One of the most influential personages of the neighbouring race of the Lao was a woman, already advanced in years, of the name of Shol. She played an important part as a sort of chief of the Meshera, her riches, according to the old patriarchal fashion, consisting of cattle. As wealthy as cattle copuld make her, she would long since have been a prey to the Nubians, who carry on their ravages principally in those regions, if it had not chanced that the intruders needed her for a friend. They required a convenient and secure landing-place, and the paramount necessity of having this induced them to consider plunder a secondary matter.
Shol, on her part, uses all her influence to retain her tribe on friendly terms with the strangers. The smallest conflict might involve the entire loss of her property.