A NATURALIST'S WANDERINGS
Fatunaba. Indeed, life of all kinds had been exceedingly conspicious by its absence ; save a scarlet Trichoglossus or a cockatoo flying across our path, and a few crows at Erlura, I had seen no birds, and the vegetation since crossing the Ligidoik river had been very poor indeed. A few casuarinas, acacias, gum-trees, and some rough-leaved CompositA being
the only vegetable forms. The slopes on the other side looked somewhat more tree-dotted, however, but the bare red ground displayed itself over a large part of its area. A few hundred yards from the homestead gate we passed a granary-looking hut in the top of a high tree with a number of bundles dangling from its floor. On inquiring what they were, I was surprised to be told that they were dead bodiesa folded at the thighs, and wrapped in matsa relatives of the Dato waiting to be buried !
Entering through a high-barred gateway, we found the homestead to consist of eight or ten well-built houses of a somewhat different style of architecture from that prevalent near the coast. Surrounded by a high stone wall surmounted by a cactus hedge, and built on a rocky buttress jutting out over a precipitous gorge, it was unapproachable except on the one side by which we entered. When we had settled in the empty guarda to which we were at once conducted by the Dato himself, the first civility and token of friendship that passed between the chief and my Hindu guide, as representing me, was the exchange of siri, pinang, and chalk. Each prepared his quantum, and stuffed it into his mouth, but before adding to it the chalk, of which each had taken the proper quantity
TUEE-I1UTS WITH DEAD BODIES SUSPENDED BELOW.