laos:-a missionary journey.
not having reaped any rice this year, had nothing to eat but buds of trees, with a kind of wild potato which grows naturally in the forests. These potatoes would be deadly poisonous if they were eaten without caution : before being used, they are cut into pieces, steeped in water for some hours, exposed to the sun until they are well dried, after which they are cooked ; but they are only eaten when they have no other food.
" These poor people told us that they had nothing else to give us, but that if we would go to the chief of the village, whose house was not far off, we would there get a little rice. We followed their advice, and after we had drunk a cup of water we set out. On our arrival at the chief's, I told him who I was, and how I came to knock at his gate ; further, that I prayed him to give some food to two men who were dying of hunger, promising to recompense him on the following day when our elephants should pass. He gave us a little cold rice, mixed with the wild potatoes which I have above mentioned. This rice was pressed into a kind of rush baskets, of which the opening was just large enough to admit the hand. My domestic and I seated ourselves on each side, and by turns we plunged our hands into this strange ragout It was so unpalatable, that it was necessary to drink at each mouthful in order to make it go down.
" On the following day, our elephants did not arrive. They told us that, undoubtedly, they had taken another road which passed at three leagues from the village where we were; we sent to search for them, and only on the second day we learnt that they had been seen on the route of Muang Tae, and that before long they
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