reading times, 31 jan 1911 tibet

john_zubrzycki Member Photo

Clipped by john_zubrzycki

reading times, 31 jan 1911
tibet - THE IBiffiH OF Dy A. Jjo&AAiin' Wortlcy. THE...
THE IBiffiH OF Dy A. Jjo&AAiin' Wortlcy. THE scientific, circles of Europe have their eye on one now to whom the lure of peril has ever appealed, a man who already has great achievements and discoveries to his credit. That man is Henry Savage Lan - tlor, the great English explorer who in ;the face of terrible difficulties ana neart - j rending hardships explored Thibet, vis - - 'ited and fixed the exact position of the 'ronrce of the great River Brahama - 'piifra. and made for himself undying ' fame. ' "A dozen military expeditions were ?ent out by the British government to penetrate the 1 hibetan mountains and reach Lhassa. but they all failed, and it was left to Henry Savage Landor, com paratively single handed, to carry out the mandate of civilization and take the word of the West into the Vronghold of the East. He did it almost at the cost of his life, suffering tortures that make one's blood curdle to contemplate. His description of the journey and ad ventures is a record ot courage un - leaualed in anv literature." Adventure always appeals to us, more particularly to women, who always do and always will admire daring and force in a man, especially when it is associated with education and culture, and is not merely brute strength. Most of the strong men whose deeds nave made them famous have been sroall.nien who have been economically built. Just enough bone and sinew to carry a good, purposeful brain, not just enough brain to feed the bone and beef of the fiction hero. I have met in the European drawing rooms most of the really brave men, such as Henry Stanley, Major Burnham, General de Wet and a dozen others, none of whom were slants. Not one iof them reached the heroic physical Meal of the novel hero at two dollars a volume. " ' Beine no exception to the rule, Henry Savage Landor is slightly under average height, but strongly built, He has a powerful face, browned by exposure to the color of leather, on which one can trace the scars of many hardships. Just imagine yourself aitting with half a dozen - ladies and gentlemen on Lan der's farm. iYou are in an arbor cov ered with grapevines sipping four o'clock tea, and you ask, "Mr. Landor, what was the worst experienc of all your travels ?" am tired of telling it, ladies." "Well, just once more to oblige us. And he commences: "Well, it was when I penetrated the forbidden land of Thibet when I was tortured almost to 'death by the crudest people on this earth,' for I have never found any crueler. I had as friends a Luger pistol and a Henel - Mannlicher and fifteen hundred rounds of ammuni tion, besides my two servants Chanden Sing and Mansing, the bravest of the brave. After many adventures and hard ships we were camped before the moun tain pass through which passed the main road to the sacred city of Lhassa, the home of the Grand Lama. I had decided to get as lnear as possible to Lhassa by the main roadand then enter the city in some disguise. To avoid betraying myself by mv small knowledge of Thibetan, I decided to pretend to be deaf and dumb. I purchased the neces sary clothintr for mv disguise and was going to make a pigtail out of the silky hair of my yaks. Overcome by Treachery. "After a hearty meal I went to my camp and was soon asleep, dreaming I was already inside the terrible and forbidden walls of the city of Lhatsa. "All through the night strange sounds woke me at intervals as though someone was hanging around the camp. Although I often went out and looked for the disturber, I never saw him, and all was quiet. "In the morning a number of natives came to sell us provisions and ponies, which we immediately commenced to select. In the meantime a great number nf villagers gathered, each performing some part of an occupation he or she had evidently just left. After purchasing the provisions we commenced to select our mounts. We were indeed in high spirits, for after many months of hunger and hardships we were here where there was an abundance of everything. Even the demeanor of the Thibetans was reassuring and friendly, and I commenced to wonder why the word 'forbidden' was attached to their land. ... "Chanden Sing and Mansing had made selection? from the ponies and they called me over to examine them before I passed my money in payment. "Not for a moment did I suspect foul play, and in order to try the ponies my men had purchased I took off my arms and left them in the tent. I went up to inspect the horses, the natives following in my rear. This did not excite my suspicion, for I had noticed that in every country where I had seen horses purchased in public everyone showed great riirtosity. I praised my servants' selection and was stoopin to examine the forefoot of the pony when a heavy body fell on me from behind, seizin my lands nd tos, and in fii instant half a fon Thibetans grabbed me as I lay on he ground. "I struggled like awild, demon and succeeded in throwing off my captors. In a moment some thirty men rushed in and took their places. I fought like a fiend. Three times after being thrown on the ground I succeeded in regaining my feet, striking out and kicking - with all my might, which was not much as I was suffering from exhaustion. Ropes were thrown lasso - wise around my legs arms and body. I succeeded in kicking them off, till at last one well - directed loop fell over my head and tightened around my neck. Whilst some held me, the .others pulled on the rope until it cut into my flesh. ' I felt my eyes bulge and my tongue stick out. Everything grew black before my eyes, and I collapsed, strangled into insensibility. When I recovered I was bound hand and foot, a prisoner, to be led to execution or torture, I knew not which. The Forbidden Land had commenced to show me some of its 'forbids.' "In the meantime Shanden Sing had been attacked - as I was and I saw him fighting to the bitter end, crying for Mansing to bring the rifles. But poor Mansing, who - , was a leper, had also fallen under an attack by the Thibetans and before long, we all were similarly He now held the hot iron dose to my em, bound hand' and foot. Then every man, amongst our captors came and kicked us with his heavily booted feet. . "When they had finished this amusement, one of them gave a shrill whistle, and then about four hundred Thibetan soldiers, who had been ambushed around us, sprang as though out of the earth and advanced, making a circle around us and covering us with their matchlocks. Then half a dozen men, at the order of the Lamas, who had the previous night professed friendship to us, searched our pockets and rifled them of everything. "I could not help feeling supreme contempt for these Thibetans, who had to resort to abject treachery to arrest a half - starved Englishman and his two servants and to use five hundred men to accomplish their deed. Even a prisoner is I was. and in a serious position, I could not help smiling at the way these W ' IfBKI??' ilk ' . "' - . ' - - - - - - . .V..V - . - - ;.. ; - .. ... ., ... . v. - y ... . , , ;v .. - , - - J ' ' ' , ..... : " '. ' ' . .. , 1 . t ' ,. - - v - . .'. - . barbarians handled my chronometers and watches. Wearing ,thcm tick, they thought they were possessed of life, and they thiew them about in order to kill them. When they ceased to tick they were pronounced dead. My other instruments were examined and when it was found that they had no tick they were declared never to have lived, or to have died of fright. '"Our rifles were shown great respect) for our captors thought that they mijrht go off at any' minute and blow them all into eternity. Wishing to make things as easy as possible for us and showing that we, after all, were only harmless travellers. I told them that the rifles were unloaded and would hurt no one. Not satisfied with their exhibition of childish brutality, they tied the ropes that were around our necks to the pommels of their saddles and dragged us around the country over , the rough ground. Every moment ' I thought I wottM - be choked or have my neck broken. The skin was torn from my hands and face on the bushes, and at every yard some of my clothing was torn otf . I knew that it was only a matter of time when the rough usage would leave me naked, and then my bare and I closed them as ttyht as I could. skin woujd be rubbing on the ground. As the horses galloped I bounced from knoll to knoll, and heard through the dizziness that filled my head the banging of the matchlock and the cries of the horsemen as they dragged us, torn and bleeding, into their village. "As soon as we got to the village I saw that we were to be separateoV - and I gave my servants orders that no matter what happened they were not to show the least fear, and if they were injured or cruelly treated not to exhibit any evidence of pain if they could help it. They promised to obey me. And they did. We were placed in different tents and soldiers mounted guard over us. At first they were inclined to be sulky, but on my answering their commands and questions with the same politeness that I would an inquiry from a ladv in my own land they showed some signs of friendship. I had on previous occa - ' VESTS' gwHS! one ot them. - Lut off whose head?' I eions tound that - Asiatics were deeply impressed by one's maintenance "of com posure under, all. circumstances, and I knew that if we were ever to get out of our , predicament it would be by pre tending & perfeft - passive ;demeanor , in tace oi any happening, good bad, or. in different, y . .. '" - . - ,.. .,;,. "As the:tem was closed I coui not see what was happening outside, but from the noisy commands, sounds of matching feet and galloping horses, I knew, that the place was in a tumultu ous uproar and that some unusual event was taking place or was to take place. I had great fears for Chanden Sing and Mapsing, of whom I had not heard since our separation. Ihe ropes were cutting into my swelling flesh and my neck was getting sore and stiff. The thickening of the bruised muscles of my throat al - most throttled me. The . tent flaps uj.ciicu anu a nuge, Drutai looking soldier , entered, saying ; with evident anticipations of pleasure on his countenance, They .are' going to - cut off his head I "They are going to euf off his head!': He looked - at me - with a sneer and drew his crooked finger significantly across his throat. . I thought of my poor servants. ; They were going to behead one ot them. - Lut off whose head? cried, almost losing my composure. 'Yours,' said the soldiers This was hardly good .news, I acted as best I could, keeping all evidence of fear suppressed.' .' - AH right,' I answered, as though losing my head was a daily oc currence., - It must not be fonrotten that a Thibetan under the same circumstances would have fallen on his knees and. with tears and. sobs appealed for his life. "My answer was a surprise to the soldier. He did not know what to make of me. His gleeful face took on a look of disappointment and he led me into the, open air with expressions of. dis gust. Whilst I was in mv orison, a husre white tent with blue ornaments had been pitched in front of the mudhouse, which was surrounded, by hundreds of pic turesque villagers and soldiers. The sol diers halted when thev wer about twen ty paces from the tent, which had within It a number of red. shaven - headed Lamas. I was , then taken away and placed behind a rude dwelling, which hid the scene from me. As I was led away I saw Chanden Sing led before the crowd. - "Once behind the dwelling I heard the loud questions of the angry voiced lamas, who were accusing Chanden Sing of guiding me into the forbidden country. Then there was a loud uproar from the populace, followed by an ominous silence. A little later I heard the unmistakable swish and cut of 'a whip and the low groans of my poor servant. I counted the cruel blows. Ten. They will stop! Nol Again the lash fell. Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty. I. was nearly mad when silence again came. I thought poor Chanden Sing had been flogged to death. ...:'... "It was my turn now, for a number of soldie came and pushed me into the space before the tent, which had within it the governor of the province, an all - powerful Grand Lama, or 'Pombo.' He appeared to be a young man, On his clcarfthaven head he wore a four - pointed hat of gilt with three great uncanny eyes paintedupon it. His legs were cov ered by a pair of baggy yellow trousers. Above these he wore a short vest - like coat, with sleeves of the same material. At his right side, standing like a euard, there was a short, powerfully built red lama, who held a huge double handed sword with a glistening blade. Behind the throne of the Grand Lama stood a number of lamas, officers and soldiers. Brought Before the Lama. "I was brought before the Grand Lama. As I approached him with my head in an erect position a number of Lamas rushed out and tried to force me to my knees, but I succeeded - in remaining erect. The Grand Lama addressed me in a storm of furious words, put as I spoke only the language of the lower Thibetans I did not understand him and I iold him not to use such fine words. This dumbfounded the important gentleman on the throne. Instead of kneeling in fear before him I made a most unusual request. He frowned and, after addressing some one in a loud voice, he commanded me to look to my eft. When I did so the soldiers and Lamas opened ranks before my gaze and I saw Chanden Sing lying naked on the ground bleeding from many lash wounds. Beside him (Stood two powertul Lamas, who ... commenced to flog him as soon as they saw - that I was interested in my servant's condition. Blow after blow was struck by the strong armed Lamas, whore lashes were weighted with leaden balls and knots. Each blow brought the blood in streams from the poor wretch's back. I felt my heart grow faint with pity. Every time the leaden balls thudded I felt as though . a red hot dagger had been thrust into me, but, knowing the orientals, I pretended not to notice what was going on beyond the interest of a casual observer. Some Lamas neor me shook their fists and cried, 'You will be next,' and I answered, 'AH right, very good,' as though it were an everyday occurrence to be knouted. This mystified the Lamasand attendants and I saw that my manner of receiving things wasVorking with success, and it gave me more courage to continue. "I was now taken to where Chanden Sing was lying on the ground. My maps and sketches were produced and the Lamas proceeded to question me closely, saying, 'If you speak the truth vou shall be soared. If you lie you shall be flogged and lose your head.' "I answered. 'I shall speak the truth under any circumstances.' A Lamaw huee proportion, who was dressed in red and gold and still held the blood dripping lash in the same powerful hand that had swung it on Chanden Sing's naked body, told me to save myself bv saying that mv servant made the drawing and had Ruided me over the mountains. We shall then cut oft his head and take you back, over the frontier.' I took all blame, saying that I alone made the maps and sketches. The Lamas were enraged at mv attitude, and one of them struck me with the handle of a riding crop, nearly nocking - me unconscious. The Lamss row threatened to tor ture me if I did not siy what they wished. I answered, "You may .tear off our skins and we shall feel no pain and I shall not lie.' I was dragged away, arid they still continued using the lash on Chanden Sing, who behaved heroically, hiding his pain as much as possible. "For. two days and a night I was without food and I heard no more of my servants. On the third afternoon a huge, coarse soldier came in and slapped me on the shoulder, saying that I was to be tortured before sunset. 'You arc to be flogged, your eyes burned "out, your legs broken and your head cut off.' Some time latef a man entered the teni and signalled to my guard .to lead me out. My bonds were tightened and I was taken to the mud hut, where there was a mob of people and soldiers. . Not long after I entered the hut a squad of soldiers entered with Cffanden Sing in their midst, tightly bound. ' "Chanden Sing cried to me from another room of the hut. 'Sahib45ahib, I ain ; dying.' I turned toward him and saw' that he certainly was . in great distress. 'We are going to Taklakot,' I said, 'and you will follow.' The soldiers notv brought ponies to the hut, Chanden Sing was tied to a bare backed pony and I was thrown up into' a saddle on which there were five sharp spikes, which caught 'me in the small of the back and penetrated my flesh at every movement of the pony. ; We were now surrounded by an armed cavalcade, and my horse was led by a soldier. At a signal we all started off at a gallop. As my hands were manacled behind me I could not ea3e myself from the spikes in the back of the saddle, and I could feel them working deeper and deeper into me as the blood ran down my legs. At different places along the route sol diers with their machlocks fired at me sometimes at only a few yards, but I was never hit. Towards simset we arrived at our destination Gyatsho and dismounted at the foot of a hill on which stood a fortress and Lamastry. T was hustled amid the insult and jeers of the mob to the execution ground. - Here I was placed on an instrument of torture, a prism shaped log, and my legs were stretched out by five men as far as they would go. I was then se curely tied with ropes. The brute who had shot at me, Nerba. same up behind me and seized my lon? hair. Before me. ear the fovernor's hut. stood a row of Hie most vicious lnokincr human brutes I had ever seen. Each had in his hand 7 - n instrument of torture. One held a large headed mallet to break bones, a second had a two handed swof(d, a third carried a bow and a set of arrows, and a number of others had a variety of terrible instruments of torture. Blinded by Hot Irons, "By this time the crowd was evidently becoming . impatient, and showed it by remarks and gesture?. The musicians with their crude, instruments set up a din. and an executioner commenced heating an iron bar with a wooden handle in a 'brasier.'' When it was red hot' it was handed to the 'Pombo, who was chewing something to make artificial froth in his" mouth. He then worked himself into a frenzy and, holding the hot iron before him,, advanced toward m. I stared at mm and he avoided my nts, showniff some reluctance to per form his task. The Lamas cried, Out with Ins eves! he has come to see our country. Out with his eyes; that will be. his punishment.' Ht . row held the hot iron close to my eyes,' and T closed them as tight as I couldA The heat was so intense that it burned my nose and seemed to drv out eyes, the left one especially. The inn could not have been before my eves more than thirty - cond. but it seemed an interminable time. When I felt the iron taken awav T opened mv eve?. Ore was blind, and - om the other everything looked red. The pain throbbed and jumped through mv brain, On the damp ground besld tin hot iron sizzted and steamed. Th din from the musicians increased nd the neoote nt on me as Nerb tore handfuls of, hair from my head. "A matchlock ws pieced against my head and fired by the Pombo in an upward direction. He was so nervous thtt - A'1 soldier was broufctit into rsonisUlon to light the fuse for him. Between them at the signal to fire, on account or the overcharge', in the blunderbuss, they pulled the gun from my forehead as it exploded and it flew out of the Pom - bo's hand. 'Kill htm! Kill him!' the mob cried as I laughed at the accident. 'He shows no fear. Kill him! The Pombo, always iiperstitious, blamed the jumping of the lnatchlock from his hand to some aupernntural force and not to the overcharge of powder. He seemed reluftant to proceed 'Kith' the execution. .This was my opportunity. I cried, 'If ycu Tcill me to - day ycu will - all die to - motrov,,' : For awhile they were silent, but again the niob commenced to cry for my life, The Pombo now worked himself in an ever greate r freniry and " froth ftakedfrrro his mouth. A Lama handed mm - a heavy two - handed sword arid tucked up his sleeves to give his arms free play. He ordered Nerba to bend down my head to receive the blow, but I resisted with all my feeble strength. " If I was to die I would die with my head up. I would never bend to the brutes before me. "The Pombo advanced toward me, swinging the shiny blade from side to side. He measured the blow required to behead me by drawing the blade across the back of my neck. And then he made a mighty stroke and the blade swept past me. It was hrd t - realize that my head was not off, I think I ceased to breathe. The Pombo ' went to the opposite side and aga - ' - T drew the keen blade across my ntc! - and then with his trembling hand and with U his might, made a blow at n?. "Again he missed the blade passir;, - over my hair. The crowd howled for my blood but the Pombo respect!! - ; - my apparent indifference, refused proceed with his ghastly work. T later learned that this apparent missing of the mark in an execution was merely one way of prolonging the, agony and torturing the victim. The Tortures Continued. "Mansing was now brought toward me and we were inforrqed that both of us were to be beheaded on the morrow. The execution was being delayed re were informed, with the ob ject of getting a longer performance out of it. We were getting weak from hunger. I felt my strength giving out. I asked for food, saying, 'If you do not "give us some nourishment we shall die . of starvation and defeat the execution.' This was reason, and the Lamas brought us food and stuffed it with", their fingers down our throats. Again our tortures were continued. My legs were torn wider open and fastened to logs. Mansing's were treated in the same manner. My hands, as well as Mansing's, were fastened behind and then pulled up by a . rope passed through a hole in a post. We were stretched as far as possible without tearing otir bodies apart and the ropes wefe fastened. The joints of my arms were twisted in their sockets, and the agony was beyond description. Mansing's neck was tied to mine with the object of keeping the strain on our arms. , - "I made many attempts to escape, but my weakness was so great that they were ineffective. We were flogged when it suited any passing soldier. And each succeeding hour brought with it more torture. All night the rain fell and I could not help thinking that we would not survive the treat ment even if we were not beheaded the next day. In the morning my baeeaee. that had not been searched, was opened, and it is due to the ignorance and superstition of the Thibetans that lr world ever heard of my torture. ""V series of accidents, that were easilv accounted for by myself, were looked upon by the Thibetans 83 supernatural doings, and I encouraged the belief. For instance, when the Pombo opened my undeveloped photographic plates ! and exposed them to the light they - turned black. 'Why is this?' he cried. 'That is a sign that you will suffer for : what you have done to me.' He squirmed, and ordered the plates to be buried out of his sight. . '. "Under the plates there was a huge bath sponge, which by the weight of the plates had become flattened down to the thickness of about a quarter of :. an inch. The Pombo held it before, me, bit it, and tore it. Soontes were i absolutely unknown in Thibet, and he was puzzled. 'Wha is it? . he de - ' manded, as he threw it in a rain pool ' beside me. I saw it commence to ; swell. This was another opportunity to .scare them. I held an animated : talk with the rapidly expandi. - c cponge, which grew larger and larger , every moment, . The Thibetans watched me in fear. I cried.. if vou harm me any more this will grow and ! grow till it floods your nation and de - ; stroys you all.' I could see their tcr - ' ror, and when the sponge had reached i its normal size I asked it in Thibetan to cease growing till further command. A great show of relief came over my captors. The next accident that helped me was the Lursting of my rifle. One of the Lamas who had been very cruel took the weapon, which had been " jammed into the mud and choked, and : asked how it was used. I told him. and, putting in a cartridge, he fired at a yak a few yards away. With a terrific report the rifle burst and smashed the face of the Lama. My supernatural power were now estab - lis'd. at least, in that locality. , "Not Ions; after this my bonds were removed from my deadened limbs. Oineinar to the ro.pesvwere pieces of flesh and skin. I rolled over on the ground heloless and dead, with the exception of mv brain. Thus ended the rjiv life. Later I was freed and cor - ductec! n'aclr to the frontier with m - hrav Chanden Sinsr and Mansinf. but . hat U another storv of the forhwen Uirf." Copyright, loto, by Metropolitan Vta?' poftr syniieatt. X

Clipped from
  1. Reading Times,
  2. 31 Jan 1911, Tue,
  3. Page 7

john_zubrzycki Member Photo

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in