"Look," said the Barrister quickly, "there is Mhtoon Pah. No, not the man in white trousers, that's a Chinaman with a pigtail under his hat; the fat old thing in the short silk loongyi and crimson head-scarf." Coryndon hardly glanced at him, as he passed with a scent of spice and sandal-wood in his garments; his attention had been attracted by a booth where men were eating curry.
The assistant glanced at the clock, when, after much haggling, the deal was concluded, and the Burman knotted the remainder of his money in a small corner of his loongyi, and stood rubbing his elbows, looking at the Chinaman, who appeared restless. "Where shall I find Leh Shin?" The Burman put the question suddenly. "In what house am I to seek him, assistant of the widower and the childless?"
He dressed quickly, his slight, spare form wound round the hips with a cotton loongyi, and he pulled on the coat over a thin, ragged vest, and sat down, while Shiraz tied the handkerchief around his head. The art of make-up is, in itself, simple enough, but the very much more subtle art of expression is the gift of the very few.
A hurricane lamp, that threw impartial light upon all sides, stood on a round table, and lighted the small room, and at one corner Coryndon sat, clad in his Burmese loongyi and white coat, thinking, his chin on his folded hands. He had taught himself to think without paper or pens, and to record his impressions with the same diligent care as though he wrote them upon paper.
"To-morrow I will send forth my assistant to bring me word of the next Pwé, so that the night may be marked in my mind, and that I shall gain pleasure in considering the nearing downfall of my enemy." Coryndon slipped off to his house. He was tired mentally and physically, but before he slept, he took a bundle of keys from his dispatch-box and tied them to the waist of his loongyi.
Sickness is sudden and active in the streets of any Bazaar, and when Shiraz learnt that he was to keep within the house and report the various stages of the fever of his friend, he salaamed and drew out the battered box from under the bed, and folded away the loongyi and coat with care.