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Full text of "With the Tibetans in tent and temple : narrative of four years' residence on the Tibetan border, and of a journey into the far interior"

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LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

RIVERSIDE 



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TIBETAN WOMAN .\:>b owN 



With the Tibetans in 
Tent and Temple 



NARRATIVE OF FOUR YEARS' RESI- 
DENCE ON THE TIBETAN BORDER, AND 
OF A JOURNEY INTO THE FAR INTERIOR 



BY 



SUSIE CARSON RIJNHART, M.D. 




Fifth Edition 



FOREIGN CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY 

SOCIETY 

CINCINNATI, OHIO 



COPYRIGHT, I90I, 
BY FLEMING H. 
RBVELL COMPANY 



,O*it30fe6t>Z*\ 



TO THE MEMORY OF MY 
HUSBAND, WHOSE HEART 
AND LIFE WERE GIVEN 
TO THE TIBETANS, THIS 
VOLUME IS DEDICATED 



Introductory Note 

Since this work was published in igoi Dr. Susie 
Carson Rijnhart, the author, has returned to the 
borders of Tibet to work amongf the Tibetans. 
She is located at Ta Chien Lu, in West China. 
Dr. Rijnhart represents the Foreig^n Christian 
Missionary Society. Her associates are Dr. and 
Mrs. A. L. Shelton and Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Ogden. 
The readers of this book will remember how her 
child died and was buried in a drug box, and how 
a great boulder was placed over the grave to keep 
it from being desecrated by robbers or from being 
disturbed by wild beasts ; and how her husband 
while seeking aid from the natives disappeared from 
her sight forever. Dr. Rijnhart has consecrated 
her life to Tibet, and the loss of her child and 
husband could not afifect that consecration. When 
asked if it would not be a cross for her to return to 
Tibet where she had suffered so much, she said, 
" It would be a cross not to return." The desire 
of her heart has been fulfilled. Being providentially 
restored to health she has gone to minister the 
gospel to the Tibetans. She heals the sick, teaches 
the women of Christ and his salvation, distributes 
literature, and trains helpers for the service. 



PREFACE 

In the following pages I have attempted to nar- 
rate briefly the events of four years' residence and 
travel among the Tibetans (1895-1899). The work 
does not aim at literary finish, for it has been writ- 
ten under the stress of many public engagements. 
It is sent forth in response to requests and sugges- 
tions received from friends in all parts of the 
United States and Canada. 

If I may succeed in perpetuating and deepening 
the widespread interest in the evangelization of 
Tibet, already aroused by the press and platform 
accounts of the missionary pioneering herein de- 
scribed, I shall be glad. To this end I have incor- 
porated in the narrative as many data concerning 
the customs, beliefs and social conditions of the 
Tibetans as space would allow. My close contact 
with the people during four years has enabled me 
to speak with confidence on these points, even 
when I have found myself differing from great 
travelers who, because of their brief sojourn and 
rapid progress, necessarily received some false 



PREFACE 

impressions. The map accompanying the book 
shows the route of the last journey undertaken in 
1898 by my husband, myself and our little son, and 
of which I am the sole survivor. Leaving Tankar 
on the northwestern frontier of Chinese or Outer 
Tibet, crossing the Ts'aidam Desert, the Kuenlun 
and Dang La Mountains, we entered the Lhasa dis- 
trict of Inner Tibet, reaching Nagch'uk'a, a town 
about one hundred and fifty miles from the capital. 
In describing this journey, such portions of Mr. 
Rijnhart's diary as I was able to preserve, and also 
his accurate geographical notes, have been of inesti- 
mable value to me. 

My thanks are due to Rev. Mr. Upcraft, Baptist 
missionary at Ya Cheo, China, for photographs from 
which some of the illustrations were made. And I 
am especially grateful to Prof. Charles T. Paul, of 
Hiram College, who placed at my disposal the fruits 
of his many years' study of Tibetiana, and rendered 
me invaluable assistance in the preparation of the 

manuscript. 

Susie C. Rijnhart. 

Chatham, Ontario, Canada. 



CONTENTS 

OHAPTEE PAGE 

I. To THE Tibetan Border. — Mission in a Bud- 
dhist Lamasery — Preparation for the Journey 
— Across China — Impressions by the Way . 9 
II. Among the Lamas. — Arrival at Lusar — Strange 
Lama Ceremonies — Medical Work — Our Tib- 
etan Teacher — First Experience with Robber 
Nomads 27 

III. A Mohammedan Rebellion. — Moslem Sects — 

Beginnings of the Struggle — Our Acquaintance 
with the Abbot — Refuge in the Lamasery — 
The Doctrine of Reincarnation ... 50 

IV. With the Wounded. — Refugees at Sining — Our 

Isolation at Kumbum — The Siege of Shen- 
Ch'un— To the Battlefield— A Ride for Life- 
Rout of the Mohammedans .... 68 
V. Missions and Massacres. — Bible School at 
Lusar — Mohammedan Revolt at Sining — Ter- 
rible Slaughter by Imperial Soldiers — The 
Fall of Topa — Peace at Last . . , . 86 
VI. The Lamasery of Kumbum. — Tibetan Lama- 
series — Legend of Tsong K'aba — Origin of 
Kumbum — The Gold Tiled Temple and Sacred 
Tree — Nocturnal Devotions and Worship of 

the Butter God 102 

VII. A Buddhist Saint. — Mina Fuyeh's Abode — His 
Previous Incarnations — Mahatmas — Conver- 
sations on Christianity — Jambula — Behind the 

Scenes 120 

VIII. Our Removal to Tankar. — Tankar and Sur- 
roundings — A New Opportunity — Ani and 
Doma — The Lhasa Officials — Drunken Lamas 
—Visit of Captain Wellby . . . .133 



CONTENTS 

IX. Distinguished Visitors. — Mr. Rijnhart's Ab- 
sence — Our House is Robbed — Visit of Dr. 
Sven Hedin — Tsanga Fuyeh — Medical Work 
among Nomads — Birth of our Little Son . 155 
X. Among the Tanguts of the Koko-Nor. — Tan- 
gut Customs — Journeys to the Koko-Nor — 
Nomadic Tent-Life — A Glimpse of the Blue 
Sea — Robbers — Distributing Gospels . . 170 
XL Toward the Tibetan Capital. — Lhasa the 
Home of the Dalai Lama — Need of Pioneer 
Work in Inner Tibet — Our Preparations for 

the Journey 191 

XIL Farwell to Tankar. — Leaving Faithful 
Friends— Our Caravan Moves Off — Through 
the Grass Country to the Desert — Two Mon- 
gol Guides 205 

XHL In the Ts'aidam. — The Ts'aidam and its People 
— Polyandry and Cruelty to the Aged — The 
Dzassak of Barong — Celebration of Baby's 
Birthday — Missionary Prospects . . . 219 

XIV. Unpopulated Districts. — Crossing the Kuen- 
lun Mountains — "Buddha's Cauldron" — 
Marshes and Sand Hills — Dead Yak Strew the 
Trail — Ford of the Shuga Gol — Our Guides 
Desert Us — Snow Storm on the Koko-Shilis — 
We Meet a Caravan — The Beginning of 

Sorrows 232 

XV. Darkness. — Nearing the Dang Las — Death of 
Our Little Son — The Lone Grave Under the 
Boulder 345 

XVI. Beyond the Dang La. — Accosted by Official 
Spies— Our Escape — The Natives Buy Copiesof 
the Scriptures — Our Escort to thePonbo'sTent 254 
XVII. Nagch'uk'a. — Government of Nagch'uk'a — 
Under Official Surveillance — Dealings with 
the Ponbo Ch'enpo — We are Ordered to Re- 
turn to China— Our Decision .... 265 



CONTENTS 

XVIII. Oh the Caravan Road.— The Start from Nag- 
ch'uk'a with New Guides — Farewell to our 
Last Friend — Rahim Leaves for Ladak — 
Fording the Shak Chu Torrent — Reading the 
Gospels — A Day of Memories . . . 275 
XIX. Attacked by Mountain Robbers. — We Cross 
the Tsa Chu — Suspicious Visitors — A Shower 
of Bullets and Boulders — Loss of Our 
Animals — Our Guides Disappear — The 
Dread Night by the River .... 289 
XX. Our Last Days Together. — The Robbers' 
Ambush — The Worst Ford of all — Footmarks 
and a False Hope — A Deserted Camp — The 
Bed under the Snow — Mr. Rijnhart Goes to 
Native Tents for Aid, never to Return . . 302 
XXI. Lost and Alone. — Waiting and Watching — 
Conviction of Mr. Rijnhart's Fate — Refuge 
among Strange Tibetans — Their Cruel Treat- 
ment — The Start for Jy^kundo for Official Aid 312 
XXII. Wicked Tibetan Guides. — The Apa and the 
Murder of Dutreuil de Rhins — Conference 
with a Chief — New Guides, Treacherous and 
Corrupt — The Night Camp in the Marsh — 
We are Taken for Robbers — A Lamasery Fair 325 

XXIII. A Friendly Chinaman. — A Protector at Last — 

I Receive a Passport from the Abbot of Rashl 
Gomba — A Lama Guide — Battle with Fierce 
Dogs— Arrival at Jy^kundo — No Official Aid 342 

XXIV. More Robbers. — From Jy^kundo to Kansa — 

Difficulties with Ula — At the Home of the 
Gimbi — Corrupt Lamas — Attacked by Drunk- 
en Robbers — Deliverance .... 357 
XXV. Safe at Last. — The Approach to Ta-Chien-Lu 
— My Pony becomes Exhausted — Long 
Marches with Blistered Feet — Chinese Con- 
ception of Europeans — Among Friends Once 

More — Conclusion 377 

Glossary 399 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGB 

Tibetan Woman and Son .... Frontispiece 

Map Showing Dr. Rijnhart's Journey ... 12 

Border Types 22 

Tibetan Buddhist Layman log 

MiNA FUYEH 120 

Tangut Robbers 188 

A Tibetan Traveler 214 

Tibetan Coracle 262 

Crossing a Rope Bridge 283 

Petrus Rijnhart 302 

The Author in Tibetan Costume .... 312 

A Tibetan House 326 

Mani Stone with Inscribed Prayer . . . 346 

A Wall of Tea Bales 362 



WITH THE TIBETANS 



CHAPTER I 

TO THE TIBETAN BORDER 

Mission in a Buddhist Lamasery — Preparation for the 
Journey — Across China — Impressions by the Way. 

On the slopes of two hills in the province of Amdo, 
on the extreme northwestern Chino-Tibetan frontier, 
nestles the great lamasery of Kumbum, famed among 
the devotees of Buddha as one of the holiest spots on 
Asiatic soil. As a center of Buddhist learning and 
worship it is known in the remote parts of China, Man- 
churia, Mongolia, and in all the Tibetan territories, 
even to the foot of the Himalayas, and is estimated to 
be second in rank only to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. 
It is the seclusive residence of some four thousand 
lamas and, at festive seasons, the goal of pilgrimages 
from all Buddhist countries contiguous to Tibet. Desir- 
ing to carry on missionary work among the Tibetans we 
left America in the autumn of 1894, having Kumbum as 
our point of destination. We expected to make our home 
and establish a medical station at Lusar, a village 
which may be called the secular part of the lamasery, 
where the lamas do their trading, and which is only 
about five minutes' walk from the lamasery proper. 

9 



10 WITH THE TIBETANS 

The considerations which led us to select Lusar as a 
basis of operations, besides its proximity to the lama- 
sery, were as follows: My husband, Mr. Petrus Rijn- 
hart, about three years previous had conceived the idea 
of entering Tibet for missionary purposes, from the 
Chinese side. From the experiences of Hue and Gabet, 
the Lazarist fathers, who, following a route through 
Tartary and China, had gained free access into the for- 
bidden land, he was convinced that the antipathy to 
foreign intrusion everywhere manifested in the vigi- 
lantly guarded passes of the Himalayan frontier south 
and west did not exist to any extent on the northeast- 
ern border between Outer Tibet and China. In this he 
was right. Crossing the Chinese Empire, he had 
reached Lusar in 1893, had resided for ten months in 
the vicinity of the lamasery, had been well received by 
the priests, who called him a " white lama from the 
West," and had labored diligently to make known the 
Gospel. His work had consisted principally of private 
conversations with the lamas, and of short journeys 
among the nomads of the surrounding country, preach- 
ing and teaching, and wielding what little medical 
knowledge he possessed in the treatment of the sick. 
Among his patients were people of high and low de- 
gree, lamas from the great monastery, Tibetan and 
Mongol chiefs of the Koko-nor tribes, officials, mer- 
chants, shepherds, and even robbers. The interest with 
which his ministrations were received gave him great 
encouragement and deepened the intense longing he 
had already conceived for the evangelization of the 
Tibetans. Many with whom he came in contact had 



TO THE TIBETAN BORDER H 

never seen a European nor heard the name of Christ. 
Some of the lamas said the Christian doctrine was too 
good to be true; others inquired why, if the doctrine 
were true, the Christians had waited " so many moons " 
before sending them the glad tidings. During one of 
his itinerating journeys " a living buddha " with his 
train of dignitaries came to the tent, having heard, as 
he said, that a man with a white face had come, and, 
sitting at the feet of the white stranger, the Buddhist 
teacher listened with rapt attention to the wonderful 
story of the world's Saviour. During his sojourn no 
official, either Chinese or Tibetan, asked for his pass- 
port, or questioned him as to his intentions of penetrat- 
ing to the interior. Thus under circumstances unex- 
pectedly favorable, surrounded by good will and hos- 
pitality, and free from that prejudice and espionage 
with which foreigners approaching the Tibetan border 
are usually regarded, he had had ample opportunity of 
studying the life, needs and disposition of the people, 
and his knowledge gave us assurance of the reception 
that awaited us at the lamasery village. Again, Lusar 
was advantageous from a topographical standpoint, be- 
ing situated near the juncture of several important 
highways; one leading to China, another to Mongolia, 
and still another, the great caravan route, leading to 
Lhasa. Here we could easily receive supplies, and 
would be likely to come in contact with the people on 
a large scale, owing to the amount of traffic that passes 
along the great roads. Also, the surrounding country 
being inhabited by a cosmopolitan population compris- 
ing Mongols, Chinese, Tibetans, and a few Turkestani 



12 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Mohammedans, it was a good place in which to become 
conversant with the languages we should require, look- 
ing forward as we were to a life-long sojourn in the 
regions of Central Asia. We left America for our dis- 
tant field without any human guarantee of support, 
for we were not sent out by any missionary society. 
Although, through Mr. Eijnhart's lectures in Holland, 
the United States and Canada, considerable interest 
had been aroused and many friends won to the cause of 
Tibetan missions, yet our visible resources were limited 
at best. We went forth, however, with a conviction 
which amounted to absolute trust that God would ful- 
fil His promise to those who " seek first the Kingdom," 
and continue to supply us with all things necessary for 
carrying on the work to which He had called us. From 
the outset we felt that we were " thrust forth " spe- 
cially for pioneer work, and although anticipating dif- 
ficulties and sacrifices we were filled with joy at the 
prospect of sowing precious seed on new ground. 

Our party, consisting of Mr. Eijnhart, his fellow- 
worker, Mr. William Neil Ferguson, and myself, sail- 
ing from the Pacific Coast, had decided to follow sub- 
stantially the same route across China which Mr. Eijn- 
hart had taken on his former journey. From Shanghai 
up the Yangtse to Hankow we would go by steamer; 
thence by house-boat up the Han as far as Fancheng, 
situated about four hundred miles up the river. The 
remainder of the journey would be completed overland 
by cart and mule. We had endeavored, before leaving 
America, to equip ourselves as well as possible, not only 
against the long journey, but also, in view of our pros- 




5y the red circle, 
arkedby red cross. 



TO THE TIBETAN BORDER 13 

poictive residence far from civilization, with the possi- 
bility of being temporarily cut off altogether, owing to 
the frequent rebellions that take place in Central 
China, rendering the passage of mails and supplies un- 
certain. Our stores were contained in thirteen large, 
ponderous boxes, and consisted of clothing, culinary 
utensils, and other portable domestic necessities, medi- 
cines, dental and surgical instruments, fire-arms and 
ammunition, photographic materials, books, including 
copies of the Scriptures in Tibetan, and stationery, be- 
sides compasses, thermometers, a sewing machine and a 
bicycle. In Shanghai we added drugs, clothing, food 
for the river journey, Chinese brazen oil lamps, trinkets 
for bartering, and other articles. Knowing the advan- 
tage of traveling in native costume, each of us donned 
a Chinese suit. It was my first experience with oriental 
attire, and I shall not soon forget it. After adjusting 
the unwieldy garments to my own satisfaction, I at- 
tended a service in the Union Church, where, to my 
consternation, I discovered I had appeared in public 
with one of the under garments outside and dressed in 
a manner which shocked Chinese ideas of propriety. 

Mr. Rijnliart, on account of his thorough knowledge 
of Chinese, was able to make excellent arrangements, 
for our passage into the interior. As the war with Ja- 
pan was then raging and the country in an unsettled 
state, there were difficulties to be anticipated; nor was 
there anything inviting in the thought of doing two 
thousand miles in midwinter under such exposure as 
would be entailed by the primitive modes of oriental 
travel. Yet, if one holds to progress with any comfort 



14 WITH THE TIBETANS 

worthy the name, there are reasons for making the 
journey during the hibernating period of the greater 
portion of the inhabitants of China, namel}^, the ver- 
minous ! 

Our first stage up the Yangtse was made in a steamer 
manned by English officers and a Chinese crew. There 
was a sense of security, which afterwards we sadly 
lacked, in the feeling that the great river was but an 
arm of the gentle Pacific that laved our native shores, 
stretched far inland as if to assure us of protection. 
Our first stopping-place was the city of Hankow, an 
important commercial centre situated at the confluence 
of the Han and Yangtse rivers, and, following the sinu- 
osities of the Yangtse, distant about eight hundred 
and fifty miles from the seaboard. The city was full 
of stir on our arrival. The people were intensely ex- 
cited over the war, and signs of military activity were 
on every hand. The spacious harbor at the mouth of 
the Han presented the appearance of a forest of masts 
in which all the ships of Tarshish and of the world had 
congregated in one dense fleet. They were chiefly 
house-boats and cargo junks that usually ply up and 
down the river, but conspicuous among them were the 
high-pooped transports, their decks crowded with blue 
and red jacketed soldiers on their way to the scene of 
action. 

We took passage for Fancheng in the inevitable 
house-boat, a long, clumsy-looking scow divided into 
three compartments; the captain's cabin at the stern, 
inhabited by himself, his wife and little child ; another 
long cabin for the passengers, situated amidships and 



TO THE TIBETAN BORDER 16 

separated from the former by a movable partition ; and 
a space at the bow where the crew discharged the func- 
tions of eating, sleeping and working. Under each 
compartment was a hold for the belongings of its occu- 
pants. On the rare occasions when the winds were 
favorable the sails were sufficient to propel the awkward 
craft; otherwise she was pulled along by the sturdy 
trackers on the shore. In deep water the captain 
steered by means of a prodigious rudder; in the shal- 
lows he managed with a long, stout bamboo pole. This 
mode of traveling was not without its amenities. The 
weather being fine, and the scenery along the river 
banks charming, we frequently disembarked and went 
afoot, and occasioned no little commotion as we passed 
through the villages, a foreign woman being an object 
of especial interest. Crowding around, the people 
would handle my clothing and ply me with questions, 
evincing astonishment at the size of my feet. 

The villagers were mostly of the agricultural class, 
and appeared to be very industrious. The door-yards 
were tidy, as were also the farms, every available foot 
of land being cultivated. Everything about the houses 
betokened an air of freedom, even the pigs and chick- 
ens being allowed to go in and out at will. Signs of 
religious life were not wanting. In one village we came 
across an old temple mostly in ruins, in the one re- 
maining corner of which were ten idols, some incense 
bowls and sticks, while near by lay the huge bell, silent 
and long since fallen from its lofty place. In the even- 
ing the people flocked to the old ruin to worship amid 
the sound of firecrackers and the beating of a huge 



16 WITH THE TIBETANS 

gong by the attendant priest, and as the weird sounds 
were carried afar and re-echoed in the cold, still even- 
ing air there was about the whole scene a touching 
picturesqueness not unmingled with solemnity. Christ- 
mas day found us still on the house-boat, and with it 
came many pleasant memories of that glad, festive sea- 
son in the homeland, and many reflections concerning 
China's teeming millions to whom the Christ of Beth- 
lehem was still a stranger. 

On January 7 we reached Fancheng, none the worse 
for our river journey. A hearty welcome was given us 
by the resident Scandinavian missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. 
Matson, Mr. and Mrs. Woolin, and Mr. Shequist, whom 
we found engaged in a most valuable work. Besides 
preaching, they conducted a boys' school, and at the 
time of our visit were erecting a school for girls. Our 
stay in Fancheng was brief, just long enough to get 
through the unenviable and seemingly endless prelimi- 
naries to an overland journey by cart. The hiring of 
the carts was itself no little matter even with the assist- 
ance of our Scandinavian friends, but finally the piao 
was signed, by which we secured two carters, with two 
large carts and a small one, to take us to Signan. By 
the word " cart " this Chinese vehicle is but faintly de- 
scribed. It consists of a clumsy, bulky frame set on a 
single axle, innocent of springs, its two wheels fur- 
nished with tires several inches in width and in thick- 
ness. The frame is covered by an awning of matting to 
shelter the traveler and his baggage from the heat and 
rain. The smaller carts, constructed on the same plan, 
are generally painted and have a cloth covering with 



TO THE TIBETAN BORDER 17 

windows in the sides. These carts are drawn in China 
by mules or horses, in Mongolia by camels or oxen. In 
many of the principal roads deep grooves have' been 
worn by the constant passing of the great wheels, and, 
the length of the axle differing in the various districts, 
the grooves are not equidistant on all roads, so that it 
occasionally happens that at certain junctures all axles 
have to be changed. At Tung Kuan, for instance, a 
town situated at the meeting-place of the provinces of 
Shensi, Shansi and Honan, this operation is necessary. 

On January 11 we were ready to start. We had 
taken the precaution to furnish our cart with a straw 
mattress, some pillows and comforters, to provide 
against the jolting which we knew awaited us. Our 
boxes being already in position, after Scripture reading 
with the missionaries our little caravan moved off. 
Two of the missionaries accompanied us outside the 
city gates to bid us God-speed, and it was only after we 
had parted ways with them that we realized we had 
actually set out on the most difficult part of our jour- 
ney across the Celestial Empire. The road from the 
start was very uneven, a fall of two feet being not un- 
common. I received a severe bump on the head, and 
experienced so many changes of position and came so 
frequently and emphatically into collision with various 
portions of the cart as to have remembered that springs 
are not a luxury of cart travel in China. 

Carters are supposed to make a certain stage each 
day, and inns are found at the end of each stage for 
the accommodation of travelers. In order to cover the 
required distance we were frequently on the way in the 



18 WITH THE TIBETANS 

middle of the night, and even though traveling from 
long before daylight until dusk we were not always 
able to reach an inn. At such times one must either 
sleep in the cart or put up in a farmhouse. Even the 
regular inns are by no means inviting. We first 
stopped in one of these thirty-five miles from Fan- 
cheng. It was a flimsy structure, with great crevices 
gaping in the walls, in which were rude lattice win- 
dows with paper panes; the ceilings were composed of 
bamboo poles nailed across the rafters, from which 
cobwebs hung in profusion; the sleeping-room had no 
floor, and the bed was as hard as boards could make it, 
springless of course, and destitute of covers. But one 
welcomes any variation from the tedium of a Chinese 
cart journey, and after the jolting of the first day can 
rest even in a Chinese inn. 

One night, having failed to make the required stage, 
we sought shelter in a native hut on a hillside and 
slept on the ¥ang, an article of furniture which no 
traveler in Western China soon forgets. The h'ang is 
a sort of elevation built across one end of the room, re- 
sembling a hollow platform, the top sometimes cov- 
ered with flat stones. It serves the purpose of all the 
principal articles of furniture in an occidental house — 
chairs, stove, bed and table. It is warmed by a fire 
placed in the box, and, when the surface is moderately 
heated, one may recline with comfort; but on this 
night the Ic'ang was so hot that we soon became uncom- 
fortable, being almost roasted on one side and frozen 
on the other. We were finally obliged to get up and 



TO THE TIBETAN BORDER 19 

rake out all the fire, and at last fell asleep from sheer 
exhaustion and despair. 

A foreigner's passport in China enables him to pass 
free of charge all customs, and also the ferries that are 
usually found, in lieu of bridges, plying across all the 
rivers of considerable size which cut the great high- 
ways. The ferry which took us across one large river 
was crowded with people going to market on the other 
side, paying their passage, some with vegetables, some 
with cash. The ferryman collected the fee as he sat on 
the ground in front of his straw wigwam. After con- 
gratulating ourselves on the safe passage of the river, 
one of the wheels of our heaviest cart sank fast in the 
sand, and two extra mules had to be hitched on to pull 
it out. 

Our carters were interesting fellows, but their knowl- 
edge of Chinese politics, as of things in general, was 
limited. Referring to the war with Japan, one of them 
informed us that Li Hung Chang had been made Em- 
peror of China. Some of the people through whose 
territory we passed had heard nothing of the war, and 
others said that the Emperor's subjects in France had 
lebelled ! 

China is favorable soil for the flourishing of the 
older cults. Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism 
standing side by side and being largely intermingled. 
A Chinaman may with no sense of incongruity profess 
all these beliefs at once. He would not appreciate Dr. 
Martin's statement that logically the three are irrecon- 
cilable, Taoism being materialism, Buddhism idealism, 
and Confucianism essentially ethical. Like the state, 



20 WITH THE TIBETANS 

he makes a unity of them by swallowing a portion of 
each.* As we journeyed onward the monuments to 
this complex religious life increased in abundance. 
Here, passing through a city, we beheld the " gates of 
virtue," immense, carved stone arches spanning the 
streets, and erected to the memory of some sage, or 
pious person; there, on the hillsides, reared to some 
Buddhist saint, " stones of merit," on the tops of 
which little bells are fixed so that the wind causes them 
to ring out the praises of the great man long since 
passed away. Caves also, formerly the abodes of her- 
mits, were pointed out to us, and colossal statues of the 
Buddha hewn from the solid rock, gazing down upon 
us with an air of sublime and majestic calm, still bear- 
ing witness to the zeal of the early Buddhist hhikshus 
who wandered forth from India to make known " the 
Teacher of Nirvana and the Law." In Western 
China nearly every farm has its contiguous graveyard 
in which may be seen the tables whereon the people 
place their offerings to the spirits of the dead. As we 
reflected on the part that the great non-Christian reli- 
gions have played in China, and on the deep-grained, 
age-long impress they have made upon her people, the 
magnitude of our mission to a people not less religious, 
more superstitious, and enchained in a denser igno- 
rance and a more blighting system, grew upon us in 
unwonted realization. Yet our faith did not waver. 
In much weakness we were going to undertake a stu- 
pendous task — not in our own strength but in His who 
when He commanded His disciples to " go and make 

* A Cycle of Cathay, p. 289. 



TO THE TIBETAN BOEDER 21 

disciples of all the nations," also promised " Lo, I am 
with you all the days, even unto the end of the world." 

Crossing a stone bridge of stately and antique archi- 
tecture, we reached the city of Signan, the old impe- 
rial capital of China, and at present the capital of the 
province of Shensi. Here our carters made arrange- 
ments with other carters to take us on to Lancheo, they 
themselves returning to Fancheng. Signan is the most 
important trade centre of the northern interior, the 
home of the Emperor of a former dynasty, a city of 
heavy walls, paved streets, stately palaces and hand- 
some governmental buildings. It is the site of the 
famous Nestorian tablet which bears record of Chris- 
tian missions in China as early as the seventh century 
of our era. The surrounding country, relieved by un- 
dulating hills, is particularly charming; great roads 
branch off in all directions, two of the main ones lead- 
ing to Kansu. The merchants of Signan carry on 
trade in all the surrounding provinces, and even in 
Mongolia, Tibet and Turkestan. 

With our new carters we set out once more, although 
unfortunately for us it was the Chinese New Year, and 
consequently very difficult to buy food, as during that 
festive season all the shops are closed for days together. 
However, we did not wish to tarry at Signan. Bright, 
sunny days and cloudless skies, with nothing more ad- 
verse than an occasional wind or dust storm, such as 
are common in Western China, seemed to us to be 
favorable conditions for pressing on. 

One of the important functions in connection with 
the celebration of the New Year is the lantern festival 



22 WITH THE TIBETANS 

observed on the fifteenth of the first moon. Arriving 
at a large city one night, intending to put up at an inn 
in the suburbs, we found ourselves in the midst of the 
festival. The long street was lined on either side with 
lighted lanterns of exquisite and varied designs. 
Crowds of people surged up and down, and all was life, 
movement and jubilation — a weird scene, the moon 
shining down in icy calmness upon it all. Our horses 
becoming frightened at the tumult and glare of light 
and at the passing of a long string of camels with ring- 
ing bells, almost upset our carts in their frantic efforts 
to hide somewhere. We thus attracted attention even 
against our will, and it was with difficulty that we our- 
selves avoided being mobbed. Eelieved indeed we felt 
when we reached a miserable inn, which in our thoughts 
was transformed almost into a palace, as it afforded 
us a haven of rest and safety from that brilliantly 
lighted festive street. 

It was a happy day for us when we reached Laneheo, 
the capital of Kansu, for we had looked forward to a 
few days' respite in that city. Shortly after we had 
taken up quarters in an inn, Mr. Mason, of the China 
Inland Mission, came with a message from Mr. and Mrs. 
Redfern, extending to us a pressing invitation to stop 
at their home. He had brought the mission cart to 
transport us, and we soon found ourselves enjoying the 
hospitality of the missionaries. At Laneheo we formed 
the acquaintance of Mr. Wu, a Chinaman who had 
studied eight years in America, making a specialty of 
telegraphy. He had been up in the new province super- 
intending the laying of telegraph lines, and in com- 




BORDER T^•PKS 



TO THE TIBETAN BORDER 23 

pany with his companions in Lancheo, was now return- 
ing to Peking. The day before we had arrived he had 
entertained Messrs. Redfern and Mason at a feast in a 
restaurant, where, of course, according to Chinese eti- 
quette, ladies could not be present. Wishing to enter- 
tain us all, he prepared a second feast, which was served 
in the sitting-room of the mission house, so that the 
ladies might with propriety attend. Everything, in- 
cluding dishes, was brought from the restaurant. While 
on the road we had had considerable practice in using 
chopsticks, and we thoroughly enjoyed the food, which 
was dainty to the palate and artistic in appearance. 
Knowing our views regarding the use of wine as a bev- 
erage, Mr. Wu had provided delicious tea in elegantly 
decorated covered china cups, and sweatmeats by way 
of compensation. Chinese politeness ruled the feast, 
each one helping with his own chopsticks another to 
whom he wished to show courtesy. Among the many 
delicacies there was a sucking pig cut into little pieces 
and cooked in a perfect manner, also bamboo sprouts, 
lily tubers and other dishes of which at the time we 
did not even know the names. Western people are mis- 
taken who imagine that the only items in the Chinese 
menu are rice and rats. As cooks the Chinese vie even 
with the French, and some of the most delicious meals 
we partook of while abroad were prepared by the Chi- 
nese. In acknowledgment of Mr. Wu's hospitality, 
Mrs. Redfern in turn prepared a feast for him; it was 
a proper English dinner, with several kinds of dessert; 
yet we must confess, in point of delicacy the Chinese 
feast was superior. 



24 WITH THE TIBETANS 

After a few days, Mr. Eijnhart and Mr. Ferguson 
went up the big cart road to Sining with the luggage, 
while I remained behind with Mr. and Mrs. Kedfern, 
until Mr. Eijnhart, who would go on from Sining to 
Lusar to rent a house, should return for me. I shall ever 
gratefully remember the intervening pleasant days spent 
at Lancheo and the kindness received from the mission- 
aries. Within a few days Mr. Eijnhart came back and 
announced that he had been successful in leasing a 
house, but that considerable repairs would be necessary. 
We left the next day for Sining, Mr. Eijnhart riding on 
a horse and I on a donkey, both of which had been gen- 
erously loaned us by Mr. Eidley, of the China Inland 
Mission of Sining. The two animals had been com- 
panions for so long that wherever the horse led the 
donkey followed, a fact which I appreciated on this, my 
first donkey ride, as it solved for me the anticipated 
difficulty of guiding one of these proverbially stubborn 
animals along steep and difficult paths. Not far from 
Lancheo we arrived at the branch of the Great Wall 
which crosses the Yellow Eiver, and found the ancient 
structure in a very dilapidated condition, broken by 
great gaps and much worn by the rains of centuries. 
It was not more than five feet in height, and however 
effective a defence it once may have been against the 
incursions of Turks, Mongols and Manchus, it would 
not be a serious obstacle before a modern army. There 
are two roads from Lancheo to Sining; one for cart, 
the other for mule travel. The carts make the journey 
by the " big road " in ten days ; by the " short road '' 



TO THE TIBETAN BOEDER 25 

over the mountains, the one we had chosen, mules ar- 
rive in half the time. 

The Kansu country presents an elevation varying, ac- 
cording to Eockhill's itinerary, from four thousand to 
nine thousand feet. Hilly ridges run in several direc- 
tions, sheltering from the cold winds the fruitful valleys, 
remarkable for their luxuriant production of grapes, 
melons, peaches, apricots and all kinds of grain. 
Around the city of Lancheo tobacco is grown in large 
quantities and forms the basis of the city's industry. 
Part of our route lay beside the Yellow River, and for 
a time, also, we followed the rushing waters of the 
Hsi-ho, one of its tributaries. We saw Mohammedan 
merchants coming down the river with their cargoes of 
vegetable oil, destined for the Lancheo market, on 
rude floats made of inflated cowhides lashed together. 
How exciting it was to see the skillful boatmen guide 
one of these heavily laden floats around a sharp bend 
in the river, where the water boiled and foamed over 
the shallows. Just when it seemed certain that de- 
struction against some sharp ledge awaited the craft, 
by a dexterous thrust it would be sent out into the cur- 
rent and carried past the point of danger amid the 
shouts of all the spectators. 

Passing over the ruins of many villages which had 
been devastated in the Mohammedan rebellion of 1861- 
74, we came eventually to a narrow gorge of consider- 
able historical importance. Ascending the road that 
skirts the precipice, we saw the river boiling below, 
beating itself into foaming rage in protest against its 
sudden limitation. It was in this pass that the Mo- 



26 WITH THE TIBETANS 

hammedans held the Chinese army at ba}^ during that 
bloody period forever memorable to the inhabitants of 
Kansu, and where again, in 1895, they placed them- 
selves thousands strong, and sought to repeat the tac- 
tic. Little did we think, as we passed along the river 
edge on a beautiful sunny day, beneath an over-arching 
sky of cloudless blue, and amid the peaceful solitude 
of the mountains, broken only by the j)atter of the ani- 
mals' hoofs and the low monotonous thud of plunging 
torrents, that this very place was within a few weeks to 
be again the scene of military tumult, filled with le- 
gions of infuriated, bloodthirsty rebels; and we 
dreamed even less that the massing of the Mohamme- 
dans here to check the advance of the Chinese army, 
was to be the providential dispensation which would 
prevent them from sweeping down on Lusar and Kum- 
bum, where they would have found us an easy prey. 

The people of Kansu we found to be gentle and 
obliging. They quite sustained their reputation of 
being less disagreeable than the natives of other prov- 
inces, for they treated us with the utmost kindness and 
did all in their power to expedite our journey. On the 
fifth day after our departure from Lancheo the walls 
of Sining loomed in the distance, and we were within 
the gates in time for afternoon tea at the China Inland 
Mission Home, where we were cordially welcomed by 
Mr. and Mrs. Ridley and ]\Ir. Hall. Fifty U westward 
lay Lusar, where our house had already been secured, 
and the glittering turrets of the great Buddhist lama- 
sery of Kumbum. 



CHAPTER II 

AMOXG THE LAMAS 

Arrival at Lusar — Strange Lama Ceremonies — Medical 
Work — Our Tibetan Teacher — First Experience With 
Robber Nomads. 

The western portion of the province of Kansu, vari- 
ously denominated by geographers as part of Chinese 
or Outer Tibet, is known to the Tibetans as Amdo, and 
the inhabitants are called Amdo-wa. According to 
Chinese ethnographers the foreign population of Amdo 
may be divided into two great classes, the T'u-fan, or 
" agricultural barbarians," who have a large admix- 
ture of Chinese blood, and the Si-fan, or " western bar- 
barians," who are of pure Tibetan stock. The Si-fan 
live, for the most part, a nomadic life and are organ- 
ized into a number of bands under hereditary chiefs 
responsible to the Chinese Amban at Sining, to whom 
they pay tribute. Chinese authors further say that the 
present mixed population of Amdo is the progeny of 
many distinct aboriginal tribes, but there are some ele- 
ments of it that must be accounted for by later immi- 
grations. Westward from Sining the road leads 
through a highly cultivated plateau ; the farms are 
watered by a perfect system of artificial irrigation, 

27 



28 WITH THE TIBETANS 

bearing evidence of the industry and skill of the peas- 
ants. The houses in the villages are all built of mud 
and have flat roofs. On the road one meets groups of 
merchants, partly Chinese, but bearing a strong resem- 
blance to the Turk and distinguished by a headdress 
which seems to be a cross between a Chinese cap and a 
Moslem turban. These are Mohammedans going 
down to trade in Sining. Next comes creeping along 
a small caravan of camel-mounted Mongolians or Tib- 
etans, clad in their ugly sheepskin gowns and big fur 
caps, on their way to see the Amban of Sining, or per- 
haps going to Eastern Mongolia or Pekin; or one may 
meet a procession of swarthy faced Tibetan pilgrims 
returning single file, with slow and stately tread, from 
some act of worship at Kumbum, to their homes in the 
valleys north of Sining. The entire western portion 
of Kansu, so far as its inhabitants are concerned, marks 
the transition between a purely Chinese population and 
a foreign people, the Chinese predominating in the 
larger centers but the villages and encampments being 
made up largely of foreign or mongrel inhabitants. 

Mr. Rijnhart had left me at Sining and had gone on 
to Lusar to complete the preparation of our house; 
but I had become impatient, not having too much con- 
fidence in masculine ability to set a house in order in 
a way altogether pleasing to a woman, so I rode up to 
Lusar with Mr. Hall. Half a day's journey brought us 
within sight of the hills that surround Kumbum, and 
as we approached we could see some of the lamas at- 
tending to their horses or gathering fuel. But the 
strangest sight of all was that of Mr. Eijnhart and Mr. 



AMONG THE LAMAS 29 

Ferguson in European clothing; so accustomed had our 
eyes become to oriental attire that they appeared more 
grotesque even than any of the fantastically arrayed 
travelers we had met on the road. Assisted by some 
native carpenters, they had been very busy at the house, 
but when I arrived I found everything in confusion, 
just as I had anticipated. Yet I was thankful that our 
long Journey had been completed, not a single accident 
worthy the name having happened to us since we left 
the Pacific Coast of America six months before. 

Lusar boasts of a single main street with mud-brick 
flat-roofed buildings on either side, and, at the time of 
our arrival, contained about one thousand inhabitants, 
evenly divided between Mohammedans and Chinese, 
with a sprinkling of Tibetans and Mongols. These dif- 
ferent peoples could be distinguished by their general 
appearance as well as by their speech. The Mongol, 
with his broad, flat, good-natured countenance and 
short-cut hair, clad in his long sheepskin robe, with 
his matchlock thrown over his shoulder, could not be 
mistaken as he waddled through the street followed by 
his wife a few paces behind him; the pure Tibetan, 
likewise robed in sheepskin, heralded his nationality 
by the sword he carried in his belt. To mistake a 
Chinaman was, of course, beyond question, while the 
Mohammedan of Turkestani origin could be recognized 
by his aquiline nose, slender face and straggling beard 
or moustache. Being the trading station of the Kum- 
bum lamasery Lusar is visited by merchants from 
China, Mongolia and various parts of Tibet. Especially 
during the great religious festivals held from time to 



30 WITH THE TIBETAN'S 

time at the lamasery a brisk trade is done in altar- 
lamps, charm-boxes, idols, prayer-wheels and the other 
paraphernalia of Buddhist worship. Near the village 
is a remnant of an old wall which evidently at some 
time had been used as a rampart of defence. In Hue 
and Gabet's narrative no mention is made of Lusar for 
the reason that it probably did not exist when these 
travelers passed that way, the business of the Kumbum 
lamasery being done formerly at Shen-ch'un, a few 
miles distant from Kumbum. 

The Chinese carpenters made characteristically slow 
progress with our house. The noise that accompanied 
the work was at times almost deafening, the workmen 
all shouting at once when anything urgent was to be 
done. The house, situated at the foot of a hill, the fa- 
cade pointing toward the main street, was a substantial 
mud-brick structure with flat roof, built entirely ac- 
cording to Chinese ideas of architecture, and after we 
had the premises put in order the disposition of the 
apartments was about as follows: The main gate led 
into an outer courtyard, walled but not roofed; from 
the outer court a dark, narrow passage led to the cen- 
tral or inner courtyard, around which the rooms were 
arranged on all sides. In one corner was the kitchen, 
and diagonally opposite to it a storeroom, and in an- 
other corner the stable, while along the sides nearest 
the entrance were the two guest-rooms, one for men 
and the other for women, the latter containing a cup- 
board for drugs. The guest-rooms we destined for the 
reception of visitors coming for medical treatment or 
to inquire about spiritual matters. The walls were 



AMONG THE LAMAS 31 

hung with colored Bible pictures which did us good 
service in suggesting topics for religious conversation. 
Many of the pictures represented scenes in the life of 
Christ and aroused the natives to the asking of ques- 
tions which opened for us golden opportunities to read 
the New Testament and to tell them more fully the 
Gospel story. The furniture was plain and scant, a 
large table four feet square, a few high, straight-backed 
and very uncomfortable chairs, and the indispensable 
h'ang. Opposite the guest-rooms were our dining- 
room, study and bedroom. On the two remaining sides 
were Mr. Ferguson's apartments, our Chinese servant's 
bedroom and a sitting-room where we all met for 
prayer, Bible study and conversation. Access to the 
flat roof of the house could be had by means of a ladder, 
and oftentimes when the weather was fine we repaired 
thither to take our constitutional, or to sit basking in 
the sun. Behind the house on the hill we afterwards 
prepared quite a large piece of garden, in which we 
raised several kinds of vegetables from seeds sent to us 
by a friend in Canada. Our housekeeping was reduced 
to simplicity. Han-kia, our Chinese " boy," aged about 
twenty-two years, soon learned under my tuition to pre- 
pare many kinds of food in English or American style, 
and twice a week he regaled us with m'ien. Having 
no oven in our stove, we extemporized one out of a 
paraffin tin, in which we could roast meat and bake 
cookies. Altogether we did not fare badly at Lusar; 
in the market we could buy mutton, eggs, milk, vege- 
tables, flour and rice. Custom soon introduced us to 
our new surroundings, and when the carpenters had 



32 WITH THE TIBETANS 

finished, we were, taking it all in all, as happy in our 
far-away, isolated home as we possibly could have been 
in America. 

Not long after our arrival we were visited by Mr. 
and Mrs. Ridley and their little baby Dora. They had 
come up for the purpose of recuperating their health 
among the hills, and during their sojourn we witnessed 
the interesting ceremony of burnt offerings celebrated 
near the Kumbum lamasery. Crowds of Chinese and 
Tibetans, men, women and children, had congregated 
to see the procession of lamas issue from their temple, 
and, discovering that some foreigners were among the 
throng, they turned their attention to us, almost over- 
whelming us with their friendly curiosity. It seemed 
at times that we would be crushed to death. Being sur- 
rounded we could not return home, and we were 
obliged to devise at once some means of protection. 
Inviting the native women to sit down beside us we 
were soon in the midst of a large group squatting 
tailor-fashion about us, serving as an effective bulwark, 
preventing the crowd from surging in upon us. Mrs. 
Eidley drew the women into an interesting conversa- 
tion, taxed to the utmost all the while to keep them 
from laying violent hands on her baby. 

The Tibetan women were to us an especial object of 
interest, conspicuous in their long, bright colored 
dresses fastened around the waist by green or red 
sashes, their clumsy top-boots and their elaborate head 
dress. The hair was done up in a number of small 
plaits which hung clown the back and were fastened 
together with wide strips of gay colored cloth, or by 



AMONG THE LAMAS 33 

a heavy band of pasteboard or felt covered with silver 
ornaments, shells and beads, and on top of it all was 
a hat with white fur brim and red tassels hanging 
from the pointed crown. From the ears were pendant 
great rings, to which were attached strings of beads 
hanging in long loops across the breast. The Chinese 
women with no hats, their black hair shining with 
linseed water, their common blue dresses and deformed 
feet, were not nearly so attractive as their neighbors, 
the Tibetans. 

Presently the sound of horns, cymbals and gongs 
announced the approach of the procession, and all in 
confusion rushed off to see the sight. Hundreds of 
lamas, clad in their flowing robes, issued with solemn 
tread from the lamasery, some of them carrying large, 
irregular wooden frames painted red, blue and yellow, 
and huge bundles of straw. The frames were set up in 
an open place, the straw arranged around them, and 
the ceremony of burnt offerings was ready to begin. 
The lamas fired off guns, chanted some unintelligible 
incantations, blew deafening blasts on their gigantic 
horns, and then set fire to the straw. The frames 
were soon reduced to ashes, and the purpose of the cere- 
mony, we learned, was to ward off the demons of 
famine, disease and war. 

As soon as the people found out that we were pre- 
pared to treat their ailments and dispense medicines 
they came to us quite freely. The Chinese were the 
first to approach us, but soon the Tibetans came, even 
the lamas, and it was not long before we had as much 
medical and resultant guest-room work as we could 



34: WITH THE TIBETANS 

attend to. As it is impossible to get a crowd of 
Tibetans to listen to a discourse, our evangelistic work 
consisted chiefly in conversing upon Christianity with 
the people who came to see us, and from the very be- 
ginning we were able to interest them in the teachings 
of the New Testament. The Tibetans themselves hav- 
ing no medical science worthy the name, the treat- 
ment given by the native doctors generally means an 
increase of agony to the sufferer. For headache large 
sticking plasters are applied to the patient's head and 
forehead; for rheumatics often a needle is buried in 
the arm or shoulder; a tooth is extracted by tying a 
rope to it and jerking it out, sometimes bringing out a 
part of the jaw at the same time; a sufferer with 
stomachache may be subjected to a good pounding, 
or to the application of a piece of wick soaked in burn- 
ing butter grease; or if medicine is to be taken in- 
ternally it will consist probably of a piece of paper on 
which a prayer is written, rolled up into the form of 
a pellet, and if this fails to produce the desired effect 
another pellet is administered, composed of the bones 
of some pious priest. 

Although the natives appear to have great faith in 
the native doctors, yet they were quick to bestow their 
patronage upon us. Among the common ailments we 
were called upon to treat were diphtheria, rheumatism, 
dyspepsia, besides many forms of skin and eye disease. 
One morning a woman brought to us her husband, who 
was suffering from diphtheria, and asked us to give him 
medicine. After explaining that the disease was very 
fatal, and that her husband was so ill that he would 



AMONG THE LAMAS 35 

probably die^ adding that we would not be responsible 
if he did, we gave him what treatment we could, includ- 
ing some medicine to be taken at home. The next 
morning his wife came to announce that he could not 
take the medicine. I then offered to go to the house, 
purposing to clear away some of the membrane and 
relieve the sufferer, but on our arrival we found that 
a lama had pasted a notice on the door forbidding any- 
one to enter because, he said, a devil had taken posses- 
sion of the house. We were obliged to turn away and 
our hearts were saddened to hear two days later that 
the man and also one of his little children had died. 
Since it was our intention to work principally among 
the Tibetans, we at once faced the problem of acquir- 
ing the language, although we might have got along 
with Chinese alone since all the Tibetans on the frontier 
speak that language as well as their own; but knowing 
that the Tibetan language would be to us a means of 
closer communication with the natives, we set about 
to find a teacher. As the lamas are the sole possessors 
of Tibetan letters, the great masses of the lay 
population being unable either to read or write, they 
were not over pleased with the thought of communicat- 
ing their sacred language to " foreign devils,'' and we 
had great difficulty in persuading any one to teach us. 
Finally a young, rather good looking lama, named 
Ishinima,* consented to give us instruction for a 
nominal sum, on condition that we would not let it 
be known, for he seemed very much afraid lest some- 
one might accuse him before the sung huan, or dis- 

* Pronounce E-sbe^-ne-ma. 



36 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ciplinarian of the lamasery, of being on too friendly 
terms with the foreigners ; for of course as yet we were 
looked upon with more or less reserve and perhaps with 
a little suspicion. Ishinima was of medium height, 
well built, and favored the Mongolian type rather than 
the Tibetan, although he always said that he was of the 
latter parentage. His face was pockmarked, but not 
devoid of expression, and when he smiled his whole 
countenance glowed with good humor. He did not be- 
long to the highest class of lamas, yet, not having 
to do menial work, he was well dressed, wearing the 
lama's ordinary habit — a sleeveless red jacket, a full 
skirt girded around the waist, and a long, wide scarf 
carelessly, yet always in the same manner, thrown 
about the shoulders. His garments were dirty, but not 
ragged. The first money he received in payment for 
his lessons he invested in cloth at Sining, and I made 
him garments of it on my sewing machine. He told 
us that the lamas were not allowed to wear sleeves, 
trousers or socks except upon special occasions, and 
added that on this point the lamasery had a code of 
very strict laws, violation of which entailed severe pun- 
ishment, sometimes even expulsion. Though Ishinima 
could read the Tibetan character well, we found to 
our disappointment that he could not explain it at all, 
so our lessons took a more practical turn, we giving him 
Chinese words and phrases which he translated for us 
into Tibetan. He came to teach us every day except 
Sunday, on which day he always attended the religious 
service held in the guest-room. 

Tibetan belongs, philologically, to the Turanian 



AMONG THE LAMAS 37 

family of languages. It is essentially monosyllabic, 
resembling in this respect many of the languages of our 
North American Indians. The verb system is built 
up on roots with prefixes and affixes, the syntax is com- 
paratively uninvolved and the idioms clear and ex- 
pressive. The alphabet, adapted from the Sanskrit by 
Tou-mi-sam-bho-ta, a noted Tibetan scholar and states- 
man, about 623 A. D., affords a character simple and 
easily formed, contrasting strongly with the cumbrous 
glyphics of the Chinese. There are two principal 
dialects of the language — Lhasa Tibetan, supposed to 
be the standard of excellence, and Eastern Tibetan, 
which varies from it to a considerable degree. The 
Koko-nor Tibetans, in fact, have great difficulty in 
understanding the speech of Lhasa traders and lamas. 
For colloquial purposes we were particularly interested 
in the Eastern Tibetan, though of course if one desires 
to read, the Lhasa dialect must be learned, as that is 
the literary language of the country. 

Our professor yielded to none in the matter of un- 
cleanliness, hence we made it our endeavor to instill 
into his mind some idea of hygiene. After some in- 
struction he learned to use the towel and soap, and 
though the lamas have a rule not to allow scissors to 
touch their heads when having their hair cut, he al- 
lowed his head to be shaved by the clippers, which 
were an endless source of wonder and interest to the 
natives. By degrees he took on an appearance of de- 
cency, and began to show some signs of interest in new 
ideas. Being somewhat of an epicure he went freely 
into the kitchen, supervising the preparation of the 



38 WITH THE TIBETANS 

dainties for which he had a preference. He taught 
our Chinese servant to make oma-ja, a decoction which 
the Tibetans drink with great relish. The ingredients 
are implied in the name — a piece of brick-tea is put 
into a pot of water and allowed to boil a few minutes, 
then about half as much milk as water is added, and 
the whole brought to boiling point again. When later 
we were without a servant, our boy having gone to 
enlist as a soldier, Ishinima would make the m'ien. 
Instead of cutting it into strips he would cut it into 
squares, and add it to water, meat and vegetables, 
making a palatable and substantial dish. Though we 
studied hard at our Tibetan and endeavored to under- 
stand the people and to communicate with them, we 
did not make the progress we should have made, the 
cause of this being that he taught us a mixture of 
Tibetan and Mongolian, which was to a large extent 
unintelligible to either people. In this and other 
things we found him unreliable, and some of his actions 
bordered on dishonesty. 

Soon after we had made his acquaintance, Ishinima 
invited us to his home in the Kumbum lamasery, and, 
having set his house in order for our visit, he came to 
escort us thither. Crossing the ravine which divides 
Kumbum into two sections, and threading our way 
along narrow alleys and past rows of whitewashed 
dwellings, we finally stood before one of the outermost 
and best houses of the lamasery. The courtyard presented 
a tidy appearance, and was graced by a flower garden 
in the center, in which some yellow poppies were in 
bloom. Several red-robed lamas with bare heads and 



AMONG THE LAMAS 39 

smiling faces gave us a Mongol welcome, holding out 
toward us both hands with the palms turned upward, 
and immediately ushered us through a small room into 
a still smaller one, of which the h'ang covered the en- 
tire floor. Upon the door hung a curtain, laden with 
the dust and grease of ages. The furniture was that 
usually found in a lama's home. There was the 
k'ang table, about ten inches in height, on which were 
placed some china basins, a brightly-painted tsamha 
dish, and a wooden plate containing bread fried in 
oil, none too inviting either by its taste or smell. The 
walls of the room were adorned with the pictures which 
we ourselves had given to our host, and which with 
their western flavor seemed quite out of keeping with 
the rude interior. During a very pleasant conversation 
about the great monastery with its revered lamas and 
sacred traditions, about Lhasa, the home of Buddhist 
learning, and of the great Dalai Lama, about the doc- 
trines of Christianity, and about the great western 
world, of which Ishinima knew next to nothing, we 
drank tea and partook of other refreshments which the 
latter had prepared with his own hands. According to 
custom he offered us a large lump of rancid butter, 
which, had we been as polite as our host, we should have 
dropped into our cup of tea in lieu of sugar ; but know- 
ing Ishinima so well, we refused the dainty morsel, al- 
though to have done so under any other circumstances 
would have been considered little less than insult. He 
was, moreover, so thoroughly charmed with Mr. Rijn- 
hart's telescope and camera that we might have ignored 
all Tibetan politeness with impunity. 



40 WITH THE TIBETANS 

After tea we were conducted across the courtyard 
to Ishinima's private chapel, or room containing his 
household altar and instruments of worship. Upon 
the altar sat several diminutive but none the less 
hideous brass and clay idols, representing various 
Buddhist divinities, before which were burning small 
butter lamps, also of brass, filled with melted butter, 
each furnished with a wick and darting up its little 
flame. Other flat brazen vessels of water, some khatas 
or " scarfs of ceremony " — narrow strips of veil-like 
cloth, corresponding in use to the western carte-de- 
visite — , a few musty-looking tomes of Buddhist litera- 
ture, completed the equipment of this domestic sanctu- 
ary. We found Ishinima withal a most genial host, 
exercising every art within his grasp to make our visit 
pleasant; yet we were glad when the time came to 
return to our own clean and airy dwelling at Lusar, 
and we left conscious that we had done Ishinima good 
service in ridding him of a generous share of the vermin 
in his sacerdotal abode. Our battle with this unwel- 
come company was to begin when we reached home. 

Through our friendship with Ishinima we gained a 
knowledge of Kumbum and all that pertained to it, 
which otherwise we might long have sought in vain. 
Shortly after our visit to his home he accompanied us 
again to the lamasery to witness an elaborate cere- 
mony on the occasion of the ordination of the priest 
who was to serve as lamasery doctor. Ishinima having 
some scruples about appearing publicly as our guide, 
walked about fifty yards ahead of us, never, however, 
turning a corner until he assured himself that we were 



AMONG THE LAMAS 41 

following. Having arrived in the courtyard of the 
temple where the ceremony was to be held, we took 
our places, Ishinima standing at some distance opposite 
us and scarcely taking his eye off us from first to last. 
The walls of the temple court were hung with all man- 
ner of fantastic pictures executed in flaming colors by 
Chinese artists. In the middle of the enclosure was 
a long narrow table, similar to those often found on 
American picnic grounds, on which were placed rows 
of decorated plates and brazen vessels of various 
shapes and sizes, containing tsamba, rice, barley, flour, 
bread, oil and other eatables. These, we learned, were 
offerings which had been brought to be sacrificed in 
honor of the new candidate for the position of medical 
superintendent. A large crowd of spectators had con- 
gregated and were gazing with reverent and longing 
looks upon the feast prepared for the gods, when sud- 
denly a procession of about fifty lamas broke into the 
courtyard, arrayed in red and yellow robes, each one 
carrying in his hand a bell. As soon as they had seated 
themselves on the stone pavement, the mainba fuyeh, 
or medical buddha, came in and took his place on an 
elevated wooden throne covered with crimson and yel- 
low cloth. He wore a tall, handsomely embroidered 
hat and brilliant ceremonial robes, befitting the oc- 
casion. The ceremony began by a deafening clatter 
of discordant bells, each lama vying with the others to 
produce the most noise from his instrument. The 
music was followed by the muttering of some cabalistic 
incantations and the weird chanting of prayers. Im- 
mediately in front of the mamba fuyeh was a large 



42 WITH THE TIBETANS 

urn in the bottom of which a fire was smoldering, send- 
ing up its vapory clouds of smoke and incense. At a 
given signal some of the lamas rose and, each one tak- 
ing up in a ladle a portion of the delicious viands that 
stood on the table, walked gravely to the urn and 
dropped it into the fire as an offering in honor of the 
new mamba fuyeli, and finally a stream of liquid which 
we took to be some kind of holy oil was poured in from 
a little brass pot. Then there were repetitions of the 
prayers, incantations and bell-ringing, and it was a 
long time ere the mamba fuyeh was declared duly in- 
stalled. The position of medical lama is considered one 
of great importance. The office in the Kumbum 
lamasery is held for varying periods of time, depend- 
ing partly on the incumbent's efficiency, but more per- 
haps on the number of his influential friends. 

Like most lamas, Ishinima had many strange tales 
to tell of the Koko-nor, the blue inland sea, that lies 
away to the west of Lusar and Kumbum, far up into 
the grass country. Many an evening he entertained us 
detailing in reverent tones something of the wealth of 
legend which tradition and the popular fancy have 
woven around that body of water. It is known by 
Tibetans, Mongols and Chinese, each calling it by a 
different name, but the Mongol name " Koko-nor," 
meaning " Blue Lake," seems to have gained ascend- 
ency. Its religious importance is recognized through- 
out a large portion of Central Asia. Even the Amban, 
the Chinese Ambassador or Governor of North-eastern 
Tibet, who lives at Sining, makes a pilgrimage to 
it once a year and pays it homage. The immediate 



AMONG THE LAMAS 43 

effect of Ishinima's representations was to arouse in 
us an intense desire to visit the lake, to make the 
acquaintance of the Koko-nor tribes and to ascertain 
the prospects for missionary work among them. As 
Ishinima had never seen the lake himself, he seemed 
overjoyed when we asked him to accompany us. 
The date for the departure was set in the month of 
June when the hills had taken on their luxuriant car- 
peting of green, and all nature seemed to conspire in 
producing ideal conditions for such an excursion. As 
W. W. Rockhill, the American traveler, had written 
about the opposition of the Amban and other Chinese 
officials to Europeans going into the grass country, all 
our preparations were very quietly made. "We em- 
ployed a muleteer with four animals, collected stores 
for the entire Journey which, going and returning, we 
calculated would last about twelve days, and in the 
highest spirits started off, leaving our home in the care 
of a servant. Ishinima, perched high on a load con- 
sisting of the tent and bale of food, wore a large straw 
hat with the wide brim of which he carefully con- 
cealed his face until we got out of the locality where he 
was known. Eeaching Tankar late in the evening, we 
pitched our camp outside the gate. Anxious to avoid 
officials, we arose at daybreak and passed through the 
town to the west gate, being frequently accosted by 
men who wanted to drag us before the lao-yeh at the 
yamen; but we escaped into the grass country, and 
passed the monastery of Gomba Soma, although every 
one we met was looked upon as some official who might 
possibly forbid us to go any further. Ten miles from 



44 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Gomba Soma, and still a long way from the lake, we 
camped for breakfast near a bend of the Hsi-ho, or 
Western Kiver, in a beautiful grassy spot studded with 
pink flowers. On the other side of the river was spread 
a charming panorama of rolling hills which in the 
early morning looked like the grey, slumbering tents of 
some giant army. Xever shall I forget the calm of 
that beautiful day on the oriental plateau far away 
from the turmoil of civilization, nor within sight or 
sound of the rudest encampment or settlement of any 
kind. 

But out of this tranquil environment there was to 
grow a great unrest. While Ishinima was gather- 
ing argols (the Mongolian word for the dried excreta 
of animals which the nomads use for fuel, and which 
must be used in fact by all travelers, as these wild 
regions are bare of wood) our mules broke away from 
their tether and had soon scampered out of sight. Mr. 
Ferguson and the muleteer set out in search of the 
missing animals. All day Mr. Eijnhart and I waited, 
wondering how both the mules and pursuers fared. 
We knew nothing definite until Mr. Ferguson's return 
at eleven o'clock at night, and he could only an- 
nounce that no trace of the runaway mules had been 
found, and added, to our horror, that he had become 
separated from the muleteer and did not know what 
fate might have befallen him. He might have lost his 
way somewhere on the dreary plain or among the wind- 
ing hills, and there was the graver possibility of his 
having been eaten by wolves or having fallen into the 
Jiands of the redoubtable Tangut robbers who lurk 



AMONG THE LAMAS 45 

in the ravines ready to pounce upon any prey, great 
or small. Clouds of anxiety hung on Ishinima's dusky 
face. He could not sleep. Time and time again he 
went outside the tent, casting his eyes far and wide over 
the starlit waste, eager to catch any sign of the lost 
muleteer, but in vain. His anxiety was not without 
cause, for if anything should have happened to the 
muleteer he would have been held responsible. A feel- 
ing of insecurity pervaded the whole camp, Ishinima 
having succeeded in persuading us that the Tanguts 
might swoop down upon us at any moment. The agony 
and stillness of that awful night, broken only by the 
subdued sounds of our own voices, the distant howl of 
a wolf, and the monotonous babble of the Hsi-ho rapids, 
were not soon forgotten. At daybreak next morning, 
just as Ishinima was preparing breakfast, two of the 
missing mules, quite mule-like, returned of their own 
accord, and soon after, to our great joy, our muleteer 
came running into camp. The faithful fellow had con- 
tinued his fruitless search away into the night, and, 
having lost his way, had crouched down behind a rock 
to rest till daybreak; he seemed quite compensated for 
his trouble on finding that two of the mules had come 
back. One black animal being still astray, Mr. Fer- 
guson went out again on the search. As he did not 
return after an unaccountably long time, Mr. Rijn- 
hart took the sweep of the horizon with the telescope 
to see if there were any trace of him, and, after a short 
absence, came running to the tent shouting, " Get the 
guns ready ! There are six wild Tibetans after Will !" 
Excitement reigned supreme and every preparation 



46 WITH THE TIBETANS 

was made to show the enemy our ability and readiness 
to defend ourselves and our goods if need be. Mr. 
Ferguson rode well, outstripping his pursuers all but 
one, a big Tibetan armed with a spear, who followed 
closely on his track. We knew that Mr. Ferguson was 
quite capable of looking after himself, as he carried a 
revolver, and usually the sight of foreign arms of any 
kind has a salutary effect on these wild nomads. Soon 
not only Mr. Ferguson but the six Tibetans had reached 
our tent, and the latter were preparing to help them- 
selves to our possessions when Ishinima remonstrated, 
informing them that we had foreign guns, whereupon 
they threw their rude matchlocks and clumsy spears to 
the ground, sat down beside them, filled their pipes 
and smoked and chatted in a very friendly manner. 
Presently another group of Tibetans came galloping 
toward our tent. They were ten in number, and as 
they drew near we espied our lost black mule among 
their animals. These Tibetans were well dressed in 
garments of various and gorgeous colors. We did not 
know their intentions, but they kept assuring us in 
the name of Buddha that they were good men, and if 
any proof were wanting they triumphantly added that 
one of their company was a lama. At the same time 
the predatory instinct began to manifest itself; the 
newcomers insisted on having first one thing and then 
another of our belongings, and were only restrained 
from looting the entire camp when Mr. Rijnhart 
threatened to shoot if they laid hands on a thing. 
After some further altercation we gave them some 
cash for catching our mule — Ishinima gave them a 



AMONG THE LAMAS 47 

mani, or rosary, of great value, and the entire band 
rode off. The question now was: should we continue 
our journey to the Koko-nor or return home? I was 
ever so grateful when Ishinima declared that the 
Tibetans who had just left us were Tangut robbers, 
and that they would most assuredly return presently 
with reinforcements to attack us, for that announce- 
ment led to an immediate decision to turn back. Al- 
though later we made the Koko-nor journey with no 
fear, but with greater experience and knowledge of 
the grass country and its inhabitants, for the mo- 
ment the vision of the Blue Lake grew dim, and load- 
ing our mules we leaped into our saddles, and were 
soon galloping toward Tankar, with sweet dreams of 
the safety and shelter that awaited us in our little home 
at Lusar. 

Deviating a little from the road by which we had 
come, we arrived at Chang-fang-tai, a Tibetan village 
nestling on the edge of a small stream. The country 
hereabout was quite fertile, although in an unculti- 
vated state. Eoaming along the bank of the stream, we 
gathered specimens of ferns, grasses and wild flowers. 
The inhabitants seemed to be peaceably disposed, com- 
ing into our tent and taking tea with us. Here, by the 
way, I tried my first dish of tsamha, the staple article 
of diet throughout Tibet, taking the place of bread in 
other countries, and which I had always imagined must 
be very delicious from the zest with which Ishinima 
invariably devoured it. Tsamha is a kind of meal 
made from parched barley, which, after being thor- 
oughly kneaded with the lingers in a mixture of tea 



48 WITH THE TIBETANS 

and butter, is taken out in lumps and eaten from the 
hand. Though Mr. Eijnhart added sugar to make it 
more palatable, I could not eat it. 

In the midst of our enjoyment at this village we 
heard the first alarming tidings of the terrible rebellion 
which shortly broke out in full fury among the Mo- 
hammedans of Western Kansu. Faint rumblings of 
the storm had already been heard, but we had not con- 
sidered the outlook serious. During the day we had 
noticed clouds of smoke rising in the distance, and 
these, a Tibetan courier informed us, marked the scene 
of the beginning of Mohammedan depredations. A 
column of the rebel fanatics had swept across the North 
country and fallen upon a Chinese village, killing all 
the inhabitants, setting fire to the buildings, and leav- 
ing nothing but ashes, smoke and charred corpses. 
Hastily we pulled up our tent, and, though the night 
was dark, we rode off toward Kumbum, with great 
difficulty following the trail which wound in and out 
among the hills, while every dark object became to our 
excited imagination a crouching Mohammedan ready 
to dart his merciless spear. A sigh of relief escaped 
us as we arrived at the gate of Lusar, yet we knew 
more serious news awaited us as, contrary to custom, 
the gate was closed and carefully guarded. The old 
gate-keeper, whom we knew well, opened to let us in, 
and informed us of the danger that like a dark cloud 
had fallen on the village since we left. At any moment 
the Mohammedans were expected to rush in from some 
neighboring ambush. But amid the gloomy forebodings 
that for the moment filled our minds, there was a 



AMONG THE LAMAS 49 

tremor of joy at the thought of our good fortune in 
returning to Lusar when we did. The Divine Prov- 
idence had indeed overshadowed us and directed our 
movements. Had we gone on to the Koko-nor and at- 
tempted to return later, we should have found our way 
intercepted by the Mohammedan stronghold which a 
few days afterwards commanded the roads from Tankar 
to Kumbum. 



CHAPTER III 

A MOHAMMEDAN REBELLION 

Moslem Sects — Beginnings of the Struggle — Our Ac- 
quaintance with the Abbot — Refuge in the Lamasery 
— The Doctrine of Reincarnation. 

Among China's four hundred millions the Mo- 
hammedan element, though comparatively small, must 
be counted as a significant factor. Like a fomenting 
leaven, a hotbed of domestic turmoil within themselves, 
and ever and anon working to the surface of the na- 
tional life, the followers of the Prophet have proved a 
constant source of trouble to the Chinese authorities, 
especially in the provinces of Shensi, Yunnan and 
Kansu, where they have planted their most extensive 
colonies. According to Dr. Martin, there are about ten 
millions of them throughout the empire, although 
other authorities place the number much higher. They 
are known by the general appellation of Siao-chiao, 
that is, adherents of the "small religion," as opposed 
to the Chinese, who, with their complex cult of ancestor 
worship, idolatry and incense burning, are of the 
Ta-chiao, or "great religion," the comparative magni- 
tude of the two religions being estimated of course by 
the relative number of their adherents. The Moham- 

50 



A MOHAMMEDAN REBELLION 51 

medans are further distinguished from the Chinese by 
their abstaining from opium, wine, tobacco, pork and 
other meats except when killed by a Mohammedan 
slaughterer who has been specially authorized by the 
ahon. Travelers, for this reason, may always be cer- 
tain of getting good, clean meat from Mohammedan 
butchers, whereas the Chinese do not scruple to cut 
up and offer for sale an animal that has died of dis- 
ease. Besides being generally clean, the Mohammedans 
are industrious, making a success of whatever calling 
they embrace, be it that of a merchant, muleteer, carter, 
cook, innkeeper, or worker in copper, silver or iron. 
Their restaurants along the great highways enjoy the 
liberal patronage of all classes, while on the other 
hand no Mohammedan will partake of the " cere- 
monially unclean'' dishes of the ordinary innkeeper 
of the Ta-chiao persuasion. 

The Mohammedans of the province of Kansu, num- 
bering about one million and a half, constitute one- 
fourth of its population. In the principal cities, such 
as Lanchso, the capital, and Sining, they monopolize 
the suburbs, and whole villages and towns of them are 
to be found in various parts of the province, even as 
far west as the Tibetan border. Besides being known 
under the usual designation of Siao-chiao, to distin- 
guish them religiously from the Chinese, they are also 
called by the latter Huei-huei, while the Tibetans and 
Mongolians speak of them as K'a-che. Though now 
having lost to a considerable extent their racial char- 
acteristics through intermarriage with the Chinese, 
they are still recognized as the descendants of the great 



62 WITH THE TIBETAT^S 

migrations which came from Turkestan, Kashmir, and 
Samarkand nearly five centuries ago. They are di- 
vided into two sects, called the " white-capped " and 
" black-capped," the latter being identical with the 
Salars, who are much more fanatical and exclusive 
than the other sect. In the Sining district the two di- 
visions are known as the Lao-chiao, or " old religion," 
and the Sin-chiao, or " new religion," the latter being, 
as far as we could ascertain, the same sect as the Salars, 
or " black-capped " Mohammedans. They have not 
merged nearly so agreeably with the Chinese as the 
former, for, while they are usually ready to rebel, the 
Lao-chiao, as a rule, remain neutral, or even co- 
operate with the Chinese. 

The Salars who boast of their Samarkandi origin 
are settled around Hocheo, Hsuen-hua-ting, Mincheo 
and Taocheo, the first mentioned town of thirty thou- 
sand inhabitants being their stronghold, where the 
Chinese have to keep a large body of soldiers, as nearly 
every year for the most trivial reasons there is trouble. 
The Salars speak their own language, which is under- 
stood by travelers from Kashgar, and when we visited 
their country in 1897, Rahim, our Tibetan boy, a 
native of Ladak, was delighted that he could converse 
in their own tongue, which he had learned on his 
journeys into Turkestan. The men have a purely for- 
eign look, good figures, oval faces, aquiline noses, and 
wear the Chinese queue, while the women do not bind 
their feet, though the Mohammedans around us were 
as much in love with small feet as were the pure 
Chinese. They are all supposed to be conversant with 



A MOHAMMEDAN EEBELLION 53 

Arabic, but, as a fact, have not usually much knowledge 
of it, except the ahons, some of the latter being Tur- 
kestani. Occasionally some great mufti from Mecca 
or other important Moslem center visits the faith- 
ful in Kansu, exhorting them to greater zeal; 
while the many mosques that tower above the Chinese 
dwellings, the dogged fidelity with which the devotees 
perform their religious services, and the death-em- 
bracing fanaticism with which in times past they have 
fought for their faith, all attest the vigorous hold which 
Mohammedanism has gained in the land of Confucius. 

The religious dissimilarities between the two sects 
are trivial, the lines of cleavage being quite as insig- 
nificant as some that divide Christendom. The chief 
bone of contention is a difference of opinion as to 
the hour at which the fast may be broken during the 
Eamadan, and as to the propriety of incense burning. 
The cause of the dispute which culminated in one of 
the most sanguinary and disastrous wars that ever took 
place in Western China was the question as to whether 
or not a Mohammedan might wear a beard before the 
age of forty! 

It need not be wondered at that terror filled the 
minds of the people of Lusar and Kumbum, and of all 
the surrounding villages, when the news spread that the 
Mohammedan sword was again unsheathed; for fresh 
in their memories were the terrible atrocities perpe- 
trated during the former uprising, which was one long 
intermittent period of bloodshed and pillage lasting 
from 1861 to 1874, both parties, however, assenting 
to a cessation of hostilities each year during seedtime 



54 WITH THE TIBETANS 

and harvest. The government troops sent to subdue 
the rebels had been, on account of their inadequate 
numbers, hewn down, harrassed and beaten year after 
year, and only succeeded finally in quelling the out- 
break because of a dissension among the Mohammedans 
themselves as to whether the Koran sanctioned the use 
of tobacco. Our own little Lusar had in those troublous 
times been twice destroyed, while before the rebellion 
Kumbum, the great monastery, had been the residence 
of 7,000 lamas, hundreds of whom dyed their temple 
thresholds with their blood, falling in defense of their 
treasures and their homes, repulsing the rebels barely 
in time to save their treasure-house, and to keep unholy 
hands from ravishing their gold-tiled temples. When- 
ever the lamas look at the bullet-pierced silver bowl 
which is still in service on one of the altars, they re- 
member that Kumbum's palmiest days ended in that 
great struggle, for never since has it contained more 
than four thousand lamas. 

Although the Chinese had finally subdued the rebel- 
lion, they had not quelled the fanaticism that gave it 
rise. They forbade the Mohammedans to reside within 
the towns and cities, but this only led to their gathering 
in thousands outside the walls or in separate settle- 
ments, where they brooded over their lack of freedom, 
and cherished a hatred towards the Chinese, fanned by 
the memory of the treachery by which during the war 
the latter had beguiled them into many a bloody snare ; 
and throughout all the intervening years, up to the time 
of the fresh outbreak in 1895, the ahons had done their 
part in keeping the fire of hatred and dissatisfaction 



A MOHAMMEDAN REBELLION 55 

burning in their hearts. The vague rumors of trouble 
at a distance that had reached us before our departure 
for the Koko-nor had caused little alarm in our dis- 
trict, but on our return the reports were distinct and 
dire enough. The little fire so recently kindled was 
already assuming uncontrollable proportions. A dis- 
sension had occurred in the 8in-chiao on account of the 
beard question already referred to, and swords were 
drawn; the Chinese, who, while inert enough in most 
emergencies, seem to be ready to interfere in Moham- 
medan disputes, stepped in to settle this one, and the 
progress of the campaign until it reached the immedi- 
ate vicinity of Kumbum had been, we learned, as fol- 
lows. 

The quarrel between the two sects having broken 
out eighty English miles from Sining, and the district 
inhabited by the Salars being governed from that city, 
a Major Uang had been sent with two hundred sol- 
diers to make peace, which apparently he had suc- 
ceeded in doing; but suspicions of his failure were 
aroused when, on the 13th of March, the Tao-tai 
of Sining was summoned by the Governor-general 
of Kansu to Lancheo and despatched with more 
troops to Hsuen-hua-ting, the seat of the trouble. The 
latter official did a most imprudent thing in seizing and 
putting to death a prominent chief and three or four 
others, for to avenge this outrage the Salars, largely 
forgetting their own differences, rose en masse against 
the Chinese, imprisoning the general and several 
other officers who had been sent from Hocheo to 
aid him. Reports that the Salars were advancing 



56 WITH THE TIBETANS 

and that other Mohammedans were joining them, 
threw the Chinese of the Sining district into the 
wildest exieitement, and soldiers were sent into the 
villages not as yet affected by the rebellion, to in- 
quire into rumors and exhort the Chinese and Mo- 
hammedans to live together in peace. By the end of 
March the truth about Major Uang's defeat was 
learned. A " white-capped " Mohammedan, a sup- 
posed ally of the Chinese, but really in league with 
the Salars, offered to guide the Major to a position 
from which he might crush the rebels at a single blow. 
The Major and his men followed the guide over the 
treacherous river and along its southern bank, until, 
arriving at the juncture of two valleys, they camped 
for the night, the Yellow River on the north of them, 
and a ridge of high rocky hills on the south. Here, 
when wholly unprepared, they were surprised by the 
Salars into whose hands they had been secretly be- 
trayed by the would-be guide, seventy-four of their 
number being killed, while the others, having given up 
their rifles on the promise of mercy and freedom, were 
immediately afterwards shot by their enemies. 

The news of this disaster having reached the Gov- 
ernor-General, he issued a proclamation ordering the 
extermination of the Salar sect, root and branch. Two 
days later a fresh proclamation was affixed to the city 
gates, couched in milder terms, saying that a distinc- 
tion was to be made between good and bad Salars, that 
only the latter were to be killed. But no reverse tide 
of second thought could dam back the mighty cataclysm 
of bloodthirsty revenge which had broken out over 



A MOHAMMEDAN REBELLION 57 

the land. This first proclamation had done the 
work; already the blacksmiths were busy night and 
day sharpening old swords and making new ones, and 
people from the villages were flocking into the cities 
with their families, furniture and grain. Farming 
was suspended, and a general panic prevailed as it 
became known that the Salars had risen up in the ful- 
ness of their strength, all joining swords from various 
motives — fear, zeal, revenge, and the hope of gain 
through success and plunder being the chief ones. De- 
tachments of imperial soldiers came up from Lancheo 
and Liangcheo, but the Mohammedans had congre- 
gated in such overwhelming hordes that the Chinese 
could not begin to cope with them. 

About the end of April the imperial troops had suc- 
ceeded in taking three Salar villages, but at the same 
time the operations of the rebels became more exten- 
sive. The Chinese government, now realizing the mag- 
nitude of their undertaking, appointed to the com- 
mand of the imperial troops Brigadier-General Teng 
of Sining, a man of rare decision and military reputa- 
tion, who, departing for the seat of trouble, defeated 
the rebels near the city of Hsuen-hua-ting, a victory 
with which further uprisings in the vicinity of Hocheo 
were simultaneous; nor was his victory accomplished 
without extreme difficulty and much bloodshed. The 
enemy having been apprised of the Brigadier-General's 
start from Sining, had come to meet him, and but for 
the timely help of the Tibetans, his army would have 
been annihilated. It became evident that the rebellion 
was no longer confined to the " black-capped " sect. 



58 WITH THE TIBETANS 

and when the news spread that Hocheo, the Mecca of 
Kansu Moslemism, the site of Moslem colleges and 
mosques, had become a center of rebel activity, it was 
felt that the worst had only begun. General Teng 
with the resources at his command adopted the most 
vigorous measures. In the beginning of July he in- 
flicted a severe defeat on the enemy, killing 700 of 
them, but its glory was dimmed by the ominous rumor 
that 10,000 Mohammedans in the suburbs of Sining 
were about to join the rebels. 

As the reports that reached Lusar and Kumbum be- 
came more and more alarming, the people were thor- 
oughly aroused, lamas and laymen joining heart and 
hand in offensive and defensive measures to be em- 
ployed against the rebels, whom they now no longer 
spoke of as Huei-huei, or Siao-chiao, but by the more 
appropriate title, as they thought, tseh. . 

Activity in the collection of old iron increased, the 
furnaces glowed day and night with an intenser heat, 
and louder rang the anvils under the blows of an 
army of smiths in response to the general clamor for 
Bwords, spear-points and guns. On all the main roads 
leading to the village tiao-lo were built, two-storied 
mud-brick towers, a gateway underneath, and a room 
above through the wall of which were loop-holes for 
guns, while a small rampart branched off on either side. 
The Sin-cJiiao Mohammedans living in Lusar gradu- 
ally and quietly sold their property, or taking it 
along with their families, left for Topa, the rebel 
stronghold on the Hsi-ho, where there were soon 40,- 
000 fighting men. We little suspected that even Mo- 



A MOHAMMEDAN EEBELLION 69 

hammedans who had become our friends, particularly 
one old man who lived almost next door to us, were 
so soon to take up arms against their fellow-citizens, 
ourselves included. 

The lamas provided themselves with arms of every 
kind, were organized into an army under the leader- 
ship of Shertoch Fuyeh, one of the " living buddhas " 
of Kumbum, and met on the hills for drill, besides 
being as busy as bees at the construction of strong 
brick towers for the protection of their homes and 
temples. Ishinima, though an arrant coward, pre- 
pared a spear for himself, and our lessons in Tibetan 
became very irregular and almost useless, for our pro- 
fessor had utterly lost his equilibrium. The inhab- 
itants of Lusar carried all their valuables over fo 
Kumbum and placed them in the hands of the lamas, 
intending to flee to the lamasery should the rebels in 
strength attack the village, knowing that the lamas 
would die fighting for their treasures, and so the lives 
of the sojourners there would be comparatively safe. 
Eefugees from isolated villages swarmed to Kumbum 
for safety, and soon, as a result of the overcrowding, 
diphtheria and smallpox were raging, while food, 
fodder, and everything had risen to such exhtDrbitant 
prices that beggars were added in immense crowds to 
the already existing number, occupying every cave and 
stable, in fact, every available corner they could find. 
Many of our friends in Lusar advised us to leave for 
home, or at least go to Sining, which had a good wall 
and an army to defend it ; but we felt that we had not 
unprovidentially arrived in Kumbum at that especial 



60 WITH THE TIBETANS 

time, and in order that we might not thwart the plans 
of Him whose work we were doing, we remained among 
the people, and made preparations to save our goods in 
the event of an attack, hy putting them in a cave off 
our storeroom. 

Barely had we decided to share the fears and fortunes 
of our Chinese and Tibetan friends, by facing with 
them the dreadful possibilities of a long and bloody 
siege, when an event of no small importance occurred, 
one, in fact, which to a great extent changed the cur- 
rent of our lives and affected the whole course of our 
future relations with the people. To our amazement 
we received from the Jcanpo an invitation to take up 
our abode in the lamasery during the rebellion, an 
offer which, needless to say, we eagerly accepted, not 
only because of the safety it offered us, but also because 
of the prestige it would give us in the eyes of those 
whom we were seeking to help. This apparently sud- 
den kindness on the part of the abbot was dependent 
upon an amusing incident during ]\Ir. Eijnhart's visit 
to Kumbum in 1892. One day he was sent for by 
one of the " living buddhas " of Kumbum, and, ex- 
pecting to have a pleasant and profitable conversation 
about spiritual matters, he went immediately to the 
buddha's apartment, where he learned with some dis- 
appointment that he had been summoned not from any 
religious motive, but to be consulted about a music-box 
which the buddha had bought as a curiosity when on 
a visit to Pekin. The music-box was, to express liter- 
ally what the lama had said, " sick,'' and had ceased 
to give forth music; and the lama had concluded that 



A MOHAMMEDAN EEBELLION 61 

since it had been made by foreigners it could surely 
be cured by a foreigner. Mr. Eijnhart carefully ex- 
amined the instrument, and finding it only needed 
lubricating, gave it a liberal treatment of castor-oil, 
the only kind available, whereupon its powers re- 
turned, and the wonderful box was, as the lama ex- 
pressed it, " cured.^^ He had therefore conceived great 
confidence in the skill of the foreigner, for if he could 
cure a sick music-box with one dose of medicine, how 
much more could he do for a sick man ! The result of 
an apparently insignificant act of kindness cannot be 
estimated. The music-box incident, though forgotten 
by Mr. Eijnhart, had evidently left an impression on 
the lama, who had in the meantime risen to the dignity 
of the abbotship, for he it was who now again sum- 
moned the foreign doctor with his magic oil to come 
and treat the treasurer of the lamasery, who had fallen 
ill, although he did not know at the time that Mr. 
Eijnhart was the same foreigner who had " cured his 
sick instrument." 

Following a guide, we climbed up steep, stony 
paths until we reached the most imposing of the 
buildings, the Jcanpo's residence, in a part of which 
the treasurer resided. Ishinima had often spoken 
of the Jcanpo, or fa-tai, the great man who pre- 
sided over the spiritual welfare of the four thousand 
Kumbum lamas, assuring us that he could only be 
seen when, clad in his saffron robes, crowned with his 
glittering mitre, and followed by a long retinue of 
attendants, he descended from his lofty and sacred 
abode to preside over some important religious func- 



62 WITH THE TIBETAN'S 

tion. Ishinima's surprise may well be imagiiled when 
we told him we were going to the Tcanpo's residence to 
visit such an illustrious patient as Hsam-tso, the treas- 
urer. Indignantly he repudiated the possibility of such 
a thing, for the entrance of foreigners into the sacred 
residence of the great incarnation of Buddha was un- 
heard of. Yet to the equally great surprise of Ishinima 
and ourselves, we not only visited the treasurer, care- 
fully diagnosed his case, and gave him treatment, but 
by special invitation were ushered into the audience 
chamber of the kanpo himself. Climbing a steep stair- 
case, we arrived in the courtyard immediately con- 
fronting his apartments, where we saw a youthful 
lama with flying red garments, bare feet, and counte- 
nance wreathed in smiles, rush across the courtyard 
and enter a room as if to apprise his master of our 
approach, and when we reached the door he was there 
with characteristic oriental obsequiousness to usher us 
in. Another moment and we were standing in the 
presence of the greatest Buddhist dignitary of all 
northeastern Tibet, the man who was looked up to as 
spiritual guide and teacher not only by the lamas who 
sat under his immediate tutelage, but by thousands of 
laymen outside, to whom his personality was known. 
Sublime in the consciousness of his own greatness, he 
did not descend from his throne on perceiving us; in 
fact, his stolid countenance betrayed no sign of pleas- 
ure or surprise, for why, indeed, should the calm and 
monotonous flow of his feelings be disconcerted by the 
arrival of a couple of foreign teachers more than by 
the worshippers of high rank whom, from far and 



A MOHAMMEDAN REBELLION 63 

near, he was accustomed to receive daily ? He asked us 
to be seated on some beautiful rugs, while his lama 
servant brought us tea in china basins, which were 
placed before us on little tables ten inches high, painted 
in bright colors. During the conversation the kanpo 
explained that a past experience with a foreigner had 
given him the desire to meet another, and great was his 
pleasure when he found out that Mr. Eijnhart was the 
identical foreigner who had " doctored " liis music- 
box three years previous. 

This brief visit was preliminary to many others that 
followed in quick succession, resulting in an intimate 
acquaintance, mutually agreeable, which soon ripened 
into a firm friendship. The kanpo was particularly 
interested in the fact that Mr. Eijnhart had a wife, 
and as more ominous reports of the progress of the 
rebellion reached the lamasery, he evinced a sincere 
anxiety about our welfare. He had indeed a greater 
surprise in store for us than the privilege of paying 
him a visit, for he told us very cordially that his own 
home in the lamasery was at our disposal, and bade 
us move our goods at once to his apartments and take 
up our abode there until the rebellion was over. " If 
the Mohammedans attack Lusar," he said gravely, 
" the people will take shelter in the lamasery and leave 
you to be killed." We could but feel that the Tcanpo's 
offer was providential, so, accepting it as heartily as 
it was given, we removed those of our valuables which 
were not hidden in the cave, over to his house, where 
we found he had prepared for our occupancy two large 
rooms and a kitchen. 



64 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Our life in the lamasery was a busy one. Hundreds 
of diphtheria cases were dealt with, and many wounded 
people were brought to us from the surrounding dis- 
tricts. In connection with medical work in the 
lamasery, a very interesting and pathetic incident oc- 
curred, that served to give us a clear idea of one of 
the fundamental beliefs of Buddhism, viz : re-incarna- 
tion. A young lama came requesting us to visit a lad 
who was very ill — a little fuyeh, or buddha, about ten 
years old. Following a guide into the capacious court- 
yard of one of Kumbum's best residences, past many 
rooms decorated in gay colors, with windows of lattice- 
work covered with bright paper and colored glass, we 
came to the door of a suite of apartments, where stood 
an old lama with white beard and hair, down whose 
cheeks flowed copious tears, as wringing his hands he 
besought us to do our best for the boy and not let him 
die; as if he died, he, the lama, would have seen his 
elder brother die a second time. Though the little 
fuyeh was that old lama's nephew by birth, he was 
looked upon as his elder brother; the latter had died 
ten years previously, and the soul, it was believed, had 
returned into the body of the little boy, to spend an- 
other period on its progress toward Nirvana, the state 
of blessedness. Hence it was that the man who now 
confronted us was in such great sorrow fearing that he 
should a second time witness his elder brother's death. 
We promised all the help we could give, and were 
ushered into a small, beautifully adorned room, where 
we saw reclining on the h'ang a sick child, a glance 
at whom told us that we were in the presence of a 



A MOHAMMEDAN REBELLION 65 

victim of a virulent type of diphtheria. Upon care- 
ful examination we felt that there was scant hope of 
his recovery, and informed the old man that the only 
chance for the patient lay in our staying with him. 
Whereupon the old lama told us to do what we thought 
hest, adding that he would procure for us anything we 
desired, no matter what the cost would be, for, he 
added, "that boy has great wealth — thousands of 
horses, cattle and sheep and valuable property are his." 
We prepared the necessaries for the treatment of our 
little patient and settled down beside the k'ang to 
watch him. 

Daylight faded into twilight, and the secular work 
of the lamasery was done. As the tumultuous hubbub 
of voices died away and even the sound of the water- 
carriers' footsteps had ceased, the lamasery was per- 
vaded by a strange and melancholy quiet, indescribably 
peculiar, but somewhat akin to that atmosphere of 
silent awe that fills the galleries and crypts of some 
old mediaeval cathedral, subduing the voice and even 
the thoughts of the traveler, as he stands with uncov- 
ered head before the tombs of the illustrious and saintly 
dead. And as that silence is sometimes broken by the 
strains of the choristers' song sounding soft and low 
from their practice-room, or by snatches of muffled 
harmony floating down from the organ-loft, so on that 
night was the stillness broken by the musical voices 
of the lamas chanting their prayers in the temples, 
or on the housetops where they lighted fires of juniper 
leaves, the smoke of which curled up and spent its 
fragrance far and wide until the very air seemed re- 



66 WITH THE TIBETANS 

dolent with the sense of worship. In some respects 
the aesthetic side of Tibetan Buddhism is irresistible, 
and it is not surprising that it has thrown a strong 
fascination over the credulous Tibetans. It is, how- 
ever, like the Pharisaism of old, only a whited se- 
pulchre, having a beautiful exterior, but full of rot- 
tenness and dead men's bones within. How forcibly 
the wail of the white-haired old lama, with his rayless 
belief in the doctrine of reincarnation brought home to 
our hearts that night the imsatisfying emptiness, the 
bitter darkness of a system which offers the human 
spirit no brighter prospect than to be broken again and 
again on the " Wheel of Existence," struggling in its 
own strength for countless ages, with the forces of 
evil, with no better promise than annihilation at the 
end. Those who get their conceptions of existing 
Buddhism from Sir Edwin Arnold's " Light of Asia " 
would be sadly disillusioned could they see it as it is 
really believed and practiced by the people of Tibet. 

Night-time had settled down upon us in our places 
beside the boy, all the lamas, even the old man, having 
retired. We sat reading or conversing in low whispers, 
our hearts awed by the strangeness of our surround- 
ings, the dim light of the primitive lamp casting weird 
shadows on some objects about the room, now in this 
comer upon a spear and two guns ready for use, sug- 
gestive of an}i;hing but peace, then upon a yellow 
satin hat with wide brim and peaked crown, and a 
yellow jacket belonging to the boy. He was not to use 
them again, for from the bed came stertorous breath- 
ing, which continually reminded us that death was 



A MOHAMMEDAN EEBELLION 67 

claiming its victim. Suddenly through the impressive 
stillness rang a shout, then another, some barking of 
dogs, then a few shots, and almost in a flash from the 
housetops near and far rang cries of " Sha sa! Sha sa!" 
(Eat meat! Eat meat!), the vrar-cry of the lamas. A 
lama rushed through the room where we sat, calling 
out, " Where's my spear ? Give me my spear ! The 
rebels have come!" — and, having obtained it, joined 
his comrades on the roof. Mr. Eijnhart said he would 
go for a moment to the house-top to see if there were 
really danger, and being alone with the child, I prayed 
that God would preserve us from falling alive into the 
hands of the Mohammedans. The noise soon ceased, 
and, to our joy, we found that it had been a false alarm 
caught up by the sentries around Kumbum, from those 
about Lusar, who had seen a large body of rebels pass- 
ing in the distance to pillage another village, and had 
given the note of alarm, thinking that we were to be 
attacked. This was only one of the many times that 
alarms were sounded during both night and day for 
the following months. 

Early the next morning the young fuyeh died, and 
his old uncle, to whom the little life was so precious, 
shortly afterwards committed suicide by taking a large 
dose of opium ; for he said he could not bear to live in 
prospect of the known possibility of seeing his elder 
brother die a third time! 

Om mani padme hum, the Sunrise comes! 

The Dewdrop slips into the shininp- Seal 
So sings the poet, but for that old lama there was 
neither sunrise nor shining sea, but, according to his 
own confession, grief, despair and darkness. 



CHAPTER IV 

WITH THE WOUNDED 

Refugees at Sining — Our Isolation at Kumbum — The 
Siege of Shen-Ch'un— To the Battlefield— A Ride 
for Life — Rout of the Mohammedans. 

Preparations for meeting the rebels went on apace. 
Sentries were placed on the lamasery towers and on 
the almost contiguous hills, ready to give the alarm 
when danger threatened. Crowds of lamas with drawn 
swords surged through the streets, or assembled on the 
house-tops to discuss the latest reports from the field. 
Our co-worker, Mr. Ferguson, having important busi- 
ness at Shanghai, decided to leave for the coast. It 
was a hazardous undertaking, yet it seemed inevitable. 
As the road was still open we accompanied him to 
Sining. Anticipating perilous times during the months 
to come, we thought we might not live to see him 
again. Moreover we desired, while still possible, to 
visit Mr. and Mrs. Ridley before being cut off alto- 
gether from all intercourse with European friends or 
from the sight of a white face, and again more par- 
ticularly, our presence in Sining was necessary in order 
to make final arrangements for Mr. Ferguson's jour- 
ney. As we went along there were no signs of 

68 



WITH THE WOUNDED 69 

trouble; in many of the villages the people did 
not seem to appreciate the gravity of the situation, 
for they were engaged in their ordinary avoca- 
tions; and, except a body of red-jacketed Chinese 
troops who crossed our path on their way to attack a 
rebel encampment in a town two days' journey to the 
north, we saw nothing to suggest the terror which had 
spread in other parts. Upon reaching Sining, however, 
we found the rebellion had been raging in earnest in 
the northern valley. Hundreds of homeless and 
wounded people seeking shelter were flocking into the 
already overcrowded city, where the temples were 
turned into temporary hospitals, to which the Chinese 
missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Eidley and Mr. Hall, daily 
repaired, ministering with soothing ointments to the 
poor creatures who had been burned in the flames that 
had turned their homes to ashes, and bandaging the 
ghastly wounds made by Mohammedan bullets and 
swords. Some of the wounded had crawled on their 
hands and knees for distances as great as seventeen 
miles, and arrived more dead than alive. As the 
refugees increased in number diphtheria and small- 
pox were rife, and Mrs. Ridley moved among the pa- 
tients stricken with these dread diseases hoping against 
the danger of infection to which herself and her 
precious little Dora, only a few months old, were sub- 
jected, yet not able to do otherwise than help to allevi- 
ate the awful suffering about her. Travel to Lancheo 
being still possible, though not very safe, Mr. Ferguson 
adhered to his purpose to press on to the coast, so we 
said good-bye to him and reluctantly turned back to 



70 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Kumbum, where we were soon completely isolated. 
Ten miles to the northwest of us the Mohammedans 
had massed in thousands at Topa, from which strong- 
hold marauding bands of them scoured the country 
between their own position and Kumbum, rendering 
it unsafe for anyone to venture more than two miles 
north of the lamasery; while five miles on the opposite 
side, the village of Shen-ch'un, the Mohammedan por- 
tion of whose inhabitants Joined the rebels, became a 
veritable seat of war. The combined rebel forces of 
Shen-ch'un and langmaoko, another village over the 
hills, blocked all the roads in their district and 
massacred the Chinese by hundreds. Thus impris- 
oned for nearly six months, we received no reliable in- 
formation as to what was happening at Sining and in 
other districts, but events around Kumbum were stir- 
ring enough and quite sufficient to absorb our atten- 
tion, until the road to Sining should be again open 
and we could learn the intervening history of the 
rebels' movements. 

Mina Fuyeh, for that was the Tcanpo's name, gave 
us every day new evidences of his friendship. Side by 
side with the problems of defending the lamasery and 
superintending the great priesthood, he seemed to have 
placed that of our personal safety. He had devised a 
plan whereby we might escape should the Moham- 
medans in superior force attack the lamasery, and 
should it become evident that the lamas could not re- 
pulse them. Under cover of darkness he proposed that 
we should flee with him to Kuei-teh, where he had a 
house and wher^ he would give us shelter, food and 
clothing until we could hear from the homeland. While 



WITH THE WOUNDED 71 

the road to Kuei-teh was yet passable, and the reports 
kept coming in that the rebels were burning one village 
after another, the Tcanpo sent trusty men thither with 
boxes containing his precious treasures. Eeturning to 
Kumbum the men were fallen upon by robbers, who 
made off with the hanpo's valuable mules, eleven in 
number, and severely wounded two of the men. So 
unsafe had the road become that even the kanpo's 
sacred possessions were not free from brigandage. 

The discussion of plans for our safety was appar- 
ently not premature, for every day came news of fresh 
victories for the Mohammedans, whose arms seemed 
to prevail on every hand. Every day refugees arrived 
at the lamasery; sick and wounded were brought in 
from all directions to receive our treatment, the news 
having spread that the foreign doctors, under the very 
roof and patronage of the abbot, were performing 
miracles of healing and were prepared to treat all who 
came to them. 

Among the most interesting of our patients was an 
old man, Chinese by birth, but possessing the courage 
and daring of a Tibetan, who had been appointed a 
leader over fifty of the local troops, and had set out 
one morning to aid some Chinese in an adjoining 
village to repulse an attack by rebels. Treacherously 
one of his men, a carpenter, had stabbed him in the 
elbow, some said because the former was in the pay 
of the Mohammedans, who were anxious to be rid of 
such an able opponent as Cheo Lao-yeh, the old man, 
was proving himself to be. They remembered his 
efficient service in the former rebellion, in which. 



72 WITH THE TIBETANS 

though wounded seven times, he had dealt them many a 
crushing defeat. The treacherous thrust had made an 
ugly wound in his arm, but the family being rich, and 
consequently able to give him every attention, while 
I spared no pains to aid in his recovery, each day 
marked improvement. His wife was a Mongol. His 
only child was an attractive young married woman of 
twenty wearing the Mongol costume, which was very 
becoming to her, while her pretty little baby com- 
pleted the family group and added much gladness to 
the lonely hours the old man spent on the k'ang. Many 
were the presents and incalculable kindnesses bestowed 
upon us by this man, and when later he died while we 
were away from home, he asked his daughter to give 
each of us a rosary he had worn, gifts which we prized 
very much for we knew they were tokens of sincere 
gratitude and love. 

Shen-ch'un was the scene of much strife, at first 
only between the Mohammedans and Chinese in- 
trenched in their respective forts, and consisting of bat- 
tles between small parties who would sally out to glean 
in the fields, or gather fuel, the successes and failures 
being about evenly divided between the opposing forces. 
By degrees the strength of the Chinese portion of the 
village had been reduced, the last detachment of young 
men having been completely cut to pieces during a 
sortie, so that the beleagured and helpless inhabitants, 
consisting now only of old men, women and children, 
appealed for succor to the lamas' army, and the local 
Chinese troops. Contrary to the abbot's wishes, the 
lama soldiers, having taken all their arms to a temple 
to be blessed, sallied out one morning to attack the 



WITH THE WOUNDED 73 

rebels. Their priestly robes thrown aside for the mo- 
ment, they wore the ordinary layman's red and yellow 
garments with multifold red turbans of raw silk wound 
around their heads. Armed with guns, swords, and 
spears, equally divided between infantry and cavalry, 
the latter being mounted on splendid ponies, the dark 
eyes of all flashing with rage and the thirst for re- 
venge, they presented such a warlike appearance as 
facilitated our realization of the gallant defense our 
lama army would offer in case the rebels attacked the 
lamasery fortress. Presently the Chinese soldiers 
from Lusar having formed in battle array, some wear- 
ing bright scarlet military jackets, but the majority 
clad in the blue of everyday life, marched out to join 
the lamas. A few were mounted and carried bright 
colored flags, while the remainder on foot were fur- 
nished with swords, and a few guns. The departure of 
the two detachments was among the most affecting 
and picturesque sights I have ever witnessed. The en- 
tire population of Kumbum and Lusar was massed 
on the flat roofs of the lamasery buildings to see them 
off, while above the din that rose from the multitude 
could be heard the click of prayer-wheels, ardent mut- 
terings of the mystic phrase, om mani padme hum, and 
low incantations of the remaining lamas, all of which 
augured success to their brothers-in-arms. The more 
daring mounted their horses and accompanied them to 
the summit of a hill which overlooked the scene of the 
impending battle, ourselves being among the number. 
The morning sun, now high in the heavens, gilded the 
crests of the distant hills and likewise threw his brill- 



74 WITH THE TIBETANS 

iant sheen upon the turbans, red, blue and yellow robes 
of the dusky lamas and bronzed-faced Chinamen, the 
many-colored banners of the mounted ensigns, the 
broad-bladed spears and swords, and the glittering 
caparisons of the fiery steeds, while every remaining 
dew drop amid the green sward over which they trod 
added its ray of splendor to the scene. Having accom- 
panied the troops to the brow of the hill, we watched 
their winding course through the valley and across the 
little river until they came into proximity to the Mo- 
hammedan fort. On the trail at a little distance be- 
hind the army stood the sung Icuan, with sword in hand, 
ready to kill the first Chinaman who should run away 
from the fight. It appears that the Chinese had in 
former crises left the lamas in the lurch, hence the 
effective measure to prevent a repetition of such 
cowardice. 

The storming of the fort was soon in full swing, the 
lamas doing the greater share of the fighting. In an 
attempt to set fire to the gate they were met by such 
showers of stones hurled down upon them from the 
wall that they were obliged to retreat, not without loss. 
But such fighting ability did they betray that the rebels, 
fearing another onslaught, summoned the aid of five 
hundred expert Salar marksmen, and reinforced by the 
latter made a fresh attack on the Chinese fort opposite 
them. While they had been engaged with the Kumbum 
troops, the Chinese women and what few old men were 
left, had placed great piles of stones on the walls, with 
which they expected to beat back the Mohammedans, 
or at least keep them from entering the gate; but the 



WITH THE WOUNDED 75 

latter, during the night, had quietly dug through the 
mud wall, several feet in thickness, and early next 
morning effected an entrance. The Chinese women 
fought like tigresses, and though many of them died 
like heroines in defense of their homes, they were of 
course overpowered. Almost the whole remaining 
population was put to the sword, except only a few, 
who made their escape to Kumbum. On the day of 
their arrival there was almost as much excitement as 
on the day of the departure of the troops. Again the 
roofs of the lamasery were crowded, as well as the 
streets, to see, as they passed through the gates, the 
sole survivors of the long siege, a few old men, some 
women and children, each carrying some sad memento 
of the sanguinary struggle, a bag of food, a basin or 
a brass pot, all that now remained to them in the world. 
What tales of woe and suffering were written in their 
sad faces ! Fathers and brothers slain and homes de- 
stroyed ! Only a sense of fear seemed to be left in 
their nature after so many long nights of dreadful 
vigil in the fort, their hearts filled with horror by the 
wanton cruelty and flagrant inhumanity with which 
the Mohammedans had treated even defenseless women 
and children. There were few dry eyes in Kumbum 
that morning. The sentiment of revenge was high, and 
what wonder? as tales kept pouring into the lamasery 
of women and children burned alive, of little shepherd 
boys pierced through and through while beside some 
stream they watched their fathers^ flocks, of little in- 
fants carried about on the points of spears, while ever 
and anon some wound-covered victim, perhaps a 



76 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Chinese woman with her small crippled feet, would 
crawl into the lamasery weak from the loss of blood, 
and death staring from the eyes. The Buddhist 
lamasery of Kumbum, like the Chinese temple of the 
God of Literature in Sining, had become a hospital, 
and our hands were full. Among the patients whose 
sufferings most touched our hearts was a child brought 
to us with sixteen spear thrusts in his little body. Ten- 
derly we cared for him, and to our great joy he got well. 
Soon after the stirring episode of Shen-ch'un a body 
of Chinese and Tibetan soldiers, armed with foreign 
guns, under Commander Li, an old opium smoker, 
came to Kiai-ya, a well fortified Chinese village one 
mile from the cluster of forts that had in part been 
wrenched from those brave Chinese women, and we all 
felt that probably the day of retribution for the Mo- 
hammedans was at hand. In the morning in good 
order the former attacked one side of the rebel posi- 
tion, while the lama army simultaneously assaulted the 
other; bodies of Mohammedan horsemen were seen to 
be parrying the attacks and endeavoring to mislead the 
soldiers, but with great force the two opposing bodies 
met and the Tibetans had at dark almost won the day, 
when, for some mysterious reason, a retreat was or- 
dered by Commander Li, and the whole army returned. 
In the morning it was expected, of course, that another 
attack would be made, but it was learned that so far 
as Li Lao-yeh was concerned, the Mohammedans might 
remain in peace; and it was so loudly whispered that 
he had " eaten Mohammedan silver," or in other words, 
been bribed, that he lost his prestige, and if he did not 



WITH THE WOUNDED 77 

lose his head, it was only because the peh-sing, or com- 
mon people, could not get their hands on him to carry 
out the sentence which all had passed on him in their 
minds. 

Though numbers of the rebels had fallen during the 
day's fighting, the casualties among the Chinese and 
Tibetans were also serious. Early in the day a band 
of twenty soldiers came to the lamasery requesting Mr. 
Rijnhart and myself to go to the battlefield and look 
after their wounded companions, offering themselves 
as our escort to the scene of carnage. The prospect of 
riding to within a mile of the rebel position was not in- 
viting, but when we thought of the sufferings of our 
lama soldiers, and our ability to help those who had 
risked their lives in defense of helpless women and 
children, and who might ere long be called upon to de- 
fend us at the lamasery, and remembering that we 
were servants of Him who "went about healing all 
that were oppressed," we hesitated not. Having pre- 
pared our surgical and medical supplies we rode off 
with our escort, each one of whom was armed to the 
teeth. As we traveled on among the hills, some acted 
as scouts to see that the road was clear, while the 
others surrounding us sought to make us feel safe in 
their keeping, at the same time expressing their grati- 
tude to us for having come. 

On our arrival at the village we found it teeming 
with soldiers, some of whom ushered us at once into 
the quarters of the wounded. We worked hard all 
day bandaging cuts and extracting bullets, attending 
to the most serious cases first, but at sunset we had not 



78 WITH THE TIBETANS 

come to the end of the list. Feeling it was unwise 
to pass the night so near the Mohammedan position, 
especially as every available corner in the village was 
already occupied by soldiers, we decided to return to 
Kumbum, intending to finish treating the wounded 
men on the following day. Silently, accompanied by 
our escort, we traveled homeward under the light of the 
harvest moon, our scouts peering through every valley 
and defile, lest haply we might be fallen upon by lurk- 
ing Mohammedan horsemen. On our arrival at Kum- 
bum we found the lamasery gates closed, and as the 
eye of the sentry caught sight of such a large body of 
soldiers, he became suspicious and refused to admit 
us, fearing some kind of treachery or strategem. The 
lamas gathered on the roof, Mr. Rijnhart stepped out 
where he could be heard and shouted to them that he was 
the foreign doctor returning from a visit to the wound- 
ed, and that the soldiers were his escort. I also spoke 
up corroborating Mr. Rijnhart's words, whereupon the 
gate-keeper cautiously opened the ponderous gate and 
let us in. 

Shortly after sunrise next day we started again for 
Kiai-ya. The morning air was crisp and exhilarating, 
and we rode with a feeling of greater repose than on the 
evening previous. As yet very few people were astir, 
here a lama carrying a water-bucket on his broad back, 
there an early traveler setting out for the Lusar market, 
or a farmer with a donkey-load of straw, or fen-Jcuai- 
tsi, argols pressed into brick form, to be sold to the 
lamas. When we reached Kiai-ya we found our wounded 
men doing well, and by noon we had attended to the 



WITH THE WOUNDED 79 

cases left over from the preceding day. Our reputation 
having spread through the village we were called upon 
to visit a young girl of sixteen who had been accidentally 
shot below the left knee two months before. The wound 
was a ghastly sight, the leg being shattered for sev- 
eral inches. Native doctors could do nothing ; the limb 
had not even been bandaged. Only after such a sight 
does one appreciate the blessings which the sciences of 
medicine and surgery lay at the feet of the sick and 
suffering in Christian lands. We informed the girl's 
friends that only the amputation of the diseased mem- 
ber could effect a cure, a proposal which they resolutely 
refused to entertain, in accordance with the Confucian 
teaching that a person should quit this life with an 
entire body. And so we had to leave her, though the 
whole house reeked with the stench of the wound, nor 
were we surprised to hear shortly afterwards that she 
was dead. 

Our medical work being done, we were sitting in the 
yamen being entertained at luncheon by the Chinese 
commander, when suddenly the call to arms was beaten 
and the alarm given that the Mohammedans in large 
forces were issuing from their stronghold. While the 
soldiers seized their weapons and rushed into battle 
array, we demanded our escort and set out for home. 
The first part of the way led along a hollow road worn 
deep with the travel of ages, with sides so steep and 
high, that everything was concealed from view, and 
when we had emerged from it, on an incline overlook- 
ing the valley, we saw galloping toward us a body of 
rebel horsemen, who had seen us leave Kiai-ya and 



80 WITH THE TIBETANS 

were endeavoring to head us off. The Tibetans spurr- 
ing on our horses we rode for our lives, gaining in 
speed as we galloped down the hillside, at times the 
feet of our animals scarcely seeming to touch the 
ground. There was not only the danger of our being 
overtaken by our pursuers. Who knew but at any turn 
we might be met by another band ? Perhaps already 
they were hurrying to meet us along another road that 
joined the one we were traveling on, not far from the 
lamasery. 

We were not the only ones who had taken to flight. 
The feeling of alarm at the rebels' sally having spread 
among all the villages, and even among travelers who 
had heard the news as they journeyed along, many 
were fleeing for their lives on the same road as our- 
selves. Not far off, galloping over the hills and 
valleys we saw a Koko-nor Tibetan, preferring, accord- 
ing to habit, the rough ground to the smooth road, pre- 
senting a doubly awkward appearance in his bulky 
sheepskin gown inflated by the wind, and his unwieldy 
matchlock shifting about with every plunge of his pony, 
which with shouts and various gesticulations, he urged 
on toward the lamasery. Safely passing the junction 
of the roads where we had feared to meet a second band 
of rebels, and having far outrun our pursuers whom the 
hills now hid from view, we dismissed our escort, 
thinking the moment opportune for them to turn about 
unobserved and go back to the village by another route. 
Then scarcely slackening our speed we rode on alone, 
overtaking many men and women who had been out 
in the fields gathering argols and grain, now dazed with 



WITH THE WOUNDED 81 

fear and running helter-skelter toward the haven for 
which we also were aiming. On reaching the lama- 
sery, we found the roofs crowded with our lama friends, 
who had been apprised by the sentries of the rebels' 
mancEuvre, and had been anxious as to our fate. How 
welcome the sense of safety as we passed behind the 
huge gate that shut our enemies outside. Had our 
ponies stumbled or any other accident impeded our 
progress; had there been any difficulty at the gate as 
on the preceding night, any delay of five minutes 
would have made it forever impossible for us to tell 
the tale. Jambula, an old Mongol lama living in the 
room near ours, who had become very much attached 
to us, almost wept when taking my husband by the 
hands, he told us how concerned he had been for our 
safety and how glad he was to see us back alive. 

There was great rejoicing when it was reported that 
General Ho in command of ten thousand soldiers well 
armed with foreign guns had pressed his way past the 
rebels who had been massed in great numbers in the 
Siao-hsia or " Narrow Gorge ", where they had hoped 
to cut off the advance of the imperial troops. General 
Ho's army was so formidable that the rebels, on being 
advised to disband rather than be cut to pieces, had 
acted the part of discretion and left for home, thus 
leaving free passage to General Ho, who soon arrived at 
Sining and joined hands with Brigadier-General Teng, 
the chen-tai, or chief military official of the city. The 
chen-tai deserves the credit of keeping the rebels in 
check until the arrival of the reinforcements; and the 
excellent service rendered by the latter with their heavy 



82 WITH THE TIBETANS 

cannon, well-manned, and firing balls strong enough 
to shatter the Mohammedan defence-tower, temporarily 
freed the city from danger and made it possible for the 
united imperial troops to hasten to the relief of Shen- 
ch'un. The announcement that the imperial army was 
coming to storm Shen-ch'un caused thrilling excitement 
and deep-felt joy throughout the villages near Kumbum 
and on the road to Sining. The day that the army 
was expected, nearly all the Lusar people went either to 
a hill commanding a good view of the scene of battle, 
or towards the forts in order to plunder as soon as an 
entry into Mohammedan quarters had been made by 
the conquering hero, Brigadier-General Teng, who was 
to those Chinese what Lord Roberts is to the British 
army and Admiral Dewey to the American, the idol of 
the people. A squadron of cavalry came into sight 
along the ISTan Chuan or Southern Valley. We could 
see their numerous bright pennons waving in the 
breeze, the great cannon drawn by mules, and the chen- 
tai conspicuous by his brilliant uniform and white 
steed, leading the procession. Then followed the infan- 
try, all in much better marching order than any Chinese 
soldiers we had previously seen. On they came amid 
the cheers of the people on the hills and the quaking 
hearts of the Mohammedans, who were no doubt watch- 
ing from their loop-holes. Soon they had halted near 
the rebel forts where they were welcomed by the Chinese 
and lama leaders of the local troops that had gone 
forth to meet them. The cannon was brought into 
good position for aiming at the weakest fort, the sol- 
diers were placed in battle order, while the langmaoko 



WITH THE WOUNDED 83 

Mohammedans dashed courageously down the hills to 
help their comrades even against such odds. A puff 
of smoke from the cannon, a crash, and down went 
part of the tower, attended by a dense cloud of dust 
and deafening cheers from our neighbors on the hills, 
while a look through our telescope told us that one 
end of the far from impregnable tower was gone. A 
few more well-aimed shots reduced the wall, and Gen- 
eral Ho, commanding a regiment, rushed upon one of 
the forts, the general himself being shot in the thigh 
as a result. Mohammedans fled in groups up the hill, 
hoping to escape across to another valley, but they 
only fell into the hands of soldiers who had concealed 
themselves in a hollow road to cut off any retreat. Many 
a mounted fugitive we saw fall from his horse, as sud- 
denly a crouching Chinaman leaped up and transfixed 
him with his spear. Those who got out of the reach of 
sword and spear were picked off by the unerring bullet. 
The entire hillside had become a battle-field, the 
autumnal grass being literally stained with blood. It 
was a terrible sight for us; but to the Chinese and 
Tibetans there was in it the sweetness of revenge. Un- 
speakable, indeed, was the retribution that now fell 
upon those who, when they had the upper hand, hesi- 
tated at no cruelty and stooped to every atrocity known 
to the darkened mind of man. Several forts were taken 
before dusk and as the Chinese object to fighting in 
the dark, they withdrew, but General Teng placed his 
forces so that the besieged might not escape during the 
night. As we saw several wounded being carried in from 
the field, we betook ourselves to their quarters* to render 



84 WITH THE TIBETANS 

them whatever service we could. We were shown into 
a little room, a few feet long, with only a window a 
foot square, from which a soldier, by vigorously using 
a whip, kept the heads of the curious ones from shut- 
ting out the light, while a number of orderlies amid 
general shouting, kept us supplied with warm and cold 
water, wood for splints and other necessities. When 
we succeeded in extracting a bullet from a soldier's limb 
he would ask to see it, and when it was given to him 
he would take it between his teeth and gnash and grind 
it in revenge for the pain and suffering it had caused 
him. Always we found that in the minds of the 
wounded, the main hope of recovery as well as of the 
cessation of pain, lay in the extraction of the bullet. 
Darkness overtook us before we had treated all our 
wounded that night, and as we wended our way through 
the narrow streets of the small village of twenty homes 
that quartered two thousand troops, we saw soldiers 
sleeping spear in hand, lying in corners of courtyards 
and along the streets all worn out with the day's fight- 
ing, yet ready on the slightest alarm to follow their 
trusted leader to new dangers and new victories. 

Just as we were ready to retire a loud knocking at 
our front gate announced the arrival of visitors, who 
proved to be some soldiers coming to invite Mr. Eijn- 
hart to go with them to see a corporal who had been shot 
in the mouth. Though conscious of the risk, he accom- 
panied them to the village where the chen-tai was quar- 
tered and was ushered into the presence of his patient, 
who was swearing in a loud voice and abusing everyone 
that came within his hearing. The bullet was imbedded 



WITH THE WOUNDED 85 

between the gum and the cheek and had to be probed 
for. During the operation the corporal swore and is- 
sued rough commands to his men whenever the instru- 
ment allowed him an opportunity to use his tongue. 
Mr. Eijnhart maintained that there was a mingling of 
the pathetic and ridiculous in the rage which his pa- 
tient manifested over being obliged to carry in his 
mouth even for a short time a rebel's bullet. 

The chen-tai, though such an efficient general, had 
not made his investment of the besieged forts complete, 
for during the night stealthily the Mohammedans with- 
drew with their families and valuables. Making their 
way through the ranks of the enemy, they effected 
their escape to Topa, and the following morning the 
soldiers and a swarm of feh sing who intended to loot 
and plunder, entered the deserted houses, finding bread 
half-baked in the fire, and other tokens of a hasty flight. 
The Lusar people returned after they had secured their 
booty, presenting an amusing scene with their prizes, 
which were for the most part worthless baggage, old 
tables, cupboards, broken pots, worn out bags with per- 
haps a little grain. We realized how bitter was the feel- 
ing against the rebels when we heard many express 
such delight at the great massacre of Mohammedans of 
the day before, for eight hundred had been killed. 



CHAPTER V 

MISSIONS AND MASSACEES 

Bible School at Lusar — Mohammedan Kevolt at Sin- 
ing — Terrible Slaughter by Imperial Soldiers — The 
Fall of Topa — Peace at Last. 

In the midst of these stirring times when thoughts 
of murder and revenge were uppermost in the people's 
minds, we endeavored to carry on the work of preach- 
ing and teaching as well as of healing. The abbot's in- 
vitation to reside in the lamasery we could but inter- 
pret as a divine call to a larger field of usefulness, and 
the influence which his patronage gave us in the eyes 
of the people was but another name for opportunity — 
a sacred trust for which we felt we should be held re- 
sponsible. Priests and laymen, women and children, 
rallied round us, consulting us in their difficulties and 
giving us every evidence of their trust in us. One of 
the most encouraging features of our missionary work 
was the Bible School, which was begun soon after our 
removal to the lamasery, and held every Wednesday and 
Sunday afternoon in our house at Lusar. The children, 
who had become attached to us, even following us in 
the street, were easily gathered in and became at once 
interested in the colored Bible pictures that hung on 

86 



MISSIONS AND MASSACRES 87 

our walls. The lessons embraced the salient points in 
Bible history and doctrine, beginning with the story of 
Creation and the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament 
and ending with the death and resurrection of Jesus 
in the New. We also gave them talks on the Life and 
Journeys of St. Paul. How delighted they were at the 
story of Jacob's ladder, telling us, as they gazed on the 
picture, that they, too, would like to climb that ladder 
to be among the angels. Soon not only the children 
but also the mothers came to the lessons. All were 
touched by the story of the Good Samaritan. " The 
priest and the Levite are just like our priests," said 
one woman. " They, too, pass by on the other side when 
anyone is in trouble." The women were particularly 
interested in the miracle at the gate of Nain. Our pic- 
ture showed a city gate just like a Chinese one, and 
that made it so vivid; and then the women could enter 
into the mother's grief at the death of a son and share 
her joy when the Great Physician restored the vital 
spark. Other pictures and the lessons suggested by 
them made deep impressions, viz: The Healing of 
Blind Bartimeus, The Prodigal Son, The Death, Eesur- 
rection and Ascension of Jesus, Paul chained to a 
Roman Soldier, and Peter in Prison. 

Special mention must be made of one little Tibetan 
boy who never forgot anything we told him ; the amount 
of Bible knowledge he acquired was truly astonishing, 
and I fondly believe that his heart was good ground, 
and that some day the good seed sovra in it will bring 
forth fruit. I shall never forget how heartily the child- 
ren sang the hymns which with great difficulty we 



88 WITH THE TIBETANS 

taught them. The Tibetans, we found, possess much 
better ideas of melody than the Chinese. The discords 
at first were shocking, but by the help of Mr. Kijnhart's 
concertina and my violin the tunes were carried through. 
On Christmas of 1895 we gave the children a feast of 
waffles and milk tea. Some of the women present said 
that if their people followed our doctrine they would 
be better, and added that we taught the children only 
what was good. Mr. Rijnhart spoke much with the 
lamas about religious matters, losing no opportunity of 
pressing the Gospel message. Ishinima declared that if 
the Mohammedans did not come to attack Lusar and 
Kumbum it would be because we were there and had 
prayed to the " Heavenly Ruler " to guard us, and to 
our certain knowledge Ishinima himself laid aside a 
Buddha idol which he had always taken to bed for pro- 
tection, and put his trust in the " Heavenly Euler." 

The Chinese said we were carrying on our mission for 
the purpose of accumulating merit for ourselves, al- 
though they did not dispute that our work was good. 
They seemed incapable of conceiving the possibility of 
a single disinterested action, much less a life of altru- 
ism, and still less a mission of sacrifice and service out 
of love to God and man. 

The fall of Shen-ch'un, described in the preceding 
chapter, led to the temporary opening of the road to 
Sining, though as yet only large bodies of men would 
attempt the journey, for thousands of Mohammedans 
roamed about the valleys on either side of the Nan 
Chuan sweeping everything before them. Strange as 
it may seem, though Sining was not twenty miles from 



MISSIONS AND MASSACEES 89 

us, we knew very little about the progress of the rebel- 
lion in its vicinity, so close had been the investment of 
Kumbum and the surrounding villages. At length we 
learned that for months after the rebellion broke out 
the Mohammedans in the large eastern suburb of the 
city had remained neutral, and had emphatically ex- 
pressed their intention to take no part whatever in the 
struggle of their co-religionists. But the Chinese did 
not trust their word implicitly, and kept thousands of 
soldiers on the city walls, being especially vigilant on 
the side overlooking the Mohammedan quarter. The 
double gates had been barricaded and all the houses 
near the walls had been destroyed, lest they might be 
used for protection in case of an attack. On September 
1, owing, no doubt, to reported successes of the rebel 
arms elsewhere, that which was long feared took place. 
The Mohammedans in the suburb began to attack the 
city, and their cannon played with great precision on 
the troops stationed on the wall. The chen-tai's gun- 
ners also made good practice on the rebels who swarmed 
on the walls of the suburb, and so courageous and 
determined were the latter that when the man who 
served the cannon was struck he was dragged away 
by another, who took his place, and this was re- 
peated six times. When shortly afterwards the gov- 
ernment troops occupied the suburb a man was 
found pinned to his cannon, having been killed while 
standing bravely at his post. For days the long 
Kuan, or " Eastern Suburb," provided a safe re- 
treat for rebels from surrounding districts who were 
daring enough to brave the cavalry of the chen-tai. 



90 WITH THE TIBETANS 

and approach the very wall of the city, while the thou- 
sands of courageous inhabitants of the suburb seemed 
to be filled with recklessness; for, devoid of all fear, 
they swarmed over the hills adjacent to the city, 
apparently unaffected by the rifles and cannon of 
the Chinese troops, who were straining every effort 
to hold the city until reinforcements arrived. Noth- 
ing incensed the Chinese more than the willful 
destruction of the beautiful Nan Hsi Si temples on a 
hill just beside the city walls, to which the Sining peo- 
ple resorted sometimes for worship, and sometimes to 
witness theatrical performances. These temples were 
the pride of the district and so strong was the popular 
feeling regarding their destruction, that as soon as the 
war was over, the chen-tai and his troops undertook 
the work of rebuilding them, sparing no pains to restore 
their former beauty and magnificence. 

After ineffectual attempts to storm the city, the 
Tong Kuan Mohammedans assumed an inoffensive atti- 
tude, and finally tendered submission to the city gov- 
ernment, an act that was never looked upon with favor 
on account of their great treachery in rebelling at all. 
When General Li with his troops arrived from Lan- 
cheo at the city gates, he was not allowed to enter 
because his coming had not been officially announced, 
but being regarded as a sympathizer with the rebels, 
was compelled to take up quarters in the suburb with 
the Mohammedans. He it was who had advised the 
latter to give up further resistance at the Siao Hsia, 
and acted as arbitrator or mediator between the bellig- 
erents, even calling a meeting of all the rebel chiefs 



MISSIONS AND MASSACRES 91 

from the Northern Valley and Topa to discuss terms 
of peace. Communication with Lancheo was now 
opened, bodies of soldiers were stationed along the roads, 
and reinforcements began to arrive in large numbers 
at Sining. We took advantage of the situation to pay 
a visit to the latter city. With what delight we anti- 
cipated, and how much we enjoyed, a reunion with 
the missionaries there, may be imagined, for six long 
weary months had passed away since we had seen a 
white face. 

Soon after our return to Kumbum some of the Tong 
Kuan Mohammedans, fearing treachery on the part 
of the Chinese, quietly left Sining for other places, and 
one of them, disguised as an ordinary Chinaman, ar- 
rived at Lusar, but was recognized by some one and 
put to death. As his captors were cutting his throat 
with a very blunt knife, he told them to use a sharper 
one and to be quick about it. About noon that day a 
young farmer came to our door bringing on the end 
of a stick a human heart, saying that he had been told 
we foreigners used parts of the human body to make 
medicine of, and he had brought us the heart of a 
Mohammedan for sale, expecting a large price for it. 
He was disappointed and even incredulous when we 
said we never used any part of the human body for 
such a purpose. The belief of the Chinese that foreign- 
ers in this way manufacture medicines is made much 
of by the " Boxers " and other fanatics, and is the 
cause that leads up to many anti-foreign riots, in 
which mission houses are looted and the missionaries 
themselves sometimes killed. 



92 WITH THE TIBETANS 

There was considerable traffic on the Sining road and 
by means of messages that came up^ and our repeated 
visits, we were thenceforth able to follow the course 
of events in and around the city. Toward the end 
of February General Wei arrived at Sining with his 
army of soldiers from Central China, determined to 
settle the Mohammedans of the Tong Kuan once for 
all. For this purpose thousands of the Emperor's 
soldiers were quartered in the suburb. Eighty-five of 
the young leaders were captured, led into the city amid 
the cheers of the excited and delighted populace, and 
beheaded in the front of the chen-tai yamen, the heads 
and bodies being thrown outside of the western gate 
where the dogs that had been half starved for months 
snapped and snarled, while they feasted on human flesh. 
The work of carnage then began in the suburb and thou- 
sands of men, women and children were ruthlessly mas- 
sacred by the imperial soldiers, some said by Hunan 
men, others by Sining men, for all recognized that 
the slaughter of those defenseless people was a breach 
of honor, a disgrace to the army, and so endeavored 
to shift the responsibility of the deed. Many a meal 
of human hearts and livers was partaken of by soldiers, 
who were anxious to possess the courage their enemies 
had displayed; and believing that the qualities would 
be transferred from the eaten heart to the one who de- 
voured it, they lost no opportunity of in this way pos- 
sessing themselves of the admired reckless daring of 
the rebels. 

As Topa had been the refuge of the Mohammedans 
from captured villages, it was also the center from 



MISSIONS AND MASSACKES 93 

whicli the armed rebels had sallied forth on their war- 
like manoeuvres, and at the time General Wei had 
arrived at Sining, was the stronghold where it was 
estimated that forty thousand were prepared to make a 
final stand against the government troops. The chen- 
tai and his soldiers occupied Chen hai pu, a well forti- 
fied impregnable Chinese fort a mile from Topa, which 
latter was situated across the Hsi-ho river that pro- 
tected it on one side as there was no bridge, while 
hills surrounded it on the other sides, providing on 
the whole, a strong position for defense. At the invi- 
tation of one of the commanders of the Chinese army, 
we went to the above mentioned fort, where we treated 
all the wounded and sick soldiers during the remaining 
time that hostilities were in operation. On our arrival, 
we found the place full of troops, and were it not for 
the influence of some leaders we would have had no 
room to stay in; and even then, we shared one corner 
of the Vang where slept nearly a dozen men, women 
and children who had vacated every other room in 
the house for the Sining troops, while the Hunan army 
was stationed outside the fort in tents. "We were not 
long there before we had many wounded to treat, and 
in the evening we mounted steps up to the wall and 
had a good view of the great fort of Topa and sur- 
rounding country. The suburbs of Chen hai pu had 
been destroyed by the Chinese themselves, temples, 
shops and houses having been almost razed to the 
ground, while every available tree had been used for 
fuel. The wall had heaps of stones that were intended 
for use in times of attack, and little mud-brick houses 



94 WITH THE TIBETANS 

had been built only a few feet apart along the whole 
length of the wall, to be used as protection during the 
cold nights of the winter, while the appointed guard pa- 
trolled the walls, the citizens taking this task in turns. 
As we walked on the wall we met Brigadier-General 
Teng, the chen-tai of Sining, an unassuming man 
dressed plainly and with such a pleasant smile as he 
greeted us in passing, for no one appreciated more than 
he the services rendered the sufferers in the rebellion 
by the missionaries in Sining and Kumbum. He re- 
turned to the former place with all his soldiers the 
following day and the task of reducing Topa fell to 
General Wei, half of whose troops were quartered out- 
side Chen hai pu and half at Heh tsui tsi on the river 
five miles beyond, so that they held the Mohammedan 
stronghold between two bodies of men, who unfortun- 
ately, did not and would not work in unison during an 
attack; yet they both did good service, as a result of 
which thousands of Mohammedans were killed and 
wounded, and the others became demoralized. With 
other spectators we watched from the wall the bom- 
bardment of Topa, on more than one occasion, and no- 
ticed with what precision and order the foot soldiers, 
who had received foreign drill, marched onward in a 
black mass to the attack, while the cavalry — who were, 
as a rule, unaccustomed to ride over such uneven 
ground as the harvest fields about the forts — rode on in 
full tilt against the Mohammedans who endeavored to 
meet the attacking party and turn it outside the fort. 
Once the cavalry put one party of five hundred rebels to 
flight back toward the gates which had been closed by 



MISSIONS AND MASSACRES 95 

the frenzied people within, and only a half dozen of that 
party escaped, the remainder having been killed just 
beside their own gates. The casualties among the 
Chinese cavalry that day were large, but their victory 
was a telling one, and had its effect in bringing home 
to the Mohammedans the hopelessness of their struggle. 
Another bombardment was planned in which the in- 
fantry and cannon attacked one side while the cavalry 
engaged the other. We repaired to the camps of the 
soldiers as the wounded had begun to arrive, carried in 
by their companions sometimes in a basket made from 
a garment hung on a spear, sometimes on a man's back, 
but always with tenderness. They lay in rows in the 
open beside the tents, while, as swiftly as we could, we 
gave each one in his turn the attention he needed, the 
patient's companions running after water and whatever 
was necessary ; and so for hours and hours, as the battle 
raged outside, the men were brought in and laid down 
to await their treatment. The hundreds of wounded 
that received attention those days necessitated the use 
of so many bandages and dressings that the demand for 
suitable cloth was supplied by using our sheets and 
pillow cases that had been provided for use in a hospital 
which we had hoped to found at Lusar. The commander 
had put at our disposal a puhtsi or shop, to which the 
wounded who could walk came for dressings, and those 
who could not come were treated in their tents in the 
different camps. Our food was brought to us already 
prepared from the commander's kitchen, a great help 
indeed, for the immense number of soldiers made food 
very scarce, and, besides, we had no kitchen in our 



96 WITH THE TIBETANS 

" shop." The men from Central China who had been 
accustomed to rice food fared very poorly in Chen hai 
pu, for only flour could be bought, and they did not know- 
how to prepare m'ien, but put it in large lumps instead 
of thin strips into the water, and as a result ate indiges- 
tible pieces of tough half-cooked dough. This lack of 
proper food, the cold to which they were unaccustomed 
and for which they were inadequately clad, the 
deep cellars they dug under their tents to provide more 
room for the thirteen men quartered in each tent, where 
their cooking also had to be done, caused an outbreak 
of disease among the troops, so that we had in all a thou- 
sand or more patients. Many of the wounded men re- 
ceived rice, vermicelli and eggs from us, or they would 
certainly have succumbed to their wounds. Also, we 
used our influence with the commanders, inducing them 
to provide from their personal stores some suitable 
food for their men. 

The practice made by the gunners of these troops was 
bad; hence the cannon were of very little use, and the 
land torpedoes that had been placed were of no avail, 
for the Mohammedans did not pass over the spot where 
they had been buried. One had in the night been put 
Just outside one of the gates of the rebel fort, where it 
was discovered very early the following morning by a 
little group of Mohammedans who cut the wire attached 
to it, carried it into the fort and instead of knocking 
it open, as a Chinaman would have done, buried it 
where it could do no harm; but the torpedoes filled 
them with fear and superstition, for soon afterwards 
they proffered submission, which was accepted on con- 



MISSIONS AND MASSACKES 97 

dition that their leaders and all their arms should be 
brought to Chen hai pu. This was done and bodies of 
rebels guarded by troops marched past our door, with 
large bundles of guns and spears over their shoulders, 
and when they had deposited them at the yamen were 
allowed to return to their homes, the leaders alone hav- 
ing been retained. These latter, stripped to the waist, 
were marched past our door two by two to the outside 
of the city gate, and beheaded, each by one stroke of 
a soldier's knife. The bodies were buried and the heads 
carried in baskets back to the yamen, one occasionally 
rolling out into the dust in the road. Such scenes 
have a demoralizing effect on a community, and in 
this generation the evil effects of that rebellion with its 
cruelty and bloodshed, will have worn away neither 
from the Mohammedans nor Chinese. 

Not long afterwards we were provided with a " shop " 
in Topa where were quartered certain detachments of 
imperial troops which had all left Chen hai pu, and 
after a little hesitation I went with my husband and a 
large escort of picked men well mounted into the rebel 
town. We found that the suburbs had been almost de- 
stroyed in the bombardment by cannon, also that the 
Chinese temples having been used by the Mohammedans 
as dwellings, were scarcely injured. There were two 
walls around Topa, an exterior and an interior one, the 
latter surrounding a closely built fort, separated from 
the other by many buildings. Within the outer 
wall had been dug deep trenches for further defence, 
and it was plain that had the troops succeeded in forc- 
ing an entrance into the outer fort, thousands would 



98 WITH THE TIBETANS 

have fallen, for the Mohammedans were well armed 
with guns, swords and spears, even foreign guns be- 
ing possessed in large numbers. The Mohammedan 
woman who owned the shop we wgre in, told me that 
even before the final bombardment, many of the young 
Mohammedan men had been killed, and she said that 
most of them were pressed into the fray by circum- 
stances and the commands of their leaders. She and 
her husband, a shoe-maker by trade, had lived in the 
suburbs of Chen hai pu, and having been warned by the 
Chinese one day, had gone to Topa to sleep, not taking 
anything with them except the clothing they wore and 
a little money. That very night the Chinese had at- 
tacked the suburb, stolen what they could and destroyed 
every house and temple. They were then forced to re- 
main in Topa, but her husband kept out of sight as 
much as possible, refusing to take any part in the fight- 
ing, until one morning he found a small piece of paper 
at his door with an order from the leader or ahon for 
him to join a sortie in the valley toward Sining. Hav- 
ing no horse, but not daring to disobey, for that would 
mean death, her husband took a spear and joined the 
party of two hundred, only eighteen of whom returned 
alive, he not being of the number. 

The war was now practically over. A large propor- 
tion of the fighting men of Topa had been killed, some 
had submitted, while fully 20,000 fled toward Turkes- 
tan, spreading consternation among the nomads of the 
Koko-nor, as they passed through their country, plun- 
dering and devastating without mercy. Many of them 
perished of cold and starvation on the desolate plains. 



MISSIONS AND MASSACRES 99 

General Wei and his troops returned to Sining, while 
General Teng, a military officer of still higher rank, 
took his place, and, saying that his predecessor had no 
authority to accept submission on the conditions he had 
made, he demanded one thousand more heads of lead- 
ers. These were reluctantly and yet speedily caught by 
their companions, taken down to Sining and beheaded. 
The remaining population of Topa were robbed by the 
soldiers of almost everything of value they possessed, 
and were then sent to the small northern valley where 
they were permitted to reside, their lands having been 
confiscated. Thus the Government of China had dis- 
played, through the commanders of its army, such 
treachery and lack of honor as might easily lead to 
fresh trouble, and yet the Mohammedans around Sining 
have received such a crushing defeat as to render them 
unable to rebel, unless as a revenge for the atrocities 
in the Tong Kuan, those of Hocheo should sweep all 
before them, capture Sining, which would make an ad- 
mirable stronghold, and gain possession of the whole 
western portion of Kansu. Tankar has no more Mo- 
hammedans, the people having at the command of the 
official, fallen upon the few hundred residing there, 
slaughtering them all. The walls of Topa have been 
almost leveled, the beautiful mosque has been destroyed, 
and the green tiles and bricks composing it have been 
taken to Sining at the order of the fu-tai to be used 
probably for building temples for the Chinese. The 
only Mohammedans to be seen for somo time afterwards 
in the Tong Kuan were beggars, and those who had 
come to sell small wares, and I understand that the 



100 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Sining authorities are not again to permit them to re- 
side even in a suburb, though if they adhere to their pur- 
pose, trade will not be by any means so brisk. 

All the troops from Central China were disbanded in 
Western Kansu and as many of them had no means of 
livelihood, they became highwaymen, being as much 
a terror to the timid Chinese as had been the Moham- 
medans, for they attacked and killed without mercy. 

As a total of 100,000 were estimated to have been 
slain during the war, there were in many districts no 
farmers left to cultivate the land, and in some places 
the people had great difficulty in getting enough seed 
to sow and implements to work with, though the offi- 
cials had granted considerable relief for this purpose. 
When the harvest had been sown, it was in large part 
destroyed by rats, which, attracted probably by so many 
bodies that had been given improper burial, spread like 
another army over the fields, leaving waste and sorrow- 
ing hearts behind it. For these various reasons, there 
was, when even two summers had intervened after the 
war, great want among the laboring classes, and years 
will elapse before even in a slight degree the effects 
of the rebellion will wear away. 

When peace had been declared Mr. Eijnhart, to the 
consternation of both Tibetans and Chinese, went to 
the Mohammedan quarters at Topa to treat the Moham- 
medan wounded. It had been understood that because 
we had helped the Chinese and Tibetan soldiers, there- 
fore we shared their hatred of their enemies and could 
not possibly have a kind thought for them. When they 
saw that the missionary was just as kind and tender to 



MISSIONS AND MASSACEES 101 

the Mohammedans as to themselves, they were utterly 
amazed. The law of Christian kindness impelling love 
and mercy even for one's enemies was vividly brought 
to their attention, and some, as they pondered the les- 
son, thought again of the colored Bible picture on the 
wall of our house in Lusar — the picture of the Good 
Samaritan. There they had learned the lesson in story 
— the missionary had translated it into action. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE LAMASERY OF KUMBUM 

Tibetan Lamaseries — Legend of Tsong K'aba — Origin 
of Kumbum — The Gold Tiled Temple and Sacred 
Tree — Nocturnal Devotions and Worship of the But- 
ter God. 

The lamaseries in Central Asia are, like the cathe- 
drals in Europe, the most imposing monuments of re- 
ligious life ; but while the spires and domes of the latter 
tower above the teeming city and look down upon all 
the refinements and activities of civilization, these rude 
sanctuaries of Buddhism are frequently situated in 
the most secluded and sometimes even in the most in- 
accessible spots on the rugged Tibetan plateau. Some 
of them are miles away from any village or encamp- 
ment, and though they cannot boast the exquisite ar- 
tistic finish and massive splendor of Cologne, Strass- 
burg or San Marco, yet they possess a sturdy pictur- 
esqueness all their own. They are built sometimes in 
a sheltered ravine, but more usually on the mountain 
side, often perched high upon some jutting mass of 
rock, and reached after laborious climbing by means 
of zig-zag stairways hewn out of the stone. The archi- 
tecture is fantastic and irregular, consisting of a num- 

102 



THE LAMASERY OF KUMBUM 103 

ber of square and oblong buildings rising tier above tier 
against the hillside or thrown together without any 
apparent plan, and ornamented by rude battlements, 
bridges and exterior stairways, the whole crowned by 
an abrupt flat-roofed tower, or by several small turrets 
varying in shape. 

These lamaseries, or gomhas, are the abodes of the 
Tibetan priesthood which constitutes, it is estimated, 
about one-seventh of the entire population of Tibet. In 
the gomhas at Lhasa there are said to be no less than 
15,000 lamas, while in the province of Amdo alone, 
according to information gathered by W. W. Eockhill, 
the number of lamas is somewhere between 25,000 and 
30,000, residing in twenty-four lamaseries, each accom- 
modating from 200 to 5,000. Two-thirds of these lamas 
are Koko-nor Tibetans, the remaining third Koko-nor 
and Ts'aidam Mongols, Eastern Mongols and Tibetans. 

The lamasery of Kumbum, in which we resided du- 
ring the rebellion, and with which, on account of our 
friendship with the abbot, we had such rare opportuni- 
ties to become acquainted, is, as already intimated, 
one of the greatest and most famous in all Central Asia. 
More than a half century ago, M. Hue visited it and 
described its site as " one of enchanting beauty." It 
reposes in a fertile valley, through which a stream 
flows, dividing it into two parts. On either side of the 
stream and up the opposite hillsides repose the white 
dwellings of the lamas, rising terrace above terrace in 
amphitheatrical order. The more pretentious residence 
of the Tcanpo situated upon the highest row up the 
hillside, is conspicuous by its bright red colored walls. 



104 WITH THE TIBETANS 

The ordinary lamas' dwellings are kept spotlessly white, 
a coat of lime-wash being periodically applied in a very 
novel but not the less effective manner, for instead of 
putting it on with a brush, the lamas stand high up on 
a ladder or on the roof and empty large pitcherfuls of 
the liquid on to the walls, letting it run down to the 
ground, doing its work as it goes. On the western side 
of the stream are the temples, well-built structures 
of burnt brick with gaudily painted walls surrounded 
by colonnades, having roofs of slanting tiles, the ends 
of which, projecting over the walls, are tinged with 
bright blue or green. There is one temple which stands 
out in bold and dazzling relief against all others. It 
is the gold-roofed temple of Tsong K'aba, which the 
lamas call Jo K'ang, or " Home of the Buddha." This 
temple is the center of interest in Kumbum and is the 
crowning pride of all the people of Amdo, who hold it 
to be particularly sacred. It is about fifty feet square ; 
its walls are of sculptured wood and present a mosaic 
of many tints which led Hue to speak of them as 
" sparkling with a thousand brilliant colors ; " it has 
two roofs, a lower one and an upper one, the latter rest- 
ing on a row of short red lacquered pillars; the lower 
roof is much wider than the top one, projecting consid- 
erably beyond the main wall after the usual Chinese 
style. The tiles of both roofs are covered with heavy 
gold plate, concerning the precise thickness of which 
there seems to be a difference of opinion. Some of the 
lamas told us it was an eighth of an inch in thickness, 
others said half an inch. 

Tsong K'aba, whose name the gold-tiled temple com- 



THE LAMASERY OF KUMBUM 105 

memorates, was the Luther of Tibetan Buddhism and 
flourished in the fourteenth century. The lamasery 
chronicles are rich in records, half mythical and half 
historical, of the career of this wonderful man, the 
lamasery itself deriving its name from an incident in 
connection with his birth. The word " Kumbum " is 
a combination of two Tibetan words meaning "ten 
thousand images " and was first applied to a marvel- 
ous tree, a descendant of which still exists at the lama- 
sery. The lamas gravely relate the story of the won- 
derful child, how he was born with a white beard, long 
flowing locks, wise countenance, fully developed mental 
powers and ready speech. At the age of three years he 
resolved to renounce the world and to devote himself 
to the contemplation of the Buddha's doctrine. His 
mother, sjonpathizing with the holy ambition of her 
son, cut off his beautiful hair and threw it into the 
courtyard, when lo, immediately there sprang up from 
it & tree, on every leaf of which was visible an image 
of the " Lord Buddha." The young student sat at the 
feet of the most illustrious lamas of his day, resided 
some time at Lhasa, and eventually led a reform move- 
ment which resulted in the founding of a new sect, that 
of the Gelu, or " Yellow Caps " as distinguished from 
the " Eed Caps " or those of the conservative school. 
Tsong Ivaba introduced radical changes in the Budd- 
hist liturgy, and on the basis of the new worship, found- 
ed the great lamasery of Kaldan which still flourishes 
about nine miles from Lhasa, and is said to contain 
8,000 lamas. ISTot only by the immense number of 
adherents that were won to his views during his life- 



106 WITH THE TIBETANS 

time, but also by the literary productions he left behind 
him, Tseng K'aba's influence has been great during the 
last five centuries of Tibetan history. The most import- 
ant of his works are an edition of the sayings of Gau- 
tama Buddha and a religio-philosophical treatise on 
" The Progressive Path to Perfection." The early fol- 
lowers of Tsong K'aba were very zealous in propagating 
the Gelupa doctrines and as a result of their missionary 
labors, fraternities of the yellew sect were established 
in all parts of Tibet and in Mongolia. Even the Tibetan 
king was among the converts. Tsong K'aba died in 
1419 and his body, the lamas assert, is still preserved 
in the monastery of Kaldan where it may be seen in all 
its freshness, by a perpetual miracle poised in the air 
a few feet above the ground, and to those who are far 
advanced on the way to buddhahood, the great man 
still speaks words of wisdom and encouragement, al- 
though none of the common herd can hear his voice or 
see his lips move ! 

ISTo more interesting question offers itself to Christ- 
ian scholarship than that concerning the remarkable 
resemblances between the ritual of the Gelupa sect and 
that still in vogue in the Roman Catholic and Anglican 
branches of Christendom. M. Hue, himself a Roman 
Catholic, who visited several Gelupa lamaseries, says: 

" Upon the most superficial examination of the re- 
forms and innovations introduced by Tsong K'aba into 
the lamanesque worship, one must be struck with their 
affinity to Catholicism. The cross, the miter, the del- 
matica, the cope, which the grand lamas wear on their 
journeys or when they are performing some ceremony 



THE LAMASERY OF KUMBUM 107 

out of the temple, the service with double choirs, the 
psalmody, the exorcisms, the censer, suspended from 
five chains, and which you can open or close at pleasure, 
the benedictions given by the lamas by extending the 
right hand over the heads of the faithful, the cdiaplet, 
ecclesiastical celibacy, spiritual retirement, the worship 
of the saints, the fasts, the processions, the litanies, the 
holy water, all these are analogies between the Budd- 
hists and ourselves."* 

What is the origin of these striking analogies? The 
Tibetan lamas themselves have never been great travel- 
ers, and the supposition that Tsong K'aba visited a 
Christian country at that early date is highly improb- 
able. Hue conjectures that Tsong K'aba met some of 
the Roman Catholic missionaries who were operating 
in China under Jean de Monteorvin, Archbishop of 
Pekin, as early as the fourteenth century, and who 
had even trained a choir of Mongols to chant psalms, 
and taught them Roman Catholic ceremonies. Anent 
this question the Tibetan legends speak of a strange 
lama who came to the land of Amdo from the far 
western regions and resided in Tsong K'aba's tent, a 
man of wondrous learning and piety, having a big nose 
and bright flashing eyes. Tsong K'aba, it is said, sat 
at the feet of the great stranger and received instruc- 
tion in all the doctrines of the west, until the teacher 
fell into a deep sleep from which he never wakened. 
Whence this legend of the stranger from the west? 
It is both possible and probable that Amdo was visited 
by some of the early missionaries to Asia, perhaps by 

•Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, by M. Hue, Vol. II, pp. 45-46. 



108 WITH THE TIBETANS 

the Nestorians who had missions in Western China as 
early as the seventh century. Again, it is known that 
in 1325 a Roman Catholic missionary named Friar 
Odoric made a Journey from Northwestern China 
through Tibet to India, and resided some time in 
Lhasa; that Fathers Griiber and Dorville in 1661, and 
Desideri and Freyre in 1716 made missionary tours, the 
latter residing in Lhasa for thirteen years; that in 
1719 the Capuchin friar, Francisco della Penna, with 
twelve co-workers of the same order, began a mission in 
Lhasa which flourished until 1760. Who can tell to 
what extent the residence and teaching of these mis- 
sionaries in Tibet is responsible for the resemblances 
in ritual between Romanism and Tibetan Buddhism? 
Legend has in all probability attributed to Tsong K'aba 
more than his due with respect to the introduction of 
Christian forms. That they have been gradually in- 
corporated into the Tibetan worship as a net result of 
all the early contact with westerners is a reasonable 
view. We found the legend of " the white lama from 
the west " quite fresh in the people's minds. Mina 
Fuyeh told us that Tsong K'aba had a large nose and 
looked like a European. 

The importance and sacredness of Kumbum, in the 
eyes of Buddhists, can then be easily understood when 
it is remembered that the lamasery is so intimately 
connected with such a commanding personage as the 
great Buddhist reformer, for although he did not 
actually found the lamasery, yet to him alone it owes 
its origin. Pilgrims flocked to worship at the foot of 
the mountain where he was born ; soon Buddhist priests 




TIBETAN BL'DDHIST LAYMAN 



THE LAMASERY OF KUMBUM 109 

from Inner Tibet, China, Mongolia, and Manchuria, 
came to build their cells there ; the emperors of China 
extended to it their protection, and thus it has grown, 
to its present status. 

Through Mina Fuyeh's influence we had many oppor- 
tunities to visit the " Golden Tiled Temple." Around 
its outer court are small shrines with a row of prayer- 
wheels, about three feet apart. These are small 
cylinders containing rolls of printed prayers. To turn 
these prayer-wheels is, according to the Buddhist idea, 
to accumulate merit, and they are hardly ever still, for 
every one who passes by gives them a spin. In the 
wooden planks which form the threshold of the shrine 
are visible abrasions about three or four inches deep, 
made by the hands and foreheads of pilgrims prostrat- 
ing themselves before the great altar and image inside. 
Even when approaching the temple afar-o£E worshippers 
may be seen kotowing to the very dust at every third 
step, gathering zeal and momentum, as it were, for the 
final prostration on the hard planks. By the thou- 
sands of Buddhist devotees who resort thither every 
year and place their hands and foreheads in the same 
spots as the thousands who have preceded them, these 
planks are looked upon as quite as sacred as are the 
marble steps leading to St. Peter's, by the multitudes 
of Roman Catholic pilgrims who flock annually to the 
Eternal City. 

It is only once a year, on the first day of the third 
moon, that women are permitted to enter the temple, 
and when that auspicious day came I was privileged, 
through the influence of Mina Fuyeh, to go in with the 



110 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Mongol and Tibetan women, although it was known 
that I would not take part in their idolatrous worship. 
The first thing that greeted us on entering was a huge 
image of Tsong K'aba in sitting posture upon a deco- 
rated throne. The throne is about ten feet high, and the 
image wrought, the lamas told us, in solid gold, is 
perhaps six feet high. If the image is of gold it must 
be of fabulous worth, for it is altogether of massive 
proportions, and indeed, if it is only plated, as we 
sometimes supposed, it would still be one of the most 
valuable possessions of the lamasery, from a material 
standpoint as well as from a religious one. Immedi- 
ately in front of the image was an immense oblong 
altar literally covered with holy water vases, and but- 
ter lamps large and small. Of the butter lamps there 
must have been several hundred all lighted for this 
special occasion. Standing before the altar and amid 
the blazing light of the lamps, I looked up into the 
face of one of the greatest idols of Tibetan Buddhism, 
while all around me were bowed the worshippers, mut- 
tering prayers and pouring out before it the homage of 
their hearts. The idol truly had never been more 
radiant than on that day, when the sheen of many 
sacred flames beat upon it and caused the golden rays 
to flash out like the beams of the sun. But as I looked 
I found no spark of intelligence darting from the 
pupilless eyes ; there was no change of expression - on 
the placid countenance to indicate that the ears had 
been touched by the heart-cries of the prostrate wor- 
shippers; no word of blessing fell from those silent 
lips, immobile and set as on the day when they received 



THE LAMASERY OF KUI^fBUM 111 

the last touch of the artist's hand. How appropriate 
the words of the poet of Israel: 

" The idols of the nations are silver and gold, 
The work of men's hands. 
They have mouths, but they speak not; 
Eyes have they, but they see not; 
They have ears, but they hear not, 
Neither is there any breath in their mouths. 
They that make them shall be like unto them; 
Yea, every one that trusteth in them." (1) 

Yet there is something pathetic in this spectacle of 
heathen worship, and it is not, in my opinion, the part 
of the Christian missionary to assume an air of ridicule 
and contempt for the religious ideas and practices of 
peoples less enlightened than his own; for in every 
religious service, however absurd or degraded from the 
Christian view-point, there is some feeble acknowledg- 
ment of and groping after the one great God to whom 
all men and nations arealike dear; even in the worship 
of idols there are to him who has the willing ear and 
the understanding heart " painful cries of the soul, 
torn from its center and separated from its object." (2) 
The work of Christian missions is hindered by antagon- 
izing the non-Christian peoples through dogmatic as- 
sertion of doctrines and the failure of the Christian 
missionary to recognize and rejoice in the great underly- 
ing truths of all religions. Only as he appreciates the 
light, however dim, that gleams amid the darkness 
and superstition of the heathen systems, can he hope to 
turn men's eyes to Him who is the Sun of Righteous- 
ness and the Light of the World. 

I Psalm czzxv. 2 Vinet. 



112 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Besides the image and altar, the gold-tiled temple 
contains many interesting relies, chief among them be- 
ing the stone on which Tsong K'aba was born. The 
walls are covered with Buddhist books, and Tchatas, 
some of them fifty feet long, hang from the ceiling. 
Closely connected with the sanctuary are the " reading 
halls," one of them large enough to accommodate 
2,500 priests at one time. Before entering the reading- 
room each priest is obliged to remove his shoes. Some- 
times there is a pile of shoes at the entrance compris- 
ing 2,000 pairs or more, thrown promiscuously to- 
gether, and yet the owners seem to have no difficulty in 
finding each his own pair. Above the reading-rooms 
is the museum, containing a collection of sacred relics, 
musical instruments (principally big horns and conch 
shells), gold and silver vases, lamps and works of art. 
The most prized among the relics is a picture of Tsong 
K'aba which the saint himself is said to have sketched 
in his own blood. This was done in the city of 
Lhasa when the saint was there pursuing his studies. 
His mother in Amdo, desiring to know how he was 
faring, he drew the sketch of himself and sent it to her, 
instead of writing a letter, and as soon as she re- 
ceived it the picture spoke, assuring her that her son 
was in the best of health! Another remarkable thing 
in the museum is a mud image of a buddha named 
Mete Fuyeh, upon whose muddy head it is declared 
hair began to grow soon after he was completed. He 
is carefully preserved in a glass case. 

Of the sacred tree from which the lamasery takes its 
name, and which grew up from the hairs of Tsong 



THE LAMASERY OF KUMBUM 113 

K'aba, a word must be said. There are three of these 
trees in a yard near the Golden Tiled Temple. All pil- 
grims visiting the lamasery take special pains to pay 
reverence to the central tree, and to receive some of its 
leaves, on each one of which is clearly discernible to 
the eye of the faithful the image of Tsong K'aba. No 
one around Kumbum seemed to question this marvel 
but the two foreigners. We frequently visited the tree 
and had the leaves in our hands, but our eyes were 
holden from seeing the image or anything approaching 
it, a disability which the lamas coolly informed us 
arose from the fact that we were not true followers of 
the Buddha. This explanation is rather damaging to 
the reputation of MM. Hue and Gabet, who declare 
they saw on the leaves of the tree, not images of Tsong 
K'aba, but well-formed Tibetan characters. There is 
nothing in Hue's narrative so perplexing as this, 
and without questioning his veracity one cannot re- 
frain from wondering to what extent he lell under 
the magic spell of the Tsong K'aba legends; nor is it 
any the less clear why the leaves which in Hue's day 
bore Tibetan characters, should have passed on from 
literature to art, producing now only images of the 
saint ! The tree has been variously classified. Eockhill, 
following Kreitner, first thought it was a lilac {Phila- 
delphus coronarius), but later he concluded it was a 
species of syringa {syringa villosa, Vahl). We saw the 
tree once when it was in bloom — the flowers are very 
much like lilacs, but the leaves seem to be stiffer. 

Besides the worship of Tsong K'aba's image, we wit- 
nessed many other weird and interesting ceremonies 



114r WITH THE TIBETANS 

during our residence in Kumbum. One of the most 
impressive was that of "nocturnal devotions," cele- 
brated periodically by the lamas. At nightfall the peo- 
ple are called to the housetops by loud blasts on a horn 
made of a large shell from the Koko-nor. The women 
and children from Lusar carry bundles of fragrant 
wood, which is burned in little fire-places arranged for 
the purpose on the roof. As the incense of the burning 
wood rises as a sweet offering to the Buddha, all voices 
unite in the chanting of some unintelligible song or 
hymn. On the roof of each house some one does duty 
at the prayer-wheel, sitting down cross-legged and re- 
volving it at the utmost speed, for it is believed the 
faster the cylinder turns the greater the merit accru- 
ing to the worshipper. Some of the lamas and women 
are busy passing their rosary through their fingers, 
while other lamas stand with bowed heads uttering 
the famous six-syllabled invocation, " Om mani padme 
hum." From the first sound of the signal horn at 
nine o'clock, the night becomes hideous and sleep is 
out of the question. The beating of gongs and cymbals 
and the ringing of bells accompany the worship, while 
with these discordant sounds blend the voices of a 
thousand lamas until the noise seems like an echo from 
pandemonium. The whole scene is illuminated by 
thousands of red paper lanterns suspended on poles, 
and by incense fires that are kept fresh by constant 
adding of the fragrant fuel. The night slowly creeps 
away, but the noise does not subside. The untiring 
muscular energy of the devotees who beat huge gongs 
hour after hour, and the lung power of others who 



THE LAMASERY OF KUMBUM 115 

blow incessantly on the gigantic horns, is truly mar- 
velous. The lamas hold the ceremony of " nocturnal 
devotions " to be one of great merit, and it is there- 
fore participated in with the greatest of solemnity and 
fervor. 

Another imposing ceremony, celebrated once a year 
on the fifteenth of the first moon, is " The Butter God 
Festival." For some days previous to it the roads lead- 
ing to the lamasery are literally covered with travelers 
arriving from China, Mongolia, and all Tibetan terri- 
tories. Some are mounted on horses, driving before 
them their heavily-burdened yaks; others, of higher 
rank, are borne on stately camels, with long retinues of 
pedestrian pilgrims following behind. There are priests 
with closely shaven heads and wooden knapsacks thrown 
over their shoulders, and laymen with long, tattered 
sheepskin gowns and short wild-looking hair. As the 
pilgrims arrive, the rooms of the lamasery are first 
occupied, then the black tents of the Tibetans begin to 
rise until the entire valley and hillside become as one 
vast encampment resounding with the shouts and 
laughter of men, women and children, the whining of 
camels, the neighing of horses and mules, the barking 
of dogs, the clattering of gongs and cymbals, the blow- 
ing of horns and the ringing of bells. On the main 
road to the temple are scores of white tents of Mongol 
and Chinese merchants who have come not only to pay 
their respects to the Buddha, but to dispose of their 
wares, consisting chiefly of cutlery, needles, cloth boots, 
tea, charm-boxes, idols and other articles. The people 
in motley processions surge toward the center of attrac- 



116 WITH THE TIBETANS 

tion in the courtyard of the Golden Tiled Temple, 
where in a pavillion erected as a temporary shrine 
stands the great butter image they have come to wor- 
ship. The shrine is about forty feet high, twenty feet 
long and twenty feet wide, made of four wooden pillars 
connected at the top by large, painted beams from which 
are suspended strips of satin that serve as walls. 
The satin is beautifully worked in devices represent- 
ing the different forms in which Shayka Muni ap- 
peared on the earth before his last incarnation, in 
which he became the Buddha. At the rear is a large 
table on which burn hundreds of butter-lamps, and 
above it rise, layer upon layer, a series of butter bas- 
reliefs of most exquisite workmanship. The first 
layer represents a famous temple in Lhasa across the 
doorways of which, by some clever machanism, paper 
guards are made to move to and fro, and a huge dragon 
with wide open jaws seems to crawl from side to side. 
On the second layer stands the giant butter image of 
Buddha, about twenty feet high. His features, his cap 
and robes are admirably rendered. He is represented 
as blessing his people ; his hands are stretched out over 
them and his head slightly bowed down. By his side 
stand still other pieces of butter art, such as small 
reptiles, flowers, vegetables and different kinds of ani- 
mals. Above the great image is a smaller image of 
Buddha, which represents him sitting in a temple re- 
ceiving the homage of the people. His head moves 
mechanically in recognition of the homage given. 
Everything is beautifully executed, not only the mould- 



THE LAMASERY OF KUMBUM 117 

ing of the images, but also the painting, being artistic 
in the true sense of the word. 

Confronting the table on which are the butter-lamps 
is a long, low bench covered with red cloth, prepared 
for the lama dignitaries who are to come to worship 
the image. These dignitaries are accompanied by some 
half dozen attendants carrying big red lanterns. On 
arriving in front of the butter god the attendants bow 
down to the ground, put their hands to their foreheads 
three times and utter the prayer " Om mani padme 
hum," while their master kneels on the red covered 
bench, offering some sticks of incense to the greasy 
deity. The ordinary rank and file are not allowed to 
kneel on the bench in offering their devotions; they 
must be content with the bare ground. At a certain 
stage in the proceedings there is a great commotion, as 
the heh-ho-shang, or black lamas, who are the police- 
men of Kumbum, push through the crowd, cracking 
their big whips in order to clear the way for the great- 
est dignitary of all, who is coming to inspect the 
images. It is the great " god-man," the incarnation 
of Tsong K'aba. The heh-ho-shang head the proces- 
sion; after them follows a lama of high rank carrying 
a bundle of burning incense sticks, and another with 
a pyramid of tsamba decorated with paper of many 
colors, inscribed with mystic characters. Another lama 
follows, holding in his hand a sceptre adorned with a 
cross and on either side of him is a lama bearing a 
lighted torch. Next comes the great incarnation in 
yellow satin robes, holding in one hand a sceptre and 
in the other a beautifully finished rosary of polished 



118 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ivory. On his head is a high yellow miter and his feet 
are shod with velvet-topped Chinese boots. With stately 
step he moves toward the butter images, but he is too 
holy to offer homage to the Buddha idol. He alone 
remains standing while all the other dignitaries pros- 
trate themselves. After inspecting the images the 
great incarnation returns slowly to his palace on the 
hillside overlooking the Golden Tiled Temple. His de- 
parture is the signal for loud jubilation. The multi- 
tude suddenly leap out of their religious mood and 
give themselves over to boisterous songs and laughter. 
They seem to lose all control of themselves, dancing 
and yelling like madmen. It is plain that the ceremony 
is at an end. If the people have changed so have the 
gods. The heat of the hundreds of lamps has had its 
effect on the surface of the images even though cov- 
ered with paint; streams of grease are dripping from 
the noses and fingers of the deities, and soon nothing 
is left but shapeless masses. In the early morning 
priests appointed to the task remove the remains from 
the boards and throw them into the ravine where the 
dogs, wolves and birds devour them for breakfast. 

Of the origin of this festival little can be said. The 
answers received from the natives, whom we asked for 
an explanation, gave us plainly to understand that it 
was not generally known. Some said that it was a 
feast in honor of the great Tsong K'aba; others said 
that it was a ceremony illustrative of the unreality 
and worthlessness of earthly honor in a material body. 
In the beginning of the eighth moon the preparations 
for the feast are begun. The council of the lamasery 



THE LAMASEEY OF KUMBUM 119 

comes together and selects molders and places them 
under the supervision of a lama of great fame in this 
art. The butter is then collected, and from that time 
on, until late in the last moon, it is scarce and dear. 
The butter is brought into cool places, where it is 
subjected to a thorough kneading process, whereby it 
becomes more solid. During this time of the year it 
is very cold, which adds to making the butter better 
for the purpose for which it is to be used, but also 
increases the suffering of the artists because they have 
to put their hands constantly in cold water to lower 
their temperature, lest they should spoil the features, 
newly formed, by touching them with their warm hands. 
After the forming and molding are finished, the coun- 
cil meets again and appoints the painters. The mold- 
ers then leave their work entirely in the hands of the 
latter. Both are bent upon one thing, that of harvest- 
ing the praise of their superiors and fellow-lamas, and 
thus obtain the prize, a sum of money given for the 
best designs. Much has been written of the heathen 
in other countries who worship the heavenly bodies, 
animals, images of clay, wood, stone and metal, but 
the Tibetans with their monstrous butter buddha 
occupy a unique place in the world's idolatry. 



CHAPTEE VII 

A BUDDHIST SAINT 

Mina Fuyeh's Abode — His Previous Incarnations— 
Mahatmas — Conversations on Christianity — Jambula 
— Behind the Scenes. 

The name of the lamasery-dwelling in which we lived 
was "Mina Karwa," that is, the palace belonging to 
Mina Fuyeh. Each of the Kumbum lamas of high 
rank has a Tcarwa in which he entertains his pesing, or 
people from his district who come to visit the lamasery. 
During his abbotship Mina Fuyeh dwelt principally 
in a house bearing the name of Tsong K'aba, the re- 
former, and called also la-rong, or official residence. 
Mina Karwa was surrounded by a high wall painted 
red and white, through which there were two entrances. 
One of them, large and very imposing, was for the ex- 
clusive use of the master of the house, or some great 
visiting fuyeh; the other was for ordinary use and led 
through a smaller courtyard. There were two large 
stone-paved courtyards — ^the outer one was surrounded 
by two-storied compartments, and had communication 
with the inner one by means of massive doors. In the 
inner courtyard were the household temple, the private 
apartments of the buddha when at home, and the three 

120 




MINA FUYEH 



A BUDDHIST SAINT 121 

living-rooms which he had placed at our disposal. All 
the apartments were well built, the woodwork was 
painted, the lattice windows, contrary to custom, had 
glass panes, while a liberal supply of the very best 
Chinese furniture gave the whole interior a compara- 
tively luxurious appearance. On one side of the build- 
ing, and at the rear, flourished a grassy lawn relieved 
by flower beds in full bloom, Mina Fuyeh being very 
fond of flowers and quite successful in cultivating them. 
Two or three large trees supplied shelter from the 
sun's rays, which, at an altitude of nine thousand feet 
above the sea level, are very strong, especially in sum- 
mer time. Before the Mohammedan rebellion of 1861- 
74 the house had been much larger and more magnifi- 
cent. There still remain massive stone steps lead- 
ing to an elevation which Mina Fuyeh pointed out as 
the site of the splendid apartments he had occupied in 
his previous lifetime, but which had been destroyed by 
Mohammedan fire and not rebuilt. 

Mina Fuyeh was only twenty-seven years old, yet he 
confidently asserted that he had lived in this palatial 
abode previous to the year 1861. He professed even 
to have vivid recollections of all that pertained to his 
previous incarnation, and, more than that, he could 
tell some things that were going to happen in the 
next ! He took great pleasure in prophesying that Mr. 
Eijnhart would in his next lifetime reappear on the 
earth as a buddha, as a reward for the good work he 
was doing in the present existence. One project was 
dear to Mina Fuyeh's heart — it was that of restoring 
the former residence to its original grandeur; but as 



122 WITH THE TIBETANS 

yet he had never been quite rich enough to undertake 
it, and during the troublous times of the second re- 
bellion he more than once congratulated himself that 
he had not spent any money in rearing an edifice that 
might again succumb to the flames. 

During our stay in the Karwa, Mina Fuyeh came 
with his secretary and treasurer to perform religious 
devotions in his household temple during a period of 
three days. Their worship consisted mainly in the 
chanting of prayers to the accompaniment of the jin- 
gling of bells, and the beating of little drums made of 
skins stretched over human skulls. When they had 
chanted themselves hoarse they swallowed copious 
quantities of tea, and then came into our apartments, 
seeming to enjoy the respite from the dull routine as 
keenly as school children enjoy recess. During such 
intermittent visits much time was spent in conversation 
on Christianity and Buddhism, subjects of which Mina 
Fuyeh never seemed to tire. Soon after we had made 
his acquaintance Mr. Eijnhart had given him copies of 
the Christian Gospels in the Tibetan character, among 
them a copy of St. John, which he prized very highly. 
He had a marvelous memory, and was soon almost as 
familiar with the text of the Gospels as we ourselves, 
and was able quite intelligently to discuss the various 
incidents of the life of Jesus, quoting passages with 
astonishing accuracy and appositeness. He told us 
that he believed thoroughly in Jesus, but that he did 
not see any reason why he should renounce Buddhism 
and become a Christian. He could not see any insur- 
mountable difficulties in accepting both systems, for 



A BUDDHIST SAINT 123 

even on the great doctrine of reincarnation with respect 
to which Christianity and Buddhism are supposed to 
stand at the opposite poles, be claimed that whereas 
the Gospels did not explicitly teach the doctrine, yet 
they did not expressly deny it. He indeed went fur- 
ther and declared his belief that Jesus was no other 
than a reincarnation of Buddha, and that Tsong K'aba, 
the great Tibetan reformer, was a later incarnation of 
Jesus. At the same time Mina Fuyeh confessed him- 
self charmed with the gospel story. He told us there 
were many parallels between Jesus and Tsong K'aba; 
that the latter had gone about healing the sick and 
teaching the people just like Jesus. When we spoke 
of the crucifixion he said that Tsong K'aba had been 
persecuted, too, and added that even to-day in Tibet 
it was not wise for a lama to be "too good." I be- 
lieve that, all unconsciously perhaps, Mina Fuyeh has 
been the means of spreading gospel teaching among 
his people to an extent that has as yet been possible 
for no Christian missionary. With all the famous 
lamas and pilgrims from the far interior, even from 
Lhasa, as also from Mongolia, he conversed on the 
subject, telling them what he knew about Christian 
doctrines, and teaching them to pronounce for the first 
time the name " Yesu Ma'shilca" Jesus Christ. 

The hanpo was far superior to the average lama 
in intelligence. He had been educated, so he told us, 
in his former lifetime, in Lhasa, and had enjoyed the 
instruction of a very wise snowy-bearded old lama at 
Kumbum; yet his knowledge was exceedingly limited, 
a fact which he cheerfully admitted. He knew prac- 



124 WITH THE TIBETANS 

tically nothing of the outside world, had traveled but 
little, and had an idea that Pekin, which he once 
visited, lay at the other end of the world. He ques- 
tioned Mr. Eijnhart by the hour, carefully noting the 
answers, and marveling at the white teacher's wonderful 
range of knowledge. "When Mr. Eijnhart demonstrated 
to him in a series of object lessons with globe and 
candle the rotundity of the earth, his interest and 
pleasure knew no bounds, for he had always believed it 
to be flat. He studied geography with all the aptness 
of a school-boy, learning from an old atlas given him 
by Mr. Eijnhart the names of many western countries 
and seas. Frequently he expressed an ardent longing 
to accompany us to America or to Europe if we should 
ever go home, in order that he might see for himself 
and learn something of the world beyond, so full of 
mystery. Of the occult knowledge of the hidden things 
of nature, attributed by Theosophists to the Tibetan 
priests Mina Fuyeh, although abbot of one of the 
greatest lamaseries in all Tibet and occupying a posi- 
tion of spiritual and intellectual eminence surpassed 
only by the " Dalai Lama " at Lhasa, knew nothing. 
He had never seen a mahatma, and was much sur- 
prised when we told him that western people believed 
such to exist in Tibet. On the question of mahatmas 
we made very careful and minute inquiries of many 
lamas, all of whom confessed their ignorance of any 
such beings. There was no record or even legend of 
any having ever visited Kumbum, and one of the oldest 
priests in the lamasery, who had spent years in Lhasa, 
told us he never heard of a mahatma, even in that 



A BUDDHIST SAINT 125 

" City of Spirits/' There are, it is true, some lamas who 
profess to have magical powers by which they are able 
to control the rains and turn paper horses into real 
ones, to be carried by the winds to the help of travelers 
overtaken by the mountain storms; in fact, Ishinima, 
our Tibetan teacher, once brought to Mr. Eijnhart the 
wood-cut from which these long-ta, or " wind horses," 
are printed, and allowed him to make as many copies as 
he wished to send home to friends. But nothing could be 
further from the truth than the belief entertained by 
many occidentals that the lamas are superior beings 
endowed with transcendent physical and intellectual 
gifts. On the contrary, they are mere children in 
knowledge, swayed by the emotions that play on the 
very surface of being. During all our four years' 
sojourn among Tibetans of various tribes and districts, 
we did not meet a single lama who was conversant 
with even the simple facts of nature. Mina Fuyeh was 
far above the average, for the great mass of them we 
found to be ignorant, superstitious and intellectually 
atrophied like all other priesthoods that have never 
come into contact with the enlightening and uplifting 
influence of Christian education. They are living in the 
dark ages, and are themselves so blind that they are 
not aware of the darkness. Ten centuries of Buddhism 
have brought them to their present state of moral and 
mental stagnation, and it is difficult to believe that any 
force less than the Gospel of Christ can give them life 
and progress in the true sense. 

Tibetan lamas would as soon doubt their present ex- 
istence as question the truth of the doctrine of reincar- 



126 WITH THE TIBETANS 

nation. With them it is more than a speculation — it 
is a fact, the basic postulate of their entire philosophy 
of life. Mina Fuyeh spoke with the utmost assurance 
not only of his lifetime immediately preceding the 
present one, but of a score of incarnations through 
which he had passed since he attained sainthood, and 
concerning each of which his memory stood him good 
service. He was not so far advanced, however, as 
Sakya Muni, the founder of Buddhism, who, he assured 
us, was incarnated 551 times and could remember the 
510 incarnations that preceded his attainment of saint- 
hood as well as the forty that followed! The way 
in which the Tibetans keep track of the line of 
successive incarnations is interesting, and is well 
illustrated by an incident from Mina Fuyeh's own 
experience. When a mere child, before he was sent to 
the lamasery to be trained as a priest, it had been 
ascertained of course what ego or individuality had 
reappeared in his body. A number of articles belong- 
ing to various deceased lamas were placed before him, 
and he was required to select those he had used in a 
former lifetime. Among the articles from which the 
selection was to be made were a number of rosaries, 
and as the young child chose the rosary and other things 
that had belonged to a former lama named Mina Fuyeh, 
his identity was ungainsayably established, and he not 
only inherited the name but also the property and 
rank which had been his in the previous incarnation. 
Speaking of his choice of rosary he said, " Why should 
I not recognize it among all others, the one I had 
used for years?" When Mr. Kijnhart laughed good- 



A BUDDHIST SAINT 127 

naturedly at the hanpo's credulity, he adduced what in 
the minds of all who had witnessed the proceedings, 
had been the most convincing proof of his former 
individuality, as well as of his marvelous insight. 
When a number of horses, some of them young, dashing 
and well-nourished animals, and others lean and 
decrepit, were brought before him, he chose as the one 
belonging to his former life the most dilapidated of 
them all. An ordinary child, it was held, would cer- 
tainly have selected the most attractive looking pony. 
In conversation with many lamas we were given repeated 
descriptions of this ceremony of identification, and 
although MM. Hue and Gabet were inclined to believe 
it is often carried on in good faith, and that the myste- 
rious results accompanying it are to be accounted for 
only on the supposition of the agency of Satan, we had 
reason to believe it is a piece of purely human decep- 
tion in which the deceivers, it is true, are largely self- 
deceived. There are not a few of the more intelligent 
laymen who are sufficiently unorthodox to suspect, and 
with reason, that the young child before choosing the 
article has been prompted by his parents or by influ- 
ential lamas who, for a consideration, become specially 
interested in his career! 

Although Mina Fuyeh was woefully ignorant of 
natural science, we found him an accomplished 
linguist, conversant with Tibetan both classical and 
colloquial, Chinese and Mongolian. So proficient was 
he in the latter tongue that he once made a tour 
among the Eastern ]\Iongols somewhat after the fashion 
of a mendicant friar, reading the Buddhist sacred 



128 WITH THE TIBETANS 

books from village to village, and from tent to tent, 
and receiving therefor whatever the people were pleased 
to bestow. Chinese he had spoken at Pekin, where 
he had also for the first time seen " foreigners." 
Among the curios he had brought back from the 
Chinese capital was a collection of photographs which 
he had taken to be representations of Buddha, but 
which turned out to be mostly photos of French and 
American actresses arrayed in costume. When we told 
Mina Fuyeh this he was quite ashamed, and handed the 
same over to us to be disposed of, begging us not to 
say anything about it, as no lama is supposed to have 
pictures of women in his possession. Mina Fuyeh was 
quite conscientious in this matter, and willingly sacri- 
ficed the entire collection with the sole exception of 
a photo of Alexander of Russia. 

So intimate did the friendship between the Tcanpo 
and Mr. Rijnhart become that the former freely dis- 
cussed in our presence not only his personal affairs, but 
also all matters pertaining to the lamasery. Very 
few days passed, especially during the rebellion, with- 
out an interview, the Tcanpo sometimes coming to see 
us, and just as often Mr. Rijnhart being summoned to 
the official residence. On such visits I, as a rule, ac- 
companied my husband. One day we were sent for in 
a great hurry by Hsam-tso, the Jcanpo's treasurer, and 
on our arrival we found that official's countenance 
badly disfigured by blows from the hand of his master, 
who had fallen into a fit of distemper and lost control 
of himself. The news of the Jcanpo's illness spread 
through the lamasery and everyone seemed to fear lest 



A BUDDHIST SAIXT 129 

something serious should happen him. In our diag- 
nosis of the case we found him in a peculiar condition, 
liEe one demented, though docile as a child. His ill- 
ness had been caused, we discovered, by the inordinate 
quantity of fruits sent from Kuei-teh, which he had 
eaten that morning. Some powerful sedatives and a 
large dose of calomel, a drug we found particularly 
useful among orientals, relieved him completely, so 
that he was quite himself the next day, and very grate- 
ful for his recovery. 

Shortly after this incident I was stricken with an 
attack of diphtheria which well nigh proved fatal, and 
when I was barely convalescent K'ai-i-tan, our young 
servant, contracted the same disease. We entreated 
him to remain with us, offering him every attention, 
but of no avail. Sick as he was, he insisted on going 
home because his father had summoned him to perform 
certain religious duties on hearing that the boy had 
recently slaughtered a sheep. To a really devout 
Buddhist the taking of life is a sin which is not easily 
atoned for. K'ai-i-tan left for home, and within four 
days the carpenters were manufacturing a coffin under 
the roof of his father's house. Death had deprived the 
father of a dutiful son and us of a faithful servant, to 
fill whose place we secured no one for a long time. 

Jambula, a Mongol priest, of whom mention has 
already been made, had first come to our notice by 
being one of five or six strong lamas, who were beat- 
ing a little acolyte for letting fall a water bucket 
which lay smashed in pieces at their feet. Mr. Rijn- 
hart interfered, standing ready to defend the little 



130 WITH THE TIBETANS 

child from their cruelty by more than words if need be ; 
and, on account of this act, even though directed 
against himself, Jambula had conceived a great liking 
for my husband. When we were without a servant he 
undertook to help us in every way he could, making 
our tea in the morning, sweeping our rooms and finally 
helping us to move when we returned to Lusar. Some- 
times he would drink tea with us, and when he had 
finished with his basin, he would lick it out with his 
tongue in order to save further washing. Needless to 
say, we kept our eye on Jambula^s basin, and saw 
that it got a thorough scouring, but at the same time 
we would not, on account of assthetic sentiment, be- 
tray any word of disgust to wound his large and loyal 
heart. 

The little boy whom Mr. Rijnhart had rescued was a 
Mongol lama who lived with his teacher in the house 
that we occupied, and we often had occasion to pity 
him, for the teacher treated him with great cruelty, 
sometimes beating him severely and never giving him 
even a pleasant glance. In common with other acolytes 
of the same age, he was only too eager to combine play 
and mischief with his various tasks. Sometimes, in- 
deed, these boys were transformed into veritable little 
scamps, the terror of all whenever their particular 
teachers were out of sight. The spirit of mischief is 
not confined to the very young lamas, but takes on a 
more serious aspect when the older ones lay aside their 
religious duties and turn their attention to other things, 
for even fighting is not eschewed by some. One day a 
young lama came to invite us to accompany him to his 



A BUDDHIST SAINT 131 

home, where a companion lay ill, and as he seemed 
anxious to have no delay, and Mr. Kijnhart could not 
at the time go with him, I went, on his promising to 
bring me home again. On my arrival I found that my 
patient was a Mongol lama, who had been fighting in 
the night with some of his companions, and had several 
large gashes on his head. After binding up his wounds 
I left for home, mounted on my mule, which was led 
by my Tibetan boy, while the lama walked near us. 
Suddenly we heard excited cries, but not understanding 
the language well enough I did not know what was 
meant, so paid no heed, when unexpectedly a stone 
thrown by a priest from across the ravine flew past me, 
just missing my head. My boy, frightened beyond con- 
trol, rushed into the temple to say his prayers; my 
guide was nowhere to be seen, but the mule took me 
safely home, for there he was accustomed to be fed. 
The abbot explained afterwards, when Mr. Eijnhart 
indignantly protested against such treatment, that no 
one is allowed to ride through the monastery, and I 
had broken that important rule; but the lama, the 
abbot admitted, had displayed poor manners to thus 
try to injure me when I was innocent, and especially 
when I had been trying to relieve suffering. 

The matter of discipline in the lamasery is a serious 
one. Mina Fuyeh, not having learned the virtue of 
self-control, found it no easy task to rule the four 
thousand lamas under his charge. On festive occasions 
a large company of specially appointed lamas arrive 
with huge black whips and try to keep order. Peevish- 
ness and turbulency leading to acts of insubordination 



132 WITH THE TIBETANS 

are distinguishing characteristics of the priests. The 
atmosphere of holy meditation and blissful calm with 
which some from afar would fill the Tibetan lamasery, 
with its sublime mahatmas, too exalted and pure to 
live among ordinary men, is only the atmosphere of 
an uninformed and rose-colored imagination. Distance 
lends enchantment, but at the first contact the mirage 
disappears. 



CHAPTER VIII 

OUR REMOVAL TO TANKAR 

Tankar and Surroundings — A New Opportunity— Ani 
and Doma — The Lhasa Officials — Drunken Lamas 
—Visit of Capt. Wellby. 

Situated on the Hsi-ho Eiver, about twenty-four 
miles northwest of Kumbum and twenty miles east 
of Topa, the Mohammedan stronghold, is Tankar (or 
Donkyr), a town of considerable commercial import- 
ance, being a sort of distributing depot for Chinese 
merchandise going into the interior. Hither come the 
caravans of the Dalai Lama from Lhasa, that dignitary 
driving no small trade with the Chinese; and, there 
being a direct route from Tankar to Lhasa, a large 
caravan leaves for the " sacred city " annually in the 
fourth moon. The town is one also of political and 
strategical importance. Here the Sining Amban halts 
on his way to worship the Koko-nor, or " Blue Lake ; " 
here he also receives the Mongol princes once a year 
and distributes presents in the name of the Emperor. 
Ten miles to the east passes a part of the great wall in 
which is a gate called Kuan men, now in ruins, but at 
which a guard of soldiers was previously stationed. 
The town was once within Tibetan territory, but gradu- 

133 



134 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ally the Chinese have encroached for agricultural pur- 
poses upon the district in which it stands. 

Along the Hsi-ho are narrow gorges which make the 
entrance to the Tankar valley very difficult, and of 
which during the rebellion, the Chinese took advantage 
to keep the Mohammedans in check. The approach 
from the east is made charming by a mill and some 
trees outside the east gate, with beautiful temples on the 
hills in the rear. There is one principal long street 
lined on either side by stores in which are to be found 
Chinese wares, goods for bartering with the Si-fan from 
the Lake district, grain, bread and foodstuffs of the 
Chinese. The yamens opening out into this street, a 
small lamasery, several wool depots, houses of citizens 
and of Tibetans from Lhasa, and more Chinese temples, 
fill up the remainder of the space within the wall of 
the town. Through the latter are two gates, the eastern 
and western, outside of which are suburbs, that without 
the eastern gate being for the most part ruins, with 
the exception of some inns and shops. Previous to the 
Mohammedan rebellion of 1861-74 ten thousand, mostly 
Mohammedans, was the estimated population of this 
suburb. Without the western gate, every day are 
to be found Chinese merchants squatted for some 
distance along both sides of the road, with their small 
stock of goods spread underneath an awning — thread, 
beads, bracelets, bread and other things. These petty 
merchants are patronized by the poorer classes of people 
whom they fleece in every way possible. In this re- 
spect they are especially severe on the Tibetans. In the 



OUR REMOVAL TO TANKAR 135 

space between the outer and inner gates carpenters and 
toolmakers are at work. 

During the recent rebellion, as already stated, a 
large proportion of the Mohammedan population left 
their homes and Joined the rebel forces, while the re- 
maining part, estimated at four hundred, were peace- 
ably following their callings, having presented them- 
selves before the Chinese official saying they were loyal 
to China. Their professions of loyalty were accepted 
and peace might have prevailed were it not for a quar- 
rel that arose between a Chinaman and his Moham- 
medan wife. The woman stated that some night the 
Topa Mohammedans would come to attack Tankar, 
and would give the signal by setting fire to the beauti- 
ful temples on the hills just outside the town, upon 
which their co-religionists inside were to rise up and 
open the gates. The husband carried his information to 
the official, and early the next morning the streets 
were running with blood, the Chinese having fallen 
upon and murdered every Mohammedan man, woman 
and child, except a few girls who were wanted as wives 
for Chinese sons. 

The Hsi-ho itself is too broad and tumultuous fo 
work the quaint mills, but small streams deflected on 
either bank serve that purpose. The banks are 
lined by willows and poplars in profusion, and alto- 
gether the river is a great boon to the people. Many 
of the rich merchants from the city resort to it in the 
spring and summer, camping in sheltered spots, enjoy- 
ing the freedom of the country with its shady copses, 
rolling hills, and its verdant fields far-stretching and 



136 WITH THE TIBETANS 

spangled with flowers. The region literally teems with 
game of all kinds, and in the river fish abound. The 
Chinese being clever sportsmen, and impeded by no 
religious scruples, avail themselves to the full of the 
opportunity of stocking their larders with pheasants, 
hare, trout and other delicacies; but the Tibetan 
Buddhists, believing that in every living animal is a 
soul on its way to sainthood and Nirvana, hesitate to 
kill the game, nor can they be induced to taste any of it 
until after they have mingled for some time with the 
Chinese on the border. It may be observed, in passing, 
that the Tibetans are grossly inconsistent in the mat- 
ter of taking life, for while they, as a rule, refrain from 
killing game, and have the most indulgent compassion 
on a louse, yet they slaughter sheep, expose their chil- 
dren and helpless aged, and even commit murder. 
Winter at Tankar is not so enjoyable as summer, the 
thermometer registering occasionally 12 degrees below 
zero, and continuing at that temperature a consider- 
able time, except in the middle of the day, when, 
owing to the latitude and altitude, the sun's rays are 
strong. After a fall of snow the natives swarm upon 
the roofs to clear it off to avoid leakage, throwing it 
over into the street below, where it remains until it 
melts away. But even with the mercury below zero 
when the sun is bright, sitting out of doors in the sun- 
shine upon warm rugs is preferable to being indoors. 

The inhabitants are a motley crowd, ten thousand 
in number, consisting of Chinese, Mongols with their 
characteristic face, genial and good-natured, the women 
with their headdress of velvet embroidered with col- 



OUK EEMOVAL TO TANKAE 137 

ored silks and set with silver and beads worn in front 
instead of at the back, the dress being otherwise the 
same as that of the Tibetans ; then there are gorgeously- 
arrayed Tibetans from Lhasa and the Si-fan Tibetans 
from the Lake district, smart and neat looking in 
comparison with many other tribes, their women hav- 
ing the heavy, cumbersome headdress at the back with 
shells, bright beads and pieces of cloth. 

For various reasons it occurred to us that it would 
be advantageous to open a mission station at Tankar. 
Lusar, it is true, had served us well as a starting point, 
and at Kumbum we had so thoroughly won the con- 
fidence of the people that we felt perfectly at home in 
our work. Indeed, the temptation was to settle down 
in Kumbum and Lusar for a life mission. Had we not 
under the providence of God overcome all the prelim- 
inary difficulties of establishing a foothold? Were we 
not preaching the gospel to those who had never heard 
it, and might we not reasonably expect that, continuing 
in our present field, we should in due time see results? 
Besides, other ties bound us: we had really come to 
love the people; our tears had flowed together, and we 
had now many interests in common. Throughout the 
months of terror, disease and slaughter we had known 
the fellowship of their sufferings, we had gone down 
into the valley with them, passed under the cloud with 
them — yes, we had literally been baptized with their 
baptism of blood, and it was only when the thought of 
our leaving them began to stir in our hearts that we 
realized how close and tender were the ties that bound 
us to them. Then there was the yearning to see them 



138 WITH THE TIBETANS 

all won to the Saviour and rejoicing, as we were, in 
the freedom of the gospel of God's love, and, had we 
acted merely upon our own feelings in the matter, we 
would have remained at the great lamasery, instruct- 
ing the dear children of the Bible School, conversing 
with the lamas concerning the Christ, and amid our 
medical ministrations preaching the gospel to the poor. 
But how often there comes to the Christian the 
" stirring of the eagle's nest !" Abraham, going forth 
to the Promised Land, yet "not knowing whither he 
went,'' cannot remain at Haran; Elijah is summoned 
to stern duty from the quiet home at Zarapeth; the 
Apostle Paul, preaching the gospel in Asia Minor and 
leaving behind him thousands who heeded not the 
message, sees visions of larger regions beyond ; and even 
the Master must leave the brooks and sunlit slopes of 
Judean hills setting his face toward Gethsemane with 
all its dark, unspeakable agony, and the awful immola- 
tion on the cross. As I have already said, we had from 
the beginning felt called especially for itinerating work, 
the work of looking out new fields and preparing the 
way for other laborers, the work of preparing the soil 
in uncultivated regions, that by twos and threes, and in 
greater numbers when God's time arrived, the sowers 
of the Word might come to dark Tibet to scatter the 
seed unto a glorious harvest. The door was standing 
wide open at Tankar, and as we were now alone, Mr. 
Ferguson having taken up other work in China, we 
felt we must go in. After the rebellion we received 
invitations from many of its influential inhabitants to 
come up and open a medical dispensary, and we knew 



OUE KEMOVAL TO TANKAK 139 

that meant an opportunity to preach the gospel to 
many who had never heard the name of Christ. The 
people of Tankar would not be so completely under the 
influence of the lamas as were those of Lusar, and thus 
we should perhaps more quickly have visible results. 
Again, the town lay on the great caravan route, travel- 
ers were continually leaving for and arriving from 
Lhasa, and who knew whether by moving up there and 
making new friends we might not be permitted to 
accompany some expedition to the interior and thus 
learn more about the people to whose uplifting we had 
devoted ourselves, and find out how far beyond the 
border and at what points missionaries might reside? 
Having fully decided, we bade good-bye, very reluct- 
antly, to Mina Fuyeh, the abbot, Ishinima, our teacher, 
and the many friends who had become so dear to us 
at Kumbum, and set out for Tankar. 

The matter of securing suitable quarters was ex- 
pedited by the aid extended to us by the officials and 
wealthy merchants of the place, who knew us well by 
the reputation we had acquired during the rebellion. 
The house which we rented for the modest sum of 
$13 per year, exclusive of many repairs, was less pre- 
tentious than the one we had had at Lusar, but it 
suited us admirably, especially as it was situated near 
the western gate of the town. At first we found it 
impossible to secure any domestic help, for owing to the 
late war having taken for service so many of the good 
young men, and the wool depots at Tankar giving em- 
ployment and high wages to many others, our call for 
a boy was answered only by thieves and opium smok- 



140 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ers for many months, though we succeeded in securing 
the help of two women who were of inestimable value to 
us. One of these was the young wife of a gambler 
and opium smoker who had seen better days; conse- 
quently her feet were very small, and I had an oppor- 
tunity of carefully examining them. The four smaller 
toes were bent and bound under the foot, the heel was 
pressed forward and turned partly underneath, making 
the instep protrude unnaturally, yards and yards of 
bandages about two inches in width being used to bind 
them with. When her feet, which had open sores at the 
heels, would become painful from use, she would re- 
move the bandages and try the soothing effects of warm 
water, replacing the cloth wet, wearing shoes and all 
both night and day. During the time of binding the 
feet in, when the girls are three or four years of age, 
the pain is excruciating, and for two years the little 
things suffer extremely, but after the feet have been, 
bound and compressed the removal of the bandages 
causes great pain, and has to be gradually done, allow- 
ing the feet to expand slowly. There is a movement in 
China to do away with this barbarous custom, but 
though some influential natives give it their support, 
many a year will elapse before natural feet are the 
fashion in the Celestial Empire. 

The other woman, by far the more valued of the 
two, was an old Mongolian widow, called Ani, whose 
husband had been a Lhasa Tibetan, and whose only 
child was a girl of fourteen years of age, by name 
Doma. These two became my faithful friends, doing 
their utmost to serve me in every way. For nearly two 



OUE REMOVAL TO TANKAR 141 

years Ani brought us water on her donkey, a wooden 
bucketful on each side of the saddle, while Doma for 
over a year acted as " housemaid." Their home was in 
a respectable-looking courtyard just a few doors from 
ours, and consisted of a kitchen and two rooms, in the 
inner one of which was a Tc'ang with cupboards and a 
little altar with its idols, butter lamps, small shallow 
brass basins and innumerable hhatas. On the ¥ang 
was a liopen, in which there was invariably fire, while 
a pot of tea well seasoned with milk and salt always 
stood ready on the iron tripod standing in the fire. 
There was also a little square brightly painted box 
with a sliding lid that held tsamha. Whenever I vis- 
ited Ani's home bread and butter were ready waiting 
for me (she had learned of my aversion to tsamha), 
clean rugs were spread on the k'ang, and the tea had 
no salt in it. Ani always made profuse apologies for 
not having anything to offer me, but the hospitality 
was genuine, and received as heartily as it was given. 

Tibetan and Mongolian women are great wine-drink- 
ers, whenever they have company, or are visiting, and 
Ani was no exception to the rule. When under the 
influence of liquor she was very loquacious, beating 
and abusing Doma in barbarous fashion. The latter 
rather liked wine, too, for when she had the chance she 
would imbibe freely, but after a while they both ab- 
stained because I objected to it. Repeatedly, and with 
final success, I coaxed Ani to keep Doma away from 
drinking companies and allow her to follow the natural 
girlish instinct of purity I felt she possessed. To my 
exhortations Ani would reply in great sincerity. 



142 WITH THE TIBETANS 

"What a pity it is that poor women in our land are 
not respected as in yours; here they are not expected 
by parents or any one else to lead what you call moral 
lives." Alas, poor Ani's words tell only too truly the 
sad story of Tibetan women's lives. So far as we 
were able to observe, morality among them was an 
accident rather than a rule, this statement applying to 
all classes, married or single. Though at times there is 
affection between husband and wife, fidelity is not at all 
deemed an essential quality of womanhood, and when 
a man goes away from home he is just as liable to bring 
another wife home with him as not. This occurred in 
a house not far from us, where a man and his wife had 
lived comfortably and agreeably together for years. 
Suddenly, on his return from Sining, he brought an- 
other very young wife with him. The first wife was 
angry, and treated the poor young woman with such 
cruelty that the latter committed suicide by taking a 
large dose of opium. Her parents then demanded in- 
demnity from the husband for the loss of their child, 
and the home became one of misery. The entire social 
system, and especially the domestic relationship of 
the Tibetans, needs purifying. 

Doma was a very bright girl, speaking fluently Mon- 
golian, Chinese and Lhasa Tibetan, and as she gave us 
lessons in Mongolian, we found that she possessed 
great latent ability, having a good memory and 
sharp insight. Every small particle of cloth and 
any of our cast-off clothes were greatly appreciated 
by her, and afterwards when we had our Tibetan ser- 
vant Kahim, who came in for a share, she was quite 



OUR REMOVAL TO TANKAR 143 

jealous, proving how easily spoiled the natives are. Had 
we stayed long in Tankar and Rahim remained with us, 
he and Doma would probably have been married, for it 
had been discussed by him and Ani, and I often think 
that he may yet some day from his far-away home in 
Ladak find his way again north of the Kuenluns and 
settle down at Tankar as the old woman's son-in-law, 
for Doma possessed great charms for him. But these 
are dreams, idle dreams. 

A visit with Ani to the home of a Mongol woman 
married to a wealthy Lhasa Tibetan was quite an event 
to me, for she was the most respected native woman in 
Tankar with the exception of the wife of the highest 
Chinese official. Her little daughter, thirteen years 
old, was engaged to be married to a young boy aged 
eleven, son of the Mongol Prince of the Koko-nor, and 
this boy was living in his betrothed's home where he 
and the little girl studied the Chinese character, played, 
ate and slept together, the girl always obeyed and re- 
spected by the boy, conspicuous wherever he went in 
his yellow silk clothing. The rooms in this home were 
luxuriously furnished with carved and highly polished 
cupboards, tables and chairs of Chinese make, beauti- 
ful rugs, many brightly shining brass fixtures, fresh 
white and colored paper on the lattice windows, all 
indicating wealth and a certain degree of cleanliness 
and aesthetic taste. Her husband, politely called 
Tsun bo, was a large, well-built and well-dressed man, 
who looked as if he partook too freely of chang, an 
alcoholic beverage which he made in his home and sold 
in large quantities to the Tibetans. As the appoint- 



144 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ments in this house were of the highest order, the re- 
freshments that were offered to guests were of good 
quality, notably the tea, which was the real churned 
tea, the kind most favored by all Tibetans from the 
interior. It is made from brick tea, boiled for five 
minutes or longer in salted water; the liquid is then 
strained into a churn in which butter and tsamba have 
been put, and the whole churned up together by some 
peculiar twists of the churndash. It looks like choco- 
late, but it does not taste in the slightest degree the 
same, especially when the butter is tainted, as it very 
frequently is. 

Among the most interesting personages we met at 
Tankar were the four huslioh, or representatives of the 
Dalai Lama. These are lamas specially sent from 
Lhasa to look after the commercial interests of the 
great potentate, and at the same time they are em- 
powered to act in a semi-official capacity in all mat- 
ters pertaining to the commerce of the Tcopas, or Lhasa 
Tibetans, many of whom trade at Tankar. Every year 
the large trade caravans sent by the Dalai Lama to 
Pekin pass through Tankar and are superintended by 
the Tcushok. Dr. Sven Hedin has fallen into the error 
of confounding these trade caravans with the tribute- 
mission which the Dalai Lama sends the Chinese Em- 
peror once every three years. The tribute-mission 
formerly traveled over the Ts'aidam-Tankar road, but 
ever since the Mohammedan rebellion of 1861-74, by 
order of the Emperor, it has gone by way of Ta-chien- 
lu, although the Tibetans have frequently petitioned 
to be allowed to send it by the former route because it 



OUE EEMOVAL TO TANKAR 145 

is much easier to travel on, though now not so safe, 
owing to the unsettled state of the country. By way 
of Ta-chien-lu come also the trade caravans of the 
great TrashiFunpo Lama, who dwells in the monastery 
at Shigatsze near Lhasa, and who is reverenced by 
many Tibetan tribes and some Mongols to a greater 
degree even than the Dalai Lama. Though both the 
spiritual lords of Tibet engage in mundane traffic, they 
do it with mutual respect, and with no thought of com- 
petition, the one not infringing on the territory of the 
other. 

The four Jcushoh have large establishments in 
Tankar, houses gorgeously painted and beautifully fur- 
nished, where they sometimes spend many months on 
their way from Lhasa to Pekin. Having experienced 
the difficulties of travel between Lhasa and Tankar, 
they are not anxious to repeat that portion of the jour- 
ney, and so, frequently, on returning from the Chinese 
capital, they send the proceeds of their enterprise on to 
Lhasa in the care of trusty stewards and await the 
return of the latter with a fresh caravan of trade sup- 
plies. Thus every year one caravan departs for, and 
another arrives from, both Pekin and Lhasa. The 
principal one of these four agents was Shar-je-ja-ba, 
while the fourth in rank was Karpon Losang Kindum, 
Icarpon being a title given to responsible agents who 
have complete control of all their master's merchan- 
dise. We knew both of them well. The former was 
a large, corpulent lama with a round, fat face, a 
small tumor on his forehead, while across his head was 
a scar several inches in length, the result of a wound 



146 WITH THE TIBETANS 

dealt him by robbers some years previous. He was 
dressed in yellow and red brocaded silk garments, with 
a small circular hat that looked like a cap of gold, so 
bright it was. Two of his front teeth were missing, 
and so much anxiety did he display to have them re- 
placed that at his earnest solicitation Mr. Rijnhart, 
by means of a steel file, made him two from the ivory 
handle of a tooth brush, and fastened them in place 
by a silver wire attached to them through holes, and 
then bound around the other teeth. No one in this 
land of scientific dentistry could be better pleased with 
the most perfect crown tooth than was that Tibetan 
kushoTc with his two crudely-wrought ones, which were, 
it must be confessed, more ornamental than useful. 

Losang Kindum, dressed mostly in red silks and 
satins, was of slight build, tall and straight, with a 
good-natured, though cynical expression on his face. 
He, too, had had experience with robbers, for the year 
we arrived in Kumbum he had lost a whole caravan, 
and, knowing the people who had attacked him, he 
was endeavoring to obtain restitution through the 
Amban. 

Both Shar-je-ja-ba and Losang Kindum were exceed- 
ingly friendly, inviting us frequently to their sumptu- 
ous quarters and visiting us just as often in our own 
home. Once when our old friend Mina Fuyeh, now 
no longer abbot of Kumbum, had come up to spend a 
few days with us, Shar-je-ja-ba invited the latter and 
Mr, Rijnhart, together with a number of noted 
officials, to a feast. The occasion was so great as to 
receive the official recognition of the Amban, who sent 



OUR EEMOVAL TO TANKAE 147 

tablets of honorary inscriptions in gold letters -to be 
placed over the door of the courtyard. When all the 
ordinary lamas and Icopas were seated on rugs under 
awnings in the courtyard, and the guests of honor 
were on the Jc'angs in the rooms, wine and tea were 
served in profusion, with viands that would be most 
relished according as the guests were Chinese or Tibe- 
tan in their appetites. Mina Fuyeh, another living 
buddha, Mr. Rijnhart, a wealthy Chinaman, and 
Losang Kindum sat on one k'ang and had a very en- 
joyable time together which almost became unpleasant 
through a joke, which only the latter enjoyed. Though 
he was a lama, he was an inordinate wine-drinker, while 
his three guest-companions on the h'ang limited them- 
selves to tea, and probably from a sense of impropriety 
of his so freely imbibing, or a wish to be jovial and 
hospitable, he asked Mr. Rijnhart to have some. Not re- 
ceiving the expected acquiescence, when the little basin 
covered with a silver lid, from which my husband drank 
his tea, was sent to be refilled, Losang Kindum whis- 
pered something to the servant. When the cup was 
returned Mr. Rijnhart found that it contained wine, 
whereupon Mina Fuyeh was greatly incensed and in- 
formed Shar-je-ja-ba of the trick. The only com- 
pensation the genial host could offer was to give the 
poor servant a beating for lack of civility, when really 
Losang Kindum was to blame. When asked for a rea- 
son for the indignity he had heaped upon Mr. Rijn- 
hart, Losang Kindum replied that he had simply sup- 
posed Mr. Rijnhart to be like the ordinary Tibetan 
lama, who refuses to drink only until the first drop 



148 WITH THE TIBETANS 

has passed his lips as a result of persuasion, and is 
then ready to do his share. The drunken habits of 
some lamas are shocking. No fair or festival takes 
place without fights and disorderly conduct caused by 
alcoholic beverages. I do not say that all lamas drink, 
but to say that the majority of them are not only ad- 
dicted to drink but also to gluttony is not at all wide 
of the truth, and this despite the teachings of Buddha 
on temperance and self-control. The ethereal, abstemi- 
ous, vegetarian Buddhist lama is a pure figment. I 
have seen a lama devour several pounds of meat at 
one sitting. 

Entertainment is carried on in a sumptuous manner 
by these wealthy Tibetans, and at times no expense is 
spared for their own pleasure or that of their friends. 
They have at various seasons of the year what may be 
called theatricals for the want of a better name, and 
invitations are issued to special friends, while any 
others who wish to see may take up positions on the 
roof from which they can look into the courtyard below. 
We had the privilege of attending one of these per- 
formances, which we found interesting for the time 
that we remained. The performers were all men, some 
of whom, however, personated women, and were dressed 
in cloth gowns with richly embroidered jackets, having 
their hair ornamented by corals and green stones, and 
square cloth veils over their faces. The play consisted 
of the representation of a reception by a great poten- 
tate of embassies from different nations. The po- 
tentate was some holy man, a great lama seated on a 
throne. The first to be presented is the Chinese 



OUR REMOVAL TO TANKAR 149 

embassy, headed by a gorgeously arrayed mandarin 
with feather and button, and followed by a retinue of 
minor officials. He presents his Tchata to the po- 
tentate with elaborate ceremony, but to the apparently 
great chagrin of the Chinamen and to the amusement 
of the spectators, the Tchata is returned and the great 
mandarin fails to win favor. Then appear K'a-ches, 
men with long white beards, dressed in white plaited 
skirts and turbans, one of them with bent form per- 
sonating an elephant with a white sheet thrown over 
him. Next follow Hindustani Mohammedans in their 
dark red gowns and turbans, calling aloud as they en- 
ter in an attitude of worship "Allah! Allah!" The 
Mohammedan embassies share the same fate as the 
Chinese one, all their khatas being rejected; but the 
climax is complete when a well-dressed young prince 
of a royal Tibetan house presents his Mata and is 
graciously received by the big man amid much rejoic- 
ing. The entire representation was accompanied by 
much singing and dancing, the latter consisting now 
of a slow, dignified step, now of a vigorous swinging of 
the body until the rope ends attached to the girdle 
stood out perpendicular to the waist and had the ap- 
pearance of a rapidly revolving wheel. A drum beaten 
at intervals controlled the players, who at times danced 
forward to drink wine from a basin on the rim of which 
were three little pyramids of butter. With the other 
guests we were served refreshments, such as tea, de- 
licious bread, and Tibetan soup, made of finely chopped 
meat, onions and rice reduced to pulp, a very appetiz- 
ing and digestible food. Though the entertainment 



150 WITH THE TIBETANS 

was not by any means ended, we did not feel that after 
the first little while our time would be well spent, so 
left the natives to the full enjoyment of their play. 

The visit of Mina Fuyeh to our home in Tankar 
was full of interest. How many hours we spent talk- 
ing over the harrowing experience through which we all 
had passed during the rebellion. We also reviewed 
the happy days we had passed together in Kumbum and 
renewed our discussions about Christianity and 
Buddhism. There was no mistaking the fact that, 
though Mina Fuyeh had been much touched by the 
gospel story, and though he had long ago come to the 
point of expressing his admiration for Christ and 
Christian teaching, he showed no signs of willingness 
to openly renounce his ancestral faith; he was still a 
Buddhist by profession. We had done our best to en- 
lighten him. We had taught him with the most dili- 
gent and conscientious care; we had prayed over him, 
and sought by the example of our daily walk to open his 
eyes to the beauty and joyousness of the Christian life, 
and therefore strange thoughts passed through our 
minds as, during that visit, we saw the people come 
to him with khatas and gifts, prostrate themselves be- 
fore him, worship him as a god and wait to receive his 
blessing. To the missionary who works only for visi- 
ble results there are certainly many disappointments 
on the foreign field, and during the long pioneer days, 
the days of waiting and of sowing seed, only the con- 
sciousness that one is doing his duty and obeying the 
great Lord of the Harvest can keep the heart full of 
peace and full of faith as to the ultimate results. 



OUR REMOVAL TO TANKAR 151 

How difficult it was to realize that our visitor with 
whom we sat and conversed was a man of such influ- 
ence, purity and power in the eyes of the people as to be 
adored like a god, for, according to our standard, he 
was ignorant and materialistic to a degree. 

Mina Fuyeh was accompanied by his little disciple, 
a boy of about ten years of age, whom we had known at 
Kumbum. He was lively as a cricket, and many a 
prank did he play upon us and his exalted master. 
Thinking his appearance might be improved by a good 
wash, I provided him with the essentials and gave him 
full instructions; whereupon he very carefully gave his 
hands, anns, face and neck a scrubbing with plenty of 
hot water and soap, and there was such a transforma- 
tion that he was really good-looking. Having gone 
across the courtyard to another room for a time, I 
was amazed on my return to see him at the kitchen 
door, his face shining with something more oily than 
smiles, and, upon questioning him, found that, feeling 
uncomfortable, he had smeared the washed parts with 
butter, a cosmetic that every Tibetan uses freely. 

In connection with our regular medical and preach- 
ing work at Tankar, we sometimes went on short jour- 
neys into the surrounding districts — the beginnings of 
more extensive pioneer work to which we were looking 
forward. In October of 1896, on our return from a 
trip to the grass countr}', we were met at the gate by 
a messenger who informed us that a foreigner had 
arrived in the suburbs and was staying at an inn. Mr. 
Rijnhart at once rode off to inquire who the unexpected 
stranger might be, and, as a visit from European or 



152 WITH THE TIBETANS 

American travelers is so rare in this distant frontier 
town, he had decided beforehand to invite him to our 
home. I therefore made all haste to get the house in 
order, and had not finished when Mr. Eijnhart returned, 
followed into the courtyard by an English gentleman 
dressed in a tweed suit with sheepskin epaulettes, bear- 
ing the marks of exposure. What a thrill of delight 
when we exchanged greetings in good old Anglo- 
Saxon ! The stranger proved to be Capt. M. S. Wellby, 
of the 18th Hussars, who had made a journey from 
India, through Ladak and Northern Tibet. 

He had been traveling for nearly seven months, and 
had encountered many difficulties. It had been his in- 
tention to penetrate into Inner Tibet from Ladak 
through Rudok, but arriving at the latter place was 
prevented from proceeding further by a large body of 
Tibetan soldiers stationed there to guard the Lhasa 
road. He was then obliged to turn northeastward in a 
sort of zig-zag course and spend many weeks in barren, 
uninhabited country. His provisions had given out, 
many of his animals died, and his men mutinied and 
deserted him, so that all that remained of the caravan 
when it reached Tankar was Captain Wellby himself, 
Lieutenant Malcolm and Duffadar Shahzad Mir, his 
compagnons de voyage, his muleteer and two body- 
servants with one load of effects. The journey across 
Northern Tibet, though disastrous in many respects, 
had not been fruitless. Valuable observations had been 
made on the way, and geographical science enriched by 
the discovery of the source of the Chumar river. We 
shall let Captain Wellby in his own words describe Mr. 



OUR REMOVAL TO TANKAR 163 

Rijnhart's arrival in the inn and what followed : " I 
could hardly make up my mind whether he was a 
European or a Chinaman, and when he addressed me 
in a mixture of French and Chinese I was still more 
mystified, so to simplify matters I replied, ' I'm an 
Englishman,' and held my hand out to him. He 
eagerly seized it, and gave me the heartiest shake I 
had received for many a long day, and I felt thankful 
that we had found a European and a friend anxious 
to help us in this out of the way place. Mr. Rijn- 
hart, for that was his name, was a Dutch missionary, 
and had only taken up his abode in Tankar within the 
last three months. * * * in another moment we 
were trotting through the street in single file, chatting 
all the while, when, suddenly turning to the left, we 
very shortly afterwards drew up at Rijnhart's little 
house. One step up out of the narrow lane landed us 
in an open courtyard, where his kind-hearted wife, 
Dr. Rijnhart, was waiting to welcome us, as well as 
Mr. Hall, of the China Inland Mission, who had come 
over to Tankar from Sining and had only just returned 
with the Rijnharts from making a trip to the Koko-nor. 
Great honor was shown to me in the eyes of the Chinese 
by allotting to my use the room that faced the en- 
trance. The Rijnharts, when by themselves, lived in 
Chinese fashion, and were on the most friendly terms 
with all the Chinese and Tibetan officials in the town, 
and we ourselves were treated with courtesy and 
civility."* 

Captain Wellb/s visit was of short duration, lasting 

• Through Unknown Tibet, by Capt. M. S. Wellby, pp. a6i-a. 



154 WITH THE TIBETANS 

only one day. In the afternoon we had a call from the 
princess of the Koko-nor, which served to add interest 
to the occasion. Next day, accompanied by Mr. Rijn- 
hart, the party set out for a visit to the Kumbura 
lamasery,t and thence to Sining and Lancheo. 
Meanwhile, at the earnest solicitation of the travelers, 
and further because some arrangements about our 
mails and other business at the coast required adjust- 
ing previous to the great journey we were contemplat- 
ing to the interior, Mr. Kijnhart agreed to accompany 
them to Pekin, acting as interpreter, a service of which 
Captain "Wellby has made the most courteous and 
copious acknowledgment.^ 



t " Very lucky we are to be able to pay this visit under the guidance of 
Mr. Rijnhart, for not only has he a more intimate knowledge of the mon- 
astery than any other living man, but having made his home for two years 
in Lusar, ten months of which were spent in the monastery itself, he has 
made friends with a very large number of its inmates, more especially 
with Mina Fuyeh, one of the greatest incarnate saints in the place." Op. 
Cit. p. 270. 

i Op. Cit. pp. 267-411. 

N^. B.—l have since learned with great regret of the death of Capt. 
Wellby from wounds received in the late South African war. 



CHAPTER IX 

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS. 

Mr. Rijnhart's Absence — Our House is Robbed — Visit 
of Dr. Sven Hedin — Tsanga Fuyeh — Medical Work 
Among Nomads — Birth of Our Little Son. 

Mr. Rijnhart conducted Captain Wellby's party to 
Pekin, from there went overland to Hankow with a 
German traveler, made new arrangements for our 
mails and supplies, and returned to Tankar with all 
possible speed. During his absence the natives be- 
stowed on me the greatest kindnesses, and I felt per- 
fectly safe with them. The women especially did all 
in their power to entertain me, inviting me to their 
houses and bringing me gifts, thus enabling me to 
get acquainted with them in the most intimate way. 
They seemed to feel they had me under their protection, 
and vied with each other in bestowing upon me the 
most considerate attention of which they were capable. 
Here, too, was a golden chance to speak to them of 
Christ and of all that His religion had done for women 
in other lands, and of what it could do for them. Du- 
ring these memorable weeks I learned to understand and 
sympathize with the heathen women as never before. 
Besides, I was kept busy with my medical work, and 

155 



166 WITH THE TIBETANS 

the constant arrival of visitors from far and near who 
had heard of the foreign teachers and came to see for 
themselves, compensated largely for any feelings of 
loneliness I may have had, and made monotony and 
ennui impossible. 

Christmastime I spent with Mrs. Kidley at Sining, 
and while I was away poor Ani, whom I had left in 
charge of the house, had a trying experience. A thief, 
knowing probably that we were away, broke into our 
house and made off with our stock of money and many 
others of our valuable possessions, besides destroying 
photographic plates by exposing them to the light, and 
emptying many vials of precious chemicals upon the 
ground. By the aid of the dog Ani located the culprit 
crouching in a room off the stable, and upon demanding 
an explanation of his presence, found herself suddenly 
engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle, at the end of 
which she was left lying in a pit near the stable, while 
her adversary made his escape. Undaunted, the faith- 
ful Ani gathered herself up as soon as possible and ran 
through the streets crying " stop thief !" But no one 
would stop him, or tell her who he was, although it 
transpired that nearly everyone knew him; but Tibetan 
politeness forbids anyone to give information that 
would convict another of theft. As soon as I returned 
from Sining I immediately notified the yamen of the 
outrage. Some underlings came around to tell Ani 
that if they did not catch the thief she would be held 
responsible and be dragged before the yamen, as it was 
her fault that the iang-ta-ren, " foreign gentleman's," 
house had been robbed. Many a weary week was spent 



DISTINGUISHED VISITOES 157 

before Ani's character was cleared by the catching of 
the real thief. I shall not forget the kindness of the 
official and his wife at this time when I had to visit 
the yamen, for they admitted me to their own room, 
where, contrary to the general custom in China, they 
dined alone together. Mina Fuyeh, hearing that we 
had been robbed, sent his treasurer over from Kumbum 
with a hhata to offer me any amount of money I might 
need, and to invite me to return to the lamasery to 
live, where I would be among "friends." Losang 
Kindum (one of the Dalai Lama's husliolc) also sent 
me several strings of cash, and offered me as many 
more as I wanted, saying that Chinese officials were 
not always to be depended upon, but that the Tibetans 
were big-hearted and meant what they said. Having 
full confidence, however, in my friends at Tankar, 
I did not yield to Mina Fuyeh's persuasion. 

After the visit of Captain Wellby we had concluded 
it would be a long time ere we would again be visited 
by a European traveler, but this rare treat was in store 
for us sooner than we expected. One calm, bright No- 
vember Monday the sun shone warmly upon Ani and 
myself as we sat on our rugs in the courtyard enjoying 
some pien-shi, for I had invited her to come and have 
dinner with me. A knock at the entrance was answered 
by the old woman, who at once called me, and I found 
upon my arrival that the doorway was full of men, 
some of whom were Mongols and some, yamen people. 
One of the latter, acting as spokesman, told me that a 
foreigner was just outside the west gate, and was com- 
ing to our home to be entertained. Upon questioning 



168 WITH THE TIBETA:t^S 

him closely I elicited the information that the for- 
eigner was on his way out of Tibet; that he had sent 
word to the yamen to find lodging, fodder and firewood 
for him and his caravan, and that knowing we had 
entertained Captain Wellby and Lieutenant Malcolm, 
the official had directed the foreign men to pro- 
ceed to our home, all of which was said with 
the mannerisms peculiar to messengers from the 
yamen. It did not seem possible that another 
explorer could have so quickly come after Captain 
Wellby, and I feared it was the men whom the 
latter had left in Tibet; and feeling thus, I replied 
that the official must provide entertainment for them 
himself, that Mr. Eijnhart was away from home. The 
Mongols had in the meantime been telling Ani what a 
great man the approaching foreigner was, an amhan 
they said, and had so enlisted her sympathies that she 
prevailed upon me to reconsider my decision, so I said, 
" Surely, if this is an amhan who is coming he must 
have passports and other papers," whereupon the Mon- 
gols said he had sent them with one of his men, who 
was forthwith called. He had been standing aside in 
the street and now came forward, a large man with a 
long black beard and a ver}' foreign look, who, I at 
once concluded, was a Mohammedan from India or 
Kashgar; had he presented the papers at the be- 
ginning, such a long consultation would have been 
avoided. I looked at the papers he handed me and read 
in French the fact that Sven Hedin, Ph.D., was on a 
tour of scientific exploration in Central Asia, or some- 
thing to that effect, and at once told the men that he 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 159 

was to be guided to our home, and added we would 
look after his entertainment. 

In a very short time the caravan of the great Swedish 
traveler arrived at the door, and in the absence of Mr. 
Eijnhart I went at once to welcome and extend to him 
the hospitality of our little home. Knowing that he 
was a Swede I felt I must learn at once in what lan- 
guage we were to converse, so I asked him if he spoke 
English, and upon his reply in the affirmative, we were 
not at a loss to find topics that interested us both. Ani 
was delighted that he could speak Mongolian, and 
called him amhan and personally welcomed him to 
Tankar. He had a large number of men in his caravan, 
some of whom took up quarters in our drug room, while 
the remainder with the horses went to an inn. Dr. 
Hedin had heard of us before his arrival. At Bayin- 
hoshum, not far beyond the Khara Kottel, or Black 
Pass, a Tangut chief had told him there was a solitary 
Oruss or " Russian " lady at Tankar. " Russian " is 
the only name by which all Europeans are known in 
Northern Tibet. In his great work " Through Asia " 
Dr. Hedin has given the following account of his recep- 
tion and visit at our humble home. 

" Earlier in the day I had sent Parpi Bai on in ad- 
vance to take my pass to the governor of the town. 
That dignitary now met us at the gate, bringing us a 
letter from the ' Russian lady ' with a hearty invita- 
tion to share her hospitality. I felt it was rather pre- 
sumptuous to quarter myself altogether upon a solitary 
lady. Nevertheless I decided, perhaps it was curiosity 
drove me, at any rate to go and pay her a visit. When 



160 WITH THE TIBETANS 

I reached the house indicated, a good Chinese house 
with an oblong courtyard, I was met by a bareheaded 
young lady wearing spectacles and dressed after the 
Chinese manner. She asked me in a friendly tone, 
' Do you speak English ? ' I told her yes, I thought 
so, and very soon our tongues were going at express 
speed. She introduced herself as Mrs. Eheinhard 
(Rijnhart) an American doctor of medicine. Her hus- 
band was the Dutch missionary, Mr. Eheinhard, who 
fully a month earlier had started for Peking with Capt. 
Wellby, who was on his way home from his journey 
across Tibet. Mrs. Eheinhard was the personification 
of hospitality and amiability. It was quite a pleasure 
to talk to somebody whose interests ranged beyond 
grass and pastures, dangerous passes, wild yaks, cattle 
and sheep. Her husband's courage in venturing to 
leave her behind alone among the rabble of Tankar 
truly astonished me. But there was not so much dan- 
ger, perhaps, after all; for through her medical knowl- 
edge and skill Mrs. Eheinhard had won several friends 
among the native population.'^* 

The Chinese officials in Eastern Turkestan had 
shown him marked courtesy, and he had expected the 
same from those in the towns of Western China, but 
found it altogether lacking, I believe, because the Mon- 
gols who announced his arrival had called him amban, 
while his passport was almost the same as a mission- 
ary's; the official was quick to appreciate the fact 
that Capt. Wellby had a much better passport than 



• "Through Asia," by Sven Hedin, 2 Vols., Harper & Bros., Vol, II., pp. 
X156-7. 



DISTINGUISHED VISITOES 161 

Dr. Hedin, though the latter was entitled to one of 
higher rank, seeing that King Oscar was personally in- 
terested in the expedition. Instead of coming to call 
on the traveler, the official ignored his presence in 
Tankar and Dr. Hedin went himself to call on the 
ting, but there were no big guns fired in his honor as 
there had been in Turkestan. 

The Kopas were anxious to learn how near he had 
been to Lhasa, so Losang Kindum came around with 
his prayer-wheel in one hand, to ask particulars, and 
as a result Dr. Hedin visited him in the evening, to buy 
some curios, cloth, boots, etc., of which the JcushoJcs 
have such large quantities, selling them as they do for 
the Dalai Lama. In Dr. Hedin's book " Through Asia " 
he speaks of this transaction as his buying some of the 
goods intended for tribute, and that the Emperor would 
that time receive less than had been intended for him. 
The goods did belong perhaps to the Dalai Lama, but 
were for trade, not for presentation to the Emperor as 
tribute, and it is possible that those particular articles 
belonged to Losang Kindum himself, for even a servant 
coming from Lhasa does on his own account a little 
trade, and the profits of that deal were boasted of by 
the kushoJc for a long time afterwards. 

Having a desire to see Kumbum, Dr. Hedin stayed 
only a short time in Tankar and upon his departure I 
sent my servant with him, with instructions to visit 
Mina Fuyeh, present him a Ichata and say that Dr. 
Hedin wished to visit the temples, and that any kind- 
nGss he showed him would be appreciated. Just before 
his departure two runners from the yamen came and 



162 WITH THE TIBETANS 

offered their services, but Dr. Hedin was indignant and 
sent word through them to their official that he had a 
good revolver which he had intended to give him, but he 
would not do so, and he would moreover report to Pekin 
his lack of courtesy to him, a stranger in Tankar. The 
men kotowed, went away, but soon returned. As the 
caravan was leaving our gate. Dr. Hedin told his treas- 
urer to give Ani four hundred cash. The old woman 
was delighted; it is certain she will never forget the 
great white amban, and if her wishes for prosperity and 
peace were of any avail surely he must have had a 
charmed life ever since. If on his return to the 
Ts'aidam last year he passed through Tankar, as he 
most probably would, Ani, if she heard of his coming, 
did not fail, I am sure, to give him a hearty welcome. 

My next visitor, quite as distinguished in his way, 
was a lama, 73 years of age, a " living buddha " named 
Tsanga Fuyeh. Having read the Gospels of Mark and 
John which we had given a young friend of his, he de- 
sired, he said, to see the people from whom the books 
had come. He was, as far as we could afterwards learn, 
a pure living man, and he looked it. Inviting him with 
great ceremony to take his place upon the Ic'ang in 
the guest-room, I gave him tea, bread, tsamha and 
butter. He had evidently made up his mind that we 
foreign teachers were different from ordinary beings, 
for he was as much surprised as delighted when he 
found we would eat Tibetan meat and butter, and made 
us a present of a leg of mutton and some pears, accom- 
panied by a Icliata, promising to supplement these gifts 
by some sheep's butter when he returned to his people, 



DISTrnGUISHED VISITOES 163 

and he kept his promise. The old buddha was much 
interested in our medical skill, asked for some eye medi- 
cine for himself, and inquired about our ability to help 
a relative who had a tumor. A month or so later when 
Mr. Eijnhart had returned, the " relative," a rather 
young woman, came in, accompanied by her husband. 
Instead of a tumor, we found the patient suffering 
from abdominal dropsy, and were able to relieve her im- 
mediately by tapping. She and her husband rented a 
room, the only one they could procure, about eight feet 
square, with no window; and the woman lay on the 
Jc'ang, with a pack saddle for a pillow, as contented as 
possible. Her husband was one of those cheery, good 
natured men one does not often see the like of. He 
brought us presents, imitated our English, made friends 
with Topsy, the door-keeper, to such an extent that 
she would let him out without any remarks of disap- 
proval, but he could not induce her to let him in with- 
out some member of the household restraining her. On 
the whole, he enjoyed us just as much as we did him 
and perhaps a little more, seeing that we were a trifle 
cleaner than he was. Among these Tibetans there is 
a peculiar custom we only learned after close contact 
with them. When anyone is ill one of the members of 
the family goes to a lama, gives him a Tcliata, tells him 
about the sick one, and asks him what mamba is to be 
consulted. The lama accepts the Ichata, throws dice, 
to indicate a certain page in a sacred book which 
is turned up, whereupon the name of the mamha is 
announced. Tsanga Fuyeh was the lama to whom they 
went for this knowledge, and after his relative was 



164 WITH THE TIBETANS 

cured by tapping, he would send every one to us for 
treatment. We had never suspected that our names 
were recorded in the sacred books of Buddhism ! 

The news of this woman's cure spread far westward 
among the Koko-nor Tibetans, and Tsanga Fuyeh did 
not cease to sound our praises. As a result people came 
in from distances requiring twenty days on horseback. 
This much was amusing: anyone who had a pain of 
any kind in the region of the stomach wanted to be 
"tapped," for the Tibetans reason that what is good 
for one sick person is equally good for another ! I 
had also to be specially careful to give explicit directions 
about taking medicine, as another of their maxims was 
" if a little medicine is good, a large quantity must be 
so much better," and they would swallow a whole bot- 
tle of liquid or box of pills at a single dose. Frequently 
also they ate the papers in which the powders were 
wrapped, thinking that if the medicine inside the papers 
was good, there certainly also must be some virtue in 
the paper. The visit of Tsanga Fuyeh and the noto- 
riety it gave us among the nomads of the grass country 
prepared the way, as will be seen, for further trips 
into the grass country, and later into the great beyond. 

Mr. Eijnhart's return from the journey to Pekin 
was hailed by the natives with delight, especially by 
the kopas, who came to bid him welcome home, bringing 
a khata and large pieces of meat, sometimes as much 
as half a sheep. Shortly after his return the question 
of servants was settled, for we secured the services of 
Mohammed Eahim, the third of Capt. Wellby's men 
that had reached Tankar in safety. He had been 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 165 

away in the grass country herding flocks and cat- 
tle, so that when Dr. Sven Hedin appeared, he missed 
being taken on with his men and so found himself alone 
in Tankar. He came to us and a very valuable serv- 
ant he proved to be, with the fault of a hasty temper 
which occasionally would get him into trouble. 

We had in the center of our courtyard a square flower 
garden, where we coaxed some native flowers resem- 
bling yellow poppies, marigolds and asters to bloom with 
our own violets, nasturtiums and sweet peas, which 
gave our home a delightful whiff of old-fashioned far 
away gardens in the homeland; many a time we would 
sit on the little stone fence about the flowers, and, look- 
ing down into the depths of the blossoms, see pictured 
there faces of loved ones far away, made happier by 
sunny, bright letters from the Tibetan border. The 
blooming of each new flower was for us a visitor, each 
bringing its quota of interest and cheer. When the 
first dark velvety nasturtium bloomed there came to 
our home another blossom, who brought with him a 
budget of love and a stock of sunshine which will re- 
main always, but now only in memory — dear little 
Charles Carson Rijnhart, who came to us on June 30th, 
1897. Ani had anticipated the event with a large 
amount of talk and wonderment at the preparations 
I was making. She told me that among the nomads 
the mother's only bed is one made of the powdered 
excreta of sheep, and that when the weather is warm 
the little one is pasted with butter and put out to 
bask in the sun. If medical science is needed, none is 
to be had, nature alone is to be depended upon ; and yet 



166 WITH THE TIBETANS 

everyone is satisfied, as no one has learned that in other 
countries things are different. When the tub of warm 
water was brought in daily for the bath and baby was 
put into it, Ani and Doma looked upon it all as an act 
of almost certain insanity, though Mrs. Eidley, who was 
of such inestimable help to us, had been doing the same 
thing for her two dear little children and no harm 
had resulted. The natives do not allow a stranger to 
approach the mother until forty days after the birth 
of a child, owing to some superstition ; and the mother 
goes out one hundred days after it, so that everyone was 
amazed to see us about the middle of August, going 
horseback on a journey to the south of the Koko-nor. 

Mohammed Rahim, henceforth to be known as Rahim, 
was baby's delight, and Doma was not at all pleased that 
she was not looked on with as much favor as the dark- 
faced boy, who would walk up and down the courtyard 
carrying the precious burden, singing weird Hindustani 
and Ladaki airs, and even the British bugle call which 
he had learned in India, There is such a difference be- 
tween Tibetan and white children, the former having 
apparently scarcely any nerve tissue and showing so 
little interest and vivacity, and though baby was only 
an ordinary child, he was in the eyes of the natives a 
great curiosity; they considered him exceeding 
smart to " notice things," and in comparison to theirs 
he certainly was. The twenty days among the nomads 
in August, to be described in the next chapter, were 
very enjoyable and will never be forgotten by those 
natives who came into contact with us. They would 
come in on tiptoe with their tongues protruding, to 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 16T 

stand and gaze upon Charles asleep in his hammock 
swinging between the tent poles, and hold up both 
thumbs and put the tongue out still further if possible, 
as a token of approbation. When his bath time came 
and the tent door was closed on account of the draught, 
the women and men too would run to our tent, pick 
up the flap around the bottom and the whole aperture 
would be filled with dark faces and laughing black eyes, 
while they watched the performance interesting to them 
and enjoyable to Charles. Such remarks as the follow- 
ing were common : " White child," " See her put 
him into the water,'' " He will die," and " Why does she 
not paste him with butter and put him out in the sun ? " 
Tibetan children living in the tents are experts at rid- 
ing, jumping on the backs of horses and even cows 
and running down hill at full speed. They are in 
sunny warm weather to be seen playing about the tents 
with only a string of something that serves as a charm 
around the neck, with perhaps a tiny bell, added to the 
covering nature herself gave them. Their lives are des- 
titute of pleasures, for they have no playthings, no 
candy, fruit, or cake, which children in this land and 
even in China have in such abundance. They are not 
loved and cuddled the way children are in the home- 
land, and oftentimes the calves and fawns tied to the 
post in the tent receive more attention than the bairnies. 
Shortly after we were settled in Tankar Mr. Eijn- 
hart went down to Sining and had his bicycle brought 
up the mountainous road. As riding from Sining to 
Tankar was impossible, it was necessary for a man to 



168 WITH THE TIBETANS 

carry it on his back. This wonderful " one man cart " 
(the literal translation of the name the natives gave it) 
will never be forgotten by the people, and though very 
much interested in its mechanism not one of them could 
ever be induced to mount. As far as real use in travel- 
ing was concerned it was nil, but Tibetans came in 
large numbers wanting to see it, and we were glad to 
have such a powerful magnet attracting the people to 
us almost daily, thus enlarging the circle of our 
acquaintance and usefulness. To satisfy them Mr. 
Eijnhart gave exhibitions. Crowds of people came to 
witness the " foreign teacher " ride on " the one man 
cart." The great difficulty was to keep the men and 
boys from following too closely, as if any accident should 
happen, the rider was in danger of being tramped upon 
by the multitude behind. Outside the east gate was a 
decline, and they never ceased commenting upon the 
speed with which the bicycle would " run " down that 
hill " faster than the best horse." My sewing machine 
also attracted its share of attention and was called the 
" iron tailor," one woman even going so far as to come 
to inquire if it were true that when I finished sew- 
ing I carried him to the kitchen, put him on the table 
and he made food for us? Poor Tibetan women and 
often men would give me a small piece of cloth and ask 
me to make it into a bag, that they might take it home 
to show their mothers what wonderful sewing it did. 
By degrees we had won as many friends in Tankar as 
in Kumbum and Lusar, besides we had gathered a 
fund of information about the nomads of the grass 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 169 

country. Our name and work were known among them 
many days' journey west and south, and the Scriptures 
we had given away to visitors were being read in dis- 
tricts to which we never yet had gone. 



CHAPTER X 

AMONG THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOR 

Tangut Customs — Journey to the Koko-nor — ISTomadic 
Tent-Life — A Glimpse of the Blue Lake — Robbers — 
Distributing Gospels. 

Never since our memorable attempt to reach the 
Koko-nor under the guidance of Ishinima, had we given 
up the project of visiting that wondrous lake, not merely 
because of the pleasure we anticipated at gazing again 
on an extensive body af water, but rather to spy out the 
country, get better acquainted with the nomads in their 
temporary settlements, distribute copies of the Gospels, 
preach the doctrine, and ascertain the prospects and 
possibilities of future missionary work among them. 
These nomads, called Tanguts, or Koko-nor Tibetans, 
who frequently visited us at Tankar, talked about the 
lake continually and supplied us with minute informa- 
tion as to the nature of the country through which we 
should pass. We had become so well acquainted with 
the Tanguts that, although we knew most of them were 
robbers, we lost all fear of them. Their costume con- 
sists of the ordinary sheepskin gown worn with the 
woolly side next the body, high top-boots and some- 
times a hat with a peaked crown surmounted by a red 

170 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOE 171 

tassel, and the brim lined with white lambskin. The 
men have hanging from their girdles their flint and 
tinder, knife-case, powder-horn, and, stuck through 
the girdle from right to left is a sword encased in a 
sheath made sometimes of wood, but often of metal 
inlaid with silver and stones. When they are traveling 
they seldom take their hand ofl: the hilt of the sword. 
Many of them carry also guns and spears. All the 
smaller baggage, such as the drinking-bowl, snuff-box, 
money, weighing-scales, etc., is carried inside the blouse. 
The women could scarcely be distinguished from the 
men except for the headdress. The hair, thoroughly 
greased, is braided into fifty or more small plaits which 
are bound together at the back with wide strips of 
cloth covered with shells and beads, the whole weighing 
several pounds, extending below the waist and dangling 
at every step. The fashion of dressing the hair among 
the men varies in different localities. Some have the 
Chinese queue, others have the front hair trimmed 
into butter-smeared fringes and bangs, while that from 
the back of the head flies in the wind; others have the 
hair, augmented by silk or cotton coils, wound round 
the head and adorned with rings, corals and other 
stones; still others have their heads utterly unkempt. 
The women's gowns, like the men's, are held by girdles 
from which hang knives, needle-cases and other append- 
ages. Both men and women wear a charm-box around 
the neck, containing a small idol, pieces of old cloth 
and small parcels of medicine. The women always wear 
large earrings in both ears, and as many rings on their 



172 WITH THE TIBETANS 

fingers as they can procure. The men wear an earring 
generally in the left ear only. 

As the fur garments are worn by the Tanguts for 
years and bathing is unknown, the odor of their bodies 
is decidedly disagreeable; in my medical capacity I 
have had to come into such close contact with the 
Tibetan women as to feel positively nauseated by the 
smell, and the liberal supply of vermin that sometimes 
would be on my wrist after feeling a patient's pulse. 
They seem to suffer no discomfort on account of the 
vermin. They have no desire to exterminate them; to 
kill a louse, in fact, is regarded as a sin against the 
teachings of Buddha, and they rarely do kill them ex- 
cept to eat them. That I have seen them do, picking 
them not only from their own bodies but from others'. 

A visit from a party of these Tangut Tibetans at 
Tankar we always regarded of great moment, taking the 
time of every one in the household, some to talk to them, 
others to doctor the sick ones, as invariably some of 
them wanted medicine ; and nearly always we gave them 
some of their much-relished brick tea. A call of aro 
at the door, a rush to hold the doorkeeper, our dog 
Topsy, a quick entrance of several people with their 
rustling leather gowns, heavy boots, clanging swords, 
knives and women's headdress announce their coming. 
Then there are holding out of hands, the profuse salu- 
tations with cries of dimo-dimo-ing, the presentation 
of the hliata, or perhaps a sheep's stomach full of sweet 
milk, or a piece of butter drawn from the depth of a 
dirty skin bag, with hands that leave black marks wher- 
ever they touch, and some churmaj all given with lib- 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOR 1T3 

erality and genuine good feeling, and accepted with 
the greatest grace and thankfulness, because we knew 
that it was the best they could give, and their hearts 
came with the gifts. The boy in the meantime is busy 
in the kitchen preparing a huge pot of tea, and some 
basins are filled, and much smacking of lips and chit- 
ter-chatter shows the genuine enjoyment with which it 
is partaken of. If there is a man of any social standing 
among them he is invited into the best room, the one 
farthest from the entrance, and entertained there. If 
they are ordinary people they are entertained in the 
courtyard with rugs spread on the floor, or in the drug- 
room. 

The particular journey into the Tangut country of 
which I now write was one we made at the invitation of a 
panaka, who requested us to go and operate on the 
eyes of his aged father afilicted with cataract. The 
panaJca provided us with animals to carry our supplies, 
which consisted of a tent, rugs for bedding, two iron 
pots, and a wooden basin for each of us, a pair of goat- 
skin bellows, besides drugs and copies of the Gospels 
for distribution. For food we took plenty of dried 
doughstrings, a bag of roasted barley meal, butter, 
cliurma, a half brick of tea, and some hard baked bread. 
Bread taken on a journey in this compact form has the 
advantage of being always very palatable, and of re- 
maining good for months if made well. 

Although little Charles was only forty-two days old 
it was decided that I should accompany the expedition, 
and the 12th of August, a lucky day in the estimation 
of the natives, was fixed for our departure. Early in 



174 WITH THE TIBETANS 

the morning the panaka came to our gate with two 
fine yak and it was not long until we joined the caravan, 
which consisted altogether of nine yak and one horse, 
laden with stores, and five ponies with their riders, our 
panaka, a medical lama, and his Chinese bookkeeper, 
Eahim our Ladaki servant, Mr. Eijnhart and myself. 
Mr. Eijnhart carried baby, while Topsy with wagging 
tail ran between the horses' feet as excited as if she too 
had visions of the Blue Lake. 

About five miles west of Tankar, we forded the Hsi- 
ho (Western Eiver) and turning south-west entered the 
Ea-la valley, in which we passed a small lamasery of 
the same name, containing about two hundred priests. 
At about 5 p. m. we reached the limit of cultivated 
fields and having met some caravans of merchants on 
their way to Tankar with wool and barley, camped with 
them for the night, continuing our journey on the fol- 
lowing morning into the western wilderness, leaving 
every trace of the work, of man's hand behind. We had 
not gone far when one of the yak fell down ill, and, as 
the Tibetans would not think of leaving the animal in 
its sad condition, the whole caravan was obliged to 
pitch tents and wait until he either recovered or died. 
While we prepared a fire and boiled some tea, the lama 
doctor, seeing an opportunity to prove his skill, under- 
took to restore the animal to its wonted vigor. While 
murmuring low incantations he drew his sword and 
kept patting the animal's back and sides with it, all 
the while marching round it and from time to time 
offering prayers. Now and then he threw a handful of 
road dust on its head and back. Suddenly the incan- 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOK 175 

tations ceased, and the panalca was directed to secure 
a dry herb, twist it into two pyramids and setting fire 
to them, put one up each of the yak's nostrils. This 
done, the incantations were resumed until finally the 
yak gave a vigorous kick and the holy man came to Join 
us at our fire, having concluded that his work was 
done, or that there was no use continuing any longer. 
As we thought of the night coming on, we fervently 
wished the animal would take a sudden change one way 
or the other. Looking about for a suitable place to 
pitch our tent, and trying to get reconciled to the idea 
of passing the night in that robber-infested district, 
Mr. Rijnhart cast another look at the animal and found 
he had ceased to breathe, so that we were now able to 
proceed. The lama had given us reason to believe that 
this district full of gullies and crevices, favorite hiding- 
places for thieves, was particularly dangerous, and we' 
were all glad to leave it. At 3 p. m. we crossed the 
Ra-la, a very high mountain pass, from which we got 
sight of the Koko-nor, blue indeed and glittering in the 
bright sun. The Ra-la mountains are rich in iron and 
there is every indication of the presence of more pre- 
cious metal. That night we encamped with another 
caravan of Tibetans, keeping watch during the night, 
as much for fear of them as of the attacks of brigands. 
These panalca dwelling south of the lake have all more 
or less the appearance of thieves and robbers, and con- 
sidering this, it is amusing to witness one of their cus- 
toms. As soon as a caravan stops, two or three of the 
men boil the tea, while others unload the yak. When 
the tea is boiling, all are called around the fire. One 



1T6 WITH THE TIBETANS 

of them throws a small lump of butter into the tea, 
takes the ladle, dips it out, and throws it with a little 
tea towards the sky. Then all take off their hats and 
join the man who sprinkled the tea in a kind of prayer, 
while the latter twice again dips out tea and throws it 
up. The tea is offered to a god, and the prayer invites 
him to come and drink it, asking him to keep them 
from sickness, to give them peace on the road, and to let 
them meet with only good, honest people. After the 
tea is finished the same prayer is said again while one 
man turns out the remaining tea and all the leaves by 
the side of the camp fire. 

Early the following morning we crossed the sand hills 
by which the lake is lined, after which we followed the 
shore, over a mile from the water's edge. Here was 
most beautiful pasture ground, gradually ascending 
from the water and towering some three to five miles 
off into lofty mountains, covered with the finest grass. 
Until noon we saw no tents and then only far out of 
our way. We stopped at Tso-nitag (" The Lake's 
Neck '') where we were visited by some Tibetans, to 
whom we talked while tea was being prepared; in the 
distance we saw a large caravan, recognized as belong- 
ing to the Kambas, a wild tribe of Tibetans living far- 
ther in, the same barbarians hj whom the French trav- 
elers, Dutreuil de Ehins and Grenard, were attacked, 
and the former killed, about four years previous. But 
they stayed far from us, continuing their march. On 
the slopes of the mountains we saw herds of antelopes, 
here and there a stray wolf, and a number of white- 
headed eagles; also a large species of hawk. The lake- 



THE TAN"GUTS OF THE KOKO-N"OR 177 

side was literall}^ covered with ducks, geese, sheldrakes 
and bustards. Our servant shot a goose, but as it tasted 
so much like sea-water, it was uneatable. In some parts 
the ground was full of holes, in which live lizards, a 
small, white bird, and a species of lagomys, all very 
plentiful. During the night there fell in the valley 
copious rains, which the chill air of the high altitudes 
turned into snow, so that with the coming day we saw 
the mountains covered with their glistening white man- 
tle. It was the 16th of August when we reached the 
panaka's camp, two hundred yards from the water's 
edge. It included six tents situated close together, 
while many others were visible further down the shore. 
As we approached the tents a pack of about twenty 
of the fiercest dogs imaginable surrounded us, and with 
hideous yelping sought to drag us from our ponies, 
being prevented from accomplishing their object only 
by the arrival of some of the tent people who sub- 
dued them with stout clubs. After dismounting we 
were led to a tent and asked to sit down on some rugs 
beside a rude furnace made of mud and stones. A 
handful of churma and barley meal was put into a 
basin, tea poured upon it and a large lump of butter 
added, the whole being stirred up and handed to us 
with a polite request that we refresh ourselves with a 
drink, while our own tent was being erected. 

The tents are made of woolen stuff, manufactured by 
the inhabitants. Inside are four, or sometimes five, 
poles over which the ropes run that hold up the tent, 
while outside there are also poles to hold the same 
ropes tight. The tents which, when viewed from the 



178 WITH THE TIBETANS 

outside, resemble huge spiders, are invariably black, 
the inhabitants therefore often being called " Black 
Tibetans.'^ In the center of the cloth of the tent a 
narrow strip is left open as an exit for the smoke 
ascending from the temporary furnace below it, which 
divides the tent into two parts. To the right of this 
furnace is the place of honor; in it guests are received, 
and at night the men sleep there. The left-hand side 
is occupied by the women, children, and in this case 
some little goats and young deer. The first night while 
we were asleep in our tent, a huge dog entered and 
carried away our candlestick and candle (a home-made 
one of mutton fat), Mr. Rijnhart's hat as well as 
all the meat he could get. The candlestick we did not 
find for days afterwards and the meat not at all, though 
the hat was not far away, but the incident induced 
Eahim to hang up nearly everything to the crossbeam 
of the tent during the remainder of our stay. 

The South Koko-nor Tibetans are on the whole jovial, 
and roars of laughter and merry song are not uncommon 
in their encampments. Musical instruments are, how- 
ever, not found among them except the drum and cym- 
bals. Their needs are few, and apparently they are 
contented, each having his one or two garments, a 
matchlock, sword, flint and steel, a wooden basin, knife 
and chopsticks (the latter less needful, the fingers serv- 
ing). Each family has a tent, some horses, cows and 
sheep, the number being now depleted, now augmented 
by the constant robberies practised first by one, then by 
another marauding tribe. The panaha whose guests 
we were owned about twenty horses, twelve cows and 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOR 179 

eight hundred sheep, and was regarded as well-to-do. 
In their primitive way of living they are rather clever, 
manufacturing themselves the things they need, with 
few exceptions. We found them much more stingy and 
dirty than Tibetans from any other part. The women 
were so filthy that close contact with them inside the 
tents was as usual nauseating to me, so I spent as much 
time as possible outside, where they congregated round 
me and evinced the deepest interest in the white baby. 
Even the fresh lake breezes, the limpid azure sky above 
and the crystal clearness of the little stream near by 
could not drive away the odor of their gowns, or make 
us unconscious of the abandoned filthiness of their 
persons. Multitudinous vermin and the accumulated 
grease of years have made them proof against any fur- 
ther adhesion of dirt. While the men go to the hills, 
always heavily armed, to guard the flocks and herds, the 
women remain at home making the butter and cheese, 
and collecting argols to be dried in the sun and used 
for fuel. Without the slightest scruple they would pass 
from the manipulation of the argols to the mixture of 
butter, the milking of the cows, or the making of tea, 
without washing their hands, but simply wiping them 
off on the grass ! 

One strange feature about this part of the country 
was the conspicuous absence of prayer-flags, prayer- 
wheels or prayer-stones so abundant in every other 
place inhabited by Tibetans. We saw only one prayer- 
wheel, and it belonged to a priest, who had come for 
contributions. Mendicant priests abound even among 
these nomads and their solicitations are nearly always 



180 WITH THE TIBETANS 

liberally responded to by gifts of butter, sheep and even 
cows, horses, or anything else the cause may require. 
The liberality of these people for religious purposes is 
proverbial, while they are most niggardly in every other 
way. 

The cattle found among the Koko-nor Tibetans for 
the most part are the long-haired black ones of the 
same breed as the yak (Bos Grunniens) which flourishes 
best at high altitudes. They originated from wild cat- 
tle and are yet not by any means so tame as cows in the 
homeland. They grunt instead of bawling and thus 
remind one of pigs rather than cattle. They are pas- 
tured on the hills and in the valleys wherever there is 
grass. The calves are always driven in a different 
direction from the cows; both sheep and cattle are 
rounded up with the help of a sling, made of a piece 
of flat rope about twenty inches in length on each 
side of the pouch, all woven of wool. The natives are 
experts at using these slings and the animals know the 
sound of them, for often have we seen the girls go 
through the motion of throwing a stone from them 
though they had none to throw, when the snap of the 
sling would be enough to make the animals run. The 
cattle are driven in at night and tethered, some 
to either side of long ropes fastened to the ground with 
pegs, and when milking time arrives the calves have to 
be mothered by the cows or no milk will be forthcoming. 
When we read in M. Hue's book, his account of the 
" stuffed calf " we were incredulous, deciding that it 
was only a creation of the author's imagination, and 
we had also affirmed our intention to educate the Tibe- 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOE 181 

tan cows that are as primitive as the people, but it 
was of no avail and we had the mortification of ac- 
knowledging ourselves beaten by our own cows. The 
little calf belonging to one of the latter took sick and 
died, though, in order to save it, a native woman burned 
pyramids of edelweiss on its spine, and carried it three 
times across a fire to prevent the demon from remaining 
with it. The mother was disconsolate, and refused to 
give any milk, so we resorted to deception and stuffed 
the hide of the calf with straw. When milking time 
arrived the woman carried the calf from the straw room, 
and the cow complacently licked her stuffed baby while 
she willingly allowed us to milk her. 

The milk is not strained but is scalded, part of it used 
for tea and to make butter; the other part is mixed 
with a very little junket left for the purpose from the 
day before, poured into vessels and allowed to remain; 
in the morning it is " set " into junket, though not so 
sweet, and becomes the sho so highly esteemed by the 
Tibetans. The cream removed from the scalded milk 
is placed in a not scrupulously clean wooden churn and 
is churned with a dash as our old fashioned churns 
have; the butter is squeezed by the hands, thereby re- 
moving the milk, and pressed into small flat round 
pieces, or into a skin sometimes with part of the fur 
in it, or into a sheep's stomach. The butter is very often 
full of hairs from the animals, and other kinds of dirt, 
and often streaked with green, but is prized highly as 
an article of diet. Among some tribes I have heard 
the older the butter the better it is liked, but wherever 
we have been, the fresher it is the higher price it com- 



182 WITH THE TIBETANS 

mands. The butter-milk is curded and the curds are 
dried, sometimes in the sun, becoming churma, which 
is eaten with barley meal and tea or with barley meal 
and butter when there is no opportunity to boil tea, the 
whole mixed up with the fingers and eaten in lumps. 
The meat used by the Tibetans is as a rule mutton, 
and though the lamas consume large quantities of the 
meat, they avoid killing it if possible. The natives are 
exceedingly skilful in catching the very sheep they 
want out of a flock of several hundred by means of a 
lasso, and the Tibetans we knew best, unless we ex- 
pressly desired it otherwise, slaughtered the animals 
by tying a rope tightly about the nose, thereby cutting 
off the supply of air. Immediately afterwards the 
throat was cut, all being accomplished amidst the 
mumbling of the prayer Om mani padme hum. The 
hide is removed carefully and cured in a primitive man- 
ner, becoming the material of which the gowns are 
made, or perhaps it is shipped to China. Almost ever}'' 
particle of the animal is eaten, the entrails are turned 
inside out, imperfectly washed and filled with chopped 
up liver, lights, heart, and kidney, seasoned with salt 
and mixed with tsamba, not unlike haggis when prop- 
erly prepared. I have seen Tibetans when traveling, 
cut up the hearts and kidneys, mix some blood with it, 
put all in a pot, and just bring it to a boil and eat 
it with great relish. Often they put pieces of meat 
right on the fire, notwithstanding the kind of fuel they 
use, and broil it. As a rule the meat is boiled and 
eaten in large quantities, the fattest being considered the 
choicest ; hence the tail is given to guests as a mark of 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOR 183 

respect or honor. The bones are picked very clean and 
then cracked on a stone, or by a sharp blow from a 
knife, and the marrow removed and eaten. The scapula, 
or shoulder bone, is put into the fire very often and 
used to tell fortunes with, according to the cracks made 
by the heat. Some prayers are usually written on them 
and they are then hung up near water prayer wheels 
on strings across a road or near a tent. 

The tea is the most important item in Tibetan culi- 
nary art, and any one who can make it to suit the fasti- 
dious is indeed clever. The tea used is the brick tea, 
made of the coarse leaves and small twigs of the tea 
plant in China, pressed into bricks bound around by 
basket work, and sent up to the Tibetan border on the 
backs of coolies, and then into the interior of Tibet on 
the backs of oxen. There are three principal grades and 
the best grade goes in very large quantities to Lhasa. 
The brass pot in which the tea is to be made is thor- 
oughly cleaned with some dried argots if nothing else 
is at hand, and, the correct amount of water having been 
poured in, is placed upon a good fire; the leaves are 
then in large quantities put into the water, and a little 
salt and sometimes soda, if they have it, is added, and 
the whole is thoroughly boiled. The tea is then strained 
into a churn containing butter and tsamba and the 
whole is churned up into a mixture looking not unlike 
chocolate, but with a very different taste. The leaves 
are often used a second time or are fed to the horses. 
Should the harder brick tea be the kind used, a piece 
is put in a wooden mortar and with a stone pestle is 
powdered up and then added to the water. Tea poured 



184 WITH THE TIBETANS 

into a basin on a piece of butter is drunk in very large 
quantities, composing the only breakfast partaken of 
before 10 o'clock. Every one carries along with him 
in the blouse of his gown his own drinking bowl made 
of wood, among the better class lined with silver or 
white metal. The butter sinks into the wood and as it 
is often rancid, the basin soon takes on a peculiar, not 
at all inviting odor, especially as the only dishcloth the 
natives possess is their tongue, the bowl being thoroughly 
licked out after use. When partaking of Tibetan hos- 
pitality, tea drinking is sometimes more of a bore than 
a pleasure, the pressure brought upon you to drink more, 
your basin being filled up whenever set down, being 
60 hard to resist, and yet if the butter is not fresh the 
tea acts almost like an emetic. There is no more gen- 
uine hospitality than that to be found among these 
nomadic people and not to accept it with the grace 
with which it is proffered, at once raises a barrier be- 
tween you and them. Frequently we have seen travelers 
insist upon perfect strangers eating their butter and 
tsamha; and almost invariably the latter would do so, 
and upon finishing, leave as much of their own in the 
place of what they had eaten. Delightful, pleasant in- 
tercourse with these tent-dwellers living so simple and 
so natural a life ! 

In some families the tsamha is ground fresh every 
morning. A half basin of tea with a liberal supply of 
butter is heaped up with tsamha from a skin bag, and 
without spilling a particle of the meal, the natives skil- 
fully knead the whole into a mass and eat it from the 
hand in pieces, as we eat bread. It is remarkable that 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOR 185 

the natives prize the tsamha so highly as an article of 
diet, and yet except in certain places none of the land is 
cultivated, the people preferring to lead nomadic lives 
and go sometimes a month's journey for their tsamha to 
doing agricultural work even on a small scale. The 
barley is used to make chang, an alcoholic drink of 
which the natives imbibe very large quantities. It is 
made by soaking the barley at a moderate heat for some 
days and then crushing and straining it. Chinese wine 
is freely used along the border and even long distances 
into Tibetan territory. Both men and women drink 
freely, becoming jovial, and often, if away from home, 
avaricious and quarrelsome, and pity the poor travelers 
falling unprotected into the hands of drunken Tibetans. 

Among the Koko-nor Tibetans the women are vested 
with all authority in household affairs. We wanted to 
barter a knife for another pair of bellows, and the man 
with whom we bargained said, " I must first go to the 
tent and ask my wife if I may do so." 

As soon as our own tent was erected we repaired to 
it and were immediately visited by our panaJca bearing 
a present of dried meat which we graciously acknowl- 
edged. We also had visits from many priests and others 
with whom we conversed on Christianity, and presented 
each one with a copy of the Gospels in their own tongue. 
Our tent was pitched in a charming situation whence 
we had a splendid view of the lake and its environs. 
To the south and west stretched ranges of mountains 
covered with fine grass, their summits burned to crim- 
son by the setting sun. On the other side, like a 
gigantic jewel of the desert, lay the lake, while faintly 



186 WITH THE TIBETANS 

visible in the distance beyond its northern and eastern 
shores other mountain ranges blended their bluey out- 
lines with the sky. The lake is not large, being, accord- 
ing to Eockhill, about 230 miles in circumference.* 
The same author calculates the altitude as 10,900 feet, 
while Dr. Sven Hedin places it at 9,975 feet. The 
lake is, so the natives informed us, fed by seventy-two 
streams; of these we had already crossed thirty-one, 
none of them large enough to merit the appellation of 
river, but they supply man and beast with fresh water, 
a mission which the Koko-nor with all its beauty cannot 
fulfill, since its waters are salty. On the side where 
we were camped there was no beach, the grass contin- 
uing right to the water's edge. 

In the lake are three distinct islands a considerable 
distance apart; the western one, a low strip of land, is 
uninhabited, and is named Tso-ri-wa-ri ; the middle 
one, called Sam-me-che-kur, lying near the southern 
shore, is a mass of white rock (probably granite, which 
abounds in all the mountain ranges of the district) 
rising perpendicular out of the water; the third one, 
first mentioned by Hue and later by Eockhill and Prje- 
valski, is called Tso-ri-niah. Projecting high above 
the surface of the water, it is at once an island and a 
truncated hill. The natives attribute to it a legendary 
origin which is as follows: The waters that have 
formed the Blue Lake flowed into the basin which they 
now fill through a long subterranean passage leading 
from Lhasa, the holy city. A god having compassion 
on the country lest it should be completely inundated, 

'*' Prjevalski's measurement is 266 Kilometers. 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOR 187 

placed the Tso-ri-niah mountain rock at the mouth 
of the passage and caused the flow to cease. Hue has 
given a most elaborate version of this legend in the 
second volume of his work. It is only one of the many 
that have grown up around the lake and islands. As 
Dr. Hedin passed through the Koko-nor country he 
heard the following : " In the grey far off days of old, 
a great lama dug a vast hole in the ground. Then he 
took a white root and a black root of some plant, and, 
holding them over the chasm, cut the black root into 
two halves, out of which the water gushed fdrth in 
streams until it filled the lake. If he had cut the white 
root, the hole would have been filled with milk. It was 
fortunate he cut the root out of which the water flowed, 
for otherwise the people who lived in those parts would 
not have been able to keep sheep and so would have had 
nothing to do. After that the lama went up into a high 
mountain close by, and broke out of it an enormous 
piece of rock and cast it into the middle of the lake, 
and that was how the island was made."* 

On the Tso-ri-niah is a small lamasery containing 
twelve hermit lamas and two incarnations of " living 
buddhas " one of whom belongs to Gomba Soma. These 
recluses spend most of their time on the island in prayer 
and meditation, coming into contact with the " world " 
only in winter time when they cross on the ice to the 
mainland to collect contributions of butter, tea, barley- 
meal, and other provisions necessary for their subsist- 
ence. They are not supposed to eat any meat, but they 
keep goats on the island to supply them with milk. No 

* " Through Asia," by Sven Hedin, Vol. II, p. 1143. 



188 WITH THE TIBETANS 

sign of a boat is to be seen along the shore, so that no 
communication can be had with the mainland in the 
summer months. 

On the day after arrival we expressed our readiness 
to operate on our patient's eye, but, as the time for 
moving to their winter quarters had come, we decided 
at the request of the panaka's people to wait two days 
until they should have moved their camp to the ad- 
joining mountains, to a place which marked the first 
of three stages to the winter camping-grounds. We 
distributed Gospels and talked to some priests; had a 
bath in the lake and saw large quantities of fish. Two 
days later we moved, making the ascent of a lofty 
mountain from which in the distance the lake appeared 
like a sheet of glass. The operation was duly performed 
and as far as we could ascertain, was very successful. 
The following day we gave copies of the Gospels to 
many Tanguts, among others to thirteen priests, who 
were returning to Tankar from gathering contributions, 
and were passing our encampment. Two days later the 
report reached us that they had been attacked and 
robbed of everything — our books likely having been 
carried off too. The report of the robbing of the thir- 
teen priests, as well as the losing of their horses, struck 
fear into the hearts of two lamas who wanted to return, 
as well as into the hearts of our priest and book-keeper : 
so they decided to await our return and travel safely 
under the protection of our fire-arms. On the 2nd of 
the eighth moon we prepared for the journey. Stand- 
ing on the mountain height as the rising sun peeped 
over the eastern ridges and mirrored his glowing face 




IT. 

Pi 

PC 
PC 

C 
pi 

o 
:z 
<■ 



THE TANGUTS OF THE KOKO-NOE 189 

on the glassy surface of the lake, we inhaled once more 
the exhilarating hreezes that swept across it, and felt 
in our hearts as we gazed on its placid waters how 
delightful it would be ever to abide by its shores. But 
dangers were pressing and duty called us back to Tan- 
kar. We must turn away from those beautiful shores 
and from the watery oasis, so bright and pure, like 
the lakes that wash the shores of Ontario, my native 
province. Thou blue inland sea, in silence lift- 
ing thy unsullied waters to the pure heavens, reflect- 
ing in thy limpid depths the pageantry of the rolling 
clouds; thou fountain of legends that well up from 
thy mysterious depths and allure to thy shores the dark 
faced sons of the desert to worship the Great Spirit 
whose voice is heard in thy silence; thou sapphire of 
the wilderness, safely guarded in the embrace of en- 
circling hills, and mirroring the radiances of the sun- 
sets of ages, Aegean in thy grandeur with thy rocky 
Patmos, we bid thee farewell, but from our souls the 
apocalypse of thy beauty will never be effaced ! 

Having some Gospels left we decided to distribute 
them among the encampments we might meet along the 
road, and it was not long before we had an opportunity. 
The priests and people received the books gladly. Mr. 
Eijnhart estimated that on the trip at least two thou- 
sand Tibetans were reached with some knowledge of the 
gospel. As far as possible we tried to put a book into 
each tent and since in each is a lama who can read, it 
is safe to conclude that ten people would hear some 
reading from each book. On the whole we were much 



190 WITH THE TIBETANS 

encouraged by this itinerating work, and decided it 
was a most effective way of preparing these rude, but 
interesting nomads for the reception of Christian teach- 
ing. 



CHAPTER XI 

TOWARD THE TIBETAN CAPITAL 

Lhasa, the Home of the Dalai Lama — Need of Pioneer 
Work in Inner Tibet — Our Preparations for the Jour- 
ney. 

In the far interior of Tibet, about one hundred miles 
north of the Himalayan range, sheltered by sacred moun- 
tains on every side, is Lhasa, the capital, the only city 
in the world which is absolutely inaccessible to West- 
erners. To set foot within its walls has been the ambi- 
tion of many travelers of the present century : one expe- 
dition after another, even after crossing the formidable 
passes that lead through the natural barriers enclosing 
the country on the south and west, has been obliged to 
retreat without a sight of the coveted goal. For the 
scant information regarding the city we are indebted 
to Hue and Gabet, probably the last Europeans to visit 
it (that was in 1846), and to the Indian Pandit A. K., 
who resided there for some time. The attempts of 
Prjevalski, Bonvalot, Eockhill, Landor and others to 
penetrate to the forbidden capital have been in vain, 
every one of them being obliged by officials to turn 
back, or, being unable to proceed on account of the 
hardships they have been compelled to endure. To- 

191 



192 WITH THE TIBETANS 

day the eyes of the traveler and scientist as well as 
those of the missionary, are eagerly watching for the 
development of events that will lead to the downfall of 
the barriers that too long have kept a people in dark- 
ness, and bid defiance to the march of Christian civil- 
ization. 

During our residence of three years at Kumbum and 
■Tankar, Lhasa had become a subject of almost daily 
conversation. The four Icushok, and especially Shar-je- 
ja-ba had told us much about the city and its surround- 
ings — its great temples, revered priests and the exalted 
Dalai Lama. Mina Fuyeh had spoken of the sacred 
college there, and of the many lamas who resort to it 
from all parts of Tibet to study the profound doctrine 
of Sakya Muni, and of the multitudes of pilgrims who 
feel themselves amply rewarded for months of perilous 
traveling by worshipping in the Dalai Lama's temple 
with its five golden cupolas, and receiving his blessing 
by touching his magic scepter. City of mystery and 
wisdom, what wonder that every lama's supreme ambi- 
tion is to go there to study or to worship? Many of 
those who are not able to go in state walk all the dis- 
tance, often begging as they go, so that they will be no 
temptation to robbers. Mina Fuyeh often told us that 
it would cost him a fortune to go, for, being of such 
high rank himself, he would be expected to give very 
handsome offerings to the Dalai Lama and the temples 
in Lhasa, otherwise he would not receive the considera- 
tion due him. The necessity of keeping up appearances 
— the demands that rank entails upon human beings, 
are the same everywhere, whether in the wilds of Tibet, 



TOWAED THE TIBETAN CAPITAL 193 

or in the cultured cities of the west. Mina Fuyeh 
very conveniently excused himself from undertaking a 
journey to Lhasa, for he declared that, having paid 
homage to the potentate in his previous life-time, he 
did not intend to visit Lhasa again \mtil his next life- 
time ! Not long ago I received news that the former 
abbot had undertaken a journey to Pekin and Eastern 
Mongolia, a journey which will bring him a handsome 
income, as Tibetan lamas in those regions are greatly 
revered, receiving in exchange for their services the 
most munificent offerings. I have often thought he was 
more concerned in accumulating wealth for himself 
and increasing his own influence than in contributing 
to the exchequer of the Dalai Lama. 

In common with all other missionaries and travelers 
interested in Tibet, we had thought, read, and dreamed 
much about Lhasa even before we reached the border, 
and indeed our hope and faith led us to look forward 
to the time when the gospel could be preached there, as 
well as in every nomadic encampment on the Tibetan 
plateau. We knew moreover that if ever the gospel were 
proclaimed in Lhasa, some one would have to be the 
first to undertake the journey, to meet the difficulties, 
to preach the first sermon and perhaps never return to 
tell the tale — who knew? Pioneer work in mission 
fields has from the days of the apostles down to the 
present entailed its martyrdoms as well as yielded its 
glorious results. If the opening of Africa meant the 
sacrifice of a Livingstone, if the Christianization of the 
South Sea Islands meant the cruel death of John Wil- 
liams, if the triumphs of the Cross in Uganda were 



194 WITH THE TIBETANS 

wrought over the body of the murdered Hannington, 
and if Burmah must be trod by the bleeding feet of 
Judson and his wife, before the great harvest of five 
hundred churches can be reaped, could it be possible 
that all Tibet should be Christianized, that witness of 
the Christ should be borne in the very stronghold of 
Buddhism without some suffering, some persecution, 
nay without tears and blood? 

As I have already stated, we felt from the very be- 
ginning that we were specially called to do pioneer work ; 
and now that it had been permitted us to travel among 
the Tanguts of the Koko-nor, preaching, teaching, doc- 
toring, and distributing the Scriptures for many days 
into the grass country, we were willing to be thrust 
into other unknown and more distant fields. Not a 
single missionary was laboring in the Lhasa district, 
and yet there was the Master's command : " Preach 
the gospel to every creature." Having prayed that 
God would open our way to the interior, we had quietly 
awaited events. We asked that we might be divinely 
guided at every step and that the means might be pro- 
vided for the journey. Our prayers were answered and, 
although we knew not what the results would be, we 
rejoiced exceedingly that we were counted worthy to 
traverse for the first time in the name of Christ whole 
districts in which His name had never been heard. 
Whether we should ever reach Lhasa or not, we did 
not know: our desire was to approach as near to it 
as possible, settle down for a year's work in the far 
interior, gain the confidence of the people as we had 
done on the border and then eventuall}' — in God's time 



TOWARD THE TIBETAN" CAPITAL 195 

— enter the capital. On the way too, we would take note 
of all points where missions might be established, con- 
versing with the different tribes and ascertaining their 
attitude in the matter. Besides this, we had ordered 
a large supply of Scriptures which we would distribute 
as we journeyed, and thus our pioneer work would be 
sanctified by the Word of God, which cannot return 
unto its Author void. Let it be clearly understood 
that the purpose of our journey was purely missionary; 
it was not a mere adventure or expedition prompted by 
curiosity or desire for discovery, but a desire to ap- 
proach our fellow men with the uplifting message of 
Truth and to share with them blessings that God had 
ordained for all mankind — and we knew that even if 
our mission apparently failed, the path at least would 
have been beaten, and that in due time other laborers 
would be sent forth to carry on the work. 

From a human standpoint there was absolutely 
nothing inviting in such an undertaking. On the fron- 
tier the minds of Chinese and Tibetans alike are filled 
with fear of the great difficulties of the journey to Lhasa, 
through robber districts, over very high mountain passes, 
and across large rivers, and to a certain extent we had 
shared their apprehensions; but after the thrilling ex- 
periences of the Mohammedan rebellion, and after com- 
ing into such close contact with the people through our 
residence in the house of the abbot, and especially after 
our itinerating journeys among the nomads of the Koko- 
nor, every vestige of fear was gradually removed. Fre- 
quent and intimate conversations with merchants, lamas 
and others, including many women, who had been back- 



196 WITH THE TIBETANS 

wards and forwards from Lhasa several times, took 
away the terror of passes, rivers, arid wastes, and death- 
dealing winds, of which we had heard so much, and 
Inner Tibet did not seem so far away, so impossible 
to reach, as we had at first been led to believe. 

Shar-je-ja-ba and many others from the sacred city 
had told us that we might go as far into the country 
as we chose, even to within one day's journey of the 
capital, and stay as long as we wished, provided we 
did not tr)'^ to go to their city of worship, as contact 
with Europeans would defile their high priest. Know- 
ing that a passport from the Sining Amban or Tartar 
General would give us the good-will of the people be- 
3^ond the districts where we ourselves were so well known, 
Mr. Eijnhart applied for one, though other travelers 
going in from China, scrupulously avoid allowing this 
official to know they are going into Tibet, as he would 
not permit them to proceed, did he know their inten- 
tions. However, our aid to the soldiers and other 
wounded during the rebellion, was so much appreciated, 
that we felt if any one could procure a passport from 
this man we were in a good position to do so. He was 
very friendly indeed, but said much as he would like 
to help us he had not the power to give us a passport, 
because our Chinese ones were only for the Sze Chuan 
and Kansu provinces, and advised us that the next pass- 
port we applied for at Shanghai or Pekin should be 
made out for Kansu and the Tsing-hai or Koko-nor, 
and upon it he could then give us one in Tibetan which 
would enable us to travel in safety. Mr. Eijnhart then 
asked him to give us a letter saying to those who read 



TOWAED THE TIBETAN CAPITAL 197 

it that we were on a peaceful mission, and that the peo- 
ple had nothing to fear from us; whereupon he replied 
that he would gladly do so, but that he could not affix 
his official seal, so we refused the letter, knowing that 
did we show to the Tibetans a letter purporting to be 
from the Amban, and they looked for his seal which 
was not there, they would think a lama had written it 
and at once conclude we were dishonest, so it would 
do more harm than good. However, he said that though 
he could not give us a passport or an escort, he had no 
power to prevent our going, and added that we might 
go where we chose, and stay as long as we wished. 

When it became known among the natives that we 
intended to make a journey into the interior, our 
friends, though they tried to dissuade us, did all in their 
power to help us make our preparations. Without 
this help we would not have known just how to arrange, 
for in a country like Tibet, the natives know how to man- 
age transport animals, pack-saddles, hobbles, food, etc., 
better than foreigners do. At this time Eahim was of 
inestimable value to us, and forwarded our going as no 
other servant could have done, for our journey would 
take him in the direction of his home in Ladak, and 
he was anxious to see his mother and friends who were 
in all probability mourning him as dead. We first de- 
cided how many men we would take with us, and then 
calculated how much food we would need, and so how 
many animals we would have to purchase. We already 
knew the danger of having too little food, and Eahim did 
not allow us to forget that either, having narrowly 
escaped dying from hunger in the far unpopulated in- 



198 WITH THE TIBETANS 

terior. We did not wish to be at the mercy of petty 
chiefs, who might choose to dictate, saying that if we 
did not accede to their wishes they would not permit 
the people to sell us any food, a calamity that had 
already befallen travelers among these exclusive nomads. 
To avoid being boycotted in the above mentioned way, 
we decided to take with us food enough to last us two 
years, hoping we would be beyond the border for that 
length of time. There were two reasons why we did 
not take a large caravan. One was our belief that a 
small caravan would excite less suspicion and covet- 
ousness, and another was the fact that a small caravan 
would be more easily managed, requiring fewer serv- 
ants to look after it. We would also have less trouble 
in looking after them, and further Ave would not re- 
quire such large quantities of supplies. We decided 
to take only two men besides Eahim, and would there- 
fore need five riding animals and twelve pack-animals. 
Besides this we sent some camel-loads ahead to the 
Ts'aidam, a Mongol settlement about a month's jour- 
ney from Tankar. 

Every year a large caravan of hopas, who have been 
trading on the border and at Pekin, leaves Tankar for 
home, and as the roads over the mountains are impas- 
sable in winter time, the beginning of the fourth moon 
is fixed as the date for starting. In the spring of 
1898, this time fell about the middle of May, so all 
our plans were laid for leaving at the same time as this 
caravan, many of whom we knew very well. Tankar 
was a busy place indeed amid all the preparations for 
the departure of such an immense caravan, providing 



TOWAED THE TIBETAN CAPITAL 199 

animals, food and other things requisite for a journey 
of nearly three months. Though the Jcopas come out 
of Tibet with yak, they usually sell these animals on 
the border and buy mules for the return Journey, the 
latter commanding a high price in the interior. See- 
ing that we expected to stay some time in the Ts'aidam 
we did not deem it wise to take mules, since they do 
not winter as well there as horses. Besides, we did not 
purpose to burden ourselves with grain to feed our ani- 
mals, and with mules, grain is indispensable. Until we 
had bought the required number of horses, our court- 
yard presented oftentimes a peculiar aspect, and it 
was laughable to see some of the animals brought to us 
for sale by those who thought foreigners did not know 
very much about ordinary everyday life and its re- 
quirements; there were horses large and small, fat and 
lean, diseased and lame, and some with beautiful sad- 
dles under which were deep sores. On the borders of 
Tibet all bargaining between two persons is done 
through a middleman, up whose sleeve the seller puts 
his hand, and by the way he grasps the different fingers 
of the former's hand, makes known his price; where- 
upon the buyer is notified in the same silent and unseen 
manner. He then tells the middleman how much he 
is willing to give, and so backwards and forwards in 
the sleeves the price is arranged. As the business be- 
comes brisk, however, the silence is broken, and often 
gives way to general confusion. There were pack sad- 
dles to be provided for our transport horses, and one 
must be careful not to be induced to buy yak saddles, 
instead of mule or horse saddles, for they are entirely 



200 WITH THE TIBETANS 

unsuitable. Pack saddles are made of wood consisting 
of two horizontal pieces for sides, joined to each other 
over the back of the horse by two rounded pieces, one 
in front and one behind, padding, straps and ropes 
completing the outfit. Blacksmiths were busy making 
iron hobbles — chains with cuffs which are fastened on 
the forefeet of one or more horses, and locked, the owner 
keeping the key. These are used to prevent the animals 
being stolen at night, and are a native invention, while 
others woven of wool and yak-hair are used to keep 
them from straying too far away when grazing, and to 
make the catching of them when wanted an easy mat- 
ter. While horses, saddles, ropes, etc., were being got 
ready, we had tailors and women making for us all the 
Tibetan clothing we might need, and though Chinese 
tailors are nuisance enough when sewing for you, they 
bear no comparison to Mongolians and Tibetans. Never 
had we dreamed of the difficulties of getting garments 
made, so many different kinds of workmen were re- 
quired; the one who cut could not sew and vice versa, 
so a lama made our good cloth gowns, a hopa made up 
the pulu, while a Mongol woman made the under- 
jackets and collars, putting silk stitching on them. 

Little Charlie was well supplied with clothing made 
in English style, having, besides a little fur ja-ja, or 
sleeveless jacket, a fur cape and shoes, and for cere- 
monial occasions, a Tibetan gown and sash. No one 
enjoyed the busy time as well as he, for he was carried 
around in Eahim's arms during shopping, bargaining, 
etc., raising his voice in approbation as the natives be- 



TOWARD THE TIBETAK CAPITAL 201 

came excited over a transaction, and taking a general 
delight in the entire proceedings. 

On April 5 we had an interesting visit from the 
Kor-luk pei-si, who is, so the Mongols informed us, 
the biggest prince in the "Wu Ts'aidam, his dominions 
lying four days north from Barong, the place through 
which caravans go to Lhasa. He was a tall, rather 
well built man with the true Mongolian type of face, 
well dressed, with a turban of raw dark-red silk wound 
in yards around his head. He had about fifty Mongols 
with him, including many women, among whom was 
the Achi of the prince, but whether she was his wife 
or not, we could not clearly find out. The women were 
tall, two or three of them young and very good looking, 
and all were dressed in new sheepskin with borders 
of red cloth around the bottom and up the side. The 
right arms hung free from the gowns, displaying under- 
jackets of white, with green cloth trimming stitched 
in many-colored bright silk thread, while strings of 
beads from one earring to the other fell down to the 
bosom. A beaten silver wine bottle with screw top, and 
amulets hung in front of the gown. The hands were 
bedecked with rings set in coral and stones, the head 
was crowned with a small hat with white lamb on the 
brim, and a red tassel surmounting the peaked crown, 
giving a coquettish, graceful air to their persons. They 
all enjoyed their visit very much, the peals of laughter 
at Charlie, the sewing machine, and some little dolls, 
adding to the enjoyment of all. The chief was so 
anxious to have a pair of hutsi sewed on the machine, 
that he sent a man to the street to bring the cloth, but 



202 WITH THE TIBETANS 

on his return no one could cut them out, so we gave him 
a pair of Mr. Eijnhart's in return for the cloth and 
he presented us with a piece of pulu (a piece is usually 
ten lengths from the finger tips of one outstretched 
arm to those of the other), and a lump of sugar from 
India by way of Lhasa. This chief hired for us two 
camels to carry loads as far as the Ts'aidam, to be 
left with the Dzassak of Barong, each one to carry 
240 catties, the two to cost ten taels, worth at that 
time seven dollars. Tliat night we worked until mid- 
night, sewing bags for grain, and packing two boxes 
which contained, among other things, over four hundred 
Tibetan Gospels, and three hundred of Mrs. Grimke's 
text cards. In the morning early, the Mongols came for 
the loads. As usual, there was the regular grumbling 
at the weight, a pretence at giving back the money 
because the Mongols' scales were lighter than ours, be- 
fore finally the camels were gently made to kneel, their 
burdens were tied on, and off went the first of our 
goods into the, for us, unknown. 

As we appreciated the quiet that settled down upon 
our courtyard after the bustle of that departure 
was over, our hearts had a thankful yet strange 
feeling, as we spoke of the kindness the native 
chiefs had invariably shown us, and of the fu- 
ture with its new friends and surroundings; while 
Ani, good old soul, congratulated us on the great saving 
these camels would be to our horses as far as the 
Ts'aidam. Nothing was too much trouble for her to 
do in the way of helping us, and oftentimes tears would 
bedim her eyes as she looked at me and baby, who 



TOWAED THE TIBETAN CAPITAL 203 

always laughed at her; perhaps thinking of her loneli- 
ness after we were gone, perhaps of the possibility of 
our not returning to Tankar, and even of the uncer- 
tainty of life in the far interior. My heart sometimes 
overflows as I think of the love and tenderness of these 
dark-faced women, and wish it were within my power 
to do more for them, to bring them out of the condition 
in which they live into the liberty which the gospel 
brings to woman wherever it is known. But we had 
to hurry with more preparations, and by May 20, 
we were ready to leave our home, where the greatest 
gladness had been ours, where our mail had come to us 
regularly, where bright, long-loved blossoms had added 
joy and sweetness to our labor of love among the peo- 
ple, and launch out into new places away from friends 
and associations, as well as the possibility of getting 
letters and papers from the homeland. We had 
deemed it wise to give up our house, over whose owner- 
ship there had been a lawsuit, the result of which 
made it unsafe for us to retain it during our absence; 
and we rented three rooms in another courtyard where 
we stored our sewing machine, some books, and other 
things we did not want to take with us, the landlord 
promising that we could have the whole house upon our 
return. This made it necessary for us to move the 
things to be left, at the same time that we were doing 
the packing of what we wanted to take, thereby increas- 
ing our work. 

Our greatest difficulty was the securing of two men 
to accompany us on the journey, and for a long time 
it seemed as if no one suitable would offer for service. 



204 WITH THE TIBETANS 

everyone having a sincere fear of perils in the interior, 
which had been much augmented by the tales told the 
year before by the men of Captain Wellby's expedition. 
However, through real friends we secured two men who 
could speak Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese. The 
older, named Ja-si, was very dark, tall, neat in his attire, 
an earring in his left ear, and a great swagger in his 
walk; while he knew everything about everybody and 
every place, and had no fear of going wherever the for- 
eign teacher wished him to. The younger, named Ga- 
chuen-tsi, was a relative of an old Mongol friend of 
ours, and was a short, fat-faced, laughing boy of twenty- 
two, always happy, except when Ja-si, of whom he 
stood in awe, influenced him. Of the three we liked 
him best, his disposition was so bright. Eahim, who 
was a sort of overseer, was an adept at dealing with 
Tibetans from the interior, Ja-si had had a Fan-tsi 
wife, and so was perfect in his manner towards them, 
while Ga-chuen-tsi was more at ease with the Mongols, 
which probably accounted for his cheerful, smooth 
manner. We provided them all with clothing and bed- 
ding, as usual, giving the relatives of the two men we 
had just hired a portion of their wages, which were to 
be four taels a month with the understanding that if 
we sent them back, we were to give them each a horse 
to ride and food, with a gun if they served us well, all 
of which was duly put into an agreement signed by 
pao-ren, " security." 

Our supply of food was mostly native and consisted 
of the following : 



616 catties 


490 




150 




300 




140 




40 




40 




20 





TOWARD THE TIBETAN CAPITAL 205 

Tsamba (barley meal). 

Wheat flour. 

Kua mien (vermicelli). 

Eice. 

Barley. 

Butter. 

Brick Tea. 

Sugar. 

Besides these native supplies we had some stores in- 
tended mainly for Charlie, such as milk, sago, tapioca, 
cornstarch, arrowroot, oatmeal, etc., with some meat 
extract and soups. The grain, flour, and rice were put 
into bags made of white drilling, inside coarse native 
woolen sacks, just the size to constitute one half a load. 
The Icua mien, stores and goods for bartering, were 
put into boxes, the latter consisting of buttons, needles, 
silk, silver and gold thread, cloth, khatas, otter fur and 
boots. Our drugs, clothing, bedding, instruments, books 
and sundries constituted the remainder of the loads, 
except the tents, of which we had two, one small, 
very warm white one, and one large dark blue one, with 
iron tent-pegs for each. Such was our equipment when 
the last bale was put up and we were on the eve of 
leaving the gates of Tankar. 



CHAPTER XII 

FAREWELL TO TANKAB 

Leaving Faithful Friends — Our Caravan Moves Off — 
Through the Grass Country to the Desert — Two Mon- 
gol Guides. 

With the help of our two men, our preparations 
were nearly all complete at daybreak on the twentieth 
of May. There remained yet one horse to buy, and 
for that of course, we had to pay double price, as every- 
body knew we were in a hurry. After breakfast the 
last remains of our housekeeping at Tankar, the big 
pots, were removed from our clay range and taken over 
to the storehouse which we had rented for two years. 
Mr. Rijnhart and Mr. Uang, a Chinese merchant from 
the eastern gate, proceeded, as a final precaution against 
thieves, to seal up the doors and windows. Mr. and 
Mrs. Uang were both profuse in their demonstrations 
of kindness and solicitude for our welfare, the latter, 
just before our departure, bringing us a delicious, re- 
freshing dish of home-made m'ien. Other friends fol- 
lowed with gifts of various kinds, principally food stuffs 
to be used on the road. Ani and Doma, their eyes moist 
with tears, attentive to the very last and unwilling to 
yield to any in the matter of bestowing mementos, 

206 



FAEEWELL TO TANKAK 207 

brought us a set of artistically woven straps with which 
to fasten the chopsticks to our girdles. One by one the 
horses were saddled and led out into the street where 
many willing hands were waiting to adjust the loads. 
All along the street the gateways were filled with women 
and children who had come out to watch the imusual 
scene. No greater interest could have been manifested 
if we had been high officials or great Buddhist digni- 
taries leaving on an important mission or pilgrimage 
to some distant shrine. 

As soon as all the animals were loaded the caravan 
began to move slowly toward the western gate, and 
within a few moments seventeen of our ponies and our 
three men disappeared from view. Mr. Rijnhart and I 
remained behind, knowing that we could easily overtake 
them, while dear old faithful Ani brought us one more 
pot of hot tea, of which we partook with full hearts. 
Then we visited once more each room of the home to 
which we had become so attached, as if we had a sort 
of half unconscious presentiment that we would for a 
long time, and pdrhaps never, enter it again. As the 
term for which our rent was paid had not yet expired, 
we locked the door with a key the landlord had given 
us, much to the chagrin of his opponent in the law- 
suit, who stood ready to rush in the moment we were 
gone, and claim the house on the principle that " pos- 
session is nine-tenths of the law." Then taking an 
affectionate farewell of our Chinese friends, many of 
whom we had learned to love sincerely, and followed by 
the more demonstrative Tibetans and Mongols, men, 
women and children, we sadly marched toward the great 



208 WITH THE TIBETANS 

gate which all the time we were dreading, as we realized 
more vividly at every step how many devoted friends it 
would shut away from us. One man carried baby, and 
all remarked how white the little hands looked around 
his dark neck. Doma rushed away crying, the last 
good-byes were said at the city gate and we sped to 
overtake our caravan. Such a heart wrench ! We 
scarcely realized the bond there was between us and 
the natives until we came to part, and then how the 
tears flowed ! The future was veiled, or we might have 
hesitated — it would have been but human — and stayed 
indefinitely in dear old Tankar. 

N6ver had the country around about seemed so beau- 
tiful. Vegetable gardens and harvest fields were green ; 
the hills presented a different shade of the same re- 
freshing color, and the river was bright and shimmering 
in the distance. A blue haze hung over the mountain 
tops which beckoned us on, holding out to us hopes of 
brightness in the new fields of labor we would reach 
in the regions beyond, which would, in a measure, com- 
pensate for the sorrowful partings of the day. Suddenly 
our thoughts were snatched from the future to the pres- 
ent by our coming in sight of one of our horses which, 
violently objecting to his load, finally succeeded in 
kicking it off, and smashing the saddle. This horse 
afterwards became Ja-si's, as he would never allow a 
load to be put on his back, but was as docile as a child 
when ridden. The experience of that day was that of 
every caravan on the first day of its march; there was 
the usual trouble with the horses and almost endless 
readjusting of baggage and saddles. 



FAEEWELL TO TAN"KAR 209 

Skirting the Hsi-ho we passed the Tsa-ta-si, where 
lived the lama who had made some of our clothing, and 
reached at 5 :30 the village of Pa-uen-chuan-tsi, on the 
opposite side of the river, approached by a cantilever 
bridge. Here we pitched our tents which Ga-chuen-tsi 
endeavored to make look as gorgeous as possible, as his 
people lived in the village and he wished to present a 
good appearance. We had a time of feasting and an- 
other series of good-byes accompanied with presents 
of potatoes, cakes, bread and milk, with peas and straw 
for our horses. This is the very last cultivated land, 
all the country beyond being tsao-ti or grass country. 

As we were to spend Sunday at Gomba Soba* with 
friends, we started next morning and in a short time 
reached the lamasery, the same one we sneaked past on 
our proposed visit to the lake with Ishinima in 1895. I 
may say in passing that the lamasery is rightly located 
by Mr. W. W. Eockhill in his " Land of the Lamas " 
and that Capt. Wellby is quite wrong in his attempt to 
correct him. Here was the home of Tsanga-Fuyeh, 
the biggest " living buddha " in the lamasery, who had 
been so instrumental in securing friends for us through 
recommending us as doctors, and the dear old man came 
to our tent to visit us accompanied by his young lama 
acolyte, bringing a parcel of sultanas and a hhata. He 
warned us about robbers and passes, and exhorted us to 
hurry back to Tankar before he died, that he might 
see us again in this life. He also gave us a beautiful 
tsamba basin, and a horse already saddled. In appre- 

* This lamasery is also known as Gomba Soma. " Soma," and in some 
districts " Soba" IS the word for "new" and "Gomba" means "lam* 
asery," 



210 WITH THE TIBETANS 

elation of his courtesy we gave him a feather pillow, 
which he thought was a most wonderful invention. For 
a while he seemed utterly to lose himself in the delight 
of shaking it up and down till it swelled to its utmost 
limit, then sitting on it and reducing it again. Pei- 
Fuyeh, a " living buddha " of the same rank, had his 
treasurer living at Gomba Soba, and this man, who 
had long been a friend of ours, brought us a large lump 
of loaf sugar, a parcel of dates and a little enamel 
pitcher for Charlie. Sunday evening a party of travel- 
ers camped beside us, consisting of the wife and young 
son of a Wang-yeh of the Mongols, another ^longol 
woman with her little girl, and three men. They had 
nineteen mules and horses and invited us to travel with 
them. The two children were about twelve years of 
age, dressed in cloth, the boy's clothing having a pre- 
dominance of yellow indicating his rank. They were 
betrothed, and were being taken to Lhasa to worship 
and be blessed by the Dalai Lama before entering life 
together. It was refreshing to see them enjoy play, and 
rather pitiful to see them tied by their feet to the stir- 
rups when about to ford rivers, for fear of a dizziness 
overcoming them, causing them to fall off. The boy's 
mother was intelligent, well dressed and very clean, 
even washing her teeth, though her finger was her only 
brush. 

The Icopas broke camp before daylight, traveling a 
few hours and then allowing their animals the whole 
day to graze. Although we did not start with them 
each morning, yet we always overtook them and were 
camped alongside them every day. The Mongol women 



FAREWELL TO TANKAR 211 

would invite me and Charlie into their tent to rest 
and drink tea, while their men would help us to unload 
our animals and pitch our tents. Natives are adepts 
at selecting beautiful camping spots, and when we 
would see the encampments of the Jcopas in the dis- 
tance, the white tents of various size and shape with 
hundreds of horses and mules grazing about, the lux- 
uriant grass and low rolling hills, the poetry of it all 
struck responsive chords in our hearts. Late in the after- 
noon the men from the various tents went out and 
drove in their mules and horses, to receive their appor- 
tionment of split peas. How tame some of the mules 
were, going up to the tent doors and sniffing about, 
and asking in as plain a manner as possible for food. 
By and by they were tethered and saddled ready for 
the morning, then the men gathered about drinking 
their tea, and, as dusk settled down near us all, their 
voices were heard from near and far chanting prayers, 
accompanied by the ringing of bells. Then quiet 
reigned and everyone slept well. 

The average march the first days was twelve miles, 
our road going through a wide valley, then along the 
Hsi-ho for ten miles, crossing a tributary and on for 
thirty miles, where we camped on the northwest corner 
of a little lake, really a bay, cut off from the Koko-nor 
by drifting sand, and called Baga-nor. The country 
was on the whole grassy and well watered, affording 
the nomads good pasturage. Many Mongol tents were 
dotted on either side of the road in the sheltered places 
and wherever the green fodder was most plentiful. 
Some Tibetans were also camped near the streams that 



212 WITH THE TIBETANS 

flowed into the Koko-nor. Crossing the Balema gol, 
we camped again on the shores of the Koko-nor, next 
day crossed the Iki Olan, prohahly the same as is called 
Ulen Muren by Rockhill, though the latter name the 
natives do not seem to know at all. On Sunday, much 
to our regret, we were obliged to part with the kopas, 
they going on at their usual early hour, and we re- 
maining behind to rest for the day. The people from 
the tents of the nomads in the neighborhood came 
about us freely, and we did some doctoring, for which 
we got a fat sheep. "We also gave away some Tibetan 
Scriptures and text-cards. No missionary had ever 
been in this locality before. The next stage of our 
journey led us through one of the supposed robber dis- 
tricts, and we did not feel any too comfortable when 
we saw that we were being spied by four men ; suddenly 
they disappeared over a hill, and after a little while 
reappeared over another hill near the road, heavily 
armed. On seeing our men ready with their rifles to 
defend our stuff, they rode up, asked a few simple 
questions and passed on. Shortly afterward we met the 
chief of the Wortug Tibetans who had a large cara- 
van, and he said the four men were robbers. We 
crossed the bed of the Buha gol, the most important 
river in the district, although we found it nearly dry, 
and camped on one of its tributaries. Here we saw 
large herds of kiang or wild mules, called by the Chi- 
nese ie mail or wild horses. They are not more than 
fourteen hands in height, and are beautifully colored, 
light brown on the back, gradually fading into white 
on the belly. They have long ears and tails like an 



FAREWELL TO TANKAR 213 

ordinary mule, are always found in herds and families, 
and, when trotting or galloping, go in single file. The 
animals were exceedingly bold, coming quite near our 
tents and mingling with our horses. They are orna- 
mental rather than useful, the Tibetans in vain hav- 
ing tried to tame them for domestic use. 

In this spot where the grass was so good we halted 
for a rest, and Rahim provided us with a most refresh- 
ing repast in the shape of twelve fishes which he had 
caught with his hands in the stream. A Tibetan came 
two days' journey offering us a large piece of green 
denim in exchange for medicine. He had heard from 
other Tibetans that some wonderful doctors were pass- 
ing through, and did not want to miss an opportunity 
of consulting us. 

The next part of the road took us through a part 
of the country with poor grass, and over a pass, at the 
top of which was a large oho, a heap of stones, with 
prayer-flags flying from the top. On nearly all the 
passes these ohos are to be found. In all probability 
they were originally intended simply as landmarks to 
point out the road, as smaller mud ones are still in use 
for that purpose; but the mountain olos have long 
since taken on a religious signiflcance. Whenever the 
natives reach the oho at the top of a difficult pass they 
all dismount, each throws a stone on the heap, and pass- 
ing to the right of it, all join in chanting their grati- 
tude to the god of the mountain for helping them to 
ascend. We have frequently seen our men observe this 
somewhat romantic ceremony, and they were much per- 
plexed that we did not follow their example. All that 



»U WITH THE TIBETAN'S 

day we searched in vain for water, and, when emerging 
from a valley, rejoiced to behold a sparkling lake, but 
it turned out to be the Tala-dabesun-nor, a salt lake, 
nearly dry. Deviating from our direct southwesterly 
route, we found good grass and fresh water about eight 
miles north of the lake, and learned that the apparent 
drought was caused by the natives having drained off 
all the water for the purpose of irrigation. This dis- 
trict would be wealthy but for an inroad of southern 
Tibetans probably from across the Yellow Eiver, who 
drove off 50,000 head of cattle and sheep at one sweep, 
reducing the entire settlement to poverty. Knowing 
that we were neariug a marsh and that our trail was 
not any too distinct, we hired two Mongols, and, as is 
the custom in this part, paid their wages in advance 
to a middleman, a native doctor, who stood as guaran- 
tee for the good conduct and fidelity of the men. They 
were to take us to Barong. We learned that the Tala- 
dabesun-nor is called thus to distinguish it from Serkin 
Dabesun-nor; the former belongs to Tsing hai Wang's 
district, the latter to the Korluk Bei-si district. 

The two Mongols were types, one of them an old 
man, thin, sharp featured, and very talkative and agree- 
able, the other a lama who had a wife whom he had 
stolen from another man near Barong. Therefore he 
was anxious not to pass through her native settlement. 
He was young, round-faced, with shaven head, and kept 
to himself, counting beads, and burning scapulae to 
see what fortune had in store. Whenever he saw peo- 
ple, he disappeared so as not to be seen by them for 
fear, we presumed, of being recognized. Our Mongols 



FAEEWELL TO TANKAR 215 

at first insisted upon going a southern road to Barong, 
saying it was shorter and there was not so much dan- 
ger of being lost in the marsh; but fearing the sudden 
appearance of marauding bands of Tibetans from south 
of the Yellow River, we decided upon the northern 
road. This road led up towards a pass named Shara 
Kuto, and when about ten miles from the top we 
stopped where there was good grass, and water flowed 
in a small stream intermittently; one moment there 
was water and the next moment there was none. The 
people there were well-to-do, the women wearing their 
sheepskins in the early morning, and when the sun 
grew warmer putting on their pulu gowns. I felt sorry 
for one poor young woman who had the Mongol head- 
dress, and upon asking her how that came, she replied 
that she was a Mongol whom a Tibetan had secured for 
a wife. The morality of the people just here was at a 
lower ebb than in many other places, the women espe- 
cially acting, even in our presence, in an unseemly 
manner. Next day we were much refreshed by seeing 
evergreen trees, the first trees of any kind we had seen 
since the day we left home, and we were also rejoiced 
to camp on level ground on the southern bank of the 
Dulan gol, in sight of the Dulan Si on the opposite side 
of the river, while to the northeast was the Tsahan- 
nor, a small lake hidden from sight in its sheltered 
spot enclosed by three hills. Dulan Kao is a very small 
cluster of houses, composed mostly of lamas' homes and 
the residence of the prince of the Tsing hai, all built 
of mud brick surrounded by walls. The trail on the 
north bank of the river is covered with stones, but Mr. 



216 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Eijnhart and Kahim pursued that road while our cara- 
van stayed on the south, crossing later and camping on 
the north bank, where there was good grass, and plenty 
of the most bloodthirsty mosquitoes. Dulan Kao as well 
as being the capital of the wang-yeh's dominions seemed 
also to be just inside the boundary of the mosquito dis- 
trict, for the Mongols had told us blood-curdling tales 
of those pests when we passed the village, and we found 
them only too true. 

We were now facing the famous marsh, where travel 
was impossible unless along narrow trails, which were 
often not to be found except by the help of the guides. 
The northeast part of the plain was cultivated, wa- 
tered by irrigation ditches ; the southern was the marsh 
which we found quite dry along the trail, and only had 
difficulty once crossing a small stream, although our 
Mongols assured us that had it not been dry weather 
we might have found it impassable. There were two 
lakes in this large plain, between which our road lay; 
the larger one was Serkin Dabesun-nor, the western 
half of which was dry salt and saltpetre. It receives its 
water supply from the Katsa gol flowing from Dulan- 
nor, and another stream from the west. The Dulan 
nor is fed by the Dulan gol which flows past Dulan 
Kao. After passing the marsh we halted about a mile 
north of the Timurte mountains and south of the 
Dabesun-nor, where we came across a camp recently 
occupied by the Jcopas. Here we found only brackish 
water. Our route continued in a south southwest di- 
rection, mountain ranges on either side of us, at first 



FAREWELL TO TAXKAE 217 

of dolerite, then pudding stone, changing finally into 
sand-hills, some of them very high. 

The sand-hills marked the beginning of the desert 
of Koko beileh, too barren to support any population, 
but roamed over by herds of kiang and antelopes. 
When we came within sight of the bed of the Tsa-tsan 
gol which was then dry, the load fell off one of our 
horses, and the animal exulting in the unexpected free- 
dom, scampered away in the direction of home. As 
we sat by the roadside waiting until Eahim should bring 
him back, the guides told us there was water around the 
corner of the last hill to the right directly away from 
the road. When the pony was caught and his load re- 
adjusted we crossed the river bed where the road was 
not recognizable, and reached Talin Turgen, where we 
found a basin of bad water on the side of a hill, but 
abundance of grass and mosquitoes. While we were 
striking camp the next morning six deer suddenly 
darted from the underbrush near us, followed shortly 
afterwards by a bear. We were all mounted, so no at- 
tention was paid to the deer, but Rahim asked per- 
mission to have a shot at bruin, which being 
granted he started in pursuit, followed by such re- 
marks from the older Mongol as " No good will come 
of it. Those animals are not to be touched." We saw 
the boy in the distance dismount and tie his horse to 
some brush, when the bear returned, as we afterwards 
saw, for her cub, whereupon the Mongol jumped off 
his horse, got his gun ready for firing, saying, " He is 
coming, he is coming; we will all be killed," and then 
told us a story of eight men who had been killed by 



218 WITH THE TIBETANS 

a bear because one of them had attacked him. Just 
as Mr. Rijnhart was starting to Rahim's rescue, the 
two bears turned and made off with rapid strides to- 
wards the hills. Eahim's horse had run away and he 
came towards us, his eyes full of fear, and told us how 
the " wild man " (the Chinese and some Mongols call 
bears ie-ren, wild men) had stood up and looked at 
him, and how having fired all his cartridges he took 
his sword in his hand and crept away. He never 
wanted to shoot a bear afterwards. The old Mongol 
carried a scar as a result of the episode, for in dis- 
mounting quickly, his gun had struck his head and 
made a deep gash. He took some of the tinder (scorched 
edelweiss, a fluffy vegetable) and put it in the wound 
to stop the bleeding. 

We were glad to find a pleasant camping ground to 
the right of the road on the banks of the Sulim gol in 
which was the best water we had for days and along 
whose banks our horses found good green grass. Here 
our lama-guide deserted us, taking off with him the 
pot and food the two of them expected to use on their 
return journey. Ergetsu, the next camp, was an 
oasis in the desert, there being good water and grass, 
but the march the day following was through weari- 
some sand dunes until we passed the Shara gol, where 
our second guide deserted us. Happily we found good 
water, but were again nearly eaten up by mosquitoes. 
From this pest a piece of fine netting saved baby and 
me, while Mr. Rijnhart kept a smoky fire all the time 
in the other tent; while traveling we wore Tchatas 
sewed into veils. After passing the Tso gol springs 



FAEEWELL TO TANKEE 219 

we lost our way and went on and on through a very wide 
dry river bed, in the bottom of which there had recently 
been running water, but which was now covered only 
with red earth. Towards dusk a small party of Mon- 
gols, who had been farming over the hills and who 
were moving their encampment to Barong, stopped be- 
side us. They told us that the dry river bed was that 
of the Bayan gol, in crossing which Eockhill had ex- 
perienced such difficulty owing to the mud. At their 
kind invitation we followed the Mongols to their camp 
along a road which led through a brushwood thicket 
in which bloomed an abundance of flowers resembling 
spirea, except that they were pink. How gladly we 
plucked them, for we had not seen a flower since leaving 
Tankar. The Mongol women decked their hair with 
them, and seemed to rejoice with us that the desert 
and all its barrenness was past and we were again in 
the midst of flowing water, green grass and fresh food. 



CHAPTER XIII 

IN THE TS'aIDAM. 

The Ts'aidam and its People — Polyandry and Cruelty 
to the Aged — The Dzassak of Barong — Celebration 
of Baby's Birthday — Missionary Prospects. 

We had now arrived in the Ts'aidam, a large plain 
some six hundred miles from east to west lying north 
of the Kuenlun Mountains. It is called Wu Ts'aidam 
by the Chinese (Wu means five) because it is divided 
into five states, Taichiner, Korluk, Koko, Dsun and 
Barong. The small district of Shang east of Barong 
is also usually included in the Ts'aidam, although po- 
litically it is distinct. It was given by the Mongol 
princes to the Dalai Lama and is governed by a rep- 
resentative from Trashil'unpo who ' is changed every 
five years. The other states are governed under the 
authority of the Sining Amban by Mongol princes, 
each of whom receives annually a government grant of 
from one hundred taels and four pieces of satin, to 
twelve hundred taels and eight pieces of satin. The 
satin is called mangtuan, being of a special design orna- 
mented with yellow dragons and used exclusively by the 
chiefs, and to adorn temples. It is worth from twelve 
to twenty taels a piece, according to the quality. The 

820 



IN THE TS'AIDAM 221 

population of the five states is estimated at from 8,000 
to 16,000, for the most part Western Mongols, but 
among them are found many Eastern Mongol lamas 
who are here allowed to have wives, a privilege which 
is denied them in Inner Tibet or Mongolia. The 
Ts'aidam Mongols, as far as we were able to ascertain, 
practise polyandry, and marriages are often arranged 
for a limited length of time. It is not uncommon for 
traders, Chinese, Mongolian or Tibetan, to secure wives 
for a certain period of time, perhaps six months, a 
year or two years, and when they go to their own homes 
again, the children are left with the so-called wife. As 
a rule the Chinese look down upon the very loose mar- 
riage laws prevailing among these nomads, but in 
Tankar a respectable Chinese woman told me that 
Chinamen often rented or leased their wives to other 
men for a time varying from one day to several years. 
Though this may be done in that locality I have no 
idea that it is a usual occurrence in China, and is prob- 
ably a custom born of contact with the nomads. There 
is another thing which stamps the inhabitants of the 
Ts'aidam very low in the scale of civilization and hu- 
manity, and reveals their need of the socially uplifting 
influence of Christianity, and that is their treatment of 
the aged. In many cases the old people as soon as they 
are no longer able to work are ejected from the house 
or tent, and compelled to eke out their remaining days 
in a cave or on a dunghill, where they soon succumb 
from exposure or lack of nourishment. For most cases 
of such treatment the daughter-in-law is responsible. 
Almost immediately upon entering the home she as- 



222 WITH THE TIBETANS 

sumes a tyrannical authority over her husband's pa- 
rents, making it exceedingly uncomfortable for them, 
denying them the necessities of life, and never ceasing 
until in exasperation her husband is goaded on to the 
cruel deed. Many of the natives speaking with us on 
this matter, said how much better it was to have 
daughters than sons, for the parents who had daughters 
only, would not run the same risk of being cast off in 
their helplessness at the instigation of a daughter-in- 
law. In strong contrast to the treatment of the aged 
by the Ts'aidam Mongols is the filial piety of the Chi- 
nese, which is occasionally carried to excess, the old 
people being allowed the role of tyrant, sometimes 
beating their grown-up sons and daughters severely 
with no resentment or retaliation from the latter. 

The Mongols are exceedingly polite in their way. 
When two strangers meet they hold out both hands with 
the palms turned upward, and make a graceful bow ut- 
tering the salutation Amur sambina. A present is ac- 
knowledged simply by holding it up to the forehead; they 
have no words to express thanks. Their religion is as 
conspicuous as their politeness. While attending to 
their daily duties, whether drawing water, tending the 
flocks, gathering argols, churning butter, or whatever 
it may be, they never cease to mumble prayers. Be- 
sides this, each settlement supports a number of lamas 
who are engaged to chant for them, and thus assist 
them in the accumulation of merit. These Mongols 
seemed quite averse to accepting the copies of the Gos- 
pels in Tibetan which we offered them, but the kopas, 
who were then trading in the district through which 



IN THE TS'AIDAM 223 

we passed, took them with great eagerness and apparent 
pleasure. Most of the Mongols here are nomads, al- 
though they do some farming, raising all the barley 
they require. Whether they engage in agriculture or 
are pure nomads they must pay a certain tithe of their 
income in taxes to their chief. They dwell in tents; 
the houses which compose the villages are of a very in- 
ferior order and are used mostly as storerooms. The 
village of Barong, the home of the dzassak, or chief, is 
composed of a few mud-brick dwellings and is situated 
about eight miles from the foot of the Kuenlun moun- 
tains. The food of the Mongols here is the same as 
that of the Tibetans, and like the latter they make wine, 
and also a sort of koumiss from mare's milk. 

They are good-natured, simple, cowardly enough to 
be afraid of the Tibetans, and proverbially honest, 
though from experience we found it best not to trust 
them implicitly. The spot where we were encamped 
was rather low ground, and in the center of a large 
encampment of Mongols, very near to some of their 
tents. The grass was excellent as was also the water, 
and considerable underbrush stretched about us. When 
it rained the place was turned into a veritable mud- 
hole, the ground being of a sort of clay formation, and 
various ditches had to be dug to keep the water from 
our tents and fire. Our camel loads of goods sent on 
from Tankar in advance had arrived safely, and were 
in the hands of the Barong dzassaJc, but being in need 
of rest for both ourselves and our animals, we stayed 
in our first camping place for a few days, employing 
our time in bartering and chatting with the natives. 



224 WITH THE TIBETANS 

and in \rriting letters. We feasted on fresh meat, milk 
and butter, but had to be careful that we did not unin- 
tentionally buy butter made of camel's milk, which the 
natives offered for sale. Cattle were very scarce in 
this locality, owing partly to the plague which had 
carried off thousands of them, and partly to the inroads 
of the Goloks, the mortal enemies of the Mongols, and 
of whom the latter are desperately afraid. Young girls 
and women came to see me frequently, bringing butter 
to barter for silk and gold thread. They were dressed 
for the most part in long pulu garments with little 
jackets underneath, their hair done either in many 
plaits fastened with cloth at the back or divided into 
two larger plaits, one on each side, enveloped in a broad 
band of black cloth or velvet, embroidered with thread 
or beads, going down underneath the girdle to almost 
the bottom of the gown. The married women had the 
latter custom. A profusion of beads of different colors 
adorned their persons, which were very dirty indeed, 
and it took our utmost care to keep the population of 
our tents from increasing to an alarming degree. 

Our horses were already weary from their long march, 
and to spare them we decided to hire camels to trans- 
port our goods to the dzassah's camp, a half day's jour- 
ney distant. One needs a liberal supply of patience to 
deal with Mongols, who are sharp, calculating and so 
changeable that it is difficult to keep them to a bargain 
after it has been made. Two of them having inspected 
our loads and having received the required number of 
Tckatas in prepayment for their services, returned next 
morning with an insufficient number of camels, and 



IN THE TS'AIDAM 225 

one of those they did bring could not carry a heavy 
load. They also failed to bring any ropes or pads to 
go underneath the loads. A lively time ensued and 
finally Mr. Eijnhart told them plainly our horses would 
not carry one atom of our stuff, that the camels had 
been paid for in order that our animals might 
have a rest. Our men then counted our ropes 
and watched the loads, and amidst much grum- 
bling from the Mongols, packing and loading was fin- 
ished and off we went. The aspect of the country was 
bleak, almost like a desert, at last settling down into 
a very level plain, upon which in the distance we saw 
hundreds of tents. The two boys drove our horses on 
happy without any loads, while Eahim rode alongside 
of us. Baby and all thoroughly enjoyed the air and 
sunshine. We chose a pretty camping ground near a 
stream of water, in the midst of blue iris, about one 
hundred yards from the tents of the dzassak of Barong, 
from whose tent two men immediately came to help 
us pitch ours. Taking Eahim and baby with us, for 
we never considered it wise to leave the little fellow 
with the servants when we were both away, we went to 
give the dzassak the presents and find out from him 
about the loads which the Korluk Bei-si had left in his 
care for us. From what Eockhill had said in his 
'• Land of the Lamas " we expected to find this man 
both polite and kind, especially as our presents, which 
were very valuable, were made to him and to his wife, 
the Mongols of Tankar having advised us to seek the 
latter's influence. On reaching the door of the tent 
we were welcomed only by inferiors, and saw sitting 



226 WITH THE TIBETANS 

upon some rugs a man of about thirty-seven years of 
age, dressed in a dark blue cloth gown, and a little cir- 
cular Chinese hat, his face very fat, having by no means 
an attractive expression. He had not risen to receive 
us, thereby committing an almost unpardonable breach 
of politeness, one to which we were unaccustomed, but 
which we knew was calculated to give us an exalted 
opinion of his dignity. We bowed and seated ourselves 
upon rugs provided for us, while the women gave us 
tea in china basins into which a piece of butter and 
some tsamha had previously been put; we were also 
served some bread fried in fat, and hong-tsao-er, a dried 
Chinese fruit. The tent was a large round one made 
of felt with lattice work on the sides and a hole in the 
center to emit the smoke from the fire immediately 
beneath in a round clay fireplace, with the pot resting 
on an iron tripod. Eugs covered the floor around the 
sides, and boxes were piled high, giving an air of af- 
fluence not found in ordinary tents. The chief had a 
little wooden bed six inches high that he used in order 
to avoid getting rheumatism, which disease, according 
to Chinese doctors, comes from the earth. On either 
side of him sat a lama, one of them apparently en- 
grossed in praying, but really hearing and seeing every- 
thing that was going on. The chief's wife and little 
daughter sat in the opposite side of the tent from us, 
and though we had expected to see the former clean 
and well dressed, she was neither, being quite indis- 
tinguishable from other Mongol women as far as her 
attire was concerned. Women of various ages crowded 
the tent, several men were sitting near the door, which 



IN THE TS'AIDAM 227 

was itself filled with heads. There is no such dignity 
found among these nomad chiefs as among Chinese 
mandarins, for the poorest man can go into the chief's 
tent and he given tea, while a bargain or a business 
transaction is being discussed. The chief told us our 
goods had come, and that he would go over to the vil- 
lage on the morrow with Mr. Rijnhart to get them. 
As we were about to leave he arose and accompanied 
us to the door, bowing there and watching us depart; 
an old woman held a big, ferocious dog until we were 
beyond danger and we sauntered slowly to our tent, 
glad to be once more in the sweet sunshine out of doors. 
He came over next day and brought us several pounds 
of fresh, moderately clean yellow butter, some churma, 
and a big fat sheep. We were not in need of any favors 
or kindness from him, but he had evidenty decided that 
we were people to be cultivated, or perhaps he con- 
cluded that as we expected to stay for some time it 
would pay him to be agreeable. The weather during 
the stay was delightful; the grassy plains stretched 
on all sides where were tents innumerable with flocks 
and herds ; towards the south we could see the Nomoran 
and Burh'an Bota passes in the Kuenlun mountains, be- 
yond which lay our goal. Near our tent a ground bird 
had her nest of five eggs hidden among the iris. How 
we enjoyed her, for birds, with the exception of hawks 
and ravens, had been very scarce. 

Our boys had had turns at being cook, and 
while one of them would do his best with the 
viands, the second would look after Charlie, and 
the third would serve as a body servant and tend 



228 WITH THE TIBETANS 

the horses in the morning and evening. The chief 
supplied us with fuel to make bread, and had 
his men bring firewood from some distance away, which 
was mostly roots dug out of the sand. Bread-making 
was an event of great importance. We had a beaten 
brass pot ten inches in diameter, over which a lid fitted 
closely lapping down an inch. Into this our bread M'as 
put and the pot was then buried in the fire of dried 
cow-dung, care being taken that it was not too hot. 
Fruitcake can be made in these pots, and many other 
very palatable kinds of cake and buns, provided always 
the ingredients are at hand, and plenty of fuel, which 
we sometimes found difficult to get. About our so- 
journ of three weeks in the Ts'aidam cluster sweet 
memories, for there our little family had the last quiet 
time together in sunny weather, without one cloud of 
worry or unrest to dampen the thorough enjoyment. 
The outstanding event was the celebration on the 30th 
of June of baby's birthday. In preparation for the 
day a birthday cake was made of flour, sugar, butter 
and sultanas, and the chief was invited to come over 
to help eat " foreign cake." In the morning the Mon- 
gols were surprised to hear the guns which were fired 
in honor of our little son, while each of our servants 
was still more surprised when called and presented with 
a gift. How thoroughly baby enjoyed those days, when 
he made the tents ring with joyousness from his musical 
laughter, his shouts and the beating of our Eussian 
brass wash-basin which he used as a drum. Then from 
sheer weariness he would fall asleep, leaving the camp 



IN THE TS'AIDAM 229 

pervaded by a stillness, made sweet by the fact that 
he was still there. 

The chief came to our tent very often, and we did 
some trading with him. We had some rice that we 
wished to barter for sheep and he was anxious to have 
it, so of course no one else dared to make an offer, for 
he always has the pre-eminence in matters of trade, and 
frequently must have his share of the profits of a good 
bargain made by members of his tribe. We found him 
contemptibly mean, wanting to use small weight scales, 
cheat us on the price, always begging us to " add a 
little," the common request of a Chinese purchaser, 
when anything is being weighed or measured out to 
him. We would not have been so surprised at this 
man's character had we previously seen W. W. Rock- 
hill's account of his second journey, upon which he and 
his old friend, the dzassak, had about a similar experi- 
ence to that which we had had. Poor Dowe, Rockhill's 
guide in 1889, came to grief through his highly prized 
revolver, for he was exiled in Shang, his flocks and 
herds having been confiscated by the chief and he him- 
self disgraced. While he was on his way to Tankar, 
he had some trouble with a young servant, during 
which he threatened to shoot the latter, and drawing 
the revolver fired it, though some of the Mongols said 
it was unintentional. However, he killed the man and 
the family of the deceased demanded the payment of 
indemnity and the dzassak left Dowe a poor man, 
though he himself no doubt profited by his steward's 
misfortune. When we were there Dowe was almost 
blind and living in Shang, but had managed to collect 



230 WITH THE TIBETANS 

a few sheep and cattle together. An old trader from 
Tankar who was in the Ts'aidam during the summer 
was a frequent visitor at our tent. He had accom- 
panied the Chinese official who had been sent to investi- 
gate the murder of Dutrueil de Ehins, the French 
traveler who had been killed by the K'amba in 1894. 
He was near us there in connection with the wool trade, 
and would be returning to Tankar in August. To him 
we gave our letters, addressed to our friends at home, 
and he said he would either send them with some one 
reliable who would be going before him, or he would 
take them himself to Mr. Uang, the merchant at the 
east gate, who had frequently carried or sent letters to 
Sining for us. These letters with good news, did not 
reach Canada until after the letters from me announcing 
the great calamity that befel us later on our journey. 
While in the Ts'aidam we provided ourselves with fifty 
catties of butter and eleven sheep for use on the road 
south, expecting not to see people again for a month. 
This bartering made us thankful that we were not de- 
pendent upon these Mongols for our tsamha, as the 
price demanded was very large and it took a long time 
to come to terms with them at all, they are so change- 
able. They are also great cowards, and succeeded in 
infusing into the minds of our two men fears of the 
journey beyond, dilating on the passes and rivers, espe- 
cially the robbers who would be sure to prey upon us. 
Having ascertained that a party of Eastern Mongols 
were passing through the Ts'aidam on their way to 
Lhasa and Trashil'unpo, we proposed to leave two days 
after them, because we knew there was a possibility of 



IN THE TS'AIDAM 231 

our missing the trail in the places where it was not 
distinct. A young lama camped in a small white tent 
beside the dzassah's was going to Lhasa with the Mon- 
gols, and through him we learned when the caravan 
would leave, and made our preparations accordingly. 

One of our reasons for staying so long in the 
Ts'aidam was to acquaint ourselves with the possibil- 
ities of missionary work among the nomads, and after 
looking over the ground we came to the following con- 
clusion: A mission could be successfully carried on 
in the Ts'aidam during the summertime, the workers 
returning to Tankar for the winter. To inspire confi- 
dence it would be wise for those engaged in mission 
work to do a little trading, otherwise the natives would 
suppose they got their living by magic. There is no 
doubt that with suitable men a good work in the dis- 
tribution of Gospels could also be done, and the fact 
that so many travelers from Lhasa pass through the 
district would give the mission a wide influence. 



CHAPTEE XIV. 

UNPOPULATED DISTRICTS. 

Crossing the Kuenlun Mountains — " Buddha's Caul- 
dron " — Marshes and Sand-hills — Dead Yak Strew 
the Trail— Ford of the Shuga Gol— Our Guides De- 
sert Us — Snow Storm on the Koko-Shilis — We Meet 
a Caravan — The Beginning of Sorrows. 

The Kuenlun mountain range stretches across Tibet 
from west to east at about thirty-six degrees latitude, 
and practically forms the northern limit of the unex- 
plored Tibetan territory lying west of ninety-three de- 
grees longitude. The range is also the southern boun- 
dary of the Ts'aidam, and the natives furthermore look 
upon it as the line of demarcation between comfortable 
and dangerous traveling from Tankar to ISTagch'uk'a. 
Once the traveler gets south of the Kuenluns, they say, 
he is certain to encoimter dangers formidable in the 
shape of passes, rivers and brigands. Eockhill states 
that this mountain range south of the Ts'aidam has no 
name, and Prjevalski calls it Burh'an Bota (Buddha's 
Cauldron), but in this the latter is mistaken, for that 
is the name, not of the range, but of one of the passes. 
Like every other caravan on its way to Inner Tibet, 
we had rested long in the Ts'aidam and gathered 

233 



UNPOPULATED DISTRICTS 233 

strength for the ascent and crossing of Burh'an Bota, 
and other high passes on the road, which on account 
of the scarcity of pasture, and the great altitude, tax 
to the utmost the traveling capacity of both man and 
beast. We learned from the lama previously men- 
tioned that travelers often congregate on the very edge 
of the Ts'aidam plains because there is grass, and the 
animals are allowed to have a good feed; for immedi- 
ately at the foot of the pass, where another halt is al- 
ways made before the ascent is attempted, the grass is 
very poor. The morning after our lama's tent was miss- 
ing from its position beside the dzassah's, we left the 
latter's proximity and made our way to the last halting 
place north of the mountains. 

I have always thought of sheep as such docile ani- 
mals, following quietly and meekly their shepherd, but 
when I look back on that day in the Ts'aidam with it^s 
treacherous marshes interspersed with grassy plains, 
the sheep banish everything else from my thoughts, 
and I again see them as they were that day jumping 
and running in every direction except that in which 
they were wanted to go: first to join the dzassah's 
flocks, and, when separated from them, off directly op- 
posite to another flock, a particularly ambitious one 
always leading. Poor Ja-si and Ga-chuen-tsi were 
out seeking them away into the night. We set up 
our tent poles as a tripod upon which to place our brass 
wash-basin, and burned in it a great fire to serve as a 
beacon, for we feared they might be lost in the marsh. 
Not far from us there was a tent in which lived an old 
couple, and from them we received fresh milk which 



234 WITH THE TIBETAN'S 

we carried along in bottles the next morning on our 
journey. the bleak barrenness of that marshy dis- 
trict ! Sand-hills, gravel and scrub ! Not a sign of life 
in any place, not a drop of running water, only here 
and there in a little hollow in the bed of what had 
been apparently an irrigation stream, hidden in the 
shade of a bush, we would find a little, but not enough 
to refresh us and the horses. When it was nearly dark 
Mr. Eijnhart went ahead and found a camping-place 
among brushwood on the bank of a large stream of good 
water flowing towards Dsun, in a deep gully right at 
the foot of the mountain which towered in front of us. 
It seemed cruel to tether the horses, but there was not a 
blade of grass, and when such is the case animals will 
stray miles away in search of food unless prevented; so 
we gave them some barley, and all prepared for the 
ascent of the Burh'an Bota the following day. We 
started shortly after daybreak, beginning to ascend at 
once along a dry watercourse, where not an atom of 
green was to be seen, but strewn here and there were 
dead yak, many of them reduced to skeletons and others 
more recently dead. Of the latter we counted forty- 
two, and the sight made us pause to reflect on the name 
of the pass and wonder whether the explanation of its 
name, '' Buddha's Cauldron," is not found in the fact 
that it claims so many sacrifices of these poor animals; 
or was the name suggested by the vapors that hang 
over it, which the natives call poisonous from the de- 
pressing effect they produce on travelers? Hue de- 
scribed the discomfort and pain endured in the ascent 
of this pass, which half of his caravan crossed in one 



UNPOPULATED DISTRICTS 235 

stretch while the other half stayed part way up, in- 
tending to cross the day following. We camped some 
distance from the summit, where there were indications 
of the Tcopas having stopped, and where there were 
food, water and fairly good grass. Our camp was in a 
beautiful recess in the hills which, with their varied 
shapes and hues, towered cloudward in front of us. 
So great was the elevation to which we had attained 
that the country we had just traversed seemed, as we 
looked back upon it, to belong to another world far 
beneath us. Though the natives assured us that it 
always rained whenever anyone crossed this pass, prob- 
ably from the great altitude and the clouds hanging 
about the summit, we had fine weather; but no one 
enjoyed it very much, as all except Rahim had a head- 
ache. Ga-chuen-ts'i was very ill, and little Charlie was 
perfectly willing to lie down with me and keep quiet, 
for we found that we felt much better when still and in 
a prostrate position. On the top of the pass was a 
large 060 and our native companions cast a stone 
upon the already large heap, chanting in loud and joy- 
ful voices their thanks to the spirits for help in climb- 
ing successfully to the top, a task of no small magni- 
tude. Caravans coming out from the interior pay 
heavily in that locality by the yak and horses lost dur- 
ing the crossing of this pass, the severe toil and the 
great stretches of country without any fodder coming 
at the end of a long journey causing large numbers to 
succumb. How delightful it was after descending along 
rugged paths to camp in luxuriant grass, and among 
brushwood which provided us with plenty of firewood. 



236 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Such was our next camping-place on the bank of a 
pretty stream, which next day we followed down its 
course, to branch off from it along the caravan road 
which led us up another stream, showing us we were 
ascending again. In fact the whole month's journey 
might be said to be a series of ups and downs in more 
senses than one — the road continually ascending or 
descending, the grass and firewood being one day 
abundant, the next absolutely wanting. 

As we were in uninhabited country, and expected to 
be for a month or more, the appearance of four men 
and some camels was a welcome sight and the occasion 
of marked politeness on both sides, Mr. Rijnhart pre- 
senting them with some bread, and Eahim exchanging 
tobacco with them. They were part of a large caravan 
on its way from Lhasa to Tankar, but the oxen were 
several days behind them, having to come so slowly. 
The mere sight of them gave us a feeling of compan- 
ionship that was pleasant after the isolation of the 
mountains, and we proceeded with the anticipation of 
meeting at any moment perhaps another small party 
who were aiming to push on to the Ts'aidam. Well do 
I remember the beauty of the camping ground the fol- 
lowing day, situated on the bank of a copious stream 
coming apparently from springs in some exceedingly 
lofty mountains a few miles up a beautiful valley at the 
head of which stood, as if it were a sentinel on guard, 
a solitary summit towering high in its magnificence 
above all surrounding peaks. Our tents were pitched 
among beds of dainty pink primulas which studded the 
grassy carpet. But all was not to be sunshine, for that 



UNPOPULATED DISTKICTS 237 

night the rain fell in torrents, traveling was impossible 
the next morning, and the men found it necessary to 
go about ten miles for firewood. We deemed it wise 
to move our camp to the hills, for if the rain continued 
as it showed every indication of doing, we might have 
been in danger from the previously quiet mountain 
stream, now muddy and rising rapidly, though eventu- 
ally it proved a needless fear. We had seen these quiet 
streams suddenly changed into raging torrents, in their 
mad course carrying everything with them, hence our 
determination to move to higher ground, and to avoid 
flowery carpets in the future, if they were on the banks 
of a stream liable to overflow suddenly. Wild mules, 
antelopes, bears and wild yak were plentiful in these 
regions, but owing to the wet weather fuel was hard to 
get, and at times yak horns cut into fine splinters, to- 
gether with roots of small weeds, were all we could 
find; these were scarcely sufficient to more than warm 
water for tea, though we always had enough dry 
kindling wood that we carried in part of one load to 
make baby's food. 

Now our road lay in a west southwesterly direction, 
following streams for the most part, these seeming to 
form openings in the mountains. Then we ascended a 
pass on which there was a small oho. After following a 
rivulet, crossing and recrossing it several times, we 
forded the Shuga gol, which, being greatly swollen with 
the recent rains, and having a sinking sand and gravel 
bottom, was almost unfordable, and it was with con- 
siderable anxiety that we saw some of our loaded 
horses almost swept away in the seething current, or 



238 WITH THE TIBETANS 

sink in pitfalls. The tedious march through miry 
ground and red clay along the river in search of a 
camp with good grass and spring water, must have dis- 
couraged our two boys, Ja-si and Ga-chuen-tsi, for we 
noticed that they were not so amiable and happy as 
before. One morning when we arose we found that they 
had decamped in the night, taking with them their 
own belongings, a pot and food enough for the return 
journey. The discovery caused some surprise, and Mr. 
Kijnhart, with Kahim, mounted our best horses to go 
back and if possible bring the truants to camp again, 
leaving Charlie and myself with Topsy to await their 
return. Our camp was high in a sheltered nook in the 
hills on the river bank, with bright green grass and 
pretty moss along little bubbling springs, the moun- 
tains towering in the distance, the snow-capped sum- 
mits of the loftier ones looking down in their calm 
superiority, giving one the impression that they were 
conscious of their own height. There is no solitude 
like that of the mountains, perhaps because their 
majesty impresses one so, and makes nature too far 
away to be friendly. 

That day alone in the hills with no trees, birds or 
flowers near, made me realize the sweetness provided by 
the companionship of a little child and a dog, who 
both seemed to feel the loneliness, and endeavored to 
be bright and companionable, while occasionally a chill 
would pierce my heart as the thought came : " What if 
any accident should prevent their return?" Was it a 
foreboding of the future, a whispering of what was to 
be? The thought was not harbored, but a little gar- 



UNPOPULATED DISTRICTS 239 

ment that was being knitted for baby grew very rapidly 
under my fingers that day, and great was the rejoicing 
when late in the afternoon the jaded horses bore their 
riders home, even though they came without the two 
boys. We trust the latter reached the Ts'aidam in 
safety, for they had plenty of food, and the trail was 
good, but it rained next day and the rivers must have 
been very high, making their crossing on foot danger- 
ous. 

The desertion of these men left us in a quandary, but 
we rearranged our loads that they might be easily 
handled by two, fed some of the extra food to our 
horses, and continued our journey after a rest of four 
days. Storms seemed to be the rule, for it snowed and 
hailed at about twelve o'clock every day ; but we pushed 
our way on past a lake called Uyan-khar, across a plain 
where the trail was scarcely visible and where quick- 
sands were numerous, to a camp by the side of springs 
with plenty of wild onions, which were a great treat. 
Rahim had had a gruesome experience here on his way 
out of Tibet in 1896. He and two companions were the 
only survivors of the six who followed in Capt. Well- 
by's footsteps, keeping out of sight two days' march 
behind the latter, until they discovered signs of a large 
caravan with yak which had crossed the Chumar river 
just before them. They had no food except a blue 
flower of the labiatse family and wild onions, and here 
on our camping ground they saw a tame yak, prob- 
ably one that had been over-fatigued and left by the 
caravan mentioned above. They attacked and killed it, 
and, he said, they were so weakened by starvation that 



240 WITH THE TIBETANS 

they just sat down and ate raw liver, not waiting to 
cook it. The dusky eye of the Oriental flashed as he 
recalled the joy that had come to him in this spot when 
the yak and traces of a caravan told him he was again 
approaching the haunts of human beings. 

Wild onions grow in great quantities in these dis- 
tricts and are particularly welcome to travelers, for 
they grow in places along the caravan-trails, where 
there is no meat to be had, and where they are the 
only obtainable green for diet. We invariably tented 
when possible in what had previously been Tcopas' 
camps, and the deserted fireplaces, together with the 
small ohos around on the hills, served as landmarks to 
point out the road, as the blazed trees did in pioneer 
times in our own country. The corpse of a man on 
the roadside told its own pathetic tale, how he had 
fallen sick and unable to keep up with his caravan, 
how he had been left behind with a supply of clothes 
and food, and had died alone when the food was all 
used. There, surrounded by his scattered and torn 
garments, lay his body, the flesh partly devoured by 
wild beasts and eagles. Eahim shuddered at the sight, 
and at the memory of his own escape from a similar 
fate ; and our arrival at the Chumar river where he had 
first seen traces of the kopas who helped him, revived 
the memory of how kind kismet had been to him. 

Having camped again near some ohos made of large 
prayer-stones in a position east of a low ridge of hills, 
and after having crossed some sand-dunes, we forded 
the Chumar, one of the headwaters of the Yangtse ; and 
even though at the ford the depth was less than else- 



UNPOPULATED DISTRICTS 241 

where, we experienced considerable difficulty in cross- 
ing itj for there were several branches separated by 
small sandbars bearing tufts of grass. In the first 
branch our horses sank into the quicksand, and had 
Rahim not been an expert we would have lost several 
loads, while the last branch was very deep, all the 
horses having to swim. Then we passed through a 
shaking bog, which well-nigh exhausted our animals. 
It seemed that at every step the wavering foundations 
would give way and we would sink somewhere into the 
depths of the earth. Dead horses and camels strewn 
along the way gave evidence of the extreme difficulties 
of transport across this treacherous piece of country. 
In the entrance to the Koko-shili range on the southeast 
of the valley, we came to a spot where caravans had 
evidently stayed several days, and where a dog that 
had had its back broken was keeping guard over some 
dead horses, and resented Topsy's advent. The ascent 
of the Koho-shili is at first gradual, but near the top it 
is very steep. A violent snow-storm overtook us and we 
feared to lose the trail, but two ohos indicated our ar- 
rival at the summit, and a careful descent brought us to 
a pretty camping ground. The transition from the 
area of a snow-storm around the summit of a pass with 
its irregular stony paths, its bleak peaks and ohos, to 
sunshine, green grass and bright crystal streams below, 
gives one an exceedingly pleasant sensation, and makes 
the pulse throb with joy and a sense of satisfaction. 

The next few days' traveling brought us to different 
branches of the Ulan Muren, and on to one of the 
branches of the Mur-ussu, another high water of the 



242 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Yangtse, called Mur-ussu by the Mongols and Dre Chu 
by the Tibetans. Here I make extracts from Mr. 
Eijnhart's diary which will give an adequate idea of the 
locality. 

" August 10th. To-day fine and hot. Start at eight 
o'clock, travel through sand-hills covered sparingly with 
grass, pass along the east side of a lake, then turn 
southwest and enter between two lakes. On the north 
shore of the southern one are many large ohos. Stop 
after traveling three and a half hours on the western 
extremity of a lake, north of the Mur-ussu, with di- 
rectly south of us a snow-peak, Mt. Dorst, and southeast 
Mt. Djoma, also a snow-peak. Charlie is teething." 

" August 11th. Charlie is a little better. Started 
with fine weather from the northeast corner of lake. 
In about an hour afterwards we reached a large branch 
of the Mur-ussu; on one of the largest streams horses 
swim; get many things wet, but did cross admirably. 
On the road have a fearful hail-storm; pass two small 
lakes, one east, one west of our track. Come in sight 
of largest branch of Mur-ussu, a source of the Yangtse ; 
camp on right bank." 

The main branch of the Mur-ussu is very large, flow- 
ing quietly in a deep bed, and it gave us a feeling of 
inability to ford, unless it spread to a greater width 
further on. We kept looking for that as we skirted its 
banks, when in the distance we spied yak, and Eahim 
announced that they were saddled. Rahim's vision was 
much keener than ours, for we could barely verify his 
words by means of our telescope. We were all on the 
qui vive, when suddenly we saw some white tents, and 



UNPOPULATED DISTEICTS 2^S 

on nearer approach discovered that there were fourteen 
of them, having about 1,500 yak and many horses. Our 
way led through the center of the encampment and 
not having any fear we rode up and were received in 
a very friendly manner by the travelers, most of them 
knowing us. They had been just one month coming 
from Nagch'uk'a and were on their way to Tankar, so 
we sent messages with them to our friends. By their 
dripping yak, and everything being spread out in the 
sun to dry, we concluded that the river in front of us, 
and which they had just crossed, was very deep; and 
though they wanted us to camp beside them, we went 
on to ford the waters, which would probably give us 
such a wetting that we would need to stop on the other 
shore and get dried. There were five branches, and 
while the hopas watched our passage we crossed first 
one then another, the horses swimming at times. The 
only one who enjoyed the fording was Charlie, who 
shouted with joy, when we all called out to the horses 
to arouse their courage as well as our own. The sensa- 
tion of camping across the river from friends was pe- 
culiar. The tents on the opposite bank looked like a 
town, but in the morning every vestige of the recent in- 
habitants with dwellings was gone, and we were again 
alone. We had the worst storm that night we had ex- 
perienced on the road, and it seemed as if tent and 
everything would be blown away, but we steadied the 
poles, and in time all apparent danger was past. Later 
on some of the Jcopas must have visited our camp, for 
next morning, to our consternation, five of our best 
animals were gone. They had undoubtedly been 



244 WITH THE TIBETANS 

stolen, as we traced them away down to a river- 
crossing with footsteps of another horse and dog. 
This event marked the beginning of sorrows, for 
Charlie had begun to cut his teeth, so was causing us 
no little anxiety, but we traveled very short stages and 
he seemed to improve, even though a gland in his neck 
was swollen. On the bank of a large river Rahim shot 
and killed a wild mule, some of whose flesh we were 
glad to use for food, having tasted no meat for many 
days. 

In the most deserted region through which we had 
yet passed we found ourselves without guides, lost five 
of our ponies and saw the hand of affliction laid upon 
our little child. 



CHAPTER XV. 

DARKNESS. 

Nearing the Dang Las — Death of our Little Son — The 
Lone Grave Under the Boulder. 

Following the occidental road from the Ts'aidam we 
had ascended many passes, and though some of them 
were over 16,000 feet above the sea, on none of them 
did we find old snow, and hence the snow-line in that 
region cannot be lower than about 17,500 feet. Wild 
animals abounded in many localities, yak sometimes 
being visible from very near. One fine day we sur- 
prised a number of the latter which, on seeing us, 
dashed across a large stream, their huge tails high 
in the air, the spray from their headlong rush into the 
water rising in clouds, presenting a magnificent sight. 
Wild mules had been seen in large numbers, especially 
after we crossed the Mur-ussu river, while bears 
and antelopes were everyday sights. On August the 
twenty-first, after we had been ascending for several 
days, we found ourselves traveling directly south, fol- 
lowing up to its source a beautiful stream full of 
stones, probably one of the Mur-ussu high waters. In 
front of us were the Dang La mountais, snow-clad and 
sunkissed, towering in their majesty, and, to us tenfold 

846 



246 WITH THE TIBETANS 

more interesting because immediately beyond them lay 
the Lhasa district of Tibet, in which the glad tidings 
of the gospel were unknown, and in which the Dalai 
Lama exercises supreme power, temporal and spiritual, 
over the people. Moreover, as we hoped to obtain per- 
mission to reside in that district as long as we did not 
attempt to enter the Capital, it seemed that our jour- 
neyings for the present were almost at an end. This 
hope, added to the fact that our darling's eight teeth, 
which had been struggling to get through, were now 
shining white above the gums, revived our spirits and 
we all sang for very joy, picking bouquets of bright pink 
leguminous flowers as we went along. 

The morning of the darkest day in our history arose, 
bright, cheery, and full of promise, bearing no omen 
of the cloud that was about to fall upon us. Our break- 
fast was thoroughly enjoj^ed, Charlie ate more heartily 
than he had done for some days, and we resumed our 
journey full of hope. Eiding along we talked of the 
future, its plans, its work, and its unknown successes 
and failures, of the possibility of going to the Indian 
border when our stay in the interior was over, and then 
of going home to America and Holland before we re- 
turned to Tankar, or the interior of Tibet again. 
Fondly our imagination followed the career of our lit- 
tle son; in a moment years were added to his stature 
and the infant had grown to the frolicking boy full of 
life and vigor, athirst for knowledge and worthy of 
the very best instruction we could give him. With what 
deliberation we decided to give his education our per- 
sonal supervision, and what books we would procure 



DARKNESS 247 

for him — the very best and most scientific in English, 
French and German. " He must have a happy child- 
hood," said his father. " He shall have all the blocks, 
trains, rocking-horses and other things that boys in 
the homeland have, so that when he shall have grown 
up he may not feel that because he was a missionary's 
son, he had missed the joys that brighten other boys' 
lives." How the tones of his baby voice rang out as 
we rode onward ! I can still hear him shouting lustily 
at the horses in imitation of his father and Rahim. 

Suddenly a herd of yak on the river bank near us 
tempted Rahim away to try a shot, but the animals, 
scenting danger, rushed off into the hills to our right; 
then across the river we saw other yak, apparently some 
isolated ones, coming towards us, but on closer exam- 
ination we found they were tame yak driven by four 
mounted men accompanied by a big, white dog. The 
men evidently belonged to the locality, and we expected 
they would come to exchange with us ordinary civili- 
ties, but to our surprise when they saw us they quickly 
crossed our path, and studiously evading us, disap- 
peared in the hills. This strange conduct on their part 
aroused in our minds suspicions as to their intentions. 
Carefully we selected a camping-place hidden by little 
hills; the river flowed in front and the pasture was 
good. 

Though baby's voice had been heard just a few mo- 
ments previous, Mr. Rijnhart said he had fallen asleep ; 
so, as usual, Rahim dismounted and took him from his 
father's arms in order that he might not be disturbed 
until the tent was pitched and his food prepared. I 



248 WITH THE TIBETANS 

had also dismounted and spread on the ground the com- 
forter and pillow I carried on my saddle. Eahim very 
tenderly laid our lovely boy down, and, while I knelt 
ready to cover him comfortably, his appearance at- 
tracted my attention. I went to move him, and found 
that he was unconscious. A great fear chilled me and 
I called out to Mr. Rijnhart that I felt anxious for 
baby, and asked him to quickly get me the hypodermic 
syringe. Rahim asked me what was the matter, and 
on my reply a look of pain crossed his face, as he has- 
tened to help my husband procure the hypodermic. In 
the meantime I loosened baby's garments, chafed his 
wrists, performed artificial respiration, though feeling 
almost sure that nothing would avail, but praying to 
Him who holds all life in His hands, to let us have our 
darling child. Did He not know how we loved him 
and could it be possible that the very joy of our life, 
the only human thing that made life and labor sweet 
amid the desolation and isolation of Tibet — could it 
be possible that even this — the child of our love should 
be snatched from us in that dreary mountain country — 
by the cold chill hand of Death? What availed our 
efforts to restore him? What availed our question- 
ings? The blow had already fallen, and we realized 
that we clasped in our arms only the casket which had 
held our precious jewel; the jewel itself had been 
taken for a brighter setting in a brighter world; the 
little flower blooming on the bleak and barren Dang 
La had been plucked and transplanted on the Moun- 
tains Delectable to bask and bloom forever in the sun- 
shine of God's love. But oh ! what a void in our hearts ! 



DAEKNESS 249 

How empty and desolate our tent, which in the mean- 
time had been pitched and sorrowfully entered! Poor 
Eahim, who had so dearly loved the child, broke out 
in loud lamentations, wailing as only orientals can, but 
with real sorrow, for his life had become so entwined 
with the child's that he felt the snapping of the heart- 
strings. And what of the father, now bereft of his only 
son, his only child, which just a few moments before 
he had elapsed warm to his bosom, knowing not how 
faint the little heart-beat was growing? We tried to 
think of it euphemistically, we lifted our hearts in 
prayer, we tried to be submissive, but it was all so real — 
the one fact stared us in the face; it was written on 
the rocks; it reverberated through the mountain si- 
lence: Little Charlie was dead. 

As I sat in the tent clasping the fair form of my 
darling, Mr. Eijnhart tenderly reminded me that the 
Tibetans do not bury their dead, but simply throw 
the body devoid of clothing out upon the hillside to 
be devoured by the beasts of the field and the fowls of 
the air. If the men whom so recently we had seen 
and whose actions were so suspicious, should come to 
rob us, they would, he feared, dispose of our darling's 
body as was their custom, and that would be to us a 
still greater trial than the loss of our goods; and so, 
reluctantly and tenderly he suggested, to avoid such a 
calamity, that our precious little boy should have a 
Christian sepulture on that very day. Kneeling to- 
gether we prayed that God who loved us and whose 
children we were, would make us strong and brave. 
Our drug box, emptied of its contents, and lined with 



250 WITH THE TIBETANS 

towels, served as a coffin, which I myself prepared, while 
Mr. Rijnhart and Eahim went to dig the grave. With 
hands whose everj'^ touch throbbed with tenderness I 
robed baby in white Japanese flannel, and laid him on 
his side in the coffin, where he looked so pure and calm 
as if he were in a sweet and restful sleep. In his hand 
was placed a little bunch of wild asters and blue pop- 
pies which Eahim gathered from the mountain side, 
and as the afternoon wore away he seemed to grow 
more beautiful and precious; but night was coming 
on and dangers threatened, and the last wrench must 
come. Many of his little belongings were put into the 
coffin, accompanied by our names written on a piece of 
linen and on cards. Then there was the agony of the 
last look. Our only child, who had brought such joy 
to our home, and who had done so much by his bright 
ways to make friends for us among the natives — to 
leave his body in such a cold, bleak place seemed more 
than we could endure. As the three of us stood over 
the grave, the little box was lowered. Mr. Eijnhart 
conducted the burial service in the native tongue, so 
that Eahim might understand, and the cold earth of 
Tibet, the great forbidden land, closed over the body 
of the first Christian child committed to its bosom — 
little Charles Carson Eijnhart, aged one year, one 
month and twenty-two days. Mr. Eijnhart and Eahim 
rolled a large boulder over the grave to keep wild ani- 
mals from digging it up, and obliterated as well as pos- 
sible all traces of a recent burial. There was another 
reason for this. The natives often bury goods when 
their transport animals break down, and robbers search 



DARKNESS 251 

for booty wherever they find the surface of the ground 
disturbed. If such should discover our little grave we 
knew they would disturb it, and in their disappointment 
desecrate it with wanton indifference. When the funeral 
was over we went to the tent, but could we eat food? 
could we drink tea? could we close our ears to the 
frenzied mourning of Eahim? We could only say, 
" Lord we are stricken with grief, we cannot see why 
this should be, but help us to say ' Thy will be done.' " 
Less than a month afterward we realized that the All 
Loving had dealt very kindly with us in taking our 
little darling when we were comfortable, when we had 
plenty of food for him, a tent to sleep in and horses to 
ride on; for later we found ourselves with barely 
enough common food to exist on for a few days, while 
we traveled on foot, Mr. Rijnhart carrying on his back 
a heavy load. 

When night came on the sky was unusually dark. 
What more fitting than a nocturnal storm after the in- 
ward tumult of the day? The thunder rolled, the 
lightning flashed, while from the sable clouds in tor- 
rents fell the rain, which as the winds grew colder, was 
congealed into snow. We could not sleep. We could 
only think of our precious one and be thankful that the 
body from which the vital spark had fled, had no power 
to feel the chill of the mountain blast. The little fel- 
low's bed had always been made of blankets and furs, 
while every precaution had been taken to exclude any 
draft from his corner, and now what need had we to be 
careful? No need, for he slept not M'ith us, but in 
another world, free from all care, and future sorrow- 



252 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ing. Dear child, now, as then, it is still well with thee. 
On arising the following morning how I missed him, 
for there was no little boy to dress, no one to joyously 
relish his food, watching the spoon go backwards and 
forwards for every fresh spoonful. When the time came 
for departure we took a sorrowful farewell of the little 
grave with its protecting boulder of strength. It 
seemed impossible to tear ourselves away, knowing that 
every step took us further from the spot that held our 
most precious treasure, with the conviction that we 
should probably never return there again. Before leav- 
ing we covenanted that by God's help we would seek 
to be instrumental in sending out another missionary 
to Tibet, in the name of our little boy. Mr. Eijnhart, 
instead of mounting first and having Baby handed to 
him as was his custom, tenderly placed me in the sad- 
dle, and all three of us sobbing, we tore ourselves away. 
Following the stream we saw some bears with their 
cubs digging for roots — and again we felt thankful for 
the strong boulder over the little grave. If Mr. Rijn- 
hart could speak, he would wish to say some word in 
tribute to his little son, but since his voice is silent, 
what more fitting than to close this chapter by a quota- 
tion from his diary, dated August 23, the day of our 
departure, from this, to us, the most sacred spot in 
Tibet ? It reads thus : " To-day we started with 
broken hearts, leaving the body of our precious one 
behind in regions of eternal snow, where the mother 
of the Yangtse Kiang flows tranquilly past. His grave 
is on the western bank of one of the southern branches 
of the Mur-ussu, at the foot of the Dang La moun- 



DARKNESS 253 

tains, a little over two hours north of the mineral 
springs of the Dang La, and about ten hours' travel 
from the nearest Jcopa encampment in the Lhasa dis- 
trict under Nagch'uk'a." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

BEYOND THE DANG LA. 

Accosted by Official Spies — Our Escape — The Natives 
Buy Copies of the Scriptures — Our Escort to the 
Ponbo's Tent. 

From the north it occupies a period of several days 
to climb slowly to the summit of the Dang La, and 
after the first sudden steep descent on the south the 
road leads down gradually for days, and is compara- 
tively easy traveling for both man and animal. Though 
it was warm when the sun shone brightly, on the night 
of August 25 there was almost an inch of frost and the 
firewood was wet. Some of us had to go supperless to 
bed, and could not have any breakfast, but on the road 
Topsy caught a large hare, and in one-half hour we 
approached the first Tibetan encampment, on the oppo- 
site bank of the Dang Chu, whose downward course we 
had been following. After four hours we crossed it 
and campel on the west bank. Shortly before cross- 
ing two men heavily armed came over and rode up 
close behind us, then returned to the opposite bank, 
and as they did not speak to us, we presumed they had 
been spying our movements. A considerably lower alti- 
tude had provided abundance of fuel, and the day being 

25d 



BEYOND THE DANG LA 266 

warm we halted and took advantage of the welcome 
opportunity of making bread, and having a delicious 
meal of rice and hare. As Topsy had provided the lat- 
ter she was not forgotten. 

Although we had been seen by the people of the large 
encampments about us, no one came near us and we 
were not anxious to court interference, so stayed away 
from their tents. In the night one of our horses most 
inopportunely died, and the next morning Eahim and 
Mr. Rijnhart were compelled to walk and ride alter- 
nately. After having been on the road about three 
hours, we were met on a beautiful slope by eight mounted 
Tibetans, who were armed with guns and swords, and 
looked very different from any other Tibetans we had 
ever met. They were all very dirty, wore sheepskin 
gowns, girt so high that as they sat on horseback their 
knees were bare. Some of them had their hair done 
up in a queue ornamented with rings of ivory or silver 
set with coral, all bound around their heads; while 
others had their bushy locks hanging about their faces, 
giving them the appearance of wild men. They all 
used snuff, being very dirty about it, plastering it over 
the nostrils and upper lip. As we rode along they 
turned and rode with us, asking such questions as, 
" Have you any merchandise ? " " Where are you go- 
ing?" They were soon joined by two others from the 
valley who were both well dressed, but not any cleaner 
than their comrades. After having reviewed the situ- 
ation two of them rode on ahead and in a short time 
were lost to sight, evidently having gone to report our 
advent to their chief, for we were satisfied that this 



256 WITH THE TIBETANS 

was a small party of attaches of the government at 
Nagch'uk'a, who were watching to keep any foreigners 
from entering their domains, Mr. Rijnhart, Rahim 
and myself took care thenceforth as we traveled to con- 
verse only in a language which the Tibetans did not 
understand, and after discussing the situation, we de- 
cided to push on just as far as we were able that day. 
So not even stopping for lunch, on we went, until we 
were weary and tired, especially Rahim, who refused 
to ride in the presence of others while his master 
walked. When we neared a river, one of the men came 
to tell us that when we camped near its banks we were 
to remain until their two companions returned from 
Nagch'uk'a with permission for us to proceed; where- 
upon Mr. Rijnhart informed him that we were going to 
see the official, thus following a conviction established 
by much experience, that it is better to go to head- 
quarters than deal with petty chiefs who, having no 
independent authority, are compelled to be obedient 
to their superiors and therefore arbitrary. 

When we had forded the Shak Chu we camped 
about one hundred yards from the spot where the 
Tibetans had now pitched their ragged brown tent. 
They were all very friendly, for they came over 
and sat freely about our tent-fire, chatting with Rahim 
and through him with Mr, Rijnhart, who did not wish, 
under the circumstances, to be familiar with them, re- 
fraining from going either out to them or inviting 
them to come in. They told Rahim that no foreigner 
had ever passed that place, and they did not intend to 
allow us to. Their plans were not commensurate with 



BEYOND THE DANG LA 257 

their intentions, for in the dead of the night while they 
slept soundly, we arose quietly, packed our loads, took 
down our tent when we were just ready to start, and 
mounting our ponies, rode away. The moon gave 
enough light to avoid the pitfalls, with which were in- 
terspersed those small tufts of grass that make it so 
difficult to ride among them without plunging in the 
mire. Silently our little caravan ascended along a 
stony trail, the Khamlung La, and, as the blush of 
dawn overspread the landscape, we had begun the de- 
scent on the other side, scrambling through a very stony 
road with large boulders that made it hard for us to get 
our loaded horses past in safety. Presently we had 
reached a beautiful plain dotted with tents and merg- 
ing into low hills, the whole clothed with green grass, 
a crystal stream flowing through it bubbling over its 
bed of small stones. A man well dressed in pulu, wear- 
ing ornaments enough to indicate wealth, as far as in 
this country a man can have wealth, rode up in a very 
friendly manner, informing us that the stream was the 
Sapo Chu, and that the district was called Sapo. He 
pointed to his tents, of which there were five, and in- 
vited us to stay near him, in order that we might do 
some trading, so we halted five hundred yards from 
his encampment. The population of Sapo is estimated 
at one hundred and fifty tents, and the chief, who lived 
west from our camp, pays tribute to the Chinese am- 
bassador at Lhasa. When we first halted, the ground 
was very wet from the frost which glistened on every 
blade of grass, so we postponed pitching our tent until 
it was dry, and while we waited our guards of the previ- 



258 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ous night were seen galloping swiftly towards us. Hav- 
ing arrived they dismounted and throwing themselves 
on the ground beside us, they laughed heartily, telling 
us that we were smart to have escaped from them in 
that way. A wreath of smiles also covered Rahim's 
face, for he with ourselves felt a little dubious about 
they way they would receive our decamping as we did; 
but so thoroughly do the Tibetans enjoy outwitting 
their neighbors that though they were the sufferers they 
displayed their native characteristic in approval. 

We spent two days in this locality, having pleasant 
intercourse with the inhabitants, and doing consider- 
able bartering, for we were in need of meat, fresh but- 
ter and milk. For the first time among Tibetans we 
had brought to us for sale some legs of mutton. In 
the Koko-nor only the whole sheep, and never a part 
of it, can be bought. The most useful articles for bar- 
tering here were Wuchai hhatas and red broadcloth, 
the latter being used for making collars, for trimming 
boots, and to adorn the headdress of the women. We 
traded some Tankar boots for the kind used in this 
locality, and Eahim bought a prayer-wheel, made of 
silver set with coral and stones. 

We thought the people were very filthy as they pre^ 
sented the appearance of never washing their faces ; 
but they brought their good horses to the river near us 
and after having driven them into a deep place where 
only their heads were above water, they gave them a 
thorough cleaning and left us to wonder why they did 
not consider water was good for human beings as well 
as for horses. 



BEYOND THE DANG LA 259 

The clothing of Tibetan women in all parts of Tibet 
is made after the same pattern, so that little variation 
except in headdress is noticeable even in districts most 
widely separated. In some localities, however, aprons 
are worn and in others little sleeveless jackets. But 
the women here attracted our attention at once by a 
peculiar fashion of headdress. We had often read of 
the women smearing their faces with a repulsive cos- 
metic of black sticky paste in order that by their beauty 
they might not allure the lamas from their devotions, 
but these women here with the same purpose, in- 
stead of painting had their hair arranged so that it fell 
over the face, hiding it from view. Parted in the center 
it was woven in fine plaits from the middle of the 
forehead on either side, and the plaits were fastened 
together, forming meshes like a coarse veil, the two 
sides being separate. When they wished from co- 
quetry or otherwise to cover the face, they pulled the 
veil of hair down, first one and then the other side, 
fastening the two sections opposite the chin by means 
of a button, making a distinctly original mask through 
which their bright eyes could see everything, but could 
not be seen. It was rather amusing to watch a good- 
looking young woman or girl in her pulu gown and 
ornaments, hastily pull her veil of plaits over her face 
when a lama or a stranger approached. Sometimes the 
action was a gesture of grace, accompanied by a smile 
which flashed across her face and in her eyes. A cheery, 
good-natured woman of about thirty-five came to offer 
for sale a little wooden bucketful of fresh milk, ask- 
ing about three times as much for it as she expected 



260 WITH THE TIBETANS 

to receive, while we offered as much less in the same 
proportion as we expected to give, whereupon, as was 
also the custom, she put it down and seated herself near 
the fire to enjoy the general conversation. After about 
an hour she took the bucket up, thereby intimating 
that we were to complete the bargain, when, lifting the 
cover she discovered that the precious liquid had all 
leaked out. Everyone laughed at her and said she de- 
served the loss as she had asked too much for the milk; 
in fact she joined heartily in the laugh herself. The 
women came freely to our tent and sat around our 
camp-fire. As most of their own tents were across the 
stream they would, when going home, sit down beside the 
bank, remove their cloth boots and, gathering up their 
skirts, trip across on the stones, laughing and chatting 
merrily all the time. The men who came about us were, 
in common with their race, anxious to drive a bargain, 
but they were above the average in intelligence. A 
certain number of them were able to read and to our 
surprise manifested an ardent desire to secure copies 
of the Scriptures in the Tibetan character. In no other 
part of Tibet had we ever been offered money for the 
books, but here people came from far and near anxious 
to get them and offering in return silver, or anything 
else we might wish to ask. Many of Mrs, Grimke's 
text cards were here distributed, and I look back on 
our stay among those friendly people with great pleas- 
ure, remembering the promise that " My word * * * 
shall not return unto me void." The Word of God has 
been scattered for the first time among them, and we 
do not know what far-reaching results will follow. 



BEYOND THE DANG LA 261 

The people in Sapo have a greater admiration and 
reverence for Jerimpoche, the great incarnation at 
Trashil'unpo, than they have for the Dalai Lama. 
From this district pilgrims go frequently to worship 
Jerimpoche, hence there is a highway leading directly 
across the country. The people suggested our follow- 
ing that route, saying that a lama was about to start 
for Shigatsze in a short time and we could go with 
him. However, we had told our guides that we were 
going to see the chief at Nagch'uk'a, and to deviate to- 
wards another place would give rise to suspicion, per- 
haps getting us into trouble; besides which this other 
road probably presented the same obstacles as the road 
we had at first intended to follow. While trading here 
we made use for the first time of the Tibetan coin 
called chong ka, a round beaten silver coin divided by 
lines into eight parts which are cut when small pieces 
are wanted. Eight of these coins are worth one Chi- 
nese tael. Rupees were also used in that locality, and 
nearly every man had a pretty leather purse, often set 
with corals, in which to carry coins. 

While we journeyed the following day attended by 
three soldiers, it stormed furiously, and Mr. Rijnhart 
and Rahim walked the whole distance. We met several 
people on horseback who invariably stopped us, and 
inquired if we wished to buy any horses or sheep. 
We were reminded of the men who visited Hue 
and Gabet, and wanted to buy saddles of them but were 
really spies. We saw one man on horseback carrying 
a bright red umbrella, showing how Chinese civiliza- 



262 WITH THE TIBETANS 

tion, in some of its varied forms, has found its way 
into remote corners of the great Empire. 

From our road as we wearily journeyed along, we 
caught glimpses of the beautiful Chomora Lake at times 
hidden from view by the hills, but in its quiet recess, 
suggesting calmness and rest on its shores away from 
the toil of traveling, which since baby was gone had lost 
its charms. The journey became tedious and life had no 
longer for us the rosy hues that sweet childhood reflects 
upon it. Beautiful rivulets babbled near the roadside 
which skirted the hills, and finally we camped near tents, 
whose dwellers cheerfully gave Rahim some fuel in ex- 
change for a JcJiata, while near us without any tents 
camped our guards, now only two in number. The 
next morning when we had traveled about three hours, 
after crossing a low pass, we were suddenly confronted 
by nearly forty men, who had pitched a tent and were 
evidently awaiting our coming. Associating the tent 
with the removal of his load, our most lively horse 
went straight up to it, literally into the arms of 
the men, and Eahim went quickly to drive him back, 
but seeing that it was impossible Mr. Eijnhart also 
went over. The Tibetans gathered about him and one 
of them, well-dressed in pulu, having in his hand a 
prayer-wheel, profusely invited him to enter the tent 
to drink tea, the others seconding the invitation. Feel- 
ing that this was a ruse to have us stop, my husband 
laughingly passed it off, saying that we had our loaded 
horses to look after, and that in a short time we would 
be camping anyway. They then said their ponbo, or 
chief, was coming to see us, and received for reply that 



BEYOND THE DANG LA 263 

we were on our way to see him. Only the great tact and 
finesse used at that time prevented collision. Mr. Eijn- 
hart put them in good humor by giving one of the 
men's prayer-wheels a turn in the right direction, 
thereby showing his knowledge of their ceremonial. 
Thus amid the most pleasant politeness on either side, 
we went our way, leaving them kindly disposed, yet 
staring in consternation because we had passed a 
large outpost of soldiers designed to prevent our 
journeying further towards ISTagch'uk'a. A man 
soon passed us on the gallop, and we presumed 
he was on his way to notify his ponho that the 
peling or Englishman (the only name all for- 
eigners are known by in that part of Tibet), had suc- 
ceeded in getting beyond the guard, who had probably 
received orders not to use any violence towards us. 
After having gone some distance we were overtaken by 
several of the men who rode alongside us, and conversed 
pleasantly and agreeably. A violent hail-storm driving 
in our faces compelled us to allow the horses to stand, 
when they immediately turned their backs to it, shel- 
tering the rider's face. Our companions dismounted 
and crouched down in the shelter of their horses, pull- 
ing their capacious gowns over their faces, thus impro- 
vising a wrap. Crossing a plain in which we had Lake 
Chomora on our left we saw many camels and yak, 
and clustered around the sheltered nooks of the hills 
the familiar black tents of the nomads. We knew we 
were approaching Nagch'uk'a, an important district of 
the province of Inner Tibet, governed directly from 
Lhasa, a fact which explained the vigilance that had 



264 WITH THE TIBETANS 

been exercised over us since our coming. A blinding 
snowstorm towards evening necessitated our selecting 
a camp just before we had reached the houses of Nagch'- 
uk'a village, and we tented in the midst of a large en- 
campment on a small piece of sward surrounded by 
hummocks of grass. Some of the men we had previously 
seen at the outpost tent came around the fire and in- 
formed us that we were to remain tented there, be- 
cause in the morning their two ponhos were coming 
to see us. Mr. Rijnhart replied that we would arise 
and have our breakfast, pack our loads, and if by that 
time the ponho had not arrived we would slowly make 
our way to him, that it made no material difference 
where we met him, but we could not long await his 
pleasure. 



CHAPTER XVII 

naqch'uk'a 

Government of Nageh'uk'a — Under Official Surveil- 
lance — Dealings With the Ponbo Ch'enpo — We Are 
Ordered to Return to China — Our Decision. 

The village of Nagch'uk'a beside which we were 
camped is situated south of Chomora Lake in the Lhasa 
district and contains about sixty houses built of mud 
and brick, but most of its people live in black tents, 
preferring a nomadic life. The monastery of Shiabden 
adjoins the village, but the number of its priests we 
were unable to learn. Nagch'uk'a is governed by a lama 
who is the representative of the Dalai Lama and is 
changed every three years. Associated with him is also 
a lay official supposed to be Chinese. This latter has 
virtually little power of his own, everything of import- 
ance being settled according to the decree of the great 
dignitary from Lhasa. Though the well-dressed Icopas 
who had endeavored to prevent our proceeding on our 
journey had exerted their utmost to convince us of their 
authority, we knew that as yet we had not met anyone 
who really had any power to stop us, as the ponho 
ch'enpo of ISTagch'uk'a is a man of too high rank to 
travel any distance from his home to meet two unknown 

265 



266 WITH THE TIBETANS 

persons with such a small, inconspicuous caravan as 
ours. The previous day's hard traveling had prepared 
us for an undisturbed night's rest, and the sun was shed- 
ding its warmth on our tent and over the tussocks 
of grass upon which hung diamonds from the snow and 
frost, when Eahim awakened to remember that we were 
expecting to see the ponho that day, or very soon at 
least. An excited cry of sahil) at our tent door aroused 
us, and the boy informed us that a large number of Tib- 
etans were erecting a tent near by. Upon peering 
through the door we saw pitched first one beautiful 
white tent, and then another, amid the greatest com- 
motion. While our tea was being boiled three of our 
traveling companions, or so-called guards, came to in- 
form us that their official had ridden over and was in 
a neighboring tent, and invited us to Jcali, Jcali, i. e., 
slowly visit him. At about ten o'clock, mounted on a 
noble chestnut horse richly caparisoned with red and 
gold, and accompanied by a large retinue, the ponho 
ch'enpo of Nagch'uk'a rode from a black tent over to his 
own official one, where shortly afterwards we were in- 
vited to come to see him. We had in the interim dis- 
cussed the wisdom of my being present at the interview, 
and had finally decided that we would both go, together 
with Eahim; accordingly we donned our best clothing 
and having mounted our ponies, rode over to the beauti- 
ful tents. 

We were led to the larger of the two, a white one 
embroidered with dark blue and white with capacious 
awnings, altogether the best tent I have ever seen. On 
our arrival near the entrance several }:opas dressed 



NAGCH'UK'A 267 

neatly in dark red pulu, with red boots came forward 
to meet us. Some grooms took charge of our ponies, 
and we were ushered into the tent, to find the furnish- 
ings of the interior in keeping with the exterior ; beauti- 
ful rugs and mats lined the sides to the door, while 
the further end was completely covered with very rich 
Turkish rugs; upon a dais several inches in height, 
composed of mats filled with wool, sat the ponho 
ch'enpo, and at his left side the second chief who is 
supposedly a Chinaman, but in this instance was not. 
The former was a handsome young lama about thirty- 
five years of age with fine cut features, small black 
moustache and shaven head. He was dressed in rich 
brocaded Chinese silks. The other was an old man 
with gray hair worn in a queue, a large gold earring 
pendant from his left ear. He also was dressed in rich 
silks, and wore a circular hat. 

They invited us to take seats in front of which were 
little carved tables, and a good-looking, intelligent 
young Icopa extended his hand, asking for our basins 
which we brought forth from our gowns. As a mark 
of honor the tea was poured into our basins from the 
same pot from which the ponho received his. We pre- 
sented to him a satin Tchaia with pictures of three bud- 
dhas on it, which he accepted, looking a little surprised 
at our knowledge of the customs. He told us that no 
peling had ever been there before, that he could not 
permit us to go any further into Tibet, and that we must 
return over the same route we had come by. Mr. Rijn- 
hart told him he was not English, that he was Dutch, 
that he was not a traveler just passing through the 



268 WITH THE TIBETANS 

country, but had lived among the Tibetans for years 
and added that we would not return to China as he 
wished us to. The chief looked perplexed, but replied 
that he had no power to forcibly prevent our going on, 
but, did he allow us to proceed, he would be beheaded. 
In this way oriental officials endeavor to compel sub- 
mission to their desires, taking it for granted that no 
one wishes to be the cause of a man's losing his life. At 
this Mr. Rijnhart laughed and said he was conversant 
with their customs, and that in their sacred books a 
man is forbidden to destroy life, even that of a louse, 
and remarked how much in unison with that teaching 
it would be for their Dalai Lama to have him beheaded, 
thereby destroying a life of such high degree ! The 
young chief turned to his confreres and said how strange 
it was to see a foreigner so different from any peling 
they had ever seen before ; we knew their customs, spoke 
their language, wore their clothes, and even had read 
their sacred literature. He said to us that did we go 
on, he would be required to send word ahead, and 
that a chief of greater power than he would meet 
us and have the authority to stop us. We told him 
we had no desire to visit Lhasa, that we were willing to 
be blindfolded when near the sacred city, as we had been 
informed at Tankar by officials from Lhasa, that we 
might go to within one day's journey of the capital and 
remain as long as we wished, provided we did not at- 
tempt to enter, nor cast our eyes upon the five-domed 
golden temple of the Dalai Lama. Our conference 
lasted a long time, the tea in our basins being renewed 
as politeness demanded ; and when we rose to withdraw. 



NAGCH'UK'A 269 

nothing definite had been settled, except that we posi- 
tively refused to retrace our steps, Mr. Kijnhart adding 
that he would prefer being beheaded to returning by 
the route over which we had come. 

Almost immediately on our return to our own tent 
some of the Jcopas brought us a khata, a bag of rice, one 
of flour, two large bricks of good tea, and a skin con- 
taining four pounds of butter with a message from 
their ponbo informing us that the gifts were from his 
hand, and that as soon as the flocks were driven in a 
big fat sheep would also be given us. We bade the 
messengers thank their chief, and gave them as a return 
present for the time being, a beautifully bound copy of 
the Gospels, accompanied by a khata. That the book 
was accepted and prized was to us a source of satisfac- 
tion. Often my thoughts go back to the ponbo of 
Nagch'uk'a with the copy of the Gospels in his tent, 
and I wonder whether it has yet brought its message 
to him, and muse on the influence it may yet wield 
among the ponbo' s people. That evening when it was 
growing dusk, a group of soldiers were stationed in 
front of our tent about a hundred feet from us, and 
shortly afterwards another group took their place the 
same distance away on the opposide side. The ponbo 
was evidently taking every precaution against our escap- 
ing in the night again, something we had not the slight- 
est intention of attempting; and we felt thankful that 
we did not need to put the iron hobbles on our ponies, 
for they would not be stolen from us that night, as our- 
selves and all we possessed were being so thoroughly 
guarded by the official's soldiers. 



270 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Our tent was pitched in a level place which was lower 
than the surrounding hummocks, and would certainly 
be flooded should a storm arise. Besides, there being 
no running water near us, the following morning, 
watched from the ponho's tents by his men, we packed 
our loads, took down our tents and moved to the bank 
of a pretty brook of circling course, upon whose edge 
we decided to settle down among the many tents already 
there. What a state of excitement the men were in when 
they saw us preparing to move, but as soon as our in- 
tention was plain to them they did not interfere. It was 
a beautiful morning. While all the preparations were 
being made, and some of the goods were being moved, 
I sat on a hillock enjoying the warm sunshine, while 
before us stretched green hills dotted with innumerable 
black tents, and behind were scattered groups of gaily 
dressed servants of the Lhasa government. Upon ar- 
rival at our new camping-ground, we pitched both our 
tents, and used our rugs to make us as comfortable as 
possible, expecting to stay for awhile and receive com- 
pany. Some of the ponho's men came over to inform 
us that their chief was glad we had moved our tent to 
a good place, as where we had been was low and unpleas- 
ant, but that we were not to move again until we started 
for China. This, they said, was the expressed wish 
and command of the chief. Evidently the tent dwellers 
in that vicinity had also received their instructions not 
to have any communication with us, because, contrary 
to our experience in other places, not a single man or 
woman from any of the black tents came to barter or 
chat with us; only the attaches of the government vis- 



NAGCH'TJK'A 271 

ited us and we realized that we were completely ostra- 
cised. Feeling that if we remained there, or pursued 
our Journey further toward the south, we would be simi- 
larly treated, and as the object of our going had been 
to come into contact with the people, to study their 
needs and not merely to travel, we feared it would be 
frustrated by the orders of the chiefs. Had we considered 
it best we might have pushed on further for we had 
abundance of food, but the strain of always being 
guarded by soldiers and of being met by petty officials 
who endeavored to turn us back, would necessarily prove 
trying. Thus our desire to mingle freely with the 
people being unattainable, we decided either to winter 
in I^Tagch'uk'a could we gain permission, or yield to the 
ponho's desire for us to return towards China and win- 
ter some place on the road. Having decided in this 
manner, when next we visited the poribo, we were in- 
clined to yield, but did not find him so polite as on 
our previous visit, though perhaps it was owing to our 
imagination. Our tea was now poured from a different 
tea-pot from that out of which his was poured, and Mr. 
Eijnhart remembered the custom of the lamas, praying 
a person to death with the aid of aconite, and conse- 
quently drank little. All our efforts to obtain permis- 
sion to remain during the winter in that locality were 
in vain, but the chief agreed to our following the Ja- 
lam (tea road) towards Ta-chien-lu, though when we 
suggested fresh horses being given us for our tired ones, 
he said yak were best to use on that road. We left for 
our own tent again without having come to any definite 
arrangement. The chief even refused to allow Rahim, 



272 WITH THE TIBETANS 

who was a Tibetan, to go towards Ladak to his home, 
but insisted that we must all three return together. On 
our return to our tent we had a conference and decided 
that we would not go again to see the pon'bo, but that we 
would just stay indefinitely until he came to us, and 
arranged everything to suit our desires and not his own. 
In the meantime we and our horses would enjoy a re- 
freshing rest. 

The kao-yeh, or secretary of the pon'bo, and a Tibet- 
anized Chinaman came over the following day to ask 
us upon what condition we would journey towards Ta- 
chien-lu. We replied that we were to be provided 
with three guides who knew the road, our tired horses 
were to be exchanged for fresh ones, and we were to 
be given two extra ones, as we were setting out on a jour- 
ney of several months which our own ponies would not 
stand unless we gave them a long rest. The result of 
our interview was that the next day four of our horses 
were traded and we received two extra ones, after which 
we were invited again to the chief's tent. During the 
conversation he informed us that he knew there were 
several peling countries, and telling them off on his 
fingers he gave us the extent of his knowledge of the 
geography of the outside world, composed, he said, of 
the following countries: England, London, Paris, 
France, Italy and Tien-chu-kiao, the latter being the 
Chinese name for the Eoman Catholic religion! This 
from a lama and one of the highest officials in the land, 
is another sample of the deep and superior knowledge 
with which western Theosophists believe the lamas to 
be endowed. How ignorant must the mass of the popu- 



NAGCH'UK'A 273 

lation be who have never had the educational privileges 
of their exalted teachers, and how much in need of the 
education and knowledge that go hand in hand with 
the gospel of Christ ! While we were supplying the 
secretary data for his report to Lhasa of our name, 
country, etc., several men came into the tent, each car- 
rying one of the following: a bag of rice, one of flour, 
a very large bag of tsamha, a brick of tea, and several 
pounds of butter, and set them down before us. The 
chief then told us these were for our use on the journey, 
adding that two fat sheep would be brought us in the 
evening. We thanked him, but having all the food we 
could possibly require we accepted only the sheep and 
butter, so he added another lump of the latter. Shortly 
afterwards we arose to go, realizing that we had passed 
a very pleasant time with these chiefs, who really had 
been as kind to us as their superior at Lhasa would 
allow them to be, only being compelled to be appar- 
ently disagreeable in refusing us permission to remain 
or proceed. 

We had told the ponho that we would leave the day 
following, if our guides were ready, so we reckoned up 
with Rahim that evening, for according to agreement, 
he was to go on to Ladak if we were compelled to re- 
turn to China. We gave him 40.65 ounces of silver, 
Tankar weight, a carbine and cartridges, a horse with 
a saddle, and as much food as he wanted. His plan 
was to travel with us the first day, then branch off 
towards Sapo, and from there to Trashil'unpo ; for the 
chief absolutely refused to allow him to remain in 
Nagch'uk'a after we were gone, or to go from there 



274 WITH THE TIBETANS 

towards his home, but he would allow him to go on with 
us half a month's journey to Tashi Gomba, then return 
to Nagch'uk'a with the guides, and proceed to Ladak 
if he wished. As Rahim considered a month's extra 
traveling as unnecessary as it was undesirable, he pre- 
ferred adhering to his own plan. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

ON THE CARAVAN ROAD 

The Start from N'agch'uk'a With New Guides — Fare- 
well to Our Last Friend — Rahim Leaves for Ladak — 
Fording the Shak Chu Torrent — Reading the Gospels 
— A Day of Memories. 

There are three great highways leading from Nagch'- 
uk'a to China, the first being the Chang-lam, or long 
road, through the Ts'aidam to Tankar, which was form- 
erly traversed by the tribute on its way to Pekin. This 
is the road we followed. In times past there was an- 
other road through the Ts'aidam to Tankar called the 
oriental road, the one that Hue and Gabet pursued. 
The second important highway runs to Jyekundo and 
through the Horba and Derge provinces on to Ta-chien- 
lu, where it is known by the name of the Pei-lu, or 
northern road. The third highway is the one through 
Ch'amdo and Batang to Ta-chien-lu, called the tea road, 
though often caravans from Lhasa to China do not touch 
Nagch'uk'a, but go directly to Ch'amdo. This is the 
road taken now by the tribute from Lhasa and also 
from Nepaul. There are two other roads to Jyekundo, 
and another going south of Ch'amdo, but joining with 
the third of the above mentioned highways at Jehu. 

375 



276 WITH THE TIBETANS 

On account of its more direct route we had expected to 
go towards Ta-chien-lu along this third road, but the 
ponho rather desired us to pursue our journey by way of 
Jyekundo, and we felt it made little difference to us 
which highway we followed, as our plan was to winter 
some place en route. Having insisted upon being pro- 
vided with three reliable guides, and having been prom- 
ised them, we did not prepare to depart until they had 
made their appearance. About eleven o'clock on the 
morning of September 6, they came, mounted on three 
small graceful ponies, each leading another pony upon 
which was a pack saddle with food and pots. They 
also had two sheep which with ours would provide us 
with fresh meat for some time. In the presence of a 
large interested crowd of spectators, Nyerpa, the ponbo's 
steward, told the three guides what was expected of 
them, that they were to take us to the lamasery of 
Tashi Gomba (or as they called it, Tashi la bu Gomba) 
where they were, if possible, to obtain permission from 
the hanpo for us to remain all winter, whence they 
themselves were to return to their homes. Could they 
not procure the desired permission, they were to pro- 
ceed to Jyekundo with us, and upon arrival there, we 
would give them food for the return journey and a pres- 
ent of money if they served us well. When all was 
understood and agreed to, Nyerpa introduced our men 
to us, and told us the oldest of the three was a mamha, 
that he was the leader, hence responsible for the other 
two. Immediately every one began to help us prepare 
for departure, so we had no opportunity to do more than 
take a hasty glance at our guides, but noticed they 



ON THE CAEAVAN ROAD 277 

"were alert and quick in their movements. The chief 
came out to say good-bye, and watched our departure in 
a blinding snow-storm until we were beyond his ken. 

Our caravan now consisted of ourselves well mounted 
on fresh ponies, our three guides, our seven loaded ani- 
mals and two sheep, while Eahim rode along to avoid 
any one's suspicion that he intended to do other than to 
accompany us toward China. Our route lay first 
east for four hours and a half, then north across 
the Tzar Chu, a small stream flowing southward, 
passing in its course Shiabden Gomba. We camped 
some distance east from Chomora Lake, in a quiet 
plain, scattered over which were tents and to 
some of them one of our men betook himself for fuel. 

The three guides were dressed in sheepskin, and had 
extra pulu gowns for use in storms to protect them- 
selves from rain and hail. The mamba was about forty 
years of age, a thin, short, wiry man with a wizened face 
wearing a subdued expression; his hair was hanging 
about his shoulders, a brass case full of medicines across 
his bosom, and a bell at his back. He wore a broad- 
brimmed hat with a peaked crown, made of a light 
frame-work covered with cloth, and tied under the chin 
with narrow strips of red cotton. He was a man of re- 
markable energy, as lively as a little boy, and was almost 
incessantly mumbling prayers and turning his prayer- 
wheel as he rode along, while he watched the earth for 
peculiar stones to make medicines of, asking us to give 
him hints on points of medical science with which he 
was not conversant. The other guides were younger, 
we judged about twenty years of age; one of them was 



278 WITH THE TIBETANS 

poor, but so willing to help to work and so agreeable in 
every way, even when working hard looking so pleasant, 
that we called him the " nice boy." The second one 
was better dressed, but so unwilling to do anything when 
it could be avoided that we called him " the lazy one." 
As the passing days made us more cognizant of his qual- 
ities even this appellation, we thought, was too good for 
him, for in addition to being lazy he was the filthiest of 
the filthy in his actions and about his food, even put- 
ting sausage meat into the casings when the latter had 
been simply turned but not washed. All the guides 
were armed with guns and swords. There was a quiet 
about our hearts that evening, which could only be 
explained by the fact that it was the last day of Eahim's 
company and service, but we overcame the tendency to 
be sad, and discussed our journey together. Eahim im- 
pressed upon our three guides how advantageous it would 
prove to them if they put forth every effort to help 
us on the road, and retold his desire to reach his far- 
away home without any unnecessary wanderings; hence 
his determination to cut across country and reach Shi- 
gatsze. 

The following morning we arose early, and after 
tea was partaken of we prepared ourselves as well 
as we could for another heart-wrench. Words seemed 
powerless to express our feelings. We could but grasp 
the hand of the last friend we had in the interior of 
the great lone land, listen to his " good-bye " and with 
tear-dimmed eyes watch him retire from us, polite to 
the last, making his salaams as he led his horse loaded 
with bedding, clothing, food, a pot and a Tibetan bel- 



ON THE CAEAVAN EOAD 279 

lows, away towards the Chomora Lake, around which 
he intended to travel, always keeping it between him- 
self and Nageh'uk'a, and then make his way across to 
Sapo. There he hoped to remain until he found com- 
pany with which to journey to Shigatsze. He had many 
misgivings that he might be murdered for his money, 
but on the whole was cheerful and hopeful, though 
lonely. And could he be more lonely than we, as we 
realized that another link which bound us to the sweet 
past at Tankar was to be broken? Our two Chinese 
had long since deserted us, and now we were to be sepa- 
rated from our faithful Eahim who, from the day he 
reached our northern home, had never ceased to ingra- 
tiate himself into our hearts. The boy whose nature 
had been mellowed by the love of our dear little Charlie, 
the boy who had accompanied us amid dangers innu- 
merable through the Ts'aidam desert, across treacher- 
ous marshes and rivers, and over laborious passes, and 
who had helped to share our sorrow around the lone lit- 
tle grave north of the Dang La mountains, and had 
mingled his bitter tears with ours — the last friend we 
had, it was hard to see him go. Trusty Eahim, with thy 
dark honest face and flashing eyes, among all the follow- 
ers of the Prophet thou wert to us the most precious 
jewel! God grant the Truth may ripen in thy heart, 
that thou mayest yet be numbered among the disciples 
of the Christ. The last sight we caught of him was as 
he disappeared around a little hillock waving his hand. 
Did he ever succeed in crossing Tibet and reaching his 
home in far-away Ladak? I do not know; but I have 
fondly believed he did, and have pictured to myself his 



280 WITH THE TIBETANS 

joyful meeting once more with his friends who had 
long since mourned him as dead. 

Hastily we prepared to depart in an opposite direc- 
tion, with nothing human to comfort us — only our dog 
Topsy and three horses remained to us of all the caravan 
that left Tankar. We went on into a strange country 
with strange guides, feeling that our lives were in the 
Father's hands, whose work we had come to do, and 
willing that He should dispose of us according to His 
will. 

We met immense caravans of yak with loads of tea 
from Jyekundo, as many as 1,500 and 3,000 yak in 
each caravan, with the merchants well-dressed and well- 
mounted, and drivers some of whom were women and 
girls. We passed an encampment of traders on their 
way to Lhasa, at the foot of Karma Kumbum, a large 
mountain; the hills around were covered with saddled 
yak, all black, about two thousand of them, while on 
the pretty plain was a village of large white tents, or 
more properly, of awnings which were spread out over 
the tea. We threaded our way through the encamp- 
ment while the natives in their picturesque garbs of 
pulUj and varied headdresses, held the large dogs in 
check, or drove our horses from among theirs; then we 
climbed a steep, stony pass over the afore-mentioned 
mountains. The usual storm with vivid lightning and 
hail swept past that day, and while we stood during the 
severest part, our " nice boy," his horse and sheep all 
rolled together on the ground, and the hairpins in my 
hair stung my head. We expected to see the boy unable 
to rise, believing he had been killed by lightning, but 



ON THE CAEAVAN KOAD 281 

presently he and the animals were restored to their 
normal position and upon asking him what had hap- 
pened, he said his horse had been frightened and had 
fallen. On camping that evening one of our guides on 
the way to some tents for fuel saw eight robbers heavily 
armed, and was warned against them by the nomads in 
the tent, so we put hobbles on our horses that night, 
but we were not disturbed. 

September ninth presents some of the most vivid 
reminiscences of the two weeks' journey with those 
guides, and on account of their stupidity at fording 
rivers is intimately associated with the robber disaster 
a few days afterwards. It was a beautiful day, the 
sun bright and warm peeping over the hills into the 
valley along which we were traveling, hanging drops of 
silver on the grass. Pursuing our way we reached 
the Shak Chu at its confluence with the Dang Chu, the 
former small, but the latter flowing quiet and deep, in- 
dicating a difficult ford. The guides looked across 
and, judging from the little pathways on the opposite 
side, concluded that sometimes the two streams were 
forded separately. To do so now, however, was im- 
practicable, so we followed down the Dang Chu which 
boiled and foamed in a narrow gorge seemingly angry 
at being thus confined by the rocks, until our path along 
its edge became difficult and finally, for the horses, im- 
passable on account of the rocks that stood in our 
way. Ordinarily there would have been a passage be- 
tween the rocks and the river, but the latter being 
much swollen had extended its waters right up to the 
rocks. The mamha said we must turn back and cross 



282 WITH THE TIBETANS 

the two rivers at all hazards, but Mr. Rijnhart not fa- 
voring this proposal; crept over the rocks to see what 
was beyond, and returned to say that we were on the 
proper trail, that the river was unusually high and that 
since the horses could not scale the rocks, they would 
have to be driven into the water and made to swim 
around to reach level ground on the other side. Feel- 
ing it was somewhat risky to trust our riding and 
loaded animals in the boiling torrent, Mr. Rijnhart 
made an experiment with his own horse. Tying a long 
rope to the horse, he retained one end of it himself and 
crawled again over the rocks as the horse made its way 
through the seething waters, prepared to pull the ani- 
mal ashore should it be swept off its feet. The ex- 
periment was successful, both landing on the other side 
of the rocks in safety. 

Mr. Eijnhart came back to announce the result 
and the difficult place was soon passed by all, 
though the river was not as yet crossed; but we 
soon reached a spot where this was necessary and 
where apparently caravans were accustomed to ford. 
The mamha and the two guides said it was impossible 
to cross a large river where the waters were confined 
in so small a space, but there was no way of returning 
or going forward. He sat still on the horse's back to 
tell over his beads to divine whether we would cross 
in safety or not, and in the meantime we drove our 
ponies in, while his horse, being evidently of the same 
mind as its rider, barely stepped into the water and 
then stood still. My horse took his cue from the mam- 
ha's, going only a few steps from the bank and then 




w 
o 

Q 

S 
m 

w 

o 
Pi 



ON THE CAEAVAN ROAD 283 

refusing to move farther, until Mr. Rijnhart, having 
reached the opposite bank with our loaded animals, 
came back for me. Dragging our two sheep behind 
us, while the mamha dragged his, we urged on the 
horses, which, striking out into the current, had to 
swim hard to keep from being swept down. This was 
among the most difficult rivers we had forded, and 
glad were we when all were safely across. While drink- 
ing tea, and attempting to dry our clothing, we were 
amazed and disgusted to see two of our loaded horses 
across the river quietly grazing. In a moment when 
we were not watching them, the perverse creatures had 
recrossed the river, and we happened to look up in time 
to notice that two others were just about to follow 
their example. Mr. Eijnhart had to ford the boiling 
torrent again to bring them back. It will scarcely be 
wondered at, that we soon began to associate rivers with 
disasters, and contemplated the crossing of them with 
little pleasure, seeing that our guides, as they them- 
selves confessed, were unaccustomed to them, living as 
they did in a place near which there were no streams of 
any size, and never having forded rivers where the 
horses had to swim. 

Resuming the Journey we crossed a high moun- 
tain, the Shalop Chercho, and camped on the de- 
scent where we had the view of a snowrange, the 
Sokdee. On the eleventh we ascended another moun- 
tain but kept on climbing to cross a higher one 
still, the Wang-ma-la, with snow peaks on either flank, 
encountering during the ascent a severe snowstorm 
through which nothing was visible, and in which we had 



284 WITH THE TIBETAN'S 

the greatest difficulty not to lose one another. We 
shortly afterwards crossed the Pon Chu, a river worthy 
of notice on our maps (for I observe it is not marked 
on that of the Eoyal Geographical Society) and en- 
camped near a caravan from which eignt horses had 
been stolen during the night. Here we could find no 
fuel to boil tea either in the evening or morning. On 
the twelfth we reached a large tributary of the Sok 
Chu, which we crossed, and then followed up the main 
river which was on our right, meeting parts of a cara- 
van of yak upon arrival at the regular ford. As a large 
portion of the caravan proceeded at once to ford 
this apparently large river, we sat down to watch them. 
The foremost yak stood on the river's edge until the 
whole number came rushing down the incline to the 
bank, crowding and crashing their loads together. The 
men shouted and threw stones, some large dogs took to 
the water, and the first yak plunged awkwardly into the 
stream, the others follovzing. When they had passed 
the deepest part of the river they stood still, letting the 
cool water lave their sides heated with the day's march, 
not knowing or caring if their precious burden of tea 
did get wet, or of greater moment still, if they kept 
their companions behind plunging in deep waters, en* 
deavoring to reach a comfortable standing-place where 
they too might enjoy the cool stream, and avoid the 
stones of the drivers. How thankful we were that we 
had none of these stupid, perverse animals in our cara- 
van. Just when they should be quick they lazily stand 
still, and where caution is expedient they push and 
crowd over large boulders and through narrow places, 



ON THE CARAVAN ROAD 285 

each one trying to occupy the identical place for which 
another is aiming, all rushing promiscuously with their 
loads, threatening to smash to pieces everything break- 
able. The ford was gradually freed for us, the last yak 
carrying over the drivers who had patiently stood shout- 
ing and throwing stones, and we were ready to cross, 
having first taken off our boots and stockings that they 
might be kept dry. Holding our feet high up to the 
saddle, we crossed in safety, and none too soon, for it 
began to snow, and we could barely find the road. Fur- 
ther on, the caravans we met at intervals left the trail 
very distinct, and seeing black tents to our left we 
camped near them, a short distance from the Sok Chu, 
and succeeded in procuring milk, sho and fuel. 

I had been almost unfit for traveling for several days ; 
so, although our guides had emphatically refused to 
rest, we halted at that beautiful place. The snow was 
deep the next morning, and we could see the women and 
children come out to look after the flocks and herds. 
Having only boots and gowns on, and with the 
soles almost worn off the former, they were shiv- 
ering with the cold. If they could be taught to 
prepare the wool and knit comfortable garments 
for winter wear, how much easier life would be 
for them, for they must suffer severely in the win- 
ter months at altitudes where there is so much snow 
and intense cold. This, I believe after careful study, 
is responsible in a large measure for the small families, 
for many children, not being able to withstand the 
severity of the weather, succumb. 

Our next camping-place was on the banks of the 



286 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Teng-nga river, near, though not within sight of, the 
Teng-nga Gomba. From the latter there were several 
lamas at the tents near which we were camped. The 
people were very kind to us there, bringing us milk, etc., 
warning us also of robbers on our next few days' jour- 
ney. They accepted with alacrity some Gospels we gave 
them, sitting around reading them with the mamba 
and Mr. Eijnhart. A nun with her shaven head and 
plain garb minus many of the ornaments the Tibetan 
women are so lavish of, took a copy of the Gospels, 
but could not read a word. Our mamba doctored a 
man there and our guides left one of their sheep, so 
that they might have meat for their return journey. 
Brigands must be very numerous just there, because 
on the following day we heard of fifty of them having 
killed several men and driven off their yak with loads; 
moreover the tea merchants we met and camped near, 
numbered over fifty in the one caravan, such a large 
company indicating that there are dangers of attack 
on the road. After following the Ta-o Chu through 
an immense plain, we camped on September fifteenth 
in a deserted tenting-place, the remains of the stone 
and clay ranges all about telling us that the nomadic 
people favored the green sward near the little stream, 
for their sheep and cattle. They were evidently either 
away in the hills on account of robbers, or, because the 
winter was approaching, they were seeking more shel- 
tered spots for their homes. How welcome was the op- 
portunity to rest on that auspicious day, September 
fifteenth, for it was the fourth anniversary of our mar- 
riage. We had no comfortable parlors into which we 



ON THE CAEAVAN EOAD 287 

could invite our friends, and no friends to invite, yet 
the day meant so much to us that we must celebrate 
it even amid the silence, desolation and dangers that 
surrounded us. For a time we forgot all about robbers 
and prepared a feast — a rice pudding with sultanas, 
sugar and butter in it, which we shared with our guides. 
What memories came trooping up from the past, of 
our friends in America, of Kumbum and Tankar, of 
Charlie, and of all the joys and sorrows that had come 
to us since hand in hand we had gone forth to fulfil 
the mission to which we had been called. How tenderly 
my husband spoke of the mysterious dealings of Prov- 
idence, and of his faith in that unchanging love which 
he had learned to trust, even where he could not trace. 
And can I ever forget his words of comfort and assur- 
ance to me, words which the poet has thrown into 
music : 

" My wife, my life! Oh, we will walk this world, 
Yoked in all exercise of noble end, 
And so through those dark gates across the wild 
Which no man knows ! " 

Little did I realize how soon he was to pass into those 
dark gates leaving me on the dreary wild alone. Even 
that happy day was marred by an accident which hap- 
pened to Mr. Kijnhart, who trod on the rusty buckle 
of a saddle and as a result suffered intense pain, which 
was much augmented when the time came that he had 
to journey on foot. The weather was perfect and we 
enjoyed talking of our prospects when we reached Tashi 
Gomba, where the maniba said he was almost sure we 
would be allowed to spend the winter. The following 



288 WITH THE TIBETAN'S 

day we crossed another large plain at the eastern ex- 
tremity of which we forded the Dam Chu, a beautiful 
river, very clear, every pebble in the bottom of which 
we could distinctly see. Before we started, wolves in 
large packs howled around our tent, and we met indi- 
vidual ones on the road. Topsy chased a bear only a 
hundred yards from us, while a large herd of wild cat- 
tle were scattered around us. On September 18 we 
had snow, hail and rain while we crossed a mountain 
called Gerchen tsang mo la, and camped near a large 
stream of which the marriha did not know the name. 
None of our guides had ever been this far on the road 
before, but had received directions as to how to find 
the lamasery we were looking for, and as the Ja-lam 
we were following was a large trail, we had little fear 
of losing our way. Our three guides had served us 
faithfully and our days together had been profitable 
to both them and Mr. Eijnhart, to the latter especially 
in the language and character. Every day when even- 
ing came, the mamha had taken his bell, little drum 
and a book, and, sitting in the far corner of the tent 
that Eahim had used, had chanted prayers for two 
hours or more. The " lazy boy " had not improved 
on acquaintance, but was bearable, the other two more 
than making up for his disagreeable manner, which 
sometimes even amounted to sulkiness. The unexpected 
manner in which even these guides were lost to us will 
be told in the next chapter. 



CHAPTER XIX 

ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN ROBBERS 

We Cross the Tsa Chu — Suspicious Visitors — A Shower 
of Bullets and Boulders — Loss of our Animals — Our 
Guides Disappear — The Dread Night by the River. 

The last tent people and caravans which we met had 
told our guides that we were approaching a large river, 
the Tsa Chu, and had given the directions we were 
to follow, in order to reach Tashi Gomba, which they 
informed us was on the bank of the above river, assur- 
ing us of the truth of the statement by saying that the 
lamas carried water from the river to make their tea. 
Having traveled over one rocky mountain after another 
and across two streams flowing south, we camped on 
September nineteenth within sight of a large range of 
mountains east of us. How imposing these latter were, 
perpendicular and bare, rugged and severe, giving us 
the impression that along their edge flowed a large 
river. This was also the mamba's opinion, for he re- 
marked that probably at their base was the mighty Tsa 
Chu. Next morning we reached a little stream which 
the guides said was a feeder of the Tsa Chu. Follow- 
ing it a long distance by the side of rugged mountains 
whose peaks were barren rocks lost in the clouds, we 

289 



290 WITH THE TIBETANS 

passed a large mineral stream spreading out and flowing 
down the liillside, leaving dark brown stains on the rock 
and stones wherever it had coursed, and eventually 
reached the Tsa Chu, where a large tributary flowed into 
it. Having crossed the latter with very little difficulty, 
notwithstanding the fact that large masses of rock half 
concealed by the water almost caused the loss of some 
of our ponies, we halted on the bank of the main river, 
tightened our girths, gauged the best spot for fording, 
and all dashed into the water shouting lustily to en- 
courage ourselves and the horses. Though very wide, 
the river was not more than two and a half feet deep, 
and the current was neither rushing nor strong as in 
some other rivers we had recently crossed, hence we 
congratulated ourselves on our good fortune in having 
left behind us the last large river to be forded until we 
should pass the lamasery. As the caravan road did 
not skirt the river, we turned aside from it to the right 
and followed a bridle path along the bank, the people 
having given the information that in half a day's jour- 
ney down the river from the ford, yak could easily reach 
the lamasery of which we were in search. 

Our march that day had been a wearisome one for 
us all, and we immediately looked for a suitable place 
to camp where there was good fodder; half an hour 
after fording we found one, a level sward, with hills be- 
hind us covered with grass and firewood, and in front 
of us the Tsa Chu. Having pitched our tents on the 
northeast of the river, we roamed about enjoying the 
gorgeous view that presented itself to us. The valley 
from which we had just emerged was narrow ; the hills 



ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN EOBBERS 291 

and mountains on either side were ranged against the 
horizon in glittering masses, rugged, fantastic and mul- 
tiform in outline, and of varied tints, the brilliant 
green of the sloping pasture land mounting gradually 
and fading into the delicate purple and grey of the 
rocky summits; the river in its placid onward course 
suggested peace and power; the hillocks close to its 
edge across from us, seemed with their side garments 
of deep verdure tapering off into rocky, sun-gilded 
crests, like monarchs of a lower rank reflecting the 
splendor of the kingly giant-like elevations whose heads, 
towering far above, were crowned with azure and gold. 
Behind us again, were other hills clothed with beauty in 
minute detail, from the massive rocks with their cling- 
ing lichens, to the pretty low shrubs covered with small 
leaves and yellow flowers like miniature roses. The lit- 
tle paths intersecting one another and running in all 
directions suggested our proximity to a lamasery or 
encampment, and in anticipation of reaching it soon 
we were happy. 

Toward nightfall two men on white horses emerged 
from the valley we ourselves had just quitted, and, 
instead of fording the river, skirted the bank, ar- 
riving at a spot opposite us, where they reined 
in their horses to hold converse with our men. The 
lazy boy went to the river's edge and talked with them, 
during which time Mr. Rijnhart leisurely took a good 
look at them through the telescope. They were heavily 
armed with guns, spears, and swords, had no saddle 
bags, hence were not travelers, and one of them had 
his face painted red and yellow. While they talked 



293 WITH THE TIBETANS 

they indulged in snuff, and looked too closely at our 
ponies to make us feel altogether comfortable, the 
inamha standing near us being of the same opinion as 
ourselves. Having satisfied their curiosity they disap- 
peared over the hills diagonally from the river down 
stream. Immediately the guides came to caution us 
about their probable intention to rob us that night, and 
themselves prepared to meet the enemy by taking down 
their tent, intending to sleep outside so that they could 
watch their six horses. We put the iron hobbles on 
ours, tied Topsy behind them, and Mr. Rijnhart slept 
in the door of the tent with both revolvers ready to 
frighten anyone who should come about during the 
night. It was the very last time we used a tent. The 
night passed but no noise was heard, and in the morn- 
ing, feeling that we might have been unduly alarmed, 
we bent our thoughts and hopes on the lamasery, the 
very sound of Tashi Gomba having now become as 
music in our ears. We could find no proper road — only 
a bridle path that now skirted the river^s edge, then led 
up to well-nigh inaccessible places and circled on the 
slopes of steep hills. The riding was unsafe and often 
we had to rest our horses. One of them fell and his en- 
tire load had to be removed before he would attempt to 
rise, even then remaining complacently as he had fallen 
until we forcibly aided him to use his feet. 

About noon we followed a road down to the river 
to a grassy place where was apparently a yak-trail, 
but beyond which the rocks looked as if thy jutted 
into the river. To avoid having to retrace our steps 
should we find it thus, we sent the lazy boy ahead to see. 



ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN EOBBEBS 293 

and as he did not return we concluded the road was 
passable; so drove our animals across the grass, over 
a little hillock, to find the boy sitting playing with 
pebbles beside the river, near a spot where the water 
boiled against a cliff that rose steep and straight and 
impassable from its watery depths. Mr. Kijnhart sug- 
gested fording the river and refolding further on, but 
the mamha said that our horses, especially the one that 
had fallen, tired out with the day's travel, would be 
unable to stem the flood, and it would be best to return, 
rest there on that grassy spot while we drank tea, and 
then go up over the hills, and so past the difficult place. 
Knowing the wisdom of his advice, we acquiesced, and, 
having arrived, took the loads off our horses; then the 
men got three stones to rest the pot on, gathered fuel 
and began to prepare our lunch. The river flowed in 
front of us, while behind, a distance of seventy feet 
from the former, rose cliffs and rocks at the foot of 
which were traces of old camps, such as ashes on the 
ground and smoke on the stones. We reclined in the 
shade of the cliff until the tea would be ready, and 
Mr. Eijnhart said suddenly that he thought he heard 
men whistling in the characteristic way in which they 
drive yak. We all listened, but heard nothing, when, 
without any warning, a shot rang through the air, the 
bullet falling in the water. At the command of the 
mamha the two boys jumped up and ran to drive the 
horses into the shelter of the cliff, where they could be 
prevented from stampeding on the little road leading 
up to the robbers. The " nice boy " was shot almost 
immediately through the right upper arm, whereupon 



294: WITH THE TIBETANS 

we all promiscuously sought cover at the side of the 
cliff. Bullets continued to fall like rain. Immense 
boulders were hurled down from the heights, any one 
of which striking us would have crushed us beyond 
recognition, while accompanying both the shooting and 
the hurling of the rocks there were yells, piercing and 
hideous, which only Tibetan robbers know how to utter. 
Mr. Eijnhart, determined to ascertain the direction 
from which the bullets were coming, and who was 
firing them, stepped out from under the cliff towards 
the river's edge and looked up, only to be greeted by a 
bullet which, as he suddenly stooped, struck the ground 
behind him. He quickly returned to shelter, but in 
his haste ran into the nook where the guides were 
crouched, so that he was hidden from me, as a project- 
ing angle separated my nook from theirs. There I was 
alone, not knowing at the time whether my husband 
had been killed or wounded, or whether he had taken 
refuge somewhere under the cliff. There had always 
been an implicit understanding between us that I was 
to remain just where he left me in case of peril or 
danger, relying on his care over me even when absent. 
So, straining myself as close to the rocks as possible, 
I waited breathing a prayer for the protection of 
our lives, for I thought my husband and the guides 
had gone to parley with the robbers. After what 
seemed a long time, the firing almost ceased, then 
a final volley of quick shots and a few deafening 
yells, followed by shouts dying away in the dis- 
tance, told us that for the immediate present the 
danger was over. Mr. Eijnhart then came up and 



ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN ROBBERS 295 

threw himself in exhaustion on the ground, saying: 
" Well, we have lost all our horses except three." What 
a sigh of intense relief I heaved! I was so thankful 
to see him unharmed after my dreading his being killed. 
" Have you made peace with them ? " I asked. " Why," 
he replied, " I have never seen them, except when I 
went to look up and saw three men behind a rock with 
their guns resting ready aimed; the powder flashed in 
the pan; involuntarily I stooped, and then sought and 
remained in shelter, attending to the poor boy's arm, 
all torn and bleeding." 

He then took me by the hand, and carefully keeping 
close to the rocks, we crept to where the guides were, 
and saw that three of the horses that were apparently 
saved had been shot, one being already dead, while 
another was shot through the backbone and could not 
rise. Some of our horses had absolutely refused to 
be frightened by the bullets and boulders that were 
cleverly directed by the wily robbers, to divide us from 
our horses and prevent our saving them; but the last 
shots had despatched three of these four, so that we 
might not be able to pursue or trace the thieves. The 
guides, who understood the tactics, had managed to 
save three of their ponies, exposing themselves to fire 
thereby, but we, ignorant of the natives' way of robbing, 
imagined they would come dovra from above, and did 
not try to save our horses, though it is manifest that 
we would have been shot had we interfered. A sorrow- 
ful, frightened little band we were, grouj)ed together in 
the cover afforded us by the friendly rocks, the wounded 
boy tenderly nursing his arm, on which the blood had 



296 WITH THE TIBETANS 

left marks little darker than the skin, and whose face 
bore besides ihe expression of pain, that of hurt sur- 
prise that he should have been the only one to be in- 
jured. We managed to drag the pot of tea into shelter, 
where we quenched our thirst and ministered to the 
" nice boy," who was faint from loss of blood. The 
mamba said: "Buddha knows that the men will re- 
turn for our baggage, kill us all, and throw us in the 
river." Mr. Kijnhart walked up a little distance to 
drive back the old grey horse which was straying in 
the direction his companions had gone, and quickly 
the three guides prepared for departure. The lazy 
boy shouldered his own and his wounded comrade's gun. 
They helped the latter to a seat on a pack-saddle, their 
riding saddles all having been stolen but one, and, 
only delaying a moment to answer my inquiry, "Where 
are you going ? " by replying, " To the monastery for 
many men to come with us to find the robbers," they 
started off to the river. Having said they had better 
stay until their leader returned, I called Mr. Eijnhart, 
but when he arrived at the spot they were half way 
across the river, and he had no horse with which to 
follow them. 

Quietly we dragged our possessions into the shel- 
ter of the cliffs, tied our grey horse near them, 
and sat down to drink tea. The feeling uppermost in 
our minds was one of thankfulness that our lives were 
spared, and that we were unhurt and had our food 
and bedding left us. One dead horse was already a 
prey to the vultures, while the pretty black horse lay 
not far away, paralyzed from an injury through the 



ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN KOBBERS 297 

spine. He had my riding saddle on him, the only na- 
tive saddle I had ever found comfortable, and suitable 
for long journeys. The chestnut horse, shot through 
a vital spot, and in pain, wandered to the grey horse for 
comfort, lay down near him, neighed good-byes to the 
black horse, laid down his head and died. We were now 
alone with our grey horse, the poorest of the caravan, 
the one that had fallen that same morning, and was 
really the cause of our having halted at that grassy 
place. Suddenly we missed Topsy, and, upon compar- 
ing our knowledge of her movements, we found that 
we had last seen her rushing toward the road when the 
shots were fired. She had always been accustomed to 
run after an animal when Eahim went to have some 
sport with the gun, and we feared she had gone off with 
our horses, but hoped she would discover her mistake 
and return. It was about two o'clock in the afternoon, 
and, talking it all over we decided to stay in that place 
until the next day to see if our guides were true or 
not, though we had a very strong suspicion they were 
not, and even that they were in league with the robbers, 
and had deliberately led us into ambush. One point 
was certain, either they had been treacherous or they 
had not known the road, and unconsciously led us 
along that bridle path. In either case, the ponho of 
Nagch'uk'a would be held responsible for the trouble, 
because as long as we were on the Caravan Road no 
harm had come to us, and Tashi Gomba is, as far as 
I can learn, on that highway ; but the guides had pur- 
posely or unwittingly led us astray. Owing to this 
uncertainty of the intention of the guides, we concluded 



298 WITH THE TIBETANS 

to await their return until next day about noon, and 
then, if they came not, to prepare to travel on foot 
until we reached the lamasery. But then came the 
question, where was the lamasery ? "Were we on the cor- 
rect road or not ? How far away from it were we ? As 
the afternoon wore away we kept, by means of the 
telescope, a fairly good lookout for the approach of 
human beings, whether enemies or otherwise ; but even- 
ing came on and we had seen no one, though we had 
a very strong feeling that we were being watched all 
the time, while sounds of the recent shots rang in our 
ears. 

The robbers were well aware of the fact that we 
had seven loads of baggage for which we had no means 
of transport, as were also the guides, and we had no 
doubt that our movements were being spied from the 
hills or cliffs about us; hence we had some fears that 
they might return to possess themselves of the valu- 
ables. Our loads were not of such great value to us 
that we cared to risk our lives defending them, and 
the place had such associations as to give us uncanny 
feelings, so we decided to abandon the cliffs for the 
night, when darkness obscured our movements. Si- 
lently, not speaking above a whisper, we took our 
bedding to the edge of the river, where there was a 
margin of stones six feet wide between the water and 
a shelving bank two feet high. Spreading our rugs 
and blankets down, and covering ourselves well, we 
rested where the water almost laved our feet. Eain 
fell gently most of the night, but we were protected 
by our rubber sheeting. We had always carried on our 



ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN KOBBERS 299 

persons money in the form of sycee^ bullion silver 
ingots of various weights, and if we had been discov- 
ered that night, we intended to take to the water, and 
upon reaching the other bank, make our way to tents 
for aid. The night was very long and dark, no object 
being discernible, and no sound heard but the rippling 
of the water over the stones, and the cry of some ani- 
mal or bird unknown to us, that seemed to come from 
above among the cliffs, and like a sentry's call and 
answer re-echoed through the mountain silence. To- 
wards morning it ceased raining; a grey light over- 
spread the sky and transformed the river into a sec- 
ond sky, but we did not know the dawn was breaking, 
thinking the increasing light was due to the clouds 
dispersing. Then the grey light slowly sufEused the 
whole atmosphere, and we could discover rocks and 
cliffs and hills standing out, first indistinctly against 
the heavens, and then in dark relief. As the horizontal 
streaks of light began to take their places in the clouds 
over the mountains we arose and, dragging our bedding 
back to the cliff, were welcomed by our grey horse, and 
found all as we had left it. We wrapped some 
blankets about us and crouched down until it was 
breakfast time, when we gathered some firewood and 
made our tea. 

We both realized the magnitude of the misfortune 
that had befallen us, and each endeavored to make 
light of it, and the result was a predominance of 
brightness rather than gloom; although we were al- 
most certain that our guides had deserted us, and that 
we would very soon have to find our way on foot either 



300 WITH THE TIBETANS 

to the lamasery or to an encampment where we might 
hope to hire some animals. Midday came with bright 
sunshine, so we undid all our baggage and separated 
from it what we wished to take with us, not of course 
all we wanted, but what we could take along, because 
our one remaining horse was incapable of carrying a 
heavy load. It was very difficult to reject our most 
cherished possessions, and when our Bibles of years' 
use, our instruments and many things that had become 
a part of our being had to be laid aside, we felt it ; but 
necessity is a stern master, and it had to be. We se- 
lected enough food to last fifteen days, all the bedding 
needed, one large and one small pot, some dessicated 
soups, beef tea and condensed milk, a change of cloth- 
ing and the diary of the journey, Mr. Eijnhart's Bible 
with a few papers, two or three cherished belongings 
that had been loved and handled by our darling little 
boy, and a few sundries. EvAything else that was 
valuable we buried under stones at the foot of the 
cliff, and left in one comer the tents, pack-saddles, etc., 
hoping that we might meet some one who would come 
back with us to get the things, and yet feeling all the 
time so sure that the robbers were watching us, ready to 
swoop down like eagles after their prey as soon as we 
had gone. The afternoon wore away, the sun sank 
behind the hills, and the shades of evening brought no 
guides, but did bring us an indefinable aversion to 
spending another night in that place, associated, as it 
was, with robbers, where sleep would be altogether out 
of the question. We placed our riding saddle on our 
grey horse, and on it piled as much of the baggage 



ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN EOBBERS 301 

we had selected as he could possibly carry. Mr. Rijn- 
hart shouldered the remainder, and each taking in 
hand a staff composed of half a tent-pole, we said good- 
bye to the cliffs and retraced our steps to follow the 
same road, up which the horses had stampeded. As 
we were passing the black horse he tried hard to join 
us and neighed farewell as far as we could see him. 
Mr. Rijnhart would have shot him out of mercy, but 
I begged him not to, for I could not bear the sound of 
the revolver to ring out, perhaps to give notice of our 
whereabouts to some travelers overhead, thereby en- 
tailing more trouble. Cowardly, it is true, the feeling 
was, but for long afterwards the sound of shooting 
brought anything but pleasant memories to my mind. 



CHAPTER XX 

OUE LAST DAYS TOGETHEB 

The Robbers' Ambush— The Worst Ford of All— Foot- 
marks and a False Hope — A Deserted Camp — The 
Bed Under the Snow — Mr. Rijnhart Goes to Native 
Tents for Aid, Never to Return. 

The grassy spot beside the cliff was an ideal camp- 
ing place, affording shelter from the cold, bleak, pierc- 
ing winds, or from the hot rays of the noonday sun on 
warm days; but the recent occurrence had removed all 
the charms nature had previously possessed for us, and 
we were glad to tread our way slowly up the trail we had 
come down the day before. Ascending even so insig- 
nificant an incline was laborious, for instead of having 
our sturdy ponies to carry us up, we had to walk, while 
Mr. Rijnhart, in addition to shouldering a heavy bur- 
den, had to drag along the almost spent horse with his 
load, an impossible task had I not been behind to urge 
the poor animal on with my staff. Soon we were at 
the top, passing the robbers' ambush of the day be- 
fore, and a beautiful spot it was behind the rocks, a 
pretty little hollow having served to shelter their horses 
while they busied themselves in obtaining ours. How 
many men there had been we could not tell, but we 

303 




PETRI'S RTTNTTART 



OUR LAST DAYS TOGETHER 303 

supposed there were ten or twelve, and they had prob- 
ably been following and watching us all the morning 
before a good opportunity for robbing us without danger 
presented itself. It had now grown dark, but there 
was sufficient light to enable us to pursue our way a 
short distance, when we stopped to camp, because we 
were not sure whether shadows that lay across our path 
were gullies or not, and we did not wish to lose our 
bearings. We unloaded our horse, which now seemed 
so precious to us, tethered him near by, arranged our 
food in little packages at our heads, to prevent a wild 
animal snapping at us without warning, and lay down 
exhausted but much more at ease in our minds than 
had we remained below the cliffs. The queen of the night 
slowly wended her way across the star-dotted heavens, 
diffusing light and shadows about us while we rested, 
but slept very little. Arising at dawn we found every- 
thing that had been exposed to the atmosphere stiff and 
covered with thick frost, and were astonished to dis- 
cover ourselves on the edge of a deep gully, into which 
we would have fallen had we made a few more steps 
the previous night. We had no idea that we were in 
the vicinity of such a place, much less so near it. 

The next difficulty we encountered was our inabil- 
ity to make a fire, having no fuel except the argols, and 
not being proficient in the use of the Tibetan bellows 
(a goatskin tied at one end to a round iron pipe four- 
teen inches long, and about one inch in diameter), 
which are manipulated by a peculiar motion of the 
hands. Although Mr. Rijnhart had had considerable 
practice with the bellows while sitting with the na- 



304 WITH THE TIBETANS 

tives around a well-blazing fire, he found it quite an- 
other matter to start one when so little force was re- 
quired, so that at first he succeeded only in extinguish- 
ing the blaze instead of increasing it. It took our 
combined ingenuity and efforts to finally get the fire 
started that morning, and then I gathered fuel while 
he plied the awkward bellows. During the tea drinking 
we discussed our plans, and knowing the over-weight 
of our loads, both that of the horse and the one under 
which my husband was obliged to trudge with his sore 
foot, and considering, besides this, my own poor health, 
we felt we must not wander aimlessly around. We 
plaimed to follow the river down for two days, and 
then if we failed to find traces of the lamasery or 
tents, branch off to the left, to again strike the Caravan 
Road; for, according to our compass and knowledge of 
the general direction, we were not just then deviating 
very much from the latter. Having found a path along 
the little stream on which we had camped, leading 
toward the Tsa Chu, we followed it around a hill, and 
soon were beside the obstructing rocks beyond which 
our boy had been sitting on the day of the robbery, and 
where we commanded a view of the river and its oppo- 
site bank stretching away into open and level country. 
After traveling three hours along steep slopes, we 
reached an overhanging ledge where we must either 
ford the river or branch in over the hills. Surveying 
the latter, we saw them rise one tier above another 
endlessly, and felt that in our circumstances neither 
we nor our horse were able to undertake any more 
mountain climbing. Visually measuring the width of 



OUR LAST DAYS TOGETHER 305 

the river with its volume and current, we shrank from 
crossing, but Mr. Rijnhart said he was able to swim in 
any current and did not fear to undertake it. After 
due deliberation we decided that the best place to ford 
was a short distance above the junction of a tributary 
from the other side and opposite a sandbar which di- 
vided the river. Just above the sandbar the waters 
swept around a curve, while immediately below it were 
rocks. Mr. Rijnhart, donning some thin garments, 
loaded the food, pots and sundries on the horse, and 
started off, intending to make a return trip for me and 
the bedding. He led the horse across the first part of 
the river, which was about two feet deep, then let him 
go, and both swam over. It had begun to rain, and 
Mr. Rijnhart shivered while he unloaded the animal's 
burden on the other side, mounted and returned for me. 
His teeth chattered as he tied the blankets to the back 
of the saddle and I mounted. As I carried considerable 
weight in my gown, about ten pounds of silver, our two 
revolvers, the telescope, our silver-lined tsamha basins 
and dry stockings for us both, Mr. Rijnhart cautioned 
me not to fall off, for with such impedimenta about 
me he could do nothing to save me. Taking the long 
rope in his hand and leading the horse as far up the 
sandbar as he could without swimming, he then let 
go and stood to watch us. The current caught the rope 
and swept it down; the horse, thinking he was being 
led, turned his head and began to swim down the 
stream. My husband called to me to pull the right rein, 
which I had done instinctively. The horse turned 
suddenly, the rusliing water caught underneath the 



80b WITH THE TIBETAN'S 

bedding and swept me, saddle and all, almost into the 
river. Eealizing my peril I threw myself over to the 
opposite side, and so hanging on to the horse's mane 
with my weight in the right stirrup, by sheer force I 
kept the whole balanced and reached the bank in safety. 
The old horse, tired out, sat down in the stream, not 
being able to step up on the bank; so I dismounted in 
the water. Almost everything was saturated. Mr. 
Kijnhart plunged again into the current and crossed 
successfully, though chilled through from the icy 
water. ISTow that all our garments had got wet we were 
in sore straits. Owing to the rain it was with difficulty 
we secured sufficient fuel to prepare some hot soup, 
and as soon as the shower passed off, after spreading our 
blankets out to dry, we roamed some distance away in 
search of larger quantities of fuel. Suddenly we dis- 
covered the fresh footprints of three horses and a dog. 
Were they traces of our guides and Topsy? On what 
slender threads the drooping heart is prepared to hang 
out a new hope ! Wet and cold and forsaken as we 
were, a tremor of joy awoke in us as we thought of the 
possibility of help from the old mamha and the two 
boys who had left us on the day of the robbery. Had 
we misjudged them, and were they still faithful to us? 
We tarried the night and divined our hope was a vain 
one; we must therefore press on. 

The morning of the following day we almost 
immediately had to cross a tributary of the Tsa 
Chu, not a large stream, but the bottom was cov- 
ered with big stones, and the current was very 
strong. N"ot willing to have any more delay than 



OUR LAST DAYS TOGETHER 307 

was necessary, we managed to wade across hand in 
hand, but had great difficulty to hold ourselves erect 
against the force of almost three feet of water and the 
tendency to slip on the uneven stones in the bed. The 
question of river crossing had become harder than ever 
to solve, with only one horse and not a single native 
with us, and we tried to think that perhaps we would 
not be compelled to cross any more. In a pretty ravine 
we found a deserted camp, in one corner of which we 
saw three stones that had just recently served as a fire- 
place, and a small bit of paper and string that we 
judged had held some medicine used by the mamha for 
the wounded boy's arm. This was the last trace of our 
guides that we saw. After threading our way through 
dales and over hillocks we reached a level place on 
the river's edge, where were remains of several mud 
and stone ranges, indicating a tenting ground; and as 
there was good grass and abundance of fuel, we rested 
for lunch. Looking about carefully we saw what pre- 
sented the appearance of cattle, and upon taking the 
telescope discovered immense flocks and herds and tents 
away down the river, but on the opposite side ! Some 
rocks obstructed our way along the river's edge, neces- 
sitating probably a long detour over the hills in 
order to progress in the direction of those tents, but 
how welcome the sight and what rejoicing it brought 
to us ! It seemed as if our difficulties were all ended, 
and feeling no fear to remain alone, but knowing the 
horse's inability to successfully ford the river again, 
I would liave Mr. Rijnhart cross then and there and go 
to the tents for aid, leaving me to await his return. 



308 WITH THE TIBETANS 

He looked at me a moment, then said : " No, I could 
not leave you here alone — travelers may come along and 
find you, and you are a woman. We must stay together 
as long as we can, and when we have reached a place 
opposite the tents I can watch you while I am gone." 
To that end we left the river and went at right 
angles to it over steep hills, one rising above another, 
but each one hidden from view until we had gained 
the crown of the first, and passing some magnificent 
rocks we reached the basin of a limpid mountain stream 
which we followed. Numerous traces of tents were 
found in this spot hidden among the hills, an admir- 
able place for robber bands to escape detection and yet 
be near the highway. Large flakes of snow announced 
an approaching storm, and in order that we might 
appease our hunger before night came on, we gathered 
fuel in the skirts of our gowns as we walked along, 
a practice we had learned from the natives. At dusk 
we were not yet out of the ravine, but were almost at 
the summit from which the rivulet sprang, and there we 
camped. Was it the coming disaster that weighed us 
down and crushed our bright spirits, or was it that we 
were in a glen where crime had left its stain? An 
indescribable feeling of uncanniness seemed to seize 
us both, so that we scarcely spoke above a whisper, 
while we selected a spot near an old fireplace. With 
our one staff, some pieces of string and two pegs, we 
put our rubber sheeting up for shelter, and crept be- 
neath it. Eight inches of snow fell during the night, 
making us as warm as when in well-heated apartments ; 
but in the morning it was almost an impossibility to 



OUK LAST DAYS TOGETHER 309 

creep out from beneath the weight, even after we had 
summoned courage to decide that we wanted to. The 
weather looked threatening and the bulk of snow would 
tend to make the walking hard, besides wetting our 
Tibetan boots and consequently our feet. The only 
dark object we saw far or near was a large brown bear 
with a white ring around his neck, prowling and 
shuffling about just a few yards from us. Our pony 
was the first to stir. He had already brushed the snow 
away with his lips in order to reach the luscious grass, 
and at last we, too, with a desperate effort threw off 
our lethargy and with it our blankets, and crawled out 
to breakfast on tsamba and snow. With fingers biting 
and aching from the cold, we fastened on the horse's 
load, Mr. Rijnhart shouldered his, and off we started 
again, bruin watching us with perhaps more than 
friendly interest. My husband left me with the horse 
while he went to reconnoiter a little, so that we might 
not unnecessarily climb hills, and hence get too far 
away from the river bank. He found that we had 
passed the rocks, so we walked around the steep slopes 
of the hills until we were overlooking the river again; 
but the walking was inconceivably bad, and in turns 
we fell on the slippery snow and grass. The horse 
would slip and struggle, the load would fall off, and 
then with cold fingers and endless trouble the saddle 
and all would have to be readjusted and the whole 
start be made again. Finally, when high up among 
brushwood on the side of a very steep hill above the 
river, the horse slipped and rolled over and over down 
the hillside, until we feared he might only be stayed 



310 WITH THE TIBETANS 

on his headlong course when he reached the water. 
When he did come to a stop we felt, even though we 
were not much nearer the tents on the opposite bank 
than we had been the morning previous, we could not 
possibly manage to proceed another step; so, scraping 
the snow away from a little piece of ground more level 
than the remaining part, we sat down and made a 
fire with some of the brushwood growing in the lo- 
cality. 

Some men from the tents were within hailing dis- 
tance. We shouted ; they answered, but would not come 
near enough to hold any conversation with us, and ran 
about very much excited on the hills. A Chinaman's 
curiosity would have induced him to come near enough 
to find out at least who we were, but a Tibetan's is not 
so great. 

The sun shone brightly, and the snow melted quickly, 
while we felt that it was too late in the afternoon for 
Mr. Eijnhart to attempt to go on foot to the tents, 
as at nightfall he would not have had time to return; 
so he tried to ford the river on our horse, but it was 
impossible. Having talked of, thought about, and 
prayed for guidance in the matter of reaching the tents, 
we concluded that it would be best to spend the night 
where we were, and that in the morning Mr. Eijnhart 
would swim over, hire animals, and at the same time 
find out our whereabouts in reference to the lamasery. 
How sore our faces were that night from the sun and 
snow, and how severely our eyes smarted ! Neither of 
us having any thought of the impending calamity, we 
rose on the morning of September 26, had breakfast. 



OUR LAST DAYS TOGETHER 311 

and my husband prepared for departure. Cutting our 
rubber sheeting in two, he used part of it to wrap 
about his dry underwear, jacket, trousers, a piece of 
silver, five ounces in weight, some hhatas, and my light 
revolver. Binding the whole tightly, he strapped it on 
his back and, taking the staff in his hand to deal with the 
dogs when he reached the tents, started away cheer- 
fully, telling me not to be afraid, but to use his big 
revolver, which he had given me in place of my small 
one, if any one went to harm me. He said he would 
return before dark, if possible; but if not, he would 
call out when near me, so that I would not be fright- 
ened. When a few steps away he turned to wave his 
hand and said "ta-ta." Reaching the river's edge he 
threw off on the bank his heavy wadded Chinese jacket 
of dark blue cloth, and entered the river. Wading half 
across, he put out his arms to make the first stroke, but 
suddenly turned around and walked back again to the 
bank where he had first entered the water. Shouting 
something up to me which I did not hear on account of 
the rushing river, he walked up-stream in the opposite 
direction to the tents he had set out for. Then he fol- 
lowed a little path around the rocks that had obstructed 
our way the day before, until out of sight, and I never 
saw him again. 



CHAPTEK XXI 

LOST AND ALONE 

Waiting and Watching — Conviction of Mr. Rijnhart's 
Fate — Refuge Among Strange Tibetans — Their 
Cruel Treatment — The Start for Jyekundo for OfiB- 
cial Aid. 

To swim across a river along both banks of which 
are numerous overhanging cliffs, and which pursues a 
serpentine course, is by no means easy, for the current 
carries a swimmer down sometimes to a place where he 
cannot land. When Mr. Rijnhart turned and waded 
back to the place at which he had entered, I hastily 
concluded that he intended to make another trial higher 
up, where the landing was level and good; for opposite 
us there were rocks that were in places almost a com- 
plete barrier to his getting a footing on shore. I 
watched for him to enter the water again beyond the 
large rock behind which he had disappeared; but not 
seeing him at once I took the telescope and walked a 
distance down the hill, so that my range of vision 
should command the bank. To my great surprise I 
saw flocks of sheep and numbers of cattle just be- 
yond the rocks, on the same side of the river that I was 
on, and only a short distance away, almost near enough 

312 



LOST AND ALONE 313 

for me to have thrown a stone at them. I knew then 
that Mr. Eijnhart, when he turned about in the water 
so suddenly, had caught a glimpse of these tents in 
our vicinity, and had hailed the sight with gladness, 
feeling that going to them he would need to be away 
from me only a short time, in comparison with that 
which he would necessarily occupy in crossing the 
river, and making his way down to the tents he had 
first proposed to visit. I also was much pleased at 
our discovery, for I expected him back perhaps in an 
hour or so with some of the natives, and at least felt 
sure that he would not be away until dark. Varied 
were the thoughts that passed through my mind, for in 
my imagination I saw him in his clothing wet from 
wading in the water, as he had not waited a moment 
to divest himself of the wet garments, nor to pick up 
and throw about him his warm jacket which he had 
left on the bank; but accompanying that came a scene 
beside the fires of the tent where he was probably drink- 
ing steaming tea, while he explained his mission to 
the owners of those sheep and cattle, and bargained 
with them for animals. A thought of his meeting 
with trouble did not enter my mind until the hours 
sped on and he came not; but even then I did not fear, 
for we had always been treated with the greatest kind- 
ness and hospitality whenever we had met the people 
at their homes, although it is understood by all that the 
natives are robbers when away from home. He himself 
had not thought of difficulty, for he did not wait to 
remove from his bundle the revolver that might have 
had a moral effect over the tent people ; but went around 



314 WITH THE TIBETANS 

the rock buoyantly and sure that I would no longer 
have to walk, and that his heavy burden would be car- 
ried by strong yak, and doubtless entertaining the hope 
of being able to get aid from the abbot of Tashi Gomba 
in tracing our lost horses, resulting perhaps in their 
recovery. 

Soon the sun went dovm. over the top of the 
hill on which I sat, and the shadows grew longer and 
longer. Four bears gamboled about on the hillside 
until the shade fell on them and they shuffled away. I 
prayed for strength to be quiet, for God to give me 
freedom from anxiety as the time passed on and there 
was no appearance of him for whom I had watched 
all day. The cattle and the sheep across the river 
were rounded up and driven home to be tethered near 
the tents, but, besides the bears and my horse, there 
was not a sign of any living creature on the same bank 
where I was, for the flocks and herds towards which 
my husband had gone had long since disappeared. 

Knowing that the Tibetans are sometimes dilatory 
and hard to manage, I tried to think that the tents 
were some distance away, that the natives refused to 
help us unless my husband would remain until morn- 
ing, and so I consoled myself with the thought that 
daylight would bring him to me. Keason told me he 
had fallen prey to wicked men, but I would not, be- 
cause I had no desire to, listen to it, and my heart 
hoped against hope. Dusk settled into darkness, and 
a desolate solitude reigned over hill and valley, almost 
chilling me to the heart as I sat alone in the stillness 
of that oriental night, broken by no sound of human 



LOST AND ALONE 315 

voice, with no sympathy of friends to fall back upon, 
not even the companionship of the faithful Topsy. I 
thought of the possible strain both physical and mental 
of him who had gone so cheerfully around the rock that 
day. What he must have suffered did he have time to 
think of his wife alone and in danger ! I knew that, 
unless he had hopes of helping me himself, every 
thought was a prayer that his loving Father would 
tenderly care for the one alone on the hillside. I 
tied my horse among the bushes and lay down, more for 
protection from the cold than from any desire to sleep, 
and spent a quiet, peaceful, though slumberless night, 
in a mood not to be surprised if the sound of that 
precious voice rang out my name through the deathly 
stillness, remembering what he had said about calling 
to me if he should return after dark — but in vain. 
Morning came, and with it I rose to use the telescope 
once more, and wait for the hoped and longed for re- 
turn of my husband. The cattle and sheep spread out 
over the hills across the river, and all nature basked in 
the sunshine, but as the hours of the second day sped 
on and no trace of him was seen, my heart almost ceased 
beating. Well it was that we had learned to trust God 
in hard and difficult places. What else supported me 
through the leaden hours of that day but the thought 
that I was in God's hands? 

" Nothing before, nothing behind, 
The steps of faith 
Fall on the seeming void, and find 
The rock beneath." 

But I must admit it was a faith amidst a darkness 



316 WITH THE TIBETAN'S 

60 thick and black that I could not enjoy the sun- 
shine. Evening found me still alone with God, just 
as I had been the night before. My undefined fear 
had shaped itself into almost a certainty, leaving me 
with scarcely any hope of ever seeing my husband 
again, and with just as little, probably, of my getting 
away from the same people who had seemingly mur- 
dered him, and indeed, I must confess I had no desire to 
leave that hill. The conviction that the tents beyond 
those rocks belonged to the robbers who had stolen our 
horses was forced upon me, and I concluded also that 
when Mr. Kijnhart suddenly came into their presence 
they thought he had come for his horses, and would 
accuse them to their chief, thus causing the loss of 
the goods they had; and so, to avoid trouble, they had 
shot him and thrown his body into the river. Some 
days' journey from there the celebrated traveler 
Dutreuil de Ehins had been killed in 1894 and the 
Tibetans had thrown his body into the river, but were 
compelled to pay dearly for it in silver, and a lama 
had been beheaded for the crime. This was all well 
known to the men near us, and if I am correct in my 
surmise that these were the robbers, my brave and fear- 
less husband had fallen a prey to their distrust and 
fear. M. Grenard, who was Dutreuil's compagnon-de- 
voyage on the expedition on which the former was 
killed, as soon as he heard of Mr. Rijnhart's disappear- 
ance, wrote that the tribes in the locality where we had 
met our trouble were the most hostile they had seen, 
refusing to sell them anything even for large sums of 
money — and Miss Annie Taylor just avoided being 



LOST AND ALONE 317 

stoned as a witch by the people of Tashi Gomba. These 
circumstances add weight to what I myself had thought 
at the time. 

The second night I lay awake watching the stars 
that twinkled joyously, meditating and praying for 
some light as to my future, and asking God not 
to permit me to be rash and make mistakes. Oh! if I 
could only have helped Mr. Rijnhart ! Morning came, 
and with it no solution of the impenetrable difficulty, 
and it seemed to me that I must stay on and wait in- 
definitely for some one to come. About ten o'clock I 
stood scanning the landscape with the telescope, when 
suddenly I heard a shout from behind me on the hill. 
My heart bounded with delight under the impulse of 
the moment, for I concluded it was the voice I so 
longed to hear, and that the yak I saw were some he 
had hired to help us. Therefore I was only the more 
disappointed to see that they belonged to two lamas and 
several armed Tibetans coming from the opposite direc- 
tion. I shouted to them, and as the lamas came down 
the hill I went up towards them, and we sat down to 
converse while their comrades went on with their yak. 
After the usual civilities had been exchanged they 
asked me where my husband was, and I replied that 
he had gone to some tents and had as yet not returned. 
They inquired if I were not afraid to stay alone; and 
for answer I showed them my revolver, explaining that 
I could easily fire six shots from it before a native 
could fire one from his gun, and that each bullet could 
go through three men; whereupon they remarked to 
each other that no one had better try to harm me, as I 



318 WITH THE TIBETANS 

could wound eighteen men before I could be touched. 
They were traveling, they said, to a place three days' 
journey away, and as they were apparently friendly, I 
at first thought of journeying with them in the hope 
of enlisting their help, but gave that up as impossible. 
Then I asked them to take me across the river on 
their yak, and in answer they inquired if I had money. 
I said yes, I would pay them well for it. They jumped 
up, and, saying they would go for the yak, ran up the 
hill and out of sight in the direction of the tents to 
which my husband had gone. 

I waited in the same place all that day, but 
there was no sign of Mr. Kijnhart, nor did the 
men return when the sun had gone down. I felt 
that my life would not be worth anything if I re- 
mained there all night, and that I must get away 
from that place; but whither I was to go I did not 
know. I tried to cross the river on my horse, but he 
would not venture into the water. Then I dragged 
him up the hill, sat down once more and reviewed the 
situation, when the thought came : " Why ! I can 
never get away from here safely anyway. I will never 
be able to get out of the country, I am so far from the 
border; I may as well be killed first as last, and so 
I will go where my precious husband has gone." And 
once more I pulled my horse down the hill intending 
to go around the rock. But I was not to go. The im- 
pression grew upon me that it was rash to rush into 
almost certain death, and thus neither be any help to 
my husband, nor leave any trace of the three of us who 
had left Tankar in such good spirits, thereby bringing 



LOST AND ALONE 319 

untold sorrow and suspense to our home friends. Then 
there was the thought of future work. Had we not both 
consecrated ourselves to the evangelization of Tibet, 
and now that my dear husband had fallen, was the 
work and its responsibility any the less mine ? Eventu- 
ally I walked along the river down stream toward the 
tents Mr. Eijnhart had first in view, with a strong 
desire to get help to take me to the lamasery or to the 
chief of the tribe, but with a vague feeling of unrest 
and of doubt as to what would happen. On reaching 
the river's edge opposite those tents I called so loudly 
to the people that a man and a boy came to the nearest 
place to me, so I asked them to come over the river 
with two yak, holding up a hliata; but that was not 
enough to tempt them, so I showed a piece of silver 
which I would give them for taking me across the 
river, and they ran away to return with two yak upon 
one of which there was a pack saddle. I was amazed 
to see them drive the fierce looking brutes into the 
water with stones and shouts. I saw that they expected 
me to catch them, put my bedding on one, saddle and 
mount the other, a task that was utterly impossible, 
for I had no experience with these strange wild burden- 
bearers — all my life, in fact, I had been possessed of 
an inordinate fear even of domestic cattle. I shouted 
over that if a man did not come with the yak they 
need not send them, as I could not manage them; then 
they stopped throwing stones and the two unwieldly 
creatures returned to their homes, while the man said 
I could stay where I was. I made ready to spend the 
night there, directly across from those tents, feeling 



320 WITH THE TIBETANS 

a little more secure when I was so near people whom 
I did not know were treacherous, so I partook of some 
tsamba and cold water, tied my horse where he could 
easily be watched, and lay down on the snow. It 
snowed nearly all night, and it was difficult to be peace- 
ful. How would it all end? Would the people help 
me in the morning? These were only a few of the 
many disquieting thoughts that swayed through my 
mind, while deep down in my heart a voice whispered, 
"Be still, sad heart, and lean upon thy God, who 
knoweth the end from the beginning." 

When morning dawned I called again, and was glad to 
see several women and children come to the water's edge, 
for I thought I could manage them better than I could 
the men. I soon saw that they would do nothing for me 
until I had proved that my horse would not take me 
across, so I put my bedding on him and mounted. 
The women shouted, threw stones, and waved their 
hands, while I did my best to persuade him to cross, 
but he knew his weakness better than we did and not 
one step would he take, so Achi called out for me to 
dismount, which I did. I then asked what they would 
do for me. Finally a lama said if I would wait a 
while he would go to some tents near by and bring a 
horse over, and I could then cross in safety. About 
ten o'clock a man and six yak came over for me. The 
Tibetan was submitted to a careful scrutiny, for on him 
so much depended, and I saw a man with a dirty face, 
ragged hair and clothing, but there was an expression 
in his eyes that made me trust him. He tied my horse 
to one of the yak, put my things on another and my 



LOST AND ALONE 321 

saddle on a third. He then gave me his own and my 
riding animals to hold by the rope through their noses, 
while he drove the other four into the water, amid 
the clamor of a large party of onlookers on the bank 
opposite. My horse at first refused to go, but at last 
launched forth and dragged the yak to which he was 
tied down the river so far that all feared they would 
both be lost, though they did succeed in landing far 
down the stream. I felt anything but comfortable in 
this, my first, attempt at riding the yak, especially to 
cross such a large river, but there was nothing else to 
do; so while my rough-looking guide held the huge 
black ox by the horns I mounted, and then my com- 
panion mounted his. Having no bridle, I had expected 
my guide to lead mine by the rope, but the two black, 
bulky animals plunged awkwardly into the water, and 
I clung convulsively to the saddle, with difficulty keep- 
ing my balance, while we swayed with the motion of the 
animal swimming, and the current which was very 
strong. When we arrived on the other side, all wet, 
for oxen swim lower in the water than horses, I ex- 
pected to go into the tent, change my wet garments, 
and warm myself before a genial fire ; but no, the Tibe- 
tans had other plans, and I felt it should be my first 
aim to make an agreeable impression on these people. 
Amidst such remarks as, " She is not Chinese, she is 
a foreigner," they opened up every thing I had with 
me, and thankful I was that there was nothing among 
the things that could arouse their suspicion except the 
revolver, of which they had an intense fear. One man 
plunged his dirty hand into the bottom of my tsamba 



822 WITH THE TIBETANS 

bag to see if there were anything secreted there, and 
found a dessert spoon which I gave the one who had 
brought me over the river, the silver and khata having 
been taken possession of by a man, whom I afterwards 
learned was a doctor. When the inspection was con- 
cluded I then took one of the women by the hand and 
asked her to come into the tent with me, as I was shiv- 
ering with the cold, for I had on my wet garments, and 
the ground was covered with snow. One of the men 
pointed to a spot in the open a little distance from the 
tents, and said I could put my things there and sleep. 
I firmly held to my purpose of not sleeping out-of- 
doors if I could in any way help it, and besought them 
to let me have a common tent, or put up a little shelter 
for me, and finally they led me to the entrance of a 
narrow cave where a sick cow was lying, and, driving 
the cow out, they allowed me to put my things there 
and stay. I quickly availed myself of the shelter, and 
was soon comfortable in dry garments, sipping hot tea, 
the first I had had for three days. I thought I had 
never tasted anything so delicious in my life before as 
that Tibetan tea, for hunger and cold are efficient ap- 
petizers. My efforts to conciliate these people were 
eminently successful, and we were soon on the best of 
terms, chatting freely, but deep in my heart lurked the 
awful fear of my husband's fate, and despair of getting 
aid. They told me that the lamasery of Tashi Gomba 
was two days' journey away; the abbot had been be- 
headed, and all the people were fighting, so nothing 
would induce the men to go with me there, and the 
chief of the tribe was three days' journey distant, so 



LOST AND ALONE 323 

that I could not find my way to him. Though I did 
not tell them what I thought had happened to my hus- 
band, they suspected that there was something amiss, 
and they knew I had been robbed, also that I could not 
have come there alone; so they would not aid me to 
reach any person of authority, because they might then 
be interfering in their neighbors' escapades, thereby 
making of their nearest tent-dwellers lifelong enemies. 
One Tibetan will not openly betray another, but some- 
times very secretly for a large sum of money he will 
tell the owner of horses that have been stolen at whose 
tent the latter may be found; but the fact that the in- 
formation has been given him by another is never to 
be made known, not even to the chief. This was the 
secret of the Tibetans in that locality not helping me, 
for if they had it would have spoiled their lives. They 
told me that Jyekundo, a good-sized town, could be 
reached in ten days by horseback and in fifteen by yak. 
As a Chinese official is stationed at Jyekundo I prepared 
to go there to meet him. I knew he could send letters 
to Ta-chien-lu for me, and could also send soldiers back 
with me to find out what had happened to Mr. Kijn- 
hart. But the natives refused to go all the way, and 
asked so much money to go five days with me that we 
could not come to terms, so I remained four days in 
that little cave. 

At night the sick cow lay outside and ground 
her teeth, while I put my saddle and traps in 
the entrance to prevent her walking in upon me. The 
men and women visited me freely, bringing me butter 
and meat for sale, and always wanting the same things 
in exchange, viz. : the green stones that are used so 



Z2i WITH THE TIBETANS 

profusely to decorate headdresses. I went the after- 
noon of the first day to a spot on the river across 
from the place where I had sat those days waiting and 
waiting. How sad I felt when I saw on the bank, just 
where he had left it, my husband's wadded jacket. 
The third day two lamas on horseback, and I on a yak, 
went again, the former going across the river to get 
the things that I had left there, because I was not 
able to take them all when I had gone towards the 
tents. I watched them through the telescope, and my 
heart sank when I saw all the things in the same con- 
dition in which I had left them, for I knew no one 
had been near the place, and my last atom of hope for 
the return of the absent one was gone. With a weary 
heart I urged the men to start on the five days' journey 
toward Jyekundo, but they were slow in promising to 
leave. Finally, from some superstition or fear, they did 
not wish to have me near their tents any longer, per- 
haps because they thought I might bring harm to them, 
so we soon came to terms and started away. Almost 
everything I had, they managed with great sleight-of- 
hand to steal from me, and it was only upon my refusal 
to go without my own bridle, which was a good one, that 
it was forthcoming. I also demanded a wadded gar- 
ment that would be sadly needed in the cold. A man 
had hidden it under a stone, but brought it out when 
I told the woman I must have it. Leaving the place 
where my baby was buried, and setting out alone with 
these Tibetans from the locality where I had lost my 
husband, stand out prominently as the two events in 
my life that have called forth the greatest effort, ac- 
companied by sorrow too deep for expression. 



CHAPTER XXII 

WICKED TIBETAN GUIDES 

The Apa and the Murder of Dutreuil de Ehins — Con- 
ference with a Chief — New Guides, Treacherous and 
Corrupt — The Night Camp in the Marsh — We Are 
Taken for Robbers — A Lamasery Fair. 

The district along that portion of th6 Tsa Chu where 
Mr. Rijnhart disappeared is called Ga-Je, and is gov- 
erned by native chiefs under the jurisdiction of the 
Amban at Sining, whose nearest representative is the 
Chinese official at Jyekundo; so that though the neces- 
sity of traveling towards the latter was painful, my 
heart was full of hope that I might there enlist help, 
accuse the guilty, and perhaps be able to return with 
soldiers. The three men whom I had engaged to ac- 
company me five days' journey with yak were to receive 
ten ounces of silver besides a valuable garment, and 
they were to arrange with other men to take me an- 
other five days' journey towards my goal. The oldest 
man was about fifty, had almost grey hair, was very 
dirty, but his manner was so full of simple dignity and 
kindness that I felt attracted to him, and called him 
apa, a title which pleased him very much. One of his 
companions was the man who had brought me across 

325 



326 WITH THE TIBETANS 

the river, and though he ate raw meat with such keen 
enjoyment as to remind me of cannibalism, and killed 
a small animal his dog had driven from its shelter, by 
battering its head against a stone, I did not fear him. 
About the third there was nothing unusual except that 
it was he who always held communication with new- 
comers, and bargained when such was necessary. They 
each had a sword but no spear; only one carried a gun, 
while all three walked, driving along three yak, one 
with my things, one for me to ride, and the other to 
carry their food, which consisted almost entirely of 
meat, with a very little butter and tsamha. My horse 
was led by one of the guides, and must have rejoiced 
in his freedom from even a saddle, after his journey 
of so many months. The evening before we started on 
our five days' journey we went a short distance through 
the hills to some tents belonging to relatives of the 
guides. The three men slept inside the tents, while I 
remained out-of-doors on the edge of a hill, where they 
made a good fire for me, procuring from the tents fuel 
enough to burn the greater part of the night. Not once 
again was I ever allowed to enter a tent, or the living 
room after I had reached the agricultural districts, 
where the people occupy houses made of stone; for the 
natives have, besides their superstition and prejudices 
against all foreigners, a peculiar custom which does 
not permit women other than those of the family to 
enter the home. These three guides in their own way 
were exceedingly kind to me, and though I could not 
trust them implicitly, my mind was comparatively free 
from fear. 




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O 

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WICKED TIBETAN" GUIDES 327 

The yak I first rode was untrained for riding pur- 
poses and, though led by one of the men, made such 
sudden lurches down the hill that twice the saddle 
turned and I was violently thrown off, fortunately, to- 
wards the ascent and not downwards; but, after the 
second fall, I insisted on having a larger, though more 
quiet, animal, and found him much better. My guides 
succeeded in trading my jaded horse for a fresh one, 
and when the owTier of the latter came to complete the 
deal he happened to spy my last towel, and nothing 
would do but I must give him that — not that he would 
use it much, but he coveted it, and I could not find any 
substitute acceptable to him; so, feeling that I might 
not have any other opportunity to make a trade, I let 
him have what I had hitherto considered a neces- 
sity to my existence; but a horse that could carry 
me over the road was of infinitely more service to me 
than even a towel. 

The three men expressed their satisfaction and pleas- 
ure that I was again riding a horse, for they seemed 
to take quite an interest in me; but no offer I made 
would induce them to consent to go any further with 
me than the five days' journey, so much afraid of 
robbers they were when outside their own district. 
The apa told me there was a large amount of brigand- 
age practised in the locality through which we were 
then traveling, also in that through which we would 
have to pursue the journey towards Jyekundo; and 
therein lay the reason why they had come unmounted 
and unarmed, for anyone meeting them would at once 
conclude that they had nothing of value, looking as 



328 WITH THE TIBETANS 

they did, like beggars. While we were camped one 
night in a barren valley on the caravan road, between 
Nagch'uk'a and Jyekundo, on the bank of a little 
mountain stream, near which the horse was tethered 
with a long rope so that he might graze the while, sud- 
denly one of the men told us to be still, as the horse 
heard something. We looked and noticed that his 
attitude was one of attention, his ears strained to 
locate a sound. One of the guides immediately untied 
him, led him to me, and, putting the rope into my hand, 
told me not to allow him to be taken away on any pre- 
text whatever, but, if necessary, to threaten with my 
revolver. Soon two horsemen quietly approached, and 
one of my men went to converse with them, with the 
result that one of the two went on, and the other 
stayed during the night with us. He was a well-dressed 
lama, and, though very inquisitive, was quite harmless; 
so, after a little anxiety at the beginning, I did not 
have any reason to object to his presence. 

My guides had no small difficulty to hire other 
men and animals to journey with me when they 
would leave, but I was so anxious not to be com- 
pelled to make a start alone again that I offered 
them five extra ounces of silver of they succeed- 
ed. This was quite an inducement, and, on the 
night of the fifth day, I had six men with nine 
yak to stay beside me in the narrow ravine, but I did 
not feel so comfortable or easy in mind as I had done 
when alone with my first three guides. The apa and I 
had often sat by the fire chatting freely, while the 
others gathered fuel and carried water, and I felt as 



WICKED TIBETAN GUIDES 329 

if I "were parting with a friend. He told me about the 
killing of the Frenchman, Dutreuil de Rhins; said that 
he was there and helped do the firing. I do not 
credit that, though the fact that he so nonchalantly 
gave the details, upholding the conduct of those who 
had taken part in the murder of the gallant French 
explorer, made me feel anything but secure in the 
hands of those who think so lightly of killing a for- 
eigner. The morning came for parting with my guides 
who had been, on the whole, so kind and thoughtful, 
really having successfully set the ball rolling for me 
towards Jyekundo. Having received their money, they 
made me presents of some food, and off they went. We 
had talked freely of baby, of my husband and of the 
robbers, and as they had shown me some sympathy I 
was really lonely when they were gone, and I felt their 
departure the more keenly bceause they were returning 
towards the place where my heart had been so strained, 
and where my thoughts were yet centered, while I was 
going always further away. 

Of my three fresh guides, one was a man of 
about forty, whom I also pleased by giving the 
name of apa; the youngest was a boy of about 
seventeen, with a pleasant face, his well-combed 
and greased hair hanging down behind with an evenly 
cut fringe in front. He had a new sheepskin gown, white 
and clean except where his well-oiled hair had soiled 
it at the back. The third was sneaky both in appear- 
ance and action, and was the only one I feared or mis- 
trusted. They were all armed with gun and sword, 
and, on the whole, we jogged along very harmoniously 



330 WITH THE TIBETANS 

together. But, strangely enough, they studiously avoided 
camping near the people, though they agreed to secure 
the services of three more men to travel the remainder 
of the way to Jyekundo with me when they themselves 
had to return. On the morning of the fourth day, as 
we were following the road high up on a slope, we 
suddenly saw a chief's tent in the valley at the foot 
of the hill. I immediately decided to repair to it, 
and ask for an escort of men with horses, because the 
yak were so slow and the men were making as little 
progress as they possibly could each day, in order that 
they should get only a short distance away from home. 
When I considered the rate at which we were traveling 
I felt dubious about the ultimate success of my efforts, 
for my money would not be sufficient to meet the neces- 
sary expense for transport and food; but when I made 
known to the men my intention they firmly objected, 
saying they were afraid, for this was their own chief. 
I took the initiative and dragged my horse down, 
bidding them follow, which they reluctantly did. Soon 
the old man and I were calling to the servants around 
the tent. 

On our approach the chief's steward came to 
converse with us, so I gave him a beautiful Tchata for 
the ponho, and asked for an interview. He returned 
the Ichata and said because I was a woman I could not 
enter into the august presence of his master, but that 
he himself would act as middleman. I refused to accept 
the khata, and, showing him our Chinese passports, I 
informed him that we had been robbed some distance 
away, that this was the first chief I had been able to 



WICKED TIBETAN GUIDES 331 

find, and that I desired an escort with horses to take 
me to Jyekundo, expressing my willingness to pay for it. 
He withdrew to the tent to make known my wishes 
to his master, and returned presently to say there was 
another chief near by who would give me what I 
wanted, but that he himself could not. I replied that 
my present guides were not responsible to anyone for 
my safety, and that I would not leave the place where 
I now was without an escort, and that I would stay 
indefinitely depending upon him for my food, and for 
the safety of my horse ; if I died the government would 
in time trace me to that spot, and the ponho would get 
into trouble. This was sufficient to move the chief, and 
we very soon came to terms; but I was to wait until 
next day so that the escort might make preparations 
for the journey. As the five days were not yet up, I 
retained my three guides until the following morning 
when, paying them their full amount of money, I per- 
mitted them to leave. The subordinates of the chief 
came about freely, trying to buy my revolver, and par- 
ticularly the telescope. The ponbo did not forget his 
dignity enough to speak to me, but he sent to ask the 
loan of my telescope, with which it was evident he was 
as pleased as a child, for he was anxious to buy it ; but, 
feeling that he would not give me very much for it, 
I said that if the escort he provided took me to 
Jyekundo I would send it back with them as a present 
for him. Several times he sent messengers to ascertain 
if I meant what I said, to each one of whom I gave the 
answer that if they returned without it, it would be 
because they had not fulfilled the agreement. 



332 WITH THE TIBETANS 

In the evening the two men destined as guides were 
introduced to me. I noticed that one of them had a very 
wicked face and a shaven head, while the other was 
just an ordinary lay Tibetan. I had given the ponbo 
a piece of silver as payment for the escort, and, fearing 
it was not good all the way through, I presume, they 
asked if they might cut it in two, and upon permission 
they did so, each taking a half. They then requested 
me to travel at night, but I emphasized the fact that I 
never traveled after dark, and that settled the ques- 
tion. The chief had already sent me presents of but- 
ter and cheese, and the next morning we set off, the 
two men carrying my things on their saddles so that 
they might not have a third horse to delay us on our 
way. I had an easy heart, thinking that the chief's 
men would be quite an improvement over the ones I 
had hired myself. But what a change! Instead of 
security I found myself in imminent danger, for two 
very bad men had been given me, and only the promise 
to send the telescope to their chief secured any help 
from them. There are no worse men in the peniten- 
tiaries to-day than were those men with whom I traveled 
for some time, for they planned to kill, to rob me, and 
did succeed in cheating me. ISTot for one instant did 
they escape my surveillance except when they went in- 
side a tent, and even then I watched to see them again at 
once when they emerged. The one who carried my food 
on his saddle went to his own tent for the necessaries 
for the journey, and when gone stole half my little 
supply of tsamba and butter. How despicably mean 
I thought he was to take from me, a lone woman, my 



WICKED TIBETAN GUIDES 333 

only food, when I was in a hostile country among 
strangers ; but it served to put me on my guard. 

The first night we spent beside the other man's tent, 
and my soul revolts when I think of the suggestions he 
made to me, and yet he only treated me as if I were a 
Tibetan woman, not knowing that women in our land 
are in a widely different position from those in 
Tibet. When that man — the very thought of whom 
makes me shudder — was leaving to go to sleep 
inside the tent, I reiterated what I had already said, 
that if anything approached me during the night, I 
would fire my revolver at whatever it was, whereupon 
he told me to be careful not to kill the dog! In the 
morning as we started on the big caravan road towards 
Jyekundo, my treacherous guides caused me to feel more 
uncomfortable than ever, but they found out that I was 
to be treated with respect, and that I would not tolerate 
either familiar language or gesture, being ready with 
my revolver to resist any impudence. Oh! how I 
thanked my husband for his thoughtful care in giving 
me that protective revolver, for it was the only instru- 
ment to keep in control the abusive and insulting ten- 
dencies of those men. I have never seen any other 
Tibetans or Chinese who even approached them in wick- 
edness of every description, and sometimes can scarcely 
realize that I spent days and nights alone with them. 

They assured me that women were so low and de- 
graded that they were ashamed to be seen traveling with 
me, and when we were near people, I was not to open 
my lips to utter a word, for if I did it would be known 
I was not one of the nobler sex like them and they 



334 WITH THE TIBETANS 

would not go another step with me. They wished to 
appear very kind and wanted to relieve me of the heavy 
telescope, which they offered to carry, but I preferred 
retaining that myself in the blouse of my gown. As 
long as I had it, they were to a certain extent in my 
power, for it would almost mean the loss of their heads 
did they return to their chief without it. They soon 
found that I was on the alert against being cheated in 
a simple manner, so they planned on an extensive scale 
to get me within their control, but I was in the hands 
of the great, good Father, and He protected me. 

About noon the more wicked of the two complained of 
a severe pain in his stomach, which grew worse until 
he was apparently almost unable to proceed. They 
asked me if I had any medicines that would relieve 
pain, and I replied in the affirmative, for I had my 
hypodermic syringe with tablets of morphia which I 
knew would relieve him, if he were really suffering, 
something I very much doubted. He asked me 
if the medicine were Chinese or English, and up- 
on my replying that it was the latter, he said he 
dare not take it, for though English medicine might be 
all right for us and the Chinese, it would certainly 
kill a Tibetan. Seeing tents in the distance to the left 
of the road, he said we would spend the night beside 
them, and he would secure the services of a lama who 
could give him medicine and say prayers for his re- 
covery, so we went towards them. When we had ar- 
rived at a place near the last ones, we sat down; they 
indulged in snuff and conferred together, while I sev- 
eral times suggested that we should make our way over 



WICKED TIBETAN GUIDES 335 

towards the tent and settle down for the night, for we 
were exhausted and needed rest, while the sick man 
could go and place himself in the care of the mamha. 
But soon I saw that they were making other plans, for 
we started on again and left the tents behind us, be- 
cause, so they tried to make me believe, the inhabitants 
were very bad robbers, and it would be dangerous for 
us to remain near them. 

I dared not quarrel with them, for it would have 
ended in their telling the people I was wicked and 
should be killed, which would probably result in my 
death, so I felt it was better policy for me to be on 
my guard and yet not incense my guides. We passed 
old sites of tents, where were mounds of fuel laid up 
for future use, and reached an immense marsh through 
which we traveled for hours, our horses having diffi- 
culty to pick their way, and where human beings had 
in all likelihood never been before. Reaching a little 
stream we followed it until we found a place where our 
horses could jump; here we crossed and then followed 
it back into a right angle, where they dismounted to 
camp. We had the black, miry stream on two sides of 
us, and were hemmed in by very marshy ground that 
extended miles away to the base of some hills. I noticed 
that the men carefully concealed the fire in order that 
the flames should not be seen in the distance, and as it 
was long after dark, we prepared to rest as soon as we 
had our evening meal. They frequently assured me 
of the safety of our camping ground, where we could 
all sleep soundly without any danger of robbers, for 
we could not be reached without the plunging in the 



336 WITH THE TIBETANS 

bog betraying the approach of an enemy. They lay 
down with their guns ready, and their heads beside the 
smouldering fire, while I spread my rubber sheeting 
in the driest place I could find a few yards from them. 
With my revolver in my hand I spent the night, now 
looking at the stars to glean some hope from their bright 
twinkle, now at the horses — praying for strength to 
keep awake that I might watch with unerring and un- 
faltering eye every movement of the two bad men be- 
side me ; for though they had told me so kindly to sleep 
without fear, they yet called me very softly six times 
during the night, when I promptly answered so that 
they might know I was not to be caught napping. What 
their purpose was I could not discern, but their leading 
me away from human haunts into the center of that 
extensive marsh, bidding me have no care for we could 
all safely sleep, and then calling me so frequently, made 
me realize that their actions boded no good, and that I 
might have found a last resting-place in that forsaken 
spot without a trace being left. Men may plan, but it 
was not to be as they wished. When the morning dawned 
the man's pain had vanished, and with it even the ap- 
pearance of kindness; probably they were angry that 
a woman was so unexpectedly on her guard. We sad- 
dled our horses — I had to saddle my own — and before 
the sun had as yet risen over the hills, we were on the 
way back to the main road which we had quitted the 
day before, trotting along quickly until we reached a 
place where there were two roads. 

Here the guides hesitated, saying they were not 
certain which of the roads led to Jyekundo, but 



WICKED TIBETAN GUIDES 337 

eventually they took the smaller one, and I sug- 
gested our doing what the nomads always do, ask 
at some adjacent tents for directions as to the 
proper road; so while I stayed as I had usually 
done at one side on account of the dogs, they sought 
information from the tent dwellers. Soon they came 
to me, asking if I knew what smallpox was, and saying 
that there was an epidemic of it at Jyekundo, and they 
would not go. It was not difficult for me to realize what 
that meant, for Tibetans are very much afraid of that 
dread disease, and flee from it as we would from yellow 
fever or cholera. But I said that I was not afraid, and 
that they must go with me or they could not have the 
telescope for their chief ; whereupon they intimated that 
it would be better to be killed by the ponho while among 
their own friends, than to die of smallpox among stran- 
gers ! It was of no avail for me to say that when we 
arrived within sight of Jyekundo they might return, 
and I would proceed alone, for they would not take 
another step in that direction. I felt that they were 
only endeavoring again to cheat me, so I suggested hav- 
ing breakfast there near the tents, for I was faint with 
the long horseback ride, the severe strain of watching 
the men, and the almost hopeless task of balking them 
in their wicked designs. I did not dare to tell them 
I would dispense with their services, for that would 
at once have turned them into bitter enemies, leaving 
me to again make my way alone and unknown to tents, 
where they probably would have scattered calumny. I 
could scarcely restrain the feeling of desperation that 
forced itself upon me, and it was difficult to keep the 



338 WITH THE TIBETANS 

guides from thinking that I was almost nonplussed to 
know what was the most expedient course to pursue. 
Any attempts to induce them to go to Jyekundo proved 
futile, and I concluded to accept their offer to guide 
me along the caravan road to where there was a China- 
man, for I felt if only I could see one of the Chinese 
merchants so common near Tibetan towns, that he 
would certainly help me, a surmise which afterward 
proved correct. After considerable bargaining and al- 
most a fight between the two men, one of them drawing 
his sword at the other (whereupon I acted as peace- 
maker — an important personage in all oriental disturb- 
ances), I gave them ten ounces of silver, and promised 
them the telescope when we found a Chinaman. It is 
as a rule very poor policy to pay all the money down to 
guides, and I refused to do it, but they would not stir 
from the place until I had, though of course I held a 
firm hold over them through the telescope. At the first 
tent we came to, they inquired the whereabouts of the 
Chinese merchants, and led me off the road along a 
little foot-path, by following which we would find some 
in two days. My whole nature revolted against travel- 
ing with them, for I knew they were bad men trying to 
cheat me, but it was best to be patient, and so I tried 
to keep my thoughts on the brightest side of things. 

We camped in one of nature's loveliest spots that 
night — in a little recess among the hills where many 
tents were pitched on pretty grassy strips, where flocks 
and herds were peacefully grazing, and where babbled 
winding brooks, on the bank of one of which we made 
a fire. The bad men spent the evening in a black tent. 



WICKED TIBETAN GUIDES 339 

but I was almost petrified when they said we were ap- 
proaching a lamasery where there was an intense hatred 
of foreigners, and that if it were discovered that I was 
a foreigner we would all be killed; so that everything 
that would betray my nationality must be destroyed. 
I shall never forget the struggle I had when my hus- 
band's Bible that he had used for years — ^his most pre- 
cious possession — and his diary, were condemned to be 
destroyed by being buried in a miry stream with stones 
piled on them; but I had to accede to their requests or 
face further trouble. The next day we went on, the 
men acting most mysteriously when the shades of night 
overwhelmed us, leading the way high up into a sort of 
cauldron in the hills, far from some tents in the valley, 
where we could apparently have so peacefully remained. 
We found just enough water to make a little tea, and 
then lay down to rest. Suddenly a voice near us rang 
out in the darkness, the men hushed up their dog, hast- 
ily arose, donned their sheepskins, ignited the fuses 
for their guns, and stood ready to defend their horses, 
while I prayed for protection. The shouting continued, 
but slowly died away in the distance, when one of the 
men remarked that they must be searching for us, or it 
was some one who was lost, so he in his turn called, and 
soon, guided by the voice, the stranger made his way to 
the fire, and the three talked together, I heard him 
ask who I was, and the guides replied that I was a Chi- 
iiaman who was going to join his companions at the 
lamasery, but I did not know the language at all, so he 
need not address me, a very artful way indeed to pre- 
vent his finding out that I was a foreign woman. Pies- 



340 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ently he went away, and returned almost immediately 
with three men. I felt that there was something 
amiss, but soon discovered that owing to our suspicious 
actions we had been taken for robbers, and they were a 
deputation sent by the chief to investigate. On their 
departure they had taken with them one of the guns be- 
longing to my men, as security that we would molest no 
one during the night. I was painfully weary but dared 
not sleep, and rejoiced that we would probably reach 
the lamasery of Eashi Gomba the following morning 
when I would let the men go back to their homes. I 
hope no other travelers will ever fall into their hands. 
At daybreak a young lama brought back the gun, and 
as I had the seal of silence on my lips he believed that 
I was a Chinaman. My hat and fur collar concealed 
the most of my face, which was far from white, and 
my garments were by no means unlike those worn by 
a merchant of the Celestial Empire, especially my big 
straw hat, which the guides implored me to wear in 
order to cover my face and hair. How beautiful was 
the country through which we wended our way on that 
bright day ! Evergreen trees dotted the grassy hillsides 
and were welcomed as old friends, for I had seen none 
for many months. Was it because hope sang in my 
heart, that nature looked bright and inviting? Or was 
it that breezes whispered the same stories through the 
boughs as I had often listened to in far-away Canada? 
Or perhaps the secret lay in the fact that in a few hours 
I should have parted company with the worst men I 
had ever had the misfortune to come in contact with. 
The tents, nestled in snug corners of the valleys, looked 



WICKED TIBETAN GUIDES 341 

inviting, and I would not have had any fear to make 
my way to them, for where Chinese merchants are com- 
mon, Tibetans are as a rule tolerant and liberal. Pres- 
ently we came in sight of a small lamasery which was, 
as is usual with these villages, built partly on the slopes 
of hills and partly in the valley beside a river, and 
though the houses were not many in number they were 
very substantial and looked well. There were hundreds 
of tents of different kinds scattered around the lamas' 
abodes, and I realized there was a fair in progress, thus 
accounting for the large number of people in gay ap- 
parel whom we had seen journeying in our direction. A 
Tibetan fair is the last place foreigners should go to 
when they are unknown, for a rabble of people drinking 
and carousing is unreliable, and just as likely to be hos- 
tile as friendly. The men found a Chinese merchant 
who had rooms in a lama's house, so to him we went, and 
as I was debarred from entering the lamasery because 
I was a woman, he came out to see me. The guides 
merely told him that I was a Chinese woman from Sin- 
ing, and immediately made off, telescope and all, but I 
breathed a sigh of relief even though I had as yet to 
make a friendly atmosphere for myself in my new 
surroundings. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

A FRIENDLY CHINAMAN 

A Protector at Last — I Receive a Passport from the 
Abbot of Rashi Gomba — A Lama Guide — Battle 
With Fierce Dogs — Arrival at Jyekundo — No Offi- 
cial Aid. 

Near the entrance in the mud-brick wall around 
the house stood a group of lamas, conspicuous among 
whom was a Chinaman about fifty years old, with pock- 
marked face and typical Chinese features, who wore 
the ordinary Chinese garb, not omitting even the little 
circular black hat with the red button. There was noth- 
ing in my cursory glance at him to give me' cause for 
either hope or fear, though his first words might seal 
my fate, for he could wield as he chose the curious and 
idle crowd that was quickly gathering about and hem- 
ming us in. What would be his first hasty thought? 
Would he be unfriendly and so increase the innate pre- 
judice of the unruly and armed Tibetans? or would 
he grasp the situation and thus save me? 

I addressed him as lao-yeh (a very respectful title to 
give an old man or one of rank), in my Sining dialect 
of the Chinese, which would tally with the announce- 
ment of the guides that I was a Chinese woman from 

342 



A FRIENDLY CHINAMAN 343 

Sining; but his first sentence told me that he had 
pierced my identity with his careful scrutiny, and knew 
that I was a European, for he said, " How is it that 
you are here all alone like this ? " He had recognized 
the bond between us of our being the only " strangers 
in a strange land," and though several Tibetans said 
that I was not Chinese but peling, he gave them no 
heed; while I opened my heart to him and told 
him of the fate of our caravan, of our little son's 
death, of our being robbed, and then of the awful 
separation from my husband — with the subsequent 
necessity of my traveling alone. He was touched — the 
death of a son always comes with sorrow to a Chinaman 
— and he said, " You have eaten much bitterness. Quiet 
your heart, for now that you are with us Chinese you 
are all right. The Tibetans are bad, but we are all 
travelers alike." Some of the lamas brought me a 
pitcher of tea which was indeed welcome, while we two 
conversed in a language which the Tibetans did not un- 
derstand, and he communicated to them as much of the 
information as he deemed wise, withholding the fact 
that I was not a Chinese woman, though had they looked 
at my feet they might have known. 

It was with a great shock of disappointment that I 
learned of the absence from Jyekundo of the Chinese 
official, for the representative of the Amban had left 
that place in the summer, and no one would come to fill 
the office until the following year. Thus my hopes of 
aid from that source were crushed, but the merchant 
said there was no small-pox there. He had a depot 
for trade in that town, and when the five days of the 



344 WITH THE TIBETANS 

fair were ended, he would be returning, and he offered 
me the escort of himself and his men if I would wait and 
go with them. In the meantime the lamas erected a 
comfortable shelter near the doorway where I could 
remain until we were ready to leave ; but, though kind- 
ness and sincerity had prompted the act, I felt that I, 
a woman alone, was not safe. So I made known my 
misgivings to Kia Chong-kuei-teh, the Chinaman, say- 
ing that if only I were near other women, or could pro- 
cure an escort to Jyekundo where I might rest until he 
came, I would feel safer than at the fair where I would 
have to remain five days, each day increasing the tur- 
bulent crowd. There was little possibility of being able 
to persuade anyone to leave the fair just at its com- 
mencement, but he clearly saw the reasons for my fears, 
so towards evening I was taken to the proximity of a 
black tent where there were Buddhist nuns, in which I 
was to have quarters, I could scarcely realize the tran- 
sition from such deep fear when with those guides, to 
the sense of peace that resulted from the care, respect 
and friendly interest manifested by that Chinaman 
and the priests. As evening settled down, one of 
the lamas took my horse to his home where I would have 
no anxiety concerning him, and as I drank in the de- 
light of the peaceful shepherd scenes about me, my 
troubled heart was lulled into a calm. The black cattle 
came slowly in, glad to see their young again, the sheep 
pattered along bleating, horses whinnied joyfully, 
women carried water from the clear mountain stream, 
while a short distance away the visitors to the fair in 
their gay garments were busy piling up near the white 



A FRIENDLY CHINAMAN 346 

or blue tents their merchandise, and tethering their 
transport yak, or mules and horses where they could 
exercise vigilance over them during the night. 

Early the following morning a messenger came to 
inform me that I was to leave that day for Jyekundo. 
Kia Chong-kuei-teh had, contrary to his most sanguine 
expectations, received from the abbot of Rashi Gomba, 
the lamasery where I was staying, a passport duly 
signed and sealed by the same, which said that I was a 
Chinese woman from Sining sent by the officials of 
Nagch'uk'a, and that I was to have ula and escort to 
Jyekundo. Presently a lama brought my horse which 
he saddled, putting my load on it, and then led me 
into the presence of the Chinaman, who communicated 
his plan for my safety, saying that a lama would go 
with me until we reached a chief in the Jyekundo dis- 
trict who would provide an escort to the town itself, 
where I was to inquire for his home, and stay there until 
he arrived. He also tried to have a piece of silver 
changed into Indian rupees, but the abbot not having 
any use for my sycee wanted too much discount, so the 
merchant himself changed it without loss to me. It is 
only fair to pay a tribute to this man, a perfect stranger, 
who treated me in as kind and thoughtful a manner 
as any European could have done, not expecting to re- 
ceive the smallest compensation for his pains either. It 
is not pleasant to hear wholesale condemnation of the 
Chinese race from people who know very little about 
them; all Chinese are not Boxers, and if my experi- 
ence with that merchant will tend somewhat to modify 
anyone's opinion about them, I shall be satisfied. The 



346 WITH THE TIBETANS 

old lama who was to accompany me to the nearest sec- 
tion under Jyekiindo jurisdiction intimated that he was 
ready, so I bade good-bye to those who had befriended 
me, and winding our way around a high wall built en- 
tirely of white mani stones, inscribed with the mystic 
formula, mani padme hum, we paused before the old 
man's house to tell his relatives where he was going. 
After that we followed the crystal stream a short dis- 
tance, and then, crossing it, stopped beside a tent. I 
was given an abiding place in the shelter of a huge 
stone which protected me from the cold, while the sun 
shed its genial warmth about me, and, as almost all the 
natives were at the fair, I had no idlers lounging around 
from curiosity. Thus for hours I sat alone reviewing 
the past days and planning the future ones, still en- 
joying the respite from strain, and having no fear of 
such treachery as had almost led to my doom the last 
time I had received an escort from a chief. The old 
lama boiled my tea, and, with kindness supreme, 
brought his rug out and, settling himself not far from 
me for the night, guarded me from harm and danger. 
This may have been due to the respect and civility 
shown those who are traveling on a passport, for when 
a traveler has ula, the people are supposed to watch 
over him and his belongings to insure safety against 
thieves. 

Jyekundo is two days* journey from Eashi Gomba, 
but we spent three days after we left the old man's 
tents in reaching the town, and I did not at all object. 
The first day was a long one, for we traveled from early 
morning until almost dark, through beautiful country 




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A FEIENDLY CHINAMAN 347 

in places dotted with trees and alternately mountain- 
ous and level. We lunched in the afternoon with two 
travelers known to my lama, one a well-to-do merchant, 
the other a nun, good-looking, sprightly, and appar- 
ently very devotional, diligently mumbling prayers, but 
ready whenever the desired opportunity came to take 
her share in the conversation. They were on their way 
to the fair, but were camping for the night; so they 
had piled up their baggage, mostly tsamha and tea, 
and taken shelter beside it. They were both well- 
dressed, had silver tsamha basins, silver mounted knives, 
etc., and were on very familiar terms with each other; 
while Moggie, as the men called the nun, coquettishly 
resented the teasing she received from one of those who 
had accompanied me. 

Another interesting woman played an important part 
in our evening's entertainment, for, having passed 
through tangled copsewood, we reached a group of tents, 
at one of which the men called and in answer a woman 
came forth. She was about fifty years of age, with an 
intensely pleasant face and characteristic manner, her 
head crowned with discs of amber, her hair with streaks 
of silver in it, her hands decked with jewels. Her hus- 
band, the government steward, was away, so she held 
the reins of authority, and when my passport had been 
examined amidst considerable friendly discussion, dur- 
ing which the Eashi lama was often mentioned, she 
invited us to select a camping spot. Meanwhile she re- 
paired to her tent, almost immediately returning with a 
brass teapot wrought in curious and elaborate design, 
filled with milk tea which she proffered for our refresh- 



348 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ment. The old lama then gave me over to her care, ad- 
juring her to make sure that I should be protected from 
the dogs, and when all was amicably settled she with- 
drew to the tents. The three of us made ourselves as 
comfortable as possible for the night, although we were 
much startled by dogs and people running about in an 
excited manner, because, as we learned from one of our 
men who went to inquire, there were people camped 
beyond the copse who were supposed to be robbers, and 
the chief had ordered an investigation to be made by 
the tent-dwellers in the vicinity; hence the confusion. 
In the morning my two guides having returned to Kashi 
Gomba, I was supplied with an escort consisting of a 
man and his son who, as is the custom with ula, led 
me to the tents where the latter was to be supplied, 
and in their turn left me with strangers in an extensive 
plain. That night was as uncomfortable as any I ever 
spent among the Tibetans. It was raining and snowing, 
and as the natives did not wish to sleep out-of-doors 
beside me, they provided me with a large heavy native 
woolen rug, and went themselves into their tents to 
sleep, leaving me outside entirely alone, though that 
is unusual when one has ula. The dogs, over a dozen in 
number, large and ferocious, soon discovered that I was 
a foreign element near their home, and came at in- 
tervals during the night, barking around me, scratch- 
ing at my blankets and jumping upon me, while I kept 
well covered, with a hand grasping the bellows to strike 
one if he ventured too near my head. I felt like some 
one who is being hunted to the death, and called aloud 
for help ; but, though the people heard the dogs and un- 



A FEIENDLY CHINAMAN 349 

derstood what was wrong, they heeded me not, and I 
could hear them laughing and talking. As far as they 
were concerned I might have been torn and bitten, but 
morning found me safe. Soon afterward I left with one 
man and a yak for Jyekundo, and, having traveled 
about three hours, we suddenly saw cultivated fields, 
which to me were the harbingers of peace and safety. 
A great joy possessed my heart, for months had passed 
since last I saw such marks of civilization. 

The town of Jyekundo was not far from the little 
farms. Turning abruptly into another valley we saw 
the bright walls of the lamasery on the summit of a 
steep hill, at the foot of which was the secular part 
of the town, made up of houses substantially built of 
mud-brick, with flat roofs, the whole reminding one of 
a beehive, for the natives were busy ascending and de- 
fending the incline between the town and a clear placid 
river flowing below it. The valley was level and fairly 
green, droves of yak were resting and grazing in it, 
while throngs of travelers were coming and going all 
the time, all reminding me of the old scenes at Tankar. 
We wended our way across a little bridge spanning the 
river, and up into a street upon which opened court- 
yards and a few shops. 

The Tibetan with me did not know the whereabouts 
of Kia Chong-huei-teh's house, so he stopped in the 
center of the street, and quickly a crowd of Tibetan 
men, women and children, with a few Chinese, sur- 
rounded me. I could get no one to direct me to the 
merchant's home, as all seemed afraid to help me, so 
I showed my passport from the Rashi lama, and asked 



350 WITH THE TIBETANS 

for a room to dwell in for a few days, the man who 
was my escort seconding the demand because he was 
in a hurry to leave, and yet could not dump my 
bedding, which was carried on his yak, into the street. 
The abbot of Rashi Gomba seemed to be much re- 
spected, and several of the natives endeavored to find 
someone willing to give me a lodging, succeeding 
eventually in securing a room in the home of an old 
man to whom I promised two rupees for the use of it — 
every Chinaman around helping to Tciang the price. 
Followed by a motley crowd, I made my way to the 
house, the rooms of which were built around a central 
courtyard, on one side two-storied, on all the other 
sides flat roofed. I found that a corner room had been 
allotted to me. Around the walls hung quarters of 
beef and dressed sheep, on one side were heaped heads 
of animals and piles of wool; but when the room had 
been swept and my rug spread on the floor, though 
there was no window and no furniture, I felt that I 
had, at least for a few days, a resting place. One never 
knows how the evil intentions of men may be trans- 
formed into blessings, when the ultimate issue of their 
actions has been made known. When the guides led 
me, not to Jyekundo, but to Rashi Gomba in order to 
cheat me, I did not realize that only good would be the 
outcome, but I was thankful when I stood for two hours 
in the streets of Jyekundo endeavoring to get an abid- 
ing place, that I had not been brought there by those 
two men. In that case I should have been without the 
passport that really proved to be the sesame. 

Among the people crowding about were two Tibetan 



A PEIENDLY CHINAMAN 361 

women of great beauty, white skin, rosy cheeks, good 
features, pleasant manners, well dressed in cloth gowns 
and bedecked with jewels. They were great favorites 
with the Chinese merchants, who admired them, and, 
contrary to the custom in the latter's own country, were 
familiar with them. The house I lodged in belonged 
in part, if not wholly, to one of these women, who 
could speak considerable Chinese, and who had been 
much liked by the Chinese official who had been sta- 
tioned there. 

This town has many different names. I have heard 
it called Kegedo, Jedo and Jyeku, though Jyekundo is, 
I believe, the correct name. It has an altitude of 
12,935 feet according to Rockhill, is situated at the 
confluence of two streams whose waters empty into the 
Dre Chu not far from it, and, together with the 
lamasery, has a settled population of nearly one thou- 
sand, and a floating one of several hundred. It is of 
great commercial importance, built, as it is, at the 
junction of several large roads, radiating in different 
directions, the principal one of which leads to Ta- 
Chien-lu, the second to Nagch'uk'a, while others lead 
to Ch'amdo, Sungpan, Sining and Taocheo. The 
Chinese merchants who reside at Jyekundo import 
flour, tea, tobacco, chinaware, cotton cloth, thread, 
buttons and red leather, exchanging them for furs, gold 
dust, musk, drugs, deer horns and wool. They find the 
trade profitable, but do not enjoy life at Jyekundo on 
account of the cold weather and the precarious position 
of all foreigners among the Tibetans, who are so 
changeable and often violent. 



352 WITH THE TIBETANS 

In this town W. W. Eockhill met with no little 
trouble, for the chief informed the natives that if 
they sold him food the money he gave them in payment 
would, through the foreigner's subtle power, be drawn 
back to himself; hence they were forbidden to have 
any communication until he, the ponho, should return 
from a conference with another chief as to what course 
they should pursue towards the unexpected and unwel- 
come stranger. In the meantime the friendly Chinese 
persuaded Eockhill to leave for Ta-Chien-lu, before 
the chief's reappearance, otherwise he would assuredly 
be compelled, however unwilling he might be, to re- 
trace his steps to the Ts'aidam. 

Eminently different was my sojourn in Jyekundo. 
The Chinese merchants accepted me as one of their own 
countrymen, and vied with one another in endeavoring 
to make me as comfortable as circumstances would per- 
mit, one of them sending me by his servant a large dish 
of m'ien with meat and vegetables. 

The morning after my arrival, amid considerable 
confusion, my room was entered by a man whose face 
betrayed at once that he was a Mongol, looking 
very familiar among the Tibetans who had accom- 
panied him. To my astonishment and great pleasure, 
he addressed me in Sining Chinese, and when I had 
answered him in the same tongue he turned triumph- 
antly to the bystanders, saying, " She is indeed from 
Sining, for her words are Sining words." He then told 
me that he had been absent from home when I arrived 
the day previous, and had quite resented the informa- 
tion given him that a Chinese woman from Sining 



A FRIENDLY CHINAMAN 353 

was in Jyekundo, and having come expressly to prove 
that I was not from Sining, was amazed to recognize 
my dialect. His home was near Tankar, and he had 
come to Jyekundo as interpreter to the Chinese 
official, had married a Tibetan woman, to whom he 
had become so attached that the thought of parting 
brought him pain, and he was waiting until she and 
their small family of children could accompany him 
to his old home. In the meantime he had official rank, 
and was acting in connection with the Amban's govern- 
ment at Jyekundo. Calling me his relative and guest, 
he constituted himself my protector and friend, 
thereby rendering me services that can never be ade- 
quately acknowledged. We had scores of acquaint- 
ances in common, for his ancestral home was in a little 
lamasery on the Hsi-ho in the vicinity of our old home, 
and I was able to give him the first reliable account 
that he had had of the Mohammedan rebellion, the 
devastation by the rebels, and the wonderful foreign 
guns and torpedoes which helped so efficiently to 
quench the ardor of the Huei-huei. 

In the absence of the Chinese official the ab- 
bot of the lamasery was almost supreme in au- 
thority, but my desire to personally interview him 
did not prevail against the stringent laws forbid- 
ding women to enter the lamasery except once, 
annually, for the purpose of worship; so my con- 
ferences were carried on through my Mongol friend, 
for such he assuredly proved himself to be. I gave him 
particulars concerning the robbery, and Mr. Rijnhart's 
mysterious disappearance, which he considered due to 



354 WITH THE TIBETANS 

his having been murdered, for he said the natives of 
Ga-Je have a reputation for being difficult to restrain, 
cruel and treacherous to an extreme. When I asked 
that an investigation should be made in the latter lo- 
cality the chief said he had no responsibility or au- 
thority in that region, and during the absence of the 
Chinese official nothing could be done, that Sining 
would have to be notified, and the Amban would per- 
sonally send an expedition. By sending up my two 
Chinese passports and the Tibetan one I had received 
from the Eashi lama, I impressed upon him my right 
to an escort, and asked him to provide me with means 
to travel in safety back to my home in Tankar; but he 
said that he was sorry that such an arrangement was 
beyond his power, for the road was so infested by 
brigands that a very large escort would be required to 
protect me, besides the fact that the trails are im- 
passable in winter. 

The districts under the jurisdiction of the Sin- 
ing Amban extend only to Kansa, two days' jour- 
ney from Jyekundo on the road to Ta-chien-lu, 
hence the Tibetan chief could not be responsible 
for my being kindly treated in the provinces of 
Derge and Horba, which are under Sze Chuan gov- 
ernment. I had to adopt careful tactics to induce 
or compel him to make provision for my safe journey, 
and emphatically said that unless he would give me a 
good passport and an order for ula, I woidd wait in 
Jyekundo until the Chinese official arrived from 
Sining. As the trouble caused by the Frenchman's 
murder was fresh in their minds, and my husband's 



A FEIENDLY CHIITAMAN 355 

fate was unknown, the abbot would not have me re- 
main in his locality for any consideration, so with 
the aid of my Mongol friend, devised means for my 
traveling in safety to China. The Chinese merchants 
were all in the midst of their most profitable trade, and 
none of their caravans were leaving except one, that 
was to be sent on from place to place by agents in the 
various towns along the route, and might be delayed 
a month in a place waiting for transport animals; so 
they, even Kia Cliong-Tcuei-teJi, could give me no help. 
The chief sent me presents of tsamha, butter, straw 
for my horse and meat that I had to give away because 
from its odor it did not promise to be very palatable, 
and manifested his interest in my welfare by not per- 
mitting me to pay any rent for the room, as I was 
considered an official guest. Soon a passport was ready 
for me, and literally translated read as follows: 
" Passport. — This foreign lady, traveling to Ta- 
Chien-lu, by the supreme order of the above great 
person, the chief of every place through which her 
way leads must diligently see to it that she is provided 
with escort to accompany her. The lady has no horse. 
She arrived at Jedo on the first of ninth moon, and 
leaves on the tenth of tenth moon. Passport and ula 
given by three chiefs to Sze Chuan Kansa." The seals 
of three chiefs were to be affixed to the document to 
give it greater weight, and the chief said that no one 
on the road would assume the responsibility of refusing 
to conduct me safely beyond his section, so I would 
reach my destination in perfect security. Having 
changed enough of my bullion silver to give me a suf- 



356 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ficient number of rupees for my journey, he sent me 
his best wishes for peace on the way, and the inter- 
preter, the escort with the ula, and myself rode out 
of the town, across the river and beautiful plain into 
the main road leading from Jyekundo to Ta-chien-lu, 
a very large wide trail. Varied were my experiences 
during the month I spent in reaching the Chinese 
border, sometimes so thrilling that I doubted whether 
I should even yet meet my death in Tibetan wilds, 
separated by long stretches of country from the two 
who had been so much to me. 



CHAPTEE XXIV 

MORE ROBBERS 

From Jyekundo to Kansa — Difficulties with Ula — At 
the Home of the Gimbi — Corrupt Lamas — Attacked 
by Drunken Eobbers — Deliverance. 

The parallel upon which Jyekundo is situated marks 
approximately the boundary line between the districts 
of Tibet governed by the Amban at Sining and those 
under the Jurisdiction of the Governor-General of Sze 
Chuan, and though Jyekundo is the most northerly 
military post there are several to the south; three of 
these are on the road which I was to follow to Ta- 
ehien-lu, one at Kanze, one at Dao, and one at Tai-lin. 
A colonel with a small number of soldiers is stationed 
at each post. Though they have no authority over the 
Tibetan chiefs they report to Ta-chien-lu on the condi- 
tion of the country, so that should there be any diffi- 
culty brewing troops might be dispatched, and thus 
avoid a struggle that might end in great bloodshed. 
In the district governed by Sze Chuan the position of 
the Chinese officials is a very precarious one, and great 
tact must be used by them in dealing with the natives 
who consider the Chinese as inferiors in courage and 
endurance; but, in the portion under Sining super- 

357 



358 WITH THE TIBETANS 

vision the natives fear the Amban and the Chinese sol- 
diers to a surprising extent; hence it is that the 
Amban's authority is unquestioned. Nevertheless the 
Chinese Tung Sliih always exercises the utmost 
prudence in settling any trouble among the Tibetans 
when the Chinese government acts as arbitrator, or 
when it exerts its authority or exacts indemnities. My 
Mongol friend at Jyekundo assured me that the affair 
of Dutreuil de Khins' death had caused the Amban and 
his stewards great trouble, for the Tibetans thought 
they should not be compelled to pay such a large in- 
demnity as was demanded, especially as it reduced 
them almost to penury. But the Amban is supreme. 

Kansa, or Sze Chuan Kansa, as the natives frequently 
call it to distinguish it from the town Kanze in the 
Horba district, which is often called Ho Kanze, was the 
destination of the interpreter who accompanied me. 
Being all well mounted, we rode quickly along a fertile 
valley, where some of the natives, men and women 
alike, were in the fields doing harvest work, looking 
after flocks and gathering fuel. That day I saw for 
the first time a Tibetan woman able to read. My 
Mongol friend had to get the seal of a chief stamped 
on my passport as we traveled, but instead of finding 
him camped where he supposedly was, we found the 
men of his tribe were moving his tents and goods to 
another spot, for we met part of the cavalcade on their 
way. The chief had gone ahead, but his wife was 
there, a rosy-cheeked, good-looking young woman with 
a profusion of ornaments on her hair and hands, and 
mounted on a black horse with several men in attend- 



MOEE EOBBERS 359 

ance. The interpreter introduced me to her, gave her 
the passport and also a letter from the Amban at 
Sining, which had just arrived, relative to some tribal 
difficulties not far away, in which his representatives 
were asked to be arbitrators. She read them both, 
commented in an intelligent manner upon them, nodded 
good-bye and rode on to overtake the remainder of the 
caravan, taking with her the passport, which the chief 
stamped and sent back to us in the evening. We spent 
the night in a miserable, dirty little shanty, minus doors 
and windows, near a large house over which floated 
prayer-flags galore, and not far away was a small 
lamasery. We had to wait some time for tea and fuel, 
because the women were all away digging choma, and 
the men would not under any consideration lower their 
dignity by carrying water. 

The chief sent me presents of tsamha and butter, at 
which the interpreter was much pleased, for he said it 
augured well for my journey to get full dishes of any- 
thing the first day. The women came home late in fhe 
afternoon, tall, swarthy-cheeked, and skin-robed, but 
kind and friendly without that tiresome curiosity that 
characterizes the Chinese. That night I had five of 
them sleeping just outside the door of my room in ac- 
cordance with the custom that travelers with ula must 
have a proper guard, but the interpreter said I was hon- 
ored in having so many, information which I doubted a 
little, for might it not have been a belief that numbers 
increase safety that led so many to spend the night 
beside the foreigner? Their merry voices were heard 
long after we had retired, a custom which we found 



360 WITH THE TIBETANS 

common among the Tibetans, and finally I had to in- 
terfere, or their excitement in guarding me would 
have prevented my slumbers. Fear of them I had none. 
In the morning our ula horses were tardy in coming, 
but at last we were started away, having been joined 
by a good-natured, genial lama, who was also to have 
ula because he was traveling with letters from a 
buddha which demanded haste, and he promised the 
interpreter to help me on the road so far as he could. 
There is in the valley through which we passed an 
oho that marks the exact border between Sining and 
Sze Chuan territory, and there robbers have been 
accustomed to dart out of the hills on either side upon 
caravans unfortunate enough not to be well guarded. 
The approach to Kansa is through a narrow valley 
through which courses a stream lined on either side 
by evergreen-dotted hills, while in the sequestered 
nooks nestle the black tents of the sparse inhabitants. 
The place itself, which we reached in the afternoon of 
the second day, is a mere hamlet containing several 
mud-brick houses, conspicuous among which were the 
trading depots of Chinese and Horba merchants. Here 
through my Mongol friend I received ula, which in 
this instance was a young girl who shouldered my 
whole load and trudged away with me to a large house 
some distance down the stream, where another woman 
acted as escort. The lama that had ula went ahead 
of me and left orders at every stage for my ula, so 
there was no delay whatever with the change. Our 
road lay along the Dre Chu, quiet and strong, pursu- 
ing its course towards the Yangtse and thence to the 



MORE ROBBERS 361 

sea at Shanghai, Had I at last come upon the sight 
of waters that made their way to the same Pacific 
that washed the shores of my native land? Though 
the latter was still thousands of miles distant, yet 
civilization and safety began to feel near, and I was 
glad. Sometimes we were on precipitous hills hun- 
dreds of feet above the river, the narrow path wherever 
shaded being covered with ice in places, to prevent a 
fatal slip on which the natives had scattered ashes. 
At other times our pathway led us through glens of 
marvelous beauty, where trees, mosses, ferns and creep- 
ers united to make bowers and castles that our imagina- 
tion peopled to suit itself, while we quickly wound in 
and out, zig-zag, among high rocks and boulders. Just 
below one of these beautiful spots we passed over part 
of the country that the year previous had been the 
scene of tragedy through on earthquake, in which a 
large monastery and several small hamlets had been 
completely buried. The harm had been almost com- 
pletely confined to the south bank of the river, which 
had to a certain extent made a new bed for itself; for 
the whole mountain side with large trees and tons 
of earth had, without warning and with loud crashes 
like thunder, sped on its headlong course straight to 
the beautiful, calm river. Hundreds of people were 
killed in that catastrophe, of which the natives spoke in 
subdued voice and with tender pity for the lives and 
houses that had been lost. In the general demolition 
the great caravan road was destroyed for miles, and 
as there is no provision for the repair or making of 
roads in Tibetan economy, travelers had succeeded in 



362 WITH THE TIBETANS 

wearing a little footpath in the midst of the upturned 
trees, great rocks and other debris, crowning the 
climax of difficulty by an almost perpendicular ascent 
to the summit of a hill ; for the whole side of the road 
along the river had disappeared, leaving no space for 
even a footpath on the bank. 

The day's travel was thus unexpectedly difficult and 
ula had been changed several times. At dark I 
reached a village where I expected to remain over night, 
but though the man who was traveling with ula was 
resting in one of the homes the natives refused to 
allow me to remain, but sent me quickly along the 
river with a small boy and girl, saying that not far 
away there were some farm houses where I could find 
shelter. The moon was shining just the same as she 
formerly shone at Tankar, and the remembrance of the 
tender thought and care exercised over me in those 
days made the refusal of refuge at dark all the more 
painful. As we journeyed on the girl told me that 
there were no houses until we had passed the moun- 
tain that looked to be miles away, so I risked all and 
returned to the village where I had received the ula, 
the children guiding me to the house where was the 
man who had helped me on from Kansa. Evidently 
there was some unusual antipathy to Europeans there, 
for he quietly told me not to say a word, but inter- 
ceded with the natives to give me shelter in the straw 
room, to which they brought for my use a little fire 
in a shallow earthenware dish and some tea, while an 
old white-haired man brought a felt rug and lay down 
near me for the night. The following day it was many 




CO 

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MORE ROBBERS 363 

hours before I reached a house, the road was partly 
destroyed and so dangerous as to necessitate walking 
all the way, and I realized the depth to which the 
villagers had meant to harm me in sending me after 
dark along that mountain, for nearly the whole night 
would have been spent before reaching the other side 
in safety, if I could have accomplished it at all. The 
first house we sighted was the home of the ferryman, 
and was built on a perpendicular bluff in a sheltered 
corner where the Drushi Chu winds on its way to the 
Dre Chu. We had come into the region of boats and 
bridges which to us were welcome heralds of greater 
facilities of transit than are found in the interior. 
The ferry consisted of a coracle shaped like a tub, 
about five feet in diameter, composed of a flimsy frame- 
work over which were drawn yak hides, and manip- 
ulated by a Tibetan with a broad, straight paddle. A 
large pile of tea, done up in raw hides, was waiting 
for yak to come and carry it to Kansa, while some men 
and sheep were being ferried over the river in a second 
coracle. My friend was busy making his terms with 
the ferryman when I arrived, and upon reading my 
passport the latter refused to carry me across because 
there were no houses in the vicinity on the other side 
of the river, hence no ula, and he did not wish to take 
any responsibility concerning me. He accordingly 
sent me up to his home on the bluff, where I remained 
for two days, while he found out what course to pursue 
with regard to taking me across the river. A little 
bird with a red breast made itself at home chirping 
fearlessly about the straw on the veranda where I 



364 WITH THE TIBETANS 

slept, but it was the only friend that made overtures, 
for the women were busy, and except for occasional 
visits to bring me delicious tea, they remained in their 
own apartments. After that brief rest I departed with 
ula which was changed at a well-to-do farmer's house, 
where were several lamas and good-looking women, who 
all treated me with profound respect upon the perusal 
of my passport, and after having given me tea and 
tsamba, one of the latter set out with me for the chief's 
home. 

Following the Dre Chu we reached the village where 
lived the ponho, who alone had authority to give me 
ula for the other side of the river. He was building a 
new house, and an army of workers, singing as they 
toiled, were busy carrying the sand for the walls and 
roof. There I had to pay a small toll for my pass 
across the river, and order for ula on the other side. 
The next morning with an old nun I made my way 
down to the ferry on which some lamas were being 
taken over with several loads of baggage, among which 
were some beautiful cushions and rugs such as we had 
seen in Kumbum. I entered the boat with the priest, 
to do which we had to remove our boots and step into 
water over our knees; moreover, I was not permitted 
to wear my hat during the crossing, probably from 
some superstition regarding it. Having been paddled 
out to the center of the river the frail structure was 
caught by the current, wafted to the other shore, and 
was then carried on the ferryman's back a certain dis- 
tance up the stream to balance that which the current 
had wafted it down. The passengers had paid their 



MOEE ROBBERS 365 

fares by means of butter, churma and tea, which the 
boatman's family quarreled over while I sat waiting 
for my ula, which presently arrived in the unexpected 
form of a donkey, an animal which is in common use 
in that part of Tibet. 

I was now fairly started on my journey with ula 
along the north of the Dre Chu towards Ta-chien-lu, 
and the days sped on, one almost the counterpart of 
another. The nomads and villagers were exceedingly 
friendly, and, though I was never permitted to enter 
their homes, they gave me a corner on a veranda or in 
a straw room, and adequately made up for their ap- 
parent inhospitality by supplying me with an abund- 
ance of tea and some coals in a shallow dish to keep 
it warm, all of which came through the influence of my 
passports. But if ula is good for one's purse and in- 
creases one's safety, it is more than trying to one's 
patience, for the Tibetans, having no idea of time, are 
in the habit of starting in the morning on a Journey- 
When I reached their homes at mid-day they made all 
sorts of excuses to have me stay till the following 
morning. Though sometimes my ula was changed as 
frequently as . three or four times in a day, some- 
times just as often, when I had only been on the road 
two or three hours, my escort placed me in the hands 
of others at a tent or house and returned to their own 
homes. Though I used all my powers of persuasion it 
was impossible to move the imperturbable calmness of 
the natives, who said there could be no ula until the 
day following, and so I had to be content to spend the 
largest part of the day, when I should have been travel- 



366 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ing, in waiting, waiting. My food consisted only of 
butter, tsamba and tea, and my strength was fast wan- 
ing, so much so that I felt a little more speed was 
imperative if I were ever to reach Ta-chien-lu alive. 
The province through which I was traveling was 
Derge, the wealthiest and most fertile of Eastern Tibet, 
for there the natives are skilled in metal work, and the 
seals, bells, teapots and other articles manufactured by 
them find a ready sale and command high prices. They 
are almost independent of either China or Lhasa, and 
have a particular antipathy to the Chinese, who find 
residence in the province almost impossible, in fact 
the Imperial government has had difficulty in keeping 
peace in that part of its dominion. A Tibetan official 
from Lhasa was on his way through the province at 
the same time as I was myself, and it was rather sig- 
nificant to see the natives keep away from the high- 
ways to avoid falling in with his retinue, for the sol- 
diers with him would demand everything they could 
see, even the very swords and horses they used on the 
road. Thus authority was repudiated. My ula people 
were most frequently women, but occasionally a whole 
group of young boys and girls came along with me, 
taking the very best care of me, and returning to their 
homes with other ideas of foreigners than they had 
previously had. Some of the official rest-houses along 
the road had no people living in them, and, as a rule, 
my escort took me to inhabited homes, where the little 
children and the women shed some pleasure into my 
lonely heart. Occasionally I had a little difficulty with 
my escort, and where this was so, as a rule, the people 



MOEE ROBBEES 367 

where I stopped were not overly kind. Two young 
boys, one of whom was a lama, resented traveling with 
me, and everyone we met at first was stopped and told 
slurring things about the foreigner; but when I 
asserted my authority and compelled them to go 
straight past all travelers on the road, they were very 
angry, but dared not object. That night I had a 
nicely painted room with a raised bed to sleep on, and 
some of the women begged several of the buttons off 
my gown in exchange for butter. The following day 
the same boy traveled with me from early morning 
until dusk, for all people on the road refused to accept 
the responsibility for ula, and though he did not wish 
to travel so far, I did not dare allow him to return. 
Without stopping even for tea by the roadside, we passed 
on through pretty glens and valleys, past villages and 
lamaseries to Gosa Gomba, a large monastery with 
prayer-wheels around the outside, where he placed me 
in a large house in the hands of an old man, gimhi, a 
name given to the one who manages ula in a place. 
There lived the chief of a new district, to whom the 
gimhi submitted my passports. I remained there two 
days, and was glad to escape, for there was great diffi- 
culty in restraining the lamas, particularly the younger 
ones, who came in crowds up the stairway and threat- 
ened to push curiosity and impudence into violence, 
a danger that was averted by the gimhi and several 
old nuns who lived with some of their children in the 
rooms not far from me. 

The morning I left Gosa Gomba was beautiful, the 
sun shining brightly on the frosty grass, and playing 



368 WITH THE TIBETANS 

upon the gilded turrets, tiled roofs, and painted walls 
and prayer-wheels about the monastery. Eustic bridges 
spanning the streams, where were clustered the homes 
of farmers, on which prayer-flags were waving in the 
breeze, added an unwonted charm that was enhanced 
by the long piles of white mani stones, the stacks of 
straw and the flocks of goats and sheep making their 
honeycomb paths all over the hillsides. A lama rode 
beside me for a space, with drum and bell on his back, 
on his way to some village to chant prayers and " beat 
the drum." Soon my escort led me past an immense 
chorten at the junction of four valleys, to a large farm 
house perched high on a hill whence no persuasive pow- 
ers of mine could procure a continuance of my journey 
that day. Imagine my feelings when, in conversation 
with some women, I learned that the gimhi had sent me 
along a little footpath instead of on the big caravan 
road, and that by pursuing this path I would be 
months in reaching the Chinese border! My strength 
was waning and, fearing it would prove insufficient for 
such a long journey, I went with my ula the following 
morning back to the gimhij who was absent when I 
arrived. While I awaited his return a young lama 
amused a crowd who stood about us by ridiculing for- 
eigners, especially myself, even molding tsamha into 
obscene forms that I refused to notice, and I was 
thankful when I saw the gimbi appear, though he was 
surprised to see me. Having ordered straw for my 
horse and tea for myself, he listened patiently while I 
told him my reasons for returning to Gosa, and showed 
him the map, pointing out to him several places on the 



MOEE ROBBERS 369 

large caravan road that I wished to pursue. I 
refused to go the small road, where I was entirely de- 
pendent on the people, who could send me wherever 
they wished, as I would not know where I was. He 
insisted that he could not give me ula on the big road, 
but I was equally insistent upon going that road ; so, 
towards afternoon, afraid on account of the turbulent 
lamas, as corrupt men as I had ever seen, to allow me 
to remain over night, he started me off to a little vil- 
lage on the big road and the escort took me to his 
own home. Here men were threshing barley in the 
courtyard, two on each side with their flails, who 
alternately sang Om mani padme hum as they raised 
and let fall the old-fashioned threshing instrument. 
It was a pretty harvest scene, which the children en- 
joyed as much as I did, as I sat in my quarters under 
a veranda in one corner of the courtyard, deciding 
to wait for one of my escort's relatives whose home 
was in Kanze in the Horba district, and to which place 
he would go with me in order to manage my ula more 
quickly than I could myself. That same day a dark- 
faced, strong Chinaman walked into the courtyard to 
hire oxen to travel with him and his companions over 
the pass to Zochen Gomba. I called him to me and, after 
some conversation, he brought his father, uncle and 
their apprentices, all journeymen-smiths on their way 
from Jyekundo to Tai-lin, three days' journey from 
Ta-chien-lu. They had spent the summer in Tibet, but 
were going to China for the cold winter months. The 
old man was kind and full of sympathy, and was in- 
clined to acquiesce in my desire for one of them to 



370 WITH THE TIBETANS 

travel with me, but, owing to the fear of robbers, con- 
cluded we had better remain together until we had 
passed the dangerous places, and in the meanwhile 
they would help me manage my ula. 

One whole day and part of another day's traveling 
together brought us to an encampment of fifty tents 
where a local chief lived, and where my ula was to 
be changed while my Chinese friends went on to 
Zochen Gomba. The unexpected happened just then, 
for the chief said unless I went three days' journey 
away to get the seal of the Derge official stamped on 
my passport he had no power to give me ula, and, 
notwithstanding bluff attempts and gentle persuasion, 
I found that my passport was of no value there. Feel- 
ing that the Chinese smiths were ready to help me, I 
abandoned all hopes of ula, knowing that speed would 
more than compensate me for the loss of my official 
escort, and made my way to the house where the 
Chinese had quarters on a veranda, a corner of which 
they yielded to me for my occupation. This house 
was one of a cluster of stone and log structures, the 
homes of some Chinese and natives, built on a small 
stream by which several prayer-wheels in little wooden 
houses along its course were revolved. High up 
almost perpendicular paths is the lamasery of Zochen 
Gomba, where reside over two thousand lamas. The 
landlady slept out on the veranda, accompanied by her 
young son, a lama, who insisted upon his mother sing- 
ing many songs, entertaining us with sweet, weird 
music away into the night, as well as giving her son 
pleasure, that, on account of his life as a lama he 



MOEE EOBBERS 371 

could very rarely have. Everything was now changed 
for me, and the Chinese vied with one another in try- 
ing to make me comfortable. This to me was proof 
that the loving Father was caring for His lonely little 
child that the very day that my passport was refused 
recognition, two Chinamen had agreed to travel with 
me down to Ta-chien-lu. This would reduce not only 
my danger, for those smiths had been years in the 
country, and I had implicit confidence in the Chinese, 
but would also reduce the length of my journey per- 
haps by a month. 

The weather was extremely cold, and several nights 
we had to sleep outdoors. One night I had my feet 
frost-bitten, and as a result I suffered for nearly a 
year. The men were carrying all their tools, bedding, 
etc., on their back, and, as we journeyed in company 
with a large party of traders across a high mountain 
pass which is infested with robbers, the two who were 
to go ahead with me shouldered my goods, though we 
all remained together until we reached Eong batsa, 
where my six men regaled themselves freely with wine, 
filling my heart with terror, as they and the Tibetans 
in the house became very drunk. Before the carousal 
my Chinamen had securely fastened their money in 
scarfs about their necks, and the landlady, as each one 
became overpowered by the liquor, gave them their 
sleeping places,, and there was no longer any fear. 

In that locality we crossed the Za Chu and followed 
our way straight across the country through villages, 
meeting on the way thousands of yak, loaded with tea, 
and passing some carrying hides and other articles of 



372 WITH THE TIBETANS 

trade on their way to Ta-chien-dao, as the natives there 
called Ta-chien-lu. The men were well dressed, and 
their horses were decorated with bright, gay trappings. 
We met frequently processions of lamas, one of whom, 
dressed in yellow satin with yellow hat and having a 
large retinue, betrayed his rank of " living buddha." 
The country was dotted with villages and small 
lamaseries, and cultivated fields worked by primitive 
wooden plows in the hands of men and women, at- 
tested the industry of the people. On top of the pro- 
montory or steep hill jutting out into a bend of the 
Za Chu was seen the beautiful gilded roof of the Nyara 
Gomba, and a little further on, beyond some deep cuts 
in the road, is Kanze, a large place composed of the 
homes of laymen, and a large lamasery, Kanzego, with 
a beautiful Chinese temple. Here W. W. Eockhill had 
met with trouble from the turbulency of the lamas, 
and my guides led me straight past the place, for they 
said there were such strained relations between Tibe- 
tans and Chinese that the latter were almost en masse 
compelled to withdraw. This place is one of the larg- 
est in the Horba states, which are next in wealth and 
size to Derge, in Eastern Tibet. Notwithstanding the 
antagonism of the natives to Chinese and foreigners, 
they were very interesting, and withal even charming. 
They were better looking and as a rule better dressed 
than natives in other parts, wearing a profusion of 
ornaments in silver and gold. The men are dressed in 
pulu, or colored drilling, have their hair mainly done 
in a great queue which they adorn with bright rings 
and twist about their heads. The breach of their gun 



MORE ROBBERS 373 

and the sheath of their sword are decorated with sil- 
ver, coral and green stones. The women often wear a 
large disc of silver on their forehead and sometimes on 
the back of their head, and both sexes carry from their 
girdles silver needle cases, flint and steel boxes and 
occasionally an embroidered cloth case for their tsaniha 
bowl. They are exceedingly hostile to the Chinese, 
who have never until late years been allowed to live 
even in comparative peace among them, and though 
Chinese officials are stationed at Kanze, Chang-ko and 
Dawo, they have practically little power, and for their 
cowardice are despised by the Tibetans, who disdain- 
fully hold up the little finger, which designates the 
height of inferiority, and say that the Chinese official 
at Dawo is afraid even to step outside of his own door 
for fear of a dog. 

The first town of importance we reached after pass- 
ing Kanze was Chango, which is built on a steep slope 
overlooking the Nya Chu, while on the hills above lies 
the Chango Gomba, inhabited by over two thousand 
lamas who enjoy the reputation of being desperately 
unruly and bad. On account of the prediliction of 
these lamas to quarrel, my guides led me around this 
place, after having stopped at a small lamasery to 
buy some extra tea, because tea leaves are so highly 
prized by the natives in this locality, that most travel- 
ers use them instead of money to pay for fodder and 
lodging, as you can obtain more for a little tea than for 
ten times its value in silver. Shortly after leaving 
Chango we saw on the road several drunken Tibetans, 
who were extorting money from some poor travelers, 



374 WITH THE TIBETANS 

whose valuable large dog the former had in their pos- 
session. They were six of a body of fifty soldiers who 
had been summoned to compel the natives of Chango 
to pay their taxes, and had that morning been dis- 
banded, but before leaving the town they had imbibed 
too freely, and as a result were an unspeakable terror 
to all travelers who fell into their clutches. My guides 
congratulated themselves upon having thus easily es- 
caped them, but their gladness was premature, for while 
we sat in front of a rude farm-house we saw them 
passing along the road, and when we were again on 
the way we saw them sitting in a little grassy spot, 
drinking more wine while their ponies rested on the 
grass. Soon afterwards, looking back, I saw them 
galloping toward us, and a great fear possessed me, 
for Tibetans are very quarrelsome when they are 
drunk, and woe betide the poor traveler who is unfor- 
tunate enough to fall into their hands! The older 
one of my guides said he would drop behind, and if 
we should be attacked one of us might have a chance 
to escape. Presently they reached us, and while four 
of them stopped to see what the one boy had, the other 
two rode up opposite to myself and the second boy, 
and, halting, one of them said, " choh kana du ? " 
(where are you going?). The boy answered that we 
were just going over yonder, which was a polite an- 
swer, but it seemed to incense the man, for, grinding 
his teeth in rage, he drew from its sheath his sword 
and made for the boy. His companion, who was not 
so intoxicated, endeavored to restrain him, but in a 
moment the six of them were beside us, and one of 



MOEE EOBBERS 375 

them caught me roughly by the arm and tried to pull 
me off my horse, asking me where I was going. In a 
moment all six dismounted, and while some of them 
dragged my boy by the queue this way and that, others 
opened up his load, scattering e\erything about the 
ground. My revolver was worse than useless, for they 
all were heavily armed, and to have incensed them 
meant that my life would have been taken sooner or 
later as a result. Anxiously I sat in my saddle, know- 
ing that just as soon as they were through with the 
boy they would turn their attention to me. One of 
them, who was more sober than the others, motioned 
to me with his chin to go towards the other boy, and 
I turned my horse and followed his advice, but my 
safety was short-lived, for one of the Tibetans re- 
mounted and came up in a moment behind me. I rode 
astride, as all Tibetan women do, and as he rode along 
beside me his knee brushed against mine, and, taking 
his sword from its scabbard, he held the naked blade 
over me, bidding me dismount and give him my horse. 
I looked into his face, that was very near to me, saw 
his eyes glassy from alcohol, realized that he was 
scarcely responsible for his actions, and my heart was 
convulsed. As a child would call his father, I called 
aloud, '^Oh God! Oh God!" and in Tibetan said, 
" Mari, mari" which means "no, no." A strange ex- 
pression crossed the man's face, and he put his sword 
away, turned and joined his companions, and in a 
moment all had galloped down the river, and not only 
was my life spared, but I had not lost anything; 
whereas had I been compelled to dismount my horse 



376 WITH THE TIBETANS 

and my bedding would have been taken, for the latter 
was on my saddle. Quite unexpectedly, too, my Tibetan 
gown and pot were not lost, for they were in the load 
of the boy who sat on the roadside, while the other 
one's load had been thrown about and only the tea 
leaves taken, but he himself lost a valuable sword, his 
tsamha basin and purse, containing thirty rupees. 

As we sat on the grass I was almost overpowered 
with thankfulness and joy that my life and the things 
needful had thus been saved, nor can I doubt that my 
deliverance was due to the care of the Heavenly Father, 
who neither slumbers nor sleeps. 



CHAPTER XXV 

SAFE AT LAST 

The Approach to Ta-chien-lu — My Pony Becomes Ex- 
hausted — Long Marches with Blistered Feet — 
Chinese Conception of Europeans — Among Friends 
Once More — Conclusion. 

With the disappearance down the river of the 
brightly accoutred horses and their riders came a great 
perplexity, for my boys had a desire to follow them 
and endeavor to regain some of their lost property. 
In the drunken, unaccountable condition of the Tibe- 
tans such a course could only have been attended by 
more calamity. Feeling the force of this they desired 
to return to Chango and accuse the guilty ones before 
the magistrates; but, upon remembering that the men 
were unknown to them, and also that it would necessi- 
tate great delay in reaching Ta-chien-lu, and not hav- 
ing enough money to reimburse their loss, I told them 
I was willing to return to Chango with them — they 
would still, however, have to accompany me to the 
border, according to agreement, as the money had al- 
ready been paid to their father. They appreciated my 
offer, and also the necessity of fulfilling their father's 
agreement with me, and upon receiving my promise 

377 



378 WITH THE TIBETANS 

to supply them with food for the journey, they de- 
cided to push on to Ta-chien-lu. 

With characteristically national desire to avoid 
meddling in other people's affairs, a Tibetan, whose 
house was near us though hidden by a hillock from 
view, came up after the fracas, and offered us the hospi- 
tality of his home. This we gladly accepted, as I felt 
it was better not to risk meeting those men again until 
the effects of the liquor had worn away, as well as from 
the fact that it was late in the afternoon, and quite 
time to rest. 

The scenery along the road down the river for sev- 
eral miles from Chango is beautifully refreshing, the 
country being very fertile and dotted with hamlets; 
then, as the river bends southward, our way diverged, 
to return again to pursue its course through mag- 
nificent forests of large timber on the sides of moun- 
tains towering as far as the eye could see above us. 
Another day's journey brought us to Dawo, with its 
large lamasery, the Mnchung Gomba, with gilded 
roofs and its secular part with two-storied houses built 
on either side of a stream, over which are a number 
of gristmills. The lamas are about one thousand in 
number, and the population of the town is nearly as 
many more, of which over 10 per cent, are Chinese, 
some of them being workers in metal. Houses dot the 
valley to its close below Dawo, and to avoid intricacies 
that might prove bewildering if not dangerous, the 
older boy and myself went past the town to a farmer's 
house at the foot of the hills, while the other went up 
into the town to buy tea. He brought us, on his return, 



SAFE AT LAST 379 

some bread, which was to us a delicacy of delicacies, 
though it had no leaven of any kind, for the staff of 
life had been absent from even the sight of our eyes 
for months. In almost every village there were Chinese, 
most of whom have become almost naturalized Tibetans 
in clothing, customs and even religion, murmuring the 
mystic six-syllabled prayer quite as faithfully as the 
natives themselves. On the road a large proportion of 
the travelers whom we met were also Chinese, among 
whom were even the indefatigable beggars, who ap- 
parently would have been much wiser to have remained 
in their own country; they were in all probability 
exiles on account of some crime, though many of them 
were very young. All these Celestials made us realize 
that we were every day getting nearer to Ta-chien-lu, 
and as my physical strength waned my heart grew more 
buoyant at the probability of our reaching the longed- 
for goal. 

Signs of earthquakes are not wanting in the valley, 
almost every house being in ruins, only parts of the 
stone walls standing. We passed the corner of the 
hill near Tai-lin, having pursued the road which 
leads over the Jeto pass, as it was better and shorter 
than the one through Tai-lin, which place is largely 
Chinese. The second day before reaching Ta-chien-lu 
just after we had started from one of two houses where 
we had spent the night in a corner of a courtyard, I 
was compelled to walk as my horse became unfit to 
carry me, and soon so slow in his gait that he himself 
was a burden. After having walked some distance on 
my already sore feet, whose only protection was a pair 



380 WITH THE TIBETANS 

of Tibetan boots, with simply one layer of untanned 
leather for the sole, we rested amidst the snow that 
covered the ground thickly, to boil some tea for our 
pony; for the natives give their horses liquid tea, tea 
leaves, tsamha, churma and at times raw meat to in- 
crease their strength and render them able to pursue 
their journey. Sitting on some stones waiting while 
the horse devoured from our pot his stimulating meal, 
we felt the small, rumbling shock of an earthquake. 
A great wave of disappointment swept over me as I 
thought of the possibility of being buried by a land- 
slide and not realizing after all, the recently born 
hopes of refuge and safety in the great border town. 

The stage that day was a long one, and I walked 
thirty miles just as quickly as I could with my spent 
strength and blistered feet, for the soles of my boots 
had worn through in places. The guides urged me 
on, for we could find no shelter until we were beyond 
the Jeto pass, which is about fourteen thousand feet 
in height. Wearily we climbed and climbed, the ascent 
being at first gradual, one dragging the old horse while 
another urged him on with my little whip. It wrung 
my heart to see the faithful, patient brute goaded like 
that, but unless we abandoned him on the road there 
was no help for it. I would fain care for the noble 
animal that had carried me without a falter or 
stumble, far from the regions of trouble and disaster. 
Nearing the summit of the Jeto pass, we saw the road 
to Lit'ang, winding past hamlets through a beautiful 
valley. The last part of the ascent was very steep and 
difficult. We found the top crowned with a huge oho. 



SAFE AT LAST 381 

and if natives thank the spirits joyfully for aid in 
climbing I rendered sincere praise to my Father that, 
though weary to almost an extreme, my strength had 
not faltered, and I was beyond the most laborious 
stage of the ascent. It had begun to snow heavily and 
darkness settled down upon us, but the ground 
on either side was so rough that there was no place 
where we might lie down to rest; for stones, large and 
numerous, dotted either side of the road, while a rocky 
stream and a dense growth of large underbrush added 
to the difficulty of choosing a suitable camping place. 
Here and there we saw campfires near which were 
tethered large droves of yak, whose presence was be- 
trayed by their black forms on the white background of 
snow. Feeling the extent to which the horse delayed 
us, two of us went more quickly on ahead, leaving one 
of the guides to drag along the poor animal, which 
had just as much difficulty on the stony road as my- 
self. Presently we reached a little shanty a few feet 
square, in the center of a yard enclosed by a low stone 
fence, behind which we saw a large number of sad- 
dled yak. My guide asked for shelter during the night 
— it was denied us for want of space, but, after pass- 
ing on, we decided to return and ask again, for the 
road was dangerous, being simply a running stream 
over rough and uneven stones. The boy told me to 
walk straight into the shanty because I was so well 
dressed that I would have more influence than he, who 
was just a shabby peh-tsL Making my way through 
a gap in the fence to an opening in the side of the 
shanty, Avhich was only three feet in height, I stooped 



882 WITH THE TIBETANS 

low and entered, calling out ta-Tco. A Chinaman, 
poorly dressed and dirty as a Tibetan, stepped up, and 
I told him that we were going to spend the night in 
the shanty, for our horse was tired out and unable to 
proceed any further. He objected on the score that 
the shanty was too small for any more occupants. 
When I said he was a good, kind man, that I was thor- 
oughly tired out, that I had Walked thirty miles that 
day and my feet were too sore to go another step, he 
invited us to be seated beside a huge blazing fire in 
the far corner; for he knew that did he not allow us 
to remain until morning we would still have to walk 
several miles through the slush and snow. I have, as 
a general rule, found the Chinese kind-hearted, and 
inclined to help those in distress. The little shanty 
was only a few feet square. The " entrance," devoid 
of a door, took up one side of it, being supplemented 
by a pigsty, where wallowed an immense hog. In 
the other side was the rude fireplace, just a hollow in 
the ground, and having on either side of it barely 
room enough to crouch down to rest. 

Our feet were soaking, and while a half dozen 
Tibetans drank their tea and watched us furtively, we 
three endeavored to get dried, while the two Chinese 
lumbermen told us all about the different foreigners 
who were living at Ta-chien-lu. It is not surprising 
that there are Boxer riots in China instigated for the 
purpose of driving from their empire the foreigners, 
whom they believe capable of such atrocities as those 
men ascribed to our countrymen in the border town. 
We had heard before leaving Tankar that several 



SAFE AT LAST 383 

members of Miss Annie R. Taylor's Tibetan Mission 
Band, under the leadership of Mr. Cecil Polhill- 
Turner, had taken up work at Ta-chien-lu, and I care- 
fully questioned those two men to learn whether this 
were a fact or not. They informed me that there were 
several families of foreigners living there, all of whom 
had large houses, one with men only outside the north 
gate, another of the same kind outside the south gate, 
and one entirely with women inside the town; all of 
which were Roman Catholic establishments, the last 
mentioned being a school kept by Chinese Roman 
Catholic nuns. There was yet another family, they 
said, who had just arrived, with a lady and some chil- 
dren. These, I decided, were Mr. and Mrs. Turner 
and their co-workers. The men then proceeded to tell 
me what the people said of the foreigners, how their 
servants bought children on the streets and took them 
to the foreign home, whence they were never seen 
again; how the strange men could look at Chinese 
brass coins and change them with their evil eyes into 
rupees with the head of a woman on them. No one, 
they added, was allowed to enter the house to see what 
was within. I think, on the whole, in new places it is 
wise for missionaries to have their homes open so that 
natives may at times see into the smallest corners, and 
thus, as " seeing is believing," crush at the outset any 
ideas of mystery which heathen people are only too 
ready to entertain. 

In the quiet of that lumber shanty my two Chinese 
guides told the others many things they had learned of 
foreigners from me, and the impression they had re- 



384 WITH THE TIBETANS 

ceived of the only foreigner they had ever seen. They 
explained the purpose of missionaries in coming to 
and settling in a far-away country, and said their sup- 
port did not come from magic, but from people in the 
homeland, who sent them so much salary a year. 
Nevertheless the strange tales that they had heard did 
not lessen their dread of entering the home of for- 
eigners whom none of us knew, for of course I did 
not even know the Chinese name of a single missionary 
in Ta-chien-lu, and I felt really sorry for the men, 
their dread was so genuine, but they had implicit con- 
fidence in me and would have gone any place with me. 
I told them when in the future they heard anything 
disparaging about missionaries to just remember that 
they were all as good as I was, to say the very least 
that could be said about them. 

One of the lumbermen told us of a foreigner who 
had gone past their shanty a few days previous on his 
way up country, walking and carrying a chest of car- 
penter's tools on his back, while one Chinese servant 
accompanied him. The foreigner had given him some 
medicine for rheumatism, and could speak Chinese and 
Lhasa Tibetan. I wondered who it could have been 
and found, when I reached the mission station, that it 
was one of the Tibetan mission band, the talented, 
bright Mr, Amundsen, who had endeavored to become 
like a native himself, and in an unpretentious way was 
seeking to gain a foothold among them. He was un- 
fortunately attacked by a drunken Tibetan, who con- 
cluded that his box was full of silver. Having been 



SAFE AT LAST 386 

robbed of almost everything, he had returned by an- 
other route to his home in Ta-ehien-lu. 

When we had had our tea and were thoroughly dried, 
we made ready to spend the night, and soon in the 
very small space, around the hollow fireplace, were 
crouched six men and myself, while in the yard were 
several Tibetans. My own two men were closest to me, 
but all were within touching distance, and yet I had 
not a tremor of fear of them, so great was the differ- 
ence between the Chinese and Tibetans, that to be 
with the former meant perfect freedom from fear and 
anxiety; even though these lumbermen were rough and 
uncultured, they were kind, and made me feel their 
sympathy. A common danger made us all akin in the 
little shanty, for at intervals was heard and felt the 
great rumbling noise of earthquake shocks, which were 
sometimes strong enough to shake the roof. The lum- 
bermen recited on and off, tales of landslides and earth- 
quakes in the valleys near, painting in glowing words 
the beauty of the homes so suddenly destroyed and 
the great piety and devotion of lamas who had been 
crushed. These recitals subdued me with quiet awe, 
and I was thankful after the sleepless night to see the 
first streaks of dawn, though with them came the most 
violent shock of all. 

The sun was well up before we started to walk again, 
and its heat quickly melted the snow which had fallen 
to a depth of several inches. The road was virtually 
a stream of running water, in places almost half a foot 
deep, but I cheerfully splashed through it, knowing 
that I would, after a twenty-mile walk, reach a Chinese 



386 WITH THE TIBETANS 

inn or the mission station, either of which would prove 
a haven of rest. The road was a gradual descent, 
though here and there were sharp ascents which taxed 
my strength to the utmost, and at times made me 
almost despair of reaching Ta-chien-lu that day. But 
on we trudged over the stony road skirted on either 
side now by rocks, now by clusters of holly and 
rhododendrons to me unspeakably beautiful, indications 
of the return of summer with its blue skies and balmy 
mountain air. We passed luxuriant valleys, and 
groups of houses, Chinese in appearance and so differ- 
ent from the homes of Tibetan agriculturalists, repos- 
ing on the hillsides looking so neat and inviting. My 
physical weakness and sore feet took away much of 
the poetry and all the pleasure of the walk. The 
Chinese boys kept urging me on, not willing that I 
should rest every little distance on a stone by the road- 
side, as I felt compelled to do. Thirty miles' walk the 
day before and twenty that day could not be accom- 
plished by my already exhausted strength without 
acute suffering ; but the goal was safety, peace and rest, 
and on I went. 

Past a picturesque lamasery with red buildings 
surrounded by tall trees, on over an arched bridge, 
we wended our way toward the south gate of the 
town. My escort persuaded me to mount my poor, 
tired horse and ride into the place " in state." Just 
outside the gate we paused at the massive doors of the 
Eoman Catholic Mission to inquire the whereabouts of 
Mr. Turner's house. It was certainly amusing and yet 
pitiful to see my boy edge away from the door after 



SAFE AT LAST 38T 

knocking. He had a mortal fear of foreigners, and 
evidently expected something to spring out of the door 
at him. A Chinaman answered our inquiry and in- 
formed us that Mr. Turner lived across the river. As 
we went on we attracted very little attention even in 
the crowded, narrow streets, for Ta-chien-lu has a 
motley population, and no one suspected that I was 
other than a Tibetan. After we had crossed the 
bridge a young Chinaman ran up and told me to hide 
my knife and chopsticks that hung by my girdle, as 
thieves might steal them. He then led us through a 
narrow, dark alley underneath a house, where I dis- 
mounted, as a lama called out in stentorian voice, 
" What are you doing mounted here ? " Our guide was 
the cook who, upon arrival at the Fu-ing-tang (China 
Inland Mission House), rushed into the young men's 
room telling them a man had come, not knowing 
whether I was a Tibetan or a European. In response 
to his excitedly given information, two missionaries, 
Messrs. Amundsen and Moyes, stood in the outer court- 
yard when I walked through the entrance. How clean 
they looked in Chinese garb, and how white their faces ! 
I knew I was not clean, yet, conscious of my dirtiness 
and rags, I stood in their presence waiting to be ad- 
dressed. But no, I must speak first; so I said in 
English, " Is this Mr. Turner's ? " and Mr. Moyes re- 
plied "Yes." How the word thrilled me through and 
through. It was the first English word I had heard 
since that never-to-be-forgotten morning two months 
before when my husband disappeared around the rock, 
and the speaker was the first white stranger I had seen 



388 WITH THE TIBETANS 

since before we left Tankar. There was another pause, 
for I was well nigh overcome with emotion; then I 
said, " I am Dr. Kijnhart." Mr. Amundsen then in- 
vited me upstairs to Mrs. Turner's apartments. They 
had been so dumbfounded to hear the voice of an Eng- 
lishwoman come from such a Tibetanized person that 
at first they could not speak at all. Upon reaching the 
door of the dining-room Mrs. Turner arose while Mr. 
Amundsen introduced me. Dear Mrs. Turner asked, 
" Are you alone ? " " When have you had anything to 
eat ? " Such thoughtful, beautiful care ! Then she 
said, " Come into the nursery and cook will bring you 
some tea." I looked at the clean matting, so spotless, 
and then at my boots, which oozed at every step, leav- 
ing dirty marks behind, and I protested that I was too 
dirty to go into such a clean room. But that did not 
matter, I was ushered in only to have my heart torn 
by the sight of little Kenneth, just about the size of 
my darling baby bo}'^, for whom I mourned. Tea in a 
dainty cup and some cookies were given me for re- 
freshment, and then Mrs. Turner offered me a place to 
rest until supper; but it was impossible for me to sit 
down to a clean table with cleanly people, and I asked 
for a bath and some underwear, in response to which 
request every member of the household contributed 
towards my change of raiment. 

I had arrived in Ta-chien-lu just two months after 
Mr. Eijnhart's disappearance. Could it be possible 
that I had survived that long and perilous journey 
alone over moimtains and rivers, surrounded by hos- 
tile people and subjected to hourly danger from those 



SAFE AT LAST 389 

who professed to be my guides? Was I really once 
more in a Christian home, surrounded by kind friends 
and comforts? Yes, at last, and the realization of it 
grew upon me when I saw myself delivered from the 
dirt and vermin of weeks, and lay down to rest once 
more on a clean bed. Gratitude filled my heart, and 
with the Psalmist I could say: 

Bless the Lord, O my soul 5 

And all that is within me, bless his holy name. * * * 

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; 

Who crowneth thee witb loving-kindness and tender mercies; 

Who satisfieth thy mouth with pood things; 

So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. 

At the supper table Mr. Turner asked me what I 
would like to know first about the outside world, 
since I had been isolated so long. Scarcely knowing 
where to begin, I stammered out the question, " Is 
Queen Victoria still alive ? " 

Disappointed at not finding an official at Jyekundo, 
I now hoped to be able to ascertain through official 
means some definite news about my husband's fate. 
I prepared a statement of the case and sent it to the 
British Consul at Chong-King, requesting him to for- 
ward the same to the Dutch and British ministers at 
Pekin, to be presented by them to the Tsung-li Yamen. 
For six months I waited in Ta-chien-lu in the hope 
that some reliable reports would come down from the 
interior of Tibet, but I waited in vain. On my arrival 
at Ta-chien-lu I had not a cent of money, but kind 
friends in America responded generously to my need, 
and I was able to get down to Shanghai, thence to 



390 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Tien tsin, where I interviewed Mr, Knobel, Minister 
for the Netherlands, who assured me that he would do 
everything in his power to induce the Chinese govern- 
ment to make an investigation, and added that Sir 
Claude Macdonald, the British Minister, was acting 
jointly with him in the matter. I would fain have 
remained in China to await the result, but my health 
was undermined, friends were pressing me to return to 
America, and Mr. Knobel assured me that my presence 
was not necessary, that the government would do 
everything that could be done. Under date of May 2, 
1900, Mr. Knobel received a report from the Tsung-li 
Yamen, of which the following is a translation: 

" With regard to Mr. Eijnhart's case, out yamen 
has repeatedly corresponded with the Governor of 
Szechuen, the Imperial Resident in Tibet, and the 
Imperial Agent at Sining, who were all instructed to 
investigate and report upon the matter. We wrote you 
already to this effect on March 8th, last. We since 
received, on April 21st, a dispatch from the Imperial 
Agent at Sining, reading: 

"'About this matter, telegrams have come to hand 
from the Tsung-li Yamen and the Governor of 
Szechuen instructing me to hold an investigation. 
The necessary orders have been given. According to 
information received from the English missionary 
Lo Teheng (Laughton), living at Sining in the Fu 
yin tan, the Dutch missionary "Lin" is the same as 
Mr. Rijnhart. He is said to have disappeared while 
traveling. 

" ' The missionary Lo had found a priest by the 



SAFE AT LAST 391 

name of I-shi-ni-ma, who made inquiries for him. 
Upon reaching the bank of the river he heard that the 
murder was committed by an inhabitant of " To-chia " 
by the name of " Chia-li-ya-sa." 

" ' Whereupon I (the Agent) sent two competent 
persons from my yamen with the priest " I-shi-ni-ma " 
to " To-chia," and gave them an escort of civil and 
military officials and soldiers. Their report is: 

" ' According to the people of " To-chia," the oldest 
inhabitants of the place, together with the priest 
" I-shi-ni-ma " had gone from house to house, but man 
nor woman, old nor young, knew anything about a 
murder committed upon a Dutch missionary; also they 
did not know " Chia-li-ya-sa." We, the people of 
" To-chia," number three hundred families, large and 
small, and are all good subjects. If it should be dis- 
covered hereafter that a murderer of a European is 
among us, we are willing to suffer punishment. 

" ' I (the Agent) feared that all this might not be 
quite true, so I sent successively again a major, Li 
Chih Chung, and an official writer, " Yen Ling," to the 
said place in order to make new investigation. The 
major and others reported that they received a peti- 
tion from Penk'o, the chief of the village, which was 
to the same effect as above. This is the result of my 
investigation.' 

" As soon as we receive the reply from Szechuen and 
Tibet, we will inform your Excellency. 

" Pekin, May 2nd, 1900." 

No further news except vague native reports has 



392 WITH THE TIBETANS 

been received; nor is it likely that I shall ever hear 
anything more definite. 

The reader will recognize in the above report the 
name of Ishiuima, our Tibetan teacher at Kumbum. 
With all his faults he had a sympathetic heart, for as 
soon as he heard that our caravan had come to grief 
in the interior and that Mr. Eijnhart had been killed, 
he offered his services to the official at Sining, and 
made the long journey to the interior in search of 
authentic information concerning his friend. Dear old 
Ishinima ! On this page, which will forever to him be 
sealed and unknown, I cannot refrain from making 
some slight acknowledgment of his services. The 
sweet associations of our residence in the lamasery will 
never be forgotten either by me or by him, and although 
his dream of some day visiting America with the " for- 
eign teacher" is now shattered, yet it comforts me to 
know that he has heard the name of Jesus, is acquainted 
with the teachings of the Bible, and prays to the 
" Heavenly Ruler " as well as to his brazen idol. While 
I think of him gratefully and pray for him earnestly 
I know that from time to time his thought will wander 
to the far interior of his native land, where sleeps the 
dust of two whom he loved — and also to me in the dis- 
tant land so full of wonders, lying across the deep blue 
ocean. 

It is natural to weigh our sacrifices against their 
results, although the process brings little consolation, 
for so often in our superficial view the results are mini- 
fied beyond our vision and the sacrifice fills the whole 
horizon. Since my return to America many have 



SAFE AT LAST 393 

raised the question, " Wa« the cause worth the suffer- 
ing and have results justified it ? " Critics of mis- 
sions ask it — those who lift up their hands of disap- 
proval when a life is given for the sake of the Gospel 
and the spiritual uplifting of a benighted people, yet 
lustily applaud the soldier who spills his blood on the 
battlefield in the cause of territorial expansion or na- 
tional aggrandizement. To such it is sufficient to say 
that Christ also has his soldiers who are willing to die 
for his cause if need be, in the belief that his cause 
is the sublimest among men, and who are content to 
leave the results with him knowing that the Great Cap- 
tain of their Salvation will in his own time lead his 
hosts unto ultimate victory and a kingdom universal. 
Such is the optimism of the Gospel and such the faith 
and courage it generates. 

Kind Christian friends have questioned our wisdom 
in entering Tibet. Why not have waited, they ask, un- 
til Tibet was opened by " the powers " so that mis- 
sionaries could go in under government protection ? 
There is much heart in the question but little logic. 
Christ does not tell his disciples to wait, but to go. 
We are not to choose conditions, we are to meet them. 
The early apostles did not wait until the Eoman Em- 
pire was " opened " before they kindled that fire that 
" burned to the water's edge all round the Mediter- 
ranean," but carrying their lives in their hands they 
traveled through the cities of Asia Minor, Greece and 
finally to Rome, delivering their message in the very 
centers of paganism. Persecutions came upon them 
from every side, but nothing but death could hinder 



394 WITH THE TIBETANS 

their progress or silence their message. They went to 
glorious martyrdom and being dead they have never 
ceased to speak. Paul says, " When it was the good 
pleasure of God * * * to reveal his Son in me, 
that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, imme- 
diately I conferred not with flesh and blood."' (Gal. 
1, 15-16.) Though he knew bonds and imprisonments 
awaited him in every city, he pursued his great mis- 
sionary- journeys shrinking not from Innumerable per- 
ils and even glorying in his tribulations. He was will- 
ing "not to be bound only, but also to die at Jeru- 
salem for the name of the Lord Jesus " (Acts xxi 13), 
and although he did not court death he elected to go 
to the very gates of the Imperial City and face the 
judgment seat of a Caesar, because of his desire to 
preach Christ even at Eome. Instead of waiting till 
the countries under the sway of Rome were opened, 
the apostle went forth in the power of God to open 
them. So it has ever been in the history of Christi- 
anity. Had the missionaries waited till all countries 
were ready and willing to receive them, so that they 
could go forth without danger and sacrifice, England 
might still have been the home of barbarians, Living- 
stone's footsteps never would have consecrated the Afri- 
can wilderness, there would have been no Carey in 
India, the South Sea Islanders would still be sunk 
in their cannibalism, and the thousands of Christians 
found in pagan and heathen lands to-day would still 
be in the darkness and the shadow of death. 

Tibet, like other lands must have the light. The 
command is " Go preach the Gospel to ever}' creature.*' 



SAFE AT LAST 395 

The work is great. So great that beside its greatness 
any sacrifice involved in its accomplishment is small. 
Mr. Kijnhart frequently gave expression to his one burn- 
ing ambition to be of service in evangelizing Tibet — 
whether by his life or his death, he said, did not mat- 
ter to him. With David Brainerd he could say, " I 
longed to be a flame of fire, continually glowing in the 
service of God and building up Christ's kingdom to my 
latest, my dying moments." Eemembering his conse- 
cration I too can be strong and say, as I bring the story 
to a close, " God doeth all things well — the sacrifice was 
not too great." 

The results of the Journey herein described are to me 
of the most encouraging character. Interest in Tibet 
has been aroused among Christians of many denomina- 
tions, and the country and its needs have been brought 
prominently to the notice of several mission boards. The 
hope which my husband cherished of seeing many labor- 
ers go forth to the field seems nearer realization now 
than in his lifetime. The seed sown is springing up 
with bright promise. The trumpets are being blown 
about the walls of the great closed land. Soon they 
will fall that the heralds of the Cross may enter in. I 
see them coming and I exclaim — How beautiful upon 
the mountains are the feet of them that preach in Tibet 
the Gospel of Peace ! 

While at Ta-chien-lu I was much impressed by the 
possibilities for missionary work all along the eastern 
border. In the town itself, splendid work is being done 
by the Tibetan Band of the China Inland Mission, un- 
der the leadership of Mr. Cecil Polhill Turner. The 



396 WITH THE TIBETANS 

Christian Missionary Alliance have a work at Tao-cheo, 
while other large border towns, such as Kuei-teh, Tan- 
kar, Sungpan and others, offer splendid advantages. 
Any one of them would make a good center for Tibetan 
work. Ta-chien-lu is especially advantageous as so many 
roads branch out from it, and Jyekundo, situated at 
the juncture of great roads leading to the border and 
also to the interior, could be a splendid station from 
which to come into contact with several tribes. In 
addition to regular evangelistic work there could be 
established in connection with all missionary enterprise 
on the border, industrial schools and medical stations. 
Meanwhile Kumbum and Tankar, where we labored 
three years, are without missionaries. Only the wor- 
shippers of Buddha now behold the gleam of the Ori- 
ental Sun on the golden roofs of the lamasery; the 
great caravans from the city of the Dalai Lama pass 
through the border town with no one to tell the pil- 
grims of the " Heavenly Euler." From ten thousand 
tongues amid the flutter of the prayer-flags and the 
click of cylinders is heard the mystic invocation — Om 
mani padme hum, but there is no Christian altar. The 
devotees still flock to revere the Sacred Tree and wor- 
ship the great Butter God, and amid all the host there 
is not one witness for Jesus Christ! The call comes 
and it will be answered soon, I feel convinced. And 
whoever responds will find many who know something 
of Christianity, who have copies of the Scriptures, and 
remember with affection the White Teacher who, while 
he was with them, labored for their good, and who left 
them never to return. And many will have heard of 



SAFE AT LAST 397 

the lone little grave under the huge boulder at the base 
of the Dang La. 

♦ * « * « 

" To the spirit select there is no choice. 
He cannot say, This will I do or that. 

* * * » « 

A hand is stretched to him from out the dark, 
Which grasping without question, he is led 
Where there is work that he must do for God. 
« « * * * 

To the tough hearts that pioneer their way 
And break a pathway to those unknown realms, 
That in the earth's broad shadow lie enthralled, 
Endurance is the crowning quality. 
And patience all the passion of great hearts." 

— J. R. LoweU\ 



GLOSSARY. 



Aehi Sister. 

Ahon A teacher among moslems. 

Apa Father. 

Argols Excreta of animals. 

Aro Brother. 

Bei-si or pet-si Mongol chief. 

Chang Alcoholicliquor made by Tibetans. 

CJiang lam Long road. 

Chen tax Military official. 

Chong-kuei teh Head of a house, shopkeeper 

Choma Edible root. 

Ch(/rten Monument. 

Churma Dried curds of buttermilk. 

Dalai Lama Grand lama. 

Dimo dimo ing Tibetan salutation. 

Dzassak Mongol chief. 

Fa tai Abbot. 

Fen-kuai-tsi Dried manure bricks. 

Fu-ing-tang C. I. M. Chapel. 

Fu tai... Civil official. 

Fu yeh.. Living Buddha. 

Gelu Yellow sect of lamas. 

Oimbi Controller of Official escort. 

Oomba Monastery. 

Heh-ho-shang Black priests. 

Ho pen Shallow pot for fire. 

Huei-huei Mohammedan. 

398 



GLOSSARY 399 

lang-ta-ren Foreign great man. 

le mah Wild mule. 

Ja-ja Sleeveless jacket. 

Ja-lam Road traveled by tea caravans. 

K'a che Mohammedan. 

Kali Slowly. 

ICang The hollow heated platform in use as 

a bed and divan. 

Kanpo Abbot. 

Kao yeh Secretary. 

Karwa Palace. 

Khata Scarf of ceremony. 

Khopa or kopa Tibetan from the interior. 

Kiang Discuss. 

Kotow Strike the forehead to the ground in 

worship or honor. 

Kiuxn men Official gate. 

KiLShok Gentleman. 

Ku tsi Trousers. 

Lama Buddhist priest. 

La roTig Official residence of the abbot. 

Ld One-third of an English mile. 

Long ta Wind horse made of paper. 

Mamha Doctor. 

Mamhafu yeh Medical buddha. 

Mang tuan Satin given by the Emperor to the 

Mongol princes. 

Mani Prayer, rosary. 

UTien Vermicelli. 

Obo Pile of stones on a hill or pass. 

Oru88 Russian. 

Panaka Nomadic Tibetan of N. E. Tibet. 

Pao ren A man who acts as security. 

Peh Sing Subjects, common people. 

Peh tsi Coolie who carries loads on his back. 

Peling English. 

Pel-lu Northern road. 



400 GLOSSARY 

PioA Agreement. 

Pien 8hi Small, boiled, moat dumplings. 

Poribo Official. 

Pmibo cKenjpo Great official. 

Puh tsi Shop. 

Pulu Woolen cloth made by Tibetans. 

Sho Junket. 

SuTig Kuan Disciplinarian. 

Ta ho Older brother, 

Tangut Tibetan of lake district. 

Too tai Official of third rank. 

Tiao lo Tower of defence. 

Ting Civil official in small town. 

Tong kuan Eastern suburb. 

Tsamba Parched barley meal. 

Tsao ti Grass country. 

Tseh Thief, 

Tung shih Interpreter. 

Ula Relays of animals supplied by Gov- 
ernment order, 

Wang yeh Prince or chief. 

Wu chai Tihata Scarfs of ceremony in parcels of five. 

Yamen Home and office of an official. 

Yesu Ma'shika Jesus Christ. 



INDEX 



Abbot (vide Kanpo). Burh'an Bola pass (Buddha's 
Achi, 201, 203. Cauldron), 227, 232, 233, 234. 

Ahons, 51, 53, 54,98. Burnt offering, ceremony of, 
Alexander of Russia, 123. 32, 33. 

Alphabet, Tibetan, 37. Butter, Tibetan, 181, 182. 

Altar, 110. Butter God Festival, 115, 116, 
Altar-lamp, 301. 117, 118, 119. 

Amban of Sining, 27, 28, 42, Butter lamps, 110, 114. 

43, ;133, 196, 197, 220, 325, Cart, Chinese, 16, 17. 

355, 357, 389. Cattle, Tibetan, 180, 181. 

Ambush, Robbers', 302, 303. Ch'amdo, 275, 351. 

Amdo, 9, 27, 104, 107, 112. Chang, 143, 144, 185. 

Amdo-wa, 27. Chango, 373. 

Amputation, Confucian teach- Chango Gomba, 373. 

ing on, 79. Chang-Ko, 373. 

Amundsen, Mr., 384, 387, 388. Chen-hai pu, 93, 97. 

Ani, 140, 141, 156, 157, 162, Chen-tai of Sining, 89, 92, 93, 

165, 166, 202, 206, 207. 94. 

Apa, 325, 327, 328, 329. Children, Tibetan, 166, 167. 

Arabic, 53. China Inland Mission, 22, 24, 
Argols, 44, 78, 80, 179, 183, 26, 387, 395. 

222, 303. Chomora Lake, 262, 263, 265, 
Army, of lamas, 58, 72, 73, 74. 277, 279. 

Arnold, Sir Edwin, 66. Chorten, 368. 

Artists, Tibetan, 119, Chumar River, 152, 240. 

Baga-nor, 211. Churma, 172, 173, 177, 182. 

Balema gol, 212. Dabesun-nor, 216. 

Barong, 201, 202, 214, 219, 223. Dalai Lama, 113, 144, 145, 161, 
Batang, 275. 192, 210, 220, 246, 261, 265, 

Bayan gol, 219. 268. 

Bear, encounter with, 217, 218. Dam chu. 289. 

Bible School at Lusar, 86, 87, Dang chu, 254, 281. 

88. Dang La Mountains, 245, 252, 
Bicycle, 167, 168. 254, 397. 

Blue Lake (vide also Koko- Dawo, 373, 378. 

nor), 186, 187,188, 189. Derge, 275, 3.54, 366, 372. 

Eonvalot, 191. Discipline, 131. 

Buddha (Gautama), 9. Djoma, Mt., 242. 

Buddhism, Tibetan, 66, Doma, 140, 141, 142, 166, 206. 

Buha gol, 212. Dorst, Mt., 242. 

401 



402 INDEX. 

Dowe, 229. Ho, General, 81, 83. 

Drechu, 242, 351, 360, 363, 364, Horba, 275, 354, 369, 372. 

365. House-boat, 12, 14, 15. 

Drunkenness of lamas, 148. Hsi-ho (Western River), 58^ 
Drushi Chu, 363. 93, 133, 134, 174, 209, 211. 

Dsun, 234. Hsuen-hua-ting, 52. 55, 57. 

Dulan gol, 215. Hue (& Gabet), 10, 103, 106, 
Dulan kao, 215, 216. 107, 113, 127, 191, 261, 275. 

Dulan nor, 216. langmaoko, 70. 

Dulan si, 215. Ichu, 275. 

Dutreuil de Rhins, 176, 230, Idolatry, Tibetan, 110, 111, 

316, 329, 358. 119. 

Dzassak of Barong, 223, 225, Iki Olan, 212. 

226, 229, 233. Incense burning, 65, 114. 

Eastern Turkestan, 160. Inner Tibet, 152, 191, 196, 
Ergetsu, 218. 232, 263. 

Fancheng, 16, 21. Ishinima (our Tibetan teach- 
Ferguson, Wm. Neil, 12, 44, er), 35, 36, 37,38,39, 40, 41,42, 

45, 46, 68, 69, 138. 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 59, 61, 88, 

Foot-binding, 140. 170, 209, 392. 

Fuyeh, the little, 64, 65, 67. Jambula, 81, 129, 130. 

Ga-chuen-tsi, 204, 209, 233, Ja-si, 204, 208, 233, 238. 

235, 238. Jerimpoche, 261. 

Ga-je, 325, 354. Jesus and Tsong K'aba, 122, 
Gelu, sect of lamas, 105. 123. 

Gimbi, the, 367, 368. Jeto pass, 379, 380. 

Gold Image of Tsong K'aba, Journey to the Interior, prep- 

110. arations for, 197, 198, 199; 

Gold Tiled Temple, 104, 109. supplies, 205. 

Goloks, 224. Jyekundo, 275, 276, 280, 323, 
Gomba Soba (Soma), 43, 209, '324, 325, 328, 329, 331, 333, 

210. 337, 338, 343, 346, 349, 350, 

Good Samaritan, lesson of, 351, 353, 357, 369. 

101. Kaldan, lamasery of, 105, 106. 

Gosa Gomba, 367. K'ang, 18, 64, 65, 72, 93. 

Gospels, presentation and dis- Kanpo (Abbot), of Kumbum, 

tribution of, 185, 188, 189, 60, 61. 62, 63, 70, 71, 123. 

190, 212, 222, 260, 269, 286. Kansa, 354, 362. 

Grenard, 176, 316. Kans6, 358, 369, 372, 373. 

Hall, Mr., 26, 28, 69, 153. Kansu, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 55, 
Han-kia, 31. 196. 

Hankow, 12, 14, 155. Kanzego, 372. 

Hedin, Dr. Sven, 144; visits Kambas, 176, 230. 

Rijnharts at Tankar, 158, Karma Kumbum, 280. 

159, 160, 161, 162, 165, 186, Kashgar, 52, 158. 

187. Katsa gol, 216. 

Hermit lamas, 187. Khamlung La, 257. 



INDEX. 



403 



Khara Kottel, 157. 

Khata(s), 40, 113, 164, 165, 

172, 318. 
Kiai-ya, 76, 78. 
Knobel, Mr., 390. 
Koko-beileh, desert of, 317. 
Koko-nor (vide also "Blue 

Lake"), 10, 42, 43, 47, 49, 55, 

98, 133, 143, 166, 170, 174, 

175, 186, 187, 189, 196, 211, 

258. 
Koko-nor Tibetans, 164, 170, 

178, 185, 195. 
Koko-shilis, 214. 
Kopa(s), 161 164,198,310,211, 

216, 235, 240, 243, 267, 268. 
Koran, 54. 

Korluk-bei-si, 210, 214, 225. 
Kueh-teh, 70, 71. 
Kuenlun Mountains, 220, 223, 

337 232, 
Kumbum, 9, 36, 38, 30, 53, 54, 

55, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 70, 74, 

75, 137, 161, 168. 
Kushok(s), 144, 145, 192. 
Ladak, 52, 152, 197, 198, 273, 

273, 274, 279. 

Lamas, number of, 103; igno- 
rance of, 125, 272, 273; resi- 
dence of, 103, 104; drinking 
habits of, 147, 148, 

Lamaseries, 103, 103. 

Lamasery of Kumbum, 54, 64, 

76, 103, 108, 154 (Chap. vi). 
Lancheo, 31, 33, 24, 25, 57, 69, 

91. 
Landor, 191. 
Lhasa, 9, 11, 103, 105, 123, 

124, 133, 152, 161, 186, 191, 

193, 194, 202, 230, 231, 236, 

246, 357. 
Li, General, 90. 
Li Ilung Chang, 19. 
Liangcheo, 57. 
Li Lao-yoh, 76. 
Lit'ang. 380. 
Losang Kindum, 145, 146, 147. 



Lusas, 9, 10, 11, 26, 28, 29, 
47, 48, 53, 54. 58, 59, 91, 95, 
101, 137, 168. 

Macdonald, Sir Claude, 390. 

Mabatmas, 134, 132. 

Malcolm, Lieut., 153, 158. 

Mamba, 163, 276, 277, 281, 282, 
233, 286, 335. 

Mamba Fuyeh, election of, 40, 
41, 42. 

Manchuria, 9, 109. 

Massacres, Chap. v. 

Medical Missions, 34, 35, 64, 
65, 77, 78, 79, 84, 91, 96, 
128, 139, 155, 163, 164, 173, 
213, 334. 

Medical Science of Tibetans, 
34, 163, 165, 174, 175. 

Mendicants, 179, 

Merchant, Chinese, 341, 343, 
344, 345, 

Mina Fuyeh, 70, 109; his resi- 
idence, 130; conversations 
with, on Christianity, 133, 
133; his previous incarna- 
tions, 131, 136, 137 ; his edu- 
cation, 133, 134, 135, 137, 
138; his illness, 139; his 
visit to Tankar, 147, 150; 
his disciple, 151; his kind- 
ness to the author, 157; his 
visit to Lhasa, 193, 193. 

Missionary Sacrifices and 
Prospects, 392, 393, 394, 395, 
396. 

Mohammedans of China, 50, 
51, 

Mohammedans of Kansu, 38, 
39, 51, 53, 58, 

Mohammedans of Tankar, 135, 

Mohammedan Rebellion of 
1861-1874, 35, 53, 121, 134. 

Mohammedan Relsellion of 
1895, Chap, iii, etseq. 

Mason, Mr, 22. 

Mongolia, 9, 29, 106, 115, 123, 
193. 



404 



INDEX. 



Mongols (Mongolians), 10, 11, 
28, 29, 72, 103, 136, 210, 

Mongol tents, 211, 214, 219, 
221, 222, 225. 

Monteorvin, Jean de, 107. 

Moyes, Mr., 387. 

Mur-ussu, 241, 242, 245, 252. 

Music, Tibetan, 178. 

Music-box, incident of, 60, 61, 
62. 

Nagch'uk'a, 232, 243,253, 256, 
261, 263, 264, 265, 266, 269, 
271, 273, 279, 297, 328, 351. 

Nan Cbuan, 82, 88. 

Nan Hsi Temples, 90. 

Nepaul, 275. 

Nestorian Tablet, 21. 

New Year Festival, 21, 22, 

Ninchung Gomba, 378. 

Nirvana, 64, 136. 

Nocturnal Devotions, Cere- 
mony of, 114, 115. 

Nomads, 170; costumes of, 
170, 171; encampments, 179; 
manner of killing sheep, 
182; hospitality, 184, 265. 

Nomoran pass, 227. 

Nya chu, 373. 

Nyara Gomba, 373. 

Nyerpa, 276. 

Obo(s), 213, 235, 237, 240, 24], 
242, 360, 380. 

Officials, Tibetan, 255, 256. 
269, 366. 

Oruss, 159. 

Oscar, King, 161. 

Panaka, 173, 174, 175, 177, 
178, 188. 

Pandit, A. K., 191. 

Passport, 19, 196, 354, 355. 

Pa-uen-chuan-tsi, 209. 

Pei Fuyeh, 210. 

Pekin, 60, 107, 128, 154, 193, 
196, 198. 

Pilgrims and Pilgrimages, 9, 
109, 113, 115, 396. 



Pioneer Missions, 12, 170, 193, 
194, 195. 

Polyandry, 221. 

Pon chu, 284. 

Prayer-flags, 213. 

Prayer-wheels, 109, 114, 179. 

Prjevalski, 186, 191, 232. 

Prostrations, 109. 

Ra-la mountains, 175. 

Ra-la valley, 174, 175. 

Rahim, 52, 166, 174, 198, 213, 
216, 217, 218, 225, 235, 239, 
241, 242, 249, 256, 273, 277; 
Departure of, 279. 

Rashi Gomba, 346, 348, 350. 

Reading Halls at Kumbum, 
112. 

Redfern, Mr. and Mrs., 22, 
23. 

Reincarnation, 64, 65, 66, 67, 
125, 126. 

Religions of China, 15, 19, 20. 

Ridley, Mr. and Mrs., 24, 26, 
68, 69, 156, 166. 

Rijnhart, Petrus, visit to 
Lusar in 1892, 10; pioneer 
work on the border, 10, 11; 
lectures in America and Hol- 
land, 12; knowledge of Chi- 
nese, 13; prepares our house, 
28; journey to the grass 
country. Chap, ii; acquaint- 
ance with the Kanpo of 
Kumbum, 60, 61, 62, 63; a 
false alarm, 67; treating 
wounded soldiers, 77, 78, 79; 
a ride for life, 79, 80, 81; a 
distinguished patient, 84,85; 
with the Mohammedan 
wounded, 100; the law of 
Christian kindness, 101; 
conversations with the 
Kanpo of Kumbum, 122, 123, 
124, 128; ability as a den- 
tist, 146; entertained by 
Lhasa officials, 146, 147, 148; 



INDEX. 405 

meets Capt. Wellby, 151, Shertoch Fuyeh, 59. 

153, 153, 154; visit to Pekin, Shiabden Gomba, 265, 377. 

155; his return, 164; bicycle Shigatse, 261, 279. 

exhibtions, 168 ; departure Shuga g-ol, 236. 

for Koko-nor, 174; the jour- Si-fan, 27, 137. 

ney, 174-190'; applies for Signan, 16, 21. 

passport, 196; journey to the Sining, 24, 28, 55, 57, 68, 69, 

interior, 216, 218, 225, 227, 70, 76, 82, 88, 89, 91, 167, 

238, 256, 263, 271, 282, 283; 230, 243, 351, 352. 

celebration of our wedding Sok chu, 284, 285. 

day. 280; dealing with rob- Sokdee, 283, 

bers. Chap, xix; disappear- Sulin gol, 218. 

ance, Chap, xx; report of Sung kuan, 74. 

Ysung Li Yamen, 390, 391; Sung pan, 351. 

missionary zeal, 395. Ta-chien lu, 144, 145, 271, 275, 

Rijnhart, Charles Carson,birth 323, 351, 352, 365, 366, 369, 

of, 165,-173, 200, 201, 210, 371, 372, 377, 379, 382, 383, 

227; celebration of birthday, 384, 385. 

228—, 235, 238, 242, 243, 244; Tala-dabesun-nor, 214. 

death and burial in the in- Talin Turgen, 217. 

terior of Tibet, Chap, xv, Tanguts, 47, 170, 172, 188. 

p. 396, 397. Tankar, 43, 47, 49, 99, 133, et 

Ritual of Tibetan Buddhism seq., 160, 162, 167, 168. 170, 

and Roman Catholicism 172, 174, 188, 198, 203, 205, 

compared, 106, 107. 206, 208, 209, 219, 232, 236, 

Robbers, 175, 188, 212, 286, 275. 

287, Chap, xix, 327; Chap. Tai-lin, 369, 379. 

xxiv TsrOcliGO 351. 

Rockhill, W. W., 25, 103, 113, Tashi Gomba, 274, 276, 287, 

186, 209, 212, 225, 229, 351, 289, 297, 314, 322. 

352, 372. Taylor, Miss Annie, 316, 383. 

Roman Catholic Missions, 107, Ta-o chu, 286. 

108, 383, 386. Tea, Tibetan, 183. 

Sacred Tree, 113. Teng, Brig. Gen., 57, 58, 81, 

Salars, 52, 55, 56, 57, 74. 82, 83, 99. 

Sam-me-che-kur, 186. Teng-nga Gomba, 286. 

Sapo, 257, 261, 273, 279. Teng-nga chu, 286. 

Sapo chu, 257. Tents, Tibetan, 177, 178. 

Scandinavians, 16. Theatricals, Tibetan, 148, 149. 

Serkin-dabesun-nor, 214, 216. Timurte Mountains, 216. 
Shak chu, 256, 281. Tong kuan of Sining, 89, 90, 

Shalop Chercho, 283. 91, 92, 99. 

Shanghai, 68, 196, 360, 381. Topa, 58, 70, 85, 91, 92, 97, 98, 
Shara gol, 218. 99, 100, 133. 

Shar-je-ja-ba, 145, 146, 192. Topsy, 172, 174, 238, 241, 255, 
Shara kuto, 215. 280, 297. 

Shen-ch'un, 70, 72, 76, 82, 88. Traahil'unpo, 220, 230, 273. 



406 INDEX. 

Transhirunpo Lama, 145, 261. Tzar chu, 277. 
Tsamba, 47, 162, 182, 183. Uang, Major, 55, 56. 

Ts'aidam, 162, 198, 199, 200, Uang, Mr. and Mrs., 206, 230. 

202, 220, 228, 230, 231, 232, Uren Muren, 212, 241. 

233, 236, 275. Wang-ma-la, 283. 

Ts'aidam Mongols, 221, 222, Wang-yeh, 210. 

223. Wei General 92 93 99 

Tsachu, 289, 290, 304, 325. Wellby, Capt., visit of, 151, 
Tsa-ta-ti, 209, 152, 153, 154, 155, 157, 158, 

Tsa-tsangol, 217. 160,-204, 209, 239. 

Tsanga Fuyeh, 162, 164, 209. ^ild horses, 212, 213. 
Tsing bai wang, 214, 215. Women, Mongolian, 201, 215, 

1 so gol, ~/la. 2]^9 001 2'''' 224 

Tsong K'aba, temple of, 104; ^xr'" Tibet'an ^*2 142 i<^i 

legends of, 105, 106, 107, 108, °™®°' ^^^^^^^' ^2, 142, 154, 

110, 112, 113, 118, 123. TTT r rr... 

Tso-nitang, 176. Wortug Tibetans, 212. 

Tso-ri-niah, 86, 187. Wounded, attending the, 

Tsung Li Yamen's Report, Chap, iv, p. 93, 96. 

390, 391. Wu ts'aidan, 201, 220. 

T'u-fan, 27. Yangtse, 12, 14, 240, 242, 360. 

Turkestan, 52, 98. Yellow River, 24, 25, 56, 214, 

Turkestani Mohammedans, 11, 215. 

29, 52. Za chu, 371, 372. 

Turner, Mr. and Mrs. C. Pol- Zochen Gomba, 369, 370. 

hill, 383, 386, 387, 388, 395. 



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