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experience, “and I feel it is but right to warn you gentlemen since we are to be companions for many days to come." Real anxiety overspread his sad, elongated features, and we all agreed promptly though sympathizing with him in his unenviable position.
"Hold on to your wads, boys," cautioned the American drummer, as we parted in the high winds which blew over the rough seas in the pallid chill of dawn.
How His Lordship Won Out. The charm, the wonderful magnetism of the boy, accounted for many a surreptitious game played at the back of the cleric, when, to evade his vigilance, one took refuge behind smoke-stacks or in the
privacy of one's cabin. It was like humoring a child, and the virility of this great, handsome boy-man but made the hide-inseek more piquant. I remember a severe English woman with her two daughters traveling to meet her husband stationed at some interior post. She mistrusted his Lordship in spite of his title and expectations (every one knew of the vast landed estates of the great Berisford family), and rightly, for one sultry evening I came upon the girls playing some apparently harmless game, and the stake was a costly bracelet which eventually found its way into the titled pocket. I broke up the party, almost snatching the cards from Berisford: this was too much even for my leniency. I sternly commanded the bov to return the trinket, which he smilingly did in spite of the girl's violent protests, for, she gamely declared, it was but fair. However, I was obdurate.
The day we reached Bombay, the Rev. Mr. Chambers asked me if his Lordship pressed lips: "It is a matter of honor, and was in my debt, saying with tightly comfor the sake of his family" I would not hear of any settlement (although I was out $500), saying that we had been cautioned, and no one was responsible for any loss sustained. We separated from the boy with frank good will, and any suspicion entertained evaporated in a gen
uine regret at parting from one of such undeniable charm.
Now, Bombay and Calcutta are the most cosmopolitan places in India: funnels through which pass mixtures from all parts of the world. Asia, Africa, Europe, America, all countries seem to flow hither: their drops collecting either for duty or pleasure, then quickly dissipating for the
Monsieur and I were leisurely tourists. We put up at the same hotel and agreed to do some hunting after I had paid a flying trip to Cashmere to meet some friends. Perhaps it was the third day after our arrival when I received a card from an unknown caller. I had the strange gentleman ushered into my sitting room. Without preliminary, he began to question me. Had I come over on the Adriane? I said I had. Had I met a certain Lord Berisford, accompanied by a Rev. Mr. Chambers? I answered in the affirmative. Had I any reason to think there was a question of his honesty? I refused to reply to that question until I knew the motive of this gentleman in making such pertinent inquiry. He took no notice of my rebuke and left abruptly.
Ten minutes had scarcely elapsed when the young nobleman came to my rooms, unannounced and uninvited. He told me frankly of his plans and seemed in a depressed and repentant mood. He spoke feelingly of his mother, and of the trouble his many escapades had caused his people. I could have sworn that there were tears in his eyes. He hinted at a girl in England whom his family wished him to marry when his majority was reached. Remorse, intended reformation, were blended with a naive candor which might have melted the heart of a stone. The long and short of it was I was out £50, for sympathy and heart had been touched. That night at dinner de Bertville confided to me a similar interview. We laughed over the hardiness of the sinner, and mused kindly on the hotness of young blood and the oatsowing period.
At ten o'clock next morning, we were both amazed to receive an imperative note from my caller of the day before, requesting us to meet him at the Bank of India.
financier, a sound, practical man with an extensive knowledge of native loan and insurance work came to the point at once, without introduction or preamble.
"I have called this meeting in order that we may compare transactions of a certain Lord Berisford and a certain Rev. Mr. Chambers. We have all met the gentlemen, I presume."
There was a general assent. From the Hebrew came a something between a grunt and a snarl. The divine sighed heavily and folded his hands as though in resignation at human perfidy. The silk merchant was amiable with his professional smile, which included good and bad alike. At this juncture, the detective (such he proved to be) entered and he was no other than my erstwhile caller. He was perspiring freely, and under his arm he carried a number of note books. There was absolute silence within; without, the sound of shutters being put in place was audible, and the heat waves beating fiercely against the green blinds but increased the fever of excitement mounting in our veins. It was like the meeting of a secret jury.
The detective handed the director yellow slip. It was a cable in cipher from Scotland Yard. It notified the bureau that a passenger under the name of Lord Henry Berisford had booked on the Adriane, en route for various ports of India. The real Lord was in London. Fur
for each lender's own destruction. That the real Lord contemplated taking a trip in this direction was evidently known to the worthies by the mysterious telepathy peculiar to the land where the occult deals in witcheries.
How much the bank lost will never be known; the Hebrew showed us some round figures that ran up into the hundreds sterling. His business acumen had plotted against the clergyman in an over prodigality to the erring. It was his profit to supply all class from the reckless subaltern with his mortgaged pay to the traveling spendthrift whose jewels were exchanged for cash way below par of the value discarded. He reckoned without his host and religion was the cloak used to hide innumerable shortcomings in this particular instance.
Why We Were Detained.
The upshot of the matter was that Monsieur de Bertville and I were in durance vile, albeit liberty was not denied us, for three weeks. The consequence of this
unexpected halt was the unpleasant feature of missing my friends; they went up to Simla, and my companion in innocence and I were forced to remain in the terrible heat of Bombay during the month of August, when even the native seeks respite along the reaches of the upper river or under the sheltering palms of some secluded lake.
Frequent polite messages did not soothe our sense of injury, for we were obsessed by the conviction that the real culprit was enjoying life unhampered by the fetters of the law in which we had become immeshed. I finally went to consult an English lawyer to see if an end could not be put to the annoyance imposed upon us. That very afternoon, the Director, accompanied by the detectives, paid us a visit. He was bland, smiling, and the reason for such good humor manifested itself when we were informed that the Reverend Mr. Chambers had been apprehended. That the bogus Lord would soon be in the toils of justice was a foregone conclusion. Another day of delay and we were faced with the minister, meek, sad and impressive as ever. We took oath as to some intimacies of the pocket-book and testified that the gentleman of the cloth had been protector of one Lord Henry Berisford, alias Sir Oscar Brunswick, alias—there was a list addended that read like a record of conquests. In vision we beheld Sir Galahad, smiling, debonair, broad-chested, a magnificent young Viking in brawn, but, I fear, a natural born criminal under that fell of blonde hair and in spite of the candor of those genial blue eyes.
De Bertville Has Another Experience. Monsieur and I parted company during the course of the week. I returned to America, he was to continue his ramblings wherever fancy listed. That was in the August of 1907, and we had almost passed from each other's mind until this casual meeting in San Francisco.
We met in the evening, and, over a post-prandial smoke, our reminiscent mood took us back to the events of that past voyage. Monsieur de Bertville had returned by way of Bombay, and, upon inquiry, learned that Mr. Chambers had changed clerical dignities for penal habiliments, but that the arch-criminal,
proving undeniably the survival of the fittest, had never been seen or heard of since his disappearance after the Bombay swindle.
"I had another very charming episode of travel in Hong Kong," said Monsieur de Bertville. "A Mr. Percy Johnson and your humble servant became amiable friends to the extent of sharing the same bank-book. He had a genius for exact imitation, and he-not I-overdrew accounts where I banked. Most awkward."
This was confided with the movement of the shoulders I so well remembered. "Enfin," continued the speaker, "we saw much together: Canton, Pekin, interior China, and were on our way to Manchuria when," de Bertville laughed softly and sent a waft of tobacco heavenward, "when your English law interposed and took from me very delightful society. * * * It was most unpleasant, but I was compelled to return to Hong Kong ciceroned by a third, an uninvited. When reaching that goal, I was met and treated with much consideration, but mon ami was persuaded to remain indefinately, or until he could explain rather unique little affairs such as: a check on a particular bank which failed to liquidate that indebtedness; a letter of credit filched from a Mr. Hardy Johnson, and to answer for a collection of bijou, trinkets worn by women of wealth, such as a splendid diamond necklace, brooches, many valuable rings and a gold jeweled match-box once owned by me. Mr. Percy Johnson had assisted me in my search for this object several days before departure, finally remarking upon the futility of further effort, adding that Oriental servants were never known to reveal what they had concealed, and that the chances were my property had not been lost or strayed-just stolen. De Bertville blew smoke clouds in silence, then finished reflectively:
I visited, in New York, the prison of Sing-Sing.*** A man tall, wellformed, with the carriage of one used to the curry-comb of good grooming, in spite of his be-zebraed garments, confronted me in one of the corridors; he was evidently a trusted prisoner. He stood aside to allow me right of way. As he did so, our eyes met. In a flash, memory slipped a plate into my brain, and I saw in clear, instantaneous photographs, a smart, perfectly dressed man, clever, interesting, amusing, full of the incidents of travel in world-wide places, leaning toward me, his brown hair slightly ruffled by the swaying of the punka; one well-formed hand holding the menu, the other toying with his light mustache. Suddenly he looked up, the light turning steel in his eyes; arrested in the act of ordering our dinner for a grasp, compelling, was on his arm, and, with the swift intuition of the fugitive who knows when the quarry is run down to the death, he saw his hour come; he realized the inevitable and made no resistance. * * * It was all a mystery: how he got away from Hong Kong, how
he came to be lodging in unfashionable, exclusive Sing-Sing.
"Why are morals, especially in money matters, so loose in the Orient, do you think?" I asked.
"I account for it in climate," said de Bertville, "in remoteness from European standards; in the free give-and-take and in the transient nature of friendships which, for a space, owing to radical change in modes of life, seem to assume the solidity of permanence. In no other part of the globe have I remarked such a disregard for commonly accepted ethics. 'Where there ain't no ten commandments and a man can raise a thirst,'" he quoted, "it is difficult to hold fast to the honesty best policy platitudes."
I thought of the dear, ingenious creature on ship-board, a resident of China, who, wishing to buy some trifles in Kobe, 'just asked for the loan of a cool hundred. Of the artfully artless enthusiasm when showing dear hubby the same purchases. Of her remarkable facility in forgetting but she was only a woman and that's another story.
Suggestive of the Portola Festival.
(After Seeing Miss Coleman in 8
Series of Spanish Dances at the Century Club, San Francisco)
BY FLORENCE SLACK CRAWFORD
Oh, rapture entrancing, the motion of dancing!
Like a full-throated bird, of rhapsodies unheard,
Now measured in motion, like waves of the ocean
I embrace, oh, I love the world here and above,
Quietly, slow, like a streamlet I flow,
I kneel now the flowers among.
In ecstasy rare, I mount high in the air,
Oh, the motion of dancing-rapture entrancing!