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tonic. The gall is most precious, and the flesh was all taken, but for what purpose I don't know. A steak of it was stewed, and we tasted it, and I found it in flavour much like the meat of an ancient and over-worked draught ox, but Mr. Ferney thought it like good veal. At dinner the whole talk was of the wild beasts of the jungle, and, as we were all but among them, it was very fascinating. I wanted to go out by moonlight, but Mr. Ferney said that it was not safe, because of tigers, and even the Malays there don't go out after nightfall.
Mr. Ferney has given me a stick with a snakemark on it, which was given to him as a thing of great value. The Malay donor said that any one carrying it would become invulnerable and invisible, and that if you were to beat any one with it, the beaten man would manifest all the symptoms of snake poisoning! Mr. Ferney has also given me a kris. When I showed it to Omar this morning, he passed it across his face and smelt it, and then said, “This kris good-has ate man.”
I could not sleep much, there were such strange noises, and the sentry made the verandah creak all night outside my room, but this is a splendid climate, and one is refreshed and ready to rise with the sun after very little sleep. The tropic mornings are glorious. There is such an abrupt and vociferous awakening of nature, all dew-bathed and vigorous. The rose-flushed sky looks cool, the air feels cool, one longs to protract the delicious time. Then with a suddenness akin to that of his setting, the sun wheels above the horizon, and is high in the heavens in no time, truly “coming forth
as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoicing as a giant to run his course," and as truly "there is nothing hid from the heat thereof,” for hardly is he visible than the heat becomes tremendous. But tropical trees and flowers, instead of drooping and withering under the solar fury, rejoice in it.
This morning was splendid. The great banana fronds under the still blue sky looked truly tropical. The mercury was 82° at seven a.m.
The “ tiger mosquitos," day torments, large mosquitos with striped legs, a loud metallic hum, and a plethora of venom, were in full fury from daylight. Ammonia does not relieve their bites as it does those of the night mosquitos, and I am covered with inflamed and confluent lumps as large as the half of a bantam's egg. But these and other drawbacks, I know from experience, will soon be forgotten, and I shall remember only the beauty, the glory, and the intense enjoyment of this day.
Quite early the Rajah Moussa arrived in a baju of rich gold-coloured silk, which suited his swarthy complexion. He sat in the room pretending to look over the “Graphic,” but in reality watching me, as I wrote to you, just as I should watch an ouf. At last he asked me how many Japanese I had killed !!!!
The succession is here hereditary in the male line, and this Rajah Moussa is the Sultan's eldest son. The Sultan receives £ 2,000 a year out of the revenue, and this rajah £ 960.
The Resident arrived at nine, wearing a very fine dress sword and gold epaulets on his linen coat;
and under a broiling sun we all walked through a cleared part of the jungle, through palms and bananas, to the reception at the Sultan's, which was the “motive" of our visit. The Sultan Abdulsamat has three houses in a beautiful situation at the end a beautiful valley. They are in the purest style of Malay architecture, and not a Western idea appears anywhere. The wood of which they are built is a rich brown-red. The roofs are very high and steep, but somewhat curved. The architecture is simple, appropriate, and beautiful. The dwelling consists of the Sultan's house, a broad open passage, and then the women's house, or harem. At the end of the above passage is the audience hall, and the front entrance to the Sultan's house is through a large porch, which forms a convenient reception-room on occasions like that of yesterday.
From this back passage, or court, a ladder, with rungs about two feet apart, leads into the Sultan's house, and a step-ladder into the women's house. Two small boys, entirely naked, were incongruous objects sitting at the foot of the ladder. Here we waited for him, two files of policemen being drawn up as a guard of honour. He came out of the women's house very actively, shook hands with each of us—obnoxious custom !—and passed through the lines of police round to the other side of his house into the porch, the floor of which was covered with fine matting nearly concealed by handsome Persian rugs.
The Sultan sat in a high-backed, carved chair, or throne; all the other chairs were plain. The Resident sat on his right, I on his left, and on my left the Rajah Moussa, with other sons of the Sultan, and some native princes. Mr. Syers acted as interpreter. Outside there were double lines of military police, and the bright adjacent slopes were covered with the Sultan's followers and other Malays. The balcony of the audience-hall, which has a handsome balustrade, was full of Malay followers in bright reds and cool white. It was all beautiful, and the palms rustled in the soft air, and bright birds and butterflies flew overhead, rejoicing in mere existence.
If Abdulsamat were not Sultan, I should pick him out as the most prepossessing Malay that I have seen.
He is an elderly man with iron-grey hair, a high and prominent brow, large, prominent, dark eyes, a well-formed nose, and a good mouth. The face is bright, kindly, and fairly intelligent. He is about the middle height; his dress becomes him well, and he looked comfortable in it though he had not worn it before. It was a rich black velvet baju, or jacket-something like a loose hussar jacket, braided, frogged, and slashed with gold—trousers with a broad gold stripe on the outside, a rich silk sarong in checks and shades of red, and a Malay-printed silk handkerchief knotted round his head, forming a sort of peak. No Mohammedan can wear a hat with a rim or stiff crown, or of any kind which would prevent him from bowing his forehead to the earth in worship.
The Resident read the proceedings of the council of the day before, and the Sultan confirmed them. The nominal approval of measures initiated by the Resident and agreed to in council,
During the reception a richly-dressed attendant sat on the floor, with an iron tube like an Italian iron in his hand, in which he slowly worked an arrangement which might be supposed to be a heater up and down. I thought that he might be preparing betel-nut, but Mr. Douglas said that he was working a charm for the Sultan's safety, and it was believed that if he paused some harm would happen. Another attendant, yet more richly dressed, carried a white scarf, fringed and embroidered with gold, over one shoulder, and two vases of solid gold, with their surfaces wrought by exquisite workmanship into flowers nearly as delicate as filigree work. One of these contained betel-nut, and the other sirih leaves. Meanwhile the police, with their bayonets flashing in the sun, and the swarthy, richly-costumed throng on the palm-shaded slopes, were a beautiful sight. The most interesting figure to me was that of the reforming heir, the bigoted Moslem, in his goldcoloured baju, with his swarthy face, singular and almost sinister expression, and his total lack of all Western fripperies of dress. I think that there may be trouble when he comes to the throne—at least, if the present arrangements continue. He does not look like a man who would be content to be a mere registrar of the edicts of “a dog of an infidel."
The Sultan has a "godown" containing great treasures, concerning which he leads an anxious life, hoards of diamonds and rubies, and priceless damascened krises, with scabbards of pure gold, wrought into marvellous devices, and incrusted with precious stones. On Mr. Douglas's suggestion (as I understood) he sent a kris, with an elaborate gold scabbard, to the Governor, saying, “It is not from the Sultan to the Governor, but from a friend to a friend." He seems anxious for Sělângor to “get on.” He is making a road at Bukit Jugra at his own expense, and, acting doubtless under British advice, he has very cordially agreed that the odious system of debt slavery shall be quietly dropped from among the institutions of Sělângor.
When this audience was over I asked to be allowed to visit the Sultana, and, with Mrs. Ferney as interpreter, went to the harem, accompanied by the Rajah Moussa. It is a beautiful house, of one very large lofty room, part of which is divided into apartments by heavy silk curtains. One end of it is occupied by a high daïs covered with fine mats, below which is another daïs, covered with Persian carpets. On this the Sultana
received us, the Rajah Moussa, who is not her son, and ourselves sitting on chairs. If I understood rightly that this prince is not her son, I do not see how it is that he can go into the women's apartments. Two guards sat on the floor just within the door, and numbers of women, some of them in white veils, followers of the Sultana, sat in rows also on the floor.
It must be confessed that the “light of the harem is not beautiful; she looks nearly middleaged. She is short and fat, with a flat nose, open wide nostrils, thick lips, and filed teeth, much blackened by betel-nut chewing. Her expression is pleasant, and her manner is prepossessing. She wore a rich striped red-silk sarong, and a very short green silk kabaya, with diamond clasps; but I saw very little of her dress or herself, because she was almost enveloped in a pure white veil of a fine woollen material, spangled with gold stars, and she concealed so much of her face with it, in consequence of the presence of the Rajah Moussa, that I only rarely got a glimpse of the magnificent diamond solitaires in her ears. Our conversation was not brilliant, and the Sultana looked to me as if she had attained nirvana, and had “neither ideas nor the consciousness of the absence of ideas.” We returned and took leave of the Sultan, and after we left I caught a glimpse of him lounging at case in a white shirt and red sarong, all his gorgeousness having disappeared.
After we returned to the bungalow the Sultan sent me a gift. Eight attendants dressed in pure white came into the room in single file, and, each bowing to the earth, set down a brass salver, with its contents covered with a pure white cloth. Again bowing, they uncovered them, and displayed the fruitage of the tropics.
There were young coconuts, gold-coloured bananas of the kind which the Sultan eats, papayas, and clusters of a species of jambu, a pear-shaped fruit, beautiful to look at, each fruit looking as if made of some transparent, polished white wax with a pink flush on one side. The Rajah Moussa also arrived and took coffee, and the verandahs were filled with his followers. Every rajah goes about attended, and seems to be esteemed according to the size of his following:
We left this remote and beautiful place at noon, and after a delightful cruise of five hours among islands floating on a waveless sea, we reached dreary, decayed Klang in the evening.
The Residency, Klang, February 7th. I have had two days of supposed quiet here after the charming expedition to Langat. The climate seems very healthy. The mercury has been 87° daily, but then it falls to 74° at night. The barometer, as is usual so near the cquator, varies only a few tenths of an inch during the year. The rainfall is about 100 inches annually. It is most abundant in January, February, and March, and at the change of the monsoon in May and June, and there is enough all the year round to keep vegetation in beauty. Here, on uninteresting cleared land, with a featureless foreground, and level mangrove swamps for the middle distance, it must be terribly monotonous to have no change of seasons, no hope of the mercury falling below Soo in the
daytime, or of a bracing wind, or of any marked climatic changes for better or worse.
The mosquitos are awful, but after a few months of more or less suffering the people who live here become inoculated by the poison, and are more bothered than hurt by the bites. I am almost succumbing to them. The ordinary ones are bad enough, for just when the evenings become cool, and sitting on the verandah would be enjoyable, they begin their foray, and specially attack the feet and ankles, but the tiger mosquitos of this region bite all day, and they do embitter life. In the evening all the gentlemen put on sarongs over their trousers to protect themselves, and ladies are provided with sarongs which we draw over our feet and dresses, but these pests bite through two "ply" of silk or cotton, and in spite of all precautions, I am dreadfully bitten on my arms, feet, and ankles, which are so swollen that I can hardly draw on my sleeves, and for two days stockings have been an impossibility, and I have had to sew up my feet daily in linen! The swellings from the bites have become confluent, and are scarlet with inflammation. It is truly humiliating that “the crown of things” cannot defend himself against these minute enemies, and should be made as miserable as I am just now.
But it is a most healthy climate, and when I write of mosquitos, land leeches, centipedes, and snakes, I have said my say as to its evils. I will now confess that I was bitten by a centipede in my bath-house in Sungei Ujong, but I at once cut the bite deeply with a penknife, squeezed it, and poured ammonia recklessly over it, and in a few hours the pain and swelling went off.
I have been to the fort, the large barrack of the military police, and Mr. Syers showed me many things. In the first place, a snake about eight feet long was let out and killed. The Malays call this a "two-headed” snake, and there is enough to give rise to the ignorant statement, for after the proper head was dead the tail stood up and moved forwards. The skin of this reptile was marked throughout with broad bands of black and white alternately. There was an ill-favoured skull of a crocodile hanging up to dry, with teeth three inches long. One day lately a poor Hadji was carried off by one, and shortly afterwards this monster was caught, and on opening it they found the skull of the Hadji, part of his body, a bit of his clothing, and part of a goat. I brought away as spoils tigers' teeth and claws, crocodiles' teeth, bears' teeth, etc.
On our return, four Malay women, including the Imaum's wife, came to see me. Each one would have made a picturesque picture, but they had no manners, and seized on my hands, which are coarsened, reddened, and swelled from heat and mosquito bites, all exclaiming "chanti! chanti!” (pretty! pretty!). I wondered at their bad taste, specially as they had very small and pretty hands themselves, with almond-shaped nails.
In the evening the “establishment” dined at the Residency. After dinner, as we sat in the darkness in the verandah, maddened by mosquito bites, about 9.30 the bugle at the fort sounded the “alarm,” which was followed in a few seconds
by the drum beating "to quarters," and in less than five minutes every approach to the Residency was held by men with fixed bayonets, and fourteen rounds of ball-cartridges each in their belts, and every road round Klang was being patrolled by piquets. I knew instinctively that it was “humbug,” arranged to show the celerity with which the little army could be turned out; and shortly an orderly arrived with a note—"False alarm; but Klang never subsided all night, and the Klings beat their tomtoms till daylight. I am writing at dawn now, in order that my letter may catch the mail.”
February 7th. You will certainly think, from the dates of my letters, that I am usually at sea. The Resident, his daughter, Mrs. Daly, Mr. Hawley, a revenue officer, and I, left Klang this morning at eight for a two days' voyage in this bit of a thing. Blessed be “the belt of calms!” There was the usual pomp of a body-guard, some of whom are in attendance, and a military display on the pier, well drilled, and well officered in quiet, capable, admirable, unobtrusive Mr. Syers; but gentle Mrs. Douglas, devoted to her helpless daughter, standing above the jetty, a lone white woman in forlorn decayed Klang, haunts me as a vision of sadness, as I think of her sorrow and her dignified hospitality in the midst of it.
Now at half-past eleven we are aground with an ebb-tide on the bar of the Sělângor river, so I may write a little, though I should like to be asleep.
Yesterday, after a detention on the bar, we steamed up the broad muddy Sělângor river, margined by bubbling slime, on which alligators were basking in the torrid sun, to Sělângor. Here the Dutch had a fort on the top of the hill. We destroyed it in August, 1871.
Sělângor is a most wretched place—worse than Klang. On one side of the river there is a fishing village of mat and attap hovels on stilts raised a few feet above the slime of a mangrove swamp; and on the other an expanse of slime, with larger houses on stilts, and an attempt at a street of Chinese shops, and a gambling-den, which I entered and found full of gamblers at noonday. The same place serves for a spirit and champagne shop. Slime was everywhere oozing, bubbling, smelling putrid in the sun, all glimmering, shining, and iridescent, breeding fever and horrible life; while land-crabs boring holes, crabs of a brilliant turquoise-blue colour, which fades at death, and reptiles like fish, with great bags below their mouths, and innumerable armour-plated insects, were rioting in it under the broiling sun.
We landed by a steep ladder upon a jetty with a gridiron top, only safe for shoeless feet, and Mr. Hawley and I went up to the fort by steps cut in the earth. There are fine mango-trees on the slopes, said to have been planted by the Dutch two centuries ago. Within the fort the collector and magistrate-a very inert-looking Dutch halfcast-has a wretched habitation, mostly made of attap. We sat there for some time. It looked most miserable, the few things about being empty bottles and meat tins. A man would need many
resources, great energy, and an earnest desire to do his duty, in order to save him from complete degeneracy. He has no better prospect from his elevation than a nearly level plateau of mangrove swamps and jungle, with low hills in the distance, in which the rivers rise. It was hot-rather.
In the meantime the Resident was trying a case, and when it was concluded we steamed out to sea and hugged all day the most monotonous coast I ever saw, only just, if just, above high-water mark, with a great level of mangrove swamps and dense jungle behind, with high, jungle-covered hills in the very far distance, a vast area of beast-haunted country of which nothing is known by Europeans, and almost nothing by the Malays themselves. So very small a vessel tumbles about a good deal even with a very light breeze, and instead of going to dinner I lay on the roof of the cabin studying blue-books. At nightfall we anchored at the mouth of the Bernam river to avoid the inland mosquitos, but we must have brought some with us, for I was malignantly bitten. Mrs. Daly and I shared the lack of privacy and comfort of the cabin. Perfect though the Abdulsamat is, there is very little rest to be got in a small and overcrowded vessel, and besides, the heat was awful. I think we were not far enough from the swampy shore, for Mrs. Daly was seized with fever during the night, and a Malay servant also. In the morning Mrs. Daly, who is comely and has a very nice complexion, looked haggard, yellow, and much shaken.
At daylight we weighed anchor and steamed for many miles up the muddy, mangrove-fringed River Bernam, the mangroves occasionally varied by the nipah palm. We met several palm-trees floating with their roots and some of their fruits above the water, like those we saw yesterday evening out on the Malacca Straits, looking like crowded Malay prahus with tattered mat sails.
Before nine we anchored at this place, whose wretchedness makes a great impression on me, because we are to deposit Mr. Hawley here as revenue collector. I have seen him every day for a week; he is amiable and courteous, as well as intelligent and energetic, and it is shocking to leave him alone in a malarious swamp. This dismal revenue-station consists of a few exceptionally poor-looking Malay houses on the river bank, a few equally unprosperous-looking Chinese dwellings, a police-station of dilapidated thatch among the trees, close to it a cage in which there is a half-human-looking criminal lying on a mat, a new house or big room raised for Mr. Hawley, with the swamp all round it and underneath it, and close to it some pestiferous ditches which have been cut to drain it, but in which a putrid-looking brown ooze has stagnated. There is a causeway about two hundred yards long on the river bank, but no road anywhere. The river is broad, deep, swift, and muddy; on its opposite side is Perak, the finest State in the peninsula, and the cluster of mat houses on the farther shore is under the Perak Government. Sampans are lying on the
stand them. Even the Canton missionaries said that they knew nearly nothing of them and their feelings. This wretched criminal and his possible association with a brutal murder is a most piteous object on deck, and comes between me and the enjoyment of this entrancing evening.
heated slime. Coconut-trees fringe the river bank for some distance, and there are some large spreading trees loaded with the largest and showiest crimson blossoms I ever saw, tharowing even the gaudy Poinciana ngia into the shade ; but nothing can look very attractive here, with the swamp in front and the jungle behind, where the rhinoceros is said to roam undisturbed.
We landed in the police boat at a stilted jetty approached by a ladder with few and slippery rungs. At the top there was a primitive gridiron of loose nibong bars, and the river swirled so rapidly and dizzily below, that I was obliged ignominiously to hold on to a Chinaman in order to reach the causeway safely, To add to the natural insecurity of the foothold, some men were killing a goat at the top of the ladder, and its blood made the whole gridiron slippery. The banks of the river are shining slime, giving off fetid exhalations under the burning sun, there is a general smell of vegetable decomposition, and miasma fever (one would suppose) is exhaling from every bubble of the teeming slime and swamp.
In the verandah of Mr. Hawley's house a number of forlorn-looking rajahs are sitting, each with his forlorn-looking train of followers, and in front of the police-station a number of forlorn-looking Malays are sitting motionless hour after hour. The Chinese have a row of shops above the river bank, and even on this deadly-looking shore they display some purpose and energy. Mrs. Daly and I are sitting in Mr. Hawley's side verandah with the bubbling swamp below us. She reads a dull novel, I watch the dead life, pen in hand, and think how I can convey any impression of it to you. The Resident has gone snipe-shooting to replenish our larder. A dug-out now and then crosses from the Perak side, a sauntering Malay occasionally joins the squatting group, a fishing hawk now and then swoops down upon a fish, a policeman occasionally rouses up the wretch in the cage, and so the torrid hours pass.
I take this up again as the dew falls, and the sea takes on the colouring of a dying dolphin. The Resident returned with a good bag of snipe, and with Rajah Odoot, a gentle, timid-looking man, and another rajah, with an uncomfortable puzzled face, took his place at a table, a policeman with a brace of loaded revolvers standing behind him. Policemen filed in; one or two cases were tried and dismissed, the Malay witnesses trembling from head to foot, and then the wretch from the cage was brought in, looking hardly human, as from under his shaggy, unshaven hair and unplaited pigtail which hung over his chest he cast furtive, frightened glances at the array before him. He was charged with being a waif. A Malay had picked him up at sea in a boat of which he could give no account, neither of himself. So he is supposed to have been implicated in the murder of Mr. Lloyd, and we are bringing him heavily ironed and his boat up to Pinang. I wonder how many of the feelings which we call human exist in the lowest order of Orientals! It is certain that many of them only regard kindness as a confession of weakness. The Chinese seem specially inscrutable, no one seems really to under
Hotel de l'Europe, Pinang, February 9th.-In the evening we reached the Dindings, a lovely group of small islands ceded to England by the Pangkor Treaty, and just now in the height of an unenviable notoriety. The sun was low and the great heat past, the breeze had died away, and in the dewy stillness the largest of the islands looked unspeakably lovely as it lay in the golden light between us and the sun, forest-covered to its steep summit, its rocky promontories running out into calm, deep, green water, and forming almost landlocked bays, margined by shores of white-coral sand, backed by dense groves of coco-palms, whose curving shadows lay dark upon the glossy
Here and there a Malay house in the shade indicated man and his doings, but it was all silent.
On a high steep point there is a small clearing, on which stands a mat bungalow, with an attap roof, and below this there is a mat police-station, but it was all desolate, nothing stirred; and though we had intended to spend the carly hours of the night at the Dindings, we only lay a short time in the deep shadow upon the clear green water, watching scarlet fish playing in the corai forests, and the exquisite beauty of the island with its dense foliage in dark relief against the cool lemon sky. Peace brooded over the quiet shores, heavy aromatic odours of night-blooming plants wrapped us round, the sun sank suddenly, ihe air became cool, it was a dream of tropic beauty.
Chalakar ! Bondo !” Thosc jarring sounds seemed to have something linking them with the tragedy of which the peaceful-looking bungalow was lately the scene, and of which you have doubtless read. A Chinese gang swooped down upon the house from behind, beating gongs and shouting. Captain Lloyd got up to see what was the matter, and was felled by a hatchet, calling out to his wife for his revolver. This had been abstracted, and the locks had been taken off his fowlingpieces. The ayah fled to the jungle in the confusion, taking with her the three children, the youngest only four weeks old. The wretches then fractured Mrs. Lloyd's skull with the hatchet, and, having stunned Mrs. Innes, who was visiting her, they pushed the senseless bodies under the bed, and were preparing to set fire to it when something made them depart.
No more is likely to be known. The police must either have been cowardly or treacherous. The Pyah Pekket called the next day and brought the frightfully mangled corpse, Mrs. Lloyd, whose reason was overturned, and Mrs. Innes on here. It is supposed that the Chinese secret societies have frustrated justice. A wretch is to be hanged here for the crime on his own confession, but it is believed that he was doomed to sacrifice himself by one of these societies in order to screen the