2021-04-17 12:25:08

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ENGLISH "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.

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.

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BLOWING BUBBLES. BLOWING BUBBLES.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.

"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 that."

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Apr-17 12:25:08