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The Shipwreck A Story for the Young   By: (1842-1905)

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E text prepared by Al Haines


A Story for the Young



Translated from the German

Mary Richards Gray

Second Edition

St. Louis, Mo., and Freiburg, (Baden) Published by B. Herder, 1910.

TALES OF FOREIGN LANDS A Series of Stories for the Young Edited by Rev. Joseph Spillmann, S. J. Vol. VII. The Shipwreck Second Edition St. Louis, Mo., and Freiburg, (Baden) Published by B. Herder, 1910. Copyright 1906 by Joseph Gummersbach.



I. Two Young Friends II. Sad Tidings III. Aboard the "St. George" IV. With the Priest of the God of the Golden Fish V. In the City VI. The Chinese New Year VII. The Unexpected Departure VIII. A Very Real Danger IX. A New Plan X. The Hurricane XI. Stranded XII. At Last



The translator dedicates her part of this little volume.



Two Young Friends.

At the mouth of the great river of Canton lies a maze of islands large and small, of which the most important is Hongkong on account of its fine harbor. More than half a century ago the English seized upon this island and forced the Chinese to cede it to them. Then it was little more than a barren rock with a low swampy shore on which were a few villages inhabited by poor fisher folk. The swamps have been drained, gardens planted, and villas built, until now the once barren heights vie in beauty with the grass grown slopes of the hills at the foot of which in the shade of great trees nestle pleasant little fisher hamlets. On the north side of the island stands the capital city, Victoria, in which tier above tier, stair like the rows of houses and splendid buildings rise one above another up the side of a hill. Beautiful quays, broad streets lined with shade trees, churches, barracks, theaters, hospitals, hotels, and shops with great show windows take one back in thought to the European capitals; and as the elaborately decorated pagodas are not near to the Christian churches, and, as there are not many more Chinese than English people in the streets, one can almost forget that he is within the confines of China and a tropical land.

In this great capital city nearly all the missionary societies of China have settlements, and in each of the missionary seminaries the stranger finds a hospitable welcome, but the one we like best of all to visit is the beautiful College of the Holy Saviour in Mayland. It stands in the very shadow of the cathedral, the tall spires of which, towering to the heavens, tell us in which direction to turn our steps to find it. We know full well that the door keeper, the old Italian Brother with snow white hair and coal black eyes, will greet us cordially, and show us the garden and the grounds on which blonde haired European boys play in brotherly fashion with pig tailed Chinese youths. When Brother Onufrio for this is the name of the door keeper is in very good humor and has the time he tells us stories of his experiences in the College of the Holy Saviour in which he has been in active service since its foundation. One of these is the wonderful history of the small Irish lad, Willy Brown, the son of a sea captain, and his friend, the Chinese foundling, Joseph. We shall tell the tale just as Brother Onufrio would tell it, beginning with the day in the first year of his residence in Hongkong when the crosses were placed on the spires of the dome of the cathedral.

A few days before the Chinese New Year in 1858 the work on the cathedral had progressed so far that the great golden crosses could be erected. Securely fastened with strong ropes they lay at the foot of the scaffolding ready to be drawn up into place, and standing about in a half circle were missioners, pupils, and workmen... Continue reading book >>

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