But he was a true disciple of Gautama, for he sauntered in, a few moments later, in company with five men in high-caste costumes.
“Any of you chaps speak English?” I cried.
The newcomers gave no sign of having understood. One, more showily dressed than his companions, sat down on a heap of rattan. The others grouped themselves about him, and a new conference began. The rain ceased. The lizards shrieked sardonically. James 佛山桑拿按摩女服务 fell into a doze, humped together on his oil can.
Suddenly I caught, above the chatter, the word “babu.”
405“Look here,” I interrupted, “If there’s a babu here he speaks English. Who is he?”
The only reply was a sudden silence that did not last long.
“Babu,” cried the shopkeeper, some moments later. This time there could be no doubt that he had addressed the silent Beau Brummel on the rattan heap.
“You speak English!” I charged, pointing an accusing finger at him. “Tell them we want something to eat.”
The fellow stared stolidly. If the title belonged to him he was anxious to conceal his accomplishments.
“It’s some damn sneak,” burst out James, “come here to eavesdrop.”
Four days in the jungle had weakened the Australian’s command over his temper. Or was his speech a ruse? If so, it succeeded in its object. A flush mounted 佛山夜生活网 to the swarthy cheek of the native; he opened and closed his mouth several times as if he had received a heavy blow in the ribs, and spoke, slowly and distinctly:—
“I am not damn snake. I have been listening.”
“Of course!” bellowed James, “I repeat, you are a sneak.”
“Don’t!” shuddered the babu, “Don’t name me damn snake. If they know you talk me so I fall in my caste.”
“Well, why didn’t you answer when I spoke to you?” I demanded.
“I was listening to find out what you were wishing,” stammered the Burman.
“You half-baked Hindu!” shouted James. “You heard us say a dozen times we wanted something to eat.”
“But,” pleaded the babu, “this is a very jungly place and we have not proper food for Europeans.”
“Proper be blowed!” shrieked the Australian. “Who’s talking about European food? If there’s anything to eat around here 佛山桑拿按摩全套qq trot it out. If we haven’t got money we can pay for it. Here’s a good suit of clothes—” he caught up the knapsack and tumbled his “swag” out on the floor.
“There’s only native food,” objected the Burman. “White men cannot—”
“What you can eat, so can we,” I cried. “Take the suit and bring us something.”
“Oh! We cannot take payment,” protested the babu.
“Jumping Hottentots!” screamed James. “Take pay or don’t, but stop your yapping and tell them we want something to eat.”
406“I shall have prepared some food which Europeans can eat,” murmured the native in an oily voice. He harangued the group long and deliberately. An undressed female rose, hobbled to a corner of the room, lighted a fire of fagots, and squatted beside it. Though it was certainly midnight, we gave up all hope of expediting matters, and waited with set teeth. 佛山桑拿论坛888 For a half-hour not a word was spoken. Then the female rose and strolled towards us, holding out—four slices of toast!
“If I’d known there was bread in this shack,” cried James, as we snatched the slices, “there’d have been damn little toasting.”
“I have worked for Europeans,” said the babu proudly, yet with a touch of sadness in his voice, “and I know they cannot eat the native bread, so I have it prepared as sahibs eat it.”
“We’ve been eating native bread for months,” mumbled James, “days anyway. You’re a bit crazy, I think. Got any rice?”
“There is rice and fish,” said the Burman, “but can you eat that too?”
“Just watch us,” said James.
The female brought a native supper, and we fell to.
“How wonderful!” murmured the babu, “And you are sahibs!”
When we acknowledged ourselves satisfied, two blankets were spread for us on the floor, the chattering visitors filed out into the night, and we stretched out side by side to listen a few hours to the croaking of irrepressible lizards.
The following noonday found us miles distant. It was our second day without a copper; yet the natives received us as kindly as if we had been men of means. The 佛山桑拿全套按摩论坛 proximity of Moulmein, where sahib muscular effort might be turned to account, filled us with new hope and we splashed doggedly on.
Villages there were without number. Their tapering pagodas dominated the landscape. On the east stretched the rugged mountain chain, so near now that we could make out plainly the little shrines far up on the summit of each conspicuous peak. Tropical showers burst upon us at frequent intervals, wild deluges of water from which we occasionally found shelter under
long-legged hovels. Even when we scrambled up the bamboo ladders into the dwellings, the squatting family showed no resentment at the intrusion; often they gave us fruit, once they forced upon us two native cigars. It was these that made James forever after a stout champion of the Burmese; for two days had passed since we had shared our 广东佛山桑拿体验报告 last smoke.
407Queer things are these Burmese cigars! They call them “saybullies,” and they smoke them in installments; for no man lives with the endurance necessary to consume a saybully at one sitting. They are a foot long, as thick as the thumb of a windjammer’s bo’s’n, rather cigarettes than cigars; for they are wrapped in a thick, leathery paper that almost defies destruction, even by fire. In the country districts they serve as almanacs. The peasant buys his cigar on market
day, puffs fiercely at it on the journey home, stows it away about his person when he is satisfied, and pulls it out from time to time to smoke again. As a result, one can easily determine the day of the week by noting the length of the saybullies one encounters along the route.
To determine the ingredients that make up this Burmese concoction is not 佛山夜生活luntan so simple a matter. Now and then, in the smoking, one comes across pebbles and fagots and a variety of foreign substances which even a manufacturer of “two-fers” would hesitate to use. But the comparison is unjust, for the saybully does contain tobacco, little wads of it, tucked away among the rubbish.
Men, women, and children indulge in this form of the soothing weed. As in Ceylon, the females, and often the males, wear heavy leaden washers in their ears until the
aperture is stretched to the size of a rat hole. It is a wise custom. For, having no pockets, where could the Burmese matron find place for her half-smoked saybully were she denied the privilege of thrusting it through the lobe of her ear?
Dusk was falling when we overtook a fellow pedestrian; a Eurasian youth provided with an umbrella and attended by a native servant 佛山桑拿红场 boy. When he had gasped his astonishment at meeting two bedraggled sahibs in this strange corner of the world and volunteered a detailed autobiography, I found time to put a question over which I had been pondering for some days.
“As your mother is Burmese,” I began, while we splashed on into the night, “you speak that language, of course?”
“Oh! yes,” answered the Eurasian, “even better than English.”