Canes, Too, In A Large Patch Or "Brake" As We Called It, Grew At
Another Spot; A Graceful Plant About Twenty-Five Feet High, In
Appearance Unlike The Bamboo, As The Long Pointed Leaves Were Of A
Glaucous Blue-Green Colour.
The canes were valuable to us as they
served as fishing-rods when we were old enough for that sport, and
were also used as lances when we rode forth to engage in mimic battles
on the plain.
But they also had an economic value, as they were used
by the natives when making their thatched roofs as a substitute for
the bamboo cane, which cost much more as it had to be imported from
other countries. Accordingly at the end of the summer, after the cane
had flowered, they were all cut down, stripped of their leaves, and
taken away in bundles, and we were then deprived till the following
season of the pleasure of hunting for the tallest and straightest
canes to cut them down and strip off leaves and bark to make beautiful
green polished rods for our sports.
There were other open spaces covered with a vegetation almost as
interesting as the canes and the trees: this was where what were
called "weeds" were allowed to flourish. Here were the thorn-apple,
chenopodium, sow-thistle, wild mustard, redweed, viper's bugloss, and
others, both native and introduced, in dense thickets five or six feet
high. It was difficult to push one's way through these thickets, and
one was always in dread of treading on a snake.
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