Chapter 16. Journey to the Orient: The Philippines and Japan
Published:June 01, 2015
Extract from beginning of chapter:
Once more I was in the tropics at Hong Kong, where the botanical garden and the slope up to the peak furnished a glimpse of foliage and a sight of Indo-Malayan butterflies that whetted my appetite for the more luxuriant flora of lower latitudes. The picturesque mountains and land-locked harbor with vessels of all descriptions moving over its surface made a lasting impression and a striking climax to my Chinese wanderings. The trip from Shanghai had been made in a comfortable new Japanese steamer bound for London, the Kitano Maru, 1 a delightful nest in Japanese cleanness with a few Anglo-Saxon companions, American and British. In Hong Kong, by chance, I met a butterfly collector, net in hand, and found him a Swiss, willing to part with a fine assortment of butterflies he had collected in British Borneo, the Philippines, and southern China, while working as a civil engineer. Parts of two days were spent selecting all I wanted from his store of boxes, from which I hurried to catch the little steamer that was to take me to Manila.
“Typhoon sitting to West,” as a Manila paper put it, is a very inadequate suggestion of what really took place out on the China Sea. Nothing sat. Everything tossed and pitched and whirled round, while I was reduced to the limpness of a stranded jellyfish upon a coral beach. To be sure, I held on like grim death to the mattress to keep from pitching out of the berth,