And they went at it all over again, the lama taking snuff, wiping his spectacles, and talking at railway speed in a bewildering mixture of Urdu and Tibetan.
'By it one attains freedom from the Wheel of Things,' the lama went on, unheeding.
The lama brought his thousand-wrinkled face once more a handsbreadth from the Englishman's.
That much I knew in my lamassery from sure report,' said the lama proudly.
Learned doctors of a lamassery do not beg, but the lama was an enthusiast in this quest.
They were heavily scratched, but the power was almost exactly that of his own pair, which he slid into the lama's hand, saying: 'Try these.'
'I will take them and the pencils and the white note-book,' said the lama, 'as a sign of friendship between priest and priest - and now -' He fumbled at his belt, detached the open-work iron pincers, and laid it on the Curator's table.
But the lama strode out, head high in air, and pausing an instant before the great statue of a Bodhisat in meditation, brushed through the turnstiles.
The lama was his trove, and he purposed to take possession.
Owl!' was Kim's retort on the lama's behalf 'Sit under that gun if it please thee.
'And whom didst thou worship within?' said Kim affably, squatting in the shade beside the lama.
The lama tried to rise, but sank back again, sighing for his disciple, dead in far-away Kulu.