Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/196

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

grinned appreciatively. It would have been a place to dream away a day had it not been as wet as a shower bath. Nearing the pass, we heard weird sounds above us, not unlike the cries of rejoicing uttered by the Ladakhis of Western Tibet when they have successfully surmounted a difficult height, and I wondered if I was to find the same custom here. But it turned out to be the lullaby with which two men were tooling ten black pigs over the pass. Again, a little way down on the other side, my path was suddenly barred by a man frantically gesticulating. I thought at first that he was mad, but it was merely that he feared Jack would attack a flock of geese that he was driving in the wake of the pigs, and when I picked the dog up, the man prostrated himself at my feet in gratitude.

We ought to have had a fine view from the pass over the trackless mountain tangle to the north, some of the peaks towering almost eighteen thousand feet into the sky, but again the clouds and mist veiled everything from sight. All the rest of the day we were making our way down the steep east side, picking our steps laboriously along the wet rocky trail. Our path led through a precipitous narrow gorge, its walls draped with wonderful vegetation, and as we descended it, it grew wetter and greener, and the thousand little brooks leaping down the sides of the ravine rapidly swelled the main stream to an im-