Garden of Fools by Robert Hutchison

As he stood at dawn on the bluff overlooking the Jumna River,the stench of death rising off the riverbank, Proby Cautley realised that at last he had found his mission in life. He was thirty-six, an engineer, and he had lived in India all his adult life. It was the first Sunday of March 1838, God’s day, but God was nowhere present on the landscape before him: not his God, nor any other as far as he could determine.

Beneath him, on the banks of the Jumna, he counted three-score and twelve bodies – twice the number of his years – mostly the aged and the young, women and children, relatively few men….