“I don’t know that I wonder at the generosity of our hosts,” replied the trustee, as he put his fat arm around the neck of Louis, who stood next to him. “If this young man had been in the situation of Lord Tremlyn and Sir Modava when you picked them up, I am very sure I should not have grumbled if I had been called upon to disburse a sum equal to what this trip will cost them, if they, or any one, had picked him up. There are two sides to this question, Captain.”
“Then you fight on the other side, though you hold the purse-strings,” said the commander.
“Would I give a hundred thousand dollars for saving Sir Louis’s life? His mother would give ten times that sum, and all the rest of the young man’s fortune. That is a matter about which we must not be mean; and the other side take that view of it. I quite agree that not another word ought to be said about expense,” responded Uncle Moses, giving the young millionaire another hug.
“Uncle Moses is not a bit like the miser that could not afford a candle at his death-bed in the night,” added Louis. “If they had done as much for us as we have for them, I should be glad to take them all around the world, and pay for an Italian band of music all the way.”
“That’s right, Sir Louis! Do as you would be done by,” chuckled the trustee.
“It just occurs to me, Captain Sharp,” said the commander of the Guardian-Mother, as the former was about to leave, “that there is no reason for your going to Surat, for we can take the general, Dr. Henderson, and the band along with us. You have a voyage of two thousand miles before you.”
“Which I can make in seven or eight days without hurrying,” replied the captain of the Blanche. “I could get to Calcutta before you do if I sailed two weeks hence.”
“Just as you please.”
But General Noury seemed to like the idea of getting on board of the Guardian-Mother even for a day, and adopted the suggestion of Captain Ringgold.
“There is next to nothing to be seen at Surat, and we shall go from there immediately to Baroda, on our way to Lahore,” interposed Lord Tremlyn. “The Maharajah of Gwalior is an old friend of Sir Modava, and I am well acquainted with him. I have no doubt we shall be very hospitably treated there, and that you will be introduced to many things that will interest you. If Captain Sharp desires to see some Indian sports, he can go with us to Baroda, stay a week, and then return to his ship here by railway.”
“I like that idea, as my wife wishes to see a little more of India on shore, though she does not wish to take the long journey you are to make,” added Captain Sharp.
This plan was accepted, and the party separated. The next morning the carriages conveyed them to the Apollo Bunder, and at seven o’clock the Guardian-Mother was under way. The band was playing on the promenade, and the party were taking their last view of Bombay and its surroundings. Captain Sharp and his wife were on board. The three doctors formed a trio by themselves, and were discussing jungle fever, which existed in the low lands beyond Byculla.