Lahore was rather a disappointment to the tourists, though it would not have been if they had not spent some days in Bombay before visiting it. The train in which they had come from Baroda was to be used by them as far as Calcutta, and they were ready to leave that night. The journey was by a different route from that by which they had come, and through a more densely populated region. It was a bright moonlight night when the train passed out of the capital of the Punjab.
They had gathered in what they had come to call the Conference Hall compartment; and as they looked out into the light of the evening they believed they could see some of the peaks of the Himalayas, though Lord Tremlyn doubted it. Possibly they saw some of the peaks, for Mount Nauda Devi was within a hundred miles of the point on the railroad where they would be in the morning; and this is more than twenty-five thousand feet high. Mont Blanc is seen in very clear weather at the distance of a hundred miles, and it is about eight thousand feet less in height.
They were awake very early in the morning, and they certainly saw some high mountains in the distance, but could not identify them by name. At eight o’clock the train rolled into the station at Delhi, perhaps the most wonderful city of India.
THE WONDERFUL CITY OF DELHI
The Mohammedans of Bombay whose acquaintance General Noury had made were wealthy and influential men; they had notified their friends in other cities of the coming of the distinguished Moroccan, and he had several invitations to make his home in Delhi with them. Lord Tremlyn and Sir Modava were even more abundantly tendered accommodations from British and Hindu persons of distinction.
Captain Ringgold had no friends, and received no invitations, though the entire company of tourists were included in those of both the general and the distinguished gentlemen who had insisted upon being the hosts of the party. But the commander was a wealthy man himself, and a very independent one. To throw a company of a dozen and a half upon the generous hospitality of private individuals, or even public officials, seemed like an imposition to him.
The viscount and his Hindu companion were equally sensitive on this point; and it was proposed by Sir Modava to divide the guests among those who had not only given the invitations but had pressed them upon the travellers. The others did not like this plan; and, after some consideration, it was decided to go to a hotel; at least it was suggested as the remedy by the commander, who again insisted upon paying the bill. But there was no suitable hotel in the place. The dak-bungalow was the only resort, though a hotel was soon to be opened. Those who were consulted in the party were all for the bungalow, and the problem was finally settled in this manner.