Citation
The tribulations of a Chinaman in China

Material Information

Title:
The tribulations of a Chinaman in China
Uniform Title:
Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine
Creator:
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
Champlin, Virginia, d. 1885
Dillingham, Charles Theodore, b. 1842
Lee and Shepard
Franklin Press (Boston, Mass.)
Rand, Avery & Co
Place of Publication:
Boston
New York
Publisher:
Lee and Shepard
Charles T. Dillingham
Manufacturer:
Franklin Press ; Electrotyped and Printed by Rand, Avery & Co.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1879
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vi, 271 p., 50 leaves of plates : ill. ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
National characteristics, Chinese -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Happiness -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Rich people -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Insurance -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Wealth -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Civil war -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Social life and customs -- Juvenile fiction -- China ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1882
Genre:
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
from the French of Jules Verne ; by Virginia Champlin ; with fifty illustrations.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027005375 ( ALEPH )
ALH9755 ( NOTIS )
62510085 ( OCLC )

UFDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of Florida
Jules Verne

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“Prohibition! prohibition) ”

Page 174.



THE

TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN
IN CHINA

FROM THE FRENCH OF JULES VERNE

































































































By VIRGINIA CHAMPLIN

WITH FIFTY [ILLUSTRATIONS

BOSTON
LEE AND SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS
NEW YORK
CHARLES T. DILLINGHAM
1882



Copyricut, 1879,

By LEE AND SHEPARD.

All rights reserved.

Franklin Press:
Electrotyped and Printed bv
Rand, Avery, & Ca..
Boston.



Uhis Translation

IS GRATEFULLY DEDICATED

TO
Mr. FRANCIS A. NICHOLS,
WHO AS AN EDITOR

GAVE ME MY FIRST LITERARY OPPORTUNITIES.






CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

In which the Peculiarities and Nationahity of the Perpandecs
are gradually revealed :

CHAPTER II.

In which Kin-Fo and the Bhulgsopuek are more ¢ fully de-
scribed .

CHAPTER III.

In which the Reader, without Fatigue, « can glance over the
City of Shang-hai . .

CHAPTER IV.
In which Kin-Fo receives an Important Letter, which is
Eight Days behind Time . 7 . : . .
CHAPTER V.

In which Le-ou receives a Letter which she would rather
not have received 7 . 7 7 .

CHAPTER VI.
Which will, perhaps, make the Reader desire to visit the
Offices of the “ Centenary ”
CHAPTER VII.
Which would be very Sad if it did not treat of Wave and
Customs peculiar to the Celestial Empire
CHAPTER VIII.
In which Kin-Fo makes a Serious Proposition to Wang,
which the Latter no less seriously accepts . ‘
CHAPTER Ix.
The Conclusion of which, however Singular it may be, per-
haps will not surprise "the Reader . .
CHAPTER X.

In which Craig and Fry are officially presented to the New
Patron of the Centenary . . .

v

Pace

14

36

49

58

69

89

Iol



vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XI.

In which Kin-Fo becomes the most Celebrated Man in the
Central Empire .

CHAPTER XII.

In which Kin-Fo, his Two aes and his Valet start on
an Adventure. 7 . . . :

CHAPTER XIII.

In which is heard the Celebrated Lament called “ The Five
Periods in the Life of a Centenarian” :

CHAPTER XIV.

In which the Visitor, without Fatigue, can travel through
Four Cities by visiting only One 7 : 7 :

CHAPTER XV.

Which certainly contains a Surprise for ae and pepe
for the Reader . . .

CHAPTER XVI.

In which Kin-Fo, who is still a penn meme to travel
again in earnest

CHAPTER XVII.
In which Kin-Fo’s Market Value is Once more Uncertain
CHAPTER XVIII.

In which Craig and Fry, urged by haa visit the Hold
of the “Sam-Yep” .

CHAPTER XIX.
Which does not finish well, either for Capt. Yin, the Com-
mander of the “ Sam-Yep,” or for her Crew
CHAPTER XX.
In which it will be seen to what Dangers Men are earenes
who use Capt. Boyton’s Nautical Apparatus . .
CHAPTER XXI.

In which Craig and Bry see the Moon rise with Extreme
Satisfaction . :

CHAPTER XXII.

Which the Reader might have written himself, it ends in
so Surprising a Way . 7 . ‘ . .

PAGE

109

149

164

177

244



THE TRIBULATIONS OF A
CHINAMAN IN CHINA.



CHAPTER I.

IN WHICH THE PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY OF
THE PERSONAGES ARE GRADUALLY REVEALED.

“Tr must be acknowledged, however, that there
is some good in life,” observed one of the guests,
who, leaning his elbow on the arm of his chair
with a marble back, sat nibbling a root of a sugar
water-lily.

“And evil also,’ added another, between two
spells of coughing, having been nearly strangled
by the prickles of the delicate fin of a shark.

“Let us be philosophers,” then said an older
person, whose nose supported an enormous pair of
spectacles with broad glasses affixed to wooden
bows. ‘To-day one comes near strangling, and
to-morrow every thing flows smoothly as the fra-
grant draughts of this nectar. This is life, after
all.”

After these words, this easily pleased epicure
1



2 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

swallowed a glass of excellent warm wine, whose
light vapor was slowly escaping from a metal
teapot.

“For my part,” continued a fourth guest, “ex-
istence seems very acceptable whenever one does
nothing, and has the means which enable him to
do nothing.”

* “You mistake,” quickly replied the fifth: ‘hap-
piness is in study and work. To acquire the
greatest possible amount of knowledge is the way
to-render one’s self happy.”

“ And to learn, when you sum it all up, that you
know nothing.”

“Ts not that the beginning of wisdom?”

“But what is the end?”

“Wisdom has no end,” philosophically answered
the man with spectacles. ‘‘To have common sense
would be supreme satisfaction.”

Upon this the first guest directly addressed the
host, who occupied the upper end of the table, —
that is, the poorest place, —as the rules of polite-
ness require. With indifference and inattention
the latter listened silently to this discussion zv¢er
pocula.

“Come, let us hear what our host thinks of this
rambling talk over the wine-cup? Does he find
existence a blessing, or an evil? Is it yes, or no?

The host carelessly munched several water-
melon-seeds, and for answer merely pouted his
lips scornfully, like a man who seems to take
interest in nothing,



PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. | 3

“Pooh!” said he.

This is a favorite word with indifferent people,
for it means every thing and nothing. It belongs
to all languages, and must have a place in every
dictionary on the globe, and is an articulated pout.

The five guests whom this exzuyé was entertain-
ing then pressed him with arguments, each in
favor of his own proposition ; for they wished to
have his opinion. He at first tried to avoid an-
swering, but finally asserted that life was neither
a blessing nor an evil: in his opinion, it was an
“invention,” rather insignificant, and, in short, not
very encouraging.

“Ah! now our friend reveals himself.”

“How can he speak thus, when his life has
been as smooth as an unruffled rose-leaf?”’

“ And he so young!”

“Young and in good health!”

“In good health, and rich.”

“Very rich.”

“More than very rich.”

“Too rich perhaps.”

These remarks followed each other like rockets
from a piece of fireworks, without even bringing
a smile to the host’s impassive face. He only
shrugged his shoulders slightly, like a man who
has never wished, even for an hour, to turn over
the leaves in the book of his own life, and has not
so much as cut the first pages.

And yet this indifferent man was thirty-one
years at most; was in wonderfully good health ;



4 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

possessed a great fortune, a mind that did not
lack culture, an intelligence above the average ;
and had, in short, every thing, which so many
others have not, to make him one of the happy
of this world. And why was he not happy?

“Why?”

The philosopher’s grave voice was now heard,
speaking like a leader of a chorus of the early
drama.

“Friend,” he said, “if you are not happy here
below, it is because, till now, your happiness has
been only negative. With happiness as with
health: to enjoy it, one should be deprived of it
occasionally. Now, you have never been ill. I
mean you have never been unfortunate: it is that
which your life needs. Who can appreciate hap-
piness if misfortune has never even for a moment
assailed him?”

And at this remark, which was stamped with
wisdom, the philosopher, raising his glass, full of
champagne of the best brand, said, —

“TI wish some shadow to fall athwart our host’s
sunlight, and some sorrows to enter his life.”
Saying which, he emptied his glass at one swal-
low.

The host made a gesture of assent, and again
lapsed into his habitual apathy.

Where did this conversation take place? Ina
European dining-room, in Paris, London, Mean
or St. Petersburg?

Were these six companions conversing together



PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. 5

in a restaurant in the Old or New World? And
who were they, who, without having drunk more
than usual, were discussing these questions in the
midst of a repast?

Certainly they were not Frenchmen, because
they were not talking politics. —

They were seated at a table in an elegantly
decorated saloon of medium size. The last rays
of the sun were streaming through the network
of blue and orange window-panes, and past the
open windows the evening breeze was swinging
garlands of natural and artificial flowers; and a
few variegated lanterns mingled their pale light
with the dying gleams of day. Above the win-
dows were carved arabesques, enriched with varied
sculpture, and representing celestial and terres-
trial beauty, and animals and vegetables of a
strange fauna and flora.

On the walls of the saloon, which were hung in
silken tapestry, were shining broad, double-bev-
elled mirrors; and on the ceiling a “punka,”
moving its painted percale wings, rendered the
temperature endurable.

The table was a vast quadrilateral of black
lacquer-work, and, being uncovered, reflected the
numerous pieces of silver and porcelain as a slab
of the purest crystal might have done. There
were no napkins, only simple squares of orna-
mented paper, a sufficient supply of which was
furnished each guest. Around the table stood
chairs with marble backs, far preferable in this
latitude to the covering of modern furniture.



6 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

The attendants were very prepossessing young
girls, in whose black hair were mingled lilies and
chrysanthemums, and round whose arms bracelets
of gold and jade were coquettishly wound. Smil-
ing and sprightly, they served or removed dishes
with one hand, while with the other they grace-
fully waved a large fan, which restored the currents
of air displaced by the punka on the ceiling.

The repast left nothing to be desired. One
could not imagine any thing more delicate than
the cooking, which was both neat and artistic; for
the Bignon of the place, knowing that he was
catering to connoisseurs, surpassed himself in the
preparation of the five hundred dishes which com-
posed the mez.

In the first course there were sugared cakes,
caviare, fried grasshoppers, dried fruits, and oys-
ters from Ning-po. Then followed, at short inter-
vals, poached eggs of the duck, pigeon, and lap-
wing; swallows’ nests with buttered eggs; fricasees
of “ging-seng;” stewed sturgeons’ gills; whales’
nerves with sugar sauce; fresh-water tadpoles; a
ragout of the yolks of crabs’ eggs, sparrows’ giz-
zards, and sheeps’ eyes pierced with a pointed bit
of garlic for flavoring; vavinoli! prepared with
the milk of apricot-stones; a stew of holothuria.
Bamboo-shoots in their juice, sugared salads of
young roots, pine-apples from Singapore, roasted
earth-nuts, salted almonds, savory mangoes, fruits

1 TRANSLATOR’s NoTE. — An Italian dish, a compound of vermicelli,
eggs, cheese, and green herbs, prepared in the form of fritters.









































































































































The attendants were very prepossessing young girls.

Page 6.



PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. 7

of the “long-yen” with white flesh, and “li-tchi”
with pale pulp, water caltrops, and preserved Can-
ton oranges composed the last course of a repast
which had lasted three hours, —a repast largely
watered with beer, champagne, Chao Chigne wine;
and the inevitable rice, which, placed between the
lips of the guests by the aid of chop-sticks, was
to crown at dessert the wisely arranged bill of
fare. .

The moment came at last for the young girls to
bring, not those bowls of European fashion which
contain a perfumed liquid, but napkins saturated
with warm water, which each of the guests passed
over his face with extreme satisfaction.

It was, however, only an eztr’acte of the repast,
—an hour of far niente, whose moments were to be
filled with music; for soon a ¢roupe of singers
and instrumentalists entered the saloon. The
singers were pretty young girls of modest appear-
ance and behavior. What music and method was
theirs !— a mewing and clucking without measure
or tunefulness, rising in sharp notes to the utmost
limit of perception by the auditory nerves. As
for the instruments, there were violins whose
strings became entangled in those of the bow,
guitars covered with serpents’ skins, screeching
clarinets, and harmonicas resembling small porta-
ble pianos; and all worthy of the songs and the
singers, to whom they formed a noisy accompani-
ment.

The leader of this discordant orchestra pre-



8 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

sented the programme of his réertoire as he
entered ; and at a motion from the host, who gave
him carte blanche, his musicians played the
“Bouquet of Ten Flowers,’’—a piece very much
in the sode at the time, and the rage in fashiona-
ble society.

- Then the singing and performing ¢voupe, having
been well paid in advance, withdrew, carrying with
them many a $évavo, with which they would yet
reap a rich harvest in the neighboring saloons.

The six companions then left their seats, but
only to pass from one table to another, which
movement was accompanied with great ceremony
and compliments of all kinds.

On this second table each found a small cup
with a lid ornamented with a portrait of Bédhid-
harama, the celebrated Buddhist monk, standing
on his legendary raft. Each received a pinch of
tea, which he steeped in the boiling water in his
cup, and drank almost immediately without sugar.

And what tea! It was not to be feared either
that the house of Gibb-Gibb & Co., who. furnished
it, had adulterated it with a mixture of foreign
leaves; or that it had already undergone a first
infusion, and was only good to use in sweeping
carpets; or that an unscrupulous preparer had
colored it yellow with curcuma, or green with
Prussian blue. It was imperial tea in all its
purity, and was composed of those precious leaves
of the first harvest in March which are similar to
the flower itself, and are seldom gathered; for loss



PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. 9

of its leaves causes the death of the plant. It was
composed of those leaves which young children
alone, with carefully gloved hands, are allowed to
cull.

A European could not have found words of
praise in number sufficient to extol this beverage,
which the six companions were slowly sipping,
without going into ecstasies, like connoisseurs
who were used to it; but, it must be confessed,
they were really unable to appreciate the delicacy
of the excellent concoction. They were gentle-
men of the best society, richly dressed in the
“han-chaol,’ —a light under-waistcoat ; the “ma-
coual,” —a short tunic; and the ‘“haol,’ —a
long robe, buttoning at the side. They wore
yellow sandals and open-work hose; silk panta-
loons, fastened at the waist with a tasselled sash;
and a plastron of fine embroidered silk on their
bosom, and a fan at their waist. These amiable
persons were born in the same country where the
tea-plant once a year produces its harvest of
fragrant leaves. This repast, in which swallows’
nests, fish of the holothurian species, whales’
nerves, and sharks’ fins appeared, was partaken
of as the delicacy of the viands deserved; but
its #enu, which would have astonished a foreigner,
did not surprise them in the least. But what did
surprise them was the statement which their host
made to them, as they were at last about to leave
the table, and from which they understood why he
had entertained them that day.



Io TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

The cups were still full, and the indifferent
gentleman, with his eyes fixed on vacancy, and
his elbow leaning on the table, was about to empty
his cup for the last time, when he expressed him-
self in these words :—

“My friends, listen to me without laughing.
The die is cast. I am about to introduce into
my life a new element, which perhaps will dispel
its monotony. Will it be a blessing, or a misfor-
tune? The future only can tell. This dinner,
to which I have invited you, is my farewell dinner
to bachelor life. In a fortnight I shall be married,
and ” —

“And you will be the happiest of men,” cried
the optimist. “Behold! all the signs are in your
favor.”

In fact, the lamps flickered, and cast a pale light
around; the magpies chattered on the arabesques
of the windows; and the little tea-leaves floated
perpendicularly in the cups. So many lucky
omens could not fail.

Therefore all congratulated their host, who
received these compliments with the most perfect
composure. But, as he did not name the person
destined to the 7é/e of “new element,” and the
one whom he had chosen, no one was so indiscreet
as to question him on the subject.

But the philosopher’s voice did not mingle in
the general concert of congratulations. With his
arms crossed, his eyes partly closed, and an
ironical smile on his lips, he seemed to approve



PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. Ii

those complimenting no more than he did the one
complimented.

The latter then rose, placed his hand on his
friend’s shoulder, and, in a voice that seemed less
calm than usual, asked, —

“ Am I, then, too old to marry?”

“No.”

“Too young?”

“No: neither too young nor too old.”

“Do you think I am doing wrong?”

“Perhaps so.”

“But she whom I have chosen, and with whom
you are acquainted, possesses every quality neces-
sary to make me happy.”

“T know it.”

“Well?”

“Tt is you who have not all that is necessary to
make you so. To be bored single in life is bad,
but to be bored double is worse.”

“Then I shall never be happy?”

“No: not so long as you do not know what
misfortune is.”

“ Misfortune cannot reach me.”

“So much the worse; for then you are incur-
able.”

“Ah! these philosophers!” cried the youngest
of the guests. ‘One should not listen to them.
They are machines with theories. They manu-
facture all kinds of theories, which are trash, and
good for nothing in practice. Get married, — get
married, my friend! I should do the same, had I



12 TRIBULATIONS OF A .CHINAMAN.

not made a vow never to do any thing. Get mar-
ried ; and, as our poets say, may the two phcenixes
always appear to you tenderly united! Friends, I
drink to the happiness of our host.”

“And I,” responded the philosopher, “drink to
the near interposition of some protecting divinity,
who, in order to make him happy, will cause him
to pass through the trial of misfortune.”

At this odd toast the guests arose, brought
their fists together as boxers do before beginning
a contest, and, having alternately lowered and
raised them while bowing their heads, took leave
of each other.

From the description of the saloon in which
this entertainment was given, and the foreign
menu which composed it, as well as from the dress
of the guests, with their manner of expressing
themselves, — perhaps, too, from the singularity of
their theories, — the reader has surmised that we
have had to do with the Chinese; not with those
“Celestials” who look as if they had been un-
glued from a Chinese screen, or had escaped from
a pottery vase where they properly belonged, but
with the modern inhabitants of the Celestial Em-
pire, already Europeanized by their studies, voy-
ages, and frequent communication with the civil-
ized people of the West.

Indeed, it was in the saloon of one of the flower-
boats on the River of Pearls at Canton that the
rich Kin-Fo, accompanied by the inseparable Wang
the philosopher, had just entertained four of the



PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. 13

best friends of his youth, — Pao-Shen, a mandarin
of the fourth class, and of the order of the blue
button ; Yin-Pang, a rich silk-merchant in Apothe-
cary Street; Tim, the high liver; and Houal, the
literary man.

And this took place on the twenty-seventh day
of the fourth moon, during the first of those five
periods which so peetically divide the hours of the
Chinese night.



14 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER II.

IN WHICH KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER ARE
MORE FULLY DESCRIBED.

THE reason why Kin-Fo gave a farewell dinner
to his Canton friends was, because he passed a
part of his youth in the capital of the province
of Kuang-Tung. Of the numerous comrades a
wealthy and generous young man is sure to have,
the only ones left him at this time were the four
guests who were present on the flower-boat. It
would have been useless for him to have tried to
bring the others together, as they were scattered
by the various accidents of life.

Kin-Fo lived in Shang-hai, and, being worn out
with exnuz, was now for a change spending a few
daysin Canton. This evening he intended to take
the steamboat which stops at several points along
the coast, and return quietly home to his yamen.

The reason that Wang accompanied Kin-Fo was
because the philosopher could never leave his
pupil, who did not want for lessons ; though, to tell
the truth, he paid no heed to them, and they were
just so many maxims and wise sayings lost. The
“theory-machine,” however, as Tim the high liver
called him, was never weary of producing them.



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Page 24.



KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 15

Kin-Fo was a perfect type of the northern Chi-
nese, whose race is being transformed, and who
have never united with the Tartars. He was of a
stamp differing from that usually found in the
southern provinces, where .the high and low
classes are more intimately blended with the
Mandshurian race: he had not a drop of Tartar
blood in his veins, neither from father nor mother,
whose ancestors kept secluded after the conquest.
. He was tall, well built, fair rather than yellow;
with straight eyebrows, and eyes following the
horizontal, and but slightly raised towards the
temple; with a straight nose, and a face that was
not flat. He would have been distinguished even
among the finest specimens of Western people.

Indeed, if Kin-Fo appeared at all like a China-
man, it was because of his carefully shaved skull ;
his smooth, hairless brow and neck; and his mag-
nificent braid, which started at the back of his
head, and rolled down like a serpent of jet. He
was very careful about his person, and wore a deli-
cate mustache, which made a half-circle over his
upper lip; and an imperial, which was exactly like
arest in musical notation. His nails were more
than a centimetre long, a proof that he belonged
to those fortunate men who are not obliged to
work. Perhaps, too, his careless walk and haughty
bearing added still more to the comme «i faut
appearance of his whole person.

Besides, Kin-Fo was born at Pekin, an advan-
tage of which the Chinese are very proud. To



16 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

any one who would have asked him where he came
from, he would have answered proudly, “I come
from above.”

His father, Tchoung-Heou, was living at Pekin
when he was born ; and he was six years old when
the former settled at Shang-hai.

This worthy Chinaman, who came from a fine
family in the northern part of the empire, like all
his compatriots, had a remarkable capacity for
business. During the first years of his career, he
bartered and sold every thing that the rich and
populous territory produces; such as paper goods
from Swatow, silks from Soo-Choo, sugar-candy
from Formosa, tea from Han-kow and Fou-chow,
iron from Ho-nan, and red and yellow copper from
the province of Yunnan. His principal business-
house, his “hong,” was at Shang-hai; but he had
branch establishments at Nankin, Tien-sing,
Macao, and Hong-Kong. As he was a close fol-
lower of European progress, he shipped. his goods
on English steamers, and kept himself informed
by cablegram of the state of the silk and opium
market at Lyons and Calcutta. He was not op.
posed to these agents of progress, steam and elec-
tricity, as are the majority of the Chinese, who
are under the influence of mandarins and the gov-
ernment, whose prestige is gradually being les-
sened by progress.

In short, Tchoung-Heou managed so shrewdly
in his business in the interior of the empire, as
well as in his transactions with Portuguese,



KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 17

French, English, or American houses, in Shang-
hai, Macao, and Hong-Kong, that, when Kin-Fo
came into the world, his fortune exceeded four
hundred thousand dollars; and, during the years
that followed, this capital was doubled, on account
of the establishment of a new traffic, which might
be called the ‘‘coolie trade of the New World.”

It is well known that the population of China is
in excess, and out of all proportion to the vast
extent of the territory, which is poetically divided
into the various names of Celestial Empire, Cen-
tral Empire, and Empire or Land of Flowers.

Its inhabitants are estimated at not less than
three hundred and sixty million, which is almost a
third of the population of the earth. Now, little
as the Chinaman eats, he nevertheless eats; and
China, even with its numerous rice-fields, and
extensive cultivation of millet and wheat, does
not provide enough to nourish him. Hence there
are more inhabitants than can be cared for; and
their only desire is to escape through some of the
loopholes which the English and French cannon
have made in the moral and material walls of the
Celestial Empire.

This surplus has poured into North America,
and principally into the State of California, but in
such multitudes that Congress has been obliged
to take restrictive measures against the invasion,
which is rather impolitely called “the yellow pest.”
As was observed, fifty million Chinese emigrants
in the United States would not have sensibly



18 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

diminished the population of China, and it would
have brought about a blending with the Anglo-
Saxon race, to the benefit of the Mongolian.

However this may be, the exodus was conducted
on a large scale. These coolies, living on a hand-
ful of rice, a cup of tea, and a pipe of tobacco, and
apt at all trades, met with remarkably quick suc-
cess in Virginia, Salt Lake, Oregon, and, above
all, the State of California, where they greatly
reduced the wages of manual labor.

Companies were then formed for the transporta-
tion of these inexpensive emigrants; and there
were five which had charge of the enlisting in the
five provinces of the Celestial Empire, and a sixth
which was stationed at San Francisco. The for-
mer shipped, and the latter received, the merchan-
dise; while an additional agency, called the Ting-
Tong, re-shipped them.

This requires an explanation.

The Chinese are very willing to expatriate them-
selves to seek their fortune with the “ Melicans,”
as they call the people of the United States, but
on one condition, that their bodies shall be faith-
fully brought back, and buried in their native land.
This is one of the principal conditions of the con-
tract, —a szue gua non clause, which is binding on
these companies with regard to the emigrant, and
cannot be eluded.

Therefore the Ting-Tong—or, in other words,
the Agency of the Dead, which draws its funds
from private sources —is charged with freighting



KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 19

the “ corpse steamers,” which leave San Francisco
fully loaded for Shang-hai, Hong-Kong, or Tien-
Sing. Here was a new business, and a new source
of profit, which the shrewd and enterprising
Tchoung-Heou foresaw. At the time of his death,
in 1866, he was a director in the Kouang-Than
Company in the province of that name, and sub-
director.of the Treasury for the Dead in San
Francisco.

Kin-Fo, having neither father nor mother, was
heir to a fortune valued at four million francs,
invested in stock in the Central Bank in Califor-
nia, and which he had the good sense to let
remain there. :

When he lost his father, the young heir, who
was nineteen years old, would have been alone in
the world, had it not been for Wang, the insepara-
ble Wang, who filled the place of mentor and
friend.

But who was this Wang? For seventeen years
he had lived in the yamen at Shang-hai, and was
the guest of the father before he became that of
the son. But where did he come from? What
was his past? All these somewhat difficult ques-
tions Tchoung-Heou and Kin-Fo alone could have
answered ; and if they had considered it proper to
do so, which was not probable, this is what one
would have learned from them : —

No one is unaware that China, is, par excellence,
the kingdom where insurrections last many years,
and carry off hundreds of thousands of men. Now,



20 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

in the seventeenth century, the celebrated dynasty
of Ming, of Chinese origin, had been in power in
China three hundred years, when, in 1644, the
chief, feeling too weak to resist the rebels who
threatened the capital, asked aid of a Tartar king.

The king, who did not need to be entreated,
hastened to his assistance, drove out the- rebels,
and profited by the situation to overthrow him
who had implored his aid, and proclaimed his own
son, Chun-Tche, emperor.

From this period the Tartar rule was substituted
for that of the Chinese, and the throne was occu-
pied by Mandshurian emperors.

The two races, especially among the lower
classes, gradually came together; but among the
rich families of the north they did not mingle.
Therefore the type still retains its characteristics,
particularly in the centre of the western provinces
of the empire. There the “irreconcilables”” who
remained faithful to the fallen dynasty took refuge.

Kin-Fo’s father was one of the latter; and he
did not belie the traditions of his family, who re-
fused to enter into compact with the Tartars. A
rebellion against the foreign power, even after a
rule of three hundred years, would have found him
ready to join it. It is unnecessary to add that his
son, Kin-Fo, fully shared his political opinions.

Now, in 1860, there still reigned that emperor,
S’Hiene-Fong, who declared war against England
and France, —a war ended by the treaty of Pekin
on the 25th of October of the same year.

























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































a 7 i | ee
a : Ky

me































































































Medio ‘ eer

kaeiond



tre ee



KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 21

But before that date a formidable uprising
threatened the reigning dynasty. The Tchang-
Mao, or the Tai-ping, —the “long-haired rebels,”
— took possession of Nankin in 1853, and Shang-
hai in 1855. After S’Hiene-Fong’s death, his son
had great difficulty in repulsing the Tai-ping.
Without the Viceroy Li, and Prince Kong, and
especially the English Colonel Gordon, he, per-
haps, would not have been able to save his throne.

The Tai-ping, the declared enemies of the Tar-
tars, being strongly organized for rebellion, wished
to replace the dynasty of the Tsing for that of the
Wang. They formed four distinct armies, — the
first, under a black banner, appointed to kill;
the second, under a red banner, to set fire; the
third, under a yellow banner, to pillage; and the
fourth, under a white banner, to provision the other
three.

There were important military operations in
Kiang-Sou; and Soo-Choo and Kia-Hing, five
leagues distant from Shang-hai, fell into the power
of the rebels, and were recovered, not without
difficulty, by the imperial troops.

Shang-hai, which had been seriously threatened,
was also attacked on the 18th of August, 1860, at
the time that Gens. Grant and Montauban, com-
manding the Anglo-French army, were cannon-
ading the forts of Pei-ho.

Now, at this time, Tchoung-Heou, Kin-Fo’s
father, was living near Shang-hai, not far from the
magnificent bridge thrown across the river by



22 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Chinese engineers at Sou-Choo. He disapproved
of this rebellion of the Tai-ping, since it was
chiefly directed against the Tartar dynasty.

This, then, was the state of affairs when, on
the evening of the 18th of August, after the rebels
had been driven out of Shang-hai, the door of
Tchoung-Heou’s house suddenly opened, and a
fugitive, having dodged his pursuers, came to
throw himself at the feet of Tchoung-Heou. The
unfortunate man had no weapon with which to
defend himself; and, if he to whom he came -to
ask for shelter had given him up to the imperial
soldiers, he would have been killed.

Kin-Fo’s father was not the man to betray a
Tai-ping who sought refuge in his house; and he
closed the door, and said, —

“T do not wish to know, and I never shall know,
who you are, what you have done, or whence you
come. You are my guest, and for that reason only
will be perfectly safe at my house.”

The fugitive tried to speak to express his grati-
tude, but scarcely had strength.

“Your name?” asked Tchoung-Heou.

“Wang.”

It was Wang indeed, saved by Tchoung-Heou’s
generosity, —a generosity which would have cost
the latter his life if any one had suspected that he
was giving an asylum toa rebel. But Tchoung-
Heou was like one of those men of ancient times
with whom every guest is sacred.

A few years later the uprising of the rebels was



KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 23

forever repressed. In 1864 the Tai-ping chief,
who was besieged at Nankin, poisoned himself to
escape falling into the hands of the Imperials.

Wang, ever since that day, had remained in his
benefactor’s house. He was never obliged to say
any thing about his past; for no one questioned
him. Perhaps they feared they might hear too
much. The atrocities committed by the rebels
were frightful, it was said; and under what banner
Wang had served,—the yellow, red, black, or
white, —it was better to remain in ignorance, and
to fancy that he belonged only to the provisioning
column.

Wang, however, was delighted with his lot, and
continued to be the guest of this hospitable house.
After Tchoung-Heou’s death, his son, being so
accustomed to the amiable man’s company, would
never be parted from him.

But, in truth, at the time when this story be-
gins, who would have ever recognized a former
Tai-ping, a murderer, plunderer, or incendiary from
choice, in this philosopher of fifty-five years, this
moralist in spectacles, playing the part of China-
man, with eyes drawn towards the temples, and
with the traditional mustache? With his ‘long
robe of a modest color, and a waist rising towards
his chest from a growing obesity; with his head-
dress regulated according to the imperial decree,
—that is to say, with a fur hat with the rim raised
around the crown, from whence streamed tassels
of red cord, —did he not look the worthy professor



24 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

of philosophy, and one of those savants who write
fluently in the eighty thousand characters of
Chinese handwriting, and like a /ttérateur of the
superior dialect receiving the first prize in the
examination of doctors, with the right to pass
under the grand gate at Pekin, which is an honor
reserved for the Sons of Heaven?

Perhaps, after all, the rebel, forgetting a past
full of horror, had improved by contact with the
honest Tchoung-Heou, and had gradually branched
off to the road of speculative philosophy.

That is why, on this evening, Kin-Fo and Wang,
who never left each other, were together at Can-
ton, and why, after this farewell dinner, both were
going along the wharves to seck a steamer to take
them quickly to Shang-hai.

Kin-Fo walked on in silence, and even some-
what thoughtfully. Wang, looking round to the
right and to the left, philosophizing to the moon
and the stars, passed smilingly under the Gate
of Eternal Purity, which he did not find too
high for him, and under the Gate of Eternal Joy,
whose doors seemed to open on his own existence,
and finally saw the Pagoda of the Five Hundred
Divinities vanishing in the distance.

The steamer “ Perma” was under full steam.
Kin-Fo and Wang went on board, and entered the
cabins reserved for them. The rapid current of
the River of Pearls, which daily bears along the
bodies of those condemned to death with the
mud from its shores, carried the boat swiftly



KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 25

onward. It sped like an arrow between the ruins
made by French cannon, and left standing here
and there; past the pagoda Haf-Way, nine stories
high; and past Point Jardyne, near Whampoa,
where the large ships anchor, between the islands
and the bamboo palisades of the two shores,

The one hundred and fifty kilometres — that is
to say, the three hundred and seventy-five leagues
which separate Canton from the mouth of the
river — were travelled in the night.

At sunrise the “Perma” passed the Tiger’s
Mouth, and then the two bars of the estuary.
The Victoria Peak of the isle of Hong-Kong,
eighteen hundred and twenty-five feet high, ap-
peared for a moment through the morning mist,
when, after the most successful of passages, Kin-Fo
and the philosopher, leaving the yellowish waters
of the Blue River behind them, landed at Shang-
hai, on the shores of the province of Kiang-Nan.



26 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

. CHAPTER III.

IN WHICH THE READER, WITHOUT FATIGUE, CAN
GLANCE OVER THE CITY OF SHANG-HAI.

A. CHINESE proverb says, —

“When sabres are rusty, and spades bright;

“When prisons are empty, and granaries full;

“When the steps of the temples are worn by the feet of
worshippers, and the court-yards of the tribunals are ‘cov-
ered with grass ;

“When physicians go on foot, and bakers on horse-
back, —

“The empire is well governed.”

It is a good proverb, and might be applied to all
the States of the Old and New World. But, if
there is a single one where this destderatum is
still far from being realized, it is precisely the
Celestial Empire: for there it is the sabres which
are bright, and the spades rusty; the prisons
which are overflowing, and the granaries empty.
The bakers rest more than the physicians; and, if
the pagodas attract worshippers, the tribunals, on
the contrary, lack neither criminals nor litigants.

Besides, a kingdom of a hundred and eighty
thousand square miles, which from north to south
measures more than eight hundred leagues, and



THE CITY OF SHANG-HAT. 27

from east to west more than nine hundred, which
counts eighteen vast provinces, not to mention
the tributary countries, — Mongolia, Mandshuria,
Thibet, Tonking, Corea, the Loo-Choo Islands, &c.,
—can be but very imperfectly governed. If the
Chinese have a faint suspicion of this, foreigners
are not at all deceived. The emperor, who is
called the Son of Heaven, the father and mother
of his subjects, who makes or unmakes laws at
his pleasure, and has power of life or death over
every one, and to whom the revenues of the
empire are a birthright, —the sovereign before
whom brows are bowed to the dust, —shut up in
his palace, which is sheltered by the walls of a
triple city, —alone, perhaps, considers that every
thing is for the best in the best of worlds. It
would be unnecessary even to try to prove to him
that he is mistaken. A Son of Heaven is never
mistaken.

Did Kin-Fo have any reason to think that it
would be better to be governed in the European
than in the Chinese manner? One would be
tempted to think so. Indeed, he lived, not in
Shang-hai, but out of the city, in a part of the
English concession, which preserves a sort of
freedom that is highly prized.

Shang-hai, the city proper, is situated on the left
shore of the little River Houang-Pou, which, unit-
ing at a right angle with the Wousung, flows into
the Yang-Tze-Kiang, or Blue River, and from
there is lost in the Yellow Sea.



28 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

It is an oval, extending from north to south,
and surrounded by high walls, with an outlet of
gates opening on its suburbs. An inextricable
network of paved lanes, which would soon wear
out sweeping-machines, were they to clean them ;
gloomy shops, without shutters or any display of
goods in their windows, and in which the shop-
keepers perform their duties naked to the waist ;
not a carriage, not a palanquin, and scarcely any
horsemen ; here and there a few native temples or
foreign chapels; for promenades, a ‘“‘tea-garden,”
and a rather pebbly parade-ground, built on an
embankment, filled with ancient rice-fields, and
subject to marshy emanations; a population of
two hundred thousand inhabitants in the streets
and narrow houses, —all compose this city, which,
though as a place of residence is hardly desirable,
is, nevertheless, of great commercial importance.

In this city, after the treaty of Nankin, for-
eigners for the first time possessed the right to
establish stores, and here was the great port
opened in China to European traffic: therefore,
outside of Shang-hai and its suburbs, the govern-
ment ceded, for an annual sum, three portions of
territory to the French, English, and Americans,
who number about two thousand.

Of the French concession, there is little to be
said, it being the least important. Nearly the
whole of it is within the northern enclosure of the
city, reaching as far as the Brook Yang-King-Pang,
which separates it from the English territory.



THE CITY OF SHANG-HAT. 29

There stand the churches of the Lazarists and
Jesuits, who, four miles from Shang-hai, own the
college of Tsikave, where they confer bachelors’
degrees.

But this little French colony does not equal its
neighbors: far from it. Of the ten commercial
houses founded in 1861, there remain but three;
and they even preferred to establish the discount-
broker's office on the English concession.

The American territory occupies that part of
the country extending to Wousung, and is sepa-
rated from the English territory by the Soo-Choo
Creek, which is spanned by a wooden bridge.
Here are the Hotel Astor, and the Church of the
Missions, and the docks erected for the repair of
European ships.

But, of the three concessions, the most flourish-
ing is indisputably the English. Here are sump-
tuous dwellings on the wharves, houses with
verandas and gardens, palaces of the merchant
princes, the Oriental Bank, the “hong” of the cele-
brated house which bears the name of the firm of
Lao-Tchi-Tchang, the stores of the Jardynes, Rus-
sels, and other great merchants, the English club,
the theatre, the tennis-court, the park, the race-
course, and the library. Such is that wealthy
creation of the Anglo-Saxons, which has justly
merited the name of “ Model Colony.”

That is why, on this privileged territory, under
the patronage of a liberal administration, one will
not be astonished, as M. Leon Russet says, to find



30 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“‘a Chinese city of an especially individual charac
ter, which has not its counterpart anywhere.”

In this little corner of the earth, the foreigner,
arriving by the picturesque Blue River, sees four
flags unfurled by the same breeze,— the three
French colors, the “yacht” of the United King-
dom, the American stars, and the cross of St.
André, yellow with a green background, of the
Flowery Empire.

As for the environs of Shang-hai, they are a flat,
treeless country, cut up by narrow, stony roads
and footpaths, laid out at right angles, or hollowed
out by cisterns and “arroyos”’ distributing the
water through numerous rice-fields, or furrowed
by canals conveying junk-boats, which start in the
middle of the fields, like the canal-boats through
Holland. They are a sort of vast tableau, very
green in tone, a picture without a frame.

“The Perma,” on her arrival, anchored at the
wharf of the native port, before the eastern
suburbs of Shang-hai; and it was there that Wang
and Kin-Fo landed in the afternoon,

The coming and going of business people cre-
ated a traffic that was enormous on the shore, and
beyond description on the river.

The junk-boats by hundreds, the flower-boats,
the sampans (a kind of gondola managed by the
scull), the gigs, and other boats, of every size,
formed a kind of floating city inhabited by a mari-
time population, which cannot be reckoned at less
than forty thousand souls, —a population main-











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE CITY OF SHANG-HAL. 31

tained in an inferior situation, and the wealthy
part of which cannot rise to the rank of the liter-
ary or mandarin class.

The two friends sauntered along the wharf
among the strange, motley crowd, which comprised
merchants of every kind; venders of arachides,
betel-nuts, and oranges, with some from the Indian
orange-tree; seamen of every nation, water-car-
riers, fortune-tellers, bonzes, lamas, Catholic
priests clothed in Chinese fashion with pigtail
and fan, native soldiers, “tipaos” (the town-bailiffs
of the place), and “compradores,” or deputy-
brokers, as they might be called, who transact busi-
ness for European merchants.

Kin-Fo, with his fan in his hand, cast his usual
indifferent look over the crowd, and took no inter-
est in what was passing around him. Neither the
metallic sound of the Mexican piasters, nor that of
the silver taels and copper sapeques, which sellers
and buyers were exchanging with considerable
noise, could have disturbed him. He had the
means to buy out the entire suburbs for cash.

As for Wang, he opened his immense yellow
umbrella, which was decorated with black mon-
sters, and constantly faced the east as every high-
bred Chinaman should, and looked around every-
where for objects worthy of his observation.

As he passed before the eastern gate, his eyes
fell by chance on a dozen bamboo cages, from
which the faces of criminals who had been be-
headed the evening before grinned at him. “ Per-



32 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

haps,” said he, “there is something better to do
than to cut off people’s heads; and that is, to
make them stronger.”

Kin-Fo, no doubt, did not hear Wang’s reflec-
tion, which, on the part of a former Tai-ping,
would have astonished him.

Both continued to follow the wharf, winding
around the walls of the Chinese city.

At the extremity of the outskirts, just as they
were about to set foot on the French concession, a
native in a long blue robe, who was striking a buf-
falo-horn with a small stick, which produced a
harsh, grating sound, attracted quite a crowd
around him.

“A sien-cheng,” said the philosopher.

“What is it to us?” added Kin-Fo.

“Friend,” answered Wang, “ask him your for-
tune. This is a good time, when you are about to
be married.”

Kin-Fo started on his way again ; but Wang held
him back.

The “sien-cheng” is a sort of popular prophet,
who for a few sapeques makes a business of fore-
telling the future. His only professional appara-
tus is a cage, enclosing a little bird, which he
hangs on one of the buttons of his robe, and a
pack of sixty-four cards, representing figures of
gods, men, or animals. The Chinese of every
class, who are generally superstitious, make noth-
ing of the predictions of the sien-cheng, who,
probably is notin earnest,















THE CITY OF SHANG-HAL. 33

At a sign from Wang, he spread a piece of cot-
ton cloth on the ground, placed his cage on it,
drew out his cards, shuffled, and placed them on
this carpeting in a manner to display their figures.
The door of the cage was then opened; and a little
bird came out, selected one of the cards, and went
back again, after having received a kernel of rice
as a reward.

The sien-cheng turned over the card. It bore
the face of a man, and a device written in kunan-
runa, the mandarin language of the north and an
official language used by educated people.

Then, addressing Kin-Fo, the fortune-teller pre-
dicted what those of his profession in all countries
invariably predict without compromising them-
selves, — that, after undergoing some near trial, he
would enjoy ten thousand years of happiness.

“One,” answered Kin-Fo, “one only, and I
won’t insist upon the rest.”

Then he threw a silver tael on the ground, which
the prophet scrambled for as a hungry dog does
fora bone. Such windfalls did not come to him
every day.

After this, Wang and his pupil proceeded to the
French colony, —the former thinking of the predic-
tion, which accorded with his own theories about
happiness; the latter knowing well that no trial
could come to him.

They passed the French consulate, and as-
cended as far as the culvert thrown across Yang-
King-Pang, and crossed the brook; then went in



34 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

an oblique direction across the English territory,
in order to reach the wharf at the European port.

It was just striking twelve ; and business, which
had been very active throughout the morning,
stopped as if by magic. The business-day was
ended, we may say; and quiet took the place of
bustle, even in the English city, which had become
Chinese in this respect.

At this moment several foreign ships were
arriving in port, most of them under the flag of
the United Kingdom. Nine out of ten, we must
state, were laden with opiim. This brutalizing
substance, this poison with which England encum-
bers China, creates a traffic amounting to more
than two hundred and sixty million francs, and
returns three hundred per cent profit. In vain
has the Chinese government tried to prevent the
importation of opium into the Celestial Empire.
The war of 1841 and the treaty of Nankin gave
free entry to English merchandise, and yielded the
day to the merchant princes. We must also add,
that, if the government of Pekin has gone so far as
to proclaim death to every Chinaman who sells
opium, there are arrangements that can be made,
through a financial medium, with the treasurers of
the ruler; and it is even believed that the manda-
rin governor of Shang-hai lays up a million annu-
ally by merely shutting his eyes to the acts of his
subordinates.

We need not add that neither Kin-Fo nor Wang
were addicted to the detestable habit of smoking



THE CITY OF SHANG-HAL. 35

opium, which destroys all the elasticity of the sys-
tem, and quickly leads to death. Therefore not
an ounce of this substance had even entered the
costly dwelling which the two friends reached an
hour after landing on the wharf at Shang-hai.

Wang (the remark is still more surprising be-
cause it is that of an ex-Tai-ping) did not hesitate
to say, “Perhaps there is something better than
importing that which brutalizes a whole nation.
Commerce is well enough; but philosophy is
better. Let us be philosophers before all! let us
be philosophers !”



36 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER IV.

IN WHICH KIN-FO RECEIVES AN IMPORTANT LET-
TER, WHICH IS EIGHT DAYS BEHIND TIME.

A YAMEN is a collection of various buildings
ranged along a parallel line, which is cut across
perpendicularly by a second line of kiosks and
pavilions. Usually the yamen serves as a dwelling
for mandarins of high rank, and belongs to the
emperor ; but wealthy celestials are not forbidden
to have one. It was in one of these sumptuous
hotels that the opulent Kin-Fo lived.

Wang and his pupil stopped at the principal
gate, which opened on the vast enclosure surround-
ing the various structures of the yamen, and its
gardens and court-yards.

If, instead of being the dwelling of a private
individual, it had been that of a mandarin, a great
drum would have occupied the best place, under
the carved roof of the porch over the door, and
where, in the night as well as in the day, those of
his officers who might have to ask for justice
would have knocked. But, instead of this ‘“com-
plainers’ drum,” huge porcelain jars ornamented
the entrance of the yamen, and contained cold tea,
which was constantly renewed by attendants.



AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 37

These. jars were at the disposal of passers-by, a
generosity which did honor to Kin-Fo. So he
was thought a great deal of, as they say, “by his
neighbors in the East and West.”

On the master’s arrival, the servants ran to the
door to meet him. Valets-de-chambre, footmen,
porters, chair-bearers, grooms, coachmen, waiters,
night-watchers, and cooks, and all who compose the
Chinese household, formed into line under the
orders of the intendant; while a dozen coolies,
engaged by the month for the heaviest work, stood
a little in the rear.

The intendant offered his welcome to the master
of the house, who made a slight acknowledgment
with a motion of his hand, and passed rapidly on.

“Soun ?” said he simply.

“Soun!” answered Wang, smiling. “If Soun
were here, it would not be Soun!”’

“Where is he?” repeated Kin-Fo.

The intendant had to confess that neither he
nor any one knew what had become of him. Now,
Soun held no less important a position than that
of first vadlet-de-chambre, and was in particular at-
tached to Kin-Fo’s person, and was one whom the
ratter could by no means do without.

Was he, then, a model servant? No: he could
not possibly have performed his duties in a worse
manner. Absent-minded, incoherent in speech,
awkward with his hands and tongue, a thorough
gourmand, and somewhat of a coward, he was a
true Chinese-screen Chinaman, but faithful on



38 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

the whole, and the only person, after all, who pos
sessed the gift of moving his master. Kin-Fo
found an occasion to get angry with Soun twenty
times a day; and, if he only corrected him ten,
there was just so much the less to rouse him from
his habitual indifference, and stir his bile A
hygienic servant, it is plain to be seen.

Besides, Soun, like the majority of Chinese ser-
vants, came of his own accord to receive punish-
ment whenever he merited it, which his master
was not sparing in bestowing. The blows of the
rattan rained down on his shoulders, but he hardly
minded them. What caused him to show infinitely
more sensibility was the successive cuttings of his
braided pigtail, which Kin-Fo made him undergo
when he was guilty of any grave fault.

Probably no one is .unaware how much the
Chinaman values this odd appendage. The loss
of his pigtail is the first punishment offered to a
criminal. It is a dishonor for life: therefore the
unhappy valet dreaded nothing so much as to be
condemned to lose a piece of it. Four years
before, when he entered Kin-Fo’s service, his braid,
one of the most beautiful in the Celestial Empire,
measured one metre and twenty-five. Now there
remained only fifty-seven centimetres.

At this rate, Soun in two years would be en-
tirely bald.

However, Wang and Kin-Fo, followed respect-
fully by the servants, crossed the garden, in which
the trees, that were mostly set in porcelain vases,

























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Wang and Kin-Fo, followed respectfully by the servants, crossed the

garden.
Page 38



AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 39

and trimmed in an astonishing but lamentable
style of art, assumed the form of fantastic ani-
mals. Then the friends walked around the reser-
voir filled with “ gouramis” and red fishes, and in
which the limpid water was hidden from view
under the broad, pale-red flowers of the “nelum-
bo,” the most beautiful of the native water-lilies
in the Empire of Flowers. They saluted a quad-
ruped in hieroglyphics, painted in violent colors
on a wall ad hoc, like a symbolical fresco, and
finally reached the entrance to the principal dwell-
ing in the yamen.

It was a house composed of a ground-floor and
one story, raised on a terrace which was ascended
by six marble steps. Bamboo screens were hung
like awnings before the doors and windows, in
order to render endurable the excessive heat by
airing the interior. The flat roof contrasted with
the fantastic roofing of the pavilions, scattered
here and there in the enclosure of the yamen,
whose embrasures, many-colored tiles, and bricks
carved in fine arabesques, were extremely pleasing
to the eye.

Inside, with the exception of the rooms espe-
cially reserved for the occupancy of Wang and
Kin-Fo, there were only sa/ons surrounded by cabi-
nets formed of transparent walls, on which were
traced garlands of painted flowers, or inscriptions
giving those moral aphorisms with which the
Celestials are profuse. Everywhere were to be
seen seats oddly fashioned in pottery or porcelain,



40 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

in wood or marble, to say nothing of some dozens
of cushions of more inviting softness ; and every:
where were lamps or lanterns of various forms,
with glasses shaded in delicate colors, and more
encumbered with tassels, fringes, and top-knots
than a Spanish mule; and the little tea-tables called
teha-ki, which form an indispensable complement
to the furniture of a Chinese apartment. One
would not have wasted, but have well employed,
hours in counting the ivory and shell carvings, the
dead bronzes, the censers, the Jacquer-work orna-
mented with filagree of raised gold, them ilky-
white and emerald-green objects in jade, the vases
(round or in the form of a prism) of the dynasty
of the Ming and Tsing, and the still rarer porce-
lains of the dynasty of the Yen in veined enamel-
work of translucent pink and yellow, the secret of
whose manufacture is unknown. All that Chinese
fancy, added to European comfort, could offer, was
to be found in this luxurious home.

Indeed, Kin-Fo —it has been alluded to before,
and his tastes prove it —— was a progressive man,
who was not opposed to the importation of each
and every modern invention; and he might be
classed with those Sons of Heaven, still too rare,
who are charmed by the physical and chemical sci-
ences. He was not one of those barbarians who
cut the first telegraph-wires which the house of
Reynolds, wished to establish as far as Wousung
with the intention of learning sooner of the arrival
of English and American mails; nor one of those



AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 41

behind-the-times mandarins, who, in order not to
allow the submarine cable from Shang-hai to Hong-
Kong to be secured at any point whatsoever of the
territory, obliged the telegraph-workers to fasten
it on a boat floating in the middle of the river.

No: Kin-Fo joined those of his compatriots who
approved of the government building arsenals and
ship-yards in Fou-Chao under the direction of
French engineers; and he was also a stockholder
in the Chinese steamers which ply between Tien-
sing and Shang-hai on government business, and
was interested in those boats of great speed, which,
after leaving Singapore, gain three or four days
over the English mail.

It has been affirmed that material progress
found its way even into his home. Indeed, the
telephone gave communication between the differ-
ent buildings in his yamen ; and electric bells con-
nected the rooms in his house. During the cold
season he built a fire to warm himself without a
feeling of shame, being more sensible in this re-
spect than his fellow-citizens, who froze before an
empty fireplace under four or five suits of clothes.
He lighted his house with gas, like the inspector-
general of the custom-house in Pekin, and the
immensely rich Mr. Yang, the principal proprietor
of the pawn-shops in the Central Empire. Final-
ly, disdaining the superannuated custom of hand-
writing in his familiar correspondence, the pro-
gressive Kin-Fo, as one will soon find, adopted
phonography, recently brought to the highest de-
gree of perfection by Edison.



42 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Thus the pupil of the philosopher Wang had, in
his material as well as in his moral life, all that
was necessary to make him happy; yet he was not
so! He had.Soun to rouse him from his daily
apathy ; but even Soun did not suffice to bring
happiness.

It is true, that, at the present moment at least,
Soun, who was never where he ought to be, would
not show himself. He, no doubt, must have some
grave fault with which to reproach himself, some
awkward act done in his master’s absence; or if
he did not fear for his shoulders, accustomed to
the domestic rattan, every thing led one to believe
that he was trembling particularly for his pigtail.

“ Soun!” called Kin-Fo, as he entered the hall
into which opened the sa/ous on the right and left ;
and his voice indicated an ill-repressed impatience.

“Soun!” repeated Wang, whose good advice
and reproofs had produced no effect on the incor-
rigible valet.

“Let some one hunt up Soun, and bring him to
me,” said Kin-Fo, addressing the intendant, who
set all his people to find the unfindable.

Wang and Kin-Fo remained alone.

“Wisdom,” then spoke the philosopher, ‘‘ com-
mands the traveller who returns to his fireside to
take rest.”

“Let us be wise,” simply answered Wang’s
pupil; and, after having clasped the philosopher’s
hand, he went to his apartments. Kin-Fo, when
at length alone, stretched himself on one of those



AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 43

soft lounges of European manufacture which a
Chinese upholsterer would never have been able
to make so comfortable.

In this position he began to meditate. Was he
meditating on his marriage with the amiable and
pretty woman he was to make the companion of
his life? Yes; but that is not surprising, because
he was about to visit her. This charming person
did not reside in Shang-hai, but in Pekin; and
Kin-Fo thought that it would be proper to announce
to her both his return to Shang-hai, and his inten-
tion of soon visiting the capital of the Celestial
Empire. Even were he to show a certain desire
and slight impatience to see her again, it would
not be out of place ; for he really had a true affec-
tion for her.

Wang had demonstrated this to him by the
most unanswerable rules of logic; and this new
element introduced into his life might, perhaps,
call forth the unknown, —that is, happiness, —
who, — which, — of which —

Kin-Fo was dreaming, with his eyes already
closed ; and he would have gently fallen asleep,
if he had not felt a sort of tickling in his right
hand.

Instinctively his fingers came together, and
seized a slightly knotty, cylindrical body, of tol-
erable thickness, which they undoubtedly were
accustomed to handle. He could not be mistaken :
it was a rattan, which had slipped into his right
hand, while at the same time were heard, in a
resigned tone, the following words : —



44 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“When master wishes.”

Kin-Fo started up, and instinctively brandished
the correcting rattan.

Soun was before him, presenting his shoulders,
and bending half double in the position of a male-
factor about to be beheaded. Supporting himself
on the floor by one hand, he held a letter in the
other. .

“Well, here you are at last!” cried Kin-Fo.

“ Ai, ai, ya!” answered Soun. “I did not ex-
pect master till the third period. If he wishes’””—

Kin-Fo threw the rattan on the floor. Soun, al-
though he was naturally so yellow, managed to
turn pale,

“Tf you offer your back without any other ex-
planation,” said his master, “it is because you de-
serve something more. What is the matter?”

“ This letter.”

“Well, what of it? Speak!” cried Kin-Fo, seiz-
ing the letter which Soun presented to him.

“TI very stupidly forgot to give it to you before
your departure to Canton.”

“ A week behind time, you rascal!”

“T did wrong, master.”

“Come here.”

“T am like a poor crab that has no claws, and
cannot walk. Az, az, ya/”

This last cry was one of despair. Kin-Fo, having
seized Soun by his braid, with one clip of the well-
sharpened scissors cut off the extreme tip.

It is to be supposed that claws grow instantane-





























































“Ai ai yal”



AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 45

ously on the unhappy crab; for this one, having
first snatched from the carpet the severed part of
his precious appendage, scampered hastily away.

From fifty-seven centimetres, Soun’s pigtail had
become reduced to fifty-four.

Kin-Fo, who was again perfectly calm, had thrown
himself once more on the lounge, and was examin-
ing, with the air of a man whom nothing hurries,
the letter which had arrived a week ago. He was
only displeased with Soun on account of his care-
lessness, not on account of the delay. How could
any letter whatsoever interest him? It would only
be welcome if it could cause him an emotion. An
emotion for him! He looked at it, therefore,
somewhat vacantly. The envelope, of heavy linen
paper, revealed on the front and the reverse side
various postmarks of a chocolate and a wine
color, with the printed picture of a man under-
neath the figure 2, and “six cents,’ which showed
that it came from the United States of America.

“Good!” said Kin-Fo, shrugging his shoulders,
“a letter from my correspondent in San Fran-
cisco.” And he threw it in a corner of the lounge.

Indeed, what could his correspondent have to
tell him? That the securities which composed al-
most all his fortune remained quietly in the safes
of the Central Bank in California, or that his stock
had risen from fifteen to twenty per cent, or that
the dividends to be distributed would exceed those
of the preceding year, &c.

A few million dollars more or less really could
not move him.



46 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

However, a few moments later, Kin-Fo took the
letter again, and mechanically tore the envelope;
but, instead of reading it, his eyes at first sought
only the signature.

“Tt is truly from my correspondent,” he said.
“He can only have business-matters to tell me of ;
and business I won’t think of till to-morrow.”

And a second time Kin-Fo was about to throw
down the letter, when inside, on the right-hand
page, a word underlined several times caught his
eye. It was the word “indebtedness,” to which
the San Francisco correspondent wished to draw
the attention of his client at Shang-hai.

Kin-Fo then began the letter from the beginning,
and read every word from the first to the last line,
not without a certain feeling of curiosity rather
surprising on his part. For a moment his eye-
brows contracted; but a rather disdainful smile
played round his lips when he finished reading.

He then rose, took about twenty steps around
his room, and approached the rubber tube which
placed him in communication with Wang. He
even carried the mouth-piece to his lips, and was
about to whistle through it, when he changed his
mind, let fall the rubber serpent, and, returning,
threw himself on the lounge.

“Pooh!” said he.

This word just expressed Kin-Fo.

“And she!” he murmured. “She is really more
interested in all this than I am.”

He then approached a little lacquered table, on



AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 47

which stood an oblong box of rare carving; but,
as he was about to open it, he stayed his hand.

“What was it that her last letter said?” he
murmured. :

Instead of raising the box-cover, he pressed a
spring at one end, and immediately a sweet voice
was heard :—

“My little elder brother, am I no longer to you
like the flower mei-houa in the first moon, like the
flower of the apricot in the second, and the flower
of the peach-tree in the third? My dear, precious
jewel of a heart, a thousand, ten thousand greet-
ings to you!”

It was the voice of a young woman, whose ten-
der words were repeated by the phonograph.

“Poor little younger sister!” said Kin-Fo.

Then, opening the box, he took out from the
apparatus the paper on which were the indented
lines which had just reproduced the inflections of
the absent voice, and replaced it with another.

The phonograph was then perfected to such a
degree, that it was necessary only to speak aloud
for the membrane to receive the impression, and
the wheel, which was turned as by the machinery
of a watch, would stamp the words on the paper
inside.

Kin-Fo spoke in it for about a moment.

By his voice, which was always -calm and even,
one could not have learned whether joy or sorrow
influenced his thoughts.

No more than three or four sentences were



48 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

spoken. Having ended, he stopped the machinery
of the phonograph, drew out the special paper on
which the needle, acted upon by the membrane,
had traced oblique ridges corresponding to the
words spoken; then, placing this paper in an en-
velope which he sealed, he wrote from right to left
the following address :—

MapameE LeE-ou,

Cua-Coua AVENUE,
PEKIN.



An electric bell quickly brought the servant
who had charge of letters, and he was ordered to
take this one immediately to the post-office.

An hour afterwards Kin-Fo was sleeping peace-
fully, pressing in his arms his “tchou-fou-jen,” —a
kind of pillow of plaited bamboo, which maintains
a medium temperature in Chinese beds, and is
very much prized in these warm latitudes.



LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 49

CHAPTER V.

IN WHICH LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER WHICH SHE
WOULD RATHER NOT HAVE RECEIVED.

“You have no letter for me yet?”

“Eh! No, madam.”

“Time seems so long to me, old mother

Thus for the tenth time that day spoke the
charming Le-ou in the boudoir of her house in
Cha-Coua Avenue, Pekin. The “old mother” who
answered her, and to whom she gave this title,
usually bestowed in China on servants of a re-
spectable age, was the grumbling and disagreeable
Miss Nan,

Le-ou had married at eighteen a literary man
of the highest distinction, who had contributed
to the famous “Tse-Khou-Tsuane-Chou.”! This
savant was twice her age, and died three years
after this unequal union.

The young widow was left alone in the world
when she was only twenty-one years old. Kin-Fo
met her on a journey which he made to Pekin
about this time. Wang, who was acquainted with

1”

1 This work, begun in 1773, is to comprise one hundred and sixty thou-
sand volumes, and at present has reached only the seventy-eight thousand
seven hundred and thirty-eighth.



50 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

this charming person, called the attention of his
indifferent pupil to her; and Kin-Fo gradually gave
himself up to the idea of modifying the conditions
of his life by becoming the husband of such a
pretty widow. Le-ou was not averse to the propo-
sition: so’ the marriage, which was decided upon
to the great satisfaction of the philosopher, was to
be celebrated as soon as Kin-Fo, after having made
the necessary arrangements at Shang-hai, should
return to Pekin.

It is not common in the Celestial Empire for
widows to marry again, —not that they do not
wish to as much as those of their class in West-
ern countries, but because their wish is shared
by few of the opposite sex. If Kin-Fo was an
exception to the rule, it was because he was ec-
centric, as we know. Le-ou, if married again, it
is true, would no longer have the right to pass
under the commemorative arches, which the em-
peror has sometimes erected in honor of women
celebrated for their fidelity to a deceased husband,
—such as that in honor of the widow Soung, who
never would leave her husband’s tomb; of the
widow Koung-Kiang, who cut off an arm; and of
the widow Yen-Tchiang, who disfigured herself as
a sign of conjugal grief. But Le-ou thought she
could do better in her twentieth year. She would
resume that life of obedience which constitutes
the whole 7é/e of woman in a Chinese family,
give up talking of outside matters, conform to
the precepts of the book “Li-nun” on domestic



LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 51

virtues, and the book “Nei-tso-pien”’ on marital
duties, and again find that consideration enjoyed
by the wife who, in the upper classes, is not the
slave she is generally believed to be. So Le-ou,
who was intelligent and well educated, under-
standing what place she would hold in the life
of the rich exnuyé, and feeling herself drawn
towards him by the desire of proving to him that
happiness exists on the earth, was quite resigned
to her new fate.

The savant had left his young widow in easy,
though moderate, circumstances ; and the house in
Cha-Coua Avenue was therefore unpretentious.
The intolerable Nan was the only servant; but
Le-ou was accustomed to her deplorable manners,
which are not peculiar to the servants of the Em-
pire of Flowers. ,

The young woman preferred to spend most of
her time in her boudoir, the furniture of which
would have seemed very plain, had it not been
for the rich presents which, for two eventful
months, had been arriving from Shang-hai. A
few pictures hung on the walls; among others a
chef-d euvre of the old painter! Huan-Tse-Nen,

1 The renown of the great masters has been handed down to us by
traditions, which, though anecdotical, are none the less worthy of atten-
tion. It is recorded, for example, that in the third century a painter, by
the name of Tsao-Pouh-Ying, having finished a screen for the emperor,
amused himself by painting flies here and there, and had the satisfaction
of seeing his majesty take his handkerchief to brush them off. No less
celebrated was Huan-T'se-Nen, who flourished towards the year one thou-

sand. Having had charge of the mural decorations in one of the palace-
halls, he painted several pheasants on it. Now, some foreign envoys who



52 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

which would have attracted the attention of con-
noisseurs among other very Chinese water-colors
with green horses, violet dogs, and blue trees,
the work of native modern artists. On a lacquer
table were displayed fans, like great butterflies
‘with expanded wings, from the celebrated school
of Swatow. From a porcelain hanging-lamp
drooped elegant festoons of those artificial flow-
ers, so admirably manufactured from the pith of
the Arabia papyrifera of Formosa, and rivalling
the white water-lilies, yellow chrysanthemums, and
red lilies of Japan, which crowded the jardiniéres
of delicately carved wood. A soft light filled the
room, as the screens of braided bamboo at the
windows excluded the direct rays of the sun by
filtering them, as it were. A magnificent screen,
made of large sparrow-hawks’ feathers, on which
the spots of color, artistically disposed, represented
a large peony, —that emblem of beauty in the
Empire of Flowers, — two bird-cages in the form
of a pagoda, real kaleidoscopes of the most bril-
liant birds of India, a few ceolian ‘tiemaols,”
whose glass plate vibrated in the breeze, and a
thousand objects, in fact, which recalled the ab-
sent one, completed the curious adornment of this
boudoir.

brought several falcons as a present to the emperor, having been introduced
into this hall, the birds of prey no sooner beheld the pheasants painted on
the walls, than they flew upon them to the injury of their heads more than
to the satisfaction of their voracious instincts. —THomPson’s Voyage to
China.



LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 53

“No letter yet, Nan?”

“Why no, madam, not yet!”

A charming woman was this young Le-ou, and
pretty even to European eyes: for she was fair,
not yellow, and had soft eyes, but slightly raised
near the temples; black hair, which was orna-
mented with a few peach-blossoms, fastened by
pins of green jade; small white teeth, and eye-
brows faintly defined with a delicate line of India
ink. She put no cosmetic of honey or Spanish
white on her cheeks, as the beauties in the
Celestial Empire generally do, no circle of car-
mine on her lower lip, no small vertical line be-
tween her eyes, nor a single layer of the paint
which the imperial court dispenses annually for
ten million sapeques. The young widow had
nothing to do with these artificial ingredients.
She seldom went out of her house at Cha-Coua,
and for that reason could scorn this mask which
every Chinese woman uses outside of her own
house.

As for her toilet, nothing could be more simple
and elegant. A long robe, slashed on four sides,
with a wide embroidered galloon at the hem, and,
underneath this, a plaited skirt; at her waist a
plastron embellished with braid in gold filagree ;
pantaloons attached to the belt, and fastened over
hose of Nankin silk; and pretty slippers orna-
mented with pearls, composed her attire. We
can mention nothing more to make the young
woman charming, unless we add that her hands



54 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

were delicate, and that she preserved her nails,
which were long and rosy, in little silver cases,
carved with exquisite art.

And her feet? Well, her feet were small, not
in consequence of that barbarous custom of de-
forming them, which, happily, is being done away
with, but because nature had made them so.
This custom has already lasted seven hundred
years, and probably arose from the deformity of
some club-footed princess, and not, as has been
believed, from the jealousy of husbands. In its
most simple application, the flexion of the four toes
under the sole, while leaving the calcaneum intact,
converts the leg into a sort of conical trunk, abso-
lutely impedes walking, and predisposes to anemia.
The custom had extended day by day from the
conquest by the Tartars ; but now one cannot find
three Chinese women out of ten who have been
forced to submit at an early age to a succession of
those painful operations which causes the deform-
ity of the foot.

“Tt cannot be possible that a letter has not come
to-day,” said Le-ou again. ‘Go and see, old
mother.”

“T have been to see,’ answered Miss Nan very
disrespectfully, as she left the room, grumbling.

Le-ou tried to work to divert her mind: yet she
was thinking of Kin-Fo all the same; since she was
embroidering for him a pair of cloth stockings,
whose manufacture is confined to women in Chinese
households, to whatever class they may belong. But



‘

: . 2
ea
[ . a

:

el































































































































































































































































































































‘I have been to see,” answered Miss Nan very disrespectfully, as she

left the room.
Page 54



LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 55

her work soon fell from herhands. She rose, took
two or three watermelon-seeds from a bonbon-
box, crunched them between her little teeth, then
opened a book entitled ‘“Nushun,” —a code of
instructions which it is the habit of ‘every worthy
wife to read daily.

“As spring is the most favorable season for the farmer,
so is the dawn the most propitious moment of the day.

“Rise early, and do not yield to the wooing of sleep.

“Take care of the mulberry-tree and the hemp.

“Spin silk and cotton zealously.

“ A woman’s virtue is in being industrious and economi-
cal.

“Your neighbor will sing your praises.”

This book was soon closed; for the fond Le-ou
was not thinking of what she was reading.

“Where can he be?” she questioned. “He
must have gone to Canton. Has he returned to
Shang-hai? When will he arrive at Pekin? Has
the sea been smooth for him? I pray the goddess
Koanine may watch over him.”

Thus spoke the anxious young woman ; and her
eyes wandered absently over a table-cover, which
was artistically made of a thousand little pieces
patched together in a sort of mosaic, and of a ma-
terial of Portuguese fashion, on which were de-
signed the mandarin duck and his family, the sym-
bol of fidelity. Finally she approached a yardinzére,
and plucked a flower at random.

“Ah!” said she, “this is not a flower of the
green willow, the emblem of spring, youth, and



56 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

joy: it is the yellow chrysanthemum, the emblem
of autumn and sorrow!”

To dispel the anxiety which now possessed her,
she took up her lute, and ran her fingers over the
strings, while she softly sang the first words of the
song, “Hands United;” but she could not con-
tinue.

“ His letters always came promptly,” she said to
herself ; “and what emotion they caused me as I
read them! Or, instead of those lines which were
addressed only to my eyes, it was his voice itself I
could hear ; for in that instrument it spoke to me
as if he were near.”

Le-ou glanced at a phonograph which stood on
a small lacquered table, and which was exactly like
the one that Kin-Fo used at Shang-hai. Both could
thus hear each other speak, or rather the sound of
their voices, in spite of the distance which sepa-
rated them. But to-day, as for several days, the
apparatus was silent, and no longer spoke the
thoughts of the absent one.

The old mother now entered.

“Here is your letter,” she said; and she handed
Le-ou an envelope postmarked Shang-hai, and
then left the room.

A smile played about Le-ou’s lips, and her eyes
sparkled with a more brilliant light. She quickly
tore open the envelope, without taking time to
look at it, as was her habit. It did not contain a
letter, but one of those pieces of paper with ob-
lique indented lines, which, when adjusted in the





















The paper was placed on the roller of the phonograph.
Page 57.



LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 57

phonograph, reproduce all the inflections of the
human voice.

“Ah! I like this even better!” she cried joy-
ously; “for I can hear him speak.”

-The paper was placed on the roller of the phon-
ograph, which the machinery, like clock-work, im-
mediately made revolve, and Le-ou, putting her ear
to it, heard a well-known voice, which said, —

“Little younger sister, ruin has made way with my
riches, as the east wind blows away the yellow leaves of au-
tumn. I do not wish to make another wretched by having
her share my poverty. Forget-him on whom ten thousand
misfortunes have fallen.

“Yours in despair,
“ KIN-Fo.”

What a blow for the young woman! A life
more bitter than the bitter gentian awaited her
now. Yes, the golden wind was carrying away
her last hopes with the fortune of him she loved.
Was Kin-Fo’s love for her gone forever? Did her
friend believe only in the happiness which riches
give? Ah, poor Le-ou! she nowresembled a kite,
which, when its string is broken, falls to the ground
and is shattered.

Nan, whom she had called, entered the room,
and, with a shrug of her shoulders, carried her
mistress to her “hang.” But, although her couch
was one of those stove-beds artificially warmed, it
seemed cold to the unfortunate Le-ou; and how
slowly passed the five parts of that sleepless
night!



58 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER VI.

WHICH WILL, PERHAPS, MAKE THE READER DESIRE
TO VISIT THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.”

Tue next day Kin-Fo, whose disdain for things
of this world did not lessen for a moment, left
home alone, and, with his usual regular gait, de-
scended the right shore of the creek. Having
reached the wooden bridge which connects the
English concession with the American, he crossed
the river, and proceeded to a rather handsome
house, which stood between: the mission-church
and the consulate of the United States.

On the front of this house was displayed a large

copper plate, on which was engraved, in raised
letters, this inscription, —

“THE CENTENARY LIFE-INSURANCE COMPANY.
Guaranteed Capital, $20,000,000.

Principal Agent, WILLIAM J. BipuLPH.”

Kin-Fo pushed open the door, which was pro-
tected by another one inside, and found himself in
an office divided into two compartments by a simple
balustrade, as high as his elbow. Several paste-
board boxes for papers, some books with nickel



*
THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 59

clasps, an American safe, two or three tables
where the agent’s clerks were working, and a
complicated secretary reserved for the Honorable
William J. Bidulph, comprised the furniture of this
room, which seemed to belong more to a house
in Broadway than to one on the shores of the
Wousung.

William J. Bidulph was the principal agent in
China of the life and fire insurance company
whose head was in Chicago. It was called the
Centenary, —a good title, which must draw pa-
trons. The Centenary, which was very popular
in the United States, had branches in the five
divisions of the world. It carried on an enormous
business, — thanks to its by-laws, which were very
boldly and liberally framed,—and was thus able
to take every risk.

The Celestials were beginning to follow these
modern ideas which filled the coffers of com-
panies of this kind. A large number of houses
in the Central Empire were insured against fire ;
and the contracts of insurance in case of death,
with their complex combinations, did not lack
Chinese signatures. The advertisement of the
Centenary was already posted on doors in Shang-
hai, and, among other places, on the pillars of
Kin-Fo’s costly yamen. Therefore it was not
with the intention of insuring against fire that
Wang’s pupil was paying a visit to the Honorable
William J. Bidulph.

“Mr. Bidulph?” he asked, as he entered.



60 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

William J. Bidulph was there “in person,” like
a photographer who is his -own operator, and
always at the disposition of the public. He was
a man fifty years old, correctly dressed in a black
coat and white cravat, with a full-grown beard,
but no mustache, and with peculiarly American
manners.

“To whom have I the honor of speaking?” he
asked.

“To Mr. Kin-Fo of Shang-hai.”

“Mr. Kin-Fo! one of the patrons of the Cen-
tenary, — policy number twenty-seven thousand
two hundred.”

“The same.”

“Am I to have the good fortune of having you
desire my services, sir?”

“IT would like to speak to you in private,” an-
swered Kin-Fo,

Conversation between these two could be the
more easily carried on, since William J. Bidulph
spoke Chinese, and Kin-Fo spoke English.

The wealthy patron was then introduced, with
the respect due him, into an inner office, hung
with heavy tapestry, and closed with double doors,
where one might have plotted the overthrow of
the dynasty of Tsing without fear of being heard
by the most cunning tipaos in the Celestial Em-
pire.

“Sir,” said Kin-Fo, as soon as he had seated
himself in a rocking-chair before a fireplace heated
by gas, “I desire to negotiate with your company



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THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 61

for the insurance of my life for a sum, the amount
of which I will give you presently.”

“Sir,” answered William J. Bidulph, “there is
nothing more simple. Two signatures — yours
and mine—at the bottom of a policy, and the
insurance is effected after a few preliminary for-
malities. But, sir, permit me to ask this question:
you desire to die only at a very advanced age, do
you not ?— quite a natural desire.”

“Why should I?” asked Kin-Fo. “Usually,
when one insures his life, it indicates that he fears
sudden death.”

“O sir!” answered Mr. Bidulph in the most
serious way in the world, “that fear is never enter-
tained by the patrons of the Centenary. Does not
its name indicate this? To insure with us is to
take out a patent of long life. I beg pardon; but
it is rare that those insuring with us do not live
beyond the hundredth year, — very rare, very rare!
For their own good, we ought to deprive them of
life. But we do a superb business. So, I assure
you, sir, that insurance in the Centenary is a guasz
certainty of becoming a centenarian.”

“Indeed!” said Kin-Fo quietly, looking at
William J. Bidulph with his cold eye.

The chief agent, serious as a clergyman, had by
no means the appearance of joking.

“However that may be,” resumed Kin-Fo, “I
desire to get insured for two hundred thousand
dollars.”

“We say a policy of two hundred thousand
dollars,” answered Mr. Bidulph.



62 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

He entered this sum in his note-book, and its
magnitude did not even cause him to raise his
eyebrows.

“You know,” he added, “that the insurance is
void, and that all premiums paid, whatever their
number, go to the company, if the person insured
loses his life through the act of the beneficiary of
the contract.”

“T know that.”

“And against what risks do you pretend to in-
sure, my dear sir?”

“ All kinds.”

“Risks of travel by land or sea, and those of a
residence outside the limits of the Celestial Em-
pire?”

- “Ves,”

“Risks of legal sentence?”

“Yes.”

“Risks of duel?”

“Yes.”

“Risks of military service?”

“Ves.”

“Then the premiums will be very high.”

“T will pay what is necessary.”

“Tt is agreed.”

“But,” added Kin-Fo, “there is another very
important risk, which you do not speak of.”

“What is it?”

“Suicide. I thought the statutes of the Cen-

tenary authorized it to insure against suicide
also,”



THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 63

“Just so, sir! just so!” answered William J.
Bidulph, rubbing his hands. ‘Even that proves
a source of splendid profit to us. You under-
stand, our patrons are generally people who value
life; and those who, through exaggerated pru-
dence, insure against suicide, never kill them-
selves.”

“For all that,” answered Kin-Fo, “for personal
reasons, I wish to insure against this risk also.”

“Bless me! but it is a pretty big premium.”

“T repeat that I will pay whatever is necessary.”

“Of course we will put down, then,” said Mr.
Bidulph, continuing to write in his note-book,
“risks of travelling by sea and land, and suicide.”

“And on those conditions what will be the
amount to pay?” asked Kin-Fo.

“My dear sir,’ answered the principal agent,
“our premiums are tabled with a mathematical
accuracy which is greatly to the honor of the.
company. They are not based, as they used to
be, on Duvillars’ tables. Are you acquainted with
Duvillars ?”

“T am not acquainted with Duvillars.”

«“ A remarkable statistician, but already ancient,
—so ancient, even, that he is dead. At the time
that he established his famous tables, which still
serve as the scale for premiums in the majority
of European companies, which are very, much
behind the times, the average duration of life
was less than now, thanks to general progress.
We form a basis on a higher medium, and, con-



64 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

sequently, one more favorable to the insured, who
pays a lower price, and lives longer.”

“What will be the amount of my premium?”
resumed Kin-Fo, desirous of stopping the wordy
agent, who neglected no occasion to mention this
advantage in favor of the Centenary.

“Sir,” answered William J. Bidulph, “may I
take the liberty of asking your age?”

“Thirty-one years.”

“Well, at thirty-one, if you were only insuring
on ordinary risks, you would pay in any company
two eighty-three per cent; but in the Centenary
it will only be two seventy, which, for a capital of
two hundred thousand dollars, would make five
thousand four hundred dollars per annum.”

“And on the conditions that I desire?” asked
Kin-Fo.

“Insuring against every risk, even suicide?”

“Suicide above every thing.”

“Sir,” answered Mr. Bidulph in an amiable
tone, after having consulted a printed table on the
last page of his note-book, “we cannot do this for
you at less than twenty-five per cent.”

“Which will make?” |

“Fifty thousand dollars.”

“And how will the premium be paid you?”

“ All at once, or in parts monthly, at the pleas-
ure of the person insured.”

“And what would it be for the first two
months?”

’“Fight thousand three hundred and thirty-two



THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 65

dollars, which, if paid to-day, the 30th of April,
my dear sir, would cover you to the 30th of June
of the present year.”

“Sir,” said Kin-Fo, ‘those conditions suit me.
Here is the premium for the first two months.”
And he placed on the table a thick roll of bills,
which he drew from his pocket. .

“Well, sir, very well,” answered Mr. Bidulph.
“But, before signing the policy, there is one for-
mality to be gone through with.”

“What is it?”

“You must receive a visit from the physician
of the company.”

“For what reason?”

“In order to ascertain if you are soundly built,
if you have no organic malady of a nature to
shorten life, if, in short, you can give us guaran-
ties of a long life.”

“Of what use is that, since I insure even
against duel and suicide?” observed Kin-Fo.

“Well, my dear sir,’ answered Mr. Bidulph,
still smiling, “a malady whose germs you might
have, and which would carry you off in a few
months, would cost us in all two hundred thou-
sand dollars.”

“My suicide would cost you that also, I sup-
pose.”

“ Dear sir,” answered the gracious agent, taking
Kin-Fo’s hand, which he gently patted, “allow me
to tell you that many of our patrons insure against
suicide, but they never commit suicide. But we



66 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

are not prevented from watching over them, —
but with the greatest discretion.”

“Ah!” said Kin-Fo.

“T will add this, which I have often said, that,
of all those insured by the Centenary, they are
the ones who pay premiums the longest. But, be-
tween ourselves, pray tell me, why should the
wealthy Mr. Kin-Fo commit suicide?”

“And why should the wealthy Mr. Kin-Fo get
insured ?”

“Oh!” answered William J. Bidulph, “to ob-
tain the certainty of living to be very old as a
patron of the Centenary.”

There was no use in discussing any longer with
the principal agent of the celebrated company, he
was So positive in what he said.

“ And now,” he added, “to whose profit is this
insurance of two hundred thousand dollars ? Who
will be the beneficiary of the contract?”

“There will be two beneficiaries,’ answered
Kin-Fo.

“In equal shares?”

“No, in unequal shares. One for fifty thousand
dollars, the other for one hundred and fifty thou-
sand,”

“For the fifty thousand, we say Mr.

“Wang.”

“The philosopher Wang?”

“The same.”

“ And for the hundred and fifty thousand ?”

“Madame Le-ou of Pekin.”

”





THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 67

“Pekin,” added Mr. Bidulph, finishing his entry
of the names of the beneficiaries. Then he re
sumed :—

“What is Madame Le-ou’s age?”

“Twenty-one,” answered Kin-Fo.

“Oh!” said the agent, “a young lady who will
be quite old when she receives the amount of the
policy.”

“Why so, please?”

“ Because you will live to be more than a hun-
dred, my dear sir. And how old is the philosopher
Wang?”

“ Fifty-five.”

“Well, this worthy man is sure of never. receiv-
ing any thing.”

“That remains to be seen, sir.”

“Sir,” answered Mr. Bidulph, “if at fifty-five I
were the heir of a man of thirty-one, who was to
die a centenarian, I would not be so simple as to
count on inheriting from him.”

“Your servant, sir,” said Kin-Fo, moving to the
office-door.

“And yours,” answered the Honorable Mr.
Bidulph, bowing to the new insuree of the Cen-
tenary.

The next day the physician of the company
made Kin-Fo the regular visit.

“ Body of iron, muscles of steel, lungs like organ-
bellows,” read the report. There was nothing to
prevent the company from dealing with a man so
soundly built. The policy was then signed under



68 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

this date by Kin-Fo, on his part, for the benefit of
the young widow and the philosopher Wang; and,
on the other, by William J. Bidulph, the represen-
tative of the company.

Neither Le-ou nor Wang, unless through im-
probable circumstances, would ever know what
Kin-Fo had just done for them, until the day when
the Centenary should be called upon to pay them
the policy, the last generous act of the ex-m7llion-
naire.



WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 69

CHAPTER VII.

WHICH WOULD BE VERY SAD IF IT DID NOT TREAT
OF WAYS AND CUSTOMS PECULIAR TO THE CE-
LESTIAL EMPIRE.

WuatTEVER the Honorable William J. Bidulph
might think and say, the funds of the Centenary
were very seriously threatened. Indeed, Kin-Fo’s
plan was not of that kind, which, on reflection,
one postpones executing indefinitely. Being ut-
terly ruined, Wang’s pupil had thoroughly re-
solved to end an existence which even in the tie
of his prosperity brought him only sadness an
enniut,

The letter which was not delivered for a week
by Soun came from San Francisco, and gave
notice of the suspension of payment of the Cen-
tral Bank of California. Now, Kin-Fo’s fortune
consisted almost entirely, as we know, of stock in
this celebrated bank, which had previously been
so sound. But the situation was not to be
doubted. Improbable as the news might seem, it
was unhappily only too true. The suspension of
the Central Bank had just been confirmed by
journals received at Shang-hai. The failure had
been declared, and Kin-Fo was wholly ruined,



70 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Indeed, what remained to him outside of the
stocks in this bank? Nothing, or almost nothing.

The sale of his house at Shang-hai, which it would
be almost impossible to bring about, would give
him a sum insufficient for an income. The eight
thousand dollars premium paid into the Centenary,
a small amount of stock in the Boat Company of
Tien-sing, which, if sold that day, would furnish
him with hardly enough to carry on things zz ex-
tremis, now comprised his sole fortune.

A Western man, Frenchman or Englishman,
would have taken this new state of things philo-
sophically perhaps, and would have begun life over
again, seeking to repair his fortunes by assiduous
labor; but a Celestial would think and act quite
differently. It was voluntary death that Kin-Fo,
as a true Chinaman, without compunctions of con-
science, and with that typical indifference which
characterizes the yellow race, was meditating as a
means of getting out of his troubles.

The Chinaman has only a passive courage, but
this courage he possesses in the highest degree.
His indifference to death is truly extraordinary.
When he is ill, he sees it approach, and does not
falter. When condemned, and already in the
hands of an officer, he manifests no fear. The
frequent public executions, the sight of the horri-
ble torments which are part of the penal laws, in
the Celestial Empire, have early familiarized the
Sons of Heaven with the idea of renouncing the
things of this world without regret.



WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 71

Therefore one will not be astonished to find
that in every family this thought of death is the
order of the day, and the subject of many conver-
sations, and has an influence over the most ordi-
nary acts of life. The worship of ancestors is
also observed by the poorest people. There is
not a wealthy home where a sort of domestic
sanctuary has not been set apart, and no hut so
wretched but some corner has been kept for the
relics of ancestors, in whose honor a day is cele-
brated in the second month. That is why one
finds in the same store where are cold babies’
cribs and wedding-gifts, a varied assortment of
coffins, which form a staple article in Chinese
trade.

The purchase of a coffin is, indeed, one of the
constant occupations of the Celestials. The fur-
niture of a house would be incomplete if a coffin
were wanting ; and the son makes it a duty to offer
one to his father in the latter’s lifetime, which is a
touching proof of tenderness. This coffin is
placed ina special room. It is ornamented and
taken care of, and generally, when it has received
mortal remains, is kept with pious care for years.
In short, respect for the dead is the foundation
of Chinese religion, and tends to bind family ties
more closely.

Kin-Fo, owing to his temperament, was consid-
ering, with more perfect tranquillity than another
would have had, the thought of ending his days.
He had insured the fate of the two beings to



72 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

whom his affections turned. Therefore what had
he now to regret? Nothing. Suicide could not
even cause him remorse. What is a crime in
civilized countries of the West is only a lawful
act, we might say, with this strange people of
Eastern Asia.

Kin-Fo’s decision was then made; and no influ-
ence could turn him from carrying out his project,
not even that of the philosopher Wang.

But the latter was absolutely ignorant of his
pupil’s designs. Soun was no better acquainted
with them, and had observed but one thing, that
since his return Kin-Fo showed himself more tol-
erant of his daily stupidities.

Positively Soun was coming to the conclusion
that he could not find a better master, and now his
precious pigtail wriggled on his back in unwonted
security.

A Chinese proverb says, —

“To be happy on earth, one must live at Canton, and die
at Liao-Tcheou.”

It is indeed true that at Canton one finds every
luxury of life, and at Liao-Tcheou the best coffins
are manufactured.

Kin-Fo did not fail to leave an order with the
best house that his last bed of repose might ar-
rive in time. To have a proper couch for the
eternal sleep is the constant thought of every
Celestial who knows how to live.

Kin-Fo at the same time bought a white cock,



WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 73

whose part, as one knows, is to embody departing
spirits, and seize in their flight one of the seven
elements of which a Chinese soul is composed.

One sees that if the pupil of the philosopher
Wang showed himself indifferent to the details of
life, he was much less so to those of death.

That being done, he had only to arrange the
programme for his funeral; and that very day a
beautiful sheet of paper, called rice-paper, —in
whose composition rice is entirely foreign, —re-
ceived Kin-Fo’s last will.

After having bequeathed his house in Shang-hai
to the young widow, and a portrait of the Tai-
ping chief to Wang, which the philosopher had
always looked upon with pleasure, and having done
this without injury to the policy of the Centenary,
Kin-Fo traced with a firm hand the order of march
of the persons who were to attend the obsequies.

First, in default of relations, of which he had
none, a party of friends, which he had, were to
appear at the head of the cortége, dressed in
white, —the color of mourning in China.

Through the streets, as far out as the country
about the old tomb, a double row of servants,
charged with the burial, would file. They would
bear different symbols, — blue parasols, halberds,
sceptres, silk screens, written documents with the
details of the ceremony, and be dressed in a black
tunic with a white belt, and wear a black felt cap
with red aigrettes on their heads. Behind the first
group of friends would walk a guide dressed in



74 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

scarlet from head to foot, beating a gong, and pre-
ceding the portrait of the deceased, which would
be lying in a sort of decorated shrine. Then a
second group of friends would follow, whose part
it is to faint at regular intervals on cushions
prepared for the occasion. Finally, a last group
of young men, screened under a blue and gold
canopy, would strew the road with little pieces of
white paper, pierced with a hole like sapeques,
which were intended to lure away the evil spirits
that might be tempted to join the funeral proces-
sion.

Then the catafalque would appear, an enormous
palanquin hung in violet silk, and embroidered
with gold dragons, which fifty valets would bear on
their shoulders between a double row of bonzes.
The priests, clad in robes of gray, red, or yellow,
would follow, reciting prayers in. the intervals be-
tween the thunder of gongs, the shrill tooting of
flutes, and the noisy din of trumpets six feet long.

At last the mourners’ carriages draped in white
would bring up the rear of this gorgeous proces-
sion, the expenses of which must exhaust the last
resources of the opulent corpse.

There was really nothing extraordinary in this
programme. Many funerals of this class pass
through the streets of Canton, Shang-hai, or Pekin ;
and the Celestials see in them only a natural hom-
age rendered to the remains of him who is no
more.

On the 20th of October a box, expressed from





















































































































































































































































































































Page 74

ar.

appe

Then the catafalque would



WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 715

Liao-Tcheou and addressed to Kin-Fo, reached his
house at Shang-hai. It contained the coffin he
had ordered, which was carefully packed. Neither
Wang, nor Soun, nor any of the servants in the
yamen, felt any cause for surprise; for, we repeat,
there is not a Chinaman who does not long to pos-
sess in his lifetime the bed in which he will be
laid to rest for eternity.

This coffin—a chef-d’euvre from the manufac-
tory of Liao-Tcheou — was placed in the “ances-
tors’ chamber.” There, after being brushed,
waxed, and polished, it would usually, no doubt,
have waited a long while for the day when the
pupil of the philosopher Wang would have utilized
it on his own account. It was not so ordained,
however; for Kin-Fo’s days were numbered, and
the hour was near that would add him to the list of
his family ancestors. Indeed, this was the very
evening when he had determined to die. ,

A letter had arrived that day from the afflicted
Le-ou, who offered him the little that she pos-
sessed. Fortune was nothing to her: she could
do without it. She loved him; and what did he
wish more? Could they not be happy in more
modest circumstances? This letter, which ex-
pressed the most sincere affection, did not modify
Kin-Fo’s resolution.

“My death alone can enrich her,” he thought.

It now remained to decide where and how this
last act should be performed ; and Kin-Fo experi-
enced a sort of pleasure in planning the details,



76 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

for he hoped that at the last moment an emotion,
however fleeting, would make his heart beat.

Within the enclosure of the yamen rose four
pretty kiosks, ornamented in the fanciful manner
characteristic of Chinese decorators. They bore
significant names, — the Pavilion of Happiness,
which Kin-Fo never entered; the Pavilion of For-
tune, which he scorned; the Pavilion of Pleas-
ure, whose gates had long been closed to him;
and the Pavilion of Long Life, which he had
resolved to destroy.

It was this last one that instinct led him to choose,
and he resolved to shut himself up in it at night-
fall; and it was there next day they would find
him happy in death. This point being settled, in
what manner should he die? Stab himself like a
Japanese? strangle himself with a silken girdle
like a mandarin? open his veins in a perfumed
bath like an epicurean in ancient Rome? No:
these methods would seem brutal, and painful to
his friends and servants. One or two grains of
opium mixed with a subtle poison would be suffi-
cient to take him from this world to the next.
While unconscious, perhaps, he would pass away
in one of those dreams which convert slumber into
eternal sleep.

The sun was already beginning to sink below
the horizon, and Kin-Fo had only a few moments
more to live. He wished to take a last walk, and
see once more the country around Shang-hai,
and the shores of the Houang-Pou, on which he























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Here was the vast flat country.



WAVS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 77

had so often walked away his exzuz. Alone, with-
out having even caught a glimpse of Wang that
day, he left the yamen to return once more, and
never leave it again.

He crossed the English. territory; the little
bridge over the creek, and the French concession,
with an indolent step, which he did not care to
hasten in this last hour. Passing along the wharf
of the native port, he wound around the Shang-hai
wall as far as the Roman-Catholic cathedral, whose
cupola overlooks the southern portion of the coun-
try. Then he bore to the right, and quietly as-
cended the road to the pagoda at Loung-Hao. _

Here was the vast flat country which extends to
the shadowy heights which bound the valley of the
Min. It was an immense swamp, which agricultu-
ral industry has converted into rice-fields. Here
and there were a network of canals filled by the
tide, and a few wretched villages in which the
reed huts were cemented with yellowish mud;
and two or three fields of wheat, banked up above
reach of the water. The narrow paths were fre-
quented by a large number of dogs and white
goats, ducks and geese; and, whenever a pedes-
trian disturbed their sport, the former would
scamper off on all fours, and the latter flap their
wings and fly away.

This richly cultivated country, whose aspect
could not astonish a native, would, however, have
attracted the attention of a stranger, and perhaps
repelled him ; for everywhere were seen coffins by



78 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

the hundreds, to say nothing of the mounds whose
turf covered the dead buried at last forever. One
saw only piles of oblong boxes, and pyramids of
biers in layers, like planks in a shipbuilder’s yard ;
for the Chinese plain on the outskirts of the towns
is only a vast cemetery, where the dead, as well as
the living, encumber the ground. It is asserted
that the burial of these coffins is forbidden so long
as one dynasty occupies the throne of the Son
of Heaven; and these dynasties last centuries.
Whether the prohibition be true or not, it is a fact
that corpses, lying in their coffins, — some of
which are painted in bright colors, some sombre
and modest, some new and smart looking, and
others already falling to dust, — wait years for the
day of burial.

Kin-Fo was by no means astonished at this
state of affairs, and he walked on without looking
around him; so that two strangers, dressed like
Europeans, who had followed him from the time he
left the yamen, did not even attract his attention.
He did not see them, although they seemed desir-
ous of not losing sight of him. They kept at
some distance, following him, — walking when he
walked, stopping when he stopped. At times these
two men exchanged peculiar looks and a couple of
words, and it was very evident that they were there
to watch him. Of medium height, not over thirty,
active, and well set, one would have called them
two pointers with sharp eyes and fleet limbs.

Kin-Fo, after walking around the country for a



Full Text
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The Baldwin Library

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“Prohibition! prohibition) ”

Page 174.
THE

TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN
IN CHINA

FROM THE FRENCH OF JULES VERNE

































































































By VIRGINIA CHAMPLIN

WITH FIFTY [ILLUSTRATIONS

BOSTON
LEE AND SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS
NEW YORK
CHARLES T. DILLINGHAM
1882
Copyricut, 1879,

By LEE AND SHEPARD.

All rights reserved.

Franklin Press:
Electrotyped and Printed bv
Rand, Avery, & Ca..
Boston.
Uhis Translation

IS GRATEFULLY DEDICATED

TO
Mr. FRANCIS A. NICHOLS,
WHO AS AN EDITOR

GAVE ME MY FIRST LITERARY OPPORTUNITIES.
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

In which the Peculiarities and Nationahity of the Perpandecs
are gradually revealed :

CHAPTER II.

In which Kin-Fo and the Bhulgsopuek are more ¢ fully de-
scribed .

CHAPTER III.

In which the Reader, without Fatigue, « can glance over the
City of Shang-hai . .

CHAPTER IV.
In which Kin-Fo receives an Important Letter, which is
Eight Days behind Time . 7 . : . .
CHAPTER V.

In which Le-ou receives a Letter which she would rather
not have received 7 . 7 7 .

CHAPTER VI.
Which will, perhaps, make the Reader desire to visit the
Offices of the “ Centenary ”
CHAPTER VII.
Which would be very Sad if it did not treat of Wave and
Customs peculiar to the Celestial Empire
CHAPTER VIII.
In which Kin-Fo makes a Serious Proposition to Wang,
which the Latter no less seriously accepts . ‘
CHAPTER Ix.
The Conclusion of which, however Singular it may be, per-
haps will not surprise "the Reader . .
CHAPTER X.

In which Craig and Fry are officially presented to the New
Patron of the Centenary . . .

v

Pace

14

36

49

58

69

89

Iol
vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XI.

In which Kin-Fo becomes the most Celebrated Man in the
Central Empire .

CHAPTER XII.

In which Kin-Fo, his Two aes and his Valet start on
an Adventure. 7 . . . :

CHAPTER XIII.

In which is heard the Celebrated Lament called “ The Five
Periods in the Life of a Centenarian” :

CHAPTER XIV.

In which the Visitor, without Fatigue, can travel through
Four Cities by visiting only One 7 : 7 :

CHAPTER XV.

Which certainly contains a Surprise for ae and pepe
for the Reader . . .

CHAPTER XVI.

In which Kin-Fo, who is still a penn meme to travel
again in earnest

CHAPTER XVII.
In which Kin-Fo’s Market Value is Once more Uncertain
CHAPTER XVIII.

In which Craig and Fry, urged by haa visit the Hold
of the “Sam-Yep” .

CHAPTER XIX.
Which does not finish well, either for Capt. Yin, the Com-
mander of the “ Sam-Yep,” or for her Crew
CHAPTER XX.
In which it will be seen to what Dangers Men are earenes
who use Capt. Boyton’s Nautical Apparatus . .
CHAPTER XXI.

In which Craig and Bry see the Moon rise with Extreme
Satisfaction . :

CHAPTER XXII.

Which the Reader might have written himself, it ends in
so Surprising a Way . 7 . ‘ . .

PAGE

109

149

164

177

244
THE TRIBULATIONS OF A
CHINAMAN IN CHINA.



CHAPTER I.

IN WHICH THE PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY OF
THE PERSONAGES ARE GRADUALLY REVEALED.

“Tr must be acknowledged, however, that there
is some good in life,” observed one of the guests,
who, leaning his elbow on the arm of his chair
with a marble back, sat nibbling a root of a sugar
water-lily.

“And evil also,’ added another, between two
spells of coughing, having been nearly strangled
by the prickles of the delicate fin of a shark.

“Let us be philosophers,” then said an older
person, whose nose supported an enormous pair of
spectacles with broad glasses affixed to wooden
bows. ‘To-day one comes near strangling, and
to-morrow every thing flows smoothly as the fra-
grant draughts of this nectar. This is life, after
all.”

After these words, this easily pleased epicure
1
2 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

swallowed a glass of excellent warm wine, whose
light vapor was slowly escaping from a metal
teapot.

“For my part,” continued a fourth guest, “ex-
istence seems very acceptable whenever one does
nothing, and has the means which enable him to
do nothing.”

* “You mistake,” quickly replied the fifth: ‘hap-
piness is in study and work. To acquire the
greatest possible amount of knowledge is the way
to-render one’s self happy.”

“ And to learn, when you sum it all up, that you
know nothing.”

“Ts not that the beginning of wisdom?”

“But what is the end?”

“Wisdom has no end,” philosophically answered
the man with spectacles. ‘‘To have common sense
would be supreme satisfaction.”

Upon this the first guest directly addressed the
host, who occupied the upper end of the table, —
that is, the poorest place, —as the rules of polite-
ness require. With indifference and inattention
the latter listened silently to this discussion zv¢er
pocula.

“Come, let us hear what our host thinks of this
rambling talk over the wine-cup? Does he find
existence a blessing, or an evil? Is it yes, or no?

The host carelessly munched several water-
melon-seeds, and for answer merely pouted his
lips scornfully, like a man who seems to take
interest in nothing,
PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. | 3

“Pooh!” said he.

This is a favorite word with indifferent people,
for it means every thing and nothing. It belongs
to all languages, and must have a place in every
dictionary on the globe, and is an articulated pout.

The five guests whom this exzuyé was entertain-
ing then pressed him with arguments, each in
favor of his own proposition ; for they wished to
have his opinion. He at first tried to avoid an-
swering, but finally asserted that life was neither
a blessing nor an evil: in his opinion, it was an
“invention,” rather insignificant, and, in short, not
very encouraging.

“Ah! now our friend reveals himself.”

“How can he speak thus, when his life has
been as smooth as an unruffled rose-leaf?”’

“ And he so young!”

“Young and in good health!”

“In good health, and rich.”

“Very rich.”

“More than very rich.”

“Too rich perhaps.”

These remarks followed each other like rockets
from a piece of fireworks, without even bringing
a smile to the host’s impassive face. He only
shrugged his shoulders slightly, like a man who
has never wished, even for an hour, to turn over
the leaves in the book of his own life, and has not
so much as cut the first pages.

And yet this indifferent man was thirty-one
years at most; was in wonderfully good health ;
4 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

possessed a great fortune, a mind that did not
lack culture, an intelligence above the average ;
and had, in short, every thing, which so many
others have not, to make him one of the happy
of this world. And why was he not happy?

“Why?”

The philosopher’s grave voice was now heard,
speaking like a leader of a chorus of the early
drama.

“Friend,” he said, “if you are not happy here
below, it is because, till now, your happiness has
been only negative. With happiness as with
health: to enjoy it, one should be deprived of it
occasionally. Now, you have never been ill. I
mean you have never been unfortunate: it is that
which your life needs. Who can appreciate hap-
piness if misfortune has never even for a moment
assailed him?”

And at this remark, which was stamped with
wisdom, the philosopher, raising his glass, full of
champagne of the best brand, said, —

“TI wish some shadow to fall athwart our host’s
sunlight, and some sorrows to enter his life.”
Saying which, he emptied his glass at one swal-
low.

The host made a gesture of assent, and again
lapsed into his habitual apathy.

Where did this conversation take place? Ina
European dining-room, in Paris, London, Mean
or St. Petersburg?

Were these six companions conversing together
PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. 5

in a restaurant in the Old or New World? And
who were they, who, without having drunk more
than usual, were discussing these questions in the
midst of a repast?

Certainly they were not Frenchmen, because
they were not talking politics. —

They were seated at a table in an elegantly
decorated saloon of medium size. The last rays
of the sun were streaming through the network
of blue and orange window-panes, and past the
open windows the evening breeze was swinging
garlands of natural and artificial flowers; and a
few variegated lanterns mingled their pale light
with the dying gleams of day. Above the win-
dows were carved arabesques, enriched with varied
sculpture, and representing celestial and terres-
trial beauty, and animals and vegetables of a
strange fauna and flora.

On the walls of the saloon, which were hung in
silken tapestry, were shining broad, double-bev-
elled mirrors; and on the ceiling a “punka,”
moving its painted percale wings, rendered the
temperature endurable.

The table was a vast quadrilateral of black
lacquer-work, and, being uncovered, reflected the
numerous pieces of silver and porcelain as a slab
of the purest crystal might have done. There
were no napkins, only simple squares of orna-
mented paper, a sufficient supply of which was
furnished each guest. Around the table stood
chairs with marble backs, far preferable in this
latitude to the covering of modern furniture.
6 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

The attendants were very prepossessing young
girls, in whose black hair were mingled lilies and
chrysanthemums, and round whose arms bracelets
of gold and jade were coquettishly wound. Smil-
ing and sprightly, they served or removed dishes
with one hand, while with the other they grace-
fully waved a large fan, which restored the currents
of air displaced by the punka on the ceiling.

The repast left nothing to be desired. One
could not imagine any thing more delicate than
the cooking, which was both neat and artistic; for
the Bignon of the place, knowing that he was
catering to connoisseurs, surpassed himself in the
preparation of the five hundred dishes which com-
posed the mez.

In the first course there were sugared cakes,
caviare, fried grasshoppers, dried fruits, and oys-
ters from Ning-po. Then followed, at short inter-
vals, poached eggs of the duck, pigeon, and lap-
wing; swallows’ nests with buttered eggs; fricasees
of “ging-seng;” stewed sturgeons’ gills; whales’
nerves with sugar sauce; fresh-water tadpoles; a
ragout of the yolks of crabs’ eggs, sparrows’ giz-
zards, and sheeps’ eyes pierced with a pointed bit
of garlic for flavoring; vavinoli! prepared with
the milk of apricot-stones; a stew of holothuria.
Bamboo-shoots in their juice, sugared salads of
young roots, pine-apples from Singapore, roasted
earth-nuts, salted almonds, savory mangoes, fruits

1 TRANSLATOR’s NoTE. — An Italian dish, a compound of vermicelli,
eggs, cheese, and green herbs, prepared in the form of fritters.






































































































































The attendants were very prepossessing young girls.

Page 6.
PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. 7

of the “long-yen” with white flesh, and “li-tchi”
with pale pulp, water caltrops, and preserved Can-
ton oranges composed the last course of a repast
which had lasted three hours, —a repast largely
watered with beer, champagne, Chao Chigne wine;
and the inevitable rice, which, placed between the
lips of the guests by the aid of chop-sticks, was
to crown at dessert the wisely arranged bill of
fare. .

The moment came at last for the young girls to
bring, not those bowls of European fashion which
contain a perfumed liquid, but napkins saturated
with warm water, which each of the guests passed
over his face with extreme satisfaction.

It was, however, only an eztr’acte of the repast,
—an hour of far niente, whose moments were to be
filled with music; for soon a ¢roupe of singers
and instrumentalists entered the saloon. The
singers were pretty young girls of modest appear-
ance and behavior. What music and method was
theirs !— a mewing and clucking without measure
or tunefulness, rising in sharp notes to the utmost
limit of perception by the auditory nerves. As
for the instruments, there were violins whose
strings became entangled in those of the bow,
guitars covered with serpents’ skins, screeching
clarinets, and harmonicas resembling small porta-
ble pianos; and all worthy of the songs and the
singers, to whom they formed a noisy accompani-
ment.

The leader of this discordant orchestra pre-
8 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

sented the programme of his réertoire as he
entered ; and at a motion from the host, who gave
him carte blanche, his musicians played the
“Bouquet of Ten Flowers,’’—a piece very much
in the sode at the time, and the rage in fashiona-
ble society.

- Then the singing and performing ¢voupe, having
been well paid in advance, withdrew, carrying with
them many a $évavo, with which they would yet
reap a rich harvest in the neighboring saloons.

The six companions then left their seats, but
only to pass from one table to another, which
movement was accompanied with great ceremony
and compliments of all kinds.

On this second table each found a small cup
with a lid ornamented with a portrait of Bédhid-
harama, the celebrated Buddhist monk, standing
on his legendary raft. Each received a pinch of
tea, which he steeped in the boiling water in his
cup, and drank almost immediately without sugar.

And what tea! It was not to be feared either
that the house of Gibb-Gibb & Co., who. furnished
it, had adulterated it with a mixture of foreign
leaves; or that it had already undergone a first
infusion, and was only good to use in sweeping
carpets; or that an unscrupulous preparer had
colored it yellow with curcuma, or green with
Prussian blue. It was imperial tea in all its
purity, and was composed of those precious leaves
of the first harvest in March which are similar to
the flower itself, and are seldom gathered; for loss
PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. 9

of its leaves causes the death of the plant. It was
composed of those leaves which young children
alone, with carefully gloved hands, are allowed to
cull.

A European could not have found words of
praise in number sufficient to extol this beverage,
which the six companions were slowly sipping,
without going into ecstasies, like connoisseurs
who were used to it; but, it must be confessed,
they were really unable to appreciate the delicacy
of the excellent concoction. They were gentle-
men of the best society, richly dressed in the
“han-chaol,’ —a light under-waistcoat ; the “ma-
coual,” —a short tunic; and the ‘“haol,’ —a
long robe, buttoning at the side. They wore
yellow sandals and open-work hose; silk panta-
loons, fastened at the waist with a tasselled sash;
and a plastron of fine embroidered silk on their
bosom, and a fan at their waist. These amiable
persons were born in the same country where the
tea-plant once a year produces its harvest of
fragrant leaves. This repast, in which swallows’
nests, fish of the holothurian species, whales’
nerves, and sharks’ fins appeared, was partaken
of as the delicacy of the viands deserved; but
its #enu, which would have astonished a foreigner,
did not surprise them in the least. But what did
surprise them was the statement which their host
made to them, as they were at last about to leave
the table, and from which they understood why he
had entertained them that day.
Io TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

The cups were still full, and the indifferent
gentleman, with his eyes fixed on vacancy, and
his elbow leaning on the table, was about to empty
his cup for the last time, when he expressed him-
self in these words :—

“My friends, listen to me without laughing.
The die is cast. I am about to introduce into
my life a new element, which perhaps will dispel
its monotony. Will it be a blessing, or a misfor-
tune? The future only can tell. This dinner,
to which I have invited you, is my farewell dinner
to bachelor life. In a fortnight I shall be married,
and ” —

“And you will be the happiest of men,” cried
the optimist. “Behold! all the signs are in your
favor.”

In fact, the lamps flickered, and cast a pale light
around; the magpies chattered on the arabesques
of the windows; and the little tea-leaves floated
perpendicularly in the cups. So many lucky
omens could not fail.

Therefore all congratulated their host, who
received these compliments with the most perfect
composure. But, as he did not name the person
destined to the 7é/e of “new element,” and the
one whom he had chosen, no one was so indiscreet
as to question him on the subject.

But the philosopher’s voice did not mingle in
the general concert of congratulations. With his
arms crossed, his eyes partly closed, and an
ironical smile on his lips, he seemed to approve
PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. Ii

those complimenting no more than he did the one
complimented.

The latter then rose, placed his hand on his
friend’s shoulder, and, in a voice that seemed less
calm than usual, asked, —

“ Am I, then, too old to marry?”

“No.”

“Too young?”

“No: neither too young nor too old.”

“Do you think I am doing wrong?”

“Perhaps so.”

“But she whom I have chosen, and with whom
you are acquainted, possesses every quality neces-
sary to make me happy.”

“T know it.”

“Well?”

“Tt is you who have not all that is necessary to
make you so. To be bored single in life is bad,
but to be bored double is worse.”

“Then I shall never be happy?”

“No: not so long as you do not know what
misfortune is.”

“ Misfortune cannot reach me.”

“So much the worse; for then you are incur-
able.”

“Ah! these philosophers!” cried the youngest
of the guests. ‘One should not listen to them.
They are machines with theories. They manu-
facture all kinds of theories, which are trash, and
good for nothing in practice. Get married, — get
married, my friend! I should do the same, had I
12 TRIBULATIONS OF A .CHINAMAN.

not made a vow never to do any thing. Get mar-
ried ; and, as our poets say, may the two phcenixes
always appear to you tenderly united! Friends, I
drink to the happiness of our host.”

“And I,” responded the philosopher, “drink to
the near interposition of some protecting divinity,
who, in order to make him happy, will cause him
to pass through the trial of misfortune.”

At this odd toast the guests arose, brought
their fists together as boxers do before beginning
a contest, and, having alternately lowered and
raised them while bowing their heads, took leave
of each other.

From the description of the saloon in which
this entertainment was given, and the foreign
menu which composed it, as well as from the dress
of the guests, with their manner of expressing
themselves, — perhaps, too, from the singularity of
their theories, — the reader has surmised that we
have had to do with the Chinese; not with those
“Celestials” who look as if they had been un-
glued from a Chinese screen, or had escaped from
a pottery vase where they properly belonged, but
with the modern inhabitants of the Celestial Em-
pire, already Europeanized by their studies, voy-
ages, and frequent communication with the civil-
ized people of the West.

Indeed, it was in the saloon of one of the flower-
boats on the River of Pearls at Canton that the
rich Kin-Fo, accompanied by the inseparable Wang
the philosopher, had just entertained four of the
PECULIARITIES AND NATIONALITY. 13

best friends of his youth, — Pao-Shen, a mandarin
of the fourth class, and of the order of the blue
button ; Yin-Pang, a rich silk-merchant in Apothe-
cary Street; Tim, the high liver; and Houal, the
literary man.

And this took place on the twenty-seventh day
of the fourth moon, during the first of those five
periods which so peetically divide the hours of the
Chinese night.
14 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER II.

IN WHICH KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER ARE
MORE FULLY DESCRIBED.

THE reason why Kin-Fo gave a farewell dinner
to his Canton friends was, because he passed a
part of his youth in the capital of the province
of Kuang-Tung. Of the numerous comrades a
wealthy and generous young man is sure to have,
the only ones left him at this time were the four
guests who were present on the flower-boat. It
would have been useless for him to have tried to
bring the others together, as they were scattered
by the various accidents of life.

Kin-Fo lived in Shang-hai, and, being worn out
with exnuz, was now for a change spending a few
daysin Canton. This evening he intended to take
the steamboat which stops at several points along
the coast, and return quietly home to his yamen.

The reason that Wang accompanied Kin-Fo was
because the philosopher could never leave his
pupil, who did not want for lessons ; though, to tell
the truth, he paid no heed to them, and they were
just so many maxims and wise sayings lost. The
“theory-machine,” however, as Tim the high liver
called him, was never weary of producing them.
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Page 24.
KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 15

Kin-Fo was a perfect type of the northern Chi-
nese, whose race is being transformed, and who
have never united with the Tartars. He was of a
stamp differing from that usually found in the
southern provinces, where .the high and low
classes are more intimately blended with the
Mandshurian race: he had not a drop of Tartar
blood in his veins, neither from father nor mother,
whose ancestors kept secluded after the conquest.
. He was tall, well built, fair rather than yellow;
with straight eyebrows, and eyes following the
horizontal, and but slightly raised towards the
temple; with a straight nose, and a face that was
not flat. He would have been distinguished even
among the finest specimens of Western people.

Indeed, if Kin-Fo appeared at all like a China-
man, it was because of his carefully shaved skull ;
his smooth, hairless brow and neck; and his mag-
nificent braid, which started at the back of his
head, and rolled down like a serpent of jet. He
was very careful about his person, and wore a deli-
cate mustache, which made a half-circle over his
upper lip; and an imperial, which was exactly like
arest in musical notation. His nails were more
than a centimetre long, a proof that he belonged
to those fortunate men who are not obliged to
work. Perhaps, too, his careless walk and haughty
bearing added still more to the comme «i faut
appearance of his whole person.

Besides, Kin-Fo was born at Pekin, an advan-
tage of which the Chinese are very proud. To
16 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

any one who would have asked him where he came
from, he would have answered proudly, “I come
from above.”

His father, Tchoung-Heou, was living at Pekin
when he was born ; and he was six years old when
the former settled at Shang-hai.

This worthy Chinaman, who came from a fine
family in the northern part of the empire, like all
his compatriots, had a remarkable capacity for
business. During the first years of his career, he
bartered and sold every thing that the rich and
populous territory produces; such as paper goods
from Swatow, silks from Soo-Choo, sugar-candy
from Formosa, tea from Han-kow and Fou-chow,
iron from Ho-nan, and red and yellow copper from
the province of Yunnan. His principal business-
house, his “hong,” was at Shang-hai; but he had
branch establishments at Nankin, Tien-sing,
Macao, and Hong-Kong. As he was a close fol-
lower of European progress, he shipped. his goods
on English steamers, and kept himself informed
by cablegram of the state of the silk and opium
market at Lyons and Calcutta. He was not op.
posed to these agents of progress, steam and elec-
tricity, as are the majority of the Chinese, who
are under the influence of mandarins and the gov-
ernment, whose prestige is gradually being les-
sened by progress.

In short, Tchoung-Heou managed so shrewdly
in his business in the interior of the empire, as
well as in his transactions with Portuguese,
KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 17

French, English, or American houses, in Shang-
hai, Macao, and Hong-Kong, that, when Kin-Fo
came into the world, his fortune exceeded four
hundred thousand dollars; and, during the years
that followed, this capital was doubled, on account
of the establishment of a new traffic, which might
be called the ‘‘coolie trade of the New World.”

It is well known that the population of China is
in excess, and out of all proportion to the vast
extent of the territory, which is poetically divided
into the various names of Celestial Empire, Cen-
tral Empire, and Empire or Land of Flowers.

Its inhabitants are estimated at not less than
three hundred and sixty million, which is almost a
third of the population of the earth. Now, little
as the Chinaman eats, he nevertheless eats; and
China, even with its numerous rice-fields, and
extensive cultivation of millet and wheat, does
not provide enough to nourish him. Hence there
are more inhabitants than can be cared for; and
their only desire is to escape through some of the
loopholes which the English and French cannon
have made in the moral and material walls of the
Celestial Empire.

This surplus has poured into North America,
and principally into the State of California, but in
such multitudes that Congress has been obliged
to take restrictive measures against the invasion,
which is rather impolitely called “the yellow pest.”
As was observed, fifty million Chinese emigrants
in the United States would not have sensibly
18 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

diminished the population of China, and it would
have brought about a blending with the Anglo-
Saxon race, to the benefit of the Mongolian.

However this may be, the exodus was conducted
on a large scale. These coolies, living on a hand-
ful of rice, a cup of tea, and a pipe of tobacco, and
apt at all trades, met with remarkably quick suc-
cess in Virginia, Salt Lake, Oregon, and, above
all, the State of California, where they greatly
reduced the wages of manual labor.

Companies were then formed for the transporta-
tion of these inexpensive emigrants; and there
were five which had charge of the enlisting in the
five provinces of the Celestial Empire, and a sixth
which was stationed at San Francisco. The for-
mer shipped, and the latter received, the merchan-
dise; while an additional agency, called the Ting-
Tong, re-shipped them.

This requires an explanation.

The Chinese are very willing to expatriate them-
selves to seek their fortune with the “ Melicans,”
as they call the people of the United States, but
on one condition, that their bodies shall be faith-
fully brought back, and buried in their native land.
This is one of the principal conditions of the con-
tract, —a szue gua non clause, which is binding on
these companies with regard to the emigrant, and
cannot be eluded.

Therefore the Ting-Tong—or, in other words,
the Agency of the Dead, which draws its funds
from private sources —is charged with freighting
KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 19

the “ corpse steamers,” which leave San Francisco
fully loaded for Shang-hai, Hong-Kong, or Tien-
Sing. Here was a new business, and a new source
of profit, which the shrewd and enterprising
Tchoung-Heou foresaw. At the time of his death,
in 1866, he was a director in the Kouang-Than
Company in the province of that name, and sub-
director.of the Treasury for the Dead in San
Francisco.

Kin-Fo, having neither father nor mother, was
heir to a fortune valued at four million francs,
invested in stock in the Central Bank in Califor-
nia, and which he had the good sense to let
remain there. :

When he lost his father, the young heir, who
was nineteen years old, would have been alone in
the world, had it not been for Wang, the insepara-
ble Wang, who filled the place of mentor and
friend.

But who was this Wang? For seventeen years
he had lived in the yamen at Shang-hai, and was
the guest of the father before he became that of
the son. But where did he come from? What
was his past? All these somewhat difficult ques-
tions Tchoung-Heou and Kin-Fo alone could have
answered ; and if they had considered it proper to
do so, which was not probable, this is what one
would have learned from them : —

No one is unaware that China, is, par excellence,
the kingdom where insurrections last many years,
and carry off hundreds of thousands of men. Now,
20 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

in the seventeenth century, the celebrated dynasty
of Ming, of Chinese origin, had been in power in
China three hundred years, when, in 1644, the
chief, feeling too weak to resist the rebels who
threatened the capital, asked aid of a Tartar king.

The king, who did not need to be entreated,
hastened to his assistance, drove out the- rebels,
and profited by the situation to overthrow him
who had implored his aid, and proclaimed his own
son, Chun-Tche, emperor.

From this period the Tartar rule was substituted
for that of the Chinese, and the throne was occu-
pied by Mandshurian emperors.

The two races, especially among the lower
classes, gradually came together; but among the
rich families of the north they did not mingle.
Therefore the type still retains its characteristics,
particularly in the centre of the western provinces
of the empire. There the “irreconcilables”” who
remained faithful to the fallen dynasty took refuge.

Kin-Fo’s father was one of the latter; and he
did not belie the traditions of his family, who re-
fused to enter into compact with the Tartars. A
rebellion against the foreign power, even after a
rule of three hundred years, would have found him
ready to join it. It is unnecessary to add that his
son, Kin-Fo, fully shared his political opinions.

Now, in 1860, there still reigned that emperor,
S’Hiene-Fong, who declared war against England
and France, —a war ended by the treaty of Pekin
on the 25th of October of the same year.






















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































a 7 i | ee
a : Ky

me































































































Medio ‘ eer

kaeiond



tre ee
KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 21

But before that date a formidable uprising
threatened the reigning dynasty. The Tchang-
Mao, or the Tai-ping, —the “long-haired rebels,”
— took possession of Nankin in 1853, and Shang-
hai in 1855. After S’Hiene-Fong’s death, his son
had great difficulty in repulsing the Tai-ping.
Without the Viceroy Li, and Prince Kong, and
especially the English Colonel Gordon, he, per-
haps, would not have been able to save his throne.

The Tai-ping, the declared enemies of the Tar-
tars, being strongly organized for rebellion, wished
to replace the dynasty of the Tsing for that of the
Wang. They formed four distinct armies, — the
first, under a black banner, appointed to kill;
the second, under a red banner, to set fire; the
third, under a yellow banner, to pillage; and the
fourth, under a white banner, to provision the other
three.

There were important military operations in
Kiang-Sou; and Soo-Choo and Kia-Hing, five
leagues distant from Shang-hai, fell into the power
of the rebels, and were recovered, not without
difficulty, by the imperial troops.

Shang-hai, which had been seriously threatened,
was also attacked on the 18th of August, 1860, at
the time that Gens. Grant and Montauban, com-
manding the Anglo-French army, were cannon-
ading the forts of Pei-ho.

Now, at this time, Tchoung-Heou, Kin-Fo’s
father, was living near Shang-hai, not far from the
magnificent bridge thrown across the river by
22 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Chinese engineers at Sou-Choo. He disapproved
of this rebellion of the Tai-ping, since it was
chiefly directed against the Tartar dynasty.

This, then, was the state of affairs when, on
the evening of the 18th of August, after the rebels
had been driven out of Shang-hai, the door of
Tchoung-Heou’s house suddenly opened, and a
fugitive, having dodged his pursuers, came to
throw himself at the feet of Tchoung-Heou. The
unfortunate man had no weapon with which to
defend himself; and, if he to whom he came -to
ask for shelter had given him up to the imperial
soldiers, he would have been killed.

Kin-Fo’s father was not the man to betray a
Tai-ping who sought refuge in his house; and he
closed the door, and said, —

“T do not wish to know, and I never shall know,
who you are, what you have done, or whence you
come. You are my guest, and for that reason only
will be perfectly safe at my house.”

The fugitive tried to speak to express his grati-
tude, but scarcely had strength.

“Your name?” asked Tchoung-Heou.

“Wang.”

It was Wang indeed, saved by Tchoung-Heou’s
generosity, —a generosity which would have cost
the latter his life if any one had suspected that he
was giving an asylum toa rebel. But Tchoung-
Heou was like one of those men of ancient times
with whom every guest is sacred.

A few years later the uprising of the rebels was
KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 23

forever repressed. In 1864 the Tai-ping chief,
who was besieged at Nankin, poisoned himself to
escape falling into the hands of the Imperials.

Wang, ever since that day, had remained in his
benefactor’s house. He was never obliged to say
any thing about his past; for no one questioned
him. Perhaps they feared they might hear too
much. The atrocities committed by the rebels
were frightful, it was said; and under what banner
Wang had served,—the yellow, red, black, or
white, —it was better to remain in ignorance, and
to fancy that he belonged only to the provisioning
column.

Wang, however, was delighted with his lot, and
continued to be the guest of this hospitable house.
After Tchoung-Heou’s death, his son, being so
accustomed to the amiable man’s company, would
never be parted from him.

But, in truth, at the time when this story be-
gins, who would have ever recognized a former
Tai-ping, a murderer, plunderer, or incendiary from
choice, in this philosopher of fifty-five years, this
moralist in spectacles, playing the part of China-
man, with eyes drawn towards the temples, and
with the traditional mustache? With his ‘long
robe of a modest color, and a waist rising towards
his chest from a growing obesity; with his head-
dress regulated according to the imperial decree,
—that is to say, with a fur hat with the rim raised
around the crown, from whence streamed tassels
of red cord, —did he not look the worthy professor
24 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

of philosophy, and one of those savants who write
fluently in the eighty thousand characters of
Chinese handwriting, and like a /ttérateur of the
superior dialect receiving the first prize in the
examination of doctors, with the right to pass
under the grand gate at Pekin, which is an honor
reserved for the Sons of Heaven?

Perhaps, after all, the rebel, forgetting a past
full of horror, had improved by contact with the
honest Tchoung-Heou, and had gradually branched
off to the road of speculative philosophy.

That is why, on this evening, Kin-Fo and Wang,
who never left each other, were together at Can-
ton, and why, after this farewell dinner, both were
going along the wharves to seck a steamer to take
them quickly to Shang-hai.

Kin-Fo walked on in silence, and even some-
what thoughtfully. Wang, looking round to the
right and to the left, philosophizing to the moon
and the stars, passed smilingly under the Gate
of Eternal Purity, which he did not find too
high for him, and under the Gate of Eternal Joy,
whose doors seemed to open on his own existence,
and finally saw the Pagoda of the Five Hundred
Divinities vanishing in the distance.

The steamer “ Perma” was under full steam.
Kin-Fo and Wang went on board, and entered the
cabins reserved for them. The rapid current of
the River of Pearls, which daily bears along the
bodies of those condemned to death with the
mud from its shores, carried the boat swiftly
KIN-FO AND THE PHILOSOPHER. 25

onward. It sped like an arrow between the ruins
made by French cannon, and left standing here
and there; past the pagoda Haf-Way, nine stories
high; and past Point Jardyne, near Whampoa,
where the large ships anchor, between the islands
and the bamboo palisades of the two shores,

The one hundred and fifty kilometres — that is
to say, the three hundred and seventy-five leagues
which separate Canton from the mouth of the
river — were travelled in the night.

At sunrise the “Perma” passed the Tiger’s
Mouth, and then the two bars of the estuary.
The Victoria Peak of the isle of Hong-Kong,
eighteen hundred and twenty-five feet high, ap-
peared for a moment through the morning mist,
when, after the most successful of passages, Kin-Fo
and the philosopher, leaving the yellowish waters
of the Blue River behind them, landed at Shang-
hai, on the shores of the province of Kiang-Nan.
26 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

. CHAPTER III.

IN WHICH THE READER, WITHOUT FATIGUE, CAN
GLANCE OVER THE CITY OF SHANG-HAI.

A. CHINESE proverb says, —

“When sabres are rusty, and spades bright;

“When prisons are empty, and granaries full;

“When the steps of the temples are worn by the feet of
worshippers, and the court-yards of the tribunals are ‘cov-
ered with grass ;

“When physicians go on foot, and bakers on horse-
back, —

“The empire is well governed.”

It is a good proverb, and might be applied to all
the States of the Old and New World. But, if
there is a single one where this destderatum is
still far from being realized, it is precisely the
Celestial Empire: for there it is the sabres which
are bright, and the spades rusty; the prisons
which are overflowing, and the granaries empty.
The bakers rest more than the physicians; and, if
the pagodas attract worshippers, the tribunals, on
the contrary, lack neither criminals nor litigants.

Besides, a kingdom of a hundred and eighty
thousand square miles, which from north to south
measures more than eight hundred leagues, and
THE CITY OF SHANG-HAT. 27

from east to west more than nine hundred, which
counts eighteen vast provinces, not to mention
the tributary countries, — Mongolia, Mandshuria,
Thibet, Tonking, Corea, the Loo-Choo Islands, &c.,
—can be but very imperfectly governed. If the
Chinese have a faint suspicion of this, foreigners
are not at all deceived. The emperor, who is
called the Son of Heaven, the father and mother
of his subjects, who makes or unmakes laws at
his pleasure, and has power of life or death over
every one, and to whom the revenues of the
empire are a birthright, —the sovereign before
whom brows are bowed to the dust, —shut up in
his palace, which is sheltered by the walls of a
triple city, —alone, perhaps, considers that every
thing is for the best in the best of worlds. It
would be unnecessary even to try to prove to him
that he is mistaken. A Son of Heaven is never
mistaken.

Did Kin-Fo have any reason to think that it
would be better to be governed in the European
than in the Chinese manner? One would be
tempted to think so. Indeed, he lived, not in
Shang-hai, but out of the city, in a part of the
English concession, which preserves a sort of
freedom that is highly prized.

Shang-hai, the city proper, is situated on the left
shore of the little River Houang-Pou, which, unit-
ing at a right angle with the Wousung, flows into
the Yang-Tze-Kiang, or Blue River, and from
there is lost in the Yellow Sea.
28 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

It is an oval, extending from north to south,
and surrounded by high walls, with an outlet of
gates opening on its suburbs. An inextricable
network of paved lanes, which would soon wear
out sweeping-machines, were they to clean them ;
gloomy shops, without shutters or any display of
goods in their windows, and in which the shop-
keepers perform their duties naked to the waist ;
not a carriage, not a palanquin, and scarcely any
horsemen ; here and there a few native temples or
foreign chapels; for promenades, a ‘“‘tea-garden,”
and a rather pebbly parade-ground, built on an
embankment, filled with ancient rice-fields, and
subject to marshy emanations; a population of
two hundred thousand inhabitants in the streets
and narrow houses, —all compose this city, which,
though as a place of residence is hardly desirable,
is, nevertheless, of great commercial importance.

In this city, after the treaty of Nankin, for-
eigners for the first time possessed the right to
establish stores, and here was the great port
opened in China to European traffic: therefore,
outside of Shang-hai and its suburbs, the govern-
ment ceded, for an annual sum, three portions of
territory to the French, English, and Americans,
who number about two thousand.

Of the French concession, there is little to be
said, it being the least important. Nearly the
whole of it is within the northern enclosure of the
city, reaching as far as the Brook Yang-King-Pang,
which separates it from the English territory.
THE CITY OF SHANG-HAT. 29

There stand the churches of the Lazarists and
Jesuits, who, four miles from Shang-hai, own the
college of Tsikave, where they confer bachelors’
degrees.

But this little French colony does not equal its
neighbors: far from it. Of the ten commercial
houses founded in 1861, there remain but three;
and they even preferred to establish the discount-
broker's office on the English concession.

The American territory occupies that part of
the country extending to Wousung, and is sepa-
rated from the English territory by the Soo-Choo
Creek, which is spanned by a wooden bridge.
Here are the Hotel Astor, and the Church of the
Missions, and the docks erected for the repair of
European ships.

But, of the three concessions, the most flourish-
ing is indisputably the English. Here are sump-
tuous dwellings on the wharves, houses with
verandas and gardens, palaces of the merchant
princes, the Oriental Bank, the “hong” of the cele-
brated house which bears the name of the firm of
Lao-Tchi-Tchang, the stores of the Jardynes, Rus-
sels, and other great merchants, the English club,
the theatre, the tennis-court, the park, the race-
course, and the library. Such is that wealthy
creation of the Anglo-Saxons, which has justly
merited the name of “ Model Colony.”

That is why, on this privileged territory, under
the patronage of a liberal administration, one will
not be astonished, as M. Leon Russet says, to find
30 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“‘a Chinese city of an especially individual charac
ter, which has not its counterpart anywhere.”

In this little corner of the earth, the foreigner,
arriving by the picturesque Blue River, sees four
flags unfurled by the same breeze,— the three
French colors, the “yacht” of the United King-
dom, the American stars, and the cross of St.
André, yellow with a green background, of the
Flowery Empire.

As for the environs of Shang-hai, they are a flat,
treeless country, cut up by narrow, stony roads
and footpaths, laid out at right angles, or hollowed
out by cisterns and “arroyos”’ distributing the
water through numerous rice-fields, or furrowed
by canals conveying junk-boats, which start in the
middle of the fields, like the canal-boats through
Holland. They are a sort of vast tableau, very
green in tone, a picture without a frame.

“The Perma,” on her arrival, anchored at the
wharf of the native port, before the eastern
suburbs of Shang-hai; and it was there that Wang
and Kin-Fo landed in the afternoon,

The coming and going of business people cre-
ated a traffic that was enormous on the shore, and
beyond description on the river.

The junk-boats by hundreds, the flower-boats,
the sampans (a kind of gondola managed by the
scull), the gigs, and other boats, of every size,
formed a kind of floating city inhabited by a mari-
time population, which cannot be reckoned at less
than forty thousand souls, —a population main-





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE CITY OF SHANG-HAL. 31

tained in an inferior situation, and the wealthy
part of which cannot rise to the rank of the liter-
ary or mandarin class.

The two friends sauntered along the wharf
among the strange, motley crowd, which comprised
merchants of every kind; venders of arachides,
betel-nuts, and oranges, with some from the Indian
orange-tree; seamen of every nation, water-car-
riers, fortune-tellers, bonzes, lamas, Catholic
priests clothed in Chinese fashion with pigtail
and fan, native soldiers, “tipaos” (the town-bailiffs
of the place), and “compradores,” or deputy-
brokers, as they might be called, who transact busi-
ness for European merchants.

Kin-Fo, with his fan in his hand, cast his usual
indifferent look over the crowd, and took no inter-
est in what was passing around him. Neither the
metallic sound of the Mexican piasters, nor that of
the silver taels and copper sapeques, which sellers
and buyers were exchanging with considerable
noise, could have disturbed him. He had the
means to buy out the entire suburbs for cash.

As for Wang, he opened his immense yellow
umbrella, which was decorated with black mon-
sters, and constantly faced the east as every high-
bred Chinaman should, and looked around every-
where for objects worthy of his observation.

As he passed before the eastern gate, his eyes
fell by chance on a dozen bamboo cages, from
which the faces of criminals who had been be-
headed the evening before grinned at him. “ Per-
32 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

haps,” said he, “there is something better to do
than to cut off people’s heads; and that is, to
make them stronger.”

Kin-Fo, no doubt, did not hear Wang’s reflec-
tion, which, on the part of a former Tai-ping,
would have astonished him.

Both continued to follow the wharf, winding
around the walls of the Chinese city.

At the extremity of the outskirts, just as they
were about to set foot on the French concession, a
native in a long blue robe, who was striking a buf-
falo-horn with a small stick, which produced a
harsh, grating sound, attracted quite a crowd
around him.

“A sien-cheng,” said the philosopher.

“What is it to us?” added Kin-Fo.

“Friend,” answered Wang, “ask him your for-
tune. This is a good time, when you are about to
be married.”

Kin-Fo started on his way again ; but Wang held
him back.

The “sien-cheng” is a sort of popular prophet,
who for a few sapeques makes a business of fore-
telling the future. His only professional appara-
tus is a cage, enclosing a little bird, which he
hangs on one of the buttons of his robe, and a
pack of sixty-four cards, representing figures of
gods, men, or animals. The Chinese of every
class, who are generally superstitious, make noth-
ing of the predictions of the sien-cheng, who,
probably is notin earnest,









THE CITY OF SHANG-HAL. 33

At a sign from Wang, he spread a piece of cot-
ton cloth on the ground, placed his cage on it,
drew out his cards, shuffled, and placed them on
this carpeting in a manner to display their figures.
The door of the cage was then opened; and a little
bird came out, selected one of the cards, and went
back again, after having received a kernel of rice
as a reward.

The sien-cheng turned over the card. It bore
the face of a man, and a device written in kunan-
runa, the mandarin language of the north and an
official language used by educated people.

Then, addressing Kin-Fo, the fortune-teller pre-
dicted what those of his profession in all countries
invariably predict without compromising them-
selves, — that, after undergoing some near trial, he
would enjoy ten thousand years of happiness.

“One,” answered Kin-Fo, “one only, and I
won’t insist upon the rest.”

Then he threw a silver tael on the ground, which
the prophet scrambled for as a hungry dog does
fora bone. Such windfalls did not come to him
every day.

After this, Wang and his pupil proceeded to the
French colony, —the former thinking of the predic-
tion, which accorded with his own theories about
happiness; the latter knowing well that no trial
could come to him.

They passed the French consulate, and as-
cended as far as the culvert thrown across Yang-
King-Pang, and crossed the brook; then went in
34 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

an oblique direction across the English territory,
in order to reach the wharf at the European port.

It was just striking twelve ; and business, which
had been very active throughout the morning,
stopped as if by magic. The business-day was
ended, we may say; and quiet took the place of
bustle, even in the English city, which had become
Chinese in this respect.

At this moment several foreign ships were
arriving in port, most of them under the flag of
the United Kingdom. Nine out of ten, we must
state, were laden with opiim. This brutalizing
substance, this poison with which England encum-
bers China, creates a traffic amounting to more
than two hundred and sixty million francs, and
returns three hundred per cent profit. In vain
has the Chinese government tried to prevent the
importation of opium into the Celestial Empire.
The war of 1841 and the treaty of Nankin gave
free entry to English merchandise, and yielded the
day to the merchant princes. We must also add,
that, if the government of Pekin has gone so far as
to proclaim death to every Chinaman who sells
opium, there are arrangements that can be made,
through a financial medium, with the treasurers of
the ruler; and it is even believed that the manda-
rin governor of Shang-hai lays up a million annu-
ally by merely shutting his eyes to the acts of his
subordinates.

We need not add that neither Kin-Fo nor Wang
were addicted to the detestable habit of smoking
THE CITY OF SHANG-HAL. 35

opium, which destroys all the elasticity of the sys-
tem, and quickly leads to death. Therefore not
an ounce of this substance had even entered the
costly dwelling which the two friends reached an
hour after landing on the wharf at Shang-hai.

Wang (the remark is still more surprising be-
cause it is that of an ex-Tai-ping) did not hesitate
to say, “Perhaps there is something better than
importing that which brutalizes a whole nation.
Commerce is well enough; but philosophy is
better. Let us be philosophers before all! let us
be philosophers !”
36 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER IV.

IN WHICH KIN-FO RECEIVES AN IMPORTANT LET-
TER, WHICH IS EIGHT DAYS BEHIND TIME.

A YAMEN is a collection of various buildings
ranged along a parallel line, which is cut across
perpendicularly by a second line of kiosks and
pavilions. Usually the yamen serves as a dwelling
for mandarins of high rank, and belongs to the
emperor ; but wealthy celestials are not forbidden
to have one. It was in one of these sumptuous
hotels that the opulent Kin-Fo lived.

Wang and his pupil stopped at the principal
gate, which opened on the vast enclosure surround-
ing the various structures of the yamen, and its
gardens and court-yards.

If, instead of being the dwelling of a private
individual, it had been that of a mandarin, a great
drum would have occupied the best place, under
the carved roof of the porch over the door, and
where, in the night as well as in the day, those of
his officers who might have to ask for justice
would have knocked. But, instead of this ‘“com-
plainers’ drum,” huge porcelain jars ornamented
the entrance of the yamen, and contained cold tea,
which was constantly renewed by attendants.
AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 37

These. jars were at the disposal of passers-by, a
generosity which did honor to Kin-Fo. So he
was thought a great deal of, as they say, “by his
neighbors in the East and West.”

On the master’s arrival, the servants ran to the
door to meet him. Valets-de-chambre, footmen,
porters, chair-bearers, grooms, coachmen, waiters,
night-watchers, and cooks, and all who compose the
Chinese household, formed into line under the
orders of the intendant; while a dozen coolies,
engaged by the month for the heaviest work, stood
a little in the rear.

The intendant offered his welcome to the master
of the house, who made a slight acknowledgment
with a motion of his hand, and passed rapidly on.

“Soun ?” said he simply.

“Soun!” answered Wang, smiling. “If Soun
were here, it would not be Soun!”’

“Where is he?” repeated Kin-Fo.

The intendant had to confess that neither he
nor any one knew what had become of him. Now,
Soun held no less important a position than that
of first vadlet-de-chambre, and was in particular at-
tached to Kin-Fo’s person, and was one whom the
ratter could by no means do without.

Was he, then, a model servant? No: he could
not possibly have performed his duties in a worse
manner. Absent-minded, incoherent in speech,
awkward with his hands and tongue, a thorough
gourmand, and somewhat of a coward, he was a
true Chinese-screen Chinaman, but faithful on
38 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

the whole, and the only person, after all, who pos
sessed the gift of moving his master. Kin-Fo
found an occasion to get angry with Soun twenty
times a day; and, if he only corrected him ten,
there was just so much the less to rouse him from
his habitual indifference, and stir his bile A
hygienic servant, it is plain to be seen.

Besides, Soun, like the majority of Chinese ser-
vants, came of his own accord to receive punish-
ment whenever he merited it, which his master
was not sparing in bestowing. The blows of the
rattan rained down on his shoulders, but he hardly
minded them. What caused him to show infinitely
more sensibility was the successive cuttings of his
braided pigtail, which Kin-Fo made him undergo
when he was guilty of any grave fault.

Probably no one is .unaware how much the
Chinaman values this odd appendage. The loss
of his pigtail is the first punishment offered to a
criminal. It is a dishonor for life: therefore the
unhappy valet dreaded nothing so much as to be
condemned to lose a piece of it. Four years
before, when he entered Kin-Fo’s service, his braid,
one of the most beautiful in the Celestial Empire,
measured one metre and twenty-five. Now there
remained only fifty-seven centimetres.

At this rate, Soun in two years would be en-
tirely bald.

However, Wang and Kin-Fo, followed respect-
fully by the servants, crossed the garden, in which
the trees, that were mostly set in porcelain vases,






















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Wang and Kin-Fo, followed respectfully by the servants, crossed the

garden.
Page 38
AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 39

and trimmed in an astonishing but lamentable
style of art, assumed the form of fantastic ani-
mals. Then the friends walked around the reser-
voir filled with “ gouramis” and red fishes, and in
which the limpid water was hidden from view
under the broad, pale-red flowers of the “nelum-
bo,” the most beautiful of the native water-lilies
in the Empire of Flowers. They saluted a quad-
ruped in hieroglyphics, painted in violent colors
on a wall ad hoc, like a symbolical fresco, and
finally reached the entrance to the principal dwell-
ing in the yamen.

It was a house composed of a ground-floor and
one story, raised on a terrace which was ascended
by six marble steps. Bamboo screens were hung
like awnings before the doors and windows, in
order to render endurable the excessive heat by
airing the interior. The flat roof contrasted with
the fantastic roofing of the pavilions, scattered
here and there in the enclosure of the yamen,
whose embrasures, many-colored tiles, and bricks
carved in fine arabesques, were extremely pleasing
to the eye.

Inside, with the exception of the rooms espe-
cially reserved for the occupancy of Wang and
Kin-Fo, there were only sa/ons surrounded by cabi-
nets formed of transparent walls, on which were
traced garlands of painted flowers, or inscriptions
giving those moral aphorisms with which the
Celestials are profuse. Everywhere were to be
seen seats oddly fashioned in pottery or porcelain,
40 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

in wood or marble, to say nothing of some dozens
of cushions of more inviting softness ; and every:
where were lamps or lanterns of various forms,
with glasses shaded in delicate colors, and more
encumbered with tassels, fringes, and top-knots
than a Spanish mule; and the little tea-tables called
teha-ki, which form an indispensable complement
to the furniture of a Chinese apartment. One
would not have wasted, but have well employed,
hours in counting the ivory and shell carvings, the
dead bronzes, the censers, the Jacquer-work orna-
mented with filagree of raised gold, them ilky-
white and emerald-green objects in jade, the vases
(round or in the form of a prism) of the dynasty
of the Ming and Tsing, and the still rarer porce-
lains of the dynasty of the Yen in veined enamel-
work of translucent pink and yellow, the secret of
whose manufacture is unknown. All that Chinese
fancy, added to European comfort, could offer, was
to be found in this luxurious home.

Indeed, Kin-Fo —it has been alluded to before,
and his tastes prove it —— was a progressive man,
who was not opposed to the importation of each
and every modern invention; and he might be
classed with those Sons of Heaven, still too rare,
who are charmed by the physical and chemical sci-
ences. He was not one of those barbarians who
cut the first telegraph-wires which the house of
Reynolds, wished to establish as far as Wousung
with the intention of learning sooner of the arrival
of English and American mails; nor one of those
AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 41

behind-the-times mandarins, who, in order not to
allow the submarine cable from Shang-hai to Hong-
Kong to be secured at any point whatsoever of the
territory, obliged the telegraph-workers to fasten
it on a boat floating in the middle of the river.

No: Kin-Fo joined those of his compatriots who
approved of the government building arsenals and
ship-yards in Fou-Chao under the direction of
French engineers; and he was also a stockholder
in the Chinese steamers which ply between Tien-
sing and Shang-hai on government business, and
was interested in those boats of great speed, which,
after leaving Singapore, gain three or four days
over the English mail.

It has been affirmed that material progress
found its way even into his home. Indeed, the
telephone gave communication between the differ-
ent buildings in his yamen ; and electric bells con-
nected the rooms in his house. During the cold
season he built a fire to warm himself without a
feeling of shame, being more sensible in this re-
spect than his fellow-citizens, who froze before an
empty fireplace under four or five suits of clothes.
He lighted his house with gas, like the inspector-
general of the custom-house in Pekin, and the
immensely rich Mr. Yang, the principal proprietor
of the pawn-shops in the Central Empire. Final-
ly, disdaining the superannuated custom of hand-
writing in his familiar correspondence, the pro-
gressive Kin-Fo, as one will soon find, adopted
phonography, recently brought to the highest de-
gree of perfection by Edison.
42 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Thus the pupil of the philosopher Wang had, in
his material as well as in his moral life, all that
was necessary to make him happy; yet he was not
so! He had.Soun to rouse him from his daily
apathy ; but even Soun did not suffice to bring
happiness.

It is true, that, at the present moment at least,
Soun, who was never where he ought to be, would
not show himself. He, no doubt, must have some
grave fault with which to reproach himself, some
awkward act done in his master’s absence; or if
he did not fear for his shoulders, accustomed to
the domestic rattan, every thing led one to believe
that he was trembling particularly for his pigtail.

“ Soun!” called Kin-Fo, as he entered the hall
into which opened the sa/ous on the right and left ;
and his voice indicated an ill-repressed impatience.

“Soun!” repeated Wang, whose good advice
and reproofs had produced no effect on the incor-
rigible valet.

“Let some one hunt up Soun, and bring him to
me,” said Kin-Fo, addressing the intendant, who
set all his people to find the unfindable.

Wang and Kin-Fo remained alone.

“Wisdom,” then spoke the philosopher, ‘‘ com-
mands the traveller who returns to his fireside to
take rest.”

“Let us be wise,” simply answered Wang’s
pupil; and, after having clasped the philosopher’s
hand, he went to his apartments. Kin-Fo, when
at length alone, stretched himself on one of those
AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 43

soft lounges of European manufacture which a
Chinese upholsterer would never have been able
to make so comfortable.

In this position he began to meditate. Was he
meditating on his marriage with the amiable and
pretty woman he was to make the companion of
his life? Yes; but that is not surprising, because
he was about to visit her. This charming person
did not reside in Shang-hai, but in Pekin; and
Kin-Fo thought that it would be proper to announce
to her both his return to Shang-hai, and his inten-
tion of soon visiting the capital of the Celestial
Empire. Even were he to show a certain desire
and slight impatience to see her again, it would
not be out of place ; for he really had a true affec-
tion for her.

Wang had demonstrated this to him by the
most unanswerable rules of logic; and this new
element introduced into his life might, perhaps,
call forth the unknown, —that is, happiness, —
who, — which, — of which —

Kin-Fo was dreaming, with his eyes already
closed ; and he would have gently fallen asleep,
if he had not felt a sort of tickling in his right
hand.

Instinctively his fingers came together, and
seized a slightly knotty, cylindrical body, of tol-
erable thickness, which they undoubtedly were
accustomed to handle. He could not be mistaken :
it was a rattan, which had slipped into his right
hand, while at the same time were heard, in a
resigned tone, the following words : —
44 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“When master wishes.”

Kin-Fo started up, and instinctively brandished
the correcting rattan.

Soun was before him, presenting his shoulders,
and bending half double in the position of a male-
factor about to be beheaded. Supporting himself
on the floor by one hand, he held a letter in the
other. .

“Well, here you are at last!” cried Kin-Fo.

“ Ai, ai, ya!” answered Soun. “I did not ex-
pect master till the third period. If he wishes’””—

Kin-Fo threw the rattan on the floor. Soun, al-
though he was naturally so yellow, managed to
turn pale,

“Tf you offer your back without any other ex-
planation,” said his master, “it is because you de-
serve something more. What is the matter?”

“ This letter.”

“Well, what of it? Speak!” cried Kin-Fo, seiz-
ing the letter which Soun presented to him.

“TI very stupidly forgot to give it to you before
your departure to Canton.”

“ A week behind time, you rascal!”

“T did wrong, master.”

“Come here.”

“T am like a poor crab that has no claws, and
cannot walk. Az, az, ya/”

This last cry was one of despair. Kin-Fo, having
seized Soun by his braid, with one clip of the well-
sharpened scissors cut off the extreme tip.

It is to be supposed that claws grow instantane-


























































“Ai ai yal”
AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 45

ously on the unhappy crab; for this one, having
first snatched from the carpet the severed part of
his precious appendage, scampered hastily away.

From fifty-seven centimetres, Soun’s pigtail had
become reduced to fifty-four.

Kin-Fo, who was again perfectly calm, had thrown
himself once more on the lounge, and was examin-
ing, with the air of a man whom nothing hurries,
the letter which had arrived a week ago. He was
only displeased with Soun on account of his care-
lessness, not on account of the delay. How could
any letter whatsoever interest him? It would only
be welcome if it could cause him an emotion. An
emotion for him! He looked at it, therefore,
somewhat vacantly. The envelope, of heavy linen
paper, revealed on the front and the reverse side
various postmarks of a chocolate and a wine
color, with the printed picture of a man under-
neath the figure 2, and “six cents,’ which showed
that it came from the United States of America.

“Good!” said Kin-Fo, shrugging his shoulders,
“a letter from my correspondent in San Fran-
cisco.” And he threw it in a corner of the lounge.

Indeed, what could his correspondent have to
tell him? That the securities which composed al-
most all his fortune remained quietly in the safes
of the Central Bank in California, or that his stock
had risen from fifteen to twenty per cent, or that
the dividends to be distributed would exceed those
of the preceding year, &c.

A few million dollars more or less really could
not move him.
46 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

However, a few moments later, Kin-Fo took the
letter again, and mechanically tore the envelope;
but, instead of reading it, his eyes at first sought
only the signature.

“Tt is truly from my correspondent,” he said.
“He can only have business-matters to tell me of ;
and business I won’t think of till to-morrow.”

And a second time Kin-Fo was about to throw
down the letter, when inside, on the right-hand
page, a word underlined several times caught his
eye. It was the word “indebtedness,” to which
the San Francisco correspondent wished to draw
the attention of his client at Shang-hai.

Kin-Fo then began the letter from the beginning,
and read every word from the first to the last line,
not without a certain feeling of curiosity rather
surprising on his part. For a moment his eye-
brows contracted; but a rather disdainful smile
played round his lips when he finished reading.

He then rose, took about twenty steps around
his room, and approached the rubber tube which
placed him in communication with Wang. He
even carried the mouth-piece to his lips, and was
about to whistle through it, when he changed his
mind, let fall the rubber serpent, and, returning,
threw himself on the lounge.

“Pooh!” said he.

This word just expressed Kin-Fo.

“And she!” he murmured. “She is really more
interested in all this than I am.”

He then approached a little lacquered table, on
AN IMPORTANT LETTER. 47

which stood an oblong box of rare carving; but,
as he was about to open it, he stayed his hand.

“What was it that her last letter said?” he
murmured. :

Instead of raising the box-cover, he pressed a
spring at one end, and immediately a sweet voice
was heard :—

“My little elder brother, am I no longer to you
like the flower mei-houa in the first moon, like the
flower of the apricot in the second, and the flower
of the peach-tree in the third? My dear, precious
jewel of a heart, a thousand, ten thousand greet-
ings to you!”

It was the voice of a young woman, whose ten-
der words were repeated by the phonograph.

“Poor little younger sister!” said Kin-Fo.

Then, opening the box, he took out from the
apparatus the paper on which were the indented
lines which had just reproduced the inflections of
the absent voice, and replaced it with another.

The phonograph was then perfected to such a
degree, that it was necessary only to speak aloud
for the membrane to receive the impression, and
the wheel, which was turned as by the machinery
of a watch, would stamp the words on the paper
inside.

Kin-Fo spoke in it for about a moment.

By his voice, which was always -calm and even,
one could not have learned whether joy or sorrow
influenced his thoughts.

No more than three or four sentences were
48 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

spoken. Having ended, he stopped the machinery
of the phonograph, drew out the special paper on
which the needle, acted upon by the membrane,
had traced oblique ridges corresponding to the
words spoken; then, placing this paper in an en-
velope which he sealed, he wrote from right to left
the following address :—

MapameE LeE-ou,

Cua-Coua AVENUE,
PEKIN.



An electric bell quickly brought the servant
who had charge of letters, and he was ordered to
take this one immediately to the post-office.

An hour afterwards Kin-Fo was sleeping peace-
fully, pressing in his arms his “tchou-fou-jen,” —a
kind of pillow of plaited bamboo, which maintains
a medium temperature in Chinese beds, and is
very much prized in these warm latitudes.
LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 49

CHAPTER V.

IN WHICH LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER WHICH SHE
WOULD RATHER NOT HAVE RECEIVED.

“You have no letter for me yet?”

“Eh! No, madam.”

“Time seems so long to me, old mother

Thus for the tenth time that day spoke the
charming Le-ou in the boudoir of her house in
Cha-Coua Avenue, Pekin. The “old mother” who
answered her, and to whom she gave this title,
usually bestowed in China on servants of a re-
spectable age, was the grumbling and disagreeable
Miss Nan,

Le-ou had married at eighteen a literary man
of the highest distinction, who had contributed
to the famous “Tse-Khou-Tsuane-Chou.”! This
savant was twice her age, and died three years
after this unequal union.

The young widow was left alone in the world
when she was only twenty-one years old. Kin-Fo
met her on a journey which he made to Pekin
about this time. Wang, who was acquainted with

1”

1 This work, begun in 1773, is to comprise one hundred and sixty thou-
sand volumes, and at present has reached only the seventy-eight thousand
seven hundred and thirty-eighth.
50 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

this charming person, called the attention of his
indifferent pupil to her; and Kin-Fo gradually gave
himself up to the idea of modifying the conditions
of his life by becoming the husband of such a
pretty widow. Le-ou was not averse to the propo-
sition: so’ the marriage, which was decided upon
to the great satisfaction of the philosopher, was to
be celebrated as soon as Kin-Fo, after having made
the necessary arrangements at Shang-hai, should
return to Pekin.

It is not common in the Celestial Empire for
widows to marry again, —not that they do not
wish to as much as those of their class in West-
ern countries, but because their wish is shared
by few of the opposite sex. If Kin-Fo was an
exception to the rule, it was because he was ec-
centric, as we know. Le-ou, if married again, it
is true, would no longer have the right to pass
under the commemorative arches, which the em-
peror has sometimes erected in honor of women
celebrated for their fidelity to a deceased husband,
—such as that in honor of the widow Soung, who
never would leave her husband’s tomb; of the
widow Koung-Kiang, who cut off an arm; and of
the widow Yen-Tchiang, who disfigured herself as
a sign of conjugal grief. But Le-ou thought she
could do better in her twentieth year. She would
resume that life of obedience which constitutes
the whole 7é/e of woman in a Chinese family,
give up talking of outside matters, conform to
the precepts of the book “Li-nun” on domestic
LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 51

virtues, and the book “Nei-tso-pien”’ on marital
duties, and again find that consideration enjoyed
by the wife who, in the upper classes, is not the
slave she is generally believed to be. So Le-ou,
who was intelligent and well educated, under-
standing what place she would hold in the life
of the rich exnuyé, and feeling herself drawn
towards him by the desire of proving to him that
happiness exists on the earth, was quite resigned
to her new fate.

The savant had left his young widow in easy,
though moderate, circumstances ; and the house in
Cha-Coua Avenue was therefore unpretentious.
The intolerable Nan was the only servant; but
Le-ou was accustomed to her deplorable manners,
which are not peculiar to the servants of the Em-
pire of Flowers. ,

The young woman preferred to spend most of
her time in her boudoir, the furniture of which
would have seemed very plain, had it not been
for the rich presents which, for two eventful
months, had been arriving from Shang-hai. A
few pictures hung on the walls; among others a
chef-d euvre of the old painter! Huan-Tse-Nen,

1 The renown of the great masters has been handed down to us by
traditions, which, though anecdotical, are none the less worthy of atten-
tion. It is recorded, for example, that in the third century a painter, by
the name of Tsao-Pouh-Ying, having finished a screen for the emperor,
amused himself by painting flies here and there, and had the satisfaction
of seeing his majesty take his handkerchief to brush them off. No less
celebrated was Huan-T'se-Nen, who flourished towards the year one thou-

sand. Having had charge of the mural decorations in one of the palace-
halls, he painted several pheasants on it. Now, some foreign envoys who
52 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

which would have attracted the attention of con-
noisseurs among other very Chinese water-colors
with green horses, violet dogs, and blue trees,
the work of native modern artists. On a lacquer
table were displayed fans, like great butterflies
‘with expanded wings, from the celebrated school
of Swatow. From a porcelain hanging-lamp
drooped elegant festoons of those artificial flow-
ers, so admirably manufactured from the pith of
the Arabia papyrifera of Formosa, and rivalling
the white water-lilies, yellow chrysanthemums, and
red lilies of Japan, which crowded the jardiniéres
of delicately carved wood. A soft light filled the
room, as the screens of braided bamboo at the
windows excluded the direct rays of the sun by
filtering them, as it were. A magnificent screen,
made of large sparrow-hawks’ feathers, on which
the spots of color, artistically disposed, represented
a large peony, —that emblem of beauty in the
Empire of Flowers, — two bird-cages in the form
of a pagoda, real kaleidoscopes of the most bril-
liant birds of India, a few ceolian ‘tiemaols,”
whose glass plate vibrated in the breeze, and a
thousand objects, in fact, which recalled the ab-
sent one, completed the curious adornment of this
boudoir.

brought several falcons as a present to the emperor, having been introduced
into this hall, the birds of prey no sooner beheld the pheasants painted on
the walls, than they flew upon them to the injury of their heads more than
to the satisfaction of their voracious instincts. —THomPson’s Voyage to
China.
LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 53

“No letter yet, Nan?”

“Why no, madam, not yet!”

A charming woman was this young Le-ou, and
pretty even to European eyes: for she was fair,
not yellow, and had soft eyes, but slightly raised
near the temples; black hair, which was orna-
mented with a few peach-blossoms, fastened by
pins of green jade; small white teeth, and eye-
brows faintly defined with a delicate line of India
ink. She put no cosmetic of honey or Spanish
white on her cheeks, as the beauties in the
Celestial Empire generally do, no circle of car-
mine on her lower lip, no small vertical line be-
tween her eyes, nor a single layer of the paint
which the imperial court dispenses annually for
ten million sapeques. The young widow had
nothing to do with these artificial ingredients.
She seldom went out of her house at Cha-Coua,
and for that reason could scorn this mask which
every Chinese woman uses outside of her own
house.

As for her toilet, nothing could be more simple
and elegant. A long robe, slashed on four sides,
with a wide embroidered galloon at the hem, and,
underneath this, a plaited skirt; at her waist a
plastron embellished with braid in gold filagree ;
pantaloons attached to the belt, and fastened over
hose of Nankin silk; and pretty slippers orna-
mented with pearls, composed her attire. We
can mention nothing more to make the young
woman charming, unless we add that her hands
54 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

were delicate, and that she preserved her nails,
which were long and rosy, in little silver cases,
carved with exquisite art.

And her feet? Well, her feet were small, not
in consequence of that barbarous custom of de-
forming them, which, happily, is being done away
with, but because nature had made them so.
This custom has already lasted seven hundred
years, and probably arose from the deformity of
some club-footed princess, and not, as has been
believed, from the jealousy of husbands. In its
most simple application, the flexion of the four toes
under the sole, while leaving the calcaneum intact,
converts the leg into a sort of conical trunk, abso-
lutely impedes walking, and predisposes to anemia.
The custom had extended day by day from the
conquest by the Tartars ; but now one cannot find
three Chinese women out of ten who have been
forced to submit at an early age to a succession of
those painful operations which causes the deform-
ity of the foot.

“Tt cannot be possible that a letter has not come
to-day,” said Le-ou again. ‘Go and see, old
mother.”

“T have been to see,’ answered Miss Nan very
disrespectfully, as she left the room, grumbling.

Le-ou tried to work to divert her mind: yet she
was thinking of Kin-Fo all the same; since she was
embroidering for him a pair of cloth stockings,
whose manufacture is confined to women in Chinese
households, to whatever class they may belong. But
‘

: . 2
ea
[ . a

:

el































































































































































































































































































































‘I have been to see,” answered Miss Nan very disrespectfully, as she

left the room.
Page 54
LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 55

her work soon fell from herhands. She rose, took
two or three watermelon-seeds from a bonbon-
box, crunched them between her little teeth, then
opened a book entitled ‘“Nushun,” —a code of
instructions which it is the habit of ‘every worthy
wife to read daily.

“As spring is the most favorable season for the farmer,
so is the dawn the most propitious moment of the day.

“Rise early, and do not yield to the wooing of sleep.

“Take care of the mulberry-tree and the hemp.

“Spin silk and cotton zealously.

“ A woman’s virtue is in being industrious and economi-
cal.

“Your neighbor will sing your praises.”

This book was soon closed; for the fond Le-ou
was not thinking of what she was reading.

“Where can he be?” she questioned. “He
must have gone to Canton. Has he returned to
Shang-hai? When will he arrive at Pekin? Has
the sea been smooth for him? I pray the goddess
Koanine may watch over him.”

Thus spoke the anxious young woman ; and her
eyes wandered absently over a table-cover, which
was artistically made of a thousand little pieces
patched together in a sort of mosaic, and of a ma-
terial of Portuguese fashion, on which were de-
signed the mandarin duck and his family, the sym-
bol of fidelity. Finally she approached a yardinzére,
and plucked a flower at random.

“Ah!” said she, “this is not a flower of the
green willow, the emblem of spring, youth, and
56 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

joy: it is the yellow chrysanthemum, the emblem
of autumn and sorrow!”

To dispel the anxiety which now possessed her,
she took up her lute, and ran her fingers over the
strings, while she softly sang the first words of the
song, “Hands United;” but she could not con-
tinue.

“ His letters always came promptly,” she said to
herself ; “and what emotion they caused me as I
read them! Or, instead of those lines which were
addressed only to my eyes, it was his voice itself I
could hear ; for in that instrument it spoke to me
as if he were near.”

Le-ou glanced at a phonograph which stood on
a small lacquered table, and which was exactly like
the one that Kin-Fo used at Shang-hai. Both could
thus hear each other speak, or rather the sound of
their voices, in spite of the distance which sepa-
rated them. But to-day, as for several days, the
apparatus was silent, and no longer spoke the
thoughts of the absent one.

The old mother now entered.

“Here is your letter,” she said; and she handed
Le-ou an envelope postmarked Shang-hai, and
then left the room.

A smile played about Le-ou’s lips, and her eyes
sparkled with a more brilliant light. She quickly
tore open the envelope, without taking time to
look at it, as was her habit. It did not contain a
letter, but one of those pieces of paper with ob-
lique indented lines, which, when adjusted in the


















The paper was placed on the roller of the phonograph.
Page 57.
LE-OU RECEIVES A LETTER. 57

phonograph, reproduce all the inflections of the
human voice.

“Ah! I like this even better!” she cried joy-
ously; “for I can hear him speak.”

-The paper was placed on the roller of the phon-
ograph, which the machinery, like clock-work, im-
mediately made revolve, and Le-ou, putting her ear
to it, heard a well-known voice, which said, —

“Little younger sister, ruin has made way with my
riches, as the east wind blows away the yellow leaves of au-
tumn. I do not wish to make another wretched by having
her share my poverty. Forget-him on whom ten thousand
misfortunes have fallen.

“Yours in despair,
“ KIN-Fo.”

What a blow for the young woman! A life
more bitter than the bitter gentian awaited her
now. Yes, the golden wind was carrying away
her last hopes with the fortune of him she loved.
Was Kin-Fo’s love for her gone forever? Did her
friend believe only in the happiness which riches
give? Ah, poor Le-ou! she nowresembled a kite,
which, when its string is broken, falls to the ground
and is shattered.

Nan, whom she had called, entered the room,
and, with a shrug of her shoulders, carried her
mistress to her “hang.” But, although her couch
was one of those stove-beds artificially warmed, it
seemed cold to the unfortunate Le-ou; and how
slowly passed the five parts of that sleepless
night!
58 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER VI.

WHICH WILL, PERHAPS, MAKE THE READER DESIRE
TO VISIT THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.”

Tue next day Kin-Fo, whose disdain for things
of this world did not lessen for a moment, left
home alone, and, with his usual regular gait, de-
scended the right shore of the creek. Having
reached the wooden bridge which connects the
English concession with the American, he crossed
the river, and proceeded to a rather handsome
house, which stood between: the mission-church
and the consulate of the United States.

On the front of this house was displayed a large

copper plate, on which was engraved, in raised
letters, this inscription, —

“THE CENTENARY LIFE-INSURANCE COMPANY.
Guaranteed Capital, $20,000,000.

Principal Agent, WILLIAM J. BipuLPH.”

Kin-Fo pushed open the door, which was pro-
tected by another one inside, and found himself in
an office divided into two compartments by a simple
balustrade, as high as his elbow. Several paste-
board boxes for papers, some books with nickel
*
THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 59

clasps, an American safe, two or three tables
where the agent’s clerks were working, and a
complicated secretary reserved for the Honorable
William J. Bidulph, comprised the furniture of this
room, which seemed to belong more to a house
in Broadway than to one on the shores of the
Wousung.

William J. Bidulph was the principal agent in
China of the life and fire insurance company
whose head was in Chicago. It was called the
Centenary, —a good title, which must draw pa-
trons. The Centenary, which was very popular
in the United States, had branches in the five
divisions of the world. It carried on an enormous
business, — thanks to its by-laws, which were very
boldly and liberally framed,—and was thus able
to take every risk.

The Celestials were beginning to follow these
modern ideas which filled the coffers of com-
panies of this kind. A large number of houses
in the Central Empire were insured against fire ;
and the contracts of insurance in case of death,
with their complex combinations, did not lack
Chinese signatures. The advertisement of the
Centenary was already posted on doors in Shang-
hai, and, among other places, on the pillars of
Kin-Fo’s costly yamen. Therefore it was not
with the intention of insuring against fire that
Wang’s pupil was paying a visit to the Honorable
William J. Bidulph.

“Mr. Bidulph?” he asked, as he entered.
60 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

William J. Bidulph was there “in person,” like
a photographer who is his -own operator, and
always at the disposition of the public. He was
a man fifty years old, correctly dressed in a black
coat and white cravat, with a full-grown beard,
but no mustache, and with peculiarly American
manners.

“To whom have I the honor of speaking?” he
asked.

“To Mr. Kin-Fo of Shang-hai.”

“Mr. Kin-Fo! one of the patrons of the Cen-
tenary, — policy number twenty-seven thousand
two hundred.”

“The same.”

“Am I to have the good fortune of having you
desire my services, sir?”

“IT would like to speak to you in private,” an-
swered Kin-Fo,

Conversation between these two could be the
more easily carried on, since William J. Bidulph
spoke Chinese, and Kin-Fo spoke English.

The wealthy patron was then introduced, with
the respect due him, into an inner office, hung
with heavy tapestry, and closed with double doors,
where one might have plotted the overthrow of
the dynasty of Tsing without fear of being heard
by the most cunning tipaos in the Celestial Em-
pire.

“Sir,” said Kin-Fo, as soon as he had seated
himself in a rocking-chair before a fireplace heated
by gas, “I desire to negotiate with your company
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THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 61

for the insurance of my life for a sum, the amount
of which I will give you presently.”

“Sir,” answered William J. Bidulph, “there is
nothing more simple. Two signatures — yours
and mine—at the bottom of a policy, and the
insurance is effected after a few preliminary for-
malities. But, sir, permit me to ask this question:
you desire to die only at a very advanced age, do
you not ?— quite a natural desire.”

“Why should I?” asked Kin-Fo. “Usually,
when one insures his life, it indicates that he fears
sudden death.”

“O sir!” answered Mr. Bidulph in the most
serious way in the world, “that fear is never enter-
tained by the patrons of the Centenary. Does not
its name indicate this? To insure with us is to
take out a patent of long life. I beg pardon; but
it is rare that those insuring with us do not live
beyond the hundredth year, — very rare, very rare!
For their own good, we ought to deprive them of
life. But we do a superb business. So, I assure
you, sir, that insurance in the Centenary is a guasz
certainty of becoming a centenarian.”

“Indeed!” said Kin-Fo quietly, looking at
William J. Bidulph with his cold eye.

The chief agent, serious as a clergyman, had by
no means the appearance of joking.

“However that may be,” resumed Kin-Fo, “I
desire to get insured for two hundred thousand
dollars.”

“We say a policy of two hundred thousand
dollars,” answered Mr. Bidulph.
62 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

He entered this sum in his note-book, and its
magnitude did not even cause him to raise his
eyebrows.

“You know,” he added, “that the insurance is
void, and that all premiums paid, whatever their
number, go to the company, if the person insured
loses his life through the act of the beneficiary of
the contract.”

“T know that.”

“And against what risks do you pretend to in-
sure, my dear sir?”

“ All kinds.”

“Risks of travel by land or sea, and those of a
residence outside the limits of the Celestial Em-
pire?”

- “Ves,”

“Risks of legal sentence?”

“Yes.”

“Risks of duel?”

“Yes.”

“Risks of military service?”

“Ves.”

“Then the premiums will be very high.”

“T will pay what is necessary.”

“Tt is agreed.”

“But,” added Kin-Fo, “there is another very
important risk, which you do not speak of.”

“What is it?”

“Suicide. I thought the statutes of the Cen-

tenary authorized it to insure against suicide
also,”
THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 63

“Just so, sir! just so!” answered William J.
Bidulph, rubbing his hands. ‘Even that proves
a source of splendid profit to us. You under-
stand, our patrons are generally people who value
life; and those who, through exaggerated pru-
dence, insure against suicide, never kill them-
selves.”

“For all that,” answered Kin-Fo, “for personal
reasons, I wish to insure against this risk also.”

“Bless me! but it is a pretty big premium.”

“T repeat that I will pay whatever is necessary.”

“Of course we will put down, then,” said Mr.
Bidulph, continuing to write in his note-book,
“risks of travelling by sea and land, and suicide.”

“And on those conditions what will be the
amount to pay?” asked Kin-Fo.

“My dear sir,’ answered the principal agent,
“our premiums are tabled with a mathematical
accuracy which is greatly to the honor of the.
company. They are not based, as they used to
be, on Duvillars’ tables. Are you acquainted with
Duvillars ?”

“T am not acquainted with Duvillars.”

«“ A remarkable statistician, but already ancient,
—so ancient, even, that he is dead. At the time
that he established his famous tables, which still
serve as the scale for premiums in the majority
of European companies, which are very, much
behind the times, the average duration of life
was less than now, thanks to general progress.
We form a basis on a higher medium, and, con-
64 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

sequently, one more favorable to the insured, who
pays a lower price, and lives longer.”

“What will be the amount of my premium?”
resumed Kin-Fo, desirous of stopping the wordy
agent, who neglected no occasion to mention this
advantage in favor of the Centenary.

“Sir,” answered William J. Bidulph, “may I
take the liberty of asking your age?”

“Thirty-one years.”

“Well, at thirty-one, if you were only insuring
on ordinary risks, you would pay in any company
two eighty-three per cent; but in the Centenary
it will only be two seventy, which, for a capital of
two hundred thousand dollars, would make five
thousand four hundred dollars per annum.”

“And on the conditions that I desire?” asked
Kin-Fo.

“Insuring against every risk, even suicide?”

“Suicide above every thing.”

“Sir,” answered Mr. Bidulph in an amiable
tone, after having consulted a printed table on the
last page of his note-book, “we cannot do this for
you at less than twenty-five per cent.”

“Which will make?” |

“Fifty thousand dollars.”

“And how will the premium be paid you?”

“ All at once, or in parts monthly, at the pleas-
ure of the person insured.”

“And what would it be for the first two
months?”

’“Fight thousand three hundred and thirty-two
THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 65

dollars, which, if paid to-day, the 30th of April,
my dear sir, would cover you to the 30th of June
of the present year.”

“Sir,” said Kin-Fo, ‘those conditions suit me.
Here is the premium for the first two months.”
And he placed on the table a thick roll of bills,
which he drew from his pocket. .

“Well, sir, very well,” answered Mr. Bidulph.
“But, before signing the policy, there is one for-
mality to be gone through with.”

“What is it?”

“You must receive a visit from the physician
of the company.”

“For what reason?”

“In order to ascertain if you are soundly built,
if you have no organic malady of a nature to
shorten life, if, in short, you can give us guaran-
ties of a long life.”

“Of what use is that, since I insure even
against duel and suicide?” observed Kin-Fo.

“Well, my dear sir,’ answered Mr. Bidulph,
still smiling, “a malady whose germs you might
have, and which would carry you off in a few
months, would cost us in all two hundred thou-
sand dollars.”

“My suicide would cost you that also, I sup-
pose.”

“ Dear sir,” answered the gracious agent, taking
Kin-Fo’s hand, which he gently patted, “allow me
to tell you that many of our patrons insure against
suicide, but they never commit suicide. But we
66 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

are not prevented from watching over them, —
but with the greatest discretion.”

“Ah!” said Kin-Fo.

“T will add this, which I have often said, that,
of all those insured by the Centenary, they are
the ones who pay premiums the longest. But, be-
tween ourselves, pray tell me, why should the
wealthy Mr. Kin-Fo commit suicide?”

“And why should the wealthy Mr. Kin-Fo get
insured ?”

“Oh!” answered William J. Bidulph, “to ob-
tain the certainty of living to be very old as a
patron of the Centenary.”

There was no use in discussing any longer with
the principal agent of the celebrated company, he
was So positive in what he said.

“ And now,” he added, “to whose profit is this
insurance of two hundred thousand dollars ? Who
will be the beneficiary of the contract?”

“There will be two beneficiaries,’ answered
Kin-Fo.

“In equal shares?”

“No, in unequal shares. One for fifty thousand
dollars, the other for one hundred and fifty thou-
sand,”

“For the fifty thousand, we say Mr.

“Wang.”

“The philosopher Wang?”

“The same.”

“ And for the hundred and fifty thousand ?”

“Madame Le-ou of Pekin.”

”


THE OFFICES OF THE “CENTENARY.” 67

“Pekin,” added Mr. Bidulph, finishing his entry
of the names of the beneficiaries. Then he re
sumed :—

“What is Madame Le-ou’s age?”

“Twenty-one,” answered Kin-Fo.

“Oh!” said the agent, “a young lady who will
be quite old when she receives the amount of the
policy.”

“Why so, please?”

“ Because you will live to be more than a hun-
dred, my dear sir. And how old is the philosopher
Wang?”

“ Fifty-five.”

“Well, this worthy man is sure of never. receiv-
ing any thing.”

“That remains to be seen, sir.”

“Sir,” answered Mr. Bidulph, “if at fifty-five I
were the heir of a man of thirty-one, who was to
die a centenarian, I would not be so simple as to
count on inheriting from him.”

“Your servant, sir,” said Kin-Fo, moving to the
office-door.

“And yours,” answered the Honorable Mr.
Bidulph, bowing to the new insuree of the Cen-
tenary.

The next day the physician of the company
made Kin-Fo the regular visit.

“ Body of iron, muscles of steel, lungs like organ-
bellows,” read the report. There was nothing to
prevent the company from dealing with a man so
soundly built. The policy was then signed under
68 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

this date by Kin-Fo, on his part, for the benefit of
the young widow and the philosopher Wang; and,
on the other, by William J. Bidulph, the represen-
tative of the company.

Neither Le-ou nor Wang, unless through im-
probable circumstances, would ever know what
Kin-Fo had just done for them, until the day when
the Centenary should be called upon to pay them
the policy, the last generous act of the ex-m7llion-
naire.
WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 69

CHAPTER VII.

WHICH WOULD BE VERY SAD IF IT DID NOT TREAT
OF WAYS AND CUSTOMS PECULIAR TO THE CE-
LESTIAL EMPIRE.

WuatTEVER the Honorable William J. Bidulph
might think and say, the funds of the Centenary
were very seriously threatened. Indeed, Kin-Fo’s
plan was not of that kind, which, on reflection,
one postpones executing indefinitely. Being ut-
terly ruined, Wang’s pupil had thoroughly re-
solved to end an existence which even in the tie
of his prosperity brought him only sadness an
enniut,

The letter which was not delivered for a week
by Soun came from San Francisco, and gave
notice of the suspension of payment of the Cen-
tral Bank of California. Now, Kin-Fo’s fortune
consisted almost entirely, as we know, of stock in
this celebrated bank, which had previously been
so sound. But the situation was not to be
doubted. Improbable as the news might seem, it
was unhappily only too true. The suspension of
the Central Bank had just been confirmed by
journals received at Shang-hai. The failure had
been declared, and Kin-Fo was wholly ruined,
70 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Indeed, what remained to him outside of the
stocks in this bank? Nothing, or almost nothing.

The sale of his house at Shang-hai, which it would
be almost impossible to bring about, would give
him a sum insufficient for an income. The eight
thousand dollars premium paid into the Centenary,
a small amount of stock in the Boat Company of
Tien-sing, which, if sold that day, would furnish
him with hardly enough to carry on things zz ex-
tremis, now comprised his sole fortune.

A Western man, Frenchman or Englishman,
would have taken this new state of things philo-
sophically perhaps, and would have begun life over
again, seeking to repair his fortunes by assiduous
labor; but a Celestial would think and act quite
differently. It was voluntary death that Kin-Fo,
as a true Chinaman, without compunctions of con-
science, and with that typical indifference which
characterizes the yellow race, was meditating as a
means of getting out of his troubles.

The Chinaman has only a passive courage, but
this courage he possesses in the highest degree.
His indifference to death is truly extraordinary.
When he is ill, he sees it approach, and does not
falter. When condemned, and already in the
hands of an officer, he manifests no fear. The
frequent public executions, the sight of the horri-
ble torments which are part of the penal laws, in
the Celestial Empire, have early familiarized the
Sons of Heaven with the idea of renouncing the
things of this world without regret.
WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 71

Therefore one will not be astonished to find
that in every family this thought of death is the
order of the day, and the subject of many conver-
sations, and has an influence over the most ordi-
nary acts of life. The worship of ancestors is
also observed by the poorest people. There is
not a wealthy home where a sort of domestic
sanctuary has not been set apart, and no hut so
wretched but some corner has been kept for the
relics of ancestors, in whose honor a day is cele-
brated in the second month. That is why one
finds in the same store where are cold babies’
cribs and wedding-gifts, a varied assortment of
coffins, which form a staple article in Chinese
trade.

The purchase of a coffin is, indeed, one of the
constant occupations of the Celestials. The fur-
niture of a house would be incomplete if a coffin
were wanting ; and the son makes it a duty to offer
one to his father in the latter’s lifetime, which is a
touching proof of tenderness. This coffin is
placed ina special room. It is ornamented and
taken care of, and generally, when it has received
mortal remains, is kept with pious care for years.
In short, respect for the dead is the foundation
of Chinese religion, and tends to bind family ties
more closely.

Kin-Fo, owing to his temperament, was consid-
ering, with more perfect tranquillity than another
would have had, the thought of ending his days.
He had insured the fate of the two beings to
72 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

whom his affections turned. Therefore what had
he now to regret? Nothing. Suicide could not
even cause him remorse. What is a crime in
civilized countries of the West is only a lawful
act, we might say, with this strange people of
Eastern Asia.

Kin-Fo’s decision was then made; and no influ-
ence could turn him from carrying out his project,
not even that of the philosopher Wang.

But the latter was absolutely ignorant of his
pupil’s designs. Soun was no better acquainted
with them, and had observed but one thing, that
since his return Kin-Fo showed himself more tol-
erant of his daily stupidities.

Positively Soun was coming to the conclusion
that he could not find a better master, and now his
precious pigtail wriggled on his back in unwonted
security.

A Chinese proverb says, —

“To be happy on earth, one must live at Canton, and die
at Liao-Tcheou.”

It is indeed true that at Canton one finds every
luxury of life, and at Liao-Tcheou the best coffins
are manufactured.

Kin-Fo did not fail to leave an order with the
best house that his last bed of repose might ar-
rive in time. To have a proper couch for the
eternal sleep is the constant thought of every
Celestial who knows how to live.

Kin-Fo at the same time bought a white cock,
WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 73

whose part, as one knows, is to embody departing
spirits, and seize in their flight one of the seven
elements of which a Chinese soul is composed.

One sees that if the pupil of the philosopher
Wang showed himself indifferent to the details of
life, he was much less so to those of death.

That being done, he had only to arrange the
programme for his funeral; and that very day a
beautiful sheet of paper, called rice-paper, —in
whose composition rice is entirely foreign, —re-
ceived Kin-Fo’s last will.

After having bequeathed his house in Shang-hai
to the young widow, and a portrait of the Tai-
ping chief to Wang, which the philosopher had
always looked upon with pleasure, and having done
this without injury to the policy of the Centenary,
Kin-Fo traced with a firm hand the order of march
of the persons who were to attend the obsequies.

First, in default of relations, of which he had
none, a party of friends, which he had, were to
appear at the head of the cortége, dressed in
white, —the color of mourning in China.

Through the streets, as far out as the country
about the old tomb, a double row of servants,
charged with the burial, would file. They would
bear different symbols, — blue parasols, halberds,
sceptres, silk screens, written documents with the
details of the ceremony, and be dressed in a black
tunic with a white belt, and wear a black felt cap
with red aigrettes on their heads. Behind the first
group of friends would walk a guide dressed in
74 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

scarlet from head to foot, beating a gong, and pre-
ceding the portrait of the deceased, which would
be lying in a sort of decorated shrine. Then a
second group of friends would follow, whose part
it is to faint at regular intervals on cushions
prepared for the occasion. Finally, a last group
of young men, screened under a blue and gold
canopy, would strew the road with little pieces of
white paper, pierced with a hole like sapeques,
which were intended to lure away the evil spirits
that might be tempted to join the funeral proces-
sion.

Then the catafalque would appear, an enormous
palanquin hung in violet silk, and embroidered
with gold dragons, which fifty valets would bear on
their shoulders between a double row of bonzes.
The priests, clad in robes of gray, red, or yellow,
would follow, reciting prayers in. the intervals be-
tween the thunder of gongs, the shrill tooting of
flutes, and the noisy din of trumpets six feet long.

At last the mourners’ carriages draped in white
would bring up the rear of this gorgeous proces-
sion, the expenses of which must exhaust the last
resources of the opulent corpse.

There was really nothing extraordinary in this
programme. Many funerals of this class pass
through the streets of Canton, Shang-hai, or Pekin ;
and the Celestials see in them only a natural hom-
age rendered to the remains of him who is no
more.

On the 20th of October a box, expressed from


















































































































































































































































































































Page 74

ar.

appe

Then the catafalque would
WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 715

Liao-Tcheou and addressed to Kin-Fo, reached his
house at Shang-hai. It contained the coffin he
had ordered, which was carefully packed. Neither
Wang, nor Soun, nor any of the servants in the
yamen, felt any cause for surprise; for, we repeat,
there is not a Chinaman who does not long to pos-
sess in his lifetime the bed in which he will be
laid to rest for eternity.

This coffin—a chef-d’euvre from the manufac-
tory of Liao-Tcheou — was placed in the “ances-
tors’ chamber.” There, after being brushed,
waxed, and polished, it would usually, no doubt,
have waited a long while for the day when the
pupil of the philosopher Wang would have utilized
it on his own account. It was not so ordained,
however; for Kin-Fo’s days were numbered, and
the hour was near that would add him to the list of
his family ancestors. Indeed, this was the very
evening when he had determined to die. ,

A letter had arrived that day from the afflicted
Le-ou, who offered him the little that she pos-
sessed. Fortune was nothing to her: she could
do without it. She loved him; and what did he
wish more? Could they not be happy in more
modest circumstances? This letter, which ex-
pressed the most sincere affection, did not modify
Kin-Fo’s resolution.

“My death alone can enrich her,” he thought.

It now remained to decide where and how this
last act should be performed ; and Kin-Fo experi-
enced a sort of pleasure in planning the details,
76 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

for he hoped that at the last moment an emotion,
however fleeting, would make his heart beat.

Within the enclosure of the yamen rose four
pretty kiosks, ornamented in the fanciful manner
characteristic of Chinese decorators. They bore
significant names, — the Pavilion of Happiness,
which Kin-Fo never entered; the Pavilion of For-
tune, which he scorned; the Pavilion of Pleas-
ure, whose gates had long been closed to him;
and the Pavilion of Long Life, which he had
resolved to destroy.

It was this last one that instinct led him to choose,
and he resolved to shut himself up in it at night-
fall; and it was there next day they would find
him happy in death. This point being settled, in
what manner should he die? Stab himself like a
Japanese? strangle himself with a silken girdle
like a mandarin? open his veins in a perfumed
bath like an epicurean in ancient Rome? No:
these methods would seem brutal, and painful to
his friends and servants. One or two grains of
opium mixed with a subtle poison would be suffi-
cient to take him from this world to the next.
While unconscious, perhaps, he would pass away
in one of those dreams which convert slumber into
eternal sleep.

The sun was already beginning to sink below
the horizon, and Kin-Fo had only a few moments
more to live. He wished to take a last walk, and
see once more the country around Shang-hai,
and the shores of the Houang-Pou, on which he




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Here was the vast flat country.
WAVS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 77

had so often walked away his exzuz. Alone, with-
out having even caught a glimpse of Wang that
day, he left the yamen to return once more, and
never leave it again.

He crossed the English. territory; the little
bridge over the creek, and the French concession,
with an indolent step, which he did not care to
hasten in this last hour. Passing along the wharf
of the native port, he wound around the Shang-hai
wall as far as the Roman-Catholic cathedral, whose
cupola overlooks the southern portion of the coun-
try. Then he bore to the right, and quietly as-
cended the road to the pagoda at Loung-Hao. _

Here was the vast flat country which extends to
the shadowy heights which bound the valley of the
Min. It was an immense swamp, which agricultu-
ral industry has converted into rice-fields. Here
and there were a network of canals filled by the
tide, and a few wretched villages in which the
reed huts were cemented with yellowish mud;
and two or three fields of wheat, banked up above
reach of the water. The narrow paths were fre-
quented by a large number of dogs and white
goats, ducks and geese; and, whenever a pedes-
trian disturbed their sport, the former would
scamper off on all fours, and the latter flap their
wings and fly away.

This richly cultivated country, whose aspect
could not astonish a native, would, however, have
attracted the attention of a stranger, and perhaps
repelled him ; for everywhere were seen coffins by
78 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

the hundreds, to say nothing of the mounds whose
turf covered the dead buried at last forever. One
saw only piles of oblong boxes, and pyramids of
biers in layers, like planks in a shipbuilder’s yard ;
for the Chinese plain on the outskirts of the towns
is only a vast cemetery, where the dead, as well as
the living, encumber the ground. It is asserted
that the burial of these coffins is forbidden so long
as one dynasty occupies the throne of the Son
of Heaven; and these dynasties last centuries.
Whether the prohibition be true or not, it is a fact
that corpses, lying in their coffins, — some of
which are painted in bright colors, some sombre
and modest, some new and smart looking, and
others already falling to dust, — wait years for the
day of burial.

Kin-Fo was by no means astonished at this
state of affairs, and he walked on without looking
around him; so that two strangers, dressed like
Europeans, who had followed him from the time he
left the yamen, did not even attract his attention.
He did not see them, although they seemed desir-
ous of not losing sight of him. They kept at
some distance, following him, — walking when he
walked, stopping when he stopped. At times these
two men exchanged peculiar looks and a couple of
words, and it was very evident that they were there
to watch him. Of medium height, not over thirty,
active, and well set, one would have called them
two pointers with sharp eyes and fleet limbs.

Kin-Fo, after walking around the country for a














































































































































































Two strangers, dressed as Europeans, who had followed him from the

time he left the yamen.
Page 78.
WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 79

league, retraced his steps, in order to reach the
shores of Houang-Pou.

The two blood-hounds immediately followed.

Kin-Fo, on his way home, met two or three beg-
gars of the most forlorn aspect, and bestowed alms
upon them.

A short distance beyond, several Christian Chi-
nese women, trained to their charitable profession
by the French Sisters of Charity, crossed the
road. They were carrying home poor little waifs
in a basket on their back. They have been appro-
priately called the “rag-pickers of children.” And
what are these unfortunate little ones but rags
scattered in the gutter ?

Kin-Fo emptied his purse into the hands of these
sisters, who seemed rather surprised at this act on
the part of a Celestial.

By the time he reached Shang-hai on his way
home, and was returning by the way of the wharf,
it was evening, and the floating. population were
still astir. Shouting and singing came .-to his ears
from every side. He listened intently, eager to
know what would be the last words to fall on his
ear in this life.

A young Tankadere, guiding her sampan
through the sombre waters of Houang-Pou, was
singing the following ditty :—

“With bark in bright colors,
Embellished
With thousands of flowers,
In rapture I wait him
Who comes back to-morrow.
80 © ZRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Sea-god, watch and guard him,
While he is returning,
And help him to hasten

To me!”

“ He will return to-morrow ; and I, where shall
I be?” thought Kin-Fo, shaking his head.
The young Tankadere resumed :—

“ He sailed far, far from me,
Perhaps to
The country of Mantchoux,
The great wall of China.
O heart! how thou tremblest
At thought of him braving
The storm!”

Kin-Fo still listened, but this time said nothing.
The singer concluded :—

“ Why sailed he inviting
Disaster?

To die so without me?
Come! priest is awaiting
To join the same moment
Our emblems, the Phoenix !
Come, come! I so love thee,
And thou lovest me.”

“Yes: perhaps riches are not every thing in
this world,’ he murmured. ‘“ But life is not worth
living.”

Half an hour later he entered his house. The
two strangers, who had followed him till then,
were obliged to stop.

Kin-Fo quietly proceeded to the kiosk of Long


























































































80.

The young Tankadere.

r
WAYS AND CUSTOMS OF THE CHINESE. 81

Life, opened the door, closed it again, and found
himself alone in a little sa/ox, lighted by a lantern
of ground glass, which shed a soft glow around.

On a table, which was made of a single piece
of jade, stood a box containing a few grains of
opium, mixed with a deadly poison,—a “have
ready” which the wealthy exzuyé kept always on
hand.

Kin-Fo took up two of these grains, put them
in one of those red-clay pipes which opium-
smokers are in the habit of using, and began to
light it.

“Why, how is this?” said he. ‘Not even an
emotion in this moment when I am about to fall
asleep never to wake again!”

He hesitated a moment.

“No!” he cried, throwing down his pipe on the
floor, which broke it in pieces. ‘That supreme
emotion I must have, even if it be but an attempt.
I must have it, and I will have it.”

And, leaving the kiosk, he proceeded to Wang’s
room, walking faster than usual.
82 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER VIUI.

IN WHICH KIN-FO MAKES A SERIOUS PROPOSITION
TO WANG, WHICH THE LATTER NO LESS SERI-
OUSLY ACCEPTS.

TuE philosopher had not yet retired, but was
lying on the lounge reading the latest edition of
“The Pekin Gazette;” and the contraction of his
eyebrows was a certain indication that the paper
was paying a compliment to the reigning dynasty
of Tsing.

Kin-Fo pushed open his door, entered the room,
threw himself on an arm-chair, and, without other
preamble, said, —

“Wang, I have come to ask you to do me a
service.”

“Ten thousand services,’ answered the philoso-
pher, letting fall the paper. ‘“ Speak, speak, my
son! speak without fear; and, whatever they may
be, I will render them.” -

“The service I require,” said Kin-Fo, “is one
of that kind that a friend can render but once;
and when it is done, Wang, I will excuse you
from the nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-
nine others. And I must add that you must not
even expect a return of thanks on my part.”
A SERIOUS PROPOSITION. 83

“The most skilful unraveller of the inexplicable
could not understand you. What is it all about?”

“Wang,” said Kin-Fo, “I am ruined.”

“Ah, ah!” said the philosopher, with the tone
of one who hears good rather than bad news.

“The letter that I found here on our return
from Canton,” resumed Kin-Fo, “informed me
that the Central Bank in California had failed.
With the exception of the yamen and a million
dollars, which would enable me to exist a month
or two longer, I have nothing left.”

“Then,” said Wang, after a good look at his
pupil, “it is no longer the rich Kin-Fo who speaks
to me?”

“Tt is the poor Kin-Fo, whom poverty by no
means frightens.”

“Well answered, my son,” said the philosopher,
rising. “I have not lost my time and pains in
teaching you wisdom. The future has changed.
Heretofore you have only vegetated, without tastes,
passions, or struggles. You are going to live
now. Confucius said, ‘What matters it that the
future has changed? There always come fewer
misfortunes than one fears.’ And the Talmud re-
peated his words. We shall earn our daily rice.
The ‘Nun-Schum’ teaches. us that, ‘In life there
are ups and downs. The wheel of fortune turns
perpetually, and the spring wind is variable. Rich
or poor, try to do your duty.’ Let us leave.”

And Wang in earnest, like a practical philoso-
pher, was about to leave the’ sumptuous house ;
but Kin-Fo detained him.
84 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“TI said a moment ago,’ he resumed, “that
poverty did not frighten me; ard I now add that
it is because I have resolved not to endure it.”

“Ah!” said Wang, “you wish then” —

“To die!”

“To die!” answered the philosopher quietly.
“The man who has resolved to end his life says
nothing about it to any one.”

“Tt would have been done already,” resumed
Kin-Fo, with a calmness equal to that of the
philosopher, “if I had not wished that my death
should cause at least my first and last emotion.
Now, as I was about to swallow one of those
grains of. opium that you know about, my heart
beat with so little emotion that I threw away the
poison, and came to find you.”

“Do you then wish, my friend, that we should
die together?” answered Wang, smiling.

“No,” said Kin-Fo: “I wish you to live.”

“Why ?”

“To kill me with your own hand.”

At this unexpected proposition, Wang did not
even shudder. But Kin-Fo, who looked steadily
into his face, saw a gleam in his eyes. Was the
old Tai-ping awakening? Did he feel no hesita-
tion at this charge which his pupil was about to
lay on him? Could eighteen years, then, have
passed over his head without stifling the san-
guinary instincts of his youth? He did not even
make an objection to doing this to the son of the
man who had been charitable to him. He would


































































































































































































































































“To kill me with your own hand.”
A SERIOUS PROPOSITION. : 85

agree, without flinching, to deliver him from the
existence he no longer desired. He would do
this, he, Wang the philosopher.

But this peculiar light almost immediately died
out of his eyes; and his face, though rather more
serious, now looked like that of a worthy man as
usual.

“Ts that the service you ask of me?’’he said,
resuming his seat.

“Yes,” answered Kin-Fo; ‘and this service
will acquit you of all you may imagine you owe
Tchoung-Heou and his son.”

“What do you require of me?” simply asked
the philosopher.

“On the 25th of June,—the twenty-eighth day
of the sixth moon, you understand, Wang, — the
day which will complete my thirty-first year, —
I shall have ceased to live. I must fall by your
hand; and the blow may be given in my face or
in my back, in the daytime or night, —no matter
where, no matter how, — standing or sitting, sleep-
ing or awake, —and I be sent to my rest by shot
or poison. In each of the eighty thousand min-
utes which will remain to me of life for fifty-five
days yet, I must be filled with the thought, and I
hope with the fear, that my life is to suddenly end.
I must have before me those eighty thousand emo-
tions, so that, when the seven elements of my soul
separate, I can cry out, ‘At last I have lived!’”’

Kin-Fo, contrary to his habit, had spoken with
decided animation; and it will also be observed
86 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

that he had appointed as the extreme limit of his
existence the sixth day before the expiration of his
policy. This was acting like a prudent man; for,
in default of payment of a new premium, a delay
would cause his heirs to lose the insurance.

The philosopher listened gravely, casting a
quick, stealthy look at the portrait of the Tai-ping
chief which ornamented his room,—a_ portrait
which was to fall to him, though he was not aware
of it.

“You will not shrink from the obligation you
will take upon yourself of killing me?” asked
Kin-Fo,

Wang, with a gesture, asserted that he had not
yet become so feeble-hearted: he had seen too
much when fighting under the banners of the Tai-
ping. “But,” he added, wishing to exhaust every
objection before pledging himself, “do you wish to
renounce the chances that the True Master has
accorded you to reach extreme old age?”

“T renounce them.”

“Without regret?”

“Without regret,” replied Kin-Fo. “Live to be
old! To resemble some piece of wood which can
no longer be carved! No, indeed! Nor do I
desire to be rich, and still less to be poor.”

“ And the young widow at Pekin?” asked Wang.
“Do you forget the saying, ‘Flowers with flowers,
and the willow with the willow: the union of two
hearts makes a hundred years of spring’ ?”’

“ Against three hundred years of autumn, sum-
A SERIOUS PROPOSITION. 87

mer, and winter,’ replied Kin-Fo, shrugging his
shoulders. ‘No: if Le-ou were poor, she would
be wretched with me; but now my death will
insure her a fortune.”

“ Have you done that?”

“Yes. And you, Wang, have fifty thousand
dollars placed on my head.”

“Ah!” said the philosopher quietly, “you have
an answer for every question.”

“For every thing, even to an objection Bao you
have not yet made.”

“What is it?”

“Why, the danger that you may incur after my
death of being pursued as an assassin.”

“Oh!” said Wang, “they are only blunderers or
rogues who let themselves be caught. Besides,
what merit would there be in rendering you this
last service if I risked nothing?”

“None at all, Wang. I prefer to give you every
security as to that, and no one will think of dis-
turbing you.”

And, saying this, Kin-Fo approached a table,
took up a sheet of paper, and, in a clear, plain
hand, wrote the following lines :—

“T have voluntarily taken my own life, through disgust
and weariness of life.”

Then he gave the paper to Wang.

The philosopher read it in a low voice at first,
then aloud, after which he folded it carefully, and
put it in a memorandum-book which he always
carried about him.
88 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Another gleam came into his eyes.

“Ts all this serious on your part?” he asked,
looking fixedly at ms pupil.

“Very serious.’

“Tt will be none the less so on mine.’

“T have your word?”

“You have.”

“Then before the 25th of June, at the latest, I
shall have lived?”

“I do not know if you will have lived in the
sense you mean,” answered the philosopher grave-
ly; “but you will surely be dead.”

“Thank you, and farewell, Wang!”

“Farewell, Kin-Fo!”

Thereupon Kin-Fo quietly left the philosopher’ s
room.
WILL NOT SURPRISE THE READER. 89

CHAPTER IX.

THE CONCLUSION OF WHICH, HOWEVER SINGULAR
IT MAY BE, PERHAPS WILL NOT SURPRISE THE
READER.

“WELL, Craig-Fry ?” said the Honorable Mr.
Bidulph, the next day, to the two agents whom he
had appointed to watch over the new patron of
the Centenary.

“Well,” answered Craig, “we followed him yes-
terday during a long walk which he took in the
country around Shang-hai ” — =

“And he certainly did not appear like a man
who is thinking of killing himself,” added Fry.

“ And, when night came, we escorted him as far
as his door”? —

“Which, unfortunately, we could not enter.”

“ And this morning?” asked Mr. Bidulph.

“We have heard,” answered Craig, ‘that he
was”

“As safe and sound as the Palikao bridge,”
added Fry.

The agents Craig and Fry — two unmistakable
Americans, two cousins in the employ of the Cen-
tenary — were absolutely only one being in two per-
sons, who could not possibly be more thoroughly
90 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

identified with each other. In fact, they were so
identified, that the latter invariably finished the
sentences that the former began, and wice versa.
They had the same brain, thoughts, heart, and
stomach, and the same manner of doing every
thing ; and had four hands, arms, and legs, united
in one body as it were. In a word, they were
Siamese twins, whose connecting ligament must
have been severed by an audacious surgeon.

“Then you have not been able to enter the
house yet,” said Mr. Bidulph.

“Not” — said Craig.

“Vet,” said Fry.

“Tt will be difficult ; but it must be done,” an-
swered the principal agent: “for it is important
for the Centenary to gain not only an enormous
premium, but also to save two. hundred thousand
dollars. Therefore you will watch over our new
patron two months, and perhaps longer if he re-
news his policy.”

“There is a servant ”’ — said Craig.

“Whom we could use perhaps,” said Fry.

“And learn all that goes on” — continued
Craig.

“In the house at Shang-hai,” concluded Fry.

“Humph!” said Mr. Bidulph. “ Pull wool over
his eyes; lay a trap for him; buy him. . He will be
moved by the sound of taels, and taels you shall
have in plenty. Even if you have to exhaust the
three thousand polite formulas which comprise
Chinese etiquette, why do so, and you will have
no cause to regret your trouble.”
ett HA |
sus HG a

































































































































































Craig-Fry then learned ikrough Soun all that it was for their interest

to know.
Page gt.
WILL NOT SURPRISE THE READER. gi

“Tt shall be” — began Craig.

“Done,” answered Fry.

For such potent reasons Craig and Fry tried to
get on familiar terms with Soun. Now, Soun was
a man who could no more resist being enticed by
taels than by the courteous offer of several glasses
of American liquor.

Craig-Fry then learned through Soun all that it
was for their interest to know, the sum and sub-
stance of which is as follows :—

Had Kin-Fo changed his manner of living in
any way whatever ?

No: unless, perhaps, he scolded his faithful valet
less, and gave the scissors a holiday to the advan-
tage of ‘the poor fellow’s pigtail, and seldom
tickled his shoulders with the rattan.

Had Kin-Fo any deadly weapon about him ?

No; for he did not belong to the respectable
list of amateurs in the use of murderous instru-
ments.

What did he eat at his meals?

A few simple dishes, which did not at all resem-
ble the fantastic cooking of the Celestials.

At what hour did he rise ?

At the fifth period, at cock’s crow, when the
horizon was lighted by the first glimmer of dawn.

Did he retire early ?

At the second period, as was always his habit
since Soun had been acquainted with him.

Did he seem sad, absent-minded, bored, and
wearied with life?
92 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

He was not positively a cheerful man, oh, no!
Yet for several days he seemed to take more in-
terest in the things of this world. Yes, Soun
thought him less indifferent, like a man who might
be expecting — what? He could not tell.

Finally, did his master possess any poisonous
substance which he might make use of ?

He could not have any; for that very morning,
by his orders, they had thrown into the Houang
Pou a dozen little globules which must possess
some dangerous quality.

In truth, there was nothing in all this of a nature
to alarm the principal agent of: the Centenary.
Not at all; for never had the wealthy Kin-Fo, —
whose ,circumstances no one except Wang was
aware of — appeared to enjoy life better.

However this may be, Craig and Fry were
obliged to continue to inform themselves about all
that their patron did, and to follow him in his
walks ; for it was possible that he might make an
attempt on his life away from home.

Thus did the two inseparables; and thus did
Soun continue to talk with the more abandon,
because the latter had much to gain in a conver-
sation with such amiable men.

It would be going too far to say that the hero of
this story valued life more since he had resolved
to rid himself of it. But, as he expected, —in the
first days at least, —he did not want for emotions.
He placed Damocles’ sword directly over his head,
and this sword would fall on it some day. Would
WILL NOT SURPRISE THE READER. 93

it be to-day or to-morrow? this morning, or this
evening? On this point there was some doubt ;
and hence a beating of the heart, which was a
new sensation for him.

Besides, since he and Wang had given their
mutual word, they had seen each other but
seldom.

The philosopher either left the house more fre
quently than usual, or he remained shut up in his
room. Kin-Fo did not go there to see him, —for
that was not his 7é/e,— and was not even aware
how Wang passed his time. Perhaps in preparing
atrap for him. A former Tai-ping must have
many means with which to despatch a man. . Kin-
Fo’s curiosity was roused in regard to this, and
thus a new element of interest was afforded him.
However, master and pupil met almost every day
at the same table; and, of course, no allusion was
made to their future position of assassin and assas-
sinated. They talked of one thing and another,
but not much about any thing. Wang, who was
more serious than usual, turned away his eyes,
which his spectacles but partially concealed, but
did not succeed in disguising a constant abstrac-
tion. He who was so good-natured and naturally
communicative had become taciturn and sad. A
great eater formerly, like every philosopher who is
blessed with a sound stomach, he could not now
be tempted by delicate dishes, and the Chigne
wine no longer brought him bright dreams. But
Kin-Fo tried in every way to put him at his ease.
94 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

He tasted every dish first, and would let nothing
be removed from table without trying it. Hence
it followed that he ate more than usual ; his blunted
palate again experienced sensations; and he rel-
ished his dinner, which agreed with him remark-
ably. It was certain that poison could not be the
means chosen by the rebel chieftain’s old slaugh-
terer, but his intended victim would try every
thing.

Besides, every facility was afforded Wang to
accomplish his deed. The door of Kin-Fo’s cham-
ber was always left open; and the philosopher
could enter it day or night, and deal the fatal blow,
whether his pupil was awake or asleep. All that
Kin-Fo asked was, that his hand should be swift,
and strike him to the heart.

But his emotions were wearing off; and, after
the first few nights, he was so accustomed to ex-
pect his death-blow, that he slept the sleep of the
just, and awoke every morning fresh and bright.
Things could not continue thus.

Then the thought occurred to him, that perhaps
it was repugnant to Wang to kill him in this house
where he had been so _hospitably received, and he
resolved to put him still more at his ease. That
was why he was running about the country, seek-
ing isolated roads, and tarrying till the fourth
period in the worst neighborhoods in Shang-hai,
which were the regular resort of cut-throats who
committed daily murders in perfect security. He
wandered through the dark, narrow streets during


























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Page gs.

“He will do it to-day,” said Kin-Fo.
WILL NOT SURPRISE THE READER. 95

the late hours of the night, jostled by drunkards
of every nationality, and heard the biscuit-vender
shouting his “Mantoo! mantoo!” while ringing
his bell to warn belated smokers. He did not
reach his house till daybreak, but returned alive
safe and sound without having perceived the in-
separable Craig and Fry, who followed him con-
tinually, ready to come to his aid.

If matters continued thus, Kin-Fo would finally
become accustomed to this new life, and eznuz
would not fail to gain the ascendency again.

How many hours had already passed without
his being able to realize that he was condemned to
death !

However, one day, the 12th of May, chance
brought him an emotion. As he softly entered
the philosopher’s room, he saw him trying the
sharp point of a dagger with the end of his finger,
and moistening it afterwards in a very suspicious-
looking blue glass bottle.

Wang did not hear his pupil enter; and, seizing
the dagger, he brandished it around several times,
as if to assure himself that he had not forgotten
how to handle it. Truly, his face was enough to
frighten one; for the blood had mounted to his
very eyes, which seemed to glare ferociously.

“ He will do it to-day,” said Kin-Fo.

And he discreetly withdrew, without having
been seen or heard, and did not leave his room
again that day. The philosopher, however, did
not make his appearance. Kin-Fo went to bed as
96 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

usual, and the next day rose as full of life as a
healthy man does; and so emotions were wasted
on him. This was provoking, and ten days had
already passed; though, to be sure, Wang had two
months still in which to perform his deed.

“He is certainly an idler,” said Kin-Fo. “I
have given him twice as much time as is neces-
sary.”

And he also feared the former Tai-ping had
become effeminate amid the luxury at Shang-
hai.

From this day, however, Wang seemed to be-
come more anxious and agitated, and went to
and fro in the yamen like a man who cannot stay
in one place. Kin-Fo even observed that he made
repeated visits to the ancestors’ room, where stood
the precious coffin which had come from Loo-
Choo. He was delighted to learn from Soun that
Wang had ordered him to brush, clean, and dust
the article in question; in a word, to keep it in
readiness.

“How comfortably master will rest init!” added
the faithful servant. “It is enough to make you
wish to try it.”

A remark by which Soun obtained a kindly
recognition.

The 13th, 14th, and 15th of May passed.

There was nothing new.

Did Wang, then, intend to let pass the interven-
ing time, and pay his debt only at the moment
when due, as is customary with merchants? But
WILL NOT SURPRISE THE READER. 97

in that case there would be no more surprises,
and consequently no more emotion for Kin-Fo.

Something of great significance, however, was
imparted to him on the morning of the 15th of
May, near the ‘“mao-che;” that is, towards six
o’clock in the morning. .

He had a poor night, and, on waking, was still
haunted bya dreadful dream. Prince Ien, the sov-
ereign judge of the Chinese hell, had condemned
him not to appear before him till the twelve hun-
dredth moon should rise above the horizon of the
Celestial empire. A century still to live,—a
whole century !

Kin-Fo was now in a very bad humor, for it
seemed as if every thing was conspiring against
him. This is the way that he received Soun,
when the latter as usual came to assist him in his
morning toilet.

“Go to the devil! Go, receive ten thousand
kicks for your wages, animal !”

“Why, master”? —

“Go, I tell you!”

“No, no!” replied Soun, “at least, not till I
have told you”? —

“What?”

“That Mr. Wang” —

“Wang! what has Wang done?” said Kin-Fo
eagerly, seizing Soun by his braid. ‘“ What has he
done?”

“Master,” answered Soun, wriggling like a
98 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

worm, “he ordered us to carry your coffin to the
Pavilion of Long Life, and”? —

“He did that!” cried Kin-Fo, whose brow
lighted up. ‘Go, Soun! go, my friend! Stop!
here are ten taels for you, and be sure that
Wang’s orders are executed in every particular.”

Thereupon Soun, thoroughly amazed, left the
room, saying to himself, —

“Really, master is crazy; but this time he is
good-naturedly so.”

Kin-Fo was now no longer in doubt: the Tai-ping
meant to kill him in the Pavilion of Long Life,
where he himself had determined to die. It was
as if he were appointing a rendezvous for him
there, and he would not fail to be present. The
catastrophe was imminent.

How long the day seemed to Kin-Fo! The water
in the clocks no longer flowed with its wonted
speed, and the hands seemed to creep over their
dial of jade.

Finally the first period drew nigh, and the sun
disappeared below the horizon, and the shadows
of night gradually enveloped the yamen.

Kin-Fo proceeded to the pavilion, which he ex-
pected never to leave alive, and lay down on a
soft lounge, which seemed to be made for long
repose, and waited.

Then the memories of his useless existence
passed through his mind, —his ezmuz, his disgust,
all that wealth had not been able to conquer, and
all that poverty might have increased.
































































































































































































































































































ae 2g a



“In great haste.”
WILL NOT SURPRISE THE READER. 99

There was only one bright thing in his life,
which had been unattractive during his opulence,
and that was the affection which he felt for the
young widow. This sentiment stirred his heart
now when it was about to cease to beat. What!
make poor Le-ou share his misery! Never!

The fourth period, which precedes the dawn,
and during which it seems as if life everywhere
were suspended, passed, causing Kin-Fo the strong-
est emotions. He listened anxiously. His eyes
peered into the darkness. He tried to catch the
slightest sound, and more than once he thought
he heard a door creak as if opened by some cau-
tious hand. No doubt Wang hoped to find him
asleep, and would kill him as he slept.

And now a sort of re-action took place in him:
he both feared and desired this visit of the terrible
Tai-ping.

The dawn was lighting the zenith in the fifth
period, and day was slowly approaching. Sud-
denly the door opened. Kin-Fo arose, having
lived more in this last second than during his
whole life.

Soun stood before him, with a letter in his hand,
and simply said, “In great haste.”

Kin-Fo had a presentiment. He seized the let-
ter, which bore the postmark San Francisco ; tore
open the envelope, and read it very quickly; then,
rushing out of the Pavilion of Long Life, he
shouted, — ,

“Wang! Wang!”
100 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

In a moment he reached the philosopher’s room,
and flung open the door.

Wang was not there! Wang had not slept in
the house that night! And, when at Kin-Fo’s
cries the servants hastened to him and searched
the yamen, it became evident that Wang had dis-
appeared without leaving a trace.
CRAIG AND FRY PRESENTED TO KIN-FO. 101

CHAPTER X.

IN WHICH CRAIG AND FRY ARE OFFICIALLY PRE-
SENTED TO THE. NEW PATRON OF THE CENTE-
NARY.

“Vers, Mr. Bidulph, a simple operation on
change in the American style,’ said Kin-Fo to
the agent of the insurance company.

“Well played, indeed; for every one was taken
in,” said the Honorable William J. Bidulph, with
the smile of a connoisseur.

“Even my correspondent,’ answered Kin-Fo.
“Tt was a make-believe suspension of payment,
sir, a make-believe failure, and make-believe news.
A week afterwards they paid with open doors.
The stock, which had depreciated eighty per cent,
had been bought up at the lowest rate by the
Central Bank; and, when people came to ask the
director the cause of the failure, he answered
amiably, ‘One hundred and seventy-five per cent.’
This is what my correspondent has written in this
letter, which arrived only this morning, just as I
thought myself absolutely ruined.”

“Were you going to make an attempt on your
life?” cried Mr. Bidulph.

“No,” answered Kin-Fo ; “ but I expected to be
assassinated.”
102 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“ Assassinated |”

“By my written authority,—an assassination
agreed upon, and sworn to, and which would
have cost you” —

“Two hundred thousand dollars,” answered Mr.
Bidulph, ‘as you were insured against death in
every form. Ah| we should have mourned you
greatly, dear sir.’

“On account of what I should have cost you?”

“With interest,” saying which, Mr. Bidulph
took his patron’s hand, and shook it cordially in
the American fashion.

“But I do not understand,” he added.

“But you will understand,” replied Kin-Fo; and
he acquainted him with the nature of the contract
entered into with him by a man in whom he ought
to have confidence. He even quoted the terms
of the letter which that person had in his pocket,
which agreed to save him from pursuit, and
guaranteed every immunity. But one grave fea-
ture was, that the promise would be fulfilled ;
for the pledge would be kept without the shadow
of a doubt.

“Ts this man a friend?” asked the agent.

“He is,” answered Kin-Fo.

“Then, through friendship ” —

“Through friendship, and, who knows? perhaps
also through self-interest. I am insured for fifty
thousand dollars, payable to him.”

“Fifty thousand dollars!” cried Mr. Bidulph.
“Then it is Mr. Wang.”
CRAIG AND FRY PRESENTED TO KIN-FO, 103

“The same.” ;

“A philosopher ! he will never consent.”

Kin-Fo was about to say, “This philosopher
is an old Tai-ping, and during the first half of
his life committed more murders than would
suffice to ruin the Centenary, if all those whom
he killed were insured in it. For eighteen years
he has been able to restrain his ferocious instincts ;
but now that the opportunity is offered him, and
he believes me to be ruined and determined to
die, and knowing besides that he will gain a small
fortune by my death, he will not hesitate.”

Kin-Fo said nothing of this however ; for it would
have been compromising Wang, whom perhaps Mr.
Bidulph would not have hesitated to denounce
to the governor of the province as a former Tai-
ping. That would have saved Kin-Fo, no doubt;
but the philosopher would have been lost.

“Well,” said the agent. of the insurance com-
pany, “there is one very simple thing to do.”

«What is it?”

“You must inform Mr. Wang that the contract
is broken, and get back the compromising letter
which” —

“That is easier said than done,’ answered
Kin-Fo, “Wang disappeared yesterday, and no
one knows where.”

“Humph!” said the principal agent, in whom
this interjection denoted perplexity.

“And now, dear sir, you no longer wish ‘to
die?” he said, looking attentively at his patron.
104 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“Faith, no!” answered Kin-Fo. “The opera-
tion of the Central Bank in California has almost
doubled my fortune; and Iam going to get mar-
ried in good earnest, but not until I find Wang,
or till the time agreed upon shall have fully
expired.”

““When does it expire?”

“On the 25th of June of the present year.
During the interval the Centenary runs consid-
erable risk, and it should take measures in con-
sequence.”

“ And find the philosopher,” said the Honorable
William J. Bidulph.

The agent walked up and down a few moments,
with his hands behind his back, then said, —

“Well, we will find this all-important friend
again were he hidden in the bowels of the earth.
But till then, sir, we shall prevent any attempt at
assassination, as we have prevented you from at-
tempting suicide.”

“What do you mean?” asked Kin-Fo.

“This: that since the 30th of April last, the
day you signed your insurance policy, two of my
agents have followed you, observing where you
went, and watching what you did.”

“I have not noticed it.”

“Ah! but they are discreet men. I ask your
permission to present them to you, now that they
no longer need to conceal their movements, unless
from Mr. Wang.”

“Certainly,” answered Kin-Fo.
CRAIG AND FRY PRESENTED TO KIN-FO. 105

“‘Craig-Fry must be here, since you are.”

“Craig-Fry!” he called. Craig and Fry were
indeed behind the door of the private office.
They had “tracked” the patron of the Centenary
as far as the office of the latter, and were waiting
for him at the entrance.

“ Craig-Fry,” said the agent, “while his policy
remains, you will no longer have to save our pre-
cious client from himself, but from one of his own
friends, the philosopher Wang, who has bound him-
self to kill him.”

Thus the two inseparables were made acquainted
with the situation, which they understood and ac-
cepted. The wealthy Kin-Fo belonged to them,
and he could not have more faithful servants,

Now what course should they take ?

There were two courses, as the principal agent:
observed: they must either remain carefully shut
up in Kin-Fo’s house at Shanghai, so that Wang
could not enter without the knowledge of Fry-
Craig, or else use all despatch to ascertain where
the said Wang was to be found, who must be made
to give up the letter, which must be considered
null and void.

“The first plan will not answer,” said Kin-Fo.
“Wang could reach me without being seen, since
my house is his: so we must find him at all cost.”

“You are right, sir,” answered Mr, Bidulph.
“The surest way is to find the said Wang, and we
will find him.”

“Dead or” — said Craig.
106 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“ Alive!” concluded Fry.

“No, living,” cried Kin-Fo. “Ido not intend to
have Wang in danger a moment through my fault.”

“Craig and Fry,” added Mr. Bidulph, “you are
to answer for our patron’s safety seventy-seven
days longer ; for till the 30th of next June he will
be worth to us two hundred thousand dollars.”

Thereupon the insuree and the principal agent
of the Centenary took leave of each other ; and ten
minutes later Kin-Fo, escorted by his two body-
guards, who were not to leave him again, entered
the yamen.

When Soun saw Craig and Fry settled as offi-
cers in the house, he could not but feel some re-
gret. There would be no more errands, answers,
or taels. Besides, his master, in resuming life, had
begun to abuse the lazy, awkward valet again.
Unhappy Soun! what would he have said had he
known what the future had in store for him?

Kin-Fo’s first thought was to “phonograph” to
Cha-Coua Avenue, Pekin, the news of the change of
fortune which made him richer than before. The
young woman then heard the voice of him she be-
lieved lost forever repeat his most loving words.
He would see his little younger sister again. The
seventh moon would not pass without his hasten-
ing to her never to leave her. But, after having
refused to make her poor and wretched, he did not
wish to run the risk of making her a widow.
Le-ou did not quite comprehend what this last
phrase meant: she only understood one thing, that
CRAIG AND FRY PRESENTED TO KIN-FO, 107

her lover had returned, and that before two months
he would be near her.

That day there was not a woman in all the
Celestial Empire happier than the young widow.

Indeed, a complete re-action had taken place in
Kin-Fo’s ideas. He had become a fourfold m7t-
lionnaire, owing to the fruitful operations of the
Central Bank in California, and he now wished to
live, and to live well. Twenty days of emotion
had wholly changed him. Neither the mandarin
Pao-Shen, nor the merchant Vin-Pang, nor Tim
the high liver, nor Houal the literary man, would
have recognized in him the indifferent host who
had taken farewell of them on one of the flower-
boats on the River of Pearls. Wang would not
have believed his eyes were he himself there, but
he had disappeared without leaving a trace. He
did not return to the house at Shang-hai; which
caused Kin-Fo great anxiety, and obliged the two
body-guards to keep watch over him every moment.

A week later, on the 24th of May, nothing had
been heard of the philosopher; and, consequently,
there was no possibility of going in search of him.
In vain had Kin-Fo and Craig and Fry searched
the conceded districts, the shops, the suspected
quarters, and the environs of Shang-hai; and in
vain had the most skilful tipaos of the police
sought him in the country around. The philoso-
pher could not be found.

However, Craig and Fry, who were more and
more anxious, doubled their precautions. Neither
108 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

day nor night did they leave their charge, eating
at his table, and sleeping in his room. They even
tried to induce him to wear a steel breastplate to
protect himself from any possible dagger-thrust,
and to eat nothing but eggs in the shell, which
could not be poisoned.

Kin-Fo, it must be told, sent them away. Why
not shut him up two months in the Centenary safe,
under the pretext that he represented two hundred
thousand dollars?

Then William J. Bidulph, who was always practi-
cal, proposed to his patron to restore the first pre-
mium, and tear up the insurance policy.

“T am extremely sorry,’ answered Kin-Fo
decidedly ; “but the thing is done, and you must
bear the consequences.”

“Very well,” replied the principal agent, who
had made up his mind to endure what he could not
help. “Very well. You are right. You will
never be better guarded than by us.”

“Nor for better reasons,’ answered Kin-Fo.
KIN-FO BECOMES CELEBRATED. 109

CHAPTER XI.

IN WHICH KIN-FO BECOMES THE MOST CELEBRATED
- MAN IN THE CENTRAL EMPIRE.

Stitt Wang could not be found; and Kin-Fo
began to fume at being forced to inactivity, and
at being unable to at least hasten in pursuit of the
philosopher. But how could he have done this,
since Wang had disappeared without a clew?

This complication did not fail to disturb the
principal agent of the Centenary. After thinking
at first that it was not a serious matter, because
Wang would not fulfil his promise (for even in
eccentric America such mad projects would not
be executed), he began to believe that nothing was
impossible in the strange country called the Celes-
tial Empire, and soon concluded, with Kin-Fo,
that, if they could not find the philosopher, the lat-
ter would keep his word. His disappearance indi-
cated on his part the intention of performing the
fatal deed when his pupil least expected it, and to
let it come upon him then like a thunderbolt, and
to strike him to his heart with a sure, swift hand;
then, after placing the letter on the victim’s body,
he would come, and quietly present himself at the
office of the Centenary to claim his part of the

policy.
110 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Wang, therefore, must be notified; but this
could not be done directly.

The Honorable William J. Bidulph | was led to
employ indirect means through the press. In a
few days notices were sent to the Chinese news-
papers, and telegrams to the foreign papers in
both worlds.

The ‘“Tching-Pao,” the official paper in Pekin,
those in Chinese at Shang-hai and Hong-Kong,
the journals of most extensive circulation in Eu-
rope and the two Americas, reproduced to satiety
the following notice :—

“Mr. Wang of Shang-hai is begged to consider that the
agreement made between Kin-Fo and himself, dated the 2d
of May last, is cancelled; the said Mr. Kin-Fo having now
only one desire, that of dying a centenarian.”

After this strange advertisement, the follow-
ing appeared, which was much more practical and
effective :—

“ Two thousand dollars, or thirteen hundred taels, to who-
ever will make known to William J. Bidulph, principal agent
of the Centenary at Shang-hai, the present residence of Mr.
Wang of said city.”

There was nothing to make one suppose that
the philosopher had been running round the world
during the interval of fifty-five days given him to
fulfil his promise: he was more likely concealed
in the environs of Shang-hai, in order to profit by
every opportunity ; but the Honorable William J.
Bidulph did not think he could take too many pre-
cautions.






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Page 111.

very one laughed at. them.

E
KIN-FO BECOMES CELEBRATED. IIL

Several days passed, and the situation did not
change. Now it happened that these advertise-
ments — reproduced in profusion in the form fa-
miliar to Americans (Wang! Wang!! Wang!!!
on one side, and Kin-Fo! Kin-Fo!! Kin-Fo!!!
on the other) —had the final result of attracting
public attention, and provoking general merri-
ment.

Every one laughed at them, even the people in
the remotest provinces of the Celestial Empire.

“Where is Wang?”

“Who has seen Wang?”

“Where does Wang live?”

“What is Wang doing?”

“Wang, Wang, Wang!”’
dren in the street.

These questions were soon in every one’s mouth ;
and Kin-Fo, this worthy Celestial “whose strong-
est desire was to become a centenarian,” who pro-
posed to contend for longevity with the celebrated
elephant whose twentieth lustrum was just draw-
ing toa close in the Palace of the Stables of Pe-
kin, could not fail to be soon very much in the
fashion.

“Well, is Sire Kin-Fo getting on in years?”

“ How does he do?”

“Ts his digestion good?”

“Shall we see him wear the yellow robe of old
men?”!

cried the Chinese chil-

1 Every Chinaman who reaches his eightieth year has the right to wear
a yellow robe. Yellow is the color of the imperial family, and is an honor
paid to old age,
112 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Thus the civil and military mandarins, mer-
chants on change and in the counting-houses,
the people in the streets and squares, and the
boatmen in their floating cities, accosted each
other with these mocking phrases.

The Chinese are very gay and very caustic, and
one will agree that they had now some cause for
gayety ; and jokes of every kind went the rounds,
and even caricatures were hung on the walls of
private houses.

Kin-Fo, to his great dissatisfaction, had to en-
dure the inconveniences of this singular celebrity.

They went so far as to sing songs about him
to the tune of “ Man-Tchiang-Houng,” — the wind
which blows through the willows. And a lament
appeared, which put the whole scene pleasantly:
“The Five Periods of the Centenarian.” What
an alluring title! and what profit it made at three
sapeques a copy!

If Kin-Fo fretted at all this noise made over
his name, Mr. Bidulph, on the contrary, rejoiced ;
but Wang was none the less concealed from every
eye.

Now things went so far, that the position was
no longer endurable to Kin-Fo. If he went out,
a train of Chinese of every age and both sexes
accompanied him through the streets, and along
the wharves, and even through the conceded ter-
ritories, and also through the country. When he
returned home, a jeering crowd of the worst kind
gathered before the doors of the yamen. Every
KIN-FO BECOMES CELEBRATED. 113

morning he had to appear: at the balcony of his
room, in order to prove to his people that he had
not prematurely slept in the coffin in the kiosk of
Long Life. The newspapers published a bulletin
of jokes about his health with ironical comments,
as if he belonged to the reigning dynasty of the
Tsing. In short, he became perfectly ridiculous.

It therefore happened that one day, the 21st of
May, the greatly vexed Kin-Fo went to see the
Honorable William J. Bidulph, and imparted to
him his intention of immediately leaving the
place. He had had enough of Shang-hai and
the Shang-hai people.

“But this will be running greater risks,’ was
the very true remark of the principal agent.

“T care little for that,” replied Kin-Fo. “Take
your precautions in consequence.”

“ But where will you go?”

“ Straight ahead.” .

“Where will you stop?”

“ Nowhere.”

« And when will you return?”

“ Never.”

“ And if I should have news of Wang?”

“To the devil with Wang! Oh, how foolish I
was to give him that absurd letter!”

At heart Kin-Fo felt the wildest desire to find
the philosopher. The idea that his life was in
another’s hands began to irritate him intensely,
and very soon haunted him. Wait a month longer
in such a situation! He never could resign him-
self to it.
II4 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

The lamb was changing its nature.

“Well, leave then,” said Mr. Bidulph. “ Craig
and Fry will follow you wherever you go.”

“As you please,’ answered Kin-Fo; “but I
warn you they will have to run about some.”

“They will run about, my dear sir; they will
run about: for they are not men who would think
of sparing their legs.”

Kin-Fo returned to the yamen, and, without los-
ing a moment, made his preparations for departure.

Soun, to his great annoyance, —for he did not
like moving from one place to another, — was
obliged to accompany his master. But he did
not venture to make any remarks, which would
certainly have cost him a good bit of his braid.

As for Fry-Craig,*like true Americans, they
were always ready to travel, even were it to the
end of the world; and they only asked one ques-
tion.

“Where, sir’? — said Craig.

“Are you going?” added Fry.

“To Nankin first, and to the devil next.”

The same smile appeared simultaneously on
Craig-Fry’s lips. Both were delighted! “To the
devil!” Nothing could please them better. They
only took time to bid farewell to the Honorable
Mr. Bidulph, and to array themselves in the Chi-
nese costume, which would cause them to attract
less attention during the journey through the
Celestial Empire.

An hour later Craig and Fry, with their bags at
KIN-FO BECOMES CELEBRATED. II5

their side, and revolvers in their belts, returned to
the yamen.

At nightfall Kin-Fo and his companions cau-
tiously left the port of the American concession,
and took passage on the steamboat which plies
between Shang-hai and Nankin.

This voyage is a mere excursion. In less than
twelve hours a steamboat, profiting by the ebb-
tide, can ascend by the Blue River as far as the
ancient capital of Southern China.

During this short passage, Craig-Fry, after hav-
ing first scrutinized every passenger, paid the most
minute attentions to their precious Kin-Fo. They
were acquainted with the philosopher, — what in-
habitant of the three concessions did not know
that good and kindly face?—and they assured
themselves that he had not followed them on
board. Having taken these precautions, what
constant attention they lavished on the patron of
the Centenary !—feeling of every support on
which he might lean; moving their feet over every
bridge on which he sometimes stood, in order to
ascertain if they were safe; drawing him away
from the boiler, which they did not feel quite
sure of ; urging him not to expose himself to the
fresh evening air, nor to get cold in the damp
night-air; taking care that the port-holes in his
cabin were hermetically closed; scolding Soun,
the neglectful valet, who was never near when
his master called him; taking his place, when
necessary, by serving Kin-Fo with tea and cakes
116 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

in the first period; and finally sleeping at his
cabin-door, all dressed, with their belts provided
with various articles for safety, and ready to come
to his aid if, by an explosion or collision, the
steamboat should sink beneath the deep waters
of the river.

But no accident occurred to put the brave and
ceaseless devotion of Fry-Craig to the test. The
steamboat rapidly descended the Wousung, sailed
into the Yang-Tse-Kiang, or Blue River, coasted
along the island Tsong-Ming, left behind her the
fires of Ou-Song and Lang-Chan, and ascended
with the tide through the province of Kiang-
Sou, and, on the morning of the 22d, landed her
passengers safe and sound on the wharf of the
ancient imperial city.

Thanks to the two body-guards, Soun’s braid
had not grown shorter by the twelfth part of an
inch during the voyage. Therefore the lazy fel-
low could have complained with very poor grace.

It was not without a motive that Kin-Fo, on
leaving Shang-hai, stopped first at Nankin; for
he thought there might be some chance of his
finding the philosopher. Wang, perhaps, might
be drawn to this unfortunate city by the memories
of the past, since it was the principal centre of
the rebellion of the Tchang-Mao. Was it not at
that time occupied and defended by that modest
schoolmaster, the formidable Rong-Sieou-Tsien,
who became the chief of the Tai-ping, and so
long held the Mandshurian authority in check?




























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The steamer rapidly descended the Woo-Sung.

Page r16.
KIN-FO BECOMES CELEBRATED. I17

Was it not in this city that he proclaimed the new
era of “Great Peace”?! Was it not there that
he poisoned himself in 1864, that he might not
surrender himself alive to his enemies? Was it
not from the ancient palace of the kings that his
young son escaped, whom the Imperials were soon
to behead? Were not his bones taken from their
tomb beneath the ruins of the burned city, and
thrown to the vilest animals? Finally, was it
not in this province that one hundred thousand
of Wang’s former companions were massacred
in three days?

It was therefore possible that the philosopher,
feeling a kind of homesickness after the change
in his life, had taken refuge in these places so full
of personal recollections; and in a few hours he
could reach Shang-hai, and, when ready, deal his
intended blow.

That is why Kin-Fo proceeded first to Nankin,
and wished to stop at the first stage in his journey.
If he could meet Wang there, every thing would
be explained, and he could end this absurd situa-
tion. If Wang did not appear, he would continue
his wanderings through the Celestial Empire till
the expiration of the time when he would have
nothing further to fear from his former teacher
and friend.

Kin-Fo, accompanied by Craig and Fry, and fol-
lowed by Soun, proceeded to a hotel, situated in
one of the thinly populated localities, around which

1 The meaning of Tai-ping.
118 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

three-quarters of the ancient capital extends like a
desert.

“T am travelling under the name of Ki-Nan,”
said Kin-Fo to his companions; ‘and I desire that
my real name shall not be spoken again for any
reason whatever.”

“Ki” — said Craig.

“Nan,” finished Fry.

“ Ki-Nan,” repeated Soun.

By this one will understand that Kin-Fo, who
was running away from the annoyances of his
fame at Shang-hai, did not wish to meet with
them again on his journey. He said nothing to
Fry-Craig of the possible presence of the philoso-
pher at Nankin. These too particular agents
would have used unnecessary precautions, which
the pecuniary value of their charge justified, but
which would have greatly annoyed him.

Indeed, if they had been travelling through a
dangerous country, with a million dollars in their
pocket, they could not have been more prudent.
After all, was it not a million that the Centenary
had confided to their care?

The whole day was passed in visiting the various
localities, squares, and streets in Nankin; and
from the gate at the west to the gate at the east,
and from north to south, they rapidly traversed
the whole city, which was now so shorn of its
ancient splendor. Kin-Fo walked on quickly, talk-
ing little, but observing a great deal.

No suspicious face appeared, neither on the










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































bordered by enormous animals of granite.

An interminable avenue,

Page 119.
KIN-FO BECOMES CELEBRATED. IIg

canals frequented by the masses of the people,
nor in the paved streets, which were almost hidden
under the ruins, and already overrun with weeds.
No stranger was seen wandering through the part-
ly demolished marble porticos and calcined walls,
which mark the site of the imperial palace, the
theatre of the final struggle, where Wang, no
doubt, resisted till the last hour. No one was
‘seen by the visitors around the yamen of the Cath-
olic missionaries, whom the inhabitants of Nankin
tried to massacre in 1870, nor in the neighborhood
of the arsenal, which was newly built with the
imperishable brick of the celebrated porcelain
tower, and whose ground was strewn with the
Tai-ping.

Kin-Fo, who seemed to feel no fatigue, kept mov-
ingon. Followed by his two acolytes, who did not
falter, and outdistancing the unfortunate Soun,
who was but little accustomed to this kind of ex-
ercise, he left by the eastern gate, and ventured
out into the deserted country.

An interminable avenue, bordered by enormous
animals of granite, now appeared at some distance
from the enclosing wall; and Kin-Fo walked
through it more rapidly. still.

A small temple stood at the end of it, and be-
hind rose a “tumulus,” as high as a hill. Under
its turf reposed Roug-On the bonze, who had be-
come an emperor, and who was one of the bold
patriots, who, five centuries before, had SruRe eH
against the foreign power.
120 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

And might not the philosopher have come to
refresh himself with these glorious memories on
the tomb where rested the founder of the dynasty
of the Ming ?

The tumulus was deserted, and the temple aban-
doned. There were no other guardians than those
giants faintly outlined on the marble, and the fan-
tastic animals which people the long avenue.

But on the door of the temple Kin-Fo perceived,
with emotion, several signs which some hand had
engraved there. He approached, and read these
three letters, —

. W. K-F.

Wang, Kin-Fo. There was no doubt that the
philosopher had recently passed this place.

Kin-Fo, without saying a word, looked around,
but found —no one.

That evening Kin-Fo, Craig, Fry, and Soun,
who dragged on behind, returned to the hotel, and
the next morning left Nankin.
















> \
. a
eNO e =

There was no doubt that the philosopher had recently passed this place.
Page 120.
KIN-FO STARTS ON AN ADVENTURE. 121

CHAPTER XII.

IN WHICH KIN-FO, HIS TWO ACOLYTES, AND HIS
VALET START ON AN ADVENTURE.

Who is the traveller who is seen hastening over
the principal water or carriage routes and up the
canals and rivers of the Celestial Empire? He
goes on and on, not knowing at evening where he
will be the next day. He passes through cities
without seeing them, and stops at hotels or inns
only to catch a few hours’ sleep, and at restaurants
to take hasty meals. Money does not stay in his
hand, for he throws it around to facilitate his
progress.

It is not a merchant on business; it is not a
mandarin whom the minister has charged with
some important mission, an artist in search of
the beauties of nature, a savant whose tastes lead
him to seek ancient documents stored in the tem-
ples of bonzes or llamas in old China. Neither is
it a student going to the Pagoda of Examinations
to get his university degrees; nor a priest of
Buddha going about the country to inspect the
small rural altars erected among the roots of the
sacred banyan ; nor a pilgrim going to fulfil some
vow at one of the five holy mountains of the
Celestia] Empire.
122 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

It is the pretended Ki-Nan, accompanied by
Fry-Craig, ever active and ready, followed by
Soun, who was more and more weary and reluc-
tant. It is Kin-Fo, in the odd mood which leads
him to fly from, and at the same time to seek, the
undiscoverable Wang. It is the patron of the
Centenary, who only seeks, in this incessant going
and coming, forgetfulness of his situation, and per-
haps a guaranty against the invisible dangers by
which he is menaced. The best marksman stands
a chance of missing a target in motion, and Kin-
Fo wishes to be this target which never ceases to
move.

The travellers had taken at Nankin one of the
fast American steamboats, the vast floating hotels
which sail on the Blue River. Sixty hours after-
wards they landed at Ran-Keou, without even
having admired that odd-looking rock, the Little
Orphan, which rises up in the middle of the cur-
rent of the Yang-tze-Kiang, and where a temple
made use of by the bonzes boldly crowns the
summit.

At Ran-Keou, situated at the confluence of the
Blue River and its important tributary, the Ran-
Kiang,! the wandering Kin-Fo stopped only half a
day. There again souvenirs of the Tai-ping were
found in irreparable ruin; but neither in this com-
mercial city —which, to tell the truth, is only an
annexation of the prefecture of Ran-Yang-Fou,

1 In Southern China streams and rivers are indicated by the termina-
tion ‘‘ Kiang ;”? in Western China, by the termination ‘' Ro.”
KIN-FO STARTS ON AN ADVENTURE. 123

built on the right shore of the tributary stream —
nor at Ou-Tchang-Fou, the capital of the prov-
ince of Rou-Pe, on the right shore of the stream,
did the uncapturable Wang leave any trace of his
passage. But there were plenty of those terrible
letters which Kin-Fo had found at Nankin on the
tomb of the crowned bonze.

If Craig and Fry had ever hoped that on this
journey through China they could carry away any
idea of its customs, or acquire any knowledge of
its cities, they were soon undeceived. They would
not have had time to take notes; and their impres-
sions would have been reduced to a few names of
cities and townships, or to the days of the month.
But they were neither curious nor talkative: in-
deed, they hardly ever spoke. Of what use would
it have been? What Craig thought, Fry thought
also. It would have been only a monologue.
Therefore they, like their patron, did not notice
that double appearance common to the majority
of Chinese cities, which are dead within, and full of
life in their suburbs.

At Ran-Keou they barely perceived the Euro-
pean quarter, with its broad, rectangular streets
and elegant houses, and its promenade shaded by
tall trees, which skirts the shore of the Blue River.
They had eyes to see only one man, and that man
remained invisible.

The steamboat, owing to the tide which raised
the waters of the Ran-Kiang, could ascend this
tributary for one hundred and thirty leagues more,
as far as Lao-Ro-Keou.
124 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Kin-Fo was not the man to abandon this style of
locomotion, which pleased him. On the contrary,
he expected to go to the point where the Ran-
Kiang would cease to be navigable. Beyond that
he would consider.

Craig and Fry would have asked nothing better
than to have had this kind of navigation the whole
course of the journey; for their sawrvezllance was
easier on board a boat, and dangers were less
imminent. Later, on the routes through the prov-
inces of Central China, which were less safe, it
would be quite different.

As for Soun, this steamboat life pleased him
very well; for he did not have to walk or do any
thing, and left his master to the good offices of
Craig-Fry. All he thought of was to take a
nap in his corner after having breakfasted, dined,
and supped conscientiously ; for the cooking was
good. A change of food on board the boat a few
days later would have indicated to any one but this
ignorant fellow that a change of latitude had
taken place in the geographical situation of the
travellers; for, during the meals, wheat was sud-
denly substituted for rice in the form of unleavened
bread, which was quite agreeable to the taste when
eaten fresh from the oven.

Soun, as a true Chinaman of the south, grieved
for his daily rice. He managed his little chop-
sticks with so much skill when he dropped the
kernels from the cup into his vast mouth, and ab-
sorbed such quantities of them! Than rice and
KIN-FO STARTS ON AN ADVENTURE. 125

tea, what more is desired by a true Son of
Heaven ?

The steamboat, ascending the course of the
Ran-Kiang, had just entered the wheat-region,
where the elevation of the country becomes more
marked. On the horizon are outlined several
mountains, crowned with fortifications which were
built under the ancient dynasty of the Ming. The
artificial banks, which hold the waters of the river,
give way to low shores, enlarging its bed at the
expense of its depth. The government of Guan-
Lo-Fou now appeared.

Kin-Fo did not go on shore during the few
hours required to put the fuel on board in the
presence of the custom-house boats. What was
he going to do in that city, which he cared so little
to see. He had but one desire, since he no longer
found a trace of the philosopher ; and.that was to
travel farther still into the interior of Central
China, where, if he did not catch Wang, Wang
would not catch him.

After Guan-Lo-Fou, came two cities built op-
posite one another, — the commercial city of Fan-
Tcheng on the left shore, and the government of
Siang-Yang-Fou on the right, —the first being a
suburb full of the stir of people and the bustle of
business ; the second, the residence of the authori-
ties, and more dead than alive.

And after Fan-Tcheng the Ran-Kiang, ascend-
ing directly to the north at a sharp angle, was
still navigable as far as Lao-Ro-Keou. But the
126 “TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

water was not deep enough for the steamboat to go
farther.

‘On leaving this last stopping-place, the condi-
tions of the journey were changed. One was
obliged to abandon the water-courses, those “ walk-
ing roads,” and either walk or substitute for the
soft, gliding motion of a boat, the shaking, jolting,
and pitching of the deplorable vehicles used in the
Celestial Empire. Unhappy Soun! A series of
torments, fatigues, and reproaches were about to
begin again.

And, indeed, whoever had followed Kin-Fo from
province to province, from city to city, in this fan-
tastic journey, would have had much to do. One
day he would travel in a carriage, which was only
a box roughly fastened by big iron nails to the
axletree of two wheels, drawn by two restive mules,
and covered by a linen canopy, which streams of
rain and the sun’s rays alike penetrated. Another
day he might be seen stretched in a mule-chair,
which is a sort of sentry-box suspended between
two long bamboo poles, and subjected to such vio-
lent rolling and pitching, that a bark under like
circumstances would have cracked in every part.
Craig and Fry, on two asses, which rolled and
pitched more than the chair, trotted along near the
doors like two aides-de-camp. Soun, when rather
rapid walking was necessary, went on foot, grum-
bling and cursing, and refreshing himself more than
was necessary by frequent swallows of Kao-Liang
brandy. He, too, felt a peculiar rolling motion ;


The conditions of the journey were changed.

Page 126.
KIN-FO STARTS ON AN ADVENTURE. 127

but the cause was not due to the unevenness of
the ground. In a word, the little party could not
have been more tossed on a stormy sea.

It was on horseback —and poor horses too, as
one may believe — that Kin-Fo and his companions
made their entry into Si-Gnan-Fou, the ancient
capital of the Central Empire, where the emper-
ors of the dynasty of Tang formerly resided.

But to reach this distant province of Chen-Si, to
cross the interminable plains, arid and bare, how
many dangers and how much fatigue there was to
endure!

The May sun, in a latitude which is that of
Southern Spain, was already unendurable, and
caused a fine dust to form on roads that never
have been blessed with paving; so that, on coming
out of these yellowish whirlwinds which dinged
the air like an unwholesome smoke, one was gray
from head to foot. It was the country of the
“loess,” a singular geological formation peculiar
to the north of China, and which is neither earth
nor rock, or, rather, it is a rock which has not yet
had time to become solid.

As for the dangers, they were only too real in
a country where the police have an extraordinary
fear of being stabbed by thieves. If in towns
the tipaos left the field free to rogues, if in the
heart of the city the inhabitants seldom ventured
into the streets at night, then judge the degree of
security that country roads afforded. Several

1 Léon Rousset.
128 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

times suspicious groups of men crossed the trav-
ellers’ path when they entered those deep, narrow
defiles, hollowed out between the beds of the loess;
but the sight of Craig-Fry with revolvers at their
belts had thus far intimidated the tramps on the
highways. Yet the agents of the Centenary on
many an occasion felt the most serious fear, if
not for themselves, at least for the live million
dollars they were escorting. Whether Kin-Fo fell
by Wang’s poignard or a malefactor’s knife, the
result would be the same: it was the company’s
coffers which would receive the blow.
Under these circumstances, Kin-Fo, who was no
less well armed, was only too eager to defend him-
self; for he valued his life more than ever, and, as
Craig-Fry said, would kill himself to preserve it. _
It was not probable that any trace of the philos-
opher would be found at Si-Gnan-Fou; for a former
Tai-ping would not have thought of taking refuge
there. It is a city whose strong walls blocked the
way of the rebels in the time of the rebellion, and
is occupied by a numerous garrison from Mand-
shuria.
Why should Wang come here, unless he had a
particular taste for archzeological curiosities (which
are very numerous in this city), and a desire to
plunge into the mysteries of epigrams, of which
the museum, called ‘“‘ The Forest of Tablets,” con-
tains incalculable riches?
Therefore, on the day after his arrival, Kin-Fo,
leaving this city, which is an important business






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































When they entered these deep, narrow defiles.

Page 128.
_ KIN-FO STARTS ON AN ADVENTURE. 129

centre between Central Asia, Thibet, Mongolia,
and China, continued on his way to the North.
Following Kao-Lin-Sien, Sing-Tong-Sien, through
the valley-route of the Ouei-Ro, whose waters are
tinged with the yellow hue: of the loess through
which it has made its bed, the little party reached
Roua-Tcheou, which was the centre of a terrible
Mussulman insurrection in 1860. Kin-Fo and his
companions, after great fatigue, travelling some-
times in a boat and sometimes in a wagon, reached
the fortress of Tong-Kouan, which is situated at
the confluence of the Ouei-Ro and the Rouang-Ro.

The Rouang-Ro is the famous Yellow River. It
descends directly from the north, and, crossing
the eastern provinces, flows into the sea which
bears its name, and is no more yellow than the
Red Sea is red, the White Sea white, or the Black
Sea black. Yes, it is a celebrated river, of celes-
tial origin no doubt, since its color is that of the
emperors, the Sons of Heaven; but it is also
“China’s Sorrow,” a title given it on account of
its terrible overflows, which have partially rendered
the Imperial Canal impassable.

At Tong-Kouan the travellers would have been
safe even at night. It is no longer a commercial,
but a military city, in which the Mandshurian Tar-
tars, who form the chief number of the Chinese
army, live in fixed habitations, and not in camps.
Possibly Kin-Fo intended to stop here and rest a
few days, or, perhaps, would have sought a good
room, bed, and table in a desirable hotel, — which
130 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

would not have displeased Fry-Craig, and less
likely Soun. But this blundering fellow had the
imprudence to give to the custom-house officer his
master’s real instead of assumed name, which cost
him a good inch of his braid. He forgot that it
was no longer Kin-Fo, but Ki-Nan, whom he had
the honor of serving. Kin-Fo’s anger was extreme,
and it led him to leave the city at once. The name
had produced its effect. The celebrated Kin-Fo
had arrived at Tong-Kouan. People wished to see
this unique man, whose “sole and only desire was
to become a centenarian.”

The terrified traveller, followed by his two
guards and his valet, had just time to take his
flight through the crowds of curious people who
followed in his footsteps. ‘On foot this time, on
foot!” he ordered, and ascended the shores of the
Yellow River, proceeding thus till he and his com-
panions stopped from exhaustion in a little town
where his zzcoguito must secure him some hours
of tranquillity.

Soun, who was absolutely disconcerted, dared
not say a word. He in his turn, with the ridicu-
lous little rat-tail yet remaining, was an object of
the most disagreeable ridicule. The boys ran after
him, mocking him, and calling him names. So
he, too, was in a great hurry to arrive. But
where? since his master, as Mr. Bidulph said, ex-
pected to keep on the move, and was doing so.

This time there were no horses, asses, wagons,
or chairs in this modest town, twenty leagues from
KIN-FO STARTS ON AN ADVENTURE. 131

Tong-Kouan, where Kin-Fo sought refuge. There
was no prospect but to remain here, or continue
on foot. This was not likely to inspire good hu-
mor in the pupil of the philosopher Wang, and he
showed little philosophy on this occasion. He ac-
cused every one, with only himself to blame. Ah!
how he sighed for the time when he had nothing
to do but live! If to appreciate happiness, it was
necessary to know ezzz2z, trouble, and torments, as
Wang used to say, he had plenty of them now, and
some to spare.

And yet, in running about the country, he met
on the way worthy people without a sou, who,
nevertheless, were happy. He was able to observe
those varied forms of happiness which cheerfully
performed labor brings.

Here were laborers bending over their plough-
‘ing, and there workmen singing as they handled
their tools. Was it not precisely to this absence of
labor that Kin-Fo owed the absence of desires, and,
consequently, the lack of happiness here below?
Ah! the lesson was complete: he believed so, at
least. No, friend Kin-Fo, it was not.

After searching thoroughly in the village, and
knocking at every door, Craig and Fry finally dis-
covered only one vehicle, and that it would only
carry one person; and, graver still, that the pro-
pelling power of said vehicle was wanting.

It was a wheelbarrow, — Pascal’s wheelbarrow,
—and perhaps invented before his time by those
ancient inventors of powder, the art of writing,
132 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

the compass, and kites. In China the wheel of
this conveyance, which is rather broad in diameter,
is placed, not at the end of the shafts, but in the
middle, and moves across the body of the wheel-
barrow, like the central wheel in some steamboats.
The body is, then, divided into two parts, following
its axis, in one of which the traveller can stretch
himself out, and in the other stow his baggage.

The propelling power is and can be only a man,
who pushes it before him instead of dragging it
after him, and is therefore behind the traveller,
whose view he does not obstruct, as does the driver
of an English cab. When the wind is favorable,
—that is, when it blows from behind, —man joins
to his efforts this natural force, which costs him
nothing, by setting a mast in the fore part of the
vehicle, and raising’ a square sail; so that, when
the breeze is strong, instead of pushing the wheel-
barrow, it is the latter which draws him along, —
often faster than he wishes.

The vehicle was purchased with all its accesso-
ries, and Kin-Fo took his place in it. The wind
was fresh, and the sail was raised. >

“Come, Soun!”’ said he.

Soun began quite naturally to stretch himself
out in the second compartment of the wheelbar-
row.

“Into the shafts!” cried Kin-Fo in a certain
tone, which admitted of no reply.

“Master — what — I — I” — exclaimed the
terrified Soun, whose limbs shook like those of
a foundered horse.
























































































































































































































































































































The little band moved off at a gentle trot.
~ Page 133.
KIN-FO STARTS ON AN ADVENTURE. 133

“Don’t blame any one but yourself, your tongue,
and your own foolishness.”

“Come, Soun!”’ cried Fry-Craig.

“Into the shafts!” repeated Kin-Fo, looking
at what pigtail remained to the unhappy valet.
“Into the shafts, animal! and mind you do not jolt
me, or” —

Kin-Fo’s first and middle finger of the right
hand, brought together after the manner of scis-
sors, so well completed his thought, that Soun
passed the reins around his shoulders, and seized
the shafts with both hands. Fry-Craig placed
themselves on both sides of the wheelbarrow ; and
with the aid of the breeze the little band moved off
at a gentle trot.

We must renounce any attempt to describe
Soun’s mute, powerless rage, when he had passed
into the place of a horse. And yet Craig and Fry
often consented to relieve him. Very fortunately
the south wind came to their aid, and performed
three-quarters of the work. The wheelbarrow was
well balanced by the position of the central wheel ;
and the work of the man in the shafts became like
that of the steersman at the helm of a ship: he had
only to maintain himself in the right direction.

And in this equipage Kin-Fo might have been
seen travelling through the western provinces of
China, walking when he felt the need of stretching
his limbs, and being trundled in the wheelbarrow
when he needed rest.

Thus Kin-Fo, having avoided Houan-Fou and
134 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Ca-fong, ascended the banks of the celebrated Im-
perial Canal, which, not quite twenty years ago,
before the Yellow River had resumed its course
through its former bed, formed a beautiful navi-
gable route from Sou-Tcheou, the tea-country, as
far as Pekin, a distance of about a hundred leagues.

Thus he crossed Tsinan and Ho-Kien, and went
through the province of Pe-tche-Lee, where is situ-
ated Pekin, the quadruple capital of the Celestial
Empire.

Thus also he passed Tien-Sing, a large city of
four hundred thousand inhabitants, which is pro-
tected by a fortified wall and two forts, and whose
large port, formed by the junction ’of the Pei-ho and
the Imperial Canal, makes — by importing cotton
goods from Manchester, woollen goods, copper,
iron, German matches, sandal-wood, etc., and by
exporting jujubes, water-lily leaves, and tobacco
from Tartary, etc. —a sum amounting to seventy
millions. But Kin-Fo did not once think of visit-
ing the celebrated Pagoda of Infernal Torments in
this curious Tien-Sing. He did not pass through
the entertaining Streets of Lanterns and Old
Clothes in the eastern suburb; nor breakfast at
the Restaurant of Harmony and Friendship, kept
by the Mussulman Leou-Lao-Ki, whose wines are
famous, whatever Mahomet may think of them ;
nor leave his big red card, for good reasons, at the
palace of Li-Tchong-Tang, the viceroy of the prov-
ince since 1870,a member of the Privy Council
and also of the Council of the Empire, and who
KIN-FO STARTS ON AN ADVENTURE. 135

bears, with the yellow jacket, the title of Fei-Tze-
Chao-Pao.

No! Kin-Fo, constantly being trundled in the
wheelbarrow, and Soun constantly trundling him,
crossed the wharves where mountains of sand-
bags were piled. They passed the outskirts of the
city, the English and American concessions, the
race-grounds, the country covered with sorghum,
barley, sesamum, vineyards, kitchen-gardens, rich
in vegetables and fruits; and plains whence de-
part, by the million, hares, partridges, and quail,
which are chased by the falcon, the merlin, and the
hobby. All four followed for twenty-four leagues
the paved road which leads to Pekin between trees
of various essences and the tall reeds of the river,
and thus arrived safe and sound at Tong-Tcheou ;
Kin-Fo still being valued at two hundred thousand
dollars, Craig-Fry sound as at the beginning of
the journey, and Soun out of breath, limping, and
foundered in both legs, and having only three
inches of a queue on the top of his cranium.

It was now the roth of June. The time granted
Wang would expire in a week.

Where was Wang?
136 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER XIII.

IN WHICH IS HEARD THE CELEBRATED LAMENT
CALLED ‘‘THE FIVE PERIODS IN THE LIFE OF
A CENTENARIAN.”

“GENTLEMEN,” said Kin-Fo to his two body-
guards, when the wheelbarrow stopped at the en-
trance to the suburb of Tong-Tcheou, “we are now
only forty leagues from Pekin, and it is my inten-
tion to stop here until the time that the agree-
ment between Wang and myself shall have ended.
In this city of four hundred thousand souls it will
be easy for me to remain unknown, if Soun does
not forget that he is in Ki-Nan’s service, a hum-
ble merchant in the province of Chen-Si.”

“No, certainly not: Soun would not forget it
again. His stupidity had forced him to fill the
viace of a horse the past eight days, and he hoped
that Mr. Kin-Fo ” —

“Ki’”’— said Craig.

“Nan,” added Fry.

— “would not again take him from his custom-
ary work; and now, considering his fatigue, he
asked just one thing of Mr. Kin-Fo” —

“Ki” — said Craig.

“Nan,” repeated Fry.
THE CELEBRATED LAMENT. 137

— “permission to sleep forty-eight hours at
least at a stretch, with bridle slackened, or rather
without any harness at all.”

“For a week if you wish,” answered Kin-Fo.
*T shall be sure at least that in sleeping you will
not talk.”

Kin-Fo and his companions then busied them-
selves in looking for a good hotel, which was not
wanting at Tong-Tcheou. This vast city is in
truth but an immense suburb of Pekin. The
paved road which unites it to the capital is
bordered the whole length with villas, houses,
agricultural hamlets, tombs, small pagodas, and
grassy enclosures; and on this route the travel
of carriages, cavaliers, and foot-passengers is con-
stant.

Kin-Fo was acquainted with the city, and was
escorted to the Tae-Ouang-Miao, — the Temple of
the Sovereign Princes. It is simply a bonze
temple transformed into a hotel, where strangers
can lodge quite comfortably.

Kin-Fo, Craig, and Fry immediately located
there; and the two agents took a room adjoining
that of their precious charge.

As for Soun, he disappeared to sleep in the
corner assigned him, and was seen no more.

An hour later Kin-Fo and his followers left
their rooms, breakfasted with a good appetite,
and asked each other what was necessary to be
done.. ;

“It is necessary,” answered Craig-Fry, “to
138 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

read ‘The Official Gazette,’ in order to see if
there is any article which concerns us.”

“You are right,” answered Kin-Fo. “Perhaps
we shall learn what has become of Wang.”

All three then left the hotel. Through pru-
dence, the two acolytes walked by the side of
their patron, looking into the faces of the passers-
by without allowing themselves to be approached
by any one. They went thus through the narrow
streets of the city, and reached the wharves.
There a copy of “The Official Gazette” was
bought, and eagerly read.

Nothing! nothing in it but the promise of two
thousand dollars, or thirteen hundred taels, to
whoever would make known to William J. Bidulph
the present residence of Mr. Wang of Shang-hai.

“So,” said Kin-Fo, “he has not returned.”

“Therefore he has not read the advertisement
concerning him,” answered Craig.

“ And will still keep to the terms of the agree-
ment,” added Fry.

“But where can he be?” cried Kin-Fo.

“Sir,” said Fry-Craig, “do you think you are
in. greater danger during the last days of the
agreement?”

“Most certainly I do,’ answered Kin-Fo.
“Wang does not know the change in my cir-
cumstances, and it seems probable he will not be
able to free himself from the necessity of keep-
ing his promise. Therefore, in two or three days,
I shall be in greater danger than I am to-day, and
in six greater still.”
THE CELEBRATED LAMENT. 139

“ But when the time has passed ?”

“T shall have nothing more to fear.”

“Well, sir,” answered Craig-Fry, “there are
only three ways of ridding yourself of all danger
during these six days.”

“What is the first?”’ asked Kin-Fo.

“Tt is to return to the hotel,” said Craig, “to
shut yourself up in your room, and wait till the
time has expired.”

“ And the second?”

“Ts to have yourself arrested as a criminal,”
answered Fry, “in order to be placed in safety in
the prison of Tong-Tcheou.”

“ And the third?”

“Ts to pass yourself off for dead,’ answered
Fry-Craig, “and only to come to life again when
safety is yours once more.”

“You do not know Wang,” cried Kin-Fo.
“Wang would find his way into my hotel, my
prison, or my tomb. If he has not killed me so
far, it is because he has not wished to do so, or it
was because it seemed to him preferable to leave
me the pleasure or the anxiety of waiting. _Who
knows what can have been his motive? Under
all circumstances, I prefer to wait in liberty.”

“We will wait then. Yet’’— said Craig.

“Tt seems to me that” — added Fry.

“Gentlemen,” interrupted Kin-Fo, in a curt
tone, “I will do what pleases me. After all, if I
die before the 25th of this month, what will your
company lose?”
140 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“Two hundred thousand dollars,” answered
Fry-Craig. “Two hundred thousand dollars,
which we shall have to pay to your heirs.”

“And I lose all my fortune, without counting
my life. Iam, then, more interested than you in
the matter.”

“To: be sure.”

“Very true.”

“Continue, then, to watch over me as long as
you think proper; but I shall act after my own
inclination.”

There was nothing to be said in reply.

Craig-Fry were then obliged to give him more
liberty, and to double their precautions. But they
did not conceal from themselves that the gravity
of the situation grew more decided every day.

Tong-Tcheou is one of the most ancient cities
in the Celestial Empire. Situated on the canal
arm of the Pei-ho, at the junction of another canal
which unites it with Pekin, it is the centre of
great business activity, while its suburbs are
extremely lively from the going and coming of its
inhabitants.

Kin-Fo and his companions were more strongly
impressed by this stir when they reached the
wharf, where sampans and the junks of com-
merce are anchored.

Finally Craig and Fry, after having weighed
every thing, came to the conclusion that they
were safer in the midst of a crowd. The death
of their patron would apparently be owing to
THE CELEBRATED LAMENT. I4I

suicide: the letter which would be found on him
would leave no doubt on that score. Wang,
therefore, would have no interest in striking him,
except under certain conditions, which did not
present themselves in frequented streets or in the
public place of a city. Consequently, Kin-Fo’s
guardians did not fear an immediate attack. The
only thing now was to ascertain if the Tai-ping,
through marvellous skill, had not been following
in their track since they left Shanghai, so they
made good use of their eyes in scanning the faces
of the passers-by.

Suddenly a name was spoken which made them
listen intently.

“Kin-Fo! Kin-Fo!” cried several Chinese chil-
dren from among the crowd, jumping up and
down, and clapping their hands.

Had Kin-Fo been recognized? and did his name
produce the usual effect?

The unwilling hero stopped.

Craig-Fry stood ready, in case of need, to make
a rampart of their bodies around him.

These cries were not addressed to Kin-Fo; for
no one seemed to suspect that he was there:
therefore he did not stir, but waited to find out
why his name had been spoken.

A group of men, women, and children had
formed around a strolling singer, who seemed
greatly in favor with the street public, who
shouted, clapped their hands, and applauded him
in advance.
142 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

When the singer found himself in the presence
of a ‘sufficiently large audience, he drew from his
robe a package of placards, with colored illustra-
tions, then shouted in a sonorous voice, —

“The Five Periods in the Life of the Centena-
rian.”

It was the famous lament heard everywhere in
the Celestial Empire.

Craig-Fry wished to drag their charge away;
but this time Kin-Fo obstinately persisted in
remaining. No one knew him. He had never
heard the lament which told his ways and doings,
and he desired to hear it.

The singer began thus : —

“In the first period the moon shines on the pointed roof
of the house at Shang-hai. Kin-Fo is young, —he is twenty,
—and resembles the willow whose first leaves show their
little green tongue.

“In the second period the moon shines on the east side
of the costly yamen. Kin-Fo is forty. His ten thousand
business-affairs are successful, according to his wishes.
The neighbors sing his praises.”

The singer’s expression changed, and he seemed
to grow old, at every verse. They loaded him with
applause.

He continued, —

“In the third period the moon lights the open space,
Kin-Fo is sixty. After the green leaves of summer come
the yellow chrysanthemums of autumn.

“Tn the fourth period the moon has declined to the west.
Kin-Fo is eighty. His body is drawn up like a crab in
THE CELEBRATED LAMENT. 143

boiling water. His life is waning,— waning with the star
of night.

“In the fifth the cocks hail the birth of dawn. Kin-Fo
is a hundred. He is dying, his strongest desire accom-
plished; but the disdainful Prince Ien refuses to receive
him. Prince Ien does not like old people who would go
into second childhood in his court. The old Kin-Fo will
wander through all eternity without ever being able to rest.”

And the crowd applauded, and the singer sold
his laments by the hundred, at three sapeques a
copy.

And why should not Kin-Fo buy one? He drew
out some small change from his pocket, and, ex-
tending his arm through the first rows of the
crowd, held out a handful; but all at once his
hand opened, and the money fell to the ground.

Opposite him stood a man whose gaze met his.

“Ah!” cried Kin-Fo, who could not restrain
this exclamation, which was both interrogative
and exclamatory.

Fry-Craig surrounded him, thinking him recog-
nized, menaced, shot at, dead perhaps.

“Wang!” he cried.

“Wang!” repeated Craig-Fry.

It was Wang in person. He had just perceived
his former pupil; but, instead of rushing at him,
he pushed vigorously through the last rows of the
crowd, and ran off as fast as his long legs would
carry him.

Kin-Fo did not hesitate. He wished to under-
stand his intolerable situation, and set out in
144 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

pursuit of Wang, escorted by Fry-Craig, who
wished neither to go ahead nor to remain behind.

They, too, had recognized the lost philosopher,
and understood, by the surprise the latter had
just manifested, that he no more expected to see
Kin-Fo than Kin-Fo expected to see him.

Now, why was Wang running away? It was
quite inexplicable; but yet he was running off as
if all the police in the Celestial Empire were at
his heels.

It was a mad pursuit.

“Tam not ruined! Wang, Wang! not ruined
cried Kin-Fo.

“Rich, rich!” repeated Fry-Craig.

But Wang kept at too great a distance to hear
these words, which were intended to make him
stop. He passed the wharf, the canal, and reached
the entrance of the western suburb.

The three pursuers flew after him, but did not
catch up with him: on the contrary, the fugitive
threatened to out-distance them.

Half a dozen Chinamen, to say nothing of two
or three couple of tipaos, joined Kin-Fo, con-
cluding that a man who could make off so fast
must be a malefactor.

It was a curious spectacle, this breathless, shout-
ing, screaming group, adding on the way numer-
ous volunteers to its number. Those around the
singer had plainly heard Kin-Fo speak the name
Wang. Fortunately the philosopher had not an-
swered by that of his pupil; for all the city would

1
THE CELEBRATED LAMENT. 145

have followed so celebrated a man. But Wang’s
name sufficed, — Wang, that enigmatical person,
whose discovery was worth an enormous. reward.
This was well known; so that if Kin-Fo ran after
the eight hundred thousand dollars of his fortune,
Craig-Fry after the two hundred thousand insur-
ance, the others were running after the two thou-
sand dollars reward; and it must be acknowledged
it was enough to make them all take to their heels.

“Wang, Wang, I am richer than ever!” Kin-Fo
kept saying, as well as his speed would permit.

“ Not ruined, not ruined!”’ repeated Fry-Craig.

“Stop, stop!” cried the majority of the pur-
suers, increasing in number, and running faster
and faster, and making the dust fly under their
feet.

Wang heard nothing, but, with his elbows close
to his chest, kept on, unwilling to exhaust himself
by answering, or to lose any of his speed for the
pleasure of turning his head.

They were now beyond the suburbs, and Wang
hastened over the paved route along the canal.
On this route, which was then almost deserted,
the field was free. He still increased his speed ;
but, naturally, his pursuers also doubled their
efforts, and this wild chase was kept up nearly
twenty minutes, and nothing could foretell the
result. However, the fugitive appeared to lose
strength somewhat: the distance which he had
maintained between his pursuers and hiinself up
to this moment tended to diminish.
146 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

So Wang, perceiving this, doubled on himself,
and disappeared behind the shrubbery in front of
a small pagoda at the right of the road.

“Ten thousand taels to whoever will stop him!”
cried Kin-Fo.

“Ten thousand taels!” repeated Craig-Fry.

“Ya, ya, ya!” screamed the group farthest
ahead.

All had crossed the road, following the philoso-
pher’s tracks, and were winding around the walls
of the pagoda. Wang had come in sight again,
and was following a narrow cross-path along a
canal, where, in order to perplex his pursuers, he
made a new turn, which placed him again on the
paved road.

But, when there, it was apparent that he was
becoming exhausted; for he turned his head round
several times. Kin-Fo, Craig, and Fry, on their
part, were as fresh as ever. They walked on, or
rather flew; and not one of the rapid runners after
taels succeeded in gaining upon them.,

The dénodment was now approaching. It was
only a question of time, and a comparatively short
time, —a few moments at most.

Wang, Kin-Fo, and his companions had _ all
reached the place where the main road crossed the
river over the celebrated bridge of Palikao.

Eighteen years before, on the 21st of Septem-
ber, 1860, they, would not have had free passage
over this point in the province of Pe-che-lee.
The highway was then encumbered by fugitives




























































































































































































































































































































































The déxofment was now approaching.

Page 146.
THE CELEBRATED LAMENT. 147

of another kind. The army of Gen. San-Ko-Li-
Tzin, an uncle of the emperor, being repulsed by
French battalions, halted at Palikao on this bridge,
—a magnificent work of art, with a white marble
balustrade, and bordered by a double row of gigan-
tic lions. It was there that the Mandshurian Tar-
tars, so incomparably brave in their fatalism, were
cut down by the balls from European cannon. :

But the bridge, which still bears the marks of
battle in its defaced statues, became free.

Wang, growing weaker, dashed across the road ;
and Kin-Fo and the rest, by a great effort, ap-
proached him, Soon twenty, then fifteen, then
ten steps only, separated them.

It was of no use now to try to stop Wang by
useless words, which he could not or would not
hear. They must catch up with him, seize him,
and bind him if necessary. They could explain
afterwards.

Wang understood that he was about to be over-
taken, and, as if from some inexplicable notion,
seemed to dread finding himself face to face with
his former pupil, and was going to risk his life to
escape him.

Indeed, with one bound, Wang jumped upon
the railing of the bridge, and flung himself into
the Pei-ho.

Kin-Fo stopped a moment, and called, —

“Wang! Wang!”

Then making a sudden bound, he shouted, —

“T will have him alive!” and he sprang into the
river.
148 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“Craig,” said Fry.

“Fry,” said Craig.

“Two hundred thousand dollars in the water!”
And both, leaping over the railing, plunged in to
the succor of the ruinous patron of the Centenary.

A few of the volunteers followed them. They
looked like so many clowns leaping bars.

But so much zeal was useless. Fry-Craig and
the others, allured by the premium, searched the
Pei-ho in vain. Wang could not be found. Drawn
on by the current, no doubt, the unfortunate phil-
osopher had floated away.

Had Wang only desired to escape pursuit by
plunging into the river, or, for some mysterious
reason, had he resolved to end his days? no one
could tell.

Two hours later, Kin-Fo, Craig, and Fry, disap-
pointed, but perfectly dry and refreshed, and Soun
waked up out of the depths of his sleep, and
swearing. as was to be expected, were on their
way to Pekin,


They looked like so many clowns leaping bars.

Page 148.
FOUR CITIES IN ONE. 149

CHAPTER XIV.

IN WHICH THE VISITOR, WITHOUT FATIGUE, CAN
TRAVEL THROUGH FOUR CITIES BY VISITING
ONLY ONE.

THE Pe-che-lee, the most western of the eigh-
teen provinces of China, is divided into nine de-
partments, and one of them has for its capital
Chun-Kin-Fo ; that is, the City of the First Order
Submissive to Heaven, which city is Pekin.

Let the reader imagine a Chinese tomahawk,
with a surface of six thousand hectares, a circum-
ference of eight leagues, whose irregular parts
would exactly fill a rectangle, and he will have an
idea of this mysterious Kambalu, which Marco
Polo, towards the close of the thirteenth century,
so curiously describes ; for such is the capital of
the Celestial Empire.

In fact, Pekin comprises two distinct cities,
which are separated by a large boulevard and forti-
fied wall. One of them, the Chinese city, is a rec-
tangular parallelogram ; the other, the Tartar city,
an almost perfect square. The latter encloses two
other cities, —the Yellow City (Hoang-Tching),
and Tsen-Kin-Tching (the Red or Forbidden
City).
150 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Formerly these cities numbered more than two
million inhabitants: but emigration, caused by
extreme want, has reduced this number to a mil-
lion in all, Tartars and Chinese; and, added to
these, about ten thousand Mussulmans, besides a
certain number of Mongolians and inhabitants of
Thibet, compose the floating population.

The plan of these two cities, one above the
other, presents almost the exact figure of an old-
fashioned sideboard, whose upper part would be
formed by the Chinese city, and the base by the
Tartar city.

Six leagues of a fortified enclosure, from forty
to fifty feet in height and width, with an outside
wall of brick, defended for two hundred metres on
both sides by jutting towers, surround the Tartar
city with a magnificent paved promenade; and
throw out at their angles four enormous bastions,
which have guard-houses on their platforms. The
emperor, the Son of Heaven, as one sees, is well
guarded.

In the centre of the Tartar city, the Yellow City,
with a surface of six hundred and sixty hectares,
with an outlet of eight gates, contains a coal-moun-
tain three hundred feet high, the highest point of
the capital; also a superb canal called the Central
Sea, spanned by a marble bridge; two bonze con-
vents; a pagoda of examinations; the Pei-tha-sse,
a bonze temple built on a peninsula which seems
as if suspended over the clear waters of the canal ;
the Peh-Tang, an establishment of Catholic mis-
fOUR CITIES IN ONE. I51

sionaries ; the imperial pagoda, superb with its
roof of sonorous bells and lapis-lazuli tiles; the
great temple dedicated to the ancestors of the
reigning dynasty; the Temple of Spirits; the Tem-
of the Spirit of Winds; the Temple of the God of
Thunder, of the Inventor of Silk, of the Lord of
Heaven; the five Pavilions of Dragons; and the
Monastery of Eternal Repose.

In the centre of this quadrilateral is hidden the
Forbidden City, whose surface measures eighty hec-
tares, and which is surrounded by the ditch of a
canal spanned by seven marble bridges. It need
not be explained, that, the reigning dynasty being
from Mandshuria, the first of these three cities is
principally inhabited by a population of the same
race. As for the Chinese, they are consigned to
the lower part of the sideboard, outside in the an-
nexed city. One reaches the interior of this For-
bidden City—which is surrounded by red_ brick
walls, crowned by a capital of golden-yellow, var-
nished tiles —through a gate at the south, called
the Gate of Great Purity, which is only opened to
emperors and empresses. There may be found the
temple of the ancestors of the Tartar dynasty, shel-
tered under a double roof of variegated tiles; the
temples Che and Tsi, consecrated to terrestrial
and celestial spirits; the Palace of Sovereign Con-
cord, reserved for state ceremonies: and official
banquets ; the Palace of Medium Concord, where
are seen the pictures of the ancestors of the Sons
of Heaven; the Palace of the Protecting Con-
152 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

cord, whose central hall is occupied ‘by the impe-
rial throne; the Pavilion of Nei-Ko, where the
Great Council of the Empire is held, and presided
over by Prince Kong,’ the minister of foreign
affairs, and paternal uncle of the last sovereign ;
the Pavilion of Literary Flowers, where the em-
peror goes once a year to interpret the sacred
books; the Pavilion of Tchouane-Sine-Tiene, in
which the sacrifices in honor of Confucius take
place; the Imperial Library; the Office of Histo-
rians; the Von-Igne-Tiene, where the wood and
copper plates used in printing books are kept;
shops in which court garments are prepared; the
Palace of Celestial Purity, a place for the delib-
eration of family affairs; the Palace of the Supe-
rior Terrestrial Element, where the young empress
dwelt; the Palace of Meditation, into which the
sovereign retires when he is ill; the three palaces
where the emperor’s children are brought up; the

1M. T. Choutzé, in his book of travels, entitled ‘‘ Pekin and the
North of China,” relates the following in regard to Prince Kong, an inci-
dent which is worth remembering : —

“In 1870, during the sanguinary war which desolated France, Prince
Kong made a visit — I do not know on what occasion — to all the foreign
diplomatic representatives. It was through the legation of France, the
first which he met, that he made this round of calls. The news of the
disaster of Sedan had just been received ; and the Count of Rochechouart,
then minister of French affairs, told it to Prince Kong, who, calling one of
the officers of his suite, said, —

“¢ Take a card to the Prussian legation, and say that I cannot call till
to-morrow.’ Then, turning to Count Rochechouart, he added, —

‘«¢T cannot decently pay a visit of congratulation to the representative
of Germany on the same day that I offer condolences to the representative

of France.’
“ Prince Kong would be a prince everywhere.”’
FOUR CITIES IN ONE. 153

temple of deceased relatives; the four palaces
reserved for the widow and wives of Hien-Fong,
who died in 1861; the Tchou-Sieou-Kong, the
residence of imperial spouses; the Palace of Pre-
ferred Goodness; intended for the official recep-
tions of court ladies; the Palace of General
Tranquillity, a singular name for a school for the
children of superior officers; the Palace of Purifi-
cation and Fasting; the Palace of. the Purity
of Jade, inhabited by the princes of the blood;
the temple of the protecting god of the town; a
temple of Thibetan architecture; the magazine of
the crown; the offices of court officials; the Lao-
Kong-Tchou, the dwelling of the eunuchs, of which
there are no less than five thousand in the Red
City; and, to be brief, other palaces, amounting
to forty-eight in all, can be counted within the im-
perial enclosure, without including the Tzen-
Kouang-Ko, the Pavilion of Purpled Light, sit-
uated on the borders of the lake of the Yellow
City, where, on the 19th of June, 1873, the five
ministers of the United States, Russia, Holland,
England, and Prussia were admitted to the pres-
ence of the emperor.

What ancient forum ever presented such a
mass of buildings, so varied in form, and so rich
in precious objects? What city, or what capital
of the European States, could offer such a list of
names?

And to this enumeration must still be added the
Ouane-Cheou-Chane, the Summer Palace, situated
154 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

two leagues from Pekin. Having been destroyed
in 1860, one can hardly find among its ruins its
Gardens of Perfect Clearness and Tranquil Clear-
ness; its hill, the Source of Jade; and its moun-
tain, Ten Thousand Longevities.

Surrounding the Yellow City is the Tartar
city, where are located the French, English, and
Russian legations; the Hospital of London Mis-
sions; the Catholic Missions of the East and
North; the ancient stables of elephants, which
contain but one, blind in one eye, and a centena-
rian. There are found the Bell Tower, with a red
roof, in a framework of green tiles; the Temple of
Confucius; the Convent of the Thousand Lamas;
the Temple of Fa-qua; the ancient observatory,
with its big square tower ; the yamen of the Jesuits ;
and the yamen of the literary people, where ex-
aminations are made. There also rise the tri-
umphal arches of the West and East; there, car-
peted with nelumbos and blue nympheeas, flow the
Northern Sea and the Sea of Rushes, which come
from the Summer Palace to feed the canal of the
Yellow City. There one sees the palaces where
reside the princes of the blood; the ministers of
finance, of ceremonies of war, of public works,
and foreign relations. There also are the Court of
Accounts, the Astronomical Tribunal, and the
Academy of Medicine. All are mingled together
pellmell in narrow streets, which are dusty in sum-
mer and wet in winter, and are generally bordered
by low, wretched houses, among which looms up
FOUR CITIES IN ONE. 155

some great dignitary’s hotel, shaded by beautiful
trees. Then, through the crowded avenues, one
meets stray dogs, Mongolian goats laden with
charcoal, palanquins with four or eight bearers,
according to the rank of the dignitary, chairs, car-
riages with mules, and chariots; besides, there are
poor people, who, according to M. Choutzé, form
an independent vagrant population of seventy |
thousand beggars. It is not rare, says M. P. Aréne,~
for some mendicant to be drowned in these streets,
which are ingulfed in a black, offensive mud, —
streets cut up by pools of water, where one sinks
knee-deep.

In many directions the Chinese city of Pekin,
which is called Vai-Tcheng, resembles the Tartar
city; but it differs, however, from it in others.
Two celebrated temples occupy the southern por-
tion, —the Temple of Heaven and that of Agricul-
ture: to which must be added the Temples of the
Goddess Koanine, of the Spirit of Earth, of Puri-
fication, of the Black Dragon, and of the Spirits
of Heaven and Earth; the ponds of gold-fish ;
the Monastery of Fayouan-sse; the markets, the
theatres, etc.

This rectangular parallelogram is divided in
the north and south by an important artery,
named Grand Avenue, which runs from the Gate
Houng-Ting at the south to the Tien Gate at the
north. Ina transverse direction it is crossed by
another longer artery, which cuts the first at a
right angle, and runs from the Cha-Coua Gate at

®
156 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

the east to the Couan-Tsu Gate at the west. It
is called Cha-Coua Avenue; and it was at a hun-
dred steps from its point of intersection with
Grand Avenue that the future Madame Kin-Fo
resided.

It will be remembered, that, a few days after
having received the letter which announced Kin-
Fo’s ruin, the young ‘widow received a second
contradicting the first, and telling her that the
seventh moon would not end before her “little
younger brother” would return to her.

We have no need to ask whether Le-ou counted
the days and hours after that date, the 17th of
May. But Kin-Fo had not given her any news of
himself during this wild journey, whose singular
manner of travelling he would under no pretext
disclose. Le-ou had written to Shang-hai; but her
letters remained unanswered. One can therefore
understand: what her anxiety must have been,
when at this date, the 1oth of June, no letter
had reached her.

So, during these long days, the young woman
had not left her house in Cha-Coua Avenue,
where, with the greatest anxiety, she was waiting
for news. The disagreeable Nan was not very
well calculated to cheer her solitude. This “old
mother”? was more whimsical than ever, and de-
served to be turned out of doors a hundred times
in the course of a moon.

But what endless and anxious hours before Kin-
Fo would reach Pekin! Le-ou counted them, and
the number seemed to her very many.
FOUR CITIES IN ONE. 157

If the religion of Lao-Tse is the most ancient in
China; if the doctrine of Confucius, promulgated
about the same time (nearly five hundred years
before Jesus Christ), is followed by the emperor,
the literary people, and high mandarins,—it is
Buddhism, or the religion of Fo, which counts the
greatest number of worshippers on the face of
the globe, — almost three hundred million.

Buddhism comprises two distinct sects, —one
having for its ministers bonzes dressed in gray
with red head-gear; and the other, lamas with
robes and head-gear of yellow.

Le-ou was a Buddhist of the first sect; and the
bonzes often saw her coming to the Temple of
Koan-Ti-Miao, which is consecrated to the God-
dess Koanine. There she offered up prayers for
her friend, burned perfumed sticks, and prostrated
herself in the porch of the temple.

That day she thought she would go and implore
aid of the Goddess Koanine, and offer up still
more fervent prayers ; for she felt a presentiment
that some grave danger menaced him whom she
awaited with natural impatience. She then called
the “old mother,” and bade her to go to the
square in Grand Avenue, and order a chair and
carriers.

Nan shrugged her shoulders, according to her
very hateful habit, and went out to execute the
order,

Meanwhile the young widow, alone in her
boudoir, looked sadly at the silent machine,
158 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

which no longer enabled her to hear the sweet
voice of the absent one.

“Ah!” said she, ‘he must at least know that
I have not ceased to think of him; and I wish my
voice to repeat this to him on his return.”

And, pushing the spring which puts the phono-
graphic wheel in motion, she spoke aloud the
sweetest phrases her heart could inspire.

Nan, entering suddenly, interrupted this tender
monologue.

The chair-bearers were awaiting madame, “ who
might as well have remained at home.”

Le-ou did not listen, but, leaving the “old
mother” to grumble at her pleasure, immediately
went out, and got into her chair, after having
directed the carriers to take her to Koan-Ti-
Miao.

The road was a straight one. They had only to
turn around Cha-Coua Avenue at the cross-roads,
and ascend Grand Avenue as far as the Gate of
Tien.

But the chair did not proceed without difficul-
ties. Indeed it was still the business-hours, and
there was at all times considerable obstruction in
this neighborhood, which is one of the most popu-
lous in the capital. The peddlers’ booths along
the road gave the avenue the appearance of a fair-
ground with its thousand noisy sounds and bus-
tle. Then open-air orators, public lecturers, for-
tune-tellers, photographers, and caricaturists, who
had little respect for mandarin authority, were






































































































































































Bowed before the statue of the goddess.
Page 160.
fOUR CITIES IN ONE. I59

shouting and adding their voices to the general
hubbub.

Here was a funeral passing with great pomp, and
obstructing the travel ; there a wedding procession,
less gay, perhaps, than the funeral, but blocking
the way quite as much. In another place there
was an assemblage before the yamen of a magis-
trate, where a complainer had just struck on the
“drum” to ask for justice. On the Leou-Ping
Rock a malefactor was kneeling, who had received
a beating, and was guarded by police-soldiers, who
wore the Mandshurian cap with red tassels, and
who carried a short spear and two sabres in the
same scabbard. Farther on, several reluctant
Chinamen, tied together by their braids, were
being led to the station. Farther still, a poor fel-
low, with the left hand and right foot through sep-
arate holes in a piece of board, went limping along
with the step of some queer animal. There was
also a thief shut up in a wooden box, with his head
protruding through the back, who was left to pub-
lic charity. Others were seen wearing yokes, like
oxen.

These unfortunate men were evidently seeking
the most frequented localities in the hope of earn-
ing more money, and to speculate on the kindness
of passers-by, to the disadvantage of beggars of
every kind; such as one-armed and lame men, par-
alytics, files of blind men led by a one-eyed man,
and the thousand varieties of real or pretended
cripples who swarm in the cities of the Empire of
Flowers,
160 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Le-ou’s chair progressed but slowly, and the
obstruction was greater as it approached the outer
boulevard. We-ou arrived there, however, and
stopped inside of the bastion which defends the
gate near the Temple of the Goddess Koanine.

' Here she alighted from the chair, entered the
temple, and kneeled at first ; then bowed before the
statue of the goddess. Afterwards she proceeded
to a religious machine, which bears the name of
“ prayer-mill.”

It was a sort of reel.with eight branches, on the
ends of which were little streamers ornamented
with sacred texts. A bonze stood near the ma-
chine, gravely awaiting worshippers, and more
particularly the fee for their devotions.

Le-ou handed a few taels to the servant of
Buddha to defray her part of the expenses of
religion ; then with her right hand she took hold
of the handle of the reel, and lightly turned it,
after placing her left hand on her heart. No
doubt the wheel did not turn rapidly enough for
the prayer to be effectual ; for the priest said, with
a gesture of encouragement, “ Faster, faster !””

And the young woman began to spin faster.
She kept it up nearly a quarter of an hour, at the
end of which time the bonze assured her that the
prayers of the supplicant would be granted.

Le-ou again prostrated herself before the God-
dess Koanine, left the temple, and entered her
chair to return home. But, as she was turning
into Grand Avenue, the bearers moved aside


“Faster! faster!”
FOUR CITIES IN ONE. 161

quickly ; for soldiers were roughly clearing the
streets, shops were being closed by order, and the
side-streets were barred by strips of blue guarded
by tipaos.

A lengthy cortége filled a part of the avenue,
and was noisily approaching.

The Emperor Koang-Sin, whose name means
“Continuation of Glory,” was returning to his
good Tartar city, whose central gate was about to
open to him.

‘Two of the advance-guard led the way; while
the rest were followed by a company of outriders,
ranged in two rows, and having a ddton slung
across their shoulders. Next to them came a
group of officers of high rank, who held a yellow
parasol with ruffles, and ornamented with the
dragon, which is the emblem of the emperor, as
the phoenix is that of the empress.

The palanquin, whose yellow silk hangings were
drawn up, next appeared, and was borne by sixteen
men wearing red dresses covered with white ro-
settes, and closely fitting embroidered silk waist-
coats. Princes of the blood, dignitaries on horses
harnessed in yellow silk as a sign of very high
rank, escorted the imperial equipage.

In the palanquin was reclining the Son of
Heaven, cousin of the Emperor Tong-Tche and
nephew of Prince Kong.

After the palanquin came grooms and. a relay
of carriers. Soon this cortége vanished in the
Gates of Tien, to the great satisfaction of pedes-
162 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

trians, merchants, and beggars, who could now
resume business.

Le-ou’s chair continued on its way, and she was
set down at her house after an absence of two
hours.

Ah! what a surprise the good Goddess Koanine
had prepared for the young woman !

At the very moment the chair stopped, a car-
riage, covered with dust and drawn by two mules,
drove up to the door; and Kin-Fo, followed by
Craig-Fry and Soun, alighted.

“Ts it you?” cried Le-ou, who could not believe
her eyes.

“ Dear little younger sister!” answered Kin-Fo,
“you surely did not doubt that I would return.”

Le-ou did not answer, but took her friend’s
hand, and drew him into the boudoir to the little
phonograph, the discreet confidant of her troubles.

“T have not for a single moment ceased to ex-
pect you, dear heart embroidered with silken flow-
ers!”’ she said. And, adjusting the wheel, she
pressed the spring, which set the machine in mo-
tion.

Kin-Fo then heard a sweet voice repeat what
the loving Le-ou had been saying to him a few
hours before his arrival : —

“Return, little dearly beloved brother! return
to me! May our hearts no longer be separated as
are the two stars of Orpheus and Lyra! I think
only of your return” —

The machine was silent a second, only a
FOUR CITIES IN ONE. 163

second ; then resumed, in a harsh voice this
time, —

“It is not enough to have a mistress, but one
must have a master in the house, it seems! May
Prince Ien strangle them both!”

This second voice was only too easily recog-
nized. It was Nan’s. The disagreeable “old
mother” continued to speak after Le-ou’s depar-
ture, while the apparatus was in a condition to
receive impressions, but without her suspicion
that it registered her imprudent words.

Nan was dismissed that very day, and they sent
her off without even waiting until the last days of
the seventh moon.

_Maid-servants and valets, beware of phono-
graphs!
164 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER XV.

WHICH CERTAINLY CONTAINS A SURPRISE FOR KIN-
FO, AND PERHAPS FOR THE READER.

THERE was now no obstacle in the way of the
marriage of the wealthy Kin-Fo of Shang-hai
with the amiable Le-ou of Pekin. In six days
the time would expire in which Wang was to
fulfil his promise; but the unfortunate philoso-
pher had paid for his mysterious flight with his
life.

There was nothing henceforth to fear. The
wedding could take place; and the appointed time
was the 25th of June, which Kin-Fo had wished
to make the last day of his life.

The young woman now understood every thing,
and knew through what vicissitudes he had passed,
who, although refusing once to make her wretched,
and again to make her a widow, had now returned,
free at last, to make her happy.

But Le-ou, on hearing of the death of the phil-
osopher, could not restrain a few tears. She knew
and liked him; for he was the first confidant of
her feelings towards Kin-Fo.

“Poor Wang!” she said. “How we shall miss
him at our wedding!”
A SURPRISE FOR KIN-FO. 165

“Yes, poor Wang!” replied Kin-Fo, who also
mourned the companion of his youth, and friend
of twenty years’ standing. ‘But still,” he added,
“he would have killed me according to his oath.”

“No, no!” said Le-ou, shaking her pretty head:
“perhaps he sought death beneath the waves of
the Pei- ho, only to avoid keeping that frightful
promise.”

Alas! the supposition was only too credible,
that Wang had preferred to drown himself in order
to escape the obligation of fulfilling his agreement.

On this point Kin-Fo and the young woman
agreed; and there were two hearts from which
the philosopher’s image would never fade.

As a matter of course, after the catastrophe
at the Palikao bridge, the Chinese newspapers
stopped issuing the Hon. William J. Bidulph’s
ridiculous advertisements; so Kin-Fo’s annoying
renown died away as quickly as it had been
created.

And now, what was to become of Craig and
Fry? They were commissioned to protect the
Centenary’s interests till the 30th of June, — that
is to say, for ten days longer; but, in truth,
Kin-Fo did not now need their services. Was it
to be feared that Wang would attack his person ?
No, since he was no longer in existence. Had
they any reason to fear that their charge would
lift a suicidal hand against himself? None what-
ever. Kin-Fo asked only to live, to really live,
and for the longest possible time. Therefore
166 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

there was no longer a need of Fry-Craig’s un-
ceasing watch.

But, after all, these two originals were worthy
men; and, if their devotion was paid only to the
patron of the Centenary, it was none the less
every moment very earnest and faithful. Kin-Fo
begged them to be present at the wedding festivi-
ties, and they accepted his invitation.

“Besides,” jokingly observed Fry to Craig,
“marriage is sometimes suicide.”

“One gives away his life while preserving it,”
answered Craig, with an amiable smile.

The day after her departure Nan was replaced
in the house in Cha-Coua Avenue by a more
suitable person. An aunt of Le-ou, Madame
Lutalou, had come to fill the part of mother to
her till the wedding-ceremony. Madame Lutalou,
the wife of a mandarin of the fourth rank of the
second order of the blue button, who was the
former imperial lecturer and member of the Acad-
emy of Han-Sin, possessed all the moral and
physical qualities necessary to worthily perform
her important duties.

As for Kin-Fo, as he was not one of those
Celestials who are fond of the neighborhood of
courts, he expected to leave Pekin after his mar-
riage, and would only be truly happy when his
young wife was settled in the elegant yamen in
Shang-hai.

He was obliged to choose a temporary apart-
ment; and he found what he needed in the Tiene-
A SURPRISE FOR KIN-FO. 167

Fou-Tang, the Temple of Celestial Happiness, —
a very comfortable hotel and restaurant, situated
near the doulevard of Tiene-Men between two
Tartar and Chinese cities. There also boarded
Craig and Fry, who, through habit, could not
make up their minds to leave their charge. Soun
had resumed his duties, always grumbling, but
taking good care not to remain near any indiscreet
phonograph. Nan’s adventure made him some-
what prudent.

Kin-Fo had the pleasure of meeting two Canton
friends at Pekin, —the merchant Yin-Pang and
the literary man Houal. Besides these he knew a
few dignitaries and merchants in the capital, all
of whom considered it a duty to offer their assist-
ance on this great occasion.

This once indifferent man, this immovable
pupil of the philosopher, was now really happy.

Kin-Fo spent the time not given to prepara-
tions for the wedding with Le-ou, who was happy
when with her lover. What need was there of
supplying her with the costliest presents from the
most magnificent stores in the capital so long as
he was her dearest treasure? She thought only of
him, and constantly repeated to herself the sage
maxims of the celebrated Pan-Hoei-Pan, —

“Tf a woman has a husband after her own heart, she will
have a lifelong blessing.

“A wife should have unlimited respect for him whose
name she bears, and keep a constant watch over herself.
168 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“ A wife should only be the shadow and the mere echo of
her husband. ;
“ The husband is the heaven of the wife.”

Meanwhile the preparations for the wedding,
which Kin-Fo wished to have as brilliant as pos-
sible, were progressing.

In the house in Cha-Coua Avenue the thirty
pair of embroidered shoes, which are a necessity
to the ¢vousseau of a Chinese bride, were ranged
along inarow. The sweetmeats of the house of
Sinuyane, preserves, dried fruits, burnt almonds,
barley-candy ; with plum, orange, ginger, and In-
dian-orange sirups; superb silks; jewels of pre-
cious stones and of finely chiselled gold; and rings,
bracelets, finger-nail cases, pins for the hair, etc.,
and all the charming fancies of Pekin, — were pro-
fusely displayed in Le-ou’s boudoir.

In this strange Central Empire, when a young
girl marries, she brings no dower to her husband,
but is really sold to his parents or to him; and, in
default of brothers, can only inherit a part of her
father’s fortune, and then only when he so declares
by will. These conditions are usually arranged
by persons who are called the “ mei-jin,” and the
marriage is not decided upon until there is a full
agreement in regard to these matters. The young
fiancée is then presented to the parents of the
husband, who does not see her till, locked up in
her chair, she reaches the marriage-home. Then
the key is handed him, and he opens the door.
A SURPRISE FOR KIN-FO. 169

If his fiancée pleases him, he holds out his hand to
her; if she does not, he quickly closes the door,
and is released by forfeiting the earnest-money
to her parents. .

There could be-nothing of this in Kin-Fo’s mar-
riage; for he knew the lady, and was not obliged
to purchase her.

This simplified matters very much.

The 25th of June came at last, and all was ready.
For three days, according to custom, Le-ou’s house
was brilliantly lighted; and for three nights Ma-
dame Lutalou, who represented the family of the
bride, wholly deprived herself of sleep, it being
considered proper to do this, in order to show a be-
coming sadness at the moment when the bride
leaves her father’s home. If Kin-Fo’s parents had
been living, his own house would also have been
illuminated as a sign of mourning; ‘because the
marriage of the son is considered to be a remind-
er of the death of the father, whom he is about to
succeed,” says the “ Hao-Khieou-Tchouen.”

But, if these customs need not be followed in
the union of a couple who were absolutely free to
dispose of themselves, there were others which
they must respect.

Therefore the astrological formalities had not
been neglected. The horoscopes, having been
drawn according to every rule, indicated a perfect
compatibility of disposition and similarity of des-
tiny ; and the period of the year and the age of
the moon were found to be propitious. Indeed,
170 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

never had a marriage been surrounded by more
favorable auspices.

The wedding-reception was to take place at
eight o’clock in the evening at the Hotel of Celes-
tial Happiness, her husband’s house, where the
wife was to be conducted in great state. In China
no appearance before a civil magistrate, priest,
bonze, lama, or any one else, is necessary.

At seven o’clock Kin-Fo, still attended by Craig
and Fry, who were as gay as if they had been
present at a European wedding, received his friends
on the threshold of the apartment.

What an excess of politeness! These notable
personages received an invitation in microscopic
characters on red paper : —

“Mr. Kin-Fo of Shang-hai humbly presents his
respects to Mr. , and begs him more humbly
still to be present at the humble ceremony,” etc.

All the guests had come to pay their respects
to the married couple. The gentlemen were to
partake of a magnificent feast reserved for them
alone, while the ladies assembled at another table
especially intended for them.

The merchant Yin-Pang and the literary Houal
were there; and then came several mandarins,
who wore on their official hats a red ball as large
as a. pigeon’s egg, which indicated that they be-
longed to the first three orders. Others of lower
rank had only opaque-blue or opaque-white buttons.
The majority were civil dignitaries of Chinese ori-
gin, as of right were the friends of a citizen of


A SURPRISE FOR KIN-FO. I7I

Shang-hai who was hostile to the Tartar race. All
were handsomely dressed in brilliant robes, and
with their gay head-dresses formed a dazzling cor-
tége.

Kin-Fo, as politeness required, awaited them at
the entrance of the hotel, and, as soon as they
arrived, led them to the reception-room, after beg-
ging them twice, at every door opened to them by
the servants in full livery, to pass before him.
He called them by their titles, asked after their
“distinguished healths,” and wished to be informed
in regard to that of their “distinguished families.”
In short, the closest observer of mannerisms as
well as sincere politeness could not have found
the slightest fault with his behavior.

Craig and Fry looked on admiringly at all these
formalities: but, while admiring, they did not lose
sight of their irreproachable charge; for one
thought had come to them both.

Suppose Wang had not perished in the river, as
they believed. What if he were among these
guests? The twenty-fourth hour of the twenty-
fifth day of June —the final hour—had not yet
come! The hand of the Tai-ping was not dis-
armed! What, if at the last moment —

No, that was not probable; but yet it was possi-
ble. Therefore, as a last act of prudence, Craig
and Fry looked carefully around among the com-
pany, but saw no suspicious-looking face.

During this time the bride left her house in
Cha-Coua Avenue, and took a seat in her palan-
quin.
172 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Although Kin-Fo did not wish to assume the
mandarin costume, which every fiancé has a right
to wear, —through a feeling of honor for this in.
stitution of marriage which ancient legislators
held in great esteem, — Le-ou conformed to the
tules of the best society, and was resplendent in
a red dress of beautiful embroidered silk. Her
face was almost hidden behind a veil studded with
pearls, which seemed to have been distilled like
dewdrops from the costly diadem whose golden
band encircled her forehead. Precious stones and
the choicest artificial flowers brightened her hair
and long black braids; and Kin-Fo could not fail
to think her more beautiful than ever when she
would alight from the palanquin, whose door his
own hand would soon open.

The wedding procession started, turned around
the square to enter Grand Avenue, and follow the
boulevard Tiene-Men. No doubt it would have
been more magnificent if it had been a funeral
instead of a wedding; but, as it was, it was attrac-
tive enough to cause passers-by to stop and look.

The palanquin was followed by Le-ou’s friends
and companions, who bore with great pomp the
different articles of the trousseau. About twenty
musicians marched in front, making a great noise
with copper instruments, among which was heard
the deep-sounding gong. A crowd of men, some
bearing torches and some lanterns of a thousand
colors, surrounded the palanquin. The bride re-
mained concealed from every one; for the first


































The bride stepped out lightly.

Page 173
A SURPRISE FOR KIN-FO. 173

eyes to behold her must, according to eee be
those of her husband.

With all this state, and surrounded by a noisy
crowd, the procession reached the Hotel of Ce-
lestial Happiness about eight o’clock in the even-
ing.

Kin-Fo stood at the elegantly decorated en-
trance, awaiting the palanquin, in order to open
the door, after which he would assist his bride to
alight, and escort her to a private reception-room,
where both would salute heaven four times, and
then repair to the nuptial feast. The bride would
kneel to her husband four times, and he, in his
turn, ‘twice to her. They would sprinkle two or
three drops of wine around as a libation, and offer
food to the interceding spirits. Then two cups of
wine would be brought them, which they would
partly empty; and, mixing what would remain in
one cup, each would drink from it, and then the
union would be consecrated.

The palanquin having arrived, Kin-Fo stepped
forward to meet it. A master of ceremonies
handed him the key, and he unlocked the door, and
held out his hand to the pretty Le-ou, who was
greatly agitated. The bride stepped out lightly,
and passed through the group of guests, who
bowed respectfully, and raised their hands as high
as their breasts. .

Just as the young woman was about to enter the
hotel, a signal was given, and very large luminous
kites rose into the sky from the open space; and
174 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

their many-colored figures of dragons, phoenixes,
and other marriage-emblems, could be seen flutter-
ing in the breeze. ®olian pigeons, with a musical
attachment fastened to their tails, flew around, fill-
ing the place with celestial harmony. Rockets of
a thousand colors were sent off with a whizz, and
fell in a golden shower from their dazzling bou-
quets.

All at once a noise was heard in the distance,
from the direction of the boulevard Tiene-Men.
There was shouting mingled with the shrill sound
of trumpets ; and then there was a lull, followed in
a few moments by the same noise. It was coming
nearer, and would soon reach the place where
Le-ou’s procession had halted.

Kin-Fo listened, and his friends, not icnowine
what to do, waited for the bride to enter the hotel ;
but, almost in a moment, the street was filled with
a strange commotion, and the blasts from the
trumpet increased as they came nearer.

““What can it be?” asked Kin-Fo. The expres-
sion of. Le-ou’s face changed, and a secret pre-
sentiment quickened the beating of her heart.

Immediately the crowd poured into the street,
surrounding a herald in imperial livery, who was
escorted by several tipaos. The herald, amid a
general silence, uttered only these words, to which
the bystanders responded with a low murmur, —

“Death of the dowager empress !
“ Prohibition ! prohibition!”
Kin-Fo understood. It was a blow that fell
ee ca i:

































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Many colored figures of dragons, phcenixes, and other marriage-emblems.
Page 174.
A SURPRISE FOR KIN-FO. 175

directly on him, and he could not restrain an
expression of anger.

Imperial mourning had just been decreed for the
death of the widow of the late emperor. During
the time appointed by law, every one was forbidden
to shave his head, give public /é¢es and theatrical
performances, and celebrate marriages, and tribu-
nals were not allowed to settle matters of justice.

Le-ou, who was broken-hearted, but courageous,
put ona cheerful face at this misfortune, in order
not to increase her fiancé’s trouble, and, taking
her dear Kin-Fo’s hand, said, in a voice which
tried not to betray her deep emotion, “Let us
wait !”

The palanquin bore the young woman back to
her house in Cha-Coua Avenue; the festivities
were postponed, the tables cleared, the orchestra
sent off; and the friends of the despairing Kin-Fo
took leave, after having offered him their con-
dolences. :

They must, by no means, venture to disobey
this imperial decree of prohibition.

Decidedly ill luck seemed to pursue Kin-Fo.
But here was another opportunity granted him
to profit by the lessons in philosophy which he
had received from his former teacher.

Kin-Fo remained alone with Craig and Fry in the
deserted apartments in the Hotel of. Celestial Hap-
piness, whose name now seemed to him a bitter
sarcasm. The time of prohibition could be pro-
longed, according to the good pleasure of the Son
176 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

of Heaven. And he had expected to return im
mediately to Shang-hai, to settle his young wife
in the sumptuous yamen which had become hers,
and begin a new life in these new surroundings.

An hour later a servant entered, and handed him
a letter, which a messenger had just brought. As
soon as Kin-Fo saw the writing on the envelope,
he recognized it, and could not restrain a cry.

The letter was from Wang, and this is what it
said : —

“ DEAR FRIEND, —I am not dead; but when you receive
this letter I shall have ceased to live.

“T am dying, because I have not the courage to keep my
promise. But do not feel disturbed: I have provided for
every thing.

“Lao-Shen, a chief of the Tai-ping, my former com-
panion, has your letter. He will have a steadier hand and
heart than I to execute the horrible charge you made me
accept. To him, therefore, will come the sum placed on
your head; for I have made it over to him, and he will
receive it when you are no more.

“ Farewell! I precede you in death. We shall soon meet,
dear friend. Farewell!”
KIN-FO TRAVELS AGAIN. 177

CHAPTER XVI.

IN WHICH KIN-FO, WHO IS STILL A BACHELOR,
BEGINS TO TRAVEL AGAIN IN EARNEST.

Kin-Fo’s situation was now a thousand times
graver than before.

For Wang, in spite of having given his word,
was powerless when it really came to the point
of killing his former pupil. He knew nothing of
the change in Kin-Fo’s fortune, as the latter did
not mention it in his letter. He had charged
another with. the fulfilment of his own promise,
—a Tai-ping, a very formidable man, who would
have no scruples about committing a mere murder
for which he could not be held responsible; for
did not Kin-Fo’s letter assure him immunity? and,
by filling Wang’s position, would he not receive
fifty thousand dollars?

“Ah, but I feel as if I were already having
enough of it!” cried Kin-Fo, who began to be
angry.

Craig and Fry heard of Wang’s missive, and
said to Kin-Fo, —

“Then your letter does not give the 25th of
June as the last date?”

“Why, no!” he answered. ‘“ Wang can not and
178 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

ought not to date it till the day of my death. Now,
this Lao-Shen can act when he pleases, without
being limited to time.”

“Oh,” said Fry-Craig, “it is for his interest to
perform the deed without delay!”

“Why?”

“That the sum placed on your head may be
covered by the policy, and not be lost to him.”

This argument was unanswerable.

“Very well,” replied Kin-Fo. “It is still im-
portant that I should not lose an hour in getting
back my letter, even if I pay the fifty thousand
dollars guaranteed to this Lao-Shen.”

“That is so,” said Craig.

“That is true,” added Fry.

“Now I must leave; for we must find this
Tai-ping chief, who perhaps will be easier found
than Wang.”

While saying this, Kin-Fo walked up and down,
unable to keep still a moment.

The series of thunderbolts which were hurled
at him put him in an unusual state of excitement.

“T shall start on a journey,” he said; “for I am
going to find Lao-Shen. As for you, gentlemen,
do whatever pleases you best.”

“Sir,” answered Fry-Craig, “ the interests of the
Centenary are in greater danger than ever; and
to forsake you in the present circumstances would
be failing in our duty. We shall not leave you!”

There was not an hour to lose. But, before all,
it was necessary to know positively who this Lao-
KIN-FO TRAVELS AGAIN. 179

Shen was, and the exact place in which he resided ;
and his notoriety was such, that this was not dif-
ficult.

This former companion of Wang in the insur-
rection of the Mang-Tchao had retreated to the
northern part of China, beyond the Great Wall, in
the neighborhood of the Gulf of Leao-Tong, which
is an annex of the Gulf of Pe-che-lee. If the
imperial government had not yet treated with him,
as with several other rebel chiefs whom it could
not conquer, it allowed him, at least, to work quiet-
ly in those territories beyond the Chinese fron-
tiers, where Lao-Shen, resigning himself to a more
modest 7é/e, followed the profession of highway-
man,

Ah! Wang selected a good man, who had no
scruples whatever; and a dagger-thrust more or
less would not in the least disturb his conscience.

Kin-Fo and the two agents succeeded in obtain-
ing full information about the Tai-ping ; and, learn-
ing that he had been seen lately in the environs
of Fou-Ning, —a small port in the Gulf of Leao-
Tong, —resolved to go there without longer delay.

But they first informed Le-ou of all that had
happened, which increased her anguish, and her
beautiful eyes were dimmed with tears. She tried
to dissuade Kin-Fo from going, urging that he
would expose himself to inevitable danger, and
that it would be better for him go away and hide
somewhere, — to even leave the Celestial Empire,
if necessary, and take refuge in some part of the
180 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

world where the ferocious Lao-Shen could not
reach him.

But Kin-Fo told the young woman that he could
not endure the prospect of living with death all
the time threatening him, and at the mercy of
such a rascal, to whom his death would bring a
fortune. No: he must end the matter once for
all. He and his faithful acolytes would leave that
very day, would go to the Tai-ping, and pay for
the deplorable letter in gold, and be back in Pekin
before the decree of prohibition would be removed.

“ Dear little sister,’ said Kin-Fo, “there is less
cause to mourn for me now that our marriage is
postponed a while; for, if it had taken place, it
would have been a sad situation for you.”

“Tf it had taken place,” Le-ou replied, “I should
have had the right, and it would have been my
duty, to follow you, as I certainly should have
done.”

“No,” said Kin-Fo: “I would rather suffer a
thousand deaths than expose you to a single peril.
Farewell, Le-ou! farewell!” And with tearful
eyes he gently unclasped the arms that would
have retained him.

That very day Kin-Fo, with Craig and Fry,
followed by Soun, whose unlucky fate it was never
to have a moment’s rest, left Pekin, and proceeded
to Tong-Tcheou. The journey took only an hour.

After thinking the matter over, they decided
that the journey by land, through a rather unsafe
province, presented very serious difficulties. If
KIN-FO TRAVELS AGAIN. 181

the only object was to reach the Great Wall in the
northern part of the capital, whatever dangers there
might be in a journey of one hundred and sixty
leagues, it would have been worth their while to
have faced. The port of Fou-Ning was not in the
north, but in the east; and, if they went there by
sea, they would gain time, and be safe. They
would reach it in four or five days, and, when
there, could consider what was best to do next.

But would they find a ship about to sail for
Fou-Ning? They must first ascertain this from
the maritime agents of Tong-Tcheou.

On this occasion chance favored Kin-Fo, to
whom misfortune had unremittingly dealt her
blows. A boat, freighted for Fou-Ning, was wait-
ing at the mouth of the Pei-ho.

There was no course but to take one of those
fast steamboats which sail the river, descend as
far as its estuary, and embark on the ship in
question...

Craig and Fry asked for only an hour for their
preparations; and they employed that hour in
purchasing all the known life-preservers, from the
primitive cork belt to the waterproof floating-suit
of Capt. Boyton, for Kin-Fo was still worth two
hundred thousand dollars. He was going on the
water without paying an extra premium, because
he insured against every risk. Now some catas-
trophe might happen. It was necessary to provide
for every emergency; and, rest assured, this was
done.
182 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

On the 26th of June, therefore, Kin-Fo, Craig-
Fry, and Soun took passage on the “ Pei-tang,”
and descended the Pei-ho. The curves of this river
are so sharp, that a passage over it takes exactly
twice as long as if it extended in a straight line
from itsmouth to Tong-Tcheou ; but it has canals,
and is therefore navigable for ships of quite heavy
tonnage. Its business is also considerable, and
much more important than that of the main route,
which runs almost parallel to it.

The “ Pei-tang” descended swiftly between the
buoys of the channel, beating the yellowish waters
of the river with its paddles, and stirring up the
numerous canals on both shores. The high tower
of a pagoda beyond Tong-Tcheou was soon passed,
when it disappeared at the angle of a sharp turn.

At this distance the Pei-ho was not very broad,
and flowed along between sandy banks, then by
agricultural hamlets, with orchards and blooming
hedges. Several important villages, scattered here
and there in the midst of a wooded country, then
appeared, — Matao, He-Si-Vou, Nane-Tsaé, and
Yang-Tsoune, which the tide reaches.

Tien-Sing soon came in sight. Time was lost
here; for it was necessary to have the eastern
bridge opened, which unites the two shores of the
river, and to wind about, not without some diffi-
culty, among the hundreds of ships with which
the port is crowded.

This is done with considerable difficulty, and
costs more than one boat the cables which keep
KIN-FO TRAVELS AGAIN. 183

her in the current. These were cut without regard
to the damage, which caused confusion and a
blockade of the boats, such as might have kept a
port-officer busy, had there been one at Tien-Sing.

If we were to state that Craig and Fry, who
kept a stricter watch than ever on this voyage,
were never more than a footstep away from their
charge, we really should not exaggerate.

Their chief anxiety was no longer concerning
the philosopher Wang, with whom an arrangement
might easily be made if he could be reached, but
concerning Lao-Shen, the Tai-ping whom they did
not know, on account of which he was all the
more formidable.

They ought to feel safe, since they were going
to him; but who could say that he had not already
started in pursuit of his victim? How could they
keep out of his way, or get word to him? Thus
pondered the anxious Craig and Fry, who saw an
assassin in every passenger on the “ Pei-tang.”
They no longer ate or slept or lived.

If Kin-Fo, Craig, and Fry were very seriously
troubled, Soun, on his part, did not fail to be very
anxious. The mere thought of going on the water
made him seasick, and he grew paler and paler as
the “Pei-Tang” approached the Gulf of Pe-che-
lee. His nose grew sharp, and his mouth con-
tracted ; and yet the water was so quiet, that there
was not the slightest motion to the boat.

What would it be when he had to endure the
choppy waves of a narrow sea, which causes a
boat to roll so much more?
184 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“You have never been to sea?” Craig asked
him.

“ Never.”

“ And you don’t like it?” said Fry.

“No.”

“T command you to hold up your head,” added
Craig.

“My head?”

“ And not to open your mouth,” added Fry.

“My mouth?”

Thereupon Soun gave the two agents to under-
stand that he preferred not to speak ; and he walked
off to the middle of the boat, and, as he went, cast
over the already widening river that melancholy
look of persons predestined to the rather ridiculous
trial of seasickness.

The landscape in the valley which borders the
river was of a different character. The right
shore, which was steep, contrasted with the left,
on whose long beach extended a line of foam left
by the light surf. Beyond lay vast fields of
sorghum, maize, wheat, and millet. Throughout
China—a mother of a family who has so many
millions of children to feed —there is not a patch
of ground capable of cultivation that is neglected ;
and everywhere there are canals to water the
ground, and a kind of rude water-machine of
bamboo, which draws and gives out great quantities
of water. Here and there, in the villages of yel-
lowish mud, rose clusters of trees, among which
were some old apple-trees fit to adorn a plain of
Normandy.


































































































































ing use

mak

a-ravens.

ing to and fro along the shore,
of se

Numerous fishermen were go’

Page 185.
KIN-FO TRAVELS AGAIN. 185

Numerous fishermen were going to and fro
along the shore, making use of sea-ravens instead
of hunting-dogs, or rather fishing-dogs. At a
sign from their master, these birds dive into the
water, and bring up the fish which they cannot
swallow, owing to a ring placed around their
throat half-way up, which nearly strangles them.
There were ducks, crows, ravens, magpies, and
sparrow-hawks, which the screeching ef the steam-
boat sent flying from the tall grass.

Though the main route along the river ap-
peared to be deserted, the travel on the Pei-ho
did not lessen, and there were crowds of boats of
every description sailing up and down. There
were junks of war with mounted cannon, whose
roofing formed a concave from fore to aft, and
which were managed by a double row of oars, or
by paddles worked by men; custom-house junks
with two masts, with sails like those of a shallop,
at an angle, and ornamented at stern and prow with
heads or sails of fantastic figures; junks of com-
merce of considerable tonnage, huge shells, which,
though loaded with the most precious products of
the Celestial Empire, are able to brave the typhoon
in the surrounding seas; travelling junks, being
rowed or towed along according to the tide, and
which are made for people who have time to lose;
junks of the mandarins, small pleasure-yachts,
towed by canoes; sampans of every kind, with:
sails of braided rushes, and the smallest of which,
guided by young women with an oar in their
186 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

hands and a child on their back, deserve their
name, which signifies three planks; and, finally,
rafts, which are really floating villages with
cabins and orchards and, gardens, and formed of
immense pieces of floating timber from some
Mandshurian forest, the whole of which the
woodmen must have felled.

But, as one went on, the villages became more
‘scattered along. the shore; and there were not
more than twenty between Tien-Sing and Takou,
at the mouth of the river. Dense clouds of
smoke rose from the factories on its banks, and,
mingling with those from the steamboat, obscured
the atmosphere.

Evening came, preceded by the June twilight,
which is very long in that latitude; and soon a
succession of white sand-banks, in symmetrical
order and of uniform design, were dimly outlined
in the vague light: they were salt ‘mulous,”
taken from the neighboring salt-works. There
rose the estuary of the Pei-ho, among arid plains,
in a dreary landscape, which, M. de Beauvoir says,
is nothing but sand, salt, dust, and ashes.

The next day, the 27th of June, before sunrise,
the “ Pei-Tang” came into port at Takou, near
the mouth of the river.

At this place, on both shores, stand the Forts
of the North and South, which are now in ruins,
having been taken by the Anglo-French army in
1860. It was the scene of the glorious attack of
General Collineau on the 24th of August of the
KIN-FO TRAVELS AGAIN. 187

same year, the gunboats having forced an en-
trance into the river. There stretches a narrow
band of territory, but partly settled, which bears
the name of the French concession; and, beyond,
one sees the funereal monument under which lie
the officers and soldiers who died in those memo-
rable combats.

The “ Pei-tang”’ was not to pass the bar; and
the passengers were obliged to land at Takou,
which is already of considerable importance, and
will be a thriving town if the mandarins ever
allow a railroad to be constructed to unite it with
Tien-Sing.

The ship bound for Fou-Ning was to sail that
very day, and Kin-Fo and his companions had
not an hour to lose. They therefore hailed a
sampan, and a quarter of an hour later were on
the “ Sam-Yep.”
188 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER XVII.

IN WHICH KIN-FO’S MARKET VALUE IS ONCE MORE
UNCERTAIN,

A WEEK previous an American ship had come
to anchor in the port at Takou. Chartered by the
Sixth China and California Company, it had been
charged to the account of the agency Fouk-Ting-
Tong, which is located in the Cemetery of Laurel
Hill, San Francisco.

It is there that the Celestials who die in Amer-
ica, and are faithful to their religion, — which bids
them rest in native earth, — await the day of their
return.

This boat, whose destination was Canton, had,
on the written authority of the agency, taken on
board a cargo of two hundred and fifty coffins,
seventy-five of which were to be landed at Takou,
to be returned to the northern provinces.

This part of the cargo had been transferred from
the American to the Chinese ship; and that very
morning, the 27th of June, the latter was to set
sail for the port of Fou-Ning.

It was on this boat that Kin-Fo and his com-
panions had taken passage. They probably would
not have selected it; but, as there were no other
KIN-FO’S MARKET VALUE UNCERTAIN. 189

ships leaving for the Gulf of Leao-Tong, they were
obliged to embark on it. Then it was only a mat-
ter of three or four days’ passage at most, and one
very easy to make at that time of year.

The “Sam-Yep” was a sea-junk of about three
hundred tons.

- Some junks are of a thousand tons and over,
drawing six feet only, which enables them to cross
the bars of the rivers of the Celestial Empire.
Too broad for their length, with a beam quarter
the length of the keel, they are poor sailers for
long distances, but turn round like a top, which
gives them an advantage over ships of finer build.
Their enormous yellow rudders are pierced with
holes, —a practice which is thought highly of in
China, but the effect of which is rather questiona-
ble. However this may be, these vast ships easily
cut through the waters of rivers. It is said that
one of these junks, freighted by a house in Canton,
carried a cargo of tea and china to San Francisco
under the command of an American captain.
That they ride the sea well has therefore been
proved ; and competent judges agree that the Chi-
nese make excellent sailors.

The “Sam-Yep,” which was of modern build,
reminded one of European ships in the model of
her hull. Being neither nailed nor pegged, but
made of bamboo sewed together, and calked with
oakum and resin of Camboge, she was so stanch
that she did not even possess a ship’s pump; and
her lightness made her float on the water like a
190 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

piece of cork. Having an anchor of very hard
wood ; a rigging made of the fibres of the palm-
tree, which was remarkably flexible; with pliant
sails managed from the deck, opening and shutting
like a fan; and with two masts disposed like the
main-mast and mizzen-mast of: a lugger, without
a bowsprit or jib,—she was well equipped for a
short coasting voyage.

Certainly, no one on seeing the “ Sam-Yep”
would have imagined that its consignors had con-
verted it this time into an enormous hearse.

Indeed, instead of chests of tea, bales of silk
goods, and a stock of Chinese perfumery, the car-
go we have spoken of had been substituted. But
the junk had lost none of its lively colors : at its
fore and aft cabins were suspended banners of
many hues; at its prow there was a big glaring
eye, which gave it the look of some gigantic ma-
rine animal; and at its mastheads the breeze un-
furled the brilliant bunting of the Chinese flag.
Two cannon stretched open their shining mouths
above the railing, and reflected the sun’s rays like
a mirror; and useful engines they were in these
seas, and were still infested by pirates. The whole
appearance of the ship was gay, smart, and agree-
able to the eye. And, after all, was it not the
returning of exiles to their native land that the
“Sam-Yep’” was engaged in,—the returning of
corpses, it is true, but of satisfied corpses ?

Neither Kin-Fo nor Soun felt the slightest dis-
like at sailing under such circumstances ; for they
KIN-FO'S MARKET VALUE UNCERTAIN. I9g1

were Chinamen. But Craig and Fry, like their
American compatriots, who do not care about car-
rying this sort of a cargo, would no doubt have
preferred some other ship of commerce; but the
choice was not theirs to make.

A captain and six men composed the crew of
the junk, and were sufficient to manage the very
simple sails. The compass, it is said, was in-
vented in China. This is possible; but the coast-
ers never use it, and navigate by their judgment.
This is what Capt. Yin, the commander of the
“Sam-Yep” was going to do; and he did not ex-
pect, indeed, to lose sight of the shores of the gulf
' This Capt. Yin—a small man, with a smiling
face, lively and loquacious — was the living demon-
stration of the insolvable problem of perpetual
motion. He could not stay still in one place,
and he was profuse in gestures. His arms, hands,
and eyes spoke more than his tongue, which, how-
ever, was never at rest behind his white teeth.
He drove his men about, was exacting of them,
and swore at them; but he was a good seaman,
was well acquainted with these coasts, and man-
aged his junk as if he held it between his fingers.
The high price which Kin-Fo paid for himself and
companions was not likely to diminish his jovial
humor. What a godsend were passengers who
paid a hundred and fifty taels for-a trip of sixty
hours ! especially if they were no more particular
about their comfort and food than their travelling
companions who were boxed up in the hold.
192 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Kin-Fo, Craig, and Fry were quartered after a
fashion in the rear-cabin. Soun was in the one
in the fore-part of the junk.

The two agents, still mistrustful, devoted them-
selves to a minute examination of the captain and
crew, but found nothing suspicious in the manner
of these worthy men. They could not be in
league with Lao-Shen; for it was not within the
limits of probability, since chance alone had placed
this junk at the- disposition of their charge; and
how could chance be the accomplice of the too
famous Tai-ping? Therefore the passage, with
the exception of the dangers of the sea, would
give them a few days’ rest from their daily anxi-
ety; and they left Kin-Fo more to himself.

The latter, however, was not sorry. He se-
cluded himself in his cabin, and gave himself up
to philosophizing as much as he pleased. Poor
man! he had never known how to appreciate his
happiness, or to value his former life in the yamen
at Shang-hai, —a life free from care, and one that
labor might have changed. Let him once get
back his letter, and you would see if he had not
profited by the lesson, and if the fool had not be-
come a sage.

But would this letter ever be restored to him?
Yes, no doubt, since he would pay a price for its
return. It could only be a question of money to
this Lao-Shen. Nevertheless it was necessary to
capture him, and not be caught by him. This
was the difficulty. Lao-Shen would keep informed
KIN-FO’S MARKET VALUE UNCERTAIN. 193

of all that Kin-Fo did, and Kin-Fo knew nothing
of his movements: hence there was great danger
for Craig-Fry’s charge when he should land in the
province explored by the Tai-ping. Every thing
depended, then, on warning: Lao-Shen; for evi-
dently he would prefer to receive fifty thousand
dollars from Kin-Fo living than fifty thousand dol-
lars from Kin-Fo dead. That would save him a
journey to Shang-hai, and a visit to the offices of
the Centenary, which, perhaps, would not have
been without its dangers, whatever might be the
magnanimity of the government towards him.

Thus thought the thoroughly transformed Kin-
Fo; and, as one may believe, the amiable young
widow in Pekin filled the chief place in his plans
for the future.

But what was Soun thinking of all this time?

Soun was thinking of. nothing at all. Soun was
stretched out in the cabin, paying his tribute to
the malevolent divinities in the Gulf of Pe-che-lee.
He could only collect a few ideas with which to
curse his master, the philosopher Wang, and the
bandit Lao-Shen. He felt benumbed at his stom-
ach, — “ Ai, ai, ya!’? —benumbed in his ideas, and
benumbed in his feelings. He did not even think
of tea or rice. “Ai, ai, ya!” what ill-fated wind
had driven him here? Oh! what a mistake he had
made! He would a thousand times— yes, ter
thousand times — rather not have entered the ser-
vice of a man who was going to sea. He would
willingly have given what was left of his pigtail to
194 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

be away from there. He would even rather have
his head shaved, and be made a bonze. It was the
yellow dog! the yellow dog, who was devouring
his liver and bowels! “Ai, ai, ya!”

‘However, under the impetus of a fine south
wind, the “Sam-Yep” passed within three or four
miles of the low shores of the coast, which ran
east and west. She passed Peh-Tang, at the
mouth of the river of that name, not far from the
place where the European fleet landed; then
Shan-Tung, Tschiang-Ho, at the mouth of the
Tau, and Hai-Ve-Tse.

This part of the gulf was becoming deserted.
The maritime travel, which was quite important at
the estuary of the Pei-ho, did not extend twenty
miles beyond. In this part of the sea, around the
blank horizon, only a few junks of commerce doing
a small business in coasting, a dozen fishing-boats
examining the fishing-grounds along the coast and
the nets on the shore, were to be seen. s4

Craig and Fry observed that the fishing-boats,
even those whose capacity did not exceed five or
six tons, were armed with one or two little cannon.

To the remark which they made to Capt. Yin,
the latter answered, rubbing his hands, —

“We have to frighten the pirates.”

“Pirates in this part of the Gulf of Pe-che-
lee!” cried Craig, in surprise.

“Why not here as well as anywhere else?”
answered Yin. “Those worthies are not wanting
in the seas of China.”






















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































We have to frighten the pirates.”

Page 194
KIN-FO'S MARKET VALUE UNCERTAIN. 195

And the excellent captain laughed, showing
both rows of his dazzling teeth.

“You do not seem to dread them very much,”
observed Fry.

“ Have I not my two cannon, —and jolly fellows
they are!—who speak pretty loud when any one
comes too near them?”

“ Are they loaded?” asked Craig.

“Usually.”

“Now?”

“No:

“Why not?” asked Fry.

“Because I have no powder on board,” answered
Capt. Yin quietly.

“Then of what use are the cannon ?” said Craig-
Fry, but little satisfied with this answer.

“Of what use?” cried the captain. ‘Why, to
protect a cargo when it is worth the trouble, —
when my junk is filled to the hatchway with tea
or opium. But, with this cargo I have on board
to-day, it is different.”

“ But,” said Craig, “how do the pirates know
whether your junk is worth attacking?”

“Then you fear a visit from those worthies?”
answered the captain, turning round on his heel,
and shrugging his shoulders.

“Yes, I do,” said Fry.

“But you have no goods on board.”

“That’s so,” added Craig; “but we have par-
ticular reasons for not desiring their visit.”

“Well, have no anxiety,” answered the captain.
196 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“The pirates, if we meet any, will not give chase
to our junk.”

“Why not?”

“Because they will know what kind of cargo
she has, as soon as they come in sight of her.”
And Capt. Yin pointed to a white flag at half-
mast, which was being unfurled in the breeze.
“A white flag in distress! the flag of mourn-
ing! These worthy men would not put themselves
out to steal a cargo of coffins.”

“Perhaps they will think you sail under the
mourning-flag through prudence,” observed Craig,
“and will come on board to ascertain.”

“If they come, we will receive them well,”
answered Capt. Yin; ‘and, when they have made
their visit, they will go as they came.”

Craig-Fry did not pursue the subject, but they
shared the captain’s unconcern in only a moderate
degree. The capture of a junk of three hundred
tons, even without a cargo, offered profit enough
to the “worthy men” Capt. Yin spoke of for
them to desire to make an attack upon her. But,
whatever might come, they must resign themselves
to their fate, and would only hope that the passage
would be a safe one.

The captain, indeed, neglected nothing to bring
himself good luck. At the moment he set sail, a
cock was sacrificed in honor of the divinities of
the sea, and on the mizzen-mast still hung the
feathers of the unhappy member of the gallinaceous
tribe. A few drops of his blood sprinkled over
KIN-FO'S MARKET VALUE UNCERTAIN. 197

the deck, and a small cup of wine thrown over-
board, completed this propitiatory sacrifice. Thus
consecrated, what had the junk “Sam-Yep” to
fear under the command of the excellent Capt.
Yin?

It is to be supposed, however, that the capricious
divinities were not satisfied. Either the cock was
too thin, or the wine was not made from the best
Chao-Chigne vineyard ; for a terrible squall struck
the junk. Nothing had predicted it; for. the day
had been clear and bright, and the sky was swept
of all clouds by a fine breeze. The clearest-sighted
sailor could not have found indications that the
“dog” was about to strike them.

Towards eight o’clock in the evening, the “ Sam-
Yep,” still riding the waters safely, was preparing
to double the cape, formed by the coast where it
turns back to the north-east. Beyond it she could
put on full sail, which was a very favorable man-
ner of progressing for her build; and Capt. Yin,
without presuming too much on his speed, ex-
pected to reach the coast of Fou-Ning in twenty-
four hours.

Kin-Fo saw the hour for anchoring approach
with a feeling of impatience that in Soun became
fierce,

As for Fry-Craig, they made this remark: that,
if in three days their charge should be able to
get out of Lao-Shen’s hands the letter which
compromised his existence, it would be at the
very time when the Centenary would no longer
198 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

have ‘to trouble themselves about him. Indeed,
his policy only covered him up to midnight of
the 30th of June, since he had only paid a two-
months’ instalment into the hands of the Honora-
ble Mr. Bidulph.

“All” — said Fry.

“Right!” added Craig.

Towards evening, at the time the junk reached
the entrance of the Gulf of Leao-Tong, the wind
veered suddenly to the north-east; then, passing
north, two hours later it blew from the north-
west.

If Capt. Yin had kept a barometer on board,

it would have shown that the column of mercury
had just lost, almost instantly, four or five milli-
metres. Now, this quick rarefaction of the air
announced the approach of a typhoon,! whose
movements were already indicated by the atmo-
sphere. Also, if Capt. Yin had been acquainted
with the observations of the Englishman Pad-
dington and the American Maury, he would have
tried to change his course, and steer to the north-
east, in the hope of reaching a less dangerous
area, outside of the centre of attraction of the
whirling tempest.
. But Capt. Yin never made use of the barometer,
and was ignorant of the laws of cyclones. Be-
sides, had he not sacrificed a cock? and would it
not protect him from every danger ?

1 These whirling tempests are called ‘‘ tornadoes’? on the western

coast of Africa, and ‘‘typhoons” in the China seas. Their scientific
name is ‘‘ cyclones.”








seaman.
Page 199.

ke a true

il

junk |

managed the

well aided by his crew,

in,

Vi

in

Captai
KIN-FO'’S MARKET VALUE UNCERTAIN. 199

Nevertheless this superstitious Chinaman was
a good seaman, and proved it on this occasion.
Instinctively he managed as a European captain
would have done.

This typhoon was only a-small cyclone, possess-
ing, consequently, great rapidity of rotation, and
an onward movement which exceeded one hun-
dred kilometres an hour. It drove the “Sam-
Yep” towards the east fortunately, because it
carried the junk away from a coast which offered
no shelter, and where it would inevitably have
been wrecked in a very short time.

At eleven in the evening the tempest reached
its maximum of force; but Capt. Yin, well aided
by his crew, managed the junk like a true sea-
man. He no longer laughed, but preserved his
sangfroid, and, holding the helm firmly in his
hand, safely guided the light ship, which skimmed
over the waves like a bird.

Kin-Fo had left the cabin, and, leaning on the
railing, was watching the storm-driven clouds,
which, descending, floated over the waters in
shreds of mist. Then he gazed at the sea, which
was white and luminous against the darkness of
night, and whose waters the typhoon with gigantic
force had raised above their natural level. Danger
neither surprised nor frightened him: it was one
of the series of emotions which a malevolent fate
had let-fall to his share. A passage of sixty hours
without a tempest in midsummer was for the
happy and fortunate; but he was no longer one of
the happy.
200 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Craig and Fry felt much more anxious, because

of the market value of their charge. Certainly
their lives were as valuable as that of Kin-Fo.
If they died with him, they would no longer have
to watch over the interests of the Centenary.
But these conscientious agents forgot themselves,
and thought only of doing their duty. To perish
was very well; but it must be with Kin-Fo, be
it understood, and after the 30th of June at
midnight. To save that million was what Craig-
Fry wished : that was all Fry-Craig thought of.
* As for Soun, he had not a doubt that the junk
was going to perdition; or rather, in his opinion,
a man was on his way to perdition the moment
he ventured on the perfidious element, even in
the most beautiful weather. Ah! the passengers
in the hold were not to be pitied! ‘“ Ai, ai, ya!”
No rolling nor pitching for them. “Ai, ai, ya!”
The unfortunate Soun wondered if in their place
he would not still be seasick.

For three hours the junk was in extreme dan-
ger. One wrong move of the helm, and she would
have been lost, for the sea would have swept her
deck; and, if she could no more capsize than a
pail, she might at least fill and sink. Maintaining
her steadily in one direction through waves lashed
by the whirling of the cyclone was not to be
thought of; and the captain did not pretend to
keep a reckoning of the distance traversed, or the
route he had followed.

However, good fortune brought the “Sam-
KIN-FO'S MARKET VALUE UNCERTAIN. 201

Yep,” without serious damage, into the centre of
the atmospheric disk, which covers an area of a
hundred kilometres. In it a space of two or three
miles, with a calm sea, and a scarcely perceptible
breeze, was found. It was like a peaceful lake in
the middle of a storm-tossed ocean. By being
driven there by the hurricane, under bare poles,
the junk was saved. Towards three o’clock in the
morning the fury of the cyclone abated as if by
magic, and the angry waters around the little cen-
tral lake gradually grew still.

But, wherf day came, the crew of the “Sam-
Yep” searched the horizon in vain for land. Not
a sign of shore was in sight. The waters of the
gulf, which had retreated to the line where sea
and sky met, surrounded it on every side.
202 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER XVIII.

IN WHICH CRAIG AND FRY, URGED BY CURIOSITY,
VISIT THE HOLD OF THE “ SAM-YEP.”

“ WHERE are we now, Capt. Yin?” asked Kin-
Fo, when all danger was over.

“T cannot tell exactly,” answered the captain,
whose face had resumed its wonted jollity.

“Tn the Gulf of Pe-che-lee, do you think?”

“ Perhaps.”

“Or in the Gulf of Leao-Tong?”

“ Possibly.”

“But where shall we land?”

“Wherever the wind sends us.”

“ And when?”

“That is impossible for me to say.”

“A true Chinaman always keeps to the east,
sir,’ resumed Kin-Fo, rather out of humor, and
quoting a very popular saying in the Central
Empire.

“On land he does, but not on sea,” replied
Capt. Yin, with a laugh that stretched his mouth
from ear to ear.

“It is no laughing matter,” said Kin-Fo.

“Nor one to cry about,” replied the captain.

The truth is, that, although the situation had
CRAIG AND FRY VISIT THE HOLD. 203

nothing alarming in it, it was impossible for Capt.
Yin to tell where the “Sam-Yep” lay. How
could its course be reckoned without a compass
in a wind which blew from every quarter? The
junk, with its sails reefed, and almost beyond the
control of the rudder, had been the plaything of
the hurricane. Therefore there was reason for
the captain to give such evasive answers, though
he might have spoken in not quite so jovial a
manner.

However, whether the “Sam-Yep” had been
sent into the Gulf of Leao-Tong, or driven back
into the Gulf of Pe-che-lee, she could not fail to
round the cape at the north-west. Land must be
found in that direction. It was a mere question
of distance.

Capt. Yin, therefore, would have hoisted his
sails, and steered his course by the sun, which was
shining very brightly, if it had been possible to do
so justthen. It was not. A dead calm succeeded
the typhoon ; and not a current of air nor a breath
of wind ruffled the sea, which was scarcely rippled
by the undulations of a heavy swell, and gently
rocked, without the faintest circle of outward mo-
tion. The junk rose and fell with the even swell
of the sea, but did not stir from where it lay. A
warm vapor hung over the waters; and the sky,
which was so wild and angry during the night,
seemed now resting from the fury of the elements,
powerless to combat them. It was one of those
dead calms whose duration cannot be calculated.
204 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“This is fine!” said Kin-Fo to himself. “After
the tempest has driven us about at will, it is the
want of wind which now prevents us from return-
ing to land.”

Then, addressing the captain, he asked, —

“ How long will this calm last?”

“Pray, sir, how can any one tell in this sea-
son?” answered the captain.

“ Will it last for hours, or days?”

“Days, or perhaps weeks,” answered Yin, with
a smile of perfect resignation, which almost put
his passenger in a rage.

“Weeks!” exclaimed Kin-Fo. “Do you think
I can wait here for weeks?”

“ But you will have to, unless our junk is towed
along.”

“To the devil with your junk and all on board!
— myself first, since I was fool enough to take
passage with you!”

“Sir,” replied Capt. Yin, “do you wish me to
give you two pieces of advice?”

“Let us hear them.”

“The first is to go quietly to sleep, as I shall;
which will be a very wise thing to do, after a whole
night spent on deck.”

“And the second?” asked Kin-Fo, whom the
captain’s calmness exasperated as much as did
that of the sea.

“ The second,” answered Yin, “is to imitate my
passengers in the hold. They never complain,
but take the weather as it comes.”








































































“ How long will this calm last?”

Page 204.
CRAIG AND FRY VISIT THE HOLD. 205

After these philosophical observations, which
were worthy of Wang, the captain returned to his
cabin, leaving two or three of the crew lying on
deck.

For a quarter of an hour Kin-Fo walked to and
fro from prow to stern, with his arms crossed, and
beating a tattoo with his fingers in his impatience.
Then casting a last look into the silent waste of
waters, in the centre of which the junk was sail-
ing, he shrugged his shoulders, and returned to
the cabin, without having spoken a word to Fry-
Craig.

The two agents, however, were there, leaning
on the railing, and, according to their habit, sym-
pathetically talking to each other without speaking.
They heard Kin-Fo’s questions and the captain’s
answers, without taking part in the conversation.
Of what use would it have been for them to engage
in it? and, above all, why should they complain
about a delay which put their charge in a bad
humor?

Indeed, what they lost in time they gained in
security. Since Kin-Fo ran no danger on board,
and since Lao-Shen’s hand could not reach him,
what more could they ask?

Besides, the time when their responsibility would
end was approaching. Forty hours later, and the
whole army of the Tai-ping might attack the ex-
patron of the Centenary before they would risk
a hair to defend him. Very practical were these
Americans, —devoted to Kin-Fo as long as he
206 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

was worth two hundred thousand dollars to the
Centenary, but absolutely indifferent to whatever
might happen to him when he was only worth a
sapeque.

Craig and Fry, reasoning thus, ate very heartily
an excellent breakfast. They used the same dish
and the same plate, and ate the same number of
mouthfuls of bread and pieces of cold meat. They
drank the health of the Honorable William J.
Bidulph in an equal number of glasses of excellent
Chao-Chigne wine. Each smoked half a dozen
cigars, and again proved that they could be “Si-
amese twins” in tastes and habits, if not by birth.

Brave Yankees! they thought their troubles
were nearly over.

The day passed without incidents or accidents.
The calm continued; and there was the same
quiet, cloudless sky, and nothing to indicate a
change in the meteorological conditions. The sea,
too, was as motionless as a lake.

About four o’clock Soun appeared on deck,
staggering and stumbling like a drunken man,
although he had never drunk so little in all his
life as in the last few days.

After having been first violet, then indigo, then
pale blue, then green, his face was now beginning
to turn yellow again. When once on land, where
it would assume its natural orange hue, if it should
become red through anger, it would have passed
successively and in natural order through all the
colors of the solar spectrum.
CRAIG AND FRY VISIT THE HOLD. 207

‘Soun dragged himself along to the two agents,
keeping his eyes partly closed, and not daring to
look over the railing of the ‘“Sam-Yep.”

“ Arrived yet?” he gasped.

“No” answered Fry.

“ Shall we arrive?”

“No,” answered Craig.

“ Ai, ai, ya!’’ moaned Soun,

And in despair, without strength to say another
word, he went and lay down at the foot of the
main-mast, his frame being shaken by convulsive
starts, which made his clipped braid wag like the
little tail of a dog.

Capt. Yin, like an intelligent man, ordered the
scuttles to be opened, that the hold might have an
airing: and it was a wise precaution; for the sun
would quickly absorb the dampness which two or
three waves, coming on board during the typhoon,
had made inside of the junk.

Craig-Fry, while walking on deck, stopped sev-
eral times in front of the main-scuttle. A feeling
of curiosity moved them to visit the funereal hold,
and they descended through the hatchway which
led to it. The sun made a large trapezium of
light in a perpendicular line with the main-trap ;
but the fore and rear part of the hold remained in
deep darkness. However, Craig-Fry’s eyes soon
became accustomed to it; and they could observe
the stowage of the particular cargo of the “Sam-
Yep.”

The hold was not divided, as it is in the majority
208 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

of junks of commerce, by partitions running cross-
wise, and therefore gave one free passage from
one end to the other, and was entirely reserved for
the cargo, whatever it might be; for the cabins
on deck sufficed for the quarters of the crew.

On each side of this hold, which was as clean
as the antechamber of a cenotaph, the seventy-five
coffins which were being conveyed to Fou-Ning
were piled. Being firmly stowed, they could
neither be displaced by sudden jolts or pitching,
nor in any way endanger the safety of the junk.

A passage that was left between the double row
of biers allowed one to go—now guided by the
broad light from the opening in the two traps, and
then coming into comparative darkness —from one
end of the hold to the other.

Craig and Fry, silent as if they were in a mau-
soleum, went along through this passage, looking
around them with considerable curiosity.

There were coffins of every shape and dimen-
sion, some of them large and some small. Of
these emigrants whom the necessities of life had
driven beyond the Pacific, some had made a for-
tune in California diggings, and in the mines of
Colorado and Nevada; but they were few in num-
ber, alas! Others, who reached there poor, re-
turned poor. But all were coming back to their
native country equal in death. A dozen coffins of
rare wood, ornamented in the most fanciful and
expensive Chinese fashion, and others simply
made of four boards rudely put together and
painted yellow, made up the ship’s cargo.
CRAIG AND FRY VISIT THE HOLD. 209

Whether rich or poor, each coffin bore a name,
which Fry-Craig could read as they passed, —
Lien-Fou of Yun-Ping-Fou, Nan-Loou of Fou-
Ning, Shen-Kin of Lin-Kia, Luang of Ku-Li-Koa,
etc,
It was not possible to confuse them; for each
corpse, being carefully labelled, would be sent to
its address, and would wait in orchards, fields, and
plains for the final hour of burial.

“ How nicely arranged!” said Fry.

“Nicely packed,” answered Craig.

They spoke as they would of the goods of a
merchant from the docks of a consignor in New
York or San Francisco.

Craig and Fry, having reached the farther end
of the hold, in the darkest part towards the prow,
stopped, and looked down the passage-way, which
was as distinctly defined as the path in a ceme-
tery.

Having finished their exploration, they were
preparing to return to the deck, when a slight
sound was heard, which attracted their attention.

“A rat!” said Craig.

“A rat!” repeated Fry.

It was a poor cargo for these rodents. One of
millet, rice, or maize would have suited them much
better.

However, the sound continued. It was heard
about as high as a man’s head, and somewhere to
starboard, and consequently must come from the
upper row of coffins. It was not a grating of
teeth, but surely a grating of claws or nails,
210 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“Feorrr! F-r-rr!” said Craig and Fry.

The sound did not cease.

And the two agents, moving nearer, listened,
and held their breath. It was certain that this
scratching came from one of the coffins.

“Can they have put a Chinaman in one of these
coffins while in a state of lethargy ”’ — said Craig.

“And who would wake up after a passage of
five weeks?” concluded Fry.

The two agents placed their hands on the svs-
picious-looking coffin, to assure themselves that
there was a movement inside.

“The devil!” said Craig.

“The devil!” said Fry.

The same idea that some near danger threatened
their charge had naturally come to both; and,
withdrawing their hands very slowly, they felt the
lid being cautiously raised.

Craig and Fry, being men whom nothing can
surprise, stood motionless, and, as they could see
nothing in the profound darkness, listened with
some anxiety.

“Ts it you, Couo?” said avoice that was re-
pressed through excessive prudence.

Almost at the same moment, from another cof-
fin that was opened a crack, another voice whis-
pered, —

“Ts it you, Fa-Kien?”

And the following words were rapidly ex-
changed : —

“Ts it to be to-night?”
tis



The two agents, moving nearer, listened, and held their breath.
Page 210
CRAIG AND FRY VISIT THE HOLD. 211

“To-night.”

“Before the moon rises?”

“In the second period.”

“ And our companions ?”’

“ They are warned.” ,

“Thirty-six hours in a coffin! I have had
enough of it.”

“ And I too much.”

“ But Lao-Shen commanded ” —

“ Hush-h!”

At the name of the famous Tai-ping, Craig-Fry,
masters of themselves as they were, could not re-
strain a slight movement. Suddenly the lids of
the oblong boxes closed, and perfect silence
reigned in the hold of the “Sam-Yep.”

Fry and Craig, crawling on their knees, reached
the part of the passage which was lighted by the
main-hatchway, and ascended the steps. A mo-
ment afterwards they stopped in the rear of the
cabin, where no one could hear them.

“ Dead people who talk” — said Craig.

“ Are not dead,” answered Fry.

One name had revealed every thing, — Lao-
Shen !

It was plain to be seen that the companions of
this formidable Tai-ping had smuggled themselves
on board. Could one doubt that it was with the
complicity of Capt. Yin, his crew, and the con-
signors in the port of Takou who had put this
funereal cargo on board? No: after having dis-
embarked from the American ship which brought
212 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

them from San Francisco, the coffins had remained
in the dock for two nights and two days. A dozen
or twenty, or more perhaps, of these pirates of
Lao-Shen’s band, taking possession of the coffins,
had tumbled out the corpses, in order to take their
places. But, in making this move at the instiga-
tion of their chief, they knew that Kin-Fo was to
take passage on board the “Sam-Yep.” Now,
how could they have learned this?

This subject was a perfectly dark one, and it was
inopportune to try to throw light on it at this time.

It was certain, however, that Chinese of the
worst kind had been on board the junk ever since
the departure from Takou, and that the name
Lao-Shen had just been spoken by one of them,
and that Kin-Fo’s life was in imminent danger.

This very night, between the 28th and 29th of
June, would cost the Centenary two hundred thou-
sand dollars, when, fifty-four hours later, the policy
not being renewed, they would not have to pay any
thing to the beneficiaries of this ruinous patron.

It would show little knowledge of Fry and Craig
to suppose that they would lose their heads in this
grave situation. Their course was decided upon
at once: they must insist on Kin-Fo’s leaving the
junk before the second period, and they would fly
with him.

But how would they escape? Take possession
of the only boat on board? Impossible! It was
a heavy canoe,.which required the efforts of all the
crew to lift from the deck, and lower to the sea.
CRAIG AND FRY VISIT THE HOLD. 213

Now Capt. Yin and his accomplices would not help
them do this. Therefore they must resort to some
other measure, whatever risks they might run.

It was then seven in the evening. The captain,
who had shut himself up in his cabin, had not
again made his appearance. He was evidently
waiting for the hour agreed upon with Lao-Shen’s
companions.

“There is not an instant to lose,” said Fry-Craig.

No, not one: the two agents could not have
been in greater danger if they had been sailing
out to sea on a fire-ship to which the match had
been applied.

The junk seemed to be left to drift; and only
one sailor was in the prow, and he was asleep.

Craig and Fry pushed open the door in the rear-
cabin, and crept up to Kin-Fo. He was fast
asleep, but he awoke when they touched him.

“What is wanted of me?” he asked.

In a few words the situation was explained to
him; but his usual courage and coolness did not
forsake him.

“Let us throw all those make-believe corpses
into the sea,” he exclaimed.

A grand idea, but absolutely impossible to carry
out, on account of the complicity of Capt. Yin
with his companions in the hold. ‘What is to be
done, then?” he asked.

“Dress yourself in this,” answered Fry-Craig.
Saying which, they opened one of the packages
they had put on board at Tong-Tcheou, and pre.
214 ' TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

sented their charge with one of those wonderful
nautical rubber suits invented by Capt. Boyton.

The bundle contained three other suits, with
the different articles which made them first-class
life-preservers. _

“Very well,” said Kin-Fo. “Go find Soun.”

A moment after, Fry brought in Soun, thor-
oughly stupefied. He had to be dressed, to
which he submitted mechanically, expressing his
thoughts only in heart-rending “Ai, ai, yas.”

At eight o’clock' Kin-Fo and his companions
were ready; and one would have taken them for
four seals from the frozen seas preparing to make
a plunge. But it must be confessed that the seal
Soun would not have given a very favorable idea
of the wonderful suppleness of these marine mam-
mifera, because he was so lank and flabby in his
floating garments.

It was already growing dark in the east, and the
junk was drifting in perfect stillness over the calm
surface of the waters.

Craig and Fry pushed open one of the port-
holes which closed the windows in the rear-cabin,
and the top of which opened above the crowning
of the junk. Soun, whom they lifted up without
ceremony, was shoved through the port-hole, and
dropped into the sea, Kin-Fo immediately fol-
lowed him ; then Craig and Fry, gathering up the
necessary apparatus, jumped in after.

And no one would suspect that the passengers
of the “Sam-Yep” had just left the deck.










Soun, whom they lifted up without cetemony, was shoved through the

port-hole, and dropped into the sea,
Page 214,
DOES NOT FINISH WELL FOR CAP7: YIN. 215

CHAPTER XIX.

WHICH DOES NOT FINISH WELL, EITHER FOR
CAPT. YIN, THE COMMANDER OF THE “SAM-
YEP,” OR FOR HER CREW.

Capt. Boyron’s apparatus consists simply of a
rubber suit, made up of pantaloons and a tunic
with a hood. From the nature of the material the
suit is perfectly water-proof, but would not prevent
the wearer suffering from the cold during a long
immersion, were there not a lining betwéen which
and the rubber a certain amount of air can be
introduced.

This air serves two ends, —the one, to maintain
the apparatus on the water; the other, to prevent
contact with it, and to guarantee against cold: so
that the wearer may remain in the water for an
indefinite time.

It is unnecessary to say that the joints are per-
fectly tight and strong.

The pantaloons, which extend to and cover the
feet, are fastened to a steel belt at the waist, large
enough to give free play to the body, and at their
feet have stout soles. The tunic, which is also
secured to the belt, has a solid collar, and termi-
nates in a hood; while the latter, by means of an
216 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

elastic band, adheres hermetically to the forehead,
cheeks, and chin, and nothing is seen of the face
but the eyes, nose, and mouth. To the tunic sev-
eral rubber tubes are fastened, which introduce the
air, and permit of its regulation, according to the
density desired. Thus one can plunge at will to
the neck or only to the waist, or even take a hori-
zontal position.

In short, perfect freedom of action and motion
and absolute safety are insured.

Such is the apparatus which has brought so
great honor to its ingenious and bold inventor;
and its real utility will be proved in accidents at
sea,}

There are various accessories, —a water-tight
bag, to be suspended by a strap, and containing
necessary utensils; a stout stick, to be set in a
socket at the feet, and to carry a small lateen-sail ;
and a light paddle, either for an oar or rudder,
according to circumstances,

Kin-Fo, Craig-Fry, and Soun, thus equipped,
were now floating on top of the waves. Soun, be-
ing pushed by one of the agents, permitted the
apparatus to bear him along; while, with a few
moves of the paddle, all four soon outdistanced the
junk,

The night, which was still very dark, favored

1 TRANSLATOR’s Note. — This chapter was submitted by the trans-
fator to Capt. Boyton. While in France he became well acquainted with
the author, who had ample opportunity to test this invention; and his de-
scription of it, Capt. Boyton states, is excellent.
DOES NOT FINISH WELL FOR CAPT. YIN. 217

their progress. But, if Capt. Yin or any of his
sailors had come on deck, they could not have seen
the fugitives; besides, no one would have supposed
that they could leave the deck in this fashion, and
the rascals shut up in the hold could not know of
it till the last moment.

“Tn the second period,” the make-believe corpse
in the last coffin said; that is, about the middle of
the night.

Kin-Fo and his companions, therefore, had a few
hours in which to escape; and in that time they
hoped, with the wind in their favor, to gain a mile
over the “ Sam-Yep.” -

Indeed, a breeze now began to ripple the mirror-
like waters, but still so lightly that they could
only depend on the paddle to take them out of
reach of the junk.

In a few moments Kin-Fo, Craig, and Fry were
so well accustomed to their apparatus, that they
worked it instinctively without once hesitating
about the manner of moving, or on the position
to take, in the soft, yielding element. Soun soon
recovered his wits, and found himself incomparably
more at his ease than on board of the junk. His
seasickness had suddenly ended; for the sensa-
tion caused by the rolling and pitching of a boat
is wholly unlike that given by the sea-swell when
one is in it up to his waist, which Soun attested
with great satisfaction.

But, if Soun was no longer sick, he was terribly
afraid. He thought that possibly the sharks had
218 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

not gone to their rest, and he instinctively doubled
up his legs as if he were about to be snapped up;
and, to speak frankly, a slight degree of anxiety
was not out of place in the situation.

Thus Kin-Fo and his companions, whom mis-
chance continued to place in the most unnatural
situations, floated along, and, when using the pad-
dle, lay in an almost horizontal position, resuming
the perpendicular when resting.

An hour after they left the “Sam-Yep,” she
was half a mile behind, sailing with the wind.
Then they stopped, leaned on their paddles, which
were lying flat on the water, and held council in a
very low voice.

“That rascal of a captain!” cried Craig, to
start a conversation.

“That scoundrel of a Lao-Shen!” replied Fry.

“Do they astonish you?” said Kin-Fo, like a
man whom nothing can surprise.

“Yes,” answered Craig, “for I cannot under-
stand how those wretches found out that we took
passage on the junk.”

“Tt is indeed incomprehensible,” added Fry.

“But it is of little consequence,” said Kin-Fo,
“since we have escaped.”

“Escaped!” answered Craig. ‘ We cannot say
that; for, so long as the ““Sam-Yep” is in sight,
we shall not be out of danger.”

“Well, what can we do?” asked Kin-Fo.

“Use all our strength, and get so far that we
shall not be seen at daybreak,’ answered Fry.








Thus Kin-Fo and his companions, whom mischance continued to place

in the most unnatural situations, floated along.
Page 218
DOES NOT FINISH WELL FOR CAPT. YIN. 219

And, inflating his rubber suit with a sufficient
quantity of air, he rose out of the water as far as
his waist. He then drew his bag in front, opened
it, and took out a flask, and a glass which he filled
with refreshing brandy, and passed to Kin-Fo,
who needed no urging, but emptied it to the last
drop. Craig-Fry followed his example, as did
Soun, who was not forgotten.

“ How does that suit you?” asked Craig.

“ Better,’ answered Soun, when he had swal-
lowed the brandy. “If we could only have a bite
of something to eat!”

“To-morrow,” said Craig, “we shall breakfast
at daybreak, and have several cups of tea.”

“Cold!” cried Soun, making up a face.

“Warm !” answered Craig.

“Can you make a fire?”

“Yes.”

“But why wait till to-morrow?” asked Soun.

“Would you have our fire betray us to Capt.
Yin and his accomplices ?”

“No, no!”

“ Well, then, wait until to-morrow.”

Thus these good men chatted as if they were
really in their own houses. The slight swell made
them rise up and down in a singularly comical
manner —first one, then the other—at the ca-
price of the waves, like the hammers on a key-
board under the touch of a pianist.

. “The breeze is springing up,” observed Kin-Fo.

“ Let us set sail,” replied Fry-Craig. And they
220 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

were preparing to make a mast of their stick on
which to hoist their sail, when Soun uttered a cry
of fear.

“Hold your tongue, you fool!” said his master.
“Would you betray us?”

“But I thought I saw” — whimpered Soun.

oe Wihate ,

“A monstrous animal coming near me,—a
shark!” |

“You are mistaken, Soun,” said Craig, after
carefully scanning the surface of the water.

“ But I thought I felt’? — continued Soun.

_ “Hold your tongue, you coward!” said Kin-
Fo, placing one hand on his servant’s shoulder.
“Even if you feel your leg being snapped off, I
forbid you to cry out, or”? —

“Or,” added Fry, “we will thrust our knives
into his rubber suit, and send him to the bottom
of the sea, where he can cry out as much as he
pleases.”

The unhappy Soun was not at the end of his
troubles. He was almost frightened out of his
senses, but dared not utter a word. If he did not
now wish himself. back on the junk, with the pas-
sengers in the hold, and even seasick, he would
before long.

As Kin-Fo observed, the wind was rising;
but it was only one of those light breezes which
generally die away at sunrise: nevertheless they
must profit by it to get as far as possible from the
«Sam-Yep.” When Lao-Shen’s companions dis-
DOES NOT FINISH WELL FOR CAPT. YIN, 221

covered that Kin-Fo was no longer in his cabin,
they would probably start in search of him; and, if
he were in sight, the canoe would make it very
easy to overtake him: therefore they must, at all
costs, be far distant before dawn.

The breeze was blowing from the east, so that
to whatever latitude the junk might be driven by
the hurricane, sailing in a westerly direction from
the Gulf of Leao-Tong, Pe-che-lee, or even from
the Yellow Sea, it would probably be going
towards the shore where boats of commerce on
their way to the mouth of the Pei-ho, and fishing-
crafts which sail along the coast day and night
might be found: therefore the chances of being
rescued would increase with their number. If, on
the contrary, the wind should come from the west,
and the “Sam-Yep” should be carried farther
south than the coast of Corea, Kin-Fo and his
companions would have no hope.

Before them spread the wide sea; and, if they
should reach the shores of Japan, they would arrive
as corpses incased in their floating rubber suits.

But, as we have said, the breeze would probably
die away by sunrise ; and it was necessary to profit
by it, and get safely out of sight.

It was now about ten o’clock in the evening,
and the moon would rise a little before midnight,
and there was not a moment to lose.

“Let us start,” cried Fry-Craig.

They got under sail ina moment. Nothing was
easier; for to the right foot of the rubber suit a
222 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

socket: was fastened, in which the stick which
served as a mast was set.

Kin-Fo, Soun, and the two agents first stretched
themselves out on their backs; then, by bending
their knee, brought one foot round, and drove the
stick into the socket, first moving the halyards of
the little sail to the end of it. As soon as they
resumed the horizontal, the stick, making a right
angle with the line of their bodies, stood perpen-
dicularly.

“ Hoist the sail!” cried Fry-Craig.

And each, leaning his right hand on the hal-
yards, raised the upper corner of the lateen-sail to
the end of the mast.

The halyard was fastened to the steel belt of
the suit, and the sheet was held in the hand; while
the breeze, swelling the four jibs, bore away the
little flotilla of aquatic voyagers with the waters
rippling around them.

Ten minutes later each was managing the ap-
paratus with perfect safety and ease, and sailing
close to the other. One would have taken them
for enormous sea-gulls flitting lightly over the
water with outspread wings.

Their navigation was greatly aided by the state
of the sea, in which there was no surf or tide or
waves to disturb the quiet swell.

Two or three times the awkward Soun, forget-
ting Fry-Craig’s advice, tried to turn his head, and
swallowed a few mouthfuls of the bitter liquid;
but he soon relieved himself of them. This did
DOES NOT FINISH WELL FOR CAPT. YIN. 223

not trouble him, however, so much as the dread of
meeting a band of ferocious sharks. They tried
to make him understand that he ran less risk ina
horizontal than in a vertical position. Indeed, the
position of a shark’s mouth obliges it to turn
round to snatch its prey; and this movement is
not easy when it wishes to seize an object which
is floating horizontally. Besides, it is said, that,
if these voracious animals attack inert bodies,
they are less likely to attack those in motion.
Soun, therefore, was told to keep perpetually
moving ; and we leave the reader to judge whether
he did so.

The voyagers sailed about an hour in this fash-
ion. It was not necessary for them to go faster
or slower : if they went slower, they would not get
away from the junk fast enough; if they went
faster, they would be fatigued as much by the ten-
sion of their little sail as by the disturbed motion
of the waves.

Craig-Fry then gave orders to halt. The sheets
were slackened, and the flotilla stopped.

“Five minutes’ rest, if you please, sir,” said
Craig, addressing Kin-Fo.

“ Certainly.”

All sat upright, with the exception of Soun, who
wished to remain lying “for the sake of prudence,”
and kept constantly kicking about. _

“Another glass of brandy?” called Fry.

“With pleasure,” said Kin-Fo.

A few swallows of the refreshing liquor was all
224 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

that was needed; for hunger did not yet torment
them. They dined an hour before leaving the
junk, and could wait till the next morning; and
they needed nothing to warm them, for the wad-
ding of air between their bodies and the water
saved them from being chilled. The normal tem-
perature of their bodies had not diminished one
degree since their departure.

Was the “ Sam-Yep ”’ still in sight ?

Craig and Fry turned around to see; Fry taking
a night-glass from his bag, and looking searching-
ly along the eastern horizon.

There was nothing to be seen; not even one of
those almost invisible shadows cast by boats on
the dark background of the sky. The night was
dark, with a slight mist; and hardly a star was to
be seen, while the planets were clouded in the
firmament. But, most probably, the moon, which
would soon show her half-disk above the horizon,
would clear the fog.

“The junk is far behind,” said Fry.

“The rogues are still sleep:ng,” answered Craig,
“and will not profit by the breeze.”

“ Are you ready?” asked Kin-Fo, tightening his
sheet, and again throwing his sail to the wind.

His companions did the same, and all renewed
their first course with a stronger breeze.

They sailed westward; and, consequently, the
moon, rising in the east, could not shine directly
in their faces, but cast its first rays on the oppo-
site shore. In that place, if they watched the
DOES NOT FINISH WELL FOR CAPT. YIN. 225

horizon, perhaps a sharp outline, luminous in the
moonlight, would appear, instead of a circle, clear-
ly defined by sky and sea. The aquatic voy-
agers would not be mistaken, for it would be the
shore of the Celestial Empire; and, wherever
they might approach, there would be no risk. Its
coast was clear, and its surf was light; and it
would be a safe place for a landing. When once
on dry land, they could make their final plans.

At nearly quarter of twelve white streaks were
faintly defined in the mist at the zenith, as the
moon’s quarter rose from the water’s edge,

Neither Kin-Fo nor his companions turned
round. The breeze, which was freshening and dis-
persing the vapor in mid-heaven, carried them on
with considerable speed ; and they felt that a larger
space was clearing around them.

' At the same time the constellations became
more distinct, the wind blew away the fog, and
there was an agitation of the water at the heads
of the voyagers. The moon, paling from copper-
red to silver-white, soon lighted the whole sky.

Suddenly a good round American oath escaped
from Craig’s mouth.

“The junk !”’ he cried.

All stopped.

“ Down with the sails!” said Fry.

In a moment the four jibs were reefed, and the
sticks taken from their sockets.

Kin-Fo and his companions, resuming a verti-
cal position, looked behind them.
226 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

There stood the “ Sam-Yep,” with all sails fly-
ing, less than a mile away,—a dark outline
against the bright horizon. ;

It was really the junk! She had set sail, and
was now profiting by the breeze. Capt. Yin, no
doubt, had discovered Kin-Fo’s disappearance
without understanding how he succeeded in es-
caping. He was in league with his accomplices
in the hold, and, taking the risk, set out in pur-
suit; and in less than a quarter of an hour he
would have Kin-Fo, Soun, Craig, and Fry in his
power. .

But had they been seen in the brightness the
moon cast around them on the water? Perhaps
not.
“Lower your heads,” said Craig, who clung to
this hope. :

They understood him, and, letting out the air
through the tubes of their rubber suits, sank
beneath the water till only their heads were
visible.

There was nothing to do but wait in perfect
silence.

The junk was approaching very swiftly, its
tall sails casting two broad shadows over the
water. .

Five minutes later the ‘“‘Sam-Yep” was only
half a mile off. Above the railing the sailors
were seen moving to and fro, and the captain was
aft at the helm.

Was he sailing in pursuit of the fugitives,










The noise increased.

Page 227.
DOES NOT FINISH WELL FOR CAPT. YIN. 224

or only following the wind? They could not
tell.

Suddenly shouts and cries were heard, and
a mass of men appeared on deck. The noise
increased. .

Evidently there was a combat between the
make-believe corpses escaped from the hold and
the crew.

But what was the cause? Were not all these
rogues, sailors, and pirates in league with each
other?

Kin-Fo and his companions could distinctly
hear horrible oaths on one side, and cries of grief
and despair on the other, which ceased in a few
moments.

Then a violent commotion of the waters along-
side the junk showed that bodies were being cast
into the sea.

No! Capt. Vin and his crew were not the
accomplices of the bandits under Lao-Shen.. On
the contrary, those poor men had been surprised
and massacred. The rogues who had concealed
themselves on board —no doubt with the aid of
the freighters at Takou—had no other design
than to take possession of the junk in behalf of
the “Tai-ping,” and certainly could not have
known that Kin-Fo was on board.

Now, if he were seen, and should be captured,
neither he, Fry, Craig, nor Soun could expect
mercy from these wretches.

The junk came nearer and nearer, and finally
228 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

reached them; but, by unexpected good fortune,
the shadow from her sails fell on them.

They dived fora moment; and, when they again
appeared on the surface, the junk had passed
without seeing them, and was scudding along
with a foaming wake.

A corpse floated behind, and the current bore
it nearer the aquatic voyagers. It was the dead
body of the captain, with a dagger in his side,
and the broad folds of his robe still floating on
the surface. Then he sank, and disappeared in
the depths of the ocean.

Thus perished the jelty Capt. Yin, the com-
mander of the “Sam-Yep.”

Ten minutes later the junk disappeared in the
west; and Kin-Fo, Fry- Craig, and Soun were
again alone.
DANGERS OF CAPT. BOYTON’S APPARATUS. 229

CHAPTER XX.

IN WHICH IT VILL BE SEEN TO WHAT DANGERS
MEN ARE EXPOSED WHO USE CAPT. BOYTON’S
NAUTICAL APPARATUS.

THREE hours later the first pale rays of dawn
were faintly defined on the horizon, and day soon
appeared, and the sea could be seen in all its ex-
tent.

The junk was no longer visible, having quickly
outdistanced the aquatic voyagers, who could not
compete with her in speed. They followed the
same route to the west, being driven by the same
wind; but the “Sam-Yep” must now be more than
three leagues off: therefore there was nothing to
be feared from those who commanded her.

But this danger being avoided did not render
the situation less grave. Indeed, the sea was de-
serted: there was not a ship nor a fishing-boat in
sight, and no appearance of land at the north or
east, and nothing which indicated the proximity
of a coast. Were these the waters of the Gulf of
Pe-che-lee, or of the Yellow Sea?. On this point
there was no certainty.

A few puffs of wind still stirred the surface of
the waters, and they must not lose them. The
230 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

direction which the junk followed proved that land
would come in sight in the west sooner or later,
and that there it should be sought.

The aquatic voyagers then decided to set sail
again, after having taken refreshments; for their
stomachs claimed their due, and a ten-hours’ voy-
age, such as they had made, rendered them im-
perative.

“Let us breakfast,” said Craig.

“Plentifully,’ added Fry.

Kin-Fo made a sign of assent, and Soun expres-
sive movements of the jaws, whose meaning was
unmistakable. The famished man no _ longer
thought about the danger of being himself de-
voured: quite the contrary.

The water-proof bag was then opened; and Fry
took out several articles of food of excellent qual-
ity, such as bread and preserves, and also some
utensils for the table, and whatever was necessary
to appease hunger and thirst.

Of the hundred dishes which figure in the ordi-
nary menu of a Chinese dinner, there lacked nine-
ty-eight, to be sure; but still there was enough to
refresh these four men, who under these circum-
stances would not be hard to please. They ate a
hearty breakfast. The bag contained two days’
provisions, and they would reach land in two days
or never.

“But we feel hopeful,” said Craig.

“Why do you feel hopeful?” asked Kin-Fo in
a slightly ironical tone.
DANGERS OF CAPT. BOYTON’S APPARATUS. 231

“Because luck is returning to us,’ answered
Fry.

“Ah! you think so?”

“Certainly,” answered Craig. “Our greatest
danger was the junk, and we have succeeded in
getting out of the way of it.”

“Never, sir, since we have had the honor of
being attached to your person, have you been
safer than here,” added Fry.

“ All the Tai-pings in the world”? — said Craig.

“Could not reach you,” said Fry.

“And you float beautifully? — added Craig.

“For a man who weighs two hundred thousand
dollars!” added Fry.

Kin-Fo could not help laughing.

“Tf I float,” he replied, “I owe it to you, gentle-
men; for, without your aid, I should now be where
poor Capt. Yin is.”

« And we also!” replied Fry-Craig.

“And I—and I!” cried Soun, swallowing an
enormous piece of bread with a good deal of
effort.

“No matter,’ resumed Kin-Fo: “I know what
I owe you.”

“You owe us nothing,” answered Fry, “be-
cause you are a patron of the Centenary ” —

“ Life-Insurance Company” —

“Capital guaranteed: twenty million dollars.”

“ And we hope” —

“ That it will have nothing to owe you.”

Kin-Fo was really very much touched by the
232 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

devotion of the agents, whatever their motive
might be, and he did not conceal his feelings.

“We will talk about this again,’ he added,
“when Lao-Shen shall have rebained the letter,
which Wang unfortunately gave up.”

Craig and Fry looked at each other, and an
almost imperceptible smile played around their
lips. Evidently the same thought was passing
through the mind of each.

“Soun!” said Kin-Fo.

oSires

“The tea?”

“ Here it is,” answered Fry.

Fry had his reasons for answering in Soun’s
place; for the latter would have said that tea was
out of the question.

But to think that the two agents were embar-
rassed by so small a matter was not to know
them. Fry then drew from the bag a small
utensil, which is the indispensable complement
of the Boyton apparatus. Indeed, it can serve as
a beacon when it is dark, a fireplace when it is
cold, and a cooking-stove when one wishes a
warm drink.

Nothing is simpler. It is a tube five or six
inches long, fastened to a metallic receptacle, pro-
vided with an upper and a lower plug, and all
encased in a cork plague in the manner of those
floating thermometers used in bathing-houses.

Fry placed this utensil on the surface of the
water, which was perfectly level.




































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“Here is the cooking-stove.”

‘Page 233.
DANGERS OF CAPT. BOYTON’S APPARATUS. 233

With one hand he opened the upper plug, and
with the other the lower one, which was fastened
to the immersed part; and immediately a bright
flame burst out at the end, giving a very percepti-
ble heat.

“Here is the cooking-stove,” said Fry.

Soun could hardly believe his eyes.

“What! do you make fire with water?” he
cried.

“With water and phosphuret of calcium,” an-
swered Craig.

Indeed, this apparatus was constructed in a way
to utilize a singular property of the phosphuret of
calcium,—a compound of phosphorus, which in
contact with water produces phosphuretted hydro-
gen. Now, this gas burns spontaneously in air,
and neither the wind nor the rain nor the sea can
extinguish it. It is used to light life-buoys, which,
when they fall, bring the phosphuret of calcium in
contact with the water; and a long flame instantly
bursts out, which enables the man who falls into
the sea to find it in the night, and sailors to come
directly to his aid.’

While the hydrogen was burning at the end of
the tube, Craig held a tea-kettle over it, filled with
fresh water, which he took from a little flask in
his bag. In a few minutes the water boiled, and
Craig poured it into a teapot, which contained
several pinches of excellent tea; and this time

1M. Seyferth and M. Silas, the keeper of records of the embassy from

France to Vienna, are the inventors of this life-buoy, which is used on
every ship-of-war.
234 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Kin-Fo and Soun drank it in the American
fashion, — without waiting for an invitation. This
warm drink made an agreeable ending to this
breakfast, served on the surface of the water in
“such” a latitude and “such” a longitude. It
only needed a sextant and a chronometer to deter-
mine the position within a few seconds. These
instruments will one day be added to Capt. Boy-
ton’s bag of utensils, and shipwrecked men will
no longer run the risk of being lost on the ocean.

Kin-Fo and his companions, now thoroughly
rested and refreshed, unfurled the little sails, and
resumed their course to the west, which had been
agreeably interrupted by this morning repast.

The breeze still kept up for twelve hours, and
the aquatic voyagers made good headway with
the wind behind them; and they only needed to
guide their course from time to time by a slight
move of the paddle. Being gently and slowly
drawn along in this horizontal position, they were
somewhat inclined to fall asleep ; but it was neces-
sary to resist this inclination, which would have
had inconvenient results. Craig and Fry, in order
not to succumb to it, lighted a cigar, and smoked,
like the dandy bathers in a swimming-school.
Several times the voyagers were troubled by the
gambols of several marine animals, which caused
the unhappy Soun the greatest fear. Fortunately
they were only inoffensive porpoises; and these
“clowns” of the sea had innocently come to take
a good look at the singular beings who were float-
DANGERS OF CAPT. BOYTON’S APPARATUS. 235

ing in their element, and who seemed to be mam-
mifera like themselves, but no sailors.

What a curious spectacle these porpoises were,
as they approached in clusters, darting along
like arrows, and tinting the waters with their
emerald hues! They bounded five or six feet out
of the waves, making a kind of perilous leap,
which proved the suppleness and strength of their
muscles. Ah! if the aquatic voyagers could have
cut through the waters with that rapidity, greater
than that of the fastest ships, they would soon have
reached land. It made one long to fasten himself
to one of these fish and be towed along. But what
somersaults and plunges they made! It would be
much better to depend only on the wind to help
one’s self; for, although it was slower, it was in-
finitely more available.

However, towards noon the breeze died away ;
and only an occasional capricious whiff swelled
the small sails one moment, to leave them to
fall inert the next. &

The sheet slackened in the hand that held it,
and there was no motion felt beneath their feet
or head.

“A complication,” said Craig.

“Grave one,” answered Fry.

They stopped a minute, took in the sail, took
down the mast ; and each, placing himself again in
a vertical position, looked at the horizon.

The sea was still deserted, neither a sail nor
the smoke of a steamer against the sky being in
236 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

sight. A hot sun had dried up the mists, and
cleared the air. The temperature would have
seemed warm even to men not clad in a double
envelope of rubber.

Hopeful as Fry-Craig declared themselves as
to the result of this adventure, they could not
help feeling anxious. Indeed, they could not
calculate the distance they had traversed for
about sixteen hours; but what was more and
more inexplicable was, that nothing — neither
ship of commerce nor a fishing-boat — gave evi-
dence of the proximity of the shore.

Fortunately Kin-Fo, Craig, and Fry were not
men to despair before the journey’s end, if that
time should ever come. They still had enough
provisions for one day, and there was no indica-
tion of bad weather.

“Use your paddle,” said Kin-Fo.

This was the signal for departure; and the
voyagers resumed their westward route, —some-
times on their backs, sometimes on their faces.

They did not go fast: for working the paddles
soon fatigues arms not accustomed to the motion,
and they often had to wait for Soun, who kept
behind, and began his jeremiades again. His
master called, abused, and threatened him; but
Soun, no longer fearing for what was left of his
braid, which was protected by the thick rubber
hood, let him talk on, and the fear of being left
behind was enough to keep him near.

About two o’clock several birds appeared.
DANGERS OF CAPT. BOYTON’S APPARATUS. 237

They proved to be sea-gulls, which are swift-
winged, and fly far out to sea; so that. one could
not infer from their presence that the coast was
near. Nevertheless this was considered a favora-
ble sign.

An hour later the aquatic voyagers fell into a
network of sea-weed, from which they had con-
siderable trouble to extricate themselves.

They were as securely caught as fishes in the
meshes of a net, and had to take knives, and cut
their way out of the marine thicket.

This caused the loss of a full half-hour, and an
expenditure of strength that might have been
better utilized.

At four o’clock the little floating band stopped
again, very much fatigued, it must be confessed.
Quite a fresh breeze had arisen; but it blew from
the south, which gave some cause for anxiety.
Indeed, the voyagers could not navigate under the
head-wind, like a boat whose keel keeps it from
drifting. If they unfurled their sails, they ran
the risk of being carried northward, and of losing
a part of what they had gained in the west. Be-
sides, a heavy swell was felt; and the waves dash-
ing against them, as the tide rolled in, made the
situation much more painful.

They made quite a long halt, and made use of
it not only to take rest, but to strengthen them-
selves by attacking the provisions again. This
dinner was less cheerful than their breakfast.
Night would return in a few hours. The wind
238 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

was starting up; and now what course should they
take?

Kin-Fo, leaning on his paddle, frowning and
more irritated than disturbed at this spitefulness
of fate, did not utter a word. Soun gaped inces-
santly, and sneezed like a mortal threatened with
a terrible influenza.

Craig and Fry felt that they were questioned by
their companions ; but they did not know what to
answer.

Finally a very happy chance furnished a reply.
Shortly before five o’clock, Craig and Fry, simul-
taneously pointing to the south, exclaimed, —

“A sail!”

Indeed, three miles. away, and going with the
wind, a boat appeared under full sail. Now, with
the wind behind her, to continue in the direction
she was taking, she would probably pass within a
short distance of the place where Kin-Fo and his
companions were resting. There was but one
thing to do,—to block the way by rising perpen-
dicularly to meet her.

‘The aquatic voyagers therefore proposed to do
this, and their strength returned. Now that safety
was once more in their hands, as it were, they
would not let it escape.

The direction of the wind ‘no longer allowed
them to make use of the small sails; but the
paddles would suffice, the distance to be gone over
being comparatively short.

The boat was rapidly becoming larger to the










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Ziff Cera















“A sail!”
DANGERS OF CAPT. BOYTON’S APPARATUS. 239

sight, under the breeze, which was growing
stronger. It was only a fishing-boat, and its pres-
ence here evidently indicated that the coast could
not be very far away ; for Chinese fishermen rarely
venture out to sea.

“Now, then, dash ahead bravely !” cried Fry-
Craig, paddling with all their strength.

They were not obliged to rouse their compan-
ions’ ardor; for Kin-Fo, lying flat on the water,
sped along like a race-boat; and, as for Soun, he
really surpassed himself, and kept ahead of them
all, he was so afraid of being left behind.

But they must make half a mile in order to
reach the waters in the vicinity of the boat. Be-
sides, it was broad daylight; and, if the voyagers
did not come near enough to be seen, they could at
least make themselves heard.

But would not the fishermen take flight when
they saw these singular marine animals, and heard
them shouting to them? That would be very seri-
ous.

However, they could not afford to lose a single
moment; and they struck out with their arms, the
paddles beat the crest of the waves with the ut-
most rapidity, and the distance was perceptively
lessening, when Soun, who was still ahead, gave a
terrible cry :—

“A shark! a shark!”

This time Soun was not mistaken.

About twenty feet off, two appendages were
seen above the water. They were the fins of a
240 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

voracious animal peculiar to these seas, — the tiger-
shark, which is fully worthy of its name ; for nature
has given him the twofold ferocity of the shark
and the tiger.

“Your knives!” cried Fry and Craig.

They were the only arms they had at their dis-
posal, and perhaps were insufficient. Soun, as one
may judge, stopped instantly, and turned round,
and sailed off as fast as he could. But the shark
caught sight of the voyagers, and started for
them. His enormous body, spotted and striped
with green, was seen for a moment through the
transparent waters. He measured from sixteen to
eighteen feet in length, and was a monster. He
made a dive at Kin-Fo first, turning half round, as
if to snap him up.

Kin-Fo did not in the least lose his presence of
mind, but, just as the shark was about to attack
him, gave it a blow on his back with his paddle,
and with one vigorous effort sailed quickly
beyond.

Craig and Fry approached, ready for attack or
defence. The shark dived a moment, and then
came to the surface, opening his mouth, which
was like a large pair of shears provided with four
rows of teeth.

Kin-Fo wished to try once more the exploit
which. had just been successful; but his paddle
tame into contact with the animal’s jaw, which
cut it close off. The shark, which was partly
lying on its side, then threw itself on its prey.




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Kin-Fo succeeded in driving the broken end of his paddle into his eye.
Page 241.
DANGERS OF CAPT. BOYTON’S APPARATUS. 241

Immediately streams of blood gushed out, and the
sea was tinged with red.

Craig and Fry had increased their blows on
the animal ; and, hard as its skin was, their long-
bladed American knives succeeded in cutting it.

The monster’s jaws then opened and closed
with a horrible noise, while its tail beat the water
frightfully. Fry received a blow from its tail,
which hit him in the. side, and threw him back
ten feet.

“Fry!” cried Craig, in tones of the deepest
grief, as if he had received the blow himself.

“Hurrah!” answered Fry, returning to the
onset. He was not wounded; for his rubber
cuirass deadened the blow.

The shark was again attacked, and with great
fury. He turned round and round; but Kin-Fo
succeeded in driving the broken end of his paddle
into his eye, and tried, at the risk of being cut in
two, to hold it still while Fry and Craig tried to
strike the heart. It is to be supposed that the
two agents succeeded ; for the monster, after mak-
ing a last struggle, sank in a wave of blood.

“Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!” shouted Fry-Craig,
waving their knives,

“Thank you,” was all that Kin-Fo said.

“You are welcome!” Craig replied. “Do you
think we would let a mouthful of two hundred
thousand dollars go to this fish?”

“Never!” added Fry.

And Soun? Where was Soun? Ahead this
242 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

time, and already very near the boat, which was
not three cables’ length away. The coward had
fled by the help of his paddle, but came near
getting into trouble.

The fishermen saw him; but ey could not
imagine that under this sea-dog accoutrement
there was a human being, and therefore, they
prepared to fish for him as they would for a
dolphin or seal. As soon as it was within reach,
a long rope with a strong harpoon at the end was
flung into the sea.

The harpoon struck Soun above the belt of his
garment, and, as it slipped off, tore it from the
middle of the back to the neck.

Soun, being now kept up only by the air in
the lining of the pantaloons, tumbled over, and
stood with his head in the water, and legs in the
air.

Kin-Fo, Craig, and Fry, just arriving, took
the precaution to hail the fishermen in good
Chinese.

Imagine the fright of these good men. Seals
which talked! They would put on sail, and de-
part with utmost speed.

But Kin-Fo re-assured them, and made himself
and his companions known as men and Chinese
like themselves. Shortly after, these terrestrial
mammifera found themselves on board.

But Soun was left behind. They hauled him
in with a hook: and raising his head above the
waters, while one of the fishermen took hold of


The whole braid came off in his hand.

Page 243.
DANGERS OF CAPT. BOYTON’S APPARATUS. 243

the end of his braid, they drew him up; but the
whole braid came off in his hand, and the poor
devil plunged into the water again.

The fishermen then threw a rope around him,
and succeeded, after some trouble, in pulling him
into the boat.

He was hardly on deck, and had barely time
to spurt the salt water out of his mouth, when
Kin-Fo approached him, and said in a severe
tone, —

“Then it was false?”

“But if it had not been,” answered Soun,
“should I, who knew your habits, ever have been
able to enter your service?”

And he said this so comically that all burst out
laughing.

These fishermen were from Fou-Ning, and less
than two leagues off was the very port Kin-Fo
wished to reach.

That same evening, about eight o’clock, he
landed there with his companions; and, taking off
Capt. Boyton’s rubber suits, all four resumed the
appearance of human beings.
244 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER XXI.

IN WHICH CRAIG AND FRY SEE THE MOON RISE
WITH EXTREME SATISFACTION,

!??

“ Now to the Tai-ping

These were the first words that Kin-Fo spoke
the next morning, the 30th of June, after a rest-
ful night, which he owed to the two heroes of
these singular adventures.

They were at last on the scene of Lao-Shen’s
exploits, and the battle was about to begin in ear-
nest ; and would Kin-Fo come out of it a conqueror?
Yes, no doubt, if he could capture the Tai-ping ;
for he would pay whatever price Lao-Shen might
exact, in order to get his letter. But he would
certainly not be the conqueror if a dagger should
strike him in the bosom before he even had time
to bargain with Wang’s ferocious substitute.

“To the Tai-ping!” answered Fry-Craig, after
silently consulting each other with their eyes.

The arrival of Kin-Fo, Fry-Craig, and Soun in
their singular costume, and the manner in which
the fishermen had taken them from the sea, would
tend to create a certain excitement in the little port
of Fou-Ning. It would be difficult to escape pub-
lic curiosity ; and they were therefore escorted to
CRAIG AND FRY SEE THE MOON RISE. 245

the inn in the evening, where, thanks to the
money kept in Kin-Fo’s belt and Craig-Fry’s bag,
they procured more suitable clothing. If Kin-Fo
and his companions had not been surrounded by
so many people on the way to the inn, they might
have seen a certain Celestial, who kept close in
their footsteps; and their surprise, no doubt, would
have been great if they had seen him keep watch
at the door of the hotel all night. And their mis-
trust would surely have been excited if they had
seen him in the same place in the morning,

But they saw and suspected nothing, and had no
reason to be surprised when this suspicious-look-
ing person came up to them as they were about
leaving the inn, and offered his services as a guide.

He was a man about thirty years old, who
seemed to be very honest.

However, some suspicion was awakened in the
minds of Craig-Fry, and they questioned him.

“Why,” they asked him, “do you offer yourself
as a guide? and where do you propose to escort
us?”

There was nothing more natural than this
double question, and nothing more natural than
the answer that was made.

“T suppose,” said the guide, “that you intend
to visit the Great Wall, as do all travellers who
come to Fou-Ning. I am acquainted with the
country, so I offer to be your guide.”

“My friend,” said Kin-Fo, interposing, “before
making any arrangement, I would like to know if
the province is safe?”
246 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“Very safe,” answered the guide.

“Have you ever heard any thing in the country
round about of a certain Lao-Shen?” asked Kin-
Fo.

“ Lao-Shen the Tai-ping ?”

“Yes.”

“Indeed there is nothing to fear from him on
this side of the Great Wall,” said the guide. “He
would not venture on the imperial territory; for
his band wanders around outside the Mongolian
provinces.” ;

“Does any one know where he is at present?”
asked Kin-Fo.

“He was heard from lately in the environs of
Tsching-Tang-Ro, only a few leagues from the
Great Wall.”

“And what is the distance from Fou-Ning to
Tsching-Tang-Ro ?”

“ About fifty leagues.”

“Well, I accept your services.”

“To take you to the Great Wall?”

' “To take me to Lao-Shen’s encampment.”

The guide could not restrain a certain move-
ment of surprise.

“You will be well paid,” added Kin-Fo.

The guide shook his head, as if to signify that
he did not wish to pass the frontier.

“As far as the Great Wall, will do very well,”
he answered, “but not beyond; for that would be
risking one’s life.”

“Set a price on yours, and I will pay it.”
CRAIG AND FRY SEE THE MOON RISE, 247

“Very well,” replied the guide.

Kin-Fo, turning round to the two agents,
added, —

“You are free, gentlemen, not to accompany
me.”

“Where you go,” — said Craig.

“We will go,” said Fry.

The patron of the Centenary had not yet ceased
to be worth two hundred thousand dollars to them.

After this conversation the agents seemed to be
perfectly easy in regard to the guide.

But, to believe them, one would meet the greatest
dangers beyond that barrier which the Chinese
have raised against the incursions of Mongolian
hordes.

The preparations for departure were immediately
made. They did nv: -sk Soun if it would be
agreeable to him to max. ‘he journey; for he
could not help himself.

Conveyances, such as carriages and wagons,
were absolutely wanting in the little town of Fou-
Ning, nor were there horses or mules; but there
was a certain number of Mongolian camels, which
are used for business purposes by the natives of
Mongolia. These adventurous traders, driving
their innumerable flocks of sheep with long tails,
travel in caravans on the road from Pekin to
Kiatcha. They thus establish communication be-
tween Asiatic Russia and the Celestial Empire.
However, they only ventured across these long
steppes in numerous and well-armed troops.
248 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“They are a ferocious, haughty race, to whom the
Chinaman is only an object of scorn,” says M. de
Beauvoir.

Five camels, with their very primitive harness,
were purchased. They loaded them with pro-
visions, supplied themselves with arms, and set
out on their journey under the lead of the guide.

But these preparations had consumed much
time, and they would not be ready to leave before
one o'clock in the afternoon; but in spite of this
delay the guide relied on reaching the foot of the
Great Wall before midnight. There he would
organize an encampment; and the next day, if
Kin-Fo persevered in his imprudent resolution,
they would pass the frontier.

The country in the environs of Fou-Ning was
elevated. Clouds of yellow sand rolled in thick
columns along the roads, which ran between cul-
tivated fields; and one still saw the productive
territory of the Celestial Empire. The camels
went at an even and steady, though not rapid,
pace. The guide preceded Kin-Fo, Soun, and
Craig and Fry, who were perched between the
two humps of their steeds. Soun greatly approved
of this style of travelling, and would have gone to
the end of the world in this position.

Though the journey was not fatiguing, the heat
was great. The most curious effects of a mirage
were produced in the atmosphere, that was heated
by the reflection from the ground. Vast watery
plains, as large as a sea, were seen at the horizon,
































































































































































































































































































































































































































The camels went at an even and steady, though not rapid, pace.
Page 248.
CRAIG AND FRY SEE THE MOON RISE. 249

but soon vanished, to the great satisfaction of
Soun, who feared some new voyage was to be his
fate.

Although this province was situated at the
extreme limits of China, it must not be supposed
that it was deserted. The Celestial Empire, vast
as it is, is still too small for its constantly increas-
ing population ; and therefore the inhabitants are
numerous even on the border of the Asiatic
desert.

Men were working in the fields; and Tartar
women, who could be recognized by their red and
blue dresses, attended to out-door work. Flocks
of yellow sheep with long tails—which Soun
could not look upon without envy — were grazing
here and there under the eye of the black eagle.
Woe to the unlucky ruminant which went astray!
for these birds of prey are formidable and carniv-
orous, and wage a terrible war on sheep, rams,
and young antelopes, and even serve as hounds to
the Kirghis in the steppes of Central Asia.

Flocks of feathered game were flying about
everywhere, and a gun would not have been idle
in this portion of the territory; but the true
hunter would not have looked favorably upon the
nets, traps, and other methods of destruction,
worthy of a poacher at most, and which covered
the ground between the furrows of wheat, millet,
and maize.

Kin-Fo and his companions travelled on through
the whirlwinds of this Mongolian dust, and stopped
250 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

neither in the shade at the roadside, nor at the
few scattered farms in the province, nor in the
villages which they could here and there descry
by the funereal towers which were erected to the
memory of heroes of Buddhic legends. They
marched in file, leaving the lead to their camels,
which are accustomed to walk one behind the
other, while a red bell at their neck keeps time
with their measured step.

Under these circumstances no conversation was
possible. The guide, who was but little of e
talker by nature, kept ahead of the small party,
looking around the country in a circle whose ex-
tent was constantly diminished by the thick dust.
He never was at a loss as to the road to take, even
where a landmark was wanting at some crossings.
So Fry-Craig, no longer feeling mistrustful of him,
gave all their vigilance to the precious patron of
the Centenary. Through a very natural senti-
ment, they felt their anxiety increase as they ap-
proached the end; for, at any moment, without
being able to warn him, they might find them-
selves in the presence of a man, who, with one
well-applied blow, would make them lose two hun-
dred thousand dollars.

As for Kin-Fo, he found himself in that state
of mind in which the memory of the past predom-
inates over the anxieties of the present and future.
He reviewed his life for the past two months, and
the continuance of his misfortunes did not fail to
disturb him very seriously; for, since the day
CRAIG AND FRY SEE THE MOON RISE. 251

when his San Francisco correspondent sent him
the news of his pretended failure, had he not had
a series of truly extraordinary ill luck? and would
there not be some compensation between the sec-
ond part of his life and the first, whose advan-
tages he had been so foolish as to disregard?
Would this succession of adverse experiences end
by his getting possession of the letter which was
in Lao-Shen’s hands, if perchance he should suc-
ceed in getting it away from him without striking
a blow? Would the amiable Le-ou, by her pres-
ence, love, and charming gayety, ever be able to
drive away the evil spirits which pursued him?
Yes: the memory of the past was returning to
him, filling his thoughts and disturbing him. And
Wang! he certainly could not blame him for having
tried to keep his oath; but Wang the philosopher,
the constant guest in the yamen at Shang-hai,
would no longer be there to teach him wisdom.

“You will fall!” cried the guide just then,
whose camel had just knocked against that of Kin-
Fo, who came near tumbling in the middle of his
revery.

“Have we arrived ?” he asked.

“Tt is eight o'clock,” answered the guide, “and
I intend to halt for dinner.”

“ And afterwards ?”

“ Afterwards we will resume our journey.”

“Tt will be dark.”

“Oh, don’t fear that I shall lead you astray!
The Great Wall is not twenty leagues from here,
and we must let our beasts stop to take breath.”
252 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“Very well,” answered Kin-Fo.

On the road, not far distant, stood a forsaken
ruin ; and through a winding ravine near by ran a
little brook, in which the camels could quench
their thirst. ‘

While waiting, and before it was quite dark, Kin-
Fo and his.companions seated themselves in the
ruins, and ate a lunch with an appetite sharpened
by their long journey.

The conversation, however, was not spirited.
Once or twice Kin-Fo directed it to Lao-Shen, and
asked the guide who this Tai-ping was, and if he
knew him. The guide shook his head as if he
were not positive, and avoided answering as much
as possible.

“Does he ever come into the province?” asked
Kin-Fo.

“No,” answered the guide; “but Tai-pings
from his band have passed the Great Wall several
times, and it would not be well to meet them.
May Buddha save us from the Tai-pings !”

At these responses, which the guide evidently
did not know were considered very important by
his questioner, Craig and Fry looked at each
other, and frowned, drew out their watch, con-
sulted it, and finally shook their heads.

“Why should we not remain quietly here till
daylight ?” said they.

“In these ruins!” exclaimed the guide. “I
prefer the flat country, where there is less danger
of being surprised.”
CRAIG AND FRY SEE THE MOON RISE. 253

“But we agreed to be at the Great Wall this
evening,” answered Kin-Fo. “I must be there,
and I will.”

This was said in a tone that admitted of no dis-
cussion. Even Soun, who was already half dead
with fear, dared not protest.

The repast being over,—it was nearly nine
o’clock, — the guide rose, and gave the signal to
depart.

Kin-Fo then went towards his steed, and Craig
and Fry followed him.

“Sir,” said they, “have you decided to place
yourself in the hands of Lao-Shen ?”

“TI have fully decided,’ answered Kin-Fo: “I
must have my letter at any price.” _

“It is playing for a very high stake,” they re-
sumed, “to go into the Tai-ping’s camp.”

“T have not come thus far to draw back now,”
replied Kin-Fo. “You are free not to follow me
if you do not wish.”

The guide lighted a little pocket-lantern, and
the two agents approached, and consulted their
watch a second time.

“Tt would certainly be more prudent to wait
till to-morrow,” they urged.

“Why so?” answered Kin-Fo. ‘“Lao-Shen will
be as dangerous to-morrow or day after to-morrow
as he is to-day. Let us start.”

“Let us start,” repeated Fry-Craig.

The guide heard the last part of this conversa-
tion, and several times during the halt, when the
254 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

two agents wished to dissuade Kin-Fo from going
on, a certain look of dissatisfaction was seen on
his face; and now, when he saw them renewing
their objections, he could not restrain a gesture of
impatience.

This did not escape Kin-Fo, who was quite de-
termined not to yield an inch. But his surprise
was extreme, when the guide, as he assisted him
to mount his beast, leaned over, and whispered in
his: ear, —

“ Beware of those two men!”

Kin-Fo was about to ask him to explain his
words; but the guide motioned to him to be silent,
gave the signal for departure, and the little band
ventured out into the country through the dark
night.

Had a slight mistrust entered the mind of Fry-
Craig’s charge? could the unexpected and inex-
plicable words of the guide counterbalance with
him their two months’ devotion? No, certainly
not! And yet Kin-Fo wondered why Fry-Craig
had advised him to put off his visit to the Tai-
ping’s camp, or to give it up. Was it not in order
to join Lao-Shen that they suddenly left Pekin?
Was it not also for the interest of the Centenary’s
two agents that their charge should get possession
of that absurd and compromising letter? Their
objections, therefore, were incomprehensible.

Kin-Fo did not show the feelings which dis-
turbed him, and took his place again behind the
guide. Craig-Fry followed him, and they travelled
thus for two long hours.


























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“The Great Wall!”

Page 255-
CRAIG AND FRY SEE THE MOON RISE. 255

It must have been near midnight when the
guide, stopping, pointed to a long black line in the
north, which was faintly defined against the some
what lighter background of the sky. Behind this
line rose a number of hills, silvered by the rising
moon, which was not yet above the horizon.

“The Great Wall!” said the guide.

‘‘Can we cross it this evening?” asked Kin-Fo.

“Yes, if you insist upon it,” answered the guide.

“T do.”

The camels having stopped, the guide said, “I
am going to reconnoitre the pass. Wait for me
here.” And he left.

Just then Craig and Fry approached Kin-Fo.

“Sir!” said Craig.

“Sir!” said Fry.

“Have you been satisfied with our services dur-
ing these two months that we have watched over
your person by the orders of the Honorable Wil-
liam J. Bidulph?”

“Perfectly satisfied.”

“Would you please sign this little paper, sir,
to show that you have nothing but praise to say of
our able and loyal services?”

“A paper!” answered Kin-Fo, somewhat sur-
prised at the sight of a leaf torn from a note-book,
and which Craig presented him.

“This certificate,” said Fry, “will perhaps bring
us a compliment from our employer, and, no doubt,
extra pay.”

“Here is my back, which you can use as a desk,
sir,” said Craig, bending over.
256 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“ And here is the ink which will enable you to
give us this written proof of your kind opinion,”
said Fry.

Kin-Fo laughed, and signed the paper.

“And now,” he asked, “why all this ceremony
in this place, and at this hour?”

“In this place,” answered Fry, “because it is
our intention not to accompany you farther.”

“At this hour,” added Craig, “‘ because in a few
moments it will be midnight.”

“ And what matters the hour to you?”

“Sir,” continued Craig, “the interest that our
insurance company felt for you” —

“Will cease in a few moments,” added Fry.

“And you can kill yourself”? —

“Or have yourself killed”? —

“As much as you please !”

Kin-Fo, without understanding a word, looked
at these two agents, who spoke in the most ami-
able tone. At this moment the moon rose above
the horizon, and its first beam shone on them.

“The moon!” cried Fry.

“ And to-day is the 30th of June!” cried Craig.

“Tt rises at midnight” —

“And your policy not being renewed” —

“You are no longer insured by the Centenary.”

‘‘Good-evening, Mr. Kin-Fo!” said Craig.

“Mr. Kin-Fo, good-evening!” said Fry.

And the two agents, turning about, soon were
lost to sight, leaving their client stunned.

The steps of the camels which bore away these
CRAIG AND FRY SEE THE MOON RISE. 257

perhaps rather too practical Americans were
hardly out of hearing, when a troop of men, led
by the guide, sprang upon Kin-Fo, who tried in
vain to defend himself; and on Soun, who tried
in vain to run away.

A moment later the master and valet were shut
up in the dungeon of one of the abandoned bastions
in the Great Wall.
258 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

CHAPTER XXII.

WHICH THE READER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN HIM-
SELF, IT ENDS IN SO SURPRISING A WAY.

THe Great Wall—which is like a Chinese
screen four hundred leagues long — was built
in the third century by the Emperor Tisi-Chi-
Houang-Ti, and extends from the Gulf of Leao-
Tong, whose waters bathe its two wharves, to the
Kan-Sou, where it is reduced to the proportions of
a wall of ordinary size. It is an uninterrupted
succession of double ramparts, defended by bas-
tions and towers, fifty feet high and twenty feet
broad, whose foundation is of granite and the
upper part of brick, and which boldly follow the
undulating outline of the mountains between Rus-
sia and China.

Where it approaches the Celestial Empire, the
wall is in rather a poor condition, but presents a
better appearance towards Mandshuria, and its
battlements become magnificent stone ornaments.
This long line of fortifications is not protected
either by guards or cannon; and Russians, Tar-
tars, and the Kirghis, as well as the Sons of Heav-
en, can freely pass through its gates. The screen
no longer protects the Western frontier, not even
WHICH THE READER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN. 259

from that fine Mongolian dust which the north
wind sometimes brings to its capital.

It was under the postern of one of these de-
serted bastions that Kin-Fo and Soun, after a
wretched night passed on the straw, disappeared
the next morning, escorted by a dozen men, who
could only belong to Lao-Shen’s band.

As for the guide, he had vanished. But it was
no longer possible for Kin-Fo to deceive himself ;
for it was not chance that brought this traitor in
his way, and the ex-patron of the Centenary had
evidently been expected by the wretch. His hesi-
tation to venture beyond the Great Wall was only
a ruse to turn aside suspicion; for he probably be-
longed to the Tai-ping, and could only have acted
by his orders. .

Kin-Fo had no doubts on this subject after he
questioned one of the men, who seemed to direct
his escort.

“You are taking me, no doubt, to the camp of
Lao-Shen, your chief?” he said,

“We shall be there in less than an hour,” replied
the man.

But for what purpose had Wang’s pupil come
here? To seek the philosopher’s substitute ?
Well, they would take him where he wished to go;
and, whether he went of his own free will or by
compulsion, he could have no cause to find fault.
He must leave that to Soun, whose teeth were
already chattering, and who felt as if his head
were spinning on his shoulders.
260 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

Kin-Fo, who was always phiegmatic, had his own
plans in regard to the adventure, and followed his
escort ; for at last he would have a chance to nego-
tiate for his letter with Lao-Shen. That was his
sole desire, and now every tHe was progressing
favorably.

After crossing the Great Wall, the little party
followed, not only the main road to Mongolia, but
the steep paths which enter the mountainous part
of the province at the right. They walked on for
an hour as fast as the ascent would permit. Kin-
Fo and Soun were closely surrounded, and could
not have escaped, and, moreover, did not once
think of doing so.

In an hour and a half both guards and prisoners
perceived the partial ruins of an edifice round the
corner of a wall.

It was an ancient bonze temple, .a curious
monument of Buddhic architecture, erected on a
brow of the mountain. But in this remote part
of the Russian frontier of China, in the centre of
this deserted country, one could but wonder what
kind of worshippers ventured to frequent this tem-
ple; for it was very dangerous to pass through
these defiles, which were favorable places for spies
and ambuscades.

If the Tai-ping Lao-Shen established his camp
in this mountainous part of the province, one
must confess he chose a locality worthy of his
exploits.

To Kin-Fo’s question, the chief escort answered
that Lao-Shen really lived in this bonze temple.


There stood nearly twenty armed men.

Page 261.
WHICH THE READER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN. 261

“T wish to see him this very moment,” said
Kin-Fo.

“You shall see him this very moment,” replied
the chief.

Kin-Fo and Soun, whose arms had previously
been taken from them, were led into a broad vesti-
bule, which formed the atrium of the temple.
There stood nearly twenty armed men, who looked
very picturesque in their bandit costume, but
whose ferocious countenances did not exactly in-
spire confidence.

Kin-Fo passed deliberately between this double
row of Tai-pings. As for Soun, they had to push
him forward by main force.

- This vestibule, at the farther end, opened on a
staircase in the thick wall, and the steps descended
to quite a depth in the mountain.

This evidently indicated that a sort of crypt
was hollowed out under the principal part of the
bonze temple; and to one who did not hold the
thread to these winding, underground passages, it
would have been very difficult, not to say impos-
sible, to reach them.

After descending about thirty steps, then going
forward twenty, by the smoky light of their guides’
torches, the prisoners reached the centre of a vast
hall, which was dimly lighted in the same way.

It was indeed a crypt. Massive pillars, orna-
mented by those hideous heads of monsters which
belong to the grotesque fauna of Chinese myth-
ology, support elliptic arches, whose mouldings
262 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

were again united to the keystone of the heavy
vaults.

A low murmur was heard in this subterranean
hall on the arrival of the two prisoners; it was
not deserted; for a crowd filled it to its darkest
recesses, and this crowd was made up of the
whole Tai-ping band, who had assembled there
for some mysterious ceremony.

At the end of the crypt, on’ a broad stone plat-
form, stood a very tall man, who appeared to be
the president of a secret tribunal; and three or
four of his companions, who stood motionless at
his side, appeared to fill the place of assistants.

The tall man made a sign, and the crowd imme-
diately moved aside, and made way for the pris-
oners.

“ Lao-Shen!” was all that the chief escort said,
as he pointed to the personage who was standing.

Kin-Fo went forward, and entered at once upon
his business, like a man who is determined to
bring it to an end.

“Lao-Shen,” said he, “you have a letter in
your hands which was sent to you by your former
companion, Wang. This letter is now useless,
and I have come to ask you to return it to me.”

At these words, spoken in a firm voice, the
Tai-ping did not even move his head, but seemed
like a bronze statue.

“For what sum will you give up the letter?”
resumed Kin-Fo.

He waited for an answer that did not come.








“ Lao-Shen.”

Page 262.


WHICH THE READER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN. 263

“Lao-Shen!” said Kin-Fo, “I will draw on
whatever banker you please, and in whatever city
you choose, an order that will be honorably paid,
without giving any anxiety to the business-man
whom you may send for it.”

The sombre Tai-ping preserved the same icy
silence, which did not promise well.

Kin-Fo continued, emphasizing his words, —

“What sum shall I make this order? I offer
you five thousand taels.”

There was no answer.

“Ten thousand taels,”

Lao-Shen and his companions were as mute as
the statues in this strange bonze temple.

Kin-Fo could not help feeling angry and impa-
tient ; for his offers deserved some sort of answer.

“Do you not understand me?” he said, address-
ing the Tai-ping.

Lao-Shen, this time deigning to lower his head,
gave him to understand that he thoroughly com-
prehended.

“Twenty thousand taels!} Thirty thousand
taels!” cried Kin-Fo. “TI offer you what the Cen-
tenary would pay you if I were dead. I will double
the sum! triple it! Speak! Is it enough?”

Kin-Fo, whom this mute put beside himself, ap-
proached this speechless group of men around the
Tai-ping, and, crossing his arms, said to him, —

“For what price, then, will you sell me that
letter?”

“For no sum whatever,” the Tai-ping finally
264 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

answered. “You offended Buddha in scorning
the life he gave you, and Buddha will be avenged
Not till you face death will you know the value
of the privilege of being in the world, —a privilege
so long unacknowledged by you.”

And having said this, in a tone which admitted
of no reply, Lao-Shen beckoned to his men; and
Kin-Fo, who was seized before he could defend
himself, was garroted and carried off. A few
moments later he was shut up in a kind of cage,
which was hermetically closed, and was intended
to take the place of a palanquin.

Soun, the unfortunate Soun, in spite of his
cries and entreaties, had to submit to the same
treatment.

“This means death,” said Kin-Fo to himself.

“Well, so be it! One. who has despised life
deserves to die.”
_ But his death, although it appeared inevitable,
was not so near as he thought. He could not
imagine what horrible torment this cruel Tai-ping
was reserving for him.

Hours passed; and Kin-Fo, still imprisoned in
his cage, felt himself lifted, and then carried along
in some sort of vehicle. The jolts, and the noise
of the horses’ hoofs, with the rattling of his
escorts’ weapons, left him no doubt on this sub-
ject. They were carrying him far away. But
where? It would be useless for him to try to
discover.

Seven or eight hours after he started, Kin-Fo
WHICH THE READER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN. 265

felt that the chair had stopped, and that the box
in which he was shut up was being lifted in men’s
arms; and soon a quieter motion succeeded the
joltings on the road.

“Am I ona ship?” he wondered.

Very decided motions of rolling and pitching,
and a revolving kind of motion, confirmed him in
the idea that he was on a steamer.

“Death in the waves!” he thought. “So be
it! They spare me tortures which might be
worse. Thanks, Lao-Shen!”

But twice twenty-four hours again passed by;
and twice each day a little food was put into
his cage through a small sliding trap, though
the prisoner could not see the hand that
brought it, or receive an answer to his ques-
tions.

Ah! Kin-Fo, before leaving this life which
heaven made so beautiful to him, had sought
emotions. He did not wish his heart to cease
to beat without once being thrilled. Well, his
wishes were granted, and far beyond his expecta-
tions.

However, although he had sacrificed his life,
he wished to die in the light of heaven. The
thought that this cage might any moment be
cast into the sea was horrible. To die -without
having seen the light of day again, nor poor
Le-ou, who filled his every thought, was too
hard.

Finally, after a lapse of time which he could
266 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

not reckon, it seemed to him that his long sail
suddenly came to an end.

The revolving motion suddenly ceased. The
ship which bore his prison stopped, and Kin-Fo
felt that his cage was lifted again.

Now was his last hour; and the condemned man
could hope for nothing, but that his sins might be
forgiven.

A few moments elapsed, then years, then
centuries, when, to his great astonishment, Kin-
Fo felt sure that his cage rested on solid ground
once more.

All at once his prison opened, and he was
seized by the arms of some one, who immediately
placed a large bandage over his eyes, and pulled
him out; and then, firmly held by his guards,
he walked a few steps, and was then -told to
halt.

“Tf I must die at last!” he cried, “I will not
ask you to spare a life that I have not known how
to use wisely, but allow me at least to die in the
light, since I am not afraid to look death in the
face.”

“Granted,” said a grave voice. “Let it be as
the prisoner wishes.” And the bandage which
covered his eyes was removed.

Kin-Fo then looked eagerly around him.

Was he the victim of a dream? There was a
table, sumptuously served, and before it sat five
guests, smiling, and appearing to await his pres-
ence before beginning their repast. Two vacant
places seemed to be left for two guests,
WHICH THE READER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN. 267

“Ts it you? you? My friends! my dear friends!
Is it really you whom I see here?” cried Kin-Fo,
in accents it would be impossible to render.

But, no! he was not mistaken. It was Wang
the philosopher, and Yin-Pang, Houal, Pao-Shen,
and Tim, his Canton friends, —the very ones
he entertained two months before on the flower-
boat on the River of Pearls, the companions of his
youth, the witnesses of his farewell to bachelor-
life.

Kin-Fo could not believe his eyes. He was at
home in the dining-room in his yamen at Shang-
hai.

“Tf it is you,” he cried, addressing Wang, “if
it is not your shadow, speak to me!”

“It is I, my friend,” answered the philosopher.
“Will you forgive your old master the last and
somewhat rude lesson in philosophy which he
felt it necessary to give you?” |

“What!” cried Kin-Fo, “was it you, you,
Wang?”

“Tt was I,” answered Wang, “I, who only took
upon myself the mission of depriving you of life
to prevent another from doing it. I, who knew
before you did that you were not ruined, and that
the time would come when you would no longer
wish to die. My former companion, Lao-Shen,
who has become submissive, and who will hence-
forth be the strongest support of the government,
desired to aid me in teaching you the worth of
life by bringing you face to face with death. If
268 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

I forsook you in the midst of your terrible an-
guish, —and, what is worse, made you run round
the country, as was almost inhuman to do, —al-
though it made my heart bleed, it was because I
was sure that you were pursuing happiness, and
would find it on the way.”

Kin-Fo threw himself into Wang’s arms, who
pressed him warmly to his heart.

“My poor Wang!” he said, very much moved,
“if I had been the only one to run about the
country! What trouble have I not caused you?
How much you have had to run about yourself!
and what a bath I made you take from the bridge
at Palikao!”’

“ Ah, yes, that bath!” answered Wang, laugh-
ing. ‘It made me fear for my fifty-five years and
my philosophy ; for I was very warm, and the
water was very cold. But, bah! I came out of it
all right ; and one never runs nor swims so well as
when for others.”

“For others!” said Kin-Fo gravely. “Yes, it
is for others one must learn to do every thing;
for there lies the secret of happiness.”

Soun now entered, pale as a man can only be
when seasickness has tortured him for forty-eight
mortal hours: for the unfortunate valet, as well as
his master, had been obliged to make that voyage
from Fou-Ning to Shang-hai again; and under
what conditions, one could judge by the looks of
his face.

Kin-Fo, after releasing himself from Wang’s em-
brace, clasped the hands of his friends.
WHICH THE READER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN. 269

“Really, I like this so much better!” he said.
“T have been a fool till now.”

“And you may become a sage,” answered the
philosopher.

“JT will try,” said Kin-Fo; “and I must begin at
once, and see about putting my affairs in order.
A little piece of paper has been running round
the world that has been the cause of too much
trouble to allow me to be indifferent about it.
What has become of the cursed letter I gave you,
my dear Wang? Did it really go out of your
hands? I should be glad to see it; for what if it
should get lost again? If Lao-Shen still keeps it,
he cannot attach importance to a mere scrip of
paper; and I should be sorry to have it fall into
hands that would be — less considerate.”

At this every one began to laugh.

“My friends,” said Wang, “‘Kin-Fo has really
profited by his adventures, and is no longer our
former indifferent friend; for he reasons like a
methodical man of business.”

“ All this does not give me back my letter,” re-
sumed Kin-Fo, — “my absurd letter. I confess
without shame that I shall not feel easy till I have
burned it, and have seen the ashes scattered to
the four winds.”

“Seriously, then, you value that letter?” asked
Wang.

“Certainly,” answered Kin-Fo. “Would you
be so cruel as to keep it as a guaranty against a
return of folly on my part?”
270 TRIBULATIONS OF A CHINAMAN.

“No.”

“Well?”

“Well, my dear pupil, there is only one obstacle
in the way of your wishes, and unfortunately it
does not come from me; for Lao-Shen has not
your letter, nor have I.”

“You have not my letter?”

“No,”

“ Flave you destroyed it?”

“No, alas! no.”

“ Were you so imprudent as to trust it to the
hands of any one else?”

“Ves,
“To whom? to whom?” said Kin-Fo eagerly,
his patience at anend. “Tell me, to whom?”

“To some one who desired to return it to no
one but yourself.”

At this moment the charming Le-ou, who was
concealed behind a screen, and. had lost nothing
of the scene, now appeared, holding the famous
letter at the end of her pretty little fingers, and
waving it in playful defiance.

Kin-Fo held out his arms to her.

“No, no! patience a while longer, if you please!”
said the amiable woman, pretending to hide behind
the screen. “Business before every thing, O my
wise husband!”

And, holding the letter before his eyes, she
said, —

“Does my little younger brother recognize his
deed ?”


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Ci 24 ILL

The charming La-ou, who was concealed behind a screen, and had lost

nothing of the scene, now appeared.
Page 270.
WHICH THE READER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN. 271

“Do I recognize it?” cried Kin-Fo. ‘Who
other than myself could have written that foolish
letter?”

“Well, then, before every thing,’ answered
Le-ou, “since you have shown a proper desire,
tear, burn, and annihilate that imprudent letter.
Let nothing remain of the foolish Kin-Fo who
wrote it.”

“ Agreed,” said Kin-Fo, holding it up to a light.
“But now, my dear love, permit your husband to
give his wife one loving kiss, and beg her to pre-
side over this very happy repast. I feel very
much inclined to do honor to it.”

“And we also!” cried the five guests. “It
makes one very hungry to be very happy.”

A few days later, the imperial prohibition being
removed, the marriage took place.

The young married couple loved each other, and
were likely to continue to love each other forever.
A thousand, ten thousand joys await them in life.

One must go to China to prove this

THE END.
’

Hn ey BONG







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