The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34083   Message #459167
Posted By: Peter T.
09-May-01 - 09:36 PM
Thread Name: BS: (Another Classic Gem) In Search of Shangri-La
Subject: RE: BS: New Story - In Search of Shangi-La
"Tirseng, wake up," he said, and shook him. Tirseng was deep in sleep, but he knew that he was deep in sleep, and so he willed himself awake. If only enlightenment were that easy. He sat up and saw a face he had not seen in many a year. "Curioso!!"
"Hello, Tirseng, how is the path? Bad thing we happened along, or you might be in a newer and better incarnation. And before you answer that, come over to the fire and meet my comrade."
And there was a fire blazing. And, half encircled in fur, a formidable woman , stirring some yak butter into a canister.
Tirseng who was shy, like all mountain people, came forward slowly. Curioso said: "Annette, this is Tirseng. An old friend from mountaineering days with Mallory."
"No longer, Curioso, I gave it up."
"This may explain why the next 7 attempts failed. Anyway, sit and eat. You will be amazed at what she can do with simple ingredients. Lord Buddha only knows what she can do with yak butter."
After an hour or two of talking and eating an extraordinary stew that materialized magically out of the canister, Tirseng politely burped, and Curioso said, "I know, why are we here? It is a convoluted story, involving a failed submarine rendezvous, a battle royal through the Topkapi Palace, the turning of the Turkish government against the British government, the kidnapping of the lady here on behalf of the Japanese government that landed her in Persia where I tracked her down, followed by a secret long distance plane ride that was to end in Manchuria, except that I happened to be on the plane; and apart from 3 dead airmen, one airplane that ran out of petrol, and a long hike to these parts crowded with incident, not much happened worth dwelling upon."
"Ah," said Tirseng.
"How is the High Lama?"
"Beset, Curioso, beset. There are Germans and Russians everywhere seeking something."
"Enlightenment perhaps?"
"I think not. They speak much of something called uranium."
"Ah," said Curioso. "And what do they say?"
"They speak of the sacred White Mountain, the place where their machines speak of what they call radiosomething."
"What is the White Mountain?" Annette asked.
"It is the mountain of Shangri-La." replied Curioso.
Tirseng touched him on the hand: "You must come, the High Lama will wish to see you again."
"I don't think so, Tirseng. We need to escape to India, and fast. The war is coming, coming fast. We have wasted much time already."
"Hmm," replied Tirseng after a few moments. "There is no choice. You must come to the Monastery. Where I came from is impassible. Robert Conway was lost there last month, forever."
Curioso looked at the fire, and then at Annette. Then he smiled. "Well, His Holiness has never seen anything like her. It might be amusing. But we can only stay briefly."
"Of course," said Tirseng, "that is understood." He yawned again. Outside the wind howled. It was warm in the cave. They bedded down, close to the fire. Tirseng was amused to see his old friend and his new friend lying together, like furry spoons. He fell asleep.
And then after awhile he had a dream, or what appeared to be a dream, in which Curioso got up stealthily from where he lay, kissed the sleeping head of his lady, wrapped himself in a big fur, picked up a rifle, and went to the entrance to the cave. There he sat down in the way of the icy wind, in lotus position, but with the gun ready on his lap, looking, looking, at the way they had come up the frightening mountain path.