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- Seven Maids of Far Cathay - 4/10 -
about Miss Sterling and beg her to let me be good helper to her, I say "Chinese girl very strong, American girl not so, our Chinese people very strange and make you afraid; dear Miss Sterling not any one can harm you while I live, believe me true."
Miss Sterling then say if any thing happen to her I must to write letter to Dr. Richard Newman and tell to him all what happen here, and he will of me take care because I her good friend. Then Miss Sterling tell me all about this Friend also all about when she very little girl she go live with old lady called Aunt because Father and Mother both die; this Aunt only go Church, nothing play, nothing laugh, nothing happy look see, always sad, always talk little girl some day go be Missionary. By and By little girl grow up, then Aunt say, "Now time come go Mission field."
That same time Miss Sterling very much love one man Dr. Newman he no like her go Mission pigeon; What can do? That time Miss Sterling break heart, but she say, No, I good girl, no turn back, no break promise to Aunt. Dr. Newman angry to death. Miss Sterling nothing say, only go away without good-by say. Long time Dr. Newman keep anger, no write letter, now write much blue letter and say all time, "Come back, Come back?"
This all give Miss Sterling too much sorrow, not know rest of heart, not know what to do; I perish of thought about all this, and I say "I will all well do for you that you may live and go back to this Doctor man that you so truly love some day quite soon."
Before Miss Sterling can reply make, we hear sudden loud shoutings from all parts of river, and because the light is beginning to come we can a little see, and wonderful things we do see, hundreds of boats come near our rocks. Miss Sterling cry with joyfulness, "O these men have come to save us." Chinese girl know these men do not save, well we know they come only to rob and murder and take slaves, for these are river pirates.
Now I know the time has surely come when I must with life protect Miss Sterling, so I cry to all people on rocks to take bamboo poles and fight for lives, not one pirate must come on rocks or we die. Every girl know this true, and our boatmen help and fight strongly; so fast do all hit at men with poles that they much surprised, and after a little while go away to talk and say - what do. Just that time Miss Sterling look see how water rise swiftly and she well know that soon our rocks will be covered and we all drown, so with face as white as paper she go to edge of rocks and call to one of pirate band and say - "I give you $20 gold if you will all to land carry." He only laugh and say - "$150 gold" she say "$50" he say "$120" she say "$75" he say "$100" she say, "All right $100" and in one minute all men begin work to carry us on shore.
Most girls very afraid and say pirates no keep word, no can trust to take to shore safely.
Miss Sterling and I say not so, Chinese always keep word even pirates do so.
Most strange, most wonderful when we land and turn back to look at rocks where we spend the night we see nothing but swift water running like wild horses over that place, and we know that so nearly had we been drowned that nothing could have us saved if Miss Sterling had not been so wise, so clever.
This letter is of too great longness already.
My Bing Ang to My Honorable Brothers and Sisters From Your Utterly Contemptible Child Neuchang, April 5th.
Most Wise and Honorable Mother, Moy Sen, Greetings. Bing Ang. Bing Ang.
After four adorable years in this most distinguished and advantageous College I am now about to go to the home of my Mother-in-law in this same village.
To go is like fire against my face.
Day and night I cease not to weep and nothing can turn me about from much weeping.
Miss Sterling come in to me often and say, "To marry is right and proper, my husband will be very wise because he is learned man, I go to live with kind, not cruel, Mother-in-law, I must not longer weep and refuse food."
Truly I try at all times to please Miss Sterling, but to cease I cannot.
I with all of wonder and nothing of understanding see how with joy and song like bird Miss Sterling go about the house packing trunks, boxes all things make ready to go America side to marry with Dr. Newman; truly she so happy she send out light from every part, from top of head to sole of foot. Miss Sterling say to me she no have fear of Mother-in-law what she say, how she do, how best to please Mother-in-law so as to escape beatings daily or other hard punishments.
Miss Sterling reveal to me how Dr. Newman have one adorable, beautiful home already builded, already furnished, where they two live without Mother-in-law to live with them.
I very glad and astonished about these things, so like beautiful, golden dream, while for my own marriage I have only terror, and cannot but weep all the day.
Today my betrothed came to College to have speech with me, also to make plans for our marriage; Miss Sterling come to fetch me to see Honorable betrothed, but finding my miserable eyes all swollen from many tears, contemptible nose all red, whole face most ugly, she begin to bathe face with Cologne and say she will not have such things; she will to betrothed freely speak that he must make separate home for me after the American way. My heart stand still with I know not what kind of fears, but Miss Sterling never mind, she drag me after her to Reception room, seat me before Honorable betrothed into whose face I dare not to look, and then she talk many hours to show out how much better way American way to make home.
I listen and tremble like awful chill. O, if Honorable betrothed would only listen and believe!
At last he speak giving good assurance that he will all carry out as Miss Sterling has requested. Then all my heart rise up and go out to Miss Sterling in blessing; when Honorable betrothed come and stand before me and make solemn promise. I in return beg Honorable betrothed to pardon the contemptible selfishness of selfish me, that such unspeakable gladness come to me with this promise.
Now almost I could love him that he this thing will do for poor unworthy me. Can it be that to Chinese girl also can come gladness to marry, and can come that love so wonderful, so strange that Miss Sterling has told me of?
Today beautiful gift come from Honorable betrothed one messenger bring to me large blue No. 1 Lacquer box, in box two gold and jade bracelets, most fine, most rare; when I try bracelets on arms all girls come look see, all say - "Too excellently fine," "Too dazzlingly beautiful," "Too costly," "All same high Official lady," - "All same Princess."
This give me much elevation of heart, but I careful not show out what feel, only say, "Gift too small, too ugly, too mean." This time Miss Sterling go with me to street to buy all things proper for wedding, I find in it great pleasure, and all the girls most interest to look see.
Another visit from Honorable betrothed, this time I Not afraid so much and can a little tell out, after Miss Sterling praise me, and say now I become as American girl not too timid. O these American ways very new, very strange to Chinese girl but now I have no more fear to marry and sit all day working on beautiful red Marriage shoes and weep not any more, truly this is magic, and not any devil magic to make fear come.
Now on my fingers I can count the days when you and my Honorable Sisters and Brothers will come to my Marriage. O then can speak out all things which now too ignorant, too afraid to write.
At all times my prayers go up to the heavens for your good safety and health, and good journey to this village.
Your Detestable and Most Foolish Child Neuchang, China June 18th.
1st Moon - 1st day.
Deign to listen to me, an unworthy member of the graduating class of the Woman's Anglo-Chinese College of Neuchang, for by lot I am Keeper of Diary of the class of which I have before spoken, and now make statement:
Firstly - That I know not how to so do and will make secret consultation among our most Learned Teachers that they may give unto me of their wisdom.
Lastly - That if the tongues of our Greatest Ones yield me not the so great secret, then will I ask of Dr. Ewing that I may look upon the book in which she writeth nightly, after the stars gleam forth.
5th day - Last night I made three journeyings - upon our Honored President (Miss Powers), our Adorable Teacher (Miss Sterling) and our Beloved Doctor (Miss Ewing). After diverse conversation, that they know not whereof my visit is made, I ask of each Honorable Person the so great question - "Of what does a diary consist?"
Our Honored President make explanation, "It is a register of explanation, happenings or duties and is daily happenings most useful for reference. I have kept one for years." The word duties she spake with stress of voice. Shall I then transcribe the College hours of hair-brushing or tooth-washing?
When to Miss Sterling I make question, her face become as the rosy dawn. "A diary is a book of so great intimacy that the writing there in is to be looked upon only by the eyes of him who writes - or - perhaps - one other," she make answer with slowness.
At the once knowledge of her so great secret grow within me and I think, "She also keepeth a diary and hath what they name in America - a Lover."
To Dr. Ewing I arrive at the last. She was seated within the Hospital
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