The Temptress: Page 2 of 35

How’s of the Conspiracy. 4. The Concubine and her child. 5. Journalistic Jobbery.  6. British Government and their Allies.  

     THE TEMPTRESS

  CHAPTER I

      The Curtain Lifted

  BACK BAY ! What a comfort to the people of Bombay! It is the only Place where the rich as well as the poor enjoy the cool of the evening- after the fatigue of the day. There the mighty ocean, thundering and roaring at a distance, ruthlessly dashes its tumultuous waves against the wall of the Bay, and tells in uncompromising terms to all who care to listen to it, that human life and all               its tall talk of the invincibility of power and glory are airy nothings before the indomitable rules and ways of mother Nature. One stormy bump of the roaring wave and down comes the massive structure of the wall constructed by the fastidious brain of man. Yesterday the sea was as calm and meek as a saint; today it is as boisterous and stormy as an extremist or a Bolshevist. Whether it is ebb tide or neap tide, Back Bay is always the rendezvous of men women and children. Here one finds different stamps of people from a moody philosopher to a turbulent pickpocket; from the wealthiest to the penniless and from the gaudy dressed to one actually begging for a rag to cover his shame. There are the hawkers displaying all sorts of advertising methods to catch the eye of a prospective customer. There sings a veiled low caste woman some popular tunes to the accompaniment of Tubla and harmonium. Here a professional beggar blurts forth his piteous appeals for a copper coin and tries to evoke sympathy by closing his eyes tightly in pretence of born blindness. There goes a well-built shabby Gujarathi beggar, with a century old dame crawling along his side, praying to the passers-by for help with short pieces of ballads. Here sits by the side of the Khote Footpath a Sadhu clad in vermilion loin cloth, carelessly gazing on the crowd around him. There on the shore and the sands we see several groups of Parsi men and women merged in muttering Their prayers to the Sun and the Sea by flourishing their holy 'kustees' up and down. Here one finds black Ayahs clad in snowy white garments lazily wallowing in the soft clean sand and watching their little wards playing and frolicking about; and there we notice some young "Politicians of tomorrow'' loosely   gossiping on Reading-Birkenhead scheme of Reforms. Here stands on an elevated place, a convert Christian Missionary, crying at the pitch of his voice with vehement accents and exaggerated gesticulations, to spread broadcast "The message of Jesus Christ'' ; and just opposite to him roars an Islam Missionary accusing the divinity of Jesus and Lord Krishna in preference to that of Mohomed Paigumbar. Not far from the cremation ground of late Mr. Tilak, are some boys and girls deeply engaged in building castles not in the air like their elders, but - of sand. Bands of young