The Silken East ^
embedded in the dark slush at the well's mouth. These girls get fourpence a day for their toil, and they prefer the hard labour of it to more lucrative employment, " because they can flirt here all day long." "Only girls in search of husbands go to Yenan-Gyaung," is the envious comment of the women along the river, to whom such opportunities are denied.
The Burmese process is literally the same to-day as it has been for generations, with one single exception. They have found an air-pump and a divers helmet useful for the digger, and these may be seen here and there in use.
The diggers are better paid than any one else in Yenan-Gyaung. They get one rupee (is. 4d.) a day for their toil, and would prosper accordingly if they could be persuaded to work when they had some earnings in hand. Diggers are no longer brought up in articulo mortis, their tongues lolling out of their mouths ; but their calling still claims an occasional victim. Only the other day a digger on his way up from the pit lost his hold of the rope and was killed ; and the party of rope-pullers found themselves on their backs on the towing path. The Burmese well is by preference always on a slope, where a good towing path can be found, leading away at times down to the very bed of the ravine. One can measure the depth of a well from the length of the towing path, for they are exactly equal. From the heaving centre of the wire suspension bridge which spans the biggest of the ravines, there is a curious view of these wells, on little