from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The name given in Ceylon to a rock which is there extensively used as a building-stone.
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Ratnapoora, with the difference that the granite and gneiss here crumbled down to a coarse sand, which was again bound together by newly-formed hydrated peroxide of iron to a peculiar porous sandstone, called by the natives _cabook_.
The _cabook_ often contains large, rounded, unweathered granite blocks, quite resembling the rolled-stone blocks in Sweden.
Precious stones have been found disseminated in limited numbers in the granite converted into _cabook_.
When in the course of thousands of years streams of water have flowed over the layers of _cabook_, their soft, already half-weathered constituents have been for the most part changed into a fine mud, and as such washed away, while the hard gems have only been inconsiderably rounded and little diminished in size.
In this way there arise at places where the _cabook_ stratum has again been broken up and washed away by currents of water, formations which are so bewilderingly like the ridges (_osar_) and hills with erratic blocks in Sweden and Finland that I was astonished when I saw them.
In it rice is the chief article produced, and for its cultivation the disintegrated laterite (_cabook_), when thoroughly irrigated, is sufficiently adapted.
_cabook_ of Ceylon would certainly yield very unexpected contributions to an explanation of the way in which the sand and rolled-stone _osar_ of Scandinavia have first arisen.
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