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native women who had been awaiting my departure rose and passed into the house toward the drawingroom with their wreaths, which I learned were daily offerings, and which left a waft of overpowering fragrance as they passed. There had been the utmost informality in the reception and in the conversation which followed, and the deposed Queen, in her severely plain gown of black and grey serge without a single ornament, still evinced in her speech and bearing much of her former state and dignity. She was an accomplished musician, fairly well read, and was at that time devoting a good many hours a day to the study of German. She lived in extreme simplicity, with the smallest practicable staff of servants, driving out regularly, going backwards and forwards from her town house to her villa on the seashore. She was apparently peaceable, and resigned to her fate; no one, except the closest of her confidants and advisers, knew that she was simply biding her time. The interview occasioned a good deal of comment and some amusement among the Americans and Europeans in Honolulu. I had certainly no wish to be impertinent or disrespectful, but I felt that the ex-Queen should be undeceived as to the position of the Rear-Admiral, whom she really respected and trusted, and I took it upon myself to tell her the truth. But my Hawaiian friends assured me that I should never make a courtier.
CHAPTER XVIII. THE CLOSE OF THE BLOUNT ADMINISTRATION.
URING the remainder of the time which Mr. Blount devoted to his official inquiry he saw very little of the people, except the natives, who had access to him at all times to the last. Those who were qualified to speak on behalf of the Provisional Government were still given the briefest and most reluctant hearing; there was no change in his partial and unfriendly attitude. His witnesses, as the Congressional investigation subsequently showed, were many of them disreputable fellows, entirely untrustworthy — one especial source of his information having been arrested and imprisoned in China for forging passports for coolie emigrants. An attempt had been made to prove that the Revolution was a conspiracy of the annexationists, who had perfected their plans in a series of meetings held secretly at the residence of the American Minister. When Congress finally succeeded in forcing Mr. Cleveland to submit Mr. Blount's report, which he refused to do as long as possible, and it
was published and sent back to Honolulu, one witness was made to retract this statement. He did so in one of the daily newspapers over his signature, saying that “he did not personally know that the charge was true, but he had been informed that it was by some one else” — rather shadowy evidence, one would conclude, to be incorporated into an official report of the gravest importance, not only to the Provisional Government of Hawaii, but to the Government of the United States. Having finished my work, and there being no indication that the Provisional Government was not perfectly stable and secure, I returned to Chicago to be present at the World's Fair, and to preside over the Women's Branch of the Press Congress, the first of a series of Congresses held in connection with the Exhibition. There was no news of any consequence from the Islands throughout the summer, and I was occupied with my professional and official duties. Mr. Blount had succeeded Mr. Stevens as American Minister, but by this time, having become emphatically persona non grata to the entire Hawaiian Government, he felt his position not only embarrassing but difficult, and asked to be relieved. He was succeeded by Mr. Albert S. Willis, of Louisville, a man of very different calibre. Mr. Willis was sent by the President with all professions of good-will to President Dole, who had no suspicion of his mission. When it was learned, steps were immediately taken
1894.1 MR. ALBERT S. WILLIS. 2I I
to resist the restoration of the Queen by force of arms, if necessary. Mr. Willis, being a man of far greater intelligence and prudence than Mr. Blount, saw that his instructions could not be carried out without bloodshed, and waited for further advice from the State Department in Washington before resorting to extremes. The plan of restoration was furiously opposed by the people of the United States, irrespective of politics, as un-American and undemocratic, and Mr. Cleveland, dogged and stubborn though he was, was forced to yield to public opinion. It is doubtful if there was ever a more ridiculous fiasco. The President of the United States was so absolutely certain that he would carry out what he had undertaken that he evidently notified France that it had been actually accomplished, and that government sent out a successor to its consul, who had asked permission to resign his office. When the successor arrived, he found himself accredited to a non-existent monarch, and his rage knew no bounds.
When the news of the Willis episode was received, I was ordered to return to Hawaii at once, and left Chicago January 2nd, arriving in Honolulu within a fortnight. We were detained in San Francisco several days waiting for the European mails, that had been belated by storms in the Atlantic. The Mid-Winter Fair, an after-thought of the Chicago Exposition, was in progress. Among the exhibitors was Harriet Hosmer, the sculptor, who contributed the fine model of her “Isabella” — a heroic figure intended for the World's Fair. She was occupied with putting the model in place; but we managed between times to have several outings and visits together. One incident of the week was a Spanish dinner, which was given in her honour at a Mexican restaurant, and which induced the first attack of seasickness I had ever had — for I sailed the next day. The dinner consisted of red pepper au naturel and in various disguises — chicken tomates, frijoles, and other unnameable things, with a variety of fiery wines. We felt in duty bound to taste a little of everything, and we repented at leisure—a leisure in my case necessarily and unduly extended. We landed in Honolulu under very different conditions from the year before. It was pouring down as if the fountains of the great deep were broken up. The first pilot who came out to meet us searched for hours without finding us, and we were forced to wait until it cleared somewhat before we could enter the harbour. At the quarantine we learned that the town had quieted down, and it was thought that the worst was over. My friends had not been notified of my return; so I drove to the hotel, which was crowded with naval officers and their wives, and I had assigned to me a very damp, earthy, cave-like room in the basement. The next day I was given an apartment on the second floor adjoining the kitchen, where I was wakened at four o'clock by a