were overgrown with ferns. Our oldest Malay had been accustomed to shoot birds in this neighborhood for the Malacca dealers, and had been to the top of the mountain ; and while we amused ourselves shooting and insect-hunting, he went with two others to clear the path for our ascent the next day.
Early the next morning we started after breakfast, carrying blankets and provisions, as we intended to sleep upon the mountain. After passing a little tangled jungle and swampy thickets through which our men had cleared a path, we emerged into a fine lofty forest pretty clear of undergrowth, and in which we could walk freely.
We ascended steadily up a moderate slope for several miles, having a deep ravine on our left.
We then had a level plateau or shoulder to cross, after which the ascent was steeper and the forest denser, till we came out upon the a Padang-batu,a or stone field, a place of which we had heard much, but could never get any one to describe intelligibly. We found it to be a steep slope of even rock, extending along the mountain-side far-
.1 11 -r , RARE FERNS ON MOUNT OPHIR.
ther than we could see. Parts
of it were quite bare, but where it was cracked and fissured there grew a most luxuriant vegetation, among which the