Volume 1: Letters written on active service, A-L, 1914-1919 - Page 8
women walk about smoking a Cheroot about 8 inches long.
On Monday we paid a visit to a timber yard to see an elephant at work. He was quite a brainy animal, did just as he was told and did it well. He was hauling baulks of timber weighing anything from 1 ½ to 2 tons down to the river, through mud. He commenced by putting his tusks under the end of the log and lifting it so a native could pass a chain around it, then he hauled it to the river until he came to the last log or two he had hauled down, then he puts his head down and pushing the logs before him about twenty yards into the river, and turns about, unhooks the chain from the log brought down and back he goes for more. In this way he is hauling and pushing together logs weighing about 5 tons, through mud which he sinks into about eighteen inches at every step.
When a log is in the way which they do not require to use, he puts his tusks under it and lifts the end on to the other logs rolling it over the top of them out of the way. It is a sight worth seeing and apart from starting the logs on the move, does not appear to require any exertion on the elephants part.
It is very hot all day and one is glad when the evening arrives. Where there is no awnings, the iron decks get so hot you cannot walk about on them long in house slippers without burning your feet and the ladder handrails you handle very lightly. I am not the only one aboard who will be glad to be
east West of Malta. By the way we have another of the insect tribe in our cabin, in the form of a giant cockroach,