61 The Image of War ; or, Service on the Chin Hills.
under his dirty rags. This he would partly disclose and let you look at from a distance, but not handle. The other hand he held out to the intending purchaser ; and, when the latter deposited the coin therein, then he would hand over the article to you and not before. If the amount one offered did not satisfy him, he simply gave a little sneeze of contempt and politely turned his back on you. The children of the hills, however, always set a very high value on their own goods. They considered a fowl or a few eggs good enough to give in exchange for anything you had. What, however, had the greatest value in their eyes were our
exchange village of shurkwa, afterwards burnt. But the
'cute savages soon found out they could get these things for nothing by waiting. For if they did not buy them, the troops had to throw them away, as they could not carry empty tins about. As soon as the column marched out of camp, the Chins, who hung about the outskirts, would rush in and gather up all the rubbish ; and eventually they would set the camp on fire. Somebody suggested they did this for sanitary reasons ! But we suspect it was done to get rid of all traces of the hated strangers from the neighbourhood of their villages.
The Friendlies and the Plantains.
The Chin militia gave one of these hard bargainers a good lesson once. AThe Chin militia gave one of these hard bargainers a good lesson once. A