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believe she was taken to England after we left the fort. Her subsequent fate I have never heard, though I have often wondered; when thinking of those times her sweet face and sad story have risen to memory.

The direct communication with Calcutta had been closed at an early period of the disturbances; what letters we received or sent travelled by a circuitous route through Bombay. Even this route was often closed. It would be more correct to say that it was only occasionally open. Days and days, even weeks, passed without our receiving any intelligence from the seat of Government. When any intelligence of importance was expected, the arrival of these long delayed mails became a matter of extreme interest.

We had for a long time been very curious to hear what the opinion of the Supreme Government would be regarding the battle of the 5th July, and the subsequent disasters. One afternoon it was reported that the long expected dispatch had arrived, and very soon after the rumour spread that the dispatch contained an order for the removal of the General. In the course of the next day it became known that the rumour was correct. The General had been relieved of his command, and Colonel Cotton, the senior officer of one of the two Sepoy regiments lately disbanded, was placed in military charge of the fort under the title of Commandant.

The General was felt by all to be unfit for his position; nevertheless, his removal called forth towards him general sympathy. He was personally both liked and respected, and it was regarded as his misfortune rather than his fault that he had been placed in a position for which old age had incapacitated him.

The sympathy towards him was increased by an impression that prevailed that the manner of his removal


had not been very gracious. The order, it was said, was harshly worded, and its harshness was not softened by the mode of its delivery. The dispatch was addressed to Mr. Colvin. Mr. Colvin was a man kind in heart, but not sympathetic, nor always very considerate in manHe sent for the General, and received him-I am only repeating the story as I heard it—in the presence of other officers, and abruptly handed him the dispatch. The General took it with a smile, not the least anticipating its contents. He read it, turned very pale, and appeared as if about to faint; he recovered himself, and behaved with much dignity. He rose, handed back the letter to Mr. Colvin, bowed, and left the room.

Colonel Cotton's appointment was followed by many of those improvements in the order and cleanliness of the fort that I have already mentioned; and also (though the two matters were unconnected) by an investigation into the conduct of the Agra native officials. Most of these had had the good sense to leave at the same time as the police; a few, either innocent or over-confident, had remained, and were now arrested and placed on their trial. One was hung. Regarding the rest there commenced a renewal of those altercations between the authorities that previous to the battle had caused so much scandal, and been the occasion of so much disaster. Into the particulars of these disputes I will not, however, at present enter. Our attention was soon diverted from them by the more interesting subjects of seeking for hidden treasure and the exploration of subterranean passages.



THE policy that had been adopted regarding the Muttra treasure had been followed in the other districts surrounding Agra. The treasure had been left in the districts to show confidence in the Sepoys, and the Sepoys had repaid the confidence by carrying the treasure off to Delhi. As a result we had come into the fort but slenderly provided with money. There was not in the treasure chests quite sixty thousand pounds in copper and rupees; and this sum, though a sufficient fortune enough for an individual, was entirely inadequate for the requirements of the Government, even for a limited period.

There did not appear, however, any present prospect of its being augmented. No revenue to speak of was being paid in, and the credit of the Government was too bad just then to enable it to raise a loan. If money was to be got it must be obtained by other means; it was thought just possible that these other means might prove successful.

The fort of Agra had once contained half the wealth of India-gold and silver incalculable. Natives are addicted to hiding their riches. It was conjectured that in secret vaults under the ground, or in recesses of the

thick walls, some of the ancient hoards might lie concealed. It was resolved to search for them.

The search commenced in the marble hall. In front of the hall is a colonnade. It would, perhaps, be more correct to call it a verandah; it is supported by arches, which spring from square columns of massive solidity. The bases of the columns rest on the marble border of the floor. A high official was passing the hall, his eye rested on the border-he noticed that the joinings of the blocks composing it were always beneath the bases of the columns. Always, save in one place-there the ends of the block were free. What could be the reason for this exception? To our minds, intent on the buried treasures, but one explanation suggested itself. Beneath the block must be the entrance to a vault, where some of the secret hoards of the ancient sovereigns lay concealed. Masons were sent for. With infinite trouble the block was raised, and disclosed, alas! only a bed of masonry.

Observation having proved delusive, recourse was had to tradition. So soon as it was known that the Government desired it a perfect flood was poured in. Of the many suggestions one was adopted. There was a respectable native in the city, whose ancestors had held office in the palace. They had left a tradition that behind the great wall was a secret vault, and in it stores of silver, jewels, and golden rupees. The vault was reached by a passage. The entrance to the passage was somewhere below the soil of our garden, at the point of intersection of straight lines drawn from different doorways. With some trouble the doorways were ascertained, and the lines drawn. They met on one of the terraces. The marble slabs were removed, they rested on a thick bed of cement, and that again on a mass of masonry, hard

as a rock. It took days to pierce it. Each day our expectations rose. They were sadly disappointed; for, having reached the bottom, we found neither vault, passage, nor concealed entrance--only the bare earth on which the foundations rested.

Our further efforts I will not chronicle, they resulted only in ridicule for their originators.

After an interval, however, our subterranean researches were resumed; but they were now undertaken for objects more immediately practical, and were conducted in a more regular and systematic manner.

It was known that the fort was honeycombed with underground passages. It was conjectured that some of them had exits beyond the walls. Our doubts on this matter had, during the days of our imaginary siege, caused us much anxiety. It was resolved to remove for the future such cause of apprehension by a thorough exploration of the vaults and galleries. This resolution, when it became known, afforded general satisfaction. It was felt that the explorations would conduce to our safety. It was hoped they would also gratify our love of the marvellous; that the workmen might come on some of the buried treasures, in which we still wished to believe, or that they might discover some explanation of the two traditionary mysteries of the palace, the fate of the four soldiers' and the meaning of the vault of the skeleton.'

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Some years before the mutiny the officer at the fort happened to be lying awake when the sentries were relieved. Relieving guard with the old Sepoys was always a tedious business. The outgoing sentry enumerated, in a droning voice, all the different articles under his charge, and all the various directions he had received from his predecessor. The officer was falling

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