Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/68

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53
IN SOUTH AFRICA

have misled me." The country was beautiful. The waving banana leaves, the vast fields of sugar-cane, the date-bushes springing from a tangle of tropical growth, reminded him of his native land. The while English faces suggested pleasant reminiscences of the little island across the sea. It would be difficult to imagine a more lovely spot than Durban, or more hospitable people than his citizens. But, apparently, there was no welcome for an Indian. Evidences of a radical difference of treatment between white and coloured people startled the new arrival, and cut him to the quick.

He himself was a high-caste Hindu, the child of an ancient and noble race. His father, grandfather, and uncle had been Prime Ministers of their respective Courts. His childhood and youth had been spent in India, familiar with all the splendour of an Eastern palace. In manhood he had known nothing of colour-prejudice, but had been granted free access to polite English society. Prince Ranjitsinhji was his friend. By profession he was a banister, trained in the fine old English Law Schools of the Inner Temple, and called to the Bar in London—a cultured gentleman in every sense of the term. Hitherto he had looked upon a white face as the face