afoot through the kashmir valleys

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II A land of clear colours and stories, In a region of shadowless hours; Where earth has a garment of glories, And a murmur of music and flowers; In woods where the spring half uncovers The flush of her amorous face. —Swinburne. Of dak bungalows and doongas—A coachman without a soul— And a boatman with imagination—Music on the water— Housekeeping details and female fashions. Baramula, of blessed memory! What a perfect haven of rest did that long, low dak bungalow appear to me. Still voiceless, aching from the chill of the previous day, and with sufficient fever to make me feel my head a curiously uncertain factor, the uncompromising whitewashed walls of my room were strangely inviting. It was clean; it was dry; best of all, it was warm, for a pleasant wood fire was soon kindled on the hearth, and a big bowl of soup having banished my vague feelings of emptiness, resulting from my long fast since the early cup of tea, I prepared to sleep soundly. Next morning, when the sun streamed in, a new woman rose up, inaudible but otherwise soundand sane, and quite prepared to make her choice among the innumerable boatmen who crowded on the river bank, each answering for the perfections of his own boats, each provided with a perfect library of chits (recommendations) from their former employers. They were amazingly alike in the loose white trousers and coats, puttoo (homespun) overcoats, their heads crowned with red caps or white pagris. Each was ready to give all and everything—boat fittings and Baramula service—for a mere nominal price, to be paid any time, anyhow. Their chits spoke of them as paragons, and almost all looked amiable enough. " See my boat," cried one, " my furniture is all good English, my purdahs (curtains) are of the handsomest." So I ste...
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