A BURMESE ENCHANTMENT.
depths of a cavern. Small bridges have been built across the stream, and into the cave for some way. The tunnel or cave is two hundred feet broad. Most of its floor is occupied by angry waters. Several springs break from the lofty roof and fall in silvery showers of rain on to tall columns of stalagmite, which have gradually been built up by chemical deposit. There are deep, still pools of water here and there with water-scorpions moving over the floor. Bits of fossilized wood litter the ground. Thousands of martins and bats whirl in circles beneath the dome of the roof. The roar of the river is overwhelming as it thunders down into the bowels of the earth.
After the conclusion of my short leave I went to Meiktila, where I remained a few weeks until transferred again to Loimwe. Meiktila is one of the best places I have seen in Burma. It lies round the shores of a big lake which is believed to have been built by order of King Alaung Sithu, and was repaired by King Bodaw Paya. It is said that men were buried alive under its great embankments. Such sacrifices undoubtedly occurred in Burma until modern times. There are legends of men being buried alive under the Ananda Pagoda at Pugan, and also under the four corner bastions of the Palace walls at Mandalay.
The lake at Meiktila is quite free from weeds. No lotus grow in it. Some people attribute this to theThe lake at Meiktila is quite free from weeds. No lotus grow in it. Some people attribute this to the