2021-04-17 01:39:24

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

"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!

"Nor no woman?" I asked, and again across the back of my neck my two companions gazed at each other.

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The three of us pattered out of the stream abreast. "No trouble," replied the sergeant, "it wouldn't take half a minute.""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 circumference."

"What was that?" queried Frank.

The road wound among the fields where the rice was growing luxuriantly, and where now and then they found beans and millet, and other[Pg 165] 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.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 country."They were less fortunate than we," the Doctor remarked as they proceeded with their tow.

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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 us.""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."

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Apr-17 01:39:24