But, As Soon As They Were Dozing
Again, The Wretched Bat Was Sure To Return And Perch On Their
Shoulders, Heads, Or Legs.
At last Mr. Y - -, losing patience,
had recourse to strong measures; he caught him and broke his neck.
Feeling perfectly innocent, the gentlemen mentioned the tragic
end of the troublesome flying fox to their host, and instantly
drew down on their heads all the thunder-clouds of heaven.
The yard was crowded with people. All the inhabitants of the
house stood sorrowfully drooping their heads, at the entrance of
the tower. Our host's old mother tore her hair in despair, and
shrieked lamentations in all the languages of India. What was
the matter with them all? We were at our wits' end. But when
we learned the cause of all this, there was no limit to our confusion.
By certain mysterious signs, known only to the family Brahman, it
had been decided ten years ago that the soul of our host's elder
brother had incarnated in this blood-thirsty vampire-bat. This
fact was stated as being beyond any doubt. For nine years the
late Patarah Prabhu existed under this new shape, carrying out
the laws of metempsychosis. He spent the hours between sunrise
and the sunset in an old pipal-tree before the tower, hanging with
his head downwards. But at night he visited the old tower and
gave fierce chase to the insects that sought rest in this out-of-
the-way corner. And so nine years were spent in this happy existence,
divided between sleep, food, and the gradual redemption of old sins
committed in the shape of a Patarah Prabhu.
Enter page number
Page 180 of 357
Words from 48506 to 48782