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suicide by jumping overboard into the Hugli River.

I had with me Subodha, a native East Indian photographer, and an assistant, and at Rangoon I secured eight Hindu coolie bearers, who accepted me as their sahib without question, and with only the vaguest idea of where they were going. Kumali, one of these, proved a valuable man. He was a Hindu, resourceful and a reputed snake-charmer.

The Andaman group of islands are situated in the Bay of Bengal between the parallels of 10° 30′ and 14° 15′ north latitude and the meridians 92° 10' and 93° 30′ east longitude, where they lie in a north-by-east direction. The principal islands are Great and Little Andamans, Rutland and the Labyrinths, the Archipelago, Baratang, North Sentinel, Interview Island, Landfall Island, and the Cocos. The five largest islands lie north and south, and form a meridional line 142 miles long, the breadth at the widest point being seventeen miles. They are so nearly joined together that they have long been known as the Great Andamans.

The surface is extremely irregular, and a central range of mountains runs from north to south, with an escarpment on the east and a sloping declivity on the west, where marshy localities, covered by exceedingly dense tropical jungle, abound. The hills rise, especially on the east coast, to a considerable elevation, and are covered by dense forests. Owing to its shape and conformation, there are no rivers and but few perennial streams, and during the dry season-from January to Aprilwater is scarce.

A geographical description of the Andamans conveys only the slightest idea of the physical conditions to be met with, for once away from the coast and in the labyrinthian tropical jungle, all sense of direction and location leaves one, and at every advancing step new impediments to locomotion are encountered. But withal it is wildly beautiful, fascinating; the charm of the tropical sun and shadows is over all the grandeur of flora and fauna, and the unashamed little black children of the hour who live and have their being amid these surroundings are a picturesque and happy lot-when viewed from a distance. But first we must land.

This we did at Port Blair, after passing

the Cocos on the north and sailing almost the entire length of the islands. The first buildings to be seen were the government salt-works, and then Viper Island, on which is situated the cellular jail and other prison-buildings. The cellular jail is the first home of the life-prisoners, and is locally known as "hell," and not unjustly, as the inhabitants in and around the settlement can testify.

The Andamans are literally the home of murderers. The inhabitants are the most vicious members of an older civilization and the uncivilized head-hunters, among whom murder is a sport and a pastime. In the settlement are about 1700 prisoners, including 800 women. On arriving at Port Blair, the prisoners first spend six months in solitary confinement in the cellular jail of Viper Island. They are then transferred to one of the associated jails and the comparative blessing of hard labor in company with others, though still occupying separate cells at night. After a year and a half of this they become slaves, working in and about the settlement during the day and sleeping in barracks at night, always closely guarded. At the expiration of five years, a convict becomes eligible to join the colony of "selfsupporters" and live in the village, where he earns his living in his chosen way, lives in his own house, and can send for his wife and children or marry a convict woman. In a limited sense he becomes a paterfamilias, but is always carefully watched, and cannot leave the settlement without permission.

Through all the stages of penal servitude caste is preserved, the high-caste Hindu not even touching a vessel that has been used by a low-caste brother, and the Mohammedans' rations are served and eaten apart from the others.

Despite the rigid discipline and the vigilance of the authorities, the communal life is far from harmonious, and the more vicious often rebel. The murderers kill one another, and are in turn murdered by the treacherous Andamanese, who regard the hapless convicts and their guards as their natural prey. Occasional attempts at escape are made by the prisoners, but the efforts inevitably prove disastrous, the fugitive, finding his conditional freedom worse than servitude, either dies at the hands of the Jarawa warriors, falls a vic

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of the character and environment of the so-called civilized beings who unwillingly share the Andaman Islands with the aborigines, who, while savage and consistently inhuman in their treatment of strangers, are nevertheless free from heinous crimes toward one another, and, at least beneath their skins, are not so black as they are sometimes painted.

On landing at Port Blair, it was learned that two convicts had been murdered by one of their fellows and that a short time before a party of head-hunting Jarawas

riors, or most of them, were away in the northern part of the islands attending the feasts and dances in celebration of the election of a new leader. This, coupled with the fact that native policemen were still searching the forests for the band of marauders which had attacked the convicts, left the southern section more or less free from head-hunters, and I resolved to proceed inland without delay, taking with me Subodha, Kumali the Hindu snake-charmer, Maladive and Lacadive boatmen, and the Hindu bearers.

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As we skirted the coast, I witnessed a lively scene, for we came upon a large party of savages who were out fishing. Their method is peculiar. They stand up in their dugouts and, balancing nicely, spear the fish and shoot turtles as they lazily float on the surface. They are expert fishermen, and present a weird appearance, their black bodies, utterly devoid of clothing, shining in the sun. They use the turtle oil to lubricate their bodies, which gives them a shine that glistens. As the party were so-called friendly Andamanese and near the settlement, we were in no danger from them, and they continued to aim their spears and arrows at the fish, although they were curious and somewhat exercised over our presence.

The first stop was nearly opposite Hopetown landing, some distance from civilization as represented by the prison, and at the point where the government has erected a structure called the Andamanese Home. This is only a rudely built shelter at the edge of the jungle, built by the colonial authorities for the purpose of coaxing

the more friendly natives to acquire the ways of civilization. As inducements, clay pipes, tobacco, biscuits, and beads are left at the base of trees near the shelter. The natives come in from the jungle periodically and take everything they can find. The laziest remain several days, then with the treasured pipes and trinkets return to their fastnesses and their old tricks. After the supply of tobacco is exhausted, they smoke dried trepang, a fish found clinging to the rocks, which appears to be a cross between a sea-slug and a jellyfish. Trepang has slight narcotic properties which produces an effect not unlike opium.

Despite the nature of the country, news travels fast in the islands, and the fact that a searching-party was out probably was responsible for the large number of savages in and about the government shelter at the time of our visit, the natives doubtless considering themselves more secure when near the settlement than in the jungle.

At any rate, we found a large party in the vicinity. the vicinity. As our boat grounded on

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