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0215 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 215 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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in, and were also helped by MONTELL and SÖDERBOM, who had no objection to a bath.

We stopped for the night not far from the village Shang-pan-ch'eng as twilight fell over the valley. We spread out our sleeping-bags on the lovely soft sand, while Lt Wu set about preparing our evening meal. At nine o'clock the temperature was 27.7° C. A balmy and beautiful evening after our first acquaintance with the stately river!


At two o'clock on the morning of July 8th we were awakened by a fairly heavy rain. Rolling up our beds we hastened on board, where we had a roof over our heads, and shared the cramped quarters of the Chinese.

Just after six o'clock we were off again, gliding round wide and narrow bends, now past the foot of steep cliffs, now past pleasant and picturesque little villages. One of them was called Hsiao-kou-chuang-tze, or Little Kou's Village, where a great rock lay in the river like an island. The landscape became more beautiful as we progressed. On either side were wild and rugged mountains. But heavy draperies of cloud hung round every peak, and the rain increased. An oil-cloth was cast over the part of the canopy where I was sitting at my mapping, and a rain-coat draped over my knees.


After a bare two hours on the water we passed on the left the mouth of a broad tributary valley with its river, the Lao-niu-ho, »The River of the Old Cow ». Not far from here we put in at Hsia-pan-ch'eng, where the soldiers in our escort were relieved by a fresh contingent, a procedure that required nearly two hours. We were informed that the valley-mouth ahead was occupied by two hundred robbers, so that our escort must be reinforced. As it was now increased to twenty men we hired an extra boat to accommodate them.

And so we set off once more in the drizzling rain. After a further three hours we put in to a little village to buy coal, that Lv Wu needed for his fire. The crew and the escort ate porridge made from millet-meal, that was boiled over the fire.

Every moment of my time was taken up with the mapping, and not a single feature of the continuously changing landscape escaped my eye. But MONTELL and GEORG had nothing particular to do on such a day, when photography was out of the question. When I turned round I often saw them stretched out asleep. Lt Wu sat the whole time at the fire, pottering about with preparations for the next meal. And the dour captain stood all day with his fists round the steering-