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Chapter 8

Sunday, April 27th
Last evening about 6 o'clock Mr. Bradley came off with an invitation from Mrs. Richardson, the wife of his partner, to come ashore and dine with them. So I dressed and we went. Found Mr. and Mrs. Richardson very pleasant folks, and Mr. Bradley improves on acquaintance. Met several other gentlemen there and passed a very pleasant evening. It has been so long since I spent an evening with a private family that I enjoy it much. Pa did too. Came off about 11 o'clock. Mr. Bradley was overwhelmingly clever and polite and left us with the assurance that he would be up to Amoy shortly. Got off at 6 this morning and are whizzing along as fast as steam can take us. Have sail set too and a wind behind us. Passed through hundreds of fishing boats. Some of these Chinamen come miles out to sea on three pieces of bamboo tied together, paddling along, balancing themselves in the middle with their fishing lines tied around their necks and trailing behind them.

Monday, April 28th
Came into Amoy harbor last evening; a great many boats came off to the ship. Among the rest, Ollie and Mr. Hyatt; they had been looking for us for a week. We were received with great demonstrations: the big flag run up and a general fuss made. Went ashore, spent a pleasant evening and went to bed feeling as if I had got somewhere at last. Got letters from home. All good news. Am very glad. Got up pretty early this morning to look around. It seems to be a very pleasant, homelike place. Nearly all the foreigners reside over here on the island, and there are some handsome residences. Think I shall like it very much indeed.

Tuesday, April 29th
Mr. Hyatt and I took a long walk today, went clear around the island. The roads are very fine and there are many nice walks. A good many gentlemen have called today.

Wednesday, April 30th
Arthur's birthday. I'd like to see the boy. Pa and Mr. Hyatt out making calls nearly all day. Ollie in the office. I busy writing letters and receiving callers. Pa, Mr. Hyatt and I this evening climbed up to the top of a famous pile of rocks just back of the house. Went into a temple. Saw ugly-looking idols.

Thursday, May 1st
Have had a great many visitors. At one time the drawing room was so full we could hardly seat them all. It is a beautiful day. Took a walk this afternoon. Like the place more and more. Everybody that calls looks so hard at me as if they wanted to make up their minds just at once as to what I was like, whether they should like me or no, and whether I would "pass muster." I am the only American lady here and the only young girl, so I suppose I am an object of some curiosity. Nearly all here are English.

Friday, May 2nd
Wrote letters all morning; received a great many callers; then Ollie, Mr. Hyatt and I went off for a sail. Had a nice time. All took our turn at steering. I brought her in before the wind beautifully. Came home by starlight and took our usual supper of cake, pineapple, milk, toast and tea on the veranda.
Saturday, May 3rd

Been very warm all day. Heavy wind in the evening. Mr. Peddes, the British Consul, and his wife called. Played whist all evening until Pa got tired and subsided. Then we played euchre awhile. Feel very sleepy. Goodness, how the wind does blow.

Sunday, May 4th
Went to church over in Amoy. Mr. Burns preached. He is a Scotchman and a missionary who wears the Chinese dress, shaved head, long tail and all. Have a melodeon there. Pretty good music is sung - "Old Hundred" and "Duke Street" sounded like home. How I wish Pa could just get up in the pulpit and show them what a sermon was. All Mr. Burns said was very good, but there was no originality about it. However, if we all practiced what he preached, we would be a good deal better than we are. There's no rubbing that out.

Monday, May 5th
Took a long walk. Pa, Ollie, Mr. Hyatt and I went down to the beach and away out on the rocks. I was in my element, clambering over the rocks. Put me in mind of the Alum Rocks. Mr. Hyatt considered it his duty to keep always at my elbow. I wished him further and went down some break neck places thinking he would not follow, but he laid his hand on his heart with the most sentimental air and declared that he would follow me to the ends of the earth and do my bidding or die in the attempt. He vowed it froze his blood to see me go over those rocks with such a hop, skip and jump. I've seen rocks before though. I've not forgotten how near Dart and I came to losing our lives over the Alum Rocks; poor fellow, maybe he's past climbing rocks now.

Yesterday as Mr. and Mrs. Peddes were going home from church, they fell in with a procession of about 1000 Chinese, who were "chin chinning Joss" for rain, and attempted very unwisely to force their way through, when the Chinese attacked them, broke up the chairs they were riding in and injured them a good deal. They narrowly escaped with their lives. Mr. Peddes went at once to the "Towti" about it, and he is going to put the case through. Ever so many Chinamen are to be publically whipped. Dr. Carnegie called last evening and said he thought all the foreigners ought to go and see it, especially the ladies. I told him, however, that I for one would rather be excused. I am "sufficiently amused" at this distance. Doctor had a dog with him that was the image of Tony. I was ready to eat him up, of course.

Tuesday, May 6th
A great many callers. "Swatow" came in. Went aboard, saw Captain Bell and charged him with a commission in Hong Kong for me. Took the sail boat and sailed clear around the island. Got into a very heavy sea as the tide was setting in strong and there was a good deal of wind.

A splendid moonlight night; went up on the terrace to better see the glory of it. We have a delightful view from the terrace. Pa and Ollie are very busy getting their business fixed up. Mr. Hyatt has to help them some, so I am alone in my glory most of the time. Generally receive company from 12 to 2. Office closed and we dine at 3. Then go out to walk. From 8 in the morning until 3, I am (except when someone calls) my own companion. I rummage over Pa's things to see if they need buttons, read, write, strum on the piano, sing, whistle, and talk to myself by turns. Wish I could turn clairvoyant and see what the folks at home are about.

Wednesday, May 7th
An English gun boat, the "Bustard" has come into the harbor. She coasts between here and Swatow. Her commander, Lieut. Tucker, called today. He is rather a pleasant young Englishman. I can't say I like the English generally, for I don't, but once in a while they are pleasant enough. Lieut. Tucker said he saw me at Swatow in the steamer and took a good look at me, tried to tease me about Mr. Bradley; they are great friends. I wish Mr. Green had been in Halifax when he wrote Bradley that letter full of his own Yankee gas.

Thursday, May 8th
Mr. Kip dined with us today, then we took the boat and went to see a famous temple. It is really curious and magnificent. Took a basket of "chow chow" along and tiffined up on the rocks. I always steer the boat coming home. Didn't look what I was about tonight and ran her aground and lost the rudder. One of the coolies fixed it again, though, and we got back all right. Went with Mr. Hyatt to prayer meeting. Had a good many callers; among the rest Mr. & Mrs. Stronach, very nice old people. The old gentleman called me "Sis" and tonight at prayer meeting shook hands and said, "Well, my dear." He is very friendly. Feel in a used up condition tonight; have hardly got used to running about yet, but I soon will, I guess.

Friday, May 9th
The "Azoff" came in today bringing the mail and a letter from Mother with good news from home. Also glorious news from the war. All the Americans here in high good humor. Went out calling today. How I do hate to make formal calls. I'm played out; have done little all day but dress and undress. I've had six or seven different dresses on for different occasions since morning and am now arrayed in the most comfortable of all -- my night dress; and if I don't get out of this lounging chair now, I'll have to stay here all night; for I'm going to sleep.

Saturday, May 10th
The anniversary of Mother's and Pa's wedding. Have been in my room nearly all day. Had company in the evening. I wish I'd brought a riding dress with me. I might ride as often as I liked. No, I don't either, for these Englishmen all ride like Frank Anderson, and I would do nothing but laugh at them, I know.

Sunday, May 11th
Joe's birthday, but I can't make out for the life of me how old the monkey is. I don't know how old I am myself. Can't tell to save me whether I'll be 20 or 21 next birthday*. But it makes little difference. Went to church. Mr. Rappalge preached. It was very warm but is now blowing quite a gale of wind.
*Joe was 16 and Ruth would be 21 in July.

Monday, May 12th
Pa is not well. I have been doctoring him up all afternoon. Helped Mr. Hyatt this evening sort his books. He is getting ready to go home. Wish he would hurry. I want to get established here and put a few republican ideas into these Chinese cooks. Mr. Hyatt doesn't seem to be in as big a hurry as he was; he has let several steamers go without him.

Tuesday, May 13th
Pa has been sick all day but is better tonight. Have been in the house all day doctoring up Pa, giving Mr. Hyatt the benefit of my advice in regard to some of his packing arrangements. Cloudy day.

Wednesday, May 14th
Pa is pretty well again. Been in the house nearly all day. Wash man brought home the clothes, and I'll have to sew on buttons all day tomorrow. Thing of washing on stones is hard on the buttons, but they do things up in a very nice style, no mistake about that.

Thursday, May 15
Made six buttonholes today, sewed on fifty-six buttons, darned a pair of Pa's stockings, bound around the skirt of a dress with braid, besides several other little things. Think I am getting very smart. Read a little French, then dressed for dinner. After dinner the young gentlemen went over to the City. Pa got hold of an interesting newspaper, and I thought I'd take a walk for once by myself. Went upstairs, changed my dress, got all ready, tied my hat and was just buttoning the last glove when the door bell rang and the coolie brought up cards. This child was mad, threw the cards at the coolie, and wished the gentlemen in Tunisia. Took my hat in my hand, however, and went down; found the gentlemen very agreeable and had quite a pleasant call. They didn't stay long, so I got my walk after all. Saw a very pretty China woman, so pretty that I stopped and looked at her for half an hour. She was handsomely dressed too, a lady of some rank and wealth, I suppose, but with no feet at all. Came back, ate two big slices of pineapple, three little Chinese cakes and will now proceed to bed. So -- no more at present from yours respectfully, R.B. Bradford.

Friday, May 16th
Warm day. Had a note from Mrs. Carnegie inviting us over to dinner at 7 and spend the evening. Dr. Jones sent me a present of some Constantia wine, having heard me say I preferred it to any other. very kind of the doctor. Wrote a letter to a lady in Canton whom I never saw or heard of before. Went to dinner with Mr. Hyatt and made some calls. Came back at 6:30, dressed and went to Dr. Carnegie's. Pa and Ollie would not go but insisted upon my going, so I went with Mr. Hyatt. Met quite a large company. Spent a pleasant evening. Mr. Hyatt grumbled and growled half the way home because Mr. Carnabe took me out to dinner and I sang and played for Dr. Carnegie -- when I wouldn't do so for him. I was in too good a humor to do anything but laugh at him. Why shouldn't I be? They make as much of me here as if I was the only girl in the world instead of the only one in Amoy. I wonder if Mr. Hyatt thought he was enlightening me when he growled out that Carnabe was ticked out of his life and would crow over it for a week. I've seen young gentlemen before, once or twice. I do like Dr. Carnegie; he is first rate and so good looking.

Saturday, May 17th
Saturday night -- sweethearts and wives are always toasted out here as well as at sea. It is raining tonight, the first rain we have had since we came to China. The air is very fragrant with the odor of flowers in the garden and the mimosa trees.
Have been in the office stamping seals for Ollie. The "Swatow" came in today, bringing the papers with glorious war news, Mr. Bradley's compliments for me and a letter from him to Pa. He writes Pa every mail and sends the papers. Very kind of him. Very!

Sunday, May 18th
Rained all day. Did not go to church although Mr. Hyatt had a chair at the door and a covered boat at the wharf and I was already putting on my gloves, when I suddenly changed my mind. Mr. Kip came over in the afternoon to preach to the prisoners in jail. I have been writing nearly all day. It still pours rain.

Monday morning, May 19th
I acknowledge myself beaten, vanquished, played out, anything, everything else. I, who was always such a sound sleeper, who never found anything in America which could keep me awake nights and at sea have slept through storms that kept everybody else's hair on end -- I was kept awake nearly the whole of last night by the fleas. Talk about fleas! There isn't a flea in America, not one; even at Tristan Da Cuna, where they were as large as small mice and picked me up and carried me out of bed, I slept through it. BUT last night -- if there was one flea on me, there were a thousand. Nothing but hop, hop, crawl, crawl, bite, bite. I dropped asleep once from sheer fatigue, dreamed about them, thought we were both fleas running a race, woke up and thought it was literally true. Bell talks about "midnight revels." I wish she had slept with me last night. Guess she would have known what a midnight revel was. Went to sleep again for a minute; dreamed I was a thousand legged worm. Woke up with a jump that nearly tore down the mosquito bar. Hope I may be forgiven for all the bad things I said and thought. Had a notion to cry but didn't, thinking it would please the fleas too much. How I lived until morning, I don't know. It is one of the mysteries. At any rate I got up without being called for the first time since I have been here.
Monday night

Steamer "Aizoff" came in. Mailed our letters. Took formal possession here, engaged our servants, and arranged matters generally. Mr. Hyatt leaves tomorrow on the "Aizoff." Still rains and will probably for a week. Let it rain!

Tuesday, May 20th
Mr. Hyatt gone at last. Getting pretty well fixed up. Still raining.

Wednesday, May 21st
Received a good many calls. Wrote a good deal. Made a voyage of discovery down to the cook house. Such a place. But it is always so here. everybody says the same things. Retreated upstairs in a hurry. Sent Sooah for the things and mixed up a sponge cake, the first I ever made. Sent Sooah down to bake it. Looked at it with many misgivings, but it turned out to be splendid.

Thursday, May 22
Walked clear around the island; called at Dr. Carnegie's. Pleasant day. Ollie got me some bracelets.

Friday, May 23rd
A good many callers. Received invitations to tiffin tomorrow on board the "Bustard" and to witness a regatta in the evening in honor of the Queen's birthday. Shouldn't wonder if we would have some fun.

Saturday, May 24th
Queen's birthday. Took tiffin on board H.M. gunboat "Bustard." Had a gay time. Everybody was there. Elegant tables and fine decorations. Regatta went off very well. The race was well contested. Mr. Ward's boat was winner. He is an American gentleman. Took a good stiff. Lieut. Tucker very gallant. Drank the Queen's health with a good will. Had plenty of fun. All the shipping in the harbor was gaily decorated with flags. We had the big flag on the flagstaff and another on the top of the mast. Dipped it seven times at noon in honor of the occasion. Altogether had a tall time. Feel very sleepy and ready for bed.

Sunday, May 25th
Did not go to church. Started to walk with Pa this evening, but it came on rain, and we turned back. Must begin to write letters home tomorrow. The mail steamer must not catch me only half ready as it did last time. I'm mad at Bell, Joe and Hen and several others who promised to write to me and don't. I've written great strings to them, and I'll stop it now. Wait till I see them.

Monday, May 26th
Rainy weather set in again. Very dull, nothing to write.

Tuesday, May 27th
Beautiful day; walked this evening. Met a great many. Mrs. Brown and Mr. Chapman called this morning. Mr. McIntosh and Mr. Fye came up in the evening. Mr. De Lacy called to say good-bye and make his will. He is going on a tiger hunt. Three large tigers are reported in the hill just across on the mainland. They have eaten up 20 or 30 Chinamen, and a party of gentlemen are going to hunt them. Wrote to Lou today. Received invitations to Mr. Boyd's on Friday evening. Accepted. Very pleasant day.

Wednesday, May 28th
Wrote to Mother and Joe today. Have done little but write all day.

Thursday, May 29th
Called with Pa on Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Chapman. Did not do anything else but rule four quires of paper. Ollie went to see Mr. De Lacy, who is sick. The night before he was to start on the tiger hunt, he went to bed, dreamed that he had had a pair of stairs built from his second story veranda. Got up and undertook to walk down them, fell down, of course, and nearly broke his neck. The most foolish thing I ever heard of. Waited up for Ollie and took a lesson in Chinese from my coolie.

Friday, May 30th
Been at an evening dinner party at Mr. Boyd's. Had a good time. Ollie and I went. Got home at 12. Received invitation cards to Mr. Brown's on Tuesday evening. Amoy is quite gay.

Saturday, May 31st
Wrote this morning for five hours without rising from my chair, something strange for me to sit still that long. Been a very warm day but is very windy tonight. Had fresh peaches for supper; seemed quite natural, but a little cream would not have been hard to take. Ordered Sooah to buy some American butter -- cost 75¢ a pound and is awfully strong at that. I can't go it, but Pa manages to eat it on his roasted tomatoes. We can't get any good butter here.

Sunday, June 1st
Went to church with Pa; heard Mr. Burns preach. Was much disgusted; shall not go to church again. It does me no good, only harm. I don't get a single new idea or any instruction. Would get far more by staying at home, reading Bible or any other good book or one of Mother's letters or even a newspaper. It is a misfortune out here to have ever been used to good preaching, for we can't stand the like of this.

Today is a great gala day among the Chinese. Some feast day. We went up on the terrace and saw thousands of them all around. There was to have been a junk race around the island, but I think it could not have come off, as I watched to see them start, but they didn't seem to go.

Monday, June 2nd
Very warm day. This evening Pa and I went down to the beach and hunted shells and eye stones for nearly two hours. Got our pockets pretty well filled and came back. If I'm not mistaken, I'm tired for the first time. It is very hard work walking on a sandy beach. Found a jewsharp tonight in the bottom of a basket. Carried it to Pa with great delight, and he played a good while. It is all rusty. I will make my coolie scour it up tomorrow. I do so want to hear some music. All the foreign houses here have pianos; but none, or very few, of the ladies play. The English pianos are not good. I wouldn't have one as a gift, and the English are a very unmusical set. Mrs. Boyd told me she wishes I would come up every day and practice on her piano. I will go up once in awhile, I guess. We go to Mr. Brown's tomorrow night. It is very hot tonight.

Tuesday, June 3rd
Rained all day. The "Formosa" came in and took our mail. Did a job of copying for Pa. He likes my copying well. Thinks I write more plainly than Ollie. Put on a dirty dress and apron and went to the cook house (or rather, the room over it) to show Sooah how to make an American peach pie. Succeeded very well. Sooah imitates better than anybody ever I saw; indeed all the Chinese do. He makes the best sponge cake I ever saw. Pa thinks so too, and I just showed him once. I think him a perfect jewel, and he is a splendid cook and waiter. Did not go to Mr. Brown's this evening. It was too stormy. Sent a note of excuse. It is raining and blowing out of doors at a great rate.

Wednesday, June 4th
Rain! Incessant rain! I like China, but I shan't like it if it is going to rain all the time. We've had it now for several days and expect it for a good many more as it is the rainy season. Can't think of moving out of doors. Just have to walk about in the house and on the veranda when it doesn't blow too hard.

Pa and Ollie are busy writing the greater part of the day. I write a good deal too. Talk to myself by the half hour in English, French and Chinese by turns or all together. I'd talk to anything no matter what it was and in any language I first hit on. Mr. Carnabe promised to try and get me a cat (I never liked cats). I would much rather have a dog, but Pa will not have one for fear of more fleas. I'll take a cat gladly if I can get it, but they are very scarce here. Oh, for Tony.

Thursday, June 5th
Rained nearly all day. Held up awhile in the afternoon. I went out, took a swing and general fly round, then came in and translated ever so much French. Mr. Starruck and Mr. Wilson called. Bought a pair of Chinese shoes and ordered some slippers. Have got on hand a big job of copying for Pa.

A gun boat came in, bound to Shanghai, where they are doing up some tall fighting. She is going up to the rescue. Ollie went today and put himself in the hands of Dr. Carnegie, who is treating him for hemicrania. He has just been taking some assafoetida pills and making an awful fuss, of course.

These rainy, windy nights are quite cool. Wish I had a bedfellow. Have slept all alone for ten months, all but two nights on Tristan Da Cuna, when I had Mrs. Cooper for a bedfellow; and may heaven preserve me from ever having her or one like her again. Rather let me sleep alone all my life until I sleep in my grave where everyone has to be their own bedfellow. It would seem very funny to turn in with Bell again in old No. 4. Hope to do it though some night within the next two years. Mais a quoi moi sert -- il de souhaite. (sp.?)

Friday, June 6th
Pleasant day. Took a walk this evening with Pa. Two or three gentlemen called. Don't feel in good humor tonight somehow. Did a good deal of writing today. It is a most beautiful night. Wonder what is the reason that things in this world seem to be at such cross purposes. Would like to take a journey to the moon this evening and call in America on my way, but I wouldn't stop there long... Oh, no, of course not.

Saturday, June 7th
Beautiful day. Finished a long job of copying. Did some sewing. Had three Chinese ladies come to see me. They stayed nearly all afternoon until I was heartily tired of them as I was not dressed and feared somebody might call. They wore some handsome jewels and altogether looked very nice; even their tiny feet, not as long as my finger, were all fixed up in high style. They were very curious and went all over the house, even up on the terrace, while I expected every minute to see some of them break their necks down the stairs as they cannot walk much. Gave them each a "crumshaw"; and they went away at last very much pleased, declaring that I was, "Putsey ho ho."

Took a walk with Pa. Found Mr. McIntosh in the yard when we got back. Mr. Pye then came with a pretty little pony, which he keeps in our stable and which he told me to ride whenever I liked.

An earthquake has just shaken the house, so that I had to stop writing. It was quite a hard shock, and the house rocked like fun. It is the first one I have felt yet, but they are common here.

It is a most splendid night, and our night birds are making a regular chatter. The Chinese had a sing song down just by our front gate today. Pa and I went down and looked at them awhile; such a din as they make. That earthquake has really quite upset me. I'll get used to them soon, I suppose, as I have got used to a good many things.

Tomorrow is Sunday, I suppose, if it doesn't rain. Mr. Doty is to hold forth, I understand, over in the chapel. Mr. Doty will please excuse me. I'm sufficiently amused over here with the bay between him and me.