Night had settled upon the roof of the world. With a jingling of harness
and the clipclop of hooves, a small caravan wound slowly up the
17,000-ft. pass. Ahead lay the snowy summits of the Himalayas, an ocean
of wind-whipped peaks and ranges that have served Tibet as a rampart
since time began. Cavalrymen with slung rifles spurred forward; state
officials in furs, wearing the dangling turquoise earrings of their
rank, sat tiredly in the saddle; rangy muleteers in peaked caps with
big earlaps goaded the baggage train up the steep...