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The Chinaman's Purchase

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The Chinese are not supposed to have much talent or liking for humor, but a little story related by the autkor of "Three Years in Western China" shows that they are not altogether deficiënt in that respect: Severa! of my followers were opium 6mokers, and one of my bearers had contracted a great era ving for the drug. He was somewhat disreputable in appearance, but a willing worker. His baggage consisted of the clotheson his back and a small bundie containing his opium pipe and the necessary paraphernalia for smoking. On leaving a certain village I noticed that the bundie had assumed larger dimensions, but my spcculations as to its contents proved to be wide of the mark. A few miles to the west of Yang-lin a halt was called for rest, and the cakes on the roadside stall were quickly bought and devoured. The opium smoker, meanwhile, sat apart on the edge of the stone road. "How is it that you are all eating and drinking," said he to one of his comrades, "and I haven't a single cash to follow your example?" The other man put his thumb to his mouth, and pretending to inhale, prononnced the single word, "Opium," at which the smoker smiled and was silent. On the following day we were suddenly overtoken by a sharp rain storm, and when the other bearers were searchïng for shelter the smoker solemnly produced his bundie, gravely undid the cover, and proceeded to unf old and put on a firstclass waterproof coat which he ïad wisely purchased in the village to which we have referred. The astonishment on the other men's faces and the ook of triumph in which the smoker ndulged were a study.