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undisturbed, except for the few moments during which they were measured. To a second bucket of rice, offered before they left, they failed to do proper justice, but took what remained ashore, where the women probably had their share.
We ran across the strait under canvas, before a light breeze, and the sail was a source of huge amusement to all but the youngest of the party, who was intermittently busied in returning to daylight all the food he had previously consumed.
Following what seems a wide-spread custom, the ladies ashore, had, to some extent, got themselves up for the reception of visitors. Although the previous dress—a small bunch of grass slung from the waist by a cord-fulfilled all requirements, they were now further decorated with an almost complete coating of ochreous clay, through which black eyes, nose, and lips showed below a bald pate with ludicrous effect. The babies, too, had been glorified in the same manner, and we felt quite bashful and shabby in our old pyjamas.
So absurdly comical did they appear, that it was only by much perseverance I was able to photograph them again, for whenever I attempted to adjust the focus, the picture on the screen gave rise to such fits of laughter that the camera was in danger of being upset. Even the boat's crew, unemotional Malays as they were, lay about, doubled up in paroxysms of laughter, which, increased by the looks of wonder and the ingenuous smiles with which my subjects persisted in regarding us, continued until the point of sheer exhaustion was reached. The old lady of the party and myself became great friends, and when on our departure I presented her with my handkerchief (all that I then had left) as a souvenir of our visit - as I gravely tied it about her head, I am sure we made an impressive picture.
The huts, or cháng, were four in number, and stood side by side just within the jungle, with the fronts facing inland. On a sloping framework of thin branches, raised about 4 feet at the upper edge, and covering a piece of ground 6 feet square, BOWS AND ARROWS
33 were laid sufficient palm leaves to make a rain-proof shelter. The front and sides were left completely unprotected, the earth below was covered with more palm leaves, and a small fire was burning on the ground below an upper corner of each roof.
The only food they appeared to be supplied with was obtained from the large trees beneath which the camp stooda small round fruit with a green skin, and a pleasantly-flavoured pulpy flesh; a large quantity of dark-coloured beeswax was lying about, so honey was probably plentiful and easily obtained
By signs, we gave the men to understand that we wished to purchase bows and arrows, and while these were being produced from some hiding - place in the jungle, whither the natives requested us not to accompany them, the women and children regaled themselves with a parcel of sugar which had been brought for their special benefit.
We eagerly bought up all visible belongings that could be carried off. Among these were small pots made from the joints of the giant bamboo, conical baskets of rattan fibre, and large buckets carved from solid wood, any cracks being sewn up with rattan and luted with wax; all these were furnished with slings for ease in carrying.
The bows were not of the kind regarded as typical of the Andamanese, but are fashioned in the style to which we are accustomed at home, with this peculiarity—that instead of the rounded side or “belly” being nearest the string, it is away from the archer when the weapon is held ready for use. They are about 5 feet long, and of a material resembling rosewood; the tips are cut away, so as to leave a shoulder for the string to rest on, and below these points the bow is whipped for an inch with fine cord. The string is of twisted fibre, with a loop at either end, made by taking a half - hitch and then twisting in the loose end for a short distance.
Arrows have the shaft of bamboo, to which is attached a long point of hard wood, and the joint is whipped. Some of the arrows used for fishing are triple - headed. A fairly deep notch is made to receive the bowstring, and the butt of the arrow is tightly scored transversely, with the idea of affording a better grip. The lengths varied from 45 to 66 inches.
While being strung, the bow is held almost vertically, with one end resting on the ground. A foot is then placed on the centre, and the upper end drawn towards the operator until the loop can be slipped over it.
The pull used may be anything between 50 and 60 lbs., and though in the jungle, with their silent step and quality of remaining unseen, the Andamanese are dangerous as enemies, in the open they would be less formidable, for it is doubtful whether their arrows will carry more than a hundred yards, and certainly their shooting, as we ourselves saw, possessed little accuracy at more than a quarter of that distance.
In return for the various articles obtained, we gave an axe, a parang, a file, a number of long French nails, and a quantity of red cotton, with which things they seemed very satisfied; and we left behind, as a parting gift, a good supply of rice and leaf tobacco.
The dress of the women I have already described : their heads were bald, entirely shaved of hair. The men were only partially cropped, and what hair was left was short, and had much the appearance of a small skull-cap. Those who were ornamented with clay had applied it in long stripes down arms and body, and across the face, while for further decoration some wore a cord about the waist, or armlets of fibre tightly fastened round the biceps.
We found the shores of South Andaman a splendid locality for collecting. One morning in particular I remember. On landing we saw all about the beach the tracks of numerous pigs that had come down in the night to obtain a meal of the trepang, crabs, and molluscs left exposed by the ebb tide; and I had not been five minutes ashore before I knocked over an equal number of beautiful parrots (P. faciatus), a species we found everywhere very common throughout the Andamans.
A little group of coco palms, in a corner of the bay, marks a spring from which we obtained good water, and adjacent stood a small leafless tree, whose branches, however, bore quantities of a brilliant red blossom (Ixora, sp. ?). To this came birds in such numbers that I remained beneath it all the morning Here I obtained our first specimens of the Andaman sun-bird, a tiny thing with olive back, blue throat, and yellow breast, and also one of the most beautiful of kingfishers (Halcyon saturatior), a glorious combination of bright chestnut, white, and vivid blues that one could never tire of admiring. Common was the little crested bulbul, clothed in black and white, with crimson ear-coverts, and equally so the brilliant-plumaged oriole, while the sleek-looking Andaman myna, soberly feathered in black and white, occurred in no small numbers. Indeed, birds came and went so quickly, that I was often hard put to it to select the proper cartridge, and frequently three or four specimens at a time lay waiting to be stowed away in the game
Time and place combined to make a naturalist's paradise, and I did not desist from collecting until my stock of wool, paper, and ammunition were exhausted. It must not be thought, however, that such an experience is in any way common, for it is seldom that the work is so easy or the harvest so large.
Amongst the birds obtained on South Andaman was a pigeon that has since proved to be new (Osmotreron, sp. nov.); while, as far as mammals were concerned, rats of two speciesone hitherto unrecorded, Mus taciturnus, sp. nov., and M. andamanensis — were fairly common; and we were fortunate in obtaining a palm-civet, of the species peculiar to the islands, which for several nights had been committing depredations along the line of traps; and also a single example of a new shrew (Crocidura andamanensis).
THE CINQUES AND LITTLE ANDAMAN
Position of the Cinques — Anchorage — Clear Water — The Forest — Beach
Formation-Native Hut—Little Andaman—Bumila Creek-Natives—Flies - Personal Decoration--Dress and Modesty-Coats of Mud-CoiffureAbsence of Scarification-Elephantiasis-A Visit to the Village-Peculiar Huts—Canoe-Bows and Arrows—The Return Journey-A Slight contretemps-Andamanese Pig-We leave the Andamans.
THE channel that separates Rutland Island from Little Andaman is about 28 miles wide, and is everywhere less than 50 fathoms in depth. Several small wooded islets rise above its shallow waters, leaving in the centre, however, a clear stretch of sea — the Duncan Passage — which is sometimes traversed by ships passing through the Archipelago.
At the northernmost group of these islets, the Cinques, we spent a day, before visiting the coast of Little Andaman. The two islands, which are narrow and hilly, stretch for about 6 miles in an almost N. and S. direction, and are almost joined by a reef of rocks awash at high tide; they are only 3 miles distant from the south-east end of Rutland Island, and 9 miles from Macpherson Strait. We anchored between the islands, in a little bay in the shore of the northernmost, with the reef of rocks to the eastward.
Here, as in all such islands where there are no streams or mangrove swamps, the water was excessively clear-o clear that we could perceive fish swimming amongst the coral, and the anchor lying on the bottom 10 fathoms below.
The forest on the southern and western shores presents a