Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.
Peking, November 26, 1888. (Received January 12, 1889.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that Monsieur Thevenet, chief of the French syndicate in China, has presented to Prince Chun six railway carriages, built in France, on which the arts of French construction and decoration have been expended, for his majesty, the Emperor.
Three of the carriages are very handsomely fitted in yellow, green, and blue satin, with all the necessary sleeping and toilet arrangements, which are intended for the private use of the Emperor, Empress, and high officials of court; the others are for their majesties’ attendants, guards, etc. These carriages, it is estimated, cost about 150,000 francs. They have reached Tung-chou, about 14 miles from here, having been conveyed there by water, from whence they will be brought here by portable rails. They will be taken first to the imperial city and be drawn by eunuchs over a small line to be laid down there for the benefit of the Emperor and Empress. This will enable their majesties to realize, in a measure, the comfort of traveling over the iron road.
A small line will afterwards be built in the imperial pleasure grounds, about 2 miles in length, when all the carriages will be employed and propelled by a small engine constructed for the purpose.
I have, etc.,