National Geographic : 1932 Nov
FROM MEDITERRANEAN TO YELLOW SEA BY MOTOR Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams A CORRIDOR THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE AT MURTUK: SINKIANG One main stream and several tributaries have cut deep gorges through the loess, and roads mount or descend through narrow corridors in the earth. The village of Murtuk is divided into several hamlets, on different levels, between the plain and the stream bed. stand what it was all about, nor did they even try. Smiling tolerantly at the solici tude of our drivers, they calmly dragged crawling infants away from the jugger naut cars. Young lads wearing fur-brimmed velvet caps, and nothing else, pushed in between their elders until some attractive mother, linked to a queue of little maids, herded the freer-running males out of our path. At Kara Shahr we first touched China. West of there we had been in Chinese territory and had met Chinese officials, but the people were Turkis, sometimes called Chantos or Sarts. Kara Shahr had Chinese temples with gray pigeons on curving roofs. Venders used the Chinese carrying-pole and the drumlike Chinese rattle. Mongol women wore long braids in brocade cases like gold- edged umbrella slips, but the women in bright jackets and trousers and the men in padded garments, broad at shoulder and narrow at ankles, were plainly Chinese. While we ferried our cars, men retarded the descent of their cottage-size Chinese wagons down the slippery banks by stand ing on a tangle of rope harness. An infor mal but numerous escort, prancing in and out of the dust-white beams of our head lights, accompanied us into town. Men and boys hopped onto our trailers, getting their first thrill of its kind, and our servants had to be restrained from spoiling the holi day spirit by repelling them with whips. We were housed in a residence just pre pared for a new Taotai and had dinner with the Amban, whose title may be ances tor of our word "ambassador." His wel come had an unofficial cordiality about it.