W. H. Allen and Co., Limited,
Text on page 198
No; I had safely turned my back on Calcutta, and I was not minded to return there just yet. Still, it was a blow from which I recoiled ; and, thanking the captain for his trouble, I retired to chew the cud of this last stroke of ill-luck.
Stranded, I told myself, and not one-fourth of the intended trip accomplished ! The relentless ebb tide was evidently running dead against me, implacable at any price.
Thanks to the elasticity of my nature, I did not long remain in low spirits; what had happened was beyond my control, but as brooding would not mend matters one iota, I resolved to make the best I could of this unexpected contretemps. No doubt I entered the a Cave of Despair,a sat down there and discharged a large quantity of pent-up steam ; but I blew it off quickly, and not, as some prefer, in tiny intermittent jets. There are in fact periods in the lives of most of us, when the use of a safety valve becomes absolutely necessary; and I soon cooled down to the resolution, that my only course would be to start afresh and try the Western coast, since the Eastern had proved so treacherous and unreliable. The vessel would remain a week or ten days, sufficient, if properly utilized, for hunting down all the a lions a of the place.
My one difficulty, which had reference to a shake-down, was soon solved by my friend, who promised to get me an invitation, at all events until I could find suitable quarters.
And now I came out of the cave altogether. He was as good as his word, and I soon received an invitation, which wasaneed I add ?aaccepted. Englishmen, who never visited the India of yore, are unacquainted with the true meaning of the word a hospitality.a TheAnd now I came out of the cave altogether. He was as good as his word, and I soon received an invitation, which wasa need I add ?a accepted. Englishmen, who never visited the India of yore, are unacquainted with the true meaning of the word a hospitality.a The