GEORGE BURNETTE was a bright little boy who lived in England. His father was an officer, and had for a long time been trusted to do important work for the government. Now they wanted to send a man to India, and thought no one else could do so well as Mr. Burnette; so they asked him to go. Georgie's mother had died a short time before his father was to start, and so Mr. Burnette thought it best to take Georgie with him. I cannot tell you of all the strange things he saw on his way to his new home, nor how sick he was when at sea, nor of the wonderful stories the sailors told him when he was able to be on deck; for it would fill a book.

At last, after weeks of sailing, they came to Singapore. If you look on the map of Asia, you will find that south of Burmah the land runs out in a long point into the Indian Ocean; and just at the end of this point of land is the island of Singapore. It looks very small on the map, though it is twenty-seven miles long, and fifteen miles broad.

They landed near the European Hotel, where the captain had told them they could get good lodgings. When George was walking around in the halls of the hotel the next morning after he landed, he found two little English boys, one a year older and the other a year younger than himself.

They looked up and smiled good naturedly when they saw George. At breakfast they all sat at the same table, and after looking at each other awhile, the boys asked, "Did you just come to Singapore?"

"Yes," said. George; “my father has come to work for the British government, and he brought me along, too. We are going to stay here three years."

"That's jolly," said the boys; "we have been here two years, and know the way all over the city. If your father will let you, we will go out after breakfast, and show you lots of funny things."

Mr. Burnette said he was willing, if some older person would go along with them. So Mrs. Preston, the boys' mother, said that she would take them with her. By and by they set out, not in a buggy, but on the back of a huge elephant. George thought an elephant would be a fine animal to ride; but he found that it wasn't the easiest way of taking a ride, for the animal brought down his feet with such a jolt, that the boys had to cling to the saddle to steady themselves. The keeper walked along by his side, or rode on a cushion on the elephant's neck, and drove him by simply saying, "To the right," "go on," "stop." Whenever the children wanted to stop and look at anything, at a word from the keeper, the old fellow would kneel down and let them climb over his sides.

First they rode out in the country a little way, where a good many people from Europe live in their country houses, or bungalows, as they are called. This was a very pretty road, with bamboo hedges and trees on either side, so tall that their branches bent over and came together across the road. Then they drove down through the market, where all manner of vegetables and fruits were kept for sale. They passed a temple with two great stone tigers by the door and dragons carved in the wood on the front; the roof was held up by carved images of their gods, all gilded and glittering in the sun.

As they were riding along, Mrs. Preston told them some things about this strange religion.

They saw the curious houses of the natives, built of bamboo with roofs of thatch; and the natives at work, with no clothes on, except a cloth around the hips and a gay-colored turban made of a long strip of cloth around their heads.

Then they stopped by a lumberyard, and saw the strangest kind of lumbermen. In one corner was a high pile of logs, and by it stood a large elephant, that would roll the great logs up on his tusks, and balancing them there by his trunk, carry them to another part of the yard and pile them up as nicely as a man could do. There were three or four more elephants in the yard, doing the same kind of work.

"Why," said George, "I shouldn't think they knew enough to do just what the man told them to."

"Yes, they do," said Frank; "my papa saw an elephant building a stone wall once. He laid a row of stones up, and then made a noise for his keeper to come and see if he had done his work well. If the man said it was all right, he went on and laid another row.

"The king of Ava keeps some white elephants in his palace yard," continued Frank. "Papa saw them when he went up to Ava, and he saw the king, too. They're not real white, you know, only a good deal lighter colored than this one we're on.

The elephants are kept in a nice shed, and have gold and white umbrellas over them, just as the king does."

"What do they do that for?" asked George.

"Why," said Frank, "because they worship them. When an elephant goes to the river to bathe, the king's nobles go along beside him with music and banners, and all the people crowd around to see him. They think white elephants' hairs are very precious, and when the king wants to give anybody a costly present, he sends him elephants' hairs in a gold box."

"I think they are silly to make so much fuss just over an elephant," said George, as they climbed down off their elephant's back at the hotel door. "So do I," said Frank, starting for his room; "but be sure to ask your father tonight if he will let you go with us tomorrow to see them make ropes out of cocoanut husks; and we will go and see them make sago out of the sago palm, too."





W. E. L.