Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/413

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335
TIBET

each of which places the Roman Catholics have work. He then proceeded to Tali Fu, in Yunnan, and thence to Bhamo, returning to China viâ Rangoon and Singapore.

In July 1888 the writer and his wife left Tsinchow for Sining, immediately after their marriage. Travelling from Lanchow, along the north bank of the Yellow River, they passed many Tibetan villages before Sining was reached. One of the main roads from Peking to Lhasa passes through this latter town, and both the Tibetans and Mongols living around Lake Kokonor visit Sining, where the Viceroy (always a Manchu) of the large province of Kokonor resides.

While carrying on the regular Chinese work of the station at Sining, the study of the Tibetan language was commenced, the assistance of an old Mongol, who had been with Huc and Gabet to Lhasa, being obtained in the early stages. Subsequently, when visiting the large monastery of Kumbum, about 20 miles to the west, where Gospels and tracts were distributed during the quarterly festivals, the acquaintance of a learned monk was made. This monk kindly invited the writer and his wife to his monastery, which was distant some four days' journey. The friendly intercourse obtained with this abbot greatly facilitated the study of their language, and gave exceptional opportunities for preaching the Gospel.

Upon another occasion, after travelling for three days and crossing the Yellow River where it was fully 100 yards broad and very swift, a stay was made at Kweiteh, and afterwards for five months at a Tibetan village 15 miles farther to the west, right among the people. This was the last village before tent habitations were reached. Opportunities for preaching were here given at all hours of the day, and an exceedingly useful and interesting experience was gained.

In the autumn of 1891 the work at Sining was taken over by Mr. Hall and Mr. and Mrs. Ridley. The writer moved forward, and travelling with a party of Mohammedan traders, crossed the Yellow River near