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until it should please the consequential | M'Bean, fell into a quiet, humdrum kind man of affairs to take notice of his pres- of life in Yokohama; but the two former, ence. At last her Majesty's representa- by dint of superior energy and ambition, tive slowly raised his eyes, and in a very had risen to prominent positions in the formal manner begged to know in what little foreign colony which, at the beginway he could be of service to his visitor. ning of 1860, counted about two hundred Jervis made the same reply as the travel- members, the majority by far being Enling trio had, done a few minutes previ-glishmen and Americans. They were all ously. He was an English merchant, he said, and wished to settle in Yokohama.
'Jervis? — Jervis? pensively murmured the consul to himself. Then lifting his eyes from the paper and carefully scrutinizing his visitor for several seconds "Ahem!" he observed, "I knew a gentleman of your name in Singapore, James Jervis,-yes; exactly your name. I recollect him well-very well; he used to be known familiarly as 'J. J.' in the foreign community. May have been a relative of yours?
mostly young men, so that Ashbourne and Jervis, who were both about twenty-eight or thirty years old, ranked among the seniors of the society. Fond of pleasure and eager for activity, they displayed unceasing zeal to make a purse as quickly as possible; at the same time they were always ready to court danger and adventure, for which, indeed, in those days there was plenty of scope.
Life in Japan was not very safe at that time. Within a few months several foreigners had been attacked and murdered by the natives, who looked with fear and hatred upon alien intruders. But this did not prevent the foreigners from making long excursions in the neighborhood of Yokohama, with no other purpose than to have a good ride, or see something new, and discover some picturesque spot unknown to the other members of their
"No, sir," was the curt response. "I wonder," continued the consul, un-community. The incidents of these exbending somewhat, "what has become of 'J. J.' He was a restless fellow, drank a great deal, gambled, and I am afraid must have come to a bad end."
Mr. Jervis made a slight, significant movement, as if to say that all this did not interest him in the least; and then the consul, who seemed to be sorry for having so far forgotten his dignity as to enter into something like a private conversation with a pure stranger, closed the interview by remarking in his habitual dry, official tone, "The fee is five dollars, please."
ploratory tours were then detailed in the evening at the club, with more or less romantic embellishment; and if anything beautiful or remarkable were reported, the stay-at-home spirits would make arrangements for emulating the enterprise of their companions, and on the following day a small company of gay young fellows would set out to view the newly discovered country. These excursions, however, were never without danger. Many of the natives looked with intense hatred upon the tall, white-faced men who, laughing This amount was paid, and the new and singing, swaggered through their comer left the room. Outside, and with streets, boldly intruded into the silence of his back to the constable, who kept look their temples and their peaceful homes, ing at his retreating form, he stood for a and displayed manners which inspired moment lost in deep thought. He pen- their women and children with fear. But sively stroked his massive chin, and an the strangers took little heed of this. expression of uneasiness mingled with With heavy riding-whips in their hands sadness, which gave a softer expression and revolvers in their belts, two or three to his severe countenance, came over him. of them scrupled not to enter a thickly Then, sighing deeply, he murmured to populated village and curiously examine himself, "Forward!" and walking with everything that attracted their attention, long, regular steps, he followed his travel-ready at any moment to defend their lives ling companions towards the foreign settlement.
Six months had gone by since Ashbourne and Jervis arrived in Japan. Their fellow-travellers, West, Haslett, and
against overwhelming odds, or fly on their swift Japanese ponies. from any outbreak of the furious inhabitants. The only caution ever observed was that they carefully rode in the middle of the road, the better to scrutinize men and things right and left of them. These excursions, too, were
very frequently repeated, as the danger connected with them had a powerful charm for the youthful Hotspurs; and nobody wanted to remain behind the other.
accompanying native henchman; but as for Jervis, he never allowed a single holi day to pass without making long solitary excursions into the country, often returning after deep darkness had set in. From Shanghai he had brought with him a strong Tartar pony, which he had trained with great care, making the animal, that was naturally obstinate and wicked, thor oughly obedient to his slightest wish. Tautai that was the name of the wiry little brute- was not afraid of taking any obstacle, and had great endurance under fatigue.
Now, among all these young adventurers, Ashbourne and Jervis probably stood in highest repute, for to them were due more interesting expeditions in the neighborhood of Yokohama than to any other members of the community. The former, in particular, had gained a wide popularity by his good temper and affectionate disposition. He was known by the nickname of Djusanban, which is Japanese for "13," because he was constantly complaining "One of these fine days," said Ashabout his great and unmerited misfortune bourne once, "Jervis will get cut to in drawing that odd and ominous num-pieces. He can ride, it is true, and he ber.
has a splendid horse, but all that is of no use when you are attacked from behind and in the dark; and Jervis exposes himself to that kind of danger seven times a week."
On stormy days Jervis would step into his little boat and sail far away out into the sea, till he almost became invisible. from the shore.
"Look you," he used to say, with a face which made it difficult to determine whether he was in jest or earnest, "you will see that something unlucky will hap. pen to me before I leave here." Certainly in his own profession he was rather unfortunate. The Japanese did not seem much inclined to employ him in his proper capacity as engineer; and as he neither "If Jervis is not killed ashore,” rehad means nor inclination to engage in marked Ashbourne one day, looking_at business, he had established a newspaper the ever-receding form of his companion called the Japan Sun, the first English from the club-window through a telescope, journal ever published in Yokohama.“he will certainly be drowned. In fact I True it is that this enterprising organ was have an obituary notice of him ready in only issued in an edition of two hundred the pigeon-holes of the Sun. I myself copies; but the high rates of subscription and advertising brought to the sole proprietor a comfortable little income, which enabled him to live and keep a horse and the usual five servants: to wit, a comprador or cashier, a kotzhoi or valet, a momban or porter, a betto or groom, and a kuli or man-of-all-work. Besides this, Mr. Ashbourne, as proprietor of the lightdiffusing Sun, had become a very influential kind of person, acting, so to speak, as a connecting link between the government officials and the business men.
am a good sailor. I was brought up on the shores of the Irish Channel, which is pretty rough water; but I do declare it is tempting Providence, and nothing else, to go out to sea in such a nutshell, and in such weather."
"He that was born to be hanged will never be drowned," cynically observed M'Bean, who had never overcome the antipathy to Jervis which he first contracted on the passage with him from Shanghai to Yokohama.
"Come now, M'Bean, why do you want Jervis to be hanged?" asked Ashbourne.
"I don't know," thoughtfully replied the Scotsman; "but he looks somehow or other as if he deserved it."
Mr. Jervis, on the other hand, owed the position he enjoyed to quite other circumstances. He had now lived for six months in the midst of the society of young men who carried their hearts upon their tongues; but he had not formed an Not only in his business transactions, intimate acquaintance with any of them. but also in playing cards-two occupaAll agreed, however, that he was the most tions which engrossed most of the time daring steeplechase-rider, the swiftest of "the pioneers of civilization," as the runner, the best boatman, the boldest Sun had magniloquently dubbed the memswimmer, and, in fact, the unrivalled bers of the foreign community - Jervis champion in all athletic sports. Added had shown himself unscrupulous and reckto this, he was always giving striking less. He seemed, it is true, to have very proofs of his utter fearlessness. Even considerable means at his disposal, the reckless Ashbourne seldom strolled of though nobody knew or suspected where an evening through the city without an he got them; but more than one were VOL. XLIII. 2186
at every application of the spurs.
"Shall I give you a lead?" at last said Jervis, who had been watching Ashbourne for some time.
By all means, if your Chinaman is not afraid; but it's an ugly place, and I doubt whether Tautai will take it."
"Come back then, and I will show you."
irritated at the exceptionally good fortune | not budge an inch, and kicked furiously which always seemed to attend him in every commercial undertaking, as well as with his gambling. Fearlessness, however, is a quality which commands more respect from ardent youth than any other; and if Jervis was not the best liked, he certainly was one of the most respected members of the community. But he did not seem to care very much for the distinction; and his indifference in this respect had even something offensive in the eyes of his companions. No success in trade, no personal compliments, could ever bring a smile or a well-pleased look into his cold, thin face. In America, where he had lived, he said, for some years, he had learned the habit of "whittling; and whenever anybody praised him to his face, he would sit quietly whit tling away and working with his knife as if engaged in an occupation that required all his serious attention.
It was the month of April, and the first spring races were to take place at Yokohama. As may be readily imagined, the officers of the English regiment then stationed in Japan, with a number of young civilian fellows and business men, took the warmest interest in this great event. Every morning some twenty or thirty horsemen could be seen on the turf, busily engaged in training themselves and their cattle for the approaching contest. Ashbourne had been appointed secretary of the sporting club, and ruled there supreme. He was not only, however, busy with his own animal, but had also to take care of half-a-dozen others, having promised several friends to look after their interests at the races.
They receded about thirty yards, and on reapproaching the drop, Tautai went over without a moment's hesitation, while Ashbourne's pony stopped short on the brink and again replied with kicks and snorts to the spurs and whip of his master.
"Shall I take your pony down for you?" asked Jervis from below.
But Ashbourne did not reply; and Jer. vis making a short detour, was again by his companion's side.
"Let me try it," he said.
Changing horses, they again retired a short distance, and readvanced in a sharp canter to the edge of the drop. But the same scene was enacted as before. Tautai made the descent gracefully and easily, whilst the Japanese pony again stood still, perversely determined not to follow the good example set him by the Chinaman.
"Shall I take you down?" exclaimed Ashbourne laughingly from below.
"Thanks; I'll do that myself," moodily replied Jervis, as drawing back he pulled the horse in a brutal manner round and round; and then pressing the spurs deep into his flanks, he went at a furious pace towards the bank. The animal rushed blindly forward, and in a moment was at the dangerous spot, where it made a last attempt to resist by rearing; but it was too late. Spurs and whip cruelly applied sent it forward. For one moment horse and rider hovered in the air. Then both fell heavily down by the side of Ashbourne, who had been an attentive witness of this bold equestrian feat. Jervis was on his legs in a twinkling, and caught hold of the reins of the horse, which by some chance had escaped unhurt. A girth had been broken and the reins had got entangled: that was all.
Jervis, too, always turned up there early in the morning, but to all appearance only as a spectator. Not once had he put his short-legged pony into a canter, but paced slowly up and down the course, giving advice here and there, though otherwise speaking very little, and looking with an unfriendly one might almost say sneering, enviouseye upon his comrades. One day he came up to Ashbourne, who was trying to get his horse down a steep drop-an obstacle which is very common in Japan in consequence of the terrace- "Well done!" cried Ashbourne; "there like nature of the rice-fields, and in some is no one in Japan who will do that after instances necessitates a jump of from you. But you might have broken your ten to twelve feet, which most of the Jap-neck." anese horses take very cleverly. It was on the brink of such a drop, then, that Ashbourne stood urging his pony forward with whip and spur; but the frightened animal only spread its forelegs and would
"It is not half so dangerous as it looks," replied Jervis quietly, "at least not for the rider. I must confess, however, that I risked the legs of your pony."
He then assisted Ashbourne to put
the leathers right, and both set out on their way to Yokohama.
It had been a hot day, and the violent exercise, too, had warmed the young men; so they began to fan their dripping foreheads with their handkerchiefs. Presently Ashbourne, looking at his companion, called out with a loud laugh,
Why, what on earth have you been doing, Jervis? You look like a nigger. Your forehead is as black as if it were painted."
Jervis was silent for a moment, and then replied in an indifferent kind of way, "Oh, it's nothing; only some of the mould from the rice-field which must have got into my hair."
gay and loud, and the toasts
At about eleven o'clock the noise, confusion, and merriment seemed to have reached a climax. But Jervis alone, though he had emptied his glass at every toast, continued sober, silent, and cold; and whilst his companions were sitting, conformably to the dictates of the climate, in A minute afterwards, however, he quit- every picturesque variety of cool and deted the side of his companion, under pre-licious déshabillé, singing, gesticulating, text of taking a short cut across the and talking, with sparkling eyes and fields; and without waiting for answer or flushed faces, he remained all through remonstrance, jumped a ditch and was soon out of sight. Ashbourne looked after him thoughtfully. There was a strange confusion in Jervis's manner, for which he could suggest to himself no explanation.
Having galloped for a mile or two across lonely fields and woods, Jervis arrived at a little tea-house, hidden among the hills, where he seemed a well-known and a welcome guest. At his request the handsome young hostess brought him some warm water, and other necessary toilet material, with which he retired into a small private room, and locking himself in, emerged after a brief interval with a clean countenance, and his glossy black hair arranged as carefully as ever.
THE great day was over. had taken part in eight out of twelve races, and had won no fewer than three. Jervis, however, who had on all sides been requested to ride, had firmly declined, alleging that he was suffering from a head. ache, which the heat and excitement of the day would only make worse. Most people, it is true, looked upon this as a shallow excuse; though they had to be satisfied with it.
But Jervis had nevertheless taken an active interest in the race; for being considered a most competent sporting man, he had been requested to act as judge.
In the evening the committee of the racing club, with several young officers and other prominent members of the community, sat down to a festive entertainment in Ashbourne's rooms.
By and by, of course, they became very
serious and stiff, as if at a state dinner. Not one hair of his well-combed glossy locks was disarranged on his smooth forehead. Suddenly the loud and hearty voice of Ashbourne called out, “Order, gentlemen! silence!" but the request had to be repeated several times before attentive quiet could be restored.
"Gentlemen," then said the host and chairman, "I have just made a wager of a second 'spread' like what we have had to-day; and you must decide whether myself or M'Bean shall have the honor of standing it. Will you act as judges?
"Yes! yes!" was the reply from twenty eager voices.
"Well, listen, then." "Hear, hear! Order!" "The story is a little long, and you must not interrupt me."
"Hear, hear! Begin! Order! The story!"
"Well, then, I have just been trying to explain to my honorable friend M'Bean the old theory of 'The Little World.' You know, of course, what I mean."
"Certainly not," exclaimed one of the guests; "you don't know yourself."
Ashbourne sat down with a comic look of feigned indignation, but he was at once requested to continue; and on peace being again restored, he complied. In the first place, he vouchsafed to explain the meaning of his boasted theory. world," he said, "had become so small, that every one must needs know everybody else; and in order to prove the truth of this assertion, he would undertake to show that, directly or indirectly, he had been connected with every one of his guests before making their acquaintance
in Yokohama. M'Bean," he added," maintains that I shall not succeed in proving these pre-Japanese relations; and this is the subject of our bet. I will therefore now, with your kind permission, right hon orable gentlemen, proceed to prove
But the right honorable gentlemen were not at all inclined to listen any more, as Ashbourne had already spoken long and explicitly. After a while, however, the idea began to amuse the company, and everybody soon began to grow interested in Ashbourne's cross-examination of his neighbors, which turned out to lend powerful support to his hypothesis. After a few questions, for example, addressed to his right-hand neighbor, Mr. Mitchell the English consulit was found that this gentleman had been at Rugby with Ashbourne's brother. On this occasion, too, the guests learned for the first time that their host actually had a brother.
"You will soon make his acquaintance," said Ashbourne; "I expect him here in a few weeks, and he will attend to all your legal business. For my brother Daniel is a lawyer, and a very excellent one too, as you will soon learn if you give him anything to do. He had a good practice in Limerick but while my dear countrymen are rather fond of quarrelling, they are not always quite so much inclined to pay for the settlement of it; and my brother, who is not a man to press his clients, could not get on. So on my advice he has determined to try his luck here in Japan."
of some name, exclaiming that the bearer of it was a friend or relation of his too. Thus the conversation had almost become general, and was attended with a good deal of fun and laughter.
"Look here," said one of the company, "Gilmore and I are second cousins; we have just discovered it."
"West's uncle was my private tutor!" exclaimed another.
"M'Bean's cousin was my first love," cried out a third, amid expostulating cries of "Oh, oh!" and "Honor bright!
M'Bean was obliged to confess that he had lost the wager; for in addition to the overwhelming evidence thus adduced, it turned out that he himself had many years previously been in business with a distant relation of Ashbourne's family.
This game of cross-questioning had occupied the attention of the guests so closely, that no one had noticed the singular demeanor of Jervis all the while. For some time he had sat silently, looking down before him and blankly playing with his glass. But any close observer would have noticed that thick drops of perspiration stood on his forehead. At last, however, he suddenly rose and stepped out upon the open veranda, as if he felt the want of fresh air.
On returning a few minutes later, the noise and confusion were lasting on. Every one had found out amongst his companions some old friend or acquaintance in a more or less remote degree; and every one was desirous of continuing his interesting voyage of discovery round the small world."
Then Ashbourne's neighbor on the left -the Dutch consul-whose examination" had begun after that of his English colleague, soon declared himself to have been in some way connected with Ashbourne before meeting him in Japan. Several years previously he had occupied an official position in the colony of Batavia, where his most intimate friend was an English merchant, married to a cousin of Ashbourne.
Young Gilmore, who had been particu larly fortunate in now unmasking among his "co-mates and brothers in exile " cousin and half a dozen intimates of his numerous family, began to look round for some new and likely object of concealed kinship. His eye fell upon Jervis, who was just re-entering the room. "Holloa! he exclaimed, placing his "Of course - of course," said Ash-hand in a friendly way on Jervis's shoulbourne triumphantly, as he turned away If not my and addressed himself to another of his guests, each of whom, one after the other, was found to have stood, before coming to Japan, in some relation or other to their entertainer. Meanwhile, however, Ashbourne himself had thus been obliged to reveal many fragments of his own biography. He had named relations, friends, schools and tutors, fellow-pupils, and so it often happened that before he finished the examination of one of his guests, another would interrupt him at the mention
der; "it is your turn now.
But here he suddenly became silent. For out of Jervis's pale face there flashed a pair of eyes so angry and wicked that the rest of Gilmore's sentence died on his lips.
Why, what the world is the matter with you?" he asked in astonishment. Some of the company had also been