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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 105MB


    Software instructions

      Fred retorted that Frank was demanding too much of a boy to whom they only paid[Pg 290] fifty cents a day, and his expenses, and said he was reminded of the excuse of a soldier who was being censured for drunkenness.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.

      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.

      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:



      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,

      "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. "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.


      "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. "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.


      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 cloisonn." 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[Pg 242] 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.


      "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."