ON A COFFEE PLANTATION. 171
still standing ; or caught a glimpse of wide plains, bounded in the far-off distance by lofty mountains.
On more than one occasion H--stopped to
talk to the natives. They were engaged in weedingathe heaviest work on the plantation, since, in the hothouse atmosphere of Java, continual labour is required to keep down the rapidly growing plants of all kinds, which would otherwise impoverish the soil and choke the coffee trees. He usually addressed the mandors, or native foremen, but once or twice he spoke sharply to an idle or careless worker. His method, he explained, was to treat them with strict justice, but merciless severity \ both were necessary to secure their respect, adding that it was useless for a man who was not respected to have anything to do with native labour.
It was during many such rides, supplemented by visits to the factory and long after-dinner talks with many different persons, that I learnt something of the ins and outs of a planter s life.
Although the Dutch Government are graduallyAlthough the Dutch Government are gradually