W. H. Allen and Co., Limited,
Text on page 141
A SECRET EXPEDITION.
tree, the first faint streaks of dawn appeared in the east, and the force moved inland.
With the advanced guard, consisting of some troopers, rode our Burmese guides: close on these followed the Commissioner and officers, accompanied by a few more Burmese, men of some standing, as was evident by their dress and bearing.
Behind marched the bulk of the infantry; then the elephants laden with camp-baggage, while the rear was brought up by the remainder of the infantry and troopers.
Roads, properly so-called, there were none ; here and there we came upon some kind of tract, but it never lasted any time ; notwithstanding, but few halts occurred, and these were chiefly owing to signals from the scouts, who fancied they descried movements ahead.
The country was undulating and covered with low trees and shrubs, many of which bore bright coloured fruits or berries, which we admired, but let alone, knowing from experience that things fair to look at in those lands are oftentimes dangerous to eat.
In the declivities we crossed several quondam watercourses, which now contained but a few small pools. Some little apprehension was at first entertained as to a sufficient supply of water, and the length of the marches had to be regulated by what we came across of this very essential commodity. For the bipeds a moderate supply would suffice, but the horses, and more especially the elephants, required a large allowance, and the anxiety was chiefly on their account.
From the nature of the country, the column was necessarily attenuated, forming an imposing sight when viewed from an eminence, as it moved leisurely across country. The dips and rises in the ground made itFrom the nature of the country, the column was necessarily attenuated, forming an imposing sight when viewed from an eminence, as it moved leisurely across country. The dips and rises in the ground made it