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“ [227] mandarins. Here, the bad Chinamen start a lodge. We ask the Melicans to put them down. They answer that the law allows Masonic lodges. That bad law. The Sixth Company has to put them down.”

“You seem to exercise the power of a Vigilant Committee?”

“ No; we have no secret powers. We only have our bonds and mortgages, the sway which those who lend money have on their debtor. All beyond is moral force-and the two great societies of Wing Yung and Fook Ting Tong. Chinese ourselves, we understand our brethren; having the same religious rites, the same family sentiment, as the poorest followers of Tao and Buddha. Our chief authority lies in our control of the Dead Fund. A man who might not stop at murder, would shrink from vexing a tribunal that may cause delay in sending back his bones to Hong-Kong.”

“Is such delay frequent? ”

“Yes, for months and years. Except on our certificate no steamer will carry dead men's bones, and some of the captains will not carry them at all.”

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