FROM MONGTSE TO SSUMAO
over a small horsehair skull - cap. These people were very shy ; I had much ado to photograph them; and on my proposing to buy a tunic, they fell on their knees and proftered me some sapecks, trying to force back into my hands a small hand-glass I had given them. I think they took us for gods. They said they were Lintindjous, but the Chinese called them Yaos. Rumour ascribed to them a writing of their own, of which we tried in vain to procure a specimen; their dialect at
any rate was totally different from any other. They had come to market with a dye for sale. The Lintindjou females displayed a small disc above the hair knot, which lent their turbans some resemblance to a papal tiara. In their ears were heavy double rings of silver.
On the 7th (March) we re-entered the valley of the Red River, to the satisfaction of our men. There was much talk in camp of pirates on the heights. For my own part I believe they were only natives in revolt against the taxes, but our mafous showed no desire for chin-chin with them. Spying on the door of a house here some white hieroglyphics, I hastened to copy them, and flattered myself that I had made prize of a new script. But Sao damped my philological ardour by pronouncing the building to be a buffalo stable, and the
A Yao.A Yao.