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This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the sixth oral history interview of Miss Eleanor Ruth Elliott (CN 187, #T6) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words which were recorded have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. In a very few cases, words were too unclear to be distinguished, so the word "[unclear]" was inserted. This is a transcription of spoken English, which, of course, follows a different rhythm and rule than written English. Also, if the speaker used an older version of a Chinese name, such as Peking" instead of "Beijing," then it is the older version which is in the transcript.
... Three dots indicate what the interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
() Words in parenthesis are asides made by the speaker.
 Words in brackets are comments made by the transcriber.
This transcription was made by Robert Shuster and Kerry Cox and was completed March 1990.
Collection 187, Tape #T6; Interview of Eleanor Ruth Elliott by Robert Shuster, November 9, 1981.
SHUSTER: This is an interview with Miss Ruth Elliott by Robert Shuster for the Missionary Sources Collection of Wheaton College. This interview took place at the Billy Graham Center on November the ninth at 2:45 pm. Miss Elliott, we've talked a little bit about some of your relations with various Chinese pastors and elders. What was the formal relationship between the various Chinese churches and the China Inland Mission?
ELLIOTT: Well, a good many of the churches upcountry were started by the China Inland Mission, because before Hudson Taylor decided to start the China Inland Mission, work had only been done along the coast and there had been no missionary work in inland China. And so he felt that efforts should be made to go to places in inland China. And so that was the first time that any missionaries had...had gone anywhere except along the coast. Mostly in the Shanghai area and then a few went down into Chekiang, the province just south of Shanghai. But very, very few other places were being reached at all. And so he himself went up country and when he felt the mission should be started, he prayed and then by faith started the China Inland Mission and then people came first from England and he said, he told them each one, they were to be expecting to go up country. Well, when the churches were established, then he said that there should be training for them. And so at first they just had, sort of, Bible schools, you know, short term Bible schools. Because the men were busy, mostly farmers and couldn't get away. But later, then there were seminaries and coll...colleges, Christian colleges and seminaries started by different missions and so.... And there were Bible schools started by the China Inland Mission too, so....
SHUSTER: Were the churches each one independent of the other or were they formed together into one denomination or did they have any kind of...
SHUSTER: ...ecclesiastical government?
ELLIOTT: ...at first they were separated because it was such a tremendous country and missionaries would be in only one area for a while and so there wasn't much liaison between different groups. But as more churches were established, then the aim was the...the three selfs. Now, Hudson Taylor originated the three `selfs'.
ELLIOTT: ...governing, self-supporting, and self propagating churches and so....
SHUSTER: Did he actually invent the terms or were they...?
ELLIOTT: He invented the terms! And now the Communists are using the terms that...that Hudson Taylor invented [laughs]. And so this was the purpose of the mission: to get churches that would be independent. And then they encouraged churches to...when they...especially when the leaders came to a Bible school...well, then, they got acquainted. And then they said, "Now, if you have problems, well, get together and discuss your problems and maybe one person has an idea that will help. And so they...they used to have groups that would meet, groups of leaders. Well, at first, of course, there weren't any pastors, as such, and...in many places. It wasn't until they were...well, until they had colleges and then seminaries. And...and that wasn't until the very last years of missionary work in China that they had all of that where they had really what we would call ordained pastors. But there were in many places pastors who had gone to Bible schools enough so that either the church itself would say, "Will you be our pastor?" or he just felt called of the Lord to be a pastor and he would ask the people, "Would you like me to be the pastor?" And usually they said yes.
SHUSTER: So generally they were...the pastor was elected by the congregation?
SHUSTER: From your experience, was CIM policy successful in creating independent churches?
ELLIOTT: I believe so. Yes. I believe that (I'll be frank), I believe that the Two Hundred experiences where, unfortunately, the majority were young women, and young women were not too highly regarded in China. So for us to go and start new work in untouched vicinities was extremely difficult. Now as soon as my sister was married, she and her husband went and started a new work. It was hard, but because there was a man there, it was...it was....he was respected and that church...before they left China, that church had started, I think, five other churches. So the Lord blessed and used that. Now, as far as I know, the two places where I was asked to go to help start new work...when I was in Tungcheng and then later in Yingshang, neither place started churches in any other vicinity. So, I was talking with Margaret and she said, "I'm not so sure that the Two Hundred idea was such a good one." [laughs] But anyway at least more missionaries went out and then if we didn't...weren't successful at starting new work in new places, at least then we were transferred to other places and felt happy in the work where we were transferred.
SHUSTER: What about the government of the mission itself? What were the conferences, mission conferences, like?
ELLIOTT: Oh, we all looked forward to them.
SHUSTER: They were a yearly event?
ELLIOTT: Yes and oh, that was just such a happy time of Christian fellowship and then whenever we had any problems, too, well then we'd bring them up and we...everybody would pray about them. And then it just seemed as though the Lord would guide and tell us what to do. And it was such a help to have that.
SHUSTER: How many people were usually at a conference?
ELLIOTT: Well, everybody in the province and...usually between thirty, forty, something like that, depending on how many missionaries there were in the province at that time. During the war, well then people had to leave different provinces. Well, then there wouldn't be very many and maybe two provinces might meet together at that time. And then we had summer conferences up in Kuling and oh, those were lovely. We just loved that, looked forward to the Kuling conferences. Of course, we couldn't always get away to go up there so...but if we were up in Kuling we would always go to the conference and that would last longer. It would be about a ten day or two week conference whereas the provincial conferences would only be maybe four or five days so....
SHUSTER: What was the program at these conferences? Was it a series of sermons or...?
ELLIOTT: Different...yes, different people would have.... Well, not sermons, Bible studies. And different ones would have been asked ahead of time to prepare and have Bible studies. And...and then there were always discussion periods and they specifically would mention, "Please be prepared to tell of any difficulties you are encountering so that we can discuss it, pray about it, and see if there is any solution." So, there...those conf...those conferences were practical as well as being a time to see our dear friends 'cause we just loved being together and so it was a joy. We always looked forward to our conferences.
SHUSTER: You were kind of isolated the rest of the year?
ELLIOTT: Yes, sometimes feeling very isolated.
SHUSTER: How long did it take for letters to travel back and forth between missionaries in China? Not through the United States, just within China?
ELLIOTT: Well, of course it would depend on the war conditions and there was almost always some kind of war condition, either at the beginning (War Lords) and then the Nationalist part where more and more Chiang Kai-Shek was trying to take over and...and then the Japanese invasion and so there was war.... I've never known the time that there wasn't war from the time I was a child. You know, I had forgotten that we did go through the time when there was, you know, when there was war. Margaret said when I was talking with her on the phone, I said, "You know, we were asked about whether... about the revolution" and she said, "Don't you remember there was fighting all around our house and the general's horse was killed and it leaped over our wall into our garden?" I said, "Oh, yes, I remember that!" [laughs] So there was fighting there when it became...when the emperors were overthrown and it became a...called the Republic of China.
SHUSTER: So communication and travel was not easy at any time?
ELLIOTT: No, it wasn't. Some days we could get letters quickly from Shanghai. Then, before I came home on furlough, the first furlough, I think I hadn't had a letter from Shanghai for six or eight months. And yet they wrote regularly. But...and I couldn't even hear from Margaret and Vincent and they were...they were on the western edge of Anhwei and I was on the eastern edge of Honan province and so ordinarily it would be a three day journey by...over...you know, by...just by land, but if we could get a letter, it might take a month, or sometimes, all of a sudden, we'd get a letter in five days. You couldn't tell. And then...then you see, for a long time we didn't get any mail at all.
SHUSTER: Sounds like the U.S. postal service.
ELLIOTT: [laughs] I'm afraid so!
SHUSTER: Was there a national postal service or did you....
ELLIOTT: Yes, there was a national postal service and part of the time it was very successful and we were very glad. In fact they were noted as being a good postal service. They did everything they could to get the mail through.
SHUSTER: It must have been enormously difficult for them.
ELLIOTT: It was extremely difficult and mail carriers.... But do you know that a lot of people who were bandits and everything, if they saw a mail carrier, they'd bow and let him pass. They honored the postal system.
SHUSTER: Why was that?
ELLIOTT: Well, because they liked getting letters themselves [laughs] and I suppose they knew.... And then, it wasn't very common to pay...we...they didn't have a checking service so there wouldn't be very many letters that would have money, so there wouldn't be much use in stealing the letters. It would just deprive people of getting their letters and it wouldn't help them in any way, so why not let the postal people through? So that...that was one reason why mail, as a rule, could get through when other things couldn't get through.
SHUSTER: It was at one of the CIM conferences, was it not, where you received the assignment to teach missionary children in [hesitates over name] Szech...Szechwan?
ELLIOTT: Yes, yes it was.
SHUSTER: How did that come about?
ELLIOTT: Well, you see, because the Chefoo School, the big school, had been taken by the Japanese and the children interned, then school aged children were growing up and they couldn't get to school and the parents felt that they needed schooling and they weren't...some of them weren't qualified and they didn't have the books and they didn't have the equipment to teach them. And so the mission decided to start a school in Szechwan province, in the very far west, almost near Tibet.
SHUSTER: Out of reach of the war.
ELLIOTT: Out of reach of the Japanese, yes. And first there were two British girls who started it and they just had a few books that were sent from the Chefoo School. They were able to get through just about ten books.
SHUSTER: For how many students?
ELLIOTT: And they...at first I think they had ten...they were expecting ten children and so they were able to get ten books either.... I don't think they were sent, because I don't think Chefoo wasn't allowed to send anything but some of the parents around, they wrote and asked, "Does anybody have any of these primers that are used in teaching first graders?" And they were able to get ten. But those two girls both got married the next summer. And so then they said, "Well, we're going to have to have more than first grade" and so they asked Frances Williamson who was in Taiho in Anhwei province, and Marian Powell who had been in Hwangshaun with me and we had our Japanese war experiences, and she was in northern Honan at that time, and they asked me if we three would go across China and go to Szechwan province and teach in that school.
SHUSTER: A monumental journey.
ELLIOTT: Well, I had to start from Shucheng and I took a trunk because I had a whole lot of books of.... I had.... I just love books and I...I still have the books that I had...I had taken courses in the te...in teaching, you know, teaching of reading and different...at...in Wheaton and then when I went home.... In Wh...Wheaton grad school I had... And I'd laid in books. I thought, "Well, I could use them in teaching children regardless of..." I mean I thought I was going to teach Chinese children but I used them as how to teach and then there were people who came to me and asked me to teach them English and so I used those books in helping me to teach them to read in English. And so I had those and then I had a whole lot of classics (I've just loved them) and then when my uncle died my aunt sent out (and he loved books) and so he...she sent a complete set of...of, oh, almost all of the famous classics. And so we had received those and Margaret and I divided them. And so I was just thrilled to have all those books so I took a whole trunk, a big trunk about three or four feet long and about two feet high full of books. It weighed a ton!
SHUSTER: I can imagine.
ELLIOTT: But...and...and then by the time I left Shucheng...I left I believe it was about the fourteenth of June and...
SHUSTER: That was 1942?
ELLIOTT: I believe it was '43. And then I went...I had to take a little boat up the river to get to [?] because I couldn't have people carry that heavy thing any further than I could possibly.... It would be easier to take it by boat. And...and then I got up to [?]. Well I... from [?] I took a truck and then we got up to Taiho, to where Frances Williamson was and...
SHUSTER: Let me ask you how you felt on leaving Shucheng after all those years there.
ELLIOTT: Well, you know the last few years after I came back from furlough had been so disappointing to me and...and then I had had the sad experience of losing Hazel there and then I also had had the sad experience of having typhus there and so I really.... Although I...I still loved being in Shucheng, yet it wasn't.... The close ties that I had had were not there and so it didn't seem quite so...so hard for me to leave Shucheng.
SHUSTER: Was the church starting to rebuild when you left?
ELLIOTT: Yes, it was, because they had taken that step of trying to see that people who had stolen things were excommunicated for a year, I think the Lord blessed and was starting to work in the church. And so there were those and people who, to my amazement, people who had been our neighbors and we had visited over and over and over started to come because I had children's work that I had gotten pictures in Shanghai and.... Well, they...they made just black and white outline pictures and I painted them and then I put them in a little box and had a...put a handle that would...with a thing that would turn at the top and...so that...and I pasted these, long strips of them and they had maybe four pictures about Joseph's life and four and then another four pictures, more about Joseph's life. So I painted those but...and then I used a little kerosene lamp behind it...
SHUSTER: Like a movie.
ELLIOTT: ...and then I'd move the pictures up. And I'd paste strips of them together and I had to paint very heavily, I mean, you know, use...to make the colors bright enough to be shown when the light was behind them. But then I'd tell the stories and the children loved it. And they would go home and tell, and so their parents came. And I was so surprised after, oh, I don't know, two or three months perhaps, a woman we had visited in her home so many times and invited her.... "No, I'm a Buddhist. I wouldn't come there to church for anything!" She came. And to my great joy, she came up to me and she said, "I think you're telling the truth and I'm sure Jesus is the Son of God who came to die to save me. I need him." I was so thrilled and that was just shortly before I left and so I felt as if...well, I couldn't believe that...that...so kind of cheesy [laughs] children's work would...would produce the salvation of a woman, a neighbor. So I was thankful.
SHUSTER: Do you know what happened to her later?
ELLIOTT: Well, every...everything that I heard was that she had gone on growing in the Lord. And she was truly a born-again person and she became active in the church. So, I was very thankful for that. But we went up...by the time that [pauses].... Frances Williamson was at Taiho and there were...there was a young couple who had a girl, the [ Mr. and Mrs. C. O.] Springers, and Mary Pearl was asked to...we were asked to take her with us to...to the school...
SHUSTER: Now it was quite a young girl, a child?
ELLIOTT: Six, six years old. So then we went across the river and into Honan province and that's where we met...met Marian Powell. But then, from then on we had to go by open truck and we went.... Every morning we were staying in an inn and we'd get up at...I'd get up at four o'clock in the morning and go and there would be a line waiting to buy tickets to go on these trucks to go across...to get away from the Japanese. And....
SHUSTER: So you didn't have your own truck. It was like a bus or a....
ELLIOTT: Well, yes. If you called...but I will explain about these trucks. They didn't have any gasoline and so what they had done was behind the driver's seat they had a little charcoal stove that had a thing that had steam. I mean a kettle that would make steam. And they had it piped. They piped the steam in and were making those motors go with steam. It would go all of three miles an hour. I could outwalk it easily but I couldn't carry my trunk on my back and of course I had my suitcase and then everybody had a roll of bedding. You always...everybody travelled with a roll of bedding so you had to have that. And....
SHUSTER: Was this public transportation or...
SHUSTER: ...did some people own their own truck which they ran or was it...?
ELLIOTT: Well it.... They...I think that they had sort of a truck line and they would hire drivers and...but maybe one group would own three or four trucks and then another group would earn...own three or four trucks like that.
SHUSTER: So it was private companies.
ELLIOTT: Yes. And.... Well, we had been trying and trying and trying and when I'd get up to the window every time (I might get up to the window at six o'clock in the morning) they'd say, "All tickets sold." And so we didn't know what we were going to do so we had special prayer and we said, "Well Lord if you want us to get to Szechwan would you please help us to be able to get on." And as we were walking down the street, Frances Williamson saw a young man who came from Chefoo. Now she had been up in Chefoo and she had taught up there.
SHUSTER: Was this one of her students?
SHUSTER: One of her students?
ELLIOTT: No, this was a Chinese young man. She...the Chefoo school was for British and American. And this.... But she had met...and he was a Christian young man and he said, "Why, Miss Williamson! I am so glad to see you!" (Of course, he said this in Chinese.) And she called him by name and she said, "Oh, I'm so glad to see you!" And he...he said, "What are you doing?" you know and she said, "Well, we're trying to get tickets and we've here for days and we've gone every morning earlier and earlier and still we haven't able to buy any tickets." He said, "It's because they sell them the night before." And he said, "People who have pull and pay the seller of tickets are the ones who get the tickets. They have to bribe to get a ticket." And he said, "Leave it to me." He said, "How many tickets do you need?" And she said, "Well, we have three adults and one little girl." He said, "Alright." And just after a couple of hours he came and he said, "Here are your tickets for tomorrow morning." [laughs] And wasn't the Lord's provision...his timing is so wonderful. And so we started out...?
SHUSTER: How did he get the tickets?
ELLIOTT: We didn't ask. [laughs] We purp.... He said...he said, well, he said, "My father knows the owners." And they...he evidently had come from a fairly well-to-do family so we didn't ask. But anyway, we started out, but it was so crowded and everybody's luggage was put in first and then it filled the truck clear up to the top of the wooden slats and then everybody had to sit on top of that. So we were much higher than the top of where the driver was and every time the...well, the roads were just terrible, just full of holes and bumps and everything and so he'd be driving along, of course very slowly but even so, when we hit a bump, everybody'd be thrown up in the air. Well, at first I was sitting toward the middle and I'd had people...five people land on top of me when we'd come down after a bump. So I said, "Well, I'm going to sit on the edge." And then I put my heels over the edge of the top rung of the...the wooden slats of the truck. And whenever we'd go over a bump then, I would stand up and I would pray that my heels wouldn't come off and that was all that was holding me was just my heels, but at least it was much more comfortable than having four or five people land on top of me. And so we went and we went across Honan and we went across Shansi and then we got into Shensi and we got into Sian. Well that was the first place that we got to.... That took weeks.
SHUSTER: You were traveling with the same group of people, all this time?
ELLIOTT: Pretty well, yes. And we would, we would stop and have to stay at an inn overnight and try to get food and they wouldn't...they might...they would stop once during the day. So we would have to eat very, very early in the morning and then they would stop once during the day and we'd get a noon meal and then wait until dark before we'd...and then we could get a meal at the inn where we stayed.
SHUSTER: From traveling with this group, did you get any impressions about how the Chinese people felt about the war?
ELLIOTT: They were afraid. They were really very much afraid of the Japanese and they were doing everything they could to get away. And so the people who were traveling, by and large, were people who...I mean traveling that way, were people who had a little bit of money and they dressed very poorly on purpose and so...but it was, in a sense, rather expensive because it meant you had to buy all your meals and stay overnight in an inn and things like that. Well, the restaurants usually would have...very often, they had a long beam out that went out toward the middle of the road and they'd have a sign, you know, that they had a restaurant there. Well, usually it didn't extend too far out and the...the truck could get around it all right. But one time the driver didn't realize that it was too low because for him, you see, driving, it seemed quite high. He didn't remember that the people were very high up. And so he started to go right under this big long beam and everybody lay perfectly flat.
SHUSTER: It's a good thing you were only going three miles an hour.
ELLIOTT: But the thing was.... That didn't matter. I mean...if I...wherever I tried yo lie down, I was lying on top of people and I could see that I was not going to be low enough. So, I thought, "Oh well, that's alright. I'll just...." So, as we went, I just caught hold of it and then swung off and...and...and I was able to hang on...hang there until the truck went on and I was all right. And everybody just burst out laughing. All the people in the truck, you know. And they tapped on the top of the...and told the truck driver, "Do you know that you nearly killed that foreign [laughs]...foreign woman." And he...he was so amazed and he came and he apologized to me. [laughs] But we...we went on and we got to Sian, that was the first place where we...the Scandinavian Alliance Mission there.
SHUSTER: Sian. How is that spelled?
ELLIOTT: S-I-A-N. And that's the capital of Shensi province.
SHUSTER: I see.
ELLIOTT: And they were so nice to us and invited us to stay overnight. And, oh, for once we could have a bath, and, you know, and really change our clothes, and all that. We had been changing our clothes, but you know, not really good hot baths the way we liked and....
SHUSTER: They knew you were coming?
ELLIOTT: No. But they welcomed us in. And so then, from there there was a short line, a narrow gauge train railroad line that went from Sian to.... Oh dear, I can't remember the name of the place. [Pauses] But anyway, it wasn't very...it wasn't a very tremendously distance but still, for us, it would have taken weeks to stay...to go by truck...to go that short distance that we went. And little Mary Springer...Mary Alice Springer.... We got on this train and we went along, you know, and looked. And she loved looking out the window and seeing everything...seeing everything whizzing past, you know. And, oh, she thought that was just lovely. Well, we only went one day on that train and then we got to a place where we had to go back onto trucks and here.... Now we were going through the mountains, very steep mountains. And so we had to get on the.... [Studies map] Yes, let's see, Shensi. Well, its Shianfu[?] there, that's where we were. We went from Honan, you see we were.... Anhwei [pauses] here's Anhwei. And we went across and...and.... Well, we went, we went across a little bit of...of Hup.... Well, where is...where is...? Oh here, Shansi. We went across a little bit of Shansi and then into Shensi. Yes, Shensi. There. And then...then we were going to go into Szechwan and go south and.... But again we had to start going by these horrible trucks. And so I literally got up and about, I suppose, I don't know, 2 am or something, and stood in line and...before I finally got the tickets and I think I stood in line for three days, three different days, before I....
SHUSTER: This was not again the town where you had to go the night before to buy the tickets?
ELLIOTT: No, that wasn't...they...they...we...I could see that they were actually selling the tickets that mor...in that...in morning, but it was almost ev...the first...the first two morning that I wo...that I got to the line they said, "Sorry, we've sold out. And so the third morning I got up so early that I was quite...you know, only two or three ahead of me and then I got my tickets. And...but of course, then it was also very crowded and it was a truck and you loaded your stuff on and it...there weren't nice passenger seats or anything like that. But it was very dangerous because the roads were winding. Going uphill, up quite high mountains and then to save gas the...these...these were gas trucks.
SHUSTER: Not steam.
ELLIOTT: Not steam. And to save gas, those men would turn off the motor and just coast. Well, when you are going down mountains, roads and curving and then there are other trucks that are going to be coming up the road. Well, one time we were going around a curve and we met another truck and we almost.... We were on the inside and the other truck almost went over the edge. It was a cliff and we were...we almost bumped into the cliff on this side and they almost went off the cliff on that side and we actually scrapped each other when we got through. Oh! And you know, Mary Alice said, "Why can't we go some more on that ladder on the ground? That was so nice and much better than this." She thought the railroad...
SHUSTER: The railroad.
ELLIOTT: Was a ladder on the ground. [Laughs] And....
SHUSTER: When did you actually reach your destination?
ELLIOTT: August fourth.
SHUSTER: And you had been traveling...?
ELLIOTT: I started June fourteenth and so we got there August fourth.
SHUSTER: Tell me why...why weren't the missionaries' children just sent out of China altogether, since there was a war on, rather than move them to a more isolated area?
ELLIOTT: Well, this...the progress of the Japanese was so swift and the families were together in their...I mean, these were young children. The older children had already been sent up to the Chefoo school so these were only families with small children. And they couldn't send babies and...and little wee ones away.
SHUSTER: So these were very, very young children that....
ELLIOTT: So we were just starting to work with children...six and...and then they had already had the year for one year, so we had ten children. Actually it was...we had...more were coming in from the area, not only of our mission but other missionaries children...from other missions. We had some Episcopal children, we had some Presbyterian children, we had from different missions who also came. And so I had the second grade and I had seventeen children in mine and one boy who had been for one year to the Chefoo school and then he had gone home and hadn't been able to get back because of the war, so he wasn't captured and so he would have been in the fourth grade and so I had him in my class too, and I was teaching him as a fourth grader with the rest of the second grader.
SHUSTER: And in what town was the school located?
ELLIOTT: In Kaiting. K-A-I-T-I-N-G. And so we were...that was south of Chengdu. Chengdu was a big city. And....
SHUSTER: So you were north then of Chungking?
ELLIOTT: No, we were west, west of Chungking. And right behind Chengdu is a lovely mountain, Mount Omei and it was the beginning of Tibetan place. And it was one of the five sacred mountains of China. And....
SHUSTER: Why was that?
ELLIOTT: Well, all of the...these sacred mountains.... You know where we went as children, I...I...I had forgotten that that was one of the five sacred mountains and we saw pilgrims who would lie flat and make a mark in the ground as high as they could reach and then get up and go to that line, lie flat and mark that. And if you were able to go all the way as a pilgrim like that, marking, and visit all five mountains, you were insured that in reincarnation you would be able to go higher. And so I can remember as a child seeing people do that and the mountain (I think I gave you the wrong name of that mountain when I gave it to you), it was Yolo Shan in Changsha, near Changsha.
SHUSTER: How was that spelled?
ELLIOTT: Y-O-L-O and it really is S-H-A-N means mountain but there they pronounced it without the "H." Shan, Yolo Shan.
SHUSTER: Why were these mountains sacred?
ELLIOTT: Well, the Chinese had...and the Buddhists had set aside these five mountains and they were in all different parts of China and literally it would be thousands of miles to go from...if you wanted to visit all five and, you see from Yolo Shan, well Omei was probably at least eight hundred miles from there.
SHUSTER: But there were no particular historical associations that made them sacred. They were just assumed to be sacred.
ELLIOTT: Yes and they had been, you see, for so many years, hundreds and hundreds of years so that the Chinese all considered them sacred mountains. And on those sacred mountains they had temples and sometimes...well, now, Yolo Shan had...I mean Omei had three temples and it was a very rustic mountain and they built the roads and they built steps, woo...stone steps and they had chiseled out great big wide stones that would be oh, about...well, sometimes they would use three or four to make one step, but each of them would be at least three feet long and eighteen inches wide. And they would...they had made steps clear up the mountain and they would make steps and then a road would lead into one temple and then more steps going up so that there were thousands of steps that they had built and then they had these three sacred mountains and sacred temples. And at the top that would be the...that was considered the absolute quintessence. If you got up there, why then you were near nirvana, you know, what would be that you would go into nothingness and that's what they wanted to achieve. They didn't want reincarnation, they wanted nirvana. And I don't know whether I told you that they....
SHUSTER: A little bit. You talked a little about it before. Tell me, did you have much contact with Buddhist priests and did you ever meet any who were curious about Christianity or just....
ELLIOTT: As a rule, no. They were taught not to and so they...they were taught "We have the truth and anything else is woofh [meaning worthless]," you know, "You shouldn't, you shouldn't try to inquire into anything else" and so they didn't. They, they incorporated Taoism and other Chinese religions, but foreign religions, no, no. That was absolutely outcast. So they didn't...they didn't want to.... They would be...they would be polite but not...not willing to listen.
SHUSTER: When you were teaching at...
ELLIOTT: At Kiating?
SHUSTER: ...at Kiating, how did the missionary children compare with the Chinese children you'd been teaching earlier or which you were with [unclear] earlier?
ELLIOTT: Oh, well most of the missionaries' children are very smart and they had...most of them had traveled quite a lot and...so that we could.... It was...it was fun to teach them. They...they learned so quickly. And we made very good progress. But Kiating, just before we came in the summer, it had been bombed by the Japanese quite badly and a lot of the city had been destroyed or burned and...and.... But fortunately the compound the school had been started.... It had formerly been a Chinese boys' school so it was arranged with classrooms and also they had dorms, so it was adequate for us. But I was only there for one year and then the Christmas of the following year....
SHUSTER: This is 1944?
ELLIOTT: Yes. We got a telegram from the mission to say, "Japanese advancing. Evacuate children India." And then we got a telegram from the American embassy saying, "Trucks being sent pick you up. And to travel to...to start your travel to Yunnan."
SHUSTER: Where you would catch the plane to India?
ELLIOTT: Well we would be...no, he...up in Chengdu in Szechwan we would catch the plane, and...so the trucks would take us up to Chengdu and then from there we were to fly to Kunming. And then the British embassy also said, (because we had American and British children) and they said "We'll fly you from Yunnan, from Yunnan...no not from...I mean Kunming to India." And so when we...we waited and waited and waited and the American trucks didn't come and it was getting near Christmas and we said, "All right. We're going to have a Christmas tree and Christmas dinner and Santa and everything for the children." Because their parents had sent them gifts weeks and weeks before, because you had to send them ahead and so a lot of them.... And so we fixed it all up and we had a lovely dinner. And before that we had had to so economical. The Chinese had set the amount of money.... One American dollar, if it was sent into the bank...the Chinese...the Bank of China, we could only get twenty Chinese dollars for one American dollar. But the GIs [American enlisted men] who were running the planes, and they had a great big airport in...made with...for B-29's as well as the other planes, there in Chengdu. Well, they were giving...were paid in US dollars and didn't go through the bank. And the Chinese wanted US dollars. They were getting seven hundred to one and we were getting twenty. So the prices were geared to the...in that area to the seven hundred to one.
SHUSTER: Sure. So you had practically no purchasing power.
ELLIOTT: And so for...the children had to live...oh, I tell you, our housekeepers were marvelous. To be able to produce as good food as they did with the little amount of money that we had.
SHUSTER: Did you raise your own food?
ELLIOTT: No, not there. We didn't...the compound was only a school compound. It wasn't made for raising food. And so it was really a very... We were very glad that we able to get a cow. It was a...really the most ornery creature and was always trying to get loose. And when it got loose, it would chase. And, oh, we would have to get the children out of the way quickly and.... But we did have at least some fresh milk. But one cow did not produce enough for all the children. But still, at least we could have something and we weren't starving. But...so we had a lovely dinner and we really had meat. For the first time I remember how....
SHUSTER: You ate the cow?
ELLIOTT: [laughs] No, it wasn't the cow, but...I don't know how they managed. They said, "We'll do it and we'll splurge for Christmas." And so we had Santa. One of the men, one of the missionary...missionary men was a Santa and he had a big...he truly had a big pack because all these...the parents had sent gifts to their children and so just as Santa came in and the children were all so excited and everything, the truck drove up.
ELLIOTT: The big American truck. Well, we had packed for the children to leave. And they had told us that we would be allowed to take fifty pounds per person. That includes not only clothes and shoes but bedding and your sheets and your towels and your pillows, your quilts, your blankets. Everything. Fifty pounds per person. That is all. Well, we all laughed and said, "Well, Hudson Taylor said, 'All you need is a Bible and toothbrush.' and [unclear] said, 'Well, I guess we're limited to a Bible and a toothbrush!" And so it was really was...was very hard to try to limit ourselves to only fifty pounds. And so...but each time, we had wait...we had been packing and we'd pack and then the trucks didn't come and so we'd have to wash and we'd pray that...that it would get dry. And then the women would be working (we had Chinese women working) and they'd iron them dry, so that we could try and have things ready if they should come. Well, that night, they...they came just in the evening. They said, "We're going to leave at 4 am." So we stayed up all night and repacked and then we left at 4 am and....
SHUSTER: That was Christmas day?
ELLIOTT: Christmas day. And we started...there were...we were...we had been...we...by this time we had had fifty-four students in the school and we had been able to get twenty home to their parents. And so...but there were still thirty-four children and then there were three of us on the staff and then when we got up to Chengdu, there were three older women who were going home to retire and they had been waiting a long time to be able to go home to retire, so we were glad that they could come. Well, we were at the air...air field.... We got to the air field. We stayed overnight at a...a...one of our little chapels. Not...it was outside of Chengdu. And then they sent trucks again. The truck fellows went on and then they sent another set of trucks and picked us up in the morning. And we got there, oh, 10:00, 10:30 and we waited and waited and waited. No plane, no plane had come from...from Yunnan, from Kunming. And so it got to be noon and the officers were very nice and they invited us to the officers' mess and they served us a lovely Christmas dinner. And one...I remember one of the girls, a little British girl, was sitting next to me and she said, "What's this stringy stuff?" I said, "Honey, that is turkey!" And she said, "Turkey! Who ever heard of eating turkey?" And I said, "That's Christmas turkey." And she said, "It's stringy." [laughs] And she hadn't had meat and she didn't recognize at all meat and....
SHUSTER: Did the officers put on any kind of entertainment for you or was it...?
ELLIOTT: Well, they kept thinking that any minute the plane would come.
ELLIOTT: Well, then, some of the fellows said, "Well, let's take the kids for jeep rides around...." You see, the airport, the airport had been built by...they had supervised and the Chinese men had dug it out of the side of the mountain and made that whole long flat place that was big enough for B-29s. And it was all handmade, every bit of it. And then they had these little jeeps and so they took the children around and showed them all over the airp...airfield and they didn't dare get too far away so that they could be...have some signaling if the plane did come in. And...but we waited. Frances, Frances Williamson and I were...Frances was the principal of the school and we were there on the plane...I mean, we were there waiting for the plane. And finally at 4:30 they said...they, "Oh, here comes the plane." So we got on and we had to load all of the children's luggage all down the middle and it was just a plane that had seats on each side and....
SHUSTER: At least you didn't have to sit on the floor, then.
ELLIOTT: No, we didn't have to sit on the floor. And we had a little sort of a screen at the end and we put all of the buckets back there because there wasn't any other accommodation on the plane. And so they raced and roared the motors and then, all of a sudden they stopped, and the pilot came out and said, "I'm sorry. There's no oil pressure in the right motor so we'll have to fix it." And so they worked and worked and worked and worked and it was almost an hour before they were just beginning to get it right and then the pilot said, "Hey, you know, I think it would be a good idea to fill the wing tanks with gasoline." They said, "The big tank is full but...." He said, "I guess we'll do that. So we'll put a hundred extra gallons in, a hundred in each of the wing tanks." And so then we went down to the end of the runway. Well, by this time it was dark. Christmas day, the days were short. And by the time we got there, it was...to the end of the runway...it was about 5:30 or maybe nearly 6:00. And then there had been planes that had been circling overhead trying to come in and...in the dark and in...a...it was foggy. And it was very hard for them to come in so we had to wait at the end of the runway until those three planes finally were brought in and so it was 6:30 before we took off. Well, we knew that the...it was supposed to be a three hour flight to Kunming. And so about 9:20 Frances Williamson and I looked at each other and we said, "Oh, ten more minutes." And...but instead of ten more minutes, just at that time, all of a sudden the plane started to go higher and higher and higher and higher and higher. Well, Yunnan is where the Himalayas start.
ELLIOTT: And.... Yes...and you see it's next to Burma and then you have to go further and then into India. And so we were...as we were going along, we'd suddenly get updrafts from...by...because we were near the mountains and we'd be shot just way up and then we'd get a down draft and then we'd drop as if we were dropping two or three stories in an elevator. Well, before that, as soon as we started going higher and higher and higher, I noticed that some of the children were beginning to feel queer looking and, and I didn't know what to do.
SHUSTER: Did you have any oxygen or....
ELLIOTT: At that time, no, we didn't have any. And then we...one of the men had been assigned to help look after the children and he had been very kind and considerate and if any of the boys needed to go to...go to the back, why he'd help them and [unclear] and I'd take the girls and so...but a...now he came out and he said, "Sorry, we've only got one oxygen mask." And a...well, I saw...I said, "Well...." In one hand I had the oxygen mask, in the other hand I had a pail. And when they looked blue, I ran with the oxygen mask and would let...just let them take a few whiffs, and right away their faces would not turn purple anymore and they would be alright. And if they looked green, why then I would hand them the pail [laughs]. And so I was just going up and down, up and down, up and down, and I'd have to crawl over these...these...this pile of luggage all the time. And Frances got...was feeling sick and...and the elderly ladies were feeling sick and it was really.... But I didn't have time. And...but there was one boy who had been...she...he...who had been.... He was eight years old and he, I think when he was about five or six, he had had rheumatic fever. And so four times I saw him turning really purple and I ran to give him oxygen. And then a fifth time he...he was turning purple again, so I ran. And each time before when he would take just two or three breaths, why then his face would turn nice and natural color again and not this purple. But this time, when I put the mask on, instead of taking nice deep breaths as he had before, he still just went, "Huh, uh, huh, uh, huh, uh, huh, uh" [makes quick, shallow breathing sound]. And so I looked down at the bottom and underneath it said, "Empty." And so I ran to the door and knocked, but nobody came. Before that if I had knocked, why, they came right away. And I knocked and knocked and nobody an...so finally I kicked the door. And so the man came (the man who had been helping us), came and he opened the door and I said, "Is there any more oxygen?" and he said, "Sorry, we're out." Well, as I was going up, he was the only boy whose mother was...was on the plane and she was one who was a housekeeper. Frances and I were teachers and but a...she was a housekeeper. And so I said to her, "Rowland needs you." So she had gone back, and she had Rowland in her arms. And his face.... I...I said, "Well, what can I do? This boy needs oxygen!" And he said, "There's no substitute for oxygen." So, I went back and stood there in front of Mrs. Nordmo and Rowland and he followed me and all the time I kept thinking of the verse, "Underneath are the everlasting arms," all the time that we were having this up and down existence, and it had lasted for almost two hours. And I saw Rowland's face turning almost black and then I saw his eyes roll back and I said, "Lord, don't let me stand here and see that boy die right in front of me." Just then, I looked out the window and I saw the lights of an airfield. That really was, I think, one of the most beautiful sights I ever saw in my life. And at that time another man came bursting out of the cockpit and he said, "We've made contact with the ground. We're coming down!" And so I watched and I counted how many times.... And we were going so...almost straight off. I counted how many times we circles over those lights. We circled ten times before we made it down. I never did hear how high we were flying, but we were...it was very, very high.
SHUSTER: That was what they called the Hump?
ELLIOTT: Well, it was near...it wasn't actually...actually at the Hump itself because we landed...when we finally landed, we landed at Yenaning[?], which is right near Burma. It is in Yunnan, but its right on the Burma border. And so when we landed, the door of the cockpit broke open and one fellow said, "Let me kiss old terra firma. I never thought I'd see it again!" Another said, "Oooh!" He just wiped his forehead and said, "Never again!" And the others came out and they didn't say and word and when the pilot...the pilot came out, his face was absolutely gray. And aft...as soon as we got down, Rowland was fine. He could breathe. He had oxygen. And so we all got to let the children exercise and walk around and everything. It was...they were...they were very happy to be done on the ground. So then we waited and waited and we...I...we saw planes that had been circling and then they landed and then they took off. And I said, "Why are we not taking off?" And he said.... I was talking to the navigator and he said, "Well, we have to go over and get gas." I said, "Oh, do we need gas?" And he said, "Do we?!!" And it wasn't until later that the father of one of the children traveled with that same group, that he asked about it. And they told him that we had enough gas for five more minutes. And with those two hundred extra gallons, if we hadn't had those, we couldn't have made it. So, then they sent a...a...one of the two bodied Black Widows. You know, the planes...the fighter planes? And they sent one from Kunming to escort us back. And so we didn't get back to Kunming until 2 am. When we arrived there, well, then the Air Force people there had a lovely mea...meal ready for the children and for all of us. Up 'til that time I had not been sick at all.... Well, I just hadn't had time. I hadn't thought about it. Well, the smell of food just nauseated me. Because...and I...I wanted...I didn't really become sick, but I just couldn't take a bite. And we got over to our...to the CIM headquarters. Well, they had three buildings there and when we arrived, there had been so many refugees who had been trying to get to India to get away from the Japanese. There were a hundred and eight of us in those three just ordinary, two story buildings. And so we had to put camp cots up for the children and have one sleep one end and the other sleep the other end and Frances and I slept on the floor in the attic. It was just terribly crowded. Well, after a couple of days, one of the executives.... We didn't know where we were going. They said, "Go to India." But we didn't know where in India.
SHUSTER: And Kunming is on the border?
ELLIOTT: Kunming is the capital of Yunnan and it was where the American air base and the British air base was there. And the Chinese...the Chinese had a Chinese air..air company too. And so that was the capital and from there was where people usually took off to go over the Hump. And so the British had pro...promised that they were going to fly us out. Well, first Frances and this executive officer flew out to Calcutta and we were all praying and all the parents were told to pray that we would know where to go and what we were going to do when we got there.
SHUSTER: Now she was flying ahead to make arrangements?
ELLIOTT: Yes. And so I was left with all the children. And so every.... We didn't know.... The British consul in Kunming came and told me that the Chinese were demanding that we fly out and pay to fly out with the Chinese.
SHUSTER: And why was that?
ELLIOTT: They wanted the money. But, it has always been the policy of every embassy that if they wish to evacuate their citizens, it has been an international law that they have the right.... Now they don't have to pay, but they have to provide for them to travel out of...of a country, if they wish to.
SHUSTER: You mean they have the right to provide their own transportation for them?
ELLIOTT: Yes. And so they were sticking to that...to that. And the Chinese were sticking to it that we had to buy tickets and fly out. So we were there at Kunming for.... And every day the...the consul would come to me and say, "Well, so far we haven't been able to arrange.... But I let you...I'll try to give you more than an hour's notice." And so every time, we'd put clothes into wash, then we'd.... I'd be so afraid that they wouldn't dry, you know. And again we had to iron dry, iron dry everything.
SHUSTER: Was this a new demand that the Chinese just made for your group or was it something they had been...?
ELLIOTT: It was a new demand because of the number of refugees that were coming through Kunming and they thought, "Oh, this a chance to make alot of money. We'll make them fly the Americ...the Chinese planes."
SHUSTER: Now, was the whole group of a hundred plus being evacuated or just your small group?
ELLIOTT: Most of them were being evacuated and some of them were able to get...like, just three or four could get on a British plane getting out or an American plane getting out. But...but they couldn't...they had to...for...for all that group of children...
SHUSTER: Sure, they had to go as a group
ELLIOTT: ...they had to have a big plane. Well, finally one day, he...he came and he said, "Well, I can give you notice that...." At noon he came and he said, "At 4:30 this afternoon we'll send trucks for you." And so at least I had that much time. So I had to quickly pack all their boxes again and get everything arranged and we.... I said, "Well, let's give them at least a good meal before they go," because we...we didn't know what was going to happen as we were flying over and for the...how long it would take or anything. We didn't know what was going to happen. So they had a good dinner about 3:30 and then when the plane...when the...they sent a truck and they...the consul was with...with it and he said to me, "Would you please put up this big curtain at the back of the...so that...and the truck had seats along on each side, so the children at least had a place to sit. But he said, "I want this curtain clear up and just leave a few inches at the top, so that no Chinese will see that there are foreign children in this truck." And it was a British Airways truck.
SHUSTER: And why did they want to...?
ELLIOTT: Well, I didn't know at that time. But when we got to the airport, instead of going in through the gates the way I had expected, we turned and we went way around and way around to the very, very back and across the open grassy fields to the end of the line where you could take off. The furtherest...there were several lines for taking off and the very furtherest line. And there was a British plane. And as soon as the truck came, the fellows quickly took off the whole...they literally threw the..the boxes and suitcases and things down and the other fellows quickly fastened them into the plane and...and then they lifted the children out and just put them into the plane. Out of the truck into the plane, out of the truck into the plane as fast as anything. And they said, "We're taking off." And....
SHUSTER: You didn't have to go through customs or anything of that nature?
ELLIOTT: We were...they...this was.... They said the Chinese had insisted that we had to go, so they said the only way was to do it and without even telling the [pauses] what's the...the people that control the planes?
SHUSTER: Air controllers?
ELLIOTT: The air controllers. They took off.
SHUSTER: So you were in essence being smuggled out of the country.
ELLIOTT: That is right. Well, we...it took a long time to fly. It's a long trip. And it got...
SHUSTER: This time you were going over the Hump.
ELLIOTT: Yes. Well, first...about...it got to about 1 am, I think. We got to a place in...in Burma where they had a...a place to stop and there were...they had notified people there and some Red Cross women came to the plane and said, "We have fixed food for the children."
SHUSTER: This was a military base, I guess?
ELLIOTT: Yes, so they could gas up again too. So I said to them.... Well, we couldn't help it, when you're flying over the Hump there is bound to be up and down drafts, so that had been a lot...the children...a lot...a lot of them had been sick. And....
SHUSTER: Did you have oxygen masks this time?
ELLIOTT: Yes, we did have. I think we had five. [laughs] All of five.
SHUSTER: Better than one.
ELLIOTT: That was better than one, yes. But really it wasn't...we weren't...we weren't flying that high. When we first took off and we were...we circled Kunming before we actually took away...we went away. I said, "How high...?" (The navigator happened to be passing through then.) And I said, "How high are we?" And he said, "Thirteen thousand feet." Which to me looked as if I could reach down and touch.... Compared with how high we had been flying before. So we...I figured we must have been flying at least twenty thousand and probably over that to avoid hitting the sides of the mountain there. So we...when we got there, I said, "Well, give them something to eat and maybe some cookies. But don't give them...." They had a whole big dinner fixed for them. And I said, "I'm afraid that if they eat too much now, they'll just lose it and it...." We had...we'd had to empty pails and pails and pails as it was and so they...they did though. They were very kind to us and then we arrived.... When we arrived in Calcutta, it was about 5 am or 4 or 6...6 am, something like that.
SHUSTER: So how long had the trip taken?
ELLIOTT: From...from...well, by the time we had gotten onto the plane, it was probably about 5:15. And....
SHUSTER: It took twelve hours?
ELLIOTT: Yes. And.... Maybe a little bit more than twelve hours. But just.... Well, a high officer of the British Air Force met us and he had evidently received a telegram and he said, "Miss Elliott?" and I came and he said, "I am very sorry to tell you that we have breakfast all fixed for you in the officer's mess for you and the children, but," he said, "the Indian intelligence agency has refused to allow me to let you eat here until they have had you go through their questionnair...questioning?"
SHUSTER: Just you or all the kids too?
ELLIOTT: Well, all the kids too. And I didn't know it, but...until the next year when we were able to leave India, the man who we met in...actually when we got into Calcutta, he said, "I've got trucks ready for you." The...the airport was the Dum Dum [?] Airport, which is north of Calcutta. So when we got in to the place where the people buy there tickets in that...in Kun...Calcutta, the man who met us there and he was the one who put us through all the questionnaires. Well, I had to fill them all out for everybody and then Frances and [pauses] I've forgotten the name of the executive officer of the mission who was there. Well, they came and met us and said, "We've made arrangements at a hotel for you, so that you can come." So it wasn't until about 10 o'clock in the morning that we were able to get there to get something to eat. And the kids were starved.
SHUSTER: Now these were just questionnaires such as you fill out in the customs office or...?
ELLIOTT: Yes, and then....
SHUSTER: Immigration information.
ELLIOTT: Yes, immigration information. And it...it wasn't until we were going to leave a year and a half later that I went...we were going to go by ship and when I got to the pier, I...I saw an Indian man there and I didn't think anything about it. But he said, "Miss Elliot." I said, "How did you know my name?" He said, "Do you think I'll ever forget?" And I said, "Well, why?" He said, "Did you know that the man who was...who welcomed you and who had food prepared for you was the head of the British air force. And he was so indignant.... Because, you see at this time India was still part of the British empire. And the Indians were trying to declare.... And this was one way of showing independencee, you see, by demanding that they be the ones to question first before they could have a meal at the.... Well, this man flew home and went to the British.... [Pauses] What did they call Congress?
SHUSTER: Called it Parliament?
ELLIOTT: Parliament. And in front of the British Parliament he said (and he used my name and the children) and he said he had prepared breakfast for us after this hard long trip across the Hump and that the Indians refused to allow him to feed us. And he said, "Imagine refugees coming out of China to get away from the Japanese war and we not being allowed to feed them." And he said that went all over India. And so he said, "Your name was known because it was told in Parliamentt." And so he said, "Do you think I'll ever forget?" Because he was the one that made me fill out all those questionnaires. And I hadn't remembered him.
SHUSTER: What was the name of the British officer? Do you recall?
ELLIOTT: No, I don't remember and I did. I used to know it. But he was...he seemed liked a very fine gentleman and I was...I was sorry that we couldn't. But that was it. But anyway we...we couldn't.... The Lord...we didn't know where we were going to go, we didn't know what we were going to do. And Calcutta had a whole lot of refugees already and they had turned the golf course and the headquarters into a refugee center. And so we were sent there to that center. And while we were there, about...I think we had been there about two days, when somebody came with a letter from a group of missionary workers up in Kalimpong, in the very northern tip of Bengal and they said, "We have room for refugees. And we would prefer children." And so, we...we got in touch with them right away and they said, "Yes, we have room for...we have a school here for children." And it was for the...it had been started by the Scottish Presbyterians for the half caste children. The Indians hated them and the British men who were the fathers were with the tea company and the tea company made them come for three years unmarried before they could go home and get their fiances, you know, and get their girl friends and get married and come back. So they had been single for three years there and as a result in that mountainous area where Kalimpong is, that's one of the tea.... It's north of Darjeeling. Darjeeling's called the tea capital but we... Kal...in Kalimpong was where they packed it, packed all the tea and shipped the tea out. So it was a place where a lot of these men lived.
SHUSTER: Then did CIM send money for support of your group where you were staying?
ELLIOTT: Yes, they did and so we were there. And they...they said...they had sent people home on furlough and then because of the war, they weren't able to get back and so they had some empty building and so they had had to crowd their children together and then as they graduated (they went right through high school) and as they graduated, then they had more room. And so then they had...first they had two buildings which were available for us and so some...and then later we were an...because some more parents came out and so then we had four building. And some of them were parents and their children, were together. And then we had one building for the school and one building as a dorm for them. So, it worked out beautifully for us. And that was such a lovely place, up in the mountains, right... We were fifty miles as the crow flies from Kangchenjunga. Kangchenjunga at that time was called the second highest mountain in the world. Twenty eight thousand, I think, between one and two thou...two hundred feet. And it was only fifty miles as the crow flies, so that the whole place is just.... Well, a third of the horizon were mountains over twenty-two thousand feet, all snow capped almost all the year round.
SHUSTER: And this was where you spent almost all your time in India.
ELLIOTT: It was where we spent all of our time.
SHUSTER: And so your responsibilities while you were in India was looking after this group of children until you could get them out?
ELLIOTT: Right, that's right.
SHUSTER: I think we ought to stop there for the day. We're just about out of tape.
SHUSTER: And once again thank you for another chapter in your adventures of the way the Lord looked after you.
ELLIOTT: Well, He certainly did provide. [laughs]
END OF TAPE