Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

delights. The scenery, of coloured bird with a complicourse, was superb; the oom- oated face; it bent backwards binations of 808 and hills and forwards on its branoh, rivalled, for sheer beauty, the like a 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 rioh in birds with borough Islands reoalled Mull maddening voices. One used and Aegina; and the greater to atter two oven notes all day, riobness of vegetation made unendingly, like an inverted ap, in part, for the lack of ovokoo. Another would first “humanity.” The hills behind imitate the whirr of a highthe station were thickly wooded, speed wheel; then came eight and echoed with the distant or ten high, binge-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 enormons. 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 run startled by a loud noise at my prodigiously to nook.

very ear, like an old gronse Daring the week after I praotising ascending soales 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 breakily blowing off dying away into silence at the regalar jets of steam where no end. This was the contribu. steamer was. At last I dis- tion of the Taktoo (named from covered the sound's souroe, un. its call), 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 yellow-green island, where I used to watoh, with dirtier parplish spots anda 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 oleared the sky of stars, entertaining free fights, tumble would come droves of pi-dogs into the sex with pieroing sweeping in rather eerie play soreams, and then amioably through the compound, perbetake themselves to hunting footly silent. Three of them, for shell-fish on the mad-banks with some oommunal puppies jast awash. The island was who yapped valiantly at my colonised 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 sbrieks of that made these surprisingly the lady dog seeking to repel loud and meobanioal noises. from the refuge of my bedroom Later on I saw one sitting on a too attentive swain from elsea dead bough—a big dull-where. The second time I was forearmed. By a divine ohance they were in a hurry, the claw my first stone from the window was folded up with the precise hit the swain as from heaven. effoot of a collapsible fireHe "went at once," totally be. escape. wildered: and I then had to Finally, there was always stone the resoued lady into something to look at in the silenon, and a more befitting tiny hamlet: shinlon, or a distance 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, play. was “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 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 demons. 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 mud. 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 sor- amphibious life of their own, prise kingfishers and a peculiar and searoh the 80a-oa ves of the pigeon with dark-green wings. outer islands for edible pests. The sea oontained odd little fish: Onoe or twice existence was one was semi-transparent, with more exciting. There were & projeotion on its nose as long little trips ap the Maliwun as itself, like a five-inoh nar- road to & 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 mad, with on fing and tail, and liked to coral and wonderful sand, but embrace & mangrove shoot, disappointingly few shells. wriggle ap, 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 passporte, orabs, the biggest a hundred though I believe that, officially, strong, and marohing in ouri- my excursion was equivalent ously regular pairs. As I ap. to desertion from the British proached over the mud, they Empire and His Majesty's vanished in a breath, dug in: Forces. But Simla was far they appeared to have a single away, and the whisky a great enormous olaw, as big as them- acquisition. My conveyance selves, whioh they brandished was to have been a substantial in front as they walked; when boat with a rush awning amid. ships, but it was said to be too Bat exoursions like these heavy for the wind, so we were only incidental, and the transferred to a tiny native staple diet of Viotoria Point was oraft, first cousin to a dug-out, not imported whisky, bat 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 oontent to straw loop to an apright. They come away after a month. In rowed standing, like gondoliers; the dreary and superficially bat once past the hornbills' trivial round of office daties 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 blew at least a radioal ohange mast, with a transverse spar of existence into the lives of and a boom, of which he held someonee too soademio 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, which was luoky, But I am glad that I saw it as there was nothing else to as it is still-simple, yet civisit on but the bottom of the lised, a little spot of Western boat. Coming home, the sea leaven in the great indifferent was still roagh, and the wind lump of Eastern landscape, the dead ahead; 80 the crew last plaoe in the Indian Empire had two very solid hours of —ad fines Indice. rowing.

R. H. D.

LORD KITCHENER AND THE ENGINEERING WORK

OF THE WAR.

BY MAJOR-GENERAL SIR GEORGE K. SCOTT MONCRIEFF, K.C.B.,

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

In the Life of Lord Kit- It might have been expeoted choner,' 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 offioer. This fact is not an- soience came into play. That daly laboured; to do 80 this is not the oase is no oause would have tended to ob- of complaint. The work he souro the broader and greater did was so vast, the diffioulties issues involved, and might he had to overcome in other have interfered with the due respeots 80 stupendous, that perspeotive with which we they were in themselves quite are called to contemplate his sufficient to absorb the author's work as a whole, dealing as 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 technioal knowledgements should be presented had little part. Yet the early for consideration rather than training whioh taught him to the comparatively minor part balanoe the end in view with which belonged to the speoial the least means available - & branch of the profession in training whioh oonstitutes the which he received his early very essence of engineering training, and in which, in the science 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 servios entered that branoh of the under him during that period, army where this training was and who enjoyed bis oonfidence possible, and it was not until in suoh a position, to supplehe had spent long years in ment what has been given to carrying out aseful teobnical the world, and to tell somework that he was called apon thing of that great mind which, to a larger and wider sphere while oooupied with far wider of pablio service.

issues, was ever oognisant of

at the ineering origa 1903

the part that engineering had of opposition expected. The to play in the great conflict. problems were 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 be provided the and infinitely beyond anything means. ever aotually oarried out. The His work in this respeot coast 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 & War-& scheme which, fortify- change brought about by the ing the English Channel alone Esher Committee, which af. and a few other places near fected the Engineers perbaps the Continent, was not com- more than any other branch of plete when the Franco-German the army. Up to that date War broke out in 1870. The the Inspector-General of Fortiprovision of hutting, which fications, one of the principal after the Boer War was con- heads of the War Office organ. fined 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 goale 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 aotually 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 Counoil. 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 exeoution of these works, in seems to have been forgotten all their variety of speoialised that the conditions of land knowledge, went up by leaps warfare differ from those at and bounds from a small sea. Whatever may have been naoleus of some 6000 to what the intention, it soon became was in itself a vast army of evident that the ohange pro300,000. Moreover, all these duoed ansatisfaotory results. varied needs had to be adapt. It involved a separation beod to the circumstances and tween the administrative conexigenoies of the situations, trol of works in peace and the and not merely & constant combatant duties 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

est their varicent up by small leva intention the obadg.cents.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »