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up his comprador for not having brought him any milk, receiving the indignant answer,—“That pig hab killo, that dog hab weillo (run away), that woman hab catchee cheillo-how then can catchee milk?"
A Lama at Kaelang, on being spoken to on this subject, admitted that he had observed that even at Lassa the pure Chinese did not take any milk; and he said the reason they gave for not doing so was, that milk makes people stupid. I fancy there is some truth in that assertion; but possibly the Chinese may have got the idea from the fact that the Tartars, who are necessarily milk-drinkers and eaters of dried milk and buttermilk, are a very stupid people. Sir Alexander Burnes mentions a similar opinion as existing in Sind in regard to the effects of fish. There, a fish diet is believed to destroy the mind; and in palliation of ignorance or stupidity in any one, it is often pleaded that “he is but a fish-eater.” Yet this diet, more
Yet this diet, more than any other, if our modern savants can be trusted, supplies the brain with phosphorus and thought, so it is calculated to make people the reverse of stupid.
The next day we started before daylight, and camped again at Namgea Fields. The view over Tartary, from the summit of the pass, was somewhat obscured by the rising sun, which cast on it a confusing roseate light; but the great outlines of the rolling hills and windy steppes were visible. I should be glad to try Chinese Tibet again, and in a more serious way; but meanwhile I had all the Western Himálaya before me, from Lío Porgyúl to the 26,000 feet peak of Nanga Parbat, besides the Afghan border, and I had satisfied my immediate purpose by seeing some of the primitive Turanians, and looking on their wild, high mountain home.
It is difficult, and not of much use, to set down the marches from Pangay (where the cut road ends) to Shipki by miles, so I shall estimate them by time, calculating at the rate which loaded hill coolies and a fair ordinary pedestrian would take :
Hours. Pangay to Rarang,
3 Rarang to Jangi,
4 Jangi to Lippe,
6 Lippe to Súgnam (over the Rúhang Pass, 14,345 feet), 12 Súgnam to Shaso,
3 Shaso to Pú (more or less, according to state of path), 9 Pú to Khalb,
At all these places there are villages, except at Nam
At these Fields and at Shipki no supplies are to be had, and Shaso is too small a place to provide coolies. Lippe, Súgnam, and Pú are large villages.
OVER LÍO PORGYÚL.
THE UPPER VALLEY ROUTE-A JHÚLA OR TWIG-BRIDGE-LORD ELGIN'S
DEATH-CHOTA KHAN'S TERROR— AN INTREPID DAME-FAREWELL
On turning north-westward from Chinese Tibet I set myself to the task of traversing the whole line of the Western Himalaya, from Lío Porgyúl to Kashmir and the Hindú Kúsh, in the interior of its ranges, at a height usually about 12,000 feet, and through the provinces of Hangrang, Spiti, Lahaul, Zanskar, Súrú, and Dras. About half of this line of journey is not to be found in Montgomerie's Routes, and it involves more than one passage of several days over high and difficult ground, where there are no villages, no houses, and scarcely even any wood. Nevertheless, it commends itself as a summer and autumn journey to the traveller, from its great elevation, which keeps him above the tremendous heat of the gorges-from its singularly pure and bracing air—from the protection which more than one snowy range affords against the Indian monsoon — from the awful sublimity of the
scenery—and from the exceedingly primitive and essentially Turanian and Lamaistic character of the people among whom he has to sojourn.
It is possible to hit upon this line of journey without essaying the arduous task of visiting Pú and Shipki, because there is a path from Súgnam to Nako, in Hangrang, by way of Lío and Hango, which, though it goes over the Hangrang Pass at an altitude of 14,530 feet, is comparatively easy. But from Namgea Rizhing or Fields I had to reach Nako by crossing the Sutlej and passing over a shoulder of the great mountain Lío Porgyúl ; so, on the 12th August, we made the steep ascent to the village of Namgea, and from there to a very unpleasant jhúla which crosses the foaming torrent of the Sutlej. In this part of the Himálaya, and, indeed, on to Kashmir, these bridges are constructed of twigs, chiefly from birch trees or bushes, twisted together. Two thick ropes of these twigs, about the size of a man's thigh, or a little larger, are stretched across the river, at a distance of about six to four feet from each other, and a similar rope runs between them, three or four feet lower, being connected with the upper ropes by more slender ropes, also usually of birch twigs twisted together, but sometimes of grass, and occurring at an interval of about five feet from each other. The unpleasantness of a jhula is that the passenger has no proper hold of the upper ropes, which are too thick and rough to be grasped by the hand; and that, at the extremities, they are so far apart that it is difficult to have any hold of both at the same time ; while the danger is increased by the bend or hang of the jhula, which is much lower in the middle than at its ends. He has also to stoop painfully in order to move along it; and it is seldom safe for him to rest his feet on the lower rope, except where it is supported from the upper ropes by the transverse ones. To fall into the raging torrent underneath would be almost certain destruction. The high wind which usually prevails in the Himalaya during the day, makes the whole structure swing about frightfully. In the middle of the bridge there is a crossbar of wood (to keep the two upper ropes separate) which has to be stepped over; and it is not customary to repair a jhúla until some one falls through it, and so gives practical demonstration that it is in rather a rotten state. One of these bridges—at Kokser on the Chandra river, but now superseded by a wooden bridge -accelerated the death of Lord Elgin on his way up to Dharamsala. When crossing over it his coat was caught on the birch twigs; and his progress being thus arrested, he was unable to go over it with that continuous, but not too rapid motion, which is the safest way of dealing with such a passage. To delay on a bridge of this kind, swinging in the wind, is trying to the strongest nerves; and I know, on excellent authority, that the position in which he was thus placed had some effect in aggravating the heart disease from which this Governor-General died not many days afterwards.
· This bridge below Namgea, which is nearly 100 feet in length, is a particularly bad one, because there is so little traffic over it that it is almost never repaired; and Mr Pagell told me that the Namgea people were at some loss to know how I was to be got across in my weak and disabled state. A discussion arose amongst them as to whether the jhúla would bear the weight of one or two men to assist me over it, on hearing of which I could not help laughing quietly, because, however unfit