"No," said the girl sullenly.
鈥榃e are to have a grand tamasha here at Christmas-time. Mr. Beutel is going to gather, not only the boys of our Batala Mission School, but boys from village schools. Of course, this is not merely to give enjoyment, though the enjoyment will probably be great, but to bring more forcibly before the lads the tidings of great gladness. We are a little puzzled about the poor little girls; as their cruel and absurd pardah rules prevent the possibility of gathering them all together, even in the Bible-woman鈥檚 house.鈥橖br>
On learning, however, in the spring of 1819, about a year after the publication of the History, that the East India Directors desired to strengthen the part of their home establishment which was employed in carrying on the correspondence with India, my father declared himself a candidate for that employment, and, to the credit of the Directors, successfully. He was appointed one of the Assistants of the Examiner of India Correspondence; officers whose duty it was to prepare drafts of despatches to India, for consideration by the Directors, in the principal departments of administration. In this office, and in that of Examiner, which he subsequently attained, the influence which his talents, his reputation, and his decision of character gave him, with superiors who really desired the good government of India, enabled him to a great extent to throw into his drafts of despatches, and to carry through the ordeal of the Court of Directors and Board of Control, without having their force much weakened, his real opinions on Indian subjects. In his History he had set forth, for the first time, many of the true principles of Indian administration: and his despatches, following his History, did more than had ever been done before to promote the improvement of india, and teach indian officials to understand their business. If a selection of them were published, they would, I am convinced, place his character as a practical statesman fully on a level with his eminence as a speculative writer.
From the direction of Nash there came a sharp click. Bond felt a violent blow on his wrist. Splinters of glass hit him in the face. His arm was flung back against the door. He wondered if his wrist had been broken. He let his arm hang and flexed his fingers. They all moved.
To show Earth’s pilgrims, as they onward wend,
Mary Goodnight broke in, horrified. "James. The rest is your business, but you really can't say that last bit."
Quarrel steered the boat towards the lee of a rocky promontory where the beach ended. Bond wondered why the beach didn't shine white under the thin moon. When they grounded and Bond climbed stiffly out he understood why.
'Is that so?'
Potential artists were also selected. These might either go into residence at one of the great art schools or universities; or else, living on the maintenance grant, they could allow their genius to pursue its own course, eking out their meagre grant by selling their works. Of set purpose, and not through mere niggardliness, the state allowed the young man or woman who chose to avoid all state-organized professions only a bare minimum of help, whether his field of adventure was art or science or philosophy. Thus it was hoped to weed out those who had not actually ‘got it in them’ to produce creative work. On the other hand, no matter how preposterous or shocking to the public his products might be, the adventurer was at least assured of his minimum grant. And if it had any real merit (unperceived by the majority), and indeed often if it had no real merit at all, he might well succeed in selling. For, unless his work was both technically feeble and quite extravagantly idiosyncratic, it was very likely to find some sort of market in the new culturally conscious world. For in this new world-society pictures, statues, music, and writing were in demand, in some cases by the national, in others by the world-wide public, and in yet others by one or other of the special publics, each interested in some particular sphere or genre of art. It. was not uncommon for a neglected young painter to leap from penury to affluence and fame on the sale of a single work. Many artists, however, had no such luck, and were forced to live on the maintenance grant alone throughout their lives. Some of these, ahead of their time, became world-famous after death, but the great majority were merely untalented enthusiasts. No one dreamed of grudging them their futile but harmless careers, since the community could well afford to maintain them. Indeed, since most farms kept open house for any stray travellers, and all villages provided meals and beds for a constant flow of visitors, these artistic failures could eat and sleep their way over the face of the earth and use their maintenance grant wholly for clothing and extra comforts.
"Is it a good place to hide? Could they find us there easily?"
Bond felt the pain creeping back into his body as his tension relaxed. "Yes," he said shortly. He was glad to turn his back on the memory of the up-turned white face in the beautiful black, charging engine. He felt light-headed. He wondered if he would make it, "We'll have to get to the road. It'll be hard going. Come on."
`The way you describe it I can.'
"Goodbye, goodbye." The Governor watched Bond's back retreating out of the door and himself returned well satisfied to his desk. "Young whippersnapper," he said to the empty room. He sat down and said a few peremptory words down the telephone to the Colonial Secretary. Then he picked up the Times Weekly and turned to the Stock Exchange prices.
At last the Negro had finished and Bond was loaded with hot mud. Only his face and an area round his heart were still white. He felt stifled and the sweat began to pour down his forehead.