Ruins of Desert Cathay 150 - Convoy
of antiques starting from Abdal for Kashgar. On left is Karim Akhun, one of the
'veterans'; in the middle Turdi, the Dak-man. Stein periodically dispatched
caravans of camels loaded with the current 'finds' to Kashgar for safe keeping
while he moved on to the next objective - in this case Tun-huang. Turdi, was a
remarkable individual - Dak man means a mail carrier across the deserts and
mountains - he managed to find Stein in the most out of the way places. By
'veteran' Stein means Karim Akhun was one of the original associated hired for
the first expedition who promptly sought to join the second.
Abdal was the nearest settlement north of Miran and a very small one at that.
Note how the precious 'antiques' have been carefully packed in study wooden
crates made on the spot from dead trees. Stein had very loyal and trustworthy
associates and never lost a single crate during their thousands of miles of
transport across desert - the Kunlun montains to Kashmir and then by sea to