Three women missionaries (Cable and two sisters named French) had lived in China since 1901 and spoke Chinese - and wanted to work in the mysterious Gobi, a Muslim stronghold. And an ancient crossroads of caravan routes, which they traveleed by caravan and on foot, for thirteen years. In this book Cable describes the Gobi and its wonders, from the wonderful Lake of the Crescent Moon to the caves of the Thousand Buddhas, from the gate of Kiayukwan to lonely footpaths in the middle of nowhere. The three women were Protestant Christian missionaries, and there is the occasional sentence about their work; but mostly it is about the Gobi, its oases and towns, its inhabitants and legends. its trade and its traditions. A wonderful, evocative book about a desert that is now more accessible, but where some of the wonders of Cable's time have now gone. Towards the end Cable talks about some of the politics as well, and the changes that were taking place in the early 1930s.
A book that makes you reach for the atlas, or even the timetables! Slightly old-fashioned, slightly slow in places, but very eveocative and full of wonder at a fascinating desert.