Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/176

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

usually a seventh-day rest is very acceptable to them; so we were all glad for a little breathing-space in Tachienlu. The servants and coolies spent the first day in a general tidying-up, getting a shave, face and head, and having their queues washed and combed and replaited. Some also made themselves fine in new clothes, but others were content to wash the old. As none of them, with the exception of the fu t'ou, had ever been in Tachienlu before, they were as keen to see the sights as I was, and in my rambles about the town the next two or three days, I was greeted at every turn by my coolies, enjoying to the full their hard-earned holiday.

There was less to see of interest in Tachienlu than I had expected. The shops are filled mainly with ordinary Chinese wares, and my efforts to find some Tibetan curios were fruitless, those shown to me being of little value. I imagine it is a matter of chance if one secures anything really worth while. At any rate, neither the quaint teapots nor the hand praying wheels that I was seeking were forthcoming. Nor could I find any decent leopard skins, which a short time ago formed an important article of commerce, so plentiful were they. But at least I had the fun of bartering with the people, whom I found much the most interesting thing in Tachienlu, and thanks to the indifference or the politeness of the Tibetan I was able to wander about freely without being