Page:Every-day life in Korea (1898).djvu/26

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sleds, each beside a small square hole in the ice and in his hands a square-framed reel, with which he worked up and down a heavily weighted threepronged troUing-hook, in the water below. Their success in fishing, it may be mentioned, seemed to be rather similar to that of the majority of men who invest in lottery tickets. But the point to be noted is that the ice was frozen to such a thickness that, with a hundred or more men massed in one spot, it neither broke nor cracked. Winter settles down by the middle of December. In the central and southern parts of the country the thermometer ranges down to zero; farther north, in the vicinity of Pyeng-yang, the mercury has been known to fall as low as fifteen degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. What the cold lacks in thermometer readings it seems to make up in a certain penetrating quality. In the neighborhood of Seoul there is an occasional snowfall of perhaps six inches. By the middle of February the weather begins to moderate, and by the middle of the following month the farmers are mending the banks of the rice fields and beginning their spring work. The spring and fall in Korea are long and delightful, with any number of beautiful clear days. But what shall I say of the rainy season of midsummer.

Think of the fall of rain in the heaviest summer storm at home, and that is the Vv^ay it will pour for half a day at a time. There will be clouds with recurring showers for one or two weeks.