Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/91

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76
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

should go ashore with him. They consulted the Captain, and, accepting the sole responsibility of the act, decided to face the shore at once. Mrs. Gandhi and the children were sent separately, and reached their destination safely. But as soon as Mr. Gandhi was seen on the boat, he was recognised by some boys, and the alarm given. Mrs. Gandhi and the children had been taken to the house of Mr. Parsee Rustomjee, a wealthy Indian friend. It was arranged that Mr. Gandhi should follow but the crowd was large at the landing-stage, and became threatening. Mr. Laughton suggested a rickshaw and engaged one, but the people prevented the native from starting, so the two comrades walked together. When they reached West Street, the gathering was enormous, blocking all further progress. In the confusion and hustling, the friends were separated. Mr. Laughton was torn away, and stones, fish, and rotten eggs began to fall around Mr. Gandhi. As he was pushed along, a burly European from behind shouted: "Are you the man who wrote to the Press?" and followed it up with a brutal kick. Mr. Gandhi held on, in an almost unconscious condition, to some railings near by, and he was again kicked by his assailant.