In the Clutch of the War-God

Milo M. Hastings

In the Clutch of the War-God

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Title: In the Clutch of the War-God
Author: Milo Hastings
Release Date: September 26, 2004 [EBook #13526]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Roger Taft, grandson of the author, and Jim Tinsley.

In the Clutch of the War-God
In three parts, from Physical Culture magazine, July - September, 1911.

In the Clutch of the War-God
By Milo Hastings

FOREWORD: In this strange story of another day, the author has "dipped into the future" and viewed with his mind's eye the ultimate effect of America's self-satisfied complacency, and her persistent refusal to heed the lessons of Oriental progress. I can safely promise the reader who takes up this unique recital of the twentieth century warfare, that his interest will be sustained to the very end by the interesting deductions and the keen insight into the possibilities of the present trend of international affairs exhibited by the author.--Bernarr Macfadden.

"Kindly be prepared to absent yourself at a moment's notice." It was Goyu speaking, blundering, old fool. He was standing in the doorway with his kitchen-apron on, and an iron spoon in his hand.
"What on earth is the matter?" asked Ethel Calvert, tossing aside her French novel in alarm, for such a lack of deference in Goyu meant vastly more than appeared upon the surface.
"I am informed," replied Goyu, gravely, "that there has been an anti-foreign riot and that many are killed."
"And father?" gasped Ethel.
"He was upon the grain boat," said Goyu.
"But where is he now?"
"I do not know," returned Goyu, locking nervously over his shoulder. "But I fear he has not fared well--the boat was dynamited--that's what started the trouble."
With a gasp Ethel recalled that an hour before she had heard an explosion which she had supposed to be blasting. Faint with fear, she staggered toward a couch and fell forward upon the cushions.
* * *
When the girl regained consciousness the house was dark. Slowly she recalled the event that had culminated the uneventful day. She wondered if Goyu had been lying or had gone crazy. The darkness was not reassuring--her father always came home before dark, and his absence now confirmed her fears. She wondered if the old servant had deserted her. He was a poor stick anyway; Japanese men who had pride or character no longer worked as domestics in the households of foreigners.
Ethel Calvert was the daughter of an American grain merchant who represented the interests of the North American Grain Exporters Association at the seaport of Otaru, in Hokaidi, the North Island of Japan. Three years before her mother had died of homesickness and a broken heart--although the Japanese physician had called it tuberculosis, and had prescribed life in a tent! Had they not suffered discomforts enough in that barbarous country without adding insult to injury?
Ethel was bountifully possessed of the qualities of hothouse beauty. Her jet black hair hung over the snowy skin of her temples in striking contrast. Her form was of a delicate slenderness and her movement easy and graceful with just a little of that languid listlessness considered as a mark of well-bred femininity. She knew that she was beautiful according to the standards of her own people and her isolation from the swirl of the world's social life was to her gall and wormwood.
The Calverts had never really "settled" in Japan, but had merely remained there as homesick Americans indifferent to, or unjustly prejudiced against the Japanese life about them. Now, in the year 1958, the growing anti-foreign feeling among the Japanese had added to their isolation. Moreover, the Japanese bore the grain merchant an especial dislike, for every patriotic Japanese was sore at heart over the fact that, after a century of modern progress, Japan was still forced to depend upon foreigners to supplement their food supply.
In fact, they had oft heard Professor Oshima grieve over the statistics of grain importation, as a speculator might mourn his personal losses in the stock market.
* * *
For a time Ethel lay still and listened to the faint sound of voices from a neighboring porch. Then the growing horror of the situation came over her with anewed force; if her father was dead, she was not only alone in the world, but stranded in a foreign and an unfriendly country; for there were but few Americans left in the
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