The Great Wall of China (中国的长城)
6. Even with all this wealth, Chin lived in fear. Always present was the danger from the north. For 500 years northern barbarians had raided the farms of the Chinese. The raids of the savage horsemen were sudden and they were terrible.
7. Chin could think of only one way to stop the raids. That was a giant wall. It had to be so big that no horseman could jump over it or ride around it. So the Great Wall was begun.
8. To build the Wall, Chin needed millions of workers. Almost no able-bodied person in China escaped the call to work. Men who had never held a tool in their hands were sent to the stone pits. Murderers and thieves were made to work— the Wall became the empire's jail. Cruel masters with whips kept the workers on the job. And those who got sick were left to die.
9. The Wall began at the Gulf of Chihli. From there the workers cut out two trenches, 25 feet apart. They laid stone squares and bricks in the trenches to a height of 20 feet. The stones and bricks became the sides of the Wall. The space between was then filled with earth and paved with bricks. The top of the Wall became a roadway for horses (wide enough for two of today's automobiles). Then the workers built up the sides of the Wall even higher.
10. Over the first 300 miles the workers did not find a level stretch for weeks at a time. Up the steep hills they dragged the heavy stone, their backs bearing the blows of the masters' whips. With little to eat and only rotting bits of cloth to wear, many became sick and died. Families of the workers sent messengers with food and clothes. But few messengers reached the Wall. They were afraid they, too, would be made to work.