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As the wind gusted the lake became choppy and I was Map China bitterly cold despite wearing every piece of clothing I’d got, plus using my sheet-liner Map China wrapper around my head as a scarf. Peter was standing on the shore flapping his arms to keep warm. Later he and I parted company; he had a time limit and needed to hurry to Beijing. I came back to the lake. My canoe rippled and splashed as it ran before the wind, I paddled but let the wind push us wherever A TRAVELLER IN CHINA it was going. Sven Hedin’s boat had been an inflatable of a sort, made from some inflated goatskins attached to yurt poles and the hide of a horse which had conveniently died.

In those days there was little chance of survival from this hideous disease. Surgery, though very risky for patients, was the only possible option for Mary. Even though it would only extend her life one to three years, she chose surgery.

At some point during this period, she came to live with the Blanchard family; after all, Amanda did have some medical experience as a mid-wife. Mary was a strong woman with a strong will, but it seemed the disease was stronger. In mid-January 1919, the doctor stopped by and the news wasn’t good.

The most the doctor could do was give Mary drugs, such as morphine or opium to control the pain. Her condition declined as February faded away.

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