The grotto interiors were smoothed with plaster of earth and chopped Best places to travel in China straw, and the frescoes themselves were painted on to a two-inch thick layer of Best places to travel in China straw-mud mixture. But nearly all have been vandalised, both by the great race for antiquities when frescoes were hacked out to take abroad, and equally by Moslem fanatics who defaced almost every face and gouged out the eyes. There are ceilings painted with scores of Buddha heads, each one painstakingly vandalised. Other frescoes have been damaged by Russian emigres who used the caves as hideouts. Tomb-robbers must also account for damage. One of Stein’s finds of statues was smashed to pieces by tomb-robbers looking for hidden treasure inside the statues.
The old man was Jacob Crouch, family patriarch and one of Jackson County’s most prominent citizens. The younger was Moses Polley, a former employee of Jacob Crouch. Since leaving Jacob’s employment, young Polley had married, moved to Pennsylvania and achieved success in the cattle buying business. Jacob had done business with Moses in the past and, after selling some fine stock, invited Polley to spend the night.
Jacob’s youngest and favorite daughter, Eunice, and her husband, William Henry White, had retired earlier. Eunice, in her ninth month of pregnancy, needed as much rest as possible. The Crouch housekeeper, Julia Reese, was also asleep in her room off the kitchen as was, George Bolles, the seventeen-year-old African American hired hand who slept upstairs.
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