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credited with having some gram an inquiry whether any knowledge of native drugs. appeal or representation from This man, when off duty, had the sender was under considervisited the unfortunate woman ation; and was informed that and given her certain medi- nothing had been received from cines, but had no conception of him except a formal request, the serious diseases from which forwarded through the proper she was suffering.

official channel, that his name This habitual unwillingness should be registered for field to give a direct reply has a service. He had already been counterpart in the propensity twice on field service, once at to adopt indirect methods, to an earlier stage in his career go round about, and often a to Suakim, and more recently very long way round about, to China, and bore an excellent towards an object which may character, but was not conbe perfectly legitimate in itself. sidered to be qualified for a Everyone who has had to deal more important charge than with large numbers of sub- the one which he was actually ordinates must have had some holding, though there had been curious experiences of these every desire to treat him genertactics, which are seldom of ously. The time for his retiremuch avail, though they in- ment was drawing near, and volve a waste of valuable time he knew perfectly well that he and cause irritation, or some would not be asked to go on times, perhaps, amusement. field service again; and the One morning I found among man's whole object was

to my telegrams the following suggest to me afresh that he message from an old Mahom- had not been adequately remedan postmaster, whom I warded for his late service in knew personally, and had seen China. The request that his two years previously on his name should be registered was return from China, where he intended to bring himself again had been in charge of a field to notice in connection with post-office with the expedition- field service; and the telegram ary force sent from India : to me was to ensure, as in fact · Myself and family members it did, that I should make some continue to pray for your inquiry about him, and learn Honour and Lady Sahib.” what he had done, and then

" , That was the entire message, perhaps be led to review his and it came like a telegraphio case and give some final probolt from the blue, as for two motion to the man, who up to years I had heard nothing of the last had shown himself the man.

The assurance it ready to go on field service. gave was no doubt flattering, I ought to add that this postand the word "continue" al- master had, I belisve, a genuine most pathetic; but why should feeling of loyalty towards myit suddenly have been thought self, and if this had not been necessary to send me this as- the case, the actual wording surance? I wrote on the tele- of the telegram sent by him

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would, I think, have been dif- India, and it was one of the ferent.

ironies of life that when be Many other instances could came to me for the first time be given of this predilection with a frank and direot refor indirect methods, which quest, I found myself unable has its root in a desire to to accede to it. prepare the way beforehand, This predilection for indirect and to ensure, as far as pos- methods is found among all sible, that the mind of classes of Indians. Men even superior should be well dig- of rank and position will come posed towards the person who to see an official again and has to make a request, when again, with some ulterior obthe request is actually pre- ject in view, which will be ferred. One of the most trust- disclosed only after many days; ed of my subordinates for many and this is one of the difficul. years was a Hindu official of ties in the way of maintaining

a much higher rank than the a frank and cordial intercourse postmaster who has been men- with the natives of the country. tioned. He had & genius for

Side by side with the preorganisation, and in the face dilection for indirect methods, of difficulties was full of re- there exists a curious readiness source and self-reliance, so to resort to sheer importunity long as he knew that he had in making claims and appeals, the support of his superiors, which also is characteristically & support which was freely Oriental.

The

persistence, accorded to him. During á however, with which a request

å great part of each year I saw is urged is no necessary sign him frequently, and always of its justice or of its truth. treated him on most friendly The native of India has, unterms, while , in recognition of doubtedly, a

keen

sense of his services, various rewards justice, but he is possessed also and distinctions were conferred by a strong belief in the virtue on him by Government. And of favour, and in the possiyet, during all these years, I bility of inducing a superior never succeeded in getting at to turn a favourable eye upon his genuine views of personal him, whatever may be the ing, with much diplomacy, in always mov

merits of his case.

One of the strangest inone direction or another, but stances of this in my own he worked round and round experience, strangest in view in such a circle, he made his of its sequel, was the case of a approaches at such a distance Kanarese mail - line overseer. from his real objective, that This man occupied a humble I never knew, except in the official position, his duty being light of later circumstances, to see that the prescribed rate what he was aiming at, or of speed was maintained by what was at the back of his the mail-runners on the lines mind. He retired from Gov. under his control, and that ernment service before I left these runners were regularly

wishes. He was

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paid each month, the money warned him that unless for this purpose being entrusted desisted I should be for to him. He had been dismissed to call in the police, and fin from Government service on he realised that his im the clearest evidence that he tunity would not be allo had been in the habit of mis- to prevail

, and disappes appropriating part of their with his family. pay, and his appeal had been A month or two later, at rejected by me. One morning beginning of the hot weat I found a man standing out- I was returning from an e: side my garden gate at Poona, morning walk by an in an attitude of profound quented road, when I met humility,-& long, thin man, ascetio with his face and na standing on one leg like a body smeared with crane, with his head bent for- The man stopped on ward and his hands folded me and began to speak together in front of his face, - loud tone, declaring in va and crying out the single word language that there was “favour." This was the over- in store for me.

This wa seer, and I had him called into most unusual thing for my study, where I explained to ascetio to do, but thinking him that it was quite impos- he was under the influeno sible that he should be re-em- a drug I was passing on w ployed, as he had proved him- out taking any notice of self unworthy of trust, and I when it came across me lil added that he was fortunate in flash that the voice was not having been criminally pro- voice of the Kanarese overs secuted. To all this he had I turned round at once nothing to say except “You sharply demanded his na are the master, and can show on which he hesitated fo favour.” He was then told moment, and then gave that the case was not one for name of a Maratha Brah: favour, and advised to go back I told him that I knew to his own home. For the voice, that he was the Kana next ten days, however, he overseer, and that he woul took up his stand morning and wise to be more careful in evening outside my gate, and speech. The man moved a greeted me, whenever I ap- uneasily, muttering and m peared, with his cry "favour, bling, and that was the

“ favour." One morning he pre

I saw of him. There coule sented himself accompanied by no doubt whatever as to his wife and several children, he was, and he seemed t all crying "favour, Sahib!” prospering in his new voca while a baby, not yet able to as he looked sleek beneath voice the cry, was laid at my white smearing of ashes. feet in order to enforce the More recently I had a n petition. Before this I had more troublesome experien sent for the man a second time, a similar kind. This time and a third time, and had importunate suitor was a na

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of Madras, who had been dis- wholly responsible for his acts, missed from his appointment and on finding that he was As as a clerk for sheer incompet- subsisting on charity at Calenoe. He had run through the outta, I had previously arwhole gamut of appeal, and ranged to pay his railway fare finally came to Caloutta for back to his native town; but two successive years during the this only had the effect of concold weather, in order to try firming him in his resolution to what could be achieved by remain on where he was.

For personal importunity. For the time, however, the intersome time he

contented ference of the police caused himself with attending every him to cease from troubling. morning outside my office, The following year he apin order to make

low peared again in Calcutta dursalaam to me when I got out ing the cold weather, and began of my carriage ; but presently the same line of behaviour. learnt that I was in the habit Owing to his fear of the police of walking home in the oven- he did not often attend at my ing across the Maidan, or open office; but he followed me about spaces, of Calcutta, and then wherever I went with a quite took to following me home. extraordinary knowledge of He did this at first at a re- my movements, and certainly spectful distance and in silence, proved himself an adept in but after several days began shadowing, who would have to follow more immediately on had nothing to learn from any my heels, and to call attention suffragette. If I went shopto himself by ejaculating vari- ping, he would appear on the

, ous supplications. For about pavement beside me, or I would a week I took no notice what

hear suddenly the well - worn ever of him, never even turning phrase, “You are my lord,” my head, and it required the from behind; if I went to the exercise of considerable self- Zoological Gardens on Sunday control to walk a mile with & afternoon, he would be at the

dogging your footsteps all gate to see me drive away; on the way, and repeating at in- one of the two occasions on tervals : “You are my lord! which I attended the Calcutta You are my lord !" One even

Races that year, I found him ing, however, I turned angrily among the crowd at the enupon him, and though I got trance to the Grand Stand ; rid of him for the moment I and on the night of the illuallowed him to see that he was minations in honour of the

Conse- visit of the Prince and Princess quently, like an Eastern or a

of Wales, he was waiting outSpanish beggar, he redoubled side the United Service Club his unwelcome attentions, and where I had been dining. As for several days shadowed me

I have said, the man, though wherever I went, until I was harmless, was partly crazed, compelled to call in the police. and on this account I was un

not willing to take criminal pro

man

causing annoyance.

The man, indeed, was

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ceedings against him, and on when later in the day the the very last day of my stay in member of Government in csuCalcutta I saw him making a tiously made, or very nearly final salaam to me as I drove made, the same mistake, in the to the railway station. I have course of his reply, the general sometimes wondered what oc- hilarity was renewed. cupation he has found now On another occasion, I was that I have left India.

present at Civil Service To turn to an entirely differ- dinner in Calcutta, when one ent matter, the mistakes which of the speakers fell into a are due to fatal slips of the comical blunder. He was protongue are less common, I posing the health of a retired think, in India than they are member of the Service, who at home, and this no doubt as an official, as a sportsman,

, arises from the fact that there and a good fellow comis much less public speaking. manded universal esteem and The danger of being betrayed liking. The speaker dwelt into one of these slips is, of lightly and gracefully on all course, greater when a speaker this, and then concluded what is using a phrase of the jingle- he had to say as follows : jangle order, such as a jot or“But it is unnecessary that I à tittle, which is said to have should say more, as his name been too much for the present has become a byword with us Prime Minister when speaking all.”. This was greeted with at a public meeting, but the instantaneous burst of most unlikely combinations of laughter from every man in words may prove the occasion the room. It was one of those for tripping.

unconscious touches of nature A ludicrous instance of this that make a whole audience occurred at a meeting of the kin. Everyone knew that the Viceroy's Legislative Council speaker had meant to say “a in Calcutta, and no one could household word,” but he himhave imagined beforehand that self did not attempt to correct any danger lurked in the words the mistake, though he finished which were the actual stum- the rest of his speech successbling-block. One of the Indian fully. Members of the Council, who The great majority of the had a ready command of Eng- so-called good stories from lish and a keen sense of humour India are stories of the ludicof his own, in referring to the rous mistakes made by natives speech of a predecessor in the of the country in speaking and debate, said that its effect had writing English, and here I been to praise with faint damns should like to make one point the measure which they were quite clear. Many natives of discussing. This inimitable re

This inimitable re- India both speak and write setting of Pope's well-known English with wonderful facility, phrase was too much, as well and in the offices of the Governit might be, for the gravity of ment of India there are many even that sedate assembly, and Bengali assistants who not only

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