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Cricket-fighting

Cricket-fighting.jpg A Dance in the GalleryThumbnailsBoy Gambling for FruitA Dance in the GalleryThumbnailsBoy Gambling for FruitA Dance in the GalleryThumbnailsBoy Gambling for Fruit

We went on for some distance beyond the north gate of the city to witness cricket-fighting, a favourite pastime of the Chinese. As we approached the field where it took place, we saw crowds of men standing about some sheds erected on the spot. Most of the company were of the lowest order, but there were some respectable men, including Tartar officers and mandarins. Much money is lost in this form of gambling. On entering the largest shed, we saw a raised platform on which some men sat behind a counter, who were employed in weighing the crickets, in weighing the dollars, in recording the bets, in receiving the money laid by both sides on each match, and in paying the winner of each particular fight, after deducting a percentage for the expenses of the building. In this shed numbers of men were collected, each holding in his hand a little round earthenware basin covered with a cloth. These basins contained the fighting-crickets. The matches are played for large as well as small sums of money, and many hundred dollars changed hands during the short time we were present.