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- 3 - We have now an escort of four soldiers to go as far as Yachow. Last year we had more because there were more brigands. This town is 500 feet above Kiating according to the barometer. June 22. Today I began shooting. I got a white flycatcher whose tail is shorter than any white flycatcher I have previously secured. I got three other birds, of species formerly secured by me. We secured some excellent insects. There were robbers in control along the river. We passed over the mountain just above. Our escort of ten soldiers is of the stuff robbers are made of. They have probably been robbers before this. I often locate or recognize strange birds by their calls. Today I heard a bird-call that I never heard before. Finally I located the bird, and shot it. It looks exactly like the ordinary black birds with yellow bills. This morning I saw an eagle, or scavenger hawk rather, and put into my shotgun a No. 2 shell. This shell I had carried in my belt a few days, and the sweat from my body caused it to swell. As a result I could not draw it out of the gun again. The bird flew and I did not get a shot at it. Of course if I had fired off the shell, it would have come out easily. When I reached Lo Ba, the head militia officer called on me, and treated me very courteously. I therefore gave the shotgun to a coolie, saying that the gun was loaded, and must be kept pointed straight up, and no one should be allowed to touch it. A little late the gun exploded. The crowd in the teashop rushed outside. None was injured, but the load passed through a wall of split bamboo and buried itself deeply into an upright wooden post. Next time I will shoot the load out for I have concluded that no Chinese coolie can be trusted with a loaded gun. I wanted to save the cartridge. This afternoon I had pointed out to me a hill or mountain on the south side of the river where a robber band is in possession, and I got definite evidence that the soldiers escorting me are ex-robbers. We are passing the night 15 li from Yachow. During the past few days we saw many people planting rice. About two-thirds are women. June 23. Reached Yachow early. Filled boxes 315 and 316, insects gathered between Suifu and Yachow. Went to the official to secure escort, and secured coolies for Moupin. Repacked some of the boxes. June 24. Last night it rained very hard, and the rain continued all day today, making travel undesirable. We mailed boxes 315 and 316, dried some more insects we have, and continued arranging minor details for the trip to Moupin. June 25. The rain had nearly ceased this morning, so we started out at about seven o'clock, reaching Luh Shan about dark. On the way I saw the most beautiful front to a Chinese grave that I remember seeing. That is, it was the most beautifully carved. It was modelled after the memorial arch, and had carvings of vases
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