REMINISCENCES OF INDIA
It was almost dusk when we anchored off Madras. A sergeant came on board for the cadets. We were put into palanquin coaches for conveyance to Pala-veram, the cadets' headquarters. These wretched traps are called shigram poes (go quickly), for the reason that they crawl along. It must have been close on midnight when we arrived, wild with delight at getting on shore again. We were hungry, and clamoured for food, and fortunately there were the remains of a repast provided for another party, which the native servants soon prepared and placed before us.
There were but seven cots for thirteen of us, but by putting them alongside of one another we found we could manage till next day. While these arrangements were being carried out, one of the cadets began dancing on a bedstead, and in fun kicked off the butlers turbanaan insult so flagrant as to astonish even that ancient official ! He, however, gave a reproachful glance at his assailant, picked up his head-gear, and said quietly : 4 Master young gentleman not know better.'
The matey* was a character. He had been many years there, and had been taught by various cadets to sing English songs, most of them of a very questionable character, without understanding a word of them. He would repeat them like a parrot, amidst the laughter of his audience.
Next morning we were inspected by Wilder, our Superintendent. There could not have been a fitter man for the post. He knew how to combine fortiter in re with suaviter in modo. He belonged to the
* A subordinate native servant.* A subordinate native servant.