viii IN COURT AND KAMPONG
the forest gently sways the upper branches of a few of the tallest trees ; but, for the rest, all is melancholy, silent, and motionless. As the hour of sunset approaches, the tree beetles and cicada join in their strident chorus, which tells of the dying day ; the thrushes join in the song with rich trills and grace-notes ; the jungle fowls crow to one another ; the monkeys whoop and give tongue like a pack of foxhounds ; the gaudy parrots scream and flash as they hunt for flies ;
And all the long-pent stream of life
Bursts downwards in a cataract.
Then, as you lie listening through the long watches of the night, sounds are borne to you which tell that the jungle is afoot. The argus pheasants yell to one another as the hours creep by ; the far-away trumpet of an elephant breaks the stillness ; and the frightened barking cry of a deer comes to you from across the river. The insects are awake all night, and the little workman bird sits on a tree close by you and drives coffin nails without number. With the dawn, the tree beetles again raise their chorus ; the birds sing and trill more sweetly than in the evening ; the monkeys bark afresh as they leap through the branches ; and the leaves of the forest glisten in the undried dew. Then, as the sun mounts, and the dew dries, the sounds of the jungle die down one by one, until the silence of the forest is once more unbroken for the long hot day.
Through these jungles innumerable streams and rivers flow seawards ; for so marvellously is this countryThrough these jungles innumerable streams and rivers flow seawards ; for so marvellously is this country