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FRANK G-. CARPENTER'S LETTER.
FRANK a. CARPENTER'S LETTER.
HOW THE KUO-E BEASTS OF BURMA WORK FOR
They Haul Logs in the Lumber Camps and Stack Timber
in the Mills They Believe in Fised Hours and
Watch the Clock Cost of an Elephant The Royal
Animals of Siam and Why Worshipped Rangoon,
-fe Southern Gateway to Asia And Something
Abctit Its Queer Population.
(Copyright, 1910. by Frank G. Carpenter.)
RANGOON, India, April 2. I have
spent the day visiting: the saw
mills and lumber yards of Ran
goon, where the elephants aid in prepar
ing teak Tvood for shipment abroad. Teak
Is one of the chief exports of Burma. It
fis so -valuable, that it is said by the ton,
and it Tarings in seven or eight million
collars a year. The trees are girdled
in the forests .and after cutting are
floated down the streams and rivers to
Rangoon. Both in the forests and at
tne pons u wZin come from the government herds
done by elephants They drag : the Jogs j c
TO tne SirPlllIXI a.Iiu anaiisc tuc uvru..-
finally disposed of to the lumbermen, a
few Deing retained for the government
In hunting the elephants, they are
sometimes captured in pits and some
times led into corrals by means of tame
elephants trained for the purpose.
The tame beasts TQix with, the wild ones
and lead them into the pens, -whereupon
the elephant hunters sort out from the
Tvlld ones those they wish to keep and
turn the others back Into the forests.
Most of the elephants at Rangoon have
tliftv stack the planks, and they earn-
all sorts of lumber at the direction- of
their masters. EiascssawmiU here has
Its elenhants. and there-ace some coin-
nniac -Rrhip pmnlov sever&KJiundred. !
The average institution, however, can
'Efford but few, the animals are costly,
agreen one bringing $800 and a prize
Vorker often as much as $2,000.
The elephants come from the forests
of upper Burma. The wild ones are all
owned bv the government, which has an
elephant" department to catch and care
for them. The elephant commissioner
keeps track of the wild nerds and an
iiuallv sends out wen to hunt them and
catch the young bulls. The cow ele
phants and a certain number of bulls
are turned back into tht forests. The
bull calves are kept and trained and are
I -wish I could show you some of the
huge beasts at work in the yards.
They (lift great logs on their tusks
and stack them in piles. They carry
timbers to the saws and lay the planks
in order for shipment. Their every ac
tion show reason and they seem to cal
culate cause and effect. At one sawmill
I saw two beasts, each as big as Jumbo,
piling lumber, working together. Each
had a Burman, clad in turban and gown,
seated upon his head, and he was di
rected by him. The man used &oth hand
and heel as Veil as word of -mouth to
tell the elephant what to do, and in ad
dition a sharp brass hook which he
jabbed into him if he did not obey. I
measured some vvnich -were twenty feet
long, as thick as a cider barrel and as
tall as a two-story house. Either of
these two elephants could lift one such
MOTHERS FRIEND W
A LINIMENT FOR EXTERNAL USii.
Ko woman vfho "bears children need suffer during tne period,
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It regular use wfll prepare every portion of the system for the safety of ho h
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comes. Mother's Priend is soULat drug stores. Write for our free hook, which
contains valuable information for expectant mothers.
.. mm .,, mira mmXYA wen. ae win tremDie iute a -woman at
THE BRABFIELB GOm, ATLAKSAg ixA J the sight of a mouse, for fear, perhaps.
log on his tusks and carry it across the
yard. He wonld kneel down before the
middle of a log, crowd his tusks under it
then, throwing his great trunk over the
top, would raise it bodily and carry it
to the truck upon which it was -to" be
pushed to the buzz saw. If the iog
proved very heavy he would rest one
end an the ground and drag it.
In another part of the yard I watched
an elephant piling number. He would
lift he timbers up and lay them down
on the others as evenly as though he J
had measured each piece. Sometimes
he rested a log on the pile and pushed
it Into place with his trunk. At other
times he kicked it up with hight hind
foot, in some cases where it was ntces
sar' to carry tsro logs at a time the men
tied a rope around them and the elephant
would pick up the end of therope with
his trunk and place it over his tusks
and then, raising his head, walk off
The elephants gather up the scraps
of lumber and -laj' them so that the
workmen can rope them anto bundles.
They also work at piling the boards and
loading thenf for the steamers.
The managers tell me many of these
beasts are employed in the forests and
at the lumber camps up country. They
are used for all sorts 'of heavy transpor
tation. They not only carry the logs to
the streams, but aid in forming the rafts
and booms. They wade or swim about,
according to the depth of the water.
towing the logs this way and that.
"When the logs come to the ports they
break the booms by pushing out the
key log. They then take the timbers
out of the water and put them on the
cars, which carry them to the mills.
In some places the elephants work to--gether,
and I am told there are boss
elephants which, keep the others up to
their work and pound them with their
trunks when they lag. In some yards
each elephant has its own Job, one
class being nsed to carry hay lor the
stables and to mix the bran, molasses
and other food which form the daily ra
tions of the beasts in the establishment.
Beasts Which Watch the Clock.
These elephants at Rangoon are par
ticular as to their working hours. They
seem to almost watch the clock, for they
get restless as the noon hour approaches,
and stop now and then to wait for the
bell. "When the whistle sounds and the
bell rings at twelve o'clock they will
drpp whatever they have on their tusks
and bolt for the feeding sheds. It is the
same at night.
I am told they have to be carefully
fed and that each anust have his bath
twice a day, At one of the yards I
saw them washing the beasts. The ele
phants sat down while buckets of water
were thrown over them. After that their
masters scrubbed them with rough
brushes and curried them, as it were,
all over. As the water was dashed upon
them they wagged their tails and flap
ped their ears and grunted in Joy. n
I asked one of the men if the beasts
were hard to handle. He replied: "No,
but we must be always on guard, and
if they grow angry they make no bones
of killing us."
The elephant is touchy, and if any
thing creeps under the blanket on his
back he grows restless and cannot work
well. He will tremble like a woman at
that the animal may run up his trunk.
As I left one of the sawmills I threw a
piece of silver to the man on the biggest
elephant. He rubbed the beast's head
with his heel and thereupon the ele
phant threw his great trunk high into
the air and gave me a royal salute.
The White Elephant.
Burma ranks with Siam as the land of
the white elephant. The people here
are Buddhists, and they believe that the
souls of human beings, when they pass
away, go Into the bodies of annuals.
Moreover, they think that the spirits
of the good and noble go into the bodies
of white animals, and as the elephant Is
one of the largest of Taeasts, evey white
elephant contains the soul of a hero.
King Thibaw, the last native ruler of
Burma, had a palace for his white ele
phants, and they were treated like kings.
When they went out umbrellas of white
and gold were held over them, and they
had golden tassels In their ears and
golden plates on their foreheads. They
wefe bathed dally in scented waters
and they drank out of vessels decorated
with gold. Each beast had his own at
tendants, who did nothing but wait upon
him, and the man who found a white
elephant and brought it to the palace
was ennobled, and paid no taxes for the
rest of his life. When the British took
the country they captured the white ele
phants, and today if one were to be
found he would be given a job at the
hauling of logs.
The Royal Beasts of Slara.
In fact, about the only place where
the white elephant has any semblance of
royalty 'left is Siam. The common peo
ple there worship him, and the king
now and then rides out upon one In
great state.' The national coat" of arms
is apicture of this royal beast. It has
its place upon the flag and also upon
the principal coins. With the awaken
ing of the country and the now move
ments, however, superstitions are pass
ing away. The better' classes think
much as we do, and his majesty the
kine: keens hi -white olenhants only
J out of sentiment and respect for the be-
neis or nis people. He has eiepna-m.
j stables connected with his palaces, and
there are several of these socalled white
animals in the stalls. I visited them
during my last stay in Bangkok. They
were chained to stone posts and were
watched by keepers, who chewed the be
tel and spat on the erround as they made
j the elephants perform for me.
Tnese beasts were of an ashy gray
color and they looked dirty rather than
white. I am told that their color comes
from a disease somewhat like leprosy,
and that this sometimes causes the ani
mal affected to go crazy;. Indeed, a
white elephant is usually a rogue ele
phant, or 6ne which should always be
watched and never allowed to go loose.
The elephants now in the stables at
Bangkok are from the northern part of
Siam. All those of the country belong
to the king, but the man who can send
in a white elephant Is still rewarded, and
the advent of a new one causes general
rejoicing, for it is looked upon as a
sign of .good luck and prosperity.
The Gateway to South Aia.
I write this letter in what is the most
uptodate booming city of the far east.
Rangoon Is the capital of Burma. It is
growing faster than Calcutta.
It already stands third among the
great ports of the Indian empire, crowd
ing the heels of Bombay, and there are
many who prophesy that it will event
ually be the biggest city of southern
Asia. Lying here at the mouth of the
Irawadi, it forms the only gate to one
of the richest valleys of the world, and
in time, hy railroads already projected,
ir will be the gatewas to western China,
as well. The city has now -a population
of 300,000. It runs for miles up and down
the river and extends back into the flat
alluvial Irawadi delta. It i3 backed by
some of the biggest rice lands of the
world, and it exports more rice than any
othtr port on earth. The amount to be
shipped this year is valued at $65,000.
000, and the river is now filled with
great steamers loading for Japan,
China, Australia, India, Europe and
North and South America. Among them
are river boats and bai-ges which have
brought rice in from the country, and
there are great fleets at the mills load
ing and unloading, their cargoes. Rice
Is the money crop of the cuntry, and
It makes the Burmese comparativelv
Burma In a Bird's Eye-
But before I go further, let me give
you a bird's eys view of this country.
You all know 4ts location. Better per
haps than the Bostonian, who, when
asked where it was, replied:
'Burma I Burma; Of course I know
where it is. I have a cousin out there,
but he calls it Bermudas"
The Burma from where I am writing
is away off here on the opposite side
of the world. It 'lies near the eastern
s,hores of the Bay of Bengal, several
hundred miles south of the Himalaya
mountains, and just across the way
from the peninsula of Hindustan. On
the north It runs close, to Tibet; and on
the east it skirts the Chinese province
of Yunnan and French Indo-China, with
the Siamese states on the south. The
country Is as long as from Canada to the
Mexican gulf, and wider than from New
York to Cleveland. It Is bigger than
France, Germany or the Spanish penin
sula, and it nas a population of ten
millions, of whom eight millions are the
proudest, best dressed and most lovable
people of Asia.
On the Irawadi. N
I came into Burma up tiie Irawadi
river. The capital, Rangoon, from
where 3? write, lies about twenty miles'
from the mouth of one of the streams
forming the delta. The Irawadi is one
of the greatest of the world's great
rivers. It rises somewhere in Tibet and
flows a thousand miles through this
country before it reaches the sea. It
carries down so much slit that the blue
waters of the Bay of Bengal are made
yellow by it. In coming here we travel
ed for hours through what looked like
pea soup before we caught sight of land,
and in the river itself the water was
as brown as oatmeaV gruel and almost
as thick. It left a rich sediment in the
bath tub of the steamer and gave the
atmosphere a yellowish tint under the
tropical sun. The deposit is so great
tnat the shore creeps on into the sea
several inches a year. Immense sand
bars are created and pilots have to dl
rect the steamers this way "and that.
The dredges are always kept working,
and the government is now contemplat
ing building a series of jetties like those
we have at New Orleans. These will
confine the waters to a narrower chan
nel and the force of the river will
scour the course clean.
Coming up to Rangoon the stream
is often several miles wide and the
shores at the mouth so far apart that
as we hugged the north bank we could
hardly see the land on the south. We J
passed Syrlam, Jwhere the Burma Oil j
company has its enormous refineriesI
and then steamed up toward the city J
which, with its lumber yards, rice mills j
and shipping, looked more like one of
the great ports of Europe than Asia. J
Long before the town came in sight we S
could see the tall spire of the Golden j
Pagoda, and as we steamed closer an- j
other shaft, of gold came into view. It
was that of the Soule Pagoda, a Bur- i
the business blocks in the very- heart of
the city. Our ship came right up to
the wharves and we stepped out into
one of the queerest crowds to be found
in all Asia.
The ,pity is more cosmopolitan than
Calcutta. Cairo or Constantinople. It
, Is East Indian rather than Burmese, and
s?it has people of every nation and of al
I most every tribe of the Asiatic conti-
net -It has 50,000 Chinese, a large
number of Malays, 5,000 Europeans,
I and more than 100,000 Indians from all
j parts of. Hindustan. The people are of
( all colors, black, white, yellow and
I brown, and they wear all sorts of cos
tumes. The East Indian coolies are
naked, except for a cloth around the
. waist and a red or white turban. Their
J hlack skins shine like jet tinder the
; tropical sun. Many of the Chinese are
rich, and they are clad In silks or fine
cottons, while the Burmese strut about
in silk skirts of me most delicate colors.
their heads covered with gorgeous silk
turbans. They wear jackets of silk or
fine cotton, and move about like human
butterflies here and there through the
crowd. In addition there are all hatted,
long coated Parsees from Bombay, wor
shipers of fire, who are devoted to bank
ing and trading, and lean, skinny black
Chetties, money lenders from Madras,
who wear only a sheet of cotton
Wrapped around their bare persons.
There are Indian boys in caps of gold
thread, cotton jackets and waist cloths;
Hindoo women with rings in their
noses, and Burmese girls clad in cot-
j ton or silk, with plugs in their ears.
Ihe costumes are so many I cannot de
On the Streets.
The traffic about the wharves and
through the city is carried on by
strange animals, and In strange
vehicles. The passenger cab is the
j gharry, a yellow or black box hauled
by an indian pony and driven by a
Hindoo or Burman. The heavy freight
Is dragged over the roads in carts by
the humped cattle of Hindustan, and
great loads of goods are pushed and
pulled along by half naked men. The
men work as hard as the animals, and
the white sweat stands out upon their
black skins as they drag the freight
onward. There are also fine carriages,
owned by the Europeans, and even
automobiles, with Hindoo chauffeurs in
turbans. I ride about in a gharry at
a cost of about 10 cents a trip, and my
baggage was carried from the steamer
to the hotel on a cart drawn by breech
clouted Hindoos. On the way I saw a
Burman riding a bicycle plated with
&Iqkel. He had pulled his red silk skirt
high up his thighs, and I observed that
he had silver clasps on each leg, just
over the knee, to hold it. He wore a
turban and jacket, and sat straight as
This afternoon I-took a street car trip
out into the country. The railway was
an overhead trolley, and the cars were
divided into two classes, the first of
which costs double the price of the
second in order to see the people, I
rode second class, sitting between a. Ben
gal Hindoo In jacket and calico trousers,
and a Burmese girl, dressed in a cotton
sarong, a jacket and a pink shawl,
which was thrown over her shoulders.
She had a fat cigar in her hand, and
asked nit to smoke. BehintI her were two
Hindoos wearing skull caps enibrolderel
with gold, and a Burmese egentleman,
well clad and wearing amber plugs In
his ears. In front was a Burmese wom
an, with a baby in her arms. The child's
head was shaved clean, excepting a
patch on the crown the size of a dollar.
And then there were Mohammedan wom
en, close veiled: Arabs in fez, East In
dian soldiers in turbans, and Chinese
with queues hanging down their silk
gowns at the back, Ae we rode on we
passed the carriage of the governor, a
magnificent landau, hauled by white
horses, with coachmen acd'footmen gor
geons in livery, and a troop of outriders
In front. We went by rice mills and
lumber yards., in which elephants were
working, and at every turn of the
wheels, saw a new picture of this Bur
mese blograph show, which is one of the
strangest of the far east.
Frank G. Carpenter.
Call Bell 115. Autu illo. tell what
you wish to buy. sell or rent and The
Herald will do the rest. '
A PIANO FOR
And A (Jood One, Too.
A Qenuine Clos
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Only Eleven Pianos Left
j If yoji expect to buy a -Piano within
2 years, buy NOW and save from
Fischer Pianos, Stuyves-
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Pianolas, .and Pianola
SOLD OH" EASY TEEMS
101-103 El Paso St,