The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib

The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib
Title: The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib
Release Date: 2018-02-06
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib, by SaraJeannette Duncan

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United Statesand most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost norestrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use itunder the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with thiseBook or online at www.gutenberg.org. If you are notlocated in the United States, you'll have to check the laws of thecountry where you are located before using this ebook.

Title: The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib

Author: Sara Jeannette Duncan

Release Date: February 6, 2018 [eBook #56513]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8

***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SIMPLE ADVENTURES OF A MEMSAHIB***

 

E-text prepared by Larry B. Harrison, Barry Abrahamsen,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
(http://www.pgdp.net)
from page images generously made available by
Internet Archive
(https://archive.org)

 

Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive. See https://archive.org/details/simpleadventures00dunc_0

 


 

 

 


BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

A SOCIAL DEPARTURE: How Orthodociaand I Went Round the World by Ourselves.With 111 Illustrations by F. H. Townsend.12mo. Paper, 75 cents; cloth, $1.75.

“Widely read and praised on both sides of the Atlantic andPacific, with scores of illustrations which fit the text exactlyand show the mind of artist and writer in unison.”—New YorkEvening Post.

“It is to be doubted whether another book can be found sothoroughly amusing from beginning to end.”—Boston DailyAdvertiser.

“For sparkling wit, irresistibly contagious fun, keen observation,absolutely poetic appreciation of natural beauty, and vividdescriptiveness, it has no recent rival.”—Mrs. P. T. Barnum’sLetter to the New York Tribune.

“A brighter, merrier, more entirely charming book would be,indeed, difficult to find.”—St. Louis Republic.

AN AMERICAN GIRL IN LONDON.With 80 Illustrations by F. H. Townsend. 12mo.Paper, 75 cents; cloth, $1.50.

“One of the most naïve and entertaining books of the season.”—NewYork Observer.

“The raciness and breeziness which made ‘A Social Departure,’by the same author, last season, the best-read and most-talked-ofbook of travel for many a year, permeate the newbook, and appear between the lines of every page.”—BrooklynStandard-Union.

“So sprightly a book as this, on life in London as observedby an American, has never before been written.”—PhiladelphiaBulletin.


D. APPLETON & CO., Publishers, New York.

THEY CAME IN LITTLE STRAGGLING STRINGS AND BANDS. P 43.


THE SIMPLE ADVENTURES OF A MEMSAHIB

BY
SARA JEANNETTE DUNCAN
AUTHOR OF
A SOCIAL DEPARTURE, AN AMERICAN GIRL IN LONDON, ETC.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY F. H. TOWNSEND
NEW YORK
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
1893

Copyright, 1893,
By D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
Electrotyped and Printed
at the Appleton Press, U. S. A.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


They came in little straggling strings and bands Frontispiece
Cups of tea 3
Young Browne’s tennis 5
Her new field of labour 15
Aunt Plovtree 19
Initial letter 24
Initial letter 49
Uncertain whether she ought to bow 57
“It’s just the place for centipedes” 63
Initial letter 68
“A very worthy and hard-working sort” 79
“What is this?” said Mrs. Browne 87
Chua 94
An accident disclosed them 96
Mr. Sayter 136
Mr. Sayter gave Mrs. Browne his arm 138
Mrs. Lovitt 151
Initial letter 156
The ladies went most securely 159
Initial letter 168
Mr. Jonas Batcham, M. P. 175
Three others much like himself 187
A sudden indisposition 191
Initial letter 193
Their hats 210
Initial letter 214
“Halma” 222
Miss Josephine Lovitt 225
Initial letter 234
Mr. Week slept on a bench 243
He stood upon one leg 252
Initial letter 260
Initial letter 278
He asked nothing of the Brownes 282
The snows 291
“Liver complications—we all come to it” 297
She has fallen into a way of crossing her knees in a low chair 309

THE SIMPLE ADVENTURES OF A MEMSAHIB.

CHAPTER I.

HELEN FRANCES BROWNE was formerly a MissPeachey. Not one of the Devonshire Peacheys—theyare quite a different family. This Miss Peachey’s father was aclergyman, who folded his flock and his family in the town ofCanbury in Wilts, very nice people and well thought of, withnice, well-thought-of connections, but nothing particularly aristocraticamongst them, like the Devonshire Peacheys, and no beer.

The former Miss Peachey is now a memsahib of Lower Bengal.As you probably know, one is not born a memsahib; thedignity is arrived at later, through circumstances, processes, andsometimes through foresight on the part of one’s mamma. It isnot so easy to obtain as it used to be. Formerly it was a merequestion of facilities for transportation, and the whole matterwas arranged, obviously and without criticism, by the operationof the law of supply. The necessary six months’ tossing fortunein a sailing ship made young ladies who were willing to undertakeit scarce and valuable, we hear. We are even given to understandthat the unclaimed remnant, the few standing over tobe more deliberately acquired, after the ball given on board forthe facilitation of these matters the night succeeding the ship’sarrival in port, were held to have fallen short of what they reasonablymight have expected. But that was fifty years ago.To-day Lower Bengal, in the cold weather, is gay with potentialmemsahibs of all degrees of attraction, in raiment fresh fromOxford Street, in high spirits, in excellent form for tennis, dancing,riding, and full of a charmed appreciation of the “picturesqueness”of India.

GOT MIDDLE-AGED LADIES OF WILTSHIRE CUPS OF TEA.

They come from the East and from the West, and from schoolin Germany. They come to make the acquaintance of theirAnglo-Indian fathers and mothers, to teach the Bible and plainsewing in the Zenanas, to stay with a married sister, to keephouse for a brother who is in the Department of Police. In thehot weather a proportion migrate northward, to Darjeeling, orSimla, in the Hills, but there are enough in our midst all theyear round to produce a certain coy hesitancy and dalliance on thepart of pretending bachelors, augmented by the consideration ofall that might be done in England in three months’ “Privilege”leave. Young Browne was an example of this. There was nodoubt that young Browne was tremendously attracted by MissPellington—Pellington, Scott & Co., rice and coolies chiefly, avery old firm—down from the Hills for her second cold weather,and only beginning to be faintly spoilt, when it so happenedthat his furlough fell due. He had fully intended to “do Switzerlandthis time,” but Canbury, with tennis every Wednesdayafternoon at the Rectory, and Helen Peachey playing there inblue and white striped flannel, pink cheeks and a sailor hat,was so much more interesting than he had expected it to be,that Switzerland was gradually relegated five years into thefuture. After tennis there was always tea in the drawing-room,and Helen, in the pretty flush of her exertions, poured it out.Just at first, young Browne did not quite know which he appreciated most,Helen who poured it out, or the neat little maidin cap and apron who brought it in—it was so long since he hadseen tea brought in by anything feminine in cap and apron; butafter a bit the little maid sank to her proper status of consideration,and Helen was left supreme. And Helen Peachey’s tennis,for grace and muscularity, was certainly a thing to see, youngBrowne thought. She played in tournaments while he stood byin immaculate whites with an idle racquet, and got middle-agedladies of Wiltshire cups of tea; but she was not puffed up aboutthis, and often condescended to be his partner on the Rectorylawn against the two younger Misses Peachey. It made thebest sett that way, for young Browne’s tennis fluctuated fromindifferent bad to indifferent worse, and the younger MissesPeachey were vigorous creatures, and gave Helen all she coulddo to win with her handicap.

Mr. Browne—we must really get into the way of giving himhis title—was not naturally

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