FROM TONKIN TO INDIA
also there were with like loads; I counted no less than one hundred and thirty animals in one morning. Unfortunately, they were not for hire, being under contract to Mongtse merchants to carry tin in exchange for linen, yarn, and fine tobacco for the universal water-pipe. I was struck by the commercial activity going on here. In 1894 the junk-borne tonnage was 5,886 tons. I myself witnessed more than fifty-three cargoes embarking. I asked for statistics from
a telegraphist who spoke fair English. At his computation Manhao consists of about two hundred houses. There are seven agents for tin, each of whom receives yearly from two hundred to three hundred consignments of about fifty tablets, about 72 lbs. apiece, at a rate of eighteen or twenty taels.1 Mule tariff from Mongtse to Manhao is approximately one tael, and the transport of fifty tablets per junk from Manhao to Laokay is three taels. Between Laokay and Hanoi' there are more forwarding agents. Thence the tin is shipped to Hong-Kong, where the pieces sell at thirty-five or forty piastres. A large trader of Manhao will send yearly to Mongtse in exchange between ten and twenty thousand bales of Hong-Kong merchandisea-yarn, cotton and linen goods, flannel, and tobacco. Salt is the only
1 One tael = about 5s.
Old Hou-Ni Woman.Old Hou-Ni Woman.