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If they are mistaken as to the identity of the plaintiff; if there be in truth two persons about the same age bearing a strong resemblance to the family of Miller [Müller] and having the same identical marks from their birth, and the plaintiff is not the real lost child who arrived here with hundreds of others in 1818, it is certainly one of the most extraordinary things in history. If she be not, then nobody has told who she is. After the most mature consideration of the case, we are of opinion the plaintiff is free, and it is our duty to declare her so.
It is therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed, that the judgment of the District Court be reversed; and ours is that the plaintiff be released from the bonds of slavery, that the defendants pay the costs of the appeal, and that the case be remanded for further proceedings as between the defendant and his warrantor.
So ends the record of the court. "The question of damage," says the Law Reporter, "is the
subject-matter of another suit now pending against Jno. F. Miller and Mrs. Canby." But I have it verbally from Salome's relatives that the claim was lightly and early dismissed. Salome being free, her sons were, by law, free also. But they came, and could come, only into a negro's freedom, went to Tennessee and Kentucky, were heard of once or twice as stable-boys to famous horses, and disappeared. A Mississippi River pilot, John Given by name, met Salome among her relatives, and courted and married her. As might readily be supposed, this alliance was only another misfortune to Salome, and the pair separated. Salome went to California. Her cousin, Henry Schuber, tells me he saw her in 1855 in Sacramento City, living at last a respected and comfortable life. G. W. Cable.
A BURIAT SHRINE.
A RIDE THROUGH THE TRANS-BAIKAL.
BOUT nine o'clock Tuesday evening we returned from the visit to the Buddhist lamasery described in THE CENTURY MAGAZINE for March, and at eleven o'clock on the same night we ordered post horses at Selenginsk and set out for the Russo-Mongolian frontier town of Kiakhta (Kee-akh'-ta), distant about sixty miles. We ought to have arrived there early on the following morning; but in Siberia, and particularly in the Trans-Baikal (Trans-By-kal'), the traveler is always detained more or less by petty unforeseen accidents and misadventures. We were stopped at midnight about six versts from Selenginsk by an unbridged river. Communication between the two shores was supposed to be maintained by means of a "karbass," or rude ferryboat; but as this boat happened to be on the other side of the stream, it was of no use to us unless we could awaken the ferryman by calling to him. Singly and in chorus we shouted "Kar-ba-a-a-ss!" at short intervals for an hour, without getting any response except a faint mocking echo from the opposite cliffs. Cold, sleepy, and discouraged, we were about to give it up for the night and return to Selenginsk, when we saw the dark outlines of a low, raft-like boat moving slowly up-stream in the shadow of the cliffs on the other side. It was the long-lookedfor karbass. In half an hour we were again under way on the southern side of the river, and at three o'clock in the morning we reached the post station of Povorotnaya (Po-vo-róte-naVOL. XXXVIII.-10.
ya). Here, of course, there were no horses. The station house was already full of travelers asleep on the floor, and there was nothing for us to do except to lie down in an unoccupied corner near the oven, between two Chinese and a pile of medicinal deer-horns, and to get through the remainder of the night as best we could.
All day Wednesday we rode southward through a rather dreary and desolate region of sandy pine barrens or wide stretches of short dead grass, broken here and there by low hills covered with birches, larches, and evergreens. Now and then we met a train of small one-horse wagons loaded with tea that had come overland across Mongolia from Pekin, or two or three mounted Buriats (Booryáts) in dishpan-shaped hats and long brown kaftans (kaf-táns), upon the breasts of which had been sewn zigzags of red cloth that suggested a rude Mongolian imitation of the Puritan "scarlet letter." As a rule, however, the road seemed to be little traveled and scantily settled, and in a ride of nearly fifty miles we saw nothing of interest except here and there on the summits of hills small sacred piles of stones which Mr. Frost called "Buriat shrines." All over Siberia it is the custom of the natives when they cross the top of a high hill or mountain to make a propitiatory offering to the spirits of storm and tempest. In the extreme north-eastern part of Siberia these offerings consist generally of tobacco, and are thrown out on the ground in front of some prominent and noticeable rock; but in the Trans-Baikal the Buriats and Mongols are accustomed to pile a heap of stones beside the
road, erect thereon half a dozen rods or poles, and suspend from the latter small pieces of their clothing. Every pious traveler who passes a shrine of this sort on the summit of a mountain is expected to alight from his vehicle or dismount from his horse, tear off a little piece of his kaftan or his shirt, hang it up on one of these poles, and say a prayer. As a result of this ceremonial, every shrine presents to the traveler a sort of tailor's collection of scraps and remnants of cloth of every conceivable kind, quality, and color, fluttering to the wind from slender poles that look like hastily improvised fishing-rods. Theoretically this custom would seem to be not wholly without its advantages. If a native was familiar with the clothing of his friends he could always tell by a simple inspection of one of these shrines who had lately passed that way, and, if necessary, he could trace any particular person from hilltop to hilltop by the strips of his shirt or the frayed edges of his trousers left hanging on the stone-ballasted fishingrods as an offering to the mighty gods of the Siberian tempests. In practice, however, this might not be feasible unless one could remember all the old clothes of the person whom one wished to trace and all the ancestral rags and tatters of that person's family. From a careful examination that we made of a number of shrines we became convinced that every pious Buriat keeps a religious ragbag, which he carries with him when he travels and to which he has recourse whenever it becomes necessary to decorate the sacred fishing-poles of the stormgods. I am sure that such miserable, decayed scraps and tatters of raiment as we saw fluttering in the wind over the shrines between Selenginsk and Kiakhta never could have been cut or torn from any garments that were actually in wear.
The weather all day Wednesday was raw and cold, with occasional squalls of rain or snow. We could get little to eat at the post stations, and long before it grew dark we were faint, hungry, and chilled to the bone. Nothing could have been more pleasant under such circumstances than to see at last the cheerful glow of the fire-lighted windows in the little log houses of Troitskosavsk (Troy-its-ko-sávsk), two miles and a half north of the Mongolian frontier.
The three towns of Troitskosavsk, Kiakhta, and Maimachin (My-match'-in) are so situated as to form one almost continuous settlement extending across the Russo-Mongolian frontier about a hundred miles south and east of Lake Baikal. Troitskosavsk and Kiakhta are on the northern side of the boundary line, while Maimachin is on the southern or Mongolian side and is separated from Kiakhta by a hundred
and fifty or two hundred yards of unoccupied neutral ground. Of the three towns Troitskosavsk is the largest, and from an administrative point of view the most important; but Kiakhta is nearest to the border and is best known by name to the world.
Acting upon the advice of a merchant's clerk whose acquaintance we had made on the Lake Baikal steamer, we drove through Troitskosavsk to Kiakhta and sought shelter in a house called "Sokoloff's" (Só-ko-loff's), which the merchant's clerk had given us to understand was a good and comfortable hotel. When after much search we finally found it, we were surprised to discover that there was not a sign of a hotel about it. The house stood in the middle of a large, wall-inclosed yard, its windows were dark, and although the hour was not a very late one the court-yard gate was shut and closely barred. After shouting, knocking, and kicking at the gate for five or ten minutes we succeeded in arousing a sharp-tongued maid-servant, who seemed disposed at first to regard us as burglars or brigands. Upon becoming assured, however, that we were only peaceable travelers in search of lodgings, she informed us with some asperity that this was not a hotel, but a private house. Mr. Sokoloff, she said, sometimes received travelers who came to him with letters of introduction; but he did not open his doors to people whom nobody knew anything about, and the best thing we could do, in her opinion, was to go back to Troitskosavsk. As we had no letters of introduction, and as the young woman refused to open the gate or hold any further parley with us, there was obviously nothing for us to do but to recognize the soundness of her judgment and take her advice. We therefore climbed into our telega, drove back to Troitskosavsk, and finally succeeded in finding there a Polish exile named Klembotski (Klem-bót-skee), who kept a bakery and who had a few rooms that he was willing to rent, even to travelers who were not provided with letters of introduction. As it was after ten o'clock, and as we despaired of finding a better place, we ordered our baggage taken to one of Mr. Klembotski's rooms. It did not prove to be a very cheerful apartment. The floor was made of rough-hewn planks, the walls were of squared logs chinked with hemp-fibers, there was no furniture except a pine table, three stained pine chairs, and a narrow wooden couch or bedstead, and all guests were expected to furnish their own bedding. After a meager supper of tea and rolls we lay down on the hard plank floor and tried to get to sleep, but were forced, as usual, to devote a large part of the night to researches and investigations in a narrowly restricted and uninteresting department of entomology. Thursday forenoon
we hired a peculiar Russian variety of Irish jaunting-car, known in Siberia as a "dolgushka" (dol-goósh-ka), and set out for Kiakhta, where we intended to call upon a wealthy Russian tea merchant named Lushnikoff (Loósh-neekoff), who had been recommended to us by friends in Irkutsk.
Troitskosavsk, Kiakhta, and Maimachin are situated in a shallow and rather desolate valley, beside a small stream that falls into the Selenga (Sel-en-ga') River. The nearly parallel and generally bare ridges that form this valley limit the vision in every direction except to the southward, where, over the housetops and gray wooden walls of Maimachin, one may catch a glimpse of blue, hazy mountains far away in Mongolia. Kiakhta, which stands on the border line between Mongolia and Siberia, does not appear at first sight to be anything more than a large, prosperous village. It contains a greater number of comfortable-looking two-story log dwelling-houses than are to be found in most East Siberian villages, and it has one or two noticeable churches of the Russo-Greek type with white walls and belfries surmounted by colored or gilded domes; but one would never suppose it to be the most important commercial point in Eastern Siberia. Through Kiakhta, nevertheless, pass into or out of Mongolia every year Russian and Chinese products to the value of from twenty to thirty million rubles ($10,000,000 to $15,000,000). Nearly all of the famous "overland" tea consumed in Russia is brought across Mongolia in caravans from northern China, enters the Empire through Kiakhta, and after being carefully repacked and sewn up in raw hides is transported across Siberia a distance of nearly four thousand miles to St. Petersburg, Moscow, or the great annual fair of Nizhni Novgorod (Neezh'-nee Nóv-go-rod). Through
Kiakhta are also imported into Russia silks, crapes, and other distinctively Chinese products, together with great quantities of compressed, or "brick," tea for the poorer classes of the Russian people and for the Kirghis (Keér-gees), Buriats, and other native tribes. The chief exports to the Chinese Empire are Russian manufactures, medicinal deer-horns, ginseng, furs, and precious metals in the shape of Russian, English, and American coins. Even the silver dollars of the United States find their way into the Flowery Kingdom through Siberia. Among the Russian merchants living in Kiakhta are men of great wealth, some of whom derive from their commercial transactions in general, and from the tea trade in particular, incomes varying from $75,000 to $150,000 per annum.
We found Mr. Lushnikoff living in a comfortably furnished two-story house near the center of the town, and upon introducing ourselves as American travelers were received with the sincere and cordial hospitality that seems to be characteristic of Russians everywhere, from Behring Strait to the Baltic Sea. In the course of lunch, which was served soon after our arrival, we discussed the "sights" of Kiakhta and Maimachin, and were informed by Mr. Lushnikoff that in his opinion there was very little in either town worthy of a foreign traveler's attention. Maimachin might perhaps interest us if we had never seen a Chinese or Mongolian city, but Kiakhta did not differ essentially from other Siberian settlements of its class.
After a moment's pause he asked suddenly, as if struck by a new thought, "Have you ever eaten a Chinese dinner?"
"Never," I replied.
"Well," he said, " then there is one new experience that I can give you. I'll get up a
Chinese dinner for you in Maimachin day after to-morrow. I know a Chinese merchant there who has a good cook, and although I cannot promise you upon such short notice a dinner of more than forty courses, perhaps it will be enough to give you an idea of the thing." We thanked him and said that although we had had little to eat since entering the TransBaikal except bread and tea, we thought that a dinner of forty courses would be fully adequate to satisfy both our appetites and our curiosity.
From the house of Mr. Lushnikoff we went to call upon the Russian boundary commissioner, Mr. Sulkofski (Sool-kóf-skee), who lived near at hand and who greeted us with as much informal good-fellowship as if we had been old friends. We were very often surprised in these far-away parts of the globe to find ourselves linked by so many persons and associations to the civilized world and to our homes. In the house of Mr. Lushnikoff, for example, we had the wholly unexpected pleasure of talking in English with Mrs. Hamilton, a cultivated Scotch lady, who had come to Kiakhta across China and Mongolia and had been for several years a member of Mr. Lushnikoff's family. In the person of the Russian boundary commissioner we were almost as much surprised to find a gentleman who had met many officers of the Jeannette arctic exploring expeditionincluding Messrs. Melville and Danenhower; who had seen the relief steamer Rodgers in her winter quarters near Behring Strait; and who was acquainted with Captain Berry of that vessel and with the "Herald" correspondent, Mr. Gilder.
After another lunch and a pleasant chat of an hour or more with Mr. Sulkofski, Frost and I returned to Troitskosavsk and spent the remainder of the afternoon in exploring the bazar, or town market, and the queer Chinese and Mongolian shops shown in the illustration on page 78. In one of these shops we were astonished to find an old second-hand copy of Dickens's "All the Year Round." How it came there I could hardly imagine, but it seemed to me that if the periodical literature of Great
Britain was represented in one of the shops of the Troitskosavsk bazar we ought to find there also a copy of some American magazine left by a "globe-trotter" from the United States. My professional and patriotic pride would not allow me to admit for a moment that " All the Year Round" might have a larger circulation in outer Mongolia than THE CENTURY MAGAZINE. After long and diligent search in a queer dark second-hand booth kept by a swarthy Mongol, I was rewarded by the discovery of a product of American genius that partly satisfied my patriotism and served as a tangible proof that New England marks the time to which all humanity keeps step. It was an old second-hand clock, made in Providence, Rhode Island, the battered and somewhat grimy face of which still bore in capital letters the characteristic American legend, "Thirty Hour Joker." Mongolia might know nothing of American literature or of American magazines, but it had made the acquaintance of the American clock; and although this particular piece of mechanism had lost its hands, its "Thirty Hour Joker" was a sufficiently pointed allusion to the national characteristic to satisfy the most ardent patriotism. An American joker does not need hands to point out the merits of his jokes, and this mutilated New England clock, with its empty key-hole eyes and its battered but still humorous visage, seemed to leer at me out of the darkness of that queer old second-hand shop as if to say, "You may come to Siberia, you may explore Mongolia, but you can't get away from the American joker." I was a little disappointed not to find in this bazar some representative masterpiece of American literature, but I was more than satisfied a short time afterward when I discovered in a still wilder and more remote part of the Trans-Baikal a copy of Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi" and a Russian translation of Bret Harte's "Luck of Roaring Camp."
On Friday, October 2, Mr. Frost and I again visited Kiakhta and went with the boundary commissioner, Mr. Sulkofski, to call upon the Chinese governor of Maimachin. The Mongolian town of Maimachin is separated
from Kiakhta by a hundred and fifty or two hundred yards of neutral ground, through the middle of which is supposed to run the boundary line between the two great empires. Maimachin is further separated from Kiakhta by a high plank wall and by screens, or pagoda shaped buildings, that mask the entrances to the streets so that the outside barbarian cannot look into the place without actually entering it, and cannot see anything beyond its
wooden walls after he has entered it. It would be hard to imagine a more sudden and startling change than that brought about by a walk of two hundred yards from Kiakhta to Maimachin. One moment you are in a Russian provincial village with its characteristic shops, log houses, golden-domed churches, droshkies (drósh-kees), soldiers, and familiar peasant faces; the next moment you pass behind the high screen that conceals the entrance to the Mongolian town and find yourself apparently in the middle of the Chinese Empire. You can hardly believe that you have not been suddenly transported on the magical carpet of the "Arabian Nights" over a distance of a thousand miles. The town in which you find yourself is no more like the town that you have just left than a Zuñi pueblo is like a village in New England, and for all that appears to the contrary you might suppose yourself to be separated from the Russian Empire by the width of a whole continent. The narrow, unpaved streets are shut in by gray, one-story houses, whose windowless walls are made of clay mixed with chopped straw, and whose roofs, ornamented with elaborate carving, show a tendency to turn up at the corners; clumsy two-wheel ox-carts, loaded with boxes of tea and guided by swarthy Mongol drivers, have taken the place of the Russian horses and telegas; Chinese traders in skull-caps, loose flapping gowns, and white-soled shoes appear at the doors of the court-yards instead of the Russian merchants in top-boots, loose waistcoats, and shirts worn outside their trousers whom you have long been accustomed to see; and wild-looking sunburned horsemen in deep orange gowns and dishpan-shaped hats ride in now and then from some remote encampment in the great desert of Gobi, followed, perhaps, by a poor Mongol from the immediate neighborhood, mounted upon a slow-pacing ox. Wherever you go, and in whatever direction you look, China has taken the place of Russia, and the scenes that confront you are full of strange, unfamiliar details.
We drove with a Russo-Chinese interpreter to the residence of the "surguche" (soor-goochay'), or Chinese governor,- which was distinguished from all other houses by having two high poles tipped with gilded balls erected in front of it,—and after being introduced to his Excellency by Mr. Sulkofski were invited to partake of tea, sweetmeats, and "maigalo "(mýga-lo), or Chinese rice-brandy. We exchanged with the governor a number of ceremonious and not at all exciting inquiries and replies relative to his and our health, affairs, and general well-being, drank three or four saki-cups of maigalo, nibbled at some candied fruits, and then, as the hour for his devotions had arrived, went with him by invitation to the temple and
saw him say his prayers before a large wooden idol to an accompaniment made by the slow tolling of a big, deep-toned bell. The object of the bell-ringing seemed to be to notify the whole population of the town that his Excellency the governor was communing with his Joss. When we returned to his house Mr. Frost drew a portrait of him as with an amusing air of conscious majesty he sat upon a tiger skin in his chair of state, and then, as we had no excuse for lingering longer, we took our leave, each of us receiving a neatly tied package in which were the nuts, sweetmeats, and candied fruits that had been set before us but had not been eaten.
We wasted the rest of the afternoon in trying to get photographs of some of the strange types and groups that were to be seen in the Maimachin streets. Again and again we were surrounded by forty or fifty Mongols, Buriats, and nondescript natives from the great southern steppes, and again and again we set up the camera and trained it upon a part of the picturesque throng. Every time Mr. Frost covered his head with the black cloth and took off the brass cap that concealed the instrument's Cyclopean eye, the apprehensive Celestials vanished with as much celerity as if the artist were manipulating a Gatling gun. We could clear a whole street from one end to the other by merely setting up the camera on its tripod and getting out the black cloth, and I seriously thought of advising the Chinese governor to send to America for a photographic outfit to be used in quelling riots. He could disperse a mob with it more quickly and certainly than with a battery of mountain howitzers. If I remember rightly, Mr. Frost did not succeed in getting pictures of any animated objects that day except a few Mongol ox-teams and two or three blind or crippled beggars who could not move rapidly enough to make their escape. At a later hour that same afternoon, in the bazar of Troitskosavsk, he came near being mobbed while trying to make a pencil drawing of a fierce-looking Mongol trader, and was obliged to come home with his sketch unfinished. We both regretted, as we had regretted many times before, that we had neglected to provide ourselves with a small detective camera. It might have been used safely and successfully in many places where the larger instrument excited fear or suspicion.
Our Chinese dinner in Maimachin Saturday afternoon was a novel and interesting experience. It was given in the counting-house of a wealthy Chinese merchant, and the guests present and participating comprised six or eight ladies and gentlemen of Mr. Lushnikoff's acquaintance, as well as Mr. Frost and me. The table was covered with a white cloth, and