The youth is a To-Be-Ruler of many people, a Maharajah of India. But the name is bigger than the man. Two years ago his father started the boy around the world with a sack full of rubles and a head full of ancient Indian lore. With these assets he paused at Oxford that he might skim through the classics. He had been told this was where all the going-to-be-great men stopped to acquire just the proper tone of superiority so necessary in ruling a country. Of course he picked up a bit on electricity, mechanics, etc. This accomplished to his satisfaction he ran over to America to view the barbarians’ god of money and take a glance at their houses which touched the sky. But his whole purpose in living, he told me, was to yield himself to certain meditations, so that in his final reincarnation, which was only a few centuries off, he would return to the real thing in Buddha. In the meantime he was to be a lion, a tiger and a little white bird. At present he is plain human, with the world-old malady gnawing at his heart, a pain which threatens to send his cogitations whooping down a thornier and rosier lane than any Buddha ever knew. Besides I am thinking a few worldly vanities have crept in and set him hack an eon or so. He wears purple socks, pink ties and a dainty watch strapped around his childish wrist.
When I asked him what impressed him most in America, he promptly answered with his eyes on Sada, “Them girls. They are rapturous!”
Farewell Nirvana! With a camp stool in one hand and a rosary in the other, he follows Sada San like the shadow on a sun dial. Wherever she is seated, there is the stool and the royal youth, his mournful eyes feasting on the curves and dimples of her face, her lightest jest far sweeter than any prayer, the beads in his hand forgotten.
The other would-be swain calls himself a Seeker of Truth. Incidentally he is hunting a wife. His general attitude is a constant reminder of the uncertainty of life. His presence makes you glad that nothing lasts. He says his days are heavy with the problems of the universe, but you can see for yourself that this very commercial traveler carries a light side line in an assortment of flirtations that surely must be like dancing little sunbeams on a life of gloom.
Goodness knows how much of a nuisance he would be if it were not for a little lady named Dolly, who sits beside him, gray in color, dress and experience. At no uncertain age she has found a belated youthfulness and is starting on the first pleasure trip of her life.
Coming across the country to San Francisco, her train was wrecked. In the smash-up a rude chair struck her just south of the belt line and she fears brain fever from the blow. The alarm is not general, for though just freed by kind death from an unhappy life sentence of matrimony she is ready to try another jailer.