I had no friends in Peking, save for Cook. Our life in Yenching campus was so circumscribed by the scope of Mother’s tastes and beliefs that I was exposed to very few outside influences in those years. There were playmates I would see during school hours, and neighbors whose sons and daughters Alice and I were occasionally permitted to entertain in our home. Yet we were never given enough freedom from our amahs’ supervision to relax with children we knew and develop anything approaching genuine friendship. Our health, cleanliness, and safety fell within the province of the nursemaids’ responsibilities, and so those women hovered over us like ewes over newborn lambs. My amah, Li Ma, spoke with me often, but never as a friend or confidante, something she would have regarded as unpardonable on her part. This is just the sort of class discrepancy Lao Chang refused to recognize, at least while he was alone with us children.