- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 146MB
Westward likewise we soon were bickering. The morning sun shone high; the thin, hot dust blew out over the blackened ground of some forest "burn" or through the worm fence of some field where a gang of slave men and women might be ploughing or hoeing between the green rows of young cotton or corn. The level stretches were many, the slopes gradual, and to those sweet city-bird ladies everything was new and delightful; a log cabin!--with clay chimney on the outside!--a well and its well-sweep!--another cabin with its gourd-vines! They knew that blessed alchemy which turns all things into the poetry of the moment. Sweet they would have been anywhere to any eye or mind; but I was a homeless trooper lad, and sweeter to the soldier boy than water on the battlefield are short hours with ladies who love him for his banner and his rags.
The Doctor thought he had given the boys quite as much information as they would be likely to remember in his dissertation, and suggested that they should endeavor to recapitulate what he had said. Frank thought the discussion had taken a wide range, as it had included the status of the four classes of Japanese society, had embraced the Samurai and their peculiarities, some of the changes that were wrought by the revolution,[Pg 226] and had told them how executions were conducted in former times. Then they had learned something about hari-kari and what it was for; and they had learned, at the same time, the difference between the old courts of justice and the new ones. What with these things and the naval progress of the empire of the Mikado, he thought they had quite enough to go around, and would be lucky if they remembered the whole of it.
"No, Lieutenant, she nearly cried. Oh, I wish we were on some dangerous errand to-night, instead of just camp and bed!"
"Why, he's dead!" cried the lad, letting him slide half-way down when we had all but got him up; "don't you see he's dead? His head's laid wide open! He's as dead as a mackerel! I'll swear we ain't got any right to get captured trying to save a dead Yankee."The train sped onward, and in an hour from the time of leaving the station at Yokohama it was nearing Tokio. It passed in full view of the forts of Shinagawa, which were made memorable during the days of Perry and Lord Elgin, as the foreign ships were not allowed to pass them, and[Pg 108] there was at one time a prospect that they would open fire upon the intruders. Near one of the forts, a boat containing three fishermen was pulling slowly along, one man handling the oar, while the other two were lifting a net. Whether any fish were contained in it the boys did not ascertain, as the train would not stop long enough to permit an investigation. The fort rose from the water like a huge warehouse; it might resist a Chinese junk, or a whole fleet of the rude craft of the East, but could not hold out an hour against the artillery of the Western nations. In recent years the forts of Tokio have been[Pg 109] strengthened, but they are yet far from what an American or English admiral would hold in high respect. The Japanese have made commendable progress in army organization; but, so far as one can learn generally, they have not done much in the way of constructing and manning fortifications.