Dermot could have kissed the soft, snake-like proboscis, and he patted the animal affectionately and murmured his thanks to him. Badshah seemed to understand him and wrapped his trunk around his friend’s shoulders. Then, apparently satisfied, he moved away and began to graze calmly, as if nothing out of the common had taken place.
Dermot pulled himself together. Near the foot of the tree at which he had sunk down he found the cord-like strips of bark which he had cut. Picking them up he went to the carcase of the buck and tied its legs together. A whistle brought the elephant to him, and, hoisting the deer on to the pad, he fastened it to the surcingle. Then, grasping the elephant’s ears, he was lifted to his place on the neck.
Turning Badshah’s head towards home he started off; but, as he went, he looked back at the trampled glade and thanked Heaven that his body was not lying there, crushed and lifeless.
A GIRL OF THE TERAI
“How beautiful! How wonderful!” murmured the girl on the verandah, her eyes turned to the long line of the Himalayas filling the horizon to the north.
Clear against the blue sky the shining, ice-clad peaks of Kinchinjunga, a hundred miles away, towered high in air. Mystic, lovely, they seemed to float above the earth, as unsubstantial as the clouds from which they rose. They belonged to another world, a fairy world altogether apart from the rugged, tumbled masses, the awe-inspiring precipices and tremendous cliffs, of the nearer mountains. These were majestic, overpowering, but plainly of this earth, unlike the pure, white summits that seemed unreal, impossible in their beauty.
“Do come and look, Fred,” said the girl aloud. “I’ve never seen the Snows so clearly.”
She spoke to the solitary occupant of the dining-room of the bungalow. The young man at the breakfast table answered laughingly:
“I don’t want to look at those confounded hills, Sis. I’ve seen them, nothing but them, all through these long months, until I begin to hate the sight of them.”
“Oh, but do come, dear!” she pleaded. “Kinchinjunga has never seemed so beautiful as it does this morning. And it looks so near. Who could believe that it was all those miles away?”