Having reached Rambodd? at the foot of the Newera Ellia Pass, in safety, I found that the carriage was so heavy that the horses were totally unable to ascend the pass. I therefore left it at the rest-house while we rode up the fifteen miles to Newera Ellia, intending to send for the empty vehicle in a few days.
The whole party of emigrants and ourselves reached Newera Ellia in safety. On the following day I sent down the groom with a pair of horses to bring up the carriage; at the same time I sent down the elephant to bring some luggage from Rambodd?
Now this groom, "Henry Perkes," was one of the emigrants, and he was not exactly the steadiest of the party; I therefore cautioned him to be very careful in driving up the pass, especially in crossing the narrow bridges and turning the corners. He started on his mission.
The next day a dirty-looking letter was put in my hand by a native, which, being addressed to me, ran something in this style:
"Honord Zur "I'm sorry to hinform you that the carrige and osses has met with a haccidint and is tumbled down a preccippice and its a mussy as I didn't go too. The preccippice isn't very deep bein not above heighy feet or therabouts - the hosses is got up but is very bad - the carrige lies on its back and we can't stir it nohow. Mr. _____ is very kind, and has lent above a hunderd niggers, but they aint no more use than cats at liftin. Plese Zur come and see whats to be done. "Your Humbel Servt, "H. PERKES."
This was pleasant, certainly - a new carriage and a pair of fine Australian horses smashed before they reached Newera Ellia!
This was, however, the commencement of a chapter of accidents. I went down the pass, and there, sure enough, I had a fine bird's-eye view of the carriage down a precipice on the road side. One horse was so injured that it was necessary to destroy him; the other died a few days after. Perkes had been intoxicated; and, while driving at a full gallop round a corner, over went the carriages and horses.
On my return to Newera Ellia, I found a letter informing me that the short-horn cow had halted at Amberpuss? thirty-seven miles from Colombo, dangerously ill. The next morning another letter informed me that she was dead. This was a sad loss after the trouble of bringing so fine an animal from England; and I regretted her far more than both carriage and horses together, as my ideas for breeding some thorough-bred stock were for the present extinguished.