The sailing-ship was anchored across the river at Dallah, and, in order to reach their destination, the elephants were called upon to swim the Rangoon River sixty, no fewer, mostly young animals which had been caught and trained, the property of the Indian Government.
At first his entire time and energies were concentrated on his new job and learning an unaccustomed task; he spent hours on the wharves along the Strand, or across the river at Dallah, standing about in the glare, and dust and blazing sun, amongst struggling, sweating coolies and swinging cranes.
By extraordinary good fortune a steam launch which was crossing had noticed the swimmer's dark head, as well as the shouts and the signals from the landing-stage, and promptly overtook him, drew him breathless and half drowned on board, and landed him at Dallah.
Meanwhile the fifty-nine were assembled at Dallah, patiently awaiting their fate. A number of people had collected on the landing-stage, close to the big ship, to watch her strange cargo being placed on board. The lower hold of this huge four-master had been entirely cleared, and into this receptacle the devoted elephants were lowered by a gigantic steam crane.