Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/100

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64
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

some distance downstream before making a landing. At this point, and indeed from Tibet to Suifu, the Yangtse is, I believe, generally known as the Kinsha Kiang, or "River of Golden Sand." The Chinese have no idea of the continuing identity of a river, and most of theirs have different names at different parts of their course, but in this case there is some reason for the failure to regard the upper and the lower Yangtse as one and the same stream, for at Suifu, where the Min joins the Yangtse, it is much the larger body of water throughout most of the year, and is generally held by the natives to be the true source of the Great River. Moreover, above the junction the Yangtse is not navigable, owing to the swift current and obstructing rocks, while the Min serves as one of China's great waterways, bearing the products of the famous Chengtu plain to the eastern markets.

After leaving the ferry we followed for some miles the dry bed of a river whose name I could not learn. The scene was desolate and barren in the extreme, nothing but rock and sand; and had it not been cloudy the heat would have been very trying. But we were now among the Cloud Mountains, where the bright days are so few that it is said the Szechuan dogs bark when the sun comes out. After a short stop at a lonely inn near a trickle of a brook we turned abruptly up the mountain-side, by a zigzag trail so steep that even the interpreter was forced to walk.