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Title: Four Young Explorers - or, Sight-Seeing in the Tropics
Author: Optic, Oliver, 1822-1897
Language: English
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ALL OVER THE WORLD LIBRARY


OLIVER OPTIC

[Illustration]

FOUR YOUNG EXPLORERS



ALL-OVER-THE-WORLD LIBRARY

By OLIVER OPTIC

       *       *       *       *       *

_Illustrated, Price per Volume $1.25_

FIRST SERIES

        A MISSING MILLION

        A MILLIONAIRE AT SIXTEEN

        A YOUNG KNIGHT-ERRANT

        STRANGE SIGHTS ABROAD

SECOND SERIES

        AMERICAN BOYS AFLOAT

        THE YOUNG NAVIGATORS

        UP AND DOWN THE NILE

        ASIATIC BREEZES

THIRD SERIES

        ACROSS INDIA

        HALF ROUND THE WORLD

        FOUR YOUNG EXPLORERS

_OTHER VOLUMES IN PREPARATION_ ANY VOLUME SOLD SEPARATELY

LEE AND SHEPARD Publishers Boston

[Illustration: "YOUR FIRST SHOT, LOUIS," SAID SCOTT.

_Page 30._]



_All-Over-the-World Library--Third Volume of Third Series_


FOUR YOUNG EXPLORERS

OR

SIGHT-SEEING IN THE TROPICS

BY

OLIVER OPTIC

   AUTHOR OF
   "THE ARMY AND NAVY SERIES" "YOUNG AMERICA ABROAD, FIRST AND SECOND
   SERIES" "THE BOAT-CLUB STORIES" "THE ONWARD AND UPWARD SERIES"
   "THE GREAT WESTERN SERIES" "THE WOODVILLE STORIES" "THE
   LAKE SHORE SERIES" "THE YACHT-CLUB SERIES" "THE RIVERDALE
   STORIES" "THE BOAT-BUILDER SERIES" "THE BLUE AND THE GRAY
   AFLOAT" "THE BLUE AND THE GRAY--ON LAND" "THE STARRY
   FLAG SERIES" "ALL-OVER-THE-WORLD LIBRARY, FIRST SECOND
   AND THIRD SERIES" COMPRISING "A MISSING MILLION" "A
   MILLIONAIRE AT SIXTEEN" "A YOUNG KNIGHT-ERRANT"
   "STRANGE SIGHTS ABROAD" "AMERICAN BOYS AFLOAT"
   "THE YOUNG NAVIGATORS" "UP AND DOWN THE
   NILE" "ASIATIC BREEZES" "ACROSS INDIA"
   "HALF ROUND THE WORLD" ETC., ETC., ETC.



        BOSTON
        LEE AND SHEPARD PUBLISHERS
        10 MILK STREET
        1896



        COPYRIGHT, 1896, BY LEE AND SHEPARD

        _All Rights Reserved_

        FOUR YOUNG EXPLORERS


        TYPOGRAPHY BY C. J. PETERS & SON, BOSTON.


        PRESSWORK BY BERWICK & SMITH.



        TO
        MY APPRECIATIVE AND VALUED FRIEND

        FREDERICK D. RUGGLES, ESQ.

        RESIDING ON A HISTORIC HILL IN
        HARDWICK, MASS.

        This Volume

        IS RESPECTFULLY AND CORDIALLY
        DEDICATED.



PREFACE


"FOUR YOUNG EXPLORERS" is the third volume of the third series of the
"All-Over-the-World Library." When the young millionaire and his three
companions of about his own age, with a chosen list of near and dear
friends, had made the voyage "Half Round the World," the volume with
this title left them all at Sarawak in the island of Borneo. The four
young explorers, as they became, were permitted to spend three weeks
there hunting, fishing, and ascending some of the rivers, while the rest
of the party proceeded in the Guardian-Mother to Siam. The younger
members of the ship's company believed they had seen enough of temples,
palaces, and fine gardens in the great cities of the East, and desired
to live a wilder life for a brief period.

They were provided with a steam-launch, prepared for long trips; and
they ascended the Sarawak, the Sadong, and the Simujan Rivers, and had
all the hunting, fishing, and exploring they desired. They visited the
villages of the Sea and Hill Dyaks, and learned what they could of their
manners and customs, penetrating the island from the sea to the
mountains. They studied the flora and the fauna of the forests, and were
exceedingly interested in their occupation for about a week, when they
came to the conclusion that "too much of a good thing" became wearisome;
and, more from the love of adventure than for any other reason, they
decided to proceed to Bangkok, and to make the voyage of nine hundred
miles in the Blanchita, as they had named the steam-launch, which voyage
was accomplished without accident.

After the young explorers had looked over the capital of Siam, the
Guardian-Mother and her consort made the voyage to Saigon, the capital
of French Cochin-China, where the visit of the tourists was a general
frolic, with "lots of fun," as the young people expressed it; and then,
crossing the China Sea, made the port of Manila, the capital of the
Philippine Islands, where they explored the city, and made a trip up the
Pasig to the Lake of the Bay. From this city they made the voyage to
Hong-Kong, listening to a very long lecture on the way in explanation of
the history, manners, and customs, and the peculiarities of the people
of China. They were still within the tropics, and devoted themselves to
the business of sight-seeing with the same vigor and interest as before.
But most of them had read so much about China, as nearly every American
has, that many of the sights soon began to seem like an old story to
them.

Passing out of the Torrid Zone, the two steamers proceeded to the north,
obtaining a long view of Formosa, and hearing a lecture about it. Their
next port of call was Shang-hai, reached by ascending the Woo-Sung. From
this port they made an excursion up the Yang-tsze-Chiang, which was an
exceedingly interesting trip to them. The ships then made the voyage to
Tien-tsin, from which they ascended by river in the steam-launch to a
point thirteen miles from Pekin, going from there to the capital by the
various modes of conveyance in use in China. They visited the sights of
the great city under the guidance of a mandarin, educated at Yale
College. Some of the party made the trip to the loop-wall, near Pekin.
Returning to Tien-tsin, with the diplomatic mandarin, who had accepted
an invitation to go to Japan in the Guardian-Mother, they sailed for
that interesting country, where the next volume of the series will take
them.

It may be necessary to say that the Guardian-Mother, now eighteen months
from New York, and half round the world, reached Tien-tsin May 25, 1893;
and therefore nothing relating to the late war between China and Japan
is to be found in this volume. Possibly the four young explorers would
have found more sights to see, and more adventures to enjoy, if they had
struck either of the belligerent nations during the war; but the ship
sailed for the United States before hostilities were begun.

Of course the writer has been compelled to consult many volumes in
writing this book; and he takes great pleasure in mentioning among them
the very interesting and valuable work of Mr. W. T. Hornaday, the
accomplished traveller and scientist, "Two Years in the Jungle." This
book contains all that one need know about Borneo, to say nothing of the
writer's trip in India among the elephants. His researches in regard to
the orang-outang appear to have exhausted the subject; though I do not
believe he has found the "missing link," if he is looking for it.
Professor Legge contributed several articles to "Chambers's
Encyclopædia," which contain the most interesting and valuable matter
about China to be derived from any work; for he lived for years in that
country, travelled extensively, and learned the language. I am under
great obligations to these authors.

The author is under renewed obligations to his readers, young and old,
who have been his constant friends during more than forty years, for the
favor with which they have received a whole library of his books, and
for the kind words they have spoken to him, both verbally and by letter.

        WILLIAM T. ADAMS.

        DORCHESTER, MASS.



CONTENTS


        CHAPTER I.
                                                   PAGE
        THE BORNEO HUNTERS AND EXPLORERS             1

        CHAPTER II.
        A VOYAGE UP THE SARAWAK RIVER               10

        CHAPTER III.
        SOMETHING ABOUT BORNEO AND ITS PEOPLE       19

        CHAPTER IV.
        A SPECULATION IN CROCODILES                 29

        CHAPTER V.
        A HUNDRED AND EIGHT FEET OF CROCODILE       39

        CHAPTER VI.
        THE VOYAGE UP THE SADONG TO SIMUJAN         48

        CHAPTER VII.
        A SPIRITED BATTLE WITH ORANG-OUTANGS        58

        CHAPTER VIII.
        A PERFORMANCE OF VERY AGILE GIBBONS         67

        CHAPTER IX.
        A VISIT TO A DYAK LONG-HOUSE                77

        CHAPTER X.
        THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE DYAKS        87

        CHAPTER XI.
        STEAMBOATING THROUGH A GREAT FOREST         96

        CHAPTER XII.
        A FORMIDABLE OBSTRUCTION REMOVED           106

        CHAPTER XIII.
        THE CAPTAIN'S ASTOUNDING PROPOSITION       115

        CHAPTER XIV.
        DOWN THE SIMUJAN AND UP THE SARAWAK        125

        CHAPTER XV.
        ON THE VOYAGE TO POINT CAMBODIA            134

        CHAPTER XVI.
        AN EXCITING RACE IN THE CHINA SEA          143

        CHAPTER XVII.
        THE END OF THE VOYAGE TO BANGKOK           153

        CHAPTER XVIII.
        LOUIS'S DOUBLE-DINNER ARGUMENT             163

        CHAPTER XIX.
        A HASTY GLANCE AT BANGKOK                  172

        CHAPTER XX.
        A VIEW OF COCHIN-CHINA AND SIAM            181

        CHAPTER XXI.
        ON THE VOYAGE TO SAIGON                    191

        CHAPTER XXII.
        IN THE DOMINIONS OF THE FRENCH             201

        CHAPTER XXIII.
        A LIVELY EVENING AT THE HOTEL              211

        CHAPTER XXIV.
        TONQUIN AND SIGHTS IN CHOLON               221

        CHAPTER XXV.
        SEVERAL HILARIOUS FROLICS                  231

        CHAPTER XXVI.
        THE VOYAGE ACROSS THE CHINA SEA            241

        CHAPTER XXVII.
        SOME ACCOUNT OF THE PHILIPPINES            250

        CHAPTER XXVIII.
        THE DESCRIPTION OF AN EARTHQUAKY CITY      260

        CHAPTER XXIX.
        GOING ON SHORE IN MANILA                   270

        CHAPTER XXX.
        EXCURSIONS ON SHORE AND UP THE PASIG       280

        CHAPTER XXXI.
        HALF A LECTURE ON CHINESE SUBJECTS         290

        CHAPTER XXXII.
        THE CONTINUATION OF THE LECTURE            300

        CHAPTER XXXIII.
        THE CONCLUSION OF THE LECTURE              310

        CHAPTER XXXIV.
        SIGHT-SEEING IN HONG-KONG AND CANTON       321

        CHAPTER XXXV.
        SHANG-HAI AND THE YANG-TSZE-CHIANG         332

        CHAPTER XXXVI.
        THE WALLS AND TEMPLES OF PEKIN             342



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


        "YOUR FIRST SHOT, LOUIS," SAID SCOTT         _Frontispiece_

                                                        PAGE

        "WHAT HAVE YOU GOT THERE, MR. BELGRAVE?"         41

        "YOU ARE NEAR ENOUGH, CAPTAIN"                   99

        THE BOAT ROSE GRACEFULLY ON THE BILLOWS         132

        "BUT WHERE IS FELIX?" DEMANDED MRS. BLOSSOM,    161

        SHE MADE A VIGOROUS LEAP INTO THE FORE-SHEETS,  267

        NATIVES PREPARING TOBACCO IN MANILA             285

        TEMPLE AND GARDEN IN CHINA                      329



FOUR YOUNG EXPLORERS



CHAPTER I

THE BORNEO HUNTERS AND EXPLORERS


The Guardian-Mother, attended by the Blanche, had conveyed the tourists,
in their voyage all over the world, to Sarawak, the capital of a
rajahship on the north-western coast of the island of Borneo. The town
is situated on both sides of a river of the same name, about eighteen
miles from its mouths.

The steamer on which was the pleasant home of the millionaire at
eighteen, who was accompanied by his mother and a considerable party,
all of whom have been duly presented to the reader in the former volumes
of the series, lay in the middle of the river. The black smoke was
pouring out of her smokestack, and the hissing steam indicated that the
vessel was all ready to go down the river to the China Sea. Her anchor
had been hove up, and the pilot was in the pilot-house waiting for the
commander to strike the gong in the engine-room to start the screw.

Just astern of the Guardian-Mother was a very trim and beautiful
steam-launch, fifty feet in length. The most prominent persons on board
of her were the quartette of American boys, known on board of the
steamer in which they had sailed half round the world as the "Big Four."
Of this number Louis Belgrave, the young millionaire, was the most
important individual in the estimation of his companions, though happily
not in his own.

Like a great many other young men of eighteen, which was the age of
three of them, while the fourth was hardly sixteen, they were fond of
adventure,--of hunting, fishing, and sporting in general. They had gone
over a large portion of Europe, visited the countries on the shores of
the Mediterranean, crossed India, and called at some of the ports of
Burma, the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Celebes, and had reached
Sarawak in their explorations.

They had visited many of the great cities of the world, and seen the
temples, monuments, palaces, and notable structures of all kinds they
contain; but they had become tired of this description of sight-seeing.
When the island of Borneo was marked on the map as one of the localities
to be visited, the "Big Four" had a meeting in the boudoir, as one of
the apartments of the Guardian-Mother was called, and voted that they
had had enough of temples, monuments, and great cities for the present.

They agreed that exploring a part of Borneo, with the incidental
hunting, fishing, and study of natural history, would suit them better.
Louis Belgrave was appointed a committee of one to petition the
commander to allow them three weeks in the island for this purpose.
Captain Ringgold suggested to Louis that it was rather selfish to leave
the rest of the party on the steamer, stuck in the mud of the Sarawak,
while they were on the rivers and in the woods enjoying themselves.

But the representative of the "Big Four" protested that they did not
mean anything of the sort. They did not care a straw for the temples and
other sights of Siam, Cambodia, and French Cochin-China; and while they
were exploring Borneo and shooting orang-outangs, the Guardian-Mother
should proceed to Bangkok and Saigon, and the rest of the tourists could
enjoy themselves to the full in seeing the wonders of Farther India.

It required a great deal of discussion to induce the commander, and then
the mothers of two of the explorers, to assent to this plan; but the
objections were finally overcome by the logic and the eloquence of
Louis. The Blanche, the consort of the Guardian-Mother, having on board
the owner, known as General Noury, his wife and his father-in-law, had
nothing to do with this difficult question; but the general had a
steam-launch, which he was kind enough to grant for the use of the
explorers.

The third engineer of the ship was to go with the quartette, in charge
of the engine; five of the youngest of the seamen were selected to make
the venture safer than it might otherwise have been. Achang Bakir, a
native Bornean, who had been picked up off the Nicobar Islands, after
the wreck of the dhow of which he had been in command, was to be the
guide and interpreter.

The youngsters and their assistants had taken their places on board of
the "Blanchita," as Louis had christened the craft, and she was to
accompany the two large steamers down the river. But the farewells had
all been spoken, the hugging and kissing disposed of, and the tears had
even been wiped away. The mothers had become in some degree reconciled
to the separation of three weeks.

The Guardian-Mother started her screw, and began to move very slowly
down the river, amid the cheers and salutations of the officers,
soldiers, and citizens of the town. The Blanche followed her, and both
steamers fired salutes in honor of the spectators to their departure.
The Blanchita secured a position on the starboard of the
Guardian-Mother, and for three hours kept up a communication with their
friends by signals and shouts.

Off the mouth of the Moritabas, one of the outlets of the stream, the
steamers stopped their screws, and the "Big Four" went alongside of the
Guardian-Mother; the adieux were repeated, and then the ships laid the
course for their destination. Both of the latter kept up an incessant
screaming with their steam whistles, and the party on board of them
waved their handkerchiefs, to which the "Big Four," assisted by the
sailors, responded in like manner, while the engineer gave whistle for
whistle in feeble response.

When the whistles ceased, and the signals could no longer be seen, the
Blanchita came about, and headed for the Peak of Santubong on the
triangular island formed by the two passes of the Sarawak River. The
explorers watched the ships till they could no longer be seen, and then
headed up the river.

"Faix, the bridges betune oursels and civiloization are all broke down!"
exclaimed Felix McGavonty, who sometimes used his Milesian dialect in
order, as he put it, not to lose his mother's brogue.

"Not so bad as that, Felix; for there is considerable civilization lying
around loose in Borneo," replied Louis Belgrave.

"Not much of it here is found," added Achang Bakir, the Bornean.

"Is found here," interposed Morris Woolridge, who had been giving the
native lessons in English, for he mixed with it the German idiom.

"Rajah Brooke has civilized the region which he governs, and the Dutch
have done the same in portions of their territory. Professor Giroud gave
us the lecture on Borneo, and we shall have occasion to review some of
it," added Louis. "But I think we had better give some attention to the
organization of our party for the trip up the Sarawak River."

"I move, Mr. Chairman, that we have the same organization we had on
board of the Maud," interposed Felix, dropping his brogue. "That means
that Mr. Scott shall be captain, and Morris mate, while Louis and myself
shall be the deck-hands."

"Mr. Chairman, I move an amendment to the motion, to the effect that
Louis shall be captain, while I serve as deck-hand," said Scott.

"I hope the amendment will be voted down, and that the original motion
will prevail," Louis objected. "Captain Scott, in command of the Maud,
on a voyage of two thousand miles, proved himself to be an able and
skilful commander, as well as a prudent and successful leader in several
difficult situations. He is the right person for the position. Question!
Those in favor of the amendment of Mr. Scott will signify it by raising
the right hand."

Scott voted for his own motion, and he was the only one.

"Contrary minded, by the same sign," continued Louis, raising his right
hand, Felix and Morris voting the same. "The amendment is lost. The
question is now on the original motion of Felix. Those in favor of its
adoption will signify it."

Three hands appeared, the motion was carried, and the chairman informed
Scott and Morris that they were chosen captain and mate. Scott was
outvoted, and he made no further objection. Of the five seamen on board
he appointed Pitts cook and steward, in which capacity he had served on
board of the Maud. The starboard is the captain's watch; though the
second mate, when there is one, takes his place for duty, and the port
is the mate's watch.

"I select Clingman for the first of my watch," continued Scott. "Your
choice next, Morris."

"Wales," said the mate.

"Lane for the starboard," added Scott.

"Hobson's choice," laughed Morris, as he took the last man. "Clinch for
the port; the last, but by no means the least."

"I fancy the watches will have an easy time of it; for I suppose we
shall not do much running up and down these rivers, and through dark
forests, in the night," suggested Louis.

"If we lie up in the night, I shall divide them both into
quarter-watches, and have one man on duty all the time; for we may be
boarded by a huge crocodile or a boa-constrictor if we are not on the
lookout. But Achang is a pilot for these rivers. Isn't that so, Captain
Bakir?"

"I have been up and down all the rivers in this part of the island,
though I was not shipped as a pilot then," replied Achang, who had been
the captain of a dhow, and on board the ship he had been called by his
first name or the other with the title.

"All right; we shall use you for pilot or interpreter as occasion may
require; and I suppose you can tell us all we want to know about the
country and the people," added the captain.

Clinch, one of the ablest seamen on board, was steering the launch, and
Scott kept the run of the courses; but as long as the craft had three
feet of water under her, she was all right. The conversation took place
in the cabin, as the explorers called the after part of the steamer,
though no such apartment had been built there.

A frame constructed of brass rods, properly braced, extended the entire
length of the launch. A stanchion at the bow and another at the stern,
with five on each side set in the rail, supported a rod the whole
distance around the craft. Another extended from the bow to the stern
stanchion, directly over the keel, about six inches higher than those at
the sides. Ten rods led from the central down to the side rods, like the
rafters of a house.

Over the whole, of this structure above was extended a single piece of
painted canvas, serving as a roof, and keeping out both sun and rain. It
was laced very taut to the rods, and had slope enough to make the water
run off. On the sides were curtains, which could be hauled down tight.
The launch had been used by the rajah on the Ganges, and when closed in
the interior was like "a bug in a rug."

Thus closed in, the standing-room was called the cabin. It was
surrounded by wide cushioned seats, which made very good beds at night.
Between these divans was a table where the meals of the explorers were
to be served. Under the seats were many lockers for all sorts of
articles, the bedding, and the arms and ammunition.

Just forward of the cabin were the engine and boiler, with bunkers on
each side for the coal. In the middle of the craft was abundant space.
The forward part of the boat was provided with cushioned divans, where
passengers could sit by day or sleep at night; and this space was
appropriated to the sailors. In the centre of it was the wheel. Next to
it was the galley, with a stove large enough to cook for a dozen
persons, and all needed utensils.

The ship's company had looked the craft over with great interest, and
all of them were well pleased with the arrangements. The launch had been
put into the water and fitted up for use the day before. The party from
both ships had visited her, and almost wished they were to go to the
interior of the country in her.

The Blanchita continued on her course up the river. Pitts was at work in
the galley; and as soon as the launch was made fast off the "go-down,"
or business building of the town, dinner was served to the seamen, and
later to the denizens of the cabin. The afternoon was spent in examining
the place, and in obtaining such supplies as were needed; for the boat
was to sail on her voyage up the river early the next morning.

With the assistance of Achang, a small sampan, a kind of skiff, was
purchased; for the Bornean declared that it would be needed in the
hunting excursions of the party, for much of the country was flooded
with water, a foot or two in depth.



CHAPTER II

A VOYAGE UP THE SARAWAK RIVER


The young hunters slept on board of the Blanchita, and they were
delighted with their accommodations. Sarawak, or Kuching, the native
name of the town, is only about one hundred and fifty miles north of the
equator, and must therefore be a very warm region, though away from the
low land near the sea-coast it is fairly healthy. The party slept with
the curtains raised, which left them practically in the open air.

Achang had given them a hint on board of the ship that mosquitoes were
abundant in some localities in Borneo. The Guardian-Mother was provided
with the material, and the ladies had made a dozen mosquito bars for the
explorers. They were canopies, terminating in a point at the top, where
they were suspended to the cross rods on which the canvas roof was
supported. The netting was tucked in under the cushions of the divan,
and the sleepers were perfectly protected.

Captain Scott had carried out his plan in regard to the watches. The
cook was exempted from all duty in working the little steamer; but each
of the other seamen was required to keep a half-watch of two hours
during the first night on board. Clinch was on watch at four in the
morning. He called the engineer at this hour, and Felipe proceeded at
once to get up steam. It was still dark, for the sun rises and sets at
six o'clock on the equator.

As soon as there was a movement on board, all hands turned out forward.
There were no decks to wash down; and, if there had been, the water was
hardly fit, in the judgment of the mate, for this purpose, for it was
murky, and looked as though it was muddy; but it was not so bad as it
appeared, for the dark color was caused by vegetable matter from the
jungles and forest, and not from the mud, which remained at the bottom
of the stream.

"The top uv the marnin' to ye's!" shouted Felix, as he leaped from his
bed about five o'clock,--for all hands had turned in about eight o'clock
in the evening, as the mosquitoes, attracted by the lanterns, began to
be very troublesome,--and the Milesian could sleep no longer.

"What's the matter with you, Flix?" demanded the captain.

"Sure, if ye's mane to git under way afore night, it's toime to turn
out," replied Felix. "Don't ye's hear the schtaym sizzlin' in the froy'n
pan?"

"But it isn't light yet," protested Scott.

"Bekase the lanthern in the cab'n bloinds your two oyes, and makes the
darkness shoine broighter nor the loight," said Felix, as he looked at
his watch. "Sure, it's tin minutes afther foive in the marnin'. These
beds are altogidther too foine, Captain."

"How's that, Flix?" asked Scott, as he opened the netting and leaped out
of bed.

"They're too comfor-_ta_-ble, bad 'cess to 'em, and a b'y cud slape till
sundown in 'em till the broke o' noight."

"Dry up, Flix, or else speak English," called Louis, as he left his bed.
"There is no end of 'paddies' along this river, and I'm sure they cannot
understand your lingo."

"Is it paddies in this haythen oisland?" demanded Felix, suspending the
operation of dressing himself, and staring at his fellow deck-hand. "I
don't belayve a wurrud of ut!"

"Are there no paddies up this river, Achang?" said Louis, appealing to
the Bornean.

"Plenty of paddies on all the streams about here," replied the native.

"And they can't oondershtand Kilkenny Greek! They're moighty quare
paddies, thin."

"They are; and I am very sure they won't answer you when you speak to
them with that brogue," added Louis.

"We will let that discussion rest till we come to the paddies,"
interposed the captain, as he completed his toilet, and left the cabin.

By this time all the party had left their beds and dressed themselves;
for their toilet was not at all elaborate, consisting mainly of a
woollen shirt, a pair of trousers, and a pair of heavy shoes, without
socks. Felipe had steam enough on to move the boat; and the seamen had
wiped the moisture from all the wood and brass work, and had put
everything in good order.

"Are you a pilot for this river, Achang?" asked Scott, as the party came
together in the waist, the space forward of the engine.

"I am; but there is not much piloting to be done, for all you have to do
is to keep in the middle of the stream," replied the Bornean. "I went up
and down all the rivers of Sarawak in a sampan with an English gentleman
who was crocodiles, monkeys, mias, snakes, and birds picking up."

"Wrong!" exclaimed Morris. "You know better than that, Achang."

The native repeated the reply, putting the verb where it ought to be.

"He was a naturalist," added Louis.

"Yes; that was what they called him in the town."

"I think we all know the animals of which you speak, Achang, except
one," said Louis. "I never heard of a mias."

"That is what Borneo people call the orang-outang," replied the native.

"Orang means a man, and outang a jungle, and the whole of it is a jungle
man," Louis explained, for the benefit of his companions; for he was
better read in natural history than any of them, as he had read all the
books on that subject in the library of the ship. "In Professor
Hornaday's book, 'Two Years in the Jungle,' which was exceedingly
interesting to me, he calls this animal the 'orang-utan,' which is only
another way of spelling the second word."

"Excuse me, Louis, but I think we will get under way, and hear your
explanations at another time," interposed Captain Scott.

"I have finished all I had to say."

"Take the wheel, Achang," continued the captain.

The sampan was sent ashore to cast off the fasts. The river at the town
is over four hundred feet wide, and deep enough in almost any part for
the Blanchita. As soon as the lines were hauled in, the captain rang one
bell, and Felipe started the engine. The helmsman headed the boat for
the middle of the stream, and the captain rang the speed-bell. When
hurried, the Blanchita was good for ten knots an hour, but her ordinary
speed was eight.

On the side of the river opposite Kuching, or Sarawak, was the kampon of
the Malays and other natives; and the term means a division or district
of a town. Many of the natives of this village had visited the
Blanchita,--some for trade, some for employment, and some from mere
curiosity. None of them were allowed to go on board of the launch; for,
while the Dyaks are remarkably honest people, the Malays and Chinese
will steal without any very heavy temptation.

Achang headed the boat up the river. For five miles the banks were low,
with no signs of cultivation, and bordered with mangroves. At this point
the captain called Lane to the wheel, with orders to keep in the middle
of the river. The "Big Four" had taken possession of the bow divans, the
better to see the shores. They were more elevated, which simply means
higher above the water.

"When shall we come across the paddies, Achang?" asked Felix; "for I am
very anxious to meet them, and maybe we shall have a Kilkenny fight with
them."

"No, you won't, for you speak English," replied Louis.

"The paddies are here on both sides of the river," added Achang.

"I don't see a man of any sort, not even a Hottentot, and I am sure
there is not a Paddy in sight."

"Your education has been neglected, Flix, and you did not read all the
books in the ship's library," said Louis. "I only told you the paddies
would not answer you if you spoke to them with a brogue. You can try
them now if you wish."

"But I don't see a single Paddy to try it on."

"Here is one on your left."

"I don't see anything but a field of rice."

"That's a paddy in this island."

"A field of rice!"

"Achang will tell you that is what they call them in Borneo."

"Bad luck to such Paddies as they are! But it looks as though there
might be some Paddies here, for the houses are very neat and nice, just
as you see in old Ireland."

"Certainly they are; but I never saw any such in Ireland," added Louis.
"You remember the old woman on the road from Killarney to the lakes who
told us she lived in the Irish castle, to which she pointed; and it
looked like a pig-sty."

"Of course it didn't have the bananas and the cocoanut-palms around it."

"I admit that we saw many fine places in Ireland, and very likely your
mother lived in one of them. But, Achang, is there any game in the woods
we see beyond the paddies?"

"Sometimes there is plenty of it; at others there is scarcely any. You
can get squirrels here and some birds."

"Any orang-outangs?"

"We found none when we came up the river, for this is not the best place
for them. If we run up the Sadong and Samujan Rivers, you will find
some," replied the Bornean. "I don't think it will pay to go very far up
the Sarawak, if it is game you want; but you can see the country. There
is quite a village on the right."

The party were very much interested in examining the houses they saw on
the borders of the stream. Like those they had seen in Java and in
Sumatra, they were all set up on stilts. A Malay or Dyak will not build
his home on dry land, as they noticed in coming up the lower part of the
river, though there was plenty of elevated ground near. The dwellings
were all built on the soft mud.

The village ten miles up-stream was constructed on the same plan. The
houses were placed just out of the reach of the water when it was higher
than usual. The material was something like bamboo, as in India, with
roofs of kadjang leaves, which abound in the low lands. In front of
every one of them was a flat boat--sampan; and one was seen which was
large enough to have a roof of the same material as the house. The boats
were made fast to a pole set in the mud.

"There is a bear on the shore!" shouted Morris, with no little
excitement in his manner, as he pointed to the woods on the shore
opposite the houses, to which the attention of all the rest of the party
had been directed.

At the same time he seized his repeating rifle, and all the others
followed his example. The animal was fully three feet high, and at a
second glance it did not look much like a bear. Whatever it was, it took
to its heels when the sound of the steamer's screw reached its ear. But
Morris fired before the boat started, and the others did the same.

"That is not a bear, Mr. Morris," interposed Achang, laughing as he
spoke.

"What is it, then?" demanded Morris.

"A pig."

"A pig three feet high!" exclaimed the hunters with one voice.

"A wild pig," added the Bornean.

"Is he good for anything?" inquired Scott.

"He is good to eat if you like pork."

"He dropped in the bushes when we fired. Can't we get him?" asked
Morris.

Under the direction of the captain the steamer was run up to the shore;
and the bank in this place was high enough to enable the party to land
without using the sampan. All hands, including the seamen, rushed in the
direction of the spot where the pig had been seen. The game was readily
found. The animal was something like a Kentucky hog, often called a
"racer," because he is so tall and lank. He was a long-legged specimen;
and Achang said that was because they hunted through swamps and shallow
water in search of food, and much use had made their legs long. He added
that they were a nuisance because they rooted up the rice, and farmers
had to fence their fields.

He was carried on board by the sailors, and Pitts cut out some of the
nicer parts of the pig. They had roast pork for dinner, but it was not
so good as civilized hogs produce.



CHAPTER III

SOMETHING ABOUT BORNEO AND ITS PEOPLE


"I don't think we know much of anything about Borneo," said Scott, as
the Blanchita continued on her course up the Sarawak, after the dinner
of roast pork.

"We all heard the lecture of Professor Giroud on board the ship,"
replied Louis.

"I should like to hear it over again, now that we are on the ground,"
added the captain.

"Sure, we're not on the ground, but on the wather," suggested Felix.

As the reader did not hear the lecture, or see it in print, it becomes
necessary to repeat it for the benefit of "whom it may concern." The
professor, after being duly presented to his audience in Conference
Hall, proceeded as follows:--

"Australia is undoubtedly the largest island in the world, and some
geographers class it with the continents; but Chambers makes Borneo the
third in size, while most authorities rate it as the second, making
Papua, or New Guinea, the second in extent. Lippincott says Papua
disputes with Borneo the claim to the second place among the great
islands of the world; and I do not propose to settle the question.
Chambers gives the area of Borneo at 284,000 square miles, the
population in the neighborhood of 200,000, and the dimensions as 800 by
700 miles.

"It has a coast-line of about 3,000 miles, nearly the whole of which is
low and marshy land. A large portion of the island is mountainous, as
you may see by looking at the map before you;" and the professor
indicated the several ranges with the pointer. "One chain extends nearly
the whole length of the island, dividing in the middle of it into two
branches, both of which almost reach the sea on the south. Near the
centre of the island are two cross ranges, one extending to the east,
and the other to the south-west. It would be useless to mention the
Malay names of these ranges, for you could not remember them over night.
The general idea I have given you is quite enough to retain.

"The interior of Borneo is but little known; and when Mr. Gaskette makes
another map of the island twenty or thirty years hence, it will probably
differ considerably from the one before you. In the extreme north is the
peak of Kini Balu, the height of which is set down at 13,698 feet, with
an interrogation point after it. Other mountains are estimated to be
from 4,000 to 8,000 feet high. There are no active volcanoes.

"In the low lands on the coast, it is hot, damp, and unhealthy for those
who are not acclimated; but in the high lands among the mountains, the
temperature is moderate, from 81° to 91° at noon, and it is sometimes
worse than that in New York. From November to May, which is the rainy
season, violent storms of wind with thunder-showers prevail on the west
coast. In hot weather the sea-breezes extend a considerable distance
inland. Vegetation is remarkably luxuriant, as our young hunters will
find in their explorations. The forests produce all the woods of the
Indian Archipelago, of which you know the names by this time. Bruneï, on
the north-west coast, produces the best camphor in Asia, which is about
the same as saying in the world."

"What is camphor, Professor?" asked Mrs. Belgrave. "I have used it all
my life, but I have not the least idea what it is."

"Camphor is an oil found in certain plants, mostly from the camphor
laurel. This oil is separated from the plant, and then undergoes the
process of refining. It is mixed with water, and then boiled in a sort
of retort. It makes steam, which is allowed to escape through a small
aperture, which is then closed, and the camphor becomes solid in the
upper part of the vessel. This is the article which is sent to market.

"All the spices and fruits of the Torrid Zone are produced in Borneo,
with cotton and sugar-cane in certain parts. The animals of the island
are about the same as in other parts of the Archipelago. The monkey
tribe is the most abundant, including the simia, the gibbon, the
orang-outang, found in no other island, except very rarely in Sumatra,
where our hunters did not find even one; tapirs"--

"What are they?" asked Uncle Moses.

"They are a sort of cross between an elephant and a hog. They are found
all over South American tropical regions and in this part of Asia. The
animal is more like a hog than like an elephant, though it has the same
kind of a skin as the latter. It is about the size of the average
donkey. It has a snout which is prehensile, like the trunk of an
elephant, but on a very small scale.

"What does that mean?" asked Mrs. Blossom.

"Capable of taking hold of anything, as the elephant does with his
proboscis. The tapir is one of the gentler animals, and may be easily
tamed; though it will fight and bite hard when attacked, or harried by
dogs. They take to the water readily, though the American swims, while
the Asiatic only walk on the bottom. One book I consulted calls the
tapir a kind of tiger, to which he bears hardly any resemblance.

"The other animals are small Malay bears, wild swine, horned cattle, and
puny deer. The elephant and rhinoceros are found, few in number, in the
north. The birds are the eagle, vulture, argus-pheasant,--a singular and
beautiful bird,--peacocks, flamingoes, and swifts."

"What in the world are swifts?" inquired Mrs. Woolridge.

"They are a kind of swallow, of which you may have seen some as we came
down from Rangoon. They make the edible birds'-nests which are so great
a delicacy among the Chinese when made into soup. The rivers, lakes,
and swamps swarm with crocodiles, the real man-eaters. Leeches are a
nuisance when you bathe in the rivers and ponds, and various kinds of
snakes abound. There are plenty of fish in the sea, lakes, and rivers.
Diamonds, gold, coal, copper, are mined in the island.

"All of New England and the Middle States, with Maryland, could be set
down in Borneo, still leaving a considerable border of swamp and jungle
all around them. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland could
be slapped down upon it like a flapjack, and there would still be more
than space for another United Kingdom, without covering up all the mud
of Borneo. We do not see how big it is when we look on the map.

"The larger portion of the island is included in the Dutch possessions.
Banjermassin, of which something was said as we passed the mouth of the
Barito River, on which it is located, contains 30,000 inhabitants, and
is the most important in the island. Borneo proper is in the north-west,
and is under the government of the Sultan of Bruneï. He lost nearly
one-half of his territory, taken by the North Borneo Company, and that
in the west, which is now Sarawak, of which I shall have something more
to say later. The island of Labuan lies six miles west of the northern
portion of Bruneï. It was ceded to the English by the sultan, and is
principally valuable as a coaling-station, though it has a considerable
trade.

"Sabah is the country of the North Borneo Company. An American obtained
the right to this territory in 1865, and transferred it to the present
company. It has an area somewhat larger than the State of Maine. No
doubt they will develop and improve the country.

"Sarawak has a territory nearly as large as that of the State of
Pennsylvania, and larger than the State of Ohio. Its history is involved
in the life of Sir James Brooke, who was originally created the rajah,
or governor of the country, by the Sultan of Bruneï, and retained the
title till his death in 1868. He was born in Benares in 1803, and
educated at Norwich, England. In 1819 he entered the East Indian army,
and was severely wounded in the Burmese war. He returned to England; and
his furlough lapsed before he could rejoin his regiment, and with it his
appointment. He left the service. He next conceived a plan for putting
down piracy in the Indian Archipelago, and of civilizing the savage
inhabitants of these islands, a grand and noble scheme to be carried out
by a single individual on his own responsibility.

"He bought a small vessel, and made a voyage to China, probably with the
intention of improving his finances for the work he had in view. In 1835
he inherited $150,000 at the death of his father. After a cruise in the
Mediterranean, he sailed in a schooner-yacht from London for Sarawak,
where he arrived in 1839. The uncle of the sultan was engaged in a war
with some tribes of rebels, and Brooke rendered him important
assistance. He returned to Kuching with the title of rajah, his
predecessor, a native, having been compelled to resign.

"The new governor immediately went to work very vigorously to establish
a better government, introducing free trade, and framing a new code of
laws. At this time the atrocious custom of head-hunting prevailed in the
island. Enemies killed in battle were decapitated simply for the sake of
the head, and the Dyak who obtained the greatest number of them was
esteemed the most valiant warrior.

"A Dyak girl would not accept the addresses of a young man who had not
obtained a head, in the earlier time; and murders were often committed
for the sole purpose of obtaining the head of the victim, either to
conciliate some dusky maiden, or as a trophy for the head-house, of
which there is one in every village. The heads were 'cooked,' as they
called it, though the operation was merely drying and cleaning the
skull. Rajah Brooke made the penalty of this kind of murder death,
without regard to the customs and antecedents of the natives; and he
soon abolished head-hunting in his dominion.

"The sultan, either directly or by 'winking at it,' encouraged piracy;
and the crime was as common as in the vicinity of the Malay states fifty
years ago. Sir James Brooke resolutely attacked the pirates, and with
the means at his command soon vanquished and drove them from the sea and
the land. The Dyaks, in spite of their head-hunting propensities, were
rather a simple people; while the Malays of the island were cunning,
dishonest, treacherous, and cruel. The simple Dyaks were no match for
them, and were cheated and abused in every possible way. There was no
such thing as justice in the land. The new rajah corrected all these
abuses.

"Having established his government on the basis of right and justice to
all, Brooke went to England in 1847. He was invited to Windsor by the
Queen, and created a K. C. B. (Knight Commander of the Bath), a
distinguished honor in Great Britain. The next year he was made governor
of Labuan. He was charged in the House of Commons with receiving
head-money for pirates killed; but the charge was disproved.

"Brooke continued to hold his position as Rajah of Sarawak while at
Labuan; but in 1857 he was superseded at the latter, and returned to his
government. The Chinese, of whom there are a great many in Borneo,
became incensed against him because he prevented the smuggling of opium
into his territory. A large body of them attacked his house in the
night, and destroyed a great amount of his property.

"But the rajah was not a man to submit quietly to such an outrage. He
immediately collected a force of Dyaks and Malays, and attacked the
Celestials. He razed a fort they had constructed, and thoroughly
defeated them in several successive battles. He was very prompt and
decided in action, and to see an abuse was to remedy it without
unnecessary delay. He established and maintained a model government, and
the country prospered greatly under his mild but decisive rule.

"He found a town with 1,000 inhabitants, and left it with 25,000. He
died in 1868, and was succeeded by his nephew, Sir C. T. Brooke, who
extended his territory, and ten years ago placed it under the protection
of the United Kingdom. This is the history of a noble man and a model
colony."

"But what are Dyaks, Professor?" inquired Mrs. Belgrave.

"They are natives of Borneo, though all the people are not known by this
name. They are divided into Hill Dyaks and Sea Dyaks. At the present
time they are a high-toned class of savages; for they do not steal or
rob, and they have many social virtues which might be copied by the
people of enlightened nations. Head-hunting and piracy are known among
them no more. They are the farmers and producers of the island. There is
much that is very interesting about them. They build peculiar houses,
some of them occupied by a dozen or more families, though they always
live in peace, and do not quarrel with their neighbors. The young women
select their own husbands, and a head is no longer necessary to open the
way to an engagement.

"If any of the party wish to learn more of the Dyaks, their manners and
customs, present and past, you will find a work in two volumes, by the
Rev. J. G. Wood, entitled, 'The Uncivilized Races of Men;' and you will
find that the author often quotes from Rajah Brooke."



CHAPTER IV

A SPECULATION IN CROCODILES


The Blanchita continued on her course up the river with Clingman at the
wheel. There was no table in the fore cabin; and the dinner of the six
men, including the engineer, was served astern after the "Big Four" had
taken the meal. Louis attended to the engine while Felipe was at his
meals and occasionally at other times. A table is not a necessity for
the crew of a ship, and one is not used on board a merchant vessel; but
Louis insisted that all hands should fare equally well on board of the
little steamer.

The dinner was disposed of, and Wales was at the wheel. The men had
nothing to do, and a couple of them had assisted Pitts in washing the
dishes and putting the after cabin in order. It was an idle time, and
the "Big Four" were anxious to have something more exciting than merely
sailing along the river, the novelty of which had worn off; and they had
not long to wait for it.

"A crocodile ahead, Captain, on the port bow, sir!" exclaimed Wales, the
wheelman, whose duty required him to keep a sharp lookout for any
obstructions in the stream.

All of the party had their weapons within reach, including the three
seamen who were disengaged; but the latter were not expected to use the
rifles till they were ordered to do so by the captain or any one of the
hunters. The occupants of the fore cabin, the principal personages on
board, had the exclusive use of the forward part of the boat, though the
hands were at liberty to use the seats when they were not required by
any of the "Big Four." No order to this effect had been given; but the
men, under the influence of the discipline on board of the ship, had
involuntarily adopted the system.

"Slow her down, Wales," said Scott, after he had observed the situation
of the saurian.

The wheelman rang the jingle-bell, and the boat soon came down to
half-speed. The five hunters, including Achang, had their rifles ready
for use, though they still retained their seats. The reptile was not
asleep; and he appeared to have some notions of his own, for he was not
disposed to wait for the coming of the boat. He settled down in the dark
water so that he could not be seen, but the surface was disturbed by his
movements.

"Port the helm, Wales," said the captain quietly. "He is going across
the river."

Presently he came to the surface again, and was swimming towards the
opposite shore. He kept his head and a small portion of his back next to
it above the surface of the water, as the young hunters had seen in
Sumatra before.

"Full speed; give her a spurt, Wales," said the captain.

The wheelman rang the speed-bell, and then spoke through the tube to the
engineer. The boat suddenly darted ahead under this instruction, and was
soon abreast of the reptile, who was not at first disposed to change his
tactics. He evidently realized that he was pursued, and it seemed to
make him angry.

"The rascal has put his helm to port," said Wales.

"Look out there, in the waist!" shouted Scott to the seamen, a couple of
whom were seated on the rail, with their legs dangling over the side of
the boat. "Never sit in that way, men, unless you want to be carried to
the hospital with a leg bitten off."

"Will they bite, Captain?" asked Clinch.

"Bite? They are regular man-eaters on these rivers."

"I used to go in swimming with the alligators on the Alabama River; but
they all kept their distance," added the seaman.

The two men drew in their legs and moved inboard. Alligators, which are
generally considered harmless in the rivers of the Southern States, will
bite at anything hanging in the water. As Wales had suggested, the
crocodile had changed his course, and was now headed directly for the
Blanchita. He seemed to have concluded that there was no safety for him
in flight, and he had decided to fight.

"Your first shot, Louis," said Scott, who had not even taken up his
rifle, as if he thought there would be no chance for him after the
millionaire had fired.

Louis waited a minute or more till he could distinctly see the eye of
the crocodile, and then he fired. As has so often been said before, he
had been thoroughly trained in a shooting-gallery, and was a dead shot,
as he had often proved during the voyage. The bullet had evidently gone
to his brain, for the reptile floundered about for an instant, and then
moved no more. As Felix put it, he was "very dead," though the word
hardly admits of an intensifier.

"What are you going to do with him now?" asked the Milesian.

"I don't think we want anything more of him; but, like a poison snake,
he is a nuisance that ought to be abated," replied the captain. "I dare
say the rajah will be much obliged to us for making the number of them
even one less."

"How long is he?" Achang inquired, as he returned his rifle to its
resting-place.

"About ten feet," replied Louis.

"More than that," the captain thought. "I should say twelve feet."

"Then he is worth eighteen shillings to you," added the native.

"What is he good for, Achang?" asked Morris.

"He is good for nothing," replied the Bornean. "The crocodile here eats
men and women. Some are killed every year, and the government pays one
and sixpence apiece for the heads."

"That looks like a war of extermination upon them," said Morris.

"I don't know what that is; but they want to kill them all off," replied
Achang, who had improved his language so that his tutor seldom had to
correct it.

"That is the same thing. They pay by the foot for crocodiles here."

"The bigger they are, the more dangerous," suggested Louis. "Let us haul
him alongside, and see how long he is."

The boat had stopped her screw before Louis fired; and the captain
directed Wales to lay her alongside the saurian, which was done in a few
minutes. Ropes were passed under his head and tail; and with a couple of
purchases made fast to the horizontal rods over the rail, close to the
stanchions, the carcass was hoisted partly out of the water. The measure
was taken with a line first, to which Lane, who was a carpenter's
assistant, applied his rule, which gave twelve feet and two inches as
the length of the crocodile.

"That makes him worth eighteen shillings," said Achang.

"About four dollars and a half," added Morris. "We could make something
hunting crocodiles. If we could kill ten of them like that fellow it
would give us forty-five dollars."

Louis and Scott laughed heartily at this calculation, and thought the
idea was derogatory to the character of true sport, though they did not
object to turning their victims of this kind into money.

"Must we carry the carcass of this beast down to Kuching in order to get
the reward, Achang?" asked Morris.

"The head will be enough; and they can tell how long he is by the size
of it."

"How shall we saw the head off? Can you do it, Lane?"

"I can do that," interposed the Bornean, as he went to a bundle of
implements he had procured in the town and from the natives.

He drew from it a very heavy sword, from which he took off the covering
of dry leaves, and applied his thumb to the edge of the weapon. Then he
picked out a straw from some packing, and dropped it off in pieces, as
one tries his razor on a hair. It appeared to be as sharp as the
shaving-tool, and he was satisfied. All hands watched his movements with
deep interest. He secured a position with one foot on the side of the
boat, and the other on the back of the crocodile. With two or three
blows of his sword, he severed the head from the body, and a seaman
secured it with a boathook.

All hands applauded when the deed was done, as the Bornean washed his
keen blade. The operation excited the admiration of all the lookers-on,
it was so quickly and skilfully done. Louis wished to examine the
weapon, and it was handed to him. It was heavy enough to require a
strong arm to handle it; and it was sharp enough for a giant's razor, if
giants ever shave, for most of them are pictured with full beards.

"I suppose this is a native's sword," said Louis, as he passed it to the
captain.

"Dyak _parong latok;_ _parong_ same thing, not so long," Achang
explained.

"I suppose that is what the Dyaks used when they went head-hunting,"
said Felix.

"No head-hunting now; used to use it, the Hill Dyaks. Used in battle
too; split head open with it, or cut head off."

"What other weapons did the fighting men use?" asked Louis.

"They carried a shield, and used a spear with the parong latok; no other
weapons. Two kinds of Dyaks, the Sea and the Hill."

While the native was talking, the seamen, by order of the captain, had
hoisted the head of the saurian into the sampan towing astern, placing
it on a piece of tarpaulin. The carcass was cast loose, and probably was
soon devoured by others of its own kind.

"We might find some eggs in the crocodile," said Achang, as the body
floated past the boat.

"We don't want the eggs," replied the captain, turning up his nose.

"Good to eat, Captain. My naturalist used to eat them. Very nice, like
turtles' eggs, which Englishmen always put in the soup."

"None in my soup!" exclaimed Scott, with a wry face, to express his
disgust.

"I suppose they would be all right if we only got used to them,"
suggested Louis.

"As the man's horse did when he fed him on shavings," sneered Scott.

"I did not take very kindly to turtles' eggs when we were in the West
Indies; but I got used to them, and then liked them," added Louis. "In
Africa the natives eat boa-constrictors, and think they are a choice
morsel. Some of our Indians eat clay, and I suppose they like it."

"Something up in the trees yonder, Captain," said Wales, as the boat
approached some higher ground, which was not overflown with water, as
most of the shore below had been.

"Monkeys," added Achang, not at all excited.

"I don't think I care to shoot monkeys unless it is for the purpose of
examining them," said Louis. "They are too small game, and they are
harmless creatures."

"Strange monkeys in here," continued Achang. "Not these," he added when
he had obtained a sight of one of them. "These no good."

All eyes were directed to the tree; and at least a dozen common monkeys
were there, such as they had seen in the museums at home. The steamer
continued on her course, and a couple of miles farther on the forest was
inundated. Some of the trees appeared to be inhabited.

"Plenty of elephant monkeys in here," said Achang.

"Elephant monkeys!" exclaimed Louis. "I never heard of any such animals.
Are they called so because they are so large?"

"No, sir," said Achang; "because they have such long noses."

"There are a dozen monkeys in that tree, and they look very queer," said
Louis, as he elevated his double-barrelled fowling-piece, loaded with
large shot, and fired.

One of them dropped, and another when he discharged the second barrel.
The boat was run in the direction of the tree till it grounded in the
mud. The captain proposed to go for them in the sampan, when Clingman
volunteered to wade to the tree for the game, and soon returned with the
two victims of the millionaire's unerring aim. They were placed in the
waist, and all were curious to see them. The rest of the tribe scampered
away over the tops of the trees, crying, "honk, honk, kehonk!"

"They are proboscis monkeys, and old males at that; for they have very
long noses, which is the reason for the name, and why Achang calls them
elephant monkeys," said Louis, as he turned the creatures over. "The
noses of these two reach down below the chin. They stand about three
feet high, but are rather lank, like the tall pigs."

While the party were examining them, the captain gave the order to back
the boat, and then to go ahead. She was moored for the night soon
after. The next morning, by the advice of Achang, the Blanchita was
headed down the river, for the native declared that they would find no
different game on the banks of the Sarawak.



CHAPTER V

A HUNDRED AND EIGHT FEET OF CROCODILE


The party were stirring as soon as it was daylight; for in the tropics
the early hours are the pleasantest, and they had fallen into the habit
of early rising in India. The trees were alive with monkeys of several
kinds, though the proboscis tribe seemed to be in the majority. Felix
came out of the cabin with his gun in his hand, and began to regard the
denizens of the tree-tops with interest.

"What are you going to do, Flix?" asked Louis, who was sitting on the
rail, busily cutting out a notch in the end of a long piece of board.

"Don't you see there is plenty of game here, my darling?" demanded
Felix, pointing up into the trees.

"Game!" exclaimed Louis contemptuously. "Monkeys!"

"Didn't you shoot a couple of them yesterday afternoon, Louis?"

"I did; but I wanted them in order to study the creature. Now every
fellow knows what a proboscis monkey is, as he did not before except by
name. I got my books out, and read him up with the animal before me. I
am glad I did; for the picture of him I had seen was nothing like him
in his nasal appendage, which gives him his name."

"What is the reason of that?"

"The portrait was taken from a young one, before his nose had attained
its full growth. But I don't believe in shooting monkeys for the fun of
it. Our party are not inclined to eat them."

"I'd as soon eat a cat as a monkey," added Felix.

"Then, don't shoot those long-nosed fellows, for we have all the
specimens of them we need," said Louis.

"What are you going to do with them, my darling? You can't keep them
much longer, and you will have to throw them overboard, for they won't
smell sweet by to-morrow."

"Achang learned something about taxidermy from the naturalist he
travelled with, and he has promised to skin and mount one of them for
me."

"But what's that you are making, Louis?" asked Felix, who had been
trying to take the measure of the implement the young Crœsus was
fashioning.

Its use was not at all evident. A triangular piece had been sawed out of
the end of a strip of board four inches wide, and the rest of it had
been cut down and rounded off, and the thing looked more like a
pitchfork than anything else.

"Is it to pitch hay with?" persisted Felix.

[Illustration: "WHAT HAVE YOU GOT THERE, MR. BELGRAVE?"

_Page 41._]

"No, it is not; when you see me use it, you will know what it is for.
You must wait till that time before you know," replied Louis, who
appeared to have finished the implement just as the other brought his
gun to his shoulder.

"That's the handsomest schnake I iver saw since me modther, long life to
her, left ould Ireland before I was bahrn."

"Don't shoot him, Flix!" protested Louis vigorously. "Where is he?"

"Jist forninst the bow of the boat. Sure, Oi'm the schnake-killer of the
party, and he's moi game."

"I don't want him killed yet," replied Louis, as he moved forward from
the waist with the forked stick in his hand. "He is handsome, as you
say, Flix."

Creeping very cautiously till he could see over the bow, he discovered
the serpent, which was nearly six feet long, working slowly down a dead
log towards the water. Springing to his feet on the bow, he struck down
with his weapon, directing the fork at the neck of the reptile. The
outside of the log was nothing but punk, or the operation would have
been a failure. As it was, the two points of the implement sunk into the
wood, and the snake was pinned in the opening at the end of the stick.

"What have you got there, Mr. Belgrave?" asked Achang, hurrying to the
side of the operator.

"A snake; do you know him?" demanded Louis, as the reptile struggled to
escape.

"I saw one like it years ago;" and he gave a long Dyak name to it which
the others did not understand. "Wait a minute or two, and I will bring
him on board for you."

"I don't know that we want him on board," added Louis.

"He is not poison, and he won't hurt you," said the Bornean, as he made
a slip-noose at the end of a piece of cord.

Hanging over the bow, he passed the noose over the head of the snake,
and hauled it taut, and then made the end he held fast to the boat.
Louis lifted his implement from the neck of the snake, and he squirmed
and wriggled as though he "meant business." Achang leaped to the shore,
and seizing the serpent by the tail, tossed him into the boat. He struck
on one of the cushions, and the cord prevented him from going any
farther.

Scott and Morris had just reached the fore cabin at this moment, and
they started back as though they had been bitten by the snake. His head,
tail, and belly were bright red, with white stripes upon a dark ground
along his back and sides. No one but Achang had ever seen such a
serpent, even in a museum. His snakeship was disposed to make himself
comfortable on the cushion, and the Bornean loosed the cord around his
neck.

"I saw a small snake, not more than two feet long, swimming near the
shore of Lake Cobbosseecontee, in Maine, that had nearly all the colors
of the rainbow in his skin," said Morris. "I tried to knock him over
with my fishing-rod, and catch him; but I failed. I told the people
where we boarded about him, but no one had ever seen a snake like him."

"There are plenty of such snakes in South America, some that are not
poisonous, which the native women tame and wear as necklaces," added
Louis.

"Well, what are you going to do with him?" asked Captain Scott. "I think
you had better kill him, and throw him into the river, pretty as he is.
He isn't a very desirable fellow to have as a companion on board."

"What is the use of killing him? He would only be food for the
crocodiles," protested Louis.

"Do what you like with him, Louis," added the captain.

"I certainly will not have him killed. If Achang never saw but one of
the kind, there cannot be a great many of them in this part of the
island. Put him ashore, Achang," said the humane young gentleman.

The Bornean complied with this request; and the handsome snake skurried
off in the woods, none the worse for his adventure. But the others were
not quite satisfied with the policy of the young millionaire. They
wanted to shoot whatever they could see in the nature of game, including
monkeys, and he was opposed to this destructive action. Of course they
could kill whatever they pleased, but the moral influence of the real
leader prevailed over them.

"Steam enough!" shouted Felipe from the engine.

"Take the wheel, Clingman, back her out and go ahead," said the captain;
and in a few moments they were steaming down the river.

"I suppose you haven't any tenderness for crocodiles, have you, Louis?"
inquired Scott, with a smile.

"You seem to believe that I am as chicken-hearted as a girl; but I
believe in killing all harmful animals, including poisonous snakes; but
I do not like to see these innocent monkeys shot down for the fun of
it," replied Louis. "You can kill them if you choose, but I will not."

"The rest of us will not, if you are opposed to it," added Scott.

"Crocodile on the port hand!" exclaimed Clingman. "He is swimming across
the river, about three boats' lengths from us."

"Stop her!" said the captain.

"I shot the last one, and I will not fire at this one," added Louis, who
was not disposed to monopolize the fun.

"All right; then I will be number two, Morris three, Flix four, and
Achang five; and if you are all satisfied, we will fire in this order
hereafter," continued Scott, as he took aim at the saurian.

He missed the eye of the reptile, and the bullet from the rifle glanced
off and dropped into the water.

"How many shots is a fellow to have before he loses his chance?" asked
the captain, as he aimed again.

"I suggest three," said Louis. "Those in favor of three say ay."

They all voted "ay," and Scott fired twice more. "Your turn, Morris;"
and he appeared to be very much chagrined at his ill luck. "I could
hardly see the eye of the varmint."

Morris fired his three shots with no better success. Felix took a
different position from the others, placing himself on the stem. He
fired, and the saurian still kept on his course. He did better the
second time; and the reptile floundered for a moment, and then turned
over dead. The boat was run up alongside, and Achang was required to
bring out his parong latok, with which he decapitated the game at a
single blow this time; but the creature was only nine feet long.

Pitts called the cabin party to breakfast at this time. The Blanchita
went ahead again, and the repeating rifles were left on the cushions. At
Louis's suggestion the captain gave the four men off duty permission to
use the arms on crocodiles, but not on monkeys.

Ham and eggs, with hot biscuit and coffee, was the bill of fare; and the
young men had sharpened their appetites in the sports of the morning.
Before they were half done they heard the crack of a rifle. They
listened for the second shot, but none followed it.

"Who fired that shot, Pitts?" asked the captain, as the steward brought
in another plate of biscuit.

"Clinch, sir," replied the man. "He knocked the crocodile over at the
first shot, sir."

"Then he is a better shot than I am," said Scott, laughing.

"Or any of the rest of us who had their turns," added Felix. "Louis is
the only fellow that brings 'em down the first time trying."

"The rest of you would have done better if the sun had not reflected on
the water, and shaken your aim," said Louis.

Before the meal was finished, another shot was heard, followed by two
more. When the party went forward they found that the little steamer had
gone around a bend so that the forest shaded the surface of the water.
Wales had fired the last three times at a crocodile still in sight; but
he declared that he could not hit the side of a barn twenty feet from
him, and did not care to fire again. The men went to breakfast, and the
cabin party picked up the rifles. It was Achang's turn; and he missed
twice, but killed the game at the third shot.

"I can see four more of them. We seem to have come to a nest of them,
and the family are out for a morning airing," said Louis, as he picked
up his rifle, while Felix was filling the other chambers with
cartridges. "They have all started to go across the river."

"That must be the father of the family at the head of the procession,"
added the captain. "It is your turn now, Louis."

"Go ahead a little, Pitts," said the next one in turn; for the cook had
taken the wheel while Clingman went to his morning meal. "I can't see
his eye yet."

"That will do; stop her. I can see his eye now, and there is no
reflection on the water."

As soon as the boat lost her headway, Louis fired. The saurian leaped
nearly out of the water, and came down wrong side up. There were three
dead reptiles lying on the water. It was the captain's next shot, and
when he placed the yacht in a position to suit him he fired. The
crocodile lifted his head out of the water, and did not move again.

"Bravo, Captain!" cried Louis. "You did not have a fair chance last
time, and you have redeemed yourself."

"I thought I could shoot better than before, and now I feel better. But
there are two more, and your turn, Morris."

He killed the game with the third shot, and Felix finished the last in
sight with the second. Achang had brought out his formidable weapon, and
the six dead reptiles were decapitated. The last three killed were each
nine feet long, while the one Louis had shot was fourteen. The heads
were all put in the sampan, and they made a full load for it. The
Blanchita arrived at Kuching early in the afternoon, and the chief of
police measured the heads, and took the figures from Felix. He made one
hundred and eight feet of crocodile, which the official approved as
correct, and paid not quite forty dollars for the bounty.



CHAPTER VI

THE VOYAGE UP THE SADONG TO SIMUJAN


The money received for the heads of the crocodiles was in the hands of
Felix, who was the clerk of the captain on board the ship, and it was
proper to make him purser of the Blanchita. What to do with it was the
next question. Louis's advice was asked for, and he promptly suggested
that it should be divided into ten parts, and a share given to all but
himself; and this was done. He refused to accept a penny, but all the
others received about four dollars apiece.

The money was all in silver, as it is all over India and the Archipelago
for general use. The engineer and the seamen shared with the four
hunters; for the former had done all the work and some of the shooting.
The steamer was made fast at the shore, and all hands except Pitts
landed for a walk through the town. Their first visit was to a
fruit-store kept by a Chinaman; and most of the shops in the place were
in the hands of the Celestials.

Bananas and oranges were the principal, though there were also nearly
all the tropical fruits in season. Many of the party purchased useful
articles in other places. They had learned in Singapore and Batavia how
to deal with Chinese traders, and they seldom gave even more than
one-third or one-half of what was demanded. After diligent search Achang
found a certain Dyak tool he wanted,--a sort of axe, which Lane, the
carpenter's assistant, ridiculed without mercy.

The young men visited the English Mission, where they were kindly
received, and went to the school. The American missionaries are also
active in Borneo, and one of them has made a vocabulary of the Dyak
language.

It was decided to start down the river the next morning on the way to
the Sadong and Simujan Rivers, the latter being a branch of the former.
In the early morning, as the hands were casting off the fasts, two
Malays came alongside in a sampan, and asked to be towed to the Sadong.
Achang had some talk with them, and made the request of the captain for
them. He learned that they were engaged in the business of catching
crocodiles for the reward.

"They don't shoot crocodiles, and they have no rifles," added Achang.

"How do they get them then?" asked Louis.

"They fish for them."

"What, with a hook and line?" demanded Captain Scott.

"With a line, but have no fish-hook," replied the Bornean. "You must see
them catch one."

"All right," replied the captain; "we will tow them down the river."

After the yacht had been moving about an hour, they came to a colony of
saurians apparently, for several of them were in sight at once. Achang
directed the reptile-hunters to catch one of them, and they paddled
their sampan towards a large one. The Blanchita kept near enough to
enable all hands to witness the operation, which the Bornean described
to them as the Malays made their preparations, for they had all their
fishing-gear in their boat.

The line they used was a rattan about forty feet long. At the "business
end," as Scott called it, they attached a float to keep it on the top of
the water. The steamer just crawled along on the river in order not to
disturb the game, though the reptiles were accustomed to the sight of
vessels.

"Now you see that stick the hunter has in his hand," said Achang, though
each of them had one. "'Most a foot long, like a new moon."

"Crescent-shaped," added Louis.

"Called an _alir_ in Malay. Made of green wood, very tough, pointed at
the ends; they fasten the rattan line to the middle of the stick."

Some tough green bark, braided together, was then wound around the stick
so that the game could not bite it in two. A big fish for bait was then
attached to the alir, and carefully fastened to it so that the reptile
could not tear it off.

Thus prepared, the apparatus was thrown overboard, and the sampan
paddled away from it to give the game an opportunity to approach it, the
Malays each paying out his forty feet of line, one on each side of the
boat. The spectators watched the result with great interest. As the
sampan receded from the saurians, they approached the bait. Crocodiles
and alligators do not nibble at their prey, but bolt it as a snake does
a frog.

The bait nearest to the observers on the yacht was soon gobbled up by
the hungry crocodile, who appeared not to have been to breakfast that
morning; and the Malay at the other end of the line gave a sharp jerk to
his gear, the effect of which was to draw the pointed crescent "athwart
ships," as the sailors would say, or across his stomach; and the harder
it was pulled the more the pointed ends would penetrate the interior of
the organ.

The first Malay had hardly hooked his game before the second had another
ready to haul in. Both of the saurians struggled and lashed the dark
water into a foam; but both of the men in the sampan kept the line as
taut as they could with all their strength; and this is the rule in
hauling in all gamey fish.

"Tell them we will go ahead, Achang, and all they need to do is to make
fast their rattans to the sampan," said Captain Scott, when he had taken
in the situation.

In reply to the message the Bornean delivered to them, the Malays nodded
their heads vigorously, and smiled their assent.

"Go ahead, down the river, Clinch," added the captain to the helmsman.

"I fancy there will be a lively kick-up on the part of the game," said
Louis, as the boat came up to her course.

"Not much," added Scott. "If we put them through the water at the rate
of eight knots an hour, the crocs will not feel much like doing any
gambolling. We are not making more than four knots now."

"They are as lively now as a parched pea in a hot skillet."

"I will ring the speed-bell now, and see how that will affect them,"
replied the captain, suiting the action to the word.

The Blanchita darted ahead at her usual speed. Clingman began to
overhaul the painter of the sampan, for it did not look strong enough
for the present strain. He had scarcely got hold of it before it snapped
in the middle, and relieved the strain on the crocodiles. The steamer
backed at the order of the captain; and a strong line was thrown into
the sampan, which one of the Malays seized and made fast.

When the strain upon them was thus removed, the saurians made violent
struggles to escape. The yacht then went ahead again, and the speed-bell
was rung immediately. The pressure on the game was renewed, and they
ceased to struggle. The apparatus held fast, for the saurian fishers
were experienced in their business, and had done their work well.

At eight o'clock the Blanchita reached the mouth of the river. The
crocodiles were not dead, but their stomachs must have been in a
terrible condition. To Louis it seemed to be cruel to prolong their
sufferings; and he wished Achang to request the Malays to kill them, and
Scott agreed with him. The Bornean said they could not kill them while
they were towing behind, and that, if the lines were slacked, they might
get away.

The captain took the matter in hand, and told Achang what he intended to
do, which he communicated to the reptile-hunters. On the starboard hand
Scott fixed his gaze on a small tongue of land extending out into the
river. Taking the wheel himself, he run her close to the land some
distance above the point, and worked the sampan and its tow close to the
shore. The tow-line of the sampan was then lengthened out to a hundred
feet or more, and the yacht went ahead again, rounding the point, so
that the peninsula lay between the steamer and her tow.

Then she went ahead again, and the result was that she pulled the sampan
upon the point; and as she was flat-bottomed, there was no difficulty in
doing so. The Blanchita continued on her course, and the two crocodiles
were landed after her. One of the Malays then produced a parong latok;
and even more skilfully than Achang had done the job, he cut off the
heads of both reptiles. They were out of misery then, and Louis was
satisfied.

The yacht was then run up to the point, and Lane was sent on shore to
measure the reptiles, while the fishermen proceeded to recover the
apparatus from the stomachs of the defunct reptiles. The larger
crocodile was twelve feet and four inches long, and the other ten feet
and seven inches. The voyage was resumed on the sea to the mouth of the
Sadong; and in three hours more she entered the stream, which was a
large one, averaging half a mile wide for twenty miles.

"Bujang!" called Achang, as instructed by the captain. "Do you want to
go any farther?"

The head man replied in his own language that they wished to go to
Simujan, or till they came to plenty of game. The Bornean said Bujang
was a great hunter, for he had killed fifty-three crocodiles that year.
The yacht, with the sampan still in tow, started up the river, keeping
in the middle of it. Just before sunset she reached the junction of the
Simujan and Sadong.

On one side of the branch stream there was a considerable Malay village,
backed by an abundance of cocoanut palms; and, of course, the houses
were built on stilts close to the water. On the other side was the
Chinese kampon, or quarter, consisting largely of shops and
trading-houses. Louis Belgrave had been presented to the officials at
Sarawak as the owner of the Guardian-Mother, and that established him as
a person of great distinction.

After the ship departed on her voyage to Siam, many attentions were
bestowed upon him; and when, after the return of the yacht from up the
Sarawak, they learned that she was going to the Simujan, one of the
officials had given him a letter of introduction to the Chinese
half-cast government official, who was the magnate of the place.
Figuratively, he took the "Big Four" in his arms, and there was nothing
he was not ready to do for them.

He conducted them to the government house, and insisted that they should
live there during their stay at Simujan. It had been erected to receive
such officials as might have occasion to remain there at any time. It
was well built and comfortable, and each chamber had a veranda in front
of it. It was set on posts six feet from the ground, like all the other
dwellings near it. It was the police station of the region; and the two
Malays collected eight or nine dollars for their game, which they did
not offer to share with the crew of the yacht--no Malay would do such a
thing.

The agent's tender of the rooms to the party was accepted, for the
members wished to sleep in a four-posted bedstead once more for a
change. The chief Malay of the place called upon them, and treated them
very handsomely. The Chinese official gave them much information as they
were seated on a veranda of the house.

"You may find the orang-outang up the Simujan; but I don't know that you
want such large game," said he.

"We have shot tigers in India, and Mr. McGavonty has shot more cobras
than all the rest of us. He has a talent for killing snakes."

"Show me the snakes, and I will finish them," added Felix.

"You will not find many of them in the jungle. There are some water
snakes taken occasionally, and people here eat them. They make a very
fine curry."

"I should ask to be excused from partaking of that dish," said Scott.

"That is all prejudice," said the agent. "Perhaps you would like to go
a-fishing in the Sadong and its branches. We have a peculiar way of
taking fish here. We use the tuba plant, which the Malays prepare for
use. It is a climbing-plant, the root of which has some of the
properties of opium. It is reduced to a pulp, mixed with water. I cannot
fully explain the process of preparation, in which the Malays are very
skilful. At the right time of tide, the fluid is thrown into the stream.
The effect is to stupefy and sometimes kill the fish. With dip-nets the
fish are picked up, though some of them are so large that they can be
secured only with a kind of barbed spear."

"I don't think I care to fish in that way," said Louis, with some
disgust in his expression. "It is very unsportsmanlike, and it looks to
me to be a mean way to do it."

"Just what some Englishmen who were here a while ago said, and perhaps
you are right; but it is a Malay art, and not English."

The party slept very comfortably on bedsteads that night, but they were
up before the sun the next morning.



CHAPTER VII

A SPIRITED BATTLE WITH ORANG-OUTANGS


The civilized people of Simujan were not stirring when the party came
from their chambers. Felipe had steam up at half-past five, for the
captain intended to begin the ascent of the river; but he did not care
to leave without bidding adieu to the kindly agent. But they got under
way at his order, and ran up the river for a morning airing. The boat
had not gone more than a mile when the young men discovered a sampan
containing two Malays paddling with all their might for the shore.

They had no guns, and could not shoot their game, whatever it was; but
each of them had a _biliong_. This was the implement Achang had bought
in Sarawak. It looked something like a pickaxe with only one arm, the
end of which was fashioned like a mortising chisel, and was used as an
axe.

The edge of the chisel portion was parallel to the handle; but Achang
explained that the Dyaks had another kind of biliong, with the cutting
part at right angles with the handle, and this was used as an adze.
While Lane, the carpenter, was ridiculing the tool, the Malays on shore
moved to a tree in sight of the steamer, which had stopped her screw
close to the sampan.

"They are going to cut down a tree with the biliongs," said Achang.
"Sometimes do that to get the game."

"They couldn't cut down a tree a foot through with those things in a
week!" exclaimed Lane.

"So quick as you could cut it down," insisted the Bornean stoutly.

"Dry up, now, and let us see the Malays work with the thing," interposed
the captain.

"Lane, you shall have a trial with a Dyak or a Malay, and I will give a
prize of three dollars to the one that fells the tree first," said
Louis.

"I should like to try that with any Dyak or Malay," replied Lane
good-naturedly; and he was a stout Down-Easter, who had been a logger in
the woods before he was a carpenter or a seaman.

"There are two animals in that tree where they are at work," cried
Morris, as he pointed to the scene of operations. "One of them is a big
one, and the other is a little one," he added, when he obtained a better
view of the game the Malays were trying to obtain. "What are they,
Achang?"

"Mias! Mias!" exclaimed the native, as a movement of the boat ahead gave
him a full view of the creatures. "One is a big one, and the other is
her baby."

"But what are the Malays doing now?" asked Louis.

"Make a stage to stand on," replied Achang.

"What do they want of a stage?" demanded Lane contemptuously.

"You will see if you wait," added the captain.

They were picking up poles where they could find them, and cutting
saplings, which they dropped with a single blow of the biliong. In a few
minutes they had constructed a rude framework on crotched sticks, driven
into the soft ground, with a platform of poles on the top. On this one
of the two men mounted with his biliong, with which he began his work
with a blow at the tree about four feet above the level of the ground.
The other Malay brought from the sampan a couple of spears, a parong
latok, and a bundle of ropes and rattans.

"Do they use the sumpitan in Borneo now, Achang?" asked Louis.

"Not Dyaks, Mr. Belgrave; Kyans use it; shoot poison arrows; sure death;
very bad."

The sumpitan is a kind of blow-gun, like the "bean-blower" formerly used
by American boys, which was a tin pipe, or the "pea-shooter," an English
plaything. It was used, it is said, by the Dyaks in former times; but
recent travellers do not mention it as used by them. It is about eight
feet long, and less than an inch in diameter, made of very hard wood,
skilfully and accurately bored, and smoothed inside.

The parong latok, already described, is a heavy sword. It has a head,
sometimes carved as an ornament, so that it cannot slip from the hand.
At about one-third of its length from this head, it bends at an abrupt
angle of about thirty-five degrees, and it makes a very ugly-looking
weapon.

"I suppose you all know that a mias is an orang-outang," said Louis. "No
doubt the weapons carried up to the tree are to be used in killing the
game when the tree comes down. We could easily bring down both; but we
won't fire at them, for I think we are all curious to see how the Malays
will manage the affair. The chopper has already made a big cut in the
tree, and I doubt if Lane could have done the work any quicker."

The carpenter did not say anything, but no doubt he was greatly
surprised at the rapid progress the native made with the biliong. He had
cut the tree more than half-way through the trunk; and it was evident
that he intended it should fall towards the river, for the second Malay
was clearing away the ground on that side so that they might have a fair
field for the fight that was to ensue. The chopper attacked the other
side of the tree, and seemed to deal his blows with even more vigor than
before.

The old orang kept up a constant growling. She had a nest just above the
limb where she sat, which was quite green, indicating that it had been
recently built. It was composed of the branches of the tree small enough
to be easily broken off by the "jungle man." They were simply placed in
a heap on the limb, with no particular shaping of the resting-place.

"She makes a new nest when the branches of the old one get dry; she like
a soft bed," said Achang. "But the tree will come down now; big fight,
they kill her."

He had hardly spoken these words before the tree suddenly toppled over,
and fell upon the ground with a heavy crash. The orangs seemed to have
no idea of what was going on at the foot of the tree, and they were
pitched out. The chopper seized one of the spears, and rushed after the
old one. The tree prevented the party on board the yacht from seeing the
expected battle; and with their rifles in their hands, the "Big Four"
sprang ashore, and secured a favorable position. The crew followed them,
though the engineer remained at his post.

The first Malay, who had done the chopping, had confronted the orang,
and they stood facing each other. Suddenly the animal made a spring
towards her enemy, and was received on the point of his spear. The orang
was wounded, but this only increased her wrath, and she made a furious
onslaught upon the man; but the spear was too much for her, and she was
wounded again.

The orang opened her mouth, and showed a terrible double row of teeth
flanked by four long tusks. They were enough to intimidate one
unaccustomed to the creature's appearance. She made repeated attempts to
reach her enemy; but the spear, very adroitly handled, foiled her every
time, and gave her a new wound. This sparring, as it were, was kept up
for some time, and the Americans wondered that the Malay did not drive
his weapon to the heart of the infuriated animal. Doubtless he would
have done so if he could; but the orang had hands as well as feet, and
she grasped the spear every time it punctured her skin, and seemed to
prevent it from inflicting a fatal wound.

It was a mystery to the observers how the Malay contrived to detach his
weapon from the grasp of the orang, though he did so every time. But at
last the brute seemed to change her tactics, or she got a better hold of
the spear; for she suddenly snapped the weapon into two pieces as though
it had been a pipe-stem. Deprived of his arm, the Malay ran a few rods.
The orang is very clumsy on its feet, and she could not catch him. The
man only went a few rods to the place where the parong latok had been
placed, and with this weapon he returned to the attack.

The skirmishing with this weapon continued for some time longer, and the
beast was wounded every time she attempted to get hold of her opponent.
In the meantime the other Malay had not been idle. He used no deadly
weapons, but substituted for them a long cord he had brought from the
sampan. He made a slip-noose in one end of it, and was trying to catch
the young one. It might have run away if it had been so disposed, but it
seemed to be determined to stay by its mother.

"He wants you, or needs your skill with the lasso, Captain Scott," said
Morris, recalling the feats with the lasso of the commander.

"He is doing very well, and he handles the line well," replied Scott.
"Now he has him!" he exclaimed, as the Malay passed the cord over the
head of the young orang, and hauled it taut around his neck.

With the line he dragged the orang to a sapling near the fallen tree,
and, with other lines he had left there, tied his hands and feet
together, and fastened him to the small tree.

He had hardly secured his victim before a yell from the first hunter
startled him, and he ran with his lasso and a spear to his assistance.
The old one, badly wounded by the sharp weapon of her enemy, had
suddenly dropped upon all fours, and crawled to the man; seizing him by
his legs, she set her villanous teeth into the calf of one of them. It
looked as though the human was to be the victim of the brute.

The Malay, howling with the sharp pain, slashed away with all his might
at the hind quarters of the orang; but she did not relax her grip on his
leg. His companion arrived at the scene of the conflict. He dropped his
lasso then, and began to use his parong latok. After he saw that blows
with the weapon accomplished nothing, he plunged the blade into the body
of the brute several times in quick succession. These stabs ended the
battle. The orang rolled over, and then did not move again.

Both of the human combatants then walked down to the Blanchita, one of
them limping badly. They showed their wounds, and through Achang asked
to be "doctored." Pitts had some skill as a leach, and the
medicine-chest was in his care. He laid out the patient with the wounded
leg, washed the wound, and then applied some sticking-plaster to the
lacerated member, after he had restored the parts to their natural
position. Then he bandaged the leg quite skilfully, so as to keep all
the parts in place. The hands of the other were covered with
sticking-plaster and bandaged.

With the assistance of the seamen, the carcass of the old orang was
dragged down to the river, and put in the sampan of the Malays. The
young one was as ugly as sin itself, and tried to get at the men to bite
them. Finally Clingman stuffed a piece of rope into his mouth, and tied
it around his head so tight that he could not shut his mouth. He was
mad, but he could not bite. He was put into the sampan, and made fast
there.

The yacht got under way again, and with the Malay sampan in tow, headed
down the river. The tide was running out at a mill-stream pace, for the
water in the stream had risen far beyond its usual level. Achang shook
his head as he looked at the rapid outward flow of the water; but the
steamer went at railroad speed, and the boys enjoyed it hugely.

"What is the matter, Achang?" asked the captain, as he observed the
uneasy movements of the Bornean as the yacht approached the junction
with the Sadong.

"Have bore soon; better go no farther," replied the native. "Upset all
boats and sampans."

Captain Scott ordered the helmsman to go to the shore, and there the
painter of the Malay sampan was cast off, and her men got to the land.

"There it goes up the Sadong!" cried Achang, as he pointed to the broad
stream.

A wave, estimated to be about ten feet high, fringing, curling, and
lashed into foam, and roaring in its wrath, rolled up the river. It
struck two small sampans, upset them, and spilled the men in them into
the angry, boiling waters. With less fury it rolled up the Simujan, and
Scott rushed to the wheel himself. He "faced the music," and headed the
yacht into the wave. She rose some feet in the air at the bow, and
passed over it. She was too far from the banks to be thrown ashore, and
no harm was done.

These bores are not uncommon on the Sadong; and they were not a new
thing to those on board of the Blanchita, for they had seen one in the
Hoogly at Calcutta; but even Scott, who was a bold navigator, would not
have cared to be in the river when a wave ten feet high swept on his
craft.



CHAPTER VIII

A PERFORMANCE OF VERY AGILE GIBBONS


The cabin party went on shore and breakfasted with their Chinese friend,
who had invited them to the meal the evening before. It was a very
pleasant occasion, and it occupied half the forenoon. The host gave them
useful information, and listened with interest to their account of the
battle with the orang-outangs. When they left the house they found the
two Malays who had been their companions in the morning waiting for
them.

One of them presented a tarsier to Scott. It was a very pretty and
curious little creature, belonging to the monkey tribe. It had very
large eyes, and was certainly very cunning. It appeared to be playful,
but his new owner got a nip from its teeth which warned him to be
careful. The most curious part of the animal was its legs, the hind ones
being much the longer.

Its five slender toes ended in what looked like balls, which proved to
be flat, and acted like the foot of a fly, retaining by suction its hold
upon the tree where it lived. The spine of its neck was so constructed
that it could describe a circle with its head. Its long hind legs
enabled it to leap like a kangaroo.

The other Malay brought with him a flying dragon, a king of lizards,
said to be the reptile from which the fables of the original dragons
originated. It has a pair of membranes with the semblance of wings, with
which it sustains itself in the air in its leaps from one tree or branch
to another, as the flying-fish does in its flights over the water.

The party took leave with many thanks of the Chinese agent, and promised
to visit him on their return from up the river. Louis stated that they
wanted to kill one full-sized orang-outang, for the one killed by the
Malays was so cut up and chopped in the fight that she was not in
condition to be stuffed and kept as a good specimen.

"You will find them on the Simujan, but hardly anywhere else in the
island except in this vicinity, on the Sadong, Batang Lupar, and their
branches," replied the agent. "The orangs have been hunted so much,
especially by naturalists, that they are becoming scarce; and they are
likely to become extinct, for the scientists are looking for the
'missing link,' as they call it."

The speaker laughed as he made the last remark; and it was evident that
he was not a Darwinian, or at least that he had not followed out the
theory of evolution. Taking their places in the yacht, the captain gave
the order to cast off the fasts, the boat stood up the river, and soon
passed the scene of the morning's conflict.

"Gibbons!" exclaimed Achang, pointing to a portion of the forest where
the trees were sparsely scattered.

There were half a dozen of them, and they seemed to be engaged in a
frolic. This ape has been described in a former volume, for it is
abundant in Sumatra. Louis wished to observe the movements of the
animal, which has very long arms, is wonderfully agile, and a gymnast of
the first order. It could travel all over Borneo where forests exist
without touching the ground, passing from tree to tree in long leaps.
The boat was stopped in the river, in order to permit the party to
witness the exhibition which was in process, without the payment of any
admission fee.

Every branch was a trapeze, and no troupe of artists could compare with
them in the agility of their movements. Their long arms appeared to be
the key to their marvellous feats, for their legs were comparatively
short, and for the size of their bodies the animals possessed immense
strength.

"If some enterprising manager of a theatre devoting himself to athletic
exhibitions could secure the services of the half dozen gibbons which
are giving us a free show, he would make his fortune in our country,"
said Louis. "Don't try to see them all at once, but watch that fellow on
the right."

The one indicated grasped a horizontal branch with his hands, his arms
looking like the ropes of a swing. He was swaying to and fro with great
rapidity, apparently trying to see how fast he could go, for he put a
tremendous amount of vigor into his efforts. In an exhibition hall he
would have "brought down the house," and would certainly have received
an "_encore_."

Suddenly, while he was swinging at a dizzy speed, he let go his hold
upon the branch, and seemed to be flying through the air; but with his
fingered feet he seized another branch, not less than forty feet from
the first, and, with his long arms extended to the utmost, continued to
swing in this inverted position. The observers were so delighted with
this skilful performance that they applauded lustily by clapping their
hands. The noise did not disturb the performers, and the actor that had
so distinguished himself appeared to put even greater vigor into his
movements.

Possibly he was getting up a momentum; for he soon released the hold of
his feet on the branch, went flying through the air with his long arms
extended ahead of him in the direction of another favorable limb of a
tree, and grasped it with his hands. After swinging for a moment, he
drew himself up on the branch, and proceeded to walk up to a greater
height, using his hands to assist in keeping his equilibrium. This was a
fair specimen of the performance of every member of the troupe.

One of the company appeared to see something on the ground that
attracted his attention; and he made a flying leap to a lower branch,
and then dropped himself upon the soil. Looking about him for a moment,
he apparently discovered a bush with some sort of fruit on it, for he
immediately began to walk towards it. As a walkist he was far from being
a success, and his awkward movements excited the laughter of the
interested spectators. In his present _rôle_ he would have made an
excellent clown in a circus ring.

His short legs seemed to be incapable of fully supporting his body, and
he behaved like an inexperienced athlete walking on a tight rope without
a balancing-pole. His long arms served as this implement, and with a
bend at the elbows and the hands dropped down, he waddled along very
slowly.

"It's heavy sea for that fellow, and he looks like a landlubber trying
to walk the deck in a rough sea," said Captain Scott. "But I fancy the
performance is over, and it is time to shoot some of the actors if that
is what you intend to do."

"For one, I don't intend to do anything of the sort," replied Louis,
with considerable energy in his tones. "I don't believe in killing for
the sake of killing, or for the fun of it. My admiration of the skilful
performance we have just witnessed will not allow me to kill the actors
or any of them."

"What did we come to Borneo for, Louis?" asked the captain.

"To see the country, and explore some of its rivers."

"I thought we came here to hunt and fish," added Scott.

"I did not come here to kill harmless creatures for the fun of it. We
want a full-grown orang, and I am ready to hunt for him," replied Louis.
"We want him for the purpose of study, and to show to our friends on
board of the ship. I don't object to shooting any bird or animal to
extend our information."

Louis had his double-barrelled fowling-piece in his hand. Suddenly he
brought it to his shoulder and fired. All eyes were directed to the
shore, and a large bird was seen to drop upon the ground. The captain
started the boat, and ran her up to the bank. Clinch leaped ashore, and
soon brought the bird on board. Its plumage was highly colored and very
beautiful.

"What do you call that bird, Louis?" asked Morris.

"Chambers calls it simply the argus, but the more common name is the
argus-pheasant," replied Louis.

"Faix, he's a magnificent crayter; and what a long tail our cat has
got," added Felix, as he spread the bird out on the gunwale.

The last remark referred to the long tail of the bird, which made the
entire length from the bill to the end of it about five feet. Only two
of the feathers were thus prolonged, adding about three feet to the
dimension. The variety of colors were jet black, deep brown, fawn,
white, and a number of secondary hues. The bird, deprived of his
feathers, is about the size of an ordinary hen.

"But you can't see him at his best now that he is dead," continued
Louis, who had read up the animal life he expected to find in Borneo.
"Like a peacock, though to a less extent, he can spread out his pretty
feathers, but not in the same manner; for they open out in the form of a
circle, making a sort of round disk on his back and concealing his head.
If you could see the bird alive with his wings spread out you would find
every feather had a number of marks that look like eyes, and seventeen
have been counted on one of them. Each of these marks consists in part
of a jet-black ring, with other different colored rings inside of it,
which make the whole figure like an eye.

"You remember a fellow who was called Argus in mythology, who had a
hundred eyes, of which only two were ever asleep at the same time. This
bird gets his name from him; though the story is that Mercury killed
him, and Venus transferred his eyes to the tail of the peacock."

"Thanks for the lecture, Louis," said Scott when he had finished his
description. "It was certainly a part of our plan in coming to Borneo to
study natural history; and we are doing so instead of shooting all the
time."

Just at this moment Felix, who had wandered from the fore cabin to the
waist, discharged his fowling-piece. The Milesian was as good a shot as
Louis, for both of them had been trained in the same shooting-gallery in
New York. All hands rushed to the rail to ascertain what the hunter had
brought down. On the bank of the river they discovered a creature about
two feet long, lying on its back, and struggling in its death-throes.

Lane leaped ashore, and soon laid the animal on the gunwale of the boat
by the side of the argus. It was a queer-looking creature about the
head, and no one on board except Achang had ever seen one like it. For
the length of the head, the muzzle was very broad, hardly less than
three inches. It was covered with a soft and rather long fur on its
body, dark brown in color.

"What do you call my game, Mr. Naturalist?" demanded Felix, addressing
Louis, who was looking the animal over.

"_Cynogale Bennetti_," replied the young naturalist very gravely.

"Faix, that's jist what I thought he was whin Oi foired at him," added
Felix. "Sin O, gal! But what had Ben Netty to do wid it? Or was Netty
the name of the gal?"

"I gave you the scientific name because this creature has no plain
English name, though the natives here call it the _mampalon_," added
Louis.

"That's what we call it; but I forgot the name," said Achang.

"He is one of the otter family; and Mr. Hornaday, whose book I hope you
will all read when you return to the ship, thought it might be called
the otter-cat. I wish we could have taken him alive, for it would have
made a very nice specimen to set up in the cabin of the
Guardian-Mother."

"I should like to knock over the big orang-outang you want, Louis, my
darling," continued Felix. "There comes a covered sampan up the river,"
he added, pointing down the stream.

Many such covered boats are used on the rivers. On a frame of bamboo or
other wood was a covering of leaves, each of which is six to seven feet
long, and two inches wide. They are sewed together with a thread of
rattan, overlaying each other, like tiles or shingles, thus shedding the
rain. They were in strips or squares, so that they could be readily
removed. The sides were sometimes curtained with the same material. The
long leaves are taken from the nipa palm, which grows abundantly in the
island, and serves a great many useful purposes.

The boat waited to see the covered sampan, and later there appeared to
be two of them. As they approached, the familiar voice of the Chinese
agent was heard hailing the party. It appeared that this gentleman was
bound up the river to a Dyak village, a few miles farther up.

"You had better go with us," said the agent, as his sampan stopped
abreast of the steamer. "I spoke to you about a Dyak long-house; and you
will have an opportunity to examine one, and to sleep in it if you are
disposed to do so. You will be received very kindly, and have a chance
to see the people as well as the houses."

"Thank you, Mr. Eng Quee; we will certainly go with you," replied
Captain Scott, prompted by Louis. "We will heave you a line, and tow you
up."

In a few minutes more the steamer moved up the river with the two
sampans in tow.



CHAPTER IX

A VISIT TO A DYAK LONG-HOUSE


As the Blanchita approached her destination many Dyaks appeared on the
shores. They were Sea Dyaks in this region; and the name seems to have
come down from a former era in the history of the island, for at the
present time they have little or no connection with a sea-faring life,
and their sampans are mainly if not entirely used on the rivers. But
formerly they built large war-boats, or _bankongs_, some of which were
seventy feet long.

These craft did not go to sea. The naval battles were fought on rivers
and lakes; for the boats were not adapted to heavy weather, and could
not have lived even in a moderate gale. They were propelled entirely by
oars, single banked, and twenty-four rowers were all that could work.
The largest of them had a platform or elevated deck, under which the
oarsmen sat, and on which the warriors engaged the enemy.

Some sort of strategy was used; for the small boats were sent ahead
sometimes to skirmish with the foe, and lure their canoes to a point
where the larger craft were concealed, which then came out and fell upon
the enemy. If the craft were used for purposes of piracy, as they were
in the northern part of the island, in attacking foreign vessels, it
could only be when the strangers were caught within a short distance of
the shores.

Mr. Eng came on board of the yacht when his sampans were taken in tow,
and was seated with the cabin party on the forward seats. He spoke
English perfectly, and explained everything that needed it as the boat
proceeded. The explorers had seen Dyaks enough, but had not before taken
the trouble to study them; for they seemed not to be in touch with the
civilization of Sarawak, and were "hewers of wood and drawers of water,"
and not proper specimens of the race.

"The men here, Mr. Eng, do not appear to be very powerful physically,"
said Louis, as they passed several laborers at work in a paddy.

"They are not as strong as Englishmen and Americans," replied the agent,
glancing at the seamen in the waist. "The tallest man I have seen among
the Sea Dyaks was not more than five and a half feet in height. Five
feet three inches is a more common figure, though the average is less
than that. They are not men of great strength; but they are active, of
great endurance, and in running they exhibit great speed."

"These people are not ruined by their tailors' bills," said Scott.

"They do not need much clothing in this climate; and a piece of
bark-cloth a yard wide is full dress here. The _chawat_, as they call
this garment, is about five feet long, and is wound around the waist
tightly, and drawn between the legs, one end hanging down in front, and
the other behind. They wear a sort of turban on the head; and some of
them have as many as four rings, large and small, hanging from their
ears, through which they pass. Some of them use white cotton instead of
bark-cloth, like the Hindoos in India."

The yacht was now approaching the landing-place pointed out by the
agent. A crowd of women and children were hurrying to the riverside.
They appeared to be lighter in complexion than the men. As a rule they
were not handsome, though a few of them were rather pretty. The American
visitors were not likely to fall in love with any of the young women on
the shore. They were all in "full dress," which means simply a
petticoat, reaching from the waist to the knees, made of bark-cloth
embroidered with various figures.

A few of the females wore a sort of red jacket and the conical Malay
hat; but those are used only on "state occasions." The single garment
was secured at the waist by being drawn into a belt of rattans, colored
black. Above this was worn a coil of many rings of large brass wire; and
all of them seemed to be provided with this appendage. There was some
variety in the use of this ornament; for some wore it tightly wound
around the body, while others had it quite loose.

In addition to this some of the young girls had a dozen rings of various
sizes hanging loosely around their necks, and falling upon the chest,
which had no other covering. Their eyes were black, as was also their
hair, which was very luxuriant, and generally well cared for, being tied
up in a cue behind.

The village did not consist of a great number of small buildings, but
from the landing-place could be seen the end of an immense structure
with a forest of palms behind it. The rear of it was not perpendicular,
but slanted outward, like many of the walls of corn-houses in New
England, doubtless to keep the rain from the roof from penetrating. All
the party, including the sailors, landed; for Mr. Eng declared that the
Dyaks were honest, and even in Sarawak were never known to steal
anything, though the Malays and Chinamen were given to pilfering.

The crowd of men, women, and children gathered on the shore had looked
the Blanchita over with the closest attention while the Americans were
looking them over. The party landed under the escort of the agent, and
took up the line of march for the big house. The entire crowd of Dyaks
followed them, though they did not intrude upon them; on the contrary,
they treated all of the visitors with a respect and deference bordering
on homage.

"That 'long-house,' as we call it here, is nearly two hundred feet in
length," said Mr. Eng. "It is thirty feet wide. Now you can see more of
it; and you notice that it is set upon a multitude of posts, like all
Malay and Dyak houses. These posts are firmly set in the ground; and
being about six inches in diameter, you can readily see that the house
rests on a solid foundation. It is not likely to be blown down in any
ordinary gale, though a hurricane might sweep it away. Not a nail, not a
wooden pin or peg, is used in the construction of such buildings."

"Then, I should think any ordinary gale would level them to the ground,"
suggested Louis.

"But the Dyaks have a substitute for nails or pins," replied the guide.
"All the poles and sticks and boards are tightly bound together with
rattans; and I believe they hold together better than if they were
nailed."

"I observed in England and France that the stagings used in the erection
of buildings were made partly of round poles, tied together with ropes.
I talked with a man who told me they were stronger than if put together
with nails," said Morris.

"I think he was right. I can't tell you how the Malays and Dyaks manage
the rattan to render it so flexible, but it seems to me they make better
work than ropes. On the back of this house, there is not a single window
or other opening," continued Mr. Eng, as the party stood at the end of
the structure, near the rear corner. "The disagreeable feature of the
building, or rather of the habits of the occupants, is that the space
under it, ten feet between the ground and the floor, is a catch-all for
all refuse matter, and you notice that an unpleasant odor comes from
it."

"Is this the only entrance to it?" asked Scott, pointing to a door,
which was reached by a log notched like a flight of stairs.

"There is a door at the other end also; and there may be ways of
mounting the platform, or veranda, which forms the front of the
building, as climbing a post, or dropping from a tree. Some of the
posts, of which you see a multitude under the house, are cut off at the
first floor, while many of them reach up to the roof, and support it. We
will go in now, if you like; and, being sailors, I suppose you can climb
the log."

"No doubt of that," replied Scott, who was the first to ascend. "Are all
that crowd coming up?"

"Certainly; they are the occupants of the long-house, and they must be
at home in order to do the honors of the occasion," laughed the guide.

The villagers followed the party, and immediately manifested their
politeness in various ways. The prettiest girl in the crowd spoke to
Louis; though he did not understand a word she said, but replied to her
in English, when she was as much at sea as he had been.

"What does she say, Achang?" he asked of the Bornean.

"_Tabet, tuan_," replied the native.

"I heard her say that; but what does it mean?"

"It means, 'Good-day, sir,'" answered the Bornean; and he proceeded to
tell her that Louis was the "head man," very rich, and owned a big
ship.

She made a very graceful obeisance to him, and then rushed away through
a door on the side of the grand hall, as it may well be called. But she
returned immediately, bringing a very elaborately worked mat, which she
spread on the floor at the feet of the "head man." Then she spread out
her hands, and bowed low, saying something which was Greek to him.

"She invites you to take a seat on the mat," Achang explained.

As a matter of politeness Louis seated himself, and looked at the maiden
who treated him with so much consideration. By this time the other women
were bringing mats for the rest of the party, making no distinction
between the seamen and the cabin party. The latter followed the example
of the young millionaire, and seated themselves. The foremast hands
declined the proffered courtesy; and Achang explained to the ladies that
only the four young men who were seated were the magnates of the
company, while the others were inferior personages, for the Bornean was
not strictly democratic in his ideas.

"We will look at the house now, if you please," said Mr. Eng, after the
"Big Four" had been seated a few minutes; and all of them rose to their
feet, bowing low to the young ladies who had treated them with so much
distinction.

About forty or fifty of the posts extended from the ground, for the
visitors had not time to count them; and most of them had suspended upon
them various trophies of the hunt, including the antlers of deer,
crocodiles' heads, weapons, paddles, and spears. In the middle of the
long hall a fire was burning on a foundation of soil, enclosed by a
border of wood. In the roof was a sort of scuttle, which was fastened
open to admit the air, and to allow some of the smoke to escape, though
there was plenty of it remaining in the apartment.

"What is that overhead, Mr. Eng?" asked Louis, pointing to a black mass
suspended near the fire, though he had a suspicion of its nature.

"That is a collection of human skulls, relics of the days of
head-hunting; for they are generally kept in a building erected for the
purpose, though appropriated at the present time partly to other uses.
There are about twenty of them, which is not a large number for a
village like this. Not one of them is less than twenty years old; for
Rajah Brooke put an end to head-hunting long ago, though some of it has
been done in spite of his edicts. A lady beckons to you, Mr. Belgrave."

The pretty girl--by comparison--stood by his side, pointing to one of
the numerous doors at the closed side of the house. Louis followed her,
and she conducted him into a room. A portion of the floor was covered
with mats on which the occupants sleep, with an earth section for a
fire. There was no furniture of any kind. The roof of the building was
covered with square pieces of palm like those used on the sampans, and
these could be raised in each room when necessary for air.

"This apartment is occupied by one family, or by a married couple, and
unmarried men and boys sleep in the attic overhead," said Mr. Eng. "It
has but one door, the one opening into the main hall. This is a house of
sixteen doors; and by this enumeration the size of the village is
stated, and this number gauges the taxes to be paid."

"Citizens cannot dodge their taxes here, then, as some of them do in the
United States," said Scott.

The party walked the entire length of the hall, and then passed out upon
the platform, which was not covered, and was used for various purposes,
such as drying rice or other articles. The floors were composed of
strips of palm, not more than an inch and a half wide, and placed an
inch apart. They were lashed to the floor joists, or poles, with rattan.

"Those doors, which indicate the taxable rate of the village, look as
though they were cut out of single planks," said Scott.

"And so they are," replied the agent.

"I have seen no saw-mills here, and I suppose they bring the lumber from
England or India."

"Not at all, though some may be obtained in that manner. They are made
from the buttress of the tapang-tree, which you must have seen."

"I have not noticed any such thing, though perhaps none of us could
identify it," replied the captain.

"It is found growing out in triangular form from just above the roots of
the tree. In a large one it is twelve or fifteen feet long. It makes a
natural plank two inches thick, which may be trimmed into any shape with
the biliong."

The party were ready to depart; and they made all sorts of courteous
gestures to their hosts, especially the ladies. The women asked them for
tobacco, as Achang interpreted the requests. They had none, but some of
the seamen supplied them with all they had about them.



CHAPTER X.

THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE DYAKS.


After seeing the sleeping accommodations of the Dyaks, consisting of a
mat on a rather uneven floor, the Americans concluded to pass the night
on board of the yacht. They invited Mr. Eng to supper on board, and he
passed the evening with them in the cabin.

"You have seen the Dyaks at home now, young gentlemen; how do you like
the looks of them?" asked the guest, after the meal had been disposed
of.

"I think they are the pleasantest savages I have ever met," replied
Louis.

"I am afraid you did not appreciate the young women who were so
attentive to you, Mr. Belgrave," continued the agent.

"Regarding them as uncivilized maidens, they are about the best
specimens. The expression on their faces was pleasant, a few of them
were pretty, though as a whole they were not handsome, and they seemed
to be kind-hearted. I could not admire them, though their eyes were as
brilliant as they were black. Their long hair would be the envy of many
an English or American belle."

"The women are very vain of their hair. They bestow a great deal of
attention upon it," added Mr. Eng. "The fever of the island sometimes
deprives them of their hair, as it may in your country, and that is the
greatest calamity that can overtake the younger women."

"I suppose it all right here; but they disfigure and spoil one of the
principal attractions of ladies in enlightened nations, the teeth, which
they blacken by chewing betel."

"It also makes their lips look as though they had daubed them with blood
or red paint; but they do it here, as in India, to make themselves more
beautiful. Tastes differ, and the practice makes them ugly to you. The
betel-vine grows here, and the leaves are used for chewing. The nut of a
certain palm produces the same effect on the teeth."

"I don't admire the brass rings they wear on their waists and around
their necks. If I were old enough to get married, I should not look for
a wife among the Dyak girls," said Louis, laughing and shaking his head.

"The Dyak women are generally well treated; but they have to work very
hard, and much that you would think the men ought to do is done by them.
The lords of creation here are inclined to be lazy, while their wives
and daughters are engaged in the rice-fields, though their husbands and
brothers are driven to labor.

"But the women are not the abject slaves you sometimes find them in the
savage state. They have their influence, and exercise a degree of
control in household matters. The females are fond of fish, and insist
that their husbands shall supply them with this diet. On account of the
bores which sweep up the rivers, this is often a dangerous occupation,
and the men are unable to procure any fish. Instances are known in which
the women bar the door of the house against them if they are
unsuccessful."

"I believe the Malays are generally Mohammedans. What is the religion of
the Dyaks?" inquired Louis.

"It has been said by some travellers that they have no religion of any
kind; but I don't think this is quite true, though it is not far from
it," replied Mr. Eng. "Religion is a very indefinite idea among the
Dyaks, and they are chary in speaking of what there is of it. Some who
have been among them maintain that they believe in a Supreme Being, who
has a great many different names among the various tribes. They have
almost as many inferior deities as the Hindus.

"They are very superstitious; and there are all sorts of omens, among
which there is a particular bird which has obtained the name of the omen
bird. His cry on the right of, or behind, a person engaged in any
enterprise is an unlucky sign, and he abandons his object; while the cry
heard on the left is a favorable omen, and the individual is duly
encouraged to go forward.

"I had a story from a Kyan head man which had come down to him as a
tradition. A great head-hunting expedition, consisting of a thousand
warriors, had set out many years ago. It had not gone far when a little
muntjac, which you know is a kind of deer, ran across the path of the
warriors. This was a bad omen; and they gave up the enterprise, and
returned to their villages.

"I know of a couple just married who separated because they heard a
deer-cry within three days after their union, which was a sign that one
of them would die within a year. Even little insects intimidate doughty
warriors, or assure them that they are far from danger, by their
appearance or their cry."

"There is not a little of similar superstition in enlightened nations,
though there is vastly less of it than formerly," added Louis.

"I have heard my grandfather say that the ticking of a death-watch used
to scare him so that he could not sleep when he was a boy," said Morris.

"What is a death-watch?" asked Scott.

"It is a kind of beetle that conceals itself in the walls of old
houses," replied Louis. "The noise it makes is really the call of the
bug for his mate, and is the cry of love instead of death, as many
ignorant people believe. The breaking of a looking-glass is also a sign
of death in the family."

"Mrs. Blossom wouldn't break a looking-glass for a fortune," added
Felix. "She says she broke one nine years before her husband died, and
therefore it was a sure sign."

"But the death must come within a year to make the sign hold good,"
replied Louis. "But if enlightened people have faith in such stuff, it
is no wonder that Dyaks believe in omens. I want to ask, Mr. Eng, if
these Dyaks are regularly married?"

"They are, though with very little ceremony, and no vows, oaths, nor
promises. In fact, the marriage consists of such rites as the parties
please, and often with no rites at all. Sometimes the betrothed are
married by exchanging bracelets in public, or by eating a meal of rice
together. In some communities the affianced are seated on a couple of
bars of iron, and the head man shakes a couple of live chickens over
their heads, invoking many blessings upon them, and the birds are
afterwards killed and eaten."

"Do these people drink liquor, or have they anything in the shape of
intoxicating fluids?" asked Scott.

"The national drink of Borneo is _tuak_, about the vilest tipple that
ever was invented. I went to a Dyak feast when I first came to the
island, which proved to be nothing but a series of drunken orgies. The
principal actors at the feast were a number of pretty girls, such as you
saw this afternoon. Their office was to induce the men present to drink
this vile liquid till they dropped on the floor of the open platform;
and they even poured it down the throats of their victims when no longer
able to drink for themselves."

"What sort of rum is it?" inquired Scott.

"It looks like the milk of the cocoanut, and I suppose that it is made
from that; but I did not taste it," replied the agent. "It is about my
bedtime, and I think I will go to my sampan and retire."

But Captain Scott invited him to sleep on board of the Blanchita; and he
accepted after a little pressing, evidently believing that the soft
cushions of the yacht made a better bed than the mats of the sampan.
Felipe was instructed to have steam on at daylight, and the anchor watch
was to call him in season to do so. Fully protected by their nettings
from the mosquitoes, which had troubled them to some extent in the
evening, all hands slept like tired boys.

When the steam from the gauge-cocks hissed as the engineer examined into
the condition of the water in the boiler, the sound waked the captain,
and he jumped from his bed. This movement roused all the others; and
they went out into the waist, following the example of Scott, who wore
nothing but his nightdress.

"I am going to have a swim this fine morning," said he.

"Look out for crocodiles," Morris interposed. "You know they are
man-eaters in these rivers."

"I haven't seen any of them around here," replied the captain. "But call
all hands, Lane; and tell the men to bring out their rifles."

"I think you are very imprudent to go into the water here," interposed
Mr. Eng. "The reptiles are on the watch; and if you must go in, I warn
you to keep near the boat."

But the boys all dived from the gunwale into the river, and swam out a
few rods. The men placed themselves on the rail, and kept a sharp look
out for saurians, though it was still too dark to enable them to see
very distinctly. Scott had reasoned that he could not take his bath
after it was fully light, for a crowd of Dyak men and women would be on
the bank at that time.

The swimmers had not been in the water more than five minutes when the
cry of "Crocodiles!" came from Achang, who had stationed himself just
forward of the engine. Probably he had a keener vision for the reptiles
than the Americans; for the seamen had not yet seen anything that looked
like one. He could tell by the appearance of the water that the enemy
was approaching, though the disturbance of its surface was near the
other side of the stream.

The party in the water turned about, and headed for the boat, swimming
with all the vigor they could command. Achang had his rifle in his hand;
but even he could not make out the crocodile clearly enough to be sure
of his aim. Five minutes more elapsed; for it required that time for the
swimmers to reach the yacht. The seamen assisted the party into the
boat, and they rushed with all speed into the cabin; for a quartet of
Dyak maidens had already reached the bank of the river, and were begging
the men for more tobacco.

Achang fired his rifle; but three crocodiles could now be seen moving
towards the yacht. Their approach was not impeded by the shot, for it
was impossible to see the eyes of the reptiles in the semi-darkness. But
the cabin party were safe, and it was as useless to fire at them as it
would have been at a stone wall.

"I advise you not to try that experiment again, young gentlemen," said
Mr. Eng as the bathing party came out into the waist.

"I don't think we shall, though we were protected by half a dozen
rifles," replied the captain, who had been the leader in the venturesome
exploit.

"If you do try it again, do so in the daylight, when your riflemen can
see the eyes of the enemy," added the agent. "I must bid you good-by
now, for I have business on shore here. I don't think the crocodiles
will come any nearer to you, but be prudent. I shall hope to see you at
Simujan on your return."

Mr. Eng shook hands with all the cabin party, and went ashore. The
captain gave the order to cast off the fasts, and Lane was ordered to
take the wheel. The two sampans had before made fast to the shore; and
as the Blanchita got under way, one of them put off, and paddled towards
the crocodiles. The last that was seen of the craft, it had a saurian
hooked after the Malay mode of fishing for them.

After breakfast had been served in the cabin, and the party had gone to
their seats forward, the character of the river began to change,
becoming much narrower. They came to another Dyak village, where the
jungle was cleared off and paddies were near the stream. It looked as
though all the inhabitants had gathered on the bank, male and female. A
long-house was to be seen on a knoll, and the wheelman was ordered to
take the boat within a couple of rods of the shore.

"Are you going to make a landing at this village, Captain Scott?" asked
Louis.

"No; we have seen enough of these people, but we will see what we can as
we pass along. They are all beckoning us to go ashore; but we won't do
so, for any more Dyak maidens would be rather monotonous."

"I quite agree with you, Captain, though there is one with a big stick
of bamboo in her hand, who looks more graceful and pretty than any we
saw in the village we visited," replied Louis.

"I wonder what that cane is for," added Scott.

"That's to contain some kind of liquid; and she may have four feet of
tuak in it," answered the millionaire, laughing at the idea of measuring
a fluid by Long Measure. "I think the girl comes nearer to being a
beauty than any girl I have seen before."

"She is hooped with brass like all the rest of them," added Scott, as
the boat proceeded beyond the group on the shore.

In another half-hour great trees, with an abundant undergrowth of
bushes, extended down to the river, and in places some distance into the
water.



CHAPTER XI

STEAMBOATING THROUGH A GREAT FOREST


Although there was a wall of green on each side of the boat, and the
river was not more than sixty feet wide, the explorers found that
everything close to the earth was under water. If the dense jungle had
not prevented, they might have sailed inland, they knew not how many
miles. As the stream became narrower the current increased in force. The
trees were full of monkeys, and hundreds of them appeared to be in sight
all the time. They were of the most common kind to be found in Borneo,
and the yacht created no excitement among them. They were so tame that
any number of them could have been brought down by the hunters.

"The water is not so dirty as it has been everywhere below," said
Captain Scott, as the Blanchita stemmed the current without any
difficulty, where paddling a sampan must have been a laborious
occupation. "It is tolerably clear along here, and we might take our
morning bath very comfortably."

"We might if a big crocodile did not break his way through the bushes to
pay us a visit," replied Louis.

"After the experience of this morning, I am not disposed to try it
again, and I shall take my bath in a wash-bowl with a sponge, though I
am very fond of swimming. But, Louis, don't you think we have had about
enough of hunting in Borneo?"

"Enough! Why, we have not yet been a week on the island," replied Louis,
not a little astonished at the captain's question. "I have enjoyed
myself very well so far, and I certainly do not wish to leave till we
have killed at least one good-sized orang."

"It is rather stupid hunting here, for about all the country is under
water," added Scott. "There seems to be nothing but monkeys here; and
they are very small game, even if we were disposed to shoot them."

"But there are some lakes up the river, Mr. Eng told me; and I think we
shall get out of this tangle very soon; and when we come to higher
ground we will go on shore, and try our luck on foot."

The captain talked as though he had some scheme in his head which he was
not yet prepared to unfold to his companions. But what could he do?
Nothing had been said on board of the ship about coming back to Sarawak
for the hunters, and to give up hunting and exploring would be simply to
return to Kuching, and idle away the time for the next two weeks. Louis
did not like this idea at all; and yet it seemed to be the alternative
which Scott must have in his mind.

"Mias!" shouted Achang, when the conversation had proceeded so far.

"Where is your mias?" demanded Louis; for most of the party had come to
calling the orang by his Malay name.

The Bornean pointed into the forest, the trees of which were growing in
the water, though there was an undergrowth of screw-pines, which had
been abundant all along the river. They were not pines as the explorers
understood the word at home. The plant is a bush or small tree with half
a dozen or more branches angling upward from the trunk, and twisting a
little towards it, from which feature it takes its name. It has long,
lanceolated leaves, and therefore is not at all like the American pine.

"Stop her, Lane!" called the captain in a tone that "meant business."
"Back her!"

The last order was given because there was an opening through the
screw-pines which afforded a full view of the taller trees about twenty
rods farther from the stream. The captain then took the wheel from Lane,
rang the gong to go ahead; and, putting the helm hard-a-starboard, the
boat came about, headed into the opening. Looking forward, there seemed
but very few trees or bushes compared with the number along the flowing
stream.

"Do you see the mias, Louis?" asked Scott.

"I do; and he is in a very favorable position. He is a big one, and must
be a male," replied Louis, who stood at the stem with a repeating-rifle
in his hand.

"Do you see him, Flix?"

"I do; and he has a green nest in the same tree with him."

[Illustration: "YOU ARE NEAR ENOUGH, CAPTAIN."

_Page 99._]

By this time all the party had taken their rifles. The boat moved very
slowly. A seaman sounded the depth with a boathook, and reported eight
feet. As she approached the orang, the brute showed his teeth, and
uttered several successive growls, as though he understood that danger
was near; but he did not attempt to escape.

"I wonder can the blackguard swim," said Felix, who had his rifle ready
to fire.

"I have read that he is a poor swimmer," replied Louis.

"How does he get about here where the water is eight feet deep?"

"He is not as agile as the gibbon; but he can make his way from one tree
to another in the same manner, and his road is through the trees, and
not on the ground."

"Here I am, and I can't go any farther," said the captain, as he rang to
stop her. "I can't get the boat through this clump of bushes."

"You are near enough, Captain; let her rest where she is," replied
Louis, as he aimed his rifle at the orang, which was sitting on a branch
holding on with both hands.

Louis fired, and the creature fell with a loud splash into the water at
the foot of the tree. But he was not dead, and was struggling to escape.
He was evidently wounded very badly, and when the hunter saw his
opportunity he fired again. The orang had grasped a screw-pine, and he
held on, but he struggled no more. The captain had ordered the sampan
to be brought alongside, and two men were at the paddles. Louis and
Felix joined them, and they paddled towards the _game_.

"I think he is dead though he still holds on at the bush," said Louis.

"We shall soon find out," added Clingman, as he threw a slip-noose over
his head. "Heave ahead now!" he continued, as Clinch grasped the line
with him, and they pulled together.

The orang did not make any movement, and it was certain that he was
dead. When they had drawn him within a few feet of the sampan, the line
was made fast, and the men paddled to the steamer. A purchase was rigged
to the top of one of the stanchions, and the dead animal was hoisted
into the sampan.

"Now, Lane, measure him," said the captain.

The body was laid out at full length in the bottom of the boat; and the
carpenter took his length on a boathook, which he notched to indicate
the height of the animal. He was directed to take several other
measurements; in fact, Louis kept him at work for over an hour, with
another hand to assist him in spreading out the limbs. The captain
became quite impatient; for he was less a scientist than the young
millionaire, though he had a taste for natural history.

"Have you finished, Louis?" asked Scott as the former returned to the
yacht.

"All done; but Lane must sum up the results," replied Louis.

"What good will all those measurements do you?" demanded the captain
rather contemptuously.

"They will not put any money in my pocket, but I want to know the size
of the game I have killed," answered Louis, somewhat nettled by the
manner of Scott. "When a man has caught a fish he wants to know what his
prize weighs."

"All right; but I want to get a little farther into the woods here, and
I can get around the bushes ahead of her," replied the captain, who had
been studying up a course by which he could go a considerable distance
farther inland.

He backed the boat, and then went ahead very slowly, with Clingman
feeling of the bottom with the boathook. It was novel sailing through
the forest in a steam-launch, and all hands enjoyed it. The screw-pines
were rather scattered, and the forest of large trees was quite open.
After the boat had gone about half a mile, as the captain judged,
Clingman made a report.

"By the mark, one," said he, as the depth is given with the lead, in
fathoms.

"Six feet; we are shoaling," added Captain Scott. "Try it again."

"Five feet," returned the seaman.

The steamer continued on her course, with Scott at the wheel, for some
time longer. The dry land could be seen through the trees at no great
distance ahead. The boat continued on her course for a quarter of an
hour, when Clingman call out a depth which caused the captain to ring
the gong to stop her. The last report was three feet, and the keel was
evidently grinding through the soft mud. Then he rang to back her; and
when she had increased her depth to four feet, he struck the gong to
stop her.

"Dinner is ready, gentlemen," said Pitts.

"We must attend to that before we do anything more," added the captain.
"Keep a sharp lookout ahead, Clingman."

The party went into the after cabin, and the novelty of dining on board
of a steamer in the woods was sufficiently inspiring to add a big
interest to the occasion.

"What have you got for dinner, Pitts?" asked Felix, as he entered the
cabin. "Have you got any stewed crocodiles?"

"Not a croc, Mr. McGavonty," replied the cook.

"Any boiled orang-outang?"

"Not an orang. The captain bought six dozens of eggs at the village
where we stopped yesterday, and I have ham and eggs for dinner, which I
hope will suit you," replied Pitts.

"The best thing in the world for me. Whisper! Are they crocodiles'
eggs?"

"Not a bit of it, sir."

The principal dish proved to be very satisfactory to the boys, whose
appetites had been sharpened by the exercise of the forenoon. The
cuisine had been very good along the rivers, for Pitts had generally
been the caterer as well as the cook and steward. Chickens and eggs had
been plentiful enough, and at the town he had obtained some fish. There
was no fresh beef or mutton. They had a barrel of excellent salt beef
from the stores of the ship; and Pitts made a splendid hash, which
suited all hands better than almost anything else.

While they were at dinner the steward brought in Lane's report of the
measurements of the orang Louis had shot. It was given to the Captain at
the head of the table; and he read it off: "Height, 4 feet, 5-1/4
inches; arms spread out full length, from end to end of longest fingers,
7 feet, 10 inches; length of arm, 3 feet, 3 inches; length of hand,
10-1/2 inches; length of foot, 12-1/4 inches; round the waist, 4 feet, 2
inches. Four men estimated on the weight, and the average is 185
pounds.'"

"Big mias," said Achang.

"Do you think you can skin and stuff him, Achang?" asked Louis.

"Know I can; have done it with naturalist."

"Then you may go to work on it as soon as you please, and I will give
you five dollars for the job," added Louis. "Take your time, and do it
well."

"Where I work? Sampan no good."

"I can make a place in the waist," said the captain; "besides, I want
the small boat, for we can see higher land farther in, and I wish to go
ashore there; we may find some shooting."

The boxes and barrels were moved farther forward and aft, and a workshop
made for the Bornean. The sampan was cleaned out when the hands had
finished their dinner, and the "Big Four," embarked in it. They did
their own paddling, for there was not room enough for any more in the
boat without crowding. Each of them carried a rifle. It was but a short
distance, and the party were soon on the dry land.

Louis had hardly put his feet on the shore when he levelled his gun and
fired. A moment later Felix followed his example; and each of them had
brought down a deer. They rushed forward to secure their game; and then
the other two hunters discharged their rifles, and a couple of wild pigs
rolled over on the ground. It was plain that they had struck a spot
where hunters seldom came. If there was any more game near, the report
of the guns had driven it off.

"That was pretty well for a five minutes' hunt," said Louis when he and
Felix had dragged the two deer to the water. "I think we had better stay
here over night, and hunt on high ground to-morrow."

"That wouldn't do, Louis, and I should not dare to keep the Blanchita
here over night," replied Captain Scott.

"Why not?"

"The water is high and low up here by turns, and I am afraid I should
find the yacht on the bottom in the morning," replied Scott. "Then we
could not get her out of the woods, and might have to stay here a week
or two, waiting for water to float her. No, no; I won't take the risk."

The game was dragged to the shore, and loaded into the sampan; for the
appalling picture the captain had made of low water induced them all to
hurry on board of the yacht.



CHAPTER XII

A FORMIDABLE OBSTRUCTION REMOVED


The deer shot by Felix was a little fellow, though he was full grown,
Achang said, when it was taken on board the yacht. The one killed by
Louis was much larger. The pigs were in better condition than the one
shot before. The men were set at work to skin the deer, and the cook cut
out the best parts of the two swine. There was plenty of salt pork in
the stores, so that the sides were not needed.

Achang kept himself very busy in his workshop. He had a difficult job on
his hands; for he had to skin the fingers and toes of the animal, and to
keep every part in its original shape. Captain Scott went to the wheel
as soon as he came on board, and started the engine. Clingman reported
the depth of water the same as when the party went on shore. By backing
and going ahead a short distance at a time, he got the boat about, and
headed her for the river.

The water was deep enough, and there was no particular difficulty in the
navigation, though he was to follow the course he had taken at first. He
had carefully observed the shape and location of the trees, and the
stream was reached in a short time. Louis declared that it was a great
pity they could not remain near the high ground, for he had no doubt
that plenty of game would have been found.

"It seems to me that we have got all the game we want," said Scott.
"What could we do with a couple more deer and a brace of wild hogs?"

"Perhaps you are right; but the fellows want to hunt, though I think I
have had enough of it. I enjoy the sailing up this river, and it will be
pleasant to explore the lakes farther up the stream," added Louis.

"I hope we shall get to some place where we can do some fishing for a
change; besides, I am fish hungry," replied Scott.

"Most of the fishing here is done with the tuba plant; and I think it is
mean to stupefy the fish, and then pick them up on the top of the water.
But the river is clearer up this way, and we will drop our lines when we
come to a good place."

"If you want to do any more shooting just now, there is a flock of
long-noses" (by which he meant proboscis monkeys), said the captain, as
he pointed to them.

"We have one good specimen of that creature, and I don't want any more
at present; but I would give something to know why they prefer to be in
trees which grow out of the water," added Louis.

"I give it up, for I don't see any reason for it; but I suppose the
long-nose understands the matter himself, and he won't tell us. Here we
are at the river."

The captain rang the speed-bell as the steamer entered the stream where
it was only thirty feet wide. There was a considerable current, and the
screw-pines were densely packed together on both sides. The boat
continued on her course for half an hour longer, when she seemed to have
come to the end of all things, and the gong rang to stop her.

"Here we are!" exclaimed Scott. "And here we are likely to remain,
unless we back down stream till we find a place wide enough to turn in."

The obstruction which closed the passage of the river against the
Blanchita was a bridge of dead pines which the current had brought down,
and they had caught at the sides till they formed the barrier. It was
not more than six feet wide, though it might as well have been a hundred
so far as blocking up the river was concerned.

"I don't like the idea of stopping here, for I want to see the lakes
above; and I hoped we might get some fishing there," said Louis.

"What the matter is?" called Achang from his workshop.

He moved to one side so that he could see the obstruction.

"You can go through that, Captain," he continued, after Morris had
corrected his English. "I have come up here before, and we have cut a
way through."

"All right; we will see what the bridge is made of," said the captain,
as he rang to back the boat.

She backed down the stream about twenty rods, and then he stopped her.
He then ordered Clingman to draw a piece of sailcloth over the stem, to
prevent the dead pines from scratching the paint on the bow. As soon as
this was done, she went ahead again at full speed, and the captain
called to the engineer to give her all the steam he could. She went
ahead at a furious rate, and Scott pointed her to what seemed to be the
weakest place in the barrier.

"Now hold on, fellows, or she will tip you over!" shouted the captain as
the boat approached the obstruction.

She struck the mass of pines, and drove her bow far into it, but stopped
without going through it. The barrier was not solid, and was held
together by the entanglement of the bushes as they were driven into the
nucleus of the mass by the current.

"We can't cut through in that way," said Scott, as he looked at the
half-sundered bridge.

"We don't want to take the back track," added Louis.

"There are more ways than one to skin a mosquito, and we haven't half
tried yet," replied the captain. "The thing is softer than I supposed,
and yielded when the boat hit it. I could go through, but it would take
all the paint off the sides. Get out the anchor, Clingman, and we will
see what can be done."

"I think we shall stick fast enough without anchoring," said Morris with
a laugh.

"Wait a few minutes, my hearty; for I was not thinking of coming to
anchor just now," answered Scott, as he went forward to the stem, and
mounted the rail.

The anchor was stowed under the forward seat; and Clingman, after
overhauling the cable, passed it up to the captain. It was not very
heavy, and with a skilful toss he threw it just over the edge of the
barrier on the up-stream side. All wondered what he was going to do, for
they saw no way to get through by means of the anchor; but they were
willing to believe that the captain knew what he was about, and they
said nothing.

"Now pay out about fifty feet of cable," continued Scott, as he rang the
gong to back her. "Haul steady on it till you are sure it is fast in the
stuff, Clingman."

The seaman humored the cable till he was unable to haul the rope home,
and then reported the situation. The boat continued to back till the
cable was hauled taut, when he stopped her. Then he spoke through the
tube to the engineer, and rang the gong. The craft moved again, but very
gently, for Scott was afraid the anchor would not hold; but it did, and
speaking through the tube, he gradually increased the speed. The cable
swayed and groaned, and it was evident that a heavy strain was upon it.
The barrier was shaking and quivering under the pressure, and it was
plain that something would yield very soon.

"Hurrah!" shouted Felix, who was looking over the bow at the bridge of
pines; and the cry was repeated by the rest of the cabin party, and
taken up by the sailors. "Bully for you, Captain Scott! Upon me wurrud,
ye's have skinned the muskitty!"

This demonstration was called forth by the rupture of the barrier in two
places, so that about one-half of it gave way, and was towed down stream
by the steamer. Scott kept the craft moving till he found a place in the
green banks of the river to leave the tow, for it was wide enough to
obstruct the channel.

"Clingman and Wales, jump on the raft with the boathooks, and crowd the
stuff over to the starboard side," said the captain when he had found
the place he wanted.

He stopped the boat, and then went ahead, to enable the men to get upon
the mass, after they had thrown a couple of boards upon it to stand on.
Backing her again, he hugged the starboard side of the stream, and drew
the raft abreast of the place, and close to it, where it was to be left.
The men on it hooked into the screw-pines, and hauled it into the
opening. Pulling vines from the trees, they moored it where it was. As
soon as the two men came aboard the boat, the captain went ahead again.

"You did that job handsomely, Captain Scott," said Louis. "I thought the
only way we could get through was by cutting a passage for the boat."

"That would have taken too long," replied Scott, as he called Clinch to
the wheel. "Mind your eye! for the river is very crooked up here. Look
out for the swing as she goes around the bends."

The boat had not gone a great distance when she came to a considerable
expanse of territory which had been swept over by fire. The party did
not think that the green bushes would burn; but they had burned so that
nothing was left of them but the blackened stems, and there was no room
for an argument.

"When the fire gets started, it scorches and dries the bushes till they
will burn," Louis explained. "But what are we coming to now?" he asked,
looking ahead where the country seemed to be level, and covered with a
sheet of water, in which the screw-pines were abundant.

"That must be one of your lakes, Louis," added the captain.

"If it is mine, I will sell it to you," replied he.

"I don't want to buy; but I am not so sure that we can get through as
shoal a place as that seems to be, for it is only the spreading out of
the river. The greater the expanse, the less the depth. How is that,
Achang?"

"Plenty water; float the boat," answered the Bornean. "Little Padang
Lake. Plenty pandanus."

"What are pandanuses?" asked Scott.

"The plural of the word is pandanaceæ; and they are the same thing as
the screw-pines, and sometimes are found thirty feet high. There is one;
and you can see roots starting out of the stem, and heading downward.
The leaves are very useful to the natives. We shall get tied in a hard
knot if we follow the twists of this stream much farther."

Presently the boat came to the lake. The captain was considerably
exercised about the depth of water; and as they entered the lake, which
was not very different from the overflowed region they had visited that
day, he ordered the wheelman to stop her.

"There must be some sort of a channel through this pond," said he,
looking about him. "There is a bigger lake than this one farther up.
There are mountains in sight in the distance, and the water from them
must find an outlet to the sea."

"I have no doubt you are right; and probably there is a channel through
this lake, for its water must get to the sea, unless it dries up on the
way," added Louis.

"It will be easier to find this channel near the river than it will when
we are half-way across the lake;" and the captain sent two men with
Morris in the sampan to search for it.

The water was tolerably clear; and they went to the mouth of the outlet,
sounding all the time with the boathooks. They found the channel at this
point, and then followed it up beyond the steamer. Morris shouted that
the sampan was in the channel, and the Blanchita moved into it. The
searching-party returned to the steamer. Morris was the mate; and, with
the two men who had gone with him, he was directed to keep the run of
the deeper water.

In another half-hour they came to the forest again, though the trees
were growing in the shallow lake. Achang was hard at work all the time,
taking all the pains with his operation which Louis had required of him;
but his occupation did not prevent him from looking about him, and he
soon made a discovery.

"Mias! Mias!" he shouted, pointing to a tall tree a few rods from the
boat. "Mias fast asleep!"

All the party looked in the direction indicated, and saw the orang. He
was lying on his back in the crotch of the tree, holding on with both
hands to the branches. He must have been a heavy sleeper or the puffing
of the engine would have aroused him. But Louis would not fire at him,
as Scott suggested. He had a bigger orang than the one in the tree, and
he did not want another. As he would not fire, Felix refused to do so,
and the mias was left to finish his nap.

A little later in the day the boat came to Padang Lake; but they were
disappointed when they found it was filled with screw-pines, though they
could see open water, in one direction quite a large sheet of it.
Following the channel, they reached the open space. The boat had hardly
passed the limit of the screw-pines before Clingman shouted, "Fish!"

The captain rang the gong, the boat stopped, and fishlines were in
demand. The flesh of the orang was used for bait; and in a few minutes
Morris hauled up a fish so large that it taxed all his strength and
skill to get him into the boat.



CHAPTER XIII

THE CAPTAIN'S ASTOUNDING PROPOSITION


All the cabin party had their lines out, but not another fish was
caught. The place where they fished seemed to be a hole, and the water
was deep and clear. Perhaps Morris's struggle with the big fish had
scared the others away, for not another could be seen. The day was done,
and it was growing dark. It was decided to anchor where they were, and
spend the night there; and they hoped the fish would be in biting
condition the next morning.

Achang called the fish the gourami, or something like that; but beyond
this nothing was known about him. Louis, who was generally posted, could
tell his companions nothing about it. But Pitts had cut it up, and it
was fried for supper. The flesh was hard, and the flavor excellent.
There was enough of it for all hands, and the supper amounted to a
feast. A heavy thunder-shower made the evening very gloomy; but the
canvas roof and curtains of the Blanchita fully protected the party from
the rain, which fell in sheets for full two hours.

The next morning when the party turned out, the weather was as pleasant
as they could desire, and the air was cleared and freshened by the
shower. The first thing they did was to throw over their lines; for
they could see the fish through the clear water of the lake. In about as
many minutes they had hooked four fish, though not one of them was so
large as the one Morris had caught the evening before. But at that point
they ceased to bite, and not another nibble was had. Either the fish did
not like the looks of the boat, handsome as she was, which would have
been very bad taste on their part, or the struggles of those which had
been hauled in frightened them away. Very likely the fish could have
explained the reason for their sudden disappearance; but they did not,
and it remained a mystery.

They had an ice-chest on board, and Mr. Eng had replenished it at
Simujan. Pitts dressed the fish, and put them in the refrigerator. For
breakfast they had fresh pork, and it was much better than that they had
had before. They had learned to drink coffee without milk, for it was
not often that it could be procured away from the larger towns.

"I say, fellows, don't you think there can be too much of a good thing?"
asked Captain Scott at the head of the table.

"Of course there can be too much of a good thing; for a fellow might eat
ice-cream till his throat was frozen," replied Felix.

"Almost anything becomes a bad thing when you have too much of it,"
added Louis. "But I think we could have stood about four more of those
nice fish. What is the moral of all this, Captain?"

"With me the moral is that I have had hunting enough for the present,"
replied Scott. "I should like a little more variety in our daily life."

"I don't think I should care to go hunting more than one day in a week,
or, at most, two," replied Louis. "We have had it right along for a
week; and, as you suggest, that's too much of a good thing."

"But it was you, Louis, who went in for three weeks of it," added the
captain.

"Simply because I thought it would take the Guardian-Mother and the
Blanche about that time to visit Siam and French Cochin-China."

"I suppose if we had made our trip up these rivers in a sampan, we
should not have got so far inland in another week," added Morris.

"I don't think we should have come up here at all if the Blanchita had
not been available," said Louis. "But we are close to the mountains now,
and I am in favor of a tramp on shore."

"All right; and after breakfast we will get under way, for I must attend
to the navigation," replied Scott; "and I suppose Felipe has steam
enough by this time."

They left the table, and Scott went to the wheel. To save time and
trouble, the men took their meals in the after cabin, and the engineer
had the head of the table. Both Louis and Felix had run the engine of
the Maud a portion of the time on her memorable voyage from Funchal to
Gibraltar, and the former was sent to the engine-room. The boat went
ahead; and after passing through a section of pandanus, they came to an
open lake, which they judged to be five miles long.

The water was shallow, though deep enough for the steamer. The captain
opened the binnacle, and headed the Blanchita to the north. It was a
very quiet time, and the boat went along at her usual speed. In little
less than half an hour she reached the head of the lake; but there was
no convenient landing-place for a craft of her draught, and she was
anchored at a considerable distance from the shore. Achang and two of
the seamen were directed to attend the "Big Four," and they were landed
in the sampan.

Each of the cabin party took his fowling-piece, while Achang had a
rifle, and each of the sailors carried one, the latter to be used by the
young men if they were wanted. They had walked but a short distance
before they came to a steep precipice about twenty feet high, at which a
notched log had been placed by some former visitors, as they supposed;
but as soon as they had mounted it, they came upon a Dyak long-house,
which might have been better called a short-house, for it contained but
six doors, and therefore the tax upon the village need not have caused
any grumbling.

The dwelling was not now a novelty, neither were the Dyak men and
maidens; for the latter were not as pretty as several they had seen on
the river. They were very hospitable, and invited the party to enter
the house, which they did; but there was little to interest them there.
Achang talked with them, and the head man said they caught plenty of
fish in the lake, and they snared pigs, deer, monkeys, and other game.
He engaged a couple of guides for the mountains.

The game was plentiful, and the hunters shot several deer, a pig, and a
Malay bear; but they were not enthusiastic hunters, considering that
they had come to Borneo for that purpose. After a four hours' tramp they
all thought they had had enough of it. Felix declared that he preferred
to hunt cobras and tigers, for all the game seemed to be very tame to
him. Seating themselves on the ground, they rested for an hour, and then
started on their return to the boat. All the game was given to the Dyak
guides, who were very glad to get it. They swung it on a pole, and
trotted along with their load as though it had been no burden at all.

"They do that all day," said Achang. "Never get tired."

"They have load enough to feed the village for a week," added the
captain. "I should not care for the fun of feeding them another week,
for I find hunting here very tame business."

"My sintimints also," added Felix.

After a walk of another hour they reached the Dyak house, and the whole
population of the place followed them to the shore. They were filled
with wonder and admiration at the sight of the Blanchita, and went off
to her in their sampans. They were permitted to go on board; but when
Felipe fed the fire in the furnace, and the steam began to hiss, some of
them were frightened, and fled to their boats.

Dinner was all ready when the party went on board; and Achang was
instructed to send off the guests, for the boat was to get under way at
once. They got into their sampans; but they remained near the Blanchita,
evidently desirous to see her sail. They had not to wait long, for the
anchor was weighed, and the captain rang the gong. She went off at her
usual speed, and the Dyaks expressed their astonishment in various ways.

"Dinner all ready, gentlemen," said Pitts as soon as the steamer was
well under way.

"What have you for dinner, Pitts?" asked the captain.

"Baked fish, Captain, in two pieces; for he was too long to go into my
oven," replied the cook.

"All right. Take the wheel, Clingman, and make the course due south."

"Due south, sir," repeated the wheelman.

The party hastened to the after cabin; for they were hungry after their
long tramp, though they had taken a light lunch with them. The fish, "in
two pieces," was placed before the captain; while Pitts stood by his
side, ready to pass the plates, and hear any comments the captain might
make on the principal viand.

The odor from the steaming fish was emphatically agreeable to the hungry
hunters, and so was the soft divan to their tired legs. Scott helped the
members of the party to liberal portions of the dainty dish, and without
pausing for manners they began to partake. When the captain had tasted
the fish, he stopped short, and looked at Pitts. Then he reached out his
right hand to him.

"Your hand, Pitts!" and the cook took it, his face wreathed in smiles.
"You have cooked a dish here, Pitts, which is fit for any king on the
continent of Europe, to say nothing of Asia."

The rest of the party applauded vigorously, and every one of them,
following the example of the captain, took the cook by the hand, and
bestowed additional praise upon him; and Louis declared that he could
not have done better if he had served his time as a _cuisinier_ in the
Grand Hotel in Paris. But the most telling tribute to the skill of the
cook was in the amount consumed; and the captain expressed a fear that
the engineer and five seamen would have to "kiss the cook."

"It is only a woman cook that gets served in that way, and then not
unless she is good looking," replied Pitts, laughing. "But you need have
no fear, Captain, and the second table will have no occasion to kiss the
cook, even it were one of the pretty girls we saw at the long-house
below; for I have another fish in the oven, and it will be done by the
time they are ready for it."

"That's right, Pitts; look out for the men as well as you do for the
rest of us," added the captain. "Now, fellows, I am going to the wheel;
and I want to see all of you in the fore cabin, for I have something to
say, and we may have occasion to vote."

"Vote on what, Captain?" inquired Felix.

"There is no motion before the house, Flix; and when morning comes the
sun will rise, not before," replied Captain Scott.

As soon as a plum-pudding had been disposed of, the party hastened to
the fore cabin; for their curiosity had been excited by what had been
said. The captain took the wheel; and Louis went to the engine, though
he could hear what was said while near enough to the levers to act in
case of need. Scott had brought from his berth in the after cabin a
blue-colored roll, which all understood was a chart, though of what sea
they did not know.

"Now, fellows, I have come to the conclusion that we are all tired of
paddling about the muddy rivers of Borneo," the captain began, after he
had scrutinized the compass in the binnacle. "I have said so before;
though I have not enlarged on the subject, or spoken half as strongly as
I might. The rest of you may not take my view of the situation; but I do
not ask you to do so, and I hope you will all speak out just what you
think, as I have done, and shall do stronger than before. We want
something that is not quite so tame as shooting pigs and crocodiles at
thirty-six cents a foot."

"I am quite of your opinion, Captain," added Morris. "I don't think
there is any more fun in shooting orangs, for we are not naturalists nor
scientists of any sort. If we had brought a naturalist with us, we
should have done better."

"I have had enough of it for the present; but we have two weeks yet
before the ship will come to Kuching for us, and what are we to do
during that time?" said Louis, walking a little nearer to the wheel.

"That is precisely the conundrum I intend to guess on the present
occasion, and for which I have called this meeting without consulting
Mr. Belgrave," replied Captain Scott, giving the wheel to Morris, with
the course, and unfolding the blue roll. "The Guardian-Mother will go to
Saigon before she comes back to Sarawak. That is about a two days' run
for her. From Sarawak, or the mouth of the river, the distance is five
hundred sea miles. Now, to flash it on you all at once, I propose to
sail in the Blanchita to Point Cambodia, where the ship will pick us up
as she comes down the Gulf of Siam. Now I am ready to hear you all
groan."

"It looks like a risky voyage in such a craft as this steam-launch,"
said Louis, when there was a prolonged silence.

"I wish you all to look over the chart of the China Sea; this meeting is
adjourned to the after cabin at four o'clock, and you may do your
groaning there."

The men soon came out of the after cabin, and Pitts was busy removing
the dishes and putting everything in order. At the time stated, the
party were seated around the table in the after cabin, ready to consider
the captain's astounding proposition.



CHAPTER XIV

DOWN THE SIMUJAN AND UP THE SARAWAK


The proposition of Captain Scott was certainly an astounding one, not
unlike the daring of those men who have crossed the Atlantic in a dory
or in small sailboats; and so it struck the other members of the cabin
party. Scott was not a reckless navigator; and his companions had
voyaged with him on stormy seas several times in the Maud, though she
was a better sea-going craft than the Blanchita. She was decked over her
entire length, so that she could be closed as tight as the inside of a
barrel, while the steam-launch was an open boat.

Scott did not regard the venture as an extremely perilous one, though he
would not have thought of such a thing as crossing the Atlantic in a
craft like the Blanchita, principally because she could not carry coal
enough to render the trip a prudent risk. The distance from land to land
was about five hundred miles, and the little steamer could easily make
this distance inside of three days. But the captain must speak for
himself.

"Now, fellows, you can study the chart for yourselves," said he, as he
put the point of his pencil on the mouth of the Sarawak River. "If the
Blanchita were a sailing-craft instead of a steamer, I should not have
a moment's hesitation; for though she is not heavy and clumsy, she is
very strongly built. I have looked her over several times, with this
trip in my head."

"But she can be rigged as a sailing-craft, and has a short mast and a
sail," interposed Morris. "I talked with the rajah about her, and he
told me that he had been out to sea in her. He said he had never had
occasion to use the sail, but he carried it in case anything should
happen to the engine."

"That betters the situation very materially," replied the captain. "If
we have anything to depend upon if the engine should break down or the
coal should give out we should be all right."

"There must be heavy seas out in the China Sea," added Louis, as he
looked over the chart.

"We haven't seen any very heavy seas in any of these waters. The
south-west monsoons prevail at this season of the year in these waters.
I don't find any decided ocean current laid down on the charts of the
southern and western portions of the China Sea. They strike in at the
eastward of Java, and flow to the eastward of Borneo, through the
Macassar Strait," said Scott, pointing out the direction on the chart.

"That looks favorable; and if there is any current to speak of, it runs
in the direction of the monsoons, and therefore will not be likely to
cause heavy winds."

"If I thought the trip was a very dangerous one, I certainly should not
propose to make it," added the captain.

"Fish!" shouted Clingman at the wheel.

In spite of their interest in the discussion, all the party rushed
forward at this cry. The captain ordered the wheelman to stop her,
though her headway kept her moving for some minutes after the screw
ceased to revolve. The men baited the hooks as soon as fish were
indicated. The boat had reached the locality where the catch of the day
before had been obtained, and all hands were on the lookout. The lines
were thrown over, and the fish bit quickly as soon as the steamer was at
rest. In half an hour they had taken seven.

"Keep her moving, Clingman," said Captain Scott, as the party hurried
back to the cabin to continue the discussion.

Pitts dressed the fish, and put them in the ice-chest. Achang had
completed the skinning of the orang, and the skin was now drying in the
sun. The voyage to Siam or Cambodia looked very much like an adventure,
and the young men were deeply interested in it.

"I don't think we are likely to encounter any very heavy weather in the
western part of the China Sea," said Captain Scott, as he put his pencil
on the chart again. "We may be overhauled by a typhoon."

"And what is a typhoon?" asked Felix. "I know it is some sort of a
storm, and that is all I do know."

"There are different names for a storm in different parts of the earth,"
replied Scott. "What is a hurricane in the West Indies is a cyclone in
the northern part of the Indian Ocean, and a typhoon in the China Sea.
They are all alike in substance, being revolving storms, in which the
wind whirls around in a circle, and at the same time has a forward
movement as a whole towards some point of the compass. But there are
various signs which indicate the approach of a typhoon or a hurricane;
and in these seas the barometer has to be watched constantly."

"I suppose we should be out of sight of land about all the time on the
passage," suggested Morris.

"Not at all, my lad; for the first two hundred miles of the course we
should not be out of sight of land half of the time, or only for a few
hours at a time. Now look at the chart, all of you. Here we are at the
mouth of the Sarawak River. About a hundred miles west of that is Cape
Datu, the most western point of Borneo. Then for two hundred miles there
is a chain of islands extending to the north-west, which is our course.
These are the Natuna Islands; the largest one takes the same name, and
is forty miles long. There are several other small islands north of this
one, and if the weather came on very bad we could make a lee under one
of them."

"Channel, sir!" shouted Clingman.

"I think you have got an idea of the whole thing, and we have a couple
of days to think of it," said the captain, as he rose from his seat. "I
will leave the chart here, and you can all study it."

Scott went forward to the wheel. He had caused a red rag to be tied to
the top of a screw-pine while the sampan was looking for a channel
through the lake, and Clingman had stopped the boat abreast of it. The
captain took the helm himself; and he had carefully observed various
marks, and obtained the bearings of the mountain, and other prominent
objects which might assist him in taking the steamer through the shallow
lake. He started her at once, and rang the speed-bell confidently, as
though he had been through the lake a dozen times before.

It was sunset when the boat entered the narrow river, and they were
called to supper. Clinch was placed at the wheel. It was a good moon,
and the boat continued on her course till she came to the Dyak village
where they had visited the long-house. She had been seen or heard as she
approached; and the whole village was on the shore, including Mr. Eng.

"We are not going to lie up to-night," said Captain Scott when asked to
land. "We are somewhat in a hurry to get back to Kuching, and we shall
run down to Simujan this evening."

"I am going in the morning, Captain," added the agent.

"I will tow you down, and you can sleep on board if you wish."

"Thank you; my men will come down with the sampans to-morrow, and I
gladly accept your offer," replied Mr. Eng. "But I must first go over to
the _pangah_."

"To what? Will it take long?" inquired the captain.

"The pangah, or head-house of the village. I left my portmanteau there,
and must get it."

"The head-house! May we go with you? for we did not stop to look at it
when we were here before."

"Certainly you may go with me; I will have some torches so that you can
see it as well as in the daytime," replied the agent, as he started with
the cabin party, attended by four Dyaks who had come to the river with
torches. "No head-hunting has been done for many years, as you are
aware, and not many heads are on exhibition. In some villages you will
find them by the hundred, though the people here were never much given
to the barbarous practice. It was not necessary in this part of the
island that a young man should get a head before a girl would accept him
as her husband. Here it is."

It was a circular building not far from fifty feet in diameter, with a
conical roof. In the centre was a place for a fire, which was perhaps
required in cleaning the abominable trophies of war or individual
murders. All around the apartment was a sort of divan, or bench, while
over it were hung up the skulls, all nicely cleaned in the first
instance, but now darkened by the smoke.

"This is the public building of the village, and the council when it
meets has its place here for deliberation and action," said Mr. Eng,
when he had pointed out what was to be seen in the building.

"Rather a sombre place, I should say, for such a purpose," suggested
Louis.

"When you got used to the skulls you would not mind them any more than
you would any other dry bones," laughed the agent. "I slept here last
night, and the young men and boys lodge here. If you were to remain over
night, young gentlemen, you would be quartered here; for it is the home
of the stranger who visits the village."

"Then, I should be very thankful that we had a cabin in our steamer,"
replied Louis. "But there is no accounting for tastes."

The agent gave his baggage to a Dyak, and the party returned to the
boat. A bed in the cabin was prepared for Mr. Eng, who said he was very
tired, for he had walked a great distance that day, and he retired at
once. The captain took the first watch, with two of the men. It was
plain sailing, and in the middle of the night the Blanchita was anchored
in the river in front of the kampon. Scott turned in then, with one of
the port watch on duty.

In the morning they could not be induced to accept Mr. Eng's pressing
invitation to remain a day or two at Simujan. He promised to take them
to the coal and gold mine if they would remain; but all of them were so
full of the great project that the invitation was declined. Three of the
fish were presented to the agent, who told them something about it, and
declared that it was the finest fish on the island.

A quantity of ice was obtained at the town; and Pitts carefully packed
the rest of the fish, which were still hard and in nice condition. The
captain desired to present a couple of them to Rajah Brooke, and some of
the others to officers who had been very kind to them, and had assisted
them in many ways. In the early morning they bade a grateful adieu to
the agent, and departed on the trip to Kuching.

The tide was going out, and they made a quick passage to the sea. On
their arrival there they found a stiff south-west wind blowing, and the
bay covered with white-caps. They had not tried the Blanchita in
anything like a heavy sea, though the rajah had declared that she was a
very able and weatherly sea-boat. Captain Scott was very glad of the
opportunity to test her behavior in rough weather. He went to the helm
himself as the boat came out of the Sadong. The very first wave that
broke on her bow scattered the spray from stem to stern.

[Illustration: THE BOAT ROSE GRACEFULLY ON THE BILLOWS.

_Page 132._]

Scott ordered the men to batten down the curtains on the weather side.
But the boat rose gracefully on the billows, and did not scoop up any
water in doing so. Boxes, barrels, and other movable articles were
secured, and the captain was delighted with the working of the boat.

"I don't want any better sea-boat than the Blanchita," said he with
great enthusiasm. "I doubt if we get it any rougher than this on the
voyage to Cambodia Point."

"Unless we run into a typhoon," said Morris, who was observing the
conduct of the boat with quite as much interest as his superior officer.

"We won't run into a typhoon," replied the captain.

"How can you help yourself? As sailors we must take things as they
come."

"If navigators have a thousand miles or more of ocean ahead of them,
they must face the music. But among these islands, if the weather looks
typhoony, we can get under a lee, or make a harbor in some bay. But
don't try to cross the bridge till we get to it, Morris."

"Sail, ho!" shouted Clingman.

It was a steamer about as far off as she could be made out. The two
craft were approaching each other, and the steamer from the west went
into the Sarawak ahead of the Blanchita. She was a small vessel,
apparently of not more than three hundred tons. It soon became evident
that she was not a fast sailer, for the Blanchita held her own with her
all the way up the river to Kuching.



CHAPTER XV

ON THE VOYAGE TO POINT CAMBODIA


The Blanchita moored as usual in front of the town, while the steamer
anchored in the river. She proved to be the Delhi, from Calcutta; and it
was ascertained when the party went on shore later, that she was to sail
for Saigon the next day. The first care of the cabin party was to send
the fish to Rajah Brooke and two officers whose acquaintance they had
made.

Pitts overhauled the ice-chest, and found them in excellent condition;
and Achang was appointed to be the bearer of them, with the compliments
of the Americans, to the gentlemen who were to receive them. Two native
porters were to carry them; and the party knew that the fish were a
rarity in the town, and they were in season for the dinner of that day.

The four went on shore together just as a party from the Delhi landed
with a boat. The captain of the steamer hailed them in the street in
front of the government house, and asked if they belonged to the
steam-launch which had just come up the river. He was curious to know
something more about the explorers, and Captain Scott told him what they
had been doing in the island. He was invited on board of the Blanchita,
and was much interested in the young men.

They showed him over the boat; and he was greatly pleased with the
craft, and with the excellent accommodations for sleeping, eating, and
making the voyagers generally comfortable. They came to the ice-chest,
in which two of the choice fish still remained; and Scott presented one
of them to their guest.

"We intend to sail for Point Cambodia to-morrow to rejoin our ship,"
said the captain of the Blanchita, after the fish had been sent on
board.

"In this little tub of yours?" asked the commander of the Delhi with a
smile of incredulity.

"Is this part of the China Sea subject to violent seas?"

"Not at just this season of the year. With the south-west monsoons smart
squalls come up sometimes, but they are not very bad. I don't think you
will find it any rougher than we had it outside the river to-day on your
passage to the Point," replied Captain Rayburn, who stated then that he
had seen the Guardian-Mother when she was at Calcutta.

"You are bound to Saigon, I think you said."

"To Saigon, but a portion of my cargo goes to Kampot. If I found a
sailing-vessel here that was going up the Gulf of Siam, I was ordered to
reship my freight for Kampot in her; if not, I was to take it there in
the Delhi. I find no such vessel here."

"Then you will make your course direct for Point Cambodia, Captain
Rayburn?" said Scott.

"Precisely so; and if you can keep up with my steamer, we need not part
company on the voyage."

"I think we can keep up with you," replied the captain of the Blanchita
with a smile.

The party went on shore again, and arrangements were made for taking in
a supply of coal early the next morning. Everything on board of the
yacht had been stowed very carefully on the passage from Simujan, in
order to make all the room possible for coal; but the boat could carry a
supply for four days, and Scott was not at all afraid that he should
come short of this needed article. Pitts purchased all the provisions
and stores needed for the voyage.

After dinner the four paid their respects to the rajah, and visited the
two officers whose acquaintance they had made. They were heartily
thanked for the welcome gift of the fish, which the officers declared
were a great luxury; and Governor Brooke said that he should make a trip
to the lake where they were caught, in the government steam-yacht. These
gentlemen thought the young men were rather venturesome to undertake the
voyage before them in so small a craft; but the best wishes of all of
them went with the party.

At daylight in the morning the coaling was begun; the provisions and
stores were all looked over, and all deficiencies were supplied. By nine
o'clock everything was in readiness for sailing. Captain Rayburn sent
word that the Delhi would sail at ten o'clock, and afterwards went on
board of the Blanchita.

"You seem to be well supplied with coal," said he, as he looked about
him.

"I think we have a five-days' supply on board," replied Scott. "As I
figure it up, we shall make the run to the Point inside of three days."

"The Delhi's time is sixty-three hours," added her commander. "If your
coal should come short, I can help you out; but I think you won't need
it."

"Thank you, Captain Rayburn; that kind offer removes the only doubt I
have in regard to the voyage," replied Captain Scott.

"The Delhi, as you have seen for yourself, is not a fast steamer; but
the only fear I have is that you will not be able to keep up with her,"
added Captain Rayburn. "I am obliged to sail in the interest of my
owners, and I must make the best time I can. The south-west monsoons
prevail at this season; and by carrying sail I may add half a knot, or
perhaps a knot, to her speed. I should be sorry to run away from you,
but I must do my duty."

"Certainly; that is understood. If you run away from me, I shall still
wish you _bon voyage_. But suppose I should run away from you?"
suggested Scott, laughing.

"You will be quite welcome to do so. The Delhi is an old steamer, and
not up to modern-built ones; but with a breeze I have made nine knots in
her."

"I shall try to keep up with you, for I should be very sorry to have to
part company with so pleasant a captain as you are."

"Thank you, Captain Scott; and if we part company on the voyage, I hope
we shall meet again. I am liable to be detained some time in Saigon; for
mine is a tramp steamer, and I have to look up a cargo for some port,"
said Captain Rayburn, as he shook hands with the four, and went into his
boat alongside.

The first thing Scott did was to look up the mast and sail of the
Blanchita. It had not been covered up with coal, as he had feared; for
Clingman had suspended it inboard under the rail. The sail had been
stowed away in the bow of the boat, and it was brought out and
overhauled. It was nearly new, and needed no repairs. It was a
lug-foresail, with a gaff, but no boom. It was stepped just abaft the
galley, and the sail could be set in two or three minutes when it was
required.

The statement of the captain of the Delhi that he could gain a knot or
less in a good breeze had stimulated Scott to be ready for such an
emergency. The wind would be on the port quarter during the whole
voyage, and the sail would certainly add something to the speed of the
yacht. In the crowd that collected at the government storehouse were the
rajah and most of the officers of the place. The handshaking was all
done over again, and pleasant wishes were extended to the "Big Four" as
the Blanchita cast off her fasts.

The Delhi was already under way, and going at full speed down the river.
Clingman was at the wheel, and Scott went aft to the engine-room, as it
was called, though there was no such room, and the word applied simply
to the locality; and the same was true of the galley. The boat had been
delayed a little while the party were making and receiving the parting
salutations of their friends, and the Delhi had a lead of nearly half a
mile.

"Give her a spurt, Felipe," said the captain. "I want to know if that
craft has the ability to run away from us."

The engineer threw more coal into the furnace; and in a few minutes he
"let her out," as the captain called it. It was very soon perceived that
the yacht was gaining on the old steamer, and Scott became
correspondingly happy. She was farther down in the water than usual on
account of the extra quantity of coal in her bunkers, and all along her
sides, to trim her properly.

"I don't believe the Delhi will run away from us, Louis," said the
captain as the millionaire joined him, curious to know what he was
doing. "She isn't loaded for her best sailing, but she is doing
first-rate for her present trim."

"This is smooth water, Captain; what will she do when we get out to
sea?" asked Louis.

"We had a chance to try her yesterday in more than half a gale, and she
behaved like a lady on a dancing-floor."

"But she was not loaded down with coal then as she is now."

"The extra weight will not disturb her; on the contrary, I think it will
make her steadier."

"I talked with the rajah on board, who has used her for over a year, and
has made a trip to Rangoon in her. He said she was usually run at eight
knots an hour; but on his return voyage, when he was in a hurry, she
made nine knots for twelve hours together," Louis explained.

"That is all I want of her; but I shall not drive her up to that unless
the Delhi is likely to run away from us; and not then till after I have
added the sail to our power of locomotion. We are coming up with her
now, and probably Captain Rayburn's fears that his steamer may run away
from us are beginning to abate," said the captain, rubbing his hands in
his delight at the performance of the Blanchita.

Rather for the occupation it gave him, Scott took the wheel himself,
directing Clingman to call the men, and remove the stanchions and
connecting-rods on the starboard side of the boat from the galley to the
length of the mast aft, so that the sail might not be obstructed when it
was set.

Then, while the Blanchita was still making her nine knots, he ran her
alongside the Delhi on the port side, keeping at a safe distance from
her. Then he called to Felipe to reduce the speed to eight knots. He had
gained nearly half a mile in going half-way down the river to the sea;
and this fully satisfied him.

"Bully for you, Captain!" shouted Captain Rayburn from the quarter-deck
of his steamer.

"I won't run away from you!" returned Scott, as the noise of escaping
steam when the engineer reduced the speed must have reached his ears.

"Wait till we get out to sea!" called the captain of the Delhi.

"All right."

The two craft kept abreast of each other till they had passed the
mountain at the mouth of the river. The captain laid the course
north-west half-west; and this was to be the course for half the
distance to Point Cambodia, as he remarked to Louis, who was at his side
observing the progress of the yacht.

"How do you spell that word, Captain Scott?" asked Louis.

"Just as I spelled it when I went to school, and it is so put down on my
chart; but I noticed in Black's "Atlas" that it was spelled Camboja
instead of Cambodia," replied Scott. "I am a sailor, and I stick to the
chart."

"I see that Captain Rayburn has laid his course; how does it agree with
yours, Captain?" inquired Louis, when they were a mile off the mountain.

"I should say that it was identically the same. I will hail him."

"North-west half-west," was the answer returned by the captain of the
Delhi.

"I make it the same," replied Scott.

The cabin party were summoned to dinner at this time, and Clingman was
called to the wheel.

"What's the bill of fare to-day?" asked Scott as he took his seat at the
table.

"Baked fish and roast venison," replied Pitts, "with plum-duff."

"Very good," returned the captain. "We don't get so much breeze off here
as we did yesterday, Louis."

"It does not look at all rough off at sea," added the captain. "But when
we get Cape Datu on the beam, we may feel it more."

The Delhi had not yet set her foresail, for she was schooner-rigged, and
there was not wind enough to help her much; all the rest of the day the
two craft kept abreast of each other, as they had in coming down the
river. After supper the watches were arranged for the night. The
captain, with Clingman and Lane, had the first, or starboard watch,
while Morris, the mate, had the port watch, with Wales and Clinch.

Louis and Felix were appointed second engineers, as the seamen on board
relieved them from duty as deck-hands; and the three in that department
were to keep four-hour watches, like the officers and seamen. Achang
wanted something to do; and he was given the berth of second mate, and
as such he served in charge of the captain's watch.



CHAPTER XVI

AN EXCITING RACE IN THE CHINA SEA


Everything worked as smoothly on board of the Blanchita as though she
had been in commission for years, for there was not a green hand in the
cabin or forecastle. The experience obtained by the "Four" in the Maud
had made them proficients in the duties of their present positions.
Louis and Felix were not trained engineers or machinists; though they
were familiar with the machine, which was of very simple construction.
Both of them were competent to run the engine, and had served their
watches in the Maud. If there was any trouble, the chief engineer was
close at hand.

From eight to twelve it was the captain's watch. Achang, who had been
the master of a vessel, had been regularly installed as second mate, and
was in charge of this watch; though Scott remained on deck all the time,
for he was anxious to observe the movements of the Delhi. Clingman and
Lane had their two-hour tricks at the wheel, and there was no hard work
for anybody.

The breeze was good, though not heavy from the south-west; but the Delhi
had not yet set a sail. The Blanchita passed Cape Datu at ten in the
evening, and the second mate made a note of it on the log-slate. Both
craft were still making their eight knots, and remained abreast of each
other. The wind increased slightly in force, but the conditions were
about the same all night. At twelve the watch was changed, and Morris
came on duty, with Louis in the engine-room. The captain turned in at
this time.

At three in the morning the yacht was off the island of Sirhassen, of
which a note was made on the log-slate. Morris had studied the chart
enough to enable him to recognize the island, distant as it was, at six
bells, or three o'clock in the morning. Of course he could not identify
it by its looks, never having seen it before; but the captain had given
him the distances between the islands on the course. Sirhassen was forty
sea miles from Cape Datu, or five hours as the yacht was running; and
when land was reported on the beam, bearing about west, he knew what it
was. The chart gave the island as one of considerable size compared with
the multitude of small ones in that locality; and this indication
afforded him a further clew to the identification.

At eight bells, or four o'clock, the morning watch came on duty, with
Achang as its officer. Captain Scott did not turn out when the second
mate was called, with Felix to take his place at the engine, and it was
six o'clock when he made his appearance. Except when there is only one
mate, as in small vessels, the captain keeps no watch; but he is liable
to be called at any hour of the night in case of a squall or other
peril. His responsibility may induce him to spend the entire night on
deck.

When he came out of the cabin, his first care was to observe the signs
which indicate the coming weather. Then he went to the wheel, and read
the entries made on the log-slate. The sea was about the same as it had
been when he left the deck. He had looked at the barometer before he
left the cabin. There were no signs of bad weather in any direction.

"What do you think of the weather, Mr. Achang?" he asked of the officer
of the deck.

"It will be fine, Captain," replied the second mate. "I have come all
the way from Banjermassin to Calcutta with the weather just like this
always; but I think we have more wind when the sun come up."

"We can stand more than we have now," added Scott.

"Some of the young gentlemen fear to go to sea in open boat like this
yacht; but the dhows and the proas have not much decks," said the
Bornean.

"Then you think we shall have weather like this all the way to Point
Cambodia?"

"May blow a little more hard some time."

The sun was coming up in the east, and in the course of half an hour
Achang's prophecy of more wind was realized. It freshened rapidly for a
short time; but it did not come in flaws or squalls, and was a steady
breeze. A table had been set up in the fore cabin; and at half-past
seven, or seven bells, which is the usual hour for breakfast at sea,
the meal was served to the watch below.

"Land on the port bow, sir!" reported Clingman, who was the lookout man,
just before eight bells.

"That is Subi," said Achang, looking at the paper Morris had given him
when the watch was changed.

"That's right, Mr. Achang," added the captain. "I see the Delhi is
setting her foresail, and that means wind enough to add something to her
eight knots an hour."

Lane at the wheel struck eight bells a few minutes later; and the
officer and engineer of the port watch came promptly on deck from the
cabin, as did the seamen from the fore cabin. Breakfast had been served
at both ends of the yacht to the watch below, so that they were in
readiness to come on duty at the striking of the bell. Breakfast was
ready for those who came off watch as soon as they were relieved.

Pitts had his hands more than full in supplying the two tables, but he
was assisted by the idlers about the boat. The seamen were served as on
board of the Guardian-Mother, where they had a table and a regular meal.
On ordinary sea-going vessels the men get their "grub" at the galley in
tins, or kids, and eat it seated on the deck, or where they choose.

Captain Scott had graciously ordained, as there was nothing to be done
outside of the working of the yacht, that "watch and watch" should be
the rule on board; which means that the hands shall have all their time
to themselves when not on watch, though they were to respond when all
hands were called.

"The Delhi means to run away from us, I suppose, for she has put on all
sail," said Louis as he came on deck when he had finished his breakfast.

"But I don't believe she will do it," replied the captain. "We have a
sail; but I am waiting to see what she can do under her present
conditions, and I have told Felipe to hurry her up a little, just enough
to keep up with our consort."

"She is gaining on us a little," added Louis.

"I see she is; but the engineer has thrown another shovelful of coal
into the furnace, and I wish to see the effect it will produce. He has
opened his valve a little, but he has not steam enough yet."

But it was soon evident to all who understood the matter that the
Blanchita was gaining on her consort. It was plain, too, that Captain
Rayburn had noticed the fact, for his crew were setting the
gaff-topsails on the fore and main masts. Something of the enthusiasm of
a race was aroused on board. Felipe had worked up his machine to the
nine-knot gauge; and in spite of the added sail on the Delhi, the boat
was overhauling her.

"I think that Captain Rayburn must be recalling his talk to us at
Sarawak about running away from us," said Louis. "What is he doing now,
Captain Scott?"

"He appears to be hoisting a yard on his foremast," replied Scott.

"What is that for?"

"If you watch the steamer for a little while longer, you will see him
shake out a fore squaresail, and that will be the sharpest move he has
made yet. Morris, have the mast stepped, and set the sail," continued
the captain.

Clinch was at the wheel; and Clingman was called upon to do the work,
with the assistance of the other two hands. The great squaresail of the
Delhi had been shaken out, and it was drawing for all it was worth. The
effect was simply to prevent the Blanchita from passing her, as she
would have done in a few minutes more. The enthusiasm of a race was
fully developed on board the yacht, among the seamen as well as the
cabin party. Clingman and the others had worked very lively, and in a
few minutes the sail was set. The captain gave the orders for trimming
it; and as soon as the sheet was made fast the yacht heeled over till
her rail was nearly down to the water.

"Our sail is a big one," said Scott, who saw it spread out for the first
time; "and if we desire to run away from the Delhi, I am satisfied that
we could do it."

The boat dashed the spray at her bow, and proved to be very wet in the
fore cabin. The captain ordered the curtains to be hauled down to keep
the water out, and the forward part of the craft was then as dry as it
had been on the river.

Scott was not quite satisfied with the steering under the altered
conditions, and he went to the wheel himself. He was a very skilful
boatman in a sailing-craft, as had been fully proved by his bringing his
yacht, the Seahound, from New York through the Bahama Islands. The
seaman was inclined to follow the compass too closely, while Scott
regarded the effect of the sail.

"We are gaining on the Delhi," said Louis, as he seated himself near the
captain.

"Of course we are; I knew she would do it with the sail in this wind,"
replied Scott. "The Blanchita is a light craft, and skims over the water
like a racer."

"But it is a little too much sail for her," suggested Louis. "She is
taking in a bucket of water over her lee rail once in a while."

"Try the pump, Lane," added the captain. "I don't believe she has
shipped more than a teaspoonful or two."

"We are pretty well down in the water," added Louis.

"Clingman, let off about six inches of the sheet," continued Scott; and
the order was promptly obeyed. "I think you are getting a little
nervous, my dear fellow," he added to Louis.

"Perhaps I am; I should not like to see the yacht heel over and take in
a couple of hogsheads of water, for she is loaded so heavily with coal
that she would go to the bottom."

"But I should not let her ship such a sea as that. The wind is quite
steady, with no heavy flaws, and the boat is under perfect control. I
should like it better to sail the Blanchita with less cargo in her, but
she is doing splendidly."

"But a flaw might come, even if we have had none to-day; what could you
do in that case?" asked Louis.

"Clingman, stand by the sheet!" called the captain.

The seaman was seated on a box not more than three feet from the cleat
at which the sheet was made fast. He took his place within reach of it.

"Now she heels over again!" exclaimed Louis, as the water came quite up
to the rail, though she took none in.

"Cast off the sheet, Clingman!" called the captain; and the order was
obeyed in an instant.

The boat flew up to an even keel almost as though she had been hoisted
up by some giant power.

"That is how I should keep her from shipping a big sea," said Scott, as
he looked at his companion with a smile on his brown face.

"I give it up, Captain Scott. Of course you know what you are about
every time, and I won't say a word again about the boat. But suppose you
were not looking when the flaw came?"

"It is not necessary to be looking; for a skipper steers more by the
feeling of the boat than by sight. Make fast the sheet, Clingman."

The Blanchita went ahead again; and by this time she was abreast of the
Delhi, and gaining upon her. Captain Rayburn was on his quarter-deck.

"Don't run away from me, and I won't run away from you!" he shouted.

But he had hardly spoken before a noise like the distant report of a
cannon was heard on board of the yacht.

"He has split his fore squaresail; and if his game was not up before, it
is now," said Captain Scott. "The sail was old and rotten, and I don't
believe he would have attempted to carry it except on an occasion like
the present."

"He was a little too pronounced when he expressed his fears that the
Blanchita would not be able to keep up with him, and I fancy he is sorry
he said anything about it by this time," added Louis.

The split sail could not be repaired at once; and if it could it was not
strong enough to be of any use in the fresh breeze. The crew took it in
at once, the yard being lowered to enable them to do so. The captain of
the yacht ordered the engineer to reduce his speed to the ordinary rate,
though the sail was not furled. Between the steam and the wind the
Blanchita ran ahead of the Delhi. The sheet was slacked off as far as it
could be without permitting the sail to shake, and the two craft kept
well together the rest of the day, passing Great Natuna Island at four
in the afternoon.

The captain took the sun at noon, and worked up the position of the
boat. The run from the mouth of the Sarawak at that time was two hundred
and four sea miles.



CHAPTER XVII

THE END OF THE VOYAGE TO BANGKOK


The routine of daily duty on board of the Blanchita has been given; and
after the race in the China Sea had proved that she could run away from
the Delhi, there was no further excitement on the voyage. On the
contrary, it was rather monotonous, and there were no incidents worthy
of record. After passing Great Natuna on the afternoon of the second day
from the mouth of the Sarawak, no land was seen again till the island of
Pulo Obi, about twenty miles south-west of Point Cambodia, was seen on
the third day; and the Point on the mainland was passed a little later.

At noon on this day the two vessels were forty-four miles up the Gulf of
Siam. The prophecies of Captain Rayburn and Achang in regard to the
weather proved to be correct. The monsoon blew steadily all the way, and
the yacht carried her sail. Not even a squall disturbed the serenity of
the voyage, and everything went on as during the first and second days.
The "Four" would have been glad to explore the Great Natuna Island, and
determine whether or not it was inhabited; for they could obtain no
information in regard to it from any of the books they had brought from
the ship, and they forgot to inquire about it at Kuching.

At noon on the third day, in the Gulf, the captain of the Delhi hailed
the yacht, and came on board of her.

"I shall have to bear more to the eastward now, Captain Scott, and we
shall soon part company," said the commander of the Delhi. "We had quite
a lively race on our second day out, and you beat me handsomely. I had
no idea that your yacht could sail so fast. I was afraid you could not
keep up with me; but I found that you could run away from me, as you
suggested before we sailed."

"I did not know myself what speed the Blanchita could make, though I was
informed that she had gone nine knots for twelve hours together,"
replied Scott.

"I am very glad that I met you, and I hope I shall see you again. You
have a very agreeable party, and I should think you might enjoy
yourselves."

"I think we are likely to meet again at Saigon. The Guardian-Mother will
be there, and I hope you will come on board of her," replied Captain
Scott, as they shook hands at parting, and the visitor returned to the
Delhi.

The Blanchita started her screw again; and the captain gave out
north-west as the course for the mouth of the Menan River, on which
Bangkok is situated.

"Where do you expect to find the Guardian-Mother, Captain Scott?" asked
Louis.

"At Bangkok," replied the captain, as he took his memorandum-book from
his pocket. "Captain Ringgold gave me his time for leaving there, and
also of sailing from Saigon."

"When was he to leave the capital of Siam?"

"On the first tide Monday morning. This is Saturday, a little after
noon," replied Scott. "We have three hundred and twenty-five miles to
make. The monsoon is about as fresh here as it has been all the voyage;
and we have used up about half of our coal, so that we are considerably
lighter than when we left Kuching, and with the sail we can easily log
nine knots an hour. We shall go into the Menan River before sundown
to-morrow, and it will take two or three hours to go up to the city. We
shall be alongside the ship some time in the evening; and that is just
the time I should like to be there."

"We shall give our friends a tremendous surprise," added Louis.

"That is so; for while your anxious mamma is worrying for fear you have
been chewed up by an orang-outang, and Flix's grandma is dreaming that
he has been swallowed whole by a big boa-constrictor, we shall drop in
on them while they are singing gospel hymns in the music-room."

"I shall be sorry to disappoint grandma; but if she insists upon
dreaming such nonsense, it is not my fault," added Felix. "She ought to
know by this time that snakes don't swallow me till they get a bullet
through their heads."

"I don't think my mother has been greatly worried about me, for she has
learned that I am able to take care of myself," said Louis.

"But the mothers will hug their boys as soon as they get hold of them."

"I wish the hugging might be confined to the mothers, for it is
perfectly proper for them to do that thing; but when it comes to a
grandma who hasn't a drop of Irish blood in her veins, I beg to be
excused, and, what is more, I won't stand it," protested Felix, making a
very comical face.

"But you can't help yourself, Flix," laughed the captain.

"You see if I don't!" replied the Milesian, shaking his head as though
his plan to avoid the endearing reception had already been formed.

"We shall see what we shall see," added the captain. "It seems to me
that the breeze is stronger here than it was out at sea."

"There is a hot country to the east of us, and perhaps the wind is
hurrying up to fill a partial vacuum there," suggested Louis.

"You are a philosopher, my darling Louis, and that must be the reason,"
added Felix.

The Blanchita seemed to be flying through the water, for her speed had
sensibly increased since she came into the Gulf. There were several
large islands along the coast of Cambodia; but the course was fifty
miles outside of the mainland, which could not be seen.

"Why do you keep so far from the shore, Captain Scott?" asked Louis; for
all the party would have been glad to observe the shore.

"Because we all wish to get to Bangkok to-morrow evening. What is the
shortest way between two points, Louis?"

"A straight line, of course."

"That's the reason we keep her so far from the land. A north-west course
from a point outside of Obi Island to Cape Liant takes the yacht on the
course we are running now."

"That explains it all," replied Louis.

The watches were regularly kept, and the captain was satisfied that the
Blanchita was making over nine knots an hour. There was no excitement of
any kind on board, and the rest of the day was without anything worthy
of note. The Delhi had gone in behind an island, and in a few hours she
was no longer to be seen. And so it was all day Sunday. Cape Liant was
passed about one o'clock. A river pilot was taken about five o'clock. He
could not speak English, but Achang spoke to him in Malay.

"Ask him if the Guardian-Mother is in the river, Achang," said the
captain.

The pilot could not make out the name, and the interpreter described the
ship so that he understood him at last. The face of the Siamese lighted
up when he got the idea, and it was seen by the four that the ship was
there. Achang informed them that the Guardian-Mother was anchored in the
river.

The river was full of boats, and on many of them houses were built. The
people were new to the Americans, though they were not very different to
the ordinary observer from the Burmese and other natives they had seen.
Before the yacht was half-way up to the city, it was too dark to see
anything distinctly, and the party were more interested in the expected
surprise of their friends on board the ship than anything else.

When the yacht was within a short distance of the ship, the pilot
pointed her out. The singing in the music-room could be distinctly
heard, and everything was working precisely as Scott had said it would.
At the gangway the barge of the Blanche was made fast; and it was
evident that General Noury and his wife were on board, and perhaps
Captain Sharp and his lady. The boat was worked very carefully and
noiselessly up to the platform of the gangway, where several sailors
were seated.

"The Blanchita!" exclaimed Quartermaster Bangs, as he recognized the
craft. "Captain Scott! I will inform the captain that you are
alongside."

"Don't do anything of the kind, Bangs!" replied Scott. "Don't say a
word, and don't make any noise, any of you. We want to drop in on the
party without any notice."

The quartermaster was a very intelligent fellow, and he took in the
situation at a glance. The "Big Four" stepped lightly on the platform,
and Felix had taken pains to be the last one to mount the gangway. Scott
led the way, and halted at the door of the music-room. He waited there
till the hymn they were singing was finished, and then threw open the
door, and marched in. He took off his cap, and bowed as gracefully as a
dancing-master to the assembly.

Louis and Morris followed him, and imitated the example he had given
them; but Felix had disappeared, and they did not know what had become
of him. The musical party seemed to be so utterly confounded at the
sudden and unexpected appearance of the hunters from Borneo that they
seemed to be struck dumb with amazement.

"Louis, my son!" Mrs. Belgrave screamed as she rushed upon her boy, and
folded him in her arms, kissing him as though he had come back to her
from a tomb or a grave beneath the ocean.

"Morris!" cried Mrs. Woolridge, as she imitated the example of Mrs.
Belgrave.

"My brother!" exclaimed Miss Blanche, as she divided the neck and arms
of the returned hunter with her mother.

"This is somewhat unexpected, Captain Scott," said Captain Ringgold, as
he came forward, and took the hand of the captain of the Blanchita, who
alone of the trio was not in the arms of a mother.

"I should say that it might be, Captain," replied Scott as coolly as
though the meeting was nothing unusual.

"But how under the sun did you get here, Scott?" demanded the commander,
scrutinizing the expression of the third officer,--which was his rank on
board of the ship,--to ascertain if there were any signs of a calamity
there.

"We came by water, Captain," answered the young officer, with a cheerful
smile, which indicated anything but a disaster.

"Of course you did, inasmuch as there is no other way to get here. In
what steamer did you come? for I believe there is no regular line from
Sarawak to Bangkok," added Captain Ringgold.

"We came by the steamer Blanchita."

"I don't understand it at all," said the commander with a perplexed look
on his face. "Do you mean that you made the voyage in the steam-yacht,
Mr. Scott?" and there was a decided expression of incredulity on his
face.

"That is exactly what I mean to assert; and if you have any doubts about
the truth of what I say, I appeal to Louis and Morris to substantiate my
assertion."

"If you really say so, I do not doubt the truth of what you declare. It
looks like a foolhardy risk, but boys will be boys. I will not detain
you now; for others wish to welcome you back, and I know they are all
glad to see you, unexpected as your return is."

[Illustration: "BUT WHERE IS FELIX?" DEMANDED MRS. BLOSSOM.

_Page 161._]

As soon as his mother released him from the bondage of her loving arms,
Louis hastened to Miss Blanche, and she grasped his hand as he
approached. No loving expressions passed between them, but what they
might have said that could be classed under this head was seen on their
telltale faces.

"But where is Felix?" demanded Mrs. Blossom, who had been looking for
him since Scott came into the room. "Where is he, Mr. Scott?"

"I am sorry to say that he was swallowed by a big boa-constrictor one
hundred and sixty feet long, and twelve feet in circumference," replied
the captain of the Blanchita, as seriously as though there had been such
a monster snake in existence.

The poor lady was impervious to a joke; she screamed once, and then
dropped in a sitting posture on a divan. Nearly all the rest of the
party laughed heartily. At this point the head of Felix dropped down a
foot through the skylight over the centre of the room. He had made his
way to the upper deck, and stationed himself where he could see and hear
all that passed in the apartment.

"Good-mahrnin' to ye's all this foine avenin'!" he shouted. "Don't ye's
make a row, Aunty. The schnake was a bit troubled wid indigestion of the
brain, and, faix! I was too much for him! Loike the sodjers surrounded
by the inimy, Oi cut me way out, and here Oi am."

"I don't believe you were swallowed by a snake," protested Mrs.
Blossom.

"Don't you believe that Jonah swallowed the whale, Aunty?" demanded
Felix.

"Of course I believe that because it is in the Bible. If you had told me
that you had swallowed the snake, I might have believed that," added the
good lady.

At this point General Noury came forward, and grasped the hand of Scott,
passing from him to Louis and Morris, and then doing the same with
Felix, who had dropped down from his perch at the skylight. As soon as
Mrs. Blossom saw him on the floor, she rushed towards him with outspread
arms; but the Milesian warded off the assault, and took her right hand.

"Don't hug me, Aunty, for the snake swallowed me clothes and all, and
you may get some of the poison on you," said he.

For some time longer there was a general handshaking, and Louis was
kissed by the Princess Zuleima.



CHAPTER XVIII

LOUIS'S DOUBLE-DINNER ARGUMENT


After the welcome of the Bornean hunters had spent itself in kissing and
handshaking, the question came up as to why the "Big Four" had abandoned
their explorations after one week in the island instead of three, the
time arranged for them to remain there; and they had fixed the time
themselves.

"I thought three weeks was a rather long time for you to be in the
island," said Captain Ringgold after the question had been opened for
discussion.

"We fixed the time before we knew anything about the island," replied
Louis. "But I want to say, in order to counteract the impression which
appears to prevail in this company, that our trip was not a failure; for
we had a fine time, and enjoyed our trips on the rivers."

"If you had a good time, why did you cut it short by two-thirds of the
period allotted to the excursions?" asked Uncle Moses.

"We went up the Sarawak, the Sadong, and the Simujan, up the last to the
mountains, passing through Lake Padang, and we have shot an
orang-outang, and might have killed more of them, to say nothing of
other game," replied Louis, whom Scott had requested to do the talking.
"We visited three Dyak villages, sailed the Blanchita through a forest,
and killed a good many crocodiles."

"You seem to have had sport enough," added Uncle Moses. "Why did you
give it up in the cream of the thing?"

"I believe you like a good dinner, Uncle Moses; such a dinner as you
always have on board of the Guardian-Mother," continued Louis, who was
evidently pluming himself to make a point.

"I do like a good dinner, and enjoy one very much," replied the worthy
trustee of the young millionaire. "But I doubt if I am any more devoted
to such a banquet as we get every day than my beloved friend, Brother
Adipose Tissue, and all the rest of the voyagers all over the world."

"I plead guilty to the charge of Brother Avoirdupois; and I acknowledge
myself to be a worshipper at the shrine of Mr. Melancthon Sage, and I
invoke a blessing upon the head of Monsieur Odervie, the chief cook. Our
life on the ocean wave is a constant promotive of the appetite. If the
proof of the pudding is not in the eating of the bag, it is in the
eating of the dinners; and I think we pay an abundant tribute to the
talent of Mr. Sage, the prince of stewards, in the quantity of the
well-cooked food he causes to be placed before us."

"We get through dinner about seven o'clock. I see that the accomplished
chief steward is standing at the door," continued Louis. "Now, Mr.
Sage, would it be possible and convenient for you to have another
dinner on the table, say at eight o'clock, an hour after the first feast
had been finished?"

"Quite possible, and even convenient; the only persons to complain of
such an arrangement would be the cooks and stewards," replied Mr. Sage.

"Captain Ringgold, might I so far presume upon any influence I may have
with you as the owner of the Guardian-Mother to request you to order a
second dinner to be served at eight in the evening, beginning, say, with
to-morrow evening?" asked the young millionaire, looking as serious as
though he was about to preach a sermon, though the party were generally
laughing.

"As I have always told you, I take my orders from the owner; and if you
desire such a dinner, I shall certainly give Mr. Sage an order to that
effect," replied the commander.

"But who is to eat the dinner after it is provided, an hour after the
passengers have gorged themselves at the table?" demanded Dr. Hawkes.
"Is this a conspiracy to make more work for the surgeon?"

"Not at all," protested Louis. "It is to give the gentlemen who question
so closely an opportunity to have an abundance of a good thing."

"But we could not eat the dinner," said Uncle Moses. "We are not hogs."

"Oh, you are not!" chuckled the owner.

"But what has all this to do with hunting and exploring in Borneo?"
inquired Mr. Woolridge.

"Well, sir, after we had taken a full dinner in Borneo, Uncle Moses and
the commander ask us why we did not eat another dinner immediately on
the top of it, as I observe that they are not disposed to do on board of
the ship," returned Louis.

Some of the party had penetrated to the conclusion of Louis's argument,
but most of them did not see the point of his illustration till he made
his last remark; then Mr. Woolridge began to clap his hands, and the
whole company applauded vigorously.

"I suppose the interpretation of the whole matter is, that the hunters
in Borneo were gorged with hunting," said Captain Ringgold; "and that
when they stipulated for three weeks of the sport, they overdid the
matter."

"That was precisely the situation, Mr. Commander; and if you had been
with us on the waters of Padang Lake, you could not have defined it
better," replied Louis.

"But it is almost incredible that a quartet of such Nimrods should have
become disgusted with their favorite sport in a single week," added
Captain Ringgold.

"We are not hogs, as Uncle Moses gently suggested, and we could not eat
a second dinner on top of the first so soon. If we had gone to Borneo a
second time, after a reasonable interval, I am confident we should have
enjoyed a second week of hunting, even along the muddy rivers and
inundated jungles," Louis explained.

"In other words, you bit off a bigger mouthful than you could swallow,"
said the commander with a hearty laugh; for he had predicted that three
weeks of hunting at one time was too much. "But we understand the
situation now up to the time of the departure of the Nimrods from their
happy hunting-ground. It was a rather daring enterprise to make a voyage
of nine hundred miles in an open boat; and I should like to ask who was
the originator of the idea."

"If there is any blame for this trip, we were all in the same boat, and
we share the responsibility," answered Louis. "Captain Achang Bakir was
with us; and he has sailed in all the seas of the Archipelago in an open
boat, and we had his advice. Then we sailed all the way to the entrance
of the Gulf of Siam in company with the steamer Delhi, whose captain
agreed to stand by us, and to supply us with coal if we came short."

"That puts a new face on the matter."

"It was in the head waters of the Simujan that the plan was discussed,
and Captain Scott was the originator of the idea," continued Louis. "I
was in favor of it first because it would save the Guardian-Mother the
voyage from Saigon back to Kuching, about a thousand miles."

"Where is Kuching?" asked Dr. Hawkes.

"It is the native name for Sarawak."

"I am heartily glad you have come to us, Louis, for the reason you have
given," added the commander.

"How did the steam-yacht work, Mr. Belgrave?" asked the rajah.

"Exceedingly well, sir; nothing could have done any better; but Mr.
Scott can answer you better than I can, sir."

The third officer of the ship, late captain of the Blanchita, described
the working of the yacht, and gave her liberal praise. He related in
what manner she had beaten the Delhi in the race, and that he had
carried sail all the way nearly from the start. He gave the party the
routine of the boat,--how they had taken their meals, and how they had
slept on board.

"But I think it is time for us to return to the Blanche," interposed
Captain Sharp, as the clock struck eleven.

"I must make an announcement before you go," said Captain Ringgold. "We
shall not be able to sail for Saigon to-morrow morning, as arranged
before. We have to clean the Blanchita in the morning, and she has to be
put on the upper deck of the Blanche. As the Nimrods have come to
Bangkok, I wish to give them a day on shore to see the temples, and call
on the king if they are so disposed. We will sail on Tuesday morning on
the early tide."

"But we have not had any account of the adventures of the Nimrods in
Borneo," suggested Uncle Moses.

"We shall do so at eight o'clock in the morning; and you will all
assemble for the purpose at that time. The lecture on Siam and Cambodia
has been postponed till all hands could hear it; and if General Noury
is ready, that shall follow the adventures," replied the captain.

"I will be here at the time stated, for we all desire to know what the
Nimrods have been doing," replied the general, as the party from the
Blanche retired from the music-room.

The rest of the company went to their staterooms, while the commander
gave his orders for the work of the morning. All hands were called at
daylight; and the young adventurers shook hands with the officers they
found on deck, and spoke a pleasant word to the seamen on duty. The
latter were hoisting the coal, provisions, and stores of the Blanchita
on board of the ship; and by breakfast-time the yacht was as clean as a
Dutch chamber.

At the appointed time the company, including the party from the Blanche,
were seated in the arm-chairs of Conference Hall; and Louis went through
his narrative of the adventures of the Nimrods in Borneo. During the
morning, Achang had placed the stuffed orang-outang on a shelf the
carpenter had erected at the head of the platform, with the proboscis
monkey on one side, and the argus-pheasant on the other. The Bornean had
had some experience as a taxidermist, and Dr. Hawkes declared that he
had done his work well.

Louis explained these specimens, and gave the measurements of the orang.
The proboscis monkey and the bird were also described. When he said he
had not been disposed to shoot monkeys and other harmless animals for
the fun of it, the audience applauded. He had killed a specimen of
several animals, and several pigs, deer, and one bear, most of the
latter for food. The cook had packed the last of the fish in the ice, so
that it had kept well, and it had been served for breakfast that
morning. Everybody had praised it. The surgeon called it the gourami,
and said that some successful attempts had been made to introduce the
fish in American waters.

The audience laughed heartily when Louis related in what manner they had
killed and sold one hundred and eight feet of crocodile for about forty
dollars. He told what he had learned about the Dyaks, and described the
long-house they had visited, and the head-house, and gave the story in
full of Rajah Brooke, and their visits to his nephew and successor, the
present rajah. He might have gone on with his narrative till lunch-time
if he had not known that General Noury was waiting for him to finish his
account.

"Did you see the Dyak women, Louis?" asked his mother.

"Plenty of them. The older ones reminded me of the French women; for
when they begin to grow old, they wrinkle and dry up. The morality of
the Dyaks is much higher in tone, even among the laboring-classes, men
and women, than in civilized countries. They are all honest; and they
steal nothing, even in Kuching, though the Malays and Chinamen do it for
them."

"Were the young women pretty, Mr. Belgrave?" inquired Mrs. Woolridge.

"To a Dyak gentleman I suppose they are; but I was not fascinated with
them, though I saw some on the Simujan who were not bad looking. The
prettiest one I saw was at a village near the mountains. But the general
is waiting for me to finish, and I must answer no more questions at
present," replied the speaker, as he bowed, and hastened from the
rostrum.

Then it was found that Mr. Gaskette had not hung up the map of Cochin
China, for Achang and the carpenter had taken up the space before
appropriated to it. Mr. Stevens, the carpenter, suggested a way to get
over the difficulty; but it would take him half an hour to put up a
frame in front of the orang.

"I shall not be able to get half through Cochin China before
lunch-time," said General Noury, consulting his watch.

"I am afraid your audience will be scatterbrained, General, there is so
much going on about the decks. Perhaps we had better postpone the
lecture till after we have sailed to-morrow morning, especially as the
Nimrods will be on shore this afternoon," suggested the commander.

"I approve the suggestion; let it be adopted."

The Blanche party lunched on board, and spent the afternoon there.



CHAPTER XIX

A HASTY GLANCE AT BANGKOK


While the carpenter and the second officer were busy making a place for
the large map of Cochin China, the returned hunters from Borneo were
invited to the cabin of the commander. They were pleased with the change
of scene from the mud and water of their week in Borneo; though they
felt that they would like to go there for another week--not more than
that--at another time.

"After lunch you will visit the city of Bangkok, and spend the afternoon
there; for you ought to see the place, as you are here," said Captain
Ringgold. "It is a large city."

"How large is it, Captain?" asked Louis.

"That is more than anybody in Siam, or anywhere else, can tell you. In
these Oriental countries, when they count the people, they do not
include the females in the enumeration, so that we get but half an idea
of the whole number. Chambers puts it at 300,000; the 'Year Book' does
not give it at all; Bradshaw puts it down at 500,000; Lippincott the
same. Probably the larger number is the nearer correct, and the
authorities quoted are issued the present year."

"I see no end of Chinamen flitting about the river," said Scott.

"They compose about one-half of the population of the city; and most of
the trade of the place is in their hands, as you have found it to be,
though to a less degree, in other cities you have visited in the East.
The Celestials are taxed three dollars when they come into Siam, and pay
the same amount every three years. But there is the lunch-bell. If you
have no objection, Professor Giroud will go on shore with you."

"I should be delighted to have his company," replied Louis; and the
others said the same thing.

The conversation at the table related more to Borneo than to anything
else, and the Nimrods had all the questions they could answer put to
them; and some of the ladies wished they had remained there a few days.

"If I had supposed the Nimrods would stay there only a week, I should
have been quite willing to remain at Sarawak that time," added the
commander.

"We fixed the time at three weeks because we thought it would take you
all of that time to see Siam and Cambodia, and get back to Sarawak,"
replied Scott.

"I think it would have been delightful to sail on those rivers, and see
the uncivilized people of the island," added Mrs. Belgrave. "But I
suppose we should have been in the way of the hunters."

"Not at all, madam," answered Scott. "We had a sampan, in which we
could have done our hunting, while you were examining the long-houses
and the head-houses. I don't know but that we should have wished to
remain the whole three weeks if the ladies had been with us."

"Gallant Captain Scott!" exclaimed the lady.

"We did not go up the Rajang River as we intended, and we should have
done that if you had been with us. I am very sure the Dyak ladies would
have been delighted to see you, more than you would have been to see
them," replied Scott.

"The steam-yacht must have been very delightful on the rivers and lakes;
but the crocodiles, the snakes, and the savage orang-outangs would not
have been pleasant to us."

"But with eleven Winchester repeating-rifles ready for use, you would
have had nothing to fear."

Captain Ringgold rose from the table; and this terminated the
conversation, and the party went on deck.

"Captain Ringgold said you had offered to go on shore with us, Professor
Giroud," said Louis, as he joined the instructor. "We shall be delighted
with your company."

"Thank you, Mr. Belgrave. I have been on shore every day, with or
without the party, and have learned something about Bangkok. I may be of
service to you," replied the professor.

"I am sure you will," said Scott.

The first cutter was in the water when they reached the gangway, with
the crew in their places. They went on board, and the bowman shoved off.
Stoody, the coxswain, gave the orders, and the boat was immediately
under way. She was steered towards the shore till she came abreast of
the various craft moored there, and then headed up the river.

"Where are you going, Stoody?" asked Scott.

"Captain Ringgold told me to take the party up the river, to show them
the boats and houses," replied the coxswain.

"That is a good idea, Mr. Scott," added the professor.

"The houses here are all afloat," said Morris. "They are three or four
deep."

"Everybody is not allowed to build his house on shore; for that is a
royal privilege, doled out to a few of the highest nobility," said the
professor. "I suppose there is not room enough in the city for much
besides the palaces and the temples, but beyond its limits we shall find
plenty of land-houses."

"But I should think these floating houses would be smashed to pieces in
a heavy blow; and I see there are plenty of steamers and tugboats in the
river, which might bump against them," Morris objected.

"You see that the middle of the river is kept open, though it is very
crooked; and these things regulate themselves."

"These houses are no better than card-boxes. They seem to be built of
bamboos, with wicker-work and plants. Each of them has a veranda in
front, which is a nice place to sit and read, with a kind of ell at each
end. I think I should like to live in one of them for a week or two,"
continued Morris.

"You would not like it," said Achang, who had come with them to act as
interpreter.

"This is a walled town, with six miles of fortifications around it."

"A little less than two miles across it; and we shall not have to take
any very long walks, for I have read that carriages are seldom seen
except among the palaces, and probably belong to the nobility," said
Louis; "but we are good for six miles this afternoon."

"The river is the great thoroughfare for business and for pleasure. It
is covered with boats of all sorts and kinds. The walls of the city are
from fifteen to thirty feet high, and twelve feet thick; but I suppose
the heavy guns of modern times could knock them down in a very short
time," added the professor.

"What is that opening into the river?" asked Felix, who had kept his
tongue very quiet so far.

"That is a canal," replied Achang, as the professor did not reply. "I
have been here three times, and once I went up that canal. There are
only a few good streets in the city, and inside business is carried on
by the canals."

"As Paris is to France, and Paris is France, so Bangkok is Siam; and
that is the reason why the commander goes no farther. Now we have come
to the wall, and you can see the outside town."

"The houses here are all on stilts, as in Sumatra and Borneo," observed
Scott. "Some of them are built over the water."

"It is said here that the city suffered terribly from the ravages of
cholera; and when the king found out that the disease was caused by the
bad drainage of the houses, he ordered his people to build on the river,
where the drainage would dispose of itself," said Professor Giroud.
"This story was told me by a Frenchman here, but I cannot vouch for the
truth of the statement."

"Can you tell me, Achang, why they build their houses on piles in this
country?" asked Morris.

"Because they have waterations here."

"Have what?" demanded the questioner, while all the party laughed except
the Bornean. "I never heard of waterations before."

"When the water rise up high," Achang explained.

"Inundations, you mean."

"Yes; thunderations," added Achang.

"Inundations!" roared the Bornean's preceptor.

"That's what I say; and that's the first reason. The second is that
there are many snakes"--

"Then, it's the place for me!" exclaimed Felix.

"Many snakes and wild beasts; the stilts help to keep them out of the
house."

"But most snakes can climb trees," Scott objected.

"Fixed so that snake can't get off the post into house," the Bornean
explained.

"The little corn-houses in New England and other places are protected in
the same way from rats. Four posts are set up for it to rest on, with a
flat stone, or sometimes a large tin pan turned upside down, placed on
the post. When the building is erected with the corners on the large,
flat stone or the pans, rats or other rodents cannot get over these
obstructions, and the corn is safe from them," continued Louis,
illustrating his subject with a pencil for the post, and his hand for
the stone or the pan.

Scott, who was an officer of the ship, ordered Stoody to take the party
to the landing nearest to the Temple of Wat Chang, as the professor
requested.

"The religion of Siam, like that of Burma, is Buddhist, in whose honor
most of the temples whose spires you can see are erected," said the
professor, as he pointed to several of them.

"We don't care to see them in detail, even if we had the time,"
suggested Louis. "I know they are magnificent pieces of architecture,
and wonderful to behold; but we have had about enough of that sort of
thing."

The party landed, and walked to the temple. It looked like an
exaggerated bell, the spire being the handle, and the lower portion
looking like an enormous flight of circular stairs for the roof. It was
over two hundred feet high. Attached to it in the rear was a structure
with a pitched roof. They bought photographs of it at the stand of a
native who spoke a little French. At this point Achang procured a guide
who spoke French, and he conducted them to the Temple of the Sleeping
Idol.

"It is not much of a temple compared with the one we have just visited,"
said the professor. "We must go into it."

They entered, conducted by the guide. The building looked like three
pitched-roof structures set together, the middle one into the largest at
the bottom, and the smallest into the middle one. It contains an
enormous figure of Buddha, one hundred and sixty feet long, which about
fills the interior of the temple. It is constructed of brick, plastered
and then gilded, so that it looks like a golden statue in a reclining
posture. The feet are sixteen feet long, and the arms six feet in
diameter.

The party looked in at another temple, which contains a brass statue of
Buddha fifty feet high, with other smaller statues, and a variety of
objects that were unintelligible to the visitors. Various other temples
were examined hastily on the way to the royal palace, but they were only
a repetition of what they had often seen before.

The palace was a magnificent building, or series of buildings, for a
half-civilized country. The tourists were permitted to enter at the
gate, though the guide was excluded. They saw a squad of the royal
guards who were drilling on the pavement, and they regarded them with
great interest. They wore a Zouave uniform, though with a short
frock-coat buttoned to the chin, with round caps in cylindrical form,
and visors. They were armed with muskets, and commanded by native
officers.

"This palace is a big thing," said the professor, "and is a mile in
circumference, surrounded by walls."

It contained, besides the palace of the king, the public offices,
temples, a theatre, barracks for several thousand soldiers, and
apartments for three thousand women, six hundred of whom are the wives
of the king. But what interested them more than most of the sights was
the famous white elephant. He is said to be of equal rank with the king,
and is treated with all possible deference and respect. He has a
palatial stable; and being a king, he lives like one. His servants and
attendants are all priests. But he is not a pleasant sprig of royalty,
and the visitors were warned not to go too near him.

But it was time to return to the ship, and they found the boat in the
canal which Achang had indicated. At dinner the conversation was
concerning the city, and the party mentioned many things the Nimrods had
not seen. On Tuesday morning the ship sailed on her voyage to Saigon.



CHAPTER XX

A VIEW OF COCHIN CHINA AND SIAM


The ship sailed at six o'clock in the morning, but nearly all the
passengers were on deck as soon as the screw began to turn. They were
still in the Torrid Zone; and they saw the sun rise, though the days had
become a trifle longer. The Menam River is the great thoroughfare of
Bangkok, and the floating houses lined the river three or four deep for
a considerable distance below the city. The party found plenty of
objects to engage their attention as the steamer slowly made her way
towards the Gulf. Breakfast was served at the usual hour; and as soon as
the pilot was discharged, the company gathered at Conference Hall for
the lecture.

The siamangs and the baby were still great favorites with all on board;
and Mr. Mingo, Mrs. Mingo, and Miss Mingo, as they had been named, had
made great progress in civilization. All of them were regular attendants
at the meetings in Conference Hall, and always behaved themselves with
the greatest propriety. The mother usually occupied one of the
arm-chairs, while the baby was held in the lap of one of the ladies.
They looked at the speaker just as though they understood what he was
saying. They joined in the applause when the lecturer presented himself
before his audience with their "Ra, ra, ra!" finishing with the squeak
which was a part of their language.

General Noury took his place on the platform after he had shaken hands
with Mrs. Mingo, who gave him an encouraging smile as he mounted the
rostrum. The Sumatra lady looked at him very earnestly, and Miss Blanche
declared that she understood everything that was going on. Mrs. Noury,
the Princess Zuleima, had the baby; and the little siamang seemed to
take as much interest in the proceedings as her mother. Mr. Mingo was
not literary, and perched in the fore-rigging.

The great map seemed to have been drawn and colored with even unusual
care, perhaps because Mr. Gaskette had had more time to attend to it. It
was displayed on the new frame which the carpenter had built for it, and
included the entire peninsula east of the Burmese possessions, and south
of China and the Shan States. When the applause which greeted the
general had subsided, he directed the pointer at the map.

"Perhaps some of you will be considerably confused by the various names
of the territory we are engaged in visiting at the present time," he
began; and Mrs. Mingo gave a louder squeak than usual as a special
greeting to the distinguished gentleman. "Cochin China, I think, is the
most common name, though Indo-China is very generally used. It is also
called Farther India and Annam. Its various divisions are the Shan
States, tributary to Siam, taking their name from a race of people who
are of the same descent as the natives of China. You observe that there
are more of these states in the territory of Burma, to which they are
subject. These states tributary to Siam contain a population of about
two millions.

"Next south comes Siam proper. Lying east of the Shan States and Siam is
a territory called the Little Lao States, which are subject to the
several countries around them. On the east, bordering on the China Sea,
is Annam, a part of which is sometimes labelled Cochin China. A part of
Annam is Tonquin, in the north, next to China. What is called Cambodia,
next south of Siam, and appearing to be a part of it, is an indefinite
factor of Cochin China, and may properly enough be counted in with Siam.
What is called Independent Cambodia, if it is independent, is a
triangular country south-east of Siam. French Cochin China occupies the
most southern portion of the peninsula.

"Nearly the whole of the territory of Cochin China is under the
protection of France; and in my judgment, which you can accept for what
it is worth, the whole peninsula will eventually become French, under
whatever form it may be accomplished. Very recently the relations
between France and Siam were very much strained over a disputed boundary
question. France had ships of war at the mouth of the Menam, and sent
some of the smaller craft up the river. It looked very much like war;
but before the ships bombarded Bangkok, Siam yielded, and gave up the
portion of territory claimed; and no doubt it will be the same story
told over again from time to time, until Siam exists only as a
dependency of France.

"Though you see mountains laid down on Mr. Gaskette's map, the
elevations hardly deserve that name; for nearly the whole of Cochin
China is low ground, almost flat. The Mekhong River is the largest in
the peninsula, being 2,800 miles long. It rises in Thibet, and is
navigable only in its lower waters. On account of the low level of the
country there are many canals, or bayous as you call them in Louisiana,
which connect many of the rivers. Let us now return to Siam. By the way,
I find the latest map I have seen of this region in Chambers's,
published last year; and it is quite different from the one before you."

"But not from the one that will be before you in half a minute more,"
interposed Mr. Gaskette, as he unrolled and hung up a smaller one which
he had just completed. "I made this one this morning, after the
commander had shown me the one to which you allude; and you can see that
it is a very crude one."

"I thank you, Mr. Gaskette, for the new map; and though you took it from
a book not more than a year old, I am afraid that it is not entirely
correct for to-day. You observe, my friends, that Siam occupies nearly
the whole of the peninsula east of Burma. Annam is cut down to a very
thin slice on the China Sea; and Tonquin, where France has kept many
soldiers employed for several years, is swelled into a considerable
territory. I doubt if the last change in the boundary of Siam is shown
before you. The limits of Cambodia are closely defined.

"Nearly the whole of the peninsula was included in the ancient kingdom
of Cambodia, existing at the Christian era; and Buddhism is believed to
have been introduced into it in the fourth century. Some remarkable
ruins, with interesting sculptures, have been found as testimonials to
the greatness of this ancient country. The Temple of Angkor had 1,532
columns, and the stone for the structure was brought from a quarry
thirty-two miles distant. Massive bridges, so solidly built that they
have resisted the ravages of time and the inundations of more than a
thousand years, are still to be seen. One of them is four hundred and
seventy feet long, and has thirty-four arches. An account of these
wonders was given by a Chinese traveller of the thirteenth century, and
they seem to bear some comparison with the works of the ancient
Egyptians.

"The native name of Siam is _Muang Thái_, which you will please to
remember; and I mention it only to tell you that it means 'The Land of
the Free,' and it must be a first cousin of your country, Mr. Commander;
but I suppose you will not accept the relationship because 'The Home of
the Brave' is not included. Siam has an area of about 250,000 square
miles, as estimated by geographers; and one authority gives it a
population of 6,000,000, and another 8,000,000, but they agree in giving
it 2,000,000 Siamese, and 1,000,000 Chinese. The rest of the number is
made up with Malays, Laosians, and other tribes.

"The Menam River is six hundred miles long, and it has several branches.
On the banks of these streams very nearly all the people live, for the
regions away from them are a wild jungle which is not cultivated. The
country is healthy enough for a tropical region, though malarial fevers
are very trying to European residents and visitors. The wet season is
from May to November, when it rains about every day; and the rest of the
year it does not rain at all. The average rainfall is fifty-four inches
a year, and the average temperature 81°, though the glass goes up to 94°
in April; but New York beats that in summer.

"Agriculture stands at a low ebb; but the abundant rains and the rich
soil produce very large harvests of rice, the principal crop, and all
the productions of the Torrid Zone thrive. The labor of Siam is done by
Chinese coolies; for the native workers are hampered by a law which
requires them to give one-fourth of their labor to the state. Domestic
elephants are used in hauling timber,--for teak is one of the products
of the forests,--and also for travel and as bearers of burdens. Wild
elephants are hunted and trapped in Siam; and tigers, bears, deer,
monkeys, and wild pigs abound in the jungles. Crocodiles live at the
mouths of the rivers; and the cobra, python, and other reptiles are
plentiful enough.

"The Siamese are peaceable people, lazy, and without what you call
'snap.' They are fond of jewelry and high colors. They are rather small
in stature, and very like the natives of the several islands you have
visited. They live for the most part on rice, used largely in various
curries, dried fish in small quantities, though the rivers and sea swarm
with fish. Tea is the favorite beverage, taken without sugar or milk.
Though they distil an intoxicating liquor from rice, a tipsy person is
rarely seen. They chew betel-nut, males and females; and their teeth are
always black, which is their ideal of beauty, and they use other
materials to make them black and shining.

"The worst vice of the Siamese is gambling; but it can be practised only
in houses licensed by the government, though on certain holidays, New
Year's in April especially, the people are privileged to gamble at home,
or even in the streets. Marriages are arranged by women of mature age.
The birthdays of the contracting parties must be agreeable; for the
people are superstitious, and consult the stars for their horoscopes.
The old ladies agree upon the amount of money the parents of the bride
and groom must pay to set up the young couple in life. The ceremonies
last three days or more; and the principal observance is the chewing of
betel, winding up with a feast to all the friends. Priests are sometimes
called in to say prayers, and sprinkle the couple with consecrated
water.

"The Siamese believe that the arteries of the body are filled with air,
and that disease is caused by some disturbance in these internal
breezes. A wind blows on the heart, and bursts it, causing death by
'heart failure.' Almost everything is pressed into the _materia medica_
for service, including such things as cats' eyes, the bile of snakes,
sea-shells, horns, and probably dogs' tails, kittens' teeth, and
monkeys' tongues. Doctors are paid by the job, and not by the number of
visits. The price of a cure is agreed upon; and if the patient dies, or
fails to get better, the physician gets nothing.

"After poor people, dying, have been kept a few days, they are cremated,
as in India; but they keep a high noble nearly a year before they commit
his remains to the fire. When called upon, a Siamese farmer or other
person is compelled by law to furnish transportation and board to
travelling officials. The law of debit and credit is curious, and
amounts to actual slavery. A man may borrow money, and give his person
for security. If he fails to pay as agreed, the creditor can put him in
irons, if need be, and compel him to work for him till the debt is
discharged,--the principal only, for his labor is the equivalent of the
interest.

"Missionaries are sent here from America, including many female
physicians; and they have a great deal of influence among the natives.

"The present king of Siam is Chulalongkorn I. The former system of
having the country ruled by two kings has been abolished, and the
present monarch is the only king; and I never could find out what the
second king was for. The throne is now hereditary, but the king formerly
had the privilege of naming his own successor. Chulalongkorn is an
amiable and dignified ruler, well educated, and speaks English fluently.
The laws are made by the king in connection with a council of ministers.
The forty-one provinces of the kingdom are in charge of commissioners
appointed by the king. Such a thing as justice is hardly known, and what
there is of it is very badly managed. Thieving and plundering are
carried on almost without check in Bangkok, which includes about all
there is of Siam except a great deal of spare territory, and property is
very unsafe there. I think I have wearied you, Mr. Commander, and ladies
and gentlemen."

"Not at all!" shouted several.

"Did you ever see the Siamese twins, General Noury?" inquired Uncle
Moses.

"I never did; but I have read about them, and looked them up this
morning," replied the lecturer. "They were born in Siam in 1811, but
their parents were Chinese. I don't quite understand in what manner they
were united."

"There was a ligament, which looked something like a small wrist,
reaching from one to the other at the breast-bones. Their garments were
open enough to enable the spectators to see this connection. There was a
great deal of speculation among the doctors about them, I remember, and
it was even proposed to separate them with the knife; but that was never
done, for it would have spoiled the exhibition business," the trustee
explained.

"They were purchased of their mother at Meklong by an American in 1829,
and taken to the United States, where they were exhibited all over the
country, and then taken to England. It was a good speculation to Mr.
Hunter and to Chang and Eng, the twins; for they all made their
fortunes. They were married to two sisters, and settled in North
Carolina, where they had children. They lost their property in the Civil
War, and again exhibited themselves in England in 1869. They died in
1874, one living two hours and a half after the death of the other."

The general retired from the rostrum; and the party separated, Mrs.
Mingo ascending the fore-rigging, while the others went to various parts
of the ship to see the shores, which were still in sight.



CHAPTER XXI

ON THE VOYAGE TO SAIGON


The steamer was obliged to descend the Menam at less than half speed, to
avoid running down any of the multitude of boats and vessels that
thronged the river, and because the stream was so crooked.

"How far do you think Bangkok is from the Gulf, Captain Ringgold?" asked
the general, at the close of the session.

"About twenty miles," replied the commander.

"One description of the city that I have read makes it forty miles,
another twenty-six, and three others make it twenty miles," added the
pacha; "and I suppose the last is the right distance."

"I have come to that conclusion after consulting all the books we have
on the subject. You have said the second king of Burma had been
abolished, General; are you confident that such is the case? We
certainly did not see him, and I did not hear anything about him," added
the captain.

"In the first place, I consider Chambers excellent authority, and you
have the latest edition in the library, and the date is last year; and
it says in so many words that the second has been done away with. The
king who was the father of Chulalongkorn died in 1868. His prime
minister was a progressive man, who introduced many reforms in Siam; and
I am sure that he could not have helped seeing the absurdity of the
second king. The present king is well educated, and also a progressive
man, as his father was not. I am sorry we did not look the matter up,
which we might easily have done with the assistance of the missionaries.
But I am satisfied that I was correct in regard to the statement."

In the course of another hour the ship came to the mouth of the river.
Crocodiles appear to prefer the mouth of a stream, and a considerable
number were seen at the entrance to a canal or cut-off. The pilot
stopped the screw, and backed it, in order to avoid a collision with a
couple of vessels in the channel. As the two vessels were under sail, it
looked as though it would be some time before the channel was clear; and
the "Big Four" hastened to their staterooms for their repeating-rifles.

Their appearance thus armed created a sensation on the upper deck, and
all the party secured positions where they could see the sport. Mrs.
Belgrave manifested some anxiety when she saw the arms, for she was
somewhat afraid of such weapons.

"What are you going to do, Louis?" she asked as her son passed her.

"Don't you see that there are a dozen crocodiles at the mouth of that
cut-off, mother?" replied Louis. "We are going to shoot some of them."

"But you can't get them if you do kill them."

"We don't want to get them. They are not good for anything to us."

"Then, why do you want to kill them? They do you no harm," protested the
lady.

"But they would if they got the chance. Suppose by any accident some one
should fall overboard; those brutes would snap the person up as a fish
snaps the bait," answered Louis. "In Borneo they are regular man-eaters,
more dangerous than sharks; and I have no doubt they are the same here.
As I told you, they pay so much a foot for killing them in that island.
Ask the pilot how it is here, mother."

Achang was called, and was asked to inquire of the Siamese if the
crocodiles were dangerous. He promptly replied that they were not only
dangerous, but a nuisance; for they went ashore and swallowed all small
animals, and even attacked a cow. The lady offered no further objection.
She only hoped the Nimrods would not shoot each other; and they
descended to the platform of the gangway, which had not yet been hoisted
up, and the crack of their rifles was soon heard.

Each of the rifles could send out nine bullets, fixed ammunition,
contained in cartridges, nine of which was the capacity of the magazine.
Those on deck watched the group of saurians; but Louis fired the first
shot, and immediately there was a sensation among the reptiles. One of
them made a spring, and came over on his back.

"Mr. Belgrave fired that shot," said Achang to the hunter's mother. "He
is dead shot, and he never miss his aim."

"There is another turning over on his back," added the lady.

"I think Mr. McGavonty fired that one; for he is a dead shot too, but
not quite so sure as Mr. Belgrave," said Achang; and he was correct in
his supposition. Both of them hit the crocodile in the eye.

The next report that reached the ears of the party was followed by five
more in quick succession; and the Bornean explained that the hunter had
missed his aim five times out of six, but his victim turned over after
the last one.

"Mr. Scott is better with lasso than with rifle," criticised Achang,
with a smile.

The next shot caused the fourth of the reptiles to upset himself on the
water, and then the screw of the ship began to turn again. The
crocodile's reasoning powers did not seem to be well developed, as Mrs.
Belgrave suggested when she saw one of their number killed; for they
might have known there was mischief in the air. The Nimrods came on
deck, and then carried their rifles to their staterooms, where the
commander required them to lock up the weapons in their closets.

The third officer was ordered to have the gangway hoisted up when he
returned to the deck, and the ship proceeded to sea. The weather was
pleasant, and not very warm for the tropics; in fact, they had suffered
more from the heat in New York and in Von Blonk Park than in Bangkok,
though it is sometimes extremely hot there. The south-west monsoon
cooled the air where they were, though the sun poured down its
blistering rays.

There was an awning over the platform where the conferences were held,
and another over the after part of the promenade deck. But the former,
with its arm-chairs, was the most desirable location to be had; and in a
short time the company had seated themselves there without any call to
attend a lecture. As soon as deep water was indicated by the soundings,
the pilot was discharged, and the captain then gave out the course south
by east. Everything was in working order on board; and the commander
joined the party on the promenade, as it had always been called before
Conference Hall was located there. It commanded the best view on both
sides, though not forward, where it was obstructed by the pilot-house.

"What have you seen in Bangkok, Miss Blanche, that the absentees have
not seen?" asked Louis, who had seated himself at her side, after
patting Miss Mingo, whom she was holding in her lap.

"A great many things," she replied. "One was the royal barge, which they
said was rowed or paddled by one hundred and fifty men; but a good many
of us did not believe it contained so many."

"I have read about it, though I did not see it. It is said to be one
hundred and fifty feet long, and the book I read said it was paddled by
one hundred and twenty men," added Louis. "But it does not make much
difference, and the books do not agree in regard to a great many things
in this part of the world. What did you think of the people you saw,
Miss Blanche?"

"A lady and gentleman were pointed out to us by one of the kind
missionaries who guided us, and I could hardly tell which was the lady
and which the gentleman till I had studied them a while," returned the
fair maiden. "Both of them wore what appeared to be trousers; but it
proved to be a cloth as big as a sheet wound around the waist, and so
disposed about the legs as to look like trousers; but the garment was
the same on both of them. The lady had something like a shawl, which was
passed over the left shoulder, and under the right arm, with some kind
of a jacket under it. The gentleman wore a sort of tunic, which was
regularly buttoned up in front like a coat. The hair of each was shaved
off close to the head, except a tuft on the crown, which was bunched up.
They wore no ornaments of any kind, perhaps because it was not a dress
occasion. I saw one woman who had a kind of necklace on the top of the
shawl."

"I saw a woman's band of five pieces, and the music they made was not
bad," added Louis.

"I heard a band like that; but I could not tell whether they played a
tune or improvised their music. The missionaries took us into the garden
of a nobleman, where we saw what was called a theatrical exhibition;
but it was no more like a theatre than it was like a cattle-show. We saw
the king too, and he was a nice-looking man forty years old. He had what
looked like a tunnel on his head. He was sitting in a kind of big
arm-chair on poles, and eight men were bearing him to a temple. All the
natives in the street dropped on their knees as he passed, and some lay
flat on their stomachs. That is the way they always do before him. But
he chews betel; and his mouth was as black as though he had just eaten a
piece of huckleberry-pie, and it looked horrid. That is all the fault I
have to find with him."

"It is a bad habit the people here have; but it is not so bad as
drinking whiskey, and we must be charitable while our country has its
faults; and theirs only spoils their looks, though I have been told
there is a 'kick,' or exhilaration, in the use of betel. I don't think I
should ever fall in love with a girl who chewed betel-nut. Some Dyak
maidens would have been passably good-looking if their teeth and lips
had not been blackened with this drug."

"The missionaries took some of us into the private chapel of a nobleman.
There were about a hundred priests, all clothed in yellow robes, with
their heads shaven; the service consisted of the constant repetition of
a sentence, which a missionary told me meant 'So be it.' It reminded me
of the howling dervishes we visited at their monastery, whose service
was a monotonous repetition of 'Allah il Allah,' You went to some of
the temples, Mr. Belgrave, and they seem to me to be all alike. Now can
you tell me how far it is to the place where we are going next?"

"It is about six hundred miles to Saigon, the chief town of French
Cochin China, and we shall get there to-morrow," replied Louis. "You
must brush up your French, Miss Blanche, for we have not used it
lately."

"We are off Cape Liant now, and I must give out a new course," said the
commander, rising from his chair by the side of Mrs. Belgrave.

"South-east half-south!" called the captain at the side window of the
pilot-house.

"South-east half-south," repeated the quartermaster at the wheel.

"We are going to Saigon, you said, Mr. Belgrave; but I cannot pronounce
the name," added the young lady.

"As to that, you pays your money, and takes your choice," laughed Louis.
"The French call it Sah-gong, shutting out the full sound of the last
_g_," added the speaker, pronouncing it several times with the proper
_accent_. "The English call it Sy-goń, I believe; but I have heard it
called variously at Sarawak."

"But we want to know something about it before we go there," said the
young lady. "We had to ask no end of questions about Siam because the
lecture was postponed for the absentees."

"After lunch to-day a short talk will be given in relation to Saigon,"
replied Louis, as the bell rang for that meal.

When the company gathered in Conference Hall, Louis was introduced as
the speaker for the occasion, and promptly presented himself before his
audience.

"I have very little to say, Mr. Commander, for General Noury has covered
the whole subject under the head of Cochin China," he began. "What is
more particularly known as French Cochin China contains 23,000 square
miles, and a population of 1,800,000. The part in the north is called
French Indo-China. The country is precisely that described so carefully
by the general, and I need not repeat it. The Cambodia, or Mekhong
River, flows through it with many bayous or cut-offs. On one of these,
which is called the Saigon River, is the city of Saigon, the capital of
the French possessions in the East, Lippincott says thirty-five miles,
and Chambers sixty miles, from the China Sea; and of course both of them
cannot be right, and you are all at liberty to take your choice. The
town has grown up within the last thirty-two years; and, after the style
of French cities, it is handsomely laid out, with fine streets, squares
and boulevards. It contains numerous canals, with stone or brick quays;
and perhaps it will remind you of Paris along the Seine. It is said to
be one of the handsomest cities of the East. It has a navy-yard and
citadel, and is the most important port between Hong-Kong and Singapore.
The people are French, Annamese, and Chinese. It has a large trade, and
contains two colleges, an orphan asylum, a splendid botanical garden, to
say nothing of convents and other institutions. The population is put by
one at ninety thousand, and by another at about half that number. I have
nothing more to say."

Louis retired, and the next day the ship arrived at Saigon.



CHAPTER XXII

IN THE DOMINIONS OF THE FRENCH


It was not a long voyage from Bangkok to the mouth of the Mekhong River;
and the sight of land was not as thrilling an incident as it had often
been in the experience of the voyagers, and they were not in condition
to appreciate the feelings of Captain Columbus when Watling's Island
broke on his vision four hundred years before. It had been smooth
sailing all the way; the Gulf of Siam had been as gentle and
affectionate as a maiden among the flowers, and the China Sea was
scarcely more ruffled.

Mr. Gaskette had finished up his new map of Cochin China, so that it was
as creditable to his skill and taste as his former efforts had been; and
it was displayed on the frame in Conference Hall, which was the usual
sitting apartment of the company, though some of them did a great deal
of walking on the promenade deck. The water was deeper inshore than
farther out at sea, where several spots were marked at eight fathoms;
and the passengers had a view of the land before they were within a
hundred miles of the entrance of Saigon River.

"There is a broad opening in the coast, which must be the Cambodia, or
Mekhong River," said Morris.

"That is Batac Bay, with a large island in the middle of it," replied
Captain Ringgold. "It is one of the mouths of the Mekhong; for there is
a Delta here extending about a hundred miles, the Saigon River being the
most easterly."

"Mekhong seems to me a new word, though doubtless it was the native name
of the great river; but when I went to school we never called it
anything but the Cambodia," added Uncle Moses.

"It is now called by both names, and both are usually found on the maps
and charts," said the commander.

A couple of hours later he pointed out the mouth of the great river. All
the land was very low, and much of it was sometimes under water. Felix
had become the owner of an excellent spy-glass, which he had purchased
at second-hand at Aden; and he made abundant use of it. It was too large
to be worn in a sling at his side, and he always carried it in his hand
when the ship was in sight of land. After lunch, in the middle of the
afternoon, he stationed himself in front of the pilot-house, and kept a
sharp lookout ahead.

"Saigon light!" he shouted, some time before it could be made out
without a glass.

The steamer was headed for Cape St. Jacques, near the entrance to the
river by which she was to reach the city. The light soon came into view,
and a boat was seen pulling out of the mouth. The signal for a pilot had
been displayed on the ship, and one of the men in it was believed to be
the person desired. The screw was stopped as he approached her, and the
ladder lowered for his ascent to the deck. As usual, all the passengers
wanted to see him. He was an old man, or at least well along in years.

"Good-day, sir," said Louis, who had gone to the main deck with the
third officer to receive him; and he spoke to him in French.

He was conducted to the promenade deck, and presented to the captain. He
said that he was born in France, but had been in Cochin China nearly
thirty years. He was first sent down to Monsieur Odervie for a lunch
after he had given the course, and the ship continued on her way. The
cook was very glad to meet a compatriot; and, as he was getting dinner,
he had several nice dishes, from which he treated his new friend. But
the pilot's services were soon needed in the pilot-house. He spoke a
little English, consisting mainly of nautical terms.

He took his place on the starboard side of the wheel, with Quartermaster
Bangs on the other side, steering himself; perhaps because he was not
willing to trust his English in giving orders. But the quartermaster
seconded all his movements, and they steered together in silence. The
ship was soon well in the river, and the passengers had enough to do in
observing the shores on both sides.

There were many openings in the banks of bayous and cut-offs, and the
land was as flat as it had been during the last hundred miles of the
voyage. The soil was very rich, and produced abundant crops where it
was cultivated. A very few villages were to be seen; but each of them
had its temple or pagoda, and the houses hardly differed from those they
had seen in Siam.

"I suppose this is all an alluvial soil, Brother Avoirdupois," said Dr.
Hawkes, as the ship was passing a rice-field.

"So say the books I have consulted, Brother Adipose Tissue. It is just
the right land for rice, and that is the staple product of all this
region," replied Uncle Moses.

Both of these gentlemen weighed about two hundred and twenty-six pounds
apiece, and they continued to call each other by the appropriate names
they had given each other even before the ship left New York on her
voyage all over the world.

"What is alluvial soil, Doctor?" asked Mrs. Blossom, who had read very
little besides her Bible and denominational newspaper.

"It is the soil or mud which is brought to its location by the action of
water; and here it is brought down by the mighty river which spreads
itself out into a delta where we are," replied the doctor
good-naturedly, and without a smile at the ignorance of the worthy lady;
for though her education had been greatly neglected, she was esteemed
and respected by all on board, for in sickness she had been the nurse of
the patients. "It is just the right soil for rice," he added.

"I have seen so many rice-fields out here, that I should like to know
something more about them," suggested the good lady.

"Naturalists class it as a kind of grass; but I will not vex you with
any hard words. Rice is the food of about one-third of all the people on
the globe. It requires heat and moisture for its growth, and it is
raised in considerable quantities on the low lands of Georgia and South
Carolina and elsewhere in our country. The plant grows from one to six
feet high. I don't know much about the culture of this grain in the
East; but in South Carolina they first dig trenches, in the bottom of
which the rice is sown in rows eighteen inches apart. The plantation is
prepared so that water can be let in and drawn off as desired. As soon
as the seed is sown, the water is let in till the ground is covered to
the depth of several inches. As soon as the rice comes up, the water is
drawn off, and the plant grows in the open air rapidly under the hot
sun. The field is again flooded for a couple of weeks, to kill the
weeds, and again when the grain is ripening. The rice is in a hull, like
wheat and other grains; and you have found parts of this covering in the
rice when you were cooking it. It is threshed out by hand or machinery
after it is dried, and then it is ready for market. There is a
rice-field on your right; and you can see the channels which have been
dug to convey the water to the plants, or to draw it off," said the
surgeon in conclusion.

"I see them, Dr. Hawkes; and I am very much obliged to you for taking so
much pains to instruct an ignorant body like me," replied Mrs. Blossom.

"It is quite impossible for any of us to know everything, and I often
find myself entirely ignorant in regard to some things; and I have lived
long enough to forget many things that I learned when I was younger,"
added the doctor with a softening smile.

The villages increased in number and in size as the ship approached the
city; though they were about the same thing, except that in the larger
ones the temple was a handsomer structure.

"How far is it from the sea to Saigon?" asked Bangs, speaking to the
pilot for the first time; but the Frenchman could not understand him,
and the quartermaster called Louis in, who repeated the question in
French.

"Sixty miles if you go one way; thirty-five by another," Louis
translated the reply.

"That may account for the difference in the distance given in the
books," said the captain, who was in the pilot-house. "But the
information we obtain from what are considered the authorities is so
various on the same subject that I don't know where the fault is."

"This is the largest village we have seen," said Louis to the pilot in
French.

"Yes, sir; and the next place is Saigon," replied the Frenchman; but he
was so much occupied with his duty that he would not talk much, even in
his own language.

The city was soon in sight, and the pilot began to feel about for the
bell-pull. He spoke to Louis, and the quartermaster was told to ring the
speed-bell. A little later, off the town, the gong sounded for the screw
to stop. The anchor was all ready, was let go, and the steamer swung
round to her cable. The Blanche had not so readily obtained a pilot as
her consort, and she was an hour behind her in arriving.

The Guardian-Mother was surrounded by boats as soon as she was at rest,
but the boatmen kept their distance till the port physician and the
custom-house officials came on board. Both ships passed the ordeal of
the examination, and the boats closed up. They were manned by all sorts
of people, and they were in all sorts of craft. The captain said that
most of them were Chinese sampans, and the boatmen were of the same
nation.

"There comes the Blanchita!" exclaimed Felix, who was walking about the
deck with his spy-glass under his arm.

"They got her overboard in a very short time," said the captain, who had
joined the company on the promenade. "I am glad she is coming, for I
desire to see the general."

The gangway had already been rigged out; and the launch came alongside
the platform, containing General Noury, his wife, the rajah, Captain and
Mrs. Sharp, Dr. Henderson, the surgeon of the Blanche, and the French
maid of the princess. They were warmly greeted on the platform by the
commander and Louis, and the ladies were assisted from the boat. They
mounted to the deck; and the usual hugging, kissing, and handshaking
followed in the boudoir.

"I am glad you have come, General Noury," said Captain Ringgold, after
he had shaken hands with everybody. "We have been shut up on shipboard
for some time now; and as we have come to a French city, I propose to
take my party to a hotel for a day or two. Of course you can do as you
please, General."

"I like the idea, Captain, if there is a decent hotel here," replied the
pacha. "What do you think, Zuleima?" he asked, turning to his wife.

"I like it very much; and the hotel cannot be any worse than some we
have lived in on our yacht voyages," replied the princess.

"Here is the medical officer, and he can tell us something about the
hotels," suggested the commander.

The doctor was consulted by the general in French, and he said the Hôtel
de l'Europe was very good. The entire party of both ships were invited
to go on shore, and remain at the hotel. All of them accepted, including
Captain Sharp and his wife. Those on board the Guardian-Mother went
below to prepare for the shore, and the Blanchita returned to the
Blanche for the same purpose. The gentlemen were on deck again in a few
minutes.

"A visitor to see you, Mr. Scott," said a seaman, approaching the third
officer as he came from the cabin.

"Captain Rayburn!" exclaimed Scott as soon as he caught sight of the
visitor. "I am very glad to see you, Captain;" and the young officer
grasped his hand.

"I am quite as pleased to see you, Captain Scott, though I hardly knew
you," replied the English captain.

"I am no longer captain, though I am the third officer of this ship; and
I did not wear my uniform when I met you at Kuching."

"How are the rest of your party?" inquired the captain of the Delhi.

"Very well, and here they are."

"I am delighted to see you on board of your own ship, Mr. Belgrave,"
said Captain Rayburn, rushing to the young millionaire as he came on
deck with his bag in his hand.

Felix and Morris soon appeared, and gave the captain a hearty greeting.
The commander happened to pass near them, and he was approached by
Scott.

"Captain Ringgold, allow me to introduce Captain Rayburn, of the steamer
Delhi, to whom the Borneo party are greatly indebted for his kindness;
and the Blanchita sailed in company of his ship from Kuching to forty
miles inside of Point Cambodia."

"Captain Rayburn, I am very happy to meet you; and I am glad of the
opportunity to thank you for your kindness to my young men, and
especially for standing by the Blanchita during the worst part of her
voyage to Bangkok. But we are all going ashore at once to spend a day or
two at the Hôtel de l'Europe; and I cordially invite you to be my
guest."

After some objections to the plan, he accepted the invitation. He was
well dressed, and a gentleman in every sense of the word. He ordered the
men in his boat to return to the Delhi, and to bring off certain
garments to the hotel. The Blanchita came up to the gangway again, and
the party embarked in her.



CHAPTER XXIII

A LIVELY EVENING AT THE HOTEL


The Blanchita had been painted since her return from Borneo, and she had
a decidedly holiday appearance. Captain Rayburn had been introduced to
all the ladies and gentlemen on board; and in the steam-launch he was
presented to General Noury and his wife, and to the others of the
Blanche. The port physician went on shore with them, pointed out to them
the landing-place, and directed them to the hotel.

The party landed, and found the hotel "good enough," though hardly in
the slang sense of the phrase. Apartments were obtained for all, and
dinner was ordered. Captain Rayburn had been a couple of days in Saigon,
and had learned something about the city. He was the guide of the
Nimrods when they took a walk before dinner. They went through the
French portion of the place, where they found the streets broad, and
ornamented with trees. The houses were seldom more than two stories
high.

The governor's palace was a magnificent residence for Cochin China, and
the cathedral was also a fine building; but after going half over the
world the young voyagers did not find much to attract them.

They were more interested in what the country itself produced than in
what had been brought from France. There was a European garrison in the
citadel; but the natives were enlisted as soldiers, and drilled in
French tactics. The promenaders met a squad of the latter. They wore
blue blouses, white pants, and a flat cork-lined cap; but they did not
wear shoes, and they looked very odd to the visitors in their bare feet.

The walk ended with a visit to the botanical garden; but the tropical
plants were what they had been seeing for two months, and they were not
a novelty to them. The foreign plants and trees were more interesting to
them, and they had been set out with a view of ascertaining what were
adapted to the soil and climate of the country.

"This place consists really of three towns united," said Captain Rayburn
as they walked back to the hotel. "It was formerly but a group of
fishing villages, though even then it was the capital. Pingeh is the
commercial town, on the west side of the river, and Cholon is the native
quarter. The citadel or fortress is in Pingeh, but we have not time to
visit either of them to-night."

"You have been here before, Captain?" asked Louis.

"Not in the Delhi. I was for some years the commander of one of the P. &
O. steamers; but I was taken very sick six months ago, and was obliged
to spend three months in Calcutta. When I got well, a merchant there
who had been a good friend of mine during my illness, was in a great
strait to find a captain for the Delhi in place of one who had died. I
agreed to take her for a single voyage; for she is a very small craft
for me, as I have been in command of ships of six thousand tons. I shall
return to my steamer when she comes to Calcutta in a couple of months."

"I thought you were too big a man to be in command of such a puny vessel
as the Delhi," added Scott.

"I took charge of her only to accommodate my friend her owner. I don't
find any fault with her, except that she is old and very slow," added
the captain as they came to the hotel.

"Ah, Captain Rayburn, how do you do?" exclaimed a gentleman, extending
his hand to him. "I was a passenger in your ship to Hong-Kong last
year."

"O Monsieur Frôler!" replied Captain Rayburn, grasping the proffered
hand. "Of course I remember you very well, for I don't often get so
fully acquainted with my passengers as I did with you; and I only wished
I could talk French with you. But you speak English as well as I can, so
that it made no difference. Do you reside here?"

"I went from Hong-Kong to Canton, and several other Chinese cities, and
then to Japan, after we parted, and finally I came here. I like the
place, and have been here six months," replied the French gentleman,
who was not over thirty years of age. "I live at this hotel; and we have
a great American party here, with an English steamer that has a Moorish
pacha on board with his wife, who is an Indian princess, so the landlord
told me; and I wish to be introduced to them."

"I can assist you to that, Mr. Frôler. Are you in business here?" asked
the captain.

"Not at all; my father made my fortune for me, and I do nothing but
travel, and when I come to a place I like I stay there as long as I
please; and I am doing that here."

"Mr. Frôler, allow me to present to you Mr. Louis Belgrave, the owner of
the Guardian-Mother, the American steam-yacht in the river," continued
Captain Rayburn.

The French gentleman received the young man with the greatest deference
and politeness, and introduced him to his companion. A conversation in
French followed; for Louis was inclined to use that language when he
could, to keep "his tongue in," as he put it. Mr. Frôler told him that
he was well acquainted in the city with all the principal men, and was
familiar with all the localities. He would be very happy to escort the
party wherever they wished to go, and to introduce them to the governor
and other officers of the army and officials.

Louis then conducted the Frenchman to the large parlor where the
tourists were waiting for dinner, and introduced him to Captain
Ringgold, who received him with his usual politeness. While Louis was
introducing him to all the members of the party, Captain Rayburn
informed the commander that he had first met Mr. Frôler when in command
of a P. & O. steamer.

"Were you in command of a P. & O. steamer?" asked Captain Ringgold,
opening his eyes very wide.

"I am still in command of one," replied the English captain; and then
explained how he happened to be in the Delhi. "Mr. Frôler was really the
most agreeable passenger I ever had, and I became very intimate with
him. He is very wealthy, and travels all the time, though he sometimes
stops a year in a place. He is a high-toned gentleman in every sense of
the word. He is acquainted with the principal merchants and all the
officials in Saigon, and desires to assist your party in seeing the city
and its surroundings."

"I shall certainly be very grateful to him for his services," replied
the commander, as Mr. Frôler approached them after making his round of
introductions with Louis.

The Frenchman formally tendered his assistance to the party, and they
were gratefully accepted by the commander. Of course he was invited to
dinner with the party; and the seat of honor on the right of the captain
was given to him, while that on the left was appropriated to Captain
Rayburn. The princess was placed next to the Frenchman, with the pacha
next. The others took seats to suit themselves.

The dinner was excellent, and Dr. Hawkes wondered if Monsieur Odervie
had not had a hand in its preparation; and this afterwards proved to be
the case. French cooks are very fraternal; and when one of them is to
get up a great dinner, his _confrères_ generally tender their assistance
to him. As no dinner was to be served that day on the steamer, Monsieur
Odervie had obtained leave of absence, and called upon the cook of the
hotel. His proffered aid was accepted, and the surgeon was confident he
had made the sauce for the excellent fish that was served.

It was a lively party at the table, for the guests were desirous of
knowing more about the mission of the Guardian-Mother all over the
world; and their curiosity was gratified, the pacha telling the
Frenchman all about it in the language of the latter. No wine was
served, for the reason that none was ordered, doubtless greatly to the
regret of the landlord; and the commander made an explanation, though
not an apology.

"I am a Frenchman, but I drink no wine," said Mr. Frôler; "for the
reason that it does not agree with me. I have great respect for my
stomach; for it is very serviceable to me, like my watch, if I keep it
in good order. I drank no wine nor liquor in Paris, and still less would
I do so in a tropical country."

"I am in the same boat with my friend Mr. Frôler. The P. & O. Company
does not encourage its captains to drink anything; and when I entered
the service as a fourth officer, I knocked off entirely, afloat or
ashore; and I have stuck to my text ever since," added Captain Rayburn.

"Then our teetotal habits do not interfere at all with our guests."

"Not at all," added both of them.

"Did you know that the captain of your consort from Borneo was a
commander in the P. & O. service, Mr. Belgrave?" asked Captain Ringgold.

"I did not till this evening; I knew that he was a gentleman, and that
was all that I wished to know," replied Louis.

This remark was applauded warmly by the company. The captain then said
that he wished to introduce the guests of the occasion over again,
though they had been presented individually to all the company. He
wished to say that Captain Rayburn was actually the commander of a P. &
O. steamer of six thousand tons, on leave of absence on account of
sickness. He also told them something more about the Frenchman. He was a
gentleman whose father had made his fortune for him, as he expressed
himself; he was not engaged in any business, and held no official
position. He was travelling only for his own amusement and instruction,
and his stay in Saigon had been prolonged to six months.

As the party left the table, Mr. Frôler had a little talk for a few
minutes, when he excused himself, and left the hotel, promising to
return in half an hour. Conversation was resumed in the parlor; and
presently Mrs. Belgrave started one of the familiar hymns when she found
a piano in the room, in which the captain of the Delhi joined with a
tremendous bass voice.

While the music was in full blast, Mr. Frôler entered the apartment,
accompanied by two ladies and two gentlemen, both of the latter wearing
the decoration of the Legion of Honor. It was evident that the visitors
were magnates of Saigon; and Mrs. Belgrave rose from the instrument, and
the singing was discontinued.

"I have the pleasure of presenting to Your Excellency, Captain Ringgold,
commander of the steamer Guardian-Mother, visiting Saigon with the
company of tourists here present," said Mr. Frôler, leading up one of
the strangers. "Captain Ringgold, I have the honor to introduce to you
His Excellency the Governor of French Cochin China."

The two gentlemen then shook hands. Louis Belgrave was then presented,
followed by General Noury and his wife; and the pacha then took His
excellency to every member of the party, and presented each in due form.
While this was in process, Mr. Frôler presented to the commander the
other gentleman, who appeared to be about fifty years old, as Monsieur
Larousse, merchant of the city; and Louis followed the general in
introducing him to the members of the party. The master of ceremonies
next led up to Captain Ringgold the two ladies, presenting them as
Madame and Mademoiselle Larousse; and they appeared to be the wife and
daughter of the elderly gentleman who had preceded them.

The daughter was a beautiful lady, apparently about twenty-four years
old, though it is not always practicable to state the age of a French
lady. By this time General Noury had made his round, and the governor
was passed over to Mrs. Noury, at his request. The commander made the
circuit with Madame Larousse, and the pacha offered his services to
conduct Mademoiselle Larousse. He presented her to his wife first,
interrupting her _tête-à-tête_ with His Excellency for a moment.

"Pretty woman," said Captain Rayburn to Captain Ringgold.

"Very pretty," replied the latter.

"Between you and me, she is the particular reason why Frôler has
prolonged his stay here to six months."

"Then I congratulate him," added the commander.

"Her father is not rich; Frôler does not care for that, for he is a
multi-millionaire himself, counted in francs. But the prettiest lady
here is the sister of Morris, Miss Blanche."

"Madame Noury, you were singing when I came in," said the governor when
the introductions had been completed.

"But they were singing American hymns, not adapted to your religion or
mine," replied Mrs. Noury.

"I don't care for that," he added; and both spoke French. "I liked what
I heard very much, and I should wish to hear some more of it."

Mrs. Belgrave was called, and the request repeated to her in English by
the magnate. And so it happened that the rest of the evening was passed
in singing gospel hymns. At a late hour the company separated.



CHAPTER XXIV

TONQUIN AND SIGHTS IN CHOLON


There was so little sight-seeing to be done in Saigon that the tired
tourists did not hurry themselves in the morning; for breakfast was not
served till nine o'clock, and they went to the tables at their own
pleasure. The Nimrods had risen at an early hour, and had taken a long
walk before any others came from their rooms. They were the first to
take the morning meal, and they had earned an appetite before the
regular hour for it. At half-past ten a number of vehicles had been
gathered by the landlord for the use of his guests.

Mr. Frôler was in attendance as soon as breakfast was _ready_, and the
young _men_ took their meal with him. He seemed to have taken a fancy to
Louis when he learned that the Guardian-Mother was his college, and he
took pains to inform him in regard to the affairs of the city and the
country.

"How did the French happen to settle here in the beginning?" asked Louis
when they were seated at the table.

"England, Holland, Spain, and especially France, began to take an
interest in the countries of the East at a very early date; and France
entered the race for Oriental territory as early as 1787, and agreed to
assist Annam in its troubles. Two years later the French Revolution
broke out in the destruction of the Bastille, on the fourteenth of July,
which is still celebrated. It is our 'Fourth of July,' Mr. Belgrave."

"I was in Paris on that day a few years ago, when I was a smaller boy
than I am now, and I wondered that no fire-crackers were let off,"
replied Louis.

"They are not permitted in Paris. France had her hands full after the
Revolution began, and was unable to keep her agreement in full with
Annam; but missionaries were sent there, and some commercial relations
in a very small way were continued until 1831. Then the king died, and
was succeeded by one who did not believe in the missionaries, French and
Spanish, settled in Annam, as the whole country east of Siam was then
called. The new king wanted to drive away the bearers of the gospel to
the natives, and killed or persecuted them.

"Twenty years later, France found it necessary to interfere, which she
did by sending a small army to subdue the country. The fortifications
which had been built by French engineers held the soldiers back to some
extent. When the persecutions of the Christians were believed to be
ended, the French soldiers returned home. They were again renewed; and
France and Spain sent out a fleet and army, which captured the principal
seaport, and continued the war for about four years, when a treaty of
peace was concluded. Annam was compelled to pay 25,000,000 francs for
the expense of the war, and permit every person to enjoy his own
religious belief. The missionaries were to be protected, commercial
relations were established, and in 1886 a treaty was ratified at Hué, by
which the country was placed under the protection of France, though the
native princes were nominally continued in power. This was the beginning
of the French dominion in this region."

"If it is not one now, it will eventually become a French colony,"
suggested Louis.

"Probably it will, for it is largely so now," replied Mr. Frôler.

Captain Ringgold, who had waited for Mrs. Belgrave, finished breakfast
about the same time; for they had not listened to a historical talk
while they were eating, and they left the room together. At the time
appointed for the ride, all the party were in the parlor, and they were
loaded into the vehicles. They rode through the principal streets, and
to the botanical garden, where all the party walked through the grounds.
Then they rode along the banks of the river.

"Those small vessels look like men-of-war," said Louis, who was seated
in the first carriage, with Mr. Frôler, the commander, and Mrs.
Belgrave.

"They are little gunboats, and the government has about twenty of them,"
replied the Frenchman. "But I think we had better alight here, and take
a general view of the river and the surroundings."

At a given signal the whole party got out of the vehicles.

"But what are those gunboats for, Mr. Frôler?" asked Louis, as the
company were looking at them.

"If there should happen to be a riot, or a disturbance of any kind, up
the river, which the police could not handle, they would be used for
transporting troops; for we have the telegraph here, and could be
notified at once. They are also used to beat off pirates, and to see
that the laws are obeyed."

"Pirates!" exclaimed Louis. "Are there any about _this_ country?"

"They are not such pirates as we read about in olden times," replied Mr.
Frôler with a smile. "But some of these natives may rig up a boat, and
go on a predatory excursion among their neighbors, especially in the
fishing regions on the Great Lake, over two hundred miles up the river.
Their principal plunder is fish, though they take anything they can lay
their hands upon."

"I should hardly call them pirates," added Louis.

"But Chinese pirates have been known to capture vessels in the China
Sea, off the coast of Tonquin."

"I have heard of such within a few years."

"You can see the citadel, as it is called here, though it would be
simply a fort in most places. There are 1,830 French soldiers here, and
2,800 native troops. Only 3,000 of the population are French. The last
census gave the country a population of 2,034,453," continued Mr.
Frôler, consulting a memorandum book he carried in his pocket. "They
are mainly Annamites; but Cambodians, Chinese, savages from the north,
and Malays contribute to make up the number. But I don't mean to lecture
you, as I am told you are addressed on board your ship by some of your
own number."

"But we are an educational institution in part, and we are very glad to
hear you," said the commander. "We are supposed to be greedy for
information about the countries we visit. I suppose we are about as near
Tongking as we shall be, and I am sure my company would like to learn
something more about it. We have a nice place here in the shade of this
tree to hear a short lecture."

"You use the English name for the region, which is all right; and I have
seen it spelled Tonkin, which I think is better yet for your people. The
French name is Tonquin," (and he gave the French pronunciation). "It is
larger than Cochin China; and we apply this name to what you designate
as French Cochin China, for it has an area of 34,740 square miles, and a
population supposed to be about 9,000,000. Its chief town is Hanoï,
consisting of a number of villages, with 150,000 inhabitants; and its
chief seaport is Hai-Phong. There has been war going on against the
people of this country for many years."

"We read something about these operations in American papers, and know
very little about Tonquin, which is the reason I asked for more
knowledge of the region," added the commander.

"The principal productions of Tonquin," Mr. Frôler, bowing to the
captain, proceeded, "are rice, silk, sugar, pepper, oil, cotton,
tobacco, and fruits, with copper and iron in small quantities. The
exports are now 13,325,000 francs, which you reduce to dollars by
dividing by five. The imports are nearly 28,000,000 francs, only
one-fourth from France, with but a small portion of the exports to that
country. An expedition was sent out from home, at the instance of Jules
Ferry, to open the way by the Songkoi River for the trade of Yun-Nan, a
south-western province of China. The experiment was an expensive one,
and the difficulty of navigation in the upper waters of the river made
it a failure. The troops met with a disaster; and the colonial policy of
the statesman here and in Madagascar caused his ruin, and he has since
died. Jules Ferry was nicknamed 'le Tonquinais.' But I have talked too
long."

"Not at all!" protested several of the company; for they had read in the
papers at home something in short paragraphs about the war and other
matters in Tonquin, which they did not understand; and they are likely
to read much more in the future, which they will comprehend better if
they remember the brief account of Mr. Frôler.

The party got into the vehicles again, but stopped soon after at the
market, where they alighted. Natives in boats and on foot were bringing
in fruits and vegetables in great quantities. All the fruits of the
tropics were included, though bananas were the most plentiful. Some
came with clumsy carts, loaded with the produce of the surrounding
country. The vehicles were very trying to the nerves of the ladies and
some of the gentlemen; for they creaked and groaned, and seemed to be
screeching for grease, reminding them of the carts of Lisbon, where some
of the party had had a similar experience.

"The men here wear tunnels on their heads, after the fashion of the king
of Siam," said Morris as they walked through the market, which consisted
mainly of an open square, filled with carts, barrows, and baskets.

"The head-covering of the women is more curious," added Scott. "It is
about two feet across, and they use them as umbrellas, both sexes."

"I see that you have the yellow dog here, Mr. Frôler, as in
Constantinople," said Louis, as the Frenchman came near with the captain
and Mrs. Belgrave.

"They are outcast dogs, like those in Constantinople," replied the
guide. "Nobody owns them, and they have to pick up their living in the
streets. They are no more honest than some of the natives; for some of
them will steal a piece of meat, and then comes a fight with all the
others in the vicinity."

"Where does the meat used here come from?" asked Louis.

"From Cambodia," replied the Frenchman. "But it is about time for your
lunch at the hotel, and I think we had better return. I see that your
steam-launch is at the landing-place; and we might go up to Cholon in
her, and visit the citadel."

The suggestion was adopted; and on his arrival at the hotel, the
commander found a note from the governor, inviting the party to dine
with him that day at seven. It was promptly accepted; and after the
lunch the party embarked in the Blanchita, and sailed up the river to
Cholon, which is the native portion of the city.

"It does not cost much here to build a house," said Mr. Frôler, as the
yacht, under the pilotage of the old Frenchman who had brought the
Guardian-Mother up the river, worked her way through the multitude of
boats that thronged the shore.

But the young men were busy observing the various craft; for they were
of all sorts and kinds, from the simple Chinese sampan to the craft
fifty feet long, provided with a cabin, and parts of her covered with
the leaf awning, something like what they had seen in Borneo.

"Where does this boat come from, Achang?" asked Felix.

The Bornean spoke to a man who seemed to be the captain and a Malay.

"She come from Great Lake," reported Achang. "She bring down dry fish to
sell to the poor people of Cholon."

"How much does it cost to build one of these houses, Mr. Frôler?" asked
Captain Ringgold, after they had looked over some of them.

"About twenty-five francs."

"It ought not to cost more than that, for they are nothing but
shanties," replied the commander. "Some of them are built on floats, as
in Bangkok."

"Let us look into one of them; they will not object. This is a
Chinaman's abode, and he belongs to the better class here," said the
Frenchman as he led the way into the house, followed by the commander,
with Mrs. Belgrave on his arm.

Seated at a table was what a sailor would call a kid, or small tub,
containing a stew of fish and vegetables; and there was a dish for each
individual, which did duty as a plate. There were a man, a woman, and
three children at the table.

"These people belong to the aristocracy," said the Frenchman, as they
retired, and the family were visited by others of the party. "We will
look into another house of a lower grade of people;" and they went into
a hut about six feet square, in which were eight men, women, and
children, huddled together around a tub on the floor containing fish and
rice. The odor was not agreeable, and they hurried away.

"You noticed the two girls there. If you want them, Captain, you can buy
them for thirty dollars apiece of your money."

"I don't want them; and I don't care about staying any longer in this
part of the town," replied the commander.

They walked rather hurriedly to the yacht. On the way they met a
carriage something like a wheelbarrow, with a single large wheel, and a
seat on each side of it, one occupied by a fat Chinaman and the other by
a Malay. It was propelled by a native just like an ordinary wheelbarrow.

"That's a big team," said Scott.

"You will see plenty of them in some of the cities of China."

The Blanchita left Mr. Frôler at the landing-place, and then conveyed
the passengers to the two ships; for the ladies insisted that they must
dress for the dinner at the governor's palace.



CHAPTER XXV

SEVERAL HILARIOUS FROLICS


The ladies certainly did dress for the occasion; and not only the
ladies, but all the gentlemen. The captain put on a new uniform which he
had not worn since his ship left Colombo. Scott had a new uniform also;
Uncle Moses, the surgeon, Mr. Woolridge, and the professor came out in
evening costume, with black dress-coats; and the young men were clothed
for their age, in black. The ship's company looked at them with
astonishment when they came on deck, for they had never seen them _en
grand tenue_ before.

The ladies were properly costumed for the dinner, and all of them wore
the best they had. When the Blanchita came alongside the ship with the
Blanche's party, more surprise was manifested; for Mrs. Noury was
dressed as a princess, as she was, with the richest garments of India;
General Noury clothed in the full costume of his Moroccan rank, a dress
which had not been seen before. Captain Sharp wore his uniform, and his
wife proved that no money had been spared on her dress and adornings.
The rajah wore his Indian suit, made of the costliest materials and the
most brilliant colors, and rubies and diamonds sparkled upon him, as on
the pacha. Dr. Henderson was in keeping with his professional brother
of the other party.

The seats of the yacht had been overlaid with rugs and other materials,
that the rich costumes need not be soiled. The Blanche's barge came soon
with the Italian band on board; for the general desired to serenade the
governor during the evening. It was an hour too early; for the commander
had been so solicitous that the company should not be late, that he had
overdone the matter. The landlord was to have the carriages at the
landing at half-past six, and there was an hour to wait. But the
princess and Mrs. Sharp declined to leave their seats in the launch, for
fear of mussing up their dresses; and the general called upon the band
to play while they were waiting.

It was near the close of a clear day, and the music was delightful. In a
short time not less than a hundred boats surrounded the ship, and three
times as many people stood upon the shore. The band had not played
before since their arrival. Mr. Frôler, in Parisian evening dress, had
come to the landing to receive the party, and when he heard the music,
he came off, standing up in a sampan; for he was as careful of his
garments as the ladies. The captain had ordered a carpet to be placed on
the steps of the gangway, and the polite Frenchman ascended to the deck
without peril to his clothing.

"Good-evening, Captain Ringgold," said he, extending his hand. "You have
the most ravishing music here."

"It is General Noury's Italian band, and he will take it ashore to
serenade the governor," replied the commander.

"I have not seen your steamer before, and she is a magnificent vessel,"
added the Frenchman.

"I should be happy to show her to you; but we have hardly time to do so
now, for I see that the ladies are taking their places in the launch,"
answered Captain Ringgold; "but I shall ask the governor and such ladies
and gentlemen as you will designate to spend the afternoon and evening
on board to-morrow, dining in the cabin. I arranged it with the general.
Both ships will be visited, the band will play, and we will make a
general frolic of it. The next morning we shall sail for Manila."

Both of the gentlemen hastened to the gangway to assist the ladies as
soon as the commander saw Mrs. Belgrave moving in that direction. Miss
Blanche, conducted by Louis, appeared about the same time. Her costume
was very neat, though not showy; but she was as beautiful as a fairy,
and the Frenchman clasped his hands in ecstasy when he saw her. In a
short time they were all seated in the Blanchita, and the gentlemen then
took their places.

Precisely at twenty minutes past six Captain Sharp, prompted by Captain
Ringgold, gave the order to cast off. A quartermaster of the Blanche was
at the wheel, and in five minutes she was alongside the shore. A
_platform of clean boards, covered with a carpet_, had been laid down by
the landlord of the Hôtel de l'Europe, and the vehicles were in
waiting. The ladies were handed from the boat to the carriages without a
spot or a splash on their dresses, though the shore was very muddy.

In ten minutes more the head of the procession reached the governor's
palace. There they found an awning over the sidewalk, and _carpets laid_
down for the guests to walk upon. The French, English, and American
flags were flying on the building. The ladies were conducted to the
grand entrance of the palace, and taken by the servants to the
apartments set apart for clothing. There were not less than a thousand
natives and French people gathered in the vicinity, but they were kept
in admirable order by the Malay police. The pacha's band was admitted to
the grounds, and Mr. Frôler was acting as chief marshal; he notified
them when the party began to descend the stairs, and the music commenced
then. They came down in couples, Captain Ringgold and Mrs. Belgrave
leading, followed by the pacha and the princess.

His Excellency stood at the head of the large apartment, and received
them as they advanced. He was a widower and childless, so that he had no
wife nor daughter to present. Louis and Miss Blanche were the next,
though the commander had proposed that Louis should come next to him and
his mother; but Louis rebelled, and insisted that he should follow the
pacha. The rajah came next, and had Mrs. Blossom on his arm, to the no
small amusement of the party; but the deposed sovereign prince could
find no other lady disengaged.

Possibly Mr. Woolridge and wife were disconcerted to come next; but
their daughter had been properly honored, and both were too fond of
Blanche to be troubled about the precedence. Mr. Frôler stood by the
governor, and announced the names of the members of the party; for His
Excellency could hardly be expected to remember them. But he was very
cordial to all of them, speaking in his broken English, except to the
pacha and Louis. Some of the gentlemen had to present themselves without
ladies; but there were at least twenty ladies and gentlemen seated
around the room. After all the party from the ships had been received by
the governor, they were introduced to the other visitors. Some of the
Saigonians could speak English, and some could not; but the conversation
soon became general. The commander and Mrs. Belgrave found enough who
could speak English. There were seven persons among the tourists who
could converse fluently in French, and Mr. Frôler employed these as
interpreters for those who could not speak the polite language.

The scene was quite amusing to all; and even the governor laughed
heartily as he looked about him, and saw the struggles in the matter of
language. The chief marshal proved to be a very potent functionary, and
he was omnipresent in the apartment. When the governor spoke to him in
praise of Miss Blanche, he immediately sent Louis with her to His
Excellency. The room was the audience chamber of the palace, and the
magnate of the occasion invited her to a seat on the dais at his side.
She could speak French a little; and it was soon observed that she was
enjoying herself very much, and the governor even more.

Mrs. Sharp was passed over to Louis, and he made the grand round with
her. The princess was instructed to do the same with Mr. Woolridge,
while the professor rendered the same service to Mrs. Woolridge. The
rajah escorted Mrs. Blossom around the chamber, and the poor woman was
in a flutter all the time. The long robe of the Indian prince bothered
her, and she had been nearly tripped up several times; but her new beau
was as polite and deferential as though she had been a queen. She had a
story to tell the gossips of Von Blonk Park which would last her the
rest of her lifetime. It was even a livelier time than that at the
hotel, made so by the confusion of tongues, which was not far short of
that at the Tower of Babel.

The dinner was announced by the major-domo of the household. Ignoring
the houris of the occasion, the polite governor escorted Mrs. Belgrave
to the table, and seated her on his right, while the captain of the
Guardian-Mother conducted the princess. Those of the gentlemen who could
speak French were requested by Mr. Frôler to attend the resident ladies;
and the most distinguished was placed in charge of the pacha. The
_contretemps_ of language were frequent and laughable; and so much
amusement was derived from this source that some of the visitors
purposely made bulls to keep up the hilarity.

The dinner was a very elegant as well as a very substantial affair.
Monsieur Odervie and other French cooks fraternized as usual on this
great occasion; and the table was ornamented with many set pieces, and
one from the citadel produced a Buddhist temple in sugar, which was the
admiration of the guests; and doubtless all these culinary artists would
assist the _chef_ of the Guardian-Mother for the great dinner of the
following day. But it would require a considerable volume to detail all
the occurrences of the governor's banquet. A speech was made by His
Excellency in French, which was replied to by Captain Ringgold, without
knowing much of what had been said; but Louis followed him in a few
remarks in French, thanking the governor and the residents of the city
for their kindness and hospitality.

The pacha made the speech of the evening in the vernacular of the host,
which was violently applauded by the residents, especially by the
military officers from the citadel, who had been informed that he was
the commander-in-chief of the armies of his country. The Italian band
had been brought into the palace, feasted, and stationed in the great
hall, where they discoursed their finest music, to the great delight of
the guests. Dancing followed, and the governor led Mrs. Noury to the
floor. The rajah asked Mrs. Blossom to dance with him; but she did not
know a step, and if she ever in her life regretted that she could not
dance, it was on this occasion. The commander of the citadel and chief
officer of the army of Cochin China led out Mrs. Noury, and the next in
rank to His Excellency who could speak English was favored by Miss
Blanche.

It was kept up till after midnight; and then the tourists returned to
the ships, visiting the hotel the next forenoon to obtain their baggage.
All the party at the _fête_ of the governor had been invited to the
ships; and the Blanchita conveyed them from the landing in two trips,
one to the Guardian-Mother, and the other to the Blanche. The guests
were shown over both steamers, and they expressed their admiration in
both languages. All the officers were kept busy, especially Mr.
Gaskette, who spoke French. Every passenger was a host or hostess, and
the confusion of tongues created as much merriment as it had at the
palace. Captain Ringgold devoted himself especially to the governor. The
Italian band played all the time on the deck of the Blanche, which was
hardly a ship's length from her consort.

After a light lunch had been served in the cabins of both steamers, the
party on board of the Guardian-Mother, with their hosts, were conveyed
to the Blanche, where they spent a couple of hours, and had a dance on
her promenade deck under an awning. Every part of the ship was visited;
and after a stay of two hours, the entire company was conveyed in two
trips to the Guardian-Mother. When some of the guests asked how the
passengers contrived to amuse themselves on the long voyage, Mrs.
Belgrave organized a section of them, and played Blindman's Buff,
Turning the Cover, Copenhagen, and other games, to the intense delight
of the guests.

At six o'clock dinner was announced. Monsieur Odervie had had the
assistance of not less than four _chefs_ all day; and several set pieces
in varied ingredients, original and artistic, adorned the two tables.
The bill of fare had been printed in the city, and of course it was all
French. The occasion was much the same as at the palace, with all the
confusion of tongues. At the close of the dinner Captain Ringgold made
his speech, which the governor could understand, and the chief official
of the province responded in his own language. Several others were
heard; and when Dr. Hawkes attempted to make a speech in the polite
language, he excited bursts of laughter, and it was soon evident that he
was speaking for the fun of it. His gestures were more French than his
speech, which he interlarded with English and Latin. Uncle Moses made a
remark in the latter language, which only the doctor and the professor
could understand; but it was as vigorously applauded as though every
word had been comprehended.

After dinner the governor called for some singing, and gospel hymns were
introduced. Captain Rayburn was one of the guests on board, and his
heavy bass was the crowning glory of the music.

The ship had been illuminated, and the band played at times on the deck.
The governor wanted some more of Mrs. Belgrave's games, and they were
repeated in the music-room. The Cupids, as the two fat gentlemen had
been named in Egypt, did their best on this occasion,--rolled on the
floor, and were as antic as boys.

It was after midnight when the Blanchita began to convey the guests to
the shore; and the adieux were very cordial, with many regrets that the
ships must depart so soon. The river was so full of boats that the
launch had some difficulty in making her way to the shore; but the Malay
police soon made an opening for her.

Mr. Frôler had been invited to sleep on board, as had Captain Rayburn;
and both accepted, the former returning to the ship after he had seen
his ladies home.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE VOYAGE ACROSS THE CHINA SEA


The tide was right at six o'clock in the morning, and the order had been
given the night before to sail at this hour. Mr. Frôler and Captain
Rayburn were on deck before this time; and the latter took a boat to his
vessel, after very hearty thanks for the pleasure he had enjoyed.

"I don't feel at all like leaving your steamer, Captain Ringgold, but I
suppose I must," said the French gentleman, as the commander took him by
the hand in the morning.

"I am as sorry to have you leave as you are to do so," replied the
captain. "We have seen the place, and made the acquaintance of quite a
number of the people. In fact, you have turned our visit into a general
frolic, and I am sure my party have never enjoyed themselves more than
during the past two days; and we owe it all to you, Mr. Frôler."

"You praise my feeble efforts to enable you to see the place and some of
the people more than they deserve," replied the Frenchman.

"When I meet you in New York, I shall do my best to reciprocate your
very kind and hospitable reception, and I am confident all my passengers
will do the same. I should be most happy to have you continue on
board."

"I should avail myself of your very kind invitation so far as to go to
Manila if there were a line of steamers between that port and Saigon.
But I should have to go by the way of Singapore. With your permission, I
will go down the river with you."

"What is this coming alongside?" asked the captain, as he moved over to
the rail.

"It is one of the gunboats, Captain," answered Mr. Frôler. "There is the
governor on her deck and two ladies. His Excellency has come off to say
good-by to you."

"He is very considerate."

"And there is the landlord of the hotel."

"I paid his bill yesterday afternoon, and for everything up to this
morning," said the commander as he hastened down the gangway to receive
the governor.

On his way he called Louis, who was on deck early, and directed him to
have the stewards call all the passengers, and to inform them that His
Excellency was coming on board. The distinguished official was received
by the captain, and conducted to the deck. It was a cordial greeting on
both sides. The governor declared that he had never enjoyed himself more
than on the day before, and he should go down the river for the purpose
of saying his adieux to the party.

The gunboat would escort the ships to Cape St. Jacques, and he would
return with it. In ten minutes after the call the passengers began to
come on deck, and the governor greeted them as though they had been his
friends for years. He was a jolly old fellow, and made himself as
familiar with the tourists as though they had been his intimate friends.
When Miss Blanche came up he rushed to her, and took her by both hands.
Mr. Frôler suggested that the governor had come more to see the
beautiful women on board than for any other purpose.

The barge was hastily dropped into the water, and sent for the
passengers of the Blanche, the third officer being in charge of the
message. The landlord of the hotel said he had come on board to pay his
respects to his late guests, and he would go down the river with them.
The barge returned after some delay, for none of her party were out of
their rooms. They warmly welcomed the governor and the captain of the
gunboat, who had been one of the guests the day before.

Both ships got under way at once, for the anchors had been hove short.
Mr. Sage and the cook were set to work. The governor divided his
attentions between Mrs. Noury and Miss Blanche; and the pacha was not at
all disturbed by his old Mohammedan notions about wives. The rajah took
Mrs. Blossom on his arm, and promenaded the upper deck with her under
the awnings.

"Faix! Oi belayve the ould feller manes to marry her," said Felix.

"Nonsense, Flix! He is a Mohammedan, and she is a Methodist, and neither
of them would consent to marry the other," replied Louis.

"He knows she's a fust-rate nuss, and that's what he needs. Oi'll give
my free consint to it," added Felix, as Louis was called away.

The three hours' run to the sea was a continuation of the frolic of the
day before, even including the games. At nine o'clock, with the ship in
a sheltered bay, breakfast was served; and it was as lively as all the
other meals had been. More speeches and a confusion of tongues followed.
The two ladies who had come off in the gunboat were the lady who was
said to have detained Mr. Frôler so long in Saigon, and her mother; and
they were treated with the utmost consideration by all. The band played
during the breakfast, having been sent for by the pacha.

Everybody was so happy that Captain Ringgold remained three hours longer
than he had intended. Then the time to separate came; and the parting
was long and difficult, bringing about another confusion of tongues, but
it was over at last. The gunboat received her passengers for up the
river; but the craft did not go that way, and accompanied the two
steamers about five miles to sea, with the American flag flying at the
fore.

As the vessels were to separate finally, the gunboat fired a salute of
seven guns, which was returned by both ships; and then they sped on
their voyage of eight hundred miles to Manila. The captain gave out the
course east by north half-north, and the French flag was hauled down
from the topmast. The passengers of the Blanche had been sent on board
of her, while those of the Guardian-Mother continued to promenade the
deck. The commander noticed that some of them were gaping and yawning,
and he remembered that they had had only three or four hours' sleep.

"I advise you all to turn in and finish your night's sleep," said he.
"Professor Giroud will give his lecture on the Philippine Islands and
Manila to-morrow at half-past nine. There is nothing to do till
dinner-time. No lunch will be served to-day in the cabin, for you have
but just left the breakfast-table; but any one can ring his bell, and
send for whatever is wanted."

The passengers seemed to think favorably of this advice, for they all
went below. There was nothing to see; for there was not a single island
in the course, and the ship was soon out of sight of land, not to see it
again till she made Luban Island, off the entrance to Manila Bay. The
wind was almost dead ahead, though it blew very gently; but this
circumstance soon attracted the attention of Scott, who had been so busy
with the frolics that he had not had time to consult his books and
chart.

It was not his watch; and he went to his stateroom, returning very soon
with the blue book that goes with the chart of the Indian Ocean. He
found that there was an east monsoon which prevailed in the China Sea
north of the equator.

"What's the matter, Mr. Scott?" asked the captain when he found him
absorbed over his book. "Do you think we are going wrong, or that there
is a typhoon within hail?"

"Neither, sir; I was looking to see why the wind was east to-day,"
replied the third officer.

"You have discovered by this time that there is an east monsoon coming
in between those from the north-east and south-west."

"But we did not find it coming up from Sarawak to Bangkok," added the
young officer.

"Your course carried you within between one hundred and one hundred and
fifty miles of the Malay Peninsula. This and the great island of Sumatra
doubtless have some influence on the winds. Both of these bodies of land
are very hot; and, as the air from them tends to the cooler atmosphere
of the sea, they favor the south-west monsoons. All these bodies of land
modify to some extent the prevailing winds."

Scott was satisfied with the explanation, for it conformed with what he
found in his book. When he carried his authority back to his room, he
turned in and took his nap, in order to be ready for his watch at eight
bells in the afternoon watch. In fact, all but the watch on deck were
asleep.

The passengers seemed to be rather logy in their movements and heavy of
intellect, perhaps because they had slept so well. It was cool at sea in
comparison with the shore, and they had by this time become accustomed
to extremely hot weather. But they waked up before the meal was
finished, and all the talk was about the frolics of the last two days.

"What do you call the place where we go next, Captain Ringgold?" asked
Uncle Moses. "I see it spelled in the books with a single _l_ and with a
double _l_. Which is correct?"

"Both," replied the commander. "If you are writing Spanish, you use one
_l;_ if you are writing English, you may use two _l's_, though I don't
believe in doing so."

"Do the Spaniards ever double the _l?_"

"I will leave the professor to answer that question," replied the
captain.

"They never spell Manila with two _l's_ when they spell it correctly;
for that would make another word of it,--a common noun instead of a
proper, and meaning quite another thing," the professor explained.

"Perhaps I am stupid, Professor, and I know next to nothing of the
Spanish language," added Uncle Moses, "but I don't quite understand you.
If a Spaniard spelled the capital of the Philippine Islands with a
double _l_ it wouldn't be the capital at all?"

"It would not."

"What would it be?"

"It would be something of which Miss Blanche has a couple in her
possession; and I may say the same of every lady at the table," said the
professor with a cheerful smile on his face.

"But which no gentleman has?" suggested the worthy trustee.

"I don't say that; for the word means in Spanish a small hand."

There was a general laugh around the table, and all the party held out
their paws like dancing bears.

"Then Spaniards must be good spellers," said Dr. Hawkes. "There is very
great difference between the capital of the Philippine Islands and Miss
Blanche's pretty little hands."

"_Ll_, which we call double _l_, is treated as one letter in Spanish,
and it has its own peculiar sound, nearly equivalent to _ly_ in English;
and therefore Miss Blanche's small hand would be called mah-nil-ya,
which is not the capital spoken off. The name of all the islands is
spelled in English with double _p_,--Philippine; but that is not
Spanish, though the geographers have generally adopted that orthography.
The Spanish name is _Las Islas Filipinas_."

"Thank you, Professor; and I think I understand it now," added Uncle
Moses.

"_Quiera V. enseñarme sus manillas, Signorina Blanche?_" said Louis with
a laugh. Of course she did not understand him; and he added, "Will you
show me your small hands, Miss Blanche?" But she did not do so.

"I should very much like to have all geographical names reduced to a
common standard, for I do not believe in translating proper names," said
the commander. "I have been sometimes greatly bothered by the difference
in names. When I came to Aachen in Belgium, I did not know where I was
till I looked in my guide-book, and found it was Aix-la-Chapelle.
Vienna has about three or four different names, and people there would
not know what you meant if you called it as we do, or Vienne as the
French write and spell it."

"I think you are quite right, Mr. Commander," added the professor.

"But I have a few words to say about our voyage; for I find it necessary
to repress the ambition of some of my passengers," continued the
captain. "Some of them wish to visit all the Philippine Islands, and
there are about two thousand of them."

"Oh! oh! oh!" groaned some of the party.

"But the number I gave includes every rock, reef, and shoal that lifts
its head above the water. Some call it twelve hundred. We will not stay
to count them; but there are many of them big enough to have quite a
number of towns on them. I wish to announce that it will not be possible
for us to go to any of them except Manila, spelled with one _l_, and
make an excursion up the Pasig River, and to the lake. But the ambition
of the party is more expansive in regard to China and Japan. As I have
told you, we can take only a specimen city in each country we visit.
Hong-Kong and Canton in China, with some more northern port or city not
yet selected, will be enough to give us an idea of the Central Flowery
Nation."

The party left the cabin, and went on deck to study the map of the
islands they were to visit.



CHAPTER XXVII

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE PHILIPPINES


The Guardian-Mother continued on her course without encountering either
typhoon or other tempest, and her passengers kept very comfortable under
the awnings. The ship was in about 10° of north latitude and 110° of
east longitude. She was sailing with the wind nearly dead ahead, and
therefore the breeze was good on deck, and even in the cabins.

At the appointed hour the passengers were in their chairs in Conference
Hall, two of them occupied by the siamangs, and the baby in the lap of
Miss Blanche, who had become very much attached to the little creature.
On the frame in front of the orang-outang was a complete map of the
Philippine Islands, covering seventeen degrees of latitude, and ten of
longitude, with enough of the seas around them to make their position
clear to the audience.

Professor Giroud was introduced for this occasion as the speaker; and he
was received with more than usual applause, for he had not occupied the
rostrum as much as formerly, General Noury having been kept busy since
his reappearance off Batavia. It may be said that after the rest of the
day before the party were in excellent condition to be instructed.

"We are sailing just now in comparatively shallow water; and just to the
south of us there are innumerable shoals, with only from four to ten
fathoms of water on them. If the water were entirely drained from the
China Sea, the bottom would be like a hilly region; for these numerous
shoals would be the tops of various elevations, and the same would be
true of a less extent north of us. The portion of the sea over which we
are now moving would appear to be a considerable valley. You all have
imagination enough to see what I have described.

"All around the Philippines on the east and south the water is from two
to four thousand fathoms deep; so that if the seas were dried up around
them, these islands would appear like a number of irregular chains of
mountains, and the highest peak would be over 10,000 feet above the
present surface of the water.

"From north to south these islands extend about a thousand miles, and
from east to west about half that distance, with the Sulu or Mindoro Sea
four hundred miles across it in either direction, nearly enclosed within
them; for the north-east coast of Borneo is part of its boundary on the
south. As the commander mentioned at dinner last evening, there are over
two thousand islands in the group; and leaving out those rocks and
shoals which are not big enough for a man to stand upon, there are
twelve hundred of them.

"On a map of the world, or even of Asia, the Philippine Islands occupy
but a small space, and in your school-days you have doubtless regarded
them as of but little importance; but several of the islands are larger
than any New England State, and two of them are as large as Virginia and
Ohio, and nearly as large as New York and Pennsylvania. Luzon and
Mindanao," and the professor pointed to them on the map, "the most
northerly and the most southerly, have each about 40,000 square miles,
and the area of all the islands is 116,000 miles. I think most of you
could have no idea from your study of maps of the extent of the
Philippines.

"Mindoro, the next island south of Luzon, has 9,000; and the others from
1,200 to 5,500. I shall not mention or describe them separately. We
shall visit only Manila and the country near it, and you would not
remember even the names of the islands over night. They are all
mountainous and volcanic. The highest mountain is Apo, in Mindanao,
which is 10,400 feet high, and there are others of 9,000 feet.

"The islands are volcanic, and therefore subject to earthquakes; and an
instrument in Manila which indicates vibrations of the earth is said to
be shaking about all the time. Several destructive ones are recorded in
the past. In 1863 Manila was nearly destroyed by one, and the great
southern island is especially liable to them.

"The mountain ranges mostly extend north and south; and there is space
between them for some considerable rivers, as the Rio Grande in Luzon
has a course of 220 miles. The Agusan in Mindanao is navigable for 60
miles. In this island are several lakes, with rivers flowing from them.
In addition to which are many lacustrine basins."

"Spare us, Professor!" exclaimed Uncle Moses.

"The word comes from _lacus_, Latin for lake, and applies here to such
lakes as send their overflow to the sea or other lakes by streams made
by the rush of water. But I don't use many such words, and I hardly
expected a classical scholar to object," replied the professor.

"But I objected in behalf of several here who never studied Latin; and
besides the overflow is entirely apart from the root of the word. But I
am satisfied, and the commander may invite you to proceed," chuckled
Brother Avoirdupois.

"On account of the high mountains and the abundant sea-breezes, though
hot and moist, this group is not so unhealthy as most tropical islands
and countries. The fevers of hot countries are here of the mild,
intermittent kind"--

"What is intermittent, Professor?" asked Felix. "Is it the kind they
don't have in Ireland?"

"I should say that it was."

"An intermittent fever, Felix, is one that comes and goes, like the old
woman's soap," interjected Mrs. Blossom, the nurse; and everybody
laughed to hear her say anything.

"The diseases most dreaded in these islands are consumption, dysentery,
and anæmia"--

"Mercy, Professor!" cried Mr. Woolridge.

"The reduction in the amount of blood in the system, and the condition
resulting from this loss, is anæmia. Dr. Hawkes can explain it more
fully," replied the professor.

"Not necessary," added the surgeon.

"As all over the Eastern Archipelago, there are two seasons, the wet and
the dry, produced by the monsoons; but the irregularity of the surface
variously modifies the result. For the southern and western sides of the
mountains the south-west monsoons give the wet season, and the
north-east the dry season, and _vice versa_. Manila is subjected by the
influence of the south-west winds to rains from June to November, with
dry weather the rest of the year.

"The temperature is about the same all the year round. The coolest month
is December, when the glass stays at about 77°; and in May, the hottest
month, at 86°. Of course there are days, and times of day, when the
temperature is lower than the one, and higher than the other. The
extremes where we are going vary only about 25°--from 66° to 91°; and we
have it hotter than the last in New York. The average rainfall is about
seventy inches, varying by months from one-third of an inch in March, to
twenty inches in August.

"The flora of the islands is just what you would expect in this climate.
Nearly or quite all the plants you have found in the other islands you
have visited are to be found here. Particularly plenteous here are the
fibrous plants, and abaca forms in its prepared state one of the most
important exports of the islands. This is a sort of plantain from which
comes the Manila hemp, as it is sometimes called, though it is a
misnomer; and with us it is called simply manila, the sailors tell me.
It is extensively cultivated here, and grows something like the banana.

"The stalks on which the leaves grow are split into long strips, are
threshed, combed, washed, and dried, and then they become manila, of
which many of the ropes of this ship are made, though hemp makes the
better article. The finest fibres are sometimes fifteen feet long, and
from such some very delicate manufactured goods are produced. The
coarser parts are used for cordage, which is very serviceable. When we
were at Nassau, in the Island of New Providence, last year, we saw
fields of _sisal_, which has in late years come into use as a substitute
for common hemp and manila, and is said to resist the action of
sea-water better than any other material.

"The fauna may seem to be quite limited to the Nimrods of our company,
for the large animals we have found in other islands do not exist in the
Philippines. The buffalo and the gibbon are the largest in the islands,
with a variety of monkeys. The elephant, tiger, rhinoceros, bear, and
orang-outang have no home here. The only dangerous animals are the
crocodile, serpents, and other reptiles. If the Nimrods wish to hunt
they will have to try their hand at the wild buffaloes, though they are
not to be found near Manila.

"Birds are numerous and various, and especially the gallinaceous bipeds,
such as barnyard fowls, grouse, and pheasants; but the most highly
valued here is the 'rooster,' if I may call him by his common American
name, for cock-fighting is one of the national amusements of Spain and
its dependencies. You will see plenty of it in Manila, if you are so
disposed; but it is not an elevating sport, any more than bull-fighting,
which may possibly prevail here. Coal and iron are the most common
minerals, with others; but mining is too severe work for the enterprise
of the people, and I believe most of the mines of Cuba are worked by
Americans.

"The original inhabitants of the Philippines were doubtless Negritos;
and I hasten to explain the name before I am 'picked up.' It was the
word used by the Spaniards to designate, not alone the negroes as we
find them in Africa, but those who are similar to them. People of this
race formerly inhabited all these islands, but there are scarcely any of
them left at the present time. Hindus, Malays, and other natives of the
adjacent countries and islands, came here, and the races mingled.

"The people found here at the present time have a variety of names,
beginning with the pure Spaniards, Creoles, Tagals, Chinese, and
Mestizoes. The Spaniards and the Tagals need no explanation, for the
latter are the pure natives of the islands. Creole, I believe, is
variously used in different locations; but it is a Spanish word, coming
from _criolla_, which means grown up. They are one thing in the Spanish
West Indies, another in Brazil.

"A more general definition is a person born in any country, but not of
native blood. In the Philippines, Creoles are the children of Spanish
fathers and native mothers. Mestizoes are children of Chinese parents on
one side and natives on the other. The last class are usually called
'métis' in Manila and elsewhere. You will doubtless see all of these
classes, and with a little practice will be able to identify them.

"The Spaniards of the islands are Catholics, often, I am sorry to say,
merely nominally such. Many of the natives are Mohammedan, though the
greater portion are Catholic. The Philippines were discovered by
Magellan, as we generally call him, though that was not his correct
name, in 1521. He was born in Portugal, and his name was Magalhães. He
served as a soldier in Malacca and Morocco, and was lamed for life in a
battle in the latter. He did not think his services were appreciated by
his king, and he offered them to Spain.

"He presented to Charles V. a plan for reaching the Moluccas by sailing
to the west; and, his scheme being approved, he was fitted out with a
fleet of five ships. He passed through the straits south of Patagonia,
which still bear his name, crossed the great ocean, to which he gave the
name of Pacific, though it was discovered by Balboa, who called it the
South Sea. Succeeding in his enterprise, he reached the Philippines,
after putting down a mutiny. He was killed in an expedition he led in
the islands. The Victoria, his ship, returned to Spain in charge of one
of his subordinates, thus completing the first voyage ever made around
the world.

"There were several governments in the islands, and most of them were
conquered or conciliated so that they came under Spanish rule; but the
Mohammedans of Sulu, the Archipelago north-east of Borneo, and Mindanao
retained their independence for a long period, and they still retain
their boundaries and government.

"Manila has a population of 270,000, and there are several other
considerable towns with 30,000 or more. There is a submarine cable to
Hong Kong, 720 miles of telegraph, and 16 miles of railroad out of
Manila. The army consists of 4,800 men, with 3,500 gendarmerie, or
police, such as ride in pairs all over Spain. It has a navy of two
corvettes, six _avisos_, or despatch vessels, sixteen gunboats, with
2,000 sailors and marines. I believe I have told you all that is
necessary to know about the Philippine Islands in a general way; and I
thank you for your attention through the long talk I have given you,"
the professor concluded, and retired from the rostrum in the midst of
the hearty applause bestowed upon him.

"I think we all know more about the Philippines than we ever knew
before, though I have been there; and to-morrow I shall have something
to say, very briefly, about the city of Manila," said the commander.

"When shall we get there, Captain?" asked Dr. Hawkes.

"Day after to-morrow morning; but I shall lay off so as not to get there
at three in the morning."[1]

FOOTNOTE:

[1] On board of a steamer from Colombo, Ceylon, to London, I
met an educated Scotch gentleman from Manila, who pronounced the name
Philippine, the last _i_ long. On the steamer from Liverpool to Boston,
I met a lady, also from Manila, and she pronounced it with a long _i_ in
the last syllable. I conclude this is the fashion among English-speaking
people in the Philippine Islands.--O. O.



CHAPTER XXVIII

THE DESCRIPTION OF AN EARTHQUAKY CITY


In the afternoon of the second day out Professor Giroud called his
pupils together in the library, which was the schoolroom of the ship,
and resumed the lessons which had been interrupted since the arrival at
Sarawak. The long intermission had sharpened the intellects of the
class, and they were very earnest in their studies. But it could be only
for the afternoon and the next day, for the commander was very diligent
in the business of sight-seeing.

At half-past nine the next forenoon, the passengers were all assembled
in Conference Hall, as the captain had appointed; and the siamangs, who
spent much of the time aloft running up and down and along the
foreyards, were in their usual places, for chairs had been provided for
them; and they looked as grave and attentive as though they understood
the whole of the lecture. Captain Ringgold appeared on the rostrum,
after he had patted Mr. and Mrs. Mingo on the head, and glanced at Miss
Mingo in the lap of Miss Blanche.

"Manila is the capital of all the Spanish possessions in the East, as
the professor has informed you; it has a population of 270,000, which is
40,000 greater than Havana," he began. "It is on the south-west coast
of Luzon, 650 miles from Hong-Kong, which is a run of about forty-seven
hours for the ship. It is located on both sides of the little river
Pasig, which is the outlet of Lake Bahia, or the Lake of the Bay. When I
was here many years ago, I spoke Spanish enough to get along; but I
shall leave the language now to the professor and Mr. Belgrave, for I
forget most of it.

"In going to the city we have to pass through Manila Bay, which is
really a sea of itself; and, though it is land-locked, it affords little
if any protection for vessels in heavy weather, for it is about thirty
miles long from north to south, and twenty-five from east to west. A
west or south-west wind rakes it about the same as the ocean.

"The city forms a circle, with a piece of it cut off on the bay; and the
suburbs are on several islands in the river and bay. To keep a clear
channel, the Pasig is extended into the bay between two piers, with a
fort at the end of one, and a lighthouse at the end of the other. The
anchorage in the bay is good enough so far as holding ground is
concerned, except in the south-west monsoon, when vessels of four
hundred tons or more have to go to Cavite, ten miles south south-west
from the city; and their cargo must be taken to and from them in
lighters.

"The oldest part of Manila is on the southern bank of the Pasig, and is
strongly fortified; but it has a dilapidated look, for it was founded in
1571. On the north side of the river is the Binondo suburb, as it is
called, which is more populous than the old part. The foreign merchants
live here, and it is the more important commercial centre. You would
hardly know, if you waked from a sleep there, whether you were in a
Spanish or an Oriental city, for you would see something of both.
Gloomy-looking churches, awkward towers, and heavily built stone houses
are mixed up with pleasant cottages in groves of tropical trees. I
believe the people are now inclined to build more of wood than stone on
account of the prevalence of earthquakes, which shake down the heavier
structures, and crush the occupants under the weight of the material.

"As in Burma and Siam, the cottages I mentioned are built on posts; for
the land is sometimes inundated, and the water requires a free passage,
or it would do more mischief. In the month of August, nearly two feet of
water falls on a level; and it makes bad work in the low places. The
streets are wide and not paved; and in the rainy season, with a foot or
two of water lying loose around, they become very nearly impassable. The
houses are built in Spanish fashion, with a central court-yard. They are
generally two stories high; for in an earthquaky country like this,
where terra firma becomes terra shaky, the people are not encouraged to
erect buildings twenty stories high, as in New York and Chicago.

"An iron suspension bridge connects the old town with Binondo. It was
formerly a stone bridge, built more than two hundred years ago, which
was thrown down by the earthquake of 1863. A street in the new suburb,
called the Escolto, seems to be the Broadway of the city; for it is the
great shopping locality, and it is flanked with shops and stalls, filled
with people of various races. Beyond this the Chinese, Tagals, and
half-castes congregate in numerous occupations, as jewellers, oil and
soap dealers, confectioners, painters, and those of other trades. Here
you will find plenty of gambling-houses, if you are looking for them.

"As in Singapore, certain sections of the city are given up to
particular branches of business. At San Fernando, there are immense
cigar manufactories, like the one you saw in Sevilla in Spain, where six
thousand women are employed; and probably as many are to be found in
some of them here," continued the commander, consulting memoranda he
took from his pocket. "At Santo Mesa is a cordage manufactory; at
Alcaicerfa the Chinese have a landing-place for their sampans; fishermen
and weavers live at Tondo, whose gardens supply the markets with fruit
and vegetables; Malate is the resort of the embroiderers; Paco is
favored by artists and artisans; and Santa Ana and San Pedro Macati are
health resorts."

"McCarty!" exclaimed Felix, as he caught what sounded like an Irish
name. "I wondher if he comes from Kilkenny."

"A place, and not a man; and it did not come from Kilkenny. It is a
Spanish name, spelled Ma-ca-ti," replied the captain. "I have read off
all these names from my memoranda, not that I expect you to remember
them, but to show you how things work here. All the buildings for public
use in a capital city are found here, and a cathedral, the palaces of
the governor-general and the archbishop, an elegant town-house,
churches, three colleges for young men, and two for young women (not
behind the times, you see), a large theatre, probably not as large as
that in Barcelona, custom-house, barracks, etc. The Prado is the largest
public square, and is ornamented with a statue of Charles IV., or
Carlos, King of Spain from 1788 to 1808; and I wonder there is not one
of Magellan, who discovered the islands, and lost his life here.

"The streets of the city are lighted with kerosene-oil lamps, and not
with gas, for the reason that the earthquakes made bad work of the
latter; and the works were destroyed in a hurricane in 1882, as was half
the city. They do not build houses of brick or stone now, but of wood,
the former being so destructive of human life in an earthquake. The
native dwellings are constructed of bamboo, thatched with the leaves of
the nipa palm.

"Glass windows are not used here; but the flat shell of a large oyster
is substituted for glass, and the sashes all slide horizontally. Both of
these departures from ordinary methods are said to be to exclude the
great heat; but I confess that I cannot see it. I find among my
memoranda that 21,000 women and 1,500 man are employed in making
cigars; which in Sevilla includes the putting up of tobacco in papers
for smoking, and it may be so here. Before I close I wish to say that
authorities differ in regard to the population of the city; but I think
the professor was about right in putting it at 270,000. Lippincott gives
it with the suburbs at 160,000, and Chambers at nearly 300,000. You have
been patient and longer suffering than I intended you should be, and I
thank you."

The commander made his bow, and descended from the rostrum. Hearty
applause followed, and the siamangs joined with repeated cries and
squeaks. Miss Mingo had fallen asleep in her comfortable quarters; but
the noise woke her with a start, and she sprang to the shoulder of Miss
Blanche, where she gave her "Ra! Ra! Ra!" and the squeak which is the
"tiger" at the end of it. As the audience left their chairs for a walk
on the deck, Mr. and Mrs. Mingo sprang into the fore-rigging, climbing
the shrouds, and over the futtock-shrouds, disdaining to crawl through
the lubber-hole to the top.

Miss Mingo looked up at them, and then sprang into the rigging; for her
strength and agility seemed to have greatly increased since she came on
board, making it probable that the sea-air agreed with her. But her
mamma did not appear to be quite satisfied with this venture; and she
sprang over the futtocks, and seized her with one arm as she began to
mount them.

Mr. Mingo ran up the topmast rigging, and seated himself on the
cross-trees. The anxious mother looked at him a moment, and then darted
down to the deck with the baby in her arm. Then, seeing Mrs. Belgrave
seated in one of the arm-chairs on the promenade, she carried Miss Mingo
to her, placing the infant in her lap. The lady immediately folded the
little one in her arms so that she could not escape, caressing her so
that she did not offer to follow her mother up the rigging, though she
watched her ascent.

Mrs. Mingo ascended to the cross-trees, where she and the gentleman
siamang seemed to hold a conference. The latter then sprang up to the
topgallant yard, and was closely followed by his mate. They turned
somersets, and went through a variety of athletic feats, which greatly
interested their audience on deck, who gave them a round of applause.
They seemed to understand and appreciate this manifestation of
approbation, for they attempted various other feats.

Mrs. Mingo got hold of the topgallant halliards, and finding them loose,
swung out over the lee side of the ship. Captain Ringgold was startled
at this movement. She swung out as far as she could, the line yielding,
and suddenly she dropped into the water. The captain rang the gong to
stop the screw, and then to back it. If the siamang could swim at all,
she was very clumsy in the water; and the waves, for there was
considerable sea on, seemed to bother her.

"Clear away the second cutter, Mr. Gaskette!" shouted the commander as
soon as he had rung the gong to stop the screw, and the ship was as
nearly at rest as she could be on the billows.

"All the second cutters, on deck!" shouted Biggs, the boatswain, after
he had piped his whistle, at the order of the second officer.

The boat was swung out in as much haste as though the cry had been "Man
overboard!" and her crew took their places in good order. The cutter was
lowered into the water, and the men gave way on a favoring wave and went
clear of the ship. They pulled with all their might; and Lanark, the
cockswain, steered her for the siamang.

"Stand by, bowmen, to haul in the lady!" called Mr. Gaskette, as the
cutter approached the unhappy animal. "In bows!" and the two bowmen
tossed their oars, and brought them down in place, the men springing
into the fore-sheets to seize hold of the creature. "Way enough!"

It looked to those who were anxiously watching the operations of the
men, fearful that Miss Mingo would become an orphan, as though the boat
would strike Mrs. Mingo, and kill her by the collision.

"Stern all!" cried Mr. Gaskette with energy.

The order was obeyed, and the cutter came to a stop when near the
animal. The bowmen were reaching to get hold of her, when she made a
vigorous leap into the fore-sheets, grasping the rail as she did so. She
shook herself with all her might as soon as she was in the boat, and a
cheer went up from the deck of the ship. The lady then seated herself on
the little platform in the bow, and seemed to be as happy as ever, and
that was saying a great deal.

"Give way!" said Mr. Gaskette, laughing at the apparent self-possession
of Mrs. Mingo when her troubles were over. The cutter came alongside the
ship under its davits, the falls were hooked on, and the boat was
hoisted up. The lady was the first to leap from her place to the rail of
the ship.

The passengers applauded as she moved aft; and she replied with her
usual cry, and ended it with a squeak. She went directly to the
promenade, which she mounted, and then hastened to Mrs. Belgrave's
chair. She looked at her baby as though it had been overboard. Miss
Mingo's keeper had taken care that the infant should not see her mother
in the water; and the little one could not have told what was the matter
if any one had asked her, first because she did not know, and second for
an obvious reason.

The ship was going ahead again, and the captain came to the promenade.
He took the lady into the sun, and persuaded her to lie down and dry
herself. She seemed to understand the matter, and stretched herself out.

"What made her fall overboard, Captain?" asked the lady--meaning Mrs.
Belgrave this time, and not the siamang.

[Illustration: SHE MADE A VIGOROUS LEAP INTO THE FORE-SHEETS.

_Page 267._]

"The fore topgallant halliard was not made fast to the cleat, and when
it ran out, it jerked her from it," replied the commander. "It ought not
to have been loose, and there is a bit of discipline for some jack-tar."

The ship went along as before; and when the passengers turned out the
next morning Manila was in sight, and not five miles distant.



CHAPTER XXIX

GOING ON SHORE IN MANILA


The ship had slowed down in the afternoon, and reached the entrance of
Manila Bay about eight bells, or four o'clock in the morning. At the
Boca Grande she had taken a pilot; but she still had twenty-five miles
to run. She had come in by the larger of the two passages, formed by a
group of islands, both of which are called "mouths" (_bocas_); and the
smaller of them is the Boca Chica. The Blanche had followed the example
of the Guardian-Mother in slowing down, and had taken a pilot at about
the same time.

The passengers had asked the steward on watch in the cabin to call them
at half-past five, and they were all on deck as soon as it was light
enough for them to see the shore clearly. But the bay is so large that
they could make out the shores only ahead of the ship. They could see
the mountains in the distance, with a lower stretch of land between them
and the low ground of the shore. All that they could observe was
tropical verdure, with lofty palms on every hand. The low ground,
covered with water in the rainy season, was planted with rice-fields.

The ladies declared that the view was lovely; and certainly it presented
variety enough, with the high lands in the background, and the rich and
luxuriant growth near the bay. The pilot was a Spaniard who could speak
a little English; and the commander ordered him to bring the ship to
anchor at a safe place, as near as convenient off the end of the two
piers at the mouth of Pasig. The Blanche took a position abreast of her,
off the fort, while the first was off the lighthouse.

The health-officer came on board, and by this time it was after sunrise.
He was blandly received by the commander, as every official or visitor
was, and the conversation was carried on in English. All the ship's
company and the passengers were mustered on the upper deck. The papers,
including lists of all the persons on board, were examined, and compared
with the number presented, which made it clear that no one was sick in
his stateroom or in the forecastle.

The custom-house officers were not far behind, and the character of the
steamer was explained. There was no manifest, for there was no cargo to
be invoiced. The principal officer was very minute in his inquiry, and
not particularly courteous. He was evidently impressed by his authority;
and the captain did not invite him to breakfast, as he would have done
if he had been somewhat less conscious of the magnitude of his office.

The duties on merchandise brought into the islands were formerly
discriminating in favor of Spanish vessels, which caused other
merchantmen to avoid the port to its commercial injury; but about
twenty years before a uniform tariff was established, without regard to
the flag under which the ship sailed, and all export duties were
abolished. The official went over the ship, and the arrangement of her
accommodations ought to have been enough to convince the man that the
vessel was a pleasure yacht. The self-sufficient officer retreated in
good order when he had completed his examination, leaving a subordinate
on board to see that no merchandise was landed. The latter was a
gentlemanly person, spoke English, and was disposed to make himself
agreeable. He was invited to breakfast in the cabin.

The passengers had seated themselves on the promenade during the
official examination, observing all the proceedings, and watching the
boats in sight, some of which were different from anything they had seen
before. They were near enough to the piers to see some distance up the
river. Of course the Blanche was subjected to the same examination; but
a different set of officials had boarded her, and completed their work
in a much shorter time. It could be seen that her crew were putting the
steam-launch into the water.

"The Blanchita will be exceedingly serviceable here," said the
commander, who had taken a stand near the steps of the promenade. "We
can go on shore, and land anywhere we please; for there are quays all
along the river."

"Boat coming down the river with the American flag at the stern,
Captain Ringgold," said Mr. Scott, saluting the commander.

"Our consul probably," added the captain. "Would you like to go to a
hotel in Manila, ladies?" asked he.

No one answered the question, but three of them glanced at Mrs.
Belgrave, as though they expected her to reply; but she made no sign.

"You don't answer, ladies," added the captain.

"We are waiting for Mrs. Belgrave to speak," said Mrs. Woolridge.

"I beg you will excuse me," said that lady, laughing. "I do not know why
I am expected to voice the sentiments of the party."

"Because, like the wife of the President of the United States at home,
you are the first lady on board," returned the wife of the magnate of
the Fifth Avenue. "Your son is the owner of the Guardian-Mother, and you
are the mother for whom the ship is named."

"I most respectfully decline to be so regarded; and if I have ever put
on any airs, I will repent and reform," replied Mrs. Belgrave, laughing
all the while.

"You have never put on airs, or assumed anything at all," protested Mrs.
Woolridge.

"I consider my son a very good boy, and an earnest advocate of fair play
with others," continued the "first lady" more seriously; and all the
party heartily approved the remark. "Louis found that the other members
of the 'Big Four' were disposed to rely upon him, and wished to do as he
desired. On the Borneo question he took a secret ballot, and would not
express his own opinion till the vote was declared, though he voted
himself. Every one voted for himself, and could not have been influenced
by his desire. I propose to follow my son's example. I wish the
commander to be guided by the views of all rather than mine."

All the passengers, gentlemen included, applauded her unselfish stand.
The lady tore off a blank leaf from a letter she took from her pocket,
and made it into twelve pieces, which she proceeded to distribute among
the passengers.

"I think the gentlemen are just as much interested in the question as
the ladies; and I invite them to vote, Mr. Scott included. The question
is, Shall we go to a hotel in Manila, or live on board of the ship,"
said the lady. "You will vote yes or no; yes for the hotel, and no for
the ship."

"Perhaps I ought to inform you before you vote that there are at least
three hotels in Manila,--the Catalana, the Universo, and the Madrid. Of
the merits of each I cannot speak; but we can obtain correct information
before we go to any one of them, and probably there are more than I have
mentioned," interposed the commander, very much amused at the
proceedings.

"Please to separate now; and I put you on your honor to be secret, and
not consult any person in regard to your vote," Mrs. Belgrave added. "I
appoint Mr. Gaskette to collect, sort, and count the ballots. After
voting, please return to the promenade."

The passengers went individually to various corners, and wrote their
votes. The second officer collected them in his cap, and then went into
the pilot-house to make out his return. It required but three minutes to
do this, as there was no scattering votes; and he returned to the
promenade.

"Whole number of votes, 12; necessary to a choice, 7; Yes, 2, No, 10,
and the No's have carried it," read Mr. Gaskette, handing the paper to
Mrs. Belgrave, and retiring with a graceful bow.

"Yes means hotel, and no means ship," said the lady. "Mr. Commander, the
party have voted to live on board of the ship. I am willing to
acknowledge that I cast one of the two yes ballots. But I am infinitely
better satisfied than I should have been if I had influenced you the
other way. I hope you all consider that the thing has been fairly done."

"Boat coming alongside, sir," reported Mr. Scott to the captain.
"Another boat near, flying the English flag, headed for the Blanche."

Captain Ringgold hastened to the gangway to receive the occupant of the
boat, whoever he might prove to be. One of the men on the platform
brought him a card, on which he found the name of the American consul,
who mounted at once to the deck just as the gong sounded for breakfast.

"I am very glad to meet you, Mr. Webb, and to welcome you to my ship,
which is the steam-yacht Guardian-Mother, on a voyage around the world,"
said the captain, as he grasped the hand of the official. "Captain
Ringgold, at your service."

"I am very happy to meet you, Captain, for I have heard of you; and I
tender my services for any assistance I may be able to render to you and
your party," replied the consul.

"Now I will introduce you to the ladies and gentlemen on board, and you
will do us the honor to breakfast with us," added the commander, as he
took the arm of his guest, and conducted him to the promenade, where he
was duly presented to all the passengers individually.

Louis Belgrave was presented as the owner of the steamer, for the
captain never omitted to give him a prominent position. The breakfast
was the usual one; but it was always very nice, and Mr. Sage had hailed
a boat, and obtained some very fine fish for the meal. Mr. Webb was
placed on the right of the commander, Louis's usual place; but he was
glad enough always to get the seat next to Miss Blanche. The consul was
next to Mrs. Belgrave; and he found her very agreeable, as she never
failed to be.

"Now, what are we going to do here, Mr. Commander?" asked the "first
lady," as some had actually begun to call her already.

"We are going to see the city, of course," he replied.

"I feel for one as though we had already seen it, and I can see it all
in my mind's eye now," added the lady. "You and the professor have given
us such a minute account of the place and its surroundings that it seems
to me that I have taken it all in."

"I think most of us have," said Mrs. Woolridge; and several of the
company expressed themselves to the same effect.

"We have several books in the library about the city and the islands,
and some of us have read them all," suggested Louis.

"What books have you on board, Mr. Belgrave?" asked the consul.

"We have 'Twenty Years in the Philippines' by Monsieur de la Gironière,
which some say was written by Alexandre Dumas, but I don't know about
that; 'Travels in the Philippines,' by F. Jagor, with an epitome of the
work in _Harper's Magazine;_ and we have Chambers's Encyclopædia,
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the present year, and some other works."

"You seem to be well provided with information, and with the best
extant, unless you consult the archives of Spain at Madrid," returned
the consul.

"The Blanchita is coming alongside, Captain," said Mr. Scott, to whom a
message to this effect had been sent down by the officer of the deck.

The breakfast was nearly finished when the word came; and the party soon
went on deck, where they found all the passengers of the Blanche and the
British consul. The usual hugging and kissing on the part of the ladies
and handshaking by the gentlemen followed, and the two consuls were duly
presented to all.

"It is time for us to go on shore," said General Noury, looking at his
watch. "The Blanchita is at the gangway, and I have engaged a pilot for
her. Of course you are all invited to go on shore in her."

The two consuls volunteered to act as guides; and the company took their
places in the launch, which was large enough to accommodate double the
number. The pilot took her into the river; and if the ears of the
tourists had been filled full of Manila, there was plenty for the eyes
to take in, and it was not five minutes after they passed the lighthouse
before most of the passengers were laughing at some of the queer
costumes worn by the people.

They passed a craft which Mr. Webb called a passage-boat. It was a sort
of canoe, manned by three men, two of them rowing, and one working a
paddle to steer her. Over the after part was an awning, made of the big
leaves of the nipa palm; and under it were two men and two women, bound
up the river. But a freight-boat interested the young men most. The hull
of it looked more like a canal-boat than any other craft they could
think of. The planking of the sides extended a little higher up forward
and aft than amidships; and the whole was covered with an arched roof
woven on hoops, like those of a baggage-wagon, with palm leaves. The
portion at the bow and stern could be removed, as the whole could. The
man at the helm was under the stern section of the cover, and it was
lifted about a foot to enable him to look ahead.

A wide plank was secured on iron brackets fastened to each side of the
craft, on which were two men poling the boat up the stream. It was so
far like the mud-scows formerly in use on some of the waters of New
England, except that the men who worked her with poles walked on the
gunwale of the scow. The boys watched it till it passed out of view
astern. The Blanchita made a landing near the bridge, on the Binondo
side; and all the passengers went on shore.



CHAPTER XXX.

EXCURSIONS ON SHORE AND UP THE PASIG


The Pasig flowed from east to west in the city; and landing on the north
side of the stream, the tourists soon came to the Escolto, which
extended both ways parallel to the river. It was the principal street
for shoppers and promenaders, and was exactly what they wished to find,
as they had informed Mr. Webb and Mr. Gollan, the two consuls who had
brought them there.

The avenue was filled at this hour with a motley variety of people of
all the races known in the islands, from the Tagal Indian up to the
native-born of Spain. Some of them were disposed to laugh at the
strangeness, not to say the absurdity, of some of the costumes which
confronted them; but all of them were too well bred to indulge their
mirth, or to stare offensively at the subjects of their suppressed
merriment. One young man excited their attention especially; and Louis
at the side of Miss Blanche, and the rest of the quartet of young
Americans, were also interested.

"He is one of the swells of the city," said Scott, looking industriously
at the clear blue sky.

"He looks like it," replied Louis, as he and his female companion each
gazed with one eye into a shop window while they fixed the other upon
the native, who was sporting a cane in fantastic twirls, and evidently
believing he was worth looking at.

The subject of their mirth, variously concealed, was what would be
called a colored man at home, though not a negro; but he was not many
removes in complexion from the original Negrito. He was toying with a
cigar, and wore a monocle and a "stovepipe" hat. His trousers were a
sort of plaid; and his upper works were covered with what looked like a
blouse, though it was really his shirt, with a linen bosom, secured with
studs. At the base of his figure was a pair of patent-leather shoes,
though he did not affect the luxury of stockings.

The party observed his magnificent movements till he was out of sight;
but their attention was immediately attracted by a feminine
water-carrier, who was standing on the opposite side of the street. On
her head was a good-sized earthen jar, which she poised on the summit of
her cranium without support from either hand, one of which she employed
in coquetting with a banana leaf instead of the national _abanico_, or
fan, of the Spanish ladies.

"That girl has a very fine form," said Dr. Hawkes, who was standing near
the boys. "She is not a Spanish maiden, but her complexion is quite as
fair as any of them."

"She has an abundant crop of dark hair, and she puts it to a good use;
for it is braided and rolled up so that it makes a cushion for the
water-jar," said Scott.

"She is much taller than the natives we have been in the habit of
seeing," added Louis.

By this time the entire party had halted, and, taking their cue from the
surgeon, were looking at the water-bearer. The girl had been observing
the strangers before any of them saw her; but as soon as she realized
that she was the object of their scrutiny, she smiled, and her pretty
face lighted up as though she did not object to being stared at. Her
under garment, with long sleeves, was all the covering she wore above
the belt; and below it her skirt of uneven length reached just below the
knees. She wore neither shoes nor stockings, and her feet looked as
though they had been "Trilbied."

"I suppose that man over there is carrying that rooster to market," said
Mrs. Belgrave, who was walking between the commander and Mr. Webb.

"Not at all, madam; that is a game-bird. The national amusements of
Spain are bull-fighting and cock-fighting," returned Mr. Webb. "I was in
Madrid one Sunday, and the programme for the day was a cock-fight at
one, a bull-fight at three, and the Italian opera at six; and I went to
all of them."

"On Sunday?" queried the lady.

"I was there to see the sights, and learn the customs of the people;
and a bull-fight could be seen only on Sunday, and the cock-fight was
patronized on that day by the high admiral of the navy. In Madrid, as in
other cities of Continental Europe, Sunday is not regarded as it is in
England and the United States; and their failure to observe it as we do
is not an evidence that they are irreligious. The next day was All
Saints' or All Souls' Day, I forget which; and every shop was closed.
The noise and confusion of Sunday and all ordinary days were silenced.
The churches were all open and well filled, and the people went to the
cemeteries to deposit flowers on the graves of their dead. In Stockholm,
which is a Protestant city, people went to church in the forenoon; but
at one o'clock the band struck up, and the rest of the day was given up
to frolicking."

"I prefer to live in Von Blonk Park," added Mrs. Belgrave, with a smile.

"But cock-fighting is vastly more prevalent here than in Spain, or any
other country I have visited. Wealthy people have their games, and all
the poor people also," continued the consul. "About every man who can
raise money enough to buy one owns a game-cock, and many take them with
them when they go out.

"Observe that man and woman approaching us; they are Spanish métis. Both
of them wear rather gay colors. On the other side of the street is a
pair of Chinese métis; and one couple is not much different from the
other, except, if you are an expert, you can see something of the high
cheek-bones of the Chinese. Both of the men wear stovepipe hats, which
seems to be the fashion among that class. Some of them are quite
wealthy."

"Do all these different grades fraternize, Mr. Webb?" asked the
commander.

"In business they do, but not socially. The pure Spaniards look down
upon all the native and half-caste people; and in turn all the other
classes do considerable looking down upon some other grades, till you
get to the Tagals, who are so unfortunate as to have no other class to
look down upon."

The tourists walked along this Broadway of the city till they were
tired, and then turned into a side street to observe some of the
dwelling-houses. The first thing that they noticed was that most of the
houses were covered on the roof with red tiles, as in Spain and in other
countries. They all had very small windows, with sliding sashes; and the
panes, of oyster-shells instead of glass, were smaller in proportion
than the windows. Most of them had a balcony of some sort, which was an
out-door sitting-room, used during leisure hours by the people.

The consuls then conducted the party to a stand for carriages, and
enough of them were engaged to accommodate all. They were taken for two
hours, with the proviso that the passengers were to be set down at the
landing by the bridge.

[Illustration: NATIVES PREPARING TOBACCO IN MANILA.

_Page 285._]

"You must pay in advance," said Mr. Webb. "That is the custom here.
The drivers were cheated so often in some former time, that it became
'no pay, no ride.' I bargained at five pesetas an hour for each
vehicle."

The captain, Mrs. Belgrave, and Mr. Webb occupied the first carriage;
and the consul directed the driver where to go.

"Five pesetas," said the lady when they were seated. "How much is that?"

"About one dollar. A peseta is the legal unit of the currency, and is of
the same value as the French franc and the Italian lira, or nineteen
cents, three mills of our money, as estimated by the director of the
United States Mint. The real is a quarter of a peseta, but the escudo of
ten reales has been suppressed. The Spanish dollar, the same as ours,
though not on a gold standard, is the usual medium of trade here."

The tourists were driven to the cathedral, the palaces of the governor
and the archbishop, and to several of the public squares; but they found
little occasion to describe them in their note-books, though they were
all worth looking at. They were taken through some of the streets
occupied by the poorer classes and to the great cigar factories. Then
they went a little way into one of these, where thousands of women of
all the lower grades of the city were employed, so that they obtained a
good idea of the establishment.

They were taken to the landing-place as agreed, and embarked
immediately in the Blanchita for the ship, where all were to lunch,
feeling that they had seen all of the city that they wished to visit.
The consuls went with them, but all were tired enough to rest during the
hour given them for the luncheon. At the expiration of the hour, the
commander remorselessly drove them on board of the steam-yacht for an
excursion up the Pasig to _Lago de Bahia_, which is Spanish for Lake of
the Bay.

Some of the party were tired; but the captain declared that they could
rest in the little steamer, and remain seated all the afternoon if they
chose. A skilful pilot for the river and lake had been obtained by Mr.
Gollan, who devoted himself especially to the pacha and the princess,
for they were the passengers of the English steamer, though he was very
kind and polite to all the company. Above the bridge the passengers
began to open their eyes, for they had explored the river below this
point.

The captain and Mrs. Belgrave (of course), with Miss Blanche, Mr. Webb,
and the "Big Four," were all in what had been called the fore cabin in
the Borneo cruises. It was as handsomely and comfortably fitted up as
the after cabin, with an awning overhead, and curtains at the side,
which were regulated by the relative positions of the boat to the sun.
Two of the English sailors, dressed in their white uniforms, were on
board to adjust these curtains, and do any other work required of them.

"There's a dead man on a raft!" exclaimed Mrs. Belgrave, pointing ahead.

"The man is not so dead as he might be," replied the consul, laughing.
"But the raft is something worth looking at for you. The affair is
simply a native going to market with his cocoanuts. Ask the engineer to
whistle sharply," he added to one of the sailors; and it was done.

Suddenly the man on the raft sprang to his feet, and looked around him.
The launch was stopped to enable the party to see his craft.

"You can see that his boat is a lot of cocoanuts, a hundred or more,
strung together with lines. The raft easily floats the man, with the
current, down to the city, where he sells his fruit, and then walks
back, or rows in a passage-boat for his fare," Mr. Webb explained
forward, and Mr. Gollan aft.

Presently they came to a little village where half a dozen dark-colored
girls, with their long hair dragging in the water, were swimming in a
small bay at the side of the stream like so many nymphs. It was an
aquatic frolic, and the Naiads were enjoying themselves to their hearts'
content. By the riverside was a house on stilts, with an open door, from
which the tourists saw two girls dive into the stream, and swim away as
though the water were their natural element. They cut up all sorts of
capers, to the great amusement of the party; and then two of them swam
to the launch, and held out their hands. They received a couple of
pesetas each from the captain and the pacha. Then all the rest of them
followed their example, and were rewarded in like manner.

The Blanchita resumed her course up the river at her usual speed; and
the voyagers found enough to interest them, and enough in the
explanations of the consuls to instruct them. The boat rushed by the
barges and passage-boats as though they were at anchor. The villages and
the houses reminded them of those they had seen on the Menam in the
vicinity of Bangkok.

"Do you notice the horned cattle?" asked Mr. Webb. "They call them
buffaloes here."

"They are what we should call broad-horns at home," replied the captain.
"I never saw any such wide-spreading and long horns as I see here."

"I am told that you have a quartet of Nimrods in your company; and I am
sure they would find plenty of sport in the country beyond the lake,
where the wild buffalo is to be found in herds as on our Western
prairies formerly. But they are a dangerous beast to hunt; for they will
fight like tigers, and not a few hunters have been killed by them."

"We should like to try them; and with rifles good for nine shots, I
think we could take care of ourselves," replied Louis.

They found plenty of buffaloes on the shores of the river, but they were
as tame as doves. At one place on the bank they saw a naked boy of ten
fooling with one of them, jumping over him, and being dragged by his
tail. It was but a short trip to the lake for the Blanchita, and the
party sailed all around it. They were all delighted with the excursion;
and the launch was hurried down the river, and reached the Blanche,
where they were to dine at seven o'clock.



CHAPTER XXXI

HALF A LECTURE ON CHINESE SUBJECTS


The dinner on board of the Blanche was fully up to the standard of the
epicureans on board of both steamers; for the cooks of both had been
busy all day, and the consuls declared that it was fully equal to the
best of which they had partaken in London or Paris. As it was to be the
last time the tourists were to meet these excellent and accomplished
officials, the occasion was a very jolly affair. Speeches were made by
both of them, in which they were lavish in praise of both the dinner and
the elegant accommodations of both the steamers.

Captain Ringgold replied, returning the most hearty thanks to both of
the official gentlemen for their kindness in acting as the guides of the
travellers, and for the interesting and valuable information they had
given them. Both of them had declared that the company ought to remain
in Manila at least a week; but the commander pleaded the long voyage
still before the ships, and repeated what he had so often said before,
that, in such a long cruise as they were taking, it was quite impossible
to do anything more than obtain a specimen of each country or island
they visited.

When they left the table the consuls took leave individually of each of
the passengers, and were sent on shore in the barge of the Blanche, for
the steam-launch had already been taken upon the deck of the ship.
During the day both steamers had taken in a supply of coal, and the
chief stewards had procured stores of provisions, ice, and especially
fruit. As the party were taking leave of the two agreeable gentlemen,
they heard the hissing of steam on the Blanche, which they did not quite
understand, as the commander or Captain Sharp "had made no sign." The
Guardian-Mother's people were taken on board, after another
leave-taking, and conveyed to their ship in their own boats.

"What is going on, Captain Ringgold?" asked Mrs. Belgrave, when she
heard the hissing steam on board of the Guardian-Mother.

"Going on to Hong-Kong," replied the commander.

"To-night?"

"To-night."

"But we have been here only one day," suggested the "first lady."

"The anchor is hove short; but if you think of anything more that you
wish to see in Manila or its vicinity, I will remain," added the
captain.

"I don't know that there is anything more to be seen. I seemed to know
the city before I had seen it."

"Very well, then we will go to sea to-night."

By ten o'clock the ships were under way; and in a couple of hours more
they were in the China Sea, headed north-west-by-north, for Hong-Kong.
The sea was as smooth as glass, for the east monsoon seemed to be
interrupted under the lee of the islands. The passengers retired at an
early hour, and there was no excuse for not going to sleep at once.

In the morning the ship was a long way out of sight of land. Breakfast
had been ordered for an hour later than usual, in order to let the party
sleep off the fatigue of the day before. But some of them were on deck
at sunrise, and saw the beautiful phenomenon of that orb coming out of
the eastern sea. There was not an island or anything else in sight but
the broad expanse of water. The air was delightful; and it was not hot
in the early morning, and under the awnings it would not be during the
day. A gentle sea gave the ship a little motion, but it was a quiet
time.

Breakfast was served at the appointed hour; and at this time Mr.
Gaskette was busy with his assistants, arranging the frame for a new
map, considerably larger than any used before, at the head of Conference
Hall. He had been at work upon it for several days, and he intended that
it should surpass anything he had done before. The orang-outang, the
monkey, and the pheasant had been removed to the library, where there
was plenty of room for them.

China was a great country, and the professor thought it would require a
long talk to dispose of it; and the conference was called for ten
o'clock, and so announced at breakfast time. When the passengers went on
deck, the first thing that attracted their attention was the new map;
and considering that it was made on board of the ship, it was a
beautiful piece of work, for the second officer was an artist. At the
appointed hour they were all in their seats.

This map, though correct at the time it was made, did not, of course,
include the changes which resulted from the war between Japan and China,
and which have not even yet been incorporated in modern history. The
pacha had been invited to give the lecture on China; but he declared
that it was too difficult a subject for him to undertake, and he begged
to be excused, and Professor Giroud had willingly undertaken it. It had
required all his time on the voyage from Saigon, and all his spare time
at Manila, to prepare himself for the difficult task. With the three
siamangs in their usual places, he mounted the platform.

A signal from the Blanche caused him to resume his seat, and the screw
was stopped. The barge from the consort dropped into the water; and the
general, his wife, the rajah, Mrs. Sharp, and Dr. Henderson came on
board, and chairs were provided for them. Miss Blanche gave up the baby
to Mrs. Noury, who was very fond of the little creature. The professor
then took his place again on the rostrum, with the pointer in his hand.

"Mr. Commander, ladies and gentlemen," he began. "Before I say a word, I
desire to acknowledge my very great obligations to Mr. Gaskette for the
elegant map he has prepared and placed before us. You observe that it
extends from the Amur River,--which is spelled in older books Amoor; but
the latest fashion is to make it Amur, as Hindu and similar words have
been changed from oo to u, for both have the same sound in most European
and Oriental names,--from the Amur River to Tonquin, about thirty
degrees of latitude, with the nineteen provinces of China, with Korea,
properly spelled with initial K, with the islands of Formosa and Hainan.
It has given the artist a great deal of labor, and he has done his work
in a manner to call for your highest commendation."

The audience vigorously applauded this statement; and the siamangs added
their "Ra! Ra! Ra!" with a volley of squeaks. Mr. Gaskette bowed his
acknowledgments; and the professor handed him the pointer, which looked
like a new arrangement.

"The artist is as well or better acquainted with the map than I am, and
I have invited him to assist on the platform. Manchuria, and I adopt the
most modern spelling of the name," continued the professor, as the
artist pointed to the province.

"I thought the subject for to-day was China," interposed Mrs. Belgrave.

"So it is, madam; but the modern history of China begins with Manchuria.
On the west of it is Mongolia, which any of the old-fashioned gentlemen
may call Chinese Tartary if they prefer, though that designation is not
in use now. Manchuria is a province of China; though the latter was a
province of the former three hundred and fifty years ago, for then it
conquered China, whose present emperor is the descendant of the
conquering Manchu monarch. Manchuria has an area of 280,000, and a
population of 21,000,000; but not more than one million of the people
are Manchus, who wear the costume and speak the language of the Chinese.
The rest of the people are emigrants from China or other countries, and
are as industrious and prosperous as any other in the vast empire.

"The Manchus are the aristocracy of the country; and ever since they
gave China its ruler, their country has been the principal territory for
recruiting the Celestial armies; and there are said to be 80,000 of
their soldiers in service. And they also furnish China with its
magistrates and police. But I will leave their country to take its place
with the other provinces of the empire. China is believed by its own
chronologists to have been in existence 2637 years before the Christian
era, and perhaps from a date still farther back; but these dates are
doubtful.

"The people of China do not know their country by the name so familiar
to us, or they know it only so far as they have learned it from
merchants and travellers. In the matter of names they all seem barbarous
to us; I do not attempt to pronounce them; and I don't think you will
succeed in doing so any better than I have. I may add that I have never
been in China; and what I tell you I did not pick up myself, but must
derive it from others who have travelled and lived in the country.

"I have obtained nearly all my information from the very learned and
valuable article of Dr. Legge, in Chambers's. He is familiar with the
language of the Chinese, has travelled and lived in the country, and is
fully acquainted with the manners and customs of the people. In the
oldest literature of the empire, it is called _Hwâ Hsiâ_, the first word
meaning 'flowery,' and the second is the proper name of the country.
Chung Kwo is the Middle Kingdom, which came into being in the feudal
period, in the midst of the several states and tribes; and if you wish
to know more of China, there is an American edition of Dr. Williams in
four volumes, which will tell you all about it. But the name did not
mean the middle of the earth, as sometimes claimed, nor is it the
foundation of the derisive term applied to China, 'The Central Flowery
Nation.'

"Other names have been given to China, though seldom seen or heard; but
Cathay, perhaps coming from the Russian name Kitai, is not at all
uncommon, especially in poetry. The name we use comes to us from India,
when two Buddhist missionaries, who came from 'the land of Chin,'
called it China and Chintan.

"As stated before, the native Chinese line of rulers, the Ming dynasty,
conquered China in 1644, and placed the first of the Tsing monarchs on
the throne. I will not tangle up your intellects by following out the
individuals of the succession any farther than to say that the present
emperor, or Hwangti, of China is Tsait'ien, who was proclaimed as such
in January, 1875. The ruler may name his successor, for the descent is
not hereditary to his eldest son; and if he fails to do so, the default
is made good by his family. He is the ninth emperor of the Manchu or
Tartar dynasty.

"As I said, China has nineteen provinces, including the island of
Formosa, all of which are represented on the map before you. The
divisions of the country are immensely populous; though the average of
the whole to the square mile is less than that of Belgium by nearly
one-half, several of whose provinces are more densely peopled than any
in China. It is also less than the State of Rhode Island, and but a
little above that of Massachusetts,--the two States the most densely
inhabited in our own country.

"Many say that the population of China has been exaggerated; and it is
variously given at from 282,000,000 to 413,000,000, a very great
difference, and you suit yourselves with the figures if you can. Dr.
Legge thinks that 400,000,000 is not an over-estimate. The area of the
eighteen provinces is 1,336,841 square miles, to which about 15,000 may
be added for Formosa; but the area of the whole Chinese empire is
4,218,401, while that of the United States, including Alaska, is
3,501,409.

"If you look at the map, you will see that there are numerous chains of
mountains in the countries lying west of China, especially in Tibet,
while China proper has but few of them. The land generally slopes from
the several ranges to the sea, but I will not perplex you with the names
of them. The rivers, of course, flow from the mountains, and you can see
that they have space for a long course. They are generally called _ho_
in the north, and _chiang_ or _kiang_ in the south. The Ho, Hoang-ho, or
Yellow River, and the Chiang, known to us as the Yang-tsze-Chiang, must
be over three thousand miles long. I will not follow them from source to
mouth. Canton, or _Choo-Chiang_ River, which means Pearl River, is also
a very large stream. All these waterways, you notice on the map, have a
general course from west to east. All of them are navigable, though the
Hoang-ho is less so than the Yang-tsze-Chiang, the 'most beloved' of the
Chinese; for its counterpart in the north is a turbid stream, so tricky
that it changed its course in 1853 so that its mouth is now about two
hundred and fifty miles north of where it was before that date."

Mr. Gaskette pointed out the former course, which he had indicated by
double dotted lines, and that of the present course to the Gulf of
Pe-chi-li.

"Chinese history begins twenty-four hundred years before our era, when
the first human kings of Egypt were on the throne, with the narrative of
a tremendous inundation, which some have identified as that of the Flood
in the Old Testament. But the floods did not cease with that event, for
several others have followed. As late as 1887, only half a dozen years
ago, the treacherous Hoang-ho broke loose, and poured its waters into
the populous province of Honan, tearing everything to pieces and
destroying millions of lives. There have been so many of these floods
that they have given the great river the name of 'China's Sorrow.' But
the Manchu rulers are repairing damages, and providing against such
disasters in the future.

"I have to speak next about the Grand Canal and the Great Wall; but I
will defer it for half an hour for a recess, for I think you must be
tired of the dry details I have been giving you," said the professor, as
he stepped down from the rostrum.

The company then promenaded the deck for the time indicated.



CHAPTER XXXII

THE CONTINUATION OF THE LECTURE


A walk of half an hour had freshened up the minds and bodies of the
passengers, and they took their places on the promenade for the
continuation of the lecture. The professor had been to his stateroom,
and returned with additional notes.

"Dr. Legge quotes Marco Polo, the greatest traveller of the Middle Ages,
who visited China in the thirteenth century," the speaker began, taking
a paper from the table, and reading as follows in regard to the Grand
Canal: "'Kublâi caused a water communication to be made in the shape of
a wide and deep channel dug between stream and stream, between lake and
lake, forming as it were a great river on which large vessels can ply.'
Kublâi was the first sovereign of one of the old dynasties.

"The canal extended from Peking, the capital, in the north, to the south
of the empire, a distance of six hundred miles; and it was in use all
the way in former times. The Chinese were not distinguished as
navigators; but in modern times steamers ply between Canton and the
ports of the Gulf of Pe-chi-li, so that the canal is less necessary, and
much of it is in bad condition.

"The Great Wall is better known to all the world than the Grand Canal as
a peculiarly Chinese wonder, and every school boy and girl has heard of
it. It was built as a defence against the raids of the northern tribes,
though for this purpose it was a failure; but it still stands, though
some of the English newspapers only a few years ago treated it as a
myth; yet there is no doubt whatever of its existence, for it has been
visited by many reliable English and American travellers. It was begun
two hundred and fourteen years before the Christian era.

"Our artist has indicated the wall on the map;" and Mr. Gaskette pointed
it out on the west shore of the Gulf of Liau-tung, properly a part of
the Gulf of Pe-chi-li, and traced it some distance to the west. "Its
length, following its numerous twists and bends, through valleys and
over mountains, is fifteen hundred miles. It is twenty-five feet wide at
the base, and fifteen at the top. It is formed by two walls of brick,
different from those we use, weighing from forty to sixty pounds; and
the space between them is filled with earth and stones. It varies in
height from fifteen to thirty feet.

"The top of the wall is paved with brick, but is now overgrown with
grass. Along the wall, and not on it, are towers of brick at intervals.
You observe that at Peking the wall makes a sweep to the north, perhaps
thirty miles or more, enclosing a square of land of this extent outside
of the general course of the structure. I met an American gentleman who
had been to the capital of China, and he told me he had been to the
Great Wall. Dr. Legge may take the conceit out of some travellers when
he says: 'What foreigners go to visit from Peking is merely a loop-wall
of later formation, enclosing portions of Chih-li and Shan-hsî.'

"Leaving the Grand Canal and the Great Wall, we will pass on to the
lakes of China. They are not on a large scale, like the rivers; and they
are insignificant compared with those of our own country. The Tung-ting
Hû appears to be the largest, mostly in the province of Hunan, which is
sixty-five or seventy miles long. The others are Po-yang Hû, in
Chiang-hsî, and the Tai Hû, which is noted for its romantic scenery and
numerous islets.

"The temperature of the various provinces is on the average lower than
any other country in the same latitude. There is every variety of
climate in the vast territory of China. The natives consider the three
southern provinces, including the island of Hainan, less healthy than
the other portions of the country; but foreigners find no difficulty in
residing in them. In a region taking in over twenty degrees of latitude,
the productions vary from those of the tropics to those in the latitude
of central New York, from bananas and pineapples in the south to wheat
and Indian corn in the north.

"About all the common grains are raised in the north, and rice is the
staple product of the south. All sorts of vegetables and herbs, ginger,
and various condiments, are produced and largely used; though I believe
the people are not so hot, gastronomically, in their taste as we found
them in Batavia and some other places in the islands. They raise the
cane and make sugar in Formosa and the southern provinces. All the
fruits of our own country, including Florida and Louisiana, are grown in
different parts of China. Opium, which formerly came into the country
only from India, is now produced even in Manchuria.

"The Chinese are pre-eminently agriculturists, and farming is their
occupation above anything else. In the spring the emperor turns over a
few furrows in a sacred field, introducing the work of the season; and
the chief official in every province does the same, keeping the
importance of farming pursuits always before the people. The tools they
use are very primitive; the hoe being the principal hand-tool, and the
plough of ancient use for animal power. There is an extensive
application of irrigation, which is found to be so necessary in some of
our extreme Western States. In the north wells are used; and various
simple machinery is employed to raise water when the canal or river is
below the level of the field where it is needed, which you may have an
opportunity to see.

"No kind of fertilizer is wasted, and some are used which are often
neglected in other countries. A great deal of fun and sarcasm is applied
to the food of the Chinese, but most of us rather approved the dishes
set before us by our host of the Flowery Nation in Singapore. In some
articles used for culinary purposes, Parisians go beyond the Chinese, as
in the use of horse-beef. I have been in a provision store in Paris
where nothing else was sold; and every part of the animal was
economized, including the liver, kidneys, and tongue, and sausages of
this meat were on view and for sale to epicures in this flesh. But I
believe the Chinese do not eat the horse, unless it be in a season of
famine; and they had to eat cats in Paris during the siege of 1870.

"When you go into the markets you may see whole dogs dressed for food,
or cut up into pieces ready for cooking. These are not common yellow
dogs, such as you saw in the capital of the Turkish empire; but they are
the peculiar Chinese breed, sleek and hairless, which are carefully
fatted, and prepared for market. I have no doubt that your stomachs
revolt at the very idea of eating dog; but I cannot see that it is any
worse than eating pork and fowls, which feed more or less on animal
food. However, I do not hanker after dog-meat.

"The Buddhist religion prevails to a great extent here, which diminishes
the quantity of beef used, though not so much as the kindly feeling
towards the creature that is so useful in tilling the soil. Pork is the
most common in use for meat, and the number of pigs raised is enormous.
Geese and ducks are abundant, artificially hatched as in ancient Egypt,
and to a considerable extent in America, and are largely used for food.

"The sea, rivers, and lakes supply fish in all needed quantities. They
are taken in nets, and also by a novel method of fishing with which you
cannot be familiar. A boat goes out with a number of cormorants trained
for the purpose, which are fishers by nature. The birds dive and bring
up the fish, which they deposit in the hand-nets of the boatman.

"Dr. Legge says the Chinese are not gross feeders, as generally
represented, except the very poor, and that a Chinese dinner of
twenty-seven courses 'may hold its own with the most luxurious tables.'
He adds that the famous bird's-nest soup is a misnomer; but he admits
that nests from the Indian Archipelago are sliced into other soups, in
his opinion without improving the flavor.

"For a drink, tea has superseded every other beverage, and is taken
without sugar or milk. It was not used at all in ancient times, but its
use is universal at the present time. The plant is not grown in the
north. Black tea comes from the central provinces, and green from two
eastern mainly. Next to silk, if not equal to it, tea is the principal
article of export. The doctor says that tea-drinking promotes the
temperance of the people more than any other influence. Alcoholic
liquors are distilled from rice and millet.

"From the twelfth century B.C. the literature of the nation abounds in
temperance lectures, warning the people against the injury of strong
drinks; but tea has done vastly more to prevent their use than anything
else. As a people at home the Chinese make little use of liquors, though
that is not always the case with those who live in New York. They do not
sit down to tea as we do, but keep it at hand at all times, and treat
their visitors with it. Tea is written in the vernacular of the natives
_ch'â_. When it was first imported into England it was called _t'ay;_
but those who gave it the name were doubtless Irishmen, and they still
stick to it.

"There is no doubt that silk was first produced in China; and silk,
linen, and cotton form the clothing of the people. A ceremony like that
with the plough is performed by the emperor over the silkworms and
mulberry-trees, whose leaves are the food of the worm. From before the
twenty-third century B.C., the care of the silkworm, and the spinning
and weaving of the thread from the cocoon, has been the particular labor
of the women. The mulberry-tree grows everywhere in the country, and
silk is manufactured in greater or less quantities in every province.

"The cotton-plant has been propagated in China; and the cloth is largely
used there, though not equal in finish to the imported article, but is
heavier and more lasting in wear. Nankeen comes from Nanking. There are
no fireplaces in the houses; and the people keep warm, if they can, by
increasing their clothing. Woollen goods are not manufactured to any
great extent.

"I will not describe the pagodas, pavilions, bridges, and palaces; for
you will see them for yourselves. The streets of the cities in the south
and some in the north are no better than mere lanes; and the crowds of
people hustling through them fill them about full, and make you think
the place is vastly more populous than it really is. As a set-off to
this idea, you will wonder what has become of the women, for you rarely
meet any of them.

"The streets are paved with stone slabs, badly drained, and abounding in
bad odors, and you are not likely to enjoy your walks through them; but
they have magnificent names, which you will not read at the corners,
such as the street of Benevolence, Righteousness, etc. When you go into
the house of a tolerably well-to-do family, you will find the quantity
of furniture rather scanty, and not luxurious. The floor may be covered
with matting, but you will find no carpets or rugs. A table and some
straight-backed chairs are the principal pieces. On the walls you may
find Chinese pictures, which will not challenge your admiration, though
they may be artistic in China. Some jars and specimens of fine porcelain
may adorn the room, with writings on the walls expressing moral
sentiments. There may be a couch, or more of them, of bamboo and rattan.

"The bamboo is quite as important a production in China as we have found
it in India and the islands; and it is used for all the purposes here,
and more in addition than have been mentioned to you before. The
bastinado of the magistrate and the schoolmaster's instrument of torture
are both bamboos.

"Our Nimrods would not find much sport here; for the country is too
densely populated to afford hiding-places for wild animals, though a
bear or a tiger may sometimes appear, and is quickly killed. There are
elephants, rhinoceroses, and tapirs in the forests of Yun-nan; and the
emperor has tame elephants at Peking for state purposes. The brown and
the black bear are found in certain localities, as well as varieties of
deer.

"The domestic four-footed animals are small horses and small cattle,
which have not been improved. The donkey is a livelier beast than in
England or America. About the capital there are very fine mules, which
are fashionable there as they are in some parts of Spain. Birds of prey
are common, and magpies are sacred birds which the Nimrods must not
shoot. The people are very fond of song-birds and flowers, which proves
their good taste.

"There are vast quantities of minerals beneath the soil of the country,
yet little had been done in mining; though, since the government has
steamers of its own, they are doing more to develop the mines. The
currency of the country is nowhere; for the only coin that is legally
current is the copper _cash_, of which it takes ten to make our cent.
Large payments are made in silver by weight, and the housekeeper has to
keep a pair of scales handy to ascertain the value of the silver she
receives or expends.

"But I know, my friends, that I have wearied you; and though I have
something more to say about this very interesting country, I shall defer
it till such time as the commander shall appoint."

The professor bowed and retired; but, as an offset to his last remark,
the applause was more prolonged and vigorous than usual.



CHAPTER XXXIII

THE CONCLUSION OF THE LECTURE


At lunch the passengers talked about the lecture that was not yet
finished; and all of them who said anything declared that they were very
much pleased with it, and they hoped the remainder of it would be given
in the afternoon. Of course all of them had read more or less about
China; and while there was much that was new to them, they were glad to
have their knowledge of the country revived.

"I have been in Hong-Kong, Canton, and Shang-hai, and I have heard no
lecture on board that pleased me more than that to which we listened
this forenoon; and I appoint this afternoon at three o'clock for the
conclusion of it," said the commander.

At this hour all the company, including the passengers from the Blanche,
were in their places; and the speaker mounted the rostrum, apparently as
fresh as ever. He was received with as much and as earnest applause as
had been given at the end of the second part of his lecture; and with
this pleasant approval of his work, he continued his discourse.

"According to the accounts of all recent travellers, the roads of China
are in a villanously bad condition, and there are no railroads worth
mentioning," he began. "And yet the necessity of good common roads was
apparent to the ruler, even before the building of the Great Wall, and
twenty thousand of them have been constructed; but the Chinese, having
finished a great work, do not meddle with it again. The roads have never
been repaired thoroughly, and that accounts for their present condition.
The rivers and canals furnish the principal means of communication,
though the roads are still used.

"The dress of the poorer classes is very much the same for both sexes.
It is regulated by sumptuary laws for all classes; but it is varied by
the wealthy in the use of costly material, and the ornaments they add to
it. You have all seen Chinamen enough in the streets of New York and
other cities, and the dress they wear is about the same as that worn in
their native land. The queue is the most notable thing about them. This
was not the ancient custom of wearing the hair, but was introduced and
enforced by the Manchu rulers over three hundred years ago, when it was
considered a degrading edict; though now the Chinaman sticks to his
queue with as much tenacity as he does to his very life.

"The small feet of the women, even of the highest class, is quite as
notable as the queues. This species of deformity was not required by the
Manchus, for they wore their feet as God gave them; and it is not an
ancient custom, for it has prevailed only from the sixth century of our
era. Nature's growth is checked by tightly bandaging the feet in early
childhood, subjecting the victim to severe pain and discomfort. But you
will see the women for yourselves, and can judge of the effect upon
them. The very poor and those in menial conditions are not necessarily
subjected to the torture, but fashion carries even many of this class
into the custom. Small but natural feet are the pride of our young
ladies, and some of them complain that when the feet were given out they
got more than their share.

"The sexes are kept apart until marriage; and this has been a social
feature from the earliest time. Girls and boys in the family did not
occupy the same mat or eat together from the age of seven, and when the
former were ten they ceased to appear outside of the women's apartments.
Girls were taught manners therein, to handle the cocoons, to do all the
work appertaining to the manufacture of silk and the details of Chinese
housekeeping. This was in the feudal time; and the females were not
instructed in book-learning, and are not now, though they pick up
something of an education, and learned women are not unknown, even those
who have written books.

"In regard to marriage, the parents have entire control, and
professional match-makers are an institution. It is to a great extent a
matter of horoscopes. Usually the bride and groom have not seen each
other till the marriage ceremony, and of course they lose all that
delightful period which precedes the event. But they appear to take to
each other when brought together, and to be happy as man and wife.
Though the man has one legal wife, there is no law or custom to prevent
him from taking half a dozen more secondary wives.

"There are seven lawful grounds for divorcing a wife from her
husband,--disobedience to her husband's parents; failure to give birth
to a son; dissolute conduct; jealousy of her man, especially in regard
to the _other_ wives; talkativeness; thieving; and leprosy. I will leave
the ladies to make their own comments. There are three considerations
which may set aside these reasons for divorce,--that her parents are no
longer living; that she has passed with her spouse through the years of
mourning for his parents; and that he has become rich after being poor.
The children are often affianced in childhood, and probably this fact
furnishes many of the grounds for proceedings in the divorce court.

"Infanticide is not an uncommon crime in China, female children being
almost always the victims. Probably its prevalence is somewhat
exaggerated. It is among the poorest class that this atrocity prevails,
the universal desire for male children, in connection with the ancestral
worship of the people, being the root of the evil. Public opinion is
against the practice, though not as decidedly as might be wished.

"The complexion of the Chinese is yellowish, as you have seen in our
streets; and from the extreme north to the Island of Hainan, they all
have long black hair, almond or oblique eyes, high cheek-bones, and
round faces. They are greatly addicted to opium and gambling wherever
you find them. Dr. Legge says that the longer one lives among them the
better he likes them, and the better he thinks of them; but we are not
likely to be able to test the correctness of this remark.

"The Chinese bury their dead in graves in the form of a horseshoe, and
with an almost infinite variety of ceremonies and sacrifices. Where the
friends are able to pay the expense, the last rites are ostentatious and
very costly. You may chance to see something of them before you leave
the country. When a very rich Chinaman travels, he takes his coffin with
him.

"They have no day in the week corresponding to our Sunday, but they have
an annual universal holiday at New Year's. It is a season of rejoicing
and festivity all over the country. Stores are closed for several days,
and the government offices are shut up for a month. The people 'dress
up,' and the temples are visited, the gambling resorts are in full
blast, and crackers and other fireworks make Fourth of July of the
season.

"There is some sort of a festival every month, such as the 'Feast of
Lanterns,' on the full moon, of the tombs, 'Dragon Boats,' and 'All
Souls,' in honor of departed relatives, when the supposed hungry spirits
from the other side of the Styx are fed at the cemeteries. The people
are extravagantly fond of theatricals; and a kind of bamboo tent is
erected for the performance, which is usually of inordinate length.
Females, as in India, do not appear on the stage.

"It would be quite impossible for me to follow the consecutive history
of China from 2637 B.C. down to the present time; it would be an
infliction upon you, and I shall only mention some of the principal
events. Our authority in these remarks numbers the Chinese army at three
hundred and fifty thousand; the Year Book makes it double this number.
Judged by a European standard, it does not amount to much outside of
mere numbers; though in addition to it there is a sort of militia,
camped in the several provinces, more in the nature of police than
soldiers, of twice as many men as the imperial army.

"The first great war in China was the Tâi-Ping rebellion, which the
older of you can remember. It began in 1851, and was continued for
nearly twenty years. Its leader was Hung, a poor student, who studied up
a new religion, which was certainly an improvement upon those of the
people, for it recognized the Great God, and Christ as the Elder
Brother. A strict morality and the keeping of the Sabbath were required
of its adherents, and idolatry and the use of opium were forbidden.

"Hung incited the rebellion; and its object was to overturn the ruling
dynasty of the Manchus, and place himself on the throne. It was at
first very successful in its progress, and it looked as though the
imperial cause was doomed. In 1855 the rebels, for the want of
sufficient re-enforcements in an attempt to capture Pekin, were
compelled to retreat to Nanking, and then the decline of the
insurrection began. A body of foreigners under an American by the name
of Ward joined the imperialists, and rendered important service; but he
was killed in battle in 1862. He was succeeded by one of the
subordinates, who became General Burgevine; and he was quite as
successful as General Ward had been. The new general fell out with the
government, and retired. By the influence of British residents at
Shang-hai, who had organized an effective army, General Charles George
Gordon, of whom you heard in Egypt, was placed in command. He captured
Nanking, and the rebellion was suppressed in 1865.

"You have been informed of the movements of the Portuguese, English,
French, Dutch, and Spaniards to obtain territory in the East from 1497,
when Vasco da Gama doubled the Cape of Good Hope. All of them
established colonies; and in 1516 they began to send their ships to
China, whose people did not receive them kindly. This was in the early
days of the Manchu rulers, who claimed to be superior to all other
monarchs on the face of the earth; they would not acknowledge the
visitors as their equals, and regarded them as vassals.

"When the Chinese ruler learned of the conquests of those from the West
he tried to prevent their approach to his dominions. But trade had been
established; and the opium traffic had its birth, and the people were
crazy to procure and smoke it. This was the cause of the wars between
China and England and France, with the vassal question. In 1800 an edict
of the emperor prohibited the importation of opium into his dominions.

"England before this had entered upon the task of making a treaty to
settle the relations between the two countries; but no treaty was made,
and the smuggling of opium continued for many years. In 1816 another
embassy went to Pekin; but it was summarily and contemptuously dismissed
because the ambassador refused to go through the ceremony of repeatedly
prostrating himself before the emperor, and acknowledging his own
sovereign as a vassal of the emperor.

"The trade went on after India passed to the government of England.
China was still obstinate, insisted upon the vassalship of the Western
nation, and was confident in her power to repress the opium trade. The
merchants pressed vigorously for the enlargement of their trade with
China, which did not seem to be aware of its weakness before a European
power. A famous mandarin was appointed governor-general of the Kwang
provinces to bring the barbarians to their senses. He proceeded in
earnest, and England declared war against the country in 1840. The
result was evident from the first, and the war ended with the peace of
Nanking in 1842. The items were the ceding of Hong-Kong to the victor,
the opening of five ports to the trade and residence of the British.
Correspondence was established between the officials of the two nations;
but not a word was said about opium, and the smuggling went on as
before.

"In 1857, after some troubles in Canton in which the English were at
fault, and the refusal of the governor-general to meet an agent of the
British government, the latter declared war again, with France as an
ally. Canton was captured the same year; and Yeh, the governor, was
taken prisoner, and sent to Calcutta. There was little fighting in this
war; and Canton being in possession of the allies, a joint commission,
attended by representatives of the United States and Russia, proceeded
to Pekin to make their demands upon the emperor. A treaty was made at
Tien-tsin, confirming the former, and with many important articles. One
provided for the appointment of ambassadors by each nation, another for
the protection of Christian missionaries, and several others of less
moment.

"It looked as though the Chinese emperor had been sufficiently
humiliated; but the treaty 'slipped up,' for its last clause provided
that the treaty should be ratified at Pekin within one year. The emperor
could not abide the idea of permitting the ambassadors to enter the
sacred capital, and he looked about him for the means of escaping the
issue. The forts between the capital and the Gulf of Pe-chi-li had been
rebuilt and were well armed. The Chinese officials urged the signing at
Tien-tsin, and this was done by several of the embassy; but France and
England insisted that it must be signed in Pekin, as provided in the
instrument itself.

"They started for the sacred city with several men-of-war, but they
found the mouth of the river closed to them by the forts. A severe
engagement followed, in which the allies were beaten, the only battle
gained by the Chinese. At the end of a year another expedition with
twenty thousand men went with the ambassadors, the forts were all taken,
and the officials went to Tien-tsin. The force marched on Pekin; and the
emperor fled, leaving his brother Prince Kung to meet the embassy. The
north-east gate of the city was surrendered, and the treaty was duly
signed at Pekin.

"In 1861 the emperor died, having named his son, six years old, as his
successor. A dozen years later he took possession of the throne, the
regency expiring then. He died two years later, and a nephew of Prince
Kung was appointed to the succession by the imperial family. He was a
child of four years of age then, and reigned under a regency till 1887,
when he took possession of the government at the age of sixteen.

"I should have said before that a change of the tariff in 1842 made the
importation of opium legal in the empire. The country has in recent
years employed foreign officers in its army and navy, and foreign
mechanics in its workshops. China is represented at five of the
principal nations of the world by ambassadors. It has built up a very
respectable navy, mostly at the shipyards of Great Britain; and foreign
officers have greatly improved the condition of the army.

"Telegraphic communication has been extensively established, and a
railroad eighty-one miles long has been built. Educational institutions
have been founded, and schools opened for the instruction of young men
in several foreign languages. The increasing consumption of opium, which
seems to have been placed in the way of the people by the action on the
part of England, is a cause for great regret among the friends of China.
I have said too much already, and I know you must be very tired. I thank
you for bearing with me so long; and I will promise not to do so again,
at least so far as China is concerned. China is at peace with all the
world, and I leave her so."

The professor retired with even greater applause than in the forenoon.
Since he spoke, China has been engaged in a great war with Japan; and
possibly his account of the country will assist those who are yet to
read the history of the conflict.



CHAPTER XXXIV

SIGHT-SEEING IN HONG-KONG AND CANTON


After the conclusion of the lecture in the afternoon, the passengers of
the two ships had another frolic, as Captain Ringgold called it, and
then dined in the cabin; after which those from the Blanche "went home,"
as the ladies termed it.

Towards the close of the following day, while the passengers of the
Guardian-Mother were seated on the promenade, the lookout forward
shouted, "Land, ho!" The announcement caused a sensation, as usual,
though it was an old story. It was reported off the port bow; and the
captain said it was Lema Island, a considerable distance from Hong-Kong.

"The Chinese name of Hong-Kong is Hiang-Kiang, which means 'sweet
waters,'" said the commander. "It is a ridge of rocks, the highest point
of which is over eighteen hundred feet above the water. It is ninety
miles south by east of Canton. The island has an area of twenty-nine
square miles, and is not more than half a mile from the main shore. It
is a barren rock, and you will hardly see a speck of vegetation on the
whole of it. In the south-west corner of the island is the city of
Victoria, with a population of two hundred and twenty-one thousand; and
it is one of the great centres of trade with Western nations. The
principal import is opium, and the principal exports are tea and silk.
We shall anchor soon in its splendid harbor."

An English pilot was taken; and at sunset the ship was at anchor, and
the party had abundant occupation in observing the rugged shores, the
shipping that filled the harbor, and especially the Chinese boats, in
charge of boat-women generally. A few junks were in sight; and they had
seen several of them among the islands which form an archipelago at the
mouth of Canton River, extending some distance up the stream.

"There are a number of hotels here with English names," said the captain
at dinner; "but I shall not trouble you to take a vote on the question
of going to one of them, for we shall not remain here long, not more
than one day. Our steamers can go up to Canton; but I think we had
better go up in one of the regular steamers, not Chinese."

After breakfast the next morning, the first thing in order was to ascend
the promontory for the view it would afford. But they could not walk up,
it was so difficult and tiresome. Before they left the ship the American
consul visited her, and proffered his assistance to the tourists; for he
had read about the ships in the papers of some of the ports they had
visited.

This gentleman was very kind and very polite, and while he was on board
the party from the Blanche came to the ship in the steam-launch. He was
introduced to everybody, and advised the travellers to take Chinese
sampans for their visit to the shore, for the novelty of the thing. The
water around the ship was covered with them, and a sufficient number of
them were taken to accommodate the party. "The colonel," as the consul
was generally called, talked "pidgin" English, which is practically a
dialect in itself, to the boat-women.

The captain, Mrs. Belgrave, the colonel, and a few others went in the
first sampan, and the lady was pleased with the women in charge of the
craft; and several children were in a coop at the stern. The price of
the craft was ten cents for half an hour. In a few minutes they were
landed at the town; and then a crowd of coolies, as the laborers are
called here, surrounded the party with sedans and rickshaws, and all
were anxious for a job. The passengers waited till all the company had
landed, and then took sedans or rickshaws for the Hong-Kong Hotel.

It required twenty of them to accommodate the party. The commander and
the consul went into the hotel; and a lunch, or tiffin as it is called
here as in India, was ordered for the tourists at one o'clock. Then the
colonel instructed the coolies where to go, and the procession started
for a round in the city. The buildings are constructed of granite, which
is the material of the surrounding heights, the dwellings with
verandas.

"How is the weather here, Colonel?" asked the captain, when they stopped
to examine a locality.

"The average temperature is seventy-five; and that, of course, gives us
some hot days in summer, which is a rainy season. Thunder-storms come
often; and once in a while a typhoon breaks in upon us, sometimes doing
an immense amount of damage," replied the consul. "But the climate is
not unhealthy. If the town had been built around the corner of the
island, it would have been cooler, though we could not have had this
magnificent harbor."

The company had all descended when a stop was made; and most of them
insisted upon walking along Queen's Road in order to have a better
opportunity to look into the stores, and see the street traders, for
most of the Chinese pursue their business in the open air. The stores
were filled with the curious goods peculiar to the East, such as China
crapes, porcelain vases, and other wares, and camphor-wood boxes, proof
against moths. The shop people were well dressed and extremely polite.
Several stores were visited, those indicated by the colonel.

One man, who appeared to be the "boss," sat at a desk with a little
brush, or camel's-hair pencil, for the natives do not write with pens,
and made a tea-chest character in a kind of book for every article sold.
The salesmen were very skilful in handling the goods, and showing them
in the most tempting manner. Mrs. Belgrave bought some things that she
fancied; and then came up the question as to how to pay for them, for
they had no Chinese money. The colonel helped them out by giving cards,
like bank-checks, payable by the steward of the Hong merchants.

Continuing the walk, they came to a money-changer. The commander put
down two English sovereigns, for which he received a bag full of the
current coins, which were not the native _cash_, but the pieces made for
Hong-Kong, as they are made for the island of Jamaica, where an English
penny will not pass. The smallest was of the value of a cash, or one
mill. A cent was about the size of our old copper one, and a ten-cent
piece was a little larger than our dime. The value was given in Chinese
as well as English for the benefit of the natives; and the cash piece
had a square hole in the centre, for the natives keep them on strings or
wires.

The captain gave about a half a dollar's worth of this money to each
person, so that none need be bothered about paying for small articles.
The boys invested a portion of their wealth for a quantity of Swatow
oranges, about the size of heavy bullets. They could not understand the
native seller, and permitted him to take his pay out of a handful of
coins; but he took next to nothing, and they were confident they were
not cheated, for he took the same coins from the hands of all.

Among the pedlers all sorts of vegetables were for sale, and the
groper-fish, shark-fin soup, meats minced with herbs and onions, poultry
cut up and sold in pieces, stewed goose, bird's-nest soup, rose-leaf
soup with garlic--heaven with the other place, Scott called it--and
scores of other eatables for native palates, and some of them would suit
the taste of Americans.

Taking their places in the vehicles, the tourists were borne through the
principal streets. There are only five or six thousand English in the
city, and Hong-Kong is substantially Chinese. At about eleven, the
coolies toted the sedans to the top of the peak, where an observatory is
located, following a zigzag path. The approach of every vessel of any
consequence is signalled from this elevation by flags. The ascent is
difficult, it is so steep; and the bearers of the sedans had to stop and
rest occasionally. The view is magnificent, and the consul pointed out
the objects of interest.

It was easier to get down the steep than to get up, and the party
reached the hotel at the appointed time. The lunch was ready, though it
was hardly first-class. When the captain asked about the expense of
living for Europeans in China, the colonel said that the price per day
at the best hotels was from four to six dollars, and that one could not
keep house for less than four thousand dollars a year. In summer the
people live in bungalows on the peaks, where quite a town has grown up.
The captain paid the bill in English gold. In the afternoon the company
made an excursion by a regular steamer to Macao, on the other side of
the river, forty miles distant. It has been a Portuguese settlement
since 1557; but it had little interest for the tourists, and they
returned by the same steamer, and went on board of the ship.

The colonel dined on board, and the captain announced his intention to
go to Canton the following day. The next morning the tourists were on
board of the steamer for that city. The colonel could not go with them;
but he procured a couple of English guides to attend them, one of whom
was Mr. Inch and the other Mr. Larch.

"Kwang-tung is the native name of the city to which we are going, and
from this the English had made Canton," said Mr. Larch, as the boat left
the shore; and he proceeded to name the islands in sight, and point out
all objects of interest, as he did all the way up the river.

The city is on the north side of the Choo-Chiang, or Pearl River, ninety
miles from Hong-Kong. They saw nothing of especial interest except a
temple on the shore, and a fort with a three-story pagoda rising from
the centre of it. On the arrival of the steamer off the city, she was
surrounded by boats as at Hong-Kong. The captain of the boat recommended
one he called Tommy, though it was a woman; and her craft was engaged,
with as many more as were needed, indicated by her.

At the landing-place Mr. Seymour, the American consul, to whom the
colonel had telegraphed, was waiting for them. He introduced himself,
and was soon on the best of terms with all the tourists. He advised
them to go to the International Hotel, and they went there. A score of
sedans and rickshaws were at once engaged; and Tommy and the other women
carried the valises and bags for them, each attended by the owner. They
were to remain three days in Canton. Dinner was the first ceremony they
performed after they went to the hotel, and the consul joined the party
by invitation.

"Canton is a city with a population estimated at a million and a half,
including the people that live in boats from one year's end to the
other, and doubtless you noticed their aquatic dwellings as you came up
the river," said the consul, who had been invited to tell the company
something about the place. "It is surrounded by a wall nine miles in
length, built of brick and sandstone, twenty-five to forty feet high,
and twenty feet thick, and divided by a partition wall into two unequal
parts. There are twelve outer gates, and also gates in the partition
wall. The names of these are curious, as Great Peace Gate, Eternal Rest
Gate, and others like them. There are more than six hundred streets,
lanes you will call them; for they are not often more than eight feet
wide, very crooked, and very dirty. This is the general idea of the
city, and the details you will see for yourselves."

[Illustration: TEMPLE AND GARDEN IN CHINA.

_Page 329._]

After breakfast the next morning the party was organized for
sight-seeing, and the sedans they had used the day before were ready for
them. The two guides insisted upon going on foot, the better to
discharge their duties. They rode through some of the principal streets,
looked into the shops, and observed the pedlers; but all was about the
same as in Hong-Kong, except that the streets were wider in the latter.
The same goods were for sale. They looked into a tea saloon; and the
gentlemen entered an opium den, which nearly made some of them sick.

"This is called the Plain pagoda," said Mr. Inch, when they came to it.
"It was built a thousand years ago, and is one hundred and sixty feet
high."

They were taken to a couple of Joss-houses, or temples. A sort of tower
attracted their attention; and they were told that the one before them,
and hundreds of others, were occupied each by a watchman at night to
call out the hours of the night, and give the alarm in case of fire.
They halted before the nine-story pagoda, the most interesting structure
they had seen, and the most peculiarly Chinese.

"It is one hundred and seventy feet high, and was built thirteen hundred
years ago," Mr. Larch explained. "Brick, covered with marble or glazed
tile, is the material used. Each story is smaller than the one below it,
and each has a balcony around it."

"Now we come to the Temple of Honam, which is one of the largest in
China," said Mr. Inch, as they halted before its gates, after the party
got out of the sedans. "With its grounds it covers seven acres, and one
hundred and seventy-five priests are employed in it."

"What is the religion of these people?" asked Mrs. Woolridge.

"The priests and nuns of Canton number more than two thousand, and
nine-tenths of them are Buddhists. The Temple of Five Hundred Genii
contains that number of statues, various in size, and was erected in
honor of Buddha and his disciples."

At the usual hour the party went to lunch, and were tired, though they
had done but little walking. The sedans were dismissed till the next
morning; the afternoon was devoted to an excursion on the river, and
Tommy had been directed to provide the boats. They moved through the
wilderness of floating dwelling-places, and looked them over with wonder
and surprise. Many of the sampans were made of three planks; and the
people on board of them, mostly women, were exceedingly amusing.

Large junks, some of them from five hundred to sixteen hundred tons
burden, were to be seen, and long, broad, flat Chinese men-of-war, with
twenty to forty guns; but the latter are out of fashion now, and
modern-built vessels take their places. They have two great painted eyes
on the bow to enable them, as the Chinese say, to find their way over
the sea. But the most beautiful sight was the flower-boats, having
galleries decorated with flowers, and arranged in most fantastic
designs. Each of these floating gardens contains one large apartment and
a number of cabinets. The walls are hung with mirrors and graceful
draperies of silk, and glass chandeliers and colored lanterns are
suspended from the ceiling. Elegant little baskets of flowers are hung
in various places. It seems very like fairy-land on these boats. They
are stationary, and dinners are given on board to the Chinese who can
afford them. They are also places of amusement by day and night, and
plays, ballets, and conjuring take place at them; but no respectable
females frequent them.

During the next two days the tourists continued to wander on foot and in
sedans over the city with the guides. One day they went to the great
examination hall, 1330 feet long by 583 wide, covering sixteen acres,
and containing 8653 cells, in which students are placed so that there
shall be no stealing others' work.

When a member of the party asked the meaning of certain tall buildings,
he was told that they were pawnbrokers' offices; for the Chinese have a
mania for pawning their clothes, or whatever they have, even if not in
need of the money, to save the trouble of taking care of the articles.
Before the third day of the stay in Canton was over, some of the party
had seen enough, and preferred to remain at the hotel while others were
out with the guides. The next day they returned to Hong-Kong, and were
glad to be once more on board the ships, for sight-seeing is the most
tiresome work in the world.



CHAPTER XXXV

SHANG-HAI AND THE YANG-TSZE-CHIANG


The passengers of the Guardian-Mother were on deck at an early hour the
next morning, and the smoke was rising from the funnel as though it was
the intention of the commander that she should sail soon; and some of
them began to wonder if they were to see anything more of China than
could be seen from the deck of the ship.

"Well, ladies and gentlemen, have you seen all you wish of China?" said
Captain Ringgold, as he seated himself at the head of the table at
breakfast.

"We can put it to vote," suggested Mrs. Belgrave.

"I don't think it is necessary," replied the commander, laughing. "We
shall sail this forenoon for Shang-hai, for I suppose that some of you
who keep hens wish to see the home of the famous rooster that bears that
name."

"I thought yesterday afternoon that I had seen enough of China to last
me the rest of my lifetime; but I feel a little different this morning
since I got rested," said Mrs. Woolridge.

"It is said that travellers enjoy their visits to foreign countries more
after they get home, and think over what they have seen, than they do
while going from place to place," added Mrs. Belgrave. "I think of a
hundred things I saw in Canton, and did not understand, that I shall
recall when I read about China, as I intend to do when I get home."

"That is just my idea!" exclaimed Mrs. Woolridge. "It will take me three
years, at least, after I get home to read up what I have seen on this
voyage."

Much more in the same general direction was said by others. When they
went on deck they found the pilot who had brought the ship into port
walking back and forth. He had brought off the _China Mail_, and three
other newspapers in English, and a pile of others in Chinese to be kept
as curiosities by the party. The captain had obtained his clearance and
other papers the day before, as soon as he arrived from Canton, with the
assistance of the colonel, who had come off with the pilot to make his
adieux. In less than half an hour the ship was under way again, with the
Blanche following her.

"How far is it to Shang-hai?" asked Mrs. Belgrave, as she met the
captain in front of the pilot-house.

"It is eight hundred and seventy miles, and the voyage will require two
days and fourteen hours," he replied. "I shall keep well to the
eastward, and if you are up by six to-morrow morning you will see the
island of Formosa. Then we shall be about on the Tropic of Cancer, when
we shall pass out of the Torrid Zone--out of the tropics."

This information was circulated by the lady among all the passengers.
Before noon the ship was out of sight of land, and the voyage was just
about the same as it had been in smooth seas and pleasant weather. All
the party were seated on the promenade at six o'clock the next morning.

"But there is land on both sides of us, Captain Ringgold," said Mrs.
Belgrave. "Which is Formosa?"

"That on your right. We are going through the Formosa Channel; and the
islands on the port side are the Pescadores, about twenty miles from
Formosa."

After breakfast, when the ship had passed the smaller islands, and the
passengers were seated on the promenade, the commander opened upon them
with a talk about Formosa: "The name of the island in Chinese is Taiwan;
and it is off the province of Fu-chien, and from ninety to two hundred
and twenty miles from it. It has an area of 14,978 square miles, or
about the size of the States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and
Connecticut put together. It has a chain of mountains through it, the
highest peak of which"--and the speaker looked at his memoranda--"is
12,847 feet high.

"The number of inhabitants is estimated at about 2,000,000, mostly
immigrants from China, with the original natives. The island is
exceedingly rich in its vegetation, and the plants are about the same as
those of the main land. Rice paper is made of the pith of a tree found
only in Formosa. In the south sugar and turmeric are the staples. The
latter is a plant whose root is bright yellow, used in dyeing silk.
Formosa tea has become well known at home as of excellent quality. Other
productions are about the same as in southern China.

"There are plenty of birds there, but no wild animals of any consequence
that are game for the Nimrods. A great deal more might be said about the
island, but you have more now than you are likely to remember. You can
see many junks now, and the trade with China is mostly carried on in
them; and some of them are pirates in these seas, even to the south of
Hainan, for a trading-junk turns into a pirate when her captain can make
some money by it."

After lunch the Blanche's people came on board, and all hands had the
usual frolic during the afternoon and evening. The next morning the
captain told his passengers that they had passed out of the China Sea
the day before, and that they were on the Tung-hai, or Eastern Sea,
outside of which was the broad Pacific Ocean. On the third morning from
Hong-Kong, when the company came on deck, they found the Guardian-Mother
at anchor, but just getting under way with an English pilot on board,
who had been taken late the evening before.

"Where are we now, Captain Ringgold?" asked Mr. Woolridge, when the
party had seated themselves on the promenade to see what was to be
seen.

"We are at the mouth of the great river Yang-tsze-Chiang; but we shall
soon pass into a branch of it called the Woo-Sung, and find Shang-hai,
for it is correctly written with a hyphen between the syllables,"
replied the commander. "But the tide is right; and we can go over the
bar without any delay, the pilot says. It is about twelve miles up the
river to the town; and, as you can see, the country is low and flat. The
city has 250,000 inhabitants, and is the principal central port of China
for foreign trade."

The channel of the river was crowded with junks, and there are sometimes
as many as three thousand of them between the town and the sea; but they
were careful to keep out of the track of steamers, even though they had
the right of way. The two steamers picked their way through the native
boats, and they were at anchor off the city in season for the late
breakfast ordered.

"Shang-hai stands on low ground; and cholera, dysentery, and fevers
prevail here in summer," said the commander when they were all seated at
the table. "The English, French, and American quarters are in the suburb
north of the native city, and they have broad and clean streets; but in
the city proper, they are narrow and filthy, not unlike those of Canton.
It is enclosed by a wall five miles in extent. What else there is here
you can see for yourselves."

The captain decided, after the pacha came on board in his barge with
the rest of his party, to lunch and dine at the Astor House, perhaps
because the name sounded like home; but he found that the hotel "was a
horse of another color." They went on shore in some of the native boats
that crowded around the ship; and their first care was to secure six
guides, all that offered their services on the quay. The next was to
procure a supply of the money current in the city, which was
accomplished with the aid of the principal guide, all of whom were
English, who could speak Chinese and pidgin.

The company were then divided into six parties, who had suggested this
plan when they found that this number of guides could be obtained. The
"Big Four" went together, and the rest of the company were in parties of
three. The conveyances were found to be small, low broughams, pony gigs,
palanquins, jinrickishas, and wheelbarrows, the last such as the party
had seen in Cholan. The boys decided to walk first, and try the vehicles
later. They went into a shop where Louis saw something in a window he
wanted, and the guide asked the price for him. The dealer refused to
show the article, or to name a price, unless Louis would agree to buy if
he did so.

They were not like the Hong-Kong salesmen; for there were several of
them, and they were impolite enough to make fun of the tourists. Scott
doubled his fists, and was inclined to pitch into the one who refused to
show any goods till they were practically sold; but Louis begged him to
desist. They next went into a tea saloon in the middle of a dirty pond
of water, which would have just suited the taste of a Dutchman at home.

The tea was given to them in the cups, and they poured in hot water. The
keeper swindled them in asking about five times the price, and the guide
remonstrated; but the fellow was saucy, and the charge was paid to avoid
trouble. The guide said the other fellow would have cheated them in the
same ratio, if Louis had agreed, as he required, to buy. Then they
looked into an opium joint, where the smokers were reclining on broad
benches. The pipe was a tube with the bowl on the top. The drug is
boiled till it is of the consistency of honey. Something like a
knitting-needle is then taken by the smoker, the end of which is dipped
in the jar; the needle is then turned till the opium becomes a ball as
big as a pea. It is then held in a flame till it is partially lighted,
when it is dropped into the bowl of a pipe. The amount used is counted
in pipes, some being satiated with two or three of them, while the hard
cases require twenty. In either case he goes to sleep, and has pleasant
dreams. The habit is very deleterious to those who practise it, and
death results from excessive use of the drug.

"There is a sedan with a Chinese magnate in it, with four bearers," said
the guide; "but it is not so common here as in Hong-Kong and Canton."

The barrow excited the attention of the boys more than the other
vehicles. At the door of the shop they saw a native reading a paper,
wearing a pair of spectacles whose eyes were almost as big as saucers.
After walking through the streets of Hong-Kong and Canton, the boys saw
very little that was new to them.

"Is there a cemetery in the town?" asked Louis, after they had become
somewhat tired, not to say disgusted, with the dirty streets, and the
crowd in them.

"Nothing that you Americans would call by that name," replied the guide.
"There are some small burial-grounds; but the Chinese generally bury
their dead in private grounds, outside of the cities. They have a
reverence for their dead which is not equalled by any people on the face
of the earth. The graves of the rich and noted are very carefully
selected, and are decorated with great care and taste. Some of the
finest gardens in the country are those enclosed in a private
burial-place.

"A rich Chinaman thinks more of his coffin than he does of his house. He
often buys it years before he has occasion to use it, and keeps it,
taking better care of it than he does of his female children. Wherever a
Chinaman dies, he must be sent home to be buried; and many of them come
here from America, taken up from the earth even a year or more after
death."

At this point the party came to an open place where there were all the
different vehicles used in the city waiting to be employed; and as it
was nearly time for the lunch, they decided to ride to the hotel. Louis
took a rickshaw, as it is called here; Scott and Morris preferred a
wheelbarrow, and Felix took another, balanced by the guide. They were
novel conveyances to the boys, and they enjoyed the ride very much. The
rest of the parties returned to the hotel about the same time. There
were Chinese dishes on the table; and those who had tried some of them
before ordered them, especially the bird's-nest soups. The hams were
very nice, and the captain hoped that Mr. Sage had procured some of them
for the ship.

The afternoon was spent as the forenoon had been, but the party found
little to interest them. The next day the tourists made an excursion up
the Yang-tsze-Chiang, and enjoyed it very much. They saw a little of the
farming operations, as a man ploughing with a buffalo, which looked more
like a deer than a bovine; others carrying bundles of grain, one at each
end of a pole on their shoulders; another threshing by beating a bunch
of the stalks on a frame like a ladder or clothes-horse; but what
pleased them most were the fishermen. One had a net several feet square,
suspended at the end of a pole. It was sunk in the water, and then
hauled up. Any fish that happened to be over it then was brought up with
it; but Scott declared that this device was an old story, and they were
used in the United States, though an iron hoop was the frame of the net.

They were more interested in the fishing with cormorants. A man with a
dip-net in his hand stood on a bamboo raft, on which was a basket like
those the snake-charmers use in India, to receive his fish. The birds
were about the size of geese. They dived into the water, and brought up
a fish every time. They have a ring or cord on their necks so that they
cannot swallow their prizes, and they drop them into the dip-net.

They went up as far as Taiping, where they took a returning steamer, and
that night slept on board the ships. On the following morning the
steamers went down the river; and then the question where they were to
go next came up, and the commander soon settled it by announcing that
the ship was bound to Tien-tsin, on the way to Pekin.



CHAPTER XXXVI

THE WALLS AND TEMPLES OF PEKIN


The company had hardly expected that Captain Ringgold would go to the
capital, for it was off the course to Japan, which was the next country
to be visited; but their curiosity had been greatly excited, and he was
disposed to gratify it.

"Pekin is not on navigable water, and we cannot go there in the ship,"
said he. "We go to Tien-tsin, which is the seaport of Pekin, about
eighty miles distant from it. It is a treaty port, and is said to have a
population of six hundred thousand; the number can doubtless be
considerably discounted. The next thing is to get to Pekin; though we
can go most of the way by boat to Tung-chow, thirteen miles from the
capital. Some go all the way on horseback or by cart. We will decide
that question when we get to Tien-tsin."

"How long will it take us to go there?" asked Uncle Moses.

"About two days; we are off Woo-Sung now. We have the pilot on board,
and we shall go to sea at once," replied the commander.

Nothing of especial interest occurred on the voyage; and before noon on
the second day out the two ships were off the mouth of the Pei-ho
River, and a Chinese pilot was taken. As they went up the river they saw
the Taku forts, where the Celestial soldiers won their only victory over
the English, but were badly beaten the following year. On the rising
tide the ships got up the river, and anchored off the town.

The place was like any other Chinese city, and was quite as dirty as the
dirtiest of them. Two of the guides from Shang-hai, who were couriers
for travellers, had been brought, one in each ship; and both of them
were intelligent men. The Blanchita had been put into the water as soon
as the anchors were buried in the mud; and the party went on shore in
her, to the great disgust of the boat-people.

The American consul came on board with the Chinese officials; and the
commander took him into the cabin for a conference in regard to getting
to Pekin, while the tourists were on shore with the guides. Mr. Smithers
had seen the steam-launch, and the question was whether the party could
go up Pekin River in her. The consul could see no difficulty in the way,
any more than there would be in the ships' barges. He thought he could
put them in the way of making the trip securely, and they went on shore
together in the barge.

Mr. Smithers knew a couple of high officials who were going to the
capital the next day, and the commander was introduced to them. They
were very polite, and both of them spoke English. One had been educated
at Yale College in New Haven. They were invited to go with the party to
Pekin in the Blanchita, and accepted. The arrangements were completed
for the trip. They went on board of the Guardian-Mother, and were
treated with the most distinguished consideration, shown over the ship,
and invited to lunch.

When the launch came off with the party at noon, all the ladies and
gentlemen were presented to them by the commander. The pacha, the rajah,
and the princess were clothed in their elegant robes; and they evidently
made a profound impression. The plan for the journey to the capital was
announced to the passengers, and they could not help being delighted
with it. Mr. Sage had been directed to spread himself on the lunch, and
he did so. Monsieur Odervie even prepared a few Chinese dishes, the art
of doing which he had learned from a native cook in Hong-Kong.

In the afternoon the party went on shore again, under the escort of Mr.
Psi-ning and Mr. Ying-chau, visiting the temple in which the treaties
had been signed, and several others, and then walked through the street
of "Everlasting Prosperity," as the Chinese gentlemen explained it. The
prosperity seemed to consist mainly in the sale of eel-pies with baked
potatoes, the former kept hot at a small charcoal fire. Live fish in
shallow bowls with a little water in them were common, and cook-shops
for more elaborate Chinese dishes were abundant.

Both the native gentlemen were mandarins of different orders, and they
were received with the most profound deference by the common people. The
tourists saw everything in the town that was worth seeing; and early in
the afternoon they returned to the Guardian-Mother, where the consul and
the native gentlemen were to dine. The latter were invited to sleep on
board in order to be in readiness for an early start the next day, and
they had ordered their baggage to be sent to the ship. Mr. Psi-ning said
he had telegraphed to an official at Tung-chow to have conveyances ready
for the party at that place, which was as far as the boat could go,
thirteen miles from Pekin.

Mr. Smithers was exceedingly kind, and did far more than could be
expected of a consul. The commander expressed his obligations to him in
the most earnest terms for all he had done, and especially for
introducing the distinguished Chinese gentlemen. The dinner was the most
elaborate the steward and the cook could provide, and it was one of
those hilarious affairs which have several times been described during
the voyage. In the evening there were Mrs. Belgrave's games, music, and
dancing with the assistance of the Italian band, and finally the singing
of the Gospel Hymns.

The Blanchita was prepared for her voyage as soon as she came off from
the shore, coaled for the round trip, supplied with cooked provisions,
though the galley was available, and with everything that could
possibly be needed. She was put in about the same trim as when she went
up the rivers of Borneo. Felipe was to be the engineer, Pitts the cook,
and four sailors were detailed for deck-hands. The excursion had been
arranged for five days; and the bags, valises, and other impedimenta of
the voyagers, were on deck at an early hour. Breakfast was ready at
half-past six; and at half-past seven the Blanchita got under way with a
native pilot for the river, who could speak pidgin English.

The party were in a frolicsome mood; and they went off singing a song,
to the great astonishment of the native boat-people. Mr. Psi-ning joined
with them; for he had learned the tunes in the United States, where he
had travelled extensively. Tien-tsin is the terminus of the Grand Canal
in the north, and they passed through a small portion of it into the
river. The trip was through a low country. The road to the capital was
in sight, and they saw various vehicles moving upon it. The first that
attracted their attention was one of the barrows, with a native between
the handles, supporting them with a band over his shoulders. On one side
of the large wheel was a passenger; and behind him was a lofty sail,
like those depending from the yards of a ship, but about three times as
high in proportion to its width. It had five ribs of wood in it below
the upper yard to keep it spread out. The boys thought the craft would
be inclined to heel over with all the cargo on the starboard side.

They saw a rickshaw rigged with a sail in this manner. A man on a farm
was working with an ordinary wheelbarrow sailing in this way. There were
no end of men riding ponies, or in the two-wheeled passenger-carts
having a cover over them which extended out over the horse. Farther up
they observed a couple of coolies irrigating the land with a machine
which had four paddles for moving the water, with four more each side of
the stream, under a frame to which two men were holding on, and working
treadmill fashion, with their feet on each of the four arms. They
noticed mixed teams of horses and bullocks, such as one sees in Naples.
The most curious was a mule-litter, which was simply a sedan between two
animals.

Felipe drove the launch at a nine-knot speed, and at half-past three in
the afternoon the boat arrived at Tung-chow. Contrary to their
expectation, the passengers had greatly enjoyed the trip; but it was out
of their own hilarity rather than their surroundings. Pitts had arranged
the lunch in a very tasty manner on the tables in what the boys had
called the fore and after cabins. They found all the variety of vehicles
they had seen on the road, and in three hours they came to the great
gate of Pekin. They were conveyed to the small German hotel, which they
more than filled; and other lodgings were provided for some of the
gentlemen, though the meals were to be taken at the public-house.

The Chinese gentlemen had to leave them to attend to their own affairs,
but after dinner the professor told them something about Pekin: "The
city is in about the same latitude as New York, and the climate is about
the same. It is situated on a sandy plain, and the suburbs are
comparatively few. The town consists of two cities, the Manchu and the
Chinese, separated by a wall; and the whole is surrounded by high walls,
with towers and pagodas on them, as you have already seen. The Manchu
wall is fifty feet high, sixty feet wide at the bottom, and forty at the
top. Without the cross-walls, there are twenty-one miles of outer wall,
enclosing twenty-six square miles of ground.

"There are sixteen gates, each with a tower a hundred feet high on it.
Your first impression must have been that Pekin is the greatest city in
the world. You came in by a street two hundred feet wide, with shops on
each side; but when you have seen more of it, you will find dilapidation
and decay, and about the same filth you have observed in other Chinese
cities. But it is one of the most ancient cities in the world, for this
or another city stood here twelve hundred years before Christ. Kublâi, a
grandson of Genghis Khan, the great conqueror of the Moguls, made Pekin
the capital of all China. When the Manchus came into power the city was
all ready for them, and for a time they kept it in repair; but for more
than a hundred years it has been going to ruin.

"The Manchu, or inner city, is divided into three parts, the largest of
which is the real city. In the middle of it are two walled enclosures,
one within the other. The outer one seems to be the guardroom of the
inner, to which entrance is forbidden to all foreigners, and even to
Manchus and Chinese not connected with the court. This last is called
the Purple Forbidden City, two and a quarter miles around it, and is the
actual imperial residence. It includes the palaces of the emperor and
empress and other members of the family. It contains other palaces and
halls of reception.

"The 'Hall of Grand Harmony' is built on a terrace twenty feet high, and
is of marble, one hundred and ten feet high. Its chief apartment is two
hundred feet long by ninety wide, and contains a throne for the emperor,
who holds his receptions here on New Year's Day, his birthday, and on
other great occasions. The 'Palace of Heavenly Purity' is where the
monarch meets his cabinet at dawn for business; and you see that he must
be an early riser. Within these enclosures are temples, parks, an
artificial lake a mile long, a great temple in which the imperial family
worship their ancestors, and many other grand palaces, temples, and
statues, which I have not time to mention.

"The outer, or Chinese, city, is thinly populated, and a considerable
portion of it is under cultivation. The principal streets are over a
hundred feet wide; but those at the sides of them, like Canton and other
cities, are nothing but lanes. None of the streets are paved, and mud
and dust reign supreme. As with other Eastern cities, the population of
Pekin is exaggerated, being estimated by some as high as two millions;
but Dr. Legge thought it was less than one million.

"The charge of infanticide seems not to be applicable to Pekin or the
surrounding country, and is said to be almost unknown there. A dead-cart
passes through the streets at early morning to pick up the bodies of
children dying from ordinary causes whose parents are too poor to bury
them. There are foundling hospitals, to which the mothers prefer to take
their female children rather than sacrifice them. In fact, infanticide
is said to be known only in four or five provinces. I have nothing more
to say, and I leave you to see the rest for yourselves," said the
professor, as he resumed his seat.

The next morning Mr. Psi-ning presented himself at the hotel, before
which were gathered vehicles enough to accommodate the entire party. The
rickshaw had recently been introduced from Japan, and several of them
were included in the number; but the carts and the barrows were
generally preferred. The company selected what they pleased. Mr.
Psi-ning led the way through the principal street, and through some of
the lanes; but the scenes in them were so much like what they had seen
in three other cities that the novelty of them had worn off. The
residences of the ambassadors of foreign countries were pointed out to
them, including that of the Hon. C. Denby, before which they halted;
and the Chinese gentleman conducted them all into it, where they were
presented in due form to His Excellency, who received them very
pleasantly.

They then went to the Temple of Heaven, which was quite a curious
building, somewhat in pagoda style. It began on the ground at a round
structure, with an overhanging roof. The second story was smaller, with
the same kind of a roof; and the third was the same, but with a roof
coming to a point, like a cone. It was almost a hundred feet high. The
tiles were of blue porcelain, in imitation of a clear sky.

In the afternoon the tourists were conveyed to the office of the Board
of Punishments, and Mr. Psi-ning explained the criminal processes and
sentences. The latter are very severe, including torture, which makes
one think that he is reading Foxe's "Book of Martyrs." The party
declined to witness any of the punishments. Some culprits are treated to
twenty or more blows with a bamboo. Men suspected are tortured to make
them confess. They are put in all sorts of painful positions.

Capital punishment is inflicted by placing the victim on his knees, with
his arms bound behind him, and his head is severed from his body by the
stroke of a heavy knife or sword.

The next day the mandarin conducted the tourists to the gate of the
Forbidden City; for he had obtained a permit for the admission of the
whole of them in a body. The professor had described the principal
structures within the enclosure; and it would be only a repetition to
report what the mandarin said of them, though he added considerable to
what had come from the books. The third gateway was especially noted as
one of the finest pieces of Chinese architecture the party had seen.

The "Abode of Heavenly Calmness" was the noblest, richest, and most
luxuriously furnished in the great palace; for it is the private
apartment of the emperor. The Great Union Saloon, where His Imperial
Majesty receives the high-class mandarins, was elegant enough for any
royal apartment.

The tourists walked about among the Chinese glories till they were tired
out. The two Cupids were completely "blown;" and when they found a
place, they seated themselves, and let the rest of the company finish
the survey of the Forbidden City. The palace of one prince of the
imperial house was so large that three thousand men could be quartered
in the out-buildings, and doubtless as many more could be accommodated
in the main structure. The Cupids were picked up on the return; but
there was more to be seen, and they went to the beautiful temple of Fo,
containing a gilded bronze statue of the god, sixty feet high, with one
hundred arms, and Scott remarked that he was like a big man-of-war, well
armed.

They came again to the Temple of Heaven; but the mandarin had not
obtained a permit, which was exceedingly difficult to procure in recent
years. Mr. Psi-ning told them that the interior, in its chief hall,
represented the heavens. It was a circular apartment surrounded by
twenty-two pillars, and everything was painted sky-blue. A portion of
this temple is the "Penitential Retreat" of the emperor, where he keeps
three days of fasting, meditating over his own sins and those of the
government, previous to offering up his sacrifice. Connected with the
temple was a band of five hundred musicians, who reside there; but the
commander was thankful that the party were not compelled to listen to
their performance.

The tourists were very glad to get back to the hotel in the street of
the legations, and they did not go out again that day. The question of
visiting the Great Wall then came up for discussion. Brother Avoirdupois
and Brother Adipose Tissue declared in the beginning that they would not
go; and the mandarin laughed heartily when these names were applied to
them, and still more when they were called the Cupids.

"It is forty-five miles to the loop-wall which travellers generally
visit from Pekin," said Mr. Psi-ning. "You would have to go in
mule-litters, or on horseback, or by the carts you have used; and it
would take you a day to get there, and as long to return. Then it would
be only the loop-wall, and not the Great Wall, which cannot be reached
without going over a hundred miles. I can say for myself that I have
never been to either, just as I heard a man in Boston say that he had
lived there over sixty years, and had never been to Bunker Hill
Monument."

"The wall is an old story to you, I suppose," said the princess.

"You have seen the walls of Pekin, and they are a good specimen of the
Great Wall; at any rate, they satisfied me," replied the mandarin.

But the "Big Four" and Professor Giroud decided to visit the loop-wall,
and the Chinese gentleman advised them to start immediately after lunch.
One of the guides, who had been there several times before, was to
accompany them, and was sure they could reach their destination by
sunset; and they started as soon as they had lunched. Mr. Psi procured
for them six fine horses and a mule-litter. The road was paved with
solid granite slabs, ten feet long, all the way.

The attentive mandarin kept the rest of the tourists very busy the next
two days; and they visited everything that was worth seeing in the
capital, and they dined with him one day in his palace. The party from
the wall returned before night the next day, and said they had had a
good time, though the wall did not amount to much more than that seen at
Pekin.

"I have a government mission in Tokyo next week, and I have to go to
Japan," said Mr. Psi-ning, while they were dining together at the German
Hotel. "I shall probably meet you there."

"If you are going to Japan, permit me to offer you a stateroom on board
of the Guardian-Mother," interposed the commander eagerly. "You are
practically an American after a five years' residence in the United
States, and are familiar with our way of living; though I will add that
Monsieur Odervie, our French cook, has learned to make a few Chinese
dishes, and we will endeavor to make you comfortable."

"Your living will suit me perfectly, for I am used to it; and having
dined with you on board, I know that your bill of fare is better than
any hotel in the States. But when do you sail?"

"Whenever you are ready, my dear sir."

"I have to spend a day in Tien-tsin, and then I was to take a steamer to
Shang-hai, and thence a P. & O. to Yokohama."

"But that is out of the way; and we go direct to Yokohama, or we will go
there first if you honor us with your company," said the captain,
glancing at General Noury.

"By all means!" exclaimed the pacha. "Mrs. Noury and myself will be
delighted to have you with us, Mr. Psi-ning."

"Then I shall be too happy to accept your cordial invitation," replied
the mandarin. That matter was settled; and the new passenger went to his
palace to prepare for his journey, though he did not forget to send one
of his people to Tung-chow to arrange for the reception of the party the
next day.

The horses the young men rode, the mule-litters, wheelbarrows, and
jinrikishas were at the door of the hotel early in the morning; and the
mandarin, with his valet, were on time. The company reached Tung-chow
before noon; and a Chinese lunch was ready for them, ordered by the new
passenger. The Blanchita was all ready for them to step on board when
they had partaken of roast goose, duck, and chicken at the inn. The
passage down the river was a frolic all the way, and the guest told them
more about China than they had learned before in regard to matters not
generally known.

Felipe hurried the steamer, and she was alongside the Guardian-Mother
before five in the afternoon. Mr. Psi-ning had several pieces of
baggage, including despatch-bags, which were placed in the finest
stateroom on board. The commander had telegraphed for dinner at the
usual hour. Mr. Smithers came on board before it was ready, and was
invited to join the company. From him they learned that Mr. Psi-ning was
in the diplomatic service of the government, and that he would be of
great assistance to them in Japan.

The ships had to wait only one day for him; and on Wednesday, May 10, at
six in the morning, they sailed for Tokyo, though the commander's
original intention had been to go first to Nagasaki. The Blanche's party
went on board of the Guardian-Mother before she sailed, with the Italian
band. They played to the great delight of the boatmen around the ship,
as well as of those on board. The consul went to the mouth of the river,
and took a tug home. It was a frolic all day and till midnight, when the
Blanche's passengers returned to her.

It was a smooth sea all the four days of the voyage, even on the Pacific
shores; and the Guardian-Mother's people spent the next day on board of
the consort. On the third day there was a lecture on Japan in Conference
Hall, given by Mr. Psi-ning, who was as familiar with that country as
with China. But his discourse must be reported in another volume.

Those who are disposed to follow the tourists through Japan, and then on
their long voyage of two thousand miles to Australia, New Zealand, and
the Sandwich Islands, will be enabled to do so in "PACIFIC SHORES; OR,
ADVENTURES IN EASTERN SEAS."



_OLIVER OPTIC'S BOOKS_


ALL-OVER-THE-WORLD LIBRARY

Illustrated Per Volume $1.25


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        A MISSING MILLION or the Adventures of Louis Belgrave
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        STRANGE SIGHTS ABROAD or A Voyage in European Waters

       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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=The Blue and the Gray--Afloat.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Six volumes.
Illustrated. Beautiful binding in blue and gray, with emblematic dies.
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  =1. Taken by the Enemy.=
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  =3. On the Blockade.=
  =4. Stand by the Union.=
  =5. Fighting for the Right.=
  =6. A Victorious Union.=


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  =1. Brother against Brother.=
  =2. In the Saddle.=
  =3. A Lieutenant at Eighteen.=

(_Other volumes in preparation._)

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=Woodville Stories.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Six volumes. Illustrated. Any
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  =1. Rich and Humble;= OR, THE MISSION OF BERTHA GRANT.
  =2. In School and Out;= OR, THE CONQUEST OF RICHARD GRANT.
  =3. Watch and Wait;= OR, THE YOUNG FUGITIVES.
  =4. Work and Win;= OR, NODDY NEWMAN ON A CRUISE.
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=The Starry Flag Series.= By OLIVER OPTIC. In six volumes. Illustrated.
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  =1. The Starry Flag;= OR, THE YOUNG FISHERMAN OF CAPE ANN.
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=All-Over-the-World Library.= By OLIVER OPTIC. First Series.
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  =1. A Missing Million;= OR, THE ADVENTURES OF LOUIS BELGRAVE.
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  =3. A Young Knight Errant;= OR, CRUISING IN THE WEST INDIES.
  =4. Strange Sights Abroad;= OR, ADVENTURES IN EUROPEAN WATERS.


=All-Over-the-World Library.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Second Series.
Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. American Boys Afloat;= OR, CRUISING IN THE ORIENT.
  =2. The Young Navigators;= OR, THE FOREIGN CRUISE OF THE "MAUD."
  =3. Up and Down the Nile;= OR, YOUNG ADVENTURERS IN AFRICA.
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=All-Over-the-World Library.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Third Series.
Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. Across India;= OR, LIVE BOYS IN THE FAR EAST.
  =2. Half Round the World;= OR, AMONG THE UNCIVILIZED.
  =3. Four Young Explorers;= OR, SIGHT-SEEING IN THE TROPICS.

(_Other volumes in preparation._)


=Young America Abroad:= A LIBRARY OF TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE IN FOREIGN
LANDS. By OLIVER OPTIC. Illustrated by NAST and others. First Series.
Six volumes. Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. Outward Bound;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA AFLOAT.
  =2. Shamrock and Thistle;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND.
  =3. Red Cross;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN ENGLAND AND WALES.
  =4. Dikes and Ditches;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN HOLLAND AND BELGIUM.
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  =6. Down the Rhine;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN GERMANY.

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        OLIVER OPTIC will continue to be the boys'
        friend, and his pleasant books will continue to
        be read by thousands of American boys. What a
        fine holiday present either or both series of
        'Young America Abroad' would be for a young
        friend! It would make a little library highly
        prized by the recipient, and would not be an
        expensive one."--_Providence Press._


=Young America Abroad.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Second Series. Six volumes.
Illustrated. Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. Up the Baltic;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN NORWAY, SWEDEN, AND DENMARK.
  =2. Northern Lands;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN RUSSIA AND PRUSSIA.
  =3. Cross and Crescent;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN TURKEY AND GREECE.
  =4. Sunny Shores;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN ITALY AND AUSTRIA.
  =5. Vine and Olive;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.
  =6. Isles of the Sea;= OR, YOUNG AMERICA HOMEWARD BOUND.

        "OLIVER OPTIC is a _nom de plume_ that is known
        and loved by almost every boy of intelligence
        in the land. We have seen a highly intellectual
        and world-weary man, a cynic whose heart was
        somewhat embittered by its large experience of
        human nature, take up one of OLIVER OPTIC'S
        books, and read it at a sitting, neglecting his
        work in yielding to the fascination of the
        pages. When a mature and exceedingly
        well-informed mind, long despoiled of all its
        freshness, can thus find pleasure in a book for
        boys, no additional words of recommendation are
        needed."--_Sunday Times._



=The Great Western Series.= By OLIVER OPTIC. In six volumes.
Illustrated. Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. Going West;= OR, THE PERILS OF A POOR BOY.
  =2. Out West;= OR, ROUGHING IT ON THE GREAT LAKES.
  =3. Lake Breezes;= OR, THE CRUISE OF THE SYLVANIA.
  =4. Going South;= OR, YACHTING ON THE ATLANTIC COAST.
  =5. Down South;= OR, YACHT ADVENTURES IN FLORIDA.
  =6. Up the River;= OR, YACHTING ON THE MISSISSIPPI.

        "This is the latest series of books issued by
        this popular writer, and deals with life on the
        Great Lakes, for which a careful study was made
        by the author in a summer tour of the immense
        water sources of America. The story, which
        carries the same hero through the six books of
        the series, is always entertaining, novel
        scenes and varied incidents giving a constantly
        changing yet always attractive aspect to the
        narrative. OLIVER OPTIC has written nothing
        better."


=The Yacht Club Series.= By OLIVER OPTIC. In six volumes. Illustrated.
Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. Little Bobtail;= OR, THE WRECK OF THE PENOBSCOT.
  =2. The Yacht Club;= OR, THE YOUNG BOAT BUILDERS.
  =3. Money-Maker;= OR, THE VICTORY OF THE BASILISK.
  =4. The Coming Wave;= OR, THE TREASURE OF HIGH ROCK.
  =5. The Dorcas Club;= OR, OUR GIRLS AFLOAT.
  =6. Ocean Born;= OR, THE CRUISE OF THE CLUBS.

        "The series has this peculiarity, that all of
        its constituent volumes are independent of one
        another, and therefore each story is complete
        in itself. OLIVER OPTIC is, perhaps, the
        favorite author of the boys and girls of this
        country, and he seems destined to enjoy an
        endless popularity. He deserves his success,
        for he makes very interesting stories, and
        inculcates none but the best sentiments, and
        the 'Yacht Club' is no exception to this
        rule."--_New Haven Journal and Courier._


=Onward and Upward Series.= By OLIVER OPTIC. In six volumes.
Illustrated. Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. Field and Forest;= OR, THE FORTUNES OF A FARMER.
  =2. Plane and Plank;= OR, THE MISHAPS OF A MECHANIC.
  =3. Desk and Debit;= OR, THE CATASTROPHES OF A CLERK.
  =4. Cringle and Crosstree;= OR, THE SEA SWASHES OF A SAILOR.
  =5. Bivouac and Battle;= OR, THE STRUGGLES OF A SOLDIER.
  =6. Sea and Shore;= OR, THE TRAMPS OF A TRAVELLER.

        "Paul Farringford, the hero of these tales, is,
        like most of this author's heroes, a young man
        of high spirit, and of high aims and correct
        principles, appearing in the different volumes
        as a farmer, a captain, a bookkeeper, a
        soldier, a sailor, and a traveller. In all of
        them the hero meets with very exciting
        adventures, told in the graphic style for which
        the author is famous."


=The Lake Shore Series.= By OLIVER OPTIC. In six volumes. Illustrated.
Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. Through by Daylight;= OR, THE YOUNG ENGINEER OF THE LAKE SHORE
        RAILROAD.
  =2. Lightning Express;= OR, THE RIVAL ACADEMIES.
  =3. On Time;= OR, THE YOUNG CAPTAIN OF THE UCAYGA STEAMER.
  =4. Switch Off;= OR, THE WAR OF THE STUDENTS.
  =5. Brake Up;= OR, THE YOUNG PEACEMAKERS.
  =6. Bear and Forbear;= OR, THE YOUNG SKIPPER OF LAKE UCAYGA.

        "OLIVER OPTIC is one of the most fascinating
        writers for youth, and withal one of the best
        to be found in this or any past age. Troops of
        young people hang over his vivid pages; and not
        one of them ever learned to be mean, ignoble,
        cowardly, selfish, or to yield to any vice from
        anything they ever read from his
        pen."--_Providence Press._



=Army and Navy Stories.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Six volumes. Illustrated. Any
volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. The Soldier Boy;= OR, TOM SOMERS IN THE ARMY.
  =2. The Sailor Boy;= OR, JACK SOMERS IN THE NAVY.
  =3. The Young Lieutenant;= OR, ADVENTURES OF AN ARMY OFFICER.
  =4. The Yankee Middy;= OR, ADVENTURES OF A NAVY OFFICER.
  =5. Fighting Joe;= OR, THE FORTUNES OF A STAFF OFFICER.
  =6. Brave Old Salt;= OR, LIFE ON THE QUARTER DECK.

        "This series of six volumes recounts the
        adventures of two brothers, Tom and Jack
        Somers, one in the army, the other in the navy,
        in the great Civil War. The romantic narratives
        of the fortunes and exploits of the brothers
        are thrilling in the extreme. Historical
        accuracy in the recital of the great events of
        that period is strictly followed, and the
        result is, not only a library of entertaining
        volumes, but also the best history of the Civil
        War for young people ever written."


=Boat Builders Series.= By OLIVER OPTIC. In six volumes. Illustrated.
Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25.

  =1. All Adrift;= OR, THE GOLDWING CLUB.
  =2. Snug Harbor;= OR, THE CHAMPLAIN MECHANICS.
  =3. Square and Compasses;= OR, BUILDING THE HOUSE.
  =4. Stem to Stern;= OR, BUILDING THE BOAT.
  =5. All Taut;= OR, RIGGING THE BOAT.
  =6. Ready About;= OR, SAILING THE BOAT.

        "The series includes in six successive volumes
        the whole art of boat building, boat rigging,
        boat managing, and practical hints to make the
        ownership of a boat pay. A great deal of useful
        information is given in this =Boat Builders
        Series=, and in each book a very interesting
        story is interwoven with the information. Every
        reader will be interested at once in Dory, the
        hero of 'All Adrift,' and one of the characters
        retained in the subsequent volumes of the
        series. His friends will not want to lose sight
        of him, and every boy who makes his
        acquaintance in 'All Adrift' will become his
        friend."


=Riverdale Story Books.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Twelve volumes. Illustrated.
Illuminated covers. Price: cloth, per set, $3.60; per volume, 30 cents;
paper, per set, $2.00.

  =1. Little Merchant.=
  =2. Young Voyagers.=
  =3. Christmas Gift.=
  =4. Dolly and I.=
  =5. Uncle Ben.=
  =6. Birthday Party.=
  =7. Proud and Lazy.=
  =8. Careless Kate.=
  =9. Robinson Crusoe, Jr.=
  =10. The Picnic Party.=
  =11. The Gold Thimble.=
  =12. The Do-Somethings.=


=Riverdale Story Books.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Six volumes. Illustrated.
Fancy cloth and colors. Price per volume, 30 cents.

  =1. Little Merchant.=
  =2. Proud and Lazy.=
  =3. Young Voyagers.=
  =4. Careless Kate.=
  =5. Dolly and I.=
  =6. Robinson Crusoe, Jr.=


=Flora Lee Library.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Six volumes. Illustrated. Fancy
cloth and colors. Price per volume, 30 cents.

  =1. The Picnic Party.=
  =2. The Gold Thimble.=
  =3. The Do-Somethings.=
  =4. Christmas Gift.=
  =5. Uncle Ben.=
  =6. Birthday Party.=

        These are bright short stories for younger
        children who are unable to comprehend the
  =Starry Flag Series= or the =Army and Navy
        Series=. But they all display the author's
        talent for pleasing and interesting the little
        folks. They are all fresh and original,
        preaching no sermons, but inculcating good
        lessons.



=The Way of the World.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Illustrated. $1.50.

        "One of the most interesting American novels we
        have ever read."--_Philadelphia City Item._

        "This story treats of a fortune of three
        million dollars left a youthful heir. The
        volume bears evidence in every chapter of the
        fresh, original, and fascinating style which
        has always enlivened Mr. ADAMS' productions. We
        have the same felicitous manner of working out
        the plot by conversation, the same quaint wit
        and humor, and a class of characters which
        stand out boldly, pen photographs of living
        beings.

        "The book furnishes a most romantic and withal
        a most instructive illustration of the way of
        the world in its false estimate of money."


=Living too Fast;= OR, THE CONFESSIONS OF A BANK OFFICER. By OLIVER
OPTIC. Illustrated. $1.50.

        This story records the experience of a bank
        officer in the downward career of crime. The
        career ought, perhaps, to have ended in the
        State's prison; but the author chose to
        represent the defaulter as sharply punished in
        another way. The book contains a most valuable
        lesson; and shows, in another leading
        character, the true life which a young business
        man ought to lead.


=In Doors and Out;= OR, VIEWS FROM A CHIMNEY CORNER. By OLIVER OPTIC.
Illustrated. $1.50.

        "Many who have not time and patience to wade
        through a long story will find here many pithy
        and sprightly tales, each sharply hitting some
        social absurdity or social vice. We recommend
        the book heartily after having read the three
        chapters on 'Taking a Newspaper.' If all the
        rest are as sensible and interesting as these,
        and doubtless they are, the book is well worthy
        of patronage."--_Vermont Record._

        "As a writer of domestic stories, Mr. WILLIAM
        T. ADAMS (OLIVER OPTIC) made his mark even
        before he became so immensely popular through
        his splendid books for the young. In the volume
        before us are given several of these tales, and
        they comprise a book which will give them a
        popularity greater than they have ever before
        enjoyed. They are written in a spirited style,
        impart valuable practical lessons, and are of
        the most lively interest."--_Boston Home
        Journal._


=Our Standard Bearer.= A Life of Gen. U. S. Grant. By OLIVER OPTIC.
Illustrated by THOMAS NAST. Illuminated covers, $1.50.

        It has long been out of print, but now comes
        out in a new edition, with a narrative of the
        civil career of the General as President for
        two terms, his remarkable journey abroad, his
        life in New York, and his sickness, death, and
        burial. Perhaps the reader will remember that
        the narrative is told by "Captain Galligasken"
        after a style that is certainly not common or
        tiresome, but, rather, in a direct, simple,
        picturesque, and inspiring way that wins the
        heart of the young reader. For the boy who
        wants to read the life of General Grant, this
        book is the best that has been
        published,--perhaps the only one that is worth
        any consideration.


=Just His Luck.= By OLIVER OPTIC. Illustrated. $1.00.

        "It deals with real flesh and blood boys; with
        boys who possess many noble qualities of mind;
        with boys of generous impulses and large
        hearts; with boys who delight in playing
        pranks, and who are ever ready for any sort of
        mischief; and with boys in whom human nature is
        strongly engrafted. They are boys, as many of
        us have been; boys in the true, unvarnished
        sense of the word; boys with hopes, ideas, and
        inspirations, but lacking in judgment,
        self-control, and discipline. And the book
        contains an appropriate moral, teaches many a
        lesson, and presents many a precept worthy of
        being followed. It is a capital book for boys."

LEE AND SHEPARD, BOSTON, SEND THEIR COMPLETE CATALOGUE FREE.



LEE AND SHEPARD'S ILLUSTRATED JUVENILES



J. T. TROWBRIDGE'S BOOKS

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE START IN LIFE SERIES. 4 volumes.=

=A Start in Life:= A STORY OF THE GENESEE COUNTRY. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE.
Illustrated. $1.00.

        In this story the author recounts the hardships
        of a young lad in his first endeavor to start
        out for himself. It is a tale that is full of
        enthusiasm and budding hopes. The writer shows
        how hard the youths of a century ago were
        compelled to work. This he does in an
        entertaining way, mingling fun and adventures
        with their daily labors. The hero is a striking
        example of the honest boy, who is not too lazy
        to work, nor too dull to thoroughly appreciate
        a joke.


=Biding His Time=. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.00.

        "It is full of spirit and adventure, and
        presents a plucky hero who was willing to 'bide
        his time,' no matter how great the expectations
        that he indulged in from his uncle's vast
        wealth, which he did not in the least covet....
        He was left a poor orphan in Ohio at seventeen
        years of age, and soon after heard of a rich
        uncle, who lived near Boston. He sets off on
        the long journey to Boston, finds his uncle, an
        eccentric old man, is hospitably received by
        him, but seeks employment in a humble way, and
        proves that he is a persevering and plucky
        young man."--_Boston Home Journal._


=The Kelp Gatherers:= A STORY OF THE MAINE COAST. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE.
Illustrated. $1.00.

        This book is full of interesting information
        upon the plant life of the seashore, and the
        life of marine animals; but it is also a bright
        and readable story, with all the hints of
        character and the vicissitudes of human life,
        in depicting which the author is an
        acknowledged master.


=The Scarlet Tanager=, AND OTHER BIPEDS. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE.
Illustrated. $1.00.

        Every new story which Mr. TROWBRIDGE begins is
        followed through successive chapters by
        thousands who have read and re-read many times
        his preceding tales. One of his greatest charms
        is his absolute truthfulness. He does not
        depict little saints, or incorrigible rascals,
        but just _boys_. This same fidelity to nature
        is seen in his latest book, "The Scarlet
        Tanager, and Other Bipeds." There is enough
        adventure in this tale to commend it to the
        liveliest reader, and all the lessons it
        teaches are wholesome.


=THE SILVER MEDAL STORIES. 6 volumes.=

=The Silver Medal=, AND OTHER STORIES. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated.
$1.25.

        There were some schoolboys who had turned
        housebreakers, and among their plunder was a
        silver medal that had been given to one John
        Harrison by the Humane Society for rescuing
        from drowning a certain Benton Barry. Now
        Benton Barry was one of the wretched
        housebreakers. This is the summary of the
        opening chapter. The story is intensely
        interesting in its serious as well as its
        humorous parts.


=His Own Master.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        "This is a book after the typical boy's own
        heart. Its hero is a plucky young fellow, who,
        seeing no chance for himself at home,
        determines to make his own way in the world....
        He sets out accordingly, trudges to the far
        West, and finds the road to fortune an
        unpleasantly rough one."--_Philadelphia
        Inquirer._

        "We class this as one of the best stories for
        boys we ever read. The tone is perfectly
        healthy, and the interest is kept up to the
        end."--_Boston Home Journal._


=Bound in Honor.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        This story is of a lad, who, though not guilty
        of any bad action, had been an eye-witness of
        the conduct of his comrades, and felt "Bound in
        Honor" not to tell.

        "The glimpses we get of New England character
        are free from any distortion, and their
        humorous phases are always entertaining. Mr.
        TROWBRIDGE'S brilliant descriptive faculty is
        shown to great advantage in the opening chapter
        of the book by a vivid picture of a village
        fire, and is manifested elsewhere with equally
        telling effect."--_Boston Courier._


=The Pocket Rifle.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        "A boy's story which will be read with avidity,
        as it ought to be, it is so brightly and
        frankly written, and with such evident
        knowledge of the temperaments and habits, the
        friendships and enmities of schoolboys."--_New
        York Mail._

        "This is a capital story for boys. TROWBRIDGE
        never tells a story poorly. It teaches honesty,
        integrity, and friendship, and how best they
        can be promoted. It shows the danger of hasty
        judgment and circumstantial evidence; that
        right-doing pays, and dishonesty
        never."--_Chicago Inter-Ocean._


=The Jolly Rover.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        "This book will help to neutralize the ill
        effects of any poison which children may have
        swallowed in the way of sham-adventurous
        stories and wildly fictitious tales. 'The Jolly
        Rover' runs away from home, and meets life as
        it is, till he is glad enough to seek again his
        father's house. Mr. TROWBRIDGE has the power of
        making an instructive story absorbing in its
        interest, and of covering a moral so that it is
        easy to take."--_Christian Intelligencer._


=Young Joe=, AND OTHER BOYS. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        "Young Joe," who lived at Bass Cove, where he
        shot wild ducks, took some to town for sale,
        and attracted the attention of a portly
        gentleman fond of shooting. This gentleman went
        duck shooting with Joe, and their adventures
        were more amusing to the boy than to the
        amateur sportsman.

        There are thirteen other short stories in the
        book which will be sure to please the young
        folks.

       *       *       *       *       *

=The Vagabonds:= AN ILLUSTRATED POEM. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Cloth. $1.50.

"The Vagabonds" are a strolling fiddler and his dog. The fiddler has
been ruined by drink, and his monologue is one of the most pathetic and
effective pieces in our literature.



=THE TIDE-MILL STORIES. 6 volumes.=


=Phil and His Friends.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        The hero is the son of a man who from drink got
        into debt, and, after having given a paper to a
        creditor authorizing him to keep the son as a
        security for his claim, ran away, leaving poor
        Phil a bond slave. The story involves a great
        many unexpected incidents, some of which are
        painful, and some comic. Phil manfully works
        for a year, cancelling his father's debt, and
        then escapes. The characters are strongly
        drawn, and the story is absorbingly
        interesting.


=The Tinkham Brothers' Tide-Mill.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated.
$1.25.

        "The Tinkham Brothers" were the devoted sons of
        an invalid mother. The story tells how they
        purchased a tide-mill, which afterwards, by the
        ill-will and obstinacy of neighbors, became a
        source of much trouble to them. It tells also
        how, by discretion and the exercise of a
        peaceable spirit, they at last overcame all
        difficulties.

        "Mr. TROWBRIDGE'S humor, his fidelity to
        nature, and story-telling power lose nothing
        with years; and he stands at the head of those
        who are furnishing a literature for the young,
        clean and sweet in tone, and always of interest
        and value."--_The Continent._


=The Satin-wood Box.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        "Mr. TROWBRIDGE has always a purpose in his
        writings, and this time he has undertaken to
        show how very near an innocent boy can come to
        the guilty edge and yet be able by fortunate
        circumstances to rid himself of all suspicion
        of evil. There is something winsome about the
        hero; but he has a singular way of falling into
        bad luck, although the careful reader will
        never feel the least disposed to doubt his
        honesty.... It is the pain and perplexity which
        impart to the story its intense
        interest."--_Syracuse Standard._


=The Little Master.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        This is the story of a schoolmaster, his
        trials, disappointments, and final victory. It
        will recall to many a man his experience in
        teaching pupils, and in managing their
        opinionated and self-willed parents. The story
        has the charm which is always found in Mr.
        TROWBRIDGE'S works.

        "Many a teacher could profit by reading of this
        plucky little schoolmaster."--_Journal of
        Education._


=His One Fault.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        "As for the hero of this story, 'His One Fault'
        was absent-mindedness. He forgot to lock his
        uncle's stable door, and the horse was stolen.
        In seeking to recover the stolen horse, he
        unintentionally stole another. In trying to
        restore the wrong horse to his rightful owner,
        he was himself arrested. After no end of comic
        and dolorous adventures, he surmounted all his
        misfortunes by downright pluck and genuine good
        feeling. It is a noble contribution to juvenile
        literature."--_Woman's Journal._


=Peter Budstone.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated. $1.25.

        "TROWBRIDGE'S other books have been admirable
        and deservedly popular, but this one, in our
        opinion, is the best yet. It is a story at once
        spirited and touching, with a certain dramatic
        and artistic quality that appeals to the
        literary sense as well as to the story-loving
        appetite. In it Mr. TROWBRIDGE has not lectured
        or moralized or remonstrated; he has simply
        shown boys what they are doing when they
        contemplate hazing. By a good artistic impulse
        we are not shown the hazing at all; when the
        story begins, the hazing is already over, and
        we are introduced immediately to the results.
        It is an artistic touch also that the boy
        injured is not hurt because he is a fellow of
        delicate nerves, but because of his very
        strength, and the power with which he resisted
        until overcome by numbers, and subjected to
        treatment which left him insane. His insanity
        takes the form of harmless delusion, and the
        absurdity of his ways and talk enables the
        author to lighten the sombreness without
        weakening the moral, in a way that ought to win
        all boys to his side."--_The Critic._



=THE TOBY TRAFFORD SERIES. 3 volumes.=

=The Fortunes of Toby Trafford.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Illustrated.
$1.25.

        "If to make children's stories as true to
        nature as the stories which the masters of
        fiction write for children of a larger growth
        be an uncommon achievement, and one that is
        worthy of wide recognition, that recognition
        should be given to Mr. J. T. TROWBRIDGE for his
        many achievements in this difficult walk of
        literary art. Mr. TROWBRIDGE has a good
        perception of character, which he draws with
        skill; he has abundance of invention, which he
        never abuses; and he has, what so many American
        writers have not, an easy, graceful style,
        which can be humorous, or pathetic, or
        poetic."--_R. H. Stoddard in New York Mail._


=Father Brighthopes:= AN OLD CLERGYMAN'S VACATION. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE.
Illustrated. $1.25.

        This book was published in the early fifties by
        Phillips, Sampson & Co., of which firm Mr. Lee
        (of Lee and Shepard) was then a member. It was
        very favorably received, and was followed by
        other stories,--a long series of them,--still
        lengthening, and which, it is hoped, may be
        prolonged indefinitely. Recently a new edition
        has appeared, and for a preface the author has
        related with touching simplicity the account of
        his first experience in authorship.

        It is well known that Mr. TROWBRIDGE is
        primarily a poet. Some beautiful poems of his
        were printed in the early numbers of the
        _Atlantic Monthly_ (in company with poems by
        LONGFELLOW, EMERSON, LOWELL, and HOLMES), and
        were well received. "At Sea" is a gem that has
        become classic. The poetic faculty has not been
        without use to the story-writer. The perception
        of beauty in nature and in human nature is
        always evident even in his realistic prose. But
        his poetic gift never leads him into
        sentimentality, and his characters are true
        children of men, with natural faults as well as
        natural gifts and graces. His stories are
        intensely _human_, with a solid basis, and with
        an instinctive dramatic action. He has never
        written an uninteresting book.


=Woodie Thorpe's Pilgrimage=, AND OTHER STORIES. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE.
Illustrated. $1.25.

        "The scenes are full of human interest and
        lifelikeness, and will please many an old
        reader, as well as the younger folks for whose
        delectation it is intended. As in all the books
        of this author the spirit is manly, sincere,
        and in the best sense moral. There is no
        'goody' talk and no cant, but principles of
        truthfulness, integrity, and self-reliance are
        quietly inculcated by example. It is safe to
        say that any boy will be the better for reading
        books like this."--_St. Botolph._

       *       *       *       *       *

=Neighbors' Wives.= By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. Cloth. $1.50.

        As a novelty, the following acrostic is
        presented. The praise from the different
        newspapers is brief, but to the point.

  =N= ot in the least tiresome.--_Troy Press._
  =E= xquisite touches of character.--_Salem Observer._
  =I= ntroducing strong scenes with rare skill.--_Gloucester Telegraph._
  =G= roups well certain phases of character.--_New Bedford Standard._
  =H= appy sprightliness of style and vivacity which fascinates--_Dover Legion._
  =B= y many considered the author's best.--_Journal._
  =O= ne of the best of TROWBRIDGE'S stories.--_Commonwealth._
  =R= eader finds it difficult to close the book.--_Hearth and Home._
  =S= tory all alive with adventures and incidents striking and vivid.--_Dover Star._

  =W= hich is one of TROWBRIDGE'S brightest and best.--_Boston Transcript._
  =I= s destined to be enjoyed mightily.--_Salem Observer._
  =V= ery pleasant reading.--_New York Leader._
  =E= xcels any of the author's former books.--_Montana American._
  =S= tory is in the author's best vein.--_New Haven Register._

=LEE AND SHEPARD, BOSTON, SEND THEIR COMPLETE CATALOGUE FREE.=

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 11, "tse" changed to "tsze" (up the Yang-tsze-Chiang)

Page 114, "where" changed to "were" (were in demand)

Page 281, "monocule" changed to "monocle" (wore a monocle)

Page 331, "by" changed to "to" (to the Chinese)

Page 345, "mandarans" changed to "mandarins" (were mandarins of)

Page 348, "Kublai" changed to "Kublâi" (Kublâi, a grandson of)





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