Burton Holmes on the Trans-Siberian Railroad: Chapter 11
Burton Holmes on the Trans-Siberian Railroad

Chapter 11: Trans-Baikalia Toward Mongolia

Verchneudinsk is the junction for the post-road to Mongolia, the old caravan-route to Peking
Myssovaya
MYSSOVAYA

The Trans-Baikal Train
THE TRANS-BAIKAL TRAIN

Amusing the Natives
AMUSING THE NATIVES
via Kiachta, Urga, and the Gobi Desert. Wild types of sturdy Mongols of the Buriat tribe are seen among platform loafers. They remind us of the Indians who hang around our western railway stations, and like them they suggest the passing of the aboriginal and the inevitable dominance of the white
invader. We found it most amusing to let them look into a little motion-picture instrument, a portable mutoscope. The sight of the animated pictures delighted them, and for the moment transformed the little savage sons of Genghis Khan into innocent and enthusiastic infants.

A Trans-Baikal Station
A TRANS-BAIKAL STATION

Railway Lunch
RAILWAY LUNCH

Teapot Toilets
TEAPOT TOILETS

Mongols Viewing Motion-Pictures
MONGOLS VIEWING MOTION-PICTURES

It was upon this section of the railway that we encountered one of the "engineering triumphs" of the line#151;for days we had been looking forward to the first and only tunnel on the Trans-Siberian. Our Russian fellow-passengers warn us an hour in advance that we are coming to it, that

A Town in Trans-Baikalia
A TOWN IN TRANS-BAIKALIA
we must be careful not to miss it, that it is one of the wonders of the line. At last our eager peering is rewarded. There comes in view a tunnel mouth. But the much-vaunted tunnel is only a deep cut, a few rods long, which,
Samovars
SAMOVARS
after being completed as an open cut, was arched over to protect the track from landslides. At the station of Chita occurs a very happy meeting, one of the surprising coincidental happenings of our long journey. A Russian gentleman
A Church on Wheels
A CHURCH ON WHEELS
there boards the train; his face is vaguely familiar; apparently our faces are not new to him, for greeting us with an
In the Church Car
IN THE CHURCH CAR

A Food-Market
A FOOD-MARKET

Koumyss
KOUMYSS
amazed smile, he asks in French, "When did you leave St. Petersburg?" Instantly we place him as the courteous Russian professor who had helped us purchase our seats for the military review in the capital two months before. He stood next in line at the box-office and volunteered to serve as our interpreter, securing
excellent places for us; and now to our great surprise and
Something New
SOMETHING NEW

The Only Tunnel
THE ONLY TUNNEL
subsequent advantage, he turns up in Trans-Baikalia as eager to inform, advise, and help us here as in the capital.


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