"And so these things come here in cans, do they?" Frank inquired."What is it?"
There was not much to amuse them after their acquaintance with other cities of Japan, and so they were speedily satisfied. On the hill overlooking the town and harbor they found an old temple of considerable magnitude, then another, and another, and then tea-houses almost without number. In one of the latter they sat and studied the scenery of Nagasaki until evening, when they returned to the steamer.The mystery was soon solved. The river was neither wide nor deep, and the men they saw waiting by the bank were porters who carried people across, and also carried merchandise. The stream was said to rise very rapidly, and owing to the nature of the bottom it was difficult to maintain a bridge there for any length of time. The porters took the party across very speedily; they carried the servants by what the boys called "pick-a-back," while Doctor Bronson and the boys were borne on chairs resting on poles, with six men to each chair. Some horses belonging to another party were led through the river at the same time, and evidently were not pleased with the bath they were receiving.
"The Doctor and Frank couldn't tell, and Fred answered, triumphantly,"Now, mother, this letter is addressed to you, but it is intended for everybody; and I know you'll read it to everybody, and have it handed round, so that all can know where I am and what I have told you about Japan. When I don't write to each one of you, I know you will understand why it is,鈥攂ecause I am so busy, and trying to learn all I can. Give my love to each and every one in the family, and tell Mary she knows somebody outside of it that wants a share. Tell her I often think of the morning we left, and how a handkerchief waved from the railway station when we came away. And tell Mary, too, that I haven't yet opened her list of things I am to get for her; but I haven't forgotten it, and have it all safe and right. There are lots of pretty things to buy here; and if she has made a full catalogue of Japanese curiosities, she has given me enough to do for the present鈥攁nd the presents.They were hungry, and the Doctor suggested Uyeno. The boys did not know what Uyeno was, but concluded they would like some. Fred asked if it was really good.
THE ENGINEER AT HIS POST. THE ENGINEER AT HIS POST.JAPANESE COURT IN THE OLD STYLE. JAPANESE COURT IN THE OLD STYLE.
There was a laugh all around at the oddity of the situation in which the boys found themselves. They tried various positions in front of the little table that had been spread for them, but no attitude they could assume was thoroughly comfortable. They squatted, they knelt, and then[Pg 172] they sat flat on the floor, but all to no purpose. They were uncomfortable, and no mistake. But they had a merry time of it, and both Fred and Frank declared they would not have missed this dinner in Japan for a great deal. It was a novelty, and they thought their schoolmates would envy them if they knew where they were.A CHILD'S NURSE. A CHILD'S NURSE.
They left the river at Fushimi, and followed what seemed to be an almost continuous street for six miles or more. Formerly the great route for travellers and commerce between Osaka and Kioto was by way of the river as far as Fushimi, and thence by the road. The result of this state of affairs for centuries was to build up a long village largely composed of hotels and tea-houses. Their business has somewhat fallen off since the[Pg 289] completion of the railway from Kioto to Osaka and Kobe; but there is still enough to maintain a considerable number of them. There is one large hotel, at the foot of the Inari hill, about two miles from the centre of Kioto, where the jin-riki-sha coolies invariably stop for a short rest, and to take tea at the expense of their employers. The custom was carefully observed in the present instance, and our friends were shown to the rear of the hotel, where there was a pretty garden with a little fountain supplied from the hill above. They sipped their tea, and gave side-glances at the black-eyed maids that were moving around the house; and when John announced that the coolies were rested, the journey was resumed."But does every Chinese who goes to a foreign country understand how to talk pidgin English?" Frank asked of Doctor Bronson.
On they went over the Great Western Railway of Canada, and then over the Michigan Central; and on the morning after leaving Niagara they rolled into Chicago. Here they spent a day in visiting the interesting places in the Lake City. An old friend of Doctor Bronson came to see him at the Tremont House, and took the party out for a drive. Under the guidance of this hospitable citizen, they were taken to see the City-hall, the stock-yards, the tunnel under the river, the grain-elevators, and other things with which every one who spends a short time in Chicago is sure to be made familiar. They were shown the traces of the great fire of 1870, and were shown, too, what progress had been made in rebuilding the city and removing the signs of the calamity. Before they finished their tour, they had absorbed much of the enthusiasm of their guide, and were ready to pronounce Chicago the most remarkable city of the present time.BEHEADING A CRIMINAL. BEHEADING A CRIMINAL.DANGEROUS PLACE ON THE SUWO NADA. DANGEROUS PLACE ON THE SUWO NADA.
A STREET IN HAN-KOW. A STREET IN HAN-KOW.[Pg 405]SNOW-SHEDS ON THE PACIFIC RAILWAY. SNOW-SHEDS ON THE PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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Frank also ascertained that another ornament of the Japanese waist-belt was a pipe and a tobacco-pouch, the two being so inseparable that they formed a single article. The pipe was a tiny affair which only held a pinch of tobacco the size of a pea, and he learned that the smoker, in using it, took but a single whiff and then found the bowl exhausted. When not in use, the pipe was carried in a little case, which was made, like the pouch, of leather, and was generally embroidered with considerable care. Many of the pipe-cases were made of shark-skin, which has the double merit of being very durable and also quite pretty. It is polished to a condition of perfect smoothness, and the natural spots of the skin appear to be as regular as though drawn by an artist. Frank tried a few whiffs of the tobacco and found it very weak. He was thus informed of the reason why a Japanese can smoke so much as he does without being seriously affected by it. He can get through with a hundred of these little pipes in a day without the least trouble, and more if the time allows.Through this active scene of refreshment and recreation, our party strolled along, and at length came to the gateway of the temple, an enormous structure of wood like a house with triple eaves, and raised on pillars resembling the piers of a bridge. This is similar to the gateway that is found in front of nearly every Japanese temple, and is an imposing ornament. On either hand, as we pass through, we find two statues of demons, who guard the entrance, and are gotten up in the superlative degree of hideousness. When the Japanese give their attention to the preparation of an image of surpassing ugliness, they generally succeed, and the same is the case when they search after the beautiful. Nothing can be more ugly[Pg 127] in feature than the giants at Asakusa, and what is there more gracefully beautiful than the Japanese bronzes that were shown in the great exhibitions at Philadelphia and Paris? Les extr锚mes se touchent.详情
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