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Title: The Boy Travellers in the Far East - Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey to Japan and China
Author: Knox, Thomas Wallace
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Boy Travellers in the Far East - Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey to Japan and China" ***

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[Illustration: Book Cover: The Boy Travellers.]



       *       *       *       *       *











Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


       *       *       *       *       *

_To my Young Friends:_

Not many years ago, China and Japan were regarded as among the barbarous
nations. The rest of the world knew comparatively little about their
peoples, and, on the other hand, the inhabitants of those countries had
only a slight knowledge of Europe and America. To-day the situation is
greatly changed; China and Japan are holding intimate relations with us
and with Europe, and there is every prospect that the acquaintance
between the East and the West will increase as the years roll on. There
is a general desire for information concerning the people of the Far
East, and it is especially strong among the youths of America.

The characters in "The Boy Travellers" are fictitious; but the scenes
that passed before their eyes, the people they met, and the incidents
and accidents that befell them are real. The routes they travelled, the
cities they visited, the excursions they made, the observations they
recorded--in fact, nearly all that goes to make up this volume--were the
actual experiences of the author at a very recent date. In a few
instances I have used information obtained from others, but only after
careful investigation has convinced me of its entire correctness. I have
aimed to give a faithful picture of Japan and China as they appear
to-day, and to make such comparisons with the past that the reader can
easily comprehend the changes that have occurred in the last twenty
years. And I have also endeavored to convey the information in such a
way that the story shall not be considered tedious. Miss Effie and "The
Mystery" may seem superfluous to some readers, but I am of opinion that
the majority of those who peruse the book will not consider them
unnecessary to the narrative.

In preparing illustrations for this volume the publishers have kindly
allowed me to make use of some engravings that have already appeared in
their publications relative to China and Japan. I have made selections
from the volumes of Sir Rutherford Alcock and the Rev. Justus Doolittle,
and also from the excellent work of Professor Griffis, "The Mikado's
Empire." In the episode of a whaling voyage I have been under
obligations to the graphic narrative of Mr. Davis entitled "Nimrod of
the Sea," not only for illustrations, but for incidents of the chase of
the monsters of the deep.

The author is not aware that any book describing China and Japan, and
specially addressed to the young, has yet appeared. Consequently he is
led to hope that his work will find a welcome among the boys and girls
of America. And when the juvenile members of the family have completed
its perusal, the children of a larger growth may possibly find the
volume not without interest, and may glean from its pages some grains of
information hitherto unknown to them.

  T. W. K.
  NEW YORK, _October_, 1879.


       *       *       *       *       *

CHAPTER I.                                                          PAGE

THE DEPARTURE.                                                        17


OVERLAND TO CALIFORNIA.                                               30


ON THE PACIFIC OCEAN.                                                 48


INCIDENTS OF A WHALING VOYAGE.                                        58


ARRIVAL IN JAPAN.                                                     72


FIRST DAY IN JAPAN.                                                   83


FROM YOKOHAMA TO TOKIO.                                              101


SIGHTS IN THE EASTERN CAPITAL OF JAPAN.                              115




WALKS AND TALKS IN TOKIO.                                            144


AN EXCURSION TO DAI-BOOTS AND ENOSHIMA.                              156


SIGHTS AT ENOSHIMA.                                                  169


ON THE ROAD TO FUSIYAMA.                                             183


THE ASCENT OF FUSIYAMA.                                              197


EXECUTIONS AND HARI-KARI.                                            215




A STUDY OF JAPANESE ART.                                             239


SOMETHING ABOUT JAPANESE WOMEN.                                      254


FROM YOKOHAMA TO KOBE AND OSAKA.                                     266




KIOTO AND LAKE BIWA.                                                 291




FIRST DAY IN CHINA.                                                  318


A VOYAGE UP THE YANG-TSE-KIANG.                                      328




FROM SHANGHAI TO PEKIN.                                              352


SIGHTS IN PEKIN.                                                     365


A JOURNEY TO THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA.                                377




HONG-KONG AND CANTON.                                                400


SIGHTS AND SCENES IN CANTON.                                         408


  A Japanese Swimming-scene. Reproduced from a Painting
      by a Japanese Artist                               _Frontispiece_.

  Mr. Bassett has Decided                                             17
  Mary                                                                18
  Mary Thinking what she would Like from Japan                        19
  Overland by Stage in the Olden Time                                 20
  Overland by Rail in a Pullman Car                                   21
  Cooking-range in the Olden Time                                     24
  Cooking range on a Pullman Car                                      24
  Change for a Dollar--Before and After                               25
  Kathleen's Expectations for Frank and Fred                          26
  Effie Waiting for Somebody                                          28
  Good-bye                                                            29
  Watering-place on the Erie Railway                                  30
  The Course of Empire                                                31
  Valley of the Neversink                                             32
  Starucca Viaduct                                                    33
  Niagara Falls, from the American Side                               34
  Entrance to the Cave of the Winds                                   36
  From Chicago to San Francisco                                       38
  Omaha                                                               39
  Attacked by Indians                                                 41
  Herd of Buffaloes Moving                                            42
  An Old Settler                                                      43
  "End of Track"                                                      44
  Snow-sheds on the Pacific Railway                                   45
  View at Cape Horn, Central Pacific Railway                          46
  Seal-rocks, San Francisco                                           47
  Departure from San Francisco                                        48
  Dropping the Pilot                                                  49
  The Golden Gate                                                     50
  In the Fire-room                                                    51
  The Engineer at his Post                                            53
  The Wind Rising                                                     55
  Spouts                                                              57
  Whale-ship Outward Bound                                            57
  Captain Spofford Telling his Story                                  58
  New Bedford                                                         59
  Sperm-whale                                                         60
  "There she blows!"                                                  61
  Implements Used in Whaling                                          62
  Whale "Breaching"                                                   63
  In the Whale's Jaw                                                  64
  Captain Hunting's Fight                                             66
  A Game Fellow                                                       67
  A Free Ride                                                         68
  Captain Sammis Selling Out                                          70
  Shooting at a Water-spout                                           71
  Frank Studying Navigation                                           73
  Working up a Reckoning                                              75
  View in the Bay of Yeddo                                            76
  Japanese Junk and Boats                                             77
  A Japanese Imperial Barge                                           78
  Japanese Government Boat                                            79
  Yokohama in 1854                                                    81
  A Japanese Street Scene                                             84
  Japanese Musicians                                                  86
  Japanese Fishermen                                                  87
  "Sayonara"                                                          88
  Japanese Silk-shop                                                  89
  Seven-stroke Horse                                                  90
  Female Head-dress                                                   91
  The Siesta                                                          91
  A Japanese at his Toilet for a Visit of Ceremony                    92
  A Japanese Breakfast                                                95
  Mutsuhito, Mikado of Japan                                          97
  Landing of Perry's Expedition                                       98
  The Last Shogoon of Japan                                           99
  Third-class Passengers                                             102
  Japanese Ploughing                                                 103
  Japanese Roller                                                    104
  Manuring Process                                                   104
  How they Use Manure                                                105
  Mode of Protecting Land from Birds                                 106
  Storks, Drawn by a Native Artist                                   106
  Flock of Geese                                                     107
  Forts of Shinagawa                                                 108
  A Jin-riki-sha                                                     109
  Japanese on Foot                                                   111
  An Express Runner                                                  112
  A Japanese Coolie                                                  113
  Pity for the Blind                                                 114
  View of Tokio, from the South                                      115
  Japanese Lady Coming from the Bath                                 116
  Fire-lookouts in Tokio                                             117
  Too Much Sa-kee                                                    118
  Sakuradu Avenue in Tokio                                           119
  Japanese Children at Play                                          121
  The Feast of Dolls ("Hina Matsuri") in a Japanese House            122
  A Barber at Work                                                   123
  A Transaction in Clothes                                           124
  Ball-playing in Japan                                              125
  Sport at Asakusa                                                   126
  Spire of a Pagoda                                                  127
  Belfry in Court-yard of Temple, showing the Style of a
      Japanese Roof                                                  128
  Shrine of the Goddess Ku-wanon                                     130
  Praying-machine                                                    132
  Archery Attendant                                                  134
  A Japanese Flower-show. Night Scene                                135
  A Christening in Japan                                             137
  A Wedding Party                                                    138
  Strolling Singers at Asakusa                                       139
  View from Suruga Dai in Tokio                                      140
  A Child's Nurse                                                    140
  Lovers Behind a Screen. A Painting on Silk Exhibited at the
      Tokio Fair                                                     141
  Blacksmith's Bellows                                               142
  A Grass Overcoat                                                   143
  A High-priest in Full Costume                                      145
  A Japanese Temple                                                  146
  A Wayside Shrine                                                   148
  The Great Kosatsu, near the Nihon Basin                            150
  Blowing Bubbles                                                    151
  Father and Children                                                153
  Caught in the Rain                                                 155
  A Village on the Tokaido                                           157
  A Party on the Tokaido                                             159
  Beginning of Relations between England and Japan                   161
  Pilgrims on the Road                                               162
  Threshing Grain                                                    163
  Peasant and his Wife Returning from the Field                      164
  A Japanese Sandal                                                  165
  The Great Dai-Boots                                                166
  Salutation of the Landlord                                         168
  The Head Waiter Receiving Orders                                   168
  A Japanese Kitchen                                                 170
  Boiling the Pot                                                    171
  Frank's Inventory                                                  172
  How the Japanese Sleep                                             173
  A Japanese Fishing Scene                                           175
  "Breakfast is ready"                                               176
  Interior of a Tea-garden                                           178
  The Path in Enoshima                                               179
  A Group of Japanese Ladies                                         181
  Specimen of Grotesque Drawing by a Japanese Artist                 182
  Bettos, or "Grooms," in Full Dress                                 185
  A Japanese Loom                                                    188
  Artists at Work                                                    189
  Coopers Hooping a Vat                                              190
  Crossing the River                                                 192
  Mother and Son                                                     193
  A Fishing Party                                                    194
  The Man they Met                                                   196
  Travelling by Cango                                                198
  Japanese Norimon                                                   199
  Frank's Position                                                   200
  Hot Bath in the Mountains                                          201
  A Japanese Bath                                                    202
  The Lake of Hakone                                                 203
  Antics of the Horses                                               206
  A Near View of Fusiyama                                            207
  In a Storm near Fusiyama                                           208
  Ascent of Fusiyama                                                 211
  The Four Classes of Society                                        216
  Two-sworded Nobles                                                 218
  A Samurai in Winter Dress                                          219
  Beheading a Criminal                                               221
  Japanese Court in the Old Style                                    224
  Japanese Naval Officer                                             225
  Japanese Steam Corvette                                            225
  A Japanese War-junk of the Olden Time                              226
  A Japanese Wrestler                                                228
  A Pair of Wrestlers and their Manager                              230
  The Clinch                                                         231
  Japanese Actor Dressed as a Doctor                                 233
  The Samisen                                                        234
  Playing the Samisen                                                235
  Scene from a Japanese Comedy.--Writing a Letter of Divorce         236
  Scene from a Japanese Comedy.--Love-letter Discovered              237
  Telling the Story of Bumbuku Chagama                               238
  Frank's Purchase                                                   240
  Japanese Pattern-designer                                          241
  Fan-makers at Work                                                 241
  Chinese Cloisonné on Metal                                         242
  Japanese Cloisonné on Metal                                        243
  Japanese Bowl                                                      243
  Cover of Japanese Bowl                                             244
  Chinese Metal Vase                                                 246
  Modern Japanese Cloisonné on Metal                                 247
  Japanese Metal Cloisonné                                           248
  Chinese Porcelain Cloisonné                                        248
  Group Carved in Ivory                                              249
  Japanese Pipe, Case, and Pouch                                     249
  Japanese Artist Chasing on Copper                                  251
  A Japanese Village.--Bamboo Poles Ready for Market                 252
  A Japanese Lady's-maid                                             254
  Bride and Bridesmaid                                               255
  Merchant's Family                                                  255
  Mysteries of the Dressing-room                                     256
  Lady in Winter Walking-dress                                       257
  A Girl who had never Seen a Dressing-pin                           259
  Ladies' Hair-dresser                                               260
  Ladies at their Toilet                                             261
  Japanese Ladies on a Picnic                                        262
  Ladies and Children at Play                                        263
  Flying Kites                                                       264
  A Village in the Tea District                                      266
  Tea-merchants in the Interior                                      267
  The Tea-plant                                                      268
  Firing Tea                                                         269
  Hiogo (Kobe)                                                       270
  The Junk at Anchor                                                 271
  The Helmsman at his Post                                           272
  Japanese Sailors at Dinner                                         273
  Junk Sailors on Duty                                               274
  View from the Hotel                                                276
  The Castle of Osaka                                                277
  Vignette from the National Bank-notes                              280
  Imperial Crest for Palace Affairs                                  281
  Imperial Crest on the New Coins                                    281
  Old Kinsat, or Money-card                                          282
  Ichi-boo                                                           282
  Vignette from Bank-note                                            283
  Vignette from Bank-note                                            283
  Men Towing Boats near Osaka                                        284
  Mode of Holding the Tow-ropes                                      284
  The Ferry-boat                                                     285
  The Hotel-maid                                                     285
  A Japanese Landscape                                               286
  Dikes along the River                                              287
  Night Scene near Fushimi                                           288
  Women of Kioto                                                     289
  Ladies of the Western Capital                                      292
  Restaurant and Tea-garden at Kioto                                 294
  An Artist at Work                                                  295
  Lantern-maker at Kioto                                             295
  A Japanese Archer                                                  297
  Temple Bell at Kioto                                               298
  Reeling Cotton                                                     298
  Japanese Temple and Cemetery                                       299
  Handcart for a Quartette                                           300
  Horse Carrying Liquid Manure                                       301
  The Paternal Nurse                                                 301
  Picnic Booth Overlooking Lake Biwa                                 302
  A Maker of Bows                                                    302
  The Inland Sea near Hiogo                                          303
  Approaching Simoneseki                                             304
  Dangerous Place on the Suwo Nada                                   304
  Pappenberg Island                                                  305
  Women of Nagasaki                                                  306
  A Christian Village in the Sixteenth Century                       307
  Monuments in Memory of Martyrs                                     308
  A Path near Nagasaki                                               309
  Hollander at Deshima Watching for a Ship                           310
  The Rain Dragon                                                    311
  The Wind Dragon                                                    312
  The Thunder Dragon                                                 312
  A Typhoon                                                          314
  Course of a Typhoon                                                316
  Caught near the Storm's Centre                                     317
  The Woosung River                                                  318
  Chinese Trading-junk on the Woosung River                          319
  Shanghai                                                           321
  A Coolie in the Streets of Shanghai                                322
  A Tea-house in the Country                                         324
  Smoking Opium                                                      324
  Opium-pipe                                                         325
  Man Blinded by the Use of Opium                                    326
  Chinese Gentleman in a Sedan                                       327
  Canal Scene South of Shanghai                                      328
  A Chinese Family Party                                             330
  A Gentleman of Chin-kiang                                          331
  Chinese Spectacles                                                 332
  Ploughing with a Buffalo                                           333
  Threshing Grain near Chin-kiang                                    333
  Carrying Bundles of Grain                                          334
  A River Scene in China                                             335
  A Nine-storied Pagoda                                              337
  Little Orphan Rock                                                 337
  Entrance to Po-yang Lake                                           338
  Tae-ping Rebels                                                    340
  General Ward                                                       342
  The Gate which Ward Attacked                                       343
  General Burgevine                                                  344
  Fishing with Cormorants                                            347
  A Street in Han-kow                                                349
  Wo-chang                                                           350
  The Governor-general and his Staff                                 351
  Attack on the Pei-ho Forts                                         353
  Temple of the Sea-god at Taku                                      355
  A Chinese Beggar                                                   355
  Signing the Treaty of Tien-tsin                                    356
  Mode of Irrigating Fields                                          359
  The Doctor's Bedroom                                               360
  Part of the Wall of Pekin                                          361
  A Pekin Cab                                                        362
  A Composite Team                                                   363
  A Chinese Dragon                                                   364
  A Pavilion in the Prohibited City                                  366
  Temple of Heaven                                                   367
  Pekin Cash                                                         367
  Traditional Likeness of Confucius                                  368
  God of War                                                         368
  God of Literature                                                  368
  God of Thieves                                                     368
  A Mandarin Judge Delivering Sentence                               369
  Squeezing the Fingers                                              371
  Squeezing the Ankles                                               371
  A Bed of Torture                                                   372
  Four Modes of Punishment                                           373
  Standing in a Cage                                                 374
  Hot-water Snake                                                    374
  Carrying Forth to the Place of Execution                           375
  Just Before Decapitation                                           375
  Military Candidates Competing with the Bow and Arrow               376
  Walking on Stilts                                                  378
  Juggler Spinning a Plate                                           379
  Gambling with a Revolving Pointer                                  379
  Fortune-telling by Means of a Bird and Slips of Paper              380
  Fortune-telling by Dissecting Chinese Characters                   381
  Chinese Razor                                                      382
  Barber Shaving the Head of a Customer                              382
  Bridge of the Cloudy Hills                                         383
  The God of the Kitchen                                             384
  A Lama                                                             385
  The Hills near Chan-kia-kow                                        386
  Specimen of Chinese Writing                                        389
  Four Illustrations of the Chinese Version of "Excelsior"           393
  Barracoons at Macao                                                394
  Coolies Embarking at Macao                                         395
  Enraged Coolie                                                     396
  A Deadly Fall                                                      396
  Firing Down the Hatchway                                           397
  The Writing in Blood                                               398
  The Interpreters                                                   399
  Hong-kong                                                          401
  Fac-simile of a Hong-kong Mille, Dime, and Cent                    403
  Fort in Canton River                                               404
  Gateway of Temple near Canton                                      406
  Street Scene in Canton                                             410
  Five-storied Pagoda                                                412
  Horseshoe or Omega Grave                                           413
  Presenting Food to the Spirits of the Dead                         414
  A Leper                                                            414
  A Literary Student                                                 415
  A Literary Graduate in his Robes of Honor                          415
  A Sedan-chair with Four Bearers                                    416
  A Small Foot with a Shoe on it                                     417
  Peasant-woman with Natural Feet                                    417
  A Tablet Carved in Ivory                                           419
  "Good-bye!"                                                        421



[Illustration: MR. BASSETT HAS DECIDED.]

"Well, Frank," said Mr. Bassett, "the question is decided."

Frank looked up with an expression of anxiety on his handsome face. A
twinkle in his father's eyes told him that the decision was a favorable

"And you'll let me go with them, won't you, father?" he answered.

"Yes, my boy," said the father, "you can go."

Frank was so full of joy that he couldn't speak for at least a couple of
minutes. He threw his arms around Mr. Bassett; then he kissed his mother
and his sister Mary, who had just come into the room; next he danced
around the table on one foot; then he hugged his dog Nero, who wondered
what it was all about; and he ended by again embracing his father, who
stood smiling at the boy's delight. By this time Frank had recovered the
use of his tongue, and was able to express his gratitude in words. When
the excitement was ended, Mary asked what had happened to make Frank fly
around so.

"Why, he's going to Japan," said Mrs. Bassett.

"Going to Japan, and leave us all alone at home!" Mary exclaimed, and
then her lips and eyes indicated an intention to cry.

[Illustration: MARY.]

Frank was eighteen years old and his sister was fifteen. They were very
fond of each other, and the thought that her brother was to be separated
from her for a while was painful to the girl. Frank kissed her again,
and said,

"I sha'n't be gone long, Mary, and I'll bring you such lots of nice
things when I come back." Then there was another kiss, and Mary
concluded she would have her cry some other time.

"But you won't let him go all alone, father, now, will you?" she asked
as they sat down to breakfast.

"I think I could go alone," replied Frank, proudly, "and take care of
myself without anybody's help; but I'm going with Cousin Fred and Doctor

"Better say Doctor Bronson and Cousin Fred," Mary answered, with a
smile; "the Doctor is Fred's uncle and twenty years older."

Frank corrected the mistake he had made, and said he was too much
excited to remember all about the rules of grammar and etiquette. He had
even forgotten that he was hungry; at any rate, he had lost his
appetite, and hardly touched the juicy steak and steaming potatoes that
were before him.

During breakfast, Mr. Bassett explained to Mary the outline of the
proposed journey. Doctor Bronson was going to Japan and China, and was
to be accompanied by his nephew, Fred Bronson, who was very nearly
Frank's age. Frank had asked his father's permission to join them, and
Mr. Bassett had been considering the matter. He found that it would be
very agreeable to Doctor Bronson and Fred to have Frank's company, and
as the opportunity was an excellent one for the youth to see something
of foreign lands under the excellent care of the Doctor, it did not take
a long time for him to reach a favorable decision.

"Doctor Bronson has been there before, hasn't he, father?" said Mary,
when the explanation was ended.

"Certainly, my child," was the reply; "he has been twice around the
world, and has seen nearly every civilized and uncivilized country in
it. He speaks three or four languages fluently, and knows something of
half a dozen others. Five years ago he was in Japan and China, and he is
acquainted with many people living there. Don't you remember how he told
us one evening about visiting a Japanese prince, and sitting
cross-legged on the floor for half an hour, while they ate a dinner of
boiled rice and stewed fish, and drank hot wine from little cups the
size of a thimble?"

Mary remembered it all, and then declared she was glad Frank was going
to Japan, and also glad that he was going with Doctor Bronson. And she
added that the Doctor would know the best places for buying the presents
Frank was to bring home.

"A crape shawl for mother, and another for me; now don't you forget,"
said Mary; "and some fans and some ivory combs, and some of those funny
little cups and saucers such as Aunt Amelia has, and some nice tea to
drink out of them."

"Anything else?" Frank asked.

"I don't know just now," Mary answered; "I'll read all I can about Japan
and China before you start, so's I can know all they make, and then
I'll write out a list. I want something of everything, you understand."

"If that's the case," Frank retorted, "you'd better wrap your list
around a bushel of money. It'll take a good deal to buy the whole of
those two countries."

Mary said she would be satisfied with a shawl and a fan and anything
else that was pretty. The countries might stay where they were, and
there were doubtless a good many things in them that nobody would want
anyway. All she wished was to have anything that was nice and pretty.


For the next few days the proposed journey was the theme of conversation
in the Bassett family. Mary examined all the books she could find about
the countries her brother expected to visit; then she made a list of the
things she desired, and the day before his departure she gave him a
sealed envelope containing the paper. She explained that he was not to
open it until he reached Japan, and that he would find two lists of what
she wanted.

"The things marked 'number one' you must get anyway," she said, "and
those marked 'number two' you must get if you can."

Frank thought she had shown great self-denial in making two lists
instead of one, but intimated that there was not much distinction in the
conditions she proposed. He promised to see about the matter when he
reached Japan, and so the conversation on that topic came to an end.

It did not take a long time to prepare Frank's wardrobe for the journey.
His grandmother had an impression that he was going on a whaling voyage,
as her brother had gone on one more than sixty years before. She
proposed to give him two heavy jackets, a dozen pairs of woollen
stockings, and a tarpaulin hat, and was sure he would need them. She
was undeceived when the difference between a sea voyage of to-day and
one of half a century ago was explained to her. The housemaid said he
would not need any thick clothing if he was going to Japan, as it was
close to Jerusalem, and it was very hot there. She thought Japan was a
seaport of Palestine, but Mary made it clear to her that Japan and Jaffa
were not one and the same place. When satisfied on this point, she
expressed the hope that the white bears and elephants wouldn't eat the
poor boy up, and that the natives wouldn't roast him, as they did a
missionary from her town when she was a little girl. "And, sure," she
added, "he won't want any clothes at all, at all, there, as the horrid
natives don't wear nothing except a little cocoanut ile which they rubs
on their skins."

"What puts that into your head, Kathleen?" said Mary, with a laugh.

"And didn't ye jest tell me," Kathleen replied, "that Japan is an island
in the Pacific Oshin? Sure it was an island in that same oshin where
Father Mullaly was roasted alive, and the wretched natives drissed
theirselves wid cocoanut ile. It was in a place they called Feejee."

Mary kindly explained that the Pacific Ocean was very large, and
contained a great many islands, and that the spot where Father Mullaly
was cooked was some thousands of miles from Japan.

At breakfast the day before the time fixed for Frank's departure, Mr.
Bassett told his son that he must make the most of his journey, enjoy it
as much as possible, and bring back a store of useful knowledge. "To
accomplish this," he added, "several things will be necessary; let us
see what they are."

"Careful observation is one requisite," said Frank, "and a good memory
is another."

"Constant remembrance of home," Mrs. Bassett suggested, and Mary nodded
in assent to her mother's proposition.

"Courage and perseverance," Frank added.

"A list of the things you are going to buy," Mary remarked.

"A light trunk and a cheerful disposition," said Doctor Bronson, who had
entered the room just as this turn of the conversation set in.

"One thing more," Mr. Bassett added.

"I can't think of it," replied Frank; "what is it?"


"Oh yes, of course; one couldn't very well go travelling without money.
I'm old enough to know that, and to know it is very bad to be away from
one's friends without money."

The Doctor said it reminded him of a man who asked another for ten cents
to pay his ferriage across the Mississippi River, and explained that he
hadn't a single penny. The other man answered, "It's no use throwing ten
cents away on you in that fashion. If you haven't any money, you are
just as well off on this side of the river as on the other."

"You will need money," said Mr. Bassett, "and here is something that
will get it."

He handed Frank a double sheet of paper with some printed and written
matter on the first page, and some printed lists on the third and fourth
pages. The second page was blank; the first page read as follows:


  NEW YORK, _June_ 18_th_, 1878.


      We have the pleasure of introducing to you Mr. FRANK BASSETT, the
      bearer of this letter, whose signature you will find in the
      margin. We beg you to honor his drafts to the amount of two
      hundred pounds sterling, upon our London house, all deductions and
      commissions being at his expense.

  We have the honor to remain, Gentlemen,
  Very truly yours,

The printed matter on the third and fourth pages was a list of
banking-houses in all the principal cities of the world. Frank observed
that every country was included, and there was not a city of any
prominence that was not named in the list, and on the same line with the
list was the name of a banking-house.

The paper was passed around the table and examined, and finally returned
to Frank's hand. Mr. Bassett then explained to his son the uses of the

"I obtained that paper," said he, "from the great house of Blank &
Company. I paid a thousand dollars for it, but it is made in pounds
sterling because the drafts are to be drawn on London, and you know that
pounds, shillings, and pence are the currency of England."

"When you want money, you go to any house named on that list, no matter
what part of the world it may be, and tell them how much you want. They
make out a draft which you sign, and then they pay you the money, and
write on the second page the amount you have drawn. You get ten pounds
in one place, ten in another, twenty in another, and you continue to
draw whenever you wish. Each banker puts down the amount you have
received from him on the second page, and you can keep on drawing till
the sum total of your drafts equals the figures named on the first page.
Then your credit is said to be exhausted, and you can draw no more on
that letter."

"How very convenient that is!" said Frank; "you don't have to carry
money around with you, but get it when and where you want it."

"You must be very careful not to lose that letter," said Mr. Bassett.

"Would the money be lost altogether?" Frank asked in return.

"No, the money would not be lost, but your credit would be gone, and of
no use. A new letter would be issued in place of the missing one, but
only after some months, and when the bankers had satisfied themselves
that there was no danger of the old one ever being used again."

"Can I get any kind of money with this letter, father?" Frank inquired,
"or must I take it in pounds sterling? That would be very inconvenient
sometimes, as I would have to go around and sell my pounds and buy the
money of the country."

"They always give you," was the reply, "the money that circulates in the
country where you are. Here they would give you dollars; in Japan you
will get Japanese money or Mexican dollars, which are current there; in
India they would give you rupees; in Russia, rubles; in Italy, lire; in
France, francs; in Spain, pesetas, and so on. They give you the
equivalent of the amount you draw on your letter."

This reminded the Doctor of a story, and at the general request he told


A traveller stopped one night at a tavern in the interior of Minnesota.
On paying his bill in the morning, he received a beaver skin instead of
a dollar in change that was due him. The landlord explained that beaver
skins were legal tender in that region at a dollar each.

He hid the skin under his coat, walked over the street to a grocery
store, and asked the grocer if it was true that beaver skins were legal
tender for one dollar each.

"Certainly," answered the grocer, "everybody takes them at that rate."

"Then be kind enough to change me a dollar bill," said the stranger,
drawing the beaver skin from under his coat and laying it on the

The grocer answered that he was only too happy to oblige a stranger, and
passed out four musk-rat skins, which were legal tender, as he said, at
twenty-five cents each.

"Please, Doctor," said Mary, "what do you mean by legal tender?"

The Doctor explained that legal tender was the money which the law
declares should be the proper tender, or offer, in paying a debt. "If I
owed your father a hundred dollars," said he, "I could not compel him to
accept the whole amount in ten-cent pieces, or twenty-five-cent pieces,
or even in half-dollars. When the government issues a coin, it places a
limit for which that coin can be a legal tender. Thus the ten-cent piece
is a legal tender for all debts of one dollar or less, and the
half-dollar for debts of five dollars or less."

Mary said that when she was a child, ten cherries were exchanged among
her schoolmates for one apple, two apples for one pear, and two pears
for one orange. One day she took some oranges to school intending to
exchange them for cherries, of which she was very fond; she left them in
Katie Smith's desk, but Katie was hungry and ate one of the oranges at

"Not the first time the director of a bank has appropriated part of the
funds," said the Doctor. "Didn't you find that an orange would buy more
cherries or apples at one time than at another?"

"Why, certainly," Mary answered, "and sometimes they wouldn't buy any
cherries at all."

"Bankers and merchants call that the fluctuation of exchanges," said
Mr. Bassett; and with this remark he rose from the table, and the party
broke up.


The next morning a carriage containing Doctor Bronson and his nephew,
Fred, drove up in front of Mr. Bassett's house. There were farewell
kisses, and hopes for a prosperous journey; and in a few minutes the
three travellers were on their way to the railway station. There was a
waving of handkerchiefs as the carriage started from the house and
rolled away; Nero barked and looked wistfully after his young master,
and the warm-hearted Kathleen wiped her eyes with the corner of her
apron, and flung an old shoe after the departing vehicle.

"And sure," she said, "and I hope that wretched old Feejee won't be in
Japan at all, at all, and the horrid haythens won't roast him."

As they approached the station, Frank appeared a little nervous about
something. The cause of his anxiety was apparent when the carriage
stopped. He was the first to get out and the first to mount the
platform. Somebody was evidently waiting for him.


Doctor Bronson followed him a minute later, and heard something like the

"There, now, don't cry. Be a good girl, and I'll bring you the nicest
little pigtail, of the most Celestial pattern, from China."

"I tell you, Mr. Frank Bassett, I'm not crying. It's the dust in the
road got into my eyes."

"But you are; there's another big tear. I know you're sorry, and so am
I. But I'm coming back."

"I shall be glad to see you when you come back; of course I shall, for
your sister's sake. And you'll be writing to Mary, and she'll tell me
where you are. And when she's writing to you she'll--"

The bright little face turned suddenly, and its owner saw the Doctor
standing near with an amused expression on his features, and, perhaps, a
little moisture in his eyes. She uttered a cheery "Good-morning," to
which the Doctor returned,

"Good-morning, Miss Effie. This is an unexpected pleasure."

"You see, Doctor" (she blushed and stammered a little as she spoke),
"you know I like to take a walk in the morning, and happened to come
down to the station."

"Of course, quite accidental," said the Doctor, with a merry twinkle in
his eyes.

"Yes, that is, I knew Frank--I mean Mr. Bassett--that is, I knew you
were all three going away, and I thought I might come down and see you

"Quite proper, Miss Effie," was the reply; "so good-bye: I must look
after the tickets and the baggage."

"Good-bye, Doctor Bronson; good-bye, Mr. Fred. _Bon voyage!_"

Frank lingered behind, and the rest of the dialogue has not been

"She's a nice girl," said Fred to the Doctor as they made their way to
the ticket-office. "And she's very fond of Mary Bassett, Frank's sister.
Spiteful people say, though, that she's oftener in Frank's company than
in Mary's; and I know Frank is ready to punch the head of any other boy
that dares to look at her."

"Quite so," answered Dr. Bronson; "I don't think Frank is likely to be
forgetful of home."

Soon the whistle sounded, the great train rolled into the station, the
conductor shouted "All aboard!" our friends took their seats, the bell
rang, and the locomotive coughed asthmatically as it moved on.

Frank looked back as long as the station was in sight. Somebody
continued to wave a delicate handkerchief until the train had
disappeared; somebody's eyes were full of tears, and so were the eyes of
somebody else. Somebody's good wishes followed the travellers, and the
travellers--Frank especially--wafted back good wishes for that somebody.

[Illustration: GOOD-BYE.]



Our three travellers were seated in a Pullman car on the Erie Railway.
Frank remarked that they were like the star of empire, as they were
taking their way westward.


Fred replied that he thought the star of empire had a much harder time
of it, as it had no cushioned seat to rest upon, and no plate-glass
window to look from.


"And it doesn't go at the rate of thirty miles an hour," the Doctor



"I'm not sure that I know exactly what the star of empire means," said
Frank. "I used the expression as I have seen it, but can't tell what it
comes from."

He looked appealingly at Doctor Bronson. The latter smiled kindly, and
then explained the origin of the phrase.

"It is found," said the Doctor, "in a short poem that was written more
than a hundred and fifty years ago, by Bishop Berkeley. The last verse
is like this:

  "Westward the course of empire takes its way;
    The first four acts already past,
  A fifth shall close the drama with the day:
    Time's noblest offspring is the last."

[Illustration: THE COURSE OF EMPIRE.]

"You see the popular quotation is wrong," he added; "it is the _course_
of empire that is mentioned in the poem, and not the _star_."

"I suppose," said Fred, "that the Bishop referred to the discovery of
America by Columbus when he sailed to the West, and to the settlement of
America which began on the Eastern coast and then went on to the West."

"You are exactly right," was the reply.

Frank added that he thought "star of empire" more poetical than "course
of empire."


"But course is more near to the truth," said Fred, "than star. Don't you
see that Bishop Berkeley wrote before railways were invented, and before
people could travel as they do nowadays? Emigrants, when they went out
West, went with wagons, or on horseback, or on foot. They travelled by
day and rested at night. Now--don't you see?--they made their course in
the daytime, when they couldn't see the stars at all; and when the stars
were out, they were asleep, unless the wolves or the Indians kept them
awake. They were too tired to waste any time over a twinkling star of
empire, but they knew all about the course."

There was a laugh all around at Fred's ingenious defence of the author
of the verse in question, and then the attention of the party was turned
to the scenery along the route. Although living near the line of the
Erie Railway, neither of the boys had ever been west of his station.
Everything was therefore new to the youths, and they took great interest
in the panorama that unrolled to their eyes as the train moved on.


They were particularly pleased with the view of the valley of the
Neversink, with its background of mountains and the pretty town of Port
Jervis in the distance. The railway at one point winds around the edge
of a hill, and is far enough above the valley to give a view several
miles in extent.

[Illustration: STARUCCA VIADUCT.]

Frank had heard much about the Starucca Viaduct, and so had Fred, and
they were all anxiety to see it. Frank thought it would be better to
call it a bridge, as it was only a bridge, and nothing more; but Fred
inclined to the opinion that "viaduct" sounded larger and higher.

"And remember," said he to Frank, "it is more than twelve hundred feet
long, and is a hundred feet above the valley. It is large enough to have
a much bigger name than viaduct."

Frank admitted the force of the argument, and added that he didn't care
what name it went by, so long as it carried them safely over.

When they were passing the famous place, they looked out and saw the
houses and trees far below them. Fred said they seemed to be riding in
the air, and he thought he could understand how people must feel in a

Doctor Bronson said he was reminded of a story about the viaduct.

"Oh! tell it, please," said the two boys, in a breath.

"It is this," answered the Doctor. "When the road was first opened, a
countryman came to the backwoods to the station near the end of the
bridge. He had never seen a railway before, and had much curiosity to
look at the cars. When the train came along, he stepped aboard, and
before he was aware of it the cars were moving. He felt the floor
trembling, and as he looked from the window the train was just coming
upon the viaduct. He saw the earth falling away, apparently, the
tree-tops far below him, and the cattle very small in the distance. He
turned pale as a sheet, and almost fainted. He had just strength enough
to say, in a troubled voice, to the man nearest him,

"Say, stranger, how far does this thing fly before it lights?"

"I don't wonder at it," said Fred; "you see, I thought of the same thing
when the train was crossing."


The railway brought the party to Niagara, where they spent a day
visiting the famous cataract and the objects of interest in the
vicinity. Frank pronounced the cataract wonderful, and so did Fred;
whereupon the Doctor told them of the man who said Niagara was not at
all wonderful, as any other water put there would run down over the
Falls, since there was nothing to hinder its doing so. The real wonder
would be to see it go up again.


They looked at the Falls from all the points of view. They went under
the Canadian side, and they also went under the Central Fall, and into
the Cave of the Winds. They stood for a long time watching the water
tumbling over Horseshoe Fall, and they stood equally long on the
American side. When the day was ended, the boys asked the Doctor if he
would not permit them to remain another twenty-four hours.

"Why so?" the Doctor asked.

"Because," said Frank, with a bit of a blush on his cheeks--"because we
want to write home about Niagara and our visit here. Fred wants to tell
his mother about it, and I want to write to my mother and to Mary,

"Miss Effie, perhaps," Fred suggested.

Frank smiled, and said he might drop a line to Miss Effie if he had
time, and he was pretty certain there would be time if they remained
another day.

Doctor Bronson listened to the appeal of the boys, and when they were
through he took a toothpick from his pocket and settled back in his
chair in the parlor of the hotel.

"Your request is very natural and proper," he answered; "but there are
several things to consider. Niagara has been described many times, and
those who have never seen it can easily know about it from books and
other accounts. Consequently what you would write about the Falls would
be a repetition of much that has been written before, and even your
personal impressions and experiences would not be far different from
those of others. I advise you not to attempt anything of the kind, and,
at all events, not to stop here a day for that purpose. Spend the
evening in writing brief letters home, but do not undertake a
description of the Falls. If you want to stay a day in order to see
more, we will stay, but otherwise we will go on."

The boys readily accepted Doctor Bronson's suggestion. They wrote short
letters, and Frank did not forget Miss Effie. Then they went out to see
the Falls by moonlight, and in good season they went to bed, where they
slept admirably. The next day the journey was resumed, and they had a
farewell view of Niagara from the windows of the car as they crossed the
Suspension Bridge from the American to the Canadian side.

On they went over the Great Western Railway of Canada, and then over the
Michigan Central; and on the morning after leaving Niagara they rolled
into Chicago. Here they spent a day in visiting the interesting places
in the Lake City. An old friend of Doctor Bronson came to see him at the
Tremont House, and took the party out for a drive. Under the guidance of
this hospitable citizen, they were taken to see the City-hall, the
stock-yards, the tunnel under the river, the grain-elevators, and other
things with which every one who spends a short time in Chicago is sure
to be made familiar. They were shown the traces of the great fire of
1870, and were shown, too, what progress had been made in rebuilding the
city and removing the signs of the calamity. Before they finished their
tour, they had absorbed much of the enthusiasm of their guide, and were
ready to pronounce Chicago the most remarkable city of the present time.

As they were studying the map to lay out their route westward, the boys
noticed that the lines of the railways radiated in all directions from
Chicago, like the diverging cords of a spider's web. Everywhere they
stretched out except over the surface of Lake Michigan, where railway
building has thus far been impossible. The Doctor explained that Chicago
was one of the most important railway centres in the United States, and
owed much of its prosperity to the network they saw on the map.

"I have a question," said Frank, suddenly brightening up.

"Well, what is it?"

"Why is that network we have just been looking at like a crow calling to
his mates?"

"Give it up; let's have it."

"Because it makes Chi-ca-go."

"What's that to do with the crow?" Fred asked.

"Why, everything," Frank answered; "the crow makes ye-caw-go, doesn't

"Now, Frank," the Doctor said, as he laughed over the conundrum, "making
puns when we're a thousand miles from home and going west! However, that
will do for a beginner; but don't try too often."

Fred thought he must say something, but was undecided for a moment. The
room was open, and as he looked into the hall, he saw the chambermaid
approaching the opposite door with the evident intention of looking
through the keyhole. This gave him his opportunity, and he proposed his

"Why are we like that chambermaid over there?"

"The Doctor and Frank couldn't tell, and Fred answered, triumphantly,

"Because we're going to Pek-in."

"I think you boys are about even now," said the Doctor, "and may stop
for the present." They agreed to call it quits, and resumed their study
of the map.


They decided to go by the Northwestern Railway to Omaha. From the latter
place they had no choice of route, as there was only a single line of
road between Omaha and California.

[Illustration: OMAHA.]

From Chicago westward they traversed the rich prairies of Illinois and
Iowa--a broad expanse of flat country, which wearied them with its
monotony. At Omaha they crossed the Missouri River on a long bridge; and
while they were crossing, Frank wrote some lines in his note-book to the
effect that the Missouri was the longest river in the world, and was
sometimes called the "Big Muddy," on account of its color. It looked
like coffee after milk has been added; and was once said by Senator
Benton to be too thick to swim in, but not thick enough to walk on.

Now they had a long ride before them. The Union Pacific Railway begins
at Omaha and ends at Ogden, 1016 miles farther west. It connects at
Ogden with the Central Pacific Railway, 882 miles long, which terminates
at San Francisco. As they rode along they had abundant time to learn the
history of the great enterprise that unites the Atlantic and Pacific
coasts, and enables one to travel in a single week from New York to San
Francisco. The Doctor had been over the route previously; and he had
once crossed the Plains before the railway was constructed.
Consequently, he was an excellent authority, and had an abundant store
of information to draw from.

"The old way of crossing the Plains and the new way of doing the same
thing," said Doctor Bronson, "are as different as black and white. My
first journey to California was with an ox wagon, and it took me six
months to do it. Now we shall make the same distance in four days."

"What a difference, indeed!" the boys remarked.

[Illustration: ATTACKED BY INDIANS.]

"We walked by the side of our teams or behind the wagons, we slept on
the ground at night, we did our own cooking, we washed our knives by
sticking them into the ground rapidly a few times, and we washed our
plates with sand and wisps of grass. When we stopped, we arranged our
wagons in a circle, and thus formed a 'corral,' or yard, where we drove
our oxen to yoke them up. And the corral was often very useful as a
fort, or camp, for defending ourselves against the Indians. Do you see
that little hollow down there?" he asked, pointing to a depression in
the ground a short distance to the right of the train. "Well, in that
hollow our wagon-train was kept three days and nights by the Indians.
Three days and nights they stayed around, and made several attacks. Two
of our men were killed and three were wounded by their arrows, and
others had narrow escapes. One arrow hit me on the throat, but I was
saved by the knot of my neckerchief, and the point only tore the skin a
little. Since that time I have always had a fondness for large neckties.
I don't know how many of the Indians we killed, as they carried off
their dead and wounded, to save them from being scalped. Next to getting
the scalps of their enemies, the most important thing with the Indians
is to save their own. We had several fights during our journey, but that
one was the worst. Once a little party of us were surrounded in a small
'wallow,' and had a tough time to defend ourselves successfully. Luckily
for us, the Indians had no fire-arms then, and their bows and arrows
were no match for our rifles. Nowadays they are well armed, but there
are not so many of them, and they are not inclined to trouble the
railway trains. They used to do a great deal of mischief in the old
times, and many a poor fellow has been killed by them."

Frank asked if the Doctor saw any buffaloes in his first journey, and if
he ever went on a buffalo-hunt.

"Of course," was the reply; "buffaloes were far more numerous then than
now, and sometimes the herds were so large that it took an entire day,
or even longer, for one of them to cross the road. Twice we were unable
to go on because the buffaloes were in the way, and so all of us who had
rifles went out for a hunt. I was one of the lucky ones, and we went on
in a party of four. Creeping along behind a ridge of earth, we managed
to get near two buffaloes that were slightly separated from the rest of
the herd. We spread out, and agreed that, at a given signal from the
foremost man, we were to fire together--two at one buffalo and two at
the other. We fired as we had agreed. One buffalo fell with a severe
wound, and was soon finished with a bullet through his heart; the other
turned and ran upon us, and, as I was the first man he saw, he ran at
me. Just then I remembered that I had forgotten something at the camp,
and, as I wanted it at once, I started back for it as fast as I could
go. It was a sharp race between the buffalo and me, and, as he had
twice as many legs as I could count, he made the best speed. I could
hear his heavy breathing close behind me, and his footsteps, as he
galloped along, sounded as though somebody were pounding the ground with
a large hammer. Just as I began to think he would soon have me on his
horns, I heard the report of a rifle at one side. Then the buffalo
stumbled and fell, and I ventured to look around. One of the men from
camp had fired just in time to save me from a very unpleasant
predicament, and I concluded I didn't want any more buffalo-hunting for
that day."

Hardly had the Doctor finished his story when there was a long whistle
from the locomotive, followed by several short ones. The speed of the
train was slackened, and, while the passengers were wondering what was
the matter, the conductor came into the car where our friends were
seated and told them there was a herd of buffaloes crossing the track.

"We shall run slowly through the herd," the conductor explained, "and
you will have a good chance to see the buffalo at home."


They opened the windows and looked out. Sure enough, the plain was
covered, away to the south, with a dark expanse like a forest, but,
unlike a forest, it appeared to be in motion. Very soon it was apparent
that what seemed to be a forest was a herd of animals.

[Illustration: AN OLD SETTLER.]

As the train approached the spot where the herd was crossing the track,
the locomotive gave its loudest and shrillest shrieks. The noise had
the effect of frightening the buffaloes sufficiently to stop those which
had not crossed, and in the gap thus formed the train moved on. The boys
were greatly interested in the appearance of the beasts, and Frank
declared he had never seen anything that looked more fierce than one of
the old bulls, with his shaggy mane, his humped shoulders, and his
sharp, glittering eyes. He was quite contented with the shelter of the
railway-car, and said if the buffalo wanted him he must come inside to
get him; or give him a good rifle, so that they could meet on equal

Several of the passengers fired at the buffaloes, but Fred was certain
he did not see anything drop. In half an hour the train had passed
through the herd, and was moving on as fast as ever.

On and on they went. The Doctor pointed out many places of interest, and
told them how the road was built through the wilderness.

[Illustration: "END OF TRACK."]

"It was," said he, "the most remarkable enterprise, in some respects,
that has ever been known. The working force was divided into parties
like the divisions of an army, and each had its separate duties. Ties
were cut and hauled to the line of the road; the ground was broken and
made ready for the track; then the ties were placed in position, the
rails were brought forward and spiked in place, and so, length by
length, the road crept on. On the level, open country, four or five
miles of road were built every day, and in one instance they built more
than seven miles in a single day. There was a construction-train, where
the laborers boarded and lodged, and this train went forward every day
with the road. It was a sort of moving city, and was known as the 'End
of Track;' there was a post-office in it, and a man who lived there
could get his letters the same as though his residence had been
stationary. The Union Pacific Company built west from Omaha, while the
Central Pacific Company built east from Sacramento. They met in the
Great Salt Lake valley; and then there was a grand ceremony over the
placing of the last rail to connect the East with the West. The
continent was spanned by the railway, and our great seaboards were


Westward and westward went our travellers. From the Missouri River, the
train crept gently up the slope of the Rocky Mountains, till it halted
to take breath at the summit of the Pass, more than eight thousand feet
above the level of the sea. Then, speeding on over the Laramie Plains,
down into the great basin of Utah, winding through the green carpet of
Echo Cañon, skirting the shores of Great Salt Lake, shooting like a
sunbeam over the wastes of the alkali desert, climbing the Sierra
Nevada, darting through the snow-sheds and tunnels, descending the
western slope to the level of the Pacific, it came to a halt at Oakland,
on the shore of San Francisco Bay. The last morning of their journey our
travellers were among the snows on the summit of the Sierras; at noon
they were breathing the warm air of the lowlands of California, and
before sundown they were looking out through the Golden Gate upon the
blue waters of the great Western ocean. Nowhere else in the world does
the railway bring all the varieties of climate more closely together.


San Francisco, the City by the Sea, was full of interest for our young
adventurers. They walked and rode through its streets; they climbed its
steep hill-sides; they gazed at its long lines of magnificent buildings;
they went to the Cliff House, and saw the sea-lions by dozens and
hundreds, within easy rifle-shot of their breakfast-table; they steamed
over the bay, where the navies of the world might find safe anchorage;
they had a glimpse of the Flowery Kingdom, in the Chinese quarter; and
they wondered at the vegetable products of the Golden State as they
found them in the market-place. Long letters were written home, and
before they had studied California to their satisfaction it was time
for them to set sail for what Fred called "the under-side of the world."




Officers and men were at their posts, and the good steamer _Oceanic_ was
ready for departure. It was a few minutes before noon.

As the first note was sounded on the bell, the gangway plank was drawn
in. "One," "two," "three," "four," "five," "six," "seven," "eight," rang
out from the sonorous metal.


The captain gave the order to cast off the lines. Hardly had the echo of
his words ceased before the lines had fallen. Then he rang the signal to
the engineer, and the great screw began to revolve beneath the stern of
the ship. Promptly at the advertised time the huge craft was under way.
The crowd on the dock cheered as she moved slowly on, and they cheered
again as she gathered speed and ploughed the water into a track of foam.
The cheers grew fainter and fainter; faces and forms were no longer to
be distinguished; the waving of hats and kerchiefs ceased; the long dock
became a speck of black against the hilly shore, and the great city
faded from sight.

Overhead was the immense blue dome of the sky; beneath and around were
the waters of San Francisco Bay. On the right was Monte Diablo, like an
advanced sentinel of the Sierras; and on the left were the sand-hills of
the peninsula, covered with the walls and roofs of the great city of the
Pacific Coast. The steamer moved on and on through the Golden Gate; and
in less than an hour from the time of leaving the dock, she dropped her
pilot, the gangway passage was closed, and her prow pointed to the
westward for a voyage of five thousand miles.

[Illustration: DROPPING THE PILOT.]

"What a lovely picture!" said the Doctor, as he waved his hand towards
the receding shore.

"Why do they call that the Golden Gate?" Fred asked.

[Illustration: THE GOLDEN GATE.]

"Because," was the reply, "it is, or was, the entrance to the land of
gold. It was so named after the discovery of gold in California, and
until he completion of the Overland railway it was the principal pathway
to the country where everybody expected to make a fortune."

"It is very wide, and easy of navigation," the Doctor continued, "and
yet a stranger might not be aware of its existence, and might sail by it
if he did not know where to look for the harbor. A ship must get well in
towards the land before the Golden Gate is visible."

"How long shall we be on the voyage, Doctor?"

"If nothing happens," he answered, "we shall see the coast of Japan in
about twenty days. We have five thousand miles to go, and I understand
the steamer will make two hundred and fifty miles a day in good

"Will we stop anywhere on the way?"

"There is not a stopping-place on the whole route. We are not yet out of
sight of the Golden Gate, and already we are steering for Cape King, at
the entrance of Yeddo Bay. There's not even an island, or a solitary
rock on our course."

"I thought I had read about an island where the steamers intended to
stop," Fred remarked.

"So you have," was the reply; "an island was discovered some years ago,
and was named Brook's Island, in honor of its discoverer. It was thought
at first that the place might be convenient as a coaling station, but it
is too far from the track of the steamers, and, besides, it has no
harbor where ships can anchor.

"There is a curious story in connection with it. In 1816 a ship, the
_Canton_, sailed from Sitka, and was supposed to have been lost at sea,
as she never reached her destination. Fifty years later this island was
discovered, and upon it was part of the wreck of the _Canton_. There
were traces of the huts which were built by the crew during their stay,
and it was evident that they constructed a smaller vessel from the
fragments of the wreck, and sailed away in it."

"And were lost in it, I suppose?"

"Undoubtedly, as nothing has ever been heard from them. They did not
leave any history of themselves on the island, or, at any rate, none was
ever found."

[Illustration: IN THE FIRE-ROOM.]

At this moment the steward rang the preparatory bell for dinner, and
the conversation ended. Half an hour later dinner was on the table, and
the passengers sat down to it.

The company was not a large one, and there was abundant room and
abundant food for everybody. The captain was at the head of the table,
and the purser at the foot, and between them were the various passengers
in the seats which had been reserved for them by the steward. The
passengers included an American consul on his way to his post in China,
and an American missionary, bound for the same country. There were
several merchants, interested in commercial matters between the United
States and the Far East; two clerks, going out to appointments in China;
two sea-captains, going to take command of ships; a doctor and a mining
engineer in the service of the Japanese government; half a dozen
"globe-trotters," or tourists; and a very mysterious and nondescript
individual, whom we shall know more about as we proceed. The consul and
the missionary were accompanied by their families. Their wives and
daughters were the only ladies among the passengers, and, according to
the usual custom on board steamers, they were seated next to the captain
in the places of highest honor. Doctor Bronson and his young companions
were seated near the purser, whom they found very amiable, and they had
on the opposite side of the table the two sea-captains already

Everybody appeared to realize that the voyage was to be a long one, and
the sooner the party became acquainted, the better. By the end of dinner
they had made excellent progress, and formed several likes and dislikes
that increased as time went on. In the evening the passengers sat about
the cabin or strolled on deck, continuing to grow in acquaintance, and
before the ship had been twenty-four hours at sea it was hard to realize
that the company had been assembled so recently. Brotherly friendships
as well as brotherly hatreds grew with the rapidity of a beanstalk, and,
happily, the friendships were greatly in the majority.


Life on a steamship at sea has many peculiarities. The ship is a world
in itself, and its boundaries are narrow. You see the same faces day
after day, and on a great ocean like the Pacific there is little to
attract the attention outside of the vessel that carries you. You have
sea and sky to look upon to-day as you looked upon them yesterday, and
will look on them to-morrow. The sky may be clear or cloudy; fogs may
envelop you; storms may arise, or a calm may spread over the waters; the
great ship goes steadily on and on. The pulsations of the engine seem
like those of the human heart; and when you wake at night, your first
endeavor, as you collect your thoughts, is to listen for that ceaseless
throbbing. One falls into a monotonous way of life, and the days run on
one after another, till you find it difficult to distinguish them apart.
The hours for meals are the principal hours of the day, and with many
persons the table is the place of greatest importance. They wander from
deck to saloon, and from saloon to deck again, and hardly has the table
been cleared after one meal, before they are thinking what they will
have for the next. The managers of our great ocean lines have noted this
peculiarity of human nature; some of them give no less than five meals a
day, and if a passenger should wish to eat something between times, he
could be accommodated.

Our young friends were too much absorbed with the novelty of their
situation to allow the time to hang heavy on their hands. Everything was
new and strange to them, but, of course, it was far otherwise with
Doctor Bronson. They had many questions to ask, and he was never weary
of answering, as he saw they were endeavoring to remember what they
heard, and were not interrogating him from idle curiosity.

"What is the reason they don't strike the hours here as they do on
land?" Frank inquired, as they reached the deck after dinner.

The Doctor explained that at sea the time is divided into watches, or
periods, of four hours each. The bell strikes once for each half-hour,
until four hours, or eight bells, are reached, and then they begin
again. One o'clock is designated as "two bells," half-past one is "three
bells," and four o'clock is "eight bells." Eight o'clock, noon, and
midnight are also signalled by eight strokes on the bell, and after a
little while a traveller accustoms himself to the new mode of keeping

Fred remembered that when they left San Francisco at noon, the bell
struck eight times, instead of twelve, as he thought it should have
struck. The Doctor's explanation made it clear to him.

The second day out the boys began to repeat all the poetry they could
remember about the sea, and were surprised at the stock they had on
hand. Fred recalled something he had read in _Harper's Magazine_, which
ran as follows:

  "Far upon the unknown deep,
    'Mid the billows circling round,
  Where the tireless sea-birds sweep;
      Outward bound.
  Nothing but a speck we seem,
    In the waste of waters round,
  Floating, floating like a dream;
      Outward bound."

Frank was less sentimental, and repeated these lines:

  "Two things break the monotony
    Of a great ocean trip:
  Sometimes, alas! you ship a sea,
    And sometimes see a ship."

Then they called upon the Doctor for a contribution, original or
selected, with this result:

  "The praises of the ocean grand,
  'Tis very well to sing on land.
  'Tis very fine to hear them carolled
  By Thomas Campbell or Childe Harold;
  But sad, indeed, to see that ocean
  From east to west in wild commotion."

[Illustration: THE WIND RISING.]

The wind had been freshening since noon, and the rolling motion of the
ship was not altogether agreeable to the inexperienced boys. They were
about to have their first acquaintance with sea-sickness; and though
they held on manfully and remained on deck through the afternoon, the
ocean proved too much for them, and they had no appetite for dinner or
supper. But their malady did not last long, and by the next morning they
were as merry as ever, and laughed over the event. They asked the Doctor
to explain the cause of their trouble, but he shook his head, and said
the whole thing was a great puzzle.

"Sea-sickness is a mystery," said he, "and the more you study it, the
less you seem to understand it. Some persons are never disturbed by the
motion of a ship, no matter how violent it may be, while others cannot
endure the slightest rocking. Most of the sufferers recover in a short
time, and after two or three days at sea are as well as ever, and
continue so. On the other hand, there are some who never outlive its
effects, and though their voyage may last a year or more, they are no
better sailors at the end than at the beginning.

"I knew a young man," he continued, "who entered the Naval Academy, and
graduated. When he was appointed to service on board a ship, he found
himself perpetually sick on the water; after an experience of two years,
and finding no improvement, he resigned. Such occurrences are by no
means rare. I once travelled with a gentleman who was a splendid sailor
in fine weather; but when it became rough, he was all wrong, and went to

"Were you ever sea-sick, Doctor?" queried Frank.

"Never," was the reply, "and I had a funny incident growing out of this
fact on my first voyage. We were going out of New York harbor, and I
made the acquaintance of the man who was to share my room. As he looked
me over, he asked me if I had ever been to sea.

"I told him I never had, and then he remarked that I was certain to be
sea-sick, he could see it in my face. He said he was an old traveller,
and rarely suffered, and then he gave me some advice as to what I should
do when I began to feel badly. I thanked him and went on deck.

"As the ship left the harbor, and went outside to the open Atlantic, she
encountered a heavy sea. It was so rough that the majority of the
passengers disappeared below. I didn't suffer in the least, and didn't
go to the cabin for two or three hours. There I found that my new friend
was in his bed with the very malady he had predicted for me."

"What did you do then, Doctor?"

"Well, I repeated to him the advice he had given me, and told him I saw
in his face that he was sure to be sea-sick. He didn't recover during
the whole voyage, and I never suffered a moment."

The laugh that followed the story of the Doctor's experience was
interrupted by the breakfast-bell, and the party went below. There was a
light attendance, and the purser explained that several passengers had
gone ashore.

"Which is a polite way of saying that they are not inclined to come
out," the Doctor remarked.

"Exactly so," replied the purser, "they think they would make the best
appearance alone."

Captain Spofford, who sat opposite to Frank, remarked that he knew an
excellent preventive of sea-sickness. Frank asked what it was.

"Always stay at home," was the reply.

"Yes," answered Frank, "and to escape drowning you should never go near
the water."

Fred said the best thing to prevent a horse running away was to sell him

Everybody had a joke of some kind to propose, and the breakfast party
was a merry one. Suddenly Captain Spofford called out, "There she
blows!" and pointed through the cabin window. Before the others could
look, the rolling of the ship had brought the window so far above the
water that they saw nothing.

"What is it?" Fred asked.

"A whale," Captain Spofford answered. "What he is doing here, I don't
know. This isn't a whaling-ground."

They went on deck soon after, and, sure enough, several whales were in
sight. Every little while a column of spray was thrown into the air,
and indicated there was a whale beneath it.

[Illustration: SPOUTS.]

Frank asked why it was the whale "spouted," or blew up, the column of
spray. Captain Spofford explained that the whale is not, properly
speaking, a fish, but an animal. "He has warm blood, like a cow or
horse," said the Captain, "and he must come to the surface to breathe.
He takes a certain amount of water into his lungs along with the air,
and when he throws it out, it makes the spray you have seen, and which
the sailors call a spout."

It turned out that the Captain was an old whaleman. The boys wanted to
hear some whaling stories, and their new friend promised to tell them
some during the evening. When the time came for the narration, the boys
were ready, and so was the old mariner. The Doctor joined the party, and
the four found a snug corner in the cabin where they were not likely to
be disturbed. The Captain settled himself as comfortably as possible,
and then began the account of his adventures in pursuit of the monsters
of the deep.




Captain Spofford was a weather-beaten veteran who gave little attention
to fine clothes, and greatly preferred his rough jacket and soft hat to
what he called "Sunday gear." He was much attached to his telescope,
which he had carried nearly a quarter of a century, and on the present
occasion he brought it into the cabin, and held it in his hand while he
narrated his whaling experiences. He explained that he could talk better
in the company of his old spy-glass, as it would remind him of things he
might forget without its aid, and also check him if he went beyond the


"There are very few men in the whaling business now," said he, "compared
to the number twenty-five years ago. Whales are growing scarcer every
year, and petroleum has taken the place of whale-oil. Consequently, the
price of the latter is not in proportion to the difficulty of getting
it. New Bedford used to be an important seaport, and did an enormous
business. It is played out now, and is as dull and sleepy as a cemetery.
It was once the great centre of the whaling business, and made fortunes
for a good many men; but you don't hear of fortunes in whaling nowadays.


"I went to sea from New Bedford when I was twelve years old, and kept at
whaling for near on to twenty-seven years. From cabin-boy, I crept up
through all the ranks, till I became captain and part owner, and it was
a good deal of satisfaction to me to be boss of a ship, I can tell you.
When I thought I had had enough of it I retired, and bought a small
farm. I stocked and ran it after my own fashion, called one of my oxen
'Port' and the other 'Starboard,' had a little mound like my old
quarter-deck built in my garden, and used to go there to take my walks.
I had a mast with cross-trees fixed in this mound, and used to go up
there, and stay for hours, and call out 'There she blows!' whenever I
saw a bird fly by, or anything moving anywhere. I slept in a hammock
under a tent, and when I got real nervous I had one of my farm-hands
rock me to sleep in the hammock, and throw buckets of water against the
sides of the tent, so's I could imagine I was on the sea again. But
'twasn't no use, and I couldn't cure myself of wanting to be on blue
water once more. So I left my farm in my wife's hands, and am going out
to Shanghai to command a ship whose captain died at Hong-Kong five
months ago.

"So much for history. Now we'll talk about whales.

[Illustration: SPERM-WHALE.]

"There are several kinds of them--sperm-whales, right-whales, bow-heads;
and a whaleman can tell one from the other as easy as a farmer can tell
a cart-horse from a Shetland pony. The most valuable is the sperm-whale,
as his oil is much better, and brings more money; and then we get
spermaceti from him to make candles of, which we don't get from the
others. He's a funny-looking brute, as his head is a third of his whole
length; and when you've cut it off, there doesn't seem to be much whale
left of him.

"I sailed for years in a sperm-whaler in the South Pacific, and had a
good many lively times. The sperm-whale is the most dangerous of all,
and the hardest to kill; he fights with his tail and his mouth, while
the others fight only with their tails. A right-whale or a bow-head will
lash the water and churn it up into foam; and if he hits a boat with his
tail, he crushes it as if it was an egg-shell. A sperm-whale will do all
this, and more too; he takes a boat in his mouth, and chews it, which
the others never do. And when he chews it, he makes fine work of it, I
can tell you, and short work, too.

"Sometimes he takes a shy at a ship, and rushes at it, head on. Two
ships are known to have been sunk in this way; one of them was the
_Essex_, which the whale ran into three times, and broke her timbers so
that she filled. The crew took to the boats, and made for the coast of
South America. One boat was never heard from, one reached the coast,
and the third was picked up near Valparaiso with everybody dead but two,
and those barely alive. Provisions and water had given out, and another
day would have finished the poor fellows. Another ship was the _Union_,
which was stove right under the bows by a single blow from a
sperm-whale, and went down in half an hour.

"I was fifteen years old when I pulled my first oar in a whale-boat; I
was boat-steerer at eighteen, and second mate at twenty, and before I
was twenty-one I had known what it was to be in the mouth of a
sperm-whale. It is hardly necessary to say that I got out of it as fast
as I could, and didn't stop to see if my hair was combed and my
shirt-collar buttoned. A man has no time to put on frills under such

[Illustration: "THERE SHE BLOWS!"]

"The way of it was this. The lookout in the cross-trees--we always keep
a man up aloft to look out for whales when we're on cruising ground--the
man had called out, 'There she blows!' and everybody was on his feet in
an instant.

"'Where away?' shouted the first mate.

"'Two points on the weather bow.'

"And before the words had done echoing he called out 'There she blows'
again, and a moment after again. That meant that he had seen two more

"We put two boats into the water, the first mate's and mine, and away we
went. We pulled our best, and the boats fairly bounced through the
waves. It was a race to see who could strike the first whale; we had a
good half mile to go, and we went like race-horses.

"Each boat has six men in her--a boat-steerer, as he is called, and five
at the oars. The boat-steerer handles the harpoon and lance and directs
the whole movement; in fact, for the time, he is captain of the boat.


"The first mate's boat headed me a little, and made for a big fellow on
the starboard. I went for another, and we struck almost at the same
instant. Within three boat-lengths, I stood up, braced my feet firmly,
poised my harpoon, and made ready to strike. The whale didn't know we
were about, and was taking it very easy. The bow of the boat was about
ten feet from his black skin when I sent the iron spinning and whizzing
away, and buried it deep in his flesh. Didn't he give a jump! You can
bet he did.

"'Starn all! starn all! for your lives!' I yelled.

"There wasn't a moment lost, and the boat went back by the force of the
strong arms of the men."

[Illustration: WHALE "BREACHING."]

"The whale lashed about and then 'breached;' that is, he threw his great
body out of the water, giving me a chance to get in a second harpoon.
Then he sounded--that is, he went down--and the lines ran out so fast
that the side of the boat fairly smoked when they went over. He ran off
two hundred fathoms of line before he stopped, and then we felt the line
slack and knew he would soon be up again.

"Up he came not a hundred yards from where he went down, and as he came
up he caught sight of the boat. He went for it as a cat goes for a

"The sperm-whale can't see straight ahead, as his eyes are set far back,
and seem to be almost on his sides. He turns partly round to get a
glimpse of a boat, then ports his helm, drops his jaw, calculates his
distance, and goes ahead at full speed. His jaw is set very low, and
sometimes he turns over, or partly over, to strike his blow.

[Illustration: IN THE WHALE'S JAW.]

"This time he whirled and took the bow of the boat in his mouth,
crushing it as though it had been made of paper. We jumped out, the oars
flew all around us, the sea was a mass of foam, and the whale chewed the
boat as though it was a piece of sugar-candy and he hadn't seen any for
a month.

"We were all in the water, and nobody hurt. The first mate's boat had
killed its whale inside of ten minutes, and before he tried to sound.
They left the whale and came to pick us up; then they hurried and made
fast to him, as another ship was coming up alongside of ours, and we
might lose our game. It is a rule of the sea that you lose your claim to
a whale when you let go, even though you may have killed him. Hang on to
him and he's yours, though you may hang with only a trout-line and a
minnow-hook. It's been so decided in the courts.

"The captain sent another boat from the ship, and we soon had the
satisfaction of seeing my whale dead on the water. He got the lance
right in his vitals, and went into his 'flurry,' as we call it. The
flurry is the whale's convulsive movements just before death, and
sometimes he does great damage as he thrashes about."

Frank wished to know how large the whale was, and how large whales are

"We don't reckon whales by their length," Captain Spofford answered,
"but by the number of barrels of oil they make. Ask any old captain how
long the largest whale was that he ever took, and the chances are he'll
begin to estimate by the length of his ship, and frankly tell you he
never measured one. I measured the largest sperm-whale I ever took, and
found him seventy-nine feet long; he made a hundred and seven barrels of
oil. Here's the figures of him: nose to neck, twenty-six feet; neck to
hump, twenty-nine feet; hump to tail, seventeen feet; tail, seven feet.
His tail was sixteen feet across, and he was forty-one feet six inches
around the body. He had fifty-one teeth, and the heaviest weighed
twenty-five ounces. We took nineteen barrels of oil from his case, the
inside of the head, where we dipped it out with a bucket. I know one
captain that captured a sperm-whale ninety feet long, that made a
hundred and thirty-seven barrels, and there was another sperm taken by
the ship _Monka_, of New Bedford, that made a hundred and forty-five
barrels. I don't know how long he was.

"There's a wonderful deal of excitement in fastening to a whale, and
having a fight with him. You have the largest game that a hunter could
ask for; you have the cool pure air of the ocean, and the blue waters
all about you. A thrill goes through every nerve as you rise to throw
the sharp iron into the monster's side, and the thrill continues when he
plunges wildly about, and sends the line whistling over. He sinks, and
he rises again; he dashes away to windward, and struggles to escape; you
hold him fast, and, large as he is in proportion to yourself, you feel
that he must yield to you, though, perhaps, not till after a hard
battle. At length he lies exhausted, and you approach for the final blow
with the lance. Another thrilling moment, another, and another; and if
fortune is in your favor, your prize is soon motionless before you. And
the man who cannot feel an extra beat of his pulse at such a time must
be made of cooler stuff than the most of us.

"But you don't get all the whales you see, by a long shot. Many a whale
gets away before you can fasten to him, and many another whale, after
you have laid on and fastened, will escape you. He sinks, and tears the
iron loose; he runs away to windward ten or twenty miles an hour, and
you must cut the line to save your lives; he smashes the boat, and
perhaps kills some of his assailants; he dies below the surface, and
when he dies there he stays below, and you lose him; and sometimes he
shows such an amount of toughness that he seems to bear a charmed life.
We fight him with harpoon and lance, and in these later days they have
an invention called the bomb-lance or whaling-gun. A bomb-shell is
thrown into him with a gun like a large musket, and it explodes down
among his vitals. There's another gun that is fastened to the shaft of a
harpoon, and goes off when the whale tightens the line; and there's
another that throws a lance half-way through him. Well, there are
whales that can stand all these things and live.


"Captain Hunting, of New Bedford, had the worst fight that I know of,
while he was on a cruise in the South Atlantic. When he struck the
fellow--it was a tough old bull that had been through fights before, I
reckon--the whale didn't try to escape, but turned on the boat, bit her
in two, and kept on thrashing the wreck till he broke it up completely.
Another boat picked up the men and took them to the ship, and then two
other boats went in on him. Each of them got in two irons, and that made
him mad; he turned around and chewed those boats, and he stuck closely
to business until there wasn't a mouthful left. The twelve swimmers
were picked up by the boat which had taken the first lot to the ship;
two of the men had climbed on his back, and he didn't seem to mind them.
He kept on chewing away at the oars, sails, masts, planks, and other
fragments of the boats; and whenever anything touched his body, he
turned and munched away at it. There he was with six harpoons in him,
and each harpoon had three hundred fathoms of line attached to it.
Captain Hunting got out two spare boats, and started with them and the
saved boat to renew the fight. He got alongside and sent a bomb-lance
charged with six inches of powder right into the whale's vitals, just
back of his fin. When the lance was fired, he turned and tore through
the boat like a hurricane, scattering everything. The sun was setting,
four boats were gone with all their gear and twelve hundred fathoms of
line, the spare boats were poorly provided, the men were wearied and
discouraged, and Captain Hunting hauled off and admitted himself beaten
by a whale."

[Illustration: A GAME FELLOW.]

The nondescript individual whom we saw among the passengers early in the
voyage had joined the party, and heard the story of Captain Hunting's
whale. When it was ended, he ventured to say something on the subject of

"That wasn't a circumstance," he remarked, "to the great whale that used
to hang around the Philippine Islands. He was reckoned to be a king, as
all the other whales took off their hats to him, and used to get down on
their front knees when he came around. His skin was like leather, and he
was stuck so full of harpoons that he looked like a porcupine under a
magnifying-glass. Every ship that saw him used to put an iron into him,
and I reckon you could get up a good history of the whale-fishery if you
could read the ships' names on all of them irons. Lots of whalers fought
with him, but he always came out first best. Captain Sammis of the
_Ananias_ had the closest acquaintance with him, and the way he tells it
is this:

"'We'd laid into him, and his old jaw came up and bit off the bow of the
boat. As he bit he gave a fling, like, and sent me up in the air; and
when I came down, there was the whale, end up and mouth open waiting for
me. His throat looked like a whitewashed cellar-door; but I saw his
teeth were wore smooth down to the gums, and that gave me some
consolation. When I struck his throat he snapped for me, but I had good
headway, and disappeared like a piece of cake in a family of children.
When I was splashing against the soft sides of his stomach, I heard his
jaws snapping like the flapping of a mainsail.

"'I was rather used up and tired out, and a little bewildered, and so I
sat down on the southwest corner of his liver, and crossed my legs while
I got my wits together. It wasn't dark down there, as there was ten
thousand of them little sea jellies shinin' there, like second-hand
stars, in the wrinkles of his stomach, and then there was lots of room
too. By-an'-by, while I was lookin' round, I saw a black patch on the
starboard side of his stomach, and went over to examine it. There I
found printed in injey ink, in big letters, "Jonah, B.C. 1607." Then I
knew where I was, and I began to feel real bad.

"'I opened my tobacco-box to take a mouthful of fine-cut to steady my
nerves. I suppose my hand was a little unsteady; anyhow, I dropped some
of the tobacco on the floor of the whale's stomach. It gave a convulsive
jump, and I saw at once the whale wasn't used to it. I picked up a
jack-knife I saw layin' on the floor, and cut a ping of tobacco into
fine snuff, and scattered it around in the little wrinkles in the
stomach. You should have seen how the medicine worked. The stomach began
to heave as though a young earthquake had opened up under it, and then
it squirmed and twisted, and finally turned wrong side out, and flopped
me into the sea. The mate's boat was there picking up the men from the
smashed boat, and just as they had given me up for lost they saw me and
took me in. They laughed when I told them of the inside of the whale,
and the printin' I saw there; but when I showed them the old jack-knife
with the American eagle on one side and Jonah's name on the other, they
stopped laughin' and looked serious. It is always well to have something
on hand when you are tellin' a true story, and that knife was enough.'

[Illustration: A FREE RIDE.]

"That same captain," he continued, "was once out for a whale, but when
they killed him, they were ten miles from the ship. The captain got on
the dead whale, and sent the boat back to let the ship know where they
were. After they had gone, a storm came on and drove the ship away, and
there the captain stayed three weeks. He stuck an oar into the whale to
hang on to, and the third week a ship hove in sight. As he didn't know
what she was, he hoisted the American flag, which he happened to have a
picture of on his pocket-handkerchief; and pretty soon the ship hung out
her colors, and her captain came on board. Captain Sammis was tired of
the monotony of life on a whale, and so he sold out his interest to the
visitor. He got half the oil and a passage to Honolulu, where he found
his own craft all right."


"You say he remained three weeks on the back of that whale," said one of
the listeners.

"Yes, I said three weeks."

"Well, how did he live all that time?"

"How can I tell?" was the reply; "that's none of my business. Probably
he took his meals at the nearest restaurant and slept at home. And if
you don't believe my story, I can't help it--I've done the best I can."

With this remark he rose and walked away. It was agreed that there was a
certain air of improbability about his narrations, and Frank ventured
the suggestion that the stranger would never get into trouble on account
of telling too much truth.

They had a curiosity to know something about the man. Doctor Bronson
questioned the purser and ascertained that he was entered on the
passenger-list as Mr. A. of America; but whence he came, or what was his
business, no one could tell. He had spoken to but few persons since they
left port, and the bulk of his conversation had been devoted to stories
like those about the whaling business.

In short, he was a riddle no one could make out; and very soon he
received from the other passengers the nickname of "The Mystery." Fred
suggested that Mystery and Mr. A. were so nearly alike that the one name
was as good as the other.

While they were discussing him, he returned suddenly and said:

"The Captain says there are indications of a water-spout to-morrow; and
perhaps we may be destroyed by it."

With these words he withdrew, and was not seen any more that evening.
Fred wished to know what a water-spout was like, and was promptly set at
rest by the Doctor.


"A water-spout," the latter remarked, "is often seen in the tropics, but
rarely in this latitude. The clouds lie quite close to the water, and
there appears to be a whirling motion to the latter; then the cloud and
the sea beneath it become united by a column of water, and this column
is what we call a water-spout. It is generally believed that the water
rises, through this spout, from the sea to the clouds, and sailors are
fearful of coming near them lest their ships may be deluged and sunk.
They usually endeavor to destroy them by firing guns at them, and this
was done on board a ship where I was once a passenger. When the ball
struck the spout, there was a fall of water sufficient to have sunk us
if we had been beneath it, and we all felt thankful that we had escaped
the danger."



The great ship steamed onward, day after day and night after night.
There was no storm to break the monotony; no sail showed itself on the
horizon; no one left the steamer, and no new-comers appeared; nobody saw
fit to quarrel with any one else; and there was not a passenger who
showed a disposition to quarrel with his surroundings. Stories were told
and songs were sung, to while away the time; and, finally, on the
twentieth day, the captain announced that they were approaching land,
and the voyage would soon be over.


Our young travellers had found a daily interest in the instruments by
which a mariner ascertains his ship's position. Frank had gone so far as
to borrow the captain's extra copy of "Bowditch's Navigator" and study
it at odd intervals, and after a little while he comprehended the uses
of the various instruments employed in finding a way over the trackless
ocean. He gave Fred a short lecture on the subject, which was something
like the following:

"Of course, you know, Fred, all about the mariner's compass, which
points towards the north, and always tells where north is. Now, if we
know where north is, we can find south, east, and west without much

Fred admitted the claim, and repeated the formula he had learned at
school: Face towards the north, and back towards the south; the right
hand east, and the left hand west.

"Now," continued Frank, "there are thirty-two points of the compass; do
you know them?"

Fred shook his head; and then Frank explained that the four he had named
were the cardinal points, while the other twenty-eight were the
divisions between the cardinal points. One of the first duties of a
sailor was to "box the compass," that is, to be able to name all these

"Let me hear you box the compass, Frank," said Doctor Bronson, who was
standing near.

"Certainly, I can," Frank answered, and then began: "North, north by
east, north-northeast, northeast by north, northeast, northeast by east,
east-northeast, east by north, east--"

"That will do," said the Doctor; "you have given one quadrant, or a
quarter of the circle; I'm sure you can do the rest easily, for it goes
on in the same way."

"You see," Frank continued, "that you know by the compass exactly in
what direction you are going; then, if you know how many miles you go in
a day or an hour, you can calculate your place at sea.

"That mode of calculation is called 'dead-reckoning,' and is quite
simple, but it isn't very safe."

"Why so?" Fred asked.

"Because it is impossible to steer a ship with absolute accuracy when
she is rolling and pitching about, and, besides, the winds make her
drift a little to one side. Then there are currents that take her off
her course, and sometimes they are very strong."

"Yes, I know," Fred replied; "there's the Gulf Stream, in the Atlantic
Ocean, everybody has heard of; it is a great river in the sea, and flows
north at the rate of three or four miles an hour."

"There's another river like it in the Pacific Ocean," Frank explained;
"it is called the Japan Current, because it flows close to the coast of
Japan. It goes through Behring Strait into the Arctic Ocean, and then it
comes south by the coast of Greenland, and down by Newfoundland. That's
what brings the icebergs south in the Atlantic, and puts them in the way
of the steamers between New York and Liverpool.

"On account of the uncertainty of dead-reckoning, the captain doesn't
rely on it except when the fog is so thick that he can't get an

"What is that?"

"Observing the positions of the sun and moon, and of certain stars with
relation to each other. That is done with the quadrant and sextant; and
then they use a chronometer, or clock, that tells exactly what the time
is at Greenwich. Then, you see, this book is full of figures that look
like multiplication-tables; and with these figures they 'work out their
position;' that is, they find out where they are. Greenwich is near
London, and all the tables are calculated from there."

"But suppose a sailor was dropped down here suddenly, without knowing
what ocean he was in; could he find out where he was without anybody
telling him?"


"Certainly; with the instruments I have named, the tables of figures,
and a clear sky, so as to give good observations, he could determine his
position with absolute accuracy. He gets his latitude by observing the
sun at noon, and he gets his longitude by the chronometer and by
observations of the moon. When he knows his latitude and longitude, he
knows where he is, and can mark the place on the map."

Fred opened his eyes with an expression of astonishment, and said he
thought the science of navigation was something wonderful.

The others agreed with him; and while they were discussing the
advantages which it had given to the world, there was a call that sent
them on deck at once.

"Land, ho!" from the lookout forward.

"Land, ho!" from the officer near the wheel-house.

"Land, ho!" from the captain, as he emerged from his room, just aft of
the wheel. "Where away?"

"Dead ahead, sir," replied the officer. "'Tis Fusiyama, sir."

The boys looked in the direction indicated, but could see nothing. This
is not surprising, when we remember that sailors' eyes are accustomed to
great distances, and can frequently see objects distinctly long before
landsmen can make them out.

But by-and-by they could distinguish the outline of a cone, white as a
cloud and nearly as shadowy. It was the Holy Mountain of Japan, and they
recognized the picture they had seen so many times upon Japanese fans
and other objects. As they watched it, the form grew more and more
distinct, and after a time they no longer doubted that they looked at

"Just to think," Fred exclaimed, "when we left San Francisco, we steered
for this mountain, five thousand miles away, and here it is, right
before us. Navigation is a wonderful science, and no mistake."

As the ship went on, the mountain grew more and more distinct, and
by-and-by other features of Japanese scenery were brought into view. The
western horizon became a serrated line, that formed an agreeable
contrast to the unbroken curve they had looked upon so many days; and as
the sun went down, it no longer dipped into the sea and sank beneath the
waves. All on board the ship were fully aware they were approaching

[Illustration: VIEW IN THE BAY OF YEDDO.]

During the night they passed Cape King and entered Yeddo bay. The great
light-house that watches the entrance shot its rays far out over the
waters and beamed a kindly welcome to the strangers. Slowly they steamed
onward, keeping a careful lookout for the numerous boats and junks that
abound there, and watching the hundreds of lights that gleamed along the
shore and dotted the sloping hill-sides. Sixty miles from Cape King,
they were in front of Yokohama; the engines stopped, the anchor fell,
the chain rattled through the hawse-hole, and the ship was at rest,
after her long journey from San Francisco. Our young adventurers were in

With the first streak of dawn the boys were on deck, where they were
joined by Doctor Bronson. The sun was just rising when the steamer
dropped her anchor, and, consequently, their first day in the new
country was begun very early. There was an abundance of sights for the
young eyes, and no lack of subjects for conversation.

Hardly was the anchor down before the steamer was surrounded by a swarm
of little boats, and Frank thought they were the funniest boats he had
ever seen.


"They are called 'sampans,'" Doctor Bronson explained, "and are made
entirety of wood. Of late years the Japanese sometimes use copper or
iron nails for fastenings; but formerly you found them without a
particle of metal about them."

"They don't look as if they could stand rough weather," said Fred. "See;
they are low and square at the stern, and high and sharp at the bow; and
they sit very low in the water."

"They are not in accordance with our notions," replied the Doctor; "but
they are excellent sea-boats, and I have known them to ride safely where
an American boat would have been swamped. You observe how easily they go
through the water. They can be handled very readily, and, certainly, the
Japanese have no occasion to be ashamed of their craft."


Frank had his eye on a sampan that was darting about like an active
fish, first in one direction and then in another. It was propelled by a
single oar in the hands of a brown-skinned boatman, who was not
encumbered with a large amount of superfluous clothing. The oar was in
two pieces--a blade and a handle--lashed together in such a way that
they did not form a straight line. At first Frank thought there was
something wrong about it; but he soon observed that the oars in all the
boats were of the same pattern, and made in the same way. They were
worked like sculls rather than like oars. The man kept the oar
constantly beneath the water; and, as he moved it forwards and back, he
turned it partly around. A rope near his hand regulated the distance the
oar could be turned, and also kept it from rising out of the water or
going too far below the surface.

Nearly every boat contained a funny little furnace, only a few inches
square, where the boatman boiled his tea and cooked the rice and fish
that composed his food. Each boat had a deck of boards which were so
placed as to be readily removed; but, at the same time, were secured
against being washed away. Every one of these craft was perfectly clean,
and while they were waiting around the ship, several of the boatmen
occupied themselves by giving their decks a fresh scrubbing, which was
not at all necessary. The Doctor took the occasion to say something
about the cleanliness of the Japanese houses, and of the neat habits of
the people generally, and added, "You will see it as you go among them,
and cannot fail to be impressed by it. You will never hesitate to eat
Japanese food through fear that it may not be clean; and this is more
than you can say of every table in our own country."


The steamer was anchored nearly half a mile from shore. English, French,
German, and other ships were in the harbor; tenders and steam-launches
were moving about; row-boats were coming and going; and, altogether, the
port of Yokohama presented a lively appearance. Shoreward the picture
was interesting. At the water's edge there was a stone quay or
embankment, with two inner harbors, where small boats might enter and
find shelter from occasional storms. This quay was the front of a street
where carriages and pedestrians were moving back and forth. The farther
side of the street was a row of buildings, and as nearly every one of
these buildings had a yard in front filled with shade-trees, the effect
was pretty.

Away to the right was the Japanese part of Yokohama, while on the left
was the foreign section. The latter included the row of buildings
mentioned above; they stood on a level space which was only a few feet
above the level of the bay. Back of this was a range of steep hills,
which were covered nearly everywhere with a dense growth of trees and
bushes, with little patches of gardens here and there. On the summits of
the hills, and occasionally on their sides, were houses with wide
verandas, and with great windows capable of affording liberal
ventilation. Many of the merchants and other foreigners living in
Yokohama had their residences in these houses, which were far more
comfortable than the buildings near the water. Doctor Bronson explained
that the lower part of Yokohama was called the "Bund," while the upper
was known as the "Bluff." Business was transacted in the Bund, and many
persons lived there; but the Bluff was the favorite place for a
residence, and a great deal of money had been expended in beautifying

The quarantine officials visited the steamer, and after a brief
inspection she was pronounced healthy, and permission was given for the
passengers to go on shore. Runners from the hotels came in search of
patrons, and clerks from several of the prominent business houses came
on board to ask for letters and news. Nearly every commercial
establishment in Yokohama has its own boat and a special uniform for its
rowers; so that they can be readily distinguished. One of the clerks who
visited the ship seemed to be in search of somebody among the
passengers, and that somebody proved to be our friend, The Mystery.

The two had a brief conversation when they met, and it was in a tone so
low that nobody could hear what was said. When it was over, The Mystery
went below, and soon reappeared with a small satchel. Without a word of
farewell to anybody, he entered the boat and was rowed to the shore at a
very rapid rate.

There was great activity at the forward gangway. The steerage passengers
comprised about four hundred Chinese who were bound for Hong-Kong; but,
as the steamer would lie a whole day at Yokohama, many of them were
preparing to spend the day on shore. The boats crowded at the foot of
the gangway, and there was a great contention among the boatmen to
secure the patronage of the passengers. Occasionally one of the men
fell into the water, owing to some unguarded movement; but he was soon
out again, and clamoring as earnestly as ever. In spite of the
excitement and activity, there was the most perfect good-nature. Nobody
was inclined to fight with any one else, and all the competitors were
entirely friendly. The Chinese made very close bargains with the
boatmen, and were taken to and from the shore at prices which astonished
the boys when they heard them.

The Doctor explained that the tariff for a boat to take one person from
ship to shore and back again, including an hour's waiting, was ten
cents, with five cents added for every hour beyond one. In the present
instance the Chinese passengers bargained to be taken on shore in the
morning and back again at night for five cents each, and not more than
four of them were to go in one boat. Fred thought it would require a
long time for any of the boatmen to become millionnaires at this rate.

Our travellers were not obliged to bargain for their conveyance, as they
went ashore in the boat belonging to the hotel where they intended to
stay. The runner of the hotel took charge of their baggage and placed it
in the boat; and when all was ready, they shook hands with the captain
and purser of the steamer, and wished them prosperous voyages in future.
Several other passengers went ashore at the same time. Among them was
Captain Spofford, who was anxious to compare the Yokohama of to-day with
the one he had visited twenty years before.

[Illustration: YOKOHAMA IN 1854.]

He explained to the boys that when the American fleet came to Japan in
1854, there was only a small fishing village where the city now stands.
Yokohama means "across the strand," and the city is opposite, or across
the strand from, Kanagawa, which was established as the official port.
The consuls formerly had their offices in Kanagawa, and continued to
date their official documents there long after they had moved to the
newer and more prosperous town. Yokohama was found much more agreeable,
as there was a large open space there for erecting buildings, while the
high bluffs gave a cooling shelter from the hot, stifling air of summer.
Commercial prosperity caused it to grow rapidly, and made it the city we
now find it.

They reached the shore. Their baggage was placed on a large hand-cart,
and they passed through the gateway of the Custom-house. A polite
official, who spoke English, made a brief survey of their trunks; and,
on their assurance that no dutiable goods were within, he did not delay
them any further. The Japanese duties are only five per cent. on the
value of the goods, and, consequently, a traveller could not perpetrate
much fraud upon the revenue, even if he were disposed to do so.

"Here you are in Japan," said the Doctor, as they passed through the

"Yes, here we are," Frank replied; "let's give three cheers for Japan."

"Agreed," answered Fred, "and here we go--Hip! hip! hurrah!"

The boys swung their hats and gave the three cheers.

"And three more for friends at home!" Fred added.

"Certainly," Frank responded. "Here we go again;" and there was another
"Hip! hip! hurrah!"

"And a cheer from you, Frank," remarked the Doctor, "for somebody we saw
at the railway station."

Frank gave another swing of his hat and another cheer. The Doctor and
Fred united their voices to his, and with a hearty shout all around,
they concluded the ceremony connected with their arrival in Japan.



They had no difficulty in reaching the hotel, as they were in the hands
of the runner of the establishment, who took good care that they did not
go astray and fall into the clutches of the representative of the rival
concern. The publicans of the open ports of Japan have a watchful eye
for their interests, and the stranger does not have to wander long in
the streets to find accommodation. The Doctor had been there before, and
took great pains to have his bargain made with the utmost exactness,
lest there might be a mistake at the time of his departure. "In Europe
and Asia," he remarked to Frank, "a traveller soon learns that he cannot
be too explicit in making his contracts at hotels; if he neglects this
little formality, he will often find that his negligence has cost him
something. The last time I was in Yokohama I had a very warm discussion
with my landlord when I settled my bill, and I don't propose to have a
repetition of it."

The hotel was much like an American house in its general
characteristics, both in the arrangement of the rooms and the style of
furniture. The proprietors and managers were foreigners, but the
servants were native and were dressed in Japanese costume. The latter
were very quiet and orderly in their manners, and made a favorable
impression on the young visitors. Frank was so pleased with the one in
charge of his room that he wished he could take him home with him, and
have a Japanese servant in America. Testimony as to the excellent
character of servants in Japan is nearly universal on the part of those
who have employed them. Of course there will be an occasional lazy,
inattentive, or dishonest fellow, but one finds them much more rarely
than in Europe or America. In general, they are very keen observers, and
learn the ways and peculiarities of their masters in a remarkably short
time. And once having learned them, they never forget.

"When I was last here," said the Doctor, "I was in this very hotel, and
had one of the regular servants of the establishment to wait on me. The
evening after my arrival, I told him to have my bath ready at seven
o'clock in the morning, and to bring a glass of ice-water when he
waked me. Exactly at seven he was at my bedside with the water, and told
me the bath was waiting; and as long as I remained here he came at
precisely the same hour in the morning, offered me the glass of water,
and announced the readiness of the bath. I never had occasion to tell
him the same thing twice, no matter what it was. Occasionally I went to
Tokio to spend two or three days. The first time I went, I showed him
what clothes I wished to take, and he packed them in my valise; and
afterwards I had only to say I was going to Tokio, when he would
immediately proceed to pack up exactly the same things I had taken the
first time, or their equivalents. He never made the slightest error, and
was a trifle more exact than I wished him to be. On my first journey I
carried a bottle of cough-mixture to relieve a cold from which I
happened to be suffering. The cold had disappeared, and the bottle was
empty before my second trip to Tokio; but my faithful servant wrapped it
carefully in paper, and put it in a safe corner of my valise, and
continued to do so every time I repeated the excursion."


The boys were all anxiety to take a walk through the streets of
Yokohama, and could hardly wait for the Doctor to arrange matters with
the hotel-keeper. In a little while everything was determined, and the
party went out for a stroll. The Doctor led the way, and took them to
the Japanese portion of the city, where they were soon in the midst of
sights that were very curious to them. They stopped at several shops,
and looked at a great variety of Japanese goods, but followed the advice
of the Doctor in deferring their purchases to another time. Frank
thought of the things he was to buy for his sister Mary, and also for
Miss Effie; but as they were not to do any shopping on their first day
in Japan, he did not see any occasion for opening the precious paper
that Mary had confided to him previous to his departure.

They had a walk of several hours, and on their return to the hotel were
quite weary enough to rest awhile. Frank and Fred had a whispered
conversation while the Doctor was talking with an old acquaintance; and
as soon as he was at liberty they told him what they had been conversing

"We think we want to write home now, Doctor," said Frank, "and wish to
know if you approve of our doing so to-day."

"By all means," replied the Doctor, with a smile; "it is time to begin
at once. You are in a foreign country and there are plenty of things to
write about. Your information will be to a great extent new and
interesting to your friends, and the reasons that I gave you for not
writing a long letter from Niagara do not exist here."

"I thought you would say so," responded Fred, his eyes sparkling with
animation, "and I want to write while everything is fresh in my mind. I
am going to write at once."

"And so am I," echoed Frank; "here goes for a letter to friends at

Off the boys ran for their writing materials, and in a little while they
were seated on the balcony of the hotel, and making their pens fairly
fly over the paper.


Here is the letter from Frank to his mother:

  "YOKOHAMA, _August_ 4_th_, 1878.


     "I wish you could see me just now. I am sitting on the veranda of
     the hotel, and Fred is at the table with me. If we look up from our
     paper, we can see out upon the bay, where lots of ships are at
     anchor, and where a whole fleet of Japanese fishing-boats are
     coming up and dragging their nets along after them. Down in the
     street in front of us there are some funny-looking men with
     trousers as tight as their skins, and making the men look a great
     deal smaller than they are. They have hats like small umbrellas,
     and made of plaited straw, to keep the sun off, and they have them
     tied down under the chin with cords as big as a clothes-line.
     Doctor Bronson says these are the lower class of Japanese, and that
     we haven't seen the fine people yet. There are three musicians, at
     least they are called so, but I can't see that they make much that
     I should call music. One of them has on one of those great broad
     hats, another has his head covered with a sort of small cap, while
     the third has his skull shaven as smooth as a door-knob. The man
     with the hat on is blowing a whistle and ringing a small bell, the
     second is beating on a brass plate with a tiny drumstick, while the
     third has a pair of clappers which he knocks together, and he sings
     at the same time. Each of them seems to pay no attention to the
     rest, but I suppose they think they are playing a tune. Two of them
     have their legs bare, but they have sandals on their feet, held in
     place by cords or thongs. The man with the hat must be the leader,
     as he is the only one that wears trousers, and, besides, he has a
     pocket-book hung to his girdle. I wonder if they make much money
     out of the music they are playing?

     [Illustration: JAPANESE FISHERMEN.]

     "A couple of fishermen just stopped to look at the musicians and
     hear the music. One had a spear and a net with a basket at the end,
     and the other carried a small rod and line such as I used to have
     when I went out for trout. They didn't have much clothing,
     though--nothing but a jacket of coarse cloth and a kilt made of
     reeds. Only one had a hat, and that didn't seem to amount to much.
     The bareheaded one scowled at me, and I think he can't be very fond
     of foreigners. Perhaps the foreigners deserve to be scowled at, or,
     at any rate, some of them do.

     [Illustration: JAPANESE SILK-SHOP.]

     "We have seen such lots of things to-day--lots and lots. I can't
     begin to tell you all in this letter, and there is so much that I
     don't know where to commence. Well, we went into some shops and
     looked at the things they had to sell, but didn't buy anything, as
     we thought it was too soon. One of the shops I liked very much was
     where they sold silk. It wasn't much like a silk-shop at home,
     where you sit on a stool in front of a counter and have the clerks
     spread the things out before you. In this shop the silk was in
     boxes out of sight, and they only showed you what you asked for.
     There was a platform in the middle of the shop, and the clerks
     squatted down on this platform, and unrolled their goods. Two women
     were there, buying some bright-colored stuff, for making a dress, I
     suppose, but I don't know. One man sat in the corner with a
     yardstick ready to measure off what was wanted, and another sat
     close by him looking on to see that everything was all right. Back
     of him there were a lot of boxes piled up with the goods in them;
     and whenever anything was wanted, he passed it out. You should have
     seen how solemn they all looked, and how one woman counted on her
     fingers to see how much it was all coming to, just as folks do at
     home. In a corner opposite the man with the yardstick there was a
     man who kept the accounts. He was squatted on the floor like the
     rest, and had his books all round him; and when a sale was made, he
     put it down in figures that I couldn't read in a week.

     [Illustration: "SAYONARA."]

     "Then it was ever so funny to see the men bowing to each other;
     they did it with so much dignity, as if they had all been princes,
     or something of the sort. They rest their hands on their knees, and
     then bend the body forward; and sometimes they bend so low that
     their backs are level enough to set out a tea-service on and use
     them for a table. When they want to bid good-bye, they say
     'Sayonara,' just as we say 'Good-bye,' and it means exactly the
     same thing. They are not satisfied with one bow, but keep on
     several times, until you begin to wonder when they will get
     through. Everybody says they are the politest people in the world,
     and I can readily believe it if what I have seen is a fair sample.

     [Illustration: SEVEN-STROKE HORSE.]

     "There have been several men around the hotel trying to sell things
     to us, and we have been looking at them. One thing I am going to
     get and send in this letter is a box of Japanese pictures. They are
     not photographs, but real drawings by Japanese artists, and printed
     on Japanese paper. You will see how soft and nice the paper is; and
     though the pictures look rough, they are very good, and, above all
     things, they are truthful. I am going to get as many different ones
     as I can, and so I think you will be able to get a good idea of the
     country as the natives see it themselves. They have these pictures
     showing all their ways of life--how they cook their food, how they
     eat it, how they work, how they play--in fact, how everything is
     done in this very curious country. The Japanese make their drawings
     with very few lines, and it will astonish you to see how much they
     can express with a few strokes of a pencil. Here is a picture of a
     horse drawn with seven strokes of the artist's finger-nail dipped
     in ink, and with a few touches of a wide brush for the mane and
     tail. Do you think my old drawing-master at home could do the same

     [Illustration: FEMALE HEAD-DRESS.]

     "The pillows they sleep on would never do for us. A Japanese pillow
     is a block of wood with a rest for the head, or rather for the
     neck, as the head doesn't touch it at all, except just below the
     ear. It is only a few inches long and high, and is perfectly hard,
     as the little piece of paper they put on it is intended for
     cleanliness, and not to make the pillow soft. You can't turn over
     on one of them, and as for doubling them up to throw at another
     boy, it is quite out of the question. I shall put in a picture of a
     Japanese woman lying down with her head on one of these curious
     things. The women have their hair done up so elaborately that they
     must sleep on something that does not disturb it, as they can't
     afford the time and trouble for fixing it every morning. You'll
     find a picture of their head-dress in the lot I send with this; but
     it is from a sketch by a foreigner, and not by a native.

     [Illustration: THE SIESTA.]

     "Perhaps you will want to know something about the weather in
     Japan. It is very warm in the middle of the day, but the mornings
     and evenings are delightful. Around where we are the ground is
     flat, and the heat is greater than back among the hills. People
     remain as quiet as possible during the middle of the day; and if
     you go around the shops at that time, you find nearly everybody
     asleep who can afford to be so. The Japanese houses are all so open
     that you see everything that is going on, and they think nothing of
     lying down in full sight of the street. Since the foreigners came
     to Yokohama, the natives are somewhat more particular about their
     houses than they used to be; at any rate, it is said so by those
     who ought to know. The weather is so warm in summer that the
     natives do not need to wear much clothing, and I suppose that is
     the reason why they are so careless about their appearance. In the
     last few years the government has become very particular about
     having the people properly dressed, and has issued orders
     compelling them to put on sufficient clothing to cover them
     whenever they go out of doors. They enforce these orders very
     rigidly in the cities and large towns; but in the country the
     people go around pretty much as they used to. Of course, you
     understand I am speaking of the lower classes only, and not of the
     aristocracy. The latter are as careful about their garments as the
     best people in any other part of the world, and they often spend
     hours over their toilets. A Japanese noble gotten up in fine old
     style is a sight worth going a long distance to see, and he knows
     it too. He has a lot of stiff silks and heavy robes that cost a
     great deal of money, and they must be arranged with the greatest
     care, as the least displacement is a serious affair. I haven't seen
     one of them yet, and Doctor Bronson says we may not see any during
     our stay in Japan, as the government has abolished the old dress,
     and adopted that of Western Europe. It is too bad that they have
     done so, as the Japanese dress is very becoming to the people--ever
     so much more so than the new one they have taken. Japan is fast
     losing its national characteristics, through the eagerness of the
     government to follow Western fashions. What a pity! I do hope I
     shall be able to see one of those old-fashioned dresses, and won't
     mind how far I have to go for it.


     "Now, mother, this letter is addressed to you, but it is intended
     for everybody; and I know you'll read it to everybody, and have it
     handed round, so that all can know where I am and what I have told
     you about Japan. When I don't write to each one of you, I know you
     will understand why it is,--because I am so busy, and trying to
     learn all I can. Give my love to each and every one in the family,
     and tell Mary she knows somebody outside of it that wants a share.
     Tell her I often think of the morning we left, and how a
     handkerchief waved from the railway station when we came away. And
     tell Mary, too, that I haven't yet opened her list of things I am
     to get for her; but I haven't forgotten it, and have it all safe
     and right. There are lots of pretty things to buy here; and if she
     has made a full catalogue of Japanese curiosities, she has given me
     enough to do for the present--and the presents.

     "Good-night, dear mother, and look for another letter by the next

  "Your loving son,

Fred finished his letter almost at the same moment that Frank affixed
the signature to his own. By the time they were through it was late in
the evening, and the hour for retiring to bed. Their sleeping-places
were exactly such as they might have found in any American hotel, and
they longed for a view of a Japanese bed. Frank was inclined to ask
Doctor Bronson to describe one to them, but Fred thought it would be
time enough when they went into the interior of the country and saw one.

They were up early the next morning, but not as early as the Japanese.

"I tell you what," said Frank, "I have made a discovery."

"What is it?"

"I have been thinking of something to introduce into the United States,
and make everybody get up early in the morning."

"Something Japanese?"

"Yes. Something that interested us yesterday when we saw it."

"Well, we saw so many things that I couldn't begin to guess in half an
hour. What was it?"

"It was a pillow."

"You mean those little things the Japanese sleep on?"

"Yes; they are so uncomfortable that we couldn't use them with any sort
of pleasure. Nobody would want to lie in bed after he had waked up, if
he had such a pillow under his head. He would be out in a minute, and
wouldn't think of turning over for another doze.

"Now, if our Congress will pass a law abolishing the feather pillow all
over the United States, and commanding everybody to sleep on the
Japanese one, it would make every man, woman, and child get up at least
an hour earlier every day. For forty millions of people this would make
a gain of forty million hours daily, and that would be equal to
forty-five thousand years. Just think what an advantage that would be to
the country, and how much more we could accomplish than we do now. Isn't
it a grand idea?"

Fred thought it might be grand and profitable to the country, but it
would be necessary to make the pillows for the people; and from what he
had heard of Congress, he didn't think they would vote away the public
money for anything of the sort. Besides, the members of Congress would
not wish to deprive themselves of the privilege of sleeping on feather
pillows, and therefore they wouldn't vote away their liberties. So he
advised Frank to study Japan a little longer before he suggested the
adoption of the Japanese pillow in America.

This conversation occurred while the boys were in front of the hotel,
and waiting for the Doctor, whom they expected every moment. When he
came, the three went out for a stroll, and returned in good season for
breakfast. While they were out they took a peep into a Japanese house,
where the family were at their morning meal, and thus the boys had an
opportunity of comparing their own ways with those of the country they
were in.


A dignified native, with the fore part of his head closely shaven, was
squatted on the floor in front of a little box about a foot high, which
served as a table. Opposite was his wife, and at the moment our party
looked in she was engaged in pouring something from a bottle into a
small cup the size of a thimble. Directly under her hand was a bowl
filled with freshly boiled rice, from which the steam was slowly rising;
and at the side of the table was another and smaller one, holding some
plates and chopsticks. A tiny cup and a bowl constituted the rest of the
breakfast equipment. The master was waited upon by his wife, who was not
supposed to attend to her own wants until his had been fully met. She
sat with her back to the window, which was covered with paper in small
squares pasted to the frame, and at her right was a screen, such as one
finds in nearly all Eastern countries. On her left was a chest of
drawers with curious locks and handles, which doubtless contained the
family wealth of linen.

As they went on, after their view of a Japanese interior, Frank asked
what was the name and character of the liquid the woman was pouring into
the glass or cup for her husband.

"That was probably sa-kee," replied the Doctor.

"And what is sa-kee, please?"

"It is," answered the Doctor, "a sort of wine distilled from rice.
Foreigners generally call it rice wine, but, more properly speaking, it
is rice whiskey, as it partakes more of the nature of spirit than of
wine. It is very strong, and will intoxicate if taken in any
considerable quantity. The Japanese usually drink it hot, and take it
from the little cups that you saw. The cups hold so small a quantity
that a great many fillings are necessary to produce any unpleasant
effect. The Japanese rarely drink to intoxication, and, on the whole,
they are a very temperate people."

Fred thereupon began to moralize on the policy of introducing Japanese
customs into America. He thought more practicable good could be done by
the adoption of the Japanese cup--which would teach our people to drink
more lightly than at present--than by Frank's plan of introducing the
Japanese pillow. He thought there would be some drawbacks to Frank's
enterprise, which would offset the good it could do. Thus a great number
of people whom the pillow might bring up at an early hour would spend
the time in ways that would not be any benefit to society, and they
might as well be asleep, and in many cases better, too. But the tiny
drinking-cup would moderate the quantity of stimulants many persons
would take, and thus a great good might be accomplished.

While thus talking, and trying to conjure up absurd things, they reached
the hotel, and soon were seated at breakfast.

During breakfast Doctor Bronson unfolded some of the plans he had made
for the disposal of their time, so that they might see as much as
possible of Japan.

"We have taken a look at Yokohama since we arrived," said he, "but there
is still a great deal to see. We can study the place at our leisure, as
I think it best to make this our headquarters while in this part of the
empire, and then we will make excursions from here to the points of
interest in the vicinity. To-day we will go to Tokio."

"Can't we go first to Yeddo?" said Fred. "I want so much to see that
city, and it is said to be very large."

Doctor Bronson laughed slightly as he replied.

"Tokio and Yeddo are one and the same thing. Tokio means the Eastern
capital, while Yeddo means the Great City. Both names have long been in
use; but the city was first known to foreigners as Yeddo. Hence it was
called so in all the books that were written prior to a few years ago,
when it was officially announced to be Tokio. It was considered the
capital at the time Japan was opened to foreigners; but there were
political complications not understood by the strangers, and the true
relations of the city we are talking about and Kioto, which is the
Western capital, were not explained until some time after. It was
believed that there were two emperors or kings, the one in Yeddo and the
other in Kioto, and that the one here was highest in authority. The real
fact was that the Shogoon, or Tycoon (as he was called by the
foreigners), at Yeddo was subordinate to the real emperor at Kioto: and
the action of the former led to a war which resulted in the complete
overthrow of the Tycoon, and the establishment of the Mikado's authority
through the entire country."

"Then the emperor is called the Mikado, is he not?"


"Yes; that is his official title. Formerly he was quite secluded, as his
person was considered too sacred to be seen by ordinary eyes; but since
the rebellion and revolution he has come out from his seclusion, and
takes part in public ceremonials, receives visitors, and does other
things like the monarchs of European countries. He is enlightened and
progressive, and is doing all he can for the good of his country and its

"The curious feature of the revolution which established the Mikado on
his throne, and made him the ruler of the whole country is this--that
the movement was undertaken to prevent the very things it has brought

"How was that?" Frank asked.


"Down to 1853 Japan was in a condition of exclusiveness in regard to
other nations. There was a Dutch trading-post at Nagasaki, on the
western coast; but it was confined to a little island, about six hundred
feet square, and the people that lived there were not allowed to go out
of their enclosure except at rare intervals, and under restrictions that
amounted to practical imprisonment. In the year I mentioned Commodore
Perry came here with a fleet of American ships, left some presents that
had been sent by the President of the United States, and sailed away.
Before he left he laid the foundation for the present commercial
intercourse between Japan and the United States; and on his return in
the following year the privileges were considerably enlarged. Then came
the English, and secured similar concessions; and thus Japan has reached
her present standing among the nations.

"Having been exclusive so long, and having been compelled against her
will to open her ports to strangers, there was naturally a good deal of
opposition to foreigners even after the treaty was signed. The
government endeavored to carry out the terms of the treaty faithfully;
but there was a large party opposed to it, and anxious to have the
treaties torn up and the foreigners expelled. This party was so powerful
that it seemed to include almost a majority of the nation, and the Kioto
government took the Yeddo section to task for what it had done in
admitting the foreigners. One thing led to another, and finally came the
war between the Mikado and the Tycoon. The latter was overthrown, as I
have already told you, and the Mikado was the supreme ruler of the land.

"The Mikado's party was opposed to the presence of foreigners in the
country, and their war-cry was 'Death to the strangers!' When the war
was over, there was a general expectation that measures would be adopted
looking to the expulsion of the hated intruder. But, to the surprise of
many, the government became even more progressive than its predecessor
had been, and made concessions to the foreigners that the others had
never granted. It was a curious spectacle to see the conservative
government doing more for the introduction of the foreigner than the
very men they had put down because of their making a treaty with the


"The opponents of the Mikado's government accuse it of acting in bad
faith, but I do not see that the charge is just. As I understand the
situation, the government acted honestly, and with good intent to expel
the foreigner in case it should obtain power. But when the power was
obtained, they found the foreigner could not be expelled so easily; he
was here, and intended to remain, and the only thing the government
could do was to make the best of it. The foreign nations who had
treaties with Japan would not tear them up, and the government found
that what it had intended at the time of the revolution could not be
accomplished. Foreign intercourse went on, and the Japanese began to
instruct themselves in Western ways. They sent their young men to
America and other countries to be educated. They hired teachers to take
charge of schools in Japan, and in every way tried to turn the presence
of the foreigner to their advantage. There is an old adage that what
can't be cured must be endured, and Japan seems to have acted upon it.
The foreigner was here as an evil, and they couldn't cure him out. So
they set about finding the best way of enduring him.

"But it is time we were getting ready for a start for Tokio, and so
we'll suspend our discussion of Japanese political history. It's a dry
subject, and I hesitate to talk to you about it lest I may weary you."

Both the boys declared the topic was interesting, and they would
consider their study of Japan incomplete without some of its history.
The Doctor promised to return to the subject at some future occasion;
and with this understanding they separated to prepare for their journey
to the capital.




One of the innovations in Japan since the arrival of the foreigners is
the railway. Among the presents carried to the country by Commodore
Perry were a miniature locomotive and some cars, and several miles of
railway track. The track was set up, and the new toy was regarded with
much interest by the Japanese. For some years after the country was
opened there was considerable opposition to the introduction of the new
mode of travel, but by degrees all hostility vanished, and the
government entered into contracts for the construction of a line from
Yokohama to Tokio. The distance is about seventeen miles, and the route
follows the shore of the bay, where there are no engineering
difficulties of consequence. In spite of the ease of construction and
the low price of labor in Japan, the cost of the work was very great,
and would have astonished a railway engineer in America. The work was
done under English supervision and by English contractors, and from all
accounts there is no reason to suppose that they lost anything by the

Doctor Bronson and our young friends went from Yokohama to the capital
by the railway, and found the ride a pleasant one of about an hour's
duration. They found that the conductors, ticket-sellers, brake-men, and
all others with whom they came in contact were Japanese. For some time
after the line was opened the management was in the hands of foreigners;
but by degrees they were removed, and the Japanese took charge of the
business, for which they had paid a liberal price. They have shown
themselves fully competent to manage it, and the new system of travel is
quite popular with the people. Three kinds of carriages are run on most
of the trains; the first class is patronized by the high officials and
the foreigners who have plenty of money; the second by the middle-class
natives--official and otherwise--and foreigners whose purses are not
plethorie; and the third class by the peasantry, and common people
generally. Frank observed that there were few passengers in the
first-class carriages, more in the second, and that the third class
attracted a crowd, and was evidently popular. The Doctor told him that
the railway had been well patronized since the day it was first opened,
and that the facilities of steam locomotion have not been confined to
the eastern end of the empire. The experiment on the shores of Yeddo Bay
proved so satisfactory that a line has since been opened from Kobe to
Osaka and Kioto, in the West--a distance of a little more than fifty
miles. The people take to it as kindly as did those of the East, and the
third-class carriages are generally well filled.


At the station in Yokohama the boys found a news-stand, the same as they
might find one in a station in America, but with the difference against
them that they were unable to read the papers that were sold there. They
bought some, however, to send home as curiosities, and found them very
cheap. Newspapers existed in Japan before the foreigners went there; but
since the advent of the latter the number of publications has increased,
as the Japanese can hardly fail to observe the great influence on public
opinion which is exercised by the daily press. They have introduced
metal types after the foreign system, instead of printing from wooden
blocks, as they formerly did, and, but for the difference in the
character, one of their sheets might be taken for a paper printed in
Europe or America. Some of the papers have large circulations, and the
newsboys sell them in the streets, in the same way as the urchins of
New York engage in the kindred business. There is this difference,
however, that the Japanese newsboys are generally men, and as they walk
along they read in a monotonous tone the news which the paper they are
selling contains.


The train started promptly on the advertised time, and the boys found
that there were half a dozen trains each way daily, some of them running
through, like express trains in other countries, while others were
slower, and halted at every station. The line ran through a succession
of fields and villages, the former bearing evidence of careful
cultivation, while the latter were thickly populated, and gave
indications of a good deal of taste in their arrangement. Shade-trees
were numerous, and Frank readily accepted as correct the statement he
had somewhere read, that a Japanese would rather move his house than cut
down a tree in case the one interfered with the other. The rice harvest
was nearly at hand, and the fields were thickly burdened with the waving
rice-plants. Men were working in the fields, and moving slowly to and
fro, and everywhere there was an activity that did not betoken a lazy
people. The Doctor explained that if they had been there a month
earlier, they would have witnessed the process of hoeing the rice-plants
to keep down the weeds, but that now the hoeing was over, and there was
little to do beyond keeping the fields properly flooded with water, so
that the ripening plants should have the necessary nourishment. He
pointed out an irrigating-machine, which was in operation close to the
railway, and the boys looked at it with much interest. A wheel was so
fixed in a small trough that when it was turned the water was raised
from a little pool, and flowed over the land it was desirable to
irrigate. The turning process was performed by a man who stood above the
wheel, and stepped from one float to another. The machinery was very
simple, and had the merit of cheapness, as its cost could not have been
large at the price of labor in Japan.

[Illustration: JAPANESE ROLLER.]

In another place a man was engaged in ploughing. He had a
primitive-looking instrument with a blade like that of a large hatchet,
a beam set at right angles, and a single handle which he grasped with
both hands. It was propelled by a horse which required some one to lead
him, but he did not seem to regard the labor of dragging the plough as
anything serious, as he walked off very much as though nothing were
behind him. Just beyond the ploughman there was a man with a roller,
engaged in covering some seed that had been put in for a late crop. He
was using a common roller, which closely resembled the one we employ for
smoothing our garden walks and beds, with the exception that it was
rougher in construction, and did not appear as round as one naturally
expects a roller to be.

[Illustration: MANURING PROCESS.]

Fred saw a man dipping something from a hole in the ground, and asked
the Doctor what he was doing.

[Illustration: HOW THEY USE MANURE.]

The Doctor explained that the hole was a cask set in the ground, and
that it probably contained liquid manure. The Japanese use it for
enriching their fields. They keep it in these holes, covered with a
slight roof to prevent its evaporation as much as possible, and they
spread it around where wanted by means of buckets. The great drawback to
a walk in a Japanese field is the frequency of the manure deposits, as
the odor arising from them is anything but agreeable. Particularly is
this so in the early part of the season, when the young plants require a
great deal of attention and nourishment. A nose at such times is an
organ of great inconvenience.


The Doctor went on to explain that the Japanese farmers were very
watchful of their crops, and that men were employed to scare away the
birds, that sometimes dug up the seed after it was planted, and also ate
the grain while it was ripening. The watchmen had pieces of board which
they put on frames suspended in the air, and so arranged that they
rattled in the wind, and performed a service similar to that of the
scare-crow in America. In addition to this mode of making a noise, the
watchmen had whistles and clappers, and sometimes they carried small
bells which they rang as they walked about. It was the duty of a
watchman to keep constantly on the alert, as the birds were full of
mischief, and, from being rarely shot at, their boldness and impudence
were quite astonishing to one freshly arrived from America, where the
use of fire-arms is so general.

While Doctor Bronson was explaining about the birds, Fred suddenly gave
an exclamation of delight.

"Look, look!" said he; "what are those beautiful white birds?"

"Oh, I know," answered Frank; "they are storks. I recognize them from
the pictures I have seen on fans and screens. I'm sure they are storks."


The decision was appealed to Doctor Bronson, who decided that the birds
in question were storks, and nothing else. There was no mistaking their
beautiful figures; whether standing in the fields or flying in the air,
the stork is one of the handsomest birds known to the ornithologist.

"You see," said Doctor Bronson, "that the stork justifies the homage
that is paid to him so far as a graceful figure is concerned, and the
Japanese have shown an eye for beauty when they selected him for a
prominent place in their pictures. You see him everywhere in Japanese
art--in bronzes, on costly paintings, embroidered on silk, printed on
fans, and on nearly every article of household use. He has a sacred
character, and it would not be easy to find a Japanese who would
willingly inflict an injury upon one of these birds."

[Illustration: FLOCK OF GEESE.]

There are probably no other artists in the world who can equal the
Japanese in drawing the stork in all the ways and attitudes he assumes.
These are almost countless; but, not satisfied with this, there are some
of the native artists who are accused of representing him in attitudes
he was never known to take. Admitting this to be the case, it cannot be
disputed that the Japanese are masters of their profession in
delineating this bird, and that one is never weary of looking at his
portrait as they draw it. They have nearly equal skill in drawing other
birds, and a few strokes of the brush or pencil will accomplish marvels
in the way of pictorial representation. A flock of geese, some on the
ground and others in flight, can be drawn in a few moments by a native
designer, and the most exacting critic will not find anything wanting.

[Illustration: FORTS OF SHINAGAWA.]

The train sped onward, and in an hour from the time of leaving the
station at Yokohama it was nearing Tokio. It passed in full view of the
forts of Shinagawa, which were made memorable during the days of Perry
and Lord Elgin, as the foreign ships were not allowed to pass them,
and there was at one time a prospect that they would open fire upon
the intruders. Near one of the forts, a boat containing three fishermen
was pulling slowly along, one man handling the oar, while the other two
were lifting a net. Whether any fish were contained in it the boys did
not ascertain, as the train would not stop long enough to permit an
investigation. The fort rose from the water like a huge warehouse; it
might resist a Chinese junk, or a whole fleet of the rude craft of the
East, but could not hold out an hour against the artillery of the
Western nations. In recent years the forts of Tokio have been
strengthened, but they are yet far from what an American or English
admiral would hold in high respect. The Japanese have made commendable
progress in army organization; but, so far as one can learn generally,
they have not done much in the way of constructing and manning

[Illustration: A JIN-RIKI-SHA.]

On their arrival in Tokio, our young friends looked around to discover
in what the city differed from Yokohama. They saw the same kind of
people at the station that they had left in Yokohama, and heard pretty
nearly the same sounds. Porters, and others who hoped to serve them and
thereby earn something, gathered around; and they found in the open
space in front of the station a liberal number of conveyances ready to
take them wherever they wanted to go. There were carriages and
jin-riki-shas from which they could choose, and it did not take them
long to decide in favor of the jin-riki-sha. It was a novelty to them,
though not altogether so, as they had seen it in Yokohama, and had tried
its qualities in their journey from the hotel to the station in the

"What is the jin-riki-sha?" the reader naturally asks.

Its name comes from three words, "jin," meaning man; "riki," power; and
"sha," carriage: altogether it amounts to "man-power-carriage." It is a
little vehicle like an exaggerated baby-cart or diminutive one-horse
chaise, and has comfortable seating capacity for only one person, though
it will hold two if they are not too large. It was introduced into Japan
in 1870, and is said to have been the invention of an American. At all
events, the first of them came from San Francisco; but the Japanese soon
set about making them, and now there are none imported. It is said that
there are nearly a hundred thousand of them in use, and, judging by the
abundance of them everywhere, it is easy to believe that the estimate is
not too high. The streets are full of them, and, no matter where you go,
you are rarely at a loss to find one. As their name indicates, they are
carriages drawn by men. For a short distance, or where it is not
required to keep up a high speed, one man is sufficient; but otherwise
two, or even three, men are needed. They go at a good trot, except when
ascending a hill or where the roads are bad. They easily make four and a
half or five miles an hour, and in emergencies can do better than the
last-named rate.

Frank and Fred were of opinion that the jin-riki-sha would be a slow
vehicle to travel in, but asked the Doctor for his experience of one in
his previous visit to the country.

"On my first visit to Japan," replied Doctor Bronson, "this little
carriage was not in use. We went around on foot or on horseback, or in
norimons and cangos."

"And what are norimons and cangos?"

"They are the vehicles in which the Japanese used to travel, and which
are still much employed in various parts of the country. We shall see
them before long, and then we shall have an excellent opportunity to
know what they are. We shall probably be travelling in them in a few
days, and I will then have your opinion concerning them.

"As to the jin-riki-sha," he continued, "my experience with it in my
last visit to Japan since its introduction gives me a high opinion of
the Japanese power of endurance. A few days after my arrival, I had
occasion to go a distance of about forty miles on the great road along
the coast, from Yokohama to Odiwara. I had three men to draw the
carriage, and the journey was made in twelve hours, with three halts of
fifteen minutes each. You could not have done better than this with a
horse and carriage in place of the man-power vehicle. On another
occasion I went from Osaka to Nara, a distance of thirty miles, between
ten in the morning and five in the afternoon, and halted an hour for
lunch at a Japanese inn on the road. Part of the way the road was
through fields, where it was necessary to go slowly, and quite
frequently the men were obliged to lift the vehicle over water-courses
and gullies, and a good deal of time was lost by these detentions."

Both the boys declared that the travel under such circumstances was
excellent, and that it was fully up to what the average horse could
accomplish in America.

[Illustration: JAPANESE ON FOOT.]

"The next day," said the Doctor, "I went on from Nara to Kioto, which
was another thirty miles, in about the same time and with a similar halt
for dinner. I had the same men as on the day before, and they raced
merrily along without the least sign of fatigue, although there was a
pouring rain all day that made the roads very heavy. Frequently there
were steep little hills to ascend where the road passed over the
water-courses or canals. You will find, as you travel in Japan, that the
canals are above the general level of the country, in order to afford
the proper fall for irrigation. Where the road crosses one of these
canals, there is a sharp rise on one side, and an equally sharp descent
on the other. You can manage the descent, but the rise is difficult. In
the present instance the rain had softened the road, and made the
pulling very hard indeed; and, to add to the trouble, I had injured my
foot and was unable to walk, so that I could not lighten the burden of
the men by getting out of the carriage at the bad places.

"I was able on this journey, and partly in consequence of my lameness,
to have an opportunity to see the great kindness of the Japanese to each
other. I had my servant with me (a Japanese boy who spoke English), and
he was in a jin-riki-sha with two men to pull it, the same as mine. When
we came to a bad spot in the road, the men with his carriage dropped it
and came to the aid of mine; and as soon as they had brought it through
its troubles, the whole four went back to bring up the other. I did not
hear a single expression of anger during the whole day, but everything
was done with the utmost good-nature. In some other countries it is
quite possible that the men with the lighter burden would adhere to the
principle that everybody should look out for himself, and decline to
assist unless paid extra for their trouble.

"You will find, the more you know the Japanese, that they cannot be
excelled in their kindnesses to each other. They have great reverence
and respect for their parents; and their affection for brothers and
sisters, cousins, aunts, and all relatives, is worthy of admiration. If
you inquire into the circumstances of the laboring-men, whose daily
earnings are very small, and with whom life is a most earnest struggle,
you will find that nearly every one of them is supporting somebody
besides himself, and that many of their families are inconveniently
large. Yet they accept all their burdens cheerfully, and are always
smiling, and apparently happy. Whether they are really so has been
doubted; but I see no good reason to call their cheerfulness in

[Illustration: AN EXPRESS RUNNER.]

"But I will tell you a still more remarkable story of the endurance of
these Japanese runners. While I was at Kioto, an English clergyman came
there with his wife; and after they had seen the city, they were very
anxious to go to Nara. They had only a day to spare, as they were
obliged to be at Kobe at a certain date to meet the steamer for
Shanghai. They made arrangements to be taken to Nara and back in that
time--a distance, going and coming, of sixty miles. They had three men
to each jin-riki-sha, and they kept the same men through the entire
trip. They left the hotel at Kioto at four o'clock in the morning, and
were back again at half-past eight in the evening. You couldn't do
better than this with a horse, unless he were an exceptionally good

Frank thought that he should not enjoy the jin-riki-sha, as he would be
constantly thinking of the poor fellows who were pulling him, and of how
much they were suffering on his account. He could not bear to see them
tugging away and perspiring while he was reclining in a comfortable

[Illustration: A JAPANESE COOLIE.]

"I readily understand you," Doctor Bronson answered, "as I had the same
feeling myself, and every American has it when he first comes to the
country. He has a great deal of sympathy for the men, and I have known
some strangers to refuse to ride in a jin-riki-sha on that account. But
if you will apply reason to the matter, you will soon get over the
feeling. Remember that the man gets his living by pulling his little
carriage, and that he regards it as a great favor when you patronize
him. You do him a kindness when you employ him; and the more you employ
him, the more will he regard you as his friend. He was born to toil, and
expects to toil as long as he lives. He does not regard it as a
hardship, but cheerfully accepts his lot; and the more work he obtains,
the better is he satisfied. And when you pay him for his services, you
will win his most heart-felt affection if you add a trifle by way of
gratuity. If you give only the exact wages prescribed by law, he does
not complain, and you have only to add a few cents to make his eyes
glisten with gratitude. In my experience of laboring-men in all parts of
the world, I have found that the Japanese coolie is the most patient,
and has the warmest heart, the most thankful for honest pay for honest
work, and the most appreciative of the trifles that his employer gives
him in the way of presents."

When the Doctor had finished his eulogy upon the Japanese, the boys
clapped their hands, and were evidently touched with his enthusiasm.
From the little they had seen since their arrival in the country, they
coincided with him in opinion, and were ready to endorse what he said.
And if they had been in any doubt, they had only to refer to the great
majority of foreigners who reside in Japan for the confirmation of what
the Doctor had declared. Testimony in this matter is as nearly unanimous
as it is generally possible to find it on any subject, and some of the
foreign residents are ready to go much further in their laudations of
the kindly spirit of the natives than did Doctor Bronson.

[Illustration: PITY FOR THE BLIND.]



To see the whole of Tokio is a matter of no small moment, as the area of
the city is very great. There seems to have been no stint of ground when
the place was laid out, and in riding through it you find whole fields
and gardens so widely spread that you can readily imagine yourself to be
in the rural districts, and are rather surprised when told that you are
yet in the city limits. The city is divided into two unequal portions by
the Sumida River, and over this river is the Nihon Bashi, or Nihon
Bridge, which is often called the centre of Japan, for the reason that
all the roads were formerly measured from it. It has the same relation
to Japan as the famous "London Stone" has to England, or, rather, as the
London Stone had a hundred years ago.


From the railway station our travellers went to the Nihon Bashi, in
order to begin their journey from the centre of the empire. A more
practical reason was a desire to see the river, and the great street
leading to it, as they would get a good idea of the extent of the city
by taking this route, and would obtain numerous glimpses of Japanese
street life. They found the streets full of people, and it seemed to the
boys that the whole population must be out for an airing. But the Doctor
informed them that the sight they were witnessing was an every-day
affair, as the Japanese were essentially an outdoor people, and that
many of the industries which in other countries would be conducted under
a roof were here seen in progress out of doors. The fronts of the
Japanese houses are quite open to the view of the public, and there is
hardly anything of what we call privacy. It was formerly no uncommon
sight to see people bathing in tubs placed in front of their door-steps;
and even at the present time one has only to go into the villages, or
away from the usual haunts of foreigners, to see that spectacle which
would be unknown in the United States. The bath-houses are now closed in
front in all the cities, but remain pretty much as before in the smaller
towns. Year by year the country is adopting Western ideas, and coming to
understand the Western views of propriety.


As the boys rode along, their attention was drawn to some tall ladders
that rose above the buildings, and they eagerly asked the Doctor what
those ladders were for. They could not see the use of climbing up in the
air and then coming down again; and, altogether, the things were a
mystery to them. A few words explained the matter. The ladders were
nothing more nor less than fire-lookouts, and were elevated above the
buildings so that the watchmen could have an unobstructed view. A bell
was attached to each ladder, and by means of it a warning-signal was
given in case of a threatened conflagration. Fires are frequent in
Tokio, and some of them have done immense damage. The city is mostly
built of wood; and when a fire breaks out and a high wind is blowing,
the result is often disastrous to an enormous extent.


After the great fires of the last twenty years, the burned districts
have been rebuilt of stone, or largely so; and precautions that were
hitherto unknown are now taken for the prevention of fresh disasters.
Some of the new quarters are quite substantial, but they resemble too
strongly the edifices of a city in Europe to be characteristic of Japan.

A portion of the way took our friends through the grounds of some of the
castles, and the boys were rather astonished at the extent of these
residences of princes. Doctor Bronson explained that Tokio was formerly
a city of princes, and that the residences of the Daimios, as these
great men were called, were of more consequence at one time than all the
rest of the city. The palace of a Daimio was known as a _yashiki_, and
the yashikis were capable, in some instances, of lodging five or ten
thousand men. Under the present government the power of the princes has
been taken away, and their troops of retainers have been disbanded. The
government has converted the most of the yashikis into offices and
barracks and schools, and one at least has been turned into a

The original plan of Tokio was that of a vast camp, and from that the
city grew into its present condition. The best locations were occupied
by the castles and yashikis, and the principal castle in the centre has
the best place of all. Frank observed as they crossed the bridge leading
into the castle-yard that the broad moat was full of lotos flowers in
full bloom, and he longed to gather some of them so that he might send
them home as a souvenir of the country. He had heard of the lotos as a
sort of water-lily, similar in general appearance to the pond-lily of
his native land. He was surprised to find a flower, eight or ten inches
in diameter, growing on a strong stalk that did not float on the water,
but held itself erect and far above it. The Doctor explained the matter
by telling him that the Japanese lotos is unlike the Egyptian lotos,
from which our ideas of that flower are derived. But the Japanese one is
highly prized by the people of all ranks and classes, and it grows in
abundance in all the castle-moats, and in marshy ground generally.

[Illustration: TOO MUCH SA-KEE.]

Near the entrance of one of the castle-yards they met a couple that
attracted their attention. It was a respectable-appearing citizen who
had evidently partaken too freely of the cup that cheers and also
inebriates, as his steps were unsteady, and he would have fallen to the
ground had it not been for the assistance of his wife, who was leading
him and guiding him in the way he should go. As the strangers went past
him he raised his hand to his head; but Frank could not determine
whether it was a movement of salutation or of dazed inquiry. The Doctor
suggested that it was more likely to have been the latter than the
former, since the Japanese do not salute in our manner, and the man was
too much under the influence of the "sa-kee" he had swallowed to adopt
any foreign modes of politeness. Sights like this are not unknown in the
great cities of Japan, but they are far less frequent than in New York
or London. The Japanese say that drunkenness is on the decrease in the
past few years, owing to the abolition of the Samurai class, who have
been compelled to work for a living, instead of being supported out of
the revenues of the state, as formerly. They have less time and money
for dissipation now than they had in the olden days, and, consequently,
their necessities have made them temperate.


For an Oriental city Tokio has remarkably wide streets, and some of them
are laid out with all the care of Western engineering. In the course of
their morning ride the party came to Sakuradu Avenue, which Fred
recognized from a drawing by a native artist, who had taken pains to
preserve the architecture of the buildings on each side with complete
fidelity. The foundations of the houses were of irregular stones cut in
the form of lozenges, but not with mathematical accuracy. The boys had
already noticed this form of hewing stone in the walls of the castles,
where some very large blocks were piled. They were reported to have been
brought from distant parts of the empire, and the cost of their
transportation must have been very great. Few of the houses were of
more than two stories, and the great majority were of only one. Along
Sakuradu Avenue they were of two stories, and had long and low windows
with paper screens, so that it was impossible for a person in the street
to see what was going on inside. The eaves projected far over the
upright sides, and thus formed a shelter that was very acceptable in the
heat of summer, while in rainy weather it had many advantages. These
yashikis were formerly the property of Daimios, but are now occupied by
the Foreign Office and the War Department. Inside the enclosure there
are many shade-trees, and they make a cooling contrast to the plain
walls of the buildings. The Japanese rarely paint the interior or the
exterior of their buildings. Nearly everything is finished in the
natural color of the wood, and very pretty the wood is too. It is
something like oak in appearance, but a trifle darker, and is
susceptible of a high polish. It admits of a great variety of uses, and
is very easily wrought. It is known as keyaki-wood; and, in spite of the
immense quantity that is annually used, it is cheap and abundant.

Some of the Daimios expended immense amounts of money in the decoration
of their palaces by means of bronzes, embroideries on silk, fine
lacquer, and the like. Art in Japan was nourished by the Daimios, and we
have much to thank them for in the way of household adornment.

Since the adoption of Western ideas in decoration and household
furniture, the Japanese dwellings have lost somewhat in point of
attractiveness. Our carpets and furniture are out of place in a Japanese
room, and so are our pictures and statuary. It is a pity that the people
should ever abandon their domestic customs for ours, whatever they might
do in the matter of military equipment, machinery, and other things that
are more or less commercial. Japanese men and women are far more
attractive in their native dress than in ours, and a Japanese house
loses its charm when the neat mattings give way to European carpets, and
chairs and tables are spread around in place of the simple adornments to
which the people were accustomed.

After an interesting ride, in which their eyes were in constant use, the
boys reached the Temple of Asakusa, which is one of the great points of
attraction to a stranger in Tokio. The street which led up to the temple
was lined with booths, in which a great variety of things were offered
for sale. Nearly all of these things were of a cheap class, and
evidently the patrons of the temple were not of the wealthier sort. Toys
were numerous, and as our party alighted they saw some children gazing
wistfully at a collection of dolls; Frank and Fred suggested the
propriety of making the little people happy by expending something for
them. The Doctor gave his approval; so the boys invested a sum equal to
about twenty cents of our money, and were astonished at the number of
dolls they were able to procure for their outlay. The little Japs were
delighted, and danced around in their glee, just as any children might
have done in another country. A few paces away some boys were
endeavoring to walk on bamboo poles, and evidently they were having a
jolly time, to judge by their laughter. Two boys were hanging by their
hands from a pole, and endeavoring to turn somersets; while two others
were trying to walk on a pole close by them. One of the walkers fell
off, and was laughed at by his companions; but he was speedily up again,
determined not to give up till he had accomplished his task.


Japanese children are well supplied with dolls and other playthings, and
there are certain festivals in which the whole family devotes itself to
the preparation or purchase of dolls to amuse the little ones. The
greatest of these festivals is known as the "Hina Matsuri," or Feast of
Dolls, _hina_ meaning doll, and _matsuri_ being applicable to any kind
of feast. It occurs on the third day of the third month, and for several
days before the appointed time the shops are filled with dolls just as
they are filled among us at Christmas. In fact, the whole business in
this line is transacted at this period, and at other times it is next to
impossible to procure the things that are so abundant at the Matsuri.
Every family that can afford the outlay buys a quantity of images made
of wood or enamelled clay, and dressed to represent various imperial,
noble, or mythological characters, either of the present time or of some
former period in Japanese history. In this way the children are taught a
good deal of history, and their delight at the receipt of their presents
is quite equal to that of children in Christian lands. Not only dolls,
but a great variety of other things, are given to the girls; for the
Hina Matsuri is more particularly a festival for girls rather than for
boys. The presents are arranged on tables, and there is general
rejoicing in the household. Miniature tea and toilet sets, miniature
bureaus and wardrobes, and miniature houses are among the things that
fall to the lot of a Japanese girl at the time of the Hina Matsuri.


Fred thought the Japanese had queer notions when compared with ours
about the location of a temple in the midst of all sorts of
entertainments. He was surprised to find the temple surrounded with
booths for singing and dancing and other amusements, and was very sure
that such a thing would not be allowed in America. Doctor Bronson
answered that the subject had been discussed before by people who had
visited Japan, and various opinions had been formed concerning it. He
thought it was not unlike some of the customs in Europe, especially in
the more Catholic countries, where the people go to church in the
forenoon and devote the afternoon to amusement. A Japanese does not see
any wrong in going to his worship through an avenue of entertainments,
and then returning to them. He says his prayers as a matter of devotion,
and then applies himself to innocent pleasure. He is firmly attached to
his religious faith, and his recreations are a part of his religion.
What he does is all well enough for him, but whether it would answer for
us is a question which cannot be decided in a moment.

[Illustration: A BARBER AT WORK.]

Men of various trades were working in the shops at Asakusa, and their
way of operating was of much interest to our young friends. A barber was
engaged in arranging the hair of a customer; the forehead had been
shaven, and the hair at the back of the head was gathered into a knot
and thickly plastered, so as to make it stick and remain in place when
turned over into a short cue. The customer knelt on the ground in front
of a box that contained the tools of the operator's trade, and by his
side was a portable furnace for heating water. The whole equipment was
of very little value, and the expense of fitting up a fashionable
barber's shop in New York would send hundreds of Japanese barbers on
their way rejoicing.

Close by was a clothes-merchant, to whom a customer was making an offer,
while the dealer was rubbing his head and vowing he could not possibly
part with the garment at that price. Frank watched him to see how the
affair terminated, and found it was very much as though the transaction
had been in New York instead of Tokio: the merchant, whispering he would
ne'er consent, consented, and the customer obtained the garment at his
own figures when the vender found he could not obtain his own price. It
is the same all the earth over, and Frank thought he saw in this tale
of a coat the touch of nature that makes the whole world kin.


Hundreds of pigeons were circling around the temple, or walking among
the people that thronged the street. Nobody showed the slightest
intention of harming them, and the consequence was they were very tame.
Several stands were devoted to the sale of grain for the birds; and the
sharp-eyed pigeons knew, when they saw the three strangers halt in front
of one of the stands, that there was good prospect of a free breakfast.
The Doctor bought a quart or more of the grain and threw it out upon the
ground. Instantly there was a whirring of wings in the air, and in less
time than it takes to say so the grain was devoured. The birds were
rather shy of the visitors, and possibly it had been whispered to them
that the foreigner likes his pigeons broiled or served up in pies. But
they did not display any such timidity when the natives approached them.
Some of the Japanese temples are the homes of a great number of pigeons,
and in this respect they resemble the mosques at Constantinople and
other Moslem cities.

Close at hand is a stable where two beautiful ponies are kept. They are
snowy white, and are consecrated to the goddess Ku-wanon, the deity of
mercy, who is the presiding genius of the temple. They are in the care
of a young girl, and it is considered a pious duty to feed them. Pease
and beans are for sale outside, and many devotees contribute a few cash
for the benefit of the sacred animals. If the poor beasts should eat a
quarter of what is offered to them, or, rather, of what is paid for,
they would soon die of overfeeding. It is shrewdly suspected that the
grain is sold many times over, in consequence of a collusion between the
dealers and the keeper of the horses. At all events, the health of the
animals is regarded, and it would never do to give them all that is

[Illustration: BALL-PLAYING IN JAPAN.]

Frank found the air full of odors more or less heavy, and some of them
the reverse of agreeable. They arose from numerous sticks of incense
burned in honor of the gods, and which are irreverently called
joss-sticks by foreigners. The incense is supposed to be agreeable to
the god, and the smoke is thought to waft the supplicant's prayer to
heaven. The same idea obtains in the burning of a paper on which a
prayer has been printed, the flame carrying the petition as it flies
upward. Traces of a similar faith are found in the Roman Catholic and
Greek churches, where candles have a prominent place in religious
worship; and the Doctor insisted to his young companions that the
Christian and the Pagan are not so very far apart, after all. In
addition to the odor of incense, there was that of oil, in which a
keeper of a tiny restaurant was frying some cuttle-fish. The oil was of
the sort known as "sesame," or barley, and the smell was of a kind that
does not touch the Western nostril as agreeably as does that of lavender
or Cologne water. Men were tossing balls in the air in front of the
restaurant, quite unmindful of the strong odors, and seeming to enjoy
the sport, and a woman and a boy were so busy over a game of battledoor
and shuttlecock that they did not observe the presence of the strangers.

[Illustration: SPORT AT ASAKUSA.]

Through this active scene of refreshment and recreation, our party
strolled along, and at length came to the gateway of the temple, an
enormous structure of wood like a house with triple eaves, and raised on
pillars resembling the piers of a bridge. This is similar to the gateway
that is found in front of nearly every Japanese temple, and is an
imposing ornament. On either hand, as we pass through, we find two
statues of demons, who guard the entrance, and are gotten up in the
superlative degree of hideousness. When the Japanese give their
attention to the preparation of an image of surpassing ugliness, they
generally succeed, and the same is the case when they search after the
beautiful. Nothing can be more ugly in feature than the giants at
Asakusa, and what is there more gracefully beautiful than the Japanese
bronzes that were shown in the great exhibitions at Philadelphia and
Paris? _Les extrêmes se touchent._

Fred thought he would propitiate the demons in a roundabout way, and so
he gave a few pennies to some old beggars that were sitting near the
gateway. The most of them were far from handsome, and none were
beautiful; some were even so repulsive in features as to draw from Frank
the suggestion that they were relatives of the statues, and therefore
entitled to charity.

Near the gateway was a pagoda or tower in seven stories, and it is said
to be one of the finest in Japan. The Japanese pagoda is always built in
an odd number of stories, three, five, seven, or nine, and it usually
terminates, as does the one we are now contemplating, with a spire that
resembles an enormous corkscrew more than anything else. It is of copper
or bronze, and is a very beautiful ornament, quite in keeping with the
edifice that it crowns. On its pinnacle there is a jewel, or something
supposed to be one, a sacred emblem that appears very frequently in
Japanese paintings or bronze-work. The edges of the little roofs
projecting from each story were hung with bells that rang in the wind,
but their noise was not sufficiently loud to render any inconvenience to
the visitor, and for the greater part of the time they do not ring at
all. The architecture of the pagoda is in keeping with that of the
surrounding buildings, and thoroughly Oriental in all its features.

[Illustration: SPIRE OF A PAGODA.]

They passed the gateway and entered the temple. The huge building
towered above them with its curved roof covered with enormous tiles, and
its eaves projecting so far that they suggested an umbrella or the
over-hanging sides of a mushroom. Frank admired the graceful curves of
the roof, and wondered why nobody had ever introduced them into
architecture in America. The Doctor told him that the plan had been
tried in a few instances, but that architects were generally timid
about innovations, and, above all, they did not like to borrow from the
Eastern barbarians. Fred thought they ought to be willing to take
anything that was good, no matter where they found it, and Frank echoed
his sentiment.


"When I build a house," said Fred, "I will have a roof on it after the
Japanese style, or, at any rate, something suggestive of it. The
Japanese roof is pretty and graceful, and would look well in our
landscape, I am sure. I don't see why we shouldn't have it in our
country, and I'll take home some photographs so that I can have
something to work from."

Frank hinted that for the present the house that Fred intended to build
was a castle in the air, and he was afraid it would be some time before
it assumed a more substantial form.

"Perhaps so," Fred answered, "but you wait awhile, and see if I don't do
something that will astonish our neighbors. I think it will do more
practical good to introduce the Japanese roof into America than the
Japanese pillow."

They agreed to this, and then Frank said it was not the place to waste
their time in discussions; they could talk these matters over in the
evening, and meanwhile they would look further at the temple and its

The boys were somewhat disappointed at the appearance of the interior of
the temple. They had expected an imposing edifice like a cathedral, with
stately columns supporting a high roof, and with an air of solemn
stillness pervading the entire building. They ascended a row of broad
steps, and entered a doorway that extended to half the width of the
front of the building. The place was full of worshippers mingled with a
liberal quantity of pigeons, votive offerings, and dirt. Knowing the
Japanese love for cleanliness in their domestic life, it was a surprise
to the youths to find the temple so much neglected as it appeared to be.
They mentioned the matter to Doctor Bronson, who replied that it
probably arose from the fact that the business of everybody was the
business of nobody, and that the priests in charge of the temple were
not inclined to work very hard in such commonplace affairs as keeping
the edifice properly swept out. Thousands of visitors came there daily,
and after it was swept in the morning the place soon became soiled, and
a renewal of the cleansing process would be a serious inconvenience to
the devotees.

People of all classes and kinds were coming and going, and saying their
prayers, without regard to each other. The floor was crowded with
worshippers, some in rags and others in silks, some in youth and others
in old age, some just learning to talk and others trembling with the
weight of years; beggars, soldiers, officers, merchants, women, and
children knelt together before the shrine of the goddess whom they
reverenced, and whose mercy and watchful care they implored. The boys
were impressed with the scene of devotion, and reverently paused as they
moved among the pious Japanese. They respected the unquestioning faith
of the people in the power of their goddess, and had no inclination to
the feeling of derision that is sometimes shown by visitors to places
whose sanctity is not in accord with their own views.


But very soon Frank had occasion to bite his lip to suppress a smile
when he saw one of the Japanese throw what an American schoolboy would
call a "spit-ball" at the head of the great image that stood behind the
altar. Then he observed that the whole figure of the god was covered
with these balls, and he knew there must be some meaning to the action
that he at first thought so funny. He called Fred's attention to the
matter, and then asked the Doctor what it meant.

"It is a way they have," replied the Doctor, "of addressing their
petitions to the deity. A Japanese writes his prayer on a piece of
paper, or buys one already written; then he chews it to a pulp, and
throws it at the god. If the ball sticks, the omen is a good one, and
the prayer will be answered; if it rebounds or falls, the sign is
unlucky, and the petitioner must begin over again. I have been told,"
continued Doctor Bronson, "that some of the dealers in printed prayers
apply a small quantity of glue to them so as to insure their sticking
when thrown at the divinity."

In front of the great altar stood a box like a large trough, and into
this box each worshipper threw a handful of copper cash or small coin
before saying his prayers. There were two or three bushels of this coin
in the trough, and it is said that frequently the contributions amount
to a hundred dollars' worth in a single day. The money thus obtained is
expended in repairing and preserving the building, and goes to support
the priests attached to the temple.



All around the shrine of the temple there were prayers fastened,
wherever there was a place for fastening them. On the left of the altar
there was a large lattice, and this lattice had hundreds of prayers
attached to it, some of them folded and others open. Several old men and
women were leaning against this lattice, or squatted on the floor in
front of it, engaged in selling prayers; and they appeared to be doing a
thriving business. The boys bought some of these prayers to send home as
curiosities; and they also bought some charms and beads, the latter not
unlike those used by Catholics, and having a prominent place in the
Japanese worship. Then there were votive tablets on the walls, generally
in the form of pictures painted on paper or silk, or cut out of thin
paper, like silhouettes. One of them represents a ship on the water in
the midst of a storm, and is probably the offering of a merchant who had
a marine venture that he wished to have the goddess take under her
protection. Shoes and top-knots of men and women were among the
offerings, and the most of them were labelled with the names of the
donors. These valueless articles are never disturbed, but remain in
their places for years, while costly treasures of silver or gold are
generally removed in a few days to the private sanctuary of the goddess
for fear of accidents. Even in a temple, all the visitors cannot be
trusted to keep their hands in check. It is intimated that the priests
are sometimes guilty of appropriating valuable things to their own use.
But then what could you expect of a lot of heathens like the Japanese?
Nothing of the kind could happen in a Christian land.

There were more attractions outside the temple than in it for our young
visitors, and, after a hasty glance at the shrines in the neighborhood
of the great altar, they went again into the open air.

Not far from the entrance of the temple Frank came upon a stone wheel
set in a post of the same material. He looked it over with the greatest
care, and wondered what kind of labor-saving machine it was. A quantity
of letters and figures on the sides of the post increased his thirst
for knowledge, and he longed to be able to read Japanese, so that he
might know the name of the inventor of this piece of mechanism, and what
it was made for.

He turned to the Doctor and asked what was the use of the post, and how
it was operated.

Just as he spoke, a man passed near the machine and gave the wheel a
blow that sent it spinning around with great rapidity. The man gave a
glance at it to see that it was turning well, and then moved on in the
direction of the temple.

"I know what that is," said Fred, who came along at the moment Frank
expressed his wonder to Doctor Bronson.

"Well, what is it?"

"It's a praying-machine; I read about it the other day in a book on

"Quite right," responded the Doctor; "it is a machine used in every
country where Buddhism is the religion."

[Illustration: PRAYING-MACHINE.]

Then he went on to explain that there is a formula of prayers on the
sides of the post, and sometimes on the wheel, and that for each
revolution of the wheel these prayers are supposed to be uttered. A
devotee passes, and, as he does so, he revolves the wheel; and for each
time it turns around a prayer is recorded in heaven to his credit. It
follows that a man with strong arms, and possessing a knack of making
the wheel spin around, can do a great deal more petitioning to Heaven
than the weak and clumsy one.

Fred thought that it would be a good thing to attach these prayer-wheels
to mills propelled by water, wind, or steam, and thus secure a steady
and continuous revolution. The Doctor told him that this was actually
done in some of the Buddhist countries, and a good many of the pious
people said their prayers by machinery.

[Illustration: ARCHERY ATTENDANT.]

They strolled along to where there were some black-eyed girls in charge
of booths, where, for a small consideration, a visitor can practise
shooting with bows and arrows. The bows were very small, and the arrows
were blunt at the ends. The target was a drum, and consequently the
marksman's ear, rather than the eye, told when a shot was successful.
The drums were generally square, and in front of each there was a little
block of wood. A click on the wood showed that a shot was of more value
than when it was followed by the dull boom of the drum. The girls
brought tea to the boys, and endeavored to engage them in conversation,
but, as there was no common language in which they could talk, the
dialogue was not particularly interesting. The boys patronized the
archery business, and tried a few shots with the Japanese equipments;
but they found the little arrows rather difficult to handle, on account
of their diminutive size. An arrow six inches long is hardly heavy
enough to allow of a steady aim, and both of the youths declared they
would prefer something more weighty.

Near the archery grounds there was a collection of so-called wax-works,
and the Doctor paid the entrance-fees for the party to the show. These
wax-works consist of thirty-six tableaux with life-size figures, and are
intended to represent miracles wrought by Ku-wanon, the goddess of the
temple. They are the production of one artist, who had visited the
temples devoted to Ku-wanon in various parts of Japan, and determined to
represent her miracles in such a way as to instruct those who were
unable to make the pilgrimage, as he had done. One of the tableaux shows
the goddess restoring to health a young lady who has prayed to her;
another shows a woman saved from shipwreck, in consequence of having
prayed to the goddess; in another a woman is falling from a ladder, but
the goddess saves her from injury; in another a pious man is saved from
robbers by his dog; and in another a true believer is overcoming and
killing a serpent that sought to do him harm. Several of the groups
represent demons and fairies, and the Japanese skill in depicting the
hideous is well illustrated. One of them shows a robber desecrating the
temple of the goddess; and the result of his action is hinted at by a
group of demons who are about to carry him away in a cart of iron, which
has been heated red-hot, and has wheels and axles of flaming fire. He
does not appear overjoyed with the free ride that is in prospect for
him. These figures are considered the most remarkable in all Japan, and
many foreign visitors have pronounced them superior to the celebrated
collection of Madame Tussaud in London. Ku-wanon is represented as a
beautiful lady, and in some of the figures there is a wonderfully gentle
expression to her features.

Asakusa is famous for its flower-shows, which occur at frequent
intervals, and, luckily for our visitors, one was in progress at the
time of their pilgrimage to the temple. The Japanese are great lovers of
flowers, and frequently a man will deprive himself of things of which he
stands in actual need in order to purchase his favorite blossoms. As in
all other countries, the women are more passionately fond of floral
productions than the men; and when a flower-show is in progress, there
is sure to be a large attendance of the fairer sex. Many of these
exhibitions are held at night, as a great portion of the public are
unable to come in the daytime on account of their occupations. At night
the place is lighted up by means of torches stuck in the ground among
the flowers, and the scene is quite picturesque.


Frank and Fred were greatly interested to find the love which the
Japanese have for dwarfed plants and for plants in fantastic shapes. The
native florists are wonderfully skilful in this kind of work, and some
of their accomplishments would seem impossible to American gardeners.
For example, they will make representations of mountains, houses, men,
women, cats, dogs, boats, carts, ships under full sail, and a hundred
other things--all in plants growing in pots or in the ground. To do
this they take a frame of wire or bamboo in the shape of the article
they wish to represent, and then compel the plant to grow around it. Day
by day the plant is trained, bent a little here and a little there, and
in course of time it assumes the desired form and is ready for the
market. If an animal is represented, it is made more life-like by the
addition of a pair of porcelain eyes; but there is rarely any other part
of his figure that is formed of anything else than the living green. Our
boys had a merry time among the treasures of the gardener in picking out
the animate and inanimate forms that were represented, and both
regretted that they could not send home some of the curious things that
they found. Frank discovered a model of a house that he knew would
please his sister; and he was quite sure that Miss Effie would dance
with delight if she could feast her eyes on a figure of a dog, with the
short nose for which the dogs of Japan are famous, and with sharp little
eyes of porcelain.

Fred cared less for the models in green than he did for some dwarf trees
that seemed to strike his fancy particularly. There were pines, oaks,
and other trees familiar to our eyes, only an inch or two in height, but
as perfectly formed as though they were of the natural size in which we
see them in their native forests. Then there were bamboo, cactus, and a
great many other plants that grow in Japan, but with which we are not
familiar. There was such a quantity of them as to leave no doubt that
the dwarfing of plants is thoroughly understood in Japan and has
received much attention. Doctor Bronson told the boys that the
profession of florist, like many other professions and trades, was
hereditary, and that the knowledge descended from father to son. The
dwarfing of plants, and their training into unnatural shapes and forms,
have been practised for thousands of years, and the present state of the
florist's art is the result of centuries of development.


In the flower-show and among the tea-booths the party remained at their
leisure until it was time to think of going away from Asakusa and seeing
something else. As they came out of the temple grounds they met a
wedding party going in, and a few paces farther on they encountered a
christening party proceeding in the same direction. The wedding
procession consisted of three persons, and the other of four; but the
principal member of the latter group was so young that he was carried in
the arms of one of his companions, and had very little to say of the
performances in which he was to take a prominent part. Frank observed
that he did not cry, as any well-regulated baby would have done in
America, and remarked upon the oddity of the circumstance. The Doctor
informed him that it was not the fashion for babies to cry in Japan,
unless they belonged to foreign parents.

Frank opened his eyes with astonishment. Fred did likewise.

"And is it really the case," said Frank, "that a Japanese baby never

"I could hardly say that," the Doctor answered; "but you may live a long
time in Japan, and see lots of babies without hearing a cry from one of
them. An American or English baby will make more noise and trouble than
fifty Japanese ones. You have seen a great many small children since you
landed in Japan, and now stop and think if you have heard one of them

The boys considered a moment, and were forced to admit that, as Frank
expressed it, they hadn't heard a whimper from a native infant. And they
added that they were not anxious to hear any either.

The child that they saw was probably an urchin of about four weeks, as
it is the custom to shave the head of an infant on the thirtieth day, or
very near that date, and take him to the temple. There the priest
performs a ceremonial very much like a christening with us, and for the
same object. The party in the present instance consisted of a nurse
carrying the child, a servant holding an umbrella to shield the nurse
and child from the sun, and lastly the father of the youngster. The
mother does not accompany the infant on this journey, or, at all events,
it is not necessary that she should do so.

[Illustration: A WEDDING PARTY.]

The wedding procession that our boys encountered consisted of the bride
and her mother, with a servant to hold an umbrella to protect them from
the sun. Mother and daughter were richly attired, and their heads were
covered with shawls heavily embroidered. Weddings in Japan do not take
place in the temples, as might naturally be expected, but a part of the
ceremonial is performed at the house of the bride, and the remainder at
that of the bridegroom. After the wedding the bride accompanies her
mother to the temple to say her prayers for a happy life, and this was
the occasion which our young adventurers happened to witness.

There are many other temples in Tokio besides Asakusa, and the stranger
who wishes to devote his time to the study of Japanese temples can have
his wishes gratified to the fullest degree. After our party had finished
the sights of Asakusa, they went to another quarter where they spent an
hour among temples that were less popular, though more elegant, than
those of the locality we have just described. The beauty of the
architecture and the general elegance of the interior of the structures
captivated them, and they unhesitatingly pronounced the religious
edifices of Japan the finest they had ever seen.

They were hungry, and the Doctor suggested Uyeno. The boys did not know
what Uyeno was, but concluded they would like some. Fred asked if it was
really good.

The Doctor told them that Uyeno was excellent, and Frank asked how it
was prepared. He was somewhat taken aback when he learned that Uyeno was
not an article of food, but a place where food was to be obtained.


They went there and found a pretty park on a hill that overlooked a
considerable portion of the city. At one side of the park there was an
enclosure containing several tombs of the shogoons, or tycoons, of
Japan, and there was a neat little temple that is held in great
reverence, and receives annually many thousands of visitors. On an edge
of the hill, where a wide view was to be had over the houses of the
great capital, an enterprising Japanese had erected a restaurant, which
he managed after the European manner, and was driving a profitable
business. He was patronized by the foreign visitors and residents, and
also by many of the Japanese officials, who had learned to like foreign
cookery and customs during their journeys abroad, or were endeavoring to
familiarize themselves with its peculiarities. Our friends found the
restaurant quite satisfactory, and complimented the proprietor on the
success of his management. It is no easy matter for a native to
introduce foreign customs into his hotel in such a way as to give
satisfaction to the people of the country from which the customs are


Uyeno is not by any means the only elevation in Tokio from which a good
view can be had of the city and surrounding country. There are several
elevations where such views are obtainable, and in nearly all of them
the holy mountain, Fusiyama, has a prominent place. A famous view is
that of Atago Yama, and another is from Suruga Dai. Both these places
are popular resorts, and abound in tea-houses, refreshment booths,
swings, and other public attractions. On pleasant afternoons there is
always a large attendance of the populace, and it is interesting to see
them amusing themselves. There are old people, middle-aged people,
youths, and infants, the latter on the backs of their nurses, where
they hang patiently on, and seem to enjoy their share of the fun. The
quantity of tea that the natives consume in one of these afternoon
entertainments is something prodigious; but they do not seem to suffer
any injury from what some of us would consider a wild dissipation.

[Illustration: A CHILD'S NURSE.]

Not far from where the Doctor and his young friends were seated was an
enclosure where was held the First National Fair of Tokio in 1877. The
enclosure was still standing, and it was the intention of the government
to hold a fair there annually, as it fully recognized the advantages of
these exhibitions as educators of the people. The Japanese are not
generally well informed as to the products of their own country outside
of the provinces where they happen to live. A native can tell you what
his own district or province produces, but he is often lamentably
ignorant of the resources of other parts of the country. It is to break
up this ignorance, and also to stimulate improvements in the various
industries, that these national fairs have been established.

As the description of the First National Fair at Tokio may not be
uninteresting, we will copy from a letter to a New York paper, by one of
its correspondents who was in Japan at the time. After describing the
opening ceremonies, which were attended by the emperor and empress,
together with many high dignitaries of the government, he wrote as

"The buildings are arranged to enclose an octagonal space, and
consequently a visitor finds himself at the starting-point when he has
made the rounds. The affair is in the hands of the gentlemen who
controlled the Japanese department of the Philadelphia Exhibition in
1876, and many of the features of our Centennial have been reproduced.
They have Agricultural Hall, Machinery Hall, Horticultural Hall, and
Fine Arts Gallery, as at the Centennial; and then they have Eastern Hall
and Western Hall, which the Quaker City did not have. They have
restaurants and refreshment booths, and likewise stands for the sale of
small articles, such as are most likely to tempt strangers. In many
respects the exhibition is quite similar to an affair of the same kind
in America; and with a few changes of costume, language, and articles
displayed, it might pass for a state or county fair in Maine or


"The display of manufactured articles is much like that in the Japanese
section at Philadelphia, but is not nearly so large, the reason being
that the merchants do not see as good chances for business as they did
at the Centennial, and consequently they have not taken so much trouble
to come in. Many of the articles shown were actually at Philadelphia,
but did not find a market, and have been brought out again in the hope
that they may have better luck. The bronzes are magnificent, and some of
them surpass anything that was shown at the Centennial, or has ever been
publicly exhibited outside of Japan. The Japanese seem determined to
maintain their reputation of being the foremost workers of bronze in the
world. They have also some beautiful work in lacquered ware, but their
old lacquer is better than the new.

"In their Machinery Hall they have a very creditable exhibit,
considering how recently they have opened the country to the Western
world, and how little they had before the opening in the way of Western
ideas. There is a small steam-engine of Japanese make; there are two or
three looms, some rice-mills, winnowing-machines, an apparatus for
winding and spinning silk, some pumps, a hay-cutter, and a fire-engine
worked by hand. Then there are several agricultural machines, platform
scales, pumps, and a wood-working apparatus from American makers, and
there are two or three of English production. In the Agricultural Hall
there are horse-rakes, mowers, reapers, and ploughs from America, and
there are also some well-made ploughs from Japanese hands. In the
Eastern Hall there are some delicate balances for weighing coin and the
precious metals; they were made for the mint at Osaka, and look
wonderfully like the best French or German balances. The Japanese have
been quite successful in copying these instruments, more so than in
imitating the heavier scales from America. Fairbanks's scales have been
adopted as the standard of the Japanese postal and customs departments.
Some of the skilful workmen in Japan thought they could make their own
scales, and so they set about copying the American one. They made a
scale that looked just as well, but was not accurate as a
weighing-machine. As the chief use of a scale is to weigh correctly,
they concluded to quit their experiments and stick to Fairbanks's.


"There is an interesting display of the natural products of Japan, and
it is exceedingly instructive to a stranger. The Japanese are studying
these things with great attention, and the fair will undoubtedly prove
an excellent school for the people by adding to their stock of
information about themselves. Each section bears over its entrance the
name of the city, province, or district it represents, and as these
names are displayed in English as well as in Japanese, a stranger has no
difficulty in finding out the products of the different parts of the
empire. The result is that many articles are repeated in the exhibition,
and you meet with them again and again. Such, for example, are raw
silks, which come from various localities, as likewise do articles of
leather, wood, and iron. Porcelain of various kinds appears repeatedly,
and so do the woods used for making furniture. There is an excellent
show of porcelain, and some of the pieces are of enormous size. Kaga,
Satsuma, Hizen, Kioto, Nagasaki, and other wares are in abundance, and a
student of ceramics will find enough to interest him for many hours.

[Illustration: A GRASS OVERCOAT.]

"In cordage and material for ship-building there is a good exhibit, and
there are two well-made models of gun-boats. Wheat, rice, millet, and
other grains are represented by numerous samples, and there are several
specimens of Indian-corn, or maize, grown on Japanese soil. There is a
goodly array of canned fruits and meats, mostly the former, some in tin
and the rest in glass. Vinegars, rice-whiskey, soy, and the like are
abundant, and so is dried fish of several kinds. There is a good display
of tea and tobacco, the former being in every form, from the tea-plant
up to the prepared article ready for shipment. One has only to come here
to see the many uses to which the Japanese put fibrous grasses in making
mats, overcoats, and similar things; and there are like displays of the
serviceability of bamboo. From the north of Japan there are otter and
other skins, and from various points there are models of boats and nets
to illustrate the fishing business. The engineering department shows
some fine models of bridges and dams, and has evidently made good
progress since its organization."



While the Doctor and his companions were at table in the restaurant at
Uyeno, they were surprised by the presence of an old acquaintance. Mr.
A., or "The Mystery," who had been their fellow-passenger from San
Francisco, suddenly entered the room, accompanied by two Japanese
officials, with whom he was evidently on very friendly terms. They were
talking in English, and the two natives seemed to be quite fluent in it,
but they evidently preferred to say little in the presence of the
strangers. Mr. A. was equally disinclined to talk, or even to make
himself known, as he simply nodded to Doctor Bronson and the boys, and
then sat down in a distant corner. When the waiter came, he said
something to him in a low tone, and in a few minutes the proprietor
appeared, and led the way to a private room, where the American and his
Japanese friends would be entirely by themselves.

As Frank expressed it, "something was up," but what that something was
they did not see any prospect of ascertaining immediately. After a few
moments devoted to wondering what could be the meaning of the movements
of the mysterious stranger, they dropped the subject and resumed their
conversation about Japan.

Fred had some questions of a religious character to propound to the
Doctor. They had grown out of his observations during their visits to
the temples.

"I noticed in some of the temples," said Fred, "that there were statues
of Buddha and also other statues, but in other temples there were no
statues of Buddha or any one else. What is the meaning of this?"

"It is because the temples belong to different forms of religion," the
Doctor answered. "Those where you saw the statues of Buddha are Buddhist
in their faith and form of worship, while the rest are of another kind
which is called Shinto."

"And what is the difference between Buddhism and Shintoism?" Frank

"The difference," Doctor Bronson explained, "is about the same as that
between the Roman Catholic faith and that of the Protestants. As I
understand it--but I confess that I am not quite clear on the
subject--Shintoism is the result of a reformation of the Buddhist
religion, just as our Protestant belief is a reformation of Catholicism.

"Now, if you want to study Buddhism," he continued, "I must refer you to
a work on the religions of the world, or to an encyclopedia, as we have
no time to go into a religious dissertation, and, besides, our lunch
might be spoiled while we were talking. And another reason why we ought
not to enter deeply into the subject is that I should find it impossible
to make a clear exposition of the principles of the Buddhist faith or of
Shintoism; and if you pressed me too closely, I might become confused.
The religions of the East are very difficult to comprehend, and I have
known men who had lived twenty years in China or India, and endeavored
to study the forms and principles of the religions of those countries,
who confessed their inability to understand them. For my own part, I
must admit that when I have listened to explanations by Japanese, or
other people of the East, of their religious faith, I have heard a great
deal that I could not comprehend. I concede their sincerity; and when
they say there is a great deal in our forms of worship that they do not
understand, I believe they are telling the truth. Our ways of thought
are not their ways, and what is clear to one is not at all so to


"I have already told you of the overthrow of the Shogoon, or Tycoon, and
the return of the Mikado to power as the ruler of all the country. The
Shogoon and his family were adherents of Buddhism, while the Mikado's
followers were largely of the Shinto faith. When the Mikado's power was
restored, there was a general demand on the part of the Shintoists that
the Buddhist temples should be destroyed and the religion effaced. A
good number of temples were demolished, and the government took away
much of the revenue of those that remained. The temples are rapidly
going to decay, as there is no money to expend on them for repairs, and
it is quite possible that the beginning of the next century may see them
overthrown. Some of them are magnificent specimens of architecture, and
it is a great pity that they should thus go to ruin. Adherents of the
old religion declare that the government had at one time determined to
issue an order for the demolition of every Buddhist temple in the
country, and only refrained from so doing through fear that it would
lead to a revolution. The Shiba temple in Tokio, one of the finest in
Japan, was burned under circumstances that led many persons to accuse
the government of having had a hand in the conflagration, and I know
there are foreigners in Tokio and Yokohama who openly denounce the
authorities for the occurrence.

[Illustration: A JAPANESE TEMPLE.]

"As you have observed, the Buddhist temples contain the statue of
Buddha, while the Shinto temples have nothing of the sort. For all
practical purposes, you may compare a Buddhist temple to a Catholic
church, with its statues and pictures of the saints; and a Shinto temple
to a Protestant church, with its bare walls, and its altar with no
ornament of consequence. The Buddhists, like the Catholics, burn a great
deal of incense in front of their altars and before their statues; but
the Shintoists do not regard the burning of incense as at all necessary
to salvation. Both religions have an excellent code of morals; and if
all the adherents of either should do as they are told by their sacred
teachers, there would not be much wickedness in the country. As for that
matter, there is enough of moral precept in nearly every religion in the
world to live by, but the trouble is that the whole world will not live
as it should. Buddhism is more than five hundred years older than
Christianity. The old forms of Shintoism existed before Buddhism was
brought to Japan; but the modern is so much changed from the old that it
is virtually, as I told you, a reformation of Buddhism. At all events,
that was the form which it assumed at the time the Shogoon's government
was overthrown.

[Illustration: A WAYSIDE SHRINE.]

"You have only to see the many shrines and temples in all parts of the
country to know how thoroughly religious the whole population is,
especially when you observe the crowds of devout worshippers that go to
the temples daily. Every village, however small and poor, has its
temple; and wherever you go, you see little shrines by the roadside with
steps leading up to them. They are invariably in the most picturesque
spots, and always in a situation that has a view as commanding as
possible. You saw them near the railway as we came here from Yokohama,
and you can hardly go a mile on a Japanese road without seeing one of
them. The Japanese have remembered their love for the picturesque in
arranging their temples and shrines, and thus have made them attractive
to the great mass of the people.

"Since the opening of Japan to foreigners, the missionaries have devoted
much attention to the country as a field of labor. Compared with the
result of missionary labors in India, the cause has prospered, and a
great deal of good has been accomplished. The Japanese are not an
unthinking people, and their faculties of analysis are very keen. They
show more interest in the doctrines of Christianity than do the Chinese
and some other Oriental people, and are quite willing to discuss them
whenever they are properly presented."

The discussion came to an end, and the party prepared to move on. They
were uncertain where to go, and, after a little time spent in debate,
the Doctor suggested that they might as well go once more to the Nihon
Bashi, or Central Bridge, and enjoy an afternoon view of the river. Off
they started, and in due time were at the famous bridge, and in the
midst of the active life that goes on in its vicinity.

The view up and down the river was an animated one. Many boats were on
the water, some of them lying at anchor, or tied up to the bank; while
others were slowly threading the stream in one way and another. The
banks of the river were lined with gay restaurants and other places of
public resort, and from some of them came the sounds of native music,
indicating that the patrons were enjoying themselves. The great mountain
of Japan was in full view, and was a more welcome sight than the crowds
of beggars that lined the bridge and showed altogether too much
attention to the strangers. The bridge itself is not the magnificent
structure that one might expect to find when he remembers its national
importance. It is a rickety affair, built of wood, and showing signs of
great antiquity; and its back rises as though somebody had attempted to
lift it up by pressing his shoulders beneath and had nearly succeeded in
his effort.

Near the southern end of the bridge the boys observed something like a
great sign-board with a railing around it, and a roof above to keep the
rain from injuring the placards which were painted beneath. The latter
were in Japanese, and, of course, neither Frank nor Fred could make out
their meaning. So they asked the Doctor what the structure was for and
why it was in such a conspicuous place.

"That," answered the Doctor, "is the great kosatsu."

Frank said he was glad to know it, and he would be more glad when he
knew what the kosatsu was.


"The kosatsu," continued Doctor Bronson, "is the sign-board where the
official notices of the government are posted. You find these boards in
all the cities, towns, and villages of Japan; there may be several in a
city, but there is always one which has a higher character than the
rest, and is known as the _great_ kosatsu. The one you are now looking
at is the most celebrated in the empire, as it stands near the Nihon
Bashi, whence all roads are measured, as I have already explained to

"Please, Doctor," said Frank, "what is the nature of the notices they
put on the sign-board?"

"Any public notice or law, any new order of the government, a regulation
of the police, appointments of officials; in fact, anything that would
be published as an official announcement in other countries. There was
formerly an edict against Christians which was published all over the
empire, and was on all the kosatsus. The edict appeared on the kosatsu
of the Nihon Bashi down to the overthrow of the Shogoon's government, in
1868, when it was removed."

"And what was the edict?"

"It forbade Christianity in these words: 'The evil sect called
Christians is strictly prohibited. Suspicious persons should be reported
to the proper officers, and rewards will be given.' Directly under this
edict was another, which said, 'Human beings must carefully practise the
principles of the five social relations: Charity must be shown to
widowers, widows, orphans, the childless, and sick. There must be no
such crimes as murder, arson, or robbery.' Both these orders were dated
in the month of April, 1868, and consequently are not matters of
antiquity. The original edict against Christians was issued two hundred
years ago, and was never revoked. St. Francis Xavier and his zealous
comrades had introduced the religion of Europe into Japan, and their
success was so great that the government became alarmed for its safety.
They found proofs that the new religionists intended to subjugate the
country and place it under the dominion of Spain; and in the latter part
of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century there was an
active persecution of the Christians. Many were expelled from the
country, many more were executed, and the cause of Christianity received
a blow from which it did not recover until our day. Now the
missionaries are at liberty to preach the Gospel, and may make as many
converts as they please."

[Illustration: BLOWING BUBBLES.]

As they walked away from the kosatsu they saw a group engaged in the
childish amusement of blowing soap-bubbles. There were three persons in
the group, a man and two boys, and the youngsters were as happy as
American or English boys would have been under similar circumstances.
While the man blew the bubbles, the boys danced around him and
endeavored to catch the shining globes. Fred and Frank were much
interested in the spectacle, and had it not been for their sense of
dignity, and the manifest impropriety of interfering, they would have
joined in the sport. The players were poorly clad, and evidently did not
belong to the wealthier class; but they were as happy as though they had
been princes; in fact, it is very doubtful if princes could have had a
quarter as much enjoyment from the chase of soap-bubbles.

Evening was approaching, and the party concluded to defer their
sight-seeing until the morrow. They returned to the railway station, and
were just in time to catch the last train of the day for Yokohama. There
was a hotel at Tokio on the European system, and if they had missed the
train, they would have patronized this establishment. The Doctor had
spent a week there, and spoke favorably of the Sei-yo-ken, as the hotel
is called. It is kept by a Japanese, and all the servants are natives,
but they manage to meet very fairly the wants of the strangers that go
there. It was some time after the opening of Tokio to foreigners before
there was any hotel there, and a visitor was put to great inconvenience.
He was compelled to accept the hospitality of his country's
representative. As he generally had no personal claims to such
hospitality, he was virtually an intruder; and if at all sensitive about
forcing himself where he had no business to go, his position could not
be otherwise than embarrassing. The American ministers in the early days
were often obliged to keep free boarding-houses, and even at the present
time they are not entirely exempt from intrusions. Our diplomatic and
consular representatives abroad are the victims of a vast amount of
polite fraud, and some very impolite frauds in addition. It is a sad
thing to say, but nevertheless true, that a disagreeably large
proportion of travelling Americans in distant lands make pecuniary raids
on the purses of our representatives in the shape of loans, which they
never repay, and probably never intend to. Another class manages to
sponge its living by quartering at the consular or diplomatic residence,
and making itself as much at home as though it owned everything. There
are many consuls in Europe and Asia who dread the entrance of a strange
countryman into their offices, through the expectation, born of bitter
experience, that the introduction is to be followed by an appeal for a
loan, which is in reality a gift, and can be ill afforded by the poorly
paid representative.

The next day the party returned to Tokio, but, unfortunately for their
plans, a heavy rain set in and kept them indoors. Japanese life and
manners are so much connected with the open air that a rainy day does
not leave much opportunity for a sight-seer among the people. Finding
the rain was likely to last an indefinite period, they returned to the
hotel at Yokohama. The boys turned their attention to letter-writing,
while the Doctor busied himself with preparations for an excursion to
Hakone--a summer resort of foreigners in Japan--and possibly an ascent
of Fusiyama. The boys greatly wished to climb the famous mountain; and
as the Doctor had never made the journey, he was quite desirous of
undertaking it, though, perhaps, he was less keen than his young
companions, as he knew it could only be accomplished with a great deal
of fatigue.

The letters were devoted to descriptions of what the party had seen in
their visit to Tokio, and they had a goodly number of comments to make
on the manners and customs of the Japanese. Frank declared that he had
never seen a more polite people than the Japanese, and then he added
that he had never seen any other people outside of his own country, and
therefore his judgment might not be worth much. Fred had been greatly
impressed with his discovery that the babies of Japan do not cry, and he
suggested that the American babies would do well to follow the example
of the barbarian children. Then, too, he was much pleased with the
respect the children showed for their parents, and he thought the
parents were very fond of their children, if he were to judge by the
great number of games that were provided for the amusement of the little
folks. He described what he had seen in the temple at Asakusa, and in
other parts of Tokio, and enclosed a picture of a Japanese father seated
with his children, the one in his arms, and the other clinging to his
knee, and forming an interesting scene.

[Illustration: FATHER AND CHILDREN.]

Frank had made a discovery about the cats of Japan, and carefully
recorded it in his letter as follows:

"There are the funniest cats in this country that you ever saw. They
have the shortest kind of tails, and a good many of them haven't any
tails at all any more than a rabbit. You know we expect every kitten in
America to play with her tail, and what can she do when she has no tail
to play with? I think that must be the reason why the Japanese cats are
so solemn, and why they won't play as our cats do. I have tried to find
out how it all happens, but nobody can tell. Doctor Bronson says the
kittens are born without tails, and that is all he knows about it. I
think they must be a different kind of cat from ours; but, apart from
the absence of tails, they don't look any way dissimilar. Somebody says
that an American once took one of these tailless cats to San Francisco
as a curiosity, and that it would never make friends with any
long-tailed cat. It would spit and scratch, and try to bite off the
other cat's tail; but one day, when they put it with a cat whose tail
had been cut off by a bad boy, it was friendly at once."

Fred wanted ever so much to send home a goldfish with a very wide and
beautiful tail. The fish didn't seem to be much unlike a common
goldfish, except in the tail, which was triple, and looked like a piece
of lace. As it swam around in the water, especially when the sun was
shining on the globe, its tail seemed to have nearly as many colors as
the rainbow, and both the boys were of opinion that no more beautiful
fish was ever seen. But the proposal to send it to America was rather
dampened by the statement of the Doctor that the experiment had been
tried several times, and only succeeded in a very few instances. Almost
all the fish died on the voyage over the Pacific; and even when they
lived through that part of the trip, the overland journey from San
Francisco to the Atlantic coast generally proved too much for them. The
Japanese name for this fish is _kin-giyo_, and a pair of them may be
bought for ten cents. It is said that a thousand dollars were offered
for the first one that ever reached New York alive, which is a large
advance on the price in Yokohama.

The Japanese dogs were also objects of interest to our young friends,
though less so than the cats and the goldfish. They have several
varieties of dogs in Japan, some of them being quite without hair, while
others have very thick coats. The latter are the most highly prized, and
the shorter their noses, the more valuable they are considered. Fred
found a dog, about the size of a King Charles spaniel, that had a nose
only half an inch long. He was boasting of his discovery, when Frank
pointed out one that had less than a third of an inch. Then the two kept
on the hunt for the latest improvement in dogs, as Frank expressed it,
and they finally found one that had no nose at all. The nostrils were
set directly in the end of the little fellow's head, and his under-jaw
was so short that the operations of barking and eating were not very
easy to perform. In spite of the difficulty of barking, he made a great
deal of noise when the boys attempted to examine him, and he gave Frank
to understand in the most practical way that a noseless dog can bite.
As they walked away from the shop where they found him, he kept up a
continual snarling, which led to the remark by Fred that a noseless dog
was very far from noiseless.

As they had been kept in by the rain, Frank thought he could not do
better than send to his sister a Japanese picture of a party caught in a
rain-storm. He explained that the rain in Japan was quite as wet as in
any other country, and that umbrellas were just as necessary as at home.
He added that the Japanese umbrellas were made of paper, and kept the
rain off very well, but they did not last a long time. You could buy one
for half a dollar, and a very pretty one it was, and it spread out
farther than the foreign umbrella did. The sticks were of bamboo, and
they were covered with several thicknesses of oiled paper carefully
dried in the sun. They were very much used, since nearly everybody
carried an umbrella, in fair weather as well as in foul; if the umbrella
was not needed against the rain, it was useful to keep off the heat of
the sun, which was very severe in the middle of the day.

The letters were ready in season for the mail for America, and in due
time they reached their destination and carried pleasure to several
hearts. It was evident that the boys were enjoying themselves, and at
the same time learning much about the strange country they had gone to

[Illustration: CAUGHT IN THE RAIN.]



A favorite resort of the foreign residents of Yokohama during the summer
months is the island of Enoshima. It is about twenty miles away, and is
a noted place of pilgrimage for the Japanese, on account of certain
shrines that are reputed to have a sacred character. Doctor Bronson
arranged that his party should pay a visit to this island, as it was an
interesting spot, and they could have a glimpse of Japanese life in the
rural districts, and among the fishermen of the coast.

They went thither by jin-riki-shas, and arranged to stop on the way to
see the famous bronze statue of Dai-Boots, or the Great Buddha. This
statue is the most celebrated in all Japan, as it is the largest and
finest in every way. Frank had heard and read about it; and when he
learned from the Doctor that they were to see it on their way to
Enoshima, he ran straightway to Fred to tell the good news.

"Just think of it, Fred," said he, "we are to see a statue sixty feet
high, all of solid bronze, and a very old one it is, too."

"Sixty feet isn't so very much," Fred answered. "There are statues in
Europe a great deal larger."

"But they were not made by the Japanese, as this one was," Frank
responded, "and they are statues of figures standing erect, while this
represents a sitting figure. A sitting figure sixty feet high is
something you don't see every day."

Fred admitted that there might be some ground for Frank's enthusiasm,
and, in fact, he was not long in sharing it, and thinking it was a very
good thing that they were going to Enoshima, and intending to see
Dai-Boots on the way.

At the appointed time they were off. They went through the foreign part
of Yokohama, and through the native quarter, and then out upon the
Tokaido. The boys were curious to see the Tokaido, and when they reached
it they asked the Doctor to halt the jin-riki-shas, and let them press
their feet upon the famous work of Japanese road-builders. The halt
was made, and gave a few minutes' rest to the men that were drawing
them, and from whose faces the perspiration was running profusely.

The Tokaido, or eastern road, is the great highway that connects Kioto
with Tokio--the eastern capital with the western one. There is some
obscurity in its history, but there is no doubt of its antiquity. It has
been in existence some hundreds of years, and has witnessed many and
many a princely procession, and many a display of Oriental magnificence.
It was the road by which the Daimios of the western part of the empire
made their journeys to Tokio in the olden days, and it was equally the
route by which the cortége of the Shogoon went to Kioto to render homage
to the Mikado. It is a well-made road; but as it was built before the
days of wheeled carriages, and when a track where two men could ride
abreast was all that was considered requisite, it is narrower than most
of us would expect to find it. In many places it is not easy for two
carriages to pass without turning well out into the ditch, and there are
places on the great route where the use of wheeled vehicles is
impossible. But in spite of these drawbacks it is a fine road, and
abounds in interesting sights.


Naturally the Tokaido is a place of activity, and in the ages that have
elapsed since it was made many villages have sprang into existence along
its sides. Between Yokohama and Tokio there is an almost continuous
hedge of these villages, and there are places where you may ride for
miles as along a densely filled street. From Tokio the road follows the
shore of the bay until near Yokohama, when it turns inland; but it comes
to or near the sea again in several places, and affords occasional
glimpses of the great water. For several years after the admission of
foreigners to Japan the Tokaido gave a great deal of trouble to the
authorities, and figured repeatedly in the diplomatic history of the
government. The most noted of these affairs was that in which an
Englishman named Richardson was killed, and the government was forced to
pay a heavy indemnity in consequence. A brief history of this affair may
not be without interest, as it will illustrate the difficulties that
arose in consequence of a difference of national customs.

Under the old laws of Japan it was the custom for the Daimios to have a
very complete right of way whenever their trains were out upon the
Tokaido or any other road. If any native should ride or walk into a
Daimio's procession, or even attempt anything of the kind, he would be
put to death immediately by the attendants of the prince. This was the
invariable rule, and had been in force for hundreds of years. When the
foreigners first came to Yokohama, the Daimios' processions were
frequently on the road; and, as the strangers had the right to go into
the country, and consequently to ride on the Tokaido, there was a
constant fear that some of them would ignorantly or wilfully violate the
ancient usages and thus lead the Daimios' followers to use their swords.

[Illustration: A PARTY ON THE TOKAIDO.]

Things were in this condition when one day (September 14th, 1862) the
procession of Shimadzu Saburo, father of the last Daimio of Satsuma, was
passing along the Tokaido on its way from the capital to the western
part of the empire. Through fear of trouble in case of an encounter with
the train of this prince, the authorities had previously requested
foreigners not to go upon the Tokaido that day; but the request was
refused, and a party of English people--three gentlemen and a
lady--embraced the opportunity to go out that particular afternoon to
meet the prince's train. Two American gentlemen were out that afternoon,
and encountered the same train; they politely turned aside to allow the
procession to pass, and were not disturbed.

When the English party met the train, the lady and one of the gentlemen
suggested that they should stand at the side of the road, but Mr.
Richardson urged his horse forward and said, "Come on; I have lived
fourteen years in China, and know how to manage these people." He rode
into the midst of the procession, and was followed by the other
gentlemen, or partially so; the lady, in her terror, remained by the
side of the road, as she had wished to do at the outset. The guards
construed the movements of Mr. Richardson as a direct insult to their
master, and fell upon him with their swords. The three men were severely
wounded. Mr. Richardson died in less than half an hour, but the others
recovered. The lady was not harmed in any way. On the one hand, the
Japanese were a proud, haughty race who resented an insult to their
prince, and punished it according to Japanese law and custom. On the
other, the foreigners had the technical right, in accordance with the
treaty, to go upon the Tokaido; but they offered a direct insult to the
people in whose country they were, and openly showed their contempt for
them. A little forbearance, and a willingness to avoid trouble by
refraining from visiting the Tokaido, as requested by the Japanese
authorities, would have prevented the sad occurrence.

As a result of this affair, the Japanese government was compelled to pay
a hundred thousand pounds sterling to the family of Mr. Richardson, or
submit to the alternative of a war with England. In addition to this,
the city of Kagoshima, the residence of the Prince of Satsuma, was
bombarded, the place reduced to ashes, forts, palaces, factories, thrown
into ruins, and thousands of buildings set on fire by the shells from
the British fleet. Three steamers belonging to the Prince of Satsuma
were captured, and the prince was further compelled to pay an additional
indemnity of twenty-five thousand pounds. The loss of life in the affair
has never been made known by the Japanese, but it is certain to have
been very great. It would not be surprising if the Japanese should
entertain curious notions of the exact character of the Christian
religion, when such acts are perpetrated by the nations that profess it.
The blessings of civilization have been wafted to them in large
proportion from the muzzles of cannon; and the light of Western
diplomacy has been, all too frequently, from the torch of the

But we must not forget our boys in our dissertation on the history of
foreign intervention in Japan. In fact, they were not forgotten in it,
as they heard the story from the Doctor's lips, and heard a great deal
more besides. The Doctor summarized his opinion of the way the Japanese
had been treated by foreigners somewhat as follows:


"The Japanese had been exclusive for a long time, and wished to continue
so. They had had an experience of foreign relations two hundred years
ago, and the result had well-nigh cost them their independence. It was
unsatisfactory, and they chose to shut themselves up and live alone. If
we wanted to shut up the United States, and admit no foreigners among
us, we should consider it a matter of great rudeness if they forced
themselves in, and threatened to bombard us when we refused them
admittance. We were the first to poke our noses into Japan, when we sent
Commodore Perry here with a fleet. The Japanese tried their best to
induce us to go away and let them alone, but we wouldn't go. We stood
there with the copy of the treaty in one hand, and had the other
resting on a cannon charged to the muzzle and ready to fire. We said,
'Take the one or the other; sign a treaty of peace and good-will and
accept the blessings of civilization, or we will blow you so high in the
air that the pieces won't come down for a week.' Japan was convinced
when she saw that resistance would be useless, and quite against her
wishes she entered the family of nations. We opened the way and then
England followed, and then came the other nations. We have done less
robbing and bullying than England has, in our intercourse with Japan,
and the Japanese like us better in consequence. But if it is a correct
principle that no man should be disturbed so long as he does not disturb
any one else, and does no harm, the outside nations had no right to
interfere with Japan, and compel her to open her territory to them."

[Illustration: PILGRIMS ON THE ROAD.]

This conversation occurred while they were halted under some venerable
shade-trees by the side of the Tokaido, and were looking at the people
that passed. Every few minutes they saw groups varying from two to six
or eight persons, very thinly clad, and having the appearance of
wayfarers with a small stock of money, or none at all. The Doctor
explained that these men were pilgrims on their way to holy places--some
of them were doubtless bound for Enoshima, some for Hakone, and some for
the great mountain which every now and then the turns in the road
revealed to the eyes of the travellers. These pilgrimages have a
religious character, and are made by thousands of persons every year.
One member of a party usually carries a small bell, and as they walk
along its faint tinkle gives notice of their religious character, and
practically warns others that they are not commercially inclined, as
they are without more money than is actually needed for the purposes of
their journey. They wear broad hats to protect them from the sun, and
their garments, usually of white material, are stamped with mystic
characters to symbolize the particular divinity in whose honor the
journey is made.

[Illustration: THRESHING GRAIN.]

Village after village was passed by our young adventurers and their
older companion, and many scenes of Japanese domestic life were unfolded
to their eyes. At one place some men were engaged in removing the hulls
from freshly gathered rice. The grain was in large tubs, made of a
section of a tree hollowed out, and the labor was performed by beating
the grain with huge mallets. The process was necessarily slow, and
required a great deal of patience. This mode of hulling rice has been in
use in Japan for hundreds of years, and will probably continue for
hundreds of years to come in spite of the improved machinery that is
being introduced by foreigners. Rice is the principal article of food
used in Japan, and many people have hardly tasted anything else in the
whole course of their lives. The opening of the foreign market has
largely increased the cost of rice; and in this way the entrance of
Japan into the family of nations has brought great hardships upon the
laboring classes. It costs three times as much for a poor man to support
his family as it did before the advent of the strangers, and there has
not been a corresponding advance in wages. Life for the coolie was bad
enough under the old form of government, and he had much to complain of.
His condition has not been bettered by the new order of things,
according to the observation of impartial foreigners who reside in
Yokohama and other of the open ports.


About ten miles out from Yokohama the party turned from the Tokaido, and
took a route through the fields. They found the track rather narrow in
places; and on one occasion, when they met a party in jin-riki-shas, it
became necessary to step to the ground to allow the vehicles to be
lifted around. Then, too, there had been a heavy rain--the storm that
cut short their visit to Tokio; and in some places the road had been
washed out so that they were obliged to walk around the breaks. Their
journey was consequently somewhat retarded; but they did not mind the
detention, and had taken such an early start that they had plenty of
time to reach Enoshima before dark. They met groups of Japanese peasants
returning home from their work; and in every instance the latter made
way for the strangers, and stood politely by the roadside as the
man-power carriages went rolling by. Frank wanted to make sketches of
some of the groups, and was particularly attracted by a woman who was
carrying a teapot in one hand and a small roll or bundle under her other
arm. By her side walked a man carrying a couple of buckets slung from a
pole, after the fashion so prevalent in Japan and China. He steadied the
pole with his hands, and seemed quite indifferent to the presence of the
foreigners. Both were dressed in loosely fitting garments, and their
feet were shod with sandals of straw. The Japanese sandal is held in
place by two thongs that start from near the heel on each side and come
together in front. The wearer inserts the thong between the great toe
and its neighbor. When he is barefooted this operation is easily
performed; and, in order to accommodate his stockinged feet to the
sandal, the Japanese stocking has a separate place for the "thumb-toe,"
as one of them called the largest of his "foot-fingers." The foot of the
Japanese stocking closely resembles the mitten of America, which young
women in certain localities are said to present to discarded admirers.

[Illustration: A JAPANESE SANDAL.]

The road wound among the fields where the rice was growing luxuriantly,
and where now and then they found beans and millet, and other products
of Japanese agriculture. The cultivation was evidently of the most
careful character, as the fields were cut here and there with little
channels for irrigation; and there were frequent deposits of fertilizing
materials, whose character was apparent to the nose before it was to the
eye. In some places, where the laborers were stooping to weed the
plants, there was little more of them visible than their broad sun-hats;
and it did not require a great stretch of the imagination to believe
they were a new kind of mushroom from Brobdingnagian gardens. Hills like
sharply rounded cones rose from each side of the narrow valley they were
descending; and the dense growth of wood with which the most of them
were covered made a marked contrast to the thoroughly cleared fields.
The boys saw over, and over, and over again the pictures they had often
seen on Japanese fans and boxes and wondered if they were realities.
They had already learned that the apparently impossible pictures we find
in Japanese art are not only possible, but actual; but they had not yet
seen so thorough a confirmation of it as on this day's ride.

Several times they came suddenly upon villages, and very often these
discoveries were quite unexpected. As they rode along the valley
narrowed, and the hills became larger and more densely covered with
trees. By-and-by they halted at a wayside tea-house, and were told to
leave the little carriages and rest awhile. Frank protested that he was
not in need of any rest; but he changed his mind when the Doctor told
him that they had reached one of the objects of their journey, and that
he would miss an interesting sight if he kept on. They were at the
shrine of Dai-Boots.

They went up an avenue between two rows of trees, and right before them
was the famous statue. It was indeed a grand work of art.

Frank made a careful note of the figures indicating the height of the
statue. He found that the whole structure, including the pedestal,
measured sixty feet from the ground to the top of the head, and that the
figure alone was forty-three feet high. It was in a sitting, or rather a
squatting, posture, with the hands partly folded and turned upwards,
with the knuckles touching each other. The eyes were closed, and there
was an expression of calm repose on the features such as one rarely sees
in statuary. There was something very grand and impressive in this
towering statue, and the boys gazed upon it with unfeigned admiration.

[Illustration: THE GREAT DAI-BOOTS.]

Fred asked if the statue was cast in a single piece. But after asking
the question, he looked up and saw that the work was evidently done in
sections, as the lines where the plates or sections were joined were
plainly visible. But the plates were large, and the operation of making
the statue was one that required the handling of some very heavy pieces.
In many places the statue was covered with inscriptions, which are said
to be of a religious character.

The figure was hollow, and there was a sort of chapel inside where
devout pilgrims were permitted to worship. On the platform in front
there were several shrines, and the general surroundings of the place
were well calculated to remind one of a sanctuary of Roman Catholicism.
Thousands and thousands of pilgrims have come from all parts of Japan to
worship at the feet of the great Buddha; and while our friends stood in
front of the shrine, a group of devotees arrived and reverently said
their prayers.

A little way off from Dai-Boots are the temples of Kamakura, which are
celebrated for their sanctity, and are the objects of much veneration.
They are not unlike the other temples of Japan in general appearance;
but the carvings and bronze ornamentations are unusually rich, and must
have cost a great deal of money. There was once a large city at
Kamakura, and traces of it are distinctly visible. The approach to the
temples is over some stone bridges, crossing a moat that must have been
a formidable defence in the days before gunpowder was introduced into

After their sight-seeing in the grove of Dai-Boots was over, the party
proceeded to Enoshima. When they arrived at the sea-shore opposite the
island, they found, to their dismay, that the tide was up; and they were
obliged to hire a boat to take them to their destination. At low tide
one can walk upon a sand-bar the entire distance; but when the sea is at
its highest, the bar is covered, and walking is not practicable. The
beach slopes very gradually, and consequently the boats were at some
distance out, and the travellers were compelled to wade to them or be
carried on men's shoulders. The boys tried the wading, and were
successful; the Doctor, more dignified, was carried on the shoulders of
a stout Japanese, who was very glad of the opportunity to earn a few
pennies. But he came near having a misadventure, as his bearer stumbled
when close to the edge of the boat, and pitched the Doctor headlong into
the craft. He was landed among a lot of baskets and other baggage, and
his hat came in unpleasant contact with a bucket containing some freshly
caught fish. Luckily he suffered no injury, and was able to join the
others in laughing over the incident.

On their arrival at the island, it was again necessary to wade to the
shore. Frank found the slippery rocks such insecure footing that he went
down into the water, but was not completely immersed. The others got
ashore safely, and it was unanimously voted that the next time they came
to Enoshima they would endeavor to arrive when the tide was out. An
involuntary bath, before one is properly dressed, or undressed, for it,
is no more to be desired in Japan than in any other country.


A street leads up from the water towards the centre of the island, and
along this street are the principal houses of the town. The most of
these houses are hotels for the accommodation of the numerous pilgrims
that come to the sacred shrines of Enoshima; and, as our party
approached, there was a movement among the attendants of the nearest
hostelry to invite the strangers to enter. They halted at the door of a
large building on the left. The proprietor was just inside the entrance,
and bowed to them in true Japanese style, with his head touching the
floor. He not only bowed to the party in general, but to each one of
them separately, and it took two or three minutes to go through with the
preliminaries of politeness and begin negotiations for the desired

In a little while all was arranged to the satisfaction of everybody
concerned, and our friends were installed in a Japanese inn. What they
did there, and what they saw, will be made known in the next chapter.




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

There is very little of what we call privacy in a Japanese house, as the
paper screens are no obstructors of sound, and a conversation in an
ordinary tone can be heard throughout the entire establishment. It is
said that this form of building was adopted at a time when the
government was very fearful of conspiracies, and wished to keep
everybody under its supervision. Down to quite recent times there was a
very complete system of espionage all over the country; and it used to
be said that when three persons were together, one of them was certain
to be a spy, and the other two were pretty sure to be spies as well. At
the time Commodore Perry went to Japan, it was the custom to set a spy
over every official to observe what he did and report accordingly. The
system has been gradually dropped, but it is said to exist yet in some

It was rather late, and our party were hungry. Consequently the Doctor
ordered dinner to be served as soon as possible, and they sat down to
wait for it. The kitchen was near the entrance of the hotel, and in full
view of the strangers as they came in. Fred could not help contrasting
this arrangement with that of an American hotel, where the kitchen is
quite out of sight, and not one visitor in a thousand ever gets the
faintest glimpse of it. He thought the plan was well calculated to
insure cleanliness in the management of the house, since the kitchen,
being so prominently placed, would ruin the prosperity of the house if
it were not properly kept. As there seemed to be no objection to their
doing so, the boys went there and watched the preparation of the meal
for which their appetites were waiting.

[Illustration: A JAPANESE KITCHEN.]

They found a large and well-lighted room in the centre of the house;
and, as before stated, near the entrance. In the middle of this room
there was a raised platform, with some little furnaces set in the floor.
On this floor the cooking of some fish was going on under the
supervision of a woman, who was watching to see that everything
progressed satisfactorily. A few pots and pans were visible, but not a
tenth of the number that would be found in the kitchen of a hotel of
similar capacity in America. The Japanese cookery is not elaborate, and
therefore only a few articles are required for it. A small fire in a
brazier that could be carried in the hand is all that is needed to
offset the enormous ranges with which we are familiar. From the roof two
or three safes are hung for the preservation of such things as the dogs
and cats might take a fancy to. At first glance they are frequently
taken for bird-cages, and this mistake was made by Fred, who innocently
remarked that he wondered what kind of birds they kept there.

At one side of the kitchen there was a long table, where the food was
prepared previous to its introduction to the cooking-pot, and near this
table there was a series of shelves where the plates, cups, saucers, and
other articles of the dinner-service were kept. The kitchen could be
shut off at night, like the other rooms, by means of paper screens, and
it was here that the cook and her assistants slept when the labors of
the day were over. The bedding, what little there was of it, was brought
from a cupboard in one side of the room, and was altogether out of sight
in the day. When not wanted, it was speedily put away, and a few minutes
sufficed to convert the kitchen into a sleeping-room, or the
sleeping-room into a kitchen.

[Illustration: BOILING THE POT.]

In due time the dinner or supper, whichever it was called, was brought
to our travellers, and they lost no time in sitting down to eat it; or,
rather, they squatted to it, as the hotel contained no chairs, or any
substitute for them. The floor was covered with clean mats--in fact, it
is very difficult to find dirty mats in Japan--and our travellers had
followed the universal custom of removing their boots as they entered
the front door. One of the complaints that the Japanese make against
foreigners is that the latter often enter their houses without removing
their boots, no matter if those boots are covered with mud and bring
ruin to the neat mattings. It is always polite to offer to remove your
foot-covering on going inside a Japanese dwelling, and a rudeness to
neglect the offer. If the weather is dry and your shoes are clean, the
host will tell you to remain as you are, and then you will be quite
right to do so.

There was a laugh all around at the oddity of the situation in which the
boys found themselves. They tried various positions in front of the
little table that had been spread for them, but no attitude they could
assume was thoroughly comfortable. They squatted, they knelt, and then
they sat flat on the floor, but all to no purpose. They were
uncomfortable, and no mistake. But they had a merry time of it, and both
Fred and Frank declared they would not have missed this dinner in Japan
for a great deal. It was a novelty, and they thought their schoolmates
would envy them if they knew where they were.

The dinner consisted of stewed fish for the first course, and it was so
thoroughly stewed that it resembled a thick soup. Then they had cold
fish with grated radishes, and, finally, a composite dish of hard-boiled
eggs, cut in two, and mixed with shrimps and seaweed. The table was
cleared after each course before the next was brought, and the food was
served in shallow bowls, which were covered to retain the heat. At the
side of each person at table there were two cups. One of these contained
_soy_, a sort of vinegar flavored with spices of different kinds, and in
which each mouthful of food was dipped before it was swallowed. It is
said that our word "sauce" comes from the Japanese (or Chinese) word
which has just been quoted. The other cup was for sa-kee, a beverage
which has been already mentioned in the pages of this book. They were
not inclined to sa-kee; but the soy was to their taste, and Frank was
especially warm in its praise.

[Illustration: FRANK'S INVENTORY.]

Not liking sa-kee, they called for tea, and in a moment the servant
appeared with a steaming teapot. The flavor of the herb was delicious,
and the boys partook liberally of the preparation. While they were
engaged in tea-drinking, Frank made an inventory of the furniture of the
room for the benefit of his sister and Miss Effie, in case they should
wish to fit up a room in Japanese style to welcome him home. Here is
what he found:

No chairs, no sofas, no benches--nothing but the rush matting to sit

No clocks, no pictures on the walls, no mirrors; in fact, the room was
quite bare of ornament.

Two small tables, about twelve inches high and fifteen inches square.
These tables held the dinner and tea service, and were removed when the
meal was over.

A little low stool, on which was a broad and very flat pot for holding
hot water to put in the tea.

Another stool for holding anything that was not wanted at the moment.

A lamp-stand with three lamps. One was octagonal, and on the top of an
upright stick; the others were oval, and hung at the ends of a
horizontal bar of metal. Each lantern bore an inscription in Japanese.
It was painted on the paper of which all the lanterns were composed; and
as the light shone through, the letters were plainly to be seen. They
were more visible than readable to our friends, as may be readily

This completed the furniture of the room. When it was removed after
dinner, Frank remarked that the only furniture remaining was Doctor
Bronson, Fred, and himself. And, as they were quite weary after their
ride, they were disposed to be as quiet as well-regulated furniture
usually is.


When it was time to go to sleep, the servant was called and the beds
were made up. A thickly wadded quilt was spread on the floor for each
person, and another was used for the covering. The quilt was not quite
thick enough to take away all suggestion of hardness from the floor, and
the covering was not the most convenient one in the world. Frank said
that when the quilt was over him, he was altogether too warm, and when
it was off he was too cold. Fred declared that his experience was
exactly like that of Frank, except that it was more so. He had been
bitten by fleas during the night, and, as he couldn't speak Japanese, he
could not tell them to go away--at least, not in any language they would
understand. Then the walls of the room were thin, or, rather, there were
no walls at all. They had heard all the noises that the house afforded;
and, as pilgrims were coming and going all night, and some of those in
the building were engaged in a noisy game of an unknown character, sleep
was not easy. The boys were more weary after their night's rest than
before they took it, and they agreed that they could not recommend a
Japanese inn as the most quiet spot in the world. They rose very early,
and would have been up much sooner if there had been any way of getting


They went down to the water-side to try the effects of a bath in the
surf as it rolled in from the Pacific Ocean. They found it refreshing,
and were tempted to linger long in the foam-crested waves. Near by there
was a fishing-place, where several Japanese were amusing themselves with
rod and line, just as American boys and men take pleasure in the same
way. Fish seemed to be abundant, as they were biting freely, and it took
but a short time to fill a basket. In the little harbor formed between
the island and the shore several junks and boats were at anchor, and in
the foreground some smaller boats were moving about. There was not an
American feature to the scene, and the boys were thoroughly delighted at
this perfect picture of Japanese life. It was sea-life, too; and they
had island and main, water and mountain, boats and houses, all in a
single glance.

The Japanese are great lovers of fish, and, fortunately for them, the
coasts and bays which indent the country are well provided with finny
life. The markets of Yokohama, Tokio, Osaka, and all the other great
cities of Japan are well supplied with fish, and the business of
catching them gives occupation to thousands of men. Many of the Japanese
are fond of raw fish which has been killed at the table, and is to be
eaten immediately. The fish is brought alive to the table; its eyes are
then gouged out, and strong vinegar is poured into the sockets. The
epicures say that this process gives a delicate flavor that can be
obtained in no other way; and they argue that the fish does not suffer
any more in this form of death than by the ordinary process of taking
him out of the water. But since the advent of foreigners in Japan, the
custom has somewhat fallen off, as the Japanese are quite sensitive to
the comments that have been made concerning their cruelty.

In the interior of Japan a traveller on the great roads, and on the
smaller ones too, will sometimes see a runner carrying a couple of open
pans, slung at the ends of a pole over his shoulder. He will observe
that these pans contain water, and that there is a single fish in each
pan. The man goes at a rapid pace, and keeps his eyes on his burden, to
make sure that the water is not spilled.

These runners are in the employ of the men who supply live fish for the
tables of those who live at a distance from the sea or from the lakes,
and are willing to pay for the luxury. A runner stands waiting, and the
instant the fish is in his charge he is off. If the distance is great,
there are relays of men stationed along the route; and so the precious
merchandise goes forward from one to the other without a moment's delay.
Only the wealthy can afford this mode of transporting fish, as the cost
is often very heavy. Some of the princes, in the olden time, were in the
habit of eating fresh fish at their tables every day that had been
brought in this way for a hundred and fifty miles. Great quantities of
fish are still carried in this primitive manner, but not for such long
distances as formerly. Many fish are transported on horseback, in
barrels of water; but the most delicate and valuable are borne only on
the shoulders of men, as the jolting of a horse will soon kill them.

[Illustration: "BREAKFAST IS READY."]

After their bath, the boys returned with the Doctor to their breakfast
in the hotel. The breakfast was almost identical with the dinner of the
previous evening; and as their appetites were not set so sharply, the
consumption of food was not so great. After breakfast they went on a
stroll through the streets of the town and up the sharp hill where it is
built. The shops along the streets were filled with curiosities, made
principally from shells and other marine products; and the Doctor said
he was forcibly reminded of Naples, Genoa, and other seaport places
along the Mediterranean. There were numerous conch-shells; and Fred was
desirous of blowing them, until told by the Doctor that they had
probably been blown by many of the Japanese pilgrims, and he would run
the risk of contracting some troublesome disease which had been left
from the sores on their lips. So the boys were cautious, and politely
rejected the invitation of the dealers to make a trial of the sonorous
qualities of their wares. They bought a few small shells and some
pieces of shell jewelry, which would be sure to please the girls at

There are several small temples and shrines on the island, and the most
of them are in picturesque spots in the forest, or on crags that
overlook the sea. As they walked about they met parties of pilgrims on
their way to these shrines; and on the summit they found a shaded
resting-place, where some chairs had been set out on a cliff overlooking
the broad waters of the Pacific. Two or three servants were in
attendance, and our party thought they could not do better than stop
awhile and sip some of the fragrant tea of Japan. So they sat down, and
in a few moments the tea was before them. The tea-house was not a large
one, and, as Frank expressed it, the most of the house was out of doors
and under the shade of the trees.

As every one knows who has read about the country, Japan contains a
great many tea-houses, or places of rest and refreshment. They are to
Japan what the beer-hall is to Germany, the wine-shop to France, or the
whiskey-saloon to America, with the difference in their favor that they
are much more numerous, and patronized by all classes of people. The
first visitors to Japan came away with erroneous notions about the
character of the tea-house, and these errors have found their way into
books on the country and been repeated many times, to the great scandal
of the people of the empire of the Mikado. The truth is that the
tea-house is a perfectly reputable and correct place in nineteen cases
out of twenty. It may have a bad character in the twentieth instance,
just as there is now and then a hotel in New York or other city that is
the resort of thieves and various bad persons. Nearly all classes of
people in Japan, who can afford to do so, resort to the tea-houses,
either in the hot hours of the day or in the evening. One can purchase,
in addition to tea, a variety of light refreshments, and the building is
almost invariably well ventilated and prettily situated. A person may
sit in public if he wishes, or he may have one of the rooms partitioned
off for himself and be quite secluded. The rooms are made, as in the
hotels and other houses, by means of paper partitions, and can be formed
with great rapidity.


At Tokio, Osaka, Kioto, and other large and wealthy cities many of the
tea-houses are so extensive that they take the name of gardens, and
cover large areas of ground. The attendants are invariably girls, and
the number is by no means niggardly. They are selected for their
intelligence and good-looks, as the business of the house depends
considerably upon the attractiveness of the servants. Their movements
are graceful, and a Japanese tea-house, with its bevy of attendants, is
no unpleasant sight. Foreigners in Japan are liberal patrons of the
tea-houses, and many a stranger has found a cordial welcome within the
walls of one of these popular establishments.

[Illustration: THE PATH IN ENOSHIMA.]

From the tea-house at the top of the hill, Doctor Bronson led the way
down a steep path to the sea. At the end of the path, and opening upon
the sea, there is a cavern which the Japanese consider sacred. Formerly
they would not allow a stranger to enter the cavern for fear of
polluting it; but at present they make no opposition, for the double
reason that they have found the cave remains as if nothing had happened,
and, moreover, the stranger is so willing to pay for the privilege of
exploration that a considerable sum is annually obtained from him. When
the tide is in, the cave can only be entered by means of a boat; but at
low-water one can creep along a narrow ledge of rock where a pathway has
been cut, which he can follow to the terminus. Our party engaged a guide
with torches, and were taken to the end of the cave, where they found a
hideous-looking idol that was the presiding divinity of the place. A
shrine had been erected here, and when it was lighted up the appearance
was fairly imposing. The pilgrims consider it a pious duty to visit this
shrine whenever they come to the island, and it has become quite famous
throughout Japan.

The boys were not inclined to stay long in the cave, as the sound of the
waters beating in at the entrance was almost deafening. They very soon
sought the open air, where a new entertainment awaited them. There was a
group of men and boys on the rocks at the entrance of the cavern, and
they called to the strangers to throw coins into the water and see how
soon they could be recovered by diving. Frank threw a small piece of
silver into the clear water of the Pacific, and in an instant half a
dozen boys sprang for it. One of them caught it before it reached the
bottom, and came up with the piece in his mouth. Several coins were
thrown, with a similar result; and finally it was proposed to let the
money reach the bottom before the divers started. This was done, and, as
the depth was about twelve feet, the work of finding the bit of silver
was not very easy. But it was found and brought to the surface; and
after the divers had been complimented on their skill, our friends moved
on. It is hardly necessary to add that the money thrown into the water
became the property of the youth who secured it; though it was rumored
that the divers were associated, and everything obtained went into a
common purse. The Oriental people are famous for their guilds, or labor
and trade associations, and nearly every occupation in life is under the
control of a guild, which has very arbitrary rules. It is not at all
impossible that the boys who dive for small coins at Enoshima are under
the control of an association, and that its rules and regulations may
have been in force for hundreds of years.

As the walk through the woods would have been fatiguing, and it was near
the middle of the day, when the sun was high and the heat severe, Doctor
Bronson engaged a boat to take the party back to the hotel. They
returned safely, and, after resting awhile, went on another walk, in a
direction slightly different from the first.


They soon found themselves among the huts of the fishermen, and the
quantity of fish that lay around in various stages of preparation told
that the business was not without prosperity. In a secluded part of the
island they came upon a pretty summer-house, where a wealthy citizen of
Tokio spent the hot months of the year. Through the gateway of the
garden they had a glimpse of a group of three ladies that were evidently
out for an airing. Frank thought he had never seen a prettier group in
all his life, and while he looked at them he whispered his opinion to

Fred agreed with him, and then added, "I tell you what, Frank, we'll get
three dresses just like those, if they don't cost too much; and when we
get home, we'll have Miss Effie and your sister and my sister put them
on. Then we'll arrange the garden to look like that one as much as
possible, with a little furnace and teapot in front of the girls, and
the pedestal of a statue near them. Won't that be nice?"

Frank agreed that it would, and, lest he should forget the arrangement
of the group, he made a rough sketch of the scene, and said they could
rely upon photographs for the costumes and their colors. If they got the
dresses, the girls could easily arrange them with the aid of the

When the sketch was finished, they returned to the hotel. The tide was
now out, and so the Doctor settled their account and they started for
Yokohama, following the most direct route, and making no halts for
sight-seeing. They arrived late in the evening, well pleased with their
excursion to Dai-Boots and Enoshima, and determined to give their
friends at home a full and faithful account of what they had seen and




The morning after their return from Enoshima was mostly spent at the
hotel, as all three of the excursionists were somewhat fatigued with
their journey. The boys embraced the opportunity to ask the Doctor the
meaning of certain things they had observed in Japan, and which had not
been brought up in conversation.

"For one thing," said Frank, "why is it that so many of the people, the
coolies especially, have large scars on their skins, as if they had been
burned. There is hardly a coolie I have seen that is without them, and
one of the men that drew my jin-riki-sha to Enoshima had his legs
covered with scars, and also a fresh sore on each leg."

"Those scars," the Doctor answered, "are from the moxa, which is used to
some extent in medical practice in Europe and America. Don't you
remember that when your uncle Charles had a disease of the spine the
doctors applied a hot iron to his back, along each side of the

"Certainly, I remember that," Frank replied; "and it cured him, too."

"Well, that was the moxa. It is not very often used in our country, nor
in Europe, but it is very common in Japan."

"I should think it would be a very painful remedy," Fred remarked, "and
that a man would be quite unwilling to have it applied."

"That is the case," answered the Doctor, "with us, but it is not so
here. The Japanese take the moxa as calmly as we would swallow a pill,
and with far less opposition than some of us make to a common blister.

"They take the moxa for nearly everything, real or imaginary. Sometimes
they have the advice of a doctor, but oftener they go to a priest, who
makes a mark on them where the burn is to be applied; then they go to a
man who sells the burning material, and he puts it on as a druggist with
us would fill up a prescription."

"What do they use for the burning?"

"They have a little cone the size of the intended blister. It is made
of the pith of a certain tree, and burns exactly like the punk with
which all boys in the country are familiar. It is placed over the spot
to be cauterized, and is then lighted from a red-hot coal. It burns
slowly and steadily down, and in a few minutes the patient begins to
squirm, and perhaps wish he had tried some milder mode of cure.
Sometimes he has half a dozen of these things burning at once, and I
have seen them fully an inch in diameter.

"Nearly every native has himself cauterized as often as once a year by
way of precaution; and if he does not feel well some morning, he is very
likely to go to the temple and have an application of the moxa. It is
even applied to very young children. I have seen an infant not a month
old lying across its mother's knee while another woman was amusing
herself by burning a couple of these pith cones on the abdomen of the
child. He objected to the operation by screaming and kicking with all
his might, but it was of no use. The moxa was considered good for him,
and he was obliged to submit."

"Another thing," said Fred--"why is it that the grooms are covered with
tattoo-marks, and wear so little clothing?"

"I cannot say exactly why it is," the Doctor replied, "further than that
such is the custom. If you ask a Japanese for the reason, he will answer
that it is the old custom, and I can hardly say more than he would.


"But the grooms, or 'bettos,' as the Japanese call them, are not the
only ones who indulge in tattooing. You will see many of the 'sendos,'
or boat-coolies, thus marked, but in a less degree than the bettos.
Perhaps it is because the grooms are obliged to run so much, and
consequently wish to lay aside all garments. As they must wear
something, they have their skins decorated in this way, and thus have a
suit of clothing always about them.

"And, speaking of these grooms, it is astonishing at what a pace they
can run, and how long they will keep it up. You may go out with your
carriage or on horseback, and, no matter how rapidly you go, the groom
will be always at your side, and ready to take the bridle of your horse
the moment you halt. They are powerful fellows, but their reputation for
honesty is not first-class."

Conversation ran on various topics for an hour or more, and then Doctor
Bronson announced that he would go out for a while, and hoped to give
them some interesting information on his return. The boys busied
themselves with their journals, and in this way a couple of hours
slipped along without their suspecting how rapidly the time was flying.
They were still occupied when the Doctor returned.

"Well, my boys," he said, "you must be ready for another journey
to-morrow. And it will be much longer and more fatiguing than the one we
have just made."

"Where are we going, please?" said Frank.

"I have arranged to go to Hakone and Fusiyama," the Doctor replied; "and
if we get favorable weather, and are not too tired when we arrive, we
will go to the summit of the mountain."

Frank and Fred clapped their hands with delight, and thought of nothing
else for some minutes than the journey to Fusiyama. It was an excursion
they had wanted very much to make, and which very few visitors to Japan
think of attempting. And now Doctor Bronson had arranged it for them,
and they were to be off the next morning. Could anything be more

The arrangement for the journey was somewhat more serious than the one
for Enoshima. It would take several days, and for a considerable part of
the way the accommodations were entirely Japanese. This might do for a
trip of a day or two where no unusual fatigue was to be expected; but in
a tour of considerable length, where there was likely to be much hard
work, and consequently much exhaustion, it was necessary to make the
most complete preparations. The Doctor foresaw this, and arranged his
plans accordingly.

A Japanese who had been with parties to the holy mountain, and
understood the ways and wants of the foreigners, had made a contract to
accompany our friends to Fusiyama. He was to supply them with the
necessary means of conveyance, servants, provisions, and whatever else
they wanted. The contract was carefully drawn, and it was agreed that
any points in dispute should be decided by a gentleman in Yokohama on
their return.

They were off at an early hour, and, as before, their route was along
the Tokaido. The provisions and other things had been sent on ahead
during the night, and they did not see them until they came to the place
where they were to sleep. They took a light meal before starting from
Yokohama, and found a substantial breakfast waiting for them at
Totsooka. Their host was a famous character in the East--an English
actor who had drifted through China and Japan, and finally settled down
here as a hotel-keeper.

"I met George Pauncefort in China years ago," said the Doctor, as they
entered the hotel; "I wonder if he will recognize me."

George greeted the travellers with all the dignity of an emperor
saluting an embassy from a brother emperor, and wished them welcome to
his roof and all beneath it. Then he straightened up to the very highest
line of erectness, and rested his gaze upon Doctor Bronson.

For fully a minute he stood without moving a muscle, and then struck an
attitude of astonishment.

"Can it be? Yes! No! Impossible!" he exclaimed. "Do my eyes deceive me?
No, they do not; it is; it must be he! it must! it must!"

Then he shook hands with the Doctor, struck another attitude of
astonishment, and with the same Macbethian air turned to a servant and
told him to put the steaks and the chicken on the table.

It is said by the residents of Yokohama, with whom the hotel at Totsooka
is a favorite resort, that George Pauncefort stirs an omelette as though
he were playing Hamlet, and his conception of Sir Peter Teazle is
manifested when he prepares a glass of stimulating fluid for a thirsty

[Illustration: A JAPANESE LOOM.]

Various industrial processes were visible as our party rode along. Some
women were weaving cotton at a native loom, and they halted the
jin-riki-shas a few moments to look at the process. The loom was a very
primitive affair, and the operator sat on the floor in front of it. A
man who appeared to be the chief of the establishment was calmly smoking
a pipe close by, and on the other side of the weaver a woman was winding
some cotton thread on a spool by means of a simple reel. After looking a
few moments at the loom, and the mode of weaving in Japan, the party
moved on. The boys had learned to say "Sayonara" on bidding farewell to
the Japanese, and they pronounced it on this occasion in the most
approved style. The Japanese salutation on meeting is "Ohio," and it is
pronounced exactly like the name of our Western state of which Columbus
is the capital. Everywhere the Japanese greet you with "Ohio," and a
stranger does not need to be long in the country to know how exceedingly
polite are the people we were accustomed only a few years ago to
consider as barbarians.

There is a story current in Japan of a gentleman from Cincinnati who
arrived one evening in Yokohama, and the following morning went into the
country for a stroll. Everywhere the men, women, and children greeted
him with the customary salutation, "Ohio, ohio," and the word rang in
his ears till he returned to his hotel.

He immediately sought the landlord and said, "I wish to ask if there is
anything in my personal appearance that indicates what part of the
States I am from."

The landlord assured him that there was no peculiarity of his costume
that he could point out as any such indication.

"And yet," answered the stranger, "all the Japanese have discovered it.
They knew me at a glance as a native of Ohio, as every one of them
invariably said 'Ohio' when I met them. And I must give them the credit
to say that they always did it very politely."

He was somewhat astonished, and also a trifle disappointed, when he
learned the exact state of affairs.

[Illustration: ARTISTS AT WORK.]

They passed a house where some artists were at work with the tools of
their trade on the floor before them, forming a neat and curious
collection. There were little saucers filled with paints of various
colors, and the ever-present teapot with its refreshing contents. There
were three persons in the group, and they kept steadily at their
occupation without regarding the visitors who were looking at them. They
were engaged upon pictures on thin paper, intended for the ornamentation
of boxes for packing small articles of merchandise. Larger pictures are
placed on an easel, as with us, but the small ones are invariably held
in the hand.

[Illustration: COOPERS HOOPING A VAT.]

In front of a house by the roadside some coopers were hooping a vat, and
Frank instantly recognized the fidelity of a picture he had seen by a
native artist showing how the Japanese coopers performed their work.
They make excellent articles in their line, and sell them for an
astonishingly low price, when we compare them with similar things from
an American maker. The fidelity of the work is to be commended, and the
pails and tubs from their hands will last a long time without the least
necessity of repairs.

Near the end of the first day's journey the party stopped at a Japanese
inn that had been previously selected by their conductor, and there they
found their baggage, and, what was quite as welcome, a substantial
dinner from the hands of the cook that had been sent on ahead of them.
They had sharp appetites, and the dinner was very much to their liking.
It was more foreign than Japanese, as it consisted largely of articles
from America; but there was a liberal supply of boiled rice, and the
savory stew of fish was not wanting.

The boys were rather surprised when they sat down to a dinner at which
stewed oysters, green corn, and other things with which they were
familiar at home were smoking before them; and Fred remarked that the
Japanese cooking was not so unlike that of America, after all. Doctor
Bronson smiled and said the cooking was done in America, and all that
the Japanese cook had to do with the articles was to warm them up after
opening the cans.

"And so these things come here in cans, do they?" Frank inquired.

"Certainly," the Doctor responded, "these things come here in cans, and
a great many other things as well. They serve to make life endurable to
an American in a distant land like Japan, and they also serve to keep
him patriotic by constantly reminding him of home.

"No one," he continued, "who has not been in foreign lands, or has no
direct connection with the business of canning our fruits, meats, and
vegetables, can have an idea of the extent of our trade in these things.
The invention of the process of preserving in a fresh state these
products which are ordinarily considered perishable has enabled us to
sell of our abundance, and supply the whole world with what the whole
world could not otherwise obtain. You may sit down to a dinner in Tokio
or Cairo, Calcutta or Melbourne, Singapore or Rome, and the entire meal
may consist of canned fish, canned meats, canned fruits, or canned
vegetables from the United States. A year or two ago the American consul
at Bangkok, Siam, gave a Christmas dinner at which everything on the
table was of home production, and a very substantial dinner it was."

"I wonder what they had for dinner that day," said Fred, with a laugh.

"As near as I can remember," the Doctor replied, "they began with oyster
and clam soup. Then they had boiled codfish and fresh salmon, and, as if
there were not fish enough, they had stewed eels. For meats they had
turkey, chicken, ham, a goose that had been put up whole, stewed beef,
roast beef, tongue, sausages, prairie chickens, ducks, and a few other
things; and as for vegetables and fruits, you can hardly name any
product of our gardens and orchards that they did not have before them.
For drinks they had American wines, American beer, American cider, and,
besides, they had honey just out of the comb that astonished everybody
with its freshness. All who were present pronounced the dinner as good
as any they had ever eaten, and it made them feel very patriotic to
think that everything came from home.

"You can hardly go anywhere in the world where there is an approach to
civilization without finding our canned goods, as the merchants call
them. They are widely known and appreciated, and well deserve the
reputation they bear."

This conversation went on while the party were engaged in the
consumption of the dinner, and the presence of many of the things named
gave it an additional point. When they were through dinner, they took a
short period of lounging on the veranda, and soon retired to rest. We
can be sure they slept well, for they had had a long and weary ride.

They were off again early in the morning, and in a little while came to
the banks of a river which they were to cross. Frank looked for a
bridge, and saw none; then he looked for a ferry-boat, but none was

"Well," he said, half to himself, "I wonder how we are to get over to
the other bank."

"There are the boatmen, but no boats," said Fred, as he pointed to some
stalwart men who were sitting on the bank, and evidently waiting for
something to turn up.

[Illustration: CROSSING THE RIVER.]

The mystery was soon solved. The river was neither wide nor deep, and
the men they saw waiting by the bank were porters who carried people
across, and also carried merchandise. The stream was said to rise very
rapidly, and owing to the nature of the bottom it was difficult to
maintain a bridge there for any length of time. The porters took the
party across very speedily; they carried the servants by what the boys
called "pick-a-back," while Doctor Bronson and the boys were borne on
chairs resting on poles, with six men to each chair. Some horses
belonging to another party were led through the river at the same time,
and evidently were not pleased with the bath they were receiving.

Frank wondered if accidents did not happen sometimes, and asked their
conductor about it. The latter told him that the Japanese law protected
the traveller by requiring the head of the porter in case a person
should be drowned in his charge. He said the law allowed no excuse,
and the porter must pay with his life for any accident.

Frank thought it would be a good thing to have the same system in the
management of railways in America; but then he remembered that Miss
Effie's uncle, who lived in New York, was a director in a railway, and
perhaps it would be just as well to say nothing about his new discovery.
It might bring trouble into the family and lead to unpleasant remarks.

Since the party made their excursion to Fusiyama a bridge has been built
over the river, and the occupation of the porters is gone. Some of them
cling to the hope that the river will one day rise in its might, and
protest against this invasion of its rights by sweeping away the
structure that spans it, thus compelling travellers to return to the
methods of the olden time.

From the river they proceeded to Odiwara, where they had a rest of
several hours, as the town contained certain things that they wished to
see. They found that foreigners were not very numerous at Odiwara, and
there was considerable curiosity to see them. Whenever they halted in
front of a shop, or to look at anything, of interest, a crowd was
speedily collected; and the longer they stood, the greater it became.
But there was no impertinence, and not the least insult was offered to
them; there was a manifestation of good-natured curiosity, and nothing
more. Men, women, and children were equally respectful; and whenever
they pressed too closely it was only necessary for the guide to say that
the strangers were being inconvenienced, when the crowd immediately fell
back. Every day and hour of their stay in Japan confirmed our friends
more and more in the belief that there are no more polite people in the
world than the Japanese.

[Illustration: MOTHER AND SON.]

Fred tried to open a conversation with a boy who was evidently out for a
walk with his mother. The little fellow was somewhat shy at first, but
very soon he became entirely confident that the stranger would not harm
him, and he did his best to talk. They did not succeed very well in
their interchange of ideas, as neither could speak the language of the
other, and so they attempted an exchange of presents. Fred gave the
young native an American lead-pencil that opened and closed with a
screw, and received in return the fan which the youth carried in his
hand. Both appeared well pleased with the transaction, and after several
bows and "sayonaras" they separated.

[Illustration: A FISHING PARTY.]

Frank had several fish-hooks in his pockets, and was determined not to
be behind Fred in making a trade. His eye rested on a family group that
was evidently returning from a fishing excursion; the man was carrying
some fishing-tackle and a small bag, while the woman bore a basket of
fish on her head and held a child to her breast. A boy six or eight
years old was dragging a live tortoise by a string, and it occurred to
Frank to free the tortoise from captivity.

So he produced one of his fish-hooks, and intimated that he would give
it for the captive. There was a brief conversation between father and
son, which resulted in the desired exchange. Frank handed the tortoise
over to the guide, with instructions to set it free at a favorable time
and place. The latter complied by delivering the prize to the cook as an
agreeable addition to the bill of fare for the next meal. So the freedom
of the tortoise was not exactly the kind that his liberator had

But there was an unforeseen result to this transaction, for it was soon
noised about among the small boys that the foreigners were giving
fish-hooks for tortoises; and as there was a good supply of the latter,
and not a good one of the former, there was a public anxiety to benefit
by the newly opened commerce. In less than half an hour there was a
movement in the market that assumed serious importance, and Frank found
himself in the character of a merchant in a foreign land. He became the
owner of nearly a dozen of the kindred of his first purchase, and would
have kept on longer had not his stock-in-trade given out. The guide took
the purchases in charge, and they followed the fate of the pioneer in
the business in finding their way to the cooking-pot. When the traffic
was ended, and the Japanese urchins found that the market was closed,
they pronounced their "sayonaras" and withdrew as quietly as they had

From Odiwara the roads were worse than they had found them thus far.
They had come by jin-riki-shas from Yokohama, and had had no trouble;
but from this place onward they were told that the roads were not
everywhere practicable for wheeled carriages. The Japanese are improving
their roads every year, and therefore a description for one season does
not exactly indicate the character of another. Anybody who reads this
story and then goes to Japan may find good routes where formerly there
were only impassable gorges, and hotels and comfortable lodging-houses
where, only a year before, there was nothing of the kind. In no country
in the world at the present time, with the possible exception of the
Western States of North America, are the changes so rapid as in the land
of the Mikado. Wheeled carriages were practically unknown before
Commodore Perry landed on Japanese soil, and the railway was an
innovation undreamed of in the Japanese philosophy. Now wheeled vehicles
are common, and the railway is a popular institution, that bids fair to
extend its benefits in many directions. Progress, progress, progress, is
the motto of the Japan of to-day.

Besides the natural desire to see Odiwara, the party had another reason
for their delay, which was to give the conductor time to engage cangos
for their transport in such localities as would not admit of the
jin-riki-sha. We will see by-and-by what the cango is.

[Illustration: THE MAN THEY MET.]

The boys had been much amused at the appearance of a Japanese they met
on the road just before reaching Odiwara, and wondered if they would be
obliged to adopt that mode of riding before they finished their journey.
The man in question was seated on a horse, not in the way in which we
are accustomed to sit, but literally on the back of the animal. His
baggage was fastened around him behind and on each side, and he was
rather uncomfortably crouched (at least, so it seemed to Fred) on a flat
pad like the one used by a circus-rider. A servant led the horse, and
the pace was a walking one. Altogether, the appearance of the man was
decidedly ludicrous, and the boys were somewhat surprised to learn that
this was the ordinary way of travelling on horseback in the olden time.

Before the arrival of foreigners in Japan it was not the fashion for a
traveller to be in a hurry, and, even at the present time, it is not
always easy to make a native understand the value of a day or an hour. A
man setting out on a journey did not concern himself about the time he
would consume on the road; if the weather was unfavorable, he was
perfectly willing to rest for an indefinite period, and it mattered
little if he occupied three weeks in making a journey that could be
covered in one. In matters of business the Japanese have not yet learned
the importance of time, and the foreign merchants complain greatly of
the native dilatoriness. A Japanese will make a contract to deliver
goods at a certain date; on the day appointed, or perhaps a week or two
later, he will inform the other party to the agreement that he will not
be ready for a month or two, and he is quite unable to comprehend the
indignation of the disappointed merchant. He demurely says, "I can't
have the goods ready," and does not realize that he has given any cause
for anger. Time is of no consequence to him, and he cannot understand
that anybody else should have any regard for it. The Japanese are every
year becoming more and more familiarized with the foreign ways of
business, and will doubtless learn, after a while, the advantages of



They did not get far from Odiwara before it was necessary to leave the
jin-riki-shas and take to the cangos. These were found waiting for them
where the road ended and the footpath began, and the boys were delighted
at the change from the one mode of conveyance to the other. Doctor
Bronson did not seem to share their enthusiasm, as he had been in a
cango before and did not care for additional experience. He said that
cango travelling was very much like eating crow--a man might do it if he
tried, but he was not very likely to "hanker after it."

[Illustration: TRAVELLING BY CANGO.]

It required some time for them to get properly stowed in their new
conveyances, as they needed considerable instruction to know how to
double their legs beneath them. And even when they knew how, it was not
easy to make their limbs curl into the proper positions and feel at
home. Frank thought it would be very nice if he could unscrew his legs
and put them on the top of the cango, where he was expected to place his
boots; and Fred declared that if he could not do that, the next best
thing would be to have legs of India-rubber. The cango is a box of light
bamboo, with curtains that can be kept up or down, according to one's
pleasure. The seat is so small that you must curl up in a way very
uncomfortable for an American, but not at all inconvenient for a
Japanese. It has a cushion, on which the traveller sits, and the top is
so low that it is impossible to maintain an erect position. It has been
in use for hundreds of years in Japan, and is not a great remove from
the palanquin of India, though less comfortable. The body of the machine
is slung from a pole, and this pole is upheld by a couple of coolies.
The men move at a walk, and every few hundred feet they stop, rest the
pole on their staffs, and shift from one shoulder to the other. This
resting is a ticklish thing for the traveller, as the cango sways from
side to side, and gives an intimation that it is liable to fall to the
ground. It does fall sometimes, and the principal consolation in such an
event is that it does not have far to go.

[Illustration: JAPANESE NORIMON.]

A more aristocratic vehicle of this kind is the norimon. The norimon is
larger than the cango, and is completely closed in at the sides, so that
it may be taken as a faint imitation of our covered carriages. The
princes of Japan used to travel in norimons; and they are still employed
in some parts of the empire, though becoming less and less common every
year. The norimon has four bearers, instead of two, and, consequently,
there is much more dignity attached to its use. The rate of progress is
about the same as with the cango, and after several hours in one of them
a foreigner feels very much as if he were a sardine and had been packed
away in a can. It was always considered a high honor to be the bearer of
a princely personage; and when the great man came out in state, with his
army of retainers to keep the road properly cleared, the procession was
an imposing one. The style and decorations of the norimon were made to
correspond with the rank of the owner, and his coat-of-arms was painted
on the outside, just as one may see the coats-of-arms on private
carriages in London or Paris. When a prince or other great man expected
a distinguished visitor, he used to send his private norimon out a short
distance on the road to meet him.

[Illustration: FRANK'S POSITION.]

The boys tried all possible positions in the cangos, in the hope of
finding some way that was comfortable. Frank finally settled down into
what he pronounced the least uncomfortable mode of riding, and Fred soon
followed his example. They had taken open cangos, so as to see as much
of the country as possible and have the advantage of whatever air was in
circulation; and but for the inconvenience to their lower limbs, they
would have found it capital fun. Frank doubled himself so that his feet
were as high as his head; he gave his hat into the care of the
conductor, and replaced it with a cloth covering, so that he looked not
much unlike a native. His bearers found him rather unwieldy, as he
frequently moved about, and thus disturbed the equilibrium of the load.
To ride properly in a cango or a norimon, one should not move a muscle
from the time he enters till he leaves the vehicle. This may do for the
phlegmatic Oriental, but is torture for a foreigner, and especially for
an American.

Doctor Bronson was a tall man, and could not fold himself with as much
facility as could the more supple youths. He rode a mile or so and then
got out and walked; and he continued thus to alternate as long as they
were travelling in this way. He was emphatic in declaring that the way
to ride in a cango and enjoy it thoroughly was to walk behind it, and
let somebody else take the inside of the vehicle.

Their journey brought them to Hakone, which has long been a favorite
summer resort of the Japanese, and of late years is much patronized by
foreigners. Those who can afford the time go there from Yokohama, Tokio,
and other open ports of Japan; and during July and August there is quite
a collection of English and Americans, and of other foreign
nationalities. The missionaries, who have been worn down and broken in
health by their exhaustive labors in the seaports during the winter,
find relief and recuperation at Hakone as the summer comes on. There
they gather new strength for their toils by breathing the pure air of
the mountains and climbing the rugged paths, and they have abundant
opportunities for doing good among the natives that reside there.


Before reaching Hakone it was necessary to traverse a mountain pass, by
ascending a very steep road to the summit and then descending another.
In the wildest part of the mountains they came to a little village,
which has a considerable fame for its hot springs. The boys had a fancy
to bathe in these springs, and, as the coolies needed a little rest
after their toilsome walk, it was agreed to halt awhile. There were
several of the springs, and the water was gathered in pools, which had
a very inviting appearance and increased the desire of our friends to
try them. They went into one of the small rooms provided for the
purpose, removed their clothing, and then plunged in simultaneously.
They came out instantly, and without any request to do so by the Doctor,
who stood laughing at the edge of the pool. For their skins the water
was almost scalding-hot, though it was far otherwise to the Japanese.
The Japanese are very fond of hot baths, and will bathe in water of a
temperature so high that a foreigner cannot endure it except after long
practice. The baths here in the mountains were just suited to the native
taste; and Frank said they would be suited to his taste as well if they
could have a few blocks of ice thrown into them.

[Illustration: A JAPANESE BATH.]

Public and private baths are probably more numerous in Japan than in any
other country. The qualities of most of the natural sources are well
known, and thousands flock to them every year to be cured of real or
imaginary maladies. The country contains a great number of these
springs; and, since the arrival of foreigners, and a careful analysis of
the waters, certain properties have been discovered that were not known
before. In some cases the curative powers of the Japanese springs are
remarkable, and it has been predicted that patients will one day come to
Japan from distant lands to be healed.

[Illustration: THE LAKE OF HAKONE.]

The Lake of Hakone is a beautiful sheet of water, not unlike Lake
Tahoe in California--an aquatic gem in a setting of rugged mountains.
These are not lofty, like the mountains of the Golden State, so far as
their elevation above the lake is concerned; but they rise directly from
the water, and present nearly everywhere a bold frontage. The surface of
the lake is said to be more than six thousand feet above the level of
the sea; and the water is clear and cold. Our young friends tried a bath
in the lake, and found it as inconveniently cold as the springs had been
inconveniently warm. "Some people are never satisfied," said Fred, when
Frank was complaining about the temperature of the water in the lake.
"You wouldn't be contented with the springs because they boiled you, and
now you say the lake freezes you. Perhaps we'll find something by-and-by
that will come to the point."

The boys had observed that the farther they penetrated from Yokohama and
Tokio, the less did they find the people affected in their dress and
manners by the presence of the foreigners. Particularly was this the
case with the women. They had seen in the open ports a good many women
with blackened teeth; and the farther they went inland, the greater did
they find the proportion of the fair sex who had thus disfigured
themselves. So at the first opportunity they asked the Doctor about the

"I know," said Frank, "that it is the married women that blacken their
teeth; but how does it happen that there are so many more married ones
here than on the shores of Yeddo Bay?"

"You are wrong there," answered the Doctor; "there is probably as large
a proportion of married women in the one region as in the other. The
difference is that the custom is rapidly falling off."

"Is there any law about it?" Fred inquired.

"Not in the least," Doctor Bronson explained. "It is an old custom for
married women to blacken their teeth, and formerly it was most rigidly
observed; but of late years, since the foreigners came to Japan, it has
not been adhered to. The Japanese see that a married woman can get along
without having her teeth discolored, and as they are inclined to fall
into the customs of Europe, the most progressive of them not only
permit, but require, their wives to keep their teeth white."

"That is one point," said Frank, "in which I think the Japanese have
gained by adopting the European custom. I don't think it improves their
appearance to put on European clothes instead of their own; but when it
comes to this habit of blackening the teeth, it is absolutely hideous."

From this assertion there was no dissent. Then the question naturally
arose, "How is the operation performed?"

Doctor Bronson explained that it was done by means of a black paint or
varnish, peculiar to Japan. The paint was rubbed on the teeth with a rag
or stiff brush, and made the gums very sore at first. It remained quite
bright and distinct for the first few days, but in the course of a week
it faded, and by the end of ten or twelve days a renewal was necessary.
If left to itself, the coloring would disappear altogether within a
month from the time of its application.

Frank wished to know if the women were desirous of having the custom
abolished, but on this point it was not easy for him to obtain precise
information. The Doctor thought it was a matter of individual rather
than of general preference, and that the views of the women were largely
influenced by those of their husbands. "The Japanese wives," said he,
"are like the wives of most other countries, and generally wish to do
according to the tastes and desires of their husbands. As you grow older
you will find that the women of all lands endeavor to suit their modes
of dressing and adornment to the wishes of the men with whom they come
mostly in contact; of course, there are individual exceptions, but they
do not weaken the force of the general rule. In America as in England,
in China as in Japan, in India as in Peru, it is the fancy of the men
that governs the dress and personal decoration of the other half of the
race. As long as it was the fashion to blacken the teeth in this
country, the women did it without a murmur; but as soon as the men
showed a willingness for them to discontinue the practice, and
especially when that willingness became a desire, they began to
discontinue it. Twenty years from this time, I imagine, the women with
blackened teeth will be less numerous than those at present with white

"The abandonment of the custom began in the open ports, and is spreading
through the country. It will spread in exactly the same ratio as Japan
adopts other customs and ways of the rest of the world; and as fast as
she takes on our Western civilization, just so fast will she drop such
of her forms as are antagonistic to it."

[Illustration: ANTICS OF THE HORSES.]

The party rested a portion of a day at Hakone, and then went on their
way. Travelling by cango had become so wearisome that they engaged a
horse-train for a part of the way, and had themselves and their baggage
carried on the backs of Japanese steeds. They found this an improvement
on the old plan, though the horses were rather more unruly than the
cango coolies, and frequently made a serious disturbance. Occasionally,
when the train was ready to start, the beasts would indulge in a general
kicking-match all around, to the great detriment of their burdens,
whether animate or otherwise. The best and gentlest horses had been
selected for riding, and consequently the greatest amount of circus
performances was with the baggage animals. The grooms had all they
wished to attend to to keep the beasts under subjection, and not
infrequently they came out of the contest with gashes and other
blemishes on their variegated skins. But they showed great courage in
contending with the vicious brutes, and it is said of a Japanese betto
that he will fearlessly attack the most ill-tempered horse in the
country, and not be satisfied till he has conquered him.

There are several populous towns between Hakone and the base of
Fusiyama. Among them may be mentioned Missimi, Noomads, and Harra, none
of them containing any features of special importance after the other
places our friends had seen. Consequently our party did not halt there
any longer than was necessary for the ordinary demands of the journey,
but pushed on to the foot of the Holy Peak. As they approached it they
met many pilgrims returning from the ascent, and their general
appearance of fatigue did not hold out a cheering prospect to the
excursionists. But they had come with the determination to make the
journey to the summit of the mountain, and were not to be frightened at
trifles. They were full of enthusiasm, for the great mountain showed
more distinctly every hour as they approached it, and its enormous and
symmetrical cone was pushed far up into the sky, and literally pierced
the clouds. At times the clouds blew away; the sunlight streamed full
upon the lofty mass of ever-during stone, and seemed to warm it into a
tropical heat. But the snow lying unmelted in the ravines dispelled the
illusion, and they knew that they must encounter chilling winds, and
perhaps biting frosts, as they ascended to the higher altitudes.

[Illustration: A NEAR VIEW OF FUSIYAMA.]

There lay the great Fusiyama, the holy mountain of Japan, which they
had come so many thousand miles to see. In the afternoon the clouds
rolled at its base, but the cone, barren as a hill in the great desert,
was uncovered, and all the huge furrows of its sloping sides were
distinctly to be seen. Close at hand were forests of the beautiful cedar
of Japan, fields of waving corn, and other products of agriculture. Not
far off were the waters of the bay that sweeps in from the ocean to near
the base of the famous landmark for the mariners who approach this part
of the coast. Now and then the wind brought to their ears the roar of
the breakers, as they crashed upon the rocks, or rolled along the open
stretches of sandy beach.


Hitherto they had been favored by the weather, but now a rain came on
that threatened to detain them for an indefinite period. It blew in
sharp gusts that sometimes seemed ready to lift the roof from the house
where they were lodged. The conductor explained that these storms were
frequent at the base of the mountain, and were supposed by the ignorant
and superstitions inhabitants of the region to be the exhibition of the
displeasure of the deities of Fusiyama in consequence of something that
had been done by those who professed to worship them. "When the gods are
angry," said he, "we have storms, and when they are in good-humor we
have fair weather. If it is very fine, we know they are happy; and when
the clouds begin to gather, we know something is wrong, and it depends
upon the amount of sacrifices and prayers that we offer whether the
clouds clear away without a storm or not."

Near the foot of the mountain there are several monasteries, where the
pilgrims are lodged and cared for when making their religious visits to
the God of Fusiyama. Some of these are of considerable importance, and
are far from uncomfortable as places of residence. Our party spent the
night at one of these monastic settlements, which was called Muriyama,
and was the last inhabited spot on the road. And as they were
considerably fatigued by the ride, and a day more or less in their
journey would not make any material difference, they wisely concluded to
halt until the second morning, so as to have all their forces fully
restored. Frank said, "This day doesn't count, as we are to do nothing
but rest; and if we want to rest, we must not see anything." So they did
not try to see anything; but the Doctor was careful to make sure that
their conductor made all the necessary preparations for the ascent.

Early on the second morning after their arrival, they started for the
final effort. They rode their horses as far as the way was practicable,
and then proceeded on foot. Their baggage was mostly left in charge of
the grooms to await their return, and such provisions and articles as
they needed were carried by "yamabooshees," or "men of the mountain,"
whose special business it is to accompany travellers to the summit, and
to aid them where the way is bad, or in case they become weary. If a
person chooses, he may be carried all the way to the top of the mountain
and back again; but such an arrangement was not to the taste of our
robust adventurers. They were determined to walk, and walk they did, in
spite of the entreaties of the coolies who wanted to earn something by
transporting them. In addition to the yamabooshees, they had an escort
of two "yoboos," or priests, from one of the temples. These men were not
expected to carry burdens, but simply to serve as guides, as they were
thoroughly familiar with the road and knew all its peculiarities.

The first part of their way was through a forest, but, as they ascended,
the trees became smaller and fewer, and their character changed. At the
base there were pines and oaks, but they gradually made way for beeches
and birches, the latter being the last because the hardiest. From the
forest they emerged upon the region of barren rock and earth and the
fragments left by the eruptions of the volcano. The last eruption took
place in 1707, and there have been few signs of any intention of
returning activity since that date. But all around there are abundant
traces of what the mountain was when it poured out its floods of lava
and covered large areas with desolation. In some places the heaps of
scoriæ appear as though the eruption, whence they came, had been but a
week ago, as they are above the line of vegetation, and their character
is such that they undergo hardly any change from the elements from one
century to another.

This part of Japan, and, in fact, the whole of Japan, has a good deal of
volcanic fire pent up beneath it. Earthquakes are of frequent
occurrence, and sometimes they are very destructive; whole towns have
been destroyed by them, and as for the little ones that do no material
damage, but simply give things a general shaking-up, they are so
frequent as to be hardly noticeable. That there is an underground
relation between the disturbances in different parts of the country is
evident, and the tradition is that at the time of the last eruption of
Fusiyama the ground rose considerably in the vicinity of the mountain,
while there was a corresponding depression of the earth near Kioto, on
the other side of the island. Occasionally there are slight rumblings in
the interior of Fusiyama, but none of them are serious enough to excite
any alarm.

From the place where our friends left their horses to the summit the
distance is said to be not far from twenty miles, but it is not exactly
the equivalent of twenty miles on a level turnpike or a paved street.
Frank said it reminded him of a very muddy road somewhere in California,
which a traveller described as nine miles long, ten feet wide, and three
feet deep; and he thought a fair description of the way up the mountain
would include the height and roughness as well as the length.

[Illustration: ASCENT OF FUSIYAMA.]

The path wound among the rocks and scoriæ, and through the beds of lava.
Altogether they found the ascent a most trying one, and sometimes half
wished that they had left the visit to Fusiyama out of their
calculations when they were planning how to use their time in Japan. But
it was too late to turn back now, and they kept on and on, encouraging
each other with cheering words, stopping frequently to take breath and
to look at the wonderful panorama that was unfolded to their gaze. The
air grew light and lighter as they went on, and by-and-by the periods
when they halted, panting and half suffocated, became as long as those
devoted to climbing. They experienced the same difficulty that all
travellers encounter at high elevations, and Fred remembered what he had
read of Humboldt's ascent of the high peaks of the Andes, where the
lungs seemed ready to burst and the blood spurted from the faces of
himself and his companions in consequence of the rarity of the

About every two miles along the way they found little huts or caves,
partly dug in the mass of volcanic rubbish, and partly built up, with
roofs to protect the interior from the rain. These were intended as
refuges for the pilgrims for passing the night or resting during storms,
and had no doubt been of great service to those who preceded them. At
one of these they halted for luncheon, which they took from the pack
of one of their bearers, and later on they halted at another to pass the
night. It is considered too great a journey to be made in a single day,
except by persons of unusual vigor and long accustomed to
mountain-climbing. The customary plan is to pass a night on the mountain
when little more than half way up, and then to finish the ascent, and
make the whole of the descent on the second day.

It was cold that night in the upper air, and there was a strong wind
blowing that chilled our young friends to the bone. The sleeping
accommodations were not of the best, as there were no beds, and they had
nothing but the rugs and shawls they had brought along from the foot of
the mountain. Fred asked if there was any danger of their being
disturbed by tigers or snakes, and was speedily reassured by Frank, who
thought that any well-educated beast or serpent would never undertake a
pilgrimage to the top of Fusiyama; and if one should have strayed as far
as their resting-place, he would be too much played out to attend to any
business. But though large game did not abound, there was plenty of a
smaller kind, as they found before they had been ten minutes in the
huts. Previous visitors had left a large and well-selected assortment of
fleas, for which they had no further use, and their activity indicated
that they had been for some time without food. They made things lively
for the strangers, and what with chilling winds, hard beds, cramped
quarters, and the voracity of the permanent inhabitants of the place,
there was little sleep in that hut during the time of their stay.

They were up before daylight, and, while the coffee was boiling, the
boys watched the approach of morning. They looked far out over the
waters of the Pacific, to where a thin line of light was curving around
the rim of the horizon. At first it was so faint that it took a sharp
eye to discover it, but as they watched and as the day advanced it grew
more and more distinct, till it rounded out like a segment of the great
circle engirdling the globe. The gleam of light became a glow that
seemed to warm the waters of the shimmering ocean and flash a message of
friendship from their home in another land; the heavens became purple,
then scarlet, then golden, and gradually changed to the whiteness of
silver. Far beneath them floated the fleecy clouds, and far beneath
these were the hills of Hakone and the surrounding plain. Land and sea
were spread as in a picture, and the world seemed to be lying at their
feet. The boys stood spellbound and silent as they watched the opening
day from the heights of Fusiyama, and finally exclaimed in a breath that
they were doubly paid for all the fatigue they had passed through in
their journey thus far.

The light breakfast was taken, and the adventurers moved on. At each
step the way grew more and more difficult. Every mile was steeper than
its predecessor, and in many instances it was rougher. The rarefaction
of the air increased, and rendered the work of breathing more and more
severe. The travellers panted like frightened deer, and their lungs
seemed to gain little relief from the rest that the Doctor and his young
friends were compelled to take at frequent intervals. The last of the
huts of refuge was passed, and it seemed only a short distance to the
summit. But it required more than an hour's effort to accomplish this
final stage. The boys refused all offers of assistance, and struggled
manfully on; but Doctor Branson was less confident of his powers, and
was glad of the aid of the strong-limbed and strong-handed yamabooshees.
All were glad enough to stand on the summit and gaze into the deep gulf
of the crater, while their brows were cooled by the clear breezes from
the Pacific. They were at the top of Fusiyama, 14,000 feet above the
level of the ocean that lay so far below them, eighty miles from their
starting-point at Yokohama, and their vision swept an area of the
surface of the earth nearly two hundred miles in diameter. East and
south lay the broad ocean. West and north was the wondrous land of
Japan, a carpet of billowy green, roughened here and there with wooded
hills and small mountains, indented with bays and with silver threads of
rivers meandering through it. It was a picture of marvellous beauty
which no pen can describe.

They remained an hour or more on the mountain, and then began the
descent. It was far easier than the upward journey, but was by no means
a pleasurable affair. The boys slipped and fell several times, but,
luckily, received no severe hurts; and in little more than three hours
from the top they were at the spot where the horses were waiting for
them. Altogether, they had been through about twelve hours of the
hardest climbing they had ever known in their lives. Frank said he
didn't want to climb any more mountains for at least a year, and Fred
quite agreed with him. As they descended from their saddles at Muriyama,
they were stiff and sore, and could hardly stand. They threw their arms
around each other, and Frank said:

"The proudest day of my life--I've been to the top of Fusiyama."

"And it's my proudest day, too," Fred responded; "for I've been there
with you."

As they rested that evening, Frank thought of some lines that he had
seen somewhere, which were appropriate to the journey they had made, and
he wound up the day's experiences by repeating them. They were as

  "As we climb from the vale to the high mountain's peak,
    We leave the green fields far below;
  We go on through the forest, beyond it we seek
    The line of perpetual snow.
  Cold and thin grows the air, the light dazzles our eyes,
    We struggle through storm-cloud and sleet;
  With courage undaunted we mount toward the skies,
    Till the world spreads out at our feet.

  "We are journeying now up the mountain of life,
    The green fields of youth we have passed;
  We've toiled through the forest with unceasing strife,
    And gained the bright snow-line at last.
  We are whitened by frost, we are chilled by the breeze--
    With weariness hardly can move;
  But, faithful to duty, in our work we'll ne'er cease
    Till we look on the world from above."



The return to Yokohama was accomplished without any incident of
consequence. Fred was a little disappointed to think that their lives
had not been in peril. "Just a little danger for the fun of the thing,"
he remarked to Frank; and at one time on the way he was almost inclined
to gloominess when he reflected on the situation. "There hasn't been any
attack upon us," he said to himself, "when there might have been
something of the kind just as well as not. Not that I wanted any real
killing, or anything of the sort, but just a little risk of it to make
things lively. It's really too bad."

He was roused from his revery by the Doctor, who told him they were
approaching the spot where some Englishmen were set upon by a party of
two-sworded Samurai, in the early times of the foreign occupation. The
attack was entirely unprovoked, and quite without warning. One of the
Englishmen was killed and another seriously wounded, while the natives
escaped unharmed. Fred wanted to know the exact character of the
Samurai, and why they were nearly always concerned in the attacks upon

"It is a long story," said Doctor Bronson, "and I am not sure that you
will find it altogether interesting; but it is a part of Japanese
history that you ought to know, especially in view of the fact that the
Samurai exist no longer. With the revolution of 1868 and the consequent
overthrow of the old customs, the Samurai class was extinguished, and
the wearing of two swords is forbidden.


"The population of Japan was formerly divided into four great classes.
The first was the military and official class, and these are what were
called Samurai; the second was the farmer class that rented the lands
from the government, and engaged in agriculture; the third was the
artisan class, and included all the trades and occupations of an
industrial character; and the fourth was the merchant class, including
all kinds of traders from the wholesale merchant to the petty peddler.
Of course there were subdivisions of these classes, and sometimes
several of them in a single class, but the general outline of the system
is as I have stated it. Below these classes, and outside the ordinary
scale of humanity, were the _Eta_ and _Hinin_ castes, who comprised
beggars, tanners, grave-diggers, and, in fact, all persons who had
anything to do with the handling of a dead body, whether human or of the
lower animals. It was pollution to associate with a person of the Eta
caste, and these people were compelled to dwell in villages by
themselves. As they were not respected by others, they had no great
respect for themselves, and lived in the most filthy condition. They
could not enter a house where other people lived, and were not permitted
to sit, eat, or drink with others, and they could not cook their food at
the same fire.

"This was the way society in Japan was made up till the revolution of
1868, when the whole fabric was swept away, and the principles of our
Declaration of Independence were adopted. The Japanese have virtually
declared that all men were created equal, by putting the classes on the
same level and abolishing the distinctions of caste. The Eta and Hinin
castes were made citizens, the Samurai (or gentry) were deprived of
their hereditary rights, and the feudal princes were compelled to turn
their possessions into the hands of the general government. The change
was very great for all, but for none more so than the Samurai.

"These fellows had been for centuries a class with extraordinary
privileges. Their ideas in regard to work of any kind were like those of
their kindred in Europe and some other parts of the world; it would
degrade them to do anything, and consequently they were generally
addicted to a life of idleness. There were studious and enterprising men
among them, but they were the exceptions rather than the rule. The
ordinary Samurai was, more or less, and usually more, a worthless
fellow, whose sole idea of occupation was to follow the lord of his
province and be present at ceremonials, and, for the rest, to spend his
time in drinking-shops and other improper places, and indulge in
occasional fights with the men of other clans. They were the only
persons allowed to wear two swords; and it was the constant wearing of
these swords, coupled with the drinking of sa-kee, that brought on most
of the difficulties between the natives and the foreigners. A group of
these men would be drinking in a tavern, and, while they were all heated
with the spirits they had swallowed, one of them would propose to kill a
foreigner. They would make a vow to go out and kill the first one they
met, and in this mood they would leave the tavern and walk along the
principal street. They would fall upon the first foreigner they met,
and, as they were three or four to one, and were all well armed, the
foreigner was generally slaughtered. Mr. Heusken, the interpreter of the
American Legation, was thus murdered at Yeddo in 1861, and the German
consul at Hakodadi met his death in the same way. The Samurai were the
class most opposed to the entrance of foreigners into Japan, and, so
long as they were allowed to wear swords and inflame themselves with
sa-kee, the life of a stranger was never safe."

"If they did no work," said Frank, "how did they manage to live?"

[Illustration: TWO-SWORDED NOBLES.]

"They were supported by the government," the Doctor answered, "in
accordance with the ancient custom. Every Samurai received an allowance,
which was paid to him in rice, the staple article of food, and what he
did not eat he could convert into money. His pay was in proportion to
his rank, and the great number of Samurai made their support a heavy
burden upon the laboring class. It is said that nine tenths of the
product of the soil went, in one way and another, for taxes; that is,
for every hundred bushels of rice that a farmer raised, ninety bushels
went to the local and general governments, and only ten bushels remained
to the farmer. It was by being thus saddled on the country that the
Samurai were able to live without work, and, as the right had been
conceded to them for generations, they naturally looked with contempt
upon all kinds of industry. Their dissipated way of living was very
likely to lead them into debt, just as it leads similar men into debt
everywhere else. The merchants and tradesmen of all kinds were their
victims, as the law allowed no redress for the wrongs they committed.
They would sometimes enter a shop, select what goods they wanted, hand
them over to a servant, and then leave without paying. If the merchant
intimated that he would like to be paid for his property, they became
very insolent and threatened to report him to the police as a swindler.
They would enter a tavern or tea-house with a crowd of their followers,
and, after eating and drinking what they wished, walk coolly away. If
the landlord asked for payment, he was not very likely to get it; and if
he repeated the request, he not infrequently had his head slashed off by
the sword of one of the offended gentlemen. The head of a landlord was
not of much consequence; but he was generally quite unwilling to lose
it, as, when once taken off, it was difficult to restore it to its

"If the Samurai had been on the most friendly terms with each other,
they would have rendered Japan too hot for anybody else to live in. But,
fortunately for the rest of the population, there were many feuds among
the different clans, and there was rarely an occasion when one clan was
not in open warfare with some other. In this way they devoted their
energies to cutting each other's throats, to the great delight of the
merchants and tradesmen. Where two clans were in hostility to each
other, and two opposing groups met in the streets, they used to fall to
fighting without ceremony and furnish occupation for the coroner before
the interview was over. They were a terror to all the rest of the
populace; and it is safe to say that there was general rejoicing among
the other classes when the Samurai ceased to exist."


Fred asked if the government took away the pensions of these men and
gave them nothing in return.

"Not by any means," the Doctor answered. "The government gave to each
man a money allowance, or gift, to take the place of his pension, and
let him do with it whatever he pleased. Some of them spent it in
dissipation, and found themselves eventually without a penny, and with
no means of obtaining anything. They were then obliged to go to work
like other people, and some of them had a very hard time to exist. I was
told in Yokohama that some of the former Samurai were working as coolies
in various ways, not only in that city, but all through the empire. A
good many of them have found employment among the foreign merchants as
clerks and salesmen, and there are many in government employ in the
offices at Tokio and in other cities. The officers you saw at the
custom-house were probably ex-Samurai, and ten years ago they would have
been wearing two swords apiece. The Japanese book-keeper you saw in the
office of the American merchant on whom we called the day of our arrival
was once a Samurai of high degree. He spent his government allowance in
a short time after receiving it, and was then compelled to find
employment or starve. He tried the starvation system a short time, and
concluded he did not like it. He turned his education to account by
undertaking to keep the Japanese accounts of a foreign merchant, and his
employer is well pleased with him.

"As the Samurai were the military class before the revolution, they
retain the same character, to a large degree, under the present system.
They are the officers of the army and navy, and, to a great extent, they
fill the ranks of the soldiery. Those who accepted the change and
remained loyal to the government have received appointments where there
were vacancies to be filled, and the strength of Japan to-day is largely
in the hands of the old Samurai. But, as might be expected, there was
much discontent at the change, and some of the Samurai went into open
rebellion against the government. This was the cause of the revolt in
1877, and for a time it was so formidable that many people believed it
would succeed. Not a few among the foreigners predicted that the Mikado
would be dethroned, and the power of the Tycoon restored; but the
government triumphed in the end, and those of the leaders of the
insurrection who did not perish in battle were beheaded."

Frank asked how the Japanese performed the ceremony of beheading, and
whether it was very frequent.

"As to that," said Doctor Bronson, "much depends upon what you would
call frequent. In former times a man might lose his head for a very
slight reason, or, perhaps, no reason at all. Crimes that we would
consider of small degree were punished with death, and there was very
little time wasted between the sentence and its execution. As the
Japanese have become more and more familiar with the customs of Western
nations, they have learned that we do not remove the heads of our people
for trifles, and they show their good sense by following our example. Of
late years, executions by decapitation are much less frequent than
formerly, but even now there are more of them than there need be.

"As to the manner of performing it, a few words will describe it. The
ceremonies that precede it are somewhat elaborate, but the affair
itself is performed in the twinkling of an eye, or, rather, in the
twinkling of a sword. It is a single flash, and all is over.


"When I was in Japan the first time, I was invited to be present at an
execution, and, as I had a scientific reason for being there, I accepted
the invitation. As a friend and myself approached the prison we met a
large crowd, and were told that the prisoner was being paraded through
the streets, so that the public could see him. There was quite a
procession to escort the poor fellow, and the people seemed to have very
little sympathy for him, as they were doubtless hardened by the
frequency of these occurrences. In front of the procession there were
two men bearing large placards, like banners. One of the placards
announced the name and residence of the victim, and the other the crime
of which he had been convicted, together with his sentence. Close behind
these men was the prisoner, tied to the horse on which he rode, and
guarded by a couple of soldiers. Following him were more soldiers, and
then came a couple of officers, with their attendants; for at that time
every officer had a certain number of retainers, who followed him
everywhere. We joined the party and went to the prison-yard, where we
found the ground ready prepared for the execution. But first, according
to the usual custom, the prisoner was provided with a hearty breakfast;
and it was rather an astonishing circumstance that he ate it with an
excellent appetite, though he complained of one dish as being unhealthy.
In half an hour or so he had finished, and was led to the spot where he
was to lose his head. He was required to kneel behind a small hole that
had been dug to receive his head; a bandage was tied around his eyes,
and as it was fastened he said 'Sayonara' to his friends and everybody
present. When all was ready, the officer in command gave the signal, and
the executioner, with a single blow, severed the head from the body. It
fell into the hole prepared for it, and was immediately picked up and
washed. Then the procession was formed again, and the head was taken to
a mound by the side of the road, where it was placed on a post.
According to law, it was to remain there six days, as a terror to all
who were disposed to do wrong. It was the first Japanese execution I
ever witnessed, and my last."

Frank asked the Doctor if this execution was anything like the
"hari-kari" of which he had read, where a Japanese was said to commit
suicide by cutting open his stomach.

"Not by any means," was the answer; "hari-kari is quite another thing."

"Please tell us how it is performed," said Fred.

"It is not altogether a pleasant subject," remarked the Doctor, with a
slight shudder; "but as we want to learn all we can of the manners and
customs of the people we are among, and as we are now among the
Japanese, I suppose we must give some attention to hari-kari.

"To understand the question thoroughly, it will be necessary to bear in
mind that the Oriental way of thinking is very often the exact reverse
of our way. We have one idea of honor and the Japanese have another; who
is right or who is wrong we will not pretend to say, as each party has
its own particular views and will not readily yield to the other.
Writers on Japan differ considerably in their views of Japanese points
of honor, and there are disagreements on the subject among the Japanese
themselves; therefore I cannot speak with absolute exactness about it.
According to the old code, all persons holding office under the
government were required to kill themselves in the way mentioned
whenever they had committed any crime, though not till they had received
an order to do so from the court. If they disobeyed the order, their
families would be disinherited, and none of their descendants would be
allowed to hold office ever after; consequently a regard for one's
family required a cheerful submission to the custom. There was no
disgrace attached to a death by hari-kari, and in former times its
occurrence was almost an every-day affair. One writer says, 'The sons of
all persons of quality exercise themselves in their youth, for five or
six years, with a view to performing the operation, in case of need,
with gracefulness and dexterity; and they take as much pains to acquire
this accomplishment as youth among us to become elegant dancers or
skilful horsemen; hence the profound contempt of death which they imbibe
in early years.' Curious custom, isn't it, according to our notions?"

Both the boys thought it was, and said they were glad that they were not
born in a country where such ideas of honor prevailed.

The Doctor told them that an old story, which he had no doubt was true,
since it accorded with the Japanese ideas of honor, would be a very good
illustration of the subject. It was concerning two high officers of the
court who met one day on a staircase, and accidentally jostled each
other. One was a very quick-tempered man, and demanded satisfaction; the
other was of a more peaceable disposition, and said the circumstance was
accidental, and could be amply covered by an apology, which he was ready
to make. The other tried to provoke him to a conflict, and when he found
he could not do so he drew his short-sword and slashed himself open
according to the prescribed mode. The other was compelled, as a point of
honor, to follow his example. It often happened that where one man had
offended another the court required that they should both perform
hari-kari, and they always did so without the least hesitation. And when
a man went to another's house, sat down and disembowelled himself, the
owner of the house was obliged by law to do the same thing. There was no
escaping it, and it is but fair to the Japanese to say that they did not
try to escape it.

"If you are deeply interested in the subject of hari-kari," said the
Doctor, "I advise you to read Mitford's book entitled 'Tales of Old
Japan.' Mr. Mitford lived some time in Japan in an official capacity,
and on one occasion he was called upon to be present at the hari-kari of
an officer who had given orders for firing on some foreigners. He gives
an account of this affair, including a list of the ceremonies to be
observed on such an occasion, which he translated from a Japanese work
on the subject. Nothing could be more precise than the regulations, and
some of them are exceedingly curious, particularly the one that requires
the nearest friend of the victim to act as his second. The duty of the
second is to cut off the principal's head at the moment he plunges the
knife into his body. It is a post of honor, and a gentleman who should
refuse thus to act for his friend would be considered no friend at all.
Again I say it is a curious custom all through.

"The term hari-kari means 'happy despatch,' and for the Japanese it was
a happy form of going out of the world. It is still in use, the custom
as well as the expression, but not so much so as formerly. The Japanese
ideas of honor have not changed, but they have found that some of their
ways of illustrating them are not in accordance with the customs of
Europe. There are cases of hari-kari now and then at the present time,
but they are very private, and generally the result of the sentence of a
court. At the termination of the rebellion of 1877, several of the
officers concerned in it committed hari-kari voluntarily just before the
surrender, and others in consequence of their capture and sentence.


"In the administration of justice," Doctor Bronson continued, "Japan has
made great progress in the past few years. Formerly nearly all trials
were conducted with torture, and sometimes the witnesses were tortured
as well as the accused. The instruments in use were the refinement of
cruelty: heavy weights were piled on the body of a prisoner; he was
placed in a caldron of water, and a fire was lighted beneath which
slowly brought the water to the boiling-point; he was cut with knives in
a variety of ways that indicated great ingenuity on the part of the
torturers; in fact, he was put to a great deal of pain such as we know
nothing about. Under the old system the only persons at a trial were the
prisoner, the torturer, the secretary, and the judge; at present the
trials are generally open, and the accused has the benefit of counsel to
defend him, as in our own courts. Torture has been formally abolished,
though it is asserted that it is sometimes employed in cases of treason
or other high crimes. Law-schools have been established, reform codes of
law have been made, and certainly there is a manifest disposition on the
part of the government to give the best system of justice to the people
that can be found. Japan is endeavoring to take a place among the
nations of the world, and show that she is no longer a barbarian land.
The United States have been the foremost to acknowledge her right to
such a place, but their action has not been seconded by England and
other European countries. It will doubtless come in time, and every year
sees some additional step gained in the proper direction.


"As I have before stated," the Doctor continued, "the Japanese have made
great progress in military and naval matters. They have ship-yards at
several places, and have built ships of their own after the European
models; in addition to these, they have ships that they bought from
foreigners, but they are entirely commanded and managed by their own
officers, and equipped with crews entirely Japanese. The old war-junks
of the country have been discarded for the modern ships, and the young
Japanese are trained in the Western mode of warfare; their schools for
naval instruction have made remarkable advancement, and the teachers who
were brought from other countries repeatedly declared that they never
had seen anywhere a more intelligent assemblage of pupils than they
found here. The Japanese naval officer of to-day is uniformed very much
like his fellow-officer in Europe or America, and his manners are as
polished as the most fastidious among us could wish. The Japanese ships
have made long cruises, and visited the principal ports of Europe and
America, and their commanders have shown that they understand the theory
and practice of navigation, and are able to take their ships wherever
they may be ordered to go. The picture of a Japanese war-junk of the
olden time, and that of the war-steamer of to-day do not show many
points of resemblance. They illustrate the difference between the old
and the new, very much as do the cango and the railway car when placed
side by side."


The Doctor thought he had given the boys quite as much information as
they would be likely to remember in his dissertation, and suggested that
they should endeavor to recapitulate what he had said. Frank thought the
discussion had taken a wide range, as it had included the status of the
four classes of Japanese society, had embraced the Samurai and their
peculiarities, some of the changes that were wrought by the revolution,
and had told them how executions were conducted in former times. Then
they had learned something about hari-kari and what it was for; and they
had learned, at the same time, the difference between the old courts of
justice and the new ones. What with these things and the naval progress
of the empire of the Mikado, he thought they had quite enough to go
around, and would be lucky if they remembered the whole of it.

Fred thought so too, and therefore the discussion was suspended, with
the understanding that it should be renewed on the first convenient




After the party had recovered from the fatigues of the journey to
Fusiyama, the boys were on the lookout for something new. Various
suggestions were made, and finally Frank proposed that they should go to
a theatre. This was quite to Fred's liking, and so it did not take a
long time to come to a determination on the subject. The Doctor agreed
that the theatre was an interesting study, and so the matter was

"What time in the evening must we go," said Fred, "so as to be there in
season for the beginning of the performance?"

"If you want to be there in season for the beginning," the Doctor
answered, "you should go in the morning, or, at all events, very early
in the day."

"Wouldn't it be well to go the day before?" Frank ventured to ask.

"Certainly you could do so," Fred responded, "or you might go next week
or last summer."

"The Japanese performances," Doctor Bronson continued, "do not all begin
in the morning, but the most of them do, and they last the entire day.
In China they have historic plays that require a week or more for their
complete representation; but in Japan they are briefer in their ways,
and a performance is not continued from one day to the next. They have
greater variety here than in China, and the plays are less tedious both
to one who understands the language and to one who does not. The
Japanese are a gayer people than the Chinese, and consequently their
plays are less serious in character."

It was agreed that a day should be given to amusements, and these should
include anything that the boys and their tutor could find. Frank went in
pursuit of the landlord of the hotel, and soon returned with the
information that there was a theatrical performance that very day in the
native theatre, and also a wrestling match which was sure to be
interesting, as the Japanese wrestlers are different from those of any
other country. After a little discussion it was determined that they
would first go to the wrestling match, and Frank should write a
description of the wrestlers and what they did. After the wrestling
match was disposed of, they would take up the theatre, and of this Fred
should be the historian.

Here is Frank's account of the wrestling as it appeared in the next
letter he sent home:

[Illustration: A JAPANESE WRESTLER.]

"I thought we were going to a hall, but it was nothing of the sort, as
we understand a hall. We went into a large tent, which was made by
stretching matting over a space enclosed by a high fence; the fence
formed the walls of the building, and the matting made the roof. We had
the ground to sit on or stand on, but soon after we went in a man
brought us some chairs, and we sat down. In the centre of the tent there
was a circular mound something like a circus ring; it was perhaps two
feet high and ten feet across, and there was a flat place outside of it
where the master of ceremonies was to stand and see that everything was
fair. We paid twenty-five cents to go in, and then we paid about five
cents more for each chair; of course we were in the best places, and
only a few others were in that part. I don't know how much the Japanese
paid in the poor places, but I don't believe it was more than five

"In a little while after we went in, the performance began. A boy came
into the ring from a room at one side of the tent, and he walked as if
he were playing the king, or some other great personage. When he got to
the middle of the ring, he opened a fan he carried in his right hand. He
opened it with a quick jerk, as though he were going to shake it to
pieces; and after he had opened it he announced the names of the
wrestlers who were to come into the first act. If I hadn't been told
what he was doing, I should have thought he was playing something from
Shakspeare, he made such a fuss about it. Then he went out and the
wrestlers came in, with a big fellow that Fred said must be the boss
wrestler. He looked like an elephant, he was so big.

"The wrestlers were the largest men I have seen in Japan; and the fact
is I didn't suppose the country contained any men so large. As near as I
could see, they had more fat than muscle on them; but there must have
been a good deal of muscle, too, for they were strong as oxen. Doctor
Bronson says he has seen some of these wrestlers carry two sacks of rice
weighing a hundred and twenty-five pounds each, and that one man carried
a sack with his teeth, while another took one under his arm and turned
somersets with it, and did not once lose his hold. The Doctor says these
men are a particular race of Japanese, and it used to be the custom for
each prince to have a dozen or more of these wrestlers in his suite to
furnish amusement for himself and his friends. Sometimes two princes
would get up a match with their wrestlers, just as men in New York get
up matches between dogs and chickens. Then there were troupes of
wrestlers, who went around giving exhibitions, just as they sometimes do
in America. But you never saw such fat men in all your life as they
were; not fat in one place, like the man that keeps the grocery on the
corner of the public square in our town, but fat all over. I felt the
back and arms of one of them, and his muscles were as hard as iron. The
flesh on his breast was soft, and seemed like a thick cushion of fat. I
think you might have hit him there with a mallet without hurting him


"Some of them could hardly see out of their eyes on account of the fat
around them; and when their arms were doubled up, they looked like the
hams of a hog. I was told that the Japanese idea of a wrestler is to
have a man as fat as possible, which is just the reverse of what we
think is right. They train their men all their lives to have them get up
all the fat they can; and if a man doesn't get it fast enough, they put
him to work, and tell him he can never be a wrestler. It is odd that a
people so thin as the Japanese should think so much about having men
fat; but I suppose it is because we all like the things that are our
opposites. But this isn't telling about the wrestling match.

"After the herald had given the names of the wrestlers who were to make
the first round, the fellows came in. They were dressed without any
clothes to speak of, or rather they were quite undressed, with the
exception of a cloth around their loins. They came in on opposite sides
of the ring, and stood there about five feet apart, each man resting his
hands on his knees, and glaring at the other like a wild beast. They
looked more like a pair of tigers than human beings, and for a moment I
thought it was not at all unlike what a bull-fight in Spain might be.

[Illustration: THE CLINCH.]

"There they stood glaring, as I told you, and making a noise like
animals about to fight. They stamped on the ground and made two or three
rushes at each other, and then fell back to watch for a better chance.
They kept this up a minute or so, and then darted in and clinched; and
then you could see their great muscles swell, and realize that they were
as strong as they were fat.

"They did not try to throw each other, as we do when we wrestle, but
they tried to push from one side of the ring to the other. I couldn't
understand this until the Doctor told me that it is not necessary for
one of the men to be thrown. All that is to be done is for one of them
to push the other outside the ring; and even if he only gets one foot
out, the game is up. Only once during all we saw of the match did
anybody get thrown down, as we should expect to see him in a wrestling
match in America. And when he did get fairly on the ground, it was not
very easy for him to rise, which is probably the reason why the rules of
the Japanese ring are so different from ours.

"They had several matches of this kind with the two men standing up
facing each other before they clinched; and then they tried another
plan. One man took his place in the ring, and braced himself as though
he were trying to stop a locomotive. When he was ready a signal was
given, and another man came out full tilt against him. They butted their
heads together like two rams, and tried to hit each other in the breast.
In a short time they were covered with blood, and looked very badly; but
the Doctor says they were not hurt so much as they seemed to be. They
kept this up for nearly a quarter of an hour, and took turns at the
business--one of them being bull for the other to play railway train
against. It was as bad for one as for the other; and if I had my choice
which character to play, I wouldn't play either.

"After the wrestling was over they had some fencing, which I liked much
better, as there was more skill to it and less brutality. The fencers
were announced in the same way as the other performers had been. They
wore large masks that protected their heads, and their fencing was with
wooden swords or sticks, so that no harm was done. The game was for each
to hit his adversary's head, and when this was done a point was scored
for the man who made the hit. They did a good deal of shouting and
snarling at each other, and sometimes their noise sounded more as if
made by cats than by human beings. In other respects their fencing was
very much like ours, and was very creditable to the parties engaged in
it. One of the best fencers in the lot was a young girl. She wasn't more
than sixteen years old, and she had arms strong enough for a man of
thirty. The performance ended with the fencing, and then we went back to
the hotel."

It was determined that the evening would be quite early enough to go to
the theatre, and so the party did not start until after seven o'clock.
They secured a box at one side of the auditorium, where they could see
the stage and the audience at the same time. When you go to the play in
a strange land, the audience is frequently quite as interesting a study
as the performance, and sometimes more so. In no country is this more
truly the case than in Japan. But it was agreed that Fred should give
the account of the play, and so we will listen to him. Here is his

"The theatre was a small one, according to our notions, but it was well
ventilated, which is not always the case in America. The man that sold
the tickets was very polite, and so was the one who took them at the
door. The latter called an usher, who showed us to our box, and brought
the chairs for us; and then he brought a programme, but we couldn't read
a word of it, as it was all in Japanese. We cared more about looking at
the people than trying to read something that we couldn't read at all;
and so I folded up the programme and put it into my pocket.

"The house had a floor and galleries like one of our theatres, but there
were only two galleries, and one of them was on a level with the
parquet. The parquet, or floor, was divided into boxes, and they were
literally boxes, and no mistake. They were square, and the partitions
between them were little more than a foot high, with a flat board on the
top for a rail. This was about five inches wide, and I soon saw what it
was used for, as the people walked on it in going to and from their
boxes. The boxes had no chairs in them, but they were carpeted with
clean matting; and anybody could get cushions from the ushers by asking
for them. Each box was intended to hold four persons; but it required
that the four should not be very large, and that each should stick to
his own corner. One box in front of us had six women in it, and there
were two or three boxes crowded with children. They had tea and
sweetmeats in many of the boxes, and I noticed that men and boys were
going around selling these things. I asked if we had come to the right
place, as it occurred to me that it was only at the Bowery and that kind
of theatre in New York that they sold peanuts and such things; but the
Doctor said it was all right, and they did this in all the best theatres
in Japan.


"Of course, if they come and stay all day, they must have something to
eat, and so I saw the reason of their having tea and other refreshments
peddled about the house. Then there were men who sold books which gave
an account of the play, and had portraits of some of the principal
players. I suppose these books were really the bills of the play; and if
we could have read them, we should have known something about the
performance more than we do now.

"While we were looking at the audience there came half a dozen raps
behind the curtain, as if two pieces of wood had been knocked together;
and a moment after the rapping had stopped, the curtain was drawn aside.
It was a common sort of curtain, and did not open in the middle like
some of ours, or roll up like others; it was pulled aside as if it ran
on a wire, and when it was out of sight we saw the stage set to
represent a garden with lots of flower-pots and bushes. The stage was
very small compared with an American one, and not more than ten or
twelve feet deep; but it was set quite well, though not so elaborately
as we would arrange it. The orchestra was in a couple of little boxes
over the stage, one on each side, and each box contained six persons,
three singers and three guitar-players. This is the regulation orchestra
and chorus, so they say, in all the Japanese theatres, but it is
sometimes differently made up. If a theatre is small and poor, it may
have only two performers in each box, and sometimes one box may be
empty, but this is not often.

[Illustration: THE SAMISEN.]

"The orchestra furnishes music by means of the guitar, or 'samisen.' It
is played something like our guitar, except that a piece of ivory is
used for striking the strings, and is always used in a concert that has
any pretence to being properly arranged. There are two or three other
instruments, one of them a small drum, which they play upon with the
fingers; but it is not so common as the samisen, and I don't think it is
so well liked. Then they have flutes, and some of them are very sweet,
and harmonize well with the samisen; but the singers do not like them
for an accompaniment unless they have powerful voices. The
samisen-players generally sing, and in the theatres the musicians form a
part of the chorus. A good deal of the play is explained by the chorus;
and if there are any obscure points, the audience is told what they are.
I remember seeing the same thing almost exactly, or, at any rate, the
same thing in principle, in the performance of "Henry V." at a theatre
in New York several years ago, so that this idea of having the play
explained by the chorus cannot be claimed as a Japanese invention.

[Illustration: PLAYING THE SAMISEN.]

"In the theatre the singing goes on sometimes while the actors are on
the stage, and we got tired of it in a little while. I don't suppose the
Japanese get so tired of it, or they would stop having it. Some of them
admit that it would be better to have the orchestra in front of the
stage, as we do; but others say that so long as the chorus must do so
much towards explaining the play, they had better remain where they are.
The Japanese seem to like their theatre as it is, and therefore they
will not be apt to change in a hurry.

"Just after the curtain was pulled away, they opened a door in the
middle of the garden, and the actors who were to be in the play came in.
They sat down on the stage and began a song, which they kept up for ten
or fifteen minutes, each of them singing a part that was evidently
prepared for himself alone. The music in the little boxes joined them,
and it made me think of the negro minstrels in a concert hall at home,
where they all come on together. After they finished this part of the
performance, there was a pantomime by a woman, or rather by a man
disguised as a woman, as all the acting is done by men. They get
themselves up perfectly, as they have very little beards, and they can
imitate the voice and movements of a woman, so that nobody can tell the
difference. I couldn't tell what the pantomime was all about, and it was
so long that I got tired of it before they were through, and wondered
when they would come on with something else.


"Then the real acting of the piece began, and I wished ever so much that
it had been in English, so that I could understand it. The story was a
supernatural one, and there were badgers and foxes in it, and they had a
woman changed to a badger, and the badger to a woman again. Gentlemen
who are familiar with Japanese theatres say there are many of these
stories, like our Little Red Riding-hood, and other fairy tales, acted
on the stage, and that the play we saw is one of the most popular, and
is called 'Bumbuku Chagama,' or 'The Bubbling Teapot.' One gentleman has
shown me a translation of it, and I will put it in here, just to show
you what a Japanese fairy story is like.

"'Once upon a time, it is said, there lived a very old badger in the
temple known as Morin-je, where there was also an iron teapot called
Bumbuku Chagama, which was a precious thing in that sacred place. One
day when the chief priest, who was fond of tea and kept the pot always
hanging in his sitting-room, was about taking it, as usual, to make tea
for drinking, a tail came out of it. He was startled, and called
together all the little _bourges_, his pupils, that they might behold
the apparition. Supposing it to be the mischievous work of a fox or
badger, and being resolved to ascertain its real character, they made
due preparations. Some of them tied handkerchiefs about their heads, and
some stripped the coats from their shoulders, and armed themselves with
sticks and bits of firewood. But when they were about to beat the vessel
down, wings came out of it; and as it flew about from one side to
another, like a dragon-fly, while they pursued it, they could neither
strike nor secure it. Finally, however, having closed all the windows
and sliding-doors, after hunting it vigorously from one corner to
another, they succeeded in confining it in a small space, and presently
in capturing it.


"'While they were consulting what to do with it, a man entered whose
business it was to collect and sell waste paper, and they showed him the
teapot with a view of disposing of it to him if possible. He observed
their eagerness, and offered a much lower price than it was worth; but
as it was now considered a disagreeable thing to have in the temple,
they let him have it at his own price. He took it and hastily carried it
away. He reached his home greatly pleased with his bargain, and looking
forward to a handsome profit the next day, when he would sell it for
what it was worth.

"'Night came on, and he lay down to rest. Covering himself with his
blankets, he slept soundly.

"'But near the middle of the night the teapot changed itself into the
form of a badger, and came out of the waste paper, where it had been
placed. The merchant was aroused by the noise, and caught the teapot
while it was in flight. By treating it kindly he soon gained its
confidence and affection. In the course of time it became so docile that
he was able to teach it rope-dancing and other accomplishments.

"'The report soon spread that Bumbuku Chagama had learned to dance, and
the merchant was invited to go to all the great and small provinces,
where he was summoned to exhibit the teapot before the great daimios,
who loaded him down with gifts of gold and silver. In course of time he
reflected that it was only through the teapot, which he had bought so
cheap, that he became so prosperous, and felt it his duty to return it
again, with some compensation, to the temple. He therefore carried it to
the temple, and, telling the chief priest of his good fortune, offered
to restore it, together with half the money he had gained.


"'The priest was well pleased with his gratitude and generosity, and
consented to receive the gifts. The badger was made the tutelary spirit
of the temple, and the name of Bumbuku Chagama has remained famous in
Morin-je to this day, and will be held in remembrance to the latest ages
as a legend of ancient time.'

"This is the fairy story," Fred continued, "which we saw on the stage;
but it was varied somewhat in the acting, as the badger at times took
the form of a woman, and afterwards that of a badger again, as I have
already told you. A good deal of the acting was in pantomime, and in the
scene where they are all trying to catch the teapot as it flies around
the room they had quite a lively dance. We enjoyed the play very much,
but I don't care to go again till I know something about the Japanese
language. And a well-cushioned chair would add to the comfort of the



Frank thought it was pretty nearly time to be thinking about the
purchases he was to make for Mary. So he looked up the paper she gave
him before his departure, and sat down to examine it. The list was not
by any means a short one, and on consulting with the Doctor he learned
that it would make a heavy inroad upon his stock of cash if he bought
everything that was mentioned. He was rather disconcerted at the
situation, but the good Doctor came to his relief.

"It is nothing unusual," said he, "for persons going abroad to be loaded
down with commissions that they are unable to execute. A great many
people, with the best intentions in the world, ask their friends who are
going to Europe to bring back a quantity of things, without stopping to
think that the purchase of those things will involve a heavy outlay that
cannot be easily borne by the traveller. The majority of people who go
abroad have only a certain amount of money to expend on their journeys,
and they cannot afford to lock up a considerable part of that money in
purchases that will only be paid for on their return, or quite as often
are never paid for at all. There is a good little story on this subject,
and it may be of use to you to hear it.

"A gentleman was once leaving New York for a trip to Europe, and many of
his friends gave him commissions to execute for them. Some were
thoughtful enough to give him the money for the articles they wanted;
but the majority only said, 'I'll pay you when you get back, and I know
how much it comes to.' When he returned, he told them that a singular
circumstance had happened in regard to the commissions. 'The day after I
sailed,' said he, 'I was in my room arranging the lists of things I was
to get for my friends, and I placed the papers in two piles; those that
had the money with them I put in one pile, and the money on top; and
those that had no money with them I put in another pile. The wind came
in and set things flying all around the room. The papers that had the
money on them were held down by it, but those that had no money to keep
them in place were carried out of the window and lost in the sea. And so
you see how it is that the commissions that my friends gave me the money
for are the only ones I have been able to execute.'

"But in the present case," said Doctor Bronson, "it is all right, as
your father privately gave me the money to buy the articles your sister
wants. So you can go ahead and get them without any fear that you will
trench on the amount you have for your personal expenses."

The boys went on a round of shopping, and kept it up, at irregular
intervals, during their stay in Japan. And in their shopping excursions
they learned much about the country and people that they would not have
been likely to know of in any other way.

One of the first things on the list was a silk wrapper with nice
embroidery. This gave rather a wide latitude in the way of selection,
and Frank was somewhat puzzled what to get. He went to the store of one
of the greatest silk-merchants of Yokohama and stated his wants. He was
bewildered by the variety of things placed before him, and by their
great beauty in color and workmanship. There were so many pretty things
for sale there that he did not know when to stop buying; and he
privately admitted to Fred that it was fortunate he was restricted in
the amount he was to expend, or he would be in danger of buying out the
whole of the establishment. He found the goods were admirably adapted to
the foreign taste, and, at the same time, they preserved the national
characteristics that gave them value as the products of Japan.

[Illustration: FRANK'S PURCHASE.]

He selected a robe of a delicate blue, and finely embroidered with silk
of various colors. The embroideries represented flowers and leaves in
curious combinations; and when the robe was placed on a frame where the
light could fall full upon it, Frank thought he had never seen anything
half so pretty. And it is proper to add that he bought two of these
robes. Why he should buy two, when he had only one sister--and she would
not be likely to want two wrappers of the same kind--I leave the reader
to guess.


Then there were fans on the list, and he went in pursuit of fans. He
found them, and he thus had the opportunity of seeing the fan-makers at
work. He found that there is a great variety in the fans which the
Japanese make, and that the articles vary from prices which are
astonishingly low to some which are dear in proportion. There is such a
large trade in fans that he expected to find an extensive factory,
employing hundreds of hands. He found, instead, that the fan-makers work
on a very small scale, and that one person generally does only a small
portion of the work, then turns it over to another, who does a little
more, and so on. Certain low-priced fans are all finished in one shop;
but with the high grades this is not the case, and, from first to last,
a fan must pass through a good many hands. The fan-makers include women
as well as men in their guild; and Frank thought it was by no means an
unpleasant sight to see the women seated on the floor in front of low
benches and gracefully handling the parts of the fan that was
approaching completion in consequence of their manipulations.

[Illustration: FAN-MAKERS AT WORK.]

Mary had been seized with the prevailing mania for Japanese porcelain,
and among the things in her list she had noted especially and
underscored the words "some good things in Japanese _cloisonné_." Frank
had seen a good many nice things in this kind of work, and he set about
selecting, with the help of the Doctor and Fred, the articles he was to
send home. He bought some in Yokohama, some in Tokio, and later on he
made some purchases in Kobe and Kioto. We will look at what he bought
and see if his sister had reason to be pleased when the consignment
reached her and was unpacked from its carefully arranged wrappings.

For hundreds of years Japan has been famous for its productions of
porcelain of various kinds, from the tiny cup no larger than a lady's
thimble to the elaborately decorated vase with a capacity of many
gallons. Each province of Japan has its peculiar product, and sometimes
one is in fashion, and sometimes another. For the last few years the
favor has turned in the direction of Satsuma ware, which has commanded
enormous figures, especially for the antique pieces. So great was the
demand for old Satsuma that a good many manufacturers turned their
attention to its production. They offer to make it to any amount, just
as the wine-dealers in New York can accommodate a customer with wine of
any vintage he requires, if he will only give them time enough to put on
the proper labels. It is proper to say, on behalf of the Japanese, that
they learned this trick from the foreigners; and their natural
shrewdness has taught them to improve upon the lesson, so that in some
instances they have actually sold to their instructors new ware for old,
and convinced the purchasers of its genuineness.


We have not space enough to go into a full account of art in Japan, as a
whole volume could be written on the subject without exhausting it.
Frank followed the directions in Mary's note to find some good things in
_cloisonné_; and, as he did not pay much attention to other matters, we
will, for the present at least, follow his example and take a look at
this branch of art in Japan.


Frank thought it would be proper to have his sister understand the
process by which the articles she desired were prepared, and, with the
assistance of Doctor Bronson, he was able to write her an account of it
that she could study, and, if she chose, could read or tell to her
friends. Here is what he produced on the subject:

[Illustration: JAPANESE BOWL.]

"The term _cloisonné_ comes from the French word _cloison_, which means
a _field_ or _enclosure_, and you will see as you go on how appropriate
it is to this kind of work. If you examine the bowl which you will find
in the box, you will see that it has a groundwork of light blue, and
that on this groundwork there are fine threads of brass enclosing little
squares and other figures in colors quite different from the body of the
bowl. If you look at the cover, you will find that these squares and
figures are repeated, and also that there are three circles, like plates
with serrated edges, that seem to be lying on the top of the cover.
These plates, or circles, have pictures of flowers on them, and the
designs of the flowers on each one are different from those of the other
two. Every leaf and petal is distinct from the others by means of the
brass wires, and the colors do not at any time run together.


"In the first place, the bowl of plain porcelain is ground, so that the
enamel will stick closely, which it would not do if the surface were
glazed. Then the artist makes a design, on paper, of the pattern he
intends putting on the bowl. When his design is finished, he lays it on
a flat surface, and takes little pieces of brass wire which has been
passed between rollers so that it becomes flattened; these he bends with
pincers, so that they take the shape of the figure he wants to
represent. Thus he goes over his whole design until every part of the
outline, every leaf, flower, and stem--in fact, every line of his
drawing--is represented by a piece of wire bent to the exact shape. The
wire then forms a series of partitions; each fragment of it is a cell,
or _cloison_, intended to retain the enamel in place and keep the colors
from spreading or mingling. That is the first step in the work.

"The second step is to attach these flattened threads of wire by their
edges to the bowl. This is done by means of a fusible glass, which is
spread over the surface of the bowl in the form of paste; the bits of
wire are carefully laid in their places in the paste, and the bowl is
then baked just enough to harden the surface and make it retain the
threads where they belong. Now comes the third step.

"This consists of filling the little cells or enclosures with the proper
enamel, and, to do this correctly, the original design must be carefully
followed. The design is drawn in colors, and as the artist proceeds with
his work he has the colors ready mixed in little cups that are ranged
before him. These colors are like thick pastes of powdered glass mixed
with the proper pigments, and one by one the cells of the surface are
filled up. Then the groundwork is filled in the same way; and when all
this is done, the bowl is put into the oven and submitted to a strong

[Illustration: CHINESE METAL VASE.]

"The baking serves to fix the colors firmly in their cells, as the fire
is hot enough to melt the glass slightly and fuse it to a perfect union
with the body of the bowl. For common work, a single coating of enamel
and a single baking are sufficient, but for the finer grades this will
not answer. Another coating of colors is laid on, and perhaps a third or
a fourth, and after each application the bowl is baked again. When this
process is finished, the surface is rough, and the bowl is not anything
like what we see it now. It must be polished smooth, and, with this
object, it is ground and rubbed, first with coarse stones, then with
finer ones, then with emery, and finally with powdered charcoal. In this
way the bowl was brought to the condition in which you will find it, if
it comes all right and uninjured from the box. A good many pieces of
this ware are broken in the handling, and consequently they add to the
price of those that come out unharmed.


"The fine threads of brass that run through the surface give a very
pretty appearance to the work, as they look like gold, and are perfectly
even with the rest of what has been laid on to the original bowl. In
some of the most expensive of the enamel-work the threads are of fine
gold instead of brass; but there is no particular advantage in having
them of gold, as the brass answers all purposes and the gold serves as a
temptation to robbers. There is an endless variety of designs in
_cloisonné_ work, and you see so many pretty things in porcelain that
you are at a loss what to choose.


"But the artists do not confine themselves to porcelain; they do a great
deal of enamelling on metal, and some of their productions in this way
are quite as interesting as their enamelling on porcelain. They did not
invent the art, so it is said, but borrowed it from the Chinese, who had
in their turn borrowed it from Persia or some other of the Central
Asiatic countries. Some of the Japanese artists claim that the art was
borrowed from their country, but the most of those who have studied the
subject say that this claim is incorrect. But no matter who invented the
process, it is very beautiful and is of great antiquity; it is capable
of a great many variations, and, although it has been in use for
centuries, hardly a year passes without some improvements in it. In
making the metal enamels the strips of brass are soldered to the surface
and the cavities are filled up with the liquid coloring. The whole is
then baked as in the porcelain process, and the surface of the work is
carefully polished until all the lines are fully developed and the
completed article shines like glass.


"I shall send you," Frank added, "several specimens of this kind of
work, and I am sure that all of you will be delighted with them. In
addition to the Japanese enamel, I have been able to pick up a few from
China by the help of a gentleman who has been a long time in the
country, and knows where to get the best things. And as I can't get all
I want, I shall send you some pictures of very rare specimens, and you
can judge by them of the quality of what you have. It is very difficult
to find some of the varieties, as there have been a good many men out
here making purchases for the New York and London markets, and they
gather up everything that is curious. The demand is so great that the
Japanese makers have all they can do to supply it; but I suppose that in
a few years the taste of the public will change, and then you can buy
all you want. But you can't get tired all at once of the pretty things
that I have found; and I think that the more you look at the pictures on
the bowls and plates, the more you will admire them. You are fond of
birds and flowers, and you will find them on the porcelain; and there is
one piece that has a river and some mountains on it, as well defined as
if it were a painting on a sheet of paper. Look at the bridge over the
river, and the trees on the side of the mountain, and then say if you
ever saw anything nicer. I am in love with the Japanese art work, and
sorry I can't buy more of it. And I think that is the case with most
people who come to Japan, and take the trouble to look at the nice
things it contains."

[Illustration: GROUP CARVED IN IVORY.]

Mary's list included some carvings in ivory and some lacquered boxes to
keep her gloves in. These were not at all difficult to find, as they
were everywhere in the shops, and it would have been much harder to
avoid them if he had wanted to do so. There were chessmen of ivory, and
representations of the divinities of the country; and then there were
little statues of the kings and high dignitaries from ancient times down
to the present. As it was a matter of some perplexity, Frank sought the
advice of Doctor Bronson; the latter told him it would be just as well
to restrain himself in the purchase of ivory carvings, as there was
better work of the kind in China, and a few samples of the products of
Japan would be sufficient. Frank acted upon this hint, and did not make
any extensive investments in Japanese ivory. He found a great variety of
what the Japanese call "nitschkis," which are small pieces of ivory
carved in various shapes more or less fanciful. They were pretty, and
had the merit of not being at all dear; and as they would make nice
little souvenirs of Japan, he bought a good many of them. They are
intended as ornaments to be worn at a gentleman's girdle, and in the
olden times no gentleman considered his dress complete without one or
more of these at his waist, just as most of the fashionable youths of
America think that a scarf-pin is necessary to make life endurable. A
large number of carvers made a living by working in ivory, and they
displayed a wonderful amount of patience in completing their designs.
One of these little carvings with which Frank was fascinated was a
representation of a man mounting a horse with the assistance of a groom,
who was holding the animal. The piece was less than two inches in
length, and yet the carver had managed to put in this contracted space
the figures of two men and a horse, with the dress of the men and the
trappings of the horse as carefully shown as in a painting. There was a
hole in the pedestal on which the group stood, and Frank found, on
inquiry, that this hole was intended for the passage of a cord to attach
the ornament to the waist of the wearer. And then he observed that all
the carvings had a similar provision for rendering them useful.


Frank also ascertained that another ornament of the Japanese waist-belt
was a pipe and a tobacco-pouch, the two being so inseparable that they
formed a single article. The pipe was a tiny affair which only held a
pinch of tobacco the size of a pea, and he learned that the smoker, in
using it, took but a single whiff and then found the bowl exhausted.
When not in use, the pipe was carried in a little case, which was made,
like the pouch, of leather, and was generally embroidered with
considerable care. Many of the pipe-cases were made of shark-skin, which
has the double merit of being very durable and also quite pretty. It is
polished to a condition of perfect smoothness, and the natural spots of
the skin appear to be as regular as though drawn by an artist. Frank
tried a few whiffs of the tobacco and found it very weak. He was thus
informed of the reason why a Japanese can smoke so much as he does
without being seriously affected by it. He can get through with a
hundred of these little pipes in a day without the least trouble, and
more if the time allows.

Of lacquer-ware, of all kinds and prices, there was literally no end.
There were trays and little boxes which could be had for a shilling or
two, and there were cabinets and work-stands with numerous drawers and
sliding panels curiously contrived, that a hundred dollars, or even five
hundred, would not buy. Between these two figures there was a wide
range, so that the most modest purse could be gratified as well as the
most plethoric one. Frank found that the dealers did not put their best
goods where they could be most readily seen. The front of a shop
contained only the most ordinary things; and if you wanted to look at
the better articles, it was necessary to say so. When the merchant knew
what his customer wanted, he led the way to the rear store, or perhaps
to an upper floor, where the best goods were kept. It was necessary to
walk very carefully in these shops, as they were very densely crowded
with goods, and the least incaution might result in overthrowing some of
the brittle articles. A clumsy visitor in one of these establishments a
few days before Frank called there had broken a vase valued at fifty
dollars, and while stooping to pick up the fragments he knocked down
another worth nearly half that amount. He paid for the damage, and in
future declined to go around loosely in a Japanese store.

The Japanese lacquer of the present time is not so highly prized as that
of the last or the previous century. It is not so well made, partly for
the reason that the workmen have lost their skill in the art, and partly
because labor is much more expensive now than formerly. The prices
obtained for some of the specimens of this kind of work have been very
high, but they are not enough to meet the advance that has been made in
wages in the past few years. The manufacturers are anxious to turn their
money as rapidly as possible, and consequently they do not allow their
productions to dry thoroughly. To be properly prepared, a piece of
lacquer should dry very slowly; and it used to be said that the best
lacquer was dried under water, so that the process should not be too
rapid. The article, whatever it may be, is first shaped from wood or
papier-maché, and then covered with successive coatings of varnish or
lacquer; this is made from the gum of a tree, or, rather, from the
juice, and it is said to have the peculiar property of turning black
from exposure to the air, though it is of a milky whiteness when it
exudes from the tree. It can be made to assume various colors by the
addition of pigments; and while it is in a fresh condition coatings of
gold-leaf are laid on in such a way as to form the figures that the
artist has designed. Every coating must be dried before the next is laid
on; and the more elaborate and costly the work, the more numerous are
the coatings. Sometimes there may be a dozen or more of them, and
pieces are in existence that are said to have received no less than
fifty applications of lacquer. A box may thus require several years for
its completion, as the drying process should never be hastened, lest the
lacquer crack and peel when exposed to the air, and especially to heat.
Good lacquer can be put into hot water without the least injury; but
this is not the case with the ordinary article.

In 1874 a steamer was lost on the coast of Japan. She had as a part of
her cargo the Japanese goods from the Vienna Exhibition, and none of
them were recovered for nearly a year. There they lay under the
salt-water, and it was supposed that nearly everything would be ruined.
But it was found that the lacquered ware had suffered very little, and
some of these very articles were shown at Philadelphia in 1876. A few of
the pieces required to be freshly polished, but there were many of them
that did not need even this slight attention.


The boys were greatly interested in their shopping excursions, and
learned a good deal about Japanese art and industry before they had
ended their purchases. By the time they were through they had an
excellent collection of porcelain and other ware, of ivory carvings,
lacquered boxes, and similar things; silk robes, wrappers, and
handkerchiefs; and quite enough fans to set up a small museum. They
tried at first to get a sample of each kind of fan that they could find,
but the variety proved so great that they were forced to give up the
attempt. They bought some curious articles of bamboo, and were surprised
to find to how many uses this vegetable production is put. Frank thought
it was a pity the bamboo did not grow in America, as it could be turned
to even more advantage by the enterprising Yankee than by the plodding
Oriental, and Fred was inclined to agree with him. They changed their
minds, however, when the Doctor told them how far the bamboo entered
into the life of the people of the East, and on the whole they concluded
that the American couldn't improve upon it.


"The bamboo," said the Doctor, "is of use from a very early age. The
young shoots are boiled and eaten, or soaked in sugar, and preserved as
confectionery. The roots of the plant are carved so as to resemble
animals or men, and in this shape are used as ornaments; and when the
bamboo is matured, and of full size, it is turned to purposes almost
without number. The hollow stalks are used as water-pipes; rafts are
made of them; the walls and roofs of houses are constructed from them;
and they serve for the masts of smaller boats and the yards of larger
ones. The light and strong poles which the coolies place over their
shoulders for bearing burdens are almost invariably of bamboo; and where
it grows abundantly it is used for making fences and sheds, and for the
construction of nearly every implement of agriculture. Its fibres are
twisted into rope, or softened into pulp for paper; every article of
furniture is made of bamboo, and so are hats, umbrellas, fans, cups, and
a thousand other things. In fact, it would be easier to say what is not
made of it in these Eastern countries than to say what is; and an
attempt at a mere enumeration of its uses and the articles made from it
would be tedious. Take away the bamboo from the people of Japan and
China, and you would deprive them of their principal means of support,
or, at any rate, would make life a much greater burden than it now is."




Frank thought it was no more than proper that he should devote a letter
to Miss Effie. He wanted to make it instructive and interesting, and, at
the same time, he thought it should appeal to her personally in some
way. He debated the matter in his own mind without coming to a
conclusion, and finally determined to submit the question to Doctor
Bronson, from whom he hoped to receive a suggestion that would be

[Illustration: A JAPANESE LADY'S-MAID.]

The Doctor listened to him, and was not long in arriving at a

"You have just written to Mary on the subject of Japanese art," said he,
"and she will be pretty certain to show the letter to her intimate

"Nothing more likely," Frank answered.

"In that case," the Doctor continued, "you want to take up a subject
that will be interesting to both, and that has not been touched in your
letters thus far."

"I suppose so."


"Well, then, as they are both women, or girls, as you may choose to call
them, why don't you take up the subject of women in Japan? They would
naturally be interested in what relates to their own sex, and you can
give them much information on that topic." The proposal struck Frank as
an excellent one, and he at once set about obtaining the necessary
information for the preparation of his letter. He had already seen and
heard a great deal concerning the women of Japan, and it was not long
before he had all the material he wanted for his purpose. His letter was
a long one, and we will make some extracts from it, with the permission
of Miss Effie, and also that of Mary, who claimed to have an interest in
the missive.

[Illustration: MERCHANT'S FAMILY.]

"From what I can learn," Frank wrote, "the women of Japan are better off
than those of most other Eastern countries. They are not shut up in
harems and never allowed to go about among people, as in Turkey; and
they are not compelled to stay indoors and see nobody, as in many other
parts of the world. They have their share of the work to do; but they
are not compelled to do all of it, while their husbands are idle, as in
some parts of Europe, and among the American Indians. The system of
harems is not known here; or, at all events, if it is known, it is
practised so little that we never hear anything about it. The Japanese
women do not veil their faces, as the women of all Mohammedan countries
are compelled to do; and they are free to go about among their friends,
just as they would be if they were Americans. They blacken their teeth
when they get married; but this custom is fast dying out since the
foreigners came here, and probably in twenty years or so we shall not
hear much about it. The married women dress their hair differently from
the single ones; and when you know the ways of arranging it, you can
know at once whether a woman is married or not. I suppose they do this
for the same reason that the women of America wear rings on their
fingers, and let folks know if they are engaged or married or single.
They remind me of what I have read about the Russian women, who wear
their hair uncovered until they are married, and then tie it up in a
net, or in a handkerchief. It is much better to have a sign of this sort
than to have it in a ring, as the hair can be seen without any trouble,
while you have to be a little impertinent sometimes to look at a lady's
hand, and find out how her rings are.


"In China the women pinch their feet, so that they look like doubled
fists, but nothing of the kind is done in Japan. Every woman here has
her feet of the natural shape and size; and as to the size, I can say
that there are women in Japan that have very pretty feet, almost as
pretty as those of two young ladies I know of in America. They do not
have shoes like those you wear, but instead they have sandals for
staying in the house, and high clogs for going out of doors. The clogs
are funny-looking things, as they are four or five inches high, and make
you think of pieces of board with a couple of narrow pieces nailed to
the upper edges. They can't walk fast in them, but they can keep their
feet out of the mud, unless it is very deep, and in that case they ought
not to go out at all. I wish you could see a Japanese woman walking in
her clogs. I know you would laugh, at least the first time you saw one;
but you would soon get used to it, as it is a very common sight.


"In China and some other countries it is not considered necessary to
give the girls any education; but in Japan it is not so. The girls are
educated here, though not so much as the boys; and of late years they
have established schools where they receive what we call the higher
branches of instruction. Every year new schools for girls are opened;
and a great many of the Japanese who formerly would not be seen in
public with their wives have adopted the Western idea, and bring their
wives into society. The marriage laws have been arranged so as to allow
the different classes to marry among each other, and the government is
doing all it can to improve the condition of the women. They were better
off before than the women of any other Eastern country; and if things go
on as they are now going, they will be still better in a few years. The
world moves.

"A gentleman who has given much attention to this subject says that of
the one hundred and twenty rulers of Japan, nine have been women; and
that the chief divinity in their mythology is a woman--the goddess
Kuanon. A large part of the literature of Japan is devoted to the praise
of woman; her fidelity, love, piety, and devotion form the groundwork of
many a romance which has become famous throughout the country, and
popular with all classes of readers. The history of Japan abounds in
stories of the heroism of women in the various characters of patriot,
rebel, and martyr; and I am told that a comparison of the standing of
women in all the countries of the East, both in the past and in the
present, would unquestionably place Japan at the head.

"I suppose you will want to know something about the way the Japanese
women dress. I'll try to tell you; but if I make any mistakes, you must
remember that I have not had much practice in describing ladies'

"They don't wear any crinoline, such as the ladies do in America; and
their clothes fit very tight around them when compared to what we see in
New York--that is, I mean, they are tight in the skirts, though loose
enough above the waist. They fasten them with strings and bands, and
without hooks or buttons or pins. You remember the pocket pin-cushion
you made for me? of course you do. Well, one day while we were taking
tea in a Japanese tea-house, the attendants stood around looking at us,
and examining our watch-chains and the buttons on our coats. I showed
them that pin-cushion, and they passed it from one to the other, and
wondered what it was; and so I took out a pin, and showed it was for
carrying pins. Evidently they did not know what a pin was for, as they
looked at it very curiously, and then made signs for me to show them its
use. I did so by pinning up the wide sleeve of one of the black-eyed
girls. She took the pin out a moment after to return it to me; and when
I motioned that she might keep it, she smiled and said 'Arinyato,' which
means 'Thank you,' as sweetly and earnestly as though I had given her a
diamond ring. Then I gave each one of them a pin, and they all thanked
me as though they really thought they had received something of value.
Just think of it! half a dozen young women, not one of whom had ever
seen a common dressing-pin!


"Their dresses are folded around them, and then held in place by an
_obi_, which is nothing more nor less than a wide belt. It is of the
most expensive material that the wearer can afford; and sometimes it
costs a great deal of money. Generally it is of silk, and they have it
of all colors, and occasionally it is heavily embroidered. It is several
yards long, and the work of winding it into place is no small affair. I
shall enclose some pictures of Japanese women in this letter, and you
can see from them what the dress of the women looks like, and understand
much better than you will by what I write. I think the women look very
pretty in their dresses--much better, in fact, than when they put on
European garments. Their hair is always black, and they dress it with
more grease than I wish they would. It fairly makes the hair shine, it
is laid on so thick. But they have some very pretty ornaments for their
hair, which they stick in with large pins, something like the hair-pins
you use at home. I am told that you can distinguish the social position
by the number and style of the hair-ornaments worn on a woman's head;
but I have not yet learned how to do it. I suppose I shall find out if I
stay long enough in Japan.

[Illustration: LADIES' HAIR-DRESSER.]

"Of course, you will want to know if the Japanese women are pretty. Now,
you mustn't be jealous when I say they are. Fred thinks so too, and you
know it won't do for me to have a quarrel with Fred when we are
travelling together, and especially when I think he's right. They are
all brunettes, and have sharp, bright eyes, full of smiles, and their
skins are clear and healthy. They look very pleasant and happy; and they
have such sweet, soft voices that nobody could help liking them even if
he didn't want to. They have such nice manners, too, that you feel quite
at your ease in their company. They may be wishing you ten thousand
miles away, and saying to themselves that they hate the sight of a
foreigner; but if they do, they manage to conceal their thoughts so
completely that you can never know them. You may say this is all
deception, and perhaps it is; but it is more agreeable than to have them
treat you rudely, and tell you to get out of the way.


"There are women here who are not pretty, just as there are some in
America; but when you are among them, it isn't polite to tell them of
it. Some of them paint their faces to make them look pretty. I suppose
nobody ever does anything of the kind in America or any other country
but Japan, and therefore it is very wicked for the Japanese ladies to do
so. And when they do paint, they lay it on very thick. Mr. Bronson calls
it kalsomining, and Fred says it reminds him of the veneering that is
sometimes put on furniture to make pine appear like mahogany, and have
an expensive look, when it isn't expensive at all. The 'geishas,' or
dancing and singing girls, get themselves up in this way; and when they
have their faces properly arranged, they must not laugh, for fear that
the effort of smiling would break the coating of paint. And I have heard
it said that the covering of paint is so thick that they couldn't smile
any more than a mask could; and, in fact, the paint really takes the
place of a mask, and makes it impossible to recognize anybody through

"It is the rule in Japan for a man to have only one wife at a time, but
he does not always stick to it. If he has children, a man is generally
contented; but if he has none, he gets another wife, and either divorces
the first one or not, as he chooses. Divorce is very easy for a man to
obtain, but not so for the woman; and when she is divorced, she has
hardly any means of obtaining justice. But, in justice to the Japanese,
it should be said that the men do not often abuse their opportunities
for divorce, and that the married life of the people is about as good as
that of most countries. Among the reasons for divorce, in addition to
what I have mentioned, there are the usual ones that prevail in America.
Furthermore, divorce is allowed if a wife is disobedient to her
husband's parents, and also if she talks too much. The last reason is
the one most frequently given; but a woman cannot complain of her
husband and become divorced from him for the same cause. I wonder if
Japan is the only country in the world where women have ever been
accused of talking too much.

"Nearly every amusement that is open to men is also open to women. They
can go to the theatres, to picnics, parties, and anything of the sort,
as often as they please, which is not the case with women in Moslem
countries, and in some others that are not Moslem. They are very fond of
boat excursions, and on pleasant days a goodly number of boating parties
may be seen on the waters around Tokio and the other large cities. On
the whole, they seem to have a great capacity for enjoyment, and it is
pretty certain that they enjoy themselves.


"The houses in Japan are so open that you can see a great deal more of
the life of the people than you would be likely to see in other
countries. You can see the women playing with the children, and there
are lots of the little ones everywhere about. I don't believe there is a
country in the world where there is more attention to the wants of the
children than in Japan, and I don't believe it is possible for a greater
love to exist between parents and children than one finds here. There
are so many things done for the amusement of children, and the children
seem to enjoy them so much, that it is very pleasing to study the habits
of the people in this respect. I have already told you about the
amusements at the temple of Asakusa, and the sports and games that they
have there for the children. They are not only at that temple, but all
over Japan, and the man must be very poor to feel that he cannot afford
something to make his children happy. In return, the children are not
spoiled, but become very dutiful to their parents, and are ready to
undergo any privations and sacrifices for their support and comfort.
Respect for parents and devotion to them in every possible way are
taught by the religion of the country; and, whatever we may think of the
heathenism of Japan, we cannot fail to admire this feature of the
religious creed.


"It would amuse you if you could see the interest that the Japanese take
in flying kites. And the funny part of it is that it is the men who do
the most of the kite-flying, while the children look on, which is the
exact reverse of what we do in our country. They have the funniest kinds
of kites, and show a great deal of ingenuity in getting them up.
Everybody has them, and they are so cheap that even the beggars can have
kites to fly. They are of all sizes and shapes; you can buy a plain kite
a few inches square, or you can get one as large as the side of a house,
and covered all over with dragons and other things that sometimes cost a
neat little sum for the painting alone. The Japanese understand the
trick of flying a kite without a tail, and they do it by the arrangement
of the strings, which is quite different from ours. On the other hand,
some of their kites will have a whole line of strings hanging down as
ornaments, and sometimes it looks as if the kite were anchored by means
of these extra cords. They make their kites so large that three or four
men are needed to hold some of them; and there is a story that a man who
one day tied the cord of a kite to his waist was taken up in the air and
never heard of again. And there is another story of a man in the
country who had a kite that he harnessed to a plough, and when the wind
was good he used to plough his fields by means of it. But the story does
not explain how he turned the furrow when he reached the end of the
field. Perhaps he had an accommodating wind that shifted at the right

[Illustration: FLYING KITES.]

"The first kite I saw in the air in Japan was so much like a large bird
that I mistook it for one, and the delusion was kept up by a smaller one
that seemed to be getting away from the other. The large one imitated
the movements of a hawk to perfection, and it was some minutes before I
could understand that it was nothing but a combination of sticks and
paper and cords, instead of a real live bird. It rose and fell, and
every few moments it swept down and seemed to be trying to swallow the
little one out of sight. I never should have supposed such an imitation
possible, and was thoroughly convinced that the Japanese must be very
fond of kite-flying if they give it the study necessary to bring it to
such a state of perfection.

"The more I see of the Japanese, the more I like them, and think them a
kind-hearted and happy people. And, from all I can see, they deserve to
be happy, as they do all they can for the pleasure of each other, or, at
any rate, all that anybody ever does."




Time was going on, and it became necessary that our travellers should
follow its example. The Doctor engaged places for them by the steamer
for Kobe, the port for the western capital of Japan, and at the
appointed time they went on board. Before their departure, they had an
opportunity to visit one of the tea-packing establishments for which
Yokohama is famous, and the process they witnessed there was of special
interest to the boys. Here is the account that Frank gave of it in his
next letter home:


"The Japanese tea is brought from the country to the seaports in large
boxes. It is partially dried when it is picked, but not enough to
preserve it for a long sea-voyage. When it gets here, it is delivered to
the large establishments that make a business of shipping teas to
America; and let me say, by the way, that nearly all the tea of Japan
that is exported goes to America, and hardly any of it to any other
country. When we went into the warehouse--they call it a 'go-down,' from
a Hindostanee word--they showed us a room where there were probably a
hundred bushels of tea in a great pile on the floor. Men were at work
mixing it up with shovels, and the clerk who showed us around said that
they spread all the tea out in layers, one over the other, and then
mixed them up. He said it was a very difficult job to have the teas
properly mixed, so that the samples should be perfectly even.

"We saw lots of tea in another room where the same kind of work was
going on; and then they took us to the firing-room, and it was a
firing-room, you may believe.


"It was like a great shed, and it had the solid ground for a floor. On
this floor there were kettles, or pans, set in brickwork, and each one
of them had a little furnace under it, in which there was a charcoal
fire. There must have been two hundred of these pans, and the heat from
them was so great that it almost took away my breath. I don't believe I
could exist there a day, and yet there were people who had to spend the
entire day in the firing-room, and go there day after day besides. Many
of them were women, and some of them had little children strapped to
their backs, and there was a whole lot of children in a little room at
one side of the shed, where a couple of women were looking after them.
How I did pity the poor things! Fred and I just emptied our pockets of
all the small change we could find in them for the benefit of the
babies, and I wish we could have given them more. But there was hardly a
cry from any of them, and they seemed as happy and contented as though
their mothers were queens, instead of toiling over the firing-pan in
that hot room for ten or fifteen cents a day.

[Illustration: THE TEA-PLANT.]

"They put a pound and a half of tea into each pan, and with it they put
a teaspoonful of some coloring substance that they keep a secret. People
say that this coloring matter is Prussian blue, and others say it is
indigo, and that a little gypsum is put with it, so as to give the tea a
bright appearance. The clerk told us it was indigo and gypsum that his
house used, and declared that it was all false that any poisonous
material was ever put in. He said they only used a teaspoonful of their
mixture to a charge of tea, and the most of that little quantity was
left in the pan in the shape of dust. When I asked him why they put
anything in, he said it was to make the tea sell better in the American
market. It looked so much better when it had been 'doctored' that their
customers in New York and other cities would pay more for it, though
they knew perfectly well what had been done. Then he showed me some of
the tea that had been fired and put side by side with some that had not.
I must say that the fired tea had a polished appearance that the other
had not, and I could readily understand why it sells better.

"As I have said, they put a charge of a pound and a half of tea into the
pan with a teaspoonful of the mixture, and they have a fire of charcoal
beneath it. The man or woman that does the firing stands in front of the
pan and keeps the tea in constant motion. It must be kept moving all the
time, so that it will not be scorched, and it must be gently rubbed
between the fingers in order to polish it. It is kept in the pan eighty
minutes, and then is considered dry enough for the packing-cases.

[Illustration: FIRING TEA.]

"You know how a tea-chest looks, so I need not describe it any more than
to say that the chest is lined with tin, and that the tin is carefully
soldered, so that not a single particle of dampness can get in while the
tea is on the ocean. If it should, the tea would be spoiled, as the
least dampness will injure it, and a great deal will make it quite
useless. They always try to hurry the new crop of tea as rapidly as they
can, since it is the best, and has more and better flavor than the crop
of the previous year. When a ship sails with new tea, she races for home
as hard as she can go, and the quickest voyages ever made from this part
of the world to Europe and America have been made by ships with cargoes
of new tea."

When the party sailed from Yokohama, they found themselves on board a
steamer which was, and was not, Japanese. She was built in New York, and
formerly ran between that city and Aspinwall. Subsequently she was sent
to Japan in the service of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and was
sold, along with several other American steamers, to a Japanese company.
This company was formed with Japanese capital, and its management was
Japanese; but the ships were foreign, and the officers and engineers
were mostly English or American.

The Doctor told the boys that the Mitsu Bishi Company, as this Japanese
organization was called, was increasing every year the number of its
ships. It received assistance from the government in the form of a mail
contract, and was evidently doing very well. The steamers ran once a
week each way between Yokohama and Shanghai, touching at Kobe and
Nagasaki, and there were lines to other ports of Japan. The Japanese
were studying naval architecture and making good progress, and they
hoped before many years to construct their own ships. Every year they
reduced the number of foreigners in their service, and some of their
establishments were entirely under native management.

[Illustration: HIOGO (KOBE).]

The second morning after leaving Yokohama, they were at Kobe, and the
steamer anchored off the town. Kobe and Hiogo are practically one and
the same place. The Japanese city that stands there was formerly known
as Hiogo, and still retains that name, while the name of Kobe was
applied to that portion where the foreigners reside. The view from the
water is quite pretty, as there is a line of mountains just back of the
city; and as the boys looked intently they could see that the mountains
were inhabited. There are several neat little houses on the side of the
hills, some of them the residences of the foreigners who go there to get
the cool air, while the rest are the homes of the Japanese. There is a
liberal allowance of tea-houses where the public can go to be refreshed,
and there is a waterfall where a mountain stream comes rattling down
from the rocks to a deep pool, where groups of bathers are sure to
congregate in fine weather. The town stands on a level plain, where a
point juts into the water, and there is nothing remarkable about it. If
they had not seen Yokohama and Tokio, they might have found it
interesting; but after those cities the boys were not long in agreeing
that a short time in Kobe would be all they would wish.

But they were at the port of Osaka and Kioto, and their thoughts were
turned towards those important cities. There was no difficulty in going
there, as the railway was in operation to Osaka, twenty miles, and to
Kioto, thirty miles farther on. But Frank was seized with an idea, which
he lost no time in communicating to his friends. It was this:

"We can travel by rail almost anywhere," said he, "and needn't come away
from America to do so. Now, instead of going to Osaka by rail, which
wouldn't be anything remarkable, suppose we go by a Japanese junk. I
have been asking the hotel-keeper about it, and he says it is perfectly
easy to do so, and that we can sail there with a fair wind in a few

Fred was in favor of the junk voyage on account of its novelty. Of
course, the Doctor was not likely to oppose any reasonable scheme that
would give his young companions an opportunity to learn something,
provided it did not consume too much time. Inquiry showed that the
voyage could be made there with a fair wind, as Frank had suggested;
and, as the wind happened to be all right and promised to continue, it
was agreed to go by junk on the following morning, provided there were
no change.

[Illustration: THE JUNK AT ANCHOR.]

A Japanese servant, who spoke English, was engaged from the hotel to
accompany the party during their journey. He was sent to find a junk
that was about to leave for Osaka, and in half an hour he returned with
the captain of one. It was soon settled that he was to bring his craft
to the anchorage near the hotel during the afternoon, and be ready to
receive his passengers and their luggage at daylight if the wind held
good. The servant, who said he was named "John" by the first European
that ever employed him, and had stuck to it ever since, was kept busy
during the afternoon in making preparations for the journey, as it was
necessary to take a stock of provisions very much as the party had
equipped themselves when they went to ascend Fusiyama. Everything was
arranged in time, and the trio went to bed early, as it would be
necessary to rise before the sun, and they wanted to lay in a good
supply of sleep.

The junk was all ready in the morning; and as soon as the passengers
were on board, her sail was lifted, and she slowly worked her way
through the water. The wind was all right for the voyage to the mouth of
the river where Osaka lay; and if they had been on a sail-boat such as
all New-Yorkers are familiar with, the journey would have been over in
three or four hours. But the junk was not built for racing purposes, and
the most that could be hoped for from her was a speed of about three
miles an hour. This was no detriment, as they could thus make the mouth
of the river by noon; and if the bar could be easily crossed, they would
be at the city long before sunset. Life on a junk was a novelty, and
therefore they were not annoyed to think that their craft was not a
swift one.


Fred thought that the stern of the junk was about the funniest thing in
the way of a steering-place he had ever seen; and to make sure of
remembering it, he made a sketch of the helmsman at his post. Frank
insisted that he was not there at all, as his post was evidently the
rudder-post, and it was at least ten feet off, owing to the length of
the tiller. The deck where the man stood had a slope like that of a
house-roof, and it was a mystery to the boys how the sailors could
stand there when the planks were wet by the spray, or the sea was at all
rough. But there was no denying that they did stay there, and so the
boys concluded that the men must have claws on their feet like those
with which a tiger is equipped. Fred remarked that the steep incline
reminded him of a conundrum he had somewhere heard, which was as

"Why is a dog with a broken leg like the space between the eaves and the
ridge of a house?"

Frank could not answer, and the question was propounded to Dr. Bronson;
the latter shook his head, and then Fred responded, in triumph, "Because
he is a slow pup." It was three seconds at least before Frank could see
the point of the joke.


The boys had too much to do in the way of sight-seeing to spend more
time over conundrums. They proceeded to explore the interior of the
junk, and to look about the decks in the hope of finding something new
in the way of navigation. They discovered that there was considerable
space for the stowage of cargo, in consequence of the great width of the
craft in proportion to her length. The accommodations of the crew were
not extensive; but as they did not expect much, they were not likely to
complain. As the boys were near the bow of the junk, they came upon two
of the sailors at dinner; the meal consisting of rice and fish, which
they ate with the aid of chopsticks. The men were squatted on the deck
in front of their food, or rather they had the food in front of
themselves, and they evidently were the possessors of good appetites, to
judge by the eagerness with which they attended to business and paid no
heed to the strangers.

The Japanese are excellent sailors, both on their junks and on the
foreign ships that have been introduced to their service since the
opening of the country to other nations. But the Japanese landsman has a
horror of the water, and cannot be induced to venture upon it. In this
respect the Japanese are not unlike the Italians, who are naturally a
maritime nation, and have covered themselves with marine glory in times
that are past. But the Italian landsman is ready to suffer any
inconvenience rather than risk himself on the ocean, and not a more
woe-begone being can be found in the world than a sea-sick Italian
unless it be a sea-sick Japanese.

[Illustration: JUNK SAILORS ON DUTY.]

The sailors on the junk were very prompt in obeying orders, but they
went about everything with an air of coolness which one does not always
see on an American vessel. Ordinarily they pulled at ropes as though
they would not hurt either the ropes or themselves; but it was observed
that when the captain gave an order for anything, there was no attempt
at shirking. One of the sailors stood at the sheet of the mainsail, and
while he held on and waited for directions his mate was quietly smoking
and seated on the deck. When the order came for changing the position of
the sail, the pipe was instantly dropped and the work was attended to;
when the work was over, the pipe was resumed as if nothing had happened.
Evidently the sailors were not much affected by the fashions that the
foreigners had introduced, for they were all dressed in the costume that
prevailed previous to the treaty of Commodore Perry, and before a single
innovation had been made in the way of navigation. The captain of the
junk looked with disdain upon a steamer that was at anchor not far from
where his craft was obliged to pass, and evidently he had no very high
opinion of the barbarian invention. He was content with things as they
were, and the ship that had borne his ancestors in safety was quite good
enough for him and his comrades.

[Illustration: VIEW FROM THE HOTEL.]

About six hours after the departure from Kobe, the junk reached the bar
of the river on which Osaka is situated. The bar was passed, and then
the unwieldy concern came to anchor to wait for a stronger breeze; at
the advice of John a row-boat was engaged to finish the journey as far
as the hotel where they were to stop. The row-boat was rapidly propelled
by the strong arms of half a dozen men; and in less than two hours from
the time they said "Sayonara" to the captain of their transport, the
Doctor and his young friends were safely lodged in the house where their
rooms had been previously engaged by letter. In a short time dinner was
ready, and they had it served on a little balcony which overlooked the
water, and gave them an opportunity to study the river life of the city
while they devoured the stewed chicken and juicy steaks that the host
had provided for them. Boats passed and repassed, and there was a good
deal of animation on the stream. Just beyond the hotel there was a
bridge which curved like a quarter of a circle, as Fred thought, and
beyond it was another of similar construction. Crowds of people were
coming and going over these bridges, and Frank ventured to ask the
Doctor if there were any more bridges and any more people in Osaka.

"Certainly, my boy," the Doctor answered, "there are thirteen rivers and
canals in Osaka, so that the city has an abundance of water
communication. The streets are generally at right angles, and there are
more than a hundred bridges over the water-ways. From this circumstance
Osaka has received the name of the Venice of Japan, and she certainly
deserves it. Formerly her commerce by water was very great, and you
would see a large fleet of junks in the river below the town. The
opening of the railway to Kobe has somewhat diminished the traffic by
water; but it is still quite extensive, and employs a goodly amount of

"Osaka is one of the most important cities of Japan," Dr. Bronson
continued, "and has long been celebrated for its commercial greatness.
If you look at its position on the map, you will see that it is
admirably situated to command trade both by land and by water; and when
I tell you that it contains half a million of inhabitants, you will
understand that it must have had prosperity to make it so great. The
streets are of good width, and they are kept cleaner than those of most
other cities in Japan. The people are very proud of Osaka, and are as
tender of its reputation as the inhabitants of any Western city in
America are tender of theirs. There are not so many temples as in Tokio,
and not so many palaces, but there is a fair number of both; and, what
is better in a practical way, there are many establishments where
cotton, iron, copper, bronze, and other goods are manufactured. As a
commercial and manufacturing centre, Osaka is at the head, and without a
rival so far as Japan is concerned."

Towards sunset the party took a stroll through the city, stopping in
front of several shops, and entering one or two of the larger. The boys
were of opinion that the shops of Osaka were larger than those of Tokio,
and there was one silk-store that was twice the size of any they had
seen in the eastern capital. The goods that were displayed were not
materially different from what they had already seen, and consequently
they were not disposed to linger long on the way. They extended their
walk to the upper part of the city, where several temples are situated,
and they finally reached the famous Castle of Osaka, whence there is a
line view from the walls. There was some difficulty in entering the
castle, but through the explanations of John the matter was arranged and
they went inside.

[Illustration: THE CASTLE OF OSAKA.]

One of the wonders of Japan is the wall of the Castle of Osaka, or
rather of a portion of it. During the sixteenth century Osaka was the
capital of the empire, and remained so for many years; while it was the
capital the emperor commanded the tributary princes to assist in
building the walls of the imperial residence, and each was to send a
stone for that purpose. The stones are there, and it would be no small
matter to remove them. Our friends had no means of measurement at hand,
but they estimated that some of the stones were twenty feet long by half
that width, and six feet in depth. They were as large as an ordinary
street-car, and some of them were larger; and how they could have been
transported over the roads of Japan and hoisted into their places was a
mystery no one could explain.

The view from the top of the castle walls is magnificent, and well
repays the trouble of making the ascent. In front is the city like a
broad map, and there is no difficulty in tracing the lines of the
streets and the sinuosities of the rivers and canals. Beyond the city,
on the right, is the water of the bay, which opens into the Pacific,
while on the left is the plain that stretches away to Kobe and Hiogo.
Beyond the plain is the range of sharp hills and mountains; and as one
turns slowly to the west and north he can sweep the landscape almost to
the gates of Kioto and the shores of Lake Biwa. To the east, again,
there are mountains rising sharply from the fertile plain, so that one
seems to be standing in a basin of low land with a curving rim of
mountains. The sun was about setting as our party reached the top of the
high wall, and they remained there in full enjoyment of the scene until
the shadows began to fall and the light to fade out from the sky. It was
the most delightful landscape view that had fallen to the lot of the
youths since their ascent of Fusiyama.

They regretted the necessity of departing from the castle, but regrets
were of no use, and they descended to the streets just as the lamps were
getting into full blaze.



Through the assistance of a gentleman to whom Doctor Bronson had a
letter of introduction, our friends were enabled to pay a visit to the
imperial mint at Osaka.

They found a large establishment, like a foundry, on the bank of the
river, and just outside the thickly settled portion of the city. A tall
chimney was smoking vigorously, and gave signs of activity; and there
was an air of neatness about the surroundings quite in keeping with what
they had observed thus far in their journey through Japan. They were met
at the entrance by the director of the mint, a Japanese gentleman who
had spent a considerable time in Europe and America, and spoke English
with fluency and precision. They were invited to seats in the office,
and, after a brief delay, were escorted through the establishment.

The mint at Osaka is one of the most noted enterprises which the
government of Japan has undertaken, and likewise one of the most
successful. When it was founded it was under foreign supervision, and
the most of the employés were from Europe; but year by year the Japanese
have learned how to conduct its machinery, and have relieved the
foreigners of the labor of managing it. The direction is Japanese, and
so are the heads of the departments, and the employés from highest to
lowest. When the mint was established, the machinery for it was imported
from Europe, but at present it is all made by the Japanese, in their own
factory attached to the mint.

"Just to think," said Frank, "that people persist in calling these
Japanese 'barbarians!' Here are machines for stamping coin and
performing all the work of a mint, and it bears the mark of the
Japanese. Here are delicate balances for weighing gold and silver and
getting the weight down to the fraction of a grain, and they are just as
sensitive and as well made as the best specimens from the French or
German makers. If the Japanese can do all this, and they certainly have
done it, they deserve to be considered just as good as any other people
in the world."

The Doctor took from his pocket some of the coin which was in
circulation, and with which the boys had by this time become thoroughly
familiar. They had remarked that it was as neatly made as any coin of
Europe or America, and, as a matter of curiosity, they were desirous of
seeing the machine by which each of the different pieces was stamped.
The director kindly pointed out the various machines, and the boys
observed that, with a single exception, they were all of Japanese make.
Then they were shown through a factory for the manufacture of sulphuric
acid that is attached to the mint, and is run on government account.
They were somewhat astonished to learn that all the sulphuric acid used
in the mint was made there, and that in the previous year thirteen
thousand cases were exported to China. For the benefit of his professor
of chemistry, Fred made the following memorandum concerning the branch
of business he was investigating:

"The sulphur comes from the provinces of Satsuma and Bungo--the most
from the latter, and the best from the former; and the product is partly
for the use of the mint, and partly for general commerce. The acid is
packed in earthen jars which are glazed on the inside, and not in the
carboys that are in use with us. Two jars, holding about eight quarts
each, are packed in a wooden case; they rest on a bed of lime about
three inches thick, and the remainder of the space is filled with coarse
ashes and coal cinders. This manner of packing is considered preferable
to the old one, and, besides, it enables the Japanese to make their own
jars, instead of importing the carboys. The director tells me that thus
far the factory has not been able to supply the Chinese demand for acid,
and therefore no shipments have been made to other countries. With an
increased production, it is quite possible that shipments may be made to
America at no very distant day.


"Japan abounds in sulphur, and the supply is said to be inexhaustible.
The copper used at the mint for making the Japanese small coins is of
native production, and so is most of the silver; but occasionally the
supply of the latter metal runs short, and then American silver comes
into play. Last year nearly half a million trade-dollars were melted at
the mint at Osaka, to be made into Japanese yens, and this year a large
number have met a similar fate. The American trade-dollar has not yet
become a popular coin for circulation in Japan and China, but is in good
demand for the melting-pot. But I suppose we do not care what they do
with our silver money so long as they pay for it; and the more they melt
up, the better we shall be pleased."


Having finished their inspection of the mint, our friends thanked the
polite director for his kindness and attention, and bade him good-day.
They returned to the hotel, where their lunch was waiting for them, and
sat down on the balcony, where they had feasted and studied the river
scenery the day before. Their morning's excursion naturally led them to
talk about the money of Japan, and on this subject the Doctor was ready
with his usual fund of information.


[Illustration: OLD KINSAT, OR MONEY-CARD.]

"The Japanese currency," said Doctor Bronson, "has had a somewhat
checkered career. Previous to the coming of the foreigners, the currency
consisted of gold, silver, copper, and bronze coins. The Daimios had
money of their own, and some of them had issued paper kinsats, or
money-cards. These were on thick paper, like card-board, and they
circulated freely, though sometimes at a discount, owing to the
difficulty of redemption or the wasteful ways of the prince by whom they
were put forth. The old coins were oval or oblong, and the lower
denominations had a square hole in the centre, so that they could be
strung on a wire or on a cord. The gold coins were known as 'kobans,'
while the silver ones had the general name of 'boos.' There were
fractions of each, and they had their names, just as our half and
quarter dollars have their distinctive names. The unit of the silver
coin was a 'boo,' and it was always called 'ichiboo,' or one boo. The
word _ichi_ means _one_, but the early visitors supposed it was a part
of the name of the coin. Thus we read in books of twenty years ago that
the writer paid 'one ichiboo' or 'two ichiboos' for certain purchases.
It is the same as if some one writing of America should say that he paid
'one one-dollar' or 'two one-dollars' for what he had bought.

[Illustration: ICHI-BOO.]

"All that old currency has been set aside," continued the Doctor, "and
the country is now in possession of a decimal system of money. The coins
are round, and the general stamp on them is the same, apart from the
words and figures showing the denomination and value. The unit is the
'yen,' which is equal to our dollar. In fact, the Japanese currency is
assimilated to our own in weight, fineness, and decimal divisions. Here
is the table of the values:

  "10 rin make 1 sen, equal to 1 cent.
  100 sen make 1 yen, equal to 1 dollar.

"The coins are stamped with the devices of the coiled dragons and the
rising sun (both Japanese symbols), and not with the portrait of the
Mikado. Japanese prejudice is opposed to the adoption of the picture of
the imperial ruler on the coin of the country, but it will probably be
overcome in time. It is less severe than with the Moslems (among whom a
true believer is forbidden to make a picture of anything that has life),
and consequently will be more easy to do away with.


"The Japanese have ventured upon that feature of Western civilization
known as a national debt, and how they will get out of it time alone
will determine. At present they are increasing their indebtedness every
year, and their paper does not show any signs of redemption. They have
also, as you have seen, a paper currency like our national issue in
America, and so much like ours is it that it is known as the Japanese
greenbacks. They have notes of the same denominations as ours; and they
also have a fractional currency, such as we had during the war of 1861
and the years that followed. The premium on coin has gone steadily
upwards, partly in consequence of the large issue, and partly owing to
the hostility of foreign bankers and others, who have done all they
could to bring the Japanese credit into discredit."


The dissertation on Japanese money came to an end with the meal they
were eating, and soon after the party proceeded to take a stroll through
the streets. The afternoon was spent in this way and in letter-writing,
and on the following morning the trio started for Kioto, by way of Kara.
The ride was a pleasant one--in jin-riki-shas--partly along the banks of
the river, where they saw a goodly number of boats, some descending the
stream with the aid of the current, and others making a laborious
ascent. The difference of up-stream and down-stream travel was never
better illustrated than in the present instance. The Japs who floated
with the current were taking things easily and smoking their pipes, as
though all the world were their debtor; while the men on the towpath
were bending to their toil, evidently giving their whole minds to it,
and their bodies as well. Some of the towmen had on their grass coats,
while others were without them. Every head was carefully protected from
the heat of the sun by the broad hats already described.



They saw a native ferry-boat at one point, which was heavily laden with
a mixed cargo. According to Fred's inventory, the craft contained a
horse and half a dozen men, together with a lot of boxes and bundles,
which were, as the auctioneers say, too numerous to mention. The head of
the horse was firmly held by the groom who had him in charge, as it
would have been a serious matter if the beast had broken away and jumped
into the stream with all his load about him. A Japanese ferry-boat does
not appear the safest thing in the world, but, somehow, one never hears
of accidents with it. If any occur, they must be carefully kept out of
the papers.

[Illustration: THE FERRY-BOAT.]

After riding about three hours through a succession of villages and
across fields, they reached a hotel, where John suggested they had
better halt for lunch. It was a Japanese inn, without the slightest
pretence of adapting itself to foreign ideas. There were the usual
fish-stew and boiled rice ready, and with these and their own provisions
our travellers made a hearty meal, well seasoned with that best of
sauces, hunger. There was a stout maid-of-all-work, who bustled about in
a manner not altogether characteristic of the Japanese. At the
suggestion from the Doctor that he would like to bathe his head in some
cool water, she hurried away, and soon returned, bearing a bucket so
large and so full that she was forced to bend her body far to one side
to maintain her equilibrium. Her powerful limbs and general ruddiness of
feature were indicative of the very best condition of robust health, and
the boys agreed that she would make a most excellent model for an artist
who was endeavoring to represent the best types of the Japanese

[Illustration: THE HOTEL-MAID.]

Nara is about thirty miles from Osaka, and is famous for some ancient
temples and fine groves of trees. The park containing the latter is
quite extensive, and supports a considerable number of deer, so tame
that they will feed from the hand of a stranger. As they are the stock
sights of the place, there are plenty of opportunities to spend a few
pennies for cakes to be given to the deer. The cakes are sold by some
old women, who call the pets from the shelter of the trees, and bring
them bounding to your side. The trees in the park are very old, and
among the finest in Japan. There are few lovelier spots in the country
than this; and as our friends reclined on the veranda of the little
hotel to which John had led the way, and looked upon the smiling valley
that spread before them, they pronounced the picture one of the
prettiest they had ever seen.


The following morning they devoted to the sights of Nara, and were
surprised at the number and extent of the temples and tombs. During the
eighth century Nara was the capital of Japan, and it had the honor of
being the residence of seven different sovereigns. The most famous of
its monuments is the statue of Buddha, which was originally cast at the
time Nara was the capital, and was afterwards destroyed during an
insurrection. It was recast about seven hundred years ago, and has since
remained uninjured. Frank applied himself to discovering the dimensions
of this statue, and ended by making the following table of figures:

Total height of statue, 53 feet 6 inches; width across shoulders, 29
feet; length of face, 16 feet; width of face, 9 feet 6 inches. It is
said to weigh four hundred and fifty tons, and to be made of a bronze
composed of gold, mercury, tin, and copper. The head is covered with
curls, also of bronze, and there are said to be 966 of them; then there
is a halo around the head 78 feet in diameter, and supporting 16 images,
each one 8 feet long. The statue is in a squatting posture, like the one
at Kamakura, and is covered with a building so small that it is
impossible to obtain a good view in consequence of being too near the
figure. The expression of the features is not at all equal to that of
the great Dai-Boots at Kamakura, and the whole design is far less
artistic. But it is the second in the empire in size, and for that
reason is worthy of notice as well as for its antiquity.

[Illustration: DIKES ALONG THE RIVER.]

From Nara the party continued to Kioto, halting for dinner at Uji, which
is the centre of an important tea district. Men and women were at work
in the fields gathering the leaves from the plants, and other men and
women were attending to the drying process which the gathered leaves
were undergoing. They were spread out on matting, on paper, or on cloth,
where they had the full force of the rays of the sun, and were
frequently turned and stirred so as to have every part equally exposed
to the solar heat. While the party was at Uji a shower came on, and then
there was some very lively hurrying to and fro to save the tea from a
wetting. During the afternoon the rain continued, and the rest of the
ride to Kioto was not especially cheerful. Part of the route led along
the banks of the river, which forms a navigable way for small boats
between the tea district and Osaka; and at one place, where the bank
was broken, Frank had a narrow escape from an overturn into the water.
The wheel of his little carriage sank into the soft earth and spilled
him out, but, luckily, a friendly tree was in his grasp and saved him
from falling down the steep slope of twenty feet or so. "A miss is as
good as a mile," he remarked, as he brushed the mud from his clothes,
and took his seat again in his vehicle.

"And I know a miss," said Fred, "that is better than any mile we have
had to-day."

Frank asked what he meant, and was told--

"Miss Effie."

He quite agreed with Fred, and said he would gladly exchange that last
mile, overturn and all, for one minute of her society. But he had the
consolation of knowing he could have her society for a good many
consecutive minutes when he got home again, and could keep as long as he
liked the recollection of the miles between Nara and Kioto.


They left the river at Fushimi, and followed what seemed to be an almost
continuous street for six miles or more. Formerly the great route for
travellers and commerce between Osaka and Kioto was by way of the river
as far as Fushimi, and thence by the road. The result of this state of
affairs for centuries was to build up a long village largely composed of
hotels and tea-houses. Their business has somewhat fallen off since the
completion of the railway from Kioto to Osaka and Kobe; but there is
still enough to maintain a considerable number of them. There is one
large hotel, at the foot of the Inari hill, about two miles from the
centre of Kioto, where the jin-riki-sha coolies invariably stop for a
short rest, and to take tea at the expense of their employers. The
custom was carefully observed in the present instance, and our friends
were shown to the rear of the hotel, where there was a pretty garden
with a little fountain supplied from the hill above. They sipped their
tea, and gave side-glances at the black-eyed maids that were moving
around the house; and when John announced that the coolies were rested,
the journey was resumed.

They passed by several temples, and, after a time, their way led through
some narrow streets and up a gently sloping hill. Suddenly they halted
and were told that they had reached their stopping-place. There are
several hotels at Kioto in the foreign style, but all kept and managed
by Japanese. John declared that the one to which he had brought them was
the best, but he added, in a quiet whisper, that it was not so good as
the hotels at Kobe and Yokohama. After a day's experience of the
establishment, Frank suggested that he could make an improvement in
John's English.

Fred asked what he had to propose.

"Why," said Frank, "he spoke of this hotel as the best in the place;
_best_ implies goodness somewhere, and I don't find any goodness in it."

"But, for all that," Fred responded, "the others may be worse than

"Quite true," was the answer, "and then let him say so. Instead of
calling this the best hotel in Kioto, he should say that it is the least
bad. Then he would be making a proper use of language."

[Illustration: WOMEN OF KIOTO.]

Fred retorted that Frank was demanding too much of a boy to whom they
only paid fifty cents a day, and his expenses, and said he was reminded
of the excuse of a soldier who was being censured for drunkenness.

"What was that?" queried Frank.

"His captain asked him what he had to say for himself to escape
punishment, and the man replied that it was unreasonable to expect all
the cardinal virtues for thirteen dollars a month. The captain told him
the excuse was sufficient for that time, but would not do for a
repetition of the offence."

They had not been five minutes in the hotel before they were visited by
a delegation of peddlers, who had all sorts of wares to offer. Among
them were some beautiful embroideries on silk, of a kind they had not
seen in Tokio or Yokohama, and there were some exquisite paintings that
gave practical evidence of the superiority of the artists of Kioto. The
dealers were not at all importunate, and did not seem to care whether
the strangers purchased their wares or declined all negotiations. Two or
three of them had brought photographs of the scenery around Kioto which
they offered to leave for inspection until the next day. This proposal
was received with favor, and on a hint that the travellers were tired
and wished to be by themselves, each of the itinerant merchants retired,
but not till after bowing low and pronouncing a respectful "Sayonara."

Two of the hotels which the foreigners patronize are close to some of
the famous temples of Kioto, and thus the process of sight-seeing is
greatly facilitated. A third hotel is a considerable distance up the
hill-side, and commands a fine view over nearly all the city. The ascent
to it is somewhat fatiguing, but the visitor is well paid for the
exertion by the remarkable and charming landscape that spreads before
his eyes.



To tell all that was done and seen by our young friends during their
stay in Kioto would be to tell a great deal. They had their time fully
occupied from their arrival to their departure, and they regretted much
the necessity of leaving when they did. At the Doctor's suggestion, they
attempted a new system of relating their adventures to their friends at
home, and were so well pleased at the result that they determined to try
it again. The new scheme was the preparation of a letter in which both
had equal shares, Frank undertaking to write one half of it and Fred the
other. They succeeded so well that when they read over their production
to Doctor Bronson before sending it away, he was unable to say which was
Fred's portion and which was Frank's. We will reproduce the letter and
leave our readers to judge how well they performed their self-imposed
duty. At the Doctor's suggestion, each of the boys wrote as though
speaking for himself, and consequently the letter had a good deal of "I"
in it.


     "We have seen so many things since we came here that I don't
     exactly know where to begin in telling the story of our
     sight-seeing. The names by which this city is known are so numerous
     that the reader of Japanese history of different dates is liable to
     be puzzled. Many of the natives speak of it as Miako, or the
     Capital; others have called it, and still call it, Saikio, or the
     Central City, and others know it only as Kioto, or the Western
     Capital. This last name has become the official one since the
     removal of the Mikado to Yeddo, which then became Tokio, or the
     Eastern Capital. But, by whatever name we know it, the city is a
     most delightful one, and the traveller who comes to Japan without
     seeing it is like one who goes to New York without visiting Central
     Park, or a stranger in Boston who does not see the famous Common.
     In many of its features Kioto is superior to Tokio, and any one of
     its inhabitants will tell you so. The city stands on a plain of
     nearly horseshoe shape, the mountains almost encircling it and
     giving an abundance of charming views. On one side the houses climb
     a considerable distance up the slopes, so that you may sit on a
     balcony and see Kioto lying at your feet.


     "The streets are almost of chess-board regularity, and generally so
     clean that you might go out to walk in satin slippers without much
     danger of soiling them. The people are finer-looking than those of
     Tokio, and you meet more stalwart men than in the eastern capital.
     Kioto prides itself on the beauty of its women, and some of the
     Japanese writers say that they cause the women of all other parts
     of the country to despair. They are very proud of their
     head-dresses, and they have a great many ornaments for the hair; in
     fact, there are so many of these things, and the trade is so
     extensive, that you find whole shops devoted to their manufacture
     and sale.

     "Dancing and singing girls are to be counted by the thousand, and
     they certainly have the most gorgeous toilets I have seen in the
     country. They are engaged to sing and dance at dinner parties, just
     as we have bands of music to play for us at large banquets in
     America, and no Japanese gentleman who was giving a dinner to a
     friend or friends would think he had done the proper thing unless
     there were 'geishas' to sing and dance for them. The other evening
     Doctor Bronson ordered a dinner for us at a Japanese restaurant in
     the true style of the country; he told the manager to get it up
     properly, and the answer was that it should be perfect. When we
     went there, we found the dinner ready; and there were two singing
     geishas, and two dancing ones, to entertain us. I can't say that I
     considered it much of an entertainment after the novelty had gone,
     as the music was monotonous, and we couldn't understand a word of
     the singing. Their dancing consisted of sliding about the room, and
     taking a variety of postures with their arms and hands, and it
     wasn't a bit like what we call dancing. But it was all perfectly
     proper and nice, and the girls behaved like real ladies. They are
     educated for dancers or singers, as the case may be, and some of
     them are great favorites and get high wages. But if I were to have
     my way, and have them dress to my taste, I should make them put
     less paint on their faces; they consider that the one who can put
     the most paint on her face and neck is the prettiest, and so they
     cover themselves till they look as though they were veneered. One
     of those that danced for us had her face covered so thickly that
     she couldn't smile without cracking the varnish, and so she didn't
     smile at all.


     "We are outside of treaty limits, and so we were obliged to have
     passports to come here. Foreigners may go freely within twenty-five
     miles of any of the treaty ports without special permission, but
     Kioto is just beyond the limit, as it is thirty miles from Osaka,
     and therefore the Japanese permit is needed. We had ours from the
     consul at Kobe, and had no trouble at all on coming here. A
     Japanese official called for them soon after we came to the hotel,
     and he bowed low as he received them. Then he spread the documents
     on the floor, and as he did so he fell on his hands and knees so as
     to bring his nose within six inches of the papers, and curve his
     back into the shape of an arch. He read the passports and copied
     our names into his note-book; or, at least, I suppose he did so,
     though I can't say positively. We can stay the time named in the
     permit without further interference; but if we stopped too long, we
     should probably be told some morning that a gentleman at Kobe was
     anxious to see us, and we had better start for there by the first
     train. The Japanese are so polite that they will never say a rude
     thing if they can help it, and they will even tell a plump
     falsehood rather than be uncivil. But the same thing has occurred
     in America, and so the Japs are not much worse than others, after

     [Illustration: AN ARTIST AT WORK.]

     "Kioto is famous in the rest of the world for its manufactures of
     porcelain of various kinds, and also for its bronzes and silk
     goods. There is a large trade in Kioto ware, and everybody says
     that it is increasing. At any rate, the prices they ask here are as
     high as in Yokohama for the same kind of articles, and some things
     are really dearer here than there. Some of the work in bronze is
     very fine, and I can tell you a funny story about the way the
     merchants prepare goods for the market. The incident happened
     yesterday, when we were in a shop with a gentleman from Kobe whom
     we had met at the hotel.

     "This gentleman was admiring a pair of very old vases; there was no
     doubt about their age, as they were eaten in several places with
     verdigris, and were covered in spots with dried earth. When he
     asked the price, he was astonished at the low figure demanded, and
     immediately said he would take them. Then he asked the shopkeeper
     if he had any more like them.

     "'I haven't any,' the dealer replied, 'but I can make anything you
     want to order.'

     "The gentleman said he didn't want new vases, but old ones, and
     thereupon the dealer said,

     "'I'll make old vases for you if you want them--will make them just
     as I made these.'

     "We learned how it is that they get up this old ware; at least, we
     were told so by a man who claims to know. 'Boil the bronzes in
     strong vinegar,' he says, 'for several hours; and if you want to
     make them look very old, you must put some acid in the vinegar. You
     want the strongest vinegar that can be found, and the bronze must
     be cleaned of all grease before it is boiled.

     [Illustration: LANTERN-MAKER AT KIOTO.]

     "'You can buy plenty of old ware of all kinds,' the same man said,
     'but you had better have it made, and then you know you are not
     cheated.' Very sensible advice, I think--don't you?

     "They have a great deal of embroidered and figured silk; and when
     you go into a shop, these are the first things they show you. Some
     of the work is magnificent; and when you look at it and learn the
     price, it does not take you long to conclude that the labor of
     Kioto is not very highly paid. There are many silk-weavers here,
     and we have visited some of the factories. The largest that we saw
     contained twenty looms, about half of them devoted to brocades and
     other figured work, and the rest to plain silks. The looms for
     ordinary work are quite plain and simple; those for the figured
     silks are somewhat complicated, and require two persons to operate
     them. One sits in the usual position in front of the loom, and the
     other up aloft; each of them has a pattern of the work, and there
     is a bewildering lot of threads which must be pulled at the right
     time. The process is very slow; and if these weavers could see a
     Jacquard loom, I think they would be astonished.

     "Kioto is a place of great interest, as has been said already; and
     we have not been able to exhaust its sights, though we have worked
     very diligently. It is the most famous city in all Japan for its
     temples, as it contains altogether about three thousand of them.
     They are of all sizes and kinds, but the most of them are small and
     not worth the trouble of visiting. But, on the other hand, there
     are some magnificent ones, and a charming feature of the temples is
     the way they are situated. They are nearly all on hill-sides, and
     in the midst of groves and gardens where you may wander for hours
     in the shade; and whenever you feel weary you can be sure of
     finding a tea-house close by, where you may rest and refresh
     yourself on the fragrant tea of Japan. Children romp and play on
     the verandas of the temples without thought of harm, and run as
     they please through the edifices. Outside are the tea-gardens; and
     the people chatter and laugh as they move to and from the temple,
     without any of the solemnity of a congregation entering or leaving
     a church in America. At the hour of worship, the crowd kneels
     reverently, and pronounces in unison the prayers that are repeated
     by the priest, and when the prayers are ended, they return to their
     sport or their work as gayly as ever.

     [Illustration: A JAPANESE ARCHER.]

     "I must not fail to tell you of a remarkable temple that we have
     seen; not that any are unworthy of mention, but this one is
     certainly very curious. It is known as the Temple of Rengenhoin,
     and contains one thousand idols of large size; then each idol in
     this lot is surrounded by several smaller ones, and there is one
     idol larger than all the rest. The whole number is said to be
     33,333. We did not count them to make sure that the estimate was
     correct, but I should think that there must be thirty thousand at
     least, so that a few odd thousands, more or less, would make no
     difference. The whole of the inside of the temple is full of them,
     and each figure is said to have a particular fable connected with
     it. The temple is nearly four hundred feet long, and is certainly a
     very fine building; and there is an artificial pond in front of it,
     which is covered with aquatic flowers in the season for them. There
     is a veranda that was used in olden times for a shooting-gallery
     for archery purposes; it is more than two hundred feet long, and
     there are records of some famous matches that have been shot there.
     The best on the books took place more than six hundred years ago,
     when one man is said to have hit the bull's-eye of the target 8,000
     times out of 10,000, and another is reported to have done the same
     thing 8,133 times in 13,053. That was certainly good shooting, and
     I don't believe that it would be easy to find a bowman to-day who
     could equal it.

     [Illustration: TEMPLE BELL AT KIOTO.]

     "We have seen one of the famous bells of Japan, or rather of Kioto,
     for it is this city that has always been celebrated for its bells.
     The greatest of them lies on the ground just outside of one of the
     temples, and it is not a piece of property that a man could put in
     his pocket and walk off with. It is fourteen feet high, twenty-four
     feet in circumference, and ten inches thick. How much it weighs
     nobody knows, as the Japanese never made a pair of scales large
     enough to weigh it with. The Japanese bells have generally a very
     sweet tone, and to hear them booming out on the evening air is not
     by any means disagreeable. The art of casting them was carried to a
     state of great perfection, and stood higher, two or three centuries
     ago than it does at present.


     "If I should name half the temples and public places we have seen I
     should make you wish, perhaps, that I had not written at all, as
     the list alone would be tedious, and I could no more give you an
     idea of the peculiar beauty and attractions of each than I could
     describe the perfume of each flower in a bouquet from the hands of
     the florist. One temple had a large cemetery attached to it, and we
     walked around looking at the inscriptions in a language which we
     could not read, and studying symbols we could not understand. The
     temple stands in a grove, as do nearly all the temples of Kioto,
     and the place reminded us very much of some of our burial-places at

     [Illustration: REELING COTTON.]

     "Then we have had glimpses of the way the people spin cotton, and
     perform other work in the manufacturing line. Their apparatus is
     very simple, and it is rather surprising than otherwise that they
     can accomplish so much with so little machinery. Then we have
     walked about the streets, and several times we have had close
     escapes from being run over by some of the carts that were carrying
     heavy loads. With two men to push them, and two pulling at the same
     time, they will move loads that would be no small matter for a pair
     of horses. They keep up a great shouting, and at first it puzzles
     you to know why they do it until you remember that it is desirable
     they should all pull together. You can hear them a long way off,
     and if you get in their way it is your own fault, as it was ours.

     [Illustration: HANDCART FOR A QUARTETTE.]

     "Well, if we kept on telling you all we have seen in Kioto we
     should be a long time at it, and so we may as well stop short.
     Besides, we are going to Lake Biwa, and it is time to be off. If
     you enjoy this letter half as much as we have enjoyed the material
     for making it you will have a very pleasant time over it."


The party went to Lake Biwa as they had proposed, and certainly no one
should omit it from his excursions in the vicinity of Kioto. The
distance is only seven miles, and an excellent road leads there from the
city. Along the route they met a dense crowd of people coming and going,
for there is a vast amount of business between the city and the lake.
There were men on foot and in jin-riki-shas, there were porters with
loads and porters without loads, there were pack-horses in great number,
and there were wagons with merchandise bound for the interior or for the
seaboard. Some of the pack-horses had burdens the reverse of savory, and
the boys learned on inquiry that they were transporting liquid manure to
the farms near the borders of the lake. Along the roadside they saw
little family groups that were always more or less picturesque; fathers
were caring for their children, and seemed to take great delight in
playing the part of nurse. It is very common in all the Japanese cities
to see men thus occupied, and they never appear to be weary of their
tasks. In summer both parent and child will be thinly clad, while in
winter they will be wrapped against the cold. The summer garments are
not always so thick as the rules of polite society require, and even the
winter costume is not very heavy.

[Illustration: THE PATERNAL NURSE.]

Lake Biwa is a beautiful sheet of water, surrounded by picturesque
mountains and smiling valleys. Steamers ply upon it, so that an
excursion may be made on its waters with the utmost ease; and all around
it there are picnic booths where parties may sit and enjoy the view. The
time of our friends was limited, and so they had only a glimpse of the
lake from one of those pleasure resorts, if a couple of hours spent
there may be called a glimpse.


They returned to Kioto, and proceeded without delay to Kobe. They found
the railway journey much more rapid than the one by jin-riki-sha, but it
had the demerit of carrying them so fast that very little could be seen
of the country. The day after their arrival at Kobe the steamer was
ready to take them to Nagasaki and Shanghai, and at the appointed hour
they went on board. Practically, they had finished their sight-seeing in
Japan, as they were not to break the journey until setting foot on
Chinese soil. They left it with the most agreeable recollections, and
the boys, as they stood on the deck of the steamer slowly moving out of
the harbor of Kobe, simultaneously asked the question,

"Wonder if we shall ever see it again?"

[Illustration: A MAKER OF BOWS.]



From Kobe westward the route lies through the famous Inland Sea of
Japan, known to the Japanese as the Suwo Nada. The Inland Sea is more
like a lake than an arm of the ocean; and there have been travellers who
could not readily believe that it was connected with the ocean, and that
its waters were salt instead of fresh. The distance is, in round
numbers, about two hundred and fifty miles; and through the entire
voyage the land is constantly in sight, and generally close at hand. The
islands rise sharply from the water, and a large portion of them are
densely wooded and exceedingly picturesque.


During the whole of the voyage, as long as the daylight favored them,
our young friends remained on deck, and studied the scenery along the
route. Sometimes the sea widened out to fifty miles or more, and at
others it contracted so that there was no sign of a passage before them,
and it was difficult to say which way the steamer would turn. Now and
then the islands were so close together that the steamer made her course
as though she were tracing the sinuosities of the Mississippi River, and
it was necessary to keep a sharp lookout to avoid accidents on the
numerous rocks that lie sunken in the channel. Mishaps to the steamers
are of rare occurrence, as the channel has been carefully buoyed, and
the pilots understand their business fully; but it is otherwise with the
unwieldy junks, which are often driven by an adverse wind directly into
the dangers their captains are seeking to avoid. The traffic through the
Inland Sea is very great, both by the steamers and by the junks; and
sometimes whole fleets of the latter may be seen waiting in some of the
sheltering nooks for a favoring wind. The steamers make the passage from
one end to the other of the Inland Sea in less than twenty-four hours;
but the junks are frequently a fortnight in covering the same distance.
They are never in a hurry, and therefore time is no object.


The Inland Sea is entered soon after leaving Kobe, and it terminates at
Simoneseki, where there is a narrow strait leading into the open waters.
Our friends wanted to land at Simoneseki, where the steamer made a halt
of a couple of hours; but they were informed that the port was not
opened to foreigners, and, therefore, their only view of it was a
distant one. However, they were consoled by the reflection that they
could have plenty of time at Nagasaki, where the ship was to remain a
day and a half before continuing her voyage. Nagasaki was the first
place opened to foreigners, and there are many points of interest about
the city.


Hardly was the anchor down when our trio entered a boat and were rowed
to the shore. Nagasaki is prettily situated in a bay that is completely
landlocked, and affords secure anchorage to ships even in the severest
gales. Doctor Bronson had been in the harbor of Rio Janeiro, in South
America, and said that the bay of Nagasaki was a sort of pocket edition
of that of Rio Janeiro. The hills rise abruptly from the water, and lie
in terraces that seem to lose themselves in the distance. Some of the
hills are wooded, while others are cleared and cultivated; and in either
case there are evidences of the most careful attention on the part of
the inhabitants of the country. Looking seaward the hills gradually
separate until the entrance of the bay is reached; here the island of
Pappenberg stands directly across the mouth of the bay, and, while
seemingly obstructing it, serves as a breakwater against the in-rolling

[Illustration: PAPPENBERG ISLAND.]

"That island has a fearful history," said Doctor Bronson, while they
were looking at it when the steamer entered the harbor.

"Do you mean the island of Pappenberg?" Frank asked.

"I know," said Fred; "it has a history connected with the establishment
of Christianity in Japan more than two hundred years ago."

"I think I have already told you something of the attempt to make Japan
a Christian country," the Doctor continued. "The island of Pappenberg is
one of the places that witnessed the extinction of the Christian
religion in Japan after it had gained a strong footing. Do you observe
that one side of the island is like a precipice?"

[Illustration: WOMEN OF NAGASAKI.]

The boys regarded the point to which their attention was directed; and
they regarded it more attentively when they were told that from that
steep rock many thousands of men and women were hurled, solely for the
offence of being Christians. Those that were not killed by the fall were
drowned in the sea, and not one was allowed to escape. Pappenberg is
known in history as the Tarpeian Rock of Japan. It is now used as a
picnic resort of the foreign inhabitants of Nagasaki, and a more
delightful spot for a pleasure excursion could not be easily found.

According to some writers there were nearly a hundred thousand
Christians massacred after the discovery of the conspiracy which was to
put Japan under the control of Portugal, but the Japanese say that these
figures are an exaggeration. It is difficult to get at the truth of the
matter, as neither party can be relied on for accuracy, or rather the
accounts that have come down to us cannot be considered impartial.


As nearly as can be ascertained the first European who landed on
Japanese soil was Mendez Pinto, a Portuguese who combined the
occupations of merchant and pirate in such intimate relations that it
was not always easy for him to determine where the one ended and the
other began. He has been greatly slandered, and his name has an ignoble
place in history, as that of a champion liar. The fact is, that the
stories he told on his return to Europe, and which caused him to be
called "The Mendacious," were substantially correct--quite as much so as
those of Marco Polo, and far more than the narrations of Sir John
Mandeville. Pinto came with two companions to the island of Tanegashima
in 1542, and, as might be expected, they were great curiosities. Even
more curious were the fire-arms they carried; and they were invited to
visit the Daimio of Bungo, and bring their strange weapons with them.
They did so, and taught the natives how to make guns and powder, which
soon became generally used throughout Japan. To this day fire-arms are
frequently called "Tanegashima," after the island where Pinto landed
with the first of these weapons. Christianity followed closely on the
track of the musket. The adventurers returned with a profit of twelve
hundred per cent. on their cargo. Their success stimulated others, and
in 1549 two Portuguese missionaries, one of them being Francis Xavier,
landed in Japan, and began the work of converting the heathen. Xavier's
first labors were in Satsuma, and he afterwards went to Kioto and other
cities. Personally he never accomplished much, as he could not speak the
language fluently, and he remained in the country only a few years. But
he did a great deal to inspire others; numbers of missionaries flocked
to Japan, and it is said that thirty years after Xavier landed on the
soil there were two hundred churches, and a hundred and fifty thousand
native Christians. At the time of the highest success of the
missionaries it is estimated that there were not less than half a
million professing Christians in Japan, and perhaps another hundred
thousand who were nominally so, though their faith was not regarded as
more than "skin deep." Among the adherents of the new religion there
were several Daimios, and a great number of persons occupying high
social and official positions. Some of the Daimios were so zealous that
they ordered their people to turn Christians whether they wished it or
not; and one of them gave his subjects the option of being baptized or
leaving the country within twenty-four hours.


The Dutch were great traders in the East Indies, and they managed to
obtain a footing in Japan during the time of the Portuguese success.
They received a concession of the island of Deshima, about six hundred
feet square, in the harbor of Nagasaki, and here they lived until our
day. When the troubles arose that led to the expulsion of foreigners and
the extinction of Christianity, the Dutch were excepted from the
operations of the edict, as it could not be shown that they had had any
part in the conspiracy. They had been too busy with their commerce to
meddle in religious matters; and, if history is true, it is probable
that they hadn't religion enough in their small colony at Deshima to go
around and give a perceptible quantity to each man.

This little island was in reality a prison, as its inhabitants were not
allowed to go outside for any purpose, except once in three years, when
a delegation of them made a journey to Yeddo to make presents to the
Tycoon. They were compelled to travel the most of the way in closed
norimons, and thus their journey did not afford them many glimpses of
the country. There is a tradition that they were required to go through
the ceremony of trampling on the cross in the presence of the Tycoon,
and also to intoxicate themselves, as a warning to the Japanese to shun
the wicked ways of the foreigners. Whether either account be true I am
unable to say; the assertion is very positively made and as positively
denied, and therefore I will leave every reader, who has paid his money
for the book, to make choice of the side of the story which suits him

[Illustration: A PATH NEAR NAGASAKI.]

The first move of our friends on landing was to go to Deshima, as they
had a curiosity to see the little island, which was so famous in the
history of the foreign relations of Japan with the outer world. The
drawbridge leading to the island, and the box where the Japanese
sentries stood, were still there, and so were some of the buildings
which the Dutch inhabited; but the Dutch were gone, and probably
forever. Outside of the historical interest there was nothing remarkable
about the island, and the boys wondered how men could voluntarily shut
themselves up in a prison like this. Only one ship a year was allowed to
come to them, and sometimes, during the wars between Holland and other
countries, there were several years together when no ship came. They
were permitted to purchase certain quantities of fresh provisions daily,
and when they ran short of needed articles they were supplied by the
governor of Nagasaki. But no permission could be granted to go outside
their narrow limits. How they must have sighed as they gazed on the
green hills opposite, and with what longing did they think of a ramble
on those grassy or wooded slopes!


The chief use of Deshima, as our friends found it, is to serve as a
depository of Japanese wares, and particularly of the kinds for which
Nagasaki is famous. Nagasaki vases and Nagasaki lacquer were in such
quantities as to be absolutely bewildering, and for once they found the
prices lower than at Yokohama. They made a few purchases--their final
transactions in Japan--and then turned their attention to a stroll
through the city.

There was not much to amuse them after their acquaintance with other
cities of Japan, and so they were speedily satisfied. On the hill
overlooking the town and harbor they found an old temple of considerable
magnitude, then another, and another, and then tea-houses almost without
number. In one of the latter they sat and studied the scenery of
Nagasaki until evening, when they returned to the steamer.

Another ramble on shore the following morning, and they left the soil
of Japan for the deck of the steamer. At noon they were slowly moving
down the bay; they passed the island of Pappenberg, and, as they did so,
Frank read from a book he had picked up in the ship's cabin the
following paragraph:

"In that same year, when the last of the Roman Catholic converts were
hurled from the rocky islet of Pappenberg, in the Bay of Nagasaki, a few
exiles landed at Plymouth, in the newly discovered continent, where they
were destined to plant the seeds of a Protestant faith and a great
Protestant empire. And it was the descendants of the same pilgrim
fathers that, two centuries later, were the first among Western nations
to supply the link of connection wanted, to bring the lapsed heathen
race once more within the circle of Christian communion, and invite them
anew to take their place in the family of civilized nations."

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

"Sayonara!" said Frank, raising his cap and bowing towards the receding

"Sayonara!" echoed Fred, as he followed his cousin's example. "I say
'Sayonara' now, but I hope that some time in the future I may be able to
say 'Ohio.'"

"And so do I," Frank added. "It is a charming country, and I don't think
we shall find a more agreeable one anywhere."

The conversation was cut short by the call to dinner, a call that has
suppressed many a touch of sentiment before now, on land as well as on
the water.

[Illustration: THE RAIN DRAGON.]

It is a voyage of two days, more or less, according to the speed of the
steamer, from Nagasaki to Shanghai. Our friends had hoped to be in
Shanghai on the afternoon of the second day from the former port; but
their hopes were not destined to be realized. The Japanese gods of Rain,
Wind, and Thunder interfered.

[Illustration: THE WIND DRAGON.]

The morning after their departure from Nagasaki, Frank went on deck soon
after daylight. The wind was so strong that it almost took him from his
feet, and he was compelled to grasp something to make sure of remaining
upright. The sky was overcast, and every few minutes there came a
sprinkling of rain that intimated that the cabin was the better place
for any one who was particular about keeping dry. Fred joined him in a
few minutes, and soon after Fred's arrival the Doctor made his

[Illustration: THE THUNDER DRAGON.]

The Captain was on the bridge of the steamer, and appeared much
disturbed about something, so much so that the boys asked Dr. Bronson if
he thought anything had gone wrong.

The Doctor gave a hasty glance at the sky and the water, and then
retreated to the cabin, where a barometer was hanging. A moment's
observation of the instrument satisfied him, or, rather, it greatly
dissatisfied him, for he returned hastily to the deck and rejoined the
boys with the observation,

"We shall have it very lively in a short time, and are not likely to
reach Shanghai in a hurry."

"Why? What do you mean?"

"I mean that we are about to have a typhoon."

"I should rather like to see one," Frank remarked.

"Well," the Doctor replied, "you are about to be accommodated, and if
we get safely out of it I am very sure you will not want to see another.

"But as we are in for it," he continued, "we must make the best of the
situation, and hope to go through in safety. Many a strong ship lies at
the bottom of the sea, where she was sent by just such a storm as we are
about to pass through, and many another has barely escaped. I was once
on a ship in the China seas, when the captain told the passengers that
it would be a miracle if we remained half an hour longer afloat. But
hardly had he done speaking when the wind fell, the storm abated, and we
were safe. The typhoon is to these waters what the hurricane is to the
West Indies; it is liable to blow at any time between April and
September, and is often fearfully destructive.

"The word typhoon comes from the Japanese 'Tai-Fun,' which means 'great
wind,' and the meaning is admirably descriptive of the thing itself.
There is no greater wind in the world than a typhoon; the traditional
wind that would blow the hair off the back of a dog is as nothing to it.
A cyclone is the same sort of thing, and the two terms are
interchangeable; cyclone is the name of European origin, while typhoon
comes from the Asiatic.

"The typhoon blows in a circle, and may be briefly described as a
rapidly revolving wind that has a diameter of from two to five hundred
miles. It is a whirlwind on a large scale, and as furious as it is
large. A curious fact about it is that it has a calm centre, where there
is absolutely no wind at all, and this centre is sometimes forty or
fifty miles across. Nearest the centre the wind has the greatest
violence, and the farther you can get from it, the less severe is the
gale. Mariners always try to sail away from the centre of a typhoon, and
I have known a ship to turn at right angles from her course in order to
get as far as possible from the centre of a coming tempest. There is a
great difference of opinion among captains concerning these storms, some
declaring that they have been in the middle point of a typhoon and
escaped safely, while others aver that no ship that was ever built can
withstand the fury of a storm centre. But I think the weight of evidence
is in favor of the former rather than the latter, as I have known
captains who have described their situation in such a way as to leave
not the slightest doubt in my mind of the correctness of their

"If you have any desire to study the subject fully, I advise you to get
'Piddington's Law of Storms;' you will find it treated very fully and
intelligently, both from the scientific and the popular point of view.

[Illustration: A TYPHOON.]

"It has never been my fortune," the Doctor continued, "to be farther in
a typhoon at sea than the outer edge, but that was quite as much as I
wanted. One time on land I saw and felt one of these tempests; it drove
ships from their moorings, swamped hundreds of boats, unroofed many
houses, tore trees up by the roots, stripped others of their branches,
threw down walls and fences, flooded the land, and caused a vast amount
of havoc everywhere. Hundreds of people were drowned by the floods, and
the traces of the storm will last for many years. The city that has
suffered most by these storms is Calcutta. On two occasions the centre
of a typhoon has passed over the harbor or within a few miles of it, and
the whole shipping of the port was driven from its moorings and the
greater part completely or partially wrecked."

While they were listening to the remarks of the Doctor the boys observed
that the wind was increasing, and as they looked at the compass they
found that the ship's course had been changed. Everything about the
vessel that could be made fast was carefully secured, and the party was
notified that they might be ordered below at any moment. The waves were
not running high, and but for the very severe wind there would have been
nothing to cause more than ordinary motion on board the steamer.

After a time the waves broke into what is called a "choppy sea;" the
wind was so great that their crests were blown away before they could
rise to any height worthy of notice. Mariners say that in a severe
typhoon the ocean is quite smooth, owing to the inability of the waves
to form against the irresistible force of the wind. It is fortunate for
them that such is the case, as they could not possibly survive the
combined action of the cyclone and the great waves together.

For three or four hours the wind continued to increase, and the waters
to assume the shapes we have seen. The barometer had fallen steadily,
and everything indicated that the arrival of the steamer at Shanghai, or
at any other port, was by no means a matter of certainty. The order was
issued for the passengers to go below, and our friends descended to the
cabin. Just as they did so the decks were swept by a mass of water that
seemed to have been lifted bodily from the sea by a gust of wind. The
order to go below was not issued a moment too soon.

The Doctor took another glance at the barometer, and discovered
something. The mercury was stationary!

Ten minutes later it had risen a few hundredths of a degree. The rise
was small, but it was a rise. In another ten minutes another gain was

The Doctor's face brightened, and he called the boys to observe what he
had discovered. He had already explained to them that the barometer
falls at the approach of stormy weather, and rises when the storm is
about to pass away. Before a storm like a typhoon the fall is very
rapid, and so certainly is this the case that mariners rely upon the
barometer to give them warning of impending danger.

An hour from the time they went below they were allowed to go on deck
again. The wind had abated a little, so that there was no further danger
of their being swept from the decks by the water; the clouds were less
dense and the rain was not falling so heavily. In another hour there was
another perceptible decline in the wind, and a little later the ship was
again put on her course. The captain announced the danger over, and said
the centre of the typhoon had passed at least a hundred miles to the
west of them. "If we had kept our course," said he, "we should have been
much nearer to it, and then the storm would have been more dangerous for

"How do you know which way to turn?" Frank asked; "it seems to me you
are just as likely to run to the centre of the storm as to the

"There's where you don't understand the science of storms," said the
captain smiling. "In the northern hemisphere typhoons, cyclones, and
hurricanes--they are all the same--whirl from left to right, that is,
they turn like the hands of a watch, while in the southern hemisphere
their motion is exactly the reverse. When we think we are in the sweep
of a typhoon in these waters, we run with the wind on our starboard, or
right hand, and that course will take us away from the centre. In the
southern hemisphere we run with the wind on the port, or left hand, with
the same result. But we'll go to dinner now and be happy, for the danger
is over."

[Illustration: COURSE OF A TYPHOON.]

Just as they were rising from table they were suddenly called on deck by
the announcement of a wreck. An American bark had been dismasted by the
gale and lay helpless on the water; her captain wished to be taken in
tow to the mouth of the Yang-tse-kiang, and after some minutes spent in
making a bargain, the matter was arranged and a line passed out.

"They were less fortunate than we," the Doctor remarked as they
proceeded with their tow.


"Yes," answered the captain, "the poor fellow was nearer the centre of
the typhoon than we were. There'll be a job for the ship-carpenters and
riggers at Shanghai; it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good."

Frank was looking through the captain's glass at the persons who were
moving about the deck of the bark. Suddenly he observed something and
called out to his companions:

"Look, look! here's a familiar face!"

The Doctor took the glass and then handed it to Fred; the latter looked
steadily for a minute or more before he had a satisfactory view, and
then said:

"It's our old friend, the Mystery!"



In due time they entered the waters of the great river of Northern
China, the Yang-tse. They entered them long before they sighted land, as
the vast quantities of earth brought down by the stream make a change in
the color of the sea that can be readily distinguished a great distance
from the coast. In this respect the Yang-tse is similar to the
Mississippi, and the effect of the former on the Yellow Sea is like that
of the latter on the Gulf of Mexico. The coast at the mouth of the
Yang-tse is low and flat, and a ship is fairly in the entrance of the
river before land can be seen. The bar can be passed by deep-draught
vessels only at high water, and consequently it often becomes necessary
for them to wait several hours for the favorable moment. This was the
case with our friends, and they walked the deck with impatience during
the delay. But at last all was ready, and they steamed onward in
triumph, dropping their tow at Woosung, and waving a good-bye to "the
Mystery," who had recognized them from the deck of the disabled bark.

[Illustration: THE WOOSUNG RIVER.]

Shanghai is not on the Yang-tse, but on the Woosung River, about twelve
miles from the point where the two streams unite. The channel is quite
tortuous, and it requires careful handling on the part of a pilot to
take a ship through in safety to herself and all others. Two or three
times they narrowly escaped accidents from collisions with junks and
other craft, and at one of the turnings the prow of their steamer made a
nearer acquaintance with a mud-bank than her captain considered
desirable; but nothing was injured, and the delay that followed the
mishap was for only a few minutes. The tide was running in, and carried
them along at good speed; and in less than two hours from the time of
their departure from Woosung they were anchored in front of Shanghai and
ready to go on shore. They had not seen anything particularly
interesting on their voyage up the river, as the banks were low and not
at all densely settled. Here and there a few villages were thrown
together, and it occurred to Frank that the houses were huddling close
up to each other in order to keep warm. The most of the ground was clear
of timber; but there were some farm-houses standing in little clumps of
trees that, no doubt, furnished a welcome shade in the summer season.
One mile of the river was very much like another mile, and consequently
the monotony of the scenery made the sight of Shanghai a welcome one.


Crowds of sampans surrounded the ship as the anchor-chain rattled
through the hawse-hole, and it was very evident that there was no lack
of transportation for the shore. The Doctor engaged one of these boats,
and gave the baggage of the party into the hands of the runner from the
Astor House, the principal hotel of the American section of Shanghai.
They found it a less imposing affair than the Astor House of New York,
though it occupied more ground, and had an evident determination to
spread itself. A large space of greensward was enclosed by a quadrangle
of one-story buildings, which formed the hotel, and consequently it
required a great deal of walking to get from one part of the house to
the opposite side. Our friends were shown to some rooms that were
entered from a veranda on the side of the court-yard. They found that on
the other side there was a balcony, where they could sit and study the
life of the street; and as this balcony was well provided with chairs
and lounges, it was a pleasant resort on a warm afternoon. The house
was kept by an American, but all his staff of servants was Chinese. Fred
regretted that he could not praise the dining-table as earnestly as he
did the rooms, and he was vehement in declaring that a breakfast or
dinner in the Astor at New York was quite another affair from the same
meal in the one at Shanghai. The Doctor and Frank were of his opinion;
but they found, on inquiry, that the landlord did not agree with them,
and so they dropped the subject.

As soon as they were settled at the hotel, they went out for a stroll
through the city, and to deliver letters to several gentlemen residing
there. They had some trouble in finding the houses they were searching
for, as the foreigners at Shanghai do not consider it aristocratic to
have signs on their doors or gate-posts, and a good deal of inquiry is
necessary for a stranger to make his way about. If a man puts out a
sign, he is regarded as a tradesman, and unfit to associate with the
great men of the place; but as long as there is no sign or placard about
his premises he is a merchant, and his company is desirable, especially
if he is free with his money. A tradesman cannot gain admission to the
Shanghai Club, and the same is the rule at Hong-Kong and other ports
throughout the East. But there is no bar to the membership of his clerk;
and it not infrequently happens that a man will be refused admission to
a club on account of his occupation, while his clerk will be found
eligible. There are many senseless rules of society in the East, and our
boys were greatly amused as the Doctor narrated them.

[Illustration: SHANGHAI.]

Shanghai is very prettily situated in a bend of the river, and the
water-front is ornamented with a small park, which has a background of
fine buildings. These buildings are handsome, and the most of them are
large. Like the foreign residences at the treaty ports of Japan, they
have a liberal allowance of ground, so that nearly every house fronting
on the river has a neat yard or garden in front of it. The balconies are
wide, and they are generally enclosed in lattice-work that allows a free
circulation of air. Back from the water-front there are streets and
squares for a long distance; and the farther you go from the
river-front, the less do you find the foreign population, and the
greater the Chinese one. The foreign quarter is divided into three
sections--American, English, and French--and each has a front on the
river in the order here given, but the subjects, or citizens, of each
country are not confined to their own national quarter; several
Americans live in the French and English sections, and there are French
and English inhabitants in the quarter where the American consul has
jurisdiction. There is generally the most complete harmony among the
nationalities, and they are accustomed to make common cause in any
dispute with the Chinese. Sometimes they fall out; but they very soon
become aware that disputes will be to their disadvantage, and proceed to
fall in again. There is a great deal of social activity at Shanghai, and
a vast amount of visiting and dinner-giving goes on in the course of a

The Chinese city is quite distinct from the foreign one; it lies just
beyond the French concession, or, rather, the French section extends up
to the walls of the old city. The contrast between the two is very
great. While the foreigners have taken plenty of space for the
construction of their buildings and laying out their streets, the
Chinese have crowded together as closely as possible, and seemed
desirous of putting the greatest number into the smallest area. It is so
all over China from north to south. Even where land is of no particular
value, as in the extreme north, the result is the same; and there are
probably no people in the world that will exist in so small an area as
the Chinese. Ventilation is not a necessity with them, and it seems to
make little difference whether the air they breathe be pure or the
reverse. In almost any other country in the world a system of such close
crowding would breed all sorts of pestilence, but in China nobody
appears to die from its effect.


At the first opportunity our friends paid a visit to the Chinese part of
Shanghai. They found a man at the gate of the city who was ready to
serve them as guide, and so they engaged him without delay. He led them
through one of the principal streets, which would have been only a
narrow lane or alley in America; and they had an opportunity of studying
the peculiarities of the people as they had studied in the Japanese
cities the people of Japan. Here is what Frank wrote down concerning his
first promenade in a Chinese city:

"We found the streets narrow and dirty compared with Japan, or with any
city I ever saw in America. The shops are small, and the shopkeepers are
not so polite as those of Tokio or other places in Japan. In one shop,
when I told the guide to ask the man to show his goods, they had a long
talk in Chinese, and the guide said that the man refused to show
anything unless we should agree to buy. Of course we would not agree to
this, and we did nothing more than to ask the price of something we
could see in a show-case. He wanted about ten times the value of the
article; and then we saw why it was he wanted us to agree beforehand to
buy what we looked at. Every time we stopped at a shop the people
gathered around us, and they were not half so polite as the Japanese
under the same circumstances. They made remarks about us, which of
course we did not understand; but from the way they laughed when the
remarks were made, we could see that they were the reverse of

"We went along the street, stopping now and then to look at something,
and in a little while we came to a tea-house which stood in the middle
of a pond of water. The house was rather pretty, and the balconies
around it were nice, but you should have seen the water. It was covered
with a green scum, such as you may see on a stagnant pool anywhere in
the world, and the odor from it was anything but sweet. Fred said it was
the same water that was let into the pool when they first made it. The
guide says the house is a hundred years old, and I should think the
water was quite as old as the house; or perhaps it is some second-hand
water that they bought cheap, and if so it may be very ancient. We went
into the house and sat down to take some tea. They gave us some
tea-leaves, on which they poured hot water, and then covered the cup
over for a minute or two. Each of us had his portion of tea separate
from all the others. The tea was steeped in the cup, and when we wanted
more we poured hot water on again. Then they brought little cakes and
melon-seeds, with salt to eat with the seeds. Our guide took some of the
seeds, and we ate one or two each to see how they tasted. I can't
recommend them, and don't think there is any danger they will ever be
introduced into the United States as a regular article of diet.


"When we rose to go, and asked how much we owed, we were astonished at
the price. The proprietor demanded a dollar for what we had had, when,
as we afterwards learned, twenty-five cents would have been more than
enough. We had some words with him through our interpreter, and finally
paid the bill which we had found so outrageous. We told him we should
not come there again; and he said he did not expect us to, as strangers
rarely came more than once into the Chinese part of Shanghai. He was a
nice specimen of a Chinese rascal; and Doctor Bronson says he must have
taken lessons of some of the American swindlers at Niagara Falls and
other popular resorts. What a pity it is that whenever you find
something outrageously bad in a strange country, you have only to think
a moment to discover something equally bad in your own!

[Illustration: SMOKING OPIUM.]

"At one place we looked into a little den where some people were smoking
opium. They were lying on benches, and were very close together. The
room wasn't more than eight feet square, and yet there were a dozen
people in it, and perhaps one or two more. The guide told us it was a
mistake to suppose that they smoked opium as we smoke tobacco. We stand,
sit, or walk while smoking; but when a Chinese uses opium, he always
reclines on a bench or bed, and gives himself up to his enjoyment. Men
go to the shops where opium is sold and lie down on the benches for a
period of pleasure. Sometimes two persons go together, and then they lie
on the same bench and take turns in filling each other's pipe.

"The opium must be boiled to fit it for use, and when ready it looks
like very thick molasses. A man takes a long needle and dips it into the
opium, and then he twists it around till he gets a ball of the drug as
large as a pea. He holds this ball in the flame of a lamp till it
becomes hot and partially burning, and then he thrusts it into a little
orifice in the top of the bowl of the pipe. He continues to hold it in
the flame, and, while it is burning, he slowly inhales the fumes that
come from it. A few whiffs exhaust the pipe, and then the smoker rests
for several minutes before he takes another. The amount required for
intoxication is regulated and estimated in pipes; one man can be
overcome by three or four pipes, while another will need ten, twenty, or
even thirty of them. A beginner is satisfied with one or two pipes, and
will go to sleep for several hours. He is said to have dreams of the
pleasantest sort, but he generally feels weak and exhausted the next

[Illustration; OPIUM-PIPE.]

"Dr. Bronson says he tried to smoke opium the first time he was in
China, but it made him very ill, and he did not get through with a
single pipe. Some Europeans have learned to like it, and have lost their
senses in consequence of giving way to the temptation. It is said to be
the most seductive thing in the world, and some who have tried it once
say it was so delightful that they would not risk a second time, for
fear the habit would be so fixed that they could not shake it off. It is
said that when a Chinese has tried it for ten or fifteen days in
succession he cannot recover, or but very rarely does so. The effects
are worse than those of intoxicating liquors, as they speedily render a
man incapable of any kind of business, even when he is temporarily free
from the influence of the drug. The habit is an expensive one, as the
cost of opium is very great in consequence of the taxes and the high
profits to those who deal in it. In a short time a man finds that all
his earnings go for opium, and even when he is comfortably well off he
will make a serious inroad on his property by his indulgence in the
vice. A gentleman who has lived long in China, and studied the effects
of opium on the people, says as follows:

"'With all smokers the effect of this vice on their pecuniary standing
is by no means to be estimated by the actual outlay in money for the
drug. Its seductive influence leads its victims to neglect their
business, and consequently, sooner or later, loss or ruin ensues. As the
habit grows, so does inattention to business increase. Instances are not
rare where the rich have been reduced to poverty and beggary, as one of
the consequences of their attachment to the opium pipe. The poor
addicted to this vice are often led to dispose of everything salable in
the hovels where they live. Sometimes men sell their wives and children
to procure the drug, and end by becoming beggars and thieves. In the
second place, the smoking of opium injures one's health and bodily
constitution. Unless taken promptly at the regular time, and in the
necessary quantity, the victim becomes unable to control himself and to
attend to his business. He sneezes, he gapes, mucus runs from his nose
and eyes, griping pains seize him in the bowels, his whole appearance
indicates restlessness and misery. If not indulged in smoking and left
undisturbed, he usually falls asleep, but his sleep does not refresh and
invigorate him. On being aroused, he is himself again, provided he can
have his opium. If not, his troubles and pains multiply, he has no
appetite for ordinary food, no strength or disposition to labor. He
becomes emaciated to a frightful degree, his eyes protrude from their
sockets; and if he cannot procure opium, he dies in the most horrible


"The government has tried to stop the use of opium, but was prevented
from so doing by England, which made war upon China to compel her to
open her ports and markets for its sale. It is no wonder that the
Chinese are confused as to the exact character of Christianity, when a
Christian nation makes war upon them to compel them to admit a poison
which that Christian nation produces, and which kills hundreds of
thousands of Chinese every year.

"We made all our journey on foot, as we could not find any
jin-riki-shas, except in the foreign part of Shanghai. They were only
brought into use a few years ago, and they cannot be employed in all the
cities of China, because the streets are very narrow, and the carriage
could not move about. But we saw some sedan-chairs, and one of these
days we are going to have a ride in them. It looks as though a ride of
this sort would be very comfortable, as you have a good chair to sit in,
and then you are held up by men who walk along very steadily. Ordinarily
you have two men; but if you are a grand personage, or are going on a
long course, three or four men are needed. The chair is quite pretty, as
it has a lot of ornamental work about it, and the lower part is closed
in with light panelling or bamboo-work. It is surprising what loads the
coolies carry, and how long they will walk without apparent fatigue.
They are accustomed to this kind of work all their lives, and seem to
think it is all right.


"We came back pretty tired, as the streets are not agreeable for walking
on account of the dust and the rough places. They don't seem to care how
their streets are in China. When they have finished a street, they let
it take care of itself; and if it wears out, it is none of their
business. I am told that there are roads in China that were well made at
the start, but have not had a particle of repair in a hundred years.
They must be rough things to travel on."




The plans of the Doctor included a journey up the great river, the
Yang-tse. There was abundant opportunity for the proposed voyage, as
there were two lines of steamers making regular trips as far as Han-kow,
about six hundred miles from Shanghai. One line was the property of a
Chinese company, and the other of an English one. The Chinese company's
boats were of American build, and formerly belonged to an American firm
that had large business relations in the East. The business of
navigating the Yang-tse-kiang had been very profitable, and at one time
it was said that the boats had made money enough to sink them if it were
all put into silver and piled on their decks. But there was a decline
when an opposition line came into the field and caused a heavy reduction
of the prices for freight and passage. In the early days of steam
navigation on the Yang-tse-kiang a passage from Shanghai to Han-kow
cost four hundred dollars, and the price of freight was in proportion.
For several years the Americans had a monopoly of the business, and
could do pretty much as they liked. When the opposition began, the fares
went down, down, down; and at the time our friends were in China the
passage to Han-kow was to be had for twenty-four dollars--quite a
decline from four hundred to twenty-four.

The boys had expected to find the boats in China small and inconvenient.
What was their astonishment to find them like the great steamers that
ply on the North River, or from New York to Fall River or Providence.
They found the cabins were large and comfortable, though they were not
so numerous as on the American waters, for the reason that there were
rarely many passengers to be carried. The captain, pilots, engineers,
and other officers were Americans, while the crew were Chinese. The
managers of the company were Chinese, but they left the control of the
boats entirely in the hands of their respective captains. One boat had a
Chinese captain and officers, but she was a small affair, and, from all
that could be learned, the managers did not find their experiment of
running with their own countrymen a successful one.

At the advertised time the three strangers went on board the steamer
that was to carry them up the river, and took possession of the cabins
assigned to them. Their only fellow-passengers were some Chinese
merchants on their way to Nanking, and a consular clerk at one of the
British consulates along the stream. The captain of the steamer was a
jolly New-Yorker, who had an inexhaustible fund of stories, which he was
never tired of telling. Though he told dozens of them daily, Frank
remarked that he was not like history, for he never repeated himself.
Fred remembered that some one had said to him in Japan that he would be
certain of a pleasant voyage on the Yang-tse-kiang if he happened to
fall in with Captain Paul on the steamer _Kiang-ching_. Fortune had
favored him, and he had found the steamer and the captain he desired.

Frank observed that the steamer had been provided with a pair of eyes,
which were neatly carved on wood, and painted so as to resemble the
human eye. The captain explained that this was in deference to the
Chinese custom of painting eyes on their ships and boats; and if he
looked at the first boat, or other Chinese craft, large or small, that
he saw, he would discover that it had eyes painted on the bow. This is
the universal custom throughout China; and though a native may have a
suspicion that it does no good, he would not be willing to fly in the
face of old custom. In case he should leave his craft in blindness, and
any accident befell her, he would be told by his friends, "Serves you
right for not giving your ship eyes to see with."

The steamer descended the Woosung River to its intersection with the
Yang-tse-kiang, and then began the ascent of the latter. The great
stream was so broad that it seemed more like a bay than a river. This
condition continued for a hundred and fifty miles, when the bay narrowed
to a river, and the far-famed Silver Island came in sight. It stands in
mid-stream, a steep hill of rock, about three hundred feet high, crowned
with a pagoda, and covered from base to summit with trees and bushes and
rich grass. At first it might be taken for an uninhabited spot, but as
the boat approaches you can see that there are numerous summer-houses
and other habitations peeping out from the verdure. A little beyond the
island there is a city which straggles over the hills, and is backed by
a range of mountains that make a sharp outline against the sky. This is
Chin-kiang, the first stopping-place of the steamer as she proceeds from
Shanghai to Han-kow. She was to remain several hours, and our friends
embraced the opportunity to take a stroll on shore. Here is Frank's
account of the expedition:


"The streets of Chin-kiang are narrow and dirty, and the most of them
that we saw seemed to be paved with kitchen rubbish and other unsavory
substances. The smells that rose to our nostrils were too numerous and
too disagreeable to mention; Fred says he discovered fifty-four distinct
and different ones, but I think there were not more than forty-seven or
forty-eight. The Doctor says we have not fairly tested the city, as
there are several wards to hear from in addition to the ones we visited
in our ramble. I was not altogether unprepared for these unpleasant
features of Chin-kiang, as I had already taken a walk in the Chinese
part of Shanghai.


"Everybody says that one Chinese town is so much like another that a
single one will do for a sample. This is undoubtedly true of the most of
them, but you should make exceptions in the case of Canton and Pekin.
They are of extra importance; and as one is in the extreme north, and
the other in the far south, they have distinctive features of their own.
We shall have a chance to talk about them by-and-by. As for Chin-kiang,
I did not see anything worth notice while walking through it that I had
not already seen at Shanghai, except, perhaps, that the dogs barked at
us, and the cats ruffled their backs and tails, and fled from us as
though we were bull-dogs. A pony tried to kick Fred as he walked by the
brute, and only missed his mark by a couple of inches. You see that the
dumb animals were not disposed to welcome us hospitably. They were
evidently put up to their conduct by their masters, who do not like the
strangers any more than the dogs and cats do, and are only prevented
from showing their spite by the fear that the foreigners will blow their
towns out of existence if any of them are injured.

"We bought some things in the shops, but they did not amount to much
either in cost or quality. Fred found a pair of Chinese spectacles which
he paid half a dollar for; they were big round things, with glasses
nearly as large as a silver dollar, and looked very comical when put on.
But I am told that they are very comfortable to the eyes, and that the
foreigners who live in China, and have occasion to wear spectacles,
generally prefer those made by the Chinese opticians. A pair of really
fine pebbles will cost from ten to twenty dollars. The glasses that Fred
bought were only the commonest kind of stuff, colored with a smoky tint
so as to reduce the glare of the sun.


"We went outside the town, and found ourselves suddenly in the country.
It was a complete change. Going through a gate in a wall took us from
the streets to the fields, and going back through the gate took us to
the streets again. We saw a man ploughing with a plough that had only
one handle, and made a furrow in the ground about as large as if he had
dragged a pickaxe through it. The plough was pulled by a Chinese buffalo
about as large as a two-year-old steer, and he was guided by means of a
cord drawn through the cartilage of his nose. It was a poor outfit for a
farmer; but the man who had it appeared perfectly contented, and did not
once turn his eyes from his work to look at us.


"A little way off from this ploughman there was a man threshing grain on
some slats; they looked like a small ladder placed on an incline, and
the way he did the work was to take a handful of grain and thresh it
against the slats till he had knocked out all the kernels and left
nothing but the straw. Such a thing as a threshing-machine would
astonish them very much, I should think, and I don't believe they would
allow it to run. Labor is so cheap in China that they don't want any
machinery to save it; when you can hire a man for five cents a day, and
even less, you haven't any occasion to economize.


"The man who brought the bundles of grain to the thresher had them slung
over his shoulder, as they carry everything in this country; two bundles
made a load for him, and they were not large bundles either. Such a
thing as a farm-wagon is as unknown as a threshing-machine, and would
not be useful, as the paths among the fields are very narrow, and a
wagon couldn't run on them at all. Land is very valuable in the
neighborhood of the towns, and they would consider it wasteful to have a
wide strip of it taken up for a road. And, as I have just said, labor is
very cheap, especially the labor of the coolies who carry burdens. All
the men I saw at work in the field were barefooted, and probably the
wages they receive do not leave them much to spend on boots, after they
have supported their families and paid their taxes. They must have a
hard time to get along, but they appear perfectly cheerful and


From Chin-kiang the steamer proceeded up the river. The account of what
they saw was thus continued by the boys:

"The southern branch of the grand canal enters the river at Chin-kiang;
the northern branch comes in some distance below. The river is
plentifully dotted with junks, but this condition is not peculiar to the
vicinity of the canal. All the way up from Shanghai to Han-kow it is the
same, and sometimes twenty or thirty boats will be sailing so closely
together as to endanger their cordage and sides. Perhaps you have seen
New York Bay on a pleasant afternoon in summer when every boat that
could hoist a sail was out for an airing? Well, imagine this great river
for hundreds of miles dotted with sails as thickly as our bay on the
occasion I have indicated, and you can have an idea of the native
commerce of the Yang-tse-kiang. Nobody knows how many boats there are on
the river, as no census of them is taken. The mandarins collect toll at
the river stations, but do not trouble themselves to keep a record of
the numbers. I asked a Chinese merchant who is a fellow-passenger with
us how many boats there are engaged in the navigation of the Yang-tse
and its tributaries, and he answers,

"'P'raps hunder tousand, p'raps million; nobody don't know.'

"Another says, 'Great many big million,' and he may not be far out of
the way, though his statement is not very specific.

[Illustration: A RIVER SCENE IN CHINA.]

"I have heard a curious story of how the foreigners have secured more
privileges than are allowed to the native merchants. Every district has
the right to tax goods passing through it. At each district there is a
barrier, commanded by a petty official, with a military guard, and here
each native boat must stop and pay the transit tax. For long distances
these taxes amount to a large sum, and frequently are a great deal more
than the goods cost originally. These taxes are known as 'squeezes,' and
the barriers where they are paid are called 'squeeze stations.' But the
foreigners have secured a treaty with China, or, rather, there is a
clause in one of the treaties, which exempts them from the payment of
the transit 'squeezes;' they only pay the customs duties, and the local
tax at the place of destination. Transit passes are issued by which
goods belonging to foreigners, though carried in native boats, are
exempt from squeezing, but these passes can only be obtained by

"Since the law went into operation, many Chinese merchants have gone
into partnership with foreigners; the former furnishing the capital and
attending to all the business, while the latter obtain the transit
passes and give the name to the firm. A gentleman whom we met in
Shanghai is associated with some wealthy Chinese; they put in the money,
and he furnishes his name and gets the passes, which none of them could

"The native junks will always give a free passage to a foreigner who
will pretend to own the cargo, since they can escape the squeeze if he
plays his part successfully. The captain says that last year a sailor
who wanted to join an English gun-boat at a place up the river was
carried through for nothing by a junk whose cargo he pretended to own.
He passed as a 'foreign merchant,' but the fact was he had never bought
anything in his life more valuable than a suit of clothes, and had sold
a great deal less than that.

[Illustration: A NINE-STORIED PAGODA.]

"The river above Chin-kiang is in some places very pretty, and the
mountains rise out of the water here and there, making a great contrast
to the lowlands farther down. There are several large cities on the way,
the most important (or, at all events, the one we know the most about)
being Nanking. It was famous for its porcelain tower, which was
destroyed years ago by the rebels. Every brick has been carried away,
and they have actually dug down into the foundations for more. There is
only a part of the city left; and as we did not have time to go on
shore, I am not able to say much about it. But there are several other
cities that were more fortunate, since they were able to save their
towers, or pagodas, as they are generally called. These pagodas are
always built with an odd number of stories, usually five, seven, or
nine; but once in a great while there is an ambitious one of eleven
stories, or a cheap and modest one of only three. We saw one handsome
pagoda of nine stories that had bushes and climbing-plants growing from
it. I suppose the birds carried the seeds there, and then they sprouted
and took root. They make the pagoda look very old, and certainly that is
quite proper, as they are all of an age that young people should

[Illustration: LITTLE ORPHAN ROCK.]

"There is a funny little island--and not so little, after all, as it is
three hundred feet high--that stands right in the middle of the river at
one place. They call it the Little Orphan Rock, probably because it was
never known to have any father or mother. There is a temple in the side
of the rock, as if a niche had been cut to receive it. Fred thinks the
people who live there ought not to complain of their ventilation and
drainage; and if they fell out of the front windows by any accident,
they would not be worth much when picked up. Away up on the top of the
rock there is a little temple that would make a capital light-house,
but I suppose the Chinese are too far behind the times to think of
turning it to any practical use. Great Orphan Rock is farther up the
river, or a little out of the river, in what they call Po-yang Lake.

"Around the shores of Po-yang Lake is where they make a great deal of
the porcelain, and what we call 'China ware,' that they send to America.
The captain says he has frequently taken large quantities of it down the
river to Shanghai, and that it was sent from there to our country. They
dig the clay that they want for making the porcelain on the shores of
the lake, and they get their fuel for burning it from the forests, not
far away. The entrance to the lake is very picturesque; there is a town
in a fortress on a hill that overlooks the river, and then there is a
fort close down by the water. Probably the fort wouldn't be of much use
against a fleet of foreign ships; but it looks well, and that is what
pleases the Chinese."




The evidences of a large population along the Yang-tse were easy to see;
but, nevertheless, Frank and Fred were somewhat disappointed. They had
read of the overcrowded condition of China, and they saw the great
numbers of boats that navigated the river, and consequently they looked
for a proportionately dense mass of people on shore. Sometimes, for two
or three hours at a time, not a house could be seen; and at others the
villages were strung along in a straggling sort of way, as though they
were thinly inhabited, and wished to make as good a show as possible.
There were many places where the land did not seem to be under
cultivation at all, as it was covered with a dense growth of reeds and
rushes. In some localities the country appeared so much like a
wilderness that the boys half expected to see wild beasts running about
undisturbed; they began to speculate as to the kind of beasts that were
to be found there, and finally questioned Dr. Bronson on the subject.

The Doctor explained to them that this desolation was more apparent than
real, and that if they should make a journey on shore, at almost any
point, for a few miles back from the river, they would find all the
people they wanted. "About thirty years ago," said he, "they had a
rebellion in China; it lasted for a long time, and caused an immense
destruction of life and property. The rebels had possession of the
cities along the Yang-tse, and at one period it looked as though they
would succeed in destroying the government."

"Did they destroy the cities that we see in ruins?" Fred asked.

"Yes," answered the Doctor, "they destroyed several cities so completely
that not a hundred inhabitants remained, where formerly there had been
many thousands; and other cities were so greatly injured that the traces
of the rebel occupation have not been removed. I believe there is not a
city that escaped uninjured, and you have seen for yourselves how some
of them have suffered.

"The rebellion," he continued, "is known in history as the Tae-ping
insurrection. The words 'tae ping' mean 'general peace,' and were
inscribed on the banners of the rebels. The avowed intention of the
leader of the revolt was to overthrow the imperial power, and deliver
the country from its oppressors. There were promises of a division of
property, or, at all events, the rebels were to have free license to
plunder wherever they went; and as there are always a great many people
who have everything to gain and nothing to lose, the rebellion gathered
strength as time went on. The leaders managed to convince the foreigners
that they were inclined to look favorably on Christianity, and the idea
went abroad that the Tae-pings were a sort of Chinese Protestants, who
wanted to do away with old abuses, and were in favor of progress and of
more intimate relations with foreign nations. Many of the missionaries
in China were friendly to the rebellion, and so were some of the
merchants and others established there.

[Illustration: TAE-PING REBELS.]

"So powerful did the rebels become that they had nearly a third of the
best part of the empire under their control, and the imperial
authorities became seriously alarmed. City after city had been captured
by the rebels, and at one time the overthrow of the government appeared
almost certain. The rebels were numerous and well officered, and they
had the advantage of foreign instruction, and, to some extent, of
foreign arms. The imperialists went to war after the old system, which
consisted of sound rather than sense. They were accustomed to beat
gongs, fire guns, and make a great noise to frighten the enemy; and as
the enemy knew perfectly well what it was all about, it did not amount
to much. The suppression of the rebellion was largely due to foreigners,
and the most prominent of these was an American."

"What! an American leader for Chinese?"

"Yes, an American named Ward, who rose to be a high-class mandarin among
the Chinese, and since his death temples have been erected to his honor.
He came to Shanghai in 1860, and was looking around for something to do.
The rebels were within forty miles of the city, and their appearance in
front of it was hourly expected. They were holding the city of
Soon-keong, and Ward proposed to take this place by contract, as one
might propose to build a house or a railway line."

The boys laughed at the idea of carrying on war by contract, but were
reminded that they were in China, where things are done otherwise than
in Europe and America.

"The conditions of the contract were that Ward should raise a force of
fifty Malays, and undertake the capture of a walled city having a
garrison of four thousand rebels. If he succeeded, he was to have a
certain sum of money--I think it was ten thousand dollars--and was then
to raise a force of one thousand Chinese with twenty-five foreign
officers, and was to have command of this army for the purpose of
suppressing the rebellion.

"Soon-keong has four gates, and they were opened at a certain hour in
the morning. Ward went there secretly one night, and sent fourteen of
his men to each of three of the gates, while he himself went with the
remaining eight men to the fourth gate. The rebels suspected nothing,
and at the usual time the gates were opened. Ward's men rushed in
simultaneously at the four gates, made a great noise, set fire to
several buildings, killed everybody they met, and pushed on for the
centre of the town. In less than ten minutes the enemy had fled, and the
battle was over. Ward was in full possession of the place, and a force
of the imperial army, which was waiting near by, was marched in, to make
sure that the rebels would not return.

[Illustration: GENERAL WARD.]

"Ward raised the army that he had proposed, and from one thousand it
soon grew to three thousand. It was armed with foreign rifles, and had a
battery of European artillery. The officers were English, American,
French, and of other foreign nationalities, and the men were drilled in
the European fashion. So uniformly were they successful that they
received the name of 'the Invincibles,' and retained it through all
their career. The American adventurer became 'General' Ward, was
naturalized as a Chinese subject, was made a red-button mandarin, and
received from the government a present of a large tract of land and a
fine house in Shanghai. He was several times wounded, and finally, in
October, 1862, he was killed in an attack on one of the rebel


"Ward was succeeded by an American named Burgevine, who had been one of
his subordinates. Burgevine was quite as successful as Ward had been,
and at one time with his army of 5000 trained Chinese he defeated 95,000
of the Tae-ping rebels. This made an end of the rebellion in that part
of the country, but it was flourishing in other localities. Burgevine
had some trouble with the authorities, which led to his retirement; and
after that the Invincible army was commanded by an English officer named
Gordon, who remained at the head of it till the downfall of the
Tae-pings and the end of the rebellion. The success of this little army
against the large force of the rebels shows the great advantages of
discipline. In all time and in all countries this advantage has been
apparent, but in none more so than in China. If the power of Ward and
his men had been with the rebels instead of against them, it is highly
probable that the government would have been overthrown. A few hundred
well-trained soldiers could have decided the fate of an empire."

[Illustration: GENERAL BURGEVINE.]

The conversation about the Tae-ping rebellion and its termination
occurred while the steamer was steadily making her way against the muddy
waters of the Yang-tse. The party were sitting on the forward deck of
the boat, and just as the closing words of the Doctor's remarks were
pronounced, there was a new and unexpected sensation.

The day was perfectly clear, but suddenly a cloud appeared to be forming
like a thick mist. As they came nearer to it they discovered what it
was, and made the discovery through their sense of feeling. It was a
cloud of locusts moving from the southern to the northern bank of the
river; they had devastated a large area, and were now hastening to fresh
woods and pastures new. They filled the air so densely as to obscure the
sun, and for more than an hour the steamer was enveloped in them. These
locusts are the scourge of China, as they are of other countries. They
are worse in some years than in others, and in several instances they
have been the cause of local famines, or of great scarcity.

Of course many of the locusts fell on the deck of the steamer, and found
their way to the cabins. The flight of the cloud was from south to
north, and Frank observed a remarkable peculiarity about the movements
of individual members of the immense swarm. He captured several and
placed them on the cabin table. No matter in what direction he turned
their heads, they immediately faced about towards the north, and as long
as they were in the cabin they continued to try to escape on the
northern side. After the boat had passed through the swarm, the boys
released several of the captives, and found that, no matter how they
were directed at the moment of their release, they immediately turned
and flew away to the north.

"They've one consolation," Fred remarked--"they have their compasses
always about them, and have no need to figure up their reckoning with
'Bowditch's Navigator' to know which way to steer."

"Don't you remember," Frank retorted, "our old teacher used to tell us
that instinct was often superior to reason. Birds and animals and fishes
make their annual migrations, and know exactly where they are going,
which is more than most men could begin to do. These locusts are guided
by instinct, and they are obliged to be, as they would starve if they
had to reason about their movements, and study to know where to go. Just
think of a locust sitting down to a map of China, when there were
millions of other locusts all doing the same thing. They wouldn't have
maps enough to go around; and when they got to a place they wanted to
reach, they would find that others had been there before them and eaten
up all the grass."

Frank's practical argument about instinct received the approval of his
friends, and then the topic of conversation was changed to something

Both the boys were greatly interested in the various processes of work
that were visible on shore. Groups of men were to be seen cutting reeds
for fuel, or for the roofs of houses, where they make a warm thatch that
keeps out the rain and snow. Other groups were gathering cotton, hemp,
millet, and other products of the earth; and at several points there
were men with blue hands, who were extracting indigo from the plant
which produces it. The plant is bruised and soaked in water till the
coloring-matter is drawn out; the indigo settles to the bottom of the
tub, and the water is poured off; and after being dried in the sun, the
cake forms the indigo of commerce. In many places there were little
stages about thirty feet high, and just large enough at the top for one
man, who worked there patiently and alone. Frank could not make out the
employment of these men, and neither could Fred. After puzzling awhile
over the matter, they referred it to Doctor Bronson.

"Those men," the Doctor explained, "are engaged in making ropes or
cables out of the fibres of bamboo."

"Why don't they work on the ground instead of climbing up there?" Fred

"Because," was the reply, "they want to keep the cable straight while
they are braiding it. As fast as they braid it it hangs down by its own
weight, and coils on the ground beneath. No expensive machinery is
needed, and the principal labor in the business is to carry the bamboo
fibre to the platform where it is wanted. This cable is very strong and
cheap, and takes the place of hemp rope in a great many ways. It is
larger and rougher than a hempen rope of the same strength, but the
Chinese are willing to sacrifice beauty for cheapness in the majority of
practical things."

The Chinese have a way of catching fish which is peculiar to themselves,
and much practised along the Yang-tse. A net several feet square hangs
at the end of a long pole, and is lowered gently into the water and then
suddenly raised. Any fish that happens to be swimming over the net at
the time is liable to be taken in. He is lifted from the large net by
means of a small scoop, and the raising and lowering process is resumed.
Fred thought it was an excellent employment for a lazy man, and Frank
suggested that it would be better for two lazy men than one, as they
could keep each other company.

The boys were desirous of seeing how the Chinese catch fish with the aid
of cormorants, and were somewhat disappointed when told that these birds
were rarely used on the Yang-tse, but must be looked for on some of the
lakes and ponds away from the great stream, and particularly in the
southern part of the empire. The Doctor thus described this novel mode
of catching fish:

"Three or four cormorants and a raft are necessary in this way of
fishing. The cormorants are stupid-looking birds about the size of
geese, but are of a dark color, so that they cannot be readily seen by
the fish. The raft is of bamboo logs bound together, and about three
feet wide by twenty in length. The fisherman is armed with a paddle for
propelling his raft and a scoop-net for taking the fish after they have
been caught by the cormorant, and he has a large basket for holding the
fish after they have been safely secured. Each cormorant has a cord or
ring around his neck to prevent him from swallowing the fish he has
taken, and it is so tight that he cannot get down any but the smallest


"The birds dive off from the raft, and can swim under water with great
rapidity. Sometimes they are not inclined to fish, and require to be
pushed off, and, perhaps, beaten a little by their master. If they have
been well trained, they swim directly towards the raft, when they rise
to the surface; but sometimes a cormorant will go off the other way, in
the hope of being able to swallow the fish he holds in his mouth. In
such case the fisherman follows and captures the runaway, punishing him
soundly for his misconduct. Whenever a bird catches a fish and brings it
to the raft, he is rewarded with a mouthful of food. In this way he soon
learns to associate his success with something to eat; and a cormorant
that has been well trained has a good deal of fidelity in his
composition. I am uncertain which to admire most, the dexterity of the
fisherman in handling his raft, or the perseverance and celerity of the

On her arrival at Han-kow, the steamer was tied up to the bank in front
of the portion of the city occupied by the foreigners. Han-kow is on a
broad tongue of land at the junction of the Han with the Yang-tse. On
the opposite side of the Han is the city of Han-yang, and over on the
other bank of the Yang-tse is Wo-chang. Here is the brief description
given by the Doctor in a letter to friends at home:

"A hill between Han-kow and Han-yang rises about six hundred feet, and
affords one of the finest views in the world, and, in some respects, one
of the most remarkable. We climbed there yesterday a little before
sunset, and remained as long as the fading daylight and the exigencies
of our return permitted. At our feet lay the Yang-tse, rolling towards
the sea after its junction with the Han, which we could trace afar, like
a ribbon of silver winding through the green plain. Away to the west was
a range of mountains, lighted by the setting sun, and overhung with
golden and purple clouds; while to the south was an undulating country,
whose foreground was filled with the walled city of Wo-chang. The
crenelated walls enclose an enormous space, much of which is so desolate
that foreigners are accustomed to hunt pheasants and hares within the
limits. They say that at one time all this space was covered with
buildings, and that the buildings were crowded with occupants. The three
cities suffered terribly during the rebellion, and more than three
fourths of their edifices were levelled. Looking from the hill, it is
easy to see the traces of the destruction, although twenty years have
passed since the insurrection was suppressed. The population of the
three cities was said to have been four or five millions; but, even
after making allowance for the density with which Chinese cities are
crowded, I should think those figures were too high. However, there is
no doubt that it was very great, and probably more people lived here
than on any similar area anywhere else in the world."

Han-kow is a great centre of trade. Frequently the mouth of the Han is
so crowded with junks that the river is entirely covered, and you may
walk for hours by merely stepping from one boat to another. The upper
Yang-tse and the Han bring down large quantities of tea, furs, silk,
wax, and other products, both for home use and for export. There are
heavy exports of tea from Han-kow direct to England, and every year
steamers go there to load with cargoes, which they take to London as
rapidly as possible. Our friends were told that there was a large trade
in brick tea, which was prepared for the Russian market; and as the boys
were anxious to see the process of preparation, a visit to one of the
factories was arranged. Frank made a note of what he saw and wrote it
out as follows:

[Illustration: A STREET IN HAN-KOW.]

"The dry tea is weighed out into portions for single bricks, and each
portion is wrapped in a cloth and placed over a steam-boiler. When it is
thoroughly steamed, it is poured into a mould and placed beneath a
machine, which presses it into the required shape and size. Some of the
machines are worked by hand, and others by steam. Both kinds are very
rapid and efficient, and we could not see that the steam had much
advantage. Five men working a hand machine, and receiving twenty cents
each for a day's labor, were able to press six bricks a minute, as we
found by timing them with our watches. The steam press worked only a
little faster, and the cost of fuel must have been about equal to that
of human muscle.

"Only the poorest kind of tea is made into bricks, and each brick is
about six inches wide, eight inches long, and one inch thick. After it
has been pressed, it is dried in ovens; and when it is thoroughly dried
and ready for packing, it is weighed, to make sure that it is up to the
required standard. All bricks that are too light are thrown out, to be
mixed up again and done over. Nearly all of this business is in Russian
hands, for the reason that this kind of tea is sold only in Russia."

Doctor Bronson arranged that the party should visit Wo-chang and see a
famous pagoda that stood on the bank of the river. There was not a great
deal to see after they got there, as the place was not in good repair,
and contained very little in the way of statues and idols. The stairways
were narrow and dark, and the climb to the top was not accomplished
without difficulty. Afterwards they went through the principal streets,
and visited the shops, which they found much like those of Shanghai and
Chin-kiang. The people showed some curiosity in looking at the
strangers--more than they had found farther down the river--for the
reason, doubtless, that fewer foreigners go there.

[Illustration: WO-CHANG.]

Wo-chang is the capital of the province of Hoo-peh, and the
governor-general resides there. Our friends were fortunate enough to get
a glimpse of this high official as he was carried through the streets in
a sedan-chair, followed by several members of his staff. A Chinese
governor never goes out without a numerous following, as he wishes the
whole world to be impressed with a sense of his importance; and the
rank and position of an official can generally be understood by a single
glance at the number of his attendants, though the great man himself may
be so shut up in his chair that his decorations and the button on his
hat may not be visible.

In a couple of days the steamer was ready for the return to Shanghai.
The time had been well employed in visiting the streets and shops and
temples of Han-kow, and learning something of its importance as a centre
of trade. The return journey was begun with a feeling of satisfaction
that they had taken the trouble and the time for the ascent of the
Yang-tsu and made themselves acquainted with the internal life of the




On their return to Shanghai, the Doctor informed his young companions
that they would take the first steamer up the coast in the direction of

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

They descended the river to the sea, and then turned to the northward.
Nothing of moment occurred as the steamer moved along on her course, and
on the morning of the third day from Shanghai they were entering the
mouth of the Pei-ho River. The Doctor pointed out the famous Taku forts
through the thin mist that overhung the water, and the boys naturally
asked what the Taku forts had done to make themselves famous.


"There is quite a history connected with them," the Doctor answered.
"They were the scene of the repulse of the British fleet in 1859, when
an American commander came to its relief, with the remark, which has
become historic, 'Blood is thicker than water!' In the following year
the English returned, and had better success; they captured the forts
and entered the river in spite of all that the Chinese could do to stop
them. Do you see that low bank there, in front of a mud-wall to the left
of the fort?"

"Certainly," was the reply.

"Well, that is the place where the sailors landed from the small boats
for the purpose of storming the forts, while the gun-boats were shelling
them farther up the river."

"But it looks from here as if there were a long stretch of mud," Fred

"You are right," the Doctor responded, "there is a long stretch of mud,
and it was that mud which partly led to the failure at the time of the
first attack. The storming force was compelled to wade through it, and
many of the men perished. The fire of the Chinese was more severe than
had been expected, and the ships of the fleet were badly injured. But
when the attack was made the following year, the muddy belt was much
narrower, and the sailors passed through it very quickly, and were at
the walls of the fort before the Chinese were ready for them.

"The navigation is difficult along the Pei-ho River, and the steamers of
the attacking fleet found the passage barred by cables stretched across
the stream. They had considerable trouble to break through these
obstructions, but they finally succeeded, and the rest of the voyage to
Tien-tsin was accomplished far more easily than the capture of the

As the steamer moved on against the muddy current, and turned in the
very crooked channel of the Pei-ho, Frank espied a double-storied
building with a wide veranda, and asked what it was.

He was interested to learn that it was known as the Temple of the
Sea-god, and had been at one time the residence of the Chinese commander
of the Taku forts. It had a handsome front on the river, and a fleet of
junks was moored directly above it. Each junk appeared to be staring
with all the power of the great eyes painted on its bows, and some of
the junks more distinguished than the rest were equipped with two eyes
on each side, in order that they might see better than the ordinary
craft. Flags floated from the masts of all the junks, and in nearly
every instance they were attached to little rods, and swung from the
centre. A Chinese flag twists and turns in the breeze in a manner quite
unknown to a banner hung after the ways of Europe and America.


The river from Taku to Tien-tsin was crowded with junks and small boats,
and it was easy to see that the empire of China has a large commerce on
all its water-ways. The Grand Canal begins at Tien-tsin, and the city
stands on an angle formed by the canal and the Pei-ho River. It is not
far from a mile square, and has a wall surrounding it. Each of the four
walls has a gate in the centre, and a wide street leads from this gate
to the middle of the city, where there is a pagoda. The streets are
wider than in most of the Chinese cities, and there is less danger of
being knocked down by the pole of a sedan-chair, or of a coolie bearing
a load of merchandise. In spite of its great commercial activity, the
city does not appear very prosperous. Beggars are numerous, and wherever
our friends went they were constantly importuned by men and women, who
appeared to be in the severest want.

[Illustration: A CHINESE BEGGAR.]

The usual way of going to Pekin is by the road from Tien-tsin, while the
return journey is by boat along the river. The road is about ninety
miles long, and is one of the worst in the world, when we consider how
long it has been in use. According to Chinese history, it was built
about two thousand years ago. Frank said he could readily believe that
it was at least two thousand years old, and Fred thought it had never
been repaired since it was first opened to the public. It was paved with
large stones for a good portion of the way, and these stones have been
worn into deep ruts, so that the track is anything but agreeable for a
carriage. The only wheeled vehicles in this part of China are carts
without springs, and mounted on a single axle; the body rests directly
on the axle, so that every jolt is conveyed to the person inside, and he
feels after a day's journey very much as though he had been run through
a winnowing-machine.

The Chinese cart is too short for an average-sized person to lie in at
full length, and too low to allow him to sit erect; it has a small
window on each side, so placed that it is next to impossible to look out
and see what there is along the route. Altogether it is a most
uncomfortable vehicle to travel in, and the boys thought they would go
on foot rather than ride in one of them.


But it was not necessary to go on foot, as they were able to hire ponies
for the journey, and it was agreed all round that a little roughness on
horseback for a couple of days would do no harm. So they made a contract
with a Chinese, who had been recommended to them by the consul as a good
man, to carry them to Pekin. It was arranged that they should take an
early start, so as to reach a village a little more than half way by
nightfall, and they retired early in order to have a good night's sleep.
They had time for a little stroll before they went to bed, and so they
employed it in visiting the "Temple of the Oceanic Influences," where
the treaty of Tien-tsin was signed after the capture of the Taku forts
and the advance of the English to the city. The temple is on a plain
outside of the walls, and contains a large hall, which was very
convenient for the important ceremonial that took place there. At the
time the treaty was signed the British officers were in full uniform,
and made a fine appearance, while the Chinese were not a whit behind
them in gorgeousness of apparel. Contrary to their usual custom, the
Chinese did not think it necessary to hang up any elaborate decorations
in the hall, and the attention of the spectators was concentrated on the
dignitaries who managed the affair.

There is another way of travelling in China, which is by means of a mule
litter. This is a sort of sedan-chair carried by mules instead of men;
one mule walks in front, and another in the rear, and the litter is
supported between them on a couple of long shafts. The pace is slow,
being always at a walk, except at the times when the mules run away and
smash things generally, as happens not unfrequently. The straps that
hold the shafts to the saddles of the mules have a way of getting loose,
and leaving the box to fall to the ground with a heavy thud, which
interferes materially with the comfort of the occupant. For invalids and
ladies the mule litter is to be recommended, as well as for persons who
are fond of having the greatest amount of comfort; but our young friends
disdained anything so effeminate, and determined to make the journey on

They took as little baggage as possible, leaving everything superfluous
at Tien-tsin; six horses were sufficient for all the wants of the
party--four for themselves and the guide, and two for the baggage. It
was necessary to carry the most of the provisions needed for the journey
to Pekin, as the Chinese hotels along the route could not be relied on
with any certainty. No rain had fallen for some time, and the way was
very dusty; but this circumstance only made it more amusing to the boys,
though it was not so pleasing to the Doctor. Before they had been an
hour on the road, it was not easy to say which was Fred and which Frank,
until they had rendered themselves recognizable by washing their faces.
Water was scarce, and not particularly good, and, besides, the operation
of washing the face was an affair of much inconvenience. So they
contented themselves with the dust, and concluded that for the present
they wouldn't be particular about names or identity.

At noon they had gone twenty-five miles through a country which abounded
in villages and gardens, and had a great many fields of wheat, millet,
cotton, and other products of China; the fields were not unlike those
they had seen on their voyage up the Yang-tse; and as for the villages,
they were exactly alike, especially in the items of dirt and general
repulsiveness. The modes of performing field labor were more interesting
than the villages; the most of the fields were watered artificially, and
the process of pumping water attracted the attention of the boys. An
endless chain, with floats on it, was propelled through an inclined box
by a couple of men who kept up a steady walk on a sort of treadmill.
There were spokes in a horizontal shaft, and on the ends of the spokes
there were little pieces of board, with just sufficient space for a
man's foot to rest. The men walked on these spokes, and steadied
themselves on a horizontal pole which was held between a couple of
upright posts. Labor is so cheap in China that there is no occasion for
employing steam or wind machinery; it was said that a pump coolie was
able to earn from five to ten cents a day in the season when the fields
needed irrigation, and he had nothing to do at other times.


The night was passed at a village where there was a Chinese tavern, but
it was so full that the party were sent to a temple to sleep. Beds were
made on the floor, and the travellers managed to get along very well, in
spite of the fleas that supped and breakfasted on their bodies, and
would have been pleased to dine there. The boys were in a corner of the
temple under the shadow of one of the idols to whom the place belonged,
while the Doctor had his couch in front of a canopy where there was a
deity that watched over him all night with uplifted hands. Two smaller
idols, one near his head and the other at his feet, kept company with
the larger one; but whether they took turns in staying awake, the Doctor
was too sleepy to inquire.

[Illustration: THE DOCTOR'S BEDROOM.]

They were up very early in the morning, and off at daylight, somewhat to
the reluctance of the guide, who had counted on sleeping a little
longer. The scenes along the road were much like those of the day
before, and they were glad when, just at nightfall, the guide pointed to
a high wall in front of them, and pronounced the word "Pekin." They were
in sight of the city.

"I'm disappointed," said Fred. "Pekin isn't what I thought it was."

"Well, what did you expect to find?" queried Frank.

"Why, I thought it was on a hill, or something of the sort; I had no
reason to think so, of course, but I had formed that picture of it."

"Nearly every one who comes to Pekin is thus disappointed," said Doctor
Bronson; "he expects to see the city from a distance, while, in reality,
it is not visible till you are quite close to it."

The walls were high, and there was nothing to be seen inside of them, as
none of the buildings in that quarter were equally lofty. But the effect
of the walls was imposing; there were towers at regular intervals, and
the most of them were two stories above the level of the surrounding
structure. For nearly a mile they rode along the base of one of the
walls till they came to a gate that led them into the principal street.
Once inside, they found themselves transferred very suddenly from the
stillness of the country to the bustling life of the great city.


"I'm not disappointed now," Fred remarked, as they rode along in the
direction indicated by the guide; "the streets are so wide in comparison
with those of the cities we have seen that they seem very grand,

"You've hit it exactly, Fred," Doctor Bronson replied, "Pekin is called
the 'City of Magnificent Distances' on account of the width of its
streets, the great extent of the city, and the long walks or rides that
are necessary for going about in it."

"Evidently they took plenty of room when they laid it out," said Frank,
"for it isn't crowded like Shanghai and the other places we have seen."

It was dark when they reached the little hotel where they were to stay.
It was kept by a German, who thought Pekin was an excellent place for a
hotel, but would be better if more strangers would visit the city. His
establishment was not large, and its facilities were not great, but they
were quite sufficient for the wants of our friends, who were too tired
to be particular about trifles. They took a hearty supper, and then went
to bed to sleep away the fatigues of their journey.

Next morning they were not very early risers, and the whole trio were
weary and sore from the effect of the ride of ninety miles on the backs
of Chinese ponies. Frank said that when he was sitting down he hesitated
to rise for fear he should break in two, and Fred asserted that it was
dangerous to go from a standing to a sitting position for the same

They determined to take things easily for the first day of their stay in
Pekin, and confine their studies to the neighborhood of the hotel. With
this object in view, they took short walks on the streets, and in the
afternoon ventured on a ride in a small cart; or, rather, they hired two
carts, as one was not sufficient to hold them. These carts are very
abundant at Pekin, and are to be hired like cabs in European or American
cities. They are not dear, being only sixty or seventy cents a day, and
they are so abundant that one can generally find them at the principal
public places.

The carts, or cabs, are quite light in construction, and in summer they
have shelters over the horses to protect them from the heat of the sun.
The driver walks at the side of his team; and when the pace of the horse
quickens to a run, he runs with it. No matter how rapidly the horse may
go, the man does not seem troubled to keep alongside. The carts take the
place of sedan-chairs, of which very few are to be seen in Pekin.

[Illustration: A PEKIN CAB.]

Another kind of cart which is used in the North to carry merchandise,
and also for passengers, is much stronger than the cab, but, like it, is
mounted on two wheels. The frame is of wood, and there is generally a
cover of matting to keep off the heat of the sun. This cover is
supported on posts that rise from the sides of the cart; but while
useful against the sun, it is of no consequence in a storm, owing to its
facility for letting the water run through. The teams for propelling
these carts are more curious than the vehicles themselves, as they are
indifferently made up of whatever animals are at hand. Oxen, cows,
horses, mules, donkeys, and sometimes goats and dogs, are the beasts of
burden that were seen by the boys in their rambles in Pekin and its
vicinity, and on one occasion Fred saw a team which contained a camel
harnessed with a mule and a cow. Camels come to Pekin from the Desert of
Gobi, where great numbers of them are used in the overland trade between
China and Russia. They are quite similar to the Arabian camel, but are
smaller, and their hair is thicker, to enable them to endure the severe
cold of the northern winter. In the season when tea is ready for export,
thousands of camels are employed in transporting the fragrant herb to
the Russian frontier, and the roads to the northward from Pekin are
blocked with them.

[Illustration: A COMPOSITE TEAM.]

Walking was not altogether a pleasant amusement for our friends, as the
streets were a mass of dust, owing to the carelessness of the
authorities about allowing the refuse to accumulate in them. There is a
tradition that one of the emperors, in a period that is lost in the
mazes of antiquity, attempted to sweep the streets in order to make
himself popular with the people; but he found the task too large, and,
moreover, he had serious doubts about its being accomplished in his
lifetime. So he gave it up, as he did not care to do something that
would go more to the credit of his successor than of himself, and no one
has had the courage to try it since that time. The amount of dirt that
accumulates in a Chinese city would breed a pestilence in any other
part of the world. Not only do the Chinese appear uninjured by it, but
there are some who assert that it is a necessity of their existence, and
they would lose their health if compelled to live in an atmosphere of

One of the most interesting street sights of their first day in Pekin
was a procession carrying a dragon made of bamboo covered with painted
paper. There was a great noise of tom-toms and drums to give warning of
the approach of the procession, and there was the usual rabble of small
boys that precedes similar festivities everywhere. The dragon was
carried by five men, who held him aloft on sticks that also served to
give his body an undulating motion in imitation of life. He was not
pretty to look upon, and his head seemed too large for his body. The
Chinese idea of the dragon is, that he is something very hideous, and
they certainly succeed in representing their conception of him. Dr.
Bronson explained that the dragon was frequently carried in procession
at night, and on these occasions the hollow body was illuminated, so
that it was more hideous, if possible, than in the daytime.

[Illustration: A CHINESE DRAGON.]



From their own observations and the notes and accounts of travellers who
had preceded them, the boys made the following description of Pekin:

"Pekin stands on a great sandy plain, and has a population of about two
millions. It consists of two parts, which are separated by a wall; that
towards the south is called the Chinese city, and that on the north the
Tartar city. The Tartar city is the smaller both in area and population;
it is said to measure about twelve square miles, while the Chinese city
measures fifteen. There are thirteen gates in the outer walls, and there
are three gates between the Tartar and the Chinese city. In front of
each gate there is a sort of bastion or screen, so that you cannot see
the entrance at all as you approach it, and are obliged to turn to one
side to come in or go out. The Chinese city has few public buildings of
importance, while the Tartar city has a great many of them. The latter
city consists of three enclosures, one inside the other, and each
enclosure has a wall of its own. The outer one contains dwellings and
shops, the second includes the government offices, and the houses of
private persons who are allowed to live there as a mark of special
favor; while the third is called the Prohibited City, and is devoted to
the imperial palace and temples that belong to it. Nobody can go inside
the Prohibited City without special permission, and sometimes this is
very hard to obtain; the wall enclosing it is nearly two miles in
circumference, and has a gate in each of its four fronts, and the wall
is as solid and high as the one that surrounds the whole city of Pekin.

"We had no trouble in going to see the imperial palace, or such parts of
it as are open to the public, and also the temples. We could readily
believe what was told us--that the temples were the finest in the whole
country, and certainly some of them were very interesting. There are
temples to the earth, to the sun, the moon; and there are temples to
agriculture, to commerce, and a great many other things. There is a
very fine structure of marble more than a hundred feet high, which is
called "The Gate of Extensive Peace." It is where the emperor comes on
great public occasions; and beyond it are two halls where the foreign
visitors are received at the beginning of each year, and where the
emperor examines the implements used in the opening of the annual season
of ploughing. The ploughing ceremony does not take place here, but in
another part of the city, and the emperor himself holds the plough to
turn the first furrow. There are some very pretty gardens in the
Prohibited City, and we had a fine opportunity to learn something about
the skill of the Chinese in landscape gardening. There are canals,
fountains, bridges, flower-beds, groves, and little hillocks, all
carefully tended, and forming a very pretty picture in connection with
the temples and pavilions that stand among them.


"We have seen many temples--so many, in fact, that it is difficult to
remember all of them. One of the most impressive is the Temple of
Heaven, which has three circular roofs, one above another, and is said
to be ninety-nine feet high. The tiles on the top are of porcelain of
the color of a clear sky, and the intention of the builder was to
imitate the vault of heaven. On the inside there are altars where
sacrifices are offered to the memory of former emperors of China, and on
certain occasions the emperor comes here to take part in the ceremonies.

[Illustration: TEMPLE OF HEAVEN.]

[Illustration: PEKIN CASH.]

"Then we went to see the great bell, which is one of the wonders of the
world, though it is not so large as the bell at Moscow. It is said to
weigh 112,000 pounds, but how they ever weighed it I don't know. It is a
foot thick at the rim, about twenty feet high, and fifteen feet in
diameter; it was cast more than two hundred years ago, and is covered
all over, inside and outside, with Chinese characters. There is a little
hole in the top of it where people try to throw copper cash. If they
succeed, it is a sign that they will be fortunate in life; and if they
fail, they must leave the money as an offering to the temple. All of us
tried till we had thrown away a double-handful of cash, but we didn't
get a single one of them through the hole. So if we fail now in
anything, you will know the reason.


[Illustration: GOD OF WAR.]

"The Chinese have a great many gods, and pretty nearly every god has a
temple in some part of Pekin. There is a fine temple to Confucius, which
is surrounded by some trees that are said to be five hundred years old;
the temple has a high roof which is very elaborately carved, and looks
pretty both from a distance and when you are close by it. But there are
no statues in the temple, as the Chinese do not worship Confucius
through a statue, but by means of a tablet on which his name is
inscribed. The other deities have their statues, and you may see the god
of war with a long beard and mustache. The Chinese have very slight
beards, and it is perhaps for this reason that they frequently represent
their divinities as having a great deal of hair on their faces, so as to
indicate their superiority to mortals. Then they have a god of
literature, who is represented standing on the head of a large fish, and
waving a pencil in his right hand, while he holds in his left a cap such
as is worn by the literary graduates after they have received their
degrees. The god of literature is worshipped a great deal by everybody
who is studying for a degree, and by those whose ancestors or other
relatives have been successful in carrying away the honors at an
examination. Think what it would be to have such a divinity in our
colleges and schools in America, and the amount of worship he would get
if the students really believed in him!

[Illustration: GOD OF LITERATURE.]

[Illustration: GOD OF THIEVES.]

"The Chinese have a god of thieves; but he has no temple, and is
generally worshipped in the open air. All the thieves are supposed to
worship him, as he is a saint who made their business successful; and,
besides this, he is worshipped by those who wish to become wealthy in
honest ways. He is said to have been a skilful thief, and very pious at
the same time. He was kind to his mother, and the most of his stealing
was done to support her.

"One of the interesting places we have visited is the office of the
Board of Punishments, which corresponds pretty nearly to our courts of
justice. But one great point of difference between their mode of
administering justice and ours is that they employ torture, while we do
not. Not only is the prisoner tortured after condemnation, but he is
tortured before trial, in order to make him tell the truth; and even the
witnesses, under certain circumstances, are submitted to the same
treatment. We saw some of the instruments that they use, and there was
not the least attempt to keep us from seeing them. It is customary to
have them piled or hung up at the doors of the courts, so that culprits
may know what to expect, and honest persons may be deterred from
wickedness through fear. It is the same principle that is followed by
some of the school-teachers in America when they hang up in full view
the stick with which they intend to punish unruly boys.


"When we went into the court-room, a man had just been sentenced to
receive twenty blows of the bamboo, and the sentence was immediately
carried out. He was ordered to lie down with his face to the floor; his
back was then stripped, and while his legs and arms were held by
attendants, the executioner laid on the twenty blows with a bamboo stick
about six feet long and two inches wide. One side of the stick was
rounded and the other was flat; the flesh was blistered at every stroke,
or raised in a great puff, and it is certain that the man must be some
time in getting well. He did not scream or make the least outcry, but
took his punishment patiently, and was raised to his feet at its end. He
bowed to the judge, and, perhaps, thanked him for the attention he had
received, and was then led away to make room for some one else.

"The Chinese don't seem to have any nerves compared with what we have.
They do not suffer so much as we do under tortures, and this is perhaps
one of the reasons why they are so much more cruel than the people of
Europe and America. For example, it would nearly kill a European to
travel a week in carts such as we saw on the road from Tien-tsin to
Pekin. The Chinese don't seem to mind it at all; and the best proof that
they do not is that they have never invented any better or more
comfortable way of travelling, or tried to improve their roads. And it
is the same with their punishments in the courts. They don't care much
for whippings, though it is not at all probable that they like them, and
the only things that they appear to fear very much are the punishments
that are prolonged. There are a good many of these, and I will tell you
about some of the most prominent and best known.

"Several times we have seen men with wooden collars three or four feet
square, and with a hole in the centre, where the poor fellow's neck
comes through. It is made of plank about two inches thick, and you can
see that the load is a heavy one for a man to carry. He cannot bring his
arms to his head; and if he has no friends to feed him, or no money to
pay some one else to do so, he must starve. On the upper surface of the
plank is painted the name of the criminal, together with the crime he
has committed and the time he has been ordered to wear the collar. This
instrument is called a 'cangue,' and is said to be in use all over China
from one end of the country to the other.

"There is a mode of torture which is chiefly used to extort confessions
from persons accused of crime, and the result of its use is said to be
that many a man has been induced to confess crimes of which he was
entirely innocent, in order to escape from the terrible pain which is
produced. The victim is compelled to stand against a post, and his cue
is tied to it so that he cannot get away. His arms are tied to a
cross-beam, and then little rods are placed between his fingers in such
a way that every finger is enclosed. The rods are so arranged that by
pulling a string the pressure on the fingers is increased, and the pain
very soon becomes so great that most men are unable to endure it. If you
want to know just how a little of it feels, I advise you to put one of
your fingers between two lead-pencils and then squeeze the pencils
together. You won't keep doing so very long.


"They squeeze the ankles in much the same way, by making the man kneel
on the ground, with his ankles in a frame of three sticks that are
fastened together at one end by a cord like that of the finger-squeezer.
Then, when all is ready, they pull at the cord and draw the sticks
nearer to each other, so that pressure is brought on the ankles. The
pain is intense, and the most demure Chinaman is not able to stand it
without shrinking. This mode of torture, like the other, is used to make
prisoners confess the crimes of which they are accused, and they
generally confess them. It is said that witnesses may be subjected to
the ankle torture, but with the modification in their favor that only
one ankle can be squeezed at a time. Very kind, isn't it?


"We went near the prison while we were in the Tartar city, and so it was
proposed that we should see what there was inside. It was the most
horrible place I have ever seen, and the wonder is that men can be found
inhuman enough to condemn people to be shut up there. There was a large
cage so full of men that there was not room on the floor for them all to
lie down at once, even if they had been as close together as sardines in
a can. We could see through the bars of the cage, as if the captives had
been wild animals instead of human beings, and they looked so worn and
wretched that we all pitied them very much. If a man is sent to prison
in China, and has no money to pay for his food, he will die of
starvation, as the jailers are not required by law to feed the prisoners
under their charge. There were men chained, with iron collars around
their necks; and others tied, with their hands and feet brought close
together. The suffering was terrible, and we were glad to come away
after a very few minutes. It is positive that we do not want to see
another prison as long as we stay in this country.

[Illustration: A BED OF TORTURE.]

"In the Chinese prisons they torture men to make them confess, and also
to compel them to tell if they have money, or any relatives or friends
who have it. One of these cruelties is called 'putting a man to bed,'
and consists in fastening him on a wooden bedstead by his neck, wrists,
and ankles in such a way that he cannot move. He is compelled to pass
the night in this position; and sometimes they give him a coverlet of a
single board that presses on his body, and is occasionally weighted to
make it more oppressive. The next morning he is released and told that
he can be free until night, when he will be again tied up. Generally a
man is willing to do anything in his power rather than pass a second
night on such a bed. If he has money, he gives it up; and, no matter how
reluctant he may be to call on his friends, he does so, sooner or later,
and throws himself on their generosity.

"They suspend men by the wrists and ankles; sometimes by one wrist and
one ankle, and at others by all four brought closely together. Then they
place a victim in a chair with his arms tied to cross-sticks, and in
this position he is compelled to sit for hours in the most terrible
pain. Another mode is by tying a man's hands together beneath his knees,
and then passing a pole under his arm and suspending him from it. This
is called 'the monkey grasping a peach,' and it is frequently employed
to compel a rich man to pay heavily to escape punishment. How it got its
name nobody can tell, unless it was owing to a supposed resemblance to
the position of a monkey holding something in his paw.


"Just as we were coming out of the prison-yard we saw a man standing in
a cage with his head through a board in the top, while his toes just
touched the bottom. Unless he stood on tiptoe, the weight of his body
fell on his neck; and everybody knows how difficult it is to remain on
tiptoe for any length of time. Sometimes men are compelled to stand in
this way till they die, but generally the punishment is confined to a
few hours. It is the form most frequently employed for the sentence of
criminals who have been robbing on the public highway, and are convicted
of using violence at the time of committing their offences.

[Illustration: STANDING IN A CAGE.]

"I could go on with a long account of the tortures in China, but they
are not very pleasant reading, and, besides, some of them are too
horrible for belief. I will stop with the torture known as 'the
hot-water snake,' which consists of a coil of thin tubing of tin or
pewter in the form of a serpent. One of these coils is twisted around
each arm of the victim, and another around his body, in such a way that
the head of the snake is higher than any other part. Then they pour
boiling water into the mouth of the snake, and the flesh of the prisoner
is burned and scalded in the most terrible manner. This punishment is
said to be used rarely, and only on persons accused of crimes against
the government. It is too horrible to be popular, even among the most
cold-blooded people in the world.

[Illustration: HOT-WATER SNAKE.]

"A good many of these punishments precede a much more merciful one, that
of decapitation. The victim who is to suffer the loss of his head is
carried to the place of execution in a small cage of bamboo, with his
hands tied behind him, and the crime for which he is to suffer written
on a piece of stiff paper and fastened to his hair. In one corner of the
cage is a bucket, which is to hold his head after the executioner has
cut it off; and frequently the pail with the head in it is hung near one
of the gates of the city or in some other public place. When he reaches
the execution-ground, he is required to kneel, and the executioner
strikes his head off with a single blow of a heavy sword. The poor
fellows who are to suffer death rarely make any opposition, and some of
them seem quite willing to meet it. This is said to be due partly to the
calmness of the Chinese, and partly to the fact that they have been so
tortured and starved in their imprisonment that it is a relief to die.
In most of the Chinese prisons the men condemned to death are usually
kept until there are several on hand; then a general execution is
ordered, and the whole lot of them are taken out to the place of
decapitation. During the time of the rebellion they used to have
executions by wholesale, and sometimes one or two hundred heads were
taken off in a single morning.


"Very great crimes are punished by cutting the body into small pieces
before decapitation, or, rather, by cutting it in several places. All
the fleshy parts of the body are cut with the sword of the executioner
before the final blow; and sometimes this species of torture goes on
for an hour or two before the suffering of the victim is stopped by
decapitation. There is a story that they have a lottery in which the
executioner draws a knife from a basket. The basket is full of knives,
and they are marked for various parts of the body. If he draws a knife
for the face, he proceeds to cut off the cheeks; if for the hand, he
cuts away one of the hands, and so on for all parts of the victim. If he
is kindly disposed, or has been properly bribed, he will draw the
beheading-knife first of all, and then he will have no occasion to use
any other.


"Well, we have had enough of these disagreeable things, and will turn to
something else. We passed by the place where the candidates for military
honors compete for prizes by shooting with the bow and arrow. At the
first examination they are required to shoot at a mark with three
arrows, and the one who makes the best shots is pronounced the winner of
the prize. At the second examination they must practise on horseback,
with the horse standing still; and at the third they must shoot three
arrows from the back of a running horse. Afterwards they are exercised
in the bending of some very stiff bows and the handling of heavy swords
and stones. There is a certain scale of merit they must pass to be
successful; and when they succeed, their names are sent up for another
examination before higher officials than the ones they have passed
before. It is a curious fact that a man who does well as an archer is
entitled to a degree among the literary graduates, though he may not be
able to carry away a single prize for his literary accomplishments




Pekin is not very far from the famous wall that was built to keep the
empire of China from the hands of the Tartars. It is commonly mentioned
as "The Great Wall," and certainly it is clearly entitled to the honor,
as it is the greatest wall in the world. To go to Pekin without visiting
the Great Wall would be to leave the journey incomplete; and therefore,
one of the first things that our friends considered was how they should
reach the wall, and how much time they would require for the excursion.

We shall let the boys tell the story, which they did in a letter to
their friends at home. It was written while they were on the steamer
between Tien-tsin and Shanghai, on their return from Pekin.

"We have been to the Great Wall, and it was a journey not to be
forgotten in a minute. We found that we should have to travel a hundred
miles each way, and that the roads were as bad as they usually are in
most parts of China. We went on horseback, but took a mule litter along
for use in case of accidents, and to rest ourselves in whenever one of
us should become weary of too much saddle. There are no hotels of any
consequence, and so we had to take the most of our provisions from
Pekin. We did the same way as when we went from Tien-tsin; that is, we
hired a man to supply all the necessary horses and mules for a certain
price to take us to the wall and back; and if any of them should fall
sick on the road, he was to furnish fresh ones without extra charge. We
were advised to make the bargain in this way, as there was a danger that
some of the horses would get lame; and if there were no provision for
such a case, we should have to pay very high for an extra animal. The
Chinese horse-owners are said to be great rascals--almost equal to some
American men who make a business of buying and selling saddle and
carriage animals. Doctor Bronson says he would like to match the
shrewdest Chinese jockey we have yet seen with a horse-dealer that he
once knew in Washington. He thinks the Yankee could give the Chinese
great odds, and then beat him.

[Illustration: WALKING ON STILTS.]

"It was a feast-day when we left Pekin, and there were a good many sports
going on in the streets, as we filed out of the city on our way to the
north. There was a funny procession of men on stilts. They were
fantastically dressed, and waved fans and chopsticks and other things,
while they shouted and sang to amuse the crowd. One of them was dressed
as a woman, who pretended to hold her eyes down so that nobody could
see them, and she danced around on her stilts as though she had been
accustomed to them all her life. In fact, the whole party were quite at
home on their stilts, and would have been an attraction in any part of
America. Whenever the Chinese try to do anything of this sort, they are
pretty sure to do it well.


"Then there were jugglers spinning plates on sticks, and doing other
things of a character more or less marvellous. One of their tricks is to
spin the plate on two sticks held at right angles to each other, instead
of on a single stick, as with us; but how they manage to do it I am
unable to say. They make the plate whirl very fast, and can keep it up a
long time without any apparent fatigue.


"We passed several men who had small establishments for gambling, not
unlike some that are known in America. There was one with a revolving
pointer on the top of a horizontal table that was divided into sections
with different marks and numbers. The pointer had a string, hanging down
from one end, and the way they made the machine work was to whirl the
pointer, and see where the string hung when it stopped. The game
appeared to be very fair, as the man who paid his money had the chance
of whirling the pointer, and he might do his own guessing as to where it
would stop. If he was right, he would win eight times as much money as
he had wagered, since the board was divided into eight spaces. If he was
wrong, he lost all that he put down, and was obliged to go away or try
his luck again. The temptation to natives seems to be very great, since
they are constantly gambling, and sometimes lose all the money they
have. Gambling is so great a vice in China that a good many of its forms
have been forbidden by the government. The case is not unusual of a man
losing everything he possesses, even to his wife and children, and then
being thrown naked into the streets by the proprietor of the place where
he has lost his money.


"We stopped to look at some fortune-tellers, who were evidently doing a
good business, as they had crowds around them, and were taking in small
sums of money every few minutes. One of them had a little bird in a
cage, and he had a table which he folded and carried on his back when he
was moving from one place to another. When he opened business, he spread
his table, and then laid out some slips of paper which were folded, so
that nobody could see what there was inside. Next he let the bird out of
the cage, which immediately went forward and picked up one of the slips
and carried it to his master. The man then opened the paper and read
what was written on it, and from this paper he made a prediction about
the fortune of the person who had engaged him.

"There was another fortune-teller who did his work by writing on a
plate. He had several sheets of paper folded up, and from these he asked
his customer to select one. When the selection was made, he dissected
the writing, and showed its meaning to be something so profound that the
customer was bewildered and thought he had nothing but good-fortune
coming to him. We tried to get these men to tell our fortunes, but they
preferred to stick to their own countrymen, probably through fear that
they would lose popularity if they showed themselves too friendly with
the strangers.


"The Chinese are great believers in fortune-telling, and even the most
intelligent of them are often calling upon the necromancers to do
something for them. They rarely undertake any business without first
ascertaining if the signs are favorable; and if they are not, they will
decline to have anything to do with it. When a merchant has a cargo of
goods on its way, he is very likely to ask a fortune-teller how the
thing is to turn out; and if the latter says it is all right, he gets
liberally paid for his information. But in spite of their superstition,
the Chinese are very shrewd merchants, and can calculate their profits
with great accuracy.

"Well, this is not going to the Great Wall. We went out of Pekin by the
north gate, and into a country that was flat and dusty. Fred's pony was
not very good-natured, and every little while took it into his head to
balance himself on the tip of his tail. This was not the kind of riding
we had bargained for, as it made the travel rather wearisome, and
interfered with the progress of the whole caravan. We thought the pony
would behave himself after a little fatigue had cooled his temper; but
the more we went on, the worse he became. When we were about ten miles
out, he ran away, and went tearing through a cotton-field as though he
owned it, and he ended by pitching his rider over his head across a
small ditch.

"Then we found how lucky it was we had brought along a mule litter, as
Fred rode in it the rest of the day. Next morning he made our guide
change ponies with him. In half an hour the guide was in a mud puddle,
and saying something in Chinese that had a very bad sound, but it didn't
help dry his clothes in the least. On the whole, we got along very well
with the ponies in the north of China, when we remember the bad
reputation they have and the things that most travellers say about them.

[Illustration: CHINESE RAZOR.]

"We stopped at the village of Sha-ho, about twenty miles from Pekin; and
as we had started a little late, and it was near sunset, we concluded to
spend the night there. There was not much to see at the village, except
a couple of fine old bridges built of stone, and so solid that they
will evidently last a long time. A barber came around and wanted to
shave us, but for several reasons we declined his proposal, and
satisfied ourselves by seeing him operate on a native customer. The
Chinese razor is a piece of steel of a three-cornered shape, and is
fastened to a handle about four inches long. It is kept very sharp, as
any well-regulated razor should be, and a barber will handle it with a
great deal of dexterity. The Chinese haven't much beard to shave off,
but they make up for it with a very thick growth of hair, which is all
removed every ten or twelve days, with the exception of a spot on the
crown about four inches in diameter. The hair on this spot is allowed to
grow as long as it will, and is then braided into the cue or pigtail
that everybody knows about.


"After we left Sha-ho the country became rough, and the road grew
steadily worse. Our ponies were pretty sure-footed, but they stumbled
occasionally, and Frank narrowly escaped a bad fall. The pony went down
all in a heap and threw Frank over his head. He fell on a soft spot, and
so was not injured; but if the accident had happened six feet farther
on, or six feet farther back, it would have thrown him among the rough
stones, where there were some very ugly points sticking up.


"We found another fine bridge on this part of the road, and our guide
said it was called the 'Bridge of the Cloudy Hills,' because the clouds
frequently hung over the hills in the distance. The Chinese are very
fond of fanciful names for their bridges and temples, and frequently
the name has very little to do with the structure itself. I am told that
there is a bridge in the south of China with exactly the same name as
this, and not far from it is another called the 'Bridge of the Ten
Thousand Ages.' We have seen the 'Temple of Golden Happiness' and the
'Bridge of Long Repose.' We shall be on the lookout for the 'Temple of
the Starry Firmament,' and probably shall not be long in finding it.
Strange that a people so practical as the Chinese should have so much
poetry in their language!

"We came to the village of Nan-kow, at the entrance of the Nan-kow Pass,
and stopped there for dinner. Our ride had given us a good appetite, and
though our cook was not very skilful in preparing our meal, we did not
find fault with him, as we did not wish to run the risk of waiting while
he cooked the things over again. The Chinese inn at Nan-kow is not so
good as the Palace Hotel at San Francisco; in fact, it is as bad as any
other hotel that we have seen. They don't have much pleasure travel in
this part of the world, and therefore it does not pay them to give much
attention to the comfort of their guests.

"The Nan-kow Pass is about thirteen miles long, and the road through it
is very rough. The mountains are steep, and we saw here and there ruins
of forts that were built long ago to keep out the Tartar invaders of
China. Our animals had several falls, but they got through without
accident, and, what was more, they brought us to a village where there
was an inn with something good to eat.

[Illustration: THE GOD OF THE KITCHEN.]

"What do you suppose it was? It was mutton, which is kept boiling in a
pot from morning till night; and as fast as any is taken out, or the
soup boils down, they fill the kettle up again. Mutton is very cheap
here, as sheep are abundant and can be bought at the purchaser's own
price, provided he will keep himself within reason. Great numbers of
sheep are driven to Pekin for the supply of the city, and we met large
flocks at several points on the road. Their wool has been exported to
England and America; but it is not of a fine quality, and does not bring
a high price.

"We passed the ruins of forts and towers every few miles, and our guide
pointed out some of the towers that were formerly used for conveying
intelligence by means of signal-fires. They are now falling to pieces,
and are of no further use.

"This is the road by which the Tartars went to the conquest of China,
and there is a story that the empire was lost in consequence of a woman.
The Chinese were very much afraid of the Tartars, and they built the
Great Wall to keep them out of the country. But a wall would be of no
use without soldiers to defend it, and so it was arranged that whenever
the Tartars were approaching, a signal should be sent along the towers,
and the army would come to Pekin to defend it.

"One day a favorite lady of the emperor's palace persuaded the emperor
to give the signal, to see how long it would take for the generals and
the army to get to Pekin. He gave the signal, and the army came, but the
generals were very angry when they found they had been called together
just to amuse a woman. They went back to their homes, and the affair was
supposed to be forgotten.

"By-and-by the Tartars did come in reality, and the signal was sent out
again. But this time no army came, nor did a single general turn his
face to Pekin. The city fell into the hands of the invaders, and they
are there to-day. So much for what a woman did; but it sounds too much
like the story of 'The Boy and the Wolf' to be true.

"At the last place where we stopped before reaching the Great Wall we
found the people very insolent, both to us and to the men in our employ.
They said rude things to us, and perhaps it was fortunate that we did
not understand Chinese, or we might have been disposed to resent their
impudence, and so found ourselves in worse trouble. Our guide said
something to a lama, or priest, and he managed to make the people quiet,
partly by persuasion and partly by threats. Some of the men had been
drinking too freely of sam-shoo, which has the same effect on them as
whiskey has on people in America. It is not unusual for strangers in
this part of China to be pelted with stones; but the natives are afraid
to do much more than this, as they would thereby get into trouble.

[Illustration: A LAMA.]

"At the place where we reach the Great Wall there is a Chinese city
called Chan-kia-kow; but it is known to the Russians as Kalgan. It is
the frontier town of Mongolia, and the Russians have a great deal of
commerce with it. It stands in a valley, and so high are the mountains
around it that the sun does not rise until quite late in the forenoon.
Doctor Bronson said there is a town somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of
America which is so shut in that the sun does not rise there until about
eleven o'clock next day; and we thought it might possibly be a relative
of Chan-kia-kow. There is an odd sort of population here, as the
merchants who trade with the Russians are from all parts of China; and
then there are Mongols from the Desert of Gobi, and a very fair number
of real Russians.


"One curious article of trade consisted of logs from the country to the
north. They are cut in lengths of about six feet, and are intended for
coffins for the people of the southern part of the empire. Wood is
scarce in the more densely inhabited portions of China, and must be
carried for great distances. It is six hundred miles from the Great Wall
to where these logs are cut, and so they must be carried seven hundred
miles in all before they reach Pekin. The carts on which they are loaded
are very strong, and have not a bit of iron about them.

"We are now at the Great Wall, which comes straggling over the hills
that surround the city, and forms its northern boundary. It is very much
in ruins, but at the town itself there is a portion of it kept in good
repair, and one of the gates is regularly shut at night and opened in
the morning. Some of the old towers are still in their places; but the
weather is slowly wearing them away, and in time they will all be

"The Great Wall is certainly one of the wonders of the world, and it was
very much so at the time of its construction. It was built two thousand
years ago, and is about twelve hundred miles long. It runs westward from
the shores of the Gulf of Pe-chi-li to what was then the western
frontier of the Chinese Empire. For the greater part of the way it
consists of a wall of earth faced with stone or brick, and it is paved
on the top with large tiles. It is about twenty-five feet wide at the
bottom, and diminishes to fifteen feet wide at the top, with a height of
thirty feet. In many places it is not so substantial as this, being
nothing more than a wall of earth faced with brick, and not more than
fifteen feet high. At varying intervals there are towers for watchmen
and soldiers. They are generally forty or fifty feet high, and about
three hundred feet apart.

"The wall follows all the inequalities of the surface of the earth,
winding over mountains and through valleys, crossing rivers by massive
archways, and stretching straight as a sunbeam over the level plain.

"Think what a work this would be at the present day, and then remember
that it was built two thousand years ago, when the science of
engineering was in its infancy, and the various mechanical appliances
for moving heavy bodies were unknown!

"We spent a day at the Great Wall. We scrambled over the ruins and
climbed to the top of one of the towers, and we had more than one tumble
among the remains of the great enterprise of twenty centuries ago. Then
we started back to Pekin, and returned with aching limbs and a general
feeling that we had had a hard journey. But we were well satisfied that
we had been there, and would not have missed seeing the Great Wall for
twice the fatigue and trouble. They told us in Pekin that some
travellers have been imposed on by seeing only a piece of a wall about
thirty miles from the city, which the guides pretend is the real one.
They didn't try the trick on us, and probably thought it would not be of
any use to do so.

"We did not stay long in Pekin after we got back from the Great Wall, as
we had to catch the steamer at Tien-tsin. Here we are steaming down the
coast, and having a jolly time. We are on the same ship that took us up
from Shanghai, and so we feel almost as if we had got home again. But we
are aware that home is yet a long way off, and we have many a mile
between us and the friends of whom we think so often."



The party reached Shanghai without accident, and on their arrival at
that port the boys had a welcome surprise in the shape of letters from
home. Their first letters from Japan had been received, and read and
reread by family and friends. To judge by the words of praise that they
elicited, the efforts of the youths at descriptive composition were
eminently successful. Frank's mother said that if they did as well all
through their journey as they had done in the beginning, they would be
qualified to write a book about Japan and China; and a similar opinion
of their powers was drawn from Fred's mother, who took great pride in
her son. Mary and Effie composed a joint letter to Frank, to tell how
much pleasure he had given them. They were somewhat anxious about the
purchases, but were entirely sure everything would be correct in the
end. Fred began to be a trifle jealous of Frank when he saw how much the
latter enjoyed the communication from the girl who came to the railway
station to see them off. He vowed to himself that before he started on
another journey he would make the acquaintance of another Effie, so that
he would have some one to exchange letters with.

The letters were read and reread, and their perusal and the preparation
of answers consumed all the time of the stay in Shanghai. The delay,
however, was only for a couple of days, as the weekly steamer for
Hong-kong departed at the end of that time, and our friends were among
her passengers. Another of the ship's company was our old friend "the
Mystery," who told Doctor Bronson that he had been travelling in the
interior of Japan, and had only recently arrived from there. He was
going to Canton, and possibly farther, but could not speak with
certainty until he had arranged some business at Hong-kong.

The steamer on which our friends were travelling was under the French
flag, and belonged to the line popularly known as "the French Mail." The
service between Europe and China is performed alternately by two
companies, one of them English and the other French; and by means of
these two companies there is a weekly ship each way. The French steamers
are preferred by a great many travellers, as they are generally larger
than the English ones, and are admirably arranged for comfort. They make
the voyage from Shanghai to Marseilles in about forty days, calling at
the principal ports on the way, and going through the Suez Canal. The
English steamers follow very nearly the same route as the French ones,
as long as they are in Eastern waters; but when they reach the
Mediterranean Sea, they have two lines, one going to Venice and the
other to Southampton. The official names of the two companies are "The
Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company" (English), and "La
Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes" (French).

There were not many passengers, perhaps a dozen in all, and they were
mostly merchants and other residents of Shanghai on their way to Europe
or to some of the southerly ports of Asia. Two of the passengers were
accompanied by their Chinese servants, and the boys were greatly amused
to hear the efforts of the latter to speak English. They had already
heard the same kind of thing during their movements in China, but had
not paid much attention to it in consequence of their occupation with
other matters. Now, however, they had some leisure for investigation,
and Fred suggested that they had better take a glance at the Chinese

A few glances were all they wanted, as Frank was not long in
ascertaining that it would require years of study to acquaint himself
with enough of the language to be able to converse in it. Fred learned,
about the same time, that there was a written language and a spoken one,
and the two were so unlike that a man can read and write Chinese without
being able to speak it, and can speak without being able to read and
write. They found that very few foreigners who came to China to stay for
years ever troubled themselves to learn the language, but were contented
with "pidgin English." Then the question very naturally arose, "What is
pidgin English?"


In a small book entitled "John, or Our Chinese Relations," Frank found
something relating to pidgin English, which he copied into his note-book
for future reference. When he had done with the volume, it was borrowed
by Fred for the same purpose, and the boys gave a vote of thanks to the
author for saving them the trouble to hunt up the information by asking
questions of their friends. What they selected was as follows:

     "In attempting to pronounce the word 'business,' the Chinese were
     formerly unable to get nearer to the real sound than 'pidgin' or
     'pigeon;' hence the adoption of that word, which means nothing more
     nor less than 'business.' Pidgin English is therefore business
     English, and is the language of commerce at the open ports of
     China, or wherever else the native and foreigner come in contact. A
     pidgin French has made its appearance in Saigon and at other
     places, and is steadily increasing as French commerce has
     increased. On the frontier line between Russia and China there is
     an important trading-point--Kiachta--where the commerce of the two
     empires was exclusively conducted for a century and a half. A
     pidgin Russian exists there, and is the medium of commercial
     transactions between the Russian and Chinese merchants.

     "Long ago the Portuguese at Macao had a corresponding jargon for
     their intercourse with the Chinese: and it may be safely stated
     that wherever the Chinese have established permanent relations with
     any country, a language of trade has immediately sprung into
     existence, and is developed as time rolls on and its necessities

     "The decline in Portuguese trade with China was accompanied with a
     corresponding decline in the language, but it left its impress upon
     the more recent pidgin English, which contains many Portuguese
     words. Pidgin English is a language by itself, with very little
     inflection either in noun, pronoun, or verb, and with a few words
     doing duty for many. The Chinese learn it readily, as they have no
     grammatical giants to wrestle with in mastering it, and the
     foreigners are quite ready to meet them on the road and adapt their
     phraseology to its requirements. The Chinese has only to commit to
     memory a few hundred words and know their meaning; the foreigner
     (if he be English-speaking) has less than a hundred foreign words
     to learn, together with the peculiar construction of phrases. The
     Chinese have printed vocabularies in which the foreign word and its
     meaning are set forth in Chinese characters, and thus they have no
     occasion to trouble themselves with the alphabet of the stranger.
     These books are specially intended for the use of _compradores_ and
     servants in foreign employ, and are so small that they can be
     readily carried in the pocket.

     "In pidgin English the pronouns _he_, _she_, _it_, and _they_ are
     generally expressed by the single pronoun _he_. All the forms of
     the first person are included in _my_, and those of the second
     person in _you_. When we come to the verbs, we find that action,
     intention, existence, and kindred conditions are covered by _hab_,
     _belongey_, and _can do_. Various forms of possession are expressed
     by _catchee_ (catch), while _can do_ is particularly applied to
     ability or power, and is also used to imply affirmation or
     negation. Thus: 'Can do walkee?' means 'Are you able to walk?' If
     so, the response would be 'Can do,' while 'No can do' would imply
     inability to indulge in pedestrianism. _Belongey_ comes from
     'belong,' and is often shortened to a single syllable, _b'long_. It
     is very much employed, owing to the many shades of meaning of which
     it is capable. Thus: 'I live in Hong-kong' would be rendered 'My
     belongey Hong-kong side,' and 'You are very large' would be
     properly translated 'You belongey too muchee big piecee.'

     "The Chinese find great difficulty in pronouncing _r_, which they
     almost invariably convert into _l_. They have a tendency to add a
     vowel sound (_o_ or _e_) to words ending with a consonant. Bearing
     these points in mind, we readily see how 'drink' becomes _dlinko_,
     and 'brown' _blownee_. Final _d_ and _t_ are awkward for them to
     handle, and _th_ is to their lips an abomination of first-class
     dimensions. 'Child' becomes _chilo_, and 'cold' is transformed to
     _colo_, in pidgin English. 'That,' and other words beginning with
     _th_, generally lose the sound of _h_, though sometimes they retain
     _h_ and drop the _t_ before it. 'Side' is used for position, and
     the vocabulary contains _inside_, _outside_, _bottom-side_ (below),
     and _top-side_ (above). _Chop-chop_ means 'fast,' 'quick,'
     'immediately;' _man-man_ means 'slowly,' 'slower,' 'gently,' in the
     south of China; while at Han-kow, on the Yang-tse, it means exactly
     the reverse. At Canton or Swatow, if you say _man-man_ to your
     boatmen, they will cease rowing or will proceed very lightly; say
     the same thing to your boatmen at Han-kow or Ichang, and they will
     pull away with redoubled energy."

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

  "'Who man swim best, t'hat man most gettee dlown;
  Who lidee best he most catch tumble down.'

  "'One piecee blind man healee best, maskee;
  One piecee deaf man makee best look-see.'

  "'One man who never leedee,
    Like one dly inkstand be;
  You turn he top-side downey,
    No ink lun outside he.'

  "'Suppose one man much had--how bad he be,
  One not'her bad man may be flaid of he.'"

"Those will do," Fred answered, "and here is Longfellow's famous poem
'Excelsior,' which every schoolboy knows, or ought to know. It was done
into pidgin English by somebody who lived in the country and evidently
knew what he was about:



  "'T'hat nightee teem he come chop-chop
  One young man walkee, no can stop;
  Maskee snow, maskee ice;
  He cally flag wit'h chop so nice--
                      Top-side Galah!

  "'He muchee solly; one piecee eye
  Lookee sharp--so fashion--my:
  He talkee large, he talkee stlong,
  Too muchee culio; allee same gong--
                      Top-side Galah!

  "'Insidee house he can see light,
  And evly loom got fire all light;
  He lookee plenty ice more high,
  Insidee mout'h he plenty cly--
                      Top-side Galah!

  "'Olo man talkee, "No can walk,
  Bimeby lain come, velly dark;
  Have got water, velly wide!"
  Maskee, my must go top-side--
                      Top-side Galah!


  "'"Man-man," one girlee talkee he:
  "What for you go top-side look-see?"
  And one teem more he plenty cly,
  But alla teem walk plenty high--
                      Top-side Galah!


  '"Take care t'hat spilum tlee, young man,
  Take care t'hat ice, must go man-man."
  One coolie chin-chin he good night;
  He talkee, "My can go all light"--
                      Top-side Galah!


  "'T'hat young man die: one large dog see
  Too muchee bobbly findee he.
  He hand b'long coldee, all same like ice,
  He holdee flag, wit'h chop so nice--
                      Top-side Galah!'"

"But does every Chinese who goes to a foreign country understand how to
talk pidgin English?" Frank asked of Doctor Bronson.

"Not by any means," was the reply; "thousands of them are not able to
speak a word when they go abroad, but they gradually pick up the
language of the country to which they go. Not all of them go to America
or other English-speaking lands; many have gone to Cuba, Peru, and
Brazil, where there was no need of a knowledge of English. Spanish and
Portuguese are the only tongues in use there, and many an emigrant never
took the trouble to learn a word of them."

Their old acquaintance "the Mystery" had joined the party while the
conversation just recorded was going on. When the Doctor made allusion
to the emigration to Cuba and Peru, "the Mystery" opened his eyes a
little wider than was his custom, and said he was well aware that many
had gone to those countries who knew nothing but Chinese, and never
learned a word of any other language. As the boys showed a desire to
hear more on the subject, he proposed to tell them something about the
coolie-trade; and it was arranged that they should assemble in the
smoking-saloon after dinner, where they could talk at their leisure.

After dinner they met as agreed, and "the Mystery" seated himself
comfortably for the story he was about to tell.

"The coolie-trade," said he, "does not exist any more. It was very much
like the slave-trade, of which you have read; in fact, it was nothing
more than the slave-trade with the form changed a little. In the African
slave-trade the slaves were bought as one might buy sheep and cattle. In
the coolie-traffic the men were hired for a term of years at certain
stipulated wages, and were to be returned to their homes at the end of
that term, provided all their debts had been discharged. The plan was
all right on its face, but it was not carried out. When the period for
which he was engaged was up, the coolie was always made to be in debt to
his employer; and, no matter how hard he might work, he was not allowed
to free himself. He was a slave to his master just as much as was the
negro from Africa, and not one coolie in a thousand ever saw his native
land again.

[Illustration: BARRACOONS AT MACAO.]

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

"The name 'coolie' belongs properly to a tribe of natives on the northern
coast of Africa, but it is applied to a laborer of any part of the East,
and this is its meaning in Japan and China.


"The laborers who were to be taken to Cuba or Peru were received on
board the ships, and counted as they came over the side, like so many
boxes or bales of merchandise; in fact, they were nothing but
merchandise, and the receipts were made out for a certain number of
coolies without the least record of their names and residences. I was
once in a ship that took a cargo of these people to Peru, and I don't
believe that anybody on board felt otherwise than if he had been in the
slave-trade. And we had a narrow escape from having our throats cut by
our cargo and our bodies thrown into the sea."

"Please tell us about that," said Fred. Frank echoed the request, and
their informer nodded his consent.

"The ship had taken its cargo at Macao, and we went out to sea with a
fine breeze. We had over a thousand 'passengers' in the hold, and only a
small number were to be allowed on deck at one time, as several ships
had been captured by the coolies, and we did not intend to be taken if
we could help it. Two days after we started there was trouble among the
coolies, and several of them ran about the space below-deck and
threatened to set the ship on fire. They did build a fire of some of the
dry boards used for making their sleeping-berths; but we covered the
hatches with tarpaulins, and held the smoke down there, so that the
coolies were nearly smothered and compelled to put the fire out

[Illustration: ENRAGED COOLIE.]

"The hatchways were covered with gratings to admit of a free circulation
of air, and they were so firmly fastened that the coolies could not
disturb them. Several men were on deck when the trouble began, and one
of them tried to get through the grating to join his companions. He
managed to squeeze his body through the opening, and then discovered too
late that he had a fall of nearly thirty feet before him, as the hatch
of the lower deck was open. He struggled a moment, then dropped to the
lower hold, and was killed by the fall.

[Illustration: A DEADLY FALL.]

"It became necessary to fire on the mutineers, and for this we raised
the tarpaulins over one of the hatches. The smoke poured out in a dense
mass and almost smothered us, and we could only see the forms of the men
very dimly, like a ship in a fog. We fired, and continued to fire till
several of them had been shot down, and all their efforts to get at us
were of no avail. There were about sixty men in the crew, and, as we had
over a thousand coolies on board, we had numbers against us fearfully.
But they had no fire-arms, while we had a good supply of rifles and
pistols, with plenty of ammunition. At the time of the outbreak there
were not far from a hundred coolies on deck; but we drove them forward,
and kept so large a guard over them that they could not have done
anything to help their friends below if they had been disposed to do so.


"We got out of water, and the only way to reach what we had on board was
by going down through the hold. Of course anybody who ventured there
would be killed instantly; but we had the consolation of knowing that
they could not get water any more than we could, as the place where it
was stowed was fastened too securely for the coolies to open it with any
tools they had on hand. We had a small condenser in the cook's galley,
and with this we procured enough water to save us from death by thirst;
but we refused to give a drop to the mutineers.

"They held out for two days, and during all that time hardly a man of us
slept more than a few minutes at a stretch. Many of the coolies were
suffering terribly with thirst and hunger, and they asked to have their
wants supplied while they were making negotiations for peace. The
captain refused anything but the most unconditional surrender, and the
only concession he would grant was to have the dead bodies passed up to
be thrown overboard. Of course the coolies were very glad of this, as
they were suffering from the fearful condition of the narrow space where
they were confined. When this work was completed, they asked for half
an hour's time to make a proposal for surrender, which was allowed them.

[Illustration: THE WRITING IN BLOOD.]

"Looking through the hatch, we could see them grouped together and
engaged in earnest conversation. Two were dead or dying, and from one of
them there was a stream of blood slowly oozing. A coolie who appeared to
be a ringleader among them dipped his pen in the blood and wrote on a
sheet of paper:

     "'We want three hundred coolies to be allowed on deck at a time.
     The ship must go back to the coast, and allow us to land at
     Whampoa, below Canton. We promise to make no trouble if this be
     done, but will burn the ship at once unless the captain agree to

"We knew that any promise they made would not amount to anything when
they were once in possession of the deck, and, besides, to go back to
China would be a complete surrender of the voyage. The captain did not
hesitate a moment in his answer to this demand.

"He opened one of the hatches just enough to allow one man to descend
at a time, and through this hole he compelled all the coolies who were
then on deck to pass. Then he told the interpreters to say that they
might burn the ship as soon as they liked, and the crew would leave in
the boats. The boats were made ready for lowering; and, as we were not
far from the coast, and the wind was fair, there was not much doubt of
our getting safe to Hong-kong. Not a coolie would escape, and we should
take good care that the fire would be so far advanced before we left
that it could not be put out.

"In an hour we received another message, written in blood, like the
first. It promised to deliver the ringleaders of the mutiny, to be kept
in irons till we arrived at our destination, and also promised that
there should be no more attempts to set fire to the ship. The captain
was to fix the number of men to be on deck at one time, and they were to
obey his orders without question. In fact, the surrender was complete.

"We had no trouble after that; but we only allowed fifty men on deck at
one time, and those under a strong guard. You can be sure we were in a
hurry to finish the voyage, which we did without accident. I had had all
I wanted of the coolie-trade, and never went on another voyage like

[Illustration: THE INTERPRETERS.]



The story of the coolie-trade and some of the conversation that followed
cleared the mystery that surrounded the narrator and had given him the
name by which he was known. He had been an active participant in the
peculiar commerce of the East, which includes the violation of laws
whenever they prove inconvenient, such as the smuggling of opium and the
shipment of coolies to the countries where they are in demand. His
latest venture was one that required considerable secrecy, as it
involved the purchase of arms for the rebels in Japan. For this reason
he had been very cautious in his movements around Yokohama and during
his whole stay in Japan, and he had found it judicious to leave the
country on the vessel that came so near being wrecked in the typhoon
that overtook our friends. He was safely away from Japan now, and the
arms that he had purchased for the rebels were in the hands of the
government. He had made money by the operation, and was on the lookout
for something new.

"That man belongs to a class which is not at all rare in the far East,"
said Doctor Bronson to the boys when the subject of the conversation had
left them. "A great many adventurers find their way here, some of them
being men of ability which borders on genius, while the others are not
far removed from rascals. Ward and Burgevine were of the better sort;
and there are others whom I could name, but they are not so numerous as
the other and worse variety. They are very often men of good manners,
and not at all disagreeable as travelling companions, but it is not
advisable to be intimate with them. Travelling, like poverty, makes us
some strange acquaintances. We can learn a great deal from them if we
proceed properly; and if we know where the line of familiarity should be
drawn, we are not in any danger of suffering by it."

The morning after the above conversation the steamer arrived at
Hong-kong, and dropped anchor in the harbor. She was immediately
surrounded by a fleet of small boats, which competed eagerly among
themselves for the patronage of the passengers. Our friends selected one
which was rowed by a couple of women, and had a group of children in a
little pen at the stern. Doctor Bronson explained to the boys that in
Southern China a great deal of the boating is done by women, and that
entire families live on board the little craft on which they earn their
existence. The boat population of Canton numbers more than sixty
thousand persons. They are not allowed to live on shore, and their whole
lives, from birth to death, are passed on the water. The most of the
boatmen and boatwomen at Hong-kong come from Canton, which is only
ninety miles away; and as they have privileges at the former place which
are denied them in the latter, they are quite satisfied to stay where
they are.

[Illustration: HONG-KONG.]

Hong-kong is a rocky island on the coast of China, and has an excellent
harbor, sheltered from most of the winds that blow. The town of Victoria
is built at the edge of this harbor, and the streets that lead back from
the water are so steep that the effort of climbing them is liable to
throw a stranger from the North into a violent perspiration.
Fortunately, there is an abundance of sedan-chairs, and any one who
wishes to take a promenade may do his walking by hiring a couple of
chair-coolies to do it for him. The chairs are everywhere, and it is
generally desirable to hire one in order to be rid of the continual
applications from those that are unemployed. At the wharf where they
landed the Doctor engaged porters to carry the baggage to the hotel,
and then took chairs for the transportation of himself and the boys. As
they had the afternoon before them, the chairs were kept for making the
ascent of the mountain just back of the town, and as soon as the rooms
were secured, and a slight lunch had been served, they started on their

At the highest point of the mountain--about eighteen hundred feet above
the water-level--there is a signal-station, where all vessels coming
into port are announced by means of flags. Our friends were carried
along a zigzag road to this station, the coolies stopping every few
minutes to rest from the fatigue of ascending a steep road with a burden
on their shoulders. At the station they had a view extending a long
distance out to sea and over the coast of China, and the mountain was so
nearly perpendicular that it seemed as if they could toss a penny on the
town or into the harbor. Fred tried it, and so did Frank; but after
throwing away several ounces of copper, and finding they only went a
short distance, they abandoned the experiment. They returned well
satisfied with the excursion, and agreed that no one who visits
Hong-kong should omit the journey to the top of the mountain.

Hong-kong, being an English colony, is governed after the English form,
and consequently the laws enforced in China do not necessarily prevail
on the island. The population includes four or five thousand English and
other European nationalities, and more than a hundred thousand Chinese.
The number of the latter is steadily increasing, and a very large part
of the business of the place is in their hands. The money in circulation
is made in England for the special use of the colony. It has the head of
the Queen on one side, and the denomination and date on the other; and,
for the accommodation of the Chinese, the denomination is given in
Chinese characters. The smallest of the Hong-kong coins is made to
correspond with the Chinese cash, and it takes ten of them to make a
cent, or one thousand for a dollar. It has a hole in the centre, like
the Chinese coins generally, to facilitate stringing on a wire or cord,
and is so popular with the natives that it is in free circulation in the
adjacent parts of the empire.

[Illustration: Obverse. Reverse.


[Illustration: Obverse. Reverse.


[Illustration: Obverse. Reverse.


There was not a great deal to be seen in the town, and so the next
morning the three travellers started for Canton. There is a boat each
way daily, and the journey is made in seven or eight hours; the boys
found that the boat in which they went was of American construction, and
had an American captain, and so they felt at home, as they had felt on
the Yang-tse under similar circumstances.

Soon after they left the dock, Frank observed that the gangway leading
to the lower deck was covered with a grating fastened with a padlock,
and that a Malay sailor stood over it with a sword in his hand and a
pistol at his belt. He called Fred's attention to the arrangement, and
as soon as they found the captain at leisure they asked what it meant.

"It's a very simple matter," said Captain B----, "when you know about
it. The fact is, that we were once very near losing our lives by Chinese
pirates, and we don't propose to have another risk like it."

"Why, what could pirates have to do with this boat, I wonder?" said

"We didn't know at the time," was the reply, "but we found out."

"How was that?"

"Well, it seems that some Chinese pirates determined to capture this
boat, murder all the foreigners on board, rob the Chinese passengers,
and then get away on a junk that was to be ready to receive them. They
made their plans, and on a certain day fifty of them took passage from
Canton to Hong-kong. When about half way, they were to meet a junk with
more men; and as the junk hung out her signal and came near, the fellows
were to fall upon us with their knives, and capture the boat. They
intended to kill us all, but their scheme failed, as there were four
ships at anchor that day close by the spot where the junk was to meet
them, and so the junk took the alarm and left. There was no disturbance,
and we did not have a suspicion of anything wrong. Finding they had
failed with us, they went the next day and captured the steamer _Spark_,
which runs between Canton and Macao. They killed the captain and
officers and the only European passenger who happened to be on board,
plundered all the native passengers, and got away. Some of them were
afterwards captured, and confessed to their part in the affair, and then
the whole story came out that they had intended to rob this boat. Since
then we always have the gratings down, so that the third-class
passengers cannot come on deck; and we keep plenty of rifles and
revolvers in the pilot-house and captain's cabin ready for use. They may
never try it on us again, and we don't intend to give them a chance to
do so."

[Illustration: FORT IN CANTON RIVER.]

The captain went on to say that there were many pirates in the waters
around Canton, and all along the southern coast. The government tries to
suppress them, but it is not easy to do so, and hardly a day passes
without the report of a robbery somewhere. All trading-junks are obliged
to go heavily armed, and out of this fact comes a great deal of the
piracy, as a junk may be a peaceful trader at one o'clock, a pirate at
two, and a peaceful trader again at three. It takes very little to
induce a Chinese captain to turn pirate when he sees a rich prize before
him, and he has no trouble in winning over his crew. It is impossible to
distinguish the pirate from the trader; and as the coast is seamed with
island passages and indented with bays, it is easy for a junk to escape
after she has committed a robbery.

The voyage from Hong-kong to Canton is partly among islands and through
a bay, and partly on the Pearl River. The navigation is easy in the
first part of the course, but after the steamer has reached the narrower
portion of the river the great number of junks and other craft compels a
sharp lookout on the part of the pilots, to avoid accidents. They passed
the famous Whampoa Anchorage, where the ocean-bound ships used to
receive their cargoes before Hong-kong assumed its present importance. A
few miles farther on, the great city of Canton was brought into sight as
the steamer swung around a bend in the river. In front was the island of
Ho-nan, with its temple bowered in trees, and on the surface of the
river there were thousands of boats of many kinds and sizes. The boys
remembered what they had heard of the boat population of Canton, and now
they realized that they had reached a city where sixty thousand people
make their homes on the water.

Before the steamer stopped she was surrounded by dozens of the smaller
boats, and, as soon as they could do so, many of the boatwomen came on
board. The captain recommended one of them who was known as "American
Susan," and the trio were confided to her care for transfer to the hotel
on Ho-nan Island. Susan and her attendant women shouldered the valises
which the travellers had brought from Hong-kong, and led the way to her
boat. The gallantry of the boys received a shock when they saw their
baggage carried by women, while their own hands were empty; but the
Doctor told them it was the custom of the country, and by carrying their
own valises they would deprive the women of an opportunity of earning a
few pennies. To this view of the matter they yielded; and before they
had recovered their composure the boat was gliding across the river,
propelled by the powerful arms of her feminine crew. Susan proposed to
be in their employ during their stay at Canton, and a bargain was
speedily concluded; for fifty cents at day, the boat was to be at their
disposal from morning till night to carry them over the river, or to any
point they wished to visit along its banks. Frank thought they would be
obliged to look a long time to find a boat with two men at the oars for
a similar price in New York, and Fred thought they would have to look
still longer to find one rowed by two women.

They had three or four hours to spare before sunset, and at once set
about the business of sight-seeing. Their first visit was to the temple
on the island, and they were followed from the landing by a crowd of
idle people, who sometimes pressed too closely for comfort. There was an
avenue of trees leading up to the temple, and before reaching the
building they passed under a gateway not unlike those they had seen at
the temples in Kioto and Tokio. The temple was not particularly
impressive, as its architectural merit is not of much consequence, and,
besides, it was altogether too dirty for comfort. There was quite a
crowd of priests attached to it, and they were as slovenly in appearance
as the building they occupied. In the yard of the temple the strangers
were shown the furnaces in which the bodies of the priests are burned
after death, and the little niches where their ashes are preserved.
There were several pens occupied by the fattest pigs the boys had ever
seen. The guide explained that these pigs were sacred, and maintained
out of the revenues of the temple. The priests evidently held them in
great reverence, and Frank intimated that he thought the habits of the
pigs were the models which the priests had adopted for their own. Some
of the holy men were at their devotions when the party arrived, but they
dropped their prayer-books to have a good look at the visitors, and did
not resume them until they had satisfied their curiosity.


From the temple they proceeded to a garden, where they had an
opportunity of seeing some of the curious productions of the Chinese
gardeners in the way of dwarfing trees and plants. There were small
bushes in the shape of animals, boats, houses, and other things, and the
resemblance was in many cases quite good. They do this by tying the
limbs of the plants to little sticks of bamboo, or around wire frames
shaped like the objects they wish to represent; and by tightening the
bandages every morning, and carefully watching the development of the
work, they eventually accomplish their purpose. If they represent a dog
or other animal, they generally give it a pair of great staring eyes of
porcelain, and sometimes they equip its mouth with teeth of the same
material. Many of the Chinese gardens are very prettily laid out, and
there are some famous ones near Canton, belonging to wealthy merchants.

On their return from the garden they stopped at a place where eggs are
hatched by artificial heat. They are placed over brick ovens or
furnaces, where a gentle heat is kept up, and a man is constantly on
watch to see that the fire neither burns too rapidly nor too slowly. A
great heat would kill the vitality of the egg by baking it, while if the
temperature falls below a certain point, the hatching process does not
go on. When the little chicks appear, they are placed under the care of
an artificial mother, which consists of a bed of soft down and feathers,
with a cover three or four inches above it. This cover has strips of
down hanging from it, and touching the bed below, and the chickens
nestle there quite safe from outside cold. The Chinese have practised
this artificial hatching and rearing for thousands of years, and
relieved the hens of a great deal of the monotony of life.

On the river, not far from the hatching establishment, they saw a man
engaged in the novel occupation of herding ducks. A hundred or more
ducks were on the water, and the man was near them in a small boat and
armed with a long pole. The ducks were very obedient to him, but
occasionally one would show a little opposition to the herder's wishes,
and endeavor to stray from his companions. A rap from the pole brought
him speedily to his senses, and back to the herd, and he was pretty
certain not to stray again till the blow had been forgotten. Geese were
herded in the same way, and both they and the ducks managed to pick up a
good part of their living from the water. Ducks are an important article
of food among the Chinese, and the rearing of them gives occupation to a
great many persons in all parts of the empire.



The party remained three days at Canton. They rose early every morning,
and went on excursions through and around the city, and it is fair to
say that they did not have a single idle moment. Each of the boys made
careful notes of what he saw and heard, and by the end of their stay
both had enough to fill a small volume. They returned to Hong-kong on
the fourth day, and on the morning after their return they sat down to
write the story of their adventures. But before they began writing the
projected letter a discussion arose between them, which was about like

They expected the steamer to arrive from America in a day or two, and it
would doubtless bring letters for them, which would determine their
future movements. They expected to return home by way of San Francisco,
as they had come; but it was by no means improbable that they would keep
on to the westward, and so go around the world by way of India and

"What is the use of writing up our Canton experiences," said Frank,
"till we know what we are to do? If we go home by San Francisco, we will
have plenty of time on the steamer; and if we go on to the west, we will
have to go by steamer too; and then we will have time enough between
Hong-kong and the first port we stop at. Why should we be in a hurry to
write up our account, when, in any case, we shall have the time to do so
while we are at sea?"

Fred admitted the force of the argument, but thought there would be an
advantage in writing while the subject was fresh in their minds. While
they were debating the pros and cons of the case, the Doctor came into
the room, and the question was appealed to him. After careful
deliberation, he rendered a decision that covered the case to the
perfect satisfaction of both the disputants.

"It will be several days, at any rate," said he, "before we can leave
Hong-kong, whether we go east or west. Now, I advise you to take an
hour each day for writing up your story of Canton, and you will then
have plenty of time for sight-seeing. You will have ended your writing
before we leave, and then can devote your time at sea to other things
which the voyage will suggest."

His suggestion was adopted, and they at once set about their work,
determined to write two hours daily till they had described Canton so
fully that their friends would know exactly what was to be seen there.
They divided the work, as they had done on previous occasions, one of
them making a description of a certain part of their route, and the
other taking another portion of it. When they were through with it, they
put the two stories together, and found that they fitted to perfection.
Here is what they wrote:

"Canton is the capital of the province of Kwang-tung, and its name in
English is a corruption of the Chinese one. The people who live there
call it 'Kwang-tung-sang-shing,' and the Portuguese call it Kam-tom, and
they write it that way. It is called the City of Rams, just as Florence
is called the Beautiful City, and Genoa the Haughty; and the Chinese who
live there are very proud of it. The climate is warm, the thermometer
rising to 85° or 90° in the summer, and rarely going below 50° in
winter. Occasionally ice forms to the thickness of heavy paper, and once
in five or ten years there will be a slight fall of snow, which
astonishes all the children, and many of the older people.

"The population is said to be about a million, on land and water. Those
who live in boats are about sixty thousand. The city was founded more
than two thousand years ago, according to the Chinese historians, but it
was not surrounded with a wall until the eleventh century. The wall
to-day is the same that was first built, but it has been repaired and
changed a good deal in the time it has stood, and some new parts have
been added. The circuit of the walls is about seven miles, but there are
suburbs that now form a part of the city, so that it is a journey of not
less than ten miles to go around Canton.

"There are sixteen gates to the city, and each has a name that
designates its position. There are two pagodas near the West Gate, and
there are a hundred and twenty-four temples, pavilions, and halls inside
the walls of Canton. Then there are four prisons, and there is an
execution ground, where many a poor fellow has lost his head. The
prisons are like all such establishments in China, and a great many men
would prefer death to incarceration in one of these horrible places.

"We don't know positively whether there are a million people in Canton
or not. We took the figures from the guide-book, just as everybody else
takes them, and we want to acknowledge our indebtedness to it. The
guide-book is very useful in a strange country, as it tells you in a few
minutes what you might spend hours or days in learning. It gives you an
outline which you must fill in for yourself by practical observation;
and unless you have it with you, there is a great deal that you may
miss, if your time is limited, and you are compelled to do your
sight-seeing rapidly.


"When we came in sight of Canton, we saw some buildings that rose far
above all others, and very naturally we asked what they were. We were
somewhat taken aback when told that they were pawnbrokers'
establishments, and of course they were among the things we went to look
at. They were filled from top to bottom with clothing and other things,
and our guide explained to us that the Chinese are in the habit of
pawning everything they are not using, for the double reason that they
get money which they can use, and at the same time they save the trouble
of taking care of the property. At the beginning of winter they pawn
their summer clothes, and at the beginning of summer they pawn their
winter clothes. All other things on which they can borrow money they
take to the pawn-shop, even when they are not obliged to have the cash.
It saves the trouble of storing the goods themselves, and running the
risk of having them stolen.

"We went through one of the pawn-shops, climbing stairway after
stairway, and being almost stifled in the narrow and musty places we
were obliged to go through. The goods were done up in packages, each one
of them being labelled and ticketed, and there was a register
down-stairs, so that any desired package could be found when wanted.
Diamonds and other articles of great value were kept in safes near the
basement, and the least costly goods were near the roof. There must have
been many thousands of things stowed away in this pawn-shop. The
building was said to be fire-proof, and its great height was intended to
secure it against thieves.

"Close by the door of this establishment there was an opium den, where a
dozen or more men were intoxicating themselves with opium, or sleeping
off the effects of what they had already taken. We just looked in for a
moment; it was so much like the place of the same kind that we saw in
Shanghai that we did not care to stay, and, besides, the smell was very
bad and the heat almost stifling. The Cantonese are said to be just as
inveterate smokers of the deadly drug as the people of the North; in
fact, it is about the same all over China, and with all classes that can
afford to indulge in the vice. Only the middle and poorer classes go to
the shops to smoke opium. The rich people can enjoy the luxury at home,
and some of them have rooms in their houses specially fitted up for it.

"We saw a good many temples, and went through some of them, but, on the
whole, they were rather disappointing, as they were not so fine as those
at Pekin, and far behind those of Japan. The most interesting of the
pagodas is the one known as the 'Five-storied Pagoda,' so called
because it is five stories high. It stands on a hill that overlooks the
whole city on one side, and a large cemetery on the other; and when you
have climbed to the top, the view is very fine. The roofs of the houses
are of all shapes and kinds, and the streets are so narrow that you can
see very few of them as you look down from the top of the pagoda. On the
one hand you have a densely peopled city of the living, and on the other
an equally densely peopled city of the dead. Our guide said the cemetery
had more inhabitants than the city; and when we asked him how many
people lived there, he said 'Many millions.' You have to come to China
to learn that the people in a cemetery are supposed to live there.

[Illustration: FIVE-STORIED PAGODA.]

"And yet the guide was not so far out of the way, according to the
Chinese idea. The Chinese bring food to the graves of their friends, and
leave it there as an offering. The spirits of the dead are believed to
linger around the spot and to eat this food, but it is really devoured
by the priests and others who stay around the cemetery, and what they do
not eat or carry away is consumed by the birds. At certain seasons they
have grand festivals, when many thousands of people go to the cemeteries
with offerings for the dead, and good things for themselves. The affair
is more like a picnic than a ceremony of mourning; and when it breaks
up, the mourners go to the theatre or some other place of amusement. The
best burial-place is on a hill-side, and the tomb is made in the form of
a terrace, or rather of three terraces, with steps leading up to them.
As you look at it from a little distance, the tomb has the shape of a
horseshoe, or, better still, of 'Omega,' the last letter of the Greek


"Our guide said that not only do they make offerings in the cemeteries
to the spirits of the dead, but they have shrines in their houses where
the dead are worshipped. To prove what he said was true, he took us into
a house and showed one of these shrines with bowls of rice and fruit,
cups of tea, and other things, on a table. He explained that when the
offerings were made they sent for a priest, who came with two men to
assist him; and while the priest stood behind the table and repeated his
prayers, one of his attendants pounded on a drum, and the other rang a
bell. There was a fire in front of the shrine, and during the time the
priest was performing the man who gave the feast knelt before the fire
and burned some mock money, made out of silver paper in imitation of
real coin. When the affair was over, the priest took all that he wanted
from the table, and the remainder was eaten by the company who had been


"Not a great distance from the five-storied pagoda we saw the leper
hospital, where the unfortunate people who suffer from leprosy are
compelled to live, and soon to die. The sight was a horrible one, and we
did not want to stay long among the sufferers. We had expected to find a
large building, like a hospital in America, but instead of this there
were several small buildings, grouped together in a little village, some
of the houses having garden patches near them. The people were lying or
sitting around in the sun, and some few of them were at work in the
gardens. The most were not able to do anything, as they were suffering
from the disease, which was slowly killing or crippling them.

[Illustration: A LEPER.]

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

[Illustration: A LITERARY STUDENT.]

"One of the curious places we saw was the Hall of Examinations. This is
a large enclosed space, having rows on rows of little cells, where the
candidates for the literary degree are examined once in every three
years. There are eleven thousand of these cells, and each cell is just
large enough for one man to occupy. The candidates are put in these
cells, and each man is furnished with a sheet of paper and a pen. He
must write on the paper any given page of the Chinese books called 'The
Classics' without mistake or alteration, and he is not allowed to try a
second time until the next examination comes round. There are men who
keep on trying all their lives for the degree, and they tell of one man
who succeeded after he was eighty years old. The candidates try all
sorts of tricks to smuggle in copies of the books on which they are to
be examined, and also extra sheets of paper; but they are carefully
searched, and everything of the sort is taken away from them.


"There is a story in Pidgin-English verse of how a Chinese student
befriended an American, who was a photographer by profession. The
American believed that one good turn deserved another, and so, when the
examination time came round, he photographed 'The Classics' on the
finger-nails of his Oriental friend. The student was allowed to wear
spectacles during his examination, and so he bought a pair of
magnifying-glasses that enabled him to read every word that he wanted.
He came out at the head of his class, and was no doubt very thankful
that he had done a kindly action towards a stranger.


"But the great sights of Canton we have not yet mentioned. These are the
streets, and they are by all odds the finest we have seen in the
country. They are very narrow, few of them being more than six or eight
feet wide, and some of them less than the former figure. Not a single
wheeled carriage can move in all Canton, and the only mode of locomotion
is by means of sedan-chairs. We had chairs every day with four bearers
to each, and it was strange to see how fast the men would walk in the
dense crowds without hitting any one. They kept calling out that they
were coming, and somehow a way was always made for them. Several times,
when we met other chairs, it was no easy matter to get by, and once we
turned into a side street to allow a mandarin's chair to pass along. We
did knock down some things from the fronts of stores, and several times
the tops of our chairs hit against the perpendicular sign-boards that
hung from the buildings. There are great numbers of signs, all of them
perpendicular, and they are painted in very gaudy colors, so that the
effect is brilliant. Sometimes, as you look ahead, the space between the
two sides of the street is quite filled with these signs, so that you
cannot see anything else.

"The streets are not at all dirty, and in this respect are vastly
different from those of any other city we have seen in China. The
authorities evidently pay some attention to keeping them clean and
preventing the accumulation of dirt. The fronts of many shops are fully
open to the street, and the merchants know how to arrange their wares in
the most tempting manner. You see lots of pretty things, and are
constantly tempted to buy, and it was very well for us that we agreed
not to buy anything till the last day, which we were to devote to


"Nearly all the vast crowd in the streets consisted of men; now and then
a woman was visible, but only rarely, except near the river-side, where
there were some of the class that live on the water. We met some of the
small-footed women, and it was really painful to see them stumping about
as if they were barely able to stand. Double your fist and put it down
on the table, and you have a fair resemblance of the small foot of a
Chinese woman; and if you try to walk on your fists, you can imagine how
one of these ladies gets along. Some of them have to use canes to
balance themselves, and running is quite out of the question. The foot
is compressed in childhood, and not allowed to grow much after five or
six years of age. The compression is done by tight bandages, that give
great pain at first, and sometimes cause severe inflammation.


"We were rather impatient for the last day, when we could do our
shopping and buy the things for our friends at home. There are so many
fine things for sale in Canton that it is hard to determine where to
begin and where to leave off. A great many people keep on buying till
their money is all gone, and some of them do not stop even then.

"The first things we looked at in our shopping tour were silks, and we
found them of all kinds and descriptions that you could name. There were
silks for dresses and silks for shawls, and they were of all colors,
from snowy white to jet-black. Some people say that white and black are
not colors at all; but if they were turned loose among the silks of
Canton, perhaps they might change their minds. It is said that there are
fifty thousand people in Canton engaged in making silk and other
fabrics, and these include the embroiderers, of whom there are several
thousands. Chinese embroidery on silk is famous all over the world, and
it has the advantage over the embroidery of most other countries in
being the same on one side that it is on the other. We have selected
some shawls that we think will be very pretty when they are at home.
They are pretty enough now, but there are so many nice things all around
that the articles we have selected look just a little common.

"One good thing about going on a shopping excursion in Canton is that
most of the establishments for the sale of different articles are
grouped together, just as they are said to be in the bazaars of Cairo
and Damascus. Thus we find most of the silk-dealers in Silk Street,
those who sell mirrors and similar work are in Looking-glass Street, and
the workers in ivory are in a street by themselves. Then there is
Curiosity Street (or Curio Street, as it is generally called), where you
can buy all sorts of odds and ends of things, old and new, which come
under the head of Chinese curiosities. Lacquered ware and porcelain have
their especial quarters; and so when you are in the region of any
particular trade, you do not have to walk about much to make your
purchases. In the vicinity of the river there are several large concerns
where they have a general assortment of goods, and you may buy lacquer
and porcelain, silk and ivory, and nearly everything else that is
produced in Canton, under one roof.

"We have already described lacquer and cloisonné work in writing from
Japan. The Chinese productions in the same line are so much like the
Japanese that a description of one will do for the other. Some of the
shapes are different, and it is not difficult, after a little practice,
to distinguish the Chinese from the Japanese; but the modes of working
are essentially the same. All things considered, we like the Japanese
lacquer better than the Chinese, as it has more variety, and the
Japanese seem to be more cunning than the Canton people in making those
bewildering little boxes with secret drawers and nooks and a great
variety of shapes. But when it comes to ivory carvings, we have
something else to say.

"You can hardly have dreamed of the beautiful things we found in Canton
cut out of ivory. There were combs and brooches so delicate that it
seemed as if they could be blown to pieces by a breath; and there were
boxes and card-cases with representations of landscapes, and men and
animals on them so small that we needed a microscope to see them
distinctly. In one shop we saw the whole tusk of an elephant carved from
one end to the other so closely that you could hardly put a pin on it
without hitting some part of the work. They told us that the tusk had
been sent there by the gentleman who killed the elephant in India, and
he was having it carved to keep as a trophy. The carving had cost six
hundred dollars; and if it had been done in America, it would have cost
nearer six thousand. Skilled labor is cheap in China, just as unskilled
labor is, and it is astonishing for how little a man can be employed on
the kind of work that would bring a high price in Europe or America.

"Then there were carvings in tortoise-shell of a great many kinds, and
all the forms you could think of, together with many you could not. The
Chinese tortoise-shell work used to be the best in the world; but those
who know about it say that it is now equalled by the productions of
Naples and Florence, both in fineness and cheapness. Then they had some
beautiful things in silver filigree and in bronzes, and we bought a few
of each, so as to show what Canton can do in this line.


"But such fans! such fans! They were so pretty that we couldn't keep our
eyes off them, and we bought more of them, perhaps, than we needed. In
one shop we would find something so nice that we couldn't see how it
could be surpassed, and so we would buy it; and in the next we found
something nicer yet, and so we had to buy that. Anybody who has a liking
for fans, and hasn't a mint of money, had better keep out of the stores
of Canton, or he will run a risk of being ruined. The varieties are so
great that we cannot begin to name them. There were fans on silk, and
fans on paper; fans carved in ivory, tortoise-shell, sandal-wood; fans
of feathers from various birds, with rich paintings right on the surface
of the feathers; and a great many other fans besides. There was one
with frame and sticks of sandal-wood, beautifully carved, while the body
was of painted silk. There were groups of figures on each side of the
fan, and each figure had a face painted on ivory which was afterwards
glued to the silk. It was the prettiest thing to be found for any price
we could afford, and you can be sure that it was secured for somebody at

"We had a long search among the porcelain shops for some blue china
plates of what is called 'the willow pattern.' We must have gone into
twenty shops at least before we found them; and, finally, when we did
get them, the dealer was as anxious to sell as we were to buy. He said
he had had those plates on hand a very long time, and nobody wanted
them. We did not tell him how rare they are at home, and how anxious
people are to get hold of them.

"The variety of porcelain in the Canton shops is very great, and a
simple list of what there is would fill several pages. They showed us
some of what they call egg-shell porcelain. It was so thin that you
could almost see through it, and so delicate that it had to be carefully
handled. The varieties of cups and saucers we could not begin to tell;
they make them suited to every market in the world, and it is said that
the greatest part of what they make is of the shapes that are not used
in China. Of vases there was no end, and they were of all sizes, from a
tiny cone for a small bouquet up to a huge one capable of holding a
barrel of water, with plenty of room to spare. The trade in vases must
be very great, if we are to judge by the quantities and variety that we
saw. Many of them were very elaborate, and must have cost a great deal
of money.

"But there is danger that you will get tired if we keep on much longer
about the sights of Canton, and particularly the shopping part of it.
Besides, we want to go out and see what there is in Hong-kong, and
perhaps we may run across something new in the Chinese part of the city
that we shall want to buy. A good many people say that you can buy
Canton goods just as cheaply in Hong-kong as in the city they come from.
That may be so; but then it is more satisfactory to get them there and
have the pleasure of buying them on the spot.

"We'll stop now and say good-bye. We have seen China and Japan, and had
a splendid time. We think we have learned a great deal about the two
countries, and hope that what we have written about them has been
interesting to those for whom it was intended. We have tried to see
things, and think of them without partiality or prejudice. We believe
that the people of the East have the same claims to respect that ours
have, and that it is only a narrow mind that sneers at the ways of
others because they are not like its own. We know that there are many
things in which we are superior to the Orientals, but we also know that
we have our weak points, and might be profitably instructed by those
whom some of us affect to despise. And the more we know these patient
and industrious people, the more we shall be likely to respect them. We
are soon to leave China, perhaps never to see it again; but both China
and Japan will always be pleasant recollections to both


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