By H. E. W. Braund
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Additional info for Calling to Mind. Being Some Account of the First Hundred Years (1870 to 1970) of Steel Brothers and Company Limited
The gigs were normally sailed^ and with a favourable wind were remarkably fast. In the best conditions they could keep pace with the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company's launches. They were rigged with a single big sail, and their crews, predominantly South Indian river men, were extremely skilled at handling their ungainly craft in the crowded waters of the Rangoon River. Under adverse con ditions, the gigs were rowed with sweeps or towed along the bank by the crew of nine. Jungle buying, as it proved its attraction and its strength, cut out the mill broker.
T h e Assistant's experience and knowledge of local conditions will help him in sizing u p the situation, and he must decide on what orders he will give for fresh buying. H e also has accoimts to settle with brokers for paddy delivered, station stock sheets and cooly hire bills to check, samples and paddy stocks to inspect, delays in loading to deal with, and measuring and transport instructions to give to the station clerk As far as the jungle people are concerned, one day is as good as another for a job of work, but the Assistant must push on to the next station, where he has the same routine to go through.
Another simple meal of rice and ngapi. A puff or two at the narcotic pipe. A cup or two of plain tea, boiling hot, 'the c u p that cheers but does not inebriate'. Drowsiness creeps over him. Fatigue overcomes h i m and soon he is buried i n deep sound sleep. Thus picturesquely has 'Beeloogyun' sketched for us, in Steels' House Maga zine, the first link in the long chain that leads from the paddy field to the rice pudding; a peasant, remembered as friend and philosopher, who is unlikely to find any place in the story of Steels' second century.
Calling to Mind. Being Some Account of the First Hundred Years (1870 to 1970) of Steel Brothers and Company Limited by H. E. W. Braund