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Text on page 262
262 LETTERS OF
language is ch pronounced like the German ch in Ich ; they use this sound in almost every word, sch at the beginning or in the middle of the word, and chi at the end. The result is a sibilant sound running all through their talk; and as their voices are low and musical, and the intonation gentle and varied, the effect is very pleasing.
The night was bitterly cold : we suffered under our blankets, and in the morning there was a heavy frost; but we got under way as soon as there was light enough. Most of the savages remained in camp with our Chinese boys, who were sadly in need of rest, but we took with us six strong young men, and one old hunter as guide. Six policemen and our five selves made eighteen in all.
I have said that there was a valley at the right of the plateau. This valley runs from east to west almost to the western edge, over which we had come; then it turns south into the very heart of Nii-taka-yama and its three peaks. The lowest peak is at the right of the valley, east; the second peak is at the left, west; and the third is straight ahead, south. It was the second peak which we were to climb.
Our route first led along the side of the deep valley-cleft, working towards its southern end.