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[[underlined]] Chapter V. [[/underlined]] 79. Major O.J. Todd, Engineer-in-Chief to the Commission, and Dr. W.C. Lowdermilk, of Nanking University, joined us. Our two parties thus united, we made our way, first by train and then by means of carts and riding-mules, to Shên Chou 陝州, on the southern bank of the Yellow River. Here we chartered two small junks, each provided with a small guard of soldiers for protection against river-pirates, to carry us still farther west, to T'ung Kuan 潼關; this town, sometimes called the "Chinese Gibralter" on account of its almost impregnable position on a hillside overlooking the Yellow River (pl. [[strikethrough]] XLII [[/strikethrough]] ^[]), lies close to the point where the latter makes its sharp bend eastward, toward the great North China plain. The river at this season was very low, its channel tortuous and full of mudbanks and shoals. Slowly we made our way upstream, under sail when the wind favored, at other times by poling and "tracking". The banks on either hand, of loess, were for the most part lofty and much terraced for cultivation. In the distance, both north and south, we caught glimpses of higher summits, streaked with snow and wreathed in cloud. From time to time we encountered craft similar to our own, as well as a few large scows of shallow draught, bringing bales of cotton from regions higher up the river (fig. [[strikethrough]] 11 [[/strikethrough]] ^[]). Overhead were constantly flying northward immense flocks of ducks and geese. We reached T'ung Kuan late in the evening of the 15th. The town we found full of soldiers returning from the chastisement of certain mutinous regiments. Upon receiving notice of our arrival, by telephone to his headquarters at Hsi-an Fu, the governor sent motor transport for us---a Benz truck and a Dodge car (51). In these, toward noon of the -------------- (51) When Mr. Tung and I paid our first visit to Hsi-an Fu, only seven years previously, we had traveled much of the way in mule-litters, over wellnigh impassable roads which in many places formed regular quagmires. ------------------------- [[end page]]
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