their listeners to death with tales of the Thugs, and then advising
them to join this or that travelling party, who of course were
Thugs playing the part of rich merchants or pilgrims. Having
ensnared these wretches, they sent word to the Thugs, and got
paid for the commission in proportion to the total profit.
During many long years these invisible bands, scattered all over
the country, and working in parties of from ten to sixty men,
enjoyed perfect freedom, but at last they were caught. The
inquiries unveiled horrid and repulsive secrets: rich bankers,
officiating Brahmans, Rajas on the brink of poverty, and a few
English officials, all had to be brought before justice.
This deed of the East India Company truly deserves the popular
gratitude which it receives.
- - - - - - -
On our way back from the Marble Rocks we saw Muddun-Mahal, another
mysterious curio; it is a house built - no one knows by whom, or
with what purpose - on a huge boulder. This stone is probably some
kind of relative to the cromlechs of the Celtic Druids. It shakes
at the least touch, together with the house and the people who feel
curious to see inside it. Of course we had this curiosity, and
our noses remained safe only thanks to the Babu, Narayan and the
Takur, who took as great care of us as if they had been nurses,
and we their babies.