Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/102

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

work done in connection with the Arnold Arboretum near Boston in seeking out and bringing to America specimens of many of China's beautiful trees and plants. At the head of one small valley we passed a charming temple half buried in oleanders and surrounded by its own shimmering green rice-fields, and a little farther on we came to a farmhouse enclosed in a rose hedge some twelve feet high and in full bloom. There was no sign of life about, and it might have served as the refuge of the Sleeping Princess, but a nearer inspection would probably have been disillusioning.

We stopped that night at Ho-k'ou, a small place of which I saw little, for the heavy rain that kept us there over a day held me a prisoner in the inn. I had a small room over the pony's stable, and I spent the forenoon writing to the tune of comfortable crunching of corn and beans. The rest of the day I amused myself in entertaining the women of the inn with the contents of my dressing-case, and when it grew cold in my open loft I joined the circle round the good coal fire burning in a brazier in the public room. Every one was friendly, and persistent, men and women alike, in urging me to take whiffs from their long-stemmed tobacco pipes. All smoke, using sometimes this long-stemmed, small-bowled pipe, and sometimes the water pipe, akin in principle to the Indian hubble-bubble. In this part of Szechuan I saw