Vellenaux eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 259 pages of information about Vellenaux.
so frequently resorted to by Europeans and others in the racing stables and on the turf, he fell an easy prey to some of the sharpers that usually infest the race course, so that by the end of the season he had not only lost every horse that he brought with him, but likewise every rupee he possessed.  There were few of his countrymen on the Island, and they either could not or would not assist him to return to Circassia.  He had brought with him, to see the wonders of the chief cities of the three Presidencies, his wife and three daughters, the eldest only seventeen, the youngest about fourteen.  In his extremity he turned to the old Eastern custom, still prevalent, that of selling his children; he had applied to several European and native gentlemen, with whom he had become acquainted on the turf, but without success.  At length he fell in with Sir Lexicon Chutny, to whom he had lost large sums of money during that gentleman’s visit to the Island.  Here he found no difficulty, Sir Lexicon having seen the beauty of the girls, and being assured by them that, under the circumstances, they did not object to the transaction.  He used this precaution, well knowing, although they did not, that he could not hold them to their bargain one moment after the purchase money was paid, should they claim the protection of the police authorities; besides, the poor girls had heard of similar cases to their own, in their far distant home, and thought it must be so elsewhere.  So the arrangement was quickly completed, the horse dealer and his wife having accepted the twenty-four hundred rupees, the price agreed upon for their children, departed homeward.  Nor did Sir Lexicon delay an hour longer than was actually necessary in the Presidency of Bombay, but hastened with all speed towards his estate at Pallamcotta, in Madras, taking his fair bargains with him.

Here they dwelt in perfect harmony, their lives embittered by no petty jealousies, and wonderfully attentive to their lord and master, over whom they possessed considerable influence when they chose to exert it.  There was not a servant on the plantation but would have been discharged had they dared to disobey any orders given by either, whether their master was at home or abroad.  For nearly four years this state of things had existed, when lady Chutny’s arrival totally altered the aspect of everything, and created quite a hurricane of passion in the hitherto quiet household, by driving the favorites forth with flashing eyes, hatred in their hearts, and thirsting for vengeance on their hated rival.

Lady Chutny had resided at Pallamcotta some six or seven weeks, and began to think that the term of her probation had lasted quite long enough for the purpose for which she had immured herself in the country, and at length determined to visit the Capital.  Her husband had successfully, though unwittingly, paved the way for her reception among the cream de la cream of society; being a man of wealth,

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Vellenaux from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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