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great deal more. Night after night he said it. Is it not so?" said the duwa, turning to the pawmaing.
"Said it! He said it so often that it became a joke," said the pawmaing, glancing backwards and forwards from the chieftain to Kirkwood.
"I wonder you stood it," said Kirkwood, flicking the ash off his cigar. "I know some Kachins that might have lost their tempers."
"At first we thought it was the liquor. But when he had gone on repeating it until we were tired, some of the young men got angry and wanted to kill him."
"Yes," said Kirkwood drily, "you are often quite in a hurry about that."
"There was one of our young men who had been a soldier in the Kachin Company of your Lordship's army, who restrained them. He said there would be trouble if the German was killed merely just for talking. He said he knew the English laws, and advised that we should get the German te quarrel first. But he also said it would be a better plan if we arrested him, and brought him as a prisoner to your Lordship. And he also declared that we might very likely get a money reward for it when his talking was made known. So after a time we decided that we would seize him. Also, we resolved that if he made violent resistance, we would deal with him as is the custom in such cases. Bat that very night he went off without any warning, and
next day we found that the girl Ja Taung was missing. Then we really were very angry, and all the young men of the village set off with guns and dhas to arrest him. They took two of the best trackers in the village with them, and they followed him till sunset, but they did not come up with him. During the night there was very much wind, and the tracks were lost. We made inquiries everywhere, but it was not for many days that we heard where he had got to. He went straight along the river ridge instead of turning east into China, where he had told us many times that going. Then it was that we began talking about how we were going to have our revenge. The village elders met, and decided that there was a 'debt' against Germany, and there were many of the young men who got bamboo staves for the first time and cut a notch in them, which was not to be smoothed away until Maya, or some other German, had been punished. But we heard no more of him, and there were no Germans that came. In the cold weather of this year, however, we heard that the Germans had raised a band of men, and were attacking the troops of the Royal Government. Then we chose a lucky day for a meeting. We were very careful about it. We consulted the spirits both with bamboo slips over the fire, and with shippa-wot leaves and with the sinews of fowls. At the
meeting we decided that we would join the Royal Government in fighting the Germans, and so would wipe out our debt. But the young man, Lasang, who had been in the Military Police, told us that there was much drill to be done and much exercising with guns, and that no one was allowed to be absent at night, and there was great deal of walking about on flat ground, which is very tiring for hillmen. Therefore we decided that we would supply weapons to kill the Germans with, and that is why I have come. But the soldiers at the fort would not let us pass with them. Therefore I and the pawmaing have come direct to your Lordship, There are eight guns, and there is an old beer-bottle full of powder for each gun. They are not the long thin-barrelled guns that are fired from the cheek, and they are not the new guns that the Shans make in the hills away to the east. They are well-tried, old, trustworthy guns, all of them flintlooks except two, which fire with caps, of which we know your Lordship can procure large supplies, though we find it very difficult to get any at all, because of the Royal Government's regulations. Therefore we have not brought any caps. Besides these, there are two bags of bullets, each of them weighing twelve or twenty pounds. The lead is very good lead, which we have dug ourselves out of a pit which Maya frequently went to look at. It was the
silver in the lead that he wanted, but we hope that one of the round balls will settle our account with him. All these guns, powder, and bullets-we beg that you will accept and make good use of. We should have liked our young men to go with the guns and use them themselves, but Lasang, who was in the Military Police, said it would take them many moons learn the prescribed exercises. But he said it would be well to supply the Royal Government with some one who could point out Maya, so that we might be sure he was killed. It would be best if he were killed with one of our guns, for that would make the best end of the debt, and smooth out all the nicks in the bamboos. So two of the best trackers in the village have come with the party, and we hope that the Royal Government will accept their services. They can follow a trail over any country even in the driest weather, and supposing Maya
killed by some other Government service man, they could, at any rate, identify him, and we should be able to hold a feast in the village when we knew that Maya was done for. It would be a great satisfaction. Therefore we hope your Lordship will issue an order for the passage of the arms past the frontier, and that your Lordship will accept them, and also will enrol the two trackers in the Royal Government forces."
It needed all Kirkwood's experience of the touchiness of the hillmen to listen with
in the quarter-guard, and I will give you a receipt for your warlike supplies. Your men can either bring them in themselves, or they can be brought in by the guard on the first opportunity. Until I have received instructions I cannot definitely promise that you shall have them back, but I have little hesitation in saying that I shall be authorised to assure you that when hostilities with the Germans are over, they will be restored to you with a suitable acknowledgment of your loyalty."
“I am very glad," said the duwa-"and how about the trackers?"
proper gravity to this long tirade, but when the duwa had finished he replied with perfect solemnity: "It is very gratifying to me to find that you are so loyal to the British Government. You are not in the administered territory, and therefore it was not necesary for you to concern yourselves about the war. The Germans are a very powerful people, and there are a great many of them. They have been preparing for this war for a long time. Meier, the German, who came to your village, made no secret about that. They have gathered together great quantities of all kind of arms, and they have tried in all manner of underhand ways to raise trouble for us by the most unseemly intrigues and lies. It is very gratifying to me personally that you should be prepared to join in fighting them. Fortunately it is not at all likely that the Germans will ever be able to create trouble in this province. Therefore we shall not need the recruits which you have so promptly offered us from your territory. Fortunately, too, the Government is well supplied with arms and ammunition. Neverthe-out doubt very skilled, but less, it is always well not to be too confident, and I shall therefore advise the Local Government to accept your offer of arms. They will oertainly not be wanted immediately, but in anticipation of the sanotion which I have no doubt I shall receive, I will issue an order for the passage of your eight guns. They will be brought in here and stored
Kirkwood bent over his desk as if he were writing out the order. "I am not prepared to say what we shall do about the trackers. The Germans are very numerous. There will be no difficulty in finding them. They have more men in their armies than there are people in the whole of Burma. Meier has very likely been called out to fight. But it is also quite likely that he is no good at fighting, and that he has been employed in more sneaking spy-work somewhere else. Your trackers are with
they might spend the rest of their lives in strange countries trying to find him. I think you had better take them back to your village. But I will make a note of their names and report them to Government. Later, if opportunity offers, they might be accepted.
"It shall be as your Lordship orders. One of the trackers is Makam, the man
who accompanied your Lordship when you went to kill the tiger that carried off one of our buffaloes."
"Makam, I remember Makam very well. He is a splendid man at that sort of work. But there is a difference between following the track of a tiger in the desert jungle and trying to find the trail of a man in the wide wide world among many thousands of other men."
"It was Makam who followed the footprints of Maya for many miles, when we pursued him from the village," said the duwa half reproachfully, half in resentment. "He is already acquainted with the boot-markings of Maya."
"Yes, but Meier is evidently a very ounning man. He has no doubt made haste to get himself another pair of boots."
"It may be so, but we have our debt to pay. We also hate the Germans. Still, it shall be as your Lordship wishes. But the guns you will take and the powder?"
"Certainly. They shall be carefully looked after. Will your party bring them in, or shall they be handed over to the guard?"
The duwa hesitated. "I should like to bring them here, but there is the difficulty about food, It is different from what it used to be in the old days. Then we took food wherever we wanted it. Even now I am afraid my men have not much to eat. Moreover there is the toilsome flat road. It is so level that it exhausted even me. Some of my men
have had no experience over such roads, and moreover it is very hot. They would probably drink a great deal and make a noise. Your Lordship
does not like noise, I know. When we had the spirit feast in the village, you said you could not sleep. That was on the third night, so you had had time to consider the matter."
"Yes, I said nothing on the other two nights, did I? and I did not know how many more nights were coming. However-well, here's your order. They will stamp it with the office seal ontside. You are to hand over eight guns, eight [reputed] quart bottles full of gunpowder, and two bags of bullets-that's right, isn't it? And the guard will give you a receipt for them."
"But they will not be kept at the Fort," said the duwa. "They will be used against the Germans. Three generations have used these guns.
"Oh, they will certainly be brought here, and if any Germans come we'll ask you to come down here to fight for us. That would be a pleasure to you, wouldn't it?"
"Yes, if only we could get Maya."
And that is how it comes that there is a rack of very interesting old guns at the quarter guard in Mathibu. The Kachins had never heard how the Boches treated the Hereros, but they had an idea, from their experience of Herr Meier, that it was best to thin them out.
J. GEORGE SCOTT.
"I've no instructions about them at all so far," said the Assistant District Commissioner, "though code messages have been coming through all day."
It was the early evening of the 5th August 1914. At 8.30 A.M. a copy of the ourt official telegram announcing that war had broken out between England and Germany had been posted on the Court House door of the little coast town of Takoradi. I suppose that all of us-Evans, the small A.D.C., who looked years younger than his age, Brown of the Bank, and myselfafter the shook of such staggering news had a little worn off, were beginning to think what it meant to us personally.
"I had a long telegram this afternoon all about your job, Brown," continued the local Pooh Bah; "and as that oenfounded code-book hasn't been brought up to date, I had to wire about one word, 'moratorium,' which seemed to be the key to the thing, and try not to give myself away. It's nothing to do with the Mission, at any rate."
"What do you think they will do?" asked Brown.
"Why, nothing. What can they do, out off in an out-ofthe-way station like this? What can any of us do, for that matter, except sit tight at the end of a telegraph wire and await instructions?"
We three were all pretty tired as we sat on Pooh Bah's verandah. It seemed so restful, looking out over the lagoon and beyond to where the fetish hill Mankwadi gradually faded in the evening glow. Lights began to show in the little town below the bungalow, and the last of the sea breeze bore faintly to us the song of the boat-boys working overtime to land cargo from a coasting steamer in the roadstead.
The Mission to which reference had been made was an alien concern ostensibly neutral, which combined missionary zeal in the "bush" with profitable trading activity at the port.
To us, sipping our drinks, entered noiselessly Kofi, Pooh Bah's steward.
"The Superintendent want you, sar.'
"Where he live, Kofi?" asked Evans, uncurling himself from a deck-chair.
"He lib for back verandah, massa."
"I'll just step out for a minute and вее what he wants. Those people up at Ogwan are a bit excited over their stool palaver, and we don't want a riot on our