Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., Ltd,
Text on page 22
FIRST SIGHT OF SIAM
(First article sent to the Tribuna, and published on 10th January, 1912)
THE long voyage is over. Leaving the Gulf we enter the Menang River, the great fcommercial outlet of Bangkok. It is sunset; a fiery blood-red tropical sunset. The yellow waters of the river merge into the marshes, surrounded by palms, bananas, and tall mysterious forest-growth, amongst which the tiger roams and the slow python seeks repose. The sun rapidly sinks behind heavy banks of cloudsajoyous harbingers of rain.
Then over everything descends an atmosphere of moist suffocationaan atmosphere which envelops as with a shroud. Gradually every energy forsakes one, and as the hypocrites described by Dante, one feels : a weary and won.a
Not a breath of air affords a momentas relief, nothing seems to breathe around, save the millions of insects, which whilst unmercifully assailing us, bid us welcome to the Kingdom of the White Elephant.
On the more open parts of either bank of the river we already descry a few pagodas outlined in the tender light of the sunset, and, little by little appear the miserable dwellings of the nativesa huts built on piles in the water.