Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/272

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214
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

brought us to Kwei-fu at the head of the gorges. For the most part it was a country of soft undulating slopes and comfortable farmhouses, with here and there a little hamlet or a bustling town, framed the last part of the way by strange-looking pyramidal hills. On we went, hurried along by the strong current, stopping for an hour's marketing at Foo-chou at the mouth of the Kung-tan Ho, navigable for one hundred and fifty miles by boats of strange shape known as the "Crooked Sterns," and again at Wan-hsien, famous for its cypress-wood junks, then on past the City of the Cloudy Sun, attractive with broad streets and lovely temples, past the Mountain of the Emperor of Heaven, where for a few cash you may have a pass direct to Paradise, past Precious Stone Castle, a curious rock three hundred feet high standing out boldly from the shore and surmounted by a temple which contains gruesome paintings of the horrors of hell, through the Goddess of Mercy Rapid and the Glorious Dragon Rapid, and several smaller ones that I did not even know were rapids, for with the high water these tend to disappear, while wicked-looking bays of swirling water showed the peculiar danger of the summer, the great whirlpools. The nights were very hot, and all our efforts did not avail to get the air which alone could make sleep possible. Before this the mosquitoes had given little trouble, but now they sang outside my net all night long,