But the worst of it is that one can never be certain when one’s entire outfit will arrive at its new destination. Some men walk much faster than others, some will delay a long time for tea, or may give out altogether if the day be hot, with the result that the last load will arrive perhaps five or six hours after the first one.
As horses are not to be had, if one does not walk the only alternative is to be carried in a mountain chair, which is an uncomfortable, trapeze-like affair and only to be found along the main highways. On the whole, transport by man-power in China is so uncertain and expensive that for a large expedition it forms a grave obstacle to successful work, if time and funds be limited.
On the other hand, servants are cheap and usually good. We employed a very fair cook who received monthly seven dollars Mexican (then about three and one-half dollars gold), and “boys” were hired at from five to seven dollars (Mexican). As none of the servants knew English they could be obtained at much lower wages, but English-speaking cooks usually receive from fifteen to twenty dollars (Mexican) a month.
It was hard to leave Fukien without the blue tiger but we had hunted him unsuccessfully for five weeks and there was other and more important work awaiting us in Yuen-nan. It required thirty porters to transport our baggage from the Ling-suik monastery to Daing-nei, twenty-one miles away, where two houseboats were to meet us, and by ten o’clock in the evening we were lying off Pagoda Anchorage awaiting the flood tide to take us to Foochow. We made our beds on the deck house and in the morning opened our eyes to find the boat tied to the wharf at the Custom House on the Bund, and ourselves in full view of all Foochow had it been awake at that hour.
The week of packing and repacking that followed was made easy for us by Claude Kellogg, who acted as our ministering angel. I think there must be a special Providence that watches over wandering naturalists and directs them to such men as Kellogg, for without divine aid they could never be found. When we last saw him, he stood on the stone steps of the water front waving his hat as we slipped away on the tide, to board the S.S. Haitan for Hongkong.
THE WOMEN OF CHINA
The schools for native girls at Foochow and Yen-ping interested us greatly, even when we first came to China, but we could not appreciate then as we did later the epoch-making step toward civilization of these institutions.