It is a lovely evening.
Today I saw a little Chinese girl with ½
dozen buttons on her dress of which she is very proud. On each button was printed:
“for Gentlemen”! Dr Müller has gone off to talk with the villagers. On his return, I see Anatoli wading the
river with wood to get under the wheels and now oxen are being tied up to the
car. Finally, we are pulled out and we
Ten o’clock at night.
Hurray! AT LAST
DOLONOR! After a terrific journey
traversing across high hills in the dark. Just outside the town, there was a poppy field and the West gate, which
we came through, was guarded. On each
corner, soldiers with fixed bayonets guarded the streets. Many of the houses are made of mud and
lanterns lighted the streets. We waited
in a rough inn for supper and eventually we had a good meal. In the same room, there is a man with no
hair, just a bald shaven head. He is
boiling opium in a deep frying pan on a wood stove and is fanning the wood
stove with a Chinese fan. The room is
papered with Chinese account books. Every now and then he drains the opium mixture through leaves or
filters. There is a sickly smell of
opium and in the next room; there is an opium pipe and bed. A Manchukuo soldier is smoking.
Müller remarked: “The ‘Japs’ have already opened three brothels here.
That’s the first thing they introduce, legal
opium, but not for the ‘Japs’. Funny
they haven’t got heroin traders yet, but that will come”.
Anatoli is worried.
“I have no visa.” I laughed “Manchukuo? Indeed everyone knows this is Chahar - a province of China”.
Then Müller said: “I’ve just heard that this became Manchukuo two days ago.
The ‘Japs’ have also occupied Kangpao on the
Kalgan-Urga road, Kuyuan and Pao Ch'ang. The innkeeper says they intend to occupy Kalgan on about August 15th;
about 40,000 troops have assembled not far away from Dolonor. 28 lorries and more soldiers arrived
today. 30 are expected tomorrow. Many troops have gone southwest”.
Friday morning, July 26th.
I got up late, walked the streets, and found
them festooned with Japanese and Manchukuo flags. Müller said:
One is the Manchu flag, the old Republican flag
slightly changed. That’s why I think
they want to hold China. Kalgan will
be a preparation for an independent North China and an independent Mongolia and
there will be very few Mongols here.
Gareth at the Lama service.