Chapter 17. Journey to the Orient: The East Indies
Published:June 01, 2015
Extract from beginning of chapter:
ON THE CHINA SEA
The many-colored sea was glorious in the splendid weather that favored us—deep blue-green far out; lighter and brighter green toward the coast, turning to yellowish and yellow where it mingled with river waters along the shore. The Yellow Sea1 is well named, colored with the muddy waters of the Yangtze and the Yellow Rivers. In places there were great purplish streaks.
On Sunday evening , we were quietly anchored in the Min River, ten miles below Foochow,2 one of the most beautiful spots I was ever in. The entrance to the river is picturesque with mountains on both sides of a tortuous bay. There was a long trip up a fascinating valley with inlets and branches, between steep hills cultivated in horizontal terraces, in places to the highest points, with rice fields on either shore. We stopped in a lake-like expanse with stretches of river in three directions, each presenting a different mountainous scene. Rugged granite peaks formed the skyline in several directions at different distances. A low, reedy island was in one foreground; a wooded hill topped by a tall pagoda formed another. A green terraced ridge with artificially flat crests and scattered pines outlined against distant hills made a third, each view with its peculiar charm.
Soon the steamer was surrounded by sampans, the locals climbing up the sides of the ship, struggling to unpack their stocks of all kinds on the lower deck. The whole family came in the sampan, the cleanest