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POSSIBILITIES FOR TRADE.
silks are also principal articles. The United States sent direct only forty dollars' worth of provisions. Even the petroleum came under other flags. The exports during the same time,
, were rice, raw caoutchouc, a little cotton, raw hides, cutch, and jewelry—not an ounce going to the United States. Rice pays an export duty, which seems to be a hardship. Of course the fact that the British government rules Burmah aids largely in the monopoly of the trade. But the ports are as free to American ships as Liverpool and Cardiff. General Grant, speaking of these facts, and of the impression made upon
him by British India, said he knew of no point which offered as good an opening for American enterprise as Rangoon. The principal articles of export-rice and hides—are always in demand in the United States. This gives a basis for trade upon which you can rely. The articles which Burmah receives can be manufactured as cheaply in America as in England. There is no reason why in cotton goods we could not surpass England, as we have our own cotton and our own labor.
To meet this demand it is necessary to study the Oriental taste-what the natives fancy in the way of color, texture, and decoration. The English manufacturers send to the East for Oriental patterns and reproduce them. Ingenious men sometimes create a market, and there are no people more impressible than the Orientals. Some time ago the king put a new top on the pagoda. The occasion was observed as a fête. An enterprising dealer had a cheap calico handkerchief printed with a cut of the pagoda as it appeared with the new top, and opened his consignment in time for the fête. The result was that all Burmah ran after this handkerchief. Another article that could be imported from America so as to become a constant trade is ice. Ice is made by machinery; but it is poor, dear, and unsatisfactory, and the machinery is always getting out of order. Ice is a necessity in the tropics all the year round. An ice famine is one of the greatest calamities that can befall a European community. If proper houses were built for storing the ice it could be made a steady and profitable trade. Then we have petroleum and that infinite variety of knick-knacks called Yankee
FTER leaving Rangoon we ran across to the little town of Moulmain. Here General Grant and party were received by Colonel Duff, the British Com
missioner. There was a guard of honor at the wharf, and a gathering of what appeared to be the whole town. The evening after we arrived there was a dinner given by the Moulmain Volunteer Rifles, a militia organization composed of the merchants of Moulmain and young men in the service of the government. This dinner was given in the mess-room of the company, a little bungalow in the outskirts of the town. The next morning there was a visit to the wood-yards, where teak wood is sawed and sent as an article of commerce into various countries. The teak tree is a feature in the commerce and the industry of the peninsula, and is said to be the most durable timber in Asia. The Javanese name for teak illustrates its character, meaning true, real, genuine. It is only
ELEPHANTS AT WORK.
found in a few places, being quite unknown in parts of India and the adjoining islands. Most of the wood comes, I was told, from Java, and we found in Moulmain and Rangoon large and flourishing industries devoted to teak. What most interested us in our visit to the yards was the manner in which the elephant is used as an animal of burden.
We have seen more or less of the elephant in our Indian travels, but always under circumstances to inspire respectpetted, decorated with joyous trappings in the suite of a rajah, or as a war animal in the British army. It seemed like a degradation to see an animal holding so high a place in our imagination hauling logs around a lumber yard. The elephant on the peninsula is a more amiable creature than his brother in Africa, and all through the Malay peninsula he serves as a beast of burden. In Ceylon and some parts of India he has done duty as game, but the Indian government has interfered and prevented the killing of the elephant, or even capturing him in his wild state except by permission of the authorities and for specified useful purposes. The extent to which the elephant can be trained is remarkable. His strength is enormous, and to this power he adds intelligence. He will lift the largest teak logs, and teak is among the heaviest of woods, and arrange them in piles. He will push a log with his foot against the saw, and carry the sawed wood in his tusks or his trunk. In all these maneuvers he is directed by the mahout, who sits on his neck and manages him with a goad, or more generally by a word. Sometimes an elephant is so wild and untamable as to be dangerous, and yet he will serve his masters. We saw one animal, who was pushing logs about, who had killed four or five of the workmen. He was kept in order by a lad who carried a sharp spear keeping the spear always near the elephant's eye. The elephant submitted to the moral influence of a pointed blade in the hands of a puny boy.
The spear is really only a moral influence. If the elephant really wished to attack the keepers a spear would be of little use beyond a stab or two. The memory of these stabs, , however, was as effective to the elephant as chains or thongs,