Vellenaux eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 259 pages of information about Vellenaux.

“’Our entire brigade, ten thousand strong, halted about six in the morning, and by seven the whole of the tents were snugly pitched, and we were taking our breakfast comfortably in the tops of trees which grew on both sides of the road.’

“He spelt the word Topes without the capital or letter e.  Tents for ten thousand men pitched in the tops of trees.  Oh, was there ever such a monstrous falsehood, and the poor old lady fairly shook from head to foot with pious indignation.  The letter was returned to the writer without remark or comment, and she was never again heard to mention the name of her nephew, and on her death, which occurred soon after, it was found that she had bequeathed the whole of her property to establish a mission for diffusing the Gospel truth among the natives of the Fiji Islands, and the unfortunate victim to bad spelling was left lamenting.”

In another of his epistles to the fair young girl in merry England, he winds up with the following:  “Much has been said and written concerning the sagacity of some animals, especially the elephant, horse and dog, but the other day I was an eye witness to a fact which developed the cunning, reason, instinct, or call it what you will, of the Indian Jackall.  Having sauntered from my tent in the cool of the evening through some wild cotton plants, down to a clump of shady trees that grew at no great distance from the river, I sat down to enjoy a cigar, and while so doing I observed the following incident:  A jackall, one of the largest I believe I had ever seen, came quietly out from the cover of the jungle and made for the river, having in his mouth a large bunch of cotton; curious to know to what purpose he intended applying his mouthful, I watched him.  Having reached the water’s edge he turned deliberately round and faced in the direction where I was seated, but not in view, then depressing his bushy tail he gradually backed into the water; very slow, indeed, was his backward movement, but on gaining the centre of the somewhat shallow stream his whole body became submerged, leaving nothing visible above the water but the tip of his nose; suddenly he dived, and reappeared on the opposite bank.  After giving himself a good shake, he scampered off, apparently in high glee, leaving the cotton floating on the surface of the water.  Determined to find out if possible the meaning of this strange proceeding, I walked to the river’s bank, and wading some paces in contrived, with my long riding whip, to get hold of the piece of cotton.  You may judge of my surprise on finding it to be actually alive with enormous flees.  The cunning jackall had taken this effectual means of ridding himself of his troublesome companions.”

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Vellenaux from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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