Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/122

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

greater than any bad precedent. So the men got their tip, and I am certain I gained by the reputation I thus acquired of keeping my word. I never again gave such rewards, but I always had good service.

I was sorry to see the Yunnan men go; they were sturdy, willing fellows, quick to learn my ways. In particular, one of my chair coolies, the big fellow called Liu, I should have been glad to keep on, in spite of unexpected revelations at Ning-yüan. He had made the trip from Yunnan with Mr. Wellwood a few weeks earlier, behaving well, but after receiving his pay he got gloriously drunk and was expelled from the inn, whereupon he turned up at the mission, still drunk. As he was not taken in, he proceeded to tear up the chapel palings and make himself a nuisance. So after repeated warnings he was turned over to the police, who shut him up for a night and then gave him a whipping. Probably he had learned a lesson, for he made me no bother. This was the only case within my own knowledge of a coolie's giving trouble through drinking. Out-of-the-way travel in the East is much simpler for being among non-drinking people. Years ago I made a canoeing trip in northern Maine with two friends. Almost we were forced to rob the traditional cradle and grave to secure guides warranted sober—the only sort safe for a party of women; but in the East that question is scarcely considered, and personally I have never had any difficulty.