Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, September 27, 1903, Image 35
fc-ptember 27, 1003. TIIE ILLUSTRATED BEE. ne early tomorrow. If I get stuck, I hall declare myself unable to permit the changes of cravats. Itut I will not get tuck. I will hare the strength to stamp It Into my brain and play my roles. I am nothing but a statist anyway. Every hour I have to ride to the rail road station to help receive new guest. The faithful subjects cheer and shout. I notice that their joy is not so exuberant when I appear as It used to be. Why not? Even now! What have I done to them? Only a little time ago they showed me their trust, their affection, their love. And suddenly they are still. What have I done to them? For their sake I became Cain in my thoughts. For the sake of that mob! And now I have sharp ears it is still around me, quite still. Can it be that they have heard the crass lie about me, that they know. I would mako them cheer and shout if I Oh, I would! To write these things calms my nerves more than the bromide with which the family spirit Is feeding me these days. He is absolutely stuffing me with it. Last night the happy bride arrived. To morrow there will be the wedding, corona tion, homage, gala dinner, gala theater, illumination, parades, and then at lust they will leave King and Queen alone. The un happy ones! I -was with those who helped the bride groom to meet his bride. The King wore the general's uniform of the regimrnt that was given to him by the bride's govern ment. The bride wore a light green toil ette and a cloak of old rose velvet, em broidered with silver and the same em broideries on a hat of rose gauze. The faithful subjects went mad with joy at the sight of the beautiful royal briJe, but she was so embarrassed, bj shy, so frightened that she could not even bow her head. The King bowed constantly, to all Sides, without even a faint shimmer of pleasure on his pule, care-worn face. With such a countenance he is to be mir ried and crowned! A man with such a face Should let himself be laid away in the grave; in his wedding day in th.i month of slay, and a King! A Royal Lord Marshal had covered him self with glory once more. These wonder ful days will be immortal in the annals of the Court. Everything was correct. Kvery one received what belonged to him. Even that tremendous problem, the order of precedence at all the ceremonies, was solved triumphantly, an Intellectual labor of Hercules splendidly performed. I stared at the young Queen during the wedding ceremony and at the young King during the coronation, a most indiscreet proceeding on my part. But I was curious. When the Queen whispered the ' Yes," which no one heard, she had to be sup ported; and when the Archbishop placed the crown on the King's head he seemed to tsee ghosts. My mother had discarded her mourningt and in her white garments covered with gold embroideries and jewels, she looked like a Byzantine Saint's picture even to the Immobility. It surely was a dream that I hid my wretchedness on that breast, that those arms embraced the miserable 'n, that (hose eyes wept over him. Countess Thyra is wonderfully beautiful. El rangers ask who she U. But that is not of interest to me. I am Interested in her for another reason, and I notice it more and more; whenever I am near her, some thing of her proud, calm strength teems to enter into me. That Is very strange. I do not speak with her. Since that last conversation I am unable to indulge in trivial Court gossip with her. We both save greater matters to think of. Chapter V. In My Sea-Alp. I could bear It no longer In the capital. Among my own people I felt as If I were In a vast crowd that was pressing me to death. They had already crushed my heart wkra they told the big, horrible lie about me and called me ray father's true son. Even those who once believed In me and loved me hud grown still whenever I passed. So I went away. Nobody held me back. Nobody pursued me. It is my fortune that I may hide, here, bury myself life a mortally wounded ani mal. For they have wounded me mortally wKh their big, terrible lie. Mother, even you! Solitude, dear, loving, motherly solitude, I renounce the King's son and name my self your child. Just a year ago I arrived here first. Is It possible? Does not a whole lifetime lie between those spring days and these? Then I learned to feel that I was young, and now I feel that my youth has gone. Then I swore among these rocks to be and remain a good man; now there seems to me to be nothing jnore pitiful, because weak, than human goodness. "Good" men should be clubbed to death as once they kiHed the weakling Infants In Sparta. Although I have become evil and malig nant I still was touched yesterday when X arrived. The Lerd Marshal, of course. had announced my arrival with the careful notice that His Royal Highness was trav eling In strict incognito and that all re ceptions, of whatever kind, were forbidden. But they received me for all that. There were no honorable officials, no triumphal arches, no servile addresses and no white robed maids of honor. Instead there were fishermen, wood choppers and mountain folk, all In their Sunday best. They thronged around my carriage, were glad, and cheered. How they cheered. They cheered and were glad. At least they acted as if they were glad. And I, thnt saw through the deceit, allowed my self to be deceived, and was so touched that I would liked to weep for joy because fishermen, wood cutters and peasants made telieve to love me. It Is a weakness that I must tear out of my soul. Away with the beautiful flowers! I need the thorns that tear wounds, the thorns from which Life winds the wreath for the victor. My boat was garlanded with fresh green birch leaves, so that it looked like the craft for a bride. When the same trees flamed In autumn colors I had them In dress with their scarlet the room in which a dead ruler lay, who had called me his dear son. With such a father's blessing on me I steered to the place of his death that was to be my home. When we arrived, my Sea-Alp lay flooded in crimson sunset glows meadow, rocks and peaks. And even from the distance I saw two shapes that leaped toward the shore with mighty strides and danced like madmen. They threw their hats in the air and sent forth yells taht sounded more like howls than cheers. They wpre my two Alpine guides. Tony and Stigei, who thus expressed their Joy a joy In which I will believe. In the middle of the night I arose and went to the shore. A long, long time I walked up and down, searching for a way out of the labyrinth of my thoughts, and finding none. At lust I Bank to my knees and pruyed. I prayed not for happiness, but for heavenly protection against the dark forces in my soul, the forces for which I can find no name. It must have gone far with a man when he cannot pray any more: "Dear, dear Father in heaven, make me happy, for, see I am Thy child." But there are many orphans on this earth who have not this Father or any other. Is the Count tru!y my friend? If it Is true that Princes can have no friends why should I expect to be an exception? May I accept as proof of his friendship the fact that he bears with my distraction? Is It a proof that he has followed me Into these mountains that must be a prison for a brilliant man like him? Might he not have been sent with me as keeper with promises of rich reward if he guards me well? He will gain a line career through me. There fore he has followed me hither. I watch and spy on him. Every word of his I weigh. I tremble at the thought of making a discovery, and still search and pry always. And if I discover him then I will believe In nothing henceforth, nothing that bears a human countenance. Today I spoke to him: "I wih to converse with you about my father." "Do you InslBt?" "Yes. My father was ailing even while ho was Crown Prince, was he not?" "So I have heard." "In his immediate surrounding everyone krew it then. And they knew that his malady would develop rapidly. Or have I been wrongly informed?" "I believe not." "And my father became King despite It?" "True." "The malady, then, was kept secret?" "For reasons of state. The King had wedded while he still was Crown Prince." "A mortal sin." "Two Princes were born." ."A mortal sin! Twice and thrice a mortal sin!" "Without heirs the land would have fallen te another nation. That had to be prevented!" "Prevented through a series of crimes perpetrated for reasons of State. As you see, I know what is the matter with us." He did not reply. What could he have replied, since it was all hopelessly true? After a while he said: "What could have been doner' "Let our dynasty die out with my ailing father. Give the country another ruling race a strong, healthy race that could have made the nation great and happy again. If my father had possessed a friend only one friend he should have been forced to abdicate despite all reasons of State." The Ceunt looked at me. J shall never forget that look. Today I asked him why he looked at me so. Haunted by that glance I had to ask. He answered: "I had to wonder if your Royal Highness would have permitted hlmsolf to be forced had he been in his father's placer' "You mean If I had possessed a fri.-nd who would have done such a tremendous work of love for me as to advise me." "Assuming that your Royal Highness had possessed such a friend." "I cannot imagine the case." "And I cannot Imagine that your Royal Highness would have permitted such a 'tremendous work of love' to be done for him." "You do not believe It?" "No." I looked at him. Then he said: "I might take your 'no' for a proof of your friendship, for only a friend I alilo to give such an answer to such a question. 1 regret, however, not to be In position to try your friendship further. You will never be placed In the predica ment of inducing me to abdicate, since my entirely sane brother would not permit them to force him to abdicate." If I had the power I would abolish all courts of Justice, abrogate all sentcn o, open all prisons and leave the guilty to the Judgment of their own consciences uloue. At least, there would be no legal murders then, the mere thought of which, tills mo with horror. Ijoisl makes me think of it. I had not dared to mention his name, even to myself. But yesterday Tony told me that he had married tils sweetheart. To hide my ex citement I asked how he had managed to marry, being without work and in disgrace with the forester, owing to Ills desertion and Insubordination. "Why." said Tony, "don't you know? Miss Frits brought the two together." Miss Frits, the good, strong, splendid Miss Frits. What a world was recalled to me with the name, a splendid, shining, good world! In It even I was a better man; certainly a happier one. That is all pant now. Whut had I done to forget this world! What power had I not used to make my self forget! Instead of hurrying to the Alpine farm on the first day of my arrival 1 had bound myself as with fetters In order to stay away from the pluco that I could not revisit with a pure heart. Never, never again! "Miss Fritz," continued Tony, "appointed Lolsl her forest overseer and has sent the couple to the tipper meadow where his . mother Is, the poor woman." And then Tony realized of whom and to whom he spoke, ami was so horrified by Ms thoughtfulness that I did him the favor to go away. Instead of being sentenced by his evil ccr.Bcience, a bridegroom! Instead of being curBed and driven by the furies for his crimes he rests In the arms of a beautiful woman! I would that I could hate the man und I must admire htm. I must ad mire the power with which he wipes th'i horror out of his life, merely wipes it out. I said it before: This is a Royal man, this assassin and parricide. So must a man be whose head bears the crown; with such strength he must stride over everything that stunds between life and him. Had I but an atom of the strength of this man who Is my brother, I would" tear the grinning madness out of my brain as one does a fly from his forehead. Pos sessed of such power I would bo ruler des pite everything a ruler who would make a nation great and strong. The niece of Miss Frits Is 111. She has been ill more than half a year! Little Judlca is Hi! Tony told me that, too. "She won t get better." He said It quite calmly. I have been there. I have seen Judlca again, the little Judlca, and This "and" shall be completed later. It Is a great word that will mould fate. For I have not the Titanic strength to murder with a cold smile. The meadows were yellow, red and blue with flowers. Butterflies fluttered around us. Birds' bod em accompanied our way. Onoe we crossed a plain that was like fairyland; great, blue gentians stood there In such profusion that their green leaves cou!d not be seen. Blue eyes like gentians were those of the child that was so ill that she "won't get better." She was ill because I kissed her on the mouth and because the water was too deep. So she bad to die. I had promised to see Judlca one last, last time. Now I would see her. And when I turned away It would be a farewell as if she lay on her deathbed. And the nearer we approached the more I hastened. I thought that she would havs to know that I was on my way to her, quite near to her. No doubt she would meet me! But If aha was Ul? Even If she were dying she would arts and wander to war me, toward her be loved, toward Ufa. What mattered then what might follow? tut she did not appear and I became al most angry. I begged Oebhardt to remain behind with Tony while I went forward alone. I was as one who returns home after a long ab sence In the wide, wild world, where be bad bat an evil time of 1L If the watchdog bad not met me with Joyous barks, but bad treated me as a stranger. It would have hurt me deeply. There lay 'the vine-covered arbor; yonder was the way int the garden where the raspberries grew; beyond it I could see A bit of the meadow where stood the tree that wns struck by the lightning. Surely 1 muil have dreamed that 1 had become, u different person since thuu. Surety I needed only to awaken In order to pick I'aKplierrlcs again with Hiiothcr and to catch gaudily spotted trout with much trouble. When I stepped into the house I per ceived the reason for the loneliness and Unlet iilxuit the farm; low prayer greeted me as if 1 were in chuich. It was noon and the household was preparing to sit down to table. At this moment the child would be standing under the picture of Christ. With the little hands folded, the little hell bowed, she would he faying the praytl I stood still, listened and folded my hands. My mouth remained dumb, but as I thought of Judlca my thoughts became prayer. Since I did not wish to see her In the presence of the servants I went away ug.iln, softly, almost creeping, as If she must hear und recognize my step. 1 intended to re turn to my companion and tell them that we would wait until the meal was ended. Hut suddenly I was drawn mightily to the scene of past happiness, into the garden. Tlie p!me lay ns in noonday enchant ment. Kveti the birds' songs had boen hushed. Only the humming of the Insects could be heard, soft, mysterious, like a mstic music. In the beds there blossomed white und yellow narcissus, tulips and hyacinths in aTl colors, mixing their odors with that of the dour old-fashioned elders. Never before had 1 seen such spring gh rle. Over u blooming hawthorn hedge loomed a wild apple tree full or blossom to Its very crown, the buds aim st purple, w.th swarms of bees around I. that made the old tree seem to s'ng and tumid. With a strange feeling 1 stepped nearer. Suddenly my heart began ta throb, my breath stopped and I stool behind her. She silt turned away and permed to be gazing into the glory and the sunshine. I wanted to call softly: "Judlca, dear little Judlcu!" but fear choked my voice. She might die with fright. For her body had become quite unearthly in its slcndci ness and delicacy. With such a budy she c innot live long, 1 hud to think, and remained dumb, trembling to my very soul. Motionless she sat under the tree. Her bunds lay wtarily in her lap. Site still wore mourning. The hands that rested on the black stuff were white us the hands of the dead. She wore no hat. A sunbeam shimmered on her head. It Wil like an aureole. Suddenly he f-ei med to fi the presence of her beloved. 1 saw her s:urt, press tier band to her heurt and turn. And 1 was by her side, on my kneea be fore her, held her trembling form pressed tightly to m ', smothering her low cries with kisses. So we remuined a long while, with iut words. We could not even whisper men other's numes. (To Ho Conl i nil xl.) A round the Earth P. M. Spencer, president 'f the i'leteliiid National bunk, wh:, ubove all thing, takes delight in travel, has under contemplation un attempt to go uronid the world in forty duys. The proacnt record for a complete Journey uround the world is fifty-four days und seven hours, but Mr. Spencer bellevo tliut the long journey can be accomplished in a little over a month. The pluns of Mr. Silencer have not been arranged as to detail, and before the date of departure is decided upon every effort will be made to get the route so laid out that only the unexpected will prevent, de lays. The proposed globo glrdler is now In communication with persons in different parts of the world und the course of Uie Journey is being gradually put Into shape. As has been the case w,th all persons who have tried to circle the world In record time, Mr. Spencer anticipates that the mo it difficult part of the whirl will be through parts of Russia. If he makes good connec tions in Russia he doc not soe anything in the way of an accomplishment of the trip in forty days. The particular point where it will be necessary to have previous arrangements for quick connections will be at Vladivos tok, Russia, at the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian railway. It is at this point that steamer connections are made fur Yokohama, Japan. With good luck in Uie matter of connections it Is roughly figured that the trip can be made from Cleveland to Moscow, Russia, in eight days; Moscow te Vladivostok, twelve days; Vladivostok to Nicho, two days; Nlcho to Yokohama, a half day; Yokohama to San Franciaoo, twelve days, and San Francisco to Cleve land, four and one-half days. If this schedule can be adhered to the trip will be made In a little over thirty -nine days and all records badly broken. Chicago luter Ocean. Woman's Work "Poor woman! After her bard day's work she ban te stay up bait the night with hx-r babies." "What's the matter with her husband? Why doesn't be help berr "Oh, he puts In all his time agitating; for an eight-hour day for the working man." Philadelphia Press.