A BURMESE ENCHANTMENT.
The Chinamen also bring in wine. The Civil Officers call this " smuggling " ; which sounds well. They make spasmodic, futile efforts to stop the trade. The Chinese also import opium, though before long the flow of opium will probably travel in the reverse direction. The prevention of that trade, to which we are bound by treaty with China, will be the cause of grave difficulties in the future.
I now returned to Htawgaw direct by a disused path over the mountains to the village of Hpare. It was a difficult journey, and my Kachin sepoys had plenty of clearing work to do as we marched along. The mules had to be carefully muzzled, because aconite grows in these forests.
I always enjoy having a Kachin escort. The commander of this one was an irresponsible youth called Ching Kam Gam. He had been promoted to the rank of Lance Naik1 for pluckily killing a big tiger with only his dhar. His arm was broken and permanently disabled, but he managed first to deliver the tiger a shrewd swipe over the rump, and afterwards to kill it. They were wonderfully cheery and amusing, these Kachin sepoys.
The weather turned bad again. The path was simply awful. At Hpare there was a hut built by the Civil Officer. It was a dirty place, but we were glad enough of its shelter and to dry ourselves by the fire which we lit in the middle of the floor,
1 Lance Corporal.1 Lance Corporal.