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0257 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 257 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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day before, they had plundered Suchow and there provided themselves with fine civil clothes. They therefore gave the impression of being what they pretended to be — officials from the yamen. But our people were very soon disillusioned on this score. The wretches immediately seized their weapons and began to fire them off inside the tent in the most reckless fashion. That no-one was wounded was nothing less than miraculous. BEXEI,1, was dazzled by the flash from a rifle-barrel, being burned in the face by it. Besides the weapons, the robbers seized field-glasses, cameras, altimeters, various provisions and 400 dollars in silver. Later on BEXELL learned that no fewer than fifteen hundred men from the army of the Tungan robber general had been lying on the other side of the river.

This was the most serious act of violence the expedition had experienced, and it is almost inconceivable that no-one was hurt. In January 1930 HÖRNER had been shot at by Mongolian frontier-guards in the Lang-shan on the Ordos border; but on that occasion the firing had been from a distance.


I myself devoted the winter and spring to lecturing. I visited most of the larger towns in Sweden, as well as Copenhagen and Oslo. Altogether I gave about sixty lectures on the work of the expedition in Asia and the results so far achieved.

On June 18th BERGMAN arrived home from Asia, having trained from Peking via Siberia. He brought with him a breath of the solitudes of the Gobi Desert, as well as reminders of the swarming life of Peking.

Another former member of the expedition that we had the pleasure of meeting in Stockholm that summer was HANS DETTMANN, who came and visited us on his way through Norway and Sweden on a car-tour with his father.

On September 5th BERGMAN returned to Peking via Suez, taking with him a little world of baggage to the expedition and accompanied by his wife and little son. As MoNTELL would be leaving Peking in the autumn it fell now to BERG-MAN'S lot to take over at headquarters there, at the same time as he began work on his archaeological collections, of which we did not yet know whether we should be allowed to take them home to Sweden or not.

Meanwhile we learned from a letter from AMBOLT that he had been forbidden to draw maps or to take photographs in Sinkiang. This was a further example of Governor CHIN'S policy of persecution of the expedition.

On the same day, September 18th, an event took place that made this date memorable for all who have been at all in closer touch with East Asia in our time, to say nothing of the Chinese themselves. By a surprising `coup' the Japanese took Mukden, the capital of Manchuria, thus initiating the act of violence that