^ A Side Issue
Leaving the crest at last, the road plunges into pools and rivulets, and gloomy halls of forest blind to the sun, and so comes to the red roofs and palm-clusters of a Burmese hamlet. The spires of Mindon gleam across the river, which we cross in a ferry-boat.
It is the river that accounts here for the presence of man. Its valley levels yield him food, its waters are a link for him with the outer world. But for the Mahtoon, the burden-bearer, all that the eye looks upon now from the hilltops of Ye-gyan-zin, finding it good because it is human, might still have remained a pathless wilderness. Upon a day in the misty past,