Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/314

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

and there you find the culinary utensils: large earthen vessels of glazed earth, wherein to keep the store of water; trunks of trees, of different sizes, hollowed into the shape of pails, and destined to contain the preparations of milk, in the various forms which they make it undergo. In the centre of the tent is a large trivet, planted in the earth, and always ready to receive the large iron, bell-shaped cauldron that stands by, ready for use."

And that is just what I found, but the tent covering was always of felt, not linen, and there were often two tents, one for the men and one for the women, instead of a tent with two divisions; and alas, more often than not, the hollow tree trunk was replaced by Standard Oil tins. But as the Mongol lived in Marco Polo's time, and Huc's, so he does still, and so he will continue to live until Chinese colonization or Russian rule forces him to give up his nomadic ways and settle down and cultivate the soil.

Around the yurt gathered women and children, dogs and calves. They were friendly, almost too much so, and the women interested me as much as I did them. All alike were clad in long, shapeless woollen garments that might have been any colour, so grimy were they, but the dirt and rags of their dress only set off the more the splendour of their headgear; a broad bandeau, elaborately fashioned