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When the hour's rampage had subsided I rose to switch off the light and turned in again. The rays of the impetuous Panama sun were spattering from them when I passed again the jumbled rows of invalided locomotives and machinery, reddish with rust and bound, like Gulliver, by green jungle strands and tropical creepers.

We have had, for us, a long afternoon's ride a little tiring and hot in the bottom of the valley when the path came down to the Taiping river, a winding and twisting path, round little glens to cross foaming burns, level enough for a hundred yards canter, then down, and up, hill sides in zigzags, here and there wet and muddy with uncertain footing, through groves of bamboos and under splendid forest trees, some creepers hanging a hundred feet straight as plumb lines, others twisted like wrecked ships' cables, and flowering trees, with delicious scent every hundred yards or so.

As the river side was altogether enclosed, one strong door at the other end was sufficient for all the houses. For the sake of air, however, we built our huts separate from each other, and we thus had windows on all sides. The poles were of bamboo, and the walls strong pieces of bark, secured by ropes composed of creepers.

I found the large umgwenya tree without any difficulty, and underneath it were the two piles of stones close together. They were much overgrown with ferns and creepers. A large bush-buck leaped up and crashed through the undergrowth. His doe followed immediately afterwards, passing so close that I could see the dew-drops glistening on her red, dappled flank.

Close examination showed him marks in the giant tree, the vertical cuts being cleverly covered by the bark, while the horizontal ones had creepers festooned over them. A door was well concealed. But the tree? It was large, yet there could not be room in it for more than one person, who would have to stand upright and in a most uncomfortable position.

Beyond them a small hand beckoned, and, following it, I came face to face with a wall of naked rock from which she lifted aside the creepers over a deep cleft a cleft wide enough to admit a man's body if he turned sideways and stooped a little. She clapped her hands at my astonishment. "You like my bower?" she asked gleefully. "Ah, but wait, and I will show you wonders!

However, as I did not appreciate the pleasure of an hour's walk every time I wished to smell a flower in my garden, we declined the offer, and my husband kindly planned a narrow flower-bed all along the base of the walls in the courtyard, which looked gay enough when the plants were in full bloom, and the walls were hidden by convolvulus, nasturtiums, and Virginia creepers.

There were old men and cripples, left stranded by the exodus; and prospectors who had moved into the vacant houses along with the other desert rats; but out on the gallery of the old Huff mansion where the creepers still clung to the lattice there was a flutter of white and a girl came out with a kitten in her arms.

There is a large wide verandah round two sides of the house, with French windows opening into it; and I could not help feeling impatient to see my own creepers in such luxuriant, beauty as these roses and honeysuckles were.

I proposed manufacturing some lobster-baskets such as I had seen used, in the hope of catching lobsters or crabs. We had plenty of materials in the smaller creepers, some of which were of a tough fibre; and Roger Trew, like many more sailors, understood basket-work. We were therefore not long in manufacturing a dozen pots, which we baited with pieces of pork.

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