respectful consideration to the views of the Government of India expressed in this despatch, I
cannot, after obtaining other valuable opinions on the topic, bring myself in any way to concur
in them. A hundred other arguments might be advanced against this proposal, but it will be
sufficient to mention its general impossibility, its prohibitive cost, the time it would take, the
certainty that it would produce exactly the opposite effects which were intended even if partially
carried out, and the fact that such a camp could not be put up inside municipal limits."

Sketch of the measures taken by the Municipal Commissioner in
Bombay City during this period.
1. During the month of November it seemed as if the epidemic was
on the decline. The reported plague deaths for the week ending October
27th had been 72, while in the week ending December 1st, 64 only were
recorded. Opinion, as reflected in the public press, was up to this time divided
on the subject, one school insisting that to call the prevailing disease plague was
going too far; bubonoid fever, or bubonic fever, were, it was urged, more cor-
rect as well as less alarming names for describing it. Others went to the other
extreme, and asked for the destruction by fire of all infected houses and locali-
2. The following table exhibits the sudden turn for the worse which
affairs took in the first part of December:
Week ending
Deaths from
all causes.
Reported Plague
December 1st
" 8th
" 15th
" 22nd
" 29th
January 5th
" 12th
" 19th
" 26th
February 2nd
3. As regarded the direction in which the disease spread, the Commissioner
notes that, speaking generally, it was preceded by a migration of rats from the
parts of the city which were most affected.
"The bubonic plague travelled principally from east to west and then north, throw-
ing out branches to the south and obtaining a footing on Malabr Hill later on. By
the commencement of December nearly all the rats had disappeared from Mndvi and
adjacent quarters of the city, while they were noticed in Kmtipura, Trdeo and Byculla in
great numbers, many of them being found dead. The bubonic plague followed in their
track with unerring regularity. I was so struck with this portion of the plague phenomena
that in the end of December and January I made a series of verbal inquiries from natives
in various parts of the town. The replies were invariably the same, that the rats had dis-
appeared from the centre of the city and were observed in great numbers on the west and
north. In my opinion it is useless to look further for the origin of the severe outbreaks in
Worli village, Mhim and Bndra on the west, and Parel, Naigaon, Sion and Dhrvi on
the northern side. The inquiries I made showed that vast numbers of rats flying from the
danger of the pestilence moved steadily in those directions and were noticed in numbers in
places where they had not before caused remark."
The figures given above show that the increase of the disease was accom-
panied by a heavy rise in the total mortality from all causes.
4. Heavy as the mortality was, it was kept within bounds by the flight of
the people. It is estimated that by the end of January
no less than 378,900 persons had left the city. The
Municipal Commissioner describes the scenes accompanying this movement of
the population as follows:
"When the plague was at its height, and the exodus in full flow, the scenes at the
railway stations were striking, a motley crowd of natives of every caste and creed pressing
and shouting for tickets, and then, as the train steamed in, a hurrying anxious throng,
old and young alike, tottering under enormous bundles of household goods. As special after
special left the stations, the relies of the disappointed crowd, sooner than miss the nex
opportunity, would quietly settle down to sleep on the platforms. The busy scenes at the
station stood out in marked contrast to the quietness of Bombay; whole streets of shops
B 1135-6