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ACROSS MONGOLIAN PLAINS
A Naturalist's Account of China's "Great Northwest"
BY
ROY CHAPMAN ANDREWS

ASSOCIATE CURATOR OF MAMMALS IN THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY,
AND LEADER OF THE MUSEUM'S SECOND ASIATIC EXPEDITION.


AUTHOR OF "WHALE HUNTING WITH GUN AND CAMERA," "CAMPS AND TRAILS IN CHINA," ETC.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY YVETTE BORUP ANDREWS
Photographer of the Second Asiatic Expedition


A Nomad of the Mongolian Plains

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
NEW YORK: LONDON: MCMXXI
COPYRIGHT, 1921,
BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

Map ofr Mongolian Expedition
Map of Mongolia and China, Showing Route of Second
Asiatic Expedition in Broken Lines
[Click for larger image of Map]

THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED TO
DR. J. A. ALLEN
WHO, THROUGH HIS PROFOUND KNOWLEDGE, UNSELFISH DEVOTION TO SCIENCE, AND NEVER-FAILING SYMPATHY WITH YOUNGER STUDENTS OF ZOÖLOGY HAS BEEN AN EXAMPLE AND AN INSPIRATION DURING THE YEARS I HAVE WORKED AT HIS SIDE.



PREFACE

During 1916-1917 the First Asiatic Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History carried on zoölogical explorations along the frontiers of Tibet and Burma in the little known province of Yün-nan, China. The narrative of that expedition has already been given to the public in the first book of this series "Camps and Trails in China." It was always the intention of the American Museum to continue the Asiatic investigations, and my presence in China on other work in 1918 gave the desired opportunity at the conclusion of the war.

Having made extensive collections along the southeastern edge of the great central Asian plateau, it was especially desirable to obtain a representation of the fauna from the northeastern part in preparation for the great expedition which, I am glad to say, is now in course of preparation, and which will conduct work in various other branches of science. Consequently, my wife and I spent one of the most delightful years of our lives in Mongolia and North China on the Second Asiatic Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History.

The present book is the narrative of our work and travels. As in "Camps and Trails" I have written it entirely from the sportsman's standpoint and have purposely avoided scientific details which would prove uninteresting or wearisome to the general public. Full reports of the expedition's results will appear in due course in the Museum's scientific publications and to them I would refer those readers who wish further details of the Mongolian fauna.

Asia is the most fascinating hunting ground in all the world, not because of the quantity of game to be found there but because of its quality, and scientific importance. Central Asia was the point of origin and distribution for many mammals which inhabit other parts of the earth to-day and the habits and relationships of some of its big game animals are almost unknown. Because of unceasing native persecution, lack of protection, the continued destruction of forests and the ever increasing facilities for transportation to the remote districts of the interior, many of China's most interesting and important forms of wild life are doomed to extermination in the very near future.

Fortunately world museums are awakening to the necessity of obtaining representative series of Asiatic mammals before it is too late, and to the broad vision of the President and Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History my wife and I owe the exceptional opportunities which have been given us to carry on zoölogical explorations in Asia.

We are especially grateful to President Henry Fairfield Osborn, who is ready, always, to support enthusiastically any plans which tend to increase knowledge of China or to strengthen cordial relations between the United States and the Chinese Republic.

Director F. A. Lucas and Assistant Secretary George H. Sherwood have never failed in their attention to the needs of our expeditions when in the field and to them I extend our best thanks.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Bernheimer, who have contributed to every expedition in which I have taken part, generously rendered financial aid for the Mongolian work.

My wife, who is ever my best assistant in the field, was responsible for all the photographic work of the expedition and I have drawn much upon her daily "Journals" in the preparation of this book.

I wish to acknowledge the kindness of the Editors of Harper's Magazine, Natural History, Asia Magazine and the Trans-Pacific Magazine in whose publications parts of this book have already appeared.

We are indebted to a host of friends who gave assistance to the expedition and to us personally in the field:

The Wai Chiao Pu (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) freely granted permits for the expedition to travel throughout China and extended other courtesies for which I wish to express appreciation on behalf of the President and Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History.

In Peking, His Excellency Paul S. Reinsch, formerly American Minister to China, Dr. C. D. Tenney, Mr. Willys Peck, Mr. Ernest B. Price and other members of the Legation staff obtained import permits and attended to many details connected with the Chinese Government.

Mr. A. M. Guptil acted as our Peking representative while we were in the field and assumed much annoying detail in forwarding and receiving shipments of supplies and equipment. Other gentlemen in Peking who rendered us courtesies in various ways are Commanders I. V. Gillis and C. T. Hutchins, Dr. George D. Wilder, Dr. J. G. Anderson and Messrs. H. C. Faxon, E. G. Smith, C. R. Bennett, M. E. Weatherall and J. Kenrick.

In Kalgan, Mr. Charles L. Coltman arranged for the transportation of the expedition to Mongolia and not only gratuitously acted as our agent but was always ready to devote his own time and the use of his motor cars to further the work of the party.

In Urga, Mr. F. A. Larsen of Anderson, Meyer & Company, was of invaluable assistance in obtaining horses, carts and other equipment for the expedition as well as in giving us the benefit of his long and unique experience in Mongolia.

Mr. E. V. Olufsen of Anderson, Meyer & Company, put himself, his house, and his servants at our disposal whenever we were in Urga and aided us in innumerable ways.

Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Mamen often entertained us in their home. Mr. and Mrs. E. L. MacCallie, who accompanied us on one trip across Mongolia and later resided temporarily in Urga, brought equipment for us across Mongolia and entertained us while we were preparing to return to Peking.

Monsieur A. Orlow, Russian Diplomatic Agent in Urga, obtained permits from the Mongolian Government for our work in the Urga region and gave us much valuable advice.

In south China, Reverend H. Castle of Tunglu, and Reverend Lacy Moffet planned a delightful hunting trip for us in Che-kiang Province.

In Shanghai the Hon. E. S. Cunningham, American Consul-General, materially aided the expedition in the shipment of specimens. To Mr. G. M. Jackson, General Passenger Agent of the Canadian Pacific Ocean Services, thanks are due for arranging for rapid transportation to America of our valuable collections.

ROY CHAPMAN ANDREWS
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY,
NEW YORK CITY, U. S. A.



CONTENTS

PREFACE
Early conquests of the Mongols — Why their power was lost — Independence of Outer Mongolia — China's opportunity to obtain her former power in Mongolia — General Hsu Shu-tseng — Memorial to President of China — Cancellation of Outer Mongolia's autonomy

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER I
ENTERING THE LAND OF MYSTERY
Arrival in Kalgan — The Hutukhtu's motor car — Start for the great plateau — Camel caravans — The pass — A motor car on the Mongolian plains — Start from Hei-ma-hou — Chinese cultivation — The Mongol not a farmer — The grass-lands of Inner Mongolia — The first Mongol village — Construction of a yurt — Bird life — The telegraph line

CHAPTER II
SPEED MARVELS OF THE GOBI DESERT
Wells in the desert — Panj-kiang — A lama monastery — A great herd of antelope — A wild chase — Long range shooting — Amazing speed — An exhibition of high-class running — Difficulties in traveling — Description of the northern Mongols — Love of sport — Ude — Bustards — Great monastery at Turin — The rolling plains of Outer Mongolia — Urga during the World War

CHAPTER III
A CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS
Return trip — The "agony box" — The first accident — My Czech and Cossack passengers — The "agony box" breaks a wheel — A dry camp — More motor trouble — Meeting with Langdon Warner — Our game of hide-and-seek in the Orient — An accident near Panj-kiang — We use mutton fat for oil — Arrival at Hei-ma-hou — A wet ride to Kalgan — Trouble at the gate

CHAPTER IV
NEW TRAVELS ON AN OLD TRAIL
Winter in Peking — We leave for Mongolia — Inner Mongolia in spring — Race with a camel — Geese and cranes — Gophers — An electric light in the desert — Chinese motor companies — An antelope buck — A great herd — Brilliant atmosphere of Mongolia — Notes on antelope speed

CHAPTER V

ANTELOPE MOVIE STARS
Moving pictures under difficulties — A lost opportunity — A zoölogical garden in the desert — Killing a wolf — Speed of a wolf — Antelope steak and parfum de chameau — A caravan — A wild wolf-hunt — Sulphuric acid — The Turin Plains

CHAPTER VI
THE SACRED CITY OF THE LIVING BUDDHA
A city of contrasts — The Chinese quarter like frontier America — A hamlet of modern Russia — An indescribable mixture of Mongolia, Russia and China in West Urga — Description of a Mongol woman — Urga like a pageant on the stage of a theater — The sacred mountain — The palace of the "Living God" — Love for western inventions — A strange scene at the Hutukhtu's palace — A bed for the Living Buddha — Lamaism — The Lama City — Ceremony in the temple — Prayer wheels — Burial customs — Corpses eaten by dogs — The dogs of Mongolia — Cleanliness — Food — Morality — "H. C. L." in Urga — A horrible prison — Mr. F. A. Larsen

CHAPTER VII
THE LONG TRAIL TO SAIN NOIN KHAN
Beginning work — Carts — Ponies — Our interpreter — Mongol tent — Native clothes best for work — Supplies — How to keep "fit" in the field — Accidents — Sain Noin Khan — The first day — A night in a yurt — Cranes — We trade horses — Horse stealing — No mammals — Birds — Breaking a cart horse — Mongol ponies

CHAPTER VIII

THE LURE OF THE PLAINS
Trapping marmots — Skins valuable as furs — Native methods of hunting — A marmot dance — Habits — The first hunting-camp — Our Mongol neighbors — After antelope on horseback — The first buck — A pole-cat — The second day's hunt — The vastness of the plains — Development of a "land sense" — Another antelope

CHAPTER IX
HUNTING ON THE TURIN PLAINS
Mongol hospitality — Camping on the Turin Plains — An enormous herd of antelope — A wonderful ride — Three gazelle — A dry camp — My pony, Kublai Khan — Plains life about a well — Antelope babies — A wonderful provision of nature — Habits — Species in Mongolia — The "goitre" — Speed — Work in camp — Small mammals

CHAPTER X

AN ADVENTURE IN THE LAMA CITY
An unexpected meeting with a river — Our new camp in Urga — "God's Brother's House" — Photographing in the Lama City — A critical moment — Help from Mr. Olufsen — The motion picture camera an instrument of magic — Floods in Urga — Duke Loobtseng Yangsen — The Duchess — Vegetables in Urga

CHAPTER XI
MONGOLS AT HOME
The forests of Mongolia — A bad day's work — The Terelche River — Tserin Dorchy's family — A wild-wood romance — Evening in the valley — Doctoring the natives — A clever lama — A popular magazine — Return of Tserin Dorchy — Independence — His hunt on the Sacred Mountain — Punishment — Hunting with the Mongols — Tsamba and "buttered tea" — A splendid roebuck — The fortune of a naturalist — Eating the deer's viscera — The field meet of the Terelche Valley — Horse races — Wrestling

CHAPTER XII
NOMADS OF THE FOREST
An ideal camp — The first wapiti — A roebuck — Currants and berries — Catching fish — Enormous trout — A rainy day in camp — A wapiti seen from camp — Mongolian weather — Flowers — Beautiful country — A musk deer — Habits and commercial value — A wild boar — Success and failure in hunting — We kill two wapiti — Return to Urga — Mr. and Mrs. MacCallie — Packing the collections — Across the plains to Peking

CHAPTER XIII
THE PASSING OF MONGOLIAN MYSTERY
Importance of Far East — Desert, plain, and water in Mongolia — The Gobi Desert — Agriculture — Pastoral products — Treatment of wool and camel hair — Marmots as a valuable asset — Urga a growing fur market — Chinese merchants — Labor — Gold mines — Transportation — Motor trucks — Passenger motor service — Forests — Aeroplanes — Wireless telegraph

CHAPTER XIV
THE GREAT RAM OF THE SHANSI MOUNTAINS
Brigands, Chinese soldiers and "battles" — The Mongolian sheep — Harry Caldwell — Difference between North and South China — The "dust age" in China — Inns — Brigand scouts — The Tai Hai Lake — Splendid shooting — The sheep mountains — An awe-inspiring gorge — An introduction to the argali — Caldwell's big ram — A herd of sheep — My first ram — A second sheep — The end of a perfect day

CHAPTER XV
MONGOLIAN "ARGALI"
A long climb — Roebuck — An unsuspecting ram — My Mongol hunter — Donkeys instead of sheep — Two fine rams — The big one lost — A lecture on hunting — A night walk in the cańon — Commander Hutchins and Major Barker — Tom and I get a ram — The end of the sheep hunt

CHAPTER XVI
THE HORSE-DEER OF SHANSI
Wu Tai Hai — The "American Legation" — Interior of a North Shansi house — North China villages — The people — "Horse-deer" — The names "wapiti" and "elk" — A great gorge — A rock temple — The hunting grounds furnish a surprise — A huge bull wapiti

CHAPTER XVII

WAPITI, ROEBUCK AND GORAL
Our camp in a new village — Game at our door — Concentration of animal life — Chinese roebuck — A splendid hunt — Goral — Difficult climbing — "Hide and seek" with a goral — The second wapiti — A happy ending to a cold day

CHAPTER XVIII
WILD PIGS — ANIMAL AND HUMAN
Shansi Province famous for wild boar — Flesh delicious — When to hunt — Where to go — Inns and coal gas — Kao-chia-chuang — A long shot — Our camp at Tziloa — Native hunters — A young pig — A hard chase — Pheasants — Another pig — Smith runs down a big sow — Chinese steal our game — A wounded boar

CHAPTER XIX
THE HUNTING PARK OF THE EASTERN TOMBS
A visit to Duke Tsai Tse — A "personality" — The Tung Ling — The road to the tombs — A country inn — The front view of the Tung Ling — The tombs of the Empress Dowager and Ch'ien Lung — The "hinterland" — An area of desolation — Our camp in the forest — Reeves's pheasant — The most beautiful Chinese deer — "Blood horns" as medicine — Goral — Animals and birds of the Tung Ling — A new method of catching trout — A forest fire — Native stupidity — Wanton destruction — China's great opportunity



ILLUSTRATIONS

A Nomad of the Mongolian Plains
Roy Chapman Andrews on "Kublai Khan"
Yvette Borup Andrews, Photographer of the Expedition
At the End of the Long Trail from Outer Mongolia
Women of Southern Mongolia
The Middle Ages and the Twentieth Century
A Mongolian Antelope Killed from Our Motor Car
Watering Camels at a Well in the Gobi Desert
The Water Carrier for a Caravan
A Thirty-five Pound Bustard
Young Mongolia
Mongol Horsemen on the Streets of Urga
The Prison at Urga
A Criminal in a Coffin with Hands Manacled
The Great Temple at Urga
A Prayer Wheel and a Mongol Lama
Lamas Calling the Gods at a Temple in Urga
Mongol Praying at a Shrine in Urga
Mongol Women Beside a Yurt
The Headdress of a Mongol Married Woman
The Framework of a Yurt
Mongol Women and a Lama
The Traffic Policeman on Urga's "Broadway"
A Mongol Lama
The Grasslands of Outer Mongolia
Mongol Herdsmen Carrying Lassos
A Lone Camp on the Desert
Tibetan Yaks
Our Caravan Crossing the Terelche River
Our Base Camp at the Edge of the Forest
The Mongol Village of the Terelche Valley
Wrestlers at Terelche Valley Field Meet
Women Spectators at the Field Meet
Cave Dwellings in North Shansi Province
An Asiatic Wapiti
Harry R. Caldwell and a Mongolian Bighorn
Where the Bighorn Sheep Are Found
A Mongolian Roebuck
The Head of the Record Ram
Map of Mongolia and China, Showing Route of Second
Asiatic Expedition in Broken Lines



INTRODUCTION

The romantic story of the Mongols and their achievements has been written so completely that it is unnecessary to repeat it here even though it is as fascinating as a tale from the Arabian Nights. The present status of the country, however, is but little known to the western world. In a few words I will endeavor to sketch the recent political developments, some of which occurred while we were in Mongolia.

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the great Genghiz Khan and his illustrious successor Kublai Khan "almost in a night" erected the greatest empire the world has ever seen. Not only did they conquer all of Asia, but they advanced in Europe as far as the Dnieper leaving behind a trail of blood and slaughter.

All Europe rose against them, but what could not be accomplished by force of arms was wrought in the Mongols themselves by an excess of luxury. In their victorious advance great stores of treasure fell into their hands and they gave themselves to a life of ease and indulgence.

By nature the Mongols were hard riding, hard living warriors, accustomed to privation and fatigue. The poison of luxury ate into the very fibers of their being and gradually they lost the characteristics which had made them great. The ruin of the race was completed by the introduction of Lamaism, a religion which carries only moral destruction where it enters, and eventually the Mongols passed under the rule of the once conquered Chinese and then under the Manchus.

Until the overthrow of the Manchu regime in China in 1911, and the establishment of the present republic, there were no particularly significant events in Mongolian history. But at that time the Russians, wishing to create a buffer state between themselves and China as well as to obtain special commercial privileges in Mongolia, aided the Mongols in rebellion, furnished them with arms and ammunition and with officers to train their men.

A somewhat tentative proclamation of independence for Outer Mongolia was issued in December, 1911, by the Hutukhtu and nobles of Urga, and the Chinese were driven out of the country with little difficulty. Beset with internal troubles, the Chinese paid but scant attention to Mongolian affairs until news was received in Peking in October, 1912, that M. Korostovetz, formerly Russian Minister to China, had arrived secretly in Urga and on November 3, 1912, had recognized the independence of Outer Mongolia on behalf of his Government.

It then became incumbent upon China to take official note of the situation, especially as foreign complications could not be faced in view of her domestic embarrassments.

Consequently on November 5, 1913, there was concluded a Russo-Chinese agreement wherein Russia recognized that Outer Mongolia was under the suzerainty of China, and China, on her part, admitted the autonomy of Outer Mongolia. The essential element in the situation was the fact that Russia stood behind the Mongols with money and arms and China's hand was forced at a time when she was powerless to resist.

Quite naturally, Mongolia's political status has been a sore point with China and it is hardly surprising that she should have awaited an opportunity to reclaim what she considered to be her own.

This opportunity arrived with the collapse of Russia and the spread of Bolshevism, for the Mongols were dependent upon Russia for material assistance in anything resembling military operations, although, as early as 1914, they had begun to realize that they were cultivating a dangerous friend. The Mongolian army, at the most, numbered only two or three thousand poorly equipped and undisciplined troops who would require money and organization before they could become an effective fighting force.

The Chinese were not slow to appreciate these conditions and General Hsu Shu-tseng, popularly known as "Little Hsu," by a clever bit of Oriental intrigue sent four thousand soldiers to Urga with the excuse of protecting the Mongols from a so-called threatened invasion of Buriats and brigands. A little later he himself arrived in a motor car and, when the stage was set, brought such pressure to bear upon the Hutukhtu and his Cabinet that they had no recourse except to cancel Mongolia's autonomy and ask to return to their former place under Chinese rule.

This they did on November 17, 1919, in a formal Memorial addressed to the President of the Chinese Republic, which is quoted below as it appeared in the Peking press, under date of November 24, 1919:

"We, the Ministers and Vice-Ministers [here follow their names and ranks] of all the departments of the autonomous Government of Outer Mongolia, and all the princes, dukes, hutukhtus and lamas and others resident at Urga, hereby jointly and severally submit the following petition for the esteemed perusal of His Excellency the President of the Republic of China: —

"Outer Mongolia has been a dependency of China since the reign of the Emperor Kang Hsi, remaining loyal for over two hundred years, the entire population, from princes and dukes down to the common people having enjoyed the blessings of peace. During the reign of the Emperor Tao Kwang changes in the established institutions, which were opposed to Mongolian sentiment, caused dissatisfaction which was aggravated by the corruption of the administration during the last days of the Manchu Dynasty. Taking advantage of this Mongolian dissatisfaction, foreigners instigated and assisted the independence movement. Upon the Kiakhta Convention, being signed the autonomy of Outer Mongolia was held a fait accompli, China retaining an empty suzerainty while the officials and people of Outer Mongolia lost many of their old rights and privileges. Since the establishment of this autonomous government no progress whatsoever has been chronicled, the affairs of government being indeed plunged in a state of chaos, causing deep pessimism.

"Lately, chaotic conditions have also reigned supreme in Russia, reports of revolutionary elements threatening our frontiers having been frequently received. Moreover, since the Russians have no united government it is only natural that they are powerless to carry out the provisions of the treaties, and now that they have no control over their subjects the Buriat tribes have constantly conspired and cooperated with bandits, and repeatedly sent delegates to Urga urging our Government to join with them and form a Pan-Mongolian nation. That this propaganda work, so varied and so persistent, which aims at usurping Chinese suzerainty and undermining the autonomy of Outer Mongolia, does more harm than good to Outer Mongolia, our Government is well aware. The Buriats, with their bandit Allies, now considering us unwilling to espouse their cause, contemplate dispatching troops to violate our frontiers and to compel our submission. Furthermore, forces from the so-called White Army have forcibly occupied Tanu Ulianghai, an old possession of Outer Mongolia, and attacked both Chinese and Mongolian troops, this being followed by the entry of the Red Army, thus making the situation impossible.

"Now that both our internal and external affairs have reached such a climax, we, the members of the Government, in view of the present situation, have assembled all the princes, dukes, lamas and others and have held frequent meetings to discuss the question of our future welfare. Those present have been unanimously of the opinion that the old bonds of friendship having been restored our autonomy should be canceled, since Chinese and Mongolians are filled with a common purpose and ideal.

"The result of our decision has been duly reported to His Holiness the Bogdo Jetsun Dampa Hutukhtu Khan and has received his approval and support. Such being the position we now unanimously petition His Excellency the President that the old order of affairs be restored."

(Signed)

"Premier and Acting Minister of the Interior, Prince Lama Batma Torgoo.

"Vice-Minister, Prince of Tarkhan Puntzuk Cheilin.

"Vice-Minister, Great Lama of Beliktu, Prince Puntzuk Torgoo.

"Minister of Foreign Affairs, Duke Cheilin Torgoo.

"Vice-Minister, Dalai Prince Cheitantnun Lomour.

"Vice-Minister, Prince of Ochi, Kaotzuktanba.

"Minister of War, Prince of Eltoni Jamuyen Torgoo.

"Vice-Minister, Prince of Eltoni Selunto Chihloh.

"Vice-Minister, Prince of Eltoni Punktzu Laptan.

"Vice-Minister, Prince of Itkemur Chitu Wachir.

"Minister of Finance, Prince Lama Loobitsan Paletan.

"Vice-Minister, Prince Torgee Cheilin.

"Vice-Minister, Prince of Suchuketu Tehmutgu Kejwan.

"Minister of Justice, Dalai of Chiechenkhan Wananin.

"Vice-Minister, Prince of Daichinchihlun Chackehbatehorhu.

"Vice-Minister, Prince of Cholikota Lama Dashtunyupu."

Naturally, the President of China graciously consented to allow the prodigal to return and "killed the fatted calf" by conferring high honors and titles upon the Hutukhtu. Moreover, he appointed the Living Buddha's good friend (?) "Little Hsu" to convey them to him.

Thus, Mongolia again has become a part of China. Who knows what the future has in store for her? But events are moving rapidly and by the time this book is published the curtain may have risen upon a new act of Mongolia's tragedy.