M. Seeley Husted
2much time to get out into the country, as we have been fairly busy; We are having (so far) a very mild winter, but one snow storm and that in November, and the days now are beautiful. The river is lower this year than it has been for years and unless the rains or snows begin soon will go much lower.The natives say it is a bad omen and that years ago whenever the river went so low that the following year was always one of much sickness; I hope it does not prove so this time. Last summer as you probably know was an awful year for the people on the Upper Yang Tsz on account of the floods which devastated hundreds of miles of country and that hundreds died and are dying in Hunan from starvation as the floods swept away all their crops. At Changsha in August there were places where there was no land visable for miles and miles. And still after all that the river is so low now that it is difficult for steamers to come up here from Shanghai now.The whole of the afternoon today there has be a steady roar of big guns here and my ears are still ringing from it. at 3 pm we had an eclipse (partial) of the sun, and the Chinese have been firing to frighten the dog away. For as you probably know they call an eclipse "Tien kow shih er" or in English "Air dog eating the sun" Their belief is that03816
circa  Jan 14
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 22.5 cm.
Reel 16, Image 0551
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