TOURING IN SIAM. 74
ourselves to the great Care-taker, we watched for the first rays of morning light to guide us on our course, and when some time after sunrise we struck upon the beaten path we were happy and grateful indeed. Now I could see where I wpis, and found myself seated in a howdah, or covered saddle, made of strong wood. The top was a kind of basket-work lined with leaves, and so arranged as to protect us from sun and rain and from branches of trees as we passed. The elephant was about nine feet high/and the seat was raised at least a foot above his back. To novices the elephant ride is apt to be rather alarming.
Our road much of the way lay through beautiful woods, the trees sometimes forming an arch over our heads. We passed multitudes of pilgrims going or returning, some riding on elephants, some in buffalo carts, and some on foot ; also groups of natives seated' by the wayside with kowlan (rice cooked in joints of bamboo), palm-tree sugar, wild honey in the comb, and c., to sell to passers-by. I enjoyed the ride and the novelty of the scenes around me very much. The motion and the creaking sound reminded us of an old-fashioned stage-coach on springs. The driver was asked how so huge an animal could be so easily controlled by man. He held -up his stick, at the end of which was, not a lash, but a pointed iron