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Text on page 103
RIVER-LIFE UNDER DIFFICULTIES. IO3
may commend itself; but the only one procurable here was water, largely impregnated with organic matter. All who neglected to boil and filter it incurred a very troublesome form of ringworm, which broke out all over the body, especially on the thighs and abdomen.
That troublesome worm the a Dracunculus 99 was also very common, and I should not like to venture on a statement of how many dozens of yards of them I have wound round various substances.
Towards the end of the rains, an appalling case of that singular disease Beri-beri occurred in a Madras Sepoy, though I cannot say whether the water was in this instance to blame.
I swallowed the daily allowance of rum religiously as a corrective to the water, generally reserving it for the post-prandial pipe, a combination that assisted the mindas eye in viewing matters in general through a roseate lens.
On very damp nights, when the rain was still coming down in its might, I found it salutary to keep a large wood fire burning on an uncovered spot at the other end of my residence ; the smoke drove away insects, the heat dried the saturated atmosphere and damp clothes, while the flames brightened the gloomy surroundings.
Over this conflagration I would silently smoke my pipe and husband my meagre allowance of rum and water, and this was frequently the most pleasant hour of the twenty-four, as, keeping well to windward, neither flames nor smoke incommoded me in the least.
Among the many insect pests, whose view of the beauties of the fire differed in all probability from my own, were those extremely disgusting creatures, yclept a Flying Bugs,a which are of a greenish colour, about theAmong the many insect pests, whose view of the beauties of the fire differed in all probability from my own, were those extremely disgusting creatures, yclept a Flying Bugs,a which are of a greenish colour, about the