The trip back to Harbin was made in fine time, taking just two days, and on all the other days we went over, we took three days.
Here we took our Mules off for some exercise. The Russians never saw such large mules before and they were afraid of them and would not go anywhere near them.
Harbin to Manchuria City
April 26th we left Harbin at five-thirty. We had a Captain from the American Engineers who pulled our train over the first division and he did sure make our train go some. The Russian train crew were afraid he would take us off the track as they never had went so fast.
In the morning we were in the Gobi Desert and not a thing in sight, we were in this desert all day long. This desert is a very long one, as it is about 1500 miles long and about 500 miles wide. We saw a lot of wild ducks and Chinese pheasants. The 28th we made the Khingan Mountains. Over this mountain range the railway has a very long grade to make. We had American engineers at all the stations along the line and the one at the foot of this grade told us that the railroad makes a climb of 3000 feet in two miles over the Khingan Loop.