Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/394

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320
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

the side of the steamer in Singapore Harbour, watching the seven hundred coolies come aboard that we were taking home to Kwangtung province, the chief officer remarked to me, "A thousand Chinese make us less trouble than one Indian"; and he went on to explain, "When we enter here, half a dozen Chinese boarding-house keepers come on board and ask how much deck-room we have. They agree on what they want, and then each stakes out his claim, as it were, with bits of red paper emblazoned with Chinese characters. A little later coolies come, bringing the luggage of the home-going Chinese, each thing marked with a piece of red paper with the same black lettering. They ask no questions, but look about until they have found the corresponding marks on the deck, and there they unload. And later the Kwangtung men arrive, each with a red ticket, and they too ask no questions, but just hunt up their things all properly marked, and then proceed to make themselves comfortable. And no one is bothered."

Or to turn to larger things, what was it but this same power of organization that made ready a great revolutionary movement, permeating a population of three hundred odd millions, and spreading over an area of a million and a half square miles, and all so well and secretly done that, though suspected, it could not be discovered? The Turkish Revolution seemed a triumph of secret preparation, but there