China

During the eight days in which we remained at the "Good Hope" camp, two hundred specimens comprising twenty-one species were added to our collection. Although the altitude was still 5,000 feet, the flora was quite unlike that of any region in which we had previously collected, and that undoubtedly was responsible for the complete change of fauna. We were on the very edge of the tropical belt which stretches along the Tonking and Burma frontiers in the extreme south and west of the province.

We left a part of our outfit with Mr. Evans at Ta-li Fu and with a new caravan of twenty-five animals traveled northward for six days to Li-chiang Fu. By taking a small road we hoped to find good collecting in the pine forests three days from Ta-li, but instead there was a total absence of animal life. The woods were beautiful, parklike stretches which in a country like California would be full of game, but here were silent and deserted.

Every morning the valley at Meng-ting was filled with a thick white mist and when we broke camp at daylight each mule was swallowed up in the fog as soon as it left the rice field. We followed the sound of the leader's bell, but not until ten o'clock was the entire caravan visible. For thirty li the valley is broad and flat as at Meng-ting and filled with a luxuriant growth of rank grass, but it narrows suddenly where the river has carved its way through a range of hills.

We hired four Moso hunters in the Snow Mountain village. They were picturesque fellows, supposedly dressed in skins, but their garments were so ragged and patched that it was difficult to determine the original material of which they were made.

Our most exciting sport at the Nam-ting camp was hunting monkeys. Every morning we heard querulous notes which sounded much like the squealing of very young puppies and which were followed by long, siren wails; when the shrill notes had reached their highest pitch they would sink into low mellow tones exceedingly musical.

We were awakened before daylight by Wu's long drawn call to the hunters, "L-a-o-u H-o, L-a-o-u H-o, L-a-o-u H-o." The steady drum of rain on our tent shot a thrill of disappointment through me as I opened my eyes, but before we had crawled out of our sleeping-bags and dressed it lessened to a gentle patter and soon ceased altogether. It left a cold, gray morning with dense clouds weaving in and out among the peaks but, nevertheless, I decided to go out with the hunters to try for goral.

We saw many Shans at the Nam-ting River, for not only was there a village half a mile beyond our camp, but natives were passing continually along the trail on their way to and from the Burma frontier. The village was named Nam-ka. Its chief was absent when we arrived, but the natives were cordial and agreed to hunt with us; when the head man returned, however, he was most unfriendly. He forbade the villagers from coming to our camp and arguments were of no avail.

A Narrative of Exploration, Adventure, and Sport in Little-Known China
1918

by Roy Chapman Andrews and Yvette Borup Andrews

Both gorals were fine old rams with perfect horns. Their hair was thick and soft, pale olive-buff tipped with brownish, and the legs on the "cannon bones" were buff-yellow like the margins of the throat patches. Their color made them practically invisible against the rocks and when I killed the second goral my only distinct impression as he dashed down the face of the precipice, was of four yellowish legs entirely separated from a body which I could hardly see.

Y.B.A.

The camp at Nam-ka was a supremely happy one and we left it on March 7, with much regret. Its resources seemed to be almost exhausted and the Mohammedan hunter assured us that at a village called Ma-li-ling we would find excellent shooting. We asked him the distance and he replied, "About a long bamboo joint away." It required three days to get there!

Syndicate content