Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/138

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98
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

long journey through China you would see your money vanish in the mere process of change, quite aside from the money you spent.

Rain fell all the next day, but it could not take from the charm of the road, which led much of the time along the bottom of a deep, narrow gorge, the steep sides clothed to the very top with tropical green flecked with splendid splashes of pink and white azaleas, while by the side of the path were masses of blue iris, and of small yellow and red flowers. We reached our night's resting-place, P'ing-i-p'u, early in the afternoon, and in spite of the rain I went for a walk. By dint of peremptory commands, reënforced by the rain, I shook off my military escort, who for the last few marches had dogged my steps at every turn, moving when I moved, stopping when I stopped. To be sure, they had been very thoughtful of my comfort, helping me in and out of my chair, gathering the new flowers which appeared each day, keeping up a brazier fire in my room when it was damp, but I was tired of being treated as either a suspect or a royal personage, and as we were now well beyond the limit of Lolo raids I demanded the freedom of being alone. I found quiet in an overgrown graveyard, with charming views down stream and up the near hillsides cultivated in tiny scallops to the very top, although the slopes were so steep that each plot was shored up with a strong stone wall to keep the