebra, during which she had made arrangements for her departure from Panama.Shehaddetermined togotoJamaicawithout delay,toseeafterher property there, and she/was leaving to-morrow.Butbefore going there was one function

PAGE 305

----JONESSPEAKSIN :THE PREDICATE299tobe attendedto;thiswas Mackenzie'sNinthNight,thefinal taking leaveofMackenzie's spirit,thelast ceremonytobe held in his honour. Forthispurpose shehadcometoColon. This Ninth Night is a survivalofanAfrican purificationceremony, the originandmeaning of which neither Susan nor her relatives knew.Allthattheydid know was thatthe Ninth Night was a custom whichitwas not considered altogether propertoneglect,andyet which it wasnotconsidered altogether propertoobserve after the mannerofthe lower classes. With these it tended sometimesto intoanorgy;inMissProudleigh's view it should only be a quiet prayer-meeting, a sortoflove-feast, eminently re spectable and edifying. The theory wasthatMac kenzie's spirit, though ultimately destined for' heaven, was for some nine days fated to hover near those whohadbeen connected with him, and might continue sotodofor years unless the Ninth Night ceremony was performed. This theory not being countenancedbythe churches, Miss Proudleigh defendeditbypointing outthatthesoul was notthespirit;andthatthoughthesoul went straighttoheaven ortohell, after the deceaseofthe body, the spirit, assuming the formofa ghost, might be unpleasantly present on earth. Whenthisexplanation was heldtobe un satisfactorybysome sceptic,MissProudleigh took refuge in assertingthatit was all very welltoscoff,butthatplentyofpeople had seen ghostsandeveryonewas afraidofthem.Thenshe would instance the raisingofSamuel's spiritbythe WitchofEndor, a fact which could only be gotridofbybeing dismissed as untrue.

PAGE 306

.r 1 II lOo SUSANrROUDLEIGHOnNinthNights b SusanandCatherine looked with some disrespec ; they wereofthe younger generation.ButMr.Proudleigh stood up for them, not onlyon religi01 grounds,butbecauseheknewfrom experiencetht much good cheer was providedatthem,and many; opportunities afforded for oratory. Therefore a Nint Night was highly desirable.SoSusanhaddecidtowait fortheNinthNight;andJones, knowing hat, had waited also, and had booked his passage bthesame steamer in whichshewasgoingtoJ Susan a:7d her people were now waiting for the room in whichtheysatwas provided with a mberofextrachairs;inthecentrewasa table overed with a whitecloth;onthetablewerea fJ,W hymn-books and a Bible. The lampswere Alilited, foritwas already dark. ,"Everythingis prepared," saidMissProudleigh, after shehadannounced her intentionofgoingtoJamaica on a visit inthefollowing year.."Thechocolate is good chocolate, an' I parch. an' grindthecoffee me self. "IIYou 'ave anyrum?"inquiredMr.Proudleigh anxiously. Plenty. You thinkwecould ask peopletocome an' have a little quietpr'yerandtalk with us, and don'ttreatthem decently? "II No,'" agreed her brother heartily, and would have launched out into a lengthy accountofthose Ninth Nightsatwhich he had not treateddecently, butthathis sister refused himthechanceofdoingso. Wehave bread, an' bun, an' cake, an'fish,cheese,"i

PAGE 307

JONESSPEAKSIN THE PREDICATE30rananas, an' rum, an' abottleofwhisky,an'lemonade, esidescoffeean' chocolate," recited Miss Proudleigh ith pride."Mackenziecan'tfeel ashamedto-night! Mr.Proudleigh inwardly determinedthat,when he time came, he would make all these goodthings, look foolish."Hecomplacently disposed himselftoait forthathappyhour.Presently Catherine came in, accompaniedbya all young manofherown complexion, whoappearedo be veryattentivetoher. These were followedbyther persons,andthentheceremonyoftheevening gan.MissProudleigh suggested a hymn, which wasung;then she volunteeredtolead inprayer.Thishedid, takingtheopportunityofreminding her \ldience, under guise of a general supplication,thathewas not asotherwomen were,butmightmore roperly be likenedtotheancientDeborahortoorneother equally superior character,havingbeen trenuous in followingthelight,andhaving,beyondtheshadowofa doubt,seta noble exampletoall withwhomshehadcomeincontact.,Sheprayed for Susan, Catherine,andfor all her other relatives,andshe informedtheangelichost h1t she knewthatMackenzie wasin heaven, en. axing allthefelicities prepared fortherighteous tore the foundationsoftheworld were laid.Thene proceededtoreviewtheeventsofthetimesas sheadheardofthem,andasked earnestlythatpeace should be establishedonearth.ShedidnotforgettheKing and alltheRoyal Family.Jamaicawas includedas a place which sadly needed regeneration.

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302SUSANPROUDLEIGHItseemed asifshe would never cease,andher brother, who himselfhadprepared a nice little prayer for the occasion, begantofeel jealous; Deborahhadtouched upon every subject hehadintendedtodeal with, and more besides. Susan felt decidedly bored. The. guests begantoshuffle uneasily on their knees. Warnedbycertain slight though ominous sounds,MissProudleighatlastbrought her eloquencetoa close.Asshe rose from her knees she began chanting the Hundredth Psalm. Everybody joined her. Atthatmoment Samuel Josiah J ones enteredtheroom. J oneshadleft Culebra immediately after the burialofMackenzie, and, yieldingtothe urgent adviceofMiss Proudleigh,hadnot returned thithertoseeSusan. Hehadwrittentoher, andhad ceived in reply a brief letter telling himthatshe'wasgoingtoColon,toher relatives, as soon as her affairsatCulebra were settled.Itwasfrom 1\'1r. Proudleighthat hadlearnt when Susan J amal.ca. Susan s aloofness, he thought, might .be duetognef, or to the circumstancethather was only afewdays dead, ortoher improved--nnancial position, and a _____ determination, thatimproved position, ---ro-trave-n-:otllliig moretodo with Samuel Josiah. Well, he would find out whatitwas. No woman\ should saythather money frightened him. He could alwaysearna good living, either in Jamaica orinPanama;in a few years he could save as muchasMackenziehadsaved, though he did notseeanygoodreason why he should.Alleyes wereturnedonhimas he entered the room and deliberately asked ayouthtolet him have

PAGE 309

JONESSPEAKSINTHEPREDICATE303 his chair. Th youthhadbeen sitting nexttoSusan. Jones installe himselfinhis place ...Sorry Ia late," he whispered, wishingattheame timetht the people would sing more loudly.Miss Proudle' h seemedto.divine his wish.Hervoice shrilled out astonishingly ...You are uite intime,"said Susan quietly ...No;I iss you every minute I am not withy'u.".. Sh-h. People willheary'u." It incamera." Yomustn'ttalk,Mr.Jones."Th..Mr.Jones"was disconcerting.Buthewod not be repulsed ...I wanttotalktoyou,"he said. Later on," she answered, and wouldnotpursue the conversation.Hymnfollowed hymn,andthegood things so freely providedbyMissProudleigh (whohadreceivedanadvance forthatpurpose from Susan) were duly handed round. The guests enjoyed them, eatinganddrinking to their hearts'content;andMr.Proudleigh, reflectingthatitmight be long before he should assist at another Ninth Night, worthily ledthemoninthis.satisfactory effort. Then, when it was nearly twelve o'clock, he thought he saw his opportunity, and, forestalling his sister, he rose and intimatedthatit was his intentiontomake afewremarks ...Itis shortlytowardmidnight, dear friends," he began,"an'beforewefinish an' terminatethis firs' partofour gathering,wemust calltomindcertain things. Every meeting have an end, an' every endIhasa termini." (He pausedtoallowthistermtohave

PAGE 310

SUSANPROUDLEIGHitsfull effect upon the audience.Itwas one he hadlearntfrom Jones.)"Butbeforeweproceedtobid Mackenzie good-bye," he went on,"an'the younger folkses begintoenjie themself, whichisnatural, for I rememberthatindeold days, which I always tell my fambily, for noneofthemknow what I know,an'sotospeak amanlike me is expectedto'ave experience, an' as I wassaying--"Butthe difficulty wasthathe could not for the lifeofhim remember what hehadbeen saying. His sisterhadgiven him no opportunityofspeaking earlierthatnight, and in the meantimesundryglassesofrumandwater had inflamed his ambition without strengthening his mind. There was now, therefore, a struggle between the oratorandthe liquor, and his refusaltoown himself vanquished as he .(, strovetorecall what hehadintendedtosay would have been magnificenthadit not appeared to the audience supremely ludicrous. Mr. Proudleigh wantedto-pro nounce a eulogy upon Mackenzie. HehadanideathatMackenzie's spirit was hovering near,andhe would have liked ittohear his speech. He feltthat/ Mackenzie deserved special posthumous praisefot?having left Susan so comfortablyoff.He bravely began once more. "Mackenzie was me son-in-law. He was a verykindyoung man. An' when he write me forMissSusan"(here Susan stared) I wouldn't refuse him. I sayto him ...I say..," Once againMr.Proudleigh halted,andin the midstofthe momentary silencethelittle clock on the shelf just above his headstruckthemidnight hour. A hush fell on the company as Miss Proudleigh sank upon her knees.Thatlady

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JONESSPEAKS INTHEPREDICATE305 afterwards declaredthatas the last strokeofthe clock died away shehadfelt something like a cold wind rushingbyher, as thoughaninvisible presence re leavingthismundane sphere forever'nd after hearing of her experienceMr. Pro'!9l'g also assertedthathetoohadbeen touche(lhy Mackenzie's de parting spiritthat His sister, recollecting his condition, secretly/doubted hisstory;butas moral support is always ofvalue when proof is not forth coming, Sht::.yer contradicted him."Letuspray,"said Miss Proudleigh whentheclockhadeased to strike. This she prayedthatall wandering spirits might /findeternalrest,andthatthedead might never/be allowed to interveneintheaffairs of the living. Shemadeitknown to allandsundry whose plaJe wasanotherworldthat,however much their c9mpanymayhave been pleasantandinteresting ;vhen theywere alive,theproper sphere for their activities now was heaven, where, she indirectlyIassured them, they would befarmorehappythaniftheyreturnedtoearth. Thisprayerclosed with aloudAmen fromtheassembled guests, who entirely sharedthesentiments expressedbyMiss Proudleigh. wearedone wid poor Mackenzie now," shesaid,satisfied, as she rose fromherknees.1Mr.Proudleigh, with his undelivered speech stillinmind, understood from these wordsthatthe endofthatspeech would never beheardbythataudience.Hefeltthatanadvantagehadbeen takenofhim,andhis bitterness was intense.20

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SUSANPROUDLEIGHItwas a relief to the guests and membersofthe family whenMiss signifiedthatthe religious portionofthe Night ceremony was over,andMackenzie finally dismissed to his last home.Ina moment their em tions changed from gravetogay,andthey all settle1 themselves down to gossip, joke, laugh,' and other:vfe enjoy themselves, while more refreshments were hrnded round. Everyone'present addressed Susan ;Punctiliously asMrs.Mackenzie.Jones stillsat/byherside, and his gesturesandmovements were ,marked bythe company, whose chief diversion was to/discuss theprivate affairsoftheir neighbours and friends. Wecan'talways sententiously observed. one young lady, who,..-saw in Samuel a suitor for Susan's hand,andwho ,vished to gain merit by indirectly suggesting t9at she personally knewofno reason for "Lifeis short, an' whenwe'ave done Zr b t, wemustdowhatwecan." n enigmatical speech,butwell understood by / hose whoheardit. and who saw the significant glance which the speaker directed towards Susan and Jones. Sorrow endureth for a night,butjoy comethinthemorning," commentedMissProudleigh. will youtakea little ginger-wine?Ordo you pre fer chocolate? " She prefer love," saidJones shamelessly."Loveisbetterthanwine.""Behaveyou'self'"cried Susan."Y'uforget where you are ?.." After a storm there comes a calm, after a funeral,

PAGE 313

JONES SPEAKS INTHEPREDICATE307whynotawedding?"said the lady whohadpreviously !!uggested thefutilityofendless weeping .. That'snot the sortofconversation for a l'Jine Night,"primly suggested Susan."Iwill nevermarry again, an'sowhaty'usaydon'tconcernme; still, this is notthetime to talk about weddings."I"Idon'tknowdatI agrees wid Sue," said her father."MisterMac is dead, an'ifMister Jones write me for y'u,1--"Butthe old man, doomeditwould appear to per petual interruptions, was not allowed to complete his remark.MissProudleigh feltthatthelimitsofdecorum were in dangerofbeing overstepped. She immediately and loudly began to tellofanarrest shehadwitnessed adayor two before in Colon,anarrest whichhadalmost caused thedeathofthe prisoner, he having been unmercifully clubbedbythe policemen. This wasaninteresting topicofcon versation, and whilethecompany were discussingthedemeritsofthe Republic's peace officers, Jones quietly suggested to Susanthatthey mightgoandsit together for a little while ontheveranda. She agreed, andtheywent out, remarkedbyall.Butsuch pairings-off were customary;itwas felt, moreover,thatthewidowhadthe righttodo as she pleased, on accountofheryouthandhersuperior financial position. She and Samuelsatonthechairs they took out with them, and, leaning over the ve.randa, looked down into the silent street. Theyhadplaced them selves where they could not easily be seenbythe people in the room, though the door stood open.

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SUSAN PROUDLEIGHAfter a few seconds J ones stretchedouthishandandplacediton Susan's shoulder."Sue,"hewhis ered, when you goingtoJamaica?"."To-morrow.Don'tyou knowitalready?",Iam going withyou." \, Ican'tstop y'u, Sam. The ship is for you asweIas for me." topthatfoolishness, Sue.Itis all very well whe you makin' funtotalk likethat.ButnowIamtalking inthePredicate and in the verb ToBe;Iamerious.Iam goingtomarry you." "tut supposeIdon'twant to get marriedagain?Iknw what marriage mean, an' you don't. BesidesthatIam all right now, an'Ican live comfortable witoutanybody. When you couldmarryme y'udi,n't,and Idon'tforget howy'uusedtoleave meithenight whenwewas together.It'sbetterweemain apart, forwhat'appen once will 'appen again." You know youdon'tmean whaty'usay," replied J ones with conviction."JamaicaisnotColon,anditwill be allrightwhenweget there. I will be steadier. I wassteadythere." ChoI"exclaimed Susan,butthere was somethingin her voice which denoted satisfaction."Y'ugoing togoonthesame way inJamaicaas you went on here," she added. Well,wewillhaveto make thebestofit,"said J ones philosophically, though you knowquitewell Iamnot a drunkard. We will get married in Parish Church." Fully a minute passed before shereplied-

PAGE 315

JONESSPEAKS INTHEPREDICATE309i" As poor Mackenzie isjust:dead,don'ttell any body hereaboutit."When, two days aftertheNinthNight ceremony, SusanandJ ones, withMr.Proudleigh standing be tween them, saw the grey-green mountainsofJamaicarisingintoview as the ship drew nearer the shore,Ithey felt forthefirst time intheirlives what a home coming meant. Susan eagerly pointed out objectIafter object ashereyes roved overthescene stretched out in frontofher;Jones was enthusiastic;Mr.Proud leigh,contraryto his habit, was silent.Butwhentheship entered the harbour,andKingston appeared, and he saw again the housesandthepiers with which hehadbeen familiar all his life,hebroke his silenceandspokethethoughtsthatwereinhis mind. "Fancya old man likemego quite to Colonan'corneback,"he said reflectively."Whois to tellwhatis gwine to happen in dis worldIAn' I leave me seconddaurterand me sister behindme!Well,Godwilltakecareofthem, same as Himtakecareofme. Iamglad to corne back. I really glad." No place like horne," saidJones heartily. That'sa fact," was Susan's sincere comment.

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METHUEN'S.COLONIAL !ASERIESOFCOPYRIGHTBOOKSBY J'.'MINENT ANDPOPULARAUTHORSPUBLISHEDAS!FARASPOSSIBLESIMULTANEOUSLYW IT'P./; THEIRAPPEARANCEINENGLAND.THEYARE'OFVERYHANDSOMEAPPEARANCE,BOUND INPAPERORINCl.OTH.THEYFALL IfiTO TWOOIV1SIONS-(I)FICTION;(2) GRN ERALLI1,ERATURE.i,... --.....:-.-::::.:::-_=--=--=--"':.-------. ---------\-._-._-------iII AMO.\'GTIlFAUT/IOU:'dJ.\'TRllJCTlxr;.H?/:'/E. III.AtBANESIR. IlAGOTII.C.BAlI.EY ,\I(NOLl>BENNETTE.1'. IlENSONG. A. 1I1RMINGifAM MAI(JORIE BOWEN AGNES &EGERTONCASTLEG. K.C"ESTERTON JOSEPIICONRAD DOROTHEA CONYERS MAI{IECORELLI S.R.CROCKETTII: JII.CIWKER n(,INK DANIIY A. CONAN UOYl.EBEATRICEIIARRADENIWIIERT IIICIIENSANTHONY1I0l'EW.W. JACOBS BASIl.KING RUDYARD KIPLING WM. LEQUEUXJACKLONDON Mns. BELLOCI.OWNDES E.Y.I.UCASMAUIHCEMH1'ERl.INCK ARCIIIBAtUMARSIIAlI. S. MacNAU(iHTA.N LUCAS MAtET M. E. MANNA. E.W. MASON W. B.MAXWEl.I.l(A. ,\. MIl.NE 'ELINOR MORDAU'NTIlAIWNESS ORCZYJOliNOXEN/lAMSIR (iILBERT MAXALICE PERRIN' ',' W. PETTRlf)liE',.EllEN PIfILLPOTTS MRS.ALFRED SIDGWICKJ.C.SNAITJI I'KEDERICKWATSONPEG(;\,WEHLING II.G.WELl.S STANl.EYWEYMANOSCAR WILDEC.N, &:A.M. WILLIAMSON !'


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081174/00001

Material Information

Title: Susan Proudleigh
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: de Lisser, Herbert G.
Publisher: Methuen & Co.
Publication Date: 1914
Copyright Date: 1914

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Genre:
Spatial Coverage: Caribbean
Panama

Notes

General Note: This item included in the "Panama Silver, Asian Gold" course to be taught at three institutions starting in Fall 2013.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 4450828
System ID: UF00081174:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081174/00001

Material Information

Title: Susan Proudleigh
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: de Lisser, Herbert G.
Publisher: Methuen & Co.
Publication Date: 1914
Copyright Date: 1914

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Genre:
Spatial Coverage: Caribbean
Panama

Notes

General Note: This item included in the "Panama Silver, Asian Gold" course to be taught at three institutions starting in Fall 2013.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 4450828
System ID: UF00081174:00001


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    Half Title
        Page vii
    Preface
        Page viii
    Book I
        Page 1
        Susan's dilemma
            Page 1
            Page 2
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
        A passage-at-arms
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
        Case in court
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
        What came of the case
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
        Letitias invitation
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
        Samuel Josiah Jones
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
        The announcement
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
        Susan gives "a joke"
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
        Jones is warned
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
        "The sword of the Lord"
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
    Book II
        Page 131
        The land of promise
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
            Page 138
            Page 139
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
        Jones changes his mind
            Page 144
            Page 145
            Page 146
            Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 149
            Page 150
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
            Page 154
        Susan settles down
            Page 155
            Page 156
            Page 157
            Page 158
            Page 159
            Page 160
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 163
            Page 164
        The fly in the ointment
            Page 165
            Page 166
            Page 167
            Page 168
            Page 169
            Page 170
            Page 171
        The subscription party
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
            Page 176
            Page 177
            Page 178
            Page 179
            Page 180
            Page 181
            Page 182
        Jones demonstrates
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
        Susan's last effort
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
            Page 200
            Page 201
            Page 202
            Page 203
            Page 204
            Page 205
            Page 206
    Book III
        Page 207
        The family arrives
            Page 207
            Page 208
            Page 209
            Page 210
            Page 211
            Page 212
            Page 213
            Page 214
            Page 215
            Page 216
            Page 217
        Catherine learns something
            Page 218
            Page 219
            Page 220
            Page 221
            Page 222
            Page 223
            Page 224
        The meeting
            Page 225
            Page 226
            Page 227
            Page 228
            Page 229
            Page 230
            Page 231
            Page 232
            Page 233
            Page 234
            Page 235
            Page 236
        The night of the fire
            Page 237
            Page 238
            Page 239
            Page 240
            Page 241
            Page 242
            Page 243
            Page 244
            Page 245
            Page 246
            Page 247
            Page 248
        The anonymous letter
            Page 249
            Page 250
            Page 251
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
            Page 255
            Page 256
            Page 257
        Samuel's determination
            Page 258
            Page 259
            Page 260
            Page 261
            Page 262
            Page 263
            Page 264
            Page 265
            Page 266
        What happened at Culebra
            Page 267
            Page 268
            Page 269
            Page 270
            Page 271
            Page 272
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            Page 275
            Page 276
            Page 277
            Page 278
            Page 279
        Susan's luck
            Page 280
            Page 281
            Page 282
            Page 283
            Page 284
            Page 285
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            Page 290
            Page 291
            Page 292
            Page 293
            Page 294
            Page 295
        Jones speaks in the predicate
            Page 296
            Page 297
            Page 298
            Page 299
            Page 300
            Page 301
            Page 302
            Page 303
            Page 304
            Page 305
            Page 306
            Page 307
            Page 308
            Page 309
    Advertising
        Page 310
Full Text
SUSAN
ROHDEEIOGH
s~s~ll
RGU-.,D


SEW :
fi BRE~IAL...




























BY THE SAME AUTHOR

JANE'S CAREER






SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


BY
HERBERT G. DE LISSER


METHUEN & CO. LTD.
36 ESSEX STREET W.C.
LONDON


Colonial Library

























First Published in 1915













CONTENTS


BOOK I
CHAP, PAGC
I. SUSAN'S DILEMMA I
II. A PASSAGE-AT-ARMS 12
III. THE CASE IN COURT 21
IV. WHAT CAME OF THE CASE 37
V. LETITIA'S INVITATION 53
VI. SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES 67
VII. THE ANNOUNCEMENT 86
VIII. SUSAN GIVES A JOKE" 99
IX. JONES IS WARNED III
X. !' THE SWORD OF THE LORD 121


BOOK II

I. THE LAND OF PROMISE. 131
II. JONES CHANGES HIS MIND 144
III. SUSAN SETTLES DOWN 155
IV. THE FLY IN THE OINTMENT 165
V. THE SUBSCRIPTION PARTY 172
VI. JONES DEMONSTRATES 183
VII. SUSAN'S LAST EFFORT 194




vi SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


BOOK III
CHAP. PAGE
I. THE FAMILY ARRIVES 207
II. CATHERINE LEARNS SOMETHING 218
III. THE MEETING 225
IV. THE NIGHT OF THE FIRE 237
V. THE ANONYMOUS LETTER .249
VI. SAMUEL'S DETERMINATION 258
VII. WHAT HAPPENED AT CULEBRA 267
VIII. SUSAN'S LUCK 280
IX. JONES SPEAKS IN THE PREDICATE 26


----I

















SUSAN PROUDLEIGH









This story was first published serially in the
Jamaica Daily Gleaner," under the title of
"Susan: Mr. Proudleigh's Daughter," having
been presented by the Jamaica Tobacco Co.
to the reading public of the Island of Jamaica.













SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


BOOK I

CHAPTER I

SUSAN'S DILEMMA

IKNOW I 'ave enemies," said Susan bitterly;
I know I am hated in this low neighbourhood.
But I don't see what them should hate me for, for
never interfere wid any of them."
Them hate y'u because you are better than them,
and because y'u don't mix with them," sagaciously
answered Catherine, her second sister.
"That they will never get me to do," snapped
Susan. I wouldn't mix with a lot of people who
are not my companions, even if them was covered
from top to toe with gold. It is bad enough that
I have to live near them, but further than that I am
not going. It is good morning' and good evening'
with me, an' that is all."
Then them will always hate you," said Catherine,
"and if them can injure y'u them will try to do it."
Catherine referred to most of the people living
I













SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


BOOK I

CHAPTER I

SUSAN'S DILEMMA

IKNOW I 'ave enemies," said Susan bitterly;
I know I am hated in this low neighbourhood.
But I don't see what them should hate me for, for
never interfere wid any of them."
Them hate y'u because you are better than them,
and because y'u don't mix with them," sagaciously
answered Catherine, her second sister.
"That they will never get me to do," snapped
Susan. I wouldn't mix with a lot of people who
are not my companions, even if them was covered
from top to toe with gold. It is bad enough that
I have to live near them, but further than that I am
not going. It is good morning' and good evening'
with me, an' that is all."
Then them will always hate you," said Catherine,
"and if them can injure y'u them will try to do it."
Catherine referred to most of the people living
I





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


in the immediate vicinity, between Susan and whom
a fierce feud had existed for some months. It was
born of envy and nurtured by malice, and Susan
knew that well. She dressed better than most of
the girls in the lane, she lived in a "front house,"
while most of them had to be content with ordinary
yard-rooms. She frequently went for rides on the
electric cars, whereas they could only afford such
pleasure on Sundays and on public holidays. She
carried herself with an air of social superiority which
was gall and wormwood to the envious; and often on
walking through the lane she had noticed the con-
temptuous looks of those whom, with greater contempt,
she called the common folks and treated with but
half-concealed disdain. On the whole, she had rather
enjoyed the hostility of these people, for it was in its
way a tribute to her own importance. But now a dis
comforting development had taken place in the manner
in which the dislike of the neighbourhood habitually
showed itself.
This evening Susan sat by one of the windows d
the little house in which she lived, and which opened
on the lane. It contained two tiny rooms: the inns
apartment was her bedroom, her two sisters sleeping
with her; the outer one was a sitting-room by dal
and a bedroom at night, when it was occupied by he
father and mother. The house had originally beet
painted white and green, but the dust of Kingsta
had discoloured the painting somewhat; hence it
appearance was now shabby and faded, though nd
as much so as that of the other buildings on either sid
of it. Opposite was an ancient fence dilapidated





SUSAN'S DILEMMA


and almost black; behind this fence were two long
ranges of rooms, in which people of the servant classes
lived. The comparison between these and Susan's
residence was all in favour of the latter; and as this
house overlooked the lane, and was detached from the
buildings in the yard to which it belonged, its rental
value was fairly high and its occupants were supposed
to be of a superior social position.
The gutters on both sides of the lane ran with dirty
soap-water, and banana skins, orange peel and bits of
brown paper were scattered over the roughly macadam-
ized ground. Lean dogs reclined in the centre of the
patch, or prowled about seeking scraps of food which
they never seemed to find. In the daytime, scantily-
clad children played in the gutters; a few slatternly
womqn, black and brown, drawled out a conversation
with one another as they lounged upon the doorsteps;
all during the long hours of the sunlight the sound of
singing was heard as some industrious housewives
washed the clothes of their families and chanted hymns
as they worked; and now and then a cab or cart
passed down the lane, disturbing for a little while
the peaceful tenor of its way.
There were no sidewalks, or rather, there were
only the vestiges of sidewalks to be seen. For the
space which had been left for these by the original
founders of the city had more or less been appro-
priated by householders who thought that they them-
selves could make excellent use of such valuable
territory. Here a house was partly built on what was
once a portion of the sidewalk; there a doorstep marked
e the encroachment that had taken place on public





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


property ; between these an empty space showed that
the owner of the intermediate yard had not as yet been
adventurous enough to extend his fence beyond its
proper limits. Most of the houses that opened on the
lane were of one storey, and built of wood, with founda-
tions of red brick. An air of slow decay hung over
nearly all of them, though now and then you saw a
newly painted building which looked a little out of
place in such surroundings.
Susan saw that hers was by no means the shabbiest
of these houses, and Susan knew that she was the
finest-looking young woman in that section of the lane
in which she lived. It was her physical attractions
that had helped her to comparative prosperity. In
the euphemistic language of the country, she was
"engaged" to a young man who was very liberal
with his money ; he came to see her two or three times
a week; and though of late he had not seemed quite
so ardent as before, Susan had not troubled to inquire
the reason of his shortened visits. He had never
hitherto failed on a Friday night to bring for her her
weekly allowance, and that she regarded as a suffi.
ciently substantial proof of his continued affection.
But now she felt that she must take some though'
of the future. Thrice during the current week sh,
had been openly laughed at by Mother Smith, a
peculiarly objectionable old woman who lived about
a hundred yards farther up the lane. Mother Smith
had passed her house, and, looking up at the window,
had uttered with a malignant air of triumph, If
you can't catch Quaco, you can catch his shirt."
Meaningless as the words might have appeared to the





SUSAN'S DILEMMA


'uninitiated, Susan had immediately divined their
sinister significance. She knew that Mother Smith
had a daughter of about her own age, whose challenging
attractiveness had always irritated her. Because
Maria, though black, was comely, Susan had made a
point of ignoring Maria's existence; she had never
thought of Maria as a possible rival, however, so confi-
dent was she of her ascendancy over her lover, and so
certain was she that Maria could never be awarded
the prize for style and beauty if Susan Proudleigh
happened to be near. Still, there could be no mis-
taking the triumphant insolence of Mother Smith's
glance or the meaning of her significant words.
Tom's growing coldness now found an explanation.
The base plot hatched against her stood revealed in
all its hideous details. What was she to do ? She
did not want to quarrel with Tom outright, and so
perhaps frighten him away for ever. That perhaps
was precisely what her enemies were hoping she would
do. After thinking over the matter and finding her-
self unable to decide what course of action to adopt,
she had put the problem before her family; and her
aunt, Miss Proudleigh, happening to come in just then,
she also had been invited to give her opinion and
Suggest a plan.
[ Susan soon began to realize that she could not
expect much wisdom from their united counsel.
SThey all knew that she was not liked by the neigh-
i ours; unfortunately, Mother Smith's design was a
1: factor in the situation which seemed to confuse them
utterly. They had gone over the ground again and
again. Catherine had said the last word, and it was




SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


the reverse of helpful. For a little while they sat in
silence, then Susan mechanically repeated Catherine's
words, If them can injure me, them will try to do it."
They does dislike you, Susan," agreed her aunt,
by way of continuing the conversation, an' if them
can hurt you, them will do it. But, after all, the
Lord is on your side." This remark proved to Susan
that at such a crisis as this her family was worse than
hopeless. She turned impatiently from the window
and faced Miss Proudleigh.
"I don't say the Lord is not on my side," she
exclaimed; "but Mother Smith is against me, an'
the devil is on her side, an' if I am not careful Mother,
Smith will beat me."
As no one answered, she went on, Mother Smith
wouldn't talk like she is talking if she didn't knov
what she was talking about. She want Tom for
Maria, her big-mouth daughter. She an' Maria trying'
to take Tom from me-I know it. But, Lord I wil
go to prison before them do it! She had risen
while speaking, and her clenched hands and gleaming
eyes showed clearly that she was not one over whon
an easy victory could be obtained.
She was of middle height, slimly built, and of dai
brown complexion. Her lips were thin and poutin
her chin rather salient; her nose stood out defiantly
suggesting a somewhat pugnacious disposition. He
hair, curly but fairly long, was twisted into several
plaits and formed a sort of turban on her head; he
eyes, large, black, and vivacious, were the features d
which she was proudest, for she knew the uses to whid
they could be put. As her disposition was natural




SUSAN'S DILEMA -
lively, these eyes of hers usually seemed to be laughing.
But*just now they were burning and flashing with
anger; and those who knew Susan well did not care
to cross her when one of these moods came on.
Her father saw her wrath and trembled; then
immediately cast about in his mind for some word of
consolation that might appease his daughter. He
was a tall, thin man, light brown in complexion, and
possessed of that inability to arrive at positive decisions
which is sometimes described as a judicial frame of
mind. He was mildly fond of strong liquors; yet
even when under their influence he managed to main-
tain a degree of mental uncertitude, a sort of in-
tellectual sitting on the fence, which caused his friends
to believe that his mental capacity was distinctly
above the average. By these friends he was called
Schoolmaster, and he wore the title with dignity. By
way of living up to it he usually took three minutes to
say what another person would have said in one.
That is to say, he delighted in almost endless circum-
locution.
It was even related of Mr. Proudleigh that, one
night, no lamp having yet been lit, he surreptitiously
seized hold of a bottle he found on a table and took
a large sip from it, thinking the liquor it contained
was rum. It happened to be kerosene oil; but such
was his self-control that, instead of breaking into
strong language as most other men would have done,
he muttered that the mistake was very regrettable,
and was merely sad and depressed during the re-
mainder of the evening. Such a man, it is clear, was
not likely to allow his feelings to triumph over his




SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


judgment, though upon occasion, and when it suited
his interests, he was ready to agree with the stronger
party in any argument. Though he now felt some-
what alarmed by Susan's suspicions, and knew it was
a matter of the first importance that Tom, her lover,
and especially Tom's wages, should be retained as an
asset in the family, he could not quite agree that
Susan had very good cause for serious apprehension
as yet. Up to now he had said very little; he was
convinced that he had not sufficient evidence before
him on which to pronounce a judgment. He thought,
too, that his hopeful way of looking at the situation
might help her at this moment; so, his mild, lined
face wearing a profoundly deliberative expression, he
gave his opinion.
I don't think you quite right, Susan," he observed;
" but, mind, I don't say y'u is wrong. Mother Smit
is a woman I don't like at all. But de Scripture told
us, judge not lest we be not judged, an' perhaps
Mother Smit don't mean you at all when she talk
about Quaco."
On hearing this, Susan's mother, a silent, elderly
black woman with a belligerent past, screwed up her,
mouth by way of expressing her disapproval of her.
husband's point of view. Mrs. Proudleigh was a firm;
believer in the unmitigated wickedness of her sex,
but judged it best to say nothing just then. Susan,i
however, annoyed by the perverseness of her father,,
burst out with:
Then see here, sah, if she don't mean me an' my
young man, who can she mean? Don't Mother
Smith always say I am forward ? Don't she pass the




SUSAN'S DILEMMA 9
house this morning an' throw her words on me ?
Don't Maria call out' Look at her' when I was passing
her yard yesterday ? Tut, me good sah, don't talk
stupidness to me I If you don't have nothing sensible
to say, you better keep you' mouth quiet. I am going
to Tom's house to-night, to-night. And Tom will
'ave to tell me at once what him have to do with
Maria."
"I will go with you," said Catherine promptly.
She was a sturdy young woman of nineteen years of
age, and not herself without a sneaking regard for
Tom. Hence, on personal as well as on financial
grounds, she objected to Tom's being taken possession
of by Maria and Maria's mother.
The old man, rather fearing that Susan's wrath
might presently be turned against himself, discreetly
refrained from making any further remark; but his
sister, an angular lady of fifty, with a great reputa-
tion for intelligence and militant Christianity, seeing
that Susan's mind was fully made up as to Maria's
guilt, and being herself in the habit of passing severe
comment on the conduct of the absent, determined
to support her niece.
But some female are really bad! she observed,
as if in a soliloquy. Some female are really bad.
Now here is poor Susan not interfering wid anybody.
She got her intended. He take his own foot an' he
walk down the lane, an' he fall in love with her. It
is true she don't marry him yet, but she is engaged.
She is engage, and therefore it is an unprincipled sin
for any other female to trouble her intended an' take
him away from her. If Maria want a young man,




SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


why don't she go an' look for one ? Why she an' her
mother want to trouble Susan's one poor lamb, when
there is ninety and nine others to pick an' choose
from ? Really some female is wicked "
A speech like this, coming from a woman whose
lack of physical charms was more than made up for
by strength of moral character, was naturally hailed
with great approval by Susan, Catherine, and their
mother. The old man himself, never willing to be
permanently in a minority, now went so far as to
admit that the whole affair was very provocating,"
and added that if he was a younger man he would do
several things of a distinctly heroic and dangerous
character.
But all this, though in its way very encouraging,
was not exactly illuminating. It only brought Susan
back to the point from which she had started, What
am I to do ? she asked for the last time, reduced to
despair, and sinking back into her seat despondently.
If I was you," said Catherine at last deliberately,
I would catch hold of Maria, and beat her till she
bawl."
This advice appealed to Susan; it corresponded
with the wish of her own heart. But she doubted
the efficacy of physical force in dealing with a difficult
and delicate situation. No: a beating would not
do ; besides, in the event of an encounter, it might be
Maria who would do the beating Susan saw plainly
that no word of a helpful nature would be forth-
coming from any of the anxious group, who usually
appealed to her for advice and assistance. So when
Miss Proudleigh was again about to give some further




SUSAN'S DILEMMA II

opinions on the general wickedness of females, she
got up abruptly, saying that she was going round to
Tom's house to see him. Catherine rose to accompany
her, and after putting on their hats the two girls left
the room.












CHAPTER II


A PASSAGE-AT-ARMS

IT was about eight o'clock; and, save for a few
lights gleaming faintly here and there in the yards
and the little houses, the lane was in darkness.
It was quiet, too; only three or four persons were to
be seen moving about, and the innumerable dogs
would not begin to bark until nearly everybody had
gone to bed. A stranger standing at one of the
numerous crossings that intersected the lane, and
looking up or down the narrow way, might imagine
he was peering into some gloomy tunnel were it not:
for the brilliancy of the stars overhead. The cross-
streets were very much brighter and livelier, and
that one towards which Susan and her sister directed
their steps was particularly bright.
A Chinaman's shop at the lane corner opened upon
this street. To the right of this, and also opening
on the street, was another shop presided over by ani
elderly woman. It was small, but contained a com--
paratively large quantity of things which found!:
ready sale in the neighbourhood; such as pints of
porter, little heaps of ripe bananas, loaves of bread,:
coarse straw hats, charcoal, pieces of sugar-cane, tin
whistles, reels of thread and peppermint cakes. On
Is





A PASSAGE-AT-ARMS


Sthe opposite side of the crossing were other shops, and
on either hand, east and west, as far as the eye could
i reach, were still more shops standing between fairly
large two-storeyed dwelling-houses of brick and wood.
On the piazzas women squatted selling native sweet-
Smeats and fruit. To the west, in the middle distance,
Stwo or three taverns blazed with light; away to the
east was a great crowd of people singing, and in the
midst of this crowd jets of flame streamed upwards
from the unprotected wicks of huge oil-lamps. These
lamps gave off thick columns of black smoke which
slowly drifted over the heads of the sable, white-
clothed revivalists who passionately preached on the
always approaching end of the world, and called upon
their hearers to repent them of their sins.
People were continually passing up and down.
SThey passed singly or in groups, the latter discussing
loudly their private affairs, careless as to who might
hear: even love-making couples ignored the proximity
of other human beings, and laughed and chatted as
though there was no one within a mile of them. Many
of these pedestrians were barefooted, but most of
them wore shoes or slippers of some sort. A few were
in rags, but the majority were fairly well dressed, for
This was a populous thoroughfare, and the people took
- some pride in their appearance. A number of children
Shung about, playing with one another or gazing idly
at the passing show; a fine grey dust lay thick upon
the ground; gas-lamps placed at wide distances apart
burned dimly, so that large spaces of the street were
in shadow. Cabs conveying passengers home or on
visits drove by frequently, and every now and then





14 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
the electric cars flew by, stirring up a cloud of dus
which almost blinded one, and which for a moment
shrouded the street with a moving, impalpable veil
There was life here, there was movement, and while
the revivalists prayed and preached in the distance
the candy sellers near by plaintively invited the younj
to come and purchase their wares, the proprietors d
little ice-cream carts declaimed vociferously that they
sold the best cream ever manufactured, and the
vendors of pea-nuts screamed out that baked pea-nufit
were strengthening, enlivening, and comforting. Thi
was the life of the street.
At the right-hand corner of the lane, where the
Chinaman's shop stood, was a gas-lamp, and the
gossiping groups about the spot indicated that it was
a favourite rendezvous of the people of the vicinity.
Susan never condescended to linger for a moment
there; that would have been beneath her dignity.
But Maria, her rival, sometimes paused at the corn
when going for a walk, to talk for a while with a possible
admirer or with a friend if she should happen to meet
one. To-night Maria was standing under the gas-lamp i
conversing gaily with two girls. Evidently she wa
in a happy frame of mind.
Yes," she was saying, in answer to a question.
put to her by one of the girls, I am goin' to tdl
her so. She is proud an' she is forward; but s
will soon sing a different tune. I wonder what sl
would say now if she did know dat her lover wril
me two letters last week, an' say that him love me
I don't answer him yet, but him say him comitr
to see me to-morrow night. You watch If I wat





A PASSAGE-AT-ARMS


to teck Tom from her, I have only to lift me little
Singer. An' I am not too sure I won't do it."
She laughed as she spoke of her prospective victory
Over Susan; but her friends, though they hated
Susan, were not particularly delighted with the news
they heard. They were agreed that Susan ought
| to be humbled, but that was no reason why Maria
should be exalted. It was, therefore, not altogether
Sin a cheerful tone of voice that the elder one asked
Maria:
Y'u think Tom going to come to you ? "
Him almost come to me already," replied Maria,
with pride. Look what him send for me last night! "
She thrust her hand into her pocket as she spoke.
As she was taking out Tom's present, Susan and her
sister emerged into the light.
Both Susan and Maria caught sight of each other
at the same moment. And each realized in a flash
that the other knew the true position of affairs. The
-glare of hate from Susan's eyes was answered by a
contemptuous stare and a peal of derisive laughter
from Maria. Susan's sister and Maria's friends at
once understood that a desperate struggle had begun
between the two.
Maria's ringing jeer was more than any ordinary
woman could tolerate. Susan tried to answer it
With a laugh as contemptuous, but failed, her wrath
Choking her. Then she put all pretence aside, and
swiftly moving up to Maria she thrust her face into
the face of the other girl. See here, ma'am," she
hissed, I want to ask you one thing : is it me you
Laughing at ? "





16 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

But stop! exclaimed Maria, backing away
little, and defiantly placing her arms akimbo. Stop,
You ever see my trial! Then I can't laugh without
your permission, eh ? Saying which she laughed
again as contemptuously as before, and swung round
with a flounce so as to bring one of her elbows into
unpleasant proximity to Susan's waist.
"I don't say you can't laugh, an' I don't care i
y'u choose to laugh till you drop," cried Susan bitterly
but I want to tell you that y'u can't laugh at me "
So you're better than everybody else ? sneer
Maria. Y'u think you are so pretty, eh ? Well
there is a miss for you She can't even behave he
self in de public street, though she always walk an'
shake her head as if she was a princess, an' though.
she call herself young lady.' But perhaps she thini
she lose something good, an' can't recover from tb
loss as yet! And again that maddening peal d
laughter rang out.
Susan did not answer Maria directly. She eyed
that young woman swiftly, and noticed that her dress
was old and her shoes poor and dusty. This gave hea
the advantage she needed in dealing with a girl who
was all contempt while she herself was all temper,
She turned to her sister and to Maria's friends, and
pointed to Maria with scorn.
Look at her 1 she cried. Look how she stand
Her face is like a cocoa-nut trash, and she don't evea
have a decent frock to put on "
Maria might have passed, over the reference to
her face; she knew it was only spiteful abuse. But
\the allusion to the scantiness of her wardrobe was




A PASSAGE-AT-ARMS 17

absolutely unforgivable. If not exactly true, it
yet approached perilously near the truth, and so it
cut her to the quick. No sooner were the words
uttered than Maria's forefinger was wagging in Susan's
face, and :
Say that again, an' I box you she screamed.
Box me ? hissed Susan. Box me ? My good
woman, this would be the last day of you' life. Take
you' hand out of'me face at once-take it out, I say-
take it out "-and without waiting to see whether
Maria would remove the offending member, she seized
it and pushed Maria violently away.
In a moment the two were locked in one another's
arms. There was a sound of heavy blows, two simul-
taneous shrieks of Murder and a hasty movement
of about forty persons towards the scene of the combat.
Catherine now thought it time to interfere. She
threw herself upon the combatants, making a desperate
but vain attempt to separate them. Maria's friends
protested loudly that Susan was ill-treating Maria,
though, as the latter was at least as strong as Susan,
it was difficult to see where the ill-treatment came in.
A dignified-looking man standing on the piazza
loudly remonstrated with the crowd for allowing
" those two females to fight," but made not the slightest
effort himself to put a stop to the struggle. The little
boys and girls in the vicinity cheered loudly. The
one thing lacking was a policeman. Noticing this,
the dignified looking man audibly expressed his
opinion on the inefficiency of the force.
Let me go, I say, let me go gasped Susan, her
head being somewhere under Maria's right arm.
2





18 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

You wants to kill me stammered Maria, whose
sides Susan was squeezing with all the strength she
possessed-" murder, murder "
But neither one would let the other go. Neither
one was much hurt as yet. The struggle continued
about a minute longer, when some one in the crowd
shouted, Policeman coming "
Then indeed both Susan and Maria came to their
senses. They separated, and vainly tried to put on
an appearance of composure. It was time, for yonder,
moving leisurely through the crowd, now composed
of over a hundred persons, was the policeman who had
been spied by one of the spectators. The girls made
no effort to run, for that would surely have provoked
the policeman to an unusual display of energy, and,
justly angered at having been compelled to exert
himself, he might have arrested them both on the
charge of obstructing him in the execution of his duty.
They waited where they stood, their eyes still flashing,
their bosoms heaving, and their bodies trembling with
rage.
But angry as she was, Susan had already begun
to feel ashamed of fighting in the street. She had
always had a horror of street scenes; people of her
class did not participate in them; before this event
she would not have thought it possible that she could
ever be mixed up in such an affair as this. Oh, the,
humiliation of being handled by a constable! She
heartily wished she were a thousand miles from the
spot.
In the meantime the policeman, having arrived
at the outskirts of the crowd, began busily to work




A PASSAGE-AT-ARMS


his way through to the centre. True to its tradi-
tions, the crowd was hostile to him and friendly to
the culprits; so some of the women managed to put
themselves in his way, then angrily asked him what
he was pushing them for.
What is all dis ? was his first question as he
came up to the spot where Susan and Maria stood.
" What is de meaning of this ? He looked fixedly at
the gas-lamp as if believing that that object could give
him the most lucid explanation of the circumstances.
Nobody answered.
What is all dis, I say ? he again demanded in
a more peremptory tone of voice.
These two gals was fighting, sah," explained a
small boy, in the hope of seeing somebody arrested.
"Mind your own business, buoy!" was all the
reward the policeman gave him for his pains, and
then the arm of the law, feeling that something was
expected of him, proceeded to deliver a speech.
"The truth of de matter is dis," he observed,
looking round with an air of grave authority: "You /
common folkses are too ignorant. You are ignorant
to extreme. You ever see white ladies fight in de
street ? Answer me that "
No one venturing to answer, he continued:
White people don't fight in de street, because
them is ladies and gentleman. But I can't under-
stand the people of my own colour ; they have no
respect for themself "
He spoke more in sorrow than in anger; almost
as though he were bitterly lamenting the deficiencies
of the working classes. But Susan, though in trouble,




SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


would not even then allow herself to be classed with
the policeman and others in the category of common
folkses." I am not common," she answered de-
fiantly; I am not your set! "
Silence, miss! thundered the policeman, scan-
dalized. I am the law Do you know dat ? "
I never see a black law yet," cheekily replied
Susan, who thought that, if she had to be arrested,
there would be at least some satisfaction in humili-
ating the policeman.
If y'u say another impertinence word I will
arrest you! was the policeman's threat. Now de
whole of you walk right off Right off, I say, or I
teck you all to jail!" He included the crowd with
one comprehensive sweep of his arm, perceiving
that his edifying attempt to awaken in his audience
a sense of respectability had not been favourably
received.
There was no disputing his authority, especially
as he had begun to get angry. Susan knew, too,
that she had mortally offended him by claiming
to belong to a better class than his: which remark
had also lost her the sympathy of the greater part
of the crowd. So she was the first to take advantage
of his command, and Maria followed her example by
disappearing as quickly as she could. In another
minute or two the normal activity of the street had
been resumed, and the policeman had again started
upon his beat, hoping that he would no more be
disturbed that night. But both Susan and Maria
knew that the fight would have a sequel. For war
had now openly been declared between them.


20













CHAPTER III


THE CASE IN COURT

WILL have to bring 'er up "
It was Susan who spoke. She had returned
to the house, where the news of the fight had
preceded her. The whole family had been on the
point of issuing forth to her rescue when she appeared,
and now they were again assembled in full conclave
to discuss at length this new aspect of the situation.
"'Vengeance is mine,'" quoted her aunt; "but
there is a time for all things. An' if y'u don't teach
a gurl like Maria a lesson, she will go far wid you."
She is a very rude young ooman!" exclaimed
Mr. Proudleigh with indignation, following up his
sister's remark ; he felt that he must lend his daughter
his moral support. Ef I was a younger man," he
went on, I would . I would . well, I don't
know what I wouldn't do But Mother Smit is a
dangerous female to interfere wid, and de cramps is
troubling me in me foot so badly dat I wouldn't like
'er to put 'er hand 'pon me at all."
Ef she ever touch you," his wife broke in, old
as I is, she an' me would have to go to prison."
You was always a courigous gal, Mattie," said
the old man approvingly; but I don't want to see
2i





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


y'u get into any quarrel; an' to tell you de trute,
I don't t'ink I could help you at all. Susan is goin'
to bring up Maria, an' that is a satisfaction. I are
going to de court-house wid 'er to encourage her."
But suppose Susan lose the case ? Catherine
suggested. She had been a witness of the encounter,
and though she fully intended to forget every fact
that would make against Susan in the court-house,
she was sagacious enough to realize that Maria's
friends would not do likewise.
"Lose me case ? asked Susan incredulously.
" That can't be done! She provoked me first, an'
the judge must take note of that. Besides, I am
goin' to put a good lawyer on her: not a fool-fool
man that can't talk, but a man who will question her
properly an' make her tell de truth."
Dat is right," said Mr. Proudleigh with proud
anticipation of coming victory. Sue, I advise you
to get de Attorney-General."
"I never hear about him," Miss Proudleigh re-
marked; an' it won't do for Susan to get a lawyer
we don't know. But who to get ? "
As Mr. Proudleigh knew nothing about the leader
of the local bar except his name, he decided not to
urge the claims of that high official upon his daughter.
One after another, the names of the several lawyers
of whom the family had heard were mentioned, and
their various merits were discussed. As this was to
be the most important case ever tried-or at least so
the family thought-it was of the utmost importance
that the brightest legal luminary should be obtained :
the difficulty was to select one from the many whose




THE CASE IN COURT


reputation for ability commended them all as fit and
proper persons to prosecute Maria Bellicant for assault
and abusive language. At last Miss Proudleigh
suggested a lawyer whose cleverness in handling
witnesses determined to perjure themselves had often
appealed to her admiration. Having once mentioned
his name with approval, the worthy lady thought it
was incumbent upon her to argue away all that might
be said against him and all that might be urged in
favour of other solicitors; and at length Susan decided
that she would go to see Lawyer Jones in the morning.
Miss Proudleigh was so delighted with the prospect of
having Mr. Jones proceed against Maria, that during
the rest of the time she remained at the house she
could talk of nothing but that lawyer's merits. But
on leaving she reminded Susan of the value of prayer
as a consolation for all the troubles of life, and sug-
gested that supplications made properly and in a
reverent spirit might lead to Maria's being afflicted
with manifold ills throughout the rest of her days.
After Miss Proudleigh had left, the family sat up
until twelve o'clock discussing the fight and the
coming case. And in many of the yards and houses
of the lane the fight also formed the topic of discussion.
In the yard where Maria lived some thirty persons
assembled to express their sympathy with her and to
give fervent utterance to the hope that she had beaten
Susan properly. They were comforted on learning
from Maria that she had. Mother Smith herself
performed a sort of war dance about the premises,
showing in pantomime what she would do as soon as
she should lay hands upon Susan and Susan's people,





24 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
down to the third and fourth generation. Everybody
agreed that Maria had been most shamefully ill-
treated, and one of the girls who had been with Maria
at the street corner went so far as to think she had
seen Susan draw a pair of scissors out of her pocket,.
presumably to stab Maria. Indeed, in some of the
tenement yards it was actually reported that blood.:;
had been drawn, one eye-witness even undertaking.
to describe the wounds. Altogether, it was a very,
exciting night in that section of the lane in which the
girls lived, and almost every one was glad that Susan
had at last met her match.
The excitement was kept alive the next day by the
news that Susan had brought up Maria. Maria had
been expecting this, for she had rightly calculated
that no girl in Susan's financial position would forgo
the luxury of a case in court after such a fight. Maria
was poor, but she felt that the only proper thing to
do in the circumstances was to cross the warrant ";
so she went and crossed it that same day, and Mother
Smith began to sell some of her scanty stock of furni-
ture to raise enough money to employ a lawyer.
Susan acted very rapidly when her mind was made
up. After leaving the court-house she had sent a note
to Tom telling him to come round to see her that night;
and Tom, who had already heard about the fight, came
as requested.
He was a short, stoutish young fellow of about
twenty-six years of age, and somewhat lighter in
complexion than Susan. His watery eyes, weak
mouth, and tip-tilted nose showed a man of little
strength of character; you would rightly have de-




THE CASE IN COURT


[ scribed him as a nondescript sort of person. He
took great pride in his appearance, always used cheap
scents on Sundays, and carried on his amours as
surreptitiously as possible. He had a horror of
domestic quarrels, and though it was true that he
had been attracted by Maria's appearance, fear of
Susan's temper had kept him fairly faithful to his
vows of eternal constancy. He had flirted just a little
with Maria. He had made her one or two presents.
; He had written her a couple of letters; he was rather
(perhaps dangerously) fond of writing letters. But
Susan overawed him, and in the midst of these amorous
exercises he had devoutly hoped that she would never
suspect him of even speaking to Maria. Judge of
his consternation, therefore, when, after greeting him
coldly and saying that she had sent for him because
he did not seem to care now about coming to see her
as often as before, she launched out upon a sea of
reproaches, and overwhelmed him with perfectly just
accusations. Naturally, he denied all intercourse
with Maria, though remembering with a sinking heart
that his own handwriting might be produced against
him. But Susan evidently knew nothing about
those letters: perhaps he could induce Maria to
return them to him. He began to take heart-too
soon. For Susan did not believe a word he said,
though she pretended to do so in order to gain the
end she had in view. She heard him out to the end,
and after he had expressed his indignation at the
.conduct of Maria, and agreed with Susan that that
young woman deserved severest punishment, she
quietly said:



C C





26 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

I bring Maria up to-day."
Tom was thunderstruck.
"You mean," he stammered, "that you going.
into a court-house with that girl ? "
Yes," she answered; I make up me mind."
An' then," he protested heatedly, my name;
will be called, an' I will be mixed up in it! What
you talking' about, Sue ? "
"You' name won't be called," she answered in-i
flexibly. What you fretting about ? If you know,:
as you say, that you have nothing to do with Maria,.
you needn't trouble yourself. It is me bringing
her up, not you. Who is to call you' name ? "
Tom looked into her face, and realized that there
was no turning her from her purpose. The two
were alone in the day-sitting-room; but even if the
rest of the family were there, he reflected ruefully,
that would hardly assist him.
I don't like it," he muttered dismally.
Don't fret about anything," she cheerfully ad-
vised him as he bade her good-night. You' name
won't come into the case."
But Tom left her with a sinking heart.

The eventful day of the case dawned at last, and
found Susan and her family in a state of intense
excitement. The case was to be tried in the Police
Court, a building which had once been a barracks
for the Imperial soldiers when troops were stationed
in the city of Kingston. The courtyard of this
building opened on one hand upon the city's central
park, a large plot of land planted out in umbrageous





THE CASE IN COURT 27
evergreens and flowering shrubs; on the other hand,
it opened upon one of the city's busiest thorough-
fares. Thus on the one side was an oasis of peace
Vand beauty, while in the adjoining street to the west
all was squalor and confusion. This street itself
"was filled with little shops and crowded with clamour-
ing; gesticulating people. A market was there, and
'.the echoes of shrieks of laughter and sudden volleys
of abuse sometimes came to the magistrates and
Lawyers as they transacted their business in the court;
but they accepted these minor interruptions as part
of the settled order of things, and never complained
about them. Carts rattling over the brick pavement,
electric cars passing at frequent intervals and in-
cessantly sounding their gongs to warn the careless
people out of their way, diminutive venders shouting
out the nature and superior quality of their wares-all
this, with the inevitable clouds of dust which swept
over and enveloped everything, made up the life and
activity of the street. And dominating the whole
scene stood the weather-worn, ugly, two-storeyed
building which to so many thousands of the people
was the awe-inspiring symbol of a vague and
tremendous power called Law.
Both Susan and Maria knew the place well. They
arrived there with their attendant retinues at a little
before ten o'clock, the hour at which the court began
to sit. Policemen were to be seen about the large
courtyard, clad in white jackets and blue serge
trousers and white helmets. They were the visible
and self-conscious representatives of might, majesty,
dominion, and power. Habitual criminals made





28 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

remarks about them as they passed up and do
amongst the scores of people who loitered in
courtyard; but they paid no attention to these,
freedom of ambiguous speech is the privilege of
habitual criminals.
Soon after their arrival, Susan and Maria ent
the court-room with their friends to wait until the
case should be called. They had been there mo0
than once before as spectators, but now, as.
principal actors in such a tremendous drama, the
gazed about them with new and strange sensations.
The room was furnished in the plainest mann
possible. At the southern end of it was a platfo
on which stood a desk and a chair: these were I
the magistrate. To the magistrate's right was
witness box, and just below his desk was a tab
with a number of chairs around it. Here the cou
serjeant, one or two police inspectors, and the lawyt
sat. Behind these, and facing the magistrate,
the dock; behind this dock were ranged a few wood
benches without backs, and apparently designed fori
the purpose of inflicting the maximum amount d
physical discomfort on those who might choo0
to sit on them. These were for the use of the'
spectators.
A case over, a trifling thing relating to a young lady
with fifteen previous convictions for abusive language,
the case of Susan Proudleigh v. Maria Bellicant was
called. Maria, as the accused, took up her standA
behind her lawyer, who rose and informed their
magistrate that he appeared for her.
Susan Proudleigh called the court serjeant,




STHE CASE IN COURT 29
Susan rose. But the policeman at the door, who
as the crier of the court, would not be defrauded
his privilege of shouting out her name; so imme-
tely his voice was heard screaming," Su-u-u-san
under Su-u-u-san Pounder Su-u-u-san
underr" And another policeman outside took
p the cry with, Su-u-u-san Plummer!"
Su-u-u-san Plummer! Su-u-san Plummer !"
[d was about to return the verdict of No answer,"
hen he learnt that the lady was inside.
'-Susan was motioned towards the witness box after
aria had vehemently pleaded not guilty to the charge
assault and battery. She felt nervous as she gazed
around the crowded room, but she was comforted by
the reflection that she looked very well in her white
lawn frock trimmed with blue ribbons, with hat to
match.
.She took the book in her hand as directed, and
swore that she would tell nothing but the truth.
[Then she stated her case.
" My Honour, I was walking me way quite quiet
[an' peaceful down Blake Lane on Thursday night
last week; I was goin' for a walk, my Honour, an'
thinking about- "
"Never mind what you were thinking about," said
the magistrate; go on."
"Yes, my Honour. I was thinking' about me poor
old father at home, when all of a sudden I see Maria
ellicant at the corner. I was going' to tell 'er good
ending, because as I know I never do her nothing,
had no bad feelings against 'er, and--"
"Oh, never mind all that! interrupted the magis-





30 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
trate impatiently; "we don't want to hear a
your feelings. Tell us the facts."
This was distinctly disconcerting. Susan, who had
been trying to manipulate her th's properly so as t'
make a good impression upon His Honour, now begat
to think he was prejudiced against her. However
she went bravely on.
"I go up to Maria, my Honour, an' I was going
say, 'Good evening, Maria,' when she look at me anf
laugh. An' she say, Look at this worthless gal!' i
say to her,' But, Maria, why you call me wort'less?1
an' I go up nearer up to 'er in a friendly spirit; an'
she take 'er elbow an' push me, an' I hold 'er hand,
an' she collar me an' begin to beat me, an' I bawl for
murder."
She paused, for this was her version of the truth
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Hi,
lawyer asked her a few questions, the answers to which
all tended to corroborate her story. She felt quite
satisfied, believing that she had already won the case :
but Maria's lawyer rose very quietly, and intimated
that he desired to ask her a few questions. :
Your name is Susan Proudleigh ? he asked, the
tone of his voice suggesting that he thought the narn
might be an alias.
Yes."
You live at No. Ioi Blake Lane ? "
Yes, sir."
Your intended's name is Thomas Wooley ? "
What has that to do with the case ? asked
magistrate. ,
"A great deal, your Honour," answered the lawy1




STHE CASE IN COURT 31

P'Now, Susan," he went on, remember you are on
your oath! Your sweetheart's name is Thomas
.Wooley, isn't it ? "
Susan looked at him dumbly. But his "Answer
me I was too peremptory to be disobeyed.
"Yes," she answered, and her heart sank, for she
remembered what she had said to Tom about his
name not being called.
And he is tired of you, isn't he ? her questioner
,continued mercilessly, rejoicing in her confusion.
What you mean ? "
"Answer my question, miss!" was again the
command.
"No; him never tell me so."
Ah, now, don't you know that Thomas is in love
with-Maria? "
S" I don't know dat at all; in fact, you 'ave no
business- "
Don't you dare argue with me Now when you
met Maria Bellicant that night, and when you told
her that she had stolen the clothes she had on--"
I never tell 'er so! Susan burst forth. I tell 'er
she didn't 'ave a decent dress to wear "
S" Oh so you provoked her, did you ? "
SSusan perceived that she had blundered, but
,the lawyer did not give her a chance to recover
herself.
S" Why did you provoke her ? Answer me at once "
he insisted, and she was about to blunder further,
when her lawyer rose and asked the magistrate if his
client was to be intimidated and bullied in that
fashion ? He suggested that Susan had offered no





32 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
provocation whatever, and, although the7magis
promptly stopped him, Susan caught the cue.
had to admit, however, that she had struck M
after she herself had been struck, and Maria's la
was satisfied that Susan's principal witness wo
admit far more than that.
This witness was a young man, one Hezekiah Thb
philus Wilberforce. Catherine had taken ill am
at the last moment, fear of the court-house h
much to do with her sudden illness; so Susan had
to fall back upon the assistance of Hezekiah.
she been sophisticated she might have tried to ob
the services of a professional witness. A few of
are always to be found in every West Indian to
any importance, and they perform the useful func
of swearing to things they never saw. You rel
the circumstances to them, and they find that tl
were in the vicinity of the occurrence whatevere
was) on the day or night in question; and, if
were not seen by any of the other witnesses, that
be attributed to the fact that the excitement I
intense.
These men are well known to the magistrates
lawyers, and sometimes they are called upon to expb
their astonishing ubiquity. But a man is by Brit
law considered honest until he is proven to bi
scoundrel, 'so these witnesses continue to flourish i
green bay trees. Susan, however, knew nothing
the high mysteries of the law and the customs ofi
court. So Hezekiah had been selected by her, ch"
on the strength of his own recommendation, as a pet
most likely to give a graphic and satisfactory acc6




STHE CASE IN COURT 33
Sthe ill-treatment she had suffered at the hands of
SBellicant.
;JHezekiah had always had an ambition to figure
something in a court of justice. Not being able
prosecute anybody himself, he longed for the time
when he should kiss de book," and then proceed to
ell a story which should assist in sending a fellow-
ture to prison. On his name being called, he came
othe court all smiles, and holding high his shining
,as one who realized the importance of being a
tness. He repeated the story that Susan had told,
rg it only by a detailed description of the treat-
t to which she had been subjected. Asked by the
istrate why he had not attempted to separate the
irs, he replied with a grin that horse don't have
business in cow's fight," a reason which, he thought,
amply explained his apparent cowardice. That said,
he was about to step down from the box, not anticipat-
ing that anything further would be required of him,
when Maria's lawyer abruptly asked him where he was
Going to?
|-He paused, confused by the sharp and even threaten-
ing tone of the lawyer, who knew his type well.
S" Hezekiah, what do you do for a living ? was
ithe first question put to him.
-, The question was quite unexpected, and it was
Simply impossible for Hezekiah to answer it straight-
riowardly. For the truth was that he did nothing
for a living. While he stared open-mouthed at the
lawyer, wondering what to say, the latter called His
Honour's attention to the fact that the witness could
'aot answer a simple question about his own means of





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


livelihood, and then suggested that Hezekiah must
either be a thief or a loafer.
The magistrate was peremptory. What do you
do for a living ? he asked.
Me mother help me, sah, an' me uncle," stam-
mered poor Hezekiah, reduced to the sad extremity
of telling the truth.
Now, sir thundered the lawyer, do you mean
to tell me that a big man like you is living on a poor
old woman ? And have you nothing better to do:
than come to the court-house and tell lies ? "
I don't tell no lie, sah grumbled Hezekiah.
Don't be impertinent, sir Now remember you
are on your oath: didn't the Chinaman at the lane
corer once threaten to put you in charge for stealing
a pack of Rosebud cigarettes off his counter ? "
The question came like a thunder-clap. Hezekiah's
love for these cigarettes was well-known to all his
friends, but he had fondly hoped that that little
episode, which might have had so unpleasant a ter-
mination, had been forgotten by the Chinaman him.
self. How did the lawyer know of it ? In his be-
wilderment it did not dawn on him that his whole;
life-history, in so far as Maria knew it, had been told 1
with point and circumstance to Maria's lawyer. :
Fear now took possession of him-abject fear. A few
more questions like the last, and his reputation in the
lane would be ruined for ever. He moved about in his
circle as a man of some importance, for he played the
guitar, swore with remarkable fluency, and claimed
superiority on the ground that he neither worked nor
wanted. This examination was not at all what he had





THE CASE IN COURT


bargained for. As he explained afterwards, the lawyer
took a mean advantage of him. But the fierce inter-
rogatory had had its effect; for when the lawyer
asked him, Now, didn't you see Susan Proudleigh
assault Maria Bellicant first ? he meekly answered,
"Yes."
After that the truth, or as much of it as Hezekiah
could remember, came out. All that Susan's lawyer
could do was to prove that Maria had been as quick
to quarrel as Susan. Long before the witnesses were
finished with, it had become clear to the magistrate
that he had here a simple case of jealousy to deal with,
and, as he had acquired something of a reputation
as a maker of compromises (which satisfied nobody)
he thought he would interpose at this point and so
still further add to his fame as a peacemaker.
Looking sternly at Susan, he told her that she could
go on with the case if she liked; but that though
it was clear that he would have to fine Maria for pro-
voking her to a breach of the peace, by putting her
hand in her (the prosecutor's) face, which act amounted
to a technical assault, he saw clearly that when Maria
Bellicant's case came on he would also have to fine
the present prosecutor. Both had used insulting
words; both were to blame. So he would advise them
to make up their differences out of court, especially
as they appeared to be two decent young women.
Being a man of decided views on morality, he was
particularly hard on Tom.
That young man, Tom Wooley," he said, has
really been the cause of this quarrel. I wish he was
here so that I could deal with him. But I hope that





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


some one will tell him what I say. He seems to be a
very loose character, and I fear that there are only
too many such in Kingston. I have no doubt that he
is deceiving a number of other women, and his acts
may lead to some of them going to prison one day."
The speaker glanced at the reporters to see if they were
taking down his little speech. Satisfied that they were,
he went on to urge upon the girls the necessity of leading
a respectable and self-sacrificing life. This they most
faithfully promised to do, all the while thinking him
an old crank who interfered too freely with other
people's business. Much pleased with the apparent
result of his efforts to rescue Susan and Maria from the
broad and easy way, and proud that he had effected
another compromise, he ordered the serjeant to call
the next case, and the young women and their several
friends left the court.
Maria was delighted, for Susan had to all intents
and purposes lost her case. Hezekiah was dazed,
his mind being awhirl with new and uncomplimentary
thoughts about His Britannic Majesty's courts. They
were to him places where mean advantages were taken
of truthful witnesses, and in his heart of hearts he knew
also that he had fallen from grace for ever, in so far as
Susan was concerned. As for Susan, she was furious.
She had not succeeded in getting Maria punished.
She had been lectured by an ole fool as she called
the learned magistrate. Worst of all, Tom's name
had been repeatedly mentioned during the trial. It|
had been an entirely miserable affair, and, for her,
a humiliating defeat.












CHAPTER IV


WHAT CAME OF THE CASE

THE thing about the trial that seemed to Miss
Proudleigh the unkindest cut of all was the utter
failure of Lawyer Jones to rise to the occasion
and pulverize his legal opponent with arguments.
She had accompanied Susan to the court-house with
proud expectancy. Lawyer Jones had been recom-
mended by her, and she felt that she had certain
proprietary rights in him; that she was, in a way,
responsible for his good behaviour as a lawyer. And
now he had failed, failed miserably; he had disgraced
her; she regarded him as guilty of a base deception.
On the way home she urged this point of view upon
Susan, and her brother agreed that the lawyer had
indeed acted most strangely.
The whole of them cheat me said Susan bitterly.
" There is no justice in dis country at all. From the
judge down, them is all a set of thief "
Solomon say that it is better to chop a baby in
two dan go to law," observed Mr. Proudleigh, an' I
see to-day dat him is quite right. Now if you did
half murder Maria, them would only fine you, an' you
would have de satisfaction to know that you give it
to her properly. Instead of dat, you bring 'er up in
37





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


a respectable style, an' put a lawyer on 'er, an' pay
him two pounds to persecute her, an' all de justice you
get is dat the judge tell y'u to make up de quarrel or
him will fine you too "
Leave them all to God! said Miss Proudleigh
piously.
Leave them to de devil, you mean Susan rapped
out. The judge abuse me about me intended, an'
the lawyer take me money and don't do nothing for
it; an' now you tell me to leave them to God The
truth of de matter is that all these judge an' all these
lawyers is simply humbugging poor people in this
country. Them want nothing better than for we to
leave them to God, so long as them can get de money.
But while we walk to church to pray, them drive in
motor-car I "
Wrath had made Susan a rebel, and contemptuous
of the things she had always regarded with respect;
but Miss Proudleigh had her Christian reputation to
think of, and she could not join her niece in her violent
protest. As for her father, though he was inclined to
think Susan was right, he did not care to express his
opinion of the judge too freely in the open street.
When they got home, Susan stationed herself by the
window, her favourite point of vantage, and there she
sat for hours nursing her anger. Now and then, as
she looked around her, the pride of possession filled
her soul. The room contained two American rocking-
chairs, and five cane-seated chairs of a yellowish hue.
There was a long wooden bench without a back placed
against one of the walls, and two dealboard tables,
both covered with gaudy worsted spreads. On on6





WHAT CAME OF THE CASE


of them was a kerosene lamp, a couple of hymn books,
and a few earthenware ornaments. The other was
crowded with thick tumblers, some of fantastic shapes,
and a heap of cheap crockery ware. On the walls
hung coloured prints of the King and the Royal Family,
and pictures of ladies dressed in exiguous garments,
and smoking cigarettes with an air of enjoyment. All
these things belonged to her. They had been given
to her by Tom. And in the inner room she had an
iron bed on which was a straw mattress, and two more
chairs, and a big trunk containing her clothes, and a
basin-stand, on which she kept her china basin and
ewer. She had, besides, a large looking-glass on a
little table in the room. And all these household gods
were comparatively new.
She took pride in her furniture. Only married
people of her class usually had as much, and certainly
Maria had not. "After all," she more than once
muttered to herself, I 'ave a comfortable house to
come to, an' perhaps Maria don't 'ave a penny to-day."
Yet she was not long comforted by this reflection.
Maria had practically triumphed, and her success at
the court-house might embolden her to attempt to
capture Tom outright. Susan did not care much for
Tom; in fact, she rather despised him. But times
were hard in Kingston, and lovers were not easy to
obtain; so if Maria should succeed. . But that
can't be done," she concluded; for what was Maria
when compared with her ?
Susan was not given to following out a train of
thought for any length of time; she usually jumped
from one subject to another as it came up in her mind.





40 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH 1
But the experience of that morning, and its unknown
but dreaded consequences, caused her now to dwell
lengthily upon the days before she became acquainted
with Tom. Her past had not been a pleasant one.
Her father was a carpenter, and when in good health
he had earned a fair amount of money by working at
his trade. But some sixteen years before he had been
prostrated by a severe attack of rheumatism, and when
he recovered he found that he had almost lost the use
of his lower limbs. Then her brother went away to
Nicaragua, and only wrote occasionally, sometimes
sending a few dollars to his parents. After her father's
illness her mother had turned washerwoman, and what
the old woman earned helped to keep the family from
starvation. Her father did a few light jobs, when he
could get them, but these did not bring in much.
Susan herself, on leaving the Government elementary
school when a little over fourteen years of age, had
tried to find a situation ; but there was hardly anything
she could do at that age.
In those days she lived in a yard-room with the rest
of the family. She could remember herself as often
standing at the gate of the yard, her feet thrust into
a pair of slippers, and looking with envy at those girls
who could afford to wear shoes and go to all the Sunday-
school picnics and treats. There were days when she
went to bed without dinner, a fate by no means
unknown to hundreds of other persons in her position.
On other days she was glad if her dinner consisted of.
a piece of dry bread. The rent of the room her family
occupied was always the great problem that faced
them continually; for if it was not paid their few




WHAT CAME OF THE CASE 41
belongings might be levied upon, and the old people
would have to go to the almshouse. Semi-starvation
was better than that, so they not infrequently starved.
When she was nearly eighteen, what she called
"a luck befell her. She was in the habit of attend-
ing, every Wednesday evening, a little church near
where she lived. There had been revival meetings in
that church a short time before she had taken to going
to the services, and nearly everybody in its immediate
neighbourhood had been converted. Amongst these
converts was a young fellow of nineteen, a clerk by
occupation; and seeing Susan in the church once
or twice, he was moved to attempt the saving of her
soul. He only succeeded in losing his heart.
For some months he gave her five shillings a week
out of the fifteen he earned; then he unfortunately
lost his situation, and Susan's father awoke to a sense
of outraged morality. It was edifying to hear Mr.
Proudleigh lecture that young man on the moral
obliquity of endeavouring to draw a youthful
feminine away from religion." There was no arguing
with him, for very little argument is left in any youth
who has lost his situation; so the young man quietly
drifted out of Susan's life.
For some time longer the family was compelled to
exist on the mother's earnings and on what Mr. Proud-
leigh's son in Nicaragua occasionally sent home. It
was then that Susan tried her hardest to obtain work
of some kind. But it required influence to secure a
position as a barmaid; the small shops had as many
assistants as they required, and in any case usually
employed young women fairer than she was; as for





42 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
crochet-making, that had become so common that
very few persons now cared to trim their clothes with
crochet. She might have got a situation as nurse
in one of the wealthier families of Kingston, but to
domestic work she had a strong aversion. It was not,
in her opinion, genteel. She did not want to be what
she called a common servant." So she waited in
idleness day after day, a prey to discontent, and
wondering if her luck would ever turn.
It did turn when she was twenty years of age. She
was standing at the gate of her yard one Sunday after-
noon, very plainly dressed, but with her hair neatly
combed and plaited. Tom was walking down the
lane, with no object in particular, and seeing her all
alone he thought he might as well try to make her
acquaintance and have a little chat with her. As he
was well dressed, from his polished yellow boots up
to his new straw hat, Susan did not object to his
inquiry after her health; and being thus encouraged
he made further advances.
That afternoon he talked of trifling things for about
a quarter of an hour. The following evening he again
walked down the lane, and Susan was once more at
the gate. On the subsequent night, when Tom met.
her by appointment, she asked him why he did not
come inside, and on his accepting her invitation he
was welcomed by her family with every mark of
cordiality and respect. In fact, they all went out of
the room and left him with Susan, so that the young
couple's conversation might not be interrupted in any
way.
A week after that, she removed into the house which




WHAT CAME OF THE CASE 43

she now occupied. Thus she had realized, at a bound,
one of the great ambitions of her life.
SBut now Maria was trying to come between her
and Tom. And this case-now that she had lost it,
Sshe was rather sorry she had taken it to court. Tom's
:name had been repeatedly called, and he had warned
her against that. And her money, the money he had
originally given her, had gone for nothing. If that
Ihad been all she would not have cared much, but she
-felt sure she had not yet heard the last of the fight
and the trial. She wished she could believe that she
had.
It was in an uneasy frame of mind that she ate her
dinner by the window that evening, putting her plate
on a chair in front of her. She was still eating when
her aunt returned to the house for the purpose of
further discussing the details of the case; and it was
only then that Susan's father and the others came
into the sitting-room, which they had avoided all
during the day, perceiving that Susan was too sorely
sick at heart to appreciate conversation.
Miss Proudleigh, who, more than all of them to-
gether, was versed in the newspaper reports of the
courts, had conceived a brilliant idea, and wished
to lose no time before letting Susan know of it.
I thinks, Susan," she said, after she had sat down,
"that the case was not try fair. An' I thinks you
ought to appeal."
Appeal ? asked her brother. What is dat ? "
Now Miss Proudleigh did not know exactly. So
she answered vaguely, Something to make de case
try right."





44 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
"That won't help," said Susan decisively. "
judge tell me I better drop the case, an' I agree. It
is all done away wid now. What is bothering me
the way de judge talk about Tom. It's going to e
all over Kingston to-morrow, for I saw the newspaper
man writing it down. What a piece of bad luck fall
upon a poor gurl to-day An' I didn't do a single
soul anything." '
But don't it finish now ? asked the old man:
hopefully.
I don't know about dat," Susan replied. Tom's'
name call, an' him going to vex."
This was indeed what everybody feared; but Miss
Proudleigh had a never-failing source of comfort in
her principles as a religious woman.
Susan," she said, you must have faith. When
did you' intended see you de first time ? Wasn't it
on a Sunday evening ? Now if it was on a Monday'
or a Saturday or any other day of de week, you would
say it was a sort of accident. But when an important
events take place on a Sunday, all of a sudden, it is
you' business to acknowledge that the Lord have made
special interposition in your behalf. You mustn't be
ungrateful, Sue. The Lord is not mocked. Blessed.
is de man that trusteth in Him. An' though the text
says man' it mean woman too. Everything is going'
to go right. Tom won't vex too much."
That is what I thinks meself," agreed Susan's
father, who was only too glad to catch at any ray
of hope. Susan is de child of many pr'yers. From
the day she born to dis day, I been prayin' for her.
Not a thing can happen to her! De night before




S WHAT CAME OF THE CASE 45

she became acquaint wid Mister Tom, I dream dat
a mango tree grow up in me room, an' I know that
same time that something was going to happen. Now
last night I dream dat a cow maltreat Mother Smit,
an' at first I thoughted that Susan was goin' to win
de case. But I see now dat it mean that Mister Tom
is not goin' to 'ave nothing more to do wid Maria."
Well, sah," answered Susan petulantly, all I
have to say is, that you' prayers didn't 'elp me much
this morning! "
This, Susan's latest expression of infidelity, simply
startled her audience. Their Providence was one
that struck with blindness or instant death any of
His creatures who dared to question His wisdom or
goodness, and who bestowed no blessings upon those
who worked on the Sabbath Day. To other sins He
was lenient. He always. allowed ample time to the
sinners to repent of them. One could also think hard
things of Him, for what was not spoken aloud might
escape the hearing even of the higher Powers. But
so openly to doubt the efficacy of prayer, as Susan
had done, was to tempt Providence; and she herself
felt a little frightened after the words had escaped
her.
Miss Proudleigh, who herself had much of Susan's
temper, and who could never forget that she stood
high in the estimation of her leader in the Wesleyan
chapel of which she was an honoured and vocal member,
would not allow this last speech of Susan's to pass
without reproof.
If you goin' to talk like that, Susan," she said
severely, I will 'ave to leave the premises. I can't





46 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH I
sit down an' hear you laugh at pr'yer. I don't wa
to be include in the general judgment; for when the;
Lord's time come to laugh, Him going to laugh for*'
true."
Her indignation having been expressed, faith im-
mediately rose to higher heights, and she went on.
As fo' Maria, she will be punished, an' you an'
me will live to see Mother Smith begin' bread. 'He
will smite the oppressor, an' the wicked He will
utterly destroy.' I am goin' to pray for Maria an'
her mother. I am goin' to pray that them won't
have bread to eat; an' when a woman like me kneel
down an' pray, her pr'yers must be heard "
I gwine to pray too," cried the old man, with en.
thusiasm. Four knees is better than two. I are
going to church next Sunday night to offer up me
supplication against all Susan's enemy. Sue," he
concluded, turning to his daughter, you don't
happen to have a small coins about y'u to lend your
ole fader ? I feel weak in me chest, an' a little rum
an' anisou would help de feeling."
This request for a loan, coming after his expressed
determination to pray against her enemies, could
not well be refused by Susan; and she was about
to hand him threepence, when the front door opened
quickly and Tom stepped into the room.
As he entered, the old man rose and gave him a'
military salute.. But on this occasion Tom simply,
brushed past him without saying anything, and
went at once to Susan. Such brusqueness was un-'
usual, and Mr. Proudleigh, still in the military attitude,
stared at Tom with wonder in his eyes.





WHAT CAME OF THE CASE


SThe young man was angry. They all saw that.
' At any other time they would have left him alone
with Susan, but now curiosity got the better of respect,
and they remained to hear what he had to say.
Susan," he began, without even bidding her
good evening, didn't I tell y'u not to take the
case to court ? "
You goin' to quarrel wid me about it now? "
was her answer. It's not my fault dat I lose it!
It's Hezekiah wid his foolishness. An' instead of
sympathizing with me, you walk into the house,
like a nager man, an' don't speak to nobody See
here, Tom, if it's because I lose the money you give
me, I will work an' pay you back."
"Never mind, Susan, never mind," interposed
her aunt, anxious to play the blessed part of peace-
maker. Mr. Tom don't say anything of an aggra-
vating nature. Two young people mustn't quarrel.
You is to live in peace, an'--"
I don't want to hear anything from you," snapped
Susan. Tom 'ave no right to come into de house
like this."
Thus she tried to put Tom in the wrong, feeling
that if she frightened him by a display of temper
he would not say very much about his name being
called in the court-house, a circumstance which she
herself regretted greatly.
But the old man, alarmed at Tom's attitude, and
fearing lest Susan should drive him away at a time
when Maria, and probably others, were spreading
their nets for him, thought that now was the oppor-
tunity for proving to Tom that in every important





48 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
domestic crisis he would have the head of the family
on his side.
Susan," he commenced, with some fear in his
heart as to how she would receive his admonition,
" I don't exprove of you' conduct. Mister Tom is a
young man, an' a young man is supposed to get aggra-
vated. Ef I did know that him tell you positive not
to take de case to court, I would have tell you the.
same meself. The fact of de matter is, I did tell you
so. For when you look upon one thing, an' also upon
another-" -
But Susan would listen to no more. She sprang
from her chair. "See here she asked, looking
rapidly at each of them in turn, you all want to
abuse me to-night? What I do any of you ? Eh?
What you interfering with me for ? "
But Tom was now in a desperate mood, and Susan's
rage did not seem to frighten him.
He glared back at her. Didn't I tell you I didn't
want me name call in the court-house ? he demanded.
" Y'u had no business to fight with Maria. If you
didn't speak to her, she couldn't have troubled you.
But you infernal women--"
Don't call me infernal, Taam! Don't y'u call
me infernal! It's not because you paying me rent
that you must use me an' take an advantage of me
as if I was a common street gurl. Don't y'u do it,
Tom! "
Well, whether you like it or not, I say it already,"
replied Tom bitterly. As to the rent, y'u will
have to pay it yourself next month "
Oh yes ? retorted Susan. So you gwine to




WHAT CAME OF THE CASE


Maria, eh ? Well, I tell you straight that I will pull
every plait out of she head! An' as for you, me good
man, I don't know what foot you goin' to take to
walk go to Maria's house !
Lor-r-rd she screamed. Look what this man
come an' tell me to me face Him say him going
to this woman, Maria, an' is leaving me! and she
burst into angry tears.
I didn't say that at all," Tom muttered sullenly.
"-I said I am not going to pay any rent next month.
Somebody go to-day an' tell Mr. Jacobs all that de
judge say about me, and Mr. Jacobs pay me two weeks'
wages and tell me him don't want me any more."
It was only too true. Tom had many friends who
envied him his job, and it was one of these who had
hastened to his employer with a full account of Susan's
case. In his narration this friend had managed to
convey the impression that Susan and Maria were
not the only two ladies who enjoyed the good things
of life at Tom's expense; and as Mr. Jacobs thought
that it was not Tom, but he himself, who might later
on suffer through Tom's excessive gallantry, he con-
cluded that the wisest thing to do was to get rid of
his philandering employee at once. Thus had the
blow fallen with dramatic swiftness. Susan realized
what it meant. She ceased sobbing. This was no
time for angry tears. Even her aunt felt that a
religious text would not relieve the gravity of the
situation. The old man gazed in blank amazement
at Tom. Susan's mother and sister were dumbfounded.
Then what y'u going to do, Tom ? It was
Susan who asked the question; she knew she was





50 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
the cause of the crisis, but did not wish to face the
blame. P'rhaps," she went on, without waiting
for an answer, "you will get another job? Mr.
Jacobs can't say y'u rob him, an' him must give you
a character paper."
Tom shook his head despondently. When a man
lose his job in Kingston," he said, it is the hardest
thing for him to get another one."
He had sat down, no longer angry, but a prey to
despair. His natural weakness was beginning to re-
assert itself.
But you can't live widout working ? said Susan.
" You mean to say that y'u don't know anybody who
will hire you ? Don't you have education ? "
Yes, Mister Tom," her father remarked encourag-
ingly, dipping into the conversation; "a ejucated
gen'leman like you is not common. Trust to God "
But Tom was not to be comforted. I been with
Mr. Jacobs six years," he said, an' everybody is
goin' to say that it is funny him discharge me all of a
sudden."
Then what you goin' to do ? Susan asked again.
I'm going to Colon."
Colon ? repeated Susan, with mingled hope and
fear in her heart.
Yes; Colon."
Well, Colon is a very good place," said the old
man reflectively. He was entertaining hopes of being
taken to Colon himself. I thinks Miss Susan will
like it."
I can't take her. I don't have sufficient money."
Then what you goin' to do wid me ? asked




WHAT CAME OF THE CASE


Susan, seeing her worst fears about to be realized.
" Leave me here ? "
I will send for y'u, Sue," Tom answered, if I
get a job. But I don't know what is goin' to happen.
. .. It's all your fault."
This was so true that the rebuke was accepted in
silence. But Susan did not wish to be left behind,
for Maria and her mother to triumph over her downfall.
Tom," she pleaded, take me with you I can
work, an' there is plenty o' work in Colon."
We all can work," said her father anxiously,
though why he should have included himself was
something of a mystery. I have always wanted to go
oversea like me son. The family could makes you
very happy, Mister Tom." He paused, for he saw
that nobody was paying any attention to him.
Tom, in fact, was explaining to Susan how im-
possible it was for him to take her to Colon with
him, and was mingling his explanations with weak
reproaches. Susan listened dumbly. She was think-
ing how few of her friends and acquaintances would
sympathize with her; how the front house would
have to be given up, and perhaps some of her furniture
sold. Nor was that all. For if Tom did not send
for her, as he promised, the old life might have to be
resumed; and that would be more intolerable now
than before. She would miss all that she had become
accustomed to. She might have to face actual want-
she who had for one full year enjoyed what she con-
sidered luxury. . .
When you goin' ? she asked at length, after
Tom had said his say.





52 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
Saturday."
This was Wednesday night: three days more
he would be gone.
She cried, this time in real distress. Tom was
touched, or he thought, erroneously, that she wa(
crying because he was going to a foreign land where
he would be far away from her. .
Don't fret, Sue," he said, trying to soothe hef
Colon is a place where a lot o' money is mal
now. If I strike a job, you will be all right. In the
meantime y'u must do you' best."
What that best was, and how it was to be dot
was not apparent to Susan. But the old man faith
fully promised Tom that Susan would do her best.
An' when you is arrive, Mister Tom, write to dei
ole man," Mr. Proudleigh added, rising, for Tom hidl
risen to go.
God bless you, me son," said his wife, as Tom shook
hands with her ; you has been kind to Miss Susan.1
"Put your trust in de Lord," said Miss Proudleigh1
" an' He shall renew thy strength."
Susan's sisters said nothing; Susan herself put
on her hat to walk with him a portion of the way,
home, partly for the purpose of discussing certain
financial matters, partly to make sure that he did
not call at Maria's yard. .t,
They went out together, and then Catherine remarked;
If Susan didn't take de case to court, this would'
happen."
What we gwine to do now ? asked Mr. Prou
leigh dolefully.
No one answered the question.












CHAPTER V


LETITIA'S INVITATION

I DON'T do too badly this week," said Susan,
as, sitting at the threshold of a little room,
which was one of a range in a yard, she slowly
counted a number of small silver and copper coins
Which she held in her lap.
"How much you make ? asked Catherine, who
sat on a little box near to the door, watching Susan's
addition with interested eyes.
S" I make eight shillin's and sixpence, an' two shil-
lin's is owing out to me, all of which is profit. If I
did 'ave anybody to go an' dun for it last night, I
Should 'ave ten shillin's an' sixpence this morning.
Next week I going to sell more, for I am goin' to put
,more things in the shop."
;' Business is good," said Catherine, but it will
sqon get better; so even if Tom don't send for you,
iSue, ypu will be all right."
S"Yes, I am independent now," returned Susan,
ith a touch of pride in her voice ; but I sick of this
life. Every day it's de same thing. I 'ave to work
Atoo hard, an' sometimes I don't make as much in a
day as I use to spend on car ride when Tom was here.
I feel so tired, I can't even go to church dis morning.





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


An' yet I have some good frock. I going to save up
money meself an' go to Colon, even if Tom don't send
for me."
That is a very good resolution, Sue," said her
father, speaking from inside of the room. Colon is a
better place dan Kingston. I hear dat you can earn
money there like water, an' that's de place I want to
go to. Ef you' brother could only send me a few dollars,
I would give it to you, an' then you could go an' send
for the whole of we."
Yes, sah," replied his daughter. I would send
for you, an' mammee, an' Eliza. Kate could go
wid me. P'rhaps Kate would get an intended in
Colon."
"I wish so," said Catherine wistfully ; de young
men in Kingston don't have nothing."
It wasn't so when I was a young man," observed
Mr. Proudleigh, harking back to the past. In dose
days a man could make plenty money, an' he treat
de females like a king. Me first sweetheart rob me over
ten pounds, an' yet I didn't miss it. But now a man
don't 'ave ten shillin's to give a gal, much less ten
pounds for anybody to rob."
You right," agreed Susan. Dis is not the place
for me. Colon or Port Limon is the country to go
to, an' if me business prosper I going to save an' go
there."
She nodded her head determinedly, then tied the
money in the corer of a handkerchief, put it in her
pocket, and went towards the back of the yard.
Her father came out and sat on the spot she had
vacated. He did not like to question Susan too




LETITIA'S INVITATION


closely, but of Catherine, who was of a milder disposi-
tion, he had no fear.
Kate," he said, you t'ink Susan will really save
money to go away ? "
So she say, papee," Catherine answered. An'
she doing very well. She make ten an' six this week,
an' she goin' to make more."
That is good," said the old man. Ef you go
wid her you mustn't forget you' ole father, Kate. I
don't want all me children to be away from me when
I dead. An' if you don't send fo' me when you go
away, I don't see how I can ever go."
As Kate saw no immediate prospect of leaving
Jamaica herself, she did not pursue the conversation.
And both she and her father continued sitting there
for some time in silence, gazing at nihility, and thus
keeping the Sabbath day holy.
They were still living in a lane, but not the lane in
which they had lately lived for fully a year. This one
was called Luke Lane, and their yard was situated
near the northern end of it, close to North Street.
It was some eight weeks since Tom had left, and much
had happened in the interval. The first four weeks
had been a trying time for Susan, for, even before
Tom sailed for Colon, Maria and her mother had
heard of his dismissal. They spread the news rapidly
and all Susan's enemies rejoiced without any attempt
at concealment. They assembled at the gates of their
yards when she passed up and down the lane, and
laughed loudly. They made remarks which she
knew were intended for her hearing. Maria, re-
membering Susan's fatal allusion to her dress, attired





56 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

herself every Sunday in her most gaudy garments
and went to see some people who lived opposite to:
Susan, so that the latter's cup of humiliation should be
full. She knew that Susan's establishment could not
be maintained long after Tom's departure, unless
some extraordinary piece of good fortune should
befall her. This Maria confidently hoped would not
happen : she had missed taking Tom away from Susan;
but still there was great satisfaction in knowing that
if she had lost what she might have had, Susan had
lost what she actually had possessed.
Susan endured all these insults with considerable
fortitude, and went about her business quietly, keeping
her own counsel as to what she intended to do. About
a month after Tom had left for Colon, she and her
family, aided by a cart, removed what remained of
her furniture (for she had sold some), and went to live
elsewhere.
They removed late at night, and silently; for
Susan's pride revolted at the very thought of being
seen taking last leave of the beloved front house.
Removing late at night had its inconveniences, for it
was certain to be said that she had left without paying
the month's rent, and without the knowledge of the
landlord. Night removals in the West Indies (and
they are very frequent) are always attended with this
suspicion, a suspicion based upon extensive experience.
But in this instance the landlord knew all about
Susan's intention, for she had given him the proper
notice, and at the end of the month had gone to him
and paid him two-thirds of the rent that was due.
As she had been a good tenant, he made a virtue of




SLETITIA'S INVITATION 57
Necessity and generously allowed her to owe him
the balance. Yet all this did not prevent it from
being circulated in certain quarters of the lane that
SSusan, true to the principles of many who live in
yard-rooms and little front houses, had availed
herself of the darkness to cover her rent-escaping
tracks.
.She heard from Tom before her removal. In
Shis letter he mentioned that the chances were that
he should obtain a good situation if he did not fall
ill of fever. Like a sensible girl she concluded that his
chances of being ill were probably as great as his pros-
pects of getting a job ; so she told her aunt, I better
look for meself." Her way of looking for herself was
not original; but it proved successful. Tom had given
her two pounds before leaving. She had also saved a
few shillings. And this money had come in useful
for the setting up of a small business.
She had rented a little shop and had stocked it
with the things she knew would sell. The shop was
built against the fence, and opened both in the yard
and on the lane. It was constructed of odd bits of
board and roofed with three sheets of corrugated iron.
It could scarcely accommodate two persons. Cus-
tomers were not allowed inside. They stood in the
lane and made their purchases over a counter which
was merely a square bit of board cut out of that side
of the shop which faced the lane. This counter formed
a shutter at night ; you fixed it into the opening and
secured it by means of an ingenious system of bars and
bolts. As thieves might break in and steal, Susan
usually removed some of her goods to a safer place at





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


.night; the room in which she and her family lived
being the only place available to her.
She sold bread and grater cake (a cake made of
desiccated cocoa-nut stewed with sugar). The prices
of this sweetmeat ranged from a farthing to three
farthings each, and she did a considerable trade in it.
For the children held that a halfpenny spent on. a
small loaf of bread and a small grater cake yielded
abundant satisfaction, and even grown-up people
frequently made their lunch off the same articles.
She sold cocoa-nut oil, sugar-cane, mangoes, bananas,
and flour-cakes. These last were made of flour and
sugar and plenty of baking-soda, were very cheap and
filling, and were openly despised by everybody and
secretly eaten by all.
She sold Rosebud cigarettes, for that, she wisely
calculated, would be a good bait for the boys and
men, and she wanted the biggest custom possible.
She sold firewood, and yams and plantains, and
gingerbeer. Ice also; and she proclaimed that fact
by means of a red flag, hung out diagonally on a pole,
and having sewn upon it three ill-shaped letters in
white calico which spelt out the word, I C E. She was,
in short, a full-fledged higgler, and as she sat in her shop
surrounded by boxes and baskets, and little heaps of
bread-stuffs, she assumed the important facial ex-
pression common to all higglers, though in her case
neither ugliness nor slatternliness had set its seal upon
her; which alone differentiated her sharply from most
of the other women who followed her trade.
There were many of these in the lane. They were
rivals, but among them Susan easily stood first. For




LETITIA'S INVITATION


the stock of none of them was ever worth more than
seven or eight shillings, and sometimes not worth even
half of that amount. She, on the other hand, had
boldly invested thirty shillings in purchases at the
start, and the venture had been justified by success.
Her looks helped her. The young men who passed
by her shop patronized her and attempted to make
love to her; but they were obviously poor, so while
she was polite to them she kept them at a distance.
Her family was also of great assistance. Her mother
made the grater cakes and boiled the cocoa-nut oil;
her sisters went in the mornings far beyond the northern
boundaries of the city to meet the countrywomen
coming down to market, so as to buy fruit cheap from
them. By this means Susan saved money, an im-
portant consideration, for a shilling a day was the very
most that she could spend on food for all the family.
As for the old man, he rendered no material assistance ;
but he personally felt that his moral influence upon
the situation was immeasurable. With the tattered
remains of an old soft felt hat upon his head-he never
went without it, for he imagined that it added to his
dignity-a pipe in his mouth, and his feet thrust into
slippers, he hovered about what he called de little
shaps," feeling himself the natural protector of his
daughter, and the inspiring genius of the family.
He was proud of Susan. The problem of living had
presented itself to him with distressing intensity
on the night that Tom had announced his intention
of going to Colon. He then had seen nothing before
.himself and his wife but the Union Poorhouse, an
institution which he thought of with a shudder. He




I
60 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
knew he could do nothing to help himself, though he
never would have acknowledged that to anyone;
so, even though the girls might shift for themselves,
he could see no ray of hope for himself and the old
woman. Susan, however, had solved the problem
by unexpectedly developing commercial instincts;
and he reflected that most of her ability must have
been inherited from him, since he had never credited
his wife with much intelligence.
As he sat this Sunday morning at the threshold
of the single room they now lived in, he felt placidly
contented. The shop had become a certain source of
revenue, and no Maria could interfere with it. He
was quite satisfied net to take much thought of the
morrow; and the change that had recently taken place
in Susan's circumstances was accepted by him with a
temperamental equanimity which could only be dis-
turbed by fear of the almshouse or of immediate
starvation.
He looked about the yard, seeing nothing. Such
scenes he had been familiar with all the days of his
life. It was an ordinary Kingston tenement yard;
the low range of rooms, each room being separated
from the other by but a thin partition of board;
the broken-down kitchen; the water-pipe continually
dripping, so that a part of the yard was never dry;
babies sitting in little boxes stuffed with rags to prevent
the little creatures from hurting themselves; bigger
babies creeping about; wash-tubs everywhere; it
was what he had always seen in every similar place.
The prevailing squalor did not affect the old man and
his wife, and even Catherine and his youngest daughter




LETITIA'S INVITATION


had reconciled themselves to it. But Susan rebelled;
she felt that she ought not to be reduced to living in
a yard-room.
This Sunday morning, however, she was better
pleased than usual, for she saw that if her custom
continued to increase she would soon be in a position
to save money. Up to now she had been living on
every penny of her profits, for the rent of the shop and
the room together was sixteen shillings a month. But
good luck was plainly attending her, and already she
was speculating upon what she would do in the future.
Presently she returned to where her father and
Catherine were still sitting. Catherine made room for
her on the box, and Mr. Proudleigh, never happy if
compelled to remain silent for long, asked her when
next she expected to hear from Tom.
How can I tell, sah ? was her very reasonable
reply. Him only write me once since he gone to
Colon; an' I wants to believe he must be in the
hospital. From all dat I hear about Colon, Tom don't
likely to get on there. Him too soft Kingston is all
right enough; but in Colon-so I hear-if you look
on a man too hard, him wants to shoot you; an' if
you don't look on him hard, him wants to take an
advantage of y'u. That is not the sort o' place for
Tom."
Then how you expects to go down to him ? asked
her father. Ef him is such a young man of unre-
ligable nature, I don't see how you can teck up yourself
an' put yourself under his protection an' care."
Susan laughed scornfully. I was ever under his
protection an' care in Jamaica ? she asked.





62 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

"No," said Catherine; but here everything is
quiet. Down in Colon a young gurl must 'ave a young '
man to look after 'er; otherwise there may be bodera-
tion. I wouldn't like to go down by meself that
way."
I would go," said Susan decisively. After all,
whatever y'u meet in this world it is you' luck. If
you to dead in Colon, you will dead there. If you to
come back to Jamaica, y'u will come back."
This fatalistic note, struck with such confidence,
awoke a responsive echo in the hearts of her hearers.
"You is right," said the old man. "A man
shouldn't bother him head about what goin' to happen
to-morrow, for him can't prevent what is gwine to
happen. Therefore, sufficient to de day is the evil
thereof. You saving money to go ? "
Don't I tell y'u so a little while ago, sah ? asked
Susan, though she knew that the old man would repeat
the question every day.
I don't mean nothing by askin' you," he explained;
" only, ef I was you, I wouldn't put me money into
any bank. I hear that bank is a thing that broke
every now an' then; though," he continued sagaciously,
" I don't see how such a strong place can broke."
When a bank broke," explained Catherine, it
mean that de clerk rob you' money."
Oh I see 1 But, even then, I don't t'ink Sue
should put her money in a bank, for if them rob her
few shillin's, what she gwine to do ? "
The Government bank is safe," said Sue, conscious
of superior knowledge. Nobody can rob it, an' them
give you interest on you' money."





LETITIA'S INVITATION


Then you gwine to put yours in de Government
bank ? "
"Yes, sah; to-morrow morning I goin' to lodge
three shillin's : it is me first commencement. It's to
help me to go away.-Who that ? "
Some one had knocked at the gate, and the person
thus addressed loudly answered:
Me! "
Who me ? asked Catherine.
"Letitia Samuels: can you hinform me ef Miss
Susan Proudleigh resides here ? "
Both Susan and Catherine rose simultaneously and
rushed towards the gate. They opened it, and a young
lady of about twenty, glossily black, fat, not bad
looking, and extremely stylish, walked into the yard.
She was dressed in a white lawn frock trimmed with
any quantity of lace; wore high-heeled shoes and
carried a pink parasol. Her hat was a marvel; her
cheeks were covered with white powder. She kissed
both the girls loudly, said she was feeling fine," shook
hands with Mr. Proudleigh, and then was taken into
the room.
There she met the old woman, who spoke to her,
then went outside, with the true West Indian in-
stinct of hospitality, to prepare some refreshment for
her.
The room, originally small, was divided into two
apartments by a cloth partition, one side of it being
reserved for the old people, the other being occupied
by Susan and her sisters. Letitia sat in the one chair
that she saw, while Catherine and Susan perched them-
selves on the bed.





64 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

Letitia was an old friend. She had known Susan'
at the elementary school, and Susan had admired and
envied her because of her constant possession of small
coin. Letitia's father was a plumber in a good
position, and he looked after his daughter well. She
was a Roman Catholic, and loudly sang hymns in
honour of the saints; Susan, on the other hand, was
a staunch Protestant, and strongly objected to the
worship of idols." But differences of doctrine did not
disturb their personal relations, and even Mr. Proud-
leigh's efforts to convert the erring Catholic to a truer
faith did not sow the seeds of discord. For though his
theology (from a Protestant point of view) was per-
fectly sound, he never ventured on moral admonitions.
This was satisfactory, for Letitia still enjoyed the
favour of the priests and nuns and other important
personages of the Church, and gratefully rejoiced in
the present security of a suspected virtue.
She was very excited.
I didn't know you move, Sue; I went roun' to
Blake Lane, an' them tell me y'u move. It was
you' aunt told me yesterday where y'u live."
Yes, me dear," was Susan's remark. My in-
tended gone away, so I have to look for meself. Just
see where I living now "
Cho never mind Y'u soon get another in-
tended. Now guess what I come to tell y'u about ? "
What ? "
A picnic. A big picnic I Father Moulder making
it at Cumberland Pen to-morrow, an' it's only one
an' sixpence for trainage and entrance to the pen;
You 'ave to provide you' own refreshment; but





LETITIA'S INVITATION


that can't cost more dan one an' six. I want you
come. Y'u will come ? "
Susan's answer was interrupted by the entrance of
her mother, who brought in a mug of chocolate and
a plate containing a big slice of bread.
Letitia spread out her handkerchief in her lap,
and rested the plate on it, then took the mug from
the old woman. Eating and drinking, she continued
the conversation.
Y'u must come, me child! It's goin' to be
grand. All the young men in Kingston is goin'.
There is to be six piece of music, an' dancing all
day."
Catherine's face lighted up, then fell as she re-
membered that she had no money.
Susan shook her head slowly, the wish to go
struggling with her desire to save.
It will cost me three shillin's," she said, an'
I don't see how I can manage it." She paused as
a vision of the dancing on the sward rose before her
mind's eye.
I engage a bag of coal for Thursday, an' I must
have to take it. An' I 'ave to save money. . "
Cho pleaded Letitia. Come, man It's only
once "
The old man, still sitting at the threshold, had
overheard the conversation. By way of showing
disinterested generosity, he called out:
Don't fret yourself about t'ree shillin's, Sue. Go
an' enjies yourself. Don't kill yourself, me daughter.
You looking' thin."
Then how is Sue to go to Colon ? asked Catherine,





66 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

who, seeing no prospect of going to the picnic herself,
was not inclined to be enthusiastic about it.
The old man remembered that he also wanted to
go to Colon, and immediately regretted his pre-
cipitancy. But his words had had their effect. The
struggle in Susan's soul was over. In a moment
she passed from a calculating to an excited frame
of mind.
"All right!" she cried, jumping from the bed;
" I will go." Excitedly, I will wear me blue dress,
an' me new straw hat! Lord! I goin' to dance
every dance! I goin' to enjoy meself What a
thing "
She was dancing already, and all thought of saving
was thrown to the winds.
Come for me in the morning, Letitia, early,"
were her last words to her friend, when she bade
her good-bye at the gate.












CHAPTER VI


SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES
T HAT afternoon Susan made special prepara-
tions for the great event of the morrow. Hair-
dressing being a very important part of her
toilet, she literally sat at Catherine's feet, who, armed
with a strong comb and a pot of scented castor oil,
bent over her sister's head and spent fully three-
quarters of an hour in combing out the hair, oiling
it, plaiting it, and twisting the plaits into the shape
dictated by the latest fashion. That done, Susan
tied up her hair very carefully in a towel, so that
it should not become disarranged. Then she took
out her blue dress and hung it up over the head of
her bed. She polished her shoes, carefully looked
over her hat, and fished out a fan from the bottom
of her trunk. When all this work was over, she
untied her head, dressed hurriedly and went to church,
her sister going with her. Both her parents strongly
approved of church-going; and though the old man
himself never went out on Sunday, he would not
allow the day to pass without reading aloud the
first Psalm, laying special stress on the opening words
which proclaim a blessing on those who walk not
in the way of the ungodly.





68 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

Susan and her sisters enjoyed the service. They
usually did. The large church, nearly filled with
people dressed in their multi-coloured best, the deep-
toned organ, the hearty singing in which they joined,
the bright light from the electric lamps-all this was
a weekly source of pleasure to girls who had nice
dresses to wear on the Sabbath day. The sermon
might consist of denunciations of the popular way
of living. They listened to it with interest and
agreed that the parson was, from his point of view,
perfectly right. But he, so to speak, was looking
at life theoretically, while they were compelled to
regard it from the practical standpoint of daily bread.
If he expounded doctrine, they appeared engrossed
in his words, and followed his meaning with a fair
degree of understanding. What they liked best were
the hymns; and when the service was over, and
they mingled with the contented home-going crowds,
they felt that they were, after all, not very far from
the Kingdom.
Susan went to bed immediately after going home,
not omitting to bind up her head once more. She
wished to be up early in the morning. Her father
talked to her for a while from his part of the room,
a cloth partition placing no obstacles in the way of
conversation; but though he was very anxious to
hear about the sermon, so that he might give his
opinion on the parson's theology, she soon shut him
up by saying she wished to go to sleep. Then silence
reigned unbroken, but for the barking of the dogs
in the lane; for by nine o'clock practically all the
inmates of the yard had retired, after a day spent for





SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES 69
i the most part in lolling about and avoiding any
unnecessary work.
At half-past four in the morning Susan was awake.
She hurried out of the hot, stifling room to wash her
face under the water-pipe, then went in again to dress.
She was ready by five o'clock. Her dress fitted her
nicely; and though blue was perhaps not the colour
that best suited her complexion, it was more striking
than white would have been, and she wanted to attract
attention. She wore a pink sash, and her hat was
trimmed with pink roses and ribbons. Her high-
heeled shoes were gorgeous with buckles. When fully
arrayed, and after she had gulped down her cup of
coffee, she turned herself round and round to be
admired. Catherine and Eliza surveyed her critically.
"You is all right, Sue," said the first, and her
younger sister agreed. Her mother smiled, then
went about her business. Her father was vocal in
his praise.
Ef I was a young man," he said approvingly,
"I would fall in love wid you. Dat frock suit you'
figure. Everybody gwine to dance wid you, an' you
mustn't fo'got to bring something nice fo' me."
Susan, satisfied with this appreciation, promised
to bring home for him a part of whatever she might
get; and Letitia coming in just then, both girls went
out to catch the electric car that should take them
to the railway station.
It was not yet six o'clock, so the air was still com-
paratively cool. It was a public holiday, conse-
quently they met numbers of other pleasure-seekers
like themselves, all gaily dressed. They caught the





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


car, and it took them by a circuitous route to the
station, going first towards the north of the city for
nearly a mile, then south again, then east to where
the railway station stands. On the way they passed
handsome villas; those were the houses, they thought,
' where the rich people lived, people so much above
their own station in life that they never dreamt of
envying them. The white and the higher classes of
fair coloured people belonged to one world. They
Belonged to another. But envy and hatred did not
embitter the relations of one class with another, though
their interests in life were superficially as different as
was the yard-room or little front house from the
spacious-looking residence with its garden of tropical
shrubs and flowers blooming in front of it.
They alighted at the railway station, and found
it crowded. Every colour of the rainbow was repre-
sented in the dresses of the women and the neckties
of the men; and a stranger not accustomed to a
West Indian crowd might well have thought that
there could have been no greater confusion at the
Tower of Babel. Everybody talked and nobody
listened. Everybody gesticulated. Laughing, push-
ing, screaming, scrambling through the iron gates,
the good-humoured picnickers made towards the
platform, and then began to fight their way into &e
train. In vain the guards shouted. In vain they
tried to direct the passengers. Discipline and order
were thrown to the winds on this holiday morning,
when the chief thought of every one was to obtain all
the fun and excitement that the day could afford.
In the struggle for a good seat Susan was nearly




SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES 71
separated from her friend. But by a vigorous use
of their elbows they managed to keep together;
and when at last, breathless but triumphant, they
were seated, they began to look about them to see
if any of their friends were near. Susan saw many
persons whom she knew. Amongst these was
Hezekiah, and him she stared out of countenance.
She nodded to the others, and commenced with lively
anticipation to discuss the prospects of the picnic with
Letitia, when the train, with a sudden jerk, pulled
out of the station.
Slowly at first, then quickly, and crowded to its
utmost capacity, it ran out of the city and into the
open, sunlit country. The transition was abrupt.
Within a minute Kingston had been left behind,
and broad fields and forests soon appeared on either
side, all steeped in the early morning light and still
green and fresh with the dews of the night. The
hot and dusty city lay baking in the sun behind
the pleasure-seekers; the country, with its wonderful
beauty of deep blue skies, giant trees, and variegated
green; with its dark-gleaming rivulets, placid streams
and leaping waterfalls, unrolled itself before them.
Peeping out of the windows, they could see the cattle
and horses browsing in the pastures, the distant
skyline broken by a long chain of dream-like verdure-
clothed mountains, the long, delicate tendrils of
parasitic plants waving gently in the breeze, and clumps
of water-hyacinths glowing in the ponds or in some
quiet backwater of a stream. All, all was beautiful.
A majestic peace pervaded the spacious countryside,
and the great yellow sun of the tropics lighted it up





72 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
with splendour. There was something alluring, en-
ticing about it all; something enervating too in its
luscious appealing beauty. But Susan and Letitia
gave no thought to it all, nor did many of the people.
in the train. Their minds were centred upon one ,
subject-this picnic to which they were speeding and
which was to afford them a whole day's intensest :
pleasure.
"Cumberland Pen!" The guard shouted the .
name of the station, the train slowed down and
stopped, the doors of the carriages were thrown
open, and then the scramble and hubbub began once
more. Parcels were grabbed at and secured, and "
then-a phenomenon which one observes in every
country and on every occasion among passengers on a
train-every one pushed forward to alight as quickly
as possible, and as though a second longer spent-
upon the train would lead to the most unpleasant
results.
The siding was soon crowded, and already a strag- '
gling stream of human beings was pouring towards
the Cumberland Pen gate, where stood two men who
collected the tickets and indulged in arguments with\
those who pretended to be scandalized at the amount
they were called upon to pay as entrance fee. It was
quick work at this gate in spite of the chaffing and
arguing; then other trains came in from Kingston, ;
and soon more than a thousand persons were as-
sembled on a grassy sward, spacious and fairly smooth,
and shaded here and there by leafy trees that grew .
singly or in cool inviting clumps. But shade trees.
were not in demand just now, except as convenient




SSAMUEL JOSIAH JONES 73
"places for the storing of parcels and baskets filled
with refreshments, which some of the more prudent
o'r more fastidious picnickers had brought with them.
These impedimenta put away for the present, the
:'pleasure-lovers broke into groups, and a loud cry for
music arose.
Then rose the piercing squeal of the clarionettes,
the squeak of fiddles, the blare of cornets and the
-bang of a big drum. There was noise enough, and
the dancers called it music. The young men took
off their jackets and waved them wildly in the air
to show their appreciation of the band. Girls with
arms akimbo swayed their bodies to and fro, keeping
time with the tune. Thus encouraged, the musicians
redoubled their efforts and the discord was infernal;
Sbut partners were rapidly selected, places taken, and
Si a few minutes there were nearly five hundred
couples dancing on the sward and under the now
burning, blistering rays of the forenoon sun.
Susan was in her element. Quadrilles followed
lancers, polkas followed quadrilles, and mentoes,
a sublimated West African phallic dance, followed iY.
the polkas and were the most popular with a certain
section of the people. The girls danced these, swaying
on their hips. Some of the women, however, and
Amongst these was Susan, did not care to dance these
mentoes, on the ground that they were not quite
proper. So while mentoes were being danced, Susan
sat at the foot of a tree fanning herself, and trying to
mop up with her wet handkerchief the flood of per-
F spiration that streamed from her face.
Gazing intently at the dancers during one of these




74 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH
intervals, she did not notice that a man had appro
her, till she heard herself addressed.
Young lady," said the stranger, you
dancing? "
No," she answered shortly, without looking roun
to see who the speaker might be.
Why ? "
I don't dance mento."
But why you don't ? "
The persistency of her questioner annoyed her;.
it was common enough for girls to be accosted by
strangers at a picnic; but she did not want to maw
any more acquaintances that day, for the simple
reason that she was tired. The stranger, howev,
was not to be denied. He deliberately sat dowi
near her, and resumed the conversation.
Well," said he, allow me to introduce mes
My name is Samuel Josiah Jones from Spanish To
I been watching' you all the time you been sitting hae
an' when I see a beautiful young female not enjoy
herself, I think I ought to do the consequential." :
Susan had not the faintest idea of what the
sequential might be, but the word pleased her.
sides, Samuel Josiah Jones had called her beaut
and such a compliment predisposed her to be
As she did not exactly know what to reply, she look
at him with an inquiring air; but that did not in
least disconcert Mr. Jones, who blandly went on.
My name," he repeated, is Samuel Josi
Jones." (He plainly expected the repetition of;
name to have a talismanic effect.) Spanish Tol
is my paternity. Where you come from ? "



T 00





SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES 75
Kingston," said Susan briefly; then she added,
What is that to you ? "
"Oh, don't be vex," said Jones appealingly.
Don't expostulate with me. I don't ask you for
nothing. But you didn't introduce yourself pro-
perly, so I interrogated you. You angry ? "
Susan saying nothing in reply, Jones's voice became
More confidential.
S" I wouldn't tell you a lie. I have had a few good
| drinks to-day. But me head is strong, an' when I see
a young lady like you, I would rather die than disgrace
Dmeself.
If a young man can't behave himself in the
company of ladies," he continued, still speaking
confidentially, he ought not to frequent their com-
pany. Don't you think I am right ? "
Susan was obliged to nod her agreement.
Pleased with this, his voice took on a triumphant
Spring.
S" Quite so," he resumed. As I tell these boys
here, sobriety is the great thing; sobriety an' temper-
ance. Take a drink when y'u want one; but don't
disgrace you'self-like me."
i "But you not disgracin' yourself," said Susan,
flattered by the respect he professed for her, but a
little puzzled by his last sentence.
"No," said Jones, that is what I say. I don't
disgrace meself. I set a good example. I don't
t no man to say that Samuel Josiah Jones disgrace
self in public."
r. Jones leaned back against the tree, obviously
proud of the example he was setting, and quite as





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


obviously pleased with the world and himself. Susan
looked at him curiously. He was a young man of
,|, .rher awna complexion rtte-tsm-tite&ay,-dark brwn. -
features vere good, his face frank ancTflively, and
when he spoke two big gold teeth gleamed brigh-ll
showing that Mr. Jones did not belong to the common
classes. He was tall, and flashily dressed, his necktie
reminding one of a Scotch plaid of the most pro-
nounced pattern. A gorgeous fob hung out of the
trousers pocket in which he kept his watch. It was
plain to Susan that he was a young man of some im-
portance, and by the words he used she judged him
to be a man of considerable education. She was
pleased too he had recognized that she was a young
lady, for some fast and forward young men of her
acquaintance had not always been ready to do that.
She was rather glad now that he had persisted in
talking to her. His preference for her company was a
distinct compliment.
She saw that his sobriety had been tempered with
a fair quantity of strong drink. He had himself said
so. But temperance folk were held in strong con-
tempt by her, and she had always heard her aunt
quote with great approval Paul's advice to Timothy,
that he should take a little wine for his stomach's sake.
Miss Proudleigh faithfully followed this advice herself:
every night before going to bed she drank, not a little
wine, but a little rum and water; and Susan's parents
would have done the same had they been able to
afford it. So she thought more highly of Mr. Jones
for being able to enjoy himself in the free and inde-
pendent manner which his appearance denoted. She





SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES 77
was about to continue the conversation when Letitia
came up.
The latter stared at Jones, not exactly surprised,
for on such a day a girl might pick up half a dozen new
acquaintances. Susan introduced her, and Jones,
rising with great dignity, assured her that his name
was Samuel Josiah Jones, and asked her to take a
seat.
I not sitting down," said Letitia, shaking her head.
"I came to henquire if Sue are going to 'ave her
lunch." (Letitia was very careful of her diction in
company.)
Lunch ? said Jones; "lunch ? Of course!
The inner man must be replenished. We will have
lunch immediate. Miss Susan, arise "
Miss Susan arose, as bidden, and seeing that Letitia
showed no objection to accepting Mr. Jones's hospi-
tality, she followed the young man to the spot where
refreshments were being sold.
Under a tree, and protected by a barricade of deal-
board tables and low wooden benches, were a number
of women and a man, retailers of refreshments, and
all busy attending to the crowd of customers that
surrounded them. Quick-tempered and aggressive,
the women bustled about with their sleeves drawn
up above their elbows, and the upper part of their
skirts tucked up into bundles around their waists.
Within the enclosure, huge pots steamed and bubbled
on improvised fireplaces; and barrels and boxes con-
taining aerated waters, and beer and whisky and
Jamaica rum, stood invitingly open.
The smell of stewed beef mingled with that of





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


stewed salt-fish, and the heavy odour of cocoa-nut oil
rose from two five-gallon cans in which rice and red
peas were boiling. The women ladled the food into
coarse earthenware and enamelled plates as it was
ordered, and the man served the liquors.
Jones and the girls sat down to a lunch of stewed
fish and rice-and-peas. He ordered whisky for himself,
and asked his companions what they would have.
After some hesitation, they decided on beer, this
being a luxury they did not often enjoy. He called
for two glasses of the best beer," and the girls gulped
the stuff down, declaring with grimaces that it tasted
bitter.
Letitia noticed that Jones paid a good deal of atten-
tion to Susan. I wonder if him speaking 'er up ? "
was her thought, but presently she ceased to think, the
beer having set her head a-swimming. Susan felt
dizzy too, and had to cling to Jones for support when
they rose from the table.
He offered an arm to each of the girls, and gallantly
escorted them back to the tree. They sat there for a
little while, Jones talking, Susan and Letitia hearing
nothing.
The pipes still screamed, and the fiddles squeaked,
and the dancers continued dancing. A good many
persons had strolled down to the river that ran through
the pen, to bathe. Here and there some sat on stones
or logs of wood, resting; contented-looking cows
cropped the grass within a stone's throw of the pic-
nickers, no longer frightened by the unusual noise;
children climbed the trees to hunt for mangoes; big
green lizards pursued their prey among the stones and





SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES 79

leaves; and down on men and beasts and trees came
the fiery rays of the now vertical sun, scorching,
blistering, burning, but powerless to exhaust the
energy of the musicians or to put an end to the
dance.
"This sun," remarked Jones, is the hottest sun
I feel for a long time. It make me sweat like a bull.
But I come to dance, an' I must dance. What you
say ? "
His words were addressed to Susan, who faintly
murmured in reply, Too hot."
Two or three minutes passed in silence, and then
the beer, acting in conjunction with the heat and the
exertion of the morning, completed its work. Re-
clining against the tree, Susan slept. Letitia, who
was not so easily affected by strong drinks as her
friend, laughed at first; then, finding it dull sitting
there, asked Jones what he intended to do.
Remain here," he said. "A gentleman must
behave gentlemanly. Can't leave this female alone
when she is not in her senses."
"All right," said Letitia; "I goin' to dance. I
will come back later. Tell Susan so when she 'wake."
Jones nodded, then stretched his legs out more
comfortably, covered his face with his handkerchief,
and disposed himself to reflect on his own superior
manners, while Letitia walked away.
He dozed, and for an hour both of them lay there,
recumbent in the sun.
Jones woke first. Although desiring to be gentle-
manly, his first impulse was to go and join the dancers ;
for a chance meeting at a picnic did not, he felt, compel





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


him to remain constantly in attendance upon one
young woman. Instead of doing so, however, he
bent over and shook Susan slightly. She opened her
eyes, yawned loudly, stretched her arms above her
head, yawned again, then remarked, I seems to 'ave
been sleeping Mr. Jones."
Yes," he said. You been sleeping' all the time.
An' I been watching you, in case any of these common
young men wanted to take any liberty with you. I
wouldn't move a foot while you reposed."
Thank you," said Susan; but I mustn't keep y'u
back from dancin'."
Don't mention," said Jones; it would be pre-
posterous to leave you in a somnolescent state. Will
you take some more beer ? "
She shook her head firmly. It make me giddy,"
she confessed.
All right, then, you stay here till I come. I am
goin' for a rum; I soon be back."
He went off to the refreshment stand, and Susan
followed him with her eyes. He was showing her a
lot of attention : did he mean anything ? She quickly
persuaded herself that he did; otherwise why should
he have remained with her all the time ? It might
be her good fortune to get another intended in place
of Tom. She thought of the yard-room and the shop
with disgust. This fellow was evidently well off,
decent looking, generous. . She smiled when he
returned, and readily rose when he suggested that
they should take a little walk and then have a dance.
Y'u like Spanish Town, Mr. Jones ? she asked
him as they moved away.





SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES 81
So, so," he replied; but I been living in Kings-
ton these last ten years-up in Allman Town."
Funny I never see y'u," said Susan, though there
seemed nothing really funny in her not having before
met one particular person in a city of over sixty
thousand souls.
"That is so," Jones agreed; "it is a peculiar
incident. And here we have become acquainted just
when I am goin' away."
Goin' away ? Susan asked, surprised. Where ?"
Panama. They wants mechanics down there.
An' Mr. Hewet, an American man that was down here
three months ago hiring labourers, send for me. They
wants a man like me to help them dig the canal," he
proceeded grandiloquently. Fifteen dollars a week,
an' quarters. Here I can't earn much more than
thirty shillin's, an' I have so many people to boss me
that sometimes I don't know what to do.
This is a worthless country," he continued. No
prospects at all. It is much better foreign. I don't
think I will bother come back to Jamaica."
So he wasn't speaking her up after all The
disappointment she felt was keener than she would
have thought possible. Her hastily constructed castle
in the air came toppling down, and only the shop and
the yard-room remained in their sordid reality.
Tom had gone to Panama. Jones was going. She
knew that every week scores and hundreds of other
people went, and that the dream of almost everybody
she had met was to go to Colon or Port Limon, or
anywhere," as one man told the steamship clerk to
whom he applied for a decker's ticket. Anywhere."
6





82 SUSAN PROUDLEIGH

Anywhere outside of Jamaica. That was the wish of
thousands of persons in all classes and ranks of society,
and she had caught the general infection.
She too wanted to go away. She had heard of the
riches of Panama and Costa Rica, and had often talked
about those places with her friends. Life there, they
believed, was free as air; money almost to be had for
the asking. True, returning emigrants told of fearful
fevers, and unsympathetic policemen, and months of
continuous rain, and the dark impenetrable jungle;
but the bright fantastic picture painted by imagination
cast no shadow in spite of all these dreadful tales.
The emigrants who returned to Jamaica almost
invariably went back. The fascination of the semi-
civilized Central American countries, once felt, was too
often irresistible. Hundreds of forgotten graves in
Central America contained the bones of men and
women who had gone thither with high hopes of en-
riching themselves; but still the exodus continued.
The restless longing for change, for new scenes, for a
new life, acted as a spur to discontent.
Susan had become silent and depressed. Jones
noticed this and asked her :
You tired ? "
No," she said, I was thinking' "
What was you thinking' about ? "
She hesitated, then said quite frankly :
I would like to go to Colon."
Jones pushed back his jippi jappa hat and stared
at her. So she was dissatisfied with Jamaica also
Half-jestingly he asked her :
You want to go with me ? "





SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES


She, on her part, surprised by the question, looked
at him with eager eyes. Her heart beat quickly, her
face lit up with excitement.
But y'u don't mean it ? she asked.
Now he really did not know whether he meant it
or not. He was a very impulsive man, who did most
things on the spur of the moment. He was also a
very gallant man, and wasted much of his substance
on females." He had no permanent connexion
with any one of them just then, however; and on
Susan asking him whether he really wanted to take her
with him or not, it occurred to him that it might be
a very fine thing indeed to land in Colon with so
attractive a companion.
The idea was worth playing with. A man," he
answered Susan, say a lot of things he don't mean.
But y'u don't answer me question yet. You would
like to come with me ? "
She made up her mind to a straightforward reply.
I wouldn't mind, if- "
If what ? "
If y'u would treat me good."
Oh," he remonstrated. Do you think a gentle-
manly man like me would treat y'u bad ? I never
do such a thing in me life "
I don't think y'u would," Susan graciously replied.
You don't look like those sort of young men at all."
This compliment pleased Jones immensely. You
are intrinsically correct," he assured her. Not a
female have a word to say against Samuel Josiah
Jones. An' you will find when you get to Colon what
sort of man I am."





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


Then you goin' to take me ? Susan asked quickly.
Of course Don't y'u want to go ? "
Her heart gave one great bound. Here was the
opportunity come to her at last !
All right," she exclaimed. I will come. When
you goin' ? "
Three weeks' time. I give notice at the Railway
already, but I have to fix up me business. Where
y'u live in Kingston ? "
Luke Lane. Y'u must come wid me to-night,
let me introduce you to me parents. The place don't
too nice, but you mustn't mind dat."
Certainly not. You are nice, an' that is enough."
He felt that something more was required of him-
something that a lover in one of the novels he had
read would have thought appropriate to the occasion.
At the moment only one thing in the way of what he
called poetry came to his memory; but still it was
poetry, and therefore suitable. He repeated it, stand-
ing still and looking fondly in Susan's face:
Fleecy looks and black complexion
Do not alter Nature's claim,
Skin may differ, but affection
Dwells in white and black the same."
He expected applause. As Susan did not know what
the verse was intended for, she simply answered,
" Yes."
Let us go and tell Letitia," she added, catching
hold of his arm and dragging him with her in her
excitement. Nothing loth, he followed, and soon they
found Letitia, to whom the good tidings were told.
Hezekiah heard it too. He was standing near by when





SAMUEL JOSIAH JONES.


Susan was speaking to her friend, and Susan spoke
loudly on purpose that he might hear.
I goin' in three weeks' time. I not coming' back
to Jamaica at all Sam going to get three pounds a
week! What a good luck, eh, Letitia ? What a
luck "
Hezekiah heard it all, and saw Jones in the flesh,
smiling with the consciousness of irresistible masculine
attractions and great potential wealth. Hezekiah
could not doubt, and so that night he did exactly what
Susan had calculated on his doing. Not only Maria
and her mother, but everybody else that he met in
Blake Lane was told that Susan had got another
intended with plenty of money, and was going to
Colon.
Dis world don't level," 1 was Maria's bitter com-
ment on Susan's undeserved good fortune.
SFortune is not fair.












CHAPTER VII


THE ANNOUNCEMENT

W E must take a 'bus," said Jones, when he
and Susan alighted from the train at
Kingston. Don't bother with the car.
It's late already."
He hailed a cab, and both of them, after bidding
Letitia good-bye, got into the cab and drove off, but
not before the cabman had exchanged some sharp
words with the policeman who was regulating the
traffic. Jones wanted to take sides with the cabman,
partly through a natural inclination for argument,
partly from a desire to impress Susan with his utter
contempt for the guardian of the law. But she urged
the cabman to drive on, fearing any serious quarrel
at the very beginning of her new career; and the
cabman obeyed after some grumbling, though he was
clearly in the wrong.
She was glad to be back in Kingston, glad to be
riding once more through the ill-lighted streets, to be
amongst the slow-moving, chattering people, to feel
the dust of the city in her face. She thrilled with
excitement at the thought of her parents' surprise;
the whole yard would wonder who it was that
had brought her home !so splendidly from the
86




THE ANNOUNCEMENT


picnic. Then she remembered the room and felt
ashamed.
The place shabby," she again warned Jones.
" Me an' me family are poor; but we are decent.
Me father 'ave cramps in his feet; that is why we 'ave
to live in a little room."
She said nothing about Tom and the house in Blake
Lane; Jones again declared that the place she lived
in did not matter to him.
I can't stay long," he said, when the cab stopped at
Susan's gate. I will have to go home for me dinner."
He entered the yard jauntily, and Susan took him up
to the room, sitting near the door and at the threshold
of which were her father and mother and sisters, and
her aunt who had dropped in to see them, as she so
frequently did.
They were expecting Susan, but when they heard
the cab stop at the gate they had not imagined it
was she who had come home in it. Seeing her now
with a tall young man whose face they could not
distinctly make out in the darkness, they all rose,
each one looking at him intently.
This is Mr. Jones," said Susan ; I met him at
the picnic."
My best respects, sir," said Mr. Proudleigh,
taking off the remains of the hat he wore-" my
distant respects."
Same to you, sir," said Jones, feeling a trifle
awkward.
Won't you step inside ? asked Miss Proudleigh.
"The place is small, but de heart is warm. Susan,
show the gentleman inside."





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


She stepped inside herself as she spoke, being
curious to know who the gentleman was and what
he had come for. That he had some sort of design
upon Susan she had no doubt whatever; for no
man could take a young woman home without a
very definite interpretation being given to this
ostensibly innocent act. Susan led Jones into the
room. Mr. Proudleigh transferred into the apart-
ment two chairs from his part of the room, and on
these he and his sister sat; Jones took the one re-
maining chair, and Susan sat on the bed. Catherine
and Eliza stood by the doorway, curious, while their
mother disappeared, as usual, being a woman who
rarely indulged in conversation or obtruded her
presence upon anyone.
Very noice picnic, Mr. Jones ? inquired Mr.
Proudleigh. Plenty of music and enjiements?
Hope you enjie yourself ? "
Magnanimously," said Jones; I met you'
daughter an' we had a nice conversation. You have
a beautiful daughter, Mr. Proudleigh."
Cho !" said Susan deprecatingly, but nevertheless
pleased.
Oh yes, sir," agreed Mr. Proudleigh ; she take
after me. She have my features and my disposition.
I always say she is me own daurter."
Hi! papee," cried Eliza, a trifle indignant;
" don't we are you' own daughter too ? "
Of course," assented her father; but Sue is de
most oldest; an' she take the world upon her
shoulder."
The world was really himself and the rest of the





THE ANNOUNCEMENT 89
family, and a good deal of the deference he showed
to Susan was inspired by the fear that she might
some day throw the burden off.
Yes," said Jones, wishing to come to the point
at once; I seldom see a female like Miss Susan.
She is perfectly emphatic."
Quite true, sir," said Miss Proudleigh; but
we must remember that beauty is only skin deep,
and except a young lady have the fear of de Lord
in her heart, she can't prosper. What society you
belongs to, Mr. Jones ? "
Society ? Me ? said Jones; I never belong to
any society since I use to go to Sunday school when
I was a boy.
Church is a very good thing," he continued, but
a young man is wild."
Yes," said Mr. Proudleigh, I didn't jine society
meself till I was long time over forty. Then I felts
that I was a ripe man, an' could do me duty. I
don't like to see a young man goin' too much to
church. That is like de Scribes an' Pharisee; it is
hypocritical."
Well," his sister was beginning, but here Susan's
impatience got the better of her manners.
Why don't you tell them what you 'ave to tell
them ? she asked Jones.
Every one's ears were pricked up. What was it
that he could have to say ? Miss Proudleigh forgot
entirely the remark she had been about to make.
Catherine glanced quickly from Jones to Susan, and
back again.
I am goin' to take away your daughter altogether





SUSAN PROUDLEIGH


from you," said Jones to the old man, and struck
an attitude.
So that was it! Everybody had heard the
"altogether," and Mr. Proudleigh and his sister
immediately came to the conclusion that Jones wished
to marry Susan. It was a most unexpected announce-
ment, but Mr. Proudleigh loved dramatic climaxes,
and, fearing lest his sister should forestall him, he
quickly rose from his chair and grabbed Jones by
the hand.
I esteem y'u, sir I he exclaimed. It is true
I never meet you before; but Miss Susan is a big
ooman an' must judge for herself. Besides, I can
look 'pon you an' tell dat you are a honourable
gen'leman. Miss Susan will makes a good wife,
better dan all- "
He stopped, seeing that Jones was shaking his
head decisively.
I didn't say I was going to married-yet," Jones
explained; then he looked at Susan as if expecting
her to complete the explanation.
It's all right," she said; papee understand."
Mr. Proudleigh sat down again. He was sorry
he had not grasped the purport of Jones's words
from the start, for it was rather embarrassing to
have mentioned marriage when marriage was not
immediately intended.
But Miss Proudleigh rose to the occasion. "Ef
Susan are satisfied," she said, there is nobody to
interfere. A respectable young man may not feel
like marrying now, an' yet that does not signify that
he is to remain widout a partner in life. After all,





THE ANNOUNCEMENT


who make the marriage service ? Don't it is man ?
Read the Bible, an' y'u won't find a word of it there.
Isaac an' Rebecca didn't married in a church; an'
yet look how lovin' them live together. I am a
Christian woman, an' I know what is right from
wrong. But I don't agree wid all those stiff-neck
people who say that everybody ought to married
right off. That is not a practical view."
Mr. Proudleigh saw the golden bridge which his
sister had built for him, and he went flying over
it.
"That is my own opinions," he remarked with
emphasis. When Mister Jones mention dis matter,
I did thought it was funny that . I mean that
I thought dat a young man would want to know
the sort o' female him goin' to get married to. Before
I married, I was along wid Susan's mother for ten
years. I had the twins that dead, an' me son who
is now oversea-a good buoy that. Then I married,
an' Susan was born. An' perhaps I wouldn't married
at all ef the parson of de church I use to attend some-
times didn't talk to me an' tell me I ought to jine
society an' don't live no more in sin. I don't regret
I are married, but I wouldn't tell any young man to
married right off if him don't wants to."
"That is what I say meself," put in Catherine
from the door. If a gurl get a young man, she
would be foolish to drive him away because him
don't want to married at once. After all, if him is
free, she is free too."
Now Catherine had no young man in view, so far
as Miss Proudleigh was aware. And though many




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