About four o’clock, we saw a great sight -
over 1000 horses on the plain. They all
stick together side by side affectionately. This is against the wolves that will kill them.
In Outer Mongolia, they reckon five percent
die from the wolves that even kill big horses. A few dark blue tents had been pitched.
It was Mr Purpis’ Horse Camp where he had 1250 horses. There we were to camp for the night.
It was like the Wild West!
A number of Mongol horsemen were there and a
great performance began. Mr Purpis was
to choose some of the best horses to bring to Kalgan. Mr Larsen and he directed the Mongol horsemen to choose one out
of the wild horses. The Mongol armed
with a long whip, which was also a lasso, would descend on the chosen horse
that would then fly away. A great race
would follow, the Mongol catching the fugitive horse, throwing the whip-lasso
round his neck and bringing him to a stop. Five or six Mongols on foot - very plucky - on this horse being brought
back –would leap on the horse or hold him by the mane and tail. Then another Mongol would brand the wild
horse with “P” for Purpis. Then supper
- soup with big lumps of mutton - cooked by the Russians. We ate it in wooden Mongol bowls. We then slept in tents.
woke up early the next morning (Saturday July 13th) after a good
sleep. It was a cold morning and we
could hear the sound of horses’ hooves and those of camels. We had kippers for breakfast and then
watched more horses caught by the Mongols. Then one car with Plessen, Müller and myself left towards the palace of
Prince Teh Wang at Pai Ling-miao. “This
is puzzling,” said Plessen: “When one
is invited for a weekend in England, one knows what to expect. But a weekend at the palace of a Mongolian
prince! I just can’t picture what it is
going to be like”. We drove bouncing up
and down over the Steppes. There was no
road and the sensation was that of an aeroplane. The ground was sandy with heaps of flowers.
We saw one lone rider and sheep
grazing. Müller said: “That’s where the aeroplanes land. The Japanese planes come very often.
The Japanese have wireless stations (sending
and receiving at all places) and motorcars and aeroplanes connect all
stations. In Teh Wang-fu there is a
Japanese hospital and they are planning to develop roads there.
Gareth at the Lama service.