On October 22nd CARLSON and LAGERBACK were sent to the garage to deliver the four motor-cars and all accessories. The Swedish machines for the work-shop from LOWENER & HJORT were much admired by those who understood anything about such matters.
The next few days were comparatively quiet, though we had long discussions and conferences about our position. To our regret, our good friend PAN-Tsn u was ordered to move to Kashgar, which meant a ride of forty days. His request to be allowed to journey to the coast had once more been refused. And now he was being sent still farther west.
As the mechanics were not satisfied with the salaries they were to get from the Governor — that is, as much as the previously employed Russian drivers had received — I determined to let LAGERBACK return home, especially as the climate did not suit him, and to retain CARLSON in the service of the expedition. His linguistic abilities in Russian, German and English, and his practical skill were a great asset for our headquarters. To tell the truth, he was over-qualified for the position he was to have had in the garage in Urumchi; but the Chinese would not have lost anything by engaging at a respectable salary a man who would by himself have been in a position to put all their cars that had been disabled by neglect and ignorance into running order again.
ARRIVAL OF HUMMEL AND AMBOLT
On November 2nd HvaitEL and AMBOLT suddenly arrived from Chuguchaq by bus. No one had expected them so soon. It was a pleasure to have them with us again! No-one could be happier than myself that everything had gone well. When AMBOLT's illness was at its height about the 18th of September I had feared the worst. But now we had him in our midst, safe and sound, though still weak and as thin as a stick. But his life was saved; and certainly no-one could have ministered to him more tenderly than did our doctor during his long period of convalescence, during which he also had the bad fortune to contract trachoma.
INCREASING OBSTRUCTION TO THE EXPEDITION
As the autumn advanced and another winter approached the attitude of the Governor-General grew increasingly hostile to us. As far as mere forms went he was, like the whole of the provincial government, always polite and complaisant; and all letters were worded in courteous and apparently obliging terms. But in reality he did everything he could to trip us up, to put obstacles in the way of our liberty, to delay our work and to render it more difficult and costly.