The Silken East ^
and the mountains pass out of immediate sight ; but the woods line it with continuous beauty, and in the waning afternoon every white trunk on the eastern shore meets its image in the clear water.
At Tamanth the river returns again to its mountains, which loom up blue and majestic in bold outline against the sky ; waves upon waves of them, ramparts, and peaks, and shadowy valleys. The sun, passing on to the portals of night, sends his last splendour abroad
from behind the clouds that marshal his retreat. Wide shafts of light flame in fans over the spaces of heaven. From cloud to cloud the fires race until, through infinite gradations, the day runs out to its close.
Tamanth is the last British outpost on the Chindwin. It is garrisoned by half a hundred fighting men, under the command of a Sikh officer. The steamer has scarcely done screaming, the gangway planks are not yet slippery with the wet footprints of the crew, when he comes hurrying along, under the stress of a tight uniform and long sword dangling by his side, to pay his respects. White man to him is synonymous with ruler, and three Englishmen do not come this way in