Across India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 323 pages of information about Across India.

“A bungalow,” replied Sir Modava.

“Why do you call it so?”

“That reminds me of the German,” interposed Captain Ringgold, laughing heartily. “‘Do you know vot vas der reason vy ve calls our boy Hans?’”

“Well, what was the reason, Captain?” inquired the lady seriously.

“‘Der reason vy ve calls our boy Hans is, dot is his name.’”

“Well, that is precisely why we call that house a bungalow,” added Sir Modava.  “It is the house usually occupied by Europeans here.  They are one story high, with a broad veranda, like the one we have just visited.  Almost always they have a pyramidal roof, generally thatched, but rarely slated or tiled.  When the body is of brick or stone, they call them pucka houses.  Doubtless you wished to know the origin of the word, Mrs. Belgrave.”

“That was just what I wished to know.”

“They were probably first called Bengalese houses, and the present name was corrupted out of the adjective.”

The party collected together on the seashore, for the viscount appeared to have something to say.  The captain of the Guardian-Mother called the attention of the company to the shape of the small bay before them, which looked exactly like a lobster’s big claw.

“The point where we are is Cape Colaba, and the small point is Cape Malabar,” said Lord Tremlyn.  “I think we have seen all our time permits, and now we will drive back through the town and the Esplanade.  Perhaps you have not yet heard of the Jains.  They are a religious sect, and are more influential and intelligent than most of the Hindus.  More than any other sect they hold the lower animals in the highest regard, amounting to a strange sort of tenderness.

“They believe that man should not injure any animal; and more than this, that human beings are bound to protect the lives and minister to the ills of all creatures, even those the most despised.  When, therefore, the pious Jain comes upon a wounded creature of the lower order, he stops to attend to its needs, and even takes it into his house to be healed.  To forward this charity, the wealthy of this sect have contributed money for the foundation and endowment of hospitals for the care of sick and wounded animals, and even of those permanently disabled.”

“What a beautiful idea, if it is heathen!” exclaimed Mrs. Belgrave.

“We will now drive to one of these hospitals.  We have to pass through the Esplanade again to reach the Black Town, as it is called, where most of the natives reside; but we will go by a different road.”

In about half an hour the carriages passed through the densely populated region of the Hindus, and stopped at the hospital.  The party alighted in a large court, surrounded by sheds, in which are a number of bullocks, some of them with their eyes bandaged, others lame, or otherwise in a helpless condition.  They were all stretched out on clean straw.  Some of the attendants were rubbing them; others were bringing food and drink to them.

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Across India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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