He left early, thinking over what Tods had said. Now, it was obviously impossible for the Legal Member to play with a bunnia’s monkey, by way of getting understanding; but he did better. He made inquiries, always bearing in mind the fact that the real native—not the hybrid, University-trained mule—is as timid as a colt, and little by little, he coaxed some of the men whom the measure concerned most intimately to give in their views, which squared very closely with Tods’ evidence.
So the Bill was amended in that clause; and the Legal Member was filled with an uneasy suspicion that Native Members represent very little except the Orders they carry on their bosoms. But he put the thought from him as illiberal. He was a most liberal man.
After a time the news spread through the bazars that Tods had got the Bill recast in the tenure-clause, and, if Tods’ Mamma had not interfered, Tods would have made himself sick on the baskets of fruit and pistachio nuts and Cabuli grapes and almonds that crowded the verandah. Till he went Home, Tods ranked some few degrees before the Viceroy in popular estimation. But for the little life of him Tods could not understand why.
In the Legal Member’s private-paper-box still lies the rough draft of the Sub-Montane Tracts Ryotwary Revised Enactment; and opposite the twenty-second clause, pencilled in blue chalk, and signed by the Legal Member are the words ‘Tods’ Amendment.’
THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD DIN
Who is the happy man? He that sees in his own house, at home, little children crowned with dust, leaping and falling and crying.—
Munichandra, translated by Professor Peterson.
The polo-ball was an old one, scarred, chipped, and dinted. It stood on the mantelpiece among the pipe-stems which Imam Din, khitmatgar, was cleaning for me.
‘Does the Heaven-born want this ball?’ said Imam Din deferentially.
The Heaven-born set no particular store by it; but of what use was a polo-ball to a khitmatgar?
’By Your Honour’s favour, I have a little son. He has seen this ball, and desires it to play with, I do not want it for myself.’
No one would for an instant accuse portly old Imam Din of wanting to play with polo-balls. He carried out the battered thing into the verandah; and there followed a hurricane of joyful squeaks, a patter of small feet, and the thud-thud-thud of the ball rolling along the ground. Evidently the little son had been waiting outside the door to secure his treasure. But how had he managed to see that polo-ball?
Next day, coming back from office half an hour earlier than usual, I was aware of a small figure in the dining-room—a tiny, plump figure in a ridiculously inadequate shirt which came, perhaps, halfway down the tubby stomach. It wandered round the room, thumb in mouth, crooning to itself as it took stock of the pictures. Undoubtedly this was the ‘little son.’