Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet. Volume 2

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

MONGOLIA,

THE TANGUT COUNTRY,

AND THE

SOLITUDES OF NORTHERN TIBET:

BEING A

Narrative of Three Years' Travel in Eastern High Asia.


BY

LIEUT.-COLONEL N. PREJEVALSKY,

OF THE RUSSIAN STAFF CORPS: MEM. OF THE IMP. RUSS. GEOG. SOC.


TRANSLATED BY

E. DELMAR MORGAN, F.R.G.S.


WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY

COLONEL HENRY YULE, C.B.

LATE OF THE ROYAL ENGINEERS (BENGAL).


IN TWO VOLUMES—VOL. II.

With Maps and Illustrations.



LONDON:

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON,

CROWN BUILDINGS, 188 FLEET STREET.

1876


All rights reserved.

LONDON: PRINTED BY

SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE

AND PARLIAMENT STREET

CONTENTS

OF

THE SECOND VOLUME.

RETURN TO KALGAN.

page

Departure from Din-yuan-ing — Illness of Pyltseff — Salt lake-bed of Djaratai-dabas — Mode of obtaining salt — Kara-narin-ula mountains — Route through the Urute country — Ascent of plateau — Excessive cold ; snow-storm— Sufferings of animals — Descent to the Hoang-ho — Incursions of Dungans — Hostility of Chinese officials — Chinese soldiers — Old river bed — Wintering birds ; pheasants — Tea-drinking — Border range — Rejoin outward track — Buying argols — Temperature inside tent — Shireti-tsu — Loss of all our camels — Awkward predicament — Buy fresh camels — Trading caravans — Epidemic among dzerens — Argali — Arrival at Kalgan
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1

RETURN TO ALA-SHAN.


Start for Peking — Packing collections — New outfit; rifles; revolvers — Merchandise — Fresh Cossacks — Trial of guns— Effect on the inhabitants — Mongol dog ' Karza ' — Water barrels — Departure from Kalgan — Late spring — Migration of birds — To the Munni-ula — Spring vegetation — Leave for the Hoang-ho — Rice fields — Shooting carp — Unattractive valley — Sandy borders of Ala-shan and its vegetation — Inanimate nature — Envoys from the prince — Arrival at Din-yuan-ing — The Czar's officer —  Trafficking — Favourable opportunity to proceed — Prince opposes our departure — Intrigues of Sordji — Want of funds — Sale of guns and merchandise — Fortune befriends us — Preparations for a start — Departure of caravan — Detention — Siya's promise — Disappointment — Anxiety — Siya again — Good news — We join caravan — Our travelling companions — Lama-warriors — Randzemba — His passion for the chase — With the caravan — Poisoned wells — Great fatigue — Inquisitive visitors — Pursuit of science under difficulties — Tingeri sands — Mountains of Kan-su — Snowy peaks — Cultivation — Great Wall of China — Town of Ta-jing — Watch towers — White bread — Choice of routes
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
23

THE PROVINCE OF KAN-SU.

First sight of Kan-su — Marginal range — Ta-yi-gu — Sung-shan — Abundance of water — Ruined villages — A false alarm — Harsh treatment of prisoner — Gold washings — Profusion of vegetation — Another adventure — Randzemba and the breech-loaders — Mystery explained — Temple of Chertinton; its superior or abbot — We leave our camels and horses — The Rangtu-gol— Cultivated and thickly-populated plain — The Taldi — The temple of Chobsen; its images and idols; its militia garrison — Arrival at Chobsen — Drying the collections — Stagnation of trade — Start for the mountains — Description of the mountains of Kan-su — Northern and Southern chains — Snowy peaks — ‘Amneh’ the sacred mountains — Geology — Minerals — Climate — Flora: trees, bushes, &c. — The Rhubarb plant {Rheum palmahim) — Method of obtaining and preserving it — Artificial cultivation — Rhododendrons — Characteristic plants of Kan-su — Luxuriant meadowland — Fauna of Kan-su — Mammals — Birds ; their classification — Birds of alpine zone — Absence of water-fowl — Excessive humidity —Thunderstorms — Sodi-Soruksum ; splendid view — Mount Gadjur ; its sacred lake — Terror of natives — Guides refuse to proceed — Autumn — Camels suffer — Chobsen besieged — Perilous situation — Prepare for defence — Night-watch — Hire guides to Koko-nor — Consult auguries — Halt — Supplies — Departure — A critical moment — Appearance of Dungans — Mur-zasak — Tatung-gol — Koko-nor at last
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
59

THE TANGUTANS AND DUNGANS.


Tangutan territory — The people — Characteristic traits — Stature; appearance; mode of wearing hair — Kara Tangutans — Language; dress; habitations — Black tents and wooden huts — Occupations — The domesticated Yak — Its different uses — Nomadising habits — Contrast between Mongols and Tangutans — Industry ; food ; dirt — Tonkir, a trade centre— Avarice — Polite customs — Monogamy — Religion — Government — Dungans or Mahommedan rebels — Their temporary success — Chinese towns fall into their hands — Revolt becomes brigandage — Opportunities neglected—Causes of non-success — Cowardice of rebels and of Chinese — Inefficient weapons — Siege of Chobsen — Commercial relations between belligerents — Measures of Chinese Government — Chinese soldiers — Bad arms — Want of discipline — Opium smoking — Looting — Government defrauded — Desertion — Punishment — Low morals — Mode of fighting — State of Affairs in Kan-su — Chinese take the offensive —Advance on Si-ning — Assault of this town — Marriage of Emperor of China — Siege operations suspended — Cowardice of besieged — Capture of Si-ning and advance westwards — Tangutan Vocabulary
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
109

KOKO-NOR AND TSAIDAM.


The lake — Colour of its waters — Island and temple — Fish — Legendary origin of lake — Its shores — Birds — Animals — The Kulan or wild ass — Eleuth Mongols — Low standard of civilisation — Kara-Tangutans — Their predatory habits — Mongol tradition concerning them— Administrative divisions of Koko-nor — We buy fresh camels — Tibetan envoy— Favourable opportunity of reaching Lhassa lost — We determine to advance—Guides — Temple of Kumbum and its sacred tree — Tibetan medicine — Route along shore of lake — Pouhain-gol — Huc's account of river inaccurate — Southern Koko-nor range — Djaratai-dabas salt basin — Princess of Koko-nor — The Tsing-hai-wang — Our reception — My reputation as saint, prophet, and physician — Baumsteitismus, a universal panacea — Mongol ailments — Plain of Tsaidam — The Baian-gol — Saline vegetation — Karmyk berries — Scarcity of animal life — Inhabitants — Lake Lob — Wild camels and wild horses — Autumn on Koko-nor — Clear atmosphere —Cultivated land — Crossing the marshes — Tsung-zasak — Mongol guide 'Chutun dzamba'
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
139

NORTHERN TIBET.


The Burkhan Buddha mountains ; the effects of a rarefied atmosphere — M. Hue's ' vapours of carbonic acid gas ' — The Nomokhun stream — The Shuga mountain range and river — Tibetan frontier— The Urundushi mountains — Sources of the Hoang-ho, and pilgrimage thereto — The Baian-kara-ula range — Character of the desert plateaux of Tibet — Extraordinary exhaustion produced by exertion at high altitudes — Caravans to Lhassa — Time occupied on the journey — Dangers and hardships of the road — Abundance of animal life— Mammals — The wild yak; its habits; its physical defects and low intelligence; disease to which it is subject — Wild yak shooting — The animal hard to kill — Grandeur of the sport — Mode of stalking — They rarely charge — Examples of yak-shooting — The yak-meat — The white-breasted Argali — The Orongo (Antilope Hodgsoni) — Large herds of these antelope — Their unwary habits — Held sacred by Mongols — Unicorns — The ata-dzeren, or little antelope — Its amazing swiftness — The Tibetan wolf (Lupus Chanco) — The fox {Canis Corsac) — Birds of Northern Tibet — Progress of journey — Travelling yurta — Intense cold — Tattered garments — Rarefied atmosphere — The halt — Preparing dinner — Long nights — Sport on the plateau — Climate — Dust storms — Chutundzamba — Arrival at the Murui-ussu — Limit of the expedition — Necessity for return
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
174

SPRING ON LAKE KOKO-NOR AND AMONG THE KAN-SU MOUNTAINS.


Return to Tsaidam — Influence of its warmer climate — Spring in Tsaidam — Migratory birds — Spring in Koko-nor — Mirages — Shooting excursions — Fishing — Thaw on lake — Scarcity of birds — Departure from Chobsen — Equipment of caravan — Sale of revolvers — Humidity of Kan-su — Slippery mountain paths — Fording the Tatung-gol — Encounter with ' Kotens ' — First signs of spring — Night frosts — Gales — Atmospheric phenomena — Tardy vegetation — The great rock-partridge (liailik) — The snow-vulture ; how to shoot it — Heavy snowfall — May in Kan-su — The long-eared pheasant (Crossoptiloji auritum) — The marmot (Arctotnys robusins) — The bear (kung-guressii) — Extraordinary reports concerning it — We see one — It escapes — Straitened finances — Last weeks in Kan-su — Its variable climate — Departure
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
224

RETURN TO ALA-SHAN. ROUTE TO URGA BY THE CENTRAL GOBI.

Departure from Ala-shan — Nearly lost in the desert — A dilemma — We follow the wrong road — A night of suspense — Looking for landmarks — The 'Obo' — Water at last! — Meeting with pilgrims — Din-yuan-ing — Letters from home — Excursion to Ala-shan mountains — Their changed appearance — Their flora and fauna — Sudden flood — Collections endangered — Caravan re-organised — Start for Urga — Terrible heat — Guide at fault — — Death of ' Faust ' — Desperate situation — Saved — Grief at the loss of our dog — Route across the Gobi — Urute country — The Galpin Gobi — Wells choked by rain — Similarity between Gobi and Sahara — The Hurku range — Mountain goat {Capra Sibiricd) — Trade routes — The desert north of the Hurku — Shortlived oases — Large and flourishing herds — Polluted water — The mirage — Migration of birds — More trade routes — Altered aspect of country — Rich pasturage — Abundance of animal life — Climate — Impatience to reach Urga — Arrival there — End of the expedition
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
254




TABLE OF NOTES TO VOLUME II.




TABLE OF NOTES BY MR. MORGAN.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
285
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
291
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
298

SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES BY COL. YULE.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
299
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
300
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
301
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ib.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
304