W. H. Allen and Co., Limited,
Text on page 167
a EL DORADOa
sport was the tiring movement, half jolting, half lounging, of the elephant.
Given the choice under ordinary conditions, I had rather walk ten miles than ride an elephant over two ; bad as he is, however, the motion of a camel is a thousand times worse. There may be camels and camels, but agonizing are the best.
The stockade having been swept and garnished for the reception of the men detailed for this especial garrison duty, and friendly relations having been established with the natives, the elephants conveyed our equipage over a ford, and the pedestrians crossed the bamboo bridge, to a point on the other side of the river, where the camp would remain a few days preparatory to our final departure. This was a diplomatic test of how our friends would fare when we had marched off altogether.
The surroundings were still more wild and picturesque, the hills were also more broken, often almost perpendicular, and covered with very fine timber.
One glen in particular was extremely interesting from the number of images of Gautama perched on every available rock, it was evidently a place of resort for the pious aspirants to the true Nirvana, where they could contemplate in the midst of primaeval nature, and far from the madding crowd. At the same time, I never saw a more likely-looking spot for a tiger; which would, for a true disciple of Buddha, constitute rather an advantage than otherwise, affording a good chance of another transmigration !
There were also a few temples, and excavations, which ledagoodness knows where ! Buddhists have at all times shown a preference for underground temples, as well as a special aptitude for constructing them.
A huge tree might be seen here and there, or ratherA huge tree might be seen here and there, or rather