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      So we played the game--oldest game on earth--and loveliest. Bungling moves we made, as you see, and sometimes did not know whose move it was. At length she admitted that this is a very unsafe world in which to be kind to soldiers. I told how fickle some of them were. She would not say she would--or wouldn't--make my case a permanent exception or a solitary one; yet with me she blissfully pooh-poohed the idea that our acquaintance was new, she being so wonderfully like my mother, and I being so wonderfully ditto, ditto. And when I burst into a blazing eulogy of my mother, my listener gave me kinder looks than I ever deserved of any woman alive. On my trying to reciprocate, she asked me for more flowers and hurried back to our earlier theme."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[Pg 421] 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

      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."Why," replied Holgrave, imagining the exclamation addressed to him, "I suppose he has left the Essex men to try what can be done among the bondmen!"

      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[Pg 108] 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[Pg 109] 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 fortifications."Front!" I once snapped out with a ring that made the trees reply and the ladies catch their breath. "If you steal one more look back here I'll put a ball into your leg."

      "Yes," he replied. "Wish we had our boys here," he added, and did not need to tell me how he would have posted them; the place was so favorable for an ambush that those Yankees had no doubt been looking for us before they saw us. Half of us would be in the locks of these highroad fences to lure them on, and half in the little gully masked with canes to take them in the flank. "We would count many times our own number before they should pass," he added.

      THRESHING GRAIN NEAR CHIN-KIANG. THRESHING GRAIN NEAR CHIN-KIANG.When Wells had sprung into the loft, accusing himself of the part he had taken in Edith's trial, and of the nefarious traffic which had placed him in the power of Black Jack, he vowed that, in future, his dealings should be strictly honest; that he would give a portion of his worldly goods to the poor; offer a certain sum to the Abbot of Gloucester for masses to be said for the soul of Edith, and endeavour to make what atonement he could by befriending Holgrave. But in a few hours his feelings became less acute; and we believe all of his vow that he fulfilled was that of striving to aid Holgrave, and becoming, to a certain degree, honest in his dealings. The next day he began to feel that depression of spirits usually experienced by persons accustomed to stimulants. Several times was he tempted to go out and brave detection,but a fear lest some of the fair-folks should recognize him, made him pause.


      Remember! I had yet to make their discovery. But I was on the eve of making it."Smith, Ned Ferry is not only a Romanist, he's a romanticist. We--you and me--are religionists. Our brightness and happiness air the brightness and happiness of faith; our cleanness is the cleanness of religious scruples. Worst of it with Ned is he's satisfied with the difference, I'm afraid! That's what makes him so pleasant to fellows who don't care a sou marquee about religion."


      For an hour or so the world seemed to have taken me for its center as smoothly as a sleeping top. Only after a good seven miles did my meditations begin to reveal any bitter in the sweet; but it was in recalling for the twentieth time the last sight of Camille, that I heard myself say, I know not whether softly or loudly,"Do not be alarmed, Margaret. I must go with the man who spoke to me, but I shall not be long."