Recollections of Calcutta for over Half a Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 98 pages of information about Recollections of Calcutta for over Half a Century.
it reel and tremble from top to bottom.  I recollect I was not feeling at all nervous, not realising at the time the very great danger that threatened us all.  But one of my chums, a little stout man, well known at that time in the tea trade, of the name of Inskipp, usually a most cheery and genial soul, tried his best to instil into our minds the very serious risk we were running.  He kept roaming about the room in a very distressed and restless manner, prophesying all sorts of disasters, winding up with the assertion that it would not at all surprise him if at any moment the house were to tumble down about our ears and bury the whole lot of us in its ruins.  It was, however, all of no use.  He could not succeed in frightening us; and the four of us continued to play whist, and now and then threw out at him a few chaffing remains on his lugubrious and unhappy state.  But later on we had a tremendous shock, and for the moment it seemed as if part of his prognostications were to come only too true.  It appeared that the iron bar across one of the windows in my bedroom to the west, looking on to the river, leading oft the sitting room in which we were seated, had given way, and the wind bursting through the closely-barred shutters with irresistible fury had forced open the door of communication between the two rooms.  Most fortunately the shutters held or the whole flat would have been completely wrecked.  It took all our combined efforts some time to force back the door and securely-fasten it by jamming a music stool and chairs up against it.  To add to our discomfort, the roof was leaking like a sieve, and we had to place several bowls in each of the rooms, and my own room when I entered it the following morning when the storm had passed was a sight more easily imagined than described.  Of course I had to find beds for all my guests, but it is needless to say that none of us got much sleep.  When daylight at length broke we all rushed to the windows, naturally expecting to see the same sort of debacle amongst the shipping as had overtaken it in the cyclone of 1864; but, to our intense joy and relief, not a single vessel had left her anchorage.  This was partly due to the port authorities having learnt by bitter experience the necessity of considerably strengthening and improving the moorings, and also in a great measure to the absence of the storm-wave which had accompanied the previous cyclone and wrought such havoc and destruction.  But all the same the loss of life and damage sustained, covering a large extent of country, must have been of serious and far-reaching magnitude.  The city again suffered heavily in the matter of trees and shrubs, which were uprooted and, last of all, the crows of course contributed their usual heavy toll of death and temporary annihilation.


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Recollections of Calcutta for over Half a Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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