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The meals were served by three hundred youths, who brought on an infinite variety of dishes; indeed, whenever he dined or supped, the table was loaded with every kind of flesh, fish, and vegetables that the country produced. The meals were served in a large hall, in which Montezuma was accustomed to eat, and the dishes quite filled the room, which was covered with mats, and kept very clean.

The floor frame is raised about two feet from the ground, and on it are fixed strong slips of bamboo, which are covered over with mats. These afford very comfortable sitting and sleeping apartments. The only inconvenience was, that the fire was made in the corner of the sitting-room, and as there was no vent for the smoke, we were nearly stifled.

They have dammed a mountain stream, so that the town is bountifully supplied with pure cold water, and with its clean streets and whitewashed buildings, it is a most attractive place. The inhabitants of Romblon were eager to sell us mats, or petates, the making of which is a special industry there.

A long verandah, lined with hadjis and elders, all smoking and talking, led to the principal room, which, unlike any Malay house before built in Sarawak, had large Venetian-shuttered doors all round, and was therefore cool and airy. There was a little round table, and some armchairs covered with white mats for the expected guests, in the middle of the room.

With one hand the giant could have crushed the life from our hero. But evidently he had no such intentions, for after gazing curiously at the four travelers who stood before him, and looking for some time at the honest, black face of Eradicate, the king made a motion for them to sit down. They did, upon grass mats in the big hut that formed the palace of the ruler.

On reaching the house, the girls, by the directions of their mistress, hurried to prepare food, and several dishes of fish and fruits were soon placed on mats on the floor. Before bidding her guests to eat, the lady, who had been sitting, rose and said a grace in her own language, adding a few words of English.

Thereupon she is dispatched to the kitchen for a floor-cloth, and severely lectured for laughing aloud, and is told to stay among the pots and pans till she learns better manners. Dinner over, a siesta on the soft mats is next in order. These mats seem made for sleep and indolence. No booted foot ever defiles them.

On one of the gradients some ten or a dozen scribes were squatting on mats of twisted straw, making notes of the sales and entries of the proceeds on rolls of parchment which they had for the purpose, whilst a swarthy slave, belonging to the treasury, acted as auctioneer under direct orders from the praefect of Rome.

How queer this seems to us! There are newspapers in Japan, but they are not much like ours. The lines run up and down just as Japanese writing does. They read back from what we would call the last page. A great many things that we use in America come from Japan. We get silk from Japan, and beautiful vases and mats and screens and basket work. The boys and girls in Japan help to make these things.

Well, to proceed: we'd build a hut or a palace of turf an' sticks, with a bunk alongside for you; an w'en our clo'se began for to wear out, we'd make pants and jackets and petticoats of cocoanut-fibre; for you must know I've often see'd mats made o' that stuff, an' splendid wear there's in it too, though it would be rather rough for the skin at first; but we'd get used to that in coorse o' time.