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0164 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.3
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.3 / Page 164 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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pardon for not having called upon us, but he had not dared to put his nose outside his own door. Again and again he sighed deeply and cried: »Ya Allah! allhamdulillah rabel ahlemin errahman errahim, Allahu ekbar! » (»Oh God! God be praised, the protector of the faithful, the just, the merciful! God is great! »)

»I am under Allah's protection, » he said, stroking his white beard with both hands. »No man can harm me. But these Tungans are no men. They are wild beasts roaming about the streets. It is hopeless to talk to wild beasts. They always have their rifles and pistols ready. They do not understand any other language. »

All day long the doctor, his patients and we witnessed moving scenes and heard tragic stories. A little Tungan boy unwound the bloody rags round one of his elbows and revealed a horrible septic wound. He had fled from Qara-shahr five days before with his parents and his brother. They had been attacked, and all his family had been killed. He himself had escaped, but had been struck by a splinter from an aeroplane bomb. He had wound rags round the wound and come on to Korla, bleeding and miserable. The poor lad, who had lost all he owned on earth, was a lamentable picture as he sat staring hopelessly at the red cross nailed on the wall. The doctor thought the prospects of saving him very poor.


After a quiet night I was woken up at ten o'clock by CHEN, who reported that a Turki had come with a message to the effect that the commander of the newly arrived Russian troops would like to speak to me.

Accordingly, after a leisurely breakfast, I set out on foot with my Turki. The main street, on this Friday, March i6th, was full of life and movement. The bazaar merchants with their stalls on either side of the street spread out their wares under projecting roofs resting on wooden columns. Korla had not seen the like since the May day in 1877 when YAQUB BEG, the conqueror of Sinkiang, took his own life within its boundaries, or the October day in the same year when Tso TSUNG-T'ANG'S conquering army made its entry into the little town.

Fifty-seven years had passed since then, and now it was granted us to witness the entry of another victorious army into the same town, that in the days of peace was so quiet, so pleasant, dreaming the time away in rustic innocence.

The whole street was packed with people and horses. There were not many Turkis; and those who now loafed about and stared were the ones who through all the preceding days had kept indoors and as well hidden as possible.

Far more numerous were Torguts from the Yulduz valley west of Qara-shahr. But the element that set its stamp most strongly on the dusty street was the Russians who had just arrived on their progress from Davan-ch'eng via Toqsun and Qara-shahr.