中青网评:五一出游,疫情防控不能松

As soon as dessert was removed two lieutenants got up, and seizing a couple of drums played away with all their might, while some other officers, under the pretext of dancing a Highland fling, cut the most amazing capers. When the band had left[Pg 276] the fun went on to the sound of the banjo, lasting late into the cool night, all in the highest spirits.

All about the town of pink plaster, in the dust of the roads and fields, are an endless number of dead templestemples of every size and of every period; and all deserted, all empty; even those that are uninjured look like ruins.

The throng outside had increased; Abibulla could scarcely make way for me to the end of the street, and for a long time I could still hear the cries that reached us at a distance.

When a native comes to ask a favour he brings a few rupees in his hand, and the patron must take them and hold them a few minutes. A retired Sikh trooper had come to see his son, now a soldier in the regiment, and met the colonel, who asked him whether he could do anything for him, to which the other replied:

Towards evening came a storm of hail and snow, from which we took refuge in a government bungalow, where none but officials have a right to restbut we stayed there all the same. The wind was quite a tornado, sweeping the flowers before it, and the pink and yellow blossoms were mingled with the snowflakes and the tender green leaves, scarcely[Pg 272] unfolded. Birds were carried past, helpless and screaming with terror. We could hear the beasts in a stable close by bellowing and struggling; and then, while the thunder never ceased, repeated by innumerable echoes, darkness fell, opaque and terrific, slashed by the constant flare of lightning, and the earth shook under the blast. We went into the observatory, where the servants were sleeping in the open air on camp beds, lying across each other and blocking the entrance.[Pg 177] I went to gaze at the north star, looking very small, a tiny spangle of blue in the blue velvet sky, visible at the top of a crazy flight of steps that goes up to nowhere in the air from the topmost terrace. Then all went out, died gently away; the tom-toms and pipe attending the god's progress alone were audible in the silence; till in the distance a great blaze of light flashed out, showing a crowd of bright turbans and the glittering splendour of the shrine going up the steps to the temple where, till next year, Rama would remainthe exiled god, worshipped for his wisdom which enabled him to discover the secrets, to find the true path, and win the forgiveness of his father.