Schoolhouse has its moment of excitement and hairbreadth escape while mountaineering in Nepal, but its main appeal is the sentimental tug that comes from watching children at their best and brightest. Sir Edmund conceived the idea that the best way to repay the Sherpa people who had helped him on various expeditions was to build them some schoolhouses and equip the schools. In a land where education is as rare as antibiotics, the teaching took like a vaccine. But he soon found himself in the medical business too, in the middle of smallpox epidemic. His descriptions of diseased and dying children are highly moving. Because they thought smoke carried germs, the Sherpas did not perform their usual cremations but laid dead bodies to sleep in a stream...which made for home wildly beautiful haunted pools. Sir Edmund himself was occasionally driven beyond exasperation and sometimes clouted a Sherpa, usually to good effect. The Sherpas have a high incidence of cretinism and their knowledge of the world is medieval. Yet, as Schoolhouse shows, the rewards of love are astonishing.