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Newspaper Page Text
let their ship leave without them,,
aqd thereafter danced attendance
"And she? Now she smiled
upon one, and now upon the
other, and then upon some other
man, some blackbirder or pearl
pdacher of iD repute.
"For the first week, Bellew and
Nelson always were together,
even when calling upon Luka, the,
"beautiful. But the friendship of
years melted under , the strain.
Before three weeks had passed
on Amakura, they avoided each
other noticeably wjth leprous,
ppisonous glances, while the
whole islahd laughed.
K ."So things were when the night
of the Fire Gdd's .dance drew
near You know of that--the,
wfld, pagan masque of revelry,
the betrothal night of the year,
when license reigns supreme, and
the- priests of fche Fire God whip
men into strange passions in the
great cave under the volcano.
"Ned Bellew and Duncan Nel
son went to that danced .And the
tprincess was there. I never saw
her look more wickedly lovely.
She was dressed in some stuff as
filmy and wonderful a sunlight.
Her eyes shone like twin stars of
great beauty. And She danced as
the nymphs must dance.
"It was a wild night, a night
when the heavens themselves,
and the earth beneath our feet,
leilt Jnemselves to tragedy.
"I remember yet how the wind
hqwled and moaned above the1
wild chorus of revelry from' the:
dance, and how the 'cave shook to
the awful rumbh'ngs of the vol
"There was tragedy in the ai
inside the cave, too. The prin
cess was possessed of the spirit of
the night. Now she danced with
Ned Bellew, nestling close to niin,
looking up into his face; inviting
love. Now she danced With Dun
can Nelson, and Woed him with
hef starry eyes.
"Inside the dahce grew wilder
and wilder. Outside the stdrm
rose higher, 'and eVer higher, un
til at midnight the roar of the
breakers on the shore had joined
with the uneasy rumblings of the
volcano in a great undertone to
the twanging strings, the hollow
drums of the mad imisicians.
"The painted priests qf the vol
cano were scattered through the
crowd, lashing the passions of the
men, urging the women on in the
wild dance that w.as dedicated to
the Fire God', and should have
been dedicated to tfie Devil hint
"And suddenly, 7.I, who Was
watching from the dim hack of
the cave Where toe priests made
their mysteries; missed Ned Bel
lew and Duncan Nelson. I felt
my heart sink Within me. When
two men loveas-theyjloved; and
hate as they hated, they leavf the
pf esehce of their love for one rea
"I went out into the rtightl The
roar of thd wind had risen to- a
high, shrieking note. Frayed
black clouds were racing across
a streaky, .gray and white sky.
Now the moon flooded the wild
sea and land in white, cold light;
now it was liidden behind some
cloud ,and all was dark save.