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Silver Springs signal. (Silver Springs, N.Y. ;) 1892-19??, March 18, 1915, Image 2

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THE- STTJVER SPRINGS SIGNAL * PARROT & GO. w HAROLD BY MACGRATH AUTHOR OF \THE CARPET FROM BAGDAD/! \THE PLACE OF HONEYMOONS,\ ETC. CHAPTER I. —1— East Is East. U began somewhere In the middle <ol tho world, at a forlorn landing on the west bank of th e muddy, turbu­ lent Irrawaddy, remembered by man only so often as it was nocessary fo r the flotilla boat t o call for paddy, a visiting commissioner anxious to get away, or a family homeward bound. On tbo east Bide of th e river, over there, wa s a semblance of civilization That Is to say, men woro white .linen, avoided murder, an d frequently paid <heir gambling debts. Bu t on this west Bide stood wildernesB, not the Jilnd one reads about a s being eventu­ ally conquered by white men; no, the real, grim desolation, where the ax. cuts but leaves no blaze, where the pioneer disappears and few or none follow 4 It was no t the wilderness of the desert, of the jungle, rather the tragic, hopeless state of a settlement 'hat neither progressed, retarded nor itood still Between the landing and the settle­ ment itself there stretched a winding road, arid nnd treeless, perhaps two miles in length. It announced defi­ nitely that it s en d was futility. The dust hung like a fog above It. not only for this day . bu t for all days between the big rains. When tlie gods, or thn elements, or Providence, arranged the world as a lit habitation for man, In­ dia an d Burma wero made the dust­ bins. And as water finds its levels, so will dust, earthly and human, the quick an d the dead. Along the road walked two men , phantomlike. On e saw their heads dimly an d still more dimly their bodies to tb o knees; of legs there was noth­ ing visible. Occasionally they [stepped aside t o permit some bullock cart t o pass. One of them swore, not with any evidence of temper, not viciously, tut in a kind of mechanical protest, which, from long usage, ha d become a habit. Ho directed these epithets never at anything he could b y mental or physical contest overcome. He swore at tbe dust, at the heat, at tbe wind, a t the su n Tbe other wayfarer, with the Inher­ ent patience of his blood, said nothing aud waited, setting down the heavy hit ba g and th e canvas valise (his own) When the way was free again Jie would sliug the' kit bag and th e valise over his shoulder and step back \into the road. His turban, once white, was brown with dust and sweat. Hi s khaki uniform wa s rent and the rag­ ged canvas shoes spurted little spirals of dust as he walked James Hooghly was Eurasian, half European, half In­ dian, having his place twixt heaven and hell, which is t o say, nowhere. He was faithful, willing an d strong; an d as a carrier of burdens took unmur- murlngly bi s place beside the tireless bullock and th e elephant He wa s a Methodist, why, no one could find lu­ cid answer By dint of inquiry his master ba d learned that James looked ufion his baptism and conversion in | Methodism as a corporal would have looked upon the acquisition of a V. C. I Twice, during fever and plague, he, had saved his master's life With th o xuilelessuess of the Oriental he con­ sidered himself responsible for bi s ] master in ail future times. Instead of paying off a debt he ha d acquired one . Treat\d as h e was, kindly but always firmly, he\ would have surrendered his ! life cheerfully at the beck of the white man j Warrington was a n American. He was also on e of thoso men who never held misfortune in contempt, whose outlook wherever it roamed was tol- -eraut He ha d patience fo r the weak, resolution for the strong and a fear­ less amiability toward all . He was llko lhe St Bernard dog. very diffi­ cult t o arouse It is rather th e way \irlin all men who are strong mentally physically Ho was tall nnd broaij a»-i deep. Under f he battered pith helmet his face wa s as dark as the Eurasian's; bu t th o eyes were blue, bright and small pupiled, as they are with men wh o live out of doors, who are compelled of necessity to note! things moving at distances. The nose •was large and well defined. All framed tn a tangle of blond beard and mustache which. If anything, added to the general manliness of his ap­ pearance. He, too, wore kbakt, but j with the addition of . tan riding leg- Sings, which had seen anything but rocltinghorse service. Tbe man was yellow from the top ot his helmet to the soles of his shoes—outside. For the rest, he was a mystery, to James, la al l who thought they knew Uim. and anost of all to himself. A pariah, an •outcast, a fugitive from the bloodless •hand ot the law; a gentleman born, «<once upou a time a clubman, college •tored: a contradiction, a puzzle fo r •which there was no t any solution, not •oven >n tbe hidden corners of the mai)'>« heart His name wasn't War- llngiou. and lie bad rubbem elbows •with tho dregs of humanity, and, still looked you straight in the eye because lie bad come through lnrerno without bringing any of the defiling pitch. I-\LOIN time to time he paused to re­ ligh t IIIN crumbling cheroot. The to- ba <TF> -.MI strong aud bitter an d stOOg 4us p.- ( tlicd lips, but tbe craving tori Coerrisbl by the Bobbs-MerriU Company the tang of tbe smoke o n hi s tongue was not to bo denied. Under his arm he carried a small iron cage, patterned something like a rat trap. It contained a Rajputana parrakeet, no t much larger than robin, but possessor of a soul ss fierce n& that o t Palladin, minus, however, tbe smootbipg influence of chivalry Ho bad been born under the eaves of the scarlet palaco In Jaipur (s o his history ran); but the proximity of In dlan princes ha d left him untouched; ho had neither chivalry, politeness, nor diplomacy. He was, In fact, thor­ oughly an d consistently bad. Round and round ho went, over nnd over, top. 6lde, down side, restlessly ' For at this moment he WBB hearing those familiar evening sounds which no hu­ man ear can discern—tbe mutterlngs of tbe day birds about t o seek cover for the night. I n the field at the right of tho road stood a lonely tree. It was covered with brilliant scarlet leaves and blossoms, an d justly the natives call It • the Flame of the Jungle. A flock of small birds were gyrating \above it. Jah. jah, jah! Jah—jah—ja-a-a-h!\ cried , the parrot, imitating the Bur­ mese bell gong that callB t o prayer . Instantly he followed the call with a shriek s o piercing as to sting the ear of the man who was carrying him . \You little son of a gun!\ he laughed; \where do you pack away al l that noise?\ There wa s a strange bond between tbo big yellow man an d this little green bird. The bird did not suspect it, but the man knew. The pluck, the pugnacity an d the individuality of the feathered comrade had been an object lesson to the man, at a time when he bad been on the point of throwing up the fight I \Jah jah , jah! Jah—Jah—^-a-a-hl\ The bird began It s Interminable som­ ersaults, pausing only t o reach for the tantalizing finger of the man, who laughed again as h e withdrew tho digit In time. For six years he had. carried the bird with him, through India an d Bur­ ma and Malacca, and not yet had he won a sign of surrender Thero were many scars on his forefingers. It was amazing. With one pressure of his hand he could have crushed out the life ot tb e bird, but -over it s brave, un­ conquerable spirit he had n o power. And that is why he loved it Far away i n the past they ha d met Ho remembered the day distinctly and bitterly. He ha d been o n the brink of self-destruction. Fever and poverty and terrible loneliness had battered and beaten hi m flat into the dust, from which this time he had no wish to rise. He ha d walked out to the railway station at Jaipur to wit­ ness the arrival of the tourist train from Ahmadabnd The natives surged about the trarn, with brassware. an­ tique articles of warfare, tiger hunt­ ing knives (accompanied by perennial fairy tales), SKIN3 an d silks. There were beggars, holy men, guides and fakirs. Squatted in the dust before the door of a flrst-cluBs carriage was a solemn, brown man, in turban and clout, exhib­ iting performing parrots. It waa Ra­ jah's turn He flred a cannon, turned somersaults through a little steel hoop, opened a tiny chest, took out a four-anna piece, carried It to hi s mas­ ter, and in exchange' received some seed. Thereupon he waddled resent­ fully back to the Iron cage, opened the door, closed it behind him. and began to mutter belligerently War­ rington haggled for two straight hours. When he returned to his Bordid, evil smelling lodgings that night he pos­ sessed the parrot and four rupees, and sat up the greater part of the night trying to make the bird perform his tricks. The idea of suicide no longer bothered him; trifling though It was, be bad found an Interest In life. And on the morrow came the Eurasian, who trustfully loaned Warrington ev­ ery coin that he could scrape together. Often, in tho dreary heart -achy days that followed, when weeks passed ere he saw the face of a white man, when be ha d to combat opium and bhang and laziness In the natives under him, the bird- and -Ms funny tricks had saved him from^rhlsky, or worse. In camp he gave Rajah much freedom, its wings being clipped; and nothing pleased the little rebel so much as to claw his wa y up to hi s master's shoulder, alt there and watch the progress of the razor, with intermit­ tent \jawing\ at his own reflection in the cracked hand mirror. Up and down the Irrawaddy, at the resthouses, on the boats, to those of a jocular turn of mind the three, were known as \Parrot & Co. \ Warring-' ton's amiability often mikled the vari­ ous scoundrels with whom he was at times forced to associate.- A man who smiled most of the time and talked Hindustani to a parrot was not to be accorded much courtesy; until one day Warrington ba d settled all distinctions, finally an d primordially, with the square of hi s fjsts. After 1 that he went on his wa y unmolested, ] having soundly trounced one of the: biggest bullies in the teak timber yards at Rangoon. He made no friends; he had-'no con-- fldences t o exchange; nor di d he offer to become the repositor y of other men's pasts. .But he would share his bread and his rupees, when, be had them, with any who asked. Many tried to dig into hi s past but he was as unresponsive as granite. It takes a woman t o find ou t what a man is and has been, and Warrington went about women in a wide circle. I n way he was the most baffling kind of a mystery t o those who knew him; he frequented the haunts of men, took a friendly drink, played cards fo r small sums, laughed and jested like any other anchorless man. I n the East men \aTBgiven .curious names, They become known by phrases, such aa, The Man Who Talks, Mr. Once Upon a Time, The One-Rupee Man, and the like. As Warrington never received any mail, as he never entered a hotel, nor spoke of tho past, he be ­ came The Man Who Never Talked of Home. \I say , James, old sport, no more going pp and down this bally old river. We'll g o o n to Rangoon tonight, if wo can find a berth.\ \Yes sahib; tbis business very piffle,\ replied the Eurasian without turning his head. Two things he dearly loved to acquire- 1 -^ bit of American slang and a bi t of English silver. He was invariably changing rupees into shillings, and Warrington could not convince him that he was always losing in the transaction. They tramped o n through the dust, The sun dropped. A sudden chill be ­ gan t o penetrate the haze. The white man puffed hi s cheroot, it s wrapper dangling; the servant hummed an Urdu lullaby; the parrot complained unceasingly. * Warrington laughed and \shook the dust from his beard. \It's a great world, James, a great, wonderful world. I'v e just two rupees myself. In other words we are busted.\ \Two rupees!\ James paused and rjie&w \Why sahib, you have three hundred 1 thousand rupees \'Irr your pocket.\ t \But not worth an anna until I ge t to Rangoon. Didn't those duffers give you anything for handling tbeir- lug­ gage the other\day?\ \Not a pice, sahib.\ \Rotters I I t takes an Englishman to turn a small trick like that. Well, well; there were extenuating circum­ stances. They had sore heads. No man likes to pay three hundred thou­ sand fo r something he could have bought fo r te n thousand. And I made them come t o me , James, to me. I made them come t o this god-forsaken hole, just because It pleased my fancy. believe I'm heaven born,- after all. The Lord hates a quitter, and so do I nearly quit myself, once; eh, Rajah, old top? But I made them come to me. That's the milk in the cocoanut, the curry on the rice. They almost had me. Two rupees! I t truly i s a GTEAT world.\ 'Jah, jah, jah! Jah—jah—jah— ja-a-a-h!\ screamed the parrot. \Cha- loo!\ \Go on! That's the ticket. If I were a praying man this would b e th e time for it. Three hundred thousand rupees!\ The man looked at the far horizon, AS if he would force his gazo beyond, Into the delectable land, th e Eden ou t of which he had been driven. James. V owe yo u three hundred ru­ pees, and I am going to add seven hundred more. We've been fighting this ol d to p fo r si x years together, and you've been a good servant and a good friend; and I'll take you with me as far as this fortune will go, if you say the word \ 'Ah, sahib, I am much sorry. But Delhi calls, and I go. A thousand ru­ pees will make much business for m e in the Chandney Chowk.\ Presently they became purple shades In a brown world. drink from tho ol d cold pure spring at home! Tea , coffee, and bottled soda; nothing that'ever touched the thirsty spots In he- throat She looked up at the stars and they looked down upon her, but what she asked they could not , would not an swer. Night after night sho had asked, an d night after night they had only twinkled as of old. She had trav eled no w for four months, and still the doubt beset >:er. It was to be a leap In tbe dark, with no one to tell her what waL on the other side. But why this insistent doubt? Why could she not .ake the leap gladly, as a woman should wh o had given the affirmative to a .man? With him she was certain that she loved him, away from him she did no t know what sentiment really abided In her heart She was wise enough to realize that something was wrong; and there were but three months between her and the inevitable decision. Never before had she known other than momentary indecision; an d it irked her to find that her clarity of vision was fallible and humc^ -Ike the rest of her . The truth was, ch o didn't know her mind. She shrugged, an d the movement stirred the dust that had gathered upon her shoulders \A rare old lot of dust; eh . Miss Cbetwood? I wish we could travel by night, but you can't trust this bloom­ ing old Irrawaddy after sundown. Charts are so much waste-paper.\ \I never CEA3E wondering how ihoso poor coolies can carry those heavy rice bags,\ she replied t o the purse- \Oh they .are used t o it, \ carelessly The great gray stack of paddy-bags seemed, in tho eyes of the girl, fairly to melt away \By Jove!\ exclaimed the purser \There's Parrot & Co.!\ Ho laughed and pointed toward one of the torchex \Parrot & Co. ? I do not under­ stand.\ \That big blond chap behind tbe fourth torch Yes , there Sometime I'll tell you about hi m Picturesque duffer.\ She could have shrieked aloud, bu t all Bbe di d was to draw in hor breath with a gasp that went so deep it gave CHAPTER 11. A Ma n With a Past. The oriental night air was stlrless It was without refreshment; i t became a labor and .not. an exhilaration to breathe it A pall of suffocating dust rolled above and about the- Irrawaddy flotilla boat which, buffeted b y the strong, irregular current, strained a t its cables, now at the bow, now at th e stern, not dissimilar to the last rock­ ing of a deserted swing. This sensa­ tion was quite perceptible t o the girl wha leaned over the bow rail, her handkerchief pressed to her nose, and gazed Interestedly at the steep bank, up and down which the sweating coo­ lies swarmed like Gargantuan rats. A dozen torches were stuck into the ground above the crumbling ledge; she saw the flames as one sees a burning match cupped In a smoker's hands, shedding light upon nothing save that which stands Immediately behind it Sho choked a little. Her eyes smart­ ed. Her lips were slightly crackea, and cold-cream seemed only t o provide a surer resting place for the impalpa \Two Rupees!\ James Paused and Turned. her heart a twinge. Her fingers tight­ ened upon tbe teak rail. Suddenly she know, and was ashamed of her weak­ ness. It was simply a remarkablo likeness, nothing more than that; It could not possibly b e anytbln,- more. Still, a ghost could not have ..tartled ber as this living man had done \Who is he'\ \A chap named Warrington But over here that signifies nothing; might just as well be Jones or Smith or Brown. We call him Parrot & Co He'B always carrying that Rajputana parrot. You've seen the kind around the palaces and forts; saber-like wings, long tail-feathers, green and blue and scarlet, and tbe ugliest little rascals going This one is trained t o do tricks.\ \But the man'\ impatiently (TO BE CONTINUED.) FOUR PERIODS OF TRANSITION George's Looks, From the Introduction to Adored One to the End of the Honeymoon. \ 'He i s a remarkably plain young man,' s|ie wrote in her diary the first nay sho met Wm. 'Ho has rather an in- terestlbg face,' she said to her mamma a month later as sho decked' her apri­ cot-colored tea gown with the William- AIlen-Rlchardsons that b o bad JUBT sent her. \When she wrote to her best friend to give the news of ber engagement she expressed herself, thus 'He has not the regular featured dollish good^f looks I have^always hated In men He has a strong, characterful face and magnificent eyes.\ \'You loveliest one'.' she sighed, as she poured out his tea at the third breakfast of the honeymoon. 'I could sit and look at you forever. \Six months later, she observed to her husband: 'I don 'T know whether you're aware of it. George, but your hair's getting mo^t frightfully thin o n tho top, and you'rojust about the last man in the universe that ca n afford to go bald.\ \A man's looks must not be judged by appearances.\—From \'Stories Without Tears,\ by' Barry Pain. Knew His Business, , \George she asked, as they round­ ed the bend, \Is your watch correct?\ \Yes replied George, with a'raerrv bio dust I t had penetrated through i laugh. \ T *. Is keeping bottp.r time wool and linen and silk, intimately, an- 1 since 1 .put your picture inside U ip til three,baths a da'y had become a case.\ \Oh , you flatterer! How could woleomfe routine, providing It was po3- 1 that be?\ \Well you see. when 1 sible to obtain water. Water.. Her j placed your picture Inside th» case • twisuera - - - - - ne raaae n o frieuds; he had'uo con~-| tongue ran; across her Hps. Oh',.ior a | added another Jewell\ ' ALCOHOL-3 PER CENT AVefieiable Preparation for As­ similating iheFoodandneguIa- lingltieStomachs and Bowels of INFANTS / OHIUURKN GASTQRIA For Infants and Children. Mothers Know That Genuine Castoria Always Bears the Promotes DigesHon£heerfuf- nessand Rest.Confains rteilher Opium.Morphine nor Mineral NOT NARC OTIC Fmpt of DMDrSAMVEl/mfflt JMMSa/i, .. /inttt Sti/i * trim Stti. - ftthiyrt/ft /Ztw Aperfccl Remedy forConslipa- lion. Sour Stornach.Diarrhoea Worms .Convulsions .Feverish- ness and Loss OP SLEEP Facsimile SIGNATURE OF THE CENTAUR COMPANY, NEW YORK, AT6MONTHS OLD 35DO^:~J5CEIVT5 Exact Copy of Wrapper. THC OtKTAUn eOMMNT, H(W VOIIK tilt Consternation at the Front. The archbishop of York, in hi s early days, did a great deal of work among tbe uneducated classes, an d o n one occasion a very illiterate woman was godmother t o a child at a chris­ tening. I n tbe course of the ceremony she was asked in the usual way if she renounced the devil an d all hi s works, etc. \Oh yes , sir,\ sh o replied briskly 'I recommend them all.\ Limits in Literature. \You've read 'The Heavenly Twins?' asked an Englishman of an Irishman. \Yes I have.\ \And the \Sorrows of Satan'\' \Yes \ \And yo u have read 'Looking Back­ ward?'\ \How the devil could I d o that?\ asked Pat. \Hello Frisco.\ \Just think of being able to si t in a telephone booth in New \York and talk to your best girl In San Fran Cisco!\ 'I've thought of that, an d I've been wondering hew long it will b e before somebody writes a popular song about it\ Yoiir Liver Is Clogged Up That's Why You're Tired-^Out of SORTI —Have No Appetite. CARTER'S LITTLE, LIVER PILLS will put you rig in a_few <Jays. 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