Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/354

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284
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

looking, dignified man. I found it rather difficult to distinguish servants and family; everybody seemed to be on a familiar footing. But the joy of the place was a small boy, the son and heir, who played with Jack or sat in my room inspecting my things by the half-hour. According to Western ideas children in the East are not "brought up," and it is true they are abominably spoiled, but at least one's heart is not often wrung by seeing them slapped and beaten.

One of my first rides abroad was to the Russo-Asiatic Bank where I met much courtesy and helpfulness. Thanks to the bank officials in Peking I was expected, and I found a warm welcome, and a house ready prepared for me, which, however, I could not use, as I was already settled where I was. There is a community of about five hundred Russians in Urga, mostly traders and officials, and a fifth as many soldiers protecting them. The look of the Russian quarter takes you across the sea, for many of the houses are of logs set in a grass yard, the whole surrounded by a high board fence, almost a stockade in strength. Far East and Far West have met, and the homes of the Russian pioneer and American frontiersman are much alike.

For many decades Russia has been extending her influence into North Mongolia, patiently and persistently, and now through trade and employment she has the country in her grasp. Almost the only