Lend Me Your TITLE

ONOTO WATANNA March 1 1919

Lend Me Your TITLE

ONOTO WATANNA March 1 1919

Lend Me Your TITLE

ONOTO WATANNA

Author of "Me," "Marion," "A Japanese Nightinggale," etc.

PART II.

ASKED the Count? Did you expect him to understand or answer you?" "He is getting on remarkably -simply marveliously well with his Eng lish. He said with perfect fluency: `Mister Dig'It's so amusing and charming to hear him refer to Mr. Bradley as `Dig'`Mr. Dig,' he said, `say unto me. You marry wiz Mees Kitty Collins.' `All lide, I say. Much `bliged.'" "He lies, mother. It is not true." "I have told you more than once, that I will not have the word of a guest of ours impugned." :`Mother -" "That will do!" "Oh, mother, Dick couldn't-" "Dick Bradley couldn't. Humph! He always was as fickle as the weather. I never had any faith in him at all, and the only action of his I have thoroughly approved of, is his sending to us his friend, the dear Count Ta------Oh, I wish I could say the whole name. It's so high-sound ing! So aristocratic. So - You know, Kitty, all the royalties, even in Europe, have long names like that. Fancy it being your name, Kitty! Are you coming down?" "Yes, shortly. I want -just a few moments to myself. Mamma, I'm going to write to Dick. I'm going to ask him." "Ask him?" "Yes, mother. Please-please-go! I want to be alone!" ry

IX.

TWO LETTERS AND SOME TEARS.

r\EAR Mr. Bradley:

You know I am having my Fridays as usual. Do come and have a cup of tea with us. We would like to see you so much !

We find Count Ichijo so interesting. Really, if you don’t come soon to see me, I’m afraid he is going to ‘cut you out’ with us all !

Cordially,

Katharine Field Collins.

My Dear Miss Collins:

I have your letter and would gladly accept the invitation to one of your delightful “teas,” but for the fact that I expect to make a trip to Japan very shortly. Our -friend, Count Taguchi Tsunemoto Mototsune Takadzukasa Ichijo, has painted such glowing pictures of the country and people, that I’ve finally decided I can wait no longer to see it.

Take care of the Count for me, won’t you? He’s the best ever. In fact I think as much of him — more indeed — as of myself.

Talking of titles! Whew! He has one as big as the Mikado’s own, and a Shiro (that’s Japanese for castle) as old as Adam. The common Japanese consider him descended from the gods, you know.

Well, good-bye pro tem. I will not see you again probably until June, when I hope to have the pleasure of wishing you many happy returns of the day of your twenty-first birthday.

Again commending my friend, Count Ichijo, to your kindly consideration, I am, believe me,

Yours truly,

Richard Sheridan Bradley.

Sounds issuing from Miss Kitty Collins’ pillow': “I hate you, Dick Bradley! I hate you! O-O-O-O-O-' I hate you! Oh Dick, how could you? How’ could you?”

X.—TEA

“O-s-s-s Mees Collin! Goo-goo-goo—nide! Thas

^ a beautiful day ad these house! Tangs. Aexcuse!” “Beautiful day* Why, it’s pouring!”

“Those beautiful pour! Tangs! Aexcuse!”

“You like rain, do you?”

“Wis you — yaes!”

“Well, I hate it — with you!”

“Kit-ty!”

“Sir! How dare you call me that?”

“Thas nod you beautiful name? Tangs.”

“Miss Collins, please!”

“Misterer Dig — he tellin’ me speag you name jos lig’ those — Kit-ty!”

“My goodness! He’s even got Dick’s inflection!” “S-s-s-s-s-!”

“You can tell Mr. Bradley from me that I appreciate —-oh, so much — his kindness in giving permission to his friends to - yes, Anna? Just give

me the cards. The Count won’t bite you! Oh, certainly, I’ll see them. Mother, it’s Jimmy Bowker and Mr. Young.”

“Indeed?”

“Jimmy-s-s-s-s-s-s-s !”

“Did you speak, Count Ichijo? Do come over here,

mother. It’s too bad to expect me all alone to -

Ah, Jimmy! How well you’re looking. Mr. Young— Perhaps I don’t need to present you to Count Ichijo. I believe you were all at college together.”

“Er— Count -? How do you do? No. I

don’t recall you.”

“S-s-s-s-s-ssayonara!”

“Maybe Bowker remembers you.”

“How do you do? No, I can’t say--”

“S-s-s-s-s-Oh ayo !”

“I remember a Japanese who entered just as we passed out. It may be — what year — ?”

“What year — ?”

“Ss-s-s-s-s-Nuruhoda !”

“Don’t you speak English? If you went to Coll-”

“You see, the dear Count passed through college under most interesting circumstances. Dick has written us all about it. You see, being practically of the royal family, he could not very well mix in with the common students.”

“Mother!”

“Kittv, allow me to finish. So he took the courses— unseen.”

“Unseen!”

“Oh yes. As Dick explains it, in those days royalty was not allowed to be seen by ordinary mortals, and indeed a prince of the blood never even stepped his feet upon the ground. Of course things are changed since then.”

“But about the course-”

“Yes, I’m coming to that. So dear Count Ichijo was obliged to take the courses unseen. The Professors

“Me,” “Marion,” “A Japanese flighting gale,” etc.

went to him, which wasperfectly proper, under the circumstances.”

“I never heard of -

what year -”

“Well, Mr. Bowker, you know there are a great many things that the ordinary run of studentsreally never hear anything at all about.”

“Er-then he speaks

English, of course?”

“Charmingly! Let me explain. You see, the J apanese have very peculiar etiquette. It’s considered bad form to speak any but their own language when they first meet strangers. He was explaining it to us quite

recently, and Dick-

Mr. Bradley you know— wrote us all about it. Why, the first day he came to see us, he never spoke a single word save in Japanese, and when we think of the things we said — never dreaming he understood us — well, it was very embarrassing. But you have quite forgiven us, haven’t you, dear Count Ichijo?”

“Hi, fu, mi, yoSs-s-s-s-sTee-hee-e-e-e-e!”

“And we would never have known the difference, but that Kitty recalled that Dick had said in his letter that they were at college together. So we pressed the Count

-and the explanation shortly followed. Ah, I think

it a charming custom ! So reticent! So-er exclusive, don’t you know. So-very characteristic-so

ultra refined. None of - That’s right, Kitty. I’ll

have a cup too. Count, do draw your chair up closer. There, I’ve put it right next to Kitty’s.”

VI.tHAT do you think of this, Bowker?”

VV “Think? I think he’s a dimpostor.

There’s something curious here. I sniff it. He doesn’t even look like a Jap.”

“I’ll drop in on Dick this evening. You don’t s’pose this is some lark of his?”

“Not on your life. He’s wild about her. Think he’s going to spoil his own chances by doping them up with a thing like-that!”

“Let’s pump the old lady. Did you ever see her so got up? Whee — I tell you what, it pays to be a little smutty-faced Count?”

“I beg your pardon, Mr. Young?”

“Tell us some more about this — Count. What does Dick say about him?”

“I have his letters right here. There, you may see

“Hum - That’s queer!”

“Queer?”

“Yes, I never knew Bradley to lay himself out like this for anyone else before. It’s his writing all right.

Hm-m-m-m! Haven’t seen him lately - Bowker,

there’s something wrong here. Something damn black. I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to look up this fellow’s history. Can easily find out through friends of mine at Ottawa. I’ll set them on to the Jap

Consul there. If he's what he pretends to be -”

“Would you hnve believed, Young, that she’d have gone back on Bradley in this way? Just see how she’s letting little slant eyes look at her. By Jove! did you see that? He's got his little yellow paw on top of hers.” “After that — I’m going.”

“So’m I.”

“Going, Mr. Young? So soon? Oh, what’s your hurry?”

“Good-day, Mrs. Collins. Count----Ichi--

what’s your name?”

“It na, ya, ko.”

“Your name, I said.”

“Here’s the Count’s card. Isn’t it pretty? Really, I do think our own insignificant bits of hideous white cardboard look ridiculous when laid beside a gorgeous crested, crimson, artistic article like this. Good-day, Mr. Bowker. Come soon again, do!”

“So soon, Jimmy? So sorry!”

“Good-bye, Kitty. Have you seen—Bradley lately?” “N—no. Do tell him when you see him, how perfectly delighted we -I am with Count Ichijo. Oh,

good-bye, Mr. Young. So glad you came.”

“XJOW they’re gone, and I’m not going to pour ^ ^ another drop of tea. Mother will pour for you, Count Ichijo. My head is — splitting.”

“You look exceedingly well, Kitty. That color — becoming, is it not, Count Ichijo?”

“Ah-h-h-h! Ss—s-s-s-Loftily, augustly loavely

those red ad you chicks. Tangs. Much ’bliged.”

“I hate compliments, Count Ichijo.”

“Whas those — compli-?”

“Personal remarks — supposed to be flattering.” “You no lig’? But you also got those person marks.” “I?”

“Yaes. S-s-s-s-s-Tangs. On top you honorable

nose.”

“My nose?”

“Ah, yaes! Those loavely person marks. I lig’those beautifullest spots of thad honorable sun.”

“Oh, the idea! He means my freckles.”

“I’m so pleased, dear Count Ichijo, that you admire Kitty’s freckles. They have been the bane of the poor child’s life, and I confess that I too have felt some distress about them, though my dear father used to say that freckles never went on anything that’s foul.” “Ah-h—thas so? He no go on top those chickens?” “How you do make us laugh, dear Count. No, not that kind of fowl. Our Kitty’s a golf enthusiast. Mr. Bradley taught her. You know he has taken several cups. They do sa — people that don’t approve of him, Count, that he has neglected all his opportunities for the sake of his golf. Personally I think it a very foolish, very senseless game. Erit is so easy a game

to play, and it does seem such a useless waste of time and force to be following a little ball around and hitting it once in a while. Really, that is all there is to the game. Do you play it in Japan?” '

“Those golup? No — thas western science we still got study.”

“Not worth your time, dear Count. I marvel at Kitty spending so much time at it. NowKitty’s freckles —”

“Mother, please don’t discuss my freckles with him. Now-, I think, really, I’ve done my — duty for to-day, and I w-ant to go to my room. Don’t get up, Count Ichijo.”

“S-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-”

“Mother, come here. I w-ant to say just a word to you.”

“Don’t you know, Kitty, that it is very rude to whisper in company?”

•‘Then come up with me. Come—”

•‘Kitty* Really, I won’t be pulled along in this manner -”

“My room at last! Oh, mother, mother, mother, I’m so m-m-miserable !”

“My poor Kitty, if indeed-”

“No, mother, I am going through w-ith it. I let him even hold my hand. I knew they’d see, and tell — Dick!”

“It didn’t hurt your hand, you see.”

“No. I can’t understand myself, mamma. When he was holding it, and looking at me, right into my eyes, I had the most curious feeling about him. A strange sort of emotion seized me. I—i—it almost seemed as if Dick were holding my hand, and looking into my eyes!”

“I’m surprised that you even mention his name.” “I must have no shame, mother. I think I—I clung on to the Count’s hand. It seemed somehowas if Dick unshed me to, and oh, what am I saying?”

“Kitty, will you never get over that childish habit of flinging yourself headlong on your bed in that

fashion? My poor little -”

“Don’t pity me, mamma. Something has happened to me. -Yes, just this afternoon. When he held my hand—right before you all—a feeling of peace—of rest—seemed to flood my very being, and I clung to his hand—as if to a very anchor!”

XI.

ON THE LINKS

T SUPPOSE, Count Ichijo, that this is the first time A you’ve ever been on golf links? I do hope you are going to like the game. We’ve got the best professional here to teach you.”

‘His name? Muldoon.”

“No, not a professor—a professional. You didn’t look very pleased when I mentioned Mr. Muldoon’s name. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Some people don’t like his method. Now Dick — Mr. Bradley — goes by Braide only, and scorns any sort of advice of Mr. Muldoon’s. But, I think him all right. Just think, he taught Mr. Carnegie and Mr. “Dooley” and oh, all sorts of famous people. I take him along with me often, instead of a caddy, just to learn all about them. He’s awfully interesting, if he is rather garrulous. His favorite expression is: ‘The brains of the coon-

three are playing it, miss.’ You look quite glum. Here he is. This way, Mr. Muldoon.”

“Now, you will be able to brag, Mr. Muldoon. I’ve brought you somebody worth teaching. Mr. Muldoon,

Count - Oh dear, I can’t say all of that way —

just Count Ichijo, of Echizen, Japan. How queer you look. Count Ichijo! Have you met Mr. Muldoon before?”

“Why, it’s awfully funny, but you are picking up all sorts of American expressions. Of course you’ve got to stay here. You can’t go out on the links first. You’ve got to learn first how to hold the club, then how to swing — and you’ve got to keep that up — oh-h for hours and hours, and maybe, if you’re real smart, Mr. Muldoon will let you hit the ball presently, won’t you, Mr. Muldoon?”

“Nobody ever learned it in a few minutes. You’ve been listening to mamma. She doesn’t know the first thing about it. She talks just like everyone who has never even held a club in his hands. It’s a very difficult — a really scientific game. Now just be patient —and you’ll soon learn.”

“That’s the way! Why, didn’t he bring that club up fine? So many beginners just chug it up. Now don’t hurry Mr. Muldoon. He’ll show you about it. Really I like his way of addressing the ball better than Mr. Bradley’s.”

“Wh-why! You lock like a real thundercloud! You want to learn properly, even if it takes time. You don’t want to be a duffer in golf. Well, I’ll be off now; I’m going to play with Mr. Young. See, he’s waiting for me over there.”

“No, no — you can’t come too. They don’t let beginners on the links. Maybe, by and by. I’ll just do the meadows, and then when I get back you can come with me over the hills, and caddy for me, if you like. Most of my friends think that a big — privilege. I’m coming, Mr. Young!”

“Do you know, 1 really heard the Count — s-swear!

Yes sir, a great big D-. Honestly! Ah ha-ha-ha!

Oh, I feel so fine — so happy! It’s these blessed links! They are as exhilarating as wine. Come on.”

“Yes s-sir, you’ve got to give me a great big handicap. I believe I’ll use my cleek here. I can’t manage my wooden clubs when there’s anyone watching. Awful big crowd to-day-, isn’t there? Spring, tra-la ! Now! Not a word!”

441 TOW mortifying! I know I’m as red as a beet. I A A never made such a poor shot before. I’ll do better after we pass the first bunkers. The crowds make me nervous.”

“Oh, what a bully approach that shot was! Let them pass us, Mr. Young. I know we’re a twosome; but I’m so slow, and I alway-s make it a point to let really good players go by me. Let’s call to them.”

“My goodness! Look who it is. Why, it’s Count Ichijo! Wh-why — he is playing. Isn’t that perfectlyastonishing?”

“Well, well, Muldoon. your pupil is growing away from you.”

“Learned in fifteen minutes! Say-s the Japanese learn everything quickly. Oh c-o-ome, Count Ichijo! There’s a twinkle in Muldoon’s eye anyhow-. I believe you knew the game from the first. Just look where my ball is — right in the bunker. There, it’s down. Nowwait till I show you a prettylittle trick to send it over

in quite a long shot, too. Mr. Bradleytaught me -

See, I just turn my îr/ashie up—so. Then it lifts the

ball clear up of the bunkers and--That wasn’t

bad, was it?”

“Oh, oh, oh! You’ve made the green in two, and just look where your ball is!”

“Don’t, Mr. Young. I want to see the Count putt. Oh! Oh! Oh-h! Did you see that? Made it in three. How many for you, Mr. Young? Eight? You, Mr. Muldoon, did you play? Five? Mine — I did it in bogey. I did! Why, the idea! Do you mean to insinuate, Mr. Young-”

“I’m so glad you play golf so beautifully, Count Ichijo. It’s my favorite game. It was pretty modest of you to say nothing about it to us all.”

“No, I didn’t learn from Mr. Muldoon, nor a professional either, for that matter. Somebody better than a professional. A dear friend taught me.”

“Do y-ou know, if you weren’t Japanese, I wouldn’t answer half your questions. Theyare the most — impert — embarrassing things I ever heard. Well, his name, since you ask so bluntly, is Bradley. Yes, our mutual friend.”

“Do you know, you’ve tee-ed my ball just as 1 -like it — as I’m used to it. Why, isn’t that funny? You

w-ithdrewyour fingers just like DMr. Bradley-

used to do. He used to set the ball just pat on the bit of sand, with his two forefingers underneath, and withdraw them w-ithout touching the sand or any clumsy upset. Did he show you?”

“You showed him? Really! Now, isn’t that curious? He told me that he made that particular trick up himself. I’m beginning to -”

“Yes, I’m all ready!”

“That’s something like! Just because there’s no one here to see. Oh, doesn’t it make one feel good when w-e’ve made a good, long, clean, straight shot like that' Count Ichijo, y-ou’re a dandy mascot!”

“I beg your pardon, Mr. Young.”

“Well — er — suppose you and Mr. Muldoon go on without us. I much prefer a twosome anyhow-.”

“Thank goodness, he’s gone. An awful prig! Let’s take our time. The boys will get the balls all right. You know, it’s awfully strange, but somehow, out here on the links w-ith you, you don’t seem one bit Japanese — except your hair and your — er eyebrows. I mean your lash — Really I feel positively chummy with you! Just like I used to with Dick, when w-e played together. Anyhow, do you know, y-ou remind me of him a lot.”

“Well, I can’t sayjust how-.”

“Ye-es, I think there is a resemblance.”

“N-no, not the eyes, though they — they have something the same look and — color too! Oh, do you know, your eyes aren’t black at all! 1 alw-ays thought Japanese had black eyes. Yours are blue! They really are!”

“Well, I never noticed Dick’s nose particularly.”

“He wore a moustache — a beauty — so I don’t

knowwhat his mouth was like, but it felt-.1 think

— it — was very attractive indeed.”

“Goodness gracious, no! He had red hair — a perfect mop of bright red curls. His mother called it Titian, and I agreed w-ith her. But it wasn’t, it was just good old honest carrots. I like your hair better. Count Ichijo.”

“I wish Dick could hear that!”

“Oh, what an embarrassing question. Yes, I did like him. There!”

“Better than you? Why I detested you t-till recently.”

“No, I don’t want to sit here — of all places! Why, Dick proI want to go on and finish the course.”

“Do you know, y-ou’re the first Japanese I ever heard use such expressions. If I were to close myeyes I could almost imagine it was Dick himself speaking.”

“Have you heard from him?”

“I’m glad he likes Japan so well. I suppose he’s become infatuated with One of those fascinating little geisha girls one hears so much about. Are they so pretty and clever?

“I suppose it’s a matter of taste. Come on — let’s play, not talk. It’s a queer world, isn’t it?”

XII.

BASE SUSPICIONS

“MELLO, Taku! Sitting up for me, huh? Take these. Don’t touch that. I’ll put it away. Anyone been here?”

“S-s-s-sYaes, sir. Aexcuse. Misterer Bowker and Misterer Young, he come. Tangs.”

“What, again?”

“Aexcuse. Yaes, sir, S-s-s-s-”

“Leave any message?”

“No sir. They speag ad each udder. Say they tink thas lie thad you go unto Japan. Also that beeg one, Bowker—he loog unto you clothes — you brush for hair — you brush for tooth, etceterays.”

“He did! Hoom! Why didn’t you explain that I boüght all new things to go away with?”

“I sesso. He say quig then: ‘Whose those?’ I bow-

ing lig’ those, say ’Thas honorable garment of most exalt illustrious Count Taguchi Tsunemoto Mototsune Takadzukasa Ichijo.”

“Oh, that was a bad break, Taku. Don’t you suppose they know my things?”

“S-s-s-saexcuse. Tangs. Yaes sertinly. So I mek explain. I sesso thad you mek present all those honorable clothes unto you fliend thad Count Taguchi Tsunemoto Mototsune Takadzukasa Ichijo.”

“What! Oh I say, you’ve put me in bad here. You think I want it all over town that I’m wearing the secondhand clothes of myself.”

“Thas no disgrace! Ss-s-s-s-s Many Japanese do! Count Ichijo velly poor. He got wear mebbe second, mebbe third, mebbe fourth hand clothes.”

“Not this Count Ichijo. He’s a swell dandy. Taku. I’m going to be a credit to your race! You Japs are

going to be proud to acknowledge me! What else did they say?”

“Misterer Young, he say, wiz some wet on his eye, thas he suspect they’s fowl plays ad thees ’partment!” “Young has the instinct of a Sherlock Holmes all right-oh. He used to go round at college just sniffing up mysteries. I’ll be he’s got good old Bowker all stirred up. There’s the bell! Now remember, Mr. Bradley in Japan. Count Ichijo royally invisible.”

JAKES no difference. We are coming in! Get out of the way!— Here he is, Bowker. Yes, we mean you! Where’s our friend, Mr. Bradley, and what are you doing here, in his rooms?”

“Hoshi, boshi. Oh mi moshi!”

“None of that. You speak English all right. Now if you know what’s good for yourself, you’ll own up and make a clean breast of it. Where is Bradley?”

“S-s-s-s-s-s-Tee-ee-e-e-e-e-! Ho-ho! Whee!”

“Cut that out. Where’s Bradley, 1 say?”

“S-s-s-s-s-sTee-ee-ee-ee-e—!”

“We know all about you. You’re a damned little adventurer. We’ve looked up your record with the Japanese Consul or in Ottawa. Thought that’d make you sit up and take notice a bitWhat’s the mat-

ter with you, Taku? You look as if you’re going to explode. I suppose this Count is a friend of yours, huh? Well, Mr. Count Ichiio, you may as well own up. What have you done with Mr. Bradley?

“Won't answer, huh? Well, let me loosen up a bit. and tell you what we’ve found out about you. You’re a Count, all right—in Japan. We don’t deny that. But here in America, you're nothing hut a servant — a butler — a valet, a handy man. We got that straight front the consul — Look out there, Bowker, that Jap is going to spring at you!”

“Taku! You go — Leave the room!”

“So you can speak English after all. Declighted to hear you! Suppose now you tell us what your little game is. You can’t make us believe that Bradley has gone oir. h aving you — a Japanese butler—in his place —using his clothes and all his personal articles. I don’t believe it. Go ahead, ring the bell. We know

Browning, the manager of this place. We’ll tell him s thing or two ourselves.”

“Did you ring, sir?”

“Mr Browning, Send — up!”

“Good evening, Count. Want to see me? What car I do for you?”

“Inject — those outturn fliend, Mr. Bradley!”

“Mr. Bradley’s friends! Why, what’s the trouble? 1 know these gentlemen well.”

“Thank you, Browning. Bowker and I want to know what’s become of Bradley. We don’t like the looks of the thing.”

“Mr. Bradley has gone to Japan.”

“Without his clothes?”

“Seems so.”

“It’s incredible.”

“I saw him the day he went, Mr. Young. He stepped in the office to wish me good-bye. Said he was starting off on a sudden impulse. Said while he was gone his rooms would be occupied by his friend, Count Ichijo.” “You are quite sure it was Bradley?”

“Oh, absolutely. I had a long chat with him. He had all sorts of nice things to say of his friend, the Count here.”

“Well, if this is so, then all I — we’ve got to say, is we’re blanked sorry we --er—that our—er suspicions against you seem unfounded. Good night."

XIII

JUST A---BUTLER

npUT a butler — a valet — a common servant, Kitty! Oh, it’s quite impossible ! I’m so sorry my poor little girl!”

“Mother, you know, and everyone else does, that many Japanese of the finest families go to work in America in the most menial capacities. And really, when it comes down to an analysis of the thing, what is there degrading in that kind of work, anyhow? It’s honest, isn t it?

Continued on page 66

Continued from page 19

‘‘But, my dear Kitty, consider. You wouldn’t want to marry well—Gonji, for instance, if he proved to be a nobleman in Japan.”

“I don’t see why not—if I liked him. No, mother, there’s no use arguing on that ground. Besides, the Count’s record is excellent in every way. It’s not his fault he is poor and had to work — in that way. And just think, mother, he comes of one of the most illustrions families in Japan. Why, I think he’s to be pitied — yes, and applauded too, for his heroism in doing such a thing.”

“Well, Kitty, this Japanese nobility is —suspicious. I don’t like it.”

“Oh mamma, don’t be so narrow. I’m sure I’d just as lieve be a Japanese princess as a Hungarian one — yes, I would !”

“Kitty, will nothing dissuade you from your mad course? I can’t tell you bow upset I am—and—yes—I refused this morning to see the Count—or permit you to see him—when he called.” “Do you mean he’s been here to-day? And that you sent him away?”

“I felt it my duty.”

Well, once and for all, mother, please understand that I am of age — and have been ever since I was eighteen. This is my affair—not yours at all. I’m sorry to speak to you in this way, but you knowr, you drove away poor Dick Bradley, and now—why now you are actually trying to do something that will—injure us all—yes, all of us!” “Kitty, I’m too broken up to even argue with you. It was a terrible shock. Just a but—1er! It’s too mortifying!” “You haven’t given him a chance to explain.”

“He couldn’t. He can’t explain that away. It’s down in black and white, under the word: Employment: And on

che paper with the lettrr head of the Japanese Consul at Ottawa. There’s no getting around it. If it hadn’t been for Mr. Young—and really Kitty, he is a

splendid young man and worth-. I

can’t help thinking—”

“Well, just stop thinking. I wouldn’t have Mr. Young if he were the only man on earth, do you understand? This is a matter I'm going to decide for myself. And I have decided in fact. I'm going to marry Count Ichijo!” “No, Kitty. The papers’d get hold of the facts. We will become laughing stocks!”

“I don’t care. Let them get hold of it. Do you want my eight little brothers and sisters brought down to poverty ? ”

“Boo-oo-ooo-o-o— How can you be so cruel, Kitty?”

“You asked me the same question not so very long ago, and I’ve got to marry by July, haven’t I?”

“We can rush over to France or It—” “We don’t need to. I’m going to marry Count Ichijo.”

“Kitty!”

“You .needn’t look at me like that. It’s true. And I believe I’m going to be happy, too. Let me tell you something, mother. Ever since I lost— Dick, I—I’ve been like one reaching out for something—for someone to cling to —and—and—oh, you don’t know how good—how splendid—how really grand he has been!”

“I consider Dick Bradley’s conduct anything but splendid. I believe he deliberately precipitated us into this humiliating mess in a spirit of revenge —yes, mean, cowardly—revenge!”

“I didn’t mean Dick, mother. No he is not—splendid! I once thought

him so. I learned I was mistaken. But I mean the Count. He is splendid! Yes, indeed, indeed he is!”

“That—little—rat!”

“How dare you say that? I won’t stand it. No) I won’t even from you. my own mother.”

“Kitty! Now, it is time I asserted myself. I see what has happened to you. He has hypnotized you—yes, practised some wicked Oriental art upon you. Let me open your eyes. I repeat he is a rat—a snake—to inveigle his way into a Canadian home like this, and—”

“Stop! I won’t listen to you. You'll be sorry afterwards.”

“I will not. I will say what Í please. From the first I have found this— butler—repugnant!”

“Why, mother, you fairly ? raved about him. You know you did!”

“I—I was blinded—as you are now. I’ll confess the bitter truth. Besides. I was thinking of my poor children and eagerly seized this opportunity to save us all from poverty. But now the scales have fallen from my eyes. No—not cverf for the sake of your uncle’s

money, will I consent to the marriage of my own daughter with a painted up, lisping, bobbing, hissing little ex-butlei > like that!”

“It’s perfectly true, the Count is fixed up. I’ve noticed it myself, around the j eyes. But it’s the custom of the coun| try, and one gets used to it after a while, and one can see beneath the j paint! Mother, I did! and—oh, mother : —I saw under it—a man!”

“What am I to think of you, Kitty? I It’s not six months since you boldly : asserted you loved Richard Bradley. ! Do you wish me to believe you are now in love with this—butler ?”

“Mo-other, don’t! don’t! Don’t sav * anything more about him. I can’t beaí ¡ it!”

“You are hysterical! There’s witch, craft here. Yes, of some horrible Oriental sort. Tell me the truth, Kittv. j Are you in love with Count Ichijo?” ;

“Mother, mother, I dón’t know. I j don’t know!

“What is it, Anna? Again!”

“Who is it, mother? Let me see the ! card!”

“You will say, Anna, that Miss Col ¡ lins will not—”

“Anna! Listen to me. Tell Count j Ichijo that I’ll be down—rirht away.” ¡

“You wild, crazy girl! Marry that , monkey then!”

“He isn’t a monkey. I deny it. It’s 1 a lie! He has a beautiful head, and his eyes—”

“You have lost your wits, my poor girl. I shall call in an alienist.”

“Do! And let him examine the Count, too, and see if they don’t say he is as fine and noble a specimen of man as ever lived. Let go of me. I tell you —I’m going down!”

XIV.

NEWSPAPER STORY

U'RIENDS of Richard Sheridan BradP ley and Miss Katharine Collins, who were reputed to be engaged, are discussing the extraordinary disappearance of the former. It appears that some time previous to his disappearance, Mr. Bradley introduced to the heiress the Count Ichijo, who, while a descendant of an illustrious Japanese family, has earned his living while in this country in the humble capacity of a butler. Bradley, it is said, took pity upon the destitute titled Japanese, and generously offered to assist him financially and socially. Through Bradley’s agency, the Japanese was launched upon society, and there received with open arms.

“It was shortly observed, however, that the beautiful fiancée of Mr. Bradley was more often seen in the company of the Count than the Canadian, and presently Bradley’s friends nad associates saw him no more. It was said he had gone to Japan.

“The curious situation was then revealed that the Canadian had not only given up his sweetheart to the Japanese, but also the greater part of his own fortune. Investigation shows that the Japanese has been paying all bilss with checks signed by his friend, Mr. Bradley.

“There are those among Mr. Brad! ley’s friends who question whether the ! Canadian has actually gone to Japan, ¡ since no one, save the Japanese, has heard a word from the missing man | since he left, supposedly, these shpres.

“A reporter calling at the Collin’s house, was met by a curt explicit denial of any engagement whatever between the Count and Miss Collins. From servants it was learned that the heiress and her mother had departed hurriedly upon some trip.

“A call at the bachelor apartments, j where Count Ichijo has made his home in the rooms previously occupied by Mr. Bradley, revealed the fact that the Japanese, too. had departed for parts unknown.

“All information was denied to the reporters, the manager of the place briefly stating that the Count was gone, and he had nothing to say. Asked if he had heard from Mr. Bradley, the manager admitted, reluctantly, he had not, but claimed to have seen him the day he sailed.

“Considerable alarm is felt by the friends of Mr. Bradley that he may have met with foul play, and the matter will be taken up at once by the Canadian authorities in Japan.”

XVI.

IN HONORABLE JAPAN

“PULL your veil well down over your face, Kitty. I believe there are reporters—even in Japan!”

“What nonsense, mother. Indeed I’m not going to cover my face. Isn’t this fascinating ?”

“It’s very uncomfortable. How I miss our limousine!”

“Oh, mamma, these jinrikishas are —sweet!”

“When you are as f—old as I am, Kitty, you won’t find it sweet to be bumped up and down in this fashion.” “I suppose not. Shall I tell the Djm to slow down a bit?”

“No. I am anxious to get there quickly.”

“Why, look at the curious change. We seem to be in the heart of the country. What a funny city—a maze of bizarre streets and noises, and then, all of a sudden, silence and a stretch of open country. Isn’t it wonderful ? Oh, I know I’m going to be so happy here!”

“Yes, possibly, Kitty. I am glad, too, now that the matter is finally settled. The cablegram from Dick Bradley, of course, explained everything. Kitty, I feel very badly when I think how I

berated the dear Count-”

“Now, don’t cry again, mother. Those Djins see out of the backs of their heads, and the Japanese despise people who show their emotions. It isn’t considered civilized. So if you’re going to be mother-in-law to a Japanese countess— Oh! What a bump! Djin, how much farther ? I wish I could speak Japanese. I will some day. Even now I can say ‘He!’ and ‘Iya!’”

“What do they mean?”

“I don’t know. But something sweet, because when the Count taught me, he looked into my eyes so—so deeply, mother. It was before he began speaking English so fluently.”

“We ought to be pretty nearly there.”

“Aren’t the shops interesting, with their blue hangings? And those darling little blue roofs sloping up to the second stories. They’re made of paper, you know, mamma. When they are lighted at night they look like lanterns.”

“The Count’s place is a great distance from Shimbashi station, isn’t it?” “Oh, the family seat, you know, is in Echizen. Dick’s been staying at their city place. He said it was quite a distance out. I wonder what they said to each other—the Count and Dicx —when they met. Wasn’t it nice of Dick to cable from Japan, denying that hateful newspaper story? Goodness, it was a couple of months of agony, until he did!”

“Yes, I’m glad Dick cleared everything up—especially about that butler business, and the fact that they merely exchanged homes, Dick going to the Count’s place, and the Count putting up at his.”

“Yes—I, too, was glad, though 1 would have married him whether he had been a butler or not.”

“Oh, I suppose you would, Kitty. 1 daresay it was very heroic for him to work that way for diplomatic purposes. Still, I must say, Kitty, I don’t like the idea of your husband acting as a spy— yes, it’s practically that—upon your own countrymen.”

“Goodness, mother, he wasn’t my husband then! Mother. I feel like a figure in some lovely romance, and I’m so happy, I don’t know what to do. I can’t wait, hardly, to gee there. And yet—and yet, do you know I don't know whether it is the Count or Dick I—I— am so wild to see!”

“I’m surprised at you, Kitty. The Count is a gentleman. As for Dick, it was his stupid blundering that made

such a muddle of the whole affair. Look, he’s stopping. This must be the place.”

“Why, it’s just a little cottage. But isn’t it pretty? Oh, mother, look at the little children. Aren’t they cunning? Oh, what a sweetie! Did you ever see anything so cute ? See the baby strapped on that little toddler’s back. See, there are five of them. They can’t be relatives of the Count’s!” “Hush, Kitty. There’s a lady coming to meet us down the path. How gracefully she bows at everv step. Djin, you said you spoke English. Translate for us what this lady is saying.”

“She says: Honorable lady of the

interior deign to welcome exalted ladies of outside country. Pray you condescend to step upon the honorable insides of house.”

“Thank her, Djin. Thank her.”

“Oh, what a lovely room, mother! Where are we to sit? Djin, what is the lady saying now?”

“She says that foreign ladies of outside country condescend to accept hospitality of those house!”

“Who is she—the lady who has welcomed us.”

“She the Countess Taguchi Tsunemoto Mototsune Takadzukasa Ichijo.”

“The Countess-”

“Kitty, what an extraordinarily young woman to be mother of _ the Count. Who are the children, Djin?” “The honorable lady of the interior say they are honorably hers and the Count Taguchi Tsunemoto Mototsune Takadzukasa Ichijo’s.”

“Sisters and brothers of the Count Ichijo, who was in America?”

“No. Honorably hees children. Thas hees—wife !”

“Mother!”

“Kitty!”

“Djin! Ask this Japanese woman if she is the wife or the mother of the Count Ichijo, who is expecting us today—the Count Ichijo, who was in America? What is she laughing about?” “She laugh, foreign Mrs., account she jos twenty-five year ole. How she km be mother unto count tirty year ole?”

XVI. EXPLANATION

‘‘O-s-s-s-s-s-s—Kitty !"

^ “How dare you! How dare you call me that? How dare you even look at me? Who are you? What are you? We know all about you? You’re a cruel, wicked, horrible wretch.” “Kitty!”

“Deny it. then. Tell me that woman was not your wife!”

“I swear it—she is not!”

“And those children?”

“Whv, thev’re Taku’s infants.” “Taku?”

“Yes.”

“The Djin said they were the children of the Count Ichijo?”

“Well, they’re not. I’m the Count Ichijo, and they’re not mine.”

“Oh, you make me so glad! So happy! Ichijo, won’t you for—”

“Don’t call me that. Kitty, look me full in the face. Don’t you know me ? My eyebrows have grown in and 1 haven’t the varnish on, either. There, I’ll take off this black monstrosity. There’s only my moustache missing now. Whv—”

“Dick!”'

“Beg pardon. S-s-s-s—Pm the Count. Ichijo of Echizen, Japan!”

“Dick! Oh, my own, own Dick! I knew.it—all the time!”

“Oh, Kitty, you feel so good—in my arms! But you didn’t know it all the same. That’s a fib.”

“I did! Away down in my heart— I felt it. I felt in loving that horrible little—”

“I like that!”

“—it was you I was loving all the time! Oh, do look at poor mamma.” “Cheer up, Mrs. Collins. Pm not so had as all that!”

“Oh, Dick—Boo-hoo-o-o-o-o-o— I’ve

nothing against you, and it’s r-r-really a relief to know our Kitty is to marry someone like herself. B-h-b-b-ut I c-can’t bear to think of all that money going to f-f^und a home for D-d-des—” “Well, why should they have it? Kitty won’t be twenty-one till next week, will she? Well, we can get married to-day. See ? Then we’ll take a dizzy whirl around the world on Uncle Dan’s money.”

“But how can we? If I marry you, Dick, you know very well I’ll lose the money. Under the will I’ve simply got to marry a man of title.”

“Please don’t fool any more, Dick dear.”

“Pm not fooling. I never was more serious in my life. In America Taku lent me his title, didn’t he? In Japan he sold it to me! Legally and binding] y by law, and now by every legal right and title. I am, in fact, the Count Toodle-oodle-oodle-oodle, umpty dumpty Ichijo!”

THE END