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      The patient gentleman smiled again as he said, "Oh--Gholson can attend to that."

      "Ward raised the army that he had proposed, and from one thousand it soon grew to three thousand. It was armed with foreign rifles, and had a battery of European artillery. The officers were English, American, French, and of other foreign nationalities, and the men were drilled in the European fashion. So uniformly were they successful that they received the name of 'the Invincibles,' and retained it through all their career. The American adventurer became 'General' Ward, was naturalized as a Chinese subject, was made a red-button mandarin, and received from the government a present of a large tract of land and a fine house in Shanghai. He was several times wounded, and finally, in October, 1862, he was killed in an attack on one of the rebel strongholds.

      "Three or four cormorants and a raft are necessary in this way of fishing. The cormorants are stupid-looking birds about the size of geese, but are of a dark color, so that they cannot be readily seen by the fish. The raft is of bamboo logs bound together, and about three feet wide by twenty[Pg 347] in length. The fisherman is armed with a paddle for propelling his raft and a scoop-net for taking the fish after they have been caught by the cormorant, and he has a large basket for holding the fish after they have been safely secured. Each cormorant has a cord or ring around his neck to prevent him from swallowing the fish he has taken, and it is so tight that he cannot get down any but the smallest fish.I could hardly say, and we moved pensively toward Major Harper's tent. Evidently the main poison was still in Gholson's stomach, and when I glanced at him he asked, "What d'you reckon brought Ned Ferry here just at this time?"

      For my part I privately wished this saint wouldn't rub my uninteresting surname into me every time he spoke. As we dismounted near the tents I leaned against my saddle and asked further concerning the object of his loving anxiety. Was Ned Ferry generous, pleasant, frank?

      "While we were looking at the audience there came half a dozen raps behind the curtain, as if two pieces of wood had been knocked together; and a moment after the rapping had stopped, the curtain was drawn aside. It was a common sort of curtain, and did not open in the middle like some of ours, or roll up like others; it was pulled aside as if it ran on a wire, and when it was out of sight we saw the stage set to represent a garden with lots of flower-pots and bushes. The stage was very small compared with an American one, and not more than ten or twelve feet deep; but it was set quite well, though not so elaborately as we would arrange it. The orchestra was in a couple of little boxes over the stage, one on each side, and each box contained six persons, three singers and three guitar-players. This is the regulation orchestra and chorus, so they say, in all the Japanese theatres, but it is sometimes differently made up. If a theatre is small and poor, it may have only two performers in each box, and sometimes one box may be empty, but this is not often.

      "Wish what?""That is one point," said Frank, "in which I think the Japanese have gained by adopting the European custom. I don't think it improves their appearance to put on European clothes instead of their own; but when it comes to this habit of blackening the teeth, it is absolutely hideous."



      The first move of our friends on landing was to go to Deshima, as they had a curiosity to see the little island, which was so famous in the history of the foreign relations of Japan with the outer world. The drawbridge leading to the island, and the box where the Japanese sentries stood, were still there, and so were some of the buildings which the Dutch inhabited; but the Dutch were gone, and probably forever. Outside of the historical interest there was nothing remarkable about the island, and the boys wondered how men could voluntarily shut themselves up in a prison like this. Only one ship a year was allowed to come to them, and sometimes, during[Pg 310] the wars between Holland and other countries, there were several years together when no ship came. They were permitted to purchase certain quantities of fresh provisions daily, and when they ran short of needed articles they were supplied by the governor of Nagasaki. But no permission could be granted to go outside their narrow limits. How they must have sighed as they gazed on the green hills opposite, and with what longing did they think of a ramble on those grassy or wooded slopes!Hitherto they had been favored by the weather, but now a rain came on that threatened to detain them for an indefinite period. It blew in sharp gusts that sometimes seemed ready to lift the roof from the house where they were lodged. The conductor explained that these storms were frequent at the base of the mountain, and were supposed by the ignorant and superstitions inhabitants of the region to be the exhibition of the displeasure of the deities of Fusiyama in consequence of something that had been done by those who professed to worship them. "When the gods are angry," said he, "we have storms, and when they are in good-humor we have fair weather. If it is very fine, we know they are happy; and when the clouds begin to gather, we know something is wrong, and it depends upon the amount of sacrifices and prayers that we offer whether the clouds clear away without a storm or not."


      The Chinese cart is too short for an average-sized person to lie in at full length, and too low to allow him to sit erect; it has a small window on each side, so placed that it is next to impossible to look out and see what there is along the route. Altogether it is a most uncomfortable vehicle to travel in, and the boys thought they would go on foot rather than ride in one of them.