Across India eBook

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

Passing into a smaller court, they found it contained dogs and cats in the same unfortunate and suffering condition.

“It would be a mercy to kill them, and thus put them out of misery,” said Dr. Hawkes to the native officer with him.

“Do you serve your sick and disabled in that way?” asked the official.

He could not answer this appeal for the want of time, and they passed into a place for birds.  Venerable crows, vultures, buzzards, and other bipeds, most of them with their plumage gone, pass the remainder of their lives in peace in this curious retreat.  At the end of the enclosure a heron proudly strutted about with a wooden leg, among lame hens and blind geese and ducks.  Rats, mice, sparrows, and jackals have an asylum in the Jain hospital.

“I should like to have some of our people take a lesson from this institution,” said Mrs. Woolridge as they left the place.

The carriages then conveyed them to a Hindu temple.



On the way to the temple the carriages stopped at a horse bazaar, in which Mr. Woolridge was especially interested, for some very fine animals were to be seen, including some choice Arabians.  They were looked over and admired by the party.  The best of them were valued at from six hundred to twelve hundred dollars; and the cheapest were hardly less than two hundred dollars.  None but the wealthiest people of the city could afford to ride after these animals.

Around these stables were numerous cafes, and a collection of people of various nationalities were gathered in front and within them.  Arabs, negroes, Bedouins, and others were consuming spicy drinks; a group of Persians in picturesque costumes were regaling themselves with great dough-balls, made of flour, sugar, and milk; and dirty visitors from Cabul were feeding themselves on dates.

Still in the Black Town, the carriages stopped at the Chinese Bazaar, though the tourists did not alight.  It extended to the shore of the bay, and was crowded with all sorts of people.  On the quays were no end of Asiatic goods, mostly of the coarser kind,—­the horns of cattle, tortoise shells, elephants’ tusks, and bags of pepper, spices, and coffee.

“This looks like Constantinople,” said Miss Blanche, as four big coolies, bearing a large box of goods suspended from a pole resting on their shoulders, passed them, struggling under the burden they bore.

“Oriental customs are much the same wherever you find them,” replied Sir Modava.

“But if they had a hand-truck, such as they use in the stores of our country, they could do their work with far less labor,” suggested Scott.

“Those coolies would not use them,” added the Hindu gentleman.  “I have seen them in London, and these laborers would regard them as an invention of the Evil One to lead them away from their religion.”

Project Gutenberg
Across India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook