W. H. Allen and Co., Limited,
Text on page 202
the manner of tiles. They resisted water wonderfully, but whenever it pouredait never rained!athe noise was such as to drown all attempts at conversation: Perchance a shower would descend in the middle of a meal, and the hush would then be as great as if a punkah had suddenly given way in the hot season, or a steamer with heated bearings had suddenly come to a standstill in the Red Sea.
In the native quarters too, the houses were more substantially built than anything I had seen elsewhere, and the excellent sanitation was a bright feather in the cap of the Commissioner, as well as those under him, who had to deal not only with Burmese, but with a medley of Chinese, Malays, Karens, Shans and Ma-drasees, who had settled in the place and were conspicuous by their industry.
Of these, I found the Chinese by far the most amusing ; and it was a right-down pleasure to ransack their shops for curios. They certainly appeared to me a unique race, what with their strange physiognomy, style of dress, their independence and way of rendering English.
The cream of our intercourse lay in the process of bargaining, wherein they displayed much temper, which I fear I encouraged rather than otherwise.
By way of a set-off, however, I found to my dismay, when I came to pack, that I had accumulated more china than I knew how to dispose of. And I may here mention, by way of warning to others, that ere long it was all a lost, stolen, strayed or broken.a Such a collection in my possession at this time would be exceedingly valuable, for every item was of its kind genuine, and not the rubbish which passes muster nowadays.
A considerable number of Chinese, attracted to Moul-A considerable number of Chinese, attracted to Moul-