Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Bayard From Bengal - Being some account of the Magnificent and Spanking Career - of Chunder Bindabun Bhosh,...
Author: Jabberjee, Hurry Bungsho
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Bayard From Bengal - Being some account of the Magnificent and Spanking Career - of Chunder Bindabun Bhosh,..." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



A BAYARD FROM BENGAL


    [Illustration: EXHORTED HER, WITH AN ELOQUENCE THAT MOVED ALL
    PRESENT, TO ABANDON HER FRIVOLITIES AND LEVITIES (Frontispiece)]


    A BAYARD FROM BENGAL

      BEING SOME ACCOUNT OF THE MAGNIFICENT AND SPANKING CAREER OF
      CHUNDER BINDABUN BHOSH, ESQ., B.A., CAMBRIDGE, BY HURRY
      BUNGSHO JABBERJEE, B.A., CALCUTTA UNIVERSITY, AUTHOR OF
      "JOTTINGS AND TITTLINGS," ETC., ETC., TO WHICH IS APPENDED THE
      PARABLES AND PROVERBS OF PILJOSH, FREELY TRANSLATED FROM THE
      APPENDIX BY THE ABOVE HURRY BUNGSHO JABBERJEE, B.A.

    THE WHOLE EDITED AND REVISED
    BY
    F. ANSTEY
    AUTHOR OF "VICE VERSA," ETC. ETC.

    WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY BERNARD PARTRIDGE

    METHUEN & CO.
    36 ESSEX STREET, W.C.
    LONDON
    1902


    _Reprinted from_ "PUNCH"



    CONTENTS


    CHAP.

       I. FROM CALCUTTA TO CAMBRIDGE OVERSEA ROUTE

      II. HOW MR BHOSH DELIVERED A DAMSEL FROM A DEMENTED COW

     III. THE INVOLUNTARY FASCINATOR

      IV. A KICK FROM A FRIENDLY FOOt

       V. THE DUEL TO THE DEATH

      VI. LORD JOLLY IS SATISFIED

     VII. THE ADVENTURE OF THE UNWIELDY GIFTHORSE

    VIII. A RIGHTABOUT FACER FOR MR BHOSH

      IX. THE DARK HORSE

       X. TRUST HER NOT! SHE IS FOOLING THEE!

      XI. STONE WALLS DO NOT MAKE A CAGE

     XII. A RACE AGAINST TIME

    XIII. A SENSATIONAL DERBY STRUGGLE

     XIV. A GRAND FINISH

       *       *       *       *       *

          THE PARABLES OF PILJOSH



PRELIMINARY


I have the honour humbly to inform my readers that, after prolonged
consumption of midnight oil, I succeeded in completing this imposing
society novel, which is now, by the indulgence of my friends and kind
fathers, the honble publishers, laid at their feet.

My inducement to this enterprise was the spectacle of very inferior
rubbish palmed off by so-called popular novelists such as Honbles
Kipling, Joshua Barrie, Antony Weyman, Stanley Hope, and the
collaborative but feminine authoresses of "The Red Thumb in the
Pottage," all of whom profess (very, very incorrectly) to give accurate
reliable descriptions of Indian, English or Scotch episodes.

The pity of it, that a magnificent and gullible British Public should be
suckled like a babe on such spoonmeat and small beer!

Would no one arise, inflamed by the pure enthusiasm of his _cacoethes
scribendi_, and write a romance which shall secure the plerophory of
British, American, Anglo-Indian, Colonial, and Continental readers by
dint of its imaginary power and slavish fidelity to Nature?

And since Echo answered that no one replied to this invitation, I (like
a fool, as some will say) rushed in where angels were apprehensive of
being too bulky to be borne.

Being naturally acquainted with gentlemen of my own nationality and
education, and also, of course, knowing London and suburban society _ab
ovo usque ad mala_ (or, from the new-laid egg to the stage when it is
beginning to go bad), I decided to take as my theme the adventures of a
typically splendid representative of Young India on British soil, and I
am in earnest hopes to avoid the shocking solecisms and exaggerations
indulged in by ordinary English novelists.

I have been compelled to take to penmanship of this sort owing to
pressure of _res angusta domi_, the immoderate increase of hostages
to fortune, and proportionate falling off of emoluments from my
profession as Barrister-at-Law.

Therefore, I hope that all concerned will smile favourably upon my new
departure, and will please kindly understand that, if my English
literary style has suffered any deterioration, it is solely due to my
being out of practice, and such spots on the sun must be excused as mere
flies in ointment.

After forming my resolution of writing a large novel, I confided it to
my crony, Mr Ram Ashootosh Lall, who warmly recommended me to persevere
in such a _magnum opus_. So I became divinely inflated periodically
every evening from 8 to 12 P.M., disregarding all entreaties from
feminine relatives to stop and indulge in a blow-out on ordinary
eatables, like Archimedes when Troy was captured, who was so engrossed
in writing prepositions on the sand that he was totally unaware that he
was being barbarously slaughtered.

And at length my colossal effusion was completed, and I had written
myself out; after which I had the indescribable joy and felicity to read
my composition to my mothers-in-law and wives and their respective
progenies and offspring, whereupon, although they were not acquainted
with a word of English, they were overcome by such severe admiration for
my fecundity and native eloquence that they swooned with rapture.

I am not a superstitious, but I took the trouble to consult a
soothsayer, as to the probable fortunes of my undertaking, and he at
once confidently predicted that my novel was to render all readers dumb
as fishes with sheer amazement and prove a very fine feather in my cap.

For all the above reasons, I am modestly confident that it will be
generally recognised as a masterpiece, especially when it is remembered
that it is the work of a native Indian, whose 'prentice hand is still a
novice in wielding the _currente calamo_ of fiction.

I cannot conclude without some allusion to the drawings which are, I
believe, to adorn my work, but which I have not yet been enabled to
inspect, owing to the fact that, having fish of more importance to fry
at the time, I commissioned a certain young English friend (the same who
furnished sundry poetic headings for chapters) to engage a designer for
the pictorial department.

Needless to say, I intended that he was to award the apple only to some
Royal Academician of distinguished talents--yet at the eleventh hour,
when too late to make other arrangements, I am informed that the job has
been entrusted to a certain Birnadhur Pahtridhji, whose name (though
probably incorrectly transcribed) certainly denotes a draughtsman of
native Indian origin!

Whether he is fully competent for such a task I cannot at present say.
But, unless he is qualified, like myself, by actual residence in Great
Britain, I fear that he may not possess sufficient familiarity with the
customs and solecisms of English society to avoid at least a few
ludicrous and even lamentable mistakes.

To guard against such contingencies I shall insert a note or comment
opposite each picture as it is submitted to me, pointing out in what
respects (if any) the artist has failed to represent the author's
intentions.

I sincerely hope that I may now and then be able to pat the aforesaid Mr
P. on the back instead of acting as a Rhadamanthus to rap his knuckles.



CHAPTER I

FROM CALCUTTA TO CAMBRIDGE OVERSEA ROUTE

    At sea the stoutest stomach jerks,
    Far, far away from native soil,
    When Ocean's heaving waterworks
    Burst out in Brobdingnagian boil!

    _Stanza written at Sea, by H. B. J. (unpublished)._


The waves of Neptune erected their seething and angry crests to
incredible altitudes; overhead in fuliginous storm-clouds the thunder
rumbled its terrific bellows, and from time to time the ghastly flare of
lightning illuminated the entire neighbourhood. The tempest howled like
a lost dog through the cordage of the good ship _Rohilkund_ (Captain O.
Williams), which lurched through the vasty deep as though overtaken by
the drop too much.

At one moment her poop was pointed towards celestial regions; at another
it aimed itself at the recesses of Davey Jones's locker; and such was
the fury of the gale that only a paucity of the ship's passengers
remained perpendicular, and Mr Chunder Bindabun Bhosh was recumbent on
his beam end, prostrated by severe sickishness, and hourly expecting to
become initiated in the Great Secret.

Bitterly did he lament his hard lines in venturing upon the Black Water,
to be snipped off in the flower of his adolescence, and never again to
behold the beloved visages of his relations!

So heartrending were his tears and groans that they moved all on board,
and Honble Mr Commissioner Copsey, who was returning on leave, kindly
came to inquire the cause of such vociferous lachrymation.

"What is the matter, Baboo?" began the Commissioner in paternal tones.
"Why are you kicking up the shindy of such a deuce's own hullabaloo?"

"Because, honble Sir," responded Mr Bhosh, "I am in lively expectation
that waters will rush in and extinguish my vital spark."

"Pooh!" said Mr Commissioner, genially. "This is only the moiety of a
gale, and there is not the slightest danger."

Having received this assurance, Mr Bhosh's natural courage revived, and,
coming up on deck, he braved the tempest with the cool composure of a
cucumber, admonishing all his fellow-passengers that they were not to
give way to panic, seeing that Death was the common lot of all, and,
though everyone must die once, it was an experience that could not be
repeated, with much philosophy of a similar kind which astonished many
who had falsely supposed him to be a pusillanimous.

The remainder of the voyage was uneventful, and, soon after setting his
feet on British territory, Mr Bhosh became an alumnus and undergraduate
of the _Alma Mater_ of Cambridge.

I shall not attempt to relate at any great length the history of his
collegiate career, because, being myself a graduate of Calcutta
University, I am not, of course, proficient in the customs and
etiquettes of any rival seminaries, and should probably make one or two
trivial slips which would instantly be pounced upon and held up for
derision by carping critics.

So I shall content myself with mentioning a few leading facts and
incidents. Mr Bhosh very soon wormed himself into the good graces of his
fellow college boys, and his principal friend and _fidus Achates_ was a
young high-spirited aristocrat entitled Lord Jack Jolly, the only son of
an earl who had lately been promoted to the dignity of a baronetcy.

Lord Jolly and Mr Bhosh were soon as inseparable as a Dæmon and
Pythoness, and, though no nabob to wallow in filthy lucre, Mr Bhosh gave
frequent entertainments to his friends, who were hugely delighted by
the elegance of his hospitality and the garrulity of his conversation.

Unfortunately the fame of these Barmecide feasts soon penetrated the
ears of the College _gurus_, and Mr Bhosh's _Moolovee_ sent for him and
severely reprimanded him for neglecting to study for his Little-go
degree, and squandering his immense abilities and talents on mere
guzzling.

Whereupon Mr Bhosh shed tears of contrition, embracing the feet of his
senile tutor, and promising that, if only he was restored to favour he
would become more diligent in future.

And honourably did he fulfil this _nudum pactum_, for he became a most
exemplary bookworm, burning his midnight candle at both ends in the
endeavour to cram his mind with _belles lettres_.

But he was assailed by a temptation which I cannot forbear to chronicle.
One evening as he was poring over his learned tomes, who should arrive
but a deputation of prominent Cambridge boatmen and athletics, to
entreat him to accept a stroke oar of the University eight in the
forthcoming race with Oxford College!

This, as all aquatics will agree, was no small compliment--particularly
to one who was so totally unversed in wielding the flashing oar. But the
authorities had beheld him propelling a punt boat with marvellous
dexterity by dint of a paddle, and, taking the length of his foot on
that occasion, they had divined a Hercules and ardently desired him as a
confederate.

Mr Bhosh was profoundly moved: "College misters and friends," he said,
"I welcome this invitation with a joyful and thankful heart, as an
honour--not to this poor self, but to Young India. Nevertheless, I am
compelled by _Dira Necessitas_ to return the polite negative. Gladly I
would help you to inflict crushing defeat upon our presumptuous foe, but
'I see a hand you cannot see that beckons me away; I hear a voice you
cannot hear that wheezes "Not to-day!"' In other words, gentlemen, I am
now actively engaged in the Titanic struggle to floor Little-go. It is
glorious to obtain a victory over Oxonian rivals, but, misters, there is
an enemy it is still more glorious to pulverize, and that enemy
is--one's self!"

The deputation then withdrew with falling crests, though unable to
refrain from admiring the firmness and fortitude which a mere Native
student had nilled an invitation which to most European youths would
have proved an irresistible attraction.

Nor did they cherish any resentment against Mr Bhosh, even when, in the
famous inter-collegiate race of that year from Hammersmith to Putney,
Cambridge was ingloriously bumped, and Oxford won in a common canter.



CHAPTER II

HOW MR BHOSH DELIVERED A DAMSEL FROM A DEMENTED COW

    O Cow! in hours of mental ease
    Thou chewest cuds beneath the trees;
    But ah! when madness racks thy brow,
    An awkward customer art thou!

    _Nature Poem furnished (to order) by young English Friend._


Mr Bhosh's diligence at his books was rewarded by getting through his
Little-go with such _éclat_ that he was admitted to become a
baccalaureate, and further presented with the greatest distinction the
Vice-Chancellor could bestow upon him, viz., the title of a Wooden
Spoon!

But here I must not omit to narrate a somewhat startling catastrophe in
which Mr Bhosh figured as the god out of machinery. It was on an
afternoon before he went up to pass his Little-go exam, and, since all
work and no play is apt to render any Jack a dull, he was recreating
himself by a solitary promenade in some fields in the vicinity of
Cambridge, when suddenly his startled ears were dumbfounded to perceive
the blood-curdling sound of loud female vociferations!

On looking up from his reverie, he was horrified by the spectacle of a
young and beauteous maiden being vehemently pursued by an irate cow,
whose reasoning faculties were too obviously, in the words of Ophelia,
"like sweet bells bangled," or, in other words, _non compos mentis_, and
having rats in her upper story!

The young lady, possessing the start and also the advantage of superior
juvenility, had the precedence of the cow by several yards, and attained
the umbrageous shelter of a tree stem, behind which she tremulously
awaited the arrival of her blood-thirsty antagonist.

As he noted her jewel-like eyes, profuse hair, and panting bosom, Mr
Bhosh's triangle of flesh[1] was instantaneously ignited by love at
first sight (the intelligent reader will please understand that the
foregoing refers to the maiden and not at all to the cow, which was of
no excessive pulchritude--but I am not to be responsible for the
ambiguities of the English language).

[1] _Videlicet_: his heart.

There was not a moment to be squandered; Mr Bhosh had just time to
recommend her earnestly to remain _in statu quo_, before setting off to
run _ventre à terre_ in the direction whence he had come. The distracted
animal, abandoning the female in distress, immediately commenced to
hue-and-cry after our hero, who was compelled to cast behind him his
collegiate cap, like tub to a whale.

The savage cow ruthlessly impaled the cap on one of its horns, and then
resumed the chase.

Mr Bhosh scampered for his full value, but, with all his incredible
activity, he had the misery of feeling his alternate heels scorched by
the fiery snorts of the maniacal quadruped.

Then he stripped from his shoulders his student's robe, relinquishing it
to the tender mercies of his ruthless persecutress while he nimbly
surmounted a gate. The cow only delayed sufficiently to rend the garment
into innumerable fragments, after which it cleared the gate with a
single hop, and renewed the chase after Mr Bhosh's stern, till he was
forced to discard his ivory-headed umbrella to the animal's destroying
fury.

This enabled him to gain the walls of the town and reach the bazaar,
where the whole population was in consternation at witnessing such a
shuddering race for life, and made themselves conspicuous by their
absence in back streets.

Mr Bhosh, however, ran on undauntedly, until, perceiving that the
delirious creature was irrevocably bent on running him to earth, he took
the flying leap into the shop of a cheese merchant, where he cleverly
entrenched himself behind the receipt of custom.

With the headlong impetuosity of a distraught the cow followed, and
charged the barrier with such insensate fury that her horns and
appertaining head were inextricably imbedded in a large tub of margarine
butter.

At this our hero, judging that the wings of his formidable foe were at
last clipped, sallied boldly forth, and, summoning a police-officer,
gave the animal into custody as a disturber of the peace.

By such coolness and _savoir faire_ in a distressing emergency he
acquired great _kudos_ in the eyes of all his fellow-students, who
regarded him as the conquering hero.

Alas and alack! when he repaired to the field to receive the thanks and
praises of the maiden he had so fortunately delivered, he had the
mortification to discover that she had vanished, and left not a wreck
behind her! Nor with all his endeavours could he so much as learn
her name, condition, or whereabouts, but the remembrance of her manifold
charms rendered him moonstruck with the tender passion, and
notwithstanding his success in flooring the most difficult exams, his
bosom's lord sat tightly on its throne, and was not to jump until he
should again (if ever) confront his mysterious fascinator.

    [Illustration: GAVE THE ANIMAL INTO CUSTODY AS A DISTURBER OF THE
    PEACE (Illustration II)]

Having emerged from the shell of his _statu pupillari_ under the
fostering warmth of his Alma Mater, Mr Bhosh next proceeded as a
full-fledged B.A. to the Metropolis, and became a candidate for forensic
honours at one of the legal temples, lodging under the elegant roof of a
matron who regarded him as her beloved son for Rs. 21 per week, and
attending lectures with such assiduity that he soon acquired a nodding
acquaintance with every branch of jurisprudence.

And when he went up for Bar Exam., he displayed his phenomenal
proficiency to such an extent that the Lord Chancellor begged him to
accept one of the best seats on the Judges' bench, an honour which, to
the best of this deponent's knowledge and belief, has seldom before been
offered to a raw tyro, and never, certainly, to a young Indian student.
However, with rare modesty Mr Bhosh declined the offer, not considering
himself sufficiently ripe as yet to lay down laws, and also desirous of
gathering roses while he might, and mixing himself in first-class
English societies.

I am painfully aware that such incidents as the above will seem very
mediocre and humdrum to most readers, but I shall request them to
remember that no hero can achieve anything very striking while he is
still a hobbardehoy, and that I cannot--like some popular
novelists--insult their intelligences by concocting cock-and-bull
occurrences which the smallest exercise of ordinary commonsense must
show to be totally incredible.

By and bye, when I come to deal with Mr Bhosh's experiences in the upper
tenth of London society, with which I may claim to have rather a
profound familiarity, I will boldly undertake that there shall be no
lack of excitement.

Therefore, have a little patience, indulgent Misters!



CHAPTER III

THE INVOLUNTARY FASCINATOR

    Please do not pester me with unwelcome attentions,
    Since to respond I have no intentions!
    Your Charms are deserving of honourable mentions--
    But previous attachment compels these abstentions!

    "AN UNWILLING WOOED TO HIS WOOER."

    _Original unpublished Poem by H. B. J._


Mr Bhosh was very soon enabled to make his _debût_ as a pleader, for the
_Mooktears_ sent him briefs as thick as an Autumn leaf in Vallambrosa,
and, having on one occasion to prosecute a youth who had embezzled an
elderly matron, Mr Bhosh's eloquence and pathos melted the jury into a
flood of tears which procured the triumphant acquittal of the prisoner.

But the bow of Achilles (which, as Poet Homer informs us, was his only
vulnerable point) must be untied occasionally, and accordingly Mr Bhosh
occasionally figured as the gay dog in upper-class societies, and was
not long in winning a reputation in smart circles as a champion bounder.

For he did greet those he met with a pleasant, obsequious affability and
familiarity, which easily endeared him to all hearts. In his appearance
he would--but for a somewhat mediocre stature and tendency to a
precocious obesity--have strikingly resembled the well-known statuary of
the Apollo Bellevue, and he was in consequence inordinately admired by
aristocratic feminines, who were enthralled by the fluency of his small
talk, and competed desperately for the honour of his company at their
"Afternoon-At-Home-Teas."

It was at one of these exclusive festivities that he first met the
Duchess Dickinson, and (as we shall see hereafter) that meeting took
place in an evil-ominous hour for our hero. As it happened, the
honourable highborn hostess proposed a certain cardgame known as "Penny
Napkin," and fate decreed that Mr Bhosh should sit contiguous to the
Duchess's Grace, who by lucky speculations was the winner of
incalculable riches.

But, hoity toity! what were his dismay and horror, when he detected that
by her legerdemain in double-dealing she habitually contrived to assign
herself five pictured cards of leading importance!

How to act in such an unprecedented dilemma? As a chivalrous, it was
repugnant to him to accuse a Duchess of sharping at cards, and yet at
the same time he could not stake his fortune against such a foregone
conclusion!

So he very tactfully contrived by engaging the Duchess's attention to
substitute his card-hand for hers, and thus effect the exchange which is
no robbery, and she, finally observing his _finesse_, and struck by the
delicacy with which he had so unostentatiously rebuked her duplicity,
earnestly desired his further acquaintance.

For a time Mr Bhosh, doubtless obeying one of those supernatural and
presentimental monitions which were undreamt of in the Horatian
philosophy, resisted all her advances--but alas! the hour arrived in
which he became as Simpson with Delilah.

It was at the very summit of the Season, during a brilliantly
fashionable ball at the Ladbroke Hall, Archer Street, Bayswater, whither
all the _élites_ of tip-top London Society had congregated.

Mr Bhosh was present, but standing apart, overcome with bashfulness at
the paucity of upper feminine apparel and designing to take his
premature hook, when the beauteous Duchess in passing surreptitiously
flung over him a dainty nose-handkerchief deliciously perfumed with
extract of cherry blossoms.

With native penetration into feminine coquetries he interpreted this as
an intimation that she desired to dance with him, and, though not
proficient in such exercises, he made one or two revolutions round the
room with her co-operation, after which they retired to an alcove and
ate raspberry ices and drank lemonade. Mr Bhosh's sparkling
tittle-tattle completely achieved the Duchess's conquest, for he
possessed that magical gift of the gab which inspired the tender passion
without any connivance on his own part.

And, although the Duchess was no longer the chicken, having attained her
thirtieth lustre, she was splendidly well preserved; with huge flashing
eyes like searchlights in a face resembling the full moon; of tall
stature and proportionate plumpness; most young men would have been
puffed out by pride at obtaining such a tip-top admirer.

Not so our hero, whose manly heart was totally monopolised by the image
of the fair unknown whom he had rescued at Cambridge from the savage
clutches of a horned cow, and although, after receiving from the Duchess
a musk-scented postal card, requesting his company on a certain evening,
he decided to keep the appointed tryst, it was only against his will and
after heaving many sighs.

On reaching the Duchess's palace, which was situated in Pembridge
Square, Bayswater, he had the mortification to perceive that he was by
no means the only guest, since the reception halls were thickly
populated by gilded worldlings. But the Duchess advanced to greet him in
a very kind, effusive manner, and, intimating that it was impossible to
converse with comfort in such a crowd, she led him to a small side-room,
where she seated him on a couch by her side and invited him to
discourse.

Mr Bhosh discoursed accordingly, paying her several high-flown
compliments by which she appeared immoderately pleased, and discoursed
in her turn of instinctive sympathies, until our hero was wriggling like
an eel with embarrassment at what she was to say next, and at this point
Duke Dickinson suddenly entered and reminded his spouse in rather abrupt
fashion that she was neglecting her remaining guests.

After the Duchess's departure, Mr Bhosh, with the feelings of an innate
gentleman, felt constrained to make his sincere apologies to his ducal
entertainer for having so engrossed his better half, frankly explaining
that she had exhibited such a marked preference for his society that he
had been deprived of all option in the matter, further assuring his
dukeship that he by no means reciprocated the lady's sentiments, and
delicately recommending that he was to keep a rather more lynxlike eye
in future upon her proceedings.

To which the Duke, greatly agitated, replied that he was unspeakably
obliged for the caution, and requested Mr Bhosh to depart at once and
remain an absentee for the future. Which our friend cheerfully undertook
to perform, and, in taking leave of the Duchess, exhorted her, with an
eloquence that moved all present, to abandon her frivolities and
levities and adopt a deportment more becoming to her matronly exterior.

The reader would naturally imagine that she would have been grateful for
so friendly and well-meant a hint--but oh, dear! it was quite the
reverse, for from a loving friend she was transformed into a bitter and
most unscrupulous enemy, as we shall find in forthcoming chapters.

Truly it is not possible to fathom the perversities of the feminine
disposition!



CHAPTER IV

A KICK FROM A FRIENDLY FOOT

    She is a radiant damsel with features fair and fine;
    But since betrothed to Bosom's friend she never can be mine!

    _Original Poem by H. B. J. (unpublished)._


Mr Bhosh's bosom-friend, the Lord Jack Jolly, had kindly undertaken to
officiate as his Palinurus and steer him safely from the Scylla to the
Charybdis of the London Season, and one day Lord Jolly arrived at our
hero's apartments as the bearer of an invite from his honble parent the
Baronet, to partake of tiffin at their ancestral abode in Chepstow
Villas, which Bindabun gratefully accepted.

Arrived at the Jollies' sumptuous interior, a numerous retinue of
pampered menials and gilded flunkies divested Mr Bhosh of his hat and
umbrella and ushered him into the hall of audience.

"Bhosh, my dear old pal," said Lord Jack, "I have news for you. I am
engaged as a Benedict, and am shortly to celebrate matrimony with a
young goodlooking female--the Princess Petunia Jones."

"My lord," replied Mr Bhosh, "suffer me to hang around your patrician
neck the floral garland of my humble congratulations."

"My dear Bhosh," responded the youthful peer of the realm, "I regard you
as more than a brother, and am confident that when my betrothed beholds
your countenance, she will conceive for you a similar lively affection.
But hush! here she comes to answer for herself.... Princess, permit me
to present to you the best and finest friend I possess, Mr Bindabun
Bhosh."

Mr Bhosh modestly lowered his optics as he salaamed with inimitable
grace, and it was not until he had resumed his perpendicular that he
recognised in the Princess Jones the charming unknown whom he had last
beheld engaged in repelling the assault of a distracted cow!

Their eyes were no sooner crossed than he knew that she regarded him as
her deliverer, and was consumed by the most ardent affection for him.
But Mr Bhosh repressed himself with heroic magnanimity, for he reflected
that she was the affianced of his dearest friend and that it was
contrary to _bon ton_ to poach another's jam.

So he merely said; "How do you do? It is a very fine day. I am delighted
to make your acquaintance," and turning on his heels with a profound
curtsey, he left her flabbergasted with mortification.

But those only who have compressed their souls in the shoe of
self-sacrifice know how devilishly it pinches, and Mr Bhosh's grief was
so acute that he rolled incessantly on his couch while the radiant image
of his divinity danced tantalisingly before his bloodshot vision.

Eventually he became calmer, and after plunging his fervid body into a
foot-bath, he showed himself once more in society, assuming an air of
meretricious waggishness to conceal the worm that was busily cankering
his internals, and so successful was he that Lord Jack was entirely
deceived by his _vis comica_, and invited him to spend the Autumn up the
country with his respectable parents.

Mr Bhosh accepted--but when he knew that Princess Petunia was also to be
one of the _amis de la maison_, he was greatly concerned at the prospect
of infallibly reviving her love by his propinquity, and thereby
inflicting the cup of calamity on his best friend. Willingly would he
have imparted the whole truth to his Lordship and counselled him to
postpone the Princess's visit until he, himself, should have
departed--but, ah me! with all his virtue he was not a Roman Palladium
that he should resist the delight of philandery with the radiant queen
of his soul. So he kept his tongue in his cheek.

However, when they met in the ancient and rural castle he constrained
himself, in conversing with her, to enlarge enthusiastically upon the
excellences of Lord Jack. "What a good, ripping, gentlemanly fellow he
was, and how certain to make a best quality husband!" Princess Jones
listened to these encomiums with tender sighing, while her soft large
orbs rested on Mr Bhosh with ever-increasing admiration.

No one noticed how, after these elephantine efforts at self-denial, he
would silently slip away and weep salt and bitter tears as he weltered
dolefully on a doormat; nor was it perceived that the Princess herself
was become thin as a weasel with disappointed love.

Being the ardent sportsman, Mr Bhosh sought to drown his sorrow with
pleasures of the chase.

He would sally forth alone, with no other armament than a breechloading
rifle, and endeavour to slay the wild rabbits which infested the
Baronet's domains, and sometimes he had the good fortune to slaughter
one or two. Or he would take a Rod and hooks and a few worms, and
angle for salmons; or else he would stalk partridges, and once he even
assisted in a foxhunt, when he easily outstripped all the dogs and
singly confronted Master Reynard, who had turned to bay savagely at his
nose. But Bindabun undauntedly descended from his horse, and, drawing
his hunting dagger, so dismayed the beast by his determined and
ferocious aspect that it turned its tail and fled into some other part
of the country, which earned him the heartfelt thanks from his fellow
Nimrods.

    [Illustration: DISMAYED THE BEAST BY HIS DETERMINED AND FEROCIOUS
    ASPECT (Illustration III)]

Naturally, such feats of arms as these only served to inflame the ardour
of the Princess, to whom it was a constant wonderment that Mr Bhosh did
never, even in the most roundabout style, allude to the fact that he had
saved her life from perishing miserably on the pointed horn of an
enraged cow.

She could not understand that the Native temperament is too sheepishly
modest to flaunt its deeds of heroism.

Those who are _au fait_ in knowledge of the world are aware that when
there are combustibles concealed in any domestic interior, there is
always a person sooner or later who will contrive to blow them off; and
here, too, the Serpent of Mischief was waiting to step in with cloven
hoof and play the very deuce.

It so happened that the Duchess occupied the adjacent bungalow to that
of Baronet Jolly and his lady, with whom she was hail-fellow-well-met,
and this perfidious female set herself to ensnare the confidence of the
young and innocent Princess by discreetly lauding the praises of Mr
Bhosh.

"What an admirable Indian Crichton! How many rabbits and salmons had he
laid low that week? Truly, she regarded him as a favourite son, and
marvelled that any youthful feminine could prefer an ordinary peer like
Lord Jolly to a Native paragon who was not only a university B.A., but
had successfully passed Bar Exam!" and so forth and so on.

The princess readily fell into this insidious booby-trap, and confessed
the violence of her attachment, and how she had striven to acquaint Mr
Bhosh with her sentiments but was rendered inarticulate by maidenly
bashfulness.

"Can you not then slip a love-letter into his hand?" inquired the
Duchess.

"_Cui bono?_" responded the Princess, sadly. "Seeing that he never
approaches near enough to me to receive such a missive, and I dare not
entrust it to one of my maidens!"

"Why not to Me?" said the Duchess. "He will not refuse it coming from
myself; moreover, I have influence over him and will soften his heart
towards thee."

Accordingly the Princess indicted a rather impassioned love-letter, in
which she assured Mr Bhosh that she had divined his secret passion and
fully reciprocated it, also that she was the total indifferent to Lord
Jack, with much other similar matters.

Having obtained possession of this _litera scripta_, what does the
unscrupulous Duchess next but deliver it _impromptu_ into the hands of
Lord Jack, who, after perusing it, was overcome by uncontrollable wrath
and instantaneously summoned our hero to his presence.

Here was the pretty kettle of fish--but I must reserve the sequel for
the next chapter.



CHAPTER V

THE DUEL TO THE DEATH

    The ordinary valour only works
    At those rare intervals when peril lurks;
    There is a courage, scarcer far, and stranger,
    Which nothing can intimidate but danger.

    _Original Stanza by H. B. J._


No sooner had Mr Bhosh obeyed the summons of Lord Jack, than the latter
not only violently reproached him for having embezzled the heart of his
chosen bride, but inflicted upon him sundry severe kicks from behind,
barbarously threatening to encore the proceeding unless Chunder
instantaneously agreed to meet him in a mortal combat.

Our hero, though grievously hurt, did not abandon his presence of mind
in his tight fix. Seating himself upon a divan, so as to obviate any
repetition of such treatment, he thus addressed his former friend: "My
dear Jack, Plato observes that anger is an abbreviated form of insanity.
Do not let us fall out about so mere a trifle, since one friend is the
equivalent of many females. Is it my fault that feminines overwhelm me
with unsought affections? Let us both remember that we are men of the
world, and if you on your side will overlook the fact that I have
unwittingly fascinated your _fiancée_, I, on mine, am ready to forget my
unmerciful kickings."

But Lord Jolly violently rejected such a give-and-take compromise, and
again declared that if Mr Bhosh declined to fight he was to receive
further kicks. Upon this Chunder demanded time for reflection; he was no
bellicose, but he reasoned thus with his soul: "It is not certain that a
bullet will hit--whereas, it is impossible for a kick to miss its mark."

So, weeping to find himself between a deep sea and the devil of a
kicking, he accepted the challenge, feeling like Imperial Cæsar, when
he found himself compelled to climb up a rubicon after having burnt his
boots!

Being naturally reluctant to kick his brimming bucket of life while
still a lusty juvenile, Mr Bhosh was occupied in lamenting the
injudiciousness of Providence when he was most unexpectedly relieved by
the entrance of his lady-love, the Princess Jones, who, having heard
that her letter had fallen into Lord Jack's hands, and that a sanguinary
encounter would shortly transpire, had cast off every rag of maidenly
propriety, and sought a clandestine interview.

She brought Bindabun the gratifying intelligence that she was a _persona
grata_ with his lordship's seconder, Mr Bodgers, who was to load the
deadly weapons, and who, at her request, had promised to do so with
cartridges from which the bullets had previously been bereft.

Such a piece of good news so enlivened Mr Bhosh, that he immediately
recovered his usual serenity, and astounded all by his perfect
nonchalance. It was arranged that the tragical affair should come off in
the back garden of Baronet Jolly's castle, immediately after breakfast,
in the presence of a few select friends and neighbours, among
whom--needless to say--was Princess Petunia, whose lamp-like optics
beamed encouragement to her Indian champion, and the Duchess of
Dickinson, who was now the freehold tenement of those fiendish Siamese
twins--Malice and Jealousy. At breakfast, Mr Bhosh partook freely of all
the dishes, and rallied his antagonist for declining another fowl-egg,
rather wittily suggesting that he was becoming a chicken-hearted. The
company then adjourned to the garden, and all who were non-combatants
took up positions as far outside the zone of fire as possible.

Mr Bhosh was rejoiced to receive from the above-mentioned Mr Bodgers a
secret intimation that it was the put-up job, and little piece of
allright, which emboldened him to make the rather spirited proposal to
his lordship, that they were to fire--not at the distance of one hundred
paces, as originally suggested--but across the more restricted space of
a nosekerchief. This dare-devilish proposal occasioned a universal
outcry of horror and admiration; Mr Bhosh's seconder, a young
poor-hearted chap, entreated him to renounce his plan of campaign, while
Lord Jack and Mr Bodgers protested that it was downright tomfolly.

Chunder, however, remained game to his backbone. "If," he ironically
said, "my honble friend prefers to admit that he is inferior in physical
courage to a native Indian who is commonly accredited with a funky
heart, let him apologise. Otherwise, as a challenged, I am the Master of
the Ceremonies. I do not insist upon the exchange of more than one
shoot--but it is the _sine quâ non_ that such shoot is to take place
across a nosewipe."

Upon which his lordship became green as grass with apprehensiveness,
being unaware that the cartridges had been carefully sterilised, but
glueing his courage to the sticky point, he said, "Be it so, you
blood-thirsty little beggar--and may your gore be on your own knob!"

"It is always barely possible," retorted Mr Bhosh, "that we may _both_
miss the target!" And he made a secret motion to Mr Bodgers with his
superior eyeshutter, intimating that he was to remember to omit the
bullets.

But lackadaisy! as Poet Burns sings, the best-laid schemes both of men
and in the mouse department are liable to gang aft--and so it was in the
present instance, for Duchess Dickinson intercepted Chunder Bindabun's
wink and, with the diabolical intuition of a feminine, divined the
presence of a rather suspicious rat. Accordingly, on the diaphanous
pretext that Mr Bodgers was looking faintish and callow, she insisted on
applying a very large smelling-jar to his nasal organ.

Whether the vessel was charged with salts of superhuman potency, or some
narcotic drug, I am not to inquire--but the result was that, after a
period of prolonged sternutation, Mr Bodgers became impercipient on a
bed of geraniums.

Thereupon Chunder, perceiving that he had lost his friend in court,
magnanimously said: "I cannot fight an antagonist who is unprovided with
a seconder, and will wait until Mr Bodgers is recuperated." But the
honourable and diabolical duchess nipped this arrangement in the bud.
"It would be a pity," said she, "that Mr Bhosh's fiery ardour should be
cooled by delay. _I_ am capable to load a firearm, and will act as Lord
Jolly's seconder."

Our hero took the objection that, as a feminine was not legally
qualified to act as seconder in mortal combats, the duel would be
rendered null and void, and appealed to his own seconder to confirm this
_obiter dictum_.

Unluckily the latter was a poor beetlehead who was in excessive fear of
offending the Duchess, and gave it as his opinion that sex was no
disqualification, and that the Duchess of Dickinson was fully competent
to load the lethal weapons, provided that she knew how.

Whereupon she, regarding Mr Bhosh with the malignant simper of a fiend,
did not only deliberately fill each pistol-barrel with a bullet from her
own reticule bag, but also had the additional _diablerie_ to extract a
miniature laced _mouchoir_ exquisitely perfumed with cherry-blossoms,
and to say, "Please fire across this. I am confident that it will bring
you good luck."

And Mr Bhosh recognised with emotions that baffle description the very
counterpart of the nose-handkerchief which she had flung at him months
previously at the aforesaid fashionable Bayswater Ball! Now was our poor
miserable hero indeed up the tree of embarrassment--and there I must
leave him till the next chapter.



CHAPTER VI

LORD JOLLY IS SATISFIED

    Ah, why should two, who once were bosom's friends,
    Present at one another pistol ends?
    Till one pops off to dwell in Death's Abode--
    All on account of Honour's so-called code!

    _Thoughts on Duelling, by H. B. J._


Many a more hackneyed duellist than our unfortunate friend Bhosh might
well have been frightened from his propriety at the prospect of fighting
with genuine bullets across so undersized a nosekerchief as that which
the Duchess had furnished for the fray.

But Mr Bhosh preserved his head in perfect coolness: "It is indisputably
true," he said, "that I proposed to shoot across a pocketkerchief--but I
am not an effeminate female that I should employ such a lacelike and
flimsy concern as this! As a challenged, I claim my constitutional
right under Magna Charta to provide my own nosewipe."

And, as even my Lord Jack admitted that this was legally correct, Mr
Bhosh produced a very large handsome nosekerchief in parti-coloured
silks.

This he tore into narrow strips, the ends of which he tied together in
such a manner that the whole was elongated to an incredible length.
Then, tossing one extremity to his lordship, and retaining the other in
his own hand, he said: "We will fight, if you please, across this--or
not at all!"

Which caused a working majority of the company, and even Lord Jack Jolly
himself, to burst into enthusiastic plaudits of the ingenuity and
dexterity with which Mr Bhosh had contrived to extricate himself from
the prongs of his Caudine fork.

The Duchess, however, was knitting her brows into the baleful pattern of
a scowl--for she knew as well as Chunder Bindabun himself that no human
pistol was capable to achieve such a distance! The duel commenced.
His lordship and Mr Bhosh each removed their upper clothings, bared
their arms, and, taking up a weapon, awaited the momentous command to
fire.

    [Illustration: THE BULLET HAD PERFORATED A LARGE CIRCULAR ORIFICE IN
    HONBLE BODGER'S HAT (Illustration IV)]

It was pronounced, and Lord Jolly's pistol was the first to ring the
ambient welkin with its horrid bang. The deadly missile, whistling as it
went for want of thought, entered the door of a neighbouring pigeon's
house and fluttered the dovecot confoundedly.

Mr Bhosh reserved his fire for the duration of two or three harrowing
seconds. Then he, too, pulled off his trigger, and after the explosion
there was a loud cry of dismay.

The bullet had perforated a large circular orifice in Honble Bodger's
hat, who, by this time, had returned to self-consciousness!

"I could not bring myself to snuff the candle of your honble lordship's
existence," said Mr Bhosh, bowing, "but I wished to convince all present
that I am not incompetent to hit a mark."

And he proceeded to assure Mr Bodger that he was to receive full
compensation for any moral and intellectual damage done to his said hat.

As for his lordship, he was so overcome by Mr Bhosh's unprecedented
magnanimity that he shed copious tears, and, warmly embracing his former
friend, entreated his forgiveness, vowing that in future their affection
should never again be endangered by so paltry and trivial a cause as the
ficklety of a feminine. Moreover, he bestowed upon Bindabun the blushing
hand of Princess Jones, and very heartily wished him joy of her.

Now the Princess was the solitary brat of a very wealthy merchant
prince, Honble Sir Monarch Jones, whose proud and palatial storehouses
were situated in the most fashionable part of Camden Town.

Sir Jones, in spite of Lord Jack's resignation, did not at first regard
Mr Bhosh with the paternal eye of approval, but rather advanced the
objection that the colour of his money was practically invisible. "My
daughter," he said haughtily, "is to have a lakh of rupees on her
nuptials. Have _you_ a lakh of rupees?"

Bindabun was tempted to make the rather facetious reply that he had,
indeed, a lack of rupees at the present moment.

Sir Monarch, however, like too many English gentlemen, was totally
incapable of comprehending the simplest Indian _jeu des mots_, and
merely replied. "Unless you can _show_ me your lakh of rupees, you
cannot become my beloved son-in-law."

So, as Mr Bhosh was a confirmed impecunious, he departed in severe
despondency. However, fortune favoured him, as always, for he made the
acquaintance of a certain Jewish-Scotch, whose cognomen was Alexander
Wallace McAlpine, and who kindly undertook to lend him a lakh of rupees
for two days at interest which was the mere bite of a flea.

Having thus acquired the root of all evil, Bindabun took it in a
four-wheeled cab and triumphantly exhibited his hard cash to Sir Jones,
who, being unaware that it was borrowed plumage, readily consented that
he should marry his daughter. After which Mr Bhosh honourably restored
the lakh to the accommodating Scotch minus the interest, which he found
it inconvenient to pay just then.

I am under great apprehensions that my gentle readers, on reading thus
far and no further, will remark: "Oho! then we are already at the
_finis_, seeing that when a hero and heroine are once booked for
connubial bliss, their further proceedings are of very mediocre
interest!"

Let me venture upon the respectful caution that every cup possesses a
proverbially slippery lip, and that they are by no means to take it as
granted that Mr Bhosh is so soon married and done for.

Remember that he still possesses a rather formidable enemy in Duchess
Dickinson, who is irrevocably determined to insert a spike in his wheel
of fortune. For a woman is so constituted that she can never forgive an
individual who has once treated her advances with contempt, no matter
how good-humoured such contempt may have been. No, misters, if you
offend a feminine you must look out for her squalls.

Readers are humbly requested not to toss this fine story aside under the
impression that they have exhausted the cream in its cocoanut. There are
many many incidents to come of highly startling and sensational
character.



CHAPTER VII

THE ADVENTURE OF THE UNWIELDY GIFTHORSE

    When dormant lightning is pent in the polished hoofs of a colt,
    And his neck is clothed with thunder,--then, horseman, beware of
    the bolt!

    _From the Persian, by H. B. J._


In accordance with English usages, Mr Bhosh, being now officially
engaged to the fair Princess Jones, did dance daily attendance in her
company, and, she being passionately fond of equitation, he was
compelled himself to become the Centaur and act as her _cavalier
servant_ on a nag which was furnished throughout by a West End livery
jobber. Fortunately, he displayed such marvellous dexterity and skill as
an equestrian that he did not once sustain a single reverse!

Truly, it was a glorious and noble sight to behold Bindabun clinging
with imperturbable calmness to the saddle of his steed, as it ambled and
gamboled in so spirited a manner that all the fashionables made sure
that he was inevitably to slide over its tail quarters! But invariably
he returned, having suffered no further inconvenience than the
bereavement of his tall hat, and the heart of Princess Petunia was
uplifted with pride when she saw that her betrothed, in addition to
being a B.A. and barrister-at-law, was also such a rough rider.

It is _de rigueur_ in all civilised societies to encourage matrimony by
bestowing rewards upon those who are about to come up to the scratch of
such holy estate, and consequently splendid gifts of carriage,
timepieces, tea-caddies, slices of fish, jewels, blotter-cases,
biscuit-caskets, cigar-lights, and pin-cushions were poured forth upon
Mr Bhosh and his partner, as if from the inexhaustibly bountiful horn of
a Pharmacopoeia.

Last, but not least, one morning appeared a _saice_ leading an unwieldy
steed of the complexion of a chestnut, and bearing an anonymously-signed
paper, stating that said horse was a connubial gift to Mr Bhosh from a
perfervid admirer.

Our friend Bindabun was like to throw his bonnet over the mills with
excessive joy, and could not be persuaded to rest until he had made a
trial trip on his gifted horse, while the amiable Princess readily
consented to become his companion.

So, on a balmy and luscious afternoon in Spring, when the mellifluous
blackbirds, sparrows, and other fowls of that ilk were engaged in
billing and cooing on the foliage of innumerable trees and bushes, and
the blooming flowers were blowing proudly on their polychromatic beds,
Mr Bhosh made the ascension of his gifthorse, and titupped by the side
of his betrothed into the Row, the observed of all the observing
masculine and feminine smarties.

But, hoity-toity! he had not titupped very many yards when the
unwieldy steed came prematurely to a halt and adopted an unruly
deportment. Mr Bhosh inflicted corporal punishment upon its loins with a
golden-headed whip, at which the rebellious beast erected itself upon
its hinder legs until it was practically a biped.

    [Illustration: THE CANTANKEROUS STEED EXECUTED A LEAP WITH
    ASTOUNDING AGILITY (Illustration V)]

Bindabun, although at the extremity of his wits to preserve his saddle
by his firm hold on the bridle-rein, undauntedly aimed a swishing blow
at the head and front of the offending animal, which instantaneously
returned its forelegs to _terra firma_, but elevated its latter end to
such a degree that our hero very narrowly escaped sliding over its neck
by cleverly clutching the saddleback.

Next, the cantankerous steed executed a leap with astounding agility,
arching its back like a bow, and propelling our poor friend into the air
like the arrow, though by providential luck and management on his part
he descended safely into his seat after every repetition of this
dangerous manoeuvre.

All things, however, must come to an end at some time, and the unwieldy
quadruped at last became weary of leaping and, securing the complete
control of his bit, did a bolt from the blue.

Willy nilly was Mr Bhosh compelled to accompany it upon its mad,
unbridled career, while all witnesses freely hazarded the conjecture
that his abduction would be rather speedily terminated by his being left
behind, and I will presume to maintain that a less practical horseman
would long before have become an ordinary pedestrian.

But Bindabun, although both stirrupholes were untenanted, and he was
compelled to hold on to his steed's mane by his teeth and nails,
nevertheless remained triumphantly in the ascendant.

On, on he rushed, making the entire circumference of the Park in his
wild, delirious canter, and when the galloping horse once more
reappeared, and Mr Bhosh was perceived to be still snug on his saddle,
the spectators were unable to refrain from heartfelt joy.

A second time the incorrigible courser careered round the Park on his
thundering great hoofs, and still our heroic friend preserved his
equilibrium--but, heigh-ho! I have to sorrowfully relate that, on his
third circuit, it was the different pair of shoes--for the headstrong
animal, abstaining from motion in a rather too abrupt manner, propelled
Mr Bhosh over its head with excessive velocity into the elegant interior
of a victoria-carriage.

He alighted upon a great dame who had maliciously been enjoying the
spectacle of his predicament, but who now was forced to experience the
crushing repartee of his _tu quoque_, for such a forcible collision with
his person caused her not only two blackened optics but irremediable
damage to the leather of her nose.

The pristine beauty of her features was irrecoverably dismantled, while
Mr Bhosh--thanks to his landing on such soft and yielding
material--remained intact and able to return to his domicile in a
four-wheeled cab.

Beloved reader, however sceptical thou mayest be, thou wilt infallibly
admire with me the inscrutable workings of Nemesis, when thou learnest
that the aforesaid great lady was no other than the Duchess of
Dickinson, and (what is still more wonderful) that it was she who had
insidiously presented him with such a fearful gift of the Danaides as an
obstreperous and unwieldy steed!

Truly, as poet Shakespeare sagaciously observes, there is a divinity
that rough-hews our ends, however we may endeavour to preserve their
shapeliness!



CHAPTER VIII

A RIGHTABOUT FACER FOR MR BHOSH

    Halloo! at a sudden your love warfare is changed!
    Your dress is changed! Your address is changed!
    Your express is changed! Your mistress is changed!
    Halloo! at a sudden your funny fair is changed!

    _A song sung by Messengeress Binda before Krishnagee_
          _Dr. Ram Kinoo Dutt (of Chittagong)._


Those who are _au faits_ in the tortoise involutions of the feminine
disposition will hear without astonishment that Duchess Dickinson--so
far from being chastened and softened by the circumstance that the curse
she had launched at Mr Bhosh's head had returned, like an illominous
raven, to roost upon her own nose and irreparably destroy its
contour--was only the more bitterly incensed against him.

Instead of interring the hatchet that had flown back, as if it were that
fabulous volatile the boomerang, she was in a greater stew than ever,
and resolved to leave no stone unturned to trip him up. But what trick
to play, seeing that all the honours were in Mr Bhosh's hands?

She could not officiate as Marplot to discredit him in the affections of
his lady-love, since the Princess was too severely enamoured to give the
loan of her ear to any sibillations from a snake in grass.

How else, then, to hinder his match? At this she was seized with an idea
worthy of Maccaroni himself. She paid a complimentary visit to the
Princess, arrayed in the sheepish garb of a friend, and contrived to
lure the conversation on to the vexed question of prying into futurity.

Surely, she artfully suggested, the Princess at such a momentous epoch
of her existence had, of course, not neglected the sensible precaution
of consulting some competent soothsayer respecting the most propitious
day for her nuptials with the accomplished Mr Bhosh?...

What, had she omitted to pop so important a question? How incredibly
harebrained! Fortunately, there was yet time to do the needful, and she
herself would gladly volunteer to accompany the Princess on such an
errand.

Princess Petunia fell a ready victim into the jaws of this diabolical
booby-trap and inquired the address and name of the cleverest
necromancer, for it is matter of notoriety that London ladies are quite
as superstitious and addicted to working the oracle as their native
Indian sisters.

The Duchess replied that the Astrologer-Royal was a _facile princeps_ at
uttering a prediction, and accordingly on the very next day she and the
Princess, after disguising themselves, set forth on the summit of a
tramway 'bus to the Observatory Temple of Greenwich, where, after first
propitiating the prophet by offerings, they were ushered into a
darkened inner chamber. Although they were strictly _pseudo_, he at once
informed them of their genuine cognomens, and also told them much
concerning their past of which they had hitherto been ignorant.

And to the Princess he said, stroking the long and silvery hairs of his
beard, "My daughter, I foresee many calamities which will inevitably
befall thee shouldest thou marry before the day on which the bridegroom
wins a certain contest called the Derby with a horse of his own."

The gentle Petunia departed melancholy as a gib cat, since Mr Bhosh was
not the happy possessor of so much as a single racing-horse of any
description, and it was therefore not feasible that he should become
entitled to wear the _cordon bleu_ of the turf in his buttonhole on his
wedding day!

With many sighs and tears she imparted her piece of news to the
horror-stricken ears of our hero, who earnestly assured her that it was
contrary to commonsense and _bonos mores_, to attach any importance
to the mere _ipse dixit_ of so antiquated a charlatan as the
Astrologer-Royal, who was utterly incapable--except at very long
intervals--to bring about even such a simple affair as an eclipse which
was visible from his own Observatory!

    [Illustration: 'MY DAUGHTER, I FORESEE MANY CALAMITIES WHICH WILL
    INEVITABLY BEFALL THEE' (Illustration VI)]

However, the Princess, being a feminine, was naturally more prone to
puerile credulities, and very solemnly declared that nothing would
induce her to kneel by Mr Bhosh's side at the torch of Hymen until he
should first have distinguished himself as a Derby winner.

Whereat Mr Bhosh, perceiving that the date of his nuptial ceremony was
become a _dies non_ in a Grecian calendar, did wring his hands in a bath
of tears.

Alas! he was totally unaware that it was his implacable enemy, the
Duchess Dickinson, who had thus upset his apple-cart of felicity--but so
it was, for by a clandestine bribe, she had corrupted the
Astrologer-Royal--a poor, weak, very avaricious old chap--to trump out
such a disastrous prediction.

Some heroes in this hard plight would have thrown up the leek, but Mr
Bhosh was stuffed with sterner materials. He swore a very long oath by
all the gods that he had ceased to believe in, that sooner or later, by
crook or hook, he would win the Derby race, though entirely destitute of
horseflesh and very ill able to afford to purchase the most mediocre
quadruped.

Here some sporting readers will probably object! Why could he not enlist
his unwieldy gifthorse among Derby candidates and so hoist the Duchess
on the pinnacle of her own petard?

To which I reply: Too clever by halves, Misters! _Imprimis_, the steed
in question was of far too ferocious a temperament (though undeniably
swift-footed) ever to become a favourite with Derby judges; secondly,
after dismounting Mr Bhosh, it had again taken to its heels and departed
into the Unknown, nor had Mr Bhosh troubled himself to ascertain its
private address.

But fortune favours the brave. It happened that Mr Bhosh was one day
promenading down the Bayswater Road when he was passed by a white horse
drawing a milk chariot with unparalleled velocity, outstripping
omnibuses, waggons, and even butcher-carts in its wind-like progress,
which was unguided by any restraining hand, for the milk-charioteer
himself was pursuing on foot.

His natural puissance in equine affairs enabled Mr Bhosh to infer that
the steed which could cut such a record when handicapped with a cumbrous
dairy chariot would exhibit even greater speed if in _puris
naturalibus_, and that it might even not improbably carry off first
prize in the Derby race.

So, as the milk-charioteer ran up, overblown with anxiety, to learn the
result of his horse's escapade, Mr Bhosh stopped him to inquire what he
would take for such an animal.

The dairy-vendor, rather foolishly taking it for granted that horse and
cart were gone concerns, thought he was making the good stroke of
business in offering the lot for a twenty-pound note.

"I have done with you!" cried Mr Bhosh sharply, handing over the
purchase-money, which he very fortunately chanced to have about him, and
galloping off to inspect his bargain, which was like buying a pig after
once poking it in the ribs.

In what condition he found it I must leave you to learn, my dear
readers, in an ensuing chapter.



CHAPTER IX

THE DARK HORSE

    Full many a mare with coat of milkiest sheen,
      Is dyed in dark unfathomed coal mines drab;
    Full many a flyer's born to blush unseen,
      And waste her swiftness on a hansom cab.

    _Lines to order by a young English friend, who swears they
    are original. But I regard them as an unconscious
    plagiarism from Poet Young's "Eulogy of a Country
    Cemetery." H. B. J._

    It is a gain, a precious, let me gain! let me gain!
      Oh, Potentate! Oh, Potentate!
    The shower of thine secret shoe-dust
      Oh, Potentate! Oh, Potentate!

    _Dr. Ram Kinoo Dutt_ (_of Chittagong_).


We left Mr Bhosh in full pursuit of the runaway horse and milk-chariot
which he had so spiritedly purchased while still _en route_. After
running a mile or two, he was unspeakably rejoiced to find that the
equipage had automatically come to a standstill and was still in prime
condition--with the exception of the lacteal fluid, which had made its
escape from the pails.

Bindabun, however, was not disposed to weep for long over spilt milk,
and had the excessive magnanimity to restore the chariot and pails to
the dairy merchant, who was beside himself with gratitude.

Then, Mr Bhosh, with a joyful heart, having detached his purchase from
the shafts, conducted it in triumph to his domicile. It turned out to be
a mare, white as snow and of marvellous amiability; and, partly because
of her origin, and partly from her complexion, he christened her by the
appellation of _Milky Way_.

Although perforce a complete ignoramus in the art of educating a horse
to win any equine contest, Mr Bhosh's nude commonsense told him that the
first step was to fatten his rather too filamentous pupil with corn and
similar seeds, and after a prolonged course of beanfeasts he had the
gratification to behold his mare filling out as plump as a dumpling.

As he desired her to remain the dark horse as long as possible, he
concealed her in a small toolshed at the end of the garden, ministering
to her wants with his own hands, and conducting her for daily nocturnal
constitutionals several times round the central grass-patch.

For some time he refrained from mounting--"fain would he climb but that
he feared to fall," as Poet Bunyan once scratched with a diamond on
Queen Anne's window; but at length, reflecting that if nothing ventures
nothing is certain to win, he purchased a padded saddle with appendages,
and surmounted _Milky Way_, who, far from regarding him as an
interloper, appeared gratified by his arrival, and did her utmost to
make him feel thoroughly at home.

The next step was, of course, to obtain permission from the pundits who
rule the roast of the Jockey Club, that _Milky Way_ might be allowed to
compete in the approaching Derby.

Now this was a more delicately ticklish matter than might be supposed,
owing to the circumstance that the said pundits are such warm men, and
so well endowed with this world's riches that they are practically
non-corruptible.

Fortunately, Mr Bhosh, as a dabster in English composition, was a
pastmaster in drawing a petition, and, sitting down, he constructed the
following:--

    TO THOSE MOST WORSHIPFUL BIGHEADS IN CONTROL OF JOCKEYS CLUB.

    BENIGN PERSONAGES!

    This Petition humbly sheweth:

    (1.) That your Petitioner is a native Indian Cambridge B.A., a
    Barrister-at-law, and a most loyal and devoted subject of Her
    Majesty the QUEEN-EMPRESS.

    (2.) That it is of excessive importance to him, for private
    reasons, that he should win a Derby Race.

    (3.) That such a famous victory would be eminently popular with all
    classes of Indian natives, and inordinately increase their affection
    for British rule.

    (4.) That for some time past your Petitioner has been diligently
    training a quadruped which he fondly hopes may gain a victory.

    (5.) That said quadruped is a member of the fair sex.

    (6.) That she is a female horse of very docile disposition, but,
    being only recently extracted from shafts of dairy chariot, is a
    total neophyte in Derby racing.

    (7.) That your lordships may direct that she is to be kindly
    permitted to try her luck in this world-famous competition.

    (8.) That it would greatly encourage her to exhibit topmost speed if
    she could be allowed to start running a few minutes previously to
    older stagers.

    (9.) That if this is unfortunately contrary to regulations, then the
    Judge should receive secret instructions to look with a favourable
    eye upon the said female horse (whose name is _Milky Way_) and award
    her first prize, even if by any chance she may not prove quite so
    fast a runner as more professional hacks:

    And your Petitioner will ever pray on bended knees that so truly
    magnificent an institution as the Epsom Derby Course may never be
    suppressed on grounds of encouraging national vice of gambling and
    so forth. Signed, &c.

The wording of the above proved Mr Bhosh's profound acquaintance with
the human heart, for it instantaneously attained the desired end.

The Honble Stewards returned a very kind answer, readily consenting to
receive _Milky Way_ as a candidate for Derby honours, but regretting
that it was _ultra vires_ to concede her a few minutes' start, and
intimating that she must start with a scratch in company with all the
other horses.

Bindabun was not in the least degree cast down or depressed by this
refusal of a start, since he had not entertained any sanguine hope that
it would be granted, and had only inserted it to make insurance doubly
sure, for he was every day more confident that _Milky Way_ was to win,
even though obliged to step off with the rank and file.



CHAPTER X

TRUST HER NOT! SHE IS FOOLING THEE!

    As the Sunset flames most fiery when snuffed out by sudden night;
    As the Swan reserves its twitter till about to hop the twig;
    As the Cobra's head swells biggest just before he does his bite;
    So a feminine smiles her sweetest ere she gives her nastiest dig.

    _Satirical Stanza (unpublished) by H. B. J._


Now that our hero had obtained that the name of _Milky Way_ was to be
inscribed on the Golden Book of Derby candidates, his next proceeding
was to hire a practical jockey to assume supreme command of her.

And this was no simple matter, since practical jockeys are usually hired
many weeks beforehand, and demand handsome wages for taking their seats.
But at last, after protracted advertisements, Mr Bhosh had the good
fortune to pitch upon a perfect treasure, whose name was Cadwallader
Perkin, and who, for his riding in some race or other, had been awarded
a whole year's holiday by the stewards who had observed the paramountcy
of his horsemanship.

No sooner had Perkin inspected _Milky Way_ than he was quite in love
with his stable companion, and assured his employer that, with more
regular out-of-door exercise, she would be easily competent to win the
Derby on her head, whereupon Mr Bhosh consented that she should be
galloped after dark round the inner circle of Regent's Park, which is
chiefly populated at such a time by male and female bicyclists.

But in order to pay Perkins charges, and also provide a silken jockey
tunic and cap of his own racing colours (which were cream and sky-blue),
Mr Bhosh was compelled to borrow more money from Mr McAlpine, who, as
a Jewish Scotch, exacted the rather exorbitant interest of sixty per
centum.

It leaked out in some manner that _Milky Way_ was a coming Derby
favourite, and the property of a Native young Indian sportsman, whose
entire fortunes depended on her success, and soon immense multitudes
congregated in Regent's Park to witness her trials of speed, and cheered
enthusiastically to behold the fiery sparks scintillating from the
stones as she circumvented the inner circle in seven-leagued boots.

Mr Bhosh of course asseverated that she was a very mediocre sort of
mare, and that he did not at all expect that she would prove a winner,
but connoisseurs nevertheless betted long odds upon her success, and
Bindabun himself, though not a speculative, did put on the pot himself
upon the golden egg which he was so anxiously hatching.

One evening amongst those who were gathered to view the nocturnal
exercises of _Milky Way_ there appeared a feminine spectator of rather
sinister aspect, in a thick veil and a victoria-carriage.

It was no other than Duchess Dickinson, who had somehow learnt how
courageously Mr Bhosh was endeavouring to fulfil the Astrologer-Royal's
prediction, and who had come to ascertain whether his mare was indeed
such a paragon of celerity as had been represented.

The very first time that _Milky Way_ cantered past with the gait of a
streak of lightning, the Duchess realised with a sinking heart that Mr
Bhosh must indubitably succeed at the Derby--_unless he was prevented_.

But how to achieve this? Her womanly instinct told her that Cadwallader
Perkin was far too inexperienced to resist for long such mature and
ripened charms as hers--even though the latter were unfortunately
discounted by the accidental nose-flattening.

So, lowering her veil till only her eyes were visible above, she waited
till he passed once more, then flung him such a liquid and flashing
glance from her starry and now no longer discoloured optics that the
young jockey, who was of an excessively susceptible disposition, all
but fell off the saddle with emotion, like a very juvenile bird under
serpentine observation.

"He is mine!" said the unscrupulous Duchess internally, laughing up her
sleeve at such a proof of her fascinations, "mine! mine!"

She had too much intelligence and mother-wit, however, to take any steps
until Mr Bhosh should be safely out of the way--and how to accomplish
his removal?

As an acquaintance with the above-mentioned usurer, McAlpine, she was
aware that he had advanced large loans to Mr Bhosh, and so she laid her
plans and bided her time.

There soon remained only one day before that carnival of all sporting
saturnalians, the Epsom Derby day, and Bindabun formed the prudent
resolution to avoid any delays or crushings by putting _Milky Way_ into
a railway box, and despatching her to Epsom on the previous afternoon,
under the chaperonage of Cadwallader Perkin, who was to engage suitable
lodgings for her in the vicinity of the course.

But just as Bindabun was approaching the booking hole of Victoria
terminus to take a horse-ticket, lo and behold! he was rapped on the
shoulder by a couple of policemen, who civilly inquired whether his name
was not Bhosh.

He replied that it was, and that he was the lucky proprietor of a female
horse who was infallibly destined to win the Derby, and that he was even
now proceeding to purchase her travelling ticket. But the policemen
insisted that he must first discharge the full amount of his debt and
costs to Mr McAlpine, who had commenced a law-suit.

"It is highly inconvenient to pay now," replied our hero, "I will settle
up after receiving my Derby Stakes."

"We are infernally sorry," said the constables, "but we have
instructions to imprison you until the amount is stumped up, and
anything you say now will be taken down and used against you at your
trial."

Mr Bhosh remained _sotto voce_; and as he was being led off with gyves
upon his wrists, like Aram the usher, whom should he behold but the
Duchess of Dickinson!

Like all truly first-class heroes, he was of a generous, confiding
nature, and his head was not for a moment entered by the suspicion that
the Duchess could still cherish any ill feelings towards him. "I am
sincerely sorry," he said with good-humoured gallantry, "to observe that
your ladyship's nose-leather is still in such bad repair. I was riding a
rather muscular steed that afternoon, and could not thoroughly control
my movements."

She suavely responded that she was proud to have been the means of
breaking his fall.

"Not only my fall--but your own nose!" retorted Mr. Bhosh
sympathetically. "A sad pity! Fortunately, at your time of life such
disfigurements are of no consequence. I, myself, am now in the pretty
pickle."

And he explained how he had been arrested for debt, at the very moment
when he had an appointment to meet his mare and jockey and see them
safely off by the Epsom train.

"Do not trouble about that," said the Duchess. "Hand me your purse, and
I myself will meet them and do the needful on your behalf. I have
interest with this Mr McAlpine and will intercede that you are let
out immediately."

Mr Bhosh kissed her hand as he handed over his said purse. "This is,
indeed, a noble return for my coldheartedness," he said, "and I am even
more sorry than before that I should have involuntarily dilapidated so
exquisite a nose."

"Pray do not mention it," replied the Duchess, with the baleful simper
of a Sphynx, and Mr Bhosh departed for his durance vile with a mind
totally free from misgivings.



CHAPTER XI

STONE WALLS DO NOT MAKE A CAGE

    Oh, give me back my Arab steed, I cannot ride alone!
    Or tell me where my Beautiful, my four-legged bird has flown.
    'Twas here she arched her glossy back, beside the fountain's  brink,
    And after that I know no more--but I came off, I think.

    _More so-called original lines by aforesaid young English
    friend. But I have the shrewd suspicion of having
    read them before somewhere.--H. B. J._


And now, O gentle and sympathetic reader, behold our unfortunate hero
confined in the darkest bowels of the Old Bailey Dungeon, for the mere
crime of being an impecunious!

Yes, misters, in spite of all your boasted love of liberty and fresh
air, imprisonment for debt is still part of the law of the land! How
long will you deafen your ears to the pitiable cry of the bankrupt as he
pleads for the order of his discharge? Perhaps it has been reserved for
a native Indian novelist to jog the elbow of so-called British
jurisprudence, and call its attention to such a shocking scandal.

Mr Bhosh found his prison most devilishly dull. Some prisoners have been
known to beguile their captivity by making pets or playmates out of most
unpromising materials. For instance, and _exempli gratia_, Mr Monty
Christo met an abbey in his dungeon, who gave him a tip-top education;
Mr Picciola watered a flower; the Prisoner of Chillon made chums of his
chains; while Honble Bruce, as is well-known, succeeded in taming a
spider to climb up a thread and fall down seven times in succession.

But Mr Bhosh had no spider to amuse him, and the only flowers growing in
his dungeon were toadstools, which do not require to be watered, nor did
there happen to be any abbey confined in the Old Bailey at the time.

Nevertheless, he was preserved from despair by his indomitable native
chirpiness. For was not _Milky Way_ a dead set for the Derby, and when
she came out at the top of the pole, would he not be the gainer of
sufficient untold gold to pay all his debts, besides winning the hand of
Princess Petunia?

He was waited upon by the head gaoler's daughter, a damsel of
considerable pulchritude by the name of Caroline, who at first regarded
him askance as a malefactor.

But, on learning from her parent that his sole offence was insuperable
pennilessness, her tender heart was softened with pity to behold such a
young gentlemanly Indian captive clanking in bilboes, and soon they
became thick as thieves.

Like all the inhabitants of Great Britain, her thoughts were entirely
engrossed with the approaching Derby Race, and she very innocently
narrated how it was matter of common knowledge that a notorious
grandame, to wit the fashionable Duchess of Dickinson, had backed
heavily that _Milky Way_ was to fail like the flash of a pan.

Whereupon Mr Bhosh, recollecting that he had actually entrusted his
invaluable mare with her concomitant jockey to the mercy of this
self-same Duchess, was harrowed with sudden misgivings.

By shrewd cross-questions he soon eliminated that Mr McAlpine was a
pal of the Duchess, which she had herself admitted at the Victoria
terminus, and thus by dint of penetrating instinct, Mr Bhosh easily
unravelled the tangled labyrinth of a hideous conspiracy, which caused
him to beat his head vehemently against the walls of his cell at the
thought of his utter impotentiality.

Like all feminines who were privileged to make his acquaintance, Miss
Caroline was transfixed with passionate adoration for Bindabun, whom she
regarded as a gallant and illused innocent, and resolved to assist him
to cut his lucky.

To this end she furnished him with a file and a silken ladder of her own
knitting--but unfortunately Mr Bhosh, having never before undergone
incarceration, was a total neophyte in effecting his escape by such
dangerous and antiquated procedures, which he firmly declined to employ,
urging her to sneak the paternal keybunch and let him out at daybreak by
some back entrance.

And, not to crack the wind of this poor story while rendering it as
short as possible, she yielded to his entreaties and contrived to
restore him to the priceless boon of liberty the next morning at about 5
A.M.

Oh, the unparalleled raptures of finding himself once more free as a
bird!

It was the dawn of the Derby Day, and Mr Bhosh precipitated himself to
his dwelling, intending to array himself in all his best and go down to
Epsom, where he was in hopes of encountering his horse. Heyday! What was
his chagrin to see his jockey, Cadwallader Perkin, approach with
streaming eyes, fling himself at his master's feet and implore him to be
merciful!

"How comes it, Cadwallader," sternly inquired Mr Bhosh, "that you are
not on the heath of Epsom instead of wallowing like this on my shoes?"

"I do not know," was the whimpered response.

"Then pray where is my Derby favourite, _Milky Way_?" demanded Bindabun.

"I cannot tell," wailed out the lachrymose juvenile. Then, after
prolonged pressure, he confessed that the Duchess had met him at the
station portals, and, on the plea that there was abundance of spare time
to book the mare, easily persuaded him to accompany her to the buffet of
Refreshment-room.

There she plied him with a stimulant which jockeys are proverbially
unable to resist, viz., brandy-cherries, in such profusion that he
promptly became catalyptic in a corner.

When he returned to sobriety neither the Duchess nor the mare was
perceptible to his naked eye, and he had been searching in vain for them
ever since.

It was the time not for words, but deeds, and Mr Bhosh did not indulge
in futile irascibility, but sat down and composed a reply wire to the
Clerk of Course, Epsom, couched in these simple words: "Have you seen my
Derby mare?--BHOSH."

After the suspense of an hour the reply came in the discouraging form of
an abrupt negative, upon which Mr Bhosh thus addressed the abashed
Perkin: "Even should I recapture my mare in time, you have proved
yourself unworthy of riding her. Strip off your racing coat and cap, and
I will engage some more reliable equestrian."

The lad handed over the toggery, which Bindabun stuffed, being of very
fine silken tissue, into his coat pocket, after which he hurried off to
Victoria in great agitation to make inquiries.

There the officials treated his modest requests in very off-handed
style, and he was becoming all of a twitter with anxiety and
humiliation, when, _mirabile dictu!_ all of a sudden his ears were
regaled by the well-known sound of a whinny, and he recognised the
beloved voice of _Milky Way_!

But whence did it proceed? He ran to and fro in uncontrollable
excitement, endeavouring to locate the sound. There was no trace of a
horse in any of the waiting-rooms, but at length he discovered that his
mare had been locked up in the Left-Luggage department, and, summoning a
porter, Mr Bhosh had at last the indescribable felicity to embrace his
kidnapped Derby favourite _Milky Way_!



CHAPTER XII

A RACE AGAINST TIME

    There's a certain old Sprinter; you've got to be keen,
    If you'd beat him--although he is bald,
    And he carries a clock and a mowing-machine.
    On the cinderpath "Tempus" he's called.

    _Stanza written to order by young English friend,
    but (I fear) copied from Poet Tennyson._


Ah! with what perfervid affection did Mr Bhosh caress the neck of his
precious horse! How carefully he searched her to make sure that she had
sustained no internal poisonings or other dilapidations!

Thank goodness! He was unable to detect any flaw within or without--the
probability being that the crafty Duchess did not dare to commit such a
breach of decorum as to poison a Derby favourite, and thought to
accomplish her fell design by leaving the mare as lost luggage and
destroying the ticket-receipt.

But old Time had already lifted the glass to his lips, and the contents
were rapidly running down, so Mr Bhosh, approaching a railway director,
politely requested him to hook a horse-box on to the next Epsom train.

What was his surprise to hear that this could not be done until all
Derby trains had first absented themselves! With passionate volubility
he pleaded that, if such a law of Medes and Persians was to be insisted
on, _Milky Way_ would infallibly arrive at Epsom several hours too late
to compete in the Derby race, in which she was already morally
victorious--until at length the official relented, and agreed to do the
job for valuable consideration in hard cash.

Lackadaisy! after excavating all his pockets, our unhappy hero could
only fork out wherewithal enough for third-class single ticket for
himself, and he accordingly petitioned that his mare might travel as
baggage in the guard's van.

I am not to say whether the officials at this leading terminus were all
in the pay of the Duchess, since I am naturally reluctant to advance so
serious a charge against such industrious and talented parties, but it
is _nem. con._ that Mr Bhosh's very reasonable request was nilled in
highly offensive cut-and-dried fashion, and he was curtly recommended to
walk himself and his horse off the platform.

_Que faire?_ How was it humanly possible for any horse to win the Derby
race without putting in an appearance? And how was _Milky Way_ to put in
her appearance if she was not allowed access to any Epsom train? A less
wilful and persevering individual than Mr Bhosh would have certainly
succumbed under so much red-tapery, but it only served to arouse
Bindabun's monkey.

"How far is the distance to Epsom?" he inquired.

"Fourteen miles," he was answered.

"And what o'clock the Derby race?"

"About one P.M."

"And it is now just the middle of the day!" exclaimed Bindabun. "Very
well, since it seems _Milky Way_ is not to ride in the railway, she
shall cover the distance on shank's mare, for I will ride her to Epsom
in _propriâ personâ_!"

    [Illustration: THE ROAD WAS CHOCKED FULL WITH EVERY DESCRIPTION OF
    CONVEYANCE (Illustration VII)]

So courageous a determination elicited loud cheers from the bystanders,
who cordially advised him to put his best legs foremost as he mounted
his mettlesome crack, and set off with broken-necked speed for Epsom.

I must request my indulgent readers to excuse this humble pen from
depicting the horrors of that wild and desperate ride. Suffice it to say
that the road was chocked full with every description of conveyance, and
that Mr Bhosh was haunted by two terrible apprehensions, viz., that he
might meet with some shocking upset, and that he should arrive the day
after the fair.

As he urged on his headlong career, he was constantly inquiring of the
occupants of the various vehicles if he was still in time for the Derby,
and they invariably hallooed to him that if he desired to witness the
spectacle he was to buck himself up.

Mr Bhosh bucked himself up to such good purpose that, long before the
clock struck one, his eyes were gladdened by beholding the summit of
Epsom grand stand on the distant hill-tops.

Leaning himself forward, he whispered in the shell-like ear of _Milky
Way_: "Only one more effort, and we shall have preserved both our
bacons!"

But, alas! he had the mortification to perceive that the legs of _Milky
Way_ were already becoming tremulous from incipient grogginess.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, beloved reader, let me respectfully beg you to imagine yourself
on the Epsom Derby Course immediately prior to the grand event. What a
marvellous human farrago! All classes hobnobbing together
higgledy-piggledy; archbishops with acrobats; benchers with bumpkins;
counts with candlestickmakers; dukes with druggists; and so on through
the entire alphabet. Some spectators in carriages; others on _terra
firma_; flags flying; bands blowing; innumerable refreshment tents
rearing their heads proudly into the blue Empyrean; policemen gazing
with smiling countenances on the happy multitudes when not engaged in
running them in.

Now they are conducting the formality of weighing the horses, to see if
they are qualified as competitors for the Derby Gold Cup, and each
horse, as it steps out of the balancing scales and is declared eligible,
commences to prance jubilantly upon the emerald green turf.

(_N.B._-The writer of above realistic description has never been
actually present at any Derby Race, but has done it all entirely from
assiduous cramming of sporting fictions. This is surely deserving of
recognition from a generous public!)

Now follows a period of dismay--for _Milky Way_, the favourite of high
and low, is suddenly discovered to be still the dark horse! The only
person who exhibits gratification is the Duchess Dickinson, who makes
her entrance into the most fashionable betting ring and, accosting a
leading welsher, cries in exulting accents: "I will bet a million to a
monkey against _Milky Way_!"

Even the welsher himself is appalled by the enormity of such a stake and
earnestly counsels the Duchess to substitute a more economical wager,
but she scornfully rejects his well-meant advice, and with a trembling
hand he inscribes the bet in his welching book.

No sooner has he done so than the saddling bell breaks forth into a
joyous chime, and the crowd is convulsed by indescribable emotions.
"Huzza! huzza!" they shout. "Welcome to the missing favourite, and three
cheers for _Milky Way_!"

The Duchess had turned as pale as a witch, for, galloping along the
course, she beholds Mr Bhosh, bereft of his tall hat and covered with
perspiration and dust, on the very steed which she fondly hoped had been
mislaid among the left luggage!



CHAPTER XIII

A SENSATIONAL DERBY STRUGGLE

    Is it for sordid pelf that horses race?
    Or can it be the glory that they go for?
    Neither; they know the steed that shows best pace
    Will get his flogging all the sooner over!

    _Reflection at a Racecourse.--H. B. J._


The Duchess, seeing that her plot was foiled by the unexpected arrival
of Mr Bhosh, made the frantic endeavour to hedge herself behind another
bet of a million sterling to a monkey that _Milky Way_ was to come off
conqueror--but in vain, since none of the welshers would concede such
very long odds.

So, wrapping her features in a veil of feminine duplicity, she advanced
swimmingly to meet Mr Bhosh. "How lucky that you have arrived on the
neck of time!" she said. "And you have ridden all the way from town?
Tell me now, would not you and your dear horse like some refreshment
after so tedious a journey?"

"Madam," said Mr Bhosh, bowing to his saddle-bow, while his optics
remained fixed upon the Duchess with a withering glare. "We are not
taking any--from _your_ hands."

This crushing sarcasm totally abashed the Duchess, who perceived that he
had penetrated her schemes and crept away in discomfiture.

After this incident _Milky Way_ was subjected to the ordeal of trying
her weight, which she passed with honours. For--very fortunately as it
turned out--the twenty-four hours' starvation which she had endured as
left luggage had reduced her to the prescribed number of _maunds_, which
she would otherwise have infallibly exceeded, since Mr Bhosh, being as
yet a tyro in training Derby cracks, had allowed her to acquire a
superfluous obesity.

Thus once more the machinations of the Duchess had only benefited the
very individual they were intended to injure!

But it remained necessary to hire a practical jockey, since Cadwallader
Perkin was still lamenting in dust and ashes at home, so Mr Bhosh ran
about from pillow to post endeavouring to borrow a rider for _Milky
Way_.

Owing, probably, to the Duchess's artifices, he encountered nothing but
refusals and pleas of previous engagement--until, at the end of the
tether of his patience, he said: "Since my mare cannot compete in a
riderless condition, I myself will assume command and steer her to
victory!"

Upon which gallant speech the entire air became darkened by clouds of
upthrown hats and shouts of "Bravo, Bindabun!"

But upon this the pertinacious Duchess lodged the objection that he was
not in correct toggery, and that, even if he still retained his tall
hat, it would be contrary to etiquette to ride the Derby in a frock
coat.

"Where are his racing colours?" she demanded.

"_Here!_" cried Mr Bhosh, pulling forth the cream and sky-blue silken
jacket and cap from his pockets, and, discarding his frock coat, he
assumed the garbage of a jockey in the twinkle of a jiffy.

"I protest," then cried the undaunted Duchess, "against such cruelty to
animals as racing an overblown mare so soon after she has galloped from
London!"

"Your stricture is just, O humane and distinguished lady," responded the
judge, who had conceived a violent attachment to _Milky Way_ and her
owner, "and I will willingly postpone the race for an hour or two until
the horse has recovered her breeze."

"Quite unnecessary!" said Bindabun. "My mare is not such a weakling as
you imagine, and will be as fit as a flea after she has imbibed one or
two champagne bottles."

And his prediction was literally fulfilled, for the champagne soon
rendered _Milky Way_ playful as a kitten. Mr Bhosh ascended into his
saddle; the other horses were drawn up in single rank; the starter
brandished his flag--and the curtain rose on such a race as has,
perhaps, never been equalled in the annals of the Derby.

The rival cracks were named as follows:----_Topsy Turvey_, _Poojah_,
_Brandy Pawnee_, _Tiffin Bell_, _Tripod_, _Cui Bono_, _British
Jurisprudence_ and _Roseate Smell_. The betting was even on the field.

_Poojah_ was a large tall horse with a nude tail, but excessively
nimble; _Tripod_, on the contrary, was a small cob of sluggish habits
and needing to be constantly pricked; _Tiffin Bell_ was a piebald of
goodly proportions; and _Roseate Smell_ was of same sex as _Milky Way_,
though more vixenish in character.

Not long after the start Mr Bhosh was chagrined to discover that he was
all behindhand, and he almost despaired of overtaking any of his
fore-runners. Moreover, he was already oppressed by painful soreness,
due to so constantly coming in contact with the saddle during his ride
from London--but "in for a penny, in for a pound of flesh," and he
plodded on, and soon had the good luck to recapture some of his lost
ground.

It was the old fabulous anecdote of the Hare and the Tortoise. First of
all, _Topsy Turvey_ was tripped up by a rabbit's hole; then _Roseate
Smell_ leaped the barrier and joined the spectators, while _Tripod_
sprained his offside ankle. Gradually Mr Bhosh passed _Brandy Pawnee_,
_Cui Bono_, and _British Jurisprudence_, until, on arriving at Tottenham
Court Corner, only _Tiffin Bell_ and _Poojah_ remained in the running.

_Tiffin Bell_ became so discouraged by the near approach of _Milky Way_
that he dwindled his pace to a paltry trot, so Mr Bhosh was easily
enabled to defeat him, after which by Cyclopean efforts he urged his
mare until she and _Poojah_ were cheek by jowl.

For some time it was the dingdong race between a hammer and tongs!

Still, as the quadrupeds ploughed their way on, _Poojah_ churlishly
refused to give _place aux dames_, and _Milky Way_ began to drop to the
rear. Seeing that she was utterly incompetent to accelerate her speed
and therefore in imminent danger of being defeated, Chunder Bindabun had
the happy inspiration to make an appeal to the best feelings of the
rival jockey, whose name was Juggins.

"Juggins!" he wheezed in an agonised whisper, "I am a poor native
Indian, totally unpractised in Derby riding. Show me some magnanimous
action, and allow _Milky Way_ to take first prize, Juggins!"

But Mr Juggins responded that he earnestly desired that _Poojah_ should
obtain said prize, and applied a rather severe whipsmack to his willing
horse.

"My mare is the favourite, Juggins!" pleaded Mr Bhosh. "By defeating her
you will land yourself in the bad odour of the _oi polloi_. Have you
considered that, Juggins?"

Juggins's only reply was to administer more whip-smacks, but Chunder
Bindabun persevered. "Consider my hard case, Juggins! If I am beaten, I
lose both a _placens uxor_ and the pot of money. If, on the other hand,
I come in first at the head of the winning pole I promise to share my
entire fortune with you!"

Upon this, the kind-hearted and venial equestrian relented, warmly
protesting that he would rather be a _proxime accessit_ and second
fiddle than deprive another human being of all his earthly felicity, and
accordingly he reined in his impetuous courser with such consummate
skill that _Milky Way_ forged ahead by the length of a nose.

Thus they galloped past the Grand Stand, and, as Mr Bhosh gazed upwards
and descried the elegant form of the Princess Petunia standing upon the
topmost roof, he was so exalted with jubilation that he elevated
himself in his stirrups; and waving his cap in a chivalrous salute,
cried out: "Hip-hip-hip! I am ramping in!"

"Then," I hear the reader exclaim, "it is all over, and _Milky Way_ is
victorious."

Please, my honble friend, do not be so premature! I have not _said_ that
the race was over. There are still some yards to the judge's bench, and
it is always on the racing cards that _Poojah_ may prove the winner
after all.

Such inquisitive curiosity shall be duly satisfied in the next chapter,
which is also the last.



CHAPTER XIV

A GRAND FINISH

    Happy Aurora is a happy Aurora!
    Hip, Hip, Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Hurrah!

    _Dr Ram Kinoo Dutt (of Chittagong)._


On the summit of the Grand Stand might have been observed groups of
spectators eagerly awaiting the finish. Conspicuous amongst them were
Princess Petunia (most sumptuously attired) and her parent,
Merchant-prince Jones; and close by Duke and Duchess Dickinson,
following the classic contest through binocular glasses.

"_Poojah_ will prove to be the winner!... No, it is _Milky Way_!... They
are neck or nothing! It will be a deceased heat!" exclaimed the excited
populaces.

And the beauteous Petunia was as if seated upon the spike of suspense,
since Mr Bhosh's success was a _sine quâ non_ to their union. Suddenly
came the glad shout: "The Favourite takes the cake with a canter!" and
Duchess Dickinson became pallid with anguish, for, rich as she was, she
could ill afford to become the loser of a cool million.

The shout was strictly veracious, for Mr Bhosh was ruling the roast by
half-a-head, and _Poojah_ was correspondingly behind. "_Macte virtute!_"
cried Princess Petunia, in the silvery tones of a highly-bred bell,
while she violently agitated her sun-umbrella: "O my beloved Bindabun,
do not fall behind at eleven o'clock!"

And, as though in answer to this appeal (which he did not overhear), she
beheld her triumphant suitor saluting the empress of his soul with
uplifted jockey-cap.

Alack! it was the fatal piece of politeness; since, to avoid falling
off, he was compelled to moderate the speed of his racer while
performing it, and Juggins, either repenting his good-nature, or unable
any longer to restrain the impetuosity of _Poojah_, was carried first
past the winning-pole, Mr Bhosh following on _Milky Way_ as the bad
second!

At this the Princess Petunia emitted a doleful scream; like Freedom,
which, as some poet informs us, "squeaked when Kockiusko (a Japanese
gentleman) fell," and suspended her animation for several minutes, while
the Duchess "grinned a horrible ghastly smile," as described by Poet
Milton in _Paradise Lost_, at Mr Bhosh's shocking defeat and her own
gain of a million, though all true sportsmen present deeply sympathised
with our hero that he should be thus wrecked in sight of port on account
of an ordinary act of courtesy to a female!

But Mr Bhosh preserved his withers as unwrung as though he possessed the
hide of a rhinoceros. "Honble Sir," said he, addressing the Judge, "I
humbly beg permission to claim this Derby race and lodge an objection
against my antagonist."

"On what grounds?" was the naturally astonished rejoinder.

"On the grounds," deliberately replied Chunder Bindabun, "that he
surreptitiously did pull his horse's head."

Juggins was too dumbfoundered to reply to the accusation, and several
spectators came forward to testify that they had personally witnessed
him curbing his steed, and--it being contrary to the _lex non scripta_
of turf etiquette to pull at a horse's head when he is winning--Juggins
was very ignominiously plucked by the Jockey's Club.

The Duchess made the desperate attempt to argue that, if Juggins was a
pot, Mr Bhosh was a kettle of equally dark complexion, since he also had
reined up before attaining the goal--but Chunder Bindabun was able
easily to show that he had done so, not with any intention to forfeit
his stakes, but merely to salute his betrothed, whereas Juggins had
pulled to prevent his horse from achieving the conquest.

So, to Mr Bhosh's inexpressible delight, the Derby Cup, full as an egg
with golden sovereigns, was awarded to him, and the notorious blue
ribbon was pinned by the judge upon his proud and heaving bosom.

But, as he was reverting, highly elated, to the side of his beloved
amidst the acclamations of the multitude, the disreputable Juggins had
the audacity to pluck his elbow and demand the promised _quid pro quo_.

"For what service?" inquired Chunder Bindabun in amazement.

"Why, did you not promise me the moiety of your fortune, honble Sir,"
was the reply, "if I allowed you to be the winner?"

Mr Bhosh was of an exceptionally mild, just disposition, but such a
piece of cheeky chicanery as this aroused his fiercest indignation and
rendered him cross as two sticks. "O contemptible trickster!" he said,
in terrific tones, "my promise (as thou knowest well) was on condition
that I was first past the winning-pole. Whereas--owing to thy perfidy--I
was only the bad second. Do not attempt to hunt with the hare and
run with hounds. Depart to lower regions!"

    [Illustration: THE NOTORIOUS BLUE RIBBON WAS PINNED BY THE JUDGE
    UPON HIS PROUD AND HEAVING BOSOM (Illustration VIII)]

And Juggins slinked into obscurity with fallen chops.

Benevolent and forbearing readers, this unassuming tale is near its
_finis_. Owing to his brilliant success at the Derby, Mr Bhosh was now
rolling on cash, and, as the prediction of the Astrologer-Royal was
fulfilled, there was no longer any objection to his union with the
Princess Jones, with whom he accordingly contracted holy matrimony, and
now lives in great splendour at Shepherd's Bush, since all his friends
earnestly besought him that he was not to return to India. He therefore
naturalised himself as a full-blooded British, and further adopted a
coat-of-arms from the Family Herald, with a splendidly lofty crest, and
the motto "_Sans Peur et Sans Reproche_." ("Not being funky myself, I do
not reproach others with said failing"--_free translation_.)

But what of the wicked Duchess? I have to record that, being unable to
pay the welsher her bet of a million pounds, she was solemnly
pronounced a bankruptess and incarcerated (by a striking instance of the
tit-for-tat of Fate) in the identical Old Bailey cell to which she had
consigned Chunder Bindabun!

And in her case the gaoler's fair daughter, Miss Caroline, did not
exhibit the same softheartedness. Mr Bhosh and his Princess-bride, being
both of highly magnanimous idiosyncrasies, for some time visited their
relentless foe in her captivity, carrying her fruit and flowers and
sweets of inexpensive qualities, but were received in such a cold,
standoffish style that they soon discontinued such thankless civilities.

As for _Milky Way_, she is still hale and flourishing, though she has
never since displayed the phenomenal speed of her first (and probably
her last) Derby race. She may often be seen in the vicinity of
Shepherd's Bush, harnessed to a small basketchaise, in which are Mr and
Mrs Bhosh and some of their blooming progenies.

Here, with the Public's kind permission, we will leave them, and
although this trivial and unpretentious romance can claim no merit
except its undeviating fidelity to nature, I still venture to think
that, for sheer excitement and brilliancy of composition, &c, it will be
found, by all candid judges, to compare rather favourably with more
showy and meretricious fictions by overrated English novelists.

                       END
                        OF
                A BAYARD FROM BENGAL.


    _N.B.--I cannot conscientiously recommend the Indulgent Reader to
    proceed any further--for reasons which, should he do so, will be
    obvious.                                               H. B. J._



THE PARABLES OF PILJOSH

FREELY RENDERED INTO ENGLISH FROM THE ORIGINAL STYPTIC WITH INTRODUCTION
AND NOTES BY H. B. JABBERJEE, B.A.


INTRODUCTION

I shall begin by begging that it may not be supposed either that _I_ am
the Author or even the Translator of the appended fables!

The plain truth of the matter is that I am far indeed from standing agog
with amazement at their literary or other excellences, and inclined
rather to award them the faint damnation of a very mediocre eulogy.

But it so happens that the actual translator is the same young English
friend who kindly furnished me with a few selected poetic extracts for
my Society novel, and has earnestly entreated me (as the _quid pro
quo_!) to compose an introduction and notes for his own effusion,
alleging that it is a _sine quâ non_ nowadays for all first class
Classics to be issued with introduction, notes and appendix by some
literary knob--otherwise they speedily become obsolete and still-born.

Therefore I readily consented to oblige him, although I am no _au fait_
in the Styptic dialect, and cannot therefore be held answerable for the
accuracy of my friend's translation, which he admits himself is of a
rather free description.

Of the Philosopher who composed these Proverbs or Fables little is
known, even in his own country, except that (as all Scholiasts are
aware) he was born on the 1st of April 1450 (old style), and for some
years filled the important and responsible post of Archi-mandrake of
Paraprosdokian. He probably met with a violent end.

I shall not undertake to provide a note to _every_ parable, but only in
cases where I think that the Parabolist is not quite as luminous as the
nose on one's face, and needs the services of an experienced
interpreter.                                             H. B. J.


The Butterfly visited so many flowers that she fell sick of a surfeit of
nectar. She called it "Nervous Breakdown."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Instead of vainly lamenting over those we have lost," said the young
Cuckoo severely, to the Father and Mother Sparrow, "it seems to me that
you should be rejoicing that _I_ am still spared to you!"

    _Note._--A mere plagiaristic adaptation of the trite adage
    concerning the comparative values of birds in the hand and in the
    bush.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I am old enough to be thy Grandfather!" the Egg informed the Chicken.

"In that case," replied the Chicken, "it is high time thou bestirredst
thyself!"

"Not so!" said the Egg, "since the longer I remain quiescent, the fitter
I shall be for the career that is destined for me."

"Indeed," inquired the Chicken, "and what may _that_ be?"

"_Politics!_" answered the Egg with importance.

And the Chicken pondered long over that saying.

    _Note._--I must confess to following the Chicken's precedent,
    without arriving at any solution. For, logically, an Egg must be the
    junior of any Chicken. And again, even for parabolical purposes, it
    is far-fetched to represent an Egg as a potential Member of
    Parliament. On the whole, I am not entirely satisfied that my young
    friend is so proficient in acquaintance with Cryptic as he has
    represented to me.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is only one thing that irritateth a woman more than the man who
doth not understand her, and that is the man who doth.

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain Artificer constructed a mechanical Serpent which was so
marvellously natural that it bit him in the back. "Had I but another
hour to live," he lamented in his last agonies, "I would have patented
the invention!"

The Woman was so determined to be independent of Man that she
voluntarily became the slave of a Machine.

    _Note._--I do not understand the meaning of the Fabulist here.--H.
    B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"She used to be so fresh; but she is gone off terribly since I first
knew her!" said the Slug of the Strawberry.

    _Note._--See my remark on the last parable.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Now, I call that downright Plagiarism!" observed the Ass, when he heard
the Lion roar.

"A cheery laugh goes a long way in this world!" remarked the Hyena.

"But a bright smile goes further still!" said the Alligator, as he took
him in.

    _Note._--If the honble Philosopher is censuring here merely the
    assumption of hilarity and not ordinary quiet facetiousness, I am
    entirely with him. But I rather regard him as a total deficient in
    Humour and fanatically opposed to it in any form.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I trust I have now made myself perfectly clear?" observed the
Cuttlefish, after discharging his ink.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Cockney was assured that, if he placed the Sea-shell to his ear, he
would hear the murmur of Ocean.

But all he caught distinctly was the melody of negro minstrels.

       *       *       *       *       *

"It is some satisfaction to feel that we have both been sacrificed in a
thoroughly deserving cause!" said the Brace-button, complacently, to the
Threepenny Bit, as they met in the Offertory Bag.

    _Note._--This must be some local allusion, for I
    do not know what sort of receptacle an Offertory
    Bag may be, or why such articles should be inserted
    therein.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mistrust the Bridegroom who appeareth at his wedding with
sticking-plaster on his chin [or "_without_ sticking-plaster," &c.--the
Styptic is capable of either interpretation.--_Trans._].

    _Note._--Then I will humbly say that it must be a peculiarly elastic
    tongue. But in _either_ form the Proverb is meaningless.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"What!--My Original dead?" cried the Statue. "Then I have lost all
chance of ever becoming celebrated!"

    _Note._--This is an obvious mistranslation, since a Statue is only
    erected when the Original is already celebrated.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"What is your favourite Perfume?" they asked the Hog, and he answered
them, "Pigwash."

"How vulgar!" exclaimed the Stoat. "_Mine_ is Patchouli!"

But the Fox said that, in _his_ opinion, the less scent one used the
better.

    _Note._--This merely records the well-known physiological fact that
    some persons are born without the olfactory sense. Emperor
    Vespasian was accustomed to declare (erroneously) that "pecunia non
    olet."--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I wonder they allow such a cruel contrivance as that 'Catch 'em alive,
oh!' paper!" said the Spider tearfully, as she sat in her web.

    _Note._--From this we learn that there may be a soft spot in the
    most unpromising quarters. Even Alexander the Great, who spent the
    blood of his troops like pocket money, is recorded to have wept at a
    review on suddenly reflecting that all his soldiers would probably
    be deceased in a hundred years. It is barely possible that Piljosh
    may have been a spectator of this incident.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain Pheasant was pluming herself upon having become a member of
the Anti-Sporting League.

"Softly, friend!" said a wily old Cock, "for, should this League of
thine succeed in its object, every man's hand would be against us both
by day and night; whereas, at present, our lives are protected all night
by vigilant keepers, and spared all day by our owner and his guests,
who are incapable of shooting for nuts!"

    _Note._--This is a glaring _non sequitur_ and fallacy. I myself
    have never shot for nuts--but it does not necessarily follow that
    any pheasant would remain intact after I discharged my
    rifle-barrel!--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"It is not what we _look_ that signifieth," said the Scorpion
virtuously, "it is what we _are_!"

    _Note._--True enough--but the moral would have been improved by
    attributing the saying to some insect of more innocuous character
    than a Scorpion. Perhaps this is so in the original Styptic, for, as
    I have said, I cannot repose implicit faith in my young friend's
    version.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I have composed the most pathetic poem in the world!" declared the
Poet.

"How can'st thou be sure of that," he was asked.

"Because," he replied, "I recited it to the Crocodile, and she could not
refrain from shedding tears!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"It is gratifying to find oneself appreciated at last," said the
Cabbage, when the Cigar Merchant labelled him as a Cabaña.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Don't talk to _me_ about Cactus," said the Ostrich contemptuously to
the Camel. "Insipid stuff, _I_ call it! No--for real flavour and
delicacy, give me a pair of Sheffield scissors!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"The accommodation might be more luxurious, it's true," remarked the
philosophic Mouse, when he found himself in the Trap, "but, after all,
it's not as if I was going to stay here _long_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"People tell me he can shine when he chooses," said the Extinguisher of
the Candle. "All _I_ know is, he's positively dull whenever he's with
_me_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

There was once a Musical Box which played but one tune, to which its
owner was never weary of listening. But, after a time, he desired a
novelty, and could not rest until he had exchanged the barrel for
another. However, he sickened of the second tune sooner than of the
first, and so he exchanged it for a third, which he liked not at all.

Accordingly he commanded that the Box should return to the first tune of
all--and lo! this had become an abomination unto his ears, nor could he
conceive how he had ever been able to endure it!

So the Musical Box was laid upon the shelf, and the Owner procured for
himself a cheap mouth-organ which could play any air that was suggested
to it, and thus became an established favourite.

    _Note._--This is apparently designed to illustrate the ficklety of
    the Musical Character.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Do_ come in!" snapped the severed Shark's Head to the Ship's Cat. "As
you perceive, I am carrying on business as usual during the
alterations."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Bulbul had no sooner finished her song than the Bullfrog began to
make profuse apologies for having left his music at home.

       *       *       *       *       *

To a Butterscotch Machine the Penny and the Tin Disc are alike.

    _Note._--Surely not if an official is looking on!--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"My dears," said the Converted Cannibal reverently to his Wife and
Family, as they sat down to their Baked Missionary, "do not let us omit
to ask a blessing!"

       *       *       *       *       *

There is but one Singer whom it is futile to encore--and that is a Dying
Swan.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I am doing a series of 'Notable Nests' for 'Sylvan Society,'" said the
insinuating Serpent, on finding the Ringdove at home, "and I should so
much like to include _you_." "You are very kind," said the Ringdove, in
a flutter, "but I can assure you that there is no more in my poor
little eggs than in any other bird's!" "That may be," replied the
Serpent, "but I must live _somehow_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"No outsiders there--only just their own particular set!" said the
Cocksparrow, when he came home after having been to tea with the Birds
of Paradise.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Elephant was dying of starvation, and a kind-hearted person
presented him with an acidulated drop.

    _Note._--It is well-nigh incredible that any Philosopher should be
    so ignorant of Natural History as to imagine that any Elephant would
    accept an acid drop, even if it was on its last legs for want of
    nutrition.

    The conclusion of this anecdote would seem to be either lost, or
    unfit for publication.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was once a famous Violinist who serenaded his Mistress every
evening, performing the most divine melodies upon his instrument.

But all the while she was straining her ears to listen to a piano-organ
round the corner which was playing "Good-bye, Dolly Gray!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The Performing Lioness kisses her Trainer on the mouth--but only in
public.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Candle complained bitterly of the unpleasantness of seeing so many
scorched moths in her vicinity.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I have taken such a fancy to thee," said the Hawk genially to the
Field-Mouse, "that I am going to put thee into a really good thing."

And he opened his beak.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are persons who have no sense of the fitness of things.

Like the Grasshopper, who insisted on putting the Snail up for the
Skipping Club.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Cat scratched the Dog's nose out of sheer playfulness--but she had
no time to explain.

       *       *       *       *       *

"After all, it _is_ pleasant to be at home again!" said the Eagle's
feathers on the shaft that pierced him.

But the Eagle's reply is not recorded.

    _Note._--Poet Byron also mentions this incident.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain Painter set himself to depict a lovely landscape. "See!" he
cried, as he exhibited his canvas to a Passing Stranger, "doth not this
my picture resemble the scene with exactitude?"

"Since thou desirest to know," was the reply, "thou seemest to me to
have portrayed nothing but a manure heap!"

"And am _I_ to blame," exclaimed the indignant Painter, "if a manure
heap chanced to be immediately in front of me?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Before a Man marrieth a Woman he delighteth to describe unto her all his
doings--even the most unimportant.

But, after marriage, he considereth that such talk may savour too much
of egotism.

    _Note._-This is very very shallow. I have never experienced any such
    compunctiousness with my own wives.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I shouldn't have minded so much," said the Bee, with some bitterness,
just before breathing his last in the honey-pot, "only it happens to be
my own make!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"Is the White Rabbit beautiful?" someone inquired of the Albino Rat.

"She might be passable enough," replied the Rat, "but for one most
distressing deformity. She has pink eyes!"

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Ass was asked about his Cousin the Zebra, he said: "Do not
speak about him--for he has disgraced us all. Never before has there
been any eccentricity in _our_ family!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The full-blown Sausage professeth to have forgotten the days of his
puppyhood.

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Will_ you allow me to pass?" said the courteous Garden Roller to the
Snail.

       *       *       *       *       *

Had anyone met the Red Herring in the sea and foretold that he would one
day be pursued by Hounds across a difficult country, the Herring would
have accounted him but a vain babbler.

Yet so it fell out!

    _Note._--I shrewdly suspect that my young friend has made the rather
    natural mistake of substituting the word "Red Herring" for "Flying
    Fish."

    It is not absolutely incredible that one of the latter department
    should fly inland and be chased by Dogs--but even Piljosh should be
    aware that no Herring could pop off in such a way.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

An Officious Busybody, perceiving a Phoenix well alight, promptly
extinguished her by means of a convenient watering-pot.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Had you refrained from this uncalled for interference," said the justly
irate Bird, "I should by this time be rising gloriously from my
ashes--instead of presenting the ridiculous appearance of a partially
roasted Fowl!"

    _Note._--I can offer no explanation of this allegory, except to
    remind the reader that the Phoenix is the notorious symbol for a
    fire insurance.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Alas!" sighed the Learned Pig, while expiring from inflammation of the
brain, brought on by a laborious endeavour to ascertain the sum of two
and two, "Why, _why_ was I cursed with Intellect?"

       *       *       *       *       *

"I shall know better another time!" gasped the Fish, as he lay in the
Landing-net.

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain Merchant sold a child a sharp sword. "Thou hast done wrong in
this," remonstrated a Sage, "since the child will assuredly wound either
himself or some other."

"_I_ shall not be responsible," cried the Merchant, "for, in selling the
sword, I did recommend the child to protect the point with a cork!"

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain grain of Millet fell out of a sack in which it was being
carried into the City, and was soon trampled in the dust.

"I am lost!" cried the Millet-seed. "Yet I do not repine so much for
myself as for those countless multitudes who, deprived of me, are now
doomed to perish miserably of starvation!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"I have given up dancing," said the Tongs, "for they no longer dance
with the Elegance and Grace that were universal in _my_ young days!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"But for the Mercy of Providence," said the Fox, piously, to the Goose
whom he found in a trap that had been set for himself, "our respective
situations might now be reversed!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"She really sang quite nicely," remarked the Cuckoo, after she had been
to hear the Nightingale one evening, "but it's a pity her range is so
sadly limited!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The Mendicant insisted on making his Will:

"But what hast _thou_ to leave when thou diest?" cried the Scribe.

"As much as the richest," he replied; "for when I die, I leave the
entire World!"

    _Note._--This is (if not incorrectly translated) a grotesque and
    puerile allegation. The veriest tyro is aware that when a
    Millionaire hops the twig of his existence, he leaves more behind
    him than a mere Mendicant!--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Forgive me," said the Toad to the Swallow, "but, although you may not
be aware of it, you are flying on totally false principles!"

"Am I?" said the Swallow meekly. "I'm so sorry! Do you mind showing me
how _you_ do it?"

"I don't fly myself," said the Toad, with an air of superiority. "I've
other things to do--but I have thoroughly mastered the theory of the
Art."

"Then teach _me_ the theory!" said the Swallow.

"Willingly," said the Toad; "my fee--to _you_--will be two worms a
lesson."

       *       *       *       *       *

"I can't bear to think that no one will weep for me when I am gone!"
said the sentimental Fly, as he flew into the eye of a Moneylender.

    _Note.--Cf._ Poet Byron: "'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will
    mark Our coming, and look brighter when we come!"--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain Cockatrice, feeling sociably inclined, entered a Mother's
Meeting, bent upon making himself agreeable--but was greatly mortified
to find himself but coldly received.

"Women _are_ so particular about trifles!" he reflected bitterly. "I
know I said 'Good Afternoon' with my mouth full--but, as I explained, I
had just been lunching at the Infant School!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"I want to be _useful!_" said the Silkworm, as she sat down and "set" a
sock for a Decayed Centipede.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Traveller demanded hospitality from fourteen Kurds, who were occupying
one small tent.

"Enter freely," said the Kurds, "but we must warn thee that thou wilt
find the atmosphere exceedingly unpleasant--for, by some inadvertence,
we have greased our boots from a jar of Attar of Roses!"

    _Note._--Once more I do not entirely fathom the Fabulist's
    meaning--unless it is that such a valuable cosmetic as Attar of
    Roses may become so deteriorated as to offend even the nostril organ
    of a Kurd.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain Basilisk having attained great success in petrifying all who
came under his personal observation, there was a Scheme set afoot to
present him with some Token of popular esteem and regard.

"If we give him _anything_" said the Fox, who was consulted as to the
form of the proposed Testimonial, "I would suggest that it should take
the shape of a pair of Smoked Spectacles."

    _Note._--The Satire here, at least, is obvious enough. Smoked
    spectacles are a very inexpensive gift.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"How truly the Poet sang that: 'we may rise on stepping-stones of our
dead selves to higher things!'" remarked the Chicken's Merrythought,
when it found itself apotheosised into a Penwiper.

    _Note._--A young lady, that shall be nameless, once presented me
    with a very similar penwipe, which represented a Church of England
    ecclesiastic in surplice and mortar-cap.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I shall not have perished in vain!" gasped an altruistic Cockroach,
immediately before expiring from an overdose of Insect Powder, "for,
after this fatality, the Owners of the House will doubtless be more
careful how they leave such stuff about!"

    _Note._--British Cockroaches, however, resemble Emperor Mithridates
    in being totally impervious to beetle poison.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Sheep was so exceedingly tough and old, that the Wolf had thoughts
of becoming a Vegetarian.

    _Note._--When we see some person attaining Centenarian longevity, we
    are foolishly inclined to fancy that, by adopting their diet, we
    also are to become Methusalems!--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain Ant that had lost its All owing to the sudden collapse of the
Bank in which its savings were invested, applied to a Grasshopper for a
small temporary advance.

"I am sorry, dear boy," chirpily replied the Grasshopper, "that,
although I am playing to big business every evening, I have not put by a
single grain. However, I will get up a _matinée_ for your benefit."

This he did with such success that, next winter, the Ant was once more
sufficiently prosperous to discharge his obligation by offering the
Grasshopper a letter to the Charity Organisation Society!

    _Note._--The application of this is that a kind action is never
    really thrown away.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I never feel quite myself till I've had a good bath!" said the Bird
whom an elderly Lady had purchased from a Street Boy as a Goldfinch.

And behold, when the Bird came out of its saucer of water, it was a
Sparrow!

    _Note._--Like many Philosophers, Piljosh would seem to have had no
    great liking for ablutions. But water which could transform a
    Goldfinch into a Sparrow must previously have been enchanted by some
    Magician, so that our Parabolist's shaft misses fire in this
    instance (as indeed in many others!). Possibly, however, his
    Translator has once more proved a Traitor!--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Pride not yourself upon your Lustre and Symmetry," said the Jet
Ear-ring austerely to the Pearl, "for, after all, you owe your beauty to
nothing but the morbid secretions of a Diseased Oyster!"

"I am sorry to spoil your moral," retorted the Pearl with much suavity,
"but, like yourself, I happen to be Artificial."

    _Note._--Inhabitants of glassy mansions should not indulge in
    lapidation.--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Come!" said the Peacock's Feather proudly to the Fly-flapper and the
Tin Squeaker, as the final illumination flickered out and they lay in
the gutter together, limp and exhausted with their exertions in tickling
and generally exasperating inoffensive strangers. "They may say what
they please--but at least we have shown them that the Spirit of
Patriotism is not yet extinct!"

    _Note._--This must refer to some Cryptic customs prevalent in the
    Parabolist's time. But I do not clearly apprehend what connection
    either tickling, fly-flapping, or squeaking can have with
    Patriotism!--H. B. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

LAST WORDS

Here conclude the Parables of Piljosh, together with the present volume.
That the former can possibly obtain honble mention when compared with
the apologues of Plato, Æsop, Corderius Nepos, or even Confucius, I
cannot for a moment anticipate, and none can be more sensible than my
humble self how very poor a figure they cut in proximity to the
production of my own pen!

However, indulgent critics will please not saddle my unoffending head
with the responsibility, the fact being that I was vehemently advised
that, without some meretricious padding of this sort, my Romance would
not be of sufficient robustness to produce a boom.

But should "A Bayard from Bengal" unfortunately fail to render the
Thames combustible, I should rather attribute the cause to its having
been unwisely diluted with such milk and watery material as the Parables
of Piljosh.

So, leaving the decision to the impartial and unanimous verdict of
popular approval, I subscribe myself,

    The Reader's very obsequious and palpitating Servant,

    HURRY BUNGSHO JABBERJEE, B.A., etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    PRINTED BY TURNBULL AND SPEARS, EDINBURGH





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Bayard From Bengal - Being some account of the Magnificent and Spanking Career - of Chunder Bindabun Bhosh,..." ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home