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IT is some eighteen years since this institution
was founded, at Mussoorie, one of the
chief sanataria in the Himalaya Mountains.
Here all those who can obtain leave, and who
can afford the additional expense, repair to
escape the hot weather of the plains. The
season begins about the end of April, and
ends about the first week in October. The
club is open to the members of the civil and
military services, to the members of the bar,
the clergy, and to such other private gentlemen
who are on the government-house list,
which signifies "in society." The club-house
is neither an expensive nor an elegant edifice,
but it answers the purposes required of it.
It has two large rooms, one on the ground-floor,
and the other on the upper story. The
lower room, which is some sixty feet long
by twenty-five wide, is the dining-room,
breakfast-room, and reception-room. The
upper room is the reading and the ball-room.
The club has also its billiard-room, which
is built on the ledge of a precipice; and its
stables, which would astonish most persons
in Europe. No horses, except those educated
in India, would crawl into these holes cut out
of the earth and rock.

Facing the side-door is a platform about
forty yards long by fifteen feet wide; and,
from it, on a clear day the eye commands one
of the grandest scenes in the known world.
In the distance are plainly visible the eternal
snows; at your feet are a number of hills,
covered with trees of luxuriant foliage.
Amongst them is the rhododendron, which
grows to an immense height and size, and is,
when in bloom, literally covered with flowers.
On every hill, on a level with the club, and
within a mile of it, a house is to be seen, to
which access would seem impossible. These
houses are, for the most part, whitened without
as well as within; and nothing can exceed
in prettiness their aspect as they shine
in the sun.

From the back of the club-housefrom
your bedroom windows (there are twenty-three
sets of apartments) you have a view of
Deyrah Dhoon. It appears about a mile off.
It is seven miles distant. The plains that lie
outstretched below the Simplon bear, in
point of extent and beauty, to the Indian
scene, nothing like the proportion which the
comparatively pigmy Mont Blanc bears to the
Dewalgiri. From an elevation of about seven
thousand feet the eye embraces a plain containing
millions of acres, intersected by broad
streams to the left, and inclosed by a low
belt of hills, called the Pass. The Dhoon, in
various parts, is dotted with clumps of jungle,
abounding with tigers, pheasants, and every
species of game. In the broad tributaries to
the Ganges and the Jurama, may be caught
(with a fly) the mahseer, the leviathan salmon.
Beyond the Pass of which I have spoken, you
see the plains of Hindoostan. While you are
wrapped in a great coat, and are shivering
with the cold, you may see the heat, and the
steam it occasions. With us on the hills, the
thermometer is at forty-five; with those poor
fellows over there, it is at ninety-two degrees.
We can scarcely keep ourselves warm, for
the wind comes from the snowy range; they
cannot breathe, except beneath a punkah.
That steam is, as the crow flies, not more than
forty miles from us.

We are all idlers at Mussoorie. We are
all sick, or supposed to be so; or we have
leave on private affairs. Some of us are up
here for a month between musters. We are
in the good graces of our colonel, and our
generalthe general of our division, a very
good old gentleman.

Let us go into the public room, and have
breakfast; for, it is half-past nine o'clock, and
the bell has rung. There are not more than
half-a-dozen at the table. These are the
early risers who walk or ride round the
Camel's Back every morning: the Camel's
Back being a huge mountain, encircled about
its middle by a good road. The majority of
the club's members are asleep, and will defer
breakfast until tiffin timehalf-past two.
At that hour the gathering will be great.
How these early risers eat to be sure!
There is the major, who, if you believe him,
has every complaint mentioned in Graham's
Domestic Medicine, has just devoured two
thighs (grilled) of a turkey, and is now
asking Captain Blossom's opinion of the Irish
stew, while he is cutting into a pigeon-pie.

Let us now while away the morning. Let
us call on some of the grass widows. There
are lots of them here, civil and military.
Let us go first to Mrs. Merrydale, the wife