RIVER-LIFE UNDER DIFFICULTIES.
a How many perils do enfold The righteous man to make him daily fall.a
I ONCE had the temerity to volunteer my valuable services for an expedition which was fitting out for the purpose of reducing a rebel stronghold ; and the answer to my application informed me in somewhat laconic terms that a due information would be given when they were required.a
This was a trifle rude ; but I had long since sacrificed my independence, and had to grin and bear it. Very shortly afterwards, however, they were wanted ; and I was ordered to proceed without delay to Pegu, where I was to take charge of the garrison. The summons was accompanied by the pleasing intelligence that the river was infested with gangs of dacoits ; and indeed the kindly warnings and exhortations to extreme wariness and energy were tantamount to an assurance that, if I fell into the hands of the enemy, my head would in all probability be sent to Ava as a trophy. Provided, however, that it were permitted to retain the position assigned to it by nature, I was to report myself at Pegu in the shortest possible time.
Early next morning I was sauntering along the muddy banks of the river in quest of a suitable con-Early next morning I was sauntering along the muddy banks of the river in quest of a suitable con-