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Through Unknown Tibet

Through Unknown Tibet
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Author: Wellby M. S.
Title: Through Unknown Tibet
Release Date: 2018-08-06
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Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Inconsistent or incorrect accents and spelling have been left unchanged.

THROUGH UNKNOWN TIBET

Montagu S. Wellby

THROUGH
UNKNOWN TIBET

By M. S. WELLBY
Capt. 18th Hussars

The Kushok's Cook.

ILLUSTRATED

LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN
PATERNOSTER SQUARE. 1898

[All rights reserved]

TO
OUR BROTHER OFFICERS

PREFACE.

In publishing the following account of a journey acrossTibet and China, it has been my object to describe in asimple manner all that I did and saw from beginning toend, in the hope that some future traveller may learn, notso much what he ought to do, as what he ought not to do.

Those who have experienced the charms of a nomad'slife, will, I trust, be once more reminded of happy days offreedom, will sympathise with us in our difficulties, andshare the pleasures which they alone can appreciate.Should others, by chance, find some little interest inperusing these pages, and be tempted to taste for themselvesthe sweets of wandering through little known lands, theywill be recompensed for doing so, and I shall have found myreward.

To those who patiently read to the end and close thebook with a feeling of disappointment, I would appeal forleniency. Begun as it was at Lucknow, amid the distractionsof polo, racing, and field-days, continued at Simla,India's summer capital, and finished in the wilds ofWaziristan, it can lay no claim to literary or scientificmerit, but only to being a plain story plainly told; and assuch I give it to the public.

For the chapter on the Mohammedan rebellion in China,my thanks are due to my friend Mr. Ridley, of the "ChinaInland Mission," who lived in the very midst of the sceneof trouble, and who kindly allowed me to make every useof his notes. They are likewise due to Sir Claude andLady Macdonald, whose kindness and hospitality in Pekincan never be forgotten, and lastly, to those three faithfulones who stuck to us through thick and thin.

The names of Duffadar Shahzad Mir, Lassoo, and EsaTsareng—known throughout as "Esau"—will always callto my mind three men without whom this journey couldnever have been accomplished, and in saying this I knowthat I am also expressing the feelings of my companion,Lieut. Malcolm.

M. S. WELLBY,
Capt. 18th Hussars.

Waziristan,
November, 1897.

CONTENTS.

PAGE
CHAPTER I.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE JOURNEY—MALCOLM GOES ON AHEAD1
CHAPTER II.
BALTAL—LEH—I REJOIN MALCOLM—THE CHINESE PASSPORTARRIVES 20
CHAPTER III.
FOLLOWING THE INDUS—EGU—WAITING AT SHUSHAL—AWARNING40
CHAPTER IV.
MUN—LUDHKONG—TOUCHING FRIENDSHIP OF MULE AND PONY—NIAGZU50
CHAPTER V.
MORTALITY AMONG SHEEP—LAKE TREB—THE NAPU LA PASS—SICKNESSOF BAKR HADJI—RUDOK OFFICIALS COMMAND USTO RETREAT60
CHAPTER VI.
OUR RETREAT—CROSSING THE BORDERLAND OF TIBET—ASTRANGE ACCOUCHEMENT—SPORT—PONIES SHOT74
CHAPTER VII.
A COLD NIGHT—DEATH OF MULE—A FRESH-WATER LAKE—BADWEATHER—DEATH OF THE FAVOURITE WHITE PONY—BYA SALT LAKE—ILLNESS OF TOKHTA—I SEARCH FORMISSING ANIMALS81
CHAPTER VIII.
LAKE LIGHTEN—INTENSE HEAT—AN OLD FIREPLACE—SERIOUSACCIDENT THROUGH OVER-HASTE OF MULES TO DRINK—ACOUP D'ŒIL—THE FIRST FLOWER—OUR PET SHEEP—ANOTHERFRESH-WATER LAKE—A PLEASANT BATH—DEATHOF ANIMALS AND DEARTH OF GRAIN90
CHAPTER IX.
TERRIBLE GUN ACCIDENT—WE SEND OUT SCOUTS104
CHAPTER X.
I SHOOT A YAK—DEATH OF ANOTHER MULE—"HELMET HILL"—WELEAVE TOKHTA AND SULLOO BEHIND—REDUCED TOTWELVE ANIMALS—A MULE'S ADVENTURE116
CHAPTER XI.
SHOOTING AN ANTELOPE—SNOW—A MYSTERIOUS TRACK—THEBED OF AN ANCIENT LAKE—EMOTION OF MAHOMED RAHIM—VARIABLEWEATHER—MORE ANTELOPES SHOT—THEODOLITEBROKEN—EXTRAORDINARILY SUDDEN WIND—HUNGERv. CEREMONY—NEW FINDS127
CHAPTER XII.
A FOOTPRINT—SHAHZAD MIR INDISPOSED—DESERTION OF MULETEERS—ARAINY NIGHT141
CHAPTER XIII.
RETURN OF THE DESERTERS—SHUKR ALI—LONG MARCHES—DEATHOF EIGHT MULES AND A PONY—A CHEERING REPAST152
CHAPTER XIV.
A SERPENTINE RIVER—HUNGER—MARMOTS—A PLEASANTCAMPING164
CHAPTER XV.
SHOOTING—A TROUBLESOME MULE—A YAK CEMETERY—I CHASEA KYANG—TENDER HEARTS—INSCRIBED STONES—LASSOOAND SHUKR ALI SICK—AN ARDUOUS CROSSING172
CHAPTER XVI.
ANOTHER CHULA—MOUNTAINS—A QUEER ILLUSION—STRANGEVOICES—WE FIND WE ARE DESCENDING—A TIBETAN CAMP—ESAUSENT AS AN AMBASSADOR—AN INVITATION185
CHAPTER XVII.
WE CATCH UP THE MERCHANT'S CAMP—TIBETAN HOSPITALITY—WEFIND THAT WE HAVE DISCOVERED THE SOURCE OF THECHU MA—BARGAINING195
CHAPTER XVIII.
MANAGEMENT OF THE TIBETAN CARAVAN—TEA WITH THE MERCHANT—SHUGATZARIVER—FRICTION—AN ALARM204
CHAPTER XIX.
WE LEAVE THE KUSHOK—A USELESS CLIMB—SIGNS OF ADISASTROUS JOURNEY—A HOUSE OF PRAYER—MALCOLMSHOOTS A BEAR—ANXIETY FOR FOOD218
CHAPTER XX.
FOLLOWING THE NAMORAN—WE SPLIT INTO THREE PARTIES—WEMEET SOME YOUNG MONGOLS—THEIR HOSPITALITY—LOBSAN—THEBANA TRIBES227
CHAPTER XXI.
WITH THE MONGOLS—A HOSPITABLE OLD LADY—ON THE WAY TOTANKAR—A POISONOUS STREAM—BANA TENTS—I ABSTRACTAN INSCRIBED BONE—OUR COLDEST NIGHT—A WONDERFULPLACE—KANJUR RUNGYUM240
CHAPTER XXII.
ESAU AND I SET OFF—RECEPTION FROM THE BANAS—WE ARRIVEAT TANKAR—A FRIENDLY GUIDE—AN ABSURD TIP—DR. RIJNHART—TEAWITH LHASSA OFFICIALS—ARRIVAL OF MALCOLMAND THE MONGOLS—CHEN-LAO-PAN—CHINESE ETIQUETTE256
CHAPTER XXIII.
A VISIT TO CHEN-LAO-PAN—COLONEL YANG—THE DAUGHTER OFPRINCE KOKO NOR—A VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF KUMBUM267
CHAPTER XXIV.
THE STORY OF THE FIRST BUDDHA OF THE EMPIRE—THE SACREDTREE—THE GOLD-TILED TEMPLE—PARTING FROM MINAFU-YEH—THE GREEN GLAZED-TILE TEMPLE—THE FLOWERTEMPLE—SIGNS OF THE MOHAMMEDAN REBELLION—AT THEMISSION HOUSE285
CHAPTER XXV.
THE MOHAMMEDAN REBELLION IN CHINA, 1895–6298
CHAPTER XXVI.
PARTING FROM LOBSAN—STARTING FOR LANCHEO—A RUINEDSUBURB—GOOD DONE BY MISSIONARIES—WE TAKE LEAVEOF MR. RIDLEY—OUR FIRST CHINESE INN315
CHAPTER XXVII.
SHANG TAN—HO TSUI TSI—FIRST VIEW OF THE YELLOW RIVER—ONA RAFT—AT LANCHEO—A TELEGRAPH TROUBLE325
CHAPTER XXVIII.
WE PAY OFF SHUKR ALI—LANCHEO TO CHONG WEI—OFFICIALINCIVILITY—LOSE RUBY—SHAHZAD MIR MISTAKEN FOR AREBEL332
CHAPTER XXIX.
MISSIONARY YARNS—CHEAP LIVING—ON THE YELLOW RIVERAGAIN—CASH352
CHAPTER XXX.
PAO T'EO—THE SWEDISH MISSION-HOUSE—CHINESE SCHOOLS—CHINESEINNS—CHINESE BURIAL—KUEI HUA CHENG—FRICTIONWITH CARTERS—WE LEAVE THE MONGOL COUNTRY—THEGREAT WALL367
CHAPTER XXXI.
HOW TO MANAGE INNKEEPERS AND CARTERS—SHUEN-HUA-FU—"SPIRIT'SPAPER"—SHAHZAD MIR LOST AND FOUND—ESAU'SPRESTIGE386
CHAPTER XXXII.
A TRUCULENT INNKEEPER—A SEDAN CHAIR—CHINESE WOMENAND THEIR FEET—PEKIN—DEPARTURE OF RIJNHART—CARTERSEARN A BEATING398
CHAPTER XXXIII.
BACK TO INDIA—DISILLUSIONMENT OF OUR FOLLOWERS WITHREGARD TO SOME OF THE BLESSINGS OF CIVILIZATION—MILITARYHOSPITALITY—RETURN TO CALCUTTA415
APPENDICES423
INDEX437

xiii

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
CAPTAIN WELLBYFrontispiece
THE KUSHOK'S COOKTitle
LIEUTENANT MALCOLMFacing    1
CLUB OF NORTHERN INDIA, MURREE, IN SNOW5
VIEW TOWARDS FIFTH BRIDGE, SRINAGAR8
A MERCHANT'S HOUSE IN SRINAGAR9
MOHAMMEDAN MOSQUE, SRINAGAR11
HINDU TEMPLE, SRINAGAR12
ON THE RIVER, SRINAGAR14
DUFFADAR SHAHZAD MIR, 11TH BENGAL LANCERS15
SHUKR ALI18
THE GLACIERS, SONAMERG21
FIRST SIGNS OF BUDDHISM BEYOND LEH, AT MULBECK25
BRIDGE OVER THE SURV RIVER AT KARGIL, ON THE ROAD TOLEH. BRIDGE ON CANTILEVER PATTERN29
SHAHZAD MIR AND OUR TEN MEN33
CHINESE PASSPORT, ONE AND A HALF FEET SQUARE37
MY RED CHINESE VISITING CARD, FIVE INCHES BROAD AND TENINCHES LONG38
ON THE BORDERS OF TIBET; OUR CAMP AT NIAGZU57
CROSSING THE NAPU LA (18,500 FEET HIGH)64
OUR THREE RUNDORE GUIDES67
KERAMBUTABUK71
LAKE "LIGHTEN" (WE LIGHTENED OUR LOADS HERE)91
17TH JUNE. THREE OF OUR TENTS ARE ABANDONED AT THISSPOT95
WE CAMP IN A GRASSY NULLAH98
A DAY'S HALT BY A FRESH-WATER LAKE100
OUR MULES BEING WATERED109
WE CAMP IN A WILDERNESS AND STEER FOR "HELMET HILL"118
MALCOLM AT BREAKFAST WITH ESAU121
WE CAMP BY TWO FRESH-WATER POOLS124
TWO ANTELOPES ARE SHOT CLOSE TO CAMP135
SHAHZAD MIR AT WORK145
AUTOGRAPH OF THE BUDDHA, page 275151
THE LAST CAMP OF OUR TWELVE MULES159
RUBY165xiv
A DEAD ANTELOPE180
AN ENORMOUS YAK183
THE KUSHOK'S TAME YAK200
SOME MEMBERS OF THE KUSHOK'S CAMP213
TSOKPO MONGOLS LIVING IN THE BUSH231
MALCOLM ENGAGES ATTENTION OF MONGOLS WITH "CADBURY":THEY THINK IT IS SNUFF235
MONGOL LADIES ON THE BAYAN GOL238
MONGOL CAMP: ONE OF OUR HALTS249
THREE REMAINING MULES AT KOKO NOR253
BUDDHIST PRAYER-WHEEL, WITH SCARF OF BLESSING268
DR. RIJNHART. DAUGHTER OF THE PRINCE OF KOKO NOR269
BRIDGE IN CHINA, FIVE MILES FROM TANKAR. MISSIONARYAND MULE ON BRIDGE271
BRIDGE OF SHANG-HO-RI (SOUNDING RIVER) ON THE ROAD TOTANKAR273
AUDIENCE ROOM OF THE KAMBO (ABBOT) OF KUMBUM275
MINA FU-YEH (BUDDHA)277
CHORTENS OF KUMBUM286
KUMBUM287
TWO SMALL SHRINES, WITH NUMBERS OF PRAYER-WHEELS291
PRAYER-WHEELS, BOARDS, ROSARY FROM LUSAR295
RUINS OF THE E. SUBURB OF SINING318
A SEDAN CHAIR321
THE ONLY WAY TO DRIVE IN NORTH CHINA333
ON THE ROAD FROM LANCHEO, CHINA339
STREET IN THE TONG KUAN (E. SUBURB), CHONG WEI, YELLOWRIVER343
OUR INN AT CHONG WEI349
OUR WOOL BOAT ON THE YELLOW RIVER355
HALTING FOR THE NIGHT ON THE YELLOW RIVER357
A FERRY ACROSS THE HUANG HO359
ALL THE "CASH" ISSUED FROM THE FIRST OF THE EMPERORSOF THE TS'ING OR MANCHU DYNASTY361
ON THE ROAD IN CHINA369
ON THE ROAD FROM PAO T'EO TO PEKIN373
BUDDHIST TEMPLE, OUTSIDE KUEI HUA CHENG, CHINA377
MONGOL ENCAMPMENT382
TEMPLE OUTSIDE SI-YANG HO384
BRIDAL CHAIR387
A GORGE WITH GREAT WALL IN DISTANCE390
THE GREAT WALL AT CHA-TAO395
BUDDHIST ARCHWAY BY NAN KOU399
CLOSE TO THE CELESTIAL CAPITAL403
A PORTION OF THE WALLS OF THE CAPITAL407
STREET WHEREIN IS THE ENTRANCE TO THE BRITISH LEGATION409
PEKIN413
LASSOO AND ESAU420

LIEUTENANT MALCOLM.

THROUGH UNKNOWN TIBET.

CHAPTER I.

PREPARATIONS FOR THE JOURNEY—MALCOLM GOES ON AHEAD.

About the beginning of March, 1896, whilst the Inter-RegimentalPolo Tournament was being held at Umballa,an occasion when representatives of regiments from allparts of India are gathered together, Lieutenant Malcolm,of the 93rd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and I,agreed to join forces in an expedition through Tibet. Ourresolve was to traverse the northern portions of this little-knowncountry from west to east, to find out, if possible,what mysteries lay beneath the word UNEXPLORED withwhich alone our latest maps were enlightened; furthermoreto discover and locate the source of the Chu Ma river,which was supposed to be a source of the Yangtse Kiang;finally to cross the Tsaidam and end up our wanderings atthe celestial capital of China. During the few weeks thatremained before we should be able to take our leave, wewere unfortunately quartered at different places many milesapart, consequently all our arrangements had to be carriedout by post and wire. It was towards the end of Marchwhen we left our respective stations of Nowshera andUmballa. I remember well the mail train to Rawal Pindione bright morning gliding from the latter station past the2well-known grassy maidan, then worn to a dirty dustybrown by reason of the morning tramp of small mixedarmies, and by the equally keen and destructive work ofnumerous polo players during the latter half of the day.

On occasions like this, the thought quite naturally arisesin one's mind, "Is everything here? Has my faithfulbearer left anything behind?" Let us see what was withme in the carriage. In one corner lay my rifles; theseconsisted of a ·308 with Martini-Henry action, and 300rounds of ammunition with Jeffery's split bullets, a sportingcarbine with 200 rounds, a shot-gun with 300, and a coupleof government cavalry carbines with 100. These latter webrought not

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