Born of a Scottish father and mother of a Sikkimese descent, the author spent the early years of his life in Darjeeling and had his schooling there in the course of which he ultimately mastered Tibetan, Bengali, Bhutanese, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Hindi and Nepali. He joined the Vaccination Dept. under the Govt. of Bengal and his duties entailed his making regular tours of the villages in the Darjeeling Distt. The 12 years that the author thus spent gave him a comprehensive insight into the manners and customs, and everyday lives, of the peasantry of this part in the Himalayas. In 1904 Col. Waddell took him as his assistant in collecting for the Govt. of India the largest and most complete collection of Tibetan sacred and lay books ever brought to India or Europe. This was during the young husband’s Mission to Lhasa. From 1905 to 1925 the author was appointed the British Trade Agent in Tibet.
The work of the author covers a period of unusual activity and special interest on the North-East Frontier of India. It includes Col. Younghusband’s Mission to Lhasa in 1904, the flight of the Dalai Lama in 1910, his return to Lhasa in 1912, and many other incidents of lesser importance. It has been out-of-print for a long time now and we have therefore, reprinted it in a limited edition for the benefit of the scholars of Tibetan studies.