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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

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      The pair looked at each other behind my neck for full ten seconds. Then the younger man leaned to his horse's mane in a silent laugh while Sergeant Jim looked me over again and remarked that he would be horn-swoggled!

      "The war-correspondent," whispered Gholson; "don't you know?" But the flap of the tent lifted and I could not reply.

      "Well, then, as they are both women, or girls, as you may choose to call them, why don't you take up the subject of women in Japan? They would naturally be interested in what relates to their own sex, and you can give them much information on that topic." The proposal struck Frank as an excellent one, and he at once set about obtaining the necessary information for[Pg 255] the preparation of his letter. He had already seen and heard a great deal concerning the women of Japan, and it was not long before he had all the material he wanted for his purpose. His letter was a long one, and we will make some extracts from it, with the permission of Miss Effie, and also that of Mary, who claimed to have an interest in the missive.

      They were up before daylight, and, while the coffee was boiling, the boys watched the approach of morning. They looked far out over the waters of the Pacific, to where a thin line of light was curving around the rim of the horizon. At first it was so faint that it took a sharp eye to discover it, but as they watched and as the day advanced it grew more and more distinct, till it rounded out like a segment of the great circle engirdling the globe. The gleam of light became a glow that seemed to warm the waters of the shimmering ocean and flash a message of friendship from their home in another land; the heavens became purple, then scarlet, then golden, and gradually changed to the whiteness of silver. Far beneath them floated the fleecy clouds, and far beneath these were the hills of Hakone and the surrounding plain. Land and sea were spread as in a picture, and the world seemed to be lying at their feet. The boys stood spellbound and silent as they watched the opening day from the heights of Fusiyama, and finally exclaimed in a breath that they were doubly paid for all the fatigue they had passed through in their journey thus far.CHAPTER XX.


      I made no reply. He looked momentous, leaned to me sidewise with a hand horizontally across his mouth, and whispered a name. It was new to me. "Charlie Toliver?" I murmured, for we were at the tent door.[Pg 225]


      "Well, it seems that some Chinese pirates determined to capture this boat, murder all the foreigners on board, rob the Chinese passengers, and then get away on a junk that was to be ready to receive them. They made their plans, and on a certain day fifty of them took passage from Canton to Hong-kong. When about half way, they were to meet a junk with more men; and as the junk hung out her signal and came near, the fellows were to fall upon us with their knives, and capture the boat. They intended to kill us all, but their scheme failed, as there were four ships at anchor that day close by the spot where the junk was to meet them, and so the junk took the alarm and left. There was no disturbance, and we did not have a suspicion of anything wrong. Finding they had failed with us, they went the next day and captured the steamer Spark, which runs between Canton and Macao. They killed the captain and officers and the only European passenger who happened to be on board,[Pg 404] plundered all the native passengers, and got away. Some of them were afterwards captured, and confessed to their part in the affair, and then the whole story came out that they had intended to rob this boat. Since then we always have the gratings down, so that the third-class passengers cannot come on deck; and we keep plenty of rifles and revolvers in the pilot-house and captain's cabin ready for use. They may never try it on us again, and we don't intend to give them a chance to do so."Crowds of sampans surrounded the ship as the anchor-chain rattled through the hawse-hole, and it was very evident that there was no lack of transportation for the shore. The Doctor engaged one of these boats, and gave the baggage of the party into the hands of the runner from the Astor House, the principal hotel of the American section of Shanghai. They found it a less imposing affair than the Astor House of New York, though it occupied more ground, and had an evident determination to spread itself. A large space of greensward was enclosed by a quadrangle of one-story buildings, which formed the hotel, and consequently it required a great deal of walking to get from one part of the house to the opposite side. Our friends were shown to some rooms that were entered from a veranda on the side of the court-yard. They found that on the other side there was a balcony, where they could sit and study the life of the street; and as this balcony was well provided with chairs and lounges, it[Pg 320] was a pleasant resort on a warm afternoon. The house was kept by an American, but all his staff of servants was Chinese. Fred regretted that he could not praise the dining-table as earnestly as he did the rooms, and he was vehement in declaring that a breakfast or dinner in the Astor at New York was quite another affair from the same meal in the one at Shanghai. The Doctor and Frank were of his opinion; but they found, on inquiry, that the landlord did not agree with them, and so they dropped the subject.


      CHINESE TRADING-JUNK ON THE WOOSUNG RIVER. CHINESE TRADING-JUNK ON THE WOOSUNG RIVER."Richard Thorndyke Smith! My dear boy," she cried, while the nieces gasped at each other with gestures and looks all the way between Terpsichore and Melpomene, and then the four cried in chorus, "We know your mother!"


      "It's our old friend, the Mystery!"