Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/62

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SORDJI TEMPORISES.

six camels and 100 lans (25l.) in money for a Spencer breech-loading rifle. He certainly valued the camels at 50 lans (12l. 10s.) a piece; on the other hand, the price I had asked for the gun was eleven times more than I gave for it, so that the thing was as broad as it was long. After receiving about 120 lans (30l.) more for some of our other merchandise, we were sufficiently independent to act with decision. I told Sordji that I would certainly accompany the Tangutans, and demanded a return of the things taken, or payment for them in money.

On the evening of June 13, the day before that fixed for the departure of the caravan, Sordji came to inform me that the prince had ordered the Tangutans to remain two days longer in town. All this time the lama never ceased urging us to remain, assuring us of the prince's grief at our speedy departure, of his fondness for Russians, and of his liking for their goods, especially stereoscopes, guns, cloth, soap, candles, &c. counting them off on his fingers as he repeated the words. He entreated us to give a gun to the prince, and another to his eldest son, or some other good article, even if it were Russian clothes. In fact, nothing could exceed the shameless behaviour of the prince and his sons in asking us to make them presents. They were so importunate at last that we were obliged to conceal some of our things whenever we expected visitors.

After persisting in my demands, I received 258 lans (62l. 10s.) from the prince for the articles he had taken, which, added to the sum we already pos-