The Chung Collection

Chung Logo

The Chung Collection

A Chinese Quaker : an unfictitious novel Eyster, Nellie Blessing, 1836-1922 1902

Item Metadata


JSON: chungpub-1.0056418.json
JSON-LD: chungpub-1.0056418-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): chungpub-1.0056418-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: chungpub-1.0056418-rdf.json
Turtle: chungpub-1.0056418-turtle.txt
N-Triples: chungpub-1.0056418-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: chungpub-1.0056418-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array   ii
w /
♦^ ip
. 1? /   yi/^
1,^ •
ill    >r
' '■"■ vj»»ryjn<» -
A Chinese Quaker The Latest fiction
the inspiring  sort
Those Black Diamond Men.   A Tale
ofthe Anthrax Valley.    By William F.
Gibbons.    Illustrated.    £1.50.
"It is a series of dramatic human scenes, sometimes with
thrilling incidents, sometimes of tragic intensity, sometimes
touched with humor."—1 bt Outlook.
By Order of the Prophet.   A Tale ot
the Occupation of the Great  Salt  Lake
Basin. By Alfred H. Henry. Illus. $1.50.
True to history, founded upon actual incident, forceful in
the telling and strong in the depiction of character, it is a
worthy contribution to the literature of the making of the West.
A Chinese Quaker, An Unfictitious Novel.
By Nellie Blessing-Eyster. Illus. $1.50.
The title of this book is the poet-philanthropist Whitticr's
own phrase and itself forecasts a most romantic story—a record
literally unique. Simply as a novel it is entertaining.
Two Wilderness Voyagers.   A True
Story of Indian Life.  By Franklin Welles
Calkins.     i2mo, cloth, $1.50.
"This romance of the Northwest graphically depicts the
exciting adventures of escape and wandering, the drama of the
great wilderness with its storms and floods."
My Host the Enemy, and Other Tales
ofthe Northwest. By Franklin Welles
Calkins. Illustrated.   12mo, cloth, f 1.50.
"As narratives of actual adventure they demonstrate anew
certainly stranger than fiction."—Th*
the  fact
that  truth is
HH   r
Unfictitious 3\(ove/
New York    Chicago    Toronto
Fleming  H, Revell Company
London £•? Edinburgh  To
the memory of
but for whose encouragement
this book
would not have been
written  CONTENTS
V. SHUI SIN FA    .    j        '
NEARLY twenty years ago the writer published
a short sketch giving a true record of her
experiences with a ten-year-old Chinese boy
in California.
The article attracted the attention of the poet,
John Greenleaf Whittier, who wrote to the author
saying that if the article was not coloured by her
fancy, he hoped that she would be permitted to
watch the development of a character which he
thought unique and of rare spirituality, emanating
as it did from a race seemingly so materialistic as
the Chinese.
Mr. Whittier's hope has, in a measure, been realised. The events recorded in this volume are substantially true. The letters of the Chinese hero,
Sing, and also those of Mr. Whittier himself, are
as nearly verbatim as is consistent with needful
elisions and condensations; indeed, some of the more
important of the letters and parts of the dialogue
are rendered word for word.
In justice to the literal facts as well as to the
characters that are portrayed, the author feels bound
to say, however, that fiction is employed as a neces-
——- IO
sary factor in welding the narrative as well as in
rendering effective the essential truth. For obvious
reasons likewise, some secondary characters are fictitious.
The book is not a mere chronicle or biographical sketch, but a picture of certain phases of
Chinese life on the Pacific Coast, of large moral importance to the American people. Among other
things it reveals some social conditions, especially
the horror of the enslavement of Chinese women in
our own land together with movements for their
rescue. N. B. E.
San Francisco. A Chinese Quaker
CHINESE Quaker would be a novelty,
for the race is most materialistic.
Laot-se, a contemporary of Confucius,
was indeed a mystic who would have
found recognition among the founders of Quakerism; and his writings remind me of Fenelon,
Thomas a Kempis and even our own Emerson, but
there are none of his disciples left.,,
Thus wrote John Greenleaf Whittier upon an occasion to be hereafter related in these pages.
Had the vision of the poet, a few months previous,
been able to sweep across the space of an intervening
continent and witness a not very uncommon incident
then occurring, it is doubtful if the above sentence
would have been penned by him, for even the suggestion of a Chinese of to-day with developed spirituality could hardly have found birth in his brain.
There was at that time in progress an unusual
occurrence at the junction of two prominent streets
in a small city—a suburb of San Francisco. A
middle-aged Chinese of serious face, well dressed in
his native costume, stood against a clump of blossom-
ing acacias with his eyes fixed upon the green side-
door of the house which fronted him.
Would Mrs. Carey never open it? he thought.
This was the time when she was wont, even at that
early hour, to be seen with watering pot in hand
among her pansies and verbenas. Why did she not
appear ? He dared not knock at her door, for some
of his own race might be passing—possibly some
High-binder—and the act, simple as it was, might
implicate him. His own life was at stake. He must
only stand and wait—he, the industrious Chen Wong
whose hands were never idle.
There was a light footstep behind him, a touch
upon his shoulder, and a voice which he had learned
to revere said:
"Chen! You here? What can I do for you?
See, I have been to market," and setting down her
small basket, the speaker looked pleasantly and fearlessly into his face.
" Missee Claley," Chen whispered, I Woman
locked up in old house back my store. She heap
sick. She come in box las* night. She die. Here
key, I stole him," and with a pretense of examining
something in her basket he adroitly dropped the key
inside of it.
Mrs. Carey understood it all. " I go at once,
Chen. All right. You, good man. You hurry to
your work," she said, and without another word of
explanation they separated.
When, as soon after as was possible, Mrs. Carey, «LOOK ON THIS PICTURE"    13
the unwearied home missionary among the Chinese
women of that city, boldly unlocked the door of that
deserted and empty warehouse, the sight she witnessed, although in a measure anticipated, horrified
her. Crouched against the wall in a sitting posture
and almost nude, was a Chinese woman, not more
than twenty years of age. Her long black hair, unbound and clotted with blood, partly concealed a
neck and bosom covered with scars and fresh bruises.
Across each naked foot was a ghastly wound which
had been made by a blow from a piece of heavy lead
pipe. Her face was streaked with blood stains, and
her wide-open black eyes, glittering with terror as
the door opened, looked like those of a hunted wild
animal, helpless yet defiant.
The only object in that desolate place was a glass
jar filled with water in which were the entrails of a
chicken. These had been placed before her (to
shorten the death agony—according to Chinese superstition) by the hands which had propped the
then almost senseless creature against the wall.
Taking in the whole scene at one intelligent glance,
Mrs. Carey advanced no farther, but re-locking the
door crossed the street to the pretty, if humble, home
of Mrs. T'sin Ho. The little lady was braiding the
toe of a slipper. The golden cord out of whose
twinings the wings of a butterfly were being simulated, fell over fingers small, soft and shapely. A
coral honeysuckle bush glowing with its crimson,
trumpet-shaped flowers shaded her back door, and i4 A CHINESE QUAKER
beneath this more than royal canopy she sat as
I happy as a queen." Her husband was a Christian
Chinese preacher and she his invaluable assistant.
I Oh yes I go with you. Wait, wait," said the
pretty Samaritan as, grasping the handles of a tea-
basket and cup in one hand and filling the other with
clusters of the honeysuckle branches, she preceded
Mrs. Carey to the door.
No one was in sight. Gossiping men and women
were busy indoors. The distance was short and entering the warehouse, locking the door behind them,
they faced the wretched woman who sat there. She
seemed as listless as though in a swoon. Her eyes
were now closed and it was not until Mrs. T'sin Ho
spoke to her in their native tongue that consciousness
revived. Laying the cool flowers against the girl's
cheek—what a contrast!—she bade her drink the
tea and if possible tell her story—pleading her own
familiarity with bondage, from which she had been
In a few broken sentences the girl told all.
What need for a Chinese slave, the victim of cruelty,
torture and the false ideas of the prerogative of
womanhood, to tell another of her race and of once
similar social position of what had befallen her.
Their experiences differed only in the unusual fact
that the former had been shipped from Sacramento
in a drygoods box. Her fiendish master, wearying
of her, had murderously beaten her, seeking thus to
conceal his guilt. " LOOK ON THIS PICTURE"  15
m Coincident with the time of this event, yet separated from the place and the actors by thousands of
miles of distance, a brother and sister were in earnest
11 have decided. I will go to California and
make me a home in the land of unending summer,
but, Wilhelmina, thee must go with me," said Abner
His remark was the verbal expression of a long
cherished desire to which he never before had given
11, Abner ? Of all persons, I! | exclaimed his
sister, her cheeks flushing at the thought of a sudden transfer to a land as distant to her, as she sat
amid the tassels of the Madeira vine which fringed
the old porch of her Indiana home, as were the plains
of Arabia or the sacred mountains of Palestine.
I Precisely so. Wilhelmina, thee has put it right:
of all persons thee, who has seen nothing of the
world and will become a dreamer if left to thyself.
Make up thy mind quickly."
Opening a letter which he held and which he had
previously read a half dozen times, he continued:
I This is from Friend Halsey, with whom I have
been in correspondence since father died and I
have felt free to form my own plans for the future.
He writes me that everything there favours my wish
for a change of location and in reference to the expediency of thee accompanying me adds, * Thee says
thy sister is never so contented as when making i6
others happy. Tell her that California offers an
immense field for the exercise of her joy-making
function, for there is no limit to the demand in that
line of activity/ "
There was no response from the charming woman
whom he was addressing with unusual fervour and
j I will need thee," he continued, | for it will be
a strange land to me and thee knows, sweet sister,
that I make but few friends." His well-modulated
voice had become tremulous,—a fact of which he
was not conscious, however, as he added:
"Thee knows not what may open out for thee,
and I am greatly exercised for thy consent to be
gifven me. Now, I will say no more but leave thee
to think it all over," and the sober, reserved, middle-
aged bachelor-brother re-entered the apartment from
which he had so unexpectedly emerged.
" Has Abner lost his senses? " almost gasped Wilhelmina Proctor, as she sat where her brother had
left her. She was suddenly plunged into a reflective
mood. It was no wonder that the tame pigeons that
had gone to house-keeping in an angle of the overhanging cornice of the porch, ceased their billing
and cooing to gaze in wonder upon the bowed
chestnut-brown head, in place of the fair, upturned
face they had long since learned to greet without
She was travelling league upon league of retro- «
spect, over her previous life, which had been calm,
quiet, and singularly uneventful for a mind as creative and a character as positive as she possessed.
I What does thee think of Abner's plan, Wilhelmina? An earthquake could not have startled
me more than his unfolding of it. I was mixing a
coffee cake,—father's kind, thee knows—and it was
ruined, for in my fluster I seasoned it with that
horrid cough mixture instead of the extract of
Wilhelmina looked up as the tender, motherly
tones of her elder married sister broke upon her
reverie. The telltale dimples which were always
playing bo-peep in her sportive moods and which
would have responded merrily to the fate of the
cake ort ordinary occasions, were invisible as she
1 Ah, Hannah! Thee must know that, mentally,
I am more I mixed 1 than even thy cake. What has
put the idea of such a change into Abner5s mind?
True, since father has gone I seem to have nothing
special to do; thee has no actual need of my services;
and Miss Sage could take care of my poor Freed-
men, but,—Oh, if father were only here to advise
My darling! It is the opportunity of thy life,"
said the sister, caressingly, 1 and although I and
the family will miss thee as we would the daily
sunshine, I say, f go.'   Abner is too odd and absent- i8
minded to be left to himself and thee knows no more
than a child of the world beyond thy native
I But what will I find to do there beside looking
after Abner's wants? Thee knows my sociable
nature and sanguine temperament. They say too,
that San Francisco is the great Babel of the Pacific
Coast and as wicked as old Gomorrah. Am I not
tempting the providence which has thus far led me
on?" 1
| Never mind the jj they say's ' dear. They are
bugaboos with which to frighten cowards. Let us
pray over Abner's proposition and then sleep on
it." They did, and the voices which seem ever
waiting in the silence to answer the earnest, seeking
soul, brought forth the message to Wilhelmina. A
day later in the familiar phraseology of another loving soul, Wilhelmina said to Abner:
II have decided:—\ Whither thou goest, I will
go,' and the benighted people whom I hope to teach
—especially if they are coloured emigrants from the
South—l shall be my people.' "
Two months after this decision had been reached,
the brother and sister crossed the continent, selected
San Francisco for a temporary place of residence,
and converted a suite of apartments in Tiberoon
Place—just off one of the city's thoroughfares—
into a home of quiet elegance and unstinted hospitality.
No city in the United States is more cosmopolitan I LOOK ON THIS PICTURE "   19
in its population than the great metropolis of the
Pacific Coast, San Francisco. Representatives of
almost every enlightened nation can be seen daily
upon its streets and have homes upon its sand-hills;
but seemingly in larger numbers than any other
foreign nationality are the Mongolians, with their
smooth, creamy-hued skins and noiseless step. Each
citizen is plying his own vocation according to the
new conditions upon which he has been engrafted;
and American and foreigner alike seem so restless
and excitable under the peculiarly exhilarating influences of atmosphere and environment that the blessedness of quiet life, which Wilhelmina had been
taught to believe was the daily bread of her soul's
sustenance, seemed unattainable.
One afternoon, soon after the arrival of Abner and
herself, as she sat alone in the seclusion of her bay
window, gazing from behind its lace drapery into
the street beneath her, she drifted into her old habit
of soliloquy: " I am indeed a stranger in a strange
land. I should feel as much at home in Egypt as
here. No one has called upon me; I am but as a
drop of water in this surging sea of humanity. Of
what use are the half of these people anyhow, and
why are they here? What sympathy can exist between such diverse races? Into what a maelstrom
of bewilderment I seem plunged!"
There was no one to answer except ain inner voice,
which whispered, " Of one blood hath He made all
the nations of the earth." 20 A CHINESE QUAKER
I Impossible! | she responded with   a   shudder.
I How can I call such a creature as that! brother ? ' "
Her repugnance was involuntary and natural, for
her gaze was fixed at that moment upon a Chinese
scavenger with his two huge baskets suspended at
either end of a long bamboo pole which was balanced
across his shoulders. With a long-pronged fork he
deftly piled some city rubbish into the basket—then
turned to pastures new. He was an uncanny object to the eyes of a cultivated woman—there was
no denying the fact. His queue was wound around
his head, and covered with an old black felt hat from
beneath whose rim strands of long, wiry, black hair
straggled in uneven lengths over his thin, yellow
and collarless neck. His dark blue cotton blouse
was patched and dirty, and his small, thin hands, like
claws, prodded here and there in ash-heaps and in
gutters for bits of paper, strings, rags, and small
bottles. His face, though young, was as devoid of
expression as that of a wooden doll, and as placid
as the surface of a stagnant mill-pond.
Wilhelmina shivered with disgust and sighing involuntarily she quickly turned from the offensive
sight, and picking up the morning paper which she
had not yet read, sought to divert her attention. By
a singular coincidence her eyes fell immediately upon
a four-column article, profusely illustrated, headed:
Chinese Societies. The High-binders in San
Francisco. It seemed a contribution ready to be
emptied into the channel of her present thought. I LOOK ON THIS PICTURE "    21
She read, at first, with a curiosity to know its meaning, and then was led on through its entire length
by the fascination which the horrible often has over
the most sensitive minds.
A door in the rear of her leading into the main
corridor of the building, was open—of which Wilhelmina was ignorant; and as she quietly read, her
comments were distinctly audible to a certain unknown and unseen listener.
The article was a revelation of the interior workings of a powerful and secret society among the
Chinese, called " The Hatchet Boys "—a revolutionary organization whose members were assassins and
black-mailers, and who,—known to the Chinese government as rebels and hunted down by it with unremitting severity—had founded branches outside of
China wherever the Chinese had obtained a footing.
They existed in large numbers in California, Oregon,
and British Columbia, under the name of Chee Kung
The origin of the parent society dated from over
two hundred and fifty years ago, when the then existing dynasty, known as the Ming, was overthrown
by the present dynasty, the T'sing. Some Buddhist
priests of the first period, discovered on the bank of
a lake, a tripod bearing on the bottom a Chinese
inscription of four characters which meant, | Overthrow the T'sing and restore the Ming." The Chinese are among the most superstitious people on the
face of the earth, and some of them held this in- 22
scription to be a revelation from heaven. In the
name of the three powers, heaven, earth, and man,
which they held in mystic veneration, these people
became the nucleus of an association called the
Triaad League, whose vow—never to rest until the
hated foreigners were driven out of China and the
Ming dynasty restored—was taken under conditions
which would have made the blood of a Christian run
| Their secrecy is inscrutable," continued the account, I and their disguises so artful, that all the
vigilance of the Chinese government failed to discover the conspiracy until the Tai Ping rebellion
broke out."
"Yes, and in which that splendid General Gordon, whom dear father so much admired, came near
falling a victim to his courage. Tai Ping! The
name sounds familiar. I wonder what it means in
that horrid Chinese language," said Wilhelmina
breaking the silence.
After a few seconds she read on, " The association has an elaborate ritual, oaths of initiation, secret
signs, secret words, and is regulated by a military
All of which I disapprove," was the ejaculation.
The ceremony of initiation is terrible. Each
member renounces his allegiance to the Emperor and
all his kith and kin. He vows under pain of death,
to accept the authority of the Grand Master and it
alone.   A rooster's head is cut off—the most binding
of oaths to a Chinese—and while in front of the
altar he swears, * If I ever prove a traitor, I hope
that my head may thus be severed from my body.'
After taking several other oaths, a cup of wine is
produced, the finger of each novice is pierced with
a needle, and a drop of blood allowed to fall into
the cup, then this potion of wine and blood is sipped
by those present as symbolizing their admission into
the blood relationship of the Hung family."
"Horrible! disgusting!" again burst from Wil-
helmina's lips, however, without her removing her
eyes from the paper. Putting her feet involuntarily
upon the rungs of her chair, she read further:
" The Chee Kung Tong has its headquarters in
Spofford Alley, San Francisco. It has long since
ceased to be a revolutionary centre to plot against
the present dynasty, but is now an association of
desperadoes who live by black-mail, and at whose
instigation some of the blackest, undetected and un-
atoned crimes in Chinatown have been committed."
" Ugh! Worse than Indians! " escaped the reader's lips.
I Their principal traffic is the importation of female bond-slaves, or servants, who when old enough
are sold into a life of shame and often of brutality
which no pen can describe. Among the oaths of the
* Hatchet Boys,' (which is but another name for
High-binders) are, never to recognize the authority
of the constituted courts of law; never to give evidence there except with the consent of the chief; to 24 A CHINESE QUAKER
carry out only his orders, and to regard the society,
or government, as it is called, as the only tribunal
whose authority is binding upon them. This terrible society is believed to have more power to
execute its penal decrees than all of the courts in
the United States. It is said that its adherents
number about ninety per cent of the Chinese population of California; and that thousands of them, although hating the League, find it safer to satisfy
the society's demands and live under its protection
than to defy its authority."
The newspaper fell from Wilhelmina's nerveless
grasp.   She was pale and trembling.
"And it is to such a place, and among such a
people that my brother has brought me," she exclaimed. I Either he is ignorant, or he is daft, and
I am excusable if I refuse to remain exposed to
contact with such dreadful people."
Her horror was giving place to what she considered | righteous indignation," when a gentle tap
upon her open door brought her to her feet and her
sober senses. Although a number of families lived
in Tiberoon Place, Wilhelmina, as yet, had made
the acquaintance of none of them.
A young woman of about her own age, from
whose face sincerity and good-will radiated, confronted her. The visitor's smile was like the dawning of a perfect day in June. She was unbonneted;
in one hand she had a cluster of snow white callas,
and in the other, a plate of ripe, native, black figs. «LOOK ON THIS PICTURE"   25
" I have been standing here watching you for
some time, but I have hesitated to interrupt your
reading. I would have called before, but waited
until you were settled. This is my informal welcome, dear neighbour-across-the-hall," was her unconventional salutation, as she presented the callas
and figs with irresistible geniality.
" Surely it is very kind of thee. Pray enter," said
Wilhelmina with a courtesy equally as winning,
while all trace of her late agitation fled. " And thy
name is—excuse me ? "
" Isabel Wallace, bachelor-maid and teacher,"
promptly responded the caller, smiling at Wilhel-
mina's quaint pronouns. " I am one of the world's
toilers—at home on a half-holiday—and my pet
weakness is to meet and know new people, of whom
just now, you are chief."
" My name is Wilhelmina Proctor. There! Be
seated, thee will find this chair an easy one; the poet
Whittier has sat in it often, and called it his ' Sleepy
Hollow,' I was the ready remark.
" Ah! This is a rare privilege," said Isabel, sinking into the cushioned depths of the great chair and
taking in with a glance her refined surroundings.
I And you are lonely, home-sick, and a stranger,"
she added in a few seconds. Her voice was full of
sympathy and its tones were as clear as the notes
of the California meadow lark. I
" True, and thee is going to play t Good Samaritan,' " exclaimed Wilhelmina, falling into her visi- 26 A CHINESE gJJAKER
tor's unconventional mood, as she arranged the callas
in a rare Bohemian vase and placed the figs where
Abner would be likely to see them as soon as he entered the room.
Already, the two honest souls had touched, and
a friendliness which belonged to the eternity of
each, had been recognized. A few hours later, Wilhelmina and her brother at their little tea table, discussed the first visitor.
" Yes," said the former, " I am drawn to Isabel
Wallace. She is a cultivated, thoughtful young
woman of strong character seemingly, and I am glad
to have her for so near a neighbour; but Abner,
think of it, she teaches among the Chinese women,"
and again an expression of unmistakable disgust
gave a downward curve to her full, red lips. " Thee
knows, Abner," she continued, " that I love the souls
of the negroes and the Indians. They are innocent
victims of the white man's injustice and the product
of natural causes; but these low, degraded Chinese,
these creatures of arrested development and relics
of ancient barbarism, seem indeed to be fj creation's
blot, creation's blank.' Is not thy tea sweet
enough ? "—for Abner had ceased sipping his and
was gazing wonderingly into his sister's face.
"What has thee seen of the Chinese, Wilhelmina ? " he asked, curiously.
I Practically, nothing; theoretically, everything
that is offensive and dreadful, for the daily papers of
the city have kept me well informed on that line. I LOOK ON THIS PICTURE"   27
It seems to me that almost every item of sensational
news begins and ends with the Chinese. Did thee
read about the High-binders?" Abner made no
reply.   His sister continued: B
" I was much excited over it and Isabel Wallace
saw me. She says the matter is much exaggerated
and begs me to visit Chinatown with her to-morrow
and see that place for myself. It is the New Year
time of the Chinese, and doubtless thee will not
object nor see any danger in my accompanying her."
The brother's grave face brightened, " Object! |
he said, " I am glad to have thee go, and thee had
better look out for a day-tservant while there to do
thy chores." He seemed to have ignored her former
" What! Bring a Chinese into our house, Abner? Thee must think me insane. Never while I
am thy housekeeper. I might bring in one of those
dreadful High-binders! " and pushing her chair back
violently, she arose from the table; while her face
flushed to the roots of her hair.
Abner, suddenly confronted by a prejudice as unexpected as it was, in his estimation, unfounded,
was surprised beyond expression at the exhibition
of excitement in his hitherto gentle, sympathetic, and
self-controlled sister.
" Wilhelmina, thee astonishes me," he said, grasping her arm and reseating her with almost parental
authority. " It is unlike our father's daughter to
hold such violent prejudices against any people.   I 28 A CHINESE QJIAKER
am amazed at thee. Thee is, like so many others,
measuring what is perhaps the most ancient civilization in the world by the standard of Christianized
America. As for the tirades of the newspapers
against the poor Coolies, who have sought and found
a home on this Pacific Coast, and who are aiding by
their honest and incessant labour to develop it, thee
knows that in the main, political ambition, and ignorance just such as thine, lie at the root of it all."
It was now Wilhelmina's turn to be confounded at
Abner's quick defence of the Chinese in San Francisco. She had rarely seen him more excited. The
subject had never before been broached by either of
them, nor had she sounded her own heart with reference to her deportment should she ever come in
contact with the Chinese.
I Thee must excuse my impulsive speech, Abner,"
she said meekly and seriously. | All the conditions
under which I am placed are so new and unlike my
preconceived ideas of things, that I forget the proprieties." Abner did not look up, but continued
stirring his tea as vigorously as though intent on
grinding a hole through the bottom of his cup.
What does thee know of a people whose antiquity is beyond computation ?" he continued.
1 Their code of morals, too, is as difficult for those
of another race, language, and religion to understand, as it is to decipher the singularly compounded,
Chinese word-symbols. As a nation the Chinese
have not only the largest population, but I think " LOOK ON THIS PICTURE "    29
them among the most interesting people in the world.
I expect thee to—"
"—forget to eat my supper unless thee ceases thy
preaching, brother! Look at me, see! I have
smoothed my feathers. I will accept thy defence
and graciously consider what thee has said." And
the pretty dimples—which gave Wilhelmina's face
its arch expression when she smiled, and which
Abner admired more than he would admit to himself—soon resumed their play. II
"OU will be in luck, Friend Wilhelmina,"
said Isabel with a smile full of intelligence and in harmony with the sunshine
which was flooding the streets of San Francisco.
There was a trick in that smile also: it awakened
| Thee evidently believes in signs and omens,"
said Wilhelmina as she buttoned her well-fitting
gloves; for the appointed hour for her visit to Chinatown had arrived, and despite her harrowing experience of the previous day, she would have been
loath to confess with what eagerness she had been
awaiting its coming.
i I believe that we always get that for which we
earnestly seek: the bee, honey; the crow, carrion,"
replied Isabel tersely.
"And we," queried Wilhelmina, "are in search
of ?" |     i        1 I
| Honey, which we can find without wax," said
Isabel, I for this is to the Chinese all over the
world, wherever they are, 'the maddest, merriest
day' of all the year. Be one of the four hundred
million human beings who to-day hold high celebration—and a blessing will surely follow."
I But our New Year's day was celebrated weeks
ago.   How is this ? " asked Wilhelmina.
I Because the Chinese year begins from the new
moon nearest to fifteen degrees of Aquarius, into
which sign the sun passes in the month of January.
The festival, which is the great carnival of the Chinese, takes place toward the end of the month. Why
do you sigh ? "
" At my ignorance of almost everything in the
social life of the four hundred million people of
whom you are speaking so familiarly, and with
whom I have so little sympathy," was the answer.
I Oh, you are not alone in this respect. There
are thousands of intelligent and kindly disposed people in this city alone who are not a grain wiser, although a miniature China is under their very eyes;
and there are hundreds of thousands of Americans
to whom the Chinese within our gates are yet as
far off as though they lived in Mars. Why a race
so uncongenial and unlike ourselves should colo-*
nize in the heart of this great city to invite ridicule .and antagonism, I am not quite sure; but
I accept the fact, nurse my own theory about its
origin, and am making the most pleasure out of it
that I can."
"Pleasure!" reiterated Wilhelmina, with the
nearest approach to a sneer that her genuine politeness would permit; but Isabel appeared unconscious
of it.
The attraction of that unique quarter in central 32 A CHINESE QUAKER
San Francisco, known as Chinatown, lies in the fact
that on twenty closely built up acres,* all that represents certain grades of social life in the Chinese.
Empire—notably in Canton—is combined and portrayed. Many of the inhabitants of Chinatown are
Cantonese, and here have revived the homes, stores,
schools, temples, restaurants, barber shops, and
street scenes of the Asiatic city.
On this occasion San Francisco proper was in
its usual attire, and bustling with its usual daily
crowd, but away off among the distant chimney-
tops rising beyond a wide, green plaza, could be discerned the outlines of the Dragon flag—large, oblong and yellow—waving from the house of the
Chinese consul.
Wilhelmina's appearance was never more attractive, as clad in a simply fashioned gown of lavender-
hued silk with dainty hat to match, she passed among
the gaily attired frequenters of various promenades
—looking like a dove among a flock of paroquets.
The breath of violets was in the air, for millions
of those tiny ambassadors clothed in royal purple,
were abroad upon the earth, but the nearer the
approach to Chinatown the more the violet odour
was lost in the fumes of burnt powder and smoking
sandal wood.
I The odour of gunpowder is such that one almost
expects to hear the groans of the wounded and dying upon a battle-field," said Wilhelmina.   Her vi-
*It must be remembered that this was twenty years, or more
vacity had fled and she walked timidly as though a
great fear oppressed her. So much had her fancy
been excited and her fears aroused by the so-called
" dark side " of Chinese life in San Francisco that
she needed continually the reinforcement of Isabel's
counsel:  " Disarm yourself of all prejudice."
Having passed some of the palatial residences on
California street and reached the summit of a precipitous hill they turned suddenly around a corner
from which proceeded the clanging of gongs, and
the banging of tom-toms, to find themselves at once
in the midst of a scene as bewildering to untravelled
Wilhelmina as would have been a French Mardi-
Gras or a Venetian carnival.
They were in Chinatown. The national flag of
the Empire—a green dragon on a yellow background
—floated not only from the consulate but from the
different temples and all of the Chinese guild-halls.
Gay lanterns—balloon-shaped and gorgeous in tint
—with tassels and streamers of silk, hung from the
balconies and from every store door. Every object
upon which the eye fell seemed steeped in dazzling
colours. The narrow streets were crowded with men
in long flowing robes of light or dark, blue brocaded
silk over trousers made of pea-green, canary-yellow,
or crimson silk crepe. The latter were tied tightly
around the ankles. §||
And the children! " Solomon in all his glory was
not arrayed like one of these "—and there were hundreds of them, clad in every prismatic hue, with curi- 34 A CHINESE QJIAKER
ous head-dresses of beads, bells, tiny mirrors and
ribbons; and their little arms, necks and ankles were
heavily weighted with charms, bangles and bracelets. Long strings of firecrackers hung in festoons
from the balconies from which a fusillade would
pour at intervals of a few minutes—each house vie-
ing with its neighbours to make the greater noise.
The pavements were lined with stalls containing in
large quantities, dates, sugar-plums, dried lychees
(a brown, raisin-like nut with a sweet, soft seed),
conserved fruits, mandarin oranges, pomeloes from
Amoy, piles of cakes from Canton, candied cocoanut
chips, and all kinds of tinselled ornaments.
Every face was aglow with joy. Every ceremony
and propriety due to the great occasion was being
observed, for upon the correct performance of the
prescribed rites depended the hope of a happier year.
All petty rivalries or private feuds throughout the
Flowery Kingdom had ceased for the time; and the
ordinary uneducated Chinese, wherever he chanced
to be, knew of no higher heaven than that which he
was enjoying.
Two portly, good-natured-looking merchants—
resplendent in robes of embroidered silk, and black
caps whose red buttons atop designated the wearer's
rank—met directly in front of the two ladies as they
stood watching the strange scene. In the hand of
each was a bunch of New Year's cards (strips of
crimson paper about seven inches in length and four
in width, bearing in black ink the surname in Chinese A TRANSPLANTED FESTIVAL 35
hieroglyphics. They faced each other, each clasped
his own hand and with up and down movements as
though shaking hands with himself, bowed low, saying : I Kung hey, kung hi, fat choy," and then separated.
" I know many Chinese phrases," said Isabel,
" and this interpreted, means, ' I respectfully wish
you great joy, venerated sir. May you increase in
" Can it be possible that any sentiments so suave
can be conveyed in such a tongue? 1 inquired Wilhelmina, who was trying earnestly to see any sensible meaning in what, to her, was " heathenish mummery."
I Do you observe," continued Isabel, " the inscriptions upon red paper over the closed doors of the
stores ? Translated, they mean, \ May the opening
of the door bring you good luck.' Every person,
young or old, who enters the stores to-day, will be
regaled with tea, cigars, sam-shu wine, cakes and
candies; and the hospitality is genuine."
I But are we perfectly safe from all harm or insult?" asked Wilhelmina, who felt as far from her
beloved America as though she stood within the
walls of Peking, or upon the heights of Fuji San.
"This display of barbarism dismays me. It is all
so strange."
I Barbarism!" exclaimed Isabel with gentle indignation,—for five years of honest missionary work
among the Chinese in their native land, had created 36 A CHINESE QUAKER
a strong bond of fellowship with them. " Do you
observe those inscriptions upon the door posts opposite us? They are printed prayers, and read,
I. May Chinese and Americans dwell in harmony.'"
She continued, " Is that sentiment barbaric in any
immigrants to this land where so many have found a
home? For two weeks in every Chinese habitation
in this state, or elsewhere on the globe, the houses,
shops and stores have been undergoing renovation;
a year's dust and dirt have been removed with a
broom of young bamboos; debts have been paid, and
unfriendliness healed. Peace is reigning. To the
Chinese this is a universal birthday anniversary."
Soon, two lads of eight or nine years of age,
passed them shouting, " Misow! Misowl3' Isabel
smiled good-naturedly and said, " They mean, as we
would understand it, * I sell my lazy habits and folly
to another, that next year I may be wiser.' I think
that they will find but few purchasers among our
young Americans "—many of the latter were going
to and fro, impelled by the same curiosity which had
attracted Wilhelmina. Upon several door-knobs in
one neighbourhood hung baskets upon which were
pinned placards bearing this inscription: "Hai-
I These baskets are hung there by beggars, of
whom there are but few in our Chinatown," added
Isabel. The words imply, I May great good-fortune
flow into the house on the opening of the door/
You perceive that there are packages in each one. il
These are alms which have already been placed there
and will soon be collected."
A young man passed who had three long sticks of
green, fresh, sappy sugar-cane balanced upon his
" Going fishing for a holiday, doubtless," said
Wilhelmina, whose keenest faculties of perception
seemed aroused.
1 No, he is making calls, and the sugar-cane presages good luck to whatever family he presents it,"
replied Isabel, who seemed as familiar with all the
symbols and ceremonies of a Chinese New Year as
though she had been a native Chinese.
At that moment there approached with rapid step
another young man, about eighteen years of age,
whose face was as beautiful as an octoroon girl's.
His complexion was a rich blending of the rose and
olive, and his skin as fine in texture and as smooth
as ivory. His eyes were large soft and dark, and
his nose and mouth beautifully shaped and expressive of great refinement. He wore a voluminous
garment of purple with red trimmings. Upon his
feet were embroidered shoes each having a butterfly
with outstretched wings outlined in gold thread upon
the toe, and his skull-cap and trousers were of laven-
der-hued satin, the shade of Wilhelmina's dress.
IA Chinese Adonis! " she mentally exclaimed.
His appearance was altogether charming. His
face was full of pleasure as he met Isabel, whom he
at once recognized, and bowed low and gracefully 38
with his hands concealed in the wide sleeves of his
" No, no, Li Jue, shake hands with me," said
Isabel, extending her own, 4 and let me wish you
a happy New Year. This lady is my good friend."
The blood mounted to his cheek as he obeyed her—
his eyes never wandering from her face.
Wilhelmina did not acknowledge the introduction.
She was dazzled by his radiant appearance. Evidently the objective point of Li Jue was the house
before which they were standing. It was the Chinese pharmacy, the proprietor of which was a venerable, leather-skinned old man, who wore a huge pair
of goggles, and a gray mustache not thicker than the
whiskers of a cat. He was dignity personified as
he stood in his doorway—and seeing the ladies in
company with his own nephew, he politely invited
them by a wave of his hand, to enter. Isabel had
casually met Li Jue before, and recognized him as
an occasional attendant on Sundays at a Bible class
in a Chinese mission school near by. Had she known
him for years, his manner could not have been more
cordial, and withal, respectful. He was a prominent
young Chinese merchant. His co-operation along
certain lines for the great cause, thought Isabel, if
secured, would be of service to the American friends
of his race.
On a small table in the rear of the druggist's
store was a most tempting array of fruits, candies, A TRANSPLANTED FESTIVAL 39
loose-skinned oranges, watermelon seeds and hot tea.
The hospitality was unstinted.
Li Jue prostrated himself before his uncle, while
Isabel, approaching the table took from it an orange
and a bit of conserved cocoanut.
Wilhelmina was reading meanwhile, with evident
amusement, the following notice which had been
prepared and pasted upon the counter by the pharmacist.
" For sale: Best Peppermint oil Made for its really
Can be curable For the sickness of Male.   Female
or Boy.
Fever—Wipe on the forehead and nose holes.
Fit—Wipe most to the nose holes and drink a few
drops mixed to tea.
Headache—Wipe to the forehead and nose holes.
Believe us. Sung Goon Hoy."
" No buy, no sell, New Year," said Dr. Sung,
gesticulating to Wilhelmina—which quickly made
her retreat to the street, where Isabel soon joined
her; while Li Jue remained, bowing and seemingly
worshipping at an altar upon which were many incense sticks burning before a hideous looking god.
11 had hoped he was beyond that," said Isabel—
a shadow clouding her face—but adding immediately, " How silly in us to expect the race belief of
centuries to be overcome in a few years! "
Turning around the corner into another street,
where—although it seemed scarcely possible—a yet 40 A CHINESE QJJAKER
gayer crowd was passing to and fro in a continuous stream, they encountered face to face, a tall,
slender Chinese gentleman attired in black. His
upper garment was a loose robe of fine, silky cloth,
finished at the neck with a soft velvet collar. There
was an air of quiet elegance about him, to the charm
of which even the reluctant and censorious Wilhelmina yielded.
Doffing his cap as he extended his hand to Isabel,
he said in correct English in which there was no
foreign accent,
11 know you wish me all good things before you
say so."
| True! " laughed Isabel, \ Faith is a wonderful
Quickly turning to Wilhelmina, whose face wore
an undisguised look of amazement, she introduced
the speaker to her as Rev. Chan Hun Fan, adding
as she addressed him, " I had purposed calling upon
you and your family to-day, sir, with my friend,
who is a stranger both to California and to its
I This is a bright day even in this land where all
days are alike, beautiful; do you not think so,
Madam ? " he said quickly, turning to Wilhelmina.
" I am glad to welcome you. Let me escort you
both to my home, now," and to Wilhelmina's astonishment she moved by his side with as much freedom
as though the long-queued minister of the gospel of
peace on earth and-good will to men, had been her A TRANSPLANTED FESTIVAL 41
brother Abner. The residence of the home missionary, for such indeed he was to his people, was
near by in the very heart of Chinatown. As he
rang his door-bell, a round-faced, serious-eyed Chinese answered the call, bowing low to Isabel with an
air of profound respect, as she said to him. | Sz, szy
yue yee," and then introduced him to Wilhelmina as
Ah Moon.
As the host and his guests entered the family
living room, Wilhelmina gave to it a quick glance
of involuntary admiration. The wife of Rev. Chan
Hun Fan, who could not speak a word of English,
and his little daughters—aged nine and six years—
both of whom had been born in California, were the
only occupants. All three were richly dressed in
the costume of Chinese ladies of rank; and an air
of gentleness and kindliness pervaded, that was inexpressibly pleasing.
" This is Jessie, and this is Laura," said the father,
as he introduced the children to Wilhelmina. " We
now live in Christian America, hence I have given
to my daughters, English names.
Wilhelmina noticed that the fingertips of the little
maidens were stained a coral-pink, with juice of
henna. In an instant, Laura, the elder, had left the
room and returned with a small tray upon which
were two tiny rare old porcelain cups filled with tea.
In each cup of the amber-hued liquid floated an olive
which had been dropped there as an emblem of good
fortune.    Isabel, upon receiving her cup lifted it 42 A CHINESE QUAKER
reverently with both hands, bowed to her host and
hostess, and having drunk the contents, laid her card
upon the tray; Wilhelmina, however, to whom this
ceremony was new, simply said to the child in a
burst of enthusiasm, the first that had been awakened, I My dear, thee is lovely! I wish thee every
To her amazement, the little lady gravely bowed
her head and responded, " You are very good to say
Notwithstanding the carpeted floor and the few
coals burning in the open grate the room had a foreign air.
Instead of framed pictures upon the walls, there
hung there illuminated banners and silken panels,
upon which suggestions of birds and flowers were
exquisitely painted. Sprigs of peony with its red
and purple blossoms, imported from far Cathay,
stood in pots on the window sill; while a bough of
peach blossoms from Japan (as significant to Chan
Hun Fan as would be a branch of mistletoe or a
spray of holly berries to an American at Christmas),
stood in a large pot of Satsuma ware. All of these
flowers presaged good luck.
I They belong to our harmless superstition," said
Chan Hun Fan, " and in my country it is difficult
to tell where tradition ends and superstition begins.
It is a philosophical truth, you know, that 1 as a
man thinketh, so is he,' or, that in proportion as one
•believes in certain events or conditions, they are A TRANSPLANTED FESTIVAL 43
reality to him. I believe with all my heart in the
influence of beautiful things, such as flowers, so I
keep them around my home! "
I That remark is worthy of an Emerson," thought
Wilhelmina, but she said nothing.
In a brazier near by, she noticed sticks of sandal
wood burning beneath a group of family portraits.
Following the route of Wilhelmina's eyes the minister continued:
1 These are my children's grandparents, and the
sweet odour which ascends is the materializing of
our loving memories of them. In my poor country,
which, as yet, knows not God through Christ, filial
love and reverence, as perhaps you know, is the
highest virtue."
During this brief conversation, the wife spoke
not a word, but her face expressed pleasure and
cordiality. Isabel rose to go. A longer call would
have been a breach of etiquette. Wilhelmina, involuntarily laid her small, gloved hand upon the folded
ones of her hostess with a smile of such sympathy
and good-will that the response to it was like a
quick, glad burst of sunshine.
The ice of her repugnance and prejudice was
melting, and as the two visitors stepped into the
street, scenes that had been " barbaric " and " heathenish ' a few minutes previous, were now growing—as she told Abner that night,—"interesting,
even if they are grotesque." Ill
WILL write for thee, faithfully, an account
of my unusual experiences, if I have any,"
were Wilhelmina's last words to her sister
Hannah, as the two who had literally shared each
other's joys and sorrows during their lives, were
parting at the railway station of their native town.
Some of the extracts from her daily record of
events, mailed from San Francisco a few weeks after
Wilhelmina's introduction to Chinatown upon a New
Year's day in January, eighteen hundred and eighty-
four, provoked the liveliest interest in the Proctor
home in Indiana.   They were as follows:
* * * * "I told thee in a previous diary-like
letter of my first visit to Chinatown, and how my
opinion of those strange people who inhabit it, was
modified when I looked at them through friendly
" Will thee believe it ? After my return from that
place I could think of but little else than those foreign scenes, exhibited here in the heart of American
civilization; and my desire to revisit it was so great
that on the following day I asked Isabel Wallace
to take me to a Chinese store that I might buy thee
a vase as a souvenir of my beginning ' w change of
heart.' The store we went to was on one of the
thoroughfares of this city but by no means one of
the most elegant of many of its kind there. In
passing it, however, I seemed impelled to enter and
led the way. Of course many things in it were as
new to me as, doubtless, their like was old and commonplace to the ancient patriarchs and prophets of
four thousand years ago. Does not that sound
strange? The antiquity of these people links me
closer to the genesis of man than has anything else
that I have ever known or felt. Has thee thought
that China was a great nation with settled laws and
government before Abraham went out from Ur of
the Chaldees; and that her people were prosperous a
thousand years before Romulus thought of building
Rome? I become bewildered when I fall to speculating upon their strange history, and I feel that
they may yet play a most important part in God's
plan for the evolution of the inhabitants of this
I While we stood in the centre of the store, and
as I was examining a piece of Satsuma ware—the
rare value of which Isabel was explaining to me—my
right hand which was hanging by my side was suddenly clasped by something soft and warm. I withdrew it as though it had been stung and screamed
like a silly girl. Looking down, I saw standing
beside me a slender Chinese boy about ten years of
age, who grasped my hand a second time, and looking up at me most pleadingly, said in what is called 46        A CHINESE QJJAKER
'pidgin English;' I Me likee you. You takee me?
You teachee me? rM
| The sudden and most unexpected application
almost took away my breath. The child still held
on to my hand with his small, girlish fingers and
repeated more earnestly and more pleadingly: ' Me
likee you. Takee me your house. Teachee me allee
same 'Melican boy.'
" Meanwhile, Ah Wong, the proprietor of the
store, who is a pagan and the child's father, smiling
at him with parental fondness said, I Him know
you make him velly good-^-no have 'Melican boy's
manners, no lun stleet like badee boy. Sometime he
glow big; me send him college.    You sabe?'
"By his last two words he meant, did I understand his wish—couched in such queer pronunciation
of my native tongue? It was not apparent to me at
first. I was overwhelmed with surprise, thee may
be sure. Then Isabel, upon whose face there was a
glow of peculiar intelligence, said, ' This is an unusual application. The first one of the kind in my
experience, and there is no foreseeing what may
come of it. The father is a shrewd business man,
by reputation; I know nothing of his family, but the
Lord may have called you to do just this thing, Miss
Willie.' (She has thus abbreviated my name and I
like it.) Her last words affected me strangely. I
had been praying to be shown my duty. Was it
indeed my mission to California to educate one little
heathen?    Such the child evidently was.    In all my SING AND  WILHELMINA.  AN UNEXPECTED PLEA     47
life I never thought half so rapidly. The doubts
and fears incidental to the granting of such a request
were somersaulting in my mind like acrobats. The
vase was forgotten. I forgot where I was, in fact,
until the voice of the father, saying, ' Madam ? ' in a
tone of inquiry, recalled my identity. Promising
to think about it, Isabel and I left the store—the
child gravely following me to the door and eyeing
me curiously.
" When I talked the matter over with Abner all
that he said was: f Thee must decide with the Lord.
It is not my business but His and thine. The child
would be company for thee, but a great responsibility.    Sleep over it'
I Thus I was thrown entirely upon my unaided
judgment. It seemed to me that I was the tool of
forces which I had no hand in shaping, and that I
had lost my usual power of discrimination. 'The
upshot of it all,' as dear father used to say, was that
I was impressed to make the trial; and the next day
I informed the father that his son, Tong Sing Wing,
might spend two hours each day with me until I
could see my duty further.
Thee cannot comprehend my sensations a few
days afterward, when I found the boy perched in
front of me in a chair, in a sunny bay window, with
his clean-shaven head, and brown, elfish face protruding from a mass of quilted, unshapely clothing
—reminding me more of a turtle than of anything
human.    Nevertheless, he looked into my face with 48 A CHINESE QJJAKER
a glance of calm, thoughtful inquiry. His dress,
doubtless precisely like that of his grandfather of
eighty years indeed like that of his paternal ancestors hundreds of years ago, consisted of five
loose shirts, or 1 shoms," two of the under ones
made of dark blue cotton being heavily wadded and
quilted, while the fifth, or outer one, was of heavy,
navy-blue cloth, adorned like those beneath it with
sm^ll gilt buttons. A pair of loose blue cloth trousers or drawers, tied securely around his ankles, felt-
soled Chinese slippers embroidered with gold thread,
and a long black queue, which with its end tasselled
in red silk thread was coiled up in his lap like a whip
lash, completed his costume. I wish thee could have
seen the picture. Whether the strange dress, with
its great arm-holes and wide flowing sleeves falling
far below his hands, contained any pockets, was,
like all else about the odd little stranger, yet to be
" He had left his native Canton three years before,
and having spent many hours in a Chinese mission
school (of which there are two in this city), he had
learned to speak and spell a few English words and
short phrases. He had an astonishing parrot-like
aptitude—Chinese children are wonderfully quick in
comprehension, Isabel says, yet my first attempt at
conversation with Sing was not a success. He belongs to the Tong clan. In China, the clan or
family name is placed first—contrary to our custom
—so I have the little fellow's middle name by which AN UNEXPECTED PLEA     49
to address him. The Chinese signification of ' Sing"
is said to be 'a star.' My impulse is to call him
" Sing sat, twisting his thin, restless fingers into
all kinds of shapes, his brilliant black eyes scanning
my face; meanwhile, I looked into his. I was helpless as to how to begin or what to do. Finally I
said,' Sing! I am going to teach thee to read American words.    Will thee try to learn ?'
I' What to learn all same as ?' was his prompt
question. Thereupon followed an explanation of
the verb ' to learn ' in the simplest language I could
I' Yes, yes, yes, yes; me know learn velly heap.'
he soon said, looking as wise as a young owl.
"' Sing, you must not answer me yes so many
times; say, yes, Miss Proctor, once and no more,' I
said, with gentle firmness.
" ' Yes-Miss-Proctor-once-no-more,' he repeated.
' What Miss-Proctor all same as ?' was the next
" He interrupted me to know the meaning of all
the connectives which I used, such as ' and,' ' it/
' the,' ' but,' j that,' ' how,' and the like, until at the
end of an hour I realized that I had never performed
harder nor more exhaustive mental labour. Not so
with Sing. Neither his patience nor his curiosity
flagged. Although he would shake his head and
look very doubtful over words of one syllable, those
of two or three or more, delighted him.    In fact, the 50 A CHINESE QJJAKER
a t
a t
longer the word the more he literally rolled it like a
sweet morsel under his tongue. The experiences
of that day, with many more which succeeded it, are
branded upon my memory.
What quad-ru-ped all same as ?' he asked.
Any animal that has four legs, is a quadruped,'
I replied. There was a silence. His eyes roved
around the room, but nothing answering the description was in sight. A few moments had elapsed
when, slapping his cheek violently, a dead fly fell
from beneath his hand.
" ' He quad-ru-ped. He bite velly much. I no
likee him,' he exclaimed.
" Finding pictures of a horse, cow and dog, I explained that they are quadrupeds, and added, to
make the distinction clearer, ' Everything that has
two feet is called a biped.    Men are bipeds.'
" 'And what good woman called ? What you ? '
he asked eagerly, looking at me, as I thought admiringly.
I?   I am a biped, also,' I admitted.
Again he grew thoughtful, meanwhile twirling
and interlacing his fingers with great rapidity;   at
last he had the idea:
" ' Now me know.' His voice was joyous. ' One
man two feet, he biped. One good woman allee
same you, she big feet, she biped-also (compounding the last two words). China woman, little feet,
she no biped-also; she China lady,'
" Satisfied with this conclusion, he was hunting
ti t
another word in his book of Chinese and English
phrases, when I startled him with the remark,' Sing,
you are a biped, you have two feet.'
" ' Me!' he cried, and rushing to a mirror near
by, drew up his little frame to his full height, flashed
a glance of indignation at me, and saying, \ No, me
no biped. Me China boy,' walked away home without another word. The little man is insulted, I
thought.    He may never return.
" Thee will be surprised when I tell thee truly,
that I passed the remainder of the day in a state of
anxiety—which I intend thee shall share until I find
time for my next letter.    What enigmas we are!
" Meanwhile I am always thine—but now in a
" Wilhelmina." IV
n t
a t
PRESUMING that her sister's curiosity equalled
her own, in a few days Wilhelmina gratified
it by sending a continuation of her record:
" At the usual hour next morning, Sing came
stepping into my room with a foot-fall as light as a
squirrel's, and bearing in his hands a large bouquet
of violets which, probably, his father had purchased
for him. He bowed low and presented them to me.
Is thee a biped, Sing?' I asked.
Yes. All right. Hum Nung—he my cousin
—find him so in my China Book.' He was radiant
with satisfaction, for China Book authority was to
him, I soon learned, indisputable. His next question proved that he had been pondering the subject
for he asked, ' What 'Melicans call more feet as
quadruped ?'
" ' Cent-i-ped' I answered. ' That means a worm
with one hundred feet.'
" ' One hundred feet!' he echoed. Then looking up reverently, he said: ' God a cen-ti-ped. He
muchee feet, hands, head, muchee strong.'
" For an instant I was shocked at what seemed
a most irreverent expression. It was the first time
the name of God had been spoken by him to me.
Doubtless he had heard it in a Chinese mission
school. Thinking to find out some more of his ideas
about God, I asked:
" ' Who made you, Sing?' There was no reply.
Evidently, the question was a conundrum. ' God,'
I said,' our great Father, whom we cannot see, made
you, everybody, and everything; the green grass,
the blue violets, the bright sun, the—'
"' Yes, yes, yes,' he interrupted. ' You know
mousee rat ? You know God ?' pointing up with his
little thumb. ' He send down velly big rat, as big
as me, and he put rice, meat, tea, corn, many everything under ground with his tail, so [using an imaginary hoe], and when it all grow up, Chinaman
eat it. God's rat fifty hundred thousand years old.'
He paused; then looking inquiringly at me, said
archly, ' You believe it ?' ' No, Sing,' I answered,
gravely; at which he, too, began to look rather
doubtful, but said, ' I little b'lieve; teacher in China
say so.'   Thus ended our first talk about God.
" This work is intensely interesting to me for
the field is so peculiar. When I think of the centuries of hereditary influences that are bound up in
this child, I await every new development as I would
the answer of the Sphinx. He is a sphinx to me
and how to begin a system of primary teaching for
him is, indeed, a problem. How much he had
learned in his native Canton is unknown to me, and
whether he will clearly understand what I try to
teach him, is equally doubtful.   Finally, I concluded 54 A CHINESE QUAKER
to drill him in the names of familiar American objects, and their uses, hoping that in time we would
drift into an understanding.
I My earliest gift to him was a First Reader,
which was presented to him with the command,
' Lay it aside now, Sing. I prefer to have you examine it with me. You may play while I write a
letter.' I wondered if he understood what' to play '
means—knowing nothing whatever of his home-life
nor companionship. As I began to write he went
bobbing around the room, evidently on a survey and
as noiselessly as a cat. Soon he had finished it and
sat upon the floor. All was quiet. When I looked
behind me I was surprised at the array: Tops, buttons, kite-strings, Chinese coins, marbles, tiny shells,
pebbles of all sizes, quaint ' charms,' carved out of
ivory, two tiny vials of oil (the one of sandal wood
and the other of spear-mint), and a rice-paper handkerchief—.all were in position like an army under
|' Why, Sing! Where have you been keeping all
those things?' I inquired.
In my pouches. Me put away again ? J
Yes,' I said, curious to know where he stored
such a quantity and variety. Thereupon they disappeared like a trick of magic, somewhere inside of
those five shoms, and he stood before me, that marvel of the nineteenth century, seemingly a boy without pockets. An investigation afterward revealed
five bags or pouches, ingeniously distributed through
tt t
various parts of his loose clothing, into any of which
he could dip in a flash by withdrawing his hand
through the wide arm hole—nor could an outsider
trace the slightest track of its wanderings. His love
of order is remarkable. Not only was there a place
in each pouch for everything he owns, but each thing
was in its own place; the reader having been the
last to disappear in its special pouch over his breast.
Even his loves are classified.
" ' Where is your mother, Sing ?' I asked after
he had been with me a few weeks.
" ' My mudder ? ' he repeated, a strange expression
appearing upon his face.    ' Which one ? '
" ' Why, how many have you ? ' was my laughing
" ' Mudder Number One, Number Two, Number
Three. Number One, my good mudder. She pretty
lady in China, little feet. Number Two, she die in
San Francisco. Number Three, she live here.
Whip me so ' (making a feint of spanking himself), ' when I badee boy,' and the little sallow face
was full of disgust. ' Number One mudder,' he
continued, ' velly kind. Washee my face, makee me
shoms; she—she little pretty lady just like you.' He
beamed upon me a look of unmistakable approval
and, shall I add, to me it was a source of pleasure?
' See my two hands,' he continued, holding them
out before me. ' This ' (his right one),' my fader's
hand—big, workee. This ' (his left), ' my Number
One mudder's hand—little, clean, no workee,' and 56
raising it to his lips he softly and tenderly patted
against them the innocent symbol.
" I have already learned something of the degraded lives of many of the poor ignorant Chinese
women here, who are bought and sold by men as
chattels; and I made no further inquiries about
Sing's other mothers. They sin against the laws of
social purity because of their ignorance of them,
and because of their environments; but my heart
began to feel almost loving toward this little oddity,
at once so full of discrimination and of natural affection. Strange as it may seem, I have learned
to watch for the hour which brings him punctually
to me, as I do for the broad slab of sunshine over the
green baize of an office table which I have converted
into his desk. His laughing face, as he doffs his
black turban and says, ' Good morning,' is as inspiring to me in its way as is the California sunshine.
| In one month he memorized the first Psalm,
enunciating every word with astonishing accuracy,
especially ' con-gre-ga-tion,' which he said was
' music like Chinese tom-toms! The knowledge of
punctuation came almost intuitively, but marks of
exclamation he calls, " notices of expectation." One
morning as he entered the parlour, the first of the
annual rains was falling and it seemed to be a jubilee
day throughout the city. Sing's face was reflecting the general joy as he exclaimed,
Oh, see how he rain!'
tt t
No, no,' I said. ' We use the word " he " only
when it stands for something alive like men.'
"As usual he seemed weighing the matter and
presently said, positively, ' Rain do live. He come
down from clouds. He go up again. He fill big
rivers. He rains ?' but seeing no assent upon my
face, his own clouded and he said, ' Me don't very
much know' (he is beginning to use his r's occasionally), 'but they say so in China.' This small concession was a mark of improvement for he tenaciously holds to his opinions, and I am discovering
that his busy brain weighs every new idea.
" One day our conversation was about the sun
I asked,' what is the sun like, Sing? Do you know? '
" ' Yes me know all about it,' he replied with his
usual self-complacency. ' Sun, he big fire-ball! He
has two faces, one white, velly hot; oder one black,
velly cold. All day he turn his white face to China,
'till Chinaman get sleepy and then he turn his cold,
black face to them and his white one to California.'
" China is the starting point of everything with
him, even of creation itself. I think he is an epitome of his race. I took, the above occasion to give
him a simple lesson on the planetary system, wondering, as I upset his theories, if he possibly understood me. To my surprise the next day he brought
me a rude drawing of an orrery, which he proudly
flourished as he said, ' You say true. I find it all
in China Book.'   Doubt was gone. 58
" Having frequently given him hints about his
soiled hands, he has invested some money in a pair
of blue cotton gloves, which he scrupulously wears
in my presence, but removes as soon as he goes out
of doors. When describing anything he looks like
a supple Jack: every muscle is used, taxed often, to
aid his power of expression.
'"Sing, do Chinese eat rats?' I once asked of
" I Yes, nice big Chinese rats v-e-r-y good, very.
No eat 'Merican rats' (he has dropped the word
"Melican') 'they no good, very bad!'and he
shrugged his little shoulders. ' 'Merican mousee rat
no sleep at night. I go to sleep; then one come creep
up-up-up over my face and bite my head. I very
mad-. I catchee him's tail and throw him down
dead.' All this was told with such gesticulative energy and realism that, instinctively, I put my feet
upon the rungs of my chair. Spelling, he considers
the acme of learning, and in order to get a correct
pronunciation he has invented his own phonetics.
' M-r-c' spells ' mercy' and | Mz-oo-re' spells ' Missouri.' When he was memorizing the twenty-third
Psalm—which I thought would be a good exercise—
I noticed upon his slate the following letters arranged thus: ' T-1-i-m-s-i-s-n-w.'
What is that?' I asked.
'Little helps,' he replied, and looking at them
he repeated the first verse of the psalm correctly.
" This morning I asked him what he had for his
n <
ti 1
a t
breakfast, for each succeeding day that he spends
with me my interest in Chinese home-life increases.
"' Me eat Chinese sausage, hog, rice, tea, milk,'
was his prompt response.
And no bread ?' I said.
China boy no like bread. It makes his teeth
black,' at which he grinned, showing two rows of
teeth as clean, white, even and burnished as grains
of corn on a young ear. Day by day he seems to
grow happier. No shade of care, disappointment or
anger crosses his face, unless the American hoodlums upon the streets pull his queue as he passes
them or call him ' monkey.' This happened two or
three times when I took him out to walk with me
in order to give him some out-of-door object lessons. On such occasions his amber-hued cheeks
flushed vividly and his black eyes sparkled; but setting his lips firmly he marched by his tormenters
with the stately bearing of a little prince, saying to
me but once, ' Me no monkey; me China boy and
your friend.' Of the latter distinction he seems
growing proud. He shrinks from men and boys
who use profane l.anguage—it must be instinctive;
and although he eats and sleeps among the fumes
of tobacco—for his father has a cigar manufactory
as well as a store—he loathes the poisonous weed.
' It is no good,' he remarked one day. ' Opium no
good either. Makee Chinaman get sleepee drunk,
so—' and improvising an opium tray, pipe, and its
accompaniments out of a magazine, an inkstand 6o
and a paper knife, he placed them upon the floor, lay
down beside them, began smoking the handle of
the paper knife and ended by rolling off in a state
of stupefaction.
" I am dealing with a human soul,—one of possibly many millions like it—but its development seems
placed in my hands and we stand on the threshold
of an unknown and immense future. Through this
child I am brought into contact with one of the
knottiest problems of western civilization. I cannot think that it is a mere accident of commercial
enterprise which opened the Golden Gate of the
Pacific Coast to the thousands of Chinese who have
been pouring through it ever since the discovery of
gold in California. Though the Chinese are 1 a peculiar people,' I believe that they are destined to be
a mighty factor in our social evolution, and that the
hand of God is as much in this condition of affairs
as it seems to have been in the beginning, continuance and ending of African slavery in the United
States. I have resolved to get rid of my prejudices
against the Chinese—it is possible to do so—and to
see them through friendlier eyes, as Isabel Wallace
urged me to do.
" To make Sing seem more at home with me, I
have introduced him into my little reception room.
It is a gem of a room to me for in it are gathered
all the ' household gods' which recall the old home.
After he had become familiar with its attractions,
I handed him a dust-pan and hand-brush, bidding
him sweep up whatever of dust he found upon the
carpet, while I was busy in an adjoining room. He
began the new work in brave earnest, as he does
everything, but, suddenly I heard the dust-pan clattering across the room, while the boy stood midway
between the doors, flourishing the dust-brush round
and round his body in every direction. I never saw
such gymnastics. Terrified for the safety of my
vases and bric-a-brac, I rushed in and seized his
a i
n i
Sing! Sing!  What is thee doing?' I cried.
Having big China fight. 'Merican king all in
iron clothes, iron shoes, iron all over. Chinaman
no such; but long, very long, stick, sharp and broad
at end like the dust-pan. Chinaman rush at him
so—, try to cut off 'Merican king's head! / no let
him,' and in his patriotic outburst he would have
made another desperate charge, but interpreting the
serious look in my eyes, the little warrior soon came
to order. He had shifted to America, some scene of
Asiatic battling of which he had heard.
I His father, who seems devoted to him, astonished me lately with the request that I take his boy
into my house to board.
I' Me payee you big money. Me let him 'lone,
for me go back China and bring Wong Yui. Gone
long time,' he said. Wong Yui is ' Mudder Number
One,' whom I am anxious to see.
" I consented, glad for the confidence reposed in
me by Ah Wong; and refusing any more money than 62 A CHINESE QUAKER
was necessary for Sing's individual comfort. Under
the latter's direction I have fitted up a little room
for him near my own chamber. Into it he has
brought his belongings, viz.: a kite, fan, toys, rice
bowl, chop sticks. I have sketched him as he appeared in it for the first time taking his breakfast
with his open book beside him. Truly there is a
fascination about my work which I am unable to
" I am private tutor and governess-in-ordinary to
a Chinese boy of whose antecedents I know nothing
—this excels my wildest anticipations of what might
befall me in California." TONG SING WING AT HIS BREAKFAST
GRAVE, solid, level-headed Abner Proctor
was one of the most undemonstrative and
reticent, as he was one of the most methodical, of men. Even his precision in walking rarely
varied. Each step seemed to be measured by the
minute hand of his watch, and appeared as devoid of
impulse as that useful instrument. Great, therefore,
was the astonishment of Isabel Wallace—who was
as little in touch with the quiet, seemingly self-centred and retiring brother as she was attracted to
the ardent and enthusiastic Wilhelmina—at confronting him early one morning in the long corridor
of the house, stepping as though ready to pirouette,
and clapping the palms of his hands noiselessly.
" Good morning to thee! Miss Wallace. Now, I
know that she will remain in California. Did thee
see her ?' was his salutation. The emphasis was
upon the " now," and surely the feminine pronoun
could refer only to his sister.
" Of course not—what do you mean ? " asked
" See," said Abner, and stepping back to the
little breakfast room of their home, he carefully
63 64
lifted a corner of a lace curtain which concealed the
upper half of the door leading into it. The occupants, Wilhelmina and Sing, were unconscious that
any eye looked upon them. The former, in a morning gown of soft, grey muslin which appeared as
placid in the expression of its graceful folds as did
the wearer, was standing before a small cedar tub
washing the breakfast china which lay in it; and
Sing, mounted upon a stool which elevated him to
her height, was wiping each piece with the greatest
care. A long, white apron was tied around his neck
and his wide sleeves were pinned back to allow his
hands and thin arms unrestricted liberty.
The plan of giving the boy a domestic education
had originated with Abner during a conversation
with his sister the previous evening, and it was her
immediate application of his suggestion that gave
him so much satisfaction.
I She has had no previous experience of this kind,
you know," he whispered to Isabel. " She declines
having a servant to do her light house-keeping, and
had begun to treat the boy as though he was a little
prince for her to wait upon. I feared too, that she
was longing for the old home, although she has not
said so to me."
" And how will this dishwashing scheme affect
her longings, if she has any?" whispered Isabel.
" Thee a woman, and not know ?' said Abner
lifting his eyebrows; "Why, now, it seems to me,
she feels that they are mother and son. I never saw SHUT SIN FA
her look happier," and touching his finger to his lip
to indicate silence, he tiptoed away.
" It is queer how some men, sometimes, do stumble upon the truth. Who'd have thought Mr. Proctor had so much sense? " said Isabel to herself; but
to him she said simply, 1 Good morning. I think the
plan will work well."
Wilhelmina, meanwhile, unconscious of espionage, was wrestling with a problem far more difficult
than to calculate an eclipse or to square a circle.
As   the   dishwashing   progressed,   Sing   suddenly
H I What for you and Mr. .Abner drop your heads
this morning and shut your eyes? You smellin'
what you eat?   I no smell mine, just eat him."
The occasion had been his first breakfast with
Abner and Wilhelmina, the latter not wishing to
isolate .him from the table.
" We were thanking God for the good food and
asking him to make it of use to us," she answered.
" God no give it. You buy it from Chinaman and
grocer. You no feed God. We give Him oil, tea,
rice, oranges, everything," said Sing.
" And what does He, in return, give thee? "
I Dunno.   I no like Him; I 'feared of Him.   He
very cross," and the animation died out of the little
face, leaving it grey and troubled.
HI " I call God my Father, Sing, and I love Him as
thee loves thy father," said Wilhelmina.
I Where is your mother, then, God's wife? " 66
" He is both father and mother, Sing."
" Allee same one ? No, no. I show you where
He lives in Chinatown. I go see Him with my
father.    No, no, both not allee same one.'3
I All the same One," was the reverent answer as,
for the first time in Wilhelmina's religious experience, a dim conception of the tender, patient, yearning mother-nature of the Great Father, mingled with
the human consciousness of the sterner attributes of
God's justice and infinite love.
How to teach this little idolater, whose inheritance was the tradition of thousands of years, the
spiritual truths which she deemed necessary to his
well-being, was the hardest task that had ever been
assigned her. One would think that she would have
sought Isabel Wallace at this crisis of Sing's fate,
and been guided by her large experience in teaching
the Chinese. Not so. " I will study his race myself," she thought. " I will be sure that he really
loves me, and then the way may open naturally."
Wise Wilhelmina!
It is useless to deny the fact that San Francisco
Chinatown to the eyes of the aesthetic fastidious
American of the class represented by Wilhelmina,
has but little to commend and very much to condemn. To one who has had no previous knowledge
of the Chinese Empire and the customs of its inhabitants, the inference is immediately drawn that before them is a representation of all that exists in SHUT SIN FA
both. There are narrow, filthy streets, smelling of
fish and decayed garbage. There are " gambling
hells " and underground " opium joints " of wretchedness, over whose portals might well be written:
" He who enters here leaves hope behind." There
are narrow alleys crowded with thousands of people,
in which less than a hundred with a high standard
of civilization, could live comfortably. There is an
unending procession of crime, sickness, sorrow, superstition and ignorance ever in progress. Yet there
is a bright side of this gloomy picture; and Wilhelmina, with her vision fast clearing from the film of
prejudice, and her spirit quickened with a new interest, was the person to find it.
" A wealthy mandarin from Hong Kong who can
speak the English language intelligibly at least, has
taken a suite of rooms near the Chinese consul's residence for a month, before he proceeds to Washington. Would you like to call upon him with me? "
asked Isabel on the afternoon of that day.
" A Chinese mandarin! " exclaimed Wilhelmina,
whose idea of such a dignitary was about as vague
as those she had of the ancient court of King Nebuchadnezzar. " What possible excuse has thee for
making such a visit ? "
" First: curiosity, for he is a distinguished, broad-
minded man for a Chinese; and second: to get information. The Consul will introduce us as teachers, and our ' mother-wit' must do the rest.   This 68
is an opportunity which is rare—here in San Francisco, and as you are beginning to be interested in
work among the Chinese it would be a help to you."
" Does thee think a call would be proper under
the circumstances ? " asked Wilhelmina, anxious to
go, yet timid about making such an invasion upon
a stranger.
" Whatever is right is proper," responded Isabel,
tersely. " You may see a new, helpful phase of
Chinese character in this man; and if he is a gentleman, the effect upon Sing may be wholesome—for,
of course, you will take the boy along."
Artful Isabel Wallace! Her suggestion grew—
like Jonah's gourd in a single night—to the perfection of a willing consent by Wilhelmina; the
phrase, " if he is a gentleman," presenting the only
incongruity. Did China possess her idea of a gentleman? The brief interview with Rev. Chan Hun
Fan and his family had not faded from her mind,
but remained as one of the most peculiar and pleasant episodes of that memorable New Year's day in
Chinatown. The young minister, however, did not
represent the class of the majority of his disciples
of whose rank Sing was, doubtless, one. The mental development of the boy and the daily wonder as
to what expression it would take was a source of
constant curiosity; but neither the idea of a social
equality with that strange, incomprehensible race,
nor the possibility that any of the child's future
activities could run parallel with hers had ever en- SHUI SIN FA
tered her mind. In truth she was in a dream. She
had made but few acquaintances, as yet, having allowed her household duties, her interest in Sing, and
the responsibility of making for her brother Abner
a cheerful home in a strange land, to dominate her.
She retired to bed that night, looking forward to
the interview with the Mandarin the coming day,
with the kind of expectation that a child feels of
the wonders to be revealed in its first visit to a
As the three visitors stood in the hallway of the
ante-chamber of the Mandarin's reception room,
Wilhelmina whispered,
Sing!   Does thee know how to behave ? "
What 'behave' mean?    You spell him," was
the quick reply.
They had just sent in their cards: that of Sing
having been written by himself in three bold Chinese
characters, upon a strip of the conventional crimson paper which was about six inches long. Before
the trepidation growing out of Wilhelmina's
motherly anxiety for the perfect deportment of her
protege, had time to either wax or wane, they were
ushered into the presence of the Mandarin, Li Chu
Fu. J|g|. §5
Even Sir Charles Grandison in his palmiest days
could not have " received' with more stately courtesy nor a more inviting smile than did Li Chu Fu;
as, tightly clasping and shaking his own two hands
in recognition of the honour conferred upon him, he yo A CHINESE QUAKER
bowed low, uttering first the guttural % Kung Hey,
Kung Hey!" and then succeeding it with " How
do?   How do?"
Sing, to Wilhelmina's amazement, seemed the
Mandarin in miniature. His little body bent so low
in making his obeisance by touching his forehead to
the floor, that the tassels of his queue swept the
ground; and had he been the re-incarnation of Confucius himself, his face could not have worn an expression of more genuine humility, yet self respect.
He had noticed the crystal button upon the apex
of the cap of Li Chu Fu, and knew at once that he
was an official of rank—a distinction of which Wilhelmina was ignor.ant.
Over the back of a chair hung a tunic of almost
fabulous value; which being the Mandarin's outer
garment, or overcoat, he had just withdrawn. The
back and breast were embroidered in dark gold
thread and upon each of these an angelic stork
was wrought in light gold and silver thread. The
room, despite its location in America, had already
put on an appearance of home to its foreign occupant. Dangling from the white porcelain shade of
an astral lamp were ten tiny Chinese lanterns glowing in colour like light in the heart of a ruby. Above
a large mirror spread an enormous fan of peacock
feathers, gorgeous enough to have gratified the luxurious tastes of Cleopatra or Emperor Nero. Although it was the afternoon of a day as mellow and SHUT SIN FA
warm as those of July, a fire of coal blazed in the
grate. Beside the hearth stood a pagoda-shaped
brazier whose oven was heated by burning punk;
across the top on a porcelain tray, stood a metallic
tea-urn, curiously wrought, whose contents were
ready and in use from " early morn to dewy eve."
While the attempt at conversation was carried on
between the Mandarin and Isabel, Wilhelmina was
taking a careful inventory of her surroundings with
an unusual degree of curiosity. A circular tray inlaid with pearl and containing eight triangular compartments, was filled with as many varieties of glacid
Chinese fruits and unfamiliar nuts as Chinese confectionery stores could furnish—the central one, octagonal in shape, being piled with the perfections of
Chinese delicacies, dried watermelon seeds, which
had been dipped in brine and then roasted.
But chief of all the adornments, by reason of its
intrinsic beauty, and the almost overpowering fragrance of its contents, was a huge bowl of copper
inlaid with gold, as costly as the rarest Sevres china
and large enough for an infant's bath-tub, which was
filled with the flowering bulbs of the beloved and
honoured Chinese lily. The bulbs, twenty-five in
number, about six weeks previously had been placed
in the bowl upon a bed of pebbles. The bowl was
then filled with water and nature was left to do her
work. The result was the production of stalks upon
which dozens of star-shaped pure white lilies were 72 A CHINESE QUAKER
clustered among a forest of green spikes and lance-
shaped leaves. The room was heavy with their
odour which combined that of violets and tuberoses.
The Mandarin, observing the trend of Wilhel-
mina's eyes, said, as he waved his hand, with its
long pointed finger nails gracefully toward the bowl,
" This our emblem of happiness you see. I not
lose it even here." Then for the first time, Sing
spoke to him in his native tongue, and a smile rippled
the Mandarin's round, jolly face.
I Yes, I tell them best—I will, and you must
listen," he said, drawing the boy to him in a caressing manner that was almost fatherly. " He ask me
tell you story about him flower, Shui Sin Fa. I
velly glad do so but I not speak good English yet.
It velly strange to me," said the Mandarin, addressing the ladies and genuinely pleased to have something to talk about. Evidently, he was a student of
the language. At once he was transformed into the
story-teller; and they, into the amused and interested
The presentation of the legend—one of China's
best known, simplest and most highly prized tales—
was prefaced by the remark:
" China, velly old country. Chinese know he&p
muchee more any oder nation." He paused for a
moment, fixing his lustrous black eyes upon his
guests as if waiting for the full force of this announcement to be appreciated. Neither lady disputing it, he continued: SHUI SIN FA
"Thousands of many years way time off a rich
fader him die. Him velly rich. Have two sons.
One son, he oldest boy, get all fader's money and
land; oder young son get no money, no land. All
same Chinese law.
I Rich brother him say to oder one, ' Sin Choy! I
give you one field. Take him. I keep oder many
fields myself.' Him big fields always grow muchee
rice an' tea; oder little field he give brudder have
noting in it but heap stones and sticks.
" Young brudder him take it, not cry, say noting,
not fight, just work. All day he pick up stones, he
be tired, him never say so. Him plant tea, it grow.
Just when leaves ready for pick, rich brudder come.
He take all away; an' give poor Sin Choy one littly
piece ground no one else want. One end all stones,
oder end velly muddy always.
" Sin Choy, him look on new field—then him get
sick, here." The Mandarin placed his plump hand
upon his breast. " He fall down on his face; he no
see the sun. He no want to live—all gone. He not
say, ' Bad brudder! cruel man!' no, no, him jus'
lonely here," touching his own forehead. " No one
love him, no fiend."
Here sympathetic tears met and mingled over
Sing's nose which he immediately wiped away with
his rice-paper handkerchief.
" Bimeby, some one say: ' Sin Choy, arise!'
"The voice like music; sweet like honey. Sin
Choy open his eyes.    He get up.    He look.    Bu- 74
fully lady there. She smile at poor Sin Choy. She
hold out her hand.   She say:
" ' You good man; you better man your brudder.
The gods see you. You have big pay. Here, where
your poor head lay, dig. Dig deep down velly deep.
No say get tired—dig, dig. All morrow-day, all
evly day, dig, dig, till you find something velly deep
down which make evlybody love you an' evlybody
happy all over the world.'
I Sin Choy rub his eyes. She gone. He look up,
he look down; she gone. Nobody there only poor
littly stone field and wet grass.
" But he not sick no more. He strong, he happy,
he laugh. He dig evely where. Soon, one day, he
find deep down one littly brown ball like that—"
pointing to a bulb in the huge bowl near him. " It
live inside. He kiss him he so glad. Littly ball the
lily-ball of Shui Sin Fa. He watch him. More
balls come, more lilies. They smell so good, evely
body in China, in the world, come, buy of Sin Choy
this bufully flower. He get velly, velly rich. His
name never die. He greater as Emperor. When
New Year come in my land evley family puts in its
bowl one lily bulb.   Then "
" where the flowers unfold there is heralded
a promise of blessing and prosperity," said Isabel,
concluding the sentence which the Mandarin was
labouring to bring to a climax. He smiled his approval and then arising tapped a bell. His servant
entered.    The oriental repast of conserves and tea SHUT SIN FA
in tiny cups without sugar or cream was served;
and the ladies arose to go.
" Please, you takee this," said the gracious host
handing to each of the three a spray of seven lily
bells; " See, each day week one flowel. May you be
happy all same Sin Choy," and he bowed his guests
Sing lingered upon the threshold as though loath
to leave.   He seemed introverted and strangely quiet.
" I wonder what has so enchanted him," thought
Wilhelmina. Her imagination kindled. What did
she know of the past events in the first, most impressionable years of the boy's life in his native land,
or what scenes the Mandarin had recalled? She
was unconscious of being given to romancing, but
all kinds of wild ideas flitted through her brain.
Surely, a nation which had treasured among its
literature for uncounted ages such a gem of a legend
as the one they had just heard repeated, could not
be altogether corrupt and degraded; and yet, as she
passed on her return, through the countless swarms
of the Mandarin's countrymen that blocked the thoroughfare of Chinatown—people so uniform in their
uncouth dress and squalor and so utterly unlike the
American race among whom some strange destiny
had led them to plant their unwelcome colonies—
with a sickening sensation at her heart she turned to
the unconscious boy with the thought, " Can any fair
soul-lily of delicate perfume, bloom from that little,
unsightly bulb of humanity? " 76 A CHINESE QUAKER
She pinned the spear of lilies in her brooch but
Sing placed his in a small crystal vase at the head
of his plate upon the tea-table. He was regarding it
intently, like a worshipper before a shrine.
" Of what is thee thinking, Sing ? " asked Abner.
"Of my grandf adder. He tell me the story when
I was a little boy, a very, very long time ago," and
he said not another word during the meal.
The call left a strange impression on the mind
of Wilhelmina. She could neither define it nor
shake it off. Who was or had been the grandfather
whose memory Sing still cherished? Perhaps he,
too, had been a Mandarin and his dignity was Sing's
She began to take herself to task—a habit of self
examination with which she had long been familiar
—for quietly resigning herself to the duties which
came easily to hand, nor looking out for those
which might be seeking her. How little, how very
little she knew about that China and its inhabitants
to which Sing belonged by every natural tie! With
what eagerness she had read the articles in the daily
press of which the Chinese in the city and state were
ever the theme and throughout all of which rang the
cry: " The Chinese must go." Why must they
go ? Each new phase seen in Sing's disposition was
endearing him to her more and more and unconsciously making him an object of greater concern.
How little she had sought her brother Abner's advice in reference to the education of Sing, or asked SHUT SIN FA
his opinion upon any of these social questions! True,
he was a most singular man—always buried in
thought, uncommunicative even when not absorbed
in his legal affairs, much her senior, and in temperament her opposite; but she had not sought to find
the key to his characteristics any more than she had
tried to discover the bright side of Chinese life.
" I am a vain, conceited woman," was her summary, " and unfit to have the moulding of a soul.
I am treating the boy as though he were a plaything
which I could keep for my own amusement or throw
aside at pleasure. I will arise and investigate for
myself.    Surely the way will be opened."
An hour later returning from an errand which
had kept her out longer than she had expected, she
found beneath the parlour door the following note:
" Dear Miss Willie,
" I am unexpectedly and hurriedly called away.
May be absent some weeks. Meanwhile, keep your
lamp of love for Sing ' trimmed and burning.'
1 Isabel."
" God helping me I will," was the instant answer
to a suggestion which seemed born of her own soul. VI
AS, through the magic of a story, Wilhelmina
had seen Sing's tears flow, she concluded
that the readiest way to introduce the knowledge of the spiritual Christ Jesus, would be through
that of the historic Christ.
She commenced her recital therefore with a description of the Syrian khan at Bethlehem, the birth
of the infant Jesus, the midnight vision of the shepherds on the plain of Judea, and the visit of the
three wise men with their costly gifts. She used
no pictures at the time, by way of object lessons,
preferring to let the boy's own imagination furnish
the colouring and details; but, unconsciously, Wilhelmina was dramatic. Face, voice, gesture, all were
impressive and harmonious, and Sing was fascinated. At this point she stopped and waited to see
what effect, if any, her story had produced. Sing's
eyes were fixed upon her face. Suddenly, and with
startling earnestness he asked,
" Did Mother Mary ever whip Jesus and did he
The thermometer of Wilhelmina's hopes fell.
The beauty and glamour of that wonderful birth, as
generally received by an American child, seemed to
touch no responsive chord in the emotional nature
of the little pagan. Had he had little association
with motherhood save that of punishment? Wilhelmina did not understand—as she learned afterward—that in Chinese households the rattan stick
is ever ready to vindicate any outraged family law;
that obedience and respect, rather than affection is
required of the Chinese child; and that the same
method of family discipline has been handed down
from one generation to another, since before the
wisdom of Solomon had crystallized into written
Again a silence ensued—Sing, meanwhile, idly
turning the leaves of his Reader. His attention was
arrested by the picture of an Indian, and his old
animation returned. As though reading from the
printed page, he began:
" Indian very kind to Chinaman. Long time ago
no white people in 'Merica. Chinaman come first.
Indian man eat sheep, deer, cows, everything; no
cooked " (emphasizing his description by snapping
his teeth and biting like a wolf, at an invisible animal). " Chinaman show Indian man how cook him
good, how catch fish and make boats. Some stay
with Indian man, some go home to China." He
paused for her approval. Somewhere in his short
life the theory of the discovery of America by the
Chinese had been heard and taken root. It seemed
to minister to his national pride. 8o A CHINESE QJJAKER
The subject of the birth of Jesus the Christ, was
dropped and he returned to his play.
On a certain occasion he brought Wilhelmina a
dozen flies hopping about, wingless, in a little paper
box of his own ingenious construction.
" See 'em dance! " he said, admiringly.
Wilhelmina shrank, instinctively, from this evidence of cruelty, and explained to him how helpless
he had made the flies, and her abhorrence of his act.
At first he doubted, then his eyes filled with tears
and he affirmed passionately—
" I never, never hurt 'em again."
He kept his word; it was the first and last instance of cruelty to any living thing, that Wilhelmina had reason to remember.
A gate opened into the yard of the adjoining
house—one of the row in which Wilhelmina and
her brother had made their temporary residence.
Sing was bidden one afternoon not to go out of the
gate during Wilhelmina's absence from home. He
promised to obey her, but upon her return he was
missing and she soon heard his voice in the next
yard. In response to her call he climbed the fence
like a cat.
"Ah, Sing! Why did thee not obey me?" she
asked mildly.
" I did not disobey you," he answered, with an
air of beautiful candour, " I did not go out of the
gate, I climbed over the fence."
His answer filled Wilhelmina with dismay.   All
that she had heard of the wily nature accredited to
the average Chinese, confronted her, and she would
have repented of her experiment but for the unexpected advice of Abner, to whom she confided this
lapse of virtue.
" I think," he replied to her query as to what to
do, " that such astute reasoning shows the boy's
mental power. Cultivate it as an evidence of sagacity instead of cunning, and direct it into a right channel."
" Thee deals in strange metaphysics," said Wilhelmina, but she decided to try his plan.
It was not long after that Sing criticized Abner
for rebuking him. In the busy public life upon
which that gentleman had entered, he had found but
little time, as yet, to cultivate the acquaintance of
the boy. It was a query how much of his interest in
Sing was due to the strong desire he had to hold
his sister with him in this new land, or how much it
arose from an intrinsic interest in a race which the
majority of the "world's people" found so offensive.
" Thee must not meddle with my pens, Sing.
Thee has no business at my desk," he had said one
morning in severe tones and with knit brows, upon
finding on the blank side of a printed legal document, a picture of two armies in battle array,
sketched in blue and red ink, the leaders of each in
mortal combat, and encircling their heads a cloud of
butterflies and dragons. The aggrieved artist flew to A CHINESE QJJAKER
Wilhelmina in indignation, declaring that Mr. Abner was a " very angry, bad man."
No, no, Sing," said Wilhelmina, " He is not
offended with thee; that is only his way, every one
has a way of his own in saying and doing things."
Soon after, having had occasion herself to reprove
the boy, he replied with the most smiling insistence
and imperturbability,
That, my way. I not a bad boy; I be like Mr.
Abner." 'If f||'
Your error," said the practical brother, to whom
Wilhelmina had again explained her dilemma, " is
in gauging the spiritual condition of Sing's mind
by that of a child who has had a Christian education
from infancy. Sing has the inheritance of ages of
Confucianism, which does not provide for the highest spiritual aspirations of man's nature; it furnishes a powerful incentive to national well-doing;
it inculcates filial respect as the highest virtue and
ancestral worship as the first duty; but their great
leader was ignorant of that Inner Light which
had so enlightened him in advance of his fellows. I
have read that the most conservative and proudly
exclusive men in the world, to-day, are to be found
among the higher classes of educated Chinese. The
bent of Sing's mind may have been received from
such a source. We must wait and see. Sing represents all Chinese tendencies and you must meet them
with an abounding charity."
A few hours after this conversation, as Wilhel- AN UNFINISHED EXPERIMENT 83
mina sat ruminating over the strange turn in the
tide of her affairs, and the perplexities in which she
seemed floundering, Sing returned from a short visit
to Hum Nung, the young merchant of Chinatown
whom he called cousin, and to whom Wilhelmina
had conveyed, through Sing, an invitation to call
upon them. Sing entered the parlour with the most
winning courtesy and handed her a little package,
saying as he did so, " This from Hum Nung; it for
you. He sent it because you teachee me. He say
you great lady to know so much."
It was a dainty coffee cup of no small value. J| Sing
recognized the look of appreciation on her face and
added, as he shyly took her hand in his—for he
was very undemonstrative,
" I tell him you all same picture, here," putting
his hand on his breast instead of on his forehead,
" which I see all the time."
The grateful tears leaped to Wilhelmina's beautiful eyes. " Thank God I believe the boy is beginning to love me," she exclaimed mentally, and a
great joy filled her soul. " If amid this commingling of shrewdness, suspicion, strange wisdom and
superstition of which he is the inheritor and quintessence, I can plant a germ of human love, it may
kindle the Divine spark within." She was tempted
to add, " if it be there," but bravely smothered the
Obeying an impulse, she sat down and opened her
heart in a letter to her father's well-beloved friend, A CHINESE QUAKER
John Greenleaf Whittier; and concluded it by asking, " Does thee think that I am wasting time and
energy upon one of a race whose \ arrested development ' precludes, forever, any chance for future
growth ? "
It was at this crisis of affairs that the letter containing the opening paragraph in this volume, was
written. The reply of the great prophet and poet
came quickly:
Dear Wilhemina,
Thee is doing a Christ-like work. Persevere,
and thee shall reap an angel's reward.
Who can tell what lies dormant in the soul given
thee to awaken and educate! Love is deeper than
philosophy and wiser than human laws. Let love
guide thee.
" Phebe and I have been greatly interested in thy
account of the boy and in the picture of the beautiful
home which thee, his benefactress and teacher, has
given him.
" And thee expects to make a Quaker of him!
A Chinese Quaker would be a novelty, for the race
is most materialistic. Laot-se, a contemporary of
Confucius, was indeed a mystic who would have
found recognition among the founders of Quakerism, and his writings remind me of Fenelon, Thomas
a Kempis, and even our own Emerson; but there are
none of his disciples left AN UNFINISHED EXPERIMENT 85
" I will follow thy experiment with great interest.
" Very truly thy friend,
" John G. Whittier.
Oak Knoll, Danvers, Mass.
" 10th month 19."
Again a great hope flooded Wilhemina's soul, and
laying the letter reverently between the leaves of
her Bible, " she pondered these things in her heart."
The progress of Sing's religious education and
home training is best told in another extract from
her diary, written a few months later.
" Yesterday was observed as a national holiday.
The ' star-spangled banner' floated from public and
private house-tops, and the name of Washington
was upon every lip. As I have not yet taken up
with Sing the subject of American history, Abner
and I were surprised at his remark:
" ' Some say that Washington is a very good man
but I say, Jesus Christ he better.'
" The remark would have seemed irreverent to
some, but was not so to me for I knew from whom
it came. While trying to explain to him that Jesus
was God revealed to us in the flesh, he, at first, objected; but after a few moments' reflection he accepted the mystery, and described his process of reasoning after this fashion.
" ' One dollar and one half dollar are all the same,
that is, are all money.'   Then walking to the table 86
he laid his hand on two Bibles of different size and
added, ' These are all the same book but one is
smaller than the other. Jesus the same as small
one; larger one, God!    Both same one.'
" I often hear him soliloquizing. Once it was
I' God is gentle and good. I be gentle and good.
I be like God.'
" He had heard in ' Mission School,' before coming to me, about the right and left hand of God;
and from this expression he conceived the idea that
only our right hands go to heaven. I told him
that the bodies which we inhabit on earth do not
enter heaven.
"' Oh, yes, our right hand does,' he replied with
the usual positive air of having made up his mind,
and I said no more. I find that the less I dispute his
opinions the quicker he yields to mine.
" Notwithstanding my first rebuff on beginning
the story of the historic life of Christ, he has since
heard it in the minutest detail and accepted it as I
think no American child could have done, because
of their inherited beliefs. Then too, hearing it told
from their babyhood up, it becomes to many, tediously an ' old, old story.' It seems as real to him
as though it had occurred but yesterday. I adhered
to the plan I had made not to illustrate my story
with pictures for fear of giving him false impressions.
"There are a few boys in the neighbourhood, AN UNFINISHED EXPERIMENT 87
native Californians, with whom he is on terms of
speaking acquaintance, and my interference to prevent their maltreating him soon after he came to me,
having had good effect, he sometimes goes to watch
them play ball. One day, while thus amused, he
suddenly exclaimed in an outburst of confidence and
as though it were uppermost in his mind,
"' I think Jesus Christ the best gentleman that
ever lived. Wasn't he kind to make sick people
well and to feed and help them without asking any
money for it ? He knows us, too. Don't you hope
he will stay in San Francisco?' The boys shouted
with laughter. One said, irreverently, as they gathered about him.
I' Just listen to this little John. He talks about
Jesus Christ as if he knew him. Sing, you're a fool.
Jesus lived a thousand years ago and he never knew
a Chinaman.'
" I cannot forget the expression of surprise and
disappointment upon his face when he related this
experience to me, nor how he entreated me to explain to the boy that Jesus lived now and was everybody's friend.
" He accompanied me, one day, on a visit to a sick,
coloured woman—one of my pensioners. The house
was bright and cheery, but near her bed hung a picture of the crucifixion. It arrested his attention at
once and he grasped its meaning immediately.
Finally, he wept. The effect lasted for days afterward. He would leave his play to ask where Jesus's 88
i 11
friends are now, and why they did not kill all the
Jews. His indignation at the humiliation of Jesus
having to carry his own cross, was expressed in the
most tender language of pity for the Divine Sufferer,
that was in his vocabulary.
" I am surprised at the amount of general information he has acquired relative to current events.
I showed him my father's 'abolition cup,' upon
which is painted a slave kneeling and with hands
uplifted but chained, praying. I told him how the
coloured people had been wronged; how my father
had loved them despite their dark skin, and had
taught me that it was a crime to buy and sell human
" He replied emphatically,' Your father very good
man, very. Slaves have to work and be whipped.
I think it bad to buy and sell little girls.' His face
lit up with a fine display of scorn as he added, ' My
mother buys no little girls. The China King we
have now not like it much, either!'
" I asked, in order to draw him out, if there were
any little Chinese girls in San Francisco.
" ' Yes, a few, but poor, very poor. They bought
just like slaves you tell me about. If I could be
king, I would not have it to be so.' I perceive that
his diction is much improved—I am quoting him
literally. While we were talking his head was
down, for he was drawing a picture. I asked him
what that strange object on his slate meant, for it
was very unattractive. AN UNFINISHED EXPERIMENT 89
" ' The devil,' he answered promptly. ' No good
thing. It the devil. Full of wickedness. I feel
very sorry and I draw him as he looks.' As his
artistic fancies are always represented in butterflies,
turtles, birds and fighting men—all in one scene, I
thought that something relevant to his sense of justice and right was clamouring for expression.
" His patience is as extraordinary as is his ingenuity for he tries to model, with wax and penknife, birds and turtles in miniature. Once, having
worked for an hour to mould a fly according to his
fancy, he suddenly exclaimed:
"' How could God make the world! I am so
anxious to know for I cannot make even a little
fly-' I
" My boy is by no means faultless, but the lights
and shades in his character are interesting, because,
while they are very like those of our own boys in
some things, they are equally as unlike in certain
other qualities.    He told me a falsehood once, and
I banished him from my presence.    It was after our
six o'clock dinner which he had not eaten as usual
with me.    The gas was lit, when I heard a gentle
tap at my door.    It was Sing.    He took a Bible
from the table, drew a bright hassock as near as possible to my side, found the twentieth chapter of
Exodus and commenced reading at the sixteenth
verse, thus, \ Thou shalt not tell a lie'—roguishly
putting the commandment in his own pointed phrase.
After reading for awhile he repeated the twenty- 9o A CHINESE QJJAKER
third Psalm with an air of conviction and an intonation that I cannot describe. He made no reference to his past offence, but I think he felt the full
force of the cowardice of lying.
" I had gone out one evening and remained late.
On my return he was still up but looked tired and
"' I could not induce Sing to retire,' said Abner.
' His reply to me when I urged it was, " I cannot
go because of the L. P." This is Greek to me,
Wilhelmina, but he says thee knows.' I did. He
meant' Lord's Prayer,' which he always says kneeling at my side as I did at my mother's.
" He is becoming fond of American food, particularly of ' monadses' as he persists in calling
molasses; and as he deluges a boiled potato with it,
he looks at me archly and says, ' This earth-egg is
" He asked me recently what sorrow was good
for. I replied, ' To make us humble.' After his
usual short season of reasoning he remarked with
humid eyes, ' Yes, it makes us just like a servant,
the lowest of all.'
" Rubbing his chest violently one day, he said,
'I wish I had a brother or sister. I have just that
brotherly feeling in my heart for one or the other.'
" He is very fond of Isabel Wallace although we
do not see her now except at rare intervals. She
gave him, one day, a box of choice drawing pencils. AN UNFINISHED EXPERIMENT 91
' Her face is like an angel's,' he said—his own glowing with gratitude.
" ' What is an angel's like? ' I inquired.
' I make you one,' he answered and immediately
began putting his pencils to use but like many another artist he soon tore up his paper in disgust.
The idea faded ere he could grasp it, but his apology
was quite poetical, for he said, ' It all blew away
like smoke.'
" Sing is not included in the category of ' goody-
goody ' boys. He is full of fun, and play, and willful pranks and he sees the ridiculous side of everything quickly, but he seems naturally to accept only
the good and to shun evil in any form. He is pure
and innocent by nature, and seems attracted to every
person of similar characteristics. He has discernment and watches the faces of people closely, seeming to care more for their motives than for their
1 He informed me one day, that before he learned
it was wrong to fight he would take out his knife to
frighten other boys when they offended him. ' Oh!'
he added, in a rare outburst of confidence, ' I all full
of angry fire before I knew about Jesus, I just same
as American boy that kick and swear.'
" I told him of the advantage of learning Scripture verses, bits of poetry and of storing his mind
with beautiful thoughts.
" ' Yes,' he replied, with the seriousness of Abner, 92 A CHINESE QUAKER
' like a barn full of wheat and good grain, then there
is no place in it for rotten apples.'
" I do not know where he found his simile but I
thought it was strong. Sing is fast representing to
me a race, not an individual. The circumstances
which have placed him under my control seem more
and more mysterious and the responsibilities grow
greater in proportion as I realize his capacity for development. He is one of twenty thousand or more
Chinese upon our own soil all of whom have about
the same spiritual needs and capabilities, yet there are
few who believe in the possibility of their conversion
to true Christianity, or who regard their coming to
this Coast in any other light than as a political misfortune. Of course, I have seen little of these peculiar people, aside from Sing, but they are worth
studying and I will leave no means untried to learn
about them thoroughly.
" My life is widening in many ways. The days
are all too short. If it be, indeed, God's plan for me
to aid in-the Christian education of one little Chinese
boy, I am resolved in so doing to follow His leading
and no other." VII
ISABEL'S speedy return was as unexpected as
had been her departure. It was astonishing
to both the brother and sister how sunny was
the atmosphere that she again brought into their
social life and how entirely congenial she was to
them. She responded to the playful wit and sympathetic warmth of Wilhelmina, whom she held in
high esteem, yet she as readily adapted herself to the
ponderous mental gait of Abner, who pleased and
amused her and of whom she stood in no awe.
" I think if thee can induce Miss Wallace to join
us in the evening she will gradually tell thee from
her own experience more of the real life in China than
thee can glean from dozens of such books as this,"
was Abner's suggestion to his sister as he saw her
bending over a " History of China" which was
almost as bulky as a copy of " Webster's Unabridged
Dictionary." j We know very little about her antecedents, why she went to China, and what are her
views now upon the great ' Chinese question;' and
I myself confess to a certain curiosity to hear her
talk." So saying, he walked off to his office with
as much complacency as though he had, by his own
confession, received absolution from all his sins.
93 ill ^U
Accordingly, an invitation from Wilhelmina to Isabel for an " At Home " in the pleasant family room
of the former was soon given and accepted speedily.
" Ah, Miss Willie, you cannot quite understand,
with just your one pupil, how restful this is," said
Isabel Wallace, as she sank into the silken pillows
that half-filled the ample space in the " Whittier
chair." " A missionary of my type should be a
female centaur; at least, while all the woman in her
should be wise and tender, her body should be as
strong as that of a horse and she should have the
lungs of a lion."
Isabel's physique, while it indicated strength and
power of endurance, also bore outward testimony
to the sensitive temperament and fiery zeal which
sometimes consume with their own ardour. Her
figure was tall, slender, and as supple as a bamboo
reed. She was a brunette, with eyes of such lustrous darkness yet velvety softness, that Abner Proctor, upon a recent occasion when Sing had handed
him a deep purple pansy to see ■' the monkey's face
in it,", saw nothing but the hue of the eyes of Wilhelmina's friend.
A fire of coals was burning in the grate. Sing,
on an ottoman near it, was converting the half shell
of an English walnut and a few bits of yellow wax
into a marvellous resemblance to a turtle; and Abner,
in a shadow cast by the Argand lamp, was quietly
twirling his thumbs.
" I have long wanted an opportunity to ask thee
about thyself and how thee became a missionary to
the Chinese," said Wilhelmina, " but thee seemed to
be always so occupied that I did not want to intrude
my question."
" Is thee, what they call here in California, a
' Native Daughter ? ' " mildly suggested Abner, interrupting his sister.
" No, not of California. Had I been, it is very
unlikely that I should ever have touched the Chinese
quarter except with the ' extreme flounce' of one
who visits it from pure curiosity and leaves it with
positive disgust."
" I do not wonder " said Wilhelmina, " and yet—"
The sentence was left unfinished by the second interruption of Abner, who said,
" Then thee must have a story. Tell it; thee will
never have more interested listeners." Mr. Proctor seemed to be in an unusual, social mood and
Isabel, turning her laughing face to him, replied,
" Of course I have a story. Who has not—at
least in one's own estimation. And will I not enjoy
talking about myself ?
11 am a native daughter of Stratford, Maine, but
the ancestors on both sides of my family were Scotch
Presbyterians, who were born and lived close by old
Stirling Castle near Edinburgh."
" Doubtless, in it, for thee looks as if thee was of
gentle blood," said Abner, but so low that only Wilhelmina who sat beside him, heard the remark.
11 was reared by my grandmother," continued 96 A CHINESE QJJAKER
Isabel, " who came to the United States about the
middle of this century to live with my father after
my mother's death, and who was so strict a Covenanter that she would not gather eggs from the
hens' nests on the Sabbath nor allow our shoes to
be blacked upon that sacred day. I had neither
brother nor sister, and my girlish desire for travel,
adventure, and a wild untrammeled life, was whispered to the dogs and cats in the family and the tall
pine trees that encircled our old house; for grandmother called them ' uncanny thoughts' and bade
me silence them. I attended the town school, read
Phcebe and Alice Cary's poems, delighted in Mrs.
Judson's biography, read ' The Lives of the Saints'
as an act of penance, and in due time was admitted
to a seminary course.
" But I found the old unrest and dissatisfaction
with my home and domestic conditions would not
'down.' I felt that I must have an object in life.
What should it be ?
11 said nothing to anyone, but as I asked the
Father daily to direct my steps, the idea of work as
a missionary in foreign lands began to shape itself
out of the chaos of my perplexities. In what quarter of his vineyard I was to labour was not apparent
to me, however.
" Having graduated, I took charge of a department of one of the public schools and for one year
watched the intellectual development of my pupils
with delighted enthusiasm.    I realized that if I had EVOLUTION of a MISSIONARY 97
not been born a poet I was by nature a teacher, and
the assurance filled me with exultation. You see
that I am turning myself inside out for your inspection and concealing nothing," she said, ingenuously,
nodding in turn to each of her listeners.
" Another power was developed in me about this
time, a strange one,—and yet I believe it is much
to the possessor. It was an awaking of my inner
self by means of which I could discern some of the
hidden things of those about me and catch visions
of their future. I seemed at times to hear voices in
the silence which were not heard by mortal ears. In
my own case when I was obedient to the voices
something always came in fulfilment; when I
ignored them I seemed wandering in a maze."
She paused a moment and in a lower tone said to
Wilhelmina, " It was one of these strange, psychic
impulses which impelled me to urge you to listen to
Sing's plea when first he met you. I knew that no
' blind chance' had directed our footsteps to his
father's store that eventful morning, and as the little
fellow stood, looking into your disturbed face, I
I Mercy! What did thee see? " said Wilhelmina,
suddenly looking over her shoulder as though the
ghosts of a hundred Tartars were marshalled behind her. fH
" Nothing dreadful," replied Isabel, a ripple of
laughter flashing over her face. " I'll tell you
later on," m
" Perhaps thee is a Spiritualist," said Abner in a
melancholy tone of voice which seemed to convey a
dreaded affirmative answer to his own question.
No, no," cried Isabel, " I see that you do not
understand me any better than did my dear old
grandmother. I was silly to refer to the incident
now; I believe there is nothing in these psychic influences which is supernatural. All the phenomena,
mental or material, comes within the domain of natural law. There seems, to me, to be no limitations
to the possibilities of our own moral and intellectual
development, yet all is the gift of our good Father
in whose spiritual image and likeness we are
Will thee please proceed with thy story," said
Abner.    " That has some practical value."
Isabel bit her lip and continued: " At the end of
the year a very intelligent gentleman who had been
residing many years in Southern China, returned to
his boyhood's home on the banks of the Penobscot.
His arrival was an event in our town. Night after
night in our church, he held the attention of his old
and new friends enthralled as he pictured the strange
scenes: some weird, some grand and beautiful; and
some immensely grotesque which made the affairs of
that hoary old Empire, the Land of the Dragon,
very interesting and fascinating. He told of its
temples contemporary with those of Babylon and
Nineveh; of its schools; its reverence for learning;
its civilization, antedating by thousands of years EVOLUTION of a MISSIONARY   99
that of Greece and Rome; its immense territory;
its Confucian classics—which I thought most confusing; its domestic life; its millions of thought-
producing men and women, by whom the only
| Light that lighteth' is still unseen. He spoke of
their latent possibilities when that Light once shines
upon them. More than all else, to me, was the pitiable condition of the majority of its women and
girls—I could scarcely contain myself. He had
opened a new world to my sight, as completely as
did Columbus, four centuries ago, to the men of
mingled ignorance and erudition before whom he
" China as a whole became to me the conundrum
of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and
after lying awake the half of one rainy night I resolved—God helping me—to give all that I had of
youth, energy and spiritual power to the aid of those
who needed me. I felt that I had found my mission.
11 forced a reluctant consent from my father and
my grandmother; made an application through the
Secretary of the Board of Missions for a position as
Missionary; received the required credentials from
the medical examiners as to the soundness of my
body; and was in readiness to sail for Canton, where
an assistant missionary was needed by our Board,
long before the lecturer, whose words had sealed my
fate, had completed his visit."
" Thee was very brave," said Wilhelmina, remem-
tm 100       A CHINESE QJJAKER
bering her own reluctance to cross even the continent of her native land.
" No, I wish no credit for an exercise of my own
will. And yet, I seemed impelled, from the first, by
a power outside of myself, which I simply obeyed.
I moved as one in a dream.
" There were farewell speeches, tearful eyes, and
hints made in prayers for me, that if I never lived to
return to my home, my soul would -ascend to God as
a reward for my self-sacrifice. From the tenor of
these prayers I realized that, in the majority of
minds around me, the conception of China was as
vague as had been my own. They thought that perhaps the Mongolians might eat me and that their
human nature was as antipodal to ours as was their
country. Had my objective point been the heart of
darkest Africa or the base of the North Pole, they
would have thought my life in no greater peril. My
destination was Canton, which you know, is the
greatest commercial emporium of China. After receiving a testimonial in the form of a watch and
chain, of the esteem of the church, I sailed away
from my beloved America, alone, ready for fresh
scenes and excitement; and more eager to enter upon
my new existence—for such it seemed—than I can
ever be again, I think, for the peculiar quality of a
first emotion never comes but once."
"Does thee mean that thee will never again be
so happy?" asked Abner. There was a shade of
earnest interest in the good man's voice. EVOLUTION of a MISSION ART 101
Oh, no, but not in the same way," said Isabel.
Thy metaphysics is   cheerful,   anyhow;   please
proceed," he said in placid tones.
' My voyage was long, uneventful, and yet charming. I proved a good sailor. After thirty-five days
we reached Hong Kong or Red Harbour at the
mouth of the Canton or Pearl river. The city, as we
entered its port, seemed to me a facsimile of San
Francisco. Having changed steamers we started
en route for Canton which was ninety miles south of
us. It really appeared to me that I did not awaken
from the dream into which I had been plunged until
we entered the great river. I was yet on an American vessel controlled by American officers and crew.
Among the passengers were charming American and
English tourists and the atmosphere of home still
enveloped me until I awoke on the last morning of
my voyage. I had lost my bearings and the sun
seemed rising in the west. On either side of the
river were green hills, back from which stretched
great rice, or paddy fields, with tall, wide-spreading trees and occasional clusters of the ever-green
and ever-graceful bamboo interspersed amid the
great expanse."
She paused, then added, incidentally,
" Perhaps you do not know that two crops of rice
are gathered each year in China, the harvest periods
being June and November; and preceding the harvest few things are more attractive than are these
fields with their golden beauty.   I was in China, the A CHINESE QJJAKER
land of so many imaginings, yet as we neared the
old city of Canton, the river grew dirtier and yellower and the novelty of the approach to the capital
failed to remove the depression which suddenly
overwhelmed me. My heart was sick, I realized for
the first time that I was thousands of miles away
from a home whose shelter I had left voluntarilv;
and that I would soon be among thousands of
strange faces and strange customs where my personality would be but that of a mote in a sunbeam. An
awful doubt oppressed me, also: perhaps, in my
restlessness I had mistaken my own mortal desire for
the leading of the spirit, and was now being left to
my own devices." There was a perceptible tremor
in the narrator's voice at this point and she hesitated.
Perhaps thee was only a little bilious," said Abner, soothingly. " People often mistake indigestion
for rational sensibility."
It is doubtful if he saw, or, seeing, could comprehend what was conveyed at that moment by the
electric flash between two pairs of women's eyes.
Abner had lost an opportunity.
" Was no one waiting to receive thee? " asked
Wilhelmina, whose sympathy was aroused in proportion to her brother's seeming insensibility.
The ship had not yet dropped anchor, and as I
leaned over its sides, the city of a million or more of
inhabitants looked in the distance like a dreary waste
of dull, lead-coloured buildings; while around us EVOLUTION of a MISSIONARY 103
were thousands of house-boats and other craft in
which some of the great water-dwelling population
of China had lived for generations. As soon as our
ship reached the landing we were in a babel of
sounds. The clattering, shouting, gabbling crowd
composed of men, women and children, swarmed
around us in their sampans like bees. They were
eager to help unload the cargo."
" Me know sampan," quietly said Sing, whom no
one thought was hearing or understanding a word.
" It all same boat go so—" and with an adroit push
of the ottoman upon which he had been sitting, while
making turtles, he sent it scudding across the floor.
" See!"    He was grinning with pleasure.
" Precisely so, Sing. You are a Chinese to the
manner born," said Isabel.
"And it may have been from amid just such
degraded surroundings that the child came," said
Wilhelmina, her delicate nostrils dilating involuntarily as though to expel the unsavoury odours of
even an American Chinatown.
" Possibly, but I do not know," replied Isabel
" However, there can be no degradation in being
one of a class of people who have never aspired to
know a higher life than that into which they were
born. Is it likely that the lily considers the clod
from which it sprung, degraded?"
" Thee has a nobler soul than I have, Isabel," was
Sing, would thee like to eat an apple?' Thus
she thought to make reparation to the boy for her
suspicion of his low lineage.
Isabel continued: 11 never saw boats handled
with greater dexterity, nor a finer avoidance of collision which seemed inevitable, yet all the steering
was done by women. While I stood on the wharf,
uncertain what to do, a voice in my native tongue
accosted me, saying, ' Surely this is Miss Wallace,
I have seen your photograph,' and I was embraced
like a sister."
The voice was a woman's, doubtless," interjected Abner.
" Undoubtedly," said Isabel, uplifting her arched
brows, " and I thought my heart would leap out of
my body with joy. It was Mrs. Herr, one of our
oldest and most devoted missionaries who had come
to greet me—the one to whose assistance I had been
assigned. The cloud of depression was suddenly
lifted from my soul never to return again. Settled
in our sedan chairs we were carried along through
the narrow and roughly paved streets scarcely wide
enough for one chair to pass another, and through
such a labyrinth of lanes that all mental conditions,
on my part, were merged into one of bewilderment.
Had I had as many eyes as a butterfly and each one
fitted with a different nerve of vision they would all
have found occupation. Directly in front of me
walked a man-servant who was carrying on either
arm a basket.   In one was a laughing child, in the EV0L UTION of a MISSION A R Y i o 5
other, a large quantity of luggage. The mother
and more luggage came close behind him in a sedan
chair. We turned corner after corner, through
streets that seemed endless and whose high-sounding
names I afterwards learned. The shops or hongs
were not distributed indiscriminately, but were confined to certain localities. The porcelain hongs lined
the ' Street of Benevolence and Love'; the ivory
carvings were on the ' Street of One Hundred
Grandsons'; the silks were found in the ' Street of
the Reposing Dragon'; the bootmakers in the
' Street of Ninefold Brightness'; the coffin hongs
in the ' Street of Refreshing Breezes', and the cook
hongs in that of ' Accumulated Goodness'. Each
shop glowed with colour; long signboards stood at
either side of each shop door upon which was painted
with gold or vermilion in neat, bold letters, the name
of the hong and the commodities which were sold
there. The light was mellow by being sifted through
straw mats which were stretched from building to
building. The distinct, isolated impression was soon
produced, that although crowded among this mass
of oriental humanity, I really had nothing to fear.
c Surely this detail must weary you, dear Miss
Willie and Mr. Proctor. Shall I not say ' Good
night ? ' said Isabel with a fine sense that reminiscences which were aglow with interest to her, might
to her hearers be " flat, stale and unprofitable." Before either could answer, Sing was at her side saying in a commendatory tone:
md 106       A CHINESE Q UAKER
" You talk big. You no lie. Missee Proctor
much sleepy 'bout China here," pointing to his head.
"Talk more."    §
I Sing knows that we need enlightening," said
Abner, " please gratify him."
Isabel continued, " Once during that fantastic ride,
at Mrs. Herr's bidding, we emerged from the narrow streets, left our chairs, and mounting some old
weed-overgrown steps well worn by time, we reached
their top and had the first glimpse of a picturesque
bit of Canton. Standing on the old city wall and
looking across a clump of silver-bark trees, I saw
the corners of a great, red, five-story pagoda, six
hundred years old, the winding river, the plains
dotted with villages and distant white hills, and over
the surrounding country numerous sacred towers,
octagon in shape and, generally, nine stories high.
The combination made a beautiful picture. In a
few words Mrs. Herr explained to me, that realizing
exactly how I was feeling after my long voyage
and this sudden plunge into an Oriental land, she
wanted to put some sunshine into my soul. She
assured me that behind the stolid countenances which
we were encountering, there were hearts of susceptibility to love, gratitude, reverence, and fidelity, as
truly as among those of the most enlightened nation
of the earth.
" ' They are dual in their natures, just as we are,'
she said, ' The vices and the virtues which make
their home in the same soul are ever in conflict; EVOLUTION of a MISSIONARY 107
but like the old pagodas upon which you are looking,
the nation is so encased in traditions, superstitions,
and time-defying mediaeval associations that one has
to bore, and bore, and bore before the incrustation can
be penetrated and the light of truth admitted. I expect much from your fresh, glowing enthusiasm,'
she added, ' and beg you, in advance, to begin your
work divested of all prejudice.'"
" Just as thee advised me to feel when first thee
took me into our little China, here," said Wilhelmina, " and thy advice was most timely."
" Yes, as I would advise any who would approach
the soul of another in the name of Love; for until
that barrier is removed, help is impossible.
f Resuming our chairs we soon crossed a bridge,
left the last noisy, dirty street behind and were carried across the cool, refreshing green sward of the
Shameen, the foreign concession, which is an island
inhabited by Europeans and upon which was the
Missionary Compound. I was soon in a brick house,
plastered on the outside, and as beautiful within as
without. In the interior were large, airy rooms,
English furniture, and all the home comforts to
which I had been accustomed; while outside, were
deep verandas, winding paths bordered with flowers,
and breezes as spicy as those of old Ceylon.
" Of the glad welcome I received from the other
missionaries I will say nothing now; but thus ended
the evening of the first day, and positively thus ends
my story for this night."   She arose to depart. 108       A CHINE SE Q UAKER
" Surely thee will not leave us among those
strangers," said Abner, deprecatingly.
" Yes, until you can recall the fact that congenial
spirits never have been or can be, strangers. Goodnight." Ip    J        1        1 j
" I seem to have known that dear soul all my
life," said Wilhelmina a few moments after her
guest had taken her departure. " Surely she has
come to me in my hour of need."
Abner made no comment but approaching the
lamp which was burning brilliantly, remarked carelessly,
"Does thee not think that this light suddenly
burns dimly ? "
" She know heap much 'bout China," said Sing,
rising and laying upon the table, as the result of his
evening's work, two turtles at which he looked admiringly. As Wilhelmina stooped to give them a
critical examination he said to her,
" Some day thee go with me. We have fish-pond,
gold fish, very many ducks, river full. We have big
garden flowers, so—" opening his arms to their fullest extent, " and we very great big happy."
He paused; his stock of adjectives was exhausted,
but evidently his brain held a memory of some Chinese heaven which he loved his teacher enough to
wish her to share.
It was the first time that he had used what Wilhelmina called " the plain language " and with an
impulse of genuine affection she caught the little
fellow's face in her hands and kissed it. Then, as
if ashamed of such a display of emotion, she ordered
the child to bed. ■t
CAN scarcely understand the impatience with
which I have awaited this hour," said Wilhelmina to Isabel a day later as the three
neighbours grouped themselves for the continuance
of the latter's story.
A broad smile was upon Abner's face, and a suspicion of a blush glowed upon his smoothly-shaven
cheeks, as pulling from his sidepocket a manuscript,
he said to Isabel, " I have found some verses which I
think must apply to thee. Have I thy permission
to read them before thee begins ? " Without waiting for a reply he read:
% The sails we see on the ocean
Are as white as white can be,
But never a one in the harbour
As white as the sails at sea.
" And the clouds that crown the mountain
With purple and gold delight,
Turn to cold, gray mist and vapour
Ere ever we reach the height.
Stately and fair is the vessel
That comes not near our beach;
Stately and grand the mountain
Whose height we never may reach.
no r
" O Distance! thou dear enchanter,
Still hold in thy magic veil
The glory of far-off mountains
The dream of the far-off sail!"
Not until he ceased reading did he look into her
face; then, it was with a glance of inquiry.
" Your inference, in cold prose, is the old saw that
' Distance lends enchantment to the view ? ' said
" Precisely, and by this time, possibly, thee remembers nothing of thy life in China but what was
agreeable," was the direct reply.
"There was nothing disagreeable at any time,"
said Isabel with spirit, " My life was as full of variety as an ordinary day is of lights and shadows—at
least a poet's day, Mr. Proctor; but when we look
back upon the lessons of such a day, we find that
nothing could have been omitted from it.
" My first red-letter experience was a participation in a riot, and it occurred before I had time to
adjust myself to my surroundings. Beside the elegant mansions of the European and American residents of the island of Shameen, there was also a
fine park, the consulate, and a club house. A canal
ran around the city side of the island, and a great
stone bridge connected it with the mainland, where
were the wharves of the city or the water front.
On this front a missionary, Mr. Stuart, with his
family, had taken up a residence among the Chinese.
In the rear of his house, a small but thickly popu- -OH
lated street ran parallel with the canal. The steamer-
wharves and custom-houses were centres for crowds
of coolies (who you know, are the burden-bearers
or labourers of China, and who compose the major
part of the Chinese here) in search of jobs at loading and unloading vessels. In addition to these were
steamboat crews and Portuguese loungers. The
Chinese in that neighbourhood were nearly all
pagans, and hostile to Americans -and Europeans
whom they called ' Foreign devils.'
" Under an escort sent with me by Mrs. Herr, I
went to visit Mr. Stuart and his family for the purpose of conveying letters which I had brought them
from the United States. A few days prior to my
arrival in Canton, drunken Portuguese had fired into
a crowd of unoffending coolies, wounding several of
them. This had enraged the Chinese, and even after
the Consul, with great exertion had succeeded in
quelling the disturbance, the coolies continued to
mutter threats and to brood over their wrongs. I
had agreed to remain two days with Mr. Stuart and
on the morning of the second of these days the river
steamer ' Hankow' was about to leave Canton for
Hong Kong. The coolies, who had placed the cargo
on board, had all left but one who was ordered off
the vessel by a Portuguese watchman. This one
obstinately remained and was kicked down the gangplank by the Portuguese. Midway down he rolled
off and was drowned.
" Then the storm burst—and the maddened cool- «SHE GREW AND SHE GREW" 113
ies carrying lighted brands rushed for the steamboat,
intending to set it on fire. Their plan was defeated
by the captain who instantly rang the bell, the boat
was torn from her mooring and left the wharf.
The enraged mob then set fire to the wharf.
" We were breakfasting and talking about our
far-away homes from which I had so recently come,
when we heard an unusual uproar upon the street.
We all ran to the veranda, and looking in the direction of the wharves—which was also that of the
island—we saw clouds of smoke issuing from both
points and masses of men rushing toward the
houses of the foreigners. Mr. Stuart's ruddy face
turned pale. He saw that the Chinese were desperate and that their fury would be concentrated upon
the white inhabitants wherever they chanced to be.
The excited crowd increased in numbers every moment.
" Our position is critical," said Mr. Stuart. " I
have no means of making inquiry, and I see no
way of escape." At that instant a Christian Chinese
—one of his converts—rushed in and explained the
difficulty, offering to hide us in his house until the
danger was over.
" Impossible, Chung," said Mr. Stuart, " if we
were found in your house by this mob they would
kill you." But Chung persisted with a loving earnestness which would admit of no denial. In a few
moments Mr. and Mrs. Stuart had gathered a few
valuables and I tried to calm the frightened chil- ii4       A CHINESE QUAKER
dren; but before we were ready to start the infuriated mob was nearly surrounding us. Human nature
is the same everywhere, and a riot in New York,
Paris or Canton is made up of the same elements.
Luckily, Chung's house was on the little street back
of ours and we had but a few steps to go to reach
it. Fleeing quickly we entered it, the shutters were
closed, and our host told us to talk only in whispers.
There is nothing so dreadful as fear, I think. We
experienced every phase of the emotion during the
greater part of that day, because we expected discovery at any moment. Now and then, some one
of Mr. Stuart's converts would obtain meagre information from the crowds upon the streets, and from
this source we learned the cause of the riot.
" From the roof of the house a view of the island
could be obtained. Dense clouds of smoke mingled
with sheets of flame ascended from it, and added to
the sense of our own danger, was the belief that our
friends there were or would be massacred. All of
Mr. Stuart's servants except the cook, Heng, had
fled, but he—although a pagan—displayed enough
courage and fidelity to place him among the heroes
of any race or age.
" He resisted all entreaties to leave the house. 11
will stay and defend it,' was his answer. ' The mob
will have to enter it over my body.'
"Fortunately Mr. Stuart had put a placard
upon the house a few weeks previous, offering it
and the lot for sale.    This had been taken down a "SHE GREW AND SHE GREW" 115
short time before the riot and the neighbours concluded it was now in Chinese hands. The mob, nevertheless, knowing that it had been occupied by ' foreign devils,' attempted to force open the front door.
Ah Heng placed his back to it (he was a strong
man) and thus held the fort, telling them, at the
same time, that he was the only occupant. The
rioters soon left it and at noon he brought over to
us plenty of food. Nor will I ever forget the cheer
and comfort which he brought with the luncheon,
nor the good face of Chung as he encouraged us
by whispering, stealthily, a bit of good news. «
" In the evening both he and Mr. Stuart thought
it safe for us to return home.    As soon as it was
dark we did so, but we were scarcely inside the house
before we heard an uproar and knew that the mob
was leaving the island.    A large force of the Imperial troops had come to the rescue and were preparing to encamp on the island. . Many of the finest
public buildings there were in ruins, as well as some
of the costliest residences.    In less than an hour a
steam launch came, in which was the chief of police,
who earnestly requested us to leave the city, as the
crowd was turbulent and trouble might ensue at
any time.    A double line of soldiers was placed
from Mr. Stuart's gate to the launch.   Through this
we passed safely and boarded it.    As we steamed
through the canal to the river we could see the mischief that had been wrought by infuriated men.
" Upon arrival at the steamer we found the mis- 116        A CHINESE QUAKER
sionaries and many other personal friends of Mr.
and Mrs. Stuart, who had escaped with only the
clothes which they were wearing. So sudden and
unexpected had been the attack of the mob that
every one was confused and thought only of flight
and safety. The steamer was crowded with refugees, among whom were Mr. and Mrs. Herr, whose
house and its contents were in ashes. By the next
morning, the gunboats had arrived from Hong
Kong, quiet was restored, and many of the refugees
had returned to the city, among whom were Mr.
and Mrs. Stuart with myself."
" Then thee wished thee had never left Stratford, I know," said Wilhelmina, as all the horror of
Chinese executions and other barbarities of which
she had recently read presented themselves.
" I did not, strange as it may seem to you, Miss
Willie. The noble traits of character displayed by
Ah Chung and Ah Heng so surprised me and delighted me that the horrors of the riot were put in
the same category with those of other, supposedly,
more enlightened nations.
" Events full of novelty succeeded each other so
rapidly, and the interest in my work opened out into
such varied channels bringing new opportunities and
ideas, that for the first six months I lived more
in a day than I had done at home in as many years.
This was because I had ceased to live in mvself/'
Isabel paused and looked into the fire as thougn
lost in retrospect. "SHE GREW AND SHE GREW" 117
Abner crossed and recrossed his feet, gently
cleared his throat and finally asked, " What was the
second red-letter experience?"
Had Isabel's face been turned full toward him
he could have seen vivid flushes glow and pale upon
it before she replied,
" It occurred during my first holiday, when in
company with a few other tired missionaries I went
to the country for a week's vacation."
" Can missionaries afford their own carriages ?'
innocently asked Wilhelmina, to whom a " week in
the country " meant largely the rough-and-tumble-
joys in one's own conveyance. Isabel's laugh told
how widely astray had been the impression which
induced the question. She quickly explained that
the main travel over the vast Empire of China, was
carried on by its numerous waterways, which were
to it what railroads and highways are to more civilized lands.
She continued: " There is scarcely a city, town
jor village in southern China which has not the advantage of an arm of the sea, a river, a creek, or a
canal, and there are more vessels of every conceivable and almost inconceivable shape, size, and use in
the hoary old land than in all the rest of the world
put together. Imagine a constant procession of gunboats passing and repassing, junks large and small,
cargo boats with stern wheels worked like a treadmill by gangs of coolies, flower boats, sampans,
house-boats,   steamboats  and  mandarins'   floating
md utt.
summer-houses, and you can form some idea of how
the main waterways look. Some of the boats were
side-wheelers exactly like those which navigate our
own Hudson river, the only difference being that
over the name on the paddle-box is a gigantic human eye, the result of the superstition that any craft
without this eye on or near the prow is unlucky.
They say: ' We have eyes, we can see how we go.
So must the vessel that carries us have an eye.'
" Our party consisted of eight. We travelled in a
too-shun or passenger boat which was licensed to
carry ten passengers. Would you see the picture?
Its mast and sails were in proportion to its length
and beam. Above the hold, running fore and aft,
was a saloon for our accommodation, furnished with
narrow benches and numerous ports for the free circulation of air. It had an awning over it made of
matting, and there were private apartments for
women. Dismiss from your mind, however, any
picture of the European or American comfort which
a steam yacht would furnish. We provided our own
necessaries, and were as happy as boys on a half-
holiday. The view on both sides was charming.
It consisted sometimes of green bluffs with cattle
grazing upon them; at others of rocky islands overgrown with verdure; and often we sailed lazily,
between vast fields of rice in various stages of progression."
" ' Progression'—will thee please explain ? "
asked Abner. "SHE GREW AND SHE GREW" 119
" Certainly. The ground .having been prepared,
a fortune-teller selects a lucky day upon which to
sow the seed, which had previously, been well soaked
in water. It is sown very thickly in a corner of the
field, allowed to sprout and when the shoots appear
and grow a few inches in height, they are transplanted over the surface of the field. There are
no gardeners more expert than those of China. The
plant grows so rapidly that in a few days the fields
are carpeted with emerald. The first planting is in
June and then on through the successive months of
summer. With what care the rice farmer watches
his field during the first one hundred days! If a
weed appears in close proximity to a plant, he pulls
up the plant so as to destroy the weed and then replaces the plant. When the rice is ripe the reaper
cuts it down with a sickle. The plants are hung
upon poles, heads downward, to dry; the grain is
then threshed with flails and put into coarse mats for
shipping. Each village has its public threshing floor,
and those floors are kept very clean. A crop of
rice planted in February is harvested in June; and
that sown in July floods the country in lovely luxuriance by the following November. Now all this
sounds like guide-book information—but have I
made my ' progression' clear ? "
" Yes, and thank thee for so much useful information," said Abner, his emphasis being upon the
" He, certainly, is very peculiar," thought Isabel, 120       A CHINESE QUAKER
but guided by his impatient " And then " she continued,
" Our destination for a few days was a beautiful
island, upon which lived an English gentleman of
wealth. Like you, Mr. Proctor, he was a bachelor,
and a warm friend of missionaries from every land."
Abner's round face looked as radiant as a Chinese
lantern. " When within a mile of it—I mean the
island, of course—I saw a canoe in*which a young
man sat alone, rowing. He wore a navy blue blouse,
trousers of white flannel, and a broad brimmed straw
hat; his strokes were so dexterous that his canoe
skimmed the water almost as fast as a sea-gull flies.
I called the attention of a lady friend to the unusual
and, to me, most unexpected sight in Chinese waters.
"' It is Frederick Marston,' she exclaimed, her
face brightening with pleasure. ' He is the admirable Crichton of our Compound, a young Englishman and an Oxford man, who, after five years' study
speaks not only the classical Chinese but the Cantonese dialect, almost like a native. He has been in
Hong Kong ever since your arrival, and probably
intends to join us!' As the canoe neared us and its
occupant bowed his recognition of one and then
another of his old friends, I thought him the most
attractive Englishman that it had yet been my good
fortune to see."
" They are, as a nation, so exceedingly reserved
that it is a wonder thee "    Abner's accusation
was quickly interrupted by Isabel's crying, "SHE GREW AND SHE GREW" 121
" Stop, stop, Mr. Proctor. I have learned to attach importance to first impressions, and I value our
English cousins too highly to hear them abused1—
even by you.
" My friend's suggestion was correct. Mr. Marston had come to join our party and to return with us
to his work in Canton. He, also, was a missionary,
and, as my friend said, ' with the impetuous zeal of
a Peter and the winsomeness of a St. John.' I
thought that first evening, in the drawing-room of
our host, as I listened to Mr. Marston's description
of real life among the Chinese of every class, that
I had met with my ideal missionary. His parents
were English aristocrats and he had enjoyed all the
advantages of elegant culture. He was as much at
home among the poets of his native land as he was
proficient in its national games. He seemed to inject his own superb vitality and broad sympathies
into everything that he thought or did; and behind
all, as the very spring of his existence, was an
ardent love for the Master and a spirit of obedience
to His will such as animated Paul, himself."
" Did thee discern all these graces in one interview ? " asked Wilhelmina with a mischievous smile.
" No. By a singular oversight, he was not introduced to me and I sat in the background all the
evening, enjoying the witty conversation he carried
on with the others and taking full measure unnoticed,
as I thought. I had heard, incidentally, that there
was a famous Buddhist temple upon the island, and 122       A CHINESE QJIAKER
next morning I slipped away from our party, unobserved, to visit it, for I had a strange and unusual
desire to be alone. Since I had entered Canton such
had not been my privilege, for every waking moment
had been employed in the work assigned me. I
realized the great responsibility which I had assumed
in coming to China without seeing my way clear—I
had longed to get out of the beaten path. There
seemed an incongruity in my efforts to teach a people who—for aught I knew to the contrary—had
been as much set apart to carry out certain plans of
God as were the Hebrews of old. If, on the contrary, they were the victims of arrested development
needing to be vitalized by the knowledge of the one
true God, the field to be worked in was so vast and
the labourers so few that our combined efforts seemed
almost an unwarranted presumption; something like
trying to batter down the Great Wall of China with
a single blow of a hammer. The light, and special
guidance for which I prayed did not seem to come to
me, and I had, that morning, awakened with an
unusual depression of spirits.
" I had no difficulty in finding the temple, which
was in the centre of a large grove, surrounded by
grand old trees from whose branches tropical vines
trailed in tangled luxuriance. Without and within
all was scrupulously clean."
Isabel paused and then said that she feared her
details were becoming tedious.     Wilhelmina and
Abner begged her to proceed and omit nothing, the
former adding,
" If thee knew how erroneous have been our impressions of The Flowery Land, and how close it is
growing to me since I have come into such strange
relations with Sing, thee would better appreciate
my interest in thy story."
" I think," said Isabel, " that one must visit
heathen lands in order to fully comprehend the gulf
that lies between materialism and spirituality. Upon
the wooden altar of this temple stood three large
gilded idols with incense burning before them.
Ranged along the sides of the altar were costly vases
containing bouquets of artificial flowers eight feet
in height. On either side of the room were nine
statues of Buddha's disciples. The priests, wearing
long, gray robes with yellow mantles thrown, toga
fashion, over the left shoulder and falling in graceful folds to their feet, clasped their hands and prostrated themselves both before the idols and the statues in the most reverent manner. They chanted in
unison while one, kneeling by the altar, struck at
intervals a stationary drum. Eighteen men, with
shaven heads, participated in this mass. They were
monks who had long since passed their meridian.
They knew of no other mode of worship. J Would,
could the God of Justice, and Mercy, and Universal
Intelligence condemn the souls of such to everlasting
darkness?' I asked myself.    I was lost in conjee- tm
ture and oblivious to both time and place, when
suddenly, as though he had materialized out of a
cloud of incense, Frederick Marston stood before
me, cap in hand, a genial smile illuminating his
handsome face."
Is thee not spinning a romance ? " said Abner.
" Tell us all thee pleases," interjected Wilhelmina,
who was listening with the interest of a child to a
fairy tale.   " What did Frederick say to thee? "
Your friends have missed you, Miss Wallace,
and I seeing the direction which you took when you
left the house, offered to find you. Please accept
my help, you need it.'
He spoke as though he was reading my
thoughts; and I, as we passed through a wilderness
of laughing boys who had gathered about the door
of the temple, felt that he had come to me as a
We spent the morning wandering through the
grounds and I confessed to him my mental unrest.
He understood the case and hastened to relieve me.
He said it was not religion which the Chinese needed
but the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His mission
to humanity. He avowed that to him, they were, as
a nation, the most interesting people on the face of
the globe; but that notwithstanding their old civilization (the importance of which the western world
seemed so slow to recognize), they could no longer
stand aloof from the social relations which the
world's commercial condition was bringing about. "SHE GREW AND SHE GREW" 125
He added, that the narrow lives of the Chinese people must be broadened; the darkened souls, steeped
in materialism and superstition, must be enlightened.
And in proportion as the traffic with China has
enriched nations to whom the Gospel of Christ—and
it alone—has brought all the charm and awakened
possibilities of higher and modern civilization, so
must that blessed message of life and immortality
be returned to China. ' As you see more of Chinese
life among the educated classes,' he continued, ' as
you learn to read its literature, understand the culture of its ancestral worship, and the position of its
women, you will see the need and power of consecrated women in this foreign field.'
" He kindly added, ' I cannot tell you with what
impatience I awaited your coming; nor how quickly
I realized—in the upsetting of my theories about
" Yankee girls "—that in sending you there had been
no mistaken choice.' "
" How had he known of thee? " asked Wilhelmina.
Her curiosity was commendable.
" I did not think to inquire, then," said Isabel, and
rapidly proceeded, I He told me that the first practical requisite for a missionary was to know the
Chinese language."
"Impossible!" exclaimed Wilhelmina, elevating
her finely arched eyebrows as though in the bare suggestion there was some kind of covert indignity to
an American.
" Not impossible at all," replied Isabel, " but, cer- 126       A CHINESE QUAKER
tainly, not easy to do. The language, you know,
is monosyllabic. Every word is a root and every
root is a word. As Mr. Marston explained to me—
it has no alphabet, no inflections; its nouns cannot
be declined nor its verbs conjugated; the characters
had their origin in single strokes or combinations,
and each character is the equivalent of the written
word of some other language and each figure a
symbol. I too, thought that the task would be well-
nigh impossible; but when he added that the Chinese
literature extends over twenty-five centuries, in fact,
was the most extensive and richest in the oriental
world, and that he thought ignorance of it would
be a great barrier to my success, I gladly accepted
his proposition to—to let him be my teacher."
And he taught thee ? " slowly queried Abner.
Yes, the very little that I know, for I am not an
apt scholar in learning a new language."
" And what did thee teach him in return ? " was
Wilhelmina's sprightly question.
"Thee interrupts, Wilhelmina," said 1 Abner,
" Oh, Miss Willie, you anticipate," laughed Isabel. " Remember, I was off on a holiday, not playing school-ma'am. There is one language used
throughout China by the officials and intelligible to
any person of culture, and I soon realized what a
benefit it would be to me to understand it. I seemed
really to be awake to my possibilities. Thanks to
Mr. Marston, a few weeks later a fellow missionary
and myself were introduced, through the kindness of
a vice-consul, into the home of a wealthy mandarin
of high rank. It was my first glimpse of high-life in
China and it greatly modified my opinions of their
susceptibility to western polish."
She was interrupted by the sudden entrance of
Sing, who had asked to spend the evening with his
father. The boy kotowed to each of the three occupants of the room, so gracefully, entirely concealing
his hands in the inner folds of his long, loose sleeves
as he did so, that Isabel said, in a low voice, to Wilhelmina,
" I seem to see the wings of a future mandarin
' sprouting' in that boy—if you will allow the expression. ' Blood will tell' you know, and he evidently has the inheritance of gentle blood and train-
ing-".   I
Wilhelmina was unconscious of the thrill of pleasure with which she received this announcement.
Back of her was a line of Celtic ancestors whom she
honoured with all her soul; and in her growing affection for Sing, it was astonishing how rapidly the
race prejudice was being obliterated and love was
levelling all distinctions.
Twining his slender fingers in hers, Sing whispered, loud enough to be heard by all,
I Hum Nung, he says that he come to see thee
to-morrow-day. He asks thee something very
" What will it be? " whispered Wilhelmina. 128       A CHINESE QUAKER
" You do all same you say to me: ' Wait/ " answered Sing.
" Evidently, thee also will make us to ' all same
wait,' 1 said Wilhelmina—for Isabel had arisen.
1 Yes, of necessity until to-morrow. But this
time I leave you with the aristocracy of China,
which is in wide contrast with its lower classes. A
busy day lies before me. And soon I have a surprise for you."
Bowing her good night to the brother and sister
and gently tapping Sing's shoulder, she glided out. IX
T seems impossible for me to associate the
word ' aristocracy ' with the Chinese people,
according to my conception of its meaning.
I can imagine an aristocratic Hebrew, Hindoo or
even an Arab; but a Chinese aristocrat, pure and
simple, seems outside the pale of worldly distinctions," said Wilhelmina to Isabel as the usual group
gathered for another evening of 1 talk very much
straight," as Sing had designated Isabel's continuous
" Naturally so," replied Isabel, '' Just as you
would fail to understand the way these strange people meet many other social and civil conditions
which belong to civilized nations. In the case of
China, its immense population is almost incomputable. If every man, woman and child of its
millions were a gold dollar, it would be easier to
reckon the number. As has been truly said, ' Each
is a thinking being whose environments are the opposite of our own and almost incomprehensible to
the Anglo-Saxon mind. The variations of the best
kaleidoscope one ever saw are not more complex
than the peculiarities of the Chinese customs and
modes of thought.   One might live among them for
a thousand years and with one's own eyes scan the
interior of every home in the Empire, and yet to
classify, in an orderly way, the phenomena of their
lives and measure them by the rule which governs
our own world would be impossible.' "
Wilhelmina sighed audibly. She was the victim
of temporary unrest. Strange! notwithstanding all
her resolutions to the contrary, the old sickening
feeling of repulsion which first overcame her as she
looked upon the Chinese scavenger, was constantly
recurring.   She said aloud,
To think that you spent five years of your precious life among them!   With what gain ? "
I did," said Isabel, emphatically, " arid each
succeeding year I found as much to admire as to
condemn, as much to inspire affection as to excite
disgust. I found that the cause of this strange
medley of human life lay in two established facts:
the nation's antiquity and isolation, and its conservatism and pride. Except our own, the Chinese are
to me, to-day, the most interesting people upon our
planet; and they are destined to be a great factor
in its future. Believe this to be true." Her manner as she concluded was so sympathetic and her
voice had in it such a prophetic ring that Abner,
looking squarely at his sister, said triumphantly, as
he rubbed his palms,
I told thee so.   I really believe it."
But their stolidity as a race," said Wilhelmina,
ignoring her brother's satisfaction, " thee must con- A CHINESE ARISTOCRAT    131
cede that fact. Even Sing at times seems an automaton."
" They are neither stolid nor indifferent," quickly
responded Isabel, " nor are they lacking in sensibility. They are keenly sensitive, proud and passionate; and withal, the most grateful people for a kindness shown them, that the sun shines upon. They
have acquired a habit of repression of feeling, however. As Mr. Marston says, ' They are so lacquered
by courtesy, etiquette and superstition that the real
fibre of character lying underneath is discovered only
upon rare occasions.' Oh, dear Miss Willie," she
continued, leaning forward and gently caressing
Wilhelmina's hands as they lay folded in her lap,
"your impulses are so good and your courage so
true, let each have full sway. You have more to
learn than you dream of and you will need the sanctified patience of half a dozen Jobs to continue the
work you have undertaken; but cultivate your constancy and you shall have your reward."
There was a moment's silence, and almost unconsciously all three glanced at Sing, who, in his usual
place on the green hassock, was with the aid of a
box of coloured crayons, writing on a pad upon his
knee. The boy's penmanship was unusually good,
and he never wearied practicing it, and writing his
own name in English characters. Unlike other boys,
he never destroyed a scrap of paper upon which he
had transcribed his earlier efforts, seeming to hold
in reverence every written word.    Of course, Wil-
*J /
helmina did not know the origin of this carefulness
and that it resulted from his earliest teachings in
China, imposed upon him as upon all children there,
by the fact that originally, all Chinese characters
were pictorial and the patient labour necessary to
make each copy exact rendered them too valuable
to be lightly thrown away. He was unknowingly
practicing an inherited economy.
He looked up, his attention arrested by the sudden silence and rubbed his forehead as though perplexed.
" Of what is thee thinking, Sing," asked Wilhelmina, interpreting his movements.
Elisha," was the prompt reply.
And what is thee doing? "
" Making his army in red, white and blue like
American flag. I like him." Withal the tone was
a little self-complacent.
" Perhaps thee will tell us what thee knows about
him," said Wilhelmina, surprised at the reply.
"I will," said Sing, without a moment's hesitation or embarrassment, and with his red crayon
dangling between his fingers, he was transformed
into the story-teller.
" Elisha about somewhere when he lived in the
Bible, and one king whom he knew, had plenty
money. He had many, many strings of cash. I
don't know that king's name. Another king want
to kill him and take all his money away. Elisha,
he know all about it.    God tell him, you .know, A CHINESE ARISTOCRAT    133
' Elisha, you go tell that king what day other one
go to kill him and you better read for him.' That
bad king have axe, knives, and saw, and many fight-
things. That other king very good, quiet man, very,
and Elisha good friend of his. The bad king is
all ready for kill him and feel happy. The good
king say to him, ' You all ready for me? Come here
and kill me.' The bad king say bad words. He
can no catch him. He say, ' I know what the reason
I not catch him. God tell Elisha what to do. I
kill Elisha first, then the rich king. Yes, that's it.'
And he shake his head much yes. He very glad.
He get plenty bad men to go fight and kill Elisha.
They run over his garden-house and kill his gold
fish and drink his tea. Then Elisha's servant, who
very good man, love God and love Elisha very much
he look very sorry in the face.
I Elisha say,' What is the matter?'
" Good servant say, ' Yes, Mr. Elisha, please look
out your window-'
" Then Elisha look and see plenty bad men ready
to kill him. Elisha say no bad words, he just keep
looking. Soon he see in the sky beautiful soldier
angels, fire horses, fire chariots, fire guns and swords.
He glad.   He say to. his servant:
" ' Fear not, for they that are with us are greater
than they that are with them.' (This sentence Sing
made peculiarly emphatic.)
" But his servant still afraid and Elisha ask God:
"' Please let my servant see the soldier angels, 134        A CHINESE QUAKER
too, so he don't scare.' Then his servant's eyes get
very much awake and he see them and he don't afraid
any more.   That's all."
Well done, Sing," said Abner, " Thee shows
both a good memory and a clear understanding."
The boy was at his work in another moment, oblivious   that   Isabel   was   saying   to   Wilhelmina,
Either you are a remarkable teacher or you are
working upon remarkable material."
I have read the story but once to him," she replied, " and I never dreamed that it had taken such
a vivid hold upon his imagination. He committed
to memory the verse beginning, ' Fear not,' at my
request, because the hoodlums in the neighbourhood
are disposed to annoy him, and I wanted to fortify
him against their assaults by a lesson on faith. But
I do not know where he got the idea about summer
garden-houses and luxurious surroundings! Surely
not in Chinatown! "
You forget the Oriental scenes which were impressed upon his mind when, perhaps, but a very
little fellow; and these memories may be the outcome of some contact with just such an aristocratic
scene as I commenced to describe to you," said Isabel.   " Let me continue now.
It was a rambling old place, rich in carvings in
wood and stone, with lofty columns, spacious court
yards and quadrangles, gardens, porches, corridors,
flowers and great jardinieres scattered through the
grounds, each large enough to have concealed one A CHINESE ARISTOCRAT   135
of Ali Baba's forty thieves. The walls of the various apartments of the house were hung with silk
and satin banners on which, alternately, pictures
were painted and poems and maxims embroidered.
The furniture was of black wood, ornamented with
marble and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, while the
woodcarving of door frames and furniture were
specimens of elaborate art and ingenuity. Our host,
a mandarin of high rank, was good-natured and
genial. He had seen something of foreign society,
was a friend of Mr. Marston, and aware—without
knowing the reason why—of the deference which
Englishmen accorded to women. He treated us with
great respect. Perhaps he wanted to astonish us—
barbarians in his estimation—with a display of his
wealth; perhaps his intuition sensed our Yankee
curiosity. Whatever the motive, he conducted us
from room to room, and we followed him as though
inspecting a museum.
" The most conspicuous room was one which we
would call a private chapel. Here, were preserved
the ancestral tablets of the family, made of teak
wood and lettered in gold. The inscriptions were
biographical sketches of the brave and heroic deeds
of the mandarin's ancestors, the great Wu family,
who may have been very obscure people, but who
to-day were objects of his and his family's adoration—as he, in his turn, would receive homage from
his descendants after his death. At one end of the
room was the altar, with its incense burner of zinc, 136        A CHINESE QUAKER
its huge candlesticks of the same material, and other
decorations peculiar to such a shrine. Here, literally, the fires of reverence and memory were never
extinguished, for before each tablet the incense sticks
were burning and the atmosphere of the chapel was
redolent with the delicate odour.
I We passed from this apartment into the library,
the knowledge of some of its contents having given
to our host the exalted governmental position which
he was then holding. He really was—as an official
—that rare personage, a man of integrity and
honour, and the people of the district which he governed adored him."
" And he had a library ? How delightful! " said
Wilhelmina to whom a new world was opening.
Did thee find many English classics in it ? "
" English  classics! "  echoed Isabel,  laughingly,
I now perceive that you truly are very ignorant
upon some points.
" Although literary acquirements form the avenue
to all posts of honour and importance in China, the
literature and science of other lands has no part in
the education of its servants. They study the writings of Confucius for instance, and the commentaries
upon them."
At the name of Confucius, Sing raised his head
and the expression upon his face was that of an
eager listener.
" The Chinese have no public schools," continued
Isabel, " nor is a Chinese student ever bothered with
mental arithmetic nor is his head muddled with the
multiplication table. A Chinese student has no
primer. Memory is his chief faculty of mind, and
the height of his ambition is a great literary reputation, for that is a passport to power, wealth and
fame. The boy begins his school work at about
seven years of age. The neighbours have clubbed
together, generally, and procured a teacher, his
compensation being in proportion to the number of
his pupils. He is supposed to excel in virtue, as
well as in learning and ability to teach, and these
qualities he must transmit to his pupils."
Well! in that respect they are wise," interjected
the bachelor brother, complacently.
Without any comment Isabel continued. " The
most earnest desire of a Chinese parent is to have
his son thoroughly taught the doctrines of the
ancient sages—he cares nothing about science or
other learning of any kind. Loyalty to Confucius
and allegiance to the Emperor are the pith, bone
and marrow of the entire system of Chinese education and the foundation of its government; and
these are rooted and grounded in the children.
" Never shall I forget my first impression of a
Chinese schoolroom. Do let me describe it, though
to do so will take us far from the mandarin's library.
The walls of the room were bare except for a tablet
of Confucius which was the most conspicuous object
there. In the centre was a square table upon which
lay a bamboo rod, and beside the table sat the teacher, A CHINESE QUAKER
erect and grave. He wore a scholar's long gown
and a pair of spectacles, the lenses of which were as
round and almost as large as a small saucer. These
were not to aid his sight, but to add dignity to his
appearance. There were numerous little wooden
desks standing around and some seats before them
made like a carpenter's horse. There were about
twelve little fellows in the room, whose ages varied
from six to eight years, and each little queue was
tied with a red string. The babies—for they seemed
scarcely more than such—had left home at six
o'clock in the morning. Each was studying aloud
and when ready, recited in a sing-song fashion and
as loud as he could speak, the task assigned him.
The one who talked the loudest was supposed to be
studying the most earnestly and silence upon the
part of any pupil invited the bamboo rod to descend
upon his shoulders.
" As soon as one thought he had memorized the
lesson he would go to the teacher and turning his
back to him, recite it. This is called ' backing it.'
This process was the beginning of a school education which continues during nine hours of each day
in the week, until the pupil is eighteen years old."
" And what were the classes studying?' inquired
Wilhelmina, as she thought of her early trials with
her one pupil.
Classes! " repeated Isabel, with an amused face.
" There are no such in a Chinese school. Each
is a class in himself.   No two pupils have any con- ^1
nection with each other. The first book put into
each little hand contains one thousand characters
arranged in double lines of three characters above
and three below. This is called the ' Trimetrical classic !' A more tedious collection of maxims than
are represented by these characters—the majority
of them as dry as dust—cannot be imagined by you.
In addition, the book contains the names of the
six domestic animals, the seven passions, the eight
kinds of music, the nine degrees of relationship, and
the ten moral duties. It has been the foundation of
the education of millions of human beings, however,
through eight centuries, and has been engraved upon
the memory with a sharpness and depth which we
can not comprehend.
11 soon found that the two—and to me, only—
important things which a Chinese learns in school,
are obedience and the habit of concentrating his attention upon what he is doing."
Sing, although silent, was now an attentive listener. Abner perceived this, and feeling moved to
interrupt Isabel's details, asked abruptly:
I Sing, does thee remember ? Did thee ever go
to school in China ? "
"I did," replied the boy with unusual gravity.
1 Konfutze the greatest man in the world. My book
says, ' If men do not learn they are not as smart as
little bugs; but he who learns in youth and who acts
good when he is a man, helps the Emperor, helps
the people, makes his grandparents very, very happy 140      A CHINESE QUAKER
and honoured, and his own children rich.' I learn
it in school."
I Well done, Sing," said Isabel, " You have put
that well-known maxim in your most comprehensive
English.   Of course you believe it ? "
Before the answer was forthcoming, Abner said
that he had heard that the Chinese classics were
remarkable products of the human mind.
" They are," replied Isabel, " They fix a lofty
standard of morality in the mind, and have exerted
a wonderful influence for many ages; but as the
sole text-book for the education of a great nation—
as China undoubtedly is—they are sadly defective in
practical value. A wise missionary says: ' Add to a
Chinese's inherent morality and intellectual power,
the system and breadth of a western education, and
there will be no limit to his benefaction to those to
come. The product will be a new race such as we
do not dream of now.'   But I must hasten on:
" The next little book contains the list of the surnames in the kingdom—four hundred in number;
and is followed by one called ' The Thousand Characters Classic,' not one character of which is repeated, nor yet has any but an ordinary meaning.
Three years are consumed in simply learning the
sounds of the characters and how to make them
with a hair pencil. Afterward, their meaning is explained by the teacher. When these are mastered
the poor victim passes on to the ' Four Books' or
'Shoos,' which contain scraps of conversation be- A CHINESE ARISTOCRAT   141
tween Confucius and his Disciples. These are followed by the ' Poetical Classic,' the ' Book of History,' the j Book of Changes' and a1 work of Confucius called 'The Spring and Autumn Annals,'
which complete the curriculum of a school education
-—and many of the books are entirely memorized
without the pupil's having gained two ideas in the
course. A Chinese locates the intellectual faculties
in the abdomen. If required he can unravel from
memory—as one would a knitted stocking—yards
of learning without any apprehension of what he
is saying.
" Miss Willie, doubtless your boy has more rational ideas now than his grandfather possessed.
Remember with what a heritage he comes to you
and be glad that you are chosen to reconstruct him."
" Thee has let a great light into my mind, Isabel,
and given me a strong incentive. Are many women
as ignorant as I upon this question ? "
" Hundreds and thousands," was the response,
I and what is worse they care but little about being
enlightened, nor do they see anything interesting in
this marvellous and misunderstood race.
" I have made a long digression from our entrance into the library, but before leaving the subject
let me say, Miss Willie and Mr. Proctor, that there
would not be one-half of the prejudice against the
Chinese nor the misunderstanding of much that they
do which is offensive to us, if we held the key to
their peculiarities. 142       A CHINESE QUAKER
"About twenty minutes later the Mandarin introduced us to his third wife—the first one being dead
and the second one absent. She was seated on a veranda overhung with myrtle vines and opening onto
a large lotus pond. The court in front was a mass
of blooming plants and verdure. There were numerous female servants within her call and she was,
literally, surrounded by luxury. She arose and received us graciously, laying her embroidery upon the
table near her which was covered with skeins of silk
thread of every prismatic hue, and immediately sent
for refreshments. The sign of real friendship in
China is to invite one to eat. Evidently she had
seen foreign women before and our presence did not
surprise her.
" The suite of rooms in her rear were elegantly
furnished. Upon her thumb was a jade stone ring
lined with gold and upon her pretty arms were bracelets of the same costly material which represented
thousands of dollars. Her jet black hair, fully
dressed, was ornamented with natural flowers and
gold and silver hair pins. She was, really, a charming picture."
" And as learned as her husband ? " asked Miss
Willie. ;;|
Isabel's eyes opened wide with wonder. " She
would have been an anomaly if able either to read
or write was the reply, " for she had once been a
slave." The expression of mingled pity and indignation upon Isabel's countenance as she uttered these A CHINESE ARISTOCRAT   143
last three words revealed much more than her tongue
could have uttered. Evidently the degradation of
the women of China and its consequent effect upon
the whole Chinese race was her predominant thought
and motive for action.
Although both Abner and Wilhelmina were cognizant of her missionary spirit, they knew as little of
the absolute facts and scenes which had excited it,
as one standing by the mightiest river knows of the
thousand rills by which it is fed.
" I see that I have startled you," continued Isabel,
" but one must see what I have seen and feel what
I have felt, to know all that your question, put so
innocently, involves. To me, it seems the conundrum of the age why, for so long a period, millions
of women who are the mothers of men, have had
to bear the yoke of such dreadful servitude and
ignorance as do our sisters in China; and why so few
of us of this boastful century, who have had the
opportunity of knowing something about their condition, have not gone to their rescue, but have
'passed by on the other side.' This, again, is a
digression from the hospitality of Madam Loo Chi
Chan, but—" if.       |     |*
" My sister's question seemed to thee sarcastic,
perhaps ? " queried Abner.
" No, but it suggested a degree of ignorance which
I can scarcely comprehend in one so bright and helpful as is she. Forgive me, dear Miss Willie. I left
off just at the moment when two gentle-looking 144       A CHINESE Q UAKER
Chinese girls had entered bearing conserves and tea.
While the one handed us the tiny cups, the other,
with a pair of silver tongs put candies into our
mouths. There was no conversation but we were
convivial and cordial. As we emerged from the
house into another beautiful garden within the
walled enclosure, we encountered three young nurses
each with a beautiful child upon her back. All were
boys. The eldest was six years of age, the youngest two. They looked supremely contented. They
had never been thwarted nor trained, nor possibly
would be for the first ten years of their lives; for
every woman in the establishment, mother included,
would be the slave of their every whim and caprice.
Such is woman's lot in China. They know no better and nothing but Christianity can free them."
Isabel had said good night and Abner in a brown
revery sat twisting his thumbs, when Wilhelmina,
who had been hearing Sing repeat his ' L. P.', returned to the parlour.
" Of what is thee thinking? " she asked, as, like
a New England housewife she began putting the
chairs in their places. It was fully half a minute
before he answered,
" Of our friend, Isabel. She is the most interesting woman I have ever known—except thee," he
added archly.
" Guard thy heart, for she is wedded to a purpose.
Thee must surely see it"
I do, I do.   I would be a fool to aspire as thee—
as thee thinks; but we can be comrades, for her
zeal inspires me. Thee must investigate this woman
question, Wilhelmina, and I will look carefully into
the present political aspect of Chinese affairs. I
am glad that Sing came to thee in such a strange
fashion and has filled in thy time so pleasantly."
He arose and looked out of the window before
drawing the blind. The billowy surface of the hills
composing the Coast Range were visible across the
bay, and lay against the horizon like dark shadows.
Above them the stars glittered and each dimpled
wave as it leaped into the air, seemed holding one
in its embrace. The grave man, as he gazed upon
the scene sighed so audibly that Wilhelmina asked
What does ail thee, brother? "
Nothing, nothing.    I  was just thinking that
perhaps whatever is, is right.    As the poet says,
' God moves in a mysterious way,' " and kissing her,
he retired to his bedroom.
Wilhelmina, too, was unusually thoughtful and it
was long before she slept.
Another phase of Chinese life had been presented
to her. Doubtless her imagination threw a glamour
over its aristocracy as much as it degraded the coolies who shared her citizenship of San Francisco;
but that both classes were her fellow mortals in the
large sense of being children of the same Father
and partakers of the same divine inheritance when
once they realized its value, she had not a doubt.
I will shirk no responsibility and neglect no
opportunity to come in touch with these strange
people," was the reiteration that night of what weeks
before was, as she thought, her final decision. X '1
AS Sing never wearied sounding the praises
of Hum Nung, Wilhelmina awaited with
some curiosity the coming of the evening
which the young merchant was to spend at their
Sing was to be his escort, but Wilhelmina did
not know how he was to be entertained as he did not
speak English.
" How can we talk to your cousin ? " she asked of
Sing as she arranged some grapes and plums in a
silver fruit bowl.
| He will not talk; he just look at you and laugh,
so," said Sing with a merry, imitative chuckle, and
laughing at his own fun.
The young man came, redolent of oil of spearmint and his round face beaming with good nature.
He carried a costly gold watch, and had a white silk
handkerchief, the size of a dinner napkin, concealed
in the pockets of his dark blue sohm, ready for exhibition when the opportunity arrived.
His stock of English being exceedingly limited
there was no attempt at conversation, except with
Sing, who was radiant with happiness and communicative after his own fashion.   The boy's display of
i47 148        A CHINESE QUAKER
books, pictures and bric-a-brac which adorned the
parlour of his new home was made with the air of
being its possessor and of desiring to impress Hum
Nung with the fact that American curios were almost equal to those of far off China. Occasionally,
Sing appealed to Wilhelmina to verify some statement which he evidently was making; and she, confiding in him, generally did so with a gentle and
indulgent affirmation; but the face of Hum Nung
was as impassive as that of the clock. It betrayed
no emotion of pleasure nor of the contrary, and at
the end of a half hour he arose to go. Then turning
to Sing, he began talking volubly in Chinese which
Sing translated briefly into English.
I He say he was very much pleased with thee.
He would like thee to be his teacher also. That thee
is nearly as nice as great Chinese lady. He asks
thee to come to his rooms to dinner next Friday
evening and Mr. Abner and me also."
Wilhelmina, true to her recent determination, gave
her consent and Hum Nung departed, with what she
thought a sigh of relief. Such, however, was not
the case.   It was his first entrance into an American
home as a social equal, and although he was unable
to express it, he felt the subtle charm of a sympathy
which made him desire to again come in contact with
a gracious being whose gentleness and dignity were
as unaccountable to him as was their source.
Like hundreds of others of his nation in San
Francisco he had attended a mission Sunday-school AN EPICUREAN FEAST     149
in which his pronunciation of words like " that" and
I throne " as " lat" and " lone," gave proof to his
teacher there of his advancement in the knowledge
of the English language (a Chinese, when trying to
pronounce the letters " th " invariably gives them
the sound of " 1"). But Hum Nung was timid in
using what little he had learned, in the presence of
so august a personage as Wilhelmina, who because
of her ability to teach a Chinese, notwithstanding
the fact that she was only a woman, had been given
an exalted place in his estimation.
Abner declined the invitation in favour of Isabel
Wallace, who in accepting it said. " These young
merchants know nothing of me nor the character of
my work here. I will go simply as your ' right
hand supporter' and they will never surmise that I
have seen anything of life within the Great Chinese
Wall." jjj
As they started for the " Street of a Hundred
Grandfathers " (the main thoroughfare of Chinatown), Wilhelmina was on the tiptoe of expectation
as to what might follow this bold innovation.
"Should I forfeit my claim to respectability by
this act, were it known to my few California
friends ? " she inquired of Isabel.
' Assuredly you would forfeit all claims to sanity," was the reply.
" Were you travelling through Oriental lands and
entered a native home, no one would think it amiss;
but to accept the hospitality of a ' heathen Chinee' 1501    A CHINESE QJJAKER
in this city, with a view of showing friendliness to
his race, has very, very few precedents."
The courage of a clear conscience and the free
right of an American citizen caused Wilhelmina
at that moment to turn her fair face to the full
glare of a lighted street lamp and also to the observation of a policeman who was approaching. That
he misunderstood the appearance of two ladies in
that locality at such an hour was evident from his
remark in respectful tones,
"The opium dens are not here, ladies; and if
you want to see them and the rough parts of Chinatown, I'll get you a guide in a few moments. They
are worth seeing to most strangers." Possibly the
ladies did him an injustice, but the tones of his
voice seemed to indicate his enjoyment that such
degradations of humanity were on exhibition. The
grasp of Sing's fingers tightened around Wilhelmina's as she promptly but gently answered:
" We are visiting Chinese friends, sir, and have
no desire to see the poor victims of opium." Her
courage surprised herself as much as it did Isabel.
Sing stopped before the main entrance of a tea
and grocery store. They had reached their destination. Above the transom, in Chinese characters,
was an inscription in red1 and gold which to the uninitiated affirmed that, " Truth, Fidelity and Justice
govern the dealings of the proprietors of this store."
Hum Nung had been waiting for them and his
face wore such a broad smile of welcome that almost AN EPICUREAN FEAST     151
every beautiful tooth in his healthy mouth was revealed. Behind him stood his partner, Li Jue, who
with a bow advanced and extended his hand, instantly having recognized both ladies.
The young men were bachelors and presided over
their own simple household arrangements.
" You are very kind to come," said Li Jue, who
having been ten years in California, and a popular
young merchant, withal, was considered by Hum
Nung a master of the English language.
It was now the latter's opportunity to exhibit his
wares, which, to Wilhelmina, were genuine curios,
in certain respects. Over the doors inside, hanging
upon the walls, behind the tea chests and even depending from the ceiling, were scrolls, large and
small, containing maxims from the Chinese classics
and original sentiments such as these: " In all things
may our desires be met," " Merchandise is revolving
like the wheels," and " Customers coming like
clouds." Upon the weighing scales was pasted the
injunction: " Scales! be busy and prosperous. Daily
weigh your thousand pounds of gold." Above the
front door were the words, " Let rich customers continually come; " and upon the right panel of a door
in the rear of the store was, " Sit with Honourable
men and good fortune will fill the house." Isabel
quietly whispered to Wilhelmina that these signs
were intended to exert a favourable influence upon
Chinese customers who, while waiting to be served
would probably read the inscriptions and refresh A CHINESE QJJAKER
their memories with these quotations from the classics.
A banquet, as Isabel had previously said, is the
outlet of a Chinaman's emotion whether a birth,
death, wedding or funeral lies at the foundation of
it. Every unusual occasion is the opportunity for
a feast. In a small room to the right of the store,
scrupulously clean, destitute of all adornment but
some nondescript musical instruments and a banner
hanging against the wall, stood the table, laid for
six; said table being four feet square and covered
with a cloth as black as ebony. Upon one corner
of it lay a pile of paper napkins, the remaining furniture consisting of some large saucers of Chinese
porcelain, beside each of which stood a Chinese teacup upon its own leaden standard or pedestal and
near by lay a pair of ivory chopsticks. In the centre
of the table, in two shallow bowls of considerable
value, was the dessert, which, in a Chinese menu
always comes first. It consisted of conserved plums,
green and juicy, and nondescript cakes; compounded, Wilhelmina thought, of granulated granite
and sifted sawdust, the product being a Celestial
cracker so tasteless and gritty that it might have
been exhumed from the ovens of Pompeii.
The Chinese teacup used by the natives consists
of three pieces, the cup proper, the small saucer
inverted and placed upon it as a lid, and the leaden
tripod within which the bottom of the cup sits.
To realize the exhilarating properties of a draught of AN EPICUREAN FEAST     153
genuine tea it must be brewed as the Chinese brew
it, and drunk without either sugar or cream from
the Chinese lidded cup. The tea leaves are thrown
into a dry pot and allowed to become thoroughly
heated before the boiling water is poured over them.
The small cup is then filled about two-thirds and the
contents drained at a single draught, the drinker
meanwhile holding the forefinger firmly upon the
lid of the cup.
"Li Jue," said Wilhelmina with bewitching
frankness, " You and Hum Nung are very kind to
invite us to dinner. American and Chinese customs
are very unlike. To-night this lady and myself are
' all same' as Chinese. Teach us your way and we
will do as you do." She did not notice as Isabel
did, a funny little smile at the corners of Sing's
mouth. Li Jue not answering immediately, the boy
modestly explained that it was the custom in his
country to wave the teacup to and fro before, putting it to the mouth.
Li Jue interrupted him. With an attempt at his
most elegant English he said, " Our gran'faders,
our gran'muders, our many 'lations dead in China.
Their spirits not die; they like tea; they like to be
'membered. We give them some, so! " and waving
his teacup right and left while a film of thin steam
crept from beneath the lid, he and Hum Nung raised
their cups to their lips with both hands and slowly
drained their contents.
" I understand," said Wilhelmina, playfully, I and 154      A CHINESE QJIAKER
thus I also, drink as you do to the memory of your
venerated ancestors."
The cups were scarcely replaced when a Chinese
lad, two or three years older than Sing suddenly appeared from behind a screen in the rear of the room
and substituted for the gaily decorated teacups, blue
ones of such tiny mould that two teaspoonf uls of any
liquid put into one of them would cause it to overflow. These were wine cups, filled from the nozzle
of an urn-like vessel which held a pint, its contents
being a samshu or rice wine flavoured with attar of
roses. The ladies drank with the gravity of little
girls playing at " tea-party " with acorn cups. This
concluded the first course. A well-filled shallow
bowl was then placed upon the table, flanked by
two small saucers of Indian curry and smaller bowls
each holding a spoon-shaped, porcelain ladle. Into
these small bowls Hum Nung deftly transferred portions of the edible in the main bowl, which his guests
were expected to eat, by faith, with chopsticks.
Wilhelmina's eyes met those of Isabel. There
was a collision of interrogation points, which Li Jue,
observing, he at once announced: " Swallows' birds'
nest.   Very good.   Ten dollars one pound."
The material composing this delectable and costly
compound was a species of Iceland-moss found in
the nests of certain birds and procured at risk of
life from rocks and cliffs almost inaccessible. The
moss, having soaked for several hours, had been
finely shredded and boiled in chicken broth. AN EPIC UREAN FEAST     15 5
"Do all same as me," said Li Jue, who, gracefully poising a small portion of the " nest" upon the
end of his crossed sticks, or 1 nimble lads," steeped
it in the curry and transferred it to his mouth with
a gusto unmistakable. Sing followed his example
with perfect ease, but to the ladies, alas, it was a
practical illustration of the fabled interchange of
hospitalities between the stork and the fox.
" Those horrid chop sticks! Could they have
been invented to aid in the torturing of poor Tantalus ?' said Wilhelmina to Abner the following
morning, " I cannot tell thee how boiled birds' nests
taste, nor recommend their hygienic virtues. I
know there were vegetable strings and red pepper
sauce, and two vertical poles of polished ivory
straying like a rope ladder between my parted lips
and the bowl; but as for anything toothsome upon
which to hang a memory of a Chinese epicure's
heaven, I have no experimental knowledge of it."
The birds' nest vanished to be replaced by clean
bowls, abalone soup and more tea. Who that had
seen the iridescent, opaline glow of one of the aba-
lone shells which are found in such abundance on
the rocks which line the coast of the Pacific Ocean,
but agrees with the exclamation of the devout Turk:
" Allah! Thou hast made the earth to bring forth
fatness, but the fruit of thy seas is divine! " Among
Wilhelmina's collection of marine curios the most
valued was one of these beautiful shells; and to partake of the brown inhabitant of such an exquisite
■■■B .156       A CHINESE QJJAKER
univalve which had been boiled for half a day in
chicken broth, was a never-to-be-forgotten experiment.
For two hours the shuttlecock of Wilhelmina's
curiosity ran between the warp and woof of this
singular feast, prepared with such an honest desire
to do honour to Sing's new-found friend and teacher,
yet leaving the two guests hungrier at its close than
at its beginning. A stew of mushrooms, water chestnuts, and green peas in their pods, fish fins with
bits of bacon and pigeons fried to a crisp, pulverized
shrimps served with watermelon wine, ducks'
tongues boiled with bamboo shoots, fans, tea, and
a five minutes' respite ensued. Dried duck cured like
codfish and boiled in chicken broth was followed by
boned chicken, sweetened lotus seed and rice and
curry; and for a grand finale there was given a
conserved berry, sapid and pungent which had first
been boiled in salt water and then dried in an oven.
This, Isabel said, was a dinner representative of
thousands like it which are served, daily, among
the wealthy classes of China. It was not at all
extraordinary in its variety. The juices of one
chicken furnishes the foundation for at least one
dozen different hashes. One dish at a time sandwiched between two small cups of hot tea comprises a single course.
The stars had been blinking for two hours before
the little party separated.    During the progress of AN EPICUREAN FEAST     157
the dinner a purpose seemed to visit Isabel's mind,
and to the delighted surprise of her host as well as
in opposition to her previous determination, she began to converse in the Cantonese dialect, to which
Sing gave intelligent attention. Li Jue's face was
soon metamorphosed into that of a most interested
and sympathetic listener. At times it kindled with
indignation and then glowed with fervour. Hum
Nung, meanwhile, was addressing himself to Sing,
in earnest tones. They were a genial party; Wilhelmina alone, being simply " a looker-on in Venice,"
and realizing keenly that the complex, and to her,
uncouth, language of the Chinese formed a well-nigh
insurmountable barrier to the friendly relations between the Chinese and Americans.
Suddenly, all were startled by a cry of surprise
and pleasure from Sing: " My father, my mother
soon come. Hum Nung get a letter. They come
next steamer day, I so glad." He grasped Wilhelmina's hands and clasped them instead of his own,
as he said, 1 You will like my mother. She little
feet, she good, like Mary Magazine in the Bible."
Wilhelmina remembered she had never seen him
so excited, and was amazed at herself for not sharing
his joy. Her zest in the pleasure of the peculiar
event which had given two pure minded young foreigners a season of rare enjoyment, had departed
when she bade them good-night; but it was not until
Sing had gone to bed and she had sat down for a A CHINESE QUAKER
pen talk with her absent sister that she tried to analyze her feelings. A portion of the letter was as
| * * * What will thee think of me! Tell nobody, but there is a whirlwind in my soul. Could
thee have believed it one year ago, that I should
have been tempest-tossed over the anticipated loss
of the daily companionship and affection of a small
Chinese boy? Does it not seem incredible that
from among a class of people so despised and neglected by the majority of Christians in this great city,
there should have come a little boy into my life who
brings sunshine into every hour of it? Perhaps
thee will think that a child of any other race would
have done the same. It may be, but it was not so
ordered. Sing is uncommon, I think, and I am
unwilling to share his love with his heathen mother.
What can she do for his development ? She does
not even know that he has a soul, much less how to
sound its capabilities! To me he is a precious jewel
that has geen given into my hands to polish and test
its real value; and daily I grow more interested in
doing it. Of course, Abner, with his usual concession to circumstance will say, ' It is all right;'
but I rebel and feel to-night that I must protest.
By the way, the dear old fellow has showed a
new phase in his character these last few months.
He is actually growing sentimental, quotes from
' Young's Night Thoughts,' reads aloud to me ' The
Cotter's Saturday Night,' and seems to look forward AN EPICUREAN FEAST    159
to the coming of the evening and Isabel Wallace's
talks about her residence in China, as the world's
people would to going to hear grand opera. He
is greatly interested in Chinese immigration also,
and the policy of the Chinese Exclusion Bill now
before the Senate of the United States. To thee, I
will say, that I question the righteousness of the latter. I think that a peaceful and friendly adjustment
of all political and commercial relations between the
two governments could be made, quickly, if only
their mutual affairs were squared by the Golden
Rule. I hear thee say, ' Well! apply it to thine
own particular case.' Ah! There's the rub! I do
not want to lose my boy. If only Satan had left
selfishness out of his evil creations! God help me to
do and to feel right.    *
* BB
AH WONG and his first wife, Wong Yui, arrived, in due time. The news was brought
to Sing by Hum Nung as though the boy
was the only one in the Proctor family interested in
their coming.
Sing, after the first ebullition of delight which
he previously displayed at the notable Chinese dinner, had said nothing about his parents, but had
pursued his lessons and little home duties in the
calm, methodical way for which the Chinese are
In fact, he had been wrestling during the week
with arithmetical problems in simple fractions and
decimals; and trying by the most vigorous reasoning to convince his patient teacher that to think
about anything less than half of a whole apple was
no use, "because the fraction of it would be too
little to eat, anyway; " and again, " You know it all
the same nine o'clock until it strike ten times; what
use to mind the little pieces of the time."
Wilhelmina, believing that the more quickly Sing's
fate, in reference to his future relation to her, could
be decided, the better it would be for her peace
of mind, hastened the ordeaJ.    Ah Wong, although
impatient to see his son, with a fine sense of
discrimination as to what he thought would be
the most proper thing to do under the circumstances, delegated Hum Nung to be Sing's
escort; and Wilhelmina decided that it was her duty
to accompany them. They started in the afternoon.
Sing was arrayed in his best blouse and dainty slippers and his step was as light and elastic as that of
a fawn. The second Chinese year in Wilhelmina's
San Francisco experience was already one week old,
and its festivities had not waned in the majority of
houses in Chinatown. Their route lay across a
green, path-treaded plaza full of ornamental trees, to
a house facing its northern border, in which, a quarter of a century ago, had resided one of the wealthiest and most distinguished Spanish families of the
old regime. " Ichabod! Ichabod! " might in truth
have been written above its portals, for Chinese occupancy had entirely changed its previous condition
of Castilian comfort and elegance. It was one of
the first Chinese homes Wilhelmina had ever seen,
however, and she was anxious to investigate it.
Hum Nung bounded up the long staircase in advance of his party, upsetting a Chinese girl much
younger than Sing and slighter in frame who was
toiling up them with both arms enclosing a bundle
of heavy sticks. Like many in that quarter she was
the bond slave, literally, of a tyrannical household,
occupying her painful and degraded position by reason of being " only a girl." A CHINESE QUAKER
Sing, quickly taking the wood from the child,
deposited it at the head of the stairs. " What could
have prompted him to do that?" thought Wilhelmina. She had no time, however, to indulge in speculation, for the voice of Hum Nung was heard
shouting through the upper hall, " Ah Wy! " " Ah
Wy! "—the name by which Sing's relatives and
friends called him—and a door quickly opening, the
tall and slender form of Ah Wong appeared, his
face beaming with smiles of gladness. Sing's bow
to his father was so low that his head almost touched
the floor. It was the kotow of extreme reverence
for a parent.
The name of " Ah Wy " in children's voices, accompanied by sounds of laughter from within the
room was heard. Wilhelmina was ushered into the
room where, in addition to Sing's parents, was the
family who lived in another suite of rooms near by,
consisting of a mother, her three children and two
slaves, one of whom was the wood carrier, who had
entered by a door in the rear. The laughter continued and no one seemed to know what was the
proper thing to do on such an occasion. Wilhelmina's presence, so unexpected, and the preponderant
thought of her evidently had produced the temporary embarrassment.
Sing's roving eyes, however, quickly discerned his
mother, who stood where she had arisen at his entrance, her face full of quiet satisfaction, balancing
her body upon her tiny feet, while her right hand WOULD FATE BE CRUEL?  163
rested upon a tea-poy of teak wood elaborately
carved and mottled with marble. He quickly approached her, while Wilhelmina was being seated
in a ch.air with an embroidered red silk cover which
Hum Nung placed for her. For a brief time not a
word passed between mother and son, who had been
separated for three years and who now stood looking into each other's faces. Wong Yui soon passed
her small, soft hand over Sing's head, pinched his
cheeks caressingly, and examined the length of his
queue. Opening his mouth, she examined his teeth
with the critical eyes of a dentist, felt the muscles
of his fore-arm, scanned him from head to feet,
scrutinized carefully each finger nail—which had
been carefully cleaned by the boy for the occasion—
and looking at her husband, who had been following
the inspection, uttered some words which, to him,
expressed her satisfaction.
Sing took this opportunity to present to his mother
a small box containing some simple gifts which
Wilhelmina and he had gleefully put together that
morning and which she had handed to him as they
had entered the room.
With eager eyes and throbbing heart, the teacher
had watched the singular meeting and greeting of
the two. Sing moved like an automaton. Every
evidence of emotion was momentarily repressed.
Could this strange creature be the same boy whose
chuckling laugh, endless questions and queer fancies
had hourly, of late, filled her soul with sunshine? A CHINESE QUAKER
She could not restrain herself another moment,
but advancing to where the little mother stood, in
her silken robe with her hair dressed to represent
a butterfly in flight, she extended both hands and
grasped those of Wong Yui, while her loving glance
embraced the child who really was so dear to the
hearts of both.
The spontaneous act was like the fall of an August
sunbeam upon a block of ice. The restraint began
to melt, no one knew exactly how, but soon Hum
Nung, Ah Wong and Wilhelmina were playing an
improvised conversational game of battledore and
shuttlecock, while Sing's mother was filling his
mouth with the choicest bits of Chinese candies from
a handsome bowl near her. Without the least opposition, he submitted.
Upon a table in the center of the room was the
usual New Year's array of conserved fruits, candies
and cakes. At one end of the room on either side
of the hearth, was an altar before which tall incense
sticks of broom-straw thickness stuck in bronze
bowls filled with sand, were burning and emitting a
pleasant odor. One of these altars was dedicated to
the worship of Sing's maternal grandmother who
had recently died; and the other to a horrid looking
idol known as the kitchen god and much feared and
yet feasted in every Chinese household.
Lighting two fresh incense sticks with a taper of
red paper, Wong Yui held them out to Sing with a
significant glance toward the altars.    Impulsively, WOULD FATE BE CRUEL?  165
he was about to take them, when a flush overspread
his face, he shook his head and folding his hands
behind his back, firmly interlaced his fingers and held
them there. Wilhelmina witnessed the act, but Hum
Nung and Ah Wong had just left, having been summoned to dinner in the adjoining room. The little
mother looked bewildered, but not offended. Again
she offered the sticks and again Sing shook his head
in refusal. Fearing the consequences upon his
mother's mind, Wilhelmina interposed,
" Open the box, Sing, which thee brought thy
mother," she said, and the boy, quickly obeying her,
the attention of Wong Yui was instantly arrested.
Like a pleased child she handled the ornamented
cake upon which Sing had frosted the initials of her
name, the dainty linen handkerchiefs, the jewelled
hair-pin and the pictures of American scenes which
he had selected. At the bottom of the box lay a
colored lithograph representing a cross wreathed
with beautiful flowers of brilliant hue. Upon this
she looked long and earnestly without comprehending in the least anything beyond the beauty of the
coloured flowers.
Sing, standing it upon the teak-wood table before
a bowl of blooming Chinese lilies, said to Wilhelmina, sadly, " My mother not even know who made
the reaal flowers, nor herself, nor thee." His voice
expressed pity. Wong Yui moved uneasily. Her
son was smiling in the face of another woman with
whom he had his home, and between whom and
K2_ 166       A CHINESE QUAKER
herself there was an impassable barrier of unknown
Chinese custom forbade the two ladies to dine
with the gentlemen. A dinner of fruit, rice and
vegetables was soon served to them, during which
Wong Yui enjoyed with undisguised merriment
Wilhelmina's awkward attempts at handling chopsticks and Sing's natural and graceful use of his.
During the progress of the meal, the mother produced from somewhere in a fathomless pocket upon
her person, numerous little souvenirs of Sing's early
childhood, particularly a little red string with a small
ivory ball at one end of it. He at once recognized it
as the little thing he always used to fix his eyes upon
and twirl when he wanted to sleep "and sleep not
" My mother knows nothing of who made love
and kindness. She has not the least idea," he whispered.
Wilhelmina replied—not very hopefully—" I
wonder if we can ever teach her."
The boy quickly straightened himself and with
one of his bright looks said, " God can."
Ah Wung and Hum Nung having finished their
repast, joined the ladies and again an effort was
made toward a general understanding by means of
the ludicrous "pidgin English." Sing failed as an
interpreter of the English language through his
mother tongue. There was a pathos about the conditions of the whole affair which the boy felt with WOULD FATE BE CRUEL?   167
as much acuteness as Wilhelmina, but could not define it.
" Hum Nung! " said Sing, 1 You tell my mother
what fifth commandment say—Miss Proctor teach
me from the Bible. I know she like that. I tell it to
Alas, even the great Law-Giver, with all his amazing intuition, would have been unable to recognize
that I fifth commandment with promise," had the medium of its communication been the blundering words
of poor Hum Nung. He understood it in part but
no words in his vocabulary would explain its meaning. He thought he could show it in pantomime, so
kotowing alternately before the father and mother as
though they represented royalty itself, he seized a
ball of twine lying in the room, and tying one end
of it to Wong Yui's chair ran down stairs and far
into the street, the ball unwinding, like a kite string,
with every step. His aim was to illustrate the
" length of days " which should be " long in the
land," for those who honoured father and mother;
but it is doubtful if Wong Yui understood the object
The evening was advancing and Wilhelmina said
she must be going home. Sing prepared to accompany her. The little mother, observing this, shook
her head peremptorily, commanding the boy to go
into the next room and stay there. Ah Wong, as
though in deference to her wishes, offered no opposition   and   Wilhelmina,   as   she   looked   into   the 168        A CHINESE QUAKER
mother's face, which now wore an expression of
authority and gravity, realized that maternal love
had the first claim upon the boy, -and the better part
of her valour was to leave them both in the tender
care of the All-Father.
Abner could offer no consolation when she returned alone; Isabel was not available, and notwithstanding Wilhelmina's strong faith in an over-ruling
Providence, the night was a " long, long dreary "
one of wordless fears, and doubts which sprang up
in their wake, like mental mushrooms.
" Abner! I feel, really, as though there had been
a death in the family. Does thee?" she asked of
him at the late breakfast the following morning.
Covers had been laid on the table for three, but one
seat was empty.
" No, thee magnifies thy loss," was his slow reply, "Thee has been concentrating thy energies upon
one child whereas there are hundreds of such as he
around thee among whom thee should scatter seed."
"Ah, Abner! How can thee, who has never been
a woman, understand ? " Wilhelmina's voice was reproachful.
" All the better because I am not a woman. Thee
is an enthusiast. Most good women are, and all
such as thee need ballast."
He had laid down his knife and fork to continue
his argument, when the door suddenly opened and
Sing stood before them quivering with pleasure. In
his hand was a beautiful bowl containing the flow- WOULD FATE BE CRUEL I   169
ering bulbs of the Shui Sin Fa. Wilhelmina had
noticed it standing upon the small table beside Wong
Yui.    Presenting it to Wilhelmina, he said,
I My mother sent it to thee. She say thee is a
good teacher, and as I am to be very rich I may—"
He ceased abruptly, glancing at Abner (of whose
sympathy he was ever in doubt), then around the
room with its dainty furnishings, and finished with
the remark, " This room is very clean and I like
When alone with Wilhelmina he confided to her
what had occurred after her departure, his sentences,
as usual when under much excitement, being short
and disjointed.
I My father talked about thee to her. Said thee
very great teacher and I learn as much as big Chinese mandarin. My mother shake her head, said I
must soon go back to China and get two wifes: one
to be daughter to take good care of her, and another
to wait on thee. I not want any wifes. They too
much trouble." This last sentence was uttered in
almost a whisper, as though it were a heresy. He
continued: " My mother hear lies in China, great
lies. She laugh at name of Jesus. Thought to be
Christian was all same to get sick, be very weak,
and have her eyes put out. My poor mother not
know." (His voice was full of tender pity.) "I
said, ' Not so. I be Christian. I not like idols,
they fools. I full of God and always well' She
heard in China that thee teach me not love and obey i jo       A CHINESE Q UAKER
her. I tell her thee teach me love her next to God,
who loves her too. She not laugh at Jesus any more
but say after me many times, ' Jesus loves me.'
Then she get very happy and make me eat very much
candy and send me home. I stay with you," and the
hand of the boy seemed involuntarily to seek Wilhelmina's as though its touch was necessary to seal
the compact.
The Rubicon was passed and a great joy filled
Wilhelmina's soul. At her invitation Wong Yui returned the visit, coming in a carriage, as her feet
were too small to sustain the weight of her body except for very short walks. To have been supported
by the arm of her husband, or to have him publicly
recognize her would have been an infringement of
Chinese etiquette. This visit, with others that followed it, was to the little Chinese woman a strange
revelation. She needed but to see the beauty and
refinement of Wilhelmina's home, to recognize the
possession of faculties in herself which had lain dormant and which she now desired to cultivate. Sing,
to whom Wilhelmina accorded entire liberty to go
to see his parents at his pleasure, also watched the
growing interest of his mother with keen enjoyment
and appreciation; for one day, while polishing a
gold pen of Abner's, he made the philosophical remark, " Gold is always gold whether it is covered
with ink or shining bright; just so, love is always
love, whether I feel it for my mother-in-Chinatown
or for my mother-in-love, here." XII
THE cosy little parlour in Tiberoon Place, humorously known by a few charming and
congenial souls as the " C. K.," was rarely
without occupants. Its abbreviated designation was
the result of Sing's early efforts to produce in writing and correct spelling the exclamation of pleasure
with which Isabel was wont to sink into the depths
of the Whittier chair, namely—" This is Colid Kom-
fort!" §
Among the frequent visitors were Hum Nung and
Li Jue, who were gradually beginning to rate the
privilege of an evening in the Quaker home as their
highest pleasure; and who, influenced by Wilhelmina, were slowly developing a genuine admiration of true womanhood and deference to it. The
clumsy efforts made by Hum Nung, in the early
stages of his acquaintance with Wilhelmina, to impress her with the superiority of Chinese etiquette
over the barbarism of 'the " foreign devils " with
,whom his lot was now cast, were supplemented by
the gentleness and urbanity of Li Jue, whose Oriental beauty and grace were as remarkable as was his
quick adaptation to American customs. Wilhelmina's greeting of them, as in obedience to Sing's
171 172        A CHINESE Q UAKER
summons, she would enter the parlour with the dignity of a queen, yet the cordiality of a sister, was the
prelude to an evening of social brightness which but
few, very few, of the citizens of Chinatown could
even hope to enjoy, much less to comprehend. Little by little she encouraged the two young men to
express themselves in English, and noted their pleasure when an understanding was reached.
Her ardent desire to quicken their spiritual nature
without antagonizing the faith which had been their
inheritance for centuries of Confucian bondage, enlightened her mother wit; hence the name of Jesus
was so frequently upon her lips that Li Jue was
prompted to ask one day, where this gentleman,
whom he had never seen, lived. The opportunity
had come. The question was an opening wedge for
many future conversations, of which the Divine Pattern of true manhood became the theme. Li Jue's
curiosity and reverence seemed equal.
A few hundred such women as you are, Miss
Willie, scattered throughout China, would begin the
redemption of the hoary old kingdom," said Isabel
one day on returning from her morning labour. She
looked troubled and weary. " Nothing but the education and elevation of Chinese women can arrest
Chinese female infanticide and the horrors of its
slave trade," she added.
" Tell me all that you know about the latter. Are
not reports often exaggerated? I earnestly desire
to know the truth," besought Wilhelmina. THE PITY OF IT ALL
All that I know? 1 repeated Isabel, her face expressing more than her words, " That were to expose scenes so dreadful that the pencil of Dore could
scarcely depict them, it would be like reading to yon
passages from the diary of dwellers in the Inferno.
The object of nearly all Chinese slavery is to keep
the victim in a life of shame when womanhood is
reached. If the slave resists her fate, all the tortures of the Inquisition are resorted to by her cruel
masters, till she yields herself, body and soul. Hundreds of Chinese women, in California alone, to-day,
deceived by the promise of getting rich husbands in
that fabled America of which many have heard,
reach here only to be sold and re-sold into situations
from which only death, or violence, can release
" And who are these masters ? " asked Wilhelmina.
" Oftenest the High-binders and the " Hatchet-
men " of whom you were reading the day when first
we met."
Wilhelmina winced. All that had happened since
that had opened a new world to her; but pleasant as
it was, it had failed to expunge the horror which that
first revelation had produced. Isabel was unusually
excited and her words flowed like a torrent as she
related the condition of a large part of the female
population of China, whom ignorance had decreed
the inferior of men, and whom custom had degraded.   She resented the imputation that the bold i74        A CHINESE QUAKER
demeanour of some of the Chinese women of San
Francisco or elsewhere, represented the habits and
deportment of the many, retiring and modest* respectable women of their native land; and said it was
true that the selling of girls by their parents, to be
slaves, was the darkest blot upon the nation's escutcheon. She told how sickness, misfortune, or a
year of famine in that over-populated Empire, reduced many families to such extreme poverty that
rather than see their children die of hunger, they
sold the girls; and many of these poor creatures
when cast adrift upon the world'—not having even
the opportunity of becoming secondary wives—had
the grievous crime committed against them of being
made subjects of traffic in foreign lands by shrewd,
unprincipled men and women whose greed of gold
had turned their hearts to stone.
" Chinese custom decrees," she continued, " that
the women of the family shall stay at home attending to domestic duties. They never accompany their
male relatives anywhere, nor have they the courage
to go far from home. The ' little feet' of the
upper classes would be an effectual barrier to locomotion even were the desire strong. In the ' Book
of Rites'—about which you must ask Li Jue, as,
doubtless, he has one—it is laid down as imperative
that, at the age of seven, boys and girls must not
sit on the same mat nor eat at the same table, and
that after girls are ten years old they must not THE PITT OF IT ALL      175
leave the women's apartments. I have known girls
to be so restricted under these absurd rules that they
longed to be re-born as dogs, so that they could go
somewhere of their own free will. Tens of thousands have not been two miles from their own homes;
and their minds are vacant."
" But I read," said Wilhelmina, " that the women
are among China's most industrious inhabitants."
"True," replied Isabel, "They care for the silk
worms, pick, spin and weave cotton, do the sewing,
and in the overcrowded and poor provinces they
' scratch' for fuel, but their labour insures them no
equality with men."
" But they marry," interjected Wilhelmina
" Yes, to marry is their destiny, and their equivalent for our word ' marriage' is ' rearing.' To educate a Chinese girl would be like weeding another
man's garden for no pay, for as soon as she marries
she is lost to her family and can offer no sacrifices
to her parents when they die. The parents are somewhat considerate of her body, (which in most cases
has the value of that of a horse or cow) but not of
her mind. Why educate her when it will do the
parents no good? As a rule, they have no sentiment; ' Is she said ?' is the question oftener asked
concerning a girl than ' Is she sound ?' Of course
if ' said,' she has never seen the man to whom
she has been betrothed by the go-betweens and remains in the strictest seclusion until after she has 176        A CHINESE QJJAKER
been carted in a gorgeous sedan chair to her husband's house, as if she were an express package,
there to live and die the slave of his mother."
Wilhelmina's face rivalled Isabel's in its look of
loathing, and the old prejudice came creeping over
I Surely there are many women in China as refined as Sing's mother? " she asked almost pleadingly.
" Of course," was the quick response, " but she
belongs to the higher class; nor are many cases
wanting in which the matern-al love is as strong
and tender as is that in Christian lands; but the—to
you incomprehensible—poverty of village life in
China on the one hand, and the ignorance resulting
from their many centuries of inherited convictions
on the other, make the overthrow of their false
ideas harder to accomplish than would be that of
the entire Chinese Wall."
" And you think these wretched  slaves  when
grown to womanhood, are capable of reformation ? '
The querist's voice expressed her own doubt.
Isabel sprang to her feet. Her voice was quivering with emotion as she replied, " Yes, a thousand times yes, and more grateful for the release
from their hideous lives than tongue can tell! Oh,
if the hearts of my countrywomen could but be
touched by the woes of their sisters who are so terribly sinned against, it seems to me that the weight
of their combined pity and indignation would awe THE PITT OF IT ALL      177
the prejudices of some men, the vices of others,
and give new life and hope where hope seems dead.
' I am unusually upset to-day. You will go with
me on my rounds to-morrow and see for yourself,
will you not?" Securing Wilhelmina's promise,
she hastily retired to her own apartments.
With the exception of the few visits to Sing's
mother, who lived on the " Nob Hill" of Chinatown, Wilhelmina knew nothing, practically, of the
social and domestic life of the swarming inhabitants who occupied the narrow alleys and ill-smelling
streets of the quarter; and although, Isabel, as she
said, was " teaching Chinese women," she had been
restricted in giving details of her work.
Evidences of the local traffic in women and the
horrible treatment of many of the victims, had been
known for years and often published in the daily
papers of the city; yet in the midst of the high civilization of the nineteenth century—evinced in no
place better than in the elegant homes and intellectual culture of San Francisco—as yet, but few cases
of abduction or brutal treatment had been brought
before the courts of justice. Nor had buyer and
seller been thought criminals until a few noble
women connected with the missionary boards of two
prominent churches in San Francisco came boldly
to the front.
These women founded two Rescue or Mission
Homes in the heart of Chinatown, to which slave
women could flee—when escape from their dens was A CHINESE QUAKER
possible—and which insured them protection. The
homes" were called by their inmates " Jesus
Houses; " and once in them—particularly when
under the guardianship of one brave soul whom her
enemies called " The Tiger "—the refuge was an
earthly heaven. Love and consecrated common-
sense, hand in hand, mothered them. After a girl
had come to the Rescue Home and become acquainted with her new surroundings and condition,
she was instructed, alternately, in the English and
Chinese languages and practiced housewifery according to American ideas of comfort and economy.
Through the influence of human love she was gradually led to its fount, Divine Love; and when permitted to remain in the home for a few years, the
taint and horror of her old associations fell from
her like a horrid disguise and she emerged, literally,
a new creature. But in many cases the effort
to reach these havens of safety was like sailing
through bloody seas, so watchful were the Highbinders of their prey, and so well trained in secrecy
and caution.
" My path has not been strewn with roses since I
commenced my work of house-to-house visiting,"
said Isabel, as she and Wilhelmina emerged from
the Street of a Hundred Grandfathers and turned
into an alley as narrow—if cleaner—than those in
Canton. Even here fishmongers, hucksters, barbers
and shoemakers were plying their respective trades,
and busy Chinese, as uniform in their appearance— THE PITT OF IT ALL      179
to a stranger—as a swarm of flies, were going to
and fro.   Not a woman was anywhere visible.
Passing through dark, dirty halls, flanked on both
sides by gambling dens, opium joints and brothels
echoing with the sounds of noisy and blank hilarity,
they mounted to the second story of an old building,
where Isabel knocked lightly at a closed door. It
was opened by a frail looking, bound-footed woman.
Her quick smile was all the welcome needed. Three
children, all girls, ran to meet Isabel, their faces
glowing with pleasure. The mother was making
trousers of black cotton goods, but she laid her work
aside with genuine courtesy, although every moment
was precious to her. Isabel, opening a small basket
which she carried, presented to the mother a bunch
of pansies and scarlet geraniums and to each of
the children she gave a coloured picture card.
To them, the donor was an angel of light, and
Wilhelmina, who remained in the background,
looked on with astonishment. The eldest girl—not
more than ten years of age—was at best a specimen
of miserable girlhood. She timidly pressed to her
cheek her card, upon which was a picture of a lark
singing upon a green bough. Wilhelmina observed
that her right ear had been badly mutilated, but was
now healed. She little thought that four months
previous the child had been brought into that room
to be sold as a slave. The buyer—a man—had examined the limbs, feet, hands and face of the little
one in much the same manner as a horse-trader A CHINESE QUAKER
would search for the good points in a horse. On
account of the poor, torn ear the critical purchaser
refused to buy her, and she would have been returned to the ill-treatment of her mistress but that
the heroic Isabel, who witnessed the scene, had effected a compromise and transferred the child to the
kind care of widowed Oy Yoke.
Each tenement, as well as the entire alley, was a
labyrinth, and so was the soul of Wilhelmina to the
emotion of surprise which visited it that never-to-
be-forgotten day. Nevertheless, she followed Isabel,
as full of trust as were the Magi who followed the
star of Bethlehem. Such " homes "—monstrous
outrage upon the name so dear, in the land whose
glorious abundance of sunshine, fruit and flowers
had made it—of all the United States of America—
the synonym of unexampled beauty, prosperity and
hospitality! They entered numerous apartments
which were windowless, dark, filthy, and in which
the bad, odours testified to the almost total lack of
ventilation. In some there was not even a skylight
through which a friendly sunbeam could throw its
rays over the grimy walls and floors, or a single
breath of fresh air could reach the unfortunate inmates as they sat working in the dim lamplight.
Yet, they were apparently cheerful and contented.
By the most of these occupants, Isabel, and a few
heroic souls who had preceded her had, at first, been
called, " American singing devils; " -but Love had
conquered, and now she was accorded the welcome THE PITY OF IT ALL      181
they would once have given to their Goddess of
Plenty could the idol have responded. Even in their
native land, some of these women had known no
more comfort than was now their portion, and a
Sunday morning in either of the mission chapels
to which some had acquired the courage needed to
go, was a glimpse of Paradise.
The afternoon was far spent when Isabel, who
had scarcely exchanged a dozen words with Wilhelmina since they had entered Oy Yoke's room,
plead for "just one more, and the last, call." To
effect this they had to mount to the third story of a
house a little more pretentious than those in the
alley, and remote from its neighbourhood. A group
of tall eucalyptus trees flung the shadow of their
health-giving boughs over the long flight of steps in
the rear of the house, and the spicy aroma from these
waving, sappy branches purified the air and brought
a suggestion of refinement.
At the head of the stairs was the entrance of a
small room, neat, clean, and carpeted. An unusually
tall and stately woman—for a Chinese—with a
complexion as swarthy as that of the Mexican, and
a shrewd, thoughtful face, appeared at the door.
She took Isabel's extended hand but not with overflowing cordiality; and in response to the introduction of Wilhelmina as "my friend, a Jesus
woman," she bowed her head reservedly. Almost
immediately, there came a girl from within an adjoining room.   She was just ripening into full worn- i
anhood, and so beautiful, after the type of Li Jue,
that Wilhelmina could not restrain an exclamation
of surprise. Like all Chinese maidens, she wore her
masses of purple black hair in one thick plait down
her back and fringed across the forehead. Her face
was not painted—contrary to almost universal Chinese custom—yet her cheeks and lips were as pink
as the petals of the French rose. Her smooth and
shapely arms, visible above the elbow in her flowing
sleeves, were adorned with jade bracelets and plain
loops of gold were hung in her small ears. Her
eyes, large, soft and liquid, strayed eagerly from
Isabel to Wilhelmina, with an inquiring smile, to
which the latter responded with one of such tender
admiration that surely its language could not have
been misunderstood. Nor was it. The girl, however, knew no tongue but her own.
Her eyes wandered to and fro and rested upon a
small, cheap lithograph standing side by side with
a pretty half-tone picture upon a bracket, all of
which were Isabel's last gift during a previous visit.
The one picture represented Christ as the Good Shepherd, and the other, though less gorgeous than the
former, exhibited the raising of Lazarus from the
dead. As though "she had been struggling to recall
something from her memory, the girl suddenly exclaimed,
" Hallo! Come to Jesus," and then laughed merrily at the sound of her own voice pronouncing
words which to her had no meaning. THE PITT OF IT ALL      183
Isabel and Wilhelmina joined in the laugh; then
the former taking the girl's hand, repeated the last
three words several times with a gentle gravity
which finally fixed her attention. The woman
looked sullen and made no response even when
Isabel handed her a bunch of white grapes with
their green leaves still attached. The interview
was brief. Wilhelmina took the girl's hand in
hers and looked long and inquiringly into her
eyes. She made no resistance. Something from
the soul of the lovely woman must have reached its
aim, for the girl, with an impulse of affection as
rare as it was unexpected, bent and touched her
forehead to Wilhelmina's cheek.
" You have made a grand success, Miss Willie,
for I never before saw Lau Ying make such a demonstration. You seem to have magnetic influence
over the Chinese," said Isabel as they descended to
the street and turned their steps toward home.
" Well, in this instance it must have been through
the magnet, Love," she answered, I for I seem
strangely drawn to her. And what is her history?
I feel as if I were destined to become a biographer
of the Chinese." She spoke playfully, but Isabel's
countenance almost immediately assumed the pained
look it wore the previous evening, nor did she answer until having climbed an almost perpendicular
hill, they were outside the boundary and beyond the
sight of the Dragon flag.   She then spoke:
" That beautiful girl is as ignorant as an infant of A CHINESE QJJAKER
what awaits her. In four weeks' time she will be of
age and mistress of herself, but the man who now
owns her—for she is the bond-slave of him and his
wife (the woman whom you thought was her
mother)—has agreed to sell her to a rich Chinese
for three thousand dollars. He is also a Highbinder, shrewd and unscrupulous. She is a prize,
one among a thousand, and both parties to the transaction know it. Her purchaser may resell her after
a time when her beauty fades and you can foresee
the rest. Her mistress, knowing her prospective
value, has always treated her kindly, and it is the
thought of that poor girl, standing, ignorantly, on
the brink of such an awful career, that makes me
very unhappy. I obtained the information, recently,
from a woman who is one of our converts, but I
dare not compromise her or her husband.
Is there no possible way of your warning the
girl?" said Wilhelmina, as full of interest now as
was Isabel.
None; for she could not understand me; nor
does that woman, her mistress, allow her out of her
sight," replied the latter.
" Could you not, under the circumstances, have
her forcibly abducted? It would be the most humane thing to do.1
" I could not, for there is no law here which sustains such right of capture; moreover, a writ of
habeas corpus would release her if taken possession
of in this way." THE PITT OF IT ALL      185
" Not if she were of age and in the Home, surely
not," said Wilhelmina.
" Possibly not," replied Isabel, with an emphatic
but most expressive shrug; " but money is a powerful lever. The Chinese, both good and bad, know
its value, and there are unscrupulous attorneys here
as elsewhere. She is to be sold, too, before she becomes of age."
" Let me think the matter over by myself," were
Wilhelmina's parting words to Isabel as the two
separated at the door of " C. K." XIII
NEITHER the effort " to think it over by herself, nor night after night of mental unrest," brought an answer to the question
ever present to Wilhelmina's mind, viz: " How shall
we save Lau Ying?"
" What would dear father say if he knew that I
had become a schemer, that all my thoughts ran
to plans for kidnapping, and that the enemies to my
peace of mind and the stirrers-up of my soul to
sedition and all kinds of trickery with which to
outwit them, were these dreadful " Hatchet-men"
and High-binders? I wish that I had read more
novels of thrilling captures .and escapes so as to
know better how to meet this emergency!
And to think that the cause of my disturbance is
a Chinese girl! That I, Wilhelmina Proctor, of
hitherto sound mind and moral estate, should be so
involved in the good and ill fortunes of these strange
people whom I used to despise so cordially, that I
can really think seriously of but little else!
The greatest conundrum of life is life itself, and
if I did not believe in the direct leading of Providence in all these tangled affairs, I should be
swamped in this present perplexity."
Thus soliloquized Wilhelmina early one morning
before she had arisen. Her bedroom was upon the
ground floor, and she lay facing the great bay-window around which roses were climbing and across
which a humming bird kept darting to and fro while
making his breakfast. This bit of the outside world,
as revealed to her gaze, was an epitome of peace and
harmony. Why was her soul so disquieted within
her? She had of late gone about her usual duties,
but perfunctorily. If Abner missed her playful raillery and witty epigrams, he made no sign; but Sing,
when asked by him the previous morning, " Where
is Miss Proctor ?' had replied, I She is in her bedroom inside of herself."
Wilhelmina rose that morning determined to take
counsel of her brother. Perhaps he could suggest
a plan. True, sentiment found no place in his heart
—at least so she thought. He wasted no words
upon anybody, and his sympathy was generally expressed through some quiet deed of which his right
hand knew nothing. An accident favoured her.
The three were at the luncheon table, and Sing, who
had been permitted to spend the previous afternoon
with his parents (by no means an unusual occurrence), produced from one of his pouches two small
balls made from the fresh acorn cups of a eucalyptus tree. Giving one to Abner and the other to
Wilhelmina, he naively said,
I They smell nice. If God would only show me
how, I would grow thee a big tree full in our yard." A CHINESE QUAKER
" Thee would be generous, Sing. Where did thee
get these ?' asked Abner, looking at his ball admiringly.
On the ground, under some trees in Otter Alley.
I go there with Li Jue. A woman lives up stairs.
She makes clothes for his store."
Wilhelmina was instantly aroused. Otter Alley!
Eucalyptus trees! Up stairs! Surely that must be
the place around which all her thoughts were now
circling!   Strange coincidence!
And did thee go up stairs, also, Sing ? Did thee
see a sweet girl there with queue as long as thine?
Did thee talk with her ? " Wilhelmina's tones betrayed unusual excitement.
What, Wilhelmina! Thee wandering in Chinese
alleys, too? Thee has chosen a strange place for an
escapade," said Abner, reprovingly.
During the silence which instantly fell upon the
group, Sing, diving into another pouch produced
a tiny imitation of a goldfish carved from soapstone,
" She gave it to me for good luck," he said, and
added after a minute, " Yes, and I like her."
" Abner, thee must let me explain. The time has
surely come—and then thee will not be vexed with
me. I meant to ask thy advice this morning—"
And the flood-gate of Wilhelmina's emotion now
being opened, her indignation and surprise, first, at
the danger which menaced Lau Ying, then, at the
actual condition of the slave-women both in the
United States and in China, poured forth in an ir- " THE STORT OF MT LIFE" 189
resistible torrent, for her power of expression was
" Surely thee, a man, can help Isabel in some
way to get this girl in the Mission House before
it is too late! There, is her only safety. What is
the vaunted freedom under our flag worth if right
here beneath its own folds, women can be treated
as if they were dumb, driven cattle ? "
Thou art as eloquent as was Wendell Phillips,
my sister," said Abner, looking fondly at her; then
folding his napkin with the utmost precision and
deliberately rising from his chair, he left the room
without uttering another word.
In the evening of that same day, a small but
select audience had congregated in the domain of
Chinatown in a church which had been purchased
by a Board of Missions for the use of the Christian
Chinese. Among the audience of about fifty American people and as many Chinese, were the special
four residents of Tiberoon Place. Li Jue and
Hum Nung also could have been seen among their
brethren. The occasion was one of unusual, indeed,
unprecedented, interest. Its main feature was to be
a lecture called, " The Story of My Life," the narrator of which would be the heroine herself. It was
the first occasion known in the history of the world,
on which a Chinese woman would address an English-speaking audience. The Registrar General of
Hong Kong, Hon. J. H. Stewart Lockhart, presided
over the meeting. A CHINESE QIJAKERf
After several chorals sung by Chinese men and
maidens, the speaker of the evening, Sing Gum, was
introduced and she arose quietly and stood by the
president's side. "Shewas young, she was fair," and
clad in her native costume with nothing of her person uncovered save her head and face, she was a
type of modesty and retiring womanhood. Without the aid of a single note and in excellent English
she said:
Ladies and Gentlemen: I consider it a privilege
to stand here and tell you the true story of my
life. §
I was born a two days' journey from Hong
Kong in the district of Heong-Sang, which means,
' Fragrant Hills,' and I was the eldest of three
children. My parents lived at the foot of a hill. My
mother had small feet.
" I think my father was a gambler. When my
age was seven years he pawned me for fifteen dollars because of some urgent bills which he owed.
" In my country, a child when pawned, can be
redeemed if the one who pawns comes to terms at
the set day; but if not, the child forever belongs
to the creditor.   She is sold.
" I remember that my mother cried bitterly and I
crept under the bed because I was unwilling to go.
My father failed to redeem me and I became the
property of the stranger. He left me with his wife
and went off to a foreign country where he remained for several years.    At last he came home. "THE STORT OF MY LIFE" 191
My* mistress had no children, and he wanted a second wife in hope of having a son to worship him
when he died and to carry his name to posterity.
But he had no money and again I was sold to obtain
it. I
" I had been with my new mistress but a few
weeks when she sent me to one of her friends with
a present, and I gave it to the wrong person. When
she discovered my mistake she was in a great rage,
beat me terribly and for three days nearly starved
me. I thought it all over and felt that she was very
unjust. I ran away to the mountains and for two
days lived in the tombs, stealing bananas from the
trees for my food. My mistress hired men to search
for me, and when they found me she was so angry
that in her rage she knocked my head against the
walls of the street.
" She at once sold me to a person living in a place
far away, but near enough for my father to come
to see me. He came, bringing me a basket of fruit
and seemed very glad to see me. My mistress urged
me not to acknowledge him as my father because he
had sold me to be a servant, and I obeyed her. I
am very sorry now for I never saw him again.
" Soon after, a serious difficulty occurred among
several tribes and every one in our neighbourhood
had to run for his life. My mistress and I fled to
Hong Kong, where she had a son who was employed as a collector of rents. He kept the money
as fast as he collected it, in his house until the first 192       A CHINESE QJJAKER
of every month when he deposited it. As I was the
house-servant I knew where it was kept. Day after
day I saw a poor woman who had eight children
begging upon the street. I was tempted to steal
some of the money to give to her. I took several
dollars. Some of it I gave to this woman and with
a little of it I bought myself something to eat.
When the day came for the money to be deposited,
the collector found it short several dollars. He
questioned every one in the house, and finally I confessed my fault. Then all began to scold me. My
mistress whipped me severely and soon after I was
again sold.
" This time I became the body-servant of a kind
mistress and I was well contented in my new home;
but one day, her lamp, made of earthenware, suddenly cracked in my hands. ' This is a bad sign and
I must send you away,' she said. She liked me and
was sorry to give me up. One of her friends was
coming to California, and she put me in her care.
We landed here. I was soon sold, and this time
for two hundred and fifty dollars.
" At my new place I had very hard work, poor
fare, and I was brutally beaten. Some kind neighbours who could not bear to see me thus treated,
advised me to run away to the Mission, or ' Jesus
House' as they called the place. I did so one night
at ten o'clock. When I rang the bell the good man
in charge opened the door and asked me what I
wanted.    He spoke my own language.    I ran inside " THE STORT OF MT LIFE" 193
and told him everything. He gave me in charge of
his wife—and I was comforted. In a few weeks my
mistress found out where I was and sent a friend of
hers to me to beg me to return to her. She promised me all sorts of fine things, including a good husband, but I would not go. After many efforts on
her part and as many refusals on mine, one of the
young Chinese men of the Mission school and I went
to arrest her for her cruel treatment of me. She
was greatly frightened at the idea of going to jail
and made many excuses, but the officers with us
were firm. Finally she went with one—there were
two—and the other conducted me back to the Mission. The next day the trial came off at the police
court. I took the stand first and told the judge all
that caused me to run away. She followed and accused me of stealing ten dollars from her purse, but
I had not taken a cent. She lost her case, the judge
fined her heavily, and I returned, victorious, to the
Mission where I lived in its blessed sunshine for
four years.
" The lovely lady teacher of the department for
girls took out papers for .the guardianship of me,
and when she afterward left the Mission I accompanied her, and lived with her until, on the sixth
anniversary of my escape to the Mission, I was married to the Mission student who had been my first
friend there.
" The relationship between my noble teacher and
myself, was as tender and intimate as that of a lov- 194       A CHINESE QUAKER
ing mother and child. She taught me all that I
know. She developed my mind. I studied all the
leading questions of the day; I read the daily papers;
I learned to think, and above and beyond all I learned
of the true God, our Father, and His only Son, the
beautiful white Christ."
Her voice became more earnest and her tones
more impassioned.
11 could not, for a long time, see why I had had so
many changes in my life and so much trouble; I do
not understand yet, but I know that God overruled
all things for my good and but for them I would
never have known what true Christianity means.
Ah 1 the ' Jesus Houses' have done and are doing, a
great work for Chinese women and girls. Men can
be taught the truth more easily than we, for they go
upon the street, stand there and hear the gospel;
but the women dare not do so because of their seclusion." She paused and wiped her face with a red
silk handkerchief. 1 Now, I am about to turn another leaf in the history of my life.
" Years ago I said, ' America is my home.' I
love this land for here is freedom, the equality of
mankind, help and sympathy for a woman and the
elevation of the degraded classes. There is no
Oriental country where a woman has so much liberty of thought and action as here. In China it is
so different. None, except the officials would dare
to establish a school for poor, suffering woman;
Obliging them and lending a helping hand would I THE STORY OF MT LIFE " 195
not be considered virtuous. We are taught in China
that our first duty and the highest, is to obey our
parents and take care of them with reverence and
fidelity. That is right, but not to the extent of such
awful self-sacrifice as some of us have to endure.
What you call ' sinful women' among us are not
willingly sinful. We cannot help ourselves. Some
of us know no better. A dog in America is treated
better than are a large part of the women in China
of my social rank who have no rights before the
law, nor are supposed to have any mental powers
worth educating. To some Chinese the thought of
returning to China is delightful; but I compare
America to heaven and China to its opposite. Its
harmful traditions are many and its customs are
heathenish. Konfutze did not know all things. He
did not know of the wisdom of Christ.
" I think, within fifty years, there will be a great
change in China for her good; and God will bring
it about in His own way. Amid all the perplexities
of life and the "disagreement of men, He works out
good through His sovereign power,
" I soon return to China to find my parents, and
help our poor women. I say, in my heart, many,
many thanks to the Woman's Mission Society for
what it has done for me. Jesus, the Christ, meant
more than we comprehend when He said: ' Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of
these, my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.'
She stood quite still for a moment, as if in prayer, -I
then retired from the platform. For a moment no
one moved nor was there a sound. The audience
seemed spell-bound. Mr. Lockhart broke the stillness by saying that Mr. Lam Foon, the husband of
the recent speaker, when beginning business in
Chinatown, years ago, vowed to God that if He
would prosper him to the extent of three thousand
dollars, he would give up his business, return to
China and devote his life to preaching the gospel of
glad tidings to his fellow countrymen. Mr. Lockhart added, " He goes to China shortly with his
brave a self-supporting missionary, giving
up splendid business prospects here, because he feels
called to do God's work there. Shall any say that a
Christian Chinese does not adorn his faith ? "
The meeting was now practically over and preparations were being made for the singing of the hymn
with which to dismiss the congregation, when a
man's voice, strong, firm, deliberate and unfamiliar
to nearly all present, was heard:
" Mr. Chairman," it said, " I am- moved to say
something not new to thee, perhaps, but new to some
who will hear me.
" I am no stranger to the wretchedness and misery
of many of the homes in Chinatown, the abomination of its slave trade, nor the magnificent courage
of the few American women who are striving to
rescue and uplift their unfortunate sisters.
In 1850 the pioneer in this infamous traffic in
human beings landed in San Francisco.   With all " THE STORT OF MT LIFE" 197
the shrewdness of depraved womanhood—old Ah
Ho ' saw money in it,' as my Chinese informant expressed it, and soon returned to China where she
kidnapped, bought and begged fifty girls, whom she
imported here in three divisions. These girls were
sold in the streets with such shameless abandon as
to cause the respectable Chinese merchants to send a
memorial to the state legislature, begging them to
pass prohibitory laws, preventing the bringing here
of this class of women. That memorial was laid
upon the table, and to-day, after forty years of encroachment we have to meet old Ah Ho's progeny
of High-binders, assassins—and slaves.
" We sacrificed thousands of our best and bravest
men in a war to abolish African slavery, and we did
it—gladly. Now, can we sit calmly in our homes
and see a most evil slavery coiling its folds about our
Chinese neighbours—and raise no hand to help? It
cannot be a question why the Missions do this rescue
work, but rather a question why should not every
Christian in this land raise voice and hand to defend
these enslaved ones ?
" Had that woman's story been told in Boston
there would have been five thousand to listen to its
message; while here—"
He said no more but sat down. It was the voice
of Abner, who had not accompanied the ladies under
his charge into their pew, but sat far in the rear.
His voice had fallen with fierce distinctness; even
many of the polite Chinese turned their heads to A CHINESE QJJAKER
catch a glance at the new speaker, but before the
congregation had been fully dismissed he was out
upon the pavement waiting for his party.
They rode home in crowded cars.
Mr. Proctor," said Isabel, holding out both of
her hands and smiling with whole-souled approval
as they were all parting in the main hall of their residence, " What a surprise you gave us! You have
the courage of your convictions and are made of
the stuff of a Winkelried! God bless you for your
timely words."
Abner did not seem to see the extended hands but
bowed his thanks and—hung up his hat. Wilhelmina was in a loving tremor. Surely it was her
story that had aroused him to make such an extraordinary effort, but if she referred to it now he
might not be pleased—he was " so queer; "—but
Sing confided to her, ere the two said good night,
Mr. Abner all the same no fight and liberty
man like Mr. President Lincoln—-but he say it different." XIV
IT was midnight. The cable cars were still trailing up and down the long, steep hills of the
city with tireless regularity. The theatres
were being emptied of their feverish crowds, and the
thoroughfares of San Francisco were almost as
populous as they had been at high noon—but with a
different set of wayfarers.
Around the vicinity of Tiberoon Place, however,
it was as quiet at that hour as in an uninhabited valley. An electric light at the intersection of the
streets had drawn great, concentric circles around
the base of the post which upheld it, enlarged the
shadows of the telegraph lines into thick ropes, and
through the windows of Wilhelmina's bedroom pencilled in strong outline upon the wall exquisite
tracery of the foliage of a huge date palm which
stood in the yard.
Light was everywhere. But there was something
else there, shrinking from imaginary evil and in an
agony of fear: a young face, ghastly in its whiteness, was pressed against the central window pane,
and fingers were " gently tapping, tapping, tapping,
tapping," against it like the raven's beak at Poe's
chamber door.   Was Wilhelmina dreaming or had
109 200       A CHINESE QJJAKER
she indeed an abstract " familiar " which took aerial
flights, saw strange sights and heard sounds unspeakable in the language of the earth? Finally
she was conscious of being wide awake, " in the
body," peering through the sash-curtain, and looking squarely into the face of frightened Lau Ying.
In an instant the window was raised, lowered and
latched, and the girl, without a word, had entered
and crept under the bed where she lay trembling
like a captured bird in the hand.
Wilhelmina's thoughts ran to and fro like a shuttle
in a loom. The girl was a fugitive; she had made
her escape. Who had forewarned her of her fate
and aided her ? How and where could she be concealed ? Would not the loss of such a prize arouse
the anger of the High-binders and encourage their
stealthy pursuit? But soon, the duty for the emergency leapt out of the chaos of her thoughts dike a
fully equipped Minerva.
Pulling down the blinds, darkening the room, reassuring the trembling girl by a few little love pats
upon her hand, she quickly dressed, locked the door
behind her and passed into Sing's room, which
opened into hers. The boy was sound asleep. His
long black queue was trailing across the pillow like
a ribbon, and the small hands—always so busy when
awake—were now folded across his breast. She
looked at him for a moment with the tenderness of
a young mother and whispering in her heart, " For
thy sake," also locked his door. A RESCUE audits CONSEQ UENCES 201
Abner's chamber was not far off and in answer
to his inquiry, " What ails thee ? " she bade him meet
her with all haste in the dining room.
" We must get her as quickly as possible to the
Mission House. It must be done before morning.
Will thee go with us, Abner? " was the concluding
sentence of the statement of affairs which she had
made to him in as concise and emphatic way as she
knew how.
Thee is right, my sister, and I will take her
there alone."
"Alone, Abner!' she ejaculated in surprise, "I
was wondering if Isabel would not accompany thee
instead of me."
" Isabel! Never. It might endanger her life.
She must know nothing whatever about it until the
girl is safely there." Abner looked positively rejuvenated as he stood with a lighted candle in his
hand, his partly bald head in the shadow while his
eyes sparkled and his face took on a ruddy glow.
" But I -am now thinking of thy life, brother, if
a Chinese should recognize thee and report it."
" Nonsense! Thee sees spooks," said Abner.
" Disguise the girl somehow that she shall attract no
attention. Do it as quickly as thee can and I will
meet thee here."
The bell of the Mission on Street was rung
violently—but by no means unusually—even at that
" wee, sma' hour." A bolt from the inside of the
door was shot back with a sharp snap and a woman's A CHINESE QUAKER
face, calm, courageous and kind, appeared at the
| Permit us to enter, madam, my friend and I
will explain," said Abner as, pushing the girl before
him, the two immediately slipped through the half
open door.
Could Lau Ying have looked into a mirror she
would not have recognized herself. A long, gray
ulster descended to her feet which were confined for
the first time in leather shoes with high heels. Upon
her head, which had never known a covering other
than her own mass of hair, was thrust a travelling
bonnet of Wilhelmina's, and both face and bonnet
were swathed in a thick brown veil. ||j
If ever human faith in human kindness was
strained to its utmost tension it was now when Lau
Ying, standing between Abner and the superintendent of the Mission, unable to converse witlx either,
was ignorant of their intentions toward her and
knew not whether she stood in a prison or a home.
The superintendent immediately recognized Abner
as the gentleman who had publicly expressed himself regarding the slave trade in girls, a few evenings previous, and with a woman's intuition grasped
the situation. Quickly removing from Lau Ying
the bonnet and wrap, she beheld the most beautiful
Chinese maiden upon whom her trained eyes had
ever rested. As in the previous meeting of Wilhelmina and Lau Ying, the electric spark of sympathy
and confidence was kindled, and the superintendent, A RESCUE audits CONSEQ UENCES 203
taking the poor fugitive in her arms spoke a few
reassuring words to her in her own language.
" From the little I can glean, the girl will soon
be of age, but until then I will constitute myself her
guardian," said Abner, " and as soon as the court
opens this morning I will take out the necessary
legal papers.    You, I know, will do the rest."
As he descended the steps he plunged into a dense
but friendly fog such as was wont at that season and
locality to suddenly arise; through which he walked
to his own door looking like the phantom of a man.
Wilhelmina was in waiting. She had punctuated
her impatience with various devices, the last period
being the brewing of a cup of hot tea with which to
revive the bachelor knight-errant. He rewarded
her loving thoughtfulness by drinking it and telling
his simple story between sips with almost as much
animation as Sing would have shown.
" I anticipate no danger to any of us, Wilhelmina,
if thee will keep thine own counsel. Hint not to
anyone, but particularly, not to Hum Nung and Li
Jue, that thee knows anything about the girl. They
may and they may not be pledged in some way to
the High-binders. It is impossible to tell. I will
shoulder all the responsibility for my own act, and
with the mystery of how she got to thee we have
nothing to do.
" But Isabel!    Her anxiety was as great as mine,"
said Wilhelmina.
" Yes, and her experience and common-sense are 204       A CHINESE QUAKER
izx greater. She has had the advantage of opportunity, thee knows—that is what I mean. She will
be glad also, but let her find out the girl's escape.
And now " (looking at the clock) 1 we have three
hours for sleep if we seek it," and springing from
his chair with the alacrity of a boy, he turned toward
his bedroom.
1 Well! " said Wilhelmina to herself, " if kidnapping a Chinese girl is to Abner like a bath in the
fountain of youth, I wish he would make it his profession." She had left the dining room and was
proceeding down the hall when Abner tiptoed
toward her, his finger upon his lip.
"About Isabel," he whispered, "after all, thee
might give her just a gentle hint—if thee pleases—
of my wanderings."
In three of the daily papers the following notice
appeared the next day: " Strayed or stolen. A
pretty Chinese girl named Lau Ying. She can
neither speak nor understand English. Eight hundred dollars given for her return to her anxious
parents at ."
None ever claimed the reward.
" I plead guilty to a woman's headache8—it is
honest," said Isabel to Wilhelmina the following
Sabbath morning, " and I beg you to be my proxy
at the Chinese chapel, for so few white women are
present that the absence of any one is missed."
Wilhelmina consented, and accompanied by Sing,
attended for the first time, the chapel in the large A RESCUE audits CONSEQ UENCES 205
building where Rev. Chan Hun Fan made his home,
and where, morning and evening religious exercises
over which he presided, were held. This was an
exceptional occasion: a returned missionary from
China, a man who had for more than thirty years
been a labourer in the Empire and had given the
flower of his manhood to its service, was to occupy
the pulpit. An unusual sight—at least to the newcomers—greeted their entrance. With but few exceptions the entire congregation was composed of
Chinese men and women; the former being largely
in the majority, and the latter, with a few infants
and young children, huddled in one corner at the
extreme right. Upon the wall back of the pulpit,
were painted, in large characters, two copies of the
commandments; the one in Chinese, the other in
English. These, too, had been the work of a loving,
Christianized Chinese, who, between the hours of
his regular labour had wrought it with artistic skill.
A rescued slave girl played the melodeon, and the
opening hymn, " Rock of Ages," was sung. It had
been translated into the Chinese by the native pastor.
While the sound was as discordant as, to uncultured
music-lovers, are the tones of a Wagnerian opera,
yet none could doubt the fervor of its expression.
Then followed the baptism of a baby girl, who
was presented by her proud father—a tea merchant
—upon a pillow of crimson plush, as though she
was a monarch's crown. The ceremony was to be
performed in Chaung Wo's own tongue but, when 2o6       A CHINESE Q UAKER
being asked by the minister, according to the
formula of the church, | What shall be the infant's
name ? " the reply came from the father in good
I John the Baptist."
A smile rippled across the face of the good missionary. He well understood the confusion in the
father's mind, and whispered, " Mary—the mother
of Jesus," to which consent was immediately given,
and little Mary, perhaps a future Chinese madonna,
received the sacred seal.
During the delivery of the sermon the gaze of
an hundred pair of eyes never was removed from
the speaker's face, and more than a hundred queues
never varied from their plummet-like perpendicular.
One of the little folks, a lad of three years, sat as
quietly as the men, twirling for more than an hour
between his tiny thumb and forefinger the stem of a
white chrysanthemum without doing it the least injury; while another who had picked up an ace of
spades upon the street, moved among the men as
noiselessly as a kitten, flipping the card upon their
knees.    Each was an epitome of the race.
The services were to conclude with a love-feast,
which, to Sing, who was hungry, and to whom all
of this particular ceremony was new, seemed a natural and generous proceeding. Two young Chinese
passed through the congregation, each one carrying
a tray in his hands.    The one tray contained a lov- A RESCUEandils CONSEQUENCES 207
ing-cup and a pot of warm tea covered with its
quilted wrap from which the cup was replenished
when emptied. The other tray held small crackers
of wafer-like size and weight. All present were
invited to partake of these simple emblems of love
and unity. To a faith like Wilhelmina's, educated
to dispense with ceremonial manifestation of the inward, spiritual grace, this scene was as novel
as it was to Sing. Quickly comprehending its effect
upon the minds of the devout listeners she, also, participated in the feast of love. While doing so she
renewed her pledge to God the All-Father, for whatever of loving service it would be in her power to
bestow upon these, His Mongolian children, who
were, " so near and yet so far."
Soon, here and there among the men, one after
another arose, giving in their native tongue, testimony of their recognition of the love of God and its
operation in their daily lives. The missionary understood every word and his good face reflected the
gladness or pathos of each statement. Soon there
was a long silence broken at last by an invitation to
any of the Chinese women who were present to participate in the ceremony. It was something to which
they were but little used but, finally, one arose. Her
unpainted cheeks were crimson with the excitement
of the occasion and the small brown hand which held
her red silk handkerchief, shook as though palsied.
Wilhelmina, looking toward her flashed a smile of 208       A CHINESE QUAKER
recognition and encouragement. She was Oy Yoke.
To the surprise of many she attempted to speak in
" I allee same Chinaman but I be one woman. I
have soul too, it never go dead. I know Jesus-God.
He love me. I love Him velly heap. He tellee me,
' You no lie, you no steal, you not get madee; bimeby
I takee you heaven. No workee there, no sick;
every body allee same good.' I sabe Him say true,
I velly happy all day."
She would have proceeded for the tremor was
gone and the novelty of her situation was giving
her courage, but the little fellow with the chrysanthemum, who was standing on the bench by her side,
suddenly, in a piercing monotone, like the E string
of a violin, began to sing,
" Jesus is a wock in a wealy Ian*
A wealy Ian'
A wealy Ian'
Oh! Jesus is a wock in a wealy Ian*—m.
The closing line was forgotten, and with his flower
still poised like an uplifted baton he gazed for an
instant in mild-eyed wonder at the smiling faces
about him, and sat down; doubtless, beneath the
shadow of " The Rock in a weary land."
An out-of-door meeting was announced to take
place at three o'clock of the same afternoon, over
which the regular pastor would preside, and then the
service was adjourned. Wilhelmina paused only a
moment to exchange greetings with Oy Yoke.
3EK"S***"'7*"' Bi
"Let us come back to Chinatown meeting,"
pleaded Sing as the two entered a cable car for home,
and Wilhelmina, still under the influence of the
broad, Divine Love which had broken down all barriers of race, consented.
A Sabbath in San Francisco, by reason of that
city's cosmopolitan population, partakes to a large
extent, of the looseness of that day in Paris and
other Continental cities. The stores and factories
are closed, however, giving to those who are not
connected with the numerous evangelical churches
an opportunity for an outing for the day in the
Schutzens and other beautiful parks in the suburbs;
and the Sabbath brings also to the large majority
of the ever industrious Chinese labourers, a day
of rest.
As Wilhelmina and Sing walked across a certain
portion of the city preparatory to their descent into
Chinatown, they passed a sand lot overshadowed by
the scaffolding of a magnificent court of justice in
process of construction. During the week that sand
lot was vacant, but it had recently become notorious
as the herding place on Sabbath afternoons of a
semi-lawless and often riotous assembly, known in
certain political circles of the lower class as " Sand-
lotters." Caught in the crowd the two pedestrians
were compelled for a few moments to remain unwilling auditors.
Standing above the people, upon a cart, was the
cynosure of all eyes,—a noisy demagogue.    Around 21 o       A CHINESE QUAKER
him were gathered more than a thousand foreigners,
whose curiosity, poverty, laxity of patriotism, and
often crime, had driven them from various European countries and had forced them to make a temporary residence in San Francisco. Some were
honest but ignorant men, knowing but little of the
policy of American government, but keen enough to
appreciate the fruitage of its republican seed-sowing
and their share of the harvest. Others, of the men,
were mere " hewers of wood and drawers of water,"
who by reason of their previous environment had as
yet no higher aspiration, and were satisfied with
their social conditions; and still others, who, "like
foul toads in a dungeon," had been flung upon California soil by the hand of outraged law, and had
since stuck there by the force of their own slime.
This inflammable and undiscriminating crowd
the orator was haranguing in blatant tones. He
was in earnest, nor did he lack the courage to express his convictions. His face had grown as red
as a cock's comb, sweat was oozing from every pore
in his body, his arms were plunging wildly to the
four quarters of the compass, and by way of a climax to what he thought some overwhelming argument, he would seize a coil of rope, fling it around
his head and cry:
" The Chinese must go! "
A roar from the crowd echoed the shibboleth.
The Chinese on the Pacific Coast was the theme,
and he dwelt upon the injury they did the American A RESCUE audits CONSEQUENCES 211
people, their menace to white labour, their villainy
known and unknown, until to the minds of his hearers, the Chinese en masse or individually, represented a materialized Black Death.
Sing listened to every word and caught the temper of the speaker.
" He hates us. He may do thee some harm. Oh,
please let us go," he cried, and he tried forcibly to
drag Wilhelmina through the audience. They were
able soon to board a passing car and to reach their
Upon gaining the Broadway of Chinatown, along
which there were no car tracks, they encountered
another crowd of at least four hundred in number,
which almost blocked the street. Upon a rudely
constructed platform of store boxes stood Rev. Chan
Hun Fan, grave, pale, and as calm as peace. Near
him were a few young men of his own congregation
who had been singing Gospel hymns, and around
was the usual motley crowd of Asiatics: some impelled by curiosity to hear what their countrymen
had to say, and others desiring to hear by reason of
a force which they could not name. Fringing the
crowd were a few white men and women of the
class who linger around at the outskirts of a Salvation Army open-air meeting.
There was bad blood between two rival Tongs.
All of Chinatown knew it, yet on the very pavement that a few days before had been reddened with
the blood of murder, and under the rooms of a 212       A CHINESE QJJAKER
High-binder society, Chan Hun Fan had taken his
stand. He had chosen for his text the words:
" Resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on
the right cheek turn to him the other, also."
What was the speaker's exegesis of this command, most difficult to follow, Wilhelmina could
only conjecture from his impassioned tones. In
fact, strong in the belief that to love your enemies
and to do good to those who despitefully use you
and persecute you is the test of a life hid in Christ,
he was, nowithstanding, openly denouncing the murderous societies that disgrace their nation and terrorize Chinatown.
As he proceeded the crowd became more compact; and Sing, recognizing Li Jue who was not
far away, left Wilhelmina, as he said, " for just one
little minute " to inform his friend of their presence.
Before Sing could reach him, however, a cry—a
human cry of mingled surprise and pain—pierced
the silence as the crack of a pistol shot would have
The preacher stopped, the position of the crowd
changed as rapidly and as suddenly as the contents
of a kaleidoscope. A Chinese was seen running at
full speed down the street pursued by a policeman,
and a bleeding form was lifted in the arms of four
men.   The wounded man was Li Jue. XV
THE Chinese doctor to whom Li Jue was immediately carried by friendly hands was his
old uncle, Dr. Choy, whose pharmacy was
near by, and in whose perfection of skill all intelligent Chinese had entire faith. Like all Chinese
physicians, Dr. Choy was altogether ignorant of
the science aand art of surgery, and had no knowledge of anatomy, and Li Jue's life would soon have
ebbed away had the wound been deeper or touched
a vital part. The would-be assassin was a bungler,
hence, the knife-thrust that was intended for the
young man's heart had simply pierced the shoulder
blade. §§
It gave a rare opportunity, however, to the little
family at Tiberoon Place to show their loving sympathy, by surrounding him with every comfort
which he seemed to lack. As soon as possible Wilhelmina, accompanied by Abner, was admitted to
the antechamber of the room in which Li Jue was
lying, whose atmosphere was heavy with the pleasant odours of burning amaranth flowers which were
intended to " draw out fever " and to " cure pain."
Dr. Choy received them with great courtesy and appropriated as a mark of homage to himself, the bou-
213 214       A CHINESE QUAKER
quet of beautiful flowers which had been intended
for Li Jue. He assured them that his nephew must
| no talkee, no lookee, no eatee, soon get well; " and
seating Wilhelmina, he conducted Abner to the side
of the bunk in which Li Jue was lying. A brave
smile from the young man assured Abner of his
determination to be patient in every sense.
Under less anxious circumstances Wilhelmina
would have had keen satisfaction in taking an inventory of that chamber for the enlightenment of
friends at home. Dr. Choy Thoon Sung stood so
high in his profession that not a few Americans,
credulous to a high degree, and who knew as little as
himself of the ignorance of any Chinese doctor as
measured by the laws of medical science, had sought
his advice and treatment. Six volumes out of
two hundred and seventy-six Chinese medical works,
composed his precious library, and had been his
life-time study; yet they gave him no knowledge
whatever of the structure of the human system and
the functions of its varied parts. That Li Jue's
wound required no surgical instruments was, under
existing circumstances, his greatest good fortune.
Dr. Choy's shelves contained from six hundred to
one thousand varieties of medicines prepared from
stones, metals, grasses, vegetables, trees, the human
body, animals, fowls, birds, bugs, worms, snakes,
shellfish, turtles, flies, fruits and cereals. Among
those parts of the bodies of animals which contributed to his materia me die a were the bones, teeth and LOVES NOT TIME'S FOOL   215
horns of white dragons, bear's gall, deer's glue,
sheep's milk and the marrow of their bones, rhinoceros's horns, tiger's bones, claws and eyes, and
dog's brain, skull and gall.
A harmless decoction of sweet marigold, cassia
flowers, juniper leaf, orange peel and cough root,
boiled in distilled water was freely administered to
Li Jue, and his healthy blood, free from the poisons of opium, alcohol and tobacco, did the rest to
induce a speedy cure.
The gentle refinement of Li Jue and his boundless gratitude for the kindness and attention of his
new friends, only increased their wonder as to what
he, with .such a kindly nature, had done to incite in
any one the desire to take his life.
Hum Nung, when questioned had no suspicion of
the cause (at least he said so). The assailant,
throwing away his knife, had eluded his pursuer by
darting into dark and tortuous alleys and mingling
with his fellow Chinese whom he resembled almost
as much as the peas in a pod resemble one another.
His flight had been entirely successful. The inference naturally was, that the assailant, whether a
hired one or acting upon his own responsibilities,
had made a mistake in his victim; and the cause of
it all would very likely remain among time's unsolved mysteries.
Sing had become exceedingly fond of Li Jue.
Without losing his confidence in his early friend,
Hum Nung, there had come to be recognized be- 2i6      A CHINESE QUAKER
tween Li Jue and himself a tender bond which
often exists between an elder and a younger brother
of like tastes and temperament, and Wilhelmina
had encouraged the intimacy. During Li Jue's convalescence there were but few afternoons, when lessons were ended, in which the boy was not for an
hour at least at his friend's side, bringing almost
as much cheer and youth into the monotony of old
Dr. Choy's life as vigor into that of his patient.
" What does thee and Li Jue find to talk about ? "
asked Wilhelmina one day, when on his return from
Chinatown his mood seemed more grave and reticent than usual, "Do you converse in Chinese or
in English ? "
" Each one, both," was the quick reply. " When
we do not want Dr. Choy to understand we talk
English, other times Chinese. To-day we talk all
Chinese, it easiest and Dr. Choy busy in his office
and not hear us." For a moment he was thoughtful and then said, " Li Jue thinks what Mr. Abner
said is true; he thinks about it all over. He not
believe in slave girls. It wrong. He sets them free.
Thee remembers what thee told Mr. Abner about
Lau Ying, who gave me this ? " (producing a tiny
goldfish charm.) " I told Li Jue what thee said
about a bad man going to buy her. % Li Jue got very
mad and sa?8 this way (thumping his hands against
the wall), I Not so, I steal her.' He told me not to
say anything to thee, my mother or anybody. S-h-e
\g-o-n-e.   Her people very much mad.   Li Jue did LOVES NOT TIMES FOOL   217
not steal her. He give 'nother man heap money to
help him do it. Li Jue say to-day: ' Maybe they
kill me again, I not care. God say I do right.' Li
Jue did not know where she gone. The man who
steal her, he gone too. The Hatchet-men lose much,
very much, money. They like to kill everybody.
Thee must not go to Chinatown. I go. I not
afraid!' j and he drew up his little figure as though
by so doing he could expand it to the full size of
his imagination.
When excited Sing was apt to forget the connectives of speech which he was learning with so
much care. On this occasion relapse was unusually in
evidence. Coming close to Wilhelmina's ear, he whispered : " I am much 'fraid for Mr. Abner, he speak
so heartfelt that night."
Wilhelmina was astonished. Of the details of
the midnight flight of Lau Ying which brought her
to the window, she knew nothing except the sequel.
That the actual safety of the girl had been accomplished indirectly through Li Jue, filled her with
wonder and gratitude. How little she had thought
that her fervour of detail at the luncheon weeks previous, had taken such a strong hold of Sing's indignation and sense of justice that he would, in his
simplicity, open the door of Lau Ying's escape.
Her apprehension for the personal safety of all
concerned, except the girl herself, increased the more
she thought of the present situation. All that she
had heard of the Chinese " ways that are dark and 2i8       A CHINESE QJJAKER
tricks that are vain," was magnified to such a degree
that her hitherto open and courageous spirit seemed
dwarfing under the influence of suspicion. Abner
laughed at her fears; but that did not dismiss them.
She felt, however, that it was due to Li Jue to
make known the fact that his chivalry and sacrifice
had not been in vain. It was doubtful whether he
would ever again see the girl for whom, in a certain sense, he had risked his life, but in obedience
to Abner's wise counsel, she informed him not only
of Lau Ying's absolute safety and pleasant place
of refuge, but that " Mr. Abner " would henceforth
guard her with a father's care.
The period of Lau Ying's rescue was, also, the
darkest year of hostility to the Chinese since their
immigration to the Pacific Coast began. Many
Christians, who, upon every other current topic of
the day allowed their calm and ripened judgment to
shape their expression of opinion, when the " Chinese
question " became the theme of discussion, lost the
memory and meaning of the fundamental truth accepted by Americans, " that all men are born free
and equal," and poured upon the Chinese branch
of Our Father's family the most bitter invectives and
pitiless denunciations. True, their increasing numbers, their densely populated streets, the degraded
condition of the women (the cause of which, at that
time was greatly misunderstood), and the rapid development of opium dens which shared with San
Francisco's thousands of saloons in tempting the
flower of its youth to evil, ignominy and death, combined to make a strong apology for the action of
many of the opponents of the Chinese.
Wilhelmina, while confiding to Isabel, one day,
her hopes and fears received the reply,
"True, all that you say; but Christian philanthropy will, in time overcome these conditions. Have
you not faith ? "
" Not enough to allay my fears. I desire, if
possible, to remove Sing from these associations.
My soul is sick of the confusion and confinement of
city life. I long for the companionship of trees,
flowers, and the little dumb folk of God's own country, for their influence on myself as well as for their
influence on my boy."
As though the desire was the forerunner of the
deed, a rare opportunity for the purchase of a fine
property " in the neighbourhood of Friend Halsey,"
about fifty miles south of San Francisco, dropped
like a ripe cherry into Abner's lap. He, despite
his many peculiarities, had a strong poetical temperament, which found but little chance for gratification in the confusion of business life in San Francisco. A generous income, secured alike to his sister and himself upon the settlement of his father's
estate, made it easy for him to follow the wooing
of his fancy, and there was but one barrier to his
immediate compliance with his sister's wishes. That,
however, was an Alp which rose higher and higher
the nearer he approached it. 220      A CHINESE QJJAKER
" Abner has idiosyncracies and always will have,"
his fond mother had said in his boyhood. His
friends had accepted her prophetic insight. His
glaring defects in their estimation were his indifference to all women—his sisters excepted—and his
practice of startling people by doing the most unexpected things in the most unconventional and unexpected way.
||§ When he met Isabel he met his fate. It was not
long before her personality haunted him, and he
found his heart beating faster whenever he heard
her approaching footsteps. So little had he known
of the usual symptoms of dawning love, that he
went to a homeopathic physician \ at an early stage
of his passion, fearing that he had a disposition to
fatty degeneration of the heart, and asked for a
remedy. The agitation, notwithstanding, grew
stronger whenever in her presence and soon overmastered him.
" It must be that I love her as a man can love a
woman, but once, who is not his sister!" he confessed to himself one night, a few months previous,
when awakening at midnight, she seemed standing
before him in all her stately beauty.
" Isabel, I love thee; I love thee! " he exclaimed,
for the first time giving voice to his hitherto wordless thoughts, and then, like a timid girl covering
his face with his hands, frightened at his own temerity. But the shell of the nut had been broken, and
solitude, always pleasant to him, now became doubly LOVE'S NOT TIME'S FOOL   221
so as he revelled in the mysterious sweetness of a
perspective that might, could or would be.
His interest in the history of the hoary old Empire now grew so earnest and voracious that the
librarian of the largest public library in San Francisco could scarcely supply his demands for the
I latest literature on the subject of China; " and the
keen-witted and curious inhabitants of Chinatown
wondered if the pleasant-faced, elderly gentleman
who sauntered through their streets so complacently,
and who paid for the wares he bought without demurring at their price, was not a rich opium merchant from Europe spying out their needs.
And Isabel! Ah, Isabel knew it all, true woman
that she was, and she resolved that never should
Abner feel the humiliation, even if he had to suffer
the disappointment of being a rejected lover.
" I have an evening at my disposal. Will both
of you be in the ' C. K.' to-night? " she asked, putting her face through the door with neighbourly
familiarity while Wilhelmina, Abner and Sing were
at tea.
" Yes, and thee will be as welcome as is the
moonlight," promptly replied Wilhelmina. Abner
could not speak. Isabel had scarcely disappeared
before he managed to say approvingly, "Thy metaphor is very appropriate, Wilhelmina, for these
nights are lovely."
"Did thee hear me, Abner? I thought thy tea
was choking thee." 222       A CHINESE QJJAKER
As they sat together an hour later, the steady,
soft light of the Argand burner seemed to diffuse
harmony of thought as well as mellowed radiance
around the quartet who had become so much united.
"lam going to sharpen all the pencils that thee
gave me, to-night, Miss Wallace!" said Sing, producing his penknife. " Mr. Abner has sharpened
this to cut almost like a razor."
" I wish it could cut through the knot of a difficulty which seems to hold me," said Isabel, in a
voice clear and strong. " Do you remember my
telling you, months ago that I had a surprise in
store for you ? "
" Yes, and thee never told it," quickly responded
" I could not then. He fell very ill. Had a low
fever which almost consumed him. Only now is he
able to travel. He is visiting his family in England
and hopes to reach New York in six months."
" Thee <speaks in riddles, Isabel. Of whom is thee
talking ?—thy father ? " asked Wilhelmina.
" No, no, of Frederick Marston, my affianced.
But for his serious illness we would have been married months ago. These latter weeks have been
most anxious ones to me and I felt unable to explain, even to you.
" Frederick has received the appointment of superintendent of an important department of mission
work upon this Coast, and we shall make our headquarters here.   He entreats me to meet him in New LOVES NOT TIMES FOOL  223
York city and return here as his wife. The ' knot'
of which I spoke, is one of indecision, which I think
I will soon untie.   Have I not surprised you ? "
Wilhelmina's congratulations poured forth in a
stream of sympathy and affectionate raillery—but
Abner said not a word.
The supreme moment of his life had come. His
insight was never clearer nor his perception of truth
and duty keener, yet a pall—not of poppies—had
suddenly covered him. He sat in the shadow nor
did he move a muscle.
"Abner! Abner! Is thee asleep?" said Wilhelmina rising and laying her hand upon his shoulder.
" No, I am awake," he replied, " for my dream is
ended."   The pathos of his voice was unmistakable.
After a momentary silence, Isabel approached him
and holding out both hands, which he was compelled
to take, said,
" Mr. Proctor! You will never know how much
strength you have given me! I have felt your approval and it has been an inspiration. Our lives
will, hereafter, run parallel and the lines will be very
close, for never will companionship be sweeter to
me than that with you and your sister."
" See! My pencils are as sharp as pins. I have
six. I will draw that kind of ship that thee said
just now, and put us all in it," said Sing as he displayed his work.
He had broken the spell. XVI
SING stood in the doorway of his new home,
elate with joy. To his left was an alameda,
or " beautiful way," with willows and gigantic oaks on either side, intermingling their foliage
and forming an arch for miles over a road as smooth
as a floor. Before him arose the domes, towers and
spires of the " Garden City," piercing the clear western atmosphere beneath a sky of cloudless blue. He
could see the outlines of many of the alternate pines
and palms which bordered the streets and avenues
interlacing the city. Beyond them arose the foothills of the Coast Range, a magnificent girdle surrounding the matchless valley of the Santa Clara.
Those wonderful hills! They were Nature's fortification and man's inspiration. In the early morning they were billowy, empurpled masses, dimpled
with sunshine and shadow; under the meridian sun
they glowed like burnished copper, revealing in their
canyons a hidden wealth of grass, water and herbage; and at night, under the moonbeams they lay in
shadowy outline like the tombs of mighty Titans over
which planets, and stars, and flashing meteors kept
His suburban residence was within the boundary
of the most enchanting little city in Northern California. All the keen susceptibilities to the beautiful
which belong to the Chinese as a race animated the
boy's soul. The grounds around the house were in
a state of high cultivation and flowers of almost
countless variety were at his feet.
I Sing, is thee happy? " It was the voice of Wilhelmina as she came up behind him and laid her
hand upon his shoulder. He turned toward her with
an expression upon his face which she had never seen
there before. It seemed, suddenly, to glorify his
otherwise plain features.
I Yes, I am so happy that I am full of something,
here," said Sing, laying his hand on his breast. " It
feels almost like being sorry. I will run and get my
cap full of lovely peaches for thee and me, and we
will stay here forever."
In a few days the little Chinese mother arrived
for a visit of a week. She came from the depot in a
carriage, as usual. Her uncovered head was ornamented elaborately; while in her hands, enclosed in
a large, white silk handkerchief were all the changes
of toilet she considered necessary for an extended
visit. She had made no effort to learn English—
satisfied to have her son for an interpreter; and he,
by way of a polite apology for her seeming indifference, said to Wilhelmina:
" My mother knows as much as thee but it is in
Chinese language. No Chinese ladies know as much
as Chinese men, for they do not need much learning. 226      A CHINESE QJJAKER
She says that I know more than my father," .and
in his mood of self-complacency he strutted away
like a peacock. This one of his national characteristics was often uppermost.
But although Wong Yui said but a few words she
was watching with maternal solicitude all that was
so new to her in her son's life. It was the first time
that she had ever seen a representative American
home outside the limits of a great city and free from
the pent-up surroundings which had marked in a
large degree the previous home of Wilhelmina. Her
life-long fear and dread of the " foreign devils,"
whom she had been taught were monsters, was
changing into a pleased wonder and a confidence
which was inspired by affection. Doubtless few-
things in Wilhelmina's domestic arrangements surprised her as much as the absence of economy in
fuel—its scarcity in China being a source of constant anxiety. A stove even moderately filled with
coal or wood invited a protest from her, to which
Sing would reply—as though he owned all the coal
mines and forests in America: " Our country here
has enough wood and coal to last forever." In the
abundance and variety of all else in her boy's home
she showed the involuntary and unrestrained enjoyment of a child.
Both Wilhelmina and Abner had long been thinking that for Sing to don the costume of an American
boy would not only add to his comfort but make it
easier for him to mingle with the lads in his imme- THE CHINESE PROFESSOR 227
diate neighbourhood, should they seem friendly.
Sing, likewise, favoured the plan; but to obtain his
mother's consent was far from easy. To oppose her
wishes never entered his mind, 6uch a proceeding
being as contrary to Chinese teaching as to the fifth
commandment of the Mosaic law. Especially did
his mother object to having him lose his queue. She
would pass her hands over it with the same tenderness and admiration as an American mother over
the loose curls of her first-born—and then lapse into
a long silence. Of course, all the arguments for
such a sacrifice had to be presented through Sing,
prompted by Wilhelmina. However, on the last
morning of Wong Yui's stay, after having watched
the cow being milked, as both the cow and her admirer stood foot-deep among daisies and lush, green
grass, the rubicon of her prejudice was crossed and
her consent ready.
" My mother says thee may cut off my queue if
thee will sew it on again before I go back to China,"
Sing announced to Wilhelmina with as much gravity
as though his head was to accompany his queue.
" Is thee sorry to lose it, Sing? " said Wilhelmina.
" No, I am very glad to never have it any more,"
he replied.
"When is thee going to China, Sing?" There
had come a dull pain in her heart at the possibility of
such a change.
" Just like my mother said to me before: when I
return to get me some wives." His voice assumed a II
pleading tone as he continued, " Thee needs no
other servant, does thee? I will be thy servant to
wait upon thee, and I can buy one for my mother.".
I Nonsense, Sing, poor child! Thee knows not
what thee is talking about," and for once her tones
expressed irritability. She then added, " Tell your
mother that I will make the agreement about your
With the change of costume and his hair cropped
close to his head the boy Sing was indeed metamorphosed. The inward change which had accompanied the outer, was revealed in the absence of
that repose and dignity which had been one of his
distinctive traits. He climbed trees and ran over
the house roof with the agility of a cat; he somersaulted over the grass like an acrobat; he sang to
the wind and the birds in their own tones; and he
grew upon such intimate terms with Fido, the house
dog, and the cow and its calf, that he declared they
understood Chinese. Nothing, in brief, peculiar to
the animal spirits of a healthy American boy was
wanting in him except the quality of pugilism.
Whether this was inherent or the result of her teaching, Wilhelmina did not decide. She was simply
satisfied that he gave no evidence of possessing it.
He managed to adjust each article of his new dress
easily, except his neckties. In that act came the
"tug of w&r." The ties were simply narrow ribbons of various colours, cut in short lengths. One
day Wilhelmina surprised him while sitting on the THE CHINESE PROFESSOR 229
floor of the dining-room. The extension table had
six legs. Around the thickest part of each he had
tied a different-hued ribbon in a nondescript style.
1 What is thee doing to the table, Sing? " said
" I am trying to make the bows in my ties look
like Mr. Abner's black one," was the response made
with the solemnity of a sage.   He finally succeeded.
Those were happy days. The home atmosphere
was one of love and harmony. Wilhelmina soon
became the centre of a circle of friends who were
able to appreciate her rare gifts of mind and heart,
and who were in full sympathy with what was called
her " experiment," namely—her home education of
The I Garden City" was, pre-eminently, the
largest educational centre in Northern California.
The Pacific College, known as the University of
the Pacific and one of the State's oldest and
most notable institutions of learning; seminaries,
common schools of superior excellence, and churches
representing nearly all religious denominations,
made evident the mental and spiritual culture of its
inhabitants. To its yearly increasing social importance was added the presence of many old and distinguished families of wealth from the East, who,
finding in its climate a panacea for many physical
ills, had built them permanent homes within its precincts. The Chinese were there also, as everywhere
else in the State, where industrious, honest and tern- 230       A CHINESE QJJAKER
perate labourers were needed; but the Chinatown
proper of the " Garden City ' was composed of but
few families, who made no disturbance and with but
few exceptions were treated kindly.
Outwardly, Abner seemed to have recovered his
equipoise, and surprised those who knew him by contributing a pamphlet to the literature on the Chinese
question, the noble sentiments of which, and the
practical, common-sense views set forth therein were
assented to by the majority of those who read it. In
fact, its contents caused humane men and women
to think, independently, as perhaps some had never
thought before, of the virtues of the majority of
these industrious, patient, honest, quiet and forbearing immigrants, until they ceased to wonder why the
Creator had made one-third of the human race after
the Chinese pattern, notwithstanding their present
condition of arrested development, ft Not so with the
anti-coolie clubs of various cities in the State which
failed to find in the Chinese the exceptional class
that did not patronize the saloons, that remained
patient under trial, cheerful under burdens, working
for lowest wages in order to send their honestly
earned money back to the " old folks at home," and
Were rightfully efficient competitors in many
branches of industry.
While writing his pamphlet and aiming to be
just, Abner, occasionally, attended their anti-Chinese meetings. The temper of some of their politicians was practically revealed to him one night as THE CHINESE PROFESSOR 231
he sat, a quiet listener in their midst. A member
of the Club who, evidently, had felt the evils of
Chinese invasion arose and said:
" Mr. Prisidint and Gintlemin: I have some remarks to make on this great thing. I have been
wurrickin' amongst these haythins as foremin an'
head boss over some iv 'im, an' you bet your life I
knocked 'im down whiniver they tuk any airs on
theirselves wid me.
' And, Mr. Prisidint, I claims as how when a
man's a white man he ort to stay a white man or
lave the country. I showed thim haythins that I
was a white man an' f orninst such employ of China-
mens. Why, sur, I seed thim min what employed
these Chinamens actually give thim a chaw of to-
backer and indulgin' 'im; an' I was discharged because I knocked 'em down whin they tuk too many
liberties wid me.   Yis, sur, I'se agin 'em!'
The more intelligent Chinese in the " Garden
City" were not long in finding out the sympathy
which Miss Proctor and her brother felt and exhibited for their race, and showed their gratitude
upon every opportunity. On Sabbath days Sing
regularly attended a large Sunday school attached
to one of the most prominent churches in the city.
He was the only Chinese in it. Once, he went
alone. Several large boys, members of the school,
followed him inside the vestibule of the church,
crying, " He's lost his tail! Monkey! Little John!
Coolie-boy! " until the superintendent, hearing them, 232       A CHINESE QJJAKER
came out and delivered a severe reprimand. Relating the incident to Wilhelmina, Sing said, with the
utmost seriousness and candour:
I In my heart I felt sorry for them because I think
they did it ignorantly. They have no one at home
to teach them better. I asked God to forgive them
for they know not what they do." His manner
could not have been more sincere and manly had he
been a martyr of the olden time.
During the succeeding months his progress in his
studies—with which his physical development kept
pace—was so rapid, that during a neighbourly call
from the President of the College, Rev. Dr. Strat-
ton, Wilhelmina sought his advice regarding Sing's
"Give him to us," was the prompt answer.
" Since, as you say, he is ready for the academic
department we will enter him there."
" But he is a Chinese. It will be an innovation.
His fellow-pupils may object to his companionship,"
said Wilhelmina, delighted with the proposition yet
fearing the result of its acceptance.
" Any one of our students who would presume to
draw a line of distinction dividing our common humanity simply because of race or colour, is unworthy
the privileges of this College," replied the broad-
minded President. " The boy may leave us an embryo statesman or philosopher.   Who can tell ? "
Finding upon examination that Sing had already M
out-stripped the academic classes, he was entered
upon the Latin-scientific college course of four years.
Wilhelmina, fearing that in the ardour of his English
studies he would altogether forget his native tongue
during the second year of his college life, advertised
through Rev. Chan Hun Fan for a native teacher:
one who desired to study the English language in
return for giving his knowledge of the Confucian
classics, and who should reside in her house. The
tutor came, Li Dik by name: a man of ponderous
learning who, although desirous of understanding
the new and most difficult language used and understood by a few of his countrymen in America, felt
that should he be able to master Anthon's Classical
Dictionary and Webster's Unabridged—in comparison to what he had to give in exchange, it would be
but one leaf as compared with the boundless store
of leaves which grew upon the Chinese tree of knowledge. His habits, however, were as simple and
modest as those of a friendly hermit. As he wandered through the ample grounds of " Floral Home "
(the name which Wilhelmina had applied to her
new possession), clad in his long, loose robe like the
toga of a Roman, the upper part of his face covered
by the immense rim and radius of his professional
spectacles, the house-dog and cat fled from him as
do the birds from a scarecrow in a New England
grain field. The conduct of Fido would not have
been noticed in China, where a dog never follows 234       A CHINESE QJJAKER
a. man; but Fido was a genial fellow, devoted to
Sing, and one whom nothing less unfamiliar than
Li Dik's oriental majesty could have rebuffed.
True to his reverence for the scholasticism which
his tutor represented, Sing never hesitated to express it. Li Dik inclined to Abner, who, he said,
was " Most Venerable, Heavenly Sweetness," because he so rarely talked; and he pasted upon the
outside of his own private apartment an inscription,
" Behind this door is Eternal Rest," and none but
himself ever entered therein. His morning and
evening salutation was " Pan-gang " (Peace be with
you). His vocabulary of " pidgin English " was so
small that, at first, he never attempted to use it. He
cooked his own simple diet of rice, Chinese sausage
and tea in a summer kitchen, apart from the family;
and when seated beneath the large and beautiful
Brazilian pepper tree which overhung the entrance
through the front gate-way, and seen through its
veil of drooping, fern-leaved branches, with a book
in one hand and gently waving to and fro a white
fan with the other, he reminded Wilhelmina of the
materialized spirit of one of the ancient prophets of
" Can thee tell me what he is reading so attentively ? " she asked one day of Sing, as the latter
approached his tutor for his afternoon lesson.
" I can," the boy replied politely taking the book
from the hand of Li Dik. " It is the .great' Book of
Rites' which regulates all the public, social and do- THE CHINESE PROFESSOR 235
mestic conduct of my people; and I am to commit to
memory these lines from it:
" ' Those who walk slowly, after their seniors, are
dutiful brothers; those who walk hastily, before their
seniors, are undutiful brothers. If any one is twenty
years older than you, treat him as you do your
father; if ten years older than you, as you do your
elder brother; if only five years older, follow him
close to his shoulder. Following your teacher, you
must not pass by him and speak to other people.
Meeting him upon the road, quickly advance and
stand erect with folded hands.' This is a wonderful book," he continued, passing his hand lightly
over its pages, " and here is another chapter called
' The mirror of the mind,' of which, in order to
become a Chinese scholar I must make every word
my own. Listen to its contents," and he glibly read
as follows: "' The Practice of Virtue, Heaven Rules,
On Minding One's Business, Self Government, On
Keeping the Heart, Diligence in Study, On the Instruction of Children, Inspection of the Heart, On
Sincerity, The Government of the State and Family,
Rules for Conversation.'
" Oh my brains! " he concluded with a sigh.
" Once, I thought I knew everything. That was
when I was a little fellow. Now, I find out that I
know nothing, and have all to learn ":—a confession
which Wilhelmina treasured as Sing's best sign of
intellectual growth.
Li Dik soon learned to love his pupil and sought 236        A CHINESE QUAKER
most assiduously to convey to him his knowledge.
To stimulate him to exertions of memory he spent
much of the time, during which he should have been
reading the English primer, in relating his own experience at one of the great competitive examinations in Hankow. Sing listened eagerly and retold
all to Wilhelmina. The recital seemed to stimulate
his admiration for the land of his birth of which,
practically, he knew so little. Although Li Dik did
not weigh more than one hundred and twenty-five
pounds, in Sing's estimation he was a physical and
intellectual giant. After having described the nature and quality of the four educational degrees,
and how he was awarded the first, called 1 The
Flowering Talent," he proceeded to tell how he won
the second and third. He told it modestly: " I was
one of the twenty-nine thousand students," he said,
" assembled at one time for competitive examination,
of whom only one hundred and forty-six were to
receive the third degree. Each one was in hope he
would get it. The examination buildings cover sixteen acres; within are thousands of little cells or
dens with no furniture but a bare plank upon which
to write and sleep. Into one of these each candidate
was put for nine days. We took our food in with us
nor were allowed communication with any one.
The isolation and strain upon the memory is so
great that a student is often found lying upon his
plank, dead.
"Our themes were all taken from the works of THE CHINESE PROFESSOR 237
the great Konfutze, and we had nothing to refer to
but our memories. At the close of the examinations
our manuscripts were given into the hands of copyists to be copied in red ink. They were then handed
to a set of scholars who sifted them and the remainder were given to a Board of Imperial Chancellors who, twenty-five days after the test, announced the names of the fortunate ones."
" And you, gracious master, were one of the fortunate ones," said Sing.
"I was," replied Li Dik, bowing his head as
though kotowing to himself, " and it entitled me to
an office, but I never secured one and am thus compelled to be a teacher. Had I passed the fourth, and
highest, degree I would have had a regular salary
from the government. Thus China rewards her
great and faithful scholars. Possibly you, my pupil,
may obtain such, if, after you have gained one
American degree you return to China and there
strive for higher honours; for remember that—the
portal to fame, dignity and office in China is narrow
and open only to the scholar and man of science."
Evidently, Li Dik was ambitious for his pupil, and
Wilhelmina soon discovered that the mind of Sing
was disturbed. She understood, as did no one else
the simplicity of his nature and the laws of his heredity.   The two conditions were at variance.
" Sing! tell the President of the College all that
is in thy heart, just now, and that has come there
since Li Dik has been teaching thee.    Believe in 238        A CHINESE QUAKER
what the President will say to thee," she said one
morning when the young student seemed particularly discomposed. Lessons in Latin, algebra and
physics were confronting him with several hundred
words of Confucian literature relating to ceremonies
in approaching the sacred presence of the emperor.
Which were the more important? The President
understood his dilemma. With the kindness of a
loving father he explained to the eager lad the foundation of the Chinese government, its marvellous
educational system which had been an excellent
thing in the past, but because it is purely automatic
machine-work is now detrimental to China's future.
He concluded by saying, " I expect unusual things
from you, my dear boy. Your opportunities are
peculiar. You have given your heart to the influence of the one true and living God. See to it that
you walk in the light of truth." This conversation
seemed to open Sing's mind to the duty of the hour,
probably as nothing else would have done, and he
followed it with persistence and cheerfulness.
Without relaxing his attempt to enlarge his Chinese vocabulary—especially that of the mandarin
dialect, which is the current coin in educated circles
throughout the Chinese Empire—he aimed at getting Li Dik interested in learning English. He succeeded, finally, to such a degree that the tutor be^
came an Anglo-maniac upon polysyllables. One of
his written maxims, pasted upon the wall of his little room was: " Use every minute.   Words to learn." THE CHINESE PROFESSOR 239
Each returning day he would approach Wilhelmina
at his earliest opportunity with a piece of fresh
paper upon which he had transcribed six words,
much as the following: " Inunctuosity, Embrasure, Calisthenics, Muriatiferous, Theanthropism."
These, and the others were taken indiscriminatelv
from a dictionary and he would ask her to simplify
their meaning. No wonder that Wilhelmina's household duties generally claimed her urgent attention
when this Chinese pundit appeared.
One day a letter was brought him. It had travelled many a devious way before reaching Floral
Home, as its exterior testified. Before breaking
its seal he retired into the " Eternal Rest" nor
emerged until late the following morning. He
seemed crushed by sorrow when he said to Wilhelmina :
" I not teach Sing to-day, I not read any more:
I lose my little girl," nor for many days could he
be comforted.
Sing enjoyed mythology. The cow, which he had
named Aurora—because her loud mooing awakened
him early in the morning—slept in a shed the roof
of which needed to be re-shingled. As the rainy
season, peculiar to California approached, Sing, who
watched over the outside domestic affairs with much
more carefulness than Abner, announced the condition of the roof and, also, that he knew an itinerant
Chinese carpenter who could " do the job." Like
Gesar, the carpenter came, he saw, he conquered,
■Hb^ 240       A CHINESE QUAKER
and soon was a fixture in the Proctor family. He
could speak " pidgin English " intelligently and said
his name was Charley Fat Chung. He soon developed an ability to cook which made him indispensable; he was, literally, a Jack-of-all-trades, and he
attached himself to Sing with the genuine affection
of an elder brother. Although the one was a student—which in China would have made him an
aristocrat—and the other, a servant—which in some
homes of republican America would have raised a
barrier between the two higher than the peaks of Mt.
Shasta—yet there was no social distinction recognized in that friendly household. But Charley was
not only very ingenious and imitative, but soon
evinced a very quick temper. His first startling exhibition of the latter was displayed one day in the
presence of Abner, by his flushed face and emphatic
arm-swing as he explained:
" Me madee.    Me red-hot madee.    Me madee
"Tut, tut, Charley. What does thee mean by
using such a swear word as that ? " asked the surprised gentleman, shocked at the climax.
" Me mean allee same 'Melican when he kick, an'
him face get him red and crooked," was the quick
response, but in a short time he was again as calm as
a summer morn.
A small colony of Friends had settled around
Floral   Home,   people   of   rare   intelligence   and THE CHINESE PROFESSOR 241
beautiful spirit, and had, recently built a commodious and attractive meeting house in their neighbourhood. Sing attended religious service in it,
regularly, with Wilhelmina and Abner, and in time
persuaded Charley to go also. Indeed, he lost no
opportunity to induce him to worship the only true
and living God. Charley resisted. He plead that he
had " no time to be Clistian." " Too muchee still,
no laugh, no eat, too stingy, no see God anyhow,"
he added. Notwithstanding, Sing relaxed no efforts to awaken his spirituality. Some months later,
Charley, while in the city one night drifted into a
temperance meeting. The lecturer of the evening
was a reformed drunkard who had much descriptive
ability and was powerfully in earnest. The woes of
the drunkard's family, the insidious development of
the alcoholic appetite, and the sure and sad end of
the drunkard himself, were made vivid with thrilling accuracy. Charley understood it all and was
greatly impressed. At the close of his address the
speaker asked those of his hearers who were willing
to join the Total Abstinence Association which he
represented, to sign the pledge, and to wear constantly, as a reminder of that pledge, a tiny blue
ribbon which he would tie in their buttonholes. To
the surprise of many of the audience, a long queued
Chinese was among the first to accept the invitation
and to receive the ribbon. It was Charley. No
Knight of the Garter was ever prouder of his in- 242       A CHINESE QUAKER
signia nor held it in higher respect. He ran witK
almost electric speed through the Alameda to Floral
Home to unburden his mind.
Some ladies and gentlemen in the neighbourhood
who had been spending a social evening with Wilhelmina were about leaving when, unannounced,
Charley walked into the drawing-room. His demeanour was respectful but he was evidently, under
great excitement.   Making a low bow, he exclaimed:
" See, Missee Proctor! See, evlybody! Me now
good Clistian. Me tied on here. Got him fast.
Me never do dlink wine, no blandy, no beer. The
preacn man him say, ' Bad man dlink, go down,
down/ The poor wifes an' little child'ns no happy,
too. Cold water I say! Cold water is the thing,
ladies and genplun." He had flung out his arms to
their widest extent in imitation of the speaker and
his voice ran down the entire gamut of grief. With
another bow he retired. Doubtless it was his first
and last temperance speech in public, but not his last
effort to propagate temperance principles. He was
able to read English far better than to speak it.
Taking Wilhelmina's most prized cook-book, he
carefully and patiently read its various recipes for
compounding cakes and puddings and wherever the
words " wine " or " brandy " occurred in directions
for seasoning cake or sauce in quantities however
minute, he erased it and substituted " a cup of cold
water." On the final page he wrote as an apology:
| Reader, Please forgive brandy and all." THE CHINESE PROFESSOR 243
In due time, however, Sing's efforts to make him
understand his relation to God, succeeded. He
proved it by controlling his temper arid becoming
very gentle. He also became the self-appointed janitor of the Meeting House. His watchfulness for
the general comfort of the audience never flagged.
When offered a small salary for his services he refused it, saying to Wilhelmina as he handed her a
Bible: ' il      f      1
I You find him. Door-keeper, big white tents,
circus, lions." She comprehended his jargon and
read from the sacred page, " I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the
tents of wickedness."
1 That me! " he said triumphantly. " I doorkeeper the Lord's house.    No pay." XVII
IN due time, Frederick Marston and his bride,
Isabel Wallace, came to San Francisco. Conjointly they took charge of an important Chinese Mission Home, which years before was opened
by a heroic pioneer, for religious services, a school
and an asylum for Chinese women. The pioneer
had passed to his reward.
Wilhelmina and Abner hastened to meet and welcome them, the former acknowledging to herself
that the ideal Frederick, which her fancy had painted
from the brilliant colours of Isabel's palette, was
more than realized. " Handsome as a prince," was
the comment upon his personality. Carefully educated, courageous, magnetic, genial, and consecrated
to the service of his Master, he was eminently
worthy to wear the motto, Ich Dien, which he had
adopted. His long residence in China, under most
favourable conditions, his familiarity with the mandarin dialect and his knowledge of the peculiarities
of the Chinese, made his power soon felt among
those who understood the difficulties of converting
the Chinese to Christianity. A loyal Englishman,
he was yet in full harmony with the republican principles which underlie the American government,
and he honoured the Constitution of the United
States as much as he did the Magna Charta of his
native land-
Notwithstanding the fact that the flame of his zeal
burned as steadily as did that of Isabel, his efforts,
like those of his fellow missionaries, were often
cruelly frustrated. Those American lawyers who
assisted the vicious Chinese to circumvent the law;
dishonest officials who were subsidized to screen
gamblers and slave-dealers in illegal practices; and
some ungodly Americans who mocked at religion
and held up a Christian Chinese to ridicule and
sneers, were among the impediments which checked
the progress of the Chinese more than did their indifference to their own spiritual enlightenment.
" But Frederick Marston has the spirit of our own
George Fox, -and thee will see, in course of time,
that he is 'an anointed vessel,' Wilhelmina." The
remark by Abner, prefaced as it was by a conjunction whose exceptional clause had not been uttered,
was ended with a deep sigh.
Wilhelmina, a few minutes before, had come out
upon the jessamine-covered veranda of Floral Home,
where Abner had been dreaming for an hour. It
was late in the afternoon. That sigh, through her
quick intuition, awoke the sisterly tenderness in her
heart. It revealed what she had long suspected in
regard to Abner's unusual interest in Isabel—but
she comprehended only a part of the moral struggle
and moral triumph which had been the result. 246       A CHINESE QUAKER
11 have had a letter to-day, from Isabel," he continued. " Her theme was ' our beautiful ward'—
as she is pleased to call Lau Ying—and her rapid
unfoldment. Thee knows that the girl is legally
my ward no longer, having long since been of age,
but I am concerned about her as thee is about Sing,
and to-morrow I will go up to the city to see her.
Has thee any messages ? "
" To whom, Abner—to Lau Ying or to Isabel? "
In spite of Wilhelmina's efforts to look -as sympathetic as she felt, the mocking dimples would play.
It may be to both," Abner replied.
Then I will send a message to each, and this to
Isabel," taking from her pocket a letter and unfolding it. " By a singular coincidence the postman
brought me a letter also, to-day, but mine is from
Friend Whittier, see! " and she held up an envelope
addressed in the Beloved poet's handwriting. " Thee
can show it to Isabel. She will share my pleasure.
Friend Whittier has received Sing's letter and replied to it. To me he says: ' The letter of Sing is
admirable in matter and manner. He writes like an
experienced, birth-right Friend, and does great and
remarkable credit to kindly instructions. The suggestions that ' Friends are born through mortal inheritance into Quaker life,' shows unusual maturity
of thought. I hope thee and I may each be spared
to see the outgrowth of the seed thee has planted
in such foreign soil.' Is not this encouraging," she
Abner's reply—if he made any—was lost in the
boyish shout, " Steady, Aurora, steady! " It was
the voice of the young student himself, as he rode
up the secluded avenue, mounted upon the back of
the cow which he had found grazing in the pasture,
in the rear of his home. His books were suspended
from his shoulders in a haversack of his own construction, and Fido, who had run to meet him, was
at the cow's heels. Wilhelmina had advanced to
meet him also, as he slid from Aurora's back and
handed her over to the gentle care of Charley.
" What a relief from the ichthyosaurs, the dinosaurs, the plesiosaurs, and all the other 'saurs!" he
said, as taking Wilhelmina's hand, he pressed it
fondly to his lips. " And as to the impenetrable
form of physics with his ' A eye piece,' ' B eye
piece,' and the other eye pieces not yet seen through,
I'd like to put him at the bottom of a volcano."
" Is thee in sober earnest, Sing? Does thee find
science such a bugbear ? " asked Wilhelmina looking at him with a serious gaze.
He straightened himself and returned the glance
with one equally grave as he replied with dignity:
" How silly thy boy must seem to thee! I love
science. She is my queen. She opens to me the
secrets of Nature's being. My words were the
merest chaff which, already the winds have blown
How tall her boy was growing! How like, and
yet how very unlike the little creature who, eight 248       A CHINESE Q UAKER
years before, had seemed to her only a half-human
thing, from whose first touch she had shrunk with
sudden and great aversion! How necessary to her
happiness he had become, and with what motherly
pride she was watching his unfolding manhood!
Notwithstanding his boyish freaks and his delightful
simplicity, he was fast reaching the age of manhood's responsibilities, when a change in his life
would be inevitable.
Already, his father, Tong Wong, to whose ambition for his son there seemed no limit, had made his
plans and committed them to Wilhelmina. As soon
as practicable, after Sing was graduated, his intention was to sell his profitable business, and with his
son and his two wives to return to China. Sing's
paternal grandfather was eighty or more years of
age. There were other grandsons to perpetuate the
family line—a filial duty insisted upon in China—
but Sing, being the eldest one, according to the
Chinese law, must marry first. To have a wife
selected for him, and to marry her as soon as possible would, therefore, be Sing's first duty upon reaching China.
There were some charming girls among Sing's
classmates at the college, with whom he was on
terms of the friendliest acquaintance, but Wilhelmina forbade his encouraging any sentimental feelings which might arise. Her words had no uncertain sound:
I Thy duty to thy parents, Sing, and thy duty to HE WOULD A WOOING GO 249
thyself, forbids thee to harbour a thought in that direction which thee would hide from me. I know the
foolishness of the human heart." She so often repeated this injunction, that Sing threatened to become an anchorite if she would not trust him.
Meanwhile, the young ladies of his fraternity,
while acknowledging that he seemed "the soul of
honour," and that his wit was as keen as a razor's
edge, failed to comprehend why—being so deferential to their sex and social in his temperament—he
was yet like an intellectual icicle.
" I know," said one of them, when he was the
subject of conversation, " You forget that he is a
Chinese. When was one of his race ever known to
love a woman! The emotion of affection was left
out in their construction. Even their much boasted
filial respect and reverence has its foundation in
selfishness. You will find that Mr. Tong Sing
Wing is no exception."
It was very evident that Wilhelmina was not
given to romancing, and that if Sing, like a civilized
being of any race who recognized the existence of a
soul within himself, " dreamed dreams," no one was
in his secret. So life went on at Floral Home in
an even round of Arcadian pleasures and simple
duties to which there seemed no needed change.
Sing had entered his fourth year at college, without
any perceptible change in his demeanour, and with
an increasing enthusiasm for gaining knowledge.
It was early Saturday afternoon in December, 250       A CHINESE QJJAKER
and Wilhelmina was weeding the outskirts of her
bed of violets, now in the height of its flowering
beauty. She was enjoying one of her favourite pastimes. Sing had been dispatched to the city two
hours before, on an errand to Abner. Li Dik was
studying in his " Sublime Garret," and except for
Fido and Charley, who were in the rear of the
house, its mistress was alone. Her head was encased in a poke sunbonnet, like that of a Salvation
Army laassie, and her hands were shielded with a
pair of Abner's old and discarded gloves. A soft
south wind wafted the perfume of the violets around
her; and her fancy—which wore neither bonnet
nor gloves—was rioting like a butterfly among the
thoughts born of her occupation at that moment.
She heard light steps upon the gravelled path. They
ended behind her, then all was still.
" Oh, Sing! Thee is at home at last, and never
more welcome than now," she exclaimed without
turning her head. " Run to the windmill and bring
me the new trowel lying just inside the door. This
soil is baked like a brick. Now fly, and then I will
tell thee something."
Without raising her eyes, she continued prodding
vigorously around the wooden curb of the violet
bed with an old knife which made but little impression. The messenger was back so speedily that
before he could hand her the trowel, she remarked,
trivially, " Surely, thy wings are growing."
| Which is a good thing for a traveller," a voice, HE WOULD A WOOING GO 251
manly and mellow, replied, 3s the trowel was given
her by a gloved hand. Quickly looking up, she
arose and faced a bearded gentleman of elegant exterior, -and with manners almost as simple and unconventional as those of a child.
Seeing Wilhelmina's embarrassment, he quickly
explained that he had brought letters of introduction
from friends they had in common near his home in
Massachusetts; that he had already presented them
to Abner, and urged by him, had sought her without
further ceremony.
" But surely, thee did not expect to find me in
such a plight ?'! she replied, as quickly relieving her
hands of the old gloves, she led the way into the
" I knew not what to expect, but I was glad to be
able so soon to show my willingness to serve thee,"
was the frank and gallant response. " I know much
more about thee than thee does of me," he continued.
" Friend Halsey and my parents were neighbours in
their youth, and their early friendship survives. My
father also met thine twice at Yearly Meeting, and
their equally strong anti-slavery principles was a
vigorous bond between them. My parents are alive;
Mr. Whittier is our occasional guest, and I am
almost as familiar with the name of thy strange
protege, Sing, as with my own."
In less than an hour, so rapidly had the acquaintance with this delightful stranger progressed, he
had accepted an invitation to remain to dinner, and 252       A CHINESE QJJAKER
Wilhelmina forgot entirely the crying needs of the
violet bed, and that the new trowel still lay where
she had dropped it.
When Sing returned, and for the first time clasped
the friendly hand of the stranger, he looked into his
face long and searchingly. The gentleman stood the
test without flinching. "Thee should be called
Raphael," said Sing, modestly. He was reading
the " Lives of the Painters " and had caught the
author's conception of the great artist which the
stranger seemed to embody.
" Is it so, Sing ? Then to thee, henceforth, I am
simply ' Raphael,'" was the reply. The name,
thanks to Sing's prescience, so aptly revealed the
man, that in the Proctor household he soon became
known by no other. He was a scholar as well as a
gentleman, and possessed ample means. He had
long anticipated spending a winter in California, and
had now reached the goal of his desires. Ostensibly, he was the guest of Friend Halsey, but in the
reality, as the weeks telescoped into months, there
was scarcely a day during which his feet did not
tread the gravel walks of Floral Home. He had
brought to Wilhelmina a priceless, indefinable something from the enchanted land of her early youth
in the East; and she, to him, the realization of his
lofty ideal of womanhood.
Never was a wooing, outwardly, more placid and
devoid of passion's throes;  never was mutual love HE WOULD A WOOING GO 253
and respect, inwardly, more tender, true, or more
It was again a Saturday afternoon, four months
later, and again Wilhelmina and Raphael were at
the border of a flower-bed, she, training the tendrils
of a nasturtium vine in the way it should go, and he,
holding the ball of twine and watching her deft and
slender fingers.
"The scissors please, Raphael. I need them;
they are in my work-basket upon the hall table."
" And must I again ' fly' to do thy bidding? "
" Yes, unless thy ' wings' are broken." She
smiled archly at the well remembered incident.
Raphael speedily returned, saying as he snipped
the twine:
" Four months ago thee promised me if I would
I fly' on a similar errand, thee would tell me some
" Yes, did I ?" Wilhelmina's mind was suddenly vacant.
" Thee did, and now I call upon thee to redeem
thy word."
"I will. Shall I tell thee how the nasturtium
found its name? "
" No, but I implore thee to tell me the answer to
the most earnest question of my life: Will thee be
my wife?"
And she told him, " Yes." XVIII
THE shadows of coming events often project
themselves far in advance; and the increasing and continued restlessness of Abner had
become a source of disquietude to his sister. He
that had all his youthful days been a synonym of
contentment, now craved the excitement of contact
with life in a great city. His hints, occasionally,
that he found his energies weakening amid the quiet
pleasures and balmy atmosphere of the Garden City,
warned Wilhelmina that a change was desired, of
what nature she knew not as yet, but of sufficient
importance to give her many anxious moments.
Sing was in her confidence and literally shared her
joys and sorrows. His last days at college were
growing near. He knew that his own immediate
separation from her was to follow their close, and
the vague possibility that in the line of her sisterly
duty she would leave a home to her so dear, made
him feel—as he confided to Li Dik, " sick all around
my soul."
" But now, thee will have all that thy heart needs,"
he said one evening before retiring as he sat on the
old green hassock in front of her where he had sat
so often when a child.   She had thought to surprise
him with the announcement that Raphael and she
would be married within a few weeks, that Floral
Home would be the scene of their quiet wedding and
that after a brief honey-moon spent in travel, they
would return there to spend their remaining lives
In truth, Wilhelmina had anticipated somewhat of
a scene when Sing should recognize the fact that
another, possibly nearer and dearer than he, would
claim the first place in her thoughts. She had expected a little show of rebellion against the rising
tide of fate, a sigh of regret at the usurpation (by
one who had so recently been a stranger to both
of them), of the attention and constant personal
interest which for so many years had been his, but
there was nothing to indicate the existence of any
feeling on his part but one of sympathy with her
evident joy. Perhaps, could she have heard the previous verdict of the College maiden, she would have
agreed with her that " the emotion of love was left
out in the construction of a Chinese." Perhaps,
likewise, in view of all the pleasant memories which
had been bound up with him during the last ten
years, she would have resented such an imputation;
nevertheless, when the last good-night had been uttered, and she sought her own pillow, her thoughts
of Sing took on the query:
" I wonder if he is slipping away from me?'
The beautiful Quaker ceremony of marriage between Wilhelmina and Raphael, which was witnessed
V 1
by many of the elite of the Garden City, was soon
followed by the commencement exercises of the graduation class of the College of the Pacific. Sing had
obtained the highest per cent, in the scientific course
to which he had so faithfully applied himself, as
well as the highest literary honour of | Class Day."
The auditorium of the popular College was crowded
and the event occurring was framed in a California
day as perfect as air, sunshine and flowers could
make it. In the rear of Wilhelmina and Raphael sat
Sing's father and Li Dik, neither understanding to
much extent the nature of the proceedings; yet the
grave face of the tutor reflecting the joy and pride
of the father as the latter whispered to him in Chinese—when Sing was receiving his diploma:
" I think that paper means the third degree of
' Ready for Office' and our great Li Hung Chang
got no higher one although he was so much older."
In imagination Tong Wong was seeing in his
quiet, seemingly impassive son, a possible future
viceroy of a Province in China; but the President,
Dr. Stratton, saw something infinitely loftier at the
moment when Sing approached to bid him farewell.
Few had read the heart of the young man more
accurately than this wise director during the peculiar
intimacy of those years at college. They were alone
for a few moments. Extending his hand the doctor
" Sing! I have watched your course with unusual
pleasure.   I am proud of your record.   A different THE YOUTHFUL PROPHET 257
pathway from that of your classmates lies before
you. Remember that your deeds will thunder louder
than your words.   You will not disappoint me."
Sing, looking gravely in the President's face,
" Doctor Stratton! Thou art a noble man. j One
of the most wholesome gains that I take away from
this college is thy ennobling and inspiring influence and there will always remain with me precious
recollections of thy friendship." (Among the fruits
of Sing's college course was a determination to discard what he considered the ungrammatical idioms
of the Friends' language.)
There was a suspicious moisture about the good
President's eyes.
When the bell rang for the evening meal at Floral
Home, Sing, for once, was not to be found. He
and Fido were together, the former revisiting his old
haunts, perhaps for the last time, the latter yielding
him a dumb sympathy. The message of the perfumed branches of the pepper trees; the tower of the
w.ind-mill with its restless and creaking wheels; the
hay loft, with its treasures of hen's nests, and Aurora's stall below; the long avenue of poplar trees,
the rhythm of whose rustling leaves the boy had
long since woven into melody: could he carry the
picture and the delicious soul-fragrance of it all,
with him into the Chinatown life of his father and
mother whither he was now bound?
It was marvellous how prosaic the parting was, 258       A CHINESE QJJAKER
after all. Wilhelmina hid her emotions so that Sing
—if he had any, but those arising from a sense of
freedom from restraint—should not needlessly suffer; and Sing—a letter from San Francisco dated
two days after the separation revealed him. It was
the first time that he had ever written to Wilhelmina
and instead of the hitherto formal and respectful
" Miss Proctor" with which he had always addressed her, it began—
" My Dearest Wilhelmina :
One day away from home, sweet home, and suffering more than my pen can express. I did not believe the wrench could be so awful. For weeks I
have anticipated the change and tried to get ready
for it. I did not want to distress thee nor cast a
shadow over thy well-earned happiness, but now I
am weak and broken and must tell thee all. I know
my duty to my parents and will not swerve an inch
from its performance; but how I miss thee, my
What hast thou not done for me in these last ten
beautiful years! How can I repay thee! No tongue
can tell the debt of gratitude I owe thee. My little
mother is glad to see me and is very kind,.after her
way; but I am not in tune with my surroundings;
I am an alien in every sense. I pray for strength
to meet this emergency but it does not come. Will
|| come? Have I no real manhood? I know my
grief is vain—that violets plucked,  the  sweetest THE YOUTHFUL PROPHET  259
showers will ne'er bring back again—but surely this
heart sickness will pass away; I have ever tried to
obey thee, help me now."
Wilhelmina read the letter to Raphael with tears
streaming down her cheeks. " And I thought him
cold and insensible! I should have known him better," she said.
" I do not wonder at the fervour of his love for
thee," replied the admiring and sympathetic husband,
1 but I am surprised that he has so soon outgrown
his Chinese proclivities. What a master love is!
We will go up to the city to-morrow to see him and
I know some plan for his relief will soon open to
Abner had already preceded them by a few weeks
and was established in pleasant bachelor quarters.
The joy of Sing at the unexpected arrival of Wilhelmina and Raphael, thus bringing a speedy answer to his prayer, was another revelation.
" Thou must not blame my little mother because
I am unhappy," said Sing to Wilhelmina during the
first opportunity that they had for a confidential talk.
" Her soul has been in prison, always. How should
she know me like thee? Nothing can unlock the
heart and enlighten the understanding of a Chinese
woman but a knowledge of Christ's love and what
it reveals. What would I know of it if thou hadst
not taught me ? "
Upon conferring with Sing's father, Wilhelmina 260       A CHINESE QUAKER
found that his business plans had not matured and
that the time was uncertain when he .and his family
could return to China. It was at this juncture that
the large experience and excellent judgment of Frederick Marston came to the aid of all parties concerned.
" Sing is in a state of transition," he said. " He
seems philanthropic and would aid his people if he
knew how to begin. We must see if his Christianity
will stand the contact of association with shrewd and
Worldly business men like his father. He is undeveloped and has had no practical education. The
head of the Tong clan in China is Tong King Sing,
a mandarin of the highest rank, the confidential advisor of Li Hung Chang, and Viceroy of Sze Chwan
Province. He is one of the greatest men in the
Empire, to-day! I will inform him of the existence of this young and brilliant kinsman and obtain
his advice as to his future. Meanwhile, Isabel and
I need an assistant teacher in our Mission. Let
Sing fill the position for the present and reside with
us. This will lift him out of his desolate condition
and yet not separate him from his home."
" Thy blessed Frederick!" said Wilhelmina to
Isabel. " He has brought light and warmth where
all seemed dark and cold as death."
"That is his mission. He is a veritable light-
bearer; I knew that you would approve him," said
the proud and happy wife. THE YOUTHFUL PROPHET 261
In due time there came a reply to Frederick's letter.   It said in effect:
I Unless my kinsman already understands mining
engineering, have him at once study it. There are
immense deposits of gold and coal in my province
awaiting only to be developed. When ready, let
him report to me and I will find employment for
him." 1   I I $      a
The heart of Sing's father was incapable of greater
joy than that which the receipt of this gracious
letter produced. The great State University of California at Berkeley, but one hour's ride from San
Francisco, furnished every facility for this particular branch of Sing's education, and he entered upon
the course with his usual zeal and energy. He
quickly renewed his acquaintance with Hum Nung
and Li Jue, finding himself more strongly attracted
to the latter than to any of his own race whom he
had yet encountered. Nor had Li Jue stood still
during the years of their separation. Through Isabel's influence he had joined a Bible class over which
Mr. Marston presided, and was slowly acquiring a
spiritual insight into " the whole duty of man." He
was, withal, a shrewd and successful business man,
and generous to his employees who were also co-
operators with him according to Chinese custom.
He possessed a deep-seated love for the beautiful.
Sitting one evening in a small dark room in the
rear of his store, he and Sing had a heart-to-heart A CHINESE QJJAKER
talk. A small bough of fragrant apple blossoms
stood in a bronze vase upon the table and its presence
imparted a sense of purity to each. There had been
a series of bloody crimes in Chinatown which had
made its inhabitants almost terror-stricken, and Li
Jue revealed to the astonished student the history of
their source. He recognized the bravery of the average I Hatchet-boy " (thus discounting the tradition held by some that a Chinese is destitute of courage) and stated his conviction that it was time for
heroic measures to be taken to put an end to this
condition of affairs.
Sing listened with almost breathless interest but a
cool head. It was a tremendous leap for him to take,
from the pastoral delights and innocence of Floral
Home into an actual knowledge of the intrigues and
atrocities which flourished under the Chee Kung
Tong or High-binders' society. Wilhelmina had
never referred to the revulsion which succeeded her
first reading about the organization, and Sing's hitherto sheltered life had kept him aloof, in a large
measure, from the imbroglios whose results often
horrified the peaceful dwellers in Chinatown. The
moral ethics in which he had been trained were embraced in the simple sentence, " Do right because
it is right.3
He had a thorough and intelligent respect for
law and order as well as for the chief of police of
San Francisco, whose duty it was to enforce it. Li
Jue was a man of much influence in mercantile cir- m
cles; and a result in part of that evening's conversation was a speedy coalition between the consulate,
the Six Companies and the police.
The Chinese merchants, headed by Li Jue, formed
a vigilance committee whose object it was to break
up the High-binder leagues. They employed eight
brave, resolute men who calmly took their lives in
their hands and of whom Charley, once Wilhelmina's cook, was one. Floral Home had lost its
charm for Charley when Sing left it. He was devotedly attached to Sing and had soon followed him
making his home with Tong Wong. So strong an
adherent was he to his temperance principles and so
faithful in the performance of his first public trust
when door-keeper of the Friends' Meeting House, he
could safely be relied upon as a home-defender. No
one was more adroit than he in getting information
of the movements of the " Hatchet-boys," or took
more pleasure in tearing down any information or
proclamation pasted upon the Chinese bulletin-walls
of Chinatown that did not bear the seal of the Chinese consulate. Next in value to his blue ribbon
temperance badge was the one bearing the words:
" Chinese Merchants' Law and Order Committee "
and his commission as a detective, from the chief
of police. His life—like that of his seven comrades
—was insured by order of the Committee, for three
thousand dollars, and his " last will and testament"
repeated to Sing whenever they met was: " If I
am killed give me a fine funeral and send the money 264       A CHINESE QJJAKER
left over to my grandmother," she being his nearest
surviving relative.
The two years comprising the special course at
the University were passed by Sing in comparative
seclusion and in faithful work. To his own surprise
—as well as that of his friends,—he found himself
enthusiastic in his desire to put his newly acquired
knowledge into practice. His few leisure week day
hours were spent in cultivating a better acquaintance with his father's friends, and certain leaders
who were supposed to have much influence over the
Chinese in America. The facility with which he
used both the Chinese and English languages gave
him pre-eminence among the best-monied men in
Chinatown and his father lost no opportunity in heralding his son's expectations. Upon this assumption, added to Sing's intellectual attainments and
pleasing manners, an embryo mining company was
formed among the wealthy merchants of Chinatown
of which Sing was appointed superintendent.
His father had completed his arrangements for
returning to China with his family, and the end of
the last month of the year eighteen hundred and
ninety-one was chosen for their departure. The sanguine hopes of youth, the thought of the new social
conditions upon which he would have to be engrafted in that old land of China—yet to him new
and strange; the charm of the Western civilization
of which he was a part, and could never relinquish; SING WHEN  HE  LEFT  THE  UNIVERSITY
the bonds with the numerous friends in two colleges
to whom he had long since been " one of us; " and
the sacred ties which linked him to the mistress of
Floral Home, the nearest and dearest, the nucleus
around which all else clustered and drew vitality—
with all these filling his mind, is it to be wondered
that Sing's hours flew with electric speed and
that he feared, at times, he was losing his mental
Wilhelmina sat at her desk at Floral Home writing to her absent sister; the letter was punctuated
with tears.   After a few sentences it said:
" I am writing thee a long epistle for in doing so
my heart will be relieved. He is gone. My boy
has left us and at this writing is miles away upon
the broad Pacific. He sailed on the Oceanic, a magnificent steamer which will touch many oriental
ports. Sing's immediate party consisted of his
parents and that handsome and most interesting
Li Jue, of whom thee knows; but in addition to the
foreign passengers were the Corean embassy and
six missionaries to China, India and Japan. Among
the former I caught a glimpse of that courageous
Hindoo woman of whom thee has heard, the Pundita
Ramabai. Sing went as the superintendent at present of certain gold mines in the region of Peking
which he hopes to develop in the interests of a San
Francisco company of Chinese who have confidence
in the future of the mines. He bears important
letters to a very wealthy mandarin of Shanghai,
whom he calls Mr. Foo.
" A banquet was tendered Sing by the members of
the Company, on the night of the Monday preceding the sailing of the Oceanic, and he accepted
it. Belshazzar's feast was scarcely more gorgeous
in its oriental splendour and display of vessels and
viands, I imagine; but wines were excluded out of
deference to Sing's wishes and our own. His health
was drunk in water. ' Cold water is the thing' poor
Charley would have said had he been there. But
he was not.
" The I our I included a few of Sing's most-loved
American friends, some of the professors from
the College of the Pacific and the Chinese Vice-
Consul and his Secretary—the latter a graduate of
Yale. There was in addition, his father and the
Chinese merchants who compose the Mining Company. The little mother alone, was absent, much to
my regret, not daring by her presence to thus break
a law of Chinese etiquette. The long table was
elegantly draped and adorned with bouquets of most
expensive flowers. Sing, dressed as an American
citizen (the costume which he has never discarded
since he first assumed it) sat at the head and Raphael
and I at his right and left. The seating was unconventional The banquet may be said to have consisted of two separate and distinct menus: the first
being served American fashion and consisting of the THE YOUTHFUL PROPHET 267
daintiest and most savory dishes that an American
palate could crave; and the second, in true oriental
style, with chop-sticks, and composed of the choicest
Chinese delicacies including the famous and expensive bird's-nest soup and rare aquatic novelties. .The
feast lasted nearly three hours; and notwithstanding its length every one seemed happy. I whispered to Isabel who sat near to me:
"' Does thee remember our first Chinese dinner
together with Hum Nung, Li Jue and the odd little
Chinese boy through whom the invitation to it had
been procured? Is not this sequel after so many
years, like a fairy tale? '
" Sing had arisen to respond to the toast proposed
by the Vice-Consul's Secretary: ' China and America. The Old World and the New! May the coming century find them blended in fraternal unity
and fidelity.'
" I wish thee could have heard Sing's response.
He spoke not only like a statesman but a youthful
prophet. There was no embarrassment, for he had
no self-consciousness. Like a seer he foresaw clouds
and disaster and then, peace and mutual helpfulness.
All eyes were upon him but mine which were blinded
by happy tears. Thee will think I am always weeping; not so, but Nature will thus, in me, often assert
" Ah! what is to be Sing's future ? I long to
draw aside the veil with which the Father's hand
conceals it. A CHINESE QJJAKER
The feast 'came to an end in time to save us
from physical exhaustion. I think there were forty
courses in all. Each lady, upon leaving, was presented with a bouquet, and we looked as we left the
banquet hall like the garden of ' Mary, Mary, quite
contrary,' in which flourished
" Silver bells and cockleshells,
And pretty maids all in a row.!
" Frederick Marston covered himself with glory.
What a masterful man he is! There is something
like St. Paul in his missionary zeal and his power
over the souls of men; and yet, Isabel says, he was
the champion cricket player of his team while at
I had a few minutes alone with Sing in his
state-room ere the Oceanic sailed.   He whispered:
God be with thee till we meet again.'
" Shall we meet again in the body ? Will he be
the same uncorrupted man that he leaves me? I
shall have nothing to depend upon for my knowledge
of him but his letters, copies of which I will send
" Thee will wonder, I am sure, if I kept my promise to his mother and sewed his queue on again. I
did not. I have the precious thing in a little camphor-wood box; but Sing has allowed his hair to
grow a few inches longer than usual, to which, when
he resumes his Chinese costume, an expert Chinese THE YOUTHFUL PROPHET 269
barber will speedily attach a false queue of any desired length.
I He will visit his grandfather before presenting
the letters to Mr. Foo."
*    #    * XIX
THE ocean was turbulent. The voyage had
advanced into the second week when one by
one the sea-sick sufferers began creeping
from their state-rooms to the decks and feeling once
more that life was worth living.
Among the passengers was a matronly-looking
woman who, after a visit to her eastern home and
kin was returning to her medical post in China.
Beside her, reclining in a steamer chair sat a young
Chinese woman of unusual beauty and attractiveness, who had been introduced to her and entrusted
to her care by Isabel only a few hours before the
Oceanic had sailed.
" She is an uncommon character but has had a
common experience," whispered Isabel. " She is literally 'a brand snatched from the burning' and
will, doubtless, tell you her history when she learns
to know you. She has recently decided to return to
China and seek for her mother, and the way to do
so was opened but a few days ago. I consider it
providential to have met you now." The refinement
and unassumed modesty of the Chinese girl which
was evinced in every way possible, could not have
270 1 "LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   271
failed to impress any thoughtful and unprejudiced
stranger. To none better able than Mrs. Bell to
counsel and sympathize, could the lonely traveller
have been confided. She thoroughly understood the
peculiar condition surrounding the majority of Chinese women in their native land, and what it usually
means there to be " only a girl."
The small neatly cared-for brown hands of Lau
Ying lay folded in her lap and the out-look of her
soul through her eyes, seemed farther off than even
the distant horizon.
"Are you dreaming with your eyes open, my
dear? " asked Mrs. Bell, gently patting her shoulder.
. " Not dreaming, but thinking of the first time I
crossed this ocean and how different it all seems
and really is, now," was the ready answer in as
correct English as that of her questioner.
" Mrs. Marston said that perhaps you would tell
me your history," said the lady gently and in a most
winning fashion. " Of course you have one and
there will never be a better time than now, for we
are almost alone you see."
" Yes, Mrs. Bell," was the reply. " Most Chinese
women of to-day who cross and recross this ocean
are impelled by some force almost unknown in the
lives of American women, and as you have lived in
China my history will not be as remarkable to you
as though you had not. I mean, that you will believe me." Mrs. Bell was not more surprised at the
fluency of the speaker than at the maturity of A CHINESE QJJAKER
thought which this opening sentence indicated, and
frankly told her so.
" Yes, I have learned to express what I feel. Other
Chinese women who suffer as I have done can only
feel and be dumb. That is dreadful in itself, you
know. But I am not afraid any more. I am glad to
be with you and will tell you all.
The first thing that I distinctly remember was a
great, sunny garden upon a hill, walled in upon three
sides and its base touching the edge of a big yellow
river. The garden was full of beautiful trees, vines
and flowers. Chinese stools were placed in it for us
to rest upon. There was a small, circular lake in it
filled with goldfish and a pavilion covered with vines
in which we often drank tea. I remember how we
used to sit on the edge of the hill and watch the
many different kinds of boats as they floated by and
how we would wonder where they were going."
1 Whom do you mean by ' we'—your mother? "
asked Mrs. Bell.
" Oh, no, my twin brother. We were always together those days and I loved him the most of all
in the world. We lived with our grandfather who
was a very rich man, owning many rice fields and
orchards and ducks. He was a learned man, also.
He had much influence in certain parts of our province and was famed for his virtue and integrity.
Everyone liked him. Twice a year he made a long
journey in his sedan chair, in great state, to a big
city to sell the products of his land, for he was very I LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   273
fond of money. But there was a sad spot in his life.
He had three wives and many children, all of whom
were girls except one, a son, who afterward became
my father.
My grandfather hated girls, and spent all his
affection upon this one son. He knew that the responsibility of preserving the honored family name would
rest upon that son as well as the still more important
duty of performing those annual ceremonies at his
grave in order that his soul would rest in peace.
My father grew and prospered, but died three
years after his marriage and when my brother and
I were but two years old. My grandfather almost
grieved himself to death, I have heard. His only
hope now was in my brother who bore our father's
name and who soon became my grandfather's joy
and pride.
" How happy my brother and I were when we
were together! My only trouble then was my feet,
which were bound when I was but six years old and
which ached dreadfully when I tried to run. Dear
lady! Do all that you possibly can to teach our
Chinese women and men how much better and wiser
it is to leave our feet free, as God made them. I
think the long agony of getting our feet to look like
hoofs, binds our souls as well as our bodies, but I
knew no better then -and had to endure the torture.
"Another trouble soon came which you cannot
understand. I began to realize that my grandfather
cared nothing about me.   All his caresses and loving 274      A CHINESE QJJAKER
tt i
a t
words were given to my brother, yet I loved my
grandfather just as well as did he. One day, when
I went into the garden as usual, I missed my brother
and sought him everywhere. At last he came out
of the house and his beautiful eyes shone with pleasure. He was very excited and told me that he never
could play with me again for he had just taken his
first lesson in reading and was going to be a great
man some day, like grandfather.
I will learn to read, also,' I said.
No, no,' my brother replied, ' you cannot, for
you are a girl, grandfather said you must not,' and
for the first time he looked at me as though he
thought he was my superior.
" This news was too true. Every day a strange
man came to teach him and remained many hours.
When my grandfather occasionally went away to
some great festival he took my brother, dressed as
splendidly as was possible, along with him, but rarely
noticed me. Then I felt that a great barrier had
come between us which I could never pass. After
that I spent the most of my time curled upon a
cushion by my mother's side, learning to sew and
embroider. My mind was vacant. It had nothing
to feed upon. I rarely went into the garden. It had
lost its charm for me, and both small and large girls
in China have to stay at home.
" One day, when I was about twelve years old,
my grandfather asked for me, and sent a servant
to bring me into his presence.   When I entered the "LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   275
room there was a strange man in it with fierce black
eyes, who, like my grandfather, was smoking a long
pipe. I felt so badly that I was afraid to look up,
and cold chills ran up and down my back.
I The stranger tapped me on the head, examined
my body and seemed to be looking through me with
those piercing eyes of his.
"' Pretty girl, good girl,' said my grandfather.
It was the first time I had ever heard him praise
me, and although I was badly frightened I was glad
to hear him say such kind words.
"' No good. Too thin, too little,' said the
stranger; and with a gesture my grandfather bade
me leave the room.
" I hastened to tell my mother. All was mystery.
She knew nothing but that grandfather hated girls
and liked money so well that he had always grumbled whenever he paid the marriage portion of each
of his many daughters. Then, as gently as she could,
my mother told me that perhaps my grandfather
was going to sell me to the stranger, for his rice
crop had failed the last two years, he had lost a great
deal of money and was not happy.
" I crept back to the door of my grandfather's
room and cautiously peeped in. The stranger was
counting out strings of money and muttering while
so doing, ' Too much, too much.' Then I knew that
I was being sold to him, and returning to my mother
fell at her feet in an agony of weeping. I cannot
describe my fear.   You know how Chinese children A CHINESE QJJAKER
are taught absolute obedience to their parents and
respect for their wishes, so I had no thought of rebellion when my grandfather told me to say goodbye to my mother for I was going away with the
stranger. I did not see my brother. I think he was
away from the house, and my heart felt like a heavy
stone in my breast.
All that day I travelled by the side of that unpleasant man. I sat as still as a doll nor spoke one
word. In two days we came in sight of a great city
and soon after were carried to the largest and
strangest looking ship I had ever seen. In fact, I
had seen or knew nothing outside of my grandfather's home. There were other Chinese girls in
the ship, some of my own age and others older—a
number of them; but like myself, none knew where
we were going nor what for. Had I known, I would
have prayed for death for my companions and myself. We all were slaves. Lady! you know what a
dreadful fate that means in San Francisco, and it
was there that our vessel was bound.
" What and where San Francisco was none of
us knew. After many weeks we came into port and
were led down the gang-plank into a great crowd
of strange-looking people. Some white men dressed
in a way all new to us, hustled us into a gloomy room
where there were many Chinese men and a few girls.
The faces of the girls looked timid, hunted and
frightened and I know mine did the same. The
fierce stranger remained with us.   There was a great "LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   277
deal of talking in a language which I could not then
understand, a great showing of white tickets, and
then the other girls and myself were whizzed along
strange streets in an odd looking carriage drawn by
horses, and at last we were driven like cattle into
a narrow, dark alley where many of my countrymen lived, and into an upper room of a large old
house. Here we were separated but I was one of
the few who were not taken elsewhere."
The girl paused. Her face was growing ashy in
its pallor, while two spots of livid red burned upon
either unrouged cheek.
Mrs. Bell, with quick intuition clasped the narrator's hands. She well comprehended the humiliation
that had been her fate.
" Say no more, my poor child, for I know it all,"
she said, adding in a low voice, as though speaking
to herself, " all the supposed voluntary infamy
which is only the result of compulsion and ignorance
on the part of the victim." The girl resumed after
a few minutes:
" I remained in this den several weeks. It was
impossible to escape for the one door of the room
was always securely locked on the outside. Six
other girls, slaves like myself, shared my horrible
life. At length, I could eat no more of the boiled
rice and cabbage which was our daily food. The
girls looked at me and said that I was growing
ugly. The pink had faded from my cheeks and there
were dark circles under my eyes.   I was glad for I A CHINESE QJJAKER
thought perhaps I was going to die. One day, the
man to whom my grandfather had sold me, opened
the door at high noon. It was unusual for him to
do so. A fat, good-natured looking man was with
him whom he called Quan Lee.
Which is my girl ?' the strange man shouted
as we all looked at him.
This is the one I bought for you,' said my
master. ' Three hundred dollars is her price.' Quan
Lee looked at me and shook his head, then examined
my body as the first man had done in the presence
of my grandfather, and said that I was pretty, but
he feared not sound. |fj
Because, now she cries all the time. When you
keep her she will brighten up,' said my master.
" I ventured to say to Quan Lee, ' Please buy
me and I will be good.'
Then Quan gave him the money in gold, took
my hand and led me along a street which ran up
a hill. On the top of it was an old house among tall
trees which were growing in the yard not far from
a steep flight of steps that led to his apartments
on the upper floor. There lived his wife, Ah Fook,
who gradually learned to like me, for the pair had no
children. I had plenty to eat and was kindly treated
by both of them. The woman taught me to make
button-holes (she worked for a large Chinese store)
and I was glad to have employment. But I had no
liberty. I was never permitted to leave the house
unless my mistress accompanied me, nor even then, "LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   279
to walk out of the borders of Chinatown. Often, I
stood upon the porch looking at high chimney-tops,
spires and towers in the near distance; often I saw
men and free and happy women of a race other than
mine passing along below me; but I could only wonder at it—not understanding at all. I had no idea
of the flight of time. All the seasons were alike.
The three trees were always green and sunshine and
fog succeeded each other. I knew that I was much
larger than when I was a child and Quan Lee
bought me, but I did not realize that I was approaching womanhood.
"^There was one young man of my own race, with
noble, handsome face, very gentle and polite in his
manner who on rare occasions brought some special
work to Ah Fook. He was allowed to say a few
words to me and I answered him and, somehow, I
began to feel that he was my friend. Some lovely
American ladies also came a few times but Ah Fook
did not receive them kindly. She called them ' Jesus
women,' as though that was a term of reproach, and
laughed at them when they left our house. One day,
she suddenly fainted. I did not know what to do
and ran down to the family below for assistance.
At the foot of the stairs I met the young man whom
I liked so well. He had a bundle in his arms, and
whispered very rapidly, as though afraid some one
would hear him:
" ' You are to be sold in a few days to a rich man
in Sacramento.   He will give thousands of dollars 280       A CHINESE QJJAKER
for you. This is true. To-night at twelve o'clock
there will be a friend at the foot of the stairs who
will help you to escape if you will trust him.'
I Oh, Mrs. Bell, you cannot tell how my heart
beat at this news. I felt sure that it was true. I
knew what another sale of me would mean, but
how was I to get away? All that I could say was
'Yes,' as I hurried for the aid which Ah Fook
needed. In my heart I hoped she would die. Two
old women came and she revived. Her condition
was not dangerous, but they stayed on until after
midnight. Quan Lee had not returned, for it was
often his custom to stay out all night. For the^first
time since I had been in the house, the door was
unlocked at that late hour, at least I thought so. On
this occasion it was left ajar to admit air. With a
little shawl thrown over my head I slipped out unnoticed and got to the foot of the stairs.
"' Suppose he would not be there,' I thought,
' Where should I fly ? ' I could not run on my bound
feet. The suspense was awful; the yard was quite
dark, a man was at the foot of the stairs who whispered :
I ! Walk down the hill on the other side. Go as
fast as you can and keep close to the houses.' I
obeyed, trembling so much that I could scarcely
stand. When I stopped at a street corner not knowing which way to go, I was away from Chinatown
in a quiet, empty street. There was no one in sight,
not even a policeman.   It was foggy, but through "LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   281
the mist I could see the form of my unknown guide
walking ahead as though he feared nothing and
nobody. He motioned the way with his hand and
I fbeyed. No one saw us as we neared a wall with
a gate in it. He opened the gate and we went inside. There were bushes and trees in the yard, and
at the back of the house was a big window to which
he led me.
"' Tap at it,' he said, ' A good woman sleeps inside. U She will open the window, then you can jump
through it and you are safe.'
" I did as he told me, for I was as a machine in
his hand. I could not think for myself. All happened just as he said. The lady was a 'Jesus
woman' who had been at our house a few days before. I could not understand a word that she said,
but she interpreted my signs and I felt that I was
saved. In less than an hour I was in a blessed
' Rescue Home;' and then a heaven of peace and
rest, the like of which I had never dreamed of,
opened for me. The matron took me in her arms
like a real, loving mother. I soon found out what a
' Jesus woman' is because nearly all at the mission
are the followers of Jesus, the Brother and Saviour
of men. I had teachers. They loved me and I,
them. Other girls, who, like myself had been rescued, were there also. A new world was revealed
to me. I seemed just newly born. I was hungry for
knowledge, and it came as fast as I could appropriate it. A CHINESE QUAKER
Everything around me was beautiful. There was
a small room in the top of the tower of the Mission
building, the furniture of which was costly and elegant. A Chinese consul, who appreciated what was
being done for his unfortunate countrywomen, had
presented it to the Mission. Whenever I entered
that room I thought of my grandfather's home,
and a great longing came over me to see my dear
little mother who knew nothing of my fate. My
brother is now a man and has no doubt given to my
mother another daughter; but he cannot know my
mother as I did, because it is not often that a man
understands how a woman feels.
" You look pained, dear lady. You need to know
that our language, as full of superlatives and exaggerations as it is, fails to express the keenest emotions of the soul."
" Yes, you are right. You are enlightening me,"
said Mrs. Bell. " Continue. What Mission Band
supported you at the Home ? "
" Not any. The gentleman, Mr. Proctor, who
first took me there that fearful night, became my
guardian and I love him as though he was the father
whom I never knew. He often visited me in company with that dear lady named Mrs. Marston, who
had once been a missionary in China; and when I
learned to speak in English I told him all that I have
told you.
" Did Quan Lee never discover where you
were ? " asked Mrs. Bell.
11 think not. I have been told that he advertised
in the papers that a girl named Lau Ying had strayed
or been stolen from his home and that he offered
eight hundred dollars reward for my capture, but no
one found me. Even had anyone been successful in
doing so, the matron would have enlisted all the
courts in San Francisco to protect me.   I was safe."
"And then?"
"Well, the desire to find my mother grew so
strong that I became restless. Mr. Tong, a young
Chinese gentleman who is returning to China with
his parents and is on this vessel, has lived for ten
years with my guardian's sister, the ' Jesus woman'
who saved me. He is very learned and a Christian.
I have seen him once, in church. Only a few days
ago Mr. Proctor decided to send me over with Mr.
Tong's family. He paid for my passage, and Mrs.
Marston confided me to your care. I have prayed to
the Father in Heaven to help me to find my mother
and also aid me in becoming a missionary to our
ov/n young women—and I think that He will. This
is the whole of my history."
Mrs. Bell, who had listened with unabated interest
during this artless, concise and truthful recital,
thought she had rarely known in fact or fiction one
more tragic or pathetic.
"Then you have not yet seen your Chinese
friends ? " said Mrs. Bell.
" Yes," replied Lau Ying, " I was introduced to
Mr. and Mrs. Tong and'both have made kind in- A CHINESE QJJAKER
quiries of me through the stewardess, but I have
been unable to see any visitors for I have been very
sick." WM
Nor even seen the young man to whom you owe
your present freedom ? "
Never," said the girl, " although I have often
desired to do so."
Mrs. Bell's usual energy had returned, and her
next step was to seek the family of Mr. Tong and
bring together its members and Lau Ying. Sing's
mother was still in her stateroom weak and dis-
spirited, and thither Mrs. Bell made her way. She
had no difficulty in winning Wong Yui's good opinion, the latter's affection for and admiration of Wilhelmina, her one American friend, being an open
sesame to any overtures which any other foreign
woman would make. Either Mrs. Bell was very attractive^—she spoke the Cantonese dialect glibly—
or Wong Yui was starving, mentally, from her long
repression. She talked freely and kindly and thus
the visitor learned much of Sing's past life and his
father's hopes for his future. In his mother's eyes
he was faultless except that he refused to worship
I But you must know my son," said the proud little mother, " for he has never disobeyed me since he
was born."
When the opportunity to make his acquaintance
finally came to Mrs. Bell, it was not the university
graduate in American evening dress of black broad- "LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   285
cloth, who had presided so gracefully at the unusual
banquet a few weeks previous who greeted her, but
a Chinese gentleman in robes of oriental cut and
fabric, and with a long queue whose silken tassel
almost touched his heels. To hear from a source so
foreign looking, the familiar phraseology of the
Anglo-Saxon tongue, struck Mrs. Bell as an incongruity to which Sing's " thee and thou " gave the
finishing touch—yet not more remarkable was the
ease with which Lau Ying also expressed herself.
An introduction of Li Jue soon followed, but notwithstanding that he had been reading the Bible with
Mrs. Marston every Sunday for a year or more, his
pronunciation of " th " continued to be that of " 1"
and his mobile lips responded to but few English
consonants. However, his exceeding grace and winning countenance were immediately apparent. Sing's
face, although manly and intellectual was but a foil
to enhance the rare beauty of contour and delicacy
of complexion of this handsome and courtly Chinese
Whom did he recall to Mrs. Bell's memory ? The
trick of his smile, the half-veiled left eye when a new
phase of thought suddenly came, the beau ti fully-
curved yet firm chin which gave to his face when in
repose such gentle dignity. Where had she seen it
before ?
The revelation came when, in a corner of the
saloon, she, Lau Ying, and the two young men met
one evening for the first time. A CHINESE QUAKER
Six years—the most important of her life, the
transforming years—had passed since the poor,
frightened Lau Ying heard the voice of her rescuer;
but she recognized him instantly, and at that moment Mrs. Bell saw the marvellous resemblance between the two. Li Jue's sensibility was not so acute
but when the recognition came the pleasure was
Mrs. Bell, meanwhile, was scanning the faces of
the man and the woman as a detective would the
real coin and its counterfeit. Surely this singular
likeness had a deeper foundation than a superficial
coincidence! Her womanly intuition leaped at the
possibility that the long-separated brother and sister
had met; and yet, although evidently attracted to
each other, the idea of their close relationship had
not dawned upon them. Had Memory been kind or
cruel ?
Mrs. Bell immediately began a series of inquiries
of Li Jue to which Sing and Lau Ying listened with
respectful attention. They resulted in the information that he had lived in San Francisco since the
death of his grandfather and mother ten years before. He was then a lad of fourteen according to
the English calendar, and had accompanied to America his uncle, Dr. Choy, whom he held in great reverence, and who had saved for him a small fortune
from the wreck of his grandfather's estate.
" And had you no brother? " asked Mrs. Bell. "LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   287
" None. I had only a little sister whom I never
saw after she was nine years old," he answered.
" What became of her ? "
I think she died," was the reply.
Who told you so? " queried Mrs. Bell.
My grandfather; but when my mother died I
attended her funeral.   It was a long time ago."
To what was this strange catechizing of his friend
tending, thought Sing, who knew nothing of Li
Jue's previous history.
The unbaffled questioner continued: "Li Jue, if
you knew, certainly, that your little sister had not
died but, like yourself, had lived in America for
years, how would you feel ? " said Mrs. Bell.
He hesitated. A sister was of but small account
in a Chinese family. He had nearly forgotten the
existence of his, and he replied honestly,
" I do not know."
Taking a hand each, of Li Jue and Lau Ying, she
led them in front of a large mirror near by and bade
them look at themselves. Lau Ying was the shorter
of the two by at least six inches. She was quivering
with excitement. As she turned after the first
glance into the mirror and looked searchingly up
into Li Jue's face, he suddenly exclaimed, with all
the unrestrained ardour of a boy:
" Yo Chu!   I am so glad."
It was the "milk name" of her childhood, by
which he had addressed her.    Placing his hands 288        A CHINESE QUAKER
upon her shoulders, the two looked into each other's
eyes long and searchingly until those of Lau Ying
filled with tears.
Up through the hard crust of the false training
of centuries, Nature had thrust a beckoning hand
and Love had found its own.
The re-union of Li Jue and his twin sister after
so many years of separation, and their evident enjoyment of each other's society, was beautiful to the
two most interested witnesses, Mrs. Bell and Sing.
The former could not fail to see how much broader
were the views of Lau Ying and how much quicker
her comprehension than that of her brother; and, also,
how tenaciously she held to her own opinions while
yet tolerant of his: nevertheless, they seemed to each
other like a newly-found treasure. Lau Ying soon
acquired influence over Sing's mother, who admired
her next to Wilhelmina. Her beauty attracted much
attention when she sat on deck or at the dinner-
table, but she seemed unconscious of it and kept close
to Mrs. Bell's side. She conceived for that lady a
reverent admiration which the latter returned with
most affectionate interest. Lau Ying's nature was
meditative. She had been taught, when a child,
that the reason she was born a girl was on account
of previous sins which she had committed in another
world of which she remembered nothing.
While disclosing this to Sing, Mrs. Bell remarked
to him that wherever in China women had the least
chance for being educated, their capacity for devel- " LOVE FINDS ITS OWN"   289
opment had proved much greater than that of the
men. To which Sing responded with a noble candour:
" I am glad to know it. I cannot fail to see that
upon most matters aside from business details my
mother's judgment is clearer than that of my father;
and I—although so immature and inexperienced—
owe all that I have of that framework of the soul
called ' character' to a lovely woman's shaping and
entire care."
Had Wilhelmina been present, he would, no
doubt, at that moment, have taken her hand, and
said, " Thou knowest." XX
NEVER were Raphael's footsteps more welcome than when three months after the departure of the S. S. Oceanic, he brought one
day to Wilhelmina the first letter from Sing—the
boy so tenderly loved, so loyally remembered, and
for whose welfare, -amid the new scenes and conditions upon which he had entered, the hopes and
fears of his friends were almost balanced. So unceasingly had the changes been rung upon the question, " Is a Chinese ever truly Christianized ? ' that
Wilhelmina began to wonder—in view of the
uncharitable discriminations made against this race
by so many worshippers of the Universal Father of
our spirits—what test she should apply to her boy's
future life in order to know if he understood and
followed the teachings of the Divine Master.
The letter was a lengthy one; it had been mailed
from Ping Chow near Canton but prefaced in mid-
ocean. Referring to a heavy storm which they encountered, during the progress of which the captain
had commanded that the life-preservers should be
put in readiness, he wrote:
" O, the Sea! so grand in its might, and useful
to man as a broad highway for all, it is yet such a
terrible thing in its rage. If I did not have the
faith that He who made it is our Heavenly Father
and can command the elements to be still, I would
never again place myself within its grasp.    *    *    *
" We have reached my grandfather's home, and
here, in the same room in which I was born, I am
writing this letter to thee, my mother-in-love, away
off in America. First, let me say, that I have thought
of thee daily, almost hourly. It is not necessary
that I assert what thou knowest so well; and yet, as
we never grow weary of light and warmth, so thou
wilt let me say to thee again and yet again, that although thousands of miles intervene and everything
that can excite new thoughts and gratify curiosity
is around me, I seem ever to see through it all thy
dear face and to realize with a sensation almost painful in its intensity, what I owe to thee for what thou
hast done for me. Can the reverent devotion of a
life express my gratitude to thee ? "    *    *    *
After relating numerous minor incidents of the
Voyage he continued:
" A surprise awaits thee. My letter, in some of
its details, will read to thee like the beautiful story
of Joseph who revealed himself to his brethren, or
like some of the fairy tales which amused my childhood.
" When we reached Shanghai and guided by the
letter of introduction which my father had from the
United States Consul to the great mandarin, Li Chu
Foo, were conducted into his presence, he proved to 292       A CHINESE QUAKER
be,—thou canst never guess—the same gentleman
upon whom Mrs. Marston, thou and I called years
ago and who told us the legend of the Shui Sin Fa,
or the Water Nymph Lily. I was so overwhelmed
with the discovery that I almost forgot all the points
of etiquette in which my father has been so carefully
drilling me. Of course having been six months in
America (at least San Francisco) Western customs
were not new to Mr. Foo and when I convinced him
that I had been the little boy he so fascinated more
than ten years ago, it was delightful to witness his
pleasure. He remembered, also, thee and Mrs. Marston. His reception of Li Jue and Lau Ying was
exceedingly kind. Strange that we never identified
their distinguished relative as the gentleman whom
my father and I were to meet in a purely business
relation! Our first interview was, necessarily, brief
as my grandfather was impatiently awaiting us; so
making an appointment for a month later and leaving Li Jue and Lau Ying in that elegant mansion we
at once continued our journey to Ping Chow.
" Thou badest me be minute in all details when I
wrote to thee from ' far Cathay' and I will obey
thee. Although so young when I left here I find
that my memory has not played me false, and like
so much else in unchangeable China, the exterior of
my grandfather's residence looks just as it did when
I left it. As my mother used to say to me, the
locality, with its trees and fields does remind one
not a little of ' Floral Home,' but the rest of it thou " SPIRITUELLE"
must see through the eyes of my pen. The residence
stands back from a street or thoroughfare only eighteen feet wide and the whole property is surrounded
by fire-proof walls. We entered the front wall
through a large gateway, passed on into a courtyard
and proceeded by a long passage to another gateway
which opened into another court, very private,
adorned with pots of flowers and huge Chinese stools
of porcelain. Thou rememberest the description of
the palace of Nebuchadnezzar which I read thee from
a volume of Rawlinson's ' Ancient Monarchies ?'
I imagine that a good deal of the ancient architecture of China has been suggested by Babylonish
models, and my grandfather's house is not of recent
date. A door opens from this inner court into a
lofty hall of entrance which is also, a dining-room.
Escorted by the porter who is ever in attendance,
we passed from it through an oriental screen with
open door-ways in which hung heavy portieres
into a small room of which one wall and two half
walls were, really, paper windows with an occasional
pane of glass. From either side of this room
stretched a succession of long, narrow apartments,
like wings. The interior was very picturesque, but
to my taste, not comfortable. In this ante-room my
grandfather is accustomed to spend his time and
here we found him, at his table and surrounded by
books. In California, we would designate this room
as the library.
"My grandfather is a patriarch .and his home, 294       A CHINESE QUAKER
doubtless, is as patriarchal as was that of Abraham
of old—minus the tent life. He and the family received us with open arms and my heart took him in
at once. He is a most interesting personage. Thou
hast no idea of his simple dignity and kindliness!
On the wall hung two cheap pictures: one from the
parable of the Prodigal Son and the other of the
Widow with her cruse of oil. How familiar they
looked to me! How strangely out of place, there!
1 Upon his table lay a mutilated copy of the Sz
Fu Shin Chuan (Acts of the Apostles) which he
had been reading. How welcome these were to my
eyes, pictures and book alike, and how their presence surprised me thou canst imagine. I have ascertained that he obtained the pictures from a missionary from Hankow because their sentiments
pleased him, and the pamphlet from the leader of a
vegetarian sect to whom he had applied for some
literature on the subject of human merit and directions as to the soul's salvation. He is a very thoughtful man; his mind vigourous and keen although he is
nearly ninety years old; playful and witty notwithstanding his age and my mother resembles him in
temperament. I could not—even at that moment
of so much interest to me—but think how the cultivated Chinese of my native land are misrepresented
by the poor peasants who come to America and
there display their ignorance and poverty! I am
rich in five aunts all of whom live at grandfather's
with their families.   My youngest aunt, who is near " SPIRITUELLE"
my own age and was my playmate when we were
children, has blossomed into a lovely woman and is
not yet married. We have fine times and, of course,
I am a curiosity to them, especially my English at
which they laugh as heartily as once thou didst at
my Chinese. The first thing after our arrival was
a great thanksgiving feast to the gods in which I
could not participate. This greatly surprised my
aunts and the guests and I feared my grandfather
would be very angry. They were all unable to understand my embarrassment. To my surprise he
came to my relief, saying, ' In such affairs I want
every one to act as he thinks right.' It is strange,
yet not strange either—my father is an enthusiastic
champion of the freedom of thought in America and
the beauties of its Christian religion. My grandfather has very liberal sentiments and his continual
advice to young men is: ' Act from a sincere heart.
It is of first importance to have right motives, then
and only then will you act rightly.' Does not that
sound more like the consecrated wisdom of Thomas
a Kempis than the language of a heathen Chinese?
" My mother is very happy to be at home once
more. She seems like a different person, but my
father is restless and wants to see me at work. I
am not yet adapted to my surroundings and strange
as it may seem to thee, I find more companionship
with my grandfather than with any other member
of my family. He has read The Acts, and having
never heard Christian doctrine before is much im- 296       A CHINESE QUAKER
pressed by the teachings set forth. He thinks them
novel and beautiful. I have read to him the story
of the birth and mission of Christ and he is wondering if, indeed, all this is true.
" The subject of my marriage has been, and is,
duly discussed in the family, and my grandfather
has expressed a great desire to have me married.
He says, however, that if I want to take the matter
in my own hands instead of leaving it to a go-
between, I may; but he begs me to make all possible
haste lest he should die. Dearest Wilhelmina—how
this disgusts and annoys me! Marriage in China is
not a bond like that which unites thee and Raphael;
and I aspire to nothing less. My wife, if I have to
have one—shall be my queen; not according to Chinese custom, my slave and inferior. She must inspire that love in my nature which I long to possess
and enjoy but know not how to express in its fullness. Surely there is in China, a woman's soul
which will respond to mine own, and I will await its
approach into a condition as holy as I think marriage was designed to be.
" Our visit is drawing to a close and when I
again write to thee it will be from Shanghai, doubtless.
"Ever thy son-in-love,
" Tong Sing Wing."
Glad tears filled the eyes of Wilhelmina,  and
Raphael yielded her his full sympathy.    He knew " SPIRITUELLE"
that a rival of his in her affections was Sing, and
with the uncommon good sense of a lover-husband
showed no rebellion. With Wilhelmina, no social
nor domestic duties were neglected, but the moral
and commercial interests of China, of which Sing
was the nucleus, she found lying as close to her
heart as were those of her native land; so easy is it
to blend upon the palette of life, with the wonderful brush of love, the harmony of its rainbow hues!
The mandarin, Mr. Foo (as Sing called him in his
thoughts) was not only the President of the Shan
Tung Mining Company (the San Francisco branch of
which Sing represented), but he owned, also, with
other enterprises, one of the largest publishing
houses in China and had been, for years, compiling
an Imperial Encyclopedia which brought him closely
in touch with officers of the imperial household. He
was a unique blending of the man of business with
the ripe scholar, was accounted very rich, had much
influence in political circles, was a generous host
and as suave as Talleyrand. His face, though full
and round, was refined and thoughtful and his bearing that of an old grandee of the Castilian Court.
Although a Chinese to his heart's core and believing
his nation the greatest that now exists or ever had
existed, he was keenly alive to the incompleteness
of its present condition, the power of the feudatory
or local authorities of the territories in which trading
was done by foreign nations, and had a healthy respect for the civilization and military power of mod
uli 298       A CHINESE QJJAKER
ern Europe and the progress of what he called " Scientific America." He had heard of Sing's unusual
opportunities and the good use he had made of them,
from Chinese friends in San Francisco, and when he
" sensed " him through personal contact the effect
was gratifying. It proved to his pride the superior
ability of the native Chinese to absorb all that is
best outside of the Celestial Empire, without losing
or changing their respect for native excellence.
But few interviews were required with Sing before Mr. Foo knew how useful Sing would be to him
in any business transactions he would chance to have
with the United States; and his hospitality to the
young stranger was genuine.
Had he a family? Sing did not know immediately. Li Jue had left for the south for a long stay
on important business *for his firm in San Francisco
and Lau Ying was somewhere concealed in the great
labyrinth of Mr. Foo's mansion. Sing dared not
inquire for her; it would be almost an insult to his
host to do so and all as yet was too new for him to
venture upon an inroad. An impassable gulf seemed
to lie between the business and the domestic life of
Mr. Foo, and notwithstanding the fact that Sing
realized he had won the mandarin's confidence he
had not the courage to jostle it with an outside inquiry. Once, he saw a fairy-like figure stepping
into a sedan chair within the court, but the silken
curtains of the chair were immediately drawn and
the porters trotted off with their burden.   At an- " SPIRITUELLE"
other time, when passing with Mr. Foo through his
library—filled with Chinese classics and rare curios
—he heard in the distance the peculiar tapping of a
Chinese girl's shoes and a merry laugh which
sounded to him like the tinkling of a silver bell; but
if his imagination and curiosity alike were enkindled
it was not until two months after his return to
Shanghai that the hidden fire had a chance to glow.
The revelation that there was both a wife and a
daughter in Mr. Foo's household came to Wilhelmina in Sing's second letter!
* * * " Thou who knowest me so well and
from whom I have no concealments, dost not need
that I write thee any but plain facts. The eyes of
thy heart will read all that lies between the lines."
Here a smile ran through the eagerness of the animated face as she said mentally. " How accurate his
phraseology continues to be! He puts our careless
use of the Friends' language to the blush;—one
would think he had been committing to memory
The Song of Solomon."   She read on:
" Mr. Foo has a wife and family and I have
seen his youngest daughter, Ah Lin. To thee, I
will call her by the name that leaps to my lips
when I think of her. It is ' Spirituelle.' Art thou
smiling? Canst thou picture how the college girls
would laugh at the improbability of a Chinese girl's
realizing the ideal which such a name suggests?
" The first of the Chinese twelfth month was
Madame Foo's birthday and a great celebration was
iii 300       A CHINESE QUAKER
accorded the event. Ah Lin took part in it and I
had my first opportunity of getting a furtive look
at her. Her prototype is Madame Foo whom I am
told is one of the best of women and a beloved wife.
Madame has a fresh, olive complexion, a large forehead, well set eyes, a beautiful mouth and a face
more oval in outline than broad. Her manners are
gentle, pleasing and thoroughly those of a lady.
She wears the long, filbert-shaped finger-nails which
indicate her rank, and each one is protected by a
gold case-like thimble. Her jet black hair was not
allowed to cover her ears like those of the Chinese
matrons we saw at a Methodist love-feast, but was
combed straight back from her forehead and wound
in an oval knot at the back of her head. A long pin
of gold—like your bonnet pin—was thrust through
it lengthwise and a sword-shaped clasp held it in
place crosswise.
" I have learned since I have been here that the
object of the uniform style of the Chinese dress for
all ages and both sexes, is to conceal the form instead of betraying it, as at European courts, and by
American ladies of fashion when in evening dress;
so the distinctions of size and shape are not seen
as with us—(that last pronoun is a slip but a most
natural one). Indeed their lives—like the classics
of Chinese literature—are chaste and pure in high
social life. S
| The vision which I had of Ah Lin was of something as fresh and sweet as a wild rose.   She was " SPIRITUELLE"
clad in garments of blue silk whose lustre was like
the sheen of those field flowers you call ' baby blue
eyes.9 I remember that she had a bangle of twisted
silver upon her right wrist and wore a tunic or
jacket, stiff with embroidery in gold and colours, but
I cannot describe her costume. A few days later I
saw her again. She has a tutor who resides in the
house. Her winter vacation was to commence and
according to Chinese custom she came to perform
her temporary leave-taking of him as a mark of
respect. I happened to be sitting with him at the
time but behind a screen. Thus I had an excellent opportunity of seeing her without being seen
myself. Her modest, winning manner extorted my
admiration. My heart warmed to her in a peculiar
way it had never done before to a human being. It
seemed to tremble in my breast. She remained but
a few minutes and when she had gone, actually, the
room looked dark. I did not venture to say anything about her, however.
" The tutor, I think, noticed my interest in her.
He seems to be a man of very clear perceptions. He
told me her disposition is unsurpassed for its loveliness; that she is her father's favourite child and a
model girl for her age. He then told me, very abruptly, too, I thought, that if he could bring us
together what a happy union it would prove. He
startled me. Ah Lin had never even spoken to me.
How did I know that she would look upon me with
the slightest favour!   How I wanted to violate the 302       A CHINESE QUAKER
rules which hedged her about, and to spend an evening in her company! Of course, she is a heathen,
but that sounds so much worse than it looks, to me.
I feel like making an apology for her idolatry. One
so gentle and pure cannot but be dear to the God that
created her, the God who is Love and who sees the
heart."    *    *    * J§ '%
" My poor Sing!" said Wilhelmina with a sigh
as she refolded the letter. " Only two years ago
an artless, undemonstrative school boy, and now,
before he has begun the battle of life, the responsibilities of full-fledged manhood are thrust upon
him.—What ridiculous, absurd customs! " All that
day she was irritated and anxious over an event
which should have called forth her most fervent
sympathy—for the young philosopher had indeed,
" fallen in love."
A long silence ensued, steamers to Asia went and
came and the " mother-in-love " had almost become
a mater dolorosa so great was her anxiety. Eleven
months—Wilhelmina thought them the longest in
her life—had passed since the Oceanic had borne
from her the boy who for twelve years had added
so much to the joy and sweetness of that period of
her existence in California; and she began to feel as
though he had become the inhabitant of another
planet so fragmentary was the knowledge she had
had of him. When the third letter, finally came,
had no one been a witness, she would have kissed
the  well-known  and  most  beautiful  chirography " SPIRITUELLE"
upon its envelope ere she had broken the seal. The
letter opened with the words:
" I have betrothed myself! Thou knowest to
whom, as I have already told thee in a previous letter
of my hopes and fears. I have ever endeavoured
to follow the guiding hand of Providence as far as
I could understand its leadings, and I feel secure in
the belief that in this instance I am not mistaken.
In nothing have I prayed to be led aright more earnestly than in this great matter, because the union
will be—like thine with Raphael—of our lives."
" Thou wilt be gratified to know that both families
are greatly pleased and that notwithstanding my
disapproval, the tutor brought it about."    *    *    *
Then followed a condensed statement of a long-
proposed trip taken in company with Mr. Foo and
a few experts to the gold-bearing district near the
Yellow Sea, the fabulous -amount of gold which
would be theirs if the proper modern methods of
mining and the proper modern mining machinery
could be obtained and used there, and the extreme
difficulty which they had in getting there and returning. The letter reflected Sing's buoyant spirits
and happy hopefulness. His prospective father-in-
law and himself were upon the most confidential
terms, and he had a lifetime before him in which
to woo the girl after she would be his wife.
Mr. Foo and himself were returning to the United
States, he added, and would follow the letter in
the next steamer bound for San Francisco; their 304       A CHINESE QUAKER
object being in part to visit the famous Comstock
mines in Nevada. This marriage would not occur
until his return, and during that interval Lau Ying
had promised him to be Ah Lin's spiritual director
to the extent of her ability.
The letter closed with the quoted line, "Thus
far the Lord hath led me on." And Wilhelmina's
whole soul was a temple filled with praise. XXI
MONG Wilhelmina's few " society " friends
in San Francisco was Madame B , a
woman whose sympathies were as wide as
the east is from the west and who prided herself on
being devoid of all race-prejudice.
On this occasion her large reception rooms were
occupied by decorators early in the morning of what
promised to be an eventful day. The prevailing
colour of the draperies, flowers and every ornament
which, in itself had the emphasis of the occasion,
was yellow, the royal colour of Imperial China, for
had not the fifty invitations which had been issued
to that number of the city's klite read in part:
" To meet Mandarin Li Chu Foo of Shanghai
and his accomplished Secretary, Mr. Tong Sing
Wing? "| I
There had been, before, in the half century's existence of San Francisco, illustrious visitors to its
shores. Men and women of rank, learning and great
political and literary distinction had been " wined
and dined," appreciated and exalted to their hearts'
content by the elegant and stately ladies of one of
the most generous cities in the New World; but to
none of these hospitable folk had the opportunity
305 306       A CHINESE QUAKER
been offered, previously, of receiving with social
equality, a Chinese official whose rank was almost
that of an English Earl, and whose wealth was reported as being fabulous. Gossiping elves on silver-
tinted wings had also flitted through various boudoirs, bearing the information that while the great
Mandarin was pompous, ponderous and phlegmatic,
his Secretary was young and ambitious, had been
educated in London, spoke English as well as Browning wrote it, and was heir to great expectations.
Six or eight of society's youthful queens were among
the invited guests, and although between them and
the ordinary Chinese artisan and even merchant or
student in California, lay a social gulf deeper than
the deepest chasm and broader than the sea, yet the
verdict was that this young Secretary was exceptional, and would be found of quite different material and mould. The hours set for the reception
were from eight to eleven in the evening.
A few days before a noted event had occurred.
Yang Yu, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary to the United States, had arrived
on the steamer Gaelic, with forty-six distinguished
attaches and thirty servants in his suite. Had the
Emperor himself been aboard the stately vessel, she
could not have looked more important as she dropped
anchor alongside the Pacific Mail Dock. The dragon
flag, like a swaying meteor, was flying aloft and on
the spar deck stood groups of Chinese dignitaries
whose rich garments and caps with wide black sides "A SOCIETY EVENT"
and red tops surmounted by small balls of crystal,
shone in the sun. As the members of the embassy,
in a procession of thirty-six carriages, were driven
through the streets to the Palace Hotel (the city's
largest and most imposing hostelry), their dignity
and the unostentatious pageantry invited and won
The " Sand-lotters' were then conspicuous by
their absence and the inhospitable cry, I The Chinese must go," had, for the time, died away. To
many of the city's representative citizens, the members of this embassy seemed like beings of another
sphere. They brought with them a breezy novelty
which kept the pens of the reporters for the huge
" dailies " busy, and yet in no way did their peculiarities of custom offend good taste. Doubtless, a few
polite Frenchmen of the Louis XVI period would
have excited a curiosity as genuine as did these Chinese and perhaps their manners and customs would
have been more offensive to the " good form' of
modern culture than those of the present visitors.
However, it was only a coincidence that the Mandarin from Shanghai and Sing had travelled with
this embassy; for except the temporary social connection they were independent of it.
Leaving Mr. Foo at the hotel soon after their
arrival, Sing resumed American costume which he
had laid aside a year previous, removed the false
queue, substituting for it a most unbecoming wig,
and hastened on the wings of steam to Floral Home.
1 3o8
Here is the home of my heart," he said to Wilhelmina after a rapid survey of the ins and outs
his old and beloved haunts, " and here is the heaven
of my fancy."
" But what of Spirituelle ? " asked the glad Wilhelmina, who had feared that the simplicity of his
previous American life would pale before the gorgeous scenes of the Orient.
" Wherever my heart is, there she dwells," was
the quick reply, with an unaffected sincerity that was
all the assurance of his good-faith which Wilhelmina needed.
The hours—as hours will when surcharged with
joy—flew all too quickly and the morning of the
day at Madame B 's reception had arrived. Wilhelmina, mother-like, followed her boy into the little
room which had always been his and which she had
allowed to remain furnished just as he had left it.
She surprised him standing before his mirror, his
wig off, and his unplaited, wiry black hair flowing
around his neck like that of a girl.
" Of what is thee thinking, Sing? " The question
had long since become stereotyped.
"' To be or not to be, that's the question/
Whether I shall appear at thy friend's to-night as
the materialized ghost of an early Mormon prophet
(for such I look in that wig) or, as a ' John Chinaman,' pure and simple, I shall shock the sensibilities
of Madame B 's guests."
"Nonsense, Sing!    Thee must be as thee is, a- "A SOCIETY EVENT"       309
Chinese gentleman at the close of the nineteenth
century, convincing those who will meet thee that,
a t
Honour and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.' "•
" And thou wilt sustain me during the dreaded
I Nonsense again, I repeat. Be true to thyself,
and thee will need no other strengthening."
Wilhelmina had noticed ever since Sing's college
days the accuracy of his use of the " Friendly pronouns ' (as he was wont to call them) in strong
contrast with the special use of them into which
she and her neighbours of the same religious faith
had grown, but she adhered to her usage—so strong
is the cohesion of custom.
The American guests of Madame B had arrived and eagerly awaited the distinguished Chinese
visitors. Wilhelmina and Isabel assisted their
hostess to " receive "; and the truth was undeniable that no fond and ambitious mother was ever
more excited over what might prove, on a similar
occasion, the triumph or failure of her debutant
daughter than was Wilhelmina in anticipation of
Sing's reception and subsequent deportment. Mr.
Foo, who was immediately consigned to the intelligent guardianship of Frederick Marston, and whose
face thoroughly expressed his sense of the novelty
of the occasion, was speedily seated, and, in a measure, concealed, but Sing became the cynosure of all 3io        A CHINESE QUAKER
eyes. Tall, slender, supple as a willow-wand, and
seemingly unconscious of self, he stood beneath the
soft light—a rare type of manly and oriental beauty.
His elegant costume had been the gift of his proud
grandfather and was now worn for the first time.
It consisted outwardly of two garments: the under
one a loose, long robe of blue brocade, and the upper
and sleeveless one which reached below the waist,
made of silk of a lighter shade of blue and of great
beauty and richness.
The close velvet collar was fastened with gold
buttons, and on the shoulders and sleeves were exquisitely wrought medallions indicative of a certain
degree of rank. A skull cap of heavy black satin
with the red sil^ button atop came down to his forehead; a queue, black, thick and glossy, terminating
in a tassel of the hue of his lower robe almost
touched the top of his boots of soft, white leather
which reached half way up to the knees in wrinkles
like the boots of a Turk. In his left hand he carried
a folded ivory fan, but his right—contrary to the
custom of his fathers—was free to clasp in friendly
grasp those of any presented to him. Even to Wilhelmina his appearance was a surprise. No tremor
was visible. He was as self-possessed as a Pope,
yet as unaffectedly happy and natural as the boy in
old college days.
Soon he was seated upon a divan surrounded by a
group of young ladies. Each had declared to herself that the oriental stranger was her ideal of the 1 A SOCIETY EVENT"
Prince in the fairy tale—| But could he really talk
in English ? ' That he could they were soon convinced. Tennyson, Cowper, Whittier and Browning had furnished no little of Sing's intellectual diet
and the small-talk of the usual | evening out" was
soon dropped for subjects of more serious nature.
Incidentally, Sing referred to Job and Isaiah as being
among the world's greatest poets. The maidens exchanged glances—Job and Isaiah! Who among the
beauties of San Francisco—unless incited by an occasional theological student who was rarely at home
in a fashionable drawing-room, cared to introduce
those almost unknown names in polite society?
Here was an enigma. The solution of it lay in
the fact that Sing's spiritual insight was very clear;
that he had accepted the Biblical revelations of the
actual ever-abiding presence of the Father, as revealed to man through the Holy Spirit, as he did the
air which filled his lungs; and that no doubt of the
authenticity of the Bible, or thought that the rapid
unfolding of science would conflict with its moral
teachings or its historic value, ever assailed him.
He admired the Hebrew literature not because he
found its choicest and most valuable gems in the
Bible, but because the purest expressions of poetic
thought in the English language he recognized as
scintillations from those gems, and the trust in his
own soul reflected them. His laugh was merry, as
that of a child, and his manners—thanks to his daily
association with Wilhelmina—were as easy, natural 3i2       A CHINESE QUAKER
and refined as the most fastidious chaperone or exacting belle could have desired. He piqued curiosity. Were all Chinese gentlemen like him ? Where
had he been brought up and by whom? No one
dared ask. Isabel and Frederick preserved the secret
of his education and lineage, while infinitely amused
at the evident impression he was unconsciously
making; and when, at precisely eleven o'clock the
carriage of the Mandarin was announced (to that
gentleman's great relief) and the two quietly took
their leave, it was to the other guests not unlike the
vanishing of the mysterious and fascinating Cinderella from her first ball.
To all the earnest appeals to Wilhelmina through
Madame B from one and another of the guests
to have Mr. Tong to dinner, or a " high tea " for
| an evening" of the ensuing week, her smiling
reply was:
" Impossible. The two gentlemen leave for our
national capital in two days. Their business is urgent—and they return to China as soon as practicable."
To Raphael, however, she said, the following day,
" Yes, the reception was a marked ' social success,'
and Sing was, really, the ' lion'; but I am gladdest
of all that in his simplicity he never saw anything
but—as he expressed it—'the American fun of it
all.'" 'mm
The visit to Washington was to both the Mandarin and his Secretary a series of delightful sur- "A SOCIETY EVENT"       313
prises. The beauty of the city, the easily obtained
access to the President of the United States, his cordial reception of them and recognition of the vast
and ancient Empire which they, to a certain extent,
represented; the deference shown to women in all
ranks of life; the tenderness yielded to little children ; the magnitude of the business enterprises; the
prompt recognition with which science and capital
united had greeted the vast resources of America,
these and much more almost overwhelmed the Mandarin : while to Sing—who at heart was a patriot—
there came such visions of China's exaltation under
certain similar conditions, that he could scarcely contain himself. " Of course," said he in his thoughts
—with rare self-knowledge—11 am a youthful enthusiast, an inexperienced boy. My China is in
spiritual darkness and has had many false teachers
but God is the Universal Father. He, the Creator of
the Earth ' fainteth not nor is weary;3 our centuries of self-engrossment and stupidity are but as
a day in his sight; the small seed of truth which I
am so eager to plant, if permitted, may He not make
it to bring forth fruit abundantly? Who hath
known the mind of the Lord? Who hath been his
counseler?   Father!   Be thou my guide."
Just as one knows without seeing it, that there is
living sap flowing from the deepest root to the tiniest leaf of the largest oak, so no thoughtful traveller who came in contact with Sing during that
trip to and fro across the continent but realized that 3H       A CHINESE QUAKER
there was a vitalizing principle inherent in his soul
which gave him a moral force and mental keenness
far beyond that of his age, whatever his nationality.
Several months were spent in visiting the great
coal, silver and gold mines of the Pacific Coast;
expensive modern machinery was purchased to be
transported to the mining district beyond the Yellow
Sea, and no hive was ever fuller of honey than
Sing's heart of hope when a second time he sailed
from the shores of California.
" I may not return soon again," he said to Wilhelmina as they sat, alone, in his state-room the
last few minutes before the vessel left port.
" And thee feels buoyant and happy, Sing, and
ready for whatever may befall thee ?' asked Wilhelmina.
" No, I do not seem to feel any emotion but that
of regret at leaving thee; and yet in another sense
I am as restless as the waters of this bay. I am
leaving a home and a land that I love to return to
one equally dear but so different." He hesitated.
" Thou dost not know and I cannot tell it to thee.
My future life lies before me. It seems to stretch
out in a long line whose end I cannot see, and I am
trying to put it and its ordering into His hands."
Then, with a light laugh which concealed a tear,
he added, " Thou hast not taught me the art of
hiding nor the science of diplomacy; and some Chinese officials have not learned that the shortest road
to a given point is along a straight line.   Then, too, "A SOCIETY EVENT"       315
I am such a mite of humanity and so prone to obey
my first impulse."
Wilhelmina interrupted him. " In thy case, do
so, Sing. That impulse will be the voice of God
in thy soul. The ' sober, second thought' to thee
might be but the wisdom of the world."
The signal for clearing the decks was sounding,
and Wilhelmina took her boy in her arms. One
long, earnest look into his eyes and with a kiss upon
his lips as she said, % This for thee," and another
upon his forehead, with, " This for thy Spirituelle,"
they parted.
The letters from Sing to Wilhelmina had to be
resumed and the first one, written mid-way of the
voyage showed a trend of thought unexpected to
her and yet, in keeping with the social conditions
by which he was surrounded and in which it seemed
his destiny to become entangled.
* * "I will give this day wholly to thee,"
he wrote. " The sea is calm, the decks are crowded
with merry folk and my brains with conjectures.
" Mr. Foo has greatly surprised me. I had no
idea, until very recently, that he was such a fine historian, nor that he had watched so closely the animus of some United States politicians in connection
with that hateful cry:    ' The Chinese: must go.' "
*    *    *
There was a European ambassador to the Imperial
Court of China aboard with whom Sing and Mr.
Foo held long conversations.   The ambassador had 316       A CHINESE QUAKER
large commercial interests in Canton and other parts
of its province and spoke the Chinese language remarkably well. The subject of their earliest unconventional talk was the Chinese Restriction Law,
about the justice or injustice of which Sing had,
heretofore, thought but little, but which Mr. Foo had
studied carefully and dispassionately. The spirit in
which the latter discussed the grave matter was a
beautiful one. There seemed neither prejudice nor
resentment in his soul. His language was most respectful. He advanced no facts which he thought
were not well established, nor employed any specious
Sing drank in every word and tried to listen as a
dispassionate judge. The Ambassador was in sympathy with the United States of America and seemed
to know but little of the inner history of his own
nation prior to the period of the four Georges. He
knew, absolutely, nothing of the first intercourse
between China and Europe at the beginning of the
thirteenth century when—according to Mr. Foo's
statement—the first Mongol Emperor, Genghis-
Khan, carried an imperial army and the cause of
Deism through idolatrous Russia. The purpose of
the Emperor and his immediate successors was the
religious regeneration of Eastern Europe.
To-day, as viewed through the mists of European
tradition, these men were cruel mandarins at the
head of an army of robbers; while to the Chinese,
Genghis was a great religious leader. "A SOCIETY EVENT
According to Mr. Foo's statement nothing in the
history of Western civilization matched the grandeur
and magnitude of China's efforts in that direction,
at that time; and when, at a later period, Pope Boniface VIII sent Catholic Missionaries to China they
were received with kindness and allowed to preach
their doctrines unmolested. Mr. Foo then compared
the military power and resources of China and Western Europe at three critical periods of their intercourse, viz.: at that of the first Chinese invasions,
at the opening of maritime commerce by Europeans
in the sixteenth century and at the present time.
When China, in the thirteenth century, stood at
the height of her power and magnificence, Europe
was at the lowest point of her decadence. The Crusades, China's invention of gunpowder and printing, the discovery of America, the Reformation, all
these influences to which the civilization of modern
Europe has been ascribed—had yet to occur. When
Europe rose to power the balance in the scales had
turned: China was in a decaying and feudal condition and continues so, in a great measure; nor will
her fear of invasion and subjection ever pass away
until she emerges from that condition.
China's first acquaintance with maritime Europe
was when the latter had committed the greatest act
of piracy that the world has ever known, viz.: the
plundering of Malacca, a vassal State of the Chinese Empire, in 1500. This was a type of all that
followed up to the opium war.   Just as the English 318       A CHINESE QJJAKER
visited the East India and West India islands and
the Spanish main to plunder,—so the Dutch, the
Portuguese and the English, previously, had come
to China. Long before a Christian ever settled in
Europe, Europeans settled in China and were protected in their persons, their property and their religion. The Chinese were a commercial, peaceable
and able people, unsuspicious of the designs of these
foreigners; so they listened to their proposals of
trade and threw open the whole country to them.
A wrong use was made of the generosity of the
Chinese, who were compelled, in self-defence, to
adopt a policy of restriction and of vigorous
China gave to Europe the inventions of the mariners' compass, sails for ships, rudders, paper, gunpowder, printing and many useful things. What
had she given in return? Among other things not
counted as blessings was the opium habit, or appetite,
which is the curse of the nation, as that for alcoholic
drink is of Europe and America. In this connection, among other bits of history, from the viewpoint of the intelligent Chinese official, which Sing
learned during that voyage, was that once the laws
of China prohibited the sale and use of opium, and
the violation of them was punishable by death. So
earnest were the Chinese to prevent its introduction
into the country that the government became involved in a costly war t with England. At the close
of the war a treaty was made in which England. "A SOCIETY EVENT"
recognized China's rights to prohibit the introduction of opium but left it with China to seize
the vessels that smuggled it in and to confiscate both
cargo and vessels. The smugglers were Englishmen
and the ships, English ships; hence, the Chinese
were afraid to execute the law.
As best they could they fought the traffic for sixty
years. Once, they confiscated nine millions of dollars worth of opium and like the brave Americans at
the Boston tea-party, threw it into the sea; but as an
indemnity England compelled them to cede Hong
Kong to her. Finally, China gave up the contest
and submitted to legalize the horrible trade which it
could not destroy.
Said Mr. Foo, " I have travelled for five days
through poppy fields alone, the cultivation of which
robbed the soil whose healthy product once sustained
the bodies of thousands of our people. Before opium
was thrust upon China, rice had grown there in such
abundance that it could be sold for seven cash per
basin, but since the gorgeous poppies came the value
of " China's bread " has trebled, hence starvation
and wretchedness follow in the poppies' wake."
Following this digression was the statement that
the whole burden of foreign negotiations with the
Imperial Court had ever been, permission to live in
Americans had been foremost in taking advantage
of these concessions and possessing themselves of
the coasting trade.   Perhaps it did not occur to them 32o       A CHINESE QUAKER
that thereby they were depriving thousands of Chinese of employment, while the profits of the American steamers went to swell the dividends of the
American navigation companies and to afford employment to American machinists and ship-builders.
Because China had too much respect for its treaty
obligations with America, no complaints were made.
Mr. Foo thought that the essence of the Chinese
question was, that while Europe and America insisted upon trade with China, they wanted no contact with her people for fear of their pagan influence
and the effect upon others of their example of
economical living.
He had heard so many objections to the immorality of the Chinese that he was surprised to find
many careful American housewives admitting them
as servants to the innermost sanctuary of their
homes and confiding their lives to them by awarding
them supreme control of the kitchens and the preparation of food.
" It is," said he, " the poverty of the average Chinese and the utter wretchedness of their lives, under
our feudal conditions, which have driven them to
America in the hope of ameliorating it, and, of liberating their parents whom they have^left behind from
the thraldom of feudal servitude. So long as their
hard-earned money continues to strike off these fetters from their beloved ones, so long will they continue to practice their noble but misunderstood self-
abnegation." "A SOCIETY EVENT"
* * * "I cannot presume at this early stage
of my experience and with so limited a knowledge
of foreign affairs to sit in judgment upon the attitude of the United States," wrote Sing at the close
of one of his letters. " The country is so dear to
me and its republican principles I so much admire,
that it is beyond the pale of my criticism, but I am
anxious to have thee know something of Mr. Foo's
opinion as formed from the view of his side of the
shield. He has studied carefully, all the features
of the Burlingame treaty and said that when it was
concluded the Americans rewarded Mr. Burlingame
with the highest encomiums. There is a significance
however, in the coincidence of the complaint which
my people could make (if they would), and that
which some of the Americans are now making.
" I could not but wish that the words of Mr. Foo,
so full of wisdom, knowledge and common sense,
and so devoid of rancour and bitterness, could have
been heard in the Congress of the United States.
" The two nations do not understand each other.
The Chinese labourers, or coolies, in America do not
represent the best nor the worst that there is in
apathetic, old—but by no means dead and powerless
—China. As another has said: ' Its foundations,
however rudely capped, are laid in justice, mercy
and toleration, not in violence and force.'
" Could America and China but be friends! What
a spectacle of sublimity would the union of the oldest
and the newest empires of the world furnish were 322       A CHINESE QJJAKER
they joined together in the common cause of friendship and free trade?" * * * The letter concluded, it dropped from Wilhelmina's hands. With
electric speed she saw herself standing before Sing's
father's counter and heard the childish but pleading
voice saying to her:
I You takee me home. You teachee me allee same
'Melican boy ? " Was the speaker reaching his ideal ?
Had she done her whole duty ? But to Raphael she
simply said:
" When we have shown this to Abner and the
Marstons thee must send it to Friend Whittier." XXII
NO merchant upon the Pacific Coast or elsewhere, to whom the importance of the arrival of a steamer from Chinese ports was
measured by thousands of dollars, ever experienced
more unrest when the vessel was reported due than
did Wilhelmina after Sing's return to China the
second time.    Would a letter come or would it not ?
One day she confessed to Raphael, " I am living
in two worlds: the one bounded on all sides by my
joy in being with thee and sharing in all that concerns thee; the other seems as remote from here as
the most distant planet, and in it Sing is the central
figure around which my hopes and fears are constantly revolving. He is so young and untried! He
is thrown among such strange scenes and strong
temptations. Will he have strength to be true to
his convictions ? "
" Assuredly, if they are convictions and not mere
waves of emotion. The impressions which are made
by thee are not wont to be ephemeral in their nature," was the frank and soothing reply.
"Thou art better than a solace of poppies, my
husband, but the next letter will record a new chapter in Sing's book of fate for, of course, it will
323 W0^^^^^
announce his marriage. He has missed three steamers thee knows, and what but a woman could so distract his mind, even though she is but a little Chinese
girl," replied Wilhelmina.
But when the next letter came followed by others,
in more or less rapid succession, that " remote
world " became bewitchingly near. The first one,
written after Sing and his party had left the steamer
was dated from Shanghai.
* * * "I am transformed for coming years
into a gossip—a fearful creature, with as many
heads as Hydra, eyes before and behind and ears
akin to those worn by poor King Midas. All for
thy sake, too, my mother-in-love, that thou shalt
be able to follow my wanderings every step of their
devious way and share my every impression.
" Some one has said that in China every ten miles
is different. It is true. Spring is here and even
beloved California can show nothing fairer than
some of  our  scenery  at  this  season."    *    *    *
Nothing could have been more correct, at that time,
than Sing's assertion made too, with true poetic discernment. He was in the foreground of a landscape bounded by high hills, outlined with thousands of curves, sharp ridges and well-defined peaks.
Upon the summit of these were visible soft fringes
of bamboo, with their fairy-like tracery, ever waving
to and fro in the clear, soft atmosphere. There were
steep, rocky gorges down which waterfalls, sparkling in liquid light, fell in one continuous, musical CHA TON FROM YALE
chain of murmuring. They were not high and
grand, like those in Yosemite Valley, nor yet
mighty and thunderous like the Alpine Staub-
bach, but laughing and dancing as they sprinkled
the bending ivy, dashed through the network of
vines, percolated through rocky crevices, fell into
mossy beds and stopped, just as they plunged over
another precipice, to kiss the clustering wistaria or
bright-hued azaleas:
Nor did he attempt with his pen to give
an adequate idea of the beauty and variety of
the flowers which painted those hill-sides, festooned the rocks and threw their shadows across the
crystal streamlets. There were wax-like japonicas,
yellow daisies, purple rhododendrons, with fifty large
flowers upon one stalk, ferns, and vines with veining
of scarlet and such cunning combinations of colour
as made the most exquisite carpet upon which any
eye could rest. The beauty strained to its utmost
tension every fibre of his aesthetic nature. All was
summed in the phrases:
" God has been bountiful in His gifts to Asia."
I Beautiful, beautiful flowery land of China!'
His heart was so full of gratitude to the wonderful
and bountiful Creator of the Earth-glories that it
seemed to him it must atone for the lack of it in
those who know it not.
Shanghai is the central point of all the commerce
of the magnificent Yang-tse and lies seventeen miles
up the Woosung which is a small tributary of the 326       A CHINESE QJJAKER
Yang-tse. China's greatest river reminds an American of the Mississippi. Before rounding Woosung
Point its mouth is so wide that one might imagine
one's self at sea. The yellow water is turbid, however, and gradually low, flat banks close in until
they are less than a mile apart.
To Sing, who, now that China was to be his future
home, sought to see all in it through friendly eyes,
the approach to Shanghai was pleasing and imposing. First, there came nearly two miles of
wharves crowded with shipping from every part
of the world; farther on was the great marine promenade with its rows of public buildings, clubs, warehouses and private buildings; and, doubtless, because he had so recently seen Boston, New York
and Chicago he was the better able to appreciate
suburban Shanghai. The foreign part of the city
is divided into three concessions: English, French'
and American, but they form one continuous mass
of buildings. The residence of Mr. Foo was really
palatial and at that season the grounds within the
walls could not easily be surpassed. In the centre
of his large yard was an ornamental lake enclosed
by palisades of carved granite and crossed by a
small bridge of stone. On two sides were hanging
gardens, or terraced hills radiant with shrubs and
flowers while rows of green glazed pots out of which
chrysanthemums, coxcombs, roses, magnolias and
lotus plants were growing, lined the avenue to the
house.     Some  of the  shrubs were trained  most CHA TON FROM YALE     327
curiously over wires twisted to represent dogs, birds,
boats and even grotesque images of human beings.
It seems incongruous that in the same imagination
should exist such ideals of beauty and deformity.
An important business engagement with a prominent member of the Grand Council compelled Mr.
Foo to proceed as soon as possible to Peking and he
considered the presence and companionship of Sing
a necessary adjunct. His stay at home, therefore,
was brief. In fact, he seemed to have caught the
American spirit of unrest. Sing had seen Spirituelle
but not spoken to her.   Thus he wrote:
I Canst thou imagine anything more tantalizing?
Would it shame thee if I had become exasperated?
Attached to the house of Mr. Foo is a small temple
with a granite facade beautifully sculptured. On the
evening of our arrival, after being most kindly welcomed by Madame Foo, I wanted, indeed I needed to
be ' alone by myself' as I used to say to thee. As
I entered the temple, Spirituelle fled from it. She
was only obeying custom, but I had not time to stop
her. I was obeying my heart when I essayed to
do it and the frightened thing had got into my
throat. I caught but one glimpse but that was
worth to me a great deal.
11 noticed that the long plait of glossy hair which
she wore when first I saw her and the soft fringe
of it upon her forehead, were gone. Instead, the
beautiful brows were uncovered and the masses of
hair coiled upon the side of her head.    A jewelled 328       A CHINESE QUAKER
hair-pin held a single damask rose in its place. What
did this change of style betoken? That Spirituelle
is betrothed and that I, thy simple, home-made boy,
Sing, am soon going to call this priceless treasure,
mine, my very own.
" If I could not tell this to thee my heart would
ache with its excess of happiness.
" i Oft expectation fails,
And most oft there where most it promises/
But if it is also true, as the author of the above
says that, ' Marriage comes by destiny,' then am I
more grateful than tongue can tell for the joy which
I feel awaits me. I will never cease to be a lover.
I will cultivate with tenderest care this other half
of myself, my complement—as if to atone in part,
for the numerous loveless marriages which have been
and are the greatest blot upon Chinese civilization.
The pattern of thy life and Raphael's is ever before
me. How kind of God to give me such an example
before I assume the sacred obligations of a husband!"    *.§*    *
It is doubtful if Sing at this period understood
China's estimate of womanhood, which seems to be
that the sex generally fight and are moulded out of
A woman's office in the family is represented by
a broom and in a matrimonial alliance the husband-
to-be " seizes " not woos his wife.   A widow loses CHA TON FROM YALE     329
her reputation for virtue if she remarries, nor must
a husband show natural grief—if he has any—at
the death of his wife. Outwardly, few Chinese
connect marriage with love and love making. Yet
virtue and chastity are in the ascendant in China.
The peculiar dress is to prevent any part of the
person from being undraped, and their classic literature is the most chaste in the world. On the
street the husband never walks beside the wife, and
if he rode in the same carriage with her his reputation would suffer. The presence of a woman in the
Temple of Heaven, in Peking, would defile that sanctuary as much as would the crossing of the altar
by a woman mar the sacredness of the Greek church
in San Francisco. A woman has no rights in China
which a husband is bound to respect. No lot or portion of land ever falls to a sister, and yet, by a
strange incongruity, women have a great deal of influence and it is a son's religious duty to obey his
In China, neither mothers nor nurses can read or
write. Kindergartens, such as existed in Mr. Marston's Mission in San Francisco would be such a
heaven to children in China as is inconceivable by
the masses. One custom would have seemed to
Wilhelmina very singular. A Chinese lady of
Madame Foo's rank when making a social call or
attending a dinner party is always asked to lay aside
her skirt.   To do this exposes a long under jacket of 33©      A CHINESE QUAKER
purple satin over full red or green satin trousers
which are gorgeously embroidered with life-size butterflies.
Alas! like a few women in both Europe and America, some Chinese women also, smoke. Not tobacco,
as do the former, but opium which is even more
debasing than deadly. For Chinese women there
seems an apology—for those others, none.
" I cannot think otherwise," said Sing when once
writing upon these and kindred subjects, " than that
the exalted position of women in Christian America
will have a powerful effect upon the minds of my
countrymen who are now there. Thou hast taught
me that any injury to the women of a nation always
reacts upon its men with redoubled force. I also
know, from the same source, how well calculated
women are. to be counsellors, companions and
friends. And it was the acceptance of the teachings
of the dear, matchless Jesus the Christ, who was
born of a woman, here, in grand, solemn old Asia,
that has given to the women of thy land their present position!
" Oh, when Christ comes to China what changes
will it not effect! I must anticipate. It will make
the formal, utilitarian theories of our Konfutze, living, practical realities. To quote the words of a
great missionary, ' It will call into existence sympathy between parents and children where now there
is too often only cold duty. It will expand mere
animal existence into a spiritual one.   It will dignify CHA TON FR OM YALE     3 31
fatherhood, ennoble motherhood, and give to both
sexes a new outlook. It will banish polygamy and
make the uplifting of girls paramount to all else. It
will awaken the imagination of the people, quicken
their consciences, teach them the history and existence of nations and races other than their own, and
arouse real patriotism and a judicious use of the
knowledge they now possess.'
" Have I wandered from the track, my dearest
W. ? It is thoughts of thee and Spirituelle as well
as my own dear little mother that have led me.
" I seem to have lived ten years since I left the
college halls of old Berkeley, and my hopes keep pace
with my expanding vision. No, I am not an enthusiast, nor am I blind to the obstacles which arise
on every side; but I seem to have a prevision of
God's plan for my people which all the man-made
restriction laws of earth cannot prevent from fruition.
" My respect and admiration for Mr. Foo deepen
daily. His visit to America has deeply impressed
him. Although a Chinese to the backbone he is
open to new influences. He is a master of style, his
language being at once flexible and concise, expressing delicate shades of meaning. Notwithstanding
his business tact I find him more of a philosopher
than a mathematician. He has already told me more
of Chinese government than I could learn from
books in a lifetime,—but I am anticipating something which belongs to the ' after while.'"   *   *   * 332       A CHINESE QJJAKER
The foreign ambassador who accompanied Mr.
Foo and Sing to Peking, found a Chinese secretary
awaiting him at the House of the Tsung-li-Yamen
by previous appointment. He was introduced as
Cha Ton, a graduate of Yale, America, and the
ambassador playfully remarked to his young, and as
he thought, over-serious fellow-traveller, " You
should know him well for you will, from all reports, find Cha Ton ' a jolly good fellow' of the
Yankee type."
It was early in the morning of the following day,
when Cha Ton entered Sing's apartment. As the
business hours of a government official in China
begin at four o'clock in the morning, he aroused
Sing from his beauty nap with the native salutation/
" Have you eaten rice? " Notwithstanding his six
years' residence in New Haven, Connecticut, and the
excellent record for scholarship with which he was
graduated, the Chinese characteristics of Cha Ton
were ever uppermost. His manners were captivating, and being a native of Peking, Sing could not
have found a more intelligent escort through the
Imperial City.
Sing's letter from there opened with an exclamation, but not one expressing delight.
* * * " Faugh! The horrid smells! I am in
Peking. Fancy the combination of street odours:
onions, cooking grease, tobacco smoke and dirty humanity! What a contrast with beautiful Washington city! CHA TON FR OM YALE     333
" After leaving Fung Chow, thirteen miles from
here, I saw but little—save the occasional gay con-
volvuli by the roadside—to awaken any mental activity beyond that of curiosity. Mud banks, sand
hills, grave mounds (with which the face of China
is pimpled), bare millet and sorghum fields, and a
mule and a pony, or an ox and donkey plowing,
have formed the wayside scenes. What a blow to
my expectations! As swarthy as I am I believe I
blushed for the environs of my national capital. We
entered in company with strings of camels heavily
laden with bales of tea, gaudily attired women with
nondescript head-dresses, springless carts, donkeys,
mules, dust, and men with their heads tied up in
"handkerchiefs in the fashion of a sunbonnet.
" Somebody, somewhere, has summed up Peking
as ' Dust, Dirt, Disdain.' I echo the sentiment. It
is a condensed description. Peking is two cities, an
exterior and interior. Leaving the former which
really seemed like an immense hostelry, we reached
the interior in which was the majestic guild-hall of
the Province, the departments of the various embassies, and in its heart of hearts, the isolated but
gorgeous Imperial Palace. In the interior city all
was quiet and elegance. I had a vivid but kaleidoscopic impression of huge swinging golden pomegranates, gracefully curved roof-trees (modelled, it
is said, after the upturned boughs of trees), long
galleries lined with exquisite wood-carving such as
only the miraculous patience and riotous fancy of 334      4- CHINESE QUAKER
a Chinese could create, and over the top of the encircling walls the turquoise blue and emerald green
roof of the palace itself was visible. Mandarins,
high in rank, clad in their elegant robes of office
were moving to and fro, their air of dreamy repose
presenting a violent contrast to scenes in even the
City Hall of San Francisco."    *    *    *
Cha Ton, Sing's escort, was like a good-natured
human ferret with a very elastic conscience. He
seemed to know the affairs of every place and everybody. He was cheerfulness personified and had an
admiration for people with nerve, or as he said,
" men who have sand." He had learned about the
human telegraph system while in America;.and had
absorbed many new ideas, but to what extent he
allowed them to influence his daily life, Sing had not,
as yet, found out. It was impossible to ignore his
strong individuality. Sing was anxious to know in
how much of the petrified old thought Cha Ton was
encased, and whether the contact, for six or more
years, with the active lives and mental vigour of
the American students had effaced the peculiar features which were his Chinese inheritance.
Cha Ton confessed that their own people were
superstitious, but that this fact implied a mere blind
yielding to idle fancies, he would not admit. He
claimed for some of his countrymen a keenness of
perception and a power of analysis such as had
marked the seers of ancient days; and insisted that
in return for what the Western world could—and if CHA TON FROM YALE     335
encouraged—would give to China of modern science, she would offset its value with an exhibition of
possibilities existing in the human mind of which
the West, he thought, knew but very little.
" As a proof," said he, " I will relate to you one
of my recent experiences, the like of which you may
desire to test for yourself. Accompanied by a friend,
I entered the ante-chamber of a certain temple in
this city, and was introduced to an intelligent looking priest who was sitting there. Telling him that
I wanted to judge of his psychological powers he
consented and bade me follow him. This I did, leaving my friend behind. We each removed our shoes
before entering the temple, substituting for them
white satin sandals, and the priest enveloped himself in a white satin robe which swept the floor.
Before us was a platform upon which were some
seated statues of Buddha, and behind it was a small
room from which daylight was entirely excluded.
However, it was lighted by what seemed to be a
hundred candles suspended by some invisible means
from the ceiling. The walls were concealed behind
silken draperies and upon the floor was a fine matting ornamented with fantastic figures."
" I," said S'ing, laughingly, " should have felt as
if I was in a sorcerers' den and applied to it the
lines which I learned when a little fellow in
a t
Will you walk into my parlour? *
Said the spider to the fly." 336       A CHINESE QJJAKER
" Without knowing the couplet I confess, nevertheless, that I did feel a little anxiety as to what
was to follow—if that is what you mean," replied
Cha Ton and continued. 1 The room contained a
bamboo table upon which stood two flat covered
vases and a lamp. As soon as we entered the priest
required me to sit cross-legged like the Buddhas,
upon the floor close to the table. I was then blindfolded and told neither to speak nor move. I obeyed.
I heard him remove the covers from the vases, felt
him wetting the top of my head, and putting a cloth
on it which he touched here and there as though
he was applying a plaster to a wound. Putting his
open hand upon the top of the cloth and pressing
my head with considerable force he told me to think
of some locality well-known and dear to me and to
make as distinct a picture of it in my mind as possible. I fixed my thoughts upon a scene in New
Haven, which, mentally, I saw vividly. At his request, removing the bandage from before my eyes, I
stood up beside him.
" Both vases upon the table were open. In one of
them were numbers of pieces of very thin, white
paper about three inches square. In the other was
a single piece of like size and shape immersed in
what seemed to be water. This the priest took out
and held over the flame of the lamp. As it became
dry there appeared the outline of a house with an
avenue leading to it bordered with flowers. Nothing
was distinctly discernible.   Taking from the table-
drawer a powerful reading-glass he bade me examine
the picture more closely. To my utter astonishment
there was the exterior of the house in miniature.
The minutest detail was visible, even to the top of
the old elm tree peeping above the roof and the
morning-glory vine with its white and purple flowers on the left side of the front veranda. |f|
I asked him to repeat the experiment saying that I
desired to see the face of a woman. In the second
trial he placed the paper upon the nape of my neck.
Soon, the pretty face of a girl friend, smiling as I
have so often seen her, appeared upon the paper with
the distinctness but not the depth of an ordinary
photograph. * I was bewildered for a moment. You
can readily believe it. I knew the marvel was the
result of natural causes but the priest declined
giving me any information. The manner of producing the effect seems known only to the priesthood, and they, I am told, have held it as a sacred
mystery for thousands of years, although similar
psychic power is utilized in many ways by the Chinese government, especially in the detection of crime.
" Would you like to call upon the priest? " asked
Cha Ton. He waited for Sing's reply, but none
came, for the latter was plunged in thought. Could
Cha Ton have applied the skill of the priest, at that
moment, to the palimpsest of Sing's memory he
would have seen a reproduction of the little party,
who, many years before had been gathered in the
dear old " C. K." listening to Isabel's reminiscences 338       A CHINESE QUAKER
of how she became a missionary and what had succeeded her venture. How clearly Sing recalled on
that occasion her reference to himself, as the four
stood in his father's store and he, clinging to the
hand of Wilhelmina, besought her to become his
Isabel had never uttered what she had then hinted
at foreseeing, until the occasion of the parting between Sing and herself prior to his last return to
China. In a private interview she then forewarned
him of a few things which she said would doubtless
happen to him, but added that disapp