Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/248

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192
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

have acquiesced in foreigners' bringing meat into the monastic precincts or even onto the mountain. But at least they did their best to make good any lack by sending in dishes of Chinese sweetmeats, candied seeds, ginger, dried fruits. After dinner one of the younger priests sat for a long time by my brazier, amusing himself with Jack, the like of whom he had never seen before, and asking many simple questions. What was I writing? How did I live? Where would I go when I went away? Where was my husband?——the same questions asked everywhere by the untutored, be it in the mountains of Kentucky or on the sacred heights of Mount Omei.

On leaving the next morning the "Yuanpu," or "Subscription Book of the Temple," a substantial volume in which one writes one's name and donation, was duly put before me. Being warned beforehand I knew what to give, and I was not to be moved even though my attention was called to much larger sums given by other visitors; but I had also been told of the trick practised here of altering the figures as served their purpose, so I was not moved even by this appeal.

The next day brought us to the summit after a wearying pull up interminable rock staircases as steep as the steepest attic stairs, and hundreds of feet high. Most of the time we were in thick woods, only occasionally coming out into a little clearing, but