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0142 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 142 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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silver weighing ten marks, so that the daily sum amounts to 15,000 marks without counting the silk stuffs and food in kind which is taken from them, and the other services which they are obliged to render.'... And in answer to my inquiries of the priests who came from Cathay I was told that from the place where I found Mangu-Chan to Cathay was twenty days' journey going south-east.... One day there sat with me a certain priest from Cathay clothed in a crimson stuff of a splendid colour, so I asked him whence that colour was got. In reply he told me that in the eastern parts of Cathay there are lofty rocks inhabited by certain creatures which have the human form in every respect except that they can't bend their knees, but get along by some kind of a jumping motion. They are only a cubit high, and are hairy all over, and dwell in inaccessible holes in the rock. So the huntsmen bring beer with them, which they know how to brew very strong, and make holes in the rocks like cups which they fill with beer. (For they have no wine in Cathay, but make their drink of rice, though now they are beginning to plant vines.) So the huntsmen hide themselves, and then the creatures come out of their holes and taste the drink that has been set for them and call out " Chin chin !" and from this call they get their name : for they are called Chinchin. Then they gather in great numbers and drink up the beer and get tipsy and fall asleep. So the huntsmen come and catch them sleeping and bind them band and foot, and open a vein in the neck of the creatures, and after taking three or four drops of blood let them go. And 'tis that blood, he told me, that gives this most precious purple dye.1 And they also used to tell as a fact, though I don't believe a word of it, that there is a certain province on the other side of Cathay, and whatever a man's age be when he enters that province he never gets any older. Cathay lies on the Ocean.... The common money of Cathay consists of pieces of cotton paper about a palm in length and breadth, upon which certain lines are printed resembling the seal of Mangu Chan. They do their writing with a

P. 291-2.

2 This is a genuine Chinese story, which I have met with in some of the translations, but I have lost the reference.