From The Caves And Jungles Of Hindostan Translated From The Russian Of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

 -   As a crown to our pleasures, when we began to ascend a
tortuous little path over the stony slope of - Page 130
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As A Crown To Our Pleasures, When We Began To Ascend A Tortuous Little Path Over The Stony Slope Of A Deep Ravine, Our Peri Stumbled.

This sudden shock caused me to lose my balance altogether.

I sat on the hinder part of the elephant's back, in the place of honor, as it is esteemed, and, once thoroughly shaken, rolled down like a log. No doubt, next moment I should have found myself at the bottom of the ravine, with some more or less sad loss to my bodily constitution, if it had not been for the wonderful dexterity and instinct of the clever animal. Having felt that something was wrong she twisted her tail round me, stopped instantaneously and began to kneel down carefully. But my natural weight was too much for the thin tail of this kind animal. Peri did not lose hold of me, but, having at last knelt down, she moaned plaintively, though discreetly, thinking probably that she had nearly lost her tail through being so generous. The mahout hurried to my rescue and then examined the damaged tail of his animal.

We now witnessed a scene that clearly showed us the coarse cunning, greediness and cowardice of a low-class Hindu, of an outcast, as they are denominated here.

The mahout very indifferently and composedly examined Peri's tail, and even pulled it several times to make sure, and was already on the point of hoisting himself quietly into his usual place, when I had the unhappy thought of muttering something that expressed my regret and compassion.

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