Experiences of a Demerara magistrate, 1863-1869

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Title:
Experiences of a Demerara magistrate, 1863-1869
Series Title:
The "Daily Chronicle's" Guiana edition of reprints and original works dealing with all phases of life in British Guiana
Physical Description:
iii, 148, xiii p. : ill., port. ; 21 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Des Vœux, Sir George William, 1834-1909
Publisher:
Daily Chronicle
Place of Publication:
Georgetown, British Guiana

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Subjects / Keywords:
Labor and laboring classes -- Guyana   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Guyana   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )
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Guyana

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General Note:
"Comprises the first nine chapters of the author's ... 'My colonial service," published 1903."
Statement of Responsibility:
With an appendix comprising the authorʹs letter to the Secretary of State for the Colonies on the subject of the treatment of East Indian immigrants on sugar estates. With a foreword and edited by Vincent Roth.

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University of Florida
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ocm26620315
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EXPERIENCES
OF
A DEMERARA MAGISTRATE


SSir G. WILLIAM DES VOEUX
.>'-.'- 1865-1870











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The "Daily Chronicle's"

GUIANA EDITION
OF REPRINTS AND ORIGINAL WORKS DEALING
WITH ALL PHASES OF LIFE IN BRITISH
GUIANA.
EDITED BY VINCENT ROTH.
PUBLISHED :
No 1.-"A VOYAGE TO THE DEMERARY." with an account
of the Settlements there and on the Berbice and
Essequibo by Henry Bolinrbroke 1799-1806
Price : $10.0
No. 2.-"TRAVELS IN SOUTH AMERICA," mainly between
the Berbice and Essequibo Rivers, and in Surinam-
by Adriaan Van Berkel-1670-1686---Translated from
the Dutch by Walter E. Roth-1925. 'Price : $150.
No. 3.-"NOTES ON ANIMAL LIFE IN BRITISH GUIANA,"
a Popular Guide to Colonial Mammalia- By Vincent
Roth-1941. Price : $1.50.
No. 4.-"HINTS ON AGRICULTURE IN BRITISH GUIANA,"
a text-book for the use of the small farmer-by J.
Edgar Beckett, F.L.S..-1905. Price : $1.50.
No. 5.-"LETTERS FROM GUIANA," a detailed account of
Colonial life of the period--by Dr. George Pinckard,
1796-1797. Price : t2 3i.
No. 6.-"THE DEMERARA MARTYR" Meonoirs of the Rev,
John Smith, by Edwin A. Wallbridge-184S. Price: $2.40
No. 7.--OLD TIME STORY," Some old Guianese yarns
respun by "Pugagee Puncuss"-1937-1938. Price : $1.44
No. 8.-"NOTES ON FISH LIFE IN BRITISH GUIANA," A
Popular Guide to the Colonial Fishes, by Vincent
Roth-1943. Price : $2.40.
No. 9.--"ASOLDIER'S SOJOURN IN BRITISH GUIANA,"-
by Thomas Staunton St. Clair, 1806--1809. Price:
$2.40.
No. 10.-"CENTENARY HISTORY OF THE EAST INDIANS IN
BRITISH GUIANA," 1838-1938, by Peter Ruhomon
Price : $3.60.
No. 11.-"EXPERIENCES OF A DEMERARA MAGISTRATE,"
-by Sir G. William Des Voeux, G.C.M.G.-1863-
1869-Price $2.40.
IN PREPARATION :
No. 12-"TWENTY-FIVIE YEARS IN BRITISH GUIANA"
by Henry Kirke-1872-1897.

THE "DAILY CHRONICLE," LTD.
GTEORGETOWwN-BRITISH GUIANA.
1948,










*THE GUIANA EDITION-No. 11.



EXPERIENCES OF1 A DEMERARA

MAGISTRATE

1863-1869

BY

SIR G. WILLIAM DES VOEUX, c.C.M.G.



WITH AN APPENDIX COMPRISING

THE AUTHOR'S LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE
FOR THE COLONIES ON THE SUBJECT OF THE TREATMENT
OF EAST INDIAN IMMIGRANTS ON SUGAR ESTATES





With a Foreword and Edited

BY

VINCENT ROTH


FOR

THE DAILY CHRONICLE LTD.
Printers & Publishers, Bcokbinders, Stationers,
Block Makers, Colour Printers
GEORGETOWN, DEMERARA,
BRITISH GUIANA.
1948




?7Y, /









EDITOR'S FOREWORD.



To most British Guianese, those of the past genera-
tion at any rate, the name of Des Voeux, is and was
synonymous with the Royal Commission appointed, as a
result of his letter to the Secretary of State to the Colonies,
to enquire into the operation of indentured immigration
as practised in this country up to 1870. Even up to the
present day one occasionally hears this commission
referred to as "The Des Voeux Commission". To such a
degree was this connection regarded that few people
realized that the greater part of Sir G. William (then Mr.)
Des Voeux's time in this Colony was spent in the interior,
as Stipendiary Magistrate of the Upper Demerara River
District.

The eighth of nine children of the Reverend Henry
Des Voeux, one time Rector of Stapenhill and younger, son
of the first baronet of that name, George William was born
in 1834 at Baden-Baden and was, through both parents, of
Huguenot descent. The first five years of his life were
spent travelling on the continent with his father who, in
1839, returned to England. Educated at Charterhouse
School and Balliol College, Oxford, his father insisted that
he should "take orders" or seek a livelihood in the Colo-
nies. He chose the latter and, in 1856, went to Canada
where he entered as a law student at Osgood Hall, Toronto.
- Subsequently he procured admission to Toronto University
Where he obtained his B.A. degree. Called to the Cana-
dian Bar in 1861 he began the practice of law in partner-
ship with the man who subsequently became the Right
Hon. Sir Samuel Strong, Chief Justice of Canada.

Not finding the legal life agreeable, he applied,
through influential friends, to the Duke of Newcastle,
Secretary of State for the Colonies, for a colonial appoint-






FOREWORD.


ment and, in 1863, was appointed to a Stipendiary Magis-
tracy in British Guiana. His years in his remote interior
district were happy ones and it was not until he was
moved to the sugar-planting districts on the coast that
life became intolerable through the enmity of the planters
which he incurred through his alleged partizanship with
the "under dogs". His application for a transfer to
another colony was successful and in 1869 he was appointed
Administrator and Colonial Secretary of St. Lucia.

It was just after his assumption of these new duties
that trouble broke out among the Indian immigrants in
Demerara and Des Voeux considered it an obligatory duty
to acquaint Lord Granville, the then Secretary of State,
with the facts as he knew them. His connection with the
Colony came to an end with his evidence before the Royal
Commission that was appointed as a result of his communi-
cation.

In 1880 he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas,
and, the same year, Governor of Fiji and High Commis-
sioner, Western Pacific. In 1886 he was appointed
Governor of Newfoundland and, the following year, of
Hong Kong, whence he retired from the service in 1891.
He was created a G.C.M.G. in 1893 and died on 15th Decem-
ber 1909.

This volume, which comprises the first nine chapters
of the author's two-volume book, 'My Colonial Service,"
published 1903 by John Murray, Albermarle Street, Lon-
don, contains the account of his experiences in British
Guiana. Such account, by itself, would be incomplete
without the author's letter to Lord Granville which precipi-
tated, the famous Commission, the circumstances surround-
ing the inception, writing and despatch of which letter, he
describes in detail, this very enlightening document,
extracted from the files of The Colonist, has been inserted
in the form of an appendix which, it is believed, will add
not a little to the historical value of this publication.






FOREWORD. iii

With the exception of the picture of the big tree
glowing on the upper Demerara, which the Author men-
tions as having been given by him to Charles Kingsley who
published it in his book on Trinidad, "At Last", the
illustrations are taken from "My Colonial Service" men-
tioned above.

VINCENT ROTH.


Georgetown.
1948.

























r.
















































The Author













CHAPTER ONE.


Voyage to Guiana in H.M.S. "Nile" Curious custom -
Bermuda and blockade runners-Arrival in George-
town, British Guiana-Appointed Magistrate of Upper
Demerara River district Guiana travelling boats -
Negro boathands and their songs Description of
River,-Hyde Park Police Stationl-Extraordinary
effect of damp-Trial of cases Great rainfall -
Timber punts Berlin Police Station-Dalgin Court
House-Attack of yellow fever there, and experiences
connected with it-Bishop Austin Christianburg -
Extraordinary snoring.

In October, 1863, I left Canada to take up my appoint-
ment as stipendiary magistrate in British Guiana.
Embarking at Boston on a homeward-bound Cunard
steamer, which carried me to Halifax, Nova Scotia, it was
my intention to take passage there in one of the mail
packets which then ran from that port to St. Thomas via
Bermuda. But having boarded the Alpha to see the deck
cabin assigned to me, I found that the pleasures of a sea
voyage on a small, narrow vessel, certain to roll heavily
in any case, were to be enhanced by a deck-load of cattle
tied up in such a manner so that their tails were within
a few feet of the cabin doors.* A prospect so agreeable
was not, however, to be realized; for visiting a friend on
board H.M.S. Nile, the flagship of the station, then on the
point of sailing, I became introduced to the Admiral, Sir
Alexander Milne who, on hearing my destination, most
kindly offered me a passage.

The Nile, her commission nearly expired, was leaving
the port for the last time, a circumstance which afforded
me the opportunity of witnessing a curious custom, now

* The Civil War in America being in progress, Bermuda obtained
its supplies of beef from Halifax, the regular line of passenger
steamers being devoted to its transport.-G.W, Des V.







LIFE ON H.M.S. "NILE."


probably fallen into disuse. A bluejacket stood on the
truck of each mast, and whirling a barn-door cock round
his head threw it into the water, the boats of the other
war vessels in the harbour racing to pick up the birds as
they fell. This proceeding symbolised, I was told, retire-
ment from the supremacy of the station.

The popularity of the flagship was pleasantly attested
at Halifax as we steamed down the harbour by the firing
of guns, the waving of flags,. and the plaudits of dense
crowds.

During the first half of the voyage, or until we
reached Bermuda, I spent the greater part of my time in
the cockpit, where the first lieutenant, Mr. Phillips, gener-
ously gave up to me his cabin. For I was always more or
less ill, and found from various experiments that going
on deck or into the wardroom only made matters worse,
besides bringing my sorrows into public view. I thus saw
more of the inner life of a man-of-war than I ever have
since, though of the 170,000 miles which I have compassed
in ocean voyages, over 6,000 miles have been made in
H.M.'s ships. For, as on every subsequent occasion, I was
carried officially, and was usually affected with the same
weakness, I saw little beyond the quarter-deck and the cap-
tain's quarters. On this, my first voyage in a warship, I,
as a landsman, had vividly conveyed to me, as no written
description could do, what an extraordinary variety of life
is compressed into so small a space. One practice I may
mention which I have never seen referred to elsewhere.
At four o'clock every morning the midshipmen and naval
cadets, whose hammocks were slung close by my cabin, were
aroused by the boatswain's cry of "Show your legs, show
your legs," .reiterated as he paced the deck. Each youth
thus addressed was expected to put up one of his "nether
extremities" to prove that he was awake and ready for
the watch. While I knew that to get up under such cir-
cumstances was part of the happy life of a sailor, a very
rough and cold voyage made me specially commiserate the
small boys who were obliged to face a freezing north-
easter in the dark hours of the early morning.







BERMUDA.


Of our fortnight's stay in Bermuda, I spent a week
with a cousin, Captain Charles Milligan, whom. I unex-
pectedly found in barracks at St. George's, and who, after
some years of service on the staff, had just rejoined his
regiment.
In the harbour of St. George's there lay at the time a
number of vessels employed in running the blockade of the
Confederate ports. These were long, low, narrow steamers,
and to my surprise all of them painted white-a colour
which I had previously thought the most conspicuous of all,
and therefore the least likely to avert the disagreeable
attentions of the Union cruisers. The stir and bustle
caused by these ships served somewhat to arouse the
inhabitants from their normal lassitude,, so different from
that tireless energy I had recently witnessed in the United
States and Canada. But the presence of the crews did not
add to the amenities of life, for they spent their enormous
pay in continual "drinks", and might be seen day and
night perambulating the streets with women of all shades
of colour, and loudly vociferating in amatory dialogue or
drunken squabbles.
At Bermuda Lady Milne left the ship, having so far
accompanied her husband, and the Admiral, having thus
at his disposal one of his cabins on the poop, very kindly
offered it to me. The better air, though of course more
agreeable, scarcely improved my condition, which Sir
Alexander playfully attempted to alleviate one morning
by the tempting offer of a piece of very fat pork, pretend-
ing much concern that I respectfully declined to accept
what he represented as a sovereign remedy.
At St. Thomas I heard that a mail steamer would
shortly depart for Georgetown, and so felt sorrowfully
compelled to quit my friends in the Nile, from whom I
had received so much kindness. I regretted afterwards
that I had been so precipitate, for, owing to delay at St.
Thomas, on reaching Barbados I found the Nile already
there in the roadstead. A very small cabin in the extreme
bow of the Derwent compared unfavourably in all respects
with my comfortable quarters on H.M.'s ship,








GUIANESE TENT-BOATS.


I arrived at Georgetown, British Guiana, a few days
before Christmas. The Governor, Mr. A.,* at once
appointed me to the charge of the Upper Demerara River
District (one of the nine or ten into which the colony was
divided), the office of Stipendiary Magistrate being in
this case combined with that of Superintendent of Rivers
and Creeks. The scene of my future work extended, I
found, to southward from a point on the river about ten
miles from Georgetown, without other definite limit. As
my duties nominally included the protection of the Indian
tribes of the interior, my jurisdiction might be held to
extend to the borders of Brazil, though in practice pre-
vious magistrates had never gone beyond, and rarely so
far as the Great Falls of the Demerara, which by the
windings of the river are about 250 miles from the sea.t
There being no suitable house in the district, the magis-
trate was compelled to have his headquarters in town. I
provided myself in this respect, and at once set about
procuring a boat, as my travelling could be done only by
water.
As I was destined to spend a large proportion of the
next four years in them, it may be as well to give here
a short description of the boats used for travelling in
Guiana by Europeans and the upper class of coloured
people. Constructed usually of silverballi (one of the
few woods of the country at once hard, durable, and light),
they have four to six oars, and are undecked, a space of
from seven to eight feet towards the stern being covered
by a "tent" of wood. Side awnings protect from sun
and rain, while for sleeping removable planks are fitted
level with the seats, under which are the lockers for stores.
Behind the tent a length of about three feet is uncovered
in which sits the "cox". In his absence the boat can be
steered from the tent. The rowers were usually negroes
or "coloured men," who, when they got away from town
and drink, showed marvellous endurance. I have known
them of their own accord labour steadily at the oars for
*-The Governor of British Guiana at this time was Francis
Hincks Esq., afterwards Sir Francis Hincks-Editor.
t-Actually they are little more than 166 miles up the river,
measuring along the windings of the stream.-Editor.







BOATHANDS' SONGS.


sixteen to eighteen hours, with scarcely any intermission,
when they had any special desire to reach their destination
quickly; At first when they began to tire I used to give them
spirit, but I soon found by experience that this was worse
than useless. It put some additional life into the stroke for
a short time, but always caused a very quick collapse after-
wards. At night the pace was increased when they sang
in chorus. The songs, usually led by a Barbadian negro,
were much of a kind described in Marryat's Peter Simple,
remarkable neither for sense nor tune.* Only one of these
songs, as far as I remember, had in it anything approach-
ing to melody. That was the Union battle-song of "John
Brown", with the refrain of "Glory, hallelujah, as we go
marching on." And even that, reiterated many times,
became, to say the least, monotonous; especially during
the night hours when sleep in view of the next day's work
was desirable. But however wanting in other respects,
this singing was always in good time and no doubt light
ened the labour, as it seemed absolutely essential to good
going; so that whenever there was necessity for expedition
I never put an end to it.
A row of about twenty-five miles, or about five hours
with the tide, would bring the boat to the first police-
station of the district, situate at a village called, for some

*-The chorus of one of them, which I took down in writing and
happen to have preserved, ran as follows:-
"He hiha, bow wow woW, the days of the petticoats are
coming,
Never mind the weather, but get over double trouble;
Then we're bound for the happy land of Canaan."
The verses of which there are many, preceding this chorus
were equally nonsensical. For instande:--
"Tom Sayers and Heenan, they made a night to brag,
They swear'd they'd beat 1ll creation;
But the little Malitia Boy did tap him on the nose,
And knocked him in the happy land of Canaan."

This was, of course, a reference to the celebrated prize fight
which had recently taken place in England, "Malitia" being
evidently intended for 'Benicia", and the singers quite
innocent of the fact that the "Benicia Boy" was Heenan
himself-G.W. Des V.







FEATURES OF LOWER DEMERARA.


occult reason, Hyde Park.* For some eight or nine miles
from town the chimneys of sugar plantations appeared,
rising above the mangroves on both banks of the river,
which is here from three quarters of a mile to a mile wide.
After that the banks, still almost level with the water,
were lined with low, second-growth trees, broken only here
and there by the entrance to a "creek" (the local term for
the smaller rivers of the country) or by a few coco palms,
which indicated the existence in the present or the past of
some negro's house behind them, though this was rarely
to be seen from outside.

In front of the forest were even more continuous
lines of moka-moka, a tall arum with bare stalks, six to
twelve feet high, and several inches in diameter at the
base, and bearing here and there a large yellow-white
flower, but this never in sufficient quantity to relieve
sensibly the prevailing green of the vegetation. These
lines of moka-moka are a characteristic of all the larger
rivers of Guiana, and extend in the Demerara up to the
first fall, or about a hundred and fifty miles from the town
-the extreme limit of tidal influenced The plant
becomes gradually smaller with distance from the sea, in the
interior being only about four to five feet high, and with
proportionately thinner stalks. Another feature of this
lower portion of the river is the great number of wading
birds (mostly white, with an occasional pink or brown one)
standing in the mud and shallow water near the bank.
But after some fifteen miles have been passed, except in
the early morning or late evening, when parrots of many
kinds flew across, signs of all animal life become few.
Here, also, the trees on the banks become higher and
present the first sight of virgin forest.

At Hyde Park police-station I usually stayed the night
after leaving town. This consisted of a one-storied
shingled wooden house containing four or five rooms, one

*-Hyde Park was the name of the old plantation on which the
village subsequently was built.-Editor.
t-Malali Falls, one hundred and five miles up the river.-
Editor.







HYDE PARK STATION.


of them used and fitted as a court-room, having in front
a sellingng, or jetty on piles, stretching out into the turbid
stream, here about four hundred yards wide. Though a
few cottages, constituting the village, were in the imme-
diate neighbourhood, all of them were hidden by dense
foliage, and as no human sound, save from occasional
boats passing, reached the house from outside, the impres-
sion was one of primeval solitude. Only in the room occu-
pied by the black police-sergeant was there furniture of
any kind, and here, as everywhere else on the river, except
at Christianburg (to be mentioned later), I slept in a
hammock.* According to the advice of old hands, mine
was of soft cotton made by the Indians of the interior, and
was wide enough to enable the sleeper to lie at will either
diagonally or completely cross-wise as well as lengthwise,
or to be folded over him for warmth. As a safeguard from
insects and, in the forests, from snakes, I had a mosquito
net made with arms to cover the ends, and looking in shape
like a huge skirt falling to the ground.

On waking in the morning after my first night at
Hyde Park, I was astonished to see that my boots, which
when taken off were black, had become, during the night,
of an equally uniform white, as if from a fall of snow.
They were, in fact, completely covered by a growth of
fungus-an effect of the extreme dampness of the night air
which is observable throughout the interior of Guiana,
though not often to the same extent. I may mention with
regard to this damp that it sometimes imparts a sensation
of extreme chilliness even when the thermometer is in the
neighbourhood of 800 Fahrenheit.

On the morning after the magistrate's arrival he
usually held his court, the summonses for which had been
issued and served by the police or special constables before

*-Except for the addition of separate police quarters in the rear
of the building, Hyde Park police-station remained much as
the Author describes it up to the period I knew it, 1909-1916.
Now, 1948, the scene is very different, the old station being
included in the area occupied by Atkinson Field, the Ameri-
can Air Base-Editor,







COURT CASES.


his departure from town. The charges were rarely of a
very serious kind. In certain cases the magistrate's juris-
diction included punishment up to six months' hard labour
and fifty dollars fine; only on rare occasions was anything
beyond this required. So that in my first two years, as
far as my memory serves me, I did not send more than a
dozen cases to the Supreme Court.

The "parties" in this locality were almost exclusively
black and dark-coloured people, the exceptions being
Portuguese shopkeepers and more rarely Arowak semi-
civilised Indians. Assaults and abusive language formed
the great majority of charges; but their triviality by no
means rendered it easier to get at the truth. Lying for
the defence was the almost invariable practice, while the
complainant, even when his charge was a just one, com-
monly lied also in order to strengthen it. Abusive
language was punishable when it was of a kind likely to
lead to a breach of the peace, and the frequency of its
indulgence obliged me to treat it with severity, it being
apt to end in assault with any weapon, however dangerous,
within reach. One peculiarity of these cases struck me at
once. "Liar", "blackguard", "thief", and even unmen-
tionable words were usually received with comparative
equanimity; but the climax of "nigger" almost invariably
led to blows, and this though the object of the language
was as black as Erebus. Here, as elsewhere within my
experience, words contemptuous of race are usually more
galling than the foulest aspersion of morals.

These cases, which fortunately were sometimes
relieved by a touch of the ludicrous, or their endless reiter-
ation would have become intolerably monotonous, usually
began thus:-

Magistrate : "What have you got to say against the
defendant?"







COURT DAY.


Complainant: "Oh, massa, he (or more commonly
she) "aboosed me too ba-ad."

Magistrate: "What had you said or done?"

Complainant: "Dun nothing at aal, your wusship, but
he" (or she) "called me-" and then issued forth a long
stream of evil names as pat as if learned by heart.


It was generally assumed by the excited witness that
the magistrate, who had probably never seen either party
before, knew by intuition all the preceding facts and cir-
cumstances which might have rendered it intelligible. Not
until after many questions, involving much patience, was
the truth slowly evolved from obscurity, and not unfre-
quently it was found, even if there were no cross-
complaint, that one party was as bad as the other, the
event being the dismissal of the case if trivial, or occa-
sionally the convicting and fining of both parties the
complaint on a new charge ordered to be made out on the
spot. Many of the people occupied a whole day, some even
two or three days, in going to and from court, chiefly
animated, I imagine, by a desire to obtain a pleasing
variation from the dull life of the bush rather than any
particular vindictiveness against the offender.

Twenty to thirty cases disposed of, a start was made
the same evening if the tide suited, or if not, in the small
hours of the next morning, for the next court-house. This
was at Berlin, about four or five hours further up the
river. A short distance from Hyde Park are "The Sand-
hills", the first rising ground seen since leaving George-
town. These form part of a ridge running a long distance
parallel with the sea about forty miles from it, and prob-
ably marking a former coast-line-the whole of the land
now used for plantations, besides a vast area still unculti-







RAINFALL.


vated, having probably in the course of time been formed
by alluvial deposit of the rivers.*

The Sandhills passed, signs of human existence
become fewer. Often in reaches with a perspective of sev-
eral miles there was visible not a single indication of the
presence of man. Sometimes, indeed, a canoe carrying a
single Indian or Creole, creeping silently or phantom-like
along the bank in the shade of the trees; and now and then
in the absolute silence which prevails in the forest at mid-
day (save for the occasional shrill note of the pi-pi-yo, or
very rarely the metallic toll of the bell-bird) there would
be heard the sound of paddles long before any boat was
visible. Then most commonly appeared the curial (a
canoe dug out from a single tree) of bush negroes, Arawak
Indians (clothed and comparatively civilised), or Bovian-

*-The annual rainfall on the coast is about 100 inches, and care-
fully taken observations on the plantations extending some
ten miles up the river showed a quantity regularly increas-
ing with distance from the sea. From my experience, I
should say that this progressive increase continues for a long
distance inwards, and that at the Great Falls of the Demer-
ara the figure would be nearer 200 than 100 inches, perhaps
even more; for during the wet season there is a thunder-
storm nearly every afternoon there, when the :ain comes
down more heavily than, in my long experience of the
tropics, I have ever seen elsewhere, even in the "record"
storm which I witnessed at Hong Kong in 1889. The weight
of the drops causes them to rebound from the water, thus
forming with those falling a mass apparently solid for several
inches above the surface. With such a rainfall it is probable
that the water entering the sea from the Demerara, though
little more than 300 miles in length, is greater in quantity
than that from any river in Europe, and as there are along
the coast of British Guiana alone, besides several small ones,
three great rivers, two of them-the Essequibo and the
Corentyn, with courses from 500 to 650 miles in length, the
solid matter carried down by them must be so enormous as
to render the extent of the alluvial land easily intelligible.


--G. W. Des y,







TIMBER-PUNTS.


ders (as are called the offspring of Indian and negro or
"collured"). More rarely would be seen a "woodskin"*
manned by Indians from the interior (Accawoios or
Macusis), who were absolutely naked but for a very nar-
row strip round the loins. Furthest of all would be
recognized the approach of a timber-laden punt, the shouts
of its negro crew being audible miles away over the silent
water. These punts, though commonly used for taking
back to town the black labourers who had been working for
three to six months in the bush under the holder of a
wood-cutting grant, served only a subsidiary purpose in
the carriage of passengers. Their principal use is floating
great loads of logs braced to their outside by strong bush-
ropes linese) which, being principally composed of green-
heart and mora, would otherwise sink to the bottom. I
can well remember my surprise at first seeing one of these
large punts with its gunwale almost level with the water,
though it seemed to carry but a small load within. In
fact, many of the exogenous trees of equatorial climates
have a specific gravity greater than, water. To carry the
logs as an inside load would require a much larger vessel
of inconvenient draught, so that the mode adopted is
probably the cheapest and best that could be devised.
Berlin police-station was merely a thred-roomed cot-
tage, standing solitary in a very small clearing closely
hemmed in by the forest. There being no landing jetty,
getting out of the boat at low water involved the risk of
a plunge in the mud. Furniture was even more gloomily
conspicuous by its absence than at Hyde Park, for the
officer in charge, being only a corporal, contented himself
with merely a deal table and two or three chairs. Need-
less to say, I slept at Berlin only when it could not
be avoided, which was only two or three times during my
whole service.
*-The woodskin, like the curial, was made from a single tree,
but simply of the stripped bark turned up at the ends. The
material being softer than the solid wood of the curial, and
its low freeboard causing the stroke of the paddle to fall
upon it noiselessly, these boats approached much nearer than
the others before being heard.-G. W. DesV.








DALGIN.


Some few hours' journey above Berlin was the village
of Dalgin, in which was the residence of Mr. George Allen,
the black Chief Special Constable. In return for the
honour and the small pay attached to the office he gave the
use of his house for a court-room*, The clearing around
it was much larger than at Hyde Park, comprising several
small buildings, one a schoolroom, which served also as a
church. The surroundings were thus somewhat more
cheerful than at the places previously mentioned, and the
proprietor was a most worthy man, who quickly became a
friend and strong supporter of mine.

At Dalgin some nine months after my arrival in the
colony occurred one 'of the great crises in my life. George-
town and the coast generally were then suffering from a
specially severe epidemic of yellow fever. Many new-
comers had been attacked, including a considerable number
of officers and soldiers of the garrison, and deaths from
it had been in even greater proportion than usual. Coming
from town I had held court and slept at Hyde Park, had
started early the next day for Berlin and held court there

*-Henry Kirke, in his interesting book "Twenty Five Years in
British Guiana" has the following to say about Dalgin and its
custodian Allen, or Alleyne:
"Dalgin station was a low thatched house, in which one
little room, was reserved for the magistrate on his periodical
visits, the narrow gallery being used as a court-room. There
was no lock-up, so when I sentenced a man to imprisonment,
Sergeant Alleyne used to chain him to a tree by the leg,
until a convenient time arrived to send him to town.. The
house swarmed with bats, cockroaches, and all sorts of ver-
min, but one gets accustomed to these things in time and
they never disturbed my slumbers as I rocked in my long
grass hammock slung from the roof-tree. Alleyne was
Barbadian by birth and had been a slave in his youth. He
came to British Guiana when only a lad in his master's
train, and was employed as a woodcutter and sawyer.
When he became free after Emancipation Day, he worked
on his own account and soon acquired enough money to take
out a woodcutting licence, and, as greenheart was then sell-
ing at a good price, he prospered, bought two lots of land
at Dalgin and 'built the house which I have described. His
descendants still reside at Dalgin.-Editor.








YELLOW FEVER.


also. Feeling very unwell, I determined to go on upwards,
knowing that if I could reach Dalgin I should be at
least somewhat better off than at these places, and should
have kindly people to take care of me. Accordingly I
started about three o'clock in the afternoon, with my four
boathands, and my black servant steering. Having already
on a trip to the gold mines on the Cuyuni River had an
attack of chills and fever, I hoped that my shivering and
sickness proceeded from nothing worse, and that a dose of
quinine, aided by the healthier air of the interior, would
quickly make me all right. But unfortunately about sun-
down there came on a severe thunderstorm, which lasted
far into the night. The tremendous rain could not be kept
out of the tent, and the pitch darkness also sorely delayed
us, it being sometimes impossible to steer but with the aid
of the lightning flashes. Consequently, when vwe arrived
at our destination, about nine o'clock, I was very ill indeed,
and in the still pouring rain had to be carried to my sleep-
ing-place. This was an absolutely bare room about twelve
feet by six, only just large enough for my hammock. Begin-
ning to recognize yellow fever, with the signs of which I
was unpleasantly familiar, I took one of several doses with
which I had come prepared for such an emergency. These
were composed each of twenty grains of calomel and
twenty-four grains of quinine, the remedy at that time
most in vogue. Some hours afterwards, while I was still
conscious, another of these was given to me, and I was
told that, according to my request, a third was adminis-
tered after I became delirious. I thus certainly took forty
(perhaps sixty) grains of calomel and possibly seventy-
two grains of quinine within sixteen hours. It has always
been a question with me since whether the medicine cured
the disease or whether my constitution proved sufficiently
strong to withstand both.
Toward evening of the next day I came to myself, and
found my hammock soaked with blood, which they told me
had come from my eyes and ears. But I was decidedly better,
and I determined to take advantage of a favourable tide
for making my way back to town. On the return passage,
save for a single brief stoppage, the hands rowed the








BISHOP AUSTIN.


eighty miles, or thereabouts*, without rest, and we arrived
in the harbour of Georgetown the following afternoon after
a "record" passage. When still some ten miles from
Georgetown, the boat of an inspector of police came up to
us. He looked at me for a moment through the awning,
and, I suppose, imagining me to be insensible, said quite
audibly, "Row on hard, or you won't get him home alive."
But my miseries were not at an end; it took more than an
hour to get a conveyance, and meanwhile I was tossed about
in the broiling sun by a heavy swell which added sea-sick-
ness to other ills. The result was a relapse, which is
usually held to be certainly fatal. But I falsified all
prognostications, and chiefly owing to the devoted nursing
of the old coloured lady in whose house I lodged, I gradu-
ally recovered. I may mention also that another pleasant
reminiscence connected with this illness is furnished by the
letter of warm sympathy received from a sister-in-law
whom I had never seen; my brother Henry having recently
married Alice, daughter of Lord Wilton (the first Earl.)

It was at Dalgin about Christmas-time, as he reminded
me years afterwards on an Atlantic voyage, that I had the
pleasure of entertaining at dinner (which included an
English plum-pudding) the late and much-lamented Dr.
Austin, Bishop of Guiana (afterwards Metropolitan of the
West Indies), who was on one of his annual visitations to
the river. I see now in my mind's eye his tall, handsome
form emerging from the tent of his boat, dressed as cor-
rectly as if he were attending a Pan-Anglican gathering,
tights, silk stockings, and buckled pumps included. How-
ever uncanonical may have been his garments inside his
boat, he was never visible to the profane world in any but
the most orthodox episcopal costume. The position which
this most estimable man occupied for many years in
Guiana was by no means an easy one, and I cannot praise
it more highly than by saying that his conduct in it was
-in human view-as faultless as his dress.

*-Dalgin lies fifty-five miles up the river.-Editor.








CHRISTIANBURG.


Some two hours above Dalgin is Christianburg, which
in my time was the only civilised residence in the whole
district. To the proprietor, Mr. Paterson and his family,
I was on several occasions indebted for a bed and other
comforts, which were specially appreciated on returning to
town after some weeks spent in the bush.* There was a
large sawmill for cutting greenheart into planks, a consid-
erable extent of out-buildings, and a clearing of several
acres, which altogether afforded relief to the eye wearied
with perpetual forest.

There was resident at Christianburg in my time a
book-keeper named M'Connell, remarkable for a peculiarity
to which I have never known a parallel. His snoring was
so loud and harsh as to be absolutely appalling to one who,
being unprepared, heard it for the first time. Though he
was a brother of a leading colonist, and would naturally
have been lodged in the house, it had been found impossi-
ble to keep him there, as his sleep meant the wakefulness
of all the other inmates, and so he was given quarters in
a distant out-building. Having myself more than once lis-
tened to this cacophony, I can well believe the following
anecdote told me on good authority. M'Connell and a
companion, whom we will call Smith, had started on a
journey through the forest, accompanied by several Indians.
The party having made their first camp (which in
the Guiana forest usually meant a large fire, with the ham.


*-Henry Kirke in his "Twenty-five Years in British Guiana"
writes of Christianburg House as follows:-
"The interior of the house was a surprise to me when I
first entered it, as it seemed to transport one back to the old
country. There was, of course, an absence of carpets, and
curtains, but the furniture had all come from Scotland
many years before. There was a large grandfather's clock
ticking solemnly against the wall, an old spindle-legged
side-board with brass handles of lions' heads, with rings in
their mouths, and badly painted oil portraits in dingy gilt
frames against the walls. Upstairs the bedrooms were
nearly filled with huge wooden fourpost beds, with heavy
testers, into which one had to climb with the help of a
chair."-Editor.









16 MCCONNELL'S SNORES.

mocks of travellers as well as Indians hung round in a *
circle upon the neighboring trees), the travellers had
gone to sleep, when suddenly Smith awoke, and by the light
of the fire saw to his astonishment that the Indians were
untying their hammocks. Becoming conscious of the
awe-inspiring sounds proceeding from his friend's sleep
ing-place, he at once divined the cause of the Indians'
perturbation, and endeavoured to persuade them to remain.
their fear, however, was too great. They bolted in a body,
and the expedition had to be given up. Nothing would
induce them to return while M'Connell, whom they believed
to be an evil spirit, was of the party,

4




4











CHAPTER TWO


Seba--Theft by Ants Adventure with boat hands -
Experiences of blood-sucking bats-First Falls Mr.
Forsyth His reminiscences of Waterton, author of
the Wanderings -Practical joke with dead snake -
Passage of the rapids-Adventure with criminal half-
breed Difficulty with regard to crime within the
jurisdiction of Supreme Court-Child carried off by
eagle-Indian path to Essequibo-Charles Couchman's
photograph of tree here appears in Charles Kingsley's
"At Last"-George Couchman's timber-cutting grants
-Last civilised settlement The Great Falls of the
Demerara-Indian modes of capturing fish-Cani-
mapo; his attempt to murder me.

Between Christianbu.rg and the First Falls, which are
really only rapids, the aspect of the Demerara River in
my time remained much the same as below, the only
observable difference being the gradual decrease of width,
the lessening influence of the tide, the diminishing size of
the moka-moka, and the still greater sparsity of human
habitation. The journey upwards occupied about twelve
hours, or more in the rainy season, and, save in times of
exceptional pressure, I usually gave the boathands a
night's rest on the way.

It may be a matter for surprise that there should ever
have been pressure in respect of time, but in fact this
occurred not infrequently. Some of the witnesses.sum-
moned lived far away, at the heads of creeks, and required
one or more day's journey to reach the place appointed
for court. They would thus lose the better part of a week
by their attendance, even if the court were punctually held
at the time fixed. If the magistrate then failed to appear,
the loss of time would be greater, and any prolonged delay
would naturally cause them to return home. As sum-







MYSTERIOUS THIEVES


monses ordinarily required to be issued ten days to a
fortnight previous to a court in order to ensure their being
all served in time, accidents not unfrequently happened
meanwhile rendering it impossible, or extremely difficult,
for the magistrate to reach his destination punctually. He
might be delayed by official business in town, or while on
the way up the river might be suddenly called to hold a
coroner's inquest (that being among his functions), which,
if in one of the creeks at a distance from the main river,
might easily cause a delay of days. So that in fact, in
order to be as punctual as possible, it was sometimes neces-
sary to travel night and day whenever the tide suited.
Owing to this uncertainty being the greater the longer the
distance from town, I used latterly, whenever it was
necessary to have a court above the First Falls, to issue
summonses only when I arrived there, and then wait in
the neighbourhood during the interval.

Few places between Christianburg and the First Falls
remain very clearly in my recollection, as I never passed
a night more than once or twice at any of them.

I stopped once at the house of a grant owner, by name
Alcock. The name of his place was Seba, familiar to
readers of Waterton's Wanderings, and here occurred an
incident impressed vividly upon my memory. Arriving
*there late one afternoon, I felt too unwell to proceed. The
house being temporarily without occupant, I, with permis-
sion from the proprietor, made use of it for the night.
Having had good reason to suspect the boathands of pilfer-
ing my stores (which are specially precious, as I contem-
plated a three months' excursion into the interior), I
caused some of the packages to be brought into the house
and placed near my hammock. Among them was an un-
opened bag of rice, and my surprise and indignation may
be imagined when next morning I found about a third of
the contents abstracted. I had heard no one about in the
night, although I had been the greater part of it awake,
had been several times up, and had, moreover, trained
myself to wake at the slightest movement near me. It
seemed difficult to understand how such a theft could have








CUSHI ANTS


been attempted without instant detection in a spot only
some eight feet from my sleeping-place. There was no
opening in the bag except a very small hole near the
bottom, and being unable to imagine the culprit to be other
than human, I supposed that the bag must have been lifted
up for the purpose of emptying the contents into some
convenient receptacle, without reflecting that in the case
of so small a hole this would have been an inconveniently
slow process, and the thief incredibly maladroit not to
have made a larger one while he was about it. I at once
summoned the boat hands, and showing them the depleted
bag, called upon the delinquent to confess. All loudly
asseverated their innocence, and one of them, presuming
upon my condition of illness, became excessively insolent.
Believing that he was the culprit and that he was adding
insult to injury, I lost my temper and knocked him down.
Vain punishment. His head was so hard he was not hurt
at all, while my knuckles and hand suffered for a week
after.
Continuing too unwell to proceed, I passed another day
there, and having occasion to get up during the following
night, I saw in the bright moonlight a dark line passing
through the doorway. It appeared to be composed of liv-
ing creatures, and at once striking a light I saw it to be
a column of ants (of the kind commonly known as "leaf-
carrying" or, in the local vernacular "cushi") passing
through the door. On closer scrutiny I found that half the
column was passing into and the other half out of the
h6use, and thus was the mystery of the theft cleared up;
for while the ants entering were all empty-mouthed, those
going out were (with the exception of the larger ones, or
officers) each carrying a grain of rice. Every few
moments, as grains were removed from the hole in the
bag, the weight of rice from above caused more to fall out,
so that in the course of another night the whole would
have been carried off. I traced the column for some hun-
dred and fifty yards, when the density of vegetation upon
what had been a recently abandoned patch of cultivation
would have compelled me to desist even had I been in bet-
ter condition for prosecuting the search. The next morn-








EXPERIMENT WITH A VAMPIRE


ing the ants had totally disappeared; there was a faint
mark on the ground showing their line of march, which
would doubtless have enabled me, with perseverance and
some cutlass work, to find the nest. But as this might
have been far distant in the forest, I was unable to afford
time for the attempt. I of course made amends to the
boat hands, which proved so satisfactory that the physical
sufferer expressed a wish to be knocked down again at the
same price.

When passing the night on one occasion at a place
called Akyma, situate a few miles below the Falls, I was
much worried by a bat, which persistently fluttered round
my hammock, and I then sought to verify in my own per-
son the blood-sucking habit of these creatures. Having
in several instances seen bites involving considerable loss
of blood, which had been inflicted during the sleep of the
victim without his being conscious of it, I concluded the
pain could not be great. There was at that time much
sceptism on this subject, notwithstanding the testimony of
Waterton, the vampire bat being regarded by many as
almost equally fabulous with the vampire itself. That I
might be able to speak from personal experience, I put one
of my feet outside the mosquito curtain of my hammock
and awaited events. The sound of wings soon reached my
ear, as if in gradually narrowing circles. All at once I
felt puffs of air, as from a fan, on the exposed foot, over
which the creature was evidently hovering. But this was
too much for nerves weakened by fever and the experiences
of the two previous years, and I withdrew the foot into
the netting. Summoning courage again, I twice repeated
the attempt, each time with the same experience. But
though I regretfully confess that I could never sufficiently
control myself to receive the bite, I had at least convinced
myself as to what would have happened had I permitted it.
The blood-sucking habit of these creatures is now, how-
ever, too well established to need such confirmation.*
*-Among many instances which at one time or another came
under my notice, three are specially prominent in my mem-
ory. On my return from England, Nicholson, a young
engineer officer quartered in Georgetown, was accompanying








BLOODSUCKERS


Just below the First Falls in my time, on the left bank
of the river, was a small wooden building specially intended

me on one of my trips to the interior. I had strongly urged
him to bring a mosquito curtain for his hammock as a protec-
tion, not so much against mosquitoes (which in the Demerara
River are by no means troublesome) as against bats or snakes
falling from the trees. He, however, neglected my advice.
We slept the first night at the Chinese settlement in the
Camooni Creek. Early the next morning I was awakened by
a cry from his hammock, which was close alongside. The
white cotton of the latter showed a large patch of blood, and
on the toe of the foot he was pitifully examining was a small
triangular hole, as though pierced by the end of a file. He
had evidently lost much more blood than had been taken by
the bat, and had he continued with me would probably have
undergone the same experience again. So as it was impossible
to obtain the necessary curtain, he wisely returned to town.
On another occasion I had arrived late one evening at a
small Indian "clearing" on the Upper River. The occupants
Sof the "benab" (small Indian hut) being excited by the arrival
of the magistrate, neglected to attend to their own concerns.
They had a small boy, who, they afterwards told me, hadi been
brought to his very visible condition of emaciation by contin-,
al blood-letting from bats. As a protection they had recently
been in the habit of sewing him up every night in a rice bag:
but on the night of our arrival this had been forgotten and
though the little fellow had of his own accord inserted him-
self in the bag, he was not to eccone scatheless. He had left
the top of his head uncovered, and there in the morning th-
bat was seen to have left his mark. while a small red patch
on the ground showed that the creature had not "taken noth-
ing by his motion."
The propensity of the vampire to come again and again to
the same person was shown in another case, which occurred
in my experience years afterwards. While I was administer-*
ing the Government of Trinidad (where the Governor had been
compelled to enclose with wire-netting the stalls of his
stables, owing to injury from bats suffered by his horses) my
wife and I were spending a few days on the island of
Monos, in the Gulf of Paria. Her English maid had the bad
habit of putting her foot out of her mosquito curtain, and she
paid for it on this occasion severely, for she was bitten by a
bat two nights successively in the same place, in her foot, and
lost much blood on each occasion.-G. W. Des V.
For further information about the vampire and its habits
see "Animal Life in British Guiana", Guiana Edition, Page 23.
-Editor







MR. FORSYTH


for church service;* on the right bank, somewhat higher
up, was a diminutive wooden residence and shop. The
latter belonged to a very old Englishman, Forsyth by
name, with whom on various occasions I had interesting
talks. He told me he came to Guiana as a boy, and that
shortly after leaving England on his voyage thither, he
had seen the fleet of Nelson returning from the battle of
the Nile. He well remembered Waterton, the author of the
delightful Wanderings, and told me many particulars of
his eccentricities. The story told by Waterton, about his
ride on the alligator as it was being dragged out of the
water, Mr. Forsyth believed to be absolutely true, as it was
a matter of common talk at the time. One of the natural-
ist's peculiarities was the habit of using the smooth sur-
face of the water every morning as a looking-glass while
shaving. So imperative in those days was the fashion of
smooth lips and chin, that a moustache could not be toler-
ated even in the bush.t

Though on subsequent occasions I usually had my
hammock hung in Mr. Forsyth's house, on my first trip I
slept in the church, for which the magistrate had permis-
sion from the bishop. Mr. Plimmer, my predecessor in the
district, who accompanied me, happened to kill, close to the
building, "a labarria" snake, a very deadly species. As the
boat hands were at some distance and did not see this, it
occurred to him to get some amusement from it. He
accordingly coiled up the body of the snake upon the church
steps and managed to erect its head in a threatening atti-
tude. When the men who had been ordered to hang our
hammocks in the church saw in the rapidly failing light
this creature barring the way, their attitude of fright was
beyond expression ludicrous. After a time, one of them
cut down a sapling some twelve feet long, and with absurdly

*-This old building still stood up to 1910 when it was pulled
down and the present Malali Church erected. The Forsyth
house also remained up to 1916 at least.-Editor.
t-Old Forsyth's descendants dwelt in the Upper Demerara to
the fourth generation, but I believe that they have all died out
by now.--ditor,








NAVIGATING THE FALLS


cautious approach brought it down bravely on the dreaded
reptile snake at a very safe distance. This doughty feat
achieved, the fellow strutted about with the air of a
conqueror. The incident gave us much amusement, and
put some life into a tired and somewhat sulky party.

Though the First Falls are only rapids the current is
far too fast to permit of ascent by other means than haul-
ing. This was done in places from the bank, but princi-
pally from shallow spots in the stream. The rush of water
in the rainy season was such that I have seen men carried
off their legs when they were immersed little above the
ankles. Descent of the rapids was made with oars or
paddles, the time occupied as compared with ascent being
as minutes to hours. I always shipped a special coxswain
for this purpose, usually an Indian of the neighbourhood,
as the experiment would almost certainly have had a fatal
end with an inexperienced hand at the helm. Consequently,
although narrowly escaping, I never had an accident.

One afternoon, after a long expedition into the interior,
we were when some half an hour from the Falls, hailed
by an Indian, who informed us that a woman had just
been nearly killed by her "Boviander" husband. Going at
once to the place she indicated, I found the woman
grievously injured, and. apparently dying. I at once took
her deposition, which, though extracted with much diffl..
culty, fully confirmed the information given. Starting
again in my boat, we had reached a point some three
hundred yards above the rapids, when the Indian coxwain
pointed out the accused man, paddling his curial up-stream.
I hailed him, and he, being evidently unaware that I knew
of the crime, at once came alongside. I ordered him to
get into my boat, and when he showed a disposition to push
away and escape, commanded the boat hands to hold fast to
his canoe and the constables to arrest him. The latter,
however, who on this occasion were Indians, were in too
great fright to touch a'notorious bully, who was, in fact,
the terror of the neighbourhood. Though in those days I
was not wanting in strength, it is probable that, in an
encounter, the man in question would have been more thai








DEALING WITH A BULLY,


a match for me even on land. When, therefore, I put my
hand upon him to arrest him myself, it is tolerably certain
that, had he resisted to the utmost, he would have had thE
best of the struggle, which would have inevitably resulted
in our both being thrown into the water. As it was, his
resistance being slight, I got him into my boat without
great difficulty, when the cries of the Indians drew my
attention to our position. During the above scene the boat
had been drifting, and was now close to the Falls, going
broadside on to them. To have been caught by the rapid
in this position was inevitably to have been swamped, and
the greater part of us drowned.* But by frantic efforts
the boat was turned in the right direction, just as the quick
water was reached.

Arriving safely at Mr. Forsyth's, I had the prisoner
secured there, but finding that the terror of him was such
that he would otherwise be very probably allowed to escape;
I was obliged to have my own hammock slung across his
door. Next day I tried him. His wife, being then con-
sidered better, and having been carried across the portage
in a hammock, gave her testimony again, in his presence,
and altogether the evidence against him was quite conclu-
sive. Yet I was in some difficulty in coming to a decision.
If the case were to be remitted to the Supreme Court,
which could alone award a sufficiently severe sentence, it
was almost certain that the offender would escape punish-
ment altogether, owing to the absence of the necessary
witnesses. The woman on recovering would be made to
disappear, while not only fear of making a dangerous
enemy, but the Indian dread of appearing in the Supreme
Court under any circumstances, would have caused the
others to avoid the subpoena by hiding in the interior.
On the other hand, as the woman being in a very feeble
condition, there was yet a chance of her dying. Under the
circumstances I postponed sentence, and carried the man
on with me down the river. When a few days afterwards

*-In fact, this actually happened about the same time to a party
in a similar rapid of the Massaruni, when several lives were
lost, including the son of the Governor and one or more navua
officers.-G,W, Des V.







CHILD STOLEN BY HARPY.


I heard that his wife was recovering, I sentenced him
myself to six months' hard labour, the heaviest penalty it
was in my power to inflict.

About two hours journey above the rapids was an
Indian settlement of two or three "benabs" (thatched sheds
without walls), which was the scene of a singular occur-
rence. Passing there one evening in my boat. we saw an
Indian woman crying on the bank, and upon inquiry I
learnt that her two little children, one about three and the
other under two years old, had gone together to play in the
forest. Only one returned and he was unable to give any
account of what had occurred to his brother.
A number of Indians had come to assist in the
search; but though two days had passed, the missing child
had not been found. It was supposed that some animal or
bird of prey had carried him off. On my next journey up
the river, which, owing to an intervening visit to England,
was not for some months, I heard, on good authority, that
a piece of the linen rag that the child had on him was seen
on the top of a forest tree, rendering it probable that the
captor was a harpy eagle, one of the largest species in
the world. I never saw one of these birds, except in flight
far up in the sky; but the claw of one, in the possession
of the superintendent of the penal settlement on the Massa-
runi, had a leg nearly as thick as my wrist, making it easy
to suppose that the Indian stories as to the size of the prey
carried off by these birds are not exaggerated.

Some four hours above the rapids was the woodcutting
grant and log house of one Charles Couchman. Here is the
nearest point between the Demerara and the Essequibo,
and one end of an Indian "path" which I most frequently
used for passing from one river to the other, the walk
across occupying six to eight hours. At the edge of a
small clearing around the house stood a tall mora. Having
carried a photographer with me on one of my circuits for
the purpose of getting pictures of forest scenes and native
groups, he took one of this tree. I appear in the picture
standing against the trunk, and one of the boathands is
sitting on a log close by. Years afterwards in St. 4Lucia







THE COUCHMANS


I gave a copy of this picture to Charles Kingsley, when he
visited me there, and a print of it appears in his book At
Last over the legend, "The Last of the Giants." It would
no doubt be regarded as a giant in Trinidad, where readers
of the book probably supposed it to grow; for the greater
part of the land in that island has at one time or another
been cleared for cultivation, and the trees are thus mostly
smaller than those of virgin forest. But being only about
190 feet in height, it is not, I think, a specially tall tree of
its kind, which is equalled in this respect by many others,
and is, indeed, greatly surpassed by some, the Brazil-nut
and the silk-cotton sometimes reaching a height of 250 feet
and more.

Above Charles Couchman's, at a distance of some two
hours' journey by boat, was the house of his brother,
George Couchman, also the owner of a woodcutting grant,
for whom I always had a special regard. Though, judging
by his full brother Charles, he must have had negro blood
in his veins, he might easily have passed for a white man.*
He had married an Indian wife and had lived so long
among the Indians that no man in the colony understood
them better, and it was through him and his interpreta-
tion of their languages that I learnt most of what I ever
knew of this strange people. His house was always a
resting-place for travellers from town, including the itiner-
ant missionary clergymen and the bishop on his annual
visit. He and his family, like all inhabitants of the river

*-The father of George and Charles Couchman appears to have
been an officer in the Royal Navy who, on retirement from the
Service, bought a small ship and went in for contraband slave
running from Africa to the West Indies subsequent to the
Suppression of the trade in 1808. His ship was eventually
captured by a British man-of-war and he ruined. He then
came to Guiana and went up the Demerara River where he
began a timber cutting business. His son George, whom I
knew as an old man of over 90, was better known in later
years by his Indian name of "Basakwai" and even up to my
days in the district, 1909-16, his home at "Retreat" opposite
the mouth of the Yawarabaru Creek, was a point of call for
all visitors to the district. He had several sons, one of whom,
Stephen, was murdered by the kanaimas at Gravel Bank about
1910. Several of his descendants are still alive.-Editor.






ILLEGAL TIMBER CUTTING.


above Christianburg, slept in hammocks, such a thing as a
bedstead and bedding being an unknown luxury. He had,
however, taught his wife the virtue of cleanliness, and on
this account, in the many days and nights when my ham-
mock hung on his verandah, I had comfort rarely experi-
enced elsewhere. With him, also, I obtained change of
food, which was most welcome after a long course of
tinned meats, salt fish, biscuits, and flour dumplings; for
he had Indians continually "hunting" and fishing for him,
and after this fare a fresh fish "pepper-pot" and the flesh
of deer, tapir, accouri, or labba, however inartistically
cooked, seemed to be palatial luxury. Mr. Couchman was a
Justice of the Peace, and complaints were usually sent to him
to await my arrival, unless they were of sufficient gravity
to warrant a special messenger. As a rule the only cases
of importance tried above the rapids were charges for un-
licensed cutting of timber on Crown land. Except, of
course, on private land, which above Christianburg existed
only in one or two places, the cutting down of greenheart,
mora, and other valuable timber trees was legal only under
special licence from the Governor. Cutting on the part of
persons without any licence was rare, as the necessity of
making a timber path* to the water for bringing the logs
to market rendered discovery almost certain. The charges,
therefore, were almost invariably against licensed holders
for transgressing the limits of their grants. For the
licences were good only for special areas with fixed boun-
daries, and any transgression rendered the licensee as
liable to penalty as if he had no licence at all. When any
new licence was granted, it was the duty of the magistrate
to inspect the boundary posts placed by the surveyors.
The grant was always an oblong area, usually, I think,
about two miles in length and about half a mile in width,
with the base on a river or creek. The surveyor always
cut a narrow path along one of the long sides and also

*-A timber path was a wide road cut through the forest, across
which, at intervals of every few feet,' log sleepers were placed
in order to permit of the squared logs being dragged more
easily to the water. The hauling was done 'by large gangs of
men, sometimes assisted by oxen.-G. W. Des V.







GREAT FALLS


along the short side furthest from the water, being thus
able to determine the position of the four corner posts.
Though three of the boundaries were thus clearly defined,
the fourth, being only an imaginary line through dense
forest, was not so obvious. Though this boundary might
have been easily ascertained by the grantholder, yet his
neglect to do so had been so long tolerated, that during my
first year I did not exact a penalty (fifty dollars fine or six
months' imprisonment, or both) unless depredation had
been very serious. When, however, the trespass had been
beyond the surveyor's line' and the necessary timber-path
for the logs joined that of the grantholder, I had no mercy,
as it was then clear the offence must have been committed
with the latter's connivance. These cases gave a great deal
of trouble, and the conflict of evidence was sometimes such
as to involve a delay of one or more days occupied in per-
sonal inspection.

Some four hours above Yawaribaro (the Indian name
of Mr. Couchman's residence) was the house of one Giles,
a negro grantholder, which was at that time farther in the
interior than any other non-Indian residence. Thence
inwards to Brazil there were only aboriginal inhabitants.

Two hours above this place were the Great Falls,
which, in addition to rapids, comprise a most picturesque
cascade of about forty feet in height. The pools below of
dark, clear water contain many paco, a large flat-fish of
about the size of a turbot, which is very good eating, and
is easily hit by Indian arrows. These are sometimes
attached by string to the bow or the arm, so that the fish,
when pierced, can be at once landed. When the object is
so far off that the string would spoil the shot, the arrow
is allowed to go free. It has a loose point, which, on
striking the fish, becomes partly detached, allowing the
long reed which forms the shaft and is still held to it by
a short cord, to float on the water. The shaft indicates
the position of the fish which has carried off the arrow,
and if a large one, it becomes the object of an exciting
chase in woodskins. On several occasions I had much
amusement from this sport, and made frequent efforts to






FISH POISONING


learn the art of fish-shooting. But I cannot say I ever
became proficient, though, having practised archery when
a boy, I soon learnt to shoot with the native weapon at a
mark above water almost as well as the Indians themselves.
Indeed, in this latter respect they never seemed to me to
be remarkably expert, the acquisition of guns having
probably caused intermittence of practice with the inferior
weapon. To hit a mark under water, however, is quite
another matter. Not only does refraction cause the object
to appear in a different position from its real one-a differ-
ence which increases proportionately with the depth-but,
unless the shot is perpendicular, the resistance of the
water deflects the arrow upwards, both contributing to a
miss from aiming at the wrong place. Much practice is
needed, therefore, to be able to judge with accuracy the
right point at which to strike the surface.

Another method of fishing I have seen practised with
great success. The Demerara is unsuitable for it, as,
except at very low water in the first rapids, the portion of
the river beyond tidal influence as far as the Great Falls,
and even many miles beyond them, runs in only one chan-
nel. The Essequibo, on the other hand, in most of its
rapids is studded with islands and rocks, and so divided
into many streams, some narrow enough to be easily
stopped with large stones, enabling the water, but no fish
of any size, to run through. The place required is a large
deep pool with a narrow entrance at both ends. On the
day previous to the fishing the Indians have been engaged
in finding, cutting into convenient lengths, and then
macerating with clubs, a certain bush-rope (liane). The
juice is caught in a woodskin and diluted with water, the
mixture being a yellowish-brown liquid about the colour
and consistency of thin pea-soup. During the night the
two means of exit from the pool are suddenly blocked by
large stones previously made ready for the purpose, and in
the early morning one or more canoe-loads of this liquid,
according to the size of the pool, are thrown into the
stream above the upper entrance. In the course of a few
moments, as the drug mixes with the water in the pool, the
paco, partially stupefied, appear rising to the top of the






A BAD INDIAN


water, and then the fun begins. Some of the Indians
are content to stand on rocks and thence shoot the fish with
arrows; but others, screaming with excitement, jump into
the pool, and, swimming and wading, endeavour to catch
the prey in their arms and carry them to land. This is
no easy task, for the paco, though half intoxicated, is
quite able to struggle violently when seized, frequently
carrying a man off his legs, even when he has already
touched ground with his feet. In the course of an hour
or so all the fish that it is possible to capture (some recov-
ering themselves after a time) are safely landed; but the
excitement and laughing over the ridiculous sights wit-
nessed often continue all day and far into the night. I
always enjoyed these scenes greatly, the prolonged merri-
ment serving as a welcome relief to the sombre life of the
forest.

A short distance below the Great Falls, on a rising
ground, was the settlement of an Accawoio Indian, named
Canimapo. He always had a large number of dependants
who were much in awe of him, and he was in this respect
more like one of the native chiefs whom I have known
elsewhere than any other Indian of my acquaintance in
Guiana. Though my relations with him were, in
appearance, friendly during the whole of my service in the
district, they were on my part cautious after the following
occurrence. Accompanied by the photographer above
mentioned, I stayed two nights in his settlement. On the
first morning after arrival, with much difficulty I induced
him and some of his people to be photographed in groups,
and perhaps imprudently allowed him to see the negatives.
He appeared not merely astonished, but alarmed, and the
whole day and far into the night the sound of excited
talking could be heard coming from his benab. In the
evening he sent me as a present a fresh-fish pepper-pot,
which the Indians usually made very well, and which,
though far too pungent for the taste of a newly-arrived
European, is grateful to the jaded palate of one who has
been a few months in the equatorial heat. Fortunately
for me, when the present arrived, we had already finished
our dinner, and I gave the pepper-pot to my boat hands,


































Indian Chief Canimapo sitting on log in front of his house.
Couchman standing at left. The Author at right.






ATTEMPTED MURDER.


who partook of it freely. In a short time all became ill,
two so violently that I began to fear fatal results. Yet
whether through strong' doses of brandy and chlorodyne,
or from strength of constitution, they quickly recovered,
and at daybreak next day they were ready and, I may add,
anxious to proceed with our journey. I did not then
suspect intentional poisoning, but a circumstance occurred
almost immediately after starting to arouse our suspicion.
I was sitting on the top of the tent of my boat, as I
frequently did before the sun rose above the trees, for
enjoyment of fresh air, and on the look-out for a pass-
ing shot. Hearing a flight of parrots coming, I asked
for my gun. As it was handed up to me, stock upwards,
some dirt fell out of the muzzle. Examination showed
that both barrels had been plugged with mud, some of
which, having dried, had thus betrayed its presence. This
could not have been the result of accident, as a space of
some two inches at the end of each barrel was clean and
bright. However caused, the obstruction would inevitably
have burst the gun had I fired it. The escape was there-
fore a narrow one.

On this discovery I at first thought of going back
and charging Canimapo with attempt to murder me; but
on second thoughts I refrained from doing so. In view
of the awe in which he was held, I reflected that with the
very imperfect interpretation at my command, it was
scarcely conceivable that I could bring the offence suffi-
ciently home to him to warrant referring the case to the
Supreme Court, while to fail in obtaining a conviction
would be far worse than leaving the matter alone. It
happened also to be important that I should get to town
quickly, and all things considered, I determined to ignore
the matter altogether. Mr. Couchman informed me after-
wards that the old savage had probably been much
frightened by seeing the picture of himself. He con-
ceived the notion that this gave me some occult power
over him, and that his only hope of safety would be in
my death. My double escape doubtless made him regard
me as invulnerable. More than once afterwards I stopped
for the night at another settlement of the same chief, at






UNKNOWN COUNTRY


some distance above the Great Falls, when he showed me
a respect which amounted almost to servility, and strikingly
unlike the ordinary indifference of the aborigines. But
"once bitten twice shy," and on the principle of "Timeo
Danaos," I was after the above occurrence, always wary of
his presents.

At the Great Falls the Magistrate's jurisdiction prac-
tically ended. Without the aid of a force of men I never
had at command it would have been impossible to carry a
tent boat over the portage, and any travelling beyond was
necessarily done in an Indian woodskin, which having no
shelter, was by no means comfortable in rain. The popu-
lation, moreover, being entirely composed of Indians who
had very rarely or never been in contact with white men,
was so sparse that settlements, rarely exceeding a dozen
people, were several days' journey apart. British law
nominally prevailed; but it was in my time utterly
unknown there, and any attempt to enforce it would have
been fruitless. For these reasons no Magistrate before
my time, as far as I could ascertain, had ever ascended the
river further; and though, taking advantage of my office
as Protector of Indians, I on several occasions made expe-
ditions into the further interior, I cannot say that I did
so from any strong sense of duty, or from expectation of
any great good to arise therefrom. In fact, -I much
preferred the wild life of the bush to the Society of the
Coast with its never-ending talk, and all-pervading atmos-
phere of sugar; and I was, moreover, curious to visit
an almost unknown region, and to observe the habits of
people, many of whom had never seen a European, as well
as to learn something from the unaccustomed sights and
sounds of'an almost untrodden forest.









CHAPTER THREE


The tributaries of the Demerara-Scenery of creeks-The
troolie palm-Delusion about tropical vegetation-The
Camoonie Creek-A settlement of Chinese-Instance
of Chinese honesty-First experience of tropical
forest-Its distinctive characteristics-Verification
of timber-grant boundaries-Savannahs-Adventure
with snake-Day sounds of the forest-Cries of goat-
suckers.

Hitherto I have been dealing with the main river;
but there are many creeks tributary to the Demerara,
which in any climate with less rainfall would themselves
be regarded as rivers.* Some of them are navigable by
boats for two or more days' journey. Though I never
held court upon their banks, the duty of inspecting wood-
cutting grants, and once or twice of holding a coroner's
inquest, necessitated considerable acquaintance with them.
Indeed, in selecting a suitable site for the Chinese settle-
ment, to be described later, I went almost to the limit
of canoe navigation, up most of the streams entering the
Demerara within forty miles of Georgetown. In their
vicinity the luxuriance of tropical vegetation is perhaps
more striking than anywhere else-and by "equatorial"
I distinguish the flora within a few degrees of the line
from the less luxuriant vegetation of countries nearer the
outskirts of the tropics. The light furnished by the
opening to the sky between the trees on each bank permits
of a dense undergrowth which is almost entirely absent
in the eternal gloom of the forest, and is seen elsewhere
only in swamps in which large trees are extremely few.
Though no description; however vivid, of a whole which
is made up of such an infinity of details ever presents a
true picture to the mind, it may be mentioned that the
principal characteristic which distinguishes the banks of

* In these days any stream approximating tep miles in length j1
officially designated a river,-Editor,





RIVER FLORA


these streams from those of temperate climates is the
total invisibility of the soil which supports the vegetation,
every inch of it, even in places recently laid bare by the
water, being covered with plants struggling for the
mastery. Here a clump of tree-ferns, there a single wild
banana or a group of prickly palms show themselves above
the confused chaos beneath; more rarely a great bunch
of feathery bamboos, which I always, rightly or wrongly,
regarded as exotic and indicating former civilised resi-
dence.* But in the creeks within seventy miles of the
coast the most striking object is the troolie palm, which
shoots its enormous fronds directly out of the ground at
the edge of the bank to a height of thirty feet or more.t
I am inclined to think that these palms do not exist, or
are at least very rare, in the far interior, for I never saw
one growing there; the Indian benabs were not thatched
with them, though their leaves are for this purpose
incomparably, superior to any others, and are, when obtain-
able invariably used for it, both by the Indians and the
coloured people who live nearer the coast. Other leaves
which especially attract notice are those of what I sup-
posed was an arum, and are larger than any I have ever
seen elsewhere.

I recall one in an upper reach of one of the creeks (I
think that named Hibibia) which was so large that drooping
down from its stalk it made a graceful arch over the
channel through which my canoe passed. When approach-
ing the source of one of these streams, way has to be made
through the water-lilies growing completely across the
channel, while the giant trees on either bank seem to make
a special effort to occupy the narrowing avenue of light,
and are joined together by innumerable lines, until at

* There is occasionally found a small species of bamboo which,
I believe, is indigenois--Editor.
t The Author is mistaken. Like most palms the troolie when
young throws fronds direct from the seed, but as it grows it
forms a substantial trunk which sometimes attains a height
of twenty feet before breaking out into frond.--Editor,






A CHINESE SETTLEMENT.


length, while there is still water for the canoe, they meet
overhead, and there is thus a midday twilight scarcely less
obscure than that of the forest.

I may mention here that those who, excited by the
glowing descriptions of imaginative writers, expect the
green of the vegetation to be diversified by great masses
of other colours, will almost certainly be disappointed. In
Trinidad frequently, and occasionally in Guiana, I have
seen here and there a great tree covered with blossoms of
yellow or red; but these were never otherwise than very
sparse, except in the immediate neighbourhood of civilised
dwellings, so that for the most part they had in all prob-
ability been artificially planted. Such a sight in the Guiana
forest is not a common one, and the picture of a creek
would ordinarily be untrue to nature if, beyond the imme-
diate foreground, it showed any other colour than the blue
of the sky-path above, the clear coffee-brown of the stream,
and the varied shades of green in the vegetation. Other
colours, showing here and there in some red or purple
orchid, or cream-white water-lily, cover what is compara-
tively so insignificant a space that they require to be very
close to the eye to have any appreciable effect.

The largest perhaps most important of these
creeks is the Camoonie, familiar to the readers of Water-
ton's Wanderings as being the scene of his famous inter-
views with big snakes. It was here that I selected the
site for the Chinese settlement which Mr. Edward Jenkins,
the well-known author of Ginx's Baby, has described in
The Coolie: his Rights and Wrongs. As that book was
published nearly thirty years ago, I may mention here
that, through the representations of a specially intelligent
Chinese, by name 0 Tye Kim, having become interested
in the forlorn conditions of many of his countrymen who
had completed the terms of their indentures on the sugar
estates, I induced the Governor to move in the Legislature
for a grant in aid of a settlement for them. The amount
voted, however, was so small as to permit of nothing
beyond maintenance for the people during such time as
was required for the clearing of the lands, the building of





HONESTY AND GRATITUDE


their houses, and the reaping of the first crops. All the
Crown land within reasonable distance of a market was
occasionally flooded, and as no expense could be incurred
for dams, it was necessary to select what was least subject
to this scourge, and that, according to the best available
advice, was on the left bank of the Camoonie Creek at a
short distance from the main river. When I last saw the
settlement some six years after its establishment, and
some three years after I had ceased to have the power
to take active interest in its concerns, it appeared to be
in a somewhat languishing condition, owing to a great
flood, and I am unaware whether it still exists; but it
will probably in any case have been of one permanent
benefit to the colony in showing the economical superiority
of the Chinese method of charcoal burning in large clay
kilns over the comparatively clumsy and wasteful system
previously in use by Creoles and natives. Certainly it
caused some two hundred people for several years to be
freer and happier than they had ever before been in the
colony, and so I never repented the labour expended on
its establishment.*

One circumstance connected with the settlement
afforded a touching instance of combined honesty ana
gratitude. The public money being insufficient for the
number of people desirous of taking plots, I had helped some
few of them with small sums for their maintenance. Among
these were two whose strength proved insufficient to make
much headway with the great hardwood trees on their lot,
and they suddenly disappeared, being in my debt at the time.
Never expecting to hear from them again, I was aston-
ished some months afterwards by the receipt of the money
in full. The men had indentured themselves anew to a
plantation in Berbice, and the payment of this money
had taken much the greater part of the fifty dollars which
they had each received in bounty money.

*--For a detailed account of the establishment and history of
Hopetown, as this Chinese settlement was called, see Sir Cecil
Clementi's book "The Chinese in British Guiana."-Editor.






SNAKES


It was, if my memory serves me, in the Camoonie
that I had my first experience of a tropical forest while
inspecting the boundaries of a new grant. I am bound
to say that at first all other sensations were subordinate to
an instinctive fear of snakes. In walking along the
narrow and new-cut path, the least stir in the herbage
around seemed to indicate the presence of the dreaded
enemy; for I did not then know that in the great majority
of cases it was caused by lizards, which exist in Guiana
in many shapes and sizes, including the big bloated iguana
which has its home in the tree, and the more slender salim-
penter, sometimes exceeding five feet in length, which lives
on the ground, and, as the natives know to their cost, is
addicted to carrying off chickens. But though there is,
of course, considerable danger from snakes in the forest,
and though every native, whether Indian or Creole, keeps
his eye on the ground when walking there, and rarely
omits to look at each place where he puts his foot, yet
in all my marches, of several hundreds of miles in the
aggregate, the number of snakes met with scarcely exceeded
a dozen. Owing to the remarkable manner in which the
colour of snakes assimilates to their surroundings, it is
certain that the majority escaped notice, and as so few
were seen, the fear of the creature soon ceased to be
troublesome.

One cannot help being immediately struck with the
dissimilarity of the Guiana forest from any to be seen in a
temperate climate. This is not so noticeable in the foliage,
for in the depths of the forest palms are rare, the superior
height of the exogenous trees depriving them of light, and
so for the most part killing those few which spring up;
and the mora, everywhere abundant, is not unlike a gigantic
elm. But the trunks of this and many other trees are, near
the ground, surrounded by buttresses which seem to be
provided by nature for the support of the huge columns
above them, so that a transverse section at the base, instead
of being round, is star-shaped. Again, up to a height of
eighty to a hundred feet, no branches appear, all the
strength of each being apparently required for success in
the desperate struggle for light far above, So dense is the






CREEK SCENERY


green canopy thus created that one may walk for miles
without seeing a single peep of blue sky, and it is wonder-
ful that the prevailing gloom is not even more intense.

But though forest-walking on Indian paths always gave
me a certain pleasure, I must confess that this grand duty,
when the novelty wore off, was almost wholly disagree-
able. The necessity for straightness in the path caused it
to be made through or over every intervening obstacle. It
passed through swamps where every foot of progress had
involved severe cutlass work, and where consequently
the abundance of lopped plant-stems rendered walking
arduous and painful, while razor-grass insufficiently cleared
was continually tearing clothes or skin. Moreover, the
path went up and down steep gulleys, where many a tumble
was caused by rock or root hidden under the carpet of
decayed leaves-all these disagreeables being bearable
enough in the excitement of sport, or when passing through
unexplored country, but trying the temper far more
severely when experienced in the performance of a by no
means interesting duty. When, in addition, one was soaked
with rain and covered from head to foot with bete rouge,
causing an almost maddening irritation during the momen-
tary stoppage of exertion, not to mention ticks requiring
to be scraped off the skin with a knife, and leaving a burn
as if made with fire, the circumstances were indeed trying,
and would have exercised the patience even of an arch-
bishop.

But the scenery of these creeks was not exclusively of
forest. Occasionally one came up upon a savannah of a
few hundred acres-a flat expanse of very long grasses,
pools of water being visible here and there, mostly covered
with water-lilies. The only prominent objects rising above
the general level were a few palms, chiefly of the Eta
variety with great fan-shaped leaves. These are the trees
which the Warrau Indians of the Lower Orinoco, the
Barima and the Waini use, or formerly used, for their
temporary homes, for their principal food, and other useful
purposes. To protect themselves while engaged in fishing
from the floods and other enemies, biped and quadruped,







BIRD LIFE


they built their huts up in the branches, while a farina-
ceous diet, much resembling sago, was made from the pith.
The enormous number of these trees in the places named
gave a practically inexhaustible supply for these and all
other purposes.

Now and then on the savannahs a great crane showed
himself above the surface of the grass, intently watching
for his prey in the water, while a kind of bittern (called
here and in the United States by an unmentionable name
which describes his peculiar habit in getting up), rising
lazily before the canoe, gave a tempting shot.. I never but
once, however, attempted to kill one of these, having then
learned that the bird when dead was totally useless, except
to a collector.

Ducks were occasionally seen in the open water, but
they were few and very difficult to approach. The
endeavour to get a shot caused me one of my few disagree-
able experiences with snakes. I was in a very small
"curial" (or dug-out canoe) with a single Indian steering,
using the bow paddle myself. A flight of ducks was
marked entering the forest at the side of the creek, and on
reaching the spot I found that the water had overflowed
the bank and covered the ground as far as it was possible
to see. Being doubtful whether the birds had settled in it,
or upon the trees (where, as in the case of the wood-duck
of North America, they not infrequently alight), I had put
down my paddle and taken hold of a branch for the purpose
of dragging the canoe inwards, when suddenly a large
labarria snake dropped from the tree into the exceedingly
short space between me and the bow-in fact, within a foot
of my bare leg. The start which I gave nearly upset the
rickety craft and half filled it with water. But unfortu-
nately the snake was even more alarmed than I was, and,
making off over the side, disappeared before I could take
up my gun.

My only serious encounter with a snake was in the
course of one of my longer journeys. From an Indian
Settlement above the Great Falls, and near the source of the






ADVENTURE WITH BUSHMASTER


Demerara, I had gone with a single Indian for"a' day's walk
into the forest in search of something to shoot. We had
had no luck, and in the afternoon, when far from home,
met with heavy rain. It would be thought that the naked
skin of the Indian would be so inured to the climate as to
feel no inconvenience from the heaviest storm; but in fact
he has a feline dislike of the least downpour, especially
when the heat produced by hard exercise makes the drops
feel the colder. Consequently he will place himself under
the densest foliage he can find until that no longer affords
shelter, and then, when obliged to move, he will, if possi-
ble, find a large palm-leaf which he uses umbrella-fashion
while walking.

On this afternoon we were delayed many precious
minutes by this shelter-seeking; which was to me all the
more irritating, as being myself scarcely more clothed than
the Indian himself, I was suffering no unbearable incon-
venience. It was late when we started for home. The
Indian went off at a tremendous pace, making it difficult
with my tired legs and sore feet to keep up with him. But
I knew from experience that getting home before dark is,
with the Indian, a sufficiently powerful motive to make him
forget all other considerations; and to be left alone in the
forest, with nothing to indicate the route except a few twigs
which had been broken for the purpose when passing in the
morning, and which night would render entirely invisible,
was no pleasant prospect. While hurrying along in this way,
I was suddenly startled by a frightful shriek from the
Indian, and I immediately saw that he was jumping away
from the coils of a great "bush-master" snake (called by
the Indians Cooni-Cushi). The creature had no doubt been
asleep, and was aroused by the touch of the Indian's foot.
Before I could stop myself I was close up to the brute,
whose head with laterally waving tongue was raised for
striking within a yard of my thigh. In an instant I
covered him with my gun and pulled the trigger; but the
rain had damped the cap (it was before the day of breech-
loaders), and it missed fire. My sensation at the moment
may be imagined, but it was fortunately as short-lived as
the snake; for the other barrel, fired instantly, took the






SILENCE OF FOREST.


brute's head off, and I was safe. When brought to camp,
the headless trunk was found to measure over six feet in
length, while its thickness in the middle was about that of
my forearm.
Although the encounter has taken so long to describe,
all that occurred between the Indian's cry and the fatal
shot probably did not occupy more than two or three
seconds, yet the impression created has remained vivid to
this day, and as long as I live I shall never forget the eyes
of the creature as they gleamed in the twilight. Those
of other animals when angry convey the idea of heat, while
these seemed cold beyond expression, and long after
haunted me in dreams. The snake in question is regarded
as the most deadly of those which inhabit the Guiana
forest, and had he struck me on the bare thigh which was
nearest to his head, these memoirs would never have been
written, for I should probably have been dead within half
an hour.
Except as regards the low hum of insects, other life
than that of the vegetable world was, in creek journeys,
not visible or audibly abundant. Early in the morning
there was now and then a flight and much chattering of
parrots, which afforded some sport for the gun and very
tolerable soup for the pot. Only at the time when wood-
ants were taking wing and clouds of them were rising above
the trees, there would be seen high up a number of large
swallow-tailed birds sailing round and round in graceful
circles and presumably in the act of taking prey.* Of
smaller creatures, sometimes a great blue butterfly would
rise over the trees, flashing his silvern underwings in the
sunlight, or a buzzing as of an exaggerated bumble-bee,
and a gleam of irridescence near at hand would betray the
presence of a humming-bird passing from flower to flower
and probing each as he fluttered over it. In midday, as
in the main stream, there was silence broken only now and
then by the shrill note of the pi-pi-yo, and rendered not
less evident by the low whirring of grasshoppers and the
constant hum of other insects.
*-I once shot a specimen of these birds, and in so far as I
remember identified it as an insect-eating eagle, which has
sometimes been seen in Europe.-G. S. Des. V.








QUEER BIRD CRIES.


When passing the night in this lower part of the
district, I was often startled by a weird, shrill sound close
to my hammock, much resembling "Who are you?", pro-
nounced very quickly, this being the onomatopoeic name
given to a species of goatsucker by the English-speaking
natives. Further up the river a large goatsucker, men-
tioned also by Waterton, makes itself heard early in the
night, though I cannot say I was ever able to recognize
the sound attributed to him of "Work, work-away", or
"Willie-come-go". There is, however, another bird of the
same species, which though I never saw him, I should
judge from the extreme loudness of his note to be larger
still. This sound is one of the most beautiful, and by far
the most melancholy, of any within my experience pro-
ceeding from a bird or any other animal. I heard it only
in the depths of the forest, and after nightfall. It consists
of four notes in a regularly descending scale,' separated
one from the other by a short interval. Other goatsuckers
convey by their cries the idea of wailing; but this par-
ticular one does so to such a degree as almost to affect the
spirits. In fact, it gives the impression of a lost soul
mourning its unhappy fate. It may be mentioned here
that, except about an hour before daybreak, when the galli-
naceous birds begin to crow, most of the cries emitted at
night by the inhabitants of the forest, of larger size than
frogs, are very far from exhilarating, and would seem to
indicate distress.









CHAPTER FOUR.


Another path from Demerara to Essequebo-Indian mode
of marking route traversed-Lost in the forest-
Upper Essequebo-Kaieteur Falls unknown-Mythical
settlement of women-Birds'-eye view of forest coun-
try-Electric eel as source of amusement-Canaimas,
and fear of them-Indian drinking-bouts-Curious
custom connected with child-birth Cassava the
Indian's principal food-Dangerously poisonous when
uncooked Guiana no country for the sportsman-
Peccaries Supposed trap set for them by
boa-constrictor-Huge size of the latter-Toucans-
The blow-pipe-Wourali poison.

From the Demerara to' the Essequebo, by the path
which reaches the former river between the first rapids
and the Great Falls, is a march of six to eight hours, the
longer time being required in the wet season; but the path
between the two rivers principally used by me, and always
on my longer journeys, was one about two days' paddle
above the Great Falls. This was too long for a single
march, and involved camping once or twice en route in the
heart of the forest. The characteristics of both paths
were much the same, and, except as regards length, the
description of one would almost equally apply to the other.
Neither was really a path in the ordinary sense of the
word. The upper one, indeed, was trodden by human
feet, and this only by the Indians of the far interior, not
probably more than two or three times a year.. Conse-
quently, to the untrained eye, no track was to be seen, and
the only visible mark of the route to be taken was furn-
ished by saplings, broken and turned down for the purpose
by the passing Indian. By this device the light colour of
the under leaves, invisible when the plant is erect, at once
catches the eye, and serves as a valuable guide. The quick-
ness with which the operation is performed, and the
strength of wrist it demands are remarkable. In ai,
instant, without slackening his gait at all, the man will






LOST IN THE BUSit.


break a growing stick, a quarter of an inch thick, and
double it down so that the broken top will hang down the
stem. The habit of doing this is so ingrained in the Indian
that he indulges in it mechanically and unconsciously when
other broken saplings in the neighbourhood render it
unnecessary. If he failed to keep up the practice thus,
he might neglect it when it is all-important. But for such
landmarks in the excitement of hunting, he would certainly
lose himself in the forest; and I have more than once had
occasion to bless them, when, by accident, I have been left
alone to find.my way to camp. For want of this precau-
tion I once had a most disagreeable experience, which might
easily have ended disastrously, though it was in the imme-
diate neighbourhood of civilised dwellings.
Being at the penal settlement on the Massaruni, subse-
quently described, I went out early in the morning with a
companion for a short walk in the forest. In half an hour
we turned round towards home, but after going a much
longer distance than that of our outward stroll, and finding
that our position was still quite unrecognisable, we were
in a dilemma. We had, unfortunately, no compass with us,
and the sun was, as usual in the forest, entirely invisible;
but a single glimpse of the sky to show its direction would
enable us to make for the river, and thus find our way.
After a long search we found a fallen tree, the gap made
by which, though nearly filled up by the surrounding
foliage, was still sufficiently large for the purpose. At
length we reached the river, but were not, in a double
sense, "out of the wood." It turned out we were several
miles from the settlement, and in order to keep touch with
the stream, we had to proceed nearly in a straight line,
forcing ourselves through swamps and over- all other
obstacles. Fortunately we had cutlasses with us, or we
should never have reached home before night. Even so,
it was late when we arrived, exhausted with heat, hunger,
and fatigue, with our clothes and skin lacerated with the
razor-grass, and altogether in a pitiable condition. That
we must have traversed a considerable distance was shown
by the fact that the convicts had been sent in all directions
for some miles round, and though continually yelling, were
not heard by us until our trouble was nearly over.






AMAZON MYTH


Of the Upper Essequebo I can remember little beyond
general impressions, as except at the ends of the paths
from the Demerara I never stopped more than once at any
particular place. It has always been a matter of deep
regret to me that I never saw the Kaieteur Falls, discovered
by Mr. Barrington Brown during his geological survey,
shortly after I left the colony. Oddly enough, I never heard
of these falls from the Indians, from whom I received
accounts, true or imaginary, of many natural objects in the
country; for on more than one occasion I passed the mouth
of the Potaro, from which that natural wonder is distant
only two or three days' journey. As neither Schomburg
nor Waterton saw these falls, I incline to think there must
have been some superstitious reluctance on the part of the
natives to mention them to strangers. Another subject of
regret is that I never reached the site of the fabled city of
Manoa, nor the wonderful mountain plateau of Roraima,
practically unique as regards the great area practically cut
off from the rest of the world by lofty, perpendicular, and
almost unscalable cliffs. Illness, accidents, delays in rapids,
and once a sudden call to the lower part of my district,
always shortened the time at my disposal, and so my cher-
ished intention to see these places was never fulfilled.

Roraima was first mentioned to me by the Indians as
the site of a wonderful settlement of women, who admitted
men to their society only once a year. As a similar account,
with equally curious details not to be mentioned here, was
given me at other times, the locality described being always
different, I began at length to regard the story as a sur-
vival of the ancient myth of the Amazons. Once, however,
*a Macusi strenuously asserted to me he had been one of the
visitors of a community of this kind, which lived in this
case on one of the rivers falling into the Essequebo above
the Rupununi. His account was full of such minute par-
ticulars of the severe, and by no means' altogether pleasant,
ordeal which he had had to undergo that I scarcely believed
them to be all imaginary, especially as he offered to take
me to the place. But as the month in which alone he would
venture to approach these formidable ladies was one when,
owing to the rain, it was specially difficult to ascend the






A MOUNTAIN


river, I never had an opportunity of satisfying my
curiosity as to whether there was not some slight founda-
tion for his story. I may mention that Mr. McClintock, for
many years Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks in the
extreme west of the colony, and whose knowledge of Indians
was unsurpassed among white men, subsequently informed
me that he did not altogether disbelieve the story, as a
similar settlement of women had once appeared on the
Pomeroon, but had left after a few months' residence.
Of the mountains of Guiana I had only distant views,
but the ascent of hills, which I should say never exceeded
2,000 feet, cost far more labour than would ordinarily be
required elsewhere for mountains several times higher. One
experience of this kind in the neighbourhood of the Den-
erara I have special reason to remember on this account.
For some five or six hundred yards before reaching the
summit the gradient was so precipitous that I was forced
to aeize a sapling or liane almost at every step for the.
purpose of dragging myself up the next one. Each time
the support gave way, I had an unpleasant fall, which, but
for the abundance of vegetation enabling me to arrest
descent, would have been dangerous.
From the top of this hill, which was the highest
ground I ever ascended in Guiana, the view was a remark-
able one. Except a glimpse of water here and there,
probably bends in rivers, the whole area beneath was
covered with a dense mass of foliage. The tops of the
trees had almost the effect of a huge undulating grass plot,
with a bush rising out of it here and there, indicating the
position of some specially large giant.*
On my longer journeys I was always accompanied by
Indians. While marching they were usually silent, the
forest seeming to affect them with its gloom." But during
the early hours of the night, especially if we had reached

*-The hill mentioned must have been Mabora Mountain, at head
of Mabora Creek, 163 miles up the Demerara River.-Editor.
--Only those who have experienced gloom can fully appreciate
an illustration of one of Mr. Stanley's books of African travel,
and the delight at emerging from the forest, which is shewn
in the special liveliness of the gait ;f the long line of porters.
-G. W. Des V.






























-71


"Last of the Giants "-see chap. IL
from Charles Kingsley's "At Last"
The Author stands in front of the tree.


~.~.... ,
......-






ELECTRIC EEL


a river, they were continually talking and laughing, busily
relating grotesque stories of their hunting adventures,t
and sometimes, I suspect, making merry over the peculiari-
ties of the white man. The seemingly utter indifference
to the presence of strangers which is ordinarily shown by
Indians coming from the Interior-probably the product
of mingled shyness and pride-entirely wears off on closer
acquaintance, and they exhibit the utmost curiosity about
the white man and all belonging to him. All awe quickly
disappears when they are kindly treated, yet I recall one
instance when it was suddenly revived in a ludicrous
manner.
My camp being on the bank of the Essequebo, I was,
as usual early in the morning, about to bathe. I had just
passed beyond the edge of the water, when there came a
sharp, warning cry from an Indian. Following with my
eye the direction of his finger, I saw, a few feet in front
of me, what seemed like a snake moving slowly in the
shallow water. An arrow, shot at a range of only two or
three yards, quickly pierced the creature, which, by means
of the attached string, was forthwith hauled on shore, and
proved to be an electric eel, some four or five feet in
length, so that I had had a narrow escape. When it had been
some time on land, and had, therefore lost much of its
dangerous power, I touched it with a cutlass, receiving
a severe shock. It then occurred to me, as I had suffered
no unpleasant effect beyond the momentary sensation, that
the curious power of the creature was still sufficient to
afford amusement to a somewhat jaded party. Accord-
ingly, I caused the Indians to join hands, and giving a
cutlass to the foremost, made him touch the eel with the
point. At the moment of contact he threw the cutlass
violently down, and the whole row of five or six
men got a shock which produced at first consterna-
tion, followed by intense amusement when they found
no harm was done. In order to increase their aston-
ishment, I took a piece of wood about two inches long and
t-A particularly "creepy" one I still remember. The man told
how, when he was intently engaged in following a herd of
peccari, he suddenly discovered that he was himself being
stalked by a jaguar.--.W. W. Ds V.







CANAIMAS


pressed it upon the creature's skin. When the Indians saw
that this had no effect on me, they were easily induced to
repeat their first experiment with the cutlass. The
result being, naturally, much the same as before, they
regarded me with deep respect, and, I afterwards learnt,
as something of a "pe-i" (or medicine-man). I may add
that the vitality of this eel was remarkable, as even after
several hours on land it could still make its power very
sensibly felt.
Occasionally, on the upper waters both of the
Essequebo and Demerara, I met a single, haggard, unkempt.
and strangely painted Indian, paddling himself silently
down-stream, and usually close under the bank. Such men
were, I was informed, Canaimas, who were under an
inherited obligation, considered by them as sacred, to
revenge upon one or more of the family of the offender
some wrong perpetrated, perhaps long ago-an obligation,
in fact, very similar to that of the Corsican vendetta.
They paid attention to a signal only by paddling away
faster than before, and even if I had thought it of any use
to follow them, it was doubtful if any of my Indians would
have consented to do so; always evincing a strange fear,
even of talking about these supposed murderous devotees.
From all I could gather, a Canaima usually came from a
distance, and, being always a young man, who had under-
taken his task immediately on arriving at manhood, had,
consequently, never been seen in the neighbourhood where
his design was to be accomplished. Except when unavoid-
ably travelling on the water, he remained concealed in the
bush, and would remain in hiding for long periods, awaiting
a favourable opportunity. The victim,- at length taken
unawares, would be clubbed, and, while insensible, would
be subjected to a horrible operation for prolonging his
torture*. I was never able to verify such stories; but it
is not improbable'that sudden deaths, of which I some-

*-The operationn" consisted in piercing the victim's tongue with
a small splinter of hardwood, generally greenheart. rendering
him. on recovery, dumb, and then the pulling out with a small
hooked stick specially made for the purpose, of the lower
part of the rectum to which a small tourniquet was applied,
before it was pushed back in place.-Editor.







INTOXICATING DRINKS


times heard months after their occurrence, may have been
so caused. In a thinly populated country, so large in
extent and so difficult to traverse, with a climate produce
tive of exceedingly rapid decomposition, it is obvious that
the chances would be infinite against the capture and con
viction of the criminal.

It will thus be understood why the natives of by far
the greater part of the interior of Guiana, though nomin-
ally British subjects, are practically amenable to no other
law than their own.0

Of other unpleasant customs of the Guiana natives,
their drinking-bouts most commonly attract the stranger's
attention. They have at least two intoxicating drinks-one
"piwari", produced from the cassava (manioc), the other
"caseeri", from the sweet potato*, both made in the'dis-
gusting manner which I have seen practised by the South
Sea Islanders in the making of kava (the Fijian
"yaghona"), namely, by chewing the root + into a pulp,
which, when mixed with water, produces the necessary
fermentation. When a canoe has been filled with the drink.
the guests assemble, join hands, and walk sideways round
it, chanting at the same time what, no doubt, they regard
as a convivial song, but which is more like a dirge. It
consists entirely of two notes in the minor key, the higher

O-It always struck me as curious that the Canaima should make
himself conspicuous by painting and otherwise, and thus
advertise his deadly mission, the success of which depended on
secrecy. This point I never had cleared up, and I can only
suppose that while to render himself thus hideous was for
some reason obligatory, he obviated the effects of the exposure
by never allowing to be seen the place where he slept. As a
matter of fact I never saw a Canaima except in the act of
paddling on a river, which he was obliged to use for making
a journey of -any great length, and I am inclined to think that
the other natives were in too great awe of his mysterious and
unknown errand to think of following him.-G. W. Des V.
--Both the drinks mentioned are made from cassava. Red sweet
potato is used only to colour the caseeri.-Editor.
t-In the case of piwari, it is not the raw root, but the bread
made from the root which is chewed.--. W. Des V.







EFFECTS OF INTOXICANTS


one coming first and the lower one occasionally long drawn
out-"Ay-ah, ay-ah, ay-a-a-ah." Now and then the chain
is broken and two or more dip calabashes (gourds cut in
half) into the canoe, and having- drunk the contents at one
draught, complete the circle again, the droning chant
continuing sometimes for twenty-four hours and more
until the liquor is finished, all the performers, however-
women as well as men-being, before the end, very drunk
indeed.

Curiously enough, the effect of these liquids seems to
be exactly the reverse of that produced by the Polynesian
kava. For while the latter renders the legs useless, the
head still remaining clear, the former never seems to pre-
clude an upright posture, even when all other signs of
intoxication, even the most disgusting, are only too evident.
Thus when anyone chooses to leave the circle for a time he
has no difficulty in returning, and is at once admitted
again. One presumes that there must be some pleasure in
these orgies, or indulgence in them would not be so fre-
quent, but it is difficult to understand in what it consists.
The hilarity of which the Indians the Accawoios and
Macusis especially-are so capable is entirely absent.
The faces of all are funereal in expression, even from the
first, while the subsequent sickness one would think
destructive of all other agreeable sensations. But what-
ever pleasure these revels may afford to the participants,
to one sleeping in the neighbourhood and compelled to
listen hour after hour to the melancholy tones they become
at last intolerable. In fact, once when I was ill they
affected my nerves to such an extent that, though it was
the rainy season, I preferred to take my hammock out of
shelter into the neighboring forest.

Arawaks, who inhabit the creeks near the coast (and
were thus at an early period brought into contact with the
Dutch and used by them to catch escaped slaves), seemed
to be as fond of these drinking-bouts as the more unsophis-
ticated natives, though the sparseness and small size of
their settlements, which rarely exceed a single dwelling,







VICARIOUS ILLNESS


rendered prolonged orgies on their part of less frequent
occurrence. In fact, in mode of life and habits all the
natives of Guiana-not excluding the so-called tree-inhabit-
ing Waraus-were much alike, the Arawak differing from
the Indian of the interior merely, as far as I could see, in
wearing more clothes, having a slightly paler skin and a
somewhat superior intelligence, with greater gravity of
demeanour. This gravity seemed imperturbable. I do not
think I ever saw an Arawak smile, and I am sure I never
heard one laugh.

One peculiar custom of the interior natives has, I
think, been abandoned by the Arawaks. Arriving once at
a settlement, I asked why the father of the family, who
seemed quite well, did not get up to receive us, but
remained lying in his hammock. Mr. Couchman, who was
with me, informed me that this was because his wife had
just been delivered of a child. She, poor woman, naturally
not looking very happy, was busy with her work, paying
only very casual attention to the squalling infant, and
evidently with no intention of lying down. The husband
was being treated exactly as if he was the invalid, and I
was told would continue recumbent for several days lest
any accident happening to him should affect the child.
During this vicarious illness, moreover, the man was for-
bidden certain meats, for fear that the qualities of the
animal from which, it came would attach to the child.
Venison, for instance, being tobooed in fear of its causing
timidity, and the flesh of other animals for similar reasons.
The natives themselves are very uncommunicative on the
subject of this custom, being apparently ashamed of it.

t The principal food of the natives, and also of myself
when far away from town, was bread made from cassava
(manioc). This, when carefully made, is excellent in taste
as well as most nutritious, and as it is superior in both
of these respects to oat-cake, I have often wondered that it
is not better known in Europe. If Professor Crooke's prog-
nostication should prove correct as to the coming failure
pf the world's wheat crop to supply the ever-growing







CASSAVA WATER


population, I apprehend that some day both this and plan-
tain flour will largely enter into the consumption of non-
tropical countries.

The poisonous quality of the bitter variety of cassava
when in its natural state, and the mode of its preparation,
are well known. But a peculiarity of the pressed juice
before boiling, which I have never seenl mentioned, is its
attractiveness to animals. The natural instinct which
ordinarily distinguishes the nutritious from the harmful
seems in this case to be wanting, for it is generally
believed in Guiana that all four-footed beasts have a liking
for it. At all events, cattle and goats drink it greedily,
even when abundance of water is within easy reach, and
a knowledge of this furnishes an easy and safe means of
killing stock to anyone having a grudge against its owner.
In more than one instance I had little doubt that the
destruction of a woodcutter's cattle had been maliciously
caused in this way; but unhappily it proved impossible to
bring the offence home with sufficient certainty for a con-
viction.

For sport the forest of Guiana cannot be recom-
mended. To get near any game is a matter of extreme
-difficulty, and to see it, even when close at hand, is scarcely
more easy, owing to insufficiency of light. Presumably,
because the Indian hunter has left them no peace in the
past, all the wild quadrupeds, from the jaguar to the
accouri (the agouti of the Spaniards), fly from the
approach of men, which must be stealthy indeed to give
the chance of a shot. As far as I could learn, the only
exceptions to this rule are one of the varieties of peceari
and the Waracaba tiger, the latter, in my time at all events,
unknown to naturalists.*

*-It has not been definitely ascertained whether the Waracaba
Tiger is a myth or not. From all the evidence at hand this
mysterious animal would appear to be identical with the Bush
Dog or Karasisi (Icticyon venaticus). See "Animal Life in
pritish Guiana,'" Guiana Edition. Page 5/.-Editor,






CAMOODIS


Peccaries are always in herds. The largest and small-
est variety are said to be comparatively timid, and there-
fore less dangerous, unless actually brought to bay; but
those of the middle size, or about that of a three-quarters
grown Berkshire pig, were frequently described as being
very awkward customers indeed0 The Indians told me that
when they came across any they at once ran to the nearest
climbable tree, and one described to me that he had, after
climbing, been kept aloft for many hours until a jaguar
put the herd to flight. Though I often walked for many
hours in search of larger game, sometimes going long
distances in their track, I am not absolutely certain that
I ever saw any in-the forest. As regards the last-men-
tioned variety of peccaries, my failure was perhaps for-
tunate, as a single gun would have been useless against
such a number, and, as weighing some fourteen stone I
was never very active in tree-climbing, I should probably
have come off very badly in the encounter.

Camoodies grow to an enormous size in the colony. A
planter told me of one killed on the West Coast, which had
measured forty feet in length, and I recollect seeing many
years ago, in a book by Stedman on Dutch Guiana, a pic-
ture-largely I should say, imaginative-of a huge monster
hanging from a tree, with two slaves swarming up the car-
cass while in the act of skinning it. Twice only did I get
a sight of these creatures. Once, while on shore at a
negro's plantation about fifteen miles from Georgetown, I
saw, what was of no uncommon occurrence, a porpoise
floating down rapidly with the tide, and at short intervals
coming to the surface. In this case, however, it had been
caught by a big snake, in all probability a water camoodie,
whose coils were plainly visible for the two or three
minutes during which the object remained in sight. On
another occasion, when travelling with Sir William Holmes

-Actually there are but two varieties of peccari known in the
Colony, the Texan, or Collared Peccary, Dicotyles torquatus,
locally known as Abouya, and the White-Lipped Peccary.
known as Kairuni, Dicotyles labiatus. See "Animal Life in
British Guiana", Guiana Edition, Page 97.-Editor.






HUNTING


(then Provost-Marshal of the colony) on the River Waini,
towards the western extremity of the colony, we, while
going down the stream as fast as oars would carry us,
passed quite close to a floating island, a disgusting smell
from which would, even without sight of them, have made
evident the presence of snakes. Two of these monsters
were lying upon the grass coiled up in separate heaps.
Four barrels were quickly fired at short range, which
caused the creatures to move; but the pace we were going
prevented us from seeing any other effect, and they were
quickly beyond our sight.

As regards shooting, a considerable number of par-
rots might sometimes be obtained early in the morning on
the river or in clearings of the forest, and now and then,
sitting on the tent of my boat, I had a chance of bringing
down a toucan while crossing the river high up above the
trees. The latter have a curious flight, unlike that of any
other bird. They seem unable to carry their large beak on
a level plane, and their movement is one of constant curve,
ascending and descending. For the same reason, probably,
they are very easily shot, and fall at once if struck by only
a single pellet. Other birds, such as "powie" curassoww),
maams, etc., were only obtained by "pot shots" when sit-
ting in the trees, and even if I had cared for such shooting
I should have had but little success, as again and again
I failed to see a bird, even after looking hard at the place
where it was sitting, until my Indian killed it.

The instrument ordinarily used by the Indians for
killing game was a cheap "Brummagem" gun; but when
they did not possess one, the home-made bow and arrow
served them fairly well. For small game, sitting on the
ground or on second-growth timber, they took a blow-pipe.
The effective use of the latter weapon I found by no means
difficult after very little practice. Though it is impossible,
of course, to take aim along it as with a gun, the eye
seems instinctively to point the tube straight at the object.
I have seen a complete trio hit an orange at ten to fifteen
yards' distance after very few attempts, Both arrows and







WOURALI POISON. 5

blow-pipe darts are poisoned with wourali, which, when
fresh, will cause a powie or monkey to drop to the ground
in a few seconds. This preparation being almost, if not
entirely identical with the curare of Brazil (though its
makers in Guiana pretend that the vegetable juice which
produces its potent effect is mixed with virus from snakes,
tarantulas, and manourie ants) has been too often
described to need extended reference here; but I may men-
tion, from my own experience, that arrows so poisoned
lose their peculiar efficacy very rapidly, and I have seen a
hen walking about picking up grains with complete indif-
ference, though she had sticking in her several blow-pipe
darts,. one of which had instantly paralysed another only a
few weeks before. Probably the strength might be pre-
served if the paste were kept air tight, but this I never
had the opportunity of trying.








CHAPTER FIVE.


Deer-shooting from canoe-Jaguars-The Warracaba
tiger-Night sounds of the forest-The kinkajou--
Appalling roar of howling monkey-The houtou and
his tail-trimming-Onamatopoeic names-Cushi ants-
Jager ants and their service to man-Night invasion
by jagers-Tenacity of life in ants-Termites-Their
extraordinary voracity-Ant intercommunication-
Killing a monkey, and its effect on the killer-Burning
of a hollow tree.

As regards larger game in Guiana, the only kind the
shooting of which ever afforded me sport in the English
sense of the word was the deer, which is about the size of
the fallow-deer, but with short, unbranching horns. I
usually took with me two woodskins, myself and an Indian
in one, and in the other two Indians with a dog. Arriving
at what seemed a likely place, one of the Indians went
ashore with the dog. With him he carried a horn made
out of a hollow gourd, which, when blown in these soli-
tudes, was audible for miles. From time to time he would
thus indicate his whereabouts, and so enable us to keep as
near him as possible on the river. After we had paddled
an hour or two following the direction of the sound, the
horn, if we were to be lucky, would emit a different note,
indicating that game had been found. Presently the
barking of the dog would be heard, faintly at first, and
becoming gradually louder as it approached the water,
for which the hunted deer invariably makes. Sometimes
the sound would become suddenly very loud at a consider-
able distance from us up or down stream, and then began
a frantic paddling in order to reach the spot in time. The
deer would then be seen entering the water, or sometimes
only the splash would be heard, and the animal would
first become visible when actually swimming. The paddling
would now become still more frantic, until the deer was
close to the other bank. A few seconds more, and unless






"WARACABA TIGERS'


stopped by a bullet he would be safe in the forest, at all
events for that day. Paddle is breathlessly exchanged for
rifle, and crack, crack, echoes over the water just as the
quarry has topped the bank. Has the animal fallen, or
has he escaped? Once or twice it was the latter, involving
a lost day, the miss due, as I flattered myself, to a hand
shaking from violent exertion; but after some experience
such failures were rare. I did not carry a second Indian
to relieve me of all work, partly because my dead weight
would have diminished speed, and also because without the
violent exercise the excitement would have been far less.

The tapir and the labba (the lap of Trinidad) may
be shot by the same method, but do not afford by any
means so exciting a run.

Jaguars were sometimes heard near our camp at
night, but only on two occasions did I see one. The puma
(wnich, I suppose, is the brown tiger, specially feared by
the indians) and all the smaller cats,. including the Wara-
caba, which the natives dread more than any other animal,
also eluded me. These creatures are said to be about the
size of pointer dogs, and are never met with except in
large packs (for which reason I imagine them to be
rather canine than feline). When they are heard
approaching, safety is only to be obtained by getting on
the other side of the stream, which they will rarely or
never cross. 'Once when camped tby the side of a burn in
the forest I heard strange cries which seemed to proceed
from a great number of animals. My Indians, very
frightened, began to take down their hammocks, calling
out, "Waracaba, Waracaba." But the sounds gradually
died away and we were able to sleep in peace. Possibly
the stream saved us; at all events, I never saw the animals
so as to be able to verify whence the sounds proceeded.
In my time the existence of this gregarious tiger was, I
believe, much doubted by naturalists, but the subsequent






FOREST NIGHtg.


narrative of Mr. Brown, the discoverer of the Kaieteur
Falls, serves to confirm the Indian stories about these
animals, though, like myself, he never actually saw one.*

Night in the forest has many other strange sounds,
most of which, however, quickly become familiar and are
easily recognisable. At dusk, in the neighbourhood of a
river or other opening, is heard, almost exactly at the
hour from which its name is derived, the shrill burr of
"the six o'clock bee." In reality, it is a small cicada
under two inches in length, and yet its note is so loud
as to be audible over water at a distance of at least one-
third of a mile. At the same time begins the croaking of
a great variety of frogs, one, called by the Creoles the
paddle frog, giving out a sound so extremely like that of
an approaching boat that I more than once could scarcely
believe it anything else. Later the more subdued chirrup-
ing of tree frogs becomes incessant, and now and then in
the depth of the forest one is suddenly startled by the
hoarse staccato grunt of the bull-frog, sounding from some
hollow trunk close by. Then there are the notes of the
various goatsuckers; and about midnight the inexpressibly
melancholy, yet melodious wail of the largest one above
referred to. Once only I heard the low yap of an animal
moving in the trees above my head. It was, I was told,
the night-prowling kinkajout.

But of all the night sounds of the forest, that of the
howling monkeys is unquestionably the loudest. To a

* See footnote in previous chapter on subject of Waracaba
Tiger.-Editor.
t-This animal also inhabits the island of Trinidad, and one of
them subsequently caused myself and my family a very
unpleasant experience. Years after my departure from Guiana,
when I was administering the government of the colony in
question, and sleeping in Government House, the household
was awakened in the middle of the night by the agonized
screaming of a wild parrot in a tree close at hand. This
continued for fully a quarter of an hour, growing fainter and
fainted until it died away. In the morning the partly
devoured remains of a green parrot was found at the foot of
the tree-the victim of the kinkajou.-G.W. Des V.






THE MOTMOT


stranger it is really appalling and may be heard for miles.
One or two man-of-war sirens and half a dozen angry bulls
bellowing in unison, would be required to produce music
equally loud and melodious. According to the natives, the
creatures roar thus while hanging upon branches by their
tails, and swinging backwards and forwards.

The approach of day is always announced by different
gallinaceous and other birds, and by degrees I came to
know the time from them with considerable exactness.
An hour before the first sign of dawn, or about half-past
four o'clock, is heard several times repeated the crow
which gives its name to the small partridge called "Doura-
quarra". Half an hour later comes the short whistle of
the maam (tinamou), a bird also resembling a partridge
but much larger; and finally, actual daybreak is announced
by the hannaqua, the so-called pheasant of the country,
though extremely unlike one. Also, in the early morning,
but not so regularly, is heard the sad note of the houtou
called elsewhere, I believe, the motmot, a bird which has
the curious propensity of biting off a part of its tail. I
would observe that the picture of this bird, given in the
explanatory index of Mr. Wood's edition of Waterton, is
unlike the specimens which I saw in Guiana, and evidently
is that of a distinct species. The birds seen by me had
the vanes of the long tail-feathers bitten off for an inch
or more exactly at the point which, when the tail was
doubled back, would be reached by the beak, the end of
the tail, unlike that in the illustration referred to, being
of much the same size as the part above the gap. The
Indians believe that this bird has the habit of thrusting
his tail into bees' nests and that the gap in the tail-vanes
is caused by the wearing process of eating off the honey.
In this way they accounted for the fact that some sticky
substance was adhering to the end of the tail of a speci-
men obtained by me.

All these names, with most of those given by Indians
to birds and animals are so strictly onomatopoeic that
when locally pronounced, it would be scarcely possible for






HUNTING ANTS


the human voice to approach more closely to the sounds
intended to be imitated. The many variety of parrots are
all, I think, named on the same principle, as kissi-kissi,
hua-hia, toa-toa, and many others.

As regards other inhabitants of the forest, the cushi,
or leaf-carrying ants, already referred to, can hardly escape
notice, even in a short walk. Their going and returning
legions, always close to one another, and together making
a solid column several inches wide, are so numerous that
it would be difficult to go many miles in any direction with-
out meeting them. These ants are most destructive of
useful vegetation and are regarded simply as a pest; but
there is in Guiana one species of ant which is really
serviceable to mankind. I refer to the jagers or hunting
ants.

At night, when an inmate of a woodcutter's house or
an Indian hut is asleep, sharp bites in various parts of his
body cause him to spring up and strike a light. He finds
that hundreds of jager ants have marched down the ropes
of his hammock. Looking on the ground, on the posts
supporting the roof, on the rafters, and on the thatch, he
sees countless legions of the same insects covering all, and
a dense column still pouring in. Cockroaches in abundance
are now seen rushing about the thatch and occasionally
falling to the ground. If examined closely, these are
found to have several ants fastened on to them. The fall
attracts the ants on the ground, which immediately close
round the struggling victim, and in the course of a few
seconds he is being borne off on a line parallel with the
legions still entering. Scores of cockroacnes are thus
dealt with, and now and then a great centipede shares the
same fate. Falling from the roof, he writhes for a
moment on the ground, apparently endeavouring to free
himself from his clinging enemies; but that moment is
fatal. Hundreds rush upon him from all sides, and in less
than a minute he also is borne off, though still alive, and
sufficiently strong to give his carriers a very unpleasant
time with his contortions. Occasionally a gecko lizard
comes scampering down a poet, and though he gets away







OTHER ANTS


for a moment, it is doubtful whether he will escape alto-
gether; for there may be sufficient ants upon him to
ensure a fate scarcely less rapid than that of the cock-
roaches. After an hour or two occupied in searching every
nook and cranny, the ants depart as suddenly as they came,
and nothing more is seen of them perhaps for many
months. They have, however, left the place completely
cleared of all insects and vermin, even of rats, which, if
not destroyed, are at least driven away, so that however
disagreeable for the moment, they have really done a
most useful service. Meat requires to be protected from
these ants by an impermeable covering, or they quickly
tear it to pieces; and their attacks upon people asleep
render it probable that, if unable to move, one would
quickly meet a horrible fate.

Other ants which are familiar objects are the black
manouri, about an inch in length, and the diminutive red
ant, which, relatively in his size, is quite as venomous. The
former resembles a long, wingless, black wasp, and, like
the latter, uses his mouth to hold his prey, while he stings
with his tail. His venom is so powerful as invariably to
give fever, and it is therefore not improbably true, what
I was told, that even a single sting has been known to
cause death. Fortunately I never was stung by a manouri,
but the red ants once caused me a most unpleasant experi-
ence. Coming out of the water after bathing, I inadvert-
ently sat down in a nest of them. My Indians laughed,
and I do not doubt I furnished a sufficiently amusing
spectacle, but the incident was no joke to me. For several
hours I suffered severe pain, as if red pepper had been
rubbed into numerous pin-pricks, and fever followed
which I did not get rid of for two days.

Ants of several different kinds have their home in
orchids, and I do not think I ever procured one of these
plants without finding in it a numerous colony. On one
occasion, when a large cattleya had been obtained, together
With the elbow of a branch on which it was growing, the
ants were so numerous and venomous that I caused both






WOOD ANTi


them and their home to be thrown into the water and
dragged behind my boat, using a stick frequently for the
purpose of keeping the whole under the surface. For
hours afterwards ants were coming up and floating away,
until they appeared to be all gone; but when the log was
taken up the next day several others astonished us by run-
ning out apparently quite uninjured. Either, therefore,
they must have been able to survive without air, or suffi-
cient for them had remained in the many cavities of the
plant.*

Even more noticeable in the forest than any of the
above are the wood-ants. In most other parts of the world
they are called "white ants", though they are never white,
and are not ants, but termites, which.belong to an entirely
different order of insect. As one passes through openings
in the forest, and especially along the river, one cannot
help being struck with a great number of trees completely
bare of foliage, but still standing erect as ever and with
naked branches sharply outlined against the sky. On
many of these will be noticed, high up, what are seem-
ingly huge excrescences, most of them looking in shape like
enormous footballs. These are nests of the wood-ant, and
an examination of the trunk shows the covered passages
leading to them. These bare trees could hardly all have
been killed by lightning, as commonly supposed by the
natives. Yet death had certainly come neither from stran-
gulation by lines, of which there was never any sign, nor
from the ordinary decay of old age; so that possibly there
was some connection between the condition of the trees
and the residence of the termites whose local name
betokens their fondness for wood. But, though wood is
probably the principal food of these creatures, they seem
to be almost as omnivorous as the cockroach; for on one
of my passages from the Demerara to the Essequebo,
when accompanied by Captain (afterwards Colonel)
Morley, of the Buffs, we left two umbrellas and some pairs
of boots on the bank of the Demerara to await our return.

*-This is a very common experience with orchid collecting.
-Editor.






COMMUNICATION OF ANTS


After an interval of only a few days we found of the
former nothing but the frames, while the latter were
simply skeletons, the seams only being left, the cobbler's
wax having proved distasteful. The destroyers had evi-
dently finished their repast, as there were none visible on
the spot.

What a mysterious faculty of communication have
ants. Once, lying in a hammock close to the floor in the
covered verandah of my house in Georgetown, I observed
an ant which, after discovering a large piece of sponge
cake, immediately scampered over it in apparent excite-
ment, and then went off without taking any away. As the
ant was one of those with a special liking for sweet food,
this proceeding was so strange that I resolved to observe
the further action of the creature. I was at the time weak
with fever; but I managed to crawl to the other end of
the verandah, a distance of some ten yards, where I saw
the ant make for a hole in an interstice between the boards.
In less than two seconds ants began to pour out of the
hole in great numbers, and all went in a straight line to
the cake, which in the course of an hour was all carried
off. No doubt, though indistinguishable from the others,
the discoverer had led the column; but the question arises,
How did he so instantaneously communicate his discov-
ery? Was it by sound inaudible to human ears, or by a
touch which permeated in a moment the dense mass of his
fellows like a shock of electricity?

The Indians are by no means averse to the flesh of
monkeys, and indeed at one time I myself found it by no
means intolerable when other food was scarce. In Guiana,
however, no kind of monkey is easy to shoot, as they are
rarely to be seen except on the tops of the trees. When
there, I found them too difficult to hit, as they were only
visible for an instant when moving rapidly, while loose
shot even of large size would not bring them down from
such a height. However, having one day fired with an
Eley's green cartridge, there fell down a large one of the
spider variety. To my horror I saw that a young one,






BURNING TREES


clinging to her, had fallen also, though apparently it had
not been touched by the shot. The piteous and almost
human look of the mother when dying was such as I shall
never forget. I felt like a murderer, and from that day
I never killed another monkey. Nor, however hungry, did
I ever consciously eat one again. But as in pepper-pot all
meat, after a day or two, tastes much alike, I cannot say
that I may not have done so unconsciously.

The burning of hollow trees close to our camp was a
favourite amusement of Indians. Once when I permitted
mine to indulge in it, the spectacle presented was a grand
one. The hollow trunk made a tremendous draught, and
the fire running up in it quickly a great mass of flame
poured out from the lofty top with a roar like that of an
enormous blast furnace. Showers of sparks rose in the
air, as though hundreds of Roman candles were being fired
together, with the difference, however, that this pyrotech-
nic display and its accompanying noise lasted for several
hours and precluded sleep until long after midnight.
However wonderful the sight, I cannot say that on reflec-
tion I contemplated it with unmixed satisfaction. It is
certain that with the dead tree must have been destroyed
a vast number of living creatures, including frogs, ants,
many kinds of. insects, bats, and probably owls.* Even
Sat the risk, then, of being regarded as a sentimentalist, I
could not on this account regard tree-burning as justifiable
when done for mere amusement, and it was not repeated.


*-Whilst undoubtedly numerous insects do perish under such
circumstances, my own experience is that the bats and owls
pre the first to escape on the first sign of smoke.-Editor,









CHAPTER SIX


Inspection of Massaruni penal settlement-The Lower
Essequebo-The coconut palm and its taste for salt-
Sound of tropical rain in forest heard at great dis-
tance-Sanitary benefit of bare feet-Capon sitting on
eggs-Scenery of Essequebo above rapids Adven-
ture in ascending rapid-A rash swim--Jiggers and
their extraction-Scarcity of animal life in Upper
Essequebo-Kingfishers and jacamars -Fireflies of
different varieties-Mosquitoes and gallinippers; story
illustrating difference between them-River Waini-
The balata tree and its gum-Water communication
between Pomeroon and Upper Orinoco-Deserted
missionary settlement-Experience with bats.

Among the duties of magistrates in British Guiana
was the inspection of the penal settlement,* which was
made each month by two public officers especially appointed
for the purpose. It was situated on the Massaruni River,
near the mouth, and near also the junction of that and
another great river, the Cuyuni, with the still greater
Essequebo. The journey was usually made in one of the
colonial steamers from Georgetown, along the west coast
of Demerara as far as the mouth of the Essequebo, and
then some sixty miles up that river. On the passage up are
several islands, some of them a mile or more in length,
that near the junction of the three rivers being Kykoveral,
which was one of the principal settlements of the Dutch
(recently, I understand, used for a leper asylum).* Besides
the real islands one is certain to meet a large number of

*-The settlement was a prison for persons convicted in. the
colony and sentenced to penal servitude.-G.W. Des V.
*-The Author here is somewhat shaky in his geography and
hearsay facts. The penal settlement is only forty-five miles
from the mouth of the Essequebo, and lies between the junc-
tions of the Mazaruni and Cuyuni and the Mazaruni and
Essequibo. In the lower Essequebo the majority of the islands






COCONUTS


so-called floating islands, which are commonly seen also on
the Demerara, though in less numbers. These are com-
posed of great masses of growing grass, which, having
spread from the river-bank, have been torn away when the
water has risen to an unusual height. Once let loose, they
float up and down with the tide, and as the ebb, assisted
by the stream, is of course the stronger, they eventually
are carried into the sea, though sometimes occupying
many days in getting there. I have occasionally seen
small trees growing on these islands, so it is evident that
there was soil on them, which must have lodged there
before the supporting grass became detached from the land.
Population on the Essequebo was in my time still more
sparse than on the Demerara; and probably seemed even
less numerous than it was owing to the practice of conceal-
ing residences from view with a mass of foliage in front.
To one passing up the centre of the river the banks appear
to present an almost unbroken line of forest; and it is
only on nearer approach that one saw here and there
a narrow boat channel and one or two coconut palms,
indicating the existence of a house at the back.

The mention of the coconut palm reminds me of a
peculiarity of this tree, which though probably familiar
to naturalists, I have found to be by no means generally
known to others. I refer to its extreme liking for salt.
According to my somewhat varied and extended experience
in the Southern and Eastern Oceans, as well as in the West
Indies, this tree naturally bears well only in the imme-
diate neighbourhood of the sea, and the quantity of fruit
steadily diminishes with distance inland. I have occa-
sionally seen one or two nuts on a tree near water which
is now and then brackish; but at a distance of only a few
miles from salt water these palms, though often appear-
ing healthy and well-grown, were all except in one instance,

are well over a mile in length, three of them being nearer
ten miles long. Kykoveral was never a settlement but the
original Dutch fort and lies at the confluence of the Mazaruni
and Cuyuni. It was never a leper asylum, this being at one
time on Kaow Island, at the mouth of the Mazaruni.-Editor,







CAPTAIN KERR


absolutely barren. The exception was noticed by me on
the Demerara, and when I remarked on the unusual cir-
cumstances, the proprietor informed me that he produced
a crop on the tree in question by artificial means. When-
ever he finished a barrel of salt fish or pork, he poured
the whole of the brine op the roots. He did not consume
enough salt provisions for the service of more than one
tree, so that the others, of which there were several, all
remained barren.

The Mazaruni penal settlement has often been
described by travellers. A day or two before I arrived
on one occasion a monster herd of peccaries, in attempt-
ing to cross the river, was attacked and hundreds killed
by the occupants of boats collected from all directions. It
may be imagined how formidable would be the meeting
of such a crowd in the forest.

The large expanse of water in front of the settle.
ment gave me more than once an opportunity of observing
at how great a distance one can hear the sound of equatori-
al rain falling in the forest. One heard the dull roar for
over five minutes before the effect of the rain became
visible, by falling into the water at the further bank of
the Essequebo, some two miles away. As the storm then
took over ten minutes more to reach the settlement, it may
be gathered that the rain must have been at a distance of
at least three miles when the sound of it was first heard.

The children of Capt. Kerr, the genial superintend-
ent of the settlement, were never allowed to wear shoes
and stockings and were perhaps the healthiest offspring
of white people I ever saw in the tropics, the two circum.
stances being regarded by their father as cause and
effect. This may be worth the consideration of parents in
hot countries; the more especially as, other things being
equal, the superior robustness caused by bare feet has evi-
dence in its favour from many quarters, and constitutes






CAPON FOSTER-FATHER.


a theory adopted in the therapeutic system of the cele-
brated Father Kneipp, of Worishofen, which has attained
so much success in Bavaria and Austria.*

While at the penal settlement I once saw what was to
me a novel and curious sight-a capon sitting on five and
twenty eggs. Captain Kerr informed me that this dis-
tortion of nature was advantageous, not only because the
number of eggs so hatched was much larger than could be
covered by a hen, but because the foster-father was more
faithful to his charge than the natural mother. I cannot
remember the process by which the quasi-maternal instinct
was induced, except that a part of it was the pulling out
of some feathers from the breast and giving the bird a
dose of spirits. I know, however, it was not a difficult one,
and as it is well-known that the males of some species
of birds take turn and turn about in setting with the
females, it is possible that the same instinct once existed
in the gallinaceous family or its ancestors, and may be
easily revived.

At different times I made several journeys into the
interior, starting from the Massaruni settlement. One of
these was up the Cuyuni, to the diggings of the British
Guiana Gold Company, an enterprise which, initiated in
1864, had but a short existence. An account of this
journey written at the time is given in a separate chapter.

Between the first rapids of the Essequebo and the
lower path used by me between it and the Demerara, there
is much beautiful scenery. Though with little high ground
on either bank, the river is interspersed with beautiful
islands, and in several places divided' into many separate
channels, containing rapids more or less dangerous to navi-
gation even in small boats. On one occasion I was ascend-
ing one of these rapids in a large barge belonging to Cap-
tain Kerr. The rest of the party, which included two or

* This was written before the discovery of the life-history of the
'hookworm which enters the body through the bare feet.-
,Editor.






ADRIFT IN RAPIDS


three other Europeans, had gone ashore to- walk along the
bank, while the boat was being dragged up by a number
of men hauling at a long rope. Two Indians (Arawaks)
remained with me, one at the bow and one at the stern,
each fortunately wielding a large paddle. While lying
down in the tent, imagining myself in perfect security, I
was admiring the grand sight afforded by the great river
lashed into white foam for several hundred yards in front
of me, watching too with interest the struggles and
tumbles of the men as they tugged against the great rush
of water. Suddenly I became aware that the boat had
reversed its course, and was going rapidly down-stream.
The rope had snapped, and we were running headlong
down the rapids, after having, by .the labour of some two
hours, nearly reached their head. The swamping of the
boat seemed inevitable, in which case my fate would have
been sealed; as in a rapid so full of rocks even the Indians
with their wonderful powers of swimming had but little
chance of escape. At this crisis there was not presented
to my mind an instantaneous picture of my past life, such
as others have described in similar circumstances. My
sole thought was of getting out of the tent and rid of my
clothes as quickly as possible, and this I achieved with a
rapidity which the spectators described as marvellous. The
excitement of the moment enabled me to drag off in a few
seconds a pair of long boots, which, under ordinary cir-
cumstances, would have taken as many minutes. By this
time the boat was hurrying along at a tremendous speed
in a position diagonal to the stream. I was not left long
in suspense; for almost immediately the stern grated
heavily on a rock, and the bow, still in deep water, swung
round until we were at right angles to the bank. This,
ordinarily the most dangerous position of all, now proved
our safety. In an instant we were at the edge of a long
eddy, in which the water coursed upward; and the Indians,
who had seemed up to now paralysed and helpless, at once
recovered courage. Dashing in their paddles, they with a
few frantic strokes, brought us into safety-the whole
occurrence having occupied probably not more than two or
three minutes of time.






JIGGERS


While encamped overnight on an island not far above
the head of these rapids during a short trip made with
Mr. Quintin Hogg (of London Polytechnic fame), my com-
panion started to swim across a channel of the river some
hundred and fifty yards wide. The stream was not very
rapid, and for a strong swimmer, as he evidently was,
there was no reason for alarm on that account. But
noticing unusual excitement among the boathands, I was
informed on inquiry that that part of the river was
greatly infested with perai-a flat broad fish much dreaded
by the Indians owing to its propensity to take large bites
of flesh from the person of the unwary swimmer. Nothing
would induce my men to enter the water at that place.
Fortunately, Mr. Hogg got back safely, but not before I
had had a very mauvais quart d'heure; for, in addition to
other anxiety, the thought struck me that, had a disaster
happened, I, being supposed to be better "up to the ropes",
would certainly have been held responsible.

Close to the third series of rapids I was, on another
occasion, for the first time, made alive to the extraordinary
numbers of "jiggers" (the Spanish chegoes) which infest
abandoned Indian settlements. I determined to use a
deserted shed as shelter for the night; and being very
tired, as soon as my hammock was slung I went straight
to it from my boat in my bare feet. The distance was
not more than thirty yards and was only traversed once
again, and yet in the next two days over twenty jiggers
were taken from my feet. The Indian process of extract-
ing them is by no means a painful one; in fact, it gives
rather a pleasant sensation. It is done with a sharp piece
of very hard wood, which is far better than the needle
usually employed, as it enables the whole "sac" to be
removed without puncture. More painful, however, is the
application of tobacco ash to the wound for the purpose of
preventing the spread of infection by killing such germs
as may be left.

In the Essequebo, over a hundred and fifty miles from
the coast, animal life, apart from insects, and in the morn-
ing and evening birds, was rarely visible. Caymans were






KINGFISHERS


sometimes pointed out to me by the Indians, and a com-
motion in the water as we approached showed where one
or more had entered it; and the muffled roar which was
said to proceed from these creatures was common enough
at night to show that they must have been plentiful. But
I am not sure that I ever saw one; in fact, the only wing-
less animals which were ordinarily visible were the great
iguana lizards, and these only for an instant, when now
and then one would flop into the water from an over-
hanging branch at our approach.

As far as I remember, the only human beings I ever
saw in this upper portion of the river, with the exception
of one or two Canaimas, were Indians from the interior in
large canoes making their way to town for the purpose of
selling hammocks, tame monkeys, parrots, toucans, etc.
These people are always too shy to take notice of the
strange intruder on their domain, and passed by in appar-
ently total unconcern, the row of brown bodies bending to
the paddles, with parrots perched along the gunwale, and
perhaps one or two sakawinki or marmoset monkeys squat-
ting on a heap of hammocks in the bow, forming a curious
spectacle.

The Guiana kingfishers, though all apparently have
the same habits as the one familiarto us in England, are
very unlike him in one respect; being comparatively shabby
in plumage and entirely without the bright feathers of
their English cousin, a circumstance the more remarkable
inasmuch as birds in Guiana are generally far more bril-
liantly decked than in Europe. As though to compensate
for this defect, nature has created another bird, the jaca-
mar, also in several varieties, all of which are singularly
like the kingfishers in shape and habits, but with plumage
of a beautifully irridescent green. They have the same habit
of sitting on low bows over the water, of dashing off now
and then and quickly returning, but unlike them, they do
not touch the water, and their flights seem aimless. But
perhaps as they live entirely on insects, the prey seized
is ordinarily invisible at a short distance.






MOSQUITOES


Fireflies are sometimes attracted by the camp fire in
such numbers as to become a nuisance. I once tried, after
the example of Waterton, to read by the light of many of
them collected in a bottle. It was possible to do so by
passing the bottle over the letters as they were read, but
the operation was a tedious one. I do not doubt the light
would be useful, as mentioned by Waterton, for finding a
note in a pocket-book: but as there is in the forest an
entire absence of wind, I should even for this purpose
prefer a lucifer match, which in Waterton's day was
unknown. There are two kinds of fireflies in Guiana, one
of them common in town, which emits its light from its
tail, and only, I think, when it opens its wings; the other
met exclusively in the forest, which gives a continuous
light from two round membranes in its head, having the
effect of eyes. In Fiji I have seen a variety of the same
insect which combines both of these lights.

Mosquitoes are not common away from the coast of
Guiana. A bluish variety sometimes paid me a visit in
the forest, but there was never more than one or two at a
time. In the towns, however, and on the coast they are a
veritable plague. The urban variety is quite distinct
from the rural one, being far more active and elusive.
It would indeed almost seem as if the continual presence
of the enemy, man, had produced special alertness against
his attacks; for however quick the motion of the hand in
the endeavour to kill him, the town mosquito generally
escapes; whereas his country cousin permits himself to
be crushed with comparative ease. On some parts of the
coast these creatures are in enormous numbers. Driving
once along the Berbice coast with an officer of police, and
observing a great number of these plagues on my cor
panion's back, I, with his permission, struck his coat with
the flat of my hand, and there remained a very fair
impression of the palm and fingers in dead mosquitoes
As it was midday with a bright sun, when the insects are
in least abundance, it may be imagined what the numbers
must have been at night.






GALLINIPPERS


There is a less common variety of mosquito, the
"gallinipper", which, unlike the others, drives into the
flesh so long a proboscis that when it is entirely inserted
the creature seems to be standing on his head. Some
years before my time, when troops were quartered in New
Amsterdam, Berbice, two officers after mess went out into
the marsh close to the barracks, with bared backs, for the
purpose of deciding a bet as to which would withstand
the mosquitoes the longer. They were allowed to smoke.
At length one of them could bear the pain no longer, and
he began to get up, when, seeing his companion writhing
with his head buried in his arms, it occurred to him to
touch his, naked back with the lighted end of his cigar.
This proved too much for endurance. The patient, jump-
ing up, ejaculated, "By heavens. I can stand mosquitoes,
but I'm hanged if I can stand a gallinipper."

The doubt which is commonly expressed as to whether
mosquitoes are more prevalent in tropical or temperate
regions I have good reason to share from my own experi-
ence. The two places where I found them most numerous
were the Mahaicony Creek, one of the smaller rivers which
falls into the sea east of the Demerara, and on the Lake
St. Clair in Canada, where I was once duck-shooting. In
either place it was impossible to open one's mouth after
dark without a number going down the throat, and even
before dark, by a rapid motion of the hand, one could
make a visible lane in the dense cloud surrounding one's
head. In Newfoundland, also, as regards the unsettled
districts, I found them almost equally numerous. With
reference to the recent discovery of mosquitoes as the
source of malaria, it becomes of special interest to inquire
into the cause of the common experience that malaria is
usually most virulent on the windward, and not, as might
be expected, on the leeward side of the marsh, where mos-
quitoes are bred and malaria is supposed to arise.

During my service in the Upper Demerara River dis
trict, taking advantage of short periods of leave, I made
two expeditions with Sir William Holmes, one up the
head of the Mahaicony Creek (which after a course of






BALATA


some eighty miles in length falls into the sea to the east
of Demerara) and one to the Waini River. Sir William
was interested in the production of balata, a gum which
is contained in the bully tree, bearing a close resemblance
to gutta-percha, and said to be quite equal to it for non-
conducting purposes. Though the tree in question is
abundant in Guiana, especially about the lower courses of
the Waini and the Barima, the cost of labour is too great
for obtaining gum in sufficient quantity by the process of
tapping. To meet this difficulty, Sir William conceived the
idea of crushing the bark of felled trees by machines,
several of which he had at work in different parts of the
colony. Unfortunately this process extracted from the
bark other ingredients besides the gum, which "was thus
rendered valueless, and so the enterprise failed. If, how-
ever, there should be some day discovered an inexpensive
means of separating the tannin from the gum, the mil-
lions of bully trees in Guiana would thus be rendered avail-
able for iiicreasing the world's supply of gutta-percha, of
which the continual rise in price shows that it has become
very inadequate to the demand.*

In the expedition to the Waini we went by sea to
Plantation Anna Regina, at the extreme end of the culti-
vated portion of the coast beyond the Essequebo. There
we took a tent-boat, and proceeded by a canal which con-
nects this plantation with the Pomeroon River. Descend-
ing that river to a point near its mouth, we entered the
Moruca channel which connects the Pomeroon with the
Waini. Another channel connects the Waini and the
Barima; and had we chosen, we might have entered the
Orinoco and, without leaving the boat, have ascended it
and its tributaries to the immediate neighbourhood of
Santa Fe de Bogota, making altogether a journey of some-
thing like 2,000 miles, all by fresh-water navigation. But
we went no further than the Barima, and after spending
two days on the Waini returned by the route we came, the

* Since the above was written an economical method of "bleed-
ing" the trees has been evolved with the result that the balata
is one of the principal forest industries in the colony.-Editor.






SANTA ROSA


journey occupying some ten days altogether. After leaving
Anna Regina, the only white man seen was Mr. McClin-
tock, the Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks of the
Pomeroon district, at whose house on that river we spent
a night both going and returning. McClintock was a sin-
gular character, who, however, earned liking and respect
from all who came in contact with him. He had for years
lived a solitary life, surrounded only by Indians, of whom
his knowledge was unsurpassed. As he was the only edu-
cated man in the colony with similar experience, I always
regretted that I was able to see so little of him. His visits
to the civilised part of the colony were very rare; and so
this was the first as well as the last time we ever met.

When in the Moruca channel on that journey we came
to a long-abandoned Catholic missionary station called, I
think, San Antonio*. The building, though much dilapidated
and with vegetation forcing itself through the walls in all
directions, nevertheless afforded enough shelter to induce
us to spend the night there. When preparing to sling our
hammocks we were astonished to see what looked like a
black curtain hanging from one of the rafters. On closer
inspection this turned out to be entirely composed of bats
hanging to one another by their feet, with their heads
downwards. We were told they were vampires. As the
windows had altogether disappeared, and there were
abundant other openings in the buildings which did not
form part of the original design, it was impossible to get
rid of the creatures altogether. During the whole night
we were disturbed by the frequent whirr of their wings,
and the boathands, who had no mosquito curtains, showed
their belief in the blood-sucking propensity by huddling
all together in the tent of the boat with the curtains fast-
ened down.


* Santa Rosa de Lima or, as. it is more popularly known, just
Santa Rosa, was subsequently re-established and today is one
of the most successful missions in the colony.-Editor.









CHAPTER SEVEN


Visit to River Cuyuni, Lower Essequebo, and mouth of
Massaruni-First rapids of Cuyuni-Weight carried
by Indians-Bargain with Indians-Fast in a rapid-
Arrival at gold-diggings-British Guiana Gold
Company-First touch of fever-Humming-birds (?)
at night-Primitive gold-washing-Passage down
rapids-Wonderful swimming.

I have in a former chapter referred to a visit paid by
me within the first few months of my service to the gold-
diggings on the River Cuyuni, and I insert here an account
of it, written immediately after my return, and almost the
only contemporary record of my impressions now in my
possession.

On Saturday, July 9th, 1864, having obtained a week's
leave from the Governor, I started on a trip to the gold-
diggings of British Guiana. It has been long known that
gold existed in the tributary of the Essequebo called the
Cuyuni. The Venezuelans, who occupy the territory at its
source, have for some years had "diggings" there. Some
miners, making their way thence towards British territory
found pieces of auriferous quartz much nearer the mouth
of the river, and this discovery led to the formation of
"The British Guiana Gold Company, Limited." A grant
was obtained from the Government of a tract of land on
either side of Waria Creek, where the gold had been
found. This stream falls into the Cuyuni about twenty-
five miles from its mouth*. The place is most difficult of
access, owing to a large number of almost impassable
rapids intervening between it and the nearest settlement.
An idea of these may be formed from a knowledge of the
fact that, without anything deserving the name of a cas-

This was the Wariri Mine.-Editor.






UP THE ESSEQUIBO


cade, the river in twenty-five miles falls about one hundred
and twenty feet. Owing to this difficulty in the way of the
projected enterprise, the Government was very liberal in
its terms, granting the exclusive right of mining for
twenty-one years over about thirty square miles of land.
Only a few acres of this tract, however, were known to
be auriferous, the rest being entirely unexplored, and the
whole covered by a dense forest.

I started from Georgetown in the colonial steamer at
8.30 a.m. Mr. A., the Managing-Director of the Gold
Company, who was to be my compagnon de voyage, being
also on board. After leaving the Demerara two hours of
roughish sea brought us to the mouth of the Essequebo. I
am ashamed to say that before my arrival in Guiana this
river was scarcely known to me even by name. It is,
however, nearly as long as the Elbe, and has four or five
tributaries longer than the Thames, two-the Massaruni
and Cuyuni-probably twice ,as long*. A strong ebb tide
was against us, so that it took us nearly seven hours to
reach our destination at the mouth of the Massaruni. In
this fifty odd miles of its course the stream was, I should
say, never less than a mile wide**. Islands abound, covered
down to the water's edge with dense masses of foliage. It
is thus, frequently for miles together, impossible to see
both banks at the same time. Inhabitants are few and
far between. Here and there a narrow opening in the
"bush", and a boat at the bank, indicated the presence of
a settler. The house, however, is almost invariably con-
cealed from view. One solitary black, paddling a "curial",
was the only human being we saw until we reached
Macouria Creek0, about thirty-five miles up. Here several
sea-going vessels were lying alongside the bank. The
crews appeared to be moving about busily on deck, the

* The Cuyuni, big as it is, is but a sub-tributary of the Esse-
quebo, flowing into the Mazaruni, four miles above its conflu-
ence with the Essequebo.-Editor.
** The average width of the Essequebo in this section is three
miles.-Editor.
o Macouria Creek now forms the southern boundary of the U.S.
Naval Air Base.-Editor.







SHYNESS OF INDIANS


distance preventing us from seeing what they were about.
There is, however, little doubt that they were taking in
timber, the only cargo to be obtained there. With these
exceptions, nothing was to be seen but sky, trees, and
water. The colour of the latter, as in most other rivers
of Guiana, is that of porter or beer, according to the
depth-much, in fact, like that of a Scotch burn which
had run through a peat country. When held up to the
light in a tumbler it appears, however, only slightly dis-
coloured, and is by no means unpleasant to the taste.
A short distance up the Massaruni, itself about a mile
wide at its mouth, is Her Majesty's penal settlement for
the convicts of British Guiana. From there, after a night
passed in our hammocks on board the steamer, we started
again at daybreak. Our conveyance was a "curial", or
dug-out, that is, a large tree hollowed out into a canoe-
shaped boat. Our locomotive power consisted of twelve
men with paddles. Proceeding a short distance up the
same bank of the Massaruni, we then crossed over to the
other side to get some provisions for the men at a store
belonging to the Gold Company. Here some huge rock-
boulders and an occasional house relieved the monotonous
outline of forest. A brown object appeared, motionless,
on one of the rocks, which, on nearer approach, proved
to be a naked Indian, squatting on his haunches, and fish-
ing with a short rod and line. His eyes were intently
fixed on the water, and he never raised his head or moved
a muscle of his body, though we passed within twenty
yards of him, and such a boatload as ours must have been
an extremely rare sight. Only when we had gone a con-
siderable distance did he condescend to look up. I have
observed the same behaviour in Indians inhabiting the far
interior. What appears to be a total absence of curiosity
is really shyness. When they become acquainted with you
they will examine everything you possess with the
minutest scrunity, though they usually pass a stranger
without appearing to be aware of his presence.
We soon reached the Cuyuni, which, at its mouth, is
also more than a mile wide. After about three and a half






KAMARIA PORTAGE


hours' paddling up that river the rapids came in sight.
Here we left our "curial" and walked over the portage on
a road recently cleared by the Gold Company*. The party
consisted of twenty, chiefly Indians and Bovianders",
besides myself and Mr. A. and even this number hardly
sufficed to carry our impedimenta, which included several
days' rations for the workmen at the diggings, besides our
own canisters and hammocks. Not for the first time was
I struck by the ease with which Indians manage to carry
an enormous weight. One sturdy little fellow had on his
back, nearly a foot below the position of a soldier's knap-
sack, a bunch of plantains weighing probably about eighty
pounds, and then took upon his head a canister of provi-
sions weighing nearly a hundredweight. The latter was
put down once only during a march of about five miles,
which was accomplished under the two hours. 'The plan-
tains were hung on the back by means of a broad belt,
made of a single leaf, passing across the chest and over
the arms.

All along the road we heard the roar of the rapids
near us, though dense foliage prevented even a glimpse of
the water. On reaching the river again we embarked in
a tent-boat awaiting us, in which we were rowed against
a rapid current for five hours. The stream was, in many
places, as picturesque as running water, studded with
green wooded islands and banks, could possibly be, in the
absence of high ground and all signs of human existence.
Occasionally I was reminded forcibly of the Thousand
Islands in the St. Lawrence, the scenery of which some-
what falls short, in my opinion, of the description usually

* The Kamaria Falls, 13 miles up the Cuyuni.-Editor.
The term Boviander, the local meaning of which is a cross
between an Indian, a White and a Negro, is applied solely to
those residents of such descent residing on the great rivers of
the country. Its origin, according to the late Dr. Walter E.
Roth, is from the Dutch "bovenlander", i.e., highlander, as
distinguished from "nederlander", lowlander. The term is still
used in Essequebo, but I never heard it used to describe the
similar people on the Demerara who are referred to aq "kala-
kurus".-Editr,






BARTER


given of it by enthusiastic travellers, owing to the wants
above mentioned. Just before starting again, an Indian,
paddling alone in :a woodskin, came alongside. We saw
that he had game, which proved to be a Winebisere deer,
a powie (bush-turkey), and an accouri. "What for you
sell 'um?" says Mr. A., pointing to them. "Knife", replies
the Buck*. "Give you dollar-one, two, three, four shil-
lings", rejoins Mr. A., holding up that number of fingers.
Buck: 'No, six." Mr. A. : "Well, give 'um here." The
money was paid. The Indian placed it alongside him with-
out remark. (He had no pocket, for the good reason that
he had no breeches, and only a strip of cloth round the
loins). After handing over the game, he looked up and
pointed to his mouth. "Soapy"?0 asked Mr. A. An infini-
tesimal toss of the head signified "Yes". A large allow-
ance of rum was handed to him. He took it down neat
with the utmost sang-froid. Not a -word or gesture of
thanks. A very slight elevation of the eyebrow on finish-
ing the draught was the only sign of satisfaction. Other-
wise not a muscle of his face moved. He handed back the
cup, and paddled off silently as he came. He was probably
off to town to get drunk on one shilling of the six, and
while in that condition to be cheated out of the rest-a
handsome reward for a hundred and fifty miles of pad-
dling.

At five o'clock we reached another rapid, which it
was necessary to avoid in order to accomplish our journey
in a day. The baggage had again to be carried, this time
only a distance of a hundred yards. A large "banaboo",
or thatched shed, had been erected here for the benefit of
people benighted on the way. Now came the exciting part
of the day. We had to pass a long rapid before dark, and
every nerve had to be strained to reach it by daylight. In
order to inspirit the men, who were beginning to show
signs of fatigue, I took a paddle myself and began to
work it vigorously, much to the astonishment of the
natives. An hour's hard work and we reached the foot

* Buck is the local name for Indian.--G. W. Des V,
SThe Dutch soupje, a little sup.--*, W. DesV.









WARIRI MINE


of the rapid just as the sun was going down. In this
equatorial latitude twilight does not last long, so that we
had no time to spare. Paddling was now useless owing to
the rapidity of the current, and all hands had to jump into
the water, some to pull at a long rope fastened
to the bow, and others to shove. By a slow
process of alternate paddling and hauling we got
about three-quarters through the quick water, when
we suddenly stuck fast. All our strength failed
to move the canoe either forwards or backwards. It
would now have been quite dark but for the meagre light of
the moon, wanting about two days of its first quarter. A
dense bank of clouds had nearly reached us. Here was a
pretty fix. At least two hundred yards of roaring, foam-
ing water was on either side of us, being far too deep in
many places to admit of wading. The prospect of passing
a night in an open boat in such a position was, with rain
impending, by no means pleasant. We found at last,
however, that the canoe was fast on a narrow ledge, so that,
by applying all our force at the extremities, we managed
to turn her round, and thus got her into deep water again.
We now made various unsuccessful efforts to grope out a
passage in the darkness, each time having to go back, until
at last by a tremendous effort, stimulated by a liberal
allowance of grog served out to all hands in the water, we
managed to get through, and in a short time arrived at
our destination.

A light shining on the bank announced the neighbour-
hood of human beings, of whom save the Indian we had seen
none since the early morning. A house was ready for our
reception, such as I was surprised to find in this wild
neighbourhood. A substantial meal also was prepared, our
voices having been heard through the still night air long
before our arrival; and last, but far from least, there was
the cheery face of Mrs. P., the wife of the manager, to
welcome us.

I was kept awake the greater part of the night by
mosquitoes (having neglected to bring my curtain). I
inention this becaitse. after some four months of travel bo







MINING CAMP


the rivers of Guiana, this was the first time that I saw
any mosquitoes in the bush. Why they should be here and
not in the Demerara it is hard to say. To make up for this
annoyance there were no bats. Mr. P., the manager of
the Gold Company, told me he had never seen any there.
I suppose that, having been so recently settled by men,
these interesting blood-suckers, so prevalent elsewhere in
the Guiana forest, had not yet discovered so promising a
field for their operations.
The next day neither Mr. A nor I was fit for much,
being tired with the long day's journey of the day before.
A pain in my back and a feeling of extreme lassitude, Mr.
A. told me, betokened "Colony fever." Feeling up
to nothing, I spent most of the day in my ham-
mock reading the batch of the Times brought by the
last mail. Meanwhile I had ample opportunity of looking
about me. The house in which we were was raised many
Feet from the ground on piles. It was built throughout of
wood, which had been cut and sawn on the spot. Only the
nails and glass had been brought from town. The work
done on the place in little over two months certainly did
credit to Mr. P.'s energy. I could see from the verandah
that a space of about ten acres had been cleared, and on
it had been built several large and substantial-looking
"logies" for the workmen. The river was close in front,
about three hundred yards wide, with a very rapid cur-
rent. I was told that the land opposite is an island, there
being a wider branch of the river on the other side of it.*
The island must have been a very long one, as there was
no sign of its coming to an end in the long reach down
which I was looking.
The following night I was astonished by a loud hum-
ming, like that of a monstrous bee. I lit a candle and
found two humming-birds flying about and occasionally
dashing themselves against the windows. I could not
catch them, and they would not fly out, though I gave
them the opportunity; so I had to endure the nuisance,
and soon went to sleep in spite of it. These little creatures

T This is Swprimn Island, about eight nIile in length.--Fiitor,






MUDDY ROAD


announced their presence in like manner the two follow-
ing nights, disappearing during the day. As the bird is
not nocturnal, there was a mystery which was not solved
in our short stay.*

July 12th, 1864. I was ill all day with unmistakable
fever, and was thus unable to accompany Mr. A. "aback",
whither he went to inspect the gold-washing. I managed,
however, in the afternoon to stroll over a little hill close
by the house. It was almost entirely composed of quartz
boulders. Being unable to find in these a single trace of
gold, and knowing that this was to be the site of the
crushing-machinery, and this the stone to be operated on,
I almost came to the conclusion that the company would
not pay. When, however, in the evening I told Mr. A.
my impressions about the absence of gold from the quartz,
he smiled quietly and said he would convince me to the
contrary before we left.

The next day. after coffee, we started with Mr. P.,
the manager, for the washing-ground. The latter is
situated on a little creek two miles from the river. A
road thither had been made through the bush, that is, the
trees had been cut down, leaving an avenue about twelve
feet wide. In other respects morass would better describe
what we walked upon. Labour and perseverance, such as
employed by Stephenson on Chat Moss, would be required
to justify the name of road. However, we waded
through at last, and found the diggers hard at work. A
space of about two acres had been cleared, and two logies
erected for the workmen, who preferred sleeping there
to the walk out and in. A little brook had been dammed to
form a reservoir. The dam appeared to be unnecessarily
strong for so small a body of water, being composed of a
* Years after the above was written, on seeing an illustration in
M. Bates' books on the Amazons, showing an extraordinary
likeness in shape between humming-birds and sphinz moths,
the noise made by both in flying being also much alike, there
occurred to me, as the possible explanation of the mystery,
that the disturbers of my night's rest on this occasion might
not have been humming-birds at all, but specimens of the
insect which imitates them so strangely,-I 15 Des V.






GOLD WASHING


doublee row of piles with clay puddled in between. I was
informed, however, that a barrier nearly as strong had
been swept down a few weeks previously by one night's
rain. Nowhere in the world, I imagine, is the proverb,
"It never rains but it pours", more true than in Guiana.
(Here follows, in the original, a minute description
of the gold-washing process as I saw it. Being the primi-
tive mode adopted in the early days of Californian and
Australian "diggings", it has been so often described that
its details may be omitted here. It may be mentioned,
however, that the soil being washed was taken from a
stratum of yellow clay about two feet thick and about two
feet below the surface, and that when a large barrelful
had been washed, I had the satisfaction of seeing a few
grains of gold drop through the small residue of heavy
black sand which was left by the process.)
The rain poured down in torrents during the whole
of our walk home, rendering the road even less "negoti-
able" than before.
During our absence one of the large boulders near
the river had been blasted. Many of the pieces con-
tained small specks of gold, and, according to Mr. A.,
stone of that character would give about five ounces to
the ton, whereas two ounces would pay handsomely. I
hope for the sake of the company that all the stone in the
neighbourhood is like this. I have, however, strong doubts
on the point, as much of it appeared to my inexperienced
eye as of a very different character. Besides, only bould-
ers are apparent, and though possibly rich veins exist, it
is problematical whether the capital of the company will
hold out until they are found. The following day we
started homewards. Our. speed down-stream was a great
contrast to the long and weary toil upwards, and we
accomplished in five hours what had before taken twelve.
Instead of walking over the path, we "ran" the rapids.
This was an operation more exciting than safe, several
lives having been already lost by it in the year the com-
pany has been at work. The water was so low that one
of the rapids had become a cataract, which it was impos-
sible to pass by "running," So the boat was brought to







"STREAKING" A RAPID


shore and turned round with her stern to the water. She
was then dragged out into the current by a long rope tied
to her bow, all hands wading, some holding the rope and
others the gunwale of the boat. In this way we were
gradually lowered down the fall, and also down about a
hundred yards of rapid below it. When the water was too
deep for wading, some of the hands would swim down to
a rock, one of them holding the end of the rope, the others
meanwhile holding the boat, and only letting her go when
their companions were safe on terra firma.*
These half-breeds swim in a wonderful manner. For
pure amusement they would throw themselves into and
under a current running faster than the fastest mill-
stream with sharp rocks jutting out in every direction.
In a few moments they would reappear scrambling out a
hundred yards down, laughing and screaming in a way
which showed clearly that they were not out of breath.
It was a marvel that they had not been dashed to pieces.
I was told, however, that they only use one hand in swim-
ming, the other being held out to act as a buffer.
We found that the superintendent of the penal settle-
ment was absent from home, and not expected until next
day. As the steamer had gone and there was no other
means of conveyance but what he could afford us, we were
compelled to await his arrival. The next afternoon he
came, and kindly lent us his large boat with a crew of
ten convicts. After pulling the whole night, with the
exception of a very short rest when the tide was too
strong against us, we arrived at daybreak at Plantation
Philadelphia, whence there is a road along the coast the
whole way to the Demerara. The boatmen sang, or rather
yelled, during the whole passage, rendering sleep impossi-
ble. As they do not pull as well without this licence and
time was an object to us, we let them have their way.
That they were in a condition to pull and sing for twelve
hours with scarcely any intermission argued well for their
treatment at the settlement. Having procured a convey-
ance, we arrived at Georgetown about noon.
* This method of lowering a boat down a fall is now known a*
"streaking."-Editor.




Full Text

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OF ERAR' A Sir G. WILLIAM DES VOEUX 1865,-1870

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIB.RARIES

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r r The Daily GUIANA Chronicle's EDITION OF REPRINTS AND ORIGINAL WORKS DEALING WITH ALL PHASES OF LIFE IN BRITISH GUIANA. EDITILD BY VINCENT ROTH. ---PUBUSHEn, No 1 ._uA VOYAGE TO THE DEMERARV!' with an account of the Sett1ements there and on the Berbtce 81fld Essequibo -by Henry Boline:h J'oke -Price: nAill, No. 2 .-"TRAVELS I N SOUTH AMERICA," mainly between the Berhke :lnd EsseQuibo Rivers, nnll In SuriDflrnby Adrlaan Van Berkel-1670-1686Translated from the Dlltch by Walter E, Rolh-1925. Price: $1,50. N o. 3.-"NOTES ON ANIMAL LIFE I N BRITISH GUIANA:' n Popula. r o.ulrle 10 Colonial l\fammnll
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.. >

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.' ;THE GUIA.NA. EDITION No. 11. EXPERIENCES OF A DEMERARA MAGISTRATE 1863-1869 -BY SIR G WILLIAM DI::S VOEUX, C C.M.C 67)-2.97-31 WITH A N APPElNDIX THE AUTHOR'S LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES ON THE SUBJECT OF THE TREATMENT OF EAST INDIAN .IMMIGRANTS ON SUGAR ESTATEli With a Foreword and Edited BY VINCENT ROTH FOR THE DAILY CHRONI CLE LTD. Printers & Publishers, B cokbinders, Stati oners, Bloc k M a kers, Co l our Printers GEORGETOWN DEMERARA BRITISH GlliANA. _. 1$48

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, .. AM.""

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EDITOR'S FOREWORD To most British Guianese, those of the past genera tion at any rate, the name of Des Voeux, i s and was synonymous the Royal Commission appointed, as a result of his letter to the Secretary of State to the Colonies, to enquire into the operation of indentured immigrati on a s practised in this country up to 1870. Even up to the present day one occasionally hears this commi ssion referred to a s "The Des Voeux Commiss i on". To suc h a degree was th,i s connection regarde d that few people realized that the greater part of Sir G, William (then Mr, ) D es Voeux' s time in this Colony was spent in the interior, as Sti'Pendial'Y Magi strate of the Upper Demerara River Di strict. The eighth o f nine childre n of the Reverend Henry Des Voeux, OTI. e time Rector of Stapenhill and younger son of the first bal:onet o f that name George Willi a m was born in 1 83 4 at Haden-Baden and was, through both parents, of Huguenot descent. The first five years of hi s life were spent travelling on the continent with hi s father wh o in 1839, returned to England. Educated at Chartel'house School and Balliol College, Oxford, hi s father ins isted that he should orde r s or see k a liv e lihood in the Colo ni es. He c h ose the latter and, in 1856, went to Canada where he entered as a law student at O s good Hall, Toronto Subsequently he procured admission to Toronto University where he obtained hi s B.A. degree. C a lled to the Canadian Bar in 1861 h e began the practice of law in partner s hip with the m O an who subsequently became the Right Hon, S'ir Samuel Strong, Chief Justice of Ca nada. Not finding the legal life agreeable, he applied, through influential friends, to the Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State for the Colonies, for a co lonial appoint-

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11 FOREWORll. ment and, in 1 8G3, was appo in ted to a Stipendiary Ma g i s tracy in British Gui ana. His y e 'urs in hi s remote interior di strict were happy ones and it wa s not until he was m oved to the sugar-planting di stricts on the co ast t hat life beca m e i ntolerable through the enmity of the planters which he incurred thr oug h hi s alleged partizanship with the "under do gs", I -lis application for a transfel' to anoth e r colony waS Sll c(;cssf ul <:Iud in 1 869 he was appeinted Adm inistrator and Colonia l Seeretar y of St. Lucia. It was just after hi s assump tion o f these new duties; that tra, ub l e broke out among the Indian immigrants in Demerara and D es Voeux con s id e r e d i t an obligatory duty to a cquaint L o r d Granville, the then Secretary of State, with t h e facts a s he knew them.. His connec tion with the Colony cam e to an e n d with his evidence before the Royal Commi ss i o n that was appointed as a of his communi catio n. In 1 88 0 he was appoint.ed Governor of the Bahamas, and, t he same yea r Gove rnor of Fiji and High Co mmi s s iOller, Western Pacific In 1886 he was appointed Governor of Newfoundland and the following year, o f Hong Kong, whence h e retired from the service in 1 89 L He wa s create d a G;.C.M.G. in 1 893 and di e d o n 15 t h Decem -ber 1909. This volu me, w h ich comprises the first nine chapters of t he author's hvo-volurne book, "My Colonial Servi ce," publis hed 190 3 by John Murray, Albermarle Stree t, Lon don, contains t h e account of hi s experiences in British Guiana. S'uch a ccou n t, by itself would be incomplete with out the auth o r s letter t o L o r d Granv ill e w hi c h prea.ipitated. the famo u s Commission, the circu m stances surrou nd ing the incepti o n writing and de spatch of whic h lette r he desc r ibes in d etail. t hi s very enlightening document, f rom t h e fil es of The Colonist, has been in serted in the form of an appendix which i t i s believed, will add not a little to the hi s torical value of t hi s publication.

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FOREWORD. III With the exception of the picture of t he big tree growing o n the upper Demerara, which the Author mentions as having been given by him to Charles Kingsley who pu.blished it in his book On Trinidad, "At La st", the i1lustrations are taken from "My Colonial Service" men tioned above. Georgetown. 1948 VINCENT ROTH

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The Author _..... ......

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CHAPTER ONE. V oyage to G ui ana in H M.S. u N ii e -C m 'i ous c ustomBermuda a n d b locka d e 1'unne rs-A1Tiv a l in Geo r get o wn, B '''it-ish G u'ia na-Appointed Magis t 'rate of Uppe r D e'l1w l'u l' U Rive -,. dist1'ict -G 'wiana l1'uvel li'ng -Neg 1'0 b oath a n ds a n d thch' songs -;-Descl'ipt'ion oj Rive1:-H y d e Pa'rk P olice Stati01t--E xi1' u ordinQ,1' Y eUect o f o f case s -G,'cat ,'a' in/all -Tim, b e 1 p unts -BeTl i n P olice Stati01lr-Dalgi n COU1' t House-Attack o f yellow f e ve?' thc1'e, and e x p e rience s c o nnecte d wU h i t B isho p Ch1'i s tianb 'u:rg -E xt1'ao1'd inary s no1'ing. Ip October, 1863, I left Canada t o take lip my appo int ment a s s tipendiary magistrate in Britis h Guiana. Embarkin g at B os t o n on a h o meward bound Cunard s team e r, whi c h carrie d m e to Halifax, N o va S cotia it wa s my intentio n to take there in one of the mail packet s which then ran from that port to St. Thoma s via Bermuda But having board e d the Alpha to s ee the deck c abin a ss i g ned to me, I found that t he of a s ea v o yage o n a s mall, narrow v e ss el certain t o l'oU heavily in any ca sc, w erc t o be enhanced by a deck load of ca;tt l e tied up in s u c h a manner s o that their t ail s were with in a few feet o f t he cabin door s A pros pect so agreeable wa s no t, h o wever, t o b e reali s ed; for visitin g a friend on board H.M S N i le, t he flag s hip of the s tation, then on the point of s ailing, I became introduced to the Ad m iral, Sir Alexander Milne who, on hearing my de s tination. mmlt kindly offered me a pa ss age The NUe her commis s ion nearly expired was leaving the p ort for the la s t time, a circum stanc e whic h afforded m e t he opportunity of witne ssing a curiou s cus tom now .. T h e Civil War in Americ a being in progress, BQrmuda obtaitied its supplies of beef from Halifax, the regular line of passenger steamers being devoted to its transport.G W Des V

PAGE 15

2 LIFE ON H.M.S f'NILE," probably fallen into disuse. A bluejacket s tood on the truc k of each mast, and whirling a barndoor cock round hi s h ea d threw it into the water, the boats of the oth e r war vesse l s in the harbour racing to pick up the birds as they fell. This proceeding s ymbolised, I wa s told, retire men t from the supremacy of the station. The pop u larity of the flagsh ip was pleasantly attested at Halifax as we s teamed down the harbour by the firing o f guns, the wavi ng of flags, and the plaudits of den s e crowds. During the fir s t half of the voyage, 01' until we reached Bermuda, I s pent the greater part of my time in t h e cock pit, where the fir s t lieutenant, Mr. Phillip s, gener o u s l y gave up to me hi s cabin. For I was alway s more or less ill, and f ou nd from various experiments that going o n deck or i nto the wardroo m only made matters worse bes id es bringing my sorro w s into public view. I thus s aw mo re of the inner lif e of a man-of-war than I ever have since, though of the 17 0,000 mile s which I h ave compassed in ocean voyage s over 6 000 mile s hav e been made in H.M.' s s hips For, as on every s ubsequent occasion, I was carried officially, and wa s usua lly affected with the same weakness, I saw li t tle bey o nd the quarterdeck and the captain 's quarters. On th is my first voyage in a wars hip, I as a l andsman had vividly conveyed to me, a s no written d escription could do, what an extraordinary variety of life is compre ssed into so s mall a space. One practice I may m ention which I have never see n referred to e lsewhere. At f our o'clock eve r y morning the mid s hipmen and naval cadets, who se hammocks were s lung clos e by my cab in, were a rou se d by the b oatswain's cry of "Show your l egs, s how your l e g s ," .reiterated a s he paced the deck. Each youth thus addressed was exp ec ted to put up one of his "nether extremities" to prove that he wa s awake and ready for the watch While I knew that to get up under such cil'':' c um s tances was part of the happy life of a sailor a very r o ugh and cold voyage made me specia lly commiserate the s mall boys who were obliged to face a freezing north e a ster in the dark hours of the early morning.

PAGE 16

BERMUDA. 3 Of our fortnight's stay in Bermuda, I spent a week with a cous in Captain Charl es Milligan, whom I unex; pected l y fo u nd i n barracks at St. Geo r ge's, and w ho, after so me year s of ser vice o n the s taff, had just r ejo in e d his regiment. t In the harbour of St. George's the r e la y at the time a number of vesse l s emp l oyed i n running the blockad e of the Confederate ports. These were l o n g, l ow, narrow steamer s, a nd to m y surprise all of t h e m painted white a colour whic h I had previolls l y thought the most co n sp i cuous of all, and t h e r efo r e the least lik e l y to avert the disagreeabl e attentions of t h e Uni o n crui se r s. T he stir and bu stle caused by these ships se rved somewhat to a r ouse th e in habitants from their n ormal so different f rom that tire l ess energy I had r ecently witnesse d in the United States a nd Canada But the presen ce of the crew s did not add to t h e a m en iti es of life, for t hey spent their enormous pay in continual "drinks ", a nd mi g h t be see n day a nd nigh t p e l 'ambulating t h e with w o men of all s h ades of co l pul", and lou dly vociferating in amator y dialogue or drunKen sq uabble s At Bermuda Lady Milne left the ship, having so far accompMlied her hus band and the Admhal, having thu s at his di s posal one of his Calbi ns o n t h e poop, very kindly offered it to me. The better air, though of Course more agreeable, sca r ce l y improved my condi t i on, w h ich Si r Alexander playfully attempted to a ll eviate o n e morning by the temptin g offer of a piec e of very fat pork, pretend ing mu c h concern that I res pe ctfully declin ed to a cce p t what he r epresented a s a sove rei g n remedy. At St. Thom as I heard that a mail steame r would s h ortly depart f o r Georgetown a nd so f elt sorro wfully compelled to quit my friends in t h e Nile, fro m w h o m I had received so much kindness I r eg retted afterwards that I had been so precipitate, for, ow in g to delay at St. Thomas, o n reaching Barbados I found t h e N ile already t here in the roadstead. A very s m all cabin in the extreme b o w of the Derwen t co mp a r ed un favou r ably in an r-espe cts with m y comfortable quarters on H,M.' s ship,

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4 GUIANESE TENTBoATS. I arr ived at Georgetown, B riti s h Guiana a few days before Chri stmas. The Governor, Mr. A.,* at once appointed me t o the char ge of the Uppe r Demerara Rive r District ( o n e of. the nine or tep into which the colony was div id ed ) the office of Stipendiary Ma g istrate bein g in t hi s case comb ined w ith that o f Superintendent of Rivers and Cree k s ,The scene of my future work extend e d 1 fou nd to southward f r o m a poi n t on t h e river about t en mile s from Georg etown w ithout ot h e r definite limit. A s my duties n ominally included t he protection of the Indian tribes of the interio r m y juris di ction might he held to exte n d t o t h e borders of Brazil t hough in practice pre viou s m agi strates had never gone bey on d and rare ly so far a s the Grea t Falls of the Demerara, which by the win d i n gs of t h e river a r e about 250 mile s from the s ea. t There being no suitable h o u se in the di strict, the magistrate was compelled to have hi s headquarters in town. I provided my self i n this T es pe ct, and at o n ce set about procuring a boat, a s my t r avelling cou ld be do n e on ly by water, As I was de s tined to s pend a large proportion of the next fOlll' years i n it may be a s we ll to g i ve here a short de scription of the u s e d for travelling in Guiana by Europea n s a n d the upper clas s of co l ourecl people, Con structed usually of s il verhalli ( o n e of the few wood s o f t h e country at once hard, durable, and lig ht), they have fou r to six oa r s and are a s pace of from seve n to eight feet towards the stern bei n g cove red by a "tent" of wood. Si de awnings protect f r o m s u n and rain, while f o r s leepin g removabl e planks are fitted l eve l with t h e se ats, under which are the l ockers fO!' stor es. Behind t h e ten t a le n gth o f about three feet is uncovered in whic h sits the "cox". 111' his absence the boat can be steered from the tent. The r owers were usuall y negroes or "coloured men," w ho, when they got awa.y from tow n and drink, mar vellous e ndul'a nce. I h ave known the m of their own accord labour steadily at the oars for "'-The Governor of Britis h Guiana at thi s time was Francis Hin cks Esq" afterward s Sir Francis Hincks-Editor. ,-Actuall y they are little mo r e than 16 6 miles up the river, mea suring the windings o f the stream,-Editol',

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' BOATHANDS' SONGS. 5 s ixteen to eighteen hours, with scarcely any intermiss ion, when they had any special desire to reach their destinatioil quickly ; At first when they began to tire I llsed to give them spirit, but I s oon found by experience that this was wors e than usele s s. It put s ome additional life into the stroke fo!.' a short time, but always caused a very quick collapse after wards. At night the pace was increase d when they sang in chorus The songs, u s ually led by a Barbadian negro, were much of a kind de scribed in Marryat's P ete?' S 1 .mple, remarkable neither for s en s e nor tune.* Only one of thes e songs a s far a s I remember, had in it anything approach ing to melody. That was the Union battlesong of "John Brown", with the refrain o f "Glory, hallelujah, a s we go marching on." And even that, reiterated many times became, to say the least, monotonou s ; especially during the night hours when sleep in view of the next day's work was de s irable. But however wanting in other res pects. this singing wa s alway s in good time and no doubt light ened the labour as it seemed ab s olutely e ssential to good going; s o that whenever there wa s nece ssity for expedition I never put an end to it. A row of about twenty-five miles, Qr about five hours with the tide, would bring the boat to the fir s t police station of the district, at a village called, for s ome "'-The chorus of one of them, which I took down in writing and happen to have preserved, ran a s follows:-"He hiha, bow wow wow the days of the petticoats are coming Never mind the weather, but get over dou' ble trouble; Then we're hound for the happy land of Canaan. The verses of which there are many, preceding this chorus were equally nonsensical. For instance:..,.l "Tom Sayers and Heenan, they made a night to brag, They swear'd they' d beat flll creation; But the little Malitia Boy did tap him on the nose, And knocked him in the happy land of Canaan." This was of course, a reference to the celebrated prize fight which' had recently taken place in Eng land, Malitia" being evidently intended for Benici a", and the singers quite innocent of the fact that the "Benicia Boy was Heenan himself-G.W. Des V.

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6 FEATURES O F LOWER DEMERARA. occult rea son, Hyde Park.* For so me eight or nine mile s from town the chimneys of sugar plantations appearei;l rising above t h e mangroves on b oth banks of the river; whic h i s ,here from three quarters of a mil e to a mile wide After that t h e banks still almost l eve l with the wa t e r, we r e lined with l ow, second-growt h trees, broken on l y here and t h ere b y the entrance to a Hcreek" ( the l oca l term f o r t h e s m alle r rivers of the count r y) o r by a few coco p a lm s which i ndi cated t h e ex i stence in the present or the past of so m e negro's h ouse behind the m t h oug h this was r a re l y to be see n fro m outside. In front of the f o r est were eve n more cont inuou s lin es of a tall a rum with bare s t a l k s s i x to twelve feet high, and seve r al in ches in diameter at the base, a nd here and t h ere a large yellow -white flower, but this n eve r in s uffici e n t quantity to rel ieve se n si b l y the prevailing g r een of the vegetati on. These lin es of a r e a characteristic of all the larger rivers of Guiana, and exte n d in the D e m erara up to .the first fall, or about a hundred and fifty mile s f rom the t ow n -the e::-..-tr e m e limit of tidal influ ence.t The plant becomes g radually s m alle r with distance from t h e sea, in the interior b e in g only about foul' to five feet high, and with proportio natel y thinner stalks. Another feature of t hi s low e r portion of t h e rive r is t h e great numbe r of w':lding 'birds ( m ostly white, with a n occa s i ona l p i nk 01' brown o ne ) standing in the m ld and s h al10w water near the bank. But after so m e fif teen mlles have been passe d, except in the earl y morning 01' late eve ning, when parrots of many k inds f l ew across, s ign s of all animal life b eco me few. Here, also, the trees o n the banks be cq me h igher and prese n t the fir s t sight of virgin f orest. At H y d e Park pol i cesta tion I u s ually staye d the n ight after leav i n g town. This consisted of a one-storied shing l e d wooden ho use containing fou r 01' five roo m s, one --Hyde Park was th e name o f the o l d plantation on w hich the v:iIlage subsequently was built.-Editor. t-Malali F a ll s, o n e hundred flncl five. miles up the r iver._

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HYDE PARK STATION, 7 of them use d and fitted as a courtroom, havin g in front a s telling", or jetty o n pile s, stretching out i nto the tur bi d stream, here about f ou r yal-d8 w ide. Though a few cottages, constituting the villag e we r e in the immt: diate neighbourhood, all of them were hidden by dense foliage, and a s n o human s ound s ave from occas ion -aI boats passing, reached the hou s e f rom outs ide the impres s ion was one of primeval s olitud e Onl y in the room occupied by the black police-sergeant was t here furniture of any kind and h ere, a s eve rywhere else on the river, except at Christianbul'g ( to be mentioned late r ) I slept in a hammock.* According to the advice 6f old hands, mine was of soft cotton made by the Indians of the interior, and was wide enough to enable the s leep e r to lie at will either diagonall y or completely c ro ss wise as well as lengthwise, or to be folded ov e r him for warmth. A s a safeguard from insects and, i n the forests, from sn" akes, I had a mosquito net made with arms to cover the ends, and looking in shape l ike a huge skirt falling to the ground. On waking i n the morning after my first night at Hyde Park, I was a stoni shed to see that my boot s, whic h when taken off were black, had become, during the night, of an equally uniform white, as if from a fall of s now. They were, in fact, com ple te ly covered b y a growth of fungus-an effect of the dampness of the night ail' which is observable throughout the interior of Guiana, though not often to the same extent. I may mentio n with regard to this damp that it sometimes imparts a se nsation of extreme chilliness even when the thermometer i s in the n e ighbourhood of 800 F ahrenheit. On the morning after the magistrate's arrival he usually held his court, the s ummonse s for which had been issued and se rved by the police or spec i al constable s before "'-Except for the addition of separate police quarters in the rear of the building, Hyde Park police-station remained much a s the Author descdbes it up to the period I knew it, 1909-1916. Now, 1948 the scene is very different, the old station being included in the area occupied by Atkinson the Air

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8 COURT CASES. his dep arture from town, The cha r ge s were rarely o f a ve r y seriou s k ind. In certain cases the magi strate's juri s diction included punishment up to six months hard labour fifty dolla r s fine ; onl y on rare Dcca"sian s was anything beyond this required. So that in my fir s t two years, as far as my memory serves m e I d i d not send more n dozen ca s e s to the Supreme Court The "parties in this locality were almo s t exc l usively b l a c k and dark-coloured people, the excepti ons being Portuguese shopkeepers and more rarely Arowak sem i civ ili s ed Indians. As s aults and abusive l angu -age formed the great majority of char ge s ; but their triviality by no means rendered it easier to get at the truth. Lying for the defence was t h e almost invariabl e p!-a c tice, while the co mpl a inant, even when his charge was a just one com monly li ed al s o in order to strengthen it. Abusive language was punis hable when it was o f a kind lik e l y to l ead to a b r each of the peace, and the frequency of its indulgence o b li ged me to treat it w ith s eve rity, it being apt to end in a ssault with any weapon, however dangerous. within reach. One 'peculiarity of thes e cases struck m e at once. "Liar" blac kguard", "thief", and even unmentionable words were u s ually received with co mparative equanimity; but the c lim ax o f "ni gger" a lmost invariably led to blow s and this though the object of the language was a s black a s Erebus. Here, as e l sew here within my experien c e words contemptuous of race are usually more g a llin g than the foulest aspersion of morals. These cases which fortunately were sometimes relieved by a touch of the ludicrous, or their endl ess reiter ation would have become intolerably monotonous, usuall y began thus:-Magistrate: "What have you to say against defendant ?',

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COURT DAY. 9 Complainant: "Ob, massa, he (o r more c ommonly she) "aboosed me too ba-ad ." Magist1'Q ,te: "'V'hat had you said o r done?" CO'fn1)lainant: ICDun nothing at aal, your wllsship, but he" (o r she) ( 'cal1e d me-" and then i ss ued forth a long stream o f evil names a s pat as if learn ed by heart It was generally assum e d b y the e xcited witness that the magisbate, who had probably never seen either p a rty befo re, knew by intuition all the preceding facts and circumstances whic h might have render ed it intelligible. Not until aHel' m a n y questions, involving m uch patience, was the truth slow ly evo l ved from obscurity, and n ot unfrequently it was found, even if ther e were no crossco mpl a in t t h a t one party was as bad as the other, the event being the dismissal of the case if trivial, Qr occat h e convicting amI fining of both parties the complaint on a n ew charge ordered to be made out on the s pot. Many of t h e people occupie d a w h o le day so me even two or three days i n going to a nd from cou'!.-t, ch iefl y animated, T im agine, by a d esi r e to obtain a pleasing variation fro m the d u ll life o f the bu s h rathe r t h a n any part.i cu l a r v ind ictiveness against the offender. Twen t y to thirty cases di s p osed of, a start was made the same evening if the tide suited, o r if. not, in the small hours o f the next morning, for the next courtho use. This was at Berlin, about four or five hours fUl:ther up t h e river. A s hort distance from H y de Park are "The Sand hills", the first rising ground see n s ince l eaving G eorge town. These f orm part of a ridge running a long distan ce lla r allel with the sea about forty miles from it, and prob abl y marking a former coa s t-line the whole of the land now used for plantations, besides a vast area stilr unculti

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10 RAINFALL. vated, havin g probably in the course of time been formed by alluvial dep osit of the rivers .. The Sandhills passed, l5igns of human existence become fewer. Often in I'ea c he s with a perspective of several miles there was visib l e not a single indicatio n of the presence of man. Sometimes, indeed a canoe carrying a single Indian o r Creole, creeping si lently or phantoml i ke along the bank in the shade of the trees; and now and then in t h e absol ute si l ence wh ich prev.ail s in the forest at mid. day (save for the occasional shrill note of the pi-p i -yo, or very rarely the metallic ton of the be11bird) there wou ld be hear d the sou n d o f padd l es long before any boat wa s v is-ible. Then mo s t common l y appeared the curial ( a canoe dug out from a s ingl e tree) of bush negroes, Arawak Indians (clothed and comparatively civilised), 01' Bovian to_The annual rainfall on the coast is about 100 inches and carefully taken observations on the plantations extending some ten miles up the river showed a quantity regularly increas ing with distance from the sea. From my experience, 1 should say that this progressive increase continues for a long d istance inwards, and that at the Great Falls of the Demerara the figur e would be nearer 200 than 100 inches, perhaps even more; for during: the wet season there is a thunderstorm nearly every afternoon there, when the com es down more heavily than, in my lon g experience of the tropics I have ever seen e lsewhere, e ven in the "record" storm which i witnessed at Hong Kong in 1889. The weight of the drops ca uses them to rebound from the water, thus -forming with those falling a mass apparently solid for several inches above the surFace. With such a rainfall it is probable that the water entering the sea from the Demerara, though little more than 300 miles in length, is greater in quantity than that from any river in Europe, and as there are along the coast of British Guiana alone, besides several small ones, three great rivers, two of them-the Essequibo and the Corentyn, with courses from 500 to 650 miles in length, the solid matter carried down by them must be so enormous as to render the extent of the alluvial land easily intelligi ble. -G. W. V

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'rlMBERPUNTS. 11 del's Cas are called the offspring of Indian and negro 01' "collu red"). More rarely would be see n a "woodskin"* manned by Indians from the interio r ( Accawoio s or Macusis ) who were abso lutel y naked but for a very narrow strip round the lo in s Furthest of all would be recognised the approac h of a t im ber-laden punt, t h e s hout s of its negro crew be in g audible mile s away over the si lent water. These punts, though co mmonly used for taking back to tow n the b lack labourers who had been working for three to s ix month s in the bush under the holder of a woo d-cutting grant, se rved only a s ub sidiary purpose in the carriage of passengers Theil' principal use i s floating great loads of J ogs braced to their outs ide by strong bush ropes (lianes) which, being principally composed of green heart and mora, wou l d otherwise sink to the bottom. I can well r e m e mber my surprise at first seeing one of the. se l a r ge punts with its gunwale a lmost level with the water, though i t see m ed to carry but a small l oad within. In fact, many of the exogenous trees of equator ial climates have a specific gravity greater than. water To carry the logs as a n inside load would require a much larger ve sse l of inconvenient draught, so that t h e mode adopted is probably the c heapest and best t hat could be devi se d. Berlin police -station wa s merely a three-roomed cottage, standing solitary in a very small clearing cl ose ly hemmed in by the forest. There being no landing jetty, getting out of the boat at low invol ved the ris k of a plunge in the mud. Furniture was even more gloomily co n spicllous by its absence than at Hyde Park, for t h e officer i n char ge, being on l y a corporal, conten ted himself w 'ith merely a deal tabl e and two o r three c hairs Need le ss to say, I slept at Berlin only when it could not be -avoid ed, w h ich was o n l y two o r thr ee times during my who l e servi ce. O_The woodskin like the curial, was made from a s ingle tree, but simply o f the stripped bark turned up at the ends. The material being softer than the solid wood of the curial and it s low fre eboard causing' the stroke o f the paddle to fall upon it noiselessly, these boats approached much nearer than the others before being heard.-G. W Dcs V.

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, 1 2 DALGIN. Some few hours' journey above Berlin was the v illa ge of Daigin, in which was the residence of Mr. Geo r ge Allen, t he black Chief Specia l Constable I n return for the honour and the small pay attached to the office he gave the lise of his house for a The clear in g around it was much larger than at H yde Park, comprising several small buildi n gs, one a schoolroom wh i ch served also as a chu r ch. The surroundings were thus somewhat more cheerful than at the places prev:ious l y mentioned, and the pl'oprietQl' was a most worthy man, who quickly oecame a friend and strong supporter of mine. At Dalgin some nine months after m y ani va l in the colony o c r urred one 'of the great crises in my life. George town and the coast generally were then suffering from a s pecially severe epidemic of yellow f eve r Many new comers had been attacked, inc luding a considerable number of officers and soldiers of the garri son, and deaths from i t had been in eve n greater proporti on than usual. Com ing .from town I had held court a nd slept at Hyde Park, had started early t h e next day for Berlin and held court there "'-Henry IGrke, in his interesting book "Twenty Five Years in British Guiana" has the following to say about D algin and its custodian Allen, Or Alleyne: ; Dalgin station was a low that.ched house, in which one little room was' reserved for the magistr3 te on his periodical visits, the narro .... gallery being lIsed as a cou rt-roorr.. There was no lock-up, so when I sentenced a man to imprisonment, Sergeant Alleyne used to chain him to a tree by the leg{ unti l a convenient time arrived to send him to town The house swarmed with bats, cockroaches, and all sorts of vermin, b u t one gets accustomed to these things in time and they never disturbed my slumbers as I rocked in my long gr:ass hamrr.ock slung from the roof-tree. Alleyne was Barbadian by birth and had been a slave in his youth. H e came to British Guiana when only a lad in his master's train, and was empl oyed as a woodcutter and sawyer. When he ,became free after Emancipation Day, he worked on h i s own account a n d soo n acquired em/l.1gh money to take out a woodcutting lice n ce, and, as greenheart was then sell ing at a good price, he bought two lots of land at Dalgin and 'built the house which I have descri bed. Hi s descendants still reside at Dalgin. Editor.

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YEI.LOW FEVER. 13 also. Feeling very unwell, I determined t.o go on upwards, knowing that if I could reach Dalgin I shou l d be at least somewhat better off than at these place s, and s hould have kindly pe o ple to take care of me. Accordingly I started about three o'clock in the afternoon, with my four boathands, and my black servant steering. Having already on a trip to the gold mine s on the Cuyuni River had an attack of c hill s and fever, I h ope d that my shivering and s icknes s procee ded from nothing WOI'se, and that a dose of quinine, aided by the healthier air of the interior, would quickly make me all right. But unfortunately about su n down there came on a seve re thunderstorm, which la sted far into the night. The tremendous rain could not be kept out of t h e tent, and the pitch darkness also sorely delayed llS, it being sometimes impossible to steer but with the a id of the lightning flashes. Consequently, when v I e arrived at our de stination, about nine o'clock, I was very ill indeed, and in the still pouring rain had to be carr ied to my s l eep ingplace. This was an abso lu tely bare room about twelve feet by s ix, only just large enough for my hammock. Begin. ning to recognise yellow fever, wi th the sign s of which I was unpleasantly familiar, I took one of seve ral doses with which I had come prepared for sllc h an emergency. These were co mposed each of twenty g rains of c alomel and twentyfour g rains of Quinine the remedy at that t im e most in vogue. Some hours afterwards while I was still conscious, another of these was given to me, and I was told t hat, according to my r equest, a third was adminis tered after I became delirious. I thus certainly took forty (perhaps sixty) grains of calome l and possibly seventy two grains of Quinine within s i xteen hours. It has always been a questi on w i t h me s ince whether the medicine the di se ase or whether my constitution proved sufficiently str ong to withstand both. Toward evening of the next day I carne to myself, and found my hammock soaked with blood, which they told m e had come from my eyes and ears. But I was decidedlY better, and I determined to take advantage of a favourable tide for making my way back to town. On the return passage, save for a single brief stoppage, the hands rowed the

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14 BISHOP AUSTIN eighty mile s, 01' thel'eabouts*, without rest, and we arrived in the harbour o f Georgetown the foHowing afternoon after a ''record'' passage. Wh e n still so me ten mile s from Georgetown, the boat of an in s pector of poli ce came up to us. He looked at m e for a moment thro ugh the awning, and, I su ppose, j 'magining me to be inse n s i ble said quite audibly. '-Rowan hard, or you won't g e t him home a l ive. But my miseries were not at a n end; it took more than an hour to get a co nveyance, and meanwhile I was toss ed a bou t in the broiling sun by a heavy swell which added sea-sickness to oth e r ill s. The resul t was a relapse, whic h i s usually held to be certainly fatal. Eut I falsified all prognostication s, and chiefl y owing to the devoted nursing o f the old coloured lady in whose hOllse I lodged, I gradually r ecove r ed. I may mention also that another p leasant reminiscence co nnected with this illness i s furnished by the letter o f warm sympathy received from a sister-inlaw whom I had never seen; my brother H enry having r ecently married Alice, daughter of Lord Wilton (the first Earl.) It was at Dalgin a 'bout Christmas-time, as he reminded me years afterwards on an Atlantic voyage, that I had the pl e a sure of entertaining at dinner (which included an Englis h p l um.pudding) the late a nd much-lamented Dr. Austin, Bis hop of Gui ana (afterwards Metropolitan o f t h e Wes t Indies ) who was on one of his annual vi sitations to the river. 1 see now in my mind's eye hi s tall, handsome form emerging fro m the tent of his b oa t, dresse d a s co rrectly a s if he we r e attending a Pan-Anglican gathering, tights, s ilk stockings, and buckl ed pumps inc l uded. However uncanonical may have been hi s garments in side his boat, he was never visible to the profane world in any but the most orthodo x epi scop al costume. The po s ition w hi c h this most estimable man occ upied for many years in Guiana was by no a n easy one, and I cannot it mo r e highly than by saying that hi s conduct in i t was in human view-as faultless as hi s dress. ----------------------------->:I_Dalgin lies fifty-five mile s u p the river.-Editor.

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CHRISTIANBURG 15 Some two hours above Daigin is Christianbur g, \Vhich in my time was the only civ ili sed res i dence in the whole district. To the proprietor, Mr. Paters o n and his family, I was on s eve r a l occasi o ns indebted f o r a bed and other comforts, w h ich we r e specially appreciated on returning t o t own after some weeks spent in the bu s h .);' There was a large sawmill for cutting greenheart into plank s a consid erable extent o f out bui ldings, and a clearing of s everal acres, wh i ch altogether affo r ded relief to the eye weari ed with perpetual fores t There was r e s ident at Christianburg in my time a book-keeper named M'Connell remarkabl e for a peculiarity to which I have neve r k n own a parallel. His snoring was s o loud and harsh a s to he abso l utely appalling to one who, being unprepared, heard it for t h e fir s t t ime. Though he wa s a 'brother of a leading coloni s t, and wou l d naturally h ave been lodged in the h ouse, it had been found impos s i ble to keep him there, a s hi s sleep meant the wakeful ness of all the other inmates, a nd 50 he was given quarters in a distant out..:build i ng. Having my s elf m ore than on ce li s ten ed to this cacophony, I can well believe the following anecdote told me on good r .uthority. and a co m panion whom we will call Smith, h ad started on a -. journey through the fores t accompanied by severa } Indians The party having made their fir s t camp ( wh i ch i n the Guiana fores t u s ually meant a large fire, with the ham-Kirke in his Twentyfive Years in British Guiana" writes of Christian burg House as follows: -"The interior of the house was a surprise to m e when I first entered it as i t seemed to transport one back to .the old country. There was, of course an of carpets, and curtains, but the furniture had aU come from Scotland many years before. There was a large grandfather' s clock t icking so lemnly against the wall an old spindle-legged side board with brass handles of lion s' heads with r i ngs in their mouths, and badly painted oil portraits in dingy gilt frames against the walls. Upstair s the bedro oms were nearly filled with huge wooden fourpost beds with heavy testers, into which one had to climb with the help of a

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16 MCCONNELL'S SNORES. mocks of tl'avellers us well as Indians hung round in a circl e upon the neighbourin g trees). the travellers gone to s l eep, when sud denly Smith awoke, and by the light of the fire s aw to hi s astonishment that the Indian:; were untying their hammocks. Becoming con sc iou s of the awe in spiring SOUJlds proceeding from hi s friend's slee p ing' place, he .\t once divined the cause of the Indians' perturbation, and cndea \ 'oured to persuade them to remain. their fear. howeve r was too great. They bolted in a body,
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CHAPTER Twa Scba-'1'helt by Ants -Adv8ntUTe witl!, boat handsE x pe1'iences of blood-sucking bats-Fi' rst Fal ls M1', F01'Syth His 1'eminiscences of Wate1'to n au,tho1' of the Wan derings Prac tic a l joke dead snakePas sa g e of the Tapi ds-Adventu1 'e with cri1ninal halfb 1 eed D ifficulty with 1'ega r d to c1'ime within the jU1'isdiction of Sup1'eme CouTt-Child ca1Tied off by eagle-I n dian path to Esseq u 'ibo--Cha1'les Couchman's photo g r aph o f tHe h e n appears in Cha r les King sley s "At Last"-Ge01'ge Couchman's ti/l1,be 1cuttin g g1'ants -Last civilise d settlement The G1'eat Falls of the Demerarar-Indian mo des of captu ring fish-Ca ni mapa .. his atternpt to mu' rde' r .,ne, Between Christian'burg and t h e First F a ll s which are r e ally on l y rapids, the aspect o f the Demerara River in my time remained much the same as below, t h e only observa b l e differen c e being t h e g radual decrease o f width, the lessening infl uence of the tide, the diminishin g s ize of the moka m o ka and the still greater sparsity 6f human habitati on. The journ ey upwards occupied about twelve hours, or more i n the rainy season, and, save in times of e xcept i ona l press ure, I usually gave the boab hands a night's rest on the way. It may be a matter for su rprise that ther e should ever have been pressure in r esp.ect of tim e but in fact t hi s occurred not infrequently. Some of the witnesses. sum man e d lived far a w ay. at the h ead s of cree k s, and 1I'equir ed one or mo r e da y s journey to r eac h t h e p l ace appointed for court. They would thus l ose the better part of a week by their attendance, even i f t h e cou r t were punctually held at the time fixed If the magistrate then fail ed to appeal', t h e loss of time woul d be g reater, and any prol onged delay wou l d natur ally cause t h e m t o return home. As sum

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18 MYS TERIOU S THIEVES mon ses ordina ril y required to be issued t en days to a f ortnight previou s to a court in order to ensure their being all sel've d in time, acc id e nts not unfrequently happened m eanwhile rendering it impossibl e, or exh: emely difficult, for the magistrate to reach hi s destination punctually. He might be d e l ayed by officia l business in town, or while on the way up the 1'i vel' might be su dden l y called to hold a coroner's inquest (that being a mong hi s f u nctions), which if in o ne of t h e creek s at a distance from the main river, might easily cause a delay o f days. So that in f a ct, in orde r to be as punctual a s possible, it was sometimes neces sary to travel night and day whenever t h e tid e suited. Owing t o t hi s un certainty being the greater the longe r the distance f r o m tow n, I u sed latterl y whenever it was necessary to have a court above the First Falls, to i ss ue s ummonse s onl y when I arri ved there, a nd then wait in the neighbourhood during t h e interval. F ew p l ace s between C hristianburg and the First Falls remain very clearly in m y recollection, as I never passed a night more than once 01' twice at any ,of them. I s topped on ce at the house of a grant owner, by n a me Alcock. The name of his p l ace was Seba, familiar t o readers of Waterton's W ande1'ings, and here occurred an i nciden t impressed vividly up on my memory. Arrivmg .there late Olle afternoon, I felt too unwell to proceed The house being temporarily without occupant, I with permiss ion from the proprietor made use of it for the night. Having had goo d reason to suspect t h e boathands of pilfer ing my stores (which are spec i ally precious, a s I conte m plated a thr ee months' excursion into the interior), I cause d some of the packages to be brough t into t h e house and placed near my h a mm ock. Among t h em was an un ope ned bag of rice, and m y surprise and indignation may be imagined when next morning I found about a. third of t h e contents abstracted. I had heard no one abou t in the n i ght, a lthough I had been the greater part of it awake, had been several times up, and had, m Ol'eove r trained mysel f to wake at t h e slightest movement neal' me. It seem ed difficult to understand how s u c h a theft could have

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CUSH! ANTS 19 b e en attempted without instant detectio n in a spot on l y so me eight feet from my The re was n o opening in the bag e x eept a v e r y s mall h o le nea r t h e bottom, an d bein g unable to im a g in e the culprit t o be oth e r than human, I su pp os ed that t he bag mu s t hav e been lifted lip 'for the pUl1)os e o f empty ing the con tents i n to so me r ece ptacl e without reflecting that in the ca s e of so s mall a hole this wou l d have b e en an in c onv e ni ently s low process, and the t hie f incredibl y maladroit not to have made a larger one whil e h e was about i t. I at Onc e s umm o ned the boat hands and s h owing them the depleted. bag, calle d upon the delinquent to confess. All loud l y a s seve rated t heir innocence a nd o ne o f t h em, presuming upon my conditi o n o f ill ness, became exce s sive l y in so lent. Believing that he was the culprit and that he was adding in sult to i njl1ry, I los t my temper and kn o cked him down. Vain p unish m ent. His head was s o h a r d he wa s not hurt at all, w h i le my knuckl e s a nd hand s uffered fo r a week after. Cont in ui n g too unwell to pro ceed, I passed another day there, and having occa s i on to get up du ring t h e following night, I sa.w in the bright m oonlight a dark line passing thro ugh the d o orway. It appea'l ed to be c o mpo s ed of living creatures, and at once striking a light I s aw i t to be a column of ants (of the kind commonly known a s 1 I eafcarrying" or, in the local vernacular c u shi") passing thr ough the door On clo s e r scrutiny I fou nd that hal f the co lum n was pa ssing into and t h e other half out of the h ou se, and thus was t h e mystery of the theft cleared up; for while the ants entering were all empty-mouthed, thos e going out were ( with the exceptio n of t h e l a rger one s or officers ) each carrying a g r a in of r i ce. Every :few moments a s grains we r e r emove d from the hole in the bag, the weight of r ice f r om above cau s ed more to f all out, so that in the cou r se of anoth e r night the who l e would h ave been carried off. I traced t h e column for some hundred and fifty yards when the den sity of vegetati o n upon wha t had been a r ece ntl y abandoned patch o f cultivation would h ave compelled me to desist even h ad I been in bet ter condftion for prosecuting next morn

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20 EXPERI MENT W ITH A VAMPIRE lng the ants had totally disappeared; t1H:l'e was a faint mark on the ground showing their line of march, which would doubtless have enabled me, with pel'severance and s ome cutlass work, to find the nest. But as t hi s might have been fa:' distant in the forest, I was unable to afford time for" the attempt. I of course made a mend s to t h e boat hands. which proved so satisfactory that t h e physical sufferer expressed a wish to be knocked down again at the same pl'Ice When passing the night on one occasion at a p l ace ca lled Akymal situate a few mile s below the Falls, I was much worried by a bat, which persistently fluttered round my hammock, and I then sought to verify in my ow n pers on the blood -sucking habit o f these c reatures. Having in several instance s seen bites involving co n siderable l oss o f bl ood which h a d been infli cte d during the s l ee p of the vict im without his being conscious of it, I concluded the pain coul d no t b e great. There was at that time rpuch s cep t is m on this subject, notwithstanding the testimony of Waterton, the vampire bat being regarded by many a s almo s t equally fabulous with the vampi!'e itself. That I might be able to spe.'1.k from perso n a l expe ri ence, I put one of my feet outside the mo squito curtain of my hammock and awaited events. The sound of wings soon reached my ear, as jf in gradually narr ow ing circles. All at once I felt of ai r as from a fan, on the exposed foot, over which the creatur e was evidently hovering. But this was too much f or nerves< weakened by fever and the experiences of the two previou s years, and I withdrew t h e foot into the netting. Summoning courage again, I twice repeated the attempt, each time with the same experience. But thoug h I regretfully confe ss that I co uld neve r sufficiently control my se l f to re ce ive the bite, I had at least convince d myse l f as to what would have happened had I permitted it. The blood-sucking habi t of these creatures is now, how ever, too well establis hed to need such confirmation .J( 1<_Among many instance s which at one time or another came under my notice, three are specially prominent in my memory. On my return from England, Nich o l so n a young engineer offic!;:!' quartered in Georgetown, was accompanying

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BLOODSUCI{ERS 21 Just below the First Falls i n my time, o n the left bank of the river, was a smalI wooden building specially intended me on one of my trips to the interior. 1 had strongly urged him to bring a mosquito curtain for his hamrr.ock as a protection not so much against mosquitoes ( which in the Demerara River a r e by no means troublesome)' as against bats or snakes falling from the trees. He, however, neglected my advice. W e slept the fiqt night at the Chinese settlement in the Camooni Creek. Earl y the next morning I was awakened by a cry from his hammock, which was close alongside. The white cotton of the latter showed a large patch of blood, and on the toe of the foot he was pitifully examining was a small triangular hole, as though pierced by the end of a file. He had evidently lost much more blood than had been taken by the bat, and had he continued with me would proba-bly have undergone the same experience So as it was impossible to obtain the necessary curtain, he wisely returned to town. On another occasion I had arrived late one evening at a small Indian "clearing" on the Upper River. The OCCUQants of-the "benab" (s m all Indian hut) being excited by the of the magistrate, neglec.ted to attend to their own concerns. They had a small boy. who, they afterwards told me, hadi been brought to his very visible condition of emacia:tion bv con:in-' al blood-letting from bats. As a protection they had recently been in the habit of sewing him UP every night in a rice bag: but on the night of our arrival this had been forgotten an' d though the little f ellow had of hi s own accord inserted hi>nself in the !bag he was not to e!:c"''')e scatheless. He had left the top of his head uncovered, and thpre in the thr.. bat was seen to have left his mark. while a small red "Oatc;, on the .Ilround showed that the creature had not "tat.:.en ilOlh ing by his motion." The propensity of the vampire t o come again and again to the same person was shown in another case, which occurred in my experience years afterwards. While I was administer-'" ing the Government of Trinidad (where the Governor had been com?elled to enclose with wire-netting the stalls of hi.:; stables, owing to injUry frolr. bats suffe red hy his horses) my wife and I were spending a few days on the island of Monos, in the' Gulf of P a ria. Her English maid had the bad habit of puttin g her foo t out of her mosqUito curtain, and she paid for it on this occasiol1 severely, for she was biUen by a bat two nights successively in the same place, in her foot anel lost much b lood on each occasion.-G. W. Des V. For further information the vampire and its habits see "Animal in Britis4 Guiapa", GUia .na Edition, Page 23 .,......l;ditor

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22 MR. FORSYT H for c h urch sel'vice;-K' on the right bank, somewhat higher up, was a d iminutive wooden res idence and s h op, latter belonged to a ve r y old Englishman, Forsyth by name with w h om o n va ri ous occasions I had interesting tal k s H e told me he came to Guiana a s a boy a n d t hat shortly after leaving England on h i s voyage thither, h a had see n the fleet of N e l son returning from the battle of t he N ile. He well r emembe r ed W 'atertoll, t h e author of t he delightful Wancle!'ings, and told me many particulars of his eccentricities. The story told by Waterton, about his ride on the alligator a s it was being dragged out of the water Mr. Forsyth believed to be abso l utel y true, as:it was a matter of common talk at the t im e. One of the naturali st's peculiarities was the habit of using the smooth su r face o f the water every morning as a looking-g lass. while shaving. So impe rative i n t ho se day s was t h e fas hion 01 s mooth lips and chi n that a moustache could not be tol erated even in the bush .t Though on subsequent occasions I usually h a d m y hammock hung in Mr. FOl"'Syth's house on my first trip I s lept in the chu r ch, for w hich bhe magistrate had perm it'!s ion from the b i shop. Mr. Plimmer, my predece sso r in the di strict, who acco mpanied me, happened to kill, clo se to t h e building, a labar"ria" s nake, a very deadJy specie s A s the boat hand s were at so m e distance and did not see t h is, it occurred to him to get so m e amuseme n t from it. He accordingly coil ed up the body of the snake upon the church step s a nd managed to erect its head in a threatening' attitude. When the men who had been ordered to hang out' hammoc k s in the c hu rc h s aw in the rapidly failing light t h is creature barrin g t h e way, their attitu de of fright 'was beyond expression l udicrou s After a time, one of them l:ut down a sapli ng so me twelve feet long, and with absu rdly' ---------------*-Thi s old bui l d i ng still stood up to 1910 when it was p u lle d down and the present MalaH Church erected The Forsyth house also remained up 10 1916 a t least.-Editor. t-Old Forsyth's descendants dwelt in the Upper Demerara to the fourth generation, but I believe that they have all dieq o1,1t by now -EditOl

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-NAVIGATING THE FALLS 23 cautious brought it down bravel y on the dreaded reptile snake at a very 8 -afe distance. This doughty feat achieved, the fellow strutted about with the air of a conqueror The incident gave us much amusem ent, and put so me .life into a t ired and somewhat sulky party. Though the Firs t Falls are only rapids the current i s far too fast to penn it of ascent by other means than haul ing. This was done in places from the bank, but princi. pally fro m s hallow s p o t s in the str eam. The rush of water in the rainy seaso n was s uch t hat I liave seen men carried off their leg s when they were imm e r se d little above the a nkle s De scent of the rapids was made with oars or paddle s, the time occup i e d a s compared with ascent being a s minutes to hOUTS. I always shipped a special coxswain for thi s purpose, usually an Indian o f the neighbourhood, as the experiment would almost certainly have had a fatal end with an inexperi enced hand at the he lm. Consequently, although narrow ly escaping, I never had an accident. One afternoon, after a long expedition into the interior, we were when so me half an hour from t he Falls, hailed by an Indian, who informed us that a woman had just been nearly killed by her "Boviander" husband. Going at vnce to the place she indi cated, I found the woman g rievoll s ly injured, and apparently dying. I at once took her depo sition, which, though extracted with much dim .. culty, fully confirmed the information given. Startirig ag-ain in my boat, we h ad r eached a point some three hundJ'ed yards above the rapids, when the Indian coxwain pointed out the accllsed man, paddling his curial upstream. I hailed him, and he, being evidentl y unaware that I knew the crime, at once came along s ide I ordered him to get into my boat, and when he showed a disposition to push .nway and escape, commanded the boat hands to hold fast to hi s canoe and the constabl es to arrest him. The latter, however, who on this occas ion were Indians, were in too great fright to touch a notoriolls bully who was, in fact, the terror of the neighbourhood Though in those days 1 was not wanting in strength, it is probable that, in an encountch the PlfUl in question would have been thfl:i1

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24 DEALING WITH A BULLY a m atch for me even on land. When, therefore, I put my hand lIpon him to arrest him myself, i t is tolerably certain that, had he resisted to t h e utmost, he would have had thE best of the struggle, which w{)uld have inev itably resulted in Ollr both be in g thrown into the water. A s it was, his resi stance being slight, I got him into m y boat without great difficulty, when the cries of the Indi, ans drew my attention to our position. During the above sce ne the boat had been drifting, a nd was n ow close to the Falls, goin g broadside o n to t hem. To have been caught by the rapid in this position was inevitabl y to have been swampe d a nd t he g reater part of us drowne d.* But by frantic efforts the boat was turned in the right directio n just as the quick water was reac hed. Arriving safely at Mr. Forsyth's, I had the prisoner s ecured t h e re, but' finding that t he terror of him was suc h that he would otherwi s e be very probably allowed to I was obliged to have my own hammock s lung acr oss his; door. Next day I tried him. His wife, being then con s i d ered better, and having been carried across the portage in a hammock, gave her testimony again, i n his prese nce, an d a l together the evidence against him was quite s i ve. Yet I was in so m e difficulty in coming to a de c is io n. If the case were to be remitted t o the Supreme Court\ w 'hich co uld alone award a sufficiently severe sentence, it was almos t certaiTh that the offender would escape punishment a ltogether owing to the a b se nce of the necessary witnes ses. The woman on recovering wou l d b e made tc di sappear, while not only fear of making a dangeroll?: ene m y, but the Indian dread of appearing in the Supreme Court under any circumstan ces would have caused t h b others to avoid the s ubpoena by h iding in the jntedqr On t h e other hand, a s t he woman being in a very feebl e con dition, there was yet a chance o f her dying. Under the circumstances I postponed sentence, and carried the man on with me down the river. When a few days afterwards *'-In fact t h is actu a lly happened a 'bout the same time to a party in a s imilar rapid of the Massaruni, when several live s wers los t including the so n of the Governor at;ld or m,ore 9fficers.-(i, W Des V

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CHILD STOLEN BY HARP Y 25 I hear d that h is wife was recovering, I senten ced him my se l f to six month s' hard labour, the heavie s t penalty it wa s in my power to inflict. About two h ours journey above the rapids was an I ndian settlement of two or three "benabs" ( thatched s hed s without walls) I which was the sce ne o f a singular r e nee. Passing there one evening in my boat we saw an Indian woman crying on the bank, and upon inquiry ] l earnt that her two little children, one about three and the 'lther under two years old, had gone together to play i n the forest. Only one returned and he wa s unable to give any account of what had occurred to hi s broth er. A number of Indian s had come to a ss ist in the search; but though two day s had pass ed, the missing chi ld had not been found, It was sUPf'Osed that so me animal or bird of prey had carried him off. On my next journey llP the river, which, owing to an intervening vi sit to England, was not for some months, I heard, on good authority, t hat a piece of the lin e n rag that the child had on him was seen on the top of a fores t t r ee, rend ering it probable that t h e captor was a harpy eagle, one o f the largest species i n the world. I never saw one of these birds, except in flight far up in the sky; but the claw of one, in the pos sess ion of the superintendent of the penal settlement on the Ma ss a 'runi, had a leg nearl y as t hi ck as my wrist, making i t easy to su ppo s e that the Indian stories as to the size the prey carried off by these birds are not exaggerated. Some foul' hours above the rapids was the woodcutting grant and log h ouse of one Cha rl es Couc h man. Here i s the nearest point between the Demerar a and the E sse quibo, and one end of an Indian Upath" which I mos t frequently u se d for passing from one river to the other, the walk across occupying s ix to eight hours. At the edge of a s mall clearing around the house stoo d a tall mora. Having carried a photographer w ith me on one of my circuits for the purpose of getting p ictures of forest scenes and nati ve groups, he took one of this tree. I appear in the p icture standing against the trunk, and one of the boathands is op a lQg close by Years afterwards in &'t.

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26 THE COUCH MANS I gave a copy of this picture to Charles Ki n gsley, when he visited me there, and a print of i t appears in h i s bo o k At Last over the legend, "The Last of the Giants." It would no doubt be regarded as a giant in Trinidad, where readers of the book probably supposed it to grow; for the greater part of t he land in that is land has at one time or another been c le a red for cultivation, and the trees are thus mostly smalle r t han those of virgin forest. But being only abont 190 feet in height, it is not, I think, a specially tall tree of its kind. which i s equalled in this respect by many others, and is, indeed, greatly su rp assed by some, the Brazil-nut and the silk cotton sometimes reaching a height of 250 feet and more. Above C harle s Couchman's, at a di s tance of so me two hours' journey by boat, was the hou se of his b!'other, George Couchman, also the owne r of a woodcutting g rant, for whom I always had a special regard. Though, judg in g by his full brothel' Charles, he must have had negro blood in his veins, he might easily have passe d for a white man:* He had married an Indian wife and had lived so long among the Indians that no man in the colony understood them better, and it was through him and his interpreta tion of their languages that I learnt most of what I ever knew ofl this strange people His hou se was always a resting-place for travellers from town, including the i t i nerant mi ssionary clergymen and the bishop on hi s annual visit. He and his family, like all inhabitants of the river -The father of George and Charles Couchman appears to have been an officer in the Royal Navy who, on retirement from the Service, boughd a small ship and went in for contra'band slave running from Mrica to the West Indies subsequent to the Suppression of the trade in 1808. Hi s ship was eventua lly captured by a Britis h man-of-war and he ruined. He then carr.e to Guiana and went up the Demerara River where he began a timber cutting business. Hi s son George, whom I knew as an old man of over 90, was better known in later years by hi s Indian name of "Basakwai" and even up to my days i n the district, 1909-16, his home at "Retreat" opposite the mouth of the awarabaru Creek, was a point of call for all! visitors to the district. He had several sons, one of whom, Stephen, was murdered by the kanaimas at Gravel Bank about 1910. Several af his descendants are still alive.-Edi tor. ---.

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I U.EGAL TIMBER CUTTING. 27 above Christianhurg, s lept in hammock s such a thing as a bedstead and bedding being an unknown luxury. He had. however, taught his wife the virtue of cleanliness, and on this accou nt, in the many day s and nights when my hammock hung on his verandah, I had comfort rarely experi enced e l sew here. With him, a l so, I obtained change of food, which was most welcome after a long course of tinned meats, sal t fis h biscuits, and f lour dumplings ; for he had Indians continually ( hunting" and fishing for him, and after this fare a fresh fish "pepper-pot" and the f l esh of deer, tapir, accQnri, or iabba, however inartistically cooked, seemed to be palati al l uxury Mr. Couchman was a Justice of the Peace, and compla ints were u s ually sent to h i m to await my arrival, unless they were of suffic i ent gravity to warrant a s pecial me sse ng er. As a rule the only cases of importance tried above the rapids were charges for un licensed cutting of timber on C rown land. Except, of cour se, on private land, which above Christianbul'g ex i sted o n l y in one or two p l aces, t he cutting down of greenheart, mora and other valuable timber trees was legal only under special licence from the Governor. C uttin g on the part o f persons without any licence was r are, a s the nece ss ity of making a timber path;':' to the water for bringing the log s to market rendered di scove ry a lmo s t certai n. The charges, therefore, were a lmost invariably against l i censed holders for transgressing the limits of the i r grants. For the l icen ces were good o nly for s pecial areas w ith fixe d boun daries, and any transgressio n rendered the licensee as li ab l e to penal t y as if he h ad no licence at all. When any new licence was granted, it was the duty of the magistrate to in s p ect the bounda r y posts placed by the s urveyors The grant was always an ob l ong area, u s ually. I thi nk, about two m i le s i n l ength and about half a mile in width, with the base on a river 01' creek. The surveyor always cut a narrow path along one of the long sides and a l s o -A timber path was a wide road c u t throug h the f orest, across which, -at intervals of every few feet,! log sleepers were placed in order to permit of the squared logs ,being dragged more easily to the water. The hauling was done by large gangs of men, sometimes ass isted by o xen.-G. W. D e s V

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28 GREAT FALL S a l ong the short side furthest from the water, being thus able to determine the posit i o n of t he foul' cor n el' pos t s thr ee of t he bou ndaries were thus c learly defined, the fou r th, being on l y an imaginar y line dense forest, was not so obv i ous. Though this bound a r y might have hee n easily ascertained by the grantholder, ye t his neg l ect to do so had been s o long to l erated, that during my first year I did not exac t a pena l ty ( fifty dollars fine or six month s' imprisonment, or both ) unless d e predation had been ver y se riou s. When h owever t h e t r espass had been beyond t he surveyor's lin e and the necessary timber-path for the logs joined that,of the grantho lder, I had no m e rcy, as i t was then clear the o ffence mu s t h ave bee n committed with the latter's connivance. These cases gave a great d ea l of t r ouble, and the contllct of evidence was so m etimes suc h as to involve a delay o f one o r more day s occup ied in person a l i ns p ect ion Some four hours above Yawaribaro (the Indi a n n a m e of Mr. Couch m a n 's reside n ce) was the house of o n e Giles, a negro g r antholde r whic h wa s at t ha t t im e farther in the interior than a n y other non Indi an residence. The nce inward s to Brazil t h ere wer e only aborigina l inhabitants. Two h o u rs above thi s place were the Great Falls, w h ich, in additi o n to rapid s compr i se a most picturesque cascade of about forty feet in height. The pools below of dark, c lear water con ta in many paco ; a large flat-fis h of about the s iz e of a turbot, w hi ch is very good eating, and is easily hi t by Indi an arrows These are s ometime s attached by string to the bow 0 1' t h e arm, so t hat the fish, when pierced, can be at once l a nded Wh en the object i s so far off that the string would s p o il the s hot t h e arrow i s allowe d to go free. It has a l oose point, w hi c h on strikin g the fish, bec o me s partly detached, allowing the l ong reed wh i c h forms t h e shaft a nd i s s till held to it by a s hort cord to float o n the water. The s haft indica t es the position of the fis h which has carried off the a r row, and jf a large o ne, i t becomes the o bject of an exciting chase in woodskin s On seve r al occa s i o n s I had much amusement fro m this s por t, and made frequent efforts to

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FISH POISONING 29 learn the art of fish-shooting. But I cannot say I eve r became proficient, though, having practised archery when a boy, I soon learnt to shoot with the native weapon at a mark above water almost as well as .the Indian s themselves. Indeed, in this latter respect they never see med to me to be remarkably expert, the acquisition of guns having probably caused intermittence of practice with the inferior weapon. T o hit a mark under water, however, is quite another matter. Not only does l'eJraction cause the object to appear in a different position from its real one-a differe nce which increases proportionately with the depth-hut, unless the shot is perpendicular, the resistance of the water deflects the a rrow upwards, both contributing to a miss from aiming at t he w rong place. Much practice is needed, therefore, to be a 'bIe to judge with accuracy the right point at which to strike t he surface. Another method of fishing I have seen practised with great success. The Demerara is unsuitable f o r it, as, except at very low water in the first rapids, the portion of the river beyond tida l influence as far as the Great Falls, and even many mil es beyond them, runs in only one chan nel. The Essequiho, on the other hand, in most of its rapids is studded with islands and rocks, and so divided into many streams, some narrow enough to be easily stopped with large stones, enabling the water, but no fis h of any s ize, to run through. The place r equ ired is a large deep pool with a narrow entrance at both ends. On the day previous to the fishing the Indian s have been engaged in finding, cutting into convenient lengths, and then macerating with clubs, a eertain bush-rope Oiane). The juice is caught in a woodskin and diluted with water, the miX'ture being a yellowis h-broWll liquid a.bout the colour and con sistency of thin pea-soup, During t he night the two m eans of exit from the pool 'are suddenly blocked by large stones previously Il'!ade ready for the purpose, and 111 the ea;rly morning one 01' more canoeloads of this liquid, according to the s ize of the pool, are thrown into the stream above the UDper entrance. In the course of a few moments, as the drug mixe s with the water in the pool, the paco, pa1'tially stupefied, appear rising to the top of the

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30 A BAD INDIAN water, and then the fun begins. of the Indians are content to stand on rocks and thence shoot t h e fish with arrows; but others, sc reaming with excitement, jump into the poo l and, swimmin g and wading, endeavour to catch the prey in their arms and carry them to l and. This i s no ea-sy task, for the paco, though half intoxicated, i s quite able to struggle violently when se i zed, frequently carrying a man off his l egs, even when he has already tOllched ground w ith his feet. In the course of an h our 01' so all the fis' h that it i s possib l e to capture (some ering themselves after a time) 3 re safely landed; but the excitement and laughing ove r the ridiculous sights witnessed often continue all day and far into the nig,ht. I always enjoyed these scenes greatly, the prolonged merriment serving as a wp.kome relief to the sombre life of the forest. A short distance helow the Great Falls, on a rising ground, was the of an Accawoio Indian, named Canimapo. He always had a large number of dependants who were much in awe of him, a nd he was in this respect m ore l ike one of t he native chiefs whom I have known elsewhere than any other Indian of my acquaintance in Guiana. Though my relations with him were, in a pp earance, friendly during the who l e of my se r vice in the district, they were on my part cautious after the following occurrence. Accompanied by the photographer aboye mentioned, I stayed two nights in his settl ement. On the first morning after ar, rival, with much difficulty I induced him a nd so me of his peoDle to be photographed in groups, and perhaps imprudently a llowed him to see the negatives. He appeared not me r ely astonished, but alarmed, a nd the whole day and far into t h e night the sound o f excited talking could be heard com ing f r om his benab. In the evening he sent me as a present a fresh-fish pepper-pot. w hi ch t h e Indians usually made very well, and wh ic h, t hough faJ' too pungent for t h e taste of a new lyarrived European, is grateful to the jaded palate of one who has been a few months in t he equatorial heat. FOl'tunateiy for me, when the present arrived, we had already finished our din ner, and I gave the pepperpot to my boat hands,

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ATTEMPTED MURDER. 31 who partook of i t freely. In a short t im e a ll became ill, two so v i o l ently that I began to fear fatal results Yet whether thro u g h strong" dose s of brand y and ch lol'odyne o r from strength of consti tution, t hey quick l y r ecove red. and at daybreak next day t h ey were ready a nd I may add, anxiolls to proceed with OUir journey. I did not then suspect intenti ona l p o i so ning. but a circumstan ce occurred a lmost immediately after startin g to arouse our sus pi cio n I wa s sitting o n t h e t o p of the tent of my boat, as I frequently did before the su n rose above the trees, for e njoyment of fresh ai r and o n the loo k -out for a pass in g s h ot. Heal:ing a flight of parrots coming, I asked for m y gun. A s i t was hand e d up to me, stoc k upwards so m e di 11; fell out of the muzz le. Exannimllti o n s howed that both Ibarrels bad b een .plugged with mud, so me of which, h aving dried, had thus betrayed its p r esence Thi;; cou l d not have been the result of accident, as a s pace of some two inc h es at t he e n d of each barrel was clean and brig h t. H owever caused, the obstruction wou ld i n evitab l y have burs t t he gun had I fiored i t. The escape was there fore a narrow one. On thi s discov ery I at first thought of going back a nd c ha.rging Canimapo with attempt to murder me; but o n seco nd thoughts I r efra in ed from doing so. In v iew o f t he awe in which h e was h e ld, I reflected that with the very imperfect interpretati o n at my co mm and, it wa s scarce ly co n ce i vab le that I cou ld bring the offence sum ciently h o me to him to warrant referring the case to the Supreme Court, while to fail in obtaining a conviction wou l d be far worse than l eaving the matte r alone It happe ned a l so to be important that I s hol>ld get to town quickly, a nd all things cons idere d I determined to ignore the matter a ltogeth e r Mr. Couchman informe d m e aftp.r ward s that the old savage had probably been much frightened by seeing t h e picture of him self. He COllceived the n otion that t hiS' gave me so m e occult power over him, and that his o nl y hope of safety would be in my death. My d oub l e escape doubtless m ade him regard me as invu l nerable More than on c e aftel";\vards I stopped f o r the ni ght at another settlement of t h e sa me c hief, at

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UNKNOWN COUNTRY some distance above the Great Falls, when he s howed me a respect wh i ch amounted almost to servility, and strikingly un like the ordinary indi ffer ence of the aborigines. But "once bitten twice s hy, and on the principl e of ('Timeo Danaos," I was after the above occurrence, always wary of his presents. At the Great Fall s the jurisdiction practically ended. Without the aid of a force of men I never had at command i t would have b ee n impossib l e to a tent boat ove r t he portage, and any travelling beyond was necessaril y done in an Ind i a n woodskin, which having no shelter, was by no means com f ortable in rain. The population, moreover, being entirely composed of India"ns who had very rarely o r never been in contact with white mer., 'vas so sparse that settlements, rarely exceeding a dozen people, were several days) journey apart. British law nominally prevailed; but it was in my time utterly unknown there, a nd any attempt to enforce it would have been fruitless. For these reaso n s no Magistrate befo r e my time, as far as I cou ld ascertain, had ever ascended the river further; and though, taking advant.:1.ge of my office as Protector of Indians, I on several occasions made expe di .tions into the further interior, I cannot say that I did so from any strong se nse of duty, 01' from expectation of any great good to arise therefrom. In fact, I much preferred the wild life of the bu s h to the Society of the Coast with its never-ending talk, and all -pervading atmos, phere of sugar; and I was, moreover, curious to visit an a lmost unknown region, and to observe the habits of people, many of whom had never see n a European, as well as to learn something from the unaccustomed sights and s'Ound s of 'an almost untrodden forest

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CHAPTER THREE ----The tributaries of the Derne1'arar-S cenery of C1'eeks-The troolie 1)alrn-Delusion about t1'opical vegetation-The Camoonie Creelc-A settlement oj Chinese-I nstance of Chinese honesty-F i1'st experience of forest-I ts distinctive cha1'acte1'istics-Ve 'tijication of tilltbe1'g1'ant bounda1'ies-Savannahs-Adventm'e snalce-Day sounds of the f01'est-Oties of goatsucke1'S. Hitherto I have been dea lin g with the main river; but there are man y c r eeks tributary to the Demerara, which in any climate w ith le ss rainfall wou ld themse ivE'<5 be r ega: r ded as rivers.* Some of t h em are navigabl e by boats for two o r m ore days' journey. Th oug h I never held court upon their banks, the duty of inspecting wo odcutting grants, and o nce or twice of holding a coro ner's inqu est, nece s sitated cons i de r ab l e acquaintance with t h em Indeed, in se lecting a suitable site f o r the C hi nese settle ment, to he descdbed later, I went almost to the limit of ca noe navi 'gation, up most of the sheams entering the Demerara with in forty m il es o f Georgetown. In t heir vi c inity the luxuriance of tropical vegetation is perhaps m o r e strikilJ1g than anywhere e lse-and by equatorial" I distinguis h the flora within a few degrees of the line from the l ess luxuriant vegetati o n of countries nearer t he outskirts of t he hopics. The ligh t furnished by the opening to the sky between the trees on e a c h bank permits of a dense undergrow.th wh i c h i s almost entir e l y absent in the eternal g l oom of the forest, and is seen e lsewhere o nl y i n swamps in which large t ree s a r e extremely few. Though no desc.ript ion; however v i vid, of a w h ole which j s m ade up of sllc h an infinity of detail s ever presents q true picture to t h e mi > nd, i t may be menti oned t hat the principal characteristic which disti nguishes t h e banks of In these days any stream approximating ten miles ill length officially designated a river,-Editor,

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34 R IVER FLOR A these streams from thos-e of temperate climates i s the total invis i bility of the so il whi ch suppo rts the vegetatio n every inch of i t, eve n in p l aces r ecently l a i d bar e b y the water being covered with p lants struggling for t h e mastery. Here a c lump of t r ee-fe rnS', t h e r e a s ingl e wild ba nana or a group of p r ick l y pal ms s h ow t h e m se l ves a b o v e the confus'ed chaos be neath j mo r e r a r e l y a great bun c h of feathery bamboos, which I alway s rightly Or wrongl y, regarded a s exotic and indicating former civilised resi dence.* But in the creeks within seventy miles of the coast the mo s t striking object i s the trool i e palm, whic h s hoots its e normous f r o nds directly out of the g r ou n d at t h e edge of the bank to a height of thirty feet or m o r e t I am in c li ned to think that t h ese p a lm s do not e xist, o r are at least very rare, in the far interior, for I n eve r saw one growin g t h e r e; t h e Indian. be n abs were not t hatch ed w i t h them though t heir l eaves are for t h is purpose incomparab l y superior to any others, and are, when obtain abl e invariabl y used for i t, both by the Indians a n d the coloured peo-ple who l i ve nearer the coast Other l eaves whic h especially attract n otice a r e t h ose of what I sup posed was a n arum and a r e l a r ge r t han any I h ave eve r seen e l sew h e r e I recall one i n an upper .reach of one of t h e c r ee k s (I think that nam ed Hibibia) which was so large that drooping down from its stal k i t made a graceful arch ove r the channel through wh i c h m y canoe pas s ed. W h en approach i n g the source of one of these stream s, way has to be mad e through t h e water lil ies growing com pletel y across the chan n e l whi l e the g i a n t t r ees on e i t h e r bank see m to m a k e a spec i a l effo r t to occu p y t h e narrowing avenue o f light, a n d are j oined togeth e r by inn um e r a bl e li anes, until a t There i s occasionally found a small species of bamboo which, I believe, is indige nous Edito r t The Author is mistaken. L ike most pal ms the troo H e when young throws fronds direct from the seed, but as it grows it forms a substantial trunk which somet i mes attai ns a hei gh t of twenty feet be f ore b r eaking o u t into

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A CHINESE SETTLEMENT. 35 l e ngth, whi l e there i s s till water for the canoe, they m ee t ove rh ead, and there is thus a m idday twilight sca r cely le ss o b s cu r e than that of the forest. I may menti o n here t hat those who, exc ited by the g lowing descriptions of imaginati ve writers, e}.."Pect the green of the vegetation to b e divers ified by great masse s of othe r colours, w ill a l most certainly be di s appoi n ted. I n Trinidad f r eque n tly, and occasionall y in Guiana, I have see n here and there a great t r ee covered with blossoms of yellow or red; but these were never othe r wise than very sparse, except i n the immediate neighbourhood of civ ili sed d welli n gs, so that for the most part they had in all probability been artifici ally planted. Such a sight in the Guia n a forest i s not a common one, and t h e p icture of a c r eek w ou l d ordinarily be u ntru e to nature if, beyond the immediate f o regr o u nd, it s h owe d any other col our than t h e blue of the sky-path above, t he clear coffee-brown of the stream, and the varied s hade s of green i n the vegetati on Other col ou r s showing here a nd there in so me r ed 01' purple orc h id, o r c r eam-w hite water-lily, cover what is compa rat iv ely so ins i gn i ficant a space that they require to be very c l ose to the eye t o have any appreciable effect. The l argest perhaps most important of these creeks is the Camoonie, familiar to the readers of Water ton's Wande 1"ings as being the sce ne of h is fam ous inter v i ews with big s nake s. It was here that I se l e cted the s ite for the' Ch in ese settlement which Mr. Edward Jenkins, the well-known author of G in.r;'s Baby h as de scdbed in The Coolie: his R i ghts and W1ongs A s that book was publi s hed nearly thirty years ago, I may m entio n here that, through the representations of a s pecially intelligent G hin ese by name 0 Tye Kim, having become interested in the forl orn conditions of many of his countrymen who had compl eted the terms of their indentures on the sugar estates, I indu ced the Govern o r to mov e in t h e Legis lature fol' a grant in aid of a settlement for them. The a mount voted, h oweve r was s o small a s to permit of nothing beyon d maintenan ce for t h e people during such time as was required for t h e clearinl)' of t h e laTlds, t h e building Of

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36 HONESTY AN D GRAT IT U D E their houses and the reapin g of t h e first crops. A ll t h e C r own land within r easonable d istance of a market was occasionally f l ooded, and a s no expense could be incurred for d a ms, it was ne c e ssa ry to select what wa s leas t s u bject to this scou r ge, and that, according to the best available advice, was on the left bank of the Camoonie Creek at a short d i stance from the main river. When I last saw t h e settlement some six years after its establ ishment, and s ome t hree years after I had ceased to have the power to take active interes t i n its concerns, it to be in a somewhat langui shing cond i tion, owing t o a g reat flood, and I am unaware whether it still ex ists; but it will probab l y i n any case have been of one permanent benefit to the colony in s howing the eco n omica l superiority of the Chinese met hod of c harcoa l burn ing in large clay k ilns over the compm'atively c l um sy and wasteful syste m previously in use by Creo l es and natives. Certainly i t caused som e two hundred p eop le fo r several years to be freer and happie r t han they had ever before been i n the col ony. and so I never repented the labour expended o n i t s establish ment.-IC One circumstance connected with t h e setUement afforded a touching i nstance of combined honesty a n a gratitude. The p u blic money being in s ufficient for the numbe r of p e ople de s irou s of taking plots, I had h elped so m e few of the m with s mall su m s for thei r ma i ntenance. Among these were two whose strength proved i nsufficient to ma k e m uc h headway w i th the great hardwood t r ees on their l ot, and they su dden l y dis appeared, being in my debt at the time. Never expecting to hear f rom t h e m again, I was aston ished so me months afterwards by t h e receipt of the mone y in full. The men had indentured themselves anew to a p l antation i n Berb i ce, and the payment of thi s mon ey had taken mu c h the greater pa r t of the fifty dolla r s w h ich they had each received in bounty money. "'-For a detaile d account of the establishm.ent and history of Hopetown, as this Chinese settlement was c a lled see Sir Cecil Clementi's boPK "'J'hl'! Chinese in 13ritish Guiana.".-Editol'.

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SNAKES 3 7 It was, if my memory serves me in t he Camoonie that I had my first expe r ience of a t r opica l f o rest while i nspecting the boundaries of a new grant. I am bou nd to say th;:lt at first all other sensations were subordinate to an instincti ve fear of s nake s. In wa lking along the nar row and new -cut path, t h e least stir in the herbage around seemed to indicate t h e presence. of the dreaded enemy; for I did not then know that in the great majority of cases it was caused by lizards, which ex ist in Guiana in many shapes and sizes, i -ncluding the big bloated iguana which 'has its home i n the t r ee, and the more s lender salimpenter, sometimes exceed in g five feet in length, whic h lives o n the ground, and, as the natives know to their cost, i s addicted to carrying off c h ic ken s. But though ther e is, of course, conside r able danger from snakes in the forest, and t hough every native, w hether Tndian or Creo le, keeps his eye on the ground when walking there, and rarely omits to look at each p l ace where h e puts his foot, yet in all my marches, of seve ral hundreds of mile s in the aggregate, the number of snakes met with sca rcel y exceeded a dozen. Owing to t h e remarkabl e manner in which t he colour of s n akes assimilates to their sl1lTQundings, it i s certain thf\.t the majority escaped n otice, and as so few were seen, the fear of the c reature s O O n ceased to be t ro ub le some. One cannot h elp being immediately struck with the dissimilarity of t h e Guiana forest from any to be seen in a temperate climate. This is not so noti ceab l e i n the fol i age for in the depth s of the fo rest palm s are rare, the height of t h e exogenous trees depriving them of li ght, and so fo r the most part killing those few which sp r ing up; and the mora, everywhe r e abundan t, i s not unlike a gigantic el m But t h e t r unks of this and many other trees are, n eal' the g r ound, surrounded by buttresses which seem to be provided by nature for the supp ort of t h e huge columns above them, so that a transverse, section at t h e base, instead of being round, is star-shaped, Again, up to a heigh t of to a hundred feet, no branches appear, all the strength of eac h being 'apparentl y required for su c cess in t h e despera'. s trug-gle for light far above, So dense i s

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38 CREEK SCENE RY green canop y thus c reate d that one m a y w a l k for m il e s witho u t s eein g a singl e peep o f b lue s ky, and it i s wonder ... ftl l that the pre vailing glo o m i s not e ven m o r e inte n se. B u t t hough f o rest walkin g on Indian pat h s a lways gave m e a ce rtain p l e a sure, I must confe s s that t hi s gra n d du t y w h e n the nov elty wore off, was a l mo s t wholl y d isagreeable T h e n ec essity for straightness in the pat h cau se d i t t o be m a de through or ove r e very intervening obstacle It p a s s ed throug h swam p s where every f oot o f progress h ad involved s ev ere cutlass w ork, and where c o n sequently t h e abundance of l opped plant-st e m s r endered wa lking arduous and painful w h ile razo r -grass in suffic iently cl eared wa s continuall y t earin g cloth es o r s kin. Mo reover, the p ath went up and down steep gulley s where many a tumbl e was caused by roc k o r root h i dden under the c a r pet of d ec a ye d l eaves-a ll thes e d i sagreeabl es bei n g bearabl e en o u g h i n the excitement of s p o r t, o r w h en pass in g t h r o u g h u n e xp l o r ed country, b u t trying the temper far m ore s e v erel y w hen in t he performan c e of a by no means interestin g duty. When in a ddition o n e wa5 s oake d with rain and covered fro m head to f oot with b ete ro u g e caus ing an a lmost maddenin g irritation du r i n g the m omen tar y stoppage of exerti o n, n o t to mention ticks requiring t o be s c raped off t h e skin w ith a knife, and leav ing a burn a s if made with fire, the circumsta nce s w ere indee d t r y in g and w ou ld hav e exe r c i s ed the patienc e even o f an arc h bis hop. But the s cen e r y of these cre e k s was not exch: s ive l y o f f o r est. O cca s i onally o n e carn e up upo n a sav anna h of a few hundre d acres-a f lat expans e of very l o n g g r asses, p o o l s o f water bei n g vi s i b l e h e r e a n d the r e m ostly cove r e d with water-lil i es T h e o n l y pl'o minent ob jects r i s i n g a bove t h e g e n eral l e vel we r e a few pal m s c h iefly o f the E t a variety with g reat fan-shap e d leaves T h e s e are t h e t r ees whic h t h e Wan'au India n s of t h e Lower Orinoco, the Barima a n d the W a in i u s e o r form e rly u s ed, for the i r t emporary h o m e s f o r their prin cipal fo o d and other u seful p urpos e s T o protect t h em s e l ve s while engaged i n fis hing f r o m tpe f looqs and o t h e l' o n emies bi pe d a n d 'luadru,l1ec,\,

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BIRD LIF'E 39 t hey built their huts up in t h e bran c h es, whi l e a farinaceous diet, m uch rese m bling sago, was m a de from the pith. The enormous number of t h ese trees in the place s namf!d gave a practica lly inex hausti ble suppl y for t h ese and all other p urposes. Now a n d then on the savannahs a great crane showed himself above the surface o f the grass, intently watch ing for h is p r ey in the water, wh il e a k ind of bittern (c alled here and in t h e United States b y an unmentionabl e name which de sc ribe s his peculiar habit in getting up), risi n g l az il y before t h e canoe, gave a tempting s h ot. I never but once, how eve r attempted to kill one of t hese, having then learn e d t hat the bird when dead was totally lIseless, e x cept t o a collector. -Duck s wer6c occa s i o n ally seer:; in ope!! water, bu t they were fe w and very diffic ult tc; approach. ,The endeavour to get a s hot cause d m e o n e of my few disagr ee ab l e experiences with snakes, I was in a very s mall cu rial" (or cano e ) with a single Indian steering, using the bow p a ddle myself A fligh t of ducks was marke d entering the fores t at the s ide of the creek, and on reaching the spot I f o un d that the water had overfl owe d the bank and covered t h e ground as f a r as it was po ssib l e to s ee. Being doub t ful whether the birds had settled i n i t, or upon the trees (where, as in the c ase of the wo o d-d:Jck of North America, they not infrequen t l y alight), I had put d ow n my paddle and taken hold o f 11 branch f o r the purpose of dragging the can o e inwards, when su ddenl y a large labarria snake dro pped from the tree into the exceedingly s h ort s p ace between me and the bow in fact, within a foot of m y bare leg. The start which I gave nearly up se t the ricket y craf t and half filled it with water. Bu t u nfortunatel y the snake was even more a l arme d than I wa s, and, maki n g off over the s ide, d i 3appeared before I could t a k e up my gun. My onll' serious e ncounter with a snake was in the course of one of my l onger journeys. From an Indian ab9ye Great Falls, and near the sou r ce of

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4 0 ADVENTURE WITH BUSH MASTER Dem erara, I had gone-with a s ingle Indian for a day' s wal k into the fo rest in searc h of so mething to shoot. We had had no luck, and i n the afternoon, when far from home, met with heavy rain. It wou l d be thoug h t that the nake d skin o f the Indian wou l d be so in ured to the 'climate as to feel no i nconvenience from the heaviest storm; but in fact he has a fel i ne d i s like of the least downpour, e s pecia ll y when the heat p r oduced by hard exel'c i::;e makes the d r ops feel the co l de r Co n seque n tly he will place h im se lf under the den s est foliage he can fin d until that no longer affords shelte! and t h en, when obliged to move he w ill if po ssible, find a large palm leaf which he uses umbrella-fas hion wh il e wa lk ing. On this after noon we were delayed many precio u s minutes by this s helterse e king; which was to me all the more irritating, as being myse lf scarcely more c lothed than the Indian himsel f, I was suffering no unbearable i ncon ven i ence. It was late when we started for ho me. The Indian went off at a tremendous pace makin g it difficu l t w ith my tired legs and so r e feet to keep up with h im. But I knew from experience that getting ho m e before dark is, with the Indian, a suftkiently powerful motive to make him fo rget all other considerations; and to be left a l o n e i n t h e fores t, with nothing to ind icate t h e route except a few twigs whic h had been broken for the purpose when passing i n the. mornin g and which nigh t wou l d render entirel y invi s ib le, was n o pleasant prospect. Wh i le hurrying along in this way, I was su ddenly startled by a frightful shriek from the Indian, and I immediately saw that he was jumpi n g away from the coil s o f a great "bush-master" snake (called by the Ind ians Cooni-Gushi ) The c reature had no doubt been asleep, and was arou se d by the touch of tqe Indian's foot. Befor e I cou l d s top my s elf I was c l ose up to the brute, whose head w ith laterally waving tongue was raised for striking within a yar d of m y thi gh. I n an instant I cove r ed h i m with my gun an d pu ll ed the t rigger; but the' rain had damped t h e cap (i t was before t h e day of b r eech loaders ) a n d it missed fi, re. My sensatio n at t h e m ome n t may be imagined, but it was fortunatel y as short-li ved as & nake; for the other barr e l fi red instantly, took t h e

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SILENCE OF FOREST 41 brute's head off, and I was safe. When brought to camp: the h eadless trunk was f oun d to mea s ure over six feet in l e ngth, while its thickness in the middle was about that of my forearm. Although the encounter ha s taken so l ong to describe, all that occurred between the Indian's cry and the fatal shot probab l y did not occupy more than two or three seco nd s, yet the impressio n created has remained vivid to this day. and as long as I live I shall never forget the eyes of the creature as they g l eamed in the twilight. Those of other animals when angry convey the idea of heat, wh ile these seemed cold bey o nd exp r essio n, and long after haunted me in dreams. The snake in question is regarded as the most deadly of those which inhabit the Guiana f orest, and had he struc k me on the bare thigh w hich was nearest to hi s head, these memoirs would n eve r have been written, for I s h ould probably have been dead within half an hour. Except as regards the low hum of in sects other life than that of the vegetable world was, in creek journeys, not visible or audibly abundant. Early in the morning there was now and then a flight and much chattering of parrots, which afforded so me sport for the gun and very tole rable soup for the pot. Only at the time when wood ants were taking wing and clouds of them were r i s ing above the trees, ther e would be see n high up a Dumber of large sw allowtailed birds sailing round and round in circles and presumably in the act of taking prey.* Of smaller creatures someti m es a great blue butterfly wquld rise over the trees fla shing his silvern underwings in the s unlight, or a b uzzing as of an exaggerated bumble-bee : and a gleam of inidescence neal' at hand would betray the presence of a hummin g bird passing from fl ower to fJower and p!'obing eac h as he fluttered over it. In midday. as in the main stream, there was silence broken o nly now a nd then .by the s hriH note of the pi pi-yo and rendered not less evident by the l ow whirring of grasshoppers and the constant hum 'of other insects -1 once shot a specimen of these birds, and in so far as I remember identified it as an insect-eating eagle, which has sometimes been seen in Europe.-G. S. Des. V

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QUEER BIRD C RIES Wh e n passing the night in this l ower part o f the district, 1 was oftell sbutled by a weird, s hrill sound close Lo my hammock, mu c h r ese mbling "Who are you 1 pronounced very quickly. this being the ono matopo eic name given to a s pecie s of goa tsllc kel' by the Englishspeaking natives Furthe r up the river a large goatsuc ker. mentioned also by Water to n mak es itself hea rd e&! 'ly in t h e night, though I cannot say I was ever able to recogn i se the sound attributed to him of "Work, work.away", or "Willi e corne-go", There is. h oweve r a nother bird of t he same spec i es, whi c h though I never saw him ] s hould Judge f r o m the extreme l oud ness of hi s note to be larger still. This so und i s one of t h e most beautiful and by far t he most m e lan c holy of any within m y expe rience procee din g from a bi!'d or any oth e r animal. 1 heard it only in t he d epths of the forest, and after nightfall. It consists of fou!' notes in a r egularly d escending sca le ; separated o n e from the othe r by a short interval. Other goatsuck e r s conve y by their cries the idea of wailing; but this par ticular o n e does so to suc h a degree as a l most to affect the spirits. In fac t it gives the im p r e ssio n o f a l ost sou l mou rning i t s uuhappy fate. It may be menti o n ed here that, except about an h our befo r e d aybreak when the galli. naceous birds begin to crow m o s t of the crie s emitted at night by the inhabitants of the forest, o f larger s ize than frogs, are very far from exhilarat i ng, and would se em to indicate (listress.

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CHAPTER FOUl:. -Another path t i tan/; Deme1'a1'a to Essequ ,ebo-lnd'ian mode of l1w/rking 'O'ute t1'ave1'sedL ost in the /orestU1Jpe1' Essequebo-[{aieteu1 Falls unknowrv--Myth-ical settlwnent 0/ wom en--Bi1'ds'-eye view of Im'est conn. .. t1'y-Elech'ic eel as SOUTee of a1nusement-Cana imas, atnd lea? of them-I ndian d, 'inking-bouts-Cu1-iolls custom, connected with childbit'th -Cassava the I ndian S p1'inc -ipal food Dangerously poisonous 'when uncooked Guiana no count tv for the Spo1'tsmanPecca1'ies Supposed t?'ap set for them by boa -const 'rict01'-H uge size of the latte1'-ToucansThe blo w -pipe Wou1'ali poison From the Demerara to b h e Essequebo, by the path whic h reac.hes the former river between the first rapids and t h e Great F alls, is a march of six to eight hours, the longer time being required in the wet season; but the path between t h e two rivers princi pally used by me, and always on m y longer journeys was o n e about two days' padd l e above t h e G reat Falls. This was too lon g for a si n g l e march and i nvol ved camping once or twice en 1'O'ltte in the heart of the forest, The characteristics of both paths we r e much the same, and, except as regards length, the descripti on of one would almost equally appl y to the other. Neither was r eally a path in t h e o rdinar y sense of the word, The uppe r o ne, indeed was trodden by human feet, and this o nl y by t h e Indians of t h e far interior, not probabl y mo r e than two vI' t h ree times a yea r Con se que n tly, to the untrain e d eye, n o t r ac k was to be see n, and t h e o n ly vis i b l e m a r k of the route to be taken was furn i s hed by sapl ings, broke n and turned dow n for the purpose by t h e passing I ndian. By this device the light colou r o f the under leaves invisible when t h e p l a n t is erect, at o n ce catches the eye, a n d serves HS a val uab l e gu i de The Quick ness with whic h the operation i s performed, and' t h e strength of wrist it demands a r e remarkable, I n a i, instant, \vi t hout s l ac k ening hi s gait a t all, t he man wiJl

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44 LOST IN THE BUSH. break a growing stickl a quarter of an inch thick and double it down so that the broken top will hang the s tem. The habit of doing this is so ingrained in the Indian that he indu lg es in i t mechanically and unconsciously when other broken saplings in the neighbourhood render it unnecessary. If he failed to keep up the practice thus, he might neglect it w h en it is all .important. But fol' such landmarks in the excitement of hunting, he wou l d ce rtainl y lose himself in the forest; and I have more than once had occasion to bless them when, by accident I have been left a l one to find my way to camp. For wan t of this precaution I once had a most di sagreeable experience, which might ea s ily have ended disastrous ly, though it was in the immediate neighbourhood of civilised dwellings Being at the pe nal settlement on the Ma ssaruni, subse quently de s cribed I went out early in the morning with a companion for a short walk in the fores t. In hal f an holl! we round t owards home, but after going a much longer di st.1.nce than that of our outward stroll, and finding that our position was still quite unl'ecognisa:b le, we in a dilemma. We had unfortulJately no c ompa s s with us, and the sun was as usual in the forest, entir e l y invisible; but a singl e glimpse of the sky to s h ow its directi on would enabl e u s to make for the river, and thus find our way. After a long search we found a fallen tree, the gap made by which, though nearly filled up by the surrou nd ing foliage, was s till s ufficiently large for the purpose. At length we reached the river, but were not, in a double se n se, "out of the wood .1I It turned out we seve ral mile s from the settlem ent, and in order to keep touch with the stream, we had to proceed nearl y in a straight line, forcing ourselves through swamps and ove r all other obstac l es. Fortunately we had cutlas ses with us, or we should never have r eached home before night. Even so it was late when we arrived, exhausted with heat, hunger, and fatigue, with ou r c lothe s and skin lace!'ated with the razor-grass and altogether in a pitiable conditio n That we mu s t h ave traversed a con siderable distance was shown by the fact that the convicts had been sent in all directions for some mi l es round, and though continuall y ye llin g, were not heard by u s ulltil our trouble wai nearl y ove r

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AMAZON MYTH 4G Of the Uppe r E ssequebo I can remember little beyond general impressions, as except at the ends of the paths from the Demerara I never stopped more than once at any particular p l ace. It has always been a matter of deep regret to me that I never saw the Kaieteu r Falls, discovered by Mr. Barrington Brown during his geolog i cal s h ortly after I left the co l o ny. Oddly enough, I never heard of these falls from the Indians fro m wh o m I }'eceived accounts, true or imag!nary, of many natural objects in t he cou ntry; for o n m o r e than one occasion I passed the m out h of the PotarD, f rom which that na tural wonder is distant o nly two 01' three day s journey. As neither Sc homburg nor Waterton saw these falls, I inc line to think there must have been so me s uperstitious r e l uctance on t h e part of the natives to m ention them to strangers Another subject of regret is that I n eve'r reached the. site of t h e fabled city of Man oa, n o r the wonderful mountain plateau of Roraima, u n ique as regards the g reat area practically cut off from t h e rest of the worl d by lofty, perpendicular, and al most un sca l able c liff s Illne ss, accide n ts d e l ays in rapids and once a sud den call to the lower part of my district, always the time at my di s posal, and so m y cher is h ed intention to. see these places was never fulfilled. R oraima was first mentioned to me by the Indians as the site of a wonderful settlement of women, w h o admitted m en to their society only o nc e a year. A s a simila r account, with equal l y curious details not to be mentioned here, was g iven m e at other times t h e l ocality described being always different, I began at length to .regard t h e story as a sur viva l of the ancient myth of the Amazons. Once, howev e r, ft, Macusi str enuo u s l y asserted to mc< he had b ee n o n e of the vis i to r s of a co mm unity of this kind, which liv ed in t hi s case o n one of t h e rivers falling into the Essequeho above the Rupununi. His account was full of suc h minuie particulars of the seve re, a nd by no mean s altogether pleasant, ordeal which he h a d had to u nd ergo that I scarcely be li eved them to be all imaginar y, especially as he offered to take m e to the p l ace. But as the month in which alone he would venture to approach these formidable ladies was one when, owing t o t h e r ain, i t was spec i ally difficult to ascend the

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46 A MOUNTAIN river, 1 never had an opportunity of satisfying my cLlriosity as to w hether t h e r e was not so m e slight f ounda tion for his sto ry. I may mention that Mr. McClintock, f o r many yea r s Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks i n the west of t h e colony, and whose knowle dge of Indians was unsurpassed a mong white men s ubsequently i nformed me t hat h e did not altogether disbelieve the story. a s a similar settlement of women had once appeared on the Pomeroon, but had left after a few months' re s idence. Of the mountains of Guiana I had o nly distant views, but the ascent of hills, which I should say never exceederl 2,000 feet, cost far more la' boul' than wou ld ordinadly be required elsewhere for mountains several times higher. One expe rience of thi s kind in the neighbou rhood of the el'al a I have special reason to remember on this account For sorr.e five o r six hundred yards before reaching the summft the gradient was so precipitous that I was forced to .:)e-ize a sapling 01' liane almost at every step for the. purpose of dragging myself up the next one Each time the support gave way, I had an unpleasant fall, which, but for the abundance of vegetation enabling m e to arrest descent, would have been dangerous. From the top of this hill, which was the h ighest ground I ever ascended in Guiana, the view was a remark ab i e one. Except a glimpse o:fi wate!' hE)re and there, p:'obably bends in rivers, the whole area beneath was covered with a dense mass foliage The tops of the trees hall almost the effect of a huge undu lating grass plot, with a bush rising out of it here a nd there, indicating the pos ition o f so me specia ll y large giant.* On m y longer journeys I was always aCt;ompanied by Indians. While marching they were usuall y silent, the forest seem in g to affect them with its g loom. D But during t he early hours of the night, especially if we had reached --The hill mentioned must have been Mabora Mounta in at head of Mabora Creek, 163 miles up the Demerara River.-Editor. D_Only those who have experienced g l oom can fuUy appreciate an illustration of one of Mr. Stanley's books of African travel, and the delight at emerging from the fore st, which is shewn in the special live l iness of the gait .: the long line of porters. -G. W. De s V.

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lilt;' t:I g t"' ;p. .. e; = ,,--0" -o;"llg' Q.,::I til :: -$'" '< I:i' r.,j J, o a .; t:I 0.... t"'; c'" -. ,. 2" !=I

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48 CANAl MAS pressed it upon the creature's sk in. When the Indians saw that this had no effect on me, they were easily induced t o repeat thei r first experiment with the cutlass The result being, naturally, much the same a s befo re, they regarded m e with deep respect, and, I afterwards learnt, as something of a "pe_i" (01' medicine-man). I may add that the vitality of this ee l was remarkable, as even after several honrs on land it could still make its power very se n sib l y f e l t. Occasionally, on the upper waters both of the Essequebo and Demerara, I met a single, haggard, unkempt. and strangely painted Indian, paddling himself s ilently down-stream, and usually close under the bank. Such men were. I was informed, Canairnas, who were under an inherited obligation considered by them as sacred, to revenge upon one more of the family of the offender some wrong perpetrated, perhaps long obligation, in fact, very simil a r to that of the Corsican vendetta. They paid attention to a s ignal only by paddling away faster than before, and even i f I had thought it of any use to follow them, it was doubtful i f any of my Indians would have consented to do so; a lways evincing a strange fear, even o f talking about these supposed m urderous devotee s From all I conld gather, a Canaima usuall y came from a distance. and. being always a young man, who had unclertaken his task immediatel y on arriving at manhood, had, r:onseque n tly. never been see n in the neighbourhood where his des ign was to be accom pli s hed. Except when unavo id ably travelling o n the water, he remained concea l ed in the bush, and would l'emain in hiding for long periods, awaiting a favourabl e opportunity. The victim,-at length taken unawares, would be c lubbed and while insensible, would be subjected to a horrible operation fo r prolonging his tortu. re*. I was never abl e to verify suc h stories; but it is not improbable that sudden deaths, of which I some. "'-The "ooeration" consisted in piercinl! the victim'!:; ton,I!Ue with fI small splinter of hardwood. generally .ereenheart. renderinE! him. on recovery, dumb, and then the pu11ing out with a small hooked stick specially made for the purpose, of the lower part oZ the rectum to which a small tourniquet was applieq. before It was pushed back in place.-Edito l'.

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INTOXICATI NG DRINKS 49 times heard months after their occurrence may have been so caused. In a thinl y popu lated country. so large in extent and so difficult to traverse with a climate prodlH : tive of exceeding l y rapid decomposit i o n, i t is obvious that the chances wou l d be infinite against the capture and con v icti o n of the cri mi nal. I t wiII thus be understood why the natives of by t al" the greater part of the interior of Guiana, though nomin ally British subjects, are prac tically amenable to no law than their own.o Of other unpleasant custo m s o f the Guiana native s, thei r drinking bouts most common l y attract the stranger's attention. They have at least two intoxicating drinks-one "piwari", produced from t h e cassava ( manioc), the oth e r "caseeri", from the sweet potato", both m ade in t h e disgusting m a nn e r which I have see n practi sed by the South Sea I S landers i n the making of kava (the Fijinn "yaghona"), namely by chewing the root t into a pulp, which, when mixed with water, pro du ces the necessary fermentation. W h en a canoe has bee n fiIled with the drink. the guests assemb le, join hands, and walk si deways r ound it, chan tin g at the same t im e what, n o doubt, they regard as a con vivia l so n g, but which i s more like a d irge. It consists e n t i rely of two notes in t h e m i n o r key the -------.---------O_It always struck me as curious that the Canaima should make himseU conspicuous by painting and otherwise, and thus advertise his deadly mis s ion the s uc c e ss .Jf which depended on secrecy. This poin t I never had cleared uP. and I can only suppose that while to render himself thus hideous was for som e ,reaso n obligatory, he obviated the effects of the expOSu r e by never allowin g to be see n the place where he slept. A s a matter of fact I never saw a Canaima except in the act o f paddling on a river, which he was obliged to use for makin:;! a journey of
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50 EFFECTS OF INTOXICANTS one com in g first a nd the lower one occas i onally long drawn out--uA y_ah, ay-uh, ay-a-n-ah Now and then the chain i s broken and two or more dip ca labashes (gourds cut in half) into the canoe, and havi ng drunk the contents at one draught, comp lete the circle again, the droning chant continuing sometimes for twenty-foul' hours and more until the liquor is finished, all the pel'fOrmel's, howeverwomen as well as men-being, before the end, very drunk indeed. Curiously enough, t h e effect of these liquid s seems to be exactly the reverse of that produced by the P o lynesian kava. For while the latter renders the leg s useless, the head still remaining clear, the former never seems to p re elude an upright posture, even when all other s igns of intoxication, even the most disgusting, are on l y too evident. Thus when anyone chooses to l eave the circle fo,!' a time he has no difficulty in returning, and i s at once admitted again. One presumes that there must be some p leasure i n these orgies, or indulgence in them wou l d not be so fre que n t, but it is difficult to understand. in what it consists. The hilarity of which the Indians -the Accawoios a nd especially-are so capable is entirely absent. The f aces of all .are funereal in expressi on, even f.rom the first, while the subsequent s i c kness o n e wou l d think destructive of all other sensations. But what ever pleasure these revels may a fford to the participants, to one sleepi n g in the neighbourhood and comp elled to listen hour after hour to the m ela n choly tones they become at last intolerable. In fac.t, o nc e when I was ill they affected my nel'ves to suc h an extent that, t h ough it was the rainy season I preferred to take m y hammock out of s h elter into the neighbouring fores t Arawaks, who inhabit the creeks near the coast (and were thus at an early' period -brought into contact with the Dutch and used by them to catch escaped slaves), seemed to be as fond of these drinkingMbouts as the more unsophisticated natives, though t h e sparseness and small s ize of t)leil" settlements, whiCh rarely exceed a s in g l e dwelling,

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VICARIOUS ILLNESS 51 rendered prol onged orgies on their part of less frequent occurrence In fact, in mode o f life and habits all the natives of Guiana-not excluding the 50c aUed t ree-inhabiting Waraus-were muc h alike, the Al'awak differing from t he Indian o f the interior mere ly. a s far a s I could s ee, in wearing m ore clothes having a slightly pale r skin and a somewhat superior in t ellige n ce with greater g l'avity o f dem e anour. This gravity seemed i mperturbable I d o not think I eve r saw a n Ara wak s mile a nd I a m sure I n e ver heard one laugh. One peculiar cu s tom of the interior native s has I think, been abandone d by the Arawa ks. Arriving o nce a t a settleme n t, I a s k e d why the father of the family, who s e e med qui t e well did not get up to receive u s but remained l ying in his hammock. Mr. Couchman, who was with me, informe d me that t h i s w a s be c au s e h i s wife had just been d elivered o f a child. She poo r woman naturally not looking ve r y h a ppy was bu s y with her work, paying o nl y very ca s ual attention to t h e s qualling infant and evidentl y with no intention of lying down. The hus band was being treated exactly as if he was the in valid, and I wa s told would continue recumbent for several days l est any accident h appenin g to him s houid affect the child. During this v icarious illnes s moreover, the man was for bidden certain meats for fear that the qualities o f the a nimal from w h ich i t came would attach to the child. Venison, for in s tance, being tobooe d in fear of its c a u sing timidity, and the flesh of other ani m a l s for similar reasons T he nat ive s themselves are very uncommunicative o n the subject of this c ustom, being appar ently ashamed of i t .. The principal food of the natives and a l s o of myself when far away from town, was bread made from c as sava (manioc) This w hen carefully made, is exce1lent in taste as we1l as most nutritious, and as it i s superi o r in both of these respects to oatcake, I have often wondere d that it i s not better known in Europe. If Professor C r ooke' s prog nostication sho uld prove correct as to the comi n g failure p! worWs wheat C fPP to supp ly eve r growinlj

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52 CASSAVA W ATER populat i on, I apprehend that some day both this and p l a n tai n f l our will large l y enter into the consumption of non trop i ca l cou ntries. The po i sonous quality of the bitter variety of cassava when in its natural state, and the mode of its preparation, are well known But a peculiarity of the pre sse d juice before boiling which I have never seeli mentione d, i s its attractiveness to animal s. The natural in stinct which ordi nm'ily distinguishes the nutritious from the harmful seems in thi s case to be wanting, for it is generally be1ieved in G uiana that all beasts have a liking for it. At all eve n ts, cattle an d goats dri n k it greedily, even w h en abundance of water is within easy reach, and a kn o wledge of thi s furnishes a n easy and sa fe mean s of killing stock to anyone 'having a grudge against its owner. In m ore than one ins tance I had little doubt that the de s truction of a woodcutter's cattle had been malic iously caused in t hi s way; but unhappily it proved i mp oss ib l e to hring the offence h ome with sufficie n t certainty for a con v i ct i o n For spo r t the forest of Guiana cannot be r ecom mended To get neal' any game is a matter of extrem e 'diffic ulty and to see it, even when close at h and, is scarcely more easy, owing to insufficiency of light. P.resumably, because the Indian hunter has left them no p e ace in the past, all t h e wild quadrupeds, from the jagua r to the accouri ( t h e agout i of the Spaniards ) fly from the app r oac h of m en, w hi ch must be s t ealt h y in deed to give the chance of a s h ot. As far as I cou l d l earn, the only exceptions to t h is ru l e are one of the varieties of peceari and the Waracaba tiger, the latter, in my time at all events, unknown to naturalists. -I t ha" not been definitely ascertained whether the Waracaba Tiger is a myth or not. From all the ev i dence at hand this mysterious animal would appear to be i dentical with the Bush Dog or K arasisi (lcti cyo n v e nati c u s), See "Animal L i f e J3ritis h Guiana ,'! g1f!aM E9ition,

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CAMOODI S 53 P eccaries are a l ways i n herds. The largest and small est variety are said to be comparati vely timid, and ther e fore l ess dangerous, u n less actuall y brought to bay; but those of t h e m idd l e size, or about that of a three-quarters grown Berkshire pig, were f r equen tl y described as being ver y awkward customers indeedo The Indians told me that when they ca m e ac r oss any they at once r an to the nearest cli m bable tree, and one described to me t hat he had, after climbing, been kept a loft for many hou r s until a jaguar put the herd to flight. Though I often wal k ed for many hou r s in search of larger game, sometimes going long d i s t ances in their t r ack, I am not abso lutel y certain that I eve r saw any in forest. As regards the Jast-men tio n ed variety of pecca!'ies, my failure wa s perh aps f o rtunate, as a single gun wOl],l d have been useless against suc h a num bei, and, as weighing some fourteen stone I was never ve r y active in treec l imbing, I shou l d p r obably h ave come off very bad l y in the. encou nter. Ca m oodies grow to an enormous s i ze in the colony. A p lanter tol d me of o n e k ill ed on the West Coast, wh i ch had measured forty in length and I recollect seeing many years ago, in a book by Stedman on Dutch Guiana a pic tu re-largel y I should say, imaginative-or a huge monster hanging from a t r ee, with two s l aves swarmin g up the ca r cass while in the act of skinning it. Twice only did I get a s i g h t of these creatur es. Once wh il e o n shore at a negr o's plantati on about fiftj;!en miles from Geor getown, I saw, wl}at was o f no u n common occurrence, a porpoise floating down r ap i d l y with the t i de, and at sho r t intervals com ing to the su r face, I n t hi s case, h owever, i t had bee n caught by a big snak e, in all probability a wate r camoodie, whose coils we r e p l a inl y v i sible for t h e two 01' three minutes d u ring which the ob ject r emainj;!d i n sight. O n a n other occasio n w h en t r ave lling with Sir W illi a m Holmes o -A-ctually there are but bwo varieties of peccari known i n the Colony, the Texan or Colla red P ecca r y, Di cotyles tOl'qu atus. l ocally known as Albouya, and the White-L ipped P eccary. known as Kairuni, Di cotyles I a bi atus. See "Animal Life in 13r itisQ Ov.ililn a", Guiana rage 97.-Edito r .. ... .. '.

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54 H UN TING (then Provost -Marsh a l of t h e col o n y) on t h e R ive r W ain i, towar ds the wester n extr emity of the colo ny, we, w hil e going down the str eam as fast as oa r s would carry us, passed quite close to a floating island. a disgusting smell from w h ic h wou ld, eve n without sight of them have m ade evi dent the presence o f snakes Two of these monsters we r e l ying u p o n t h e g r ass coile d u p in separate hea ps. F our b a rrel s wel 'e qu i ck l y fir ed at short range, which ca u se d t h e creatures to m ove; but the pace we were go ing prevented u s from see in g any ot h e r effect, and they we r e qu i ck l y beyond our sig h t As regards shooting, a con s i de r able nu mber of par rots might so metimes be early i n t h e m o rning on the river or i n clearings of the for est, a nd now and t h e n sitting on the tent of m y boat, I had a chance of bringin g down a tou can w hil e cross in g the rive r hig h u p above the trees. T he latter have a cu r ious flight, un l ike that o f any ot her bird. They seem u n able to can-y t heir l a r ge beak o n a level p l a ne, and their m ove m e n t is o n e of constant c u rve, ascend in g and descending. For the sam e r eason, p r o b a bly, they are ve r y eas il y shot, a n d f a ll at o nce if str uck by on l y a si n gle pellet. Other birds, such as p o wie" (curassow), m aams, etc w'ere only obtained by "pot s h o ts" w h e n sit t in g in the t r ees, a nd even if I h ad ca r e d for s u c h shooti n g I s h ou l d have h a d but littl e success, as again a n d again I failed to see a bird even a fter looking hard at the p lace w here i t was sitting, u n t il m y India n k ill ed it T h e instr u m e n t ordinarily use d by the Indians for k illing game was a c h eap HBru mmagem gun; but whe n they di d not possess o ne, the h o me mad e bow a nd arrow se r ved them fairl y we ll. For s man game, s ittin g on the ground 01' on secondg r owth tim b er, they took a b l owpipe. T he effective use of t h e latter weapo n t found by n o m eans difficult after very li t tl e practi ce. Though i t i s im poss i b le, o f c o u r se, to tak e a im a long i t as with a g u n t h e eye seems instinctivel y to po in t t h e tube straigh t a t t h e object. I have see n a co m p l e t e t rio h i t a n o range at ten to f i ftee n yards a f te)' ve r y few attempts. Both arr ows a n d

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WOURALI POISON. 55 blow -pipe darts a!'e poisoned with wOllral i which, when fresh, will cause a powie or monkey to drop to the g l'ound in a few seconds. Thi s preparati o n being almost if n ot entirely identical with the curare of Brazil (though its makers in Guiana pretend that the vegetab l e juice which produces its potent effect i s mixe d with virus from s n,akes, tar a n tulas, and manollrie ants ) ha s been too ofte n described to need extended !'cfere n ce here; but I may m e n tion, f r o m m y ow n expe r ience, that arrows so poisoned lose thei r pecu liar efficacy very rapid ly. and I have s een a he n walking about picking u p grains with comp lete indif ference, t hough s h e had sti cking in her several blow p ipe darts, o n e of whi c h had instantl y paralysed anothe r only a few week s before. Probabl y the str e ngth might be p:e s e rved if the paste were k ept air tight, but t hi s ] never ha d t h e o pp ortunity of t rying

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CHAPTER FIVE. -Dee1shooting /1'01n canoe-jaguars-The Warra.caba tig.,-Night sounds 01 the 100est-The kinkaiou,.A pp alling ,'om' of howling 1nonkey-The houtou and his tailt1'1.mming-Onarnatopoeic rw.,mes-Cushi antsJage,' a nts and their se rv ice to rnan-Night i nv asion b y jage1 s-Tenacity 0/ life in ants-Te1"11tites-Their ext1'a o rdinary VQ1'a,city-A nt intercornmunic atio-n,-. K illing a monkey, and its e ffect on the kill.,-Burning 01 a hollo w t,ee As regards larger game in Guiana, the only kind t he s h ooting of wh i c h e ve r afforde d me sport in the English sense of the word was the deer, whi ch i s about the size of t he fallow deer, but with short, unbranching horns. I us ually took with me tw o m yse lf and an Indian in one and in the other two Indians with a dog. Arriving at what see m e d a likel y pla ce, one of the Indians went a s h o r e with the dog. With him h e carried a horn made out of a hollow gourd, which, when blo wn in thes e Boli tudes, was audible for mile s. From time to time he would thus indicate his whereabouts, and so enab l e u s to keep as near him as p oss ible on the river. Afte r we had paddled an h our o r two following the direction of the sound, the horn, if we were to be lucky, would emit a .. ent no te, in dicating that gam e had bee n found Presen tly the barking of t h e dog would be h eard, faintly at fir st, and becoming gradua lly l ouder as it ap.}}roac hed the water, fo r which -the hunted deer invariably make s Sometimes t he sound would becom e su ddenly very l oud at a con s id er able di s tance from us up or down stream, and t hen began a frantic paddling in order to r e ach the s pot in time. The deer would then be seen entering the water, o r somet im es on l y the s pla s h w o uld be heard, and the animal wou ld fir s t be c ome vi s ibl e when a c tually swimming. Th e paddling would n ow be co me still more frantic, until t he deer was c l ose to the other bank. A few seconds m ore, and unless

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"W ARACABA TIGERS; 57 s topped by a bullet he would be safe ;n the fores t, at all events for that day. Paddle is breathlessly exchanged fOl rifle, and crack, c r ack, echoes over the water jus t a s the quarry has topped t h e bank. Has the animal fallen, or has he e s caped? Once or twice it was the latter, involving a los t day, the miss due, as I flattered myself, to a hand shaking from violent exertion; but after s ome experience s uch failures were rare. 1 did not carry a s e c ond indian to relieve me of all work, partly because my dead weight wo uld have dimini s hed s peed, and also becau s e without the vIolent e xerci s e the excitement w o uld have been far less. The tapir and the labba (the lap of Trinidad) may be shot by the same method, but do not afford by any means so excIting a run. J'aguars were s om etimes heard near our c amp. at but only on two occaSiOns dId 1 s ee one Tile puma t wnich, I suppose, is the bro wn tiger, s pecIaUy feared by t he indians ) and a11 the small e r cats lllcludlllg the Wara caba, WhICh the natives dread more than any other animal, alSO eluded me Thes e creatures are said to be abou t the S Ize of pointer dog s and are never met with except in huge pacKs (for which ,reas on I imagine them to be rather canine than feline ) When they are heard approaching, safety is only t o be obtained by gettlng on the other SIde of the stream, which they will rarely or never cross .Once when camped by the side of a burn in the forest I heard strange cries wh i ch seemed to proceed from a great number of animals, My Indians, very frightened, began to take down their hammocks, calling out, "Waracaba, Waracaba. But the sound s gradually died away and we were able to s leep in peace Pos sibly the stream saved us; at all events, I never saw the animals s o as .to be able to verify whence the sounds proc eeded, In my time the existence of this g regariou.5 tiger was I believe, much doubted by naturali sts, but the subsequent

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58 FOREST NIGHTS. narrative of Mr. Brown, the discoverer of the Kaieteur Falls, serves to confirm the Indian stories about t he se animals, though, like mysel f, h e never actually sa,w one i:. Night in the forest has many other strange soun d s, most of which, however, quickly become familiar and are easily l'ecognisa:bie. At dusk, in the neighbourhood of a river or other opening, i s heard, almost exactly at t h e hour from which its name i s derived, the shrill burr of "the six O clock bee." In reality, it is a small cicada under two inche s in length, and yet its note is so loud as to be audible ove r water at a distance of at least onethird of a mile At the same time begins the c r oaking of a great variety of frogs, o ne, called by the Creoles the padd l e f rog, giving out a sou nd so extremely like that of an approaching boat that I more than once cou ld scarcely believe it anything else Later the more subdued ch irruping of tree frogs becomes incessant, and now and then in the depth of the forest one is suddenly startled by the hoarse staccato grunt of the bull-frog, sounding from some hollow trunk close by. Then there are the notes of the various goatsuckers; and about midnight the inexpressi'bly melancholy, yet melo diou s wail of the largest one a:bove r eferred to. Once on l y I heard the low yap of an animal moving in the trees above my head. It was, I was told, the night-prowling kinkajout. But of all the night sounds of t he forest, that of t he howling monkeys is unquestionably the loudest. '1'0 a '" See footnote in previous chapter on subject of WaracaJba Tiger.-Editor. t-This animal also inhabits the island of Trinidad, and one of them subsequently caused mysel f and my family a '"ery unpleasant experience. Years. after my departure from. Guiana, when 1 was administering the government of the colony in question, and sleeping in Government House, the household was awakened in the middle of the night by the agonized screaming of a wild parrot in a tree close at hand. This continued for fully a quaI\ter of an hour, growing fainter and fainted until it died away. In the morning the partlly devoured remains of a green parrot was found at the foot of the tree the victim of the kinkajou.-G. W. Des V.

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stranger it i s really appalling and may be heard for miles. One or two m an -oI-war and half a dozen angry bulls b ellowing in unison, would be r equ ired to produce music equally loud and m e lodi ous. According to the natives, t h e creatures roar thus while hanging upon branches by t heir tails, and swinging backward s and forwards. The approach of day i s always announced by different gallinaceous and other birds, and by degrees I came to know the time from them with cons id e rable exactness. An hour before the first sign of dawn, or about half-past four o'clock, is heard s everal times repeated the crow which gives its name to the s m all partri dge called "Douraquarra". Half an hour later comes the short whistle of the maam (tinamou) a bird also re sembling a partridge but m uch larger; and finally, actual daybreak is announced by t he hannaqua, the so-called pheasant of the country, though extremely unlike one. A l so, in the early morning, but not so regu l arly, i s heard the sad note of the houtou called elsewhere, I believe, the mo t mot, a bird which has the curious propensity of biting off a part of its tail. I would observe that the picture of t hi s bi rd, given in the explanatory index of Mr. 'rVood's edition of Waterton, is unlike the s pecimen s which I saw in Guiana, and e vidently i s that of a distinct species The b irds see n by me had the vanes of the long tailfeathers bitten off for an inch or more exactly at the point wh i ch, when the tail was doubled back, would be reached by the beak, the end of the tail unlike that in the illustration referred to, being of much the sam e size a s the part above the gap. The Indians believe that this bird has the habit of thrustin g his tail into bees' ne s t s and t hat the gap in the tail-vanes i s caused by the wearing p r ocess of eating off the honey. In this way they accounted fOl' t h e fact that some sticky substance was adhering to the end of the tail of a speci men obtained by me. All these names with most of those given by I ndians to birds and animal s are so strictly onomatopoeic that when l ocally pronounced, it would be scarcely possible for

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HUNTING ANTS the human voice to approach more closely to the sound s intended to be imitated. The many variety of parrots a r e all I thi nk, named on the s ame principle, as ki ssi-kissi; huahia, toa t o a, and many other s A s regards other inhabitants of the forest, the cu shi, o r leaf-canying a n ts, alrea dy referred to, can hardly e s cape n o tice, even in a s h ort walk. Thei!.' g oing and r eturning legions alwa ys clo se to o ne another, and together making a so lid c o lumn seve r a l inche s wide are s o numerou s that i t wou ld be difficult t o go many miles in any direction with Gut meeting them. These ants are most destructive of usefu l vegetation and are regarded s imply a s a pest; but there is in Guiana o ne species of ant which is really s erviceable to mankind. I refer to the jager s 01' hunting ants At night, when an inmate of a woodcutter's house or an Indian hut i s asleep, sharp bites in various parts of his b o dy cause him to spring up and strik e a light. He find s that hundreds of jager ants have marched down the r opes of his hammock. Looking on the ground, on t h e posts supporting t h e r oof, on the rafters and on the thatch, h e se e s countle ss leg i on s of the s ame in s ect s covering a ll, a nd a d e n s e colu m n s till pou!'jng in. Cockroaches in abundance are now s een rushing a bout the tha t c h and occ a s i onally falling to the ground. If examined c l o s ely, thes e are found to have several ants fastened on to them. The fall attracts the ants on t h e ground, wh i ch immediately close round the struggling victi m and in the course of a few s econd s he i s being borne off o n a line parallel with the l egion s s till e ntering. Scores of cockroac n es are thus dealt with, and now and then a gol'eat centipede shares t h e same fate. Falling from the ro o f, he writhes for a moment on the ground, appar ently endeavouring to free himself from his cli nging enemies; hut that moment is fatal. Hundreds rus h upon him from all s ide s and in l es s than a minute he al s o i s borne off though still alive, and s ufficiently strong to give hi s carriers a very unpleasant time with his contortions. O c ca s ionally a gecko lizard comes scamp .ering down a post, and t hou g h he gets away

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OTHER ANTS 61 for a moment, it is doubtful whether he will escape altogether; for there may be s ufficient ants upon him to ensure a fate sca rcely les s rapid than that of the cock roaches After an hour Or two occupied in searching every n.ook and cranny, the ants depart as sudden ly as they came, and nothing more i s seen of them perhaps for many months. They have, however, left the place completely cleared of all insects and vermin, even of rats, which, if not destroyed, are at least driven away, so that however disagreeable for the moment, they have reall y done a most useful servi ce. Meat requires to be protecte d from these ants by an impermeable covering, or they quickly tear it to pieces; and their attacks upon people asleep render it probable that, if unable to move, one would qu i c kl y meet a horriQIe fate. Other ants which are familial' ob jects are the black manoul'i, about an inch in length, and the diminutive red ant, which, relatively in his s ize is quite as venomous. The former r esembles a long, wingless black wasp, and, like the latter, uses his mouth to hold his prey, w hile he stings with his tail. His venom i s so powerful as invariably to give fever, and it is therefore not improbably true, what I was told, that even a single sting has been known to cause death. Fortunately I never was stung by a manouri, but the red ants once caused me a most unpleasant experi ence. Coming out of the water after bathing, I inadvertently sat down in a nest of them. My llndians laughed: and I do not doubt I furnished a s ufficiently amusing spectacle but the incident was no joke t o me. For several hours I suffe red severe pain, as if red pepper had been rubbed into numerous pin-pricks, and fever foll owed which I did not get rid of for two days Ants of se v eral different kinds have their home in orchids, and I d o not think I ever procured one of these plants without finding in it a numerous colony. On one occasion, when a large cattleya had been obtained, together ,. with the elbow of a branch on which it was g ,rowing, the ants were so numerous and venomous that I caused both

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62 them and their home to be thrown i n to the water and dragged behind my boat, u sing a sti c k frequently f o r the purpose of keepin g the w h ole under t he surface For hou r s afterward s ants were coming up and floating away. until they appea r ed to be all gonej but when the l og was taken up the next day several others astoni she d us b y running out apparentl y quite uninjured. Either, t herefore, t hey ml!st have b een able to surv ive without air, 01' suffi cient for t h em had r e mai ned in the many cavities of t h e plant Even more noticeable i n the forest than any of the above are the wood -ants. In mo s t oth e r parts of t h e world they are call e d l'white ants", though t h ey are never white, .. nd are not ants, but termi tes, whic h bel ong to an entirely different order of insect. As one passes through openi ngs in the forest, and especially along the river, one cannot help being struck with a great number of trees compl etely bare of f o lia ge, but still standing erect as ev e r and with naked bra n ches sharp l y outlined agains t the sky. On many o f these will be n oticed, high uP what a r e seem ingly h uge excrescences m os t of them look in g i n shape like enormous footballs. These are n es t s of the wood-ant, and a n examination of the trunk s ho ws the cove r ed passages leading to them. These bare trees could hardly all have bee n by lightning, a s com m o nl y supposed by the natives. Yet death had ce rtainly co m e neither fro m strangulatio n by li anes, of whic h there was never any s ign, nor from the ordinary decay of o ld age; so that possi bly there was some connection between the conditio n of the tre. es and the r esidence of the termites whose l oca l name betoke n s their f ondness for wood But, though wood is probably the principal food of t hese creatures, they seem t o be almost as omn i voro u s as the cockroach; for on one of my passages f rom the Demerara to the Essequebo, whe n a ccompanied by Captain (afterwards Colonel ) Morley, of the Buff s we left two umbrellas and some pairs of b oots o n the ban k of the Demerara to await ou r return. -_._-----------------Trus is a very conunon experience with o rchid collecting. -Editor.

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COMMUN I CATION OF ANTS 63 After an interval of onl y a few days we found of the f orme r nothing but t h e frame s while the latter were s imp l y s k eleto n s, t he seam s only being left, the c o bbler s w ax having pro v e d distas teful. The d estroyers had evi dently fini s h ed their repas t a s there were none vi s ibl e on t h e s pot. What a mysterious faculty of communication have ants, Once, lyin g in a hammock clo s e to the floor in the cov e red verandah o f my hou s e in Georgetown, I obse rved an ant which after di scovering a large piec e of spo nge cake imm ediate l y s cam pere d over i t in appare n t ex c ite ment, and then went off without taking any. away. A s the ant was one o f thos e with a s pecia l liking f o r sweet f o od, this pro ceeding w as s o strange that I re s olved to observe the 'further action o f the creature I w as at the time weak wi t h fever; but I manag ed t o crawl to the other e nd of t he v e r andah, a d i stance o f s ome ten yards where I saw the ant make for a ho l e in an inters tice b etween the boards. In les s than two s e c ond s ants began to pour out of the hole in grea t numbers and all went in a straight line t o thp. cak e w h i ch i n the cours e o f an h our was all carrie d off. No doubt though ind i stinguish.able from the others, the disc overel had led the column; but the questio n aris es, How did h e s o in stantaneous Jy communicate h i s di scovery? Was it by s ound inaudible to h u man e a r s or by a touch which perm e ated in a moment the den s e ma ss of his fellow s like a s hock o f ele ctricity? The Indians are by no means averse to the fles h of monkey s and indeed at one time I myself found it by no me a n s intolerable wh e n other food was sca rce In G u iana, however no kind of monke y i s ea s y to s ho o t a s they are rarely t o be s een ex cept o n the t o p s of the trees, When there, I found the m too difficult to hit, a s they w e re onl y vi s ible for an in stant when moving rapidly, wh i le l oose s h o t even of lal'ge size would not bring them down from s uch a height. However having one day fired w i th an Eley's green cartridge, there fen d o wn a large one of the spider variety. To my borror I SaW that a younfl'

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64 BURNING TREE S clinging to her, had fallen a l so, though apparen t l y it had not been touched by the shot. The piteous and almost human look of the m other when dying was such as I s h all never forget. I felt like a murdere r, and from that day I never killed another monkey. Nor, however hungry, did I ever consc i ous l y eat o n e again. But as in p epper-pot all meat after a day or two, tastes mu c h alike, I cannot say that I may not have done so unconscious ly. The burning of hollow trees close to our camp was a favourite amusement of Indians. Once when I permitted mine to indulge in it, the spectacle presented was a grand one The hollow trunk made a tremendous draught, and the fke runni ng up i n it quickly a great mas s of f lame poured out from the lofty top with a roar like that of an enormous blast furnace. Showers of sparks rose i n the air, as though hundred s of R oman candles were being fired together, with the difference, however that this pyrotech nic dis p l ay and its accompanying no i se l asted for several h o u rs and precl uded s leep until long after midnight. However wonderfu l t h e sight. I cannot say that on tion I contemp l ated i t with unmixed satisfaction. It is certain that with the dead tree must have been destroyed a vast n u inber of liv in g c r eatures, including frogs, a nts, many kind s of in se cts, bats, and probably owl s Even I at the ri sk, then, of being regarded as a senti men talist, I I cou l d not on t h i s account regard treeburning as jus tifiab l e when done for mere amu se ment) and it wa s not r e peated --Whil s t undoubtedly numerous insects do peri s h under such circum s tan ces, my own experience i s that the bats and owls ;:Ire tihe flrst to escape on the first .sign of sll1oke.-Edit or,

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CHAPTER SIX I nspection 0/ Massaruni penal s ettlernemt-The Lo wer Essequebo-The coconut a n d its taste f01 scUtSo un d of t1'opical Tain in fot'est heard at gr e at di s tance-Sa nitar'lJ benefit of bare feet-Crvpon sitting on e ggs-Scene ry of E sse q uebo rap ids -Advent1.l, ,'e in ascending ,'pid-A rash 8wi1nr-Jigge1's and thei1 ext 'action-SOO1'citll of animal life in Upper E ssequebo-K ingfishe1's and jacama1's -F ireflies of diffe'rent varieties--M osq u itoes and gallinipp e1's; st01'y illu8t1'ating d i ff erence between thern-Ri've?' Wa iniT he balata tree and its gum Wa ter communication b etween PO?neroon and Uppe1' Orinoco-Deserted missionary set tlement-E xperience wit h bats Amo n g the duties of m agist!'ates in Britis h Guiana wa s the inspection of the pe nal settle m ent,* wh i c h w as mad e each m onth by two pub li c officer s especially appo in ted fo r the purpo se. It wa s situated o n the Ma ssaruni Riv e r n eal' t h e mou t h and n ea r alsQ, the junction of that and another great ri ver, t h e C uyuni with the s till greater E sseque bo. The journey wa s u s ually mad e in one of t h e col onia l ste amers from Georg etown, al o ng the we s t coast of Demerara as far a s the mouth of the E ss equeb o and t hen s ome sixty mi l es up that river. On the passage u p are s everal i s l a nd s s ome of them a mile or more in length, that near t h e junction of t he three rivers being Kykoveral, which wa s one of the principal se ttlem e nts of the D utc h ( r ece ntl y, I und e rstand, used for a l eper asy lum ).* Besides t he re a l i s land s one i s certain to meet a large number of *-The settlem e n t was a priso n f o r persons convicted in the colon y and sentenced to penal servitude.G.W. Des V. -The Author here i s somewhat shaky in hi s geography and hearsay facts. The pen a l settlement is only fortyfive miles from the m outh of the Es sequebo, and li e s 'between the junc tions of the Mazaruni and Cuyuni and the Mazaruni and ;Essequibc;>. In the lower the m ajority c;>f the ls l ands I

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66 COCONUTS so-ca lled floating i s lands, which are commonly seen also on the Demerara, though in l ess numbers. The se a re com. posed of great masses of growing grass, which, having spread from the riverbank, have been torn away when the wate!" has risen to an unusua l height. Once let loose, they float up and down with the tide, and as the ebb, assisted by the s tream, is o f COurse the stro nger, they eventually are carried intO' the sea, though so m etimes occupy in g many days in gettin g there. I have occasionaI1y seen small trees growing on these islands, so it i s evident that t h e r e was soil on them, which must have lodged there before the supporting grass became from t h e land. P opu lation on the E sse quebo was in my time still more sparse than on the Demerara; and probably see med even less numerous than it was owing to the practice of conceal ing residences from view with a ma ss of foliag e in front. To one passing up the centre of the river the banks appeal' to present an almost unbroken line of forest; and it is o nly on nearer approach that one saw here and there a narrow boat channel and Q n e o r two coconut palms, indicating the existence of a house at the back The mention of the coconut palm reminds me of a pecul iarity of t hi s tree, which t ho ugh probably familial' to naturalists, I have found to be by no means generally known to others I Tefer to its extreme liking f o r sal t. According to m y so mewhat varied and extended experience in the Southern and Eastern Oceans, as well as in the West Indi es. this tree naturally bears well o nly in the diate n e i ghbou rhood of the sea, a nd the quantity of fruit s t ea dily diminishes with distan ce inland, I have occa s i ona lly seen one or two nuts on a tree near water which is now and then brackish; but at a distance of o nly a few miles fro m sa lt water these palms, though often appear ing healthy and well-grown, were all except in one in stance, are well over a mile in length, three of them being nearer ten miles l on g. Kykoveral was never a settlement but the ori ginal Dutch fort and li es at the confluence of the Mazaruni and Cuyuni. It was never a lepe r asylum, this being a t one time on Island, the mouth of the Mazaruni.-Editol".

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CAPTAIN KERR 67 absolutely barren. The exception was noticed by m e on the Demerara, a nd when I r emarked o n the unusual cir cumsta n ces the proprietor informed me that he pro duced a c rop on the tree in question by artificial means. When e ver he finished a barrel of salt fis h or pork he poured t h e whole of the brine op the r oots. H e did not consu m e enough salt provi s ion s f o r t he service o f more than one t ree, so that t he others, of which there were seve r al, all remained barren. The Mazaruni penal settlement has ofte n b ee n described by travellers. A day or two before I arrived o n one occas ion a m o n ster herd of peccaries, i n attempt ing to cross the river, was attacked an d hundred s kill e d by the occupants of boats collected fro m all directions. I t may be imagined how f ormidable would be the meeting of suc h a c r owd in the forest. The large ex panse of wate r in front o f the settle ment gave me m o re than once an opportunity of obse rvin g at how g!"eat a distance one can hear t he soun d of e quatori al rai n falling in the forest. One heard the dull roar for o ver five minutes before the effect of t h e rain became visible, by falling into t h e water a t t h e further bank of t he Esseq uebo, some two mile s away. As the s t o rm then took over ten minute s m ore to reach the settlem e n t, it may be gathered that the rain must have been a t a distance of at l e a s t three mile s when the s ound of it was first heard. The child!"en of Capt. Kerr, t he genial superinten d ent of the set tlement, were n ever allowed to wear shoes a nd s to ckings and w ere perhaps the healthie s t offsprin g of white peop l e I ever saw in the tropics, the two circumstance s being reg a rded by their father as cause and effect. Thi s may be worth the c onsiderati o n of p arents in hot countrie s ; the more especially as, other things being equa l the s uperior robustne ss caused by bare feet has evi dence in its favour from Il1any quarters1 COl1stitute $

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68 CAPON FOSTER-FATHER. a theory adopted in the therapeutic system of the celebrated Fathe r Kneipp, of W O l'ishofen, which has attained s o much succ e ss in Bavaria and Austl'ia.* While at the pena l settl e m ent I once saw what wa s to me a novel and c lIrioli s sight-a c apon sitting on five and twenty eggs. Captain Kerr informe d me that this di s tortion of natu, re wa s advantageous, not o nly because the number of eggs so hatched was much larger than cou ld be cove red by a hen, but because t he f oste r father was more faithfu l to hi s charge t han the natural mother I cannot r emember the process by which the quas i .maternal instinct was induced, except t ha t a part of it was the pulling out of s ome feathers from the breas t and giving the bi I'd a dose of spirits I know, h oweve r it wa s not a difficult one, and as it i s well known that the males of so me s pecie s of birds take turn and turn about in setting with t he female sl it is p oss ible that the same instinct once existed in the gallinaceous family or its a nce sto rs, and may be ea s ily revived. At d ifferent times I made s everal journ eys into the interi or, starting f rom t he Ma ss3 1'uni se ttlement One of t h ese was up the Cuyuni to the d i ggings o f the British Guiana Gold Company, an enterprise wh ich, initiate d in 1 864, had but a s h ort existence. An account of t hi s journey written at the time is g i ven in a separate chapter. Between the first rapid s of the Essequebo and the l owe r path u se d by me between it and the Demerara, there i s mu c h beautiful scenery Though with little high ground on either ban k, the river is intersperse d with beautiful islands, a nd in several places divided into many separate c h an n e l s containing rapids more or l ess dangerous to navi gation even in small boat s On one o cca s ion I was a sc end ing one of these rapid s in a large barge belonging to Captain Kerr. The rest of the party, which incl u ded two or Thi s was writte n before the discovery of the life-history of the I hookworm which #'Ie body throug h the bare feet.---;, Editor. ..

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ADRIFT I N RA PIDS 69 three other Europeans had gone ashore to walk a long the bank, while the boat was being dragge d up by a number of men hauling at a long rope. Two Indians ( Al'awaks ) remained with me one at the bow and o n e at the stern, each fortunately wie lding a large padd l e. While lying down in the tent, imagining myself in perfect sec ur i ty, I was admiring the grand sight afforded by the great river lash e d into white foam for seve r al hundred yards in front of me, watchi n g too with interest the struggles and tumbles of the men as they tugged against the" great rush of wate r Sudden l y I became aware that the boat had reversed its course, and was go i ng rap i dly down-stream. The r o p e had snapped, and we were running headlong d own the r apids, after h aving, bY.t he l abour of so me two hours, nearl y reached their head. The s wamping of the boat seemed inevitab le, in which case my fate would have been se a l ed; as i n a rapi d s o f ull of r ocks even the I ndians with their wonderfu l powers of swimming had but littl e chance of escape. At this cri s is there was not presented to my m ind an i n stantaneous picture of my past life, s u ch as ot hers have desc r ibed i n similar circumstances. My so l e t hought was of getting out of t h e tent and r i d of my c l othes as quick l y as poss ible, a n d thi s I achieved with a rap i dity whic h the s pectators descr i bed as ma r ve ll o us. The e x cite ment of the m oment e n abled me to d rag off in a few seconds a pai r of l ong boots, whic h under ord inary cir c u mstances, wou l d h ave tak en as many m i nutes. By this t im e t h e boat was hu rrying a l ong at a tremend o us speed in a position diago n a l to the stream I was not left l ong in suspense; for almost i m med i ately the stern grated h eavily on a rock, a n d t h e bow, still in deep water, swung rou n d until we were at r i g h t angl es to the bank. This ordinarily the m ost dangerous pos i tion of all, now proved our safety. I n an instant we were at t h e edge of a l ong eddy, i n wh i ch the water cour sed upwa r d j and the Indian s, w h o had see med up to now par alysed and help l ess, at once recovered cour age. Dashing in t h e i r padd l es, t h ey w i t h a few f rantic str okes, brough t us into safety-the w h o l e occu r rence hav in g occupied proba bl y not m ore than two or t h ree min utes of time,

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70 JIGGERS While encamped overnight on an island not far above the head of these mpids during a s hol't t r ip made with Mr. Quintin Hogg (of London Polytechnic fame), my com pani o n started to swim across a channel of the river so m e hundred and fifty yards wide The str eam was not very rapid, and for a str o ng sw immer, as he evidently was, there was no reason for alarm on that account. But noticing unusual excitement among the boathands, I was informed on inquiry that thati part of the river was greatly infes ted with pel'ai-a f lat broad fish much dreade d by the Indians owing to its propensity to take large hites of flesh from the person of the unwary swimmer. Nothing wo uld indu ce my men to enter the wa.ter at that place. Fortunately, Mr. Hogg got back safely, bl1t not before I had had a very mauvais q'lta' rt d'heure; for, in addition to other anxiety, the thought struck me that, had a disaster happened, I, being suppo sed to be better "up to the ropes", would certainly have been held responsib le. Close to the third series of rapids I was, on another occasion, for the first time, made alive to the extraordinary numbers of "jiggers" (the Spanish chegoes ) which infest abandoned Indian settlements I determined to u se a deserted shed as shelter for the night j and being very tir ed, a s s oon as my hammock was slung I went straight to it from my boat in my bare feet. The distance was not more than thirty yards and was only traversed once agai n, and yet in the next two days over twenty jiggers wer e taken from my feet. T he Indi an process of extract ing t hem i s by no means a painful one; in fact, it gives rather a pleasant sensation It is done with a sharp pie ce of very hard wood, whi c h i s far better than the ne edle lIs ually emp l oyed, a s it enable s the whole "sac" t o be r e moved without puncture. More painful howeve r i s t h e 3:ppJication of tobacco a s h to the wound for the purpo se of preventing the spread of infection by killing s uch germ s a s may be left. In the Essequebo, over a hundred and fifty mile s from the coa s t, anima l life, apart fro m in sec ts, and in the mOrn ing and lljrds, was rarel

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KINGFISHERS 71 sometimes pointed out to me by the Indians, and a commoti on in the water as we approlched showed where one or more had entered it; and the muffled roar which was said to proceed from these creatures was common enough at n ight to show that they must have been p l entiful. But I am not sure that I ever saw one; in fact, the only wingless animals which were ordinari ly visible were the great iguana l izards, and these only for an instant, when uow and then one wou l d flop into the water from an over ha n g ing b r anch at our approach As far as I remembe r the only human beings I ever saw in this upper portion of the r i ver, with the exception o f one or two Cana i mas, were Indians from the interi or in large canoes making t heir way to town for the purpose of selling hammocks, tam e mon k eys, parrots, toucans, etc. These people are always too shy to take notice of the strange intruder on their domain, and passed by in appal' ently total unconcern, t h e row of brown bodies be nding to the paddles with parrots perched along the gunwale, and perhaps one 01' bvo sakawinki 01' marmoset monkey s squatting on a heap of h ammocks in t h e bow, forming a curious spectacle. T1!e Guiana kingfis hers though all apparently have the sam e habits as the one familiar to u s in E n gland, are very unlike him in one respectj being comparati ve l y shabby in plumage and entirely without t h e brigh t feathers of their English cousin, a circums tance t h e mo r e remarkabl e inasmuch a s bi r ds in Guiana are generally far more brilliantly decked than in Europe. As though to compen sate for thi s defect, nature has created another bird, t h e mal', a l so in seve r al varieties, all of wh i c h a r e S ingularly like the kingfishers i n shape and habits, but w ith p l umage of l a beautifully irridescent green. They have t h e same habi t of s itting on l ow bows over the water, of dashing off now a n d then and quickly returnin g, but u n like them, they do not touch the water, and their flights seem aimles s But perhaps as they li ve entirely on insects, the prey se i zed is ordinarily in v i s i b l e at a short distance.

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72 MOSQUITOES Fireflies are somet ime s attracted by the camp fire in such numbers as to become a nuisance. I once tried, after the exa mp .\e of Wa te rton, to read by t he light of many of them collected in a bottle. It was pos s ible to do so by passing the bottle over the letters as they were r ead but the operation was a tedious one. I do not doubt the light would be useful, as mentioned by Waterton, for finding a note in a pocket-book: but as there is in the forest an enUre absence of wind, I should even for this purpose prefer a luci fe r match" which in Waterton's day was unknown. There are two k ind s of fireflies in Guiana, one o f them common in town, which emits its light from its tail, and pnly, I think, when it opens its wings; the other met exclusive l y in the forest, which gives a continuous light from two round membranes in its head, having the effect of eyes. I n Fiji I have see n a variety of the same insect which combines both of these lights Mosquitoes are not common away from the coast of Guiana. A bluish variety sometimes paid me a visit in the fore st, but the r e was never more than o ne or two at a time. In the towns however, and o n the coast they are a veritable plague. The urban variety is quite distinct from the rural one, being far more active and elusive, It would indeed a lmost seem as if the con tin ual presence o f the enemy, m an, had produced specia l again:'.t his attacks; for howeve r quick the m otio n of the hand in t h e endeavour to kill him, the town mosquito generally escapes; whereas hi s country cousin permits him self to be crushed with comparative ease, On some parts of the coast these creatures are in enormous numbers. Driving once along the Berbice coast with an officer of police, and observing a great number of these plagues on my com pan ion' s back, I, with his permission, struck his coat with the flat of my hand, and there remained a very fair impression of the palm and finger s in dead mosquitoes As it was midda y with a bright su n, when the insects are in least abundance, it may be imagined 'what t h e must have been at night.

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, GALLlNIPPERS 73 There is a l ess .common variety of mo s quitoll the "gallinippel''', which, unlike the others, drives into the flesh so long a pl'obo scis that when it i s entirely inserted t h e creature see m s to be standing on his head. Some year s before my time, when troops were quartered in New Amsterdam, Berbice, two officers after mess went out into the marsh c lose to the balT:;lcks, with bared backs, for the purpose of deciding a bet as to which would withstand the mosquitoes the longer. They were allowed to smoke. At length one of them could bear the pain no longer, and he began to get up, when, seeing his companion writhing with his head buried in his arms, it occurred to him to touch his naked back with the lighted end of his cigar. Thi s proved too much for endurance. The patient, jump ing up, ejaculated, "By heavens. I can stand mosquitoes, bu t I'm hanged if I can stand a gallinipper. The doubt which is commonly expressed as to whether mosqu i toes are more prevalent in tropical 01' temperate region s I have good reason to share from my own experi. ence The two plac es where 'I found the m most nume rou s were the Mah aicony Creek, one of the smaller rivers which falls into the sea east of the Demerara; and on the Lake St. C lair in Canada, where I was once duck shooti ng. In either place it was impossibl e to open one's mouth after dark without a number going down the throat, and even before dark, by a rapid m ot i on of the hand, one cduld make a visible lane in the dense cloud surrounding one's head. In Newfoundl and, also, as regards the unsettled districts, I found them almost equally numerous. With reference to the recent d i scovery of mosquitoes as the source of malaria, it becomes of s pecia l interest to inquire into the cause of the common experience that malaria i s usually m ost virulent on the windward, and not, as might be expected, on the leew ard s ide of the marsh, where mos are bred and m alaria is supposed to arise. During my .!ervice in the Uppe r Demerara R iver di s trict, taking advantage of short periods of leave, 1 made two expeditions with Sir Will iam Holmes one up the head of the Mahaicony Creek (which after a course of

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74 BALATA SOllle eighty miles in length faBs in to the sea to t he east of Demerara) and o n e to the Waini River. Sir Will iam was interested in t h e production of balata, a gum which is contained in the bully tree, bearing a close resemb l ance to gutta-percha, and said to be quite equal to it for non conducting purposes. Though the tree in question i s abundant in Guiana, especia lly about the l owe r courses of the Waini and t h e Barilna, the cost of labour i s too great for obtaining gum in suffident quantity by the process of tapping. To meet this diff i.:.ulty. Sir WilHam conce i ved the idea of crushing the bark of felled trees by machines, several of which he had at wo r k in different parts of the colony_ Unfortunately this process extracted from the bark other ingredients besides the gum, whi ch \vas thus l'endered valueless, and so the enterprise failed. If, how ever, there shou ld be some day discovel'ed an inexpens i ve means of separating the tannin from the gum, t h e m illion s of bully trees in Guiana \\lo uld thus be rendered avail able for increasing the world's supply of gutta-percha, of which the continual rise in price s how s that it has become ve r y inadequate to the demand.i(-In the expedition to the Waini we went by sea to Plantatio n Anna Regina, at the extreme end of the cu l t i vated portion of t h e coast beyond the Essequebo. T here we took a tent-boat, and proc eeded by a canal which COllnects this plantation with the Pomeroon River. De sce nding that .. to a point near its mouth, we entered the Moruca channel which connects the P ome r oon with the Waini. Another channel connects the Waini and the Barima i and had we chosen, we mi ght have entered the Orinoco and, without leaving t h e boat, have ascended it and its tributaries to the immediate neighbourhood of Santa Fe de Bogota, making altogether a journey of som e thing like 2,000 mil es, all by fresh-water But we went no further than the Barima, and after spending two days o n the Waini returned by the route we came, the Since the above was written an economical method of "bleeding" the trees has been evolved with the result that the halala i s one of the principal forest industries in the colony.-Editor.

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SANTA ROSA 75 journey occupying some ten days altogether. After leaving Anna R egina, t h e only white man seen was Mr. McClintock, the of Rivers and C r eeks of the Pomeroon di strict, at whose h o use On that river we spent a night both going and returning. McClintock was a sin gular character, who, however, earned liking and respect from all who came in contact with him. He had for years lived a solitary life, surrounded on ly by Indians, of whom hi s knowledge was unsurpassed. As he was the on l y educated man in the colony with similar experience, I always regretted that I was abl e to see so little of him. His visits to the civili s ed part of the colony were very rare; and so this was the first as well as the last time we ever met. When ill the Maruca channel on that journey we came to a longaband o ned Catholic missionary station called, I think, San Antonio*. The building, though much dilapidated and with vegetatio n forcing itself through the walls in all directions, nevertheless afforded enough shelter to induce liS to spend the night there. When preparing to sling aut' hammocks we were astonished to see what looked like a black curtain hanging from one of the rafters. On closer inspection this turned out to be entirely compo s ed of bats hanging to one another by their feet, with their heads downwards. We were told they were vampires. As the windows had altogether disappeared, and there were abundant other open ings in the buildings which did not fonn part of the original design, it was impossible to get rid of the creatures altogether. During the whole night we were disturbed by the frequent whirr of their wings, and the boathanrls, who had no mosquito curtain s, showed their belief in the bloodsucking propensity by huddling all together in the tent of the boat with the curtains fast ened down Santa Rosa de Lima 01', as, it is more popularly known, just Santa Rosa, was subsequently l'e-esta'blished and today is one of the most successful missions 'in the colony ,-Editor

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CHAPTER SEVEN Visit to Ri'lJe' r Cu,yuni, Lo we,. Essequebo, and 'mouth of MCLSSa1"lmi-Fi1'St Tapid s of Cuyuni-Weight caTTied by Indians-Ba1'gain 'With Indians-Fast i n a TapidA1'1'ival at gold-diggings-Brit' ish Guiu'l'w, Gold Company-Fint touch of /evm'-Hu1nming-b' iTds (?) at n:ight-P1'-i1nitive goldwashing-Passage do' wn 'rup'ids-W onde 1'i'lll I have in a former chapter referred to a visit paid by me within the first few months of my service to the gold diggings on the River Cuyuni, and I insert here an account of it, written immediately after my return, and almo s t the only contemporary record of my impressions no"v lD my posseSSlon. On Saturday, July 9th, 1864, having obtained 3i week's leave from the Governor, I started on a trip to the golddiggings of British' Guiana. It has been l ong known that gold existed in the tributary of the Essequebo called the Cllyuni. The Venezuelans, who occupy the tel'll'itory at its sou r ce, have fo r some years had "diggings" there, Some miners, making their way thence towards British territory found pieces of auriferous quartz much nearer the mouth of the river, and this discovery led to the formation of "The British Guiana Gold Company, Limited." A grant was obtained from the Government of a tract of land On eithe!' side of Wal'ia Creek, where the gold had been found. This stream falls into the Cuyu ni about twenty, five miles from its mouthlf-. The place is most difficult of access, owing to a l a .rge number of almost impassable rapids intervening between it and the nearest settlement, An idea of t he se may be formed from a knowledge of the fact that, without anything deserving the name of a cas-'" This was t.'!)e Wariri Mine.-Editor.

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UP THE ESSEQUIBO ?7 cade, the river in twenty-five miles falls about one hundred and twenty feet. Owing to this d i ffioulty in the way of the projected enterpri se, the Government was very libera l in its terms, granting the exclusive right of mining for twenty-one years over about thirty square miles of land. Onl y a few aeres of this tract, however, were known to be auriferous, the rest being entirely unexplored, and the whole covered by a dense forest. I from Georgetown in the col onia l steame r at 8. 30 a.m. Mr. A., the ManagingDirec tor of the Gold Company, who was to be my compaynon de voyage, b eing also on b oa rd. After leaving the Demerara two h ou r s of roughis h sea brought LIS to the mouth of the Essequebo. I am ashamed to say that before my arrival in Guiana this ri vel' was scar ce ly kno w n to me even by name. It is, however, nearly as long as the Elbe, and has foul' or five tdbutaries l a n gel' than the Thames, two--the Massaruni and Cuyuni-probabl y twice ,as long*. A strong ebb tide was against us, so that it took us nearly seven hours to r each oll r destination at the mouth of the Massarllni. In this fifty odd mile s of its co urS e the stream was I should say, never less than a mil e wide** Islands a bound, covered d own to the water's edge with dense masses of foliage. It is thus, frequently for miles together, impossible to see both banks at the sam e time. Inhabitants are few and far between Here and there a nan-ow opening in the "bush", and a boat at the bank, indicated the presence of a settler. house, however, is a l mo s t invariably con cea led from view. One solitary b lack paddling a 'Icurial" was the only human being we saw until we reached Macouria Creeko about thirty-five mil es up. Here several sea-going vessels were lying alongside the bank. The crews appeared to be moving about busily On de c k, the >I< The Cuyuni, big as it i s, is but a SUb-tributary o f the Essequebo, flowing into the Mazaruni, four miles above its confluence with the Essequebo.-Editor. ** The average width of the E ssequebo in this section is three miles.-Editor. o Macow-ia Creek now forms the southern boundary of the U.S Naval Air Base.-Editor

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78. SHYNESS OF IN!)IANS distance preventing us f r om seeing what they were about. There is, however, little doubt that they were taking in the o nly cargo to be obtained the re. With these exceptions, nothing was to be see n but s ky trees, a nd water. The colour of the latter, as in most other rivers. of Guiana, is that of porter o r beer, according to the depth-much, in fact, lik e that of a Scotch burn which had run through a peat country_ When held up to t h e light i n a tumbler it appears, h oweve r only slightly disco l oured, and i s by no means unp leasant to the taste. A short d istance up the Massar uni, itse lf about a mile wide
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KAMAR I A PORTAGE 79 hours' paddling tip that r iver the rapids came i n sight. Here we left our "curial" and walked ove r the portage o n a r oad cleared by the Gol d Company"", The party consisted of twenty, chiefly Indians and B ovianderso bes i d es myself and Mr. A and even thi s number har dly suffice d to carry ollr impedi menta, which in c l uded several days' rat i o n s fo r the workmen at the diggings, besides ou r own can ister s a nd hammocks. Not f o r t he fi.r s t t i me was I struck by the ease with which Indians manage to carry a n eno mous weight. One sturdy l ittle fellow had on hi s back, ne a rly a foot be low the po s ition of soldier's knap s ack, a bunch of p lantai n s weighing probabl y about e ighty pound s and then took upon hi s head a .cani s ter of pro v i s ions weighing nearly a hundre dweight. The latter wa s put down once onl y du ring a of about five mile s, wh i c h was accomp l i s h ed under the two h OUl'S. : The plan tai n s were hun g o n the bac k by mean s of a broad belt, made of a s ingle leaf, pas s i n g acroSS t h e chest and over the -arms, All along the road we hear d t h e roar of the r apid s n eal' us, though dense fo liage prevented ev en a g l imp se of the water On r eachi n g t h e river again we embarked in a tent-boat awaitin g u s, in wh i c h we were rowed against a rapid curren t fo r five h ours. The stream was, in maIlY places, as p i cturesq u e as runn i n g wate r studde d \Vith g r een wooded i s land s and banks, c ould possi b l y be, in the absence o f high ground and all s ign s of human exi s tence Occasionally I wa s reminded forci bly o f the Tho usand I s land s i n the St. Lawrence the scenery of which so me what falls s hO!,t, in m y op i ni o n, of the' descripti on usuall y The Karnaria F alls, 13 miles up the Cuyuni.-Edi to r o .The term Boviander the l o cal meaning of which is a cross between an India."l, a White and a Negro is applied s olely to those residents of such descent residing on the great rivers of the country. Its origin, according to the l ate D r. Walter E. R oth, is from the Dutch "hovenlander", i. e,. highlander, as distinguished from "nederlander ... low lander. The term is still used in E sse que-bo but I never heard it used to describe the similar people on the D el"!1erara who are to }curus"

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'so BARTER g iv e n of it b y enthus iastic travellers, owing to t h e wants above mentioned. Just before s tarting again, an Jodi an, paddling alone in Ia woodskin, ca m e al ongs id e W e saw t hat he had game, w hi ch proved to be a Winebisere deer, a pow i e ( bu s h-turkey) I and ,an accouri. "';Yhat for YOli sell 'urn ? says Mr. A" pointing to the m :'Knife",l'eplies the Buck*, "Give yo u dollar-one, two, three, four shil lings" rejoins Mr. A" h o lding up that number of fingers. Buck: "No, six." Mr. A : "Well, give urn here." The money was pa id The Indian placed i t alongs ide him without remark. ( H e had n o po c ket, for the goo d r easo n that he had no breeche s, a nd o nl y a strip o f cloth round t h e loin s ) After handing over the gam e, he l ooked up and poi nted to h is mouth. "Soapy"?O a sked Mr. A An infini tesim a l toss of the hea d signified .rYes". A l arge allowa n ce of rum was handed to him. He took i t d ow n neat with t h e utmost sang-f!-oid Not a word O r gesture of t hanks. A ver y slight e levation. of the eyebr-ow on finishing t h e draught was the o nl y sign of sati s facti o n. Otherwise not a m usc l e of his face moved H e handed back the cu p, and paddled o ff s il ently a s he came_ He was probably off to tow n to get drunk on one shilling of the six, and while i n that condition to be c heated out of the rest-a handsom e reward fo r a hundred and fifty mil es of paddling At five o'c lo c k we reached another rapid, w h ic h i t was necessary to avoid in orde r to accomplish our journey i n a da y. The baggage had again to be t hi s time on l y a di stance of a hundred yards A l arge Hbanaboo or thatched s hed, had b een e rected here for the benefit of people benighted on the way. Now cam e t h e exciting par t of the d ay. W e had to pass a long rapid befor e dark, and eveyy n e r ve had to be strained to r each it b y daylight. In order to i n spirit the m e n, who were beginning to s h ow sign s of fatigue, I took a paddle myself and began to work it v igorou s l y, muc h to the astonishment of the natives An h our's hard work 'and we r eac h e d the foo t Buck i s the local name for Indian .-G. W. Des V o 'fhe putch litUe sup.--:-G. W. Des V -, =

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WARIR I MINE 8 1 of the rapid just as the su n was goi n g down. I n thi s equatorial latitude twilight;: does not last long, so that we had no t i m e to s p are. Paddli n g was now use l ess owin g t o the rapidity of the current, and all han d s had to jum p i nto t he water, so me to pull at a l ong r o pe fastened t o the bow, and othe r s t o shove. By a slow proce s s of alternate paddling and hauling we got about threequarters through the quick water, when we s uddenly stu ck fast. All our strength failed to move the canoe e ith e r f orward s or backwards. It would now have been quite da r k but for the meag r e light of the moon, wanting about two day s of its first qua r ter, A d e n s e b a nk of cloud s had nearly reac h e d us. H ere was a pretty fix. At least two hundred yards of roaJ"ing, fo aming water w a s on either side of us, being far too deep in many pla ces to admit of wading. The pros pect of passing a night in an o pen boat in s u c h a po s ition wa s, with r a in impending, by n o me a n s p l easa n t. We found at la st, however that the canoe was fast on a narrow ledge, so that, by a pplying all our force at the ex t rem i t i es, we m a naged to turn her r o und and thus g ot he r into d ee p w a t e r again. We n o w made various un s ucce ss ful efforts to g r ope out a p assage in the darkne ss, each time havi n g to go back, until at l ast by a treme ndous e ffort, s timu l ated by a liberal allowance of grog se rv e d out to all hand s in the water, we manag e d to get through, a nd in a s ho r t time arrived at our destinat ion. A light s h i nin g on the bank announced the neighb our hood o f human beings of whom s ave the I ndia n we h a d seen no n e s ince the ear ly morn ing. A house was ready fo r Ollr rece p tion, S tich a s I wa s slH'pl'i sed to f in d in t hi s w ild neighbourhood. A substantial me a l a l s o was prep ared, OUI voices having been heard through the s t ill night air long bef ore o ur arriva l ; and l ast, but far from l ea s t, th e re wa s the cheery face of Mrs. P th e wife of the manager, to wel come u s 1 w as kept awake the g r eatel: part of the night by mos quitoes ( having neg l ected to bring m y curtain). I m ellt i Q n t b \s brfal ,Hi:ei s ome tOlH' m ont 4 s of on

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82 MINING CAMP the rivers of Guiana this was the first time that I saw any in the bush. Why they should be here and not in the Demerara i t is hard to say. To make up for this annoyance there were n o bats Mr. P the manager of the G o ld Company, told me he had neve r seen any there. I suppose that, having been so recently settled by men, these interesting bl ood-sucke r s, so prevalent elsewhere in the Guiana forest, had not yet di scove red so promising a field f o r their operations The next day neither Mr. A n o r I was fit for much, being tired with the long day's journey of the day before. A pain in my back and a feeling of extreme lassitude, Mr. A. told me betokened "Colony fever Feeling up to nothing, I spent most of the day in my ham mock reading the batch of the T imes brought by the last mail. Meanwhile I had ample opportunity of looking about me. The house in which we were was raised many ,feet from the ground on pile s. It was buil t throughout of wood, which had been cut and sawn on the s pot. On l y the nails and glass had been brought from town. The work d one on the p l ace in little over two months certainly d i d credit to Mr, p,'s energy. I could see from the verandah that a space of abou t ten acres had been c leared, and on it had been built several large and substantiallooking "'ogies" for the workmen, The river was close in front, about three hundred yards wide, with a very rapid current, I was t o ld that t h e land opposi te i s an i s land, there being a wider branch of the river on the other side of The island must have b een a very long one, a s there was no sign of its coming to an end in the long reach down which I was looking. The follow ing night I w ,as astonished by a loud hum ming, like that of a monstrous bee, I lit a candle and f ound two humming-birds fiying about and occasionally da shing themselves against the windows, I could not catch them, and they would not fiy out, though I gave them the opportunity; so I had to endure the nui sance, and soo n went to s l eep i n spite of it. Thes e littl e creatures ,.

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MUDDY ROAD an nounc e d their presence in like manner the two following nights, disappearing during the day. As the bird i s not nocturnal, t here was a mystery whic h was 110t so lved in our s h ort stay.-x, July 12th, 1864. I was ill all day with unmistakable .feve r and was thus u nabl e to accompany Mr. A. "aback", whither he went to inspect t he gold-washing. I m a n aged, however, in the afternoon to s troll a little hill close by the house. It was almost entirely composed of quartz bou l ders Being unab l e to find in thes e a singl e trace of gold, and knowing that this was to be the s i te of the crushin g-machinery, and this the sto ne to be operated o n I almost came t o the concl usion that the compa n y would not pay. When, h oweve r, in the evening I told Mr. A my impressions about the a b se nce of gold from the quartz, he smiled quietly and said he would conv inc e me to the cont r a r y before we l eft. The next after coffee, w e started with Mr. P., the manager, for the washi ng-ground. The latter is situated o n a little creek two mil es from the rive r. A road thither had been m ade through the bush, that is, the trees had been cut down, lea ving an ave n ue about twe lve feet wide. In other respects m o r a s s would better describe what we walked upon. Laboll!' and perseverance, such as employed by Stephenson on Chat Moss, wou l d be r equi red to justify the name of road. H owever, we waded through at l ast, and found t he diggers hard at work A space of about two acres had been c l eared, and two logi es erected for the workmen who preferred sleeping there to the wa lk out and in. A little broo k had been damm ed to form a reservoir. The dam appeared to be unnecessarily strong for so small a body of water, being composed of a Years after the ahove was written, on seeing an ill ustr ation in M. B ates' books on the Amazons, showing an extraordinary likeness in shape between and s phinz moths, the noi se made by both in flying being also much alike, there occurred to me, as the possible explanation of the mstery, that the di s tUIIber s of my night's rest on this occasion might not have been humming .... birds at all but specimens of jnsect which imita tes them po W. Des y.

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84 GOLD WASHING .louble r o w of pile s with c lay puddled in between. I was informed, however, that a barrier nearly as strong had b e en swept d o wn a few weeks previ-ously by one night's r ai n. Nowhere in the world, I imagine, i s the proverb, "It never rains but it pours", more true than in Guiana. ( H ere f ollows in the original, a minute descriptio n o f the gold washing process a s I saw it. Being the primi tive m o de adopted in the earl y days of Californian and Au stralian diggi ngs it has been 5 0 often described that its details may be omitted h e re. It may be mentioned, howeve r that the s oil being wa s h e d was taken fro m a s trat um of yellow clay about two feet t hick and about two feet below the surf ace, and that when a large barrelful h ad been w a s h e d I had the satisfaction of s e eing a few grains of gold through the s mall r esi du e of heavy black sand which was left by the process.) The rain p oured down in torrents during the whole of ou r walk home, rendering the r oa d even l ess "negotiab le" than before. During our absence one of t h e l arge boulders near t he river had been blasted. Many of the piece s contained small s peck s of gold. and, according to Mr. A" stone of that character would give about five o un ces to the ton whereas two ou n ces w ould pay handsomely I hope for the sake o f the company that all the stone in the neighbourhoo d i s like this I have, how e ver, strong doubts on t he point, a s much of it appeared to my inexperienced eye as o f a very different chara: t e r.' Be s ides, o nly bould ers are apparen t, a nd though p o s sibly ve in s exi st, i t i s problematical whether the capital of t h e compa n y will hold out until t hey a r e fou nd. The following day we started hom ewards. Our. s p ee d downstream was a g r e a t c ontrast to the long and weary toil upwards, and we acco mpli s hed in five h ou r s what had before taken twel ve. Instead of walking ove r t h e path, we "ran" the rapids This was a n ope.ration more exciting than s afe, several liv es having been a lready lost by it in the year the c o m pany has been at work. The water was so low that one of the r a pid s h a d become a cataract, which it was impos s ibl e to pass by "running.'f So the boat was brou?ht to

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, "STREAKING" A RAPID 85 shore and turned r oun d with her stern to the water. She was t h e n dragged out into the curr ent by a long rope tied to her b ow, all hands w a din g, some holding the rope and others t he gunwale o f the boat. In this way we were gradually lowere d d o wn the fall, and also d own about a hundre d yards of rapid below it. Wh en the water wa s too deep for wadin g, some of the h a nd s wou ld swim d own to a ro ck, o n e of t hem ho ldin g the end o f the rope, the othe r s meanwhile h o lding the boat, a nd only letting her go wh en t he i r compan i o n s were safe on te?'ra, firma. These half-bree d s s w i m in a wonderful manner. For pure amusement they wou l d throw themsel v es into a nd under a current running faster than t h e fastest millstream with shar p r ocks jutting out in every di rection. In a f ew mom ents they would scramblin g out a h undred yards down, laughing and sc reaming in a way which s how e d c learly that they were not ou t of breath. It was a marvel that t h ey had n ot been das h e d to p ieces. I was told, however that t h ey on l y use o n e hand in swi mming, t h e other being he ld out to act as a buffer. -W e found that t h e sup erinte nd e n t o f the penal settle-ment was absent fro m h o me, a n d not ex pec ted until next d a y. As the steam e r had gone and there was n o other means of conveyance but what h e could afford u s, were compelled to await his a r r ival. The next afternoon he c ame, and kind l y len t liS his large boat with a crew o f ten c o nvicts After pulling t he wh o l e night, with the exception of a very short rest when the tide was too strong against us, we arrived at daybreak at P l antation Philadelphia, when ce there is a road a long t he coast the who l e way to the Dem erara. T h e boatme n sang, or rat her yelled, du ,ring the whole passage, r endering sleep i mp oss i ble. A s the y do not pu ll a s we ll without this licence a n d time was an object to us, we let t hem h ave thei r way. That they were in a conditio n to pull and sing for twelve hours with scarce ly any intermission argued well fat' their treatment at the settlement. Having procured a con v e y ance, we arri ved at Georgetown about no o n This method o f lowerin g a ,boat down a fal! now ali "streaking E dit o r

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CHAPTER EIGHT. Visi t to Englan d i n 1865 I ntm'vie'W 'With LO?' d B1'oughum, t h e ex-Cha ncello'I'-Con11C1'sat i on 'With M, Glads tone Reht1'n t o Guia n a -Poli t i cal c onditio n oj the Colony N e g T o v an ityA c t in new d ish'ict ; ex p e1'i e nces t here -Mr. Crosby-Chie j Justic e Beau mont-Appoi nted to W est Coa s t d i s t 1'ict-My d i sag' l' e eabl e 1JositionAp1J ointed Administ1' ut01 of St. Lucia In Dec e mber, 1865, bad health obtain e d f o r me l eave for s ix months to vi sit Engl and. .. In Marc h, 1 866, I went to the Rivie r a to visit my aunt and si s te r at Can n es During my stay at Ca nne s I had an in teresting inte r view with the c elebrat ed Lord Brougha m. Coming out of churc h o ne day, he s aid to m y aunt : "Lady Grey, I hear th e Govern o r of D emerara is stayin g with y o u, and I s hould s o much l ike to s ee him. He had, at that t i me, so enti r e l y l o s t his memory a s regards the people about him t hat hi s m ention of her name was remarkabl e .... Though t h e attempt was mad e to exp lain to him what was the a ctual nature of my office, neverthele s s, when I vis i ted him a few days after, he s tilI regarded me a s Governor of Demerara. After putting to m e various que s tions with regard to the present state of t h e colony. he gave me a mos t interesting account of its cond ition at the time of the courtmartial on the mis s ion a ry Sm i th, in con n ect i o n with which case he made o n e of the earlie s t of the great speeche s (If his lif e Hi s familiar ity with minute details of t h e event s of that t im e was extraordinary: this being one of the m any instances when memory of the di stan t remains vivid when t hat of the recent past i s altogether ext i n g ui s hed T h e note s made of our conversation, which lasted for o ver an hour, have unfo rtunately been lost. I, how e ver, remember this of him. At the time I had never pre viou sly heard of the mis sionary Smith, t h e memory of F o r the speech in ques tion see "The Guiana Edition ... : f;ditol',

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GLADSTONE'S INTEREST IN B.G. 87 who se gl'o ss l y unjust trial and brutal treatment had already, I think, died out in the colony; but being deeply interested in what was then tol d m e, and especially so because the spirit manifested in connection with the court martioal in question had, notwithstanding the abolition of slavery, b y no mean s altogether disappeared from the colony I su b seque ntly read up the s ubje ct, a.nd wa s then a stonished at the accuracy with which the veteran lawyer had, after the l apse of forty -two years, restated the f.act s of t h e case and his arguments in connection with it. Dur ing his r elation he became much excited by a revived indigo nation. With one hand he to o k repeated pinches of s nuff, which before the end of t he interview w:as abundantly sprinkled ove r h i s s h irt front, while his other hand made (Luick gestures as though h e were addressing a large audience ..... Just previous to my return to Guiana I had an inter esting conversation with Mr. Gladstone I happened to be at an evening party at hi s house in Ca! lt o n H ouse Terrace; and wh en he heard from Frederick Cav endi s h where I was serving he became much interested, and detaine d me in co nve rsation a considerable time after most of the gues t s had taken their departure. He asked me many que s t io n s as to the condition of the colony, a s to the extent to which it h a d r ecove red from the effects of s lavery abolition, a s to the state o f the emancipated negroes, and of the coolie indentu. red labourers (-about which I then knew compara tively little) and as to the continued existence of severa l estates of which he knew the names. He did n ot tell me, and I did not then know, that his famil y had owned property and s l ave s there; and I was naturally struck, therefore, by the extraordinary exte n t and minuteness of hi s local know l edge. Hi s reputation for interest i n the Col onies wa s at the time not great, and this, if i t were to be taken as an average sample of h i s acquaintance with them, was therefore the more wonderfuL When I after wards came to know t h e facts his knowl edge ceased to be s o a s t o n ishing, though it was s till r e markable, considering that some thirty years had elapsed si nce his family's nection with the col ony had ceased ... ...

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88 TRANS FERRED FROM DEMERARA RIVER So m e m o n t h s afte r my return t o Guiana a Govern ment lette r informe d m e t ha t, in cons equ e n c e of t h e abs ence o f the se ni o r magistr a t e, I had be e n appointe d to act i n the e
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INFLUENCE OF PLANTERS 89 i s absolute l y necessary not o nly for sugar, but fo r coffee, cacao, and, i n fact, all of the more valuable West Indian exports. It may be easily understood, ther efore, that the Governor, while of course bound largely to consider the sugar interest, required to be, in an exceptional d egree, strong and upright, in order to act independently of that interest for the we lfare of the unrepresented c la s s es wh ich are the great majority of the population. U nless alm ost superhumanly politi c al so, hi s independ e n ce w o uld meet with unmitigated abuse from the Press, h e wo uld have had a social life very far from agreeable, and might eve n have failed to obtain necessary su ppli es. Very earl y i n my career I had ob se r ved with di s may t he effect produ ce d on official s by t hi s condition of things, a nd th e awe in which the omn ipotent planter wa s held by those of them who 110t having been brought up i n a West Indian atmosphere, were not always inclined to fall in with his view. I had, moreove : whe n occasionally ho lding a court for a brother magi strate, s een e n ough of the system of coo lie indentu r e d labour to d i s like extre m e l y t h e task of enfo r cing its draconic l aws. Before I knew that such a task wa s to be imp osed on me, I had expressed freely this dis l ike, with my rea s on s for it, in a letter to Lord Frederick C avendish, who, as I knew sympathised strongl y with my views on t h e s ubjec t W he n in the a ngry exc i tement caus ed by my r epresentations to Lord Granville, subse quently referred to, it wa s alleged agains t me that this di s like was due to personal fee ling a.gain s t p lanters, L o rd Frederick consid erately publi s hed this lette r, in order to s how that my view had been formed when I was s till in the Upper Demerara district, a nd w h en a s I had had at the time scarcely any r e latio n s with p lantersJ personal feeling against them was imp ossi ble. So the existen ce of this letter proved to be fortunate. But however disagr eeab le the tas k before me, it had to be face d, and my life whi c h, owing to t he c omparatively s mall amount of offic ial work had up to this time b c('n largely occupied in the o b servation of nature. wa s now L:; be monopoli se d by labour whic h becam e more and m ore distasteful as time went on.

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90 SIR WILLIAM HOLMES As Georgetow n was now in the centre of m y district, I arranged to live there, and to "keep house" with my friend Sir Willam Holmes, whose family was in England. The mention of his name recalls a n amusing' incident occurring about this time, a nd curiously illustrating the extr e me fondnes s fo r displa y w hi c h characterises the l owe r c lass of negro. Si r William's h ousekeeper had sudd e nly lost her husband, and seeme d to be p l u n ged in the deepest grief. S h e had received assistance toward s the funeral which she had cause d to be made as impo sing as p oss ible, after the foolis h cu stom which i s prevalent in other parts of t h e worl d be s ides D eme rara. O n her r eturn she was asked whether the ceremony had gone off to her sati s facti o n, when s hc replied: "Ah, funeral too sweet, Ma ss a -fOlll'tee n silk umb r ellas." T he fact of t hi s speci al respectabil ity of follow in g h a d mu c h tempered, and far the moment h ad entir e l y ove r \ come grief, wh ic h w as, never the l ess, undoubtedly genuinc_ An a m usi n g illustl'ation of the same weakness i s given by Trollope, in his stor y of the two young bJack girls who each, going to chu r c h, too k by turns the part of the finely dressed lady and the ker cnicf-turuaned servant can-ying the prayer-books beh ind her. One o f these young l adies was afterwards pointed out to me by a West Coast planter, who confirmed thc 'l'uth of the story. In the new district I found the cases to be tried very numerou s, and the g reat majol'ity of them, though o f small imp o rtance, prese nted difficultie s in the way of asce r tainin g the truth, which, if justice were to be d one, required much patience i n overcoming them. Even w ith t h ree t o four courts a week 1 was cont in ually obliged t o sit far into the afternoon; and I was vai n enough to consider my se lf not so inferio r i n b r ai n s to the other magis h-ate s as to preclude continual won der how it was that t h cy managed to dispose of sixty to e ighty cases in the cou r se of three 01' fou r hours. The difficultie s we r e c au s ed by (1) lying which.in the case of th' e Indian coolie indi cated sllch fertility of imaginati o n and in ve ntion of pictorial detail as almost" to amount to a fine artj (2) by extr eme want of intelligence on the part of many of the

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, COURT OFFENCFs 91 witnesses; and ( 3 ) chiefly, by the nece ssity of employing interpreters in the m ajority of c a s e s The s e w e re ne ver good s p eaking and unde! 's t anding Englis h very imperfec tly, and s ometimes knowing the witness s language but litt le better; while frequentl y I had reason to s u s pect, and sometimes wa s morall y certain, that they had b e en ren dered even more incompet e n t b y bribery. At nearly every court there wa s required interpretatio n for two o r three Indian languages and OTIe or more varieties of Chine s e ; while rarely a week pas sed without c a s e s in which witnesses o r "parties" s p o k e only Portuguese or some dial ect of s ava ge Afric a. In the latter ca s e to g e t anything beyond the vagues t idea of what wa s said was s om etimes even with the emplo yment of the utmos t patience, impos s i b l e A s regards the character of the case s to be dealt w ith, there was rareiy a court day without one or more serio lls charges ei ther of the gravest crimes, s uch as murder, wounding with intent, etc. the evidence of which had to be r e c ord. ed for trial by the Supreme Court; or of offen c e s, so me of them scarc ely less serio u s s uch a s plantain-stealing in gangs practice of o beah, certain kinds of grave assaults and breaches of the Revenu e law s, for the first two o f which the magistrate c o uld award up to thirtynine la s he s with the cat.o'-nine -tails and f o r all of which hi s juris dicti o n extended to six months' impris onment with hard i.abo ur. Then there were in abundanc e petty theft, a ssault, and abu s ive language cas e s, brought not merely by Creole s a s in my former distric t, but ill about equal number by the many-tongued, indentured immi grants, and there wa s a l s o a c on s iderable number of petty debt suits. But far s urpassing all in number were complaints immigrants a nd free labourers for breaches of the labour laws. While many of the other cases caused doubt and much consideratio n a s to where l a y the truth, these were the subject of special -anxiety_ The law had been so framed and its n et, covering all p o s s ible offence s was Creole s a r e not neces saril y o f mixed b lood the term being applied to aU persons born in the West Indies, whether white or coloured.-G. W. Des V

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92 POWER OF MANAGERS woven so close ly. that not even the smallest peccadilloes could escape its meshes; so that, in fact, the manager, whenevell a labourer annoyed him, had almost always in reserve some trifling neglect o r other l egally defioIled offence on which he could bring a comp laint involving fine or imprisonment with hard labour, or both. Though probably only a few managers availed themselve s of this power to its full extent, I came by degrees to see that, even in the case of the most humane, ther e was necessity for inqui r y whether their grievances were really those of which they were complaining. Now that I have the light afforded by a long official expe r ience, I am inclined to regard this matter less harshl y than I did; and I am willing to allow that a hatred of tyranny and a repuls ion agains t anything indicating an approach to slave-driving may have cause d m e to have too littl e appreciation of the very great difficulties o f the m anager' s p os ition and that I characterised perhaps with undue severity his occasional loss of temper:I am not conscious that I ever did any substantial injustice to a inanager, and most certainly I did not inten tionally r u n my head against a stone wall by giving an opening to attack from the all-powerful interest which he rep resented; yet it was possibly true, what was after.wards said of me by the only newspaper which dared to say a word in my favour, namely, that I'll my effort .to stand upright agains t the pressure of that interest I may some t ime s have s eemed to lean backwards. On the other hand, when tyrannous or illegal conduct, even s uch as wa s to a certain extent excusable, was justified in a hectoring tone, indicating that the planter's point of view would of course be accepted, and the labourer's plea n ecessarily rejected, public rebuke was plainly justifiable. Many symptoms po inted to the fact that this kind o f tone was not merel y adopted for the purpose of "trying it on" with a new magistrate, but was induce d by previ ous experience of facile persuasion. III fact, it became very easy for me to understand how without supposing

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POSITION OF DOCTORS 93 great inferiority in myself, it was possible for other magistrates to dispo se of the business so much more quickly than I could do. Indeedl it is probabl e that here might have been found one of the principal causes of the universal want of confidence* in magistrates' decisions, which was afterwards found to exist by the Royal Commission. While the careful examination which, for the reason s a b ove indicated, was required for even the most simple cas es no doubt restored to the subject races, it also probably had the effect of prolonging inquiry in other cases as suggesting po ssibilities of success by means of false exc uses. But however this may have been, notwith s tandi,ng all possible efi"o..rts to get at the truth, I feel little doubt that I sometimes failed" and that such failure was much more often at the cost of the labourers than of e mployers. For the conviction gradually forced itself u pon m e that with doctors entirely under the control of est-ate owners and having so much duty imposed upon them that, however conscientious, t he y could not do it otherwise than perfunctorily, it was quite imp oss ible in many cases to decide with any confidence whether the labourers' excuses of illness for failure in work were just or not. And thus, though managers s howed a growing displeasure because of the few of thei l' charges which I dismissed, I wa s continually trou' bled with the feeling that I ought to have taken t hi s course more often than I did. Moreover, while the law compelled me to punish for desertion, 'and the fear of causing wholesale abandonment of the estates rendered it n ecessary to make this substantial t h e half-sta rved appearance of most of those convicted could not but rai se unpleasant doubts as to the conditions of life on the plantations which caused them to prefer the precarious existence of a fugitive. A minor, though 'by no means inSignificant cause of this want of confidence was the practice, which I refused to follow, of permitting the more influentia l managers to sit on the bench alongside the magistrate during the trial of their cases. For such a privilege could not 'but give the su:b ject races the impression that decision s against them were unfairly obtained. C,W. Des V.

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M:R. CROSBY Altogether, what with work in its nature intensely disagreeab l e and in quantity s uch as to make phys ically impossible its proper performance, what with t he feeling that wh il e causi n g bitter discontent to empl oyers. I was probab l y not do in g complete just ice t o the labourers and what with health suffering severel y f r om depressed spirits thus produced my position was by no means a n enviable o ne ; indeed, it was on l y the sympathy of three or fOllr warm friends which prevented it from b ecoming intol e r able. Rut for t he co n siderati on u .rged upon me by them t hat resignation, even if it proved a rel ief to my se lf, would certainl y not lead to improve d conditions, I shoul d h ave "thrown up the s p onge", a s I was more than once on t he point of doin g. Among these friends was Mr. Crosby, t h e Immigration Agen t-Ge n eral. N atU l'e had made him thoroughly kindly a nd cou r teous, a nd though his long residence in the colo n y h a d made him s o accllsto m ed to its atm osp here t hat it disagreed w i t h him le ss than my se l f, he on the wh ole regarded the i mmi g ration system mu c h as I did, and his patient attention to t h e complaints of immigra nts, even though, from want o f the Governor's s upp o rt, he was but s eldom able to red r ess thei. r grieva nc es, made him s o p o pu lar with t h em that t h ey com m on l y s p oke of h im with r espect bordering on affecti o n Though h e has now b ee n dead many years, I am told hi s name is still prese rved among them-th e Immigration Department bei n g called, and s till I trust, deservedly, "Crosb y Office." A s in a ddi tion to his amiable qualiti e s and to sympath ies akin to my o wn he was an educat ed m a n and a Ca mbridge graduate, we became great friends. I regard ed him a s one of the most upright public officers of the c o l ony, and my subse quent resentm e n t against Governo r A.+ was in n o s mall degree to his unjust treatment of Crosby, as brought to light by t h e R oya l Commiss i o n ... Although this was written forty years ago, the Ea s t Indians still speak of "Crosby"-see APPENDIX Il.-Editor. t Mr. ( afterwards Si r ) Francis Hinc ks.-Editor.

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CHIEF JUS TICE BEAUMONT 95 Other valued friends were Chief Justice Beaumont and his clever and amiable wife. They occ upi e d o n Plantati on Houston, in my d istrict, a house whic h had formerly been the r es id ence of t h e propri e t or, and it was to t h eir kindly hospitality that I was indebted for so me agr eeab le society at a time when it wa s specially valuable. Mr. Beaumont u nited with much l egal and general ability a fearless pende n ce which was not at all in acco rd with the spirit which had previous l y predominated in the co lony: Rec og ni sing, as I did, the u ndu e consi deration for p lanters' interests which was evidently expected :from t h e courts, h e bestowe d a specially careful scrutiny upon the proceedings of the m agistrates, who he believed to be gene r ally b iasse d in thi s direction, and h e offe nd ed the dominant class by f r equen tl y overrulin g t heir de cisions on account of apparentl y trivia l d e f ects in procedure The n his e quity training caused him to r egard and condemn w ith severity the irregularities o f trustees and executo r s, w hi c h must have been unu s ually preva lent in a colony whe r e it was a f amiliar saying: "Don't make me your' h ei r make me yOllr executor." A s the trustees of estates of any value were u'Sually men of prominence, a nd the cestui-qu,e t1'usts we r e often coloured people, the language employe d by h im in such cases, wh il e earning for him u ni ve rsal respect f rom the w eak, added greatl y to the bitterness of the strong, But what p erhaps more than a ll caused the e nmity of the ruling class wa s his di s r ega rd of w hat had apparently come to be acce pted by the cou rts as a settled princ iple, viz" that when the evidence of "white" and "col ou r ed was opposed, t hat of t h e "white" must necessarily prevail j hi s view, that t h e adoptio n of t h i s princi p l e would r e nd e!' the weak hopele ss of r ed r ess whe n really injured, having been strengthened by cases where wrong Mld fal s ehood we r e unquestionably on t h e s ide of the ,"vhite. 3Qirrw siiy t hu s ca,used induced a h ostile m ove ment agains t the j udge whi c h r eceived p owerful co-opera- t i on from Governor A., who d i d not lose the opportu nity of conc iliating those who could do so mu ch to ass ist or ob s t ruct his policy. Mr. Beaumont was drawn into controve r s i es with the in which usua,lIr had

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, 96 BEAUMONT'S FATE o n his side, and a s he wielded a forcible pen, he would, I have no doubt, have been u ltimately victorious, but that he allowed himself to be goaded into indiscretions which laid open hi s guard and gave the OPP ol'tunty for a fatal thrust. Eventually. on the petition of the Court of Policy. s trenUOUS l y s upp orted by Governor A., Mr. B eaumont was removed from office on the recommendation of t he Judicial Committee o f the Privy Council despite the eloquent, and t o my mind convincing, appeal in his favour by Sir Roundell P alme r (afterwards Lord Selbourne ) .* But whethel' the Committee's recommendation was right o r wrong, I have not the least doubt that the removal of M.r. Beaumont and the temporary triumph of Governor A. was, in a high degree, harmful to the colony; for it rendered independence on the part of judges and magis trates doubly difficult and dangerous, and I am much inclined to think that the disturbances w hi ch subse quently occurred on estates were, to a con siderable extent, t race able to this cause. The evil would not have been so great if t he judge had been offere d a nother pla ce elsewhere, as I venture to think h e ought to have b ee n, e s pecially after the r eve lations respecting the administration of the colony which were made by the Royal Commi ss ion. For no act o f hi s was in the least dishonourable. In fact, he had done vastly more good by his uprightness than any possible harm from his indi sc r etions, and most decidedly he did not de serve punishment which meant his ruin. But official forgiveness is not often extended to those who cause t r ou ble. Mr. Beaumo n t remained in private life, and died a few yeal'S afterwards of a broken heart. I have referre d t o Mr. Beaumont's case in what may a ppeal' to be somewhat unnecessary detail becau s e it had a very important effect llpon my own futur e I was' one of an exceedingly select number of Europeans who did not Sir Roundell Palrr.er evidently recognised that the real ground for attacking the judge was not that put f orward, and regarding this as insufficient to warrant so heavy a penalty, he to hiS great honour, sacrificed many hours o f several days in the busiest legal season by undertaking the judge's defence gratuitously.-G.W. Des V.

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GOVERNOR'S PECULIAR CONDUCT 97 disguise their sympathy with the unfortunate Chief .Jus tice. took no ope n part with him, as that w ould have bee n quite useless; but our feeling s not concealed, a nd we were qu icldy to suffe r for entertaining them. Mr. C rosby who was the on ly leading official among u s, s h ortly afterwards received that treatment from the Governor which was condemned by the R oya l Commission, while the demeanour of His Excell ency towards my se lf made me apprehensive that I should in n o long time feel his dis p l easu re. The 8pportunity SOon came to him. The senior magistrate having returned to hi s district, I h a d so m e months prev iou s ly taken up again t he charge of my former district. On returning from one of my journeys up t h e ri ver, I asked t o breakfast with me at H yde Park station a cle rgyman who had been vis iting the Chinese settlement b efore referred to. In t h e course of conve r sation I expressed disapproval of so me r ecent Government policy I had never seen this person before, and have, happily, never met him si n ce; but it was quickly evident that he had lost no time in rela ting our conve rsation to" the Governor. For a few days afterwards I received a letter fro m the Colonial Se c retary containing a request, which wa s practically a demand on the part of Hi s Exce1Jency for t h e particulars of this con v e rsation. Had I been asked in a proper way for my view o n the impunged policy, I sh o uld have given it without hesitation; but being naturall y indignant at the use mad e of a private conve rsation by one who h ad taken part in it while partaking of my hospitality and especia lly at t h e Governor's conduct in taking advantage of it, I met t h e request with a firm, but entirely res pectfu l refus al. I he a rd no more of this matter, but within a week came what was practically, the Governor's rejoinder. This wa s an order to take charge immediate l y of t h e We s t Coast of Demerara district This transfer involv e d the removal of my headquarters to a distance from town, t h e hire of a h ouse in the distri ct, and the disturbance o f all arrangements for comfort which I had made in the expectation of perman ent residence. Moreover, as the new district was one which cou l d onl y worked by r oad and a l so extended to

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98 ANOTHER TRANSFER s uch a distance from town that the use of a hired con v e yan c e wa s out of the question, I had at once to purchas e a carriage h o r s e s and harnes s. As the Government all o wed no t hing for thes e changes, and my boat and c a noe s had to be s a c rificed f o r a nominal price, the cost to m e wa s s eve! e Even when s tich transfers are made purely in t he public interes t, s uch expen s e s operate as a heavy fin e whi c h ought n o t to be inflic te d in this form even in the ca s e o f mis conduct Of this, however, there was no pretence in my cas e For whatever my sympathy with thQ depo sed Chief Jus tice, I had done nothing t o de s erve, and had never received anything appro a ching t o cen sure o f my a c t s offic ial or unofficial. B u t, howe ver thi s may have been it qui c kly became evident that p e cuni ary l oss was the least of the evils wh i ch I had to suffer fro m the change. Of the work of this district I n e ed say little, except that it was almo s t preci s ely similar to that described in connection with the other sugar district in which I had a c ted and was even more di s agreeable. For being compelled to live at a di stance from town whither I could g o but rare ly, I had pra ctically no so ciety, and having t o drive on the average from s eventyfive to a hundred miles a w e ek, such little time a s wa s not o c c upied by courts, and go ing to and from them, was for the mo s t part spent in solit ud e a mid the dreary surroundings o f a half abandoned plan t a t ion, having a pasture, usually so dden in fron't of it a nd the view of the sea entirely cut off by a den s e r o w of m a ngrov e s at a di stance of s o me two hundred and fifty yards. The planters o f this di strict "vere among the mo s t influential in the colony, and a s they were a very uni t ed body, their displea sure wa s therefore the m ore f onnidable. But though there w ere s ome who under circum stanc e s 1 s hould have liked t o know well, I quickly found that noth ing beyond a di stant acquaintance was po ssible, so di a m etrically opposed were our v i ew s as t o what s hou l d be my line of conduct in we were HlfO\yn into frequent

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PLANTE RS' HOSTILI T Y 99 I t may be imagined t hat these ci rcu mstan ces m y li fe was 'not a happy one, and I should have found it eve n more di fficult to bear but for an occasio n a l v isit to m y friend Colonel H e r be r t ,x t h en in command of the t r oops, who was o n e o f the few w h o sympathised with my position, and who, whenever a few days' change was required a l way.s affo r de d me a r ea d y hosp ital ity. I\.t last, after so m e s i x month s of t h is U fe, the planters havi n g become m ore and mo r e hosti le, one of t h em i n sulted m e i n o p en court, because I had d isc harged from custody two of his coo l ies, who, havin g bee n merel y absent f r o m work, h ad b een ill ega ll y arrested without warrant. T h e on l y r edress whio h the law p e rmitted to m e was the r emova l of t h e offender f r om t h e court, as he was a J ustice of t h e P e a ce, t h e case was one i n whic h the Executiv e migh t h ave pro perl y inter vened b y o ff ering him t h e a lternative of a public a p o l ogy o r the l oss of his commission Meanwhile Governor B.t had succeeded Gove r no r A., but the change was not h ing in m y f.avour. It was King L og following King Stork; and so, in making application to hi m I h ad lit tle ho p e t hat h e wo ul d have t h e energy to accor d m e prope r support. My doubt on t hi s point p r oved to be o nl y too well justified. Whil e listening courteousl y t o m y r epresentations that E xecutive suppo r t to the magistrates was absolutel y necessa r y fOl' securing a decent measu r e of justice to t h e subject races, he decline d to take a n y action, being ev id ently too a frai d o f t h e p lantin g i n t e r es t to r u n the r i sk of offendi n g i t Under t h ese circu mstances m y p os i t i on beca m e we ll niwh intolerable, and I a lmost m ade u p m y min d to resign my office ; f o r I foresaw that i f t hi s wer e not done volu n tarily, it wo u l d ere long be r endered compu lsory, if not by m y i n c reasing illhealt h by conce rted act io n o n t h e p art of the planter s, such as had prove d fata. l to C hief J us t ice B eau m o n t ,. T he H a n Will iam Herber t ( now General)-G W t John SeQ-tt Esq. De s V.

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100 ApPOINTED TO ST. LuerA. Before finally throwing up the s ponge, however, I determined t o make an effort to obtain a transfer to another colo n y, a nd I accordingly applied to Lord Granville t hen Sec retar y of State for the Col on i es, for an appointment e l s ewhere, expressing willingness to accept one e v e n with a s m aller salary if i t offe r ed a n y p rospect o f promotion. Magistrates in Guiana had very rare ly been p r o m oted at all a nd so far a s I could a s ce r tain, had never been transferred to a n other colony. Though for thi s reaso n I had little h ope of s u ccess, I was quick l y and agreeably disappointed In l ess than two months from the despatch of my appli cati o n a letter from L a dy Joce l yn, f o ll owe d the next mail by a despatch to the Gov e rn o r, announced to me the offer of the appointment of Administrator of the Governm e n t and Colonia l Secref.ary o f St. Lucia. Need l ess t o say, I g ladl y accepted it, though t h e s alary was no greater than t hat which I was r ece i ving, and t h e house f r ee of rent would not be c ompen sation for the nece ssary expenditure upo n entertainment. On this account t he n e w appoint. ment wa s not generally held to be to m y advantage, and this con s id eration added to the plea sure o f t h e sugar magnates at my d eparture a pleasure which received emphati c expres s ion i n t h e dail y n ewspaper which was publi s hed in their interes t. Fro m so me half d oze n of friends T parted with great regJ'et, though with the h ope that m y future reside nce be in g at n o great distan ce I s ho u ld occ a s i o nally See them again, As regards the co lour e d people, I 'had much touch ing evide nce of theil: sorrow at the loss o f one of their few sympath isers among t h e dominant race, and t hi s enabled m e to feel that I had done for t h em at least SOm e little good, and that my five years in the col ony had not been a ltogeth e r thrown away. I left Guiana earl y in May, 1 869, my pleasure at getting away from the co lon y being enhanced b y the fee l ing that I shQuld be, comparatively speakin g,

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DEPARTURE 101 my own master, and that t h ere would be now before me an opening for ambiti on and the chance of doing some good work of more than m erely temporary effect. But little as I guessed it a t the moment of my depar tu re, Destiny had a l ready erdain ed that I was to return to t h e sce ne of five years' officia l labours in Guiana. The cause o f my l'etLLl'n was si ngular and my sojourn brief-almost dra matic; but it was to mark what up to that m om ent was the m ost impressive page of my public ca reer.

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, C HAPTER NINE Rising of coolies in B ,itish Guianar-My lette?' to Lm'd G1'unville as to causes of d iscontent; its ccnnposition un(le? p1'ess'U.1'e-Appointment of Royal C0111. ?'nission tf., inquoi1 e into G uian a immig' ration syste11LD u?'in g visit to T1'1:niclad BuffeT /1'0 1n concussion Of t h e b1'ain; ?n. Y nervous system pe1'"1nanently inju1'ed --P ,'ocee d to G u iana to attend Commiss ion-Am, boycotted-Postponement of Commission --I Tetu1'n to St. Lucia -Sympathy 0/ again to Guian Clr-M1', Jenkins, a'Utho?' of G inx' s Baby"-E11l,ban'ussed b'll c1'owds of coolies-My difficulties-Gove r nm"s pas sive obst1'uction-M y examin a tion by Comm,ission-Help lessness aga ins t libels-R e po?'t 0/ Comrnissi on saUs facto'ry. I had been so me seve n month s at m y new post study ing a n ew se t of problems a n d engaged in a new ro u nd of duties, when information ca me t o me that t h ere had been a ri s ing among the coolie s in Guiana, and t h e Governor, in appre hen s ion o f m o re extended disturbance, had applied to t h e General at Barbados for additional troops. This n ews cause d me m uch perturbation of s pirit. What I had long fea r e d had 0 .1" was about to, come to pass; the oppressed had risen agai n s t those wh o e i ther right ly or w r ongly t hey regarded a s oppressors. B e lieving that I knew at lea s t so m e o f the causes of di sco ntent, I felt keenly that I ought to di s close them; but t h o ugh my po s ition n ow enabled me to d o so with so me probability of practi ca l e ffe c t, my time was, if poss ible, eve n m o r e fully engrossed by imm ediate dutie s than it had been in Guiana. But after anxious C Olls ideration I determined that I wo uld write directly t o Lord Granville, givi n g him m y view o f the cau ses of what appeared to b e a very grave conditi o n of a ffairs, and s u ggesting t h e direction s in which r e medie s w e re to be so u g ht. With no tim e for this purpos e during the day, in order to catc h the n ext out!(oinj: m a il I had to til!>e many

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REPORT TO LoRD GRANVILLE lOS from my night's J.'est. W hen I came to face the subject I found my self in great difficulty for want of note s to refres h my memory as to dates, etc. For it may be imagined fl:om the account of my life in Guiana that having insufficient t ime for obligatory duty. I had none what ever for a private diary, and I had also compelled to forego al most entir e l y correspon dence with friends and family in England. Mo.reover, I was at a di stance from all officia l r ecords; so that I was reduced to the nece ssity of giving my general impressions of the state of the colony with suc h illustrations of it as were possible from memory. My letter was for these reason s defe ctive. Had I had more t im e at my disposal and in any case if I had had more experience of t he hig,her official life, I could have written with equal force and effect, and yet with m ore pl"udent consideratio n for myself. But as it was, carried away by enthusiasm for the cause, and by the sen se of urgen cy, I took n o account of personal consequences, forgetting altogether that what was so real and true to my OW11 mind might turn out to be very difficult of proof. H owever, the letter was commenced, finished, and sent o 'ff within a few days of the ar. !"ival of the above new s, and in order that it might be placed without the least delay under Lord Granville'S own eye, I forwarded it to Lord Frederick Cavendish, Who I knew to be o n intimate terms with him, and who at o nc e recognised its importance.* In the course of a few weeks the information reached me that my letter had had the effect desired: that a Royal C ommission would be appointed to inquire into the treatment of immigrants in Guiana, and that I should be required to give evidence before it. I had at first unmixed gratification at the thought that the truth would at length be revealed: but I did not even t h en recognise the full effect of what I had written. Had I been told that my letter was, as The Times afterwards termed it, the severest indictment of public officers "since Hastings was impeached for tyranny ove r the Lord of the Holy City of Benares and -----------------------------------.. See Appendix 'tor Author's letter to Lord Granville.-Editor.

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[04 AN ACCIDENT ove r t h e La d ies of the P rincely H ouse o f O u de", I s hould have repudiated the statement with indignation; for I had intended however impe r fectly the intention was carrie d out, t o attack n ot indi vidua ls, but a system. I fe l t t h a t magistrates, doctor s, and oth e r s were place d i n a p os i t i o n i n which imp a r t i a lity was well-nigh impossib le, and while I merTtione d cases by way of illustration of my v i ew s I g ave no names a n d did not at the t i me con te m p late t h e necessity of thei r ever b e ing m e ntiOlled The o nly excep tion was i n t h e ca s e of t h e Gover n o r s w h ose designation could not be avoided. But eve n against them I had not a particle of vindictive feeling; and in the c a s e of a ll other s, e ven t h o s e who had b ee n mo s t embittered against me, I had no wish that they s hould suffer at all f r om the i n qu iry. 1 s impl y hoped that they wou ld be t aught by independe n t out s id e opini o n what was due f r om them to a people toward s w hom they all stoo d in a quas i fiduciary relation But that my hasty writin g had permitted other views to be taken of my action I wa s s oon t.o learn to my cost. As t h e Comm i ss i o n was not to meet fo r some m o n t h s a n d I w a s in a condition from overwo!'k which imperati vely requ i r e d a change, I obtai ned leave of absence fo r a s hort visit t o Sir Arthur Gor don (now Lord Stanmore) then Govemor of Tr:: : ldad whose view s in respect of coolie immi g ratio n and t h e subject races ge n e r ally we r e much ill accord with m y own, and w h o had a lready carried out L1 Trinidad sorrie of t h e reformg whic h I desired for B ritis h Guian a. Durin g this vis i t a fall fro m a horse caused m e a c oncu ss ion of the brain which render e d me i n se n s i b l e f o r some eight hours. Sir Arthu r Gordon a nd his s ec retary, Mr, Arthur G o r do n ( now C.M.G.), w h o kindly watched t h e whole nighV by my be d s ide, in form ed me aftar ,ual'lis that I had, while e n tirely unconsc i ous of my sur r o undings, talked incessan tl y, a nd c hiefl y about Newma n's Apologia, whic h I had i!'ecently bee n reading; the thought of thi s b ook having b e en pe rhaps exc i ted by t h e p l ace in which I had only a few months befo r e met Charles Kingsl e y W h en I recovered con s ciousnes s not only h a d I no k n owledge of t h is talk, but m e m ory of t h e eve nts of the

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, l\E!'I'URN to GEORGETOWN 105 p r eceding weeks was a lmost completely e x tinguished, and was neve r a ltogeth er recovered. This h oweve r, was of little consequence compared with another e ffec t of the acci dent. My ne r vous system : :30 shaken that I found it impossible without great to maintain connected thought about any subject wh i ch caused me strong interest; and for months afterwards, including the w h o l e period of my attendan ce upon the Commi ssion, I su ffered from in sonmia, sometimes for many days together being deprive d completely o f s l eep save that induced by narcotics, Wh e n proceeding so me weeks after wa r ds to Demerara i n orde r to attend t h e Commission in pass in g T r inidad I stayed again for a night or two with Sir Arthur Gordon, who was on t h e point of quitting t he is land to assume the govern ment of Mauritius. On my arrival at Georgetown I found that t he Colony was, and had been for so m e months, in a state of intense excitement. Abuse of me had been poured out wholesa le, a nd k ee pers of hotels and l odg in g-houses had been threat e n ed with boycott i f t h ey presumed to receive me wi t hin t heir doors. Such indeed was the power of the dominant class over t h e livelihood of every perso n in t he colo ny, whether w hite 01' col oured above the rank of l abou r er, that i t i s doubtful whether I s hould have found a roof to cover m e if I h ad not bee n offer ed h ospitality b y one of ch e office r s of the garrison, who were almo s t the only indepen dent people in the colony. My stay in Georgetown on this occas i o n was o nl y of a f ew days' duration, a s, d elay having occurred in the forma t i on of t h e Comm i ssion, t h e sittings were n ot expected to begin for so m e week s. On to uching at Barbados I hap pened to mention my difficulty as regards l odg ing to the General in command of the troops, who at once kindly un dertook to provid e for my accommodation on m y l : etUl'll during any further time which I s hould require to spend in D emerara. Duri n g the interval previou s to my r etu.rn, I heard that at t he instan ce of an old Oxford friend, Walter Morrison,

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i06 SECRET SYMPATHY M.P for Plymouth (and lately for the Craven Divi s ion of Yorkshire), the Aborigines Protection S'Ociety and the AntiSlavery Society in combination had engaged a barrister to go out foOl' the purpos e of taking the part of the coolies before the. Commission, Morrison himself having contributed a large sum towards the expense. This was on l y ODe of many in stanc es of his unpu bli shed munificence. Be s ides this mark of sympathy from an old friend, I another about thi s time from a newer one, in a letter from Arthur Gordon. Writing under date June 29th, 1870, from St. Thomas, when on board The Etbe, which was carrying hill) to England, he said--"I write one lin e to tell you we are so far o n our way and to wi s h you God-speed under your present difficu l ties. I am hearing you abused as I write, but I think you may get something out of-, one of the magistrates, His wife's brother, a rather nice young fellow is on board, and swears that what you say i s true, though you may not be able to prove it, and that there are many in Demerara who rejoice at the Commission." I give this extract in orde r to s how that there was secret sympathy with my views on the part of at least one of the Demerara magistrates, though for obvious i'easons he never dared to express it openly In order to save biro from the obloquy and danger which would ensue from ho nest testimony of the kind which h e was obvious ly able to give or from the temptation to dishonestly suppress it, I never called bhis officer as a wit. ne ss, nor made any approach to him with a view to gain hi s evidence, though, as will be seen, such support was at one time very griev ousl y required. On reae-hing Georgetown again i found that Mr. Edward Jenkins the barrister above referred to (well known as the author of Ginx's Baby) had arrived more than a week before me He had already visited several sugar plantatiolls, and having been much feasted by the planters, appearerl to have been somewhat biassed towards their s ide of the question at issue. In view o f the torrent

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WELCOMED B Y iMMIGRANTS 101 or s landeJ. which was being poured on my devoted head he would scarce l y have bee n human if he had not been I s h oul d men tion, m o reover, that in the severa l months which had e l apsed since the announcement of the Commi ss ion, the planters h ad made great exerti ons a nd h a d expended large s um s (estim ated at the time in h u nd reds of thousands of pounds) with a view of improving the estates for the in spect ion of the Commission. Ho sp itals wer e en l arged and improved, water -tanks e r ected, coolie barracks built or improved, and ya:r d s c lean se d, so that, as Mr. C ro s b y and others informed me, so me of the inferior estates had had t heir aspect entirel y a l tered. I n view of this outward appear a n ce of comfo r t in the coo li e surroundings, I s hould probably have had greater difficulty in pe! 'suading Mr. J enkins that something was rotten in the state of Denmark, but f o r the crowds of immigrants who, from the moment o f my a rrival, cam e from all parts of the colo n y to besiege me with t heir comp laints_ In truth, the continual pressure of these people proved to be a ve r y se riou s embam-assment. From earliest dawn they began to collect r ou nd the little h o u se which I occupied on the C r own r eserve adjoining the barrac k s, and whenever 1 s howed my face there came a great cry of supplication touching to hear but impossible to satisfy. When I went out I was followed, a n d during all the hours of daylight I was left no peace I did not apply to the po l ice, partly because I kn ew that the c hiefs of the for ce we re, or were obliged to pretend to be, as bitter against me as t h e rest of the white popu l ation, and chiefl y because I dreaded the rough treatmen t of the men who had come looking to me for help. Some of thos e who had com e long distances seem ed to be exhausted with fatigue and want of food; a nd m y s l ende r purse was con t in ually be ing drained to suppl y what appeared to be very u .rgen t want. Poss ibly, and. even probab l y, m uc h of this was feign ed to excite co mmiseration; but time was w an ting fol' inquiry, even we r e it possible, and I could not di scriminate between deserving and undeserving. Mr. Jenkins and I, assisted by his clerk, took down very many of their statements; not that I h e ld them of much value but rather with a view of preventing

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108 GOVERNOR S ATTiTUOE a se n se of c omplete di sap p o in tment. Even if the Commissioners were unable to investigate the individual com plaints the general teno r of t h ese might p ro ve useful as clue s for inquiry. Moreover, I had the hope which proved to be justified, that the apparently universal sense of injusti ce might have so m e effect, not on ly upon t hem, but upon Mr. Jenkins, w ho, as bef ore m e n t i o n ed, was not at first by an y mean s enthusiastic f o r th e cause which he had Come to advocate Stories of ill -usage, arbitra ry cutting of wages, improper refus al of admissio n to ho s pital, ejecti on fro m it involving obligation t o work befOl'e complete cure, denial of com f orts ordere d by the doctor, forcible turnings out from dwelling s to w ork, togeth e r with the utter use lessness of appeal to magistrates, came from all parts of the co l ony and were reiterated usqu e ad n a USCL'l1t Proba b l y there was much exaggeration, but that con s iderable r eality la y beneath all this alleged gri e v a nc e could hardly be d o ubted. But however this may have been, they took up nearly the who l e o f m y time, and l eft scarcel y any for w ork useful t o the Commission. But eve n with more l e isu r e I doubt whether I could have been very useful in this direction. Tho ugh, with great effort and mu c h patience I cou l d manage to take down a statement, a brain wea r y with s l eeple ssness and and shattered nerves rendered me a lmo s t incapable of c o nnected t hough t Fortunatel y the feeling that, whatever happened to mys e l f s ome good must co me, a nd, ind ee d, already had come from my actio n sustained me agai n s t t h e depressing sense of isolati on. For that isolati o n was a lmost complete. The G overnor h ad taken no notice of my official call ; and t h ough, after pers isten t applicati o n, he permitted me to have access to the book s containing t he lis t of cases which had been tried before me, h e made not the s lightest offer of ass i s tance, and I felt it t o be hop eless to have made, o r to make my se lf those searc h es of r ecords which were necessary for the c omp l ete presentation of m y case. As regards others than the Gove r nor, a few friends and sympathisers ca m e to me in sec r ecy and under COver of

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.. MR, PEROT 109 hight; but, w ith the exception of Mr. C r osby and a merchant named Perot, n ot a single w hite person, a nd very few others except cooli es, dared to visit me in the daytlme Even among t he officers of t h e garriso n, with whom I messed, there we r e one or two : vhose remarks 01' si lenc e showe d antagonisti c sentiments For my frie nd H erbert had-unfortunately left the colo n y, and t h e com manding officer who had succee d ed him was as unlike him in feel ing on t hi s point as in every other res pect. Mr. Perot was at t hi s t ime rega:rded as the firs t merchant in the col o ny. Other firms may have d one large r bus in ess, but no s ingle man at that time had such credit, 01' was in a po sition of e quall y complete Though he had intimate business and socia l relations with the planters of the West Coast h i s friendl y attitude towards m e in no way altered in consequence of my differences with them. H e r ecog ni s ed, almost as we ll as Mr. C r osby the substantial truth o f my allegati o n s, and though I h ad never b een intimate with him. he knew me well enough to be indignant at the general attitude assum ed towards me, and at the a n o nym o u s libel s directed against my character. And now a lon e a m ong the upper unofficia l world, he had the courage, at whatever cost to h im s elf, to outr age t h e popular sentiment by showing m e open countenance; and my breakfasts under h i s h os pitable roof a r e a m ong the very few agreeabl e m emories of an C)therwi se most painful experience At the opening of th.;! Com m i ssio n I a ppeared as the first witness, and the ordeal through which I had to pass was indeed a severe o ne. Including the Comm iss i oners, white p erso n s occupied the who l e space in front of me, a m ong whom I coul d recogni se, be s ides M r. C rosby, only one other familiar face:J[. And n ow my ras h offer of proof recoiled upon me with a ve ngean ce For hav in g determined to take no perso nal par t against anyone, and neither to ca ll nor crosS, examine any witnesses ; I for this and other reasons above indicated, had little ev id e nce to off e r beyond That of Mr. Darnell Dayis, the Secretary to the Commission, n ow Auditor-Gen eral of Briti s h Guiana.-G. W. DeE:. V.

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lio PRESS ATTACK S my own bare word. Even a s to .this my physicai and mental condition was such as to render it very f tar from being as forceful as i t might have been. Not des i i'ing to hurt individ uals, I refrained from saying much which was likely to do so, having full confidence in the character of the two Comm issi oners that their investigation would bring out the geI)era l correctness of my viewsj whatever might be said in mitigation or di sproof of my spec ific allegations. By this yery un co mfortable posit ion my nerv ous state was natm'ally not improve d, and my thoughts became so confused that I so metime s failed to understand the simples t questions My examination lasted, I think, t h ree days altogether, and though I remained in the. colony several weeks. in case I should be wanted again, I did not fUtlthe r attend the sittings of the Commission. The latter portion of my sojourn was even less agreeable. The pressu.re .from crowds of coolies continued, and I was depressed by the sense of personal failure. Mr. Jenkins, whose assurance of the final success of our cause had latterly done much to comfort me, was obliged to l eave the colony; and immedi.ately after, perhaps in consequence of his departure, issued fi'om the local Press a series of anonymous libels against my character and conduct, eve n more gross than any that had previousl y appeared. But while the falsity of these attacks was on a pal' with their malice I was absolutely defenceless. Their authors knew perfectly well that, even if there might be individual men brave enough to take the side of tl'uth and justice, no Guiana jury would ever render a verdict in my favour. Yet the bitterness of my enemies was such as to render 'absolutely certain that these charges, if just, would long previollsly have been brought to official notice, instead of being made a non y mou s ly in the newspapers, the fact that this course was not t a ken would, I considered, reveal their untruth to any impartial mind. But, apart from the truth o r untruth of these imputations (which, being made in the principal organs of the planters, must undoubtedly have been favoured if not originated by their executive committee), only the blindness of passion cou l d fail to see

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MR. JENI{INS' BOOI{ 111 their spec iall y gross indecency nnder the circumstances, a nd that their publicat i o n during the sitting of t h e Commiss ion wa s a s e r iou s tacti cal mistake Abuse of the plain tiff' s attorne y i s alway s h eld to be an indicati on of a weak c ase, and I think it probable that this c onside ration ren d e!"ed the investigations of the Commission eve n more searching than they would otherwis e have be e n, a nd t hus tendere d to its g e nerally satisfactory result. When s o me m onth s afterwards the Report of the Commission r e ached m e in St. Lucia I though expecting much fro m two of the members, was yet agr eeab l y s u r prised by t h e thorough ness with which the work had bee n done It i s t r u e t hat as regarrd s my!elf the Commissioners did n o t spare censure whe rever s uch was possible. while, a s Th e pointed out in its review of 1\'11', Jenkins book, T he Coo l ie : H is R ights and Wrongs, they ign o i'ed altogether how mu ch they were indebted to me ior the directio n of their l i n e s of inquiry. and in how many res pect s the facts e licited by them pro ved the justi ce of my .representations But when they' the opinion that t he planters had extricated themsel ves from :,'dea r bargai n sll with Chine se immigrants in a manner not cred.it able to the colony; wh en they pointed out how Governor A, had gradually withdra wn all powe : f rom t h e officer c h argeq with the protection of t h e immi gran t s ; whe n they the u ni ve r sal want of confiden c e a m ong t h e cool ie s in the admini stration o f j u s tice by the magistrates; when they rec o mmend e d for valid reas o n s t hat the doctors s hould be rendered in depen dent of the estates and be made pu bli c office r s ; when they how comp l etely the state o f the l aw put every inden tured immigrant at the mercy of a n un scrupul ou s emp loyer; that t here was "here and t here excessive indulge n ce in the p.!"actice of arbi t r a r y stoppage o f wage s"; t hat v adous arrangements n e c essary f o r t h e well-being of the coolie s we r e in s ome cases extremely defective, and that when t h ese defects pointed out to the Executive, extreme weaknes s had been shown in enfo rcing. remedie s-they had brought to light m ore than I ang a!J11ost as mu<;h

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112 F INAL DEP ARTU R E Thus ill as was performed my part in t hi s coolie ques tion, I have never for a mo m e n t ,regretted that I under took it. It invo l ved a heavy cost to me i n health which never recovered its forme r robustness, and i t probab l y con tributed largely to the l ong delay in my promot ion. But I have a l ways felt com pensated by the t hought that the improvements in legis l ation and the i ncrease of executive vigilance not o nly in Guiana, but in Mauritius and several other colonies which resulted directly or ind i rect l y from t h i s C o mm i ss i on, must have added at l ea s t someth i ng to the comfort and of seve r al hundreds of tho u s. ands of indentured i mmigrants. W ith my atten dance on the Comm i ss i on my con nect ion with Briti sh Gui a n a came to an end Tho u g h life on t h e coa s t was always d istasteful to me I have often looked back to my exper i ences i n the i nterior with a wist fu l regret that they could never be renewed. Despite all the drawbacks of solitude, of disagreeable work, of insect and other pests and of ge n eral disco m fort, there was to me, a s a lover of natu re, a fascination about the tropical forest which has created a cont i nua l des ire to return to it. Often in after years have I had a long i ng, now, alas, neve r to be g r atified, to v isit agai n the scenes descr i bed above, and to purs ue at l eisure t h e investigation of t h e wonders there pres ent i n s u c h s pecial abundance, with wh ich I never had time nor oPPol1tunity for more than a very superficial acquaintance.* *-If my enthusiasm on the subject should be at all shared by any of my readers, let me recommend them to a book, In the G ui an'i Forest, by Mr. James Rodway, FL.S. The work of a trained observer and most graphic writer, it contains more vivid impressions of t h e scenes described, and presents pictures mcn-e attractive than any which have appeared since Waterton's W anderin gs. Also as of exceptional i nterest may be men_ tioned the more recent work of Mr. E. 1m Thurn. who seems in later days to equalled, if not surpassed, my friend McClintock in his knowledge Qf Guiaf!.a il"!terior <}n4 H!l jnhaQiw,nts.-G. W. D es V.

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APPENDIX I. Ues Voeux's Letter to the Secret.ary of State for the C"lonies (ext r acted f rom "The C ol onist," May 23, 1 870). Governm ent Hou se St. Lucia, 25th December 1 869. My Lord,-I have l o n g had the intention, which I have been p r evented by various causes and lately by the pressu.re of other public duties from carrying Qut, of draw ing your L o rd shi p' s attention to the state of the Col ony of British Gui ana, w here I was latel y holding the appointme n t of Stipendiary Magistrate when your Lordship g raciously acceded to my app li cation for promotion. 2.-But in view of the seriou s disturbances whic h lately took place at plantation Leonora, and the mOre recent meeting of West Indian prop!'ieto r s in London, whic h has s h own that, while a live to the un s ettled state of the Col o n y and 3:nxio us of obv iating its effects, they are either u naware of, or are regardl ess of removing, its causes, I felt that I should n o longer d elay the p e r form a n ce of what I conscie ntiously belie ve an ob ligatory duty_ S.-Knowing as I do that there i s a, very wide-spread di scontent a nd disaffection existing throughout t h e Immigrant population, both Indians and Chinese (and especia lly among the latter though their s m all numbers m ake the fact less apparent) and believing a s I do, that t h ese ill feelings, which have already vente d themsel ves in disturba n ce, will 'e r e l ong u nless checked by remedial m easu r es, resu I t in far more se ri ous calamities, and believing a l s o that m y fi. ve years' peculiar experience in the Col ony enab l es me to throW 'I Ii![ht Oil the Qf g ri eva nce

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[14 POSITION OF DOCTOR S wh i c h may not J. each your L o rdship from any other s ource, a nd may be usefu l at the present mom ent, I trust that I need no ot h e r apology fo r communicatin g with you on a s ubject unconnected w ith my present duties 4 -If your L ordship s hould approve" I w ou ld in a futur e letter explai n t h e peculiar grievance s of w hi ch the Chine se have to com p la in, a nd which I be l ieve to be so r ea l and just as to furnish a strong argument against a renewal of t hat descript i o n of irnmig ration, unle ss under far more stringent supe r v i sio n At present I propose to confine myself to t ho se suffered by all c la sses of Immigrants alike, 5.-To s up e rfi c ial observation it wou l d see m that person s who have been r escued from a state said to be bordering on destitution in the"ir own country, who are prov i ded with f r ree h o u se r oom, reg ulalo work, and wages when they are in health, and in s i c kn ess have the advantages of a h os pital, the attendance of a m edica l m an a nd m ed i cines free of ex p e n se w h o have m oreover a magistrate always at hand to hear thei r complaint s and a department of officers' with the e s peci r a l d uty of securing their good treatment, ca n h ave n o ground f o r dissati sfacti o n A c l o se r scrutiny however, would mu c h from the apparent value of these advantages a nd would -Show that so m e of them at least are mor e no min al than real. 6 .-1 pro pose to point out that eac h of them i s in fact a separate cause of d iscontent an d in each case most r es pect fully to s uggest what appea r to m e t h e best r e media.l m eas ure s 7.-And first as to the m edica l men who attend estates. These ge n tle m en have t h e right to retain as patients in Ho s pital all sic k Immi grants, and to order for them at t h e Estate's e xp ense nourishin g food and medicine It would be t h ought that Managers would always see their advantage in providing the se of good quality_ I fear, however, that the r e are not many who are suffic i e ntl y e nli g htened to t hi s V ie\y! I str on' !'eftspn for

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SUGGESTED REMEDY. on so me Estates the foo d at least usually provided in Hos pital s in all but t he seve rer cases, is of a wretched de scrip tio n, and that this fact is well known to t he m ed ical men, who dare not make complaint. 8.-I am, moreover, confident that it i s a co mm o n prac t ice of medical men to di scha r ge immigrants from t reatment b efo r e they are completel y cu red; and to t h i s may be attributed a large proportion of the cases of so-ca ll e d idl eness which are brought before magistrates By the strict letter of t h e law an indentured immigrant is bound to do hi s d a il y task of work, if h e i s not in H o s pital ; and t h oug h the magistrate h a s a discretionary pow e r of declining to conv ict, if h e believes the accu s e d i s p h y s ic. ally unable to work, it i s difficult fo r him on account of the accomplished m alinge ring propen s ities of the Cooli es, to d eci de in other than extr..eme case s agai nst the exp r e ss ed opinion of the docto r 9.-The conseque n ce of this I believe i s that of t he great number s o f immigrants who are weekly com mitted to ga0 1 for breaches of contract, a very considerab l e tion are conv icted of neglect to do what they were ph ys i ca lly inc a pabl e of doing; and whether my belief i s j u s t o r not I know t hat a s ense of the injustice of such convictions i s a very potent cause o f the p reva ilin g discontent. lO.-The remed y which I would most r e s pectfully suggest f o r this se riou s ev il, and which I have urge d out success on more than. o n e Governor is s imple It.-It i s to make the estates' medical men Government officer s. payable elither out of the Immi gration Fund, or b y a tax directl y levied for thi s purpose on the proprietors. -l2.-At presen t t hei r tenure of office i s a l most entirely dependent o n the will, or rather the caprice, of the man agers of estates. Several of the most upright of them have ;>.t diff erent times
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, 116 CASES C ITED. res pe c t, and have s hewn me that any serious compl aint on their p a r t in res pe c t of abu s e s whic h they saw going on u nd e r their e y e s, w o uld on l y b e fo ll o w e d by the los s of t h eir liv e lih o od and t h e in s t alment i n their prac tice of l e s s s crupulous practitio n e r s 1 3 L t i s s ca.rce l y to be w ondere d at that few are to be foun d su fficient l y high minded, e speciall y when th.ey ha.ve f.amilie s depend ent up o n them, t o adopt s o dange'l'Oll5 a course. One, however to my k n owledge did so, and h e h as in c o n s equence, though know n to be of great s k ill and ability in hi s profess ion, obtai n e d but a very s mall pract ic e, while E states almo s t at hi s doo r were entrusted to a p e r so n who i s notorio u s l y inc ompetent. 14. 1 c ou l d mentio n s ev e r a l startling i n s tances from my own ob servation of t he ev il s attendin g t h is dependence of medic a l men. But two o f more than ordinary gravity, your L o rd ship will probabl y deem s ufficient for my purpose. 15. (1) A Chine s e imm igrant had bee n dreadfull y b eaten by a n Indian w atchman, wh il e in the act of steal ing H e was taken to the E state's Hospital with five f l' ac tpres of limbs,-two c o mpou nd and three simp le, both legs and both ,arms being "bro ken, if I recollect rightly. His w o und s were dres s e d by the s ick nurse, but the doctor on arrival ordered h i s removal in a cart to his own E state, a di stance of 2 t miles, the very day o n wh i c h he had r ece i ved the injuries, The natural result fo ll owed. The patient died the follow ing day. On the in que s t held before the Magisb'ate of t h e Di s trict the doctor justifi e d his order On the g round that the man was doing extremely well" (if I recollect t h e word s rightly) w h e n he w as r e m oved while another medical man who attend ed the patient on his own E state, gave his opinion that h e would probably have l i ved, but for hi s removal. I sent the proceedings in thi s case to t h e Attorney-General ,* but no notice was taken, a s far a s I know of the doct or's co nduct, who sac rifi ced a life in order to s ave a trifling expense to his employe r ..

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REF'ORM OF AnUSES. 117 I6.-It i s a signif.icant f.act t hat this gentl eman, a l though h o lding a lucrative government a pp o in t m ent, and having a I arge practice in tOWIl, is employe d by se veral large Estates, at a di s tance of seve r al mile s, and that s om e of t h ese a r e separated from him by t h e rive r which, owing to the ferry boa t ceasi n g to run, i s practically impassabl e at night, while they are w ithin easy r eac h of two equally competent but reputedl y more scrupulou s medica.l m en residing on the sam e bank of t h e rive r 17. ( 2)-A Coolie boy about twel ve year s old, a ge n e r al favourite on his Estate, had been barbar ously murdered for the sake of the s ilver and go ld ornaments on hi s person. A n inquest h a d bee n he ld befo r e an Ol'din ary Justice of the P eace -and a n open verdict returned. O n r ead in g the evidence I ordered the e xh u mati o n of the b ody 'and a further post 1n01'tern examinati o n Your L ord ship will fi.nd i t difficult to be li eve, but it is nevertheless true t hat it 'yas t h en fo r the first t im e d i scovered by t h e surgeo n that one of the boy's arms had been cut off. The nature of the first examination can therefor e easi l y be imagined. I S,-The medical man who was thus neglectfu l of hi s duty has one of t h e best if n ot t he best Estate's practice in t h e col ony ; and a lthough resident in town, i s allowed to have t h e sole m e d ica l c h a rge of a h ospital whic h in m y time contained frequen t l y over 80 patients at a distance of seve n mil es, and sever, a l other Hospitals at distances of from Jom' to s ix mile, o n e of them in a direction opposite to that of the oth e rs. 19.-The present Governor contemp l ated, h e inform e d me, a ref,orm of thi s and sim ilar abuses, and I ca n we ll u nderstand that t h e h eavy l egacy of duty and difficulty w hi ch w ,as left to him, has p revented its spee d y accom plish m ent. 20.-These illustrati o n s of the ,c;ystem of medical attendance were' both derived from m y personal experi en ce in o ne di strict. From all accounts I b e li eve them to b e by no m ea n s exce ption a l and I wou ld r e mind you r L o rd ship that there a r e tell qistriC.t!:] in t h e co l ony con t a inin g estates.

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-118 POSITION OF MAGISTRATES. 2,1.-The reform which I propose wou ld not on l y render all the m ed i ca l men more fearless in the performance of thei r duty, but wou ld give even the mOl'e conscientOllS among them increa s ed power of usefulness. The il' practice would be concentrated and would avoid t h e necessity which now ex ists of making visits at long dis tances while rivals a.re in c harge of hospitals in their -immediate neighbourhood The change would therefore be an equa l boon to the professio n and to the immigrants. 22.-The independence of the Stipendiary Magistrates is of even greater importance to t he immigrants t han that of the doctors. But, at present, these officers are a lmost equally though not as directl y subject to planting influe n ce; and their decisions in conse quence are, I believe, the chief cause of the prevailing discontent. They have, for the most part, risen from inferior position s, and have been long r esident in the colony before their appointment as magistrates. They have thus ins ensibly acquired that awe of the powerful planting interest which more or l ess per vades all c la sses and reaches to the highest p l aces. 23. Moreover, w hil e by their antecedents and their education they are, as a rule, not superior, in pos ition and emo lum e nts they are actually inferior, to the managers of e states who form their so ciety, and are the chief suitor s in t heir Courts. 24.-Again, these latter are enblea by the large re sources at the C1.ommand of the estates in many ways (singly too insignificant to de sc ribe ) to soften the hars her features of t h e Magistrate's life, and have still l arger mean s of heaping upon him t r ouble and annoyance.* As an illustration of the low comparative estimation in which Stipendiary Magist:ates are held in Demerara, I may ment10n that they are habItually known among persons who cla i m 'to represent "education and intelli gence" by an oppr-o.brioUs nickname peculiar to that colony. The Government moreover in its public notices assists in degrading their position b; almost always, if not always, placing them' after the "Gentle ;men i n charge o f Estates." A s to the c haracter and social of these, I would refer yOlll." Itqrdship to report 1:Q

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ACTION 01'" MANAGERS. hi! 25.-you, r Lord s hip will readily understand that against s uch p erso n s and in the Courts of such magistrates all immigrant is by no mean s certain of obtaining hi s rights and I do not he sitate to assert, not only from what I have commonly heard, but from personal observation, that they do not; and that they are thus often reduced to a position, which in some re s pects is not far removed from slavelY. The most trifling offences too often subject them to loss of wages and exorbitant fines, 01' the alternative of certain punishment in gaol and they are governed, not by kindness and good treatment, but through fear of the severity of the law"iI-. 26 .-There are some well known wh o give out publicly that the immigrants on their Estates shall b e always, during the hours of work, either actually at work, 01' in hospital, or in !:faol; a rule which can undoubtedly be enforced by the strict letter of the law, but which, invari ably and ngorously carried o ut, inflicts extreme hardship in many indi vidual instance s especially in the case of women who are encientet or nursing young c hild ren or his goverrunent of a highly educated and intelli gent Hungarian gentleman, Colonel Figglemesey, who is Consul of the United ::itate s : a report which though made by a comparative st.ranger in the country and within a year of hi s arrival ( 1864), con firms to a great extent many of the stale:onents of this communication as to the condition of the indentured immigrants. G.W. Des V I speak only for the majority at estates. There are a very few notable exceptions which, as will be shown below, have l"eaped both ditec t and indirect adv"antages from the better treatment of their labourers.-G.W. Des V t A manager was once highly indignant with me for refusing to punish for neglect to perform the ordinary tas k of work a woman who pleaded her delicate condition in this res pect, and was evidently by her appearance, near her confinement. He actually went so ,far as t o appeal from my decision as a means of testing my right to withhold a conviction on such a ground, I m a y mention that the support of my decision in this and other immigration ca ses, was one of the chief real, though not ostensible, causes of the h a h"ed of the Planters for the late unfortwlate Chief Justice, a gent.le man who incwred. far more ho stili ty in Demerara frol11 his many sterling virtues, than from the indiscretion which was the cause of ru s removal from the Bench.-G.W. Des V

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120 GOVERNOR'S POWER. when t h e im migrants are weakened from the effects of feve r and illn ess, but being conva l escent are not r etained in t h e hospital. i s commonly said that the Governor h as the power of counteracting t he influ e nce of t h e planters t o a great exte n t by changi n g the districts ma g istr ates who have become too popular with them, But t h is powe r instead of checking, has as frequently used, contributed in fact to increase this influence, for it is generally believed, whether truly or not I forbear to exp r ess a n opinion, that changes of districts which h ave bee n ord ered of late years, have been brought about not on aceount of t h e magistrates' familiarity with t h e p lanters but of their being obnoxious t o them Changes, u nl ess some private r eason specially a s ked for, are as a r u l e dreaded by magistrates on account of t h e great expe nse which is necessa rily involved. Owing to difficulties of carriage and, too often, of pecuniary embarrassment they a r e ob liged to sell the i r furniture and effects The price realized by these, owing to the persons in a condition to purchase being mainly plante r s, is notoriously dependent on the popu larity a m ong t hem of their owner. 28.-80 that to avoid, not only removal, but the l oss consequent on p oss i b l e removal, the magistrate has an induce ment to cu rry favour with the planters. 29 -In OJ.der to con vey to you r Lordship a real and vivid illustration of what I have above described, I am reluctantly compe ll ed, from want of other means of doing so, to relate some "what minutely m y own p ersonal experi ence; though I have the less fear of incurri n g suspicion of egoistic motives f r om the belief that I have already gai ned your Lordship's good opinion and the knowledge that a n y material rew3rrd wh ich I cou ld h ope for any se rvi ce in Demerara has been already obtained from your Lordship's favou r 30.-In February, 1 86 7 during t h e absence on a year's l eave of the r egula r magistrate, h aving be e n previuusly in

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ARRJi:STS WITHOUT WARRANT. 121 a. district containing only one sugar Estate, I was appointed, in highly complimentary terms, by Major Mundy, 'then administering the government to take charge of the most populous and important district in t h e col ony; a recognition of my public merits, the more honour able to its author in that there were at the t im e ex isting causes of private difference between us. The gentleman who had been my predecessor in the district is by common repute one of the best and most impartial of the magistrates. He is possessed of some private means, and as the district extends to an equa l distance on either side of Georgetown, and thus r esidence there, he is comparatively independent of the plan tel's and their society. He is mo, reover from his age, long se rvice, and experience entitled to more than ordinary r espect. 31.-His district, as I found it, may therefore be taken, for my purpose. as a fair, if not a favourite, example of the others. /'32.-Almost the first, if not the first, week of my entry upon my new duties, I found confined in the "lock up" of the police stations. a number of persons, and immi" grants amo ng others, who had been arrested without warrant, on the mere order of managers of estates, for neglect of duty and other s imple breaches of contract. On the mere sight of the charges, I, of course, di scharged them as being in illeg;al custody. and continuing this practice subsequently I at once aroused the indignation of severa l influential managers; who severally, at one time or another, in no very language threatened l egal proceedings and other means of intimidation. But finding that their pressure did not affect my course, and that it was moreover supported by the law they devised various contriva nc es to evade its effects. 33. 1 s h o uld b e occupying too much of your Lord ship's time by particularizing these, but I would venture to describe 'One as characteristic of the class which furnished its author.

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122 WHOLESALE PROS ECUTION S 34 Th e mag istrate sits as a rule o nly once a week at each P o lice station. From the kno w l edge of t h is the expedient'* was a d opted of sending t h e prison e r s to t h e lock up s the day ,after the Court, in order to insure thei. r being -at least a week i n c onfi nem ent, r emands" being provi d ed fro m 'brother managers who were also Justices of the P eace 35. T o defeat so glaring a breach of the Law I wa s obliged to order the police at each statio n to f orward m e daily .returns of the prisoners and t hu s the e vil was eve n tuall y chec ked 36.-1 f o und that it had been the p r actice to bring before themagistrate for breac he s of contract the Immi grants of particular estates in gangs, for the purpO s e of their being tried all together, and thus more rapidly d i s pose d of, and my refus a l to allow thi s practice take n a g reat griev:ance As t h e charges are nine t ime s out of ten for variou s forms of neglect. to work, an offence which, except i n the rare instance of a con s p i racy, i s never "joint", and involve s in eac h ca se diff erent circumstances and a different line of defence, your L ordship will under stand that m y course was nece ssitated by the comm mlest dictates of justice. Though, possib ly, in the large m a j ority of cases the Immigrants are really idle aJld cu lpab l e the practice whic h 1 have described must h ave rendeied i t almost imposs ibl e to detec t t h e e xcep t ion s 3 7 1 found in e xistence a practice which I believe is .st ill p r eva l e n t all over t h e colony o f f orcing the door s of i mmigrant s houses for the purpose o f what is called turning t h em out to work, and also of doing the same and sea r ching their room s without w ,arrant for stol e n goods, and eve n s ometime s when there w.as only a s uspiCion of theft. I frequentl y suggeste d to the immigrants in their Subsequent experience has convinced me this expedient i s a conunon o n e throughout the cOWltr y even in the Di stricts of the most complacent magistrate, as it ensures some pWlishment is do n e with perfect impunity, and obviates the trouble of cuting in court.-G. W Des. V.

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MANAGERS ON BENCH. 123 com p laints res pecting s u ch acts that t h ey s h o u l d bring criminal charges against the aggressors; but, although their fears invariabl y prevented their adoption of thi s course, r believe that the mere hint had the effect of checking a practi ce whic h I was given to understand had never before met even with reproof from the Bench 38 .-1 found that inv i diou s ly di stinct pos itions in Court were assigned to managers of Estates, some of them, on the ground of their being Justices of the Peace, being allowed to remain on the Bench even during the trial of their own cases.* This may seem a trivial matter, a nd in England i t probably would be so, but it is' otherwise in a country w h e "re racejeal ousies are so predominant and where suspicion of undue favour is so eas il y and often I fear so justly aroused. Indeed my furth e r experience can vinced me more and m ore than the tolerance of such a practice was the origi n of much discontent, as giving the appellil'anCe of partiality even to t h e eonscientious magis trate. 39.-I n this district the ordinarily E:x. t r eme severity of the magistrate's work, which involve s the trial annually of between four and five thousand separate informations and complaints, besides inquests and depositions for the S uperior Court, was greAtly increased in my case, not only by attempted of the above but by another c ircumstance for which I was in no way responsib l e 40.-The regular clerk (only oIle is allowed), went away on l e ave. and when I had, after great trouble, edu cated his Hlocum tenens" to work of which h e knew but little before, the latter was removed at thr ee days' notice, and in spite of m y firm and most respectful remonstrance and replaced by another who had actu ally no acquaintance whatever with the r outine of a magistrate's offic.e, conse. quently I was obliged, though i n very weak heal th, after sittin g the greater part of the day, to sp end a large p o r- One of Ulese indeed was m ade highly indignant by my refusing to permit his whispering to me u p o n the subject of a case before me in which he was complainant.-G. W. Des V.

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124 COSTLY TRANsFER, tion o f the night in teaching the sim pl es t dutie s of the office, r athe r than g iv e my openly-avowed enemies among the who believed that they were su pported by the Governo r?:', t h e o pportu,nity of comp laining that the distri c t work was gettin g into arrear. 41.-No compl ai n t was, o r eve r could have b een m ade against me on this g r ound, and I can conscientiously say that I performed the whole of my thoro. ughly, and, as I have r eason to know, to the s atisfaction of t he large majority of the inhabitants of t he district I was, h oweve r f 'or reason s not stated to me, r e mov e d from the district at a few d ays' n otice a month befo r e the expiration of leave of the regular magistrate, and the publi c naturally concluded that the planters had been the cause. 42 .-After an inte r va l of e i ght month s during which I had no concern with immigrants, I was again, at a f ew days' notice, a nd with out reasons given and at an expense of to my se l f, r emovedt to another di strict which I had been offered and declined a few m onths before, my r espectful request for only a m o nth's delay on the ground o f peculiar inconveni ence t o my self being r efus ed. 43.-ln the new district, called that of the West Coast, w.h ich is only second in importance to that ab ove mentioned, This belief was a matter of notoriety, but i n proof of it, I may mention that one of my most determined' and powerul enemies, whom I had curbed in various illegalities, delayed for two months, while Major Mundy was acting, t o make a complaint against two of my decis i ons, which 1 ventw'e to say was not only groundless, but should never have been entertain e d by the Executive. I respectfully remonstrated against it, being referred to me, 'both the acts complained of being the proper subject of legal appeal; with no other effect than a reprimand. 1 should, however, never have referred to the subject again, b u t that 1 a m otherwise unable t o show in the strongest light the pressure under which a magistrate may be subject in Demerara, and how very strong a r e h i s ind ucements to quietly submit to the planters' wish.-G. W. Des V. t TWO days before th i s occurred I had firmly but respectfully declined to disclose officially a private conversation which occurred at my own table.-G. W. Des V

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ASSAU LTS BY MANAGERS 125 I found all the abuses before alluded to ex istin g i n an eve n more exaggerated for m, a n d moreover that cruelti es were being practise d on the immi'g l'ants apparentl y without check or hindran ce. 44.-The Manager of t h e l a rgest estate, which, as mak ing a n nually clo se upon two thousan d hogsheads of sugar, is second to none in the Briti s h possessions, was b rought befo r e me o n the comp laint of a cool i e for assau l t 45.-It appeared from t h e evidence that the man had been knocked down for l eaving the sugar ho u se a t e ight o 'clock on Sunday morning ( a day o n w h ich the immi grants are lega ll y enti t I ed to rest), h e having bee n at with the me r e i ntermission of meals from an earl y hou r on the Saturday p r evious 46.7Another manage r at an a l most equall y large estate was proved before me to have knocked dow n a coolie i mmigrant and to have k i c k ed h im repeatedly while on t h e g round, caus ing b r u i ses 'about his c hest and other parts of h is body 47.-With respect to this "gentleman" I was i nform e d afterwards that he had bee n repeated l y guilty of similar acts a n d that the suffere r s had bee n eithe r afr aid to com p l ai n or believed that t here wou l d be little ll'se in d Oing so I have strong r easo n for believ ing, though the fact is co n cealed from the Authorities, that it is no uncommon practice to enforce from the immigrants (in spite of the law) from 1 6 to 20 hours' work in the sugar h ouse. In proof I may mention that a part proprietor of several very large estates, Mr. Quint i n H ogg, (a partner in the firm of Bosanquet, Curtis & Co ) expresses to me, during his vis i t to Demerara last year, his horror at finding that the immigrants o n one of his estates, had been for some days worked for 22 hours per day, and added that the manager was aggrieved at his interference in ordering the employment of relays. It is hardly possible to conceive that human nature coul d have stood .so sever e a strain, and the lime may have been exagge rated ,but inasmuch as the as coming from a proprietor, was in the nature of a confess i o n i t could hardly have been far f rom the truth.-G. W. Des V

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126 HOSTILITY OF MANAGERS. O n one occ a s i on, however, the assault had been upon a coo li.e who had saved m o ne y, and who, having employed a lawyer, compelle d his assailant to pay a large Sum to COInp r omise an nction for damages in the Supreme Court. 4 8 .-111 t h ese cas es, I fined the guilty persons heavily, and informed them that a secon d offence would involve either imprisonment 01' the sen ding of the case before the Supr eme Court I believe that this had-the effect of checking the evil to a great extent for the t ime at least. But it is a SIgnificant fact that the first of these offences was committed on Plantation where the disturbance broke out three months after my departure. 49.-The r eform of thes e abuses was not accomplished without arousing again s t me the enmity of the planting body, while my compulso r y resid ence among them gave them opportunit ies of displaying it in a more disagreeable form. 50. -The s implest and plainest public duty, whenever clashing with the s uppo sed interests of an individual. was instantly treated a s a personal injury. Begin.ning with t he withdrawal of ordinary courtesy, t he managers, a s one after another was interfered with in his mal-practices, at length in concert beg-an to subject me to a series of pettyinsults a nd ,annoyances which were beginning to make life intolerable. Without a description of these Your Lordship will readily understand that they were easily in their power in the case of one who was living alone upon a sugar e state, ( no house being procurable elsewhere), and whose on ly neighbours were p e r sons connected with the tations. 51.-After other expedients had failed of effect, and a Hew Goverllor having by this tillfe arrived. they at length attacked me in the press, availing themselves of a news paper called the Calonis t, which is the organ of the plant ing interest.

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ApPEAL TO GOVERNOR. 1 2 7 .. 52.-1 men t ion this, becau se the occas i on which called forth the attack singularl y illu strates t h e spirit of the plHnting body," 53.-T h e person offended I had believed to have been m ore h igh minded t han his fellows, and capabl e of appreciating strict p erforman ce o f duty, even when apparentl y adv e r se to his ow n interes t. For t hi s reaso n, and because I was infor med that he never e nter ed a magistrate's court, I had accepte d from him a short time previ ous ly some trifling hospitality. 54.-However, when I had discharged fl'o m custody, as being in illega l confinement three of his Chin,ese l aboure r s, who had been arrested in t h eir ow n houses, without warrant for mere breach of contract, thi s gentl eman came d eliberately down to the polic.e station where I was holding court, and gross ly insu l ted me before a c r owd of people a nd a large number of manager s, who had evidently col lected for the purpose of witnessin g the scene. H av in g n o power of committin g for contempt, I could me r e l y order h i s removal from t he court, but as he wa s a s p ecia i justice of t h e peace, and t h e last who s h ould have set such an example, I appea l ed in person to the Govern 'or for the purpos e of having him r e m oved from the Bench. But neither on that occa sio n or any other, except during the short .regime of Major Mundy, did I r eceive support from the Executive against a planter. I was in too wea k health ( having been unable for s ome weeks previou s l y to walk without support, and being subject to contifiual attacks of feve r ) to press t h e point warml y at the time, and Your Lord s hip's gracious offer of my present appointment reath i n g me immediately afterw3Irds, I was reli eved from a pai n fu l position which my phys ical conditia:n could not have su pported much l onge r 55,-The article of the Colonist of March 2nd, above referred to, wh il e ostensibly written f o r anoth e r purpose set forth the real grievan ce against me, viz. :-That I did not "pl e ase the plan tel's!' As to m y particular act com p l a jn eg of, Viz. :-the of three Chi!!-ese? tlw

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12 8 DEALING WITH PROVED CRIME. esse ntial fact i s omitted, that their arrest had been with out '\V,arrant. While I, of .course, took no notice of the attack, I found a n unexpe cte d defender in the C1"eole, the organ of the coloured races. The articl es in that paper of the 29t h and 3 1st, t h ough containing trifli n g errors and remar ks w hi c h might have been better omitted, are n eve r thel ess a comp l ete a n s wer to the attack and are m ost u s e ful in 5 h .ewing the -opinion of inte1ligent co loured people on the m anner in which justi ce i s u s uall y administered. Ultimately t h e p l a n t in g organ threatened an appea l whic h was however ve r y advi sed ly n eve r attempte d a s the exposure of the legality of m y course would have pre c l uded from a contrar y one m ore complacent magistrat es i n other districts. But a m oveme n t was o n foot w h en the news of my pro moti on .arrive d to obtain from the Execut i ve my r emova l from the di strict, though I have no reaso n t o believe that s u ch pressure would have had any effect on Mr. Scot t 56 .-Had I b een ever undul y l e n ie n t to the colou r e d races, and eo uld I have been co n sidere d in any sense their champi o n i t would have been easy to und e rstand the es t imation in wh i ch I am proud to say, I was held by t h e m, and ,the bitter enmity of the p lanters. But thi, s was very far from being t h e case. No mag istrate was, I bel i eve, eve r more seve! e o n proved crime or misconduct, and in proof r may m ention that in the e l even m onths during wh ic h I held office in the first district n a med I ordered m ore floggings than h a d ever taken place before in a s imilar time, a nd o u t of a p opu lati on Qf twenty t h ousan d at t h e most I sente n ce d ove r twelve hundred* to imprison ment with. hard labour, an d of t hese probably two-fifths were identured i mmi g ,rants co nvi cted chiefly o f breaches of contract. D uring t h e same time, h owever, I have the a uthority of t he chief of the di strict polic e for saying, that the "feeding returns o f the "lock-ups" had been r educe d by more than one-third, which afl ,ords some indication of the extent to which imprope r impriso nm en t had b ee n prev iou s ly car ,ried I have not the returns hy m e, .but I know that these figures are w dthin the mark.--G. W. Pes V.

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SUGGESTED REFORMS. 129 57.-1 have. as I have said, entered thus minutely into m y personal experience simply and so l e ly as the on ly means within my power of proving to Your Lordship that under t he present system in Demerara independ ence a nd impartiality o n the part of the magistrates i s n ot a nd cannot be the rule and that the discontent which pervades all the labouring classes might under the ci rcumstanc es be naturally expected. 58.-If there was as I trllst there was, an exception in my case, I take no c r edit to myself whatever. Had I liv ed as long as most of my brother magistrates ar..idst the demor. alizing influence of all-pervading We s t Indian moral cowardice, '01' had I, as they mostly have, a family dependent on me, my course might h ave be-J n, though I trust not, on ly parallel with theirs. At all events, the difficulty and even danger of ,any other would have been vastly increased. 59.-For the.reform of the system described, of which I trust I have s hewn the extreme and urgent need, I would most respectfully suggest. the following measures as the only ones which in my opinion would thoroughly meet the exigencies of the case. GO.-As I consider that the attempt would be hopeless to obtain impartiality from district magistrates in Dem erara, a nd it i s yet desirable for the sake of order, that those officers should still r es ide in the country, I would suggest the creation of a new and superior class with sole jurisdiction in all cases both Civil and Criminal between e mpl oyers and e mployed, both indentured and free, and in cases of trespass.* They s hould be required to res ide in A common practice exists among managers of estates which are conveniently situated fell' the .purpose of coercing the neighbouring villagers to work for them 'by vexatious charges of trespass. I have known cases where individuals have been thus charged for using a right of way which had existed for many years, though hundreds of others w ere passin g over it daily whom there was llQ 9;1" even of prosfW. pes V

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130 ApPOINTMENT OF MAGISTRATES. town, and to hold a Court at each pol ice station not more than once a month. They shou l d moreover. be invested with a power of su mmarily puni shing illegal stoppage'of wages and also false arrests, and imprisonment both in its authors and its agents: the ordinary r edress of a civi l action being practically out of the reach of ninety-nine labourers out of a hundred. 61.-The r esi dence in town wou l d secur e tl1em against much of the p.ressure above described, and the diminished frequency of coui'ts \vould check .the tendency of governing immigrants by fear rather than by good treatment.* 62.-Except perhaps at first, the new mea sure need be attended with no expe n se. The district magistrates being relieved of a large portion of their work, would be able to take charge of much larger districts, and would be ab l e to take exc l usive cha rge of coroner's inque sts, which, when before ordinary jus tices, are n o t only attended with expense, but as I have shew n. are most unsatisfactorily conducted. G3.-Seven district magi strates would therefore amp l y suffice instead of twel ve, and .thus .500 a year wou l d be saved for the payment of three circuit magistrates. 64.-Finally. with respect to these officers I would re spectf ully suggest that they shou l d be appointed sively by the Secretary of State, and from perso ns who had had no previous connection with the West Indies, except perhap s in an independent position such a'S the army, or otherwise the object of the new creation woul d be partially defeated That this. is not only possible, but profitable I would mention the noton,ou s fact that some of the most successful estates (as admltted ,by Mr, Hincks in thelCourt of Policy) are those whlCh least frequentl y trouble the Magistrate. Mr. Clementson a late member of the Court of Policy, who is in some the most successful planter in the colony (having from very !i not for years

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IMMIGRANTS HOUS ING, 131 65.-The effect of this reform would be, I feel confi dent, the J.'emoval o f m uch of the prevailing discontent, not on l y a mon g the immigrants but among t h e Creo l e labourers, w h o are also under t h e present system too often on insufficie n t grounds a n d o n hardly plausibl e pretences. dep r ived of their rightful wages, Another though le ss potent cause of di scontent a mon g t h e immigrants is their hOllse accommodat i o n 66 ,-Although I be l ieve it would b e found on enquiry that t h e immi g!'ants are allowed considerabl y l ess room on the average than conv icts in English prisons; I do not allude to the questi o n of "cubic space" for, even i f the importance of t hi.s s ubjec t has not be en too muc h exaggerated elsewhere, I believe that when h o u ses are as li ttle imperv iou s to the ail' as those of the l ower cl asses in the tropics, bad ve n tilati on, if an ex i stent evil at all, i s t he least of those produced by overcrowding, 67,-The g reat majority of the h ouses in t h e Hnigger yards (as they are s till ordina r ily o a H ed ) which are allotted to immi g rants are b ui1t of two sto rie s a nd .consist of a number of very s m all ro o ms These are ordinarily, as far a s m y lim ited observation has e xtended fro m 9 t o 10 feet square, and a r e divided by thin and! easily-sca l e d partitions. 68.-Most managers have, I believe though I am far from s ure, been com p elled to allow a separate r oom to eac h married co u ple and their c hildren, though thr ee, f o ul' and eve n more s ingle men, are, I know, frequently crowded in the same pl ace. Hut manried and s ingle a li ke have to use passages, s h eds, euph e misti ca lly term e d kitchens, and other convenien ces comm o n to many others diff ering in caste'''' and sometimes in r ace. Moreover, from t h e fiJth y and l azy habits of t he people, the occupant s of the Although all Indians lose their, caste o n leaving Hind'ostan the d istinctions and jealou' s ies are kept up to a great extent in D emerara. Thel' a r e even many calling t hemselves Brahmins who whlle averse from work t h emselves, obtain the ance of their tasks by working upon the of t heir W. Des V.

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, 132 ERECT ION OF PRIVAT E CO T TAGES, uppe r story are a continua l s ource of discomfort and annoyance to t h o s e on the ground f l oor, and hence, in a great mea sure, a rise the e ndless qu a-nels, abusive language and assa ults l w h ich occupy so large a porti on of the Magisb"ate' s t i me. 69.-A p r oof of t he discontent of the Coolies w i t h this sta te o f things e v en i f there we r e no com p laints on t h e su bject, e xi sts i n the fact that whenever allowed to do so, they invariabl y erect f.or themselves private cottages of mud These are generally as may be su pposed, one of a wretched description, a n d the prefe re nce of them by t h e immigrants to the compal:atively substan tial hou ses pro vided by the e st.ates, i s u sually c i ted by the p lanter s a s the de liberate preference of squa l o r to comfort. 70.-Fro m perso n a l e nquiri es among man y immi grants I am satisfied that t h i s inference i s incol'l'ect, their invariable an swe r ha s been to t h e effect t hat these houses are their own; thei r p ri vacy is not s o continually invaded, and they a r e more secure from l oss o f their good s and attempts on t h e chastity of t h e i r wives. 7L-This evil would not admit of s o imm edi ,ate a remedy a s t he others ment i o ned. But a l o ng step tow3lrds its alleviation might be made by compe lli ng all the estates w h i c h hav e su rplus f r ont land s ( a n d these are very many) t o devote draine d s paces for the e r ect i on of thes e cottages by deserving immigrants wh o h ave the means a nd de s i r e to d o so ; and also by preve nting new i mmigrant barrack s being built of more than o n e sto r ey, b u t with kitc h ens, etc, for at m ost every ten peop l e 7 2 T he pe r m i ss i-on -to erect p ri vate hou ses is already largely granted on s o m e estates to free imm igrant s as a n inducement to them to remain on the e state. But thi s mode of living i s oth erwise d iscou r aged by the Pla nters, as the people b e i n g scattered over a larger area, t h ere i s a g reat difficulty of what i s c a n ed "en forcing di&cipIin e 'J, whic h r eally m eans turning t h e m o u t tQ

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LACK OF' WATER. 133 73.-Another frequent cause of complaint i s wan t of wate?' either of proper quality o r in suffic ient suppl y And this i n dry seas o n s s uch as occur r e d l a s t yea r, bec o m e s a c r uel hards h i p, T h ough t h e country i s everywhere i n ters ected by cana l s and trenches these in the dry season bec ome mo stly tainted with salt water, while many a r e poi s oned by t h e lee s from the rum di s t illeries On the Estate on which I re s i d ed la s t year, I have repeatedly s e e n the p e op l e oblige d after thei r day's work i n the field to g o more than a mil e for water, which when pro c ured wa s putrid in s mell a nd di s gus.t in g to the tas te, and I was info r med that this evil ex i sted i n eve n a mOre exagge rated form on other Estates. Efforts were undoubtedly made to procure p u r e water at a g reat expense from a distance o f 20 mil es up the D emerara River, but eve n this was m uddy and u n fit f o r drinki n g, and m oreove r the distance and difficu lty of transport inevitably rendered the supply meagre and irregular. 74.-There is n o excu s e for such a wan t of water in Demera r a. The ave r age fiall of rain o f 100 inches (there w e r e eve n from 60 to 70 inche s last is amply suffic i e n t to su ppl y all the wants of t h e estates if t h e com monest precautions we r e taken f o r preserving i t. 75.-0ne o r two estates are now setting a good ex ample in providing iron tanks, but this could not pro babl y be a fford e d by all. Bu t from whatever source derived, a suffic ient suppl y of comparative l y pure water s hould and cou ld easily b e enforced from all estates to w hich immig-rants are allotted. 76.-Another mu c h needed reform is that of the Immigration Department. Its present head i s a thoroughl y upright, con sc i entiou s and indefatigabl e public officer, a nd he i s, a s far as p o s s i b l e in his ci rcumstan ces ind ependent. The difficulti es o f his position h ave been very much lightened by t he present Governor even before I left the co lony, but under the present system b i s time nec essarily b e chiefly talle!, up by the

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134 IMMIGRATION AGENTS mer e I'outine of the office leaving but little time for the propel and searching investigation of the complaints which are continually poul'ing in upon him from aU qual'ters. 77.Hi s subordinates are insufficient in number for the pl"Oper performance of their present duties and entirely s o, if others s uch a s it i s desirable should be per formed by the office. were added to them. 7S.-At pre s ent the Sub Immigration Agents visit estates at stated periods for the purpos e of re-inde nturing anu paying bounty, 01' of grnnting ft'ce ti ckets to immi grants w h ose term of service has expire d, and only at othel' t ime s for the investigation of some matter of plaint of more than ordinary gravity. A s they almost invariably, when on their travels, accept the hospitality of managers it i s hardly to be expected that their duties be strictly, regularly and impartially perfonned. 79.-And, indeed, I have good reas on to believe that they are not. For J have myself known cases where immi. grant s indentlll'es have bee n imprope rl y and carel e s s l y extended, mH) where complaints have been but cursorily and far f"om thoroughly investigated. Moreover, by the very anomal ou s system introduced by the late Governor of granting them travelling allowance individually, they were made virtually indtpendent of the head of the office and fre e of propel' control. SO.-But even granting that the present w ork i s effi ciently performed, there is another duty. which, for the sake of justice to the immigrants, should be performed by the office. Sl.-Under the present law an employe r i s bound t o pay to his indentured labourerS" the same price for their work as is paid to free labourers. It is, however, notori ous that thi s obligation is as a rule evaded, and sometimes openly broken. ] believe that thi s anomal y has been removed by the present Governor since my departu re from the co lony.-G. W Des V.

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. PRICE OF WORK 135 82.-The formeris easily d o ne where all "(j.eld labour, as in Demerara, i s done by tasks, by allotting to both indentured and free, an equal area for weeding, ploughing, or cane-cutting, at the sa me price, but se lec t in g the more distant* field or ground with more labour for the indentured. 83.-As regards actual breaking of the law, I have kn.own cases and believe them to be not uncommon where immigrants have been compelled to work for a price which free labourers would have, and sometimes actually have. refuse d 84.-Jt is quite impossible, even for the most impartial magis t l'ate under the present. system t o do justice in such cases, or in many others, in which immigrants are aggrieved The manage r can always produce a numbe r of overseers, drivers, a nd others dependent on him, to make an overwhelming weight of testimony in his favour, while the immigrant, who is perhaps generally in the wrong) has not the intelligen ce and cannot produce proper witnesses to present his case clearly wh en he i s in T.he right. He has thus a direct inducement to s uppl ement his ignorance by falsehood and suborned perjury, which being usually .transpa'rent, of course invalidates other very po ss ibly truthful testimony on the same s ide. 85 .-0n t he other hand my experience has taught me that fal se hoDd in court i s by no means confined to the coloured races, and that the white s connected with estates, whether managers. overseers or engineers, are often by no mean s scrupulous about the truth when their interest 01' their fears enter into the question at issue: and this cla ss of fal se hood as proceeding from greater intelligence, i s of com.'se the more difficult of detection. 86.-As a result of all these difficulties in the path of a m ost conscientious magistrate, an immigrant but rarely Distance is of great importance, where, as on most of the estates, some fields are 3 to 5 miles from, while others are m the. immediate vicinity of the buildings.-G. W Des V

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136 INSPECTIONS > wins a case agains t hi s estate, either c ivil or criminal ei ther as prosec utor, plaintiff or defendant. The magish'ates return would, indeed, indicate otherwise from the large number of cases which appear there as dismissed. But o f these but a very s mall portio n have been really presse d by the managers. For it i s n otorious that very many info rm ations are most improperly compromised by money pay ment s and in these cases but a slight s how of res istance if any, is maintained in COUl't. 87.-These evils and many others like them call in my opinion, only be r e m e died by the appointment of Govern ment o fficer s whose duty it would be to make un expected visi t s to estates, and whenever oc.casion might require, for t he purpose of pers onally inspecting work a ss igned and the payment o ffer e d to immigrants, and of a scertaining the true facts in any doubtful case where these l&bour ers were concerne d, so that t h ere might be a l ways forthcoming; when ne cess 'ary, independent and di s in terested ev idence as a guide to t he magistrate in his deci s ion. 88.-The police would not answer for this duty, as in the fir s t place they are, for the most pad, entirely ignor ant of any of the eastern Hl.I1g.uages, and moreover would be too much under the influence of the managers many of w hom are a l s o justices of the peace, and would thus be furnished with a ready m ea n s of bringing pressure to bear upon them. 89.1 would r espectfully sugges t that for this purpose the number of SubImmigration Agents s hould be increased, that they s hould be instructed to acquire a prac tical knowledge, a s might be sufficiently done in a very shor:t time, of the different kinds of work on the sugar plantations and s hould be forbidden t o acc ept under any circ um s tances t h e hospitality of managers, which i s certain to be largely proffered to them. 90.-As tending to prove the pl'opl'iety of this restric tion I may mention that it i s voluntarily placed upon him self by a n officer of C'Onsiderably higher standing than the

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DR. SHIER 137 Sub-Immigration Agents, and I have the less hesitati o n in mentioning his name in a matter which redounds so much to his credit in that I have no perso nal acquaintance with him; I mean Dr. Shier, the In s p ecto r of estates' hospitals. 91.-So strictly sc rupulous is he i n this respect that he i s f requently obHge d for hi s night's lodging to put up with s uch vc},' y .scanty accommodatio n as is afforded by the Court Rooms at the police stations: and I cannot but think that such scruples should be encouraged as could easily be done by furnishing a room with necessary fUl'nitu'!.'e at station s for the u se of all public officers on their official circu its. 92.-As Your Lord s hip might deem it a matter of difficu lty to find pro pel' persons t o fill such offices as I have proposed, I would most res pectfully venture to suggest that sllc h might be found among discharged non commi ss ioned oflice r s of the Army who had i n India. 93 -Their resi dence the re would have to a great extent acclimatized them to all tropical climates, and would possibly have given them a su flicient knowledge of one or other of the Indian languages to enable them to make themselves understood to a few of the immigrants of each estate. Their p e n sio ns wou ld moreover a ss i s t their salaries and if they had been engaged in regimenta l or brigade offices, they would have learnt something of official r outi ne and corres p on den ce. 94 -1n conclus ion, it is not without earnest thought and a profound conviction of the good policy a s well as justice of the mea sure that I venture to suggest a reform of the present artificial system o f immigration which i s taking place in British Guiana, and this almost as much for the interest of the planters as of the immigrants themse lves 95.-Fol', notwithstanding the superior value of the acclimatized immigrant, I am sati s fied that the power of obtaining an unlimited amount of llew hands, to so great

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138 COST OF IMMIGRATION a n ex -tent at the public cost is an encouragement of an uneconomical u se of existing labour, and of carelessness and eve n cruelty in the treatment of those already under indenture. 96.--And I would respectfully urge that on higher grounds the limit has been reached at which immigratio n should be allowed to continue in its present footing as a diTect btu'then on the public purse. It was, no doub t fair enough that the general revenue of the colony s hould at first pay a third of the cost of immigration. Laboll -l' was absolutely required, not on ly for the advance ment of the general prosperity. but to prevent the wholesale abandonment of cultivation. The neg ro labourers, moreover required competition a s an incitement to industry, and the le sson which has been taught them ha s been doubtless wholesome a nd just, though a very severe one. But I would most l'espectfully urge that its severity is now bec oming disproportionate to its justice, and every year more so. 97.-Though production h as greatly increased it has not done so in proportion to t h e labour introduced and wages have consequently fallen in value all over the colony. In the dry seasons planters have often difficulty in finding employment for their indentured immigrants and have therefore but very little for free labourers, whom I saw last year in large gangs, perambulating the country unable to find work at all. Moreover t he excessively high taxation (raised chiefly from articles of general consumption), whi c h is necessitated by the annual charge.j( for the colony' S share of immigration, makes exceptionally dear-nearly all the necessaries of life used by the labou-rers, both Creole and Immigrants ,000. I have not the exa ct figw'es at hand but I believe that thi s is an approximate amoWlt. A c omparison between the tariff and prices eXlsting in Briti s h Guiana with that of the other West Indian colonies would show in how high a degree this is true.-G. W. Dcs V.

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LARGE PROFITS 139 98.-These a r e thus p ayi n g in two :ways for what, instead of a benefit, i 8 a d irect, and i s becoming a grievous injury to them. On the other hand t he planters obtain free of duty the g reater part of the s uppli es peculiarl y required b y the estates, and thus pay but a mere trifl e towards the gene r a l revenue. 99.-1 b e li eve that on a cl ose investigation of this subject your Lordship wou l d be convi n ced that the tim e has come when the planters s hould pay the who l e cost of immigration which now far more than exclusivel y benefits themselves. lOO.-They are well ab l e to do so, f.or i t i s notorious that a ll the we ll managed estates ( l and no oth e r s have a righ t to be considered) h ave for some years bee n making l a rge profits;':', These were greatly increased by the destruction of the estates in Louis i a n a 0 which a lo n e besides p r oduced the pecu liar kind of crys tallized (or as i t i s technically called vacuum pan) sugar which! i s so greatly in demand in t h e United States, a n d were again l a r gely in creas ed by the enhanced value of all kinds of sugar produced bY' the troubl es in Cuba. t The estate of "Schoon Ord" has for three years just puhlished ne t profits averaging 15, 000 (last year 17,000 if I recollect rightly). It has no superiority over 100 other s beyond freedom f rom embarrassment, command of oapital and good management, the land is co n s idered inferior to the average, and not many years ago was 'nearly .being abandoned as worn out and wor. thless. Ammonia has worked-the change.-G.W. Des V. o Except Mauritius, but !this supplies mainly the Australian market.-G.W. Des V t T o shew what the pr-ofits must have been this year I woul d mention that I was inf9rmed by the proprietor of an estate of an aver age s i ze making crystallized sugar that he made a "handsome" profit when his crystallized sugar sold at '6 cents per l b. hut the ave rage pri ce this year has been $6.50 and has been as high a s $7.50. Supposing 40,000 of the 80,000 hogsheads made in the colony to be crystallized, the increased profits on the -above woul d amount fo r the year to $540,000 ,000. The value of common sugar has also been enhanced but not in proportion.

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140 REDU CTION OF EXPENDITUR E lOl.-If any portion of these profits in a n y way benefited t h e la bou rers there would be l ess c ause for the m easures But s o far fro m that wages as I h ave s hewn a r e falling rath e r than rising. l02.-Even whe n the whol e direct cos t of immigra / tiO D is borne by the planters t he general r e v e n ue will still be charged for e xp enditure indirec tly occ a sio n e d by it with an amount fully proportionate to any advantage gained from it by others than planters, t h ese being t he very small mercantile a nd s h opkeeping community who are not ow n e r s of or direc tly c onnected with the sugar estates. 103.-1 have, as I have s aid, no statistics to guide me, but I feel su r e that you r Lordship by refer ence to them w ill find that the 000 or t h e reabouts annually paid for poli ce, hospital s, a s y l ums, gao l s and expenses of justice, at least ,000 has been the direc t r esu l t of Coo lie i mmigration. This amount is annually increased and to it must also be added the expense of the immigration office, or ,0 00 m o re. 'I he r eductio n of the gen e ra! expenditure by the ,5 00 01' the reabouts devoted to imm i g ration would permit of the admissio n f ree of du ty, of all t h e articles which are necessaries of life to t h e l abou r e r s ( both Creo l es and Immig r ,ants) and thu s would be, n ot o nly an 'e normou s immediate boon to t h e m, but in accordance with the ordinary ope ration of free trade wou ld eve ntually benefit the planter himsel f l04.--'W e r e the production of the country to be Jow- ered o r eve n Its progress che c ked by t h e p rop os ed measure, con siderations of policy might s till be all o wed t h eir weight against abstract justice. But I believe this be in no deg r ee the case. For even if less immigrants were applied for whi c h in view of the very large margin of profit o n sugar cultivation, I consider very u nlik e ly. their add itional c.ost wou ld secure better t reatm en t for those already in the country, which with cheaper living w o uld render alreadyacquired l abour m ore willi n g a nd t h erefore m o r e producti've In the end I believe that the g ai n would be not l ess that of the planters than of the laboure:rs.

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... RE-INDENTURE. 141 ,IOS.-In conclus ion I feel bou nd to answer three plau s ible arguments usually put forward by the planters in proof o f the well b e in g of Immig.rants, viz. : l s t, the large number of the m wh o l'e inrl e nture, 2nd, the prese n t s mall death rate, and 31'd the large su ms t a ken away by t h ose who return to their ow n c ountry, IOG.-It i s true that a large number of C o olie s annual1y reindenture t hemselves at the expiration of their service, but ,this may be partly ascribed to many other causes than their well-being in servitude 107. -The $50 (10.8-5. 4d ) paid to them for re-inden turing often increased $5 or $10 by individ ual proprieto r s i s alone a ve r y powerful temptat i o n. The present advarl tage of a year's income paid d ow n may well make blind the ig n o r ant Coolie t o the p ossibilities o f the future. A similar advantage wou ld be apt to di stort the judgement and overc ome the prudence o f pel'sons in a far higher rank of life, and this tangible temptation i s to my knowledge s om etimes increas ed by false allurements held out by "drivers" of their ow n r aceJ wolto have been promis ed premiums for the procurement of "hands". lO8.-But notwithstanding these temptations it would b e fou nd on enquiry that but very fe w of the stronger and m o r e provident, who have s aved any c o n siderable sum of money, can be induc ed to re indent-ure except on estates where the treatment i s gene r ally known to be good l09.-Planters a s a rule do not exercise any discriminatio n in the choice of those to whom they give bounty. To gi ve another almost unneeded proof of the actual profit attending considerate treatment of the labourers, I may mention that an estate called Vl'eed-en-Hoop, obtains all its -required supplies of labour among old hands who have been .attracted from other estates; and these apply in such numbers as to enable the selection of the best after probation. They are of course far IIrore valuable on account of their being acclimatized and being practised in the various operations of agricultw'e and manufacture, than new importations for whom the same price has to be paid.-G.W. Des V.

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142 SANITARY MEASURES Enquiries are but se ld om made about character or precedent, and a s t hough a large numbe r of re-indentures r edou nded to the c redi t of t h e management with proprietor s at h o me, hands are often accepted respecting whom the s li g htest enquiry would .have di scovered that t h ey had spent the greater part of their previous service in i dl e ness, desertion and i mprisonment, consequentl y compl a ints are frequent of de sertio n foll owing immediately after r eceipt of bounty IID.-But t here is another, and, perhaps, the strongest reason of all f.or the a mount of re-indentures, v i z., that for those who have no capital freedom i s of HttIe val ue as against indentures made mOre attr active by the bounty and (as I have above described ) privacy of living. Land i s only to be obtain ed at a h igh price (the Government rate prac ticall y precludes sal es) and t h e India n coo li e i s not fond enoug h of agriculture to make a n y immediate sacri fice suc h as uncleared land r equires, to engage in it on his ow n accou n t. Neithe r stoc k raisin g (his favourite occupation) or s h opkeep ing ca n be commence d on nothing, so free coolies without cap ital a r e almost necessarily ob liged t o wo r k upon the sugar Estates. It is t h us that the bounty comes in as so peculiarly strong a temptation to all suc h the strong industrious and pr,actical labo u rer feelin g that he will avoid t he seve r e pressure o f ser vitu de, and the weak and id l e looking to dese'!.'ti on, or at the wo rst irnpri sonment* to which he has p rpba b l y been well accustomed before 11l.-2nd. The death rate has certainly been l a rgel y reduced by the sanitary measures forced upo n t he Estates by t h e Inspector of Hospital s, and if as I am informed it was last year little over 2 per cent. i s hardly above t h e ordinary EU' l'opea n average. But the returns .;: It is far from unccmmon for irr:migrants (especially those who in their own country have been accustomed m e rely to indoor work) to break the law with the especial view or going to gaol. Many have told me that they were unable to earn sufficien t food on the Estates, and preferred the regulations of the gao l though accompanied by shot-drill and confinement.'

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DESERTION. 143 give I believe a far from correct idea of the a ctual rate, a nd for this reaso n that n o account i s taken o f de serters 112 -Many have deserte d from their E states, c hiefly from inabiiity* but s ome of cours e from want of will to earn propel' s u stenance to earn a precarious liveli h o od by beggin g and stealing, die whil s t s till deserters These d eaths are probably for reas ons stated be l o w, many o f them not known and even when known do not enter into E states' returns fro m the imp o ssibility of. ident.ifi cation. 113. -It i s well kn o wn that but a very s mall number of immi g rants have left t h e countr y oth e r than those exported by Government. 114. Some, chiefly Chi n ese, h ave g o n e to Surinam and Trinidad, but these. are known fro m the frequent c ommunication s between the two countries and fro m the strict watch kept upon outgoing ve sse l s to be very few, a nd their l oss ha s probably been m ore than compensated by immigration from the Frenc h and other i s lands Bu t even deducting thes e and the 7 500 01' who have returned to their ow n countr y f r om the t otal num bel' imported, there still remains an enormo us loss to be accounted for. If I rec o llect rightly about 79 000 Indians Several most intelligent Chinese, one of t h e m having emigrated free 1;leing in a pos ition which g a ve him no inducement to spea k untruth on the subjec t, has to ld m e that three-fourths of the C h ine s e labourers, imported from Canton, 3rti sans and other workmen who had never been accus tomed to outdoor labour, and 'had been infuTlned in China that they would be allowed to follow their trades in British Guiana. These are the people who find it impossible to e arn sufficient sustenance labour in the sun and become deserters and thieves This remark h olds good in a less degree of labourers impor. ted from the other Chinese ports, and even in some degree of the India ns. I am satisfied from a general concurrence of testimony that a large am ount of imposition has at one time or another ,been practised upon them, and that their cond i t ion in British Guiana h as been a grievous disappointment to all Obinese and very many of the G. W. Des V

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144 EARNINGS OF IMMIGRANT S. a nd Chinese have been imported to which moreover are to be added the bi -rth s whic h in t he absen ce o f statistics, I pu t down at 15 000 during the twel ve years of immigratio n and yet ther e are not n o w in the country 45,000 at the hig, hest. The death returns cannot account for this fearful dep op ulation and if not it become s certain t hat from so me cause or other they are not accurate. 115. The se figu r es a l o ne, if t h ere were no other proof, would serve to s how t ha t the l ots of immigrants in Britis h Guiana has not been an easy one. ;I!l.6.-3rd. The 6,000 who have returned to India have undoubtedly taken with them a large sum of money. and there is .al s o a very conside rable sum remaining in t he country belong in g to' Indian Coolies')f-being invested in s tock gold and s ilver ornaments and othe r kinds of property. But one w ho know s the habits and saving disposition of the Cooli es and at the same time considers the amount which s hould have b e en earned by them dur ing the 20 yea r s of immigration is astonished, not at the large amount s aved, but at its comparative littleness 117. A very low e stimate of the amount actually earned by the 65 000 Indian Coo lie s imported during twenty years and their children would be ,000 000, con sidering that t he valt:e of the Sugar, Rum and Molasses made mainly by is little und e r ,000,000 per annum, and that they are earning at the present moment at least ,000t per annum, that 39,000 had been already imported in 1 86 1, and that wages have greatly fallen since their fir s t introduct ion '" For reasons which, if Your Lordship should desire, I will explain in a future letter, only a small frachlon of Chinese leave any ,property whatever, and the few exceptions are chiefly gaming-house keepers, uduous" and perhaps a dozen small shopkeepers.-G. W Des V t Supposing the amount of Indian Coolies in the country to be now 38 ,000, and allowing 8 ,000 for ineffective,...!uch prisoners, sick, etc., who are supported by others, this would only afford 62 d per head for f ood and clothing. Whereas the Governmc::nt, buying at wholesale prices, cannot feed its prisoners at Jess than ad per day.-G. W Des V

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PENURIOU S HABITS. 145 118.-The Emmigration Commissioners' report states the amount taken away by returned coolies up to 1867 at about ,000 allowin g for omiss i ons in that, for money t<1}1;en away in the last two years, and for the valu e of property in the houses of Coones, still in the country, 1 am sure that ,000 would be a very high estimate for the whole a mount of property l'eallzed, because it is to be remembered that the richer Cool ie s return to India, when they have the opportunity, ,aud I know that a majority of those left behind posse s s nothing at a ll 119.-But from t hi s ,000 must be deducted at least ,000 for profit made on savings, much of them being invested i n cattle and other profitable securities so t hat the actual saving would be only ,000 or 1d. per 15. of the who l e amount ea.rned. 120.-No one who knows the extremely meagre diet of t h e Coolies and the penurious habits of t h e great majority of them, could cons ider such a saving as any argument for their general prosperity. believe that a careful enquiry into t hi s subject would show that property has almost entir e l y been realized by the exceptionally stron g 'and that the m a ny die prematurel y a nd penniless. 122.-Your Lordship, if you should have been kindly induced to read this lengthy communicati on ( which I would most gladly have abridged if I had found it possi ble to do so with justice to the subject) will 1 fear think I have produced a picture ovel'co l oure d as a whole, and in correct in delinea t ion and detail 123,-1 ca n only say that I have anxious ly endeavoured not to do so, and I firmly believe that if t h e who l e truth could be unv eiled, my caSe wou ld be found rather under than overstated. 124.-1 am quite prepared to bear the responsi pilitr of all I h ave said, and if, as I fear will o!W day

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146 SIR PHILIP WODEHOU SE. necessa r y. a Com mi ss ion of Enquir y should be appointed, 1 s h all be ready and willi n g to produce strong ev id ence in p r oof of my facts a nd in support of my opinio n s. 1 25.-Thl::: r e i s a gentl eman s aid to be o n hi s way to England w h o formerly governed British Guiana; J mean Sir Philip W ode holl se. I on l y k no w him fro m his reputa tio n and his l egi s l ation. Fro m these however, especia lly f!"om the O rdinance passed by him which t oo k away all summary juris di ction f r o m the ordinary justices of the peace, I feel sure that h e had already beg u n t o see the germs of ev il wh ich have been g reatly aggravated sin ce hi s t ime. 126.-Though for t hi s reason he would of course not be ab l e to support m y statements to t h eir f ull e xtent, I am con fide n t that if Your Lords h ip should see fit to lay this letter before him he would allow t h e possib ility a nd even perhaps t h e probab ility of their truth H27.Should S i r Francis Hincks, the late Governor, be of a co n ti-ary op ini o n, and I pres ume from hi s admin istratio n and legi s lation which obtain ed for him so great a popularity among planters, that he would be, I confidently refer to a great numbe r of the clergy of aU denom ination s in suppo r t of m y statements. The Bishop, with whom I have alway s been on very intimate terms and who, though he has not had my opportunities of b e in g behind t h e s cenes and having been f orme rl y a plantation proprieto r himself i s i n clined to l ook upon planters' fail ings with a so m ewhat l e ni e n t eye I know agrees with me to a great e xten t, and would, at all events g ive me c redit for s inceri ty. 128.-The present Governor has been so s h ort a time in the colony that it is imp oss ible h e can have yet see n all the ev il s p oin t e d out, 01' any to their f u ll extent, a nd hiS' position must a l ways Scree n from him many of t h em. But I know t hat he has already di scove red so m e o f them, "vas m::!clitating alleyifi.t i o n or

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PLANTERS I N LEGISLATURE. 1 47 129.-Frorn few others cou l d t h e \,yhole truth within their know ledge be obtained unles s they were put upon oath. For pl'actically there are no educated men i n the couiltry who are n o t directly or ind i rectly either dependent for t h e i r l ivelih ood on or under the control and influence of, the planters. lSO. -The Portugues e merchants and s hop k eepers, and the C reole peasant proprietors who form the only i ndepe n dent cla ss are a l mo s t wholly illiterate, t h e f i r s t entirely so. 131. -The power of t h e p lanters in the Legis lature, added to .their other influence makes the whole body of public officers, and' eve n the C lergy i u colonia l pay in awe of them, especially since their success agains t the late Chief Justice. 1 32. -But two public 'officers whom I have ali'eady mentioned, one well known, the other personally unknown to me I be l ieve to be sufficiently high m inded to speak out what they know, and know ledge of t h e subjects on whic h I have treated i s inferior to none their respecti ve duties having given them peculiar mean s of acquiring it. l mean Mr. C!'osby, the Immigration Agent Gene r a l and Dr. Shier, the Inspector of E states' Hospitals. 13S. -The reforms which I have s uggested, I believe to be abso lutel y necessary, not o nl y for the sake of justice, and of the comfort and happiness of the labouring classes, but for the i nterests of the wholE!; co l o n y, and espec ially to secure the public peace whic h has been -'so seriousl y threat ened a s to alarmt t h e p lanters themsel ves 1 mean representative powers, the Governor being if he desires, almost absolute, through the interest which he can exercise over 1mmigration.-G. W. D es V t-This is shewn by the meeting in London, me n tioned above. and strongly conf irmed by a gentleman, Mr. Clementson, previously mentioned, as one of t h e most successf u l and hurr.ane, and, I believe, one of the most intelligent p lanters in the co l ony. I n a visit to me the other day he informed me that he was seriously contemplating the sale of his e state (which owIng to the want of capital would probably not realize mOTe than five years' profits) owing to his belief in approaching troubles among the Coolies -<;. W D es V.

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148 AN ENORMOUS BOON .. They CQuld not be achieved of course without strenuoU"s opposition and some difficulty, nor at first without expense. But the expe n se would be trifling compared with the ultimate g o ain, the difficulty and opposition would be readily overcome by a Government which is or might be so absolute as that of British Guiana. 134.-Should these reforms, o r others better to secure the same ends, proceeding from your Lordship' s riper judgement and more extended experience, be accomplished through YOUli intervention, not only wil1 an enormous boon be at once conferred upon 140,000 out of the 150,000 people in the colony, but the ultimate gain. to the whole community would be s uch as to cause you to l ook back upon them in after days as not the least among the successes of your col onial administration I have, etc., (Signed) G Des Voeux, ,Administrator of the Government of St. Lucia. The Right Honorable, The Earl Granv ille K. G.

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. APPENDIX II. JAMES CROS BY. IMMIGRATION AGENT GENERAL During the preparation of this volume the following verse appeared in the "Daily of 24th March 1934. The composer was Mr Peter Ruhomon, a de sce ndent of one of the Immigrants over whose welfare Mr. Crosby so ably presided. Mr. Ruhomon added the following note:-10,1 ames Crosby was a sc hoolfellow of that distinguished Victorian statesman-Lord Beaconsfield He wa s cated at Cambridge University, and through the force of adventitious circumstances, came t o the Colony where he was appointed in 185 8 to the important office of Immi gration Agent General. HHis warm espousal of the immigrants' cause and hi s vigorous advocacy of their rights and privileges under the Immigratio n Ordinan ce won for him the confidence, esteem and veneration of the whole immigrant population, suc h as i s se ldom a cco rded to .an officer of Government. "The term "Krazbi," by which he was popularly known by the immig 1rants has since passed into currency a synonym f o r all subsequent Immigration Agents." "He died in 1880." "In t he words of an obituary notice which appeared in the Colonist, he was ua gentleman s uch as Eng-Janet sends, put few epoug-h to the Colonie$." ..

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"KRAZBI" "Who comprehend s hi!?" trust, and to the sa me, Keep s faithful with a s ingl e ne ss of aim, Wordswo'rth!s HapP'Y Wa1'r io-;', With heart keen-sen sed to cries o f human pain, And mind rightpoi se d to claims of hurpa n worth He faced h i s task; and strov e t o bring renef To those whom Fate constrained to toils of earth, brooked n o parley with the overlords j His wa s a task of holiness t o d o; And to the task he bent a n iron will Wi t h high resolve and with a courage new, The m ee k untu to red so n s o f Hindustan In him a Ma Bap and Protecto r found; Who wrought with s kill thei::.' sorrows t o a ssuage And ease t h e strain from stringen t law s that bound And froin h i s lip s they hem d and understood; And in hi s br, ave and kindly e yes they read The me ssage of a clearer, sur e r, h o p e In thoughts expresse d; in thoughts uns aid, Age s may r oll and deed s of lesse r m e n I Reced e"to region of forgotten things ; The nartle of t hi s goo d mall s h all still be ble ss ed And held a loft. on Time's sustaining wings "'-Mother-Father.

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INDEX A Aborigines Society__ .. _* __ lu6 Aho uya __ ............ "" .... __ __ .. _.5::S A huse by Press __ .. _____ ... ... _H9 Abuses __ ." ......... ........ _____ ._.116, 125, 126 Abusive Language ... ____ 8, 9l. 132 Accawoio ___ .H __ H _"''''''__ .11, 30, 50 Accident. __ ,, __ _69, 104, 105 in Rapid __ .___ _.24 Accouri.._ ... ,.,._ "" ______ ...27, 52. 80 Actio n for Damages__ .. ___ 126 Admiral Milne ________ __ "_"H.1. 3 Nelson _"'___ .. _....:.22 Africa____ __H.H _____ 25, 91 Aifrican TraveL__ _A6 Agouti *____ ___ MH" ____ 52 Akyrna "N" __ ____ 20 Alcock __ ... _H ____ 1 8 Alpha S.S. ._ ... ___ ___ .1 AJlen Geo l'ge .. _. ______ 12 Alleyne ____ "_, _____ ______ 12 Alligator, R ide o n ___________ 22 Alluvium __ ._N' .. __ __________ .10 Amazon River __ .. ___ ___ .. _83 Amazons _____ ___ .. ___ ._ _.45 America __ .... ___ _______ 1, 3 American Ai r Base _, .. ___ .. .. 7 Ammonia __ ___ ... __ 140 AI:ecdote_ .. __ 8 15, 18 22. 2a. 30, 39, 40, 47,.58, 61, 73.-80; 90, 95, 97 Allimal Life in Bri;tish Guhuia-21, 52, 53 Anna Regina, Plantati oll_. ___ 74, 7 5 AnL__ ",_ .. 1!1, 20, 60, 61; 62, 63, '64 Manouri .. ____ ._ __ ._55 Ants. Communication of _____ 63 Antagonism of Planters-._ 109 Anti-Slavery S ociety___ 106 Appeal to Governor_ __. 127 Arpoin'tments of Magistrates 130 AlCiwak ___ ___ ___ 8 10, 50, 51, 69 Archery __ ________ .. ... ______ ._._29 Arrest _. ____ .______ ,_. _23 ." Illegal .99, 121 127, 130 Arrow _________ .. ___ ........ _. __ 28 ,Fish ___ .. ________ 28, 30 .. ,Poisoned -'-_ __ __ 55 Artisan. __ ___ ______ 143 Arum..__ ______ ___ 6 34 Assault 8, 23. 91, 116, 125, 126, 132 At Last .____ --26 A (Contd:) Atkinson Fiel d ____ .. .. __ __ ____ ._7 Attempted ________ -31 Attorney-General ____ __ __ ._ .... 1l6 AuditOlGencral __ ... ___ __ ___ ._J09 Austin Bishop_. __ .__ .. _14, 146 Austria __ ____ __ __ .. .. _68 A wning_.____ __. .. __ 4 14 B Balata -----_.--_. __ __ 74 Tapping _____ .. __ 74' Bamboo ________ .34 Banabo() _. _. ._ JO 8anana. Wild .. _' ____ 'H'_ ....34 Barbadian____ .. _,_._5, 12 Barbado5.._ .__ _3, 88, 102 10 5 Barima River __ ----'_....3 8 74 Barracks ... _._ 73, 107, 132 Barrister ... _____ ____ __106 Basakwai ________ ______ 26 Bat ___ ....... _,_, ___ .l2 20" 21, 64, 75, 82 ,Bloodsucking ___ -20, 21 .. ,Vampire_._._ __ .. 20, 21 Bates, Mr. __ ____ .. __ 83 B attle of Nil.:!____ ___ ... __ 22 Bavaria .. __ ,_ .. __ _._68 Bea, co n sfield. Lord_ 149 Bea:umont, Chief Justice __ .9S. 96. 9 7 .. 119. 147 Bedstead .. ...: ___ .... _.......27 Bees' Nest ___ __. __ ._59 Beef __ ,_ .. _____ m ____ .. 1 Begging _. _-':._143 Bell-Bird ________ _10 Benab ___ H' _...21 25, 3 0 34" B enares __ ___ Bench, Managers on_____ 123 Berbice .. ,_. __ ,_ 36; 7 3 Coa6t __ .. _. '12 B e rlill_. _______ __ 9 11, 12 Bermuda__ _______ 1 2, 3 Bete Rouge ___ ._. ._ 38 Bird .. ____ 6 39, 41, 42, 54, 59, 71 Biscuit _:... ___ H. 2 7 Bishop ::' __ 22, 26 .. Austin_, 1 '4. 146 Bittel' Cassava __ .-52 Bittern 39 Black Sand __ m_ '84

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11. B-(Oontd.} Blockade Runner Blood Bloodsucking Bat Blo sso m Blow-Pipe Dart. Poisoned 3 21 20, 2 1 35 5 4 55 ._..2 85 23 98 Bluejacket Boat Hauling Sa!l.e of Tent up Rapids Boalhand Boatmen' s S ongs Boatswain Book-keeper 4 13, 1 8 1 9 22, 30 5. 85 2 15 Bo o ts Bosanquet, B{)ston Boulder Boundary Curtis & Co. 62. 69 _125 Post B oviander Bow-and-Arrow Boycott Brahmin Brain Concussion Brandy Brazil Nut Tree Breach of Contract .. of Peace Bread, Cassava Bribery Brine 8' _27, 28 27, 28 1 0, ZJ, 79 54 105 131 104 -.31 4 28, 55 26 115. 121, 122, 127, 128 ____ --8 49, 5 1 91 67 Britis h Guia n a 4 6, 10, 12 22. 26, 35, 112 British Guiana Gold Company Brougham L ord Brown, Barrington Brummagem Gun Buck __ Ltd 68, 76 -86 45, 58 54 80 Ruffs The _"'_....\. _____ ,,_,,62 Bull-Frqg ___ Bully .. Tree bumble Ee<' Burning Tree Bus h-Dog -Master .. -Negro -Rope -Turkey Butterfly Buttress 58 __ 23 .. 74 41 _64 52 40 10 11.29 80 41 -.37 c Calabash ___ ._50 Cal omel _J3 Cambridge .... __ ._ __94, 149 Cflmoodi. Siz e oL __ .. ___ ..... __ 53, 54 Camooni Creek ____ 21, 35, 36, 3 7 Canada _____ _______ .. 1 3 73 Canaima __ ___ 48, 49, 71 Canal 74, 133 Cane-Cutting 135 Canimapo 30. 3 1 C anister 7 9 Cannes 86 Canoe_10, 23, 33, 34. 35, 39, 49, 71, 81 Canton 143 Capon Hatching Eggs_. _____ 6R Captain's Quarters 2 Carlton House Terracc_ .. ___ .". ___ .-B7 Carriage ____ ___ _____ __ _98 Cases, 'Number of__ 123 Caseeri 49 Cassava 49 Bitter 52 to Bread 49, 5 1 t o P o ison 52 Caste 131 Cat-o'-Nine-Tails 91 Cataract 84 Cattle __ ._ 1 52 t Investment ___ 145 Killing, M a lici ous ___ .". 52 CHttleya ___ ____ ___ ____ .61 Cavendish, LOI" d Frederick_ 8 7 89, 103 Cayman Centipede Charcoal-Burning, C harge Chat M oss Chegoe ._-Chinese -Chicken Chief Justice Beaumont _95, 7 0 60 36 8 83 70 37 96, 97, 119, 147 Chief Special Constable. ____ .12 Child Taken by Harpy Eagle __ 25 Chimney .. 6 China .__ ,143 Chinese 35, 91, 111, 113, 114, 116 127 143, 144 Charcoal Burning 36 Immigratio n 114 Chinese in Britis h G ui a n a 36 Chinese Settlement 21, 33, 35, 36, 97 Chlorodyne Chorus

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C-(Con/o([.). ChriJtianhurg 7 1 5, 17, 18, 27 House 15 C .bristmas _.,__ 4 14 Church_ ... _.H. _________ 12. 22, 86 Church-going HH_'_.. __ .. _. __ ..... 90 Church, MalalL--.: _____ Z2 Cicada .__ 58 Civil War J Clay 84 Clementi, Sir CedI -36 Clementson, Mr. 130, 147 Clergy 147 Clergyman 97 Cocoa 89 Coconut 6, 66 Cock H _nH'H__ 2 Cockpit __ H._._ .-2 CockroachH'_' __ ___ 'HH._1 2 60, 61, 62 Coffee ___ _83, 89 Collared Pecc ari ___ 53 Colonial Se<:retary 91 Colonies Secretary of State for 100 Colonist, The' 113, 126, 127, 149 Colony Fever 82 Colour o f F o r es t 35 o f Water) 78 Coloured Peoplc__ 4 11, 128 Combined Court _______ -88 Co,mmunication of Anti s ________ 63 Complacent Magisb'ate __ .. _._128 Complaints, Immigl'ants' 107, 108 Concussion. Brain _104 Conduct o f Governor 108 Confidence in Magistrates, Lack of 93, III Conspiracy 122 Constable 23 Consul, American 119 Contract, Breach 115, 121, 122. 127, 128 Convict _0. ___ ... _____ 78, 85, 1 3 1 Coo1ie ___ ___ ___ .. .. ________ ._._.88 Coolie Immigration __ 104 Coolies Retw'ning _.145 Riot 102 Cooni-Cushi 40 C orentyne River 1 0 Coroner 18, 33 of Immigration 138, 139, 140 Costume, Episcopal' 14 Cottage 132 Couchman, Charles_ 25, 26 26, 27, 28, 31, 51 .. lll, C-(Contd,,) Couchman, Stephen'--oo-=--=,.-26 Court 7 17, 18. 33, 89, 91, 95, 118, 119, 122, 123, 127, 130 Court, Combined 88 .. Insult m.___ 99 of Policy 88, 96, 130 Work, Heavy 90 CllW't-House' < 9 Court-Martial 87 Court Room 1 12, 137 C ourtesy 126 Couvade 51 Cowardice, M o ra1 129 Coxwain 23 Crane 39 Creek_ .__ 6 33, 34 Creole 10, 36, 37, 58, 91, 1 31, 138, 139, 147 Creole, Creole, ICrooke, Crosby, Definition _91 The 128 Professor 51 James __ 94, 97. l07, 109. 147, 149 II Office 94 Crown Land 27, 36 Cruelty 125 Crushing Machinery 83 Cuba 140 Cunard Steamer 1 Curare ______ .55 CUl'assow ___ ...... ______ ... ___ 54 em-ia1 _10, 11, 23, 39, 77, 78, 79 CW'l'ent 78, 81 82, 85 Ctlshi Ant 19, 60 Cuyuni River _13, 65, 66, 68, D Daily Chl'ouicle Dalgin D a m Damages, Action Damp, Effects o f Davis, DaITleU Dawn Noises Death Rate Debt Dee, Deer-Hunting Defence in Press Definition of River Demerara East Bank_ East Coast, II Martyr 76, 77, 78, 79 149 12, 1 3, 14, 15 83 126 7 109 59 141. 142 36 ZI. 56, 80 56 128 33 105, 106 88 __ -..-_88 I 86

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( lV. D-(Contd.) Demerara 6 10. 17. 21. 25, 26. 29. 33, 4U, 43 .46. 48, 62. 66. 67, 68, 73. 74, 71, 79, 82, 85; 88. 133. .. .. River Upper West Coast 124. 4 73 65, 97. 109 Zl. Departure from Dependence of Dep06itions De[went, 5 .S Deserter Desertion Despo ti s m Di coty l cs by Sugar_S8 .. Difficultie s Dirge Disaffection Di scipline. Discontent Distillery. TIi sturhanccs Doctor 93, 114, 115. 116, Doclor s Independent o f Doctor s, P osition o f D 6g Bu s h D<:luraquarra Drac o nic Laws Drinking Bouts Driver Drug 29 Drunkennc"s 50 Dry Sea&:n 133. 138 DUCK 39 Dug-out 78 Dumplings 27 Outer 50, 65, 79 Dutch Guiana -53 E Eagle 41 Harpy 2.5 East Bank, Demerara 88 .. Coast,,, 88 "Indian 94, 113, 116. 143, 144 Indian Labour 88 Economic Advantages o f Planters E lectric Eggs Hatched by Capon ( 140 47, 48 68 E ( Contd.) Elbe, S.S. __ lUG Elbe Rivel' 71 E l ectric Ecl._ __4,/, 48 Elm __ ._ ______ i H Day ___ ._ ...... _. ______ .12 Emmigralion Commissioners ___ 145 Enceinte W omcn __ _119 Enforcing Discipline Engineer England 22, 86 Englishma n 22 Entry, Illegal 122 Episcopal Costume 14 Escaped Slave 50 Essequibo 'HI "Coas t 74 River _10, 25, 29, 43, 45, 4'/, 48, 62, 65, 66, 67; 68; 70, 76, 77. Estate Manag el' ___ .. ._88 -'Estates Hospitals, Inspector 137, 142 147. Eta Palm 38 EUropean 4 30. 32, 69, '/9 Examinatio n Verba l 110 Excitement. Popular ]05 Executors 95 Exhumation 117 ExpellGes o f Transfel' __ 97. 120, 124 Experiences, Pcrsonal ____ 129 F Fail 6 ,Kaieteur 4 5 58 ,Streaking 85 Falls, Great 4, 6 10, 28, 29; 30; 32, 39, 43. ,Kamaria "''"'''-.,.,-____ 79 ,Malali 6,11,18 ,20,21,23,24,25 Feeding Returns___ _-128 Feeding! Returns ,128 Fermentation 49 Ferry-boat. ___ 117 Fertile Imagination __ 90 Fever ] 3, 61, '120, 127 .. Colony 82 ,Yellow 12 1 3 Field Labow-'135 Figglemesey, Col. 119 ,/2 Fine 8 119 126 First Falls 17, 18. 20. 21 2a 24 25 Firefly 72

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F-(Go"tcl / F is h 28, 30 Fish Arrow 28. 30 Poisoning 29 Salt. 27. 57 ,,' Shooting 29, 30 Fishing 27. 29 Flagship 1 2 Departure of Fica ling I sland 54, 66 f'!ogging 128 Flood 36, 38 Flour, Plantain 52 F ood ; ]14. 115 I ndian 51 Forced L abour _._._ 13S Fores t __ 6, 7 20, 32 Cohur __ 'H'HH_" __ 35 Gloom _____ "33, 38. 46 Lo s t in___ ___ ___ ,44 Noises _.58 ,. Rain ... ,_. H 67 Silence' _10 Forsyth _____ 22. ? 4 F ort ___ 66 Four-post Bed __ 15 Free Immigrant_ 132 Labour 134 Ticket 134 Fresh-water Navigation 74 Frog 42. 58. 64 Front Lands 1 3 2 l<'uneral 90 Fungus 7 G Gallinippcr 73 Game ___ -56 Gaol 119. 142 Garrison ____ _______ 12 .. Author Lodged in_ lOS Gecko ___ m., nHH__ 60 Gentlemen in charge of estates-U 8 GeorgetoWll-._3. 4 12. 1 4 33, 63, 77. 85. 88. 90, 105. 106. 121 Gilbert, TrounseL __. ___ 116 Gil'e s .__ ___ __28 Ginx's Baby __ 35. lOG Gladstone, Mr. 87 Gloo m of ForesL. _33, 38. 46 Goat -52 Gac1tsucke r 42, 58 G o ld 7\. 83. 144 Digger 83 Diggings 68. 76, 84 v. G-( G "tel.) G o l d Mine 1 3 Miner '76 Mining ConcesSi on 77 Washing 83. 84 Gordon. ArthW' 104 Gordon, Sir Arthur 104. 105. 106 Gourd 50. 5 6 Government Medical Officer U 5 G overnor 4 27. 35, 91. 104 Appeal to 127 of T rinidad 104 G overnor's ConducL 97, 108 Displeasure 97 P ower 120 Qualificatio n s 89 Son drowned-. .24 Grandfather's Clock ._1 5 Glul).thold el' 28 G ranville. L')rd 89, 100. 102. 103 Grass_ 38, 66 Grasshopper 41 Gravel Bank 26 Great Falls_ 4 10, 28,29, 30. 32. 39; 43 Greenheart 11. 15. 27 Grey, Lady 86 Guiana, Departure from 10\) G.uiana Edition 86 Gulf o f Paria 21 G u lley 38 Gum 74 Gun 29. 3 1 3 9 40, 41; 54 ,Brummagem 5 4 Gutta-Percha 74 H Half-breed 85 Halifax -1. 2 Hammock_ 2 7 12, 13. 1 8, 20, 2 1 22, 24, 27. 42. SO, 5 1 5 7 60. 63. 7 0 71. 75, 78, 19. 82 Hannaqua ___ ._ __ 59 Hard Labour __ ___ __ .92 128 Harpy Eagl e takes, 'Chil d __ 25 Hautings. Warren 103 Hauling boat up rapid8-23. 69, 8 ] ';I'imber 2 7 Heavy Court Work 90 Height o f Trees 26, 37 Herbert, Col. 99. lQ9 Her e 39 Hibibia Creek 34-HiKhlander H ilarity of' Indians SO

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'VI. -iNDEX H ( Contcl.) HilL____ __A6. 83 Hinc k s Mr 1 3 0 H i n c k s Sir Fran cis 4. 94, 146 Hogg, Quintin 70. 125 Holmes, Sir Will iam 53, 73. 74. 90 H onesty :y; H ong-Kong __ 10 Hookworm __ .. _H." __ .. _____ 5R Hopetawn __ ._N. ___ 36 Horn _____ 56 H o r s e 21, 98. 104 H osp ital 107. 114. 115 116. 117. 119 H oso itals. In s p ec to r o f Estates ] 3 7 l42 l4.7 Hospitality ___ 127, 134. 136 l-{os tiHt y o f Planters..____ 128 How's of Labo w, __ ._. ____ _.125 Housing of Imrnigrants_ 1 3 1 Houtou -59 H owling Monkey 58 Humming-bird 41. 82. 83 HunJ!arian '. 119 Hunting 27. 52 An t __ _60, 61 Deer .__ _56 Huts i n T rees___ .39 H y d e Park 6 7 9 11. 12, 97 1. Icti CYOIl Venaticus 52 IdlenC6S 115 Iguana 37, 71 Illegal ArresL ____ .99, 127, 128, 130 .. Conduct 92 Enn-y 122 "Imprisonment 127 Search 122 Ill i teracy _147 llUness 19, 83, 8 6 93, 120, 127 i m Thurn, E 112 Imagination, Fertile __ _90 Immigrant _91, 113, 115. 118 119, 122. 131. 144 149 Free 132 India n 90 Immigrants, Complaints of_l07. 108 Housing 131 Overcrowding of 131 Savings 144, 145 Treatment ____ 103 Immigrants' Well-being__ 141 Immigration Agent General 94, 147, 149 Immigration Agents, Suh_1M, '136, 137 I (Cont(Z.) Immigratic n. Chines e __ ._._._.114 C oo li e 104 C os t of 138, 1 3 9 140 D epartment 133 .. Fund ]1 5 Ordinance 149 Syst e m 137 Impriso nment.. .. __ .... _. __ 91, 92, 126, 130 IlJegal 127 Improvement o f Plantatio ns-107 In the Guiana Forest 112 Indecency 111 Indenture 36 Indenture d Labour 89 Indi a 137, 145 Indian __ ,,_10, 11 23, 24, 25. 27, 28, 29. 30. 32. 34. 37. 38. 39. 40. 43, 44, 45. 46. 47, 48, 49, 5 1 52. 5 3 54. 56. 57. 5 9 60. 63. 69, 70, 71, 75. 78, 79, 80, 81. Indian, Ac cawoio n .. Arawa k 8 .. Food 5 1 Hilarity _,,_, __ 50 Immigrant ___ 90 .. L oads. 79 .. 11 P ath 25, 38, 43. 68 Shyness 7 8 "Village 25. 30, 39, 70 Indians, Pro te ction od'_ 4 Protector o f __ ___ .. 32 Influen ce of Planters ___ 98. 118 120. 136 I nque",:'==18, 33, 116, 117, 123 130 Insect. 7 41, 60, 61. 62, 64. 70. 71.72.63 Insomnia 105 Inspection Penal Settlement 65 Woodcutting .. Licences __ 27. 33, 3 7 Work ____ _1::16 In spector Estates Hospitals-137. 142, 147 Insult 126. 127 in CourL 99 Intelligenc e Lac k oL 90 Interpreter --26. 91 Intimidation ___ 121 Int-Jx icants 49 Intuition 9 Investment'in cattle 145 I s land 29, 65, 68, 70, 77, 79. 82 .. Floating ______ 54. 66

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J ..acamnr J agel' Ant J agunl' Jenkins, ----_. 71 60, 61 41. 52, 57 35. 106, 107. 108. 110. III JeUy_ 7 11 J igge r _'10 Jocelyn. Lad y ____ ._._ 100 Joh.n BrOWll ._ 5 Judge 96 ,Animosity against 95 Judicial Committee 96 Justice of P eace 27, 99, 117, 122. 123. 127. 130, 136, 146 Kabakuru __ Kaictcur Fall Kairuni Ramaria F a ll s Kanaima I s l an d K arasisi __ ._. __ K Kava __ Kerr, Captain Kiln King Fishel' Kingsley, Charles Kjnkajou 79 _45. 58 53 79 26 __ _66 .--.-__ ... .5 2 49, 50 67, 68 KiJ 'ke, Henry 36 71 '26, 104 58 12, 15 1 3 1 __6 8 149. 15, 0 65. 66 Ki tchen _._____ ___ .. Kncipp, .... ___ __ Kl'azbi Kyk-Over-Al -L Laharia Snakc __ ___ .. ____ __ ._22. 39 L a bba. _______ .. _._ -'Zl, 5 7 Labour, Field 135 I .Forced 135 Free 134 Hard 92, 128 .. How..:;; of 125 Indentured 8 9 Laws. Breaches___ __ 91 I Price of. ______ ._ .. _____ 134 SWlday _" .. _. _125 Labourer 11. 1 3 1 .. East Ind ian 88 to I N CgtlO 138 Lack o f -W L ---(Contd_) Lake st. Lends, Language, Lap vii. 34, 46. 109. 110 27 1 3 62 60. 71 __ _____ __ .. ____ _____ 4 1 2 1 128 83 80 n atural 2? Selbourne 96 140 ____ 79 _.-. __ ...... ... __ .___ 8, 90 Maam Mabc,,:a. .. Macu si Magisb'ate __ l 22, 93_ 119 128. .. .. .. M .. Deci s i o n ,. Dependence .. Independence Jurisdictio ll of .. N ickname of 8 118

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tNDEX \"In. M-(Golltd. ) Magi s t.rate Office .. Partiality of ,Posi t.ion o f Mahaicony Creek_ Mail St.eamel"_. __ M a lpractices, -MalaH Church --" Rapids __ 6 17, 18 --'23 _129 104 ._73 ._ 3 126 2 2 20. 2 1 23. 24, 25. 4 3 Malaria 73 Malkious Killing of. Cattle_ 52 Manager, Plantation 88, 92, 93, 114, 115, 118, 119, 122. 125, 126, 127, 129, 131. 134. 135. 136. On Bench ... ____ .. 12:i Mano' -War __ ._ .. _._ _2, 26 Mangr o v e _____ _. ___ 6. 98 Manioc __ 49, 51 Manoa _____ 45 Mar1(.mxi AnL 55, 61 Market 36 :Marmoset 71 5 Marsh 7 3 Massaruni River_24, 25, 44, 65. 66, 77. 78 M auritiusM cClintock, Mr. McConnell Meat, Tinned __ Medical Attendance 105. 112. 140 _46. 75, 112 1 5 'Z1 Medica l Officer, Government Medicine 117 115 114 Medicine-Man Merchant Midshipman Milligan Capt. Charles Milne, Admiral Sir. A Milne. Lady 48 109, 147 2 3 3 3 Mine, W ariri ___ 76 __ .75 Mi ssio n Station ____ Missionaries _._._" Miss ionary Smith Moka-Moka M onkey_ .. Howling Mono s Mora Moral Cowardice Morass, _26 _....86 6, 17 55, 63. 71 '" 21 11, 25, 2 7 37 129 83 62 .105, 106 M orley. Capt Morrison Walter Maruca River Mosquito 74, 75 .. !Net __ __ 72. 73. 8 1 82 7 20. 21_ 7 5 8 1 M-(Gont
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INDEX. u. P Paddlc._""HI0 11, 23, 39, 57, 69, 78. 80 Paco*. __ ._ .... ___ "H_.H._ .. __ H."'H._.28. 30 Paddle-Frog ... _", _____ ._ 53 Palm __________ .... _, .. H ...... 34, 37: 38 .. ,Coconut ______ "'_H ___ G Leaf ..... H __ _. _______ .40 Palmer, Sir RoundelL.. __ .,, _____ 96 PalT0L ______ 6. 31. 41. 54. 58. 60. '11 Soup _. ____ ________ ____ ,...41 Partiality o f Magistrates_' ___ 'H_129 Partridge __ .. H ___ ._,, ___ 59 Pasture _, .... ___ .. ____ .... _____ Paterson, Mr. _._ ___ ____ ._!..-15 P ath, Indian_ .. __ .. _____ 25, 38. 43. 68 ,Timber __ ,,,,, .. .. .. 27, 28 Peace Breach of.. __ H ________ ... 8 Peasant Proprietor __ 147 Peat ,__ .... _._ _. __ ... 18 Peccari. ___ ".___ 47. 52. 53. 67 'Collared '_H_.____ 53 ,Texan __ ___ ..... __ ... __ __ .')3 _, ,White-lipped __ H __ .!..H_ ... 53 Pei ...... H._"" ____ H H ____ H._.___ 48 Penal Servitude .. __ ___ 65 SeUlement 25, 44. 6 7 68. 78 .. Inspection ___ .65 Superintend-enL,,_. __ G7. Pepper-pot _____ ._ _27. 30. 64 Perai _H ... ____ ._. _____ ____ 1 0 Perjury H__ H_135 PerO't, Ml" ___ "H_'_"_ __ H __ 109 Personal Experiences._ .. ___ ._ .. l29 Peter Simple___ ___ __ 5 Petty' DebL .. H.H._ .. ____ _91 Pheasant ___ ._. __ ... 59 Philadelphia. Plantation .. .. __ 8 5 Phillips. Lieut._ __ 2 Photographer 25, !l0 Pilfering __ _H___ __1 8 P i-Pi-Yo __ __ _____ 10. 41 Piwari _____ 49 Plaisance ._ __88 Planks _H. _15 Plantain ___ ___ __ 79 Flour _._52 Plant,ation Anna Regina __ 74, 75 Hyde Park ___ H ___ 6 teonora __ 113 126 Manager 93 Philadelphia _._ 85 Schoon Ord 140 Sugar ___ .6, 106 .. Vreed-en-H oop 1 4 1 P.l antatiOKls. of.-:r-_ 1Q7 P -(Cnlltrl.) Planter_ ..... __ __ .c: .. _.106. 107, 109 Plante rs. Power oL__ 89 Economic Advantages o L140 _, ,Hostility o L __ __ 99. 128 ,Influence oL1I8 120. 130. 136' Influential __ .. .. _____ ._ .. 98 ,In tercs ts of___ H ___ 95 ,Pleasing the____ ___ 127 ,Power of __ _... 147 Pleasing the Planters H_._ .. ____ 127 Plimmer. Mr. .. ____ H.H __ .22 Ploughin,e: ._ .... .... __ .... __ .. ___ _135 Plum-Pudding _'H'_'''___ __14 Plymouth .__ ___ 106 Poiso n Cassava ____ .:.... 52 Paisoned Arrow ___ __.55 Blow-pipe Dal -t __ .. 55 P oisoning __ ._. __ ,_ __.H_ 31 Fish __ __29 P o lice __ ""H' __ ____ .122. 128, 136-., Constable __ .___ _, ___ 1 Corporal ", __. ___ 11 I nSPQcto r __ _HHH.H 1 4 Sergeant _. ___ 1 Stati on __ 5 6 7 .n. 121. .122. 127. 130, t 3 7 Policy, Court of_._. __ _IiS Polytechnic \,,_ .... __ ____ 70 Pomero".>n River__ __ ,_46, 74. 75 Pork. SalL .. __ _____ Porpoise ... _H_ __ H __ ._53 Portage _. __ 24. 32, 79 P orb-aits __ .. __ 1 5 Portuguese_____ 8. 91. 147 Post Mortem H __ H._ _117 Potaro River __ H ___ .___ __ 4S Potato, SweeL __ .... ____ 49 Power of Governor __ 120 "Planters ______ .89. 147 PowieH __ .... .-54. 55. 80 Praedial Larceny ... ___ _91 Press Abuse 89 Attacks._ _110. 126 Defence ) 128 Price of Labour_ 134 Sugar _H_ 140 Prison .'H' ____ .. .. _!i5 Prisoner __ 24. 122 Privacy ___ 1:l2 Privy __ ... __ ._. 96 Production of __ "_ 125 Profits, Sugar___ 139 Promotion .. ____ .128 Prosecution, WholesaIe__ 122 Protection 9 f !ndians ... _______ 4

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I NDEX. P-(Oont(l.) Protecbr of Indians __ .. _____ ... H._32 Provost-Marshal __ Puma _57 Punishment 8 P unt, Timb e r 11 Quarrel Quarter-deck Quinine R ]32 __ 2 __ 76. 83 13 Race J ea lousy 123 Rain 4 13, 32, 38. 40, 67. 84 mores. Rainfall_ 10. 33, 133 Rainy Season___ Hm 17. 23. 43 Rapids ] 7. 23, 24, 25, 27. 28, 29; 68, 70. 76, 79, 80, 81 Accident i n 24 H auling Boat up__ 23, P1 .. Running d own __ 23, 84 Rat Razor-grass Red Ant Reform _126. 129. 147, 148 6 1 38. 44 61 1 31, 133, 136, Proposed 118 Refradb n 29 Re-indenture 134, 141, 142 Temptation to 141 Relaps e __ __1 4 Remand __ 122 Report. Difficulties of Writing 103 to Lord Granville 103 :. ,Royal Commission 111 Reservoir ___ __ 3-'1 Retreat 26 Returning C oolies 145 Revenge 48 Revenue !l8 Laws, BreacheG __ 9 1 Rice 18, J9 Bag 2 1 Ridge 9 Rifle 57 Riot. Coolie 102 River, Definitio n 33 Riviera 86 Road R3. 85. 79. 97 Ro,1<-.. 29, 30, 38, 69, 78, 85 R-( 0011 t(l, ) R odway, James_ .. .. __ ... ___ 112 Root __HHH 38 Roraima 45 R oth, Dr. Walter E. 79 Rowers 4 Royal Commission 93, 94. 96. 9 7 104. 105. 106, 1 0 7 108. 109, 110. 111, 112 ,Appointed ,Report o f 'Secretary Navy Ruhomon, Peter Rum Distillery RUlUling Rapids ___ .. __ Rupununi River_ Sago Sakawinki S a lipenter Salt __ s -" F ish _____ __ Pork_ Waler S a n Sand, Black Sandhills 'H'_ Sanitary Measures Santa Fe de Bogota Santa Rosa de Lima Santa Rosa MissionSavannah __ Savings o f Immigrant s Sawmill Sawyer Schomburg k School-room __ S choon Ord, Plantation Scotland Scott, Mr. Scott, Sir __ Seasickness __ Season, Wet Search, nlegal Seba 103 111 109 26 149 80, 8 1 133 _.23, 8 4 4 5 39 71 3 7 66 27, 67 67 133 7 5 84 9-, 1 0 1 4 2 74 75 75 ._...38, 39 144, 145 1 5 1 2 45 __ 1 2 140 15 128 99 Secret Vi s its ,of Sympathisers Secretary. Royal Commissi o n -2. 14 1 0 122 18 108 109 100 113 !Hi of State ,'. .. ,.. Letter to Selbourne. L ord Chancellor Sentence" "" i d1, "' 128

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\ I NDEX D. S-( C on td. ) Severity o f LaW H ____ ::=::_ Shaving .. HH_HH __ .H ___ .. H_ 119 Siled ._ ..... H_ ........ H .... ... H .. _. ___ ... __ ._.30 Shiel', Dr. ____ _.137, 14 7 Ship _. __ 7 7 Shooti n g Fi s h 29, 3 0 Shop 22 Shopkeeper 8 147 Sho t-Drill 142 Show your l egs 2 Shyness of India n 7 8 Side-Board 1 5 SilkcoHo n Tree_ 26 Silence o f Fores t 10 Si lver .,....H._ ______ _H._l44 SilverbalH 4 Singing B oatmen as Six O'Clock Bee 58 Slander 107 Slave 1 2 53 ,Escaped 50 Slave-Driving 92 Slave-Trading 25 Slaver y 8 7 Smith, Mis.si o nal'Y 86 Snake __ 7 2 1 22, 23, 35, 37, 39. 40, 41, 47, 53, 54 ,Virus _._ .. __ 5 5 Snorer _H 1 5 Snuff 87 Soapy 8 0 S o ciety, Lack of 9 8 Soil 34, 84 S ongs B oatmen's 5 S o u pje 80 South Sea I slander_ 4 9 Special Constable 12 Speech 86 Sphinx Moth _H._ 83 Spider Monk ey H.__ __ .H_ H._ .. 63 St. Clair, Lake _H_ 73 St. George's 3 St. Lawrence R iver 79 St. Lucia .' 25, 111, 113 A dminis trator of 100 St. Tho mas 1 3 106 Stamina of Negro 5 Stanley, H M 46 Stanmore, Lor d 104 Stea lin g 143 Steamer _65, 7 8. 115 Stedman _53 Stelling 7 S -(C'llItc7.) S to len G oods____ __122 Streaking Falls __ '_'H'_ _._85 Stoppage o f W ages..H_.... 111, 1 3 1 StOI'I11-.. ._H H_''''_ 40, 61 Sugar ._. __ 88, 89, 14 0 A tmosphel'e 32 P lantatio n 6 35, 36. S8, lOG Price 14 0 .. Production 125 P rofits 139, 140 Summary Juris dicti o n ]46 Summons -7, 17, 1 8 S l m 4 14 Sunday Labour 125 Superintendent Pena l Settle-ment H._ ..... ... _....... ._ __.6 7 85 Superintendent Rivers and Creeks 4 46, 7 5 Supers tition 131 Supreme CourL8, 24. 31, 91, 123. 126 Surinam Surpris e V isi t s 13'6 Surveyor 27. 28 Swamp 33, 38 Swarima I s Jand 82 Sweet P otato 49 Swimming 70, 85 Sympathisers, Secret Visits__ 108 T Taboo 51 T ank, Water 133 Tannin 74 Tapir 'Zl, 57 Tapping B a lala 74 Tarantula 55 T a x on P roprietol's____ 115 Taxation _____ ____ 138 Temperatw'e _. _____ ._ 7 Temptatio n t!l Re-indentur e 1 4 1 T ent 4, 1 3, 31, 5 4 69, 75 .. -Boai' 4 3 2 74. 79 Termite 62 Texan P eccari 53 Thames River 77 The Coolie: Hi s Ri g h ts and Wrongs 35, 111 Theft 18 1 9 91, 116 122 Thief 1 9 Thousand I slands 79 Thund erstorm _.13 Threats __ H_ 1 2 1 Tic%: ""_.H, ',., _...,.. ____ 3S

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I I a .......... INDBX. .. XUI. W-(Gontd.J Wood -cutting Licence, lnspe c tion _27, 33, 3 7 ,. Shape 27 Unli ce nsed 2'1 Wood-Duck W oo dskin W o rish o fen Work Inspecti on Wounding 11 11, 29, 32, 56, 80 68 136 9 1 y Yagh ona _______ ___ ,,, Yawarabaru Creek 28 Yawaribaro 28 Y e ll o w Fever 12, 13 Remedy 13 Yorkshire _________ 106 \ L--________ _____

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