Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/125

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SUPPLIES. LETTERS HOME.

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had great difficulty, even with the assistance of our friends, in procuring supplies. And of these we required enough to last us the whole winter, for it was generally reported that no provisions could be obtained at Кoko nor.[1] Our supplies, however, were at all times limited by our slender resources, and the only provisions procurable were dzamba (barley-meal) and coarse wheaten flour. We bought about seven cwt. of each, and we had also about 1½ cwt. of rice and millet left over from our Ala-shan stores, making four camels' loads in all.

A few days before our departure for Koko-nor, the caravan of Tangutans with which we had travelled to Chobsen returned to Peking, and we availed ourselves of this opportunity to send letters and official reports. In them I announced my intention of starting for Koko-nor, which I hoped to reach; but I added that we could not proceed thence to Lhassa in Tibet owing to the want of funds.

At last the wished-for day drew near, and in the afternoon of October 5 we left Chobsen. As I have stated, our road lay over the mountains between the Dungan towns of Seng-kwan and Tatung, by footpaths almost impracticable for our enfeebled and suffering camels. We therefore divided the baggage among all the pack animals, taking in addition one of the mules which we had used for the summer excursion.

The first short march was satisfactorily accom-

  1. This proved to be a false report, as we had no difficulty in buying barley-meal at the encampment of the Wang (prince) of Koko-nor.