By Rounsevelle Wildman, Henry Sandham
Fictional tales dependent round Wildman's personal stories of lifestyles alongside the Malayan coast.
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Additional resources for Tales of the Malayan Coast
Many a fat Chinaman, trading between the Java islands and Amoy, has felt its keen edge at his throat and seen his rich cargo of spices and bird’s-nests rifled, his beloved Joss thrown overboard, and his queer old junk burnt before his eyes. Many a Dutch and English merchantman sailed from Batavia and Bombay in the days of the old East India Company and has never more been heard of until some mutilated survivor returned with a harrowing tale of Malay piracy and of the lightning-like work of the dreaded kris.
Occasionally one would drop from an outreaching limb to one of the pendulous roots, and then, with a shrill whistle of fright, spring back to the protection of his mates. A Malay silenced them by throwing a half-ripe cocoanut into the midst of the tree, and we moved on to the shade of the sturdiest palm. There we sat down to rest and eat some biscuits softened in the milk of a cocoanut. “There is a boa in the roots of the banian, Aboo,” I said, looking longingly toward its deep shadow. He nodded his head, and drew from the pouch in the knot in his sarong a few broken fragments of areca nut.
The woods grew out into the sea for a quarter of a mile. We entered the wood by a narrow walled inlet, and found ourselves for the first time in a mangrove swamp. The trees all seemed to be growing on stilts. A perfect labyrinth of roots stood up out of the water, like a rough scaffold, on which rested the tree trunks, high and dry above the flood. From the limbs of the trees hung the seed pods, two feet in length, sharp-pointed at the lower end, while on the upper end, next to the tree, was a russet pear-shaped growth.
Tales of the Malayan Coast by Rounsevelle Wildman, Henry Sandham