"Off we go!" Conseil replied. So we returned through the forest, and we completed our harvest by making a clean sweep of some palm cabbages that had to be picked from the crowns of their trees, some small beans that I recognized as the "abrou" of the Malaysians, and some high-quality yams. We were overloaded when we arrived at the skiff. However, Ned Land still found these provisions inadequate.
This delicious produce from the Torrid Zones ripens all year round, and Malaysians, who give them the name "pisang," eat them without bothering to cook them. In addition to bananas, we gathered some enormous jackfruit with a very tangy flavor, some tasty mangoes, and some pineapples of unbelievable size. But this foraging took up a good deal of our time, which, even so, we had no cause to regret.
Ned Land asked. "I doubt it, Mr. Land. Nevertheless, I'm counting on your dexterity to catch me one of these delightful representatives of tropical nature!" "I'll give it a try, professor, though I'm handier with a harpoon than a rifle." Malaysians, who do a booming business in these birds with the Chinese, have various methods for catching them that we couldn't use.
In many tribes the people live in communal houses like those of the Pueblo Indians of America. A large part of the population of Oceania is of Malay origin. As a rule the Malaysians are intelligent and take readily to western civilization. They are confined chiefly to the larger islands south and west of the Asian continent.
They were cruel, crafty, resourceful wild men trapped in the habiliments of a dead past, and armed with the keen weapons of their forbears. They had not even the crude religion of the Malaysians they had absorbed unless a highly exaggerated propensity for head-hunting might be dignified by the name of religion.