صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

kanoon and took him with provisions as far as the Meeka-that. There are forty men liable to be called on for the public service, and thirty exempt from youth, age, or other disability. Pra-soo-one receives 60 rupees, each of the Thooghees 12, and one or two Key-danghees 6 per annum from government; the Thooghees and Tsokay are excused the tax. Every Kareen I have asked, and I have asked a great many, have come from the Martaban district, at some period or other, to escape from the Birmans; all the grown men and some of the lads speak Talines fluently. Three of the people ill with fever to-day from the night dews and cold.

January 11th.-Jungle, small streams, 3h. 20m., nine miles. Left Sa-di-diong's village at 9 A. M. and crossing the stream, proceed till 9h. 30m. when we ascend a rather steep hill for eight or ten minutes; at 10h. 20m. 10h. 40m. and 11 o'clock cross three small clearings and a village, and three small streams; at 11h. 40m., after another ascent, saw to the N. a range of high hills running E. and W., halted here at 12h. 30m. ; road generally good but must be now at some elevation; passed at a "call" distance from a lake of two gun-shots long, said to be full of particularly large alligators.

January 12th.-Oulaung 3h. 30m., eleven miles, started at 8 A. M. and march along the somewhat level top of a hill for half an hour, with hills (which we can see from this elevation) on all sides, at 8h. 30m. descend for ten minutes, when we enter a narrow valley or rather ravine, along which the path lies in high tree jungle and bamboos; crossing four or five small streams, at 9h. 20m. ravine opens a little, and we pass an old clearing; at 10h. cross the Taung-Kapauny, a stream of about half a leg deep, then march twenty minutes or half an hour in a ravine, in its bed or close to the brink; at 10h. 50m. pass an old village, and an extensive clearing; at 11h. again enter the ravine, which continues to near this Kareen village of Oulaung, so called from a small mountain torrent of that name, and on the bank of which we are encamped. The path is good at this season, and well frequented; in the rains it must be soft and muddy in some places, but perfectly passable, and the Kareens say it is used at all seasons. The guides from the first village of Neaung-ben left us at Sa-di-diong, and those from that place left us here; the inhabitants of this village also speak Talines, and most of them are from the Martaban province. The Thooghee is from the old city of Haundro; the tax is the same as that of Pra-soo-one (to whom they are not subject) but I could get no account of the numbers, the Thooghee says four or five families, but from the extensive clearing, there are proba

bly more; as they have no market for the paddy or cotton, they probably cultivate no more than enough for their own subsistence, clothing, and tax; they almost all possess elephants; a female one is worth from 80 to 180 rupees, the males are somewhat dearer.

January 13th.-Way-pee, 2h. 35m., eight miles. Left the last halting place at 9h. 20m. and crossing the Oulaung three or four times, proceed along its banks; at 10h. pass a small clearing, and at 10h. 50m. ascend for five minutes a stony hill, after crossing which the ground is broken till 11h. 30m. when there is a small space more level, with a high range (6 or 700 feet) of hills running away north on the western side of the Katern-tsein or Mime Kyning, which we cross here, at Ta-ka-noon, a Taline post of three or four houses and two large granaries, one without a roof, and neither having any grain in them; indeed the frontier duty is now a sinecure. The chief of the post was an uncivil old Taline; he took down the number of the people, muskets, elephants, horses, and a rough list of the presents, which detained us till 12h. 25m. when we crossed the river waist deep, which occupied a quarter of an hour, continued our march till 1h. 20m. when we halted on the banks of a small stream near a Kareen village; had some discussion with the people at Ta-ka-noon about the road; they insist that the eastern road from this to May-nam-noi has not been used for some years, and that it is two days march from this place; the western road is well frequented, and also occupies two days; it is inhabited by Kareens, and level, which the other is not; we have consequently come the western road, for which they furnished us with a guide, a simple little old fellow, whose head I have decked out in a gay handkerchief, and out of whom I think we should have got the truth, had they been attempting to impose on us about the roads. The elephant hired at Neaung-ben village returns from this, where we get another; path to-day pretty good, altogether amongst the hills.

January 14th.-Dat-katein, 4h. 20m., thirteen miles. Started at 8h. 25m. and crossing a hill of some height, come on the river at 9h. 25m. running in a ravine, perhaps 300 feet below us, near which our route lay, up and down hills with gradual slopes, and passing two old clearings, about 10h. enter the May-nam-noi district, at 11h. pass a Kareen village, where we obtained the first fowls we have seen since leaving the last village in our own territory; at 12h. 30m. leave the river, near and above which we have marched all the morning, entirely amongst the hills, a high range of which hills run nearly north and south on the other side of the river, beyond which lies the eastern road before mentioned, which the Kareens have deserted, and come west since we have occupied the provinces; at 1h. 30m. come

on a stream of water ancle deep, which after running along the road and overflowing the jungle for a short way on both sides of it, disappears most unexpectedly through the apparently solid earth; near this we are obliged to encamp, muddy as the water is, there being no other within three or four miles; elephants come up at 6 P. M.; the path to-day has been a succession of hills of more or less elevation, generally near the river, which often runs in a ravine with an occasional platform on which paddy or cotton have within the last few years been cultivated by the Kareens, who say that till after our late war with the Birmans, this part of the country, as being too near the frontier, was not inhabited, and consequently this road never used; we are now only five or six days from Tavoy, as the Kareens travel.

January 15th.-Soo-gua, 8h. 40m., two miles. Were again detained till half past 4 P. M. by the straying of one of the elephants which had crossed the river in the night, and was found about two or three miles on the eastern side of it; started immediately, and came to this village, it being impossible to proceed, as it was very dark, and the path through a high forest not being distinguishable; we had a high range of hills to pass on leaving the last halting place.

January 16th.-Ke-dean, 3h. 50m., twelve miles. Started at 9 A. M. and marching through a continuation of the bamboo jungle in which more or less it is intermixed with jungle trees, we have marched with little interruption all the way from Nat Kyeaning; we have seen no teak on this side of the hills, nor have I found the Gamboge, Tola, or Sapan tree, all of which I had expected to meet with here, the former are said to abound near the sea-coast, and the last is found in abundance on the See-sa-wet river (two days east of this) which falls into this river near Camboorie; the Taline refugees and captives are employed in cutting it annually two months in the year, but in transporting, collecting, and carrying it to Bankok, they are always occupied six months, and are obliged to furnish to the king fifty pieces, four cubits long, and a span and a half thick; for any above the proper quantity they have an allowance of 1 tickel, for 50 viss, and any deficiency they must make good; the selling price in the market is 1 tickel a piece; they may compound for this service by paying 20 tickels. I heard to-day of some tyrannical restrictions on the internal traffic of the country, which I shall hear more about at May-nam-noi, where some of the exactions are made. A story is told as a good joke of two officers who were sent up to Taline lately to inquire into and punish those engaged in stealing elephants, which are sold at Maulmain; on the night of their arrival the two elephants they brought with them from Bankok were stolen, and have not since

been heard of; the thieves of Bankok are said to be perfect in their calling. The path to day has been more level than we have travelled since leaving Sa-di-diong's village, and open to the eastward, the western hills continuing. We have passed some small Kareen villages with their clearings, crossed one stream of water, and passed at 10h. 30m. a spring from a rock, which after running in a small stream for a few hundred yards, is lost in the same way, as that near which we encamped on the 14th; at 1h. 40m., we passed the paddy and cotton fields of this village, the most extensive we have seen; the cotton now ready for gathering, very good, long in the staple, and pods large. At 2h. halt near the village of Ke-dean, of six houses. Elephants came up at 6 P. M. Saw at Kenny Ena (so called by way of distinction having a Kenny or convent) a very handsome elephant, with tusks at least 7 feet long, belonging to the Poonghees.

[ocr errors]

January 17th.-Roye-tsong, 3h. 10m., nine miles. Started at 10h., having been again detained by the same elephant which crossed the river two nights ago; march along a jungle path, the same as before, pretty level throughout, but rocky in the first part of the march; passed only one run of water, but a considerable extent of paddy and cotton ground, in all eight clearings, the last of considerable extent. None of the Kareen villages I have seen or heard of in this part of the country contain more than five or six houses, generally only three, but the houses are long, and several families live under the same roof; each family has however always a separate ladder up to the long verandah which runs along the front of the house opposite their own compartment. There are here, as in the Tavoy province two tribes of Kareens, whose languages are different, but intelligible to each other. About two miles from this halting place we passed the Kareen village of Ka-way, at least the female portion of the inhabitants are Kareens, the husbands are Talines, and were on duty at May-nam-noi; some of the gold washers who are sent out annually by the king were in the act of pillaging their house, as we passed ; our approach saved the poor creatures' little property, though all Amhoo-dans, or people employed by the king, whether in cutting timber, washing for gold dust, or what not, receiving no pay, commit larceny by the royal licence. The present depredators were Laos people, though the Talines who are employed in the Sapan forests and the king's troops have all the same privilege; the order extends only to provisions, but nothing is said to come amiss to them, and the small officers; for the Talines who are employed as soldiers are the wood cutters, and have a boat following them the first few days on the river, which when filled with plunder they send home to their fa

milies; villages in their line of operation are likewise exposed to their tender mercies. The line of our march has been at no great distance from the river, and on its banks we are encamped to night; we have all day been surrounded by hills on all sides, except to the north-west, the jungle a mixture of trees and bamboos as heretofore; the only tree of any value we have seen is the Kanean, or oil tree, a considerable number of which we have passed in the last two days, towering as they always do far above the highest trees in the forest, with their beautiful straight stems and light green foliage; many of them reach a height of fifty or sixty feet without a branch.

January 18th.-May-nam-noi, 2h. 50m., nine miles. One month from Maulmain. I had calculated on being in Bankok in twenty days, and we are still eleven days from it; we have lost several days, by the loss and straying of the elephants, and want of guides in the uninhabited forest, which it has been the policy of the Siamese and Birmans to keep between them. Had all circumstances been most favourable, it would have been impossible to have accomplished it in any thing like the time I anticipated, travelling as I have done with elephants, and obliged for days to cut away the interwoven branches to allow them to pass. Left the last ground at 8 A. M. and travelling for about twenty minutes through the old clearing near which we had encamped, reach the river near which we march for ten minutes, when the path takes a direction more to the westward, and we commence the ascent of the hill we have seen to the S. W. of us for the last three days; the passage of the range occupied about an hour, the path, after those I have travelled to the N. E., by no means steep or difficult; at the bottom of the hills to the southward, after crossing, we came on a path more travelled than any we have seen since leaving the Meta-keet teak forest, leading the west to Tavoy, which may easily be reached from this with elephants in five days, the road is said to be generally hilly and difficult in some places; at 10h. 20m. after passing a new clearing we came on the river again, where we cross and halted here in a shed prepared for us on the shingle (its bed) by the Myotsa of this place, who soon after we halted came to my tent, and remained for upwards of an hour; he brought a basket of rice, some vegetables, dried meat, cocoanuts, &c., for which he refused to receive payment; about 1h. 30m. the elephants came in. The May-nam-noi, from which the lower part of this river now takes its name, has its source in the hill somewhere east of Yea, and falls into the Dayeik, or Dareik, by a deep rocky ravine of not more than a few yards wide, opposite the present small frontier post of the same name. The old city

« السابقةمتابعة »