As Conway is lead by Chang to meet the High Lama, he becomes more and more eager to learn the answer to the puzzle he has been trying to work out in his head since arriving at Shangri-La: why were they deliberately brought to the lamasery? As he enters the room of the High Lama, he notices that it is much warmer than the rest of the lamasery, and that it is simply furnished with low tables and chairs. On one of the chairs sits a small, pale, wrinkled figure, motionlessly watching Conway approach. He is a little old man in Chinese dress, and he is obviously emaciated. Yet, he speaks to Conway in flawless English and his voice is soft and soothing.
The two men talk aimlessly while enjoying the tea ceremony. Conway admits to the High Lama that he had lived for some years in China, a fact he had withheld from Chang. They both take great pleasure in the tea even though Conway is so eager to find the answers to his questions. He recognizes the Chinese sensibility in himself to follow the correct etiquette and just take pleasure in the company of the other. However, the High Lama is soon enough ready to begin his story.
He begins by reminding Conway of the Tibetan history that he had been
studying in the lamasery. In 1719, four Capuchin friars set out from Pekin
to search for any remnants of the Nestorian Christianity first established
in Tibet in the Middle Ages. Three died along the way, and the fourth
was near death when he stumbled across the pass into the Valley of Blue
Moon. He found the people of the........
What the reader learns alongside Conway is some very important information about the Valley of Blue Moon: it has always been a hidden place where the people in the valley are prosperous and happy; the present lamasery and its rules are the result of the work of Father Perrault and Henschell who....... his day: it represents mystery and paradise.
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