Across India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about Across India.

The interpreters finished their explanations, and the company retired with the salaams of the crowd.  It was very late when they retired to rest that night.

CHAPTER XXI

JUGGERNAUT AND JUGGLERS

The next day was Sunday, and none of the party appeared in the parlor till quite late; not because it was the Sabbath, but because they were all very tired, even the four lively boys, who had done more sightseeing than the rest of the tourists.  They were always on the wing, and while the older ones rested, they always found some novelty which drew them away from the hotel.  Of the four servants only two attended upon them.  They had practically retired two of them with some difficulty when they were away from the party, for they were a nuisance to them, so many of them.

Sayad and Moro were retained, however; for they were more intelligent than the others, spoke English better, and were more enterprising, frequently suggesting some means of amusement to them.  They were interested in the boys and girls, and Sayad told Louis and Felix all about them,—­about their homes, their schools, their sports; and Moro did the same for Scott and Morris.  On this Sunday they were conducted to a Sunday-school of two hundred scholars, under the direction of the missionaries, though the teachers are mostly natives.

It was a strange sight to them, the variety of races, the strange costumes, and the absence of any considerable portion of costume at all.  There were Mohammedans, Chinamen, negroes, Jews, and a few Europeans.  They fell in with the missionary from England, who told them a good deal about their work, and how interested they were in it, declaring that they could see the fruits of their labors, detailing a number of instances of conversions.  They had a day-school also, and they hired a strict Hindu because he taught English so well.  He hated the Christians, and did his work only because he was paid for it; but he had to listen to the prayers and exhortations, and finally he yielded in spite of himself, and became a very useful Christian minister.

This gentleman said that the number of Christians in India had doubled within ten years.  He invited the party to come to the church, and the boys hastened back to the hotel to tell their friends about it.  They all went to this meeting, including their three distinguished guides.  The service was about the same as at home, the clergyman was a native of the Brahmin caste, and he preached a very earnest and sensible sermon.  The funds of the mission were increased at least a thousand dollars by this visit.

In the evening the entire company attended the Church of England at the invitation of Lord Tremlyn; and the sermon was preached by the Bishop of Bombay.  The Methodists were as much pleased with it as though it had been delivered by one of their own fold.  A portion of the day was passed in writing letters to their friends at home, and quite a bundle of them was collected for the post by Louis.  They were all sealed, with stamps affixed, and Morris’s servant Mobarak was directed to put them in the mail-box.  But the fellow shook his head, and declined to obey.

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Across India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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