National Geographic : 1910 Apr
MUKDEN, THE MANCHU HOME to Tairen, and to Vladivostock as well, and foreign shipment only represents the development of the province since the last war. The new tenants, or rather the old tenants, on their return cleaned and tidied Port Arthur, paved the streets, and made the place a model of sanitation and order. Every wreck has been raised and sold, every bit of scrap iron dredged up from the harbor, every fragment of the dead interred with honor. Port Arthur affords a day or two of the most tragic sight-seeing one can en dure. A good carriage road connects all the dismantled forts and another leads to the Two Hundred and Three Meter Hill, the world's most awful slaughter-ground. A great mortuary temple has been built to the spirits of the dead on the high hill facing the harbor entrance, and also a great column to their memory, built with the granite blocks taken from the block ading ships which Hirose and his fellows sunk at the harbor entrance-that bal lasting of their ships with their own tombstones the last word of the wonder ful Japanese prearrangement. At Tairen one meets the butterfly crest of the South Manchurian Railway, and thence northward "the company" is all in all. The letter M, whose loops are suggestive of a butterfly's wings (the butterfly being one of the Chinese sym bols for good luck, long life, and immor tality, and a favorite art motif), and the profile of a cross-section of a rail, greatly resembling the Chinese character for in dustry, compose a monogram that greatly delights the Chinese eye and mind. One soon gets bewitched with this butterfly crest of the South Manchurian Railway, as he sees it on every locomotive, car, and piece of railway property, on the uniforms of employees, even to the pat terns of the kimonos and neck-folds of the little waitresses at the railway hotels. BUILT OF AMERICAN STEEL RAILS AND EQUIPPED WITH AMERICAN CARS AND LOCOMOTIVES The railway, 440 miles long, without a single tunnel, was a mere track, without bridges or rolling stock, when the Japa nese acquired it as almost the only prize of the war. They floated a loan of $Ioo,ooo,ooo at 5 per cent and double tracked the road with steel rails from Pittsburgh, equipped it with Baldwin loco motives from Philadelphia, Pullman cars from Chicago, and spent many more mil lions in the purchase of railway materials in America, as they are again about to do for the Antung-Mukden Railway. Beside paying 5 per cent interest on this loan and 6 per cent on the stock, the South Manchurian Railway reaps a sur plus each year. Receipts are increasing by leaps and bounds, partly owing to the wonderful bean trade and to the opening and working of more and more coal mines-coal that is said to be second only to Cardiff in quality. Because of its Pullman sleepers and dining-cars, and its long day coaches, American travelers have only words of praise for the railway, and European travelers sneers and open complaints. The Russians and Belgians loudly jeered at the Pullman cars, with their great ex panse of glass windows, and said that they would never do in a Manchurian winter, being ignorant of just how many hundreds of such glass coaches daily traverse our most northern and western States and all parts of Canada through the blizzard season. The Japanese have also introduced thz American baggage check into Manchuria; but, as the con necting railway across to Tientsin and Peking is of British ancestry, and the Trans-Siberian is a law to itself, the ex cellent example is not likely to spread. When I checked my trunk from Tai ren to Mukden, I held on to the check and the South Manchurian Railway held on to the trunk until I was ready to take train on to Peking. Then the trunk was tossed into an open truck, and third-class passengers roosted on it like so many chickens, any one of whom might have carried it off at any way station. This British-built railway has dining cars, a little less splendid than the Pull man-descended ones on the South Man churian Railway, and the Chinese, with 295.