2021-04-14 01:33:23

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ENGLISH [Pg 32]

"They are called 'sampans,'" Doctor Bronson explained, "and are made entirety of wood. Of late years the Japanese sometimes use copper or iron nails for fastenings; but formerly you found them without a particle of metal about them."Lady Keeling clapped her soft fat hands together.She put her hand through the crook of his arm.

Alice stitched violently at the slipper.But it isnt, said Alice. I cant express it, but I can feel it. I know I should agree with Miss{288} Propert and Lord Inverbroom about it. What did Miss Propert say?As the train approached the spot where the herd was crossing the track, the locomotive gave its loudest and shrillest shrieks. The noise[Pg 44] had the effect of frightening the buffaloes sufficiently to stop those which had not crossed, and in the gap thus formed the train moved on. The boys were greatly interested in the appearance of the beasts, and Frank declared he had never seen anything that looked more fierce than one of the old bulls, with his shaggy mane, his humped shoulders, and his sharp, glittering eyes. He was quite contented with the shelter of the railway-car, and said if the buffalo wanted him he must come inside to get him; or give him a good rifle, so that they could meet on equal terms.

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This reminded the Doctor of a story, and at the general request he told it.

Again he waited for some reply, some expression of regret which she undoubtedly owed him, but none came. Then, looking up, while her pencil was busy, he saw that she did not reply because she could not. The reflection of the daffodils trembled violently on her chin, and her lower teeth were fast clenched on her upper lip to stifle the surrender of her mouth. And when he saw that, all his brutality, all the impulse that bade{294} him hurt the thing he loved, drained out of him, and left him hateful to himself.No, she shant talk and cry. Ill take care of that. Ill act policeman. But I cant promise you that shell understand. I should think nothing more unlikely.As they approached the station, Frank appeared a little nervous about something. The cause of his anxiety was apparent when the carriage stopped. He was the first to get out and the first to mount the platform. Somebody was evidently waiting for him.

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Doctor Bronson and our young friends went from Yokohama to the capital by the railway, and found the ride a pleasant one of about an hour's duration. They found that the conductors, ticket-sellers, brake-men, and all others with whom they came in contact were Japanese. For some time after the line was opened the management was in the hands of foreigners; but by degrees they were removed, and the Japanese took charge of the business, for which they had paid a liberal price. They have shown themselves fully competent to manage it, and the new system of travel is quite popular with the people. Three kinds of carriages are run on most of the trains; the first class is patronized by the high officials and the foreigners who have plenty of money; the second by the middle-class nativesofficial and otherwiseand foreigners whose purses are not plethorie; and the third class by the peasantry, and common people generally. Frank observed that there were few passengers in the first-class carriages, more in the second, and that the third class attracted a crowd,[Pg 102] and was evidently popular. The Doctor told him that the railway had been well patronized since the day it was first opened, and that the facilities of steam locomotion have not been confined to the eastern end of the empire. The experiment on the shores of Yeddo Bay proved so satisfactory that a line has since been opened from Kobe to Osaka and Kioto, in the Westa distance of a little more than fifty miles. The people take to it as kindly as did those of the East, and the third-class carriages are generally well filled.The company was not a large one, and there was abundant room and abundant food for everybody. The captain was at the head of the table, and the purser at the foot, and between them were the various passengers in the seats which had been reserved for them by the steward. The passengers included an American consul on his way to his post in China, and an American missionary, bound for the same country. There were several merchants, interested in commercial matters between the United States and the Far East; two clerks, going out to appointments in China; two sea-captains, going to take command of ships; a doctor and a mining engineer in the service of the Japanese government; half a dozen "globe-trotters," or tourists; and a very mysterious and nondescript individual, whom we shall know more about as we proceed. The consul and the missionary were accompanied by their families. Their wives and daughters were the only ladies among the passengers, and, according to the usual custom on board steamers, they were seated next to the captain in the places of highest honor. Doctor Bronson and his young companions were seated near the purser, whom they found very amiable, and they had on the opposite side of the table the two sea-captains already mentioned.

The hotel was much like an American house in its general characteristics, both in the arrangement of the rooms and the style of furniture. The proprietors and managers were foreigners, but the servants were native and were dressed in Japanese costume. The latter were very quiet and orderly in their manners, and made a favorable impression on the young visitors. Frank was so pleased with the one in charge of his room that he wished he could take him home with him, and have a Japanese servant in America. Testimony as to the excellent character of servants in Japan is nearly universal on the part of those who have employed them. Of course there will be an occasional lazy, inattentive, or dishonest fellow, but one finds them much more rarely than in Europe or America. In general, they are very keen observers, and learn the ways and peculiarities of their masters in a remarkably short time. And once having learned them, they never forget.He let himself into his office, where his letters were already being opened by the girl he had sent for to take over Norahs work. On the little table by the window there still stood Norahs typewriting machine, which it appeared she had altogether forgotten: her brother must be asked to take it away. By it was the pile of letters which dealt with businesses not yet concluded: all were in order with dockets of the affairs contained in them. Probably, before she quitted the office for the last time on Friday afternoon, she had foreseen that she would not return, and had left everything so that her successor might take up the work without difficulty. Nothing was omitted or left vague; she had finished everything{329} with the most meticulous care. He searched through these papers to see if there was any private word for him. But there was nothing: this was office work, and such private words as she had for him had all been said in the bluebell wood.

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Apr-14 01:33:23