Early in August, as soon as the river had receded sufficiently to be considered favourable for travel, we started in seven prahus with thirty-two men. After less than two hours' swift journey we encountered the advance-guard of the kihams, which, though of little account, obliged us to take ashore almost all our goods, and we walked about fifteen minutes. It seemed a very familiar proceeding. Early in the afternoon we arrived at the kubo, a desirable shelter that had been erected at the head of the first great kiham, but its limited accommodations were taxed to overflowing by our arrival. Already camped here were a few Buginese traders and a raja from the Merasi River, accompanied by two good-looking wives, who were all going to Long Iram and had been waiting two days for the river to fall. The raja, who presented me with some bananas, moved with his family a little farther down the river, and I put up my tent as usual.

Next morning the transportation of our goods on human backs was begun, and shortly after six o'clock I started with the men to walk to the foot of the rapids, which takes about three hours. On the way, I observed a large accumulation of vines and branches heaped round the base of a tall trunk which at first sight looked dead. The tree to all appearances had died, all the branches had fallen, and with them the vines, orchids, ferns, etc., that had lived on it, but after being rid of all this burden it came to life again, for at the top appeared small branches with large leaves. A singular impression was created by the big heap of vegetable matter, not unlike a burial-mound, from the midst of which emerged the tall, straight trunk with the fresh leaves at the top, telling the tale of a drama enacted in the plant world through which the tree had passed triumphantly.

My camping-place was a small clearing on the high river-bank, where I remained two days while the goods were being transported. There had been little rain for a few days; indeed, it is possible the dry season had begun, and the weather was intensely hot, especially in the middle of the day. I catalogued a number of photographic plates, but the heat in my tent, notwithstanding the fly, made perspiration flow so freely that it was difficult to avoid damage. Moreover, I was greatly annoyed by the small yellow bees, which were very numerous. They clung to my face and hair in a maddening manner, refusing to be driven away. If caught with the fingers, they sting painfully.

The river fell more than one metre during the first night, and the Merasi raja's party passed in their prahus at seven o'clock next morning. At twelve our seven prahus showed up, bringing some large packages that could easiest be spared in case anything happened. The following day the remainder of the baggage arrived, carried on the backs of the men, and I was glad to have all here safe and dry.

In a couple of hours we arrived in the kampong Batokelau (turtle), and below are other rapids which, though long, are less of an obstacle. A beautiful mountain ridge, about 1,200 metres high, through which the river takes its course, appears toward the southeast. The population includes fifty "doors" of Busangs, forty "doors" of Malays, and twenty of Long-Glats. Crocodiles are known to exist here, but do not pass the rapids above. The kapala owned a herd of forty water-buffaloes, which forage for themselves but are given salt when they come to the kampong. When driven to Long Iram, they fetch eighty florins each. The gables of the kapala's house were provided with the usual ornaments representing nagah, but without the dog's mouth. He would willingly have told me tales of folklore, but assured me he did not know any, and pronounced Malay indistinctly, his mouth being constantly full of sirin (betel), so I found it useless to take down a vocabulary from him.

Continuing our journey, we successfully engineered a rapid where a Buginese trader two weeks previously had lost his life while trying to pass in a prahu which was upset. Afterward we had a swift and beautiful passage in a canyon through the mountain ridge between almost perpendicular sides, where long rows of sago-palms were the main feature, small cascades on either side adding to the picturesqueness. At the foot of the rapids we made camp in order to enable me to visit a small salt-water accumulation in the jungle a couple of kilometres farther down the river. As we landed near the place, we saw over a hundred pigeons leaving. There were two kinds of these birds at the pool, most of them of a very common large variety, with white head and green wings, and all were shy; according to the opinion of the Dayaks, owing to the prevalence of rain.

Next morning we started shortly after six o'clock, and early in the afternoon reached the kampong Omamahak, which is inhabited by Busangs, with a sprinkling of Malays. Two hours later twenty-one prahus arrived from Apo Kayan with one hundred and seventy-nine Kenyahs on their way to Long Iram to carry provisions to the garrison. Soon afterward the captain of Long Iram overtook us here, returning from his tour of inspection above, so the place became very populous. The next night we stopped at Hoang Tshirao, inhabited by a tribe of the same name, also called Busang, apparently quite primitive people. The kampong was neat and clean; there were many new wooden kapatongs, as well as small wooden cages on poles, evidently serving for sacrificial offerings. The following day we arrived at Long Iram.

Of comparatively recent origin, the town lies on level land, and its inhabitants outside the garrison are Malays, Chinese, and Dayaks. The street is long, extremely well kept, and everything looks orderly and clean, while before the captain's house were many beautiful flowers. The pasang-grahan, which is in a very quiet locality, is attractive and has two rooms. One was occupied by an Austrian doctor in the Dutch military service, who was on his way to Long Nawang, while I appropriated the other. He was enthusiastic over the superb muscles of the Kenyahs who had just arrived and were camping in a house built for such occasions on top of a small hill a short distance away. Cows, brown in colour, were grazing in a large field near by, and I enjoyed the unusual luxury of fresh milk - five small bottles a day. After I had bathed and put on clean garments, even though my linen-mesh underclothing was full of holes, I felt content in the peaceful atmosphere.

The doctor of Long Iram, who had been here one year, told me that no case of primary malaria had come to his notice. What the Malays call demum is not the genuine malaria, but probably due to the merotu, a troublesome little black fly. One of his predecessors had collected 1,000 mosquitoes, out of which number only 60 were anopheles. There was framboisia here, for which the natives use their own remedies. The temperature at the warmest time of the day is from 90 to 95 Fahrenheit; at night, 75 to 80 . There is much humidity, but we agreed that the climate of Borneo, especially in the interior, is agreeable.

It was extraordinary how everything I had brought on this expedition was just finished. The day before I had had my last tin of provisions; the milk was gone except ten tins, which would carry me through to Samarinda, a four days' journey; the candles were all used; the supply of jam exhausted; tooth-brushes no longer serviceable; my clothes in rags. Fortunately I had more stores in Bandjermasin. The rot-proof tents which I bought in England were to some extent a disappointment because they deteriorated even though not in actual use, or possibly because of that fact. On account of the delay caused by the war the bulk of my considerable tent outfit was not unpacked until two years after purchase. It had been carefully kept, but was found to be more or less like paper, and only a small portion could be used. One tent served me throughout Bornean travels, but finally the quality of the fabric became impaired to a degree which necessitated constant patching; it was made to last only by the exercise of great care and with the aid of a fly, three of these having been used on this expedition. If a journey to a country climatically like Borneo is planned to last only a year, rot-proof tents may be recommended on account of their light weight and great convenience.

The enterprising Kenyahs offered to sell me the model of a raja's funeral-house which seven of them made while there. Most of the material evidently had been brought with them. It was an interesting sample of their handicraft. At the house of the first lieutenant I was shown several similar models, some with unusual painted designs, which were eloquent testimonials to the great artistic gifts of this tribe. I also bought a small earthen jar. One of the natives who was able to speak some Malay said that such ware is common in Apo Kayan and is used for cooking rice. The poison for the dart of the blow-pipe is also boiled in earthenware vessels. The jars, which are sometimes twenty-five centimetres in diameter, are protected on journeys by being encased in rattan netting. The Kenyahs are perhaps the most capable of all the natives of Borneo. Of the one hundred and seventy-nine visiting members of the tribe, only one was afflicted with the skin diseases so prevalent among many of the other Dayaks, and, according to Doctor J. M. Elshout, syphilis is not found among those of Apo Kayan.

The steamship connection with Samarinda is irregular, and as a small transport steamer was making ready to take away its usual cargo of rattan and rubber, I decided to avail myself of the opportunity. The commercial products are loaded in a fair-sized boat, which is made fast to the side of the steamer, and a similar one may be attached to the other side. Such boats, which are called tonkang, also take passengers, mostly Malay and Chinese, but there are no cabins, and the travellers spread their mats on the limited deck according to mutual agreement.

A swarm of Kenyahs began at seven o'clock to convey our baggage, and the soldiers later reported that there was not even standing-room left. I climbed on board and found rattan piled high everywhere, covering even the steps that led up to the "passenger-deck," where I emerged crawling on all fours. A shelter of duck had been raised for me in one corner, the lieutenant and Mr. Loing placed their beds in the adjoining space, while the soldiers camped next to them. All the natives, packed closely together, formed another row.

The most necessary of my belongings were stored inside the shelter, and there I passed the four days quite comfortably. On account of many noises, including that made by the engine, reading was impossible, so I employed the time in mending two suits of my precious linen-mesh underwear which was rapidly going to shreds, without prospect of opportunity to replace them in the Far East. Morning and afternoon the Malays on deck held their Mohammedan services, apparently singing in Arabic, and during the night the sailors sang much. There were two rough bath-rooms, but I bathed only once, as I was afraid of losing my slippers or other articles that were liable to drop into the river through the intervals between the narrow boards of the floor.

We travelled steadily day and night, but stopped at many kampongs to take on more cargo, and an additional tonkang was attached, which relieved some of the congestion on ours. One afternoon the monotony was relieved by a fight in the kitchen of the little steamer, when a sudden thumping sound of nude feet against the floor was heard and boiled rice flew about. But it was very soon over, evidently only an outburst of dissatisfaction with the cook; somebody called for the Malay captain and we heard no more about it.

There was a Bombay Mohammedan merchant on board who had small stores of groceries and dry-goods on the Kutei River, as the Mahakam is called in its lower course. He also spoke of the hundreds of thousands of Hindus who live in South Africa. On the last day of our journey a remarkably tame young snake bird was brought on board, which one of the sailors bought. According to reports, there are many of these birds on the river. He tied it to the stern railing until night, when he put it on top of the cargo, apprehending that it might try to dive if tempted by the constant sight of the water. When asleep it curled itself up in an extraordinary manner, the long neck at first glance giving it a serpent-like appearance. It cried for fish and showed absolutely no fear.

On August 22, 1916, we arrived at Samarinda. The custom-house authorities permitted me to put our numerous packages in the "bom." The lieutenant and Mr. Loing went to a new Chinese hotel, while I, in a prahu, paddled to the pasang-grahan, a spacious building with several rooms. Our journey through Central Borneo had been successfully concluded, and during nine months we had covered by river 1,650 kilometres, 750 of these in native boats.

During my absence the great war had become more real to the Archipelago through the occasional appearance in Bornean waters of British and Japanese cruisers. I heard of a German who walked from Bandjermasin to Samarinda because he was afraid of being captured if he went by steamer. The journey took him six weeks. It was my intention, while waiting here a few days for the steamer, to visit a locality farther down the river which is marked on the map as having Hindu antiquities. The kapala of the district, who had been there, was sent for, and as he said that he had neither seen nor heard of any such relics, which probably would have to be searched for, I relinquished the trip. Hindu remains, which locally were known to be present in a cave north of Samarinda, had been visited in 1915 by the former assistant resident, Mr. A.W. Spaan, whose report on the journey was placed at my disposal. The cave is in a mountain which bears the name Kong Beng, Mountain of Images, due probably to a local Dayak language. It lies in an uninhabited region four days' march west of Karangan, or nearly two days' east of the River Telen, the nearest Dayaks, who are said to be Bahau, living on the last-named river. During the time of Sultan Suleiman six or seven statues were taken from Kong Beng to Batavia and presented to the museum there.

The country traversed from the River Pantun, to follow Mr. Spaan's account, at first is somewhat hilly, changes gradually into undulating country, and finally into a plain in the middle of which, quite singularly, rises this lonely limestone mountain, full of holes and caves, about 1,000 metres long, 400 broad, and 100 high, with perpendicular walls. The caves are finely formed and have dome-shaped roofs, but few stalactite formations appear. Thousands of bats live there and the ground is covered with a thick layer of guano. From the viewpoint of natural beauty these caves are far inferior to the well-known cave of Kimanis in the Birang (on the River Berau, below the Kayan) with its extraordinarily beautiful stalactite formations. In one of the caves with a low roof were found eleven Hindu images; only the previous day the regent of Kutei had turned the soil over and recovered a couple more archaeological remains. Ten of these relics are in has-relief and about a metre high. The eleventh, which is lower, represents the sacred ox and is sculptured in its entirety. One bas-relief from which the head had been broken struck the observer as being finely executed; he recognized four Buddhas, one Durga, and one Ganesha.

Another cave visited was noteworthy on account of a strong wind which continually issues from it and for which he was unable to account. The current is formed in the opening, and twenty-five metres back of it there is no movement of the atmosphere. The cave is low, but after ten minutes' walk it becomes higher and has connection with the outside air. There it is very high, and the sun's rays falling in produced a magnificent effect, but no wind was noticeable there. Standing in front of this cave a strange impression was created by the sight of leaves, branches, and plants in violent movement, while outside there was absolutely no wind.

I should much have liked to visit Kong Beng, but circumstances prevented my doing so, though the assistant resident, Mr. G. Oostenbroek, courteously offered his small steamer to take me up along the coast. Some months later an American friend, Mr. A.M. Erskine, at my instigation made the journey, and according to him it would take a month to properly explore the locality. The man whom the Sultan of Kutei sent with him threw rice on the statues, and the accompanying Dayaks showed fear of them. By digging to a depth of about a metre and a half through the layer of guano, a pavement of hewn stone was found which rested on the floor of the cave. That the trip proved interesting is evident from the following description submitted to me:

"The weird experience of those two nights and one day in the huge caves of Kong Beng can never be forgotten. The caves were so high that my lanterns failed to reveal the roof. There were hordes of bats, some of them with wings that spread four feet. The noise of their countless wings, upon our intrusion, was like the roar of surf. Spiders of sinister aspect that have never seen the light of day, and formidable in size, were observed, and centipedes eight or nine inches long. In places we waded through damp bat guano up to our knees, the strong fumes of ammonia from which were quite overpowering.

"Far back in one of the caverns were those marvellous Hindu idols, beautifully carved in bas-relief on panels of stone, each with a projection at the bottom for mounting on a supporting pedestal. They represent the Hindu pantheon, and are classic in style and excellent in execution. They are arranged in a half-circle, and high above is an opening to the sky which allows a long, slanting shaft of light to strike upon their faces. The perfect silence, the clear-cut shaft of light - a beam a hundred feet long - drifting down at an angle through the intense darkness upon this group of mysterious and half-forgotten idols, stamps a lasting picture upon one's memory.

"It is the most majestic and strangely beautiful sight I have ever seen. Coming upon the noble group of gods gazing at the light, after a long dark walk through the cave, gives one a shock of conflicting emotions quite indescribable. One hardly dares to breathe for fear of dispelling this marvellous waking dream. Fear and awe, admiration and a sense of supreme happiness at having a wild fancy turn to reality, all come over one at once. A single glance at this scene was ample reward for all the long days and nights of effort put forth to reach it. I never again expect to make a pilgrimage of this sort, for only one such experience can be had in a lifetime."

It is rather surprising that Hindu remains in Borneo should be found at such an out-of-the-way place, but Doctor Nieuwenhuis found stone carvings from the same period on a tributary to the Mahakam. Remains of Hindu red-brick buildings embedded in the mud were reported to me as existing at Margasari, southwest of Negara. Similar remains are said to be at Tapen Bini in the Kotawaringin district.

In 1917, at the Dayak kampong Temang, in the district of that name, Mr. C. Moerman, government geologist, saw a brass statue fifteen centimetres high, which appeared to him to be of Hindu origin. Before being shown to visitors it is washed with lemon (djeruk) juice. When on exhibition it is placed on top of rice which is contained in a brass dish more than twenty-five centimetres in diameter. After being exhibited it is again cleaned with lemon-juice and then immersed in water which afterward is used as an eye remedy. One must give some silver coin for the statue to "eat." Its name is Demong (a Javanese word for chief) Akar. Originally there were seven such Demongs in that country, but six have disappeared.

Hindu influence is evident among the Dayaks in the survival of such names as Dewa and Sangiang for certain good spirits. In the belief of the Katingans, the departed soul is guarded by a benevolent spirit, Dewa, and it is reported from certain tribes that female blians are called by the same name. A party of Malays caught a snake by the neck in a cleft of a stick, carried it away and set it free on land instead of killing it, but whether this and similar acts are reminiscent of Hindu teaching remains to be proven.

At the end of August we arrived in Bandjermasin, where several days were spent in packing my collections. For many months I had been in touch with nature and natural people, and on my return to civilisation I could not avoid reflective comparisons. Both men and women of the Mahakam have superb physiques; many of them are like Greek statues and they move with wonderful, inborn grace. When with them one becomes perfectly familiar with nudity and there is no demoralising effect. Paradoxical as it may sound, the assertion is nevertheless true, that nothing is as chaste as nudity. Unconscious of evil, the women dispose their skirts in such fashion that their splendid upper bodies are entirely uncovered. Composed of one piece of cloth, the garment, which reaches a little below the knee and closes in the back, passes just over the hips, is, as civilised people would say, daringly low. It is said that the most beautiful muscles of the human body are those of the waist, and among these natives one may observe what beauty there is in the abdomen of a well-formed young person.

It is an undeniable fact that white men and women compare unfavourably with native races as regards healthful appearance, dignity, and grace of bearing. We see otherwise admirable young persons who walk with drooping shoulders and awkward movements. Coming back to civilisation with fresh impressions of the people of nature, not a few of the so-called superior race appear as caricatures, in elaborate and complicated clothing, with scant attention to poise and graceful carriage. One does not expect ladies and gentlemen to appear in public in "the altogether," but humanity will be better off when healthful physical development and education of the intellect receive equal attention, thus enabling man to appear at his best.