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“ [232] when I speak to him, I call him Ah Ki, not Hop Ki. “Ah” means Master, and the fellow is not without his spice of pride. To call a man “Ah” is one of his three thousand ceremonies of politeness, and the three thousand ceremonies of politeness are coming into use in San Francisco. I call this chap Ah Ki instead of raising his wages, and my politeness pays me five dollars a month. That comes of paying attention to the Book of Rites. Now, Hop Ki is cheaper to me than any Biddy or Traut alive, and acts in his vocation more like a decent sort of wench. Ask my wife, there, whether Ki is not the best seamstress, chamber-maid, and washerwoman she ever had to scold and pinch? At first you can't help laughing to see a moon-face Heathen Chinee in your bath and dressing-room, emptying pails and cleaning combs; but after lugging at his pig-tail three or four times, and finding the chignon won't come off, your eye gets used to him and you forget his sex.”

“ Compared with Traut and Biddy, your rascal Ki appears to be a domestic pet.”

“Well, yes — a sort of pet; just as a polecat might be made a pet. You see, he stays at home ”

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