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Where the Strange Trails Go Down Sulu, Borneo, Celebes, Bali, Java, Sumatra, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Cambodia, Annam, Cochin-China   By: (1879-1957)

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First Page:

BY E. ALEXANDER POWELL

WHERE THE STRANGE TRAILS GO DOWN

THE NEW FRONTIERS OF FREEDOM

THE ARMY BEHIND THE ARMY

THE LAST FRONTIER

GENTLEMEN ROVERS

THE END OF THE TRAIL

FIGHTING IN FLANDERS

THE ROAD TO GLORY

VIVE LA FRANCE!

ITALY AT WAR

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

WHERE THE STRANGE TRAILS GO DOWN

[Illustration: A real wild man of Borneo

A Dyak head hunter using the sumpitan , or blow gun, in the jungle of Central Borneo]

WHERE THE STRANGE TRAILS GO DOWN

SULU, BORNEO, CELEBES, BALI, JAVA, SUMATRA, STRAITS SETTLEMENTS, MALAY STATES, SIAM, CAMBODIA, ANNAM, COCHIN CHINA

BY E. ALEXANDER POWELL

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAP

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1921

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Published October, 1921

PRINTED AT THE SCRIBNER PRESS NEW YORK, U. S. A.

To

THE WINSOME WIDOW MARGARET CAMPBELL McCUTCHEN WHO, DESPITE COUNTLESS DISCOMFORTS, ALWAYS KEPT SMILING

FOREWORD

It is a curious thing, when you stop to think about it, that, though of late the public has been deluged with books on the South Seas, though the shelves of the public libraries sag beneath the volumes devoted to China, Japan, Korea, next to nothing has been written, save by a handful of scientifically minded explorers, about those far flung, gorgeous lands, stretching from the southern marches of China to the edges of Polynesia, which the ethnologists call Malaysia. Siam, Cambodia, Annam, Cochin China, the Malay States, the Straits Settlements, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Celebes, Borneo, Sulu ... their very names are synonymous with romance; the sound of them makes restless the feet of all who love adventure. Sultans and rajahs ... pirates and head hunters ... sun bronzed pioneers and white helmeted legionnaires ... blow guns with poisoned darts and curly bladed krises ... elephants with gilded howdahs ... tigers, crocodiles, orang utans ... pagodas and palaces ... shaven headed priests in yellow robes ... flaming fire trees ... the fragrance of frangipani ... green jungle and steaming tropic rivers ... white moonlight on the long white beaches ... the throb of war drums and the tinkle of wind blown temple bells....

But it is not for all of us to go down the strange trails which lead to these magic places. The world's work must be done. So, for those who are condemned by circumstance to the prosaic existence of the office, the factory, and the home, I have written this book. I would have them feel the hot breath of the South. I would convey to them something of the spell of the tropics, the mystery of the jungle, the lure of the little, palm fringed islands which rise from peacock colored seas. I would introduce to them those picturesque and hardy figures planters, constabulary officers, consuls, missionaries, colonial administrators who are carrying civilization into these dark and distant corners of the earth. I would have them know the fascination of leaning through those "magic casements, opening on the foam of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn."

I had planned, therefore, that this should be a light hearted, care free, casual narrative. And so, in parts, it is. But more serious things have crept, almost imperceptibly, into its pages. The achievements of the Dutch empire builders in the Insulinde, the conditions which prevail under the rule of the chartered company in Borneo, the opening up of Indo China and the Malay Peninsula, the regeneration of Siam, the epic struggle between civilization and savagery which is in progress in all these lands these are phases of Malaysian life which, if this book is to have any serious value, I cannot ignore. That is why it is a mélange of the frivolous and the serious, the picturesque and the prosaic, the superficial and the significant. If, when you lay it down, you have gained a better understanding of the dangers and difficulties which beset the colonizing white man in the lands of the Malay, if you realize that life in the eastern tropics consists of something more than sapphire seas and bamboo huts beneath the slanting palm trees and native maidens with hibiscus blossoms in their dusky hair, if, in short, you have been instructed as well as entertained, then I shall feel that I have been justified in writing this book... Continue reading book >>




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