Marguerite crosses the border into the Far Eastern Republic

Marguerite Harrison found a Russian frontiersman willing to take her from Urga, Mongolia, to Chita, the capital of the Far Eastern Republic. Shrugging off the protests of her friends, Marguerite climbed into his horse-drawn sleigh on a cold November morning and they set off with harness bells gaily jingling. They climbed through steep hills and descended valleys, passed goat herds and ponies, but saw few people along the way. At night, they stayed at small inns and houses. On the third day they drove through a blizzard, struggling to see the roads and river crossings in the piling snow. The next day, they set out before sunrise and Marguerite marveled at the northern lights that danced in the sky. Packs of wolves followed them menacingly.

After four days they reached the border of the Far Eastern Republic. Without hesitation, the guards on the Mongolian side waved her onward. In a few miles she encountered a sentry from the Far Eastern Republic, who allowed her to proceed to the first town, Kyakhta.  Birch trees lined the main street, and a beautiful white church with gold domes was perched on a hill above, yet the town was virtually abandoned. Finding no lodging, Marguerite was forced to continue to the next village, Troitskosavsk, where she spent a week in the home of her guide waiting for the rivers to freeze so they could continue on their journey to Chita.

Harrison spent week in Troitskosavsk under the watch of Russian officials.

Now it was clear she would not be able to return to the United States in time for her lecture tour, but she did not care.

 “To tell the truth, I was enjoying myself immensely, I did not mind the cold or the discomforts, I was not homesick, lonely or afraid. This vagabond life had a curious fascination for me. I did not want to go home!” she later wrote.

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