Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/32

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6
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

most comfortable sedan-chair, a well-made bamboo affair fitted with a top and adjustable screens and curtains to keep out either rain or sun. I had been told that I should have no use for a tent, but that a camp-bed was a necessity, and so it proved. The bed I took with me was of American manufacture; compact and light, and fitted with a mosquito frame, it served me throughout all my journey ings and was finally left in Urga in North Mongolia, on the chance that it might serve another traveller a good turn. An important part of my outfit, a small Irish terrier, arrived from Japan the next morning, when I had about given him up. He was dropped into my waiting sampan as his ship, homeward bound to Calcutta from Kobe, came into her moorings, and we climbed up the side of the Sikiang not fifteen minutes before she was off. All's well that ends well. We were safe on board, and I had secured a gay little comrade in my solitary journeying, while before Jack lay a glorious run of two thousand odd miles.

The mail boat to Haiphong, due to make the trip in fifty-three hours, had once been a royal Portuguese yacht, but the only remaining traces of her former glory were the royal monogram, "M.R.P.," conspicuous in glass and woodwork, and her long, graceful lines, charming to look at, but not well fitted to contend with the cross-currents of the China Sea. As the only lady passenger I had very comfortable quarters,