Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/40

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14
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

Haiphong and Yunnan-fu. The distance is about six hundred miles, and it took three days and an evening to make the trip. There is no traffic by night, and this seems to be the rule on these adventurous railways, for I met the same thing on the Anatolian and Bagdad lines between Constantinople and Eregli. The corridor trains are equipped with four classes. The first was inferior to the same class on Continental lines, but that seemed to matter little, for it was usually empty. As a gay young Englishman in Yunnan-fu remarked, no one went first-class unless he was travelling at some one's else expense. The second and third class were very good of their kind, and the fourth was far and away the most comfortable arrangement of the sort I had ever seen, with benches along the sides and large unglazed window openings. Most of the passengers and all the jollity went in this class. Everywhere there were other than human travellers; birds, dogs, goats, and pigs were given room, always on condition of having a ticket. I paid four dollars gold for my dog's ticket from Haiphong to Yunnan-fu, but having paid, Jack's right in the carriage was as unquestioned as mine, and I found this true in all my railway travel in China.

The Tonking-Yunnan railway is a remarkable undertaking, and shows the seriousness with which the French are attacking the problems of Far Eastern colonization. The lower half of the line, which here