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54-40 or Fight eBook

Emerson Hough
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about 54-40 or Fight.

“What you see before you iss the sign of the Great Monad!  It iss known in China, in Burmah, in all Asia, in all Japan.  It iss sign of the great One, of the great Two.  In your hand iss the Tah Gook—­the Oriental symbol for life, for sex.  Myself, I haf seen that in Sitka on Chinese brasses; I haf seen it on Japanese signs, in one land and in another land.  But here you show it to me made by the hand of some ignorant aborigine of this continent!  On this continent, where it did not originate and does not belong!  It iss a discovery!  Science shall hear of it.  It iss the link of Asia to America.  It brings me fame!”

He put his hand into a pocket, and drew it out half filled with gold pieces and with raw gold in the form of nuggets, as though he would offer exchange.  I waved him back.  “No,” said I; “you are welcome to one of these disks, if you please.  If you wish, I will take one little bit of these.  But tell me, where did you find these pieces of raw gold?”

“Those?  They are notings.  I recollect me I found these one day up on the Rogue River, not far from my cabin.  I am pursuing a most beautiful moth, such as I haf not in all my collection.  So, I fall on a log; I skin me my leg.  In the moss I find some bits of rock.  I recollect me not where, but believe it wass somewhere there.  But what I find now, here, by a stranger—­it iss worth more than gold!  My friend, I thank you, I embrace you!  I am favored by fate to meet you.  Go with you to Washington?  Yess, yess, I go!”

CHAPTER XVIII

THE MISSING SLIPPER

     There will always remain something to be said of woman as long as
     there is one on earth.—­Bauflers.

My new friend, I was glad to note, seemed not anxious to terminate our acquaintance, although in his amiable and childlike fashion he babbled of matters which to me seemed unimportant.  He was eager to propound his views on the connection of the American tribes with the peoples of the Orient, whereas I was all for talking of the connection of England and the United States with Oregon.  Thus we passed the luncheon hour at the hostelry of my friend Jacques Bertillon; after which I suggested a stroll about the town for a time, there being that upon my mind which left me ill disposed to remain idle.  He agreed to my suggestion, a fact for which I soon was to feel thankful for more reasons than one.

Before we started upon our stroll, I asked him to step to my own room, where I had left my pipe.  As we paused here for a moment, he noticed on the little commode a pair of pistols of American make, and, with a word of apology, took them up to examine them.

“You also are acquainted with these?” he asked politely.

“It is said that I am,” I answered.

“Sometimes you need to be?” he said, smiling.  There smote upon me, even as he spoke, the feeling that his remark was strangely true.  My eye fell on the commode’s top, casually.  I saw that it now was bare.  I recalled the strange warning of the baroness the evening previous.  I was watched!  My apartment had been entered in my absence.  Property of mine had been taken.

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