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.

After the ceremony the bride and bridegroom proceeded downstairs to the joyous strain of the wedding march, but with nothing joyous in their demeanor—­in fact they appeared like two wooden images at the reception and endured for over an hour the stares and loud criticism of the guests.  He assumed during the ordeal a look of bored indifference while the little bride sat with her head bowed on her breast, apparently terror stricken.  But once she raised her face and I saw a merry twinkle in her shining black eyes that made me realize that perhaps it wasn’t all quite so frightful as she would have us believe.  I often wonder what sort of a life she is leading in her far away Chinese courtyard.



We had a busy week in Hongkong outfitting for our trip to Yuen-nan.  Hongkong is one of the best cities in the Orient in which to purchase supplies of almost any kind, for not only is the selection excellent, but the best English goods can be had for prices very little in excess of those in London itself.

The system which we used in our commissary was that of the unit food box which has been adopted by most large expeditions.  The boxes were packed to weigh seventy pounds each and contained all the necessary staple supplies for three persons for one week; thus only one box needed to be opened at a time, and, moreover, if the party separated for a few days a single box could be taken without the necessity of repacking and with the assurance that sufficient food would be available.

Our supplies consisted largely of flour, butter, sugar, coffee, milk, bacon, and marmalade, and but little tinned meat, vegetables, or fruit because we were certain to be able to obtain a plentiful supply of such food in the country through which we were expecting to travel.

Our tents were brought from New York and were made of light Egyptian cotton thoroughly waterproof, but we also purchased in Hongkong a large army tent for the servants and two canvas flies to protect loads and specimens.  We used sleeping bags and folding cots, tables and chairs, for when an expedition expects to remain in the field for a long time it is absolutely necessary to be as comfortable as possible and to live well; otherwise one cannot work at one’s highest efficiency.

For clothing we all wore khaki or “Dux-back” suits with flannel shirts and high leather shoes for mountain climbing, and we had light rubber automobile shirts and rubber caps for use in rainy weather.  The auto shirt is a long, loose robe which slips over the head and fastens about the neck and, when one is sitting upon a horse, can be so spread about as to cover all exposed parts of the body; it is especially useful and necessary, and hip rubber boots are also very comfortable during the rainy season.

Our traps for catching small mammals were brought from New York.  We had two sizes of wooden “Out of Sight” for mice and rats, and four or five sizes of Oneida steel traps for catching medium sized animals such as civets and polecats.  We also carried a half dozen No. 5 wolf traps.  Mr. Heller had used this size in Africa and found that they were large enough even to hold lions.

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