Page:My life in China and America.djvu/139

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My Nanking visit was utterly barren of any substantial hope of promoting any scheme of educational or political reform for the general welfare of China or for the advancement of my personal interest. When I was thoroughly convinced that neither the reformation nor the regeneration of China was to come from the Taipings, I at once turned my thoughts to the idea of making a big fortune as my first duty, and as the first element in the successful carrying out of other plans for the future.

One day, while sauntering about in the tea garden inside the city of Shanghai, I came across a few tea-merchants regaling themselves with that beverage in a booth by themselves, evidently having a very social time. They beckoned to me to join their party. In the course of the conversation, we happened to touch on my late journey through the tea districts of Hunan, Hupeh and Kiang Si and also my trip to Nanking. Passing