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Notes on the Geography of China: Guangzhou: Shamian: Photo 7

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The house is gone but possibly stood on the site now occupied by the American consulate. By summer, in any event, Mrs. Gray was not so happy: "The weather is warm and settled now. The heat of the room has been something unendurable. I do not know if we have had an unusually rainy season, but the effect of the damp was very disagreeable. If you put a pair of boots you had taken off in the corner of the bedroom, when you looked at them again in two or three days' time, you found a thick coating of mildew over them." (p.108)

Heat wasn't the worst of it. In April, 1878, she wrote about a typhoon. "I was attracted toward the window by a curious rushing sound, and on looking out I saw a great cloud of what appeared to be fragments and debris being driver madly up the river.... the wind was upon us, and the banyan trees in front of our house were literally bent to the ground by its force.... The full force of the whirlwind came upon the front of our house, and so terrific was it for a few seconds, that it took away our breath, and it seemed impossible that any masonry could withstand the shock" (pp. 396-7).

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