A MAL AT OTHELLO
gaping, as though seeking whom it might devour. It was more than whispered, even in his own District, that his courage was not of the highest quality ; and, with the possible exception of his only son, who was one of the most truculent young scoundrels living, no man or woman, in all the land, had a good word or a kind thought for him. He had one peculiar habit, which used to annoy me excessively every time I met him. A man, named Imm Bakar, was once slain at Pasir Tambang, at the mouth of the Tmbling River. He incautiously touched hands in greeting with a Chief, called To' Gajah, and the latter, seizing him in an iron grip, held him fast, while he was stabbed to death with spears. The memory of this event was always present in the mind of Wan Teh, and his method of shaking hands was the result of the recollection. Accordingly, whenever a hand was extended to him in salutation, he was wont to grip it firmly by the thumb, and his victim needed no man to tell him that the brittle bones, so seized, were ready to break, almost at a touch. I have seen men fence with Wan Teh, for some seconds at a time, like wrestlers trying for a grip, but when their hands at length met, that of Wan Teh always held the thumb of his friend in a steely grasp.
Such then was the man who, in 1884, slew his wife and a reputed c Young Honey,' under circumstances of more than ordinary atrocity.
That year the King was celebrating the marriage of his eldest daughter with the Ruler of a neighbouring State, and all the Chiefs, from one end of Pahang to the other, were, by his orders, gathered together atThat year the King was celebrating the marriage of his eldest daughter with the Ruler of a neighbouring State, and all the Chiefs, from one end of Pahang to the other, were, by his orders, gathered together at