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destroyed him. As it was, her influence long affected him, and was only got rid of by many charms.

Somewhere about the fort, outside I think, is or was a 'Peepul' tree; to this tree a species of demon is partial. One took up his abode in the branches; below the tree there was a guard of a single sentry. The demon appeared to the men; they complained that the spot was unsafe. Their complaints were, of course, not attended to. A night or two after a sentry was found dead, the following night another shared the same fate. For some time it was found necessary to double the guard.

I believe the story is perfectly true. I remember hearing it related as such when I first arrived in India. It was supposed that the men died from sheer terror.

During our residence in the fort neither the ghosts nor the spirits made their appearance, but sounds were heard and sights seen which caused much wonder and gave rise to much speculation. Of the many stories that circulated I will relate two, which I will repeat as I heard them, without in any way pledging myself to their veracity.

One night someone lying awake heard a tapping below the Jehangiree Mahal;' he heard it the next night also. It seemed to come from the Rowney, and was as if some iron tool was being struck against the wall. The man, who was a clerk, mentioned the circumstance; the story reached the ears of the authorities. A watch was placed in the vaults. Towards midnight the sounds commenced-they were those of someone digging a chisel or crowbar into the masonry. While the party were listening the footsteps were heard of the sentry approaching, the tapping ceased; when the sentry had passed on it recommenced. The next morning a strict search was made along the Rowney, but there were no marks of footprints, nor any chips, nor signs of digging on the surface of the wall.

The watch was kept up for some nights, and was followed by a search each succeeding morning. Every night the tapping was heard, but no trace discovered of the authors in the morning. The mystery was never cleared up, neither was that of the lights at the Delhi Gate.

When we first entered the fort hundreds of labourers were here employed, throwing up defences and constructing palisades. During the progress of the works a shed appeared in the Rowney. It was supposed to have been put up by some of the labourers for shelter; no attention was paid to it. But one night a clerk, who had quarters in the gateway, noticed a light in the Rowney, which appeared to proceed from the shed. He mentioned the circumstance to a sergeant, who told his officer, and a sentry was posted below at a spot where the shed would be in full view.

The night was dark, but not too dark to discern objects at a short distance. Near midnight the sentry perceived a figure creeping towards the shed; the figure seemed to enter; in a minute the light appeared. The sentry challenged, then he fired. Next morning the shed was searched. The bullet had penetrated a water jar, but of lamp or visitor there was no trace. The next night all occurred as before, except that two figures were seen to enter the shed. But again in the morning there could be found trace of neither men nor lamp. The third night three figures were observed and fired at as before. At the discharge the light vanished, but the morning search showed only that the ball had entered the shed. The shed was now removed and the ground dug into, but no trace could be discovered of a concealed passage, nor any means conjectured by which the men could have found exit from the Rowney or place of concealment within it.



WHEN I was young the covers of playing cards used to be ornamented with the picture of an Eastern sovereign, in turban and jewels, and which bore the legend of the Great Mogul.' Who the Great Mogul was I did not in those days comprehend, and perhaps some among my readers may be even now equally unaware. A few words of explanation may not therefore be out of place, for it is in the palace of that potentate that we are now residing. The Mohammedans entered India towards the latter end of our twelfth century. In a surprisingly brief period they subjugated the entire country. These first conquerors were known as the Pathans,' from the name of a small Afghan tribe, of which some of their earliest bands were composed. The Pathans ruled in India for about three centuries, when they were in their turn subdued by a hardier race that had migrated from the wilds of Mongolia.

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Among the many descendants of the great Timour was a young prince of the name of 'Bâbur.' Bâbur's youth and early manhood were passed in unsuccessful endeavours to carve out a kingdom for himself in Central Asia. Towards middle age the thought occurred to him to invade India. At the head of not a large army he descended from the mountains of Caubul, crossed the


Indus, and after one or two campaigns found himself master of Hindostan.

Bâbur fixed his residence at Agra. In his most amusing memoirs he describes his capture of the fort, and several of his adventures within it; how the late queen tried to poison him; how he witnessed the performance of a troop of Indian jugglers, how their skill astonished him, and much beside; but of the fortress or the palace he gives no description.

Accustomed to the valleys and hills of Caubul, the situation of the fort struck him as painfully ugly. At the head of a troop of horsemen he set out to discover some prettier site-he returned at night unsuccessful and dispirited. Not finding a better situation for a new residence, Bâbur set himself to work to improve the existing one. What his alterations were is unknown, no trace of them remaining; but they must have been extensive, for we learn from his memoirs that at one time no less than four thousand workmen were employed.

In due time Bâbur was gathered to his fathers; his body was conveyed to Caubul, and reposes amid the mountain scenery that in his lifetime he loved so well, and which after acquiring India he so constantly regretted.

Bâbur was succeeded by his son Hoomayoon, who also made Agra his chief residence. But before long a rebellion of the Pathans compelled him to quit it, and India as well. For some years he remained an exile in Persia. He eventually recovered his dominions, but did not long live to enjoy them, and during that period he fixed his capital at Delhi; his remains rest there under the magnificent mausoleum of red stone, erected to his memory by his son Akbar, who after him ascended the throne of India.

At the period of his accession Akbar was not much more than twelve years of age. He reigned for more than half a century. Brave, enlightened, humane, he occupies the foremost place among the sovereigns of his race. Making allowance for his age and his surroundings, he is, perhaps, one of the greatest rulers that history records.

Akbar enlarged and reconstructed the fort; the present walls and gateways are of his erection, as also, I believe, are those massive ranges of buildings now used as magazines. Of his palace only a few crumbling walls now remain. Akbar, though he rebuilt the fort, did not much reside in it; he spent most of his time in campaigns and in progresses through his vast dominions. His chief permanent residence was at Futtehpore Secree, a village some two-and-twenty miles to the west of Agra. There he erected a palace, the chief buildings of which are still in nearly perfect preservation. There may be seen. his bed-chamber, a small apartment standing alone, hardly larger than a closet, the terrace of black and white marble on which he played chess, the pieces being the girls of the Zenana, in dresses of white and green; and the hall with passages in the walls, constructed for the princesses and their companions to amuse themselves in with the game of hide and seek.'

The memory of Akbar is revered by the natives, especially by the Hindoos; many traditions are still current regarding him, but none that I know of are connected with the fort.

Akbar was succeeded by his son Jehangire, whose birth was supposed to be miraculous. Akbar for a long time was childless; to obtain offspring he implored the prayers of the saint Gholam Chistee; one evening the saint summoned the Emperor, and addressing him said,

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