FROM THE GRIP OF THE LJW 237
her man, hacking feebly at the lower branches of the trees, and at the thick underwood with a clumsy wood-knife. She was quite a young girl, while the man was middle-aged, and neither of them were at all good to look upon, but when they gazed at one another I saw the love-light well up in their eyes. Just before we chanced upon them this poor family had struggled, in the manner which I have described, over the summit of a hill nearly a thousand feet in height, whence they had again descended into the plain. I know not how long this part of their journey had taken them, nor what measure of toil, and pain, and heart-breaking effort had been the man's ere half his self-imposed task had been accomplished ; but whatever he may have suffered, and however great the strain that he had put upon his endurance, I know that his first care was for the woman, when we set food before them. I remember, too, that he insisted upon helping to carry the litter upon which we laid her, though he could hardly stagger along unaided when the strain to which he had nerved himself had been removed. When we got the girl to one of the field hospitals he watched beside her, tending her with a constant care and gentleness very pitiful to see ; and even in her last agony her eyes followed him lovingly. But though he failed to stay the life that ebbed so fast away from her, I cannot think that his love, and his labour, and his suffering, and his pain, were utterly wasted.
But, perhaps, the saddest incident of all was that which befell at the very end of the Disturbances, when we were hunting the vanguard of the rebels through the forests that cluster around the borders of Klantan.But, perhaps, the saddest incident of all was that which befell at the very end of the Disturbances, when we were hunting the vanguard of the rebels through the forests that cluster around the borders of KA lantan.