Prince Yuri Lubovedsky

As we were indeed very tired from our journey, we decided to rest a little and lay down. I slept like a log and was only awakened by a boy bringing tea-things and a samovar with green tea and our morning meal of hot maize-cakes, goat’s cheese and honey. I wanted to question the boy as to where we could bathe, but unfortunately it turned out that he spoke no language but Pshenzis and I knew nothing of that peculiar language except a few swear words.

Soloviev was already up and out; he returned about ten minutes later. He too had fallen sound asleep in the evening, but had waked late at night and, fearing to disturb someone, had at first lain quietly in bed memorizing Tibetan words. At sunrise he went out to look around but, as he was about to go out through the gate, an old woman had called to him and beckoned him to a small house in the corner of the court. He followed her, thinking that it was doubtless forbidden to go out, but when he entered her house it turned out that the good woman had simply wanted to give him some fresh, warm milk to drink, after which she even helped him herself to open the gate.

As no one else came to us, we decided, after drinking tea, to go for a walk and explore the neighbourhood. First of all we walked all round the high wall enclosing the buildings. Besides the gate through which we had entered, there was one other, smaller, on the north­west side.

Everywhere reigned an almost awesome quiet, broken only by the monotonous sound of a distant waterfall and the occasional twitter of birds. It was a hot summer day, the air was heavy; we were listless and not at all interested in the grandeur of the scenery round us; only the sound of the waterfall, as if bewitching us, drew us towards it. Without exchanging a word, Soloviev and I automatically went to this waterfall, which later became our favourite place.