38 JAVA: THE GARDEN OF THE EAST
and-white-tiled building, with a row of inlaid wooden clogs and loose leather shoes at the door; and turbaned heads within bow before the milirab that points northwestward to Mecca. Since the Mohammedan conquest of 1475, the Javanese are Mohammedan if anything; but they take their religion easily, and are so lukewarm in the faith of the fire and sword that they would easily relapse to their former mild Brahmanism if Islam's power were released. The Dutch have always prohibited the pilgrimages to Mecca, since those returning with the green turban were viewed with reverence and accredited with supernatural powers that made their influence a menace to Dutch rule. Arab priests have always been enemies of the government and foremost in inciting the people to rebellion against Dutch and native rulers; but little active evangelical work seems to have been done by Christian missionaries to counteract Mohammedanism, save at the town of Depok, near Batavia.
In all the banks and business houses is found the lean-fingered Chinese comprador, or accountant, and the rattling buttons of his abacus, or counting-board, play the inevitable accompaniment to financial transactions, as everywhere else east of Colombo. The 251,-325 Chinese in Netherlands India present a curious study in the possibilities of their race. Under the strong, tyrannical rule of the Dutch they thrive, shotf ambition to adopt Western ways, and approach more nearly to European standards than one could believe possible. Chinese conservatism yields first in costume and social manners; the pigtail shrinks to a mere symbolic wisp, and the well-to-do Batavian Chinese