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old memories suddenly awakened. to be greeted by the tepid waters of

“Why, he is a Malay!” he exclaimed. the East. "No one but a Malay ever used that When he rose to the surface he found lilting whoop. It is the sôraktheir himself close to the man they called war-cry!"

"Sally." His face the boyish, hairOf course he is a Malay," said the less face of a young Malay-was part-owner of the house-boat. "He is turned towards him. The great, black, Sally, you know—a Malay boss of velvety, melancholy eyes of his race sorts. We all knew him when we looked at Norris from their place in were at Winchester. He is being edu- the flawless, olive-tinted skin in which cated in England privately, not at the they were set. The mouth, somewhat school; but he is an awfully decent full, with mobile sensitive lips that little chap, and was very pally with a pouted slightly, had just that sweetlot of us."

ness of expression that is most often Jack Norris stepped out on to the seen in the face of a little child. The bows, and stood for a minute in his features were clean-cut, delicate, givbathing-pants looking across the river. ing promise of more adaptability than The Englishmen had abandoned the strength of character: the whole effect hopeless chase, and the little Malay was pretty and pleasing, for this was a was swimming back to them, breasting Malay of rank and breeding, the offthe current with the unmistakable long spring of men who for uncounted genoverhand stroke of his people. The erations have had the fairest women sight, and the echo of the cry which of their land to wife. still rang in his ears, brought back to Mechanically Norris spoke in the Norris suddenly the memory of many

veruacular. a swim in the glorious rivers of the "What is the news?" he asked, using Malay Peninsula; and for space the conventional greeting. the banks around him, with their Klabar baik! The news is good!" fringe of moored house-boats


the Malay answered, speaking the floating stages, the trim towing- words from sheer force of habit, and path opposite skirting the tall brick he eyed Norris curiously with evident wall, and the great shapeless pile surprise. Then his face lighted up of Hampton Court Palace, its window- with a gleam of recognition, and his panes winking in the sunlight, its lips, parting in a grin, disclosed two rudly bulk surmounted by grotesque eren rows of beautiful white teeth, chimney-stacks, picked out with white teeth such as belong by right to every masonry and set with grinning gar- Malay, did not the inexplicable fashion goyles, were rolled back. He seemed of this people order them to be muonce more to be standing on the beak tilated with the stone-file and blackof a Malayan prahu, with an olive- ened by indelible pigment. green tide of waters surging past him "Ya Allah, Tûan Nori'! It is thou!" and spreading away and away to the he exclaimed. marvellous tangles of forest that stood, The word or two of the vernacular, more than half a mile apart, hedging to which he added the popular misprothe river on either flank. Then he nunciation of Jack's name, slipped braced himself and took a header from from him unconsciously. An instant the bow, and the chill of the English later he corrected himself. stream smote him with a shock of sur- “Do you remember me?” he asked in prise, for so complete had been the mo- English. "I am Raja Saleh of Pelesu. mentary illusion that he had expected I met you las' at Kâru."


He spoke his acquired language flu- Now, as the bathers dressed themently, but with a strong foreign intona- selves on board the house-boat, -Saleh tion, lengthening the flat English vow- standing amongst them all in complete els and eliding the last of two final unconsciousness of the nakedness consonants. His words unlocked a for- which would have outraged the sense gotten chamber of Jack's memory, and of decency of the meanest of his subat once the boy himself, his identity, jects, Jack was busy piecing together his circumstances, and all connected all that he could recollect concerning with him, were made so clear that his past meetings with the lad. So Norris fell to wondering how it had again the familiar surroundings of the come to pass that, even for a moment, home-land faded, and were replaced he had failed to recognize him. Im- by scenes that he had looked upon, mediately the Englishman and the Ma- lived through, years before, and thoulay were busy interchanging news, the sands of miles away, on the banks of former chatting volubly of men and a mighty Malayan river. places with strange names, that surely had never before been spoken on the

II. bosom of the ancient Thames, the lat- They rose up singly,—these scattered ter listening and replying, but with memories of incidents in which Saleh a certain indifference and aloofness had played a part,- lingered for a mothat were curious. Once more, from ment, and were gone; for the mind, force of habit, Norris spoke in the ver- when it wanders in retrospect, knows nacular. Using the Malayan idiom like no trammels of space or time, and, his own mother tongue, he had never flashing hither and thither at will, yet met a native who did not prefer throws sudden gleams into the dark to converse with him in that language, places with all the speed and the vividor who was completely at his best ness of lightning. Thus, as in silence when employing the white man's Norris dressed himself amid the hum speech. The foreign tongue seems in of talk on board the house-boat, the some subtle fashion to emphasize de- trivial happenings of nearly a score of fects in taste and character which the years were reviewed in less than half

familiar vernacular mercifully as many minutes, each picture rising hides. lang-ulia Raja Muhammad before him clear-cut and complete to Saleh


Iang-Maha-Mulia Sultan the last detail, glimmering for an inAbubakar Maätham Shah lang-di-per- stant ere it vanished to give room to Tuan Pelesu, however,-to give his full another-just as a view cast by a title to the youth who was known to magic-lantern leaps whole and sudden his English friends by the undistin- out of the darkness, burns its impresguished name of "Sally,"-had not sion upon our eyesight, and in a flash heard Malay spoken for years, and he is blotted out. seemed now to shy away from it, as though it were not only unfamiliar, but Three big wooden houses, raised on also, in some sort, distressing to him. piles above the untidy litter of a comIt was only at a much later period of pound, connected each to each by nartheir intercourse that Saleh came back gangways roofed and walled; to his Malayan tongue, and found in it three high-pitched pyramids of thatch, the only medium of expression with the dried palm-leaves rustling and liftwhich to convey to Jack an under- ing under the full beat of the noontide standing of the feelings that were in sun; a big brown river rolling by, with his heart.

a dull murmur of sound, beyond the




ten-foot fence of wattled bamboos lean face, a woman dressed in the male which encloses in its lop-sided square costume of a Malay warrior. It is this palace of a native king. In the Raja Anjang—the witch of the blood central house Jack Norris squats cross- royal-and at her coming a little wave legged, surrounded by a mob of expec- of tremor ripples over the faces of the tant Malays of both sexes. he great Malay onlookers. She is in a condition barn-like apartment is bare, save for of trance-possessed by her familiar the mengkûang-palm mats spread upon demons: those unseeing eyes and every the floor; and the bellying squares of rigid muscle in her big angular frame ceiling-patchwork sagging from the bear witness to her uncanny state, and rafters overhead, whence, near the cen- no man knows with certainty what ter of the room, a þig hammock also will befall while this inspired beldam depends, swaying gently to and fro. fills the stage. She wanders round Above the hammock, in dingy contrast and round the hammock, moving with to glaring patterns of the Manchester long masculine strides, muttering fearceiling-cloths,

old casting-net, fully words of a forgotten langliage whereof the soiled and rent meshes which none save the wizards know; prove that it has seen much service, and her elf-locks, stirring restlessly, hangs in an uneven oblong. It is a seem to be lifted by winds which barrier raised against the assaults of should have no place in that still atthe Pen-anggalthe Undone One—that mosphere. Then stooping, she seizes fearful wraith of a woman who has suddenly upon a reluctant cat, which died in child-birth, and who cherishes the onlookers thrust within her reach, for ever a quenchless enmity towards and clutches the miauling creature to little children, She poor wretch, her flat breasts with merciless grip. A wrenched terribly in twain, is doomed chorus of minor witches squatting on to flit eternally through the night,-a her right breaks into a wild chant of dreadful shape with agonized woman's incantation, while the devil-drums sob face, full breasts, and nought beside and pant in time to the rhythm of the save only certain awful bloodstained dirge. With her disengaged hand streamers,-bringing a curse of de- Raja Anjang seizes the cord of the struction wherever she can win an en- hammock and sets it swinging in time try. But the gods, who suffer such to the chant, which grows momentarily things to be, mercifully ordain that wilder and wilder. The women who her onslaughts upon defenceless babes form the chorus are rocking themselves can only be made from above, and a backward and forward in a kind of discarded casting-net dipped in magic- hysteria of excitement; the hands that water, it is well known, will often stay smite the drums are raised between and baffle her. Yet even now, per- each stroke high in the air with fingers chance, she may be lurking, unseen by wriggling rapidly in frantic gesticulaimpotent human eyes, in the hammock tion; the hair and the garments of the itself, wherefore due precaution must hag by the hammock are agitated be taken ere the royal baby can be


though those unearthly safely laid to rest therein.

breezes, which are yet unfelt by the As the crowd sits watching, a grim spectators, were raging mightily. figure strides into the centre of the When the weird song is at its shrillest room. It is that of an aged woman, the cat is dropped into the sag of the tall, erect, with a fierce mouth, wild hammock, whence it scrambles quickly eyes, and a tumble of shaggy elf-locks on to the mat-covered floor. It is making an unsightly halo about her promptly recaptured by those nearest


to it, and the witch pounces upon it he drops a dollar or two into a basket with the spring of a tigress. Again, placed convenient for the purpose. and yet a third time, the unhappy Jack Norris, as he stands gazing down beast is clutched to that comfortless at the infant, sees a small brick-red bosom, is dropped into the hammock, disk, with a slack, slowly moving and at the last is suffered to make its mouth, a shapeless button of a nose, a escape, spitting and scratching with skin all crumpled with puckers, and bared claws and humped back. A two big dull eyes made grotesque by wild cry goes up from the mouths of enormous arched eyebrows traced with all the Malays present, and is suc- soot upon the wrinkled forehead. The ceeded by a heavy silence. The witch rest of the baby is immobile in its sinks to the floor in a shapeless bundle, lashing of swaddling-clothes, and is sweating profusely, and rocks to and imbedded deeply in a nest of gorgeous fro with smothered moans and cries. Malayan silks. Her struggle with the ghastly Pen-ang- It is thus that Jack gets his first gil has left her utterly spent. The glimpse of the boy whom his English close atmosphere of the room is heavy friends call "Sally." with the reek of incense.

A little pause ensues, the stillness of It is late at night in the audience which is tense with the recent excite- hall of the king,-a big bare room ment, and then from the inner apart- without ornament or furniture,--and ment a huddled procession of women the monarch, nude to the waist, is makes its way, headed by the king squatting on a mat beside a Chinese himself, a great rolling figure clad in gambling-cloth. Around him sit a glaring colors. One of the women

number of his courtiers, and facing carries a tiny burden swaddled in him are two yellow Chinamen in loose cloth-of-gold, the upper folds of which coats and trousers of shining black being presently drawn aside reveal the linen. In the centre of the cloth there existence of a minute head. With rests a little square box made of dull much state and ceremony the crown of brass, and presently, at a sign from the this head is solemnly shaved, the invis- king, one of the courtiers begins to ible fluff shorn from it being reverently draw upward with maddening slowtreasured, and when this operation has ness the outer cover, which fits very been performed, the baby is at last closely over the inner box. A dead placed in the hammock, whence all evil silence reigns while all eyes are rivspirits have now departed for their new eted upon the dice-box and the hand abode in the body of the miserable cat. that lifts its cover. Little by little, a

A priest in a green jubah and ample fraction of an inch at a time, the outer red turban, who has sat complacently box is raised, the narrower column of watching the magic practices which brass within it being disclosed more are an abomination to the Prophet's and more, standing squarely on the Law, stands erect and recites a roll- mat. At last the cover is free of that ing Arabic prayer with breathless which it has encased, and more slowly fluency, his audience sitting with than ever the courtier proceeds to twist hands on knees and curved palms up

it round in such a fashion that prespermost, chiming in at intervals with ently a corner of the hidden die will long “Amîns!”

be made visible. The gamblers are Then the spectators rise to their feet, leaning forward now with straining and each in turn files past the ham- eyes; they draw their breaths pantmock, and looks down at the child as ingly; and still the hand gripping the dice-box moves with incredible slow- monarch's most glaring misdemeanors, ness. The notes and dollars are piled -matters connected with an abducted in little heaps all in one quarter of wife, an aggrieved husband, and a the mat. The obsequious courtiers have pack of motherless bairns-a squalid followed the inspiration of their king. tragedy, in which the king has played

There is another second or two of the part of an ignoble Mephistopheles. tense excitement and expectation, The culprit is curiously insensitive. and then a shout is raised,-a shout His feelings, overlaid by many strata which is discordant and angry, tingling of ruffianism and self-content, are with passionate disappointment-a things which have to be dug for. He shout with which are blent impreca- knows now what has brought Norris tions and fierce ejaculations of dis- to his hall, but he evinces no desire gust-a shout which ends in a sound that the humiliating discussion about like a sob. The king's inspiration has to take place should be conducted in failed him, and he and his courtiers, in private. In a sense he is somewhat consequence, are the poorer by many proud of his achievement, for it is not good silver dollars. It is the last coup every man of his years who can be of a disastrous evening, and the king, such a devastating roué as he, and he who is a prudent soul withal, will have enters with gusto into a lurid account no more of it. The Chinamen gather of his indiscretions, making display of up their gaming-gear and their win- an unfettered coarseness of speech and nings, and depart into the night. Their thought, while the little angel-faced unemotional faces-faces "like wooden boy, his son, sits at his side looking planks," as the Malay idiom has it- preternaturally wise. It is not the betray no consciousness of the obvious first time that the child has been priv. hatred which they inspire. They are ileged to listen to an exposition of his quite indifferent to it, for the money

father's crude notions concerning mois duly pouched, and they know that rality and seemliness of conduct. It is the justice-loving British Government, Jack, not the king or his people, who in the person of the Resident, sits is irked by the boy's presence, and mighty and impassive on the river's finds the ugly discussion doubly de. farther bank, and takes thought even grading while those big sad eyes are for the property and the lives of the fixed upon him. To the Malays the indespised yellow man. A little naked nocence of childhood makes no appeal: boy, who has been sleeping fitfully to them there is nothing incongruous with his head pillowed on a courtier's in the subject of the talk and its baby knee, rouses himself, puts on an enor- audience. But duty may

not be mous orange-colored cap a size too shirked; the matter must be threshed large for him (his only garment), lights out, and before such listeners as the a cigarette, and sits listening gravelyking may select; wherefore ignoble to the hum of talk about him,-talk of passions, and the wanton cruelities all that might have been had chance born of them, are freely canvassed for proved less fickle. He is Raja Saleh, an hour or more. 'he discussion, as the king's baby son.

all who take part in it know well, is Jack Norris, who has been watching only a form, but it is deemed to be the play with such patience as he can necessary in order to salve the royal command, sees that his time has come self-esteem and render possible the at last. He has visited the palace in king's inevitable surrender to a power order to have speech with the king greater than his own. concerning some of that shameless When at last the end is reached,

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