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[276] their owners, they pay no landing-fee to the Sixth Company; for these women, having no place in the Chinese system of family worship, require no sending back to China after death. Like beasts that perish, these female slaves are hidden out of sight.

The stories of these girls are often very sad. Some of them are sold by their fathers, for the poorer class of Mongol peasants always sell their girls, just as the Indian savages always sell their squaws. Many are stolen children, trapped and carried off by scoundrels who beset the hamlets near the coast. In every Chinese port there is a market for such wares. At Hong Kong they have to be passed by an official, but this official is too often satisfied with a form. One dealer passes three or four girls as his daughters; --a second dealer tries to bring out five or six as his wives. A-consul scrupulous on the score of polygamy, may refuse to pass so large a household; but the rascal has only to go to one of the lodging-houses, where emigrants are waiting, and bestow a wife on each moon-face — for the voyage. Under these arrangements the girls arrive in San Francisco, and are here sold, like Choy Ming, to anyone who happens to want a female slave.

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