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desired my servant to pack up my clothes, I sent for a party of bearers, and entering my palanquin after dinner I travelled all night, and reached home the next morning a little before daybreak. The following day A

arrived with the children.

It was our custom in the hot season to dine early, and when the sun had set to take a drive; that evening we drove round the old parade ground. At the further end was a slight rise, just sufficient to afford a view over the river Jumna. The water was then low, and the river rolled in several branches; a herd of cattle were lazily crossing the one nearest us. By the roadside was a grove of trees, a little temple, and a well. A party of travellers were resting by it, and their camels browsing. The scene was simple and full of the repose of Eastern life. In the times that followed it often recurred to my memory. Indian twilight is but of short duration; when we reached home it was dark.

Immediately on my return from Agra I had sent off messengers in all directions to obtain news of the mutineers; none had arrived, nor beyond vague rumours had any confirmation of the telegram been received. I was beginning half to doubt its truth; my doubts were now dispelled in a manner I little anticipated. As I stepped from the carriage a letter was handed me: it had been left by a servant with a message that it was important. A lamp was burning in the hall, I went towards it, and saw by its light that the letter had inscribed upon it, in large characters, the word Urgent.' I opened it in haste; it was from a gentleman, one of the engineers on the railway then constructing to Delhi, and who resided about forty miles down the line towards that city. It was to inform me that a party of mutineers had attacked and burnt his house. He had been absent and

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had escaped; he had sent on this letter to inform me and to warn me that he had heard that the main body of the mutineers were advancing towards Muttra. So soon as I had read the letter I sent round and summoned the other English. We decided to send away the ladies and children to Agra.

Of the rest of that night I retain but a dreamy recollection. I remember that till near midnight the other families came hurrying in, that there was much confusion, some terror, and that till the palanquin bearers arrived from the city, we sat awaiting them in my drawing room. It was a beautiful room, brightly lighted, gay with flowers. It was the last time I thus saw it, and so it remains impressed on my memory.

It was near daybreak before the party started. I sent with them an escort of horsemen, and, as a further protection, all the Englishmen whose duties did not compel them to remain in the station. In the course of the day I got intelligence from the north of the district that no mutineers had as yet entered it, but from the direction of Delhi could be heard the sound of heavy cannonading. About midnight I was awoke by the arrival of a messenger from Agra; he brought a letter from Mr. Colvin, who was then the Lieutenant-Governor. I went to my room to write an answer. As I was writing I heard through the open doors the tramp of horses; in a minute or two a servant entered and announced that an English gentleman had arrived and was dismounting at the entrance. Almost immediately after the gentleman entered; he was quite a young man, he was armed with sword and revolver, and wore twisted round his hat a large native turban-he looked very tired and exhausted. He informed me that he was the assistant to the magistrate of Goorgoan; the district

that lay between mine and Delhi. The mutineers, he added, had entered the district, and the country had risen in insurrection, and he was on his way to Agra to convey the information to the Government; his horse had knocked up, and he had ridden to my house to request the loan of another, as also one for his servant.

I sent for horses, and also for refreshment for my guest. While it was getting ready, he informed me of the particulars of the mutiny of the regiment at Meerut, and of the events that had followed their arrival at Delhi; how the native troops at Delhi had joined them, how they had marched down to the palace, placed the king on the throne, and massacred all the English and Christians they could lay hands on. While narrating the story, he had been much agitated. When I inquired the names of the victims he broke down altogether, for among them was his only sister, a young girl of eighteen, who had but a few months previously arrived in India.

When he had eaten and drank, I persuaded him to lie down and rest, for I thought him too tired to proceed, and I sent on his letters by a horseman of my own to Agra. A little after dawn he left me, and soon after came the magistrate of Goorgoan and his clerk; and succeeding them at short intervals came all the English and Christians residing along the road to Delhi. Some were accompanied by their wives, their sisters, and their children-these I sent on under escort to Agra-the remainder, some five-and-thirty, sat down with me to breakfast. When breakfast was over I left my guests and went to my own room, where my office people were assembled.

I had hitherto kept silence about the mutiny, so far at least as was possible, partly from fear of exciting alarm, partly lest if the news should prove false I might

appear ridiculous. There was now no longer any object in concealment. I told them what I had heard; they expressed great astonishment; but ere long I perceived from the remarks they let fall that they had heard it all before, and, indeed, as regarded what had occurred at Delhi that they were much better informed than I was. All regular work was suspended; when a few papers had been signed and some orders issued there remained nothing more to do. However, to while away the time, I continued to chat with them about the events at Delhi. They soon got so interested in the subject as partly to forget my presence. Their talk was all about the ceremonial of the palace, and how it would be revived. They speculated as to who would be the Grand Chamberlain, which of the chiefs of Rajpootana would guard the different gates, and who were the fifty-two Rajahs who would assemble to place the Emperor on the throne.

As I listened I realised, as I had never done before, the deep impression that the splendour of the ancient court had made on the popular imagination, how dear to them were its traditions, and how faithfully all unknown to us they had preserved them. There was something weird in the Mogul Empire thus starting into a sort of phantom life after the slumber of a hundred years.

The rest of the day passed wearily away, the rooms were darkened to exclude the glare; there was nothing to do, my guests got tired of chatting, one by one they lapsed into silence or fell asleep; the water splashed on the frames of scented grass, the punkahs swung monotonously to and fro. At length the light softened, and began to stream in nearly level through the chinks of the Venetian blinds; then the servants threw open the doors, we dined, and strolled out into the garden. A

messenger presently galloped in to inform me that Captain Nixon was approaching with the Bhurtpore army. About dusk the army arrived; Captain Nixon brought with him several officers whose presence still further swelled our party. But in India guests are easily accommodated-the heat made it pleasant to sleep out of doors. I had beds arranged in the verandah and on a terrace beyond; soon after nine all the party were slumbering on them, all but myself and a few others, who preferred to sit up till later, and watch the moonlight.

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