A narrow valley--Mud villages--The Eighteen Terraces-- Devout muleteers--A tablet--Pure Mongol type--Incomprehensible dialect--A perforated mountain--Sheu-men-tzu--Not a paradise of comfort--The kan--The walled courtyard-- Chinese food--A panic--The magic rubber band--A wind storm--A strange phenomenon--A ghost-like dance--Blinding dust.
I PROCEEDED towards Tzie-tzia-pu-zu, on the right-hand side of the stream as one faces the tower of Tung-an-tzu. Then, turning north-west, I entered a narrow valley, the road all along being exceedingly picturesque, winding among huge boulders and rocks on either side, and at times forming beautiful gorges. We came across large and interesting caves, but probably the most curious thing noticeable in that neighbourhood was a hole pierced by Nature right through a mountain, near its summit. Here and there quaint little mud villages added life to the otherwise somewhat wild scenery. At noon the top of the Sheu-pa- pan pass was reached, the name of which, being translated, means the eighteen terraces. As usual, a shrine had been erected on this pass, with five gods and a tablet in it. Two of these gods were appropriately the protectors of passes, and the entrance of the building faced the east. A few yards from it, in front, stood the wall--ever to be found