Besides These, There Were A Few Other Ruins Or
Single Fragments Of Buildings And Pillars Scattered Around, But All
Of Them Together Do Not Cover A Space Of Two Square Miles.
On the border of the forest, or some hundred paces farther in, were
situated a number of huts belonging to the natives, approached by
picturesque paths running beneath shady avenues of trees.
Bealeah, the people were very fanatic, while here the men were very
jealous. At the conclusion of my excursion, one of the gentlemen
passengers had joined me, and we directed our steps towards the
habitations of the natives. As soon as the men saw my companion,
they called out to their wives, and ordered them to take refuge in
the huts. The women ran in from all directions, but remained very
quietly at the doors of their dwellings to see us pass, and quite
forgot to conceal their faces while they did so.
In these parts, there are whole woods of cocoa-palms. This tree is
properly a native of India, where it attains a height of eighty
feet, and bears fruit in its sixth year. In other countries, it is
scarcely fifty feet high, and does not bear fruit before it is
twelve or fifteen years old. This tree is, perhaps, the most useful
one in the known world. It produces large and nutritious fruit,
excellent milk, large leaves that are used for covering in and
roofing huts, materials for strong cordage, the clearest oil for
burning, mats, woven stuffs, colouring matter, and even a kind of
drink called surr, toddy, or palm brandy, and obtained by incisions
made in the crown of the tree, to which, during an entire month, the
Hindoos climb up every morning and evening, making incisions in the
stem and hanging pots underneath to catch the sap which oozes out.
The rough condition of the bark facilitates considerably the task of
climbing up the tree.
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