The cockswain stooped so low as to bring the crest of the billows in a line with the horizon, when he discovered the dark boat, playing in the outer edge of the surf. "What hoa!
He had some time before taught A Hoa a grand old Scottish paraphrase, and they had often sung it together: I'm not ashamed to own my Lord Or to defend his cause, Maintain the glory of his cross And honor all his laws. Mackay's voice, loud and clear, burst into this fine old hymn. A Hoa raised his head. He joined in the hymn and sang it to the end. It put mettle into him.
And after that she came every Sunday, bringing more each time, until at last a whole boat-load would come down to the service. These people were so interested that they asked the missionary if he would not visit them. So one day he and A Hoa boarded one of the queer-looking flat-bottomed river-boats and were pulled up the rapids to Go ko-khi.
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 Hoa told them something of the great Kai Bok-su and the struggles he had had with savages and other enemies, when he first came to this region. The visitors were very much interested and did not wonder that the name "Kai Bok-su" was held in such reverence. When they left, the captain presented the little chapel with a bell, a lamp, and a mirror which were on board his ship.
And so he and his Formosan wife said good-by, amid tears and regrets on all sides, and leaving Mr. Junor in charge with A Hoa to help, they set sail for Canada.
The Bel of the Assyrians was certainly not their Fish-god; nor had his epithet Da-gaga any real connection with the word dag, "a fish." To speak of "Bel-Dagon" is thus to mislead the ordinary reader, who naturally supposes from the term that he is to identify the great god Belus, the second deity of the first Triad, with the fish forms upon the sculptures. HEA, or HOA.
And a brave pattern he showed them. Often he and A Hoa paced the lawn in front of the house while shot and shell whizzed around them. During the worst of the bombardment they came and went between the college and the house as if they had charmed lives. One day there was a great roar and a shell struck Oxford College, shaking it to its foundations.
Now there would be an exclamation from Mackay as he sank to the knees in the mud of a rice-field, now a groan from A Hoa as he fell over a boulder and bruised and scratched himself, and oftenest a yell from the poor coolie, as he slipped, baskets and all, into some rocky crevice, and was sure he was tumbling into the river; but they staggered on, Mackay secure in his faith in God.
He knows his own people, from the governor of the island to the ragged opium-smoking beggar, and has influence with them all." There were many others besides A Hoa to render the missionary faithful help; among them Sun-a and Tan He, the latter pastor of the church of Sin-tiam; and just because Kai Bok-su was away they worked the harder, that he might receive a good report of them on his return.