o* The Defiles
highway at that season. The outpost of Myitkina had to look out for itself, feed itself, and fight upon occasion for its life. One winter it was attacked and burnt down by the caterans of the hills over the heads of its garrison of a thousand men. Myitkina is still the frontier town, it is still liable to have to fight for its life; but it is 110 longer cut off from succour. It is easily reached by railway at all seasons of the year, and it is becoming a popular stopping-place for the tourist hurrying round the globe. It has all the freshness and charm of a new settlement, and though on the borders of savagery, it is full of life, and
action, and hope.
From Myitkina to near its junction with the Mogaung, the river flows in a broad, clear stream over a pebbled bed. Steaming down-stream in the last days of December, one can see the coarse sand churned up from amid the pebbles by the eddying current, and glistening like gold in the sunlit waters. The simile is not altogether fanciful, for the gold-washers are at work on the river slopes below Myitkina. Nearer the shallows which the steamers skirt in their course, distinct glimpses can be had into the life of the river, and great fish may be seen scuttling away