The Silken East
her wake. Flags and streamers flutter in the air, and slow grey rafts of timber, the produce of primeval forestsA float down the yellow stream. It is yellow and thick with loam, and far away on the fringes of the ocean it is building up a new world, as in bygone days it built up all that the eye now rests upon here.
Through the gaps in the endless avenues which line
the river's banks, I get a glimpse of the world of tropical splendour that lies beyond. H eart-shaped creepers cluster up the giant trunks of trees : parrots shriek, and kingfishers tremble in the air. An added richness of colour comes with the afternoon. The trees in shadow gather new depths of green, and look as if they were cut in velvet ; the slant sunlight falls with a new glory on the opposite shores, and the face of the river grows beautiful with lustrous calm.
I cease to ask the names of villages as they pass by ; to take account of the passing hours ; to count the miles. Nothing seems here of much account beside the dreamy, endless river ; nothing of any consequence at all in this El Dorado of peace.
A culmination comes with the setting of the sun. At
timber rafttimber raft