LARSON'S present position in my service was based upon the purchase of the temples. I had intended that he should have charge of the practical matters connected with the dismantling, transport and re-building of the temples in Chicago and Stockholm. As time passed, and it appeared that the acquisition of the temples would not be realized as soon as we had calculated, I could not keep LARSON in my service any longer, and on March loth he accordingly left the expedition.
At about this juncture there was a rumour, typical of the times, to the effect that a Chinese was negotiating in Jehol for the purchase of all the old temples there with the intention of afterwards selling the wood-work! It was said, however, that General T'ANG YÜ-LIN had imprisoned both this man and ten others who were implicated. It was clear that T'ANG YÜ-LIN wished to reserve the Jehol temples for his own account!
HUMMEL's BOTANICAL JOURNEY
HUMMEL had for long cherished the desire to undertake a completely independent expedition to collect botanical and zoological specimens, and as the most suitable region we had finally decided upon Choni in Eastern Tibet on the frontier to south-west Kansu. He would need to arrive there while the first spring flora was still in full bloom. It now remained only to find the most suitable route. The interior of the country was at this time very unsafe for travellers on account of disbanded soldiery and other bandits.
As Choni is inhabited by Tibetans it would be desirable for HummEL to have a letter of introduction to the prince of the district from the TASHI LAMA. Accordingly, on March 6th, HUMMEL journeyed up to Mukden, where the lamaistic Pope was staying at that time. He had with him a letter of introduction from the TASHI LAMA'S own representative in Peking, Lo KHAMPO, whom I had known since my visit in Tashi-lhunpo in 1907, and of whom we now saw quite a lot. In addition, HUMMEL took with him a little Pekinese, a race of which the TASHI LAMA was very fond, as well as a gold watch and a khadak.
After a successful journey — except as regards the unhappy Pekinese, that was stolen from HvmMEL at the Yamato Hotel in Mukden — he returned on March nth. Of numerous proposed routes to Choni only the great detour over the Yang-tze and Szechüan proved to be safe. The road through Ordos and Kansu, for example, was hopeless on account of very active bands of robbers. The French traveller, Captain POINT, who was in the middle of preparations for the great CITROEN-expedition, had been exposed to machine-gun fire in Ordos. If it had