wooden bridges and under the spires of a monastery, till it is well on its way up the valley, where steam-engines thump and fill the air with vibrant energy, and derricks make patterns against the wild hill-slopes. Fields of millet bear me company for a space, but soon I am alone in the solitude of the gorge.
Euphorbias and cactus rise up in fantastic forms, and tamarisks cluster in the bed of the valley, where a parched streamlet lies in pools in the midst of boulders crusted with white salts. Aridity and desolation are the characteristics of the place, and even in September the heat palpitates on the barren red slopes with an Erythrean fervour.
Leaving the roadway, which has been made by the oil-adventurers, a pathway of the people climbs up the steep ascent to the Tangyi-Sway-Daw Pagoda, now in steps cut in the stone, now along a level way bordered by grasses, and fields of yellow and pink wildflowers. Trees are dwarfed and few and far between. The first steep climb brings its reward in a sudden and superb view of the city of Pagan, its white spires twinkling in the distance ; the whole picture framed in a wave of the mountains. And looking back from here I can see the whole of the little valley up which the road has lain, from the white powdered boulders in its bed, to the houses of the village at its mouth. Distance and the growing shadows of afternoon take away something from the arid ferocity of the scene, and the derrick spires speak a word of civilisation and man's courage. The view over the hills gradually expands, and bold