Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Lhassa Tibet, 10-08-1904

My dear Bertie

We have arrived at our journey's end but I am afraid that I cannot tell you much of the City of Lhassa. We are camped about one mile from the City and so far we have only been allowed to go as far as the City gate. However from the hill overlooking the city we have been able to have a very fair sight of the place, the most prominent feature of which is the Palace of the Dalai Lama which is certainly a magnificent structure.

The ordinary people are quite friendly and come out of Lhassa every morning and form a bazaar outside our camp where most of the articles we are however suitable only for the Sepoy's food. This afternoon I shall go right in to Lhassa as the General is going to make a call on some of the Tibetan Hobnobs and I am going with the Escort.

We nearly had another engagement on Monday - the Tibetans refused to bring in supplies so we went out with a large force to a monastery called Debune where the 7000 fighting monks live and demanded grain. They refused to supply it so we gave them one hour to think it over. And began to make our disposition for an engagement. Just as time was up we saw a Crowd of Lamas filing out of the monastery with loads on their backs so we let them off for the once - but they are very truculent crowd and if they don't bring in enough - we shall have a go at them later. Instead of being well of now for supplies we are worse than ever we were and yet we are giving R4/- per pound for all grain brought in - which is about double prices. The Tibetans are fools - if they don't bring us grain they will have it taken away for nothing and lose all their money.

I received your letter safely telling me of Tayhams visit to the brothers at Ruoakee to say goodbye. We expect him here any day now. I received a nice letter from Tim thanking me for offering to subscribe towards the house rent but that he won't have it for more than a year as he thinks after that time things should look more flourishing. We are having warm but rainy weather so we are fairly comfortable here. Thanks for sending all of the cigarettes we will expect a parcel post shortly - the First for some weeks.

I am very fit - hope you are the same.

Much Love


Cecil Mainprise.

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