personified as the coolies swarm up the gangways, and the lascars plunge into the flame-lit water, and strain at the hauling-ropes as they race along the grass-covered banks.
Some of the steamers that come this way are of the largest size ; mailers on their way from Mandalay ; cargo-boats with flats in tow, laden with the produce of the land ; and when they come round the bend of the river into full view of Maubin, the great stream shrinks and looks strangely small, as if it were being overcome by a monster from another world. Three hundred feet they are in length, these steamers, and with flats in tow, half as wide, and they forge imperiously ahead as if all space belonged to them, and swing round and roar out their anchor chains, while the lascars leap, and the skipper's white face gleams in the heavy shadows by the wheelathe face of a man in command.
And when you see this wonderful spectacle for the first time, you step on board the great boat expecting to find an imperious man, with eyes alight with power, and the consciousness of power, and the knowledge that he is playing a great part. But you are disappointed, for you find a plain man, very
loading a cargo of riceloading a cargo of rice