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Braley, Berton (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. II, No. 5 (February 1905)

Underwood, Walter Scott
"For the sake of the Jap",   pp. 180-182


Page 180


THE WISCoNSN LITERARY MAGAZINE.
       "FOR THE SAKE OF THE JAP"
                  By Walter Scott Underwood
  In this paper I shall set down simply the facts of a most
strange phenomon which recently came to my notice, and I
shall leave all guessing as to its origin and nature to the
reader. For in this age of conflict between the materialist
and the metaphysician, one must indeed have courage to
venture an off-hand explanation of what may seem super-
natural.
  Entering a little late, this last fall, I was unable to secure
the room I had hoped for, and was obliged to content myself
with a small, poorly furnished one, in a student boarding-
house. That this room had one window, one door and no
closet, I perceived at once, when my landlady showed it to
me. The especial deficiencies of the furniture appeared in
due course of time, and in ways not always pleasing. But
one subject in particular attracted my attention at this first
look, and I ask you to note it carefully, for on it seems to de-
pend the phenomonon I am going to relate. It was a colored
half-length picture of a Japanese girl, struck in a dilapidated
and very American little gilt frame, and hung directly across
the room from the bed. When I asked my landlady about
it, she looked at the picture a moment, and said she guessed
it must have belonged to a Japanese student who had had
this room the year before. "Kiomi," his name was, she
added. He had left suddenly in the middle of the second
semester, and had forgotten several things. For all she
cared, I could take the picture down.
For one reason or another, though, I left the little picture
up. I do not think it was on any ground of superstition.
Certainly if any one had accused me of superstition, I should
have taken the foolish little thing down at once. But when
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