Gradually the bright crimson rays of the setting sun began to fade, and reminded us that we had to make a long descent ere we could reach the tent pitched at the bottom for our reception; and our former experience had taught us that the Bhimphede pass was not the most pleasant road in the world on which to be benighted. So we hurried on at the risk of our necks, the loose stones rolling down before us, and rendering our footing anything but safe in the growing darkness.
When we reached the foot of the mountain our servants met us with torches and guided us to the tent; and as we spread our dinner upon a rickety old bedstead, which, wonderful to relate, this out-of-the-way village supplied, we came to the conclusion that there were many worse lodgings in the world than the snug little single-poled tent at the old Newar village of Bhimphede.
A dilemma at Bisoleah—Ignominious exit from the Nepaul dominions—The resources and capabilities of Nepaul—Articles of import from Thibet and Chinese Tartary—A vision of the future.
At Bhimphede we remounted our elephant, following, as before, the valley of the Rapti to Hetowra, thence through the great saul forest to Bisoleah, where we expected to find our palanquins. In this we were not disappointed; but unfortunately our bearers, tired of waiting for us at so uninteresting a spot, had thought themselves justified in absconding; which proceeding, while it was a considerable saving to us in a pecuniary point of view, was particularly annoying under existing circumstances, the day being far advanced and Segowly still thirty miles distant. However, by dint of a great deal of threatening, and coaxing, and bribing, and a very frequent use of the magic name of the Minister Sahib, who, we assured them, would take into his especial favour every coolie that volunteered for our service, and would visit with his heavy displeasure all those who refused, we induced a sufficient number of men to agree to bear our empty palanquins. Unloading two ponies, which were carrying cotton, we put our luggage on one, riding the other by turns, and so, one of us sitting on a rough sack without bridle or stirrups, the other walking by his side, we marched out of the village and across the open plain of the Terai. We were soon after left in darkness, and, becoming separated from our palanquins, as was to be expected, we lost our way, and wandered for some time disconsolately over the