rescuedOnly when they awake at first light do the travelers discover that the plane is traveling in the wrong direction - away from civilization and toward unknown mountainous regions. Whatever its destination, the plane does not reach it - fuel runs out and it crash-lands on an arctic mountaintop in the middle of a blizzard.

The following day, as despair has begun to set in for the weary group, a caravan arrives from a lamasery. The soft-spoken and dignified leader, Chang, mysteriously produces warm clothing for the group's journey, which is "not particularly far, but quite difficult."

The destination is reached: passing through a natural portal the travelers suddenly find themselves in a peaceful sunlit valley, in sharp contrast to the raging storm without. "Welcome to Shangri-La."

In the coming days, Conway finds himself at peace, as if he had always belonged there in the "Valley of the Blue Moon."

When pressed, Chang reveals that the colony was begun 200 years ago by the High Lama, Father Perrault - founded as a haven for civilization's rare treasures, a safe place untouched by wars and mankind's follies that threaten to destroy the outside world. Health and prosperity abound; in fact it is 'quite common to live to a ripe old age.' Indeed, Conway finds this to be true when he is summoned into the presence of the High Lama himself, still alive after two centuries.



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