Snow was now falling thickly. There was a hard wind blowing and we were soon driving through a regular blizzard. How ERIKSSON could still find his way with the road now completely covered with snow was more of a mystery than ever, but he managed splendidly, and at half-past four we glimpsed a little house through the whirl of snow: Naiman-ul's mission-station, where we were given a warm and hospitable reception by our country-woman, Miss HULDA WIKLUND.
Miss WIKLUND loved the Mongols, and was in her turn held in much affection by them. She also loved their animals, saying of herself that she was really a missionary to the animals. She was, moreover, very patriotic, and was unfeignedly glad to meet so many fellow-countrymen. We were afterwards able to grant her wish for a Swedish flag for the station. In her school she was bringing up a number of Mongol children, and although a woman and entirely on her own she was with her optimistic temper carrying on a magnificent work in this land of great distances.
After spending the night at the Naiman-ul station we returned on November 17th westwards and north-west through whirling snow to Gul-chaghan. On our way we passed the valley Minding-gol and the temple Chertein-sume — a poor and unpretentious little sanctuary.
In radiant afternoon sunshine we drove on to the monastery Labain-sume, which had nothing of interest to offer beyond a number of rather well-made brass gods.
About a couple of hours later we returned to ERIKSSON'S station, where we rested over for a day.
ON THE GREAT URGA ROAD
In clear weather and a biting west wind we drove on November 19th to the south-east, coming out about an hour later on the great caravan-route between Kalgan and Urga. The traffic between these two places was slack, on account of the tension prevailing between Russia and China over the Chinese Eastern Railway. Local trade, however, was in full swing, and we met or drove past numbers of ox-carts with wool, camel-caravans and horsemen. The telegraph-line followed the road. At the biggish village Chapser, comprising mud huts and yurts, a couple of camel-caravans and a herd of cattle were resting.
We turned off to the west, passing Khalun-usu, where ERIKSSON had his first mission-station, and arrived presently at the monastery Harring-kerva- sume, or