Throwing down Branches.
unripe fruit; and as soon as she saw us she began breaking off branches and the great spiny fruits with every appearance of rage, causing such a shower of missiles as effectually kept us from approaching too near the tree. This habit of throwing down branches when irritated has been doubted, but I have, as here narrated, observed it myself on at least three separate occasions. It was however always the female mias who behaved in this way, and it may be that the male, trusting more to his great strength and his powerful canine teeth, is not afraid of any other animal, and does not want to drive them away, while the parental instinct of the female leads her to adopt this mode of defending herself and her young ones.
In preparing the skins and skeletons of these animals, I was much troubled by the Dyak dogs, which, being always kept in a state of semi-starvation, are ravenous for animal food. I had a great iron pan, in which I boiled the bones to make skeletons, and at night I covered this over with boards, and put heavy stones upon it; but the dogs managed to remove these, and carried away the greater part of one of my specimens. On another occasion they gnawed away a good deal of the upper leather of my strong boots, and even ate a piece of my mosquito-eurtain, where some lamp-oil had been spilt over it some weeks before.
On our return down the stream, we had the fortune to fall in with a very old male mias, feeding on some low trees growing in the water. The country was flooded for a long distance, but so foil of trees and stumps that the laden boat could not be got in among them, and if it could have been we should only have frightened the mias away. I therefore got into the water, which was nearly up to my waist, and waded on till I was near enough for a shot. The difficulty then was to load my gun again, for I was so deep in the water that I could not hold the gun sloping enough to pour the powder in. I therefore had to search for a shallow place, and after several shots under these trying circumstances, I was delighted to see the monstrous animal roll over in the water. I now towed him after me to the stream, but the Malays objected to have the animal put into the boat, and he was so heavy that I could not do it without their help.