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“ [223] grandfather; his ancestors being the most sacred things a Chinese man can pledge. We charge more interest when the security is only personal? Yes, we charge ten dollars a month in place of two. Yet these securities seldom fail. Of course, we run some risk. Our man may die; worse still, he may fall sick; worst of all, he may commit a crime. If sent to jail, his work is lost. Again, his bond may turn out bad. But every business has a lucky and unlucky turn.”

“ A man with such a debt as you describe is virtually a slave? ”

“In Canton, yes; in San Francisco, no. We never use such words. We are his masters and parents. We receive him on landing into our two great societies in San Francisco — the Wing Yung and the Fook Ting Tong — where he is watched over in life and death.”

“ What are these great societies of Wing Yung and Fook Ting Tong?”

“Wing Yung is our living office, near the county jail. When the ships arrive we bring our people to Wing Yung, where we lodge them, feed them, and hire them out. Fook Ting Tong is our Dead Office, ”

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