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[Page 44]

up in their companies & marched off in column of route, a native policeman on a bike leading as guide. All along the route we were besieged by "niggers" wanting to sell silk belts, handkerchiefs, jewellery, fruit etc & we made no attempt to maintain any march discipline.

The native means of conveyance of course attracted attention immediately, & it was rather tantalising to see one of the passengers go bowling past in a rickshaw with a laughing wave of the hand. The rickshaws were all built by European coachbuilders; I expected to see some native built. Then again they were lighter than I had pictured.

The waggons drawn by 1 or 2 Indian cattle of diminutive size & thatched with leaves also created a good deal of interest: some of them were very heavily loaded up, the driver either walking at the head or else sitting on the pole where it joined the body. The natives reminded me considerably of the Indians in Fiji, excepting the Cingalese with their peculiar comb.

Our march took us up the city past the Post Office, the Lighthouse & other rather handsome buildings out to the walk along the beach for a short distance, & then back into the city & along to the barracks. Here a number of natives with cocoanuts, bananas, pineapples & mangoes were waiting, & when the men were allowed to break off while awaiting their turn to go the canteen, they did a good trade with small pineapples at 3d., drinking cocoanuts 3d., mangoes 1d., & bananas (really a plantain, very small & with a slightly acid flavour) at varying prices usually abt 3d. per hand.

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