Frequent Fires at Hong Kong.
Fires have been increasing in Hong Kong in a most remarkable way of late years. There were eight in 1891, eighteen in 1892 and thirty-five in 1893—an almost exact example of geometrical progression; while in the first four months of this year there were already sixteen. The Hong Kong Telegraph attributes the increase to the competition among insurance companies, which have lowered their rates until the Chinaman has an even stronger temptation to burn down his premises than was afforded by the famous roast pig. Here are some
Rules for Fires at Hong Kong,” which our contemporary has facetiously drawn up for the guidance of those who wish to make money easily :
Always insure heavily.
Always go to Canton the day before. If not it may be necessary to obtain witnesses, regardless of expense, to prove that you did.
Get somebody to assassinate the officers of the water department, or make them drunk, or take them to Macao or Kowloon City for a holiday; a few dollars would be well spent in this direction.
If possible (i. e.. if your financial position allows), delay your fire until some time when there is another fire already in full swing two or three miles away. This “wheeze” is not often tried, but “ prima facie” it appears certain to succeed. The Brigade couldn’t possibly negotiate a double event.
The Phenix. of Marblehead, Mass., has a record of 221 feet 7 inches, but its present o ners have not yet been able to make the engine play over 198 feet. Its debut will be made at the Peabody tournament next Tuesday.