The burden of his conversation was that there was no escape "of no kind whatever," and that I should stay here till I died and was "thrown on to the sand. Return what?
Two patent-lever keys; wards of both broken. The left canine of the upper jaw was missing, and a portion of the lobe of the right ear was gone. Do you not know me?
I was as certain then as I am now of my own existence, that in the accursed settlement there was no law save that of the strongest; that the living dead men had thrown behind them every canon of the world which had cast them out; and that I had to depend for my own life on my strength and vigilance alone.
Next, I remember, the ground rose suddenly in front of us, and as we topped the ascent I saw the waters of the Sutlej shining like a silver bar below. He died in the burrow as you will die, and I will die, and as all these men and women and the one child will also die.
But you can try.Buck's horn, diamond cut, with swivel and ring on the butt; fragment of cotton cord attached. I was too lively, and made protestation with anger against the indignities that they endeavored to press upon me. To cut a long story short, Dunnoo is now my personal servant on a gold mohur a month—a sum which I still think far too little for the services he has rendered. Then I gingerly put the corpse out on the quicksand. As a matter of fact there was; but it was by no means what I had looked for. The horrors of that night I shall never forget. Here everything seemed easy enough. They sat together in knots and talked—God only knows what they found to discuss—in low equable tones, curiously in contrast to the strident babble with which natives are accustomed to make day hideous. Sixteen years ago, when I first landed in Bombay, I had been told by a wandering Armenian of the existence, somewhere in India, of a place to which such Hindus as had the misfortune to recover from trance or catalepsy were conveyed and kept, and I recollect laughing heartily at what I was then pleased to consider a traveler's tale. Gunga Dass, as he bent over the unclean bird, watched me curiously.
I motioned, staggering to and fro for the while, that he should throw it down. At each step the shifting sand poured down from above in tons, and rattled on the drip-boards of the holes like small shot.
My fever had altogether left me, and, with the exception of a slight dizziness in the head, I felt no had effects from the fall over night. We shall escape! Gunga Dass laughed again and made answer: "They have the boat only in daytime.
This, of course, was merely the semi-delirious notion of a fever patient; but I remember that it struck me at the time as being eminently practical and feasible.