Missionary tells his story
There is flood in the Hopeh. (Roper' is a district of China.) Worse than the terrors of war, flood utterly eliminates human life.
Fr. Andrew Joliet, at the mission at Potowchen, took a boat out over the plain of Hopeh. The plain is now an Immense lake. He tells hi story of what is happening to those few who have escaped with their lives, a story of terrorists and famine. Alms from Europe or America could save his little mission.
FATHER JOLFET'S STORY
" If I may judge by the territory which I have just covered by boat, it seems certain that the scenes of intense suffering and despair surpass by far the horrors of the preceding famines, on account of the total insecurity of the moment.. . In one village six members of a family, whose supply of grain was exhausted, tied themselves together with cords, not excepting the dog, and threw themselves into the river.
"Ln another village, about 10 miles from Potow, a poor man who had been living alone with his son, had only 101bs. of corn left. The bandits came and demanded his meagre supply of grain. ' But how shall I sustain my son ? ' he asked. ' Oh, that makes no difference to us,' was the only reply, and they went away with the corn. The poor peasant seeing this, frantic with rage, took the child and threw him into the river.
" Two peasants, after having exchanged their ox for a bag of millet at the market, were returning home oy boat when they were arrested by the bandits and robbed of their precious sack. In despair they flung themselves into the river and were drowned. . . Others, instead of drowning prefer to hang themselves, after which their bodies are thrown into the river by the neighbours.
"In many villages all are forced to put their provisions in common, and the rir' leave the place. Bands of 60 to 100 persons travel to the places which have not been flooded and seize all they can find. The selling of children has com menced . even little boys are sold for not more than $3.00.
THEY EAT DOG
" I saw with my own eyes the heartrending departure of a starving family . the mother walked in front. carrying in her arms the mere skeleton of a baby. Next followed the eldest boy (ten years), who carried twothirds of a skinned dog attached to a stick, aided by his little sister, aged seven years. This 1.474,3 their sole subsistence for three days. A tiny lad, with nothing to cover him but a pair of old slippers, came next, crying as he munched at piece of raw dog meat. . . .
"Two years ago their father suddenly disappeared, leaving no trace of his departure. I had my camera with me, but I was too touched to take this sorrowful scene.
" Tedistrict of Potow is one of the most afflicted; nine-tenths of this territory is under water, and 180 villages deprived of their crops. In the midst of these desperate surroundings the new Christians pass their days in prayer, asking Our Lord to touch the hearth of their brothers of this earth and inspire them to give at least a few crumbs of their daily bread. "Thanks to he favourable exchange the least alma coming from Europe or America can help out very much. $1 U.S. can save the life of a family for one month. and $10 will save them from death until the harvest of wheat next 31111Pel 31111Pel " ease send all alms, either by cheque or international money order to Rev. Fr. Andrew Joliet, Catholic Mission, Potowchen, Hopeh, China."