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utterly, and, not having been able to purchase a horse, ordered out one of the gun elephants to ride upon.
This he did every evening—and such evenings! lurid, breathless, stilling; and yet he looked forward to them. He never stirred out during the day-time, for he was determined not to go in search of the Fever-King, but to wait 'till his grim majesty should be pleased to tap at his victim's door. Our hero was cautious and resolute—he wrote long letters to Julia Poggleton, and looked out of window the greater part of every other day to watch for the coming of the dâk-boat (post-office boat). The doctor's house was one of the best in the station, but it was made of mats and straw, with a few sticks and a little canvas by way of ornament. The sea was on one side of it, and a very pleasant tract of dry loose sand on the other, and it could not have been better situated for being carried away, as houses very often are at Khyook-Phyoo, by a fresh breeze, right into the Jungle.
The first piece of military duty that Peregrine Pultuney had to perform, was in the capacity of member of a committee, ordered to assemble one morning at the house of a man who had died in the course of the preceding nightman overseer, surveyor, or something of the kind, under the orders of the executive engineer. This was a re. markably pleasant duty for our hero, who marched into the principal room of the house, and saw the corpse stretched out on a charpoy, all stark, and yellow, with its eyes open. The room was in great confusion-dirty and disordered—boxes and broken crockery and foul linen were huddled together in every direction ; two or three dark children were playing about the room, unconscious of what had happened, whilst their mother, a young and not ill-looking Mhug woman, was sobbing outside the door, and trying to hide herself from the strangers. There was a look about the whole place, not of poverty, but of mis-rule, that forcibly struck our hero, who thought that he had rarely seen any thing that wore so foul an aspect of wretchedness in his life.
Whilst Peregrine and the other members of the committee were opening the boxes of the deceased in search of money and papers, the doctor was engaged in opening the corpse, as our hero thought very scientifically; and long before the military officers had found any thing like a will, the medical one had extracted the dead man's spleen, which was as large as a round of beef, washed it, weighed it, and ascertained that it was only eleven times as heavy as it ought to be.
As Peregrine was walking home he met the dâkwallah, with his box of papers and letters from Calcutta, and the young gentleman soon forgot the dead man and his spleen, in the delight of receiving his first letter from his much-beloved cousin Julia. It was written on the morning after his departure, and was full of passionate regrets. If before this any leven of mistrust, as to the true state of Julia's affections, had held a place in his heart, it was now most entirely eradicated. What room was there even for the smallest particle of doubt, when such a letter had been written. Young ladies do not have racking headaches, go to bed at eight o'clock, without their dinners, and listen in fear and trembling to the least sound of the wind, if they have not some very sufficient reason for it. Young ladies do not write about their houses looking drear and desolate-about empty chairs, and time hanging heavily, and feeling lonely, and all that sort of thing, if a very large place in their hearts had not been held by some young gentleman, who has made himself more than commonly agreeable, and then been forced to take himself away.
And in this sort of vague way, scarcely doing any thing but writing letters to his cousin-perusing and re-perusing those which he received from her lounging about on sofas, or rather upon the sea-cot which he had taken with him to Arracan, for in that province sofas are rarities, or were in Peregrine Pultuney's time-occasionally smoking a cheroot, and constantly looking out for the dak-boat, the subject of this memoir spent about a month, at the end of which time, as may easily be supposed, he caught the fever, or, more correctly speaking, the fever caught him. .
And then Peregrine Pultuney began to experience
the real delights of life in India. He had gone to bed perfectly well; and the last thing he had done, was to laugh at the doctor and say, boastingly, that his body was not yet ready for the dissecting knives of the faculty–he had gone to bed, we say, in perfect health, perspiring freely at every pore, and had, as usual, taken the precaution to close the windows and doors (such as they were) of his sleeping room. But what precaution was this in a mat house? A violent wind arose in the night, sweeping through the house, right over Peregrine Pultuney, and threatening to carry the edifice and its inhabitants into the sea.
Peregrine woke feeling bitterly cold; he pulled up the sheet from the bottom of his bed, then the blanket, wrapped them closely round him, but still he shivered all over; the wind had ceased and the atmosphere was stifling, but still the poor youth felt bitterly cold; he tried to go to sleep though, and after a time succeeded, but it was the sleep of disease, and when he awoke again, about five or six o'clock in the morning, he was afflicted with a violent headach, and most depressing, overwhelming sensations of sickness.
He sent for his kind friend the doctor, who pronounced him in a high fever; and then commenced that dreadful process of lowering the patient, which brings him well nigh to the gates of death, and is worse than death to the unhappy sufferer. Emetics first, then purgatives, and oh! the deadly sickness
his kind frien
and then cont, which
produced by that horrid tartarized antimony-the tearing and wrenching sickness—the oppressive, intolerable weight within-just as though one had swallowed a nine-pound shot, and were always trying to disgorge it.
And there lay Peregrine Pultuney on a low charpoy, without curtains, for there is little need of them in Arracan, tossing about from side to side, in the vain hope of finding an easy position. There was little furniture in the room, but what did he want with more? He could not, or he was not permitted to leave his bed, and of what use would have been mirrors and toilet tables ?
Day after day, and night after night, he lay stretched upon that comfortless char-poy-quite sensible but miserably prostrated. No one can tell what he suffered who has not felt those dreadful cannon-balls at his gorgemand torn himself to pieces in vain attempts to dislodge the immoveable burden. Night and day were alike to him; for he could not sleep whilst this affliction was on him; but if possible, the poor youth dreaded the nights even more than he did the days—they were so long, so dreary, so interminable. He kept his watch always by his side—and minutes were to him like hours, and hours like days of unmitigated suffering and sorrow. Perhaps he would sometimes, after throwing himself from side to side, and trying every possible position in the hope of finding one less cramping and painful than the rest, or after a vio