1. Mrs. Wilson Woodrow: Jam. A Simian Sonata by Baroness von Buttin
2. Mrs. Wilson Woodrow: The Monkey's Point of View Life
Jam. A Simian Sonata
Heliotrope, royal purple heliotrope everywhere. A white, dusty road; southern skies; and Jam -- Jam with her monkey on her shoulder.
Pew could tell them apart. They looked like twins. From the moment one gazed at Jam, one knew that she was destined for a tragic history. All of her relatives and friends had sunset-hued pasts, and the aim of Jam's existence was to acquire one also. From childhood she had wandered among Dukes and Duchesses, Prinzessin and Altessin, Queens of Tragedy and Opera Singers, all of whom had Tyrian-dyed backgrounds. The monkey was the one sweet, simple thing in the girl's life.
Once Gemma Ravellings sent for her. The great actress wore a tumbled, linen gown, and her wig was canted over her dyed eyebrows. Deep lines were graven in her sallow, worn face, and her hollow eyes flamed in their sockets.
"Jam," she said, dropping several octaves in order to get the proper tragic depth to the golden voice which had thrilled Europe, "Jam, you owe much to one person."
Jam looked questioningly at the monkey.
"No, not the monkey," Ravellings dropped her voice a few more staves; "but the man you are going to love. When he comes, he will have a right not only to your future, but to your past."
Bending above the girl and the monkey, the actress straightened her wig with one thrilling gesture, and lifting her voice from the ground, murmured "Addio!"
Jam rushed from the room. Under the stars she stood in a lonely corner of the garden, the monkey gibbering softly in her ear, "The man I am going to love," she repeated, -- And, ah, the misty pathos of her eyes! -- "He will want my past, and I have none!"
Accompanied only by "Silly," her maid, and the monkey, Jam set out in search of a "past" and the man she was to love. Sometimes she stopped with her grandfather, Lord Nolands, who had a past like a Persian rug; and sometimes she tarried with her father and mother, whose pasts shone like the Field of the Cloth of Gold; and again she would remain with her father's wife, who had a pink and white present, and always spoke of her past as "my misfortune."
And then at last Jam met HIM, James Wheels. He was but a plain M.P.; but possessed of an ambition which was worse than the toothache. Jam hiccoughed involuntarily when she saw him, and by this token she knew that love had come to her. The monkey, too, was strangely, sadly agitated. He tore out a few handfuls of Jam's hair, and gibbered feverishly. Wheels was engaged to the beautiful daughter of a Duchess; yet, nevertheless, he asked Jam to marry him. But she always refused. Like Elbert Hubbard, she believed that love should be free; and, if she married, she could not give him a polka-dotted, rainbow-striped past.
Jam had hurled a white satin slipper after her father and mother, who had just been married, and now she was running through the ilex grove, her bathing dress fluttering in the wind. It was thus that James Wheels came upon her.
"We are here, Jam," he said gently; "you and I, the monkey, the moon and the nightingale!"
In a sudden accession of maidenly shyness, Jam swung the monkey to and fro by the tail.
Then James Wheels kissed her. It was very, very difficult to kiss Jam; the monkey kept intruding his face, and in the dusky, jasmine-scented night, it was impossible to tell which was which.
Jam's grandfather died, and left her penniless. Her father and mother sailed for the ends of the earth, and carelessly forgot all about her. Then, James Wheels came to her, and besought her to fly with him.
"I am going to South Africa," he said, "and I am going to marry the daughter of the Duchess in a day or two. But she refuses the ordeal of a seasick wedding journey. Therefore, if you will go with me instead, I shall be able to give you the past you crave."
"No," she replied with a sad wistfulness, her eyes more strangely, tragically like the monkey's than ever, "no, I have always been so used to the people with pasts that I thought I wanted one too; but it would really be too tiresomely commonplace. I have discovered that some of those glittering, varicolored pasts don't launder, and are apt to be expensive. Good-bye."
"Jam!" He could not see her through a mist of tears. So, thinking it her hand, he wrung the monkey's paw until the little beast howled.
He saw her a few hours later at the train. The monkey wore a scarlet dress, and a little scarlet fez. With the addition of a hand-organ strapped on her back, Jam wore the same. A great sadness lay in the eyes of both.
Wheels could not speak. "Good-bye," said Jam. "The monkey and I are going out in search of respectability. We are so bored with the dead, flat level of unconventionality."
The man looked at her with his soul in his eyes. The monkey and she were so startlingly alike. In his great reverence for her, he feared to take her hand; it might be the monkey's, and it sometimes scratched. He longed to press his lips to hers; but dared not. He might kiss the monkey, and it frequently bit. So he merely stood gazing mutely at them, as the train bore them swiftly away, the monkey's face close against Jam's.
Ah, kind heaven, if he could but have told them apart!
A naturalist once came upon an Ourang-Outang while the latter was taking his siesta under a banyan tree in a forest. The Naturalist viewed him for a time in silence and then apostrophized him as he might had little Harold been present.
The Monkey's Point of View
"Base brute, thou liest there with no thought beyond the gratification of thy instincts! And yet scientists tell us, that man, the noblest work of God, has evolved from such as thee. Insensate animal! Thou hast never had the glorious privilege of eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil."
"Pardon me!" said the Ourang-Outang, awakening suddenly from slumber, "I've had a few nibbles. Several years ago, a Scientist visited our wood, and he and I became quite chummy. He was always urging me to evolve and contended that it was quite an easy job. All I had to do, he said, was to strike fire with flint, make some stone implements and mud pottery, and haul off my neighbor's wife, thus establishing the sacred institution of the Family; but I have a strain of caution in my blood, and, as you see, I have rather a tidy berth here, so I demurred at the idea of exerting myself so tremendously for the doubtful good of obtaining something he called 'Progress.'
"Well, the more I hung back, the more the Scientist urged and coaxed; so we finally decided that if he would pay all the expenses, I would take a trip around the world with him and study various phases of civilization, and then, if I thought the game worth the candle, I would evolve for him while he waited.
"I assure you, I never was so fagged in my life. He hauled me over land and sea and showed me pleasures and palaces, steam yachts and automobiles, libraries and pictures; wine, women and song; in a word, the kingdoms of earth.
"When I had seen them all, I said, '"Get thee behind me, Satan." This splendid civilization is a masterpiece, but a masterpiece of fools. Half of the civilized toil that the other half may play various silly games that they call Society, Power and Fame.'"
"What did he reply to this? " asked the Naturalist.
"He had no time to make reply," answered the Ourang-Outang. "Knowing him as well as I did, I was quite sure that he would convert the entire Bander-log people to his views and have all the monkeys in the country doing various stunts in their frantic efforts to evolve; so I simply cracked his head open with a cocoanut and disposed of the question without further argument."
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