Temples and Elephants.
Surely,a I said, a so powerful a prince and so rich and brave a people must have more than four elephants in their country. The Chow will not like the farang to go to the enemyas country and say that the people of Muang Pau are slaves, that even the Chow rides on female elephants, while a prince from Chengmai comes and carries off all his tuskers.a
Thus challenged, he lost his self-control for a moment, aud apologized by saying he was only trying how far I was prepared to insist on my demands, that not even a prince of Chengmai should have his elephants simply for the asking, and that, out of respect for, but not obedience to, the Chow Operat of Chengmai, he would let me have two tuskers.
a See,a he said, ahow already I have done my best 1o pay honour to you. Yesterday Mau Sua the hunter left Muang Pau on a tusker, to shoot animals for you at Muang Fang.a
Mau Sua was a celebrated hunter whom the chief of Chengmai had ordered to place himself at my disposal. He lived in a hut on a piece of land granted to him by the chief of Chengmai, with whom he was a special favourite, and who had at the same time conferred upon him the title of a Mau Sua,a or a Lord Tiger,a in recognition of his services as a tiger-hunter. From all accounts he was a very human tiger in his love for, and success in, hunting all the larger game.
But I could plainly see that there was very little sincerity in these forced protestations of goodwill, and other incidents occurred to confirm the statement of Dr. Cheek that the only way to secure the performance of any promise, or even to obtain a direct answer to a simple question, was by a judicious mixture of diplomacy, cross-examination, and bribery.
Having heard that tbe country round Muang PauHaving heard that tbe country round Muang Pau