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Flash-lights from the Seven Seas
written by "McConnell, Francis John, 1871-1953"
...ors were swearing at them in every language they knew and shaking big, brawny, brown fists in their grinning direction. It was considered a joke by the passengers but it was a very real thing to these poor ignorant Chinese. One sees this happen everywhere in the Orient. For the Chinaman starts out every morning in his sampan with the worst kind of a River Devil after him. He must rid himself of that Devil. So, when a big ship comes into sight, he waits until its bow is very close and then darts in front of its pathway. The idea is, that when a sampan full of Chinamen shoots in front of a big ship the Devil is supposed to follow the ship all that day, and let the Chinese junk or sampan alone. CONFUCIUS' TOMB AT CHUFU, CHINA. RUIN OF THE MING TOMBS. The turtle, the symbol of long life, is almost as common in China as the dragon. GRINDING RICE IN CHINA. A CAMEL TRAIN FROM THE PLAINS OF MONGOLIA ENTERS PEKING ON A WINTER'S DAY. It is the pest of an American seaman's life, for [65]even a seaman hates to see a human being drowned. To an American mind this seems ridiculous. It even seems humorous. I shall never forget how the passengers laughed when the captain told them why he had had to reverse his engines to keep from crushing the frail Chinese sampan. But suddenly the thought came to one of the passengers; that to the poor Chinaman the fear which made him do that foolish thing and the fear which made him take that awful risk was very real. "Under God, the poor Devils must have an awful life if they have such a fear as that in their souls day and night!" said an Englishman. "They never start out for a day's work that they are not haunted every minute of that day by a thousand devils, ill-omens, and bad spirits which are constantly hovering about to leap on them and kill them!" said a missionary. "The whole Orient is full of the thought of fear!" This missionary was right. Paul...

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