Telegrams that I had sent via Peshawar to the mission at Kashgar brought us only the information from the first-named town that the wireless communication with Kashgar was interrupted, and that telegrams could only be sent to Misgar, whence they were taken on by mounted messengers in eleven days. It was thus evident that the Chinese wireless station at Kashgar had been destroyed by the Mohammedan rebels during the civil war.
At the same time we heard that a large number of the Swedish missionaries had gone home or crossed the Indian frontier until things should be quieter. On May 9th the Swedish missionary ROBERNTZ telegraphed from Kashgar:
»No news from AMBOI,T since October from Charchan.»
Eight months' silence was too long a time even for the heart of Asia. As Captain LUTZ of the Sino-German Eurasia Aviation Corporation was about to fly to
Suchow, I asked him to take a letter to BExELL and BÖKENKAMP, who were still
at work in that region. I instructed them in the letter to try to get into touch with AMBOLT or at least to get some fresh information about him. My instruc-
tions to BExELL, however, had been countermanded by General MA CHUNG-YIN,
who was then all-powerful in the region of Suchow and who would brook no outside interference. He promised to look for the missing man himself. Later on,
however, he allowed us to take up the search; and on May 15th I sent ERIK NORIN
on what seemed a hopeless quest — to try to locate, and if possible help, AMBOI,T. When taking leave of me, NORIN asked me to lend him the gold ring I had received from the TASHI LAMA in December 1926, a signet bearing the emblem of
long life. NORIN, who in questions of natural science is very critical and matter-of-fact, was strongly inclined to believe that the ring of a »living God» must possess magical power, and that it would crown his search with success — perhaps, indeed, save both AMBOLT's life and his own.
Armed with the ring, he proceeded to Nanking. Here, thanks to the friendly assistance of the Swedish consul-general, Mr LINDQUIST, and the counsellor of the German
Embassy, Herr FISCHER, he got his official pass without delay, as well as a seat in
the Eurasia aeroplane that took him to Suchow, where he was to start his operations. Time passed, and still we heard nothing from our fellows in the interior. However, in the small hours of the night of June 7th-8th, a night of stillness after the
violent thunderstorms at the beginning of the month, I received a telegram. Eagerly ripping it open, I was immensely relieved to read: »AMBOI,T safe at Khotan — returning via India. ROBERNTZ. »
Thank God! What a load off our hearts! I wrote telegrams at once to stop NORIN and BEXELL, and to inform those at home. BEXEI,I, and BÖKENKAMP
were ordered to return to Peking, whence their start had been much delayed by the search for AMBOLT. NORIN, on the other hand, got carte blanche to act as best suited himself. He could either return by air immediately, or he could try to catch up MBOLT and accompany him out of Central Asia through India.