A summer afternoon was dwindling to night over a wild solitude among the borderlands of Northern India. The sun had already left the deep spacious valley, wherein, as the light waned, the greens changed to browns, the browns deepened to black, and the broad silver band that denoted a stream flowing along the bottom was dulled to the hue of lead. On the west, the harsh and rugged features of the mountains, towering to incalculable heights, were softened by the increasing shade; while the snowy summits, flushed by the declining rays, were scarcely distinguishable from the roseate clouds. Away to the east, where the sunlight still lingered, the huge mountain barrier showed every gradation of tone, from the greenish-black of the pine forest at the foot, through varieties of purple and grey, to the mingled pink and gold of the topmost crests. Every knob and fissure on the scarred face was defined and accentuated, until, as the curtain of shadow stole gradually higher, outlines were blurred, and the warm tints faded into drabs and greys.