March 2nd

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March 2nd

March 2nd.—From Me Tsai a march of 16 1/2 miles to a small camp in the hills. At 2 miles the Me Thon river was first crossed and was followed to its source at 15 miles. The path was narrow and difficult, crossing and re-crossing the Me Thon constantly—sometimes up its bed and sometimes over low spurs to cut off the bends, in many places steep, and the wet clay soil made the going very hard on the mules. A few huts were passed at 8 miles.

There was no room for a camp, except at two places; one a small space, 300 yards by 50 yards at 12 miles on the stream; and the other at this place where there is space for one regiment, and a stream. It was impossible to get a view all day owing to the thick high forest. No doubt, an easy gradient road could be made to avoid the steep bits and fording the stream so often, but the labour would be heavy in felling the timber, which is thick and big. The ascent to the watershed is 15 miles, aneroid 28.3 1/2″ in a north-west direction, and the descent so far is steep and runs north.

We met some Kareens: they have a few villages in these hills.

Dr. Cheek told me at Zimme that months after Mandalay was taken, the Prince would not believe it; such was their exaggerated idea of the might of King Thibaw.

Saw a string of very good ponies; they offered me the best for R120. Pack ponies cost R60 to ft80 up here, whereas at Zimme prices were nearly as high as at Moulmein. They wanted R250 for two rats of mules there.

My Zimme servant has been from Mone to Kiang Tung: he says the road is very difficult, with high, steep mountains to cross and no villages; and that this is a very much better road. He went from Zimme to Mokmay, and only passed one village, Muang Nai, thence on to Mone and Kiang Tung.* Next Entry