Help me identify this short story
September 29, 2019 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Back in high school in the late '70s, we read a short story in English class. I only remember fragments, it was about a traveller who got lost, maybe in the Himalayas? Definitely somewhere in Asia, in the mountains. He was rescued by buddhist monks or nuns (maybe?), and the thing I remember most clearly was that they cleaned out his nose with some type of swab after they rescued him. I seem to remember this was part of a reader or anthology of short stories we had. If it helps, this was in Canada.
posted by nanook to Writing & Language (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Perhaps it was an excerpt from Lost Horizon? British plane crash survivors are rescued in the Himalayas by followers of the "High Lama."

That a Tibetan monastery should possess a system of central heating was not, perhaps, so very remarkable in an age that supplied even Lhasa with telephones; but that it should combine the mechanics of Western hygiene with so much that was Eastern and traditional, struck him as exceedingly singular. The bath, for instance, in which he had recently luxuriated, had been of a delicate green porcelain, a product, according to inscription, of Akron, Ohio. Yet the native attendant had valeted him in Chinese fashion, cleansing his ears and nostrils, and passing a thin, silk swab under his lower eyelids.

I remember anthologies in school sometimes had excerpts from novels that we treated as short stories.
posted by nantucket at 6:23 PM on September 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

That is it! Thanks, nantucket. It was, indeed, an excerpt from Lost Horizon, and that is the exact passage that stuck with me.
posted by nanook at 7:14 PM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

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