The Wallet of Kai Lung eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about The Wallet of Kai Lung.
to the most inaccessible parts of the mountains in search of the stone, unfailing in his skilful care of the flock, in which he took much honourable pride, and on all occasions discreet and unassumingly restrained in his discourse and manner of life.  Knowing this to be his invariable practice, it was with emotions of an agreeable curiosity that on the seventh day of the month of Winged Dragons those persons who were passing from place to place in the city beheld this young man, Yang Hu, descending the mountain path with unmistakable signs of profound agitation, and an entire absence of prudent care.  Following him closely to the inner square of the city, on the continually expressed plea that they themselves had business in that quarter, these persons observed Yang Hu take up a position of unendurable dejection as he gazed reproachfully at the figure of the all-knowing Buddha which surmounted the Temple where it was his custom to sacrifice.

“Alas!” he exclaimed, lifting up his voice, when it became plain that a large number of people was assembled awaiting his words, “to what end does a person strive in this excessively evilly-regulated district?  Or is it that this obscure and ill-destined one alone is marked out as with a deep white cross for humiliation and ruin?  Father, and Sacred Temple of Ancestral Virtues, wherein the meanest can repose their trust, he has none; while now, being more destitute than the beggar at the gate, the hope of honourable marriage and a robust family of sons is more remote than the chance of finding the miracle-working Crystal Image which marks the last footstep of the Pure One.  Yesterday this person possessed no secret store of silver or gold, nor had he knowledge of any special amount of jade hidden among the mountains, but to his call there responded four score goats, the most select and majestic to be found in all the Province, of which, nevertheless, it was his yearly custom to sacrifice one, as those here can testify, and to offer another as a duty to the Yamen of Ping Siang, in neither case opening his eyes widely when the hour for selecting arrived.  Yet in what an unseemly manner is his respectful piety and courteous loyalty rewarded!  To-day, before this person went forth on his usual quest, there came those bearing written papers by which they claimed, on the authority of Ping Siang, the whole of this person’s flock, as a punishment and fine for his not contributing without warning to the Celebration of Kissing the Emperor’s Face—­the very obligation of such a matter being entirely unknown to him.  Nevertheless, those who came drove off this person’s entire wealth, the desperately won increase of a life full of great toil and uncomplainingly endured hardship, leaving him only his cave in the rocks, which even the most grasping of many-handed Mandarins cannot remove, his cloak of skins, which no beggar would gratefully receive, and a bright and increasing light of deep hate scorching within his

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The Wallet of Kai Lung from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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