The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, October 22, 1905, PART FOUR, Page 38, Image 38

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ON the third floor of St Vlnrcnt s
Hospital a pathetic scene Is enacted
daily so cleverly vJled by a happy
smile and a. contented look that the scores
of visitors who come and go at the gre.v.
brick hospice on- the hill fail to realize
that "earth's bt a, waiting place' for
little Nakano, the Japanese cripple. And
Jt Is no' small wonder thai they do not
fee beneath his shining eyes the sore lit
tle heart, for Nakano. is happy In a "way
and the happiness all shows on the sur
face. Only the kindly sisters wliose con
tact with all phases of suffering gives
them deep insight Into human emotion's
can .read through those bright" Oriental
windows what is written it the soul of
the hospital's pet for 'Xaka'no is " the pot
Qf St. Vincent's.
Nearly live years ago the accident in
which many were killed and from which
Nakano .escaped wjth a .broken back oc
curred. It seemed that the boy would
die; too, for a broken back generally
means death. But the Great Reaper was
not ready for him and his life was spared
It was meant that he should stay here
and bear his cross as ah example for. otb-
ers, and that is what .he is doing today.
Who will say .It was- not the hand of
Providence which placed this boy amidst"
the sick and dying that his fortitude,
courage and humility might "be an exam
ple for them to follow? He Is crippled
for life and his existence -Js bounded by
the lour walls of the hospital, but withal
nd word of complaint Is heard from this
mfrdol Invalid, and his patient endurance
Is concealed by his bright face. There
are days when his sufferings are greater
than others and he docs . not appear or
his promenade through Ihe hall In his
wheel chair. On those days the InaulriesJ
after Nakano are many, and the visits to
the Immaculate Japanese ward are fre
quent, for all the patients on the floor be
come accustomed to seeing 'him pass
their doors or have" him stop for "a few
words of cheerful greeting, and when he
does jiot come both Sisters and nurses
are busy answering: Inquiries. "
His Post of Honor;
In -the, ward where ail Japanese'-patlents
are .caryd . for, Nakano occupies the post
of " honor. He greets all newcomers and
acts .as official interpreter for the Sis
ters, nurses and physicians. Many lives
have doubtless been .saved through Ills
ability to Interpret sor that the docton
WftrK'B.Hi tei-irrrtiV rfn "Ytrii-- rdcuo i.iiiw
gently, and the Jlte bf .xribr'e'; than, one of
his 'countrymen'Oias beYii .brightened
through his' suggestions and whblcsome
advice, for Xakano is a Christian and be
lieves in jtbe. Golden Rulej.; Behind his
thbbKpllal h's.,vllfejwasfi3csalrcd of,
aridas jjefxig'erei'betVecnwe and death
1 &j nmQkf
he learned through some source that if he
was spared from the grave he would be
a helpless cripple. He gave no Intimation
that he knew this, and to all aDoearances
he was as unconcerned about his condi
tion as patients who were only bedridden
for a week. Being a model patient and
having coinparatlvely few wants, no par
ticular attention was paid to him until
one day the Sister In charge of the floor
was called aside by a Japanese visitor
who had Just left the ward. He told her
that little Nakano was trying to get the
means to commit suicide In fact, tile boy
had begged him to bring certain, solsons
that he might take them and die easily,
so as not to distress the good Slaters
who were so kind to "him. Then Sister
Blank went to his bedside and had a long"
talk with the brave little sufferer. (It Is
a rule at St. .Vincent's not to give Sisters
names for publication.)
"I asked him If ho had ever heard
about God and Heaven- and he said no,"
replied Sister, when I askod hereabout
the incident. "So I told him as simply
as I could the story of Jesus and the
principles of our religion. I tried to
Impress upon him that his life be
longed to God, and that It was wicked
for him to attempt to destroy It himself;
that if he bore his cross bravely and
lived" a good life he would have a place
in Heaven when the proper time came
for him to die.
Xotable Conversion.
"It w"as easy to see that he was
fleeply Impressed, and he readily prom
ised me that he would not make an
other attempt at self-destruction a'nd
I felt that I could trust him. From
that day there was a change In him,
and he began to look bright and con
tented. I have never had to talk to
him about things he should not do .ex
cepting that one time, and I have never
observed a case where the quiet ac
ceptance of religious belief brought
! such apparent happiness and peace of
mind. The first thing the poor child
did was to have some' of his Japanese
frlend3 bring him a Bible printed In
his own language, and If you will no
tice it on the stand by his bed. you will
see that It has been constantly used.
Nakano's religion is not ostentatious,
he does not even care to tafk about It.
but we who are ..with him all the time
have opportunity to observe whnt a
comfort it Is to him. Every night and
morning he quietly says his prayers,
and many times ehch day the little
Bible Is Jn his hand. His smile is al
ways a brave as it is bright, and we
love him for his bonny disposition and
his wonderful courage."
Xakano's Home.
And then we wpnt to the Japanese
ward to see Nakano. A row of spotless
white beds lined either wall, but the
bed of the one "permanent boarder"
was easy to distinguish. Plants, birds
and pictures differentiated It from the
others, even If the boy's smiling face
was unlike those of his companions.
That little cot and the corner In which
It stands is Nakano's only home, and
he has tried to make It as cheerful and
bright as his own sunny nature. The
pictures, mostly .from the Sunday pa
pers Illustrate various victories in the
late Japanese war, and impartial in
American politics the families of
President Roosevelt and Alton B. Park
er, once a candidate. On a small stand
at the head of the bed were plants,
several Japanese books, a plate of
fruit sent In by some more favored
patient, and one half-faded carnation,
which he was fondly treasuring as his
only bouquet.
"How-do I Yessum I glad you come,"
he said with peculiar emphasis as I greet
ed him. When I asked him his first name
he was puzzled for a moment.
"My name It Nakano N. Nakano. That
N? Oh. he make' Naoichl that make
Jimmy like you talk. In Japanese Naoichl
Nakano, that's me."
Then we talked as best we could, and
ho told me of his dally life so little to
us who are well and can go out Into the
world so much to this fragment of what
would have been an Intelligent man had
not fate laid her strong white hand too
heavily upon him in his youth. Merest
Incidents mean much to him a wave of
friendly greeting from the little girl in
the children s ward, a "how de do. Naka
no, ' from the lady In the blueroom. a
loving pat on the head from a gentle sister
or a white-capped nurse even the grunt of
recognition from the cross man down the
hall all go to make up the sum and total
of his dally life. Of mornlngo Nakano gen
erally stays In bed, for the poor lame
back Is weak and he cannot tax its
strength too severely. He- Is awake early,
however, gets cleaned up for the day.
straightens,, up his table and helps trie
sister In charge of the ward a, m-?h
as ho can.' His two birds are never for
gotten, and he superintends their feeding
and care." One of those birds. Dick, was
given him by the sisters and the other
by Japanese, friends. He loves them both,
and joyfully anticipates "someday make
nests, someday have little birds" but 'It
Is doubtful If either Dick or Bob will nest
this Spring.
Afternoon Visiting:.
After the midday dinner Nakona Li
dressed and the steward helps him Into
his wheel chair, this a gift from friends
also. He bears the distinction of being
the only patient fti the hospital who own
his own chair, and he Is very proud of
If- A pitiful little figure he makes as
he sits- huddled up m his blankets, but
his happy fact and greeting makes ono
forget that he has no back to support
him and that he must forever be a help
less heap of humanity. It Is In the after
noon when he wheels himself up and
down the hall that the other patients get
a" glimpse of him and learn what forti
tude and humility mean; for If Nakano
with his heavy cross can smile and not
complain, why should they whose illness
Is of brief duration rail at fate?
"How-do! How-do! Oh, me pretty
well; how you?" Nakano Is kept busy
saying, as he wheels up and down tho
long hall. Sometimes a convalescent calls
him Into his room; others ask him to
stop at the door and chat. Those who are
able to-' exercise In. tho hall walk by his
chair and talk of things which will Inter.
eit him. One day last Winter, now al
most a year gone by. a kind-hearted wo
man who had been a resident of the third
floor several weeks, gave Nakano two
blooming plants as she was leaving- Ho
was delighted beyond measure at the fa;t
that the plants were both In bloom. ai:d
clasped them in his arms as a child docs
Its, fondest possession. He would not con
sent to have the nurse carry One of the
plants, but with one tucket! In either arm
he managed to wfreel his chair ba-k ta
the ward and show his new garden ta h.s
friends there. The other day the donor of
the plants called at the hospital and went
Into the Japanese ward to see Nakano.
"'Hdw-do I know you you gle me
flower." and he seemed just as grateful
ay the day she had presented the plants
and given him so much pleasure.
Universal Pet.
That Nakano Is the. pet of St. Vincent's
Hospital there is no doubt, for he is loved
by all the sisters, the nurses, attendants
and patients. There are busy times when
the little favors and attentions which go
to make up the bright spots in bis life are
necessarily neglected. " These are sad
tlnies for the boy. but he has no word of
complaint, no whys or wherefore arc de
manded. His fondness for.ithe slaters, who
are so kind and Indulgent to him, amounts
to little short of adoration; his apprecia
tion of everything that-Is done for him is
a lesson to us all- He has come to know
many Japanese who visit friends at the
hospital, and they all take an Interest In
him. During the war they brought their
home newspapers and he was enabled to
keep up with the progress of events in his
native country quite well.
"Do you think he would like to go back
to Japan?' I asked a sister.
"I think that would make him very
And when I asked Nakano thf same
question he laughed outright with jcy at
the Idea, apd looked at sister wun a
world 'ot; meaning in his shining brown
"Me go Japan?" he inquired credulous
ly then laughed nathetically, wltn tnQ
Joy all gone out, of It, but the brave
smile still on his face.
Joke Was on the Bishop.
Bishop Nlles, of New Hampshire, had a
singular experience while attending tho
recent Episcopal convention In Boston.
The bishop, who Is a very tall, heavy man,.
wa3 seated on one of the low, settees la j
thcPubllc Garden, and when ho started I
to get up found that he had great difficulty
In regaining his feet. Whilo In the midst
of his struggles a wee tot of a little girl 1
came, along and offered her assistance.
The bishop ceased trying to rise, and.
after surveying the little girl critically.
replied that sho was too small to help, j
The little girl persisted that she could i
help, but the bishop vas just as sure that
she could not. "Well." said the -little girl.
finally, "I've- helped grandpa lots of times
when he. was lots drunker" than you ara."