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Courtesy of M. Knoedler & Co.

"SISTERS." PAINTED BY LADY ALMA-TADEMA

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“Oh! Botheration! It is snowing harder "You and Misao are just alike,” Elizaand harder!” And Elizabeth Caldwell beth answered, between a smile and a pout. tossed her head angrily until the curls "You take everything so calmly. I think whipped her cheek. “Now Uncle Arthur you are a Japanese yourself, Hal." will not come until next Saturday. And "He is a very golden one, then," said a that 's years and years!"

sweet voice from the doorway. "And yet “Maybe he 'll come to-day, Sis. Don't -blonde as he is—he was born in Japan give up the ship,” said her brother Harry, -a little flower of the iris, just at the looking up from the rug before the fire, season of their bloom!” And Misao, in where he lay sprawled over a big volume of her pretty gray silk kimono, glided into sea stories, apparently quite content in the room and sat on the rug beside Harry. spite of the weather.

He was the pride of her heart, the little "No; he won't. He said distinctly, 'If boy whom she had nursed when he came it stops snowing. I got the telephone into the world in her own far-away counmessage myself. And my heart is just set try. It was for love of him that she had on the matinée. I'd just like to take the consented to accompany the good doctor old snow and roll it up into a bundle and and Mrs. Caldwell across the sea to disthrow it somewhere."

tant America. Misao loved Elizabeth, "Where would you throw it?" Harry too, and Baby Frank, upstairs, but Elizalaughed. “It seems to be everywhere beth always declared teasingly that Harry now. It is too bad, sisterkin; but if was her favorite. Uncle Arthur does n't come to take us It rather embarrassed Harry sometimes to the matinée this week, he will next. So to be called “Iris flower” and to have it is only a pleasure de-lingered, as Misao Misao look at him with such open adoraused to say.”

tion, but he loved her as dearly as she

upon it.

loved him and there was a close bond be too—the ones I love. I saw 'Little Wotween them.

men' three times. But you said, 'to hear "What wind is jangling all your bells them', And I said, 'to see them'. Is n't this morning, Elizabeth?” Misao asked. that funny? I suppose you say 'hear' be

"It is n't the wind that does it. It is cause there is n't the-embroidery in the snow,” said Harry.

yours.” And Elizabeth explained in an aggrieved "And also because the No are chanted, tone: "Uncle Arthur 'phoned early this not spoken.” morning and said, if it stopped snowing, "Chanted? As in church?" he'd come for luncheon and take us to the "More like little operas, I guess," said matinée. And if it did not stop, we'd Harry, who was listening between chaphave to wait until next week. He is n't ters of his book. supposed to go out in bad weather. And "Yes; on a little platform, with a little it began right then to close up all the little backboard very simply decorated. And the blue spaces in the sky and shut out the sun stories are simple, too. But the actors are and get grayer and grayer.

And now so clever that they do not need scenery. just look at it!"

They make you see everything without it. Harry smiled sympathetically and They can even make you know that it is turned again to his book, while Misao snowing, Elizabeth.” sucked in her breath consolingly and, tak “I don't want to know that,” she pouted, ing a bit of saffron silk from the depths reminded of her grievance. of her kimono sleeve, began to embroider “And yet there is one about the snow Elizabeth came over to the rug

that I loved best when I was your age. and sat beside her.

And I love it still, very much.” "Were n't you just crazy about the Misao looked off dreamily, lost in some theater when you were little? Or did n't old memories of her home. they have any in Japan? And was it ever Elizabeth peered closely into Misao's as good as 'The Blue Bird' and 'Peter eyes, and quickly put her arms about her,

because she thought she saw a mist there. Elizabeth had a habit of asking "three Misao smiled tenderly upon her. or four questions in a bundle,” as Harry “Please tell us about the No—the snowy said. But Misao was accustomed to her one,” Elizabeth begged, and Harry laid quick-thinking, eager little charge and an down his book and urged: “Say yes, Misao. swered the whole bundle of questions very Please!" calmly.

“If she says yes, she has to say No," “The plays I saw were very different. laughed Elizabeth. Yes; I think they were as beautiful, -some Misao put her work away and began : of them, but there was not the_” she “There was a little hut in a snowy plain. hesitated for a word, and then, looking at It was early evening and cold, bitter cold. the bit of silk in her hand, said smilingly, The snow had fallen like the light feath"the embroidery."

ers of the goose, as a poet has said. The "You mean all the scenery and lights sky was dark gray, and so low and heavy and everything?"

it seemed as if one could touch it. And "Yes. The No were very simple. But the chill wind was blowing, so that a man the stories were good and true.”

must huddle in his clothes like a crane in “The what were very simple, Misao ?” his feathers.

“The No. That is the name of little “Even the smoke of the volcano Asamaplays for the people. They must be good, yama, at the edge of the plain, looked because they have been played for years cloudy and cold and gloomy. and years and still the people love to hear "In the little hut there was no fire, and them.”

the icy wind penetrated the sliding, paper "Yes. I like to see plays over and over, doors."

Pan? »

)

Uh-h-h!Elizabeth shivered and gazed upon them. And he said, as he looked gratefully at the glowing fire. brushed the snow from them with tender

“Why was there no fire ?" asked Harry. hands, 'O evergreen pine! always green

"Because the man and his wife who and faithful throughout the seasons' lived there were so poor.

The woman

changes, much pleasure have you given had used the last few sticks to boil a little me in better days! And your good cheer awa, which was still smoking in the pot. comforts me now. O plum-tree, fragrance You would know they were poorer than of the year, whose brave buds bloom early snowbirds, because they had only awa to in the spring while yet there is snow, you eat. Awa is millet, and even those with give me courage. And you, O cherry, not enough money to buy rice eat awa spirit of Japan, whose delicate masses of

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“ 'PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE NO-THE SNOWY ONE,' ELIZABETH BEGGED"

mixed with barley. But this was awa bloom throw perfume wild and free in alone. It is not very palatable—not nearly the first rays of the rising sun, which you as good as the porridge you do not wish to resemble, you give me hope of a better eat for breakfast, Elizabeth. It did not dawn. Perhaps when you bloom again in tempt the woman, hungry as she was. the springtime, my fortunes may bloom

“She allowed herself a few tears, since too.' her husband was not in the hut and she "And then the man went away into the could weep without increasing his sorrow. snowy fields to see if he could find and

“He had gone to the little stall behind cut a few dry faggots. the hut to tend the worn and miserable old "Meanwhile, from the other direction, horse who stood there.

a pilgrim priest was advancing wearily, “Orr his way back, he saw, in the shel- plowing his dragging feet through the ter of his hut, three potted trees.”

deep, wet snow. "Dwarf trees. I know," said Harry. "He scaled the Oi-yama, a high moun

Yes. Three little dwarf trees in pots. tain where the wind whistled, and crossed They were very fine specimens, all that the river Usui, hoping that the plain would were left from a great collection that this be more protected from the cold. But the poor man had owned once long before. valley was a floor for the blasts. His eyes, too, filled with tears when he "The sight of the little hut, small and

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bare and poor as it appeared, was welcome “'I am sure that it is well enough for to his eyes. For it might mean food and me, I hope that you will receive me,' shelter and warmth. A bird seeks even pleaded the stranger. the bare thicket in a storm.

"The poor man did indeed yearn to "There came a rap at the door, as he take the pilgrim in, but he thought of the stood under the eaves of the hut, and the tasteless bowl of awa and the fireless woman opened it, sliding back the shoji- hearth; and pride made him close heart the paper screen.

and door. “ 'Who is there?' she asked in timid “Alas! I regret it is impossible for surprise.

us,' he said. “We ourselves can scarcely “A pilgrim,' responded the stranger. manage to live here to-night. But there is ‘And he asks for a night's lodging.'

a little village under the mountain, about “ 'Alas! I fear we have nothing to eighteen cho from here, where you can offer. And my husband is not at home.' find a comfortable inn. Before the sun

“The pilgrim bowed politely. “Then I sets, you had best hasten thither,'will wait here under the eaves until he re "Oh, dear! The poor pilgrim!" Elizaturns,' he said.

beth interrupted. 'As you wish,' said the poor woman, And Harry asked, “How far is eighteen not very encouragingly. 'And I will go to cho?inform my husband.'

“About a mile and a quarter,” Misao "She followed her husband's footprints replied; and continued, "it did not seem a until she overtook him.

very long way to the man, you see. But "He had not succeeded in finding any the pilgrim asked once more, ‘Then you wood fit for burning and shook his head cannot take me in?' sadly at the landscape, thinking how he ''Noto our deep regret.' had enjoyed the snow in the days when he "And I regret, too, that I waited and was warmly clad and luxuriously housed. pleaded in vain,' said the shugyo-ja, politeThen it had seemed gentle and beautiful; ly, and turned away with these words and to-day it was ugly and cruel. He turned began plodding through the snow. as his wife approached, calling to him. “The man and wife stood in silence a

“ 'What brought you hither in this great long time, looking after him. snow?' he asked.

A pity that we have come to this! 'A shugyo-ja'—that is, a pilgrim priest said the woman at last. ‘But perhaps it is -'asks for a night's lodging. Knowing because we have failed in good deeds in the bareness and emptiness of our home, I some past life that we suffer now. And hoped he would depart when I told him perhaps, by doing such acts of hospitality you were absent. But he said he would as we can in this existence, we may be reawait your return.'

warded in the next world. I wish we had "The man looked deeply troubled. asked him in, after all.'

“'To be too poor to afford hospitality “ 'I am not thinking of reward, here or that is the depth of wretchedness,' he said afterward,' said her husband. But, as I sadly. "Where is the shugyo-ja!"

see his bent and weary figure struggling “ 'There he stands, under the caves.' against the drifts, and his head bowed as

"The two went back to the hut to greet if he were blinded by the snow and lost, the tired pilgrim.

I am ashamed that pride made me send “ 'The sun is still in the sky,' said he, him away. I will recall him.' after polite salutations were exchanged; “So he made a horn of his hands and 'but the clouds and the earth are so heavy called out: ‘O traveler! Return! Come with snow that I can scarce travel farther. and stay with us to-night.' I request a lodging for the night.'

"But the wind's horn was so much “My wish is to grant it. But my cot larger than the man's hands, and the tage is not fit to shelter a guest.'

wind's voice so much louder than his, too,

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