Padang as a town has nothing to recommend it. Its public buildings and houses are embowered in the most gorgeous trop-ical vegetation, but they themselves are plain, and look as if they were moth-eaten. Termites work rapidly upon the corner posts, and decay soon makes new buildings old. Then, too, the malarial plasmodium finds in the region a most congenial home, and the pallid faces and slow gate of the Europeans tell too plainly of an unequal struggle between blood corpuscles and the invading army of parasites. I do not know that Padang is celebrated for its fevers, though it is certainly not a healthy place. But it is for other reasons that travelers do not stay long in Padang. As the terminus of a most remarkable mountain railroad, worthy of a Meiggs, one of the earliest cog railways ever constructed for freight purposes, it affords the traveler un-rivaled opportunities to “get into the interior,” as explorers express it. The Ombilin coal-fields send to Padang by means of this road the coal for the Netherland steamship line, which calls here both in and out bound. It is not a great way from this region that some of the petroleum fields have been discovered, which the Standard Oil Company tried in vain to get control of,being checked, so the newspapers report, by a suspicious paternal home government, which wishes to hold everything valuable in its own hands. Stretches of low swampy jungle line the track on both sides. Thickets of the Map palm, with its creeping stem and rigid upright leaves„ whose leaflets flutter incessantly in the slightest breeze, rise out of deep weed-overgrown pools, suggestive of all sorts of serpents, leeches, and water insects. Immense plantations of bananas, overgrown with masses of tangled morning glories,with their light-blue blossoms, have crowded out the more varied natural vegetation in places and stand as evidences of the cultural skill and indomitable energy of those greatest of all tropical colonizers, the Chinese. But soon the train whirled us into the klof or gorge itself, and for several hours our eyes were busy with scenes of the most gorgeous freshness and beauty. The charm of tropical verdure is largely due, I believe, to the abundance of broad-leaved plants which it contains. Nothing illustrates this more than a comparison of such plants as the banana or talipot palm with a South African fine-leaved heath or a North woods pine. As individuals all are beautiful, perhaps equally so ; but the watercolors of the tropics are painted in splashes and with a broad, free hand, while the foliage of the temperate regions is painfully etched on copper plate. This gorge is compared by the Dutch with the Gotthard Strasse below A undermatt ; but they belittle it by such comparison, for the Klof van Aneh, with its countless waterfalls, rushing mountain streams, cloud-covered hillsides, and floating mists, added to its endless variety of flowering shrubs, feathery fern fronds, waving palms, and tall, imposing forest trees, makes a composition of the first rank among scenic masterpieces and entitles it to the first place on the line of the world’s gallery.