Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/353

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283
URGA, THE SACRED CITY

court was a roofed-over space where carts and horses and fuel were kept. To the right hand and to the left were kitchen, godowns, servants' quarters, while on the side facing the great entrance gates boldly decorated with the swastika symbol were the family and guest rooms. Along this front was a narrow verandah roofed by the overhanging eaves of the one-story buildings. Most of the windows were of the ordinary Chinese style,—wooden lattices covered with paper,—but a few were glazed. My room was about fourteen feet by ten in size, one half or more of the space being taken up by a platform some three feet high, on which were a large gaudy rug and two or three tiny tables and chests of drawers. The rest of the furnishing was a rough bench and two decorated cabinets. The ceiling of the room was covered with a gaily flowered European paper, and on the walls hung some cheap Chinese kakemonos.

The state rooms, which were next to mine, were evidently held in great esteem, and my hostess displayed them with the reverent pride of a good New England woman showing her parlour. There were three of them, opening one into the other. In each there was the invariable platform covered by rugs, and big Chinese vases stood about on small tables.

The life that went on in the courtyard was simple and rather patriarchal. Servants, children, horses, everything was under the eye of the master, a good-