From Sea to Sea

Overview

OF THE BEGINNING OF THINGS. OF THE TAJ AND THE GLOBE-TROTTER. THE YOUNG MAN FROM MANCHESTER AND CERTAIN MORAL REFLECTIONS.
Nov.-Dec., 1887
Except for those who, under compulsion of a sick certificate, are flying Bombaywards, it is good for every man to see some little of the great Indian Empire and the strange folk who move about it. It is good to escape for a time from the House of Rimmon-be it office or cutchery-and to go abroad under no more...
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Overview

OF THE BEGINNING OF THINGS. OF THE TAJ AND THE GLOBE-TROTTER. THE YOUNG MAN FROM MANCHESTER AND CERTAIN MORAL REFLECTIONS.
Nov.-Dec., 1887
Except for those who, under compulsion of a sick certificate, are flying Bombaywards, it is good for every man to see some little of the great Indian Empire and the strange folk who move about it. It is good to escape for a time from the House of Rimmon-be it office or cutchery-and to go abroad under no more exacting master than personal inclination, and with no more definite plan of travel than has the horse, escaped from pasture, free upon the countryside. The first result of such freedom is extreme bewilderment, and the second reduces the freed to a state of mind which, for his sins, must be the normal portion of the Globe-trotter-the man who "does" kingdoms in days and writes books upon them in weeks. And this desperate facility is not as strange as it seems. By the time that an Englishman has come by sea and rail via America, Japan, Singapur, and Ceylon, to India, he can-these eyes have seen him do so-master in five minutes the intricacies of the Indian Bradshaw, and tell an old resident exactly how and where the trains run. Can we wonder that the intoxication of success in hasty assimilation should make him overbold, and that he should try to grasp-but a full account of the insolent Globe-trotter must be reserved. He is worthy of a book. Given absolute freedom for a month, the mind, as I have said, fails to take in the situation and, after much debate, contents itself with following in old and well-beaten ways-paths that we in India have no time to tread, but must leave to the country cousin who wears his pagri tail-fashion down his back, and says "cabman" to the driver of the ticca-ghari.
Now, Jeypore from the Anglo-Indian point of view is a station on the Rajputana-Malwa line, on the way to Bombay, where half an hour is allowed for dinner, and where there ought to be more protection from the sun than at present exists. Some few, more learned than the rest, know that garnets come from Jeypore, and here the limits of our wisdom are set. We do not, to quote the Calcutta shopkeeper, come out "for the good of our 'ealth," and what touring we accomplish is for the most part off the line of rail.
For these reasons, and because he wished to study our winter birds of passage, one of the few thousand Englishmen in India on a date and in a place which have no concern with the story, sacrificed all his self-respect and became-at enormous personal inconvenience-a Globe-trotter going to Jeypore, and leaving behind him for a little while all that old and well-known life in which Commissioners and Deputy-Commissioners, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors, Aides-de-camp, Colonels and their wives, Majors, Captains, and Subalterns after their kind move and rule and govern and squabble and fight and sell each other's horses and tell wicked stories of their neighbours. But before he had fully settled into his part or accustomed himself to saying, "Please take out this luggage," to the coolies at the stations, he saw from the train the Taj wrapped in the mists of the morning.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781140233145
  • Publisher: BiblioBazaar
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Pages: 476
  • Product dimensions: 9.69 (w) x 7.44 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Read an Excerpt


No. XXVII SHOWS HOW I CAUGHT SALMON IN THE CLACKAMAS The race is neither to the swift nor the battle to the strong ; but time and chance cometh to all. I Have lived ! The American Continent may now sink under the sea, for I have taken the best that it yields, and the best was neither dollars, love, nor real estate. Hear now, gentlemen of the Punjab Fishing Club, who whip the reaches of the Tavi, and you who painfully import trout to Ootacamund, and I will tell you how ' old man California' and I went fishing, and you shall envy. We returned from The Dalles to Portland by the way we had come, the steamer stopping en route to pick up a night's catch of one of the salmon wheels on the river, and to deliver it at a cannery downstream. When the proprietor of the wheel announced that his take was two thousand two hundred and thirty pounds' weight of fish, ' and not a heavy catch, neither,' I thought he lied. But he sent the boxes aboard, and I counted the salmon by the hundred— huge fifty-pounders, hardly dead, scores of twenty- and thirty-pounders, and a host of smaller fish. The steamer halted at a rude wooden warehouse built on piles in a lonely reach of the river, and sent in the fish. I followed them up a scale-strewn, fishy incline that led to the cannery. The crazy building was quivering with the machinery on its floors, and a glittering bank of tin-scraps twenty feet high showed where the waste was thrown after the cans had been punched. Only Chinamen were employed on the work, and they looked like blood- besmeared yellow devils, as they crossed the rifts of sunlight that lay upon the floor. When our consignment arrived, the rough wooden boxes broke of themselves as theywere dumped down under a jet of water, and the salmon burst out in a stream of quicksilver. A Ch...
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