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Table of Contents
                            Across India
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

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CHAPTER I.
CHAPTER II.
CHAPTER III.
CHAPTER IV.
CHAPTER V.
CHAPTER VI.
CHAPTER VII.
CHAPTER VIII.
CHAPTER IX.
CHAPTER X.
CHAPTER XI.
CHAPTER XII.
CHAPTER XIII.
CHAPTER XIV.
CHAPTER XV.
CHAPTER XVI.
CHAPTER XVII.
CHAPTER XVIII.
CHAPTER XIX.
CHAPTER XX.
CHAPTER XXI.
CHAPTER XXII.
CHAPTER XXIII.
CHAPTER XXIV.
CHAPTER XXV.
CHAPTER XXVI.
CHAPTER XXVII.
CHAPTER XXVIII.
CHAPTER XXIX.

1

Page 2

CHAPTER XXX.
CHAPTER XXXI.
CHAPTER XXXII.
CHAPTER XXXIII.
CHAPTER XXXIV.
CHAPTER XXXV.
CHAPTER XXXVI.
CHAPTER XXXVII.
CHAPTER I<p>
CHAPTER II<p>
CHAPTER III<p>
CHAPTER IV<p>
CHAPTER V<p>
CHAPTER VI<p>
CHAPTER VII<p>
CHAPTER VIII<p>
CHAPTER IX<p>
CHAPTER X<p>
CHAPTER XI<p>
CHAPTER XII<p>
CHAPTER XIII<p>
CHAPTER XIV<p>
CHAPTER XV<p>
CHAPTER XVI<p>
CHAPTER XVII<p>
CHAPTER XVIII<p>
CHAPTER XIX<p>
CHAPTER XX<p>
CHAPTER XXI<p>
CHAPTER XXII<p>
CHAPTER XXIII<p>
CHAPTER XXIV<p>
CHAPTER XXV<p>
CHAPTER XXVI<p>
CHAPTER XXVII<p>
CHAPTER XXVIII<p>
CHAPTER XXIX<p>
CHAPTER XXX<p>
CHAPTER XXXI<p>
CHAPTER XXXII<p>
CHAPTER XXXIII<p>
CHAPTER XXXIV<p>
CHAPTER XXXV<p>
CHAPTER XXXVI<p>
CHAPTER XXXVII<p>

Across India
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Across India 2

Page 75

Modava ordered him off. He retreated a proper distance, and then thrust the head of the creature beneath his
turban, and continued to crowd him into it till nothing but his tail was in sight. Then he took off his head
covering, and showed the reptile coiled up within it.

Lord Tremlyn looked at his watch, and then carried a piece of money to the chief charmer, which he received
with many salaams, in which his companion joined him, for the fee was a very large one. He suggested that
the party had had enough of this performance, to which all the ladies, with Mr. Woolridge, heartily agreed.
The carriages were at the door of the hotel, and the company were hurriedly driven to the Apollo Bunder,
where they found a steam-launch in waiting for them. Lord Tremlyn had arranged the excursions so that
everything proceeded like clockwork, and Captain Ringgold wondered what he should have done without his
assistance.

The island of Elephanta was about five miles distant, and in half an hour the party landed. Upon it were a
couple of hills, and it was entirely covered with woods. One of the first things to attract the attention was a
singular tree, which seemed to be a family of a hundred of them; for the branches reached down to the ground,
and took root there, though the lower ends were spread out in numerous fibres, leaving most of the roots
above the soil.

"This is a banyan-tree," said Sir Modava. "It is a sort of fig-tree, and you see that the leaves are shaped like a
heart. It bears a fruit of a rich scarlet color, which grows in couples from the stems of the leaves. They are
really figs, and they are an important article of food. In time the trunk of the tree decays and disappears, and
temples are made of the thick branches. Some of these trees have three thousand stems rooted in the ground,
many of them as big as oaks: and these make a complete forest of themselves. One of them is said to have
sheltered seven thousand people; but I never saw one as big as that."

The party proceeded towards the caves, but had not gone far before they were arrested by the screams of some
of the ladies, who were wandering in search of flowers. Louis Belgrave was with his mother and Miss
Blanche. Sir Modava, who was telling the rest of the company something more about the banyan-tree, rushed
to the spot from which the alarm came. There he found Louis with his revolver in readiness to fire.

"Snakes!" screamed Mrs. Belgrave.

In front of them, asleep on a rock, were two large snakes. The Hindu gentleman halted at the side of the lady,
and burst out into a loud laugh.

"The snakes of India seem to be determined that you shall see them," said he. "But you need not fire, Mr.
Belgrave; for those snakes are as harmless as barnyard fowls, and they don't know enough to bite."

"I see that they are not cobras," added Louis, as he returned the revolver to his pocket. "But what are they?"

"Those are rock snakes."

"But I don't like the looks of them," said Mrs. Belgrave, as she continued her retreat towards the path.

"I think they are horrid," added Miss Blanche.

"But they do no harm, and very likely they do some good in the world," said Sir Modava; "but there are
snakes enough that ought to be killed without meddling with them."

"You see that rock," said the viscount; "and it is a very large one. Can you make anything of its shape? I
suppose not; nobody can. But that rock gave a name to this island, applied by the Portuguese two or three
hundred years ago. It is said to have been in the form of an elephant. If it ever had that shape it has lost it."

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[Illustration: "'Snakes!' screamed Mrs. Belgrave."--Page 184.]

After penetrating a dense thicket, the tourists discovered a comely flight of stairs, cut out of the solid rock of
which the hill is composed, extending to a considerable distance, and finally leading into the great pillared
chamber forming a Hindu temple, though a level space planted with trees must first be crossed.

They entered the cave. On the left were two full columns, not yet crumbled away as others were, which gave
the observers a complete view of what a vast number of others there were. Next beyond them were three
pilasters clinging to the ceiling. This part of the cavern was in the light from the entrance; but farther along,
considerably obscured in the darkness of the subterranean temple, were scores, and perhaps hundreds, of
others. The pillars were not the graceful forms of modern times, and many of them had lost all shape.

This temple is said to have been excavated in the ninth century. The walls are covered with gigantic figures in
relief. The temple is in the form of a cross, the main hall being a hundred and forty-four feet in depth. The
ceiling is supported by twenty-six columns and eighteen pilasters, sixteen to eighteen feet high. They look
clumsy, but they have to bear up the enormous weight of the hill of rock, and many of them have crumbled
away.

At the end of the colonnade is a gigantic bust, representing a Hindu divinity with three heads. Some say that
this is Brahma, as the three symbols of the creator, preserver, and destroyer, forming what is sometimes
named the Hindu trinity. But the best informed claim that the figure represents Siva, the destroyer of the triad
of gods. All the reliefs on the walls relate to the worship of this divinity, while there is not a known temple to
Brahma.

The principal piece of sculpture is the marriage of Siva to the goddess Parvati; and it is identified as such,
wholly or in part, because the woman stands on the right of the man, as no female is permitted to do except at
the marriage ceremony. The party wandered through the caverns for two hours, and Sayad and Moro, the only
servants brought with them, kindled fires in the darker places, to enable them to see the sculpture. Sir Modava
explained what needed explanation. He conducted them to an opening, lighted by a hole in the hill, where they
found a staircase guarded by two lions, leading into what is called the Lions' Cave.

The tourists at the end of the two hours were willing to vote that they had seen enough of the caverns, and
they returned to the hotel in season for dinner. On his arrival Lord Tremlyn found a letter at the office. On
opening it, the missive proved to be an invitation for that evening to a wedding for the whole party. They
considered it for some time, and as it afforded them an opportunity to see something of native life it was
decided to accept it.

CHAPTER XX

A JUVENILE WEDDING AND HINDU THEATRICALS

The note to Lord Tremlyn enclosed sixteen cards printed in gold letters, one for each member of the company,
and they were passed around to them. They were to the effect that Perbut Lalleejee would celebrate the
marriage of his son that evening, and the favor of the recipient's attendance was requested to a Grand Nautch
at nine o'clock. The gentleman who sent out these cards was one of the wealthiest of the Parsee community,
with whom the viscount was intimately acquainted, and he strongly recommended the Americans to attend.

The Parsees kept their religious affairs to themselves, and the party were not to "assist" at the ceremony,
which would have been an extra inducement to attend. Promptly at the hour named the carriages set the
tourists and their volunteer guides down at the magnificent mansion of the father of the young man who was
to enter the marriage state that evening.

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