a bevy of native ladies would pay us a visit in the evenings to inspect our collection of birds; they were most talkative and merry, knowing most of the birds by name: a little light refreshment of tea or chocolate and biscuits wound up the evening and sent all away rejoicing.
Collecting in the forests is really hard work ; the continual stooping to avoid creeping plants and fallen trees, or often through the tunnels burrowed by natives in the thick undergrowth, the avoiding of hundreds of creepers from the thickness of fine string to that of a ship's hawser, which sprawl about everywhere ready to upset the unwary, added to this the heat and depression caused by want of proper food, used to bring on severe headaches in my case, which were probably the forerunners of malarial fever.
On the 16th of November I succeeded after much trouble in finding a prahu and crew willing to take us over to Kudat, and left my little home on the Benkoker for good. We started in the evening, and to my disgust our crew refused to leave the mouth of the river that night ; so I passed an unpleasant time until morning with eight strong-smelling natives in the small prahu, anchored in the middle of the river ; but mosquitoes were not long in attacking us, and thus added to my misery. On the 22nd of November we arrived once more in Labuan, with a fine collection of birds ; though many were rare, there was nothing new in this collection. I had secured a curious Gecko lizard, which turned out to be quite new, and has been named Hemidactylus craspedotus (see illustration opposite, fig. 3). The capture of this little reptile is an instance of what a chance the finding of many species is in a tropical forest. Whilst waiting one evening for the small " plandok," when it was nearly dark, I was standing near some small trees which formed the undergrowth, when something flew or rather parachuted from a tree and settled on one of my legs ; I made a grab at the unknown thing in the semi-darkness and secured a new and interesting reptile : this little creature is very flat and provided along its entire length with loose folds of skin, which enable it to make short flights from tree to tree.
wasps' nest. (Icaria sp. ?)wasps' nest. (Icaria sp. ?)