168 IN COURT AND KAMPONG
habits, that it was difficult to believe that he was altogether human. His hair fell in long, tangled, matted, vermin-infested shocks, almost to his waist. His eyes,atwo burning pits of fierce fire,awere sunk deep into his yellow, parchment-coloured face. The cheek-bones were so prominent that they resembled the sharp edges of a sldang1 s1 skull, and his temples stood out like the bosses on the forehead of a fighting ram. The dirt of ages clung in the thousand wrinkles and creases of his skin ; and he hardly moved save to scratch himself fiercely, as a monkey tears at his flea-infested hide. A small ration of rice and fisi was brought to him daily by an old and wrinkled hig,a his wife of other years,awho made a meagre living for him and for herself, by selling sweet-stuff from dcor to door. She came to him twice daily, and he tore ravenously at the food, eating it with horrible noises of animal satisfaction, while she cooed at him, through toothless gums, with many endearing terms, sue! as Malay women use to little children. Not even his misery and degradation had been able to kill her leve, though its wretched object had long ceased to understaid it, or to recognise her, save as the giver of the food ae loved and longed for. He had been ten years in thee cages, and had passed through the entire range cf feeling, of which a captive in a Malay prison r, capable. From acute misery to despair, from despaii to stupid indifference, he had at length reached the stage which the Malays call kleh. It means insensibility, such as few can imagine or understand, and
1 Seldang = vf\l buffalo of the Peninsula.1 SelA dang = vf\lA buffalo of the Peninsula.