- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 399MB
"In here there is a lady, ill," we heard Miss Harper say."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[Pg 337] 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 respect.
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[Pg 330] would be told by his friends, "Serves you right for not giving your ship eyes to see with.""Cruel to you?" I took her hand from my arm and held it.
Five, ten, fifteen minutes dragged by. Counting them helped me to lie still. Then I caught another pregnant sound, a mumbling of male voices in the adjoining front room. I waited a bit, hearkening laboriously, and then ever so gradually I slid from the bed, put on everything except my boots, and moved by inches to the door between the two rooms. It was very thin; "a good sounding-board," thought I as I listened for life or death and hoped my ear was the only one against it.