Harrison press-journal. (Harrison, Nebraska) 1899-1905, July 26, 1900, Image 3

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    I 75he Bondmain A
1 CMrthned
The daughter of the governor general
and the teaman of Stappen were made
man and wife. The little Lutheran
priest who married them, Sigfus Thorn
on, a worthy man and a good Chris
tian, had reason to remember the cere
mony. Within a week' he wa removed
from his chaplaincy at the capital to
the rectory of Grlmsey, the smallest
cure of the Icelandic church, on an Isl
and separated from the mainland by
even Danish miles of sea.
Tht days that followed brought Ra
chel no cheer of life. She had thought
that her husband would take her away
to his home under Snaefell, and so re
move her from the scene of her humili
ation. He excused himself, saying
that Htappen was but a poor place,
where the great ships never put In to
trade, and that there was more chance
of livelihood at Reykjavik. Rachel
crushed down her shame, and they took
a mean little house in the Ashing quar
ter. Rut Stephen did no work. Once
he went out four days with a company
of Englishmen as guide to the gey
sers, and on his return he Idled four
weeks on the wharves, looking at the
foreign seamen as they arrived by the
boats. The fame of his exploit at
ThlngvelWr had brought him a troop of
admirers, and what he wanted for his
pleasure never lacked. But necessity
began to touch him at home, and then
be hinted to Rachel that her father
was rich. She had borne his indiffer
ence to his degradation, she had not
murmured at the Idleness that pinched
them, but at that word something In
ber henrt seemed to break. She bent
tier head and said nothing. He went
on to hint that she should go to her
father, who seeing her need would
surely forgive her. Then her proud
spirit could brook no more. "Rather
than darken tny father's doors again,'
she said, "I will starve on a crust of
bread and a drop of water."
Things did not mend, and Stephen
began to cast down his eyes In shame
when Rachel looked at him. Never a
Word of blame she spoke, but he re
proached himKelf and talked of his old
mother at Stappen. She was the only
one who could do any good with him.
line knew him and did not spare him.
When she was near he worked some
times, an Jdid not drink too much. He
must send for her.
Rachel raised no obstacle, and one
day the old mother came, perched upon
a bony, ragged-eared pony, and with all
hi r belongings on the pack behind her,
She was a little, hard-featured woman;
and at the first sight of her seamed
and blotted fa a Rachel's spirit sank.
The old woman was active and rest-
Ices. Two days after her arrival she
was a', work at her old trade of split
ting and drying the stock-fish. All the
difference that the change had made
for her was that she was working on
the beach at Reykjavik Instead of the
beach, and living with her son and her
sun's wife instead of alone.
Her coining did not better te condi
tio of Rachel. She had measured her
new daughter-in-law from head to foot
at their tirst meeting, and neither smiled
nor kissed her. She was devoted to her
son, and no woman was too good for
him. Her son bad loved her, and Ra
chel had come between them. The old
woman made up her mind to bate the
girl, because her fine" manners and
comely face were a daily rebuke to her
own coarse habits and homely looks,
and an hourly contrast always present
to Stephen's eyes.
Stephen was as Idle as ever, and less
ashamed of his sloth now that there
was someone to keep the wolf from the
dour. His mother accepted with cheer
fulness the duty of breadwinner to her
son, but Rachel's helplessness chafed
Jar. For all her flue lingering the girl
could finger nothing thul would fill
the pot. "A pretty -w ife you've brought
me home to keep," she muttered morn
ing and evening.
Bui Rachel ' abasement was not even
yet at Its worst. "Oh," she thought,
"If I could but get back my husband
to myself alone, lnj would see my hu
miliation and save me from It." Khe
went a woman' way to work to have
the old mother sent home to Stappen.
Uut the trick that woman's wit can de
vise woman's wit can baulk, and the
old mother held her ground. Then the
girl bethought her of her old shame at
Jiving in a hovel close to her father's
hnuse, and asked to be taken away.
Anywhere, anywhere, let It bo to the
world's end, and she would follow.
Stephen answered that one place was
like another In Iceland, where the peo
ple were few and all knew their history;
and, as for foielgn parts, though a sea
man h was not a seagoing man, far
ther than the whale fishing lay about
their coasts, and that, go where they
might to better their condition, yet
.other poor men were there already. At
that Rachel's heart sank, for she saw
that the great body of her husband
rout cover a pigmy soul. Hound she
was for all her weary days to the place
of her disgrace, doomed she was to live
to the last with the woman who hated
her, and to eat that woman'! bitter
bread. Khe was heavy with child at
this time, and her spirit waa broken.
Ho the sat herself down with her feet
to the hearth, and wept.
There the old mother saw her as often
she bustled in and out of the house
from the beach, and many gibe she
fang bar way. But atepnta sat beside
her one day with a shame-faced look
and cursed his luck, and said If he
only had an open boat of his own what
he would do for both of them. She
asked how much a boat would cost him,
and he answered alxty kroner; that a
Scotch captain then In the harbor bad
such a one to sell at that price, and
that It waa a better boat than the fish
ermen of those parts ever owned, for It
waa of English build. Now It chanced
that sitting alone that day in her hope
lessness, Rachel had overheard a group
of noisy young girl In the street tell
of a certain Jew, named Bernard Frank,
who stood on the Jetty by the stores
buying hair of the young maidens who
would sell to him, and of the great
money he had paid to some of them,
such as they had never handled before.
And now at this mention of the boat,
and at the flash of hope that came with
It, Rachel remembered that ahe herself
had a plentiful head of hair, and how
often It had been commended for Its
color and texture, and length and
abundance, In the days (now gone for
ever) when all things were good and
beautiful that belonged to the daughter
of the governor. So, making some ex
cuse to Stephen, she rose up, put off
her little house cap with the tassel,
put on her large, linen head-dress, hur
ried out, and made for the wharf.
There In truth the Jew was standing
with a group of girls about him. And
some of these would sell outright to
him, and then go straightway to the
stores to buy filigree Jewelry and rings,
or brlght-hued shawls, with the price
of their golden locks shorn off. And
some would hover about him between
desire of so much artificial adornment
and dread of so much natural disfig
urement, until, like moths, they would
fall before the light of the Jew's bright
Rachel had reached the place at the
first Impulse of her thought, but being
there her heart misgave her, and she
paused on the outskirts of the crowd..
To go In among those girls and sell her
hair to the Jew waa to make herself
one with the lowest and meanest of the
town, but that was not the fear that
held her back. Suddenly the thought
had come to her that what she had
Intended to do was meant to win her
husband back to her, yet that she
could not say what It was that had
won him for her at the first. And see
ing how sadly the girls were changed
after the shears had passed over their
heads, she could not help but ak her
self what it would profit her, though
she got the boat for her husband, If
she lost him for herself? And thinking
In this fashion she was turning away
with a faltering step, when the Jew,
seeing her, called to her, saying what
lovely hair she had, and asking would
Khe part with it. There was no going
back on her purjose then, so facing It
out as bravely as she could, she remov
ed her head-dress, dropped her hair oui
of the plaits, until it fell in its sunny
wavelets to her waist, and asked how
much would he give for It. The Jew
answered, "Fifty kroner."
"Make it sixty," she Bald, "and It la
The Jew protested that he would lose
by the transaction, but he pnld the
money Into Rachel's hands, and she,
les tshe should repent of her bargain,
prayed hi mto take her hair off in
stantly. He was nothing loth to do so,
and the beautiful flaxen locks, cut
close to the crown, fell In long tresses
under his big shears. Rachel put back
her linen head-dress, and, holding tlgh
ly the sixty silver pieces in her palm,
hurried home.
Her cheeks were crimson, her eyes
were wet, and her heart was beating
high when she returned to her poor
home In the fishing quarter. Thera In a
shrill, tremulous voice of Joy and fear,
she told Stephen all, and counted out
the glistening coins to the last of the
sixty Into his great hi.nd.
"And now you can buy the English
boat," she said, "and we shall be be
holden to no one."
He answered her wild words with few
of his own, and showed little pleasure;
yet he closed his hand on the money,
find getting up, he went out of the
house, saying he must see the Scutch
captain then and there. Hardly had
he gone when the old mother came In
from her work on the beach, and, Ra
chel's hopes being high, she could not
but share them with her, und so she
told her all, little as was the com
merce that passid between them. The
mother only grunted as she listened and
went on with her food.
Rachel longed for Stephen to return
with the good news that all was settled
and done, but the minutes passed and
he did not come. The old woman sat
by the hearth and smoked. Rachel
waited with fear at her heart, but the
hours went by and still Stephen did
not appear. The old woman dozed be
foru the fire and snored. At length,
when the night had worn on towards
midnight, an unsteady step came to
the door, and Stephen reeled into the
houre, drunk. The old woman awoke
and laughed.
Rachel grew ralnt and sank (o a seat.
Stephen dropped to his knees on the
ground before her, and In a maudlin
cry went on to tell of how he had
thought to make one hundred kroner of
her sixty by a wager, how he had lost
fifty, and then In a fit of despair had
spent the other ten.
"Than all Is gone all," cried Rachsl.
And thereupon to old woman shuffled
to her feat and aald bitterly, "And a
good thing, too. I know you trust me
for seeing through your sly ways, my
lady. Tou expected to take my son
from me with the price of your ginger
hair, you ugly bald-pate."
Rachel's head grew light, and with
the cry of a bated creature she turned
upon the old mother in a torrent of hot
words. "Tou low, mean, selfish soul,"
she cried, "I despise you more than the
dirt under my feet."
Worse than this she said, and the old
woman called on Stephen to hearken to
her, for that was the wife he had
brought home to revile his mother.
The old witch shed some crocodile
tears, and Stephen lunged in between
the women and with the back of his
hand struck his wife across the face.
At that blow Rachel was silent for a
moment, trembling like an affrighted
beast, and then she turned upon her
husband. "And so you have struck me
me me." ahe cried. "Have you for
gotten the death of Patrlcksen ?"
The blow of her words was harder
than the blow of her husband's hand.
The man reeled before It, turned white,
gasped for breath, then caught up his
cap and fled out Into the night.
Of Rachel In her dishonor there Is
now not much to tell, but the little that
is left is the kernel of this history.
That night, amid the strain of strong
emotions, she was brought to bed before
her time was yet full. Her labor was
hard, and long she lay between life and
death,, for the angel of hope did not pull
with her. But as the sun shot Its first
yellow rays through the little skin
covered windows, a child was born lo
Rachel, and it was a boy. Little Joy
she found In it, and remembering Its
father's Inhumanity, she turned her
face from it to the wall, trying thereby
to conquer the yearning that answered
to Its cry.
It was then for the first time since
her lying-in that the old mother came
to her. She had been out searching for
Stephen, and had Just come upon news
of him.
"He has gone In an English ship,"
she cried. "He sailed last night, and 1
have lost him forever."
And at that she leaned her quivering
white face over the bed, and raised her
clenched hand over Rachel's face.
"Son for son," she cried again. "May
you lose your son, even as you have
made me to lose mine."
The child seemed likely to answer
to the impious prayer, for Its little
strength waned visibly. And In those
first hours of her shameful widowhood
the evil thought came to Rachel to do
with It as the baser sort among her
people were allowed to do with the
children they did not wish to rear
expose It to Its death before It had yet
touched food. But In the throes, as she
thought, of Its extremity, the love of
the mother prevailed over the hate of
the wife, and with a gush of tears she
plucked the babe to her breast. Then
the neighbor, who out of pity and char
ity had nursed her in her dark hour,
ran for the priest, that with the bless.
Ing of baptism the child might die a
Christian soul.
The good man came, and took the
little, sleep-bound body from Rachel's
arms, and asked her the name. She
did not answer, and he asked again.
Once more, having no reply, he turned
to the neighbor to know what the fath
er's name had been.
"Stephen (A-ry'sald the good woman.
"Then Stephen Stephensen," he be
gan, dipping his fingers into the water;
but at the sound of that name Rachel
cried, "No, no, no."
"He has not done well by her, poor
soul," whispered the woman; "call It
after her own father."
"Then Jorgen Jorgensen," the priest
began again; and then again Rachel
cried, "No, no, no," and raised herself
upon her arm.
"It has no father," she said, "and I
have none. If It Is to die, let It go to
(iod's throne with the badge of no
man's cruelty; and If It Is to live, let It
be known my no man's name save Its
own. Call It Jason Jason only."
And In the name of Jason the child
was baptized, and so It waa that Ra
chel, little knowing what she was doing
In her blind passion and pain, severed
her child from kith and kin. But in
what she did out of the bitterness of
her heart God himself had His own
great purposes.
From that hour the child Increased In
strength, and soon waxed strong, and
three days after, as the babe lay coo
ing at Rachel's breast, and she In her
own despite was tasting the first sweet
Joys of motherhood, the old mother of
Stephen carne to her again.
"This Is my house," she said, "and I
will keep shelter over your head no
longer. You must pack and away
you and your brat, both of you."
That night the Bishop of the Island
Bishop Petersen, once a friend of Ra
chel's mrtther, now much In fear of the
governor, her father enme to her In
secret to say that there was a house for
her at the extreme west of the fishing'
quarter, where a fisherman had lately
died, leaving the, little that he had to
the church. There she betook herself
with her child as soon as the days of
her lylng-ln were over. It was a little
oblong shed, of lava blocks laid with
peat for mortar, resembling on the out.
side two ancient seamen shoving boul
ders together against the weather, and
on the inside two tiny bird cages.
And having no one now to stand to
her, or seem to stand, In the place of
bread-winner, she set herself to such
poor work as she could do and earn a
scanty living by. This was cleaning
the down of the elde duck, by passing
It through a sieve made of yarn stretch,
ed over a hoop. Dy a deft hand, with
extreme labor, something equal to six
pence a day could be made In this way
from ths English tradtra. Wits such
earnings Rachel lived in content, and
If Jorgen Jorgensen had any knowl
edge of hi daughter's necessities he
made no effort to relieve them.
Her child lived a happy, sprightly,
Joyous bird In its little cage and her
broken heart danced to its delicious ac
cents. It sweetened her labors, It soft
ened her misfortunes, its made life more
dear and death more dreadful; it was
the strength of her arms and the cour
age of her soul, her summons to labor
and her de.Hre for rest. Call her
wretched no longer, for now she had
her child to love. Happy little dingy
cabin in the fishing quarter, amid the
vats for sharks' oil and the heaps of
dried cod! It was filled with heaven's
own light, that came not from above,
but radiated from the little cradle
where her life, her hope, her Joy, her
solace lay swathed In the coverlet of
all her love.
And as she worked through the long
summer days on the beach, with the
child playing among the pebbles at her
feet, many a dream danced before her
of the days to come, when ths boy
would sail In the ships that came to
their coast, and perhaps take her with
him to that Island of ths sea that had
been her mother's English home, where
men were good to women, and women
were true to men. Until then she must
live where she was, a prisoner chained
to a cruel rock; but she would not re
pine, she could wait, for the time of her
deliverance was near. Her liberator
was coming. He was at her feet; he
was her child, her boy, her darling; and
when he slumbered she saw him wax
and grow, and when he awoke she saw
her fetters break. Thus on the bridge
of hope's own rainbow she spanned her
little world of shame and pain.
The years went by, and Jason grew
to be a strong-limbed, straight, stal
wart lad, red-haired and passionate
hearted, reckless and Improvident eo
far as Improvidence was possible amid
the conditions of his bringing up. He
was a human waterfowl, and al lhls
days were spent on the sea. Such work
as wag also play he was eager to do.
He would clamber up the rocks of the
Island of Engy outside the harbor, to
take the eggs of the elder duck from
the steep places where she built her
nest; and from the beginning of May
to the end of June he found his mother
in the elder down that she cleaned for
the English traders. People whispered
to Rachel that he favored his father,
both in stature and character, but she
turned a deaf ear to their gloomy fore
bodings. Her son was as fair as the
day to lok upon, and If he had his lazy
humors, he had also one quality which
overtopped them ail he loved his moth
er. People whispered again that i n
this regard also he resembled his fath
er, who amid many vices had the same
sole virtues.
. Partly to shut him off from the scan
dal of the gossips, who might tell him
too soon the story of his mother's
wrecked and broken life, and partly
out of the bitterness and selfishnes sof
her bruised spirit, Rachel brought up
her boy to speak the tongue of her
mother the English tongue. Her pur
pose failed her, for Jason learned Ice
landic on the beach as fast as English
In the house; he heard the story of his
mother's shame and of his father'3
baseness, and brought it back to her In
the colors of a thrice-told talfr. Vain'
effort of fear and pride! It was nev
ertheless to prepare the lad for the
future that was before him.
And through all the day of her worse
than widowhood, amid dark memories
of the past and thoughts of the future
wherein many passions struggled to
gether, the hope lay low down In Ra
chel's mind that Stephen would return
to her. Could he continue to stand in
dread of the threat of his own wife?
No, no, no. It had been only the hot
word of a moment of anger, and it was
gone. Stephen was staying away in fear
of the brother of Patrlcksen. When
that man was dead, or out of the way,
he would return. Then he would Bee
their boy, and remember his duty to
wards him, and if the lad ever again
spoke bitterly of one whom he had
never yet seen, she on her part would
chide him, and the light of revenge
that sometimes flashed In his brilliant
blue eyes would fade away and in up
looking and affection he would walk as
a son with his father's hand.
Thus In the riot of her woman's heart
hope fought with fear and love with
hate. And at last the brother of Pat
rlcksen did Indeed .disappear. Rumor
whispered that he had returned to the
Westmann Islands, there to settle for
the rest of his days and travel the sea
no more.
"Now he will come," thought Rachel.
"Wherever he Is, he will learn that there
Is no longer anything to fear, and he
will return.
'And she waited with as firm a hope
that the winds would carry the word as
Nmh walled for the settling of the
waters after the dove had found the
dry land.
But time wnt on and Stephen did not
appear, and at length under the tur
moil f a heart that fought with Itself,
Rachel's health began to sink.
Then Patrlcksen returned. lie had a
meifngp for her. He knew where her
hUhband was. Stephen Orry was on
the little Island of Man, far away to
the south, In the Irish sea. He had
married again, and he hail another
child. His wife was dead, but his son
was living.
Rachel In her weakness went to bed
and rope from It no more. The broad
dazzle of the sun that had been so soon
to rise on her wasted life was shot over
with an Inky pall of cloud. Not for
her was to be the voyage to England
Her boy must go alone.
(To be continued.)
As Is customary In obstinate rases
western civilisation must assert Iti
iha In China bv nromotlnr funeral
(By Jas. Creelman In N. T. Journal.)
The young men of the United States
will decide the approaching struggle
tor control of the national government,
tnd It is interesting to observe the at
titude of the two great political par
ties toward the youth of the nation.
What the young man seeks today is
ipportunlty a fair chance to compete.
The republican party says, in effect,
the young men of the country, that
the natural and Inevitable development
f the trust system is narrowing op
portunity at home, that to attempt to
:ramp or prevent the growth of trusts
would be unscientific and hopeless, but
that there la boundless opportunity for
foung men In the Philippines and in
2hlna. and that an American colonial
ystem will furnish an outlet for the
energy and ' ambition which seek in
rain for a field on the American conti
nent The democratic party says to the
foung men of America that there 1
room enough for them on their own
oil and that, when Industrial, financial
sr commercial developments tend to les
sen or destroy opportunity It Is the
(uty of the government to Intervene
Ind reopen the channels of competi
tion which human greed is closing.
One Is a policy stained with the crime
knd damned with the fallures'of Euro
pean civilization. The other is an
American policy.
Mr. Hanan seems to be convinced
that the imagination of the young men
nf the United States has been fired by
visions of empire in the far east, that
they are tired of the platitude of the
beclaratlon of Independence and the
provincialism of the Monroe doctrine,
and that they will enthusiastically sup
port a policy of conquest and adven
ture. So every republican orator
Mckinley on the
ley's Message To Congress.
Iwells enchantingly on the glittering,
mysterious, easily-got wealth of Asia,
fie points to the possessions of Great
Britain and other nations In the cast
s an evidence of their wealth and
progress. But he says nothing about
the wholesale butcheries of half-armed
Asiatic peoples, of the burning of cities,
the laying waste of prosperous agrlctil
lural countries, the plundering and ex
tortion, the violation of Innocent wo-
nun and a hundred other crimes which
inve attended the extension of Euro
pean power In Asia.
Talk to a republican leader today
ihnut the necessity for restraining the
irusts and restoring to the young men
)f the country the chance to compete
n life which their fathers had, and he
will tell you about the great future of
he American In China and the Philip
pines two overcrowded countries.
The Idea of empire Is and always
mist be associated with the Idea of
'orce. , Empire can only rest on force,
ind the republican party appeals to
he young voters to follow Theodore
Soosevelt, the slashing, dashing rough
Ider, the man who believes In war for
he sake of war. It hopes to arouse In
America the corrupt and . corrupting
iplrlt of militarism wthch has sustain-
ed the young men of Europe and mad
them the unconscious enemies of their
own liberties.
There is nothing of this In the dem
ocratic appeal to the young men this)
year no gleam of war, no faseiastftas;
national cover of adventure, no colo
nies to be ruled and plundered. The
democratic party asks the young men
of America to have confidence la their
own institutions, to shun the blood
example of European nations, and to
believe that Americans are better em
ployed in the fields and factories of
America than in subjugating distant
The question which confronts thai
young man in America, today is thht: la
the American continent exhausted, an4
must Americans look elsewhere for op
portunities? If not, how are opporv
tunitles to be found at home?
Is it true that the government haw n
right to Interfere with the trusts? Tha
government Interferes with the man
who drive his horse too fast la the
streets. Why? It is his own horse. The
government interferes with a man whe
discharges his gun in the street. Why?'
It is his own-gun. The government in
terferes with a man who sets fire to
his house. Why? It Is his own bouse
The interference of the government I
Justified by the old-fashioned Idea that
one man's rights end where another
man's rights begin, that one man's
property must not mean everybody
else's property. This Is the basis ot
the appeal of the democracy to tht
young men.
This is the policy of Jefferson and
Lincoln. The highest duty which tb
government owes to its citizens la tc
see that their chances in life are not
decreased. AH must start equal In th
race. The man of brains will rise and
witness stand.
the stupid man will fall. That is nol
the fault of the government. No sys
tem of lawyers will put virtue or en
ergy Into a vicious or lazy man. But
the chance of each must be the same.
It Is the duty of the government to
preserve that equal chance.' It Is a
poor man's only Inheritance In America.
And when trusts of any other forms ol
concentrated wealth or power begin to
press agnlnst the poor man's, or even
the comparatively rich man's, equal
start In the race; when competition be
comes impossible and monopoly stretch,
es out Us hands for the enslavement
of nil, or of the greater part of the
community, then it Is that law must
exert itself to widen again the iloora
of opportunity.
. 11 needs but a vigorous and united
effort to smash the trust system, to
make the United States once more the
land of the young man, the land of
opportunity and hope.
A vote this year means more to tha
young mnn than It does to the old man.
The nation has come to the cross
roads of Its history. Which path ahaV
It be?
The German empire haa a,M,IM '
workers; SOO.OM unionists.