8 CALCUTTA TO KASHMIR [CHAP. I.
though they are with mythical than with real geography, yet I found that my reference to the ` Uttaraku us ' (the Ultima Thule of Indian mythology) as the land for which I was about to set out, did not altogether satisfy their curiosity.
Ram Singh, the Gurkha Sub-Surveyor, whose services Colonel St. George Gore, R.E., the Surveyor-General of India, had very kindly placed at my disposal, together with a complete outfit of surveying instruments, joined me punctually on the day of my arrival at Srinagar. He had accompanied Captain Deasy in his recent travels near the sources of the Yarkand River and in the Kuen-luen mountains, and the practical acquaintance he had thus gained of the regions I was about to visit proved useful at once in the course of my preparations. With Ram Singh came Jasvant Singh, a wiry little Kang,ra Rajput, who was to attend to the Sub-Surveyor as cook and personal servant. He too had travelled in Chinese Turkestan as one of Captain Deasy's followers.
On the 28th of May there arrived Sadak Akhun, the Turkestan servant whom Mr. George Macartney, C.I.E., the British representative at Kashgar, had been kind enough to engage for me. He had left his home in the first half of April and came just in time to start back with me. He was to act as cook and ` Karawan-bashi ' combined, and was welcomed with no small satisfaction by honest Mirza Alim, my Kokandi servant, whom I had engaged four months earlier in Peshawar for the purpose of my journey. ` Mirza ' had been useful to me by giving me the needed opportunity of practising Turki conversation, but willing as he was to pick up the novel art of attending to the wants of a ' Sahib,' his acquirements did not reach far in regard to the kitchen department. His earlier career as a petty trader in Kabul and Peshawar had not been a special preparation for these functions ; and yet his straightforward ways made me anxious to retain him. Sadak Akhun's timely arrival relieved both hint