The Black-Bearded Barbarian (George Leslie Mackay)
by Mary Esther Miller MacGregor, AKA Marion Keith
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The first case was one of theft. Whether the man had really committed the crime or not was a question freely discussed among the onlookers around Mackay. But there seemed no doubt as to his punishment being swift and heavy. "He has not paid the mandarin," a friend explained to the missionary. "He will be punished."

"The mandarin eats cash," remarked another with a shrug. It was a saying to which Mackay had become accustomed. For it was one of the shameless proverbs of poor, oppressed Formosa.

The case was soon finished. Nothing was definitely proven against the man. But the mandarin pronounced the sentence of death. The victim was hurried out, shrieking his innocence, and praying for mercy. Case followed case, each one becoming more revolting than the last to the eyes of the young man accustomed to British justice. Imprisonment and torture were meted out to prisoners, and even witnesses were laid hold of and beaten on the face by the executioners if their tale did not suit the mandarin. Men who were plainly guilty but Who had given their judge a liberal bribe were let off, while innocent men were made to pay heavy fines or were thrown into prison. The young missionary went out and on his way sickened by the sights he had witnessed. And as he went, he raised his eyes to heaven and prayed fervently that he might be a faithful preacher of the gospel, and that one day Formosa would be a Christian land and injustice and oppression be done away.

The next scene was a happier one. There was an earnest little band of Christians in Go-ko-khi, and two of the young people were about to be married. It was the first Christian marriage in the place and Kai Bok-su was called upon to officiate. There was a great deal of opposition raised among the heathen, but after seeing the ceremony, they all voted a Christian wedding everything that was beautiful and good.


When they returned from their trip, Mackay and A Hoa with the assistance of some of their Christian friends set about looking for a new house in a more wholesome district. It was much easier for the missionary to rent a place now, and he managed to secure a comfortable home upon the bluff above the town. It was a dryer situation and much more healthful. Here one room was used as a study and every morning when not away on a tour a party of young men gathered in it for lessons. Sometimes, what with traveling, preaching, training his students, visiting the sick, and pulling teeth, Mackay had scarcely time to eat, and very little to sleep. But always as he came and went on his travels, his eyes would wander to the mountains where the savages lived, and with all his heart he would wish that he might visit them also.

His Chinese friends held up their hands in dismay when he broached the subject. To the mountains where the Chhi-hoan lived! Did Kai Bok-su not know that every man of them was a practised head-hunter, and that behind every rock and tree and in the darkness of the forests they lay in wait for any one who went beyond the settled districts? Yes, Kai Bok-su knew all that, but he could not quite explain that it was just that which made the thought of a visit to them seem so alluring, just that which made him so anxious to tell them of Jesus Christ, who wished all men to live as brothers. A Hoa and a few others who had caught the spirit of the true soldier of the cross understood. For they had learned that one who follows Jesus must be ready to dare anything, death included, to carry The news of his salvation to the dark corners of the world.

But the days were so filled with preaching, teaching, and touring, that for some time Mackay had no opportunity for a trip into the head-hunters' territory. And then one day, quite unexpectedly, his chance came. There sailed into Tamsui harbor, one hot afternoon, a British man-of-war, named The Dwarf. Captain Bax from this vessel visited Tamsui, and expressed a desire to see something of the life of the savages in the mountains. This was Mackay's opportunity, and in spite of protests from his friends he offered to accompany the captain. So together they started off, the sailor-soldier of England and the soldier of the cross, each with the same place in view but each with a very different object.

It took three days journey from Tamsui across rice-fields and up hillsides to reach even the foot of the mountains. Here there lived a village of natives, closely related to the savages. But they were not given to head-hunting and were quite friendly with the people about them. Mackay had met some of these people on a former trip inland, and now he and Captain Bax hired their chief and a party of his men to guide them up into savage territory.

The travelers slept that night in the village, and before dawn were up and ready to start on their dangerous undertaking. Before them in the gray dawn rose hill upon hill, each loftier than the last, till they melted into the mountains, the territory of the dreaded head-hunters. They started off on a steady tramp, up hills, down valleys, and across streams, until at last they came to the foot of the first mountain.

Before them rose its sheer side, towering thirty-five hundred feet above their heads. It was literally covered with rank growth of all kinds, through which it was impossible to move. So a plan of march had to be decided upon. In front went a line of men with long sharp knives. With these they cut away the creepers and tangled scrub or undergrowth. Next came the coolies with the baggage, and last the two travelers. It was slow work, and sometimes the climb was so steep they held their breath, as they crept over a sheer ledge and saw the depth below to which they might easily be hurled. The chief of the guides himself collapsed in one terrible climb, and his men tied rattan ropes about him and hauled him up over the steepest places.

During this wearisome ascent the most untiring one was the missionary; and the sailor often looked at him in amazement. His lithe, wiry frame never seemed to grow weary. He was often in the advance line, cutting his way through the tangle, and here on that first afternoon he met with an unpleasant adventure.

The natives had warned the two strangers to be on the lookout for poisonous snakes, and Mackay's year in Formosa had taught him to be wary. But he had forgotten all danger in the toilsome climb. He was soon reminded of it. They were passing up a slope covered with long dense grass when a rustling at his side made the young missionary pause. The next moment a huge cobra sprang out from a clump of grass and struck at him. Mackay sprang aside just in time to escape its deadly fangs. The guides rushed up with their spears only to see its horrible scaly length disappear in the long grass.

That was not the only escape of the young adventurer, for there were wild animals as well as poisonous snakes along the line of march, and the man in the front was always in danger. But at the front Mackay must be in spite of all warning. Nobody moved fast enough for him.

At last they reached the summit of the range. They were now on the dividing line between Chinese ground and savage territory, and the men who dared go a step farther went at terrible risk. The head-hunters would very likely see that they did not return.

But Mackay was all for pushing forward, and Captain Bax was no less eager. So they spent a night in the forest and the next day marched on up another and higher range. As they journeyed, the travelers could not but burst into exclamations of delight at the loveliness about them. Behind those great trees and in those tangles of vines might lurk the head-hunters, but for all that the beauty of the place made them forget the dangers. The great banyan trees whose branches came down and took root in the earth, making a wonderful round leafy tent, grew on every side. Camphor trees towered far above them and then spread out great branches sixty or seventy feet from the ground. Then there was the rattan creeping out over the tops of the other trees and making a thick canopy through which the hot tropical sun-rays could not penetrate.

And the flowers! Sometimes Mackay and Bax would stand amazed at their beauty. They came one afternoon to an open glade in the cool green dimness of the forest. On all sides the stately tree-ferns rose up thirty or forty feet above them, and underneath grew a tangle of lovely green undergrowth.

And upon this green carpet it seemed to their dazzled eyes that thousands of butterflies of the loveliest form and color had just alighted. And not only butterflies, but birds and huge insects and all sorts of winged creatures, pink and gold and green and scarlet and blue, and all variegated hues. But the lovely things sat motionless, sending out such a delightful perfume that there could be no doubt that they were flowers,—the wonderful orchids of Formosa! Mackay was a keen scientist, always highly interested in botany, and he was charmed with this sight. There were many such in the forest, and often he would stop spellbound before a blaze of flowers hanging from tree or vine or shrub. Then he would look up at the tangled growths of the bamboo, the palm, and the elegant tree-fern, standing there all silent and beautiful, and he would be struck by the harmony between God's work and Word. "I can't keep from studying the flora of Formosa," he said to Captain Bax. "What missionary would not be a better man, the bearer of a richer gospel, what convert would not be a more enduring Christian from becoming acquainted with such wonderful works of the Creator?"

At last they stood on the summit of the second range and saw before them still more mountains, clothed from summit to base with trees. They were now right in savage territory and their guide clambered out upon a spur of rock and announced that there was a party of head-hunters in the valley below. He gave a long halloo. From away down in the valley came an answering call, ringing through the forest. Then far down through the thicket Mackay's sharp eyes descried the party coming up to meet them. Just then their own guide gave the signal to move on, and the missionary and Captain Bax walked down the hill—the first white men who had ever come out to meet those savages.

Half-way down the slope the two parties came face to face. The head-hunters were a wild, uncouth-looking company, armed to the teeth. They all carried guns, spears, and knives and some had also bows and arrows slung over their backs. Their faces were hideously tattooed in a regular pattern, while they wore no more clothes than were necessary. A sort of sack of coarse linen with holes in the sides for their arms, served as the chief garment, and generally the only one. Every one wore a broad belt of woven rattan in which was stuck his crooked pointed knife. Some of the younger men had their coats ornamented with bright red and blue threads woven into the texture. They had brass rings on their arms and legs too, and even sported big earrings. These were ugly looking things made of bamboo sticks. The head-hunters were all barefooted, but most of them wore caps—queer-looking things, made of rattan. From many of them hung bits of skin of the boar or other wild animals they had killed. They stood staring suspiciously at the two strangers. Never before had they seen a white man, and the appearance of the naval officer and the missionary, so different from themselves, and yet so different from their hated enemies, the Chinese, filled them with amazement and a good deal of suspicion. After a little talk with the guides, however, the visitors were allowed to pass on. As soon as they began to move, the savages fell into line behind them and followed closely. The two white men, walking calmly onward, could not help thinking how easy it would be for one of those fierce-looking tattooed braves to win applause by springing upon both of them and carrying their heads in triumph to the next village.

As they came down farther into the valley, they passed the place where the savages had their camp. Here naked children and tattooed women crept out of the dense woods to stare at the queer-looking Chinamen who had white faces and wore no cue.

The march through this valley, even without the head-hunters at their heels, would not have been easy. The visitors clambered over huge trunks blown across the path, and tore their clothes and hands scrambling through the thorny bushes. The sun was still shining on the mountain-peaks far above them, but away down here in the valley it was rapidly growing dark and very cold. They had almost decided to stop and wait for morning when a light ahead encouraged them to go on. They soon came upon a big camp-fire and round it were squatted several hundred savages. The firelight gleaming upon the dark, fierce faces of the head-hunters and on their spears and knives, made a startling picture.

They were round the visitors immediately, staring at the two white men in amazement. The party of savages who had escorted them seemed to be making some explanation of their appearance, for they all subsided at last and once more sat round their fire.

The newcomers started a fire of their own, and their servants cooked their food. The white men were in momentary danger of their lives. But they sat on the ground before the fire and quietly ate their supper while hundreds of savage eyes were fixed upon them in suspicious, watchful silence.

The meal over the servants prepared a place for the travelers to sleep, and while they were so doing, the young missionary was not idle. He longed to speak to these poor, darkened heathen, but they could not understand Chinese. However, he found several poor fellows lying prostrate on the ground, overcome with malaria, and he got his guide to ask if he might not give the sick ones medicine. Being allowed to do so, he gave each one a dose of quinine. The poor creatures tried to look their gratitude when the terrible chills left them, and soon they were able to sink into sleep.

Before he retired to his own bed of boughs, the young missionary sang that grand old anthem which these lonely woods and their savage inhabitants had never yet heard:

All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.

But these poor people could not "sing to the Lord," for they had never yet so much as heard his name.

All night the missionary lay on the ground, finding the chill mountain air too cold for sleep, and whenever he looked out from his shelter of boughs he saw hundreds of savage eyes, gleaming in the firelight, still wide open and fixed upon him.

Day broke late in the valley, but the travelers were astir in the morning twilight. The mountain-tops were touched with rosy light even while it was dark down in these forest depths.

The chilled white men were glad to get up and exercise their stiffened limbs. There were several of their party who could speak both Chinese and the dialect of these mountaineers, and through them Mackay persuaded the chief of the tribe to take them to visit his village.

He seemed reluctant at first and there was much discussion with his braves. Evidently they were more anxious to go on a head-hunt than to act the part of hosts. However, after a great deal of chatter, they consented, and the chief and his son with thirty men separated themselves from the rest of the band and led the way out of the valley up the mountainside. The travelers had to stop often, for, besides the natural difficulties of the way, the chief proved a new obstacle. Every mile or so he would apparently repent of his hospitality. He would stop, gather his tattooed braves about him and confer with them, while his would-be visitors sat on the ground or a fallen tree-trunk to await his pleasure. Finally he would start off again, the travelers following, but no sooner were they under way than again their uncertain guide would stop. Once he and his men stood motionless, listening. Away up in the boughs of a camphor tree a little tailor-bird was twittering. The savages listened as though to the voice of an oracle.

"What are they doing?" Mackay asked of one of his men, when the head-hunters stopped a second time and stared earnestly at the boughs above.

"Bird-listening," explained the guide. A few more questions drew from him the fact that the savages believed the little birds would tell them whether or not they should bring these strangers home. They always consulted the birds when starting out on a head-hunt, he further explained. If the birds gave a certain kind of chirp and flew in a certain direction, then all was well, and the hunters would go happily forward. But if the birds acted in the opposite way, nothing in the world could persuade the chief to go on. Evidently the birds gave their permission to bring the travelers home, for in spite of many halts, the savages still moved forward.

They had been struggling for some miles through underbrush and prickly rattan and the white men's clothes were torn and their hands scratched. Now, however, they came upon a well-beaten path, winding up the mountainside, and it proved a great relief to the weary travelers. But here occurred another delay. The savages all stopped, and the chief approached Mackay and spoke to him through the interpreter. Would the white man join him in a head-hunting expedition, was his modest request. There were some Chinese not so far below them, cutting out rattan, and he was sure they could secure one or more heads. He shook the big net head-bag that hung over his shoulder and grinned savagely as he made his proposal. If the white men and their party would come at the enemy from one side, he and his men would attack them from the other, he said, and they would be sure to get them all. The incongruity of a Christian missionary being invited on a head-hunt struck Captain Bax as rather funny in spite of its gruesomeness. This was a delicate situation to handle, but Mackay put a bold front on it. He answered indignantly that he and his friend had come in peace to visit the chief, and that he was neither kind nor honorable in trying to get his visitors to fight his battles.

The interpreter translated and for a moment several pairs of savage eyes gleamed angrily at the bold white man. But second thoughts proved calmer. After another council the savages moved on.

They were now at the top of a range, and every one was ordered to halt and remain silent. Mackay thought that advice was again to be asked of some troublesome little birds, but instead the savages raised a peculiar long-drawn shout. It was answered at once from the opposite mountain-top, and immediately the whole party moved on down the slope.

Here was the same lovely tangle of vines and ferns and beautiful flowers. Monkeys sported in the trees and chattered and scolded the intruders. Down one range and up another they scrambled and at last they came upon the village of the head-hunters.

It lay in a valley in an open space where the forest trees had been cleared away. It consisted of some half-dozen houses or huts made of bamboo or wickerwork, and the place seemed literally swarming with women and children and noisy yelping dogs. But even these could not account for the terrible din that seemed to fill the valley. Such unearthly yells and screeches the white men had never heard before.

"What is it?" asked Captain Bax. "Has the whole village gone mad?"

Mackay turned to one of his guides, and the man explained that the noise came from a village a little farther down the valley. A young hunter had returned with a Chinaman's head, and his friends were rejoicing over it. The merrymaking sounded to the visitors more like the howling of a pack of fiends, for it bore no resemblance to any human sounds they had ever heard.

Fortunately they were invited to stop at the nearer village and were not compelled to take part in the horrible celebration. They were taken at once to the chief's house. It was the best in the village, and boasted of a floor, made of rattan ropes half an inch thick. All along the outside wall, under the eaves, hung a row of gruesome ornaments, heads of the boar and deer and other wild animals killed in the chase, and here and there mingled with them the skulls of Chinamen. The house held one large room, and, as it was a cold evening, a fire burned at either end of it. At one end the men stood chatting, at the other the women squatted. The visitors were invited to sit by the men's fire. There were several beds along the wall, two of which were offered to the strangers. But they were not prepared to remain for the night, and had decided to start back before the shadows fell.

The whole village came to the chief's house and crowded round the newcomers, men first, women and children on the outskirts, and dogs still farther back. Several men came forward and claimed Mackay as a friend. They touched their own breasts and then his, in salutation, grinning in a most friendly manner. The young missionary was at first puzzled, then smiled delightedly. They were some of the poor fellows to whom he had given quinine the evening before in the valley.

This greeting seemed to encourage the others. They became more friendly and suddenly one man who had been circling round the visitors touched the back of Mackay's head and exclaimed, "They do not wear the cue! They are our kinsmen." From that moment they were treated with far greater kindness, and on several other visits that Mackay made to the head-hunters, they always spoke with interest of him as kinsman.

But all danger was not over. The savages were still suspicious, and at any moment the newcomers might excite them. So they decided to start back at once, while every one was in a friendly mood. They made presents to the chief and some of his leading men; and left with expressions of good-will on both sides.

By evening they had reached the valley where they had first met the savages and here they prepared to spend the night. They had no sooner kindled their fires than from the darkness on every side shadowy forms silently emerged,—the savages come to visit them! They glided out of the black forest into the ring of firelight and squatted upon the ground until fully five hundred dusky faces looked out at the travelers from the gloom. It was rather an unpleasant situation, there in the depths of the forest, but Mackay turned it to good account. First he and Captain Bax made presents to the headmen and they were as pleased as children to receive the gay ornaments and bright cloth the travelers gave them. And then Mackay called their interpreter to his side and they stood up together, facing the crowd. Speaking through his interpreter, the missionary said he wished to tell them a story. These mountain savages were veritable children in their love for a story, as they were in so many other ways, and their eyes gleamed with delight.

It was a wonderful story he told them, the like of which they had never heard before. It was about the great God, who had made the earth and the people on it, and was the Father of them all. He told how God loved everybody, because they were his children. Chinese, white men beyond the sea like himself and Captain Bax, the people of the mountains,—all were God's children. And so all men were brothers, and should love God their Father and each other. And because God loved his children so, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to live among men and to die for them. He told the story simply and beautifully, just as he would to little children, and these children of the forest listened and their savage eyes grew less fierce as they heard for the first time of the story of the Savior.

The next day, after a toilsome journey, the travelers reached the plain below. They had made their dangerous trip and had escaped the head-hunters, but as fierce an enemy was lying in wait for both, an enemy that in Formosa devours native and foreigner alike. Captain Bax was the first to be attacked. All day, as they descended the mountain, the rain came down in torrents, a real Formosan rain that is like the floodgates opening. The travelers were drenched and chilly, and just as they emerged from the forest Captain Bax succumbed to the enemy. Malaria had smitten him.

Shaking with chills and then burning with fever, he was placed in a sedan-chair and carried the remainder of the way, three days' journey, to the coast, where the medical attendants on board his ship cured him. Mackay was feeling desperately ill all the way across the plain, but with his usual determination he refused to give in until he almost staggered across the threshold of his home.

The house had been closed in his absence. It was now damp and chilly and everything was covered with mold. He lay down in his bed, alternately shivering with cold and burning with fever. In the next room A Hoa, who had gone to bed also, heard his teeth chattering and came to him at once. It was a terrible thing to the young fellow to see his dauntless Kai Bok-su overcome by any kind of force. It seemed impossible that he who had cured so many should become a victim himself. A Hoa proved a kind nurse. He stayed by the bedside all night, doing everything in his power to allay the fever. His efforts proved successful, and in a few days the patient was well. But never again was he quite free from the dreaded disease, and all the rest of his life he was subject to the most violent attacks of malaria, a terrible memento by which he was always to remember his first visit to the headhunters.


Up the river to Go-ko-khi! That was always a joy, and whenever Mackay could take a day from his many duties, with A Hoa and one or more other students, he would go up and visit old Thah-so and the kindly people of this little village.

One day, after they had preached in the empty granary and the rain had come in, Mr. Tan, the headman, walked up the village street with them, and he made them an offer. They might have the plot of ground opposite his house for a chapel-site. This was grand news. A chapel in north Formosa! Mackay could hardly believe it, but it seemed that there really was to be one. There were many Christians in Go-ko-khi now, and each one was ready for work. Some collected stones, others prepared sun-dried bricks, others dug the foundation, and the first church in north Formosa was commenced.

Now Go-ko-khi was, unfortunately, near the great city of Bang-kah. This was the most hostile and wicked place in all that country, and A Hoa and Mackay had been stoned out of it on their visit there. The people in Bang-kah learned of the new church building, and one day, when the brick walls were about three feet high, there arose a tramp of feet, beating of drums, and loud shouts, and up marched a detachment of soldiers sent with orders from the prefect of Bang-kah to stop the building of the chapel. Their officers went straight to the house of the headman with his commands. Mr. Tan was six feet two and he rose to his full height and towered above his visitor majestically. The "mayor" of Go-ko-khi was a Christian now, and on the wall of his house was pasted a large sheet of paper with the ten commandments printed on it. He pointed to this and said: "I am determined to abide by these." The officer was taken aback. He was scarcely prepared to defy the headman, and he went away to stir up the villagers. But everywhere the soldiers met with opposition. There seemed no one who would take their part. The officer knew he and his men were scarcely within their rights in what they were doing; so, fearing trouble, he marched back to the city, reporting there that the black-bearded barbarian had bewitched the villagers with some magic art.

The prefect of Bang-kah next sent a message to the British consul. The missionary was building a fort at Go-ko-khi, he declared in great alarm, and would probably bring guns up the river at night. He was a very bad man indeed, and if the British consul desired peace he should stop this wicked Kai Bok-su at once. And the British consul down in his old Dutch fort at Tamsui laughed heartily over the letter, knowing all about Kai Bok-su and the sort of fort he was building.

So, in spite of all opposition, the little church rose steadily up and up until it was crowned with a tiled roof and was ready for the worshipers.

That was a great day for north Formosa and its young missionary, the day the first church was opened. The place was packed to the doors, and many stood outside listening at the windows. And of that crowd one hundred and fifty arose and declared that from henceforth they would cast away their idols and worship only the one and true God. Standing up there in his first pulpit and looking down upon the crowd of upturned faces, and seeing the new light in them which the blessed good news of Jesus and his love had brought, Kai Bok-su's heart swelled with joy.

He stayed with them some time after this, for, though so many people had become Christians, they were like little children and needed much careful teaching. Especially they must learn how to live as Jesus Christ would have his followers live. Many heathen as well as the Christians came to his meetings and listened eagerly. At first the people found it almost impossible to sit quiet and still during a service. They had never been accustomed to such a task, and some of the missionary's experiences were very funny. When they had sung a hymn and had settled down to listen to the address, the preacher would no sooner start than out would come one long pipe after another, pieces of flint would strike on steel, and in a few minutes the smoke would begin to ascend. Mackay would pause and gently tell them that as this was a Christian service they must not do anything that might disturb it. They were anxious to do just as he bade, so the pipes would disappear, and nodding their heads politely they would say, "Oh, yes, we must be quiet; oh, yes, indeed."

One day when the congregation was very still and their young pastor was speaking earnest words to them, one man less attentive than the others happened to glance out of the window. Instantly he sprang to his feet shouting, "Buffaloes in the rice-fields! Buffaloes in the rice-fields!" and away he went with a good fraction of the congregation helter-skelter at his heels.

The missionary spoke again upon the necessity of quiet, and his hearers nodded agreeably and murmured, "Yes, yes, we must be quiet."

They were very good for the next few minutes and the minister had reached a very important point in his address, when there was a great disturbance at the door. An old woman came hobbling up on her small feet and poking her head in at the church door screamed, "My pig has gone! Pig has gone!" and away went another portion of the congregation to help find the truant porker.

But, in spite of many interruptions, the congregation at Go-ko-khi learned much of the beautiful truth of their new religion. Their indulgent pastor never blamed his restless hearers, but before the church was two months old he had trained them so well that there was not a more orderly and attentive congregation even in his own Christian Canada than that which gathered in the first chapel in north Formosa.

But the day came at last when he had to leave them, and the question was who should be left over them. The answer seemed very plain,—A Hoa. The first convert placed as pastor over the first church! It was very fitting. Some months before, down in Tamsui, when A Hoa had been baptized and had taken his first communion, he had vowed to give his life more fully to his Master's service. So here was his field of labor, and here he began his work. He was so utterly sincere and lovable, so bright and jovial, so firm of purpose and yet so kindly, that he was soon beloved by all the Christians and respected by the heathen. And one of his greatest helpers was widow Thah-so, who had been instrumental in bringing the missionary with his glad tidings to her village.

Mackay missed A Hoa sorely at first, but he had his other students about him, and often when bent upon a long journey would send for his first convert, and together they would travel here and there over the island, making new recruits everywhere for the army of their great Captain.

The little church at Go-ko-khi was but the first of many. Like the hepaticas that used to peep forth in the missionary's home woods, telling that spring had arrived, here and there they came up, showing that the long cruel winter of heathenism in north Formosa was drawing to an end.

Away up the Tamsui river, nestled at the foot of the mountains, stood a busy town called Sin-tiam. A young man from this place sailed down to Tamsui on business one day and there heard the great Kai Bok-su preach of the new Jehovah-God, he went home full of the wonderful news, and so much did he talk about it that a large number of people in Sin-tiam were very anxious to hear the barbarian themselves. So one day a delegation came down the river to the house on the bluff above Tamsui. They made this request known to the missionary as he sat teaching his students in the study. Would he not come and tell the people of Sin-tiam the story about this Jesus-God who loved all men? Would he go? Kai Bok-su was on the road almost before the slow-going Orientals had finished delivering the message.

It was the season of a feast to their idols in Sin-tiam when the missionary and his party arrived. Great crowds thronged the streets, and the barbarian with his white face and his black beard and his queer clothes attracted unusual attention. The familiar cry, "Foreign devil," was mingled with "Kill the barbarian," "Down with the foreigner." The crowd began to surge closer around the missionary party, and affairs looked very serious. Suddenly a little boy right in Mackay's path was struck on the head by a brick intended for the missionary. He was picked up, and Mackay, pressing through the crowd to where the little fellow lay, took out his surgical instruments and dressed the wound. All about him the cries of "Kill the foreign devil" changed to cries of "Good heart! Good heart!" The crowd became friendly at once, and Mackay passed on, having had once more a narrow escape from death.

The work of preaching to these people was carried on vigorously, and before many months had passed the Christians met together and declared they must build a chapel for the worship of the true God. So, close by the riverside, in a most picturesque spot, the walls of the second chapel of north Formosa began to rise. It was not without opposition of course. One rabid idol-worshiper stopped before the half-finished building with its busy workmen, and, picking up a large stone, declared that he would smash the head of the black-bearded barbarian if the work was not stopped that moment. Needless to say, the missionary, standing within a good stone's throw of his enemy, ordered the workers to continue. George Mackay was not to be stopped by all the stones in north Formosa.

This stone was never thrown, however, and at last the chapel was finished. Once more a preacher was ready to be its pastor. Tan He, a young man who had been studying earnestly under his leader for some time, was placed over this second congregation, and once more there blossomed out a sure sign that the spring had indeed come to north Formosa.

Tek-chham, a walled city of over forty thousand inhabitants, was the next place to be attacked by this little army of the King's soldiers. The first visit of the missionary caused a riot, but before long Tek-chham had a chapel with some of the rioters for its best members, and a once proud graduate and worshiper of Confucius installed in it as its pastor.

Ten miles from Tek-chham stood a little village called Geh-bai. The missionary-soldiers visited it, and to their delight found a church building ready for them. It was quite a wonderful place, capable of holding fully a thousand people without much crowding. Its roof was the boughs of the great banyan tree; its one pillar the trunk, and its walls the branches that bent down to enter the ground and take root. It made a delightful shelter from the broiling sun. And here Kai Bok-su preached. But a banyan does not give perfect shelter in all kinds of weather, so when a number of people had declared themselves followers of the Lord Jesus, a large house was rented and fitted up as a chapel, with another native pastor over it.

Away over at Kelung a church was founded through a man who had carried the gospel home from one of the missionary's sermons. Here and there the hepaticas were springing up. From all sides came invitations to preach the great news of the true God, and the young missionary gave himself scarcely time to eat or sleep. He worked like a giant himself, and he inspired the same spirit in the students that accompanied him. He was like a Napoleon among his soldiers. Wherever he went they would go, even though it would surely mean abuse and might mean death. And, wherever they went, they brought such a wonderful, glad change to people's hearts that they were like slave-liberators setting captives free.

The most lawless and dangerous region in all north Formosa was that surrounding the small town of Sa-kak-eng. In the mountains near by lived a band of robbers who kept the people in a constant state of dread by their terrible deeds of plunder and murder. Sometimes the frightened townspeople would help the highwaymen just to gain their good-will, and such treatment only made them bolder. Bands of them would even come down into the town and march through the streets, frightening every one into flight. They would shout and sing, and their favorite song was one that showed how little they cared for the laws of the land.

You trust the mandarins, We trust the mountains.

So the song went, and when the missionary heard it first he could not help confessing that after all it was a sorry job trusting the mandarins for protection.

The first time he visited the place with A Hoa they were stoned and driven out. But the missionaries came back, and at last were allowed to preach. And then converts came and a church was established. The robber bands received no more assistance from the people, and were soon scattered by the officers of the law. And Sa-kak-eng was in peace because the missionary had come.

But there was one place Mackay had so far scarcely dared to enter. Even the robber-infested Sa-kak-eng would yield, but Bang-kah defied all efforts. To the missionary it was the Gibraltar of heathen Formosa, and he longed to storm it. North, south, east, and west of this great wicked city churches had been planted, some only within a few miles of its walls. But Bang-kah still stood frowning and unyielding. It had always been very bitter against outsiders of all kinds. No foreign merchant was allowed to do business in Bang-kah, so no wonder the foreign missionary was driven out.

Mackay had dared to enter the place, being of the sort that would dare anything. It was soon after he had settled in Formosa and A Hoa had accompanied him. The result had been a riot. The streets had immediately filled with a yelling, cursing mob that pelted the two missionaries with stones and rotten eggs and filth, and drove them from the city.

But "Mackay never knew when he was beaten," as a fellow worker of his once said, and though he was taking desperate chances, he went once more inside the walls of Bangkah. This time he barely escaped with his life, and the city authorities forbade every one, on pain of death, to lease or sell property to him or in any way accommodate the barbarian missionary.

But meanwhile Kai Bok-su was keeping his eye on Bang-kah, and when the territory around had been possessed, he went up to Go-ko—khi and made the daring proposition to A Hoa. Should they go up again and storm the citadel of heathenism? And A Hoa answered promptly and bravely, "Let us go."

So one day early in December, when the winter rains had commenced to pour down, these two marched across the plain and into Bang-kah. By keeping quiet and avoiding the main thoroughfare, they managed to rent a house. It was a low, mean hovel in a dirty, narrow street, but it was inside the forbidden city, and that was something. The two daring young men then procured a large sheet of paper, printed on it in Chinese characters "Jesus' Temple," and pasted it on the door. This announced what they had come for, and they awaited results.

Presently there came the heavy tramp, tramp of feet on the stone pavement. Mackay and A Hoa looked out. A party of soldiers, armed with spears and swords, were returning from camp. They stopped before the hut and read the inscription. They shouted loud threats and tramped away to report the affair to headquarters.

In a short time, with a great noise and tramping, once more soldiers were at the door. Mackay waked out and faced them quietly. The general had given orders that the barbarian must leave this house immediately, the soldier declared in a loud voice. The place belonged to the military authorities.

"Show me your proof," said Mackay calmly. His bold behavior demanded respectful treatment, so the soldier produced the deed for the property.

"I respect your law," said Mackay after he examined it, "and my companion and I will vacate. But I have paid rent for this place, therefore I am entitled to remain for the night. I will not go out until morning."

His firm words and fearless manner had their effect both on the soldiers and the noisy mob waiting for him outside, and the men, muttering angrily, turned away. That night Mackay and A Hoa lay on a dirty grass mat on the mud floor. The place was damp and filthy, but even had it been comfortable they would have had little sleep. For, far into the night, angry soldiers paraded the street. Often their voices rose to a clamor and they would make a rush for the frail door of the little hut. Many times the two young fellows arose, believing their last hour had come. But the long night passed and they found that they were still left untouched.

They rose early and started out. Already a great mob filled the space in front of the house. Even the low roofs of the surrounding houses were covered with people all out early to see the barbarian and his despised companion driven from Bang-kah, and perhaps have the added pleasure of witnessing their death.

The two walked bravely down the street. Curses were showered upon them from all sides; broken tiles, stones, and filth were thrown at them, but they moved on steadily. The mob hampered them so that they were hours walking the short distance to the river. Here they entered a boat and went down a few miles to a point where a chapel stood, and where some of Mackay's students awaited them.

But the man who "did not know when he was beaten" had not turned his back on the enemy. He gathered the group of students around him in the little room attached to the chapel. Here they all knelt and the young missionary laid their trouble before the great Captain who had said, "All power is given unto me." "Give us an entrance to Bang-kah," was the burden of the missionary 's prayer. They arose from their knees, and he turned to A Hoa with that quick challenging movement his students had learned to know so well.

"Come," he said, "we are going back to Bang-kah."

And A Hoa, whose habit it was to walk into all danger with a smile, answered with all his heart:

"It is well, Kai Bok-su; we go back to Bang-kah."

And straight back to this Gibraltar the little army of two marched. It was quite dark by the time they entered. A Formosan city is not the blaze of electricity to which Westerners are accustomed, and only here and there in the narrow streets shone a dim light. The travelers stumbled along, scarcely knowing whither they were going. As they turned a dark corner and plunged into another black street they met an old man hobbling with the aid of a staff over the uneven stones of the pavement. Mackay spoke to him politely and asked if he could tell him of any one who would rent a house. "We want to do mission work," he added, feeling that he must not get anything under false pretenses.

The old man nodded. "Yes, I can rent you my place," he answered readily. "Come with me."

Full of amazement and gratitude the two adventurers groped their way after him, stumbling over stones and heaps of rubbish. They could not help realizing, as they got farther into the city, that should the old man prove false and give an alarm the whole murderous populace of that district would be around them instantly like a swarm of hornets. But whether he was leading them into a trap or not their only course was to follow.

At last he paused at a low door opening into the back part of a house. The old man lighted a lamp, a pith wick in a saucer of peanut oil, and the visitors looked around. The room was damp and dirty and infested with the crawling creatures that fairly swarm in the Chinese houses of the lower order. Rain dripped from the low ceiling on the mud floor, and the meager furniture was dirty and sticky.

But the two young men who had found it were delighted. They felt like the advance guard of an army that has taken the enemy's first outpost. They were established in Bang-kah! They set to work at once to draw out a rental paper. A Hoa sat at the table and wrote it out so that they might be within the law which said that no foreigner must hold property in Bang-kah. When the paper was signed and the money paid, the old man crept stealthily away. He had his money, but he was too wary to let his fellow citizens find how he had earned it.

As soon as morning came the little army in the midst of the hostile camp hoisted its banner. When the citizens of Bang-kah awoke, they found on the door of the hut the hated sign, in large Chinese characters, "Jesus' Temple."

In less than an hour the street in front of it was thronged with a shouting crowd. Before the day was past the news spread, and the whole city was in an uproar. By the next afternoon the excitement had reached white heat, and a wild crowd of men came roaring down the street. They hurled themselves at the little house where the missionaries were waiting and literally tore it to splinters. The screams of rage and triumph were so horrible that they reminded Mackay of the savage yells of the head-hunters.

When the mob leaped upon the roof and tore it off, the two hunted men slipped out through a side door, and across the street into an inn. The crowd instantly attacked it, smashing doors, ripping the tiles off the roof, and uttering such bloodthirsty howls that they resembled wild beasts far more than human beings. The landlord ordered the missionaries out to where the mob was waiting to tear them limb from limb.

It was an awful moment. To go out was instant death, to remain merely put off the end a few moments. Mackay, knowing his source of help, sent up a desperate prayer to his Father in heaven.

Suddenly there was a strange lull in the street outside. The yells ceased, the crashing of tiles stopped. The door opened, and there in his sedan-chair of state surrounded by his bodyguard, appeared the Chinese mandarin. And just behind him—blessed sight to the eyes of Kai Bok-su—Mr. Scott, the British consul of Tamsui!

Without a word the two British-born clasped hands. It was not an occasion for words. There was immediately a council of war. The mandarin urged the British consul to send the missionary out of the city.

"I have no authority to give such an order," retorted Mr. Scott quickly. "On the other hand you must protect him while he is here. He is a British subject."

Mackay's heart swelled with pride. And he thanked God that his Empire had such a worthy representative.

Having again impressed upon the mandarin that the missionary must be protected or there would be trouble, Mr. Scott set off for his home. Mackay accompanied him to the city gate. Then he turned and walked back through the muttering crowds straight to the inn he had left. He stopped occasionally to pull a tooth or give medicine for malaria, for even in Bang-kah he had a few friends.

The mandarin was now as much afraid of the missionary as if he had been the plague. He knew he dared not allow him to be touched, and he also knew he had very little power over a mob. He was responsible, too, to men in higher office, for the control of the people, and would be severely punished if there was a riot, he was indeed in a very bad way when he heard that the troublesome missionary had come back, and he followed him to the inn to try to induce him to leave.

He found Mackay with A Hoa, quietly seated in their room. First he commanded, then he tried to bribe, and then he even descended to beg the "foreign devil" to leave the city. But Mackay was immovable.

"I cannot leave," he said, touched by the man's distress. "I cannot quit this city until I have preached the gospel here." He held up his forceps and his Bible. "See! I use these to relieve pain of the body, and this gives relief from sin,—the disease of the soul. I cannot go until I have given your people the benefit of them."

The mandarin went away enraged and baffled. He could not persuade the man to go; he dared not drive him out. He left a squad of soldiers to guard the place, however, remembering the British consul's warning.

In a few days the excitement subsided. People became accustomed to seeing the barbarian teacher and his companion go about the streets. Many were relieved of much pain by him too, and a large number listened with some interest to the new doctrine he taught concerning one God.

He had been there a week when some prominent citizens came to him with a polite offer. They would give him free a piece of ground outside the city on which to build a church. Kai Bok-su's flashing black eyes at once saw the bribe. They wanted to coax him out when they could not drive him. He refused politely but firmly.

"I own that property," he declared, pointing to the heap of ruins into which his house had been turned, "and there I will build a church."

They did everything in their power to prevent him, but one day, many months after, right on the site where they had literally torn the roof from above him, arose a pretty little stone church, and that was the beginning of great things in Bang-kah.

And so Gibraltar was taken,—taken by an army of two,—a Canadian missionary and a Chinese soldier of the King, for behind them stood all the army of the Lord of hosts, and he led them to victory!


Away over on the east of the island ran a range of beautiful mountains. And between these mountains and the sea stretched a low rice plain. Here lived many Pe-po-hoan,—"Barbarians of the plain." Mackay had never visited this place, for the Kap-tsu-lan plain, as it was called, was very hard to reach on account of the mountains; but this only made the dauntless missionary all the more anxious to visit it.

So one day he suggested to his students, as they studied in his house on the bluff, that they make a journey to tell the people of Kap-tsu-lan the story of Jesus. Of course, the young fellows were delighted. To go off with Kai Bok-su was merely transferring their school from his house to the big beautiful outdoors. For he always taught them by the way, and besides they were all eager to go with him and help spread the good news that had made such a difference in their lives. So when Kai Bok-su piled his books upon a shelf and said, "Let us go to Kaptsu-lan," the young fellows ran and made their preparations joyfully. A Hoa was in Tamsui at the time, and Mackay suggested that he come too, for a trip without A Hoa was robbed of half its enjoyment.

Mackay had just recovered from one of those violent attacks of malaria from which he suffered so often now, and he was still looking pale and weak. So Sun-a, a bright young student-lad, came to the study door with the suggestion, "Let us take Lu-a for Kai Bok-su to ride."

There was a laugh from the other students and an indulgent smile from Kai Bok-su himself. Lu-a was a small, rather stubborn-looking donkey with meek eyes and a little rat tail. He was a present to the missionary from the English commissioner of customs at Tamsui, when that gentleman was leaving the island. Donkeys were commonly used on the mainland of China, and though an animal was scarcely ever ridden in Formosa, horses being almost unknown, the commissioner did not see why his Canadian friend, who was an introducer of so many new things, should not introduce donkey-riding. So he sent him Lu-a as a farewell present and leaving this token of his good-will departed for home.

Up to this time Lu-a had served only as a pet and a joke among the students, and high times they had with him in the grassy field behind the missionary's house when lessons were over. In great glee they brought him round to the door now, "all saddled and bridled" and ready for the trip. The missionary mounted, and Lu-a trotted meekly along the road that wound down the bluff toward Kelung. The students followed in high spirits. The sight of their teacher astride the donkey was such a novel one to them, and Lu-a was such a joke at any time, that they were filled with merriment. All went well until they left the road and turned into a path that led across the buffalo common. At the end of it they came to a ravine about fifteen feet deep. Over this stretched a plank bridge not more than three feet wide. Here Lu-a came to a sudden stop. He had no mind to risk his small but precious body on that shaky structure. His rider bade him "go on," but the command only made Lu-a put back his ears, plant his fore feet well forward and stand stock still. In fact he looked much more settled and immovable than the bridge over which he was being urged. The students gathered round him and petted and coaxed. They called him "Good Lu-a" and "Honorable Lu-a" and every other flattering title calculated to move his donkeyship, but Lu-a flattened his ears back so he could not hear and would not move. So Mackay dismounted and tried the plan of pulling him forward by the bridle while some of the boys pushed him from behind. Lu-a resented this treatment, especially that from the rear, and up went his heels, scattering students in every direction; and to discomfit the enemy in front he opened his mouth and gave forth such loud resonant brays that the ravine fairly rang with his music.

A balking donkey is rather amusing to boys of any country, but to these Formosan lads who had had no experience with one the sound of Lu-a's harsh voice and the sight of his flying heels brought convulsions of merriment. "He's pounding rice! He's pounding rice!" shouted the wag of the party, and his companions flung themselves upon the grass and rolled about laughing themselves sick.

With his followers rendered helpless and his steed continuing stubborn, Mackay saw the struggle was useless. He could not compete alone with Lu-a's firmness, so he gave orders that the obstinate little obstructer of their journey be trotted back to his pasture.

"And to think that any one of us might have carried the little rascal over!" he cried as he watched the donkey meekly depart. His students looked at the little beast with something like respect. Lu-a had beaten the dauntless Kai Bok-su who had never before been beaten by anything. He was indeed a marvelous donkey!

So the journey to the Kap-tsu-lan plain was made on foot. It was a very wearisome one and often dangerous. The mountain paths were steep and difficult and the travelers knew that often the head-hunters lurked near. But the way was wonderfully beautiful nevertheless. Standing on a mountain height one morning and looking away down over wooded hills and valleys and the lake-like terraces of the rice-fields, Mackay repeated to his students a line of the old hymn:

Every prospect pleases and only man is vile.

Around them the stately tree-fern lifted its lovely fronds and the orchids dotted the green earth like a flock of gorgeous butterflies just settled. Tropical birds of brilliant plumage flashed among the trees. Beside them a great tree raised itself, fairly covered with morning-glories, and over at their right a mountainside gleamed like snow in the sunlight, clothed from top to bottom with white lilies.

But the way had its dangers as well as its beauties. They were passing the mouth of a ravine when they were stopped by yells and screams of terror coming from farther up the mountainside. In a few minutes a Chinaman darted out of the woods toward them. His face was distorted with terror and he could scarcely get breath to tell his horrible story. He and his four companions had been chipping the camphor trees up in the woods; suddenly the armed savages had leaped out upon them and he alone of the five had escaped.

At last they left the dangerous mountain and came down into the Kap-tsu-lan plain. On every side was rice-field after rice-field, with the water pouring from one terrace to another. The plain was low and damp and the paths and roads lay deep in mud. They had a long toilsome walk between the ricefields until they came to the first village of these barbarians of the plain. It was very much like a Chinese village,—dirty, noisy, and swarming with wild-looking children and wolfish dogs.

The visitors were received with the utmost disdain. The Chinese students were of course well known, for these aborigines had long ago adopted their customs and language. But the Chinese visitors were in company with the foreigners, and all foreigners were outcaste in this eastern plain. The men shouted the familiar "foreign devil" and walked contemptuously away. The dirty women and children fled into their grass huts and set the dogs upon the strangers. They tried by all sorts of kindnesses to gain a hearing, but all to no effect. So they gave it up, and plodded through the mud and water a mile farther on to the next village. But village number two received them in exactly the same way. Only rough words and the barks of cruel dogs met them. The next village was no better, the fourth a little worse. And so on they went up and down the Kap-tsu-lan plain, sleeping at night in some poor empty hut or in the shadow of a rice strawstack, eating their meals of cold rice and buffalo-meat by the wayside, and being driven from village to village, and receiving never a word of welcome.

And all through those wearisome days the young men looked at their leader in vain for any smallest sign of discouragement or inclination to retreat. There was no slightest look of dismay on the face of Kai Bok-su, for how was it possible for a man who did not know when he was beaten to feel discouraged? So still undaunted in the face of defeat, he led them here and there over the plain, hoping that some one would surely relent and give them a hearing.

One night, footsore and worn out, they slept on the damp mud floor of a miserable hut where the rain dripped in upon their faces. In the morning prospects looked rather discouraging to the younger members of the party. They were wet and cold and weary, and there seemed no use in going again and again to a village only to be turned away. But Kai Bok-su's mouth was as firm as ever, and his dark eyes flashed resolutely, as once more he gave the order to march. It was a lovely morning, the sun was rising gloriously out of the sea and the heavy mists were melting from above the little rice-fields. Here and there fairy lakes gleamed out from the rosy haze that rolled back toward the mountains. They walked along the shore in the pink dawn-light and marched up toward a fishing village. They had visited it before and had been driven away, but Kai Bok-su was determined to try again. They were surprised as they came nearer to see three men come out to meet them with a friendly expression on their faces.

The foremost was an old man who had been nicknamed "Black-face," because of his dark skin. The second was a middleaged man, and the third was a young fellow about the age of the students. They saluted the travelers pleasantly, and the old man addressed the missionary.

"You have been going through and through our plain and no one has received you," he said politely. "Come to our village, and we will now be ready to listen to you."

The door of Kap-tsu-lan had opened at last! The missionary's eyes gleamed with joy and gratitude as he accepted the invitation. The delegation led the visitors straight to the house of the headman. For the Pepo-hoan governed their communities in the Chinese style and had a headman for each village. The missionary party sat down in front of the hut on some large flat stones and talked over the matter with the chief and other important men. And while they talked "Black-face" slipped away. He returned in a few moments with a breakfast of rice and fish for the visitors.

The result of the conference was that the villagers decided to give the barbarian a chance. All he wanted it seemed was to tell of this new Jehovah-religion which he believed, and surely there could be no great harm in listening to him talk.

In the evening the headman with the help of some friends set to work to construct a meeting-house. A tent was erected, made from boat sails. Several flat stones laid at one end and a plank placed upon them made a pulpit. And that was the first church on the Kap-tsu-lan plain! There was a "church bell" too, to call the people to worship. In the village were some huge marine shells with the ends broken off. In the old days these were used by the chiefs as trumpets by which they called their men together whenever they were starting out on the war-path. But now the trumpet-shell was used to call the people to follow the King. Just at dark a man took one, and walking up and down the straggling village street blew loudly—the first "church bell" in east Formosa.

The loud roar brought the villagers flocking down to the tent-church by the shore. For the most part they brought their pews with them. They came hurrying out of their huts carrying benches, and arranging them in rows they seated themselves to listen.

Mackay and the students sang and the people listened eagerly. The Pe-po-hoan by nature were more musical than the Chinese, and the singing delighted them. Then the missionary arose and addressed them. He told clearly and simply why he had come and preached to them of the true God. Afterward the congregation was allowed to ask questions, and they learned much of this God and of his love in his Son Jesus Christ.

The wonder of the great news shone in the eyes upturned to the preacher. In the gloom of the half-lighted tent their dark faces took on a new expression of half-wondering hope. Could it be possible that this was true? Their poor, benighted minds had always been held in terror of their gods and of the evil spirits that forever haunted their footsteps. Could it be possible that God was a great Father who loved his children? They asked so many eager questions, and the story of Jesus Christ had to be told over and over so many times, that before this first church service ended a gray gleam of dawn was spreading out over the Pacific.

It was only the next day that these newly-awakened people decided that they must have a church building. And they went to work to get one in a way that might have shamed a congregation of people in a Christian land. This new wonderful hope that had been raised in their hearts by the knowledge that God loved them set them to work with glad energy. Kai Bok-su and his men still preached and prayed and sang and taught in the crazy old wind-flapped tent by the seashore, and the people listened eagerly, and then, when services were over, every one,—preacher, assistants, and congregation,—set bravely to work to build a church. Brave they certainly had to be, for at the very beginning they had to risk their lives for their chapel. A party sailed down the coast and entered savage territory for the poles to construct the building. They were attacked and one or two were badly wounded, though they managed to escape. But they were quite ready to go back and fight again had it been necessary. Then they made the bricks for the walls. Rice chaff mixed with clay were the materials, and the Kap-tsu-lan plain had an abundance of both. The roof was made of grass, the floor of hard dried earth, and a platform of the same at one end served as a pulpit.

When the little chapel was finished, every evening the big shell rang out its summons through the village; and out from every house came the people and swarmed into the chapel to hear Kai Bok-su explain more of the wonders of God and his Son Jesus Christ.

Mackay's home during this period was a musty little room in a damp mud-walled hut; and here every day he received donations of idols, ancestral tablets, and all sorts of things belonging to idol-worship. He was requested to burn them, and often in the mornings he dried his damp clothes and moldy boots at a fire made from heathen idols.

For eight weeks the missionary party remained in this place, preaching, teaching, and working among the people. It was a mystery to the students how their teacher found time for the great amount of Bible study and prayer which he managed to get. He surely worked as never man worked before. Late at night, long after every one else was in bed, he would be bending over his Bible, beside his peanut-oil lamp, and early in the morning before the stars had disappeared he was up and at work again. Four hours' sleep was all his restless, active mind could endure, and with that he could do work that would have killed any ordinary man.

One evening some new faces looked up at him from his congregation in the little brick church. When the last hymn was sung the missionary stepped down from his pulpit and spoke to the strangers. They explained that they were from the next village. They had heard rumors of this new doctrine, and had been sent to find out more about it. They had been charmed with the singing, for that evening over two hundred voices had joined in a ringing praise to the new Jehovah-God. They wanted to hear more, they said, and they wanted to know what it was all about. Would Kai Bok-su and his students deign to visit their village too?

Would he? Why that was just what he was longing to do. He had been driven out of that village by dogs only a few weeks before, but a little thing like that did not matter to a man like Mackay. This village lay but a short distance away, being connected with their own by a path winding here and there between the rice-fields. Early the next evening Mackay formed a procession. He placed himself at its head, with A Hoa at his side. The students came next, and then the converts in a double row. And thus they marched slowly along the pathway singing as they went. It was a stirring sight. On either side the waving fields of rice, behind them the gleam of the blue ocean, before them the great towering mountains clothed in green. Above them shone the clear dazzling sky of a tropical evening. And on wound the long procession of Christians in a heathen land, and from them arose the glorious words:

O thou, my soul, bless God the Lord, And all that in me is Be stirred up his holy name To magnify and bless.

And the heathen in the rice-fields stopped to gaze at the strange sight, and the mountains gave back the echo of that Name which is above every name.

And so, marching to their song, the procession came to the village. Everybody in the place had come out to meet them at the first sound of the singing. And now they stood staring, the men in a group by themselves, the women and children in the background, the dogs snarling on the outskirts of the crowd.

The congregation was there ready, and without waiting to find a place of meeting, right out under the clear evening skies, the young missionary told once more the great story of God and his love as shown through Jesus Christ. The message took the village by storm. It was like water to thirsty souls. The next day five hundred of them brought their idols to the missionary to be burned.

And now Mackay went up and down the Kap-tsu-lan plain from village to village as he had done before, but this time it was a triumphal march. And everywhere he went throngs threw away their idols and declared themselves followers of the true God.

He was overcome with joy. It was so glorious he wished he could stay there the rest of his life and lead these willing people to a higher life. But Tamsui was waiting; Sin-tiam, Bang-kah, Kelung, Go-ko-khi, they must all be visited; and finally he tore himself away, leaving some of his students to care for these people of Kap-tsu-lan.

But he came back many times, until at last nineteen chapels dotted the plain, and in them nineteen native preachers told the story of Jesus and his love. Sometimes, in later years, when Mackay was with them, tears would roll down the people's faces as they recalled how badly they had used him on his first visit.

It was while on his third visit here that he had a narrow escape from the head-hunters. He was staying at a village called "South Wind Harbor," which was near the border of savage territory. Mackay often walked on the shore in the evening just before the meeting, always with a book in his hand. One night he was strolling along in deep meditation when he noticed some extremely large turtle tracks in the sand. He followed them, for he liked to watch the big clumsy creatures. These green turtles were from four to five feet in length. They would come waddling up from the sea, scratch a hole in the sand with their flippers, lay their eggs, cover them carefully, and with head erect and neck out-thrust waddle back. Mackay was intensely interested in all the animal life of the island and made a study of it whenever he had a chance. He knew the savages killed and ate these turtles, but he supposed he was as yet too near the village to be molested by them. So he followed the tracks and was nearing the edge of the forest, when he heard a shout behind him. As he turned, one of his village friends came running out of his hut waving to him frantically to come back. Thinking some one must be ill, Mackay hurried toward the man, to find that it was he himself who was in danger. The man explained breathlessly that it was the habit of the wily savages to make marks in the sand resembling turtle tracks to lure people into the forest. If Kai Bok-su had entered the woods, his head would certainly have been lost.

It was always hard to say farewell to Kaptsu-lan, the people were so warm-hearted, so kind, and so anxious for him to stay. One morning just before leaving after his third visit, Mackay had an experience that brought him the greatest joy.

He had stayed all night at the little fishing village where the first chapel had been built. As usual he was up with the dawn, and after his breakfast of cold boiled rice and pork he walked down to the shore for a farewell look at the village. As he passed along the little crooked street he could see old women sitting on the mud floors of their huts, by the open door, weaving. They were all poor, wrinkled, toothless old folk with faces seamed by years of hard heathen experience. But in their eyes shone a new light, the reflection of the glory that they had seen when the missionary showed them Jesus their Savior. And as they threw their thread their quavering voices crooned the sweet words:

There is a happy land Far, far away.

And their old weary faces were lighted up with a hope and happiness that had never been there in youth.

Kai Bok-su smiled as he passed their doors and his eyes were misty with tender tears.

Just before him, playing on the sand with "jacks" or tops, just as he had played not so very long ago away back in Canada, were the village boys. And as they played they too were singing, their little piping voices, sweet as birds, thrilling the morning air. And the words they sang were:

Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible tells me so.

They nodded and smiled to Kai Bok-su as he passed. He went down to the shore where the wide Pacific flung long rollers away up the hard-packed sand. The fishermen were going out to sea in the rosy morning light, and as they stood up in their fishing-smacks, and swept their long oars through the surf, they kept time to the motion with singing. And their strong, brave voices rang out above the roar of the breakers:

I'm not ashamed to own my Lord, Or to defend his cause.

And standing there on the sunlit shore the young missionary raised his face to the gleaming blue heavens with an emotion of unutterable joy and thanksgiving. And in that moment he knew what was that glory for which he had so vaguely longed in childish years. It was the glory of work accomplished for his Master's sake, and he was realizing it to the full.


Some of Mackay's happiest days were spent with his students. He was such a wonder of a man for work himself that he inspired every one else to do his best, so the young men made rapid strides with their lessons. No matter how busy he was, and he was surely one of the busiest men that ever lived, he somehow found time for them.

Sometimes in his house, sometimes on the road, by the seashore, under a banyan tree, here and there and everywhere, the missionary and his pupils held their classes. If he went on a journey, they accompanied him and studied by the way. And it was a familiar sight on north Formosan roads or field paths to see Mackay, always with his book in one hand and his big ebony stick under his arm, walking along surrounded by a group of young men.

Sometimes there were as many as twenty in the student-band, but somewhere in the country a new church would open, and the brightest of the class would be called away to be its minister. But just as often a young Christian would come to the missionary and ask if he too might not be trained to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Whether at home or abroad, pupils and teacher had to resort to all sorts of means to get away for an uninterrupted hour together. For Kai Bok-su was always in demand to visit the sick or sad or troubled.

There was a little kitchen separate from the house on the bluff, and over this Mackay with his students built a second story. And here they would often slip away for a little quiet time together. One night, about eleven o'clock, Mackay was here alone poring over his books. The young men had gone home to bed except two or three who were in the kitchen below. Some papers had been dropped over a pipe-hole in the floor of the room where Mackay was studying, and for some time he had been disturbed by a rustling among them. At last without looking up, he called to his boys below: "I think there are rats up here among my papers!"

Koa Kau, one of the younger of the students, ran lightly up the stairs to give battle to the intruders. What was his horror when he saw fully three feet of a monster serpent sticking up through the pipe-hole and waving its horrible head in the air just a little distance from Kai Bok-su's chair.

The boy gave a shout, darted down the stair, and with a sharp stick, pinned the body of the snake to the wall below. The creature became terribly violent, but Koa Kau held on valiantly and Mackay seized an old Chinese spear that happened to be in the room above and pierced the serpent through the head. They pulled its dead body down into the kitchen below and spread it out. It measured nine feet. The students would not rest until it was buried, and the remembrance of the horrible creature's visit for some time spoiled the charm of the little upper room.

The rocks at Kelung harbor were another favorite spot for this little traveling university to hold its classes. Sometimes they would take their dinner and row out in a little sampan to the rocks outside the harbor and there, undisturbed, they would study the whole day long.

They always began the day's work with a prayer and a hymn of praise, and no matter what subjects they might study, most of the time was spent on the greatest of books. After a hard morning's work each one would gather sticks, make a fire, and they would have their dinner of vegetables, rice, and pork or buffalo-meat. Then there were oysters, taken fresh off the rocks, to add to their bill of fare.

At five in the afternoon, when the strain of study was beginning to tell, they would vary the program. One or two of the boys would take a plunge into the sea and bring up a subject for study,—a shell, some living coral, sea-weed, sea-urchins, or some such treasure. They would examine it, and Kai Bok-su, always delighted when on a scientific subject, would give them a lesson in natural history. And he saw with joy how the wonders of the sea and land opened these young men's minds to understand what a great and wonderful God was theirs, who had made "the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is."

When they visited a chapel in the country, they had a daily program which they tried hard to follow. They studied until four o'clock every afternoon and all were trained in speaking and preaching. After four they made visits together to Christians or heathen, speaking always a word for their Master. Every evening a public service was held at which Mackay preached. These sermons were an important part of the young men's training, for he always treated the gospel in a new way. A Hoa, who was Mackay's companion for the greater part of sixteen years, stated that he had never heard Kai Bok-su preach the same sermon twice.

On the whole the students liked their college best when it was moving. For on the road, while their principal gave much time to the Bible and how to present the gospel, he would enliven their walks by conversing about everything by the way and making it full of interest. The structure of a wayside flower, the geological formation of an overhanging rock, the composition of the soil of the tea plantations, the stars that shone in the sky when night came down upon them;—all these made the traveling college a delight.

Although his days were crammed with work, Mackay found time to make friends among the European population of the island. They all liked and admired him, and many of them tried to help the man who was giving his life and strength so completely to others. They were familiar with his quick, alert figure passing through the streets of Tamsui, with his inevitable book and his big ebony cane. And they would smile and say, "There goes Mackay; he's the busiest man in China." (*)

* See CHAPTER XIII, Formosa becomes Japanese territory.

The British consul in the old Dutch fort and the English commissioner of customs proved true and loyal friends. The representatives of foreign business firms, too, were always ready to lend him a helping hand where possible. His most useful friends were the foreign medical men. They helped him very much. They not only did all they could for his own recovery when malaria attacked him, but they helped also to cure his patients. Traveling scientists always gave him a visit to get his help and advice. He had friends that were shipcaptains, officers, engineers, merchants, and British consuls. Everybody knew the wonderful Kai Bok-su. "Whirlwind Mackay," some of them called him, and they knew and admired him with the true admiration that only a brave man can inspire.

The friends to whom he turned for help of the best kind were the English Presbyterians in south Formosa. They, more than any others, knew his trials and difficulties. They alone could enter with true sympathy into all his triumphs. At one time Dr. Campbell, one of the south Formosan missionaries, paid him a visit. He proved a delightful companion, and together the two made a tour of the mission stations. Dr. Campbell preached wherever they went and was a great inspiration to the people, as well as to the students and to the missionary himself.

One evening, when they were in Kelung, Mackay, with his insatiable desire to use every moment, suggested that they spend ten days without speaking English, so that they might improve their Chinese. Dr. Campbell agreed, and they started their "Chinese only." Next morning from the first early call of "Liong tsong khi lai," "All, all, up come," not one word of their native tongue did they speak. They had a long tramp that morning and there was much to talk about and the conversation was all in Chinese, according to the bargain. Dr. Campbell was ahead, and after an hour's talk he suddenly turned upon his companion: "Mackay!" he exclaimed, "this jabbering in Chinese is ridiculous, and two Scotchmen should have more sense; let us return to our mother tongue." Which advice Mackay gladly followed.

His next visitor was the Rev. Mr. Ritchie from south Formosa, one of the friends who had first introduced him to his work. Every day of his visit was a joy. With nine of Mackay's students, the two missionaries set out on a trip through the north Formosa mission that lasted many weeks.

But the more pleasant and helpful such companionship was the more alone Mackay felt when it was over. His task was becoming too much for one man. He was wanted on the northern coast, at the southern boundary of his mission field, and away on the Kap-tsu-lan plain all at once. He was crowded day and night with work. What with preaching, dentistry, attending the sick, training his students, and encouraging the new churches, he had enough on his hands for a dozen missionaries.

But now at last the Church at home, in far-away Canada, bestirred herself to help him. They had been hearing something of the wonderful mission in Formosa, but they had heard only hints of it, for Mackay would not confess how he was toiling day and night and how the work had grown until he was not able to overtake it alone. But the Church understood something of his need, and they now sent him the best present they could possibly give,—an assistant. Just three years after Mackay had landed in Formosa, the Rev. J. B. Fraser, M. D., and his wife and little ones arrived. He was a young man, too, vigorous and ready for work. Besides being an ordained minister, he was a physician as well, just exactly what the north Formosan mission needed.

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