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Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

The Heart of Hyacinth, an electronic edition

by Onoto Watanna [Watanna, Onoto, 1879-1954]

date: 1903
source publisher: Harper & Brothers
collection: Genre Fiction

Table of Contents

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"YAMASHIRO YOSHIDA will not marry me. He has cast me off," Hyacinth told Aoi.

"And to-night," said Aoi, helplessly, "the father will arrive."

The girl pressed her hands tightly together. Aoi laid a timid, comforting hand upon her shoulder.

"Little one," she said, in a pleading voice, "pray thee to take cheer. It is your duty to go to your father. You have not forgotten all I have taught you. Filial submission to the parent is the most important of all."

"And have I not always shown such respect and devotion to you, dear mother?"

"To me? Ah, yes, little one, and I | | 178 page image : 178 THE HEART OF HYACINTH would that I were, indeed, your own mother."

"You are, you are," cried the girl, crushing down the sob that rose in her throat, and then dashing her hand against her eyes. "Ah," she cried, "this is not time to weep. We must think--must think of some way. Yamashiro has failed us. Ah! Who could have expected else? They were always despicable."

"Try and follow my counsel," said Aoi; "accept the inevitable. The father is coming; he is your rightful guardian. Bow to his will and give him what affection you can."

"I can give him not one grain of affection," said the girl, bitterly. "Did he not cast off my mother for that other woman? Ah, I have heard all the story. What I could not understand that first day I have learned since, and you also. Did you not tell me that my mother died shuddering at his memory?"

Aoi sighed helplessly. The girl threw | | 179 page image : 179 THE HEART OF HYACINTH herself down on the floor, and, resting her chin upon her hand, stared out before her at the street without. There had been a little rain, and the bamboo trees across the street were shining with the drops which had not yet dried upon them.

Looking down the street, she could see the dim outline of the country beyond, the cloud-shaped mountains, the sheen of the water beneath. She turned back to Aoi, who had silently seated herself beside her.

"Mother," she said, "I am going away alone."

"Alone! Ah, you make my heart stand still with fear."

"Listen. All Matsushima is known to me, and the priests at the temple are kind and love me. If I need food they will give it to me. Do they not feed even the birds which alight upon their temples?"

"Oh, child, I cannot think what it is you contemplate."

| | 180 page image : 180 THE HEART OF HYACINTH

"I will not leave our Japan," she cried, passionately. "It is the only home I have known."

"But what can you do?"

"I will hide," said the girl.

"Ah, alas, you could not, for these foreigners are everywhere here. They would find you."

"Yet there are places among the tombs of Date of which they know naught. Koma and I alone knew of them, and the good priest of the temple Zuiganjii. There is one place--but I will not tell even you."

Aoi wrung her hands.

"Oh, daughter, they will seek everywhere for you till they find you. You do not know the stubborn nature of these people."

"Ah, but I do, my mother, for that nature is in me, too. If they seek stubbornly, I, too, can hide as well."

Arising, she stood moment, looking down thoughtfully upon Aoi.

"To-night," she said, "they will come. | | 181 page image : 181 THE HEART OF HYACINTH There is little time to lose. When they ask for me, you will say, 'She feared to gaze upon the augustness of her parent, and so fled.' When they ask you, 'Where fled?' you will say, `Only the gods know whither.'"

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