“It is in connection with the customs, my Lord.”
“You will dispense with everything in that connection, for this is a yacht; and you will oblige me by not subjecting any person on board to any annoyance, Mr. Windham.”
“Certainly not, my Lord; and not a trunk shall be opened. But the newspapers will want the account of your shipwreck, and a reporter came off with me,” replied the official.
“Refer him to my secretary.”
The under-official obtained particulars from the first officer in regard to the steamer for the custom-house, and Dr. Ferrolan gave the reporter an account of the disaster to the Travancore which he had written.
“I propose to land and proceed to our hotel as soon as the ladies are ready,” said Lord Tremlyn, when he had retired to the captain’s cabin with the commander. “While they are preparing, we will consider the programme of the tour.”
“Very well, your Lordship; I will have the party notified. Mr. Scott,” said the captain, opening the door into the pilot-house, “inform all the company that we go on shore in half an hour; and you will go with them. Mr. Boulong, lower the gangway, and have the barge ready.”
“Perhaps you have arranged a programme yourself already,” suggested the new host of the party.
“I have considered the matter. I proposed to see Bombay, and perhaps run down to Poona. Then go to Surat in the steamer, and visit Baroda, and proceed by the ship to Kurrachee. From there I thought I should send the Guardian-Mother round to Calcutta in charge of Mr. Boulong, while we travelled to Lahore, Delhi, Cawnpore, Lucknow, Allahabad, Benares, and Calcutta by railway. From there we will go to Madras and Ceylon by the steamer,” said the commander, who seemed to have arranged the whole trip.
“Excellent, Captain Ringgold!” exclaimed the viscount. “I can hardly better that.”
He made some suggestions; but this route was substantially adopted.
A MULTITUDE OF NATIVE SERVANTS
The barge was ready as soon as it was needed, and lay at the platform of the gangway, with the crew in their white uniforms, quite as smart as man-of-war’s-men. The coolie boatmen who were seeking a job to put the passengers on shore were disappointed. The clothing of the guests had been taken in hand by Sparks and Sordy, the cabin stewards, dried, cleaned, and pressed. They wore them now, and had returned the borrowed garments.
The party were impatient to see the strange sights on shore; and they were ready at the gangway when the viscount, to whom the commander had abandoned the direction of the company, gave the word. The ladies were assisted to their places, and the “Big Four” went into the fore-sheets. Bargate, the old man-of-war’s-man, was the cockswain, and his lordship gave the word to him to give way.
“Pull to the Apollo Bunder, if you please, my man,” said he.