A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS Apparently the conversation did some good, for it raised its sad but handsome'head a little higher and thereafter kept its feet on Una firma. It set its hooves down with greater care and no longer did a mere hair's breadth separate us both at times from the terrifying drop. I rewarded the pony later with a couple of spoonfuls of my precious sugar, once, alas, so common that it grew thickly in the plains around me, but now to be carefully conserved and thriftily ladled out, lest my supplies should run out before their estimated calendared month and my tea thereby rendered totally unpalatable. The leader of the coolies has told me that the pony's undesirable habit has been inherited from a Tibetan pack-pony parent, which used to carry huge loads in sacks swung so broadly across its back as to force it to keep away from the inner side of tracks, so that the load might clear the rocks on that side. The sun has shone directly down all day with a heat that sur- prises me, yet it is a tolerable and not trying heat, something indeed like the temperature of good August summer weather in Europe, In comparison with the terrific enervating heat of the broiling plains, it is certainly paradisaical. At a. turn in the ever-winding cliff trail, which is climbing higher and higher, a whole new panorama of breath-taking scenic beauty is displayed before my wondering eyes. That Nature could pile up cyclopean peaks and mountain ridges with such a generous hand and in such indiscriminate shapes is something which tame European eyes can scarcely believe. Look where one will, in every direction, one is hemmed in by her Himalayan giants. To the north-east, a realm of perpetual frost, the colossal towering barrier that keeps Tibet a suspicious and secluded alien in a world knit into friendly communication by every conceivable means, rears its crevasscd grey flanks, white snow-mantled shoulders and bluish icy head to the sky from the shadowed ravines at its base. Enormous masses of smooth shining snow glitter upon it. To the east, a long irregular line of forest-covered heights and spurs stretches away, tier over tier, until it loses itself in the distant horizon. To the west, I look down into great rugged gorges of greyish olive-green blended with rich brown that meet and unite in a vast bowl of rock and earth thousands of feet below. To the south, I can but raise my head and crick my neck, as I gaze at the uplifted summit of the lofty purple granite cliff which towers above my pony only a couple of feet away from the animal's side, and which dominates the immediate landscape. All this plethora of camel-backed ridges split by deep chasms, soaring peaks and sharply cut ravines lies strewn confusedly with one branching out of the other or running parallel with it for a length and then twisting off at a tangent to meet it suddenly again.