Crawford's first novel, a brilliant sketch of modern Anglo-Indian life mingled with a touch of Oriental mystery.
It seemed to me that I was suddenly transported into the subterranean chambers whither the wicked magician sent Aladdin in quest of the lamp. A soft but strong light filled the room, though I did not immediately comprehend whence it came, nor did I think to look, so amazed was I by the extraordinary splendour of the objects that met my eyes. In the first glance it appeared as if the walls and the ceiling were lined with gold and precious stones; and in reality it was almost literally the truth. The apartment, I soon saw, was small,--for India at least,--and every available space, nook and cranny, were filled with gold and jeweled ornaments, shining weapons, or uncouth but resplendent idols. There were sabres in scabbards set from end to end with diamonds and sapphires, with cross hilts of rubies in massive gold mounting, the spoil of some worsted rajah or Nawab of the mutiny. There were narghyles four feet high, crusted with gems and curiously wrought work from Baghdad or Herat; water flasks of gold and drin