I never really meant it. See here, Elsa; merely looking at one angle, you're not a run-of-the-mill, college-educated product. You don't feel bound by the latest fashion in ideology or—". I wish I liked that kind of thing! I wish I could make myself be herd-minded and believe what other people believe, and do what they do, and like it. I wish I were a Fascist or a Communist—something genuinely coarse and gross and stupid! Andrew, with all my heart I wish it! He turned the head of Chenrezi upside down and whittled savagely at the rough base.
But it will be as lifeless as what you're doing now with your knife and a piece of wood: I've a genius for this kind of thing. What's more, I do good live thinking while I'm working at it. But my talent can't hold a candle to yours. For instance, you're the only woman in the world who can translate ancient Tibetan intelligently. What's wrong with that? You've plenty of it to do. Here you are, safe as a saint in a—". Don't talk as if you're trying to sell me a plot in a cemetery!
I don't have to be told that I might as well be in the British Museum. I've been working all day long at translation. I'd go mad if I didn't. The more wretched I feel, the easier it comes. The only real labor is writing it out—can't write fast enough. I know a man in New York who wrote a darned good novel that way. It isn't a bit like that. I look at the Tibetan writing and all at once it means something in English.
I don't know how to explain it. It's like reading music notes at sight and being able to transpose them into a different key without thinking about it. Of course, it isn't really like that, but—why don't you let me talk of what I want to talk about! Andrew held up Chenrezi's head and studied the curve of a nostril. Tibetan wasn't a gift, as you call it. I earned that honestly, and love it. It's the other part that I hate.
As a child it got me into so much trouble that I left home when I was sixteen. I almost didn't have any friends. It brought me nothing but grief, and mistrust, and misery, until I met Tom in the British Museum Library. After that, it began to be wonderful, because Tom—".
You've only heard Tom's version. He told the truth, but not all the truth. He can't possibly have told my side of it, because he never knew it. I don't believe he even guessed it. But how could Tom possibly guess what even I didn't know, about me, until—until I had torn it right out of myself, and forced myself to look at it?
Sometimes I think you are. So he can't possibly have told you all about me. Andrew shut his clasp knife. If I don't believe you, I'll say so. Because I'm going to be merciless—I mean to me. It may be the last time that you and I will ever talk together intimately. I don't want to pry into your secrets. I do want to tell mine. Andrew studied his carving of Chenrezi's head for half a minute. Then he put it into his pocket and stared at Elsa.
The rain splashed in the courtyard. The guttering candlelight half hid her amid trembling shadows. A slight, small girl of twenty-three, in a black tailored shirt. Something like a feminine version of Michelangelo's David. If there's anything I hate it's being told what I'd sooner not know. I'm a hell of a good hater. It seemed timed to the second, as if someone's daimon didn't want a veil drawn aside. It was simple scheduled monastery routine, but it felt like a hint from destiny. The interruption was a thudding on the thick door. It sounded far off, almost alarming.
But when Elsa touched the bronze bell it turned out to be only two wrinkled old Tibetan monks. One was the Abbot's physician. The other brought tea in a brass urn—buttered tea stewed and salted, that isn't so awful once you're used to it. The smiling old doctor professed not to know why there were three cups. It was not his business. He had brought medicine for Elsa. He poured it from a silver vial into a spoon of rhinoceros horn, opened his own mouth by way of suggestion, pushed the spoon halfway down Elsa's throat and turned it until she gagged and swallowed the horrible stuff.
He watched her cough, crossing his fingers, murmuring sacred words to ward off devils. Then he murmured a blessing, stowed the utterly unsanitary spoon into an inner pocket, corked the vial, smiled at Andrew Gunning with a shrewd, almost monkey-like glance of his deeply set dark eyes and walked out, whirling his prayer wheel, followed by the monk with the brass tray. When the door thudded shut Andrew seized the opportunity to change the subject:.
But Abbot Mu-ni Gam-po insists that I'm still full of devils that need driving out. He says it was devils that killed my baby. So he sends his doctor three times a day. If I should refuse to swallow that nasty stuff, I don't know what would happen. Old Mu-ni Gam-po knows his magic. Some of our modern doctors get the same results by a different method. There's not much choice between a stupid M. Either will kill you. And the good magician or the good M. It insists on staying in me.
Andrew, you pour the tea, will you? I can't reach it without getting up. There's at least one monk who reports to Bulah Singh. You know what that means. Bulah Singh reads your mail before you get it—if you get it. However, I hope you've changed your mind about talking. It's always better to say nothing. But it needn't stop you from telling me the worst, if you feel you've got to. You're heartsick and scared. You think you can cure it by offering me to the gods, if there are any gods.
I was studying Tibetan because I like it, and so few other people study it, and because it's difficult, and because Professor Mayor, who happens to be my uncle, is in charge of the Tibetan section. I didn't know then that Professor Mayor had anything to do with the secret service. But later he asked me to help Tom decipher some difficult letters that were written in a kind of shorthand. I have a talent for that kind of thing. It isn't brain work; it's a kind of clairvoyance.
One thing led to another. Tom found me useful. I didn't know then that Tom was in the pay of the American State Department. The American State Department isn't crazy. It hasn't any money to spend on people like Tom and me. On top of that, it wouldn't choose to be caught with the goods. Tom gets bare expenses and a pittance from a member of the United States Senate who likes to know what he's talking about. If Tom's information should happen to reach the State Department, that's nobody's business. But tell it right.
You went off on the wrong foot. You and he got married. Onlookers never do understand that kind of thing. You weren't even an onlooker, not in the beginning. You had never even heard of me, and you only knew Tom by hearsay, until you met us in Tibet. And by that time, things were different. In the beginning Tom was in love with his job and with nothing else in the world. He was heartwhole, and ruthless—scrupulously faithful. I had enough money to pay my own expenses. I'm healthy, and active, and I'm so small that I don't tire a horse the way some people do.
I don't care a bit about luxuries, and I can keep my temper and hold my tongue. So Tom offered to take me to India. There was a homesick Tibetan in London named Tho-pa-ga. Tom wanted to take Tho-pa-ga to Tibet, and he wanted you along to supply the feminine touch. Tom told me all about it. You did such a good job that when the Tibetans kidnapped Tho-pa-ga to make him Keeper of the Thunder Dragon Gate, they kidnapped you along with him to keep up his spirits. Tom went in pursuit, and the Lama Lobsang Pun saved the lot of you in the nick of time.
Tho-pa-ga turned out to be a miserable flop, all pious melancholy and no backbone. In love with you, wasn't he? Tho-pa-ga was a ruinous man to bet on. Bound to let you down. In England he was homesick for Tibet. As soon as he reached Tibet, he was homesick for England. Tom was a fool to waste time on him. Tho-pa-ga's religion was such a mixture of magic and sentimentality, all glued into a rotten mess by a kind of superstitious fatalism, that he couldn't possibly have been a success in a key position. No one respected him.
The only friends he made were political Tibetan monks who spotted him for an easy mark. So of course he was poisoned. Anybody could have foretold that. And the business of preventing Tibet from being saved from herself by the Japs and Russians had to begin all over again. That was why I was sent from Shanghai to find you and Tom. Just go out and leave me alone. Then there'll be no one left except Abbot Mu-ni Gam-po. But I can't read a horoscope. Looking at it gave me a sensation of danger and fear and abject fatalism that I knew I shouldn't have.
But Mu-ni Gam-po wouldn't explain it, beyond saying something about Uranus and Neptune in the twelfth house, with afflicted Venus, and Sun rising in Aries. I don't know what that means. He wouldn't let me tell him what I'm trying to tell you. Tell me about the afflicted Venus. Tom married me secretly in England, in a spirit of scrupulous fair play. I was so in love with the idea of not being a grub any longer—of getting away from England and all that smug mediocrity, and credulous skepticism, and stupid, stuffy pretense of being something that you're not—I was so excited by the thought of traveling in India and being really useful— that I would have done whatever Tom asked me to do.
It was his idea, our getting married. He lets his left hand know what his right hand's doing. But lets nobody else know. He also wanted me to have the right to open his strongbox in the bank vault. Those were his motives. Tom and you got married secretly. And you weren't in love with each other. The more he knows, the less he says. But why not try Nancy Strong at the Mission School? Nancy is a hard-bitten old soldier with a heart like Mary Magdalene's and the guts of a grenadier. She'd even have a good cry with you, if that's how you feel. Then she'd tell you something worse out of her own experience, and you'd have a good laugh and feel better.
No woman could understand. She'd only see my side of it; and I can see that too well already. I want you to listen because you'll see Tom's side of it. But, Andrew, did you ever try to get Tom to complain, or to blame anyone else for what happened to him, or to cry over spilt milk, or to lock a door after the horse has bolted—or to do any of those wishy-washy things that ordinary people do? He's ornery, if you know what that means.
Nancy Strong should have married him. That changed Elsa's mood for a moment. She couldn't help laughing. Nancy Strong was old enough to be Tom Grayne's mother. Not even Tom Grayne would have a chance against her in a tussle of wills. Even Government fears Nancy. It's all disillusionment and anticlimax.
Even being kidnapped and carried off, and being cold and hungry in the mountains and in danger of being killed—and not knowing what had happened to Tom, but just hoping he would turn up—and then seeing him suddenly—and all the fighting at the Thunder Dragon Gate—every least tiny bit of it was wonderful and clean and good.
It felt like being blown on a big wind, and something new every minute. After Tom had helped Lobsang Pun to seize control of the monastery, it was even fun when that old despot turned us out to go and shift for ourselves. Lobsang Pun washed his hands of us. And Tom took the trail of the Japanese secret agents, taking me with him because there was nothing else he could do about it. Those were hard times, but they were utterly wonderful. We crossed the border of Sinkiang; and we were in touch with the exiled Tashi Lama twice before they poisoned him.
Then he'll begin to wonder what disagreed with him. They poison the meat before it's killed. If you don't eat meat, they poison the salt and tea and sugar. They put poison in the dust that blows into your cup. Tibetans are real nice people, but they don't like you to know more than's good for their peace of mind. That's what Tibetans are after—peace of mind. We hadn't pretended to be in love with each other. I was to be Tom's assistant, and to obey orders. Tom made the stipulation, and I agreed to it instantly, that there was to be no love-making and no man and wife stuff.
Ours was simply a temporary arrangement for business purposes. Either of us was to be free to divorce the other as soon as there was no longer any reason for being married. Andrew put all the malice he could into a slowly broadening grin. I've even fallen for that presumption once or twice myself.
You're not the first—not by a long way. It's disillusioning, but human. I've never spoken to Tom about women. And of course everybody knows he's an iron-willed man. But I'd have betted all I've got. I'd have laid odds. Tom and she, alone together, week after week, month after month, sharing the same tough time, growing more and more into each other's confidence—hell, I don't care what the previous agreement might be. She'd fall for Tom. Tom fell for me. I did it—five nights after we camped in that cave where you found us. But your arrival brought Tom to his senses.
What I want you to understand is—". Everything seemed to have gone wrong. Our Tibetans were behaving badly. Others brought in false reports and were getting insolent. Tom and I weren't hitting it off the way we had done, because my clairvoyance wasn't as clear as usual. It was all about Europe instead of Tibet. What I did see about Tibet, Tom didn't believe. When spies came in and talked to him I couldn't get any clear picture of what they were thinking about.
That made Tom irritable. It seemed to me we were drifting apart, and that Tom was sorry he had brought me with him. I made up my mind to change that by putting things on a more human basis. I don't want to be pitied. I knew what Tom needed, or I thought I did. He was lonely and worried and more nearly afraid than I've ever seen him. So that night, after the Tibetans had gone into the other cave, I crept into Tom's bed and made him believe it was I who needed him.
He thinks I was just a weak woman who yielded to his natural physical yearning for a mate. At times like that things happen. It's super-physical and super-mental. The physical act is irresistible. But it never entered Tom's head that it wasn't his fault. My eyes were wide open. I knew Tom would lose his job if he were ever suspected of woman weakness.
He's like a priest in that respect. He made that up. He's scrupulous and sentimental about his job. The job comes first. It suits him to believe that getting tangled with a woman —any woman—would destroy his efficiency. So he invented that hokum about Spartan celibacy. He has read a lot of tripe, too, about sublimation of sex. Andrew, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have no sex life, and don't want it, and are better off without it —priests, monks, nuns—there was Newton, who invented calculus —and my uncle, Professor Mayor—and the Lama Lobsang Pun —and there's Mu-ni Gam-po and all the monks in this monastery— and all the saints since history began—".
He has energy and an iron will. He's on the level in the sense that he would stay bought if anyone could buy him, but nobody can. That's a number one rating. But he's no genuine ascetic. He trains himself to live hard and to abstain from tobacco and drink and women for the same reason that a professional athlete does. It pays dividends—not cash, but something he likes far better. If Tom thought that the opposite of chastity would improve his intelligence he'd turn whore-master, scrupulously, without the slightest moral twinge.
He might hate it. But he'd do it. He clasped his hands and laid his elbows on his thighs and looked at Elsa with amusement that hid neither from him nor from her the fact that anger lay near the surface now, banked up, growing strong under restraint. Suddenly it broke loose. You corrupted Tom about as much as champagne could corrupt carbolic acid. The way a bird corrupts quicklime —or a rose corrupts the northeast wind.
I was utterly happy. I didn't care where we went nor what we did—until I suddenly remembered the bargain. I knew Tom would remember it too. So I spoke of it first, because I didn't want to embarrass him by speaking of it when it might be almost too late. All Tibet to wander around in. No immediate impulse, and plenty of time. About three quarters of Tom's method is to start things moving and then wait and see. Andrew enjoyed the luxury at last of letting violence flow up the veins of his neck and along his forearms.
There was just a hint of hardening muscle beneath the candle shadow on his cheek. Unknown to himself he looked ready to kill what he hated. Try to understand me. And then give me good advice, don't Pollyanna me.
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I want you to help me to face the music. A she-dictator staging an election? I vote the way I'm told to, and eat crow if you're wrong? But the facts are plain and I want you to know them before you give me advice. I swore I wouldn't, but I did. As a result I became pregnant, in a cave, in Tibet, nearly a thousand miles away from any possible help. No woman has a right to do that to a man. If you hadn't turned up, Tom would have been in a much worse dilemma than he is in now. And it's bad enough now.
Perhaps I ought to have just let myself die. I could have done that, because I was very close to death several times. It would have saved trouble for everybody. The point is that you did it, Andrew. And my baby was born in the snow. And you fought the blizzard and death and made miracles and stood by like a great big angry angel, and did what couldn't be done, and saved the baby and me, and brought both of us alive to Darjeeling.
It wasn't your fault that the baby died—here, in the monastery. And the baby is dead. Tom's baby and mine. I'd have been the mother of Tom's baby. But now what am I? Nothing but a liability—a millstone fastened secretly to Tom's neck—a danger to him. A handicap—a nuisance —an expense—an obstacle. You haven't any rights whatever. I know what my legal rights are.
I can go to Mexico or somewhere like that and divorce Tom, just as secretly as we got married. That was part of our agreement. But I want you to tell me Tom's side of it. Tom is all alone in Tibet and I can't consult him. I can't even get a message to him. I've tried telepathy again and again. Sometimes I can see him clairvoyantly. But I get no response.
One moment please...
Tom isn't clairvoyant—at any rate, not consciously he isn't. It isn't Tom's hunches that trouble me. It's Tom's sense of duty. Tom feels he has a duty to me. I know he does. Andrew, put yourself in Tom's place, and then tell me—". She stopped speaking suddenly. Andrew was on his feet again. Anger burst through reticence.
His face, in the glow from the brazier, was almost exactly as she remembered it in the blizzard-blown campfire light when the tent was torn loose in the gale and her baby was being born. The sun rises—praise the Lord! But when night comes—that's your fault! Bad weather —that's absolute, infallible, incontrovertible proof that you're a sinner! Damn that superstition about sin in the Garden of Eden!
Damn his eyes, I'm telling you what I think! You and he are not theories, or any bilge like that. You're not a legend. If you love each other—". Haven't you a soul to call your own? Is it less than his? Haven't you faith in your own vision? It was good enough, wasn't it, to pull up stakes and cash your savings and pitch your future into Tom's kit and go wandering where nine hard-gutted hellions out of ten wouldn't dream of daring to go! And now you talk about being licked by a lousy suggestion that you're a traitress!
I'll tell you the answer—". He paused because Elsa was no longer looking at him. Her attention had become fixed on something else. A quiet cough made him turn suddenly. The old Abbot Mu-ni Gam-po had entered unheard. He stood in shadow, black-robed, frail-looking, blinking through a parchment maze of wrinkles that were probably a smile, probably kindly, but beyond any doubt whatever were a mask revealing nothing that he did not wish to reveal. He spoke in English:.
But may I first have tea, if there is any tea left in the urn? Let us all drink. Anger and tea so seldom mingle. Wisdom sometimes fills the nest from which the bird of anger flew. Andrew recovered reticence, and alertness with it. The arresting fact was that the Lord Abbot Mu-ni Gam-po had entered the room, contrary to custom, unannounced, unaccompanied.
Andrew concentrated full attention on the fact.
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He watched the Abbot help himself to tea and drink it noisily, Tibetan fashion. The old man wasn't likely to say what he meant; one had to spot hints, and they wouldn't be too plain. Elsa watched Andrew, wondering whether he got the same impression she did. There was emergency in the air. The swaying shadows felt loaded with secret crisis. It was like a dream, in which unrelated things happen. A gong boomed at the far end of the corridor, muted by silence and by the thick door and the splashing of rain through the open window.
Mu-ni Gam-po moved his prayer wheel with a hardly perceptible wrist motion, twirling perhaps a hundred benedictions. Then he blinked at Andrew and spoke in Tibetan:. To discuss it is to argue about nothing, with vain words, in a void created by imagination. The Lord Abbot sat down on the seat that Andrew had vacated. He motioned to Andrew to take the teak chair on the far side of the brazier between himself and Elsa.
The old man looked almost Chinese, roguish and yet unworldly; humorous but serious nevertheless; humble, gentle, and yet full of dignity. After a minute's silence he spoke again in Tibetan, in a voice creaky with age but curiously vibrant with the unselfconscious habit of authority. It is invariably wise through meditation to permit reflection to reveal reality. We thus perceive ourselves in one another. Wisdom lives in silence. Fact number two had presented itself. The Very Reverend Lord Abbot Mu-ni Gam-po was suggesting in his own elaborate way that a time for not talking too much was at hand and that the reasons within reasons for discretion would reveal themselves, if one only would have patience.
And even patience was not strained too much. The gong boomed again at the far end of the corridor. A moment later the thick door opened. A monk moved in, barefooted, silent. He stood flicking his beads. The Lord Abbot nodded. The monk opened the door wider. Footsteps on carpeted stone came echoing forward. The atmosphere, the feel of things changed subtly. The dream sensation vanished. Something more like actuality replaced it. Morgan Lewis walked in and the monk closed the door, standing with his back to it.
For a moment the flicking of the monk's beads was the only sound in the room, very distinctly heard against the splashing of rain in the outer night as Dr. Morgan Lewis glanced from one face to the other. Then he strode forward and shook hands with Andrew Gunning, carefully because a finger joint was missing from his right hand.
Andrew had a reputation for sometimes forgetting his strength. One eyebrow perpetually higher than the other gave Lewis a quizzical look that was increased by untidy graying red hair, carefully clipped and groomed but always being ruffled by his restless fingers. He was a man of fifty with scars on his face and a wry, skeptical smile. But of what he was skeptical didn't appear. Mu-ni Gam-po produced horn-rimmed spectacles with large lenses which he polished carefully before putting them on. I snaffled a week's leave. Just got here—at least, that's the story.
Must I operate to start the conversation flowing? How are you, Elsa? Lewis stuck a monocle into his right eye. He was wearing a careless- looking tweed suit, but by a strange kind of circumstantial magic the scrap of glass in his eye suggested military uniform and official secrets. It made him look dapper, smart, almost impudent. He walked toward Elsa. But take a tip from me and don't get well too quickly. He sat down beside Elsa, on the edge of the basalt throne, where he could watch Andrew Gunning beyond the brazier and be watched by Mu-ni Gam-po. His right hand drummed a signal on his knee in full view of the horn-rimmed spectacles.
The Lord Abbot asked in English:. I took the opportunity at that time to—". That's true, isn't it? Please don't try to make generosity seem like an accident! Lewis glanced at her swiftly, then at Mu-ni Gam-po. It's less than once in a thousand years that a girl of your age suddenly arrives from Tibet and knows how to hold her tongue.
Besides, you sent for me. Lewis adjusted his monocle. Strictly between ourselves, I got your telepathic message. It was my first convincing evidence of clairvoyance. Tell the truth now, you asked me to come! You were the only doctor I knew in all India. And I was ill and unhappy. They told me my baby was dying. So I remembered you, and thought about you, and—". The baby was dead before I got here. They'd call that proof that I'm a liar. But we pulled you through your trouble.
Let's put it this way, talking in words of one syllable because I wish to be understood. One man's meat is another's poison. Facts are nothing but symbols of a metaphysic that we don't understand. Science, medicine included, is a scandalously overrated system for misinterpreting ascertained facts. And as a medical man it's my duty to say that Mu-ni Gam-po's medicine is an unscientific mixture of herbs that aren't in the pharmacopoeia and its use would be illegal in any civilized country.
He caught the Lord Abbot's eye, and the Lord Abbot smiled. Lewis shook his fist at the Lord Abbot. Johnson used to let you dose him, and now where's Johnson? Gone home to England, where he'll die, one of these days, just as surely as my name's Morgan Lewis. Andrew Gunning almost upset the brazier. Of the Ethnographic Survey? You mean he's left India? Sent home in a hurry to advise the India Office and be made a baronet and be snubbed to death. I'll send flowers —perhaps cabbages. I didn't like him, but he was a very first-class man.
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Bulah Singh is playing locum tenens, acting-Satan so to speak, but not as likely as he thinks he is to inherit the throne of hell. He lacks the incorruptible integrity. Bulah Singh might try to snatch some credit for himself by getting after unorthodox practitioners of medicine. You see, if Bulah Singh could tamper with Mu-ni Gam-po's medicine and create a scandal, he might sell his own brand of brimstone and treacle.
I advise you to change doctors, young woman. Do you get what I mean? But it doesn't work. I don't know what you mean. He's a great man for detail —studies such curiosities as smoke against snow on the sky line and the contents of the loads of ponies getting ready to go northward. He thinks tactics and strategy are the same thing. Lewis readjusted the monocle, stared at Andrew and continued. I should say his weak point is that he might watch a mouse hole too long. He might even watch two or three mouse holes.
If the mouse used something other than a hole in a wall, Bulah Singh's patience might make him look more like a stone Sphinx than an active cat. You've no news, I suppose, from Tibet? Radio to Shanghai, spatchcocked into Chinese bulletins intended for a Jap who has a Chinese mistress in Macao. Third-class passenger to Pondicherry. Even if it's ugly news, I can face it. Then he felt Elsa's pulse with a professionally absent-minded air of having nothing else to do.
Old Ugly-face is said to be a fugitive from Lhasa. He's reported to have lost his fight to control the young Dalai Lama and has had to go into hiding. Yes, there's more of it, seeing it's you. Ram-pa Yap-shi, the Lord Abbot of Shig-po-ling, is top dog at the moment. He got away from Lhasa with the young Dalai Lama and all the cash in the treasury. He has fortified himself at Shig-po-ling, and has offered a big reward for the capture of Ugly-face dead or alive. And as for you, young lady, take my advice and change medicine. Mu-ni Gam-po's mysterious stuff isn't good for you any longer. You've had enough of it—more than enough.
Even Bulah Singh wouldn't dare to fossick in Nancy Strong's medicine chest. See you again soon. Thanks for the information. He bowed before Mu-ni Gam-po to let the old Abbot touch the crown of his head with a special blessing. Andrew Gunning noted that they whispered to each other. Lewis walked out and the monk shut the door.
Elsa spoke in a horrified whisper:. The Lord Abbot Mu-ni Gam-po got up and bestowed a murmured blessing. The attendant monk opened the door, followed the Lord Abbot out and left the door slightly ajar. Andrew closed it tight and listened for a moment. Andrew's face glowed red as he poked at the coals in the brazier with bronze tongs. He carefully placed lumps of charcoal in the burned-out spaces and then stood away from the fumes. Morgan Lewis was warning me to get going if I don't want to be stopped by Bulah Singh. Lewis what you did, about Lobsang Pun and the Abbot of Shig-po-ling! Those are Tom's secrets.
Tom warned you to tell no one except—". But you heard that too. Johnson has gone—home to England. If Morgan Lewis hasn't taken Johnson's place, as head of the Tibetan section of the secret intelligence, I miss my guess badly. There weren't fifty people in the world who knew what Johnson's real job was. Probably not more than ten people know about Lewis—yet.
Pay as you go. Grabbing at something for nothing is the sure sign of a man who can't be trusted. Lewis told me his news, so I told him mine, although he knew it before I told him. He even knew about Ambrose St. The secret intelligence trick is to check one report against the other. One rumor, or even one fact means nothing; but if three, four, five, six rumors all check, that's different. Lewis wanted to know where Tom is. So I gave him a chance to put two and two together.
If Lewis doesn't mean to help me to get into Tibet, why in thunder do you think he'd tip me off that Bulah Singh is on the watch to prevent me? Morgan Lewis has become the head of the secret intelligence, surely he can give orders to Bulah Singh, can't he? He can tell Bulah Singh to look the other way, while you—".
If Morgan Lewis should make that mistake, Bulah Singh would obey the letter of the orders, but he'd watch more alertly than ever. From then on, he'd have an insider's nuisance value. Nine-tenths of the secret intelligence trick is to keep your subordinates mystified. Bulah Singh has orders to prevent anyone from getting into Tibet.
Those are standing, routine orders. But I'll get through. And Bulah Singh will be reprimanded; if he's ready for the trash can he'll be transferred and left wondering who did it to him. But he'll know why. Bulah Singh should have let old Mu-ni Gam-po alone. I'll bet that's where he slipped up.
Mu-ni Gam-po is a philosopher who thinks in terms of centuries and has a sense of humor. Bulah Singh is a modern wise-guy who thinks he knows all the answers.
Calls himself a skeptic. Actually he's a superstitious fool. Bulah Singh has the reputation of being anything but a fool. Andrew governed his voice down to the note that flatly indicated patience. Can't you read between words? Lewis told us, as plainly as he dared, that Bulah Singh has been trying to get Mu-ni Gam-po into trouble for letting me use the monastery roof to watch for smoke signals telling when the pass is open into Tibet.
That's why I call Bulah Singh a fool. And Bulah Singh fell for it—hard! Fell, too, for the ponies in the monastery stable. Andrew stopped her with a gesture. The loads are ten miles away from the ponies. The men are ten miles away from the loads. Those are monastery loads—routine supplies for Tibet.
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Bulah Singh's spy will be watching those loads, and watching for my smoke signals too, long after I'm over the border, unless I miss my guess about Morgan Lewis. He brought word last night that there's only one bad place left, and that's negotiable. Just now Bompo Tsering is buying odds and ends and fretting to get away tonight instead of tomorrow. You might have told me, Andrew.
I never guessed you'd be going so soon. Lewis spoke of my staying with Nancy Strong, I had a presentiment. But—" She left off speaking, staring at the brazier. Hand drawn portrait of a weird man with anonymous face. Graphic drawing in Noir retro style. Character design, surrealism, tattoo art. Closeup portrait of playful little boy making funny faces. Portrait of strange man making stupid angry face. Happy man with long nose isolated on grey wall background.
Human face expressions, emotions, feelings. Cross-eyed man, funny faces. Man making funny face and grimacing. A man is picking his nose. Blond girl with her hair on her face wearing eyeglasses. Ugly young bearded man looking sick on grey background. Portrait of skinny middle-aged woman with no makeup. Abstract face Portrait Sketch art hand drawn illustration. Portrait of weirdo man, isolated on white background. Happy nerdy man is showing thumbs up. Nerdy man giving thumbs up.
Composition of smiling people. Sketchy Detailed Zombie Head. Woman with hair covering her face. An apparently handsome young man removes his face as a mask, revealing and old, ugly and wrinkled face underneath. Angry man with grin in the dark. Horror smile face Cartoon smile. Crazy lunatic man smooshes face against glass surfaces. A real funny face captured in high detail. Cartoon flat monsters big set icons.
Colorful kids toy cute monster. Portrait of woman showing her pimples on isolated white background. Demonic ugly face looking at you. Portrait of young man with silly grimace isolated over background. A young man with a beard on half of the face. Hand drawn cartoon monster faces ,doodle Style. Vector illustration with simple gradients. All in a single layer. Closeup of an old man face with ugly teeth. Angry woman wearing a face mask and screaming. Sign In We're Sorry!
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