A voyage to India nowadays is a continuous social event. The passengers compose a house party, being guests of the Steamship company for the time. The decks of the steamer are like broad verandas and are covered with comfortable chairs, in which the owners lounge about all day. Some of the more industrious women knit and embroider, and I saw one good mother with a basket full of mending, at which she was busily engaged at least three mornings. Others play cards upon folding tables or write letters with portfolios on their laps, and we had several artists who sketched the sky and sea, but the majority read novels and guide books, and gossiped. As birds of a feather flock together on the sea as well as on land, previous acquaintances and congenial new ones form little circles and cliques and entertain themselves and each other, and, after a day or two, move their chairs around so that they can be together. Americans and English do not mix as readily as you might expect, although there is nothing like coolness between them. It is only a natural restraint. They are accustomed to their ways, and we to ours, and it is natural for us to drift toward our own fellow countrymen.

In the afternoon nettings are hung around one of the broad decks and games of cricket are played. One day it is the army against the navy; another day the united service against a civilian team, and then the cricketers in the second-class salon are invited to come forward and try their skill against a team made up of first-classers. In the evening there is dancing, a piano being placed upon the deck for that purpose, and for two hours it is very gay. The ladies are all in white, and several English women insisted upon coming out on the deck in low-cut and short-sleeved gowns. It is said to be the latest fashion, and is not half as bad as their cigarette smoking or the ostentatious display of jewelry that is made on the deck every morning. Several women, and some of them with titles, sprawl around in steamer chairs, wearing necklaces of pearls, diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones, fit for only a banquet or a ball, with their fingers blazing with jewels and their wrists covered with bracelets. There seemed to be a rivalry among the aristocracy on our steamer as to which could make the most vulgar display of gold, silver and precious stones, and it occurs to me that these Englishwomen had lived in India so long that they must have acquired the Hindu barbaric love of jewelry.

My attention was called not long ago to a cartoon in a British illustrated paper comparing the traveling outfits of American and English girls. The American girl had a car load of trunks and bags and bundles, a big bunch of umbrellas and parasols, golf sticks, tennis racquets and all sorts of queer things, and was dressed in a most conspicuous and elaborate manner. She was represented as striding up and down a railway platform covered with diamonds, boa, flashy hat and fancy finery, while the English girl, in a close fitting ulster and an Alpine hat, leaned quietly upon her umbrella near a small "box," as they call a trunk, and a modest traveling bag. But that picture isn't accurate. According to my observation it ought to be reversed. I have never known the most vulgar or the commonest American woman to make such a display of herself in a public place as we witnessed daily among the titled women upon the P. and O. steamer Mongolia, bound for Bombay. Nor is it exceptional. Whenever you see an overdressed woman loaded with jewelry in a public place in the East, you may take it for granted that she belongs to the British nobility. Germans, French, Italians and other women of continental Europe are never guilty of similar vulgarity, and among Americans it is absolutely unknown.

It is customary for everybody to dress for dinner, and, while the practice has serious objections in stormy weather it is entirely permissible and comfortable during the long, warm nights on the Indian Ocean. The weather, however, was not nearly as warm as we expected to find it. We were four days on the Red Sea and six days on the Indian Ocean, and were entirely comfortable except for two days when the wind was so strong and kicked up so much water that the port-holes had to be closed, and it was very close and stuffy in the cabin. While the sun was hot there was always a cool breeze from one direction or another, and the captain told me it was customary during the winter season.

The passengers on our steamer were mostly English, with a few East Indians, and Americans. You cannot board a steamer in any part of the world nowadays without finding some of your fellow countrymen. They are becoming the greatest travelers of any nation and are penetrating to uttermost parts of the earth. Many of the English passengers were army officers returning to India from furloughs or going out for service, and officers' families who had been spending the hot months in England. We had lots of lords and sirs and lady dowagers, generals, colonels and officers of lesser rank, and the usual number of brides and bridegrooms, on their wedding tours; others were officials of the government in India, who had been home to be married. And we had several young women who were going out to be married. Their lovers were not able to leave their business to make the long voyage, and were waiting for them in Bombay, Calcutta or in some of the other cities. But perhaps the largest contingent were "civil servants," as employes of the government are called, who had been home on leave. The climate of India is very trying to white people, and, recognizing that fact, the government gives its officials six months' leave with full pay or twelve months' leave with half pay every five years. In that way an official who has served five consecutive years in India can spend the sixth year in England or anywhere else he likes.

We had several notable natives, including Judge Nayar, a judicial magistrate at Madras who has gained eminence at the Indian bar and was received with honors in England. He is a Parsee, a member of that remarkable race which is descended from the Persian fire worshipers. He dresses and talks and acts exactly like an ordinary English barrister. There were three brothers in the attractive native dress, Mohammedans, sons of Adamjee Peerbhoy, one of the largest cotton manufacturers and wealthiest men in India, who employs more than 15,000 operatives in his mills and furnished the canvas for the tents and the khaki for the uniforms of the British soldiers during the South African war. These young gentlemen had been making a tour of Europe, combining business with pleasure, and had inspected nearly all the great cotton mills in England and on the continent, picking up points for their own improvement. They are intelligent and enterprising men and their reputation for integrity, ability and loyalty to the British government has frequently been recognized in a conspicuous manner.

Our most notable shipmate was the Right Honorable Lord Lamington, recently governor of one of the Australian provinces, on his way to assume similar responsibility at Bombay, which is considered a more responsible post. He is a youngish looking, handsome man, and might easily be mistaken for Governor Myron T. Herrick of Ohio. One night at dinner his lordship was toasted by an Indian prince we had on board, and made a pleasant reply, although it was plain to see that he was not an orator. Captain Preston, the commander of the ship, who was afterward called upon, made a much more brilliant speech.

The prince was Ranjitsinhji, a famous cricket player, whom some consider the champion in that line of sport. He went over to the United States with an English team and will be pleasantly remembered at all the places he visited. He is a handsome fellow, 25 years old, about the color of a mulatto, with a slender athletic figure, graceful manners, a pleasant smile, and a romantic history. His father was ruler of one of the native states, and dying, left his throne, title and estates to his eldest son. The latter, being many years older than Ranjitsinhji, adopted him as his heir and sent him to England to be educated for the important duty he was destined to perform. He went through the school at Harrow and Cambridge University and took honors in scholarship as well as athletics, and was about to return to assume his hereditary responsibility in Indian when, to the astonishment of all concerned, a boy baby was born in his brother's harem, the first and only child of a rajah 78 years of age. The mother was a Mohammedan woman, and, according to a strict construction of the laws governing such things among the Hindus, the child was not entitled to any consideration whatever. Without going into details, it is sufficient for the story to say that the public at large did not believe that the old rajah was the father of the child, or that the infant was entitled to succeed him even if he had been. But the old man was so pleased at the birth of the baby that he immediately proclaimed him his heir, the act was confirmed by Lord Elgin, the viceroy, and the honors and estates which Ranjitsinhji expected to inherit vanished like a dream. The old man gave him an allowance of $10,000 a year and he has since lived in London consoling himself with cricket.

Another distinguished passenger was Sir Cowasji Jehangir Readymoney, an Indian baronet, who inherited immense wealth from a long line of Parsee bankers. They have adopted as a sort of trademark, a nickname given by some wag to the founder of the family, in the last century because of his immense fortune and success in trade. Mr. Readymoney, or Sir Jehangir, as he is commonly known, the present head of the house, was accompanied by his wife, two daughters, their governess, and his son, who had been spending several months in London, where he had been the object of much gratifying attention. His father received his title as an acknowledgment of his generosity in presenting $250,000 to the Indian Institute in London, and for other public benefactions, estimated at $1,300,000. He built colleges, hospitals, insane asylums and other institutions. He founded a Strangers' Home at Bombay for the refuge of people of respectability who find themselves destitute or friendless or become ill in that city. He erected drinking fountains of artistic architecture at several convenient places in Bombay, and gave enormous sums to various charities in London and elsewhere without respect to race or creed. Both the Roman Catholic and the Presbyterian missions in India have been the recipients of large gifts, and the university at Bombay owes him for its finest building.

Several of the most prominent native families in India have followed the example of Mr. Readymoney by adopting the nicknames that were given their ancestors. Indian names are difficult to pronounce. What, for example, would you call Mr. Jamshijdji or Mr. Jijibhai, and those are comparatively simple? Hence, in early times it was the habit of foreigners to call the natives with whom they came in contact by names that were appropriate to their character or their business. For example, "Mr. Reporter," one of the editors of the Times of India, as his father was before him, is known honorably by a name given by people who were unable to pronounce his father's Indian name.

Sir Jamsetjed Jeejeebhoy, one of the most prominent and wealthy Parsees, who is known all over India for his integrity and enterprise, and has given millions of dollars to colleges, schools, hospitals, asylums and other charities, is commonly known as Mr. Bottlewaller. "Waller" is the native word for trader, and his grandfather was engaged in selling and manufacturing bottles. He began by picking up empty soda and brandy bottles about the saloons, clubs and hotels, and in that humble way laid the foundation of an immense fortune and a reputation that any man might envy. The family have always signed their letters and checks "Bottlewaller," and have been known by that name in business and society. But when Queen Victoria made the grandfather a baronet because of distinguished services, the title was conferred upon Jamsetjed Jeejeebhoy, which was his lawful name.

Another similar case is that of the Petit family, one of the richest in India and the owners and occupants of the finest palaces in Bombay. Their ancestor, or the first of the family who distinguished himself, was a man of very small stature, almost a dwarf, who was known as Le Petit. He accepted the christening and bore the name honorably, as his sons and grandsons have since done. They are now baronets, but have never dropped it, and the present head of the house is Sir Manockji Petit.

The Eye of India, as Bombay is called, sits on an island facing the Arabian Sea on one side and a large bay on the other, but the water is quite shallow, except where channels have been dredged to the docks. The scenery is not attractive. Low hills rise in a semicircle from the horizon, half concealed by a curtain of mist, and a few green islands scattered about promiscuously are occupied by hospitals, military barracks, villas and plantations. Nor is the harbor impressive. It is not worth description, but the pile of buildings which rises on the city side as the steamer approaches its dock is imposing, being a picturesque mingling of oriental and European architecture. Indeed, I do not know of any city that presents a braver front to those who arrive by sea. At the upper end, which you see first, is a group of five-story apartment houses, with oriental balconies and colonnades. Then comes a monstrous new hotel, built by a stock company under the direction of the late J. N. Tata, a Parsee merchant who visited the United States several times and obtained his inspirations and many of his ideas there. Beside the hotel rise the buildings of the yacht club, a hospitable association of Englishmen, to which natives, no matter how great and good they may be, are never admitted. Connected with the club is an apartment house for gentlemen, and so hospitable are the members that a traveler can secure quarters there without difficulty if he brings a letter of introduction.

Next toward the docks is an old castle whose gray and lichen-covered walls are a striking contrast to the new modern buildings that surround it. These walls inclose a considerable area, which by courtesy is called a fort. It was a formidable defense at one time, and has been the scene of much exciting history, but is obsolete now. The walls are of heavy masonry, but a shot from a modern gun would shatter them. They inclose the military headquarters of the Bombay province, or Presidency, as it is called in the Indian gazetteer, the cathedral of this diocese, quarters and barracks for the garrison, an arsenal, magazines and other military buildings and a palatial sailors' home, one of the finest and largest institution of the kind in the world, which is supported by contributions from the various shipping companies that patronize this place. There are also several machine shops, factories and warehouses which contain vast stores of war material of every sort sufficient to equip an army at a fortnight's notice. About twelve hundred men are constantly employed in the arsenal and shops making and repairing military arms and equipments. There is a museum of ancient weapons, and many which were captured from the natives in the early days of India's occupation are quite curious; and there the visitor will have his first view of one of the greatest wonders of nature, a banyan tree, which drops its branches to take root in the soil beneath its over-spreading boughs. But you must wait until you get to Calcutta before you can see the best specimens.

Bombay is not fortified, except by a few guns behind some earthworks at the entrance of the harbor, but it must be if the Russians secure a port upon the Arabian Sea; not only Bombay, but the entire west coast of India. The only protection for the city now is a small fleet of battle ships, monitors and gunboats that lie in the harbor, and there are usually several visiting men of war at the anchorage.

Bombay is the second city in population in India, Calcutta standing first on the list with 1,350,000 people, and, if you will take your map for a moment, you will see that the two cities lie in almost the same latitude, one on each side of the monstrous peninsula - Bombay at the top of the Arabian Sea and Calcutta at the top of the Bay of Bengal. By the census of 1891 Bombay had 821,764 population. By the census of 1901 the total was 776,006, the decrease of 45,758 being attributed to the frightful mortality by the plague in 1900 and 1901. It is the most enterprising, the most modern, the most active, the richest and the most prosperous city in India. More than 90 per cent of the travelers who enter and leave the country pass over the docks, and more than half the foreign commerce of the country goes through its custom-house. It is by all odds the finest city between modern Cairo and San Francisco, and its commercial and industrial interests exceed that of any other.

The arrangements for landing passengers are admirable. On the ship all our baggage was marked with numbers corresponding to that of our declaration to the collector of customs. The steamer anchored out about a quarter of a mile from a fine covered pier. We were detained on board until the baggage, even our small pieces, was taken ashore on one launch and after a while we followed it on another. Upon reaching the dock we passed up a long aisle to where several deputy collectors were seated behind desks. As we gave our names they looked through the bundles of declarations which had been arranged alphabetically, and, finding the proper one, told us that we would have to pay a duty of 5 per cent upon our typewriter and kodaks, and that a receipt and certificate would be furnished by which we could recover the money at any port by which we left India. Nothing else was taxed, although I noticed that nearly every passenger had to pay on something else. There is only one rate of duty - 5 per cent ad valorem upon everything - jewelry, furniture, machinery - all pay the same, which simplified the transaction. But the importation of arms and ammunition is strictly prohibited and every gun, pistol and cartridge is confiscated in the custom-house unless the owner can present evidence that he is an officer of the army or navy and that they are the tools of his trade, or has a permit issued by the proper authority. This precaution is intended to anticipate any conspiracy similar to that which led to the great mutiny of 1857. The natives are not allowed to carry guns or even to own them, and every gun or other weapon found in the hands of a Hindu is confiscated unless he has a permit. And as an additional precaution the rifles issued to the native regiments in the army have a range of only twelve hundred yards, while those issued to the white regiments will kill at sixteen hundred yards; thus giving the latter an important advantage in case of an insurrection.

After having interviewed the deputy collector, we were admitted to a great pen or corral in the middle of the pier, which is inclosed by a high fence, and there found all our luggage piled up together on a bench. And all the trunks and bags and baskets from the ship were similarly assorted, according to the numbers they bore. We were not asked to open anything, none of our packages were examined, the declarations of passengers usually being accepted as truthful and final unless the inspectors have reason to believe or suspect deception. Gangs of coolies in livery, each wearing a brass tag with his number, stood by ready to seize the baggage and carry it to the hotel wagons, which stood outside, where we followed it and directed by a polite Sikh policeman, took the first carriage in line. Everything was conducted in a most orderly manner. There was no confusion, no jostling and no excitement, which indicates that the Bombay officials have correct notions of what is proper and carry them into practice.

The docks of Bombay are the finest in Asia, and when the extensions now in progress are carried out few cities in Europe can surpass them. They are planned for a century in advance. The people of Bombay are not boastful, but they are confident of the growth of their city and its commerce. Attached to the docks is a story of integrity and fidelity worth telling. In 1735 the municipal authorities of the young city, anticipating commercial prosperity, decided to improve their harbor and build piers for the accommodation of vessels, but nobody around the place had experience in such matters and a commission was sent off to other cities of India to find a man to take charge. The commission was very much pleased with the appearance and ability of Lowji Naushirwanji, the Parsee foreman of the harbor at the neighboring town of Surat, and tried to coax him away by making a very lucrative offer, much in advance of the pay he was then receiving. He was too loyal and honest to accept it, and read the commission a lecture on business integrity which greatly impressed them. When they returned to Bombay and related their experience, the municipal authorities communicated with those of Surat and inclosed an invitation to Naushirwanji to come down and build a dock for Bombay. The offer was so advantageous that his employers advised him to accept it. He did so, and from that day to this a man of his name, and one of his descendants, has been superintendent of the docks of this city. The office has practically become hereditary in the family.

A decided sensation awaits the traveler when he passes out from the pier into the street, particularly if it is his first visit to the East. He already has had a glimpse of the gorgeous costumes of the Hindu gentleman and the priestly looking Parsees, and the long, cool white robes of the common people, for several of each class were gathered at the end of the pier to welcome friends who arrived by the steamer, but the moment that he emerges from the dock he enters a new and a strange world filled with vivid colors and fantastic costumes. He sees his first "gherry," a queer-looking vehicle made of bamboo, painted in odd patterns and bright tints, and drawn by a cow or a bullock that will trot almost as fast as a horse. All vehicles, however, are now called "gherrys" in India, no matter where they come from nor how they are built - the chariot of the viceroy as well as the little donkey cart of the native fruit peddler.

The extent of bare flesh visible - masculine and feminine - startles you at first, and the scanty apparel worn by the common people of both sexes. Working women walk by with their legs bare from the thighs down, wearing nothing but a single garment wrapped in graceful folds around their slender bodies. They look very small, compared with the men, and the first question every stranger asks is the reason. You are told that they are married in infancy, that they begin to bear children by the time they are 12 and 14 years old, and consequently do not have time to grow; and perhaps that is the correct explanation for the diminutive stature of the women of India. There are exceptions. You see a few stalwart amazons, but ninety per cent or more of the sex are under size. Perhaps there is another reason, which does not apply to the upper classes, and that is the manual labor the coolies women perform, the loads they carry on their heads and the heavy lifting that is required of them. If you approach a building in course of erection you will find that the stone, brick, mortar and other material is carried up the ladders and across the scaffolding on the heads of women and girls, and some of these "hod carriers" are not more than 10 or 12 years old. They carry everything on their heads, and usually it requires two other women or girls to hoist the heavy burden to the head of the third. All the weight comes on the spine, and must necessarily prevent or retard growth, although it gives them an erect and stately carriage, which women in America might imitate with profit. At the same time, perhaps, our women might prefer to acquire their carriage in some other way than "toting" a hodful of bricks to the top of a four-story building.

The second thing that impresses you is the amount of glistening silver the working women wear upon their naked limbs. To drop into poetry, like Silas Wegg, they wear rings in their noses and rings on their toeses, and bands of silver wherever they can fasten them on their arms and legs and neck. They have bracelets, anklets, armlets, necklaces, and their noses as well as their ears are pierced for pendants. You wonder how a woman can eat, drink or sleep with a great big ornament hanging over her lips, and some of the earrings must weigh several ounces, for they fall almost to the shoulders. You will meet a dozen coolie women every block with two or three pounds of silver ornaments distributed over their persons, which represent their savings bank, for every spare rupee is invested in a ring, bracelet or a necklace, which, of course, does not pay interest, but can be disposed of for full value in case of an emergency. The workmanship is rude, but the designs are often pretty, and a collection of the silver ornaments worn by Hindu women would make an interesting exhibit for a museum. They are often a burden to them, particularly in hot weather, when they chafe and burn the flesh, and our Bombay friends tell us that in the summer the fountain basins, the hydrants and every other place where water can be found will be surrounded by women bathing the spots where the silver ornaments have seared the skin and cooling the metal, which is often so hot as to burn the fingers.

Another feature of Bombay life which immediately seizes the attention is the gay colors worn by everybody, which makes the streets look like animated rainbows or the kaleidoscopes that you can buy at the 10-cent stores. Orange and scarlet predominate, but yellow, pink, purple, green, blue and every other tint that was ever invented appears in the robes of the Hindus you meet upon the street. A dignified old gentleman will cross your path with a pink turban on his head and a green scarf wound around his shoulders. The next man you meet may have a pair of scarlet stockings, a purple robe and a tunic of wine-colored velvet embroidered in gold. There seems to be no rule or regulation about the use of colors and no set fashion for raiment. The only uniformity in the costume worn by the men of India is that everybody's legs are bare. Most men wear sandals; some wear shoes, but trousers are as rare as stovepipe hats. The native merchant goes to his counting-room, the banker to his desk, the clergyman discourses from a pulpit, the lawyer addresses the court, the professor expounds to his students and the coolie carries his load, all with limbs naked from the ankles to the thighs, and never more than half-concealed by a muslin divided skirt.

The race, the caste and often the province of a resident of India may be determined by his headgear. The Parsees wear tall fly-trap hats made of horse hair, with a top like a cow's foot; the Mohammedans wear the fez, and the Hindus the turban, and there are infinite varieties of turbans, both in the material used and in the manner in which they are put up. An old resident of India can usually tell where a man comes from by looking at his turban.