Thien Tao



Things to Be Believed.

Six months passed by, and Juju, stirring in his sleep, remembered the duties of politeness, and asked for Kwaw.
"He is on your lordship's estate at Nikko," the servants hastened to reply, "and he has turned the whole place completely upside down. Millions of yen have been expended monthly; he has even mortgaged this very palace in which your lordship has been asleep; a body of madmen has seized the reins of government—"
"The Synagogue of Satan!" gasped the outraged Daimio.
"?And you are everywhere hailed as the Godfather of your country!"
"Do not tell me that the British war has ended disastrously for us!" and he called for the elaborate apparatus of hari-kari.
"On the contrary, my lord, the ridiculous Sa Mon, who would never go to sea because he was afraid of being sick, although his genius for naval strategy had no equal in the Seven Abysses of Water, after a month as stowaway on a fishing boat (by the order of Kwaw) assumed the rank of Admiral of the Fleet, and has inflicted a series of complete and crushing defeats upon the British Admirals, who though they had been on the water all their lives, had incomprehensibly omitted to acquire any truly accurate knowledge of the metaphysical systems of Sho Pi Naour and Ni Tchze.
"Again, Hu Li, the financial genius, who had hitherto been practically useless to his country on account of that ugliness and deformity which led him to shun the society of his fellows, was compelled by Kwaw to exhibit himself as a freak. A fortnight of this cured him of shyness; and within three months he has nearly doubled the revenue and halved the taxes. Your lordship has spent millions of yen; but is to-day a richer man than when your excellency went to sleep."
"I will go and see this Kwaw," said the Daimio. The servants then admitted that the Mikado in person had been waiting at the palace door for over three months, for the very purpose of begging permission to conduct him thither, but that he had been unwilling to disturb the sleep of the Godfather of his country.
Impossible to describe the affecting scene when these two magnanimous beings melted away (as it were) in each other's arms.
Arrived at the estate of Juju at Nikko, what wonder did these worthies express to see the simple means by which Kwaw had worked his miracles! In a glade of brilliant cherry and hibiscus (and any other beautiful trees you can think of) stood a plain building of stone, which after all had not cost millions of yen, but a very few thousands only. Its height was equal to its breadth, and its length was equal to the sum of these, while the sum of these three meas urements was precisely equal to ten times the age of Kwaw in units of the span of his hand. The walls were tremendously thick and there was only one door and two windows, all in the eye of the sunset. One cannot describe the inside of the building, because to do so would spoil all the fun for other people. It must be seen to be understood, in any case; and there it stands to this day, open to anybody who is strong enough to force in the door.
But when they asked for Kwaw, he was not to be found. He had left trained men to carry out the discipline and the initiations, these last being the chief purpose of the building, saying that he was homesick for the lions and lizards of Wei-Hai-Wei, and that anyway he hadn't enjoyed a decent swim for far too long.
There is unfortunately little room for doubt that the new and voracious species of sharks (which Japanese patriotism had spent such enormous sums in breeding) is responsible for the fact that he has never again been heard of.
The Mikado wept; but, brightening up, exclaimed: "Kwaw found us a confused and angry mob; he left us a diverse, yet harmonious, republic; while let us never forget that not only have we developed men of genius in every branch of practical life, but many among us have had our equilibrium crowned by that supreme glory of humanity, realization of our identity with the great and holy Tao."
Wherewith he set aside no less than three hundred and sixty-five days in every year, and one extra day every fourth year, as days of special rejoicing.

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