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A Holiday in the Happy Valley with Pen and Pencil

From Murree to Pindi having halted here for the night


had a fresh pair of horses waiting for us half-way up the hill, but they proved absolutely useless, being obviously already dead tired and quite unable to drag the carriage through any of the muddier places even with every one but the invalid on foot. So we apologetically put the gallant greys in again, poor beasties, and they took us up well.

From the cemetery the road runs fairly level to where, upon rounding a sharp corner, the hill station of Murree comes into sight, clinging to its hill-tops and overlooking the far flat plains beyond Pindi.

I cannot imagine how anybody would willingly abide in Murree who could go anywhere else for the hot weather. There being no level ground, there is no polo, no cricket, and no golf. There is no river to fish in, and I do not think that there is anything at all to shoot. Doubtless, however, it has its compensations. Probably it abounds in pretty mem-sahibs, who with bridge and Badminton combine to oil the wheels of life, and make it merry on the Murree hills.

Leaving the station high on the left, we dipped in a most puzzling manner down a slope through a fine wood giving magnificent views towards the hills of our beloved Kashmir, and presently came to "Sunny Bank," whence a steep road seemed to run sharply hack and up to Murree itself. It was late, and both we and our unfortunate horses were tired, but a hasty peep into the little inn

showed it to be quite impossible as a lodging, and a biting wind sent us shivering down the hill as fast as might be to seek rest and warmth at Tret.

The good greys took us down the eleven miles in a very short time, and we pulled up at the dak bungalow at 7.30, having been just twelve hours doing the forty miles from Kohala.

The dak bungalow and all the compound in front was crowded, detachments _en route_, from Murree to Pindi having halted here for the night. Hesketh was lucky enough to share a room with a brother Lancer, and a mixed bag of Gunners and Hussars made up a cheery dinner-table.

The only member of the party showing signs of collapse was the unfortunate Freddie, who, shaken up in his small cage for three days in an ekka, seemed in piteous plight, feathers (what there were of them) ruffled and unkempt, and eyes dim and half closed. Poor dear, it was only sleep he wanted, for next morning he showed up, as his fond owner remarked, "bright as a button!"

_12th_.--The road from Tret to Pindi seemed tame to us, but probably charming to the horses, first down a few gently sloping hills, and then for the remainder of its six-and-twenty miles it wound its dull and dusty length along the level.

We halted for our last picnic lunch in a roadside garden full of loquat trees and big purple hibiscus. The only curious thing here was a pi-dog which refused to eat cold duck! Certainly it was a _very_ tough duck, but still, I do not think a pi-dog should he so fastidious.

A few more level dusty miles, and we rattled into Rawal Pindi, where, after depositing our sick man safely in his own mess precincts, we proceeded to ensconce ourselves in Flashman's Hotel, which is certainly far better than the Lime Tree, where we stayed before. Indian hotels are about the worst in the world. We have sampled rough dens in Spain, in Tetuan, and in Corsica--especially in Corsica, but then they are unpretentious inns in unfrequented villages, whereas in India you find in world-famous cities such as Agra or Delhi the most comfortless dens calling themselves hotels--hotels where you hardly dare eat half the food for fear of typhoid, and will not eat the rest because it is so unsavoury!

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