warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/iovannet/public_html/explorion/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.


For many years before Mr. Caldwell went to Yen-ping he had been stationed at the city of Futsing, about thirty miles from Foochow. Much of his work consisted of itinerant trips during which he visited the various mission stations under his charge. He almost invariably went on foot from place to place and carried with him a butterfly net and a rifle, so that to so keen a naturalist each day's walk was full of interest.


The road near which we were camped was one of the great trade routes into Tibet and over it caravans were continually passing laden with tea or pork. Many of them had traveled the entire length of Yuen-nan to S'su-mao on the Tonking frontier where a special kind of tea is grown, and were hurrying northward to cross the snow-covered passes which form the gateways to the "Forbidden Land."

It was of paramount importance to pack our specimens before the beginning of the summer rains. They might be expected to break in full violence any day after June 1, and when they really began it would be impossible to get our boxes to Bhamo, for virtually all caravan travel ceases during the wet season. Therefore our second stay at Hui-yao was short and we returned to Teng-yueh on May 24, ending the active field work of the Expedition exactly a year from the time it began with our trip up the Min River to Yeng-ping in Fukien Province.

After one has traveled in a Chinese sampan for several days the prospect of a river journey is not very alluring but we had a most agreeable surprise when we sailed out of Foochow in a chartered house boat to hunt the "blue tiger" at Futsing. In fact, we had all the luxury of a private yacht, for our boat contained a large central cabin with a table and chairs and two staterooms and was manned by a captain and crew of six men - all for $1.50 per day!

During the night of December 4, there was a heavy fall of snow and in the morning we awoke to find ourselves in fairyland. We were living in a great white palace, with ceiling and walls of filmy glittering webs. The long, delicate strands of gray moss which draped themselves from tree to tree and branch to branch were each one converted into threads of crystal, forming a filigree lacework, infinitely beautiful.


The schools for native girls at Foochow and Yen-ping interested us greatly, even when we first came to China, but we could not appreciate then as we did later the epoch-making step toward civilization of these institutions.

On December 11, we had tiffin on the summit of a twelve thousand foot pass in a beautiful snow-covered meadow, from which we could see the glistening peaks of the vast mountain range which forms the Mekong-Salween divide. In the afternoon we reached Wei-hsi and camped in a grove of splendid pine trees on a hill overlooking the city. The place was rather disappointing after Li-chiang. The shops were poor and it was difficult to buy rice even though the entire valley was devoted to paddy fields, but we did get quantities of delicious persimmons.

We had a busy week in Hongkong outfitting for our trip to Yuen-nan. Hongkong is one of the best cities in the Orient in which to purchase supplies of almost any kind, for not only is the selection excellent, but the best English goods can be had for prices very little in excess of those in London itself.

During our work in Fukien Province and in various parts of Yuen-nan we came into intimate personal contact with a great many missionaries; indeed every traveler in the interior of China will meet them unless he purposely avoids doing so. But the average tourist seldom sees the missionary in his native habitat because, for the most part, he lives and works where the tourist does not go.

On August 6, we dispatched half our equipment to Ta-li Fu, and three days later we ourselves left Yuen-nan Fu at eleven o'clock in the morning after an interminable wait for our caravan. Through the kindness of Mr. Page, a house boat was put at our disposal and we sailed across the upper end of the beautiful lake which lies just outside the city, and intercepted the caravan twenty-five li [Footnote: A li in this province equals one-third of an English mile.] from Yuen-nan Fu.

Syndicate content