Hide Articles List

2 articles on this Page

-TALL Wants

CHAPTER V.

News
Cite
Share

CHAPTER V. f AT THE MUSSUKI GLen. WE must now transport our readers over sea and land for many hundreds of miles, even as the crow flies," and soaring up on high over the hot Indian plains about the middle of April, 1856. People in the lower lands were beginning to cry out for a cooler climate, and travellers were already on the way up to the hills for rest and recreation. No one can overestimate the advantages of th, so sanafaria in the Himalaya. They are a necessity for the Anglo-Indian army. The favourite starting point for the "hills." or mountains as we should call them, is Simla, where Governors-General rejoice; and races, dance's,- with numerous other amusements, enliven the time, and many a scandal find its w,;y down to the plains 'rom the hill country with hasie. Many a court martial has been held in consequence of 'the life in those pleasant, and partly dissipated, stations, though in all probability only half we heard was true and the rest not new. Idleness in the hills has a great deal to answer for and- Satan finds some mischief still, For idle hands to do." Mussuri is anothfrof these hill-stat,ons, and tbenee the expedition to the source of the Ganges is made. g To Gangutrfe is about fifteen days' journey, and the road is a very.fine one, but not devoid of d-inger. I It was with the object of penetrating to the nouroe â¢f two 0"000 ii-at < natty of Executed at the Ch?'onicle] Office, Penarth. WMWw i HIMI'I i ill | blecT,^ with ^many other* jfeopTe, at* Mussuri ârUié time we have mentioned. It was perhaps early, but the club was open, and when April comes all who can obtain leave or money come up to have a good time amongst the hills. The difference between the temperature in plain and hill is something amazing to a novice. The thermometer at fifty degrees or less at the club would, if carried dewn to yonder plains, be nearly ninety-five. Forty miles in a direct line makeS more than forty degrees of heat between plain and hill. The club itself, built upon a precipice, commandf a magnificent view from this side. The grand Himalaya are towering in front, while beautiful foliage and many plants in full bloom adorn tha lower hills. There is no want of company; many houses are perched up on the rising ground, and the club-house is rapidly filling, though there are sinister rumours in the air, and leave is sparingly granted in the year 1856. o There are many "'grass-widows" though up there, and amongst them a very prettv youcg woman, who is a great favourite with the men oD leave, and tolerated by the women. But no one had, much to say against her. Her husband was away in the steaming plains, and she must have been II devoted and true little wife, for, call when yoO would, Mrs. Layton was writing to her husband-00, she saysâand why should it not be so ? But no one ever saw those letters when pouted She always sent her letters herself, she said. Variouf conjectures were made concerning Captain Layton, as she called him, and yet at that time n<$ a man had ever met him. What corps did he belong to ? No one liked to ask; and, if any one had, Mr* Layton would not have answered. She was certainly very pretty, 'and as changed a<! a woman will change who has left a stifling air fot. a pure atmosphere within sight of the eternal Himalaya Imows. And in the afternoon upon thol Mall" there will be no brighter, pleasanter little woman," as her acquaintances call her, than Urei Laytonâonly who was her husband ? We will now, if you please, stroll into the largO: breakfast-room of the club, the lower of the two reception-rooms wherein dinner and breakfast wen*1' on nearly all day. It is about half-past nine o'clock now and some of the residents are coming to break- fast, but the majority have not yet put in an appear, ance. For the idle ones are still in bed and whetf: two o'clock comes you will find them combining th« tiffin with their breakfast. The four men who entered the room alrnosti together exchanged careless greetings not distant nor wanting in cordiality, but at; er the manner of man who had met another individual about times before during the day, and thinks suc^ acknowledgment sufficient for courtesy. They are all ready for the meal, and by degrecfi conversation becomes more animated. t Been round the Camel's Backr" asked one of th91 individuals nearest him. Yes," replied the person addressed. Glorio^ morning for a rideâisn't it ?" The Camel's Back" is a mountain near this sanatarium, and it is a good thing to ride round tbe: road cut upon its sides before breakfastâif yo11 want an appetite, and are not afraid of falling. Seen your grass widow yet ?" inquired anQth ofiicer quietly of his friend. No, going to call upon her presently. She's very charming-1 assure you." By the bye, who is she ? No one seems to ge. I at the rights of it. Has she a husband living i" I believe so-don't know, I am sure," r; pli- the other. She's the wife of some man in 111 service, I believe." Civil or military f" inquired another. j She's civil â very," replied the young rnftij addressed, who believed he had made an csioll i he may be military or not, I don't care." j Better mind what you're after, Frank," said h'| friend; there are a few rows up here sometim^j friend; "there are a few rows up here sometim^j and grass widows are not to be trifled wiLh al wayS, he added. J Not such a fool as you think me,' replied t; other, stroking his moustache with a conscious alf" I saw her in the plains and at Sealkote, where Ila husband's regiment was. She told me she ",81 coming up, and as I was feeling < seedy,' I came to"' that's all." What is her husband you must know bio then ?" asked his friend, suspiciously, with a search ing glance. You aie not quite explicit." The younger man flushed slightly and He is the 1000th Foot, I believe." Then you ought to be certain. Come, Fra¡1 don't be a fool. Let the widow' alone you only get into hot water." If; Shouldn t mind a little occasionally up" heOI4 replied the subaltern, flippantly. It's deu-ed cOl sometimes," he added, as he rose and strolle leisurely away out of doors. He had not gone very far on hia round of that morning when he encountered a sedan chalf' borne by four men dressed in loose black garment*! with green facings, and in this chair or Janpao J young lady was seHteclj looking very good-te^ip^^ and very well pleased with herself. { Ihis well-dressed person was Mrs. Layton, notwithstanding all her surroundin-s she had < altogether the air of a well-bred woman. There < a want of ease which betokened one accustome e the s), iety in which she was now ambitious to 5hldi But there are ways of shining and pe.haps she not the difference. One may daD 10 cause us to put our hands up for vrotection. or sb'IV with bonowed light quiet y and unobtrusively as 4 moon, or again with a pleasar.t light of one's < toned down to the eyes of those whom v.e ,nh attract as the candle attraois the moth. J. Now Mrs. Layton rather slion- in an dazzling fash-on out of doors. She wore good e!otl;t'j a. d the well-known mnrnpr and iwdixte of hada goodly account with Mrs. I avion. In t when the raw subaltern or the iii.o,e vt-rl tii]", captum called upon her she was of a candle-like lI1 euwlued briliian. y. So the moths who came for » a-tetc hunioiJ nt Ja-t. rdt:;on^h they fJfc warm and comfortable under the influence o' > beauti tul fhuIW tlle:v worshipped, and declared selves ready 10 die for. Frank Soufcu; was one of those nioths. 11011 made toe acquaintance of the young lady sonic before, and paid her a grtai deal <>⢠attention NVI'l'!y knowing w ho she WHS. JBut when he found o"t j she wus a married woman, and m reover the w'*jj the acting quart rma-ter of ti regiment at" tioll 0 Sealkote, he was perplexed and conceived dangerous ideas concerning tho "youug wouiau he called her. j She was very young and very pretty. Jtan in India had not hnunuod Uer hmuty,, iO» .1.