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IV.

away he chipped ; the stone was softer, it began to AND where was Pekoe?

crumble, two or three great pieces fell out, and it He was busy with the merchandise, and was went on crumbling and crumbling until there was congratulating himself that he should make great quite a hole in the wall.

profits. When all alone, 'Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Pigtail of my ancestor at once he thought of Whang! what a mess I have made !” ejaculated his promise to Pearl of Pekoe.

the Sea to bring a And he was just turning away when another fall chip of the Great of stones and dust almost blinded him ; he felt a

а Wall if he hand upon the collar of his vest, and a loud voice were any

said,
where near “Stop, thief! Stop, thief! Stop, I say !"

" I'm not a thief, I'm honest, I never

cheat," said Pekoe, strug.

gling to get YHO

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it. But he
should not be
within many
miles of it, so he
thought ;

when
suddenly he gave
a start, for look-
ing up he saw the
enormous Wall
towering up within a
stone's throw of him.

Pekoe was bewildered, he put his forefinger on his forehead and became contemplative, He had never seen the Wall there before. How did it

"A TRAIN OF TARTARS ISSUED FROM THE WALL" (P. 335). get there? Was it an illusion or was it the Wall. He went a little nearer. free, and thinking of the “ Pou-hou” on his shop Yes, there, towering straight above him, was the sign. Wall twenty-five feet high. There was no other Damagingthe Imperial Wallis a capital offence," wall of such a size. It must be the Wall.

returned the voice. And Pekoe tremblingly looked “Yes-no-yes, it is—it isn't, it must be—it can't up, and beheld the ugliest Tartar he had ever seen. be—it's a mistake—and yet it's there, is it?" And | Mantchoo, Mongol, and all sorts of Tartars seemed he drew nearer and touched it.

to be combined in this one in the ugliest manner ; Yes, it was a wall.

his eyes blazed, his teeth glittered, his lips and The Great Wall ! And he took out a knife. And nose were thick, and his limbs were huge and he began to chip and chip, but the wall was very misshapen. hard. At length he managed to chip off a small “You will have your hands and feet cut off, and piece, which he put into his pocket.

| then your head, and there will be an end of you. “I'll have a try in another place,” said he, and Perhaps you will be bastinadoed first, and the executioners will have orders to torment you to the “and if you take fire it will save the trouble of utmost. It is robbery in the first degree and treason beheading you.” besides. All your riches will be forfeited and your “Oh, Pearl ! Pearl of the Sea, what a penalty children sold for slaves."

has thy wretched father incurred for thee," said the Pekoe groaned, and wished that he were back unfortunate merchant. with his daughters.

“ Pearl !” repeated “Ah, it is too late to groan! You should have the commander, thought of this before you defaced the Wall. Out, “and pray, who Tartars, out ! ”

And as the commander of the Tartars spoke, a train of Tartars issued from the Wall. How they

N. got inside even Pekoe in his state of fear could not help wondering. He thought there would never be an end of them.

And they

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is it that is called

Pearl of the Sea ?” “My daughter," replied Pekoe.

"Is she your only daughter?"

“No; I have three daughters, the pret

tiest little girls in China," said Pekoe.

“ Three daughters !" shouted the commander, “and

I have not one!”
Then followed a silence, during which

several Tartars endeavoured to push L.L.

Pekoe into the lantern, the great candle in which

was flaming with a yellow glare although it was

daylight. Pekoe resisted manfully, and the com"PEKOE .

mander desired his followers to desist. APARTMENTS (p. 336).

“I want a daughter,” said the Tartar. “Give

me Pearl, and I'll hush up the affair of the Wall so circled round him and drummed on their Tartar that it shall never reach the ears of the emperor drums."

at all.” “Oh, Pearl! Pearl !” exclaimed the wretched Pekoe looked up at the Tartar, and he could not Pekoe.

help shuddering. Pearl of the Sea would be And still the Tartars issued forth. They had frightened to death at the sight of so hideous a scimitars at their sides, and beside their drums personage. each carried a lantern. There was one immense “Yes," said the Tartar, meditatively, “I am exlantern, however, which it required four Tartars to cessively ugly, but one can't help one's looks. Still, carry.

handsome is that handsome does, and I have no “Get into the lantern," said the commander. doubt but that Pearl of the Sea would become quite “But it's lighted,” pleaded Pekoe.

fond of me. She should have everything she wanted. All the warmer for you,” answered the Tartar ; But you shall go with me and listen to reason.”

WAS USHERED INTO A SUITE OF

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she shall scour the country on the finest horses."

alas !" said Pekoe ; "she would grieve herself to death. No, I must submit to my fate.”

“I don't see that at all," replied the

commander, “I am sure Pearl of the Sea

would prefer living here to letting her father have his head, and hands,

and feet cut off.” “She is a good girl," mur

mured Pekoe, “but she must not -she cannot—be sacrificed.” “Sacrificed! pooh! nonsense ! don't talk in that foolish way,” said the commander angrily. “You shall go home and give her her choice, and if she does not consent you must return here. I will send four of my Tartars, and if you attempt to play me false they shall cut off your head instead of waiting for the imperial executioner to do it.”

“No;” returned Pekoe, “I will not play you false. But I will go home and bid my daughters farewell, and then I will return and be delivered up into the hands of the emperor ; perhaps he may have pity upon me.”

The commander whistled impatiently.

"Vow," he said, “ by the pigtail of thy ancestor Whang, to return or send me thy daughter."

"I vow," said Pekoe faintly. And then, in the custody of the four Tartars, Pekoe with his merchandise journeyed to the city of Pekin.

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6

Four Tartars took up the lantern, and Pekoe shrank into a corner as far from the great candle as he could get. Then there was a great crash, and a rumbling and a thundering, and Pekoe thought the whole of the Great Wall must be falling down. The daylight faded, and there was another crash and smash, and then Pekoe looking through a small hole in the lantern saw that they were in a lofty stone passage.

“ Inside the Great Wall !” said Pekoe to himself. “What a situation to be in, with all my mer. chandise outside! I am lost! I am ruined! I shall never see my daughters again."

"Put down the lantern, let the man get out,

And in our Great Wall dwelling look about," thundered forth the commander.

And Pekoe, half dead with fright, stepped out of the lantern and was ushered into a suite of apartments more magnificent than he had ever seen before-rare carvings, gold and silver tables, tortoise-shell cabinets inlaid with pearl and silver, great porcelain vases, and treasures of all sorts.

“Not a bad home for Pearl of the Sea," said the commander. “All these treasures shall be hers.”

“But it would be a prison," murmured Pekoe. “Not at all ; there's an outlet into Tartary, and

V. The three sisters were in the garden when Pekce and the Tartars arrived. They rose up joyfully and embraced their father, but he, instead of seeming delighted to see them, was greatly distressed, and the tears ran down his cheeks.

“Oh! my children," said Pekoe, “I am a doomed man! I come but to say "Good-bye.' In chipping off a piece of the Great Wall for Pearl of the Sea I find that I committed treason and robbery in the first degree, and that I must be put to death for it."

Then Orange-Flower, Heart of Roses, and Pearl of the Sea wept bitterly, but Pearl of the Sea felt the worst as she remembered the words

“Who chips the Wall

Shall have a fall."

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VI.

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And this was the way in which it was coming to and silken curtains. She kissed her sisters, and pass.

waved her hand to her father, sayingThen one of the Tartars advanced, and making “Good-bye, good-bye, good fortune to all of us.” a salute, said

The door of the lantern closed with a snap; “If Pearl of the Sea

the Tartars who held Pekoe gave him a push Will go with me,

that sent him tumbling to the farther end of the Her father shall be free."

Then they hastened to the lower court, Then the second Tartar spoke

shouldered the lantern, and were out of sight before "Our master is kind,

Pekoe recovered his breath.
As she will find,

So all that Pekoe could do was to sit down and
Though ugly is he,

mourn that Pearl had been carried off by the As she will see."

Tartars. But he did not dare to complain to any one Then the third advanced

except his daughters, for he knew well enough that if

it came to the ears of the Emperor that he had “He'll give her riches untold, Gems, and the purest gold."

made a hole in the Great Wall, he would at once be

led to execution, and his property confiscated. And the fourth Tartar said,

“She will her father save
From a cruel death and early grave."

It did not seem above a quarter of an hour to

Pearl of the Sea before she heard the Tartars Then they all spoke together, saying

hammering against the Wall. Presently there was "Come with us, Pearl of the Sea,

a loud crash, and the door opened for her to And let your father go free."

step out, and she found herself in a very splen" That I will,” said Pearl of the Sea, springing did room hung with lanterns of the strangest up. "I'm not a bit afraid; the master of these Tartars and most beautiful forms. Some were like fiery is, I dare say, better than he looks, or he would not dragons or glittering serpents, others like birds of have trusted our father to come to say good-bye to many-coloured plumage, others like baskets of us. I will go."

flowers and vases, and others again of ordinary The Tartars gave a great shout.

shape, but painted in the most costly manner. “You shall not go," cried Pekoe, “I will return."

She passed into the next
But the Tartars replied-

room, which was

more "That you cannot do, since the Flower of the city of Pekin has decreed otherwise. She will go with us; the lantern in which you journeyed hither will no longer open to you. It is ready for the little maiden."

Then two great Tartars seized Pekoe and drew their scimitars, threatening to cut off his head if he attempted to prevent Pearl from going with them. And the two other Tartars led the way to the lantern, which was in the lower court of the house. It opened at once, and instead of a great candle Pearl of the Sea saw a soft. cushioned seat

"IT OPENED AT ONCE."

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a porcelain basin wreathed with the sweetest roses. | sound that had also something inspiriting in it. She began to forget that there was such a She sank down on a heap of cushions to listen to it, person as the hideous Tartar coinmander in her and suddenly perceived that she was not alone, pleasure at all that she saw.

for close beside her sat a pleasant-looking Chinese She could hear the clash of the cymbals, and gentleman. He was keeping time to the music the sound of the drums, but not loud thundering with a little silver-tipped cane that he held in his drumming and fierce clashing, only a soft soothing hand. He nodded and smiled at Pearl of the Sea.

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