Once again, Bishop Thoburn calls upon Mary, this time to go to Taiping in Malaysia and become principal of the Treacher Methodist Girl's School.

Mary is maturing as a missionary with the realization that many of the concepts used in her father's evangelical work at home don't translate to Malaysian culture, but that when she teaches by example, the message is understood. Her thoughts are deepening as she strives to follow Christ, she is learning to talk less and listen more. Returning from a bicycle ride, she finds the students "playing school" and joins in, later using the experience to involve some of the English  ladies  in

the growth of the native children. She is becoming aware of the "prejudice" some teachers have toward the natives. Sensing this defect, she now understands that her native teachers-in-training have more potential than foreign missionaries because they know the culture. The teacher is also student, able to measure her strengths as well as her weaknesses!

All is not work, for Mary and her friends Mr. and Mrs. Curtis and Mrs. Benjafield take a little vacation into the mountains, remarking on the riot of jungle foliage as they go, carried by coolies. The destination was a tea plantation 3800 feet above the city known as "the Nest". On another occasion, she toured the Caves of Ipoh with it's marble grottoes, home of a temple. A Priest greets them and an acolyte leads them on a tour, her wonder is tempered by her desire to clean the soot and dust away for a better view.


In Taiping, Perak

Mary was so successful in her work in Singapore that Bishop Thoburn felt that she was the one with the courage and initiative to fill a needed post in Taiping, Perak, Maylay States (now Malaysia). She had to take over guidance of the whole school and build up a new kindergarten.

On the trip to Taiping to take over the work, Mary brought with her a letter from her father which called for a definite answer. He, who had given his energies and financial help to evangelistic causes, and helped establish several churches, could not quite fathom why Mary was not managing some evangelism, at least as an adjunct to her school teaching. So she wrote as follows: “My dear Father, I respect your opinions and criticisms and am proud of all you have done for the Kingdom of God on this earth. But I want to make clear to you how the same beliefs are expressed in my work with the children and young girls whom I am training. My work offers great opportunities not only for religious instruction, but we live daily with these people and personal contact is much more effectual. What we do as Christ disciples, they can see and follow, while very often what we say is Greek to them. Their ideas are very different to ours. I do often speak of the love of God, and we pray to the heavenly Father, but I often wonder what interpreta- tion they put on what I say. They love us, and what we love they love. Since I have been ill again and had to have a vacation, I have been thinking about the power to follow Christ. We must have it or else we cannot influence others. Our experience teaches us so much. We find that our work develops us ever more and more as new demands are made on us. This is only explained by the power of God leading us."

On this steamer to Taiping, she again had that strange ex- perience as when she went to Singapore. Her missionary salary only permitted a second class ticket. Again, the captain of the ship came to her and said, "I have a first class room I want you to take." She had already suffered on her abstemious second class fare and was sick of her bargain on her first day out. She was in- vited to the captain’s table to eat. "l must be on my best behavior at  the  Captain’s  table,  that  is,  listen  more,  and  talk less;   but  no


doubt the Captain will ask the usual questions. Do you as a missionary expect to change these Asians superstitious ways?" And I will reply, "We can build new ideas and something much better in love and faith and decency through their little children/’ She could have said, but of course would not, what many people said of her: "She is so capable, astonishingly so, of transmitting the essence of a new kindergarten philosophy to her students and from them to the children."

One evening after school Sister went for a bicycle ride and returned to find the children playing "school" on the lawn. She arrived in time for the distribution of "prizes" in calesthenics. Freda (a girl who played the violin) sat in the front on a higher chair and addressed the children. She called on one she named "Eairy". "Allow me to present to you this cupl" ln all solemnity she held in her hand, a huge rubber football which had seen its last use, ripped open and battered. Sister came from behind the tree where she was peeking at the performance and joined the fun. She knew she should be serious! She had to hold back her laughter. They had done splendidly in a real calesthenics contest. "The children are so graceful, more so than Europeans or Americans", she said. She worked up a wonderful occasion. Two lovely English la- dies were there to act as judges, very fair and appreciative. The kinder- garten room was tastefully decorated with long ferns from the jungle. They had many guests. As visitors came up the steps, a little Chinese boy and a Tamil girl handed bouquets of flowers to the ladies. Mary was proud of the clean white dresses on the girls and the Chinese colored outfits added to the scene. This welcoming accomplished, the children assembled for their "Literary Society" with one child pre- siding in the higher chair. The Chinese children were given a part in the program along with the others. To the new teachers this was very instructive, as they were prejudiced. ln their "literary society meeting", they told about President McKinley’s assassination, and, immediately after that, of my arrival. Here it is: ’The new prin- cipal has come, she is very kind. Her new duties are very big’." Mary agreed and sometimes she wished she could go back im- mediately to Singapore. However, she got a wheel ride each day to see the magnificient foliage, streams and jungles, and these were relaxing and pleasurable to her.

With a beautiful native girl named Victoria, a teacher in training, Mary went on an errand to find out about five absent children. The two traveled mostly by canoe. When they got there, they found there had been a death in the family, so the children wore  dirty  black  garments.   Victoria,  usually  so  responsive,   looked


into space with a wooden expression. She was as immovable as a piece of statue. She knew how to behave at a funeral. ln the funeral parade all Mary’s children wore sackcloth, the women ac- companying them, wailing all the time. l-lowever, in a day or two, the children all returned and were normally happy, and such a relief, Victoria was her radiant self.

In great contrast with the funeral parade, was the party given by the wife of the President General of the British Regency, a lovely affair. As soon as Mary arrived she was asked to lead the games. All the children who came entered into the games except the Catholic children, who were frightened, or who had never played those games.    They  would  not  join  in  until  finally,  "Sally,  Sally,"
(a popular game used in Mission Schools) was asked for. She wrote, "You should have seen the Tamils, long full skirts, red, green, and orange, such fun to see. At refreshment time, the English mothers would not allow their children to sit on the same mat with the dark skinned children. This called for utmost tact on the part of the hostess.  She was very diplomatic, and the party ended happily."

It was with real joy that l came upon a letter written to our mother  while Mary was at Taiping. She had already established the kindergarten in the school, and, at vacation time, with several other missionaries decided to go up to "The Nest" in the mountains. l will  quote  most of her letter: "Where shall l begin? So much to write!  We  left Taiping Saturday morning by seven o’clock and were carried up the hills on the shoulders of coolies, each of us on a canvas  hammock or stretcher. Imagine Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. Benjafield and I on three stretchers—with a coolie at each end and one running along the side of each, to relieve the first coolie who could manage to  go  only a certain stretch. We went winding around through jungles  on  a narrow foot path cut out of the side of the hills joggling along  on  the shoulders of half naked black men. Once again, I was  glad  I  weighed only 93 pounds. The stretcher was not a bit comfortable with nothing to rest ones back against but we managed by lying down occasionally. We quite forgot our ridiculous posi- tion in the fascinating scenery before us. First, wonderful hills; then, higher and higher into the mountains — beautiful, magnificent ferns everywhere, palms and varied trees in the height of perfection. Most  wonderful of all were the Parasites — that is where a seed lodges  in the top of a tree; not satisfied to take the life of the tree but drops roots down,  hundreds  of feet  until  they strike the ground
—thrusting  one around another until a cable is formed that is powerful enough for a man to climb, or if cut, to make a bridge. Few trees escape the Parasites. The trees attain great height to get to the


sunshine with their small burden of leaves and flowers on short limbs  at the top. Creepers utilize these tall trees, to also get to the light. Many beautiful kinds of creepers — one kind had leaves four  feet long, odd flowers on some, now and then. Oh, The grandeur of the scenery! Shall l ever forget these mountains or these  paths? We kept on our way, protected from the sun by the drapers of shrubbery. We went winding around great projecting rocks,  (the coolies stepping over the paths of mountain streams! looking down, down into enchanting valleys and up into ragged mountains, listening to the sound of birds and the call of tree toads."

"Finally, we reached a place called the "Tea Garden" where tea and coffee is grown. Here we parted with our coolies, they, having  carried us four miles up, up! Now, Mama, here comes the best part of all — at least to you. I walked the rest of the way 3½ miles up hill. We had tea and crackers at the ’Tea Garden' and stopped    for  a  few  minutes  at  another  bungalow  where  we  had
'ginger-beer'. We  dared  not  stop  long for the rain was not far off. You  see, dear little Mother, there is something left of me yet. lt was  only two miles on level land at home which wore met out. Here  I  once sat on a stone and said, ’If only I had paid my stretcher bearer to bring me all the way." But I made it, tired, with only aching  muscles! Oh, but we were rewarded. Such a ’Nest’ it is!"

"We stepped into a cottage as dainty and comfortable as one  could ever find. The rose covered hill slopes down on three sides from its fifty foot platform, displaying varied views off over toward adjacent mountains. Sometimes the clouds float far below us.  Imagine the atmosphere —- it is so clear we can glimpse the sea  miles away when clouds lift! We arrived here Saturday and found only part of our goods had arrived. But the Hindustani cook had  some coffee and bread ready for us. Later we enjoyed a fine dinner that we certainly relished. My clothing did not arrive until the  next day, but there was a big open fireplace so we dried out as we reviewed our experience. In the early tropical morning we feel  as  though we had been put suddenly on the North Pole. l ex- pect when I get home, l’ll someday remember this, and ask to be padded and put over a furnace register to thaw. Sunday was spent quietly, nothing to be heard except the wind singing and the tree toads. 3,800 — imagine it — above the city and higher if measured from the sea. The atmosphere makes me feel vigorous — an old delightful feeling.


"Mr. Curtis started his walk down hill because he had to go to  work. We three were alone until Monday night when two more came from Penang. I waited on the veranda while the others went to  meet the newcomers. Then I heard, ’Miss Cody, it’s time to wake  up!’ Ther stood the two young men. The two boys made it  lively for us all. Don’t worry Mother, Mrs. Curtis is a dignified chaperone. She used to teach Latin and Greek in Union Seminary. We have all been studying and writing. Early in the morning when we look out from our Eiderdown quilts through the windows, we could easily imagine it was frost on the window panes; clouds cover  us at such times. ’The Nest' is a Fairy House in the clouds. Some of our party went for a walk when the clouds cleared, each one returned carrying arms full of large dahlias, like home ones, yes, and marigolds. The boys carried great fern fronds from the fern trees. This is the site dreamed of, for our Sanitarium and Boarding School for Maylasia. The Government has already pledged a yearly grant of $1,500. We walked to see the whole layout. What a wonderful retreat it would make for missionaries to get away from the damp heat of the low lands. We almost got lost in the jungle so  we took a wood cutters path, the boys cut us some rattan sticks to help us walk. I was a sight on our return. Mr. Hoover said, 'Come  see! Here is a chance to see Miss Cody looking very dirty! My skirt was covered with mud and briars. The next morning we heard a howling screeching from a concert of monkeys. Maybe they were protesting our journey into their domain. We must soon leave  this magnificience for the work in the schools."

Here is another letter that tells of one experience Mary was privileged to have outside her routine of school supervision to the Caves of Ipoh, Perak:

"Up at five o’clock for a trip to the famous caves. A Shandi- gan (Cherry is a more familiar name) took 31/2 hours. We rode from  our mission station over cut marble roads — very rough. The sand covering the cut marble was white and very hard on the eyes, as the sun shone on the road. We were going to visit a wonderful cave. The Chinese have made there a temple to their gods. Such a  place! So awe inspiring it naturally seemed to these primitive people that it must be an abode of Spirits. The cave is inhabited by  priests who have lived there for seven years, thus owning a title to the property. Every now and then some new spirit reveals him- self as present in some nook of the cave and forthwith an altar is raised and incense burned before him. We left our Shandigan in the  street, crossing a bridge over shallow water where lotus flowers, water  lily  type,  were  growing, beautiful immense pink blossoms on


huge leaves. The Priest met us at the mouth of the cave. A man of  fine  figure with a mild intelligent face. He smiled very pleasantly at  us, and bowed. Dr. Luiring wished him, in Chinese, a Happy New  Year. The Priest bowed with both hands together, folded be- fore  his face in salutation, a manner we crudely imitated later when leaving the cave. Their meal of vegetables was cooking just inside the  cave door. We walked on and stood on a platform built over a ravinethat had rushed through the cave for years, gradually lowering its  bed until there stands revealed as great a wonder of nature as l have  ever witnessed. A vast marble excavation one or two hundred feet  long and over 200 feet high, or higher. Great projections stood out,  many strange formations, smoothed by erosions. The dripping of  water and lime made the stalactites. A little Chinese boy carrying a  torch, led the way. He startled us by striking these formations. lt sounded so sweetly, each one a different tone. We walked between crevices, winding around, sometimes going over marble bridges which  led over the ravine, always under more projections. The wooden  galleries have only been built this year, one above another and  were reached by long stairways. We climbed up to all five galleries,  so you can imagine the height of this cave. There we saw grottoes so large they have been made into sleeping rooms. Every- where altars were built to Gods who have revealed themselves as present in some particular niche, hidden carved faces of gods, nature gods,  a  great mother god, gods of kings and  of fortune. Josh sticks and incense burned before the gods. A worshipper must first strike a gong  to  awaken the god, and to make sure the god is awake, he strikes  another gong. Having made sure of the god’s attention, he makes his earnest petition. The poor man decides on the answers to  his  prayer by throwing up two sticks. The way the sticks fall may  mean any of three things: ’yes’ or ’| cannot listen to your prayer' or  ’it is ignored’ or ‘no’. The Priest will then throw himself down, going  into a trance when he communes with spirits, l'm told. He lacerates himself until blood flows freely. They told us that sharp needle  beds and chairs are used. We learned much more. Then wound  our way around down to the entrance. The cave would be a  great  place of beauty and wonder if the soot from the priests’ cooking  and torch lights and dust were only washed away. lt is rare  marble." (l thought afterward, after these many years, it may have  been  cleaned and made an exhibition for travelers from around  the world.) Her powers of description made the family at home  feel that they were living each experience with her.

Mary was in Taiping for five months until someone, who was supposed to be on the way, could take her place. Naturally the kindergarten  in  Singapore  had  deteriorated  during  her  absence, and


she returned with  plans  to  visit  in  the  homes,  and  work  with  the
girls-in-training, individually, helping to develop them in their weak points. But shortly after her return to Singapore, Miss Lilly announc- ed that she herself needed a furlough, having been there five years—
a long hard period in that climate. So it was again necessary for Mary  to assume the responsibility of the whole school, and give up all plans to visit in homes and give the additional training to her Singapore teachers.


The International Cody Family Association