The Silken East v
taung-gya cultivator ; the white skeletons of burnt trees standing gaunt and bare in the rough, rakish-looking fields. It is a bad, wasteful system, and it can never be made the basis of any racial progress ; yet it must be difficult for men to break from this restless life ; for it has its joys, its recurring excitement, its novelty, its sense of freedom, its little toil. It is the antithesis
elastica of great size and many columns ; the only relics of a former settlement. The people here are Shan, with the figures of mountaineers, short, broad, and immensely muscular.
As I wait here, under the high mud-cliffs, the sunlight passes, and the night comes, dark and still. The village falls into deep slumber. A cricket beats his kettledrums from a neighbouring tree. The plaint of the nightjar is borne across the dark.
Even these pass.
A great silence falls upon the world.
But the river, knowing no pause, moves on, and the
of the life of an English villager, living upon an immemorial site.
At Auk Taung my journey ends. It is a small village, newly come into existence. There are blade-marks on a Jicus
the government yacht