Page:The Days Work (1899).djvu/164

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bring them back till dawn. So Chinn spent a second night in the open, guarding the carcass from jackals, and thinking about his ancestor.

He returned to the lowlands to the triumphal chant of an escorting army three hundred strong, the Mahratta vaccinator close at his elbow, and the rudely dried skin a trophy before him. When that army suddenly and noiselessly disappeared, as quail in high corn, he argued he was near civilisation, and a turn in the road brought him upon the camp of a wing of his own corps. He left the skin on a cart-tail for the world to see, and sought the Colonel.

"They 're perfectly right," he explained earnestly. "There is n't an ounce of vice in 'em. They were only frightened. I 've vaccinated the whole boiling, and they like it awfully. What are—what are we doing here, sir?"

"That 's what I 'm trying to find out," said the Colonel. "I don't know yet whether we 're a piece of a brigade or a police force. However, I think we 'll call ourselves a police force. How did you manage to get a Bhil vaccinated?"

"Well, sir," said Chinn, "I've been thinking it over, and, as far as I can make out, I 've got a sort of hereditary influence over 'em."

"So I know, or I would n't have sent you; but what, exactly?"

"It 's rather rummy. It seems, from what I can make out, that I 'm my own grandfather reincarnated, and I 've been disturbing the peace of the country by riding a pad-tiger of nights. If I had n't done that, I