The child was found by Susan West who came from a neighboring town to care for the sick and hungry. Susan was a teacher-missionary. Not much to look at, if her picture told the truth, but from bits of her history that I ’ve picked up her life was a brighter jewel than most of us will ever find in a heavenly crown. Instead of holding the unbeliever by the nape of the neck and thrusting a not-understood doctrine down his unwilling throat, she lived the simple creed of loving her neighbor better than herself. And the old pair of goggles she wore made little halos around the least speck of good she found in any transgressor, no matter how warped with evil.
When she was n’t helping some helpless sinner to see the rainbow of promise at the end of the straight and narrow way, Susan spent her time and all her salary, giving sick babies a fighting chance for life. She took the half-drowned little Sada home with her, and searched for any kinsman left the child. There was only one, her mother’s brother. He was very poor and gladly gave his consent that Miss West should keep the child—as long as it was a girl! Susan had taught the man English once in the long ago and this was his chance to repay her.
Later on when the teacher found her health failing and headed for home in America, Uncle Mura was still more generous and raised no objections to her taking the baby with her.
Together they lived in a small Western town. The missionary reared the child by rule of love only and went on short rations to educate her. Sada’s eager mind absorbed everything offered her like a young sponge, and when a few months ago Susanna folded her hands and joined her foremothers, there was let loose on the world this exquisite girl with her solitary legacy of untried ideals and a blind enthusiasm for her mother’s people.
Right here, Mate, was when I had a prolonged attack of cold shivers. Just before Miss West passed along, knowing that the Valley was near, she wrote to Uncle in Japan and told him that his niece would soon he alone. Can’t you imagine the picture she drew of her foster child who had satisfied every craving of her big mother heart? Fascinating and charming and so weighted with possibilities, that Mura, who had prospered, leaped for his chance and sent Sada San money for the passage over.
Not a mite of anxiety shadowed her eyes when she told me that Uncle kept a wonderful tea-house in Kioto. He must be very rich, she thought, because he wrote her of the beautiful things she was to have. About this time the room seemed suffocating. I got up and turned on the electric fan. The only thing required of her, she continued, was to use her voice to entertain Uncle’s friends. But she hoped to do much more. Through Miss West she knew how many of her mother’s dear people needed help. How glorious that she was young and strong and could give so much. Susan had also talked to her of the flowers, the lovely