Join us on a literary world trip!
Add this book to bookshelf
Grey
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Grey
Subscribe to read the full book or read the first pages for free!
All characters reduced
The Hungry Stones and Other Stories - cover

The Hungry Stones and Other Stories

Rabindranath Tagore

Publisher: Sai ePublications

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Summary

My kinsman and myself were returning to Calcutta from our Puja trip when we met the man in a train. From his dress and bearing we took him at first for an up-country Mahomedan, but we were puzzled as we heard him talk. He discoursed upon all subjects so confidently that you might think the Disposer of All Things consulted him at all times in all that He did. Hitherto we had been perfectly happy, as we did not know that secret and unheard-of forces were at work, that the Russians had advanced close to us, that the English had deep and secret policies, that confusion among the native chiefs had come to a head. But our newly-acquired friend said with a sly smile: "There happen more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are reported in your newspapers." As we had never stirred out of our homes before, the demeanour of the man struck us dumb with wonder. Be the topic ever so trivial, he would quote science, or comment on the Vedas, or repeat quatrains from some Persian poet; and as we had no pretence to a knowledge of science or the Vedas or Persian, our admiration for him went on increasing, and my kinsman, a theosophist, was firmly convinced that our fellow-passenger must have been supernaturally inspired by some strange "magnetism" or "occult power," by an "astral body" or something of that kind. He listened to the tritest saying that fell from the lips of our extraordinary companion with devotional rapture, and secretly took down notes of his conversation. I fancy that the extraordinary man saw this, and was a little pleased with it.
 
When the train reached the junction, we assembled in the waiting room for the connection. It was then 10 P.M., and as the train, we heard, was likely to be very late, owing to something wrong in the lines, I spread my bed on the table and was about to lie down for a comfortable doze, when the extraordinary person deliberately set about spinning the following yarn. Of course, I could get no sleep that night.
 
When, owing to a disagreement about some questions of administrative policy, I threw up my post at Junagarh, and entered the service of the Nizam of Hydria, they appointed me at once, as a strong young man, collector of cotton duties at Barich.
 
Barich is a lovely place. The Susta "chatters over stony ways and babbles on the pebbles," tripping, like a skilful dancing girl, in through the woods below the lonely hills. A flight of 150 steps rises from the river, and above that flight, on the river's brim and at the foot of the hills, there stands a solitary marble palace. Around it there is no habitation of man—the village and the cotton mart of Barich being far off.
 
About 250 years ago the Emperor Mahmud Shah II. had built this lonely palace for his pleasure and luxury. In his days jets of rose-water spurted from its fountains, and on the cold marble floors of its spray-cooled rooms young Persian damsels would sit, their hair dishevelled before bathing, and, splashing their soft naked feet in the clear water of the reservoirs, would sing, to the tune of the guitar, the ghazals of their vineyards.
 
The fountains play no longer; the songs have ceased; no longer do snow-white feet step gracefully on the snowy marble. It is but the vast and solitary quarters of cess-collectors like us, men oppressed with solitude and deprived of the society of women. Now, Karim Khan, the old clerk of my office, warned me repeatedly not to take up my abode there. "Pass the day there, if you like," said he, "but never stay the night." I passed it off with a light laugh. The servants said that they would work till dark and go away at night. I gave my ready assent. The house had such a bad name that even thieves would not venture near it after dark.

Other books that might interest you

  • The Classic Horror Collection - cover

    The Classic Horror Collection

    H. P. Lovecraft

    • 3
    • 14
    • 0
    Spanning the extraordinary breadth of the genre, these terrifying stories are sure to leave you sleeping with the light on for many nights to come. Whether the threat comes from accursed artefacts, supernatural villains, or deadly rituals, there is always some unknowable evil lurking around the corner waiting to pounce.Ranging from the efforts of classic literary writers like Mary Shelley and Robert Louis Stevenson to pulp icon H. P. Lovecraft, these masters of the dark arts knew how to create suspense and an impending sense of dread.Horror fiction found its first connoisseurs amongst the Victorian public. This collection features several of its most accomplished pioneers.Short stories from Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, and Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, show that some of the 19th century's most revered horror novelists could provide equally terrifying experiences in a shorter form.Other authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson, Pearl Norton Swet, and M. P. Shiel established themselves in the emerging pulp magazines of America in the early 20th century. There, they mastered their craft and provided terrifying thrills for an audience eager for a new type of fiction. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, writers like Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, E. F. Benson, and M. R. James mastered the classic ghost story.And who can forget Edgar Allan Poe? He devoted himself almost entirely to his poetry and his short stories, and his lyrical style and ability to evoke an atmosphere are unparalleled.This collection includes stories by:Edward Frederic BensonAmbrose BierceFrancis Marion CrawfordGeorge Allan EnglandWilliam Hope HodgsonW. W. JacobsM. R. JamesVernon LeeJoseph Sheridan Le FanuH. P. LovecraftArthur MachenGuy de MaupassantEdgar Allan PoeCharlotte RiddellMary ShelleyM. P. ShielRobert Louis StevensonBram StokerPearl Norton Swet
    Show book
  • Hucow The Moo Cow (Part 1) - Hucow Lactation Age Gap Milking Breast Feeding Adult Nursing Age Difference XXX Erotica - cover

    Hucow The Moo Cow (Part 1) -...

    Bessie Hucow

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    Jack was in a bit of a pickle. His best dairy cow, Bessie, has gone missing and he’s got a milk route to complete.It isn’t until explaining to his expressing wife that he hits on the idea: he can use her to replace the cow!Come along on this wacky adventure and find out what happens when Jack’s wife becomes a Hucow for the first time. This story will moove you!
    Show book
  • Ripping Time - A Short and Unbelievable Story - cover

    Ripping Time - A Short and...

    John Chapman

    • 1
    • 2
    • 0
    An unbelievable short story.If you were struck by lightning and survived unharmed would you voluntarily risk it again? You might if you were on a time travel mission.A short timetravel story.
    Show book