National Geographic : 1955 Jul
46 Barefoot in the Snow, a Girl Urges Her St During Mr. Harrer's march out of Tibet in 1950, his rode a Tibetan ox. On this 16,000-foot pass near t November snows failed to stop the tattered and shoel Other oracles uttered the same cry. The Dalai Lama had insisted on continuing his lessons. With his investment at hand, awaiting only an auspicious date, he had to bring his school days to a close. At our final meeting he expressed concern about Auf schnaiter's and my welfare. "It's best for you to leave Lhasa," he said. "You've worked hard and are due for a leave, anyway. Go now, Henrig. We'll meet again." I never saw the Dalai Lama again in the holy city. He returned to the Potala, where the Tsedrung kept him under heavy guard. The Government faced Another momentous problem: Was he to re main in Lhasa or flee? The Oracle counseled .. flight. Sadly I said goodbye to Lhasa in November, 1950. Aufschnaiter decided to stay as long as possible. In a light yak-skin boat I floated down the Kyi River toward a rendezvous with my caravan. I gazed back at the great Potala, brooding and h shadowed under a gray Swintry sky. It receded farther and farther into the distance. At last I could see it no more. I lingered in south ern Tibet, reluctant to leave the country that had sheltered me. Ruler Flees by Night Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama had been in Svested as ruler. Under cover of night he fled from Lhasa with an army of nobles, serv ants, and soldiers (pages 39 and 47). Pious Tibetans hur olid Yak Onward ried from far-off settle personal servant, Nyima, ments to see him, for he Brahmaputra River, being in his presence essyoung guide. gave incomparable blessing. They lined the entire trail from Lhasa to Chumbi Valley, 200 miles southwest, with parallel rows of pebbles to protect their harried King from evil spirits. I joined the caravan and rode with it to Chumbi, a sunny green oasis nestled between Bhutan and Sikkim. There I awaited some resolution of the crisis. In March, 1951, having concluded that I could not go back to Lhasa, I set forth for India.