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Across India by Oliver Optic

I protest Captain Ringgold began


"I

should like to take my band with me," said General Noury, when the officials had all departed. "I am very fond of music, and I think it will afford us all a great deal of pleasure; of course I mean at my own expense."

"I beg your pardon, General Noury, but it must be at my expense," interposed Lord Tremlyn. "I was thinking myself what an addition it would be to have such excellent music on our way, and I am sure it will add a great deal to the earnestness of the welcome we shall everywhere receive. As to the expense, I hope and beg that not another word will be said about it. The entire party are the guests of Sir Modava and myself."

"I protest"--Captain Ringgold began.

"Pardon me, my dear Captain; you are all our guests, and protests are entirely out of order," interposed Lord Tremlyn.

It was a very pleasant and friendly dispute that followed, and his lordship had carried his point at the close of it. The commander had been to the landlord, and asked for his bill; but the worthy Parsee informed him that it had already been paid. He had remonstrated with the hosts; but they had been inflexible. It was finally decided that nothing more should be said about expense; for his lordship declared that it was a very disagreeable subject to him. The captain believed that he was entirely sincere; and though he had never encountered such extreme liberality

before, he gave up the point.

"You can tie your purse-strings with a hard knot, Uncle Moses, for you will not have occasion to undo them again for a month," said Captain Ringgold. "I don't quite like it."

"I don't know that I wonder at the generosity of our hosts," replied the trustee, as he put his fat arm around the neck of Louis, who stood next to him. "If this young man had been in the situation of Lord Tremlyn and Sir Modava when you picked them up, I am very sure I should not have grumbled if I had been called upon to disburse a sum equal to what this trip will cost them, if they, or any one, had picked him up. There are two sides to this question, Captain."

"Then you fight on the other side, though you hold the purse-strings," said the commander.

"Would I give a hundred thousand dollars for saving Sir Louis's life? His mother would give ten times that sum, and all the rest of the young man's fortune. That is a matter about which we must not be mean; and the other side take that view of it. I quite agree that not another word ought to be said about expense," responded Uncle Moses, giving the young millionaire another hug.

"Uncle Moses is not a bit like the miser that could not afford a candle at his death-bed in the night," added Louis. "If they had done as much for us as we have for them, I should be glad to take them all around the world, and pay for an Italian band of music all the way."

"That's right, Sir Louis! Do as you would be done by," chuckled the trustee.


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