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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 413MB


    Software instructions

      They had only a day to wait, as the regular steamer for Tien-tsin was advertised to leave on the afternoon following their return. She was not so large and comfortable as the one that had carried them to Han-kow and back; but she was far better than no steamer at all, and they did not hesitate a moment at taking passage in her. They found that she had a Chinese crew, with foreign officersthe same as they had found the river-boat and the steamers from Japan. The captain was an American, who had spent twenty years in China, and knew all the peculiarities of the navigation of its waters. He had passed through two or three shipwrecks and been chased by pirates. Once he was in the hands of the rebels, who led him out for execution; but their attention was diverted by an attack on the town where they were, and he was left to take care of himself, which you can be sure he did. Another time he saved himself by crawling through a small window and letting himself fall about ten feet into a river. The night was dark, and he did not know where to go; but he thought it better to take the chance of an escape in this way, as he felt sure he would have his head taken off the next morning if he remained. Luckily he floated down to where a foreign ship was lying, and managed to be taken on board. He thought he had had quite enough of that sort of thing, and was willing to lead a quiet life for the rest of his[Pg 353] days.

      "'One man who never leedee,

      "As we have learned the principles of this new language," Frank remarked, "we ought to be able to understand some proverbs in it. For instance, here are four that contain whole heaps of good advice, besides showing us how to read pidgin English:

      "Not only were the men hired on contracts that they could never cancel, but they were stolen, just as slaves are stolen in Africa. Boats were sent up the rivers in the southern part of China to bring back loads of coolies. They would land an armed party at a village, seize all the men in the place, and bring them to the port, where they would be transferred to the dealers, who would send them to the places where their labor was needed. Macao was the great port for the coolie trade, and the Portuguese had large sheds there, which they called barracoons, for holding the coolies in prison till they were ready to ship them away. These barracoons were sometimes so crowded that thousands of coolies died there in the course of a single year. The natives called them 'chu-tze-kuan,' or 'pig-pens,' and they were so filthy that they richly deserved the name.

      I was thrilled. I was taken into the staff's confidence! Me, Smith! That Major Harper would tell me part of a matter to conceal the rest of it did not enter my dreams, good as I was at dreaming. The flattery went to my brain, and presently, without the faintest preamble, I asked if there was any war-correspondent at headquarters just now. There came a hostile flash in his eyes, but instantly it passed, and with all his happy mildness he replied, "No, nor any room for one.""The opium must be boiled to fit it for use, and when ready it looks like very thick molasses. A man takes a long needle and dips it into the opium, and then he twists it around till he gets a ball of the drug as large as a pea. He holds this ball in the flame of a lamp till it becomes hot and partially burning, and then he thrusts it into a little orifice in the top of the bowl of the pipe. He continues to hold it in the flame, and, while it is burning, he slowly inhales the fumes that come from it. A few whiffs exhaust the pipe, and then the smoker rests for several minutes before he takes another. The amount required for intoxication is regulated and estimated in pipes; one man can be overcome by three or four pipes, while another will need ten, twenty, or even thirty of them. A beginner is satisfied with one or two pipes, and will go to sleep for several hours. He is said to have dreams of the pleasantest sort, but he generally feels weak and exhausted the next day.

      "The guide said there were two kinds of leprosy, the 'wet' and the 'dry.' In the wet leprosy the body of the victim abounds in running sores, while in the dry there is nothing of the sort, and the appearance of the skin is not greatly different from what it is in health. The disease generally attacks the joints of the hands or feet, particularly those of the former, and the sufferer loses the first joint of the fingers and thumbs at about the same time. Then, in a few months, he loses the second joints, and in two or[Pg 415] three months more the third joints go. We saw lepers in all the stages of the diseasesome with the first joints of the hands gone, others who had lost the second joints, and others the third; while others, again, had lost the hands at the wrists. There seems to be no cure for most of the forms of the leprosy; and when a man is attacked with it, he must go at once to the hospital, no matter whether he is rich or poor. And when he has gone there, he generally remains till death relieves him from his sufferings.


      The party was shown to a large room at the rear of the house. Frank suggested that a front room would be preferable; but the Doctor told him that in a Japanese hotel the rear of the establishment was the place of honor, and that in a hundred hotels of the true national type he would probably not be located half a dozen times in a front apartment. The room where they were was very speedily divided into three smaller ones by means of paper screens, such as we find in every Japanese house, and which are known to most Americans in consequence of the large number that have been imported in the last few years. They can be shifted with the rapidity of scenes in a theatre, and the promptness with which the whole appearance of a house can be changed in a few minutes is an approach to the marvellous.


      And while meditating on the mutations of time and the strangeness of many events recorded in history, our friends passed from the harbor of Nagasaki into the open sea.


      "My Dear Friends: