The Diary

of Samuel Pollard
















WHATEVER may be the future of the Christian Church in China, it is more than probable that the story of the tribal movement in Northeast Yunnan will always remain of particular interest and attraction. An oppressed people suddenly turned towards Christianity as their gateway to a better life. Instead of the hard-won progress by which individuals are brought into the Christian faith, these people came in their scores, after hard journeys, to take the Kingdom of God by storm. Their conversion was quickly followed by similar movements among a number of quite unrelated tribes in China’s Wild West.

    The beginning of this movement has a fascination of its own. As long as the Christian Church is engaged in missionary work, the story will continue to live and inspire. Many who have not had the excitement of riding through those wild mountains in South-west China, and have not seen the strange life in tribal villages and rough Chinese townships, have eagerly read the accounts that have been published and have found them absorbing and uplifting. A number who formerly have had no interest in missionary work have readily acknowledge that here is an example of missionary work which is altogether admirable and worthy of support. Young people particularly are attracted to Samuel Pollard. His high spirits and humour, his welcome to adventure, his continual apprehension of danger, his deep devotion and sincerity, make him a character easily capable of inspiring others.

   The story has been published a number of times by biographers of Pollard and by writers who had been visited the Miao Churches, so that anyone may read of those memorable happenings in the mountains. The record, however, would not be complete without the diaries of Samuel Pollard himself.

 Form the time of his conversion he began spasmodically to keep a diary. Throughout the years, until his death at Stonegateway in 1915, he filled his small, black note-books with everyday events and his contemporary impressions. It is very much a private diary and could never have been intended for publication. Sometimes whole months pass with no entry; at times days and dates are written without any notes, and at other times there are pages of notes with no dates affixed. It is personal and fragmentary; intended, I suspect, as raw material which he would later develop into articles and books. Had he not given his life so freely, his later years would doubtless have been occupied in working over these day-to-day records of his outstanding career .

   As these notes were written with the events before his eyes, we probably get a far more accurate picture of the real China of the period than we should get through the more descriptive writing of an author consciously writing for publication. Something is missing in polish and style, but that is more than compensated for in realism and vividness. Also we need to remember that he was himself developing as the diary progresses. At the beginning he was a very young man. As the diary opens, Pollard is 23 and his friend Frank Dymond is 21. The first few chapters are the early impressions of a young visitor to China; the value and quality of the notes improves as the book proceeds. While the whole story is complete here, this record will, I imagine, be far more appreciate if one of his biographies has first been read.




   I like to think of this epic beginning, not when these young missionaries set sail for China, but back in the days when everyone remembered seeing John Wesley ride through the fishing villages and mining camps of Cornwall. At the end of eighteenth century old Samuel Pollard lived in Padstow, on the north coast of Cornwall. His grave is still there, “Samuel Pollard, died 1832”.

   A family was born in the little alley where he lived. One of the sons took to rope making and earned his living in the works which made ropes for fishing-boats, mines, farms and for the barges on the estuary. Once young Samuel Pollard went back to see the narrow alley and “the rope-walk where Dad worked”.

   The rope worker was converted through the Bible Christians and became an ordained minister. One of his six children was Samuel who, when he had completed his schooling, decided that he would turn his back for ever on the austerity of the manse and make a respectable living for himself in the Civil Service. At 17 he passed the Civil Service Examination and came third on the list. After a short time in London, he felt that God was calling him to preach the Gospel and that his work must be overseas. Five years after joining the Civil Service, he resigned and was appointed by the Conference as a missionary to China.

   Through all the years he was in China he was supported by such people at the stock from which he had come. Fishman form Padstow and Mevagissey, Cornish farm-workers, stone-workers form Delabole and apprentices from Southampton, willingly gave from their slender incomes that the world revolution by the Christian faith might progress.

   Now that missionary activity in China has ended through the policy of the Communist Government in Peking, it is more intriguing than ever before to look at the records of the Christian Church there. As the missionaries have been forced to retire, they have been greatly maligned and all manner of condemnation hurled at their work. In the century or more that they were there, were the representatives of the Western Churches guilty of those charges? Did the Mission itself unconsciously kindle the fires which later burst out in revolution? Could not that vast missionary enterprise in China have inspired the country with some Christian solution to her burning social and political problems which would have saved her from resorting to irrevocable totalitarianism? Was the particular interpretation of the Christian Gospel taken by the missionaries either too reactionary or too revolutionary?

  Such questions must inevitably be the background to any book today which deals with the Church in China. There is, of course, no answer here to these problems, but this honest diary becomes doubly significant when read in light of subsequent political events. Christians who through the years have devotedly supported missionary activity in China and elsewhere can read again this stirring story an feel that they have had a part in a very great enterprise.



   It is fifty years since the first Miao came out of their mountains and sought the Christian teacher in the streets of Chaotung. This diary, together with a second edition of Pollard’s biography, Beyond the Clouds, is published now to celebrate this jubilee.


The Go-p’u and Miao Arears of North-East Yunnan.





Pollard and Dymond had been for some months studying language in eastern China and now commence their journey to Yunnan in the far west. Two young missionaries from the Bible Christian Church had preceded them, Vanstone and Thorne. The latter was now established alone at Chaotung, while Vanatone ha returned to Shanghai to marry and to escort the two new recruits to Yunnan. The first part of the travel was the long river journey of sixteen hundred miles to Chungking; from there the Vanstones were going overland to Kunming (or Yunnanfu as it was then called), while Pollard and Dymond were going direct to Chaotung to join Thorne. The distances on the journey are usually recorded in ‘li’. There are approximately three Chinese ‘li’ to an English mile.



IN March I left the East Coast of China for the distant province of Yunnan. We went by steamer as far as Hankow in Central China. Griffith John and David Hill are the two great missionaries here; the former by his great preaching powers and literary output reaching millions, and the other by a blameless, loving life breaking down the barrier between Westerner and Chinese.

   Beyond Hankow we found very few traces of missionary work. In the journey of several thousand miles from there on, there can hardly be two hundred Protestant Christians. In the journey by junk up the river we had an all too common experience. When crossing one of the earliest rapids the parsimony and carelessness of the owner of the boat led to our being totally wrecked. The boat was smashed to pieces. In the great Chin Tan Rapid we were left struggling in the treacherous waters. I caught a glimpse of Vanstone and his young bride holding each other’s hands and clinging to some wreckage as they were tossed about by the angry waters. Every moment we expected to be our last. The night found us cold and bruised, sheltering in a small cottage on the shore. My thoughts were going over and over the moments of the wreck. The boat being smashed in pieces on the cruel rocks. But before it broke up it sank with three of us inside and unable to get out. Then it broke and we struggled to the surface, grasping for the wreckage. Then two ‘red boats’ from the shore forced their way through the rapids to where we were. One reached my side, and I felt a strong, friendly hand grasp me. Suddenly the man gripping me saw my face with its white skin, and then burst into laughter. “Ai-ya, it’s a foreigner!” At last I was safely in the little boat, which seemed a very heaven of peace and security.



   Jan. 9th-14th. A busy and happy week at Chungking. When our things were unpacked they were in a sad state.

    Jan. 17th. Chungking. Up moderately early. One of our eight coolies came and took our loads before breakfast. Did 60 li to Peh-si-li. Lovely scenery. Up and down hill. Managed to get one canter on the pony. Nice inn at night, room inside all to self. Food and everything, 100 cash for two. I felt lonely, but “I will never leave thee”.

    Jan. 18th. Got up about an hour before necessary, fed the horse and went to bed begin. 20 li from here came to large village. 25 li farther on, another village where large market was being held. Crowds of people. Had difficulty in riding horse through, so led it; even then it was a hard task. Stayed and had tea in a inn, crowds to see the foreigners. Passed a lovely village with small stream rushing over rocks; some falls of 20 or 30 feet; must be great in rainy season. Scenery charming. Two basins of his-fan for 6 cash.

    When 70 li and stopped at Ting-chia-kao; got in about 2 hours before dark. Nice inn and comfortable room, after happy and peaceful day.

    Changed chairman at Lai-feng-u.

    Jan. 19th. Raining when we left, so the road was very slippery. Vanstone’s cloak came in handy. 20 li away we came to a small town---30 li farther on streets crowded. Cha-tien-chang. A market is held here, and the streets crowded. Frank on ahead. I jumped off and led the horse. Somehow or other he knocked over the stall outside a shop and spilt the things, or some of them. I saved a general fall by holding up a board. The landlord got in a great rage, held my horse and refuse to let go. A great crow gathered, and I told him that my man would give cash. His son then let my horse off to a stable. We left the horse here to go to a tea-shop and bargain as to damage. The goods being dry goods and probably not 50 cash spoiled, I offered him 200. He wanted 15,000. Thought he had struck oil. Frank came back, not finding me coming on, and joined us in the tea-shop. The place became filled with people—the lao-pan wouldn’t have us there. Then we went to another shop. We proposed to the man to go on to the Yamen, but he refused to let the horse go. Then a man from the Yamen turned up, helped us, asked us to give 300 cash and promised to get our horse. He told us to go on ahead. We did, and soon after along came the horse. We were both able to take it coolly.

    Jan. 20th. Up early, passed through parts of Sze-chuan. Our chairmen left us and two others came, as sly customers as you could wish for, and by no means gentle looking in their faces.

    Saw an immense crowd ahead at a market, and remembering yesterday went for a road around.

    Road really abominable, narrow and uneven. Hard for the poor horse; on a nasty piece he slipped once and nearly threw me off.

    Jan. 21st. After 45 li----trying to pass a lot of mules, etc., I got my horse into a stupid position and paid the price for my folly by being thrown right over. A regular beauty, but I was not hurt.

    A hard pace all day----90 li. Took boat just before lunch and passed over a small river----a tributary of yang-tze----nice to see the old river again. Passed some fields of oranges.

    Coming up the streets of Liu-chow in the dark, the lamps looked very pretty.


Sun. Jan. 22nd. So nice to have a good long time in bed. Rose in morning refreshed and thankful for the Sabbath day. Not a soul came to see us, and we didn’t go out. In afternoon had a little service----a Chinese service with the boy. A lot of rowdy fellows in another part of the inn and apparently some singing women with them. Very noisy in the night----evidently in for dissipation.

   Enjoyed the quiet day thoroughly.

   No beans for the horse, so told boy to get some, but we resolutely refused to let him buy for us. He wanted to let the coolie-boss use his money and then we repay him. We explained to him, this the same as our using it.

Mon. Jan. 23rd. Up very early and off through Liu-chow, scarcely any people about. Hills outside covered with graves. Shrines all along the way. Lovely scenery. Roads abominable, almost every conceivable arrangement of stones to perplex a rider, and yet this is the ta-lu(main road) and the boy says these roads are good while the Yunnan roads are bad! Sunshine almost the first time in Sze-chuan. Opium growing all along the road---broad beans, peas and wheat. Fields of water have the appearance of small lakes. The roads often go along with a drop of 4,6,8 or even 10 feet one side into water and a drop of 2 feet the other side out water and mud----lots of little places make one wonder if one is going to break one’s neck or take an involuntary bath.

   Jan. 24th. Raining when we got up; the road abominably slippery, unable to ride a good part of today. Frank’s foot troubling him. Did 70 li. Stayed in the guest-hall. A few little children there; we tried to talk to them and drew some pictures. One bright little dot was only just as high as the table, and so couldn’t see.

   By and by we went into our room and shut the door-soon after, a knock. “Who is it?” “- has come” (forgotten the name). Then a little voice spoke, “Please draw me a picture.” There was the little dot with a sheet of paper come for me to drew her a picture. Of course I complied with the request with great pleasure. It seemed so cheerful to have the little ones in the room and not at all afraid of the foreigner. To win the confidence of some children again was like home.

Jan. 25th. Came on by small boat-horse and coolies sent overland. Passed over two rapids. River still wide and great boats about.

Twelve months ago today our farewell meetings at Clapham.

Jan. 26th. Into Sui-fu_horse had not arrived the day before.

Jan. 27th. Left the boy at Sui-fu to have the horse shod, and then to overtake us. Walked 90 li-raining a good part of the way.

Jan 28th. Said good-bye to the river. The road abominable. Poor horse fell once. The heavy rain had made the mud accumulate and it was like skating all day. We started out to do 100 li, but we were all beat at end of 75 and so stopped in a small inn. I have never been over such a road before.

Sunday 29th. Spent the day quietly at this little roadside inn. Rained all day. Warmed ourselves around the fire-quite a large party-sometimes 10-12 of us. The coal burned very cleanly, so smoke, and one lost seemed to last all day. Don’t know the name of the place, as we don’t know where we are. Rain came in through our roof.

Jan. 30th. Abominable road-muddy, in some places no stone, and then it was cruel. Snowing for some time. The scenery has been magnificent. The road up and down, up and down. Road horse a good bit of the way. One of the coolies gave up and went home. The scenery is even more impressive than the I-chang and Yang-tze gorges.

Passed lots of coolies carrying over 100 lb. of copper. Some little boys of 12 and 13 years trudging along under their big load on their backs. They have a kind of rest in the shape of a cross-T-which they place under their load when they are resting and lean back. Road really awful, terribly slippery. 75 li today.

Tues. Jan. 31st.-Cruel road for 20 li, then came to a market town. About 20 li before this we passed a small brook and entered Yunnan Province. Then the sun began to shine beautifully and the scenery was grand. Our road ran along the side of the hills, and river flowing down below. Hills in the distance, very high and snow-capped.

   I passed a boy trudging under a burden.

   “Where are you going?-“Lao-wa-tang.”

   “Where have you come from?” –“Huan-ching.”

   “How many days have you been on the road?” –“Between six and seven.” (Three more to Lao-wa-tang.)

    “How much do you carry?” –“120 odd lb.”

    “How much do you get for carrying?” – “660 cash.” (Less than 2d.)

    “How old are you?” – “13.”

    God save China from this barbarism. The little fellow would toil up a few steps and then rest, then up a few more and rest. Some of the man must be carrying 180 lb.

    Wed. Feb. 1st. Passed a Roman Priest riding by on his horse.

    Road over rugged rocks-along a ledge where there was scarcely room to walk. Over the other side of the river the cliff rose perpendicularly for 1,000 feet or so. Had breakfast at an inn where they were Roman Catholics. They refused to take money for the straw which we had to feed the horse, on the ground that we were of the same sect. Our boy told them that we weren’t , but they still refused. Came to a house where a large picture of the Virgin and the infant Jesus was hung in the place where the Heaven-Earth Scroll is usually put.

Along this road each year 40,000 lb. of opium is carried on men’s backs or in horse loads, exported from Yunnan to Sze-chuan. That seems to be the main product of Yuanna.

Feb. 2nd. 20 li to Lao-wa-tang. A high suspension bridge over the river, made of iron chain bars, each bar about 4 feet long. Plenty of vibration. Then we commenced uphill and went along a long valley right in the midst of the hills. After 10 li commenced to ascend up steps and went up and up for 20 li. It was a hard pull. Houses every few li, and we would stop and rest. We got right up among the snow and it was cold. The scene was grand, all the peaks rising one after another. A small cloud came along as we were resting at the top. An inn here where we could stay. But so cold, and we soon started down the other side. We went down 10 li and came to a small hamlet where were some inns, but they were full. “No room in the inn.” So we went on another 10 li and reached another small place just before dark. The men got in just at dark; their day’s work of 70 li had been a hard one. Got a large room here for the whole twelve of us.

   Feb. 3rd. Small market-place. Sold our first books (6). No rice and scarcely anything else to be bought on the road.

Feb. 4th. At the top of the hill a market was in full swing. We passed through quickly. Our way now led along the heights and was lonely; on one side a drop of hundreds of feet into the river, and on the other the steep heights up to the snow and clouds. Cold breeze blowing. Good road. Did a bit of horse shoeing today.

   Sun. Feb. 5th. Had a quiet day. Went out on the hills for a couple of walks.

   Feb. 6th. Over a suspension bridge and up a big hill for 20 li. Stayed at Ta-kuan, a small city with walls and a Yamen. Lots of small places surrounded by walls with a tower. They were used formerly in disturbed times. The people could flee to them, like early British stockades.

After eighteen days in these dirty inns we came to the little mission house at Chaotung where Thorne was living all alone. How excited he was when we arrived! The house is so small that it is difficult to make room for our little party. The three of us have to sleep in one room and in one bed. There is a little shed attached to the house where all the cooking is done, and this shed is shared by the horse. A horse and a manger in the kitchen!

   The house is situated in the same street as the Temple of Confucius and the Great Examination Hall. In many cities the missionaries would be rooted out of such close proximity without a moment’s hesitation, but not here.







Soon after their arrival at Chaotung, Thorne had left for Chungking to meet his bride. Dymond and Pollard worked at language study, and made their first efforts at communicating their message to the local people. During these first days together, Pollard nursed his friend thought to be too small for four, so Pollard went to Kunming to join the Vanstones. There he threw himself energetically into the work which they had started. On the wide plain where the city is built are scores of villages and hamlets. He planned several routes among these villages and visited them according to a regular system.


Jan. 7th. Went to an opium suicide. Deaf before we got there. Coming back I laid hold of a runaway thief by the throat-coming up Tien-chu-t’ang.

Jan. 18th. In Wen-miao-Street ‘Topsy’ met me and would have me see their house. She and another little girl caught hold of me, one on one side and one on the other, and dragged me along.

Feb. 15th. Went out to the country to meet Frank (coming from Chaotung). On the way mule fell down. I came off and he on my leg. Not hurt, thank God, but I thought I must give it to the mule, and so I kicked it as it would not come on. I felt sorry afterwards. God saved my life and I go and kick the mule. Lord Purify me wholly and forgive my sin.

Feb. 25th. At Ta-pan-chiao stayed in nice inn upstairs. Had rice, cabbage and pork fried with sugar. After tea went out on the streets. Brought out the gong, and how it fetched the people! Up and down they came, running to see what was up! Heaps of children. Had preaching and then sold books. Afterwards, riding home, Frank and I had a long talk about coming down to the people. I believe that we are right and that God is working upon our hearts. The Lord help us and give us strength to go forward on the right lines, whatever they may be. Frank says resolutely he will do it. He will come down to the level of the coolies and others. Mule tried to roll twice while I was on him.

Feb. 28th. Came on to Hsun-tien. A lovely road with hardly any houses. Down a steep hill, we got into the town about noon. Before a meal we went into the city and preached twice. A small place with wall and four gates. Large number of Mohammedans. Market every six days. A mosque near the North Gate, not very prepossessing in appearance from outside. People listened in good numbers and bought a good number of books. After tea had two more preachings and sold more books. People friendly, but boys rather too friendly.

March 25th. Went to four villages on Routes 1 and 2. At small village on No. 2 route they told us boys had seen us throwing poison into their drinking water. They had talked about it. One old man said “These people go all about the country exhorting people to be good. They would not do this.” Thank God for this testimony. The people were friendly, but spoke as if they might believe the rumours were true.

March 29th. Went to villages. Route No. 3.

April 1st. Went off to villages, No. 4 route. Went first to villages on No. 2 route. Nice lot of people. They brought out a form for us to sit on. One man said, “We all go together on the down road to hell”. ( I struck up a red notice as to the days of my visiting here.) Another old man said, “I’ve been thinking that if one is old Jesus will have nothing to do with him”. Afterwards when we went away, this man came out and held our horses for us.

Thank God for this act of kindness.

April 2nd. The tailor’s boy called me to account for wiping my nose in a handkerchief and carrying it up my sleeve. He called it very dirty. So people look at things in different ways.

April 7th. In the afternoon I was called out to Buddhist nun who had taken opium to commit suicide in a temple outside the small East Gate. She fled at the sight of me, but we got her back and gave her the medicine. Then she went into the temple and we kept running her up and down to prevent her going off to sleep.

April 8th. Went to a village on No. 2 route. No congregation. They were very afraid of us, but the tea-shop proprietor thawed a little before we came away.

April 11th. This afternoon I saved and old woman from opium poisoning for suicide. A small dirty room. She was over 70 and frail, was held up by her son who said he was 38, but looked so. No hope in either face. All about the place was only misery. God save these poor people and help us to love them much!

After service in the evening called to another opium case. He begged to be left alone to die. Some of the people in the room wished me to leave him, others begged me to help him. I thrashed the fellow severely and then he gave in and I saved him.

Sat. June 1st. Fran beaten on Chaotung streets.

June 11th. Went to Hua-ting-ssu temple. Had talks with the priests, who have spots on their head where the bottom of the incense candle has burnt the hair in their initiation service as priests.

June 18th. A lad came to the house to ask me what was a lucky day for him to start school. The idea of ‘good days’ goes into all their actions. I told him, “Today”. He then asked, “When after today?” I said, “Tomorrow”.

June 28th. Had a chat in the preaching shop with three fellow who are aborigines, who live near I-lung-cheo. Now they follow Chinese and do as they do. They wrote some of their characters for me to see. They have one idol. Their words have tones.

The colporteur and I went off around the villages of No. 3. The people seem afraid of us still. One man told us the people were afraid to sell us eggs. Only a few boys listened to us, but we talked to them for a bit.

Coming home I fell in with a man from our street in the city. He was returning from a small village between Routes 2 and 3. Last year, he said, there were between fifty and sixty families. Pestilence came and there were now only a few more than ten families.  God save the poor people! We had a nice chat together about Jesus. God save all these people! We got home just before dark.

June 29th. Went to preaching shop and had a long talk with an old man who had read our books. He evidently wanted to know about us, but didn’t believe in the forgiveness of sins. He looked so wretched in the face.

July 8th. First went and preached in the preaching shop. Then I took thirty-six copies of ‘Prodigal’ at 3 cash each and went down East Gate Street from shop to shop. Sold out before I had been down half one side. Several refused me at first and were by no means pleased to see me, but I sat down and talked away and in nearly every case got them to buy a tract. In one case a particularly displeased person ended with buying one and also a friend he was talking to. Several enquiries for more. Preached away now and again to the buyers, and told them the story of the boy who came home in rags and got a princely welcome. After tea I went up to a good number. Several came back to a meeting.


Jan. 2nd. Rain and snow, couldn’t get out.

Jan. 3rd. Recommenced ‘Sacred Edict’. Went out by West Gate in afternoon. Very cold and snowing. Very few people about. Found the roofs all covered in snow when we got up. First time Vanstone has seen snow in Yunnan. No such fall of snow for several years. People very pleased with it.

Jan. 4th. Fall of snow during the night.

Jan. 5th. Put on my little English coat again. Found it a great comfort. In evening went on street and brought in a few. We put the forms in a square with charcoal fire in the centre and shut the doors. Quite comfortable. After service we had a long talk with three persons. One of our neighbours who has so often come from the very start said he has thought of joining us, but if he did so none of his friends would have anything to do with him. God save this man!

Jan. 7th. Lao-wang and I started about 10:30. Raining. Got on Dragon’s Head about 12. I went off with gong, struck up, and there was a cessation of business for some seconds. All faces turned towards the sound of the gong. Several gathered round and I preached. Then it came on to rain and rained till about 4 o’clock. Passed on from Dragon’s Head, passed peh-ni-pa(white clay) works. Basins, etc., are made here. Firing houses stretch down the side of the hills.

Came on to a small place with ‘horse inns’.

Jan. 8th. Up about 7. Breakfast and off. After 5 or 6 li came to village with a tea-shop. Struck up gong and sold a book or tow. Some knew us there, and one was rather opposed to buying the books, so I only sold one or two. About 10 li from the small village, we descended a hill and came to a good-sized plain, with about twenty villages on the plain. The first one we came to, we went into the village and struck up the gong. A lot of people gathered round and we commenced work. Then up came a well-dressed young gentleman who has often been into the preaching shop in Kunming, asking questions right and left. He went for me, insulted me, wouldn’t let the people buy. Ridiculed the doctrine. “Why did Jesus come to your small country and not to our Big Country?” “If you can go to heaven, why are you not gone there?” I held on in spite of him, and sold a few books. But he set the people against me.

At night stayed in small villages; the proprietor of the inn was 78 and his wife 80. A very miserable, dirty couple, and a very dirty inn. Lao-wang said there was nothing clean about.

Slept in a dark and draughty room with two fellows from Hweitseh. (Pollard gives its former name, Tong-chuan, but the modern name is used throughout this book. ) Had a long talk with one of them. He told us that where he comes from they mine copper and silver, that there is a hill with silver, but the god of the hill is so wild that no one has courage to date him.

Snowed in the night. My bed was under the stairs.

Jan. 9th. Very cold. Started off for the markets. A good bit of opium grown.

Came across a market on a small plain. Sat down on a log of wood, and the proprietor of the inn lent us a shutter to set up our stall! No sale for some time. Then we sang, and from that time had a fairly good trade. Sold 163 cash of books. Saw four weddings going across the fields. The red chairs looked very pretty.

The warm sun and clean heavens was so different from the cold, dirty inn that I was loath to go back again, but had to. There are no chimneys in the inn and the smoke makes my eyes very sore.

Jan. 10th. Visited a local temple. In the pools the fish were very tame. They are used to being fed, and followed us around the banks in hope of something to eat. In the evening when we came back we gave them some rice balls. When we arrived earl at the market the Hweitseh man had lit a fire and we crowded round it. As each little group came along they lit fires and waited for sunshine. Later on the market filled up, and about seven or eight hundred people were there. Had a fairly good sale, 325 cash. Met some people who knew us and had been to our hall in the city. Came back just before dark. In the market there was a fellow cursing-he wished the other’s mother might get ague, pestilence, rotten feet and bear aborigines.

Jan. 11th. At the market I saw a man who had all his fingers cut off for stealing.

Jan. 12th. Bad day’s journey, through steep places and forests of pine wood. An hour from our destination it got dark. The roads were steep and rough. We lit our only lantern and made a couple of torches from fir trees. The last part of they way was very steep. The pedlars led us to a nice inn run by a Sze-chuan man. There was a big fire, and a crowd of country fold around. It was nice to get in and form one of the party. The proprietor is quiet and does not speak. His wife, who cost him 30 taels of silver, talks of hundred to the dozen. Upstairs to a large room with beds round against the wall. All full. Good night’s rest.

Jan. 13th. Good big market. Must have been a hundred odd loads of charcoal for sale. Stood among the coalmen. Everybody swearing! Gave away about two hundred tracts. 15 years ago today I carried for mercy in that little room at Chipstead. 80 li to go. Arrived home about 5 p.m.

Jan. 14th. Preached three times on the streets. Went to see the sick man on So-feng-kai. Went to see a young girl who had taken opium. Father sells it. I don’t know the result.

Jan. 15th. The opium girl died. Went to the preaching shop. Saw a man a woman led out for execution-a dreadful sight.

Jan. 26th. Vanstone very ill.

Feb. 15th. Went to three villages beyond Heh-ling-pu. The third of these villages was a village of I-jen(tribal people), not Chinese at all. No Chinese there. An old man of 70 was there, who said he had smoked opium till he was 60 and then resolved to break it and did. He said he did not want our medicine but our heart. Preached and sold a few books; the people friendly.

Feb. 22nd. At 10 a boy came and led me to a woman who had swallowed opium. Saved her easily. This is the seventh or eighth we have saved on this one street. All women or girls.







During his time in Kunming his senior colleague, Vanstone, was frequently ill with fever and dysentery. Seeking to recover his health, Vanstone moved for a time to Hweitseh, but before long was forced to relinquish his work and return home as an invalid. Pollard was left alone. Here we can see him earnestly seeking for an experience of Prefect Love.



Tues. March 8th. Left Kumming by horse with coolies.

March 9th. Coolies wanted to stay at Keo-Kai, but I got them on to Yang-lin.

March 10th. Came to Kung-shan.

March 11th. Up and off by moonlight. Got to Lai-ta-po by half-past five. A long pull there.

March 12th. Came on to Tze-chi. Terrible winds nearly blew me and the horse over. Snow fell on the nearby hills.

March 13th. Sunday.

March 14th. Went 20 li before sun came out. Got in to Hweitsech about noon. Afterwards took lots of books and went out to have a good time on the streets. Afterwards called and had a shave. Whilst being tortured my old feeling came on and I awoke to find myself lying on the mud floor, trying to remember what I had been dreaming about. I was sweating all over. Came home and rested.

March 15th. On to Hong-shih-ai. In the inns, bugs by the score. In the evening I went and sat out on the bridge watching the children play. Just like boys at home. Got some of them round and talked to them, and then treated some of the boys to some sweets.

March 16th. I-chae-hsin. In the same inn, but a side room, as a mandarin had ordered other rooms. He came later with seven sedan chairs. In the evening he cursed his attendant for getting such a small inn for him, he cursed him in real Chinese style. I went preaching on the streets.

March 17th. Came on to Ya-shui-ching on top of the hill. A big climb for the men; they paid local men 30 cash each to carry their loads up the first steep part. Slept in the stable with the horse. The proprietor put up a bed for me there, as he said he wanted to get a nice quiet place for me!

March 18th. Arrived at Chaotung. Dreafully tried. Took evening service.

March 19th. Sunday. Took morning service. In the afternoon went out preaching.

March 20th. Wrote letters. Lazy day.

March 21st. Went preaching to two villages.

March 22nd. Preaching in the streets of Chaotung.

March 23rd. Went to opium case. Afternoon preaching on streets. Evening service.

March 24th. Visited three villages. In the first they are all Nosu tribes-people. It is situated on an open place with moors. We sang and sang until out came a good congregation. These people worship heaven and their parents’ tablets. They don’t bind the feet and won’t intermarry with the Chinese.

(Later) In the evening went outside the East Gate and preached twice. Such a rowdy lot of youngsters followed us back, hooting in rare style.

Monday. Went out 15 li to see an old Mohammdean woman who has bronchitis apparently. On the way back I was called to a village to see two or three sick folk.

June 23rd. Two opium cases today. During the day Frank was called up to the city wall to see the slave girl who was dying. Her mistress had beaten her so much. The poor girl was lying in the beggars’ refuse and gasping her last. Nobody helping her, and a lot of kids about, yelling like demons. Frank could do nothing. He sent the teacher to get an old woman to take her into her house and let her die there, but she was too ill to be moved. There were a couple of “police” about, looking on. When the died they gave an old woman a hundred cash or so to carry her off and bury her without a coffin. I suppose her grave was in the stomachs of several dogs.

A.D. 1890

June 25th. In counting through a large supply of cash from a merchant, we found that there was a great deal of pewter cash with the copper cash. Frank took back a handful to the merchant who had changed his money. The merchant saw him coming and shouted out aloud, “Change these for me”. A crowd gathered round. Quite a little row.

A man was recently fined for giving pewter cash. The magistrate fined him “to recite several books of the classics in the Tsai-shen Temple in Chaotung, and give so many tables of a feast!”

(July 28th, 1890, returned to Kunming and Vanstones left immediately.)

Sept. 4th. I don’t mind being alone. The lord is going to bless me. (Epidemic in Kunming.) There is a seven day’s fast because of the pestilence.

Sept. 15th. Pestilence still abroad. I saw bill on “How to cure the disease”. “Directly it comes on, take a needle, prick the root of the tongue, under the knees, the arm-pits, and under all the finger-nails and squeeze out all the blood, etc., etc.”

Sept. 18th. The fast stopped at last. One guide in the city had given away 3,100 coffins to poor families.

Sept. 30th. I wish I were a downright, holy, useful man.

Oct. 20th. (Heard news of another missionary’s death.)

What a year this has been for our little mission. Lord help us to be faithful. Lord make us ready to go when called. Suppose I were going soon, what would I like to let my father know of how I felt? First of all the one cry of my heart is, “Lord save China-Yunnna, and make me holy”. My wish is to be a gentle kind Christian, with never a cross word for anybody, never a suspicion of another Christian. Three years odd spent in China. Thank God for bringing me here! God help me to live every day faithfully for Him, and O Lord, do save Yunnan!

Oct. 21st. Not feeling well today. In afternoon I went out on the hills to write a letter. The wind stopped my writing. Up came a man. He squatted down and I had a long talk with him about Jesus. He listened well. Had never heard before. O Lord, do save these people!

Nov. 1st. Read John’s Gospel. I wondered much how one could attract the people here. How can one win their love? It seems so hard here. More cursing and distrust than anything else. In the afternoon as I was passing a bookshop, they called me in and asked me to look at their illnesses, and asked for medicine. A chance to be kind there. Coming back by the South Gate I met the same wee girl who knew me, and was not afraid of the foreign devil. It was nice to get a smile from her. It seems hard not to win more confidence. What I would give to win the people’s love! Lord, help me to keep on loving the people in spite of all!

Nov. 10th. A good mail. The Conference is over and no one sent to China. The old feeling came back to me. Am I prepared to go on even if no one else comes out? I had to go up and pray for strength. The Lord help us, and save poor old Yunnan.

Nov. 15th. A boy flung a stone at Jumbo (his dog) and I went for the boy, threatening to hit him if he hit the dog. I spoke very hastily, then I felt so sorry. We are here as pictures of Jesus. The people only know Jesus by what they see in us. If I had only spoken quietly and nicely to the boy, it would have answered the same purpose, and he would have thought more kindly of Jesus. I came home and had it out, and Jesus made friends again.

Nov. 16th. Going into the country, we were about 5 li outside the Big East Gate. A man came out of a building and stopped our coolies. He was from some petty office and was collecting the tickets to show that we had paid the coolies-tax. We objected to his stopping us and there was a scene. Then we went on. I felt that we had not done the right thing. I wish I were so filled with Jesus that I should have no room to feel put out or angry. After these scenes are over I always feel sorry for Jesus, because He has such poor representatives here in China. Oh, that I were walking that white high road! I will! I must!

Coming home I thanked the man, and had a good talk with him and tried to make it all right.

I watched the shadow of the setting sun creep over the hills. After the sun was set some four minutes, there came a glorious glow over the scene, and the hills were lit up again, as if the sun had come back for one more look on our Yunnan. Then came on the darkness.

Dec. 21st. I still feel the need of a higher life and of more power. I want a big anointing. I will have it, by God’s help. At night I spent more time in prayer for this. After praying for some time, the Devil came very really and tried to worry me. He did strike such a cold, unearthly feeling all over me. I cried out to Jesus to break the spell and help me. Dreadful old feeling it was.

Dec. 22nd. At night spent two hours upstairs waiting on the Lord.

Dec. 23rd. “Waiting.” (This is repeated for many days.)

Dec. 24th. I do believe the blood of Jesus cleanseth from ALL sin.

Dec. 25th. Went across the lake by boat to Kao-chiao. Lots of people on the boat, including several aborigines. I wish we could do something to save them.

Dec. 30th. I was reading “The Hidden Life”-on appropriating Faith. Then Faith came so easily. Just to take God at His own word. I, too, had been waiting for some preconceived manifestation. Now I promised God to leave it all in His own hand. I gave myself up to Him and just believe He took me. It all seemed so easy and light. As I realized it all, I laughed again and again for very joy. I went upstairs to thank the Lord, first laughing and then crying. I am Thine for ever. Thou dost dwell in my heart.

Dec. 31st. Not one soul saved this year that I know of. The great blessing this year is that He has lifted me up. I end the year more hopefully than I began.


At the end of the year, O Lord, I renew my covenant with Thee. I will be They help serve Thee with all my heart always and everywhere. I am wholly entirely Thine in every point that I know of. I believe Thou dost as freely accept me and know Thou art mine. Praise Thy Holy name. Amen.



Jan. 2nd. Went off “villaging” again. Enjoyed the outing. I don’t get malaria so much when out as I do when continually in the city.

Jan. 4th. –Today I have felt much about getting clear guidance from the Lord in everything. I don’t want to take up anything, but at his express wish. I still have to hold on by Faith. Coming back, I noticed the people had been clearing out the ditches and digging out the canals. That’s Faith. The heavens are clear and have been so for many days. No signs of any big rains yet. But the canals are being cleared in preparation for such. I told Lao-yang that our work was like this. We are preparing, removing the stones, digging our canals in preparation.

Malaria gave me a hard time today.

Jan. 21st. On the street I saw a decently dressed fellow steal a fowl that he pretended to be buying, and slipped it up his big sleeve. The seller saw the dodge and accused him. The thief protested that he had not stolen the fowl, when lo! The fowl cackled within the man’s clothes and he had to give up! A crowd gathered and the seller threatened to beat the thief.

Jan. 24th. I sent a pair of Mrs. Thorne’s boots on to the street to be repaired, but the boy could find no cobbler to put a piece of leather on, because a woman had worn them. Tailors will make new clothes for women, but won’t mend them after hey have been worn. The woman’s place in China is poor one.

Jan. 29th. Went to a village market. Several Lo-lo women there. They say that 30 li on there is a market where they are all Lo-lo.

I wish we could do something for the Lo-los.

Feb. 1st. Just as we finished the noon service in the city two Lo-los came in. One had been before. I got about one hundred Lo-lo words from him and he promised to come again.

Feb. 2nd. In the morning the Lo-los came again, and promised to come at night to teach me. Thank God.

I took a long Lo-lo lesson at night. Until the Rebellion some years ago, the Lo-los had nothing to do with the Chinese, but now they are beginning to adopt Chinese customs.

Feb. 3rd. The Lo-los came in the evening. I gave them some pictures of the life of Christ and had another good lesson from them. They would like me to go to their place to be a peacemaker between village feuds. I’ll go if the way opens up. The word Lo-lo is a nickname for them and in the time of the Rebellion they killed any Chinese who called them this.

Feb. 12th. One of the Lo-lo, Peh-ta-to, came and asked me to take care of two pieces of silver for him.

Feb. 15th. A friend (Mr. Jensen), who had just traveled thro’ Western China with two European explores, arrived in Kunming on a journey. Their servants, he said, would brook nothing from a Chinaman and knocked them about very much. In one place they knocked out about a dozen. In another, they gave a fellow a tremendous thrashing and in Meng-tze they roused up the whole city by nearly killing someone who had cursed them. We were very sorry for it all.

March 2nd. In one village a miserable old woman came up and we had a long talk with her. She had asomethingma, was about 60, and had no one in the world to call her own. She asked me, “Shall I die this month or not?” I told her I didn’t know, but thought she wouldn’t. She said she wanted to die, as there was no hope in the world. She thought she would take opium and clear out of it. I spoke to her of Jesus and Heaven. She couldn’t understand much. When talking to such, I feel a queer kind of sensation, like being outside a great big wall, seeking entrance but finding none. Here was this miserable old soul needing a Saviour if anyone every needed one. How to get into her heart is to me a great problem.

While we were trying to solve the problem, up came another old woman. She was a more miserable old woman than the other. Her eyes were bad and she had a big goiter, ten inches round. She was selling sweets, holding her basket with shriveled hands.

The second woman, with a sour tone, addressed the first woman. “Hallo, you still here? Why aren’t you dead? Why haven’t you made an end of it yet?”

I told here that the first woman must not do that.

The second miserable woman said, “Why not go and sleep quietly in the coffin? There you would neither need food nor clothing. Die and get out of it.”

“Have you no one to look after you?” said I.

She held up her withered hands and said, “These two hands care for me.”

I bought some of her sweets, gave her a few extra cash and came away. As I left, I could hear her reciting over to herself a short prayer that I taught her.

April 1st. Hweitseh opened for missionary work by Mr. and Mrs. Vanstone.

April 18th. Visit of seven Lo-lo men. They are sleeping on straw in the next room. God bless them all.

April 24th. Went 40 li into the country beyond Heh-lin-pu. A good-sized market, nearly all aborigines-Min-chia. The women were the most striking in appearance; some of them were good looking indeed.

May. (Long journey in the south of the Province.)

June. Letters in today. Also the glorious news of Parliament condemning opium by 160 to 130, on motion of Sir Joseph Pease.

Licences for poppy growth in India withdrawn and the sale of opium to cease in India. A glorious victory. We were so delighted. I came in and took off my hat and sang the doxology, got down and thanked God, then got up and threw my hat up to the ceiling! There are better days in store for China.

July. (Journey to Hweitseh and return to Kunming.)

July 29th. Arrived back in Kunming.

Students are here from all over the Province taking the imperial examination.

Aug. 29th. Outside preaching in the city. Had five peep-shows on our ground, so we had to move up higher. It was rather awkward to preach with all the jingling music around. We did our best thought.

Two thieves were captured, one in my congregation and one nearby. My neighbour’s was cutting off silver butoons with a pair of scissors! The injured party, a young fellow, seized the thief and took him off alone to the Yamen. The other injured party threw his thief down, thrashed him and jumped on him terribly, till some bystanders stopped him.

Sept. 18th. The students came out early from the examinations. We were there giving away books to them as they came out. Some refused them. One took one and then dashed it to the ground. It was good to be there and let the students of the whole province see us.

Sept. 21st. I heard that one of the mandarins in the Examination. Hall, which smoking opium, let the fire burn three hundred essays. Later he went home and swallowed gold and died.

Oct. 8th. (He arrived at Hweitseh, to hear news that S.T. Thorne had died at Chaotung.)

Oct. 13th. Rode in to Chaotung to meet young Tremberth. (A new recruit.)

Nov. 10th. Left for Chungking to get married.

On the road are a lot of men, boys and women bearing tremendous burdens on their backs. They carry salt, cloth, tobacco, basins, etc. Some will carry salt, tobacco, basins, etc. Some will carry 250 English pounds. I met one fellow carrying 200 lb. and he was paid $ 2.60 for taking this from Huang-chiang to Lao-wa-tang, four days’ journey, or 250 li.

Boys of 12 and 14 will carry 120 lb. The usual weight for a packhorse is from 130 to 200 lb. Some of these people carry much more than horses. Father on we saw oxen carrying over 450 lb. of salt, enormous loads.

Nov. 19th. As we were riding along, with the heights stretching hundreds of feet above, and on the top a fine tower, my men fell foul of a Mohammedan backing a load, and one of them struck him. How they did curse and swear! Surely no people have cultivated swearing to such a height as these Chinese.







Pollard had made a journey of about six hundred miles to Chunking to meet his bride. That was the only place where a foreigner could be married, as it was the residence of the nearest British Consul. On their return, Mr. and Mrs. Pollard commenced to work at Chaotung; Kunming was abandoned because of insufficient workers.

During these early days he was becoming aware of the aborigines in the mountains. They are referred to by a variety of names, Lo-lo, Man-tze, Nosu, Min-chia, Miao. The first three names refer to the great Nosu race, or branches of it. The last two are separate tribes. Some tribes are not mentioned in the text are others are just referred to in pasting.


January. Back into Yunnan from the north. The view was magnificent. Towering up on every side were the mighty hills, and as they joined the sky their sides pillared out as if to support the heaven over our head. We stood beneath a great overhanging stone that sheltered that part of the white mountain road. The scores of pack-horses tinkling along, scores of pack-men trudging by, and scores of coolies singing and joking made the scene one of great animation. The roar of the waters, the singing of the coolies and tinkling of the bells, the rushing of the wind through the long grass, formed the parts of one great busy song and the sturdy hills seemed constantly to bend and listen as if pleased.

We walked part way up the “Eagle Heights”. When we reached the top and turned down, we saw Ta-kuan in the distance and beyond that, when the clouds lifted, here and there a lot of snow. The air was fresh and invigorating. We wished we could stay here among the hills and not go down into the narrow house in crowded Chaotung. The profusion of hills was delightful and the cool crisp air must do us a lot of good.

We expect to get among the snows tomorrow. We are both excited at getting back. Really we shall be glad to see Chaotung again.

Jan. 12th. What miserable huts there are all about for the people to live in, and many of the children have very little clothing.

Jan. 13th. Very cold, walking along on the frozen ground, but a delightful sensation walking among the white hills. Passed a tool sharpener dead by the roadside, his knife tools were by his side.

Nearing Chaotung, a brilliant sun came out, and we entered into the city in delightful weather.

(He left his wife in Chaotung, and traveled with Tremberth on to Hweitseh.)

Jan. 18th. Very slippery paths to Ta-shui-ching. The coolies only got along with great difficulty and the horses slid about.

Jan. 19th. We stopped the night at Ta-tien-tze. Here they burnt grass and smokey wood and consequently we suffered intensely. We tried to stay in the inn for it was freezing outside, but every now and again we were driven out with weeping eyes and sore nostrils. It was a relief to get out into the smokeless night atmosphere.

We made a bed by putting two long tables together and a door under the lower half to make it level. We had to undress and get into bed before all the family, and they were as unconcerned as we were.

Jan. 24th. (Staff meeting at Hweitseh-Vanstone, Pollard Drymond, Tremberth. ) Decided to leave Kunming; we are only sufficient to work Chaotung and Hweitseh.

Pollard and Tremberth at Chaotung.

Vanstone and Dymond, at Hweitseh.

Feb. 21st. Chaotung. In the afternoon, at the preaching shop, as I was speaking all the congregation left except one. In the evening, I had malaria.

Feb. 22nd. Had eighty people in at night, the babies were very rowdy.

Feb. 23rd. Showed the magic lantern, lots of people in.

Feb. 24th. Outside preaching in the city. Sermon came to a dramatic conclusion by the discovery of a thief in the audience. A man laid hold of the fellow and kicked him soundly. Good audience at night; thank God the people come so readily.

March 1st. A few days ago there was a splendid riot in the city against brewing wine. Last year’s harvest was a failure. The poor people are suffering dreadfully. What little corn there is about was being bought up by the brewers. The people petitioned to have brewing stopped. The Country magistrate said, “It is ordinary trade, why should I interfere?” The people then went to the magistrate again, with the intention to take bricks and build him in his own Yamen. The magistrate was threatened and gave in, saying, “You may go and beat up the breweries.” The water carries shouldered their poles and were out in hundreds. There was a great deal of fighting. Some were wounded. The soldiers were called out and several rioters taken prisoner. The result was that wine brewing was stopped and corn fell in price at once. I preached in favour of the riots and told the people I wished they would polish off the opium next. Big crowd in to evening service, bang full up. Resolved to take down the partition into the front room tomorrow.

March 16th. Had malaria badly. Four more children came to join our little school.

April 1st. Saw some Miao(aborigines) on the street begging today. They say this is the first time these people have been begging and that they are very honest. The potato and other crops are such a failure that they can get nothing to eat. I’d like to get at these people.

April 2nd. Much of the opium crop is spoiled through the drought.

April 5th. They brought in a Miao beggar from the streets to play for us. He played on his Miao luh-sent (musical pipes). We bought them afterwards for 320 cash. I had a little talk with him and told him to come again. He told me they do not worship one God made of wood-I think he said the God of thunder-and the tablets of their ancestors. They have no books and no written language. The Chinese give them the character of being very upright. The boys on the streets were stoning this man, but he did not say anything to them. God save the Miao.

April 6th. “E.” (Mrs. Pollard) walked 10 li to save a Mohammedan from opium poisoning. After the evening meeting I went to another.

April 7th. A big meeting at night. A hundred and forty-seven outsiders. This is the biggest meeting we have had. Many were outside and could not get in.

April 13th. There was a rebellion at Weining. The people are so poor that they steal food to live.

April 26th. Service in the evening. A Mr. Chang stayed behind and asked a lot of sensible questions. It is so different talking to one interested.

April 27th. In the afternoon I went to save a little girl, two years old, who had swallowed opium by mistake.

April 28th. Hunting for “B flats” in our room. Have had a grand attack on them today. Found thirty in our bedstead.

April 20th. Last night our sleep was much disturbed by “B flats”. This house seems quite crowded with them. What we shall do I hardly know.

May 10th. Had a visit from a Nosu Wizard. He believes that chanting sacred books is expiation for the sins of dead people. In olden times, he told me, they had a book of chanting by which Wind and Rain could be called. But during the Mohammedan Rebellion the book was lost and has never been found again. They believe that all people go to Hades and that there is no Heaven. People saved by chanting come back again.

May 25th. Had another talk with Mr. Chang, who has tried six times for the B.A. and failed. It appears that mandarins who are not honest “squeeze” very much. If a man has degree the mandarin’s underlings dare not touch him-he has some added protection from an academic superior. This Mr. Chang hoped that one in his family would succeed in the schools, so as to protect them against the “squeezing” mandarins.

May 26th. Today someone said to me, in talking about opium, “They say you brought this to injure us. Is this true or not.”

May 26th. Today someone said to me, in talking about opium, “They say you brought this to injure us. Is this true or not?”

May 30th. Hot again today. Mosquitoes are beginning to come. Lots of flies the last few days, and fleas are beginning. Drat’em all!

June 1st. Went out to a terrible opium case. The mother had sold her little daughter in her teens to an old man about 60. She was to be married on Thursday and to go with her husband, who travels about. The girl dreaded her lot and committed suicide. Too late to save her. Barbarous mother! Plucky girl!

June 3rd. A woman we know well told us some of ther horrible rumours that are told about us on the street. I suppose the people themselves are immoral and then imagine all sorts of things about us.

June 8th. (Began three days’ journey to Yong-shan, towards the western border of Yunnan.)

June 10th. After arriving at Yong-shan, a mist hung over the whole neighbourhood and we could not see the place. After a drink of tea I walked down to the West Gate and looked out over the great river. The mist had lifted somewhat and the view across was charming. The hills are tremendous. It seemed strange to be looking right on the country of the Man-tze. No word of Jesus has every gone to these people. The mists of darkness hang there. The Chinese are terribly afraid of those people and give them an awful name. They come over and steal people, making them into slaves. I would like to go over and spend a month among them.

I found that the Man-tze had also fallen under the opium curse. The Golden Sand River (Yang-tze) separates the two lands of the Chinese and the Man-tze. The Mantze Territory is seven days in length and three in breadth.

I could see the countless hills of Man-tze land. Some of the valleys were very deep. I saw some hills cultivated in the distance. The people eat meat raw and live largely on oatmeal.

June 12th. Mist all day long. Only now and again was the hill at the back visible; it forms a fine rugged background to the city. On the streets were several Miao selling burdens of wood. One man told me that there are about a hundred Miao, three hundred Nosu, twenty Mohammedan families, and about four thousand Chinese families. The people here are poor, but not so poor as the people of Chaotung.

Had the clouds lifted the view would have been lovely. As it was, now and again the sight of the great hills across the Yang-tze sent me into reptures.

June 13th. Started back for Chaotung. Stayed in the same inn and slept on the boards upstairs. The proprietor is not a nice fellow. Several Miao about. God bless them. Dreadful rain all the way.

An old fellow in the same inn had a watch. It was about one and a half hours behind time.

June 14th. Came the whole way home, 110 li – a good hard pull. As I was riding into the village of Sa-i-ho the son of the local official was in the wine shop, and as I passed he shouted in a loud voice, “Foreign Devil!” I felt it, and swinging my horse round smartly I went right into the shop of him! He fled out at the back terrified. I ferreted him out and asked him what I had done that he should be so fierce against me. He was frightened.

Rode into Chaotung. Wet.

June 23rd. Recently I have had eleven cases of opium suicide. Six died, and I was able to save five. In one case a woman had eaten half a pound of opium, and in another case I went to a young wife who was killing herself because of her husband. I failed to save her.

Now I hear the sequel was that the mother of the dead girl and her family accused the husband of doing her to death. The result was that the husband chanted for twenty-one days for her, through several Buddhist priests, so that her soul could be got back again without suffering. In addition, he had to spend 400 taels of silver on road-mending. So I guess he wished we had saved his wife.

June 24th. Rain again. Roads in awful state.

June 25th. Great rains in the night.

June 28th. Tremendous rains again.

June 29th. I saw a poor woman digging her potatoes. When she lifted them she found there was absolutely nothing on the stalks. Some thieves had been there before her and stolen the potatoes, leaving the stalks standing in apparently good condition.

There is a local custom about potatoes. The people uncover them a little, pull off the big ones and then cover up the plant again so that the little ones may grow bigger.

July 5th. This weather tries me a lot. Heavy rains at night and by day.

July 6th. Heavy rains. Things look blacker and blacker for the poor people.

July 7th. Enormous rains again. One mud mall at the back is nearly all fallen down. Our room leaks badly.

July 8th. Went on the city walls to the South Gate and saw the floods. There is great damage all around.

July 9th. Dymond arrived after a heavy five days’ journey from Hweitseh in rain and mud.

July 10th. Food is rising in price. Houses are falling down on all side.

July 17th. Heavy rains.

July 19th. Heavy rains.

July 26th. In the morning a man came to give us his little girl. He was a village man and the waters had drowned his crops. He said he had two children and an old mother and could only earn a few cash a day. He was unable to keep them. If we would give him a couple of hundred cash he would let us have the little girl. I gave him the cash and told him to keep the little girl.

July 27th. Sixty-five people in to the service we hold every night. Thank God for the joy Chinese services give us. A stone shrown in during the service.

July 28th. Eighty people in tonight. A good many soldiers. One teacher was drunk. After the thrashing Frank had from a drunken man at Hweitseh he is very nervous.

July 29th. There is a great deal of domestic unhappiness here. Of our small household, Teacher Wang is not friends with his wife. Cowman Yang always rows his wife. Neighbour Chang and his wife are always quarrelling. The cook’s uncle never speaks to his wife from one year’s end to another.

Aug. 1st. Every day we preach and every night we have services, and tonight as I listened to Frank preaching I felt that the Lord could not let us go on working without saving the souls of the people. All these years and no conversion.

Aug. 13th. Saw the first heron, which is a sign of approaching winter.

Aug. 18th. Dymond’s 26th birthday. The cowman’s little girl died from being bitten by a wolf, right at the door of their house outside the city.

Aug. 21st. Old yang and his wife both smoke opium, and give their baby, seven months old, three lots of opium a day. The mother smokes it and blows the smoke down the child’s throat. This is done to give the child a better constitution. They say this is common; anyway, this is certainly authentic. Some people here teach their children to smoke opium as to keep their children at home and away from gambling, as gambling is more expansive than opium.

Aug. 22nd. (After recording some local distances of gross immorality, ending in capital punishment.) Poor old Chaotung! If we only knew its whole history!

Aug. 25th. Studies in the morning. At the evening service we heard a noise inside and I came in and found a thief in our store room, a young lad whom Frank had helped last night with 30 cash. I kept him till the worship was over, gave him a good thrashing and let him go. We may hear more of this rascal as they say he is one of the gang. All the others were very excited.

Sept. 1st. We went for a walk in the evening and looking back over the walls of Chaotung city, towards the western mountains over the Golden Sand River, we saw a beautiful scene. Deep clouds of dark colour lay above the hills. High in the heavens the clouds were like sprays of maidenhair fern. Lower down, red fleecy clouds liked on to the ferns. The sun shone on some of the lower clouds and lit them up with gold. In the midst of the red clouds was one silver block like a castle. The sun shone on it and it looked like a medieval keep facing the rising sun. This castle of white silver looked so beautiful.

Sept. 2nd. The Indian corn (maize) is ripe in the fields. They have to watch it night and day, staying in bivouacs armed with clubs and spears. The thieves are very numerous.

Sept. 3rd. Today I finished reading the translation of the Confucian Analects. How barren it all is of comfort for the soul. This night is the night for paper burning to the ancestors. Our street is very excited and busy. Now and again they fling out rice, etc., to the hungry spirits. This is immediately eaten by the dogs, who do very well over this affair.

Sept. 6th. We went off to a village about 8 li outside the North Gate. At the village E. had a crowd of women and I spoke to several men. The people were very kind and we enjoyed the speaking. When we left the village all the people came out to see us off.

Sept. 7th. Malaria all day. Took service at night.

Sept. 15th. Had forty-five people in at night.

I hear that if several persons are accused of theft and they all deny it they resort to trial by ordeal. So much oil is bought and boiled, and into this the accused persons must plunge their hands. The oil won’t burn the innocent, they say. The gods are appealed to, to give a just trial. It does not always answer. A plough was missing and three persons were accused. They went through the trial and the oil burnet each one. Later on the plough was found in the field and the three were exonerated. They accused the accuser, and he had twelve months with the iron collar by order of the mandarin.

Sept. 21st. A Mr. Wang, the hatter, invited me to visit his house about 65 li away, in the direction of Weining. After 25 li we crossed the border and entered the province of Kweichow. At Tao-tien-pa we had to cross a stream. A woman was sitting there, waiting to go over. She said she had asked several men to carry her across, and they all refused. I lent her my horses.

Soon we passed the spot where the notorious Sa Family of robbers lived. They had their home on a ledge of the hills about 200 yards from where we stood. Only a narrow footpath led to it. Any soldiers approaching could be seen and the robbers could get away into the scores of valleys and gullies. For years this family lived here and made themselves the terror of the neighbourhood.  Nine generations of this family have lived here as thieves. Up till three years ago the family leader was Sa-erh-kai, who had gathered round him a band of desperadoes, who defied authority and robbed and killed where they would. Great efforts were made to capture him, but without success.

At last he was caught and taken to prison at Chaotung. He escaped from the prison, but was brought back and beheaded. He was such a notorious character that his head was taken all the way up to the capital-Kunming.

The next one to step into the leadership of the family was Sa-pang-tze, who was a brute of a fellow. At the markets he would steal and kill, and none dare make them afraid. One day ,a few years ago while Thorne and Dymond were at Chaotung, he was helping himself to goods at the market Tao-tien-pa. A boy resisted him and was cut down. News was carried to the boy’s father, who was a brother of Mr.Wang who stood there relating this to me. The father was so incensed that he took a spear and went out, calling for helpers to put an end to the robber band. A large number rallied round with spears and swords and gave battle to the Sa robbers on the hill just below where we were standing. It went ill with the villains, many of whom were slain there and then. Sa was captured and taken to Chaotung the last day of the year and beheaded right off. And so at last the robber band was broken up.

As we journeyed along Mr. Wang told me a great deal about the aborigines in the hills and the power of their wizards in the use of black magic.

At last we arrived in the neighbourhood of Mr. Wang’s house. The place is called Camp hill, surrounded by fields. None of the houses in this area are very good as all the good houses were destroyed in the Mohammedan Rebellion.

The house was of beaten mud walls and thatched roof. Grass and flowers were springing up among the straws of the roof. Of course there were, as an advance guard, the ubiquitous dogs to keep off all intruders. How they would have liked to bite our legs! Running the gauntlet safely we managed to get into the main room, and what a scene of confusion. In the seat of honour were the gods, poor lonely souls as quiet as a body of Trappist monks. There they probably had been for years, and were by now black in the face from exposure and smoke. What cared they? The world moves, rebellions break out, science reveals secrets, but the gods sit on in quietness, unheeding. Several jars in front of them showed remains of scores of incense sticks burnt daily to honour these senseless creatures.

In the right-hand corner was a big tub, raised a little from the floor, for keeping corn in. The floor was in a terrible litter, cobs of maize by the hundred crowding everywhere. They even intruded upon the gods of the earth, who took a humble position a few inches from the floor.

On the right was a door leading directly into the stable, where were cows, horses and pigs, and a number of fowls. The pigs had tasted of the maize lately and were constantly trying to undo the string which tied up the stable door. Every now and again they succeeded and usually stole a cob or two before they were driven back with sundry hard words and a kick or two. It is astonishing how much cursing and kicking these animals will stand, and equally astonishing how much cursing and kicking the people are prepared to bestow on them.

   By the door leading into the stable was a mill, two big flat stones, furrowed on their inner sides, in which is ground daily the maize for the meals. Two women were sitting on the form to which the mill is attached, grinding away splendidly. By the side of the mill was a big stone mortar for crushing salt and peppers.

   On the walls were two or three paper cartoons referring to some wondrous events in some wondrous ancient age when gods were as men. On the outside of the front door the door gods keep watch. Two pictures of gods are pasted on the two leaves of the door, and here were a pair of beauties, keeping off evil influences. I asked them how it is these gods cannot keep thieves out, and they laughed as if the idea had never struck them. The real door gods are those fierce, yellow dogs which eyed our white flesh so longingly.

  I talked with the old grandfather who was about 70. He was adorned with that highest of Chinese ornaments, a white moustache and beard. How proud they are of this! When talking, he would tenderly stroke his beard, particularly when wishing to give point to some wonderful statement. If I impugned his veracity, a look of indignation leapt to his face and up went his hand to the little white beard, as much as to say, “Look at that! Do you think I could tell a lie or deceive you? ” This appeal positively settles the matter, though the old man’s statement may have come within several leagues of the truth. He got on well with the old grandmother, who had a lower lip which protruded just a little, giving a dash of humour to what she said, and together they seemed to rule the household very well for these parts.

  After satisfying our hunger with maize cakes and chilli, the hatter and I went for a walk. After the bustle of our noisy city, the quiet of the country was delightful. Not a soul called meforeign devil,and consequently I was thankful. When we returned for a meal they gave me rice to eat as a special honour, while the others, young and old, ate maize cakes, I begged strongly to share alike with them but my entreaties were vain.

  After the meal, darkness came on. Lao-san, the eldest grandson, took a few sticks of incense, lighted them at the fire and offered them to the gods. He first went to the door and offered a deep bow to the gods roaming around in the darkness. Then he stuck a stick in the wall and the incense solely burned away.



Samuel Pollard on his first furlough


Young China has ideas to sell


In the mud floor were two holes, one for coal and one for the draught, and this formed the fireplace. There was no chimney. The fuel burnt is a mixture of coal dust and clay, stamped together in a wet condition. When the cake of coal is broken in pieces it will burn splendidly. These fires are the salvation of these country houses, for to death each winter, but without the coal they would mostly perish.

After the incense burning, the door was shut and we sat around the fire. We talked away till late about many things. Many a time in such circumstances I have told the story of Jesus and it is a story that is beautiful every time one tells it. There is a wondrous charm in talking about the Saviour to a handful of people around a rosy fire.

In turn, they told me about the Mohammedan Rebellion, thirty years before, when the Mohammedans all over the province broke into rebellion, and the terrible suffering which followed. In some parts they are only just getting over the consequences. The Mohammedans are everywhere cordially hated. The descendant of the Arab is more than a match for the Chinaman. In cursing, they are on a par, but the Arab will first use the knife. The Chinese is more docile, and consequently, where the Mohammedans are more numerous, the Celestial has to knuckle under. The spears that this family had used in its defence were hanging there on the wall.

At last, when we were all very tired, a straw mat was laid down on the mud floor for me, and wrapping myself in my padded quilt, I went to sleep beside the glowing fire.

All night long I was fighting with fleas. Some Chinese idols have six or more arms. If I had as many arms I might have been equal to the onslaught of the evening, but having only two I failed, and only fell asleep after I was exhausted.

Sept. 28th. Next morning after breakfast, the hatter and I went off to a market three miles away at Tao-tien-pa. Three-quarters of the people were Mohammedans, but I think there were five races of people among the hundreds buying and selling. Somehow or other a foreigner cannot be disguised, though my head is shaved and I dress as the natives do. The people knew me at once and flocked after me. I had a lively time preaching to them. After a long argument with a Mohammedan school-teacher in a tea-shop, I bought some sweets for the children at my temporary home and we went back.

In the evening I showed the magic lantern to the family and neighbous and talked to them about Jesus. We had a lovely time. At last I was worn out, and glad to get to bed again.

Sept. 29th. During the night the rains came down heavily and soon came through the roof. I had no light and had to get up and move my bed as best I could. I managed to find a drier place and put my oil-cloth over the bedding. Mr. Wang came out from one of the inside rooms, eaten up by fleas, and lay on the floor near me.

Sept. 30th. Next morn we packed up. I gave a few cash to each of the children and they were mightily pleased. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay with these people. They were exceedingly kind. Oh that we could win the confidence of many more families.

October. (A journey to Weining, preaching in the villages on the way and a number of times on the streets of Weining, admiring the beauty of the lake and returning to Chaotung. Here are two notes of his nights on the road.) We got our rice for evening meal at nine o’clock, and well did we enjoy it; only pickled vegetables to go with it. I slept in the loft above the stable where were several cows, sheep, pigs and one horse. The loft was full of straw and we made our beds on this. It was a warm place. A merchant who was travelling to Kutsing did not like my staying there, but he couldn’t do anything about it. He coughed dreadfully. He told me it was because he used to get drunk frequently and the wine had destroyed his lungs!

The next night I stayed at a Mr. Chang’s. He had travelled all about China and never met a Protestant missionary till now. We had a long talk around the fire. He was full of false yarns about Romanists and foreigners. I tried to let a little light into him. Went to bed about nine. The walls of the room were of board, and let in plenty of light and wind. The eldest boy read his books aloud until p.m. Then the woman got up from her opium debauch and yarned around the fire with three others until half-past two in the morning. Then they got a meal and made a fuss over that. At 5 a.m.all but the inn-keeper went to bed. Just afterwards our men got up and the inn-keeper talked to them till about six o’clock. Very little sleep for any of us. On the journey I saw Chinese, Nosu, Miao and Thai, thousands of people here. However are they to be saved? Form a human point of view it seems impossible to reach any of these people.

Nov.14th.Chaotung. Visited some shops on the street, from door to door. The majority of the people seem resolved to have nothing to do with Jesus. Only God can break down these walls.

Nov.15th. A lot of fine boys in to the meeting at night. E. and I continued our prayer meetings for the work. God bless these people.

Dec.14th. Just as I was going to the preaching shop the two thieves of landlords came in and did not go till nearly dark.

Dec.15th. People are dying of cold and starvation every day. The landlords came again. One of them pleaded for us to give him a pair of trousers and presently E.went and fetched them. When she gave them to him he objected and wanted a gown, saying we had promised them. Thereupon I went out, took the trousers from E.’s hand, flung them away, and ran those two rascals out by the scruff of the neck. They were frightened.

Dec.17th. I hear some terrible stories of starvation.

Dec.18th. After dinner Lao-yang and I went off with some maize and a few hundred cash to seek the poor. It was snowing all day. At the first place we went to, the house had fallen in during the rains and they had made a kind of den by putting maize straw around the roof. Inside were father, mother, son and little girl. There was nothing inside but a fire. The wolves came round at night and made a big noise. We gave them some food and cash. At the next place, the man had sold his table for a few beans. It was very bare. The man could not stand the starvation and had hanged himself, but he had been rescued before he died.

Then to a house where there was an old man and woman and two children. They had had no food for several days. Then someone gave the old fellow some maize. They roasted and ate it, and next day the old man died. The woman is very ill and spits blood. It was a dark room. When I went in I could see nothing but a boy, almost naked, trying to warm himself over two sticks.

We helped them and promised them some medicine tomorrow. So I have made a start. God help these poor people.

Dec.19th. I was ill in the night. Next morning I sent Lao-yang off with some medicine and other things to the old woman, and he came back and told us that she had starved to death during the night.

Dec.20th. Went out with Lao-yang. Helped four families and attended to a lot of sick people. They are very open hearted.

We had several children offered us for sale today. We could get a hundred if we wanted; the people are so poor they can’t look after their little ones.

Dec.21st. Went off seeking out the poor.

Dec.25th. Christmas Day. Seeking out the poor. I met one woman who had a big girl about 10 years old, with hardly a stitch on her. The husband spends all he gets on opium. So the woman had gone with the girl to the Yamen for help. There they gave her 15 cash and offered 2,000 cash for the daughter. She refused to sell her. I gave her some cash; she was overjoyed. People are so poor now that they are carrying things on the street to sell. They tie a wisp of carried a boy about, with the straw tied to him, but no one bought. Reading the history of the early Methodists in America. What grand fellows Asbury, Coke, Garrettson and others were. How wonderfully God blessed their labour. Would that the same results and Power were here.


(A note at the end of the Diary for 1892 says that in the last eight months of the year he had been called out to attend to thirty-two cases of opium suicide.)







1893 begins with a period of famine at Chaotung,in which the Pollards gave of their utmost to relieve the suffering. At the end of the year Pollard was showing signs of exhaustion. They moved to Hweitseh for the following year before returning to England for their first furlough. Throughout his first term he had been constantly called to save the lives of people trying to commit suicide by swallowing large doses of opium. The incidence of such suicides is remarkable, and he was called to attend to them at the rate of two each week for several years. He notes that other missionaries elsewhere had a similar average of cases.




    Jan.25th. Still very cold. A number starving to death.

    March 5th. One of our Chinese friends will become a member of the Church if the rules about Sunday can be relaxed.

    March 6th. The local government has built a place outside the North Gate to gather in the poor. They went in, in numbers. Each person received 10 cash a day and was not allowed to go out. Consequently they starved and died off. In one day twenty-six died.

 March 8th. I was preaching at one of the city gates. There are a lot of gambling stands here. One fellow was deceiving a boy. I saw a thief steal something from a woman and run away. I laid hold of him, but his clothes were rotten and I was left with a handful of rags in my hand.

    March 9th. One of the landlords has been here again, making trouble about this house. He threatens to bring thirty beggars here tomorrow and put them in our house. At the evening service there were a lot of people, but they did not seem to want to go. There is a queer atmosphere about. God help us.

March 10th. Some of the landlord’s family came. They said they would die before they went.

March 15th. Returning home I saw a boy in the street breathing his last, dying in the midst of much to eat, but no one to help.

March 19th. Mr.Liao here again tonight. I hear he is in the slave trade. Tremberth, coming up from Hweitseh, met over sixty girls being taken up to Kunming, and that is not above average. When Mr.Liao was in to the service I preached about the slave trade and hope he took it in.

March 23rd. One of the ways these people have of swearing to a thing is to say that they will go and hit Chen-Huang-Pu-sa(a god) in the mouth! For instance, A says B owes him 20 taels. B denies it and offers to test his words by hitting Chen-Huang-Pu-sa in the mouth. On this A offers to give up his claim, because one man who hit the god in this way went home and died.

April 4th. At ten o’clock I left for Hweitseh, under a hot burning sun. After 15 li I felt my pain coming on again and felt very queer. Later on I got better. I wonder what will be the end of these pains, will they lead to my going home? As God wills, I am in His hands, though I should like to live a long time and work. I am feeling considerably depressed.

April 17th. Returned safely to Chaotung. On the road I met a number of young girls being carried up to Kunming to be sold. Poor little things. When I got home I found that the thieves had dug through the wall of the house and into my study, and had stolen 6,000 cash.

April 28th. There is still a great deal of starvation about. Today I went to the Sheo-ful-his temple, when three or four thousand of the starving are daily fed by Long-wei-yuen. There they have built sheds about four feet high, and under grass roofs, open on each side, the people huddle. They have two meals a day. The folk did look a wretched lot. Twenty or thirty die off a day and are buried two in a coffin. The old folk say they never remember Chaotung so poor.

April 29th. I am feeling very depressed. For some days I have not been satisfied with my soul. Oh, for more of Jesus, His love and purity!

May 18th. They say that sixty a day are dying now. Tremberth and I walked out to see the graveyard for this famine. A horrible sight met our gaze: hundreds of newly made graves close together. It looked as though there had been a big battle. I never saw or dreamed of such a sight. They told me there were thousands buried there. Certainly I calculated that two thousand had been buried there in a month. We started to walk past this vast graveyard, but we were nearly overcome and hurried as fast as we could. It got worse and worse, and then we ran with all our might. Oh, the sorrows of Chaotung! God have mercy on the people.

May 29th. Today an old lady who is one hundred years old came for some medicine and brought three other old women with her. I gave her the medicine and then told her simply the story of Jesus, over and over again. As I told her some point, she would touch one of the other women with her stick, saying “You remember for me; I’m afraid I shall forget!” God save the dear old soul, I enjoyed talking to her.

June 14th. It is said that twenty-four people have died on the street lately. When any person dies, a lot of paper money is bought and burnt. The purpose of this is to buy off any devils who may be in the way of the dead man’s spirit. Then when they bury him they burn a lot more to purchase a right or way for his spirit.

June 19th. I prayed the Lord to keep me from backbiting, from ever saying evil of my brethren, and to keep me from trifling conversation. These seems to be so much lightness about our talk. The Lord forgive me and make me truer in every way.

June 20th. The weather has been very cool this month. No mosquitoes or fleas worth speaking of.

(In the spring and summer a great deal of time was spent in building a house in the city, as the landlords of their hired house had caused so much trouble. When he was not buying materials, reckoning accounts with masons, carpenters and bricklayers, he was attending to visitors, visiting the villages, and every night there was the service in the preaching shop. On Sunday, September 3rd, they had the first two baptisms, outside in the open-air.

At this time there were seventeen missionaries all denominations in the whole province.

On October 24th he began laying foundations for the chapel which was opened on December 21st. Meanwhile Pollard had been ill, with malaria and overwork. It was decided that he must have a rest from the ceaseless activities at Chaotung, and on December 28th they moved to the quieter atmosphere of Hweitseh.)

Dec. 29th. As we neared Chiang-ti we discovered that the chief magistrate, with three hundred attendants, was coming in the opposite direction. They had booked all the inns, so we went to a large horse-inn. There were stalls enough for a hundred horses, but luckily no pack-horses came in that night. It was a big lofty building and would have made a fine preaching place. The ladies had beds in one corner by the gods. I was nearby. The carries had to lie all about the floor on straw. In the night they got cold and began to make a fire of their straw mattresses, which amused us greatly. Young Chang slept in one of the managers.

Dec. 30th. Today young Chang was very ill on the road. The cause of this trouble was eating a lot of mule’s liver. I guess the stomach is not to be blamed for rejecting that.

Dec. 31st. Arrived at Hweitseh. In the evening we went on the street and had a big crowd. The people listend well and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was good to finish the year in this way. Thank God for all the opportunities He has given me to preach this year. I hope next year will be brighter still. It has been a lovely year together for E. and me, much better than last, for the way she has helped me and done her best to make me strong and well, thank God.



Let me live this year with one aim, to glorify God. It seems that this year at Hweitseh will be quiet after the rush at Chaotung. God grant that in the quietness His spirit may teach me and lead me to walk more purely than ever before.

Jan. 11th. The quiet of this place differs most from Chaotung. Every day I have an average of about forty to the preaching shop. The sisters go visiting house to house in the afternoon. (Two lady workers had joined them.)

Jan. 12th. It is the anniversary of my conversion. How little I seem to have grown in nineteen years! I took up my old diary of home and was humiliated to compare my hardheartedness of the present with the sympathy and compassion I had then. I often find myself on my knees in the attitude of prayer, and yet my thoughts are anywhere but on the throne of grace. The Lord help and forgive me.

Jan. 15th. Went out to a village. A few people there, but they were very afraid of us.

Jan. 29th. Thank God that things are becoming busier up here. It seems quite natural here to “bow” guests in the guest-hall and be ceremoniously polite. God grant me more courtesy and gentleness. What a gentle, noble man a real Christian must be.

A spirit of hilarity oppresses me. I so often wish to be more sober, and so rarely am.

March 19th. At five to eleven a big, bonny boy yelled right and left as he came into the world. God give us wisdom to keep and train the little one.

March 30th. Want-ta-yueh came to see me; he would like me to lend him a few taels of silver on the deeds of his house. He has ten people to feed and their rice is used up. I would like to help the old man but I hardly know how to. How to put social Christianity into effect in China is a problem that I cannot solve.

(Later) I paid Mr. Wang for some peas and beans, which he is to give me when ripe.

April 3rd. A little child was brought to me who had burnt his fingers. The mother had put some ointment on his hand and then, while he was playing on the street, a hawk or kite came down and devoured the ointment, tearing the flesh terribly.

April  20th. My thirtieth birthday.

May 8th. Wang-ta-ko and I went off to Na-ku. We went down the lovely valley from the Hweitseh plain and finally climbed a big hill, and there, about 2,000 feet below us, was the plain of Na-ku. The fields were in colours like a patch-work quilt. The gold of the ripe barley, they yellowish green of the ripening corn, the deep green of the beans and peas, the red soil of some ploughed fields, and with the canals and paths interesting everywhere it made a picture not easily forgotten. The town of Na-ku lies at the foot of the hill; there must be about 60,000 people there. At night, we got into a small, close, stinking inn and had rice and boiled turnips. Afterwards we went preaching on the street.

May 9th. Moved to a better inn opposite the newly done-up temple. Then I went off to a market 10 li farther on. The way took me along the side of the water-course which was first cut right through the hill, at a cost of several tens of thousands of taels, to bring the water of the river to this plain. At the other end of the plain the water is let out through the hills by a similar tunnel.

At night I returned to Na-ku and had several fellows in my room to talk to.

May 10th. Preached twice on the market and then came home.

(Four days in bed with high fever.)

June 8th. Left for Chaotung, hoping that the change would do me good. The services in the new chapel there are well attended-several hundred each time.

During the two weeks I was there we were asked to go to six cases of opium suicide.

June 30th. Back at Hweitseh! The Wongs have pulled their idols down-“a cloud as small as a man’s hand!”

July 30th. Started off in fine weather on a journey to the South. After 20 li the rains came down in torrents. Towards nightfall the road lay through a stream, but fortunately we reached the inn safely before the waters rose. There were four men coming behind us, crossing the stream hand in hand. One fell and the others were dragged down. They were all four drowned.

July 31st. God on to the Che-hai Plain and then on to Ore Hill, where we stayed at Mr. Chang’s “mien-shop.”We were treated very well here. There is a great deal of mining in this area. The two chief pit mouths came up in the centre of the market. I stood and watched the men coming up and going down. They were naked except for a cloth around the loins. When they go down for silver they have a three hours’ walk underground, then more than three hours coming up. It is supposed to be about seven miles to the end. There are also mines for lead and copper here. Boys of about twelve go down the long, dark slope, and come back carrying bags of ore on their backs.

If the men find any small nuggets lying about they can have them. They are paid about threepence for a day’s work, which is one journey down and back for silver, and three or four journeys for lead and copper, which are nearer the surface. But they get much more from their ‘finds’ on the way than from wages.

Even in the depths of winter, they say, the men come out of the mine naked and go home as they are in the open-air—and they catch no colds.

Aug. 1st. I sold right out of books and could have sold many more if we had had them. Today I went over a mint where the copper cash is minted. The whole arrangements were very crude. The dies of the cash are first rubbed over with sand and impress of 100 cash coins left on a case of sand. About ten of these cases are put one on the other and then the molten copper is poured in. The cash come out attached to a central stick of copper, which is the channel down which the copper has run, and the cash are broken off with a pair of pincers. They are placed together in large numbers, filed, and the central hole is improved, and then they are put in great iron basins of sand and rubbed round with the feet.

Aug. 2nd. Away early next morning and on to Che-hai. On the way we came across eight horse and mule carts. It was strange and homely to see wheels with spokes again and the carter sitting on the shafts in front. We had to ride across a river with the water up to the horse’s belly; one fellow rode in the wrong place and got a rare ducking.

I preached eleven times at the market-about two thousand people there.

Aug. 3rd. Good to be home again. Wolves were howling round the city at night. (Hweitseh.)

Aug. 30th. I took the magic lantern over to Shui-cheng ( a village on the plain). We showed it in the temple, there among the gods. The pictures came out splendidly on the wall. About two hundred people came to see it, and we were delighted with the opportunity of preaching Jesus in such a place. Afterwards I had a long chat with the old teacher. We slept upstairs and the fleas and mosquitoes were terrible. Scarcely a wink of sleep. At first streak of dawn I rushed into the city after a night of fights!

Aug. 31st. Today I took my first photo. I developed it and then tried to print it, but no sun came out all day and was not sufficient to get a copy. How I did try to make my egg hatch!

Sept. 21st. At Shui-chen Mrs. Chao has removed her idols. Two days afterwards she came in crying and told us a sad story. The village people had flung all her furniture into the road, locked the door and piled up a lot of stones in front of it to stop re-entering. One of her girls was lying out under the eaves, with a fever, and no one would take her in. I went back and spent three days in the village trying to reconcile everyone.

Oct. 17th. At the Dragon Temple here, when the big worship is on, they use all the filthy language they can lay their tongues to; the more filthy thee language, the more efficacious. Old Mr. Wang is trying to break off his opium. Last night I was called up to him at 2 a.m., as he was suffering terrible pains. Breaking off opium is no joke to him.

(Later) He went home cured of his opium craving. We had not given him any opium the whole time, but he had suffered a good deal.

(Notes on the District Meeting at Hweitseh: Dymond and others came from Chaotung.

Agreed that our salaries shall be £40 or £50 p. a. and part may be paid at home if desired.

Enquiries must be on probation at least six months before baptism.

Our term shall be eight years instead of ten.

The work shall be reopened at Kunming.

A chapel shall be built at Hweitseh. Total cost of site and building shall not exceed £100.

Statistics: we have two Chinese helpers, one chapel, three preaching places, eighty0six Sunday-school scholars, and a total of three Chinese members.)

Dec. 2nd. (At Chaotung, en route for England with Mrs. Pollard and baby.) Mr. Yu and Mr. Yuen, with wives and children, brought their idols and a fine ancestral tablet in a carved case, and a paper ‘Chang-sien’, which is worshipped by those who wish for help in rearing children.

The helper would not take Mr. Yuen’s at first, as his wife seemed nervous, and he told him the teacher wished him to think it over a bit more.

The poor fellow got in an awful state. He came to Dymond and said, “What have I done? I am truly believing I don’t want these things. Let us burn our idols together.”

Forms were placed around the centre of the yard, a lot of standing around. The idols were placed in position in the centre. I stood by the fire. An axe, saw and mattock were lying ready. We had a prayer, a hymn and a reading; then Dymond help up the axe and said, “In God’s name I do this.” Then with two helpers we kept the fire blazing. We were all there about an hour or more, watching the big blaze.

Dec. 3rd. Started on our long journey back to England.


(1895-6. Travelling to England-furlough-return to Yunnan.)






At the beginning of his second term we can begin to see the formation of a Church. The missionary is no longer working alone. A number of converts have been made, families have publicly burned their idols, and the Gospel begins to be preached by young Chinese preachers who later become ministers of the Chinese Church.


   Dec. 29th. Today I did my first tooth extraction. It came out after a tussle, clean as a bell. (While visiting England he had taken lessons in tooth extraction and banjo playing.)


   Jan. 4th. The carpenter had his foot bitten by a dog. Over the two bites, on the flesh, they had written the character ‘hu’ for tiger. The idea is that the stone tiger god in the local temple has been offended, hence the bite. This is a vow that an offering will be made to him when the bites are better.

   Jan. 6th. Wrote out a tract on ‘Eclipses’ and had it printed in Chinese, in view of the approaching eclipse.

   Jan. 13th. Went out, giving away the tracts on the eclipse. What a crush there was. I never saw anything like it in Chaotung. We stood on a table outside the temple and gave them away to hundreds of outstretched bands.

Jan. 31st. A new Prefect for the city arrived. He called here and left his card. This is courtesy indeed.

Feb. 14th. Opened two schools here, one for boys and the other for girls; nine boys and a dozen girls. Two of us down with malaria.

Feb. 27th. Schools are filling up. Over a hundred now.

April 16th. (On a short visit to Hweitseh.) Today I came across a strange thing; there were four or five graves to the same man. He was once a very important man in Hweitseh; in one he had buried a little hair in a coffin, in another a finger-nail in a coffin, and so on. He hoped by having several graves to hit on a lucky spot somewhere – and perhaps thereby he would have some very fine men among his descendants. If the mandarins believe this sort of thing, whatever do the ordinary people believe?

April 21st. On my way home my horse rolled in the river with me on the back of it, the rascal.

May 11th. Today, at last, a long dream is realized. We opened the little country house which we have been building at the foot of the hills. It is on the edge of the plain and away from the noisy city. It will be splendid for a place of rest.

We fixed things up there as best we could, with forms and boards for beds, baskets and boxes for tables and chairs. About eight o’clock at night we heard an awful howling not far away. It did give us a start; either wolves or hyenas. I never heard such a row before. It made my heart beat wildly. Then the few Chinese neighbours went out and shouted until the intruders went away.

July 6th. Today has been a record for our clinic; I have seen forty patients. During the first month this year I had twenty cases of opium suicide, and now in June I have had another twenty opium suicides.

July 17th. Second son born.

July 26th. We went to see a most curious custom which is said only to prevail here. Small children who are weakly and difficult to rear are made to grow their hair long. The parents vow not to shave the children’s heads. When the Hsioh-tai (provincial chancellor) comes, the shaving takes place beside the road along which he will pass, and the hair is flung down on the road. Today there were many thousands of people welcoming the Hsioh-tai into the city, and I counted one hundred and one children who were there with their long hair cut off in honour of the visit.

Aug. 1st. One day last week I went for a walk as far as the pond where they dig the clay, and watched the pond-life. The boy amused himself by catching leeches. He caught them by putting his naked leg into the water, then in a moment or two several leeches would stick on. The locals say that leeches are very tenacious of life, and even if dried on a stone and then beaten to powder, if the powder is thrown back into the water the parts will swim away. Then I saw a common Chinese dodge for fishing. The boy wanted to catch a water beetle. He pulled a stalk and fastened a length of hair from his head on this. He ten searched for a louse on his person, which he found, and baited his line with this. Great success immediately attended this unique performance.

Sept. 8th. Tremberth and I took the horses and tried to reach the highest point of Liang-feng-tai, two thousand feet above the plain. After three hours we were halted by mist, followed by driving rain. We were then about nine thousand feet above sea-level, and had a most extensive view of the mountains of the Man-tze territory and even the hills above Hweitseh, 100 miles away.

High in the mountain we came across the poor people who turned coal from the hills. The huts these coal people live in are poor in the extreme; dug-outs with stones piled up for walls and a roof of rough beams and oat straw. We sheltered from the rain and cold outside and drank some hot water with them. Wolves abound around there, and come in groups of four or five, when the mist is down, to steal the sheep and pigs.

In this hut were a mother and two little daughters, one of them quite naked. A good fire was burning on the floor and in it was a lot of limestone, which they make into lime and sow with the oats to make the stalks firm. The oat crop had just been gathered in and they were about to sow next year’s crop, so it takes them practically twelve months to get a crop of oats.

There was only one bed in the hut, piles of stones with straw and a straw mat on top. The woman told me that it was too high and cold for any mosquitoes of fleas, etc.

The father digs coal in the pits. In the corner of the hut was a rude forge which he uses for making his own tools. Some of the pits go down seventy steps and then go in for more than a thousand steps. The men work there practically naked.

Oct. 15th. For weeks rumours have been very rife about a Lo-lo Rebellion. An official came to warn us that the Man-tze might be here within a few days, to kill all the foreigners. He was very amazed when I told him we were in God’s hand and would not leave.

Nov. 8th. Tonight I spoke on prayer, and afterwards young John Li, B.A., said, “Truly God does hear prayer, for I was puzzling about why God wishes us o pray, and praying about it, and you have just taken that subject.” (1951. Rev. John Li, B.A., a supernumerary minister, died in a communist prison at Chaotung.)

We continue to hear rumours that the foreigners and their followers are going to be killed.

John Li’s mother has tried to get him engaged to a village maiden. Now that he follows Jesus he is resolved that his wife shall do so too. So today, with another, he went to the place and preached there also, and said that a wife must go the same way as the husband.

It is said that this is the first time here that a betrothed man has ever goine into the house of his prospective wife. He is being persecuted a good deal by his family.

Christmas 1898. Rebellion has broken out in Sze-chuan.



Jan. 23rd. We live in a time of rumours. Today the Prefect sent across privately, warning us to be very careful in everything we do. I hear that five men have sent a petition to him, asking for permission to exterminate the foreigners. Also there are reports of secret societies pledging themselves, by drinking blood, to kill the Christians. All sorts of wild stories fill the air, that red snow has fallen on Kung-shan, that beating of drums has been heard in the heavens, etc.

Feb. 6th. In the morning a letter was found stuck to our door which was supposed to be from Yu-man-tze, the rebel leader, threatening us with destruction the following week (Thursday).

I had a talk with the Prefect; it is probably an attempt to frighten us, or extract money.

“God is our refuge and strength.”

9th. Thurs. Soldiers about our place all night. Nothing happened. Some of my Chinese helpers are now going out into the country on preaching tours.

On the streets of Chaotung the phrase the outsider uses in derision of the Christians is “Jesus loves me!” pronounced in utter scorn.

April 6th. Hundreds of people crowded round our hours today in a threatening mood. When I was out in the street in the evening things got very lively. After I came in some were suggesting that they beat their way in.

April 10th. John Li and Chong left for preaching in the country markets.

April 11th. I finished the evening service earlier and went out to see the friends off. After the good night I came in a little ahead of Wong, the gateman, leaving him to fasten up. Just as I got in heard frightful cries from the door and thought at once the door had been rushed and a riot begun. I rushed in and got the family upstairs. Then I discovered that Wong had been attacked by an assassin who had hidden all through the service, and lurked there as I passed by a couple of times. Then he rushed out and stabbed Wong again and again, intending to murder. Fortunately he was wearing so many padded clothes that many of the blows did little injury. I went outside in the street, where there was a fellow lurking, who denied seeing anything.

Sun. may 14th. John Li preached at night on “He himself took our infirmities.” At earnest, first and good sermon.

One hundred to Sunday School, one hundred and ten to service, thirty-seven at night.

June. We never know what a day is going to bring forth. In the first half of this year we have had fifty cases of opium suicide, and there were several others that did not come to us.

Sept. 5th. I saw some rings drawn with lime outside some houses and asked what they were. I was told that a ring was drawn for each ancestor and that paper money being burnt for them was put in the ring. The dead one was informed whose ring was whose. This is  done to prevent the ancestors quarrelling over the money, as they might do if it were all burnt together.

Sept. 7th. Yesterday and today soldiers have been round the city on the city wall firing rifles at the clouds to drive the rain away. I was talking to Mr. Ku the teacher, who thought it was in vain. When I asked him why, he answered, “The soldiers are too few!”

Sept. 8th. Heavy rains in the morning. In the afternoon I rode out to the country house, roads in the frightful condition. Surely no one at home could imagine roads so terrible.

During September I have had printed over two thousand copies of pamphlets exhorting the people not to grow opium in view of the failure of the crops. They were received well by most of the people. I also called on the Prefect and asked him to assist. He promised to do so, but has done nothing about it so far.

(Later he issued proclamations urging the growing of beans instead of opium.)

I have learned a great deal about the prevalence of all forms of immorality among the local people. Much of it is surprising and disturbing to know. What a great change there would be if the pure Christ were in these hearts, burning up the sin, and lust, and dirt.

Oct. 2nd. Mr. and Mrs. Li, who have been here a great deal, but have not become Christians, came today in great distress. They were broken-hearted. Their little boy had died in the night. They came to ask me to bury him with Christian ceremony. I was delighted that the truth had so far laid hold of them that they desired to bury him and not throw away the corpse. We went and conducted a service over the coffin and tried to comfort them. We wrote some Chinese sentences for the coffin. The mother wept bitterly, crying, “My little precious, my son, how can I live now you have left me behind?” “My little parrot, my son, you answered me when I spoke yesterday, now you take no notice.” “My heart’s root, my son, why do you not return to me?” etc., etc.

The knowledge of Heaven was a great comfort to them. After the service we removed all the idols and later in the day burnt them all. Then we took the coffin out and buried it deeply, as the father was anxious that the wolves should not get at it. There were about forty of us the funeral. The little boy was dressed in his best clothes. The parents have asked for books, so that they can begin to have daily worship in their house.

Oct. 4th. Twenty-five people for medicine today, and a tooth extraction. I have now taken out thirty-four teeth.

Oct. 7th. Last night we burnt Mrs. Ho’s idols. Our children were delighted at the bonfire.

This week we have burned the idols from three houses. Last Sunday I was depressed with our lack of success and this has happened quite unexpectedly.

Oct. 8th. Today the barber was admiring out fat baby. He offered me two bowls of ‘mien’ if I carry it all round the city wall without resting; he would get two if I failed.

Oct. 27th. Last night we had a service in a house, and there were twenty-six people there, all with the surname ‘Li’.

Dec. 3rd. The two helpers, Mr. Li and Mr. Ren, were in for sacrament today. We were discussing Sunday observance. Of all the Ten Commandments, they find the fourth the most difficult to understand and observe. Our members are the same, for they are all engaged in business in some way or other.

Today I reckoned up with them in hard cash the expenses of idolatry, burning paper money, etc., and the continual financial drain of opium, and compared this with the sacrifice of not doing trade on Sunday.

At the communion Services with helpers and members I deal very straightly with sundry points in connection with any member, mentioning them by name and referring plainly to the matter in Land. Today, in the Communion Service I called Mrs. Yen and Mrs. Li to task for spinning thread on Sundays. What a commotion would be caused in the churches at home if one tried this.

Dec. 19th. Chang-yiu-chin, who once professed membership with us and then renounced us and left, today came back in penitence. He has been very unhappy. We received him into the enquirers’ class.

On Sunday I brought his case up before the Church and asked what they would do. At first one or two were inclined to be hard, but eventually all agreed to accept him back with extraordinary kindness. Several of them displayed very purely the spirit of Jesus. Remembering the terrible bitterness when he first left and that he had taken an oath never to return, this was a miraculous reconciliation. It was something we could not have done if we had tried for ever, but which God did amongst us.

Dec. 20th. Mr. Ko told me today that he had only just woken up to the fact that he had got a good wife. All through the years, before he became a Christian, he had smoked opium and been cruedl to her, and yet she had borne it patiently and served him well. Now that he had accepted Christ he could see how good his wife had been to him. Here is Christianity lifting the place of women.

Dec. 25th. A big Christmas Day. Games and fun in the morning. At noon service for members only, followed by a baptism service for five new members. Later, sixty-four people old and young sat down to the Christmas Feast.






As so often in China in the last fifty years, a sudden upheaval wrecks the continuity of the missionary’s work. Pollard and others flee thought the terror-stricken countryside towards the northern border of French Indo-China. The infant Church at Chaotung is left in an atmosphere of anti-foreignism and hatred for Christians. Pollard journeys round to Shanghai and eventually returns along the old route of the Yang-tze valley.



May 7th. The other night in the service at Mrs. Li’s, she owned up to having murdered four daughters. She said it was such a trouble to have to bind their feet; and so she got rid of them. Another woman there said that when she was a baby she cried so much that her father wanted to kill her, but her mother refused and so she was saved.


June 14th. E. and I were out at the country house and were taking a stroll in the evening. A special messenger approached and I could see that it was something important, particularly when I saw that this message came from Weining. I said to E., “It is either peace in South Africa or a riot in Kunming”. Last Sunday there had been a big riot in Kunming. The houses of the few foreigners had been looted by the mob and even the floor-boards had been torn up. Fortunately no physical harm had been done to anyone.

June 17th. The eagerly awaited letters arrived. The Dymonds and other had escaped to the Yamen in Kunming, but were not being very well treated there.

June 21st. News has come through of sinister risings all over the country. We have just heard of the great Rebellion in Shangtung and Chili where the foreigners have been massacred. Here on the streets the news is welcome and people are openly sympathetic, representing the rebellion as a victory for the Chinese over the foreigners.

It is surprising how, in an isolated place like this, we hear the news. We have heard of the soldiers joining forces with the Boxer Rebels, the attack on Tientisn and the march on Pekin. We are astonished to find how much the common people know of Northern affairs in spite of all official hoodwinking.

We are being kept in a constant state of excitement. Three times recently a day has been fixed for destroying our place here. Messages from Kunming keep us constantly alarmed. All the foreigners there have been ordered out by consular authority. At last we received the message saying they were all leaving immediately.

Here in Chaotung the mandarins are trying to keep everyone quiet by carrying on with formal celebrations, such as the Emperor’s Thirtieth Birthday, as if nothing had happened.

June 22nd. Advice has just come by telegram from the Consul in Chungking that the order for foreigners to leave is universally applicable, so today we have decided to leave and have informed those at Hweitseh. I wrote today to the Provincial Government asking them to provide an escort for part of our journey out of the province, to meet us at Hsun-tien. We have had to face the inevitable and clear out.

Today I visited the Prefect to inform him I was leaving. He is a poor tool and very nervous and very afraid of a local uprising. At first he would not see me, but I demanded an interview. Then he asked me to delay leaving until he could contact the higher authorities. I was determined not to be fooled by him, and informed that I should make a start.

Later the City Magistrate came here. He is a man of similar caliber, and very afraid. Well he may be, for he is very wealthy and would suffer if the rebellion broke out. The idea that the French are to invade Yunnan from Tonking has been steadily fostered by local officials, and by the French themselves. Use is being made of this belief to raise the militia everywhere.

Sunday. I called all the Christians together and talked of the critical situation, telling them that we were about to leave. There were fourteen who were ready to be baptized and who were unafraid. These I baptized, and later two more. The service was a very moving and inspiring one. I made arrangements for them to carry on, appointing Mr. Yen and Mr. Li as leaders, and gave them written instructions.

June 23rd. Our feelings on leaving Chaotung and later Hweitseh can well be imagined. God bless the people, and help us on our long journey. We set off southwards with our two small children, and an escort of ten soldiers. As we left we heard that the foreign armies had been driven out of Tientsin. We started, full expecting that the French would be over the border before we got there; they are expected almost daily.

We waited two days at Hweitseh, where our missionaries were in two minds about leaving, and continued to Hsun-tien, where fifty soldiers were waiting to escort us further. All had been quiet so far, but people watch us go by under escort very curiously.

(Soon after their departure from Chaotung there was a local uprising in the neighbourhood of Ko-kuei and attacks were made on the houses of wealthy landowners. The well-to-do were plundered and threats made against Roman Catholic establishments in the area. Vigorous action was taken by the authorities, the revolt was quelled and the leader beheaded at Chaotung.)

Aug. 3rd. Heavy rain; road flooded. One of the escorting soldiers was drowned today fording a river.

Aug. 4th. Split up into three parties.

Aug. 5th. Passed many students traveling up to the capital for the national examinations. Hard day; people very rowdy.

(Daily record of distance covered – about 25 miles each day.)

“Soldiers kept the crowds out of the village.”

“One of the children delirious.”

“The escort are doing, their work well, and we are coming through without much trouble.”

“Stayed last night in a big horse-inn, no beds, nothing.”

“All family slept on the floor. Next night the same; horse-inn, everyone slept together on the floor around the managers; a most miserable experience.”

“Aug. 24th. Reached Lao-kai and got out of China-under the shelter of a foreign flag at last. (French Indo-China.)

(They spent some months in Shanghai, meeting the escaping victims of the Boxer Rising, hearing extraordinary stories of fugitives, and waiting for the storm to subside. Over two hundred missionaries were murdered throughout the country. In February 1901, Pollard began the return journey to Yunman, through the Yang-tze Valley, leaving Mrs. and family at Chungking.

In May he reached Chaotung alone, meeting friendly signs from everyone, and in August went back to Chungking for the family. All returned to Chaotung Novermeber 1901.)

We are here in China because we believe that God has sent us to make known to these people the Gospel of Jesus. We are not here as political agents, not as explorers, not as outposts of Western civilization. We are here to disciple them, and our success will be measured by the extent to which we persuade them to accept Christ. We have not come to break down prejudices, dispel superstition, explode fanciful ideas, and we should be very chary of taking comfort from success in these things. We shall not have accomplished what we have set out to do when these millions have accepted Western civilization.







The Upper reaches of the Yang-tze River are known locally as the Golden Sand River. To the west of Chaotung this great river forms the border of Yunnan and also the dividing line between Chinese civilization and the wild Bahuland, or Man-tze Territory, beyond. The great bend of the Yang-tze also encirecles Yunnan to the north of Chaotung. During this period Pollard began extensive tours to evangelise this area as far as the river on the west and the north. The young Chinese preaches became his fellow-missionaries. Later the sudden movement among the Miao took Pollard fromthis work which he had started, and because of inadequate staff it was never again resumed.



First Journey

     Feb. 17th-April 1st. (Extracts from a missionary journey with three Chinese preachers in wide area round Chaotung.)
     “Left on horseback. After a while it turned cold and wet and sitting on horseback my feet were like stones. The preachers walked bravely today; the straw sandals of one of them gave out and he arrived at the inn at night walking in his stockings.

     “As we were marching beneath a tall cliff an enormous boulder rolled down and fell right between Chung-ming-tsai and me; the big thud startled me; it could have killed either of us.

     “Found several anxious to join the Church.

     “Ate with the mandarin, who is a very hale old man who hates opium, with the reputation here for being ‘square’, in contrast to a ‘round’ man who has no corners and can thus turn any way.

     “Met people for a service and received eleven as enquirers. My heart was strongly stirred as I saw these men desiring to learn the truth.

     “One of the coolies dropped a basket in the river and spoiled all our tracts.

     “Riding beside a river I saw a fine otter; watched it for about ten minutes, as it came up out of the water, apparently scratching fiercely for fleas, twisting and turning about like a monkey, and then plunging on through the rapids.

“Here we received three more men on trial.

“Early next morning, riding off from the village in the moonlight a man who had been waiting all night for us stopped us to put his name down as an enquirer. As we paused another came up with the same request, and before leaving we stood praying in the open air just as day was breaking.

“Today we took down the names of four enquirers.

“Through hillsides of tea-trees. We passed a big thieves’ cave from which several robberies have been committed recently. We went down into it.

“The road was very rough, but I have never been in such marvelous country in Yunnan before.

“We were expected here and a lot of people came out to meet us, releasing innumerable crackers. Here we had a wonderful time for two days-great feasting and kindness and services two or three times a day. There was really a work of the Spirit and about forty people decided to become followers of Christ. We played with the children and enjoyed competitions with the young people. My horse died the first night we were there, so for the remainder of the journey I am without a horse.

“Today explored a fine cave, into which all the people from hereabouts flee in times of rebellion and trouble.

“God is with us. Day after day we take names of those who want to become enquirers.

“Again a great reception awaiting us at this town, with banners, local militia, and hundreds of crackers. I had to march in a procession of welcome the length of the street. I would much rather not have this, but we must do as the people with in such things. They want to build a Church here.

“Forty li by boat on the Yang-tze—came to a place where they had already built a Church themselves. We had a crowded service in it when we arrived after dark. The Chinese preachers did well.

“Another Church already built here—we had a formal opening.

“About one hundred people here want to build a Church.

“At Lao-wa-tang. I told the people here that if they wished to have the Gospel they must do their part and build a Church for themselves.

“After the service we all sang in the court-yard until about eleven o’clock. People crowded into our rooms until midnight, so that we had to go to bed in their presence. We were so tired, talking all the time. Again they were in our room in the morning, asking us to help them get rid of the idols from the temple beneath the trees.

“Today we explored an enormous cave which was so deep that when we fired carbines inside, no sound at all was heard at the entrance.

“A great treat today. We all went up to the temple and carried out about two dozen wooden idols. Some of these were so big it took four of us to carry them. The preachers enjoyed it so much; Mr. Li was in his element. We had an enormous fire and burnt them all. There was about a ton of idols, and the fire burned for hours. Thank God for this great victory! The boys of the place enjoyed themselves throwing stones into the fire at the burning idols. Then I read from Corinthians before the fire, and we sang and prayed. Everywhere it is dry and barren, so afterwards we prayed for rain. The idols were burned at 2 p.m. and at 5 p.m. it began to rain and continued all night and part of the next day. How glad we were; I did not need this evidence to know that God is true, but the faith of others was evidently strengthened. In spite of the rain, the fire burned for 24 hours. It was a small repetition of Elijah on Carmel.

“The next day as we left on our journey, the further and further we got away from that spot the drier everything was, until a few miles away all was dry and barren again.

“In the jungle around here there are three tigers. Overnight one of them partly devoured a horse. The next day the owner enclosed a large lump of opium in the horse’s heart which remained in the carcass. The next day the tiger returned for the rest of the prey and was thus killed.

April 1st. “Reached home and found all well.”


Second Journey

May 21st. Commenced another journey in the same area, around Lao-wa-tang district.

“This place had suffered from a great fire. The whole town had been burned and nothing remained but charred heaps. No lives were lost but all the animals were burned to death. It was an awful sight.

“Nothing much has taken place here among the people since we were last here.

“The Christians there were carrying on.

“A representative came from Hui-li, some five days’ journey away, beseeching me to go there. I told him I would go when the enquirers had studied the catechism and agreed to follow out the Gospel teachings. He tried hard to persuade me, but I stuck to this position.

“Many of the boys here are regular opium smokers. It made our hearts ache to see them. They need the Gospel so much.

“E.’s birthday today. If only I were home….Thank Him for all these years of love.

“Today we had about one thousand people to hear us and I preached no less than fifteen sermons! In the evening we had a good service in the inn. One of the enquirers spoke very well for a few moments.

“From here the chief export is bamboo shoots for eating. One man carries the bales – 250 lb. each – over the steep mountain paths to a place where they can be transported by boat. Thousands of loads are taken every year.

“The market today was very lively. All about here the opium crop has b “The market today was very lively. All about here the opium crop had b een good; opium seems to be the chief spirit of this market. Whatever will be the end of opium I do not know. It makes me very down-hearted to see its ravages everywhere.

“Up at four and set off at five with a long day’s journey ahead, of twenty-five miles. Ninety-one degrees today.

“Reached Yong-shan at two o’clock. In the afternoon there were two executions, men guilty of stealing. One of the men went to see them. I went and preached to the crowd. The man said that after several attempts by an amateur executioner the thief loudly appealed to the crowd that he was innocent, until eventually he was silenced.

“From here we could see across to the great hills of Babuland; they looked very fine. When shall we carry the Gospel there?

“It is very cold up here in the winter. The city is small but well built. Miao can be seen on the streets here and there. Enjoyed the work; great crowds to our last service.

“In this village a wolf got into the fold of sheep last night, killed a great number and mangled a lot more. I asked the men if the sheep did not make a noise, but they said none at all. They say that thieves will sometimes enter the sheep-fold and skin the young lambs without a noise being made. ‘So He opened not His mouth.’

“Saw some Miao on the road today.

“June 18th, arrived home and found all well.”

“Aug. 28th. A few days ago the following letter from lu-kuan Village reached me:


“A Respectful Petition to the Great-man, the Venerable Mr. Pollard.

“The religion of Jesus has entered all parts of China and brought much good. But in our own place, a border town of a thousand families, not one in ten people believe the Doctrine. Why? Because there is no Church here for the preaching of the Gospel and many men go to ruin without knowing how to turn back.

“We students have long desired the Holy Doctrine; we constantly read the Bible, respectfully responding to the Saviour’s advances. Therefore we have banded together some tens of believers who wish to start a Church. We want to welcome you to the opening, that you may preach the Gospel of the Holy Lord and that believer may come like the constant flow of a river.

“We look for you as the timer of great drought we long for the rain clouds.

“Unfortunately many people are afraid and are not willing to rent as building. We beseech you to plan a consultation with the Prefect, that he may send word to the official of this village, asking him to help choose a suitable place here at a reasonable rent.

“We ask you to reply, telling us when you will move your honorable self and come to open our Church. We will when hasten to prepare it, so that we may get rid of evil, follow the good, and find the road to Heaven. We will prepare a lodging and await your coming with great eagerness. We wish our Teacher Golden Peace. That you will consider this petition goes without saying.

(Seals affixed)

“I-shing-kai, B.A. (Fifth-rank button)

Huang-yu-wen,. B.A. (By purchase)

His-chien-tien, B.A.


Aug. 29th. Mrs. Chang has been very ill for some time. She begged me to go and baptize her. After tonight’s service about ten of us went and had a service with her. Then I baptised her, though she is an opium smoker. I felt I could do nothing else, as she was so near death.

She passed away soon afterwards.

Aug. 31st. The Chaotung mandarin called privately to inform me that the neighbouring province (Sze0chuan) is ablaze with Boxer Rebellion again.

Sept. 1st. A country woman, Mrs. Tien, who used to help us, came in great distress this morning. Her mother-old litter boy is very ill. She said, “I left home early this morning, at bird-singing time to come into the city for medicine. My little boy has had convulsions for three days. I have tried some remedies, a worm, a beetles, a rat’s liver, and so on. Then he was no better, so I stripped him naked and covered him with wet sand. But he is no better. He is such a fine boy, so white and big, and I went through so much trouble to get him. If he dies I shall put him up in the fruit trees for the dew to fall on him tonight.” She has already lost three children before.


October. Third missionary journey.

“Again visited the burnt-out village. One of the big landlords nearby gave all the people who had lost houses the timber to build new houses on hi ground, getting their agreement to pay 600 cash a year for cash ‘frame’ of the house. In this way, he helped the people in their difficulty, without houses and money, but he got the market built on his ground and ensured a good rent for his land for ever. Previously the burnt-out place was on  was on another landlord’s land –and now there is a feud about this.

“At Ta-kuan I went into the room where we were to stay and found just the uncovered planks set up for beds. On enquiry they told me the straw mats from the beds had all been removed for us as they were so full of fleas.

“I preached three times on the streets. Some men came in the inn to see me; one was the head of the local government school, a young fellow but an opium smoker.

“On the street I bought some Sze-chuan terra0cotta were from a pedlar. Another man was carrying an eagle on his arm to sell, and there was another with a beautiful golden pheasant.

“A local man to whom I was speaking today was captured by the Lo-lo over the river and taken to Babuland. He was kept for seventy days, until ransomed by 100 pieces of cloth, 100 lb. of salt and 100 lb. of wine.

“I preached on eleven occasions today. Many people very willing to listen. The Lord helped us in preaching.

“In today’s journey we had to cross one river thirty times.”


Oct. 30th—Dec. 11th. Journey on the edge of Babuland

“On the road I passed a Chinese family, living in a cave and all occupied in distilling wine.

“At spare moments on the journey I have been reading Paradise Lost with intense pleasure.

“As we travel along or sit in the inns at nights, the Chinese preachers tell me stories from the Chinese classics, or well-known anecdotes from Chaotung. What a fund of stories the Chinese have.

“An enormous crowd tonight in front of the inn to hear us preach.

“Thank God for these helpers of mine. Tonight we were at work on the street for two hours. The street was crowded and the people listened well.

“Last night one family pulled down their idols and we burnt them.

“Mr. Tai burnt all his idols—paper ones, wooden ones, tablets and scrolls. Everyone enjoyed the idol burning very much, but the crowd were astonished. The father has a little five-year-old girl whose feet he has not bound. It was good to see the little one free of this deformity.

“By the river-side we saw an unusual scene. A boat carrying a cargo of tin-ore had sunk and they were trying to recover the cargo boat was tied, over where the cargo was supposed to be. A big stone rope fastened to the boat. A diver, completely stripped, was tied by the waist and he went down to the bottom he would seize a block of ore if he could, give a signal, and immediately they would pull him up as vigorously as possible clasping the ore. The diver only stayed below as long as he could hold his breath. Several times they were back in thirty seconds. If they succeeded in getting a block of metal, it took them longer to get up.

“While we were there three different divers descended eight times and rescued two blocks. It was trying for these men, working naked, in and out of the water. For every block recovered they received 35 cents silver, with 50 cash bonus for the men who recovered it.

“I was very tired at the end of the day’s walk yesterday, but we had a magnificent time outside the inn. I lay down inside, and it did my heart good to listen to preachers; God helped them, and they were in fine form before a great crowd. Thank God for these dear fellows. Later many wanted us to stay so that they might join the Church.

“Today and tomorrow happened to be ‘lucky day’, so that marriages and funerals were taking place all around. Consequently we had no crowd; very depressing.

“Examined some enquirers, and discovered that they had been reading their books carefully.

“A mother ago there was a band of two-armed desperadoes in this place; they are wanted in three Western Provinces but have evaded capture. They do not make war on the people, but only seize rich people who are disliked and known to be grasping. Because they kidnap rich people they are know as ‘Fat Big Stealers’, and as they do not attack the people indiscriminately they are still at large.

“Outside one of the new Churches I read a notice which said that any enquirers absent for three Sundays would be fined four pounds of Kerosene!

“In the small Chinese city of Ping-shan through which we passed today they keep a group of about twenty Babu hostages at the Yamen. This is the deter any of the tribes concerned from breaking into rebellion. They change the hostages every two or three years.

“Settled a dispute between two enquirers, and appointed a new steward.

“Christians and enquirers had come from other places and we all set off on the journey to Hui-li. (Across the Yang-tze, north of Babuland.) There were fifty or sixty of us and we set off soon after breakfast in two boats. There was a four-hour journey on the river, and as we went along I taught them ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ name’. We sang it eight or ten times and it really went with gusto.

“When we reached Hui-li, the place was crammed with people, and they gave us a great reception. We sang ‘All hail’ and it went splendidly. It made my heart dance for joy, for possibly only a dozen of crowd had any clear idea of what they were singing, but it was wonderful that the praises of Jesus should be sung in such a place.

“A lot of young fellows here whom one loves straight away; God save them. Several bright boys; God save them.

“I asked a hale and hearty old man of eighty-two if he smoked opium. He said, ‘No, but some years ago they persuaded me into taking some. I kept at if for eight months and then, finding the effect it was having on me, I decided to break it off.’ It was delightful to see the old man describing with great energy how he broke the paraphernalia-pipe and lamp, etc. –and defied the opium to enslave him. ‘I felt very bad for a while, and then I pulled myself together, clenched my fist and said “Opium get thee gone!”’ If only the young men had half his energy they would not become enslaved.

“At our preaching today, before a great crowd, there were five men with degrees preaching the Name of Jesus and calling on people to give up idolatry. It warmed my heart.

“A wonderful occasion today at Iv-kuan—a big inn, people sitting at twenty-one tables in the restaurant. Hundreds of people crowded in, mostly students, to hear the Christian Gospel for the first time. It was marvelous to see these scholars preaching Jesus to students. Singing led by three flutes and a fiddle.

“In the upper part of the town there is a spring in the rocks which supplies the town with water. There were a number of watercarriers who were women, some of them quite young. The poor women of Yunnan, with their loads of coal, wood, water, etc., etc. Often their burdens are over a hundredweight.

“I appoint leaders to the numerous enquirers and they themselves conduct the work, drawing up regulations in their own way.

“As we left the Yang-tze, we stood with the local people beneath a big orange tree, prayed together, and then parted.

“The scenery is overwhelmingly magnificent; the ten miles was a succession of magnificent cliffs—huge, mighty cliffs towering up with occasional breaks in them covered with luxurious vegetation and great trees. Some of the cliffs were cut right down as if they were a wall.

“Later we crossed a stone bridge with a shrine to one side. Inside was a dilapidated idol of Tsu-his, the god of the Boxers. The headmaster said he though the idol must be thirsty, so he took it and threw it in the river.

“Today over wild moorland, reminiscent of Dartmoor. Many strong towers about, surrounded by strong stone walls.

“There is fear of Man-tze wars on every hand.

“We preached outside the inn here, to a fair number of people, but met with no apparent response.

“Part of the journey today was on a remarkable path through a deep valley. At one place the road consisted of huge slabs of stone as in an ordinary paved road, but only by looking between the cracks did one become aware that the road was right over the side of the cliff. One looked through into an immense chasm. The stones were made firm by supports driven into the cliff face. The whole thing gave me the shivers. Later on the road was in a river bed, crossing and recrossing on stepping-stones, some of which were very shaky. At another time the road was around the middle of a cliff, with a big fall away from the edge. True, there was a stone railing on the outside to prevent accidents, but in many places this was broken away and at times it made me hold my breath.

“Today we touched the Yang-tze at another point. It was quite narrow here and looked as if we could almost throw a stone across. A great cliff overhung the river and below us was a rapid. A boatload of coolies came along, and it was a great excitement to see them shoot the rapid; it looked dangerous, but they got through safely. Some five mils further down there is an impassable rapid.

“In the town we were being followed by a lot of people, so we led them into a temple and there preached to them. They listened well, and then we found them collecting money for us to go on as their professional preachers. We refused to take any. In the evening we had about three hundred to hear us, and while preaching we burnt seven Chinese red worship-candles. By that time our voices were very tired, but we enjoyed it.

“Again we were followed by a great crowd and they followed us right into the inn, so that it became very rowdy. We managed to draw them off towards a public place and there for a couple of hours we preached to upwards of five hundred people. They said there has never been a foreigner preaching here before and that the last time a foreigner even came here was in the reign of the Emperor Tung-chih(1862-75)

“Some rowdy young fellows in the inn started a disturbance and one beat an old man and refused to stop. We laid hold of him and were going to send him to the mandarin, but at last were persuaded to let him off, greatly to his relief. He was a scamp, but I felt sorry that I got so angry with the rascal and glad that the affair ended quietly.

“Scores of defensive towers are to be seen on these hills, some of them strongly built, for we are only one day’s journey from the Man-tze country across the river. These towers show that the fear of the Man-tze hangs over the land. Indeed, while I was here, a band of Man-tze crossed over the river and carried off several captives. Only a few days ago there was also a clan fight near here in which several were killed. And this is the first time the Gospel has been preached here.

“From daybreak till about five o’clock we traveled thirty miles. On one height I had a superb view, the mountains of Man-tze land all around, and below the Yang-tze flowing fairly straight for about twenty-five miles. In the far distance there was a snow ridge standing up white in the sunlight. Near at hand were the cultivated plots of the Chinese, and dotted here and there the strong towers of defence. Very few times does it fall to one’s lot to see such an astonishing stretch of river and country.

“We went through a narrow pass in the hills, where the wind was very strong. Nearby is stationed a Chinese garrison to watch for the Man-tze coming across. We preached in the temple for about an hour, and a great crowd listened well.

“At one place I could count sixty-four towers on the Yunnan side, but there was a haze on the mountains, otherwise I am sure I could have counted a hundred, some of them very strongly built. This is the western edge of Chinese civilization.

“The river here makes a big bend, so that there is a huge spur of hill coming out from Man-tze territory. On that side I could see clearly that the land is uncultivated. The hills there will support a multitude of people when it is brought under proper control.

“In the village the children and young people were very rowdy, worse than at any place we have been in for some time. But at night God blessed us and we preached to them the liberating Gospel of His son.

“I am hoping to get a letter from E. tomorrow. God grant they are all well.

“Our march today was partly along the river shore, looking right across into Babuland. I could see several towers on the other side, and a few signs of cultivation. During these four days there has been a tribal fight going on over in Babuland and the war of weapons could be heard from this side. Several of the defence towers were burnt down. On our side one constantly sees houses and rice-fields destroyed by Babu raids, and it is very distressing.

“This time there is no chance for me to go across into Babuland. The tribal war there has been going on for some time and is not settled yet.

“I hear that over there they cremate their dead and put ashes in a box or basket, which is buried. They have no idols or temples. There are supposed to be twenty-nine tribes. In fighting they wear armour made of ox-hide. It would take eight days to travel right across their country. Their horses are famous around here.

“There is a market difference between the two sides of the river; on this side a rich cultivation of sugar-cane, oranges and rich-fields, and on that side, a few houses, some people working in the maize, and otherwise deserted hillsides.

“In the morning we passed through a long cactus lane which looked quite remarkable. After marching eighteen miles we came to Running-sand Mountain and the worst bit of land traveling I have ever been over. It is a huge cliff with three bends around which a small narrow path has been cut. Right down below there is the roaring river in a boiling, rapid state. It is about half a mile lone. On the outside of the path there is no protection at all and in some places it is very narrow. In one place a plank or two with a few stones over it was all there was to read on. It is extremely dangerous and frequently people fall over. Two months ago a man carrying a load of paper on his back stumbled and went right over the precipice. They say that once a family were crossing over, a boy of twelve in front, a woman with a baby on her back and the husband last of all. The boy slipped and went right over. The mother shrieked, lost her balance and went over. Fright struck the man and he did likewise. The whole family was lost.

“I have no wish to go over the place again. Before I started I was hungry, and long before I got across my legs were shaking, my heart was beating loudly and I had to strain all nerves to keep steady. The great cliff above pressed out on me. The sheer cut down to the roaring waters and the narrow stone pathway almost invited one to slip. Those used to the path go over as if it were nothing. Lao-feng, who was carrying the bedding in two baskets, went across steadily and bravely, just as if he were on ordinary level ground with no danger imminent. As corner after corner was turned and another bend opened up to be walked around, I felt increasingly bad, and when at last I got right over I felt so relieved and thankful. I discovered that by going a detour of about 5 li one can go round the hill and escape this dangerous place. I would rather walk 20 li than cross that place again.

“Preached in the evening; very tired.

“Again we were on the edge of the Yang-tze, watching a ferry go across, for there is a certain amount of trade carried on between the Chinese and the Babu. Often hostages or protectors are paid before people go to and fro. By the river=side we saw some Babu going across with some Chinese in the boat. On the other side we saw a number of Babu coming down the hills to the ferry, some of them with spears to guard against surprise. This spot is a border-line between two clans of the Babu who are frequently fighting, and the battles can be seen from this die of the river.

“The rapids here prevent boats going any further upstream, but rafts are made from heave planks for sale down river and these go right over the rapids as they like. Iron rings are fixed on the boards and when the raft goes down a rapid the men cling to the ring and let the waves go right over them. Very rarely do they have a mishap, except when the raft breaks up, or when the raft ‘makes scrolls’ (tui-tze); that is, if it sticks in a rapid and the raft bends up against the rock, the men are stuck there like pictures fastened on a wall.

“I preached at 4 p.m. and again in the evening; the people listened well.

“Here the Yang-tze narrows to about a hundred yards. There was once a bright slung across it here, which was supposed to be the first across the yang-tze. One night the Babu came across and captured a lot of people and carried them back across the river. The people on this side were so wild they broke down the bridge, killed all the Babu men they could lay hands on in revenge for the raid, and refused to allow any more to come over.

“We all slept together last night upstairs; just under us slept ten pigs, four cows and three horses. Not far off was a wood fire opening right into our common bedroom and smoking us. There were eight climbing up the other end of the stable to get in. The pigs kept up guests ofte3n sleep several under one coverlet and sometimes an extra guest comes in late and pushes his way in between the sleepers. Their phrase for this is ‘pushing in a wedge’.

“Next day. Bitterly cold. Walked from six in the morning until nearly dark. Very tired.”
   Dec. 11th. Returned to Chaotung. On this journey John Li, B.A., has preached eighty-seven times.





Pollard was the first European ever to set foot in the Independent Nosu country over the Golden Sand River. To the local Chinese it is known as Babuland. The detailed story of his journey and the interesting material he collected was published in his book Unknown China. The conditions there have remained largely as Pollard describes them until the present day.



Nov. 18th. I left Chaotung in the morning with Long to go to his home, three days’ journey away, this side the Golden Sand River. This was the beginning of our secret visit to Baluland. We had to make our plans quietly and leave without anyone knowing where we were going, or we should certainly have been stopped.

24th. In the morning a large party of us were visiting at the ferry across the Golden Sand River, many hundreds of miles above navigation point. The men in charge of the ferry made some difficulty. They did not like the idea of one going into the land no foreigner had entered before and tried to dissuade me from going. They told me wild stories of the other side and that I should never return. But after years of waiting I had the chance to go into Babuland, that fascinating land of wild legend, and I was not going to be put off by a few local Chinese.

The visit was alone made possible through the kindness of Mr. Long who has now become a Christian. He is really a Nosu from across the river, but has lived for so long on his lands this side that he is very different in manners from the ordinary Babu. He is even a captain in the local militia. From his house we had looked out over the Great Cold Mountains of Babuland which we were going to penetrate for the fisrt time.

If only we knew more about these people. These tribal races existed in China before the sons of Han appeared on the scene and drove them into the Far West. They are too strong to be quite destroyed and possessed of enough virility to preserve their existence in spite of all the pressure of the great Chinese race.

Of all the tribes, the Nosu alone possess a written language and literature, but the few books are practically the monopoly of the wizards and medicine men. It is a strange hieroglyphic language, existing in the midst of the Chinese language area. The Nosu (or Babu) claim that the Tibetans are a decadent part of their race. Perhaps here we have one of the earliest races of the whole world.

At last we were across the river and for the first time a foreigner set foot in Independent Nosuland. The first thing I did was to pray that this whole tribe might come to knowledge of the Saviour of the World.

We stayed in the household of a great chief among the Babu and I was able to make many friends among them. It was very satisfying to feel that I was winning the friendship of these tribespeople who have for centuries defied all the efforts of the Chinese to subjugate them.

Coming into Babuland is like stepping into a feudal age. The chief and his family live in a large house and sheltering under the wings of his large dwelling are the smaller houses of his retainers and slaves. There are rude fortifications around the whole establishment.

As we sat on bear rugs on the ground a goat was brought in and presented to us, and there and then they set to slaughter and prepare it for the meal. This is considered very respectful to the guest and assures him that the meat is fresh and that the animal has been killed especially for his benefit. When the carcass was ready, the heart and liver were thrown into the ashes of the wood fire and after a few minutes they were taken out, placed on wooden plates and handed to the visitors. I ate mine up with as much delight as I could. The the carcass was cut up and boiled for a while in a great iron pan. Before it was cooked it was taken out and handed round on wooden trenchers. No chopsticks here. We ate the rice with rough wooden spoons and the meat with our fingers.

Staying among these wild people convinces me that in their homes and among their own people they are worthy of our best efforts to evangelise them. I found a warm welcome wherever I went and nowhere met with the ill-treatment predicted for me by the Chinese.

In our journey in Babuland we found no villages or towns. The Nosu are the only people who have withstood the advance of Buddhism. The peoples of most of the Far East have been overwhelmed with Buddhism from India, but the Nosu have resolutely prevented any trace of Buddhist influence from deflecting them from the culture of their fathers.

Nowhere did I see any tiles on the houses. They were all covered either with grass or pieces of bark. There is among them an evident fear of demons, which accounts for the very considerable power of the wizards.

I discovered that there were no temples there and I saw no idols or images of any kind. Girls and women are much more highly regarded than among the Chinese; footbinding is not practiced, nor is thee any infanticide.

There were no signs of graves anywhere, which was a startling change from China, where the dead occupy more space than the living. What becomes of those who die in Nosuland? Fire and wind hold the secret. When a person dies the corpse is carried out, dressed as in life, and taken to some place in the country. There it is propped up in a sitting posture and surrounded with stacks of firewood, which is easily got from the great trees still existing there. The pile is ignited and kept burning until nothing but ashes are left, and these are undisturbed until they are blown away by the wind.


Dec. 19th. I had planned to leave this morning for hweitseh, but the rains were so heavy that I hesitated. At last I decided to go and left at 9.30 a.m. We reached Tao-yuan just before dark, after spending the day in filthy conditions. The roads absolutely pass description. In many places it was too dangerous to ride the horse, and in some places I had to have the horse led. One place Young Li was leading by a short rein as I was riding on the top of a narrow dyke bank. We came to a break in the bank, the horse steeped short, slipped, and fell full length into a ditch cut crossways in the bank. His legs were doubled up under him, he was breathing heavily with his neck extended and I thought a leg must be broken. We managed to get him up, and to our surprise and pleasure he walked the rest of the way. Thank God for this deliverance.

It was a nightmare to plod through the mud of the road. A government that permits such roads ought to be got rid of.

(Continued on a very wet journey to Hweitseh, then returned to to Chaotung. Early in 1904 he left Chaotung on the much longer journey to Chungking to send his eldest boy to England for schooling. “Good-bye to my boy”, and then frequently in subsequent weeks while traveling in north-east Yunnan—“I wonder where my boy is now? God bless him!”)



(On the return journey from Chungking.)

At night the boat stopped at the river’s edge and we alked a few li inland. The next morning we started off early, and before long we approached those nasty rocks near the Kuan-yu Rapids. A wind sprang up and our pilot thought he would row up and cross the river, dropping in ahead of the rapids. The men worked hard, but the wind fell away, so that the man had to row across the river, but by now they had got too far to drop below the rapids, so that we were making straight for the rocks at an awful speed! We really were alarmed, as we felt ourselves being swept so quickly down the river. At the time there happened to be a much smaller boat than ours being pulled through the rapids by five coolies dragging the rope from the tow-path. We crashed through the waters just ahead of the rapid right into their long rope. Our men dropped their oars and seized hold of their rope as it swept across our boat. We were for the moment kept from disaster by holding to the coarse rope, with a boat in the rapids at one end of it and five men on the bank at the other, almost being swept off their feet. At any moment I thought the rope would break and then both boats would have been lost in a total crash. The five men heroically held their ground, crouched behind an enormous rock rock jutting out into the river, straining at the rope even though they could not see us because of the rock. Our men slowly pulled hand over hand until the boat was into calmer water. Thank God for this deliverance, but it was a close shave.

May 2nd. In the inn in which we stayed there were over a thousand young ducks in baskets being carried about for sale. The ducks had all been hatched out in an incubator. The incubator consists of a quantity of unhusked rice which is fried once in the morning and then again at night. The duck eggs are then buried in the rice, and in time are hatched.

May 14th. Reached Chaotung again. So glad to be back. I preached at the afternoon service and administered the sacrament.

May 16th. I spent a day reckoning up accounts. After making up the first quarter’s accounts I found that there was £80 on the wrong side of the Mission account. I wish they would send more money.

May 20th. I sent to see if the Prefect was at home, that I might call on him. He was reported to be out, and very soon afterwards he called on me in full robes. After sitting down, he told me that Chaotung was authorities to send one or two students to Japan for higher education. The lucky students were to be chosen by examination, in which mathematics was one of the subjects. He frankly owned up to knowing nothing about the subject. First of all he asked if I would set a few mathematical questions, to which I readily assented. Then he enquired how one could possibly know which answer was correct. After a while he looked a bit shy, and then blurted out, “Will you please set the examination and mark the papers?” I agreed to do so and later delivered the papers to the Prefecture. Some days later they were returned for correction.

June 2nd. We have had two visitors—a Mr. and Mrs. Little, who are organizing a nation-wide anti-foot-binding campaign. I tried to get the Prefect to arrange for a large meeting in the Examination Hall, but he said that all the tai-tais(ladies) refused to come. So at short notice we arranged a meeting in the Church. A large number of men came and Mrs. Little addressed them on foot-binding, while I interpreted. The meeting went with a great swing and our people enjoyed it immensely. The anit-foot-binding movement seems to be making startling progress throughout the country.

June 14th. A friend brought to see me a fine Babu man, Shih-i-nyapa, one of the finest of these men I have seen. He was tall and well-built, with square features, two side teeth knocked out in a fight with a ‘drunk’ several years ago. He was fifty years old, clean-faced as they all are, and looked about thirty. He readily agreed to teach me, and so he stayed for a few days and taught me about two hundred Babu words and phrases. He was able to speak good Chinese and so we progressed very well.

He is a member of the Yeh-mu tribe. He told me the tribal warfare in which we were interested had been settled by the payment of 100 head of cattle. When he left I gave him two small ingots of silver-one from E. for his wife, and one from me to him. He was charmed indeed. He walked in and about the house, quite at home, and watched things with great interest. It was pleasant to have such a big man who could move about so quietly. I wish he could have stayed with us for some weeks.

July 9th. The post came in late at night, bringing the sad nes of the death of E.’s mother. I knocked me all to pieces. I could not tell her that night, and when morning came I felt such a coward and so nervous. What a cruel blow it was at last. One feels mad in the face of Death. It must be an anomaly, and outrage on humanity. Why should men die, least of all really good people, bringing so much sorrows? Surely it was not God’s plan. Thank God He is going to kill Death. Those who have Christ shall never see Death. “Death, where is the sting!” The Lord gave us comfort in our sorrow. On the morrow we went out for a walk together to comfort each other.





With the coming of the Miao, Pollard was transported into a new world. For the remainder of his years in China he was absorbed in this remarkable movement which began at the gateway to his house. Now, for the first time in any intimate way, he came in contact with the Nosu landlords. In this area of Western China these tyrants were know as t’u-mu, which literally means ‘Earth-eye’, or ‘Eyes of the Earth’. The origin or meaning of the name is not clear, but it would appear to be descriptive of their autocratic reign throughout their estates, where no one could escape their watchfulness. As its best, the eye of the seigneur was that of an overseer, and at its worst, the Evil Eye bringing suffering and death.



July 12th. Several Miao, four of them in fact, came in from the country and stayed here until Saturday morning. Their stange story was this. They had walked for nine days to An-shuen, in the neighbouring province, to see a Mr. Adam who was a missionary with whom a Miao hunting party had once stayed the night. He had told them that as they had come so far they would find it better to go to Chaotung, which could be only two days’ journey from their home. Accordingly they had returned to Chaotung.

The first thing was, they were very much in earnest in wanting to read. They brought with them small bags of food, oatmeal chiefly. I felt them sleep in the old schoolroom. I sincerely hope this will turn out to be the opening of a new field. God save them all. Our people here are very stirred up by this event.

July 22nd. Five more Miao came, and we tried to teach them.

July 23rd. Thirteen more Miao came. They say that there are thousands more waiting to come. On Friday night I spoke to them for some times, as simply as I could, and tried to tell them the Gospel story. As I spoke to them of God as the Father and Mother of all races their faces brightened up and they nodded assent. Presently I was called away. When I returned I questioned them on what I had just told them and they answered, “We cannot remember”. It is so difficult to know how to teach these primitive folk.

I asked them if they were afraid of us and one answered, “We heard the Chinese and No-su talking about ‘Foreigner! Foreigner!”

We were afraid at first, but by and by we went to see, and then found that they were not foreign, but like our own people. We are one family, only you come from a distance.” This is said as a great compliment.

July 26th. From Tuesday to Friday I went out to Siao-lung-tung and enjoyed it so much there. The charm of the place grows on me.

July 31st. Sunday. After service I went to visit two brothers in a miserable little house; both of them were ill with typhoid. At night I had a long talk with the Miao. God save them all. Two Babu men have also come to stay.

Aug. 7th. Sunday. More Miao have been coming every few days. Altogether about eighty have been here. Today a party of twelve arrived who had been out all night on the road in torrential rain. These fellows were on the hillsides all through the wet night, on their way here to hear the Gospel. In some places the Chinese have tried to stop the Miao coming in to visit me, and that is why they were traveling through the night. So far they have come from ten different villages.

In the evening after the Chinese service, I held a Miao service with them, by speaking through two of them as interpreters. It was so interesting to watch them. I would say a few words and then turn to my interpreters and tell them to repeat what I said in Miao. In this way I got hold of some words as well as they.

Aug. 14th. Sunday. We have twenty-nine Miao here today. Two of them have been before and come back again. This makes one hundred and six who have been here. May God teach us how to teach them. After the evening service again we had a Miao service and I spoke through interpreters.

Aug. 28th. Sunday. Twenty-eight Miao with us this week.

I went to visit a house where the little child had just died. In that Chinese family they had had seventeen children and three only were still living, which is an example of the terrible infant mortality rate here.

Aug. 29th. The Prefect sent over to tell me that General Chen, the guardian of the Yang-tze defences, was here. I went to visit him and found him to be an old man of 76, who would very much like to give up his office but is not allowed to resign because he keeps the Babu men in order so successfully. He told me that three years before he had killed more than a thousand Babu men. We talked about my experiences last year, when plans were made by the Babu to captures me. He knew about the plots.

The old man told me with pride that he has six sons and sixteen grandsons. At night we had a Miao service again. I enjoyed it. God save them. Four of the original Miao have returned.

September. (Mr. Pollard begins to explore the Miao country.)

An invitation came to me to visit an aboriginal chief. He lived at Heh-tu=ho, about thirty miles east of Chaotung in the hills. Men arrived in the city with a horse all ready for our departure. We left about noon and reached there after dark. I found there were three brothers living together, the oldest was only thirty-four, and he managed all the affairs of a large estate. His house, a primitive chateau, was bigger and more impressive than the Yanmen of Chaotung.

There were some indications of their manner of life which impressed me. Outside the main gate was a canque, a wooden affair which is fastened found a prisoner’s neck like a yoke. It was not there as a relic but was obviously in use. Men were armed with spears and guns, and prepared for the defence of the buildings was a handy supply of tridents. However, they treated us very kindly.

They were clearly the landlords and a power to be reckoned with in this area. They asked us a lot of questions about the Church and at my request gathered all the local people together for me to preach to.

The local people who are their tenants, or perhaps serfs, are almost all Miao. It is they who have to build and maintain the stronghold, using all local timber, stone and labour. They burn the lime, bake bricks and tiles by order.

The second evening I was there we had a scare. I suddenly heard a great banging which sounded as if it was a party attacking the big door. Everyone began rushing here and there in a great hurry, seizing their guns and flints and then bang! Bang! Bang! Fear was written large on their faces. As the noise subsided I was told that there had passed overhead a nine-headed monster. As it flies about its body drops blood, and whenever it settles there comes disease and death. No one can see it and live. Someone had heard its cry and the firing was to frighten it away so that it would not settle in their district.

The living quarters were further inside than the guest rooms, so that I saw very little of the women and girls.

We stayed two nights and then returned to Chaotung, although they pressed us to stay longer.

Sept. 4th. While in the country I heard a lot more details of the rumours that were sweeping through the countryside with the coming of the Miao to Chaotung. The whole country is alive with rumours. The most common story is that the oppressed Miao get poison from the foreigner and with it they are going to kill off all the Nosu landlords and the Chinese. Three Miao that I know of have been tied up the poison, they would be killed. In many places the Miao are now prohibited from attending the weekly markets. Their visits to Chaotung are bringing the into serious trouble.

One of the rumours is that when the Miao come into the city I put a drop of water into their mouths and them they can read splendidly. At other times I stroke their hair once or twice, and then their memory becomes marvelous.

Septs. 5th. The Miao in the country are being annoyed and ostracized. Most ot them appear to live in Weining Country, so today Wong-lao-tai, Chong-ming-tsai, two of the Chinese preachers, and I set off for the Yamen at Weining, 75 miles away, to see if we can settle the affair at headquarters.

It was fine when we rode out of the city, but on the Chaotung plain the mud was dreadful. In some places before we reached the mountains it was almost impossible for the horses to get through. We got into Liang-shui-ching at dark after a hard day. The next day it was a long stage over a mountain ridge to The-sheng-po. A tremendous storm on the hills made the roads bad and again it was dark before we arrived.

The third morning from the height of Niu-kai-tze, a wild spot, we could see half of Kweichow province, and twenty miles away the beautiful Weining lake. In the whole of that province there is not one doctor.

While we were right out in the open country there came on great rain such as I have not been in for years. There was no shelter anywhere, so we just had to go on. It simply lashed down and wet us all through. It was terrible. None of us spoke, but just plodded silently on in the downpour. At last we neared the city and went straight to an inn. It was full. The rain still drenched us as we went to another street, and there the inns were full. A stranger on the street led us to another place where we succeeded in finding a splendid inn where the lao-pan and cook did everything they possibly could for us. In a few minutes they had a fine charcoal fire around which we stood and dried our clothes. The cook produced a lovely hot mea; there was plenty of bedding at night and we were so thankful. We had left one of the coolies behind us in the driving rain as he had been unable to keep up. We wondered it he would ever find us, but he reached the city after dark and found some men who let him have some big Chinese candles. By their light the found his way in the dark streets and discovered our inn. He was drenched, and so was my bedding which he was carrying.

Sept. 8th. The next morning I saw the authorities and brought up the question of the Miao in the country because of their attempt to hear the Christian religion. In the evening the officer sent over a copy of proclamation to see if it would do. The first line began, “Whereas we have repeatedly received edicts commanding us to protect the Western men…” I cut out the last two words and altered them to ‘Christian’. This was later accepted, and the whole proclamation will be made known throughout the area. They knew at the Yamen of the general talk about the Miao trouble. We heard that the centre of disturbance is about 20 li away at Yang-kai, so we will go there. I discovered that the inns that refused us were not full, but would just not have a foreigner. We should not have had an inn at all had it not been for the fact that we brought with us an escort of men from the Chaotung Yamen. After two places had refused us, the escort saw that the next did not.

Sept. 10th. After a meal we left Weining and made for Yang-kai, the supposed centre of the Miao oppression. On arrival we settled ourselves in a little inn and visited the local officer. He said there had been no trouble here, but all local markets the Miao had been prohibited from attending. We visited the local market, held on the hillside; a display of all manner of ware and a crowd of people from all around. The Miao at first were afraid to come near; they had evidently been scared. Later some came to see us in the inn.

Sept. 11th. Today was Sunday and my companions strongly urged us to travel to Ta-kai, and so be able to maintain the ‘run of the market days’ as we journeyed on. We felt tempted to go but I decided to stay and keep the day properly. We went outside a temple and preached to the local soldiers.

Later on in the day about forty or fifty Miao came to see me, followed by lots more, until there were over a hundred here; some of them had been to Chaotung to learn. Had we not stayed for the Sunday we should have missed seeing them.

A Miao woman and her husband came in great trouble. It was a strange case of demon possession. The woman was nursing a baby girl. She had been a medium and now wished to give it up, but her neighbours refused to let her. When any trouble befell any of them they said it was her spirit that had done it, and she had to exorcise the spirit. Crying bitterly, she begged us to deliver her from the possession by this spirit. We stoop up together and prayed, and I told the woman to call upon Him whenever she was troubled by this demon and she would be freed. She seemed greatly comforted when it was all over. May God drive the demon away from her and save them all!

I have discovered who are the ring-leaders of the Miao trouble and have written to them warning them to watch their step. The local people are very nervous of a rebellion. In this tense atmosphere an outbreak could occur at any moment.

The scenery is so different here from the massive ranges at Chaotung; here there are hundreds of small hill-tops and here and there a small refuge house surrounded by walls crowns the summit.

Sept. 12th. A beautiful starry night was followed by a nasty wet morning, so that we were wet before we had gone very far. At the first village we reached, orders had been given that the Miao must not be seen at the market. Fifty li further on we came to the house of a great local landlord. We continued on to the next place, and sent one of our escort ahead to approach another of these feudal overlords, seeking hospitality for us. He found that he head was a widow of about forty, with only a son of eighteen, who was afraid to receive us.

When we arrived we went on to the mean villages street-one or two broken-down houses—and waited awhile. Later an invitation came from the widow to stay as her guests, but at the house of one of her underlings. We stayed there and she sent us about twenty pounds of rice a big fowl. During the evening we were invited to the big house to see the tai-tai. She sat there and talked with us for people; they all gathered in the courty-yeard and we preached. It rained a little, but that did not matter. We had a very good time and got to bed about eleven.

Sept. 13th. A wonderful day’s traveling through the Kweichow hills. The hills are covered with forest, magnificent firs and pine, also oak and chestnut in large quantities. Our little party marched right beneath the fortress of Shoh-i-ka with its twin towers.

Twenty-five li farther on we came to the first Miao village that I have been in. Here a Miao had had his sheep killed by neighbours through visiting Chaotung.

His house was very roughly built, but swept out very clean inside. The women look so different from the Chinese, with their hair in a cone style, and wearing kirtles. On the floor was a wood fire, and on this an enormous iron pan in which they were cooking buckwheat-cakes and marrow.

I settled the matter of the sheep robbery. Those who had taken part were sent for and came. I gave them seven or eight days in which to refund the theft and word must be sent to me that this had been done. In the afternoon we continued another ten miles to Keo-kai, where a thousand people were gathered outside for the market. Half of them listened to us as we preached and I read to them the proclamation from Weining. There were hundreds of Nosu girls and women at the market which made it very colorful and attractive.

In the evening we marched 25 li to another tu-mu’s castle, where we were kindly received and entertained. This local ‘lord’, called An (Peace), had once visited us at Chaotung. He received us kindly and put us up in a well-built fortress which dates from the Nan-chao dynasty. (Nan-chao was annexed to the Chinese Empire in 1253.) After a drink of tea I went into their smoking-room and found four of the household there smoking opium. I am afraid I gave them rather a bad time. They laughed a good bit, but some of the things I said went home. They gave up smoking opium at 11 p.m. and then went to bed. Mr. An escorted us to our rooms, holding us by then hand and talking a great deal.

Sept. 14th. Today I had the local Miao brought in to interview them about the indignities inflicted on them because of their visits to me at Chaotung. I wrote down stories. One Miao reported that his wife had been ill-treated while he was away. She had twice been attacked, and was covered with bruises. Her bedding had been stolen. Another Miao was reported as even now tied up, with his legs and arms fastened by a chain weighing 150 lb. Seventy taels ransom are demanded or he will be burned. Other reported that they were constantly visited by men demanding money from them, forcing it out of them by threats.

Sept. 15th. We waited and waited for breakfast; indeed we waited so long that we began to feel it. It was eventually past 1 p.m. before we were called to breakfast. These opium smokers turn night into day.

Today we made for another village where a notorious Nosu landlord lives. Two or three years ago he was visiting Chaotung with a few armed retainers when he was arrested by the mandarin and thrown into prison. Apparently the intention was to extort a large sum of money for his arrest. His family tried in every way to secure his release but failed. At last they successfully plotted to dig through into his prision from the outside and set him free. A large party of armed men were waiting for him and he thus escaped back to his home. They set out with soldiers to capture him, but could not catch him and dared not enter his home area where his power was too strong.

Just before we arrived at his village we turned a corner in the road and there we saw his big stone house at the foot of a wooded knoll. A crowd of Miao were clustered outside, helping to build up a large by the light of big fires threshed out a lot of oil seed. The blazing fires in the distance looked fine. The ti-mu gave instructions that our party was to have free hospitality at a new inn he had built on the market-place. The market-place was covered with very green short grass, making it look like an ideal village green. Hundreds of sheep and cattle were coming from the hills, wending their way down to the buildings in the setting sun. It was a quiet, peaceful scene.

We had a time of it in the new, unequipped building. We went out and collected firewood, but it was wet and would not burn. We poured kerosene on it and it still refused to light. We then took a lantern and went searching in the darkness for a fence from which to break dry wood. At last we got a fire, but then there was no water and had to go and borrow some. To keep the fire going we had to go out and pull dry grass, and at last by the moonlight we had to wander in the market-place finding some stones to put around the fire for supporting the pan.

By ten o’clock we were sitting round the fire, eating a meal of rice with chopsticks, when the landlord came to see us. We had a long talk together and it was midnight before we lay down to sleep.

One of the big problems here is that a whole family has been ill from drinking water, and the Miao are accused of poisoning the well. I agreed to visit the house next day and enquire into it. The landlord spoke very highly of his Miao tenants. He also bought from me a box of medicine to help cure himself of opium smoking.

Sept. 15th. Today he rode with us on a very fiery pony while he said will cover 300 li a day. We crossed a river after about five miles and eventually found the two households allegedly poisoned by the Miao. Ten people had been ill and all had recovered.

They showed me the stagnant pool from which they drew water. In front of the cottage was a heap of rubbish and manure, and the rains washed on it and the water flowed away near the pool, only separated by a narrow path. It is a wonder many more were not poisoned.

The last night we spent at the chief’s house at Heh-tu-ho, which I had visited at the beginning of September. While there, two Miao came in who had been tied up, but they had managed to get loose and escape.

Sept. 17th. Today at Siao-lung-tung, two local Mohammedan offices were talking openly in the market with Chinese about driving out the foreigner. I quickly went down and frightened the lives out of them. Later word was sent me that they would guarantee that no Miao in their area would be harmed if I would not pursue the matter any further. I was more than willing to agree.

Sept. 18th. After service I visited the Prefect at Chaotung and he agreed to issue the proclamation regarding the Miao. I also begged him to try and limit the use of food for wine-making, owing to the widespread poverty. He promised to do so. I reported one junior Chinese official in the country who was talking loose anti-foreignism, and he asked me if I would like him removed. I asked that he should just warn him.

Sept. 21st. At eight in the morning a Miao arrived from the country with his face covered in blood. He said that he and his uncle were coming into the city; near Tao-tien-pa, when passing a hut, some men sprang out and attacked them. He himself was speared in the head but got away. They laid hold of his uncle, but whether he was dead or alive he did not know. The things that they were carrying, their bag of oatmeal, a fowl, some walnuts (presents for me), and their tribal pipes were all taken by the attackers. He looked partly stunned by his head wounds. Immediately I notified the city authorities and took him personally to the Prefect. I sent some preachers out to the scene of the outrage, who discovered the names of the rascals but could find no trace of the missing man. The local authorities sent out some armed men to investigate on the spot.

Sept. 26th. Today I went out to see where this had happened and to make enquirers myself. I found that when the Chaotung men had come to investigate they had treated the matters as of little importance. They had made the people on the spot kill a sheep for them to eat and had had a good time at the nearby village before returning.

Sept. 28th. More Miao came in today, relatives of the missing man. The reported that he had been badly beaten but had escaped with his life. He had limped and crawled away until at last he reached a Miao hut. The Miao had carried him home; he had taken five days to reach home after the attack. They said that he had suffered very badly, but probably would not die. The Lord save these people.

Oct. 8th. One of the men who made the attack has been detained and all the stolen articales have been returned. He was punished by flogging, 500 nominal lashes and then 100 real ones, and then he was brought to me and I gave him a straight talk. The following day the Prefect sent and asked if the man should be set free, and I replied, “Decidedly so”.

More Miao have been coming this week. Forty –five of them here tonight. In one of the preacher’s homes there has been a big quarrel going on for three days, a regular ‘devil’ affair. I have tried to reconcile and make peace, but so far have not succeeded.

Oct. 12th. Miao are coming in every day now. I have been working hard trying to get out their language. It is so difficult trying to teach them not knowing their language. I have tried hard to get the work for ‘prayer’ from them but have not succeeded; neither have I found a word for ‘sin’. Last night I tried to tell them how Keh-mi came down and died for us, and how He was put to death by wicked men. They immediately take it for granted that it was done by Chinese, as everything bad must come from the Chinese. I tried in all ways I could think of, and them I do not think they understood.

These occasions are part teaching and part learning, for when I catch a word I put it down, but they are coming and going so much that I do not get a chance to get used to any one person.

Today I made an experiment in getting out a written language for the Miao—making my own consonants and vowels to match their sounds. So far so good, but how can I manage to distinguish tones?

They say that the landlords are very displeased because they are becoming Christians, because then they will not be so easily oppressed and they will not so readily accept corvee—that is, giving days of unpaid labour as vassals of the landlord. There will be a struggle over this. One landlord is trying to frighten them by telling them that if they join the Church they will have to work on Church lands.

Oct. 17th. Fifty Miao here now. we have regularly two services each night—one Chinese and the other Miao.

Nov. 4th. Rumours about the Miao are rife; one current one is that I am going to lead a rebellion of Miao and Babu. In the last few days many cases of Miao persecution have come to us. Some Miao have been put to the treadmill, some have been beaten, from others money has been extorted, and others have been driven from their land. One came yesterday who had been put in chains.

At night at the Miao meeting I had a hard struggle with about thirty there. They seemed so down-hearted and dense. How could I cheer them up? I tried all I could and in the end succeeded a little. It is a shame that they should be so oppressed and persecuted. They are as slaves, like the Israelites in Egypt under Pharaoh; they are wanting liberty but are not getting it. I tried to show them that all the happiness is not on the side of the oppressors. For example, that many of the rich are childless even though they have many wives, whereas the Miao have many children. “Yes,” said one of them, “our sons are our silver.” “And,” I added, “your daughters are your gold.”

When I hear the stories of the constant oppression of the Miao by Chinese and Nosu landlords and officials, I feel I could read all the Psalms of David with pleasure.

They feel deeply that they are landless, must work for others, and that they will not be allowed to regain land; also, that they have been deprived of land, originally theirs, by cruedl means. One of their legends is that when these Western lands were being divided between the Chinese, Nosu and Miao, to mark their boundaries they tied the grasses, as they still do. The others, however, laid boundary stones. Then the Chinese and Nosu plotted together and set fire to all the land, and only the stones remained.


November 1904, First Journey among the Miao

(‘23rd of 10th Moon’, Chinese calendar.)

Wang, Li and I started off to visit the Miao, to journey round towards Kuei-hsiang. A heavy fall of snow delayed our start. There are nine Miao traveling with us, and we have no Chinese coolie or servant.

The first night we stayed at a Miao house, more well-to-do than the ordinary Miao; the lower part was a cob wall and the upper mostly open or stopped up with straw and boards. Plenty of fresh air and plenty of draught. There was a crowd of people in the house, the old man, three sons, two married with families, five or six grandsons. Formerly he had been better off, but when they get out of poverty the covetous eyes of their Nosu neighbours fall on them. He was accused of stealing, and with one of his sons he was led off in chains and tied up for a month. His thumb was pricked with red-hot tongs, and he was beaten on the back with a sword.

This was nine months ago, and the marks are still there on his thumb and his arm is painful. His oxen, horses and sheep were driven away, a fine imposed, and then they were released. It appears that this kind of oppression is common. A Miao dare not get rich or his landlord will take away his wealth.

Downstairs a bed of planks and stools was erected for me in a corner. Near it was a big fire of wood blazing splendidly on the hard-earth floor. Two women, with their horns exalted, busied themselves getting food, and before long there was a nice dish of vegetable and maize ready, and we were so hungry we ate a lot. Later on they killed a big sheep for us and cooked it nearly all night.

Many Miao came in and we preached to them until midnight. The Chinese preaches with me spoke one after another. The Miao repeated the story of the Crucifixion which I had taught them in Chaotung; they did it very well.

Three men came in with a report that one of the big landlords had gathered a few hundred fighting men, and on a certain day they were going to search all Miao houses. Whenever a Christian book was discovered the people would be massacred. It must be false, but they believed it.

We were glad to get to bed, but the talking kept on nearly all night.

Wednesday. By 9 a.m. the fat mutton was ready and an hour afterwards we were off. We were first going to cross the river. Last time I crossed this river we went right down to it and over a bridge. Now we were about 1,000 feet above the river and I could see its winding course through the hills. At last they told us that we were now crossing the river, and a little further on they told us to look back. There we saw a hug cliff over which we had crossed, and at its foot a cave about 100 feet high into which the river flowed. This ‘preternatural bridge’ is over a mile wide and one would never dream that a rive flows beneath. All around, the mountain scenery was magnificent, with some wonder cliffs a thousand feet high. Here we must be about 8,000 feet above sea-level. On the journey one of the Miao who had come with the news of the coming massacre was taken ill. He had an intolerable itching all over his body, his face and eyelids became swollen so that the could scarcely see. He said this always happened when he ate mutton! The others gathered wood and lit a great fire. In front of this they warmed the ill man, back and front by turns, and he became much better. He told me this always cured him.

Late in the afternoon we climbed a mountain to a Miao house from which one of our visitors to Chaotung had come. He welcomed us, and in the evening killed a small pig to entertain us, and in the morning a fowl.

At night it snowed and was very cold. Many came in to listen. Of the twenty-seven families that live here, only from this one had someone come to Chaotung to listen. Several brought eggs for us as presents.

Dec. 1st. Walked twelve miles today in snow and cold. On the journey we entered a Chinese house for a rest. Here there were idols and opium, a different world from the Miao.

We arrived at the Miao village and received a great welcome, with a huge fire. The grandmother, 70 years old, welcomed us with a sweet smile and many kind words. At night there were quite a number; we had fires going in three rooms(a hundredweight of logs on each fire—such a blaze!), and a preacher in each. All the time they listened, and the women were as busy as could be, all so friendly and glad to have us here. More reports of expected persecution.

Dec. 2nd. In the morning they killed a pig and we had to et it before we left. Today we only came a few miles and stayed at two Miao houses where there was a large number of children. They were such a bright lot, I thought of what Jesus said about the millstone. Whoever stops these from entering His Kingdom will incur a tremendous responsibility.

Dec. 3rd. Twenty miles through some grand country of hills and cliffs. Passed a hill where on the 5th of the 5th Moon the Miao hold their annual hua-chang, a tribal celebration of dancing, feasting, drunkenness and much immorality.

At night there were seventy adults and many children around the fire. The patterns on their tribal costumes are very pretty. They grow their own flax, make it into thread and weave it into cloth. They really are workers, and their garments are works of art.

Dec. 4th. Sunday. Three hundred gathered in the open air this morning, and one hundred tonight. In between times there were little groups everywhere; the preachers and I went from one to the other teaching them to read.

It was a joy to see the girls, in their best clothes, scamper over the hillsides as no Chinese girls with their bound feet could do. May God deliver the Chinese from foot-binding.

Dec. 5th. Many escorted us off as we left in the morning. After a few li we came to a Miao village and had breakfast. They wanted us to stay all day. We do not know each day where we are going to spend the night.

We forded the river and climbed up past some copper mines. During the day we must have walked 30 miles, and at dusk arrive at a Miao house built on the top of a little knoll with a very steep ascent.

At night we had a big coal fire on the floor—the light from the fire is the only lighting they have—and around the fire were three big circles of men and women. 11 p.m. when we finished preaching.

Dec.6th. We had fowl, beautiful cabbage and rice last night for supper. This morning they have killed a young pig for us. I went to see the Black Nosu who had accused one of the Miao of using poison and then taken away his horse. I tried to settle the affairs so as to win peace all round.

As I was walking today with the Miao we climbed a long hill, up and up, until at the summit we suddenly came in sight of a view of great magnificence, hills in every direction. The part circle that we could see on the horizon must have been 100 miles long, with a radius to where we stood of 50 miles. There were literally hundreds of peaks like the battlements of some enormous city. It was so impressive that even the natives stood and gazed in wonder. Some horses had been sent to meet us, but two of the men refused to ride, saying that walking they would better take in the view. It was wonderful indeed. How great and majestic must be the thoughts of the God of Nature.

For a while today we were traveling on the road to Ko-kuei. It was on this road that Thorne was traveling when he was struggling back to Chaotung to die. (He fell form his horse a number of times from sheer exhaustion.) We went down and down and down. It was an awful road, bad enough for us, but it must have been torture for sick man. What brave fellows Throne and Vanstone were! No ttwo better men have ever been sent out by the Bible Christians.

At night about two hundred people came and a lot of boys and girls. The women stood by listening. They say there are a thousand families hereabouts. In the 8th Moon they were threatened with chains, etc., in the usual way, if they became Christians, but it is quieter now.

The greatness of the work frightens one at times. What are we to do with it? What does the Lord mean?

Dec. 8th. Three hundred and fifty Miao tonight; it was so crowded.

Dec. 9th. Left escorted by men, women, boys and girls, such a procession! We stayed for a midday meal at a Miao village, and they nearly cried because we would not stop there the night.

We preached and taught until midnight.

Dec. 10th. On the way home, up and down some tremendous hills, with a very bad road. What awful suffering Thorne must had had along here. Crossed the river on some huge boulders: the horse went over by boat. Home again, to a cold north wind.

Christmas. So many Miao came that we began on the 23rd. We had thirty-six tables for the Christmas feasts, eight at a table. Four hundred Miao paid to join in the feast and many hundreds more brought their own provisions. The copper cash we received at the feasts weighed nearly five hundredweight.

On Christmas Day we had four services for the Miao and three for the Chinese. Several Miao spoke, one of them very eloquently. It quite stirred up the people. The Miao who was stabbed by the Mohammedan was present with his wife. I got him up and told the people about him. I pointed out that he was still alive, that the threat to kill him had not been carried out, because God had protected His people.

In the evening the chapel was packed with Miao and we had a fine time. One after another spoke, and there was evident power there. What are we to do with all these people?

Dec. 26th. During the day a Miao wizard came to me in great distress. He was blind in one eye and he had a horn of hair sloping at about 50 degrees up from his forehead. He told me he wished to get rid of the demon which possessed him and to give up all his devil tricks. Could I help hime?
At the evening service John Li took charge, and then some Miao spoke; then I called on the wizard and he came to the front. I told the people what we were going to do. Just then I thought that there might be more in the same situation, so I called for any other wizards. Another stood up—excitement began to increase—then another and another, until at last we had five. We cleared the preachers off the platform, so as to have room for action, but the proceedings were interrupted by a voice shouting out “Another! Another!” Finally we had nine devil-workers in all. Some of the wizards were very repulsive.

Then to our surprise we noticed that one of the men was a Miao who had begun to preach. He told me that since he had come and learned to sing and pray, the devil had left him and never returned again.

Up there at the front I felt as if I could treat a myriad of devils with supreme contempt. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” I told the people that we were more powerful than all devils, that before Jesus “devils fear and fly”. Then I questioned each. Each said he wanted to give up his devil practices and to trust Jesus. First of all singly, and then unitedly, they promised to quit it for ever. (Great excitement.) Then I told them all to get on their knees, and all the nine repeated prayers after me. There they were on their faces before God asking for deliverance. We prayed and prayed: “Lord, help us”, “Drive the devils away”, then “Thank you, Jesus”, and last of all, in mounting excitement, the congregation clapped their hands, shouting, “Thank you, Jesus, for saving us and driving the devils away”. It was all very exciting and wonderful, different from anything I have ever seen before.

Drunkenness and immorality are the twin sins these people suffer from most of all. The former confined chiefly to the men, the latter shared in an almost unthinkable manner by all. Every villages of twenty or more houses boasted of a club where the young people, married and unmarried, spent their evenings, and these brothels or clubs were the curse of the people. On the physical side the children have endured terrible suffering for the sins of their parents. When one mentions the ‘Miao disease’, everyone knows what one means, as it is so typical.





As Pollard moved into the mountains he discovered medieval feudalism there. This was peculiar to the area where the Nosu had held sway, for neither the Chinese nor the other tribes had such powerful lords at the head of their society. When the Chinese civilization  had moved into this area, it had established garrison cities and appointed mandarins but had left the Nosu barons with their ancient power. They acknowledged Chinese sovereignty, but throughout the region of their estates Chinese authority was only partial. They were, also, so rich that they could at all times buy the connivance of the mandarin, who was nominally in control.



Jan. 22nd. One hundred and seventy Miao came today! Four thousand Miao have already visited us here.

I asked eight Miao men, one after the other, if they had lost children; only two had not, and they were unmarried. The indicates the university of suffering among them. They continue to bring me little presents. Lately I have had several pheasants, eight leg of deer and four leg of wild goat.

March 7th. Nine Miao and I started off to see if we could get a place on which to build Miao Church buildings. We took no money but hope to get a plot given us. We pray and wait God’s guidance.

After leaving the Chaotung plain, we climbed out of the sunshine into mist and cloud. Towards the end of the day we met bitter north winds, unthawed snow lay around and icicles hung on the trees and bushes. At one place we lit a fire on the hillside to warm ourselves before continuing. About five we reached a Miao village where again there was a big fire and a warm welcome. A great number of people and plenty of preaching.

Mar. 8th. Today we rode 70 li, away from any main path; if we had not had a Miao to lead us, we should never have found the way. We crossed the sides of a big mountain (Ma-o-shan) between Chaotung and Weining and finally arrived at the fort of a Nosu landlord called Loh-chilh.

He received us kindly and we stayed there the night, but he is a very unusual local baron. He told us straight he would rather lose his head than become a Christian. He refused all gifts of books, disputed all we said and denied all our attempts to win him over. He stuck up strongly for his religion and defended the worship of idols with great zest. It was a treat to meet such a man. He is only 33 years old, drinks wine from a small bottle all day long, smokes and swallows opium, and has three Chinese wives. (He has had seven, but four dies.) His wives sit at his feet and prepare his opium for him. He laughed at the idea of a woman committing suicide in order to frighten her family. He said he would cut her up with a knife to finish her, and then there would be no more nonsense like that in the house. When I wrote a letter to E. and asked for it to be sent off, he ridiculed me as a man subservient to a woman. Later on, when I gave him a pamphlet that E. had written, he said, “If I had a wife with ability like that, I would respect her as you do”.

Mar. 9th. The next morning Loh-chih summoned all the Miao to come and listen to my preach! We went outside and he sat on a chair at my side as I spoke. Frequently he interrupted and objected to what I said. Beforehand he had begged me not to preach against idols. He wanted it to be seen that he was in favour of others becoming Christians, yet resolutely refused it himself.

All his tenants dread Loh-chih. He never knows when he may be attacked, so all his people are trained for fighting and even his wives are trained to reload the rifles for him. In his place were large numbers of rifles and cartridges.

Mar.10th. The next day was the first of the Moon and so Loh-chih fasted from meat and animal food. He wanted to get meat for me, but I begged him to let me share his meals.

Mar.11th. We wanted to leave, but he refused to let us. He said he had killed a pig for us and would have us eat it. I tried to get off, but he said if we went he would never receive us again.

Later in the day we had a long argument about the problem of his authority and mine over the Miao on his lands, his serfs and my members. We skirmished for a long time, and the end both signed a short covenant.

“Our authority is distinct----in our own spheres.”

“We do not interfere in the other’s affairs. ”

“Mutual respect without guile.”

Finally as we parted he said,”Friends—yes, we will be friends:Medicine—yes, I will buy your medicine:Christianity---not at any price.”

Mar.12th. Continued our journey. At night, as we were about to enter a large Miao village, I found an arch, the work of a wizard, across the path. It was made of two sticks joined by string, and feathers and pieces of wood were stuck all over the arch. At the foot were two wooden swords.  Recently several houses had been burned down in the village.

We had no proper meal until dark, and then came crowds of people from three villages. We divided up and preached to them in four houses, around enormous wood fires. They all seemed pleased to see us, but the fear of the landlord was heavy upon them.

At night I slept in a room with two great fires, and all around were people sleeping on the floor, and at times leaning on my bed. It was a filthy room.

Mar.13th. Today we visited An-kuan. He was promised to give us a site. He said so willingly, but he is afraid that after we have left others will make trouble for him.

Mar.27th. Mr.Hsia and I started off from Chaotung to visit Landlord An, about his promise of a site for us to build on. The first night I heard some bad news about Loh-chih’s cruel treatment of the Miao. On the Sunday after we left his place, the Miao assembled for worship. He heard of this, arrested the two Miao leaders, tied them up and tortured them. The first, he tied up by one hand to the ceiling with his feet off the floor and a large stone tied to his feet; the second, he put‘on the chair’,a particularly cruel torture. Every now and again he would visit them and tell them to call on Jesus to save them. The poor people there are very frightened.

Mar.28th. In this Miao village there was a large, loosely-built timber building, which was the village brothel, frequented, they say, every night by young people. Before we left we razed it to the ground. As we were demolishing it a woman rushed into the ruins to rescue something of hers; she was a married woman. The parents in the village were very glad at we had done.

Mar.29th. As we talked with Landlord An it seemed that he was going to back out of his promise, which made us very dismal. After a lot of arguments he eventually gave us six hundred square-foot of land at a place called Shih-men-kan(Stonegateway), a place I had never heard of or visited.

He also gave me a Babu pony, so we got ten acres and a pony. The preachers went off to the Miao villages, and two days later I left with our precious deed. After thirty miles I reached Shih-men-kan and began to choose our site. A Chinese repeated to a Miao the old rumour that the foreigner would take out his eyes. “Quite ture,quite ture,”said the Miao, “he has taken them out and changed them. With the old ones we could not read, but we can with the new ones.”

May 14th. At Stonegateway we held our first services in the straw-thatched building. I taught them the Ten Commandments. At the second service there were 150 men and 60 women and girls. A Miao came to me today and said, “I want to work always for you. I will be like an animal to you. Whatever you tell me I will do”. Poor beggar, we gave him more hope than that. The landlords are still persecuting them with demands for money.

June 5th. Parsons and I started for Stonegateway, to be present at the Christian festival we have inaugurated to compete with the heathen hua-chang(Feast of Flowers). This is held every year on the 5th of the 5th Moon.

On the first day we had one thousand five hundred Miao, of whom five hundred were women and girls in their picturesque costumes. We crowded five hundred at a time into our only building, and then gave it up and went out into the open air.

At night we held two impressive lantern services in the chapel, first for the women and then for the men. The crowd was immense. At the end of the meeting all the men lay down in the chapel and went to sleep. The women and girls were crowded into the houses of the little village nearby.

Only a fraction of the Miao attended our festival. All around the others were holding their heathen and immoral celebrations at the same time, but the crowds that came to ours seriously interfered with theirs. All the time we were on the qui vive to prevent any outbreak of general immorality for which these people are notorious.

June 8th. Returned to Chaotung in drenching rain.

June 10th. Set off to see the great landlord at Mao-mao-shan. We did not arrive until eight in the evening and the last climb up the hill to the castle was terrible. It must have been a great expense to build such a castle here; several tens of thousands of silver.

He is demanding money from the Miao, and I have some to try and make terms with them. The next day I invited them to come to the Miao service with me, in a humble Miao house, which  he did, but the Miao were very nervous with the great man there. Afterwards, I felt I would much rather stay with the Miao in their hovel than return with the tu-mu to his castle. Later I came to an agreement with him about his demands for higher rent, and I think it will now be all right.

June 13 th. Returning home we stayed a night at a small Miao village----a lot of people came in the morning with some lovely children. The old lady of seventy gave me one hundred and seventy cash which they had collected at their Sunday services.

Wang and I slept in a corner over the stable. A cow calved below us in the night, but we slept so soundly that we knew nothing of it.

June 21 st. Today I wrote a long letter home, outlining our needs here for the next few years. We need more workers, but the emphasis must be on quality and not quantity. It is better to wait twenty years than for us to be sent men who are not heart and soul in the work and who have not God’s distinct call.

There are now two hundred Miao villages that need regular visits, which is very hard on one person.

June 22 nd. Today I had my third encounter with daggers. A demanded Miao woman, with her husband whom she had apparently hypnotised, came armed with knives and caused us a great deal of trouble. After hours of argument with them, we eventually had to overpower them and tie them up. The next day we took her back to her home.

June 30 th. Arrived at Stonegateway in beautiful weather. At the evening meeting a number of Miao prayed with evident power. Later, the Miao women sang the Miao story of Creation, one woman leading and the others joining in. They used their own tunes, which were most pleasing. About four hundred came to the services. We now have one building here. We have placed planks across the roof beams above the rostrum, and the preachers and I sleep up there.

We are commencing other buildings; the tile-burners have set up a kiln, but are waiting for a lucky day to sat fire to it.

Oct.11 th. Set off with several Miao for the country. Seven hours’ride today to Liang-shui-ching.

Oct.12 th. 100li today to a Miao village. As there are only small houses in the village we had our evening meeting, with about forty present, in the moonlight. The Lord was with us. One longs earnestly that these people may be brought to Him.

Oct.13 th. Today we sent a messenger ahead to the landlord’s castle, telling him that we were coming. He sent out men to meet us, and gave us a welcome. We talked together for a long time. He says he wishes to be a Christian. He owns up to smoking opium and wine drinking, but acknowledges the evil of them. “You may build a Church anywhere on my land, so long as you do not touch my ancestral graves.” Ma-pai is a most interesting landlord and, I really believe, desirous for the truth. Many years ago he came to Chaotung and came to visit me. He arrived at the door and was met by one of the school teachers we had engaged who was not a Christian. The latter said, “Do not go in; they keep a big black dog inside which is very fierce”.So he went away—which shows the nuisance of dogs and heathen teachers! Tonight I preached to the Miao in the Miao language.

Oct.14 th. In the Miao village near the landlord’s house we destroyed the brothel hut, where eight or ten of the village girls go every night, and chose a site for the new school chapel. At night we held a torch meeting out-of-doors which lasted three hours.

In many of these villages the people have clubbed together and engaged a teacher. I examined some of the Miao who had thus organized their own education and found that they are making real progress. In this area alone two thousand Miao have put down their names as wanting to become Christians.

Oct.17 th. Ma-pai signed the deed, and this is now the second gift of land for a Miao building.

Oct.18 th. We left before breakfast and came on 80 li to Ssu-shih-wu-hu. Returned home next day.

Oct.21 st. Chaotung. I called on the Prefect. After a while he offered to send a petition to headquarters to have me naturalized as a Chinaman, if I would. He advised me to do this, and said he would if necessary petition the Throne. He meant it as a very great compliment. Hearing that I was going back to England, he begged me to return.

Oct.23 rd. Arrived at Stonegateway. We are very busy examining hundreds of candidates for baptism.

Oct.24 th. Seven hundred and fifty to the services. Some of the men, women and children had come two days’ journey, and many of them slept out in the open all right. One Miao I talked to was so keen to learn to read that he had engaged a Chinese, fed him in his house, killed a fowl for him, and even took his own oxen and ploughed the man’s fields for him, so that he should be free to teach him to read.

Oct.25 th. Started off in the rain for Kuei-hsiang. At night we stayed at the feudal castle of So-ka, where three brothers are landlords together. Only one was at home, and he has a degree from Peking. We talked together late into the night. He has thought much about the Church, and he said that many of the other Nosu landlords have thought a great deal about becoming Christians.

The Miao travelling with me stayed in a retainer’s house nearby. One of the little boys there said to them, “I always thought a foreigner had two heads, but now I have seen this foreigner and he is just like one of ourselves”.

Oct.27 th. At Kuei-hsiang we stayed in an inn outside the city, in a close, dirty room.

I called on the mandarin at noon. He is a poor, thin old man of 70, who has two little girls of five and three. One of them was the prettiest little Chinese girl I have ever seen. I tried to make friends and succeeded in the end. I tried to coax the little one in, but she would not come. The big sister said, “She is afraid of your eyes!”In the evening we held a service for the few Christians in Kuei-hsiang, meeting in the house of one of them. As I sat at the table, looking at my small audience, opposite me sat a one-eyed murderer about thirty-five years old. He was tall, strong and coarse, with one eye lost in a fight. He had worn the red coat of a condemned murderer, and had been carried in a cage to the capital for execution. Somehow he had been reprieved, and now he seeks the forgiveness of Jesus.

Next to him sat a Mr.Kao who was formerly a distiller of spirits. He had been much persecuted for believing in Juses; he elder brothers were very annoyed at him and one of them tried to kill him with a long knife. When threatened he said, “You may kill me, but I am still a Christian”. The idols in his home were destroyed in a remarkable way. The wall against which they stood collapsed without warning and, falling forward, buried them beneath a mound of earth. Since then they have had no place in his house.

Next to him sat Mr.Nieh who was once an avowed enemy of Mr.Kao’s through a quarrel about land, and now they have bought books and desire to become Christians. Then came a Mr.Yuen, who heard the Gospel at Weining some years ago from a Chinese from Sze-chuan.

Several women and children on the outskirts completed the audience. It was a pleasure to preach to them about Jesus.

Oct.30 th. We set off for a Miao village south of Kuei-hsiang. By five o’clock it was getting dark and we were still 20 li from the village. We discovered that our lantern had been left in the city; we went on and on long after dark. At last we had to stop. We were in a field of maize, quite lost and benighted. We sat down and waited while one of the Miao went on alone to find assistance. Before he reached any Miao houses he was badly bitten by a dog.

We turned the horses loose in the maize and they picked the cobs off splendidly. It belonged to the Miao and we knew they would not mind. After a long wait, some torches appeared in the darkness and our rescuers were at hand. About nine we reached the village very tired.

I lay down in my clothes and fell asleep. Presently I awoke to the sound of singing, and there was the Miao who had been bitten by the dog, teaching a group of women and girls to sing. To see him there patiently teaching them to sing was a sight to humiliate me.

At midnight a meal was ready, and we ate fairly heartily. After dinner I fell asleep again and when I awoke he was still singing with the women. Then I heard him teaching them to pray, and I jumped to my feet and joined them.

Oct.31 st. Tonight we stayed in a large Miao household where all the members are Christians. There are fourteen or fifteen of them. We had a wonderful service there. Every Sunday people come to join them in worship. Some of the visitors walk twenty miles over rough mountain tracks to attend.

Nov.2 nd. We came up through a pass on to the uplands. It was a beautiful day,and soon we joined the main road and were nearing Stonegateway. I was glad to see Stonegateway again, but while we met with the friends there for a service in the evening, robbers came and stole the clothes of the two Chinese ministers.

Nov.3 rd. At night I examined about thirty candidates for baptism. About half were women and girls. They all answered intelligently and well. Some with very strong feeling declared their love for Jesus and almost everyone said they had peace in their hearts. My heart quickened to the confessions of these young Christians, and I felt I could not deny baptism to any of them.

Nov.5 th. Today has been a glorious day for many. It opened with snow and rain. The roads were in an awful state, slippery, dirty and cruel. Crowds came yesterday, the girls with their skirts wet and legs covered with mud from the long journeys on mountain roads. All were eager and excited, though many had to sleep the night in the cold with no fire.

Before beginning in the morning I begged the Lord to cleanse my heart that He might fit me for the day’s work.

After breakfast we started the baptisms. All except those who had put their names down for baptism were kept out of the chapel. It was full of catechumens. First of all we gathered the eleven elders appointed, nine men and two women. They sat in front of the rostrum.

One by one I asked the elders two questions in Miao. “Do you wish to be baptised?” “Are you willing to be the child of God?”The answers were given clearly and in such a way as to rejoice my heart. I was so nervous at the beginning, I felt that I must break down, but after a while God gave me strength to go on with His work.

Then I baptised the elder and they came to the platform and faced the audience. Then we brought forward the others, ten at a examined by Mr.Li, the Chinese minister, then by me, and then by the elder. They objected to six or seven during the whole day. In the morning service we baptised one hundred and two people.

It was a good test of sincerity, their coming through the awful wet and mud. Some of the boys answered very beautifully. It made me love them to look upon their frank faces, lit up with a joy and confidence which it was delightful to see. When all were confessing their love for Jesus there was a great power present in the gathering. At times I felt I ought to be in the seeker’s place and not where I was.

In the afternoon and evening there were further examinations and baptisms. They answered earnestly and confidently, and I felt I had no right to refuse them entrance into Christ’s Church. Mary of the candidates were dressed neatly, and their hair arranged in the neatest style. They looked finer than any similar company of Chinese I have ever seen.

One Miao girl was refused by the elders because of typical Miao immorality the previous year. Since then she has married and is given a good character. She joined herself to group after group as they were examined, and each time she was refused. At last we had to given in and admit her--“the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence”.

At night we packed the men in carefully until there were about seven hundred, all standing so close together that they could scarcely move a hand. It was a wonderful meeting. As I questioned some of the young people they became annoyed, as if I was doubting their faith when there was no doubt in their own minds. As I looked at some of the new members I could see their faces were bright with a new joy and confidence. They looked as if they had got it and knew it.


After the last service four possessed ones came to be prayed over and relieved. If I pray for them they have faith to believe they are cured.

In spite of the rain and snow there were two thousand Miao here today. If it had been fine there would have been four thousand.

During the day one of the Miao elders who had been baptised went on to the street to market. He met one of the Chinese ministers who has the coveted degree. The Confucian B.A. bowed to the Miao and congratulated him on becoming a Church member. Scarcely can that ever have happened before.

Nov.18 th. In the evening the place was packed again and God was with us in power. My heart has been moved today. How can I go home just now? If God would only give me the word to stay, how glad I should be!

Nov.23 rd. There were nearly a thousand people here today and the services lasted for nearly eight hours. But what a blessed work it is and what a joy! How glad I am that I am not yet going home to leave this poor folk.

Dec.6 th. Five of us set off from Stonegateway for Weining and Chang-hai-tze, the Miao centre, where we hope to start building a school. We passed through a number of large Miao villages, and saw others across the river where the people are still unbelievers. Many of them are kept back by Man-tze, a Miao elder. We are going to try and win these people over in spite of their present indifference and fear.

In one place I discovered that Miao who were keen a year ago have gone back and lost their enthusiasm. It is clear that Churches must be established and schools opened if effective work is to be done amongst these people. May the Lord open a way and guide us.

Dec. 8th. At the end of a long journey of 110 li we arrived at Weining just before dark. After some tea I called on the Mandarin and found him a young, wide-awake, progressive man who seemed very pleased to see us. He wanted me to stay a couple of days and, after much refusal, insisted that I come to breakfast next morning.

Dec. 9th. We had a sumptuous breakfast with the Mandarin from 10 until 12 and finally rode out of the city about 12.30 p.m. We came on 70 li to the Miao village, the last 10 li in the dark. We found a place upstairs to sleep in, open on four sides and very breezy, but we had good oat straw to lie on and Saturday and Sunday night we slept well. We are very tired, for the last four days have been long journeys, with lengthy services at night. It has been midnight before we have got to bed.

Dec. 11th. Today we came on 80 li to a village where a Miao wedding is to take place. We are living in a log-built house made of upright logs about eight inches thick, which let in a good deal of air and light.

There are about two hundred guests here, Miao and Nosu, with the women and girls gaily attired in colourful costumes and specially prepared headdresses. In the village a long pole has been placed on two high trestles and on this hang many carcasses of sheep and pigs. These will provide the feast, and each quest is expected to bring a bushel of maize.

The village presented a very animated scene. Great wood fires were burning in a trench, across which had been placed several large iron pans for cooking for this crowd.

At night, just outside our hut two fellows began playing the Miao pipes and dancing. Other joined them and then a concert began with seven playing and dancing. The music was discordant, but the people enjoyed it very much.

Whisky drinking is a curse to these people at such times. They had it hidden away beneath the straw while we were there. Normally on such an occasion large numbers of them are drunk before the wedding begins, and stimulated by the music and dancing there is an orgy of immorality in which general licence prevails.

We saw nothing of the bride and bridegroom. They had actually been married for three years and this was merely the public ceremony.

Dec. 12th. Today we organized sports to bring a healthy element into an otherwise sordid fiesta. The people had a great deal of fun and we enjoyed it immensely. As well as all types of athletic competitions there were contests with the cross-bow, for the young men excel at archery. A board was erected about sixty yards away and sometimes they hit it with the first arrow. Many of the cross-bows they used were old warriors handed down from father to son. There are wild boars in the hills, and whenever a wild boar is shot a hole is bored in the cross-bow. One of the bows had a hundred and twenty holes in it. Our host showed us some poison in a bamboo container which he uses for tripping his arrows. It looked very like opium, but I could not discover what it was. They journey several days to collect it from a poison plant growing on a mountain above Hweitseh. They say that the smallest scratch of it in the flesh will kill. When the boars or other game are shot, they cut out the piece of flesh around the wound and burn it, so that dogs may not eat it and be killed.

There is already a great difference in appearance between the Miao in the Stonegateway area and these Miao. The former look Christian whereas these are still wild folk. The girls and women here are not so bright and clean. Evidently God has been blessing us at Stonegateway.

Dec. 15th. After breakfast we left for Chaotung and during the day traveled 120 li, arriving at night at the Miao village of Sha-tze-po. On the road we met a party of men with drawn swords who were settling some land trouble between tenants.

At night we slept in the loft in awful smoke from the wood fire on the floor below. It made one’s eyes and throat smart, but we were so tired we just flung ourselves down on the oat straw and tried to sleep, a Chinese on one side of me and a Miao on the other. We had to get right under the clothes to get any comfort away from the pine-wood smoke. But what a pleasure to preach Jesus to these Miao, even though tired and late.

Dec. 16th. On the journey I stopped at the pottery kilns and bought six hundred rice basins for the Christmas feast and a hundred and ten small cups for Sacrament of the Miao.

At night we stayed at a Miao village where at first they were afraid to have us, because of their landlord Loh-chih.

Dec. 17th. Sunday. The landlord’s stronghold was not far away and we could hear his men firing guns nearly all day long.

Dec. 18th. Home at Chaotung, in time for Christmas. My two boys met me 6 li from the city.

Dec. 25th. Last year the chief feature of Christmas was the coming of the Miao. This year for the first time we have had Nosu visitors. More than thirty Black Nosu came as a result of the preaching of Mr. Wang. They are a strange-looking lot, much wilder than the Miao, and fiercer-looking. One of them was a Nosu wizard who taught me some Nosu characters. They say there are about eight or nine hundred families of Black Nosu who wish to come. Does this mean that salvation for the Nosu has come at last?

Dec. 27th. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day we had feasting, celebration and baptisms at Chaotung—with about two hundred taking part. Today we have come out to Stonegateway in the snow. In spite of the weather we had one thousand guests and a hundred and thirty tables for the Christmas feast. There were thirty0two fires burning, but even these failed to keep people warm.

Dec. 31st. We examined more candidates and admitted sixty-eight into the Church. Forty of these were from unfriendly landlords’ lands. We also appointed two more elders.





Remembering the primitive state of animism from which the Miao emerged and their utter illiteracy, it is noteworthy that from the early days the Holy Communion assumed a positions of supremacy in their Christian life. In one sense the Miao movement became, in a remarkable way, a Sacramental movement; there Pollard brought them straight to the heart of the Gospel, administering it to them on open hillsides before Churches were built.


Sun. Jan. 7th. An earthquake shook the house at 8.30 p.m.(Stonegateway.)

Jan. 26th. An emissary from the So-ka landlord met me on the road with a letter. It complained that several of the Christian Miao had refused to pay the landlord the wine rent, which was due as a tribute to him each year. I had already heard from some of the Miao that when they had refused to deliver the wine they were tied up and beaten. Two of them were still imprisoned at his castle for this reason.

Jan. 27th. I wrote a long letter to him, begging him to let the Miao serfs pay in money, as they were ceasing to distil spirits and we were teaching them to have nothing to do with this commodity. I reported to him that elsewhere landlords, who had formerly had their rent paid in opium, were now willing to accept rent in silver from the Miao.

He released the two prisoners and at night they took part in the service at Stonegateway. They had been beaten, and one of them, speaking in the service, insisted that as the Lord had been with him the stripes had not hurt.

Jan. 28th. Sunday. Our first Miao Communion. About seven hundred people stood inside and about four hundred outside.

Parsons managed the hundred and ten cups, the bread and the tea, and the kettles on the fire nearby. I called the roll and the communicants came up in batches. John Chang, the Miao preacher, gave an address before we partook. There were one hundred and sixty-four communicants and the service lasted three hours.

It is a strange sensation to give the bread and the tea to a lot of



(Christian Miao women who have come to Stonegateway to worship)



(Ko-p’u woman with her grandsons)


(The Church of the next generation; sons of the manse)



Rough aborigines who not long ago were in great ignorance and knew nothing about the story to Jesus. If one is inclined to hesitate at first, he is always encouraged by the fact that He was never afraid to mix with publicans and sinners, and that none was too sinful for Him to touch. As one by one they received their little pieces of bread and then bent in reverent silence before the Great King, we felt that He was present and quite capable of looking after His own and cleansing the hearts of the greatest sinners.

At night we baptised fifty-seven. About eight hundred people were crowded into the building. As they stood and sang, they swayed to an fro, and I became very afraid because of the crowd. I felt we dare not risk such a crush, and so I asked all the men to retire, and then the place was filled with the women.

Feb. 5th. Chaotung. Yang, the Miao preacher, and I began work on translating St. Mark into Miao.

Feb. 11th. We have decided to send some Miao on preaching tours. Nine couples were chosen and we commended them to God. No money was given to them, only a small supply of books, and where they were unwelcome they could use the money from sales of books to buy food. They were very excited about these preaching journeys.

During recent days there has been much fighting between Chinese soldiers and the Lo-lo from Babuland.

Feb. 18th. Many of the couples returned from their preaching tour.

They found hospitality wherever they went; and report that about half of the Miao were Christians or desirous of learning the way. In some villages not a single person believes in Jesus, and there they cling to their spirit drinking, brothels and immorality. Contrary to our expectation, we find that the villages where they refuse the Gospel are on the lands of good landlords, and that most of those who have turned to Christianity are in the domains of bad landlords.

Some of the Miao wizards have been traveling around, promising that they can drive out devils in the name of Christ, baptising others as Christians, and thus getting money out of the people. One cruel landlord called An-peh called in the Miao at Chinese new Year to make them worship his idols in the usual way. He has beaten two of them and tied them up and is now extorting money from them all. I sent a man there to see if he can do anything to relieve the situation.

April 15th. Thirty Black Nosu came to Stonegateway for a meeting, and I baptised two of them.

April 29th. Sunday. About fifteen hundred Miao here to the services today, which began at 7 a.m. and finished at 11 p.m. Many came and publicly confessed their sin.

May 6th. We have begun digging out the foundations for a small four-roomed house for us to live in at Stonegateway. While digging we came across sand and pebbles, high up on a mountain-side 7,000 feet above sea-level.

May 7th. Started off for Tu-ku-men and Mi-erh-keo. At the first place everyone is Christian and we had a fine reception. After service I examined candidates for baptism. It was a great blessing to be in the midst of such people. May God make me worthy of all these people. Among the children around me was a young girl seemingly a leper. Some of the women had awful goiter throats and could scarcely speak.

One of the big landlords here is a woman, first wife of the So-ka landlord, and she has ordered the Miao to gather in her opium for her, as in former years. They were wondering whether they should or not. I told them that if she ordered them to they might do so, as it was her business.

May 29th. Left with several Miao for the Black Nosu village of Ssu-fang-ching. We stayed the night with a Nosu called Mr. Yu. He does look a villainous fellow, capable of anything. We had a very difficult, unresponsive meeting with them at night. Afterwards I slept on a bed too short for me. My feet rested against the top of a tub. About fifteen slept on the floor and kept on talking until nearly daybreak.

May 30th. It is lovely country all around, like parkland at home, wheats and oats ripening or half-grown. Large clumps of trees on the hill-tops. We have bought a site of the Next Nosu Church. Tonight some of the Miao came in and sang Christian hymns to the Nosu and it was delightful.

May 31st. I visited the houses of the Miao around Ssu-shih-wu-hu. Very few have much to eat now. Their food is exhausted and they have plucked the wheat before it is ripe.

At night we held a moonlight service in the count-yard, using a pig-trough for the pulpit. Around this were gathered about fifity Miao. A Chinese lantern was held aloft and there below were earnest readers and listeners, some in colourful costumes and some in rags.

June 3rd. We held a service with five hundred Miao in the unroofed Church at Chang-hai-tze. Heavy rain drove us out. About a dozen Black Nosu came to the Miao service. Last time I left Chang here to work among the people and he has evidently been doing well. I examined a number of candidates. The people were glad to see me, and I was glad to see them. May God save them all and make me worthy of the affection of all these people. I went across to see the Nosu landlord, a cut-throat looking fellow, with a daughter about 14 who looks such a gentle contrast to her brigand father.

June 9th. Chang-hai-tze. There are peach trees in front of the little Miao house in which I am staying, and beyond a lovely valley, green little place is made of split logs. Firewood is stacked high on top of the hillside, but protected by logs. Firewood is stacked high on top of the hut. There are some lively pigs in a stable nearby, jumping and squealing, and outside the door, where we sit and study, translating Mark, a sitting hen is quiet in her basket. Most days there is a beautiful blue sky and a lovely atmosphere, ideal for study and rest.

Today we prepared the new chapel for worship. When it is finished it will be the nicest little chapel in West China. We reckoned up today and found that it had cost 300 taels of silver, and of this the Miao have paid 100. May the Lord send me the rest.

June 10th. Sunday, After breakfast the crowds began to gather until at last we had a thousand—twice we filled the Church and failed to exhaust the crowd. I accepted forty-nine for baptism. Several of them were young women who, when we first came to Chang-hai-tze, had just completed building a brothel in the village. Now they love Jesus and all that has gone.

Later we administered the Lord’s Super. One after another the people received the bread and the tea, and as they took the elements most of them shut their eyes and breathed a quiet prayer or Jesus. It was an hour of great joy. To witness the service there were five races of people, Miao, Chinese, Nosu, Thai and myself.

After five hours of services I came back to the log hut and rested awhile, and then examined twenty-seven more for baptism. At night we had a romantic service. The Church was filled with four or five hundred and our only light was two candles in Chinese lanterns. All round, through the partly erected walls, I could see hundreds more sitting about on the ground around camp-fires. As I stood on the rostrum I could se far away a light under the clouds where the sun had set. A few stars appeared, and away over the mountains to the south-east brilliant lightning flashed through the whole time of the service. The tiles only partly covered the roof and left a great opening in the centre where we could see the stars and God’s beautiful heavens.

At the front were twenty-seven for baptism. We examined them and baptised them all. Oh, the joy of all! Why am I allowed to see it? As we sang together there was a roar of hundreds of voices which sounded grand in the evening air, like a great shout of praise. About 9.30 we finished this wonderful service by praying over a poor girl who has been a witch. She knelt before Jesus and He heard our prayers.

On our way back to the log hut we passed some of the women and girls going to the village. He loved Mary Magdalene in the old days. Surely He loves them now.

June 11th. I was sorry to leave Chang-hai-tze, one of the happiest weeks I ever spent. Here the Miao are in the midst of other races, and at times it seems almost like a land of murderers. Last Thursday a Chinese murdered a Mohammedan here. Then on Friday a Chinese murdered a Nosu. There is a feud, several generations old, between two of the clans, and many people have been killed on bothe sides year after year. Last year in one village alone there were eight murders.

June 12th. Tonight I stayed at I-na in a Nosu family which has worshipped idols for many years, and what a difference from the previous nights.

June 13th. Returned home to Chaotung. There is a great longing for rain. The land is hot and parched. Streams have dried up, the crops are dying and people are very distressed.

June 24th. Stonegateway. A hundred baptisms.

June 26th. Two thousand five hundred people present for the Festival at Stonegateway—games and competitions, and many baptisms. Great joy and pleasure to everyone.

June 28th. A messenger from Ma-niao-ho, a Miao village, came in to Stonegateway in a great hurry to tell us that some of the Miao had been taken by the landlord and were being tortured.

June 29th. Three of us left on horses to go to the village to see what we could do. On the road we met one Miao fleeing to us for protection, and later other messengers who said that their houses and cattle were being taken, and would we hurry to assist.

As we rode along they told us the situation in the village. The Nosu landlord had given over part of his lands to a Black Nosu to act as manager and bailiff, and to him the Miao had paid their bond money on becoming tenants and their annual rent. Recently the landlord has ceased to use the manager and demands direct payment to himself. The manager also continues t demand similar amounts. Trouble had broken out suddenly through a quarrel among the Miao members of a family as to who owned the crops.

An old Miao called Li, the head of the family, was arrested by the local militia, and led in chains to the landlord. Later that same day his son, Li-chuh, returned from a visit to Stonegateway and was immediately taken prisoner.

While they were being tortured the militia, on the landlord’s instructions, raided their houses and drove off horses and cattle. As we were hearing these details we were hurrying on, and about four in the afternoon we drew near to the landlord’s house. It was a thatched building wit ha large yard in front. To the right of the entrance were some outhouses, and near them we saw old man Li and Li-chuh sitting on the ground, one chained and the other roped. It was clear that they had been tortured for the instruments were there and the young man’s clothes were still blood-stained. Li-chuh had been stabbed with spears and had suffered the thumb torture. There was a stake driven into the ground by his side; it was split at the top and into this a wedge had been driven. His two thumbs had been bound with twine to the top of the stake and ten the landlord’s wife had hammered the wedge deeper into the stake, causing the twine to cut into his thumbs. He said that as she had hammered she had said with each blow, “You dare report the landlord to the foreigner”; What right have you to change your master?” The old man had been similarly treated.

After a long time the landlord came out, a miserable fellow about 45 who looked very much older. He was nearly blind with eye disease and was carrying the inevitable bottle of spirits. A dozen or so men appeared with him, carrying spears. We talked for a long time, but the only phrase the landlord would utter was, “What has it got to do with you foreigners?” I let him know it had something very special to do with me.

The Miao’s horses were tied up there and he insisted that these were a free gift from them. Eventually we reached an agreement, the beasts and the men were released. We went to the Miao village nearby and later in the evening had a moonlight service until ten o’clock. We talked together in the Miao huts until after midnight and then went to sleep.

About two hours later there was a cry of alarm. It was a queer feeling, rushing for some clothes in the dark, with shouting all about. At first I thought it was an attack on the village, but then heard it was a cry of Fire! The Miao house next to us was burning fiercely. Quickly we pulled down a fence to stop it spreading. If the wind had been in another direction, the whole village would have been gutted. The cattle and people were all got out, but the grain and other things were all burned.

When we went to bed the families had all been to service and had not had fires in their houses, so it was taken for granted that someone form the landlord had started the fire intentionally, but no one dare say that openly. May God have mercy on His children.

June 29th. Came on to another Miao village where only five families out of thirty are believers. The village brothel was destroyed many months ago, but at the New Year some of the young women rebuilt it. They always seem to be the instigators.

July 1st. Came on to Mi-erh-keo. Today there were two hundred and thirty baptisms. There were over a thousand people here today for the Sunday services, some of them from far distant places where we have made little impression yet. Some places where the folk were against us want us now.

July 4th. I have just heard that on the night of the fire there was a band of forty men, mostly Nosu, with guns and spears sourrounding the Miao village. Apparently they had not enough courage to attack the place, so sent someone to fire it. We had a narrow escape.

July 9th. Travelling with the Miao we came to the meeting of the rivers below Mao-mao-shan. A dozen of us had a splendid bathe, enjoying the cool waters in the great heat. Some of the Miao were fine swimmers. Above us, high on the mountain, was the big landlord in his huge castle. There he was towering over our heads, and I guess we were as happy as he, for not all happiness dwells in castellated towers.

July 10th. Last night I was in a house alone with an old Miao couple. About 3 a.m. they got up and began to see to the fire. “No water in the house and the teacher will soon be up.” “He will want to make tea and wash his face. No water.” As soon as there was any light the old man went out and shouted up someone in the village to carry water. It was interesting to watch the old folk about the house so early.

After breakfast we baptised the old couple; they were very fond of each other and in earnest to confess their faith by baptism.

July 11th. A White Nosu begged me to come and see his wife. Her face was scarred and her back covered with bruises and sores. As a young girl she had come as a slave for the landlord’s wife at Miao-mao-shan. The wife recently became enraged with the slave, seized her and with red-hot fire-tongs seared the girl’s face on one side. They had both fled to me for protection, as they heard I was in the neighbourhood. Both cried and begged me to help, as they said the landlord’s wife had threatened to kill the girl when she caught her and that she would find her wherever she went. They were both very frightened. I told them to come to Chaotung and I would see what I could do to help them.

Mr. and Mrs. Parsons are now living at Stonegateway, in a simple thatched cottage, and they say they would rather be there than anywhere else in Yunnan.

In the last few days I have translated one chapter of Mark’s Gospel each day.

Aug. 26th. A large audience here today. I baptised about sixty and there were nearly four hundred to the sacrament afterwards. We have appointed two deacons to each of about fifty villages.

Aug. 30th. In this Miao village there were many children, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Next morning the children escorted us a good way out of the village and were going to continue with us. I persuaded them to go on farther but to return home. Suddenly I saw three little heads together and found to my surprise that the tears were flowing copiously, they were so sorry to say good-bye. This more than makes up for the old days at Kunming when Vanstone and I were treated so badly in the villages. I wish he were here to have a share in our joys.

Sept. 5th. Today we spent many hours trying to settle a quarrel between a man and his wife. They had lived happily for six or seven years and then quarreled and separated. We went deeply into the matter to bring about a reconciliation and at last succeeded.

We called together the deacons from several villages to exercise discipline over some of the Miao Christians on trial. One man had attempted to commit adultery. They acted firmly but kindly. Thank God a public opinion is being formed against this old sin of the Miao.

Sept. 23rd. The Church was full for the midday service. At night we had a fine meeting. People in all sorts of trouble came to the front to be prayed for.

One woman said, “My little son is dead. I am not angry that he has gone, but I love him much and now I cannot see him. Will you all pray for me?” And then the poor soul sat down quite overcome. A man confessed the part he had played in the riotous festivals and sought forgiveness. Another said that his heart was angry and bad and he wanted it transformed. One was full of sorrow through friends lost by death. A man came and confessed that he had been a wizard. Another came and complained that sleep was spoilt by continuous dreams of snakes. An epileptic came to be prayed for. One was repentant that at home she was always quarrelling. A man came to be helped because as he studied and tried to learn to read he could not remember what he had learned.

These meetings for individual confession and to help them in different needs seem to get one very near to the people, and they are full of power and influence.

Sept. 26th. Tonight I went alone to a Miao village where there is only one family of believers. I took the magic lantern and called on them all. Most of the others came and we had a crowded service. There was not much said about the pictures until we came to the picture of the Crucifixion. As soon as that appeared there was a general cry of surprise and pain all over the room. Then a great silence broken by nobody for a while. I said nothing. Then one of the believers spoke up and exhorted the others to believe with true hearts.

Nov. 5th. Today E. and the two boys started off for England. It is just ten years since we last set sail from England. I went with them for two days The children made the Chinese inns hum with their fun.

We said good-bye at the inn door. They went off to Sze-chuan and I rode off on the road to Mi-erh-keo.

Two young people came for examination. I examined them as candidates for baptism, and they did well; then I asked who had instructed them, and was told the mother of one of them. Later the mother herself came for examination and I gave her a certificate without examination on the strength of her pupils.

Nov. 12th. Some Miao girls are being kidnapped on their way to service, for some of them live a long way from a meeting-place and the roads are lonely.

Two Chinese preachers from Chaotung met four Miao, woman, son, daughter and baby, being taken away by a Black Nosu to whom they had been sold after being kidnapped. They were able to rescue the family and return them to their home.

Nov. 14th. At Mi-erh-keo I heard that a Christian girl from another village was coming to marry a Miao here who already has one wife, so I wrote her the following letter:


“The White Teacher loves the people of Mao-ntu-lu very much, but I have now heard of a matter which gives my heart much unrest. When I heard what you are intending to do, my heart had no rest at all. Wang-cheng, you are God’s good young woman and you lead a good life. God loves you very much. A man may not have two wives. Whoever goes as wife to the home of a man who puts away his wife acts like a dog or a pig. You must be careful to be pure for Jesus loves you much. He gave His life for you, and you must love Him and be pure.

“Wang-cheng, you must be angry with the Teacher for writing these words. We all love you much and want you to be Jesus’ good maiden.

“From the White Teacher to the maiden Wang-cheng of Mao-ntu-lu.”


Nov. 17th. In accordance with long-thought-out plans we went to call on the landlord of Mao-mao-shan. It was the last day of the Nosu year and the Miao all had to bring part of their rent and offerings of wine to the landlord’s gods. Last year they were compelled to drink wine and bow before the idols.

We have gained acceptance for the principle that money should be given in place of wine, but the crux of the matter was, how much? The landlord had ordered that 100 cash of wine money should be paid for each plot of land. On Sunday the deacons had agreed that 60 cash was a very generous amount. I did not like the business at all. There were some ugly rumours about and people said that the landlord’s headman was saying some threatening things.

Li-wu, the Chinese preacher, and I climbed up the steep hill to the castle above. I remarked that if only I could catch a glimpse of my Miao friends of Mao-tie-ka, a nearby village, it would give me courage. Just as we reached the neck of the hill on which the castle stands I saw three of the youngsters from that very village, who had brought their sheep to graze on the hillside so that they could see the Teacher go in. This gave me the courage I needed.

We left the Miao leaders outside and the two of us walked in past the bailiffs’ houses. Men eyed us with angry looks and clearly wished us anywhere else than where we were. We avoided offence and went out in the court-yard. No one met us, so we went on in to the inner door. The third brother met us. He told us that the second brother was away, for which we heartily thanked God, for he is the worst of all.

We talked and talked a great deal, and at last they agreed to 50 cash instead of 100. When it was nearly dark we came out of the stronghold to the waiting Miao beneath. They were very pleased with the news.

About midnight the first of the Miao returned from the castle where they had paid their wine money and nothing had been said. There are fifty Miao villages on the lands of this landlord and only five brought wine and worshipped the idols. We thanked God for this great victory and for His love for His poor children.

Nov. 18th. Sunday. About one thousand people were present for the service and afterwards there were about four hundred for the Sacrament. Quite unexpectedly the landlord surprised us by arriving with his men for the service. They stayed for part of the service and then watched part of the Communion. Afterwards he acted politely and spoke in a friendly manner. This was probably the first Christian worship he has ever seen.

Nov. 19th. We have about eighty deacons here at Stonegateway for a two days’ conference. We have discussed together the questions of opium smoking, drinking spirits, wizards, ancestral worship, worship of demons, trees, doors, water, stones, etc. They have agreed to adopt an attitude of no opium smoking and complete abstinence from spirits. We discussed tobacco and found that about half the men smoked and about three per cent of the women. They all agreed to try to get rid of smoking too. Out of these eighty deacons fifty-five have been drunk at one time or another, but all are abstainers now. All of them said they had assisted in demon worship when oxen were sacrificed to devils.

In many villages the deacons lead nightly services in someone’s house. In one village it was reported that a service had been held every night during the last three years.

Dec. 18th. We have now finished the revision of St. Mark’s Gospel in Miao. I wish it were better. If spared, in a few years’ time we will marvel at the crude Miao we use. May God be pleased to us what we have done for His Glory.

James Yang, the Miao who has worked with me in translation, has often surprised me with his insight into Christianity, such insight that comes from the Holy Spirit as he has studied he Scriptures.

Dec. 31st. Thank God for 1906. Last Sunday the Church at Stonegateway was filled with eight hundred communicants, and three years ago they knew nothing about God. That was a sight worth living for.






The incident of the beating occurred at Ha-li-mee, which lies a day’s journey from the large village of Ta-ping-tze, the central place for a mountainous district of Miao villages to the north-west of Chaotung city. This area was in the county, a small walled city farther west.



Jan. 1st. A good beginning for the year. Early this morning we received an invitation to attend a meal at the house of a Miao family which has stubbornly refused to have anything to do with us. First the eldest daughter believed. She was alone for long, and then she brought her brother and her sister. And now we have them all. May God in this way save all the Hua-Miao and all the tribes.

Jan. 11th. Today Li-wu and I left Chaotung to the north-west in the direction of Ta-ping-tze, where there are a great number of Miao villages which are cut off from Stonegateway. There are eighty-three villages and seven hundred families in this area and we hope to erect a Church at Ta-ping-tze, the central place. Within a radius of 100 miles around Chaotung I estimate there are at least five hundred Miao villages. Some of the boys from here have attended school at Stonegateway, three days’ journey away, and it is already possible to see a difference they are making to the village life when they return.

Jan. 12th. We went to one Miao village, but they would not have us, so we did not stay there as we intended. The village elders say the landlords will not allow it. A landlord has threatened to eat the cow of the first Miao who becomes a Christian.

Jan. 13th. We had a fine meeting at night, with people from fourteen villages. We appointed deacons for a dozen villages.

Jan. 14th. We called on the landlord of Ta-ping-tze and he is very friendly. He has given us a piece of land for a building and signed a deed of gift. He was very friendly and willing to help. From the site, looking to the west, eight ranges of beautifully wooded hills can be seen. Behind the site is a grove of trees in which the Miao have worshipped in the past. Now it is to be cut down to build God’s house. The people here know a little, but not much. They have waited patiently for two years for us to come.

Jan. 15th. We managed to get an entrance into a village where they have held out against us for a long time. No one here was a Christian, the brothel was in full swing night and there was a great deal of drunkenness.

The children were frightened of us. Only a few came in to see us, and others stood round the door. At last we found two young fellows willing to learn, and later the children became more friendly.

At night I slept upstairs on some bundles of straw in an awful smoke. It was the most uncomfortable night I have had for a very long time. It was lovely to get out on the road again, into the warm sunshine and to hear the larks singing.

Jan. 16th. This morning we had a breakfast of potatoes and coarse buckwheat bread. At the village we visited today, the Miao elder is bitterly opposed to us. The landlord is a lad of 13 who smokes opium. Again the village brothel is the only building in the village apart from the houses, and is a general meeting-place.

Jan. 18th. Road 119 li today back to Chaotung. Dymond arrived from Hweitseh.

For four days we held the District Meeting. I am glad there is only one such meeting a year. There was overmuch talking. We did not know what to do on several questions.

Jan. 27th. Glad to get back to Stonegateway. It is just twenty years since I left for China. Thank God for all His mercies.

We now have ten Miao preachers touring in as many directions. The people in the villages are wonderfully kind to me. It makes me feel queer at times, lest I should fall short of the Grace of God and not lead them as they should be led.


April 8th. (A letter, dated May 23rd, 1907, from ‘Memorial Hospital, Chaotung’.)

I am able to sit up a good deal each day now and I would like to tell you what happened on the night of Monday, April 8th.

In the district north and north-west of Chaotung we have some tens of villages where many, and in some cases all, the people are Christians. These people wished for a school chapel where they could meet. The landlord of two villages promised land, and his tenants and I went across to see the matter through. After two visits a deed of gift was drawn up, presenting a piece of land to the Church.

When the hsien officials in Young-shan heard about it they opposed the matter, but later I went to see them and cleared up any misunderstanding and the affair ended satisfactorily. It has since been said that matter was thoroughly settled with the authorities.

I went to Ta-ping-tze and left there on Monday, April 8th. I had heard of a Christian village where the people were very afraid of the Chinese and Lo-lo people near them. It was reported that terrible threats had been used against them. I have become so accustomed to finding that contract and common sense will bring a settlement. I therefore determined to go to the threatened village to see if I could help quite affairs.

I reached there about 5 p.m. and was cordially welcomed by my friends.

Before going to bed that night I heard the firing of guns several times, and afterwards found out this was the signal being given for the gathering of the armed militia for the purpose of capturing me. I did not know at the time or I could have escaped.

I retired to rest in the Miao house about 10.30 p.m., sleeping in a room with a number of men. At midnight the continuous barking of dogs woke us up, and soon afterwards there appeared a lot of light around the small house…practically a hut…in which I was staing.

The bamboo door was pushed open, and there I saw a crowd of armed men with torches. They were shouting for me. I asked a Miao what it meant; he quietly answered, “Capture, murder”.

I hurriedly slipped on my gown, and as there was no possible way of escape I went out to them and was immediately surrounded by about sixty armed men. Three Miao did come with me and these also the enemy were determined to get; as soon as we got outside they began beating these Miao. The third, a young boy, escaped. They were anxious that one of the Miao should carry me on his back. Why, I do not know. They pressed this point, but it did not happen. They led us away in the darkness, and a minute or two afterwards we came to the bank of a stream. Again and again they beat one of my men and knocked him down the bank. In the confusion I thought I might escape. I jumped the bank and ran downstream. The crowd rushed for me and forgot my Miao, who went the other way and got clear away.

I did not give them a very long run, for they headed me off with cries of “Beat! Kill!” They got me fairly in the bed of the stream and then began to beat me with great force and anger. I expected every blow to be may last; then I began to wish that they would quickly finish their work. They used iron weapons as well as clubs to beat me. Just here, though, a man stooped down, put his arms around me and shouted for the beating to cease. As he covered me, they tried to get at me beneath with their spears. Then three men took hold of me and after about fifty or a hundred yards we came to a walnut tree, and here the three leaders were waiting for the band.

The armed men lined up. Ropes were sent for, but this order was countermanded and then my trial began. It was like the Middle Ages with the dreaded Fehmgericht over again. By my side stood the executioner with his drawn sword. The one great charge was that tongue and pleaded for all I was worth. At last the leaders seemed to hesitate and then they gave their verdict. I was to leave their district and never return. If I came again they would kill me without hesitation, and if any action were taken as a result of that night’s work, they would kill all the Miao in the village. My Miao host was called up and he was told that if he ever received me again he would be under the authority of the mandarin and were determined to rule their own concerns and keep foreigners out of their district. These leaders were bitter, fierce men.

I was carried back to my Miao friend’s house and lay there until help came.

(Two days later Dr. Savin and escort arrived on the spot after a forced march. The doctor wrote: “I found him unable to move even slightly without great pain. His body was a mass of bruises, the only part that had escaped injury being his head. He had received a wound in one lung and air had escaped into the surrounding tissues; one or more ribs was injured or broken. Pneumonia followed the lung injury. If the lung injury had been an inch higher he would have been killed on the spot.”

He was carried into Chaotung, two day’s journey, lying face down, as he could lie in no other position.

“Three weeks after the assault Mr. Pollard is able to sit up in bed, but unable to turn on his right side. It will be a long time before he is able to leave his room or have recovered from the shock to his nervous system.

“A month after the event he cannot move without excruciating pain.”)

Later: On the night of the beating one of the escaped Miao carried the news to Ta-ping-tze and thence word was taken to the hsien city of Young=shan during the night. The mandarin, with an armed escort, made a forced march, and by Tuesday evening had seized the Landlord Su, who was the leader, and later captured the second man, Mao. Both were imprisoned at Yong-shan.

I asked for a deterrent punishment to be inflicted on the ringleader and on his chief accomplice.

After June 30th, they were brought to trial. I was present at the trial. Su denied having beaten me at all, which was correct, as these two leaders were waiting at the walnut tree for me until their men brought me to the rendezvous. The beating had all occurred before then. Su was condemned to five years’ imprisonment and Mao to three.

The man in the sheepskin jacket who saved my life is a non-Christian Chinese. He lives near the Miao village where it occurred and his name is yang-shih-ho. He has always been kind to the Miao. Before the attack he tried to dissuade the rebels from beating me. Seeing they were determined to kill me, he threw himself on top of me and saved me. As he lay on top and protected me, they tried to get at me with their spears under his body, but he prevented them. I must see his man. His father is a leper.

June 30th. Here at Stonegateway this year we have three thousand people for the Festival.

This morning we sent off two more Miao missionaries; these two are going to join the eight that we have sent to the Wu-t’ing area, ten days’ journey from here, where the Miao in their thousands are turning to Christ. It is wonderful how this movement is now spreading far into Western Yunnan. There was great weeping when we finally said good-bye and sent them off.

July 5th. Mr. Yang and I translated two chapters from St. John.

Working through the story of the blind man was delightful. He laughed heartily again and again at the way the man was more than a match for all the people who bothered him. I wish I could tell this story as it appeared to him. How I should like to give the Miao the whole of the New Testament.

July 19th. Today I received a copy of an official proclamation which has been posted on the city gates of Chaotung concerning the attack on me. It accuses me of going secretly to the place and engaging in a fight with the landlord there, in which I was wounded. The Government refuses any responsibility in the affair. This is the second scandalous proclamation about it.

July 23rd. Started off for Mi-erh-keo. It was very wet. The people are very, very kind to me. At night I slept well in spite of the nervousness which still worries me so much.

Some of the buckwheat harvest is now brown and is being gathered in, but much of it is still in all its pink glory of beautiful flower. The hillsides are covered with it. I love this sight so much, and I think I love it more because E. always loved it so. Some of the fields of buckwheat today stood higher than a man.

July 24th. Some Miao from two villages pressed us to come and visit them. I have never seen such desperate pleaders before. The men from the second village seized me and refused to let me go. They also took hold of Mr. Li’s horse and would not let go. At last we agreed that we would definitely come to their village next week, and they released us.

July 25th. This is a village of poor, broken-down houses, but there are so many beautiful oak trees around it that it looks beautiful. It is interesting to see here, as in other villages, that in the morning the cattle are turned out of the houses and stables and the village youngsters drive them off together in a herd to the hillsides. In the evening, the herd is driven back into the village, and as it come through, all the cows and goats separate into their proper houses of their own accord.

July 26th. Today we passed several unbelieving villages where we are not welcome. But at one village where they are Christian they escorted us on our way and wept so much to see us go. I have never seen such crying before.

Looking on these many hills and then away to the great hills of Chin-tsai-ping one’s heart is full of peace and joy, the scenery is so magnificent. It seems as if there must be some union between my heart and nature. The peace and joy of it all is very great and I revel in it. God give peace to all hearts.

Sunday. About seven hundred people were present for the services today. We had a memorial service for one hundred and fourteen children who have died in the last six months, mostly from whooping cough. It was terrible to think of so many families being bereaved.

Mr. Li and I visited the great landlord at Mao-mao-shan. We found him as ignorant and stupid as ever, and completely devoid of good manners. While we talked with him he lay on his couch, rolling into all manner of postures. We told him that the Miao would like to build a Church at a certain village. He refused emphatically. I tried to make him reasonable, but failed. I told him that I should be on the watch and would guard my folk carefully.

At night the people from four villages came to worship. At another village the people have gone back and are worshipping trees again.

Aug. 31st. In this village of Lo-pu-chai the Miao themselves own the land. This unusual situation is due to two Nosu families of landlords who in former years quarreled so bitterly that the feud led to their complete extinction. The Government then sold the land to the tenants, who happened to be the Miao. A local landlord has made desperate efforts to wrest the land from the Miao; they are glad that a Church is to be built here, as they feel it will help to being peace in the district. There are forts and strongholds on many of the hill-tops, showing what a lawless area it is.

Sept. 7th. I heard today, while traveling between Weining and ta-kai-tze, that when the first group of Miao came to Chaotung to find me they carried presents of whisky. Hearing on the way that I hated it, they poured it out on the road. Also they worshipped idols on the way, asking to be prospered in their mission. Fancy asking the help of idols in their quest for Jesus!

Sept. 16th. In a conference with the stewards of the local Churches we discussed the great hindrance that wizards are to our work in all the villages. We decided that we will first exhort them and warn them. If they persist, they must be reported to me, and finally, they must be boycotted from all activities. It was a most interesting subject and all wanted to speak on it. I was tired and had a chair away from the folk where I was hidden during the discussion, which I knew would last a long time. They are all anxious to do what is right. What a change it is from their looseness and recklessness in the old days.

Old Chang the hunter is now very much to the fore as a strong believer. He says he wishes to make up for the years when he cheated people, so yesterday he brought a number of people to be examined for baptism.

One of the speakers was a one-eyed wizard who is now converted. He is an earnest Christian with a bright smile on his face. He says he prayed and prayed until the Spirit came into his heart and then he had peace.

Sept. 19th. I went to see the landlord at Chang-hai-tze. Since I was here last he has built a tower. Last year a slave of his, who had run away a long time before, came back to see his wife. He was captured and he landlord beheaded him outside his castle. What a power still remains in the hands of these landlords, and some of them have enormous estates. They are cordially hated by a lot of people. It is difficult to know how to deal with them. Last year this landlord led the local Miao out to fight for him against the Chinese. I asked him not to do it again.

Sept. 22nd. Harvest Festival here; forty-four baptised. There was mutual sorrow when we left. I never like leaving these places. The people win my heart wherever I go and I am sorry to leave.

Sept. 23rd. Today we crossed a river nearly sixty times in our journey to Ssu-shih-wu-hu. A schoolboy traveling with us was nearly lost in some deep waters, but was saved by holding on to the pig-tail of the Chinese in front of him. Here the Nosu landlord has started having one service in his house on the Sunday and one in the Miao village. This will make a good centre for a Nosu Church. We stayed in the Miao village: the landlord came and invited us to his house, but we stayed where we were in the Miao hut. I prefer staying in a Miao hovel to the palace of a rich landlord.

A blind Nosu here who has become a Christian has released all his slaves and burnt the papers that bound them to him. He told them that they could remain as tenants. He has persuaded his nephew to do the same and other families have followed suit. Some he has persuaded to destroy their idols.

Oct. 18th. Today I called at a landlord’s house near Stonegateway and found two men from over the Golden Sand River. They say there was a big battle there earlier in the year. The Babu are armed with modern rifles now. Pedlars form Canton came all the way with goods to sell, and they are allowed to carry a rifle for protection. This they sell to the Babu and then walk all the way back to Canton, having made a good profit. (About 1,000 miles each way.)

Nov. 11th. We have had the leaders together at Stonegateway. According to our figures we have work in seventy-one villages and there are 1,412 baptised members. Forty-one members have been disciplined for back-sliding.

The causes of their going back are as follows:



3—gave up because their children died,

1—deceived by a wizard,

2—because of breaking the Sabbath,

1—fierce and unreasonable.

In one village a Miao family has started worshipping the door again. A pig is killed and the family sits down to a meal, from which outsiders are excluded, and the pig is eaten in absolute silence. Afterwards the new door is put up.

We are trying to put an end to the young marriages. Today I was at a wedding where the bride was 18 and the bridegroom 15.

Today I had a great deal of fun chasing the children. Thank God I am able to do this again. Last night in the house where I was sleeping there were six youngsters sleeping on the floor around the fire. It was cold and they had not much to cover them, so I started piling stools and boards on top of them. How they did laugh and shout.

Dec. 29th. Seven hundred to Sacrament at Stonegateway for the last Sunday of the year.


(Early in January 1908 Mr. Pollard left Stonegateway for Lao-wa-tan and commented his journey back to England. In village after village they called to him in Miao as he passed through, “Come back to us!” “I promised them I would.”)




So much consternation had been aroused in the Church at home by the news of his narrow escape from death by beating the Pollard delayed his return for furlough. He did not want a hero’s reception. The following year he returned by the Trans-Siberian Railway, a new route to Europe.



April 2nd. At Harbin may wallet with all my money was stolen by a pickpocket in the post office. Today we arrived in Manchuria and went through the Russian customs at the frontier. All the luggage was examined very carefully. The train stops for fifteen or twenty minutes at the stations, and we get out and walk up and down the platforms. The traveling is very smooth and comfortable.

The rivers are a frozen sheet of ice. Men were out on the ice digging wells and then driving the cattle over the ice to drink. Occasionally one sees horse-drawn sledges on the rivers.

In Siberia the houses and Churches are built of short logs about 8 feet long. The Churches all seem to have green-coloured roofs. There are settlements all along the way and occasionally we stop at a wayside station. On the platform hot water is free to all travelers. At some of the stations there are boys and girls selling milk, but much of it is very watered-down. For a whole day we were skirting Lake Baikal. The sea was absolutely at rest, frozen hard with snow on the top. Horses and sledges were moving across the late, and all around the pine-covered hills dotted with red and green log huts and the green-roofed Churches. The snow-covered hills beyond and the white broken ice along the edge of the late made it very beautiful. I started to take a photograph, but was stopped by the bayonet of a Russian soldier.

Many of the Russians are very friendly and genial. There is a big fat Russian official in blue uniform traveling with us. We call him Little Boy Blue. The Gendarmes, with grey coats, swords and pistols, seem to be hated everywhere. We talked with some children with satchels over their shoulders. They showed us their school books, but would not show us their writing books. They smiled and refused us.

The repairs to the railways looked very slovenly and unsafe. Beneath the sleepers they were driving pieces of wood which split when the iron bolts were driven into them.

We passed some lonely stations with only a few huts, and here and there an older settlement not by the railway, which may have been a convict settlement. Today we passed over the Yenesei on a bridge with six spans. The river was completely frozen.

This morning I was walking up and down on the platform, at the junction for Tomsk, and the temperature was 43 °F. of frost, but it did not seem uncomfortable. Inside the cars it is quite warm.

Last night the train went rushing off and off into the West, straight towards the lovely sunset. There were no hills to separate us, but just one clean run into the land of the setting sun.

We have been spinning along for days. Today four trains of emigrants passed us going eastwards. Men and women were packed in horse-boxes, sleeping on boards and with only a small window at the top. The people look dreadfully poor, and one wonders how many center doors are slid open and there is a huge rush for the free hot water. They have no sanitation on these trains, and consequently the stations become unspeakably filthy. At the head of the emigrant wagons were some green cars full of convicts guarded by soldiers, also going to Siberia. What stories those green cars with barred windows could tell of past occupants!

The number of sledges drawn by horses on the frozen rivers is a very interesting sight. The sides of the railway are often piled high with snow. We enjoy the walks very much when the train stops. Sometimes we stop at the platform and the engine goes off for a stroll to where the water supply is, which seems very comical. Yesterday we saw a white hare. They say they are so plentiful that the people catch them for their fur alone.

At Omsk the snow stretched right out to the far horizon. It is very cold and when the wind blows it must be terrible. At the station there was a large number of sledges and tarantas.

For many hours we have been winding through the magnificent scenery of the Urals. The mountain-sides are covered with birch and pine, broken by lumber camps and here and there little coloured houses that look like dolls’-houses, pretty and romantic, with snow lying all about.

Today we crossed the Volga on a magnificent bridge with thirteen piers. Steamers were frozen in the river and sledges moving quickly over the surface. The fat Russian entered a compartment when two foreign ladies were making a drink on a spirit stove. He rushed in and put out the lamp and then hurried on to the platform, making a big row. He called in gendarmes, who entered with fixed bayonets. There they found the two ladies and nothing else. The gendarmes were then as mild as a summer wind, but the fat, ugly Russian remained very ungentlemanly. It was an ugly contretemps which might have caused trouble.

Bread is five kopecks a roll, sugar 20 a lb., apples 5.

Some of the villages we pass look extremely poor, with rough thatched houses. They do not look so strongly built as the log huts of Siberia. All the Russians everywhere seem to eat sunflower seeds.

At all the stations there are gathered a number of poor beggars.

At Samara we stayed twenty minutes. Here there is a line going south towards the north of Afghanistan. This is the line which caused England such worry years ago. Returning to England by this quick route across Siberia and Russia, our Chinese home does not seem to far away.

At Moscow we were two hours late and missed the connection. We paid porters two roubles to carry our luggage to an hotel. The journey was about twenty minutes and the impression made upon me was the great number of really fine horses to be seen in the streets. The hotel was just inside the old city wall, near the Kremlin.

Moscow—this wonderful city where Napoleon met his great defeat, in the same way that Russia has met a similar setback in Manchuria. I wonder what the Miao would think of it. I don’t think that in their wildest dreams the could imagine such a place. They would probably think it was Heaven if they saw it.

On Sunday the Churches were crowded with men. There seemed to be no worship as we understand it, but a great deal of ritual.

The people of Moscow seemed quite well to do, but we did not visit the poorer quarters. Leaving Moscow, all along the railway there were miserably poor villages, which would not even compare with the villages of Western China. The houses were poorly built, the roads full of mud and apparently the Church was the only sizable building.

At Warsaw we drove across the city in droshkies and had lovely views of a beautifully lighted city. Later at the Russian frontier an officer came in for everybody’s passport. It seems a terrible thing that a passport is needed for anyone to come out of Russia.

As I sit in the train waiting to begin the journey across Germany my mind goes back to the two weeks in Russia since we left China. I am impressed by the enormous distances and the immense task which the Russians had of transporting an army across that single-track railway to fight the Japanese. In my mind I see forests of pine and larch, log-built houses, great plains and flat scenery, poor villages, and everywhere a man with a bayonet. At a railway station I saw a colporteur selling Testaments and Bibles. Thank God that His Word can be sold everywhere in Russia.





When he returned from furlough in England he came to Yunnan on the new railway built by the French from French Indo-Chian to the provincial capital of Kunming. A rebellion had broken out around Chaotung and he was delayed in Kunming. Later he went north as far as Hweitseh, and then cut across country to the Miao centre of Chang-hai-tze, thus reaching the Miao area without passing through Chaotung.



January. Back in Kunming.

I visited the old house in which we used to live. In the temples nearby, the idols had all been broken up and the mud and straw was being used for making bricks.

While I was in Kunming I was invited to visit the new prison, of which the authorities are very proud, and to speak to the prisoners. It is a fine brick-built set of buildings next to the drill ground. As we went in through the court-yard and met the Governor, we passed a lot of cages in which the prisoners were brought to the place.

After drinking tea we were escorted round and first saw the western side where there are cells of the prisoners condemned to death. They came to the little windows in the doors and looked out at us.

In one room there was a great heap of small buckets in which the cooked rice is taken to the prisoners. They have as much rice as they want and fairly good vegetables.

After walking across the fine exercise ground we visited the workshops where eight different trades are taught. They were making clothes, boots, sandals, note-paper and envelopes. Outside the prison is a shop where these things are sold. In one room I was introduced to two boys, of about 10 and 12, who were said to be the descendants of the last of the Ming Dynasty. At different times there had been rebellions on their behalf—their relatives had all been executed. In the prison they were called ‘The Two Little Emperors.’ In the old days as soon as they had grown up they would have been executed.

While we were there three people were marched out to be executed.

At the Governor’s orders all the prisoners, about a hundred and forty, were brought together into the prison chapel. There were two rows of warders wearing swords. I took my Testament and spoke to them all about Amnesty and Pardon, and the death of Christ. As I talked I could see the two Little Emperors sitting on the floor so as to see me through the legs of the standing prisoners.

Two Confucian preachers come every Sunday to speak to the prisoners. It was a unique opportunity for me to witness to Christ.

Jan. 25th. Set off northwards along the old road. At Yang-lin I heard that there were some Miao nearby, so I sent for them. Four men and a boy came. How delighted they were and how excitedly we chatted away in Miao! The little fellow kept laughing away as we talked. It was a great joy to see these Miao Christians here.

While I have been away there has been a great campaign against opium by the new Governor. Nowhere in the countryside have I yet found a field of opium. Around the city gates at Kunming were thousands of opium pipes, relinquished by the people. At night men search through the rooms of the inns to discover opium smokers.

These wonderful efforts by China to rid herself of this drug seem like a miracle to me. Many changes are in the air—for the first time I have seen Chinese soldiers without pig-tails.

At Kong-shan a man by the roadside looked at me with an awful face and begged, “Your excellency, please give me your opium ashes”. He looked a doomed man. I could hear of no opium being grown anywhere.

In the inn at Yang-hai I met soldiers who had just returned from quelling the rebellion around Chaotung. They told me many horrid details of the fighting in the villages on the Chaotung plain. The rebels had been driven off, and now these soldiers were returning to Kunming.

On the road I met several parties taking girls up to the capital to be sold.


Sun. July 2nd. About two hundred people came to the service at Chang-hai-tze. The Lord gave us a good day, and the people seem glad to see me back. In the afternoon I called on the landlord and found him as bad as ever.

The following Sunday there were five hundred present. It was wonderful to see them in their clean costumes on the slopes of the hill by the chapel. Before leaving the Miao for the Nosu village at Ssu-shih-wu-hu three thousand Miao had attended the services. On the journey we came to a busy village market, which was the danger spot. Swords and guns were much in evidence. We got off our horses and mixed with the people in a friendly way, and then continued our journey safely.

As we rode along we shouted to the Miao busy working in their fields. From the top the hills I could se the mountain ranges in the distance—Yong-shan and Chin-tsai-ping—just at the back of Stonegateway. It was delightful to see the old hills again and made me feel quite queer.

I went to call on several Miao families. At one house I found an old lady sitting on the floor by the doorway with hardly enough rags to cover her. All the rest of the household were out working, and she sat there with a stick to keep the dogs out. I suppose all the rags on here were not worth twopence. Sixpene would be the value of all her property. When I began to speak about God’s kindness she brightened up and said, “That at least is true”. Poor, dirty, in rags, swollen foot, alone in the house, and yet owning the goodness of God. It is wonderful to come back right into the heart of the wilds of West China and find here schools and Churches and Christian homes.

Today I saw a miracle. At this lonely place of Ssu-fang-ching the Church was full of Nosu, and at their request Chang-yo-han was preaching to them. The proud Nosu listening to one of their Miao serfs.

July 26th. Returned to Stonegateway where there was a great welcome. About six hundred to the Sacrament. Later many members came out to meet me as I went into the city of CHaotung and when we reached the city wall we were a long snake-like procession.

Aug. 9th. Left for a Miao journey towards Mi-erh-keo.

On July 24th ‘Timothy’s mother died and the following day I went to the village. This was the first Miao funeral that I had ever attended. At the house was singing, reading and prayer, and then they began to prepare to carry her out. There was some discussions as to what should be taken to put on the grave. Usually they put a bill-book for cutting down firewood, for they fear the dead will be cold. The old lady had expressed a wish that this should be done.

The dead woman was wrapped in felt rugs such as they use for bedding and capes, and was tied to a board which two men pick up and went off with quite quickly. We all followed. The woman did not come; no women except dead ones ever go to the graves; they are too afraid.

The graveyard is just below the village, but there are no signs to a stranger that scores of graves at least are there. Brushwood is grown all over the hillside, so that after a time the graves are covered and no one can distinguish them. The copse of brushwood hides all but horizontally, not down the hill, but across according to the Miao custom. (The Nosu cremate their dead.) The coffin was lying by the graveside in six pieces. The bottem board, with grooves in it, was laid in first. The four side-pieces were then fitted into the grooves, the felt rugs removed and the woman placed in the coffin. A bunch of bracken was placed for a pillow. She was wearing her best clothes. The top was then fixed and we stood around the grave and had a service. The two sons filled in the grave, Timothy, working away, with red eyes. The father stood beside, like an old Red Indian, wish for his years and full of stories, with brown wrinkled skin. He conducted himself like a hero. Big pieces of thorn trees, stones and earth were piled on the mound to prevent the wolves from interfering.

Then we came away, but after a few yards they disputed, “Should they light a fire for the dead?” They agreed to do it. Flint and steel were struck and tinder of eidelweiss was lighted and dry grass and sticks soon sent up smoke and flames. We finally came away as the smoke was rising up to heaven from the brushwood fire.

The old lady had been bitten by a dog some months ago and died of ‘Fear of water disease’—hydrophobia. Her grandson had died earlier in the same way. They said she had developed a very great fear of water.

I am sitting writing this on the hills near the Miao house, with a beautiful sunset just fading away behind the hills of Chin-Tsai-piing. It is a sunset to make any heart glad—gold, red, blue and grey—with some heavy dark clouds across the sky. The view is immense, for the hills in the distance must be seven to ten days’ journey away.


During these few days I have been trying to repair some broken Miao marriages. The sanctity of the marriage vow seems to come as a shock  to these people. It must be so strange for these people living in a world of witchery and spirits. Powerful demons around them all the time; one can scarcely imagine what it must feel like. It is the reverse of feeling that God is with us, overshadowing us day by day. Today they came to me about a man who had been bewitched by a wizard of the Thai race, and he was ill and likely to die. Should they take him to the house of the wizard and leave him there to die?

Rain, mist and mud outside. A lot of little children came and stayed nearly all day. What fun we had! We played all sorts of games, chasing each other, and I had to turn my box out to the last detail and explain everything to them – mouth organ, whistle, photographs and the red handkerchiefs were a great treat. Then they got hold of my dental forceps, for they had seen me extract two teeth the day before. There was immense excitement and a great deal of shrieking and laughing, particularly when I pretended to draw my own teeth and produced my dentures. What fun these children are! So often they cry when I leave the villages, and I too am sorry to part from them.

In the morning I awoke before daylight and saw some torches outside the darkness and heard the dogs barking. Then I found it was the kiddies with torches who had come out to be the first to pick up the walnuts which had been brought down from the trees by the rain in the night. I have know the children go out with torches at midnight on a stormy night to collect a few walnuts.


Sept. 26th. At night I walked out from the village and the wind was blowing. With the great hills in front there is a sense of deep darkness and loneliness. There were deep clouds and no sky visible. Where is one? Lonely and isolated among the mountains and in a world of demons and spirits.

Sept. 30th. Yesterday a Miao girl was watching her goats and pigs on the hillside. Two wolves appeared and got hold of a little pig, one at either end. They tore it in pieces and made off. The poor girl cried very much.

In the past the Miao women wore a cone of hair on their heads—the poke—when married, and it was only taken down at death. The Christians have given up wearing it and the unbelievers ridicule them as ‘dead women’. They say they want it back again. I told them to please themselves.

Oct. 1st. On the road today the horse was taken ill and arriving at a village lay down and looked very poorly. The Miao said it was colic and the cure of it was to get the hose to inhale the smoke of old clothes. Accordingly they tore up some old rags, and held the smoking rags close to his nose. At first he objected, but at last inhaled the smoke and puffed it out like an old smoker. A great deal of water came out, as they had said. Afterwards the horse went all right and began nibbling at grass. In the house in which I am staying the pigs, goats and cows are very close to us; a brood of chickens has just been hatched in the loft above. It really is the worst ever. In Miao I have given this house the name of Waldorf.

Two young women who are here with me were sold and redeemed. Ten years ago they were sold to the Nosu for ten loads of maize. Later the parents bought them back, but had to give ten silver taels.

Last night we had a rough time in our room at the ‘Royal’. There were nine men sleeping on the floor and woman on a slight loft over the pigs. Three of the men snored all night. There were also three cows, a horse, nine goats, five pigs, one dog, one cat a firefly which flittered all over the place. Outside it rained and inside the dog tried to clamber on my bed throughout the night. Sometimes the horse would tread on a pig, then there would be a howl and a squeal.

Oct. 17th. At Chang-hai-tze the landlord has been teaching his Miao serfs to fight the Chinese. Before I left there the head of the local militia came, and he too has acted similarly at the command of the landlord. I told him straight that he was likely to be severely punished and in the hands of some mandarins would be beheaded. I must take the Miao leaders to see the landlord and have it out with him, for unless we stop it there will be very serious trouble.

On the journey today we came across the tracks of wolves and also some deer. The man who was carrying my bedding-roll was a very poor-looking Miao in rags. I was a little prejudiced against him because of his appearance. He turned out to be a remarkable fellow. As we went along he questioned me about the world—America, Europe, Russia, India, and quite obviously he already knew a great deal. It was a surprise for me; a long time since I had such a talk with a Miao in this way.

Oct. 18th. The decons from a number of villages came together and we discussed marriage problems. The customs here remain much as they were in the old days. If a family want your daughter in marriage you ask for so many cattle. Usually a cow, a pig or a sheep are given for a daughter. I asked them what the poor did who could not give a cow. “They take a wife ‘on account’ and pay up the cow later when they have one.” We agreed that we should try to change this if possible, first by getting all the families who will give up the selling of daughters to sign an agreement and marry among themselves.

On the road 80 li south of Chang-hai-tze we found fresh wolf tracks on the road. It appeard that a large wolf, perhaps the mother, was leading out several younger wolves, and they had been following the herd of cattle from the village as they were taken out to graze; evidently the young ones were being taught to hunt for food.

Oct. 23rd. Big crowd at the services at Chang-hai-tze today—about five hundred to the main service, two hundred to the Sacrament and twenty baptisms.

Oct. 26th. I sat around the fire playing the mouth organ and the children crowded round me till I could hardly move. They seemed so excited and pleased. I could not get away from them at all.

In this village they have been waiting six years to build a Church. Some time ago the landlord gave permission to build and they cut down the trees and prepared the beams and planks. Then the landlord’s brother was put in prison and permission was withdrawn. He then made them pull down the walls, and he himself used all the timber for building a house for himself. The landlord also drove away a Miao family that he did not want, by burning their house down at night when the old mother and some of the daughters were in the house. The landlord is dead and hope has returned; the folk are lifting up their heads again. Last night we had a meeting of the leaders to commence building again.

Before I left many wanted to buy some medicine and receive some attention. Also I had to extract teeth for two people. One, and old molar, took me all my time. The woman sat there while I tried three times to get it out, and she didn’t make a sound. She stood it splendidly; far better than I did.

Oct. 27th. As we were traveling along today, passing the solitary Nosu houses here and there in the hills, we met a Nosu in the path. He was most unfriendly towards us. He said, “We hate Pollard, because he has come into our midst and has destroyed the efficacy of our idols”.

Two years ago in this village the Nosu landlord oppressed the Miao dreadfully for becoming Christian. They were fined 103 taels of silver, their rents were increased, some were tied up by their hair and others by their hands under their knees—then he beat them and shouted, “Call on your Jesus to save you?” “What can Jesus do for you? What can the teacher do for you?” And here they are still believing; we had a crowded house at night with some of the children standing on my bed. Eleven of them were baptised.

December. In front of the little house at Stonegateway we held a meeting with twenty-two Miao preachers present. There was great readiness to talk on some points there were three or four of them talking at once. After much discussion we decided, amongst other things, that for Miao marriages we will maintain the rule that brides must be eighteen and bridegrooms twenty. There was some opposition of this. It was agreed that the gifts to a bride’s parents should be one pair of fowls, one bag of oatmeal and one leg of meat.

One preacher complained that in his village the young were anxious to study, but the old men should start smoking as the service closed. I begged him not to be too hard on smoking. “No,” he said, “but it stops them from study. The smokers are lazy, and will not work at their books.”

Another one said that the slave of a local landlord had escaped. The Nosu landlord found falut with a Miao family whom he suspected of helping the slave. He therefore took one of the daughters and made her a slave in his household, shaving her head and dressing her in Nosu clothes. “What,” was asked, “can we do about this?”

Another question asked was, “When the meetings of the local voluntary militia are called must our people go?” After discussion we decided that our people should go, but not if the meetings were on Sundays. When they attend they must not contribute towards the wind bouts, and they must not join if the object is to fight unlawfully. Also we decided that the heads of the militia shall be told that Christians have certain conditions for participation.

One of the preachers brought a special problem. A village of unbelievers for which he is responsible lies across a river, and the only way to it is across a rope bridge. He is frightened of this bridge, and says he cannot find courage to venture across it more than once every two months.

A landlord suspected one of his slaves of having discovered some treasure and hidden it for himself. He tortured him, to get a confession, by trying two of his fingers together and wrapping paper around the. The paper was soaked in oil and set alight. The burning was continued until half the fingers were burned away, but the slave denied the accusation in spite of the fiendish torture. When he was released he went and hanged himself. Cruelty of this kind is quite common among these landlords.

Jan. 1911. I wanted to go back to the village of Ha-li-mee and to stand under the walnut tree again, while I pleaded for my life, and thank God for His goodness. He was good to me in those days.

The authorities permitted me to go, but I felt nervous about the journey; the memory of the old trouble returned. It was snowing when we left Chaotung and made for the western hills, but I am glad to start off for the ‘tiger’s land,’ where I have not been since I was nearly killed there.

Jan. 20th. The first night it was very cold. The dogs barked once in the night and stirred the old fears.

The chapel here has been completely ruined by the rebels before the battle. On the road people were very kind, even in the village tea-shops they refused to take money for the tea. It is wonderful to meet all this kindness about, in one and another.

We came to one Miao village where last year they would not believe. This year they are coming. We waited at one of the openings into the village and called again and again, but they stayed silently within their hovels. I coaxed and called them, telling them that I loved them and wanted them all. We waited a long time, and then as we set off a long string of ten people from the village joined us and went along with us. Yang-seng, the Miao preacher, said, “We have found the lost sheep”.

This morning I vaccinated fifty kiddies, and one of them was the landlord’s daughter.

The recent rebellion swept though all these villages. The rebels looted many of them and some of the Miao slept for many nights out on the open hillside. The Christian Miao here have stood firm, even though the rebels were hostile to anyone connected with the foreigner.

Jan. 24th. At night we sat around a fire on which we burnt the big roots of the trees; they burn so well. Afterwards I slept over the stables on oat straw for a mattress, and fine stuff it is.

This morning we are going to see the old spot where God saved my life in a marvelous way.

I am writing this in Ha-li-mee, the village where I was that fateful night. The road here was very wet and difficult; as we came we passed near the house and towers of the landlord, who was partly the culprit.

We stood under the walnut tree for a while and I took a little bark from the tree. The tree was leafless, with a big magpie’s nest of sticks high in the branches. Here was the place where I stood and pleaded for my life with the crowd of armed men, and then we walked a little way along the road on which I was carried, wounded and exhausted. We walked down to the water and looked at the place where they beat me. The jump I made was a big one, but I had not really run very far before they caught me.

Then we came up to the wretched group of Miao houses and went to the house of the old Miao who had been the traitor; he was there and looked as vicious as ever, but he was poorly. I have never seen a Miao looking as ashamed as he did.

It was such a dirty and wretched looking house.

We stayed awhile and had a basin of his-fan with them, to show that there was no ill-feeling. Afterwards we went to the house of a believer. It was a very poor house with the sides open to the cold wind and a small fire of broken pieces of bamboo on the ground, but they gave us a few eggs. I listened to the dogs barking in the village again. It was just four years ago. Thank God I am still alive.




走近石门坎——English——EYES OF THE EARTH