Isnin, Oktober 12, 2009

Journey To Madai Cave 1887

Wednesday, April 13th 1887.—Oppressively hot. We made Tanjong Unsang at daylight, and steamed southward and westward along a fine coast. At noon we had come 135 miles, and were in lat. 4° 57´ N., long. 118° 47´ E.

All hands were busily engaged during the morning in preparing the large cutter for Tab's projected shooting expedition this afternoon. She is a fine big boat, temporarily fitted with a ridge-roofed awning and boards on which beds can be placed, thus making her almost like a house-boat. Everything that could be thought of as likely to be wanted was put into her; but notwithstanding all that foresight and care could do, I felt rather uncomfortable about this lonely and somewhat risky enterprise.

In the afternoon we steamed down a little out of our course towards the island of Timbu Mata, which is said to abound with deer and wild pig, to drop the cutter with Tab and four men from the crew in her, all armed with rifles, cutlasses, and revolvers, besides their sporting weapons. Then we proceeded on our course to Silam in Darvel Bay, 175 miles from Sandakan, where we anchored about 6 p.m. A prahu came alongside at once, manned by natives and having on board a specimen of the worst type of rough Australian gold-diggers—very tipsy, poor man, and very anxious to come on board the yacht. His efforts in this direction were, however, repulsed, and we finally induced the native crew to take him back to the shore.

Madai is a most lovely spot, and in the sunset light I thought that I had never seen anything more beautiful in the world. We went ashore as soon as possible, having, however, first to climb with extended though uncertain strides up one of the dreadful wide-runged ladders which confront us at every pier. This performance landed us on what appeared to be a very rickety kind of platform, with, as usual, a great deal of open space in the flooring. Being assured that it was187 quite safe if we only stepped out boldly and with confidence, we advanced as well as we could, and found the task not so difficult after all, though it must be confessed that the flooring seemed terribly springy and elastic. The two small dogs were carried, but poor 'Sir Roger' was left to follow us as best he could, meeting with many a slip and many a tumble on his way. It was too dark to see much of the town, which appeared to be clean and tidy, with several well-furnished shops in the principal streets. There is also a Government station here, and an experimental garden. The harbour is well sheltered, and although it contains a good many coral-banks, vessels drawing sixteen feet of water can anchor quite close to the settlement.
Entering River, Madai

The reports of explorers in search of gold on the Segama River are satisfactory. A road is now being constructed which will render access to the gold-fields much easier than at present. It is, however, impossible for Englishmen to work the fields, and Chinese labour will most likely have to be employed. The process adopted by the natives of extracting the gold is primitive in the extreme.

We met our friend the Australian digger again, and heard that he had come down from the fields with three companions, all ill with fever, one being so bad that he had to be carried all the way. Still they were satisfied with their success, and were now celebrating it by drinking their profits away as fast as possible.

After strolling slowly up to Mr. Callaghan's comfortable bungalow, we rested a little and had tea, and then returned on board to pack up and make ready for our early start to-morrow. The steam-launch was already afloat with her boiler in her, but a good deal had yet to be done in the way of preparing the gig, fixing the awning, and stowing the stores, photographic gear, &c.

To be Continue.....

Story from : "THE LAST VOYAGE" by Lady Annie Brassey 1887

Tiada ulasan:

Catat Ulasan

Hanya pengulas/pengomen yang berdaftar dan menyatakan nama sahaja yang akan dibenarkan mengulas/mengomen di ruangan ini dan semua ulasan adalah tanggungjawab si pengulas sendiri, pihak blog adalah tidak bertanggujawab sama sekali..

Related Posts with Thumbnails