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      In 1874 a steamer was lost on the coast of Japan. She had as a part of her cargo the Japanese goods from the Vienna Exhibition, and none of them were recovered for nearly a year. There they lay under the[Pg 252] salt-water, and it was supposed that nearly everything would be ruined. But it was found that the lacquered ware had suffered very little, and some of these very articles were shown at Philadelphia in 1876. A few of the pieces required to be freshly polished, but there were many of them that did not need even this slight attention.

      "But you did not go there in the dark night, and with only one man; and even then, where would you have been now only for our good friends in the forest. Oh Stephen!" she continued, starting up and throwing her arms round his neck, as she imagined she saw something of irresolution in his countenance,"do not go this night."

      "It has never been my fortune," the Doctor continued, "to be farther in a typhoon at sea than the outer edge, but that was quite as much as I wanted. One time on land I saw and felt one of these tempests; it drove ships from their moorings, swamped hundreds of boats, unroofed many houses, tore trees up by the roots, stripped others of their branches, threw down walls and fences, flooded the land, and caused a vast amount of havoc everywhere. Hundreds of people were drowned by the floods, and the traces of the storm will last for many years. The city that has suffered most by these storms is Calcutta. On two occasions the centre of a typhoon has passed over the harbor or within a few miles of it, and the whole shipping of the port was driven from its moorings and the greater part completely or partially wrecked."

      "I shall send you," Frank added, "several specimens of this kind of work, and I am sure that all of you will be delighted with them. In addition to the Japanese enamel, I have been able to pick up a few from China by the help of a gentleman who has been a long time in the country, and knows where to get the best things. And as I can't get all I want, I shall send you some pictures of very rare specimens, and you can judge by them of the quality of what you have. It is very difficult to find some of the varieties, as there have been a good many men out here making purchases for the New York and London markets, and they gather up everything that is curious. The demand is so great that the Japanese makers have all they can do to supply it; but I suppose that in a few years the taste of the public will change, and then you can buy all you want. But you can't get tired all at once of the pretty things that I have found; and I think that the more you look at the pictures on the bowls and plates, the more you will admire them. You are fond of birds and flowers, and you will find them on the porcelain; and there is one piece that has a river and some mountains on it, as well defined as if it were a painting on a sheet of paper. Look at the bridge over the river,[Pg 247] and the trees on the side of the mountain, and then say if you ever saw anything nicer. I am in love with the Japanese art work, and sorry I can't buy more of it. And I think that is the case with most people who come to Japan, and take the trouble to look at the nice things it contains."

      Well, we will let it pass. Was it not odd that Lord Inverbroom had a book-plate by your Miss Propert? Quite a coincidence! But you made me feel quite hot when you talked about supplying him with a chimney-cowl, just as if he was a customer. Not that it really matters, and I thought you got on wonderfully well, though no doubt you felt a little strange at first. And what did you and Lord Inverbroom talk about when we left you? Books, I suppose.


      Near the southern end of the bridge the boys observed something like a great sign-board with a railing around it, and a roof above to keep the rain from injuring the placards which were painted beneath. The latter were in Japanese, and, of course, neither Frank nor Fred could make out their meaning. So they asked the Doctor what the structure was for and why it was in such a conspicuous place."Silence, knave!" said the baron; "let the man answer for himself."