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One afternoon I sat on the stone flags leading down into the tank, notebook in hand, trying to pencil a few jottings. My head was filled with scraps of dialogue, pictures of quaint scenes, and portraits of queer types which passed through my daily life there. Moreover, I still loved to brood over ponderous problems, and thoughts would circle around them like vultures around a corpse. Hatless, I thought possibly I might develop enough hardihood to withstand the reputed dire effects of the fierce Southern sun. Instead, I succeeded eventually in developing sunstroke and paid the right price for this inexcusable bit of foolishness. Anyway, as I sat beside the placid pool on this afternoon, a shadow fell across the white page of my notebook. I looked around and beheld my friendly sub-inspector of police. He was a Hindu, short, slim, and good-looking. Usually there was a harassed look upon his face, for his duties were onerous. "Want to see a show tonight?" he asked in his laconic way. "Big temple car festival. Idol, procession, singing, ceremonies, and all that." I jumped up and accepted on the spot. "It is extremely kind of you to come such a long distance to tell me," I said gratefully. "Not at all, " he answered. "I have been up on the hills after some fellows in a criminal tribe who failed to report, and looked in on you on the way back. Do come." And so it was arranged.


-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 2: India > # 134






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