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the pier at the mouth of the Chagres visible signs of Northern law and River and the piles of useless ma- order, the only thing needed in this dischinery, the first evidence we had yet tracted country to make it wealthy and seen of the uses to which those steadily prosperous. squandered sixty millions of Panama The reason for their presence was exCanal funds had been put. In itself plained by the fact that the negotiait was a stupendous piece of work, tions between the Republic of Panama compelling admiration and respect for and the Government of the United the labors of those who had designed States had just been completed, and and carried it out. But our view of one of the clauses in the compact gave it was brief, for there was no sta- the latter the right to maintain order tion just there, and we were soon along the line of their property-if I carried out of sight of it. Then am not wrong in describing the Canal we suddenly came upon the first hope and its adjacent land for a certain disful sign we had seen in this much tance on either side as their property. harassed, badly governed country. We I know it is not so called in official stopped at a large straggling village, documents, but the difference in my misnamed "Empire," and immediately name and theirs is only a difference in became aware of a new and entirely phraseology-we both mean the same desirable human element. Mingling thing. When a people like the Ameriponchalantly with the slouching furtive cans of the United States purchase a crowd of parti-colored people were concession like that of the Panama several keen-looking well-set-up youths, waterway, and, owing to the incomwhose faces were as full of intelligence petence of its nominal owners, are obas their movements were of self-con- liged to send troops there to protect the fidence. They wore an eminently property, there can be no question of businesslike rig; I felt thankful to be the restoration, or retrocession rather, able to call it a uniform, remembering of the reclaimed country to its original as I did, the hideous travesty of semi-savagery. And in spite of my clothing that soldiers have so long been distrust of the Americans, and my utter called upon to wear, a garb seemingly detestation of their business methods, designed to prevent the wearers from I am heartily glad to see them in doing those violent acts and deeds Panama. They will, I feel sure, make which they were intended to perform. an amazing change for the better in They wore blue shirts open at the neck that hitherto unsavory land, and, hayand with sleeves rolled up to the el. ing undertaken their gigantic task, nabow, khaki pants and gaiters, and ser- tional pride will not permit them to viceable yet not heavy-looking boots. relinquish it, whatever the cost. Round their waists were bandolier Already one sees signs of the coming belts, at one side of which hung a beneficent revolution beyond that of revolver. A khaki-colored hat with the presence of the American soldiers; brim turned up at one side completed keen-faced, smartly dressed men, with this smart costume, making the wear that alert nonchalance so characterisers look eminently fit and workman- tic of the American man of business, like. These were American soldiers are pervading the Isthmus, not at all sent by the great Republic to preserve on pleasure bent, but taking the measthe peace of the Isthmus under the ure of things in their several capacities, new agreement by virtue of which the and each absolutely determined that United States has contracted to finish whoever gets "left" in the pursuit of the Panama Canal. They were the the almighty dollar it shall not be he.
LIVING AGE. VOL. XXVI. 1383
Even the inhabitants of this land of this most important place. Only think “mañana” are awaking to the fact of it! here, on the great highway of the that "mañana" is to be changed to Isthmus, in its principal city, where all “ahora,” to-morrow to now. And that the year round there is a steady stream in itself is a portent of no mean di- of visitors on business or pleasure bent, mensions. But I am lingering long on the principal, almost the only, hotel is the road to Panama City, almost as a sort of tenth-rate boarding-house, of long as that procrastinating soot-show- which the only thing not entirely conering train. No bad likeness of a chim- demnatory that can be said about it is ney-sweep out for a holiday, with eyes that it is big. And for housing like full of grit and parched throat, I paupers and feeding like pigs one pays emerged at last at the mean collection like a prince-eight dollars for a bottle of shacks doing duty for the Panama of very medium claret, equivalent to Terminus of this most important rail- sixteen shillings English. I do not way. I was at once taken in charge wish to deal in superlatives, either by a courteous polyglot young German, eulogistic or condemnatory, but I who, for a great wonder, did not show would strongly advise tourists bound his contempt for me because I was an to Pacific ports who are taking this Englander and also a new chum. Per- route to put in the time they have to haps the fact of my having been wait at Colon, where there is a decent specially recommended to his good hotel that compensates for the other offices, by the great company for which drawbacks of the port, rather than be his firm was agent, had more than a made miserable at Panama and fleeced little to do with his most kindly recep most shockingly into the bargain. tion of me. He hurried me into a However, the Americans will alter all carriage, and we drove off at once to that. Under their régime one will have the Grand Central Hotel, along the to pay, of course, and a high price, but very worst roads I have yet travelled there will be an equivalent for the in this part of the world, so bad, in- money. deed, that after ten minutes' drive I After luncheon, as a carriage drive felt as if all my teeth were loose, and was impossible, a small party of us I was positively sore with bumping sallied forth, first visiting the historic about. So villainous were the roads Cathedral, which stood on the oppothat I kept mentally comparing them site side of the Plaza to our hotel. with some I had suffered from in Bos While changing I had noted from my ton and Chicago, and wondering if cell window the ruinous condition of these were not really worse. So that the building, and especially the way when we pulled up in front of the in which, through utter neglect, the hotel-I beg its pardon, the Grand Cen- various parasitic plants of the country tral Hotel-I had seen nothing of Pana- were gradually covering the towers ma at all.
and terraces of the building with a A very short experience of this hotel rich mantle of vegetation, the roots of is sufficient to cause each newcomer which were, of course, displacing the to scan the faces of the American stones with which the edifice was visitors keenly in the earnest hope that built. Not that it ever had been a fine some of them are potential hotel pro- building in any sense of the word. prietors. For some American will Its design was practically the same as surely confer an inestimable boon upon usual in these countries and in Malta, his fellow men and women-by start two dumpy towers at the corners of an ing and carrying on a decent hotel in almost flat front, and a long barn-like
body trailing away astern of them, well-dressed men, who even followed with a sort of dome over the chancel. to have another stare when we hesiWithin, both building and ornaments tated for a minute at the corner of a were-well, just tawdry. Over the street before deciding which way to whole place brooded an air of decay, go. At last, under this never-ending as if, after dominating these lands for scrutiny, we all got so hot and angry centuries, the "Church” realized that at that we fled down to the bay and took last it was losing its grip on them, and a boat. During the operation quite a languidly acquiesced in the fact. Well, little crowd gathered, taking apparI am no friend to Rome, and the record ently an intense interest in every detail of her misdeeds out here makes me, of our faces. I say ours, but I must when reading it, grow faint and sick limit the pronoun to the ladies, who with horror, but still, she stands for unfortunately had no veils. The only some recognition of God in these parts; place I ever remember seeing anything and if she goes there is nothing to take like it before was at Canton, but that her place. As in France, the people calm Celestial scrutiny was not nearly will judge all ministers of religion by so galling as this. It did not seem what they know of Rome, and will re- personal somehow, the Chinese stare fuse to acknowledge any. In the being more like that of an automatic American strip, however, it may be dif- face than anything else. ferent. I do not attempt any descrip- Once out on the smooth waters of the tion of the interior of the cathedral; bay, things began to adjust themselves. there is really nothing to describe, or Our view of the city was in proper rather worth description. Only I was focus, we were not hampered by so struck by the fact that during the many details, and the crumbling treewhole time we were in and around it clad fortifications, with the eternal sea we did not see one priest or custodian beating up against them as it had alof any kind. There were a few de- ways done, somehow managed to get vout souls who had stepped aside from history into perspective. It did not their burdens for a few minutes into need a great exercise of imagination to its cool darkness to pray, and a nun see back into the past when these with a patient other-world face knelt quiet waters were dotted with Spanish at the door and asked alms for the treasure-ships, to note them receiving poor, but of the usual signs of activity their lading of silver, spice, pearls, and in such churches there were none other valuable merchandise, borne here But every door was wide open.
on the backs of Indians from the inEmerging from the cathedral into the terior, whose path was punctuated glaring sunlight we strolled, rather with skeletons in every attitude that a aimlessly I must admit, about the city. miserable death could suggest. Outside, But it would not develop itself for us, one rejoiced to think, lay hidden retribuwould not become anything else but tion in the shape of a group of little a fortuitous collection of mean houses English ships, their crews hungering fringing those horrible roads. And fiercely for the encounter with the Dons, presently we became aware for the in the almost certain prospect of snatchfirst time that here, in Central ing from them their ill-gotten treasAmerica, that chivalrous creature, the ure, and incidentally, perhaps, sendSpaniard, has had all his politeness ing them with their ships to a swifter bred out of him. The ladies of the and more merciful death than they had party, although escorted, were simply given the poor Indians. It all seemed stared out of countenance by groups of so real and close out here. And, as the evening drew swiftly on and the gor- ful stories of vicissitudes in Panama, geous colors of the sunset bathed the wonderful specimens of British subdistant city in a glow of varied tints, jects claiming, not merely his protecthere hung over the whole scene a tion or assistance, but his aid as arglamour of romance that was quite fas bitrator in domestic disputes or petty cinating.
inter-family squabbles. In fact, the But we returned to shore, and were Jamaica negro, of whom he spoke in immediately disillusionized. Squalor the terms one usually employs in detook the place of glamour, and evil scribing a wayward child—that is, with smells replaced the sweet, fresh sea some petulance but a good deal of afbreezes, so strong and pure, with which fection--kept him fully amused in the our lungs had been filled while on the intervals of much more serious work. bay. This latter experience made us His society was a great boon to us think complacently of the coming under the circumstances, and I, for of the Americans, whose first business, one, felt deeply grateful to him for his we were told. was to sanitate, to geniality and courtesy. Had it not cleanse the city from its foulness, and been for him we should have been comintroduce some decency of living. pelled to go to bed and lie listening to Rather reluctantly we returned to the the baffled hum of mosquitoes outside hotel. quite afraid to meet the menu the closely drawn net, unable to read by after our experience at luncheon. But it the light of the one candle, and meditatwas necessary to eat, and we ate, very ing upon the possibility of the bed dubiously and sparingly, and as soon as having been last occupied by a fever. the depressing function was over we stricken patient, as really happened retreated from the building to the here quite a short time ago. This. Plaza opposite under the palms and however, Mr. Mallet saved us from, the electric light. But it was really and when we vent to bed at eleven impossible for strangers with ladies we sank at once to sleep nor awakened accompanying them to sit there. In the until it was time to go to the train next first place it was exceedingly comfort. morning and escape from Panama. less, being only a bare stone area with The descent into the steaming low. little tables and chairs scattered about, lands from the comparatively fresh air not at all like the romantic Spanish of the hills was certainly unpleasant, Patio with its fountain and trees and although I could not help feling that flowering shrubs. And no sooner were it was ungrateful to notice it so much we seated than well-dressed, weary- after our little visit to a cooler atmoseyed men drifted in, took seats near, phere. But the sensation of home comand began to stare the ladies of the ing was full payment, and I must conparty out of countenance. So we fled, fess also the prospect of leaving the and meeting the amiable Consul, Mr. Isthmus of Panama was distinctly Claude Mallet, listened to his wonder- pleasant. The Cornbill Magazine.
Frank T. Bullen.
THE QUEEN'S MAN.
A ROMANCE OF THE WABS OF THE ROBE8.
He left two sons only-Harry, a CHAPTER VI.
youth of seventeen, and Richard, a Swanlea was one of the strangest and child in leading-strings. These two most beautiful houses in England at were as different as their mothers bethat day. It stood low down, flat on fore them. The first Baroness was a a meadow, and the hills rose about it, woman of the old world, of the Middle covered with forests of beech and fir. Ages now passing away. She gave Round about it, back and front, a lit- largely to the poor; she scourged herself tle river twirled and ran; a stream, and wore hair-cloth next her skin. though not the same, namesake and She was a saint, but also a devoted likeness of “my Lady Lea." To the wife and mother, though her life may south of the house, about which elms have been shortened by anxiety for her and cedars were grouped in stately husband's and her son's salvation. She fashion, this small river spread itself was carried up the steep path to the into a natural lake with an island in vault in the old church on the hill, the it, on which ivy and wild trees were path worn by her feet in pilgrimage, now fast hiding the sturdy remains of to grow mossy and deserted when she a fortress much older than the present was gone. On her altar-tomb, the mardwelling of the barons of Marlowe. ble face looked up to heaven as if to This bad once been a strong little place, say, “How long, O Lord ?” while all the defended by water and bridge and influences she hated reigned in her wall, though commanded by the hills stead at Swanlea. all round.
The house was very fantastic, It was the father of Harry, a man crowded with towers and turrets: it of large fortune and fine taste, a friend was easy to see that its inspiration and companion of the Duke of Bedford, came from the Palais des Tournelles and thus touched by French taste and at Paris, where the Duke of Bedford Renaissance fancy, who had dismantled had his quarters when he ruled there. the little castle on the island and had Inside it was beautifully panelled in built the large, luxurious house which wood, or hung with rare tapestries and now nestled so confidingly in the valley curtains; there was a fine library, for of the Lea. It would seem that he had both Lord Marlowe and his son and not expected any war, foreign or civil, successor loved learning, like the best to disturb his repose there, for never men of their day. Outside, the formal was there a house more difficult to de- gardens were divided by high hedges fend. But this former Harry, Sir Wil- of box and yew, cut here and there liam Roden's old friend and brother into quaint shapes of birds and aniin-arms,-though the men were most mals; live peacocks too, in summer, unlike-did not live to see England strutted on the lawns, and swans torn in the strife of the Red and White floated on the lake. Roses. He died in peace at Swanlea, A crowd of well-trained servants not very long after his second marriage made life run easily at Swanlea, and with the Lady Isabel, whose tastes the house was furnished with every were even more modern than his own luxury of the time. Isabel Lady Marand her freedom of thought very much lowe held a kind of little court there, wider.
and with a keen eye for the winning