The Prince, still fully attired,
save that in place of his dress
coat he wore a loose smoking
jacket, stood at the windows
of his sitting room at Devenham
Castle, looking across the park.
In the somewhat fitful moonlight
the trees had taken to themselves
grotesque shapes. Away in the
distance the glimmer of the sea
shone like a thin belt of quicksilver.
The stable clock had struck two.
The whole place seemed at rest.
Only one light was gleaming from
a long low building which had
been added to the coach houses
of recent years for a motor garage.
That one light, the Prince knew,
was on his account. There his
chauffeur waited, untiring and
sleepless, with his car always
ready for that last rush to the
coast, the advisability of which
the Prince had considered more
than once during the last twenty-four
hours. The excitement of the
evening, the excitement of his
unwonted outburst, was still
troubling him. It was not often
that he had so far overstepped
the bounds which his natural
caution, his ever-present self-restraint,
imposed upon him. He paced restlessly
to and fro from the sitting room
to the bedroom and back again.
He had told the truth,--the bare,
simple truth. He had seen the
letters of fire in the sky, and
he had read them to these people
because of their kindness, because
of a certain affection which
he bore them. To them it must
have sounded like a man speaking
in a strange tongue. They had
not understood. Perhaps, even,
they would not believe in the
absolute sincerity of his motives.
Again he paused at the window
and looked over the park to that
narrow, glittering stretch of
sea. Why should he not for once
forget the traditions of his
race, the pride which kept him
there to face the end! There
was still time. The cruiser which
the emperor had sent was waiting
for him in Southampton Harbor.
In twenty-four hours he would
be in foreign waters. He thought
of these things earnestly, even
wistfully, and yet he knew that
he could not go. Perhaps they
would be glad of an opportunity
of getting rid of him now that
he had spoken his mind. In any
case, right was on their side.
The end, if it must come, was
He turned away from the window
with a little shrug of the shoulders.
Even as he did so, there came
a faint knocking at the door.
His servant had already retired.
For a moment it seemed to him
that it could mean but one thing.
While he hesitated, the handle
was softly turned and the door
opened. To his amazement, it
was Penelope who stood upon the
"Miss Morse!" he
She held out her hand as though
to bid him remain silent. For
several seconds she seemed to
be listening. Then very softly
she closed the door behind her.
"Miss Penelope," he cried softly, "you
must not come in here! Please!"
She ignored his outstretched
hand, advancing a little further
into the room. There was tragedy
in her white face. She seemed
to be shaking in every limb,
but not with nervousness. Directly
he looked into her eyes, he knew
very well that the thing was
close at hand!
"Listen!" she whispered. "I
had to come! You don't know what
is going on! For the last half
hour the telephone has been ringing
continuously. It is about you!
The Home Office has been ringing
up to speak to the Prime Minister.
The Chief Inspector of Scotland
Yard has been to see them. One
of their detectives has collected
evidence which justifies them
in issuing a warrant for your
"For my arrest," the
"Don't you understand?" she
continued breathlessly. "Don't
you see how horrible it is? They
mean to arrest you for the murder
of Hamilton Fynes and Dicky Vanderpole!"
"If this must be so," the Prince
answered, "why do they not come?
I am here."
"But you must not stay here!" she
exclaimed. "You must escape!
It is too terrible to think that
you should--oh, I can't say it!--that
you should have to face these
charges. If you are guilty, well,
Heaven help you!--If you are
guilty, I want you to escape
all the same!"
He looked at her with the puzzled
air of one who tries to reason
with a child.
"Dear Miss Penelope," he said, "This
is kind of you, but, after all,
remember that I am a man, and
I must not run away."
"But you cannot meet these
charges!" she interrupted. "You
cannot meet them! You know it!
Oh, don't think I can't appreciate
your point of view! If you killed
those men, you killed them to
obtain papers which you believed
were necessary for the welfare
of your country. Oh, it is not
I who judge you! You did not
do it, I know, for your own gain.
You did it because you are, heart
and soul, a patriot. But here,
alas! they do not understand.
Their whole standpoint is different.
They will judge you as they would
a common criminal. You must fly,--you
"Dear Miss Penelope," he said, "I
cannot do that! I cannot run
away like a thief in the dark.
If this thing is to come, it
"But you don't understand!" she
continued, wringing her hands. "You
think because you are a great
prince and a prince of a friendly
nation that the law will treat
you differently. It will not!
They have talked of it downstairs.
You are not formally attached
to any one in this country. You
are not even upon the staff of
the Embassy. You are here on
a private mission as a private
person, and there is no way in
which the Government can intervene,
even if it would. You are subject
to its laws and you have broken
them. For Heaven's sake, fly!
You have your motor car here.
Let your man drive you to Southampton
and get on board the Japanese
cruiser. You mustn't wait a single
moment. I believe that tomorrow
morning will be too late!"
He took her hands in his very
tenderly and yet with something
of reverence in his gesture.
He looked into her eyes and he
spoke very earnestly. Every word
seemed to come from his heart.
"Dear Miss Penelope," he said, "it
is very, very kind of you to
have come here and warned me.
Only you cannot quite understand
what this thing means to me.
Remember what I told you once.
Life and death to your people
in this country seem to be the
greatest things which the mind
of man can hold. It is not so
with us. We are brought up differently.
In a worthy cause a true Japanese
is ready to take death by the
hand at any moment. So it is
with me now. I have no regret.
Even if I had, even if life were
a garden of roses for me, what
is ordained must come. A little
sooner or a little later, it
makes no matter.
She sank on her knees before
"Can't you understand why I
am here?" she cried passionately. "It
was I who told of the silken
cord and knife!"
He was wholly unmoved. He even
smiled, as though the thing were
of no moment.
"It was right that you should
do so," he declared. "You must
not reproach yourself with that."
"But I do! I do!" she cried
again. "I always shall! Don't
you understand that if you stay
here they will treat you--"
He interrupted, laying his
hand gently upon her shoulder.
"Dear young lady," he said, "you
need never fear that I shall
wait for the touch of your men
of law. Death is too easily won
for that. If the end which you
have spoken of comes, there is
another way--another house of
rest which I can reach."
She rose slowly to her feet.
The absolute serenity of his
manner bespoke an impregnability
of purpose before which the words
died away on her lips. She realized
that she might as well plead
with the dead!
"You do not mind," he whispered, "if
I tell you that you must not
stay here any longer?"
He led her toward the door.
Upon the threshold he took her
cold fingers into his hand and
kissed them reverently.
"Do not be too despondent," he
said. "I have a star somewhere
which burns for me. Tonight I
have been looking for it. It
is there still," he added, pointing
to the wide open window. "It
is there, undimmed, clearer and
brighter than ever. I have no
She passed away without looking
up again. The Prince listened
to her footsteps dying away in
the corridor. Then he closed
the door, and, entering his bedroom,
undressed himself and slept .
When Prince Maiyo awoke on
the following morning, the sunshine
was streaming into the room,
and his grave-faced valet was
standing over his bed.
"His Highness' bath is ready," he
The Prince dressed quickly
and was first in the pleasant
morning room, with its open windows
leading on to the terrace. He
strolled outside and wandered
amongst the flower beds. Here
he was found, soon afterwards,
by the Duke's valet.
"Your Highness," the latter
said, "His Grace has sent me
to look for you. He would be
glad if you could spare him a
moment or two in the library."
The Prince followed the man
to the room where his host was
waiting for him. The Duke, with
his hands behind his back, was
pacing restlessly up and down
"Good morning, Duke," the Prince
said cheerfully. "Another of
your wonderful spring mornings.
Upon the terrace the sun is almost
hot. Soon I shall begin to fancy
that the perfume of your spring
flowers is the perfume of almond
and cherry blossom."
"Prince," the Duke said quietly, "I
have sent for you as your host.
I speak to you now unofficially,
as an Englishman to his guest.
I have been besieged through
the night, and even this morning,
with incomprehensible messages
which come to me from those who
administer the law in this country.
Prince, I want you to remember
that however effete you may find
us as a nation from your somewhat
romantic point of view, we have
at least realized the highest
ideals any nation has ever conceived
in the administration of the
law. Nobleman and pauper here
are judged alike. If their crime
is the same, their punishment
is the same. There is no man
in this country who is strong
enough to arrest the hand of
The Prince bowed.
"My dear Duke," he said, "it
has given me very much pleasure,
in the course of my investigations,
to realize the truth of what
you have just said. I agree with
you entirely. You could teach
us in Japan a great lesson on
the fearless administration of
the law. Now in some other countries--"
"Never mind those other countries," the
Duke interrupted gravely. "I
did not send for you to enter
into an academic discussion.
I want you clearly to understand
how I am placed, supposing a
distinguished member of my household--supposing
even you, Prince Maiyo--were
to come within the arm of the
law. Even the great claims of
hospitality would leave me powerless."
"This," the Prince admitted, "I
fully apprehend. It is surely
reasonable that the stranger
in your country should be subject
to your laws."
"Very well, then," the Duke
continued. "Listen to me, Prince.
This morning a London magistrate
will grant what is called a search
warrant which will enable the
police to search, from attic
to cellar, your house in St.
James' Square. An Inspector from
Scotland Yard will be there this
afternoon awaiting your return,
and he believes that he has witnesses
who will be able to identify
you as one who has broken the
laws of this country. I ask you
no questions. There is the telephone
on the table. My eighty-horse-power
Daimler is at the door and at
your service. I understand that
your cruiser in Southampton Harbor
is always under steam. If there
is anything more, in reason,
that I can do, you have only
to speak." The Prince shook his
"Duke," he said, "please
send away your car, unless
take me to London quicker than
my own. What I have done I have
done, and for what I have done
I will pay."
The Duke laid his hands upon
the young man's shoulders and
looked down into his face. The
Duke was over six feet high,
and broad in proportion. Before
him the Prince seemed almost
like a boy.
"Maiyo," he said, "we
have grown fond of you,--my
my daughter, all of us. We don't
want harm to come to you, but
there is the American Ambassador
watching all the time. Already
he more than half suspects. For
our sakes, Prince,--come, I will
say for the sake of those who
are grateful to you for your
candor and truthfulness, for
the lessons you have tried to
teach us,--make use of my car.
You will reach Southampton in
half an hour."
The Prince shook his head.
His lips had parted in what was
certainly a smile. At the corners
they quivered, a little tremulous.
"My dear friend," he said,
and his voice had softened almost
to affection, "you do not quite
understand. You look upon the
things which may come from your
point of view and not from mine.
Remember that, to your philosophy,
life itself is the greatest thing
born into the world. To us it
is the least. If you would do
me a service, please see that
I am able to start for London
in half an hour."