Often the lama made the living pictures the matter of his text, bidding Kim too ready note how the flesh takes a thousand shapes, desirable or detestable as men reckon, but in truth of no account either way; and how the stupid spirit, bond-slave to the Hog, the Dove, and the Serpent lusting after betel-nut, a new yoke of oxen, women, or the favour of kings is bound to follow the body through all the Heavens and all the Hells, and strictly round again.
In November, 1911, the Chinese garrison in Lhassa, in sympathy with the revolutionary cause in China, mutinied against Amban Lien-yu, a Chinese Bannerman, and a few months later the Tibetans, by order of the Dalai Lama, revolted and besieged the Chinese forces in Lhassa till they were starved out and eventually evacuated Tibet. Chinese troops in Kham were also ejected.
The other accomplice, whose name was Loosang-Dchaltzan, and whose rank was that of Lama, or Kalmuck pontiff, was a person of far more distinguished pretensions; he had something of the same gloomy and terrific pride which marked the character of Zebek himself, manifesting also the same energy, accompanied by the same unfaltering cruelty, and a natural facility of dissimulation even more profound.
Soon afterwards, as I sat at my tent-door, looking along the narrow bushy ridge that winds up the mountain, I saw twenty or thirty men rapidly descending the rocky path: they were Lepchas, with blue and white striped garments, bows and quivers, and with their long knives gleaming in the sun: they seemed to be following a figure in red Lama costume, with a scarlet silk handkerchief wound round his head, its ends streaming behind him.
The men walked, whistling and uttering short sharp cries; ten of them carried guns slung on their backs, and all were bareheaded, sunburnt, and dirty. The whole of the next day we remained where we were in order to dry our things, and the Lama again stained my head down to the neck and in the ears. The critical moment was approaching.
'Good heavens, I don't know how to console him, said Father Victor, watching the lama intently. 'He can't take the boy away with him, and yet he's a good man I'm sure he's a good man. Bennett, if you give him that rupee he'll curse you root and branch! They listened to each other's breathing three five full minutes.
And to the disciple he said, "She is your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. Darkness covered the whole land from noon until three o'clock in the afternoon. At that hour Jesus cried aloud, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani," which means, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" When they heard it, some who stood by, said, "He is calling Elijah."
I have a weakness for learning; I have caused myself to be initiated in all secret and philosophical societies; I have taken a degree from the Brahmans of Benares; I have received the accolade from the emir of the Druses; I have been instructed by the priests of the Grand Lama, and have joined the Society of Pure Illumination, the sole possessors of the Future Light.
After a few minutes, three persons came into the hut, and seated themselves opposite to me: I only recognised two of them; namely, the Singtam Soubah, pale, trembling like a leaf, and with great drops of sweat trickling from his greasy brow; and the Tchebu Lama, stolid, but evidently under restraint, and frightened.