25th. — Moved our housing gear on about a mile towards the foot of Sadok, to the place where we had before spent one night. The gun is some distance behind, but in sight. The weather is piercingly hot, and all hands are busy husking padi. Early in the afternoon, Nanang, the head chief, made his appearance, and took his seat amid a large concourse of our people. He tendered his submission, offering to pay down any fine demanded ; and for the sake of humanity, as well as the future of Saribus — for the place now is nearly in ruins for want of peace and trade — I had already re- solved in my own mind, after bringing the gun so far, that we should show sufficient strength and force to receive Nanang*s party upon a permanent and substan- tial understanding, both to save life and guarantee pros- perity. I was anxious to see the people of Saribus back in their own country. I demanded his most valuable property, to the amount of forty rusa jars (400/.), and told him 1 should keep the whole amount for three years ; at the end of that time, the Government would have the power of detaining whatever amount was con- sidered right, according to custom, as a fine.* I wished ♦ The whole amount was restored to Nanang's party in 1863. 142 TEN TEAES IN SAEAwAB!. him to remove down the river at once, but he wisely demurred at this, as lie said, " We shall not be able to farm this year, and should in consequence be in a state of starvation." I then gave them three days to give up the jars, and remove from the front of Rentap's forti- fication, so that we might be able to attack it. And I required to secure Nanang's jars before I could trust him to be on friendly terms on our rear, in case we did not succeed in taking Rentap's fort. Nanang then returned, apparently well satisfied ; but he is a quiet, heavy, stolid genius, whom Watson appropriately calls " Cart-Horse." Rentap has also sent ofifers for peace, but, knowing the man and his ways, I do not place much credit in the sincerity of his peaceful pro- fessions. However, I demanded twelve rusa jars (120/.), and the demoKtion of his fort, as well as his immediate removal from Sadok. His emissaries then returned to " Grandfather Rentap," as we always call him. 26th. — The man who ventured into Rentap's abode yesterday came to me early to say that they had met him for the purpose of trying to bring him to surrender, and pay down the jars, which he can do without any difficulty. These two men had formerly been \l\& fighting cocks, but now had been on friendly terms with us for four years. They informed me he was very surly, and scarcely spoke a word. While in his presence they felt EENTAP'S PERTINACITY. 143 most anxious, fearing he would close his doors and hold them as hostages. They told ^m there was a gun coming up which was large enough to knock him to pieces. This he would not believe at alt, and said he was perfectly aware of the akal (cunning) of the white men, as they had attacked him often before, and failed. This was enough from Kentap ; and the two men de- clared they would not go near his place again in a friendly capacity, as his pathway was so narrow, and approach so small, that they might be murdered and thrown off the precipice without anyone being the wiser. There were no women nor children in his house, and this in itself proved he intended to show opposition. Nanang and Apai Ikum brought their jars in the course of the afternoon, and requested to be permitted to kill two pigs. This was done, and their hearts examined, and found to be very propitious. The one upon our side, they said, was larger and better ; on their heart there was not so great a development. I per- mitted them to perform this ceremony, as I know there is not a greater or more binding mark of good faith in Dyak customs ; but at the same time, I could scarcely listen to such absurd nonsense, particularly now, as one grows impatient. But we are not losing time, for nothing can be done without the gun, and that is coming up 144 TEN YEAES IN SAEAWAS. slowly ; but before nightfall I intend to have it at the foot of the last ascent^i in readiness for the last climb to the summit. This afternoon many of our wild young Dyak lads had been on Sadok, had embraced Nanang and his party since the pig-killing, and had been drinking the cup of friendship so freely that some were intoxicated. Rentap has shut himself into his den, and cut off all communication, while Nanang is removing away to another part of the mountain. Two hundred men are yelling under the weight of our gun. 27 t/i. — After finishing coffee at an early hour, and expecting to lead a quiet lazy day, as our agreement with Nanang would not be up before to-morrow, 1 was surprised at hearing a call of Pire ! "Fire ! and on looking out, saw the smoke of a house on Sadok. Grandpapa has fired Nanang's houses, which are now blazing in good earnest. He had evidently been exasperated on finding that the party on his off side were removing their property preparatory to giving up the position. I imme- diately resolved to push on, and we commenced pre- parations. The gun was slung to a long pole, and sixty men were lifting it over these rough places, and many others, ready to relieve, were carrying gear. We halted atHhe foot of the steep, and I felt that my boast would soon be LOYIOH'S APPEAEANCE. 145 realised. Main strength would drag it to the summit, although carrying such a weight further than this point was out of the question, as one could scarcely stand, and the trees were high and low, lying crossways in every direction. While waiting here, a fine handsome young Dyak approached me, clad in his chawat and a long flowing garment, with ornamented head-dress, and his long sword dangling by his side. This I knew imme- diately to be Loyioh, our enemy of yesterday, and friend of to-day. He looked anything but like a con- quered man ; nevertheless his manner was respectful and upright. He carried himself as a warrior chief of the feudal period, standing as straight as a lath, and spoke as if he were receiving a friend or visitor at the threshold of his father's domains. We talked for some short time, and I thanked heaven I was able to con&ont him with as active and unfatigued an exterior as him- self, although I must confess not so picturesque a one. We then shook hands in brotherly affection, and he glided away, promising to come and assist in getting the gun up. ' He embraced three or four Malays on the path, in recollection of boyish days spent together in hunting, deer-snaring, and farming. Loyioh is not how- ever a brave man, ahhough a showy one. His " cart- horse" brother Nanang possesses a braver and truer disposition, which has been corrupted by others. But TOL. II. L 146 TEN YEAES IN SARAWAK. n3w we trust to hiin alone to bring about a friendship between us and them. By dint of labour with the ropes we dragged the gun half way up the steep ascent, and left it to proceed to the top, where our tents were arranged on the same spot on which I had previously lain for eight nights in wet and mire. The top was much more cleared now, and Rentap's fortification was in sight, within long range, but he did not try to molest us in any way. The remainder of Nanang's village smokes and smoulders, and our party are close around Rentap's fort, but not a man dare attempt that narrow pathway, which has a precipitous fall of a thousand feet on either side. I made an arrangement with some of the young leaders to €rect a stockade for our gun as near as they could get it, and fearing fire, the arms, powder, shot, and rockets were being collected and crowded into my abode. After breakfast I pushed the force down again, and went with them myself, leaving Watson in charge on the mountain. Loyioh came according to agreement, and we worked together like Trojans ; and after four hours of terrible work, and covered with mud, we at length lodged the gun close to my shed, and it was almost going over the precipice in another direction. I felt now Rentap was safe in our grasp, and in all probability by this time to- morrow his head would be in a bag. WE OPEN FIEE. 147 2Sth. — I rose at one o'clock, a.m., and aroused a party of Dyaks to carry the gun up to the stockade under cover of darkness. At 4'30 a.m. we had it in position, and then patiently waited for daylight, at the first peep of which the rocket tube was brought and ammunition arranged. There was a dense mist, and the wind blow- ing a heavy gale, with the clouds sweeping past us, so that we could not discern more than a few yards around. Rentap's house was not over 200 yards from us, and we were a living mass of expectation. At 7*30 the clouds commenced rising, and as soon as his fortification showed itself, we opened fire and rattled shot and grape through the planking. The rockets could not be used as the wind was blowing too strongly ; there was no return from Rentap's place, but no one yet dared to approach it. After the seventeenth round our carriage split in two, and I was thinking that we should be in a dilemma for some time at any rate, as any patching was hopeless. However, before five minutes were over, some of our party had crept through an aperture, and they were speedily followed by others, who yelled ''victory." It was a blessing to my ears. The third time of asking was to be successful. Our first shot went through their port- holes, and killed the principal man watching their gun ; L 2 148 TEN YEAES IN SARAWAK. besides this, there were the remains of three or four others killed, but Rentap had gone, and the sly old fox, I fear, will get away among the holes and comers of this mountain, which no one knows as he does. Bands went immediately in pursuit of him : the property, in the house was plundered. I walked through it, when all was in a state of disorder, and looked into Rentap's room, which was encased in thick planks quite impervious to musket or rifle shots. The house itself was a miserable building, but the stockades were about two feet in thickness, of the hardest wood, and the peppering of bullets administered on previous occasions had not penetrated a third through. In looking from the plat- form, which all Dyaks have for the purpose of drying padi, &c., a precipice gaped immediately below, so steep and high, that recovery after faUing would have been impossible, and death must have followed before reaching the bottom of this abyss. All around the upper part of the hill had been cleared of everything, and a slip had taken place, making it ten times more dangerous than before ; if another of the same dimen- sions had occurred, Rentap and his shell must have gone to the bottom and been dashed to pieces. How a man and his family could have lived for so many years on such a spot is marvellous, and nought but a most determined spirit of resistance could have supported him YIOTOBIOUS ENTEY. 149 in such discomfort and danger. My feeling was one of infinite satisfaction in having at length dislodged this old culprit, although we all admired his resolution in having stood so long. The arras he had taken when fighting against Messrs. Brereton and Lee (when the latter was killed in 1853) were now recovered. And we found a good supply of ammunition and shot, doubtless brought from Mukah. While we were blazing away at him, Nanang and some hundreds of his people, both men and women, were watching in the distance, and anxiously awaiting the result. When the place was taken they exultingly said, " And if we had held out, we should have shared a similar fate, but now we are safe.'* I returned to my. shed, and felt as if something of great weight and importance had fallen from me, and a sensation of calm ease remained in its stead. In the afternoon a party of our men collected all the combustibles and ignitable wood and material around Rentap's house, in the inner' side, for the purpose of making a large blaze ; to draw the attention of all the inhabitants to it, we fired the gun ofi* twice at dusk, and set fire to the house ; it made a glorious conflagration upon this conspicuous site, and I was told afterwards that the whole surrounding country witnessed it. At night all was quiet, and already many of our force had 150 • TEN YEAES IN SABaWAK commenced to move homewards, so anxious were they about their farms.