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tivators for the purchase of their seed and agricultural implements, for their marriage expenses, and for the payment of their rents and revenue. From the Zemindar downwards the whole village was usually in his debt, and of all creditors he was the most pitiless.

Under the native rule his exactions were somewhat restrained; the land of his debtors was beyond his reach, and if his extortions exceeded a certain limit he ran the risk of assassination. The result of our government was to remove these restraints; the law gave the Bunniah protection, it also gave him the land as a security for his claims, and-what it is sad to acknowledge-by its cumbrous procedure, by its delays, and by its expensiveness, it gave him the means for fabricating these claims. So great were the facilities it afforded in this way, that forged documents and false witnesses became almost as much part of the stock in trade of a successful Bunniah, as his account books or his commodities.

The old proprietors belonged to the village; the cultivators were men of their own caste, often their relations. They loved their land for itself, independent of the rent it afforded them. The feeling of the new proprietors was different they cared nothing for the land, they desired only to get a profit out of their investment. Being withheld by no considerations of sentiment, they succeeded in extracting a rental where their predecessors had failed to do so, and for a time in also paying the Government revenue, but not for long. Eventually they too became defaulters, and the Government, convinced at length that its demand was excessive, reluctantly lowered it.

Our settlement of the revenue had been cruel to the Talookdars-it had been oppressive towards the Zemindars; but, notwithstanding its severity, it had greatly

benefited the country at large, especially the cultivators of the soil, who had obtained security of tenure and freedom from arbitrary exactions. The improvement in the condition of the peasantry had been followed as a natural consequence by an increase in the cultivation. Almost all the waste lands, formerly extensive, had been brought under the plough. There were few portions of the soil capable of producing a crop that did not now yield one.

The patriarchal authority of the Zemindars had been often cruelly abused-nevertheless, its abolition was not an unmixed good; with it had departed much of that kindly feeling in which it had its origin, and also the bond by which, in times when the authority of the Government was suspended, order had been maintained. Till the breaking out of the mutiny this result had not been perceived, or, if perceived, had been disregarded, for the collapse of our rule was an event not anticipated; it now displayed itself.

When the news spread that the King of Delhi was again seated on his throne, the villagers imagined that our dominion had ceased. The law had no longer terrors, every man who was strong enough commenced to do that which was right in his own eyes. The first proceedings everywhere were to take revenge on the Bunniahs; their houses were plundered, their account books burnt, themselves and their families often much maltreated. The villagers next commenced to fight among themselves; all who had wrongs, if they could, avenged them. The new Zemindars when strangers were everywhere ejected; if they belonged to the village they had to maintain their position by a struggle with the ancient proprietors, who now by force of arms sought to recover their inheritance. Between many villages there existed hereditary feuds; in

some villages there were similar feuds between the different clans composing the population. These feuds, after slumbering for half a century, were now revived and fought out.

Three weeks had hardly elapsed since the commencement of the mutiny, but in that short period a large portion of the district had lapsed into anarchy. Order was only maintained in the towns, and in those few portions of the country where the ancient proprietors still held possession of their villages.

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After leaving Kosee, the Bhurtpore and Ulwar armies had marched on one stage to a village named Hodul,' and there they had since remained. The chiefs did not openly say that they would go no further, but each day they found some fresh excuse for not doing so. The time had now arrived when the guard was to be relieved at Muttra, which it usually was at the expiration of every second month. In consequence of my report of the misconduct of the present guard, one of their English officers had been sent to take charge of them; the officer selected was a young lieutenant of the name of Burlton— he was at present a guest in my house.

I had repeatedly warned the Government that the guard would probably mutiny so soon as it was reinforced by the relieving company, and I had recommended that the temptation to do so should be removed by previously sending the treasure into Agra. To these warnings and to this recommendation no attention had been paid. The Government expressed themselves convinced of the loyalty of the Sepoys, and treated my apprehensions as groundless alarms.

CHAPTER V.

THE MUTINY OF THE GUARD.

THE day the new guard was to arrive I had driven over to Chattah, the small town in which was that magnificent caravanserai I have already mentioned. I put up in the bungalow, intending to proceed to Muttra the next morning. It was about nine o'clock and I was going to bed, having to start early, when a servant ran in. In a hurried manner he announced that some English gentlemen were approaching the house. As he spoke I heard the tramp of horses, and immediately after, my two assistants, one of whom was a son of Mr. Colvin, the Lieutenant-Governor, entered the room; they were fol lowed by Mr. Joyce, my head-clerk, and a young man whom I did not know, but who was introduced to me as Lieutenant Gibbon.

All the party looked hot and tired, and Mr. Gibbon seemed in pain; he was bareheaded, and had one hand swathed in a bandage. In answer to my look of surprise young Mr. Colvin informed me that the guard had mutinied, and he and his companions had had to run for their lives. He said they were very thirsty, and asked for tea; while it was being made I heard their story. It was as follows:

The new guard had marched in that morning under the command of Mr. Gibbon; the old guard was to

return to Agra with the treasure so soon as it was ready. The making over the treasure was always a long business. To expedite it, my assistants had gone early to the office, and there breakfasted in company with Mr. Burlton and Mr. Gibbon; breakfast over, they returned to the treasury, leaving their guns piled in a corner of the room in which they had had the meal. The rupees had been counted, packed, and the other formalities completed. It was then about one o'clock in the afternoon. The treasure carts being reported laden, Mr. Burlton wished the others good-bye, and went out to join his men.

He had not been gone more than a minute or two when the sound of a shot was heard; it was followed by a rush of Sepoys into the office. What happened next none of the party could exactly remember; they ran for their guns but found them gone. The breakfast-room opened into another and a larger room; into this they fled, the Sepoys following and firing at them. They heard the bullets strike the walls, but none hit them. The windows of the room happened fortunately to be open; they rushed through them, jumped off the verandah, and ran for their lives across the office grounds to a garden full of trees that lay beyond.

The Sepoys followed them part of the way firing all the while, but being armed with the old heavy musket and not very good marksmen their bullets went wide. In the garden the party collected. It consisted of Mr. Colvin, his fellow-assistant, Mr. Dashwood, Mr. Gibbon, Mr. Joyce, and two of the under-clerks, named Hashman. All had escaped injury except Mr. Gibbon, who had received a bayonet thrust in his left hand.

The garden was situated on the river; they descended the bank, and made their way along the shore to the city.

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