Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/263

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205
DOWN THE YANGTSE

do a little visiting. Sometimes I got what I wished, sometimes they did, but they did their best, I think, to gratify my strange whims.

One night when they had their way and we were tied up to a shingle alongside some forty or fifty junks and small craft, we had all to turn out on a grand hunt for the "tailless one" who had gone astray. As soon as the plank was down, I went ashore followed by the dogs. As it grew dark I sat down on a rock not far away, and Jack curled up by me, but the other one went back to the boat. Presently I saw the men come ashore and walk up and down swinging their paper lanterns and sending out long, loud cries. The little dog was missing, and they were afraid he was being kept concealed on one of the other boats, for, so they said, people liked to steal little dogs. I asked if they thought it would help if I went with them along the beach and they called out that I was looking for the dog. They were sure it would, so we paraded up and down the long line of junks, flashing out our lanterns while the men called, not to the junk people, for "face" must be saved, but to the little dog himself, "O tailless one, come home, O tailless one, come home, the foreign devil is seeking thee." And presently there was a joyful shout from our boat. The "tailless one" had come walking up the gangplank, quietly returned under cover of darkness. The men were immensely pleased, and