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the doorway, concealed by a sliding beam. The recess was filled with silver rupees, gold mohurs, bags of copper coins, and the jewels of the family. The villagers took them and departed; they intended to return for a further exploration, but their intentions were frustrated by the arrival of the contingent.

Dayby Sing's career was brief, and in its incidents rather ludicrous; it might have been otherwise. With as small beginnings Indian dynasties have been founded. He was master of fourteen villages. Runjeet Sing commenced his conquests as lord of no more than twentyfive.



OUR wars with the native princes had usually one of two terminations. We either annexed their territories, or we compelled them to maintain an addition to our armies. These new troops we raised, disciplined, and officered; the conquered sovereign defrayed their expenses. Being liable for general service, only under certain emergencies they received the name of contingents. Of this description was the force that Captain Dennys commanded. The officers of the different contingents were drawn from the line regiments. The transfer was accompanied by promotion or other advantages that caused it to be somewhat sought after.

The Kotah contingent had been sent to Muttra ostensibly to restore order, really that it might be outside Agra, and yet within call, till the authorities there could make up their minds about admitting it. Some of Mr. Colvin's advisers thought the force mutinous and better away. Others put faith in its loyalty, and wished it brought in to take the place of the disbanded regiments. The discussions on the matter were many and anxious; each party held to their opinions. Meanwhile, the contingent remained with me.

A detailed record of our proceedings would now be very uninteresting; I shall not attempt it. We remained

for some days at the little town where Dayby Sing had made his head-quarters. We recrossed the river, we came back again, and marched away to the east. Finally, by orders from the Government, we halted on the confines of the district at a spot not above sixteen miles from Agra-the contingent being held ready to march in there at a moment's notice.

While marching through the district, the contingent encamped on the open plain. We pitched our tents in some adjacent grove whenever there was one. The early mornings were occupied by the officers in parades and inspections; by me in interviews with natives, or in visiting the neighbouring villages. Visits it was seldom safe to pay, unless accompanied by a large retinue. About ten o'clock we assembled in the messtent and had breakfast. The meal over, and also the chat which followed it, Captain Dennys held a levée of his native officers, while I retired to my own tent and busied myself with what little work there was to do.

By noon the heat had become well-nigh intolerable. The sun's rays streamed through the dense foliage of the trees above us--not even the double canopies of the tent could exclude their glare, though each canopy was composed of many layers of cloth. The heat produced a nearly overpowering drowsiness; in spite of all my efforts I was at times unable to resist it. Often while writing or listening to a report, I would awake with a start, and find that unawares I had wandered into dreamland, and that my people were slumbering around me. About noon everyone-soldiers, servants, clerks, and camp-followers—lay down, in the shade if they could find any, if not in the open plain. They wrapt their heads in long cotton shawls, and slumbered till the sun was well on his downward course. A silence, a repose, greater

than that of midnight fell on the camp, the grove, and the country. No dog barked, no bird twittered, no insect flew or chirped. The leaves of the trees seemed to droop, the flowers to bend; the cattle lay asleep in the fields, the crows and the sparrows sat motionless with open beaks on the branches of the trees.

About four o'clock the sunlight began to assume a richer tint, and the camp and our servants awoke to life. We bathed, changed our clothes, and sat down to dinner. Dinner was followed by a chat beneath the trees. When the sun began to set, we left the grove and repaired to the camp; there we had our tea, and soon after darkness had set in we were reposing on our beds beneath an open awning. The night brought little coolness; it was often even more oppressively hot than the day. A cloud of dust obscured the skies; by the morning it had filled our hair and formed a thick layer over our beds and ourselves.

It was a curious life we led; very quiet, and yet full of excitement. We received few letters, no newspapers; except by vague report we heard little of what was going on beyond the horizon around us. This absence of news did not greatly trouble us. My interests were well-nigh absorbed in the district, that of Captain Dennys and his officers in their regiment. It was touching to see their confidence in their men, their pride in the fidelity they had as yet displayed, their trustfulness in their fidelity for the future. It was a confidence which I soon came to share, not from knowledge or conviction-simply from the effect of association. I have been warned against both the Sepoys and the troopers. The warnings which came from the most respectable and reliable of the natives had so far effected me, that on first joining the contingent I always went armed. At Captain Dennys' request,

and under the influence of his example, I ere long, like him and his officers, laid my arms aside. He said, 'If the men are loyal, weapons are unnecessary; if they mutiny, weapons will not avail us.' So he and his officers lived among their soldiers unarmed, defenceless, and what they did, so did all the other officers of the Indian army. I think now that in so doing they were mistaken, but surely history records little more calmly heroic.

The silence of the night was by no means so profound as that of the mid-day; the dogs barked, the insects chirped, and from the villages all around came the nearly continuous report of matchlocks, mingled with the deeper sounds of the gingals and ramjunnies. The first night this firing alarmed us, we thought it betokened some fighting, but I ascertained the next day that the villagers were discharging their guns, merely to let their neighbours know that they had firearms, and if need be could use them, as also to keep up their own courage.

Occasionally we heard sounds of firing in the daytime, but it was firing of a different kind-the dull boom of distant artillery. Where these sounds came from we could never ascertain; there were no armies near that possessed cannon; currents of air must have carried the reports from immense distances. The origin of one cannonading was, however, discovered to be nearer home. It would be thought that no two sounds could be more unlike than the report of a cannon, and the noise of a horse shaking himself; nevertheless, it is almost impossible to distinguish between this last sound and that of distant artillery.

Being now among the villages, I became better acquainted with the real condition of the country than I had been while residing in the native city. I found that


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