Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/20

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2

ILLNESS OF PYLTSEFF. LAKE-BED.

We had now a long and difficult journey before us, the distance from Din-yuan-ing to Kalgan (through Mongolia) being reckoned about 800 miles, which we had to perform without a break. Mean- while the approach of winter was heralded by sharp frosts and winds, prevalent in Mongolia at this season of the year. To make matters worse my travelling companion, Michail Alexandrovitch Pylt- seff, fell ill with typhoid fever soon after we left Din-yuan-ing, a circumstance which detained us nine days, near the spring of Kara-moriteh in the north- , ern part of Ala-shan.

The state of my companion's health was rendered more critical owing to the want of medical assistance, I for although we had a few drugs with us I had not sufficient confidence in my skill as a practitioner to administer them. Happily his youth pulled him through, and Michail Alexandrovitch, in spite of continued weakness, was able to sit on a horse, although he fell off more than once in a fainting fit. However, we hurried on, marching from sunrise to sunset every day.

Desirous of becoming acquainted with the country on the left bank of the Yellow River, and the mountains which border this part of the valley, I determined on crossing the country of the Urutes, луЬ1сЬ is conterminous with Ala-shan. In the north- ern part of the latter region, 63 miles from Din-yuan- ing, we came to an immense lake-bed of sedimentary salt, called by the Mongols Djaratai-dabas. This lake-bed occupies the lowest part of the whole of