- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 913MB
To light the way, coolies carried long iron tridents tipped with balls of tow soaked in oil. The mass moved slowly forward through the people, suddenly soothed to silence. The procession paused at the wayside altars, and then, in the middle of a circle formed by the torch-bearers and coloured lights, the sacred bayadres appearedthree girls with bare heads, dressed in stiff new sarongs heavy with tinkling trinkets, and an old woman crowned with a sort of very tall cylindrical tiara of red velvet embroidered with gold. Very sweet-toned bagpipes and some darboukhas played a slow tune, and the dancers began to move; they spun slowly round, their arms held out, their bodies kept rigid, [Pg 137]excepting when they bowed to the shrine. The crude light of the red fire or the sulphurous flare of the torches fell on their glittering ornaments, alternately festive and mysterious, shedding over the performance an atmosphere at once dreamy and magically gorgeous.
A crowd of servants in red came down the flight of steps to the landing-place, and stood on each side, while at the top the Maharajah stood to receive me, in a tunic of yellow brocaded with silver, and silk trousers of various shades of violet and gold tissue; his turban was quite small, with an aigrette and a spray of diamonds.
[Pg 118]Isola rarely touched that stick without remembering the day it was boughta rainy day in Milanjust such a day as this, a low, grey sky, and an oppressive mildness of atmosphere. She remembered, with the sick pain that goes with long partings, how she and her husband had dawdled away an afternoon in the Victor Emmanuel Gallery, buying handkerchiefs and neckties, a book or two, a collection of photographs, and finally the orange stick.
"She wouldn't have been of any good to me. She is all that is sweet and lovable, and she is your sister; but she wouldn't have filled your vacant place. I should have only felt lonelier for having to talk every day, and pretend a kind of happiness. Being alone, I could bury myself in a book, and forget my troubles."
But still, in all ages human nature is the same, and has to be reckoned with under all circumstances, and that people in general are much better than the laws which govern them is evident.