Just two years before I served a term of imprisonment—for the third time—at the Central Jail, more by fate's design than accident I became acquainted, as this narrative will unfold, with a young maid of the Shan State.
On that fateful day, at twilight, when the golden sun had just hidden its face behind the mountains to the west of the river, I was occupied in trimming the plants in my betel-leaf garden. Looking up from my work, I saw a fair and comely maid of about twenty summers or so hurrying toward me. She carried a leather bag, the weight of which had obviously almost exhausted her. Panting, she cried, "Uncle! Uncle! Please permit me to hide in your garden for just a few minutes!"
"But what ails you, Niece, and why—"
Before I could complete my sentence she continued, imploringly, with a tinge of despair in her voice, "Please, please . . . allow me to explain later . . . where may I hide?"
Although to harbor one who, as I was convinced, was evading arrest is criminal according to law, I deemed it incumbent that I, a full-grown man, should help the weaker sex in distress. Quickly I led the girl through my hut to a not too deep blind well behind my compound. Just in time! I was barely back in my hut when a subinspector of police and a constable, both on cycles, drew up and inquired whether I had not seen a girl with a leather suitcase pass by. I gave them a negative answer, which did not even go down cum grano salis for they proceeded to search my hut and compound for some considerable time. But, in the gathering darkness, they did not detect the well and, giving me a suspicious look, they withdrew.