Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/313

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249
THE MONGOLIAN GRASSLAND

round and neatly put together, they can gather them into one bundle." But since his description is so brief, it may be supplemented by a more modern traveller, genial Abbé Huc, whose visit dates back only sixty-five years:—

"The Mongol tent, for about three feet from the ground, is cylindrical in form. It then becomes conical, like a pointed hat. The woodwork of the tent is composed below of a trellis-work of crossed bars, which fold up and expand at pleasure. Above these, a circle of poles, fixed in the trellis-work, meets at the top, like the sticks of an umbrella. Over the woodwork is stretched, once or twice, a thick covering of coarse linen, and thus the tent is composed. The door, which is always a folding door, is low and narrow. A beam crosses it at the bottom by way of threshold, so that on entering you have at once to raise your feet and lower your head. Besides the door there is another opening at the top of the tent to let out the smoke. This opening can at any time be closed with a piece of felt, fastened above it in the tent, which can be pulled over it by means of a string, the end of which hangs by the door. The interior is divided into two compartments; that on the left, as you enter, is reserved for the men, and thither the visitors proceed. Any man who should enter on the right side would be considered excessively rude. The right compartment is occupied by the women,