ISBN: 0548512477 / ISBN-13: 9780548512470
The Tiger of Mysore: A Story of the War with Tippoo Saib
by G A Henty
Excerpt: ...now dismissed from duty, and bent, some on amusement, some in purchasing small additions to their rations with the scanty pay allowed to ... Show synopsis Excerpt: ...now dismissed from duty, and bent, some on amusement, some in purchasing small additions to their rations with the scanty pay allowed to them. In the open spaces, the soldiers were crowded round performers of various kinds. Here was a juggler throwing balls and knives into the air. There was a snake charmer--a Hindoo, doubtless, but too old and too poor to be worth persecuting. A short distance off was an acrobat turning and twisting himself into strange postures. Two sword players, with bucklers and blunted tulwars, played occasionally against each other, and offered to engage any of the bystanders. Occasionally the invitation would be accepted, but the sword players always proved too skilful for the rough soldiers, who retired discomfited, amid the jeers of their comrades. More than one party of musicians played what seemed to Dick most discordant music, but which was appreciated by the soldiers, as was evident from the plaudits and the number of small coins thrown to the players. In the great open space, by the side of the market, the crowd was thickest. Here were large numbers of booths, gay with lamps. In one were arranged, on tables, trays of cheap trinkets, calicoes, cloths, blankets, shoes, and other articles of dress. In another were arms, matchlocks, pistols, tulwars, and daggers. On the ground were lines of baskets, filled with grain of many kinds, the vendors squatting patiently behind them. Some of the traders volubly accosted passers by. Others maintained a dignified silence, as if they considered the excellence of their wares needed no advertisement. It was not new, but it was very amusing to Dick, and it was late before they returned to their lodging. "I wish," he said, as they strolled back, "that I were a good juggler or musician. It seems to me that it would be an excellent disguise, and we could go everywhere without question, and get admittance into all sorts of places we could not get a chance of entering into in any other...