How was the generosity of the old craftsman reciprocated in Chinese statue?
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According to the old Chinese custom that when a stranger has been generous, one must return the kindness within a calendar year. So in order to reciprocate the old man’s generosity, Sir Alexander Heathcote planned out a surprise for him. First he transferred his funds and then with help and permission of the Queen, executed his plan. Almost a year to the day the minister, accompanied by the Mandarin, set out again from Peking for the village of the Ha Li Chuan. On arriving there, he requested the old man to accompany him on a short journey . They travelled for two hours up a thin winding path into the hills behind the craftsman’s workshop and only stopped when they reached a hollow in the hill from which there was a magnificent view of the valley all the way down to Ha Li Chuan. In the hollow stood a newly completed small white house of the most perfect proportions. Two stone lion dogs, tongues hanging over their lips, guarded the front entrance. This was gift, sanctioned by the Queen, given to the old craftsman for his generosity to Sir Alexander.
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