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another gateway on the opposite side; we rode through it, and came on a broad stone terrace. Below it, to my great surprise, for I thought we were miles away, rolled the river Jumna.
A steep incline, roughly paved with stone, led us down to the river bank. Above there had been a breeze, but here almost a gale was blowing. It filled the air with sand, and raised quite high waves, which broke on the shore with splash and foam. The scene was very wild; the air was so thick with sand and dust that the opposite shores were invisible. The building appeared to rise from the margin of a lake. It rose sheer from the water's edge, towering up range over range very magnificently. The summit was crowned with cupolas.
Our horses were nearly perished with thirst; they rushed into the stream, and drank greedily. When their thirst was appeased, we ascended the bank and proceeded along a narrow lane deep in sand. The heat had become terrible the sun poured down his rays nearly vertically above our heads; the burning wind moaned around, sweeping, as it went, clouds of dust that obscured the sky, and formed a lurid bank above the horizon.
The heat, the fatigue began to tell on both men and horses. We moved wearily along, the men silent and stooping their heads, the horses with difficulty raising their hoofs from the deep sand. As for me I fell into a sort of waking dream, the dreary landscape seemed to pass before me like a moving panorama. I lost all note of time, but for the pain of my ankle I should have fallen into real sleep, though to sleep beneath that burning sun might be to sleep for ever. A bright flash aroused me; the lane had brought us into the high road; its metalled surface, swept clean by the wind, stretched in a long bright line before us. The glare reflected from it was almost blinding. We found some relief by riding
along the side avenue, though the trees just here were young, and afforded but little shelter.
After some time we came again to the ravines, across which the road ran. No scene could be more desolate. The bare earth was scored by deep, winding fissures; what level surface remained was covered with dull, melancholy ruins. A more beautiful object soon gladdened our eyes. From behind a belt of trees towered a vast edifice of red stone; its summit glistened with white marble. We recognised the building as the mausoleum of the Emperor Akbar, and knew that we were approaching the end of our long journey.
In another hour we reached Agra, and proceeded to Mr.'s house, where A- and the children and
also my brother were then residing.
The appearance of our cavalcade excited great astonishment, for no intelligence of the mutiny of the Bhurtpore army had yet reached Agra, nor, notwithstanding the warnings I had sent, was that event the least anticipated. I learnt that the Sepoy regiments had not revolted, but had been disbanded and allowed to proceed to their homes. It was the appearance of parties of them along the road that had given rise to the reports of their mutiny that we had heard in the morning.
Since leaving Chattah we had ridden about a hundred miles, and had been in the saddle nearly continuously for eight-and-twenty hours. During that time I had eaten nothing, and I had not slept for two nights and nearly three days. Had our journey been made in a northern climate, we should have been nearly famished and quite exhausted. But we were neither very sleepy nor the least hungry; our chief suffering had been from thirst.
Since commencing our flight we must have drunk water to the extent of many pailfuls.
RETURN TO MUTTRA.
As soon as I had told my story, my brother suggested that I had better come with him and repeat it to Mr. Colvin. A drive of a mile or so brought us to Government House, a very large one-storied building, standing in grounds laid out something like an English park, and dotted over with small thorny trees. A crowd of servants in white dresses and gay turbans were seated before the door. As we pulled up several of them ran down the steps, and conducted us through an enclosed verandah that served as a hall into a handsomely furnished drawing-room. An attendant, with a dagger in his waistband and covered with a profusion of broad gold lace, presently entered and announced that Mr. Colvin was at leisure and would see me. So saying and requesting me to follow him, he led the way through several rooms to a large long one on the other side of the house. I entered through the folding doors, and found Mr. Colvin seated at the end of a long table, which was covered with books and papers. At his request I commenced to describe the mutiny of the Bhurtpore army, my flight, and the other occurrences I had witnessed.
As I proceeded in my narrative it struck me that Mr. Colvin was not paying much attention; I soon
became sure that he was not. He asked a question that showed he had quite confused parts of my story, and I found it impossible to set him right. He made no inquiries about his son, which, as he was known to be a most affectionate father, I thought odd, as I did also the little interest he evinced in the events I related. I left the room struck by a something unusual in Mr. Colvin's manner, and by the sad, wearied expression of his countenance. In the course of the afternoon I was told as a secret that it was feared that the excitement of the last few days had thrown Mr. Colvin's mind a little off its balance.
During the evening many visitors dropped in to call, and remained to dine; the conversation was all about the state of the country and the revolt of the various portions of the army. The sentiments that were uttered not a little surprised me. I found that the rural population was regarded as entirely loyal, and the apprehensions of danger expressed by the district officers treated as imaginary.
About eleven o'clock carriages were ordered round, and we drove off to sleep at a neighbouring house, which, being situated on the summit of a high mound, was considered best capable of defence. The house was guarded by two cannon placed on the terrace, and by a party of English soldiers. These precautions struck me as not quite in harmony with the opinions which during the evening I had listened to.
Several families had already arrived, and for the next half hour more kept coming. The floors were covered Many of the children,
with beds and bundles of clothes. awaked from their first sleep, were crying; there were crowds of native servants hurrying about, and loudly gesticulating. Altogether the scene presented the same bustle and confusion as the deck of a steamer on com
mencing its voyage. The noise-perhaps over-fatiguehad made me wakeful. I did not close my eyes till near the morning. I had hardly closed them, when I was awakened by a movement all around me, and found that the dawn was breaking, and everyone was preparing to return to their own houses.
On reaching our house I found a letter from the Seths, just brought by a special messenger. It was to inform me that the Bhurtpore and Ulwar armies had broken up and returned to their homes. They added that the city was at present tolerably quiet, but they did not think it would long continue so. They recommended me when I came back to bring with me some cannon and English soldiers. I drove to Government House, and communicated this news to Mr. Colvin.
I found him very kind, but more depressed than on the previous day. He was holding in his hand an open letter. Pointing to it he said, 'I have just heard of the death of General Anson.' Then after a pause he added, 'Nothing but ill news, each post announces some fresh misfortune.' Mr. Colvin told me that he could spare neither guns nor soldiers, but that I might get volunteers if I liked from among the clerks in the offices. But he feared I should not be able, as the parties that had already been sent out to other stations had taken nearly all the men who could be spared.
I spent the morning in going the round of the offices. With much trouble I collected eight volunteers; my brother lent me two elephants, and a little after midnight we started. The next morning about sunrise we reached the town of Furrah, whose burning I had witnessed on my ride to Agra.
The magistrate of Agra had come out to make an inquiry into the matter. We spent the day with him in