Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/184

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Mohammedan servants always took the right hand when passing these walls in Ladakh.

A mile farther up the valley we came to the Old Palace, a collection of hovels banked with piles of manure. Far more attractive than the royal residence were some tents not far off, where a band of Tibetans, retainers of the prince, were encamped. They came out to greet us in friendly fashion, pointing out a blind trail up the valley where we could get better views of the snow-peaks; but we had to turn back, sorry though I was to leave the spot, parklike in its beauty of forest and meadow, a veritable oasis in a wilderness of rock and ice. It was more like home than anything I had seen in West China, for there were stretches of fine, grassy meadows where the royal herds of cattle were grazing, and all at once I realized that it was weeks since I had seen a field of grass or real cows. It is the great lack in this country. Pigs abound, and fowls, but there is no place for cattle, and the horses live on beans and corn, or more likely on leaves and twigs.

Priest-ridden Tachienlu boasts many temples and lamasseries, and the last day of my stay I paid a visit to one of the largest, not far from the South Gate. It was a wide, rambling, wooden building standing near a grove of unusually fine trees, a sort of alder. The approach was not unattractive, flowers growing under the walls and about the entrance. Once inside