A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS ceremony of paying off the bearers gone through. They are wiry, well-knit little men belonging to the hill-tribes. They are remarkably strong and sturdy. Coolies drawn from their class can carry a hundredweight load on their backs day after day—not that I have ever given them such an inhuman load, fifty pounds being their average. Yet their diet is often nothing more than rice and parched peas—and not much at that—with a little milk to wash it down. One wonders how much meat and how many meals a day a European porter would need to eat to support such work. My own coolies have their chief meal in the morning, and only an extremely light one later. These tough tribesmen can stand more heat and cold, weight-carrying and height-climbing, than their slimness suggests as possible. I forestall their demands for baksheesh by giving them a sum which silences their garrulous leader. They will have but a short sleep, they tell me soon, and be off before dawn, taking the pony with them. My servant opens the bedrolls. Tired and dusty as we are, unfamiliar with our location, we have no time to take further stock of our surroundings but disregard all else and throw our bodies into that mysterious yet ever-welcome condition which the world calls sleep.