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Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and The - Neighbouring Countries
by William Griffith
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Nov. 19th.—Yesterday evening Premsong arrived, he is a man about 35, the best looking of all the Gams: but has rather a cunning Jewish face. The brandy I gave him made him at first wonderfully obliging, for he seemed disposed to enter into my views. This morning however he came with Khosha and Tapan, by whom it was at once obvious that he has been overruled; not only will he not take me to the Lama Dais (plains,) but he won't even shew me the road to Truesong's, a Digaroo, whose village is only distant about five days' journey. Premsong I know wishes to go, induced by the promise of 200 Rs. but he is afraid of incurring the displeasure of Khosha, etc. I shall therefore return towards Deeling, and devote a few days to botanising on Thuma-thaya.

Nov. 20th.—Returned to Ghaloom's: gathered the Martynia, finely in flower, and observed the Rafflesiacea along the banks of the Lohit.

Nov. 21st.—Halted at Ghaloom's, the Rafflesiacea is found all about, anth. bilocular, apice poro-gemino dehiscent, pollen simplex, materie viscosa cohaerenti, ovula antitropa, tegumento unico. Made every arrangement with Premsong. According to this Gam we are to go up the Diree, and then cross over high mountains, leaving the Lohit entirely. He says the Lamas wear trowsers, socks and shoes, and that they dress their hair a la mode Chinoise; their houses are built on posts, and raised from the ground: they erect forts like the Chinese, and have plenty of fire-locks. They have also abundance of cattle, consisting of about seven kinds, but no Mithuns; and three sorts of Horses, which alone they use as beasts of burden. Their staple food is Ahoodan. The Mithun of the Mishmees appears to me intermediate to a certain degree between the Bison and the wild Bull; their head is very fine, and as well as the horns that of a Bull, but their neck and body have, so to say, the same awkward conformation as those of the buffalo. I have not seen a large living one; the largest head I saw was three feet from tip to tip of the horns, the diameter of the forehead being probably about one-third of the above.

Nov. 22nd.—Returned to Loong Mockh. I cannot reconcile Wilcox's description of Ghaloom's old site with the reality, because the scenery is decidedly fine, embracing the Tidding, and the (in comparison with the near surrounding hills) gigantic Laim-planj-thaya, which from this presents the appearance of a vast cone with a peaked summit. Premsong's village is obviously at a considerable elevation. Found another Acrostichum, a Bolbophyllum, a rare Aristolochia foliis palmatis, 7 lobis, subtus glaucis; sapor peracerbus, floribus siphonicis. The Huttaya I have not seen: it occurs at a greater distance in the mountains than I have been. In addition to the plants I have gathered, Asplenium nidus it very common. Tradescantia and Camelina both occur; Ricinus also occurs, the Mishmees do not however put it to any use; Melica latifolia is common on some of the hills. Anthistiria arundinacea occurs in abundance. Likewise a small Areca and Chloranthus.

It is at Ghaloom's old site that these hills commence putting on an interesting appearance, those previously seen, excepting however Thuma- thaya, being entirely covered with tree jungle; but beyond this site, the lower spaces unoccupied by jungle become much more numerous. The Mishmee word for bitter, is Khar. Query—why should not the name of the plant Coptis teeta, be changed to Coptis amara, although the species of the genus Coptis are probably all bitter? Sauraussa and Bombax both occur at Ghaloom's, as well as Pentaptera; Sesamum is used for oil.

I should have mentioned the top of the hill, surmounted in going immediately from Loong Panee towards Ghaloom's, is occupied almost entirely by a species of Fraxinus.

On my arrival at Ghaloom's on the 20th, I found that the coolies had played me the same trick as they had done previously, though not to such an extent. Instead of each man having 20 days' provisions, scarcely one had more than 5 or 6: as they had 20 days' given them in addition to that they would require on the road, it is obvious they must have thrown much away. Were all the Gams disposed to take one to Lama, it could not be done with Assamese coolies and, above all, Seerings or Ahooms are the very worst; and although often good sized men, they are very deficient in strength. Nagas and Mishmees are the best, then Kamptees.

I gave before leaving a packet of salt to Premsong, according I suppose to their own custom of proceeding. Yesterday he went to Roomling, Krisong's eldest son, and gained his consent. I mention this to shew how active he is. He is a friend of the Dupha's, {42} and to my surprise, told me he saw Capt. Hannay at Hookhoom, who gave him a jacket, and tried to induce him to shew him the road to Suddiya. He is certainly the best of all the Gams, and appears to be very liberal.

Nov. 23rd.—Arrived at Deeling after a tedious march of 8 hours: we did not traverse the two cliffs near the Lohit, but pursued a longer, but more commodious cattle path: our Mishmees, however, preferred the shorter one. Gathered Sabia, Martynioidea, Alsophila, Menispermum at Paeen in fine flower. At Ghaloom's old site a large Euphorbia fol obovatis, ramis 4 angulato-alatis occurs, and Cymbydium giganteum in fine flower. En route hither I noticed the following; Bauhinia, Hoya, Urtica gigas, Mucuna, Curculigo, Panax, foliis supra-decompositis, Dalbergia, Laurus, Abroma, Lactuca exaltata, Uncaria, Siegesbeckia, Megala, Podo-Molee, and a species subscandent of bamboo, internodiis vix cylindricis, gracilibus; this is of great use where it occurs, in assisting one's ascent and descent.

Nov. 24th.—Left about 11 for Thuma-thaya: we first descended the Dissoo ravine, then up a very steep hill, the top of which was cultivated, then descended and crossed another stream, the remainder of our march consisting almost entirely of an uninterrupted steep ascent: during our progress we gained partial views of the Plains and the Naga Hills, but on crossing a high ridge on which I observed Betula Populus? Rhododendrum arboreum, the view to the East and West was very fine. That to the W. embracing the greater part of the plains about Suddiya and the Abor Hills, stretching along to S.W. the more distant Naga Hills. The Lohit could be traced for an immense way, the Dihong, Dibong, Digaroo, Dihing were all partially visible. To the N.E. Thegri-thaya was finely seen, then some rugged peaks among which Laim-planj was conspicuous. It embraced the course of the Lohit, at least its right bank, ridge surmounting ridge: the loftier ones tipped with snow; and lastly it was closed by a huge wall, all covered with snow, especially its peaks, stretching away to the N. From this we descended to Yen, where, as usual, I took up my quarters in a granary. During the latter portion of the journey, I gathered a Passiflora? Lobelia two species, a Scitaminea, Spiraea, and a curious aromatic plant, pedunculis bracteae adnatis, bracteis, coloratis, petal videis.

Codonopsis, etc. Dicksonia, stipitibus atris 3 canaliculatis, frondibus amplis, 10 pedalibus; in fine fructification; this is the same with the Manmoo plant. I observed likewise an arborescent Sambucus, a Bonnaya, a huge Begonia: Coix was seen cultivated.

Nov. 25th.—Spent the day in botanising. Gathered Adamia, some fine ferns, a bamboo, spiculis dense congestis, bracteis scariosis interspersis, and Schizosfachyum, Nees ab E. etc.

Another and much finer species of the Fumariaceous genus, I found on Laim- planj, Deutzia, a rare Quercus, a fine species of Antonia, (Br.) in fruit, a Bartramia, Trematodon, Neckera, etc., noticed a fruit something similar to that of Combretum, allis 2 maximis, 2 minimis: cotyledonibus haemisphaericis.

Saurauja, Prunus: 3 species of Aralia, Castanea, Quercus, etc. A species of Panicum is here cultivated; the Assamese know it by the name Cheena, 3 species of Polygonatum, including that from Laim-planj, one foliis carnosis oppositis. 2 species of Begonia, making altogether six. The Amaranthacea of Deeling is here found extensively, it often assumes the form of a climber of considerable size. Musa farinosa grows to a great size, 20 to 25 feet. Bambusa in flower has stems about two inches in diameter. Sterculia flowers were observed on the ground. In the afternoon it rained slightly. This is the coldest place I have visited on these hills: in the evening and earlier parts of the night there is a very cold draught down Thuma-thaya.

The Anthistiria found on the more elevated portions of these hills, is probably different from that of the plains. Urticea are here found in abundance.

Nov. 26th.—This morning the atmosphere being beautifully transparent, very high land plentifully sprinkled with snow was visible to the N.W. by W., and to the N.W. a slight peep of the Himalayas was gained. Started at 9, and commenced the ascent; we arrived at our halting place at 11.5. The greater part of the march was a steep ascent through dry woods, the ground being very slippery owing to the leaves. Bucklandia occurs in abundance and of a large size, and attains a much greater height than Sedgwickia: found many interesting plants and a small Conifera, probably an Araucaria or a Taxus.

I continued the ascent until about 12, but the scene had totally changed; the whole face of the mountain on the S. side being entirely destitute of trees, and in many places quite naked. The ascent was not very difficult, and occupied a little more than an hour. This acclivity is chiefly occupied by Graminea, all past flowering, all adhering very firmly to the rock, which is quartzose and greyish blue outside, excessively angular: Gentianeae 2: a beautiful Campanula, Hypericum, Viburnum, Spiraea, Bryum Neckera, Pteris, Scabiosa, some Compositae, one or two Vaccinioidea, and a curious shrubby Rubiacea evidently a Serissa, were observed. The top, which represents a ridge, is partially wooded, the trees being the continuation or rather termination of the jungle that covers the whole northern face of the mountain. Here I saw Bucklandia, a Pomacea, Crawfurdia, Deutzia, Cynaroidea, Viburna 2, some ferns. Brachymeum, Neckera, Lichens several: a Caryophyllea and a Berberis.

All these were somewhat stunted. The various views were beautiful, embracing a complete panorama, but unfortunately obscured towards Lama by trees. The Lohit was seen extensively from the Koond to Ghaloom's, and to the plains to an immense distance. The whole range of Abor Hills and a great portion of the Naga, some of which appeared very high, were likewise seen: to the S.E. high ridges not far distant and covered with snow, limited the view; slight snow was visible on the peak seen from Suddiya. The descent was very tedious owing to the excessive slipperiness of the grass: it was dangerous, because a slip would have frequently dashed you to pieces, and in all cases would have hurt one severely.

Nov. 27th.—Descended to Yen: near our halting place we gathered a fine Pomacea arborea in fruit: a Symplocos, and observed Wallichioideae and Calamus. The plants of the greatest interest gathered were an Acer, an Epilobium, a Hoya grandiflora, Eurya, Hypericum, a fine Arundo, Bucklandia: Cotoneaster microphylla, a Sabia, Coriaria, Abelia? a rare Dipodous Orchidea of the same genus as a dwarf plant of the Cossiya Hills. Rhododendron, scandesent Eleodendron.

The ascent for the greater part is a steep wooded ridge; the first change indicated or induced by elevation is the diminution of the size in the trees, and the frequent occurrence of a Betulus? out of flower. Proceeding onward one comes to a ridge, the S.E. declivity of which is nearly naked, the opposite being wooded with shrubs, Viburnum, Conaria, Mespilus, Pomacea, Rhododendron, Rubiacea Serissa, Cupulifera and some Compositae occur. Then Arbutus Vaccinium; Nardus: Filix cano-tomentosa, Lycopodium; Dicranum atratum; one or two Hypna, a Bryum, and Neckera fusca. Descending slightly from thence the ridge is observed to be wooded on both sides; it is at the termination of this that we halted. The ascent is continued up a rock, and the whole of the mountain is, excepting the ravines, covered with Graminea, Cyperacea, Filix cano-tomentosa, etc. but the Ericoidea are not so fine. The grasses of the summit are two Andropogons: an Arundo Festucoidea, Panicum, Isachne, Nardus ceasing below, it is towards this that Crepis? and Campanula are common.

The Ceratostemmata are found towards the summit, none descend any distance, except one of Roxburgh's; they are all generally epiphytes. Orchidea become more common towards the halting place; beyond this I observed only two past flowering, one Habenaria, and a Malaxidea; the others are two Caelogyne, a Dipodious Orchidea, labelli ungue sigmoideo very common, a Bolbophyllum, and a few ditto epiphytes out of flower, one terrestrial Bletioidea is common in some places. At our halting place, I observed an arborescent Araliacea, a Cissus, an Acanthacea and a Laurinea. A little below, Pandanus occurs here and there, and attains a large size, the largest in fact I have ever seen. Castanea occurs about half way up, it is that species with rigid compound spines to the cupula. I gathered also a fine Geastrum, but the specimens are lost. Bucklandia occurs extensively; it is a distinct species owing to its many flowered capitula; Sedgwickia comes into play towards Yen, where Bucklandia appears to become scarce: a large Vitex floribus roseo-purpureis is the most conspicuous tree of all, it ceases towards the summit; Cyathea I observed only above half way. Camellia axillaris occurs below, but I missed the Laim-planj plant. I may here observe that almost all plants with red flowers, at least in this quarter, are acid: the Assamese always appear to expect this, the proofs are Loranthus, Ceratostemma, and Begonia, in which red is generally a predominant colour.

Antrophyllum I noticed about Yen; towards Yen, I diverged from the path to visit the place whence the stones are procured, which the Mishmees use as flints for striking lights: this stone is found on the S. Western face of the mountain: the stones or noduli are frequently sub-crystalline, and are imbedded in a sort of micaceous frangible rock: they are very common, of very different sizes, with glassy fracture; the best are hard; the bad easily frangible, their weight is great. The inclination of this bed is considerable; overlying it at an inclination of 45 degrees, is the grey quartzose rock which forms the chief part, and perhaps nearly the whole, of the mountain. The Mishmee name for the noduli is Mpladung.

In the jungle at Yen occurs a huge Palm evidently Caryota, foliis maximis supra decompositis; the diameter of the trunk is 1.5 to 2 feet. It is said to die after flowering: the natives use the central lax structures as food. The Yen Gam promises to send me specimens to-morrow. The Palms I have hitherto seen are Wallichia, one or two Calami: Wallichioidia trunco 5-10 pedali, and a Phaenicoidea, but this I only saw at the foot of the mountains near Laee Panee, and the small Areca common about Negrogam. The name of the large Palm in Assamese is Bura Sawar. All the plants common to these and the Cossiya mountains, with one or two exceptions, flower much earlier here, those being all past flowering which I gathered in flower on the Cossiya hills in November last. This is owing to the greater cold, and the consequent necessity for the plants flowering at an earlier and warmer period.

A species of ruminant, or, according to the native account, a species of Pachydermata called the Gan Pohoo, occurs on Thuma-thaya. At the summit of the mountain the ground was in one place rooted up, the Mishmees said, by this animal, which they describe as a large Hog, but which I should rather take to be a kind of Deer.

Nov. 28th.—Returned to Deeling. At the commencement of the principal descent we gathered Betula and another Cupulifera, both moderately sized trees. Anthestina arundinacea, is about this place very common, and an Andropogon, Culmis ramosis which I had previously brought from the Abor hills. About half way down by a present of kanee (opium), I succeeded in getting the arborescent vitex, which is the most striking tree of all when in flower. Lost sight altogether of Bucklandia, nor did I observe Sedgwickia. Gathered at the foot of Thuma- thaya a Caelogyne in flower, allied to C. Gardneriana; Alsophila is common towards the base.

In the evening the Yen Gam came up according to his promise with the gigantic Palm, with male inflorescence, it is a Caryota; he likewise brought Sarcocordalis, Rafflesiacea, and a curious pubescent Piper. He also added the female flowers of another Palm, which, according to him, is another species of Sawar, or Caryota: the inflorescence is of an orange yellow. A tree with the habit of Pterospermum occurs on Thuma- thaya, low down Habenaria uniflora on rocks in the Dirsoo Panee, or river; Kydia occurs about Yen, but not higher.

Nov. 29th.—Reached Laee Panee after a march of five hours; and without Assamese coolies, it might be done in three. I noticed below Deeling, but still at a considerable elevation, Crawfurdia campanu lacea, Adamea, Engelhardtia, Vitex speciosa, and Magnolia in the order in which they are thus given, Quercus, cupulis echinatis occurs comparatively low down, Castanea ferox still lower, Dracaena comes into view towards the base. At the village first reached in the ascent there is a Meliaceous Azedarach looking tree.

At our old halting place, and which is near Deeling, another Ahum-metta Ghas was shewn me. This attains, I am told, a large size: it is not very unlike in habit a Melanorrhaea, and its young leaves are tinged with red, the mature ones are coriaceous. I have not seen it in flower; the juice, at least from small branches, is not very abundant, and at first is of a whitish colour; it is, on dit, after drying that it assumes the black tint; at any rate it is excessively acrid, for one of my servants who cut it incautiously, had his face spoilt for a time: the swelling even after four days had elapsed was considerable. With this as well as the Rhus they dye the strings of the simple fibres of Sawar, which they all wear below the knee: if not properly dried these strings cause some inflammation: the strings are ornamental, light, and when worn in small numbers graceful, but when dozens are employed, and all the upper ones loose, they deform the figure much; some of the women, perhaps anxious to restrain the protuberance of their calves, tie two or three lightly across the calf.

At Nohun, near Deeling, Cocoloba aculeata, baccis cyaneis occurs here the same as at Mumbree in the Cossiya hills, and at Suddiya.

Nov. 30th.—Halted. Put all the grain into the Tapan Gam's hands, amounting to 60 maunds. In the evening received as a present a long sword from Premsong. Found a fine Impatiens and a shrub coming into flower, Calyce aestiv. valvato? Stamen 4, connectivo ultra antheras longe producto, ovarium adnatum, foliis oppositis, exstipulatis. Meyenia coccinea, finely in flower. An arborescent Urticea (Baehmeria?) foliis subtus candidis is common.

Dec. 1st.—Reached the Tapan Gam's after a sharp march of four hours. We are not yet quite at the foot of the hills. Gathered en route 4 new Acanthaceae, not previously met with on this trip, among which is a beautiful Eranthemum. At Laee Panee one of my people brought me a fine Aristolochia, very nearly allied to that from Ghaloom's, but at once distinct by its ferruginous pubescence, Antrophyum, and a Polypodium not before met with were among the acquisitions. The Tapan Gam has behaved very handsomely for a Mishmee, having killed a hog, and given five kuchoos of beautiful rice, and feasted my people. Found two snakes, which inhabit the inside of bamboos. Color superne brunneo-cinereus, margines squamarum nigri, gula nigra, fascicula subtus antea alba, postice lutescens.

Noticed Jenkinsia near Laee Panee, and some gigantic specimens of Pentaptera, the Hool-look of the Assamese, the timber of which is used for large canoes; and Lagerstraemia grandiflora occurs on the banks of the Kussin Panee.



CHAPTER III.

Revisits the Tea Localities in the Singphoo and Muttack Districts, Upper Assam.

Dec. 2nd.—Returned to Jingsha via Kussin Panee, or river, and Karam Panee, the march being a tolerably easy one. Found along the steep banks of the former a fine Meniscium, frondibus 6-8 pedalibus, and an arborescent Polypodium, caudice 12-15 pedali, partibus novellis densissime ferrugineo-tomentosis; frondibus subtus glauco-albidis. The caudex is altogether similar in structure to that of Alsophyla, equally furnished with strong black bristly radicles towards its base.

Dec. 3rd.—Left for Husa Gam's about 9, and arrived at the village which is on the Kampai of the Singfos, Tup-pai of the Mishmees about 4.5 P.M. The first part of our march was to the E. up the Karam, we then traversed for a long way heavy jungle in a S. direction, and then came on the dry bed of the Kampai, up which we ascended to the village. Found a Ruellioidea, Cyananthus, mihi. Oom of the Assamese, with which the Kamptees dye their black blue cloths. Noticed an arborescent Araliacea inermis, foliis supra decomposita; panicule patentissima. The Husa Gam treated us very handsomely forming a striking contrast with the Mishmees; he declares positively that no tea exists in this direction; I shall therefore proceed direct from Luttora to Beesa. Roxburghia occurred on the route. The village is on the left bank of the river: the direction from Jingsha's being about N.W.

Dec. 4th.—Reached Luttora after an easy march of three hours and a half, for the most part along an excellent path. We passed the following villages en route Chibong, Wakon, Mtarm, and Mcyompsan: three of which are of some size; none however so large as Nsas. This is the largest Singfo village I have seen, and probably contains 400 people. This village and all the others are situated on high ground, the ascent from the Kampai being probably 70 feet. The country consists of level, apparently good soil, with here and there broadish ravines in which bamboos are abundant. Cultivation is common, and of considerable extent. On a similar eminence is situate Luttora, and it has been well chosen, for on both sides that I approached it, the ascent is steep and capable of being easily defended; the south side is bounded by the Ponlong Panee, which runs into the Tenga Panee. If any ascent it is an easy one, and must be to the westward; to the north, there is a small stream, but neither this, Ponlong or Tenga are any thing but mere rills, which may be easily leaped over in the dry seasons. Our route from Nsas was to the W. of south. No stockades appear to exist in this quarter.

Luttora is not so large as Nsas; formerly the Luttora Gam was the chief of all this soil, but he has been partly deserted by two bodies of men who have respectively chosen Nsas and Htan-tsantan.

The Gam visited me in the evening at our halting place on the Ponlong; he is a large, coarse, heavy-looking man, nearly blind, and excessively dirty. He proposed of himself to me, to become the Company's ryott in accordance with the wish, he said, of the Dupha Gam; but when I told him he ought to send or go to the Suddiya Sahib, or Political Agent, he said he wanted to see the Dupha first: he was accompanied by a very loquacious oldish man, who had just returned from Hook-hoom, to which place he had gone with the Dupha. They left apparently not much pleased at my being empty handed.

Dec. 5th.—Left at 6.5, reached the Muttack Panee about 8.5, having come through much heavy bamboo jungle; we then ascended the dry bed of the Muttack, and ascended after some time the Minaboom. This was most tedious, as we continued along the ridge for two hours; we then commenced our descent, but did not reach the Meera Panee much before 1 P.M. Down this we came here, and then along some curious chasms in the sandstone, and encamped about 3. The difference of soil between the Minaboom and the Mishmee hills is most obvious; on the N.E. declivity there is much soil; but on the opposite side little but rounded stones which supply the place of soil, and in places we saw nothing but sandstone conglomerate? or indurated soil with many boulders imbedded in it, and a blackish greasy clay slate; while on the Mishmees, on the contrary, all is rock, hard and harsh to the touch; or where loose stones do occur on the face of the hills, they are all angular. The vegetation of sandstone is likewise far more varied; and that of the Meera Panee district, abounds in ferns, among which is Polypodium Wallichianum. The Tree-fern of Kujing I observed in the Muttack, Sedgwickia in Minaboom, two Magnoliaceae, one bracteis persistent, induratis, and a Dipterocarpus. The chief vegetation of the ridge consists of grasses, among which bamboo holds a conspicuous place. A Begonia was common along the Muttack. The Meera Panee would well repay a halt of two or three days.

At our halting place we met four Burmese, despatched by the Maum, {51} who has arrived at Beesa on a visit to the Luttora Gam.

Dec. 6th.—Reached Beesa after a sharp march of six hours. Our course lay at first down the Meera Panee; here I observed more of the Polypodium Wallichianum, which is common throughout the Singfo hill country, and appears to be used as grog, at least the juice of the petioles. We then diverged to the westward through heavy jungle, and the remainder of our march consisted of uninteresting dense jungle, water- courses, and excessively low places. Observed Sabia in some of the jungles; the only interesting plants gathered were an Impatiens and two or three Acanthaceae. About 2.5 P.M. we came on the Noa Dihing, which is now nearly dry, the water having flowed into the Kamroop. No boat, not even a dak boat, can come near Beesa. It is obvious that this river here never presented any depth, both banks being very low; the bed consists of small hard boulders.

Dec. 7th, 8th.—Halted at Beesa.

Dec. 9th.—Started for the Naga village, at some distance, and

Dec. 10th.—Left for Kujoo or Khoonlong, which we reached about 1, after a march of five hours. At 10, we arrived at Dhoompsan or Thoompsa, a large village with extensive cultivation. The remainder of our march was through heavy jungle, many parts of which were very low, and crowded with a fierce Calamus. The higher parts abound in a Dipterocarpus, and two Castaneae. I found many fine ferns, all of which however we collected last year. Chrysobaphus, not uncommon. Apostasia rare.

Dec. 11th.—Visited the tea in the old locality at Nigroo. No steps have been taken towards clearing the jungles, except perhaps of tea. The Gam tells me, that the order for clearing was given to Shroo, Dompshan, and Kumongyon, Gams of three villages near the spot. Noticed Dicksonia en route, so that we must have passed it last year. AEsculus also occurs here.

Dec. 12th.—Arrived at Kugoodoo after an easy march of two hours and a half. At 12, went to see the tea which lies to the S.S.W. of the village, and about ten minutes' walk to the W. of the path leading to Negrogam, and which for the most part runs along an old bund road. After diverging from this road we passed through some low jungle, which is always characterised by Calamus Zalaccoideus; and then after traversing for a short time some rather higher ground, came on the tea. This patch is never under water; there is no peculiarity of vegetation connected with it. It runs about N. and S. for perhaps 150 yards by 40 to 50 in breadth. The Gam had cleared the jungle of all, except the larger trees and the low herbaceous underwood, so that a coup d'oeil was at once obtained, and gave sufficient evidence of the abundance of the plants, many of which were of considerable size, and all bore evidence of having been mutilated. They were for the most part loaded with flowers, and are the finest I have seen in the Singfo country. Young buds were very common, nor can I reconcile this with the statement made by the Gam, that no young leaves will be obtainable for four months. From the clearing, the plants are exposed to moderate sun; it is perhaps to this that the great abundance of flowers is to be attributed. The soil, now quite dry at the surface, is of a cinereous grey; about a foot below it is brown, which passes, as you proceed, into deeper yellow; about four feet deep, it passes into sand. No ravines exist, and mounds only do about a few of the larger trees. The soil as usual is light, friable, easily reduced to powder, and has a very slight tendency to stiffness.

Dec. 13th.—Left for the Muttack: our course lay through dense jungle, principally of bamboo, and along the paths of wild elephants; these beasts are here very common. We halted after a march of seven hours on a small bank of the Deboro; the only plant of interest was my Cyananthus in flower.

Dec. 14th.—Continued through similar jungle along the Deboro; bamboo more frequent. About 2 P.M. we left the undulating hillocks, and the jungle became more open. At 4, we reached Muttack, but had still to traverse a considerable distance before we halted at Kolea Panee. We crossed the Deboro en route; no particular plant was met with. I shot two large serpents, Pythons; one 8, and the other 10 feet long. The Kolea Panee is of some width, but is fordable.

Dec. 15th.—After marching for about seven hours, halted at a small village. The country passed over was, like most of this part of Muttack, open, consisting of a rather high plain covered with grasses, T. sperata, Saccharum, and Erianthus, with here and there very swampy ravines; the soil is almost entirely sandy, light at the surface; the yellow tint increasing with the depth, which is considerable. Crossed the Deboro by a rude wooden bridge. I found no particular plants en route.

Dec. 16th.—Reached Rangagurrah, after a march of about an hour: and halted for the day.

Dec. 18th.—Started to visit Sedgwickia at the wood, where we found it in February last. Reached the spot, which is at least ten miles from Rangagurrah, in two hours and a half. The trees had evidently not flowered last year; many of the buds were of some size, and such contained flower buds, each capitula being in addition enveloped in three bracteae densely beset with brown hair. The natives assured me, it will flower about April, or at the sowing of halee. When we before found it, the buds were all leaf buds, which at once accounts for the non-appearance of flowers. Gathered Sabia in the Sedgwickia wood. The Major {53} arrived before I got back.

Dec. 20th.—Revisited the tea locality of Tingrei, which we reached after a five hours' march. The portion of it formerly cleared is now quite clean: all the plants, and they are very abundant, have a shrubby shady appearance; the branches being numerous, so that the first aspect is favourable. But one soon detects an evident coarseness in the leaves, the tint of which is likewise much too yellow; altogether their appearance is totally unlike that of teas growing in their natural shade. That part, and the more extensive one which we first visited in February last, is now clearing; almost all the large trees have been felled, and all the underwood removed. The branches, etc. are piled in heaps and set fire to, much to the detriment of the plants: all the tea trees likewise have been felled. My conviction is, that the tea will not flourish in open sunshine; at any rate, subjection to this should be gradual. Further, that cutting the main stem is detrimental, not only inducing long shoots, but most probably weakening the flavour of the leaves. It appears to me to be highly desirable, that an intelligent superintendent should reside on the spot, and that he should at least be a good practical gardener, with some knowledge of the science also.

Dec. 24th.—Reached Suddiya. The country passed through was, for the first two days, of the same description as before; i.e. rather high grassy plains with belts of jungle, and intervening low very swampy ravines. The soil precisely the same as that of the tea localities. The last march was, with the exception of Chykwar, through low damp dense jungle.

* * * * *

Extract from the Author's letter to Captain F. Jenkins, Commissioner of Assam, regarding the Mishmees. December, 1836. {54}

"I had thus become acquainted with all the influential chiefs near our frontier, and by all I was received in a friendly and hospitable manner. In accordance with my original intentions, my attention was in the first place directed towards ascertaining whether the tea exists in this direction or not, and, as I have already informed you, I have every reason to think that the plant is unknown on these hills. From what I have seen of the tea on the plains, I am disposed to believe that the comparative want of soil, due to the great inclination of all the eminences, is an insuperable objection to its existence.

"As I before observed to you, during my stay at Jingsha, my curiosity had been excited by reports of an incursion of a considerable force of Lamas into the Mishmee country. It hence became, having once established a footing in the country, a matter of paramount importance to proceed farther into the interior, and, if possible, to effect a junction with these highly interesting people; but all my attempts to gain this point proved completely futile; no bribes, no promises would induce any of the chiefs to give me guides, even to the first Mishmee village belonging to the Mezhoo tribe. I was hence compelled to content myself for the present, with obtaining as much information as possible relative to the above report, and I at length succeeded in gaining the following certainly rather meagre account.

"The quarrel, as usual, originated about a marriage settlement between two chiefs of the Mezhoo and Taeen tribes: it soon ended in both parties coming to blows. The Mezhoo chief, ROOLING, to enable him at once to overpower his enemies, and to strike at once at the root of their power, called in the assistance of the Lamas. From this country a force of seventy men armed with matchlocks made an invasion, and, as was to be expected, the Taeen Mishmees were beaten at every point and lost about twenty men. The affair seems to have come to a close about September last, when the Lamas returned to their own country. Where it occurred I could gain no precise information, but it must have been several days' journey in advance of the villages I visited.

"It was owing to the unsettled state of the country, resulting from this feud, that I could gain no guides from the Digaroos, without whose assistance in this most difficult country, I need scarcely say, that all attempts to advance would have been made in vain. These people very plausibly said, if we give you guides, who is to protect us from the vengeance of the Mezhoos when you are gone, and who is to insure us from a second invasion of the Lamas? Another thing to be considered is, the influence even then exercised over the Mishmees near our boundaries by the Singphos connected with the Dupha Gam; but from the renewal of the intercourse with our frontier station, there is every reason for believing that this influence is ere this nearly destroyed.

"The natives of this portion of the range are divided into two tribes, Taeen or Digaroo and Mezhoo, these last tracing their descent from the Dibong Mishmees, who are always known by the term crop-haired. The Mezhoo, however, like the Taeens, preserve their hair, wearing it generally tied in a knot on the crown of their head. The appearance of both tribes is the same, but the language of the Mezhoos is very distinct. They are perhaps the more powerful of the two; but their most influential chiefs reside at a considerable distance from the lower ranges. The only Mezhoos I met with are those at Deeling-Yen, a small village opposite Deeling, but at a much higher elevation, and Tapan. I need scarcely add that it was owing to the opposition of this tribe that Captain WILCOX failed in reaching Lama. The Digaroos are ruled by three influential chiefs, who are brothers DRISONG, KHOSHA, and GHALOOM: of these, DRISONG is the eldest and the most powerful, but he resides far in the interior. PRIMSONG is from a distant stock, and as the three brothers mentioned above are all passed the prime of life, there is but little doubt that he will soon become by far the most influential chief of his tribe. Both tribes appear to intermarry. The Mishmees are a small, active, hardy race, with the Tartar cast of features; they are excessively dirty, and have not the reputation of being honest, although, so far as I know, they are belied in this respect. Like other hill people, they are famous for the muscular development of their legs:—in this last point the women have generally the inferiority. They have no written language. Their clothing is inferior; it is, however, made of cotton, and is of their own manufacture;—that of the men consists of a mere jacket and an apology for a dhoti,—that of the women is more copious, and at any rate quite decent: they are very fond of ornaments, especially beads, the quantities of which they wear is very often quite astonishing. They appear to me certainly superior to the Abors, of whom, however, I have seen but few. Both sexes drink liquor, but they did not seem to me to be so addicted to it as is generally the case with hill tribes:—their usual drink is a fermented liquor made from rice called mont'h: this, however, is far inferior to that of the Singphos, which is really a pleasant drink.

"Religion. Of their religion I could get no satisfactory information—every thing is ascribed to supernatural agency. Their invocations to their deity are frequent, and seem generally to be made with the view of filling their own stomachs with animal food. They live in a very promiscuous manner, one hundred being occasionally accommodated in a single house. Their laws appear to be simple,—all grave crimes being judged by an assembly of Gams, who are on such occasions summoned from considerable distances. All crimes, including murder, are punished by fines: but if the amount is not forthcoming, the offender is cut up by the company assembled. But the crime of adultery, provided it be committed against the consent of the husband, is punished by death; and this severity may perhaps be necessary if we take into account the way in which they live.

"The men always go armed with knives, Lama swords, or Singpho dhaos and lances; and most of them carry cross-bows—the arrows for these are short, made of bamboo, and on all serious occasions are invariably poisoned with bee. When on fighting expeditions, they use shields, made of leather, which are covered towards the centre with the quills of the porcupine. Their lances are made use of only for thrusting: the shafts are made either from the wood of the lawn (Caryota urens) or that of another species of palm juice—they are tipped with an iron spike, and are of great use in the ascent of hills. The lance heads are of their own manufacture, and of very soft iron. They have latterly become acquainted with fire-arms, and the chiefs have mostly each a firelock of Lama construction.

"With Lama they carry on an annual trade, which apparently takes place on the borders of either country. In this case mishmee-teeta, is the staple article of the Mishmees, and for it they obtain dhaos or straight long swords of excellent metal and often of great length; copper pots of strong, but rough make, flints and steel, or rather steel alone, which are really very neat and good; warm woollen caps, coarse loose parti-colored woollen cloths, huge glass beads, generally white or blue, various kinds of cattle, in which Lama is represented as abounding, and salts. I cannot say whether the Lamas furnish flints with the steel implements for striking light; the stone generally used for this purpose by the Mishmees is the nodular production from Thumathaya,—and this, although rather frangible, answers its purpose very well; with the Singphos they barter elephants' teeth, (these animals being found in the lower ranges,) for slaves, dhaws, and buffaloes.

"With the Khamtees they appear to have little trade, although there is a route to the proper country of this people along the Ghaloom panee, or Ghaloom Thee of WILCOX'S chart; this route is from the great height of the hills to be crossed, only available during the hot months.

"With the inhabitants of the plains they carry on an annual trade, which is now renewed after an interruption of two years, exchanging cloths, Lama swords, spears, mishmee-teeta, bee, which is in very great request, and gertheana, much esteemed by the natives for its peculiar and rather pleasant smell, for money, (to which they begin to attach great value), cloths, salt and beads: when a sufficient sum of money is procured, they lay it out in buffaloes and the country cattle."

* * * * *

The following is a list of collections of Plants from the Mishmee Hills to the extreme East, Upper Assam.

Dicotyledones. Dicotyledones.

(Ligulatae, 9) Ericineae, 7 Composi- (Cynaraceae, 4) 89 Verbenaceae, 8 tae, (Corymbiferae,76) Boragineae, 2

Labiatae, 50 Valerianeae, 1 Gesneriaceae, 22 Dipsaceae, 1 Acanthaceae, 38 Caprifoliaceae, 6 Scrophularineae, 19 Rubiaceae, 42 Solaneae, 6

Apocyneae, ) 5 Convolvulaceae, 8 Asclepiadeae, ) Primulaceae, 1

Gentianeae, 7 Myrsineae, 19 Oleinae, 2 Escalloniaceae? 3 Jasmineae, 6 Malvaceae, 6 Campanulaceae, 7 Cruciferae, 3 Lobeliaceae, 7 Polygaleae, 1 Vacciniaceae, 2 Violaceae, 5 Passifloreae, 1 Begoniaceae, 6 Modeccoideae, 1 Umbelliferae, 4 Samydeae, 1 Araliaceae, 12 Ampelideae, Leea, 6 Rhamneae, 1 Balsamineae, 15 Celastrineae, 9 Sileneae, 6 Amaranthaceae, 8 Aurantiaceae, 5 Polygoneae, 12 Meliaceae, 5 Chenopodeae, 1 Sapindaceae, 3 Plantagineae, 1 Acerineae, 4 Urticeae, 14 Malpighiaceae, 3 Ulmaceae, 1 Hypericineae, 2 Euphorbiaceae, 21 Ternstroemiaceae, 11 Scepaceae, 1 Symplocineae, 3 Stilagineae, 5 Ebenaceae, 1 Myriceae, 1

(Rhus, 5) Juglandeae, 1 Terebin- (Buchanania, 1) Cupuliferae, 4 thaceae, (Phlebochiton, 1) 9 Betulaceae, 5 (Sabia, 2) Salicineae, 1

Zanthoxyleae, 5 Laurineae, 8 Conareae, 1 Hamamelideae, 2 Trygophylleae, 1 Thymeleae, 1 Rutaceae, 2 Santalaceae, 1 Ranunculaceae, 4 Loranthaceae, 2 Fumariaceae, 2 Proteaceae, 1 Myristiceae, 2 Elaeagneae, 1 Anonaceae, 4 Aristolochiae, 3 Magnoliaceae, 1 Combretaceae, 2 Berberideae, 1 Chlorantheae, 1 Lardizabaleae, 1 Piperaceae, 14 Menispermeae, 5 Coniferae, 1 Rosaceae, 16 Incertae, 17 Leguminosae, 31 Unarranged, 8 Philadelpheae, 2 Ditto, 14 Saxifrageae, 3 —- Melastomaceae, 9 725 Onagrariae, 3 —- Myrtaceae, 2 Cucurbitaceae, 6 Monocotyledones Acotyledones

Smilacineae, 14 Dioscoreae, 1 Pteris, 21 Peliosantheae, 5 Blechnum, 1 Tupistraceae, 2 Dicksonia, 1 Commelineae, 10 Davallia, 12 Tacceae, 1 Lindsaea, 2 Aroideae, 6 Asplenium 27 Scitamineae, 6 Allantodioides, 6 Orchideae, 43 Aspidium, 22 Apostaceae, 1 Nephrodium, 16 Palmae, 3 Cyatheae, 7 Cyperaceae, 22 Trichomanes, 4 Gramineae, 73 Hymenophyllum, 2 —- Gleichenia, 1 187 Angiopteris, 1 —- Botrychium, 1 Acotyledones Lygodium, 2 Lycopodium, 6 Acrostichum, 12 Tinesipteris 1 Ceterach, 2 Equisetum, 1 Grammitis, 3 —- Polypodium, 56 224 Pleopeltis, 8 Monocotyledones,187 Niphobolus, 1 Dicotyledones, 725 Cheilanthes, 3 Mosses unarranged, about 50 Adiantum, 3 —— Vittaria, 1 Total, 1186 Lomaria, 1 ——

N.B.—The plants enumerated above, were transmitted to the India House in 1838, together with former collections made in the Tenasserim Provinces.



CHAPTER IV.

Journey from Upper Assam towards Hookhoom, Ava, and Rangoon, Lat. 27 degrees 25' to 16 degrees 45' N., Long. 96 degrees to 96 degrees 20' E.

We left Suddiya on the 7th of February 1837, and reached Kedding on the 10th; stayed there one day, and reached Kamroop Putar, where I found Major White and Lieut. Bigge on the 12th. The jungle to this place was similar to the usual jungle of the Singpho country, very generally low, and intersected by ravines. We crossed en route the Karam river, the Noa Dihing, or Dihing branch of the Booree Dihing, on which the Beesa's old village was situated; and lastly the Kamroop. Kamroop Putar is close to the Naga hills; it is a cultivated rice tract, on the river Kamroop. This river is fordable, with frequent rapids. The only curious things about it are the petroleum wells, which are confined to three situations. The wells are most numerous towards the summits of the range; and the place where they occur is free from shrubs. The petroleum is of all colours, from green to bluish white; this last is the strongest, partaking of the character of Naphtha, it looks like bluish or greyish clay and water. The vegetation of the open places in which the wells are found, consists of grass, Stellaria, Hypericum, Polygonum, Cyperaceae, Mazus rugosus, Plantago media, etc., all of which are found on the plains. One of the wells is found on the Putar, or cultivated ground; the petroleum in this is grey. The Kamroop river above this Putar, strikes off to the eastward, and the Kamteechick, a tributary, falls into it from the south; this last is a good deal the smaller; the banks of the Kamroop are in many places precipitous. About two miles from the Putar, a fine seam of excellent coal has been exposed by a slip: {60} the beds are at an inclination of 45 degrees, and their direction is, I think, nearly the same with that of the left bank of the river in which they occur; immediately over the seam there is a small ravine, where three of the veins are still farther exposed. Caricea, a new Dicranum, Alsophila ferruginea, Polytrichum aloides, Bartramea subulosa, and Jungermanniae are common near this spot.

Left Kamroop on the 19th, and proceeded in a S.W. direction for twelve miles, when we halted on the Darap Kha, at the foot of the Naga hills, opposite nearly to Beesala. Nothing of interest occurred.

Feb. 21st.—Commenced the ascent, and after marching about ten miles, halted in a valley near a stream. Temperature 66 degrees. Water boiled at 210.5 degrees, giving an altitude of about 77 degrees, or 383 feet above Suddiya. The road was very winding, the path good, except towards the base of the hills: the soil sandy, in places indurated, and resting on sandstone; but there is not yet sufficient elevation to ensure much change in vegetation. Found Kaulfussia {61a} below in abundance, observed Castanea and a Quercus; three species of Begonia, and three or four species of Acanthacea. In other respects the jungle resembles that of the Singpho territory. Dicksonia is abundant. Dipterocarpus of large size occurs. Caught two innocuous snakes at the halting place. {61b}

Feb. 22nd.—The distance of the march is about 12 miles, and we halted after crossing the Darap Panee; some parts of the route were difficult, at least for elephants. No particular features of vegetation yet appears. The summit of the higher hills looks pretty. Tree jungle considerable, open places with low grass, is the surrounding feature of vegetation. The hill first surmounted from the halting place is covered with a Camellia or Bunfullup, (i.e. bitter tea) of the Assamese. The fruit has loculicidal dehiscence. In habit it is like that of the tea, but the buds are covered with imbricate scales. At the summit of the hill, it attained a height of 30 or 40 feet. Begoniacea, Urticaceae, Acanthaceae, Filices, are the most common.

Feb. 23rd.—Halted to enable the elephants to come up; they arrived about 10 A.M. Temperature of the air 75 degrees, water boiled at 210 degrees, altitude 1029 feet. The Darap is a considerable stream, but is fordable at the heads of the rapids. Fish abound, especially Bookhar, a kind of Barbel, {61c} which reaches a good size. Clay slate appears to be here the most common rock, and forms in many places the very precipitous banks of the river. Alsophila ferruginea, Areca, Calami, Fici., Pentaptera, Laurineae, Myristiceae continue. Kaulfussia assamica, is common along the lower base of the hills.

Feb. 23rd.—Started at 7, and after a march of five hours, reached the halting place on the Kamtee-chick, some distance above the place at which we descended to its bed. Distance 12 miles, direction S.S.E.; crossed one hill of considerable elevation, certainly 1000 feet above the halting place, which we find by the temperature of boiling water to be 1413 feet above the sea. The tops of these hills continue comparatively open, and have a very pretty appearance. The trees, however, have not assumed a northern character; their trunks are covered with epiphytes. The Kamtee-chick is a small stream fordable at the rapids, the extreme banks are not more than 30 or 40 yards. No peculiarity of vegetation as yet occurs; the fruit of a Quercus continues common, as well as that of Castanea ferox. I met with that of a Magnolia; Tree ferns, Calami, Musa, Areca, and the usual sub-tropical trees continue; Acanthaceae are most common, Gordonea plentiful on the open places on the hills, Sauraufa two species, Byttneria, etc. etc. Altogether, I am disappointed in the vegetation, which, although rich, is not varied. Wallichia continues common. A Begonia with pointed leaves, and a Smilacineous plant are the most interesting, and a large Quercoid Polypodium, the lacineae of which are deciduous; and these I found in abundance on the Mishmee hills, although I did not succeed in getting an entire frond.

Feb. 24th.—Marched about ten miles all the way up the bed of the Kamtee-chick, now a complete mountain stream, the general direction being S.S.E. Traversed in places heavy jungle, but for the most part we ascended the bed of the river. The only very interesting plant was Podostemon, apparently Griffithianum, which covers the rocks on the bed of the river. The usual plants continue, viz. Scitamineae, Phrynium capitatum, Tradescantia, Paederia and Isophylla, Pothos 2 or 3 species, Ixora 2, Leea, which occasionally becomes arborescent. Cissus 3 or 4, Panax ditto, Pierardia sapida, Elaeocarpus, Smilax, Areca, Calami 2 or 3, Asplenium nidus, Fici several, Pentaptera, Cupuliferae, the latter rare; Bauheniae 2, Acanthaceae, one of which attains the size of a large shrub, Guttiferae 2, Phlebochiton, Rottlera, Millingtonia simplicifolia, Inga, Wallichia, Pentaptera, Malvacea, and Acanthacea convallariae flore. I observed Pandanus to be common, (one Sterculia was yesterday observed). Equisetae 2, the larger being the plant of the plains. Erythrina, Lagerstraemia grandiflora. Chondospermum, Polypodium, Acrostichoides ferrugineum, and the fruit of Cedrela Toona, Megala. Choranthus was not seen.

Feb. 25th.—Proceeded about 100 yards up the Kamchick, then crossed the Tukkaka, and commenced the ascent of a high hill, certainly 1000 feet above the elevation of our last halting place on the Kamchick: the lower portion is covered with tree jungle, the upper portion of the mountain is open, covered with a tall Saccharum and an Andropogon, among which are mixed several Compositae, and an Ajuga. Among the grass, occur trees scattered here and there, chiefly of a Gordonia. From the summit we had a pretty view of the Kamchick valley, closed in to the S.W. by a high and distant wall, being part of the Patkaye range. All the hills have the same features, but it is odd that their highest points are thickly clothed with tree jungle. Observed Kydia, Alstonia, Eurya, Triumfetta, Celtis, Engelhardtia, Rhus, Rottlera, Loranthus, Callicarpa and Dicksonia all at a high elevation, but this latter is scarce. No pines visible. Dhak, Fici, Musa farinacea, Bambusae continue. Compositae are common on the clearings. A Mimosa occurs on the summit, and Andrachne, 3-foliata. Thence we descended for a short distance, and halted at the foot of the Patkaye near the stream.

Direction S.S.E. Distance four miles.

Elevation 3026 feet. Temperature 66 degrees. Boiling point, 206.5 degrees.

All the trees have a stunted appearance.

Feb. 26th.—Halted.

Feb. 27th.—To-day ascended a hill to the W. of our camp, certainly 500 feet above it; its features are the same, Porana alata. Bignonia, a Leguminous tree, a ditto Mimosa. Panax, Lobelia zeylanica, Artemisia, Cordia. Panicum curvatum, Anthistina arundinacea.

Panicum plicatoides, Smithea, Hypericum of the plains, and Potentilla, Sida, and Plantago all plain plants, are found at the summit. To the S.W. of our camp are the remains of a stockade, which was destroyed by fire, it is said, last year. The only interesting plants gathered were a Cyrtandracea, AEschynanthus confertus mihi, a Dendrobium, and a fine Hedychium, beautifully scented, occurring as an epiphyte. Of Ficus several species are common. On the large mountain to the N.E., either birch or larches are visible, their elevation being probably 1000 feet above that of our camp.

The party halted until the 3rd March; I had one day's capital fishing in the Kamtee-chick with a running line.

March 2nd.—A Havildar arrived, bearing a letter from Dr. Bayfield, {64} stating that he would be with the Major in two or three days.

March 3rd.—Capt. Hannay and I started in advance; we crossed a low hill, then a torrent, after which we commenced a very steep ascent. This ascent, with one or two exceptions, continued the whole way to the top of the Patkaye range, which must be 1500 feet above our halting place. The features continued the same. The Patkaye are covered with dry tree jungle on the northern side. The place, whence the descent begins, is not well defined: at first winding through damp tree jungle. After a march of four hours we descended to a small stream, the Ramyoom, which forms the British boundary; this we followed for some distance through the wettest, rankest jungle I ever saw: thence we ascended a low hill, and the remainder of our march was for the most part a continued descent through dry open tree jungle, until we again descended into the damp zone. We reached water as night was setting in, and bivouacked in the bed of the stream.

The former vegetation continued until we reached the dry forest covering the upper parts of the Patkaye, and here the forms indicating elevation increased. Polygonatum, Ceratostemma, Bryum Sollyanum, and a Ternstroemiacea occurred, Epiphytical orchideae are common, but were almost all out of flower. Owing to the thickness of the jungle, and the height of the trees, we could not ascertain what the trees were; but from the absence of fruit, etc. on the ground, I am inclined to think that they are not Cupuliferae. Betee bans, (of the natives) a kind of bamboo, perhaps the same as the genus Schizostachyum, N. ab. E. is common all over the summit, and descends to a considerable distance, especially on the southern side. On this side the prevalence of interesting forms was much more evident. Along the Kamyoom I gathered an Acer, an Arbutus, a Daphne. Polypodium arboreum ferrugineum was likewise here very common. Succulent Urticeae, Acanthaceae swarmed: a huge Calamus was likewise conspicuous. On this side there is plenty of the bamboo called Deo bans, articulis spinarum verticillis armatis, habitu B. bacciferae. Among the trees on the descent, Magnoliaceae occur; the petals of one I picked up were light yellow, tinged with brown in the centre. A species of Viola occurred low down. I believe it is V. serpens. On both sides, but especially the south Ceratostemma variegatum occurs; this is common still lower down the Kamyoom. The trees along this portion of the boundary nullah, are covered with masses of pendulous Neckera and Hypna. On the summit I observed two species of Panax, a fruitescent or arbusculous Composita, Asplenum nidus, Laurineae, etc.

The direction of the day's journey was about S.S.E. The distance 15 miles.

March 4th.—We reached almost immediately the real Kamyoom, down which our route laid; we halted in its bed at 3, after a march most fatiguing from crossing and recrossing the stream, of about ten miles: general direction E.S.E. The features of this torrent are precisely the same as those of the Kamteechick, but Sedgewickia is common. I gathered a Stauntonia, Ceratostemma variegatum, and some fine ferns, and two or three Begoniaceae, Magnoliaceae three species occur, among which is Liriodendron; Cupiliferae are common, especially Quercus cupulis lamellatis, nuce depressa; a Viburnum likewise occurred. The stream is small; the banks in many places precipitous. In one place great portion of the base of a hill had been laid waste by a torrent coming apparently from the naked rocks; trees and soil were strewed in every direction. Clay-slate is common.

I should have mentioned that Dicksonia occurs at 4000 feet, as well as (Camellia) Bunfullup, after that the former ceases. The two Saurauja of Suddiya continue up to 4000 feet of elevation; on the first ascent I observed a large Thistle, but out of flower. No cultivation was passed after surmounting the first ascent; we passed the remains of a stockade on the 4th, in which some Singphos had on a previous inroad stockaded themselves. The hills are generally covered with tree jungle, except occasionally on the north side where they have probably at some early period, been cleared for cultivation. To this may be added the curious appearance of the trees indicating having been lopped.

Equisetum continues in the bed of the river. Nothing like a pine was observed.

March 5th.—Proceeded in an E.S.E. direction towards Kamyoom for a distance of four miles, where we met Dr. Bayfield. As we found from him that it was impossible to go on, as there were no rice coolies, etc. to be obtained, we returned to our halting place; where I remained chiefly from supposing that the Meewoon will start less objections when he sees that I am in his territory without coolies, etc. Fished in the afternoon. The Bookhar, or large Barbel already mentioned, still continues; but there is another species still more common, of a longer form, ventral fins reddish, mouth small, nose gibbous rough; {66} it takes a fly greedily, and is perhaps a more game fish than the other. All the birds inhabiting the water-courses of the north side of the Patkaye continue. Barking Deer are heard occasionally.

Gathered one fine Bleteoidia Orchidea, racemis erectis oblongis, sepalis petalisque fusco-luteis, arcte reflexis, labello albido, odore forti mellis. Engelhardtia occurs here, Pentaptera, Wallichia, Calamus, Saccharum, etc.

March 7th.—To-day the Meewoon arrived, accompanied by perhaps 200 people chiefly armed with spears; he was preceded by two gilt chattas. He made no objections to my remaining, and really appeared very good-natured. The first thing he did, however, was to seize a shillelagh, and thwack most heartily some of his coolies who remained to see our conference. He did not stay ten minutes.

March 8th.—To-day I examined superficially the ovary and young fruit of Ceratostemma variegatum, Roxb. The placenta which is very green, is 5- rayed. The substance of the walls of the ovary which is thick and white, projects towards the axis not only between the lobes, but also opposite to each; so that the fruit is really 10-celled, but 5 of the cells are spurious. The production opposite the placentae necessarily divides the ovula of one placenta into two parcels, and these are they that have no adhesion with the axis. At present I can say nothing about the relative site of the lobes of the placentae, otherwise there is nothing remarkable, beyond the production of the ovary opposite the lobes of the placentae.

March 12th.—Yesterday evening Bayfield returned alone, leaving Hannay on the Patkaye, unable to come on or retreat, owing to his having no coolies. It was decided, that there was no other step left me to follow than going on to Ava, and I thus am enabled to obey the letter of Government, relative to my going to Ava, which reached me on the 10th by the Havildar. The Meewoon can give me no assistance towards returning, although he will spare me a few men to carry me on to Mogam. For the last three days I have been indisposed. Altitude 2138 by the Therm. Temp. 208 degrees, at which water boils.

March 13th.—Left and proceeded down the Kamyoom, or properly Kam-mai- roan, according to Bayfield, in an E.S.E. direction for about seven miles, when we reached the previous halting place of Dr. Bayfield. We passed before arriving at this a small Putar on which were some remains of old habitations; on it limes abound, and these are a sure test of inhabitation at some previous period.

The vegetation continues precisely the same as that of the Namtucheek, even to Podostemon Griffithianum, which I to-day observed for the first time.

March 14th.—Proceeded on, still keeping for the chief part of our march along the Kammiroan. We left this very soon, and crossed some low hills on which the jungles presented the same features. We left the village Kammiroan to our right. We did not see it, but I believe it consists of only two houses. Passed through one khet, the first cultivated ground we saw after leaving that on the Kamchick; then we came on to a few more Putars, in which limes continue abundant. On these I find no less than three species of Rubus; in those parts on which rice has been cultivated a pretty fringed Hypericum likewise occurs, and these are the most interesting plants that have presented themselves. Our course improved much yesterday; it extended E. by S., and was rather less than seven miles. Halted at Kha-thung-kyoun, where the Meewoon had halted, and where the Dupha Gam had remained some time previous. The same vegetation occurs, Engelhardtia, Gleichenia major longe scandens, Equisetum both species, Euphorbiacea nereifolia, Dicksonia rare, Scleria vaginis alatis, Plantago media, Zizania ciliaris, Melastoma malabathrica, Lycium arenarum, Duchesnia indica, Mazus rugosus, the Suddiya Viburnum, Millingtonia pinnata, Pentaptera, Erythrina; an arboreous Eugenia fol. magnis, abovatis, is however new, and Polypodium Wallichianum which occurred to-day growing on clay-slate. But considering the elevation at which we still remain to be tolerably high, the products both of the vegetable and animal kingdom are comparatively uninteresting. There are more epiphytical Orchideae on the south sides of these hills, than the north. Musci and Hepaticae are common, but do not embrace a great amount of species. Machantia asamica is common. Another new tree I found is probably a Careya or Barringtonia; the young inflorescence is nearly globular, and clothed with imbricated scales. Sedgewickia has disappeared. No tea was seen. There is but little doubt that on hills, the ranges of which rise gradually, the acclimatization of low plants may take place to such a degree, that such plants may be found at high elevations; can they however so far become acclimated, as to preponderate? I expected of course to find the same plants on both sides of the hills, but I did not expect to find Rottlerae, Fici, tree-ferns, etc., at an elevation of 4000 feet and upwards.

The fish of the streams continue the same, as well as the birds. The Ouzel, white and black, long-tailed Jay, white-headed Redstart, red-rumped ditto, all continue. Water Wagtails were seen to-day. This bird is uncommon in hill water-courses; one snipe was seen yesterday. Ooloocks (Hylobates agilis), continue as in Assam. With regard to fish, both species of Barbel occur; {68} the most killing bait for the large one, or Bookhar of the Assamese, is the green fucus, which is common, adhering to all the stones in these hill-streams: it is difficult to fix it on the hook. The line should be a running one, and not leaded, and the bait may be thrown as a fly. To it the largest fish rise most greedily; plenty of time must be allowed them to swallow before one strikes, otherwise no fish will be caught. All the same Palms continue except Calami, Areca, and Wallichiana.

Balsamineae are uncommon. There is one however, although rare, probably the same as the bright crimson-flowered one of the Meerep Panee. Urticeae have diminished; the Suddiya Viola occurred yesterday, the Asplenium, fronde lanceolat. continues common.

March 14th.—Halted. Water boiled 209 degrees. Temp. 59 and 60 degrees. Elevation 1622 feet.

March 15th.—Left the Meewoon about 8, and proceeded about 100 yards up the Khathing. Thence we struck off, and commenced the ascent, which continued without intermission for some hours, the whole way lying through heavy tree jungle. Ascent in some places very steep. On reaching the summit, or nearly so, the jungle became more open, and the route continued along the ridge. We then descended for 50 feet, and halted on an open grassy spot where we ascertained the altitude to be 5516 feet. Boiling point 202 degrees. Temperature of the air 63 degrees. The vegetation increased in interest; I noticed near the Khathing, Buddleia neemda, Pladera Justicioidea, which continues however all along even to 5000 feet. Thunbergia coccinea, Chondrospermum, Dicksonia; near and on the summit Magnoliae and two or three Cupuliferae, Daphne Strutheoloides, nobis, Gymnostomum involutum, Berberis pinnata, the same as the Khasiya one, but scarce. Laurinea arborea, Bambusa monogynia, Rubus moluccanus: Frutex Ruscordeus, Loranthus, Anthistiria arundinacea, Melastoma, Cyathea, Compositae, Conyzoideae two or three, Correas one, Hedychium, Eurya, Gleichenia, Hermannia, Lycopodium ceranium, Hoya teretifolia, Acanthaceae two or three, Bucklandia.

We thence descended, and after a longish march reached the Natkaw Kyown, and finally halted on the Khusse Kyown. During this portion I gathered some very interesting plants, a new Ceratostemma, Adamia, two or three Orchideae, a beautiful large flowered Cyrtandracea, the same Daphne, an Umbellifera. Vaccineaceae, four species of Begoniae, a Viburnum. Crawfurdia and Polypodium Wallichianum, which roofed in our shed; Musci increased as well as Succulent Urticeae in shady places. Smilacinae were common, especially one at elevations of from 3 to 5000 feet inflorescentia cernua. The features are the same, the drier woods crowning the ridges. On the trees of these, Orchideae and Filices are common, as well as in low parts in which Acanthaceae abound. I saw no Betee-bhans nor Deo-bhans, (peculiar bamboos). Of the above, Ceratostemma, Daphane, Smilacinae, Cyathea, some of the Begoniae, the large flowered Cyrtandraceae, Umbelliferae are sure indications of considerable elevation. The course was nearly south. Distance about 13 miles. Thermometer in boiling water 206 degrees. Temperature of the air 50.5 degrees. Halting place, 3516.

March 16th.—Started before breakfast, and reached the Khusee Kyoung without any material descent. Thence we continued descending on the whole considerably until we reached Namthuga, at 10 A.M. Thence the descent increased. Halted on Kullack Boom. General direction S.; distance 13 miles. Noticed Areca up to 3800 feet, as well as Cheilosandra obovata, Bletea melleodora, and Begonia palmata as high as 3000 feet.

At Namthuga a Sambucus, probably S. Ebulus, a Mimosa, Pothos decursiva, Hedychium, Urtica urens, Gleichenia major, Tradescanthia panicularis. Between this and Kullack Boom Acanthaceae are the most common; Paederia triphylla appears near the Boom, together with Arum viviparum. Black Pheasants were likewise heard on our route. On the open halting place, grasses preponderate. Anthestiria arundinacea, arbusculous Gordonia, and Saurauja, a Laurinea, Styrax, etc. AEsculus asamicus is common, and profusely in flower, and Pteris as on Thuma-thaya; Musa glauca made its appearance. From this open space an extensive view is obtained of Hookhoom valley, bounding which occurs a range of hills stretching E.S.E. and W.N.W. These in the centre present a gap in which a river is seen running S. The view to the E. is impeded by the trees on that face of the hill. The valley is as usual one mass of jungle, with here and there clear patches occurring, especially to the W. of S., but whether from cultivation or not, I am unable to say. The Namlunai river is visible; winding excessively, especially to the E.S.E., it appears a considerable stream with much sand: it passes out towards the gap above alluded to, winding round the corner of the hills.

During the 16th, my attention was particularly directed towards Tea, which was said positively to exist. I obtained some of the bitter sort, or Bunfullup, but the plant which was pointed out to me as tea certainly was not, although resembling it a good deal. There is no reason for supposing, that it exists on these hills, and if tea is brought hence, it is I should think a spurious preparation. The soil is in many places yellow, in many brick-dust coloured. If the Tea existed in abundance, I must have seen it.

The hills which confine the valley, at least those which are obvious outliers of the Patkaye range, are characterised by conical peaks, and there is a bluff rock of good elevation to the W.S.W. .5 S.

[Valley of Hookhoom: p71.jpg]

March 17th.—Boiled water at 206 degrees Fahr. Thermometer in the air 61 degrees. Elevation 3270. Commenced the descent, which continued without interruption to the Loon-karankha, where we breakfasted. The bed of this, which is a mere mountain torrent, is of sandstone. Here Ceratostemma variegatum is very common, and has larger, broader and more obovate leaves, than before observed; Polypodium Wallichianum, a Begonia and Orchideae are common on its boulders. Continued our course at first up a considerable ascent, thence it was nearly an uniform descent. Crossed the Namtuwa, along which our course lay for a short time. The latter part was through low wet jungle, along small water-courses, till we reached the Panglai Kha, along which we continued for some time. Reached our halting place on the Namtuseek about 2 P.M. General direction E.S.E.; distance about ten miles. Noticed Podostemon Griffithianum, on rocks on the Namtuwa. My collector gathered one Daphne, Acanthus Solanacea occurred very abundantly, corinfundib. lab super postico, infer reflexo, laciniis bifidis. Low down observed the usual Dipterocarpus, Uncaria and Kaulfussia asamica, Dracaena. Mesua ferrea occurred during the first part of the march. Noticed the tracks of a Rhinoceros. At 5 P.M. water boiled at 210 degrees. Temperature 69 degrees. Elevation 1099 feet.

The most interesting plants were an Arum, an undescribed Ceratostemma, and a Celastrinea.

The collection formed between this place and Suddiya now amount to about 500 species. The vegetation of the lower portions is the same, or nearly so, on either side of the hills; but I did not observe near this the Polypodium ferrugineum arboreum, although there is a small arborescent species of this genus. On either side, the lower ranges are clothed with heavy wet tree jungle, the under-shrubs consisting of Acanthaceae, Rubiaceae, Filices, Aroideae, and Urticeae; Kaulfussia does not ascend so high on this side. Acanthacea solanacea appears peculiar to this side, although there is a species of the genus on the Kammiroan.

The plants indicating the greatest elevation are Acer, Ceratostemma miniatum, and angulatum, Vacciniaceae; Daphne, particularly the Patkaye one, and D. struthioloides, most of the Smilacineae, Berberis, etc. etc. Bucklandia Crawfurdii, Begoniae, some Viburnia, Cyathea, etc. of Ceratostemma (Gay Lussacium?) several, perhaps not less than seven species occur; all have the same habit, and the same depot of nourishment in the thick portion near the collet. No Coniferae exist, although the elevation is more than sufficient to determine their appearance. In Orchideae the flora is certainly very rich, but few species are in flower

(Memo. To compare these elevational plants with those from the Mishmee hills, on which, speaking from memory, they are more abundant.)

March 18th.—Left at half-past 6, and arrived (after halting about one hour and a half) at 3 P.M. The road was very circuitous, for the first part E. by S., subsequently for some time N.N.E., and even N.E.; the general direction is perhaps E.; the distance certainly 18 miles. The greater part of the route lay through heavy but dryish tree jungle; but during the latter half, and especially towards Nempean, Putars or cultivated fields increased in number, and extent. We crossed one stream only. The soil is yellow and deep, occasionally inclining to brick-red; it is apparently much the same as that of Muttack. The low spots were uncommon. We saw only two paths diverging from ours; one of these led to Bone, which is about two miles from our path, in a south direction, and at no great distance from the Namtuseek.

The features of the country and its productions are much the same as those of Upper Assam, indeed strikingly so. During the earlier part of our march we observed a fine Shorea in abundance; it had a noble straight stem, but the leaves were too small for Saul. The only new plants I found were Styrax floribus odoris, ligno albo close grained, arbor mediocris, a Baeobotrys, two Goodyerae, a Laurinea, Sparganium! Tabernaemontana fructibus magnis, edulibus, fol. obovatis, and a species of Shorea.

I noticed the following plants in the following order from Namtuseek: Dicksonia, Areca, Calamus, Bambusa, speculis pubescentibus, deformatis, a species of Phrynium, Pladera justicioides, Chrysobaphus Roxburghii, Phyllanthus, Embilica, a species of Wendlandia common in places that appeared to have been formerly cleared; Gnetum lepidotum, Celastrinea foliis Leguminosarum, Bombax (inerme) Saccharum Megala, Imperata cylindica, Anthistiria arundinacea, Ingae sp., Sauraujae sp. Entada, Gleichenia, Hermannia, Blechnum orientale, Baeobotrys, Meniscium 3-phyllum, Sonerila, Acanthus leucostachys, Diplazium of Kujoo, Podomolee, Saccharum foliis apice spiraliter tortis, Osbeckia, Rottlera, Lygodium, Rubus moluccanus, Centotheca, Zizania ciliaris, Viola asamica, Potamogeton nutans, foliis linearibus, Limnophila, Pontederia dilatata, Lobelia Zeylanica, Hypericum venustum. Panax foliis supra decompositis spinosis, Callicarpae 2 spec, Duchesnea indica, Combretum, Melica latifolia, Magus rugosus, Vandellia peduncularis, Villarsia pumila, Artocarpus integrifolius, Piper, Lagerstraemia grandiflora, Roxb. Dillenia speciosa, Spathodea. All these exist in Assam.

The birds are the same. As for instance, common Maina, Doves, the Picus of low swampy places, and the Lark of the plains of Assam. Squirrel, ventre ferrugineo. Black Pheasant, Phasianus leucomelanus, Laurineae, Acanthaceae, Rubiacea and Filices, are common in the jungles.

The Putars are clothed with the same grasses as in Assam. Imperata cylindrica, Anthistiria arundinacea, Megala in low places with Alpinea Allughas, in those lately under cultivation, the Campanula of the B. pooter occurs, together with Hypericum, Gnaphalium, Poa and Carex.

From the frequent occurrence of these Putars, I should say that the capabilities of the country, at least the latter half of our march, improves as far as regards halee cultivation.

Throughout the march nothing occurred to shew that this part of the valley is inhabited. We passed, however, an old and extensive burying ground of the Singphos. Of the Putars only small portions were cultivated, and the crops did not appear to be very good.

Nempean, which is a stockaded village, is about a quarter of a mile from the encampment of the Meewoon, and about S.E., and within 200 yards to the N.N.E. is a similar stockaded village called Tubone. Both these villages are on the right bank of the Namturoon, which is a large stream, as big nearly as the Noa Dihing at Beesa. B. measured it, and finds its extreme bed to be 270 yards broad. The volume of water is considerable, the rapids are moderate; it is navigable for largish canoes. On this bank, i.e. right, there is an extensive plain running nearly N. and S.; no part of it seems to be cultivated. The scenery is precisely the same as that of Upper Assam, viz. open, flat, intersected by belts of jungle. With the exception of the W. and the points between this and south, hills are visible, some of considerable height. To the S.E. there is a fine peak, which reminds one much of the Mishmee peak, so remarkable at Suddiya. It is in this direction that the hills are highest.

No tea is reported to exist here. B. met with it on his road hither, and shewed me the specimen; there is no difference between this and the Assam specimens in appearance, neither are the leaves at all smaller. As a new route has been cut out I cannot visit it, but shall wait until I arrive at Meinkhoom.

The Chykwar Mulberry occurs, and to a larger size than I have seen it in Assam. The Singphos, however, as they have no silkworms, do not make use of it; I have seen some little cultivation on the Tooroon belonging to Bon: Kanee or Opium formed portion of it.

Thermometer in shade at 2 P.M. 85 degrees.

March 21st.—7 A.M. Thermometer 60 degrees. Yesterday at 2 P.M. 86 degrees! under a decently covered shed.

Boiled water at 209.5 Fahr. Thermometer 70 degrees, which gives 1399 feet of elevation.

Started at 9, and arrived at Kidding on the Saxsai, a small stream which now falls into the Tooroon. Distance about four miles and a half from Nempean: general direction about S.S.E. The road runs along the Tooroon S., and a little to the W. of S.; it then diverges up the Saxsai, which runs nearly W. and E. Near the mouth of the Saxsai, and about 400 yards above, there is another small stream, the Jinnip Kha. Both these are on the left bank of the river. On the opposite side, and about a quarter of a mile, is a village, which like all the rest is stockaded. Kidding is larger than either Tubone or Nempean; it is on the left bank of the Saxsai. Rapids are common in the Tooroon, but are not of any severity.

The vegetation remains in a remarkable degree similar to that of Assam. The Lohit Campanula is very common in the stony beds of either river.

Brahminy Ducks seen at Nempean, and the ravenous Geese of Kamroop Putar. Fished in the Tooroon, and had excellent sport, killing in the afternoon twenty fishes, average weight half pound; some weighing nearly two pounds. Three species occurred, and all were taken with flies; the smallest are a good deal like the Boal of Assam. The large-mouthed, trout-like Cyprinida {74a} occurs, and to a larger size than in the Noa Dihing. The third is the Chikrum of the Singphos; it is a thick, very powerful fish, a good deal resembling the Roach: one of two pounds, measures about a foot in length. Outline ovate lanceolate, head small, mouth with four filaments; eyes very large, fins reddish, first ray of the dorsal large spinous. It affects deep water, particularly at the edges of the streams running into such places. {74b} It takes a fly greedily even in quite still water; but as it has a small mouth, the smaller the flies the better. Black hackle is better for it than small grey midges. On being hooked it rushes off with violence, frequently leaping out of the water. It is a much more game fish than the Bookhar: the largest I took with flies; with worms I took only one small one. With regard to the Bookhar, it is strange if it is not found in the streams running through this valley, as in the Kammaroan it occurs in abundance.

Black and white Kingfisher, Alcedo rudis, Snippets, Curlews of the B. pooter, with chesnutish back occur in the valley, together with Toucans: and Ravens occur as in Assam.

At the village of Kidding there are silkworms fed.

March 22nd.—Started at 6 P.M., reached Shelling khet on the Prong Prongkha in about two hours; it is distant about seven miles. The village is now deserted. The nullah is small, with a very slow stream; direction from Kidding nearly S.E. It was at this place that Bayfield got his specimen of tea, but on enquiry we found that it was brought from some distance; it is said to grow on a low range of hills. We started after breakfast, and reached Culleyang, on the same nullah, about 12 o'clock. Total distance thirteen miles; direction S.S.E. Path very winding. The country traversed is much less open than that of Nempean, but few Putars occurred; and the whole tract is covered either with tree or Megala jungle. Water boiled at Shelling khet at 209.5 Fahr. Temp. of the air 68.5 degrees. Elevation 1340 feet. Noticed but very little clearing for cultivation, neither did the Putars appear to have been lately under cultivation.

Culleyang is a village containing about eight houses; it is not stockaded, and has the usual slovenly appearance of Singpho villages. The natives keep silkworms, which they feed on the Chykwar or Assam morus, which they cultivate. I noticed likewise Kanee, or Opium, and Urtica nivea, which they use for nets; Acanthaceae, Indigofera, and Peach trees.

Close to the village are the burying places of two Singphos. These have the usual structure of the cemeteries of the tribe, the graves being covered by a high conical thatched roof. I find from Bayfield, that they first dry their dead, preserving them in odd shaped coffins, until the drying process is completed. They then burn the body, afterwards collecting the ashes, which are finally deposited in the mounds over which the conical sheds are erected. Between the village and the graves I saw one of these coffins which, if it contained a full-grown man, must have admitted the remains in a mutilated shape; and close to this were the bones of a corpse lately burnt.

To-day I shot the beautiful yellow and black crested Bird we first saw on the Cossiya hills, Parus Sultaneus, and two handsome Birds, Orioles, or Pastor Traillii, quite new to me, blackish and bright crimson, probably allied to the Shrikes.

Of fishes, Cyprinus falcata, or Nepoora of the Assamese, together with the Sentooree {75} of the Assamese, both occur. Of plants, we noticed Stauntonia, Vitis, Cissampelos, Butomus pygmaeus, Dicksonia, Hedychia 2, Croton Malvaefolium of Suddiya, Xanthium indicum; Cheilosandra ferruginea, Pothos scandens decursiva, etc., Liriodendrum, Kydia. Ficus elastica? Asplenium nidus, Conyza graveolens, south of the old clearings. Lemna, Valisneria, Azolla, AEsculus asamicus in abundance. Limes in profusion near Culleyang; Paederia faetida and the other species, Naravelia, Hiraea, Phrynium dichotomum, Gaertnera, and Carallia lucida. New plants, Ophioglossum, Carex, Gnetum sp. nov. Choripetalum, and two incerta. Noticed Pladera justicioides during the first part of the march, and the small Squirrel of Kujoodoo.

Six A.M. Temperature 58.5. Water boiled at 210 degrees Fahr. 8 P.M. Temperature of the air 66. Altitude 1064 feet.

March 23rd.—Started at 6 A.M. and reached Lamoom about 8, where we breakfasted. Reached Tsilone, the Dupha's village, at noon. General direction S.W. Distance about ten miles. Lamoom is a small unstockaded village on the Moneekha. Tsilone is a moderate sized Singpho village on the right bank of the Nam Tunail. The river is of considerable size, with scarcely any rapids: stream slow. The village is situated on a rather high bank.

The country continues the same, perhaps a little more open, at least Putars are of frequent occurrence, although they are all narrow. Observed Cryptolepis, Celastrus leguminoideus Cuscuta Uncaria racemis pendulis. Of birds the smaller Maina, common house Sparrow, blue Jay, and the larger grey Tern occur. We halted on a sandbank about one mile and a half higher up to the south of Tsilone. New plants, the Campanula of Chykwar, ditto Lysimachia, Dopatrium, Jasminum, Rhamnea, Pothos, Lasia, Riccia, etc.

March 24th.—Thermometer 58 degrees. Boiling point 210. Altitude 1064 feet. After a long and hot march of seven hours we reached Meinkhoon; general direction — distance 17 miles. During the first two hours we marched along the bed and banks of the Nam Tenai, subsequently over grassy plains intersected by belts of jungle. Country much more open than that we saw yesterday. To the W. low ranges of hills, about one-third of a mile distant, occurred throughout the day. We passed two or three small nullahs, in one of which I observed lumps of lignite.

The Nam Tenai continued a large river, extreme breadth varying from 250 to 350 yards. We crossed at once, about half a mile from our encampment, deepest part of the ford four feet; its banks are either thickly wooded or covered with Kagara jungle. The day's march was very uninteresting. I observed a few Mango trees, a Mucuna, Laurineae are common, as well as a Wendlandia in open grassy places. Sagittariae sp. was the only novelty. Noticed the Hoopoe bird, Upapa Capensis.

[Meinkhoom: p76.jpg]

March 25th.—Meinkhoon is situated on a very small nullah, the Eedeekha. The village which is large and well stockaded, is divided into two by this nullah. The population of both cannot, including children, be less than 200. They belong to the Meerep tribe. The women wear the putsoe somewhat like those of Burma, which seems to me quite new in Singpho women; and is not the fashion with those in Assam. To the S.W. there is a group of somewhat decayed Shan Pagodas, and a Poonghie house, around which are planted mango trees and a beautiful arboreous Bauhinia, B. rhododendriflora mihi, ovariis binis! Around the village is an extensive plain, and to the S.E. one or two more Pagodas. This Bauhinia has flowers 1.5 inches across, calyx spathaceus, petalis, sub-conformibus, obovatis, repandis laete purpureis, vexillo coccineo- purpureo, colore saturate venoso, carinae petalis distantibus, odor Copaivae! Stam. 5 declinata, cum petalis, alternantia. Ovaria 2! anticum posticumque, longe stipetata, difformia superiore minore, aborticate, ambobus vexillo oppositis! Stylus ruber pallide; stigma capitatum. One B. variegata, W. Roxb. Fl. Indic. vol. ii. p.319, quamvis auctor de ovario antico silet.

Two snakes were captured, approaching in shape to the green snake of the Coromandel Coast. Under surface throughout bright gamboge colour; upper surface throughout, excepting about a span or less of the back of the neck, bright ochraceous brown. The space above alluded to is in one faintly, in the other strongly variegated with black and white. Irides, gamboge-coloured.

March 26th.—Visited the amber mines, which are situated on a range of low hills, perhaps 150 feet above the plain of Meinkhoon, from which they bear S.W. The distance of the pits now worked is about six miles, of which three are passed in traversing the plain, and three in the low hills which it is requisite to cross. These are thickly covered with tree jungle. The first pits, which are old, occur about one mile within the hills. Those now worked occupy the brow of a low hill, and on this spot they are very numerous; the pits are square, about four feet in diameter, and of very variable depth; steps, or rather holes, are cut in two of the faces of the square by which the workmen ascend and descend. The instruments used are wooden-lipped with iron crowbars, by which the soil is displaced; this answers but very imperfectly for a pickaxe: small wooden shovels, baskets for carrying up the soil, etc., buckets of bark to draw up the water, bamboos, the base of the rhizoma forming a hook for drawing up the baskets, and the Madras lever for drawing up heavy loads.

The soil throughout the upper portion, and indeed for a depth of 15 to 20 feet, is red and clayish, and appears to inclose but small pieces of lignite; the remainder consists of greyish slate clay increasing in density as the pits do in depth: in this occur strata of lignite very imperfectly formed, which gives the grey mineral a slaty fracture, and among this the amber is found. {78} The deepest pit was about 40 feet, and the workmen had then come to water. All the amber I saw, except a few pieces, occurred as very small irregular deposits, and in no great abundance. The searching occupies but little time, as they look only among the lignite, which is at once obvious. No precautions are taken to prevent accidents from the falling in of the sides of the pits, which are in many places very close to each other (within two feet): but the soil is very tenacious.

We could not obtain any fine specimens; indeed at first the workmen denied having any at all, and told Mr. B. that they had been working for six years without success. They appear to have no index to favourable spots, but having once found a good pit they of course dig as many as possible as near and close together as they can. The most numerous occur at the highest part of the hill now worked. The article is much prized for ornaments by the Chinese and Singphos, but is never of much value; five rupees being a good price for a first-rate pair of earrings. Meinkhoon is visited by parties of Chinese for the purpose of procuring this article. There are at present here a Lupai Sooba and a few men, from a place three or four days' journey beyond the Irrawaddi, waiting for amber. These men are much like the Chinese, whose dress they almost wear: they squat like them, and wear their hair like them; shoes, stockings, pantaloons, jackets, tunic. They are armed chiefly with firelocks, in the use of which at 50 yards two of the men were expert enough. They talk the Singpho language.

The vegetation of the plains, proceeding to the mines, is unchanged. Noticed Apluda, a Phyllanthus, Cacalia, Poa, etc. That of the hills is the same as that of the low ranges before traversed. The only new plants were a Celtis? a Krameria (the Celtis is the Boolla of Upper Assam,) Ventilago, Quercus or Castanea, Compositae, etc. In the damp places a largish Loxotis, two or three Begoniae, ditto Urticeae occur. I noticed among and around the pits a species of Bambusa, Celtis, Kydia calycina, Clerodendrum infortunatum, Calamus, Areca, Dicksonia, Ficus, Pentaptera, and Rottlera. Pladera has ceased to appear.

Last night a sort of alarm occurred, and in consequence, this evening, the head cooly gave his orders to his men in the following terms: "Watch to-night well." Nobody answering him, he continued, "Do you hear what I say?" Then addressed himself to them in the most obscene terms, which habit and uncivilized life seem to have adapted to common conversation amongst these people without any breach of modesty or decorum; and amongst the Assamese such expressions likewise form not an uncommon mode of familiar salutation.

March 27th.—Left about 7, and proceeded over the Meinkhoon plain in an easterly direction, in which the highest hills visible from the village lay. We continued east for some time, our course subsequently becoming more and more south. On reaching the Nempyokha, we proceeded up its bed for about two miles, the course occasionally becoming west. We reached Wollaboom at 12.5. General direction S.E.; distance thirteen miles. The greater part of the country traversed consisted of low plains, splendidly adapted for halee cultivation. No villages were passed. Saw two paths, one leading to the N., one to the S. not far from Meinkhoon; of these the N. one leads to the hills, the S. to a Singpho village. And we passed burial places of some antiquity, and considerable extent. New plants; a Loranthus floribus viridibus, petalis 6 reflexis. Zizyphoidea, and an arborescent Bignonia foliis cordatis oppositis, integris, basi bi-glandulosis, paniculis racemiformibus, solitariis et axillaribus vel terminalibus et aggregatis. Marlea Sporobolus, Castanea edulis, Pteris dimediata, etc., occurred. Noticed the tracks of a Tiger, of Elks, and the Peewit or Curlew.

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