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Word Count: 1,707
Sybil Graham and Chaen-Li sat close together exchanging short phrases They spoke little partly from Chaen-Lis minimal English and partly to preserve what little warmth they had There was no fire and the silk drapings on the wall with beautifully painted characters chanting moral principles were little insulation from the cold Sybil and her father had been invited by Mr Li to share tea and see if Mr Graham could offer any advice for his wife who was ill Mr Graham was obliged to accept since it was only polite and he might lead them to the Light The Chinese may be more willing to hear the words of God when their superstitious antiquities fail Mr Graham was very compassionate He understood and allowed for their silly rites soothed their troubles with his ready sympathy and assistance As he was persuading Mrs Hung to save herself from her path of damnation a loud gasp then No could be heard from the adjoining room There continued muffled voices All girls bind feet Chaen-Li attempted to explain in her broken English Girls binding their feet when they are but ten only to endure pain for their remaining life Was this what ti took to be a lady Surely there is an alternative to this cruelty Can you not bind your feet Chaen- Li frantically gauged for any signs that her parents may have heard Not bind feet Chaen-Li stared at her her thin brows furrowed She blinked rapidly and pursed her lips as her eyes directed itself to her feet Not bind feet Sybil took her hand and patted it gently understanding that it must be difficult for an uneducated person to process such a complex concept Chean-Li started to sob and shake her head vigorously No No She burst forth Me no find husband with all the evidence of corresponding perturbation And yet she felt equally ill thinking of her feet bound Her thoughts wandered to
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