MY LIFE IN CHINA AND AMERICA
ness unmolested. As soon as our object was known, numerous samples of yellow silk were brought for our inspection. We selected quite a number of samples, which altogether weighed about sixty-five pounds, and had them packed to be taken to Shanghai.
At the end of a fortnight, we concluded to take our journey back. Accordingly, on the 26th of May we bade Ho Yung farewell, and started for the tea district of Nih Kia Shi, in the department of Cheong Sha, via Hankau. We arrived at Hankau on the 5th of June, and put up in a native inn. The weather was hot and muggy, and our quarters were narrow and cut off from fresh air. Three days after our arrival, three deputies visited us to find out who we were. It did not take long to convince them that we were not rebel spies. We showed them the package of yellow silk, which bore marks of a war-tax which we had to pay on it, all along the route from Ho Yung to Hankau. We were left unmolested.
The port of Hankau had not been opened for foreign trade, though it was well understood that it was to be opened very soon. Before its capture by the Taiping rebels, or rather before the Taiping rebels had made their appearance