The snow-peaks were faintly tinged with rose, and the ragged masses of vapour that hung lazy and leaden-coloured about the sides of the abyss, were partially dyed a sulky orange red. Then all faded into gray.

And not the faces only; the very houses and ways, the blue sky overhead, and the snow-peaks when for an instant he caught sight of them bore the same aspect. All wore their every-day air, and mocked the despair in his heart.

The view, as one ascends the Grimsel, of the snow-peaks around Gletsch is a fine one in itself, but is vastly enhanced in beauty by the plunge downwards of the rocky gorge made by the Rhone as it leaves the flat-bottomed amphitheatre of its birth. The top of the Grimsel Pass, which is a little over 7,000 feet above sea-level, is the most desolate and bare of all such mountain passes.

Scraping away the incrustation, we find that we are in the Tyrol, high hills on all sides, no snow in the valley, a bright morning, and the snow-peaks are soon rosy in the sunrise. It is just as we expected, little villages under the hills, and slender church spires with brick-red tops. At nine o'clock we are in Innsbruck, at the foot of the Brenner. No snow yet.

In the hotel garden, beside the little fountain in the middle of the lawn, sat a ragged condor which the landlord had bought to amuse his guests. It was attached to its perch by a good strong rope. But when the sun shone upon it with real warmth, it fell a-thinking of the snow-peaks of Peru, of mighty wing-strokes over the deep valleys and then it forgot the rope.

And while they so sat, enjoying their one-course dinner as no gourmet ever enjoyed a city feast, night and frost crept stealthily, almost visibly, over the stupendous snow-peaks and pinnacles of opaque ice that towered on all sides, breathing out cold; and contemplating, as if in silent amazement, these atoms of 'valiant dust' who dared and were beaten back, and dared again; who day by day pushed farther into their white sanctuary of silence, in search of a pass whose existence was guessed at rather than known.

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.

After a long and wearisome climb they got up there, and found eight of the Genii sitting on eight snow-peaks, and looking down on the Lake of Gems, as Yun-Ying had said. The Lake of Gems lay on the other side of Mount Sumi, and was a beautiful sheet of water, flashing all the colours of the rainbow. Pei-Hang could not take his eyes off it.

Mountains, serrated and cleft as in some giant's play, rose on every hand, while through the hollows gleamed the farther snow-peaks. This little bare plateau must be naked to any eye on any hill-side, and at the thought he got to his feet and advanced. At first sight the place had looked not a mile long, but before he got to the farther slope he found that it was nearer two.

Taken altogether, this is a charming bit of architecture, picturesquely set beneath the granite snow-peaks of the Valtelline.