The Road to Pagan
some damage to the engines, the lesser life on its surface deploys before us. Rafts of glazed Ali Baba jars bear down upon us, and barely escape disaster. The largest pots sustain the raft, which is laden with the rest, their backs a-glisten, and their small mouths gaping at the sky. Four idle men make the crew of each raft, and seeing disaster imminent, they suddenly develop a furious energy and pull the raft out of the main current in which we are detained ; but for the most part they lie on their backs and dream, trusting to the bounty of the great stream. Rafts also bring large quantities of paddy and stone grinding-slabs for sharpening dahs.
Boats bring cattle, and one passes us full of buffaloes. These come from the dry country about Mingyan, and are sold in the prosperous Delta. In seasons of drought in the upper country, the river is laden with such cattle-