My Twenty-Five Years in China

My Twenty-Five Years in China

My Twenty-Five Years in China

My Twenty-Five Years in China

Excerpt

THE SMALL CARGO BOAT upon which I was a passenger edged slowly up to a jetty in the Hongkew section of Shanghai, and I walked ashore carrying my suitcase. It was early in February, 1917. A baggage coolie followed, carrying on his shoulder my old-fashioned tin-covered trunk. It was raining, and the narrow streets between the shipping godowns, or warehouses, which lined the Whangpoo River were running with sloppy mud. Two ricksha coolies dashed up, and while there was sufficient room in the man-drawn vehicles for both passenger and baggage, I chose to walk to the hotel, the Astor House. I had seen rickshas in Japan, had ridden in one in Yokohama, but I was still too new to the Orient to feel at ease in a vehicle drawn by a human being.

My trip to the Orient, destined to develop into active newspaper work for a quarter of a century in one of the most politically turbulent areas on earth, had been inspired by a cable from Thomas Franklin Fairfax Millard, an alumnus of the University of Missouri, who had become widely known as a correspondent in the Far East.

Millard's cable, which was dated at Shanghai and addressed to Dean Walter Williams of the School of Journalism of the university, stated that he wished to employ a graduate of the school to assist him in starting a paper in Shanghai. Dean Williams handed me the cable, the first transoceanic telegram I had ever seen.

For some time I had been trying to make up my mind regarding two offers, one from the publisher of a trade journal in Des Moines, Iowa, and the other from the publisher of a newspaper . . .

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