The Silken East ^
cook, bland, indefatigable, plies his calling, a Ciro in "partibus. Of a morning these houses fill with motley crowds of Burmans, Shan, Panthay, Meingtha, Paloung, and Lishaw, who crowd round the little tables, and feed in groups, bowl to chin, their feet perched high on the narrow stools. It is a replica, with the difference of place and people and ways, of the scenes that characterise any French or Italian town between the blessed hours of the midday meal. The company is jovial, and loud hoarse laughter peals from the crowded interiors out into the sunlit road. Blue is the
prevailing colour, from the pale hue of the Chinaman's much-washed coat to the dark indigo of the Meingtha woman's lofty turban.
It is a great tide of life that sweeps in here on these fifth days of the year. The people of the hills begin to come in on the previous evening and nearly all of those who have to come a long way
in the streets