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    Chapter 60

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    Chapter 61
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    SATAN (impatiently) to NEW-COMER. The trouble with you Chicago people
    is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are
    merely the most numerous.
    --Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar.

    We wandered contentedly around here and there in India; to Lahore, among
    other places, where the Lieutenant-Governor lent me an elephant. This
    hospitality stands out in my experiences in a stately isolation. It was
    a fine elephant, affable, gentlemanly, educated, and I was not afraid of
    it. I even rode it with confidence through the crowded lanes of the
    native city, where it scared all the horses out of their senses, and
    where children were always just escaping its feet. It took the middle of
    the road in a fine independent way, and left it to the world to get out
    of the way or take the consequences. I am used to being afraid of
    collisions when I ride or drive, but when one is on top of an elephant
    that feeling is absent. I could have ridden in comfort through a
    regiment of runaway teams. I could easily learn to prefer an elephant to
    any other vehicle, partly because of that immunity from collisions, and
    partly because of the fine view one has from up there, and partly because
    of the dignity one feels in that high place, and partly because one can
    look in at the windows and see what is going on privately among the
    family. The Lahore horses were used to elephants, but they were
    rapturously afraid of them just the same. It seemed curious. Perhaps
    the better they know the elephant the more they respect him in that
    peculiar way. In our own case--we are not afraid of dynamite till we get
    acquainted with it.

    We drifted as far as Rawal Pindi, away up on the Afghan frontier--I think
    it was the Afghan frontier, but it may have been Hertzegovina--it was
    around there somewhere--and down again to Delhi, to see the ancient
    architectural wonders there and in Old Delhi and not describe them, and
    also to see the scene of the illustrious assault, in the Mutiny days,
    when the British carried Delhi by storm, one of the marvels of history
    for impudent daring and immortal valor.

    We had a refreshing rest, there in Delhi, in a great old mansion which
    possessed historical interest. It was built by a rich Englishman who had
    become orientalized--so much so that he had a zenana. But he was a
    broadminded man, and remained so. To please his harem he built a mosque;
    to please himself he built an English church. That kind of a man will
    arrive, somewhere. In the Mutiny days the mansion was the British
    general's headquarters. It stands in a great garden--oriental fashion
    --and about it are many noble trees. The trees harbor monkeys; and they
    are monkeys of a watchful and enterprising sort, and not much troubled
    with fear. They invade the house whenever they get a chance, and carry
    off everything they don't want. One morning the master of the house was
    in his bath, and the window was open. Near it stood a pot of yellow
    paint and a brush. Some monkeys appeared in the window; to scare them
    away, the gentleman threw his sponge at them. They did not scare at all;
    they jumped into the room and threw yellow paint all over him from the
    brush, and drove him out; then they painted the walls and the floor and
    the tank and the windows and the furniture yellow, and were in the
    dressing-room painting that when help arrived and routed them.

    Two of these creatures came into my room in the early morning, through a
    window whose shutters I had left open, and when I woke one of them was
    before the glass brushing his hair, and the other one had my note-book,
    and was reading a page of humorous notes and crying. I did not mind the
    one with the hair-brush, but the conduct of the other one hurt me; it
    hurts me yet. I threw something at him, and that was wrong, for my host
    had told me that the monkeys were best left alone. They threw everything
    at me that they could lift, and then went into the bathroom to get some
    more things, and I shut the door on them.

    At Jeypore, in Rajputana, we made a considerable stay. We were not in
    the native city, but several miles from it, in the small European
    official suburb. There were but few Europeans--only fourteen but they
    were all kind and hospitable, and it amounted to being at home. In
    Jeypore we found again what we had found all about India--that while the
    Indian servant is in his way a very real treasure, he will sometimes bear
    watching, and the Englishman watches him. If he sends him on an errand,
    he wants more than the man's word for it that he did the errand. When
    fruit and vegetables were sent to us, a "chit" came with them--a receipt
    for us to sign; otherwise the things might not arrive. If a gentleman
    sent up his carriage, the chit stated "from" such-and-such an hour "to"
    such-and-such an hour--which made it unhandy for the coachman and his two
    or three subordinates to put us off with a part of the allotted time and
    devote the rest of it to a lark of their own.

    We were pleasantly situated in a small two-storied inn, in an empty large
    compound which was surrounded by a mud wall as high as a man's head. The
    inn was kept by nine Hindoo brothers, its owners. They lived, with their
    families, in a one-storied building within the compound, but off to one
    side, and there was always a long pile of their little comely brown
    children loosely stacked in its veranda, and a detachment of the parents
    wedged among them, smoking the hookah or the howdah, or whatever they
    call it. By the veranda stood a palm, and a monkey lived in it, and led
    a lonesome life, and always looked sad and weary, and the crows bothered
    him a good deal.

    The inn cow poked about the compound and emphasized the secluded and
    country air of the place, and there was a dog of no particular breed, who
    was always present in the compound, and always asleep, always stretched
    out baking in the sun and adding to the deep tranquility and
    reposefulness of the place, when the crows were away on business.
    White-draperied servants were coming and going all the time, but they
    seemed only spirits, for their feet were bare and made no sound. Down
    the lane a piece lived an elephant in the shade of a noble tree, and
    rocked and rocked, and reached about with his trunk, begging of his brown
    mistress or fumbling the children playing at his feet. And there were
    camels about, but they go on velvet feet, and were proper to the silence
    and serenity of the surroundings.

    The Satan mentioned at the head of this chapter was not our Satan, but
    the other one. Our Satan was lost to us. In these later days he had
    passed out of our life--lamented by me, and sincerely. I was missing
    him; I am missing him yet, after all these months. He was an astonishing
    creature to fly around and do things. He didn't always do them quite
    right, but he did them, and did them suddenly. There was no time wasted.
    You would say:

    "Pack the trunks and bags, Satan."

    "Wair good" (very good).

    Then there would be a brief sound of thrashing and slashing and humming
    and buzzing, and a spectacle as of a whirlwind spinning gowns and jackets
    and coats and boots and things through the air, and then with bow and
    touch--

    "Awready, master."

    It was wonderful. It made one dizzy. He crumpled dresses a good deal,
    and he had no particular plan about the work--at first--except to put
    each article into the trunk it didn't belong in. But he soon reformed,
    in this matter. Not entirely; for, to the last, he would cram into the
    satchel sacred to literature any odds and ends of rubbish that he
    couldn't find a handy place for elsewhere. When threatened with death
    for this, it did not trouble him; he only looked pleasant, saluted with
    soldierly grace, said "Wair good," and did it again next day.

    He was always busy; kept the rooms tidied up, the boots polished, the
    clothes brushed, the wash-basin full of clean water, my dress clothes
    laid out and ready for the lecture-hall an hour ahead of time; and he
    dressed me from head to heel in spite of my determination to do it
    myself, according to my lifelong custom.

    He was a born boss, and loved to command, and to jaw and dispute with
    inferiors and harry them and bullyrag them. He was fine at the railway
    station--yes, he was at his finest there. He would shoulder and plunge
    and paw his violent way through the packed multitude of natives with
    nineteen coolies at his tail, each bearing a trifle of luggage--one a
    trunk, another a parasol, another a shawl, another a fan, and so on; one
    article to each, and the longer the procession, the better he was suited
    --and he was sure to make for some engaged sleeper and begin to hurl the
    owner's things out of it, swearing that it was ours and that there had
    been a mistake. Arrived at our own sleeper, he would undo the
    bedding-bundles and make the beds and put everything to rights and
    shipshape in two minutes; then put his head out at, a window and have a
    restful good time abusing his gang of coolies and disputing their bill
    until we arrived and made him pay them and stop his noise.

    Speaking of noise, he certainly was the noisest little devil in India
    --and that is saying much, very much, indeed. I loved him for his noise,
    but the family detested him for it. They could not abide it; they could
    not get reconciled to it. It humiliated them. As a rule, when we got
    within six hundred yards of one of those big railway stations, a mighty
    racket of screaming and shrieking and shouting and storming would break
    upon us, and I would be happy to myself, and the family would say, with
    shame:

    "There--that's Satan. Why do you keep him?"

    And, sure enough, there in the whirling midst of fifteen hundred
    wondering people we would find that little scrap of a creature
    gesticulating like a spider with the colic, his black eyes snapping, his
    fez-tassel dancing, his jaws pouring out floods of billingsgate upon his
    gang of beseeching and astonished coolies.

    I loved him; I couldn't help it; but the family--why, they could hardly
    speak of him with patience. To this day I regret his loss, and wish I
    had him back; but they--it is different with them. He was a native, and
    came from Surat. Twenty degrees of latitude lay between his birthplace
    and Manuel's, and fifteen hundred between their ways and characters and
    dispositions. I only liked Manuel, but I loved Satan. This latter's
    real name was intensely Indian. I could not quite get the hang of it,
    but it sounded like Bunder Rao Ram Chunder Clam Chowder. It was too long
    for handy use, anyway; so I reduced it.

    When he had been with us two or three weeks, he began to make mistakes
    which I had difficulty in patching up for him. Approaching Benares one
    day, he got out of the train to see if he could get up a misunderstanding
    with somebody, for it had been a weary, long journey and he wanted to
    freshen up. He found what he was after, but kept up his pow-wow a shade
    too long and got left. So there we were in a strange city and no
    chambermaid. It was awkward for us, and we told him he must not do so
    any more. He saluted and said in his dear, pleasant way, "Wair good."
    Then at Lucknow he got drunk. I said it was a fever, and got the
    family's compassion, and solicitude aroused; so they gave him a
    teaspoonful of liquid quinine and it set his vitals on fire. He made
    several grimaces which gave me a better idea of the Lisbon earthquake
    than any I have ever got of it from paintings and descriptions. His
    drunk was still portentously solid next morning, but I could have pulled
    him through with the family if he would only have taken another spoonful
    of that remedy; but no, although he was stupefied, his memory still had
    flickerings of life; so he smiled a divinely dull smile and said,
    fumblingly saluting:

    "Scoose me, mem Saheb, scoose me, Missy Saheb; Satan not prefer it,
    please."

    Then some instinct revealed to them that he was drunk. They gave him
    prompt notice that next time this happened he must go. He got out a
    maudlin and most gentle "Wair good," and saluted indefinitely.

    Only one short week later he fell again. And oh, sorrow! not in a hotel
    this time, but in an English gentleman's private house. And in Agra, of
    all places. So he had to go. When I told him, he said patiently, "Wair
    good," and made his parting salute, and went out from us to return no
    more forever. Dear me! I would rather have lost a hundred angels than
    that one poor lovely devil. What style he used to put on, in a swell
    hotel or in a private house--snow-white muslin from his chin to his bare
    feet, a crimson sash embroidered with gold thread around his waist, and
    on his head a great sea-green turban like to the turban of the Grand
    Turk.

    He was not a liar; but he will become one if he keeps on. He told me
    once that he used to crack cocoanuts with his teeth when he was a boy;
    and when I asked how he got them into his mouth, he said he was upward of
    six feet high at that time, and had an unusual mouth. And when I
    followed him up and asked him what had become of that other foot, he said
    a house fell on him and he was never able to get his stature back again.
    Swervings like these from the strict line of fact often beguile a
    truthful man on and on until he eventually becomes a liar.

    His successor was a Mohammedan, Sahadat Mohammed Khan; very dark, very
    tall, very grave. He went always in flowing masses of white, from the
    top of his big turban down to his bare feet. His voice was low. He
    glided about in a noiseless way, and looked like a ghost. He was
    competent and satisfactory. But where he was, it seemed always Sunday.
    It was not so in Satan's time.

    Jeypore is intensely Indian, but it has two or three features which
    indicate the presence of European science and European interest in the
    weal of the common public, such as the liberal water-supply furnished by
    great works built at the State's expense; good sanitation, resulting in a
    degree of healthfulness unusually high for India; a noble pleasure
    garden, with privileged days for women; schools for the instruction of
    native youth in advanced art, both ornamental and utilitarian; and a new
    and beautiful palace stocked with a museum of extraordinary interest and
    value. Without the Maharaja's sympathy and purse these beneficences
    could not have been created; but he is a man of wide views and large
    generosities, and all such matters find hospitality with him.

    We drove often to the city from the hotel Kaiser-i-Hind, a journey which
    was always full of interest, both night and day, for that country road
    was never quiet, never empty, but was always India in motion, always a
    streaming flood of brown people clothed in smouchings from the rainbow, a
    tossing and moiling flood, happy, noisy, a charming and satisfying
    confusion of strange human and strange animal life and equally strange
    and outlandish vehicles.

    And the city itself is a curiosity. Any Indian city is that, but this
    one is not like any other that we saw. It is shut up in a lofty turreted
    wall; the main body of it is divided into six parts by perfectly straight
    streets that are more than a hundred feet wide; the blocks of houses
    exhibit a long frontage of the most taking architectural quaintnesses,
    the straight lines being broken everywhere by pretty little balconies,
    pillared and highly ornamented, and other cunning and cozy and inviting
    perches and projections, and many of the fronts are curiously pictured by
    the brush, and the whole of them have the soft rich tint of strawberry
    ice-cream. One cannot look down the far stretch of the chief street and
    persuade himself that these are real houses, and that it is all out of
    doors--the impression that it is an unreality, a picture, a scene in a
    theater, is the only one that will take hold.

    Then there came a great day when this illusion was more pronounced than
    ever. A rich Hindoo had been spending a fortune upon the manufacture of
    a crowd of idols and accompanying paraphernalia whose purpose was to
    illustrate scenes in the life of his especial god or saint, and this fine
    show was to be brought through the town in processional state at ten in
    the morning. As we passed through the great public pleasure garden on
    our way to the city we found it crowded with natives. That was one
    sight. Then there was another. In the midst of the spacious lawns
    stands the palace which contains the museum--a beautiful construction of
    stone which shows arched colonnades, one above another, and receding,
    terrace-fashion, toward the sky. Every one of these terraces, all the
    way to the top one, was packed and jammed with natives. One must try to
    imagine those solid masses of splendid color, one above another, up and
    up, against the blue sky, and the Indian sun turning them all to beds of
    fire and flame.

    Later, when we reached the city, and glanced down the chief avenue,
    smouldering in its crushed-strawberry tint, those splendid effects were
    repeated; for every balcony, and every fanciful bird-cage of a snuggery
    countersunk in the house-fronts, and all the long lines of roofs were
    crowded with people, and each crowd was an explosion of brilliant color.

    Then the wide street itself, away down and down and down into the
    distance, was alive with gorgeously-clothed people not still, but moving,
    swaying, drifting, eddying, a delirious display of all colors and all
    shades of color, delicate, lovely, pale, soft, strong, stunning, vivid,
    brilliant, a sort of storm of sweetpea blossoms passing on the wings of a
    hurricane; and presently, through this storm of color, came swaying and
    swinging the majestic elephants, clothed in their Sunday best of
    gaudinesses, and the long procession of fanciful trucks freighted with
    their groups of curious and costly images, and then the long rearguard of
    stately camels, with their picturesque riders.

    For color, and picturesqueness, and novelty, and outlandishness, and
    sustained interest and fascination, it was the most satisfying show I had
    ever seen, and I suppose I shall not have the privilege of looking upon
    its like again.
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