February 28th

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February 28th

February 28th. —A march of 21 3/4 miles from Y unglay to Me Kham on the Me Kham river, along level open forest, overgrown with high reedy grass as before, with here and there patches of thick forest and bamboo for 12 miles. It was a northern course throughout, which meant a sloping course towards the series of low hills which bound the Kianghai plain to north. At 12 miles the path rounded the end of one of these, and after 3 miles of thick forest, issued into open forest and the valley of the Me Khey river.

On the Me Khey river is a village of the same name, divided into three parts, with large tracts of paddy between and around them; thence on through open level forest as before, to our camp at Me Kham on the Me Kham river.

In all the low-lying parts passed to-day, there are many swampy bits which would have to be drained or filled in with bamboos before being passable for military purposes. There are many sites for large camps all along; the best perhaps at 5 l/2 miles (i. e., 12 miles from Kianghai), on the banks of a small river running to the north-east. At Me Khey, 16 miles, too there is an immense tract of dry paddy land close to the river.

The two rivers, Me Khey and Me Kham, are each about 90 feet wide and 2 feet deep, with a strong full current, and both take a generally eastern course. They would hold 6 feet of water at the fords in flood time.

The hills are as shown, none high in the near range, but many high ones in the far distance to north and north-west. Looking south and east, no hills are visible.

Supplies are procurable to a moderate extent at Me Khey, but very little at Me Kham, and cattle are scarce. Passed some very large bullock caravans to- day, going both ways. I asked my Yunnans why they did not go to Mandalay instead of Moulmein. They said, “because we should have our throats cut on the road.” The more I see of them, the more I like them—fine stout fellows, hard as nails, and fearing no man. Next Entry