escaped, but he was arrested in Kao-t'ai on account of his wound and afterwards shot.
The campaign against the robbers had lasted for two days and a night. After the victory the party rode back to the village and celebrated with meat, rice and melons. On orders from Mao-mu the robbers were subsequently shot one by one.
When the booty was divided the most cowardly members of the party snatched the lion's share for themselves, but SÖDERBOM declined his share. Outside Mao-mu the greater part of the population had assembled with the burgomaster at their head. At the town-gate the victors had to dismount, listen to speeches of welcome and drink wine. And afterwards there was rejoicing inside the yamen.
The following day SöDERBOM was waited upon by local dignitaries, who praised his bravery and handed over an official document from the burgomaster. As this certificate undoubtedly enhanced the reputation of the expedition in Kansu it deserves to be reproduced here:
»Since upon the fifteenth day of the ninth month of the eighteenth year of the Republic robbers had occasioned disturbances, they were pursued for their destruction by a force of police. It was so ordained that a member of The Scientific Expedition to the North-Western Provinces, the Swede, Mr SHENG JUZHENG (SÖDERBOM), who was passing through our town, fell in with the police force by the way. He expressed his desire to join the police force to help in exterminating the robbers. But, since the stranger from abroad who comes hither on his travels must be protected, we sought to turn him from his purpose. But Mr SHENG said that robbers were people whom everybody must slay, and he insisted in taking part in their pursuit. The next day they came to the village Shuang-chu-tsun and cut down several robbers. His bravery and his rage in battle were a spur to the courage of our men. So we devote these words to him in token that we shall never forget Mr SHENG.
The circuit magistrate (hsien-chang) of Ting-hsien
Eighteenth year ninth month nineteenth day. »
After his exploits at Mao-mu SÖDERBOM betook himself to MA'S grave, where he now had the unpleasant job of digging up the corpse and placing it in the coffin. The servants refused even to approach the grave. He had to do everything himself. The stench was so atrocious that he very nearly fainted. He wrapped the remains in oil-cloth and red calico. None of the men was willing to touch the coffin, so that SÖDERBOM was obliged, on the return journey to Kuei-hua, to load and unload it every day.
On October 3rd he was once more in Tsondol. He had orders from the au thorities in Suchow to leave the instruments on the spot when the station was closed down, so he left the instrument-chests in the care of the Torgut prince. This worthy received a good Zeiss binocle as a present, and khadaks were distributed to many of the neighbours and friends of the station.
On the 18th of October a big farewell dinner was given for the two Europeans. TANGUT GEGEN was present on this occasion and a gurzum or shaman dance was performed. This dance goes on until the dancer falls down in an ecstatic and almost unconscious trance and is frothing at the mouth. In this state he is danger-