We left Yung-chang with no regret on Monday, January 28. Our stay there would have been exceedingly pleasant under ordinary conditions but it was impossible not to chafe at the delay occasioned by the caravan. Traveling southward for two days over bare brown mountain-sides, their monotony unrelieved except by groves of planted pine and fir trees, we descended abruptly into the great subtropical valley at Shih-tien.

Mile after mile this fertile plain stretches away in a succession of rice paddys and fields of sugar cane interspersed with patches of graceful bamboo, their summits drooping like enormous clusters of ostrich plumes; the air is warm and fragrant and the change from the surrounding hills is delightful. However, we were disappointed in the shooting for, although it appeared to be an ideal place for ducks and other water birds, we killed only five teal, and the great ponds were almost devoid of bird life. Even herons, so abundant in the north, were conspicuous by their absence and we saw no sheldrakes, geese, or mallards.

At Shih-tien we camped in a beautiful temple yard on the outskirts of the town, and with Wu I returned to the village to inquire about shooting places. We seated ourselves in the first open tea house and within ten minutes more than a hundred natives had filled the room, overflowed through the door and windows, and formed a mass of pushing, crowding bodies which completely blocked the street outside. It was a simple way of getting all the village together and Wu questioned everyone who looked intelligent.

We learned that shooting was to be found near Gen-kang, five days' travel south, and we returned to the temple just in time to receive a visit from the resident mandarin. He was a good-looking, intellectual man, with charming manners and one of the most delightful gentlemen whom we met in China.

During his visit, and until dinner was over and we had retired to our tents, hundreds of men, women and children crowded into the temple yard to gaze curiously at us. After the gates had been closed they climbed the walls and sat upon the tiles like a flock of crows. Their curiosity was insatiable but not unfriendly and nowhere throughout our expedition did we find such extraordinary interest in our affairs as was manifested by the people in this immediate region. They were largely Chinese and most of them must have met foreigners before, yet their curiosity was much greater than that of any natives whom we knew were seeing white persons for the first time.

Just before camping the next day we passed through a large village where we were given a most flattering reception. We had stopped to do some shooting and were a considerable distance behind the caravan. The mafus must have announced our coming, for the populace was out en masse to greet us and lined the streets three deep. It was a veritable triumphal entry and crowds of men and children followed us for half a mile outside the town, running beside our horses and staring with saucer-like eyes.

On the second day from Shih-tien we climbed a high mountain and wound down a sharp descent for about 4,000 feet into a valley only 2,300 feet above sea level. We had been cold all day on the ridges exposed to a biting wind and had bundled ourselves into sweaters and coats over flannel shirts. After going down about 1,000 feet we tied our coats to the saddle pockets, on the second thousand stripped off the sweaters, and for the remainder of the descent rode with sleeves rolled up and shirts open at the throat. We had come from mid-winter into summer in two hours and the change was most startling. It was as though we had suddenly ridden into an artificially heated building like the rooms for tropical plants at botanical gardens.

Our camp was on a flat plain just above the river where we had a splendid view of the wide valley which was like the bottom of a well with high mountains rising abruptly on all sides. It was a place of strange contrasts. The bushes and trees were in full green foliage but the grass and paddy fields were dry and brown as in mid-winter. The thick trees at the base of the hills were literally alive with doves but there were few mammal runways and our traps yielded no results. That night a muntjac, the first we had heard, barked hoarsely behind the tents.

The yamen "soldier" who accompanied us from Shih-tien delivered his official dispatch at the village (Ma-po-lo) which lies farther down the valley. The magistrate, who proved to be a Shan native, arrived soon after with ten or twelve men and we discovered that there was but one man in the village who spoke Chinese.

The magistrate at Ma-po-lo by no means wished to have the responsibility of our safety thrust upon him and consequently assured us that there were neither game nor hunters in this village. Although his anxiety to be rid of us was apparent, he was probably telling the truth, for the valley is so highly cultivated (rice), and the cover on the mountain-sides so limited, that it is doubtful if much game remains.

In the morning the entire valley was filled with a dense white fog but we climbed out of it almost immediately, and by noon were back again in winter on the summits of the ridges. The country through which we passed en route to Gen-kang was similar to that which had oppressed us during the preceding week - cultivated valleys between high barren mountains relieved here and there by scattered groves of planted fir trees. It was a region utterly hopeless from a naturalist's standpoint and when we arrived at a large town near Gen-kang we were well-nigh discouraged.

During almost a month of travel we had been guided by native information which without exception had proved worthless. It seemed useless to rely upon it further, and yet there was no other alternative, for none of the foreigners whom we had met in Yuen-nan knew anything about this part of the province. We were certain to reach a tropical region farther south and the fact that there were a few sambur skins for sale in the market offered slight encouragement. These were said to come from a village called Meng-ting, "a little more far," to the tune of four or five days' travel, over on the Burma frontier.

With gloom in our hearts, which matched that of the weather, we left in a pouring rain on February 5, to slip and splash southward through veritable rivers of mud for two long marches. In the afternoon of the second day the country suddenly changed. The trail led through a wide grassy valley, bordered by heavily forested hills, into a deep ravine. Along the banks of a clear stream the earth was soft and damp and the moss-covered logs and dense vegetation made ideal conditions for small mammalian life.

We rode happily up the ravine and stood in a rocky gateway. At the right a green-clothed mountain rose out of a tangle of luxuriant vegetation; to the left wave after wave of magnificent forested ridges lost themselves in the low hung clouds; at our feet lay a beautiful valley filled with stately trees which spread into a thick green canopy overhead.

We camped in a clearing just at the edge of the forest. While the tents were being pitched, I set a line of traps along the base of the opposite mountain and found a "runway" under almost every log. About eight o'clock I ran my traps and, with the aid of a lantern, stumbled about in the bushes and high grass, over logs and into holes. When I emptied my pockets there were fifteen mice, rats, shrews, and voles, representing seven species and all new to our collection. Heller brought in eight specimens and added two new species. We forthwith decided to stay right where we were until this "gold mine" had been exhausted.

In the morning our traps were full of mammals and sixty-two were laid out on the table ready for skinning. The length, tail, hind foot, and ear of each specimen was first carefully measured in millimeters and recorded in the field catalogue and upon a printed label bearing our serial number; then an incision was made in the belly, the skin stripped off, poisoned with arsenic, stuffed with cotton, and sewed up. The animal was then pinned in position by the feet, nose, and tail in a shallow wooden tray which fitted in the collecting trunk.

The specimens were put in the sun on every bright day until they were thoroughly dry and could be wrapped in cotton and packed in water-tight trunks or boxes. We have found that the regulation U.S. Army officer's fiber trunk makes an ideal collecting case. It measures thirty inches long by thirteen deep and sixteen inches wide and will remain quite dry in an ordinary rain but, of course, must not be allowed to stand in water. The skulls of all specimens, and the skeletons of some, are numbered like the skin, strung upon a wire, and dried in the sun. Also individuals of every species are injected and preserved in formalin for future anatomical study.

Larger specimens are always salted and dried. As soon as the skin has been removed and cleaned of flesh and fat, salt is rubbed into every part of it and the hide rolled up. In the morning it is unwrapped, the water which has been extracted by the salt poured off, and the skin hung over a rope or a tree branch to dry. If it is not too hot and the air is dry, the skin may be kept in the shade to good advantage, but under ordinary field conditions it should be placed in the sun. Before it becomes too hard, the hide is rolled or folded into a convenient package hair side in, tied into shape and allowed to become "bone dry." In this condition it will keep indefinitely but requires constant watching, for the salt absorbs moisture from the air and alternate wetting and drying is fatal.

We soon trained two of our Chinese boys to skin both large and small animals and they became quite expert. They required constant watching, however, and after each hide had been salted either Mr. Heller or I examined it to make sure that it was properly treated.

On our first day in camp we sent for natives to the village of Mu-cheng ten li distant. The men assured us that there were sambur, serow, and muntjac in the neighborhood, and they agreed to hunt. They had no dogs and were armed with crossbows, antiquated guns, and bows and arrows, but they showed us the skins of two sambur in proof of their ability to secure game.

Like most of the other natives, with the exception of the Mosos on the Snow Mountain, these men had no definite plan in hunting. The first day I went out with them they indicated that we were to drive a hill not far from camp. Without giving me an opportunity to reach a position in front of them, they began to work up the hill, and I had a fleeting glimpse of a sambur silhouetted against the sky as it dashed over the summit.

Two days later while I was out with ten other men who had a fairly good pack of dogs, the first party succeeded in killing a female sambur. The animal weighed at least five hundred pounds but they brought it to our camp and we purchased the skin for ten rupees. South of Gen-kang the money of the region, like all of Yuen-nan for some distance from the Burma frontier, is the Indian rupee which equals thirty-three cents American gold; in that part of the province adjoining Tonking, French Indo-China money is current.

My Journal of February 8 tells of our life at this camp, which we called "Good Hope."

    The weather is delightful for the sun is just warm enough for comfort
    and the nights are clear and cold. How we do sleep! It seems hardly an
    hour from the time we go to bed until we hear Wu rousing the servants,
    and the crackle of the camp-fire outside the tent. We half dress in our
    sleeping bags and with chattering teeth dash for the fire to lace our
    high boots in its comfortable warmth.

    After breakfast when it is full daylight, my wife and I inspect the
    traps. The ground is white with frost and the trees and bushes are
    dressed in silver. Every trap holds an individual interest and we
    follow the line through the forest, resetting some, and finding new
    mammals in others. Yvette has conquered her feminine repugnance far
    enough to remove shrews or mice from the traps by releasing the spring
    and dropping them on to a broad green leaf, but she never touches them.

    We go back to meet the hunters and while I am away with the men, the
    lady of the camp works at her photography. I return in the late
    afternoon and after tea we wander through the woods together. It is the
    most delightful part of the day when the sun goes down and the shadows
    lengthen. We sit on a log in a small clearing where we can watch the
    upper branches of a splendid tree. It is the home of a great colony of
    red-bellied squirrels (Callosciurus erythraeus subsp.) and after a
    few moments of silence we see a flash of brown along a branch, my gun
    roars out, and there is a thud upon the ground.

    Yvette runs to find the animal and ere the echoes have died away in the
    forest the gun bangs again. We have already shot a dozen squirrels from
    this tree and yet more are there. Sometimes a tiny, striped chipmunk
    (Tamiops macclellandi subsp.) will appear on the lower branches,
    searching the bark for grubs, and after he falls we have a long hunt to
    find him in the brown leaves. When it is too dark to see the squirrels,
    we wander slowly back to camp and eat a dinner of delicious broiled
    deer steak in front of the fire; over the coffee we smoke and talk of
    the day's hunting until it is time to "run the traps."

    Of all the work we enjoy this most. With lanterns and a gun we pick our
    way among the trees until we strike the trail along which the traps are
    set. On the soft ground our feet are noiseless and, extinguishing the
    lanterns, we sit on a log to listen to the night sounds. The woods are
    full of life. Almost beside us there is a patter of tiny feet and a
    scurry among the dry leaves; a muntjac barks hoarsely on the opposite
    hillside, and a fox yelps behind us in the forest. Suddenly there is a
    sharp snap, a muffled squeal, and a trap a few yards away has done its
    work. Even in the tree tops the night life is active. Dead twigs drop
    to the ground with an unnatural noise, and soft-winged owls show black
    against the sky as they flit across an opening in the branches.

    We light the lanterns again and pass down the trail into a cuplike
    hollow. Here there are a dozen traps and already half of them are full.
    In one is a tiny brown shrew caught by the tail as he ran across the
    trap; another holds a veritable treasure, and at my exclamation of
    delight Yvette runs up excitedly. It is a rare Insectivore of the genus
    Hylomys and possibly a species new to science. We examine it beside
    the lantern, wrap it carefully in paper, and drop it into a pocket by

    The next bit of cotton clings to a bush above a mossy log. The trap is
    gone and for ten minutes we hunt carefully over every inch of ground.
    Finally my wife discovers it fifteen feet away and stifles a scream for
    in it, caught by the neck and still alive, is a huge rat nearly two
    feet long; it too is a species which may prove new.

    When the last trap has been examined, we follow the trail to the edge
    of the forest and into the clearing where the tents glow in the
    darkness like great yellow pumpkins. Ours is delightfully warmed by the
    charcoal brazier and, stretched comfortably on the beds, we write our
    daily records or read Dickens for half an hour. It is with a feeling of
    great contentment that we slip down into the sleeping bags and blow out
    the candles leaving the tent filled with the soft glow of the