Across Yunnan: A Journey of Surprises by Archibald John Little, Alicia Little (editor)

By Archibald John Little, Alicia Little (editor)

Released posthumously in 1910, Archibald Little's memoir of his trip around the Yunnan Province in Southwest China used to be one of many first complete money owed of the sector to be released in English. Little, a talented linguist, labored as a service provider in China for over fifty years and spread out the higher Yangtze quarter to steam-powered trade. He used to be renowned for his intrepid travels into territories no longer but explored through Westerners, and his list of this trip used to be initially released as a sequence of letters to the North China bring in. This e-book additionally includes Little's account of the development of the French Railway Line to Yunnan-Fu, which supplied a alternate direction from India to the higher Yangtze zone. throughout Yunnan was once accomplished and edited by means of Little's spouse after his demise in 1908. The publication contains a unique map of the world and a number of other images.

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Here, however, the greater part of the local traffic is carried on by primitive bullock carts. The valley produces large crops of maize, poppy, oats, barley, buckwheat, and potatoes, besides rice along the banks of the many small streams that descend from the surrounding hills and go to unite in the Chao-tung river below. A pleasing and homelike appearance is contributed to the scene by numerous flocks of sheep and herds of cattle and ponies as well as of swine, grazing on 36 ACROSS YUNNAN the hill-sides, the want of which in the ranges bordering the lower Yangtse valley gives to these latter such a bare and unfriendly appearance.

We left Chao-tung for the journey of five stages south to Tung-chuan, with a north-east gale blowing and cold rain falling,—fortunately at our backs,—the thermometer marking 55. Upon reaching the edge of the plain and entering the foot-hills of the higher mountains to the west we passed over slopes of brick-red earth (much like the red laterite along the Yangtse near Kiukiang), intermixed with pebbles; ancient lake beds filling the hollows in which black peat marshes alternated with irrigated paddy-fields.

Looking up from the crystal stream gushing forth from the cavern at our feet and being told that our way led up and over this barrier, we experienced the sensa- BETWEEN TWO CAPITALS 31 tion we felt as children when we read of Jack preparing to ascend his beanstalk and mount into regions unknown and bearing all the attraction of novelty. It was a most dramatic scene, apart from the intrinsic beauty of the landscape, and well repaid us for the toil we had endured to reach it. We left behind clusters of sweet-smelling white roses hanging over the foaming stream, birds of many kinds hovering over the face of the water, with beautiful butterflies among the flowers ; and admired a fresh, wonderful view into the recesses of the precipitous xocks and valleys, as at each turn of the paths the ponies paused to rest and crop grass, their tired feet at each fresh bite threatening to go over the precipice.

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