Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/234

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178
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

go on with me, the interpreter, the cook, and the Yunnan coolie, who was ready to stay by me a little longer. The rest I had paid off, giving to all a well-earned tip, and receiving from each of my chair-men in turn a pretty, embarrassed "Thank you," learned from hearing me say it. The pony, too, would go no farther, for most of the next month my travelling would be by water, so I handed him over to a horseloving missionary, and I only hope he proved worthy of his master. My chair, which had been such a comfort for so many weeks, was left in Chengtu waiting a chance to be sent to Ning-yüan-fu, where I trust it arrived in time to serve Mrs. Wellwood on her hurried journey to Yunnan-fu at the outbreak of the Revolution. Even the little dog came nigh to ending his travels at Chengtu, for the Post Commissioner put forward a claim of common Irish blood, which I could hardly deny because of the many kindnesses received from him. But I could not make up my mind to part with my little comrade, and I said a determined nay.

It was early June when I started on the next stage of my journey, a three days' trip down the Min River to Chia-ting. The sun was sinking as I went on board the "wu-pan " or native boat lying in the stream outside the South Gate, and after carefully counting heads to make sure that the crew were all there, and that we were carrying no unauthorized passengers,