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CHINA TRADER – A. H. RASMUSSEN

September 21, 2016

ctI first became interested in Clina when I came under the influence of the late Bishop Frank Houghton. This book sets the scene.

Starting his career in the British Customs Service, the author’s many experiences pierced the boredom of that life- and he views China in a period of unrest with the eyes of a quick-witted foreign trader – wild boar hunts, camel caravans, bandits, revolution, and epidemics.

Quotation:

Brothel keepers from many cities were buying girls at fifty cents apiece, and wealthy families bought up girls at the same price or boys at seventy-five cents as house slaves. The normal price of a boy for slave labour was twenty dollars at that time, but starving people were not in a position to bargain.

Missionaries hurriedly erected soup-kitchens and worked un­tiringly among the survivors, but, even so, many died. They had brought typhus with them, and Dr. Williams of the China Inland Mission contracted the disease while caring for them and died. But his passing, and that of thousands of Chinese, made little or no impression on the populace.

At that time four Chinese were accidentally killed on the rail.. way, and the public outcry nearly caused an anti-foreign riot. The coolies had fallen asleep on the line at night, their heads on the rail, and were all decapitated by the train. Decapitation is a horrible thing to the Chinese, for they firmly believe that they go into the next world headless and remain so. At the same time, and characteristically, they enjoy seeing a man beheaded by the executioner, a show few of them would want to miss.

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