d our thirst▓.There was no tremor of excit●ement in the voice in which he asked our nati▓onality and destination, and he in

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an hour of sunset, and, t●o tell the truth, we had grown so acc●ustomed to being received wi▓th open arms by Europeans that we ▓were a bit disgruntled at his impas▓sionate deme

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anor.In the end we swallowed our ●pride and thanked him for the offer.That▓ decision turned out to be the m●ost fortunate of all the days of our partnershi●p. The “king” waved a hand once more and ●a henchman in scarlet livery ste▓pped forth and led us to one o

f the half-circle ▓of bungalows.It was a goodly dwelling, as dwell●ings go, up along the Menam

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.Five servants▓ were detailed to attend us.T●hey prepared two English tub-baths ●and stood ready with crash towels to rub us do▓wn.The condition of our skins forced us● to dispe

nse with that service.When we had ch●anged our garments a laundryman took charge ●of those we had worn.By this tim▓e, a servant had brought a phonograph from● the palace and set it in actio●n.The phonograph is not a perfect▓ed instrument; but even its tun●es are soothing when one has heard nothing a▓pproaching music for weeks except t▓he ballads sung by a crack-voiced Australia▓n or the no less symphonic croaking of lizar▓ds. Then came our evening banquet.●For days afterwards James could not ●speak of that without a tremor in his voi●ce.The supper of the night before w●as a free lunch in a Clark street “slo▓p’s house” in compa

rison.Least of the won●ders that arrived from the st▓orehouse of his jungle majesty was a box

of fif▓ty fat Habana cigars and a dozen bottles of impo▓rted beer; ice cold in these sweltering trop

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ics●. We had just settled down for ●an evening chat when a sudden violent hubbub bur▓st forth.I dashed out upon the▓ veranda.Around the palace fl●uttered half the population of Kung● Chow, squawking like excited hens; and the oth▓ers were tumbling out of their bungalow▓s in their haste to add to the uproar. The r●oyal r

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esidence was afire.From▓ the back of the building a shaft of black s?/p>

駇oke wavered upward in the ev▓ening breeze.When we p

ushed through the● panic-stricken thron

g, a slim bla●ze was licking

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