Kandi Subdivision: Helping to Govern India

WE had all been in camp together at Kandi, earlier in the ‘cold’ season; our tents, as big as cottages, whitening the vast green shadow of the mango grove. The horses stamped contentedly beneath the boughs. A swarm of turbaned bare-footed servants gossiped and quarreled in their quarters, deftly performing their tasks, and going their crafty, inscrutable ways.

The glossy depths of the leaves were full of the contralto gurglings of golden orioles; now and then they flamed across a bar of sunlight. In the crown of one huge tree a heavy-winged vulture had her nest, while her mate soared and circled, a speck in the illimitable blue. Streaked squirrels frisked hither and yon, chattering sarcastic disapproval of rude British ways.

We were a goodly company: the Collector and the Assistant Collector, with Mem-Sahibs and a sister-in-law; the silk-kuti Mem-Sahib and her chunky baby; the Police Burra Sahib and the Police Chota Sahib; and least in years and stature, but first in sweet grace and favor with God and man, Theo, the Collector Mem-Sahib’s baby, a sunny little angel of three.

Theo had a charming way of coming to my tent in the cool of the morning, calling me till she saw my eyes open, and then saying in her pretty Hindustani, —

‘Johnston, hamare sung kelo!’ which is to say, ‘Come, play with me!’

She had picked up my name from her great big papa, the Collector Sahib.

In the dew-bespangled sunrise, while the air was caressingly cool, we went forth to ride along the river bank and beside fields of yellow mustard or dun stubble; then, on our return to the shadowed tents, a bath, breakfast, and the day’s occupations; then again, in the swift dusk of evening, when furtive jackals rent the twilight stillness with wailing and demoniac laughter, or the silver bark of little foxes echoed over the mist-veiled rice-fields, white under the moon, we gathered in comfortable deck chairs in a great, dim aisle of the mango grove, while the tents shone orange in the lamp-light, to tell sad stories of the deaths of kings, or listen to the Police Chota Sahib, who had a pretty, sentimental tenor, singing ‘The Long Indian Day.’

In those too brief, delicious days, we had turned our eyes, once in a while, toward the town of Kandi. From the deep green shadow of the mango tope, one could see its nearest buildings gleaming white in the outer sunlight , beyond a shimmering carpet of ricestubble. One glanced for a moment at the sun-steeped houses, and then drew back with a sigh of deep content into the umbrageous quiet of the grove.

One dappled afternoon, the big Collector Sahib — big morally, big physically even from the standpoint of the Assistant Sahib, who, at the physical examination in London, measured up five eleven and a half; big most of all in heart — thus addressed his junior officer, pointing toward the white buildings out in the heat: —

‘ I expect to put you in charge over there, in January; the Deputy, Govinda Babu, has two months’ chuti; going to make a tour of his fathers-in-law!’

I heard, in pleasurable anticipation, and looked forth with new interest toward Kandi, glistening there in the sunshine.

Too soon our camp broke up, and faded creakingly through the twilight in a long train of native ox-carts down the twenty miles of dust-bedded road to the Bhagirathi River and Berhampore.

Then intervened the holidays. The Civil Station celebrated the Nativity by a tiger-shoot and a pig-stick, under the auspices of His Highness the Nawab Bahadur and half a dozen of his big, gray elephants; and I believe there was an exotic Christmas tree at the silk-kuti at Babul bona.

Thereafter, in the cool days beyond the turn of the year, I set forth, rejoicing now in the rank of Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector, the enhanced salary, and the power to consign my Aryan brothers to durance for six months, to rule over Kandi Subdivision, a kingdom of some quarter of a million souls.

Vivid in my memory is the fishnosed boat which ferried us across the Bhagirathi River, — now shrunken to a blue ribbon in a wide valley of yellow sand, with rows of stakes set here and there for the nets of the fishermen. Most vividly do I remember the quaint crook-backed fiddle of a gray-haired musician, who perched on the bamboo platform of the boat, throwing parched peas down his throat with a quick little jerk of the wrist, and an unfailing aim that I watched with incredulous admiration. The boat, the musician in his white drapery, the crook-backed fiddle, had the air of ancient Babylon. One stepped into a picture of ten thousand years ago.

The road to Kandi lay through a marshy tract of bheels and jheels, where lean fishermen cast their nets with a circular throw, gleaning a few poor little fishes for supper, or paddled in ladle-shaped canoes, hollowed from the bulbed butt of a fan palm.

Then, rounding the big mango tope with its pleasant memories of December, we drove into the town of Kandi and came to a halt at the little square Board-of-Works bungalow, destined for two months to be our headquarters. It was in a rather deserted-looking part of the town, with red-brick houses up the road a hundred yards away, and the native College, for the making of young Bengali babus, somewhat nearer on the other side, in a garden of coralblossomed ashoka trees. The bungalow had one large room, opening on a front veranda, and four small ones; with camp-cots, deck-chairs, and blue cotton carpets, the two Poonaswamis and their aides soon made it presentable; and we settled down to rule a unit of the British Indian Empire.

The brand-new Deputy Magistrate plunged that same evening into the hundred activities of subdivisional life; first betaking himself in whitehelmeted dignity to the Kutcherry, to take over charge of the court and treasury, opium room and jail, from the departing Govinda Babu, whose heart already glowed with glad anticipation of visits to his many fathersin-law.

Govinda Babu, besides being Deputy Magistrate of the Subdivision, was Chairman of the municipality of Kandi, a kind of small lord mayor; so, in his uxorious absence, these cares also, and they were heavy ones, descended upon the shoulders of the incoming Deputy Collector, who writes this history.

They were heavy ones, beginning with the dogs. Once and again have I been walking quietly and as inoffensively as the representative of the conquerors may, in the byways of some Bengali village, and have had my dignity as a Briton and a gentleman all scattered to the winds by a surly Nationalist of a buffalo bull, bearing down on me sniffingly, with sinister intent; then, to rub salt in the wounds of my honor, some Bengali babe, naked but for a key strung round his loins, has come shouting and brandishing a little stick, and has chased the buffalo bull away, its abject tail between its legs. But even worse are the hurts to dignity when one is set on by a pack of pariah dogs, — huge howling nondescripts that sniff and snap and snarl at magisterial legs. Mem-Sahib never knew much Bengali, counting her towels with her washerman in a Hindi all her own; but she did learn to cry out ‘Maro kokkur!’ — ‘Beat the dog! ’ — with terror-stricken vigor; whereat the little Bengalis, obedient even while unsympathetic to her fears, took sticks and drove the howling monsters off. If they had only barked, it would have been less uncomfortable, but their one note was a roaring, insolent howl.

Thus having suffered in honor, the Deputy Magistrate now got his opportunity for revenge. For one of the drove of big dogs that lolled and snoozed and scratched under the arches and along the streets of Kandi, went mad and, in a paroxysm of folly, bit a municipal policeman, one of a score of redturbaned knaves under my immediate orders. Thereafter the said mad dog, realizing, I suppose, that it was all up with him, in true Eastern fashion ran amuck, biting and snapping at his colleagues till the whole bazar was a canine pandemonium.

The policeman came wailing to me, and exhibited his wound; Bengalis love to show their wounds. It was a mere scratch on the shin, but the man was half crazy with fright. So I sent him to the subdivisional surgeon, a Boidhyo, a man of the doctor caste, with a shrewd diagnosis and a healing touch, to be cauterized and comforted; and then, as Acting Chairman of the municipality of Kandi, I issued a Hukum, proclaiming a wholesale massacre of stray dogs, and binding, as I remember, the said municipality to pay a reward of eight annas for each dog so slaughtered.

In my inexperience, I made a slip. I should have included in the proclamation a clause directing that the dead dogs above-mentioned and therein aforesaid should be delivered to one of my subordinates conveniently far off, — say the bitten policeman, who would have enjoyed it, — for due enumeration. I forgot to do that, so they brought the dogs to me.

An ox-cart load of them in the daytime was bad enough; but it was abominable to be awakened after midnight, to take cognizance of slaughtered corpses and sign an invoice of dead dog. Even in death, those beastly pariahs had the better of me.

They were soon forgotten, however, in the sterner, depressing duties of the cholera epidemic, which came down upon Kandi Subdivision two months before its time. The deeper cause, I suppose, was bacterial infection. The predisposing condition was colic, due to the eating of new rice, which has some such effect as green crab-apples have in the department of the interior. So my people began to die like flies.

Certain of their ways made it terribly and needlessly hard to help them. The infection, bacillus, or whatever it be, is carried by subsoil water through the sandy loam of the Ganges Delta and crops up suddenly here and there, to disappear only with the breaking of the greater rains. It seems largely a matter of pure water, but how is one to secure that for a people who first bathe in their artificial ponds, then wash their clothes in them, and lastly, when all other necessities are served, fill their brass water-jars and take them home to drink?

We arranged for the distribution of camphor dissolved in ether, the best thing to counteract the initial colic; and tried hard to keep at least one tank pure: a pretty temple pond dotted with the round green leaves of crimson waterlilies, whereon certain sharp-beaked water-hens with toes miraculously long skated about in search of beetles. I was urged to set a fence of authority about this pond, in part by my own wish for a trustworthy domestic supply, in part by a committee of Bhadra-lok, of the better sort, of Kandi, — portly Bengali gentlemen in turbans like pudding moulds, and tussore silk frock-coats.

So a second proclamation was issued, in high Bengali, similar to the Proclamation of the Dogs, the rhetorical flourishes being added by my head clerk, a wise, sympathetic fellow with an Aryan name and a Semitic nose; and I set four policemen to watch the pond day and night, bidding them arrest, and bring to me instantly, whoever presumed to put so much as an ungodly toe into the proclaimed water.

So my pani-wala with his skin watercask drew water in peace, as did the people of the town. Yet I afterwards learned, by subterranean ways, that the very gentlemen in tussore silk frock-coats and fancy turbans, who had come with salaams and lamentable petitions, were bribing my rascally policemen to let them bathe their unhallowed carcasses in my, and their, drinking water. Such a thing, my masters, is ancient custom; such a thing is the guile of mankind, lined with dire stupidity. I had those Bengali gentlemen up before me in full court, stood them in a row like malefactors, and from the height of the bench told them home truths in their suffering mother-tongue until they winced again. For the time they desisted, but I have a fancy that, when Govinda Babu came back with shining morning face, all went on as before.

A week’s tour in the outlying regions of my kingdom relieved the strain of the dog and cholera days. It was a question of reviewing the government of the villages, of seeing that all went well in scores of mud-hut settlements amid clumps of greenery and bamboos scattered over an expanse of rice-fields rising gradually from the Bhagirathi to the Santal uplands on the west.

In those tours through the outlands, one’s rascals of servants exercised upon the Bengali villagers the rights of purveyance and preëmption that got King John into such trouble: laying lawless hands on the very things, carts and firewood and straw, that are listed in the Charter; and, I fear, also pouncing on other things, such as eggs, and bamboo-flavored chickens, and egg-plants, which the Barons of Runnymede overlooked. This, in spite of all one’s efforts to pay in honest cash; efforts frustrated in my case by the two Poonaswamis, first butler and first valet in my household, whom I had imported from Madras. Poonaswami the elder, whose gold-and-crimson turbans were a joy, cooked admirably; yet he once shocked me beyond words by asking for cook-money to buy the makings of a ‘kerosene pudding,’ averring that he had often served just that very dish to the Governor of Madras. Even had the Viceroy, or visiting royalties, feasted on kerosene, I flatly refused. Poonaswami pleaded, and finally brought, to convince me, the head valet, Poonaswami the second, bearing a much-thumbed Tamil-English wordbook, and pointing in triumph to the word ‘Curaçao’!

It was a heartening sight in the approaching twilight to see the servants and orderlies, aided by impressed village watchmen, clearing a fair space for the camp, under shady mango trees. They scraped the sandy soil clean, laid on it a thick layer of sweetsmelling rice-straw, and spread on this blue-and-white cotton carpets. In the centre, they laid the butt of the big tent-pole, shook out the skirts of the tent, and then hauled away, unfurling the tent within a tent, a square home of canvas with a pyramid roof and an air-space a yard wide between the inner and the outer tent. This, with the ample shade of the glossy mango boughs, keeps one from roasting in camp in the ‘cold’ season: cold enough, that is, for peaches to hold something of their flavor, but too hot, even at Christmas, for strawberries, save on the mountain-tops about Mussurie.

The morning after we made camp, at the village of Belgaon, — which is the ‘settlement of the Bel trees,’ — I had my office-table set up under the trees, and summoned the weighty men of the village to give an account of their doings and their people. They came, reverend seniors, elected by the householders of those reed-thatched mud-houses, to form the Council of Five, signified by their title of Panchayet. Very good men they were, with much native mother-wit, palpably well-chosen and thorough masters of their duties — the settling of village disputes concerning lands, the division of the fruits of harvest between communal tillers, the levying of village rates, the payment of the watchmen, — those indigo-coated, white-turbaned chowkidars with their pikes, who had snored the night through over the ashes of my camp-fires, as the jackals flitted among the ropes, and night-owls hooted in the branches.

I had the indigo-coated chowkidars up before me, in an abashed row, and made them testify as to the peace of the village; then I looked over their wage-books to make sure that each of them got his five rupees a month regularly, lest they might fall into thieving. When I had duly verified these things, going over one grubby booklet after another, making out the crabbed entries in village Bengali, and cross-questioning the illiterate chowkidars, to check the written figures, I came to the conclusion that the village accounts were honestly and effectively kept, and that the Bengali village was a model of good local government. Its structure is, indeed, by all odds the oldest thing we have in India: older, by ages, than the British Raj, older than the Mogul invaders whom ‘John Company’ superseded, older than the era of Persian and Arab raiders, older than Chandragupta or Ashoka, older than the venerable laws of Manu, son of the Sun.

Impressed at finding myself in the living presence of this fragment of an elder world, I relieved the tension between two ages by having the chowkidars drawn up in line, and putting them through marching and pike exercises, to the ecstatic admiration of naked little Bengalis of both sexes, who had mysteriously found their way to the Sahib’s camp, and were peeping like big-eyed brown fairies from behind the smooth boles of the mango trees.

Then I read petitions about all kinds of little local ills; gorgeously-worded petitions, in which I was addressed as Dharmavatar, and Garibparwar: Incarnation of Righteousness, and Umbrella of the Poor. One can do much to lift heavy burdens in this summary fashion, and, on the whole, I think I got at the truth. It was borne in upon me, and often verified thereafter, that the life of these humble Indian villages is, on the whole, very happy, despite darkling superstitions and lean days and a climate exasperatingly hard. We of the British Raj shield these poor folk from battle, murder, sudden death, if not always from plague, pestilence, famine; we guard them against rapacious, lazy overlings, who have preyed on them from generation to generation, and who pay us in angry discontent for thus interfering with their prey. These villagers and their like have learned by experience that they can trust implicitly in our law and even-handed justice. No small thing, this, to do for nigh three hundred millions of the poorest, most defenseless folk on earth.

Sometimes, while I was touring the outlands, the village had a school to be examined and reported on, with a view to ‘grants in aid.’ A spectacled busybody of a Brahman pundit led out to the Deputy Magistrate’s shadowed camp his brood of youngsters, gay with flowered muslins and tinseled caps for so great an occasion. On a clean-swept strip of sand under the boughs, they sate them in a row — little brown frogs of chaps with big, dark eyes; each with his palm-leaf writing-strips on his lap, whereon to my deep edification he penned, or rather drew with a pointed reed dipped in ink, the curved Bengali letters, chanting their names the while like a young crow: — ‘Kaw, khaw, gaw, ghaw, ngaw.’ As a crowning glory, the fussy little pundit declared that one of his children of the dusk knew real English words. After vernacular promptings sotto voce, a small hopeful, in green and rose-colored muslin, and with a grave little brown face under a gold-tinseled cap, arose, and with immeasurable, severe dignity piped the words: ‘Uni-vair-sal gravytation!’ and then suddenly collapsed, shutting up like a pocket-knife under the strain of violent mental effort, while the fussy, pompous little pundit beamed with wreathed smiles.

It was very taking to see these little brown mites demonstrating Euclid at the blackboard, in a fluent Bengali that left the Deputy Collector halting behind; and odd too, until one remembered that the ancestors of these brown morocco babies had discovered not only geometry, but trigonometry and algebra also; giving this last to the Arabs what time the wily Moslems purloined from India the ‘Arabic’ numerals, — really conventionalized initials of the Sanskrit numerals,though foisted by the Arabs as their own on a confiding world.

Fain would the Deputy Magistrate have lingered in the outlands, camping in the scented, melodious shadow of mango topes, by palm-fringed pools adorned with blue or crimson waterlilies; making fatherly inquest into the practical working of this elder world amid vast brown expanses of rice-stubble; admiring hugely the reed-thatched huts with trailing melons growing over them, the hairy green hands of the leaves and the yellow trumpet-flowers strewn with dewy seed-pearls in the white of the dawn; but the duties of the station at Kandi called him back, happily to find the cholera abated, the stream of dog diminished to a trickle.

But there was much to do every day at the Kutcherry, an agglomeration of white-washed brick, of no defined form or style. There were, first, the criminal trials for the day, though the petty pilferings and thumpings of these guileless folk little deserved the high, serious name of crime. One case I remember, where there was some question of selling rice-liquor without due excise license. A witness for the prosecuting Abkari department, which is to say, Excise, filled me with hopeless wonder at his splendid, disinterested inveracity. With rolling eye, he told me of a small room, a yard or so square, indicating its precise dimensions on the rail of the witness-stand before him; then he related how wild revelers, thirsting for rice-wine, came pouring in, — ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty of them, gathering in that tiny cubicle to make merry and carouse. By his telling, never was such furious dissipation, such unbridled delinquency; fifty men — or was it sixty ? — singing and dancing and wassailing in a square yard of space.

You cannot indict such a shockheaded, wild-eyed fellow for perjury; it would be too ridiculous. There is one way, I have been told, to get the truth out of the most depraved Bengali: to fill his palm with Ganges water, and then bid him testify. But I have a notion that this fellow, were he immersed in Ganges to the lips, or in subterranean Phlegethon for that matter, would still gurgle out his sublime phantasies.

Then there was the governmental dispensing of gunja, or hashish, a kind of withered aster, and of blocks of opium; a duty which rejoiced not the heart of the Deputy Collector. The British Indian Government does not sell these things; it receives them in bond from the growers, and distributes them, with a whacking excise duty added to the cost, to licensed dealers, who peddle out to their clients the fuel of dreams.

The opium came in blocks as big as bricks, weighing a Bengali seer, or two pounds; the duty on each brick being, as I remember it, some twenty-eight rupees at three to the dollar. The Deputy Collector confesses to having sold enough of this acrid stuff to demoralize a city, supposing the traffic to be as noxious as its critics aver. He wishes, therefore, to say thereon these two things: first, that the British Raj has three courses open to it: to forbid all growing of the rose-red opium poppy, which might be over-tyrannous; or to allow its cultivation free of all restriction; or to lay such a tax on it as shall bring in a good revenue, and at the same time greatly discourage, while not absolutely prohibiting, its use. This last is the course followed by the British Raj. Secondly, the Deputy Collector deposes that, so far as his limited observation went, opium was used chiefly by hopeless invalids, sufferers from cancer, or leprosy, or the disfiguring maladies of the East; this would seem to be the reason why pictures of Indian opium-dens show such ghastly wrecks of humanity. Opium is not the cause of their miserable state, but its palliative. The natives of India are, on the whole, admirably temperate, as they are wonderfully free from serious crime.

As for revenue from opium, and the reprobation that goes with it, the government of India is in a quandary. It must tax something, or go bankrupt out of hand. The Permanent Settlement of a century ago pledged the government of Bengal never, on any plea, to increase the tax, or government rent, at that time laid on land; and in spite of every need this promise has been sacredly kept. So rupees must be raised elsewhere; and not very creditable taxes, like this on opium which hurts no one but the users of it, or the far more onerous tax on salt, are the best expedients that have so far been hit upon, to fill the big hole in Bengal’s revenues.

As for the other departments of his small kingdom, the Deputy Collector has the honor to invite you to study them in company with no less a man than the Commissioner of Central Bengal, a very great personage indeed in the hierarchy of Covenanted-Walas. Of these latter, nine hundred govern and, as I believe, govern admirably well, an empire of three hundred million souls. Some two hundred and fifty of them at that time made up the Civil Service of the still undivided Province of Lower Bengal, with Behar and Orissa thereto joined.

To understand the might, majesty, and dominion of my Commissioner, I shall try to lead you up to his pyramidal eminence by graded steps. Begin with just such a little kingdom as my own Kandi Subdivision, some three or four hundred square miles, inhabited by a quarter of a million lowly souls. Four or five such subdivisions make up a District, under such a collector and district magistrate as little Theo’s big and big-hearted papa, who had a million or a million and a quarter subdued, toiling subjects. And eight or ten such districts make up a Division, in this case dominated, from his dizzy height, by my august guest, who came, as I have hinted, on a tour of inspection to the Subdivision of Kandi; much as the humble Deputy Collector, in his turn, went on tours of inspection through the little villages.

As I have begun with statistics, let me grasp my courage in both hands and, at grave risk of unpopularity, try to carry the matter through. Some half-dozen divisions make up the Province of Lower Bengal, under a Lieutenant-Governor risen from the ranks of Covenanted-Walas, and in his day proud to rule just such a realm as Kandi Subdivision. Bombay and Madras rejoice in lordly governors sent fresh from home, as they are old provinces; but the four or five provinces remaining — which, with the senior three already enumerated, make up British India — are ruled by lieutenant-governors who rise from the Covenanted ranks. Thus any man of the nine hundred may some day be the head of a realm as populous as France or Italy, and with peasants as thrifty and as poor. Over all these lieutenantgovernors hovers the superb Viceroy, absolute as Jove himself, save when the Secretary of State for India berates him by cable.

Besides these directly-governed provinces, there is a huge native India of six hundred thousand square miles, ruled by Hindu or Mahometan or Buddhist princes: the splendid feudal chivalry of Rajputana, noblest among the races of the world; or ancient Hindu lines like the Maharajas of Mysore, — once serfs of the conquering Moslem but set on their thrones again by the English,—with their reverence for what is old and their genius for conservation; or fragments broken from the crumbling Mogul empire, such as Hyderabad is still, and such as Bengal was when Clive fought at Plassey; or new-sprung princelings of the plundering Mahratta clans, like the Maharaja Gaekwar of Baroda, or Holkar of Indore.

I am inspired to this statistical precision by the earnest desire to define, with nice accuracy, the terrace of the hierarchical pyramid to which pertained my stately visitor the Commissioner: a huge, tired gentleman, who had given a long life, and a great life, to India, and had but the dregs of it left. He was one of the bricks in the altar of sacrifice.

The Commissioner Sahib camped in the great mango tope, whence we went forth together to review my dominions. We talked, he as master, I as learner, of such things as lie close to the hearts of all Covenanted-Walas: ryots and crops, assessments and tenures, criminal and civil law; and always his thought was keenest, his heart most tender, for the fate and weal of the lowly, the real beneficiaries of England’s quiet rule. Save for the spell of cholera, which had been very destructive, I had a good account to render of my people.

We had a session with the books of the court: so many thefts, with so many convictions; assaults, simple or aggravated; lurking house-trespass; a graver crime or two, and one accidental shooting by a shock-headed young French planter with a bow neck-tie, seriously complicated by his foolish flight. We got his matter straightened out, however, after a few days. Accounts, too, we went over together: land-taxes, excise-levies, sales of opium, gunja, stamps, fees of one kind and another, making up the receipts; while on the side of disbursements stood the salary of the Umbrella of the Poor and the pay of his subordinates, payments for government buildings and the like, and, finally, remittances of hard-earned balances to the District Treasury.

The kind old man slowly, rather absently, but with entire faithfulness, went over these accounts and signed the books. Then we went together to the jail, of which the writer of these things was governor. I was not inordinately vain over that mud jail with its thatched shed, nor yet was I cast down. For a magnificent new prison with huge walls of brick was being built a hundred yards away, in response to the importunities of Govinda Babu. But I liked my little mud jail best; and so, I think, did my five prisoners. Indeed, we all held it in such affection that, after my tame desperadoes had been reviewed, I patted the low clay wall, and said to the Commissioner,—

‘It is very considerate of the prisoners not to kick the wall down and walk away!’

By the way, naked toes may have had something to do with their forbearance, yet my obligation to them remained.

Well, when we had examined all these things and found them to be very good, pending dinner in camp the great man returned to my office to report on what he had seen to that even greater man, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. He wrote a line or two about this and that, spoke of crops and taxes, and then bethought him to add, in conclusion, a word or two about the jail. But words come not easily to tired souls and out-worn years; so, finally, smiling to himself, he wrote, with softly creaking quill: —

‘ It is very considerate — of the prisoners — not to kick down the wall — and walk away.’