习近平出席俄罗斯纪念卫国战争胜利70周年庆典并访问三国

A tea-party in the afternoon at the yacht club. The ladies in smart dresses, the talk all of fashionable gossiphow far away from all I had been seeing. An European atmosphere, where a touch of local colour was only suggested by the native servants. The plague, the ruling terror when I was last in Bombay, was forgotten; the only subject now was the Jubilee, and the latest news from England arrived by that day's mail.

The fort of Allahabad, the fort of the mutiny of 1857, is a complete citadel where, in the thickness of the walls, behind screens of acacia trees, lurk doors into palaces. Among the gardens there are clearings full of guns and ambulance waggons, and enormous barracks and huts for native soldiers. Then on the ponderous stonework of the ramparts rise little kiosks in the light Hindoo-Mussulman style, elaborate and slender, built by Akbar the [Pg 183]conqueror, who took Prayag and razed it, to build on the site a city dedicated to Allah. And now modern architecture is slowly invading it, adding to the flat walls which hide under their monotony the gems of stonework with their elegant decoration.

The sun cast broad satin lights on its bay coat, already dry; the light hoofs, the pretty head with dilated nostrils gave the creature dignityit looked like a thoroughbred, really noble in its last rest; while the vultures and kites hovered round, waiting for us to be gone. A roofless mausoleum is that of the Sultan[Pg 221] Altamsh, who desired to sleep for ever with no vault over his tomb but that of the heavens; a vast hall, its walls wrought with inscriptions in Persian, Hindostanee, and Arabic, built of brick-red granite and yellow marble softened to pale orange in the golden sunshine. Here and there traces may be seen of wall-paintings, green and blue, but quite faded, and now merely a darker shadow round the incised ornament. Hibiscus shrubs mingle their branches over the tomb and drop large blood-red blossoms on the stone sarcophagus. Further on is another mausoleum, in such good preservation that it has been utilized as a bungalow for some official. Then two children, their pretty, fresh voices in unison, sang some womanly songs, languishing ballads, swinging to a very indefinite rhythm, and suggestive of slow dances and waving gauze scarves in flowery gardens under the moonlight.

An interpreter translated to the accused the questions put by the judge, who understood the replies, though he was not allowed to speak excepting in English.

The hills are left behind us; the plateau of Cashmere spreads as far as the eye can see, traversed by the glistening Jellum, that slowly rolling stream, spreading here and there into lakes. These gentlemen of the Civil Service would put in an appearance "now and then"the eternal "now and then" that answers every question in India. They stepped out of a buggy, walked quickly round, had seen, and were gone again in a great hurry to finish some important work for the next European mail. And to close the procession came more soldiers.

Tazulmulook finds Bakaoli asleep in her garden, and after plucking the miraculous flower he exchanges the ring for that of the princess and departs. Bakaoli awakes, and discovering the theft of the flower and of her ring is much disturbed, and gives orders that the thief is to be caught.

Asses followed, oxen and more camels, loaded beyond their strength with old iron, tin pannikins, a whole cargo of goods in cases from Manchester and Sheffieldso badly packed that things came clattering down as the beasts pushed each other amid oaths and blows.

The throng outside had increased; Abibulla could scarcely make way for me to the end of the street, and for a long time I could still hear the cries that reached us at a distance.

One of them was standing against a curtain of black satin embroidered with gold; muslin that might have been a spider's web hardly cast a mist over her sheenless skin, pale, almost white against the glistening satin and gold, all brightly lighted up. With a large hibiscus flower in her hand she stood in a simple attitude, like an Egyptian painting, then moved a little, raising or lowering an arm, apparently not seeing the passers-by who gazed at herlost in a dream that brought a strange green gleam to her dark eyes.

By three in the morning we had started on our way. At the very first streak of day, in front of us, on the road, was a snow-leopard, a graceful supple beast, with a sort of overcoat above its grey fur spotted with black, of very long, white hairs. It stood motionless, watching some prey, and it was not till we were close that it sprang from the road with two bounds, and then disappeared behind a rock with an elastic, indolent swing.

At sunrise we reached Nandgaun, whence I went on towards Ellora in a tonga, the Indian post-chaise, with two wheels and a wide awning so low and so far forward that the traveller must stoop to look out at the landscape. A rosy haze still hung over the country, rent in places and revealing transparent blue hills beyond the fields of crude green barley and rice. The road was hedged with mimosa, cassia, and a flowering thorny shrub, looking like a sort of honeysuckle with yellow blossoms, and smelling strongly of ginger.