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vision of Gilbert running toward her, then She opened her eyes to see him bending came oblivion.
over her. She came to consciousness out of a “Arthur?" she said faintly. nightmare of remorse—the steamer carry- “He is safe,” Gilbert answered. ing Arthur away, the small figure with Her eyes closed again, but the tears outstretched hands pleading with her, the gathered thickly under the lids. She heard water widening between them, Arthur de- Gilbert's voice again, “My dearest, I 'd fying her with his childish malice, and she no idea you cared so much.” looking into his eyes and hating him- She nodded, wordless. It was true. She hating one moment, the next in an agony
Somehow the miracle had hapof terror seeing him struggling in the pened. There was a bond now binding water, sinking, sinking, while she stood her to Gilbert's child--the bond of that upon the shore, mute, dumb, powerless to vision of temptation, the shock of her dissave, to atone-she, Mildred, the silent, covery of her own smothered hatred. She willing cause of his death, and a whole could love him now that she had saved long lifetime of torment, of remorse, him. She could wait and work against his stretching out before her.
childish antagonism, now that her own She heard Gilbert's voice, her name. was dead forever.
N China to-day one may observe a state paddy-fields. Pasture or meadow there is
none, for land is too precious to be used the West since the Middle Ages, and in growing food for animals. Even on which will probably never recur on this the boulder-strewn steeps there is no grazplanet. For many generations the Chinese, ing save for goats, for where a cow can loath to abandon to the careless plow of crop herbage, a man can grow a hill of the stranger the graves that dot the corn. The cows and the water-buffaloes ancestral fields, and reluctant to exile never taste grass except when they are themselves from the lighted circle of civi- taken out on a tether by an old granny lization into the twilight of barbarism, and allowed to browse by the roadside have stayed at home, multiplying until and the ditches, or along the terraces of reproduction and destruction have struck the rice-fields. a balance, and society has entered upon The traveler who, in dismay at stories the stationary stage. To Americans, who of the dirt and vermin of native inns, have had the good fortune to develop their plans to camp in the cleanly open is inlife and standards in the cheerful presence credulous when he is told that there is no of unlimited free land, the life and stan- room to pitch a tent. Yet such is the case dards of a people that for centuries have in two thirds of China. He will find ro been crowding upon the subsistence pos- roadside, no commons, no waste land, no sibilities of their environment cannot but pasture, no groves or orchards, not even seem strange and eccentric.
a dooryard or a cow-pen. Save the threshThe most arresting feature of Chinese ing-floor, every outdoor spot fit to spread life is the ruthless way in which the avail- a blanket on is growing something. But, able natural resources have been made to if he will pay, he may pitch his tent on a minister to man's lower needs. It is true submerged rice-field, in the midst of a that childish superstitions have held back bean-patch, or among the hills of sweet the Chinese from freely exploiting their potatoes. mineral treasures. It is also true that In one sense it is true that China is culfrom five to ten per cent., in some cases tivated "like a garden,” for every lump even twenty per cent., of the farms is given is broken up, every weed is destroyed, and up to the grave-mounds of ancestors. every plant is tended like a baby. So far, But, aside from these reservations, the however, as the word “garden” calls up earth is utilized as perhaps it never has visions of beauty and delight, it does not been elsewhere. Little land lies waste in apply. In county after county you will highways. Throughout the rice zone the not see altogether a rood of land reserved roads are from foot-paths one to three feet for recreation or pleasure—no village wide, yet the greedy farmers nibble away green, no lawns, no flower-beds or ornaat the roads on both sides until the under- mental shrubbery, no parks, and very few mined paving-stones sink dismally into the shade-trees. To be sure, there are men of fortune in inner China, but they are rela- amid the great tangle of mountains in tively very few. I doubt, indeed, if one west China that give birth to the Han, family in two thousand boasts a garden the Wei, and the rivers that make famed with its fern-crowned rockery and its lotos Szechuen the "Four-river province." pond overhung by drooping willows and Save where steepness or rock-outcropping feathery bamboos. One is struck, too, forbids, the slopes are cultivated from the with the rarity of grape-arbors, vineyards, valley of the Tung-ho right up to the orchards, and orange-groves. In the summits, five thousand feet above. In this country markets one sees mountains of vertical mile there are different crops for vegetables, but only a few paltry baskets different altitudes-vegetables below, then of favorless fruit. The demand for lux- corn, lastly wheat. Sometimes the very uries that appeal to the palate is too slight, apex of the mountain wears a greenthe call for sustaining food is too imperi- peaked cap of rye. The aërial farms are ous, to withdraw much land from its main crumpled into the giant folds of the mounbusiness, which is to grow rice and beans tains, and their borders follow with a and wheat and garlic to keep the people poetic grace the outthrust or incurve of alive.
the slopes. In this colossal amphitheater To win new plots for tillage, human one beholds a thousand fields, but only two sweat has been poured out like water. houses. Here and there, however, one Clear to the top the foot-hills have been detects in a distant yellow bank a row of carved into terraced fields. On a single dark, arched openings like gopher-holes. slope I counted forty-seven such fields It is a rural village, for most of these running up like the steps of a Brobding- highlanders carve their habitations out of nagian staircase. And the river-bed be- the dry, tenacious loess. low, between the thin streams that wander The heart-breaking labor of redeeming over it until the autumn rains cover it and tilling these upper slopes that require with a turbid food, has been smoothed a climb of some thousands of feet from and diked into hundreds of gemlike one's cave home is a sure sign of populapaddy-fields green with the young rice. In tion pressure. It calls up a picture of a the mountains, where the mantle of brown swelling human lake, somehow without soil covering the rocks is too thin to be egress from the valley, rising and rising sculptured into level fields, the patches of until it fairly lifts cultivation over the wheat and corn follow the natural slope, summits of the mountains. In June these and the hoe must be used instead of the circling tiers of undulating sky-farms are plow. Two such plots have I seen at a an impressive, even a beautiful sight; yet measured angle of forty-five degrees, and one cannot help thinking of the grim, any number tilted at least forty degrees ever-present menace of hunger that alone from the horizontal. Of course the wash could have forced people to such prodigies from these deforested and tilled moun- of toil. tain flanks is appalling. A thousand feet Rice will thrive only under a thin sheet below, the Heilung, the Han, or the Kia- of water. A rice-field, therefore, must be ling, slate-hued or tawny when it should level and inclosed by a low dike. Where be emerald, prophesies of the time when all the climate is friendly, the amount of labor this exposed soil will be useless bars in the that will be spent in digging a slope into river, and the mountain will lie stripped rice-fields and carrying a stream through of the humus slowly formed through them is beyond belief. In one case I geologic time. Indeed, one hears with a noticed how a deep-notched, rocky ravine shudder of districts where the thing has in the Alank of a rugged mountain had been run its course to the bitter end. Moun- completely transformed.
The peasants tains, dry, gray skeletons; the rich valley had brought down countless basketfuls of bottoms buried under silt and gravel ; soil from certain pockets at the foot of the population dwindled to one family in four cliffs. With this they had filled the botsquare miles !
tom of the V, Aoated it into a series of Nowhere can the student of man's levels, banked them, set them out with struggle with his environment find a more rice, and led the water over them. So that wonderful spectacle than meets the eye now, instead of a barren gulch, there is a from a certain seven-thousand-foot pass staircase of curving fields, perhaps four
rods wide, and differing in level by the Great panniers of strawberries, half of height of a man.
I have also seen the them still green, are collected in the mounsides of a gully in which a child could not tain ravines and offered in the markets. stand undiscovered cut into shelves for No weed or stalk escapes the bamboo rake making a string of rice-plots no larger of the autumnal fuel-gatherer. The grass than a table-cloth, irrigated by a trickle tufts on the rough slopes are dug up by no bigger than a baby's finger. One of the roots. The sickle reaps the grain close these plots, duly banked and set out with to the ground, for straw and chaff are nineteen rice-plants at the regulation eight needed to burn under the rice-kettle. The inches, could be covered by a dinner nap- leaves of the trees are a crop to be carekin!
fully gathered. One never sees a rotting Were it not for an agriculture of in- stump or a mossy log. Bundles of brush, credible painstaking, the fertility of the carried miles on the human back, heat the soil would have been spent ages ago. In brick-kiln and the potter's furnace. After a low-lying region like Kiang-su, for ex- the last trees have been taken, the far and ample, the farmer digs an oblong settling forbidding heights are scaled by lads with basin, into which every part of his farm ax and mattock to cut down or dig up drains. In the spring, from its bottom the seedlings that, if left alone, would he scoops for fertilizer the rich muck reclothe the devastated ridges. We asked washed from his fields. It is true the a Szechuenese if he did not admire a ceroverflow from his pond carries away some tain craggy peak with gnarled pines clingprecious elements, but these he recovers by ing to it. "No," he replied; " how can it dredging the private canal that connects be beautiful when it is so steep that we him with the main artery of the district. cannot get at the trees to cut them In the loess belt of north China the down?" farmer simply digs a pit in the midst of The cuisine of China is one of the great his field and scatters the yellow earth toothsome cuisines of the world; but for from it as a manure.
A Chinese city has the common people the stomach and not no sewers nor does it greatly need them. the palate decides what shall be food. The Long before sunrise, tank-boats from the silkworms are eaten after the cocoon has farms have crept through the city by a been unwound from them. After their network of canals, and by the time the work is done, horses, donkeys, mules, and foreigner has finished his morning coffee, a camels become butcher's meat. The cow legion of scavengers have collected for the or pig that has died a natural death is not encouragement of the crops that which we disdained. A missionary who had always cast into our sewers. After a rain, coun- let his cook dispose of a dead calf noticed trymen with buckets prowl about the that his calves always died. Finally he streets scooping black mud out of hollows saturated the carcass of the calf with carand gutters or dipping liquid filth from bolic acid and made the cook bury it. the wayside sinks. A highway traversed Thereafter his calves lived. In Canton by two hundred carts a day is as free dressed rats and cats are exposed for sale. from filth as a garden path, for the neigh- Our boatmen cleaned and ate the head, boring farmers patrol it with basket and feet, and entrails of the fowls used by our rake.
cook. Scenting a possible opening for a No natural resource is too trilling to be tannery, the governor of Hong-Kong once turned to account by the teeming popula- set on foot an inquiry as to what became tion. The sea is raked and strained for of the skins of the innumerable pigs edible plunder. Seaweed and kelp have slaughtered in the colony. He learned a place in the larder. Great quantities that they were all made up as “marine of shell-fish, no bigger than one's finger- delicacy" and sold among the Chinese. nail, are opened and made to yield a Another time he was on the point of orfood that finds its way far inland. The dering the extermination of the mangy fungus that springs up in the grass after curs that infest the villages in the Kowa rain is eaten. Fried sweet potato-vines loon district because they harassed the furnish the poor man's table. The road- Sikh policemen in the performance of side ditches are bailed out for the sake their duties. He found just in time that of fishes no longer than one's finger. such an act would "interfere with the