Bahandang, where we arrived early in the second afternoon, is the headquarters of some Malay rubber and rattan gatherers of the surrounding utan. A house had been built at the conflux with the river of a small affluent, and here lived an old Malay who was employed in receiving the products from the workers in the field. Only his wife was present, he having gone to Naan on the Djuloi River, but was expected to return soon. The place is unattractive and looked abandoned. Evidently at a previous time effort had been made to clear the jungle and to cultivate bananas and cassavas. Among felled trees and the exuberance of a new growth of vegetation a few straggling bananas were observable, but all the big cassava plants had been uprooted and turned over by the wild pigs, tending to increase the dismal look of the place. A lieutenant in charge of a patrouille had put up a rough pasang-grahan here, where our lieutenant and the soldiers took refuge, while I had the ground cleared near one end of it, and there placed my tent.

Not far off stood a magnificent tree with full, straight stem, towering in lonely solitude fifty metres above the overgrown clearing. In a straight line up its tall trunk wooden plugs had been driven in firmly about thirty centimetres apart. This is the way Dayaks, and Malays who have learned it from them, climb trees to get the honey and wax of the bees' nests suspended from the high branches. On the Barito, from the deck of the Otto, I had observed similar contrivances on still taller trees of the same kind called tapang, which are left standing when the jungle is cleared to make ladangs.

A few days later the rest of our party arrived and, having picked up six rubber gatherers, brought the remainder of the luggage from their camp. Some men were then sent to bring up the goods stored in the utan below, and on February 3 this was accomplished. An Ot-Danum from the Djuloi River, with wife and daughter, camped here for a few days, hunting for gold in the river soil, which is auriferous as in many other rivers of Borneo. They told me they were glad to make sixty cents a day, and if they were lucky the result might be two florins.

We found ourselves in the midst of the vast jungles that cover Borneo, serving to keep the atmosphere cool and prevent air currents from ascending in these windless tropics. We were almost exactly on the equator, at an elevation of about 100 metres. In January there had been little rain and in daytime the weather had been rather muggy, but with no excessive heat to speak of, provided one's raiment is suited to the tropics. On the last day of the month, at seven o'clock in the morning, after a clear and beautiful night, the temperature was 72 F. (22 C.). During the additional three weeks passed here, showers fell occasionally and sometimes it rained all night. As a rule the days were bright, warm, and beautiful; the few which were cloudy seemed actually chilly and made one desire the return of the sun.

Our first task was to make arrangements for the further journey up the Busang River to Tamaloe, a remote kampong recently formed by the Penyahbongs on the upper part of the river. We were about to enter the great accumulation of kihams which make travel on the Busang peculiarly difficult. The lieutenant's hope that we might secure more men from among the rubber gatherers was not fulfilled. The few who were present made excuses, and as for the others, they were far away in the utan, nobody knew where. We still had some Malays, and, always scheming for money or advantage to themselves, they began to invent new difficulties and demand higher wages. Although I was willing to make allowances, it was impossible to go beyond a certain limit, because the tribes we should meet later would demand the same payment as their predecessors had received. The old Malay resident, who in the meantime had returned from his absence, could offer no advice.

Finally exorbitant wages were demanded, and all wanted to return except four. As the lieutenant had expressed his willingness to proceed to Tamaloe in advance of the party and try to hire the necessary men there, it was immediately decided that he should start with our four remaining men and one soldier, while the rest of us waited here with the sergeant and four soldiers. On February 4 the party was off, as lightly equipped as possible, and if all went well we expected to have the necessary men within three weeks.

On the same afternoon Djobing and three companions, who were going up to another rattan station, Djudjang, on a path through the jungle, proposed to me to transport some of our luggage in one of my prahus. The offer was gladly accepted, a liberal price paid, and similar tempting conditions offered if they and a few men, known to be at the station above, would unite in taking all our goods up that far. The following morning they started off.

The Malays of these regions, who are mainly from the upper part of the Kapuas River in the western division and began to come here ten years previously, are physically much superior to the Malays we brought, and for work in the kihams are as fine as Dayaks. They remain here for years, spending two or three months at a time in the utan. Djobing had been here four years and had a wife in his native country. There are said to be 150 Malays engaged in gathering rattan, and, no doubt, also rubber, in these vast, otherwise uninhabited upper Dusun lands.

What with the absence of natives and the scarcity of animals and birds, the time spent here waiting was not exactly pleasant. Notwithstanding the combined efforts of the collector, the sergeant, and one other soldier, few specimens were brought in. Mr. Demmini, the photographer, and Mr. Loing were afflicted with dysentery, from which they recovered in a week.

As a climax came the startling discovery that one of the two money-boxes belonging to the expedition, containing f. 3,000 in silver, had been stolen one night from my tent, a few feet away from the pasang-grahan. They were both standing at one side covered with a bag, and while it was possible for two men to carry off such a heavy box if one of them lifted the tent wall, still the theft implied an amount of audacity and skill with which hitherto I had not credited the Malays. The rain clattering on the roof of the tent, and the fact that, contrary to Dutch custom, I always extinguished my lamp at night, was in their favour. After this occurrence the lamp at night always hung lighted outside of the tent door. All evidence pointed to the four men from Tumbang Djuloi who recently left us. The sergeant had noticed their prahus departing from a point lower down than convenience would dictate, and, as a matter of fact, nobody else could have done it. But they were gone, we were in seclusion, and there was nobody to send anywhere.

In the middle of February we had twenty-nine men here from Tamaloe, twenty of them Penyahbongs and the remainder Malays. The lieutenant had been successful, and the men had only used two days in coming down with the current. They were in charge of a Malay called Bangsul, who formerly had been in the service of a Dutch official, and whose fortune had brought him to distant Tamaloe, where he had acquired a dominating position over the Penyahbongs. I wrote a report of the robbery to the captain in Puruk Tjahu, and sent Longko to Tumbang Djuloi to deliver it to the kapala, who was requested to forward it. There the matter ended.

I was determined that the loss, though at the time a hard blow, should not interfere with the carrying out of my plans. By rigid economy it could, at least partially, be offset, and besides, I felt sure that if the necessity arose it would be possible later to secure silver from Dutch officials on the lower Mahakam River. Bangsul and some Penyahbongs, at my request, searched in the surrounding jungle growth and found a hole that had been dug of the same size and shape as the stolen box, where no doubt it had been deposited until taken on board the prahu.

The day previous to our departure Mr. Demmini again was taken ill, and in accordance with his own wish it was decided that he should return. I let him have Longko in command of one of the best prahus, and in time he arrived safely in Batavia, where he had to undergo further treatment. Longko, the Malay with the reputation for reliability, never brought back the men and the prahu; their loss, however, was greater than mine, as their wages, pending good behaviour, were mostly unpaid.

Shortly after their prahu had disappeared from view, on February 20, we departed in the opposite direction. Our new crew, of Penyahbongs mostly, who only lately have become acquainted with prahus, were not quite so efficient as the former, but much more amiable, laughing and cracking jokes with each other as they ran along over the rocks, pulling the rattan ropes of the prahus. No sooner did we ascend one kiham than we arrived at another, but they were still small. Although the day was unusually warm, there was a refreshing coolness in the shade under the trees that grow among the rocks along the river.

Early in the afternoon we camped at the foot of the first of twelve great kihams which must be passed before arriving at Djudjang, the rattan gatherers' camp. During a heavy shower a Penyahbong went into the jungle with his sumpitan and returned with a young rusa, quarters of which he presented to Mr. Loing and myself. Bangsul had travelled here before, and he thought we probably would need two weeks for the journey to Djudjang from where, under good weather conditions, three days' poling should bring us to Tamaloe. He had once been obliged to spend nearly three months on this trip.

We spent one day here, while all our goods were being taken on human backs to a place some distance above the kiham. Four Malays and one Penyahbong wanted remedies for diseases they professed to have. The latter seemed really ill and had to be excused from work. The rest said they suffered from demum (malaria), a word that has become an expression for most cases of indisposition, and I gave them quinine. The natives crave the remedies the traveller carries, which they think will do them good whether needed or not.

Much annoyance is experienced from Malays in out-of-the-way places presenting their ailments, real or fancied, to the traveller's attention. The Dayaks, not being forward, are much less annoying, though equally desirous of the white man's medicine. An Ot-Danum once wanted a cure for a few white spots on the finger-nails. In the previous camp a Penyahbong had consulted me for a stomach-ache and I gave him what I had at hand, a small quantity of cholera essence much diluted in a cup of water. All the rest insisted on having a taste of it, smacking their lips with evident relish.

Early next morning the prahus were hauled up the rapids and then loaded, after which the journey was continued through a smiling, slightly mountainous country, with trees hanging over the river. We actually had a course of smooth water, and before us, near the horizon, stretched two long ridges with flat summits falling abruptly down at either side of the river. At two o'clock in the afternoon we reached the foot of two big kihams, and Bangsul considered it time to camp. It must be admitted that the work was hard and progress necessarily slow. Nevertheless, it was so early in the day that I suggested going a little further. Soon, however, seeing the futility of trying to bring him to my way of thinking, I began arrangements for making camp. Better to go slowly than not to travel at all. Close to my tent, growing on low trees, were a great number of beautiful yellow and white orchids.

Toward sunset, Bangsul surprised me by bringing all the men to my tent. He said they wanted to go home because they were afraid I should expect too much of them, as they all wanted to travel plan-plan (slowly). The Penyahbongs before me were of a decent sort, and even the Malays were a little more gentle and honest than usual. Bangsul was "the whole thing," and I felt myself equal to the situation. This was his first attempt at a strike for higher wages and came unexpectedly soon, but was quickly settled by my offer to raise the wages for the six most useful and strongest men.

After our baggage had been stored above the head of the kihams, and the prahus had been taken up to the same place, we followed overland. As we broke camp two argus pheasants flew over the utan through the mist which the sun was trying to disperse. We walked along the stony course of the rapids, and when the jungle now and then allowed a peep at the roaring waters it seemed incredible that the prahus had been hauled up along the other side. Half an hour's walk brought us to the head of the kihams where the men were loading the prahus that were lying peacefully in still waters. The watchmen who had slept here pointed out a tree where about twenty argus pheasants had roosted.

Waiting for the prahus to be loaded, I sat down on one of the big stones of the river bank to enjoy a small landscape that presented itself on the west side of the stream. When long accustomed to the enclosing walls of the dark jungle a change is grateful to the eye. Against the sky rose a bold chalk cliff over 200 metres high with wooded summit, the edge fringed with sago palms in a very decorative manner. This is one of the two ridges we had seen at a distance; the other is higher and was passed further up the river. From the foot of the cliff the jungle sloped steeply down toward the water. The blue sky, a few drifting white clouds, the beautiful light of the fresh, glorious morning, afforded moments of delight that made one forget all the trouble encountered in getting here. It seems as if the places least visited by men are the most attractive.

Four hornbills were flying about. They settled on the branches of a tall dead tree that towered high above the jungle and deported themselves in strange ways, moving busily about on the branch; after a few minutes three of them flew away, the other remaining quietly behind. There are several kinds of hornbills; they are peculiar birds in that the male is said to close with mud the entrance to the nest in the hollow stem of the tree, thus confining the female while she is sitting on her eggs. Only a small hole is left through which he feeds her.

The great hornbill (rhinoflax vigil) flies high over the jungle in a straight line and usually is heard before it is seen, so loud is the noise made by the beating of the wings. Its clamorous call is never to be forgotten, more startling than the laughter of the laughing jackass of Australia. The sound inspires the Dayak with courage and fire. When he takes the young out of the nest, later to serve him as food, the parent bird darts at the intruder. The hornbill is an embodiment of force that may be either beneficent or harmful, and has been appropriated by the Dayaks to serve various purposes. Wooden images of this bird are put up as guardians, and few designs in textile or basket work are as common as that of the tingang. The handsome tail feathers of the rhinoceros hornbill, with transverse bands of alternate white and black, are highly valued; the warriors attach them to their rattan caps, and from the solid casque with which the beak of the giant species is provided, are carved the large red ear ornaments. Aided by the sumpitan the Dayaks and Punans are expert in bringing down the rather shy birds of the tall trees.

Three hours later we had managed to carry all our goods above the kiham Duyan, which is only one hundred metres long, but with a fall of at least four metres; consequently in its lower part it rushes like a disorderly waterfall. It took the men one and a half hours to pull the empty prahus up along the irregular bank, and I stood on a low rock which protruded above the water below the falls, watching the proceedings with much interest. The day was unusually warm and full of moisture, as, without hat, in the burning sun I tried for over an hour to get snapshots, while two kinds of bees, one very small, persistently clung to my hands, face, and hair.

The journey continued laborious; it consisted mostly in unloading and reloading the prahus and marching through rough country, now on one side of the river, now on the other, where the jungle leeches were very active and the ankles of the men were bleeding. At times the prahus had to be dragged over the big stones that form the banks of the river. It was easy to understand what difficulties and delays might be encountered here in case of much rain. But in spite of a few heavy showers the weather favoured us, and on the last day of the month we had successfully passed the rapids. Next morning, after pulling down my tent, the Penyahbongs placed stray pieces of paper on top of the remaining tent-poles as a sign of joy that the kihams were left behind. There still remained some that were obstinate on account of low water, but with our experience and concerted action those were easily overcome, and early in the afternoon we arrived at Djudjang, a rough, unattractive, and overgrown camp, where I decided to stay until next morning. Many Malays die from beri-beri, but there is little malaria among those who work in the utan of the Busang River. The half dozen men who were present were certainly a strong and healthy-looking lot. One of them, with unusually powerful muscles and short legs, declined to be photographed.

Our next camp was at a pleasant widening of the river with a low-lying, spacious beach of pebbles. I pitched my tent on higher ground on the edge of the jungle. Some of the Penyahbongs, always in good humour and enjoying themselves, went out with sumpitans to hunt pig, and about seven o'clock, on a beautiful starlit night, a big specimen was brought in, which I went to look at. While one man opened it by cutting lengthwise across the ribs, another was engaged taking out the poison-carrying, triangular point. With his knife the latter deftly cut all around the wound, taking out some flesh, and after a little while he found part of the point, then the rest. It looked like glass or flint and had been broken transversely in two; usually it is made of bamboo or other hard wood.

The bladder was carefully cut out, and a man carried it off and threw it away in order that the hunters should not be short of breath when walking. The huge head, about fifty centimetres long, which was bearded and had a large snout, was cut off with part of the neck and carried to one of the camps, with a piece of the liver, which is considered the best part. I had declined it, as the meat of the wild pig is very poor and to my taste repulsive; this old male being also unusually tough, the soldiers complained. The following morning I saw the head and jaws almost entirely untouched, too tough even for the Penyahbongs.

Next day the river ran much narrower and between rocky sides. In the forenoon the first prahu came upon an otter eating a huge fish which the strong animal had dragged up on a rock, and of which the men immediately took possession. It was cut up in bits and distributed among all of them, the otter thus saving the expedition thirty-two rations of dried fish that evening and next morning. To each side of the head was attached a powerful long spine which stood straight out. The natives called the fish kendokat.

At one place where the water ran smoothly, one man from each prahu pulled its rattan rope, the rest poling. I saw the Penyahbong who was dragging my prahu suddenly catch sight of something under the big stones over which he walked, and then he stopped to investigate. From my seat I perceived a yellowish snake about one and a half metres long swimming under and among the stones. A man from the prahu following ours came forward quickly and began to chase it in a most determined manner. With his right hand he caught hold of the tail and twisted it; then, as the body was underneath the junction of two stones, with his left hand he tried to seize the head which emerged on the other side. The snake was lively and bit at his hand furiously, which he did not mind in the least. Others came to his assistance and struck at its head with their paddles, but were unable to accomplish their purpose as it was too well entrenched.

A splendid primitive picture of the savage in pursuit of his dinner, the Penyahbong stood erect with his back toward me, holding the tail firmly. After a few moments he bent down again trying in vain to get hold of its neck, but not being able to pull the snake out he had to let the dainty morsel go. Later we saw one swimming down the current, which the Penyahbongs evidently also would have liked a trial at had we not already passed the place.

The river widened out again, the rocks on the sides disappeared, and deep pools were passed, though often the water ran very shallow, so the prahus were dragged along with difficulty. Fish were plentiful, some astonishingly large. In leaping for something on the surface they made splashes as if a man had jumped into the water. On the last day, as the morning mist began to rise, our thirty odd men, eager to get home, poling the prahus with long sticks, made a picturesque sight. In early March, after a successful journey, we arrived at Tamaloe, having consumed only fourteen days from Bahandang because weather conditions had been favourable, with no overflow of the river and little rain. It was pleasant to know that the most laborious part of the expedition was over. I put up my tent under a large durian tree, which was then in bloom.