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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 330 pages of information about Across China on Foot.
of the language, and could merely push on, with ragtags at my heels, becoming more and more embarrassed by the pointing and staring public.  I turned, but could see none of my men.  I managed to get to the outer gate, and there sat down on the grass, with five score of gaping idiots in front of me.  Seeing this vulgar-looking intruder among them, who would not answer their simplest queries, or give any reason for being there, suspicion grew worse; they naturally wanted to know what it was, and what it wanted.  Some thought I might be deaf, and raved questions in my ear at the top of their voices.  Even then I remained impotently dumb.  Two policemen came and said something.  At their invitation I followed them, and found myself later in a small police box, the street lined with people, facing an officer.

The man hailed me in speech uncivil.  He was huge as the hyperborean bear, and cruel looking, and with a sort of apologetic petitionary growl I sidled off; but it was anything but comfortable, and I should not have been surprised had I found myself being led off to the yamen.  After a nerve-trying half-hour, I was thankful to see the form of my men appearing at the moment when I was vehemently expressing indignation at not being understood.

CHAPTER XVII.

A bumptious official. Ignominious contrasts of two travelers.  Diminishing respect for foreigners in the Far East. Where the European fails. His maltreatment of Orientals. Convicts on the way to death. At Ch’u-hsiony-fu. Buffaloes and children. Exasperating repetition met in Chinese home life. Unaesthetic womanhood. Quarrymen and careless tactics. Scope for the physiologist. Interesting unit of the city’s humanity. Signs of decay in the countryside. Carrying the dead to eternal rest. At Chennan-chou. Public kotowing ceremony and its aftermath. Chinese ignorance of distance.

All-round idyllic peace did not reign at Kwang-tung-hsien, where I rested over Sunday.  Contacts in social conditions gave rise inevitably to causes for conflicts.

Arriving early, my men were able to secure the best room and soon after, with much imposing pomp and show, a “gwan"[AH] arrived, disgusted that he had to take a lower room.  I bowed politely to him as he came in.  He did not return it, however, but stood with a contemptuous grin upon his face as he took in the situation.  I do not know who the person was, neither have a wish to trace his ancestry, but his bumptiousness and general misbehavior, utterly in antagonism to national etiquette, made me hate the sight of the fellow.  Pride has been said to make a man a hedgehog.  I do not say that this man was a hedgehog altogether, but he certainly seemed to wound everyone he touched.  He had with him a great retinue, an extravagant equipage, fine clothes,

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