the deserted bungalow. l6l
through cholera. This sad and sudden affliction unhinged his mind, and he fled from the house, and was never heard of again. Whether he committed suicide or left the country was never known ; but the late Maharajah gave orders that everything in the house should be left exactly as it then was. All this happened some 80 years ago, and since then no one has lived in the house, nor have any repairs or alterations been attempted. The whole place is given up to decay. Fragments of carpets are rotting on the floors, pianos rust and fall to pieces in the rooms, shreds of musquito curtains still hang to the bedsteads, chairs and tables are almost crumbled away, and damp, and dust, and cobwebs, cover everything.
" The garden about it is tangled and wild, Sad trees sigh close to its eaves, And the dark lithe shapes Of chattering apes Swing in and out of the leaves ; And when night's dank vapours rise grey and foul, The silence is rent by the shrill screech-owl.
" The windows are shuttered, the doors are shut, And the odour and stain of decay Is on plaster and beam, And the stone steps seem To be ooze-corroding away ; And the air all round is as tinged with the breath Of the felt, though invisible, presence of Death.
" The mouldering rooms are now as they stood Near eighty years ago : The piano is there, And table and chair, And the carpet rotting slow, And the beds whereon the corpses lay, And the curtains half time-mawed away."
I never saw a more desolate-looking, deserted, melancholy spot. The rain has penetrated through the roof, parts of the walls are giving way, the ceilings are falling, and in a few more years there will be only a heap of ruins left to mark the site of this once-pleasant abode on the banks of the Cauvery.