Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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APRIL 1940
 
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APR 1940
15

Makassar to Sengkang, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Monday, April 15, 1940

Edward Beckwith, Hugo Curran, and guides on the road to Sengkang

Edward Beckwith and Hugo Curran smoking their new pipes on the road from Makassar to Sengkang, Sulawesi, Indonesia. A driver and Wongso are also in the car.
Edward Beckwith with his fire-damaged shirt

Edward Beckwith with his fire-damaged shirt, burned by a mishap with his new tobacco pipe. Photographed by Hugo Curran on the road from Makassar to Sengkang.

“Bamboo forest near Sengkang. Photographed in 2008 by benjuni.
Hugo told me at breakfast that he had a feeling that there was something wrong in connection with the party at Surabaya which had affected the expedition. He thinks he should have had a letter at least from David in connection with the seeds that we have collected and which have still to be sent by air mail to Florida.

I thought that the simplest way to arrange money matters was to make Hugo a loan and then go ahead with our plans. Accordingly I cashed $410.00 in Am. Exp. Travelers Checks and gave Hugo 200.- guilders. We then paid the hotel bill which was about 50.- guilders each, and I paid the balance on the camera, amounting to 247.- guilders.

Hugo looked at the three sores on my legs and insisted on treating them with H2O2 and other things. I told him I did not believe he knew any more about doctoring than any doctor, which seemed to make him indignant. I let him treat two of the sores, keeping one for my own observation and as a control. I believe that this one will heal all right, and will be interesting to see. My main disability is a slight cold and sore throat.

Hugo decided he wanted to smoke a pipe instead of cigarettes, so while he was mailing some enlargements and shipping de Witte’s  new Rolleicord, I bought him a pipe for 1.50 as a present. I also bought two for myself as my $10.00 flame grain Kaywoodie has a hole in the bottom.

We finally got started at 10:20 in the same car we had on the 13th, leaving as much baggage as possible in the hotel.

The first part of the trip was 187 kilometers to Sengkang. We passed through remarkable limestone country with rock formations covered with vegetation on their steep sides. The air through this country was fresh and cool, and had the quality of air in the north. It was delightful to breathe this fresh invigorating air after 4 months in the tropics. We both sat on the back of our seat, which proved to be a very excellent idea for seeing the country and getting the air. It was also good fun as a certain amount of practice was required to balance without holding on at 40 MPH. It reminded me of skiing, requiring the same character of balance, that is a loose body with full advantage taken of the inertia produced at high speed, giving steadiness.

We arrived at 3 after sampling our canned things for lunch by the road. There was a beautiful pasang grahan on top of a hill with a view over the water lake, and we put up there.

Hugo was much pleased with his pipe and was especially curious to know how he looked smoking it.

I took a sleep and Hugo went to the town, returning with an Edam cheese in a sealed can. He was very much pleased with his find and knew that I would be also. When we opened it, it did not look right and proved to be bad.

Hugo was disappointed with the trip so far as he saw nothing all day of botanical interest.

An incident occurred at noon which greatly amused Hugo, Wongso and some natives who came up to the car. We were riding on the backs of the seats smoking pipes, I on the front seat, Hugo on the back, when I suddenly smelled smoke and could not find where it came from. My left breast pocket was actively on fire. A spark from my pipe had apparently gone in there and the wind had started my handkerchief smoldering. I pulled everything out and threw it out of the car while Wongso grabbed the pocket and put it out after a large hole had been burned in my shirt. We stopped of course, some natives came up, and Hugo took a picture of me showing my burned pocket. He complained that nothing like that ever happened to him which he could tell about afterward.

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