The track which they were following led close past the large house above referred to, necessitating compliance with a custom of the country, which greatly surprised, and not a little amused, the Englishmen. We have spoken of the residence as a house, because it belonged to one owner, but it would be more correct to call it a farm-steading, or a group of buildings.
The Spaniards had heard much of the eccentricity of Englishmen, and not being inclined to refuse the request of a doomed man, they left him the umbrella. The next morning, when they came to take him out for shooting purposes, lo! the captain and the umbrella were both gone.
The discovery of the sources of the Nile is somewhat akin in importance to the discovery of the North-West Passage, which called forth, though in a minor degree, the energy, the perseverance, and the pluck of Englishmen, and anything that does that is beneficial to the nation and to its posterity.
The Peace of 1763 had been but lately concluded, and without having any other cause for the thought, it occurred to the travellers that the turbulence must have originated in some political occurrence, and they hastily summoned the landlord, who informed them, "That the people had, indeed, assembled in a tumultuous manner round the inn on hearing that two Englishmen were in the house, but that they might make themselves easy, as he had sent to inform the magistrates of the riot."
If the English people paid the rent for England to themselves to their government instead of to a few Englishmen, then, by one day's labour in six, Englishmen would be much more rich in all things than a fisherman, by one day's labour in six, was rich in fish.
Something of importance was going on, the nature of which they did not know. A little knot of Englishmen stood near; and from their remarks the ladies gathered that this was the Church of the Jesuits, and that the Pope in person was going to perform high-mass, and afterward hold a reception. Soon there arose a murmur and a bustle among the crowd, which was succeeded by a deep stillness.
Englishmen find it difficult to understand the strength of that appeal, perhaps because they do not realise how deep and vital are the roots of the civilisation to which it appeals. India's civilisation, intimately bound up from its birth with the great social and religious system which we call Hinduism, is as unique as it is ancient.
Of course there are among Englishmen a great many sportsmen and several zoologists who really care; but they do not constitute one-tenth of one per-cent of the men who ought to care!
I am confident that distinguished Englishmen will behave in the spirit of Mr Justice Wylie, when there is an outbreak of humour among the English police.
The wet season had begun. Perhaps that was why we did not encounter many other waggons on the way. But one party of emigrants of the labouring class we never really learned where bound trekked on before us, and generally outspanned within sight. There were three rough Englishmen two middle-aged and one quite old a couple of tawdry women, and a young girl. They used to ill-treat the girl.