Every morning the valley at Meng-ting was filled with a thick white mist and when we broke camp at daylight each mule was swallowed up in the fog as soon as it left the rice field. We followed the sound of the leader's bell, but not until ten o'clock was the entire caravan visible. For thirty li the valley is broad and flat as at Meng-ting and filled with a luxuriant growth of rank grass, but it narrows suddenly where the river has carved its way through a range of hills.

The trail led uncertainly along a steep bank through a dense, tropical jungle. Palms and huge ferns, broad-leaved bananas, and giant trees laced and interlaced with thorny vines and hanging creepers formed a living wall of green as impenetrable as though it were a net of steel. We followed the trail all day, sometimes picking our way among the rocks high above the river or padding along in the soft earth almost at the water's edge. At night we camped in a little clearing where some adventurous native had fought the jungle and been defeated; his bamboo hut was in ruins and the fields were overgrown with a tangle of throttling vegetation.

We had seen no mammals, but the birds along the road were fascinating. Brilliant green parrots screamed in the tree tops and tiny sun-birds dressed in garments of red and gold and purple, flashed across the trail like living jewels. Once we heard a strange whirr and saw a huge hornbill flapping heavily over the river, every beat of his stiff wing feathers sounding like the motor of an aeroplane. Bamboo partridges called from the bushes and dozens of unfamiliar bird notes filled the air.

At eleven o'clock on the following morning we passed two thatched huts in a little clearing beside the trail and the guide remarked that our camping place was not far away. We reached it shortly and were delighted. Two enormous trees, like great umbrellas, spread a cool, dark shade above a sparkling stream on the edge of an abandoned rice field. From a patch of ground as level as a floor, where our tents were pitched, we could look across the brown rice dykes to the enclosing walls of jungle and up to the green mountain beyond. A half mile farther down the trail, but hidden away in the jungle, lay a picturesque Shan village of a dozen huts, where the guide said we should be able to find hunters.

As soon as tiffin was over we went up the creek with a bag of steel traps to set them on the tiny trails which wound through the jungle in every direction. Selecting a well-beaten patch we buried the trap in the center, covered it carefully with leaves, and suspended the body of a bird or a chunk of meat by a wire over the pan about three feet from the ground. A light branch was fastened to the chain as a "drag." When the trap is pulled this invariably catches in the grass or vines and, while holding the animal firmly, still gives enough "spring" to prevent its freeing itself.

Trapping is exceedingly interesting for it is a contest of wits between the trapper and the animal with the odds by no means in favor of the former. The trap may not be covered in a natural way; the surroundings may be unduly disturbed; a scent of human hands may linger about the bait, or there may be numberless other possibilities to frighten the suspicious animal.

In the evening our guide brought a strange individual whom he introduced as the best hunter in the village. He was a tall Mohammedan Chinese who dressed like a Shan and was married to a Shan woman. He seemed to be afflicted with mental and physical inertia, for when he spoke it was in slow drawl hardly louder than a whisper, and every movement of his body was correspondingly deliberate. We immediately named him the "Dying Rabbit" but discovered very shortly that he really had boundless energy and was an excellent hunter.

The next morning he collected a dozen Shans for beaters and we drove a patch of jungle above camp but without success. There were many sambur tracks in the clearings, but we realized at once that it was going to be difficult to get deer because of the dense cover; the open places were so few and small that a sambur had every chance to break through without giving a shot.

Nearly all the beaters carried guns. The "Dying Rabbit" was armed with a .45-caliber bolt action rifle into which he had managed to fit a .303 shell and several of the men had Winchester carbines, model 1875. The guns had all been brought from Burma and most were without ammunition, but each man had an assortment of different cartridges and used whichever he could force into his rifle.

The men worked splendidly under the direction of the "Dying Rabbit." On the second day they put up a sambur which ran within a hundred feet of us but was absolutely invisible in the high grass. When we returned to camp we found that a civet (Viverra) had walked past our tent and begun to eat the scraps about the cook box, regardless of the shouts of the mafus and servants who were imploring Heller to bring his gun. After considerable difficulty they persuaded him that there really was some cause for their excitement and he shot the animal. It was probably ill, for its flesh was dry and yellow, but the skin was in excellent condition.

Civets belong to the family Viverridae and are found only in Asia and Africa. Although they resemble cats superficially they are not directly related to them and their claws are only partly retractile. They are very beautiful animals with a grayish body spotted with black, a ringed tail, and a black and white striped pointed head. A scent gland near the base of the tail secretes a strong musk-like odor which, although penetrating, is not particularly disagreeable. The animals move about chiefly in the early morning and evening and at night and prey upon birds, eggs, small mammals, fish, and frogs. One which we caught and photographed had a curious habit of raising the hair on the middle of its back from the neck to the tail whenever it was angry or frightened.

Although there were no houses within half a mile of camp we were surprised on our first night to hear cocks crowing in the jungle. The note was like that of the ordinary barnyard bird, except that it ended somewhat more abruptly. The next morning we discovered Chanticleer and all his harem in a deserted rice field, and he flew toward the jungle in a flash of red and gold.

I dropped him and one of his hens with a right and left of "sixes" and found that they were jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) in full plumage. The cock was a splendid bird. The long neck feathers (hackles) spread over his back and wings like a shimmering golden mantle, but it was hardly more beautiful than the black of his underparts and green-glossed tail. Picture to yourself a "black-breasted red" gamecock and you have him in all his glory except that his tail is drooping and he is more pheasant-like in his general bearing. The female was a trim little bird with a lilac sheen to her brown feathers and looked much like a well-kept game bantam hen.

The jungle fowl is the direct ancestor of our barnyard hens and roosters which were probably first domesticated in Burma and adjacent countries long before the dawn of authentic history. According to tradition the Chinese received their poultry from the West about 1400 B.C. and they are figured in Babylonian cylinders between the sixth and seventh centuries B.C.; although they were probably introduced in Greece through Persia there is no direct evidence as to when and how they reached Europe.

The black-breasted jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) inhabit northern India, Burma, Indo-Chinese countries, the Malay Peninsula, and the Philippine Islands; a related species, G. lafayetti, is found in Ceylon; another, G. sonnerati, in southern India, and a fourth, G. varius, in Java.

We found the jungle fowl wild and hard to kill even where they were seldom hunted. During the heat of the day they remain in thick cover, but in cloudy weather and in the early morning and evening they come out into clearings to feed. At our camp on the Nam-ting River we could usually put up a few birds on the edge of the deserted rice fields which stretched up into the jungle, but they were never far away from the edge of the forest.

We sometimes saw single birds of either sex, but usually a cock had with him six or eight hens. It was interesting to watch such a flock feeding in the open. The male, resplendent in his vivid dress, shone like a piece of gold against the dull brown of the dry grass and industriously ran about among his trim little hens, rounding up the stragglers and directing his harem with a few low-toned "clucks" whenever he found some unusually tempting food.

It was his duty, too, to watch for danger and he usually would send the flock whirring into the jungle while they were well beyond shotgun range. When flushed from the open the birds nearly always would alight in the first large tree and sit for a few moments before flying deeper into the jungle. We caught several hens in our steel traps, and one morning at the edge of a swamp I shot a jungle fowl and a woodcock with a "right and left" as they flushed together.

We were at the Nam-ting camp at the beginning of the mating season for the jungle fowl. It is said that they brood from January to April according to locality, laying from eight to twelve creamy white eggs under a bamboo clump or some dense thicket where a few leaves have been scratched together for a nest. The hen announces the laying of an egg by means of a proud cackle, and the chicks themselves have the characteristic "peep, peep, peep" of the domestic birds. After the breeding season the beautiful red and gold neck hackles of the male sometimes are molted and replaced by short blackish feathers.

There seems to be some uncertainty as to whether the cocks are polygamous, but our observations tend to show that they are. We never saw more than one male in a flock and in only one or two instances were the birds in pairs. The cocks are inveterate fighters like the domestic birds and their long curved spurs are exceedingly effective weapons.

We set a trap for a leopard on a hill behind the Nam-ting River camp and on the second afternoon it contained a splendid polecat. This animal is a member of the family Mustelidae which includes mink, otter, weasels, skunks, and ferrets, and with its brown body, deep yellow throat, and long tail is really very handsome. Polecats inhabit the Northern Hemisphere and are closely allied to the ferret which so often is domesticated and used in hunting rats and rabbits. We found them to be abundant in the low valleys along the Burma border and often saw them during the day running across a jungle path or on the lower branches of a tree. The polecat is a blood-thirsty little beast and kills everything that comes in its way for the pure love of killing, even when its appetite has been satisfied.

On the third morning we found two civets in the traps. The cook told me that some animal had stolen a chicken from one of his boxes during the night and we set a trap only a few yards from our tent on a trail leading into the grass. The civet was evidently the thief for the cook boxes were not bothered again.

Inspecting the traps every morning and evening was a delightful part of our camp life. It was like opening a Christmas package as we walked up the trails, for each one held interesting possibilities and the mammals of the region were so varied that surprises were always in store for us. Besides civets and polecats, we caught mongooses, palm civets, and other carnivores. The small traps yielded a new Hylomys, several new rats, and an interesting shrew.

We saw a few huge squirrels (Ratufa gigantea) and shot one. It was thirty-six inches long, coal black above and yellow below. The animals were very shy and as they climbed about in the highest trees they were by no means easy to see or shoot. They represent an interesting group confined to India, Siam, the Malay Peninsula, the islands of the Dutch East Indies, and Borneo.