And now the crossing of Mongolia is a thing of the past, and I am not prepared to deny anything that any one asserted about the journey, only somehow I managed to slip through between all the dangers and difficulties. I did the trip from wall to railway, not counting the stops I made for my own pleasure, in twenty-eight days; the weather was generally a joy, and I bade my Mongols good-bye in Urga with real regret. I had no troubles, I met with no accidents, and it was worth while—for once.
It is surprising how well one gets on with makeshifts. As Peking is not a treaty port there are few European shops, and it would seem as unsatisfactory a place for making up a camping-outfit as Hong Kong was satisfactory, but with the help of kind friends I managed to get together something that would pass muster. There were the usual stores, but with much more in the way of tinned meat and smoked fish than I took in West China, for there would be no handy fowls along our road across Mongolia, only now and then a sheep; and, as always, I laid in a fair supply of jam. I understand now why England sent tons of jam to the army in South Africa; the fruitiness of it is most refreshing when fresh fruit and vegetables are short. But of all my supplies, nothing proved so comforting as two bottles of lime juice and a tin of so-called grape nuts. The latter mixed with milk helped out the early starts when the fuel was so