Himalayan Journal vol.02
The Himalayan Journal

Publication year:

Kenneth Mason
    (PAUL BAUER.*)
    (DR. A. M. HERON.)
    (L. R. FAWCUS)
  5. THE SHYOK FLOOD, 1929
    (J. P. GUNN)
    (LIEUT. J. B. P. ANGWIN.)
    (DR. E. F. NEVE.)
    (LIEUT. D. M. BURN.)
    (W. E. BUCHANAN)
    (H. M. GLOVER.)
    (Captain J. BARRON.)
    (Captain A. A. RUSSELL.)
  16. NOTES


INNERMOST ASIA[1] : Detailed Report of Explorations in Central Asia, Kan-su, and Eastern Iran.-By Sir Aurel Stein, k.c.i.e., Indian Archaeological Survey. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1928. Four Volumes. 13 ½ X10 ¼ (Super Roy. 4to.). Price £26 5s.

IT is with a certain amount of awe that a reviewer of Sir Aurel Stein's magnificent volumes, " Innermost Asia," approaches his task ; and it is only when he has settled down and realized that the ordinary mortal can find no fault with them that the duty becomes a real pleasure.

From time to time within the last twelve years, Sir Aurel has given us brief anticipations of what was to come, by publications in various journals and periodicals. The Geographical Journal published in August and September 1916 a general account of the expedition, compiled soon after the return. In January 1920 a more detailed account of the explorations in the Lop desert appeared in the Geographical Review. On 3rd November 1924 Sir Aurel Stein delivered before the Royal Geographical Society the first " Asia Lecture "- Innermost Asia : Its Geography as a Factor in History. And on the publication of his maps which were to accompany the full report of his last expedition, the Survey of India published in 1923 on his behalf a Memoir on the Maps of Chinese Turhistan and Kansu, upon which maps they had been engaged for five years.

All these papers are introductory or supplementary to the present "Report," and the fact of having read them stimulates rather than lessens interest in the latter. This beautiful production of the Oxford University Press reflects the greatest credit not only on the distinguished author, but also on the Government of India. Printers and publishers alike are to be congratulated on the completion of such a work, while Messrs. Henry Stone and Son of Banbury, and the Survey of India Offices at Dehra Dun deserve great credit for the beautiful plates and maps. The publication comprises four volumes, Super Royal quarto, of which the first two contain the text, appendices and topographical plates ; the third is devoted exclusively to a very full series of 137 full-page plates illustrating the archselogical finds and 59 pages of archaeological site-plans ; while Volume IV is a portfolio containing some fifty maps. No fewer than nineteen specialists have been engaged on critically examining and reporting upon the various art-relics and manuscript-remains, to say nothing of officials and friends who have been enlisted by Sir Aurel Stein's tactful persuasiveness before, during and after the expedition.

The author enters an early apology that exacting claims on his time since his return have not allowed him to publish a personal narrative. Those who have followed his later explorations on the North-West Frontier, particularly on Alexander's tracks, both in Swat and Baluchistan, the ancient Gedrosia, will readily accept that apology, especially in view of the accounts in the periodicals already mentioned, and the brief summary given in the Introduction to this Report.

The expedition commenced in July 1913 and closed in March 1916. Taking the direct route from Kashmir by the Barai pass (which in 1922 was converted into a well-engineered road fit for transport ponies throughout), Sir Aurel reached Chilas and first explored the two small tribal states of Darel and Tangir, south of Gilgit, which were at that time under the rule of Raja Pakhtun Wali. Darel, in particular, afforded him investigations of much interest, for it was visited by those two famous Chinese pilgrims, Fa-hsien and Hsiiang- tsang. Then travelling through Yasin, the “Little Po-lu " of the Tang Annals of China, Sir Aurel crossed once again the Darkot glacier pass and the Taghdumbash Pamir, both traversed by Chinese forces in the 8th Century a.d. and reached Kashgar in September. These early chapters are full of interest to the frontiersman, particularly in view of later political developments, which have once more closed Darel and Tangir to us.

At Kashgar Sir Aurel may be said to have commenced his circuit of the Tarim basin, which comprises the Takla-makan "sand-ocean," the pre-historic dried-up Lop sea-bed, the dead settlements and oases by the dying rivers.[2] Surrounding this basin lies the gravel glacis, with oases few and far between, and the arid loess-covered spurs ascending to the snow-bound summits of the rim.

From Kashgar he first traced an ancient route through the desert to Maral-bashi and attempted to cross the Takla-makan desert to reach the south-eastern termination of the Mazar-tagh, where it emerges from the sand on the banks of the Khotan river. This attempt was baffled by the terrific sand-ridges, but not before definite evidence had been secured that there had once been an ancient range, which was now almost completely effaced by wind-erosion. Sir Aurel's observations in this connection have since been supplemented by those of Dr. Emil Trinkler.

A rapid march via the Yarkand river, through previously surveyed country, brought the traveller to Khotan, whence he marched 700 miles to the Lop desert, examining some ruined sites on the way. Here he spent the winter, mainly engaged on archeology, and Sir Aurel devotes nearly three chapters to the fascinating work in this region. Perhaps the most remarkable of the 'finds ' were the fine specimens of figured silks and woollen tapestries from grave-pits, " showing clear evidence of Hellenistic art-influence." Some of these textiles are wonderfully reproduced in colours in Volume III (Plates XXX-XLV). On one occasion he found the body of a young man with the head bare, the feet in strongly woven mocassins, lying as it was buried. Sir Aurel records the strange emotion of looking down on the figure which, but for the parched skin and deep-sunk eye- cavities, seemed like that of a man asleep ; and of finding himself brought face to face with one who inhabited, and no doubt liked, those strange and dreary Lop-nor regions, in the first centuries a.d. (page 264 and Fig. 173).

It was with the help of these relics of trans-Asiatic traffic that Sir Aurel subsequently traced the route which the Chinese had followed in their earliest trade-enterprises towards Central Asia, across the forbidding salt-encrusted bed of the pre-historic Lop sea, and the desolate wastes surrounding it. The story of this journey is of fascinating interest, for it was almost beyond hope that any surface relics could exist so many centuries after the route had been abandoned. Yet Sir Aurel records that as they traversed the barren clayey shor and hard salt-crust, chance repeatedly helped them almost uncannily.

Again and again finds of early Chinese copper coins, sometimes as fresh as if they had been minted the day before, small metal objects, stone ornaments and the like, assured him that he was still near the ancient track along which Chinese political missions, troops and traders had toiled for four centuries. On one occasion when the last traces of ancient vegetation had long been left behind, he suddenly found the ancient track plainly marked for about thirty yards by two hundred and eleven Wu-shu (Chinese) copper coins (PL CXIX, 12). They lay in a well-defined line, no more than three or four feet wide, running north-east to south-west, and must have dropped unobserved from some leaky money-bag or case. The swaying of a camel would account for the width of the track thus marked. What a romantic story could be based upon those copper coins carried by the last camel of the last caravan that used this awful route, so full of peril and hardship ! It was by such ‘lucky ' finds as these, a chance coin, a scattered heap of bronze arrow-heads, an iron snaffle-bit, a broken copper buckle, and by his amazing ability to pick up and piece together his clues that Sir Aurel was enabled to trace this route right up to its eastern end, near an old terminal basin in the Tun-huang desert.

Sir Aurel Stein was in April 1914 once again on familiar ground, tracing the extensions of the Emperor Wu-ti's wall, that ancient Chinese border-line, similar in character to a Roman Limes," and searching the ruined watch-stations in continuation of the line which in 1907 he had discovered and explored. Chinese records on wood prove that this portion of the wall, " which has now been examined for close on 400 miles, was constructed about the end of the 2nd century b.c. as a defence against the Huns, and was garrisoned down to later Han times. The temptation to revisit the famous temples of the " Thousand Buddhas," south-east of Tun-huang, was too much for Sir Aurel, and his visit was not entirely devoid of results, in spite of the destructive effect of the order of the Peking authorities for the removal of the manuscripts left behind in the walled-up chapel when first explored in 1907.

Sir Aurel's next goal was southern Mongolia, and we find him exploring remains of Tangut and Mongol domination at and near the site of Khara-khoto where he was able to trace the old canals leading eastwards to abandoned farms. Then, with the heat rapidly increasing, he passed south, surveying as he went, and reached Kanchou, whence he set out for the high ranges of the Nan-shan. Here he met with a serious riding accident; his Badakhshi horse reared and fell backwards upon him, crushing the muscles of his thigh. It was not till the end of September, after a month's arduous travel over the barren Pei-shan ranges and the eastern extremity of the Tien-shan, that he reached Dzungaria.

In the first week of November the whole expedition was re-assembled at Kara-khoja, in the centre of the Turfan depression, where the winter was spent, and where, in spite of the previous visits of various German expeditions, important finds were made. Particularly ample results rewarded the exploration of a large burial- ground near Astana, the tombs yielding abundant relics of the early Tang period, such as figured silks, stucco figurines, and other objects of artistic interest (Plates LXXYIII-CVIII). During the winter the detailed survey of the Turfan depression on a scale of one inch to a mile, with carefully observed contours, was taken in hand. This depression descends to more than a thousand feet below sea-level. Sir Aurel himself, with his remaining assistants, concentrated his energies on the debris-filled ruins of Kao-chang, the Turfan capital during Tang rule (seventh to eighth century a.d.) and during the subsequent Uighur period. By February 1915, he had completed all he could hope to do at the time, and we find him supplementing the surveys of his assistants.

Meanwhile Rai Bahadur Lai Singh of the Survey of India, Sir Aurel's most energetic and devoted assistant on two long journeys, had been accomplishing important survey work in the Kuruk-tagh, and in the face of great physical difficulties and risks had carried his frame-work of triangulation south-eastwards to the vicinity of the

Lou-Ian ruins. Amidst icy gales and with the temperature falling well below zero Fahrenheit, he was at last able to view above the desert loess-haze the high snowy peaks of the Kun-lun, 150 miles to the south.

Early in February 1915 Sir Aurel started his large camel convoy of fifty animals on their two months' journey to Kashgar, and some days later, after some mild Chinese obstruction, he was able to follow ; Lai Singh taking a more northerly route high up in the mountains of the Tien-shan.

One hundred and eighty cases of antiques were safely despatched from Kashgar, and in July Sir Aurel started across the Russian Pamirs for the valleys of the upper Oxus. Passing down the great Alai valley, he followed the ancient silk-route from China, and crossing the high ranges which divide the main feeders of the Oxus, reached the Alichur and Great Pamirs, where he traced the routes of armies and Buddhist pilgrims. There is a most interesting account of the effects of the great earthquake of February 1911 in the Bartang gorge. Huge land-slides had choked up the whole river passage and destroyed whatever tracks had once existed. The big river, at one time rivalling in volume the main feeder of the Oxus, had now ceased to flow. Sir Aurel was here four years after the block had been formed. It would be most interesting to know whether the river has since burst the dam or found an exit elsewhere.[3]
There are fewer details about Wakhan, Charan, Roshan, Shugnan and Darwaz, the western valleys of the Pamir massif, than we should like to have, but here the journey seems to have been somewhat hurried, or perhaps the author is bound to secrecy. Sir Aurel eventually reached Samarkand, whence he took the Trans-Caspian railway to the borders of Persian territory, and closed his travels with an important and most instructive journey of three weeks' duration along the Perso-Afghan border. He subsequently devoted two months to archaeological work at ancient sites in Persian Sistan.

This rapid survey perhaps gives little idea of the amazing capacity for work and travel possessed by Sir Aurel Stein. The archaeological results are far too important to be summarized, and can only be appreciated by an examination of the volumes, with the careful descriptions at the end of each chapter and the illustrations in Volume III. In that volume are some remarkable reproductions, particularly those in colour, which show the state of civilization reached, and whence it was derived. The seventeen appendices, obviously the work of experts, deal chiefly with inscriptions, manuscripts, ancient records, &c., and are mostly too abstruse for the ordinary reader.

The collection of antiquities was at first deposited at the Technical Institute of Kashmir, where the thousands of objects were arranged, studied and described, with the help of Mr. F. H. Andrews, the late principal of that institution and Sir Aurel's artist-friend and helper since his first Central Asian expedition in 1901. Under the orders of the Government of India, it is to be housed at New Delhi, excepting representative specimens which are to be presented to the British Museum. The main collection is now there in two temporary places of deposit. Reference to originals will therefore in most cases necessitate long journeys to the East for continental students. In this connection it seems worth mentioning the impressive manner in which the art-relics, frescoes and manuscript-remains, brought back by the four German expeditions to the Turfan oases and cave-temples further west, have been housed and are exhibited in a specially constructed building of the Ethnographic Museum of Berlin. This example, or precedent as we would call it in India, might well be followed by the authorities in this country, before damage or destruction befalls these priceless treasures.

Important as are the archaeological results 01 this expedition, it is the geographical results that will appeal to many who, from afar, take an interest in Central Asia, for they are more easily appreciated. When Sir Aurel Stein returned in March 1916 to Kashmir, his expedition had lasted close on two years and eight months, and he himself had covered an aggregate marching distance of nearly 11,000 miles. It is possible that his survey assistants had covered even more, for they were often detached on survey work, when he himself was engaged at some fixed site. The forty-seven map-sheets on the scale of 1 : 500,000, included in the portfolio (Volume IV), cover no less than twenty-eight degrees of longitude and eight degrees of latitude, and are the combined result of the three Central Asian expeditions of Sir Aurel Stein. They probably represent a greater addition of concentrated geographical knowledge than any yet accumulated by any single individual in history. The maps themselves are beautiful productions, and reflect great credit on the Survey of India Drawing and Reproduction Offices at Dehra Dun. The surveys in these areas were executed by Rai Bahadur Lai Singh, Rai Sahib Ram Singh, Mian Afraz Gul Khan (now Khan Sahib) and Sir Aurel Stein himself, and were based on triangulation executed almost entirely during the expedition by Lai Singh. The leader pays high tribute to him, and to the energy and capacity of Afraz Gul, whose selection and subsequent appointment to the Survey of India were due to Sir Aurel. A convenient index map is invaluable to the study of the rest, and a glance at this shows the vast amount of ground covered. On the maps is a mass of detail, for by judicious selection of a variety of symbols, not only the topographical features, but also the nature of the surface and of the various types of vegetation, whether living or dead, are indicated.

The Dedication is to the Memory of General Sir Henry Rawlinson, Bart., " whose labours in the field and study illuminated the Ancient History of Asia." Needless to add, there is a copious bibliography under the heading " List of Abbreviated Titles," and a full and complete general index of 36 pages, while in the Introduction Sir Aurel is more than generous to those who, in however small a way, were able to further his plans.

It must be with intense, satisfaction that Sir Aurel Stein looks back aver his three great expeditions into Central Asia. Whatever has been accomplished since his first fruitful journey in 1900-01, by members of whatever nation we choose to name, has been directly due to the stimulation of Sir Aurel, though he himself would be the last to lay such a claim. Little by little he has penetrated unexplored Asia ; the Lop sea and the Turfan depression have yielded up their secrets ; the sand-buried cities have been uncovered ; the Emperor Wu-ti's ancient wall, with its watch-towers and fortified posts have been traced for seven degrees of longitude and surveyed ; the whole civilization seems to have been laid bare. The four parallel ranges of the Central Nan-shan, previously visited only by Potanin, Obruchev, and Kozlov, have been explored and mapped in detail; the headwaters of the Huang-ho have been reached and the Etsing-gol and Su-lo-ho traversed ; in the north, the southern ranges of the Tien Shan, the arid Kuruk-tagh, and even the moist upland pastures of Dzungaria have been surveyed. Is it too much to hope that Sir Aurel Stein has not yet completed his journeys of exploration in 44 Innermost Asia " ?

Kenneth Mason.


Stein, k.c.i.e. London: Macmillan and Co., 1928. 10 x 7

inches ; xvi + 182 pages ; illustrations and map. 21s.

Alexander ! Aurel Stein ! Are not these both names to conjure with and the two together a combination which immediately commands our attention and guarantees that we shall not be disappointed !

Of Sir Aurel it is only necessary to say that his previous books, such as " Desert Cathay," " The Sand-buried cities of Khotan " and " Serindia," have already taught us the high quality of his wares.

And as for Alexander the Great surely there is a romantic fascination about his name that appeals to all. In our earliest days the story of the all-conquering youth-scarce more than a boy-weeping because he had no more worlds to conquer, stirred our imagination ; and later, when we knew more of the wonderful man who carried the arms and culture of Greece through Egypt, Babylon, Persia and Bactria into India, he seemed to us, as he liked to appear to his own companions, a demi-God-Alexander, Lord of the Two Horns.

So doubtless it was with Sir Aurel, for he tells us in his book that throughout his many years of study, travel and exploration in India, Chinese Turkistan and North China, his real interest and hopes had ever been centred in Alexander and the elucidation of his campaign. We may well imagine the joy with which he, in the spring of 1925, received the news that political conditions across the frontier were sufficiently settled to admit of his visiting the Swat valley and the country between it and the Indus.

The author calls his book, which tells us of that visit, " a personal narrative," and, by presenting the results of his labour in this readable form, he enables the reader to travel at his side, as it were, to watch him gathering the slender threads of evidence as he goes along, unravelling them like some clever detective, checking the evidence on the ground, anticipating what may be ahead. Thus the reader soon becomes infected with the energy and enthusiasm of the author, shares in his hopes and fears, follows him in his quick perceptions and deductions and rejoices with him when the goal is won.

Without entering into details of Sir Aurel's movements it may be said that from Chakdara, in the vicinity of which Alexander probably crossed the Swat river, he worked his way up the Swat valley, spending four happy days among the extensive ruins round Birkot, one of which the author believes to be " apart from small votive stupas, the best preserved of all ancient shrines that Indian Buddhist worship has raised."

Interesting as are these remains of stupas and monastic buildings, perhaps a still higher interest attaches to the ruins of the ancient stronghold on a hill near Birkot, for Sir Aurel is convinced that these are the remains of Bazira or Beira, the fortress which Alexander " contained " with a force under Koinos, whilst he himself attended to the siege of Ora, whither he had already despatched a force under Attalos, Akeltas and Demetrios.

From Birkot and all its attractions Sir Aurel dragged himself away and pushed on up the main valley, past the Stupa of King Uttarasena, the position of which was found to be accurately recorded by the Chinese pilgrim Hsiiang-tsang, and thence to Udegram and " King Gira's Castle " which the author indicates as being probably identical with the Ora of the Greeks. Here again Sir Aurel found himself hot upon the tracks of Alexander ; but it was not until, after a visit to the head of the Swat valley, he had passed over the watershed through Gorbund and Kana to Una-sar, that he again picked up the threads. There, indeed, upon Una-sar can we enter into his feelings when stumbling along in the dark at the end of a long] and arduous march Sir Aurel could, even in the gloom and in spite of weariness, see' enough to experience " the growing conviction that Aornos was found at last."

Aornos, the Rock, which Arrian tells us had baffled Hercules, but fell to Alexander, and which has for years baffled all efforts to locate it, yields at last its secrets to one whose life-long dream had been to stand upon its summit and say " Aornos is found at last! "

The topographical features fit in with the accounts of Arrian, Curtius and Diodorus. There sure enough is the vulnerable point where Aornos joins the main ridge ; there the natural ravine which defended it ; and there above the ravine the minor feature which some of the bravest seized whilst the ravine was still being filled in to allow Alexander's " artillery and small arms " to provide covering fire for the final assault !

With unerring instinct the author points to it all and carries the reader with him in his absorbing interest and excitement. We are shown too how the modern name "Una-sar" is derived from " Avarna," of which no doubt Aornos was merely a Greek form.

At this point it should be stated perhaps that Sir Aurel shows admirable restraint in drawing conclusions from similarity in place- names. By themselves such evidence is admittedly misleading ; but when all other historical and topographical factors tend to support an argument, then indeed a similarity in names is of great value. It is in fact something like the examination of a piece of Chinese porcelain which may have upon it the mark of, say, the Emperor Kang Hsi; unless we have first satisfied ourselves that the paste, the glaze and the colours are what they should be in porcelain of that period, the mark upon the base is valueless, no matter how clearly it may be written.

The above will, it is hoped, be sufficient to indicate what an interesting tale the author has to tell and something of the manner of the telling. To say more would be to rob the readers of untold treasures. One point of interest will doubtless occur to the thoughtful reader, though reference to it in the book is only indirect, and that is the extent to which discoveries, such as Sir Aurel's, tend to strengthen our confidence in the general accuracy of the old historians and diarists. Whether it be Arrian, Megasthenes or Hsiiang-tsang, as long as they adhere to what they actually saw or what they learned from really reliable sources (as opposed to mere fable) we find them wonderfully accurate in essentials.

In this book we have proved for us the general accuracy of Arrian's description of " the Rock " and the attack upon it, not to mention several instances of the power of observation of the Chinese pilgrims. As example of such confirmation by modern exploration in other localities one may mention the Great Stupa, raised by the pious King Kanishka over the relics of Gautama Buddha, described by Hsiiang-tsang as being to the south-east of Peshawar city, where a few years ago-1910 I think-it was located and excavated, the relics being found intact in their beautiful bronze casket. Or again, one recalls the fact that the monastery at holy Shravasti was also described by the Chinese pilgrims as being at such a distance outside 44 the Gate of Tamarind Trees " ; and there it was proved to be in 1908, an inscription leaving no doubt as to its identity.

Likewise it is but of recent years that excavations carried out near Patna have brought to light the foundations of those wooden walls and towers which Megasthenes describes as surrounding “Palimbothra," the capital city of Sandrakottos, as the Greeks called Chandragupta.

On the other hand, as in the case of Mount Ilam-the Hilo Mountain of Hsiiang-tsang-it is sometimes difficult to reconcile the distances, especially when they be long, given by the Chinese pilgrims, though their topographical sense seems sound in all other respects (see p. 169). This, of course, may often be due to errors in transcribing figures, but is it not possible that the curious manner in which the Chinese compute distance to-day (and they doubtless did the same hundreds of years ago) may have something to do with it ?

We must remember that to a Chinese it may be, say, 25 li from the Malakand to Dargai, but the same Chinese would undoubtedly describe the journey from Dargai to the Malakand as being one of 35 or even 40 li., for going in that direction it is all up-hill, and steep at that ! So may not some at least of these discrepancies be due to the fact that our pilgrim travelled the road in one direction only and estimated the distance in accordance with his experience of the difficulty of the journey rather than in strictly measured miles as we should do ?

Finally it may be said that Sir Aurel's delightful book is one that can be heartily recommended for it is one which will appeal to the general reader no less than to the scholar and the student of Buddhist history. The photographs, of which there are good store, are in themselves a treat, whilst the maps and sketches serve well to enable us to follow the author in all his movements, arguments and deductions. At the end we lay the book aside with regret that we have come to the end of it, but hoping that the wealth of interesting features which Sir Aurel was only able to describe briefly may later become the field of systematic investigation and the means of enhancing still further our knowledge of that portion of Gandhara which long ago in days of prosperity rejoiced in the name of Uddiyana-the Garden.

H. L. Haughton.

TRAVELS IN TARTARY, THIBET AND CHINA, 1844-1846. Hue and Gabet.-A new edition of Hazlitt's English translation, with an introduction by Professor P. Pelliot. London : George Routledge & Sons, 1928. 9x5| inches; two volumes, xliv+387 and viii+406 pages ; 1 chart; 25s. This reprint of the Abbe Hue's famous classic makes a timely appearance in the attractive Broadway Travellers Series.

Professor Paul Pelliot contributes a scholarly and critical Introduction, in which, after a brief biographical sketch of the two Lazarist priests, he relates how they were instructed by Mgr. Mouly, the Apostolic Vicar of Mongolia, to leave their mission station in the Chih-li province of China, and to proceed north-westwards towards Urga in outer Mongolia in order to evangelize the nomadic Mongols of the North. Cfi You will go on from tent to tent, from tribe to tribe, from lamasery to lamasery, until God makes known to you the spot where He wishes you to make a definite beginning."

From what they learned in the various lamaseries, the two missionaries soon became convinced that " Lha-Ssa, the capital of Thibet and the seat of the Grand Lama, was, in the eyes of all the peoples of Central Asia, the very Rome of Buddhism." Contrary to their instructions, but greatly to the benefit of their subsequent fame as travellers, thev promptly turned their steps from north-west to south-west, and in due course reached Lhasa, which city, somewhat unfortunately for their future ecclesiastical careers, subsequently proved to lie within the sphere of influence of a rival Vicariate.

In regard to the veracity of the narrative, Professor Pelliot writes : " The lasting success of the Souvenirs is due above all to the literary gifts of their author. Hue had eyes to see, and the power to recall what he had seen ; but these very gifts have their counterpart in a somewhat ardent imagination, which led him on occasion to invent what he supposed himself to be merely reporting ; he had the artist's instinct, which with a few lively touches heightens the colours of reality, at times too drab. Some writers used to make this a pretext for denying the actuality of the journey itself ; but there is no question that Hue and Gabet really did spend some time in Lhasa. It must, however, be admitted that Hue went rather far in arranging his facts, and he cannot be trusted in details, even in those which concern him personally"

Professor Pelliot concludes : " Hue, in writing up his Souvenirs, trimmed them liberally for public consumption. He ' invented' nothing, but he transposed his material in order to please, and he succeeded. The Souvenirs are an artistic creation which leaves the reader with the impression of a whole which is the more true for the very lack of exactitude in the detailed relation of facts. We should very much like to know more of what Gabet thought of all this. Hue's marvellously animated narrative has thrown into the shade his companion, who was both his elder and his chief. Hue must have put himself to the forefront straight away. From October 1846, the very day after the arrival of our travellers, the French Consul in Macao is already talking of MM. ‘Huc and Gabet.' Current usage follows suit. It is our duty to-day to make an effort.........to re-establish the proper ecclesiastical order-Gabet and Hue."

With all this one can cordially agree. One has but to read Hue's very human narrative to be convinced of its essential truth. His simple yet vivid style has enabled him to produce what must rank as one of the most delightful accounts of an expedition which has ever been written. How readily one can picture the two French priests setting out on their long journey, in the guise of Mongol lamas ; the gaunt hook-nosed Gabet with his long beard already grey (though his age was barely thirty-six), bestriding a tall " red " camel; the short rubicund Hue on a white horse ; the servant mounted on a lean black mule and leading the two baggage camels. At this period, it must be remembered, there was no French Embassy in China and no treaty in favour of Europeans. All missionaries, or other travellers, who penetrated into the interior of China were, on discovery ipso facto liable to be put to death.

Hue's whimsical sense of humour, which made light of all obstacles and discomforts, is delightfully in evidence in his description of catching a louse and displaying it alive under a microscope for the edification of the Tibetan Eegent in Lhasa (Vol. II, page 239) ; and again, in his many sly references to the somewhat dissolute Chinese mandarin Li-kao-an, the " Pacificator of Kingdoms," who was ultimately told off to escort the two priests back to China, and whose sole vestige of religion consisted of a fervent veneration for the Great Bear (Vol. II, page 285).

Like all travellers in Tibet, Hue and Gabet were naturally impressed by the many resemblances between the Lamaistic ritual and that of their own Catholic Church. Their explanation is interesting. The reformer Tsong Kapa (a.d. 1357-1419), to whom is chiefly due the form of liturgy in present-day use throughout Tibet, was himself, according to legend, during his youth in the Koko Nor region, the pupil of a Lama who appeared from the remote regions of the West-a man remarkable not only for his profound learning, but also for his singular appearance, his enormous nose, and his eyes which gleamed with a supernatural fire. After the early death of his teacher, Tsong Kapa in due course wandered to Lhasa, where his disciples ultimately became known as the Reformed or Yellow Cap sect of Buddhists. " May it not be reasonably inferred that this stranger with the great nose was an European, one of those Catholic missionaries who at the precise period penetrated in such numbers into Upper Asia. It is by no means surprising that the Lamanesque traditions should have preserved the memory of that European faee.........It may be further supposed that a premature death did not permit the Catholic missionary to complete the religious education of his disciple, who himself, when afterwards he became an apostle, merely applied himself, whether from having acquired only an incomplete knowledge of Christian doctrine, or from having apostatized from it, to the introduction of a new Buddhist liturgy."

Members of the Himalayan Club will probably be interested in Hue's reference to the mysterious Moor croft. While in the Tibetan capital, the two priests had a long conversation with a member of the Kashmiri community in Lhasa called Nisan, who had been Moorcroft's servant during his residence in Lhasa from 1826 to 1838. Nisan informed them that Moorcroft had been killed by brigands in the province of Ngari when returning to Ladakh after his twelve years' residence in Lhasa. Hue and Gabet had previously never heard of Moorcroft, and their information, collected on the spot only eight years after the event, must be considered unbiassed and fairly conclusive. On the other hand, as they themselves point out, Nisan's story is in direct conflict with that of Moorcroft's fellow-traveller M. Trebeck who, in a letter to the Resident at Ludhiana dated Balkh, 6th September, 1825, announced Moorcroft's death on'25th August, 1825 at Andkon on the way from Herat to Balkh, whither he had been sent to purchase horses on behalf of the East India Company. The truth regarding Moorcroft's fate will probably never now be known with certainty.

To conclude : the two volumes are well-printed in old-face type, and adequately indexed. A modern map might well have been provided ; it is impossible to follow the author's route in detail on the very small scale “contemporary " map which forms the frontispiece to Volume I. The translation, on the whole, is excellent, but the French origin is here and there apparent in occasional unexpected mistranslations of individual words ; misprints and misspellings are not uncommon ; the following corrections have been noted, inter alia, on a first reading
Vol.I P.180, I. 5. For inodorus Read malodorous.
,, ,,222 ,, 19. assumes presumes.
,, ,,233 ,, 17. ordonnance ordinance.
,, ,,272 ,, 8. undulating ruminating
,, ,,297 ,, 13. indurated emboldened.
,, II ,, 2, ,, 7. assumed presumed.
,, ,,81, ,, 8. aries eyries.
,, ,,99, ,, 3. spinage spinach.
,, ,,112, ,, 27. hygeianic hygienic.
,, ,,213, ,, 17. laque lacquer.

H. T. Morshead.

THE PEOPLE OF TIBET.-By Sir C. A. Bell, k.c.i.e., c.m.g.

Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928. 9x6 inches; a%r+319 pages;

illustrations and tivo majps ; 25s.

THE LAND OF THE LAMA.-By David MacDonald. London:

Seeley, Service & Company, 1929. 9x6 inches; 283 pages;

illustrations and one map ; 21 s.

WE TIBETANS.-By Rinchen Lhamo (Mrs. Louis King).

London: Seeley, Service & Co., 1926. 9x6 inches; 228 pages;

illustrations ; 12 s. 6d.

One happy result of Tibet's seclusion is that the few books which attempt to interpret the country and people to the Western World are, almost without exception, written by authors having new and original information collected first-hand.

Sir Charles Bell's latest volume may be regarded as a sequel to his previous well-known book Tibet Past and Present. It represents a very successful effort to portray the daily life of the Tibetans in their own homes ; a task which has been carried out with the scholarly care and precision characteristic of the author, whose long and intimate acauaintance with the language and customs of the Tibetan people has given him unique opportunities for gathering a harvest of original observations.

Though the author disclaims any intention of attempting a complete study of Tibetan domestic life, he nevertheless presents a series of charming and sympathetic views of the people and their daily doings from the cradle to the grave. The following quotations from some of the twenty-seven chapter-headings must suffice to indicate the scope of his treatment : The Nobility, The Peasants, The Traders, Robbers, Women, Marriage, Children, Food, Ceremonial and Etiquette, The Last Rites.

The book is copiously illustrated with reproductions from original photographs taken by the author, who, it is pleasant to note, foreshadows the publication of further volumes dealing with various aspects of Tibetan life and culture-notably the religious life-which he has been compelled, through lack of space, to exclude from the present work.

As British Trade-Agent at Gyantse and Yatung for a period of sixteen years, Mr. Macdonald can claim to have lived in Tibet among the Tibetans for a much longer period than any other living European. His intimate knowledge of the Tibetan language from childhood and his instinctive sympathy with the outlook of the people, derived from a certain measure of consanguinity, added to his official status, have-as Lord Ronaldshay remarks in his foreword-combined to render his long residence in the country particularly fruitful, and have enabled him to produce a book which may justly be described as a mine of information.

Mr. Macdonald's presentation of his subject resembles in a general way that of Sir Charles Bell, except that more space is devoted to religion and anthropology ; the chapters on Government, Religion and the Priesthood are particularly good. The result is a story of lively interest to the general reader. The serious student will perhaps regret that Mr. Macdonald has not seen his way to place on record even more of the unique knowledge which he undoubtedly possesses. For example, he remarks (on page 56) that " Tibet is divided into thirteen provinces, which again are subdivided into fifty-three districts." It would be of the greatest interest to geographers if he could give in detail the names and exact locations of these thirteen provinces, together with the names and precise geographical boundaries of the districts which go to form each province. Such information has never yet appeared on any published map of Tibet.

The book contains numerous illustrations from photographs taken by the author, as well as several diagrams and a small general map on the scale of 1/10,000,000.

The third book under review, We Tibetans, is interesting as being the first English book written by a Tibetan lady. Rinchen Lhamo is a native of Kham, the easternmost province of Tibet ; and her husband was formerly British Consul at Tachienlu.

The authoress, as she explains in her preface, knows very little English, and her husband still less Tibetan ; both, however, talk fluent Chinese, which language is their normal medium of conversation. The book was accordingly written down in English by Mr. King to his wife's dictation in Chinese. It takes the form of some twenty short chapters in which Mrs. King sketches in simple language the life and religion of her country, and in which she is at pains to uphold the merits of Tibetan culture against the materialism of the Western World. Chapter six, entitled " Your Civilisation and Ours " is the keynote of the book ; one is tempted to quote a few of the authoress' shrewd home-truths :-

" Civilisation is not bound up in material things. A civilised people must have a sufficiency of them and that is all. We have it. You have more than it. You have a great many things we have not. Wondertul things. Your electricity and the various uses to which it is put, your steamers and trains and motor-cars and aeroplanes,.........But there is another aspect of the matter. People can do without these things, but if they are there everybody naturally wants them, and so life becomes very expensive..........Few can attain the luxuries, but all want them. Wealth means that you may have them, poverty that you may not ; if you have them you are respected by everybody, if you have not you are thought of little consequence. Bo wealth becomes the goal of endeavour, and men's minds are taken off other things we consider more important. And some people in their struggle for wealth or fear of poverty set aside the principles of right-living, even of humanity, sacrificing their souls to this strange god whom we have not."

Though some of Rinchen Lhamo's statements conflict with the evidence of Mr. David Macdonald and savour of special pleading, she has nevertheless put up a spirited defence on behalf of her country and produced a very readable little volume.

H. T. Morshead.

BURIED TREASURES OF CHINESE TURKESTAN.-By Albert von Le Coq. Translated from the German by Anna Barwell. London: Allen and TJnwin, 1928. 9 ½ x6 inches; 177 pages; numerous illustrations; 18s.

It is only within the last thirty years that the ancient civilization of Central Asia has been made known to us through the patient labours of various archaeological expeditions sent out by India, Russia, France, Japan and Germany, and still more recent is the decipherment of the numerous literary finds in that area. In India we have followed the three scientific expeditions of Sir Aurel Stein to " Innermost Asia " and it was even more the account of his discoveries in the Khotan region in 1900-01, than the brief reconnaissance of Dr. Klementz, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Turf an in 1898, that drew the attention of continental savants to the survival of ancient art-relics and manuscript-remains in the sand-buried sites of Turkistan. Germany has since concentrated on the Turfan Basin, that scorching depression at the foot of the Tien Shan, and the Buddhist cave-temples between Turfan and Aksu. The first expedition, organized by the Ethnographic Museum of Berlin, under the leadership of Professor A. Grtinwedel and Dr. Huth, brought back after a brief winter's season in 1902-03 art-remains of sufficient importance to justify three further expeditions, financed mainly by the Prussian Ministry of Education and private donors in Germany. These operated in 1904-05, 1905-07, and 1913-14. The second of these was directed by Professor Griinwedel, a great authority on Buddhist iconography, while the first and third were under the expert guidance of Dr. von Le Coq, the distinguished orientalist.

The book under review is a translation of Dr. Le Coq's Auf Hellas Spuren in Ost-Turkistan, which appeared in Leipzig in 1926 and gives a brief, popular and readable account of the experiences of the second and third expeditions. It is written in attractive style, is well illustrated by excellent photographs of typical " finds " and is lightened by many humorous touches. When not burrowing underground or busy sawing out sections of wall covered with frescoes, Dr. Le Coq delights to jest. He is one of those lucky travellers into Central Asia who are not troubled by fleas in a Chinese serai. " Compared with lice," he writes, " fleas may be considered amongst the good things of Allah's creation." There are many amusing anecdotes. A priestly dignitary of Kara-khoja who thought the worthy doctor had lived apart from his wife in Germany long enough, offered his daughter in holy matrimony. It was only when he was told that the German Emperor would administer twenty-five with " the big stick " for such an offence, that the dignitary " took his leave with many expressions of pity and friendship." The 64 big stick " has a special meaning in Central Asia. Blood gushes forth at the first stroke, while twenty- five strokes are sufficient to kill a man.

But apart from the narrative of daily travel, this popular account is a very good introduction to this particular civilization. It will have been noticed that all four expeditions took place before the war, and therefore the author has had the opportunity of gathering together the results of the work of his scientific collaborators and of incorporating ideas from other foreign expeditions. He is accordingly in a position to give a concise and accurate historical sketch from the conquests of Alexander ; he traces the four great fluctuations of humanity from west to east and from east to west along the Central Asian silk-routes, and shows how Buddhism and its art reached the nations of Chinese Turkistan from Bactria and spread to the westernmost provinces of China.

Perhaps the most interesting of his and Professor Grunwedel's discoveries is the light thrown on the lost religion of Manes, that extraordinary Persian teacher of the third century, who was subsequently crucified by the Persian king Bahram in a.d. 273. The first finds connected with the Manichaean cult were brought to light by Professor Griinwedel and their true character first recognized by that distinguished orientalist, Professor F. W. K. Muller, of Berlin. Manichseism, though actually an independent religion, is now shown to have been sufficiently akin to Christianity and Buddhism for its adherents to pass as sectarians of either, and when they were not blinded by fanatical zeal, to live side by side with both Christians (Nestorians) and Buddhists. On the conquest of the Turfan country about a. d. 760 by the Uighurs, a Turkish people, we find the Uighur kings embracing Manichseism, while many of their people were converted to Christianity. Dr. Le Coq emphasizes that these three religions are of western origin and that the Sogdian writing, used by the Manichseans amongst other scripts, was also derived from a Semitic source.

The religious tolerance in Central Asia is all the more remarkable when it is realized how the Manichaeans, through their own fanaticism, were persecuted and finally exterminated in the West, where their religion had spread to North Africa and South Europe. It is thanks to the conversion of the Uighur princes in a land as rainless as Egypt- or rather more so-that Dr. Le Coq attributes the preservation of so many priceless Manichaean texts. To give some idea of the labour involved in deciphering the literary finds from Chinese Turkistan, it is sufficient to add that they are written in seventeen different languages and in twenty-four scripts. The art-remains brought back by the successive German expeditions are accommodated and exhibited in the Ethnographic Museum at Berlin in an impressive and most excellent manner. The example thus set might well be followed by other countries, especially India, which have benefited by the " archaeological proceeds " of the several Central Asian expeditions, following Sir Aurel Stein's pioneer explorations of 1900-01.

There is also much of interest in Dr. Le Coq's description of the Turfan depression to-day, but he is frankly not a geographer, and we already have a better geographical account and an accurate map, thanks to the visits of Sir Aurel Stein. And it would seem that the story of the doctor's return journey across the Karakoram has suffered from his anxiety at the time for his sick companion, Captain Sherer, for whom he was hurrying on ahead for medical aid. There seems in fact to be some mistake in the compilation of this account. The Saser pass certainly can be terrible in bad weather, but we do not recognize the " terrible " Murghi, unless the spurs north of Murgo which form the Burtsa gorge, which may be difficult to negotiate when the pony-road is broken, are indicated. The only other pass hereabouts is the exceptionally easy Chong-tash pass between Murgo and Saser Brangsa. Dr. Le Coq says that from Burtsa, which is not far south of the Dep- sang plains, " in eight and a half days we had crossed the terrible passes of Murghi and Saser, as well as the easier Karaul pass, and reached the Nubra valley." Without double-marching, the whole journey from the Depsang plains to Panamik can be traversed easily in six days. It seems ungenerous to criticize this minor point, for Dr. Le Coq not only reached Panamik, but he returned with medical aid back over the Saser pass to the relief of Captain Sherer.

There is however one point for criticism, and that is the absence of a readable map. The two sketch-maps are almost illegible and quite unintelligible to anyone who has not visited the ground or studied other maps. Some publishers seem to be past praying for in this matter, but perhaps we should be grateful to them when they publish translations of foreign books of interest. May we hope that the account of the fourth expedition, which has already appeared in German under the title of Von Land und Lenten in Ost-TurJcistan, and which contains the fascinating history of the decipherment of the forgotten scripts, will find as sympathetic a translator and as enterprising a publisher.

Kenneth Mason.

CHINA TO CHELSEA: A Modern Pilgrimage Along Ancient Highways.-By Captain Duncan McCallum, m.c. London : Ernest Benn, Ltd., 1930. 8 ¾ x 5½ inches ; 284 pages ; illustrations and maps ; 21s.

Scorning the greatet speed, comfort and comparative cheapness of the facilities provided by Lord Inchcape, Captain and Mrs. McCallum decided to find their way home from North China, where they were stationed, overland as far as possible. Ordinary people regard the passage home as merely an irksome preliminary to the actual leave. The McCaliums seem to have used all their leave on getting home. The result was an interesting if arduous journey, the details of which Captain McCallum has, fortunately for those who find serious travel literature more thrilling than Edgar Wallace, committed to paper and ink.

The original intention of these hardy travellers was to make the journey from Peking to Calais entirely overland, except for the ferry passage over the Sea of Marmora, that is to say, via Mongolia and Russian Turkistan to Meshed, thence by well-known routes through Persia, Iraq, Turkey and Europe. Civil war in China, as well as the doubtful state of Soviet Turkistan, however, caused more prudent counsels to prevail and the McCallums drove to Tientsin, whence they embarked for Haiphong in French Indo-China. Thence they progressed, partly by road and partly by rail, to Singapore, where they took to the sea again for Calcutta. From Calcutta the road journey to the Dardanelles and thence to Calais, if not plain sailing, was at any rate successfully accomplished.

Written for the travel-lover rather than for the scientific geographer, per se} the book nevertheless brings out at least one important geographical truth, and that is, that where railways do not exist, intercommunication between points on the same land-mass, Eurasia for instance, is often easier by sea than by land. To the student of human nature the book stresses the qualities necessary for the successful accomplishment of such a journey : Enthusiasm to disregard discomfort ; Courage to face inevitable difficulties ; Determination to succeed at all cost. Co-operation between the members lightened the strain ; friends and ample funds smoothed the way. That the McCallums did succeed, in spite of mud, rain, snow, water, sand, rock and earthquakes, to say nothing of various forms of opposition, is a matter for pride on their part and congratulation on ours.

Captain McCallum is obviously an observant traveller with the gift of vivid description, while it is evident that his notes were written up en' route, and not left to the tender mercies of a memory which might become blunted with the lapse of time. The historical part of his tale, moreover, for which the author makes due acknowledgment to Mr. J. D. C. Monfries, definitely places the book above the common run of travel books which are so frequently nothing but a glorified diary cum itinerary. In some ways it almost compares with " Eothen," but lest this should be thought too great a compliment, we will say that Captain McCallum's book is in the same class.

Having bestowed this well-merited praise, perhaps we may be permitted to notice what appear to be one or two minor flaws. The author claims that his description of Indo-China and its ancient temples and ruins is the first to be published in the English language. We think he is mistaken, for a long and brightly-illustrated article on the subject appeared some little time ago in the American Geographic Magazine. On page 197 he refers to a Sikh friend as a strict Hindu. Although Sikhism is an offshoot of Hinduism, a Sikh is hardly a Hindu and certainly not a strict Hindu. As well describe a Unitarian as a strict Christian. Another complaint : Why use the word " ochlesis " on page 17 ? Presumably it means " mob " or " crowd " as it appears to be derived from the Greek ochlos. If this is the aithor's meaning, why not use plain English, or plain Scots, if he likes that better ? On page 229 he describes a previous motor journey of his across the desert from Damascus to Baghdad in 1923 as a " pioneer " journey. This is hardly accurate, as the same route was traversed by Major Kenneth Mason with three other officers by car early in 1919. Finally a very small point : There is a reference on page 186 to the Commissioner of Waziristan. Surely he means the Resident ? There are no Commissioners outside British India.

Two remarks, very interesting to those who know the East, deserve special comment. The first is the almost incredible one that no baksheesh is now expected or accepted in Turkey ; the second is that a son of an ex-Sharif of Mecca is earning his living as a motor salesman in Turkey, representing an American firm.

The book is plentifully illustrated with some excellent photographs and has four very good maps which really illustrate the text. Furthermore, they open clear of the book so that the reader can refer to them without the nuisance of turning back. For this and for the general get-up of the book we sincerely congratulate the publishers, Ernest Benn, Limited. There is a complete index.

R. J. W.

FOUR MONTHS CAMPING IN THE HIMALAYAS.-By Dr. W. G. N. Van der Sleen. Translated by M. W. Hoper. London: Philip Allan & Co., Ltd., 1929. 10x7 ¼ inches; 213 pages ; numerous illustrations ; 21 s.

In the course of their wanderings in the Himalaya and beyond, many members of the Himalayan Club must, at times, have longed for a greater knowledge of geology and ornithology than happened to be theirs. Dr. Van der Sleen, in describing his short expeditions into the Himalaya from Simla, suffers from no such disability. Indeed one of the great charms of this fluently-written book is the simple manner in which the author makes use of his knowledge as a naturalist and geologist to paint the pictures of his daily travels. He hopes at some future date to publish the scientific results of his tour in extenso. We trust that it will be in the near future, and that as competent a translator and as enterprising a publisher as Mr. Hoper and Messrs. Philip Allan will co-operate in giving us the English version.

The four months are divided into two distinct parts. The first comprises the journey via Narkanda, the Sutlej, Bashahr, over Wangtu bridge to Chini Kanda, a climb on to a shoulder of Kailas, and then back to Simla, the conclusion of this expedition being marred in a small degree by the arrival of the monsoon. The second part tells of a journey to Kulu via Eampur and back, during which the party was caught by the first winter snow. The author expresses even more surprise at this than on being caught by the rain previously. “And on a flat mountain top " he writes, " there is a basin in the rock clothed with high grass, an ideal spot for a nap, which we took full advantage of. And this, mind you, in the beginning of November at an elevation of 13,000 feet ! Who could foresee that only four days later the place would lie three feet deep in snow ? " Possibly Santoo, the English-speaking servant, also expressed surprise, but we doubt if the baggage coolies did.

Dr. Van de SJeen's appreciation of the beauty and grandeur of the scenery is very evident. The chapter on the Dance of the Gods and the funeral ceremony of the luckless daughter-in-law of the Rajah of Bashahr are vivid and interesting. But throughout the book it is the author's knowledge of nature that enhances the peculiar attraction of his descriptions. Of the hills near the Wangtu bridge he writes : " Everywhere the rock has crumbled away into channels and clefts, and evidence of lormer landslips is revealed by innumerable splits and fissures. In fact I was strongly impressed by the fact, confirmed at every turn by later observations, that this huge mountain system is still alive, or rather that its active formative energy has not been quiescent for anything like so long a period as that of our Alps, for instance." When describing the climb to Chini he says : " A stiff climb brings us to the yellow rocks. It is as I thought : they are of grey granite gneiss covered all over with lichens, growing in the same orange and yellow patches and circles that we find on our own basalt slopes. They cover all the older fragments of rock and are the first signs of that encroachment which presently under the protective conditions of the atmosphere will make further plant life possible. Up here at tree-limit the lichens work in silence and yet they speak to us in clearest tones. ‘Here is safety ' they say. Here you may pitch your tents in peace. But yonder, where the lichens can find no foothold, where the weather-beaten crags are bald and cold and grey, is the rocky zone. And very change of temperature spells danger to life and limb."

In most chapters there are delightful descriptions of bird-life and flowers, but we must not mar the readers' enjoyment by giving extracts. Modern photography has reached a high standard and some of the illustrations in this book are the products of an exceptionally artistic mind. The picture of the temple at Paunda is typical and really lovely ; while the two plates, on pages 35 and 124, of the Capparis in full bloom are most attractive.

One or two errors or misprints may be noted. On pages 81 and 108 the height of Mont Blanc is stated to be 18,000 feet. Pin Parjal (p. 84) and Pir Panjal (p. 112) both probably intended for Leo Pargial, or more correctly, Eio Porgiul; its highest peak is 22,170 feet above sea-level. There is no peak of 28,000 feet in this neighbourhood. Omne padme horn (p. 101) is not the usual transliteration of the Tibetan prayer.

Distinguished foreigners visit this gigantic and marvellous chain of mountains that encloses India on the north and write interesting books of their travels. One peculiarity applies to nearly all of these books. They seem to give us the impression that the writer is practically the only " explorer " who has been to the particular part of the Himalaya he describes. True, the gentle hill-man likes to please the white man as much as does his brother in the plains, and it is only human to be mildly elated when one is told that one is the only white man who has travelled to some particular spot. Few of us in the Himalayan Club can count ourselves as explorers, and fewer of us have, alas ! the gift or leisure to write up our travels. Yet one or other of us, or of those who spent their leave wandering among the Himalaya long before our Club existed, has generally been into the country " explored " in these modern books. The book under review but faintly echoes this note of " exploration " of a country known to many of us, but for all that it is most welcome for its charm.

Dr. Yan der Sleen wonders if he will ever see the Himalaya again. We hope he will, and that he will push through the Himalaya and on beyond the Hindu Kush, to write again of his new experiences and to charm all lovers of nature among high mountains.

J. R. C. Gannon.

TRAILING THE GIANT PANDA.-By Theodore Roosevelt and Kermit Roosevelt. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929. 8 ¾ x5 ½ inches ; 278 pages ; map and illustrations ; price 3.50 dollars.

When the Roosevelt brothers and their companion, Suydam Cutting, passed through Calcutta early in December 1928, they expressively remarked that the main object of their forthcoming expedition was " to knock the P out of Panda " ! This animal? Mluropus melanoleucus, lives in the dense bamboo jungles of Szechuan, and though discovered some sixty years ago by Pere David, the French missionary, who obtained incomplete skins from the natives of Muping, it had never been killed, and it probably had never been seen alive, by a white man. According to the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, it is a representative of the Procyonidce, of which the American racoons and our Himalayan Cat Bear are members. There is a skull and skin from Szechuan in the Boyal Scottish Museum at Edinburgh, and a skin in the British Museum collection. Amongst others, General Pereira had hunted it in vain, and the Boosevelts started out with very slight hope of success.

The greater part of the book under review is devoted to this quest. As in their East of the Sun and West of the Moon, describing the expedition of these three musketeers to the Tien Shan, so in this, Kermit and Theodore write alternate chapters, while Suydam Cutting, who was by no means the least energetic of the party, judgi