The Adventures of Kathlyn (Chapter 2, page 1 of 17)


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Chapter 2

Kathlyn sensed great loneliness when, about a month later, she arrived
at the basin in Calcutta. A thousand or more natives were bathing
ceremoniously in the ghat--men, women and children. It was early morn,
and they were making solemn genuflections toward the bright sun. The
water-front swarmed with brown bodies, and great wheeled carts drawn by
sad-eyed bullocks threaded slowly through the maze. The many white
turbans, stirring hither and thither, reminded her of a field of white
poppies in a breeze. India! There it lay, ready for her eager feet.
Always had she dreamed about it, and romanced over it, and sought it on
the wings of her spirit. Yonder it lay, ancient as China, enchanting
as storied Persia.

If only she were on pleasure bent! If only she knew some one in this
great teeming city! She knew no one; she carried no letters of
introduction, no letters of credit, nothing but the gold and notes the
paymaster at the farm had hastily turned over to her. Only by constant
application to maps and guide books had she managed to arrange the
short cut to the far kingdom. She had been warned that it was a wild
and turbulent place, out of the beaten path, beyond the reach of iron
rails. Three long sea voyages: across the Pacific (which wasn't), down
the bitter Yellow Sea, up the blue Bay of Bengal, with many a sea
change and many a strange picture. What though her heart ached, it was
impossible that her young eyes should not absorb all she saw and marvel
over it. India!

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