chapter  III
8 Pages


There are a number of native canoes on the river, fashioned each one of them out of a hollowed tree - trunk ; and everywhere along the banks primitive kinds of fishing-tacklewattle-like things made of reeds or bamboo. For the most part they resemble huge cocoons, which, as they emerge from the green confusion, plunge at once half-way into the water. You might almost imagine that they were the chrysalides out of which these little yellow people were born : a sort of worm or maggot, whose business it was here to gnaw the wonder-

ful covering of the plains. And over and above the so many outspread snares are the innumerable bird-fishers, long-legged, long-necked, with long, cruel beaks always ready for their prey. Men and wading birds alike waylay the 1nyriads of silent, rudimentary lives which pass within the river. From all antiquity their flesh has been nourished on the colder flesh of fish.