Camps and Trails in China eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 325 pages of information about Camps and Trails in China.

On Monday Mr. Grierson invited us to become his guests and to move our caravan and belongings to his beautiful home.  We were charmed with it and our host.  The house was built with upturned, temple-like gables, and from his cool verandah we could look across an exquisite flower-filled garden to the blue mountains from which we had had our first view of Teng-yueh the day before.  The interior of the dwelling was as attractive as its surroundings, and the beautifully served meals were as varied and dainty as one could have had in the midst of a great city.

Like all Britishers, the Customs men had carried their sport with them.  Just beyond the city walls an excellent golf course had been laid out with Chinese graves as bunkers, and there was a cement tennis court behind the Commissioner’s house.  Mr. Grierson had two excellent polo ponies, besides three trained pointer dogs, and riding and shooting over the beautiful hills gave him an almost ideal life.  We found that Mr. Fletcher had a really remarkable selection of records and an excellent Victrola.  After dinner, as we listened to the music, we had only to close our eyes and float back to New York and the Metropolitan Opera House on the divine harmony of the sextet from “Lucia” or Caruso’s matchless voice.  But none of us wished to be there in body for more than a fleeting visit at least, and the music already brought with it a lingering sadness because our days in the free, wild mountains of China were drawing to a close.

During the week we spent with Mr. Grierson we dried and packed all our specimens in tin-lined boxes which were purchased from the agent of the British American Tobacco Company in Teng-yueh.  They were just the right size to carry on muleback and, after the birds and mammals had been wrapped in cotton and sprinkled with napthalene, the cases were soldered and made air tight.  The most essential thing in sending specimens of any kind through a moist, tropical climate such as India is to have them perfectly dry before the boxes are sealed; otherwise they will arrive at their destination covered with mildew and absolutely ruined.

On the day of our arrival in Teng-yueh we purchased from a native two bear cubs (Ursus tibetanus) about a week old.  Each was coal black except for a V-shaped white mark on the breast and a brown nose.  When they first came to us they were too young to eat and we fed them diluted condensed milk from a spoon.

The little chaps were as playful as kittens and the story of their amusing ways as they grew older is a book in itself.  After a month one of the cubs died, leaving great sorrow in the camp; the other not only lived and flourished but traveled more than 16,000 miles.

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Camps and Trails in China from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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