Gareth Jones

[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]



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 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 carry on.  

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.

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