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in Leh, I had to go alone. It took me about a week to the Panggong, and there a guide met me to take me to the sick man, who had been brought to a point some twenty miles away on the south shore of the lake. There I found the usual Tibetan camp and went to the largest of the tents, which, so two or three Tibetan soldiers lounging outside told me, belonged to the DeputyGovernor of Rudok. At that moment a smooth-faced, foxylooking individual of about thirty appeared from withinit was the Deputy - Governor himself. He ushered me into the tent, where, after the usual ceremonies, I found myself seated on a numdah to discuss the object of my mission with him.
forcibly to my mind. One morning as I was sitting in my office in Leh I was told that a man had just ridden in with an urgent letter for me. I had him in at once and found that he was a Tibetan from the western end of the Panggong, with a letter from the Governor of Rudok, the adjoining Tibetan province. I had the letter translated; after the usual compliments, the gist of it was that an unknown European had just been brought brought in to to the Governor at Rudok town. This European had been found desperately ill, wandering alone in Northern Rudok, and the Governor was having him moved towards the Border as carefully as possible; but it was feared that he might die before he reached there, so I "There and then I took an was asked to come out myself instinctive dislike to the to meet the party. I could Deputy Governor-a sly deread between the lines that precating ruffian, who, like the there was something peculiar late Mr Kilmansegg of imin the case, and concluded that mortal memory, indulged to the local authorities were in excess in that horrid trick of mortal dread of the anger of 'washing his hands with inthe Devashang-the supreme visible soap in imperceptible council of Lhassa-in ease the water'-certainly the only use European's death within their he ever made of either of jurisdiction should lead to those commodities. One felt awkward questions from the him to be pre-eminently capable British Government. of that emotionless cruelty of the yellow man which is incomprehensible to the honest brutality of the Caucasian. He rejoiced apparently in the name of Stag Tsang-the Tiger Lord-but he was altogether so excessively "'umble' that I felt that I had known him since childhood-a Tibetan edition of Uriah Heap to the life.
"It immediately struck me that Kenway or Weismann must be the European referred to, for there was no other party out that could possibly have strayed into that part of the world; but if it were either of them, then why was he alone?-it looked bad. decided to start at once, and as there was no doctor then
"I gathered from Uriah that the European was in a tent olose by. A few weeks earlier he had appeared-as though dropped from the clouds-on the fringe of the inhabited districts near the Aru Tso, where, by the merest chance, he had been picked up by one of those notorious robbers of Amdo and Nakktsong, ever a thorn in the flesh of authority. This particular robber-by name Tesshi-appears, how ever, to have been heartily sick of his trade, for he looked on this find of his as a heavensent chance to make his peace with the powers-that-be. So he brought the stranger to Rudok as a peace-offering. Alas, poor simple Tesshi-he had reckoned without Uriah, and his well-laid scheme for reformation was to come to nought, for my friend dismissed him with the brief remark, His sins were very many, so he died next day.'
“This summary justice, how ever, in no way helped to elucidate the identity of the stranger, who was in the last stages of collapse from wounds and exhaustion: the Tibetans were completely at a loss, and finally it was decided to send for me. The sick man had since grown steadily worse, and Uriah expected him to die at any moment, so he was heartily glad that I had appeared to relieve him of responsibility.
"The Tibetans escorted me aoross to the sick man's tent, a small blanket affair close by. Within, on a heap of numdahs and sheepskins, bearded, emaci
ated, and incredibly filtby, lay the figure of a man, It was Kenway, but a very different Kenway from the man that I remembered. I had to look many times before I was certain of his identity, and could hardly bring myself to believe that this wild-eyed skeleton, coated in filth, was in reality the friend whom I had known. My entry roused him from a stupor, and he greeted me with incoherent babblings. I did what I could to soothe him till the arrival of my men and baggage, and then carried him over to my tent: he weighed no more than a child. There we washed him and put him to bed. We found a terrible open wound in his left leg; all the muscles of the calf had been torn away as though with a pair of giant pincers, and since had shrunk and atrophied. Septicemia was far advanced, and it was a wonder that he had not died long since. I cleaned the wound, and dressed it as well as I could with corrosive; the Tibetans had been applying compresses of fresh yak'sdung to it. Kenway was delirious the whole time; obviously his only possible chance was complete rest, so there was no choice but to stay where we were.
"Kenway lived for three days without ever once recovering his reason, and during the whole of that time I hardly quitted his bedside. Hour after hour as he tossed in his delirium he talked of all that he had been through. Never shall I forget these
days, and the scene is graven on my memory. Through the open tent-door there showed a sweep of bare grey foreshore, stretching down to the waters of the Panggongthose lifeless waters, incredibly blue and bitter as brine -while across the lake, sheer and precipitous, rose the barren. brick-red hills of the Southern Changohenmo. Not a movement, save where a wandering dust-devil raised a momentary puff of whirling sand; not a sound from without, save ever and anon the far-off whistling ories of the Tibetan yak-drovers. Tibet, that unkind land of Arotic cold and blinding hail Ino matter how she may have flouted us, she yet holds us all in thrall, all who have known her. One and all we cherish the fond hope of returning to her some day, to hear again the wild music of the snow-cook as he sweeps downwards from the orag to greet once more the mighty Father of All Sheep as he stands at gaze upon the brow.
"And, by my side, throughout these days, rose the dry husky whisper of the dying man-hour after hour. Gradually, from his oft-repeated wanderings, I seemed to piece together a coherent tale-the offspring of a fevered brain to be believed or discarded, as you will. This is how it ran :
'Not a living thing for the last three days-Weismann. Not an antelope-not even a marmot. I don't like it-the whole country's deserted....
'And these paths that we keep coming on-hard-beaten narrow paths-they must be game-paths-yet there isn't any game....
My God! Did you hear that ory? Was it a horse or a man? Wake up! Wake up!-Weismann-how damnably dark it is !—and the cold! 'Mahomed! Mahomed! Why doesn't the fellow answer? The men's tent empty and the horses gone? They can't have left us-they can't have!
'All but your horse and mine-it's the end of everything.
'Look!-Weismann, look!— that gravel in the shallows— there's gold there-masses of it. We've found the gold!we've found the gold-but what use is it to us now?
'My God!-what's that? Look, there-coming over the rocks above you-the Keepers of the Gold!
'Run! Weismann, run!back to the horses-faster! man, faster!-Weismann's downthey've got him!-God! how he screams. . .
'I must go back to him-my ice-axe orushes them like paper -faugh!-the yellow matter that squirts out and the sickening smell of musk!-but more keep crowding up-one has got me by the leg-his body's orushed to pulp, but still his pincers hold. . . .
'Weismann moves no more -he's dead-a black heaving mass of ravening tearing bodies! It will be my turn next-back to the horses!-I must get back-it's my only chance, ...
'But to desert Weismannthe horror of it and the shame -but I could have done no good-he was dead, I swear he was dead-I swear it. . . . "Such were the oft-repeated ravings to which I listened; and on the third day Kenway died. What do I make of it? Well, I hardly know. The Tibetans say that the party must have been lost from starvation in the Chang, and that of course is the rational explanation or else that they were set upon by Tesshi's gang of robbers and wiped out, all save Kenway. Of course I reported the whole affair to headquarters, giving the Tibetan version and my own suspicions regarding Tesshi. But Kenway and Weismann had entered Tibet against the express orders of Government; so naturally that august body declined to take any action in the matter, and accepted the Tibetan story without question. "Still, somehow I feel that there is more behind, and that neither of those explanations satisfies me; for sometimes I seem to hear again that husky
whisper telling of unbelievable horrors in an unknown land that whisper to which I listened for three long days beside the Panggeng Tso. And a scene rises before me: I see a barren empty land of vast expanses, of rolling shale-slopes and grey rounded hills-the Home of the Winds and the Roof of the World-rising in the north to a culminating gable of massed snows. In the foreground there lies a snow-fed stream, and an icy wind is blowing from the snows. Not a sound breaks the silence, save the hoarse oroak of the Tibetan sand-grouse as he wings his way to water; not another living thing moves in the landseape; but over all there broods a sense of sinister expectancy.
"And then, all at once along a path I see a hurrying stream of squat black forms appear, relentless as death and hideous as a nightmare. It is the army of the Keepers going out on a foray.
"And by the stream something white gleams in the sunshine-I know it for the cleanpicked skeleton of a man."
THE ODYSSEY OF BRIG X.
BY FRANK H. SHAW.
ALTHOUGH Brig Y was the later commissioned ship, her skipper, according to that saored volume, the Navy List, which is the Navy's Bible, was considerably senior to our man; and that all things might be as they were in Nelson's glorious days, he was to assume supreme command of any operations that might transpire. He had not as yet seen a submarine at anything like close quarters, whereas Allan was growing contemptuous of the oraft.
The prearranged signal for opening fire, in the event of action arising, was that the C.O. of Brig Y should hang his shirt-a spare one, bien entendu on his ship's main boom. Until that signal was flown we were ordered to hold our own fire on pain of death
For many days we cruised about after that, and dis appointment was all we seoured. Sailing alone, we had met with a fair amount of luck; but now, in company, we watched fruitlessly for sight of a periscope, or anything that should give us evidence that submarines were active in those waters.
We certainly picked up frequent "allos"; we got wirelessed reports that this ship and the other had been sunk;
we discovered that the big through-convoys from Port Said to Gibraltar, and vice versa, were losing ships with monotonous regularity; but though we journeyed to Kaso Straits and Kithera Channel, though we slugged tediously about in the vicinity of the Doro Channel, and went everywhere, in fact, where a U-boat might be encountered, the luck failed us.
About this time, too, rumours erept through that Italy was suffering heavily in the war. The Piave disaster had been a startler, and general opinion aboard us-dependent as it was on scant messages through the ether, and not all of those picked up correctly—was that Italy would throw her hand in at an early date and make the best terms she could for herself. In that event, our period of usefulness would at once come to an end, because it was only by favour of the Italian authorities that we were permitted to masquerade as Italian coasters.
Such trifling information as we could secure concerning the fortunes of our own armies was anything but reassuring. I don't wish to suggest even for a moment that anything at all approaching a "rot" set in aboard; but the tone of our discussions grew somewhat pes