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About Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current | View Entire Issue (April 26, 1928)
HEPPNER GAZETTE TIMES, HEPPNER, OREGON, THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 1928.
1 BLUE SEA
STANLEY R. OSBORN
ILLUSTRATIONS BY KENRY JAY LEE
COPYJUOHT BY CHMTJW SCEIBNBRS 8QN8
WHAT HAPPENED BEFOBB
Palmyra Tree, aboard the yacht Rain
bow, discover a stowaway. She la dis
appointed in his mlid appearance and
tells him so. Obeying his command to
glance at the door, she sees a huge,
fierce, copper-hutd man with a ten inch
knife between his lips. The stowaway,
Burke, and the brown man, Olive, go
up sn deck and tell stories of adventure
which are not believed.
Palmyra decides she loves Van. The
night the engagement Is announced the
Rainbow hits a reef. John Thurston
rescues both Van and Palmyra but
Palmyra thinks Van saved her.
A sail Is sighted after three days on
an island. It is Ponape Burke, the stow
away! Burke abducts Palmyra. Burke
has to put her ashore on an island, as a
Japanese man-of-ww Is sighted and It
would be dangerous to have her aboard.
Olive swims to the island and Joins
Palmyra. She is in fear of the brown
man. Now read on
Olive and Palmyra swim to another
Island, from which Palmyra secretly
sends a note for aid. Burke's ship ap
proaches the Island.
Palmyra and Olive sail In a canoe,
evading both Ponape's ship and the
Japanese Gunboat Okayama, which has
her friends on It, Olive risks his life
to get water for Palmyra.
Ponape Burke makes desperate pur
suit of Olive and Palmyra, even open
ing Are on them. Now read on
Olive marched proudly up the
sands, the girl In his arms a dead
The rifle fire, as was to have been
expected, had brought the villagers
running from their thatches. Scar
cely had the brown man emerged
out of the sea than these Mlcron
eslans were swarming down. Excit
ed voices filled the air. "O-lee-vay
O-lee-vay O-lee-vay ! "
So this, then, was where he could
bring her; the home of his people,
the place of his own abode.
Here were people moving about;
brown men, yellow men, white men;
the last In white clothing and white
shoes, with white pith helmets pull
ed down over their noses to keep
out the glare of the white sand.
And here was even a white woman,
who popped her head out a window
like a cuckoo out of a clock.
And there, most astonishing of
all, not five feet away and as real
as life itself, stood John Thurston.
And he gazed at her sorrowfully
and said, In the strangest voice:
"Palm Tree! Oh, oh, Palm!"
It was not until fifteen hours af
ter the brown man had restored
Palmyra Tree to the world of the
living that she once more opened
her eyes. Then, in a half-waking
fright, Bho reared herself up with a
cry of "Olive!"
The nxt moment she found her
self in her mother's arms.
When she roused again, several
hours later, the Crawfords were at
the bedside with her mother and
Palmyra sat up abruptly with the
question: "Where have they got
Ponape Burke?" '
Tho four looked from one to an
At her first awakening the girl
had been told how the Okayama
had brought her people Into this
harbor on the search.
"You, you don't mean . . ." She
paused, Incredulous. "You don't
mean the gunboat was right here
when J came and didn't steam out
to catch him?"
She saw that this unbelievable
thing was true. Unexpectedly, she
sprang to her feet "Where's Olive?"
Her voice rang sharp, frightened.
But Olive himself was asleep.
Her father began to explain. "The
Pigeon of Noah Is an American
vessel. . . ,"
"And there's been so much fric
tion between Japan and America,"
Interjected the mother.
"And Commander Sakamoto was
sure if he seized the schooner on
the high seas it would get him into
the American papers wrong and
stir up more misunderstanding and
ill will . . ."
"So, my dear," finished Constance
Crawford, "you were sacrificed to
the ends of diplomacy. The Jap,
finding you safe, decided the lesser
evil was to let Burke escape."
"Dr. Crlfe's just had a long talk
with Olive," said Mrs. Crawford.
Dr. Crife of the mission was their
The elrl exclaimed in astonish'
ment. "He can, he can talk to him?
He can understand him?"
She seemed hardly to believe. So
utterly, with her, had the brown
man been beyond reach of words
It had seemed no one, with Ponape
Burke gone, could ever bridge that
gap between Babel s most diverse
"And to think," cried Constance,
"they got the letter all wrong. Made
us believe poor Olive, who was be
ing so wonderful, was a villain."
The color flooded Palmyra's
cheeks In tho Intensity of her Inter
est "But this particular pastor could
n't explain clearly," said the father,
"and the Jap, misled by your name,
didn't understand at all. What Olive
really writes Is to beseech, In Je
hovah's name, that whatever friends
get the latter hurry with arms and
many boats to a named island.
there to help him save . . ,"
"Dr. Crife says there's absolutely
no question about that word save',
put In Constance.
. . . "Help him save tho high
chief young lady Palmtree."
The girl settled back among her
pillows. Tears welled into her eyes,
"It was enough that I should have
wronged him," she said. "It is un
thinkable you all should have been
guilty of this crowning misconcep
She sh!ftcd.unoasily, lay for some
time In silence, gating through the
"If they hadn't bungled the let
ter," she said at last wearily,
should have been spared much. And
If you hadn't let Ponape Burke es
cape, I shouldn't now be in danger
At last Palmyra could talk to
Olive, . -
After all these days and years
and centuries of silence, they two,
by the intervention of Dr. Crife,
had been made articulate.
She learned that the brown man
served Ponape Burke in a debt of
gratitude; the saving of his life. He
had for this white rascal a sort of
love, but no sort of respect. Great
souls must, of their nature, suffer
petty tyranny. And Olive often,
according to his lights, regretting,
disapproving, always palliating
followed the despicable little Pon
ape. She learned that Olive had not
known Burke meant to abduct her.
And she found that in the begin
ning he had thought it, not an ab
duction, but an elopement
Only when the schooner got un
der way did he perceive that this
was no adventure of Palmyra s own
choice. Only when she did not soon
begin to smile through her tears as
many a native girl might have done,
did he realize how terrible the situ
Olive's first thought was that the
girl would feel safer with a weapon;
also that she might possibly need
one. As he dared not give her the
knife in daytime, he had dropped
it through the skylight
When the Japanese gunboat pass
ed them so cruelly by, Olive had
been as eager as she to attract at
tention. But he had known the dis
tance too great
As regarded Jaluit he had not
gone there because it was so ob
viously the place he should have
gone. Burke was sure to try that
This much Dr. Crife could read
Incarnate there before this Island
er's eyes on the Rainbow, she had
been not unlike a goddess; a being
as Indeed she was from another
world. A high white princess, call
ed for the stately life-giving palm
and crowned with hair of flame, she
had condescended to him with blan
kets when a brown creature was in
misery with that most terrible of
Olive 'was not in love with Palm
Tree. One does not consider one
self privileged to fall in love with
But from the deck at her feet.
intimately yet afar, he had gazed
up at her fascinated.
If Palmyra now knew how Olive
felt toward her, she was far from
knowing how she felt toward Olive.
And if her only difficulty with
Van Buren Rutger had been a re
luctance to give him pain, she J
found every difficulty with John
Van himself had made things
Returning to the mission at a late
hour the third night he had come
upon Olive prowling about with a
rifle. "Ponape is not dead," the
brown man had explained simply.
But that which others looked upon
as a touching manifestation of de
votion, Van chose to regard with
suspicion. "Sakamoto shall know of
this," was his comment
Palmyra had been so incensed
that, there and then, she had brok
en the engagement
Van s dismissal placed him in that
position wherein a weak man not
Infrequently lacks moral courage to
turn upon his real rival. He must
find an easier target for his resent
ment Thus Van, without In thei
least perceiving why, remained ami
able toward Thurston, but develop
ed an ugly spite against this man
of darker skin.
But if Palmyra had freed herself
of Van, she could not free herself
of that which withheld her from
Back there in the canoe, in her
moment of revelation, she had
yearned to meet him once more,
face to face, that she might tell him
the truth. But now that, astonish
ingly, she had awakened Into the
old life, she found herself quite
unready to step up to him with any
She willed to love John Thurston;
she did love John Thurston. But
between them was the brown man
Olive, and, leering from behind his
elbow, the face of Ponape Burke.
Concerning Olive she tried to jus
tify herself on the ground of grati
tude. Never had a girl more reason
to be grateful. Was it not natural
she should be 'eager to take him
presents, to sit in his house ques
tioning, to find herself hour by hour
more curious concerning him, morfe
interested In him than In any other
Oddly enought or rather, natur
ally enough It did not come to her
for some time to ask whether she
might be in love with this brown
man, Then the idea struck like an
unexpected blow. She was stunned.
At first she put the thought from
her In abhorrence. But In the still
hours of the night It came back
again and again. Could she indeed
be In love with Olive? Was It pos
sible for an American girl, under
any circumstances whatever, to fall
In love with a man of darker race?
She shuddered to think others
might believe this thing of her.
She avoided Olive, kept to her
room. She struggled to analyze her
emotions, to weigh them dispas
sionately. And, honestly striving,
she was at last able to say of her
self that, In no sense, could she be
accused of loving him.
Not for long did she find the an
swer. Then it came like release
from a prison cell. She was in love,
not with Olive himself, but with his
She wanted to love John for the
true manliness that was his. But
alas, those splendid qualities the
two possessed in common had come
to seem the personal qualities of
Olive alone. She remembered how
he had gone after the shark with
the knife . . . and conquered. . . .
The sun was less than an hour
high when Palmyra, as she had
done for several mornings now, de
scended the winding stairway hewn
in the hillside from the mission di
rect to the street of the town.
Island life was already astir.
The girl was addressed by an old
"Pleasy you," said this crone In
English, "you come for look for dee
ve'y fine Pingelap mat You like
too much for buy." t
She would have refused, but now
she caught a glimpse of Van ap
proaching. Several times he had
trapped her into painful Interviews.
But this morning she could use the
ancient dame, as a gaping listener,
to keep Van silent
"Where is your 'ouse?" the girl
The thatch toward which the
crone pointed stood conspicuously.
Immediately against one side was
the water and a small wharf of
coral fragments by which the traffic
of the town went to the anchorage.
As close on the inland side was the
road and, opposite, the trading es
tablishment of a white man and the
high concrete wall of the Japanese
police compound. The house was
quite by itself on the water side of
the highway, yet immediately In
the center of village life.
Van now came sauntering up and
Palmyra indicated this place.
'Come on," she invited. "My old
lady is taking me for look-see for
ve'y fine Pingey-something mat"
Several drops of rain fell.
Van agreed. "But there's a squall
coming," he said. "I'll run back
first for umbrellas."
As he turned away she hesitated,
unexpectedly afraid at being left
But as she moved forward a Jap
anese policeman, saluting benignly,
reassured her. And she saw every
step brought her nearer those two
representatives of the civil and the
moral law, which lay at anchor be
yond the wharf, the Okayama and
that Iju Ran which is the latest
perhaps the last, of the Morning
Stars in which the American mis
sionaries have carried the Word.
The old woman's house was not
only conspicuous in location but in
appearance. The thatches of this
island ware rectangular, sharp roof
ed, sided with woven tat narrow
doored. But this hut was oval and
open- vaguely the architecture of
The girl stooped to enter, then
drew back In one of those sudden
apprehensions that still beset her.
Who knew where Ponape . Burke
would strike? This house seemed
safe; might indeed be safer than
the mission. But yet . . .
She peered in; saw only three old
women. No one could be in hiding,
none approach without being seen.
Palmyra entered, advanced to
ward the central posts, glanced in
Suddenly, something dropped
past her eyes, and the three old
women hurled themselves at her.
So unexpected the attack from
such as these, in an open shed such
as this, at almost the settlement's
busiest and most public spot, that
the girl was caught unready. And
before she could move a muscle,
cry out, her throat was compressed
a terrible, choking pressure. She
fought for breath. Then, her arms
pinioned, came relief and a fierce
warning: "No 'peakey, no 'peakey!"
At the moment of the onfall her
guide, still behind her, had dropped
round her throat a fibre loop, a
brutal tourniquet with which she
could, instantly, be strangled into
silence or death.
The women, fearing Van might
soon arrive, prepared to take their
prisoner immediately away.
At first Palmyra thought this
But now she made a discovery.
Though the thatch was so notor
iously to the forefront as to seem
above suspicion, the high wall of
the police compound ended directly
opposite, and turned inland, leaving
between it and the blank wall of
the trader's a three-foot lane.. This
path, she recollected being told, ran
back for half a mile, a mere pass
ageway between the wall and the
mangrove swamp upon which she
had looked down from her mission
And the mouth of that hidden
path was no more than twenty feet
Until an alarm had been given
the people would be unsuspicious.
The French trader across the way
had locked up his place and gone
out to breakfast The native pass
ersby were coming in detached
groups. Palmyra's captors need
wait only until no one was near.
Then, closing round her, they could
whisk her across, screening her
with one or two of the ever-present
umbrellas, raised either against a
shower or the equatorial sun.
But almost at the moment of the
sortie there came an interruption.
One of the old women, stooping
down to glance out, discovered the
girl's father and mother and Con
stance Crawford approaching al
ready close. Panic ensued. If her
captors had not been d-mgerous be
fore, they certainly were now.
The prisoner would have scream
ed. Unconsciously, she extended
her lungs to tiki- in the neefssary
air. But on the second, that fibre
cord cut deep into her flesh.
Gasping, she was thrust under
the mosquito net; thrown flat head
on bamboo pillow. Two of tho hags
followed her on either side. These
snatched off her hat and veil, threw
over her a covering.
Meaiswnilp the crone who had
lured her here had taken a machete
and stated herself on the patch of
grass before the house.
Within the house, Palmyra's two
guardicnn had begun a low-voiced
singing. She perceived herself as a
sick woman. These two kindly old
souls sat inside the net to comfort
her, while, before the hut a third
waited ready to answer solicitous
Inquiry. And any commotion of
struggle which might catch (ht
transient eye would be taken for a
round of that massage which is the
Her captors had taken impish
advantage of that trait in human
nature which causes man never
really to look at a thing In plain
She was intensely alert At the
slightest opportunity she meant to
scream, ot fight Since her escape
from Burke she herself had carried
a small automatic pistol. At the
first chance she d use It
Now, however, she saw Van Bur-
en Rutger approaching, and sank
back again. The others had not
known. Van did know.
But just as the trio had strolled
away the newcomer almost reached
the house, here, unexpectedly, was
the man Martin. He ran up to
Van. Excitedly he spoke.
'Say, mister. . . Your lady friend.
That red-headed girl."
Van drew back stiffly. "Miss Tree
is in the house," he said.
Martin was vehement No, that
she wasn't! Outlaw natives had
her. Hurrying her away.
Van stared, -incdedulous, yet
'I got it straight," cried Martin.
"There's twenty of 'em or more all
with guns. And they're running her
for the Pueliko Rocks."
The Rocks were a noticeable for
mation not far inland. '
All Van's suspicions of the brown
man burst forth in the one cry:
Palmyra, seeing, hearing, burned
The stranger now took the ini
tiative. "I'll warn the Japs," he
said. "You run for the mission. Re
memberthe Pueliko Rocks."
But at this moment here came
John Thurston. He was jumping up
to the wharf from a boat At sight
of him Van's face lighted with re
Instantly Thurston began to
throw off his white coat
"I tell you," Van affirmed shrilly,
she's in )o- e with the damned kan
aka and he, he's got her."
(Continued next week.)
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