The police who guard the lives and property of the residents of Hong-Kong, are for the most part picked men of English birth, and are considered as trustworthy as regular troops. But several hundred of these guardians of the peace are Sikhs - a race imported hither from India - renowned for bravery, loyal to the British government, and having no sympathy with the Chinese. These Sikhs have handsome faces, brilliant eyes, and dark complexions, the effect of which is wonderfully enhanced by their immense red turbans, conspicuous two or three blocks away, not only by their startling color, but because their wearers exceed in stature all other races in Hong-Kong.
The Bank, Hong-Kong.
Strolling one morning through the outskirts of the city, I came upon some troops engaged in military manoeuvres, and attired in white from head to foot, to shield them from the sun. What traveler in the East can forget the ever-present soldiers of Great Britain, of whom there are nearly three thousand in the garrison of Hong-Kong? I know it is frequently the fashion to sneer at them and to question their efficiency in case of war. I know, too, that in certain ways the vast extent of England's empire constitutes her weakness. But I must say that in a tour around our planet I was impressed as never before with what the British had accomplished in the way of conquest, and with the number of strategic points they hold in every quarter of the globe. We had but recently left the western terminus of England's North American possessions, yet in a few days we discerned the flag of England flying at Hong- Kong. Next we beheld the Union Jack at Singapore, then at Penang, then at Ceylon, and after that throughout the length and breadth of the vast empire of India, as well as the enormous area of Burma. Leaving Rangoon, if we sail southward, we are reminded that the southernmost portion of Africa is entirely in English hands, as well as the huge continent of Australia. Returning northward, we find the same great colonizing power stationed at the mouth of the Red Sea, in the British citadel of Aden. Again a trifling journey, and we reach Egypt, via the Suez Canal, both virtually controlled today by England. Then, like the three stars in Orion's belt, across the Mediterranean lie Cyprus, Malta, and Gibraltar; in fact, we find one mighty girdle of imposing strongholds all the way, bristling with cannon, guarded by leviathans in armor, and garrisoned by thousands of such soldiers as were drilling at Hong-Kong.
A Bit Of Chinatown In Hong-Kong.
One of the first desires of the visitor to Hong-Kong is to explore the mountain which towers above the city of Victoria to a height of nearly two thousand feet. To do this with the least exertion, each of our party took a canvas-covered bamboo chair, supported by long poles, which Chinese coolies carry on their shoulders. On level ground, two of these bearers were enough, but on the mountain roads three or four men were usually needed. To my surprise, I found the motion of these chairs agreeable. The poles possess such elasticity that, leaning back, I was rocked lightly up and down without the least unpleasant jar. In fact, at times the rhythm of that oscillation gave me a sense of drowsiness difficult to resist.
Chair - Coolies At Hong - Kong.
But, alas! we had not here for carriers the cleanly natives of Japan. It may be, as some residents of Hong-Kong assert, that Chinamen are more trustworthy and honest than the Japanese, but certainly in point of personal attractiveness the contrast between these races is remarkable. The bodies of the lower classes of Chinese reveal no evidence of that care so characteristic of the natives of Japan. Their teeth are often yellow tusks; their nails resemble eagle's claws; and their unbecoming clothes seem glazed by perspiration. Nor is there usually anything in their manner to redeem all this. Where the light-hearted Japs enjoy their work, and laugh and talk, the Chinese coolies labor painfully, and rarely smile, regarding you meantime with a supercilious air, as if despising you for being what they call "a foreign devil."