310 JAVA: THE GARDEN OF THE EAST
refugees as they were, saving their best sarongs and finery by wearing them, and tying the rest of their treasures in shapeless bundles, as they went picnicking forth to visit relatives until the volcanic disturbance might subside! They were not a whit more care-worn or anxious than the crowd on the next station platform, where two or three hundred plea-sure-seekers were returning from a famous country passer, whose rare meetings attract people from afar. Even the chief of the volcanic village radiated joy and pride all over his wrinkled old brown face as he related the moving events occurring in his bailiwick. Eruptions were evidently his pastime, a diversion quite in his line, since he had only come down to the railway to see his family off to a place of safety, while he would return, play Casabianca on his burning heath, and have it out with the resounding Galoen-goeng at his leisure.
We had an hour to wait at Tjibatoe station before the Garoet train left, and the refreshment-room keeper offered tea and biscuitsa the inevitable, omnipresent Huntley e Palmer biscuits, that are the mainstay and salvation, the very prop and stay and staff, of tourist life in Netherlands as well as British India, and for whose making the great Reading bakers buy the entire tapioca-crop of Java each year. After a short wait in the room, redolent of gin and schnapps and colonial tobacco, a boy sauntered in the back door with an iron tea-kettle, and the proprietor was about to make the tea with that warm water, when we chorused a protest. He good-naturedly allowed me to gather up tea-pot, tea-kettle, small boy, and all, and