After they had also been a considerable time on the way， she suddenly caught sight， at the northern end of the street， of two huge squatting lions of marble and of three lofty gates with （knockers representing） the heads of animals. In front of these gates， sat， in a row， about ten men in coloured hats and fine attire. The main gate was not open. It was only through the side gates， on the east and west， that people went in and came out. Above the centre gate was a tablet. On this tablet were inscribed in five large characters——"The Ning Kuo mansion erected by imperial command."
"This must be grandmother's eldest son's residence，" reflected Tai-yue. dilddos
Towards the east， again， at no GREat distance， were three more high gateways， likewise of the same kind as those she had just seen. This was the Jung Kuo mansion.
they did not however go in by the main gate； but simply made their entrance through the east side door.
With the sedans on their shoulders， （the bearers） proceeded about the distance of the throw of an arrow， when upon turning a corner， they hastily put down the chairs. The matrons， who came behind， one and all also dismounted. （The bearers） were changed for four youths of seventeen or eighteen， with hats and clothes without a blemish， and while they carried the chair， the whole bevy of matrons followed on foot. hollow strap on
When they reached a creeper-laden gate， the sedan was put down， and all the youths stepped back and retired. The matrons came forward， raised the screen， and supported Tai-yue to descend from the chair.
Lin Tai-yue entered the door with the creepers， resting on the hand of a matron.
On both sides was a verandah， like two outstretched arms. An Entrance Hall stood in the centre， in the middle of which was a door-screen of Ta Li marble， set in an ebony frame. On the other side of this screen were three very small halls. At the back of these came at once an extensive courtyard， belonging to the main building.
In the front part were five parlours， the frieze of the ceiling of which was all carved， and the pillars ornamented. On either side， were covered avenues， resembling passages through a rock. In the side-rooms were suspended cages， full of parrots of every colour， thrushes， and birds of every description.
On the terrace-steps， sat several waiting maids， dressed in red and GREen， and the whole company of them advanced， with beaming faces， to greet them， when they saw the party approach. "Her venerable ladyship，" they said， "was at this very moment thinking of you， miss， and， by a strange coincidence， here you are."