In moments of great excitement she always addressed me in French.
But I also was too excited to control my feelings, and so I answered
"Please stop this nonsense, Miss X - -. You know I don't believe
in spiritualism. Poor Mr. Y - -, was not he upset?"
Receiving this rebuke and no sympathy from me, she could not think
of anything better than drawing out the Babu, who, for a wonder,
had managed to keep quiet till then.
"What do you say to all this? I for one am perfectly confident that
no one but the disembodied soul of a great artist could have painted
that lovely view. Who else is capable of such a wonderful achievement?"
"Why? The old gentleman in person. Confess that at the bottom
of your soul you firmly believe that the Hindus worship devils.
To be sure it is some deity of ours of this kind that had his
august paw in the matter."
"Il est positivement malhonnete, ce Negre-la!" angrily muttered
Miss X - -, hurriedly withdrawing from him.
The island was a tiny one, and so overgrown with tall reeds that,
from a distance, it looked like a pyramidal basket of verdure. With
the exception of a colony of monkeys, who bustled away to a few mango
trees at our approach, the place seemed uninhabited.