Friday, 28 August 2009

Lhassa Tibet Sunday August 28th 1904.

My dear Delia,

I think I have more news to give you this time. On the 29th we had the Lhassa Race Meeting and we all had great fun and excitement. In the race I entered my young pony Flying Fox for - the Lottery he was made favourite and sold for R84/- - I took half of this as I thought he had a good chance to win the prize of over 350/-. But unfortunately he got off badly at the Start and did not win - coming in fifth out of 12 entries. However yesterday he came in 2nd in the Lhassa Handicap - so I did not lose much after all. If the race had been twenty yards longer he would have been first as I caught up with the leader rapidly at the end.

I unfortunately was not present at the race yesterday as I had twisted my knee again the day before and had to lie up - but this morning my knee is better again. This is the first time I have really hurt my knee since leaving Silingore so I can't complain.

The day before yesterday Thursday 4, all the medical officers with the PMO went to inspect the Lhassa School of Medicine but we found the Institution a great fraud - it is really a monastery and the Head of the College had not the faintest idea of either Medicine or Surgery nor had any of the other Lamas. I think their's must be faith cure only - apparently they never "cut" and their drugs are all herbs of the most primitive kind, They didn't even know the position of the various organs of the body - they pointed to the right side of a man and said being a man his heart was on the right side, They also said the liver made the lips? and the spleen, if diseased, caused the eyes to become dull. They had no surgical instruments to show - no medicines - and could not even show us any patients and yet this is the only Medical Hall in Tibet,. So you can see we have discovered another fraud in Tibet. In fact Lhassa is the City of Frauds in my opinion.

We were to have finished up the races with a concert last night but at about 8pm such a storm came up that it was impossible to have it. It came down in Torrents and the thunder reverberating amongst the high hills around here, sounded very grand. Last night I received the English mail - your letter written just before you left for Plymouth and one from Grandmama with your note to it saying you had arrived safely. I should have much liked to have accompanied Tim on the steamer - it must have been dull going alone. It should have been the very thing I should have enjoyed. Do you remember our appetites directly you and I got on the SS Oliver and how we had to gsd our meals - and what a huge breakfast and dinner we used to eat, by waiting to have lunch. Yes!

I was very pleased to see that Bertie was a Captain. Two Captains in the family - now we are moving. I have collected about £10 worth of Lhassa Curios, principally jewellery. I hope you will like them. These are the best that I have collected up to now, comprising rings, necklaces ear-rings chatelaines - and cup holders besides Turquoise stones, most of these things are silver set with Turquoise. Everything of value here is very Expensive and some of the officers are spending hundreds of rupees on really worthless things - but as they have come from Lhassa they consider they all are of value.

You seem to have plenty of friends around you at No 26 - I hope you are looking out for some nice girls for me to take on the river or to the Exhibitions when I return. I think we leave here on the 16th of September - already several officers have left to make arrangements for our journey down. Goodbye dear Delia, much love, hoping you have enjoyed your holiday.

Your Affectionate Brother Cecil.

PS: Many congratulations on the "Capt'ing", sorry can't drink your health except in tea, This has just come in.

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