What could I say! The missionary-teacher had told the truth. She simply failed to mention that in the fairy-land there are cherry-blossom lanes down which no human can wander without being torn by the brier patches.
The path usually starts from a wonderful tea-house where Uncles have grown rich. Miss West didn’t mean to shirk her duty. In most things the begoggled lady was a visionary with a theory that if you don’t talk about a thing it does not exist; and like most of her kind she swept the disagreeables into a dust heap and made for the high places where all was lovely. And yet she had toiled with the girl through all the difficulties of the Japanese language; and, to give her a musical education, had pinched to the point of buying one hat in eight years!
Now it is all done and Sada is launched on the high seas of life with a pleasure-house for a home and an unscrupulous Uncle with unlimited authority for a chaperon. Shades of Susan! but I am hoping guardian angels are “really truly,” even if invisible.
Good night, Mate. This game of playing tag with jarring thoughts, new and old, has made six extra wrinkles. I am glad I came and you and Jack will have to be, for to quote Charity, “I ’se done resoluted on my word of honah” to keep my hands, if possible, on Sada whose eyes are as blue as her hair is black.
Since morning the sea has been a sheet of blue, streaked with the silver of flying fish. That is all the scenery there is; not a sail nor a bird nor an insect. Either the unchanging view or something in the air has stimulated everybody into being their nicest. It is surprising how quickly graciousness possesses some people when there is a witching girl around. Vivacious young men and benevolent officers have suddenly appeared out of nowhere, spick and span in white duck and their winningest smiles. Entertainments dovetail till there is barely time for change of costume between acts.
But let me tell you, Mate, living up to being a mother is no idle pastime, particularly if it means reviving the lost art of managing love-smitten youths and elderly male coquettes. There is a specimen of each opposite Sada and me at table who are so generous with their company on deck, before and after meals, I have almost run out of excuses and am short on plans to avoid the heavy obligations of their eager attentions.