Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/368

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296
A WAYFARER IN CHINA

Such homes as these are Russia's advance posts in Mongolia, but given a fair field and she would stand no chance, for the Chinese colonists must outnumber the others a hundred to one. From this time on we saw more and more signs of cultivation, the pasture land was broken by great fields of rye and barley, and the yurts of the Mongol were often replaced by Chinese houses, looking on the outside much like the one just described, save that the window openings were filled with paper instead of glass.

Board signs, not unlike "Keep off the grass " ones of the West, were set up here and there, showing a Chinese holding. With or without government aid the Chinese are coming in. They get land from the Mongols very much, I imagine, as did the first English settlers in America, buying for a song what the owner does not know he is selling. And once established they are not easily dislodged, for they are good farmers, thrifty and untiring. In the end they will oust the Mongol from the best lands as sure as fate, unless Russia first ousts them, as apparently she is doing. I am sorry for the Mongol; he is a happy-go-lucky, likeable fellow, but it is all nonsense for the Russian Government to talk about the way the Chinese settlers are wronging him, taking away the tillable lands. He does not want them to till, but to pasture his herds, and that is just the difficulty. It is not China but civilization that is driving the Mon-