W. H. Allen and Co., Limited,
Text on page 139
A SECRET EXPEDITION.
explored country devoid of roads, for some specific purpose known only to those in authority, while the importance of the enterprise was to be gathered from the fact of its being led by the Chief Commissioner himself. His intimate knowledge of the people and their language, to say nothing of his many other eminent qualifications, fitted him for the post; and, moreover, whatever he undertook, he was in the habit of performing thoroughly. He was in fact our Commander-in-Chief. There were, besides, two officers belonging to the European detachment and a quartermaster with the natives.
I shrewdly suspected that my summons to attend was an afterthought at the last moment, the original intention being to employ only a native amedicine man.a I was confirmed in my suspicion by the fact that everything was ready for a move, even to an armoury of medicines and appliances. When and how this force of men and elephants had assembled there, was best known to themselves ; at Prome, few if any suspected it, so adroitly had everything been managed ; as for myself, I had not the faintest idea of what was going on,until the scene already described burst upon me.
That evening was a very pleasant one; my welcome was cordial, and we chatted during and after dinner, though not even a passing allusion threw any light upon the object or destination of the expedition.
This was my first march, and I was therefore deeply interested in all the preliminary details, including several readjustments of weights.
As I moved to my allotted quarters, my eyes fell upon a very pretty scene, the first of its kind that had ever come under my notice.
The night was fine and clear, and the silvery moon-The night was fine and clear, and the silvery moon-