The Lady and Sada San
A Sequel to
The Lady of the Decoration
The Century Co.
The century Co.
Published, October, 1912
ELLEN CHURCHILL SEMPLE
The Lady and Sada San
On the high seas. June, 1911.
You once told me, before you went to Italy, that after having been my intimate relative all these years, you had drawn a red line through the word surprise. Restore the abused thing to its own at once. You will need it when the end of this letter is reached. I have left Kentucky after nine years of stay-at-home happiness, and once again I am on my way to Japan—this time in wifely disobedience to Jack’s wishes.
What do you think that same Jack has “gone and done”! Of course he is right. That is the provoking part of Jack; it always turns out that he is in the right. Two months ago he went to some place in China which, from its ungodly name, should be in the furthermost parts of a wilderness. Perhaps you have snatched enough time from guarding the kiddies from a premature end in Como to read a headline or so in the home papers. If by some wonderful chance, between baby prattle, bumps and measles, they have given you a moment’s respite, then you know that the Government has grown decidedly restless for fear the energetic and enterprising bubonic or pneumonic germ might take passage on some of the ships from the Orient. So it is fortifying against invasion. The Government, knowing Jack’s indomitable determination to learn everything knowable about the private life and character of a given germ, asked him to join several other men it is sending out to get information, provided of course the germ doesn’t get them first.
Jack read me the official-looking document one night between puffs of his after-dinner pipe.
Another surprise awaits you. For once in my life I had nothing to say. Possibly it is just as well for the good of the cause that the honorable writer of the letter could not see how my thoughts looked.
I glanced about our little den, aglow with soft lights; everything in it seemed to smile. Well, as you know it, Mate, I do not believe even you realize the blissfulness of the hours of quiet comradeship we have spent there. With the great know-it-all old world shut out, for joyful years we have dwelt together in a home-made paradise. And yet it seemed just then as if I were dwelling in a home-made Other Place.