A STORY OF SAN FRANCISCO'S CHINATOWN.
BY MARY E. BAMFORD.
DAVID C. COOK PUBLISHING COMPANY,
36 WASHINGTON STREET.
BY DAVID C. COOK PUBLISHING COMPANY.
A STORY OF SAN FRANCISCO'S CHINATOWN.
STHE. "NEW WORDS."
T WAS low tide. Ti sat on a
board at the end of the net-
drying platform, and looked
out beyond the mud flats of the
bay. He could see his father's
junk far on the water. The junk had
been away down the bay to San Frnnl:i->:n,
and now was coming back, bringing a
load of salt to be used in curing shrimps.
Thousands of shrimps were caught and
dried every year at this isolated California
Chinese fishing-village where Ti lived.
There were large plank floors on which
the shrimps were dried. Tons of shrimps
were shipped across the ocean to China
His uncle, Lum Lee, hurried past to get
some wood to be used as fuel in some of
the processes of curing shrimps. As he
ran by, he looked at Ti and observed that
if the boy should fall off the board at the
end of the net-drying platform, he would
land in the mud-flat underneath.
Do not fall," he called out in Chinese,
as he ran.
But Ti felt entirely above such ad-
vice. Of course he could hold on!
But what he could not do was to harry
the coming in of the tide, so that his
father could bring the junk to the wharf.
Ti particularly wanted the junk to hurry,
because, when going away, his father had
said that he would bring something from
the great city for a present to his boy.
And now, when the junk was returning
and fairly in sight of the fishing-camp,
the water near the shore line of the bay
mist go out and leave nothing but mud-
flats! What junk could sail on a mud-
flat? Ti did wish that the water would
hurry coming in, so he could get his
What ovould it be? Would it be a toy
4 TI: A STORY OF CHINATO WN
balloon, such as the American children intelligible to American as well as Chinese
had sometimes? Or would it be some ears. Uncle Lum Lee had long since dis-
rice cakes? Perhaps it appeared, but See Yow
would be a fish-bladder heard- old See Yow,
covered with feathers, who was going through
for him to use in playing the encampment to one
"tack yin." Or maybe of the buildings that had
it would be candy! a shrine, such as a joss-
Ti clasped his little house has. He was in-
yellow hands ecstatically tending to put some in-
across his "shom," as the cense sticks before the
Chinese call the blouse. shrine, for he knew the
But it does not do to pr b of s roverb of his people,
clasp one's hands too In passing over the day
suddenly when one is in the usual way there
sitting on the end of a are four ounces of sin."
board in the air! Ti lost Yet his idea of "sin"
his balance, screamed, was very different from
caught at the board, and the Christian idea. When
fell over, down into the \ he heard the scream he
mud below! Oh, it was did no wait to go to the
dreadful! His thick- shrine, but hurriedly
soled shoes a n d blue -called to others near.
trousers disappeared in There was a loud chat-
the mud! The ends of -~- tearing, and at last little
his "shom" spread out "Do not fall," called Uncle Lum Lee. Ti was scooped out of
over the mud, and he the mud, as if he were a
screamed a scream that would have been new and valuable variety of clam. He
Chinese Fishing Hamlet.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
left one thick-soled shoe buried far out of child who does tl
sight, and he was borne away by old See bad disposition ai
Yow to be cleaned up again, able, what See Yo
While he scraped and comforted, the mentary. And
old man told Ti how convenient it would Blessings" are h
have been to-day, if he had been one of
the feathered people, for then he could
have flown, when he found himself drop-
ping into the mud. See Yow really be-
lieved that there are feathered people
somewhere in the world, for he had been
taught so, when he was a boy long ago,
by a man from Swatow in China.
"The feathered people are gentle, and
they are covered with fluffy down, and
have wings," said See Yow, "and they
Ti listened and watched the scraping
off of his shoe.
The old man kept on talking about the
feathered people. "If one wishes to
visit that nation, he must go far to the
southeast and then inquire," he finished,1
in the words of the tale as he had learned
By this time Ti was quite as clean as
he could be made in so short a time. See
Yow was always a kind, lovable old man. Old
"When the junk comes in, I will give
you a piece of the present my father love of virtue, an
brings me," said Ti gratefully. old man wished 't
Old See Yow smiled. '" May. the Five for Ti. But to hi
Blessings come upon you!" he answered Ti's promise ab
affectionately: "Surely you were a child thought, "Some
that neither learned to walk nor speak dividing! It is b
early nor had teeth early!" shall have nothinD
Now as certain Chinese believe that a But little Ti m
iese things early has a
Id will grow up unlov-
w said was very compli-
as the Chinese "Five
health, riches, long life,
d a natural death, the
he best things he knew
mself he smiled at little
out the present, and
presents will not bear
ut a child's promise. I
cant what he promised.
meant what he promised.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
He would certainly give a piece of his
present to kind old See Yow.
The little boy stayed with the shrimp-
curers till the slow waters of the bay
climbed again over the mud-flats toward
the fishing-hamlet. Then the men on
the junk out in the bay hoisted sail, and
slowly the junk came toward the shore.
But about three hundred yards from the
shore, it ran aground in the mud. Small
boats began to ply between the junk and
the shore, however, and on one of these
boats came Ti's father. He had not left
Ti's present on board the junk with the
load of salt, either. The present was in-
side of the father's blouse.
How Ti gazed, as his father fumbled in
his blouse and brought out his present!
It was a pair of bright, pink, American
stockings! Oh, they were so bright and
pink and pretty! The boy was delighted.
He had never had anything but common
white stockings to show above his low,
thick-soled shoes before. The new pink
stockings were clocked with silk up their
sides, and to little Ti they seemed very
He smiled with happiness, for Chinese
small people when dressed up" like to
wear pretty colors. Then suddenly he
remembered something. Had he not
said he would divide his present what-
ever it should be -with old See Yow?
The little lad's smile vanished. Must he
give away half of his beautiful new pink
pair of stockings? What good was half
a pair of stockings?
But the boy's father was still fumbling
in his blouse, and a moment later he
brought out some Chinese candy. Put-
ting this into Ti's hands, he brought out
I saw the teacher woman in the city,"
he told in Chinese, and she said, Here is
something for little Ti! Tell him to
fasten it up by a street door, so that all
the fishing-people will see it!'"
But the father frowned a little, as he
said this, though he handed Ti the
teacher's gift, which was a piece of red
paper on which were some Chinese words
in black characters. Ti's father did not
like the city teacher woman very well, yet
he had brought the paper safely because
he thought that the little boy might like
its red color. The words on the red
paper seemed strange to him. He did
not know what they meant.
"I will give this red paper to See
Yow," resolved Ti, taking the paper.
" Then I shall not have to give him one
of my pink stockings! He may have
some of my candy, too."
He ran away to find See Yow. The
kind old man admired the pink stockings,
refused the candy, but took the red paper.
He tried to read what was printed on it
in Chinese characters, but he did not un-
derstand. He puzzled over it quite a
Ti stood by, watching. "What does it
say?" he asked,
"They are new words," answered old
TI: A STORY OF CBINATOWN.
He read them aloud slowly: "' Come
unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest.'"
Ti did not know what they meant. The
teacher woman in the great California
city where he used to live several years
ago had spoken to him once about Christ,
but he was a very little fellow then, and
now he did not remember much she had
said. So he could not help See Yow to
understand the words on the red paper.
"The teacher woman said to put the
paper up by a door where everybody can
see," stated Ti in Chinese.
So See Yow held the red paper and
went along slowly to the hut where he
and some other Chinamen lived. Above
and beside the outside of the door were
already pasted red or yellow papers with
inscriptions that said various things in
Chinese. One paper said: "May we
never be without wisdom." Another
paper read, "Good hope," and another,
"Good will come to us," and another,
" May heaven give happiness."
But none of them held any such words
as the teacher woman's red paper that
See Yow's wrinkled old hands pasted now
among the other inscriptions.
Back and forth through the narrow,
dirty little street that ran through the
hamlet went the Chinese men and women
and children, They were all so busy with
the shrimp-curing and the fish-drying
and the household work that they hardly
looked at See Yow's red paper. Once in
a while a man stopped to look, but he did
not know what the words meant.. Some
of the Chinamen who had once lived
down in the city had heard of the Ameri-
cans' Christ, but had not paid much at-
tention. Many of the Chinese had lived
in different fishing-villages for years, and
had never had any one to teach them of
Christ. See Yow had lived in California
many years. He had wandered around
through Chinese mining-camps and fish-
ing-villages, but in the mining-camps
there was no teaching of Chinese about
Christ, and after all these years in a
Christian land, the poor old,man was in as
dense ignorance of Christianity as when
he came from his native land. This
whole fishing-camp where he now lived
knew little more of Christ than if it had
been in China.
After seeing the paper pasted up by
the door, Ti had run off with his own
precious pink stockings. But old See
Yow stood still and looked awhile at the
red paper, and tried to think what the
words meant. At last he shook his head
slowly, saying as he turned away:
"They are new words. They are new
Yet there those words of eighteen cen-
turies stood on See Yow's shabby old out-
ward wall, and .hither and thither went
the ignorant, hard-working Chinese peo-
ple, who did not know the meaning of
THE CALL FOR "CHOCK CHEE."
HERE was great excitement
in the fishing hamlet.
There were six white men
yes, six who had come
to the hamlet, and no one
Outwardly the Chinese were busy
about their usual work, but inwardly
they thought of little except the six
white visitors and their errand. White
men seldom came here, for there was
no direct communication between the
isolated hamlet and the city save by the
Chinese junk's irregular trips. But the
six white men had come in another vessel,
now waiting in the bay. Some thought
they had come to collect poll tax.
"I have paid poll tax many times,"
said Kim Tong in Chinese.
"Perhaps they have come to hunt for
some bad Chinaman, to put him in jail,"
suggested Lin Tan.
The six white men walked around, ap-
parently noting how many Chinamen
there were in the camp, and what their
occupations were. They looked at those
who were splitting- wood, and those who
were mending nets, and those who were
doing cooking, and those who were
grinding shrimp shells and mixing them
with sawdust. Great quantities of these
ground shells and sawdust were sent to
China, there to be used as a fertilizer of
land. The six strangers looked at some
TI: A STORY OF CHINIA2OWN.
"I HAVE PAID
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
of the large nets. About a hundred such
nets belonged to the fishing hamlet. Two
or three Chinamen were making mat-
tresses of red and white cloth, and the
white men looked at these workers.
None of the dwellers in the little ham-
let seemed outwardly to object to the
white men's seeing all they wished to see.
The Chinese were peaceful, but they did
have a desire to know what was coming.
They knew this unexpected visit meant
The white men peered into various lit-
tle buildings, and saw in two or three of
them such shrines as the Chinese erect for
"Religion isn't entirely neglected
here!" said one of the visitors to another,
"You'll find joss-shrines anywhere
where you find Chinese living, I guess,"
answered the other.
They had gone around near the wharf
It's an opportune time for us to come
on our business," said a third white man,
looking at the Chinese junk next the
wharf. Even their junk isn't out in the
"It wouldn't be so much matter, if it
were out there," said another. These
Chinese have a regular system of signals.
They run up red and green and white
flags on the flag-pole over that house yon-
der, and they could signal a junk to come
in from the bay back to this place, if
necessary. So it wouldn't hinder us
from getting the Chinanmen all together,
unless the junk was too far out to see the.
signals. But probably all are here who
"Why have these men come?" said one Chinaman.
live here, now. We'd better begin pretty
The men then went a little farther and
gazed at the Chinamen who were attend-
ing to fish. Before the very faces of the
white men the Chinese kept on talking
together about why these visitors had
come. They felt safe in talking their
own language. They did not know that
TI: A STORY OF CBINATOWN.
some of these men understood Chinese
and knew what was being said about
Why have these men come?" said one
Chinaman. "Perhaps they will survey
the shore for some purpose. Do they
think they can take away our fishing-
Finally, when the visitors had walked
around the camp and had satisfied them-
selves that all the men usually employed
were there, one of them went to the Chi-
nese "boss" of the fisling-hamlet and
told him to call all the men together.
"Chock chee," demanded the white
man; and immediately the camp was
astir, for "chock chee" meant the cer-
tificate a Chinaman must have to show
that he had been legally admitted to this
Little Ti stood and looked at the com-
motion that ensued. Some of the Chi-
nese hurried to their bunks and brought
back their certificates. Others were very
cross at having to stop their work, and
would not go and get chock chee till
command after command had been given.
"You all come here," said one white
man in Chinese; and the Chinamen gath-
ered in a group.
Then the six men began carefully to
examine the certificates and compare the
photograph on each with the Chinaman
who presented it. As fast as the men
and the certificates were looked at, the
Chinese were told to stand aside, so that
by and by there were two groups of
Chinamen. The white men were care-
fully looking for fraudulent certificates.
Ti watched, for he was somewhat
alarmed by something he heard one. of the
Chinamen say that the men had
brought a genuine "chock chee" with
them, so as to have a standard by which
they might detect any forged certificates;
and though the white men had not come
to find a real criminal, but only to dis-
cover anybody who had violated the law
of chock chee," yet they were so careful
in comparing the genuine certificate
with those shown by the Chinamen, that
there was an impression made among the
suspicious, waiting Chinese that perhaps,
after all, there had been a murder com-
mitted by a Chinaman somewhere in the
State, and these men were looking for the
Ti heard the Chinese about him mur-
muring various conjectures as to whom
had been killed and where it had oc-
curred. There were so many surmises
that he felt frightened. He knew his
father would have to come before those
six men very soon, and he did not know
what the men might do to him.
The little fellow grew so scared that he
wanted to run away and hide himself in
the building that was used as a sail loft
and a place for storing the ropes and
tackle belonging to the junk and other
boats. But he staled, because he watched
for his father's turn to come before the
white men. He knew that some of the
Chinamen were out of temper. One of
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
them had even kicked over a little dwarf
pine that sat in a dish by his hut. But
there was no use in being cross when the
call was for "chock chee."
Ti knew from his father's looks that
something was the matter. Uncle Lum
Lee was safe. He had his certificate.
When it came his father's turn to go
before the six white men, Ti tried to see
between two old Chinamen. He thrust
his little queued head under the China-
man's arm and looked. Before the white
men stood his father, talking briskly in
English of his own.
"Me leave 'chock chee' in city," he
said. "Him velly good number one
'chock chee!' No have him here. Leave
him with my cousin in city."
"Very well," answered one of the
men. Then I arrest you. I will take
you down to the city, and you may find
' chock chee' there and show me. Stand
Ti's father did not object at all. He
had known, as soon as he heard the white
men's errand, that he would have to go
back to the city with them. Such a visit
as this was very unexpected, and Ti's
father told himself that he would always
keep his "chock chee" within reaching
Three other men were in the same pre-
dicament. Little Ti hardly understood.
He knew that Uncle Lum Lee looked dis-
gusted with his father.
When the examination was over, Ti's
father, and the three other men whose
certificates were missing, went and
changed their clothes from fishing gar-
ments to others more appropriate for a
visit to the city. The other Chinamen
went back to their work, but these four
A Dwarf Pine.
came to the men on the net drying
"You all sure you got 'chock chee' in
city?" asked one of the men.
"Yes," answered the lour Chinamen.
They had thought the city a safer place
to keep their certificates than here in the
fishing-hamlet. They looked to see what
their captors were going to do. The men
began talking among themselves, and'the
Chinamen waited. During the long time
that it had taken to carefully examine
each one's chock chee," the tide had
TI: A STORY OF CBINATOWN.
gone out, and the white men would be
forced to wait for its return, before they
could start for the city.
"Tide's out. Got to wait," explained
one of the men to the Chinese.
"Will they kill him?" Ti asked.
The four captives acquiesced, and sat
down with their captors on the net-drying
platform. The sun shone warm upon
them, and the men stared at the great
nets, and said something once in awhile
to one another. None of them knew
that a pair of frightened childish eyes
was watching from shore.
The other more fortunate Chinamen of
the hamlet did not seem to be much con-
cerned about the fate of the four who
had not been able to satisfy the white
men about "chock chee." But Ti, who
understood very little about the reason
for any certificate, could not bear to go
away out of sight of the net-drying plat-
form where his father was--who knew
what those white men were going to do to
The little boy's heart beat heavily with
fear. He went behind a small hut on the
edge of the fishing-hamlet, and peered
out, keeping watch of his father and the
three other prisoners.
"I don't know what they do to my
father!" worried Ti, winking back the
tears from his black eyes.
The men on the platform all seemed to
be waiting for something. Ti did not
know what it was, for he had not looked
at the water of the bay. He kept his eyes
fixed on his father. He expected to
see something dreadful happen, but noth-
ing occurred. At last the boy came out
from his hiding place and set about find-
ing out what was to be.
What will they do to my father?" he
asked one of the Chinamen.
Take him to the city."
"Will they kill him?" he questioned,
with a child's unreasoning fear.
The Chinaman shook his head.
"He come back," he said.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
And Ti was comforted. "Me go, too,"
he thought, with new inspiration.
It had been a long time, about two
years, since he had been to the city to see
his cousin, a boy younger than himself.
His father had been promising to take
Ti now ran to the net-drying platform,
and asked his father's permission. His
father spoke to the white men.
Oh, yes," said one. Take the little
fellow, if you want to! But don't take
him unless you're sure you've got 'chock
chee' in city. If you haven't 'chock
chee' there, you're going to be in big
trouble, and you don't want any boy
"Me got number one 'chock chee' in
city," reiterated Ti's father.
"All right," said the white man; and
Ti ran to his uncle's wife to be dressed for
the journey. His mother was dead, so
Uncle Lum Lee's wife dressed him.
He was a gorgeous little Chinaman by
the time his best clothes were on. His
ordinary calico apron that he wore over
his every-day "shomr" was discarded, and
his little body was stuffed out with many
blouses, worn one over another in Chi-
nese fashion. His outside blouse was
bright yellow, and his trousers were
green. They were tied about his ankles,
but this did not hide the fact that he
wore the things that he was most proud
of, his new pink American stockings!
The little lad was ready long before
there was any need of it, and he stood on
the net-drying platform, a bright little
figure in yellow and green and pink. The
white men, the four Chinamen, and Ti,
sat on the platform and waited for the
tide. After a- while one of the men
yawned and rubbed his eyes.
"This chock chee business is slow,"
An old figure in a shabby blue shom
and trousers came down' to the net-drying
"Here comes a real old Celestial," said
one white man.
Old See Yow came slowly on. He
"Kunghi, kunghi!" said old See Yow;
meaning, "I respectfully wish you joy."
Kunghi, kunghi, old man," said one
of the men good-naturedly. What can
I do for you? Have you come to beguile
our weary hours?"
"You talk Chinese," said old See Yow
respectfully in his own tongue. "Can
you also read it?"
Some," answered the man.
"Will you come?" asked See Yow,
beckoning. "I wish to show you some-
The man rose lazily and smiled. The
time was long, and there were enough
others to attend to the four Chinese. So
he followed See Yow along the platform,
off to the shore, through the narrow
street, till they came to the old man's
door. There, pasted up beside the en-
trance, was the new red paper that Ti had
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
The old Chinaman pointed to the
"Can you read it?" he asked in Chi-
The man looked at the red placard. He
studied it a little and then he nodded.
"You no read it?" he asked.
See Yow nodded. "I read," he said,
"but the center of my heart does not un-
derstand. What is it the words say?"
The man read it: Come unto me, all
ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest."
"You no sabe that?" he asked.
See Yow shook his head. No, he did
Somewhere in the depths of the
visitor's memory something stirred. He
remembered a boyhood when his mother
read such verses. He remembered when
he, too, read them. Little had he read
such words in the years of manhood, but
he knew what that red paper meant.
Yes, he knew. He hesitated. He was
glad his companions were not present to
listen to his explanation.
Jesus Christ said that," he explained
in Chinese. "You know Jesus Christ?"
See Yow shook his head. He did not
know anything about Jesus Christ.
The man stood and looked at the
"Where did you get it?" he asked.
See Yow explained.
The other laughed a little.
'"Very good paper," he said, and
Old See Yow looked puzzled and dis-
"What is it the words say?" he asked
anxiously in Chinese. What is it they
But the man was walking down the nar-
row street. He did not care to talk about
the words any more.
See Yow stood and. looked at the red
paper in a distressed way. Something in
his heart cried out for the meaning of
those words, but there was nobody to tell
him what they meant.
"They are new words," he re-
peated despairingly. "They are new
There was a puzzled wistfulness in the
old eyes. The strange man had said that
it was a "very good paper." See Yow
gazed at the paper respectfully. He
would keep it there. Perhaps it was a
charm to ward off evil spirits, as pieces of
embroidered silk may keep evil spirits
away, if the silk is hung near a bed.
Meantime the stranger had gone back
to the net-drying platform. The men he
had left there were talking together. One
of them looked up.
"What did your old Chinaman take
you off to see?" he asked laughingly.
"Just a paper," answered the other, as
he walked down to the end of the plat-
form, and stood alone a few minutes,
looking out at the slow-coming tide.
"I didn't come down here to preach a
sermon!" he told himself uneasily, trying
to forget how old See Yow's face had
J1: A STORY OF CHONATOWN.
looked. "'Chock chee' is more in my
line. I wish that tide would hurry!"
He looked off at the distant horizon.
Perhaps he saw something there besides
low-lying haze. Perhaps he saw a little
boy beside his mother's knee. Perhaps,
too, he heard something besides the indis-
tinct sound of conversation behind him
and the cry of sea-gulls. Perhaps he
heard that mother's voice reading out of
an old Book. Presently he turned and
went back to the others. By and by the
tide came up, and the men and the four
Chinese went off together with Ti. After
a while the little Chinese fishing-hamlet
faded, and Ti could see it no more.
It was wonderful to the little boy to be
really going to the city! He stood on the
boat and looked out at the sparkling,
ruffled water. On and on they went, and
he saw a sea-gull, and the wind blew
brisk and salt, and he laughed at the
spray that flew in his face. And then,
after they had been sailing quite a time,
he lifted his eyes and saw in the distance
the smoke of an American steamboat. He
was delighted. It was only a foretaste of
the wonderful things he was going to see,
he knew. He was going to the city!
But little Ti did not know what things
should befall him there, and that he
would not see the Chinese fishing-hamlet
again for two whole years. Perhaps, if
he had known, he would have turned and
looked once more in the direction in
which the fishing-hamlet lay.
But he did not think of such a thing as
his staying away more than a few days.
He stood looking at the smoke of the
American steamboat, and the wind blew
his pink-plaited little queue over his
shoulder, and the spray lit on his bright
yellow "shom" and green trousers, and
his almond eyes took in everything.
"You're a regular little sailor," said
one of the men in English.
But Ti did not understand. He knew
only a very little English, for he had not
had anybody to talk that language with at
the fishing-hamlet, and he had forgotten
many words he once had known when he
lived in the city as a very little boy. Be-
sides, he did not want to talk now. He
was going to the great city, and he was so
But, alas! back in the Chinese fishing-
hamlet, old See Yow went to and fro, as
ignorant and unsatisfied as ever. The
"center of his heart" was yet wistfully
longing for something, he knew not what.
The "very good paper" with its message
was not understood. Alas, that chock
chee" had been more in the white man's
1HE city reached, Ti's father
found his certificate and
made his peace with the
chock chee" men. Then
the two went to Ti's
uncle's, and the boy was happy with his
TI:.A TOSRY OF CHINA2OWN.
little cousins in the small rooms above
and back of the uncle's store, that was
hung with gay Chinese lanterns, and had
shelves and cases filled with Chinese dolls,
and rice paper pictures, and little storks
and frogs, and beautifully made boxes,
and white silk handkerchiefs such as
It was a great change for Ti, coming
from his little fishing-hamlet to this great
city. His aunt, Ah Cheng, was glad to
see him, and she began to cook some meat
in Chinese cooking oil for the visitors.
She turned the meat with a couple of red
chopsticks while it was cooking, and into
a kettle that contained some more cook-
ing oil she threw the wet leaves of some
vegetable. The leaves, beginning to
cook, made a great spluttering in the hot
oil on top of the charcoal range, and Ti
thought how good dinner would be.
His aunt, Ah Cheng, was very pleasant,
and told him he ought to have come to
the city before, to visit his little cousin,
baby Hop, who was now two years old,
but whom Ti had never before seen. And
then Aunt Ah Cheng told him how nice a
birthday feast they had had for baby Hop
when he was four weeks old. Chinese
babies have a feast when they are four
weeks of age. The other cousin, Hop's
brother Whan, was five years old.
Ti went to the little front balcony and
looked out. Across the street he could
see a Chinaman standing behind a small
table set on the sidewalk. The table had
a red, black-stained cover, and the man
was a fortune-teller.
On a farther building were two enor-
mous red and green lanterns. All of the
people who lived along here were Chinese.
Over at the corner was a Chinese
butcher's shop, where pork and vegetables
were for sale. One shallow, round basket
on the sidewalk contained a quantity of
white, dry watermelon seeds, such as the
Chinese eat. Another basket held beans
that had been made to sprout and put
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
forth runners about two inches long. The aunt was cooking.
runners and beans were alike very pale ferent families we
and were tender for eating. was one quarre
Ti turned around and looked at the them. He did no
room in which he was standing. The his aunt was the
outer room, in which his aunt
was cooking, was one used
in common for that purpose
by other Chinese families liv-
ing in this house, but the little
room Ti stood in was exclu-
sively that of Aunt Cheng's
family. The little boy gazed
at its furnishings. There was
a shelf for the household gods,
and there was a table with-
candles and incense sticks.
There were several stools, and
a picture of the Chinese god-
dess of mercy, Kun Yam,
the goddess that is so much
worshiped by a 11 Chinese
women and girls, whether in
China or America.
There was a bed made of
boards, covered with a square
of matting. Around the bed
were some curtains, fastened
with loops of Chinese money,
"cash," and beside the cur- Chinese Fortune-t<
tains hung pieces of em-
broidered silk of different colors. These cousin, Whan, w
silken pieces were charms against evil into the store wit
spirits. Poor as the room was, it seemed two somewhat un
beautiful to Ti, who had come so recently below and peeped
from his fishing-village, the old Chinese fc
He went back to the room where his covered table, fa
Other women of dif-
!re here now, and there
some woman among
t like it so well as when
re alone, but his little
as ready to run down
;h him, so together the
acquainted cousins went
I out the store door at
rtune-teller and his red
rather down across the
street. It did not seem
day for the fortune-tell
without any customers.
"But it is not so eve
CHINESE MUSICAL I
Whan in Chinese to
wise, and people go t
TI: A STOBY OF CHINATOWN.
to be a very good fortune-teller at the fishing place where
er. He stood there you live?"
"No," said Ti, who was greatly im-
ry day," said little pressed by the wonders of the city.
The two children stepped out on the
street. Here and there were other Chi-
nese children, some with their parents,
some alone on errands. There were many
Chinamen going back and forth. Some,
who had been to the butcher's, carried
little cornucopias of brown paper contain-
ing small quantities of meat. Most such
Chinese people had very little quantities
of vegetables, too. There was a queer
sound of music in the air. That is, the
Music would have been strange in Ameri-
can ears. Some one in the upper story
of an opposite building was playing a
stringed musical instrument.
Ti stood and looked over at the unfor-
tunate fortune-teller. But he did not
seem to be much depressed by his lack of
m. customers, and there was so much else to
see and hear that Ti forgot about him.
The stringed instrument had been joined
*v. by other Chinese: musical instruments,
and the little boy stared up at the higher
window opposite and listened. But his
cousin Whan did not like this. He pulled
Ti farther on the street.
Come and see," said he, bent on show-
ing his country cousin the sights.
But Ti would listen for a minute or
two. He thought the music was very
fine, though it was squeaky. But soon the
Ti. "He is very squeaking instruments were aided by a
o him. Is there a much more powerful one, for some other
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN. 19
player joined in with a loud sound of customer's ear with a little black instru-
metal beaten, as of a kettle-drum. ment.
Ti saw an old Chinaman sitting on a Not far off was a Chinese druggist's
box on the sidewalk.
He had another little
box before him, and he
was an opium pipe
mender. He was busy
mending and cleaning
part of such a pipe -
Around the corner
sat a Chinese cobbler,
working on the street.
He held a blue, thick-
soled Chinese shoe, and
hummed a funny little
song. There were some
pieces of leather soak-
ing in a small tub be-
side him, and on the
side of the box before
him there was a red
paper with Chinese
characters. The cobbler
had a board put up at
one side of his open-air
shop, and he looked at
Ti and little Whan in a
Ti gazed into a Chi-
nese barber shop, and Chinese Cobbler.
saw the barber shaving a customer's head. shop. In the window were two bottles of
The customer held up a little tin box, and horned toads in alcohol, and, peering
every time the barber clipped off any hair, into the store, Ti saw a Chinaman sitting,
he dropped it into this tin. Another working the handle of a machine up and
barber was cleaning out the interior of a down. He seemed to be cutting roots to
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
pieces, and the machine appeared to work
somewhat as a machine for thinly slicing
dried beef does in an American grocery
The two boys went on to a Chinese
vegetable shop, where some yellow squares
of bean curd were piled for sale. Each
square of curd was marked with a Chi-
nese character, and the curds were notice-
able on account of their yellow color.
Chinese manner of carrying wood in San Francisco.
Long pieces of sugar cane, brought from
China, stood up against the side of the
building, like so many fishing poles
or pieces of bamboo. There were cut
pieces of sugar cane, too, about seven
inches long, for sale, two pieces for five
Ti gazed at a cage of turtles slowly
crawling about their prison. There were
some big crabs, too, in a receptacle, one
lying on his back. The crabs made Ti
feel more at home. He had seen so many
of them at the fishing village.
Near by was a Chinese shop for dried
fish. Here on a corner was an old scribe,
writing a letter for a Chinese coolie. He
wrote with a brush that he held upright
and moved mostly by his little finger. Ti
and Whan looked at this scribe's writing
with great respect. In a few minutes the
letter was written, the coolie paid the
scribe and went away.
We must go home," said little Whan
in Chinese to Ti. My mother will have
cooked the dinner."
They turned around and went back
toward Whan's father's store. The two
children looked again at the vegetable
shop as they went by it, and Whan said
that once the Chinese vegetable seller
had given him a piece of sugar cane to
eat. Both boys would have liked some
sugar cane. They looked at the vegetable
man's little boy, and lingered near his
shop a minute, but the vegetable seller
was too busy to notice.
Ti turned away. He peeped into an-
other street, and beheld a sight that hor-
rified him--a house with five great
gilded teeth swinging in the balcony be-
fore the house! He gazed with horror at
those big teeth. He had never before"
known about Chinese dentists, and those
swinging, monstrous teeth filled him with
fearful conjectures of what was done in
that house. He turned and ran.
Little Whan could not imagine what
had frightened his cousin so. He ran
after, calling. Ti ran in the wrong direc-
tion, not toward his uncle's store, and
nearly plunged down the stairs into a cel-
lar below the sidewalk, where wood was
for sale by Chinamen. Looking down
the stairs, the passers could see the wood
tied in little bundles for purchasers.
TI: A STORY 0
There was a bright new axe visible in the
cellar. A Chinaman came along the
street, carrying an amount of wood at
each end of a pole hung across his shoul-
der, as a Chinese vegetable peddler carries
his baskets, except that the two piles of
F CHINATOWN. 21
wood were not in baskets, but were kept
in place at each end of the pole by a Chi-
Whan caught up with Ti, and, grasping
his shoulder, said, "You go the wrong
way. Why did you
1 )I But Ti would not tell,
i for he was already a little
ashamed to have been
frightened over the big
swinging teeth. He felt
as if he were an ignorant
little country Chinaman.
No doubt small Whan,
five years old, had often
seen that house
with the teeth,
and was not
scared; and here
i lf was he, Ti, a
--.------ boy eight years
.- -- old, afraid of
did not terrify
his little cousin!
So Whan did
not get any an-
Dried-fish Shop. swer to his ques-
But it was time for dinner, and Ti was
quite ready to run home. The boys had
dinner together, without any sugar cane,
but Ti did not care. The Chinese greens
and the meat tasted very good, and he ate
Ti's father thought that he and his
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
little boy would stay a few days and visit.
It was the time of the feast of Kwong
Goon, that heathen deity who,-the Chi-
nese believe, has much to do with the
dead. Ti's father had thought of its be-
ing the time of the feast, and he had been
all the more willing to come down to the
city with the chock chee" men.
The next day after arriving in the city,
Ti and his father, and little cousin Whan
and the uncle, went to a joss-house to see
and to carry gifts for the festival. Those
Chinese who had relatives that had died
since the last Kwong Goon festival,
brought prayer papers and joss sticks to
the altar. Candy, tea, cigars and dried
fish were laid before Kwong Goon.
Well might the Chinese fear him, accord-
ing to their religious belief, for he is the
deity who is supposed to devour the bodies
of irreligious Chinamen.
Much money had been spent on this
festival. Little Ti, looking at the altar of
Kwong Goon, saw it resplendent with can-
dles and gilt censers. The gilded altar
pieces were imported ones, and in this
joss-house in the Chinese part of an
American city, the Chinese high priest in-
toned the services for the souls of dead
Ti and his folks were near the shrine.
If this had not been so, perhaps something
would not have happened. As it was,
five-year-old Whan came to great grief.
Notwithstanding the holiness of the altar,
the Chinese men occasionally took cigars
from a tray that lay before the shrine.
Seeing this, little Whan reached out his
tiny yellow hand and helped himself to a
piece of dried fish that had been offered to
Woe to little Whan! What a crime was
this! The Chinese women who were about
him pounced down on the little boy and
nearly choked him, trying to get that
piece of fish, for he had put it into his
mouth, and the women were determined
to get the fish before he could swallow it.
They forced his mouth open. One woman
had her bony fingers tightly around his
throat. Another had seized the end of
the piece of fish. Whan struggled and
gasped. Ti looked on in alarm, lest his lit-
tle cousin should be choked. But the
women got the fish.
The tumult subsided. Great Kwong
Goon was honored by an offering of punk
sticks, and little Whan, the beginner of
this confusion, offended against the pro-
prieties of the occasion no more. Per-
haps what he had done would have been
forgotten, had not something happened to
him within the next few days, something
that his parents regarded as the result of
Whan's act at the Kwong Goon festival.
What happened was this. The festival
continued through the week, and Ti and
his father stayed, for the father had some
matters he wanted to attend to in the
city. Now, about five days after his visit
to the shrine of Kwong Goon, little Whan
was taken ill. He was languid and
slightly feverish. He could not swallow
his rice without pain and difficulty.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN. 23
"It is because you tried to eat a piece But Whan was not well. Seeing this,
of the fish belonging to Kwong Goon," his father made up his mind to go to a
said his mother. "This is your punish- Chinese drug store, although he would not
Little. Wha n,
who felt very mis-
that what his su- I
said was true. He m o
did not know that
he had been ex-
posed to diph-
theria, and that he
w oul d probably
have had the dis-
ease anyway, if he had not gone
to the festival. He resolved
that he would never offend
Kwong Goon again.
Whan felt no better after his
resolve, however, and his father
thought that the disease must
be produced by some angry
spirit. So that night the father
went outside the store with
some pieces of Chinese money .
and a bowl of rice, and after
prostrating himself se vera 1
times before the invisible evil The Vegetable Man's Little Boy.
spirit, he threw the money and
the rice at the place where he supposed stay there for any other business than
the evil spirit to be. Then he went back that pertaining to the place, for fear that
into the house. the evil spirits that produce sickness
"You will be well now," he told might be lurking among the medicines.
Whan. Lu-tsu, the medicine god, who So, having seen the sign in Chinese, Bad
pities the sick, will help you." Spirits Not Admitted," he got Whan some
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
medicine from the "Hall of Joyful Re-
lief," as the Chinese characters on the
apothecary's shop denoted it to be. But
the Hall of Joyful Relief" did not help
the little boy, so his father got some medi-
cine from the "Promise Life Palace,"
and the "Hall for Multiplying Years,"
and the Great Life Hall," and from a
place where the board read in Chinese,
"Wo Ki Ying feels the pulse and writes
prescriptions for internal and external
disease." Moreover the father consulted
one of the Chinese fortune-tellers, who
looked at the sick child's nose and said it
was like a dog's, and for that reason
Whan would live long. According to
this fortune-teller's rule, "A man with a
dog's nose will live long."
Moreover, the friendly Chinese butcher,
who had recently come from China, gave
Ti's father a cow's tooth which had been
found in a field near Swatow, and which,
the butcher said, if brought into a dwell-
ing and put on the shelf of the gods,
would keep demons from entering.
With all this, little Whan did not seem
to get better.
URING Whan's sickness the
other children were not
kept away from him. It
was not the Chinese custom
to do that.
When the teacher- who was not the
person who had sent the paper to the fish-
ing camp, but another teacher came
through the district and saw little Whan,
she knew that something serious was the
matter. She said to his father, Your
boy is sick. You should get an Ameri-
"It is Kwong Goon who makes Whan
sick," said Ah Cheng, the child's mother.
" Kwong Goon will punish him for taking
the fish! His throat is sick."
But the father did as the teacher said.
He sent for an American doctor.
"Your boy has diphtheria," said the
doctor, as he looked at little Whan.
"That's what ails him."
The doctor told the father to keep the
sick boy in' a room separate from the
Yes," said the father stupidly, and
he looked at the doctor and wondered if,
after all, it would not have been much
better to have gone again to the "Hall
of Joyful Relief and got some more Chi-
nese medicine, than to have called this
American doctor. For what was the
reason why Whan should be shut up in a
room by himself? Would not the evil
spirits that make sickness come to him?
What a singular thing!
The father looked suspiciously at the
doctor and his medicine. It was Kwong
Goon who had made Whan ill, no doubt,
and was it likely that putting the boy off
in a room by himself would cure him?
What did this American doctor know
about Kwong Goon, anyhow?
'I: A STORY OF CHINATOWN. 25
The doctor saw the father's distrustful the midst of the work, the three children
look, and tried to explain as best he could all were together again. There was noth-
in English. ing before the doorways of the rooms,
"Do you not see?" asked
he. If your boy has diph-
theria, your baby might
take it, and so might the
cousin from the country. #.
You must keep Whan in a
room by himself."
"Yes," said the father.
"Be sure to do it," reit-
erated the doctor.
"Yes," said the father; .,
and, after the doctor had
gone, he told his wife, who
had not seen the doctor, for ".
he had not been allowed to
come to the living room
upstairs, but only to enter
But the next day, when
the teacher came back, she
found that Whan's mother -
had not done as the doctor
said. She meant to do the
best for her children, poor
Ah Cheng! but she did not
understand about infection.
"You must put Whan in
a different room, away from
Chinese Festival of Kwong Goon.
the other children," said
the teacher kindly, and she showed the anyhow, except thin red curtains. Ti
mother how. and Hop wanted to be with Whan con-
Whan stayed separate till after the stantly, and the mother thought that
teacher went away. Then, somehow, in keeping the sick child separate was only
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
an American notion, anyway, and not of
much importance. It seemed too bad to
separate the children, when they liked one
another so well. In pure kindness, Ah
Cheng allowed the three to be together.
Toward evening the teacher came
again. She was alarmed over Whan, and
stayed to watch by him, but the ignorant
mother slept. In the morning the father
and mother were frightened about the
sick child, for they saw how very much
worse he was. They lighted tapers and
burned incense, hoping to make him bet-
ter, and to appease the evil spirit that
they felt sure was tormenting him.
Diphtheria is common enough in China,
But Whan grew worse. He could not
drink without strangling. He did not
wish to eat.
By this time, two-year-old Hop and his
cousin Ti were both taken with the same
It is Kwong Goon who does this,"
still said Whan's mother. It is the god
But little five-year-old Whan was dying,
though his mother did not realize it.
The teacher, who had been obliged to
go herself for the American doctor and
had not found him in, hurried now from
the street into the narrow alley. Around
it stood Chinamen as usual, talking. A
Chinese woman with ankle ornaments
like bracelets went into a doorway. The
teacher nodded to the woman and hurried
on. All these Chinese were used to see-
ing the teacher now, and they did not
watch her suspiciously, as they had once
done. They knew, now, that she was
friendly, and she could talk their tongue.
The teacher hastened up the long out-
side narrow stairs that led to the rooms
where Ti's aunt lived. A door at the top
of the stairway had some Chinese char-
acters on it. She rapped, said something
in Chinese, and entered without waiting.
Directly in front of her, in the tiny,
box-like entry, was what would look to
American eyes like a large, rectangular
tin for ashes. There were ashes in the
tin, but there was a red paper on the wall
above, and this was a place for worship of
The teacher did not stop an instant.
She hurried through the narrow passage
at the left. The passage was cut with
several doors, hung with thin red cur-
tains. A person could readily enter, any
room, but the teacher hastened to the one
where Ti and Whan and Hop were. She
had not meant to be away so long.
But she knew, now, before she entered
the room, that One had been there before
her. He who loves the children had
looked not only upon little Whan in his
pain and suffering, but on baby Hop, and
was taking them to himself. The teacher
heard wailing before she lifted the thin
red curtain of the room. Little Whan
was dead. The dreadful diphtheria had
done its work, and when the teacher took
baby Hop into her arms, she believed that
the child would follow his brother soon.
TI: A STORY O.
The teacher did all she could. The
American doctor came at last, but it was
too late. In those last dreadful moments
of baby Hop's life, his mother, poor Ah
Cheng, prostrated herself before the old
picture of the goddess of mercy, and
prayed and sobbed.
Oh, save my baby! Save my baby!"
she sobbed wildly in Chinese. Oh, Kun
Yam, goddess of mercy, save my baby!"
The teacher's tears ran down her
F CHINATOWN. 27
cheeks, as she saw the heart agony with
which poor Ah Cheng sobbed and wrung
her hands and prayed before that picture.
But the dear little two-years-old baby in
the teacher's arms drew a last, faint gasp,
and the teacher saw with reverent awe
the seal of death set itself on the baby
She laid down the little body and
put the chubby brown hands gently
together, and then went softly across
the room, and knelt beside the poor
Ah Cheng lifted up her drawn,
agonized face, and looked toward her
child. As she realized what had hap-
pened, a cry of despair broke from her
lips. She flung herself wildly down, and
beat her head against the floor.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
"Kun Yam! Kun Yam!" she wailed.
I shall never see them again! Both my
sons are dead, and I shall never see them
again! Kun Yam! Kun Yam!"
Poor Ah Cheng! I am so sorry for
you," said the teacher, slipping her arm
around Ah Cheng and drawing her head
down until it rested upon her shoulder.
I am so sorry for you, and there is One
who is more sorry for you than anybody
else can be, for He is here and knows our
sorrow. It is Jesus, Ah Cheng, Jesus,
who loves the children. Your children
are with him and he will keep them safe.
And, Ah Cheng, he loves you, too, and
wants to comfort you."
Ah Cheng's sobbing grew a. little
You cry out to Kun Yam, Ah Cheng,
because your heart must have help in this
trouble; and Jesus is listening to every
cry, and he can help you. He has taken
the little ones to himself. Some day he
will restore them to you, if you trust him
and open your heart to his love, believing
in him as your best Friend."
Then vdry lovingly and patiently did
the teacher try to explain to the stricken
mother that this Jesus is the. one true
God, and that he is close to us, though
our eyes cannot see him.
The night that baby Hop died, Ti was
too ill to know it. He did not compre-
hend the wailing. It had been a confused
outburst of sound without any meaning
to him, as he half dozed on his bunk. As
feverish Ti lay there the next day, how-
ever, he looked continually at the teacher.
Sometimes he seemed to himself to know
her. Other times he thought he did not.
There was an odor of much burning in-
cense in the air. He felt very strangely.
He wished he were back in the fishing vil-
lage with his father and old See Yow and
Uncle Lum Lee and the others. He had
never felt so queer there. He did not
know that he was sick. He only knew
that sometimes the teacher sitting as he
supposed by baby Hop seemed to turn
into old See Yow, and sometimes she
looked like his father. And sometimes
the tapers that were lit seemed to whirl
and change, as he had seen the moonlight
on the waves near by the fishing village at
His throat hurt. He had not eaten his
rice. His throat felt as little Whan said
his felt that day at the feast of Kwong
Goon, when the bony fingered woman
clasped his neck so tightly, to keep him
from swallowing the piece of fish.
As Ti lay looking with feverish eyes,
suddenly the teacher's face seemed to
him to be that of the heathen deity,
Kwong Goon. The child shuddered. He
could not reason any more. He thought
Kwong Goon's fingers were clasping the
neck of this little sick Chinese boy, Ti
I did not touch your fish! Whan did
it!" Ti struggled to cry out, but the words
stopped in his throat.
Surely the great, the dreadful Kwong
Goon would not make such a mistake!
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
He must know the difference between Ti
He tried to shut his feverish eyes, but
they would come open again, and every
time he opened them he became more and
more sure that it was not the teacher
woman who sat there, but it must be
Kwong Goon. Poor little Ti! He was
becoming more and more feverish and
confused. He did not have his right
mind, or he would not have thought so
foolish a thing, but the continual talk of
his relatives about Kwong Goon, the last
few weeks, had frightened him, and now.
his feverish brain was alarmed at seeing
what he thought was Kwong Goon's face.
The teacher did not know that the little
boy lay there in a state of terror, or she
would have sprung up and come to him.
He opened his lips and tried ,o cry, Go
away, Kwong Goon! Go away!" He
tried to say, You must not kill me!" but
something in his throat seemed to stop
The imagined face seemed to come
nearer. It was dreadful Kwong Goon.
Ti tried to cry out, to escape. Kwong
Goon came nearer.
"Go away!" the sick boy tried to
scream. "Go away!"
But he could not speak. He felt as if
he were choking. Suddenly he felt the
teacher woman bending over him.
"Ti," she said gently in Chinese, "lit-
tle Ti, what is it? Do not be afraid.
Remember Jesus is here- Jesus that I
told you about, Ti Jesus who loves
you. He is strong. He can keep you
Ti could not answer. The teacher
lifted him. He heard a wailing. There
came a strong odor of incense. He
Then he did not remember things any
"A man with a dog's nose will live long," said the
more for a while. Occasionally the
teacher's face would show in the mist that
seemed to surround him. One time it
occurred to him to wonder why the
teacher woman did not leave him any
more and go to Hop. He tried, to turn
his head and look toward baby Hop. It
took a good deal of trying, but at last he
did turn his head. The place where the
baby had lain was empty. Ti shut his
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
eyes, and everything drifted away into
mist again. At the fishing- hamlet he
had sometimes seen the fog roll up the
bay and cover everything from sight. So.
now everything vanished.
He did not know when the wailing-
women came, and candles were burned,
and afterwards Chinese imitation paper
money was thrown away on the street, as
the bodies of little Whan and little Hop
were taken away to the Chinese burying
ground far out toward the ocean.
In the days that came the Christian
teacher woman stayed with Ti and did
her best to comfort Ah Cheng. When-
ever she could, she tried to teach her
more about Jesus. But Ah Cheng was
afraid to believe, for all her life she had
feared the gods, and what the teacher told
her seemed too good to be true.
Gradually Ti grew better. He was out
of danger. His father, who knew from
the epidemics of diphtheria in China how
that disease can take away children, felt
much relieved that Ti was growing better.
He believed that diphtheria is caused by
an evil spirit, and now he went to the
joss-house and posted on the wall a red
paper of thanksgiving for Ti's recovery.
According to the Chinese custom of
wailing, little Whan and baby Hop were
wailed for by their mother at a set time
of day every seventh day for seven suc-
cessive weeks. But it was no formal
mockery of wailing with poor Ah Cheng.
Sometimes Chinese people wail at the set
time and then suddenly break off wailing
and go about their work as if nothing had
happened except that they had performed
a duty. But Ah Cheng's mourning came
from her heart, and many a time, besides
the set wailing periods, she wept for her
little children, and often in her loneliness
she sobbed, "I shall never see them
SWhen Ti was well enough to be around
again, his uncle and aunt besought his
father, saying, "Let Ti stay with us a
while! Whan is dead and Hop is dead.
Let Ti stay to comfort us a while."
So Ti's father, pitying the lonely par-
ents, went back to the fishing-hamlet
alone, and Ti was left to live on with his
uncle and aunt.
A NEW ACQUAINTANCE.
HEY were very kind to Ti in
his uncle's home. The
Chinese are fond of chil-
dren, and Ti had no mother
at the fishing-hamlet to
worry about him.
When the twenty-first day after the
death of little Whan and Hop was pass-
ing, Ti's aunt looked very sorrowful. She
spread a table with food, such as little
Whan and Hop had liked in their life-
time. That night the doors were all left
unlocked, and the uncle and Ti and his
aunt went to bed. But Ah Cheng wept,
for she believed that at midnight her little
boys' spirits would return and she would
TI: A STORY OF CRINATOWN.
not see them. But the doors must not-be
locked on her own children. They must
be allowed to come in. The Chinese
think that it is not till a person has been
dead twenty-one days that he knows he is
dead. Then he discovers it and is fright-
ened. Crying out in alarm,. he starts
back to earth. Ti's aunt thought that
her little boys would come back and take
the essence of the food she had set out for
them, and would go away again to the
spirit world, leaving the substance of the
food for the family to eat the next morn-
ing. No wonder that stricken Ah Cheng
cried all night at the thought that her
two little children came back, frightened,
and she could neither see nor speak to
them, and they went away again.
"I shall never see them again!" wept
the poor mother through the night.
"Kun Yam! Kun Yam! I shall never
see them again!"
The teacher who had been so kind dur-
ing the children's illness came often now
to try to comfort their mother and teach
her and Ti. But it seemed almost impos-
sible for Ah Cheng to believe and so be
comforted. She was very superstitious,
and in this new home to which Ti had
come, the "front door god,". the street
god," the "floor god," the "kitchen
god," the "bed god," the "roof god,"
the water god," and the sky goddess"
The teacher was very kind and pitiful
to the poor mother.
"I want to tell you something, Ah
Cheng," she said one day, when she had
come in and found the heart broken
woman bowed before the old picture of
the goddess of mercy, and Ti sitting so-
berly watching his aunt's tears and
"I want to tell you something," she
repeated. A number of years ago there
lived in China a girl who worshiped the
goddess of mercy, as you worship her.
After this girl had worshiped the goddess
for twenty years, her mother lay dying.
The mother told the family to make her
ready and lay her away to die. So they
dressed her in good clothes and, putting
her on a board, laid her in another room
to die. The mother died and was buried.
The daughter felt very badly, but the
goddess of mercy did not help in this
Ah Cheng's wistful eyes were fixed on
the teacher's face.
"No, the goddess did not help," re-
peated the teacher gently in Chinese.
"The poor daughter had no hope of ever
seeing her mother again. The only help
she had was to go and lie on her mother's
grave all day, in hope that she might
dream of her at night. It was only in
dreams that the poor daughter had any
hope of ever seeing her dear mother's face
The tears filled poor Ah Cheng's eyes.
She could not even go and lie on her chil-
dren's graves, for they were away on
the sand dunes out by the ocean, and she
was a Chinese woman and must stay in
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
the little rooms where she lived. How
often she had longed to dream of her two
little ones since they died!
"Let me tell you the rest of the story,
Ah Cheng," said the teacher gently.
" That poor daughter would not pray to
the goddess of mercy any more, after her
mother's death. Kun Yam had not helped
.in her time of great trouble, so now for
seven years the daughter worshiped noth-
ing. She kept the old picture of the god-
dess of mercy, but she did not worship it,
and she was very unhappy.
But one day she went to see a friend
at a Christian hospital. At the hospital
one of the helpers, noticing her sad face,
began to talk to her about Jesus. She
told her that Jesus could make her happy.
She became very attentive, and when she
went away the helper asked her to come
again as soon as she could to hear more
She came again and again, and as she
learned about Jesus she learned to love
him and great joy came into her heart.
Jesus made the daughter happy, dear
Ah Cheng, and it is Jesus who can help
you. He wants you to learn to know him,
so he can give you joy, too. He wants to
make you happy even if you cannot now
see your children. And then by and by
when you die he wants to take you to a
beautiful place where you will see him
face to face, and your little ones, too, and
where your children will never be taken
from you again. But you need not be
lonely and grieving till then. He wants
to be with you right here in your home
every day, to comfort and help you."
Ah Cheng cried, but she dared not be-
lieve. She was afraid of the gods. Oh,
how she did wish she could see her little
ones again and know this Jesus that the
teacher told about! If only she could be
sure they were safe and happy, as the
teacher woman said! But Cheng's hus-
band had said that the "Jesus doctrine"
(religion) was not true. Poor Ah Cheng
was sorely puzzled.
The teacher saw how it was. "Poor
Ah Cheng!" she thought as she went
away. "Poor, heart-broken creature! I
will pray for her and help her to come to
One day the teacher gave Ti a brown
paper book, full of Chinese characters.
"Ti," she said, "your uncle loves you.
Perhaps he will do for you what he will
not do for me. Listen to me. This is a
wonderful book. It is the Jesus book,
and I give it to you. I want you to ask
your uncle to read it. He will not read
it for me, but you ask him. He loves you.
He will do much for you."
So Ti, who loved the teacher because
she had been good to him when he was
sick, took the brown paper book and
kept it carefully. It was not as pretty as
the red paper the other teacher woman
had sent to the fishing-hamlet, but he
knew that this brown paper book must be
something valuable, if this kind teacher
But though Ti asked his uncle many
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
times, the uncle would not read the book,
which was the New Testament in Chi-
nese. But the little boy did not yet know
the reason of that refusal.
He missed his two cousins very much.
The teacher saw this, and she begged that
the aunt and the uncle would let Ti go
to a small daily Chinese Mission school
with which she was connected. He will
be happy with the other children," urged
the teacher, "and I will myself come for
him every day and will bring him safely
back after school."
But the uncle would not consent.
"No," said he sternly. Ti shall not go!
The Jesus doctrine is very bad!"
He frowned at the teacher as he spoke.
He knew what had happened in another
Chinese family, he said, after a little boy
had been allowed to go to the school.
" The little boy's father," he said, "made
the boy put the incense sticks up after the
custom of Chinese worship. The boy was
standing on a chair to put the incense
sticks in place, but he did it very slowly.
His heart was not in it, but he did it be-
cause he must obey his father. The boy's
little brother said, He doesn't want to
do it. He believes in Jesus.' And the
father then struck the little boy who was
putting up the incense sticks and pushed
him off the chair. The boy cried a little,
but it was true that he did not exactly
wish to put up the incense sticks. Ti
shall not become like that boy."
At this the teacher, fearing that she
might be forbidden to come to the house
if she said more, did not urge Ti's attend-
ance on school. But I do wish we could
have him," she thought. He is so
bright, and already he understands a little
of what I have tried to tell him about
Christ. Still, I dare not talk about our
school any more now! Poor little Ti!"
But she did not know that she would
have Ti in school yet. In his loneliness
it was not long till the little lad had be-
come acquainted with a Chinese boy who
lived near his uncle's store. The boy was
several years older than Ti, and was
named Yun. Yun went to an American
public school, where he learned to read
English. Late in the afternoons, he went
to still another school, kept by a China-
man, who taught boys how to read and
34 TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
write Chinese characters. Yun was a have. Yun would have thought such a
very different boy in one school from what thing dreadful. Some of the Chinese boys
he was in the other. In the morning and who went to these schools wore certain
long and blue, and
S those who wore such
"-"rly p s l a garment would not
4I have disgraced it by
1i 'ilil' misbehaving. Yun
did not have one of
these gowns, but in
A c his ordinary Chinese
/ / te dress he would not
., wrongly in the Chi-
nese teachers' public
b r school.
Ti, seeing Yun
start off to attend
Schools so often, and
knowing that he was
and believed that he
knew a great deal.
Yun's family be-
lieved in learning.
His grandfather, who
wore great goggles
Reading aloud the news. a n d occasionally
smoked a pipe that
early afternoon public school, taught by was about a yard long, was reputed to be
Americans, he was a' restless, fun-loving a very learned man; and Yun's father
boy. In the late afternoon when he went published a Chinese newspaper every
to learn Chinese characters of the teacher week, in some rooms upstairs across the
brought from China, he dared not misbe- street from Ti's uncle's store. No won-
TI: A SIlOBY OF CHINATOWN.
der that the boy Yun must go to school
so much and learn so many Chinese char-
acters. He must become wise, like the
others of his family.
Ti used to walk across the street, and
stand at the Chinese printing-office stair-
way door, and listen to the Chinamen
reading, for by the door were red and pink
posters that told what the news was, and
sometimes there were several men about
the door, reading the news aloud. Ti
could not read the Chinese characters,
himself, of course, but he used to look at
the bulletins and think he would read
When none of the men were around,
the editor's boy, Yun, would sometimes
proudly show off his knowledge to Ti by
pointing out characters and telling their
names, and Ti would listen and admire,
and wonder at Yun's learning.
Innocent Ti did not notice that Yun
was not wont to air his knowledge when
men were by. Yun was crafty. He
knew he could impress Ti, but he knew
also that it would be a long time before he
could become a good reader of Chinese,
and it was wise to refrain from trying to
show off before men who might laugh.
Occasionally Yun took Ti upstairs to
the Chinese printing-office, and let him
look in. He would see a man whose face
showed marks which told that he had
once had the "heavenly blossom," as some
Chinese call smallpox. This pock-marked
man Ti would see sitting engraving the
stone from which the next week's paper
was to be printed. The old-fashioned
lithographic process was followed in get-
ting out the paper. On the floor Ti
would see scattered clippings from
American or Chinese papers, and he
would go away downstairs again, feeling
how very ignorant he was, and how many,
many things there were yet in this world
for him to learn.
THE WORD "SHU."
HERE came a time when Ti
was shocked out of his
friendship for Yun. One
afternoon, when Yun was
going to the Chinese
teachers' school, Ti was permitted to go,
too, as a visitor. He had never been in a
Chinese school, and he was very much im-
pressed, as Yun knew he would be. There
were two rooms of Chinese boys, studying
under two Chinese teachers. Yun was in
the room for less advanced scholars, but
that made no difference with Ti's admira-
tion for him. There were about twenty
pupils in Yun's room. They were all
boys, and they sat at desks and kept their
hats on in the school-room. Some of the
Chinese boys dressed in American clothes,
but most wore their common, every-day
The teacher, a dignified Chinaman on
the platform in front of the school, wore
a somewhat long, dark blouse and green
trousers that were fastened about his
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
ankles. His cap had a red button on top,
and from a hook beside the teacher hung
another blouse of his, lined with blue
Ti sat at a desk, and listened, and
looked. There was a great deal to listen
to, for the Chinese boys studied out loud.
It was rather startling when a boy who
had been sitting listlessly at his desk
would suddenly begin studying in a loud,
shrill voice. But everybody was used to
it. There was continually one boy after
another carrying his brown paper book
ROUND INK (L,% -
USED IN T1L
CtINEtS SCi1"L IN 5AN TRAN(IS(O
of Chinese characters to the teacher's
platform. The teacher would mark a
certain place in the book with a red pen-
cil, and the boy would begin to say the
characters, and the teacher would go
through with some sing-song recitation
too, almost always, so that, taking the
teacher, and the boy that was reciting,
and the dozen or so other boys that were
studying aloud, there was much noise in
the room. Yet it was an orderly sort of
noise, after all. None of the pupils misbe-
haved. Once a boy left his seat and spoke
a short sentence to another boy, but this
seemed to be no infringement of rules.
The speaker went immediately back to
his seat again.
"See me, what I do!" said Yun to Ti.
With a proud heart Yun took his book
and went to the platform. Giving the
teacher the book, he turned his back to
him, as was proper in reciting from mem-
ory, and began a somewhat long recitation
in Chinese. Only once did the teacher
have to correct him. Ti looked on in great
admiration. When should he ever be able
to back the book like that?
When Yun, proud of his success, came
back to his seat, he proceeded further to
impress Ti by preparing to write. Now
Yun could not yet make Chinese charac-
ters without tracing them, but Ti watched
his method of writing with great respect.
On his desk he had what looked a good
deal like a round box of hard shoe-black-
ing, such as bootblacks use. Yun's cake
was not shoe-blacking at all, however, but
dry ink, such as the other Chinese boys
had. Toward one side of the round cake
was a hole.
Yui left his desk, and, carrying the
black cake of ink, went out the back door
of the school-room. He returned with
the hole in his ink-receptacle filled with
water. Then he rubbed some of the
water on his dry, round cake of ink. He
took his book, which had leaves made of
white paper that looked as thin as tissue
paper, and yet, for all their thinness, not
one leaf was torn. On the leaves were
many red or black Chinese characters. At
the left-hand end of the book were two of
TI: A STORY OF CHINAI1OWN.
the transparent white leaves that had
never been cut lengthwise. They were
purposely left whole, though the top and
bottom had been cut. In this way the
two leaves made a kind of case.
Between these leaves Yun slipped a
loose sheet of Chinese characters. Of
course the characters showed through the
almost transparent white paper. Then
he took an implement that looked much
like a sharpened wooden pencil that had
small Chinese characters on pink paper
pasted around the handle end of the im-
plement. Yun rubbed the point of this
writing implement on the wet cake of ink,
and began to trace the Chinese char-
acters showing through the thin white
paper. He did this work with great ac-
Before going home, Ti obtained a peep
into the other school-room where the
older scholars were studying. The teacher
of this room was not very pleasant-look-
ing, he thought. He did not like that
teacher so well as the one in Yun's room.
This other teacher sat on a platform at
the left-hand side of the room, instead of
the front, and the scholars all had their
hats on, and these boys studied out loud
with more noise than the boys in the
other room. On two desks were queer
little green animals, made of some sort of
ware, each looking somewhat like a horse
with his head in the air. In the middle
of the back of the "horse" was a round
hole, for these animals were meant to con-
tain water. If 'Yun had had such a
"horse," he would not have had to carry
his cake of ink out of the room to get
Back of all the scholars in this second
room was a little table. Ti knew the
purpose of it at once. Above the table
was a picture- frame containing a red
paper with large Chinese characters.
Some sort of pink drapery was about the
picture-frame, and two stiff bunches of
what might be called artificial flowers
were above. On the table below were
tiny splints in a vase. The whole was a
Chinese shrine, in honor of idol-worship.
"To make it to joss," was Yun's explan-
ation of the shrine.
As Ti, greatly impressed with his after-
noon at the school, walked home with
Yun, vainglorious Yun grew proudly
boastful. Ti was so gentle and believing
that he looked on these boastings as per-
fect truth. But at last Yun went too far
in his talk. He said something that
When I am a man, I shall know both
English and Chinese," said he in Chinese
proudly, and I shall translate important
news from the American newspapers for
our honorable Chinese paper, as my
father does now! Perhaps I shall be one
of the men who look over the news of the
steamers from China! I shall be very
learned, and I shall be ten parts glad that
I know so much! But your uncle will
never know anything, for he gambles
every night, so that he will never read a
book, because every day he means to
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
gamble again at night, and he is afraid
of the word 'shii'!"
Ti stared at Yun. It is not true!" he
exclaimed indignantly, for his uncle had
been quite kind and had gained the boy's
"Ask your uncle and see!" answered
Yun tauntingly. "Does your uncle read
a book any day? No, he gambles every
night, and he is afraid of the word
Ti stood and stared at Yun with great
indignation. "My uncle is not afraid!
My uncle is not a gambler!" he asserted,
though he hardly knew what a gambler
was, but guessed from Yun's words that
it must be something discreditable.
Yun laughed. "You come from a lit-
tle fishing-hamlet, and you know noth-
ing!" said he scornfully. "You live in
the same house with your uncle, and you
do not know that he is a gambler! Ask
him and see! Ask him to say the word
'shii'! He will not say it! Ask him!
Every gambler fears the word 'shii '!"
Ti began to run. He wanted to get
away from these taunting words. He did
not believe them.
"Your uncle is afraid of reading a
book!" Yun kept calling after him in Chi-
nese. Your uncle gambles every night,
and he is afraid of the word 'shii'! I
shall be much wiser than your uncle!"
Ti would not listen to anything more
Yun said. He ran home to the store,
feeling as if he did not want to go to see
But alas! He found out that all Yun
had said was true. His uncle was a great
lover of gambling, and lost much money
thereby. This was the reason why there
often was not much money in the house-
hold, even though things in the store sold.
Now, Chinese gamblers do not like to
read books before playing, because the
word ".shii," meaning "book," sounds
like the word shii," meaning to lose,"
and these gamblers are superstitious.
They are careful not to speak any word
considered unlucky, lest such utterance
should make them lose money when they
play. Ti noticed that his uncle in speak-
ing of the almanac -a useful thing by
which a Chinese may compute the lucky
or unlucky days and know when to com-
mence any enterprise never mentioned
the almanac by its name, "t'ung shii,"
for there was that ill-omened word shii "
again. So he called the almanac "kat
sing," or "lucky stars." Alas! As he
gambled every night, there did not come
a day when he would not have considered
it unlucky to read the Jesus book, because
it was a book, "shii." So he refused to
read it, and was sometimes cross with Ti
One night, when he went out to play
the gambling game of "Fan T'An," he
took Ti, too, to the gambling place.
There were no bright colors in the inner
fan t'An cellar that the two entered
through an outer cellar. There was
white, the Chinese color of mourning,
that makes players lose their money, and
TI: A STORY 0.
the owners of the game gain the cash.
There was a table covered with a mat,
The T'dn Kz~.
and there were some chairs. Other men
secretly came in to play. Fin t'An games
were forbidden by law in this city of the
Americans, but little Ti did not know it.
The two owners of the game, the T'an
kin, or Ruler of the Spreading Out,"
and the Ho kin, or cashier, were there.
The T'An kin was a cross-looking China-
man who stood by one side of the table,
and the Ho kiln was a crosser-looking
The stout door between this cellar
and the outer portion of the cellar was
F CHINATOWN. 39
Ti was very still. He felt sorry, for
he knew it made his aunt angry to have
his uncle lose money; and the teacher
woman, after she learned that Ti knew
his uncle gambled, told him that gam-
bling was very, very bad. Ti thought the
teacher was wise, and his aunt said so,
The players in the gambling cellar were
still. It is not customary to talk while
On the table there was a little pile of
Chinese "cash," round coins with a
square hole in the center of each piece.
Ti looked on, while the T'an kin took a
handful of cash and put them under a
brass cup, and the players wagered their
money on the numbers on the tin square,
the spreading out square," t'an ching,
in the middle of the table.
Ti did not dare to say anything, every-
body was so still. One Chinese player
looked very downcast. On the way here,
he had been jostled by somebody, and as
Chinese Round Cash.
that is an unlucky sign according to Chi-
nese gamblers' superstition, he had turned
TI: A STORY OF -CHINATOWN.
back. But his desire to play fAn t'An had
brought him here at last, though he
looked as if he expected to lose money.
Ti wished his uncle would come away
from these men. He looked and saw that
even the candles burning before the joss-
shrine were white candles instead of red
ones. There must be no color, excepting
that which is supposed to be worn by the
spirits of the dead.
Some time passed and yet the foolish
Chinese players were eagerly absorbed in
their game. They still placed their
money beside the t'an ching in the center
of the table, and the T'An kiin counted the
Chinese cash" with the tapering rod of
black wood used for this purpose. Over
and over again the players wagered
money, and Ti's uncle sometimes won and
sometimes lost, but almost always lost.
Some of the other men lost, too. Ti did
not know that some of these Chinamen
were employes in hotels, who sometimes
in a single night lost all their money in
fin t'An games or Chinese lotteries. But
he was troubled because of what the
teacher woman had said.
He slipped down on the floor and sat
there, hiding his face. The eager players
My uncle is doing bad," thought Ti.
"He gives all his money to the fan t'An
men, and my aunt and the teacher woman
are much sorry, and my uncle will never
read the Jesus book, never! For he
gambles every night, and he will not
touch a book, and he is afraid of anything
called 'shii.' So how will he ever read
the Jesus book, as the teacher woman
The fAn t'An game kept on in eager
silence. Nobody thought of Ti, who
crept under the table and went to sleep.
The next thing Ti knew, he was waked
by a jar and a loud noise. There were
blows on the outer cellar door, as if it
would be broken in, and there were
American men's voices in the other cellar.
The lights of the cellar Ti was in were all
out. Crash! came the blows of axes on
this cellar's outer door.
Uncle!" screamed Ti in Chinese.
Wide awake now, and frightened at the
strange sounds, he scrambled from under
the table, and stretched out his hands,
expecting to feel somebody. He felt only
empty chairs! Crash! crash! came the
axes. The frightened little boy ran
around the dark room, calling his uncle
amid the tumult of sounds. He found no-
body. He stumbled over an overturned
chair and fell, hurting himself a little.
Ti lay where he had fallen, too fright-
ened to rise. His heart beat so it gave
him a feeling of suffocation.
"Uncle! uncle!" he cried.
Why were the lights all out? What
did it all mean? Who was it that was
trying to get in? Why had the Chinese
all run away? Ti lay, a trembling, piti-
ful little object, in the dark. To his hor-
ror, the thick cellar door began to give
out a splitting sound. He had faintly
hoped that the door might be thick
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
enough to keep the men out, whoever they
were who were trying to get in.
He sprang up and ran wildly around in
the dark, stretching out his hands and
feeling no one to help him in his terror.
He fell over chairs, he picked him-
self up, he cried out in fear. He did
not know what was coming. There was
so much noise that his voice was unheard
by those men who were forcing their
"Where is my uncle?" sobbed the
scared child in Chinese.
The crashing and the sound of splint-
ering wood was terrifying. The door was
"Bad men come in and catch me!"
thought Ti, his heart thumping and a
lump coming in his throat.
He found the table again and crawled
under it. He waited, shivering. He did
not know how to get out of the room.
He and his uncle had come in by the now
attacked door. In the dark the little boy
could not see to escape. He could only
crouch under the table, too frightened to
attempt to search further for any passage-
way out of the room. There was not
time. He must hide.
There was a great final crash. The
stout cellar door gave way. Ti caught his
breath. A flash of light illumined the
dark room, and some men came in
through the broken door.
It seemed to Ti that the men would see
him the first thing. Oh, what would they
do with him when they found him?
The frightened child shuddered. He
had no doubt that he would be instantly
THE OUTCOME FOR TI.
NE of the policemen who had
j entered the room where the
game was going on held up
his lantern a moment. The
room was apparently empty.
No implements of fan t'fn were visible.
The players were gone. Nobody saw the
little boy under the table.
"Stay by the door, Jim! They've
run!" said one man hastily; and one
policeman stayed, while the others ran
through the cellar into the passageway.
Under the table, in the dark once
more, Ti crouched and trembled. In a
few minutes he heard distant blows as of
axes again on wood. He could not under-
stand what was happening. He did not
know that when the policemen, who were
making a raid on Chinatown fan t'an
games, had followed the passage for a dis-
tance, they were suddenly confronted
with some thick iron bars that crossed the
passage and forbade further advance.
When the Ho kin and the T'dn kuin and
the excited players of fin t'Vn, alarmed
over the police, had fled, forgetting Ti
asleep under the table, they had escaped
through these bars. There was a secret
spring that the Ho kin and the T'An kfn
knew, and if this spring were touched,
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
the iron bars would be raised out of the
men's way and they could pass through,
fleeing in haste from the police. But the
bars had immediately been put in place
again, and as the policemen did not know
where the secret spring was, the only way
they could go on in the passage was to
chop down the posts to which the bars
were attached. This took a little time,
and the gamblers would have opportunity
to conceal themselves or get out of the
house by the many intricate passages.
The policemen at length chopped their
way and went on, but they did not find
what they sought. In some of the
crowded little rooms of the building were
Chinese quietly sitting, playing on little
musical instruments such as the Chinese
use, but no evidences of fan t'An or other
games were in sight. Search as they
might, the policemen could find nothing.
All this time, Ti was hiding under the
table, back in the cellar. From under
the table he peered fearfully out toward
the dark, for he knew that one policeman
was there. This one had no lantern.
Everything was dark and the policeman
kept so dreadfully quiet! Not a sound
came from him. He was waiting, ready
to catch any Chinaman, Ti knew. He
was so afraid of that policeman! He. did
not know that a policeman might be the
friend of a little Chinese boy who ivas not
at all to blame for a fAn t'An game, but
had been brought here by his uncle. Poor
little Ti! How scared he was!
After a while he heard the other police-
men coming back to the cellar. They had
given up their search in the farther rooms.
They had found the Ho kin, and had
recognized him as a man who was believed
to know something about some fan t'An
schemes, but there was no proof against
him. So they could do nothing except
order the Ho kin to go back to the cellar
with them. If no evidences of fan t'An
could be found there, the Ho kAn would
be unmolested further.
The policemen and the Ho kun re-en-
tered the cellar. Ti crouched under the
"Why didn't somebody open the cellar
door, then, when we first came?" a po-
liceman was demanding of the Ho kin.
If Ti could have seen the Ho kin's
face, the little boy might have noticed
that it did not look nearly as animated
as it had looked during the fan t'An game.
The man had put on a very stupid and
Why?" repeated the Ho kin sleepily.
"Why? Keep door shut nights, evely
The police began to search among the
chairs and about the room, but all the im-
plements of fan t'An had vanished. Even
the table's mat was gone. Where was the
tin spreading out square," t'an ching,"
and the brass cup, "t'an koi," and the
tapering black rod, t'n pong"? Where
was the cash"? Ah! all these things
had been caught up and run away with.
The Ho kun felt sure that the police
would never find the implements of fan
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
t'an where he had hidden them, and he
remained tranquil, for he knew nothing
to condemn him was in the cellar.
The policemen searched diligently and
found nothing but Ti. It was a dreadful
Moment of discovery to the little boy. A
policeman, seeing him under the table,
drew him forth.
"Who's this?" he asked.
"LiP' boy," said the Ho kin blandly.
"Nice lil' boy."
Ti burst into a loud wail of terror. The
big policeman had children of his own at
home. He did not want to scare this
Well," said he, not unkindly, you're
in the wrong place, little chap. Don't
cry, little fellow."
Then the policeman turned to the
Ho kin. "What's your name?" he de-
"Wo Ki," answered the other, telling
the truth, for of course "Ho klin" was
only his official title as cashier of the fan
Well," said the policeman, "Wo Ki,
I'd like to see you in jail, for I haven't
the slightest doubt that you've had a fan
t'an game running here. But if I can't
find proof of it to-night, I know well
enough you've had it; and let me warn
you now, that if you don't quit such busi-
ness, the first part of your name will come
Wo Ki did not know exactly what that
meant, since he was not familiar enough
with the English word woe to know its
similarity in sound to one of his names.
Besides, what sounded as if it were Wo
Ki's first name according to American
ideas was in reality not his first but his
surname, since Chinese put their surname
first. It is as if one said "Smith Char-
lie" instead of Charlie Smith.
The police kept hunting, but the Ho
kin assured them, "You look. You see.
No fan t'an. Me no sabe fin t'An."
The Ho kin had never had any Chris-
tian training. All his life he had lived
in heathen darkness. He did not speak
the truth to the police about the fin t'An
But they did not believe his words.
"Yes, you do sabe about fan t'An!" as-
serted one of them scornfully. "You
know well enough about fan t'An! Didn't
you hear about that Chinaman down at
Los Angeles, who ran a fan t'An game, and
was arrested, and had to put up two hun-
dred dollars' bail?"
The Ho kin did not look as if he were
aware what the word "bail" means. No
one could look very much more stupid
than he could when he tried.
The policemen were very loath to give
up the search. They examined every-
thing closely, hoping to find some secret
place where the fan t'An implements
might have been hidden. But the Ho
kin and the T'An kin had known better
than to hide such things in the cellar.
Frightened Ti, crouching again under-
neath the table, cried silently, and dared
not look out. But the policemen did not
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
disturb him again. Ti could not under-
stand all the English the policemen
But the Ho kin was very sleepy and
very stupid, until the policemen, giving
up the search as useless, went out of the
cellar door, through the outer cellar into
the street, and away from the build-
ing. Then the Ho kin began to try to
fasten the broken door as well as pos-
sible. Having finished, he turned to Ti,
who was crouching trembling behind
If Ti had been scared before in the
presence of the policemen, he was al-
most more frightened now at being left
alone with the Ho kin. He broke into
sobs again. Where was his uncle?
"No cly! You come," said the Ho
But the little boy fled. He rushed
away from the Ho kin through the pass-
age the police had traversed. No bars
prevented him from running on, for the
police had cut down the posts. Ti
stumbled over them, though, on the floor.
He sprang up again and ran. He won-
dered why he had not dared to run while
the Ho kiln was fixing the cellar door. He
had been too alarmed to think of running,
The Ho k6n followed through the
winding way. Ti was beside himself with
terror. He ran desperately through the
dark, bumping into partitions. His heart
was beating heavily. Oh, if he could only
get away from this dreadful, following Ho
kin! He wanted to cry so he could
hardly keep down his sobs. A light was
coming behind him. By it, before the
Ho kin came in sight of the boy, Ti
spied a little nook between two partitions.
Trembling, he crowded himself into the
narrow space and lay still.
On came the footsteps of the dreadful
Ho kfin. Ti held his breath. He was
sure he would be found, and then what
would become of him?
The light from the taper the Ho kin
carried fell on his hardened face, as he
hurried along the passageway. Ti's
frightened eyes looked out at the man,
who was calling, Come! You come!"
The light was dim and the Ho kin did
not see Ti in his nook. He hurried on,
imagining the child was somewhere
ahead. The little boy, left in the dark
again, hardly dared breathe. The foot-
steps died away.
"He is walking softly," thought Ti.
" He thinks he will find me and catch me.
I am so afraid of him! He will come
back when he does not find me. He will
come back and find me here. I shall
never see my father and my uncle and my
aunt again. I am so afraid!"
He crawled out of the nook where he
had hidden, and crept back along the
passage. He wanted to go where the Ho
kin would not come, wherever that might
In moving through the dark, Ti found
a narrow passageway that turned off from
the one by which he had come. He
21: A ,TOBY OF CHINATOWN.
stumbled over some jars standing in the
passage. He tried to hurry on, but it was
of no use. The Ho kin, not having
heard the child for a while, had been
standing listening, and now came running
back. He rushed down the passage and
caught Ti, who screamed with terror.
But the Ho kin's .big hand guided the
little boy, by many queer, narrow pass-
ages, through to the other side of the
building. There at a door opening into
an alley, Ti's cowardly uncle who had run
away from him, was waiting.
"No cly, no cly!" said the Ho kin;
and Ti, seeing his uncle, tried to stop
The uncle took Ti, and they slipped
into the alley and hurried home. But
when they reached the rooms above the
back of his uncle's store, Ti cried all his
frightened little heart out in his aunt's
sympathizing arms. He did not want to
stay in the city another minute! No, he
wished to go straight back to his father
and the fishing village. Oh, fin t'An
was bad, bad, and there had been police-
The child wept and would not be com-
forted. He shrank from his uncle, who
was so ashamed, or else so reluctant to
lose the little fellow's confidence, that,
going into the store, he got a pretty imi-
tation red fish, made of cloth, and
brought it back and gave it to him to
wear with a crimson tassel as an orna-
ment on the right-hand side of his blouse.
The fish was pretty, but Ti could not re-
cover from his fright. He cried himself
to sleep, and during the next few days he
kept begging so to be allowed to go back
to the fishing-hamlet that his aunt and
uncle were at a great loss how to make
him contented to stay. They did not wish
that he should go. They missed their
own little children too much.
But now the teacher saw her oppor-
tunity to gain that which she had been
refused before, though she had often re-
quested it. ,
"If you will let Ti go to our school,"
she said, "he will see so many other little
Chinese children that he will be happy
and will not be lonesome. It will be
much better for him than crying here at
home and wishing he were at the fishing
village. Do you not see it will? Won't
you try it a while and see if we can't
make Ti happy? The little children
seem so happy and contented in our
The teacher dared speak longer and
more urgently now than she had done
heretofore, because she could see that Ti's
uncle was in a humiliated frame of mind
over his having frightened the child so
badly. He had not intended that the
visit to the fin t'An game should end so
disastrously. How was he to have known
that the police would choose that night
for a raid? He well knew that Ti's father
would have been angry to see his son in a
fAn t'An cellar. Ti might tell a woeful
story to his father if he were allowed to
go back to the fishing-hamlet just now.
TI: A STORY OF CIIINATOWN.
Yet that other little boy who went to the
teacher woman's school had not liked to
put up incense sticks afterwards. That
was the danger in sending children to the
Ti's uncle thought of this, but he
.reasoned that something must be done to
keep the little boy more contented. Fi-
nally he said, Yes, I let Ti go to school
now," and the heart of the teacher was
Oh," she said to herself, "it was a
good day when poor little Ti came from
his fishing village down to this city! He
is so bright. He will listen and learn to
understand what we tell him, and will
come to know Jesus for himself. If only
we can have him a little while, and his
father doesn't call him back to that fish-
ing village, how much bright little Ti will
But Ti's aunt, Ah Cheng, did not know
whether to be glad or sorry that he was
going to attend the teacher woman's
school. She thought about it a while,
and then after the teacher was gone, she
went to the old picture of the goddess of
mercy, and poured out tea before the pic-
ture from the little teapot that was used
for this purpose, and burned incense.
Yet even after worshiping, Aunt Ah
Cheng went about her work troubled and
afraid about the little boy's going to the
teacher woman's school. She did not
know how blessed a crisis in Ti's life this
going to the Christians' school would
prove to be.
THE JESUS TEACHERS' SCHOOL.
*T WAS Ti's first afternoon at
school. Around him in the
school-room sat other little
Chinese children, boys and
girls. Some of the little girls
wore red, yellow-figured head-dresses that
fitted over the upper part of the forehead
and went around to the back of the head.
These head-dresses had green borders and
were somewhat like hats with the crowns
One little boy near him wore a cap with
some Chinese words on the front of it.
The words meant "Peace be with you in
your going in and coming out." Another
little boy wore a cap that said "Bless-
ings in Chinese. This boy had bracelets
of jade on his chubby wrists, and one of
the teachers came and asked him to take
off the Blessings" cap. The other lit-
tle boy whose cap said the wish about
peace had to take off his head-covering,
Most of the children in Ti's room were
quite a little younger than he; so young
that their heathen parents thought the
children could not learn anything. But
the children did learn. Some of the little
ones sat on tiny low stools about a
rectangular bin of sand, and played in the
sand with long tin spoons. One chubby
little Chinese girl, who lifted sand with a
long spoon, could sing very well in her
sweet baby voice a song that begins with
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
the words, "Up, up in the sky the little
birds fly," and finishes with the words,
" Our heavenly Father, how kind and how
At some of the low tables sat other
little girls with paper-weaving. One girl's
queue was finished with braided pink and
green and yellow and blue, and then
wound on the back of her head so it
looked like one of the flat table-mats that
are sometimes woven by American chil-
dren by aid of pins and thread of dif-
ferent colors. The Chinese children's
blue and red colored shoes showed under
the low tables. One little boy had read
entirely through the First Chinese Book.
It was a brown paper book with a red
cover on one side, and Ti was determined
that he would become as smart as that
other little boy! He was glad, though,
that he was to learn in this school instead
of the one that Yun attended. He did
not like to go with Yun any more, because
he kept speaking teasingly of his uncle's
Ti saw in the school-room before him a
big chart with what he afterwards discov-
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
ered was the Lord's Prayer in English,
and on the walls were two strips of cloth,
lettered with two texts written in Chinese
and English. The texts were, For God
so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in
him should not perish, but have everlast-
ing life," and, "Believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
Ti sat and listened as the children re-
cited. He did not feel lonesome here or
afraid. But how much the other Chinese
children knew! The teacher -not the
same one who had brought him to the
school, but another with just as pleasant
a face- stood before the children and
asked in Chinese:
"Does Jesus love the little children?"
and the children answered:
"Suffer little children to come unto
Ti did not know that these were words
from the Jesus book, the book that his
uncle would not read.
"What else does Jesus say?" asked the
teacher; and the children answered:
"Come unto me, all ye that are weary
and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Ti listened. Where had he heard those
last words before? The other words that
the children said were new, but somehow
he seemed to remember something about
those last words. He did not know what
it was. He did not remember that those
had been the words on the red paper he
had given old See Yow at the fishing
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
But now the children sang, "Jesus
loves me." Ti did not know what the
teacher was thinking of, that she should
look so sober while the children sang that
song. But when the song was ended she
told them that she was thinking of a little
three-year-old Chinese girl who had been
playing around in a missionary's study.
The little girl hummed the words of
"Jesus loves me" to herself. Then she
stopped. "He don't
love me!" said the
child firmly to her-
self. "He don't! He
don't!" The lady
missionary over -
heard, and told the
little Chinese girl.
that Jesus did love
her. The little girl
mamma don't love
him! She don't! She
don't! She don't!"
The teacher said
there were many
Chinese parents who
do not love Jesus.
She wished all the boys and girls in her
school might learn to love him while they
were still children.
Ti heard a great deal of talk against the
Jesus religion, at home, but he loved that
teacher who had helped him when he was
sick, and he listened very carefully to all
that was said. Something told him that
the Jesus teacher woman and such men
as the T'An kfin and the Ho kin were
very far apart. He did not want his uncle
to become such a man as the T'An kiln
or the Ho kln was.
In fact, on
this first day of 0
school, Ti re- 1I i
ceived a good
many new im-
pressions, b e -
cause the teacher did
not have to talk to
the children in
English, but could explain things in Chi-
nese. Yes, he heard a great many new
When the teacher took the little boy
home after school, she said to him, Did
you like school, Ti? Will you go to-mor-
Ti nodded, smiling.
The teacher's heart rejoiced. She
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
looked up at the tall building across the
street in this Chinese quarter. She saw a
Chinese boy angrily strike a child in a bal-
cony. She saw an old Chinese man look-
ing out of a window, a pipe in his mouth.
She saw the dragon flag of China flying in
the breeze, with the emblems of one of
the Chinese "tongs." High on one
building there was a large sign in English
words, though full of Chinese heathen
meaning. The sign read:
And she thought of the light burning
before the ancestral tablet in Ti's home,
and in many other homes. And as she
held the little boy's hand, she prayed in
her heart that though he lived in dark-
ness, yet that he might learn the truth.
What did you learn to-day?" said his
aunt to Ti, after the teacher had left him
But the child could not tell what he
had learned. He could not put his new
impressions into words.
"You did not learn anything!" said his
"Nei kong tai wa," (" You do not
speak the truth,") said Ti's uncle, who
was at home .and in a bad humor.. He
has learned something and he will not tell
us what it is! He will grow up to be like
the Yesoo Yan!"
The "Yesoo Yan," or "Jesus man,"
was a Chinese shoemaker Ti's uncle knew.
The shoemaker had become a Christian.
His father will be very angry," went
on the uncle crossly. And I am angry!
Ti shall not grow up to be like the Yesoo
Yan! If he must go to that school, he-
shall go with me, too, wherever I will take
him! Nei kong tai wa! He has learned
something, and he will not tell us what
Ti tried to think what he had learned.
But he found no words to express himself.
The uncle laughed, but looked at the
little boy suspiciously. Who knew what
the Jesus teachers had told him to-day?
"You shall go with me," he said, and
the next afternoon he took Ti to a joss-
house. The joss-house consisted of some
rooms, reached by flight after flight of
narrow, dirty stairs. Up and up climbed
the child and his uncle till they came to
the top story of the building. In a little
ante-room sat the temple-keeper, who
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN. 51
sold the articles used in temple idol wor- Ti's uncle sought the queer-shaped
ship, such as candles, incense sticks, divining blocks, and threw them till they
paper money, and paper clothes, fell, one with its oval and the other with
Ti's uncle bought of the temple- its flat side to the floor. This
keeper an offering and the service of manner of falling was propitious.
one of the temple-keeper's assistants. Then the sacred jar of bamboo
Then the splints w a s
t w o pro- shaken till
needed to one splint fell
worship. The to the floor.
assistant beat -. Each splint
on a drum to was num-
wake the bered to cor-
gods. On a respond with
frame was numbers i n
hung a bell i the temple-
that the as- keeper's book
sistant might o f prayers.
have used for The assistant,
the same pur- with a brush
pose as the pen, took the
drum. There number of
was a plat- T i' s uncle's
form at the ,, splint and
side of the gave it to
wall in the the temple-
joss house, keeper, who
and six idols in,turn gave
were waiting /" t h e answer
to be wor- in the Joss-house. according .to
shiped. The the number.
idols were of wood or plaster, and there About the walls and on the curtains
was a glass lantern hanging in front of were Chinese inscriptions in red and gilt
the gods, and in a box at their feet was and crimson. After making offerings
sand, in which were small sticks of paper and worshiping, the two went away from
and sandalwood burning. There was also the crimson curtains and the images and
tea, ready made, in front of the gods. the rows of brilliant banners and bronze
52 TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
fans, down the stairs again to the city ing ghosts" of such' persons are supposed
street. The temple-keeper's assistant had to have no rest in the next world. Under
lighted the paper money and carried it to some of the tablets bearing the names of
burn in an oven kept for that purpose.
"You shall not grow up t:, I,: a Yes::
Yan!" said the uncle in Chis. e e t:, tl s
little boy as they went h,-le. .
"You shall grow up to w:loshil :ii
Yet, because of his prian- .
ise to the teacher, Ti's tn-le
did not forbid the little b:ov's i.
going to the Christia, .,'
school. He would not hLk.
to have the charge, You d..
not speak the truth," ap:,- l.l
to him. He had said that
Ti might go, and the promni- I
should not be broken.
took the child diligently t '.
the Chinese joss-house ,
succeeding days, and n,
day, in a certain joss- -.
house, he showed Ti a
little side shrine for
those dead Chinese per- ,."
sons who have no sons
or other, relatives in
this world to offer
prayers or incense
in the dead persons' -w :m e n, at this
names. To this Before the Shrine. shrine, Ti saw fans
shrine charitable and jewelry such
Chinese, who were not related to the as a Chinese woman might use in this life.
dead, would come and lay offerings under The uhcle kept the little boy long
the tablets that bore the names of the de- enough before this shrine to impress the
ceased persons. Otherwise the "wander- child.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
See," he said, what would be, if you
grow up to be a Jesus man! Your father
has no other son, When your father dies,
there will be nobody to burn incense for
him, if you are a believer in the Jesus
religion. You will leave your father to
be prayed for at this shrine, and people
will forget to do it. Yes, they will forget!
You will leave your father all alone, all
The uncle's tone was very reproachful,
and little Ti felt very sober. Surely he
would never leave his father, his dear
father, to be one of the poor, wandering,
forgotten ghosts of the next world. He
loved his father, and he went away from
the joss-house thinking grave thoughts
for so little a fellow. No wonder that
some of the Chinese children shut their
mouths tightly and shook their heads,
when the teacher woman spoke about
Yet, though Ti did not mean ever to
neglect his father, the little boy could
not disbelieve what the kind teacher said
about Jesus loving little children. And
he was afraid to go with his uncle to the
joss-houses, for fear the uncle might on
the way go to some gambling place, and
he might again see the T'An kln 'or the
Ho kin. It is very difficult to trust one's
uncle entirely, after being once terrified
by his acts. Ti would rather be with the
teacher who had been so good to him
when he was sick.
His uncle, however, was quite satisfied
that he had greatly impressed the child.
" He will not be a Yesoo Yan," said the
uncle to himself with a satisfied feeling
of certainty. "No, he will not! He
loves his father too well. I am glad I
have showed him that shrine!"
And from that hour the vigilance of
Ti's uncle began to relax. He did not
know that despite what man may say or
do in opposition, God's word, when faith-
fully taught, will have an effect. Ti was
having very faithful, tender teaching in
these days at the school.
And Ah Cheng, too, was beginning to
think very differently. For when the
teacher came each day to bring the boy
to and from school, she often stopped to
talk with Ah Cheng about Jesus.
TI'S TENTH BIRTHDAY.
I HAD been going to school
for some time. The teacher
came one day to take him
there as usual. Her eyes
were red. Ti could see that
she had been crying. He wondered why.
She looked as his aunt looked sometimes,
when his uncle had thrown away all the
money gambling and had come home cross
and struck her.
He did not like to see anyone unhappy.
The teacher, however, did not say any-
thing about why she had been crying.
She tried to control her trembling lips,
and she did not talk about anything, all
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
the time that Ti and she were going to
When they came to the school-room,
they found themselves quite early. The
other scholars had not come yet.
Inside the school-room, Ti began to in-
terest himself in some paper-folding that
the children did. Suddenly, something
made him look up, and he saw that the
teacher was crying. He dropped the
paper-folding, and ran to her and pulled
at her sleeve.
No cly," (cry) begged the little fellow
gently. "Wha' fo' you cly?"
The teacher could not talk for a
minute. Then she sat down, and Ti
stood beside her, while she told him,
partly in Chinese and partly in English,
what had happened. He could under-
stand a good deal of English now. The
teacher told him that a poor Chinese girl
who was brought to a mission Home had
been dying of consumption, and she had
said to a teacher, "I am dying. Stay
with me." The sick girl could not under-
stand English, but some other Chinese
girls told her of Jesus and heaven. She
had had a hard, sorrowful life, and now
she listened and said that, she would try
to trust in Him. But after a while she
said, "Oh, I am afraid I cannot under-
stand the way." Then one of the Chi-
nese girls prayed with her and tried to
tell her how to talk to Jesus herself, so
she might feel he was with her and wanted
to comfort her. But the poor dying girl
lay still a little while, and then said, "I
am afraid the door of heaven will be shut.
It will not open for me! I cannot see the
way! Who will lead me?"
They prayed for her and told her Jesus
would lead her to heaven and see that the
door was open for her. After that she
lay still for a time with closed eyes, then
suddenly she opened her eyes, her face lit
up with joy, and she cried, "I see the
way! Jesus is with me and the door of
heaven is open! It is all beautiful there!
Oh, how beautiful!" and, almost instantly,
Oh, Ti!" said the teacher, as the tears
ran down her face, I am so glad the poor
girl found Jesus before she died! She
had had such a hard life, but when she
heard of Jesus she believed, and I know
she did find the gates of heaven open.
But there are so many others that don't
know about Jesus! Chinese girls and boys
and women and men, Ti! I want you to
know and love Jesus while you are a little
boy. Won't you? So many Chinese
don't know Jesus. We teachers do all we
can, but we are so few, and there are so
many to be told!"
The teacher bowed her head on her
hands and sobbed. Then came the sound
of the steps of other scholars, and she
stopped crying, and turned to the little
But Ti's tender heart had been touched.
He did not know that all that day there
rang in the teacher's ears the words of
that dying Chinese girl, I am afraid the
door of heaven will be shut. It will not
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
open for me! I cannot see the way. Who
will lead me?" To the teacher it was the
cry of hundreds on hundreds of souls she
was unable to reach. She felt as if her
heart would break. She did not know
that what she had said to one little Chi-
nese boy this day would stay in his mem-
ory. She had said, "Oh, Ti, I want you
to know and love Jesus while you are a
little boy," and Ti's attentive heart had
opened to that appeal.
He had been learning every day in the
months he had attended this school. He
no longer went home without being able
to tell his aunt what he had learned. She
asked him every day, and now he could
tell her little texts he had learned in Chi-
nese. Very short texts they were, but the
aunt, as is often the way with Chinese
women, believed more the word brought
to her by childish lips than what the mis-
sionary woman had said.
One night when the aunt asked Ti the
usual question, What did you learn to-
day?" he answered, "Honor father and
mother," and she was much pleased that
he had had such teaching in school, for
the Chinese believe strongly in the honor-
ing of fathers and mothers.
Ti's uncle had forgotten his first fear
lest the little boy should grow up a be-
liever in Jesus. He was absorbed in his
own affairs, and he thought that the child
was too young to learn very much at
school, after all. So he let him go, with-
But Ti was learning more than either
his uncle or his aunt guessed, although at
home he of course had to see much
heathenism, and one day, when the
teacher called to take him to school, Ti
was not at home. He was absent from
school that day, because he had to go with
his uncle and a number of Chinese men
and women to the Chinese cemetery, out
by the sand dunes near the ocean. They
rode there in express wagons, which also
carried provisions. Ti saw that the
cemetery was divided by white fences into
inclosures. His uncle told him that each
inclosure was for a separate tongg," as
the Ye On Tong, or the Tung San Tong.
A small wooden altar was before each plot,
and the provisions were taken from the
wagons and laid on these altars. There
were a number of whole, roasted pigs,
decorated with colored papers and rib-
The Chinese bowed before the graves,
and set off a good many firecrackers, and
burned packages of colored papers, and
the roast pigs standing on the altars soon
looked out through air that was filled with
smoke. Then the people went back to
the city for a feast, since this was the
twenty-fourth day of the second month
of the Chinese year, the time of the Tsing
Ming pure and resplendent fes-
tival, when the Chinese believe that the
gates of the tomb are thrown open and
the spirits of the dead are permitted to
revisit the earth. Ti's aunt thought
about her two little children, Whan and
Hop, who bad died, and she went to the
TI: A STORY OF CHINAIOWN.
cemetery with the other women and men.
But though Ti did not know any better
than to think it was right to make these
many offerings at the graves, yet he did
know and remember what the teacher
woman had said about the gates of heaven
opening for the sick girl, and his aunt
cried when he told her.
The next day, when the teacher came
to take the little boy to school, his aunt
told why he had not been able to go the
previous day. The teacher listened sadly.
She knew how much of heathen customs
surrounded the child. But Ah Cheng
looked at the teacher at last and said hesi-
tatingly, "Ti say the gates of heaven
opened for the sick girl."
The teacher's heart rejoiced that the
little lad had told his aunt.
"Yes, Ah Cheng, Ti is right. The
gates opened for her, I am sure. She
loved the Jesus who first loved us. And
he loves the little ones."
These and many other words of comfort
the teacher said that day as she lovingly
talked with the mother.
"I am so glad we are keeping Ti so
long!" thought the teacher joyfully. "So
many parents take their boys out of
school, but we are keeping him."
Ti himself had no intention of leaving
the school. There was a class of older
Chinese boys downstairs, and they had
another teacher, and sang hymns in Chi-
nese, and read Chinese books, and were
very wise, Ti thought. Sometimes they
sang in English, and one song they sang
was, "Do you know what makes us
happy? We are little friends of Jesus."
Ti could sing that song himself, and he
meant it; only he never dared sing it
where his uncle could hear.
The months slipped by till Ti was over
nine years old. His father had several
times wanted to take him back to the
fishing village, but the uncle and the aunt
begged to have him left with them, and
the father reluctantly consented. So he
stayed, and the Christian teaching went
Then there came a day that brought sad
tidings to Ti. His father had been
drowned in the bay, not far from the Chi-
nese fishing-hamlet. He would never see
his father alive again.
The little boy cried bitterly, for he
loved his father. For a little while he
was taken from school, and the teacher
was very anxious, for she was afraid his
uncle would never let him come back
again. His mother had died several years
ago, when he was quite small, and now he
would probably live continually with his
aunt and uncle, and the teacher knew
that the uncle did not like the school.
But after a while, Ti came back to
school with a sober little face and a small
white cord, as an emblem of mourning,
braided into his queue. The teacher
knew that at his uncle's home the child
was made to worship before the ancestral
tablet, into which, according to Chinese
belief, it was supposed that part of the
spirit of Ti's father had entered. The
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
Chinese think that every spirit has three
parts, one that goes with the body to the
grave, one part that goes like vapor to
heaven, and a third part that stays in the
ancestral tablet. The teacher was sorry
that Ti had to worship before the tablet
on which his father's name was now writ-
ten. She could not help it, but she tried
to teach and comfort the little boy as well
as she could.
God grant that Ti may love Christ!"
she prayed daily as the months went by.
And at last she came to believe that her
prayer was answered. She felt sure that,
though Ti was a Chinese boy, he had
really begun to know Jesus and was every
day learning to love and trust him more,
and that he was asking for help to do
Ti's tenth birthday came. He had
learned very rapidly in school. He had
long ago read through the First Chinese
Book, and had been promoted to the more
advanced room downstairs. He had
learned and believed so much of gospel
truth by this time that his uncle would
have been much alarmed and very angry
if he had known it. But the truth was,
the uncle was becoming so inveterate a
gambler that he had little thought or care
for anything else. He was growing to
smoke opium, also, and he was going
down morally and intellectually. He did
not know that for many months, now, Ti
had been praying to Jesus. The little boy
never put up the incense sticks before the
idols, of his own accord, now, though his
aunt wished to insist on his keeping up
the ancestral worship. He tried to avoid
doing that. Every few days mock-paper
money and perhaps paper meant to rep-
resent clothing were burned before the
ancestral tablet. It seemed to Aunt Ah
Cheng a dreadful thing if Ti's father
should be neglected now that he was dead!
And the teacher knew that her little pupil
was sometimes commanded to do things
contrary to what she had taught him.
One day Ti asked her if the gifts he of-
fered could reach his father in the next
world, and if it was true that his father's
spirit was in the ancestral tablet.
No, Ti, one of your father's spirits is
not in the ancestral tablet. The Chinese
are mistaken about that. But I am glad
you love your father, who is gone, and
think often of him; and Jesus is glad you
love him. You cannot help him by of-
fering gifts before the tablet, but you can
talk to Jesus about your father, and he
can comfort you and help you to do right
in your home."
Ti listened, with his sober eyes intent
on his teacher's, and she saw that the ten-
year-old boy thought deeply. He avoided
ancestral worship all he could.
I am so glad Ti is growing up with
us!" thought the teacher. "I hope we
shall keep him. We have had him up-
wards of two years."
TI: A 82ORY OF CHINATOWN.
NE day Ti stepped out of his
uncle's store and went a little
way on the street. Almost
all of his acquaintances were
heathen, not Christian, Chi-
nese. He passed the old man who sat on
a box on the sidewalk mending an opium
pipe (jin ten), and passed also the other
man who cobbled Chinese shoes on the
sidewalk. He went across the street.
There sat the fortune teller behind
his red covered, ink stained table as
Ti was thinking of something he had
heard lately at his mission Sunday-school
about fortune-telling. The teacher had
said that a fortune-teller could not know
any more about what was going to happen
in the future than other persons did. The
fortunes he pretended to tell must be lies,
and Ti knew that lying and deceit were
The fortune-teller had learned his
business in China itself, and he considered
himself an expert in his art when he re-
membered a blind fortune-teller who lived
in China. Blind men there sometimes
have this business, but they are under a
disadvantage because they cannot read
any Chinese book on the subject. There
are several different ways of fortune-tell-
ing practiced among the persons of this
business in China, and blind men have
their own way. But Ti's city friend had
a book on his table which told of a method
that he pursued.
Ti went up to the fortune-teller's table.
He was not doing any business just this
moment, and he looked at Ti in a neigh-
borly manner, as an American might
look at a pleasant, well-behaved small
boy who came in friendliness to stand and
look at business. The Chinaman's future
dinner, a tiny piece of fresh pork, with a
bit of greens that had a yellow blossom
like mustard, was in a brown paper cornu-
copia on the table, just as the fortune-
teller had bought them of the Chinese
butcher. His book was on the ink-
stained red cover of the table, as were his
writing pencil and a box.
Have you gone to school to-day?" he
asked in Chinese.
"Yes," answered Ti. I go to school.
Very good school. I read Chinese. I
read my Chinese book. I read English
The fortune-teller looked at the little
boy with approbation.
It is very good to read Chinese and to
have Chinese books," he said. I have a
He laid his hand on the paper book of
"You will be a great man," continued
the fortune-teller to Ti. "Perhaps you
will some day be a fortune- teller like
Ti looked sober. He remembered what
he had heard at school. "No," said he,
gravely, "I shall not be a fortune-teller.
TI: A ST ORY OF CHINATOWN. 59
The teacher woman says that no one can There came another customer. Ti
tell fortunes truly." looked at him. Then he wanted to run,
The man sat up angrily. "The teacher for who was this second customer but the
woman has an oily mouth and a heart like man who had been the Ho kin of the fan
a razor!" he said
angrily, using a proverb
of the Chinese people.
He meant that the
teacher was a person i
who spoke pleasantly, I
but bad a treacherous /
"May the Five Em-
perors catch the
teacher woman!" he
Ti shrank back. He
had not supposed the
man would be angry.
The "Five Emperors" /
are certain five heathen _/ //_ -
gods that are believed
by the Chinese to have
power over pestilence,
cholera, and so on. To
say, "May the Five
Emperors catch you!"
is a Chinese maledic-
tion; thre fore Ti The second customer was the Ho kin.
did not like to have the man use it in t'An game to which his uncle had taken
speaking of the teacher. him on the evening when the police made
The fortune teller sat and scowled. their raid.
Presently a customer engaged his atten- Ti shrank back, but the Ho kifn did not
tion. The customer paid his fee and seem to recognize him. The child stood
went away. After this the man was more there, not daring to run lest he should
pleasant and talked, telling Ti of the for- draw to himself the attention of this
tune-tellers in China. dreaded person.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
The Ho kin wanted the fortune-teller
to discover whether the twenty-fifth day
of the month would be a lucky day for
him to do something. What the some-
thing was, Ti did not understand. The
Ho kin was beginning to explain about
it, when the fortune teller suddenly
caught him by the sleeve of his "shom "
(blouse) and hurriedly said something
warning but unintelligible to Ti.
The Ho kin evidently took the warn-
ing, whatever it was. Then the fortune-
teller proceeded to open his box of small,
folded papers. Inside each folded paper
was written a Chinese character. The
fortune-teller told the Ho kin to choose
two papers. This he proceeded to do at
random, one at a time. Then the fortune-
teller took the two chosen papers, opened
them, and saw what the Chinese charac-
ters were. Now Chinese characters are
made up of different parts. The fortune-
teller, according to the rules that he
usually followed, divided the two chosen
characters into their separate, distinct
parts. Afterwards he asked the Ho kin
some questions in so low a tone that Ti,
who stood at one side, did not understand.
He was not trying to understand, anyhow.
His one great anxiety was that the dread-
ful Ho kin should go away.
The fortune-teller, by some adroit
strokes of his writing pencil, made some
new words out of the parts of the Chinese
characters, and then gave his opinion. It
was that the twenty-fifth day of the
present Chinese month was a most un-
lucky day for the Ho kin. Days that are
lucky for one person are not always lucky
for another, according to Chinese belief,
but the twenty-fifth day of the present
month would be the unluckiest kind of a
day for the Ho kin to do what he in-
tended to do. The fortune-teller em-
phatically charged him to put off doing it
till the fifth day of the next month. That
would be a lucky day for him.
Ti heard so much, but he did not un-
derstand, any more than before, what the
Ho kin's undertaking was.
Do it the fifth day of next month!"
charged the fortune-teller again and
again; and the Ho kin, duly impressed,
promised, paid his money and went away.
The fortune-teller looked at Ti. For
an instant the little boy thought that he
was almost sorry about something.
"You like me tell your fortune?" in-
Ti shook his head and smiled.
Good-by," he said in English; and
he hurried away across the street to the
safety of his uncle's store.
He did not know that the fortune-
teller stood and watched him cross the
street and then muttered, The fifth day
of the next month will be lucky for the
What the Ho kin had come to consult
the fortune-teller about was this: Ti's
uncle, through his gambling and through
borrowing, had become greatly in debt to
the Ho kin, so much in debt as to almost
equal the value of his store. The T'An
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
kin and the Ho kin, finding that he
made no payments, knew enough of
American customs to resolve to put an
attachment on the little store. Ti's
uncle had really lost everything. Yet the
Ho kin was enough of a Chinaman to
want to consult a fortune-teller about
which day would be the fortunate one on
which to attach the store. As Ti had
been present, the fortune teller had
warned the Ho kfin not to explain aloud
what he intended to do.
Ti went home, ignorant that the future
plans of the Ho kin would affect his fu-
ture. And the fortune-teller stood and
looked, and muttered in Chinese again to
himself, "The fifth day of the next
month will be a lucky day for the Ho
But the fortune-teller had a plan of his
own, and it was because of this hastily-
conceived plan to help Ti's folks a little,
that he had charged the Ho kin again
and again that the twenty-fifth day was
unlucky. The twenty-'fifth day of the
present month would be to-morrow, but
the fifth day of the next month would
give a little time for the fortune-teller's
Ti was now so large that for some time
he had been going to the American
teacher's school and returning home again
daily, without the teacher being obliged
to go and come with him. He knew the
way and felt quite safe.
But the fifth day of the next Chinese
month the teacher looked very much wor-
ried. Ti was not in school. He had not
been there the day before, either, which
was Monday. She had not seen him since
Friday in school.
I will go around that way just as soon
as school is over to-day," she thought
anxiously. There must be something
the matter. I meant to have gone last
night, as he wasn't at school yesterday.
But I had so much to do."
Immediately after school she went to
Ti's home. She was startled when she
went in. The door at the head of the out-
side stairway had been unfastened, and
after her customary knock she opened
the door as usual. But the room was
empty. No one was visible to tell what
Why, I wonder if they've moved?"
said the teacher to herself.
A new, forbidding looking woman
lifted a red curtain that hung before the
doorway of a room, and the teacher ap-
pealed to this stranger.
"Where have the folks gone?" she
asked in Chinese. "The little boy gone?
The woman only stared at her and did
not answer. She repeated her question,
but the woman did not return a word.
Perhaps I can find out down in the
store," thought the teacher.
She went down the outside stairs and
around to the front of what had been Ti's
uncle's store. There she was disturbed
to see new faces. Ti and his uncle and
aunt were not there. A Chinaman with a
'I: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
hard face scowled at her from behind the
"Where is Ti? Where have they all
gone?" she asked anxiously.
The Chinaman shook his head sullenly.
"Don't you know?" she asked.
The Chinaman shook his head and
scowled harder. He was the man who
had been Ho kin in the fan t'An game in
the gambling cellar, but of course the
teacher did not know this.
Have they moved?" she asked.
"They all go 'way! Never come back
any more!" was all the Ho kun would say.
The troubled woman turned and went
out of the store. The instant she ap-
peared the boy Yun, the son of the Chi-
nese newspaper man across the street,
came running over toward her.
"Teacher woman," asked Yun eagerly,
"you like know where Ti gone?"
"Yes," answered the teacher quickly.
" Where is he gone? What's happened?"
Ti's uncle gamble, gamble all the
time," explained Yun in English. Get
gleat debt to Ho kin man! Ti's uncle
take Ti and his aunt and go 'way off to
China on China steamer this morning!
Never come back to Cal'forn'a any more!
They go on China steamer this morning!"
Gone to China!" exclaimed the
She knew a steamer had really started
for China that morning. It was steamer
Yun nodded. "They go China this
morning!" he said.
For an instant the teacher was over-
whelmed. Then she recollected that no
Chinaman who was in debt could go to
China without first paying his creditors,
and Yun had just said that Ti's uncle
had been in debt to the Ho kin.
"How could Ti's uncle go if he owed
the Ho kin man?" asked the teacher.
" Every steamer day the ship agent stands
one side the gang-plank to take steamer
tickets, and the Six Chinese Companies'
man stands the other side to take each
Chinaman's release ticket, showing he
has paid his obligations to the company
that represents his province in Canton.
Ti's uncle couldn't leave America without
that release ticket. The Six Companies
wouldn't allow it. He must have paid his
debts to the Ho kin man somehow, or he
can't have gone."
Yun stood silent. The teacher looked
gravely at him.
"Oh," she said suddenly, "I see now
how it was! Those Chinamen who have
the store now must have bought it, and so
Ti's uncle had money to pay his debts;
or else the Chinamen took the store in-
stead of his paying them. Perhaps that
was the way he got out of debt and could
go to China."
"Yes," said Yun readily, "they go to
China this morning on steamer."
The teacher had no doubt of the story
now. Ti's folks had gone to China. And
the little boy was gone!
Her face was pale and startled as she
stood there. She did not know this was
Tl: A STORY OF CHI1ATOWN.
a lie that the Chinese fortune-teller, who
had a grudge against her because she did
not approve of his business, had sent Yun
to tell. The fortune-teller knew the
teacher would feel badly over Ti's going
so far away as China. Yun did not really
knew where he had gone. He suspected
he was telling a lie, but he thought it was
well to obey the fortune-teller, and,
brought up in a heathen home, he had
little scruple about telling the teacher
They must have kept it a secret from
Ti until the very last that he and they
were going to China," said the teacher.
" He could not have known it, or he
would have told me in school last week.
This is Tuesday, and he was not at school
yesterday. I have not seen him since
Friday. If he had known then that he
was going away, he would have said good-
by to me. Gone to China! Poor little
She did not doubt the story, for she had
seen other scholars vanish as summarily
from her school. But she had so hoped
to keep Ti! She felt stunned, over-
whelmed, as she turned away. She did
not know that the fortune-teller was
watching. Yun went away.
"Probably Ti's uncle was afraid I
would say some last words about Jesus
that the child would remember," she
thought. "The uncle and aunt didn't
want me to know he was going."
The teacher looked blankly at the Chi-
nese red papers and great lanterns. She
saw afar the table of the apparently
oblivious fortune-teller. Then she did
not see anything clearly, because of the
rush of tears that blinded her. It seemed
as if the great sea of heathenism had
risen and swept away bright, loving, stu-
dious Ti. She remembered the joss-house
of the Queen of Heaven" on the next
street. But oh, with all the heathenism
of this Chinese quarter, how much darker
was China itself! And Ti was on the way
there, perhaps never again to hear a word
about Christ! What would become of
him, little Ti, who had grown so dear to
his teachers and had seemed to open his
heart so readily to Christianity? Here,
Christians could penetrate Chinatown.
In China there might not be a Christian
or a missionary that he could see!
Oh, my little scholar! My little Ti!"
she cried. I can't help you any more!
I'm afraid I sha'n't ever see you again!
Oh, God keep you, in the world of hea-
thenism! God help you not to forget
Jesus! Oh, dear little Ti, God keep
With sorrowful heart the teacher went
away. She could only ask God to care for
Ti wherever he was.
The teacher, however, had been greatly
deceived as to Ti's present whereabouts.
He was not going to China at all. What
had happened really was this: The even-
ing of the day on which the fortune-teller
had been consulted by the Ho kin as to
the luckiness or unluckiness of the
twenty-fifth day for putting an attach-
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
ment on Ti's uncle's store, the fortune-
teller ate his supper as usual, and then in
the darkness secretly wended his way to
see Ti's uncle. He did not usually tell
the secrets intrusted to him by customers,
but he liked Ti and was not unwilling to
help his folks a little.
Ti's uncle was ignorant of the fact that
any attachment was to be placed on his
store. This evening the fortune-teller
told him just what the Ho kln intended
to do on the fifth of next month. The
fortune-teller could not help him by let-
ting him have money, but he suggested
that if there was anything special that he
would like to save before that attachment
was put on his store, he would do well to
save it before the fifth of next month.
Ti's uncle was greatly excited over the
bad news. Hie did not know how he
could get any money to pay the Ho kin,
for the amount needed was large. The
fortune-teller said that the reason he had
told the Ho kin to wait till the fifth of
next month was because he knew that
was the day a steamer sailed for China,
and he also knew that the junk from the
Chinese fishing village up the bay would
probably come down to the city the third
or fourth day of the month, as there were
one or two Chinese from the fishing-ham-
let who wanted to go to China the fifth
day. He suggested to the uncle that the
best way would be to send his wife and Ti
back to the fishing village by the junk,
and they could carry whatever valuables
could be saved from the store. The main
contents of the store could not be saved
without a wagon's coming, and the Chi-
nese neighbors' finding out what was go-
ing on, and the Ho kin's probably being
told and his rushing in and defeating
the plan. The Ho kin would not prob-
ably wait for the fifth day in that case.
So the store must go. But, if he did not
suspect anything, he would not put on the
attachment till the fifth day of the
month, and meantime Ti's uncle might
secretly save something.
"You keep still! Don't tell the
neighbors you are going! Don't tell
Ti!" warned the fortune-teller in Chinese.
"He might tell his teacher! You keep
still! When junk comes, you have things
ready and you go quick at night when no-
This plan was carried out. Ti's uncle
watched for the junk. The third evening
of the next month, greatly excited, he
hurried back from the wharves to tell his
folks the junk had come. That was the
first Ti knew about the plan of moving.
None of the neighbors knew. Secretly
in the dark Ti's uncle hurried such things
to the junk as he could carry. He re-
turned, hurried Ah Cheng and the little
boy out in the evening darkness, and hast-
ened to the wharves. It was a breathless
hour, for he knew he was saving some
things that the Ho kun expected to put
an attachment upon.
Ah Cheng and Ti and the bundles
reached the junk, and Ti's uncle breathed
more freely. He stayed on board that
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
night. The junk, having delivered at the
city the passengers who expected to go to
China the fifth, would now sail back to
the Chinese fishing hamlet the next
morning, the morning of the fourth, not
waiting till the China steamer sailed.
Ti's uncle would not go to the fishing-
hamlet. He would stay behind in the
city. He hoped to go to China in some
way, after he had given up the store to
satisfy his creditors. He could not go by
this steamer, for he must earn his passage
money yet, and satisfy two other creditors
for small sums before he could go. But
he had been wanting to go to see his old
father and mother, and now would leave
Ti and Ah Cheng with the other uncle,
Lum Lee, and his folks at the Chinese
In this hurried, breathless going, there
had been no time for Ti to send any
good-by to his teacher at the mission
school. He felt very badly.
"Teacher woman not know where I
go," the boy told his uncle. She feel
At last, when his uncle was leaving the
junk, early in the morning just before it
sailed, Ti begged so hard that the uncle
would tell the teacher where he had
gone and why he could never come
to her school again, that the uncle prom-
"Yes," he said, "I tell the teacher
woman. I tell her to-day."
So the junk sailed away on its course
and the uncle went back to his store. He
had no intention of telling the teacher
anything. He had only promised in
order to make Ti stop begging. Neither
had he any intention of telling any one
where his wife and Ti had gone. As
soon as the Ho kiun and the T'an kin
put the attachment on the store the fifth
day of the month, Ti's uncle vanished.
The T'an kin and the Ho kin took pos-
session, and the teacher received no in-
formation from the uncle about the little
In the succeeding days the teacher
fully believed that Ti had gone to China.
As a matter of fact, not even his uncle
had gone to China yet, for he was par-
tially engaged in opium smoking, to help
him forget the mortifying fact of his hav-
ing lost his store, and he was also partly
occupied with plans for earning his pass-
age money to China. He did not go near
his former store, so the teacher never met
TI IS TESTED.
NE day, a while after Ti's go-
Sing away, the teacher was
startled. With some other
Christian workers she was
out on an errand of mercy
among the tenements of Chinatown.
They had not found the Chinese person
they sought. They went further, down
a long, narrow alley, on either side of
which were fish and vegetable stalls. The
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
sidewalks were so narrow that the little
party walked in the center of the alley, on
the cobblestones. They opened one door
of the alley, and, as they shut that door
behind them, they passed into utter dark-
ness inside of a building. They found
their way up one flight of stairs. At the
landing, all was darkness. They groped
to the right and went up another flight of
dark stairs. They stumbled through
narrow black passages. Here and there
were little rooms like cupboards. In
these tiny rooms on shelves Chinamen
"We've found an opium joint!" whis-
pered one of the men of the party.
It was so. In the blackness of the lit-
tle cupboard-like rooms the only light
would be that coming from a wick burn-
ing in a tumbler and illuminating the
smoker's face. By the light could be seen
the nut-oil lamp (the dong) for cooking
the opium, the bamboo pipe (jin ten),
and the needle for manipulating the
opium (ah pin yin).
The visitors, intent on the object of
their search, hurried past these closet-
like rooms. They stumbled in the dark,
wishing they had thought to bring a lan-
tern, for though it was daylight in the
alley, it was like night here.
At length the party found a woman
who assured them that the one they
searched for could surely be found in an-
other house in another part of China-
town. The informant seemed honest,
and there was nothing to be done but for
them to retrace their steps through the
They had reached the back of the
building. "Look down," murmured one
of the party. Below, in the narrow yard
between this building and the next, there
arose a cloud of steam. "It's the opium
The very yard below was somewhat
dim, for besides its narrowness and its
situation between the two tenements, it
was boarded at either end, and, above, the
roofs nearly formed a covering. The
party looked down as well as they could,
and perceived, in the narrow yard, a place
built of cement, in which were furnaces
for charcoal. There was the sight of the
steam of boiling opium and a glimpse
now and then of the charcoal's red glow.
Two scantily-dressed Chinese coolies were
kneading opium, as the water evaporated,
in brass dishes that were over the* fur-
naces. The coolies were strong men, for
opium kneading requires considerable
"The opium becomes more and more
stiff, so that it's harder to knead,". softly
said one of the party. "At the right
time those coolies will use brass flatteners
to form the opium into a thick cake at
the bottom of each dish. Then the
dishes will be turned upside down over
the embers, and the men will lift the
cakes every minute, and peel off the skin
that has cooked. So each opium pancake
will make fourteen or fifteen thinner
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
The party did not linger, but stumbled
back through corridors and black stair-
ways, trying to find the way to the alley
once more. They began to go by other
little cupboards with shelves covered with
matting. Lying, getting ready to smoke,
on one shelf was a young Chinaman, who
seemed to be somewhat ashamed, and ex-
plained aloud to the party of strangers
that he only smoked one li gee of opium
a day." One li gee is twenty cents'
They hurried on in the blackness.
Suddenly, as they passed one of the black
little cupboards, a Chinese face dimly lit
by the light from the dong shone from
the darkness. The teacher gave a little
cry and caught the arm of the next one
in her party.
"Wait a minute! Wait!" she ex-
claimed. "I must speak to this opium
smoker. I think I know him. I want
to ask him a question. I thought he
was in China. I thought he had taken
his folks there."
The party stopped. They knew the
teacher must have some particular reason
for her request. Out of the blackness of
the weird little smoking-room, the yellow
light from the dong made the Chinese
head the more striking as one looked at
it, the only visible thing amid the heavy
The Chinaman had not appeared to
notice the party at all.
"You are Ti's uncle, are you not?"
asked the teacher clearly in Chinese.
"Where has Ti gone? Has he gone to
There was no reply. The sallow, half-
narcotized face stood out of the black-
ness, but there was no look of recognition,
no apparent realization that he had been
addressed. The opium had done its
"He is too stupid to understand," said
one of the party in English.
The man's head, resting on a wooden
pillow, did not stir. The teacher knew,
however, as she looked, that she was not
mistaken. It was Ti's uncle who lay
"Where is Ti?" she repeated 'more
loudly in Chinese. "I am the teacher
woman. You remember me! I was at
your house when little Hop died. I have
been there many times. Where is Ti?
Tell me, where is Ti now?"
The yellow face, surrounded by the
heavy black shadows, did not open its lips
It seemed to the teacher as if she could
not give up without any answer. She
was startled and excited over finding Ti's
uncle. Could it be possible that the little
boy was still somewhere in this great
city? If only she could find and help
Just let me try once more," she
begged her party in English. She turned
to Ti's uncle again, and took up Chinese
"Won't you tell me where Ti is?" she
begged. "Only tell me this one thing.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
Is he in this city? Tell me, yes or no!
Is he here?"
She waited. There was no response.
It was not the silence of refusal, but of
It's too bad, but you can't make him
comprehend your question," said one of
the party; and the teacher knew that it
There was no use in waiting any longer.
The little company went on, carrying the
remembrance of the vision of that one
yellow face in the blackness. The visitors
groped out of the passage-ways through
the door at last into the light of the alley
And this was the teacher's first clew to
Ti's whereabouts. It was a very slender
clew. She knew no more than before
where the uncle had sent the little boy.
Certainly he was not in that opium fac-
tory, she thought.
But the fact that she had seen Ti's
uncle made the teacher, for the first time,
doubt the story that Yun had told about
Ti's going to China. She had supposed
that he told the truth. Now she began to
look for her little pupil daily, as she went
about her busy work of visiting the Chi-
nese women and children in their homes.
She believed that Ah Cheng and Ti must
be in the city, too, as long as the uncle
I think Ti will keep on praying as we
taught him," she told herself. And yet,
I wish I could be quite sure!"
Ah! it is so hard sometimes, after sow-
ing the seed patiently, to have no oppor-
tunity to care for and cultivate it!
The teacher watched and sought in vain
for some time, without gaining the slight-
est trace of her little pupil. Then once
more she thought she had found a slight
It was on the departure of a steamer for
China. The teacher had gone to the
wharves to see a Christian Chinese family
and say good-by to them as they started
for the old home in China again.
It was almost time for the vessel to sail.
The wharf was full of people, white and
Chinese. Coolies hurried over the gang-
plank. Some Chinese carried their be-
longings wrapped in matting; some had
baskets or sheets or boxes. All was bustle
and hurry. There was a laugh at one
Chinaman, who had dropped his box on
the wharf. The box had broken open,
and his goods had flown hither and
thither. He hastily gathered his belong-
ings. He had clothing, and dried herbs,
and a box of huge pills. Hurriedly he
crammed the things into his box again,
and fled toward the gang- plank of the
steamer, which was almost ready to lift.
The teacher had just come off the
steamer, where she had been bidding the
Christian Chinese family God-speed. As
she stepped off the gang- plank to the
wharf, the Chinaman who had so hastily
gathered his belongings rushed past her.
She had only one glimpse of his face as
he ran by, but she knew him. It was
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN. 69
With a cry she sprang back, but it was ways saved Ti's red paper with its "new
too late. The Chinaman ran on the ves- words."
sel. The gang-plank lifted. The water In the one street Chinese men and
was covered with bits of papers, being women were as busy as they had been two
prayers thrown by Chinese on the dock years before, when Ti had gone away.
for the safe return home of the voyagers.
She called across the water, but Ti's uncle
did not look behind him. He plunged in-
side the vessel, out of sight.
"Oh," she cried, "can Ti be on board,
too, and his aunt? They were not with
the uncle! Is he going to China alone, or
are they on board, too? If only I could
have seen my little pupil! If only I had
known, when I was on board, I'd have
hunted the vessel over! I did look, but
I didn't expect he was there. Is he?"
The steamer swung around. The
teacher looked eagerly at the crowd on the
decks. People were waving farewell. The
width of water between the wharf and the n A \
steamer grew greater. She drew a long
"Oh, my Ti!" she said, as she watched
the steamer, "may God keep you, even
though you go where there is no one to
teach you any more about Christ!"
Away from the great city, in the little
fishing-hamlet far up the bay, the old red Now, out on the rocks, a boy was turn-
paper still showed its message to the Chi- ing some fish. By and by he had the nu-
nese fisher-people as they passed along the merous little fish all turned, and he left
narrow, crooked street. But none of the the rocks and went away, through the
passers-by paid any attention to it. There narrow street, past the little houses, to the
were various red or yellow or white papers place where old See Yow used to live.
about the doors of other hovels, but when See Yow was ill, now, and he had been
the papers were renewed, See Yow had al- put into a sort of rude shed back of the
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
small hut he and half a dozen other
Chinamen had occupied. Poor old See
Yow! He had not been able to walk to
the shrine for a long time.
To-day he felt so feeble that he did not
open his eyes when the boy entered the
shed. Ti -- for the boy was Ti went
out again, and cooked some rice, and
brought it to the old man. But he could
The boy sat down at his side. See Yow
lay still for a little while. Presently he
stirred and said in Chinese, Tell me the
And Ti, who knew he meant the words
on the red paper outside the door of his
former hut, repeated the new words in
Chinese: "Come unto me, all ye that
labor and are heavy laden, and I will give
"Tell me again what the teacher said
about the 'new words.'"
Ti straightened, and before he began to
speak, thought hard as to all the teacher
had tried to make him understand.
She said," he began, "that when
Jesus lived here on earth, folks who were
in trouble came to him and he helped
them; and that when they are tired or sick
now, they can tell Jesus about it, and he
will help them to bear trouble and sick-
ness, 'cause he is never far away, but close
"But," said See Yow, interrupting,
"how can one come to him, as the new
"When we love folks, we trust them.
And though we cannot see this Jesus, he
is with us. He has helped me, just little
Ti. He makes my heart glad, for I know
he loves me and I love him, too." This
last the boy said very softly.
There was silence. Old See Yow
breathed heavily, but he was awake.
Then Ti began to sing. It was a song
with Chinese words, but it told how Jesus
had come down from heaven to show peo-
ple how much he loved them and wanted
to help them, and that he would take
them to live with him in heaven, if only
they would believe on him. It told how
he even died to show his love. It was a
song that Ti had learned in the little mis-
sion school in the city. It had very easy
words and its meaning was very plain, so
that a little child might understand. Oh,
teacher in that mission school in the city,
you knew not what you did when you
taught Ti that song and the meaning of
the "new words"! You knew no more
than did the other teacher who years be-
fore had sent the red paper to Ti at the
fishing-hamlet, as to what would be the
result of your act. But the Lord of the
harvest takes care of seed sown for him.
By and by Ti left Sea Yow, to attend to
some more fish.
The little boy met his aunt, Ah Cheng,
outside in the street, carrying some salt
for the shrimp-curing. Ti and Ah Cheng
had to work quite hard, now, for Uncle
Lum Lee always expected anybody who
lived with his family to work. Uncle
Lum Lee was very fond of money; he and
TI: A STORY OF CHIVNATOWY.
his wife worked hard, and saved all they
could. Ah Cheng and Ti were perfectly
willing to work, however, and as Ah
Cheng's opium-smoking, gambling hus-
band was not present to make the days
wretched with his crossness and his blows,
they were not very unhappy, though often
very tired. In one thing Ah Cheng could
already see that there was going to be
trouble, however. Ti was neglecting an-
cestral worship and did not bow to the
gods. She felt worried, though she had
not said anything about it to Uncle Lum
Lee's folks. Ah Cheng had not learned
to believe in Jesus as Ti did, and Uncle
Lum Lee's wife was a firm believer in the
Uncle Lum Lee prized the shrines of
the fishing village as being places where,
according to his thinking, he could dis-
cover which were the luckiest days to go
fishing. Still Ti, young as he was, noticed
that the shrines did not seem always to
give correct information, even on that
subject. He did not dare, however, to say
anything about it. He was glad to have
been let alone, thus far, and not have the
" Jesus book discovered and taken from
him. Though he could not read the
Jesus book perfectly, yet he could read it
somewhat, and he prized it. Uncle Lum
Lee's folks did not know that he pos-
Ti smiled at his aunt now, and hurried
away to attend to his fish. The aunt went
on with her salt.
Back in the little shed, old See Yow,
weak and sick, lay still. His withered,
wrinkled face was very thin.
By and by, with an effort, the old man
raised himself on his elbow. He looked
cautiously around the interior of the shed,
as if to make sure that no one but himself
was in the little room. Then he lay back
and shut his eyes, as he had seen Ti do
when he prayed.
"Jesus," murmured old See Yow al-
most inaudibly in Chinese, Jesus Christ,
I am only a poor old fisherman Chinaman.
I have heard the new words. Jesus Christ,
I never heard them when I was young. I
have heard the new words now when I am
old, a very poor old fisherman Chinaman.
Jesus Christ, make the center of my heart
understand the new words before I die!"
Slowly, over and over, with pauses for
breath, the old man repeated his prayer.
Out by the long tables for fish-drying,
back of the hamlet, Ti worked. Once he
looked up, and the sunlight glittering far
on the bay struck his eyes, and the boy
thought of his father who had been
drowned out in that stretch of waters.
The lad's face grew very wistful as he
worked. He did so wish that he could
have told his father what the teacher
taught at the mission school, and could
have sung to his father that song about
Jesus loving everyone. But just as he
was thinking this, Uncle Lum Lee came
by. He was in a surly mood.
"Work harder!" he said sharply to Ti
in Chinese, though the boy was already
working as faithfully as anybody could.
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
Ti redoubled his efforts, while his uncle
Uncle Lum Lee was becoming very sus-
picious of Ti. From various things he
had observed in him, he was coming to
believe that the boy had had altogether
too much teaching in that Christian mis-
sion school in the city. This money-lov-
ing Chinaman thoroughly despised the
unbusiness-like way in which Ah Cheng's
husband had lost his store, and he also
thought that allowing Ti to go so long -
two years to the teacher of the Jesus
doctrine" was another wrong thing in
Ah Cheng's husband.
Uncle Lum Lee had not been very dili-
gent himself about worshiping the gods
sometimes, but he despised Christians.
lHe knew the Chinese saying, sometimes
written over temple doors in China,
"Worship the gods as if they were pres-
ent." Sometimes he had doubted if they
'were present, but he had remembered the
common saying of China, "It is better to
believe that the gods exist than to believe
that they do not exist." So he had gone
on carelessly performing the usual rites;
but now, roused by the thought of what
he suspected in Ti, his zeal for the Chi-
nese gods was reviving daily. Angry in-
deed would he have been if he had known
that a few moments before this Ti had
been singing that little mission song about
Jesus to old See Yow in the shed. But
everybody had been away, busy about the
fish and the shrimp-curing, and nobody
but old See Yow had heard the song.
"Go, put salt on the shrimps!" said
Uncle Lum Lee now, giving Ti a rough
push; and the boy went obediently.
All continued well until evening. Ti,
having finished his work, was going to his
uncle's hut to eat supper. On the way he
met his uncle.
"Go worship Poo Saat!" said Uncle'
Lum Lee sternly.
Ti did not answer. There was some-
thing in his uncle's face that frightened
the boy. He hesitated, trembling. His
uncle gave him a push and went on, but
Ti knew he was watched.
TI IS NOT HAPPY.
T WAS the first time that Ti had
been commanded to worship
the gods. He turned and went
toward the building where the
sails and tackle belonging to
the junk and other vessels of the fishing-
hamlet were kept. Going into the build-
ing, he was face to face with the idol Poo
Saat, revered by his uncle. Incense sticks
were there. Ti stood in the middle of the
sail-room, and looked at the idol. Then
he looked at the incense sticks. Should
he set up new ones and burn them? What
was that verse the teacher had taught him
in the little school in the city?
"Little children, keep yourselves from
There was another verse: "We know
that there is none other God but one."
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
How many times Ti had recited those
verses with the other Chinese boys in the
teacher woman's school! But oh, the
words had not meant to him then nearly
as much as they meant at this moment!
What would Uncle Lum Lee do if he did
"Little children, keep yourselves from
Ti stood and looked at the idol Poo
Saat. Then he sat down on a coil of
"I will not put up incense sticks to
Poo Saat," thought he. "I will not wor-
ship him. If my uncle does not see me
for a little while, he will think I have
been worshiping Poo Saat. I will not
worship, but I will sit here a little while.
How can my uncle know?"
Then he began to feel troubled. Was
it right for a boy who believed in Jesus
to let any one think he worshiped Poo
Suddenly he started. There was the
sound of feet coming to the sail-room. He
jumped up as Uncle Lum Lee came into
the room. The uncle looked at Ti, and
the little boy trembled, so stern was that
Why do you not worship?" asked Lum
Lee in Chinese.
His tone was a very angry one. He
took some incense sticks and ordered Ti
to place them before the idol.
The boy took the incense sticks. He
stepped toward Poo Saat. "I must do
it!" thought he. "My uncle will strike
me. He will strike me very hard. He
is so angry!"
Then suddenly there swept over him
the thought of Jesus. He seemed to see
the teacher's face as she had pleaded with
him that time in the school-room. Oh,
Ti, I want you to love Jesus while you are
a little boy. Won't you?" He could see
her as she had told him of Christ's love
for him. And now he, Ti, was going to
put these incense sticks before Poo Saat,
and bow down and worship! He was go-
ing to do this because he was afraid.
Afraid! -and Jesus loved him! Jesus
died for him, poor, sinful Ti!
The great tears welled up in the boy's
eyes till he could hardly see the idol.
With a great sob, he threw the incense
sticks from him. He flung himself down
on a coil of rope and sobbed aloud. He
could not worship Poo Saat!
Little children, keep yourselves from
idols," he sobbed in Chinese.
For an instant Uncle Lum Lee stood
and looked at him. Then he sprang at
the sobbing, frightened boy, caught him
and shook him, cuffing him hither and
thither around the sail-room. Ti begged
and protested, but blow followed blow.
At length Lum Lee forced him into a
bowed posture before the idol. Lighting
the incense sticks, the uncle placed them
himself before Poo Saat. Then he struck
Ti again and, leaving him, went away.
The idol Poo Saat looked on immov-
able. The fumes of the incense sticks
filled the room. The twilight deepened
Tl: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
into dark as the boy lay there sobbing un-
der his breath. He crept away from the
idol, and, sore and trembling, lay down on
an old sail. Poo Saat could hardly be
distinguished in the darkness that envel-
oped the room.
Ti felt very lonely. I want the teacher
woman!" he sobbed. "She told me,
'Little children, keep yourselves from
He was afraid to leave the sail-room
and go back to the tiny, crowded house
where he lived with Uncle Lum Lee and
his wife and children, and his aunt, the
wife of the uncle who had gone to China.
Ti knew that his other aunt, Lum Lee's
wife, would not sympathize with him at
all. It was only yesterday that he had
heard her praying to the kitchen god, say-
ing, "0 kitchen god! I pray you pre-
serve my two pigs, that this year they may
grow fat and large, so as to be sold for a
great many cash! And then I will come
and worship you!" And even the other
aunt with whom Ti had lived in the city,
might tell him he had done wrong not to
obey his Uncle Lum Lee.
The boy had had no supper and he did
not know whether anybody had carried
old See Yow any rice. He cried and
sobbed over and over, "I want my Jesus
He thought he had done right, but oh,
it had been so hard! He wanted some-
body to help him. The teacher woman
would be sorry. She would tell him what
to do if she were here. How could he live
with his uncle and not worship idols, if he
must be whipped this way? Did the
Jesus book mean that a Chinese boy must
never worship idols never, though he
was struck and whipped?
"I want my Jesus teacher!" wept Ti.
Then, as he sobbed on from sheer ner-
vousness and pain, there came to the suf-
fering child the thought that Jesus was
here, if the teacher woman was not. He
lifted his tear stained face and looked
toward the idol Poo Saat. The incense
sticks had burned out. Ti gazed at the
almost invisible idol, and the thought
grew in him that Jesus was really here,
and that he need not cry so very long and
unhappily. Then he began to pray. He
prayed in his own words, as the teacher
had taught him, and the comfort that the
little lonely boy needed came into his
heart as he told Jesus everything.
The sail-room grew darker. The idol
Poo Saat became invisible, and tired,
bruised Ti fell asleep on the old sail.
By and by he woke. There was a soft
step in the dark. A figure crept to his
"Eat!" whispered somebody, and he
knew it was his aunt, Ah Cheng.
Ti ate his rice out of the little bowl in
the dark. His aunt said she had fed See
Yow, but the old man could eat almost
nothing. He had seemed very happy,
though, she said, but she did not know
Ti finished his rice, and his aunt crept
silently away through the dark and left
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
the tired boy to finish his night's sleep in
the sail-room, guarded not by the idol Poo
Saat, but by the One of whom the teacher
had taught him.
In the gray of the early morning, while
the fog yet rested heavily upon the bay,
Ti came out of the sail-house and hurried
to See Yow's shed. Early as it was, the
old man lay awake upon his hard board
covered with a piece of matting. In his
great joy he had not slept much this
night. He had found what his soul
sought. He looked at his little friend
and smiled as the boy came into the shed.
Ti came to the old man's side and sat
down. He had come for comfort, but he
was unprepared for the look of joy on See
"Jesus Christ has made the center of
my heart understand the new words!" said
the sick man in Chinese faintly but joy-
fully. "I am only an old fisherman
Chinaman, but I know the new words! I
never heard them when I was young. I
have heard them when I am old, a very
poor old fisherman Chinaman. Jesus
loves me. I have come to him. The cen-
ter of my heart is very glad."
There was such a look on his face as Ti
had never seen there before. It made him
think of the teacher woman in the city.
"The center of my heart understands
the new words!" repeated See Yow
faintly. "Jesus Christ loves me, Jesus
Christ loves me- me, a very poor, old
Ti had meant to tell his old friend of
the blows Uncle Lum Lee had given and
the harsh words he had spoken. He was
sore from some of the blows still, but the
wonder of seeing the joy on the sick man's
face kept the boy from speaking of his
own experiences. Suddenly he found the
tears rolling down his face. He was so
glad for See Yow.
"I am glad for you! I am glad!"
sobbed he; and the old Chinaman put his
hand on the boy's, and the two were
silent for a time.
Ti could not tell what he felt. He
knew that See Yow had become a Jesus
man." Oh, how glad, how happy a thing
that was! The child did not say a word
about his own troubles. He had almost
forgotten for the moment that he had
any, in the wonder and gladness of the
thought that See Yow was a "Jesus
When it grew quite light, Ti went away
to his uncle's hut. Lum Lee had already
gone out in a boat with some other China-
men, and his wife let Ti have some break-
fast, though she spoke harshly to him, for
she was a woman of violent temper. Ti
carried See Yow some food, and then be-
But never from that day did Lum Lee
seem to like his nephew. He was cross
and abusive to the boy, till, as months
went by, he even wished that his other
uncle might come back from China to
take him away from the harsh words and
blows. He was so willing a worker that
Uncle Lum Lee could not complain of
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
laziness, but he found all the fault he
could in every other way.
Aunt Ah Cheng was very sorry. She
shielded Ti all she was able, but she told
him she wished he would worship the
gods. Ah Cheng was really afraid not to
worship certain gods herself. Under
more favorable circumstances she might
have been a Christian. But she had not
had as much good teaching as Ti, and
though he and she sometimes went to old
See Yow's shed and talked a little of the
"Jesus doctrine," yet she would after-
wards assist Lum Lee's wife in worshiping
the "kitchen god," and she still wor-
shiped before her old picture of the god-
dess of mercy, Kun Yam.
Only a few of the Chinamen went to
see See Yow while he was sick. To those
who did come he spoke now of the "new
words," but the Chinese looked at him
and said he had an evil spirit. One day
the old man died with the prayer on his
lips, "Jesus Christ, make all the Chinese
understand the new words."
Then one of the Chinamen who lived
with others in the hut that See Yow had
formerly occupied, went out in a panic
and scraped down the old red paper that
had been pasted there so long ago, the
paper that contained the "new words."
Generally Chinese look with respect on
paper printed with Chinese characters,
but this was different.
"It is a bad paper," said the other
Chinamen. It brings evil spirits! See
what it did to See Yow!"
So the Chinaman scraped down every
vestige of the paper, and the wind from
the bay blew the small red fragments out
of the narrow street into the fields outside
the squalid little hamlet. But the red
paper had done the work whereunto it
was sent. One soul had come to know
the reality of the "new words."
Down in the city the teacher women
worked and prayed and wept and
struggled against the heathenism of the
great Chinese quarter. Sometimes it
seemed to them as if their hearts would
break over the wrong and the cruelty they
saw. They wept that they could do no
more. They never had seen See Yow.
They had never even heard of him. They
would not meet him now, till that day
when he would come to them in heaven
and say, Your work reached even to me!
You never saw me, but you taught a little
Chinese boy, and he told me what the
' new words' meant. He told me about
But, alas for Ti! As the months went
by after old See Yow's death, and Uncle
Lum Lee continued to be so harsh and to
strike him so many times for not worship-
ing before the idols, the boy gradually al-
most ceased to pray to Jesus for help to
be a true Christian. Whipped and un-
kindly treated, the little lad lost courage.
At last he bowed before the idols, he put
up the incense sticks, he burned paper
money before the ancestral tablet. At
first, when he did these things, a very
unhappy feeling came into his heart, a
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
sense of having grieved Jesus, and he
went away and cried. His aunt, Ah
Cheng, found it out, and she said to him:
"If you and I lived alone you could
worship Jesus Christ. I would not pre-
vent it. But now we must live with Uncle
Lum Lee, and it is foolish that you should
let yourself be whipped. Worship the
idols when he wishes. Then he will not
strike you so much."
Alas! The boy listened to these words,
and he did as Aunt Ah Cheng said. Not
that he went and bowed before the idols
of his own accord. He did not do that.
But whenever Lum Lee said so, Ti went
and burned incense before Poo Saat, or
went through any other heathen rite of
worship that his uncle wished.
So the months went on. Yet the boy
was not happy, for at times a voice in his
heart seemed to say, Ti, dear Ti, Jesus
loves you. Will you not be brave for love
Lum Lee was in the sail-room, before
the idol Poo Saat, making trial of the
KA-pue. The KI-pue, or wooden divin-
ing blocks, were in Lum Lee's hands. He
was seeking, after Chinese method, to ob-
tain from the idol some expression of its
will in regard to a business project-that he
wanted to enter upon. A Chinaman from
another California Chinese fishing-hamlet
on a bay a great many miles down the
coast, had offered to exchange his business
interests there for Lum Lee's here.
Lum Lee was rather anxious to make
the exchange. The bargain looked ad-
vantageous to him, and he believed that
he would make more money at the other
fishing hamlet than he made where he
now was. But he also believed in consult-
ing the gods before entering upon any im-
portant business change, so yesterday he
had consulted the idol by means of the
wooden divining blocks, KA-pue, and the
blocks had most unfortunately fallen so
that, according to Chinese interpretation,
they meant an unfavorable answer.
"Don't you do it," was what Lum Lee
thought the blocks said, and he did not
like such an answer as that. He wanted
the idol to approve of his new business
plan, so he thought he would try the Kh-
pue again. Perhaps the idol would con-
The KA-pue, or divining blocks, are
from three to eight inches long, and each
has a flat and a round side. If the two
blocks, when thrown, fall with both round
sides up, the answer is unfavorable. That
was the way KA-pue had fallen yesterday.
Fallen with the two curved sides uppermost, meaning
Lum Lee hoped they would not fall so
now. He knelt, and bowed before the
idol several times while kneeling. Then
he once again stated his plans, and begged
for an answer from the idol. Then he
took the divining blocks and put their
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
two flat surfaces together. With a cir-
cular motion he passed the blocks through
the smoke of the burning incense a few
times, then reverently threw them up be-
fore the idol, so that the two blocks would
fall between the idol and himself.
The KA-pue fell on the floor. Lum Lee
looked. Oh, joy! They had not fallen as
they did yesterday! Now, one block had
fallen with its flat side up, and the other
with its round side up! That meant
With one block flat side up, and the other round side up,
meaning affirmative or favorable answer.
"yes!" The idol had consented! He
could exchange his business with the
Satisfied with this answer, and ignoring
the opposite answer of yesterday, Lum
Lee was not many days in completing the
bargain with the Chinaman from the
southern fishing-hamlet, who, in his turn,
was persuaded that he could make money
in Lum Lee's shrimp business.
The bargain being consummated, Lum
Lee gathered his possessions and took his
wife and children and Ti and Ah Cheng
and sailed on the fishing-hamlet's junk to
the city. Ah Cheng's husband had been
gone to China for almost a year now.
Privately, Lum Lee doubted whether he
would ever return, since opium smoking
and gambling were making such a wreck
of him. He was probably going down
lower and lower in China, and becoming
more useless to himself and everybody
else. But if he ever did return to
America, he could almost as easily find his
wife and Ti at one fishing-hamlet as
at the other. Uncle Lum Lee wanted to
take Ah Cheng and Ti with him, because
he had proved their capacity for working,
and he thought he would be richer with
two extra pairs of hands to work for him.
Ah Cheng and Ti had almost nothing to
say about the moving.
The junk neared the city. It was the
first time Ti had been there since his hur-
ried departure that night almost a year
ago, for he had not been allowed any city
trips by his uncle, who wanted the boy to
work diligently. He hoped that now
Uncle Lum Lee would allow him to go up
from the wharves to the Chinese quarter a
little while, to try to find the teacher
But Lum Lee allowed no such thing.
He left his folks on board the junk, and
went to get tickets for the rest of the voy-
age. For the fishing village to which he
was transporting himself and his family
was not isolated like the hamlet where
they had been living. The new home was
to be in a Chinese fishing-hamlet between
two American towns on the southern bay,
and steamboats and American sailing ves-
sels went to and fro frequently between
the city and one of the southern towns.
So Uncle Lum Lee, who had known what
day to come to the city, found no diffi-
culty in buying tickets for his folks on a
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN. 79
sailing vessel that was going to start south allow his nephew to go abroad in the city
that afternoon, streets.
Leaving the junk to be taken back to The little party waited till sailing time,
the old Chinese village by the other and the vessel moved away with them out
Chinese Wayside Stand-Shells for Sale.
Chinamen who had accompanied the mov-
ing family down, Ti and Ah Cheng and
Uncle Lum Lee and his folks and his
household possessions formed a hasty, al-
most unobserved little procession across to
another wharf where was the sailing vessel.
Once on board that, Lum Lee would not
through the Golden Gate to the blue
Pacific. After considerable sailing, they
came at last to the bay they sought, and
across its blue water Ti could see a long
wharf reaching out from an American
town. At the wharf the ship stopped.
There were queer old Mexican buildings
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
in the town, and there were American and
Spanish and Chinese faces. Beyond the
town, stretching toward the direction they
were to go, Ti could see a great many pine
trees. Uncle Lum Lee hired a Chinese
laundry wagon to transport his possessions
to the Chinese village, and the whole
party rode with the things.
Ti felt homesick. He did not know
anything about the new home to which he
was going, but he looked at Aunt Ah
Cheng's sad face, and he knew that Uncle
Lum Lee would be as harsh and exacting
in the new home as in the old.
He looked out at the tall pines, as the
wagon passed on, and he heard blue-jays
scream from the tree tops. There were
American wagons on the road, coming and
going, for the two American bay towns
were only a couple of miles apart, and
houses straggled along the way. The
farther town was a great resort for sum-
mer visitors, and the Chinaman who was
driving told Lum Lee that many of those
American visitors bought sea shells of the
Chinese. On one road the Chinese had a
wayside stand for selling shells to the
tourists who were at this season riding
hither and thither. Many of the Ameri-
cans some of whom were visitors from
Eastern States- frequently walked over
the fields, by the path near the rocky
shore, to the Chinese hamlet and pur-
chased shells there. These visitors often
admired the abalone shells, and bought
"sets" of them of different sizes. Also
there was the trade of going around sell-
ing fish to the many Americans who had
homes in the two towns between which
the Chinese hamlet was situated.
All this did the laundry wagon China-
man, as he drove, tell to Uncle Lum Lee
and his folks. Lum Lee's avaricious eyes
glittered with satisfaction. Surely he
would make much money in this place.
How foolish that other Chinaman had
been to exchange business with him!
How much better living in this place
would be than living away from all
money possessing Americans at the
shrimp-curing hamlet, as he had hereto-
fore done! How well that the divining
blocks fell propitiously for the plan of
moving! Ah, Lum Lee did not realize
that there is One mightier than idols.
Little did he dream what this removal
was to mean for Ti.
S AH CHENG CHOOSES.
OWN toward the rocks beside
the bay, Ti could see the
great waves come splashing
high, white with foam, and
there was a fresh wind. The
wagon turned from the road and went
down a lane and across a field, and there,
on the edge of the blue bay, was the Chi-
nese fishing-hamlet. Fish were drying on
rough wooden tables back of the hamlet.
There was a jargon of Chinese voices.
Chinese boats were beached on the sandy
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN. 81
shore next the rocks. Two tables of around, although there were still many
different kinds of shells, mainly great aba- rows of wooden framed, canvas covered
tents among the pines for those people
who preferred to live in tents instead of
S houses. American artists, ladies and
gentlemen, often came over from the
settlement and sat sketching the Chi-
nese houses and boats and children.
Ti saw one Chinaman
who had just come in
from making a tour,
hunting abalone shells
around some of the coasts
of this peninsula. The
Chinaman carried an
There were rows of tents.
lone shells with their beautiful, iridescent
interiors, and strings of various
sized sea-urchin shells, stood beside
the street. One stand had the
English sign, Shell for Sale," evi-
dently written by some Chinaman.
Across the fields, beyond the Chi-
nese hamlet, not a very long dis-
tance, began the other American u
town, among the pines. It had
originally been only a camping The Light-house.
place, but now it had grown to be a
town with streets and churches and busi- iron rod to knock abalones off the rocks,
ness houses and a hotel. Many people had and he told Ti he had been away
built houses and lived here the year around by the light-house, at a certain
82 TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
point situated far beyond where the boy out in boats to gather kelp. Some of the
had yet seen. numerous children of the village were
Lum Lee hurried his family to the already beginning to be traders in shells
house in the loft of which they were to with the American visitors, and demanded
live. The house was a very small one, "fi' cent" for a string of small sea-urchin
and the loft consisted of only two little shells.
rooms, but into them were crowded the Ti was needed for various things -to
The Chinese Fishing Hamlet.
household belongings, the god shelf was
set up, and, leaving Ti and Ah Cheng and
his wife and children there, Uncle Lum
Lee went away to attend to his business
The houses of the hamlet were all
small, forming the crowded homes of
many Chinese. The fields spread widely
along the shore. There was room there,
but the houses were all huddled together,
according to Chinese ideas of crowding.
Ti soon found that this was a busy place
for him. Almost everybody was busy.
Young Chinese girls carried on their
backs little baby brothers or sisters, while
attending to the fish, and the women went
go fishing with Uncle Lum Lee and the
other men, to go over to the American
settlement among the pines, selling fish:
Moreover, he had to learn to go with iron
rod, searching along the seashore rocks for
miles, hunting for abalones. Some after-
noons he spent sifting the white beach
sand through his fingers, hunting for the
tiny "rice shells" that look like grains of
rice and can be sold to Americans. Above
all, he must attend to the fish-drying and
the turning of the multitudes of tiny fish
on the rocks and drying tables. Moreover,
he could gather pine cones in the woods,
and sell sacks of them to the campers for
fuel. All these ways of earning money
1T: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
for Uncle Lum Lee were shown Ti during
the first few days here.
The first Sunday came, and with it a
piece of news that startled Ti. After a
person had gone by the village shrine, and
had passed along the crooked street by the
houses, and had turned to the right, there
stood a house the use of which the boy
had never thought to inquire, during the
few days he had lived here. On Sunday,
however, two women came through the
village. Ti supposed they were Ameri-
cans who had. perhaps come to see the
hamlet, or to buy shells, for he knew that
all Americans did not refrain from buy-
ing things on Sunday. Presently he
noticed that the two women were stopping
here and there at the houses, gathering
little Chinese children.
Where you go?" asked Ti of one little
Chinese boy, Hip Lon.
Go to Jesus teacher women's school
to-day," said Hip Lon. You go?"
Astonished Ti could hardly believe it
true. Could it be possible that there
were Jesus teacher women here in this
Chinese fishing-hamlet? He questioned
Hip Lon and discovered that these were
indeed Jesus teachers, and that they lived
in a house up among the pines over the
hill, and that they always came down to
the fishing-hamlet Sundays and held a
little Sunday-school for the Chinese chil-
dren in the house near the edge of the
hamlet, the house of which he had not
thought to inquire the use.
Oh, I go once to Chinese Jesus teach-
ers' school up in the city!" exclaimed sur-
prised, excited Ti to Hip Lon, and then
he ran to find Aunt Ah Cheng, and
beg her to let him go to the teacher
women's school. Little Hip Lon looked
after Ti, as he ran away to find his aunt,
Hip Lon's small sister.
astonished that he should be so excited
over the news of the school.
Aunt Ah Cheng consented to Ti's ex-
cited appeal, though she knew Uncle Lum
Lee would be angry if he discovered it.
So Ti went with Hip Lon and his small
sister. Neither of these teachers was the
loved teacher from the city, of course,
but they noticed Ti immediately when he
came to school. They noticed that he
knew one of the songs sung there, and by
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
questioning him found that he had once
been a mission scholar in the city.
Thus began Ti's acquaintance with the
teachers. Much surprised were they to
discover that he had a Jesus book" and
that he remembered many Bible texts he
had learned in the city. But there was
one thing the teachers could not know,
and that was how, now, in the hamlet
Sunday-school, the songs about Christ and
the teachers' words smote the boy's heart.
How he had meant once to be true to
Jesus, and how sadly he felt he had
failed! How many times he had bowed
to idols! How there came back to Ti
now words that his dear, kind city teacher
had said to him! How good she was to
me!" he thought repentantly, "and how
grieved she would be if she knew that I
bowed to idols and burned incense to
Sunday after Sunday, as Ti slipped into
the hamlet Sunday-school, the struggle in
his heart grew. Sometimes his uncle
would not let him go to the school. He
would not have allowed the boy to go at
all, if it had not been that during the
week the teachers sometimes bought fish
of Lum Lee. Then he would, the next
Sunday, scowlingly permit Ti to go to
Sunday-school, for fear of offending a fish-
But whether Ti went to Sunday-school
or not, the voice that spoke to the boy's
heart would be heard, and he was un-
happy. Ah, how unhappy is a heart that
has loved Jesus and then wanders away
from him! Ti knew that if he began
again to refuse to worship idols he would
be whipped and cuffed and cursed by
Uncle Lum Lee and his wife, as before.
He dreaded meeting such treatment
again. So, daily, he dissembled. But,
oh, how unhappy he felt when certain
songs were sung in the teachers' school!
How he had to struggle to keep the tears
back! It almost seemed as if he could
hear his loved city teacher say, "Oh, Ti,
I want you to love Jesus while you are a
little boy!" Ah, the good Shepherd was
calling his little lamb! Wandering Ti
was not forgotten.
So surprised and interested were the
teachers in discovering that Ti had once
been a mission pupil in the city, that they
found out from him the name of his
teacher there. Then, after some writing
hither and thither, the teachers of the
hamlet found out the address of his
One evening, one of the hamlet teachers
sent word to Ti asking him to come up to
their house over the hill among the pines.
The boy thought that perhaps some fish
was wanted, or the teachers needed some
errand done. So he went to their house.
He was very greatly surprised to find that
one of them had a letter from his former
teacher in the city. The hamlet teacher,
on discovering her address, had written
and told her they had found one of her
Ah, how glad a letter did the city
teacher send back! She had thought that
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
Ti was in China, since she had seen his
uncle going on the China steamer. She
had pictured the boy surrounded by hea-
thenism. And now to find that he was
still in this country, and that he had been
guided to a hamlet where there were other
Christian workers to teach him! Ah,
surely God's hand was in Lum Lee's mov-
ing to this place.
"Tell Ti," wrote the city teacher,
"how very glad I am to hear of him!
Tell him I have prayed for him every day
since he went away. Tell him to be sure
to keep on praying to Jesus. He will
help him if he asks him." And then the
letter closed with these words: "Dear
Ti, do try to be a real Christian!"
Ti listened intently as the teacher read.
But there was a look on his face that she
did not understand. The boy was silent
a moment after the letter was finished.
The tears began to roll down his face.
Suddenly the remorse that had over-
whelmed him as he heard the loving
words, grew too strong for concealment.
He dropped, sobbing, on his knees at the
"I used to love Jesus in the city," he
sobbed. "Now I am bad boy so long,
Jesus will never love me again."
Sobbing, he told his story -how he
had gone from the city to the other fish-
ing-hamlet to live, how he had been
beaten by Uncle Lum Lee for not wor-
shiping Poo Saat, how at last he had
yielded and now for many months had
worshiped Chinese idols.
"Jesus will never love me again, I am
bad boy so long!" wept Ti over and over.
"Oh, I am bad! I am bad!"
The tears came into the teacher's eyes.
She knew how very hard it often is for
Chinese to become Christians, since they
must meet with so much reviling and per-
haps cruelty from relatives.
Ti," she said as she bent over the sob-
bing boy beside her, "Ti, Jesus does for-
give you. He loves you. He is sorry for
you and is sorry to have, you worship
idols, for they can do you no good. But
he wants you to know that he still loves
you, and will help you to be brave if you
turn to him."
Long and tenderly the teacher talked
with the repentant boy. She prayed with
him, and Ti prayed for himself. It was
broken prayer, but it came from a heart
repentant as Peter's for his denial. And
when Ti went away homeward toward the
Chinese fishing-hamlet he was happy in
the thought that Jesus loved him, and the
knowledge of this great love made him
feel strong. He looked up at the evening
sky and said, not as he so often had, "I
am bad boy so long Jesus never love me
again," but instead, "Dear Jesus, I don't
care what happens, I will never worship
idols again, for I know you love me and
will help me."
It did not take Lum Lee and his wife
long to perceive the change in Ti. He
neither worshiped the gods nor offered
mock paper money before his father's
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
tablet. Uncle Lum Lee struck the little
boy, and his wife reviled him as one most
despised by the Chinese- a son who is
ungrateful to his dead father. "You
have burned no paper money before your
father's tablet for two weeks!" she said
angrily one day. "Your father's spirit is
poor! How can he have any money when
you do not burn it? His spirit is poor!
He is hungry! But you do not care! You
are wicked! You do not care for your
father now he is dead!"
Ti did not answer. Once, such an ac-
cusation would almost have broken his
heart, for he still loved and missed his
His aunt struck him some half dozen
sharp blows on the side of his head, and
passed on, her face lowering. How could
she know that the boy, his face smarting
from the blows, was praying silently for
Many days were very hard for Ti, now.
Lum Lee's wife told the other Chinese
about him, and they treated him severely.
Hip Lon's mother said sternly in Chinese
to him, Once when I was in China, my
father went to the house of a high man-
darin. When my father came back, he
told us children what he had seen there.
He saw a picture of an old woman. It
meant the mandarin's grandmother. Al-
ways, night and day, the mandarin had
large, red candles burning before the pic-
ture. Also he burned incense. His sons
and daughters came and knocked heads
to the |ii:tiire. You are poor, and you
cannot offer great red candles always to
your father, but you can burn paper
money for him! You are a bad son to ill-
treat your father when he is dead!"
Ti listened, but he did not answer. Yet
sometimes, when the days were very hard,
and he was tired with much work, and
Lum Lee struck him and reviled him as a
"Jesus boy," Ti hid himself in the field
and cried. But he prayed, too.
The teachers guessed how it was with
their little pupil. They said a comfort-
ing, strengthening word to him when they
met .him during the week. Uncle Lum
Lee would not let him go to the Sunday-
school any more, even if the teachers did
not buy fish of him. Therefore it was
many weeks before Ti knew something
that was coming to pass. It was this:
His aunt, Ah Cheng, watched the boy
very closely now. She knew his troubles,
though she said nothing. Living in the
same crowded loft with Lum Lee's folks,
Ah Cheng saw that Ti would rather be
struck than worship the gods. Some-
times she guessed that he prayed in the
night secretly to the "true God." She
disliked to have the little lad struck and
abused so much by Lum Lee and his wife,
and as she watched him through the
months, his influence over her deepened.
Not that he was a perfect Christian. He
was far from that. There were days when
he felt impatient and did wrong, but Ah
Cheng could see that he tried to do right.
Long ago, when Ti had been faithful
and had borne blows for Jesus' sake, Ah
Tl: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
Cheng was touched. If he had remained
faithful she might have been different
now. As it was, his conduct began to
have great influence over her.
One Sunday afternoon the teachers
were surprised to see Ah Cheng slip into
their Sunday-school and sit at one side,
listening. Ti was not there, and his aunt
seemed afraid that it would be known she
had come, for she glanced apprehensively
toward the door now and then. She soon
slipped out, but after that she came every
Sunday for a few minutes. Gradually she
Ah Cheng never said anything about
why she came or what she heard there.
She only sat and listened with the chil-
dren. Sometimes there was so longing a
look in her eyes that the teachers wanted
to speak to her, but she seemed to wish to
avoid notice, and they were afraid of
causing her to stay away, if they said any-
thing to her. So she slipped quietly in
and out, and when she was there the only
notice the teachers took of her presence
was to have the little ones repeat after
them the plainest and simplest truths in
their lesson, carefully explaining them-
selves, as the lesson went on. For the
teachers knew that the Chinese woman
needed to have the truth presented to her
as plainly as to a little child, and that the
things the children spoke or sang might
reach her heart when their own words
would not. But the teachers were not
quite prepared for what followed.
One day, when all the Chinese fisher
people were busy, off fishing, or drying
fish outside the hamlet, or doing the same
thing on the beach, or attending to the
many tasks always necessary, Aunt Ah
Cheng went swiftly up to the loft where
she and Lum Lee's folks lived. Nobody
,was there. She had thought nobody
would be there this time of day. Lum
Lee's wife was off turning fish on the
There was a strange look on Ah Cheng's
face. Her hands were trembling. She
took down her long-worshiped picture of
the goddess of mercy, Kun Yam. Hurry-
ing, trembling, she gathered whatever she
owned that pertained to idol-worship -
the incense sticks, the mock paper money
but she did not touch anything that
belonged to Lum Lee's god shelf or idol-
Hiding in her dress these various things
of her own, with the picture of the god-
dess of mercy, Ah Cheng went trem-
blingly down the outside stairs to a
near-by shed. This shed, almost next to
Lum Lee's home, was used by a number of
families as a cooking place. There was a
sort of open fireplace, and in this, now,
were some hot coals, for it was not long
since eating time.
No one beside Ah Cheng was in the
shed. Hastily she stirred the live coals,
and laid on them the old picture of the
goddess of mercy. The picture flamed up
in an instant. Ah Cheng laid the other
things in the flames. She waited,
trembling all over. She hid her face.
TI: A STOBY OF CHINATOWN.
No one came. When she looked up, the
picture of Kun Yam, before whom Ah
Cheng had been used to worship, was re-
duced to ashes. There was no trace of
the other things save a few ends of incense
sticks, and these Ah Cheng pushed
further on the coals. A slight blaze rose,
and the last trace of the things of which
she had made the fire was gone. Only the
live coals waited, glowing still.
Ah Cheng covered the coals with ashes.
She rose and caught hold of the doorway
to steady herself. Then she went away
again to the fish-curing.
The evening of that day, when Ti came
home to the loft, he found uproar there.
Lum Lee's wife was full of fury.
Will you be a Jesus doctrine woman?"
she screamed at Ah Cheng.
"Yes," said Ah Cheng, quietly but
Then Lum Lee's wife burst into a storm
of Chinese reviling. And when a furious
Chinese woman reviles, she can do it with
the turbulence of a torrent.
But it was useless. Ah Cheng had
chosen. She was ignorant of many
things, but she had chosen Christ. It was
not a lightly made resolve. She had known
what the consequences would be. For
a long time she had been silently watch-
ing, thinking, wavering. Now she had
burned her gods, and she stood firmly.
She had found peace in Christ. There
was no great, overwhelming emotion in
Ah Cheng's case, but she had trust and
rest and peace in her heart, for Jesus was
with her. She had weighed the matter
carefully, and deliberately she had taken
Christ for her Helper, though she knew
the choice involved persecution.
.L "GOD BLESS YOU, TI."
UM LEE'S wife was fairly be-
side herself with rage. She
drove Ti and Ah Cheng
out of the house that night,
declaring t h a t Christians
who burned the gods should not stay un-
der the same roof with her.
As all the other little houses of the
hamlet were crowded, Ah Cheng and Ti
were forced to sleep that night under some
empty fish-drying tables at one side of the
hamlet. The next day, however, Lum
Lee's wife permitted them to come back
to the loft to live. Lum Lee knew they
were good workers, and he did not want
them to stray from the hamlet back to the
But his wife continued her vitupera-
tions, and made the succeeding days as
uncomfortable as she could. All the
Chinese in the hamlet heard from her
what Ah Cheng had done in burning the
picture of the goddess of mercy. Some of
the more superstitious women regarded
the act with horror, for though the
teachers of the Mission school had tried
to do what they could in instructing the
Chinese people of the hamlet about Chris-
TI: A BTORY OF CHINATOWN.
-ianity, yet the main influence of the in-
struction had been on the little Chinese
children. Only here and there was one
among the women or the men who might
possibly be silently thinking and weigh-
ing the subject, even as Ah Cheng had
done, but who lacked courage to come
out openly in favor of the "Jesus doc-
Several of the more superstitious
women of the hamlet openly prophesied
that some evil spirit would do harm to Ah
Cheng. But the weeks passed, and no
harm came. Ah Cheng labored faith-
fully at the fish-curing, and finally Lum
Lee's wife settled into a sullen acceptance
of the fact of her Christianity. The
home loft was a very uncomfortable place,
though, usually, for Ah Cheng and Ti.
Two believers in the "Jesus doctrine"
were a constant invitation, Lum Lee's
wife believed, to evil spirits to enter the
loft and do harm. Yet there were so
many Chinese in this hamlet, in compari-
son to the small number of houses, that
every house was crowded, Chinese fashion,
and there was no other place for the two
to stay, had any other family felt dis-
posed to offer them a home.
Some five or six months of this uncom-
fortable manner of living went by. Ti
and Ah Cheng tried to be faithful. So
long a time had elapsed that the neighbors
had ceased to say evil would come because
of the burning of the goddess of mercy's
picture. Other things engaged the
neighbors' attention, though many of
the people did not favor the Jesus doc-
One night, about eleven o'clock, when
the Chinese hamlet was still, Ti was
awakened by a loud crackling sound and
a sense of suffocation. The loft was full
of dense smoke. He heard'his Aunt Ah
Cheng crying to him, Ti! Ti!"
There were cries of frightened people
in the street below. Half a dozen of the
little Chinese houses were on fire.
"Ti!" screamed Ah Cheng in Chinese.
Lum Lee's wife was shrieking. She
snatched up one of her children. Ti
caught up the youngest child.
Quick! Quick!" screamed Ah Cheng.
Struggling through the strangling
smoke, they pushed their way out the door
to the stairway. The steps leading down
to the street were on fire! The street
was full of running, screaming, frightened
Chinese women and men, who did not
know what to do. Ti and Ah Cheng and
Lum Lee's folks climbed over the already
burning roof of their loft. They dropped
to the upper outside top of a flight of
steps of another house that was also on
fire, and escaped to the street.
Running across the fields came Ameri-
can men, rushing to help. Chinatown's
afire!" they shouted to one another. Into
the midst of the wailing, shrieking Chi-
nese women ran the white helpers. White
men darted here and there, helped by
some Chinese, finding old boilers, empty
oil cans, old buckets. Men ran to the
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
beach for sea-water. The air was full of
cinders. White men and Chinamen
climbed here and there, throwing the
water over roofs and walls. The fire had
probably caught from the cook shed near
Uncle Lum Lee's house, the shed. in
which several families were wont to cook,
and where some one probably had care-
lessly left too much fire early in the
On the edge of the hamlet, some
American women and small boys who had
run down from the nearest houses of the
town among the pines, stood and watched
the fire. For a little time, it looked as
though a good part of the hamlet of dry,
tinder-like houses would be swept away,
but the sea-water and the exertions of the
workers prevailed against the flames at
last. They died down. Only half a
dozen of the little houses had been con-
"It's a good thing none of you lost
your lives!" said one of the white men
cheerfully to the crowd of frightened Chi-
nese. "The fire must have started from
that cook shed you say was here, and
burned each way, taking houses on both
sides. Somebody left live coals uncovered
last night, and there was a wind, you
Now, among the company of frightened
women was one who, from murmurs of
other Chinese, caught the white man's
meaning, and she knew that she had prob-
ably been the last person who cooked in
the shed the previous evening. Conse-
quently she knew she was very likely the
one who had been careless about leaving
the fire so that it had crept to the dry,
wooden side of the rickety shed. The
woman did not know whether anybody
knew she had been the last person in the
cook shed. She was very much afraid of
being accused of being guilty for the fire,
for some of the Chinese who had had
their household goods burned, were in an
But, in her fright, this woman suddenly
thought of something. If only she could
make Lum Lee's wife think that this fire
had come as a punishment for Ah Cheng's
having burned the goddess of mercy's
picture! Then suspicion might be turned
away from herself, if anybody had begun
to try to remember who had cooked last
in the shed.
The woman edged her way to Lum
Lee's wife and said something. In an in-
stant the latter's superstitious fears were
aroused, angry as she was over the loss of
household things. The fire indeed must
have come from the insulted goddess of
mercy! ITad not Ah Cheng burned her
With a cry of hatred, Lum Lee's wife
rushed toward Ah Cheng.
"The curse of Kun Yam made the fire
come!" she screamed in Chinese. "It is
the curse of the goddess of mercy! Ah
Cheng burned the picture of Kun Yam in
the fire! Now Kun Yam has sent the fire
to burn Ah Cheng, and it has burned all
our things, too! Ah Cheng is a Jesus be-
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
liever! Ah Cheng brought the fire on
With clenched fist the excited woman
struck at Ah Cheng, who put up both
hands to ward off the blow.
"I was not in the cook shed at all last
evening," protested frightened Ah Cheng
in Chinese. "I did not have a fire
But it was useless to protest, for Lum
Lee's wife did not listen. She had not
ceased to scream, "It is the curse of Kun
Yam! Ah Cheng is a Jesus doctrine
woman! She makes Kun Yam send fire
to-burn us! She burned Kun Yam's pic-
ture in the fire, and Kun Yam sends fire
back on us!"
The cry of Lum Lee's wife found an
answer in some of the more superstitious
hearts of her ignorant Chinese neighbors
whose houses had been burned. These
neighbors began to mutter angrily. Ti
stood by his aunt, who vainly protested
again that she had not been in the cook
shed the previous evening.
"Ah Cheng brings fire on us!"
screamed Lum Lee's wife.
"What is all this trouble?" asked the
stern voice of an American man, who did
not understand Chinese.
Ah Cheng was trembling. The neigh-
bors were beginning to look angrily at
her, as they continued muttering among
themselves. But a quick form slipped
through the crowd.
"Ah Cheng," said one of the teachers
quietly, "you and Ti come home with me
to-night. This hamlet was so crowded,
before, that now, with half a dozen houses
burned, there will hardly be room for all
to sleep. You and Ti come with me."
The teacher hurried Ah Cheng and Ti
away from the hamlet. The fire being
over, American people were returning
homeward across the fields.
"Don't cry, Ah Cheng," said the
teacher kindly in broken Chinese and
English, as she heard a stifled sob from
the poor frightened creature while they
hastened on across the fields towards the
teachers' house over the hill among the
pines. "It was not your fault that the
fire came. You had not been in the shed.
Kun Yam did not send the fire, either.
Some other Chinese woman was careless.
Make your aunt understand what I say,
Ti. You can talk better Chinese than I
can. She's too frightened just now to un-
derstand much English."
So Ti repeated to his aunt in Chinese
what the teacher had said.
Oh, Jesus teacher woman!" sobbed Ah
Cheng in Chinese, "Chinese all hate me
now! All say I make the goddess of
mercy send fire, because I burn Kun Yam!
All Chinese hate me now! But I had to
burn Kun Yam's picture, because Jesus
book tells me not to pray to make-believe
gods any more. Now Chinese all hate
me! Ti and I have no home any more!"
The teacher's heart was full of loving
sympathy. She remembered One who
had not where to lay his head. She re-
membered the words, "Blessed are ye,
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
when men shall revile you,'and persecute
you, and shall say all manner of evil
against you falsely, for my sake."
"Ah Cheng," she said gently, "do not
be afraid. Jesus will take care of you.
I do not think all the Chinese will hate
you. It is only Lum Lee's wife who tries
to make the other women think the fire
came from the idol's anger."
But in her heart the teacher said, "I
hope Ah Cheng will not have to go back
to live with Lum Lee's wife any more
and be struck and reviled! It is not as
if this were a Chinese fishing-hamlet away
on the coast, far from any American
Christians. Here I can find work for her
in some white Christian family."
The teacher knew that in the American
town among the pines there were many
comfortable Christian American families
who lived there all the year around, and
in some of them she was sure she could
find a place where Ah Cheng might earn
her living by washing and ironing, and
another place where Ti could work, and
they would be encouraged to keep on be-
lieving in Jesus and being true to him.
So the two stayed at the teachers' house
that night. The next day, the teacher
saw Uncle Lum Lee, who sullenly said he
did not want Ah Cheng and Ti to come
back and live with his family. He would
have been glad to have their work, but his
wife had declared she would not have
Christians in the house again, lest they
should bring more trouble on her from
the goddess of mercy. His wife's talk
had roused Lum Lee's superstitious fears,
too, lest the gods should not prosper his
"Clistians make Chinese joss mad!"
said he angrily. "Joss send fire! No
want Clistians! Make me lose money, if
joss get mad!"
The teachers were thankful at heart
that Lum Lee did not want Ah Cheng and
Ti around any more. Being fearful, how-
ever, that he might change his mind after
his superstitious fears had subsided, they
thought best not to let Ah Cheng and Ti
find places to work among the American
Christians of the town among the pines,
"It will be better for them at some
Christian mission house in the city," de-
cided the teachers, and they speedily
wrote up to Ti's former city-mission
teacher, asking her to come and take Ti
and his aunt back with her to some
Christian mission house for Chinese in the
The city teacher came speedily. Quickly
were arrangements made, and one day Ti
and Ah Cheng bade good-by to the kind
teachers of the hamlet, and went with the
city-mission teacher on board a vessel that
was about to sail from the southern bay
north toward the city once more.
The city teacher was thankful, as she
stood beside Ti on the vessel after it had
:set sail, and knew that now the boy and
his aunt would have a Christian home
where they would no longer be struck and
reviled and threatened because they did
TI: A STORY OF CHINATOWN.
not worship the gods. Ti could study
and work. A Christian Chinese shoe-
maker had promised to teach him shoe-
making in the city.
The teacher looked down at the boyish
face beside her.
"Are you not glad to go back to the
city, Ti?" she said.
The boy looked up with a quick smile.
" Yes," he said, I velly glad!"
Then he looked far across the water
again, and the gladness faded from his
face. The teacher looked where his gaze
seemed fixed. She saw, far across the
blue bay, the two American towns, and
there between them a dark line on the
bay shore. The line was the Chinese
"What is it, Ti?" she asked, seeing the
soberness of the child's gaze.
A wave of emotion swept over Ti's face.
"Teacher," he said earnestly, his voice
trembling with feeling, "I got two little
Chinese cousin in that place, Lum Lee's
little boy and girl. I 'fraid they never
love Jesus! Teacher, I think of the other
Chinese fishing place where I did live.
Nobody there tell Chinese 'bout Jesus!
Nobody came, all the time I live there,
to tell Chinese 'bout Jesus! Teacher,
great many little Chinese boys and girls
in all Cal'forn'a! They don't know 'bout
Jesus! Nobody teach them! Oh, teacher,
it makes me feel bad! They don't know
'bout Jesus! Teacher, some day when I
grow big, I go everywhere! I go tell all
little Chinese girls and boys 'bout Jesus!
Oh, teacher, I so glad you teach me 'bout
Jesus when I was little!"
The boy choked. A great tear rolled
down his cheek.
The teacher's own eyes were full. Too
well did she know the stories of many of
the hapless little ones who "don't know
God bless you, Ti," said she gently.
"Tell them! Tell all the poor little Chi-
nese children you can about Jesus. There
are so few to tell them!"
Ti went away, and the teacher stood
and looked afar across the water. She
thought of the multitude of little Chinese
children born and brought up in Christian
America, and yet without Christian teach-
ing. "They ought to be reached. They
ought to be taught," she said to herself.
" The poor little Chinese children! Often
the parents won't believe us teachers
when we tell them of Jesus and his love,
but sometimes they will believe their chil-
dren when they carry home the gospel
we have taught them. Oh, if only there
were more teachers to tell the story to the
poor little Chinese children! Dear Lord,
send forth more laborers into this, thine