Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/361

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CHAPTER XV

NORTH TO THE SIBERIAN RAILWAY

ONE should spend weeks, not days, in Urga, but alas, time pressed and I had to be "moving" on." Just how to move on was a question, for the ponies and buggy with which I had crossed Gobi could go no farther. I finally arranged with a Russian trader for a tarantass and baggage cart to take me the two hundred and twenty-five miles to the head of river navigation beyond Kiakhta. Innumerable cigarettes were smoked while the discussion went on in my room, and at times there seemed much more smoke than progress, for the trader knew only his own tongue and Mongolian, but one of the two Russians who were to go with me spoke a very few words of German, so he and I made shift to understand each other. My Mongol host was on hand, looking after my interests, but he could talk with me only through the medium of Tchagan Hou, who spoke a little Chinese, and Wang, who knew even less English.

My spirits were rather low as I said good-bye to my kind hosts one bright morning in August. I was sorry to leave Urga with so much unseen, sorry to see the last of Tchagan Hou, who had piloted me so skilfully