N my return to Hong
Kong I found business conditions there were gradually but visibly
becoming worse. Although the recent general strike and the incidental
killing and maiming by British soldiers of a few Chinese was supposed
to have been forgotten, the Cantonese discriminated against British
goods and shipping to such an extent that many firms were ruined. There
was such a rapid falling-off in my own turnover that I decided to
visit all the treaty ports in quest of trade.
the end of the trip north I found myself again in Shanghai, but my old
Chinese friend, the one who had shown me such kindness because I had
been civil to his son, had lost the greater part of his fortune. Yet
although he was on the wrong side of sixty, he spoke to me quite
confidently of rebuilding it. The Chinaman is not easily downed—any
more than is a Son of the Captivity!
the first time I visited the pearl market in that city, but purchased
nothing. Being still interested in jade, I came to see some exquisite
strings of beads, also cups and figurines carved out of that material.
I had never known that such perfect things of their kind existed.
Unfortunately their owners knew their value as well as I did.
more than a year had passed since the great earthquake which wrought
such havoc in Tokyo and Yokohama, the evidences of the great disaster
were still to be seen on every side. In Yokohama, the fine hotel where
I used to stay when I first visited Japan was now a rubbish heap under
which, some said, there were still buried a number of the victims;
trolley lines were for miles twisted and coiled like huge snakes; and
while some thoroughfares were assuming something like