Abbildungen der Seite

delights. The goenery,

of coloured bird with a complioourse, was superb; the oom- cated face ; it bent backwards binations of 808 and hills and forwards on its branoh, rivalled, for sheer beauty, the like & gigantio and rhetorioal Western Highlands or the Sa- oookatoo, uttering load vulgar ronio Galf. The distant peaks yells at my intrusion. Burma, of St Matthew's and Longh- like India, is rich in birds with borough Islands reoalled Mull maddening voices. One used and Aegina; and the greater to utter two even notes all day, riobness of vegetation made anendingly, like an inverted up, in part, for the lack of ouokoo. Another would first “humanity.” The hills behind imitate the whirr of a highthe station were thiokly wooded, speed wheel; then came eight and echoed with the distant or ten high, hinge-like oreaks, wailings of gibbons; there were slower and slower; then off many flowering shrubs; and again with the whirr. And it some of the forest trees were was not only the birds that enormous. In the competition troubled. As I read in the of the jungle, it is nook or bungalow at night, I would be nothing, and the winners ran startled by a loud noise at my prodigiously to neok.

very ear, like an old groase Daring the week after I praotising ascending scales for arrived I was continually the first time, followed by balf mystified by loud noises, as of a dozen olear, two-note oalls, an invisible motor-boat, or of a with a littledescending grumble steamer creakily blowing off dying away into silence at the regalar jets of steam where no end. This was the contribusteamer was. At last I dis- tion of the Toktoo (named from covered the sound's source, un. its oall), the big lizard that expeotedly and in the third haunts Burmese houses,an dimension. Just opposite the anwholesome, deoayed-looking jetty was a small preoipitous brute of a dirty island, where I used to watoh, with dirtier parplish spots and a through my glasses, troops of staring yellow eye. Later still small monkeys burst out on to at night, when the moon had the shore, plunge into most nearly cleared the sky of stars, entertaining free fights, tumble would come droves of pi-dogs into the sea with pieroing sweeping in rather eerie play soreams, and then amioably through the compound, perbetake themselves to hunting feotly silent. Three of them, for shell-fish on the mad-banks with some oommunal puppies just awash. The island was who yapped valiantly at my oolonised by hornbills; and it heels, but fled my face, attached was their wings, as they passed themselves to my staff. Twice home overhead in the evening, I was woken by the shrieks of that made those surprisingly the lady dog seeking to repel loud and mechanioal noises. from the refuge of my bedroom Later on I saw one sitting on a too attentive swain from else& dead bough—a big dull-where. The second time I was forearmed. By a divine ohanoe they were in a hurry, the claw my first stone from the window was folded ap with the precise hit the swain as from heaven. effeot of a collapsible fireHe “went at once," totally be. escape. wildered: and I then had to Finally, there was always stone the rescued lady into something to look at in the silence, and a more befitting tiny hamlet: shinlon, or a distance from

from my person. man with a casting-net, or the Victoria Point, in short, was Gurkba guard of the Treasury, & silent place; but its silence opium-store, and wireless, playwas "dotted" in the Irish ing barefooted football on a R.M.'s expressive phrase) with hill, or small arohins engaged a whole series of arresting and in an elaborate

elaborate game like unfamiliar sounds.

miniature skittles, which they One of my chief haunts played with the skill and en. was, of course, the shore. Un- thusiasm of demong. And by happily, the coral strand was the jetty was a little colony invisible under alluvial mud; of Salones, living like lakebut I never visited it without dwellers on tumble-down platdiscovering some new thing. forms over the mod. They There was a small spring where are sea-gipsies, primitive and I could sit (till the mosquitoes nearly naked, who live an beoame intolerable), and gar- amphibious life of their own, prise kingfishers and a peculiar and searoh the sea-oa ves of the pigeon with dark-green wings. outer islands for edible nests. The sea oontained odd little fish: Onoe or twios existence was one was semi-transparent, with more exciting. There were a projeotion on its nose as long little trips up the Máliwūn as itself, like a five-inoh nar. road to å rubber estate, or whal. On the mud were my. aoross the ohannel to the hos. riads of little oreatures with pitality of Bilborough Island, blunt froggy faces and gog. where, on the seaward face, gling eyes; they skipped about was a shore free of mud, with on fins and tail, and liked to coral and wonderful sand, but embrace a mangrove shoot, disappointingly few shells. wriggle up, and oling to it, Onoe, too, I crossed over looking for all the world like to Renong to see the tin. Bill the Lizard emerging from dredgers and bay exoellent the chimney. One day, too, whisky at pre-war prices. NoI met several columns of little body worried about passports, orabs, the biggest a hundred though I believe that, officially, strong, and marching in ouri- my exoursion was equivalent ously regular pairs. As I ap- to desertion from the British proaohed over the mud, they Empire and His Majesty's vanished in a breath, dug in: Forces. Bat Simla was far they appeared to have a single away, and the whisky a great enormous olaw, as big as them. aoquisition, My conveyance selves, which they brandished was to have been a substantial in front as they walked; when boat with a rush awning amidships, but it was said to be too But exoursions like these heavy for the wind, so we were only inoidental, and the transferred to a tiny native staple diet of Viotoria Point was oraft, first cousin to a dug-out, not imported whisky, but small and with only a few inches of beer. The place is well worth freeboard. A boy in the bows going to, if only for the voyand a man in the stern each age. I was delighted to see worked an oar tied with & it, and perfeotly content to straw loop to an upright. They come away after a month. In rowed standing, like gondoliers; the dreary and superficially bat once past the hornbills' trivial round of office duties island, we oaught a stiff west- at Rangoon it was a welcome erly breeze. In two minutes interlude, just as the war itself the boy had stepped a bamboo blow at least a radioal ohange mast, with a transverse spar of existence into the lives of and a boom, of which he held some onee too academio soldiers. one end, and away we went. Some day Victoria Point may The flimsy boat was beautifully be developed, and rival Amherst light, and we shipped very as the watering place of Burma. little water, wbioh was lucky, But I am glad that I saw it as there was nothing else to as it is still-simple, yet oivisit on but the bottom of the lised, a little spot of Western boat. Coming home, the sea leaven in the great indifferent was still rough, and the wind lump of Eastern landscape, the dead ahead; 80 the orew last place in the Indian Empire had two very solid hours of -ad fines Indice. rowing.

R. H. D.




K.C.M.G., C.I.E.


In the Life of Lord Kit- It might have been expeoted chener,' which gives as such that in the record of his an admirable pioture of the work in the Great War great leader, his work, and some allusion would be made his character, it is pointed to the share which he took out that he owed much of in the development of milihis success to the fact that tary engineering in a war he had been an Engineer where, as never before, that officer. This fact is not an. soience came into play. That daly laboured; to

do this is not the oase is no oanse would have tended to ob- of complaint.

of complaint. The work be soure the broader and greater did was 80 vast, the diffioulties issues involved, and might he had to overcome in other have interfered with the due respeots 80 stupendous, that perspective with which we they were in themselves quite are called to oontemplate his sufficient to absorb the author's work as a whole, dealing 88 energies, and to demand our it did with many complex attention in the biography. personal and national matters. It is well that these achievein which teohnioal knowledgements should be presented had little part. Yet the early for consideration rather than training whioh taught him to the comparatively minor part balance the end in view with which belonged to the special the least means available — & branob of the profession in training which constitutes the which he received his early very essence of engineering training, and in which, in the soience and practice - per. war, he left his mark just as meated the whole of his life's really as he did in the greater work, and produced & result problems which devolved on which might not have been him. It may, however, be achieved had his early experi- permitted to one who was enoe been different.

It was honoured in being at the head by his own choice that he of that branch of the service entered that branch of the under him during that period, army where this training was and who enjoyed his confidence possible, and it was not until in such a position, to supplehe had spent long years in ment what has been given to carrying out useful technical the world, and to tell somework that he was oalled upon thing of that great mind wbioh, to a larger and wider sphere while occupied with far wider of publio service.

issues, was ever oognieant of


the part that engineering had of opposition expected. The to play in the great confliot. problems varied, the

As in every other branoh of means were limited, but the the military profession, the end in view was the same war demanded military engin- namely, the ultimate viotory. eering on a soale far in excess He did not live to see the of anything ever contemplated, viotory, but he provided the and infinitely beyond anything means. ever aotually oarried out. The His work in this respeot 00&st defence programme in began in the Coronation year, these islands alone was greater when he was called upon to even than the great soheme be chairman of a Committee brought into play by Lord at the War Office dealing Palmerston's energy in the with engineering organisation. years following the Crimean There had been in 1903 a War-& scheme whioh, fortify- change brought about by the ing the English Channel alone Esher Committee, which af. and a few other places near fected the Engineers perhaps the Continent, was not oom- more than any other branch of plete when the Franco-German the army. Up to that date War broke out in 1870. The the Inspeotor-General of Fortiprovision of hutting, whioh fications, one of the principal after the Boer War was oon- heads of the War Office organfined to some few thousands isation, and in close touoh with of troops, was during the rais- the Seoretary of State and his ing of the New Armies on a chief military advisers, was soale providing for hundreds responsible for all engineering of thousands. The materials matters, and was the authorrequired for the engineering ised inspector of all Engineer works of the troops sotaally troops. The Esher Committee in the field, provided in Eng- abolished this post, dividing land and sent all over the up the duties among other world, ran into tens and members of the newly-formed sometimes hundreds of thou. Army Coanoil. It is understood sands of tons every month. that this was done on the The personnel required for the analogy of the navy: if so, it execution of these works, in seems to have been forgotten all their variety of specialised that the conditions of land knowledge, went ap by leaps warfare differ from those at and bounds from small sea. Whatever may have been nuoleus of some 6000 to what the intention, it soon became was in itself a vast army of evident that the change pro300,000. Moreover, all these duoed unsatisfactory results. varied needs had to be adapt. It involved a separation beed to the circumstances and tween the administrative conexigencies of the situations, trol of works in peace and the and not merely a constant combatant daties of the Royal varying with the numbers of Engineers in war, and the the troops and the weight application of the soience of VOL, CCVIII, -NO, MCCLX.

2 M

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »