chapter  15
An Attempt at Interpretation
Pages 18

Mitchell McDonald was the really catastrophic loss when he was ordered to service in the Philippines at this time. The reopening of relations with Elizabeth Bisland/Wetmore could, therefore, not have come at a better time. She wrote, reproaching him for his silence, and he replied in January 1900. His tone was coyly sentimental but lacking the real affection of his letters to McDonald. He replied to her charge of indifference by pointing out that he had her picture - together with that of McDonald - on his study wall, ' .. . the shadow of a

beautiful and wonderful person, whom I knew long ago .. .' He was anxious that she take an interest in Kazuo so that she could advise about him later on. The two younger sons were 'all Japanese' and sturdy and Lafcadio was therefore not anxious about their future; but Kazuo was' ... altogether of another race - with brown hair and eyes of the fairy colour' and ' ... a queer little Irish accent'. 4 He continued to brood on it in correspondence with Wetmore over the next few years, at the same time touching all the old bases - that she was a fairy, capable of assuming myriad magical shapes, and so on - using the language in which he had previously expressed distrust of her to other friends, but now shaped into compliments. The practical point was to ask if she could play the 'fairy god-sister' in helping him educate Kazuo abroad and find him 'some easy situation in America,.5