A Journey to Katmandu eBook

Laurence Oliphant
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about A Journey to Katmandu.
return to cantonments, a distance of four miles, was rather singular, not to be recommended except on an emergency:  the carriages seemed to have decreased in proportion as the number of guests had multiplied, and in some unaccountable manner many of us were left to accomplish our return as best we could.  It was in vain that we attempted to persuade the seven occupants of a buggy to receive us among them—­we met with a stern refusal.  It was useless to supplicate a number of rich Baboos, on a handsome elephant, to help us in our difficulties; the rich Baboos laughed, and told us we might get up behind, if we liked.  And so all that brilliant throng went whirling back to cantonments, and we were left disconsolately standing in the court-yard, with the probability of having to trudge home.  This was not to be thought of for a moment, and we had just arrived at a pitch of desperation when a handsome carriage, with the blinds all up, and drawn by a pair of high-stepping horses, came rattling toward us.  Not a moment was to be lost; we rushed frantically forward and ordered an immediate halt.  In vain did the venerable coachman and determined-looking servant intimate to us that the carriage was his Majesty’s; his Majesty, we assured them, was still carousing in his palace:  so, depositing them both in the interior, without loss of time we mounted the box, and a moment after the high-stepping horses were dashing along the road to cantonments in brilliant style.  We looked contemptuously down into the buggy, still clung to by its seven occupants, and galloped at a startling pace past the jocose Baboos, very much to the annoyance of their sedate elephant.  On arriving at the cantonments we liberated his Majesty’s domestics, and, ordering them to be careful how they heated his high-caste Arabs on their way back, we adjourned to a repast, to which the King’s dinner had not incapacitated us from doing ample justice.

CHAPTER XVII.

A Lucknow Derby-day—­Sights of the city—­Grand Trunk Road to Delhi—­Delhi—­The Coutub—­Agra—­The fort and Taj—­The ruins of Futtehpore Secreh—­A loquacious cicerone—­A visit to the fort of Gwalior—­The Mahratta Durbar—­Tiger-shooting on foot.

On the following morning, in spite of all this dissipation, we, as well as the greater part of the population of Lucknow, were perfectly ready to go to the races, which took place at an early hour.  After seeing the first race, which was a well-contested one, and in which the natives seemed to take particular interest, I went towards the town, and was amused on the way by comparing the various conveyances used at Lucknow with those that may be seen on the road to Epsom on the Derby-day.

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A Journey to Katmandu from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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