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Recollections of my Indian career Cripps, John Matthew 1888

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       JC*ka3 /?^J —
My   Indian  Career,
Bengal Staff Corps.
Miss E. Langley, Lovejoys Library.
QpjN the following pages the reader must expect nothing
^ beyond a plain and simple account of an Indian
career in which some few trials were encountered, but
which, I can truly say, was in the whole a contented,
and ofttimes a very happy one.
The story, as it runs on, has been well embellished
by carefully-executed water-colour illustrations, which form
its main attractions, being, moreover, all the work of
my wife.
The book is, of course, intended for my children,
near relations, and very intimate friends only; for as
opinions are very freely expressed about many persons,
any wide circulation might cause unpleasantness, and
perhaps hurt the feelings of those who^I have no desire
to annoy in any way. Some readers may be of opinion
that I might well have left out so full a reference to the
domestic   arrangements   of   some   of   the   officers   of  the
Chapter I.—1839 to 1841.
Leave England—Madeira—Soldiers on board : their wives—
Woman gagged — Teneriffe—Gale off Cape of Good
Hope—Sharks—Mutinous soldiers—Suspicious ship—
Wrecked—Mrs. Talbot—Abandon wreck—Native brig—
Orgies of soldiers—Theft of water—Scotch barque—
Reach Calcutta—Quarters in fort—Hudson's family—
Cobra—Court of Enquiry—Cadets' Mess—Start for
Berhampore : boat wrecked—Second start—Berhampore—
69th Regiment of Native Infantry—Chota hazrees—
Lichees — Dr. O'Dwyer — Lieutenant Hatchell — Drill
sergeant—Society—Depots of 26th and 49th Regiments—
Moorshedabad—Fireworks—My buggy and mare—Posted
to 26th Native Infantry—Journey up country : Allahabad,
Cawnpore, Agra, Allygurh—Bishop Wilson—Kurnal—
March to Ferozepore—Thieves—Meet Major Broadfoot—
Ride on a camel—Captain Cowslade : his practical
joking—Ferozepore—Captain Lawrence—Officers of the
26th Native Infantry—My house—Dost Mahomed Khan
of Cabul—Wrestling and games—Thieves at Ferozepore—
Anecdote of Lawrence—Examination in Native languages
—March to Meerut — Duelling — Highway robbers—
Flood at Ferozepore—Fire—Dust storms	
 Chapter II.—1841 to 1842.
March of the 26th Native Infantry and other regiments to
Peshawur—Destruction of the Cabul force—The Punjab :
its roads and bridges—General Wyld's defeat at the
Khyber Pass—Political officers at Peshawur—Captain
Talbot — Severe earthquake — Attack on the Khyber
Pass—Soldiers' wives at Kurnal—Capture and death of
two Afreedees—First night in the Pass—Gallant conduct
of two Sepoys—Second march in the Pass—Plunder of
baggage—Attack on Lalpoora—Soldiers drowned—Reach
Jellalabad—Defeat of Akbar Khan—Camp at Jellalabad—
Sickness—Arrival of traders—High price of stores—
Murder of a merchant—The Cabul prisoners—Major
Lawrence and Captain Troop — Death of General
Elphinstone — Tih Khana— March onwards—Weakness
of troops—Sights on road—Fight at Mamoo Khail—My
picket attacked—Sent to rear for supplies—Fight at
Jugdulluk—Night blindness of Sepoys—Loss of an
elephant—Baggage animals killed—Fight at Tezeen—
Attack on pickets—Captains Troop and Bygrave—
Account of fighting on Haft Kothal—Ferris' Jezailchees—
Major Ferris—Khoord Cabul Pass—Arrival at Cabul—
Arrival of General Nott's force—Measures for release of
prisoners—Old entrenchment—Plundering in city—How
prejudice works—Destruction of covered Bazaars —
Misconduct of Artillerymen—Plunder carried off by
soldiers—Release of English prisoners—Death of Mrs.
Lumsden—Dr. Cardew : his gallantry   .    ,	
Chapter III.—1842 to 1844.
Fight at Istalif—Kohistan Valley—Women shot—Force retires
from Cabul—Gosfun Durra Pass—Lord EUenborough
and the Army of Reserve—Tomb of Bucephalus—
Soobedar shot  for desertion—Bursting of large  guns—
 Gates of Somnath — Intolerance of Sikhs — General
Avatabili—Lord EUenborough—Reception of regiment
at Ferozepore—Reward for loyalty—Break-up of camp—
March to Loodiana—Good feeling between 9th Queen's
and 26th Native Infantry—Ensign Hall robbed—,
Loodiana—Riding at races—Passed as interpreter—Sport
at Loodiana—Mutinous feeling in some Native regiments
—March with 7th Cavalry to Sindh—Mutiny of the
regiment—Major Phillips takes command—I leave the
regiment—Robbed by my servants—Indian bustard—
Return march with the 9th Native Infantry—Canals in
Bahawulpoor territory — Dr. Lacon and Lieutenant
Chamberlain—Appointed to 9th Cavalry—Theatricals—
Bath—Lieutenants Snow and Wyllie—Bella Knowles—
Notices of officers of the regiment—Lieutenant Duffin
and his wife—System of purchase in Native regiments .    .
Chapter IV.—1844 to 1846.
Military chaplains—Appointed interpreter of my regiment—
My pay and horses — March to Kythal — Cholera at
Loodiana and in the hills—Visit to Simla—The Misses
Watts—Marriages of Whittali and Faithfull—Lieutenant
Tombs—Mrs. Tabor—Made a Freemason—Theatricals
at Simla—Captain Christie and the 14th Dragoons—
Journeys to Simla—Pad elephant—Arab horse stolen—
Reports of the Sikh invasion—Monsieur St. Amand—
Appointed Assistant Resident at Nepal—Start to join—
Meet the Commander- in- Chief's camp — Return to
Loodiana—Boxes stolen: small compensation—Rejoin
my regiment—Sikhs cross the Sutlej—Report of approach
of Sikh Army—Act as aide-de-camp—Fort of Wudni—
Prepare for assault—Long and tiring march—Battle of
Moodkee — Gallant charge of 3rd Dragoons : their
great loss—Retreat of enemy—The body-guard—Roman
 Catholic priest—Generals killed—Gigantic Sikh soldier
and soldiers of 9th—Captain Box—Report my return to
Governor-General: his approval—Battle of Ferozshah :
strange behaviour of Sikh cavalry—Lord Hardinge and
his sons, Charles and Arthur—Sergeant Brazier—March
to Subraon—Battle of Subraon—Lieutenant Mackenzie
wounded—Gallant conduct of Ghoorkas—10th Queen's—
March to Lahore—Start for Nepal: journey—Segowly—
Mr. Colvin — Slaughter of Nepal chiefs — Flood at
Segowly 109
Chapter V.—1846 to 1849.
Segowly—Indigo planters—Manufacture of the dye—Mr.
Wyatt: his tiger and menage—Anecdotes of elephants—
Mad jackal—Wild boar in garden: narrow escape—
Servant injured—Wolves—Character of indigo planters—
Join my appointment—Journey through jungle—Kathmandoo and the Residency—Colonel Thoresby—The
escort — " Tiger " Smith — Nature of work—Sport at
Nepal—A bear hunt—Wild boar—Mad dog—People of
Nepal—Jung Bahadur: his house and gardens—Signor
Ventura and Mr. Siddons—Thunderstorm—Cholera :
superstition of people—Doctor Login: his death—
Sacred places—Suttees—Suicide of Native woman—
Native officer at Residency—Brahminee bulls—Fakeers—
Lord Elphinstone — Monal pheasant — Imports from
China—The Halls at Segowly: anecdotes of poultry
yard—Shooting in 'the Terai—Sprained wrist—Bettiah
and the Rajah — Christian villages—Massive ruins—
Tigers and Shikarees—Major Hill—Dak runners—
Runaway elephant—Sonepore race meeting—Planters'
and other messes—Mr. Tayler—Woodcocks—Ghoorka
encampment in Terai—Revolution in Nepal—Capture of
the King — Great hunting party — Illness of Jung
Bahadur—Return to Nepal—Shooting trip with indigo
planters and Captain Apperly 148-
Chapter VI.—1849 to 1855.
Accident out tiger shooting — Native shot by Captain
Apperly—Man-eating tiger—Mr. Yule's story—Colonel
Hodgson seized by tiger—Stampede of elephants—
Danger of frightened elephants—Transferred to the
Punjab—Journey to Lahore—Mr. Cook, Government
grantee—Colonel Sleeman at Lucknow—Colonel Martin:
his foundations—Posted to Ferozepore—Transferred to
Mooltan : journey—Accommodation—Outbreak at gaol—
Our office and work—Lieutenant James—Great flood—
Meeting between Lord Dalhousie and Nawab of Bahawulpoor—Leave to Simla—Doctor Ebden—Captain Tulloch
and Lieutenant Gordon—Journey to Mussourie—Horse
carried away in rapid—Major Tritton—Journey back, via
Nahun—Dugshai—Soldiers in the hills—The road to
Thibet frontier—Game near Simla—Ebden's engagement—Appointed Assistant Commissioner at Simla—How
I got my Nepal appointment—My work—Simla society—
Lord Dalhousie and Sir Charles Napier—Affair between
Mr. Lang and Captain Rose; also between Lang and
Macleary—Take leave to Cape of Good Hope—Meet
Gussy at Dinapore—My dog "Jumpy"—Arrive at
Calcutta—Narrow escape on river—Voyage to Cape—
Meet my fate : am married—Picnic—Return to India—
Mauritius — Re-posted to Simla — Transferred to
Peshawur: account of station—Charlie born —Hill
tribes — Assassins — Major Mackeson killed — Night
alarm—Notables at Peshawur—Hyder Ali and grand
 Chapter VII.—1855 to 18
At Murdan (Eusufzai)—Captain Hodson: his work and
downfall—Mrs. Hodson—Life at Murdan—Danger to
frontier officers—Captain James' escape—Major Adams
killed-7ySickness at Peshawur—Examination of civil
officers—Bristow and his hot temper: results of such—
Indian valets—My pay at Peshawur—Horses—Robberies
by hill-men — Dangers outside cantonments — Earthquakes—Captain James and chota hazree—Peshawur
Mission—Mr. Pfander—Colonel Martin and Native
preacher—Outbreak at gaol—Escape of prisoners—
Appointed to Ferozepore district—Escorts for civil
officers in Eusufzai—Fever on road—Description of
work of Deputy Commissioner—Agnes and children to
Simla—Pay at Ferozepore—Agnes' horse falls over
precipice : narrow escape—Cholera at Ferozepore—
Nawab of Mumdot—Attack on Lieutenant Thompson—
Transferred to Goojranwala: house there, and garden—
Narrow escape from explosion—Bishop of Madras—
Agnes to Meean Meer—News of mutinies at Delhi and
Meerut—Raise a levy—Captain Chalmers—Grace born
at Meean Meer—John "Lawrence at my house—
Mutiny at Jhelum; also at Sealkote: proceed there
with Major Lawrence—Conduct of troops at Sealkote—
Colonel Farquharson—Trial of mutineers—Search for
treasure in Goojranwala district—Wolves—Camp at
Shaikhpoora—My sister Sophia and Carry Blackburn—
Mr. Blackall: his doings, or rather misdoings—My
salary—Miss Graham—Charlie's death—26th Regiment
 Chapter VIII—1857 to 18
The neck of the Mutiny broken—Delhi in our hands—
Feeling amongst the people—Improvements in Ferozepore ; also in society—Duelling in old times—48th
Native Infantry: three officers dismissed—My pistols—
Acting as Duffin's friend—Hocking and his shooting—
Gussy and Carry married—Mahomed Sooltan: his
opinions on morality of English people—Agnes to
Simla—Camp life—Supply of carts for siege train at
Delhi—Panic at Ferozepore—Robbery of treasure by
English soldiers—Sir John Lawrence in district, and
anecdotes of him, Sir Herbert Edwardes, and Major
Nicholson — Sir John's quarrel with Sir Henry —
Harsh proceedings of officials to natives — Settling
compensation claims — Lord Canning's durbar at
Lahore — Alfred born—Mr. Temple—Disaffection of
English soldiers—Take furlough to England—Voyage
home—Sir James Outram—Disobliging captain—Discomforts at Cairo hotel—Wild spirits of children—
Arrival at Stone—Gussy's arrival—Leave children and
return to India—Flirtations on board ship—Young
married lady given to drink—Return to Ferozepore—
Sir Robert Montgomery passes through district—Some
account of him—Arthur's birth — Writing for the
papers — Cholera at Ferozepore and Meean Meer—
Lionel born—Transfer to Goorgaon district—City of
Delhi—The Kootub—Campaign against the Bonair
tribes—Akhoond of Swat—Description of Goorgaon,
and its state during the Mutiny — Snakes very
 Chapter IX.—1864 to 1871.
Defalcation in treasure chest—Mr. Bulman—Sentence on
agent — Money: how appropriated—Bath - house and
garden—Capture of leopard and white crow—Gussy
us a visit: dies at Morar—Schools at Goorgaon—
Meteoric stones—Talk with Native schoolmaster about
Missionaries: their success in education, but failure
in converting — Inefficiency of converts — Tofuzzal
Hossain: his religious opinions—The salt customs
and salt manufacture—Rest houses—Old tombs—
Sonah sulphur springs—Doctor and Mrs. Turton—
Bishop Cotton visits Goorgaon—Our visit to Mussourie—
Godfrey born—Carry and her husband stay with us—
Temple to goddess Debee near Goorgaon—Offerings at
temple—Rewaree dispensary, and tale of superstition—
Meenas : their doings—Colonel Hervey and his Thugs—
Calcutta detective story—My sheristidars at Goorgaon—
Opinion of Native officials generally—Sent to Kussowlie
as additional Commissioner—Colonel Reynell Taylor,
the " Bayard of the Punjab": his dilatory style of
work—Durbar at Agra—Captain B. and his wife—
Cremation at Kussowlie—Outbreak of cholera on railway
line—Sir Donald Macleod visits the district—Cholera at
Goorgaon — Hurdwar fair — Quarantine—Fakeers, and
anecdotes of them—Wagentrieber and his wife: their
escape from Delhi in the mutiny—Civil appeals—
Officiate as Commissioner of Delhi—Sent to Umballa
to clear off arrears of work—Appointed Commissioner
at Mooltan: my work there—Arthur and Lionel go to
Carry at Kangra—Climate of Mooltan—Arthur and
Lionel join us—Crows in the garden, and their pranks—
Reginald born—General Van Cortlandt: his career—
The Makdoom or high priest—Bishop Milman visits
us—Carry   and   her  husband come to Mooltan—I take
furlough to England—Kurrachee—Voyage to Bombay
and home, via Egypt—Behaviour of English officers at
Cairo—Our native servants, and their treatment on
board ship—Life at Cheltenham—Return to India with
Reginald:   Children left with Mrs. Presgrave    ....    342
Chapter X.—1871 to 1878.
Return to India: take Reginald with us—Stay at Alexandria—
Cairo and Suez— Museum at Boulak—Old tomb at Ghiza—
Khedive's palaces at Cairo and elsewhere—Oppressive
rule—Egyptian troops—Mr. Rogers, the consul—American
general officer—Chief criminals at Cairo—Bazaar—Suez:
its healthiness—Appointed to Jullundur Division; then
to Goordaspore ; then Umritsur—111 with asthma—Take
leave and stay with Carry at Jhelum — Nominated
to Cashmere: not confirmed by Viceroy—Sent to
Peshawur as additional Commissioner—Superior barrack
accommodation—Difficulty in getting evidence—Pride
of Puthans—Lord Mayo assassinated—Police and their
doings—Abbotabad—Build a wooden house at Cherat—
Agnes and Reginald reside there: measures for their
safety—Robbery at Colonel Draper's and other places—
Mr. Adams, the chaplain—Cholera—Amusements—
Gardens—Bishop Milman—"Cripps' Gunge"—Mission
school—Superstition of Natives—The holy fakeer at
Rohilkund — Miraculous bridge over Ram Gunga—
Young woman carried off by hill-men—Tribes blockaded—Panic at Delhi in 1866—Strange story of a
sergeant in 1857—Transferred to Jullundur Division—
Reginald scalded on arm—At Dalhousie—My mother's
death—Badminton in large room—Strong family tie
amongst natives of India—Honesty of hill people—We
leave for England with Reginald—Rough voyage between
Alexandria and Brindisi—Journey through Italy and
France, via Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan,
Turin, Geneva, Paris—Two years in England—Return
to India with Emily and Grace—Life at Rawul Pindi—
Turkish envoy—Sir Lewis Pelly—Visit Cashmere—Retire
on Colonel's allowances — Take house at Reading —
Distribution of children—Some account of my boyhood—
On religious sympathies and politics 393
Chaptee   I.
| LEFT England in the "Duke of Buccleugh"
(of about 1000 tons), belonging to Messrs.
~Mi^3v^ Green & Co., of Blackwall, on the 20th
October, 1839. The port of departure being
Gravesend, my age being then sixteen years
and five months, all but eleven days. There were
a good number of passengers for Calcutta, and 100
recruits for the East India Company's Infantry,
under the command of  Captain Talbot.
We touched at Funchal (Madeira), and with
several other passengers I visited the convent high
up on the hill, and  the  orange   gardens,  into  one
 of which we trespassed without leave from the
proprietor, who came forward, however, in a very
courteous manner and begged us to take our fill.
The city was very dirty, and so were the
inhabitants. One of our lady passengers, about
eighteen years of age, and very pretty, was landed
here for change of climate, being in a rapid
consumption. I shared a cabin at first with
Simeon, a cavalry cadet, but as we both had swing
cots, which took up too much room, he went into
a cabin with Fred. Hudson, and a young man
named Bateman, with his standing cot, shared
mine for the rest of the voyage.
The    commandant    of   the    recruits   had   but
little force of   character, and could not rule either
his men or his very pretty young wife, who was
certainly rather wilful,  though all the young men*1
thought her an  angel.
The soldiers were often mutinous and otherwise
troublesome during the voyage, fighting amongst
themselves, and defying their non-commissioned
officers, who were also a rather incapable lot.
The few wives of the soldiers were, with one
exception,   disreputable;    and   one   who   got   very
 drunk on shore at Madeira was so violent, when
returning in the boat, as to necessitate her being
hauled on board by a rope fastened under her
arms. A sergeant in the same boat also became
very violent from drink, and, stripping off all
his   clothes,  tried to swim to shore.
Most of the passengers who landed at Madeira
bought jams and artificial flowers from the nuns,
who were a precious ugly set of middle-aged
I must mention that another soldier's wife was
so drunk, and used such foul language, that by the
ropes, in which state she remained prostrate on
the mid-deck for some hours until quite sober and
conquered to an extent that, for the remainder of
the voyage, she behaved herself quite decently.
The currents and contrary winds took the ship
in rather dangerous proximity to Teneriffe, and
whilst off that island she pitched to such an extent
as to break off the flying-jib boom and top-gallant
mast, which the old experienced commander (Norman
Macleod) said was a thing quite unprecedented to
his  knowledge.
 We were also driven out of our course off the
Cape of Good Hope, and lay-to for three days
in a very heavy gale, which raised mountainous
waves such as can only be seen in these latitudes.
I cannot say that I was much frightened at
the heavy rolling and pitching of the ship, as I
had always liked the sea, and, being a good sailor,
could appreciate the grandeur of a mighty storm.
On the third day the captain, fearing that the
vessel might be over-strained, determined to scud
before the gale, which had somewhat abated; and,
with very little sail set, we certainly did plough
the sea in  glorious  style.
For some time from the date of our departure
things went on in no particular exceptional way
on board, and there were the customary events of
a calm or two near the line, and the capture of a
couple of good-sized sharks, the flesh of one having
been found quite palatable when broiled. On
crossing the line Neptune was not allowed on
board, but the sailors were satisfied with the
passenger's  coin.
These passengers were all of the ordinary type—
my   cabin   chum   being   exceedingly   quiet.     The
 recruits gave some trouble, as they got at some
chests of firearms, with the intention, it was supposed,
of rising against the officers and passengers, and
taking possession of the ship. Two of them
appeared at deck parade one day with a death's
head and cross-bones embroidered on their caps.
These men were at once placed in irons, and
muskets and cutlasses were placed conveniently
near the captain's cabin, to be available on an
Nothing more, however, occurred of a startling
kind, except that a very fast-sailing brig overhauled
us after rounding the Cape, and kept near us for
several hours and then dropped astern, although
quite capable of outsailing us at any moment.
The captain thought she meant mischief, and the
soldiers were made to appear at the bulwarks in
their uniform.
All went well with us up to the Bay of Bengal,
when, on a fine night under a moderate and
favourable breeze, the ship struck on a sand-bank
off Point Palmyras, and was totally wrecked; all
the blame being laid to the chronometers which, it
was supposed, had   got   damaged   from   the   heavy
 pitching off   Teneriffe.     The   choice   lay   between
oss neglect and faulty chronometers,  as  we were
nearly 90 miles out  of   our reckoning  and to the
west of our true  course.
The captain lost his head, and the preparations
for leaving the ship were mainly made under the
directions of Mr. Bird, the chief officer, who
proved himself a brave and energetic man, and by
his orders the foremast and the mainmast were
cut away to relieve the ship, which lay over on
her beam-ends, rolling occasionally very heavily in
the surf, and, though the weather was mild, she
bumped a good deal.
All the boats were lowered and partially
provisioned with biscuits and water, but on this
head much neglect was shewn. A raft was also
constructed during the night for the soldiers, as
the boats would only suffice for the passengers
and   crew.
All the passengers behaved well but Mrs. Talbot,
and she besought the captain to place her in a boat
at once, "as if anything inopportune happened,
her blood would be on his head." It was with
much  difficulty he   convinced   her  that the danger
was distant, and that if anyone was thus put
prematurely into the boats the soldiers and their
wives might become excited, and great confusion be
caused. Mrs. Talbot was all the time standing on
the poop in rather scant clothing, having evidently
been in bed when the ship struck, so her appearance
to the young men was highly interesting, and some
of the middies expressed their opinion that it was
well worth being shipwrecked to see Mrs. Talbot
in her night dress,  and her hair   down.
When the vessel first struck I was in the saloon
looking at the pictures in one of Dickens' works,
and the shock threw me flat on the table, and so
violent was the bumping that after visiting my
cabin to secure my money and letters of credit,
with other papers, I found that the door would
not shut by nearly  an inch.
At the request of the captain I went down
the hold with another passenger to assist in
handing up some bags of biscuit, as the soldiers
had turned sulky and refused to assist. Minute
guns were fired during the night, with the hope of
bringing down some of the native craft, which the
officers said traded with Juggurnath and other
places  for  salt.
 All being ready, at early morning the soldiers
were ordered to the raft, and the passengers and
soldiers' wives were lowered into the boats. The
sailors, however, who were appointed to manage
the raft deserted it for the boats, and thus left the
soldiers to their own devices, when luckily for
them the wind drifted the raft back to the ship,
on which they all sought  protection.
The long boat, in which I was seated, was very
low in the water, but the first officer, who was in
the cutter, made sail in hopes of cutting off a
native brig, which he succeeded in doing after a
few hours, and we all went on board her, keeping
near the wrecked ship to take off the soldiers next
The officers of the ship who were deputed for
this purpose found the majority of the men
intoxicated, from indulgence in all the best wines
of the steward's store-room, having also taken
their fill  of the hermetically-sealed provisions.
The boxes of the passengers had also been
broken into and most of the jewellery of the
ladies appropriated by the worst of the men, who
were  quickly  made to  disgorge  their plunder.
In their wild orgies they had dressed up the
stumps of the masts in the finest dresses and
shawls of Mrs. Talbot, and one man had jumped
overboard, after putting on the full dress cavalry
uniform of Simeon. It was supposed that the
weight of the accoutrements had drowned him, as
he never appeared on the surface again, though a
fair swimmer.
The native craft was in ballast and bound for the
Madras coast, her provisions consisting of rice and
a few casks of fresh water; and, our supplies
being very short, each person on board received only
three ship's biscuits per day and a pint-and-a-half
of water, which was indeed short commons for the
sturdy sailors and recruits. Some of the men had
been base enough to steal an extra supply of water,
so the passengers had to take their turn of sentry
duty over the casks with loaded pistols.
In four days the shaky old brig made only
four miles towards Calcutta, but on the fifth we
luckily sighted a Scotch barque bound to Calcutta
from Glasgow, which was also out of her course.
The captain willingly took us all on board,
and   in   two   days   we  reached   Calcutta (15th   of
February, 1840), where we presented the skipper
of the barque with a silver snuff-box as some
return for his kindness, he being against receiving
any remuneration in cash. It was late in the
evening when we landed, all being destitute of
baggage, as nothing had been saved beyond the
clothes we stood in, and, strange to say, my
regimental sword, which some sailor had thrown
into the boat. Simeon and I failed to get
accommodation at the two hotels we visited;
perhaps, from our seedy appearance, or perhaps,
as alleged, from scarcity of room.
The butcher of the ship, however, came to our
aid with his proffer of service, and accompanied
us to a keeper of livery stables who behaved in
a most hospitable manner; providing us with an
excellent supper and a couple of couches which
would, doubtless, have been very comfortable as
beds, but for the swarms of mosquitoes which
attacked us most mercilessly.
After a good breakfast with our host a buggy
was lent us, in which we proceeded to the Fort
Adjutant's quarters in the large fort to report our
arrival, and be allotted rooms in the  cadets' range
of buildings. These we found very spacious, and
native vendors of bedsteads, clothing, &c, &c,
soon besieged us with their wares and soft, oily
Fred. Hudson, a fellow passenger and a little
older than myself, soon called at the quarters,
and easily persuaded me to become a guest at his
father's house at Garden Eeach, on the river bank,
and about three miles from Calcutta. Besides
Fred, there were his father (a lawyer), two grown-up
brothers, and a sister about seventeen, as also
his mother and some smaller fry. My days were
passed very pleasantly, and the change to this
pretty country seat from the dull old fort was
most  delightful.
Nothing worthy of note occurred during my
stay, except the death of a servant in charge of
the poultry, who had been bitten by a cobra.
The snake had bitten a fowl, and the man when
attempting to save it had been likewise struck by
the snake. Ammonia, I remember, was given and
other means taken, but he gradually sank into a
state  of torpor  and  died in  a few hours.
Ammonia taken inwardly and applied outwardly
does,   at   times,   seem   to   affect   cures,   but   it is
food, and one evening when he appeared in the
mess room just as the covers had been removed,
each cadet took up some article of food from the
dishes, and all these were sent flying at the
khansamah's head—viz., legs of mutton, cutlets,
potatoes, cabbages, rolls—which caused his speedy
flight; and the advent of the Fort Adjutant, who
afterwards put in an appearance daily at mess, as
was his  duty.
A cadet named Bristow, who had come out
rather late in life (being just 22), asked me to join
him in a journey by boat to Berhampore, to
which station both of us had been ordered to
proceed after being about three months at the
presidency town; and most gladly did we start
to join the 69th Regiment of Native Infantry in
a large boat called a budgerow; but we had not
got as far as Barrackpore (a day's journey), when
about noon the boatmen raised a cry that the
craft was sinking, and thus I had a second escape
from drowning by wreck, for we had hardly
navigated the boat to a sandbank conveniently
near at hand, when it filled, and obliged us to
take protection in two small row-boats (dingies), in
which   having   placed   our   boxes,  we   returned to
Calcutta,  and  made   the   owner   of   the  budgerow
refund the advance of rupees to his intense disgust.
In a day or two we had arranged for a better
class of boat, and again made a start for Berhampore,
which we reached in a few days without any
adventures worthy of record, beyond our having
fired at some tame buffaloes on the banks of the
river, from Bristow's assurance of their being wild
At Berhampore I commenced my military life,
taking up my quarters with an ensign named
Nesbitt, with whom I had been at school at
Edmonton. With him I chummed for a short time,
till more suitable quarters were found with a
Lieutenant Stephen, the acting interpreter and
quarter-master of the 69th, by whose advice I
commenced the study of the native languages; * and
to whom I must always feel deeply indebted for his
kindness and good example.
The officers of the regiment were an agreeable
set, and Colonel Norton, the commandant, was a very
quiet-going, nearly worn-out old man, quite of the
typical style of Indian officer, wedded to his hookah
and  chota   hazree   meetings.     These   chota   hazree
(or small breakfast) meetings are quite an Indian
institution, adding much to the sociability of
cantonment life.
They come off sometimes in a mess verandah,
or under a clump of trees in a mess compound,
or perhaps at some private house, but always in
the open air, and immediately after the early
morning ride or drive, and with officers in the
parade season just after the morning military
As a rule these meetings are not open to ladies,
though at times they are, and at Ferozepore I can
remember seeing both sexes at the house of the
brigade major once or twice a week at early morning.
At Berhampore some very enjoyable chota hazrees
came off at the house of Mr. Bashford, a silk
merchant, and as there were some very fine lichi
trees in the grounds, we used to indulge largely in
that very delicious fruit, which can only be found
in perfection hi Lower Bengal. I have tasted
specimens of it in England, which I believe had
been imported from the West Indies, but they were
dry  and insipid.
One of the pleasantest officers in the 69th Native
Infantry   was   the   doctor    (O'Dwyer),    who    was
quite a character, and I met him afterwards with
the 7th Cavalry. He had a fund of Irish humour
of the right sort, and was kind-hearted almost to
a fault.
Owing to an accident when hog hunting, he was
lame with one leg. It happened that when he and
some other officers were in full chase after a large
boar and O'Dwyer just in the act of using his spear,
his horse fell in some very broken ground, and
when the doctor came to his senses, he was lying
in some boulders with the spear through his thigh;
and it was supposed that in falling the hind hoof
of the horse had struck the spear with great
violence right through the leg, just as man and
horse reached the ground.
The adjutant (Lieutenant Hatchell) was good
tempered and very fond of his work; occasionally
indulging in quiet jokes, which pleased the youngsters
The drill sergeant, who was an old soldier of the
company's army, used to amuse us very much by
his barrack-yard stories; and when the adjutant was
out of sight—or gather of hearing—we used to
persuade him to  allow us to  stand at  ease whilst
he told most absurd tales about young and old
soldiers he had come across, and I only wish I could
remember some of them. Hatchell one day turned
the laugh against a young officer of a rather priggish
disposition, who on being asked to take a cigar,
replied " that he never smoked," on which Hatchell
said, " what a lucky fellow you are, and how I envy
you." " Yes," said young prig in a drawling tone,
"I always understood that it was a very bad habit."
"Pray," said Hatchell, "don't mistake me so, for I
meant that you had such a pleasure to come when
you take to the fascinating weed;" for Hatchell
was a most inveterate smoker, and hardly ever
had a cigar from his mouth, except when eating
or sleeping.
The society of Berhampore consisted of the
officers of the regiment, the civil judge, magistrate,
and assistants, with a few silk merchants. There
were also the depots of the two English regiments,
26th and 49th, that had gone to China, so that
there were probably more than 400 women left
in the barracks with a few married sergeants,
who utterly failed to keep them in any order, as
seen by their disorderly conduct and facility of
procuring liquor.
When at Berhampore I had my likeness taken
in water colours by a very good French, artist,
who was seeking his fortunes in the East. It was
thought a success, and I put it carefully away
in a large drawer for next mail day, but in the
interval the white ants had got at it, and
destroyed most of the countenance.
I witnessed the great festival, called the " Bera,"
at Moorshedabad, a few miles distant, the place
of residence   of the Nawab Nazim.
The display consisted mainly of fireworks on
board of very large barges floating down the
Ganges, as well as fireworks on the opposite bank
of the river, in front of the large and stately
palace. A ball and supper were also given by
the Nawab in his palace, which was. furnished
in the best European stylfc....
Fireworks and all were on a very grand
scale, and I was greatly impressed by the fine
display of  Oriental festivities.
The ivory work of Moorshedabad is much prized,
and most deservedly so, as it is cheap and very
good of  its kind.
The manufacture of silk goods is also great,
as the climate is well suited for the worms..
It was at Berhampore that I first enjoyed a
sleep on the cool mats, called "seetul patee," which
are very generally used by European gentlemen
and natives in easy circumstances during the hot
weather. Our chief amusements were billiards, and
shooting snipe in the swampy grounds near
the station. The only large game were pigs,
after which the  sportsmen rode  with  spears.
All was good feeling and frank cordiality at
the mess and library of the regiment, so that
time passed very pleasantly, though the ladies were
few in number.
Nesbitt and I became joint-owners of a buggy
and rather stylish-looking mare, which was certainly
one of the fastest trotters I ever sat behind,
though rather difficult to drive from her fiery
disposition. She once succeeded in running off
with us, but nothing happened beyond our being
carried up to the door of our quarters at racing
speed. We managed to sell the turn-out at a fair
price when I was leaving the  station.
At the commencement of the cold weather of
1840 I was appointed to the 26th Regiment of
Native   Infantry   at   Ferozepore   as junior  ensign,
and before joining I went with Lieutenant Stephen
(each in a small country boat) to Calcutta for a
few days, and started from that place in a steamer
for Allahabad, where with Bristow, Phillimore, and
Firth (all ensigns), I put up at some vacant
quarters in the fort, without obtaining any permission
from the authorities, who, however, kindly overlooked the omission, on plea of griffinage. I
had an introductory letter to Mr. Montgomery,
the Collector of the district, who afterwards
became Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab ; but
he was away in camp, and a relative of his
(Captain Staples) made a kind offer of service,
and entertained me most hospitably at his mess.
Mr. Montgomery had also placed his house and
servants  at my disposal.
We all purchased horses or ponies for the
march to Cawnpore, and were assisted in this by
a jockey, who had come up with us in the steamer
to ride some races then on the tapis. I became
the possessor of a grey galloway, which turned
out to be a most vicious animal, though sound and
strong. His behaviour made me a better rider,
but caused me much trouble. I cannot, however,
say that the others were very much better—and the
doings of these animals most certainly enlivened
much our journey to Cawnpore, which was made
by the regular stages, shelter being afforded by
the dak bungalows at every twelfth or fourteenth
Our morning rides were very enjoyable, but at
Cawnpore we parted company and I went by
palanquin dak to Agra, where I was entertained
by Mr. Thomason (the Secretary to the Governor
of the North-West Provinces and afterwards
Lieutenant-Governor). Under his guidance I saw
all the wonderful buildings — Taj Mahul, Motee
Musjid, Secundra Gardens, with Tomb of Akbar,
and several others, besides the large Orphan
Institution at Secundra, giving shelter, food, and
education to the native orphans (girls and boys)
who were saved during the great famine of 1838
by the  missionaries  and the  government.
From Agra I went on by dak gharee, or rather
palanquin on a truck, to Allyghar, and was put up
by Mr. Morrison, the judge, who had also Bishop
Wilson  staying at the house.
It was at dinner-time that an express arrived,
telling  of the surrender of  Dost Mahommed Khan,
the ex-ruler of Cabul, on which the Bishop
immediately knelt down, and with him all the
diners, and returned thanks for this favourable
ending of the war; at which I was certainly
not much edified, nor, apparently, anyone else, as
the Bishop's style was not only very eccentric but
seemed very self-satisfied — at least, to my ideas,
but then, I may have  been mistaken.
To Kurnal I also travelled by dak gharree, and
was hospitably put up by Lieutenant Pownall, of
the 39th Native Infantry, with whom I found
Firth,  who had been posted to that regiment.
The station was a large one, with two English
regiments of foot, one of cavalry, besides artillery,
and three or four native regiments. I bought a
large single-pole tent, and my horse having arrived
from Cawnpore, a speedy start was made for my
destination (Ferozepore), and by using the outer
fly and walls as a second tent, the stages were
arranged for  comfortably.
• My boxes (camel trunks) and bed and bedding
were carried on one camel, and my tent, cooking
apparatus, and servant's baggage on two more.
The march was pleasant enough, and some little
excitement   was  caused by  attempts  of robbery at
night-time; the line of road between Kurnal and
Umballa, and even onwards, not being considered
safe, it was usual to give officers a military
guard of a native corporal and four sepoys, of
which I neglected to avail myself, as men were
scarce and the general said I should have to
wait for some days, which arrangement did not
suit my books.
A thief managed to get inside my tent one
night and actually passed his hand over my face,
but he was quickly out of the tent when he found
I was awake, and had sprung out of bed. I had
also a very wakeful night at Umballa, watching
for thieves with my gun by my side loaded with
shot, and outside the tent my bearer said he saw
them crawling on the ground towards the tent,
but I had not his cat-like eyes, so failed to get
a shot. Loodiana was soon reached, and at the
encamping ground I fell in with Captain Broadfoot
(afterwards the distinguished political officer at
Umballa), who was taking up to Cabul a newly-
raised regiment of native sappers and miners. He
invited me to dine, and I then heard that the
26th Regiment had received orders to march at
once   for   Cabul.     At   the   same   time   he   offered
me a camel on which I might ride at once to
Ferozepore—distant 75 miles ! !—which offer I
accepted, as it would be most inconvenient to
reach Ferozepore after the departure of the regiment.
The camel was brought out properly saddled after
dinner, and looked a very fine specimen, so his
regular attendant and I, having bound cloths
round our loins, speedily mounted, reaching
Ferozepore very late next morning after a very
tiring ride for me, though apparently quite unfelt
by the trained native, who, I may say, held the
reins. One short halt in the middle of the night
had been made for refreshments for men and
A very long and interesting journey of fully
1,200 miles had thus been completed, and I
had doubtless acquired much extra power of
In former times it had been the custom for
the cadets to remain at Calcutta till forty or fifty
were collected, and they were then placed under
charge of an experienced captain or major, who
went with them in a fleet of country boats up the
Ganges, dropping them at their several stations.
An amusing story is told of a large party of
cadets who journeyed thus up country under charge
of a Captain Cowslade, a great practical joker,
who, when the fleet of boats approached Allahabad,
appeared one morning with his head clean shaven,
at which the cadets expressed their astonishment,
but were told that by the rules of the service all
would have to do the same before presenting
themselves to the General of Division that afternoon.
The barber was therefore called up, and in a short
time all the cadets made their appearance in full
uniform with shaved heads, and after the boats had
anchored, were duly marshalled by Captain Cowslade
and. marched to the general's house; on reaching
which, the captain took a neat wig from his breast
pocket and neatly adjusted the same before entering
the reception room. The general was, of course,
taken aback, but said nothing, and the story soon
circulated throughout India.
It was this officer who, when challenged to a
duel by a young prig of an ensign for some fancied
insult, recommended the challenger not to have
seconds, as the quarrel being so serious a one it
was essential that one should remain on the ground,
making believe that the   combat must be a  mortal
one. Cowslade therefore, providing the pistols,
drove the ensign in his buggy to the ground,
about five miles from cantonments, and on a very
warm morning. The ensign jumped out, but not
so Captain Cowslade, who at once turned the horse
and drove quickly off to cantonments, which the
tired and foolish ensign reached about two hours
afterwards, and was well jeered at by his brother
I put up with Captain Lawrence at Ferozepore,
who was assistant political agent, and had been
asked by Mr. Thomason to receive me. This was
the Henry Lawrence who afterwards became so
distinguished. I was not then much taken with
him, as he seemed very sharp tempered, and had
a bad habit of annoying himself about trifles,
perhaps, owing to poor health, as he looked
very delicate. At times he lived in the old fort
in the city, which he was then repairing, and at
times in a large house in the cantonment.
Mrs. Lawrence looked very delicate, and their
little boy was a very weakly specimen of humanity.
What chiefly struck me was Lawrence's energy,
intensified, however, to an extent bordering on what
might be styled fussy.     In  conversation  he showed
a great knowledge of Indian history and Indian
subjects, and was evidently much interested in the
people, though I should never have put him down
as a man of great talent or one likely to gain the
respect or love of the natives, who appeared to
stand rather in awe of his hot temper; his body
was much too spare, and his face had a worn look.
The natives of India have a great respect for
energy of character, but they like to see it
accompanied by a composed and dignified manner,
both entirely wanting in Henry Lawrence.
He was very kind to me, and I saw that in
after years, when he rose to high position, his
manners had greatly improved.
The Government having determined that a wing
of the 5th Native Infantry would suffice for the
convoy to Cabul, the march of my regiment was
countermanded, and the carriage discharged, much
to our disgust, though had we gone the regiment
would have been amongst the number of those
slaughtered in the Affghan outbreak. I found my
brother officers an agreeable set of men; though
four of them, and those amongst the seniors, had
contracted marriages (native fashion) with women
of   the   country,   as   was   then   so   very  much  the
custom. Major Huish, the commanding officer, was
a married man, and so were Captains Gahan
and Taylor, and Lieutenant Duffin, the last being
Quartermaster and Interpreter. I managed to buy
a very small house in the corner of a compound
for 450 rupees, the rooms consisting of two, and
a verandah to the front. It was here that I
continued my Hindustani studies during the hot
season. The building had originally been intended
for stabling, but was used as a dwelling-place
by the officer who had got the grant of land,
who had intended building a good house in the
centre of the compound, which however never
advanced beyond the foundation stage until after
the departure of my regiment, and the advent of a
new owner. Houses were very scarce, and many
of the officers had to build. None of the roads
had been metalled, as the station was .a new one,
so the dust lay pretty deep throughout the dry
season; wheeled conveyances also being at a premium, most of the officers and their wives
preferring to ride.
There were three other regiments of Native
Infantry and two of Cavalry, as well as some
Dost Mahomed Khan, ex-ruler of Cabul, arrived
this year as a prisoner on his way to Calcutta;
and General Elphinstone, then on his way to
Cabul, gave him a parade of the garrison. The
Dost was a very striking-looking person of tallish
robust figure and a long, thick grey beard, keen
looking eyes, and aquiline nose. The games of
the irregular Cavalry pleased him much, which is
no wonder, as they greatly excelled in taking up
tent-pegs with their spears when at full speed;
also in lifting balls of wool stuck on upright
sticks; this latter feat being the more difficult
one,   as it requires a very  steady hand   and   true
One of the amusements of the officers of my
regiment was in witnessing the wrestling of the
sepoys of their respective companies, for whom
they erected sheds in their private grounds, also
in seeing their single-stick play, which was very
Quoits was a game we all took to, but cricket
could only be played in the cold season, viz.,
from Novemder to April. A very good billiard
table was set up in the mess house, and some
officers   kept   greyhounds, with   which   we   chased
jackals and wolves which abounded near the
station, though for the wolves it was necessary
to have some good bull terrier dogs to tackle the
game when overtaken and brought to bay by the
Thieves were very plentiful, even to an extent
necessitating a military guard at each officer's
house during the nights; though even with such
precaution the scoundrels made a great harvest
oh dark nights, stealing guns, pistols, and small
articles of jewellery from under the very noses
oi the sentries; and it thus happened that we
found dogs the better watchmen, and a large bull
terrier I had was a very savage animal,
though docile enough with me. Articles of food,
fowls, &c, were very cheap, and I have seen
sixteen fair-sized chicken bought for a rupee
(two shillings), as well as gram for the horses,
two maunds  or  1601bs.  for a rupee.
Any little anecdote of so celebrated a man as
Sir H. Lawrence is of course interesting, and in
those days he was known to be very careless
not only in his apparel, but also in his domestic
arrangements, and his clever wife was quite as
I can remember dining at his table with a
number of other guests when it was suddenly
discovered in the midst of the feasting that there
was no wine or beer in the house, the latter
beverage being generally the liquor most drunk
in those days. The deficiency however was soon
supplied from the stores of a kind neighbour,
though it caused a good deal of amusement in
the  station.
In dress Sir H. was particularly slovenly, and
his wife, though said to be extremely well read
in history and classic lore, was one of the worst
housekeepers  I  ever  saw.
By November, 1841, I deemed myself sufficiently advanced in Hindustani and Persian to
dare to face the Board of Examiners at Meerutt,
who however were cruel enough to spin me for
incompetency in the viva voce test, though as far
as the books and translations were concerned I
had satisfied them.
The journey to Meerutt was made by the
regular stages in tents, and was a most agreeable
change from the monotony of cantonment life;
and from Kurnal I had the company of Firth,
as  also   of   Lieutenant   Tulloh   and   Sherwill,   and
all having guns our days were enlivened by
partridge and quail shooting, with occasional shots at
hares and snipe. No large game was to be found
in that civilized part of the country. Sherwill
was a Sandemanian, and followed the Jewish and
Mahomedan custom of cutting the throats of all
the birds or beasts he shot. At Ferozepore in
1841 a duel was fought between Captain Thomas,
of the 64th Regiment Native Infantry, and Captain
Bailey of the same corps, the latter being hit
badly through one thigh, and crippled for life with
a withered leg. The seconds were Lieutenant
Duffin of my regiment and Captain Corsar of the
64th, and the quarrel was about opening an official
letter addressed to the officer commanding 2nd
Company in an unauthorized manner by one of the
duellists, a trifling matter which might have been
amicably settled but for the very bad feeling
existing between the seconds as well as principals.
The youngsters however thought it a very plucky
affair, as both the officers smoked their cigars
throughout whilst preliminaries were being arranged
hy the seconds, and when shots were exchanged.
In those days duelling was very common, as were
also  deep  drinking  and   uproarious   singing  at the
messes, pourtraying the delights of wine, and other
dangerous enjoyments. In such matters there have
been vast changes for the better during the past
forty years, chiefly through the great increase of
marriages, as also the improved means of communication with England, by which home associations
are kept alive  and  eligible wives also found.
When writing on communications, I may mention
that the road by which I travelled from Ferozepore
to Meerutt was unmetalled as far as Kurnal, which
was about twenty stages, and there were no fixed
encamping grounds or supply stores as now found,
so it was customary to encamp near a village and
get a watchman at night from the head man for
a suitable remuneration.
The robberies on the highway were far too
frequent, and when I passed down I saw a body
of a robber hanging in chains about twelve miles
from Ferozepore, close to the road on the scene
of an attack on a Lieutenant Anderson, who had
been badly wounded by a spear and cleared out
of his property. Umballa had not then been made
a station for troops, our frontier posts being
Loodiana and Ferozepore.
In  1841 there   was a very   heavy   fall  of rain
at the latter station, flooding all the northern
portion to an extent which caused the downfall of
some of the houses of the officers of the 30th
Regiment Native Infantry. A very destructive fire
also destroyed the lines of most of the sepoys, and
after this disaster thatched roofs were forbidden for
the native troops, which was a very wise rule in a
place where furious dust storms were so frequent,
and also long continued dry weather.
At times the clouds of dust would make the day
resemble night, and the choky atmosphere would
have been quite unbearable but that heavy falls of
rain always followed a dust storm. On looking
back it is melancholy to think how many of the
officers of the regiment with me at Ferozepore
have passed away.
Major Huish, Captains Gahan, Tritton, Taylor,
Evans, Spencer, Walker, Duffin, Handscomb,
Hunter, Vauirenen, Eatwell—all dead; two of them
having been killed in the mutiny of 1857, and
Lieutenant Eatwell killed at Ferozshah.
Chapter  II.
T was during the cold season of 1841 that
the 30th Native Infantry, 60th Native
^p^ Infantry, 64th and 53rd Native Infantry
marched from Ferozepore to Peshawur under
Brigadier Wyld to give support to the Cabul
Garrison, then in great straits from the rising of
the Affghan tribes, though we little dreamt that
they would have been able to utterly destroy the
The 26th Native Infantry also marched off as
a reinforcement in the beginning of 1842 with
the 9th Queen's Infantry, a Cavalry Regiment,
and some Artillery. This move was caused by
General Wyld receiving a serious check at the
Khyber Pass, and this demi-defeat had aroused a
very mutinous spirit in the Sepoys, who evidently
greatly disliked the prospects of an Affghan
The Sikhs in the Punjab, which country was
then under the rule of Shere Singh, were also
thought to be unfriendly, and affairs looked indeed
very gloomy when on our march through the
Punjab the news reached our general that
Elphinstone's force at Cabul had been utterly
destroyed, and that Brigadier Sale, with his
brigade,  were besieged at Jellalabad.
Throughout our march through the Punjab a
large Sikh force kept in our flank within a few
miles, ostensibly for a support ; though the
authorities were distrustful of their intentions,
should any opportunity offer of humbling us. The
contempt for the Sikh soldiers was very rampant
at that time; though in after years we found very
good reason to respect their courage, and also their
military organisation, which latter superiority was
entirely due to the intelligence and skill of the
French officers, entertained by the foresight of
Runjeet  Singh.
Forty-four years ago the Punjab was indeed
very different in appearance to what it is now, for
the roads were badly aligned and hardly ever
repaired.     Trees were seldom found near the main
lines, and wells for supplying water to the thirsty
travellers were few and far between.
The very great scarcity of trees was owing to
the country having been so long disturbed by
internal wars, and the consequent march of large
columns of soldiers and irregular levies, whose
requirements for fuel were never met by a well-
organised commissariat, but by indiscriminate
destruction of trees of all kinds and sizes, from the
lofty and wide-spreading peepal and banian down
to the scrubby and thorny mimosa. As for the
rivers, there were bridges of boats over the Ravee,
Chenab Jhelum, and Indus during the driest part of
the year—viz., the cold season—and our troops
found these all ready and quite as well constructed
as our cultured Engineers provide now-a-days. I
express such opinion from bitter experience as a
district officer ; for hardly a year passed but the
loss to the Punjab Government by the destruction
of boat-bridges through freshets and floods on
the large rivers amounted to a pretty high figure,
which could hardly have been exceeded under
Sikh  rule.
In 1858, at Ferozepore, the Sutlej boat-bridge
was   utterly   destroyed   by  a freshet,   and  a large
number of costly boats were never recovered. The
river had been so low that many of the boats were
resting on sand-banks, over which in a few hours
there was thirty feet of water. This was owing to
the great scour which takes place on the occasion
of a heavy freshet; and, were the boatmen
sufficiently on the alert, the boats might be saved
by being speedily disconnected and brought to the
banks. The boats lost on this occasion had been
sent round from Bombay in 1841 at great cost,
and were capable of holding fifty tons of freight
On reaching Peshawur we found that the
brigade of Wyld was much disheartened by the
defeat in the Khyber Pass and their very rapid
and disorderly retreat from Ali Musjid, the small
fort about eight miles within the gorge. The
brigade had -got the name of the " Goose Brigade,"
from some of the officers having boasted in letters
that they would partake of their Christmas goose
(turkeys not being obtainable) at Jellalabad, after
relieving General Sale's gallant little force.
There were then two political officers at
Peshawur—Captain Mackeson, and my old host
Captain  Henry Lawrence.
The first was a remarkably fine-looking man, of
a most soldierly presence as well as engaging
manner. He was known to be a most chivalrous
officer, and capable of any deed of daring.
Lawrence was styled by the Native soldiers
"Do Chappatte wala," perhaps from his thin frame,
or perhaps from his thinking that such quantity of
food was sufficient for them whilst holding Ali
Musjid, or from a peculiar head-dress he was
accustomed to wear. He was accused by some
officers, I remember, of not having forwarded a
proper store of food with the small force which, by
a secret night march, had gained possession of Ali
Musjid, and which said neglect had obliged them
to abandon the place. I may mention that "Do
Chappatfae wala" meant a man of two loaves, or
rather the thin unleavened, flat-shaped wheaten
cakes which the  Sepoys  daily  eat.
It was during the retreat from the fort that
Captain Talbot (who I have mentioned as on
board the "Duke of Buccleugh") showed a want
of courage in deserting his post when commanding
the rear guard. He was tried by order of General
Pollock, but eventually was allowed another oppor-
tunity of retrieving his damaged reputation. I
may mention that after the campaign he left the
When the camp was before the Khyber Pass a
very severe shock of earthquake was felt throughout the valley, as also at Jellalabad, and several
houses in the city of Peshawur were levelled to the
ground; and amongst them was that in which
Lawrence resided, who just managed to run down
stairs and escape from being buried in the debris.
The animals in camp, both camels and horses, were
much frightened, and some officers owned to a
feeling of sea-sickness ; but perhaps that might be
attributable to weak nerves. I certainly did not
feel anything like sea-sickness; but the long-
continued rocking movement of the earth most
deeply impressed me with man's insignificance,
and a feeling of awe followed. Oft-times since
have I felt earthquakes, but notliing like those
shocks  of   1842.
At Jellalabad we heard it was quite as severe,
and some parts of the fortifications fell, during
which Colonel Monteith, commanding the 35th
Native   Infantry,   was   buried   under   some   earth
from a bastion, and, on being extricated, called out
to the people not to touch his head; for he was a
regular old fop, and wore a curly black wig, which
he thought might be pulled off. This was always
told of him as instancing not only his conceit,
but also his coolness in danger, for as a soldier he
was celebrated.
General Pollock attacked the Khyber Pass in
April, 1842, after we had become very sick of the
long halt near Jumrood.
The heights were stormed on either side of the
pass, and in so masterly a manner as to astonish
the Afreedee tribes, who had made most of their
preparations to resist an assault at the mouth of
the pass and the hills immediately commanding it.
I was with the Artillery below, and thus escaped
the trudge up the heights ; all my attention being
directed to the Artillery shrapnel practice, which,
however, did not seem to cause much damage to
the enemy, who lined the hill-sides in hundreds, their
shrill pipes sounding the war notes of the tribes.
This sound much resembled the bagpipes; numerous
flags were also to be seen, and the well-known
tom-tom,   or   kettle-drum,   gave   forth   its   hideous
sound   to   swell   the   din
which   echoed   from  the
The soldiers, especially the English, were very
bitter against the enemy, as exaggerated reports
about the ill-treatment of the Cabul captives had
been spread abroad, and a story was told how that
at Kurnal when the 3rd Dragoons passed through
the station the women of the 44th Depot ran by
the sides of the horses beseeching the troopers to
kill every Affghan (male or female, full-grown or
infant) that they came across, which appeal had
been answered by deep vows of vengeance, so that
the look-out for those who asked for quarter was
but poor. Just at the entrance of the defile two
Afreedees (armed) had been found in a cave, and
being brought before the general, he directed that
they be carefully searched, taken to the rear guard,
and released. They were, however, both shot by
the soldiers after getting well out of sight of the
general, who could not have helped hearing the
discharge of  the muskets.
It was thought but politic to wink at such
doings, as the atrocities of the Affghans towards
our   countrymen   had   been   painted   by  journalists
 .     •
 4kW U 1
and other writers in the deepest and darkest colours,
too well adapted to arouse the worst passions of
the soldiers, some of whom had been heard to
declare their intention to kill any Affghan women
who might come across  their path,  as " them's the
b s that breeds the  scoundrels; " a very coarse
expression truly, but very characteristic of Tommy
Atkins in what was styled the avenging army.
The brunt of the Khyber fighting fell to the
9th Queen's and my own regiment, both leading
the van up the hills.
No tents were pitched at the first encamping
ground at Ali Musjid, and we all slept on the bare
ground, ready to repel any attack from the Afreedees,
who, however, failed to seize any of the baggage,
so well had the hills been crowned by the troops,
and so strong was the rear guard.
The Sepoys vied with the English troops in
driving the Affghans from the mountains; and most
cordial was the feeling between black and white
in the ranks of the 9th Queen's and 26th Regiment
Native Infantry—a state of things which was much
fostered by mixing them up in picket duties, when
the   best   points  of   character  of   each   race   came
prominently into notice, and Western and Eastern
soon found out that they held common feelings on
most subjects, different as was their outward
Of course several instances of gallant conduct
came prominently forward; but one is specially
worth mentioning as having occurred when Wyld's
force was retreating from Ali Musjid, and it was
told me by Lieutenant Swinton, of the 53rd Native
Infantry, who being wounded in the leg, was in
a dooly carried by commissariat bearers, when
suddenly the enemy showed in force, and the rear
guard under Captain Talbot hurried to the front,
leaving Swinton to be attacked by some Afreedees—
one of whom was shot by his orderly, and two
others bayoneted by him, and thus this gallant
fellow saved the life of his helpless officer. The
man was at once promoted to the rank of havildar
(sergeant), and doubtless afterwards got the order
of merit. Swinton said he had told the sepoy to
Save himself when the rear guard passed on, and
the bearers threw down the dooly; but the man
refused to obey.
Another daring deed was performed by a sepoy
of the 60th Native Infantry in saving some treasure,
but I don't remember the exact particulars. Major
Huish, our intelligent and self-reliant commandant,
had broken through the bonds of red tape by
destroying the heavy and useless shakos of the
Sepoys, and in their stead making up some light
and serviceable felt caps, which greatly pleased
the men; and it so happened that the 26th was
the first regiment to set a bright example regarding
military head-dress in India. The rear guard had
all the fighting the next day in the march to
Lundee Khana, as the van and main guard were
not attacked at all, either from the enemy being
much disheartened, or from the tribes being more
friendly and the country more open. The baggage
was, however, plundered to some extent, and some
camp followers were killed.
On the third day the force reached the plain
opposite Lalpoora, which is a large town belonging
to the Momund tribe, indeed it may be styled their
capital, and it stands on the left bank of the Cabul
river. Its chief, Saadut Khan, who had ousted
Torabaz Khan, our friend, was attacked by us and
driven to the hills, Torabaz being installed in his
old post. The passage of the river was rather
difficult,   and  only effected with  some loss of   life
amongst the 3rd Dragoons and 9th Queen's.
Captain Macgregor, the political agent, was present,
and superintended the crossing, which was by a
rather difficult ford, or rather series of fords, and
very dangerous at places where the stream was
very strong; and so it happened that some men
were swept away and a few drowned, the others
having been saved by a really wonderful exhibition
of activity and pluck on the part of the followers
of Torabaz Khan, who jumped into the deeper
parts of the stream on inflated skins, and so picked
up several men who were drifting down in a
perfectly helpless state. It was rather amusing to
hear Captain Macgregor shouting out whenever he
saw a soldier in peril, " Where is that d d chief
and his men ? "
On our reaching the neighbourhood of Jellalabad
without any more fighting, the officers with their
regimental bands came out to meet us, in very high
spirits at their having beaten off Akbar Khan's
investing force on the very day we had attacked
the Khyber Pass. The garrison had never been
really much straitened for the actual necessaries of
life, though all luxuries such as tea, wine, or spirits
of   any kind   were
obtainable at all.
a   very high   premium,  if
General Sale himself was nought but a brave,
rather coarse-minded old soldier, but he had several
fine, intelligent officers in the brigade, amongst
whom I may mention Broadfoot, Havelock, Dennie,
Mayne, Abbott, Monteith, and Backhouse—all these-
being men of mark, bound to come to the front
at a crisis.
General Pollock's force remained encamped at
Jellalabad awaiting a good supply of carriage and
stores from India, and as time progressed, the
increasing heat, together with the enforced idleness,
and the baneful, unavoidable filth of a standings
camp caused much sickness, increased by the
badness of the drinking water; so that by tho
Autumn, when the troops moved onwards, tho
condition of the men and officers was very far
from being first-rate.
I had been laid up more or less for some time-
with diarrhoea, and was very weak, though always
able in a way to perform my regimental duties.
Beer and all wines were very costly, and tho
water,   unless   filtered,   far   from   wholesome;   thus
stomach  complaints   were   rife,  and  the   mortality
Mr. Arratoin, an Armenian merchant, was the
first to bring up supplies from India, and he sold
his liquors by auction, beer going up as high as
70 and 80 rupees per dozen bottles, and port wine,
sherry, etc., to most exorbitant prices; as did
cigars, though I managed to get a good supply
very cheap by winning a box of 1,000 from
Lieutenant Mackenzie, who had bet me that the
force would not march to Cabul.
A M. Peyches, a French trader from Ferozepore,
also brought up a large consignment of European
wines and provisions as far as Lalpoora; but a short
distance from that place he was attacked by hill-
men, who plundered the entire consignment and
killed hini as well.
The prisoners who had been taken at Cabul by
Akbar Khan, including Lady Sale and General
Elphinstone, were in a fort only a few stages from
Jellalabad, across the river, yet quite inaccessible
to an attacking party; and I remember Major
Lawrence and Captain Troup coming to our camp
on   their   parole   (to   try   and   make   terms   with
General Pollock for the release of Dost Mahomed),
by order of Akbar Khan. They were dressed in
Affghan costume, but knew that their request was
hopeless. When General Elphinstone died Akbar
Khan sent in the corpse, and it was buried with
full military honours at Jellalabad. Troup gave
a cheerful account of the treatment of the
The tih khanas, or underground dwelling-places
that our Sepoys built for us, showed what a very loyal
fellow "Pandy" was in those days. These smalt
houses were constructed for the sake of coolness,
and were generally about five feet under ground,
with walls above ground of about the same height.
One day Captains Gahan, Handscomb, and I were
seated in a tih khana, which was our joint day-
room, when a violent earthquake shook the building,
from which we all tried to escape by the narrow
passage and so got jammed—and were much jeered
at afterwards for our precipitation; but I know
of nothing which causes people to use their legs
more promptly than an earthquake. I cannot say
I liked those underground rooms much, for though
much cooler than tents, yet there was an unpleasant,
■earthy smell about them which  could hardly have
been wholesome.
So weak were the soldiers when the onward
march commenced in September, that a distance
of about five miles was all they could compass,
and even to manage that they had to be relieved
of much of the ammunition usually carried in
pouch when on service. As we approached
Ghmdamuk, the third regular march, a large number
of skeletons were found on a hill to the right of
the road, this being the spot where the remnant
of our harrassed troops on the fatal retreat had
made their last stand—being all destroyed, except
Major Griffiths and Captain Souter taken prisoners,
as also Dr. Brydon, who alone managed to reach
Jellalabad. The skeleton of Captain Percy Hamilton
of the 5th Cavalry was recognised from its great
size, and the yellow-coloured hair on the skull. The
winter snows had kept the skeletons in good
preservation, and all were decently buried by order
of  General Pollock.
At Gundamuk there was a halt of some days,
to allow of the arrival of grain which had been
collected a long march to the rear, and opportunity
was then taken for attacking, and punishing, the
people of Mamoo Khail, who had been foremost
in the treacherous attack on our poor fagged fellow-
countrymen when so near a haven of rest at
Jellalabad. A brisk fight came off at the village,
and on the adjacent hills; our loss, perhaps, being
as great as was inflicted on the enemy, owing to
the very difficult character of the ground, and the
facility with which these hill-men followed up our
troops when descending from the heights. Some
very fine plane trees were destroyed by " ringing"
the bark with hatchets, and the glorious vineyards
were greatly damaged, the grapes being very fine
and just ripe, to our great enjoyment. Major
Huish, our commanding officer, was badly wounded
by a ball in the thigh, and Ensign IJobertson
doing duty was also struck by a ball. It was at
Gundamuk that my picket of about thirty men
was attacked at night-time, and so close were the
Affghans, that during the intervals of firing they
called out to us in most abusive terms, saying
" they were deserters from the 5th Native Infantry,
which had been in the Cabul garrison." My
company formed part of a small force sent back
from  camp   two   marches to   bring up   grain   and
other supplies, and at first, to the horror of the
Commissariat officer, this small company of sixty
men was to have taken the duty of protecting a
convoy of camels and mules, constituting nearly
the entire carriage of the army, and by the loss
of which it would have been completely crippled.
It never came out who was to blame for this
blunder, but General Pollock was very angry when
it was brought to his notice.
Owing to the very great want of carriage, the
Cavalry horses had to carry grain for four days'
supply, about forty pounds, and officers were
doubled or trebled up in small tents; the English
soldiers also being accommodated in Sepoys' tents,
"whilst the latter took only one-half of the number
of tents usually supplied. Servants' rations were
-carried on their masters' camels, and each officer
was obliged to reduce his establishment to the
lowest possible figure—no woman being allowed
with the force on any pretext, which probably
made the camp much quieter than at ordinary
The Affghans opposed us at Jugdalluk, and some
of the Colours of the destroyed Regiments were
observed in their ranks.
In the Jugdalluk Pass a very large number of
skeletons were lying near the artificial barrier that
had been raised by the enemy under Akbar Khan
to check the retreating force, and here the fight
must have been a tough one.
Many of our sepoys were affected with night
blindness, brought on, the doctors said, by poor
food and too much sentry duty during the great
heat and glare at Jellalabad, and it was on picket
duty one night that I was aroused in an unpleasant
manner from my sleep on the hill-side by the
fall of some heavy body right across my chest.
My first impression was that the Affghans had
overpowered the picket, whilst the fact was that
the non-commissioned officer relieving the sentries
was affected with night blindness, as well as the
men of the relieving guard, and not perceiving
me had all stumbled over my recumbent body,
much to mine  and their  own  dismay.
It was here that the Affghans managed to
drive off a large commissariat elephant for a few
miles; but the animal turned sulky with his new
masters, who could not persuade him to move on,
and so the armed searching party soon brought
him  back  to   camp.
When on rear guard duty from Jugdalluk, we
were greatly annoyed throughout a rather long
march by the enemy's skirmishers, and Captain
Handscomb, who was commanding, being a first-rate
rifle shot, managed to dispose of several of them;
plunder was their main object, but the order to
destroy all baggage and shoot all the baggage
animals which fell exhausted was most strictly
observed, and on one march I saw as many as
seventy camels and bullocks shot by the Mahomedan
soldiers, as the Hindoo Sepoys were averse to taking
the lives of animals. Grain for my two nags was
always procurable gratis, as so many animals
attached to the Commissariat sank with their loads
of grain, which was invariably destroyed or shared
by the rear guard officers and men, which was a
far better arrangement than leaving it for the
enemy, who were always prowling in the rear of
the force like greedy jackals after carrion.
At Tezeen the baggage guard over the grazing
animals was attacked, and some soldiers of the
9th Regiment were cut up in a cruel way, which
so exasperated the men of the regiment, that in
a body they sought permission from their Colonel
to make a raid on the unsuspecting Affghans—said
   to be resting in aj ravine a short distance from
camp. About 500 hundred of the men, led by
the Colonel, immediately made a hurried march to
the spot, without uniform, but belts and pouches
slung over their shirts; and though the surprise was
not so complete as was expected, yet the Affghans
were taught a good lesson in the art of war, which
resulted in the loss of   a good number of  raiders.
The encampment at Tezeen, on the Indian side
of what is known as the Haft Kothal, or Seven
Passes, was in a bowl-like valley; the hills all round
being of good height, and on all these strong pickets
were posted, every one of which was attacked at
about mid-night by screaming Affghans, with the
exception of my picket, which was on the highest
hill of all, and certainly in the most commanding
position, its great height giving me a most excellent
opportunity of witnessing the fighting going on at
the other pickets; though had mine (consisting of
fifty men) been attacked, it was too far off to get
any assistance from the camp, and I was obliged
to keep on the alert throughout the night.
If there had been no risk of an attack, sleep
would have been  quite impossible however,  as the
firing and shouting would have) £ept the drowsiest
mortal awake.
One picket, commanded by Lieutenant Montgomery
of the 60th Native Infantry, was driven in, and some
of the enemy managed to get into our camp, but
only to be driven out with all speed.
We afterwards heard that the attack had been
planned by Akbar Khan, the Cabul ruler, who on
the following day gave us battle with his entire
army at the Haft Kothal, on the road to Khoord
Cabul, which latter place we reached late at evening
after some rather severe fighting, in which my
regiment took a leading part.
So confident was Akbar Khan of victory with
his 20,000 followers, that he brought out Captain
Bygrave and Captain Troup (two of his English
prisoners) to witness the defeat and massacre of
their countrymen; and when the Affghans fled,
Troup took the opportunity to ride back briskly
to Cabul, Bygrave remaining with Akbar Khan,
who was generous enough to appreciate such
behaviour, and afterwards allowed him to return
to his countrymen when we advanced to the
Kohistan some days subsequent. Troup had on
reaching  Cabul  sought   protection   with  a friendly
chief, and two days afterwards came into the camp.
I may mention that at early morning of the fight,
my picket, with a party of the 31st Queen's, some
of Broadfoot's sappers, and some other troops, all
under the command of Major Skinner, 31st Regiment,
advanced up the Kothal on the right flank by a
steep ridge, and I was left at a particular spot with
orders to advance when I heard the bugle sounded
from Major Skinner's advanced party. No such
sound reached me; but the firing ahead being rather
warm, I moved on with a few men to reconnoitre,
and saw that Major Skinner's party had been
attacked by a large body of the enemy, and driven
back with loss; on this I immediately pushed on
with the entire picket, and some of Broadfoot's
sappers on my right also advanced, and on joining
the Major's beaten men we all rushed on the
Affghans, and soon drove them down the hill-side.
Major Skinner told me that on his men giving way
he had a very narrow escape of being cut down.
The wounded soldiers who had fallen were found
in a shocking mutilated state. It turned out that
the bugler was unable to sound his bugle when
ordered owing to the dreadful state of his cracked
lips, and thus I had never got the proper warning.
Ferris' Jezailchees.(an irregular corps of hill-men,
organized specially for the campaign) particularly
distinguished themselves, and their assault of one
hill was witnessed by me, and I saw the Native
Commandant fall mortally wounded after capturing
a standard. Captain Ferris had been stationed with
his Jezailchees* at a place called Pesh Bolak, between
Peshawur and Jellalabad, and off the main road
where the Cabul army was destroyed; and very
few of his men being staunch, he managed to make
his escape at night-time with his wife and her
sister, as also his adjutant, to Peshawur. The ladies
being obliged to ride " en amazon" on native
saddles, such an escape when his men had openly
mutinied being a piece of great good fortune.
Ferris was a very stout man, but a thorough good
soldier; and he generally rode into action on a good
sturdy hill pony. But when it became necessary
to lead his men up any steepish hill, it was his
custom to fix a rope to a broad leather waist-belt,
and two or more soldiers had to pull him up the
In the Khoord Cabul Pass, one march from the
capital, the skeletons of soldiers and camp followers
of the destroyed force were strewed thickly over
the road — for here it was that the treacherous
attack commenced and the loss was heaviest, the
defile being very narrow and the hills very steep
on both sides; so it may be well imagined that
sombre as the outlook was all around us, yet sadder
far were the pictures our imaginations produced
of the bitter wintry weather when our betrayed
countrymen were fighting their way through this
most horrid-looking pass.
Our force passed through with very little loss,
as only a few robbers made their appearance,
showing how complete had been the defeat the
previous day; for the defile is a most formidable
one, and a few hundred cool and determined sharpshooters might easily hold it against an army.
At the encamping ground we got a good supply
of the very delicious melon called the surdah, as
a very large stock of them was found concealed
under some bhoosa (chaff) in an old fort. The
camp at Cabul was formed on the old race-course,
distant a short ride from General Elphinstone's
entrenched position, and also nigh to the city,
which is built quite in shabby Indian style, with
the exception of the famous covered bazaars which
General Pollock destroyed by powder—from their
having been the site chosen for exposing the
bodies, or rather heads, of some of the leading
political officers who had been slaughtered—viz.,
Macnaghten and Burnes—after the bodies had been
subjected to the vilest treatment by the fanatical
portion  of   the population.
The British Flag was soon hoisted on the Bala
Hissar, or Citadel, under a royal salute, and the
British honour had thus been vindicated by a most
triumphant march from Hindostan to the conquered
capital of Affghanistan; though many of the timid
and croaking class had as usual predicted all sorts
of disasters for Pollock's small force, never numbering
9,000 men of all ranks, as far as I can estimate.
General Nott's -force from Candahar arrived a few
days after, much to the disgust of that irate old
officer, who considered himself regularly outjockeyed
by General Pollock. He need not, however, have
grudged Pollock such honour, for he himself had
gained a goodly quantity of laurels by his bold and
well-planned march from Candahar, and completely
gained the respect of the troops under his command.
Major Shakespeare, one of our political officers,
took   about   500   kuzzlebush    (Persian)   horsemen
towards   Bameean,    to   try   and   aid   the   English:
prisoners in escaping from Akbar Khan's lieutenant.
General Sale also took out his brigade as a
support  to  Shakespeare  in  his  venturesome  ride.
The entrenched position at Cabul, which the
doomed force had held so successfully against the
Affghan hosts until the provisions failed, was a
miserable-looking work with a ditch over which a
cow could easily jump, and it was evident that the
enemy's leaders had been men of poor enterprise,
or such a poor fortification would not for long have,
baffled them: of course when we rode over it all
the buildings had been destroyed, and the place
presented  a  very ruinous  appearance.
All the sights in the interesting city were duly
visited by me, and one day when riding through
the streets with Major Huish and two other officers,
we observed that the people generally had betaken
themselves to the house-tops, and seemed in an
excited state from an alarm that the British troops
were plundering the shops, and we found such to
be the case in some parts, as large numbers of
the soldiers (English and native) from camp had
visited the   bazaars,   and after indulging freely in
ardent spirits had set about pillaging the shops;
moreover, I saw several of the 3rd Dragoons lying
about in the streets in a drunken state quite helpless.
So great was the row that we rode back to camp
and reported the matter to the General, when a
large body of soldiers with their side-arms were
sent off to arrest the most turbulent, and collect
the drunkards. I may mention as an instance how
curiously prejudice works in the mind of the best
of us, that Major Huish on seeing some native
sappers. coming from a shop with large bundles of
loot under their arms, called out to some English
soldiers to seize the native offenders, when the
former immediately ran after the natives, to all
appearance with the intention of catching them;
but neither white nor dark soldiers returned to the
street where we were waiting for them, upon which
I remarked to the Major that "such was not
surprising, as the English soldiers had even larger
bundles than the natives," an instance which Huish
admitted he had quite overlooked ! ! On the day
when the covered bazaars were blown up by the
Engineers, my company was on duty in the city
with the force under the command of Colonel
Richmond;   but notwithstanding all the precautions
taken against plunderers, a vast quantity of property
was carried off, and the city was also set on fire
in several places. Mr. Mackeson, a half-brother of
Major Mackeson, the well-known political officer,
told me at mess that whilst loitering about the
city he heard the cries of women in distress from
an upper story of a largish house, and on running
up stairs observed some stalwart horse artillerymen
maltreating some Cabul girls. He at once called
out to the men to desist from such cowardly and
disgraceful conduct; on which one of them turned
upon him with the remark, " What do you want
here you little black beggar" (Mackeson being a
half-caste), and then without any hesitation pitched
him  down stairs.
I should fear that such was not a solitary instance
of outrage on females, as the disorder was great
throughout the day. On returning to camp in the
twilight of evening, after destroying the fine
covered bazaars and celebrated mosque, we met
about 300 of the 41st Queen's armed with sticks,
on their way to the town, and on being questioned
by Colonel Richmond, replied " Oh, Sir, we are
merely going for a stroll," on which they were
ordered to   the   right-about, and  duly escorted to
their tents. They were, of course, out for a spree
or foraging  expedition.
Numbers of the soldiers who went with our force
into the city at morning wearing a slim appearance,
returned looking very obese from the quantity of
brocaded cloths and other stuffs bound round their
bodies under the  coats.
The climate of Cabul was deHghtful,. and all
the best fruits just at their prime—pears, peaches,
grapes, surdahs (melons). Much of the furniture
of the officers of the Cabul garrison was found in
houses in the city, together with quantities of
champagne and other wineSj hermetically sealed
provisions, looking glasses, books, etc.; much being
found in the streets also, where through fear the
people had thrown them. All the wine found was
allowed to run off in the gutters for fear of the
soldiers getting at it.
Thousands of the citizens had fled to the hills
through fear of British vengeance; for General
Nott's troops it was said had treated the country
people far worse than was the case with Pollock's
army, which was perhaps owing to the former
having been nearer the scene of rebellion. The
English prisoners (especially the ladies) seem to have
been kindly treated by the Affghans and Akbar
Khan; though of course very unpleasant stories
"had got abroad about the licentious conduct of the
enemy. All these English prisoners effected their
release when being taken off to Bameean, and
were brought in by Major Shakespeare to General
Sale's camp. One young married girl, Mrs. Lumsden,
wife of a lieutenant of the 27th Native Infantry,
had been shot dead at Ghuznee; but it was owing
to her having put on her husband's uniform as a
precautionary measure to save herself from ill-usage
when the fort of Ghuznee was assaulted—and I
heard that she was standing at a window when
the mob fired at her as one of the English officers.
When staying with Captain Lawrence at Ferozepore,
I happened to meet her there on her way to Ghuznee
to be married, and Captain Lawrence one morning
at breakfast (for a joke) pretended that he had
received a letter from Cabul announcing an outbreak
of the Affghans; but he failed to alarm the young
girl, who was in high spirits at the prospect of
soon meeting her future husband, and like all
the rest, had the blindest confidence in British
prestige, which as yet had never been dimmed in
its brightness throughout the swift and wide career
of victory from Plassy to the invasion of
Affghanistan. Moreover, the surrender of Dost
Mahomed was viewed as a sure guarantee of
Much mention was made of the bravery of
Dr. Cardew, one of the officers at Cabul, who was
engaged to a young girl at Calcutta, and he had
got leave to visit that place for the purpose of being
married. I had made his acquaintance at
Berhampore, and liked him much. He fell at
Tezeen, after slaying several of the enemy around
the battery to which he was attached; and his
Story was afterwards worked up into a rather
romantic  novel  called  " Long Engagements."
Chapter III.
|HE 26th Native Infantry was with the force
that attacked Istalif in the Kohistan Valley,
~yp— a few stages from Cabul. This affair was
considered a very spirited one, and the troops
engaged got a very large quantity of plunder,
consisting mainly of costly shawls, gold and silver
embroidery work, with silks of various descriptions.
The grapes and peaches of Istalif are celebrated
above all in the country, and were just ripe when we
marched into the Kohistan and sacked their chief
towns. The valley is very lovely, and the vineyards
are mainly found on the hill slopes, and we really
seemed to march past nothing but gardens of vines
of the choicest kinds nearly all the way from Cabul;
and most freely did all indulge in the large and
luscious grapes, much I think to the benefit of
health, though greatly to the loss of the owners.
All the fine plane trees at  Istalif,  which were
very ornamental, were  systematically destroyed by
 "ringing" round the trunks, and I was very sorry
to see that many of the finest marble tombstones in
the capacious graveyard had been destroyed by the
soldiers or camp followers. This very angry feeling
had arisen against the place from its having afforded
most willing protection to Ameen oolla Khan, a
powerful chief known amongst us as the " infamous
one," from his very bitter feelings against the
English — though perhaps the name of "loyal"
would have been more fitting had there been any
inclination to judge our enemies with fairness at that
time; ' for all who did their best to drive us from
the country were surely nought but loyal and
patriotic, though in the lust for conquest the moral
vision of Britons in India had become rather
obscured by anger and prejudice. The greater part
of the Kohistan Valley was visited by the two
brigades under General McCaskill, and we met with
no further opposition after the fall of Istalif, at
which place there certainly had been some stubborn
fighting, and our approach being rather unexpected,
the people had omitted to remove their families, as
is usually done by the Affghans when a fight is at
hand. It so happened that in the street fighting
some women were  shot in houses by accident,   as
the soldiers of course fired into all dwellings held by
the enemy. I saw one very pitiful sight, where a
young woman and her baby in arms had both been
killed by the same bullet, which had struck her in
the chest and the infant high up in the thigh. She
was young and very pretty, with a complexion fair
as an European. I managed to secure a good horse
at a very low price: it had been annexed by a
soldier after shooting its rider (a chieftain), and I
got it for 100 Rs.
The retirement of Pollock's and Nott's forces
commenced before the severe cold weather had set
in, and the first stage was a short one to the Cabul
side of the Khoord Cabul Pass, and as a precautionary measure this very formidable pass was turned
by a flank march over the Gosfan Durra defile (or
goat's track), and my regiment formed a portion
of the small detachment. The road was extremely
bad and rocky, and quite impracticable for laden
animals, so our small requirements were carried on
our shoulders.
There was, however, no attempt at opposition,
and the only attempt at annoyance between Cabul
and Peshawur was made by small bands of robbers
on the rear guards; and General Nott's force, which
left a couple of days after Pollock's, suffered the
most in this kind of desultory fighting, as we heard
that they often neglected to crown the heights.
From Peshawur all was easy, and we had a pleasant
enough march to Ferozepore, where we found Lord
EUenborough, the Governor-General, with an army
of reserve formed in readiness for any misbehaviour
on the part of the Sikhs, who evidently did not
think us quite such warriors as before the Cabul
disasters—and prestige is really life to us in India
as rulers.
Our march through the Punjab did not present
any interesting features, and the roads were far
from good, being the old unimproved ones of the
days of the Mahomedan Emperors, and as before
mentioned, all the rivers had boat-bridges. We
passed close to the famous Mani-Khiala tope, which
tradition says was the tomb of Bucephalus, the
celebrated horse of Alexander the Great; but which
the learned in archaeology say was a Buddhist
temple. It had certainly a very ancient look—the
main road passing close by it, which is not the case
in the present day.
It was on this return march that an incident
occurred which at the time deeply impressed me,
and I never witnessed such again in India or
elsewhere. A Mahomedan subadar (native commissioned officer) of the 27th Native Infantry had
reported himself to the general at Jellalabad, before
the onward march to Cabul, as one of those who
had managed to escape from imprisonment after the
surrender of the fort and town of Ghuznee, and
he was at once appointed to do duty with my
regiment, being present at all the fights during the
march to the capital; but when the English prisoners
were released (including the officers of the 27th
Native Infantry), he was accused of having joined
the Affghans and fought against us—so a Court-
Martial tried him, and gave a sentence of death.
This sentence was carried out at one of the
encamping grounds at a parade of the entire force,
the subadar being marched past each regiment in
slow time to the " Dead March in Saul," and then
shot by twelve sepoys of the 35th Native Infantry,
his body being buried where he fell. I never
witnessed a more solemn sight—and some officers
thought that the man had been condemned too
hastily, for had he been really guilty, it was very
odd that he should have come to the general just
before we advanced on Cabul, where he was sure
to meet the officers of his regiment and any sepoys
who had escaped. He certainly had behaved well
when with my regiment, and met his death like
a brave man.
General Pollock had at first intended that the
firing party should consist of six English soldiers
and six native, but the commanding officer of the
35th Native Infantry assured him that the sepoys
had no repugnance to shooting a man whom they
viewed as a traitor to his salt, and as eleven of the
twelve muskets were loaded with ball, and the man
fell dead from the shots instantly, it shows that
the sepoys aimed well.
I should have mentioned that General Nott's
force brought to Cabul two large eighteen-pounder
siege guns, one of which was made over to Pollock's
force for conveyance to India, but was found to
give so much trouble that the general had it burst
at the Tezeen encampment; and on arrival there
General Nott was obliged to do the same with his,
as far too cumbrous for the passes. From Jellalabad
we brought the .large brass gun called the kazee or
zubbar Jung, as far as Lundee Khana; but this
trophy was also abandoned and thrown down a
precipice by order of General Nott, when Captain
Thomas with his Jezailchees descended the steep
and burst the old trophy with gunpowder, for
fear the enemy should exult on recovering it.
At the desire of Lord EUenborough, the Governor-
General, the celebrated gates of Sumnath were
brought from Ghuznee by Nott, as it was thought
that the Hindoos would highly appreciate such
a mark of consideration for their religious feelings,
which had been so deeply outraged 800 years ago
or more by the great conqueror Mahmoud of
Ghuznee, who stole the gates from the Temple
of Sumnath in Guzrat. They are now lodged in
the fort of Agra, it being found that the Hindoo
mind was quite indifferent to the matter, as
Lord EUenborough had been told by experienced
Anglo - Indians would be the case. His mind,
however, had a curious fantastic twist, clever
though he undoubtedly was. He moreover quite
forgot that such over-strained tenderness for the
feelings of Hindoos might outrage those of the
Mahomedans, more especially as the affair had
happened so very long ago.    In the Northern and
^Central portions of the Punjab, where the population
were mainly Mahomedans, they expressed an eagerness to see us as their rulers, and there was probably
some sincerity in such expressions, as the Sikhs
most firmly forbad the slaughter of all horned
cattle, and likewise would not allow the call to
prayer at the mosques; so that very naturally the
followers of the prophet who were aware of our
tolerance of the ceremonies and customs amongst
all sects, expected under our rule to be free from
much trouble on the score of  religion.
Our opinion of the Sikh troops was then rather
low, and I can remember that on our retirement
from Cabul, when encamped near Ali Musjid, a
large Sikh picket under a native officer fled down
the hill in terror of a few Afreedees who had fired
distant shots. Major Huish abused them roundly;
but as all persuasion failed to make them again
ascend the hill, a subaltern's party was sent up
from my regiment, which soon drove away the
enemy, who showed no eagerness to contest the
ground. The Sikhs are undoubtedly brave soldiers
when well led, but they had little heart in fighting
for a foreign cause, such as ours.
f 1
,.l 1
General Avatabili, an Italian officer in the Sikh
service, was the Governor of Peshawur in 1842,
and he entertained us most hospitably, more
especially when Pollock's force returned victorious
from Cabul. His palace was a grand-looking building,
out of which he never rode without a very large
escort of cavalry. He was said to be a very able,
but very harsh ruler; and by the number of bodies
hanging from the large gallows when we first
reached the city, it was very clear that he did not
shrink from the severest measures against offenders.
His personal appearance was in his favour, and his
demeanour was dignified; French he spoke well,
but no English, and since the death of Runjeet
Singh, he had been trying to leave the Sikh service,
but always failed to get the required permission
from Shere Singh, the successor of Runjeet; and it
so happened that the arrival of our force enabled
him to accomplish his desire of conveying much
of his hoardings to India by Treasury orders, in
exchange for the cash so needful for the general
and  the Commissariat  Department.
A grand, review of both armies—viz., of Pollock's
and the Army of Reserve—came off at Ferozepore,
under the direction of Sir Jasper Nicolls, the
Commander-in-Chief, and in the presence of Lord
EUenborough, the Governor-General; and on our
crossing the bridge of boats over the Sutlej river,
the regiment was met by Lord EUenborough and
his staff, and being formed up in a hollow square,
was addressed by his lordship in a highly complimentary speech for loyal conduct at a very
dangerous crisis, and the honourable designation
of "Light.Infantry" was bestowed on the regiment.
We were all very proud of the distinction, as there
were only two Light Infantry regiments in the
Bengal Presidency, and such regiments were armed
with fusils (a shorter weapon than the regular
musket), and had one flank company dressed in
green  and  armed  with  rifles.
The men and officers also wore wings on their
shoulders instead of the usual shoulder-straps. AU
the boats forming the bridge had been decorated
with streamers and flags of the colours of the
ribbon of India, which was the new design for the
medal ribbon. A temporary triumphal arch had
also been erected, and all this display was in honour
of   the   so-called   " illustrious   garrison,"  which  had
held out in defiance of the Affghan nation at
Jellalabad for so many months. The Governor-
General gave some grand dinners at Ferozepore
in his magnificent suite of tents, and behaved
altogether as a true nobleman. He was a failure
as an Indian administrator, but had he been allowed
time to tone down a little, would doubtless have
made a first-rate ruler. He was tall in stature, very
good-looking, and had most agreeable manners;
being especially partial to the military branch of
the service, whilst all civilians he held in contempt,
thinking that India would be far better administered
under a military system, as more consonant with
the feelings  of  the people.
With the break - up of the large military
camp, the year 1842 closed; and between 40,000
and 50,000 men were dispersed to their several
My regiment marched to Loodiana, escorted for
a short distance by the soldiers of the 9th Queen's,
who gave most hearty cheers for their dusky
comrades, who had for so long been brigaded
with them, and though of different race, religion,
and   manners,  had   most   completely   gained their
respect and affection. A similar good feeling
prevailed with the 13th Queen's and the 35th
Native Infantry, who together had shared the
dangers and discomforts of a besieged force at
Jellalabad; and whilst encamped at Ferozepore,
the men of the 35th Native Infantry gave a grand
entertainment to the soldiers of the 13th Queen's,
and my regiment was desirous of doing the same
for the 9th Regiment, but were dissuaded by the
officers, who felt that on such festive occasions the
rough side of the British character so often showed
to disadvantage, from the sad propensity to indulge
in spirituous liquors. The good feUowship existing
between the soldiers of the 9th Queen's and the
sepoys of the 26th Regiment of Native Infantry,
was something very special and weU worth
mentioning: often in camp, when a soldier of the
former regiment was reeling back to his lines in a
very drunken state, some sepoys would lead him to
their tent, and persuade him to sleep off his
intoxication, so that he might escape the keen
eyes of the provost marshal, who had orders to
apprehend all drunken men; and to high caste
Hindoo Sepoys it must have been a great strain
upon their feelings to come into very close contact
with men who had made such beasts of themselves.
On the line of march it often happened that a
good-hearted Ninth man would carry on his shoulders
a tired sepoy, and vice versa, all which exhibited
a very pleasant state of things. On the march to
Loodiana we observed the body, or rather the bones
and skin, of the robber leader, stiU hanging in
chains by the roadside, of whom I made previous
mention; and I may add that Ensign HaU, of the
26th Regiment of Native Infantry, when journeying
to join us opposite the Khyber Pass, had been
robbed of all his property near Umballa. He said
that when asleep in his palanquin, the bearers
suddenly dropped it, and the doors of the conveyance were then pushed open, spears pointed
at him, with threats of death if he moved or
showed any resistance. His pistols were taken
from under his pillow before he was half awake,
and every thing but the palanquin was carried
off,  and nothing  ever  recovered.
As this had happened whilst passing through
the Native State of Putteala, the political agent,
Mr. George Clarke, got him full compensation, and
was also kind enough to give him a good pair of
Loodiana was a large station, with one Light
Infantry Regiment (50th), three regiments of Native
Infantry, two batteries of Artillery, one regiment
of regular Cavalry (native), and one of irregular
Cavalry (native). I secured a comfortable bungalow
and chummed with Lieutenant Vanrenen during
1843-44-45, whenever I was at the station. Major
Huish took furlough to England at once, and
regarding him I forgot to mention that in 1841
he had obtained leave and taken his wife and
children from Ferozepore to Calcutta, at which
place he heard of the Cabul outbreak; so, having
seen his wife on board the ship about to start
for England, he bade her good-bye, and hurried
off to rejoin his regiment, then under orders for
Cabul. Colonel Wallace was our new commanding
officer, and we aU liked him. I was continuously
with the regiment during 1843, but beyond races,
cricketing, theatricals, parties at the messes and
elsewhere, together with parades, nothing occurred
worth noting, except the fact of my often riding
at races, as I was then just nine-and-a-half stone,
and a nice riding weight with a six-pound saddle—
and as a gentleman jockey of course in demand.
The 26th Regiment  got the name of being  rather
fast, and I fear that it somewhat deserved
it, as the mess bills were generally higher than
suited the purses of subalterns; and having to
come down with my share towards the purchase
of Lieutenant Hunter's retirement, the transaction
threw me into debt with a bank. This officer had
long been in poor health from injuring his hip-
joint, and also from drink—though he was a man
of much culture and given to intellectual pursuits.
We all moreover gave a month's pay to meet the
cost of some new mess plate, glass, and crockery,
and the extra batta gained by the Cabul Campaign
(an equivalent for prize money) came in very
handy. In 1843 I passed very successfully the
test for Interpreter at Meerut, and in those days
the examination was much more difficult than at
present—as it included a good proficiency in Persian
as well as in Oordoo and Hindee. I was at once
appointed as Interpreter and Quarter - Master to
the* 7th Native Cavalry, then at Loodiana, and
commanded by Colonel Stedman. Amongst the
amusements at Loodiana I have omitted to mention
shooting and coursing, and of the first I had a
good deal—the country round about abounding in
small game,  as also some antelope.    I have known
as many as thirteen hares coursed and kiUed in one
morning by three couples of greyhounds. There
was a large swimming bath, which was a real
blessing, and here in the hot season we assembled
in goodly numbers before mess-time to take a
most delicious swim, amid great fun. Towards the
close of 1843, there was much talk about the
mutinous spirit pervading the ranks of the native
regiments, owing to! the discontinuance of the
extra batta or aUowances to the troops in Sindh.
A "round robin" had been sent to the Commander-
in-Chief, purporting to express the feehngs of the
64th Regiment, then at Loodiana; the expressions
were most mutinous, setting forth that if the
regiment was ordered to Sindh on the reduced pay,
they would shoot the commandant and adjutant,
seize the colours, and desert to the Sikhs across
the river Sutlej. A Court of Inquiry was ordered
to assemble with Brigadier Wheeler as President,
and to this court I was nominated as Interpreter;
but after a very lengthy investigation, nothing
was found out to criminate the native officers,
though several were strongly suspected of having
countenanced the petition, if not of actually
concocting   it.     I   am   glad   to   say   that  I  came
off with flying colours as Interpreter, having
been congratulated by the President in getting so
successfully through what was rather a severe test
for  a youngster  of  twenty years.
The regiment (64th), when ordered to march,
did break out into open mutiny en route to
Sindh, upon which it was at once ordered to
Kurnal for disbandment; but with his usual leaning
to the merciful view, which in this case was most
injudicious, the forgiveness of Lord (then Sir Hugh)
Gough, the Commander-in-Chief, was vouchsafed
to the Sepoys on their humbling themselves to the
extent of begging for pardon. After this the
regiment did actually proceed to Sindh, but again
broke out into mutiny at Sukkur a few months
after, when a regiment of Europeans and some
Artillery being brought on the parade ground, all
the ringleaders were surrendered by their comrades,
under a threat of immediate destruction of the
whole regiment  if  such were not  done.
That our prestige had greatly suffered through
the Cabul disaster cannot be doubted, and that the
seeds of disaffection were then sown, to germinate
in due time and fructify into the full-blown mutiny
of 1857, is also an undeniable fact, and therefore
a most short-sighted and dangerous policy was it
for the Government of 1843 to discontinue the
Sindh batta at the very time when sickness there
had been so rife and aU kinds of provisions were
also very dear.
The Sepoys could never afterwards be shaken in
their belief that the Sirkar (Government) had broken
faith with them, and doubtless many opinions in
harmony with this view had been openly expressed
at officers' messes and coffee shops, and retafled by
native servants in attendance.
The turn of the 7th Cavalry to march to
Sindh soon came, and without an open murmur
the regiment started for the detested province,
possessing at that time the unbounded confidence
of their officers; but, alas! we had only reached
Mumdot (one march beyond Ferozepore) by a rather
circuitous route to avoid the station, where three
Native Infantry regiments were lying sulky and
discontented, when the troopers all refused at
morning time to mount their horses and march
onwards, though all the commissioned and noncommissioned officers, trumpeters and farriers,  etc.,
who had any rank to lose made the pretence of
loyalty by mounting and coming to the front where
the EngHsh officers were assembled.
I had gone ahead as quarter-master to the next
encamping ground to fix on "the site for the tents,
when, at a late hour in the morning, two troopers
rode up saying "that the colonel wished the tents
to be brought back at once." These men had ridden
up with rather an insolent air, and when questioned
by me as to the cause of the halt at Mumdot,
replied " that they did not intend to go to Sindh."
The officers were of course much exasperated, and
in vain tried every persuasion to induce the men to
mount their horses; the troopers declaring "that
all such efforts were useless, as the Government had
broken faith with them."
None of the Infantry regiments then under
orders to move from Ferozepore would obey the
orders for the march to Sindh ; but the 6th
Irregular Cavalry showed a bright example by
starting  off.
After a halt of some few days to admit of
orders coming from Head-Quarters (as the telegraph
did not then  exist), we received   the  command to
march back to UmbaUa, where we fuUy thought
that the regiment would be disbanded, and so
confident was Colonel Stedman of this, that he gave
over the command to Major PhiUips, he himself
riding ahead with me.
On the first morning after receiving command
Major PhiUips called up the European officers, and
with them went to the rear of the regiment, telling
the senior native officer to lead the corps which
had so contemned its EngHsh officers. The men
felt the sHght very much, and after a few days the
native* officers' came to the colonel and besought
him to lead them as formerly, which he did the
next day, being very angry with the major. On
reaching Umballa, so far from being punished the
men got almost all they wanted, and moreover
Major PhiUips having blackened the character of
his colonel to the Commander-in-Chief, the latter
was ordered to another regiment, and the command
of the 7th was bestowed on Major PhiUips.
We all felt more or less ashamed at the turn
affairs had taken, and under such a weak military
rule as that of Sir Hugh Gough, there was every
reason to  dread that this   small   spark  of   mutiny
might break out into a huge flame which would be
very difficult to subdue. What story Major Phillips
really told to the Chief we of course never knew,
but from the bad nature of the man, all felt sure
that falsehood predominated, and also that much
blame had been causelessly and unfairly thrown
upon all the officers, who from that day most
thoroughly hated their new commandant. He had
always exhibited a rather unfriendly feeling to me,
owing, I think, to some unavoidable delay that had
occurred at Loodiana in his getting his baggage
camels. I thus saw an unpleasant future before me,
and the bad feeling soon showed itself in every
petty way the major's small mind could devise-
viz., in finding fault about supplies, state of
encamping grounds, and various matters connected
with my department—and most of them being
nought but vexatious and frivolous grumblings,
perhaps caUed forth at times from me rather sharp
remarks when making the morning reports on the
renewed march to Sindh; till at last one day
matters culminated, when the adjutant (Lieutenant
Turnbull) told me in confidence that the major
had ordered him " always to be present when I
made my morning reports,  and to carefully watch
 my bearing and tone, which he considered very;
disrespectful." I was therefore careful not to commit
myself, and having no wish to remain with the
regiment I resigned the appointment when close to
Sukkur, and taking advantage of the 9th Native
Infantry being on their way to Ferozepore from
Sindh, I at once joined them, and retraced my
steps to Loodiana through the Bahawulpore territory
in the months of April and May, reaching my
destination in the height of the hot season after a
most trying march. The tents were always struck
about 11 p.m., when off the regiment marched,
reaching the next encampment about sunrise:
thus avoiding all exposure to the dreadful heat of
the day. In the tents during the long weary days
we used to He on the ground, under our bedsteads
and near to the doors of the tents, at which mats
made of a thorny sweet-smelling shrub called jiwasa
were put up and kept damp aU day, yet still the
heat was fearful, and several sepoys died from
heat apoplexy.
I forgot to mention that when on the march
with the 7th Cavalry I was robbed by two of my
servants—one   a   water   carrier,  the   other   a   tent
 pitcher—both having been with me throughout the
Affghan Campaign, and they had always behaved
well; but like most of the natives, they had a
horror of Sindh, and one morning on reaching my
tent I found that the two men had walked off;
taking with them some of my cash, which they
had forced my young valet (bearer) to surrender,
as also his private funds, which for safety he had
placed in one of my boxes. I never saw the
rascals again; and when I first heard of the theft
and flight, my servant was sitting on one of my
boxes weeping much at his own great loss. On
the return march I saw for the second time the
Indian bustard, a specimen of which was shot by
Colonel Smith of the 9th when flying over the
camp; some I had previously seen in the Northern
Punjab. Nearly all the officers of the 9th were
suffering more or less from the Sindh fever, and
the regiment appeared to be almost decimated by
this disease, which, together with large boils, had
prostrated every regiment that had occupied that
country from the first outbreak of the Affghan
War in 1838.
The country through which we marched bordered
on the river Sutlej, with the desert only a few miles
distant inland, being also very uninteresting and
with a very sparse population. Bahawulpore is a
large city surrounded by date groves, which at a
sHght distance look very pretty, but hardly bear
a close inspection.
The small canals are very plentiful, and all
running from the Sutlej, and full only in the
season after the melting of the Himalaya snows,
when the river is at flood—and but for these canals
the country would be a desert or very near it, as
the wells are not numerous, and water at a great
distance from the surface. Wheeled carts of any
description are rarely seen within the Bahawulpore
territory; aU the merchandise being carried on
camels or buUocks. Men, women, and children
seemed greatly to favour the camel as a riding
animal, and entire famflies are met journeying
along on these patient and hardy animals. A good,
swift riding camel is valued at about 120 rupees
(or £12), but some fetch higher prices. The pace
is smooth and easy, especiaUy when on the front
seat of the large saddle; and officers in India often
use the camels for shooting expeditions, the servant
who  carries the guns and provender riding behind
his master, whilst the latter guides the animal with
reins fastened to its nose by rings. Camels, too,
are often used for dragging guns (9-pounders), and.
Sir Charles Napier formed some camel batteries,
in Sindh. Their rate of speed averages about six
miles an hour, and a good camel wUl travel fifty
miles and more a day for a continuance without
tiring, if well fed and groomed.
Rather an amusing incident occurred on this
march, in which I was called upon to play a part.
Dr. Lacon was the young assistant - surgeon in
medical charge of the 9th Regiment, and he and
a Lieutenant Chamberlain were very great friends,
their tents being next each other. Lacon had a
pet monkey, which was tied up just outside his
tent, and Chamberlain had a small terrier dog,
which was also a great pet. One day the terrier
flew at the monkey, on which Lacon came out
of his tent and kicked the dog. Seeing this
Chamberlain ran out of his tent, and at once kicked
the monkey till it howled. Lacon afterwards came
to my tent, and asked me to be his friend and
demand an apology from Chamberlain. Shortly
after this  Chamberlain appeared, in   the   tent   (not
knowing of Lacon's visit), and asked me to demand
an apology from Lacon. With much difficulty I
at last got them to make up the quarrel by mutual
apologies, and the two again became great friends,
as did the   dog   and  monkey.
Shortly after my return to Loodiana in 1844 I
visited Simla for a month, staying with Captain
Evans of my regiment, who was Aide-de-Camp to
Sir Hugh Gough, the Commander-in-Chief, his
uncle. The time passed very pleasantly, and the
hill scenery struck me as very grand. On my
return to Loodiana I obtained the Quarter-Mastership
of the 9th Cavalry at the same station—and I got
on weU with the officers; for though not a very
quiet going set, they were aU good fellows,
giving me a very hearty welcome. It was in
this year that I first took part in a play, and
after one trial my services on the stage were
often in requisition; there being some reaUy good
actors amongst the officers, especially two in the
Artillery—Captains Christie and Abercrombie. One
of our greatest amusements was biUiards at the
messes and quoits, which were played much more
than in these days.    There was also a public coffee
shop at Doctor Whittall's house close by the bath,
and here there was always a morning meeting after
parade, when scandal and muffins were discussed
with the coffee before taking a plunge into the
bath, which was a good length and ten feet deep.
This bath had been constructed and kept up by
shareholders, such institutions being very common
in Indian cantonments, as are racquet courts and
cricket grounds.
Of all amusements, however, in India I think
that racing is followed up with the most enthusiasm,
and the old and young officers take immense interest
in training the most vicious and unsound screws—
perhaps quite as much as the more experienced
hands have in bringing forward their high-priced
Arabs and Walers.*
The foUowing story illustrates very fairly a phase
of Indian cantonment life in 1844. Two young
Cavalry officers of the 9£h Regiment, stationed at
Loodiana, chummed together, one being named
Snow, the other Wyllie. The first-named admired
much a young lady called Bella Knowles, who
was also admired by other officers.     One night at
- * The name given to Australian horses.
a ball Snow danced several times with Bed' T^-~ les^
and paid her much attention, coming home at a late
hour of the morning. After breakfast WyUie saw
him go to his writing table, and after finishing and
closing a letter, he went into the verandah and gave
it to his servant. WyUie suspected what the contents
of the letter were, and going out at the back of the
house, got over the waU, intercepted the bearer,
took the letter from him, and pocketed it, forbidding
him to say anything of this to his master. The
letter was addressed to Miss B:*****^ and WyUie
kept it in his pocket. At tiffin time Snow seemed
very anxious, and suddenly looking at his chum,
said: " Old feUow, I have made a great fool of
myself for feeling very spoony this morning—I sent
a proposal to B( JMftg»*3: the real truth being
that I have no deep affection for her, and besides,
I am too much in debt to admit of marriage."
WyUie said, "Do you reaUy repent of having
proposed ? " And on Snow declaring that he did,
WyUie took the letter from his pocket and threw
it across to his friend. It was a risky thing to do;
but Snow felt really grateful. Several years afterwards Snow married in England; but IpJSI had
then been long the wife of  another officer.
I now give a description of some of the officers
of my regiment. Major Huish, who commanded in
the Affghan War, was a man of middle height, spare
in frame but wiry, and from the peculiar curl of
his dark hair and his somewhat thick lips, must I
imagine have inherited some negro blood; he was
reHgious, but perhaps a little narrow-minded in his
views of life. As a soldier, he was brave and
cool in action, and for Sepoys made a first-rate
commander; though in after years, when appointed
to command the 1st European Regiment, I was told,
that he signally failed through want of tact. He
was a bold and good rider, but very unfortunate in
the number of dangerous falls he met with, and it
was a bad fall when out hog-hunting that eventually
most seriously damaged him, so as to necessitate his
retirement. For his age and standing in the service,
Major Huish was wonderfully youthful looking, and
he kept his figure well. In Affghanistan he was
wounded by a rifle ball passing through his thigh,
yet fourteen days afterwards he was in the saddle
and leading his regiment, quite against the doctor's
Captain Gahan was a large made man, of
apparently a very robust constitution.     He was an
Irishman, and very fond of a joke, also of a
sarcastic turn which made him some enemies,
more especiaUy after he had been suspected of
being the writer of some very amusing letters which
appeared in the Agra Akhbar newspaper when
PoUock's force was at JeUalabad. The letters were
dated from the camp, and signed "Triglyph;"
but being fuU of personalities and camp gossip,
caused some sensation, especiaUy amongst the staff,
who got their full share of ridicule. In action
Gahan was always cool, and I remember how at
the Khyber fight he was drinking from a metal
flask when a buUet struck it from his hand, on
which he hardly started, but merely said " Confound
that feUow; he has spiUed some good Hquor." The
bad point in his character was his notoriety as a
duellist, as he had been out several times, and it
was said more than once on far too slight provocation, being moreover a first-rate pistol shot. I
saw a great deal of him in the campaign, and for
some time shared his underground dwelHng-place at
Jellalabad. Mrs. Gahan was a very pretty lady-like
woman, with some small children. His health broke
down during the campaign, and he soon retired
from   the   service,   dying   I   believe   a   few   years
afterwards on the Continent. He was a well read,
clever man, and a most thorough unbeliever in
revealed religion; such fact being, I believe, quite
unknown to his wife, to whom' he was strongly
Captain Tritton was a good-natured man of light
active frame, and a wonderful rider, really looking
a part of his horse. He Hved very much in native
fashion—keeping more than one native mistress, and
possessing three or four whity-brown chfldren. He
was invalided after the campaign on account of
deafness, and up to the time of his death in 1861
Hved at Mussourie, where he married an English
lady who was very kind to his half-caste children.
Captain Walker died soon after I arrived in India
from drink. Captain Taylor was a married man—
in figure, stout and short; in disposition, jovial.
He retired from the service before the Mutiny in
1857, being then in command of the regiment.
Captain Evans, when I joined, Hved in rather
native fashion, having contracted a left-handed
marriage with a native woman. He was a kind-
hearted man, and an Irishman; but of no great
inteUectual  grasp.     Evans took a  great   liking  to
 me, and gladdened my heart by offering me the
use of any of his horses; all of which were first-
class animals. I gladly avafled myself of his kind
offer, as my own Stud was Hmited to one gaUoway,
and that by no means a first-class animal. One of
these mounts was a roan of about 14 hands 2 inches,
and one of the prettiest horses I had ever seen.
Evans, when at Simla as Aide-de-Camp, was induced
by Lord Gough, the Commander-in-Chief, to seU it
to him, and it became his favourite charger, and
must often have been under very heavy fire. I have
said that my horse was not a first-rate one, but he
was also extremely vicious, and being a stalHon (as
is so often the case with riding horses in India),
was much given to fighting with other horses.
One day when Mackenzie and I were riding
together near the general parade ground, our horses
commenced to fight, and after rearing straight
up both fell backwards. I fell clear of my horse,
but Mackenzie was under his, with his right leg
still over the saddle. My horse rose quickly, and
went open - mouthed at his fallen enemy; but
instead of biting him laid hold of Mackenzie's leg
by the calf and mauled it dreadfully, so that the
poor fellow was laid up for a long time, and
nearly all the  calf sloughed away.
 Evans, as before mentioned, lived with a native
woman, and she, like all others in such position, was
kept as a purdah nasheen—viz., in strict privacy.
One evening Evans was not feeling well, and I had
stayed to dine with him, and when we had enjoyed
the usual cigar, he asked me if I would like to
make the acquaintance of his charmer; so we went
into the private apartment after due notice had been
given to her. I was quite surprised to see such a
beautiful young woman, reminding me much of
a coloured picture I had once seen of Ayesha,
the wife of Mahomed. She was quite self-possessed,
and was sitting cross-legged on an ottoman drinking
coffee, and very freely entered into conversation
in Oordoo about the pursuits of officers, and Captain
Evans' love of sport. A couple of years afterwards
I was introduced by another friend of mine in the
48th Native Infantry to his " light of the harem,"
and she was a Cashmere lady, and quite as beautiful
as Ayesha. Evans for some years commanded a
Ghoorka regiment, and died I think in 1858 or 1859,
but I had lost sight of him since 1846.
Captain Spencer was adjutant of the regiment
when I joined, and he also had formed a connection
 with a native woman. He was a great reader, and
in Hebrew and Oriental languages was a first-class
scholar: he was kiUed in the Mutiny of 1857.
Lieutenant Hunter had retired from the service
before we left Ferozepore for Affghanistan, having
greatly weakened his constitution by drinking.
He was of very retiring disposition, and Hved
much in Oriental fashion; to Hterature he was
greatly addicted, and had a good' coUection of
books. When quite a young man and an ensign,
he had a quarrel with Major-General Sir Francis
Whittingham, then commanding the Meerut Division,
and on being called out Sir Francis would not take
advantage of his position, but met the bumptious
youngster at Mussourie, when shots were exchanged;
though, after the duel, he had Ensign Hunter
placed in arrest as a warning to him. Lieutenant
Duffin was a married man, but was afterwards
separated from his wife through her misconduct.
He was decidedly clever; but got into bad ways—
left the service, and died at Constantinople when
serving with the Turkish contingent in the Crimean
Campaign. Duffin's matrimonial affair caused rather
a stir in social circles in Upper India in 1843-44,
and   people took   sides with   some   warmth.     The
officers of his regiment thought him very badly
used, and I was a strong partisan of his, though
the particulars of the case are too lengthy to be
more than touched upon here.
She was a very pretty and attractive young
woman, he a good-looking man; and when I
joined at Ferozepore, they appeared to be a very
attached couple. It was the Affghan War, and
consequent separation for a year, that brought this
sad ruin to what had been a very happy home.
Mrs. Duffin had gone to Mussourie after her husband
left, and there made the acquaintance of a Captain
Hemes, a staff officer who laid himself out to
mislead her, and I fear was but too successful.
In 1843, in the hot season, she was Hving at
Simla in a house by herself and young child, her
husband being with his regiment at Loodiana. He
heard that she was carrying on an improper intimacy
with a Mr. Lushington of the Civil Service, and a
married man. Duffin laid his dak* under another
name; and arrived at Simla unknown to his wife,
whose house he watched, and saw Mr. Lushington
go there at dusk.     He at once followed him;  but
» Old custom of iourneying by palanquin.
on opening the front door, he saw Mr. Lushington
going out at the back window, and down the steep
hill—at least, such was Duffin's story to me. He
reproached his wife in strong terms, and that night
she left his house for Mr. Lushington's, who was
Hving with his own wife in another part of Simla.
She sent for her clothes, but Duffin refused to give
them. A few nights after this, when Duffin was
dining out, five or six EngHshmen appeared at the
house with crape over their faces, and seizing upon
Duffin's bearer, bound his hands and feet, and made
him stand with his face to the wall, whilst they
packed up all Mrs. Duffin's things in her boxes,
she having come to point them out; they then
placed the boxes on coolies' backs, and had them
carried to Mr. Lushington's house. It was never
known exactly who these men were, except that
they were undoubtedly officers, and one was said
to be Lieutenant Edwardes, afterwards Sir Herbert,
he being a friend of Mr. Lushington's; and I
conclude that Mrs. Duffin had told a piteous tale,
which made him think he was doing a chivalrous
action. A duel came off on the Simla race-course
between Duffin and Lushington, but no harm was
done,   Duffin   being   a   very   poor   hand  with   the
pistol. Afterwards, when Duffin faUed to get a
divorce from the Calcutta High Court, Mrs. Duffin
lived at Mussourie with the child in the house of
her brother-in-law, Major Gordon; and Duffin,
determined to get the chUd from her, went to
Mussourie with Montague of his regiment under
assumed names,—and when Mrs. Duffin was out of
the house, he went up to the verandah where
the child was playing, and carried him off to
the Rajpore Hotel at the foot of the hills. Here,
in a few hours, they were waited upon by an
officer of the Cavalry (whose name I forget),
Major Gordon, and another officer, and Duffin gave
them an interview in the pubHc-room of the hotel:
the hotel-keeper and Montague standing by him.
The officers said they came on behalf of a bereaved
mother, and hoped Duffin would give up the Httle
boy, who, by-the-bye, was standing by his father.
This Duffin refused to do, and told them that he
and Montague were armed, and if they tried force
they would get the worst of it. Montague and the
hotel-keeper also said it was their intention to assist
Duffin in resisting the recapture of the chUd: so
the three officers, seeing that the affair was far more
serious   than   anticipated,   returned   to   Mussourie.
Some months afterwards, when Duffin was at Meerut
with the chUd, some officers performed the part of
abductors, and the boy was taken to his mother's
house. Duffin afterwards got possession of him by
course  of  law, and as I have mentioned, left the
Lieutenant Vaureneu had been my chum at
Loodiana, and was a well-built, very active man;
his weakness was a too great fondness for Hquor;
and he died when holding an appointment in the
Canal Department in Sindh. Lieutenant Baugh
had formerly been in the Navy, and was a man
of strong, hardy frame; but of a rather selfish
disposition. Lieutenant Eatwell was a good-looking
man, of pleasing appearance; but never gave me a
favourable impression as to sincerity of character.
He was said to have intrigued with a married lady
at Loodiana, who on hearing of his death on the
battle-field of Ferozeshah at once fainted away,
and grieved for him sorely—at least, this was the
report. Eatwell, as well as the husband of this
lady, were old school-fellows of  mine.
Mackenzie, just below Eatwell in rank, was a
truly   fine-hearted   fellow,   and   a   great   friend  of
mine. On first joining he was what was caUed
very raw, and got much teased about his nationaHty
(Scotch). His temper was, however, exceUent, and
it took a lot of chaffing to put him out at all.
Mackenzie retired from the service a few years
after the Mutiny, and I have often come across him
in England.
The above are all, with one exception, who were
with the regiment at Ferozepore. Lieutenant HaU,
known as " Georgy," joined us at JeUalabad, and
was soon a great favourite. He was short, but
compactly built, as weU as good-looking, and as a
horseman was " facfle princeps" in the corps;
though most of us were fair riders. He afterwards
rose to the command of an Irregular Cavalry
Regiment, and died some ten or twelve years ago
of gout. Croly, a son of the well-known London
preacher and author (the late Dr. Croly), joined
us also at JeUalabad. He was a tall man, good-
looking, and clever, and entering the Army late
in life, had received an education much superior
to most cadets. As an artist he also showed talent,
making some capital water-colour paintings of the
battles fought under General  Pollock,  which were
to have been published by subscription; but he was
killed at the battle of Ferozeshah in 1845, and I
suppose that the work of printing off the paintings
in colours was never completed, for I have never
seen them noticed. Some officers joined us at
Loodiana, but none of note except Montague,
who soon succeeded to a large fortune, and retired
from the Army; though whilst with the regiment
he lived at an expensive rate, and entertained
I have reserved mention of one officer to the
last, as I had greater respect for him than any
other — and that was Captain Handscomb, with
whom I shared a tent for some time during the
Affghan Campaign. He had all the appearance
of a bluff, honest Englishman, and in frame was
one of the strongest men I have ever seen. As a
soldier he was all that could be wished, having a
very high sense of duty. When the Mutiny broke
out in 1857 he was the brigadier commanding at
Lucknow, and on receiving information that the
garrison had broken out into open mutiny on the
general parade ground, he at once ordered his
horse,   in   the  face  of   urgent   remonstrances   from
friends, who knew that the Sepoys would certainly
shoot down any EngHsh officer who dared to
interfere with them. Handscomb listened to the
speakers, but disregarded their advice, saying that
discipline and the calls of duty demanded that he
should do his utmost to recall the misguided men
to their senses ; so, mounting his charger, he
galloped to the parade ground, and there speedily
met his death at the hands of the furious Sepoys,
who in happier times would have felt greatly
honoured in being led to victory by so noble a
The promotion in the Company's service went
regularly by seniority, but in most Native regiments
there was an arrangement for purchasing out officers
desirous of retiring, from the newly - promoted
majors down to the junior captain and senior
lieutenant; and in my regiment we had aU signed
an agreement to purchase such steps as were offered.
Thus at Ferozepore, before marching for Peshawur
and Cabul, we purchased out Lieutenant Hunter,
whose health had broken down, and at Loodiana
we purchased out Major Gahan on his promotion,
and also Captain  Tritton—and most of us had to
borrow the required money from the banks; and I
thus commenced a career of debt from 1842. The
interest charged on such loans was twelve per cent.,
and as we also insured our Hves, three per cent,
was added to the interest charges. Payments were
to be made by monthly instalments, and these very
often fell into arrears—and the banks never omitted
to add on compound interest when this occurred;
so that it really was a case of the elder officers
plundering the young ones, as most of the bank
shareholders were officers of the Army, who thus
saw a good opening for investment of their savings.
Each borrower had to furnish two sureties on taking
out a loan, and these were invariably his brother
officers, who were generally quite as poor as himself;
but then there was not much risk so long as a
borrower was not dismissed the service. At one
time, in the earHer part of my career, I must have
been surety for fully two thousand pounds, with no
assets to meet such a claim !!
Chapter  IV.
IT Berhampore, my first station, there was
no chaplain nor church, neither were there
~*g§*~~ any at Ferozepore, nor a chaplain with
the army under General PoUock; as in those days
the establishment of Government chaplains was
barely sufficient to admit of one at every large
military cantonment, whilst at the smaUer stations
the officers and men had to manage amongst
themselves for their spiritual wants, which as far
as my experience went was merely by stoHd
indifference. During the halt at JeUalabad the
service was read every Sunday at the head of
each EngHsh regiment by the commanding officer
in the open at early morning parade, aU officers
from native regiments being invited to attend.
Mr. Bowstead was chaplain at Loodiana, but he
shone more at the mess tables as a boon companion
than at church in his vestments. His sermons were,
however,   often   exceptionally  good;    in   fact,   we
thought them far too good to be his own composition. He certainly signally failed to uphold
much the credit of the Established Church, thinking
he had done his duty well by getting through the
two services every Sunday. I shall have more to
say hereafter about Indian chaplains, who as a class
failed to gain my respect during a lengthened
Indian career.
In the end of 1844 Lieutenant Duffin took leave
to Calcutta in order to prosecute his suit for a
divorce against Mr. Lushington of the Civil Service,
and I was put in orders to officiate for him as
interpreter and quarter - master of the regiment,
which gave me more pay than I was getting with
the Cavalry regiment, and I held the privilege of
riding at all parades. Being very fortunate in
getting staff employ early in life, I had been able
to keep good horses for riding purposes, and one
I also drove in a buggy; my pay being about
450 rupees a month (£45). The largest number
of  horses that I ever kept in India was six.
I forgot to mention that in 1843, owing to
rather serious disturbances amongst the Sikhs at
Kythal (not far from Kumal, and in the protected
States), my regiment was hurriedly ordered off from
Loodiana to assist the poHtical officer in restoring
order; and though it was in the hot season, we
made a forced march of about thirty miles the
first night, and a shorter one the next night, when
an express arrived that troops were not required,
as the rebel force had given up the old fort and
palace of which they had taken violent possession.
This march gave me a very favourable impression
of the powers of endurance of the Sepoys, as
hardly a man fell out of  the ranks.
In the year 1845 cholera was very bad at
Loodiana, and some few officers and many men
(English and natives) died; but no officer of my
regiment. Lieutenant Anderson of the Cavalry,
a very popular man, was carried off after a few
hours' illness. The disease appeared for the first
time at a hill station (Subathoo), and there took
a most virulent form. Some few officers in 1845
rented a house at Simla as a joint concern for two
months, and I took up my residence there as
manager of the accounts, which were on rather
an extravagant scale; as, to use a slang term, "we
Hved Hke fighting cocks."    The shareholders in this
arrangement were Dr. Whittall (26th), Lieutenants
Baugh and Hall (26th), Colonel Christie (9th
Cavalry), Lieutenants Hughes and Wale (48th Native
Infantry), Lieutenant Tombs. (Horse ArtiUery), and
myself. The house went by the name of "Limerick
Hall," perhaps from the row that generally prevailed.
Just above us on the road a Mrs. Watts and her
two daughters occupied a house, which came to be
much frequented by Drs. WhittaU and Faithfull,
who not being able to resist the attraction, very
soon committed themselves to matrimony with the
daughters. The younger (afterwards Mrs. FaithfuU)
was very pretty. We of "Limerick Hall" of
course attended the wedding, and breakfast, helping
much to increase the hUarity of the feast. One
evening a large leopard sprang into the verandah
of our house whilst I was sitting there, and carried
off a big poodle dog which had been entrusted to
one of the party for change of air by a lady at
Lieutenant Tombs (afterwards the celebrated Sir
Harry Tombs who so distinguished himself in the
Mutiny of 1857) was a very good-looking young
man with a small silky moustache of a black colour,
which he used to oil and caress to a most foppish
extent. I did not care much for him, as he seemed
to give far too much attention to dress, and was
too conceited to please me. He was always sneaking
off to the house of a lady not far off, with whom
we all thought he carried on an improper intimacy.
Her husband was a captain in a Cavalry regiment,
and she was very pretty, sflly, and a flirt, ostensibly
residing at Simla for her health, whilst the confiding
captain was with his regiment in far-off Sindh.
I, with a few others, was made a Free Mason
whilst at Simla; but I never foUowed it up, partly
by reason of the expense it involved, and partly
from a want of interest in the ceremonies, and
general working of the association. It was doubtless
a very useful institution in the dark ages; but very
much out of place in these enlightened days. Very
many, probably most, join it at first from curiosity,
and afterwards follow it up from a liking for the
convivial meetings, for which Free Masons are so
celebrated. I also at Simla took part in theatricals,
and on one occasion acted in the character of
Rochester to Lieutenant Edwardes' Charles the
Second.    This was the officer who afterwards made
such a name as Sir Herbert Edwardes; the play
being the " Merry Wags of Windsor," and our
audience the elite and fashion of Simla. The chief
manager in these performances was Captain Christie
of the Horse Artillery, afterwards killed at Chillian-
wala by the Sikh Cavalry on the occasion of the
flight of the 14th Dragoons. A few years afterwards
my friend Dr. Ebden told me that he was one of
the medical officers at the field hospital on that
occasion, and was engaged in binding up Christie's
wound, received previous to the misbehaviour of the
Dragoons, when suddenly the troopers and Sikh
horsemen rushed past the hospital tents, causing
dire disorder and Christie's death by the reopening
of the wounds. Ebden said that his first thoughts
were of flight to Bombay, as India must surely be
lost to us now that British CavaHy had turned their
backs on an equal number of ill-trained Native
I may mention that endeavours were made to
account for this strange panic in various ways;
but I think the following remarks of a very
experienced soldier may be taken as a good
A short time before the battle of ChiUianwala
the 14th Dragoons had faUen into a trap on the
bank of the Chenab river; the Sikhs being
encamped on the opposite side of the river, and
the Dragoons having been led on in a rather rash
manner by Colonel Havelock (brother of the great
general), had suffered much loss by artiUery fire,
and Havelock was kflled. Sir Charles Napier,
when he read an account of this affair at a London
club, remarked to a friend: " This regiment wiU
have to be very carefully handled the next time
it comes across the enemy" — meaning that they
had been very badly handled, and sacrificed with
no good or useful object, and therefore had lost
The journeys from Loodiana to Simla (about
100 miles) were generaUy made on horseback, as
the road was usuaUy in a good state for riding.
On one occasion, however, I remember that the
rain had been very heavy, and the road was flooded
for several mUes to a depth of about four feet, so
that our party of five horsemen had to journey
on a pad elephant of the Commissariat for some
distance    during   the   night.      It   was   a   tedious
business, and very tiring for two at least of the
travellers who had the very back portion of the
pad, as it sloped downwards towards the tail of the
animal, and it was necessary to hold on tightly to
the ropes to escape slipping off. I was seated on
the front of the pad just behind my friend
Lieutenant Wale, as in the rush for seats we had
succeeded in securing the two best. Wale got into
conversation with the mahout,* and commenced
to humbug him about the wfld elephants of Ceylon,
saying "how when he was there near the jungle the
elephants, used to often come up to the verandah
and take food from his hands, and that on one
occasion he was writing in his room with the
window open, when an enormous tusker came into
the verandah,  and put his trunk into the room  in
hopes of  getting some bread ."     Wale had got
thus far in his fabrication when the elephant gave
a sharp swerve, from the noise of a duck rising
from the sedge, and losing his balance, Wale fell
plump into the water — his punishment for the
fabulous story being a good ducking and the loss
of his front seat, which of course was immediately
* Driver of the elephant.
It was at Loodiana in 1845 that my best riding
horse was stolen from his stable, evidently by Sikh
robbers from the other side of the Sutlej. It was
an arab, and worth Rs.800 (£80), which sum I had
just been offered for him. The poHtical agent did
not exert himself much to recover it; but impudently
offered me Rs.300 for my chance of getting it
As the year closed in all sorts of reports were
rife of the intended doings of the turbulent Sikh
troops, and much as we desired a brush with them,
yet somehow we rather despised them. It was at
this time that a Monsieur St. Amand (a painter
from France), who had been treated most hospitably
by our mess, and more especiaUy by Lieutenant
Duffin, wrote to the latter officer from the Sikh
side of the river after taking service with them,
"that he hoped soon to meet Duffin and his brother
officers in the front of battle, and so have an
opportunity of wiping out the stain of Waterloo."
This was the very man who had taken my likeness
at Berhampore; and we heard afterwards that the
gallant painter had fled to British territory in bodily
fear of   his  own soldiers, who had threatened his
life. There were only two or three officers of
European birth at that period in the Sikh service,
for the fashion of employing them had gradually
dropped since the death of Runjeet Singh, who
having left no capable successor, bad government
and disorder soon threatened the Khalsa dynasty
with disaster; as from the turbulent spirit of the
soldiery, who had assembled at Lahore in great
numbers, any settled government seemed impossible.
Lord Hardinge, the Governor - General, had
appointed me as assistant to the Resident of Nepal
just at the close of 1845, and all my preparations
having been made, I was about to leave Loodiana
for my new post, when the report regarding the
invasion of our territory by the Sikh army became
so strong that I at once asked for permission to
remain for the present with my regiment; but the
Governor-General, then at Umballa or near it, would
not Hsten to my reasonable request, so I started at
once by dak (dooley) for Nepal*; but had only got
one night's journey when I fell in with Sir Hugh
Gough's force on its- march from Umballa, which
induced  me to   seek the advice   of   the Adjutant-
* For real distance, see a Map of India.
General (the present Sir Patrick Grant), who told
me there was no doubt but that the Sikhs intended
mischief, and that if I left my regiment at such a
time I might regret it much hereafter. My mind
being thus relieved I at once threw up my dak,
bought a horse from Lieutenant Edwardes, then
an aide-de-camp to the Chief, and rode at a stretch
into Loodiana by a direct route through independent
Sikh territory, passing through some large viUages,
whose inhabitants (especiaUy the boys) exhibited
a great dislike at seeing the "feringee" thus riding
apparently unarmed through their country, though
unarmed I was not, as under my coat I carried
a pair  of pistols.
My four boxes, which were carried by bearers
on the same road, never turned up at Loodiana, and
from inquiries made through the Postal department,
it seemed clear that they had been stolen and the
bearers murdered by the disaffected population of
the Putteala territory. I afterwards received from
Government the small compensation of Rs.300 (£30)
as value of my uniform, all else being disallowed.
On reaching Loodiana after a ride of about thirty
miles, I found that the troops had all  marched for
Bussean (thirty miles off) on a very hurried notice,
in the hope of being in time to save a very large
store of grain and other provisions which were
threatened by the Sikhs, who had crossed the Sutlej
river between Loodiana and Ferozepore in great
force with a large train of artillery and munitions
of war. After a night's rest at Loodiana I started
on horseback for Bussean on a small arab I had left
for sale, my other two nags having been got rid
of—one by sale and the other by theft, as before
mentioned. Captain Hicks of the 9th Irregular
Cavalry accompanied me, as also two other officers
on their way to rejoin, one of them a Lieutenant
in the 50th Queen's, who had just sent in his
resignation of the Service with the intention of
taking Orders.     He fell at our first action.
We reached Bussean, where our force was, at
evening, and found that the grain, etc., had been
saved; and it was reported that the Sikhs were
near at hand, and that there would most probably
be a fight the next day. I also found that my
regiment had been detailed for rear-guard duty,
and not wishing to lose the chance of a fight,
I  at once went  over to  Brigadier   Wheeler's  tent
and got permission to act  as his aide-de-camp  or
mounted orderly  officer the next  day.
The force started very early next morning
all ready for immediate action—the Artillery with
port-fires lighted: but we saw no enemy, or sign
of them, until the close of the march at Wudni;
the small fort then being held by Sikh troops,
who refused to open the gates. Preparations were
at once made for blowing up the barred gates;
but such intention was afterwards abandoned by
our Chief, who settled the difficulty some way
unknown to the troops, as the Sikhs to all
appearance remained masters of the situation.
There was of course much grumbling at what
seemed a humiHation, as we had been drawn
up ready for an assault, which would probably
have been a bloody one, as the gates were too
strong to be battered down by our Light ArtiUery
guns. The force was then encamped near the
smaU fort, and I had to borrow some clothes
from my brother officers. The next day's march
was a very long and tiring one: the men falHng
out of the ranks by hundreds; so that when we
reached camp   certainly not   more   than   100 men
remained with the 9th Queen's (again brigaded
with us), and perhaps 300 of my regiment. Our
goal was Moodkee, and the road in places was
very sandy. We (the officers), by 2 p.m., had
partaken of a cold breakfast, and the Sepoys
were engaged in cooking their daily meal, when
the alarm was given that the Sikh army was
coming on in force. Count Oriolo, an aide-decamp of Prince Waldemar, the Prussian, then a
guest of the Governor-General (Lord Hardinge),
brought us the news by riding furiously along
the front of the camp, and shouting out "khirich,"
the Hindustanee for " a sword," most likely hi
his excitement thinking that such a cry would
answer  as  a  call  to  arms.
The force was soon ready in columns of
regiments, and in such formation, with the
Artillery and Cavalry in advance, we moved
towards the columns of dust seen in the distance,
knowing that such was the Sikh position, and
very soon the balls began to fly|$ the whizzing
sound of shot and shell being incessant, and the
dust and smoke almost blinding. The men were
falling around us, but the  movement was  onwards,
until an alarm was given that our flank was
threatened by Cavalry, on which we immediately
formed square, and as a heavy cloud of dust
was quickly progressing towards us, the order was
given to prepare for Cavalry, and only just in
time to be spared a volley did the 3rd Regiment
of Dragoons appear out of the dense dust cloud,
or rather the remnant of the regiment, which had
suffered a very heavy loss in its gallant charge
through the Cavalry, ArtiUery, and Infantry of
the enemy. The charge was a very rash and
unmilitary movement, like Balaklava, but the
moral effect on the Sikhs was doubtless great,
and much favoured our side.
After this episode we again advanced in support
of the 9th Queen's, and soon gave the Khalsa a
taste of the steel with a swift charge after a sharp
volley of musketry; the loss being, I think, about
forty men in my regiment, and in the 9th many
more, as they were much more exposed in advancing
on the Infantry of the enemy. By this time it
was twilight, and the Sikhs had evidently had
enough of fighting; so, after collecting the captured
artillery (nineteen guns in all), and picking up aU
our wounded that could be found, we returned to
the camp at Moodkee, fully impressed with the
opinion that the Sikhs were far from being a
despicable foe, as the heavy losses in our force
most fully demonstrated. The Governor-General's
body-guard (a very fine looking body of Native
Cavalry) were to have charged with the 3rd
Dragoons, but report said they behaved badly, and
the body-guard afterwards always went by the
name of the " Scarlet Runners," their uniform
being scarlet with gold lace and other frippery.
The 26th did not lose an officer in this fight, but
many a fine fellow saw his last battle on that day,
and amongst them was a Roman Catholic priest
who had accompanied the 50th Queen's from
Loodiana, and he went along with the regiment
into action against the wishes of the officers, saying
" that many a badly-wounded soldier might require
his services." The good little fellow was struck
by some grape shot, and his breast shattered,
shortly after the firing commenced, and whilst
binding up the wounds of   a soldier.
Amongst   the   soldiers   of   note  who   fell   were
General  Sir  Robert   Sale  and   General   McCaskill.
Brigadier Wheeler (afterwards the weU-known Sir
Hugh, who fell at Cawnpore in the Mutiny) had
his horse shot under him, and when lying on his
back was attacked by a Sikh soldier, who made a
slashing stroke at his chest; but the sword blow
luckily feU on a powder flask and on one of his
fingers; the man being shot before he could do
further mischief.
After the fight, and when resting on the ground,
the attention of some of us was caUed to a group
of soldiers of the 9th Queen's and 26th Native
Infantry, and on going towards them we found
that they had caught a gigantic Sikh soldier, who
had hid in some branches of a tree; and it
seems that the 9th men had intended to let him,
loose, and when he had ran to a fair distance,
a few Sepoys were to fire at him ; and this
they considered was giving him fair treatment.
Colonel Wallace spoke sharply to them of their
inhumanity, and released the man; but I don't
think the soldiers saw exactly how they had
behaved badly, and it is very difficult to get
Tommy Atkins to understand that natives of India
are entitled to  as   kind treatment  as  EngHshmen.
Shortly before the fight commenced I remember
Captain Box of the 1st European Regiment
(Company's) coming up to some of us whilst
breakfasting, and as he looked in poor spirits,
being generally a very jovial character, we asked
if anything was the matter; he answered "nothing,"
but that he felt sure he should be killed that
and get it, as he said, "smack in the face;"
and it really so happened that he was killed by
a bullet in the forehead. I mention it, as he
was a very popular man, and a great athlete,
being an exceedingly good fighter with his fists
At Ghuznee he led his company through and
over the gateway which had been blown down by
the Engineers' department, and in the fight,
which was a severe one, his sword was broken,
upon which he fought his way inwards with his
fists,   and  strange   to  say  was not  wounded.
When at Kurnal with his regiment after parade
one day he was speaking in severe terms to a man
of his company, when the fellow became very
impertinent, on which Captain Box ordered the
sergeant to  take   him   to   the   quarter - guard,   and
confine him there.    As the man was being taken off,
he turned towards Box and said, " I wish I could
get at you, as I'would give you the d 1 Hcking
you ever had." Captain Box looked round, and as
the men (except the sergeant's guard) and all the
officers had left the parade ground, he said to the
sergeant, "Let him go;" which was done, and the
man came at once to carry out his threat, but
Box had thrown off his regimental coat and was
prepared for him, and after a short but severe
fight the man found he had met his master, and
cried "Enough!" on which he was sent to the
quarter-guard, to be released in a few hours, when
the sergeant came and told Captain Box that the
man was deeply penitent for his conduct. Box let
him off, as he knew fuU weU that if the colonel
heard of the fight there would be a serious row
about it. This man, who had always been
considered as the champion fighter of the regiment,
ever after was quiet and well-behaved, and Box
said he never had the sHghtest trouble with him.
The day after the battle (19th December, 1845)
I reported to the Secretary to the Government that
I had   rejoined my regiment, and my reasons for
.so doing, and I soon received a letter of approval
from the Government, as the eyes of Lord
Hardinge, the Governor - General, were at last
opened to the fact that the Sikhs were in earnest
about invading our territory, but so blind was he
till the battle of Moodkee, that even the march of
the 16th Lancers from Meerut had been countermanded, and also the preparation of a siege train.
The villagers about Moodkee exhibited a bad
feeling towards us by withholding supplies—but
large stores of grain were found buried; likewise
ali information was persistently withheld, which
showed that their sympathies were strongly with
the enemy, who we knew were strongly entrenched
in great numbers with heavy artillery at Ferozshah,
a few miles distant.
A halt of two days—viz., till the 21st December
—was made at Moodkee so as to admit of a junction
with General Littler's force from Ferozepore, and
in this interval the Government offered me a
Commissariat appointment, but I preferred to keep
my Nepal one. On the morning of the 21st we
marched in battle array, effecting the junction in
•the  afternoon   (late)  near   Ferozshah   without   any
molestation on the march, except from a few
horsemen who skirmished on our right flank,
occasionally sending a matchlock baU into the
column. It was very late in the afternoon when
the action commenced, and as we advanced in Hne,
supporting at a distance General Littler's column,
the large cannon balls came lobbing up, and hopped
over our heads; and hardly had we got accustomed
to them when Littler's force was observed in hurried
and confused retreat, the Sepoys crying out to our
men as they rushed through the ranks—" Lotee ao
bhai kooch bundobust naheen hai" (Retrace your
footsteps, brothers, for there is no settled plan),
meaning that they had lost confidence in their
leaders. The loyal reply of our men was, "Where
the 9th go we shall go also." Brigadier Ash-
burnham, commanding one of the broken brigades,
rode up to Major Handscomb, our commandant,
and sought his advice on the plea that he was a
young man having risen in the guards, and had
never been in action in his life. Handscomb
curtly told him to try and reform his brigade
behind the 26th and 9th. The latter regiment
rushed forward to the Sikh batteries in their front
and captured them, my regiment going with them;
but the 9th suffered .great loss, about 300 men
being kflled or wounded, as the Sikh gunners
directed'their fire much more on them than on us,
as they had done on the English regiment with
General Littler's division. Our guns were all of
them field ones of light calibre, and were quite
unable to cope with the Sikhs' heavy artillery, a
circumstance which doubtless greatly disheartened
the native troops. We had not rushed far into
the enemy's camp when buried ammunition began
to explode, and as night was coming on the
Commander-in-Chief ordered the troops to stand
fast on the ground they had gained; but, unfortunately, the party I was with did not hear the
bugle sound, and so got involved in difficulties, from
which they were not extricated till past midnight
by Sir Harry Smith, who assumed command of the
broken portions of the regiments he had managed
to collect together. The night was bitterly cold,
and the panics frequent, our men knowing nothing
of the Sikh position; and thus, as the despatch
described it,  " the long night wore away."
On the morning of the 22nd December a second
attack was   made  on   the   enemy,   who  had   stood
their ground during the long, weary night, and
by the afternoon we were in entire possession of
the entrenched camp and about eighty large guns,
though to gain such advantage the sacrifice of life
had been deplorable, hard fighting without any
attempt at tactics having won the day; and if the
large body of Sikh Cavalry which threatened us
on that morning had advanced with any courage
and order, an utter rout must have been the result,,
for our artillery ammunition had been aU expended,
and nearly all the small arm ammunition as weU;
moreover, all the men were worn out with hunger
and thirst. Brigadier WaUace, our colonel, had
assumed the command of the brigade when
Brigadier Taylor fell, and WaUace was soon
afterwards killed by a round shot. EatweU and
Croly of the regiment were also kiUed by grape-
shot, and Captain Taylor wounded. At about
midnight I was searching for water for Eatwell,
who was extremely thirsty in his wounded state;
but faiHng to procure any, I opened a bottle of
beer which I had found in possession of a drummer
boy, who with others had plundered a cart fuU of
boxes of beer, the property doubtless of some mess
at Ferozepore, and which had faUen into the hands
of the Sikh soldiery. The number of soldiers
killed and wounded in the 26th were, I think,
seventy — the main loss falling on the English
soldiers, who had been marked out by the. Sikh
gunners. Even after the capture of the camp, the
loss amongst the soldiers was not slight, owing to
the constant explosions of buried ammunition. The
shot and shell of the enemy, of which there were
large stores, were collected and thrown down wells,
from which flames soon shot up, whilst the ground
was shaken all around by the exploding missiles.
At the time that the Sikh Cavalry showed in
our front at such great length on the early morning
of 22nd December, some estimated their numbers
at 30,000, with several light guns. On their,
appearance the remnants of our regiments formed
into squares, into one of which (the 50th Queen's)
I saw a large shot plunge with terrible effect,
striking down eleven; men, seven of whom were
killed outright. The square broke, and so did ours
when the shot came thick and searched the ranks.
It was on this occasion that being very thirsty I
ran up to a water-carrier for a drink from his skin;
but  a  soldier   ran   up   at   the   same   time,   and   I
yielded the place to him, as he looked very much
exhausted; and well was I rewarded for such
politeness, for he had only just stooped to gather
the water in his hand when a large shot struck
him on the thigh, shattering it and killing him,
and the water-carrier also, as weU as spilling aU
the water. We found that our thirst was much
relieved by keeping a bullet in the mouth until
water was procurable, which, however, was not
always drinkable, from the enemy having thrown
so many dead bodies into the weUs round and
about the village of Ferozshah, most likely to
defile them; though our soldiers drank the water,
and laughingly called it " Sikh broth." There
were two stories accounting for the strange conduct
of the Sikh Cavalry in not charging down upon
the worn-out and diminished British force—firstly,
that the move of our shattered ArtiUery into
Ferozepore early in the day in the hope of
replenishing the store of ammunition was thought
to be a flank movement; and secondly, that our
politicals had been in correspondence with Tej
Singh, the Cavalry commander, who in his heart
wished for the defeat of the Sikh Army, as his
own   interest  could   be   best   served  hereafter   by
retaining our friendship. Subsequent information
brought to light this fact, that the bulk of the
•Sikh Infantry had evacuated the entrenchment in
the night, and that the troops we attacked the
next day were but a remnant of   the force.
Lord Hardinge, the Governor-General, thought
that utter defeat must ensue if the CavaHy advanced,
and therefore, with a full determination of dying
on the field, he directed his younger son (Arthur),
his aide-de-camp, to proceed into Ferozepore; and
Prince Waldemar (his guest), also at his request,
left the field of battle, and made off for Europe
in a great hurry via Bahawulpore, on reaching
which place he heard from the political agent that
the Sikhs had been utterly defeated. Arthur
Hardinge (now Sir Arthur) would not leave his
lather, but his elder brother Charles (now Lord
Hardinge) did so, taking his father's miHtary orders
and  some  other  insignia.
Our fare was very poor for the first day after
the fight—an old goat having been captured, killed,
and grilled by our sergeant-major, who proved
himself very " au fait" at rough cookery. This
man,   named  Brazier,   at the end  of  the  campaign
got his commission, and subsequently rose to the
commandantship of the Ferozepore Sikh Regiment^
which under him did such noble service in the
mutiny year. Colonel Brazier was made a C.B.,
but his fondness for filthy lucre got him into a
very serious scrape, he having tampered with the
accounts of the estates of deceased soldiers of his
regiment; but in consideration of his distinguished
services, the Government allowed him to retire on
a pension. It was a sad end to what had been
otherwise a rather grand career. Brazier was also
said to have gone shares with his men in the
plunder acquired during 1857, and so to have
amassed much wealth,— for the truth of this I
cannot vouch. Some other non-commissioned officers
got promoted after the campaign, but I beHeve
that all came to grief, some from a fondness for
drink, and others from pecuniary troubles; Brazier,
however,  was  a very sober man.
As all my clothes had been lost with my boxes,
I was obliged to lay in a stock from those of
EatweU and Croly, when all the small property
they possessed was sold by auction, with the effects
of other deceased officers*   •
At Ferozshah we halted for two days before
marching to Subraon, near the river Sutlej, where
the Sikh Army, strongly reinforced with men and
guns, was entrenched' opposite a good bridge of
boats ' on the British side of the river, and this
position the Commander - in - Chief found that he
could not attack without heavy guns and a
further supply of small arm ammunition. Thus
for nearly two months we remained looking
at the Sikhs, who used to parade daily in front
of our advanced posts, one of which was held by
■the brigade containing the 26th Native Infantry.
Alarms were very frequent; and by order every
officer on outpost duty slept in his clothes, or was
expected to do so. I was always a very quick
dresser, so kept every article of clothing ready to
hand by my bed, and whenever an alarm did
sound, I found I was on the ground of assemblage
as quick as any of the others. The men also slept
clothed, with muskets ready to hand; and to check
, any sudden rush of the enemy, batteries were raised
to the front of the camp.
On   the   10th  of   February,   1846,   the   position
was  attacked by us   at -very   early morning j  and
soon the roar of more than 150 cannon (EngHsh
and Sikh) reverberated on the Sutlej banks. Our
brigade was in support of the troops who attacked
the right of the Sikh camp, and thus it happened
that we were not under any heavy musketry fire
till we came near the river, after crossing a great
part of the entrenchment. The slaughter here was
terrible, as our Horse Artillery guns swept the
fords where the defeated, yet stubbornly fighting
Sikhs were crossing by thousands—their bridge of
boats having broken down. Our soldiers also lined
the bank and kept up a roU of musketry fire on
the enemy, who were retreating but certainly not
flying. Never, surely, were such losses inflicted on
a conquered army; but Sir Hugh Gough would
not order a cessation of the fusilade, or withdraw
the guns, as the Sikhs, who merely followed the
custom of all soldiers except those of highly
civilized armies, had cut up many of our wounded
when the English regiments were driven back on
the first assault of the left of the position.
Lieutenant Mackenzie, of my regiment, was badly
wounded by a ball in his arm when near the
bridge of boats, and thirty of the Sepoys were
hit, so we got off lightly.    The buried ammunition
and bursting tumbrils caused as usual some loss on
our side after the fight, through the imprudence of
the soldiers who were searching for plunder. I here
mention that when Lieutenant Mackenzie was taken
to the field hospital, the doctors were about to
amputate his arm at the shoulder, as from the
bone being smashed so high up they saw great
danger of erysipelas setting in. Mackenzie, however,
protested and begged that Doctor Macrae, our
regimental surgeon, should be called, and after
examining the wound, Macrae said that if Mackenzie
wished to run some undoubted risk, he thought the
arm might be saved. Mackenzie was willing to do
so, and his arm was saved, and he is now alive
( 1886) with a sound arm, and drawing full
allowance as equal to that for the loss of a
limb ! !—viz.,   £80  per  annum.
One of the regiments that most distinguished
itself at Subraon was the Sirmoor GhoOrka Battalion,
which lost its commandant and adjutant, and
though thrice beaten back, again rushed forward
and kept the part of the entrenchment to its
front, capturing some guns also. M. Mouton, a
French    officer   with   the    Sikhs,    said    he   never
witnessed such bravery, and he also spoke very
highly of the 10th Queen's, who advanced and
took the batteries to their front with their muskets
at the* charge, and until the guns were in their
hands never fired a shot; at least, such was
Mouton's account, who, moreover, said that after
witnessing such conduct he knew that the day
was lost, so fled across the river by swimming his
horse, as the bridge had broken down: we found
this officer's tents and stores in the camp. He
and a Spaniard (name forgotten) were the only
Europeans with the Sikh troops, who would not,
however, listen to their advice and post their guns
so as to have a good flanking fire, but insisted on
dividing the guns equally amongst the regiments.
As far as I can remember, we captured sixty guns
of various caHbre, and a very large quantity of
ammunition, which was at once destroyed. All
admitted that the Sikhs had fought weU, and had
not their entrenchment on the right been weak
near the river bank, it is very doubtful how the
attack would have  ended.*     In  a few days after
* Full particulars of the fights with the Sikhs would have
occupied too much space, so I have only given a slight account
of what passed before me. They were terrible battles, and our
sadly crippled Army could hardly have faced another.
the battle, our army had crossed the Sutlej at
Gunda Singh Wala, near Ferozepore, by a bridge
of boats, and was in full march on Lahore—being
met at the third stage from that city by the
young boy sovereign, Dhuleep Singh, under charge
of Sirdar Goolab Singh, who had come with him
to make terms and humble submission to Lord
Hardinge. At Lahore, the remnant of the Khalsa
army gave up the few remaining guns; and a few
of us took a ride to Jehangeer's tomb on the
other side of the Ravee river, near to which the
Sikhs were encamped, and as we rode past they
looked very insolent, and no doubt muttered plenty
of abuse behind our backs. The tomb of Jehangeer
was well worth seeing, being of marble, and
beautifully inlaid with precious stones of various
kinds, like the tomb of the Taj Mahal Agra.
The roof was however damaged, and nothing
around it looked in a good state of preservation;
it not being likely that a Sikh Administration would
care much for the tomb of a Mahomedan conqueror.
All the other sights were also visited, including
the palace and the tomb of Runjeet Singh, the
last being  still in  an unfinished state.
There being no prospect of further fighting,
I soon started off for Nepal, taking Ferozepore
and Loodiana en route. At the former place aU
our wounded and sick were in tents, and a more
pitiable sight was never seen, as there was a great
dearth of all medical comforts, nurses, and doctors.
Some officers volunteered for nursing work; and
one young Heutenant particularly distinguished
himself by his zeal and untiring kindness. His
name  was  Bird.
At Loodiana I stayed a few days to arrange
for sale of my horses and property; and from
there to Meerut I made the journey in a palanquin
carried by men j. thence to AUahabad, by a truck
drawn by horses—the palanquin being placed on
the truck. Lieutenant Hall, 12th Native Infantry,
was my travelHng companion to Benares; and from
there I branched off to Gorukpore, taking Jounpore
on the way, where I was hospitably entertained
by Captain Hall, a brother of my former fellow
traveller, and again at Gorukpore by some officers
of  the  52nd Native  Infantry.
Beyond Gorukpore, towards Segowly, there were
some miles of thick forest, in which elephants and
 tigers abounded to an extent which made the
palanquin bearers very shy of journeying by night,
and even in the day-time^ it was evident they did
not much relish the work. Things I daresay are
greatly altered now in those parts. At Gorukpore
I fell in with some very nice people, and amongst
them were two Miss Mathesons—very pretty girls,
one being considered a great beauty. I never saw
them afterwards, neither do I know to whom they
were married; their brother was in the 52nd, and
I remember that he had great difficulty in keeping
them in any order, as they were greatly petted by
the old and flattered by the young men—moreover,
had no father or mother. At Segowly I was
received as a guest by Major Wheler, commanding
the 7th Irregular Cavalry, the only corps at the
station, and as the season was then too far advanced
to admit of the descent from the Nepal hills of
Captain Ottley, whom I was about to relieve, it was
arranged that I should remain at Segowly on full
pay during the hot season, and do duty with the
7th Cavalry; Major Wheler very kindly giving
me a room in his house, which also served as a
Regimental Mess House. Mrs. Wheler was staying
at some hill station.    The major, Doctor Hare, and
Lieutenant Harris the adjutant, with myself, were
the members. Harris was a joUy feUow enough;
but frightfully in debt, and not over briUiant in
intellect, being also very fond of bilHards and cards.
Doctor Hare was a very studious man, taking
immense interest in his profession; though of rather
a morose temperament. Shooting and quoits were
our chief amusements, with a rubber or two at
whist almost every night at four anna (sixpenny)
points—by which no one could be ruined. Major
Wheler was a first-rate cavalry officer; but my
duties were really ml, as it so happened that I was
senior in rank to the second in command (Captain
Cunningham), and as Major Wheler thought it very
hard that I should supersede this officer, I was
allowed to stop away from all parades.
Whilst I was at Segowly Mr. Colvin, the
Resident at Nepal, passed through on his way to
Calcutta, putting up with Wheler for a few days.
His health had fafled at Kathmandoo, and he had
taken a great dislike to the country, even to an
extent which affected his mind. Login, the medical
officer, afterwards told me that Colvin on one
occasion had attempted his own life with a razor,
which Login managed to take from him after a
severe struggle, and by frightening him with a
threat of calling in the Native guard. The illness
I believe dated from the day when Colvin and
Login were riding on their hill ponies over a bridge
which crossed the Bhagmutty river, in the dry bed
of which the townspeople of Kathmandoo were
fighting with stones, in play, and to frighten the
two gentlemen they made the vicinity of the bridge
the scene of battle, so that stones soon came
whizzing thickly past their heads, till at last one
struck Colvin on his forehead, bringing forth a
stream of blood. Apologies were of course promptly
made by the King, and all kinds of threats of
punishment were dealt out to the offenders. Colvin,
however, was not a man of strong nerve, and was
impressed with the idea that it was a premeditated
insult; more especially when a few days afterwards,
on driving round the corner of a road in his buggy,
a large bear which had got loose frightened the
horse to an extent which again made Colvin imagine
that the animal had been let loose to make him a
laughing-stock. No arguments of Login could make
him think otherwise; so it was thought advisable
that he  should  seek change of   scene.    Mr.  Colvin
was a remarkably clever man, and of fine bodfly
frame. His faciHty for picking up languages, both
ancient and modern, was remarkable, and Oordoo
he spoke with great clearness and fluency, more
so than any European I have met. Colvin in
after years became Lieutenant - Governor of the
North-Western Provinces of India, and died during
the Mutiny of 1857 in the fort of Agra, I think
from dysentery.*
Just about the time that Colvin left Nepal a
revolution occurred at the capital, which resulted in
the slaughter of about forty nobles and the seizure
of the ministerial powers by a chief named Jung
Bahadur, comparatively a young man, but of a
daring and unscrupulous character. The disturbance
is said to have been started by someone shooting
an influential chief who held the dangerous position
of a favoured lover of the Queen, and so incensed
was she on hearing of his death that she cajoled
the King into giving her the Great Seal of State,
and thus managed to assemble the influential nobles,
before whom   she   appeared with dishevelled   hair,
* Mr. Colvin was one of the very few officials of high
position in India who from the first saw clearly the very serious
character of the Mutiny.
 and accused one of the great leaders of the
Chountra famfly (the party then in power) of
having incited the murderer to the deed, on which
the great leader made counter-charges against Jung
Bahadur's family, until from words the rival parties
came to blows, all of course being fully armed:
when Jung Bahadur's regiments being by a
circumstance just outside the palace,
some men were called in with loaded muskets, and
forty chiefs were shot down in the Durbar room;
the reins of government being then seized by Jung
Bahadur, who held them firmly till the time of his
death many years after.
The river Gunduk ran close to the station, and
one night it rose more than fifteen feet, flooding the
country for a very wide area. Major Wheler's
house was surrounded by water to a depth of more
than two feet, and a most surprising number of
crawling and creeping things sought protection in
the verandahs and on any piece of high ground—
snakes, lizards, scorpions, and many other such like
creatures of   all shapes and sizes.
I have mentioned our nightly whist parties, at
which   I  was  often  on  the   losing   side   from   too
frequently drawing as partner Lieutenant Harris,
and on wishing Major Wheler good-bye at the
beginning of the cold season, he laughingly said
that he " must have got a fair amount of rent out
of me for the accommodation he had afforded,"
and I daresay such was the case, as his whist
playing approached perfection.
Chapter  V.
1HEN with the Cavalry regiment at Segowly,
I  made the acquaintance of many indigo
"SN^***    planters who had   large   factories   in   the
Tirhoot district, Hving in  grand style in  some  of
*~ ":ffie**'finest houses I had yet  seen in India out of
.^C&lcutta.     One of  them, named Wyatt, who lived
about fifteen miles from Segowly, was very friendly
to  mgf and I  stayed with  him  once for about a
month;   and  it  being the  manufacturing  season,  I
u* wmiesled   all, those   interesting    operations   which
>1*give us the most useful of   all dyes.     The manufacture  of   indigo   is  a  simple  process;   the plant
when  at  its  full  growth (perhaps  a  yard high) is
cut* *and    thrown    into    masonry    reservoirs,    and
remains there steeped in water  sufficiently long to
extract  all the  colouring matter   from   the   leaves.
After   which   the   water   is    run   off    into    lower
reservoirs, and is seen to be of  a yellow colour at
that time.     Beaters are put into the reservoirs, who
thresh the water for many hours with long sticks
having flat pieces of wood attached to the ends;
and this threshing causes a granulated blue sediment
to settle very thickly at the bottom of the reservoirs,
and when the surface water has been run off,
this sediment is removed to a room to undergo
the process of pressing and moulding for the
Calcutta market. Very large fortunes have been,
and are still made by Tirhoot indigo planters after
a few bumper seasons, but ofttimes their fortunes
have been as quickly lost by a few seasons Of
drought or very unseasonable heavy rain. In the
district of Tirhoot a good deal of opium is also
grown and manufactured by Government officiate.
Wyatt's house was a large double-storeyed one,
standing by a good-sized lake, in grounds of quite
a park-like character. Amongst his Hve stock were
two very good sporting elephants, and a large stud
of horses; most of which latter he drove in his
Duggy- The estate had evidently been laid out when
planters generally made larger fortunes than they
do now. In the centre of Wyatt's nicely laid-out
garden was a very fine tiger, confined in a large and
neat-looking cage, or rather house.    The animal had
been caught in 1844 when quite a cub, and it made
a companion of a large pig, confined in the same
cage. To test his affection for the pig, on one
occasion Wyatt kept the tiger for two days without
food, yet it did not attack the porker. At feeding
time the pig never interfered with the tiger till the
hunger of the latter was satisfied, and then he
partook of the leavings, whether flesh or other
food. Comet, the tiger (named so from having been
caught in the year of a great comet), was very
fond of his master, and used to purr Hke a cat
when Wyatt stroked his back. When the pig was
first placed in the cage Wyatt watched, gun in
hand, with charges of powder and wads in each
barrel, and the tiger on viewing the pig made a
spring at it, on which Wyatt discharged both
barrels in its face, and so frightened was the tiger,
that thinking most likely it was the pig's doing,
he never attempted afterwards to molest it, and
the pig certainly never showed any fear of his
feline companion.
During my visit I often went out shooting on
one of Wyatt's elephants, and at first missed most
of   my  shots,   as   considerable  practice  is   required
before a sportsman can shoot with any certainty
from a houdah. To give some idea of the intelH-
gence of the elephant, I here relate an anecdote
of what came under Wyatt's notice. His cook
very frequently missed loaves that he had placed
in a box just inside the cook-room doorway; so
Wyatt kept a watch one night, when at about
midnight he saw one of his elephants (picketed at
about fifty yards off) quietly lift up the chain
round her front leg with her trunk, and then
proceed to the cook-house, drop the chain, and
open the latch of the door; after which she lifted
up the lid of the box, eating several loaves until
her hunger was satisfied. She then shut the box
and the door, lifted up her chain, and returned to
her picket; the whole proceeding showing something very like reasoning power, especiaUy the
lifting of the chain to avoid any clattering noise.
This elephant was a female, and one of a pair that
belonged to Mr. Buller of the Civil Service, a
well-known sportsman of Bengal, who on leaving
for England sold this elephant to Wyatt, and the
other to a Captain Hughes. Several years afterwards these two elephants came together, on the
occasion  of   Hughes   joining  one  of   the   planter's
shooting parties. They at once recognized each
other, and the mahouts* said that throughout the
first night they remained with their trunks intertwined, making a grunting noise expressive of
great pleasure. On the occasion of a line of
elephants being frightened in the jungle, all the
smaller ones will invariably run towards the large
tuskers as if  for protection.
One evening at Wyatt's, when we were at
dinner (perhaps twelve or fourteen men) an alarm
was given that a mad jackal had entered the
grounds and was making for the house, all the
doors being then open for coolness. At once, as
if by magic, the entire party were to be seen
standing on the table, nearly all being large, burly
men. Luckily the animal did not come beyond
the verandah, and Wyatt, getting his gun, shot it
as it careered round the compound, f after biting
one of the servants, who had foolishly exposed
himself to the attack of the animal without any
fitting weapon for protection. I never heard
whether the man eventually sickened and died, but
* Keepers,
f The name for grounds surrounding a house.
he was badly bitten, and Wyatt cauterized the
wound, and a dose of ammonia was administered.
Mad jackals are far too common in Tirhoot, and
are greatly feared by the villagers.
Another, day we received a report that a large
wild boar was in an indigo field adjoining Wyatt's
grounds; so he and I salHed out with our guns,
and. whilst he kept watch in the garden, I
made for the indigo field, and when running
through it tripped over a large clod and feU to
the ground, being immediately charged by the
boar. It was a very narrow escape, but I just
managed in my prostrate condition to let off one
barrel, which doubtless caused the animal to swerve
a bit, as my trowser was just scraped by his tusk;
and he then passed on towards the gardens, through
which he rushed, and cut open the thigh of a
servant rather badly. We all then got a shot at
him in the open lawn, and he was bowled over.
Hogs are very plentiful in parts of Tirhoot; but
it is very difficult to drive them out of the thick
grass jungle, so it is seldom that the planters hunt
them with spears from horseback, as done in Lower
Bengal  and   the   Deccan.     Wolves   are   also   very
plentiful, but by all accounts they very seldom
carry off chUdren, whilst in the Punjab they are
very fond of young natives of tender age. Pea
fowl, jungle fowl, hares, partridges, and snipe give
very good sport. The planters were occasionally
rather rough, nay, perhaps coarse, in their manners;
but warm-hearted and sturdy fellows as a rule, and
all most hospitable, especially to military men,
and compared with most Anglo-Indians, the indigo
planter as I saw him was generally a particularly
robust man of florid complexion, and yet they are
greatly exposed to the sun, though invariably
protected, so far as the head is concerned, with
large mushroom-shaped pith hats. In Tirhoot there
are never the fiery winds of the upper provinces;
yet the temperature ranges very high in summer.
In the month of November, 1846, I joined
my Nepal appointment (assistant to the Besident),
going by palanquin dak as far as the entrance to
the great forest, forty miles off, which skirts the
hilly country for a very long distance; through
this I rode on horseback for about ten miles, then
on a second horse through the Chirriaghatee
range  of low   hills,   and  onwards  on   an  elephant
to the foot of the high range. This last portion
of the road was very tiring, as we had to cross
the Raptee river about thirty times, thereby being
much delayed; so that night closed in when five
miles from the tents, and we also lost our way.
The dew was very heavy, and being thinly clad
I got quite wet through and chilled before
the camp was reached. The great danger that
threatened me was jungle fever from the chiU;
so after arriving I at once stripped, got my
servant to rub me well, took a good strong
tumbler-fuU of brandy and hot water, and turned
in between the blankets for a sleep of three hours,
after which I felt all right, and managed to dispose
of a good meal, which Doctor Login's servant, who
had been sent with a tent and appurtenances
from Kathmandoo, had prepared for me. Next
morning I ascended the very steep Mil caUed
Sheesa pani, and by the evening got another
twenty miles or so, to the foot of the last range
bounding the valley of Nepal, over some of the
worst roads I had ever seen. The view next
morning from the summit of the ridge was truly
magnificent, for the lovely valley, with Kathmandoo*
* 5,000 feet above sea level.
in the centre, and several streams meandering
through the highly-cultivated and extensive plain,
was spread out like a map before me. At the
Eesidency I found Doctor Login, the surgeon who
had taken charge pending the arrival of Colonel
Thoresby, the new Resident. The Residency
enclosure was very spacious, and prettily laid out,
being about a mile from the city on undulating
ground. The houses within the fine grounds
consisted of the spacious Residency building, the
Doctor's house, and a third for the Assistant
Resident, which I had purchased from Captain
Ottley, my predecessor; a fourth house stood
at some distance, and had been turned into a
Dispensary. Colonel Thoresby arrived in a few
days, and got a grand reception from the Durbar.
He was a thin, grey-headed man with a keen,
intelligent face, gentlemanly manners, and possessed
of great command of temper, to an extent I
had never before observed in any Indian official.
He was very well read, and deeply versed in
Oriental lore, especially Sanscrit. All his household
arrangements were on a grand scale; and he
insisted upon Login and myself taking all our.
meals  at his table, which  arrangement pleased us,
as it not only gave us the assurance of pleasant
company and good food, but was also very
satisfactory in a pecuniary way. My pay was
Rs.500 a month, for which I had very light work
as a political officer, and as a miHtary one the
command of the escort of 100 Sepoys. The
European society was Hmited to the three EngHsh
officials, and my work as assistant consisted in
translating Persian documents and superintending
the treasury. The Resident's salary was Rs.3,500
a month with a very spacious Government house,
his work being to collect what information he
could of the goings on at the Nepal Court, and
to endeavour to keep up a friendly understanding
with the ruling party, as weU as to give advice
if opportunity offered. With such trifling duties
time of course hung rather heavy on hand, the
great event of the day being the arrival of the
post bag. I also subscribed to the Planters'
Library, 'which gave me a fair supply of new
books, though the colonel's library was a good
one. The men of the escort were a willing lot,
and were all recruited from our own provinces;
some of them were very fond of accompanying
me   on   my    shooting    expeditions,   and   acted   as
beaters in putting up the game, especially in the
hilly parts, where I went for woodcock. These
birds afforded me great, sport, and I spent entire
days in the season in search after them amongst
the hill slopes and ravines, being quite contented
if I got two or three birds; snipe were verv
abundant, as were quail. I must mention that
the Sepoys who came voluntarily as beaters never
expected any pecuniary reward as an European
game-keeper would, but did the work entirely
from love of sport; and their pride as Rajpoots
would have been greatly hurt if money had been
offered them; this may read as strange, but it is
nevertheless a fact. As the soldiers of the escort
nearly all came from Oude I have often wondered
what their feelings really were during the time
of the Mutiny, when nearly the whole of their
province  was  banded  against us.
My predecessor at Nepal was Captain Ottley,
and his predecessor was Captain Smith, generally
known as " Tiger" Smith, from the great number
of tigers that he had shot. He did not get on well
with Major Lawrence, and at last they had a
regular row,   charges being framed against Captain
Smith as commandant of the escort of having
cheated the men by supplying very inferior clothing
in the shape of uniforms, he being bound to supply
clothing equal to that suppHed to the regular army
in Bengal, a very ample yearly aUowance being
granted by Government for that purpose. A
Court Martial was ordered to assemble at Dinapore
(the nearest large military station), for the purpose
of trying Captain Smith on the charges framed
by Major Lawrence, but shortly before the Court
met Captain Smith (then on leave at Mussourie)
had been seriously injured in an encounter with
a bear, in which affair Smith as usual had proved
himself a man of great courage, and a thorough
sportsman. On entering the Court-room he Hmped
in on crutches with his head bandaged up, and
altogether looking so interesting that the sympathies
of his judges at once went out to him. The
charges broke down, as no man of the escort
would give evidence as to any inferiority in the
clothing, and Captain Smith was honourably
acquitted, much to the disgust of Major Lawrence.
I once asked a sergeant of the escort (who was
amongst those summoned to give evidence against
the accused) how it was that no one would speak
out in behalf of the prosecution; the man getting
rather excited, said " he was quite astonished at
Major Lawrence supposing that any of the men
of the escort could be such 'nimak hurams,' viz.,
so disloyal as to give evidence against their Sahib,
who had always been kind to them, and was also
such  a noble   sportsman."
Login and I one day got intelligence of bears
about eight miles off, and armed with rifles and
guns, we made for the place; when on going down
a very slippery piece of hillside in thick jungle
towards the lair of the animals, Login suddenly
slipped and fell down, knocking me over in his
fall; on which the largest bear being close at hand
rushed towards us, making that peculiar noise which
irate bears indulge in; but either the clattering of
the guns or our peculiar position ' must have
staggered Bruin, for he only looked at us, and
made off before we could rise and get a clear
shot. A second large bear had in the meantime
attacked one of our Nepalese beaters, who being
armed with a spear, managed in a most plucky
way to wound and drive off the beast. Our escape
was   indeed  a   narrow one   in   our   helpless   state.
An encounter one day with a large wild boar
turned out a very tame affair. The villagers had
reported that it was a very savage animal, and
had injured some men so badly that the people
were afraid to work in the fields near the village.
I came across the animal in a small cotton field,
and when within thirty paces it raised its head
and calmly viewed me, perhaps surprised at seeing
an European for the first time. One shot killed
it. I had also on another occasion to shoot a mad
dog which had bitten some people near the city,
and on being chased had sought shelter in my
stables. It looked very fieree, and was foaming at
the mouth, and I was obHged to fire between a
horse's legs; but lucidly it fell dead at once, after
causing intense excitement amongst the servants
and others who lived close by, and who had all
sought protection in their houses. The horse had
remained very quiet at the sight of his strange
visitor, and thus perhaps had escaped an attack.
Considering what a very large number of dogs
wander about Indian towns and viUages without
owners, it is indeed a wonder that hydrophobia is
not more common.
Luckily all persons who are bitten by mad dogs
are not attacked with hydrophobia, and I can call
to memory four Englishmen who did not suffer at
all after being thus bitten. One was Mr. Egerton
of the Civil Service, Financial Commissioner of the
Punjab and afterwards Lieutenant-Governor—he was
badly bitten by a pet dog at Lahore; and Doctor
Hathaway, the Inspector-General of Punjab Gaols,
who was so celebrated for his amusing though
highly-coloured stories, when on a visit of inspection
at Feroz«pore assured me that Mrs. Egerton was
so very anxious about her husband that she would
follow him about the house, and at intervals offer
him a tumbler of water to make sure that the bad
symptoms were not coming on. This doctor was
very amusing in his peculiar way, and was fond
of talking of the many queer incidents which
occurred on his first tour of gaol inspection after
the first introduction of anything like systematic
management. At that time a large proportion of
the prisoners were employed on outdoor duties, and
he would mention how in one district he found
prisoners employed in assisting the compounder at
a Government Dispensary, and on asking one the
nature of  his  offence, wras  told  that he  had been
convicted of being concerned in a bad poisoning
case; and another prisoner, who was assisting the
record keeper in the arrangement of the official
records, was mentioned as a very clever rogue
who had been imprisoned for forgery and tampering
with important deeds; and so on with a long
string of similar amusing incidents, perhaps not
all strictly accurate, yet quite possible and also
probable. He also told me, in proof of the
Lawrences' great indifference to the little niceties
of existence, or what may be caUed conventional
customs, how on Sir Robert Montgomery succeeding
Sir John Lawrence as Lieutenant - Governor, the
latter remonstrated strongly against the severe
measures Sir Robert was adopting to get rid of
the numerous sparrows that occupied the cornices
of some of the spacious rooms at Government
House. M Why should they be interfered with,"
said he, "when I and my brother Henry have
left them unmolested for so many years ?" The
story may not be strictly true, but it was certainly
very characteristic of John and Henry Lawrence.
The   natives of   Nepal   are   Hindoos,  or rather
Hindooised Buddhists,  of   sturdy   frame,   and like
all Indian hill people, very honest and outspoken,
yet of a highly superstitious temperament; more
especially the women, who flocked to the very
numerous shrines in the valley in crowds to make
their periodical offerings and petitions, and a very
pretty sight it was to see them trooping along
with their hair decked out with wild flowers, and
their close-fitting bodices showing off their shapely
figures ; the head being quite uncovered. They
have not the worn appearance on the face so often
to be seen in the women of the plains; but are
as a rule plump in person and lively in manner,
having, moreover, the character for being more
chaste than their sisters in Hindustan proper, which
may arise from the extreme jealousy of the men,
who for misconduct never hesitate to take the lives
of their wives, as also the Hves of their paramours,
on the first opportunity, as was done by an enraged
husband on one occasion close to my house on the
public road. It is evident, however, that the
women are otherwise allowed great freedom as
compared with the women of   the plains.
Jung   Bahadur,   the   prime   minister,  who   had
indeed waded through blood to  his high position,
was a young man when I reached Nepal, and gave
me the impression of having a most determined
will. He had several brothers, all devoted to him,
as also some cousins, to whom he had given
situations about the Court. He had the credit of
being much addicted to the pleasures of the harem;
and tales were told of his constantly seizing on
young girls to replenish his bevy of females; but
perhaps this was somewhat an exaggeration, as he
must have made heaps of enemies who were only
too ready to viHfy him. We, however, often used
to meet him driving out in an open carriage with
three or four blooming damsels. In conversation
he had a frank manner, and gave signs of a breadth
of view perhaps seldom found in Oriental nobles;
and it was very evident that he desired to court
the approval of the British Government. It was
shortly after my departure from Nepal in 1849 that
Jung Bahadur paid a visit to England, and
was made very much of there, even to an
extent rather humiHating to my countrymen and
countrywomen, though it is to be hoped that
the latter were ignorant of his real character
when they attended his levees and gazed on
his    magnificent     apparel    covered   with    jewels.
Whatever may have been his private opinion of
the delicacy of feeling of our women, he certainly
returned to Nepal with a very high and just
estimate of our power as a nation, and spoke
out freely afterwards on this point when tempted
by our enemies in the year of the Mutiny to
join against us. The assistance he gave us in
1857 may not have been of a very hearty
character, but he sent us several thousands of his
soldiers at a very critical time, and though they
showed far greater activity in plundering than
in destroying our enemies, yet the moral effect
must have been good. On attaining to his
elevated post of Prime Minister and Commander-
in-Chief, as he styled himself, he was perhaps
a little over thirty years of age, of a slim,
active frame, regular Ghoorka features, and had
the character of a bold and very daring man.
When quite a youngster (about twenty years of age),
he had jumped from a verandah of a house in
the city of Kathmandoo on to the back of a
very large male elephant, which had broken from
its picket, killed its mahout, and also done much
mischief in the town, and though unskilled as
a  driver,   yet  armed  with  a  goad  he  managed  to
again • get the wild creature under control, and
with a Httle extra aid succeeded in driving it
home to its picket or shed. I paid him a visit
one afternoon at his spacious palace in the company
of the Resident and Dr. Login, and after some
talk we were invited to shoot at a mark with
rifles from his verandah, and we aU tried our
skill against him and some of his chiefs with
varying success at various distances. After this
we walked about his large ornamental garden,
and came across a fuU-grown tiger, which was
roaming about in what we thought a very dangerous
manner, though Jung declared it had never hurt
anyone, and he thought was not likely to do so;
there .was also a full-sized wild boar at large in
this garden. -I heard a few days afterwards that
the tiger had seriously injured one of Jung's
officers, and he then thought it desirable to have
it confined in a cage. He showed us a large oil
painting of his uncle Matabur Singh, who some
years before had been Prime Minister, but for
some alleged offence against the chief wife of
the sovereign, had been shot down in rather a
mysterious way when on a visit at the palace.
Jung    Bahadur    admitted    to    us   that   he    had
" committed the deed by order of the King;"
this uncle having always treated him as an adopted
son. The Nepal Government was prohibited by
the terms of their treaty with us from entertaining
any Europeans as teachers of drill or gunnery,
but they had often made underhand endeavours
to compass their ends, and when I was at Nepal
a Signor Ventura, an accomplished musician, was
entertained on Rs.600 a month, ostensibly to teach
a military band, and to amuse the high authorities
by the sweet notes he could draw from his musical
instruments, but he had not been many weeks at
Kathmandoo before they tried his powers as an
instructor of musketry and gunnery—it being a
subject on which he was profoundly ignorant,
much to their disappointment. He did not stay
long; being in dread of his life, and being quite
out of his element without any society of persons
of his own class of life. We had him to dinner
more than once at the Residency, but his knowledge
of English was very slight, as was ours of Italian
or French, the only two languages he could speak
with any fluency. A Mr. SiddOns, a chemist, was
also taken into service by Jung Bahadur, and
attempts were also made to utilize him as a gunner:
his stay was short, and we heard no more of such
dodges to circumvent the Indian Government. One
day when Login and I called at Ventura's house
during our morning ride we found him in a great
state of excitement, as during the night his iron
bedstead had been struck by lightning, the fluid
having entered by the roof, passed down an
iron rod of the bedstead, through the wooden floor
and on into the cellar, where it had escaped through
a small opening in the waU made for ventilation.
The life at Nepal was very monotonous: a ride
or walk at early morning, alone or with Colonel
Thoresby or Login, a drill of the escort two or
three times a week, shooting or reading during the
day, and another ride in the evening. The climate
was cool, and a punkah never required, as the valley
was more than 5,000 feet above sea level. For
four months the moisture of the atmosphere was
too great, and the extensive cultivation of rice
throughout the low lands could not have been
healthy, as the crop requires much irrigation.
During the autumn of 1847 cholera raged with
great virulence, thousands being carried off in the
large towns.     Only one man of   the escort   died,
and a few servants were also attacked, but recovered
under medical treatment. My own health got rather
poor at this time, and I suffered much from
dyspepsia and indigestion; my appetite being very
capricious, and sickness of the stomach frequent.
This was when cholera was at its worst, which
coincidence most certainly did not make things look
cheerful. So great was the mortality that the
poorer classes neglected to burn their dead relations,
contenting themselves by throwing the bodies near
the river-side. The superstitious Nepalese attributed
all the sickness to the bad spirits, whom they
attempted (at the advice of their priests) to drive
away by very frequent discharge of artillery placed
round the walls of the city of Kathmandoo, and on
this proving a failure feasts were given to the
Brahmins by thousands in hopes of propitiating
the deities and demons; yet still the disease raged,
and ran its usual course of about six weeks in spite
of prayers and volleys from big and little guns;
the mortality, doubtless, being much increased by
the dirty state of several of the streets and the
defective drainage. Doctor Login was very attentive
to the sick who required his aid. He was naturally
a kind-hearted man, though perhaps not very refined
in his ideas, having been raised (as the Yankees
say) in the wild and bleak Orkney Islands, which
gave him a very robust and short body, as well as
a thoroughly Scotch opinion of the value of money,
and of the great intellectual capacity of his countrymen. Login was to have gone to England with
Jung Bahadur, but when journeying to Dinapore
in 1849 to pass an examination there in Hindustani,
he was seized with cholera, and died after a very
short illness, induced by over-fatigue in journeying
from Nepal, as he had from choice walked the
whole way by very long stages. When Login
died thus suddenly I was at Mooltan in the Punjab
Commission, and Jung Bahadur wanted me to
accompany him to England; but as it was
impossible for me to meet him in time at Bombay
or Calcutta, an officer was sent with him. from the
latter place. Colonel Thoresby had recommended
me for the post to the Government of India.
Our Resident built a small country house on a
hill about ten miles to the north of the city, and
we often spent a few days there for change of air,
as the trip was short and easy. The Nepal Vahjey
is held by the Hindoos to be rather a sacred spot,
and is full of images imbued with most wonderful
curative powers; thus a due quantity of devotion to
one of them, accompanied by adequate fees to the
attendant priests, is said to insure fecundity to barren
women, whilst a second will cure snake bites, and
a third perspires through its stony substance, and
then works wonderful cures of all kinds. I had
often been promised a sight of this large image
when in its perspiring state, but somehow I never
obtained such gratification; neither did I ever
succeed in seeing a suttee (widow cremation),
though such did undoubtedly occur during my time
in Nepal; and an old native officer of the Court,
who was always in attendance at the Residency,
had promised to give me due notice whenever a
widow intended to immolate herself on her
husband's pyre, but somehow failed to fulfil his
promise, which made me think that there is often
more physical pressure brought to bear on the
widows on these occasions than would be pleasant
to display to the unsympathetic Englishman. The
native officer, however, would not admit that in
suttees witnessed by him any improper pressure
had been brought to bear upon the widows; but
that young as some of them were, the immolation
had been entirely of their free wiU. I was talking
about suttees one day with a sepoy of the escort,
a rajpoot who disliked the custom, and he told me
that a few years ago, when on leave in the Oude
territory, he witnessed the immolation of a young
widow who had lost a husband of position, being
an influential head man of a large vUlage. He
saw her mount the funeral pyre, and heard her tell
the people, who had assembled in great numbers,
that the act was entirely voluntary, and that no
pressure of any description had been put upon her;
she then took off all her ornaments (of which she
had a large number on her person) and distributed
them amongst her relations, after which she lay
down on the smaU bedstead alongside her husband;
and the sepoy declared that he was standing as
close as possible to the great heap of wood and
straw, but never heard a sound from the young
woman as the flames and smoke ascended from the
pyre. He also said that there was no great beating
of drums or playing on musical instruments to
drown such cries. Sir Donald Macleod also told
me that when he was at Benares many years ago
as a magistrate, an officer died after rather a short
illness,  and on the arrangements   being   made for
his funeral, a young native woman who Hved with
him begged to be allowed to foUow the coffin to
the grave. The officers of the regiment objected,
as they thought she might cause a scene. She
promised to be quite quiet, so she was permitted to
attend; but after the coffin had been lowered into
the grave, she suddenly stepped up to the side of
the excavation, and, looking on the coffin, pulled a
dagger from her dress and stabbed herself, saying
" Sahib, I come," her body falling on the top of
the coffin. She was quite dead, and was buried in
the same grave with her lover.
A native officer, styled a Koomeedan, was, as
previously mentioned, always in attendance at the
Residency, and he who held the post in my time
spoke English very fairly, and desired much to
improve such knowledge. The demeanour of this
officer was always respectful, and when alone with
any of us he spoke very openly about the doings
at the Court, and would retail items of Durbar
gossip; but at other times he was very cautious.
I remember his telling me how he was present
when the chiefs were killed in Durbar previous to
Jung  Bahadur's   usurpation  of   power,   and   would
speak in piteous tones of his own great alarm on
that occasion, and how he managed to sneak out
of the room under the pretence of going for more
regiments of the usurper. This native officer had
under his orders five or six soldiers, one of whom
had instructions always (if possible) to keep any
of us in sight when out walking or riding; it
seemed as if for the purpose of spying on our
doings, though the Ghoorka Government said it
was to keep us safe from insult; such, however,
was never offered to us by any native of the
country, though at times the fakeers from Hindustan
would scowl and make impertinent remarks, of
which we of course took no notice. A fakeer did
on one occasion seize my horse's reins, and got a
sharp rap with the whip on his knuckles, which
made him look precious sour. Many of these men
used to wander about perfectly naked. Brahminee
bulls also abounded, being protected, and fed by
the superstitious natives. At times smaU-pox would
break out amongst these sacred animals, and carry
off a goodly number; and it was a custom periodi-
caUy, about every third year, to deport a large
number of them to the Terai or forest country on
the   plains.      The   great   increase   in   these pubHe
nuisances is owing to devout people letting loose
so many young bulls when their children or
members of their families have recovered from
disease, or on occasion of some domestic event
such as a birth or marriage, when it becomes a
necessity to propitiate the deities. These animals
for their natural lives are thus saved from the
yoke of the plough, and wander about the towns
preying on the charitable and superstitious public.
At certain seasons they often have terrific fights
amongst themselves, and many become seriously
maimed, and so meet with lingering deaths, as no
man would dare to take the life of one of these
In the cold season of 1847 Lord Elphinstone,
afterwards the Governor of Bombay, paid Nepal
a visit as the guest of the Resident: he was a
very gentlemanly,, well-informed man, and his visit
caused a very pleasant break in our monotony.
It was said of him that when a young officer in
the Guards, and constantly on duty at the palace,
the very young Queen fell in love with him, and
the Government of that day sent him at once to
Madras  as  Governor.     This might have   been the
veriest gossip, but his appointment to Madras was
always thought a very strange one. I gave him
some beautiful Monal pheasants, which he took to
Scotland and let loose, writing afterwards that
they were doing very well. These pheasants are
of most beautiful blue, green, and golden tints,
being easUy snared in the higher ranges of the
Himalayas, near the snow-Hne. Large numbers of
the bags of the musk deer were often brought for
sale, and I executed many commissions for their
purchase for friends on the plains; very fine yak's
tafls were likewise brought, as were Nepal kookrees
(knives); China silks and satins were imported
across the China frontier yearly, together with
sturdy and very shapely Httle ponies, and curious
little dogs very like King Charles' spaniels: Jung
Bahadur made me a present of a very pretty
little spaniel, which afterwards lost the use of its
hind legs from  a stroke  of the  wind.
Major Wheler's Regiment of Irregular Cavalry
marched from Segowly in the cold season of 1847,
being reHeved by the 4th of the same branch of
the Service; in which regiment Lieutenant HaU
of   my   corps   was   adjutant;    he   had   been   just
married to a very pretty young girl (Miss B **x*),
and as I had a general invitation to stay with
them when I could get leave, I took the opportunity
and had a very pleasant fortnight's visit. It was
evident they were very fond of each other, and
she appeared to be a simple-minded, very young
woman; perhaps too young and unformed in mind
and character to set up housekeeping under the
control of such a reckless rattle-pate as Hall was
then, but still she seemed one who might have
easily been moulded for good by a thoughtful
husband. Her father was certainly not a bright
example to his children, and after he had retired
from the Service his moral conduct was so bad
as to make it impossible for his girls to even
visit him. Luckily they were both married,
though the elder one (Mrs. Macleod) soon lost
her husband, a very promising young civilian.
When staying with the newly-married couple,
the young bride at breakfast one morning told
her husband that she suspected the man in charge
of the poultry of stealing the eggs, on which
Hall said, " Then why not keep the key of the
fowl-house and feed the poultry yourself ?" She
most joyfully consented,  and for a  couple of days
aU went well, when one day at breakfast she
turned quite pale, saying, " Georgy, dear, only
think, I have forgotten to feed the poultry for
three days;" he at once snatched up the key
from the wall of the bedroom, where it was
hanging, and with his wife rushed to the house,
and on the door being thrown open all the poor
birds—fowls, ducks, and geese—were found to be
dead, in fact the young couple were thinking too
much of each other to remember such a trifle as
poultry tending; need I say that when more birds
had been purchased, the key was again made over
to the servant, or rather his successor, for Hall
very justly thought that the man must have observed
that the poultry were not running about outside
the house, and therefore most wilfully neglected to
warn his mistress of her forgetfulness. As a rule
ladies make over charge of the poultry to the
sweeper, unless the farm-yard is so important as
to require the services of a special keeper. Some
years afterwards I heard on what seemed very
reHable authority that she had caused a good deal
of gossip when in England by herself, but her
husband's confidence was never shaken. I met her
again at   Simla  in   1853,   and   observed   that   her
manner was extremely nervous, and had lost all
that frankness which gave such a charm to her
From Segowly I went into camp on a shooting
expedition with Major Hill, commanding the Cavalry
regiment, and Mr. Chapman of the CivU Service—
both good sportsmen. The trip was highly interesting, though we saw no tigers, mainly owing to
the great height of the grass at the best beats.
Of Florican deer, pigs, pea fowl, jungle fowl, etc.,
we saw and bagged a fair amount. On the first
day, when riding out to the camp, I unfortunately
met with an accident from my horse falling with
me, by which I severely sprained my right wrist;
the catastrophe happening near the abode of the
Bettiah Rajah, who was very attentive, and sent
his private medico to doctor me, which he did in
regular native fashion with fomentation of neem
leaves, which greatly relieved the pain and reduced
the swelling also.
At Bettiah there was a small colony of native
Christians (Roman Catholics), under the charge of
two very self-denying, humble-minded priests from
Italy.    The villagers spoke nothing but Hindustani,
and it was strange to hear them recite the Creed
in that language. They seemed to be very industrious, and reared large numbers of fowls, turkeys,
and ducks, which they sold at very reasonable
prices. They especially excelled in rearing capons,
having, I conclude, been instructed in this by
their priests. These Christians are some of the
descendants of a large body who were driven out
of Nepal about 140 years ago, when the Ghoorkas
conquered the Newar* population of the vaUey.
None of the Christians I believe were killed by the
conquerors, but they were forced to leave their'
homes and country.
In these vast forests in the Terai, through part
of which we shot, there are some very ancient
remains of temples, and large tanks or reservoirs,
which must have been constructed of bricks of
enormous size some fifteen feet or more in length.
Tradition tells us but little of these ruins, but the
buildings are said to be of Hindoo or of Buddhist
origin. There are immense herds of cattle in the
Terai, and tigers make much havoc amongst them,
as   they  are   tended   by a very scanty  number of
* The  aborigines.
herdsmen, and roam over very wide stretches of
pasture land as soon as the high grass is burnt at
the spring season. The sportsmen who visit the
Terai often obtain their information of the haunts
of tigers from herdsmen, though if the animal be
not killed they have a superstitious dread of its
avenging itself upon them. Some herdsmen are
huntsmen also, and manage to turn the tables
on the forest lords; though, generally speaking,
the shikarees or hunters are quite a distinct tribe
of rather low caste, and very keen in picking
out the tracks of animals, easily telling whether
the marks are quite fresh or of some hours.
One of these shikarees who Mr. Chapman had in
his employ told us how a tiger had seized his
brother when they were walking together through
the forest at evening-time, and how he at once
climbed up a high tree near at hand, and had to
witness the horrid sight of the animal feeding on
his favourite brother. Ever since then he had been
most inveterate against tigers, and most eagerly
sought out the English sportsmen who annually came
to the forest glades. On one occasion in this trip
we came across several woodcock quite in the open
country,   and   the   shikarees   declared it was   their
breeding ground. Major Hill and I used to differ
much about the cooking of these birds, for whilst
he was for keeping them hanging till quite high,
I always liked them to be cooked on the second or
third day; and our discussions used to be thought
rather amusing by Chapman, who was an excellent
companion, and a first-class shot. The people of the
Terai are a wild, uncouth set, and have a sickly
appearance, which is not to be wondered at, for
at least six months of the year it is very unhealthy,
the air being impregnated with fever and ague of
the worst type. The post-runners who carried the
dak daily to Kathmandoo were of a tribe called
Dongurs, with skins quite as black, as Negroes', and
these people actually thrive in the Terai. Their
work was one of danger from other causes than
climate, for elephants ranged in the forests through
which the narrow road ran, and the runners often
had narrow escapes from what are known as rogue
elephants (solitary males who had been obliged to
succumb to the stronger of their own sex, and been
driven out of a herd). Jung Bahadur had bought
a magnificent male elephant in 1847 at the Sonepore
fair for a rather large sum (I think Rs.5000), but
when ascending the first steep hiU the animal turned
restive, killed its mahout, and ran off into the
jungle, crushing on its way an unlucky cooly who
was trudging along with a load on his back. A
large party headed by Jung went in search 'of the
animal; but never even got a sight of it. I never
came across a herd of wUd elephants so close as to
see them clearly, though on one occasion I heard
them crashing through the heavy jungle just ahead
of my own elephant, and I sent a brace of bullets
to quicken their pace. The elephant I was on got
rather excited, and trumpeted repeatedly.
The tree known as the Sal grows to a huge
size in the Terai, and is very lofty, and so is the
cotton tree with its splendid scarlet blossoms.
After the shooting was over I paid a visit to
Wyatt the planter, and went with him to the
Sonepore race meeting, where we joined the
planters' mess. These races are always well
attended, and come off near Hajeepoor annually
at the time of the great fair. The gentlemen and
ladies all Hve in tents under extensive mango
groves, and the meeting lasts for a fortnight, being
enlivened by balls and parties of all kinds. Two
of  the balls that I attended were given by native
Rajahs of great wealth, who tried to outvie each
other in the number of turkeys and hams for the
suppers. It was at this fair that a large elephant
got stuck in a quicksand in the river close to
Hajeepoor, and the owner sold it then and there
by auction to an enterprising man, who by help-
of strong ropes and coolies, succeeded in rescuing
the animal, which was very knowing indeed in
placing with its trunk all the brushwood and straw
thrown to it as deep as possible in the sand so as
to get something firm to stand on. At this fair
there were hundreds of elephants for sale, some of
them with Httle young ones which squealed and
ran to their mothers when touched. The planters'"
mess was certainly not the. most aristocratic, neither
was it the quietest; though it might perhaps have
laid claim to the best cuisine: The mess of the
civilians (who mustered strong) had the pas for
sobriety and good manners, for some of the planters'
assistants were rather a rough lot. Altogether, this
fair and race meeting was a highly interesting
sight, and I know of nothing more calculated to
give a visitor from England a good insight into
Indian ways and customs;   and a couple of  hours*
walk through the fair was a real treat for a person
of good powers of  observation.
Mr. Tayler, the Postmaster-General, and Major
Hill paid Colonel Thoresby a visit in the cold
season of 1847. The first named was a great
painter in water colours, and being good at portraits
he took a capital picture of Jung Bahadur. This
was the Tayler who in the year of the Mutiny
was Commissioner of the Patna Division, and
having been removed from his appointment by the
Government, he immediately resigned the Service
and set up as a barrister in the North - Western
Provinces, and made a good fortune by pleading
in many heavy cases. He managed to bring his
grievance before Parliament, but though much
talked about it was soon shelved for something
more attractive to the general public, and the
so-called injustice has not yet been redressed. I
showed Major Hill some good sport with the
woodcocks, which greatly pleased him. Mr. Tayler
was in the habit of keeping an illustrated journal,
and as his duties called him to all parts of the
Bengal Province, his numerous smajl sketches,
some of them very humorous, were well worth
looking at.
The year 1848 in Nepal was very uneventful
until the cold season arrived, when the young
King invited the Resident to a hunting expedition
in the Terai, to which we proceeded some days
after the Royal camp had marched, and found
troops to the number of about 12,000 with sixty
guns encamped; the soldiers, in neatly constructed
grass huts, with some large houses for the
officers and people of the Court. AU this great
array made us open our eyes rather, as such
seemed hardly required for a mere hunting
expedition. Jung Bahadur, however, said he was
fearful of leaving the bulk of the army behind
at Kathmandoo during the absence of the young
Maharajah, for fear that intriguing spirits might
take advantage of so tempting an opportunity to
create a diversion in favour of the deposed and
old Maharajah; and I find I have omitted to
mention that early in 1847 Jung Bahadur had
effected the deposition of the old Maharajah and
the investiture of his young son with the royal
robes and insignia. The old man had been much
grieved at his Queen bringing about such a
slaughter of the nobles as I have mentioned
some pages back,   and went with   her to   Benares
for the purpose of making expiation at the great
Hindoo shrines there. But when the time arrived
for their return, Jung Bahadur informed him that
the Queen must be left behind, as she was
always causing mischief, and he could not trust
her. The old King resented such dictation, and
came to the confines of Nepal territory with a
goodly array of armed followers; but Jung
was too much for him, and showed his skill by
surprising the camp at night, killing a goodly
number of the force, and taking the old King
to Nepal as a prisoner. After which, at a grand
parade of the troops, he explained his conduct, and
with their full approval the Sovereign was deposed
and the son raised to the throne ; the old man
being a prisoner at Patun, a large town in the
valley  several   miles  distant  from  Kathmandoo.
The whole affair had been managed in a most
masterly manner, and people thought that Jung had
done properly in ridding Nepal of the disreputable
consort of the old King, who henceforth remained
at Benares, and died there some years afterwards.
When in the large camp Jung got a bad fever,
from   a   very   tiring   hunt   after    wild    elephants.
There was of course much shooting during our
stay in the forest; but on the whole the sport was
poor, as the noise was too great, and the style of
beating very irregular, though we saw plenty of
wild animals. The line of elephants on one occasion
numbered over 150, and the tigers were of course
driven to a distance by the volleys from the rifles
and guns of the numerous sporting chieftains, who
had- not the least idea of order or arrangement,
and their bullets often came whistHng very
unpleasantly near our heads and past our bodies,
Jung Bahadur's sickness was rather a lucky event,
as there was strong suspicion that the Nepal
Government was playing us fast and loose, now
that the Sikhs had broken out into open revolt and
gained some slight success. The fever would not
yield to treatment, so Jung, by the advice of Colonel
Thoresby, broke up the camp and returned to the
capital. It was a novel sight for us to observe
how guns were taken off their carriages and slung
upon poles shouldered by artiUerymen, likewise the
limber and wheels carried in the same manner.
We followed after an interval of two days the
route taken by the troops, viz., over the Chirriag-
hatee range  of   hills,   where in  1816  the Nepalese
had erected stockades to resist the advance of
General Ochterlony, who by a night march turned
their strong position. Some of the stockades were
still standing when we passed over the crest of the
hill. The fortress of Mackwanpore is also seen to
the right of the pass in a somewhat commanding
position, which was also outflanked by the
General, who proved himself the only English
commander at all equal to cope with the sturdy
and stubborn fighting Ghoorkas, as all other
commanders in that far from brilliant campaign
suffered reverses of a more or less damaging
character; for the Ghoorkas are specially good
at what are known as chappaos, or sudden and
unexpected assaults, made generally at night or very
early morning. They had managed in that war to
capture one of our guns (a twelve-pounder), and at
any great parade they were fond of displaying this
piece of artillery. I have seen as many as 150
guns (mostly five or • six-pounders) on one parade
ground, and on pressure I daresay they could bring
out as many as 200, and perhaps 25,000 or 30,000
foot soldiers, who are quite au fait at their rough
style of drill, which mainly consists of marching
in  line  and  column  or skirmishing.     Some of   the
regiments had bayonet swords of the kookree
shape, and such in the hands of strong active
men would doubtless be very formidable. The
Ghoorkas are the only natives of India who
have • shown themselves equal to a rush at close
quarters on English soldiers, as was done in 1816
in a most determined manner when armed with
their sharp kookrees and koras; this latter being a
more savage-looking and larger weapon, and with
one good blow of it some of the experts at
Kathmandoo will cut right through the thick neck
of  a buffalo.
At the commencement of 1849 I had a very
jolly shooting trip with Captain Apperly* of the
Government Stud Department, and Wyatt, Saudy,
Brown, and CahiU, indigo planters. The array of
elephants numbered more than thirty, and the tents
were large double-poled ones. This expedition lasted
more than a fortnight, and the beat was through
capital tiger ground; and of this animal we bagged
* This officer was the son of the well-known writer who,
under the name of " Nimrod," published so much on sporting
matters between fifty and sixty years ago. Apperly was one of
the best sportsmen in India, and on one occasion had performed
the very rare feat of shooting a couple of large tigers by what is
known as right and left shots.
five good specimens, one of the largest having
fallen to my gun. This tiger was put up in a
patch of grass jungle over a cow which he had
just killed, and was therefore savage. Captain
Apperly had a snap shot at him, and missed, on
which he came round to my elephant on the left
of the line and charged, when by a lucky shot I
killed him. The elephant I was on belonged to
the Bettiah Rajah, and was a very staunch one,
as was the mahout who drove it; and in tiger
shooting the success of a sportsman depends very
much on the mahout, who has it in his power by
a stroke of his heel to turn the elephant just at
the critical moment, and make the sportsman look
mighty foolish.
Chapter   VI.
jj|NE  day  on   the  former-mentioned   shooting
II    expedition with the planters, when beating
^^s^®*^ up a dry nallah (ravine), with tree jungle
On either bank and high grass, a tigress was put
up ; Brown and I being on one side on our
elephants, whilst Wyatt, Apperly, and CaMU were
on the other side. The animal had been hit, and
was very savage, and in the thick grass was difficult
to sight for a fair shot, though there was certainly
much firing; and after a few quick shots from the
opposite bank, a mahout on a pad elephant near
me cried out " Golee lugga" (a shot has hit me),
and fell back on his elephant with blood flowing
from his chest. We at once called out to Wyatt
and company to stop firing, as a " man had been
hit;" and on the party collecting, each of the three
sportsmen protested his innocence of having fired
in our direction. The accident, however, put a
stop   to the   sport,  and the   tigress got off,   as it
appeared necessary to make for camp without delay
so as to make the wounded man as comfortable as
possible. This was done, and shortly after he
partook of some light food; his recovery being
complete by the next morning, as all pain had
gone and the wound looked healthy, and in a few
days it quite healed up, much to our astonishment.
What had really happened it is impossible to say.
Some thought that he never had been hit by a
bullet, but that his elephant must have swerved,
and the point of the ankhus (or driving - iron)
penetrated his chest; whilst it was the opinion of
others that the bullet had struck a bone and then
tumbled out, which to me, however, seemed highly
Altogether it was a queer affair, and somewhat
alarmed Captain Apperly, as in the previous year
he had by accident shot dead a native whom he
had mistaken for a tiger crawling through the high
grass jungle. The man was a subordinate of the
mahout, and had been seated behind Apperly on
his elephant; but a tiger having been wounded,
and slunk away into the high grass, the man,
unknown to the mahout or to Apperly, had got off
the elephant from behind to see if he could find
the tracks of the wounded animal, and having on
a striped jacket Apperly took him for the tiger,
and fired with too deadly an aim. On this
excursion I made some good shots, and got some
good skins of deer; six large bears of the black
species were also shot, but they gave but poor sport,
and died without showing any fight. One very
large tiger got up before my elephant and Mr.
Cahill's, and he managed to knock it over with'
one bullet. Tiger shooting is undoubtedly very
exciting sport, and the roar of the animal on being
disturbed is startling to the ear of the inexperienced,
sportsman, and very apt at first to throw him off
his aim. On one occasion when shooting by myself
in the Terai with two soldiers of the escort, I was
implored by numerous "villagers to rid them of the
ravages of a man-eating tiger, which had killed a
goodly number of natives, especially women, whom
he had seized when on their way at evening-time
to fetch water from the stream. I searched after
this animal for some days, and though I more than
once came upon his fresh tracks, I never once
sighted him ; so was obliged to give up the hunt
in   despair.     Two  days  after I  left  the ground  a
shikaree brought me the dead body of the animal,
it having been kiUed by a poisoned arrow set in a
trap of a peculiar kind by this shikaree. The body
was that of a middle-sized tiger; but evidently old,
and with a mangy skin not worth keeping. A Mr.
Yule, an indigo planter, told me that he was out
once tiger shooting with about a dozen elephants,
and in beating through a patch of high grass a
tiger got up from the carcase of a bullock. He
wounded it, when it at once turned and took one
of the mahouts from a pad elephant, killing him
on the spot. Mr. Yule again beat up the patch of
grass, when a second mahout was disposed of in
a like manner. On this he called together the
remainder, and asked them if they were willing
to continue the beat for this ferocious beast, when
they unanimously begged of him to try again.
This he did, and managed to shoot the tiger
without further accident when it charged his
elephant. The mahouts on small pad elephants*
are certainly in rather a dangerous position in tiger
hunts, and so at times are the mahouts on howdah
elephants; but it is very seldom that the sportsman
himself is in danger. A Colonel Hodgson whom I
* Those used for beating the grass or jungle.
knew weU, did however meet with a bad accident,
having been seized by a tiger- (which he had
wounded) and actually taken out of his high
howdah. He said that the tiger must have sprung
fully fifteen feet from the ground. It was, however,
the death - spring, though Hodgson was fearfuUy
torn on the right arm and shoulder. Elephants,
though very brave in facing charging tigers, are
ofttimes easily alarmed, and on the occasion when
I was out with a party and thirty elephants, it was
the practice to skin the game at night by regular
skinners who were adepts at the work, and then
the carcases of tigers or bears were carried away
into the jungle or thrown into a river if near
by. One night after dinner we heard a tremendous
trumpeting amongst the thirty elephants, and then
a rush through the grass and jungle, and on
going out we found the whole of the elephants
had stampeded into the jungle, having smelt the
carcases of two tigers that had been carried past
their picket to be thrown away. It took several
hours to collect them again and get them to settle
down quietly for the night. In tree jungle it is of
course very dangerous if elephants are frightened;
and   I   remember   Mr.   Brown,  an   indigo  planter,
being swept off his elephant, with howdah and
guns, by the animal running under a large tree
when frightened by a leopard, and it was a sight
indeed to see Sandy Brown (a very stout man) '
trying afterwards to climb up a small tree, thinking
that it was a tiger which had caused the alarm
to his usually steady elephant.
Some months before the close of 1848 I had
applied to Government for an exchange to another
appointment, as the damp climate of Nepal had
not agreed with me, and I found it very dull;
though I had always got on well with Colonel
Thoresby and Doctor Login, and report had it that
we were the only three who had ever remained so
long as two years on friendly terms, and cynics
said it was because we were bachelors. On being
offered an assistant-commissionership in the Punjab
(just annexed after most severe fighting), I at once
accepted it. This was in April, 1849, a season
when the Terai begins to become unhealthy; so it
was necessary for me to pass through it in one day,
which I managed to do on elephants and ponies.
Most people smoke the Indian hookah wThen passing
through  the   Terai   at   the  bad  season;  but  I  not
only smoked it, but also at the recommendation of
the doctor took a couple of doses of quinine before
starting, and certainly felt no iU effects from the
■journey. At Segowly I put up with the HaUs,
and at Gorukpore with the 24th Native Infantry,
who entertained me most hospitably. At the
half-way stage between Gorukpore and Lucknow I
put up with a planter of the name of Cook,
who had undertaken an engagement with the
Government to bring under cultivation, within a
given period, a very large tract of waste land,
paying a small but progressive rental. His place
was called Bastee, and I think it is now the
head-quarters of a separate district. At Lucknow
I remained during my short stay with Doctor
Leckie, the Residency surgeon, who lived in a large
house within the position which was entrenched
and rendered- so famous in 1857. The Resident
at that time was Colonel Sleeman, the well-known
official who had so highly distinguished himself in
the suppression of Thuggee, and who by his tactj
judicial acumen, and energy had worked so successfully for a long course of years, and trained a very
efficient staff of officers to follow in his footsteps.
I had been  invited to his house;   but he had met
with a bad accident through a fall from his horse
a few days before my arrival, by which his thigh
bone had been fractured, and when Dr. Leckie
took me to his house I found him lying on his
back and strapped down to the bed, for being an
elderly man, it became necessary to keep the
injured leg in one position, as by the slightest
movement the junction of the bone might be
altogether, retarded. I conversed with him for half
an hour or so, and was much pleased with his
pleasant manners and high intelligence. He was
one of the old school of Indian politicals, and a
great stickler for the rights of the natives in
opposition to that increasing and dangerous class
of English officials who fondly and foolishly
imagine that India should be ruled mainly for the
benefit of the dominant class, whilst the millions
of the dark-skinned races are to be treated as
quite undeserving of any high consideration or as
capable of holding positions of trust.* On an
elephant lent by Colonel Sleeman I paid a visit.
to the city of Lucknow and its spacious palaces,
whicb were rather of a gingerbread style of
construction,     though     the     Imambarra     and     the
Vide conduct of Anglo-Indians on the Ilbert Bill controversy.
Martiniere School were well worth seeing; the
latter having been established by Colonel Martin,
a Frenchman in the King of Oude's employ, who
had amassed great wealth many years ago and
founded not only this excellent scholastic institution
but another at Calcutta, as well as one in his
native country. He seems to have been a large-
hearted man, although of low origin. In the lower
basement storey of the Lucknow Martiniere is his
tomb, with some lay figures of soldiers leaning on
their muskets. His object in being thus buried in
the building was to preserve it from desecration at
the hands of the "bigoted Mahomedans, whom he
knew would respect his place of burial even if their
fanaticism should be aroused against an educational
establishment where the European sciences were
Lucknow. is a very interesting city to visit,
though most of its buildings are modern ; all
the palaces and public buildings are imposing
in size, and have since- the Mutiny been clothed
with much historical importance. The Residency
buildings have of course nearly all disappeared.
The   Dil   Khooshah   Park   (or   heart - opener)   has
a most English look, and several wild animals
are caged within its enclosure. From Lucknow I
went by dak to Lahore, and put up at Sir Henry
Lawrence's house, he being the President of the
Board of Administration. He told me that a
letter had been sent to meet me at Loodiana
containing orders for my remaining at Ferozepore
as assistant-commissioner, so I at once proceeded
there, being hospitably received by an old schoolfellow, Lieutenant Lester, of the 32nd Native
Infantry. I had been at work about a week, when
Sir Henry Lawrence wrote that the Governor-General
had, unknown to the Board, appointed Lieutenant
Bristow to Ferozepore, so I should have to proceed
by water to Mooltan, for which journey I soon
made arrangements by putting up a good thick
thatch over a boat of about 1000 maunds, or forty
tons burden. It was now the hot season, and
I knew that I was in for a very hot and
uncomfortable voyage down the broad stream of
the Sutlej, and so it proved, though my health
luckily did not suffer. I forget how many days
I took to reach Bahawulpoor, but I remember
that the mercury at times rose to 116 in the
boat.     At   Bahawulpoor   I managed to get a dak
of bearers to carry me across to Mooltan, which
place I reached in two. nights, and was received
as a guest by Captain James, officiating deputy-
commissioner, who with Mr. Edgeworth, of the
Civil Service, the commissioner, composed what
might be called the social circle of the outside
English, as all the military, consisting of Bombay
regiments, were located within the walls of the
large fort which had given the British troops such
trouble to capture. The country looked very
dreary and waste, and our cutcherry or office
was the old Eedgah or mosque, within whose
walls poor Vans Agnew and Anderson had been
so cruelly massacred by Moolraj's troops; which
atrocity was the spark which lit up the flames
of rebellion throughout the Punjab in 1848. James
and I lived in a small house situated in a corner
of a confiscated garden of mango trees, which
had formerly been one of the ; gardens of the
rebel Moolraj ; .but eventually I had to buUd
on another site. Captain James was a very
agreeable man, and he gave me every support
and encouragement in my new and arduous duties
of magistrate and assistant administrator. His
own time  was   much   occupied   in   what is   called
il settlement work" in the Revenue department,
viz.: fixing the assessment of the Government dues
on the land (cultivated and culturable), and it
thus happened that nearly all the criminal and
miscellaneous work fell to my lot. One of my
duties was the charge of the temporary gaol full of
prisoners; the place of confinement being an old
State garden, where accommodation had been
prepared for about 700 men, chiefly soldiers who
had been concerned in the attack on the two
Government officials in the Eedgah, as also soldiers
who had deserted the force under Captain Edwardes
at the  commencement of the  rebellion.
These prisoners one day refused to take their
rations, and climbing up the walls were making
preparations for a simultaneous outbreak; I arrived
on the spot at the most critical stage, and collected
all the men of the irregular force available. These
men were chiefly Pathaus from the Trans-Indus
villages, and about as great ruffians as could well be
found; yet all of them being bigoted, Mahomedans
they hated the Sikhs and Ghoorkas, who formed
the greater portion of the prisoners. I served out
ammunition,   drew    up   the    irregular    detachment
about fifty yards from the walls, and told the
prisoners in serious tones that unless they at once
went to their wards I should open fire on them;
they evidently saw that I meant what I said,
and knew that the guard bore them no good wiU,
but very far the contrary, so they obeyed orders,
and I had no more trouble with them. One cause
of their discontent was the stricter rules I enforced,
for up to the time of my taking charge all the
Ghoorka soldiers had been allowed to keep their
wives and children inside the toalls of the gaol.
It has to be remembered that most of the prisoners
were soldiers, and were not in confinement for
any offence of the lower description, such as theft,
or crimes connected with misappropriation of
property, but mainly for the political offence of
rebellion. As a rule the rainfall at Mooltan is very
low, but at that season the fall was heavy, and the
Chenab and Ravee rivers both overflowed their
banks, and the country was thus flooded for miles
around Mooltan, so that all communication, except
by boats, was cut off between us and the city,
as also with the office. The two Bombay Native
Regiments, the 4th and 9th, were smart looking,
and.their   native   officers were   much   younger  men
than were usually foun,d in the Bengal regiments,
as it was not the custom to adhere strictly to the
seniority system, which to the detriment of the
service so universally prevailed in Bengal up to
the date   of the great Mutiny  of  1857.
Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General, visited
Mooltan in the cold season of 1849, and he
marched with his State camp all the way from
Lahore; the object mainly being an interview
with the Nawab of Bahawulpoor, who came to the
meeting with all the Oriental pomp of an Indian
Chieftain, though rumour had it that he was in
a great state of funk, and dreaded being sent
across the Kala Panee (Indian Ocean), even to an
extent which induced him (a Mahomedan) to
consult some Hindoo astrologers as to a propitious
day and hour for the interview with the dreaded
English ruler. The presents given and received
at the great Durbar were very numerous and
costly, especially those given to the Nawab, who
it was intended to reward handsomely for his
friendly aid during the siege of Mooltan; altogether
it was a grand sight, and the Governor-General
did   his  part   well.
The sickness during the Autumn from fever
and ague was widespread, as was to be expected
after so extensive an inundation; I did not escape,
for in the Spring of 1850 my health was much
broken, and by the advice of the medical officer
I took leave to Simla, marching in tents by
myself as far as Ferozepore through the desert
country known as the Bar, where the water obtained
from deep wells is often very brackish; thieves
being numerous and cultivation very scant. My
property was not, however, once attempted by
thieves; but I had to keep a pretty sharp look-out
at some of the most suspicious - looking halting
places. I got some shooting, such as partridges,
bastard florican, and peafowl, but no large game.
From Ferozepore I journeyed by dak gharree to
the foot of the hills, and on reaching Simla put
up at the Pavilion Hotel for a few days, and
then, having renewed my acquaintance with a
Captain Tulloh, 39th Native Infantry, we agreed to
chum together in a house at Chota Simla, which
accommodation we also shared with a Lieutenant
Gordon of the 39th, and in that house we remained
till the cold season of 1850 on most friendly
terms, Tulloh managing the household arrangements
and kitchen, as he was a good caterer and fond
of seeing a good table, though too afraid of
apoplexy to at all indulge in any of his favourite
dishes. He was a stout, comfortable looking man,
whilst Gordon was a very tall, strongly-built
highlander, very fond of painting and of playing
on the cornopean, out of which he brought very
pleasant sounds when he favoured us with a tune
in the large  verandah.
Tulloh played the violin, though he knew
not a note of music; his ear was, however, so
good that he easily picked up whatever he heard
the regimental bands playing. He was very careful
of his instrument, and knowing Gordon's propensity
for pulling things about, had often requested that
he would not touch his violin. One day, however,
after Tulloh had started for a ride, and Gordon
and I were smoking in the sitting room, he
said, "By jove, I'll have a tune on Tulloh's
violin," and opening the box, took out the
instrument and commenced strumming on it, when
suddenly a string snapped, and the violin was
returned to its case. Tulloh, after dinner that
evening,    as   usual   took   out   his   violin,    but    on
seeing it damaged he merely gave Gordon a
look and replaced it in its case. Next morning
I saw him carry off the instrument in its case,
and he returned in a few hours with a neat-made
concertina, which he had got in exchange from
a music shop. This instrument he placed in
a box in his bedroom, but after a few days it
had been found out by Gordon and received
equally bad treatment, and was partiaUy sflenced.
Poor Tulloh's forbearance was thus sorely tried,
but he took it like a true martyr, and carrying
off the concertina to the town got rid of it also.
Otherwise these two men got on extremely weU
together, but TuUoh knew that any musical instrument, unless always under lock and key, would
soon get damaged by Gordon's irrepressible
propensity for fingering everything in the rooms.
When the lease of the house expired at the end
of the season Gordon returned to his regiment,
whUst Tulloh and I went to chum with a Doctor
Ebden in another house more conveniently situated
for the winter. Before taking up my quarters in
the new house I made a trip across the hiUs to
Mussourie — fourteen stages over the worst roads
I had seen since leaving Nepal.     So bad was the
track (for road it could not be called) that laden
mules could not pass over it in some parts; so
all my baggage had to be carried on men's
shoulders. The precipices were of great depth,
and took away the breath of timid people not
accustomed to the Himalayas. The river Tonse
was difficult to get across, owing to the rickety
state of the wooden bridge, over which animals
could not pass, so my two nags had to cross
the swift stream by swimming, which the pony
managed to do with difficulty; but the Arab
getting frightened at the roar of the rapid close
to his flank began to paw the water, and was
quickly swept away over the roaring rapid,
rolled over and over the rocky bed, and carried
some way down the stream until he most
pluckily reached the bank on the side from which
he had started, somewhat bruised, but not
seriously damaged. He was there caught, bound
with ropes, and hauled across by coolies in a
most ignominious manner for an Arab, and which
to me was quite a novel proceeding. His groom
had swam alongside him at first, but when he
was swept away, the man just managed to
escape  by the  " skin of his teeth."    At Mussourie
I put up at Major Tritton's, an invaHded officer
formerly of my regiment, of whom I have made
mention in a previous chapter. He was Hving
in a house of his own, and had an EngHsh wife
and a smaU chUd; as also two boys growing up,
the offspring of a native woman. After a stay
of a few days, I proceeded back to Simla vid
the dhoon or valley skirting the hiUs and past
Nahun, which I found to be a far more interesting
route than through the lulls, for the Deyrah
Dhoon—as it is called—is picturesque in the
extreme, and likewise affords very good shooting
for a sportsman not afraid of hard work, as
also very good fishing. At Nahun (the residence
of the Rajah) I had a visit from the chieftain,
who I think had been misled about my rank
and standing in the service; for I am sure
that had he known I was merely an assistant-
commissioner, he would not have come to see
me with such a very imposing retinue. I found
him to be a very inteUigent man, and had a
long confab, with him. From Nahun I passed on
to Dugshai, a new hUl station for English troops
situated on a lofty and very bare hUl, but with
a fair  extent of table land.      This place, as also
KussowHe and Subathoo, are all within easy
distance of each other, and form most delightful
places of abode for troops in the hot season, and
must have saved many hundreds of English lives.
Report has it that the English soldiers greatly
prefer the plains at all seasons, where they can
enjoy their rambles through the bazaars, and
also manage for a fuller supply of the forbidden
and deleterious liquors. In these hills, however,
many of the soldiers employ themselves in forming
collections of the rare kinds of butterflies and
insects, selling such at high prices. One very
good box of butterflies so collected I bought at
Simla in 1853, and afterwards presented the same
to  the museum   at  Peshawur.
The new road from Simla to the plains was
in its earliest stages of construction when I
passed through Dugshai. It is fifty-eight miles
long, and at places as wide as fifteen feet,
though the general width is twelve feet. It is
made at a very easy gradient except at Dugshai,
where a tunnel will eventually be made, and I
suppose long ere this has been opened. The rise
I   was   told  was   never   more   than   two   feet   in
100. It had been Lord Dalhousie's intention to
carry it into Thibet on the Chinese frontier, and
I believe it has been completed for more than
100 miles beyond Simla, though not to full width.
I have never myself been beyond the fifth
march from Simla, where the scenery is very
grand, and the view of the snowy range at
morning and evening perhaps the very best in
India. It is in the neighbourhood of Nagkunda
(fifth stage), and below the mountain peak caUed
Huttoo, that sportsmen first sight the beautiful
Monal pheasant, which shoots swift as a rocket
from its feeding ground on the steeps to the
dense jungle below. I have made mention of
this pheasant in the. chapter on Nepal. The
cheer or long-tailed spotted (Argus) pheasant is
also found at the first stage from Simla, and
bears are often come across at the third and
fourth stage during the apricot season; but things
have probably changed during the long interval
since I was in those parts. The faee leopard
is likewise found in the Himalayas, and was
much given to carrying off pet lap-dogs at Simla
and Mussourie, being bold enough to visit the
pubHc   mall   or   riding   road   on   dark   evenings.
The   small    barking    deer    called   kakur   is    shot
often near  Simla.
During the winter of 1850 I occupied a
house in the centre of Simla with Captain
Tulloh and Dr. Ebden : the latter being one of
the two surgeons in joint medical charge of the
sanatorium. Some heavy falls of 'snow occurred
about Christmas, and I enjoyed, after the lapse of
more than ten years, a good bout of snowballing
with Captain Tulloh. The society of Simla was of
course much reduced in winter, and for amusement
we were thrown much on our own resources, which
mainly consisted in reading, walking, and smoking,
with occasionally a few days' shooting near Mahasoo
(first stage), where we waded in deep snow after
deer or pheasants. Ebden was a most agreeable
and intelligent companion, taking a vast interest
in the practice of his profession, and holding
advanced and enlightened views on most subjects.
He was engaged to a Miss Plummer, a sister-in-law
of Mr. Forsyth, the assistant-commissioner whom
I succeeded at Simla, and they were only waiting
for her father's consent to have their marriage
consummated; but, alas! for Ebden's happiness,
the  engagement some   few months  afterwards was
broken off by the young woman's caprice; her
feeHngs having, I think, been worked upon by
her brother-in-law, Mr. Forsyth, and her sister,
Mrs. Forsyth, who fully anticipated that she
would be able to captivate a civiHan of high
standing in the service. Such a hope was,
however, doomed to be bHghted, and eventually
Miss Plummer returned a disappointed spinster to
England, whilst Ebden many years afterwards,
when he had retired from the service, married a
widow at the Cape of Good Hope. Miss
Plummer was about twenty-five years old at the
time of her engagement, was highly educated,
and in appearance fresh and healthy looking, with
a high colour, good features, and bright inteUigent
eyes. Ebden showed me some of the correspondence
that had passed between them, and the warm
terms of the letters gave indication of much
attachment; but she must really have been
rather cold-hearted to have thrown him over so
hastily. Her friends afterwards made some
attempts to bring the affair on again, but Ebden
very properly I think received coldly all such
overtures, and perhaps saved himself from an
unhappy marriage.
In the winter season I received from the
Governor - General an offer of the assistant-
commissionership of Simla, and a few days
afterwards a letter came from Sir Henry Lawrence
offering to appoint me to Lahore or some other
good district. I of course accepted the first offer;
though it appeared rather irregular for the
Governor-General to interfere with appointments
usually made by the Board of Administration. I
forgot formerly to mention how I got the Nepal
appointment; but Dr. Login told me all about it—
how that Sir Henry Lawrence, the Resident, was
told to send in the names of two officers for the
appointment then about to be vacated by Captain
Ottley, and he sent in the name of Lieutenant
Lumsden and mine. The first, because he had
been a great friend of his father; and mine,
because I had ridden seventy-five miles on a
camel to join my regiment when ordered on
service, and had also passed the Interpreter's
Examination in Oordoo and Persian as well as
Hindee. Lumsden though first mentioned was
passed over, as there were so many officers of
his regiment on staff employ. The appointment
at   Simla   was   for   two   years,   and   glad   indeed
was I to get so good a berth, as I had not
quite recovered from the Mooltan sickness. The
work was heavy, mainly owing to the lazy
disposition of my superior, Mr. Edwards of the
CivU Service, who hardly ever came to office,
and so threw nearly all the work upon my
shoulders. The class of civd cases were those
which in mUitary stations come before Courts of
Request, in which officers and merchants or
tradesmen are concerned. Thus the unpleasant
task often devolved upon me of having to attach
the property of persons who had left Simla
deeply indebted. Many of the European Htigants
considered themselves well versed in law, and
often came into court with heavy law books under
their arms, making vain but zealous efforts to
persuade me that black was white, or at all
events whity-brown. I generaUy found that a
little quiet reasoning brought these gentlemen
round to a calm common-sense view of matters,
and saved them from subsequent outlay in purse.
The society of Simla is composed of a few"
retired officers or invaHds who own most of the
houses, which in my day perhaps numbered 400.
Then   there  are   the   officers   on   the staff  of the
Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief with
their families, also officers on leave, civil and
military, married and unmarried, with a goodly
proportion of grass widows, whose husbands are
toiling at their desks in the hot winds of the
plains. There is an immense deal of gaiety,
and a great deal of fine weather in which to
enjoy out-of-door festivities—the season being from
April till November. There is also a vast amount
of flirtation, some of a dangerous character, but
often very innocent, between the said young
grass widows and the idle bachelors—some of
the women behaving very foolishly and getting
themselves talked about very early in the season
by being constantly seen in the company of
particular male friends, on whose horses they do
not scruple to ride, though as often as not the
said men are quite unknown to the husbands,
and can hardly claim an acquaintanceship of
perhaps more than ten days or a fortnight. Verily
it is not to be wondered at that satirical writers
so frequently style Simla and other hill stations
as the Capuas of India. Simla is, however, so
extensive that for quietly-disposed persons there
is    every    opportunity    for    keeping     much     to
themselves or to a confined circle without
attracting notice as peculiar, when not joining
with the madding crowd bent upon frivolity.
When I first came up the hotels consisted of
two, neither of them first-rate, and seldom inquired
after by families, being far too noisy and quite
wanting in the needful privacy. In 1851 Lord
Dalhousie was Governor-General and Sir Charles
Napier was Commander-in-Chief, and both passed
the hot season at Simla. It was there their
first small difference arose, and afterwards burst
out in full bloom, and came only to an end on
the resignation of the latter, who being bitterly
mortified at the treatment dealt out to him threw
up his responsible and lucrative post. . I daresay
both were somewhat to blame, for Lord Dalhousie
was imperious in manner, and Sir Charles
ill-brooked any control, so they could never work
together without much friction.
Lord Dalhousie was a comparatively young
man for the important position he held; but his
conversation, State papers, and general bearing
gave indication of great abiHty and self-reHance;
the latter being so necessary a qualification for a
Governor-General. He never enjoyed very
health, owing to a scrofulous taint; but he looked
fresh in face, and had the bearing of a true
nobleman. Sir Charles Napier must have been
over sixty years of age, being short in stature,
sharp in features, and of thin frame. He was
very much liked by his staff, with whom he often
joked in rather coarse phraseology when in good
temper, and abused when out of sorts, though not
in a vicious way. He was always very bitter
against Lord Dalhousie, and nicknamed him the
"Laird of Cockpen" in contemptuous and depreciatory terms.
In the height of the season a very serious row
occurred between a Mr. Lang, editor of the
Mofussilite newspaper, and a Lieutenant Rose in
the Public Works Department of the Government.
It was brought to Mr. Lang's notice that Lieutenant
Rose had talked about his making an exhibition of
himself in a drunken state the previous night at a
party at Colonel Mountain's house. Lang, on
hearing this, at once wrote to Lieutenant Rose
that he should take the earliest opportunity of
horsewhipping him for spreading such a false report.
Lieutenant Rose being evidently fearful that Lang
would carry out his threat, went to the Magistrate's
Court and swore the peace against the threatener.
Lang on being summoned, appeared in the court
carrying a large hunting whip, which the magistrate
told him to leave outside, and then bound him
over to keep the peace. On hearing this Sir Charles
Napier was extremely angered against Lieutenant
Rose, and ordered him under arrest for trial before
a Court-Martial, " for having acted in an unofficer-
like and unbecoming manner in not taking steps to
protect his honour." The Court - Martial sat for
several days, and as several ladies gave evidence,
and contradicted each other in a most amusing
manner, there was of course a great deal of
cheerful gossip in society on this exciting topic,
more especiaUy as Lieutenant Rose was defended
by Mr. Quartley, the rather popular chaplain of the
station. Lieutenant Rose was acquitted, and very
properly; but he lost his appointment, and was
universally condemned by his brother officers for
having sought the protection of the law against a
man who was not likely to have carried out his
threat, as Rose was twice his size. Lang was a
very notorious man—very clever and very unscru-
pulous, and wrote very amusing books, plays,* and
newspaper articles. In the previous year he had
been mixed up in a serious row about cards, and
accused a Mr. Macleary of the Civil Service of
cheating by marking the cards. A hostile meeting
was to have taken place between these two, but
both were bound over to keep the peace within the
Simla jurisdiction. A month or so afterwards Lang
left Simla, and was followed by Macleary, who had
vowed to horsewhip him somewhere on the road to
the plains. He overtook Lang at the first staging
bungalow, and on seeing him Lang came into the
verandah and promised to give him satisfaction at
KussowHe, the next station, where both would be
able to get seconds for a duel. The story is that
they both had dinner together and got drunk, and
then rode on to Kussowlie the next day, where no
duel ever came off or any settlement; in short, no
one ever heard, as far as I knew the real facts of
the case, except that all ended in smoke—though
none of  it came from the muzzles of  pistols.
I  remained  at  Simla  as  assistantrcommissioner
till the  cold season of   1851, when at the doctor's
* The well-known play, "The Overland Route," was written by
him and Mr. T. Taylor.
recommendation I took leave to appear before the
Medical Board at Calcutta, making over charge to
Mr. Metcalfe (afterwards Sir Theophflus Metcalfe).
Lieutenant Eckford, of the 6th Native Infantry,
was my companion down country in a country boat
(neatly fitted up) from Meerut; our start being at
about the end of October. We journeyed by slow
stages, staying at important places en route, such
as Futtehghur, Benares, Moorshedabad, etc., etc.
It was a slow way of progressing, but in those
days a very common one, and as we were both
suffering from a long stay in India in very hot
stations, we benefited much by the clear river air,
and on reaching Calcutta looked fat and hearty.
My complaint was almost constant headache, brought
on by excess of office work. A short stay was
made at Dinapore, where my regiment was stationed
under the command of Colonel Handscomb, an old
chum of mine. It was here that I first met in
India my brother Gussy, having left him in England
a boy nine years of age. He was not looking very
well, as his face was pale ; but he was muscular,
and broad in figure. He was studying with his
moonshee, and getting on well; being also much
liked by his brother officers,  especially by Baugh
and Mackenzie. On leaving Dinapore I made over
to Gussy my pet dog Jumpy (a very pretty little
terrier), and very much the little animal must have
felt the .parting, having been a great pet, even to
the extent of being allowed to share my bed in
cold weather. At Calcutta I stayed at Spence's
Hotel, and Eckford became a guest at the house
of a Mr. Mackenzie, a merchant. I must here
mention what a very narrow escape we had through
our own imprudence of being carried by the strong
tide at night-time against some of the cables of
the large ships at anchor in the Hoogly, as we
foolishly persisted, against the advice of the experienced native boatmen, in continuing our course
after dark from a wish to anchor near the city of
palaces, and it was only by the great skill of the
men that we were saved from a capsize and the
consequent sad termination of a very enjoyable trip,
for few even amongst the best swimmers can
contend with the strong under - current of the
Hoogly river.
I left Calcutta early in 1852 for the Cape of
Good Hope on medical certificate, for in those days
officers holding  staff   appointments were obliged to
resign them on taking leave to Europe. The ship
was the "Windsor Castle," and we had a very
pleasant voyage of six weeks. At our first dinner
the captain told us of the presence on board of
thirteen young sucking pigs, all of one Htter, and
we ate them all up before reaching Table Bay.
Captains Rattray and Davies, two friends of mine,
were in another ship bound for the Cape, which
kept company with us for the first night in the
Bay of Bengal; and I lost a bet with Davies for
a dinner as to priority of arrival, and payment was
made by a picnic at Constantia. I weU remember
how on reaching Table Bay early in the morning
some of us hurried off in a boat for the best hotel
(Mrs. Parke's), on the full certainty of revelling in
fresh butter with rolls, but, alas! in place of the
former we got only the salted article with the taste
of " inferior Cork." I then learnt that fresh butter
was rather a precious article at Cape Town, though
perhaps there has been improvement on this head.
At the hotel I met Mr. Oswell, the great African
traveller and friend of Livingstone, who had
formerly been in the Indian Civil Service. The
society was very pleasant, there being so many
Indian officers,  civil  and military;   but the colony
did not strike me as very flourishing, perhaps owing
to a want of enterprise in the Dutch, who form
much the larger portion of the community. At
one time the Cape supplied large numbers of
remounts for the Cavalry in India ; but the
Australians have now entirely secured that market
by their superior enterprise. Most of my time
was spent at Wynberg, a pretty village a few miles
from Cape Town, and I got accommodation in a
very favourite boarding - house kept by a Mrs.
Usher; all the lodgers being officers from India.
I have heard the Cape hotels abused; but nothing
could have been more comfortable than our Wynberg
boarding-house. The chief waiter was an African,
who had been taken out of a captured slaver^ when
quite a boy, but old enough to remember his former
life; and he told me that his native village was in
Central Africa, and that he was the son of a king
who was killed in the fight which made him a
slave. He had nothing of the Negro in his features,
which were pleasant to look at and indicative of
much intelligence, the forehead especially being
well developed. He expressed no desire to return
to his native country, and said that he had nothing
to  complain  of   since his   release   from   captivity;
having been taught to read and write English, and
receiving good pay,
I joined the Cape Town Club, and found
many agreeable people there. In the country
riding parties were very frequent, and it was at
Wynberg that I met my fate in the shape of a
wife, and on the 30th October, 1852, I was married
to Agnes Sophia Blackburn, daughter of Joseph
Blackburn, Esq., a merchant; and my fate proved
a most fortunate one, as my chief happiness and
contentment in life I can truly say has been due
to my marriage. Our honeymoon was spent at a
farmhouse at Erste River, a few miles from Cape
Town, and on our return to Wynberg the Indian
civilians and officers gave us a large picnic party;
most of the hosts and guests coming in omnibi
drawn by four horses—and the affair was considered
a great success. Captains Rattray and Davies both
married at the Cape, and the alteration in the
Indian furlough rules in 1868 must have damaged
the prospects of   many spinsters.
Our voyage to India was a very long one,
such being due to a breakdown of the machinery.
At the Mauritius where we  coaled we put up for
a night and day with Captain Ireland, and his
house being a very comfortable one and well in the
country, we had a very pleasant visit. We also
touched at Galle, staying at an hotel, where the
mosquitoes were as bad as at Calcutta. On arrival
at Calcutta in March, 1853, we went to Spence's
Hotel, and on calling on the Private Secretary to
the Governor-General I heard that my appointment
at Simla would be for another year, which was a
favour I had hardly expected. I did not delay
joining, as the hot weather was at hand; so we
were soon journeying in a dak gharree on the
trunk road, stopping at the Dak Bungalows during
the great heat of the day, and with the aid of
tatties* and punkahs we found these rest-houses
quite bearable, and both of us being in good
health we rather enjoyed the novelty of the
journey. At Simla I got a suitable house called
Rose Bank, it being the same as many of us had
jointly rented in 1845. Lord William Hay was
the Deputy Commissioner in place of Mr. Edwards,
but did not work a bit harder than his predecessor.
Lord Dalhousie was still Governor-General, and Sir
Watered mats of a sweet-smelling grass.
William Gomm the Commander-in-Chief, a very
different style of man from Sir Charles Napier.
They both remained at Simla during the hot
season, and as usual the gaiety was pretty
continuous; Agnes and I joining in it to a satisfying extent, but no more. I managed to get
Agnes a nice riding horse, or rather galloway, and
most of our visiting was done on horseback; such
being a common custom in those days, and very
convenient, as the distances were often great and
up and down steep gradients. Gussy paid us a
short visit, as his regiment was at Delhi. Lord
WUHam Hay was generally away in the interior
on what he called political work, which I fancy
mainly consisted of shooting; but as he was
brother-in-law of the Governor-General, he had
his own way pretty weU. The work for me wag.
consequently rather heavy, and I was detained a
good deal at my office. Agnes, however, had
plenty of resource, and found pleasant occupation
in music and painting until I came home for the
evening ride; she had besides many visitors.
Georgy Hall, of my regiment, came to Simla on
leave, and we saw a good deal of him and his
delicate - looking   wife.      The   only   drawback   to
perfect contentment was my small pay, Rs.500 a
month, and this obliged us to be very careful, as I
had some debts to clear off. Agnes soon got into
the way of keeping house, and seemed to like the
native servants, which of course I was delighted
to see, as so many young people get prejudiced
against them, chiefly from entire ignorance of their
daaracter, and so greatly lessen the comforts of
their Indian households. The heat of the Indian
•climate for so many months of the year, coupled
with the mosquitoes, sand flies, and other insect
troubles, as well as the control of a large number
of servants, is certainly a considerable tax upon
the powers of youthful housekeepers, and requires
.a good allowance of the true philosophic spirit to
make your Hfe a contented and at all a comfortable
one; and by questioning old Indians you can easily
ascertain whether they possessed the indispensable
quality, for if not, they eagerly remember every
discomfort, and forget to tell of the real comforts;
whilst the true philosophic individual will have
forgotten all the drawbacks, and wrill descant
joyfully on the pleasures of the Indian life.
Young men or women when the marrying time
arrives do not generally fully realize the fact that
most of their future happiness will depend on the*
character of the life-partner that is chosen, and he
or she must bear well in mind the Vicar of
Wakefield's advice, that "great care must be taken
"that the choice falls on an article that wiU wear
well" In this it was not meant that a youngs
man should choose a girl who wfll make a good
domestic drudge, but one who wfll bear up well
in all the up's and downs of a chequered life.
For the guidance of my unmarried sons, I freely
give them my own experience—that a woman most
certainly looks, and is, at her best when employed
in domestic duties, and at her worst when discussing-
politics or other pubHc matters, for which her
reading and training hardly ever qualifies her,
and do not the achievements of the dames of the
Primrose League show us that, demoraHsing as
politics are to men, yet they act upon women in
an intenser degree.
In the winter of 1853-54 I received a letter
from Sir John Lawrence, the Chief Commissioner
of the Punjab, asking if I would like to take up
the Assistant - Commissionership of Peshawur, and
the   letter   was   couched   in   rather   complimentary
terms. I accepted the offer, and by the end of
February, 1854, we reached the frontier station of
the Punjab, where many reputations have been
won and also lost. Major Edwardes (afterwards
Sir Herbert) was the Commissioner, and Captain
James, my old companion at Mooltan, was Deputy
Commissioner; both rather remarkable men in their
way—the former as a ruler of men in troublous
times, and the latter as a civil administrator. The
station was a very large one, consisting of several
regiments of Infantry, besides Cavalry and Artillery.
We put up at Captain James's till we got a house
of our own, and on the 25th April, 1854, our
first child was born, and was christened Charles
Augustus. Major Edwardes declared that he was
the first thoroughly English - looking baby that he
had seen in India. My judicial work at Peshawur
was heavy, as crime was rampant, especially the
more serious offences of murder and highway
robbery; it being also a practice of the hill-men
to attack frontier villages, and carry off the wives
of wealthy Hindoo traders and others from whom
they knew a good ransom was obtainable; but I
never heard that the women thus carried off had
been badly treated.     All the hill tribes were wild
and lawless, especially the Afreedees of the Khyber
Pass and the adjacent hills. The Momunds also
Were very powerful, perhaps the most so of all the
tribes whose boundaries marched with ours. There
were three forts in the direction of the Momunds,
viz., Michnee, Shubkuddar, and Abozai; and at
each were small garrisons of Cavalry and Infantry,
expected to turn out at a moment's notice to aid
the villagers in repeUing assaults, and also to cut
off the retreating enemy. Generally, however, in
such small encounters we came off second best as to
loss of men. I visited these forts, and others too,
during my stay at Peshawur, and as the climate
agreed with us I liked the frontier work—being
stationed at Murdan, in Eusufzai, during the hot
season of 1855; and there we lived in a house
on one of the bastions of the fort, which was
garrisoned by the celebrated Guide corps—Major
Taylor, the commandant, and his young wife
occupying half of the house. This was a
temporary arrangement whilst a new house was
under construction for my accommodation. Shortly
before our arrival at Peshawur, Major Mackeson,
the Commissioner, had been kiUed by an assassin,
who had crept up to the verandah (where Mackeson
was sitting in a chair smoking) and stabbed him
in the side with a large Affghan knife. On being
stabbed the Major seized the weapon with his
right hand and tried to draw it out, whilst the
assassin, a hill-man, tried to force it further
inwards, and whilst thus struggling a native (ex
Kotwal*) seized the man, and with aid from others
secured him after getting a bad wound. Major
Mackeson died the next day, and the murderer
after trial was hanged and his body burnt.
It was said that the Moollahsf of the city tried to
console those who sympathized with the murderer
by telling them that his ashes would make soorma
(antimony) for the eyes of the beautiful houris
of Paradise; but as all good Mahomedans (especially
those who have taken the Hves of Kafirs) look
forward to enjoying the company of the houris
after death, such poor consolation hardly contented
them. In my account of the attack on the Khyber
Pass by General Pollock, I mentioned Mackeson as
a very daring officer, and I ought to have noted
his extremely venturesome ride from Ali Musjid to
Peshawur on the very day of the successful attack,
* Head of the town police.        f Mahomedan priests.
simply with the object of returning to his post
and of despatching the news to India proper.
His escort were a few irregular horsemen, and
though frequently fired at by bands of Afreedees,
yet Mackeson and his brave followers reached
Peshawur unwounded. A memorial piUar was
erected to his memory in the Peshawur cantonment, and on it were inscribed the words of Lord
Dalhousie, the Governor-General, which had been
published in the Government Gazette —" That
under other circumstances the death of Major
Mackeson would have dimmed a victory, but to
have lost him thus by the hands of a foul assassin
was indeed a most grievous blow to the Government
of India," etc., etc. Mackeson knew weU that the
fanatical hUl-men thirsted for his blood; and at his
house at Peshawur he was in the habit in the hot
season of spending much of his working hours in
an underground room (tih khana), and he had
made a subterranean passage from this to the
garden in case of a body of men effecting an
entry from above, and in this room he always had
weapons ready to hand; and yet after aU such
precautions the assassin easfly effected his object in
the  open   day  and   in  an open verandah—having,
as   he    admitted,   watched    some    days    for   his
When in Captain James's house, Agnes awoke
me one night by calling attention to an upper
window about six feet from the floor, from which
proceeded a strange creaking sound just as if
some one was gently pushing the window open
from the outside. I at once went quietly outside
with a pistol to that side of the house, but could
see no one; and on examining closer I found that
the noise had been caused by some thick paper
placed in lieu of glass, and a torn end of it
was being gently blown against the window frame.
I mention this to show how people were always
on the alert, and very suspicious of night noises.
An armed guard was always in the verandah of
each civil officer's house, and I remember how one
night Captain James being restless walked into
the front verandah and found the sentry and the
rest of the guard fast asleep; and on James
rousing them up and pointing out how useless
they were as protectors, " Ah! Sahib," replied the
officer of these irregular levies, "if you are killed
by any of those scamps we will speedily make
minced meat of  them."    It was afterwards thought
wiser to give guards from the regular regiments.
Divine service was held in the Masonic Lodge;
and a regular church was not finished at Peshawur
for some years. The queerest selection for a
church bmlding was that made at Lahore, where
the tomb of a celebrated courtesan of the Imperial
era was transformed into a suitable place of
assembly for the worship of EpiscopaHans, and up
to present times has remained as such; though,
a cathedral is in course of erection now that
Lahore has been made a bishopric.
In the winter of 1854-55 the station was
visited by several notables, viz.: John Lawrence,
Robert Montgomery, Donald Macleod, Captain
Nicholson (a born ruler of men), and last though
not least, Hyder AH, the heir - apparent of Dost
Mahomed, the Cabul Ameer, who came for an
interview with John Lawrence, the Chief
Commissioner of the Punjab, and a grand Durbar
came off at Jumrood, opposite the Khyber Pass.
All the above-named • Englishmen came prominently
to the front in after years, and more especially
the first and last named in the Mutiny of  1857.
Chaptee   VII.
jT Murdan, in the Eusufzai country, my
predecessor as Civil officer had been
cc^>^» Captain Hodson, afterwards so well-known
as the Commandant of " Hodson's Horse." He
had also held the command of the Guide Corps;
being therefore chief Civil and Military officer
of the Sub-Division. Both these good appointments
he had lost owing to his treatment of one of the
leading chiefs, whom he imprisoned and accused
of being concerned in a murderous attack on
Lieutenant Godby, of the Guides. This officer
when in the garden at Murdan was stabbed in
the back by an oldish man, whom it was alleged
by informers had been in the employ of Kadirkhan,
an influential chief who was charged with having
instigated him to the crime. Sir Herbert Edwardes
reported that Hodson had acted most unjustly and
harshly to this chief, and as Hodson at that time
had been accused of mal-appropriation of regimental
funds, he was considered by Government as unfitted
for so high an appointment, and had to return to
his original corps, the 1st Europeans. In frontier
society opinions were much divided on Hodson's
affair, and many thought that he had been harshly
dealt with, and that if the chief had been badly
treated, such was owing to an error in judgment
only. I saw a good deal of Hodson when I was
at Murdan, and I never thought him a straightforward man, though he was undoubtedly very
clever, and a first-rate soldier. Major ReyneU
Taylor, who succeeded him in the command of the
Guides, had to go through his regimental accounts,
and thought that "there were no grounds for
suspecting him of dishonesty:" but then, Taylor
could hardly ever take a harsh view of the conduct
of a brother officer; though one day he certainly
did say " that it was very difficult to get a straightforward answer from Hodson." A MiHtary Court
of Inquiry had been assembled at Peshawur to
overhaul and report on Hodson's regimental
accounts; but as he was able to produce only a
copy of a day book, and not the original, which
he alleged had been destroyed, the Court saw
that   all   further   enquiry would   be   futile,   as  no
reliable accounts were forthcoming. I one day
asked an old native officer of the Guide Corps
what opinions the men had formed about Captain
Hodson's conduct, and he replied "that it was
quite possible from having so very much, work
to attend to, besides that connected with the
commandantship and civil duties—viz.: construction
of the fort, aligning of roads, and other public
works—his accounts may have got into a confused
state, which left him open to much suspicion; and
then, above and beyond all this miscellaneous work,
there was his great khidmut (service) for the mem
sahib (wife), for he always seemed to be a most
devoted husband, ready to leave any office work
and attend to her behests at any moment." She
certainly gave me the impression of one who had
a rather masterful spirit, though all who knew
them thought the devotion was mutual. In society
Hodson could make himself very pleasant, and his
figure was of average height and of active build.
He had bright blue eyes, light coloured hair, and
well-cut features.
My   duties   at   Murdan  were   not   Heavy,   and
the people behaved well  on the whole during my
  «.J \-V«.c?^^^^^^^^^^-:^'/.
llff v
mm .- \1
incumbency; though on one occasion there was
an alarm of intended attack on a viUage about
twenty miles off, where some chiefs from independent territory had sought refuge from their
enemies. As a measure of precaution, I took out
the Guide Corps after consulting with Major
Taylor; but nothing came of it; and though
a large number of men had assembled, and burnt
a village in independent territory just on our
border, yet our frontier line had not been
At Peshawur, and also at Murdan, the Civil
officers never went out of the cantonment bounds
for a drive or ride without an escort of two
mounted policemen as a measure of protection
against assassins, and I remember on one occasion
a frontier man was seen coming out of Captain
James's compound in a suspicious manner, and was
arrested by a guard of soldiers who happened to
be passing, one of them having, observed a concealed
pistol beneath the man's cloak. He then admitted
that his intention had been to shoot Captain James;
but as James spoke to him in such kind terms, he
had not the heart to kiU him.     I need hardly say
that measures were taken to prevent his doing
mischief for some years. In those times my duties
necessitated very frequent visits to the city of
Peshawur; but I was never insulted, nor saw
reason to expect an assault from anyone I came
across; yet the Affghan as a rule is a sad bigot,
and must detest the rule of the Christians. Just
before we left Peshawur Captain Hamilton, of the
Public Works Department, was in camp close to
a police station a few miles from the city, when
a band of hill-men suddenly attacked him at night,
setting fife to the tents and killing a number of
his workmen and clerks; the object of the attack
being some treasure which Hamilton had just
received from Peshawur for his establishment. On
awaking and finding his tent on fire he jumped up,
seized his revolver, and made for the door, shooting
down a hill-man who had attacked him with a
large knife, and by cool courage eventually made
his way to the fortified police post, where he
found the guardians of the pubHc and their native
Officer in a dreadful fright; and before he could
arouse them to the required fighting pitch, the
robbers had made off with the treasure and their
dead comrade.
After our departure Major Adams, the new
Deputy Commissioner, was mortally wounded by
a fanatic near one of the city gates when on
horseback. The victims of assassination were far
too numerous for me to give any detailed account
of such in these pages; but nothing to be compared
to the victims of fever and dysentery, and the
former disease was very rife during my two years,
yet we never suffered, neither did Captain James.
On being relieved at Murdan by Captain
Urmston, assistant-commissioner, at the commencement of the cold season of 1855, we returned to
Peshawur, and took up our abode in that officer's
house, paying him a high rent for the accommodation; and there on the 26th I.October, 1855,
our second child was born, and christened Emfly
Helen Blackburn. Whilst I was at Peshawur the
new rule came out for examination of assistant-
commissioners in Law (Civil and Criminal) and in
Revenue administration, so I had to go through
the troublesome ordeal, much to. iny disgust; and
I also  passed in colloquial Pushtoo.
I cannot but think of the great changes that
have   happened within   the   past   forty years with
respect to officers in India (Civil and Military),, who
when I entered the service had no examinations
to- pass, and even "that, for military men as to
physical qualifications was very superficial; and
one of jmy medical examiners asked me simply "if
I could bite off the end of a cartridge!" in his
ignorance imagining that officers carried muskets.
The second doctor punched me about a little, and
tested my eyesight, but never asked me to strip.
Young cadets before leaving England had to appear
before the Chairman and Directors of the East
Indian Company and be sworn in before them,
and also listen to an address from the Chairman.
My friend Bristow had been fighting with his
brother the day before such appearance, and had
a black eye, which the officious clerk at the office
told him might have lost him his appointment, to
which remark my irascible friend replied—" That
his medical attendant was the best judge of his
fitness." Bristow was very hot-tempered, and over
21 years of age (22 being the limit), and on board
ship had a row with the captain of the ship, whom
he knocked down on his own quarter-deck; being
confined to his cabin for the rest of the voyage as
under arrest, and on arrival at Calcutta was severely
reprimanded by the Commander-in-Chief. I also
remember that when he came to see the budgerow
or country boat we had engaged at Calcutta, the
head boatman had omitted to carry out some
instructions of his, on which Bristow hurled his
heavy silver-mounted whip at the man, who dodged
the weapon and it fell into the deep water of the
Hoogly. It was a present from a dear friend, and
Bristow was frantic at the occurrence, making the
boatmen dive for it time after time, but without
any result. I was looking on, and thought it a
good lesson for him. On meeting him some years
afterwards in the upper provinces, he told me how
he had lost the services of a most excellent servant
he had engaged at Calcutta. I certainly never saw
a better one, for the man was his valet, table
attendant, and tailor, and remained with Bristow
for some years; but on being engaged, he had
told his master that if ever he struck him, nothing
would induce him to remain. Bristow for some
years never touched him, often as he had been
angered by imaginary shortcomings; till one day
at Meerut he had yielded to passion just before
going to mess, and gave the man a blow. On
returning home late at night the valet could not be
found; but the keys were on the drawers, and an
account up to date, with the exact balance of
money in hand after deducting wages due. He
never set eyes on this servant again.
I have mentioned about keys and money; it
being the custom in India for. officers who are
bachelors to make everything over to their valets
or bearers, who also get advances monthly for
household expenses, giving in an account at the
end of the month; though often officers who are
careless neglect to take any account, but trust
entirely to the honesty of the bearer, who not
improbabty is often quite deserving of such
confidence, for as a rule they are a most excellent
class of servants. In these days young officers in
the Queen's service who cannot speak the language,
get hold of a low class of bearers, who have picked
up English in a bad school—viz., the barrack yard,
and they must not be astonished if occasionally
their trust is betrayed.
My pay at Peshawur was 700 rupees a month,
and with it we managed to get on comfortably.
Agnes did not wish to ride very much, so I kept
two riding nags for myself and a buggy and horse
for us bothg and when required, Agnes used one
of my horses for riding purposes. Ladies did not
generally ride beyond the cantonment bounds, as
the hill people were often loafing about fully armed
ready to carry off horses, as such loot was greatly
prized by them. Two ladies were driving one day
in a buggy near the old fort, at a short distance
from the cantonment, when two armed men sprang
out of a ravine, and seizing the horse's head, made
them dismount from the buggy, from which they
speedily unharnessed the horse and made off with
it to the hills. On another occasion a young lady,
the daughter of a medical officer, was riding near
the cantonment with Captain Grantham, when an
Afreedee seized her horse's bridle and told her to
dismount. Captain Grantham rode at the man to
strike him with his hunting whip, and got a mortal
wound from a large Affghan knife. The young
girl ran into the cantonment; but assistance came
too late for Grantham, who was found dead. I
could relate many other sad tales of attacks on
officers and others by the hill assassins, who gloried
in taking the life of a Kaffir; and a blow from
an Affghan knife was generally a mortal one, as
they are heavy weapons, often two feet long, and
very sharp.
During 1854-55 there were some severe shocks
of earthquake at Peshawur, but none as bad as
that of 1842, already mentioned. Ofttimes they
were bad enough to make people in cantonment
run from their rooms into the garden, and many
houses were cracked at the corners of the walls.
A great place of resort for officers at early morning
was the large verandah of the Artillery Mess-house,
when chota hazree and gossip were discussed; and
these meetings I often joined, generally finding
Captain James there, who Was a man possessing
a great fund of anecdote when his spirits were in
proper tone, which was not always the case. He
amused us once by the story of his first love affair
when on board ship en route to India at the age
of 18, his beloved being the daughter of a civilian
holding a high appointment at Madras. The girl
was about his own age, and was going out to
join her father under her brother's care (a young
civilian). James was the guest of the father at
Madras, and being encouraged by the brother to
declare himself, he took an early opportunity after
dinner of letting the father know of his aspirations,
and that the girl was favourably inclined. James
said the   old   gentleman   merely  looked sternly at
 T\>aw\ tfaBobvlLfiaftJerttArtL^^
him, saying "I think, young man, it is time to
move to the drawing room," at the same time
walking off himself. James lost no time in getting
his hat, and made at once for the ship, which left
the next morning for Calcutta; and from that day
he had heard nothing more of the family. Captain
James was a married man, but in 1854-55 his wife
was in England with the children; and people said
that he treated her more as a servant than a wife.
Her father was an uncovenanted Government official,
and when she was very young James was taken by
her pretty face, thinking that he would be able to
mould her mind; but as he was a very clever man,
it is very likely that he found there was no mind
to mould. I, however, never saw Mrs. James, and
am writing mainly from report; though from a
little story James once told me of a friend of his
who tried to educate his wife and failed most
signally, I have good grounds for thinking that
common report gave the true version.
In 1854 a Mission under Mr. Pfander was
established at Peshawur, and Colonel Martin, lately
of the Indian service, gave it much pecuniary
support,    at   times   accompanying    the    preachers
{English and Native) to the city. A story was
told of his being with a native preacher, (a Persian
convert) one day in the bazaar,. and after listening
to the man for a short time the crowd took offence,
and commenced to throw stones at Colonel Martin
and the preacher. Seeing that things looked rather
dangerous, the Colonel recommended a retreat; but
the Persian was against such a movement, and
expressed himself as ready to die for the faith
then and there. Martin, however, would not agree
to anything of the sort, and insisted upon a speedy
retirement, which at once was effected. Pfander
was a first-rate Oriental scholar, and had published
a book in Persian called " Mizan al Hakk," showing
the superiority of the Christian over the Mahomedan
religion; and it was said that this book had never
been answered, by the Mahomedan moollahs, who
found. themselves unable to refute its arguments.
The life at Peshawur may be said to have
always been rather exciting, and one instance in
particular which I may . mention here was an
outbreak in the gaol which was under my charge
in 1854, when I was also in temporary charge of
the entire district owing to Captain James's absence
at Murree. I had commenced to smoke a cigar
after dinner one night when a mounted policeman
rode up to the house with , the news that the
prisoners had rebelled, knocked over the head
gaoler and some warders, and were escaping over
the walls. I at once ordered my horse and rode
to the scene, when I found that the disturbance
was over, and that thirteen of the convicts (all
very long term or life prisoners) had been killed
whilst eight had got clear off. It seems that the
prisoners had risen against the gaoler and warders
when paraded and counted before being locked
up for the night; and there being a ladder within
the gaol, and a heap of bricks brought inside for
necessary repairs, the prisoners used the first to
climb to the top of the high wall, and the second
became useful as missiles for knocking the police
sentries from their high positions at the corner of
the walls. These guardians had matchlocks which
were not loaded, so a goodly number of the
prisoners managed to get over the wall before the
alarm had reached the outside guard; but when
the latter appeared on the scene they at once
attacked the fugitives with swords, cutting down
the. number above mentioned;   some of  the police
receiving severe injuries from large bamboo sticks,
which the prisoners had found ready to hand
within the enclosure. An old Sikh policeman had
shown great courage by pushing his way through
a crowd of prisoners and then pulling away the
ladder up which so many had already passed, and
he was well rewarded by promotion and a gift
of cash. There was of course great excitement
at my arrival, and one young policeman ran up to
me holding out his naked sword and crying—"See,
Sahib, my sword is quite as bloody as any of
the others, and yet I am only an oomedwar"
(probationer). The escaped men were never
recaptured, as the Khyber Pass was only a few
miles off, and the night was very dark. I at
once wrote off an account of the affair to Captain
James at Murree, and on his showing my letter
to Sir John Lawrence, the latter remarked " that
the police had behaved well; but what will the
Judicial say to such a slaughter?" referring to Mr.
(afterwards Sir Robert) Montgomery, the Judicial
Commissioner, who was supposed to be rather too
tender-hearted; though I do not believe that such
was the case, as during the mutiny of 1857 he
made it  apparent to all rebels and mutineers that
no over-tenderness of heart prevented him from
dealing out to them their full deserts. I always
found Peshawur as a city highly interesting, as
the costumes were so various and the streets and
bazaars very picturesque.
To show how very distrustful we were of the
frontier tribes, I may mention that the head civil
officer at Murdan never went into camp without
an escort of about 100 men of the Guides,
Infantry, and Cavalry.
Before the close of 1855 I was appointed
to the Ferozepore district as officiating Deputy
Commissioner, and we travelled by dooly dak, as
the road had not then been metalled to allow of
dak carriages; the only horsed conveyance being
the mail cart, which was too rough for ladies.
The dak-bearers in the Peshawur district were very
inferior, and had to sling the dooly in a way
which jolted the traveller most disagreeably. All
journeying by night was dangerous, and the mail
cart had been stopped by robbers more than once
near Peshawur. Our journey was not entirely
pleasant, as I had an attack of fever and ague on
the very first night, after entire immunity for two
years in the valley. Luckily Doctor Pfander, the
missionary, was at the dak bungalow, and he
dosed me with very good effect.
Having now attained to the charge of a district,
I will describe shortly the work which fell upon
a district officer in the Punjab in those days;
though reforms have been carried out since which
divided |the executive from the judicial work.
Imagine, then, a large tract of country, mostly
under cultivation, from 1,500 to 2,000 square miles
in extent, with a population of half a million
spread over a very large number of villages and a
few towns, and such area for facility of administration formed into perhaps five sub - divisions,
each immediately under a native collector or
tuhsildar. At the head-quarters of this district
are the Deputy Commissioner and his three or
four assistants, one or two perhaps natives; all
their work being apportioned out at the discretion
of the head officer, who would generally make
over charge of a sub-division or more to the more
experienced assistants; all the important reports
coming to the Deputy Commissioner. The assistants
worked   in  all three  departments — viz.:   Revenue,
Criminal, and Civil, and one would have charge
of the treasury, another of the gaol, and a third
of the Local Government works—viz. : buildings,
roads, bridges, plantations, etc., and for the officials'
working accommodation there would be a large
public building called a cutcherry or court-house,
with commodious rooms and the needful offices of
all kinds for the clerks (European and Native), and
for the stowage of the records and treasure. At
head-quarters also there would be the chief police
officer and his assistants, also the civil surgeon.
For each tuhseel or head-quarters of a sub-division
there would be suitable offices for the estabHshment
and branch treasury, as the main duty of the
sub-collector was the collection of the land revenue,
the excise, and other dues, ranging perhaps from
seventy to eighty thousand pounds sterling, or
more in some districts. These officers also had
power to dispose of small cases in all departments,
the appeals from their decisions being to the
Deputy Commissioner. In each sub-division there
would be, besides the police posts, a certain number
of dispensaries with native doctors, most of such
having accommodation for patients of both sexes;
also  schools for boys and girls under Government
inspection, and at stated periods yearly the
Deputy Commissioner had to submit elaborate
reports on the working of every institution, and
on the work done in the revenue, civil, and
criminal departments; so that with such multifarious
work it can easily be seen that a district officer
had very little leisure time, his daily post bag
being indeed a strange sight for an outsider who
had seen only the easy-going miHtary Hfe in India.
But, notwithstanding the all-absorbing character of
a civil officer's work, it was undoubtedly highly
interesting to anyone who liked the natives,
and really felt that the mission of the English
in India was a high and privfleged one, and it
certainly offered a fine field for the display of
intelligence,  patience,  and forbearance.
Besides the work mentioned above, there were
in most districts a fair number of Government
stalHons, bulls, and rams for improvement of the
several breeds; and all these had to be looked
At Ferozepore I relieved Mr. Brandreth, who
had taken leave to England, and I bought his
house, which was a good one, with a large garden.
My pay was about 1000 rupees a month, so we
were well satisfied with the change. In the hot
weather Agnes took the two chfldren to Simla,
and occupied a house near Chota Simla, which
was adjacent to one where her old friend
Mrs. Rattray Hved; so she had opportunities for
talking over old days at Wynberg; and as
Captain Rattray was in the same forlorn condition
as myself, they could condole with each other.
I found Ferozepore greatly improved since 1841,
many good houses, as also a church, having been
built, and several of the roads metalled. Towards
the close of the hot season I joined Agnes at
Simla, and stayed there for two months. One
Sunday we were riding to church alongside of
Mrs. Mercer's jampan, when at a broken part of
the road Agnes' horse started, and backed so
much that his hind legs got over the precipice,
and he fell backwards. I at once jumped from
my horse, and with Captain Mercer ran to the
hill-side, when I found that Agnes had managed
to throw herself off on to a ledge of rock,
while the horse had rolled a long way down.
She was quite unhurt, and the horse only rubbed
in   places,  though   the   saddle   was   a   good   deal
damaged. I attributed the escape to her having
on her usual walking dress, as a friend had kept
her so long in fastening a dress that there was
no time to put on a riding habit, so she rode
with a shawl thrown over the skirt, and was
thus enabled to throw herself off on the wrong
side  of the horse.
The cholera was bad at Ferozepore during
the autumn of 1856, and the Artillery suffered
very severely from its ravages. The 70th
Queen's also had losses, but not quite so bad.
There were two native regiments and a Cavalry
one, besides some Artillery. I think the Artillery
lost thirty per cent, of their men, and I can
remember that nearly all the children who used
to attend the Sunday School classes had died
from the pest. The Nawab of Mumdot, whose
territory adjoined the Ferozepore district, had got
into very bad repute from his tyrannical conduct
towards his subjects; and so numerous were the
complaints against him that the Government of
India thought it necessary to order an inquiry
into his conduct through the Commissioner of
the   Division,  Mr.   Barnes;   and this   officer,   after
personal investigation on the spot, recommended
the deposition of the Nawab and a protectorate
under the Punjab Government, who, through the
Ferozepore Civil Authorities, was to administer
the country, making over any balance of revenue
there might be (after allowing for cost of
administration) to the Ex-Nawab, who was
to live at Lahore. The territory, by order
of Government, came under my control, and
Mr. Thompson, one of my assistants, was employed
as a settlement officer; and when living in the
territory in tents at Mumdot itself, he was
attacked one day by a fanatic, who rushed at him
with a drawn sword exclaiming that " he would
kill the accursed Feringee." Thompson, who was
standing outside his tent, had seen the man
running from the direction of the town and had
time to get his own sword; but just as the
man came within striking distance a young
native orderly who was in attendance drew his
tulwar,* and jumping immediately in front of
Thompson, cried out "You will have to dispose
of me  before   you   can   touch   the   Sahib."     The
•* Native curved sword.
fanatic, a large powerful man, made a violent
stroke at the orderly, who warded it off skilfully
with his own weapon, and then managed to cut
the ruffian over the head and bring him to
the ground, when he was easily secured. It
turned out that the man was a Mahomedan,
who had gone religiously mad, and hoped to
gain paradise by killing a Christian. The
orderly was, of course, handsomely rewarded for
his plucky conduct. I may mention here that
the Nawab had got possession by force or
fraud of the wife of one of his subjects, a
cultivator of the soil, who lodged a complaint
with Government, and after inquiry, it was
ordered that the Nawab should restore the
woman to her husband, but the chief declared
"that the charge was false, and that such
indignity he could not suffer and live; so that
if force was attempted, he would die sword in
hand at the threshold of his palace gate in
defence of his honour." Attempts were made to
bring him to reason, but without effect, and I
had made preparations to take some soldiers
with me, and to force an entrance to his
zenana,   when   the   extra   assistant-commissioner   (a
native) brought me a message that the husband
was ready to take 500 rupees as compensation
for the loss of his wife, and would make no
further stir in the matter; so a report was made
of this to Government, and I recommended that
such arrangement be sanctioned, to which the
Punjab Government accorded sanction, and a
troublesome affair was settled—of which I was
glad—for people who knew the Nawab thought
that his Pathan pride had been aroused and he
intended  to hold out like  a true  soldier.
Early in 1857 I was transferred to the
charge of the Goojranwala district about thirty
miles to the north of Lahore, and here I took
up my quarters in the house belonging to Major
Clarke, my predecessor. The building was of
Oriental architecture, with much ornamental work
about it, and had belonged to the celebrated
Sikh chieftain Hurree Singh, who in Runjeet
Singh's reign had been killed in the great fight
beyond Peshawur, in which the Affghan Army'
had been defeated with heavy loss. The property
had descended to Hurree Singh's heir, who, in
1849,  had  sided with  the   Sikh   rebels,  and  as  a
punitive measure, his property had been confiscated
to the State. Major Clarke rented the property
from Government, and had made many alterations
in the house so as to fit it for the residence
of persons accustomed to English ways, and
he had likewise looked well after the large
garden in which the building stood. This he
had stocked with young Maltese orange trees,
which yielded a fruit very much superior to
the oranges of India. On my first arrival at
Goojranwala alone, I had been the guest of
Mr. Steel, of the Public Works Department, and it
was at his house I had a narrow escape of
being blown up, for it was very cold, and Steel
had made up a large wood fire before going to
bed, both of us sleeping in the same room;
when on awakening the next morning, I saw
that some lighted wood had fallen from the
grate on to the matting which covered the
entire floor, and that this matting had been
burnt close up to the bedsteads, under which
there were several large canisters of gunpowder.
I suppose it was the absence of any current of
air which kept the matting from bursting into a
flame, and  so  it  had  kept  on  slowly  smouldering
for so many hours. The Bishop of Madras,
officiating for the Bishop of Calcutta, paid a
visit to Goojranwala shortly after our arrival,
and put up with us, as he had to consecrate
the small new church and burial ground. I
remember that the bishop at breakfast was
talking rather enthusiastically of the great
number of converts to Christianity in the
Southern part of the Madras Presidency, and oil
his bearer (or valet) entering the room, I asked
him if that was one of the converts. " Oh, dear,
no," replied the bishop; "that man is a high
caste Rajpoot, a thoroughly honest person who
could be trusted with untold gold." The man
was a fine-looking fellow, and the bishop knew
well that he was more trustworthy than the low
caste men of Madras, who turn Christians often
with the object of obtaining a rise in the
social scale. Before the hot weather had set in
I had arranged for Agnes to stay at Meean
Meer, and for that purpose I rented Captain
Mackenzie's house for a few months during his
absence at Simla, and Agnes was • in it when
the Mutiny broke out in 1857. This separation
was necessary,   as   there   was   no   English   doctor
at Goojranwala. The first intimation of the
outbreaks at Meerut and Delhi came in an
express by the hand of a horseman sent by Mr.
Montgomery, Judicial Commissioner at Lahore.
The letter had been very hurriedly written, and
told "how the native troops at Meerut and
Delhi had risen in open mutiny, killed many of
their officers, and that the universal cry was for
the slaughter of the Christians—likewise that the
sympathies of the native soldiers were with their
caste brethren, and that we (civil officers) if
possible should get rid of our treasury guards
composed of sepoys, and relieve them with Sikh
policemen. My chief assistant, Captain Presgrave,
was on leave at Simla, and Mr. Wood was my
only European assistant, his wife and small
family being with him. I at once brought them
over to my house, where Mr. Chalmers, of the
Public Works Department, also took up his
abode, and putting a loaded pistol into my
pocket I went to the Treasury building (after
arranging for a police guard), and told the native
commissioned officer that he and the guard must
return to Sealkote (twenty miles off) and rejoin
their   regiment,   the   35th   Native    Infantry,    that
night. The men and their native officers looked
sour; but all started off at evening after being
relieved by the police (Punjabees), and I was very
glad to get rid of them, though their English officers
and also Brigadier Brind, commanding at Sealkote,
were very angry at my summary proceeding,
the latter saying that he would report me to
the Commander-in-Chief; my reply of course was
that I was acting under instructions; and LI;
heard nothing more from that quarter. From
Government I sought permission to raise a
levy of Sikhs and Punjabees, and sanction
was given for a levy of 300 men, for whom
arms and ammunition would be sent from Lahore.
In carrying out these orders I was greatly assisted
by Captain Chalmers, or rather as he then was,
Mr. Chalmers, whose services the Government
placed at my disposal, and he worked as a kind
of adjutant in drilling and clothing the men;
being a man' of a thorough soldierly spirit and
one who had himself been trained as a soldier,
having ran away from home at an early age
and enlisted in - an Infantry regiment from
which he afterwards got his discharge, and
entering the Sappers  obtained permission to  study
engineering at Roorkee, and after qualifying
succeeded in procuring an appointment in the
Public Works Department. He was a married
man, but his wife and he could not get on
well together, so he allowed her to Hve in
England with their only child (a little girl).
Chalmers afterwards went to Delhi as adjutant
of the new Sikh regiment that had been raised
at Lahore, the men being low caste or Muzbees.
I often heard from him about the progress of
the siege, and he seemed to be quite in his
element, setting no value on his life and ready
for fighting at any moment. There was no
outbreak in the Goojranwala district, but I must
have raised levies to the number of 1,000 men
or more, all of whom were drafted into different
regiments when required. I also on one occasion
took out 300 of them to the borders of the
district beyond Shaikpoora, where the Khurrul
tribe dwelt, as a large portion of them had
broken out in the Lahore district adjoining mine,
and it was probable that all the tribe would
join against the Government. Those of my
district, however, kept quiet, perhaps owing j to
the    arrival    of   the    levy.      Agnes   remained   at
Meean Meer in barracks after the disarming of
the native regiments, such being by the order of
the general, who thought that private houses
were unsafe for the ladies. Our third child,
Grace, was born in the Meean Meer barracks
on the 16th June, 1857, and it was not for
some three months or more that I was able to
get away from my district and take a run into
Lahore on the mail cart to see Agnes and the
children. Unfortunately, it so happened that on
the very day I took a holiday to see my wife
and children, John Lawrence, the Chief Commissioner, arrived at the house for the day, on
his way to Lahore from Murree, and of course
he must have felt angry at finding me away.
Mr. Blackall, my assistant, was at the house,
and performed right well the duties of host to
John Lawrence and his secretary; but when
they were running in an undressed state to take
a swim in the large reservoir just opposite the
house, the fates so ordered it that in a darkish
passage between the bedrooms, Mr. Blackall's head
came into violent contact with Lawrence's
forehead, and this I suppose did not tend to
improve   his   temper,   as soon   after   my   return   I
received a letter calHng for an explanation of
my conduct in going to Lahore without leave.
Sir John Lawrence told me afterwards that he
should most likely have passed it over, but
unfortunately on the same day he heard of the
district officer of Loodiana having gone without
leave to Delhi to witness the final assault of
the trenches by the English troops. When the
14th Native Infantry mutinied at Jhelum I went
there with 100 men from the police, and I
mounted them on camels as Captain Elliott,
Deputy Commissioner, had asked me for
assistance. However, by the time we reached
Jhelum the mutineers had cleared off, and made for
the Cashmere hills. This was after a very stubborn
fight with the wing of the 24th Queen's. Very
soon after my return from Jhelum I had to go
to Sealkote with Major Lawrence, Military
Secretary to Government, as a Commission to
inquire into the conduct of the military police
during the recent mutiny there, and we had to
sentence to death by hanging the two head
native officers of the mounted and foot police,
one being a Sikh, and the other a Punjabee
Mahomedan.     We   also   tried   and   condemned   to
death the gaol darogah,* who had behaved very
badly, and released the prisoners. All these
three were hanged at once in our presence, and
before the small garrison of newly enHsted Sikhs.,
Likewise were some men hanged who had been
concerned in plundering the military station after
the mutinous regiments of Cavalry and Infantry
had left. All the officers and ladies who had
escaped when the mutiny occurred had found
shelter in the old native fortress close to the
native town, at a short distance from cantonments.
In this fort there was only one good building,
which had been the hall of audience of the
native governor in old times, and here the ladies
and officers of all sorts had taken up their abode,
and for some days had to put up with poor food
and much discomfort in the very hottest time of
the year. The commandant of the station had been
killed by some cavalry men of the 9th Regiment,
having trusted the native soldiers to the last
This   officer,   Brigadier-General Brind,  appeared
to have been  quite infatuated in his trust  of the
* Head gaoler.
native soldier, and had, as previously mentioned,
been very angry at my sending off the Treasury
guard. At Sealkote (when the mutiny first broke
out at Delhi and Meerut) there were the 52nd
Queen's, a battery of English Artillery, the 35th
and 46th Native Infantry, and the 9th Cavalry
(native). The 52nd were sent off at once to form
part of the • movable column, and so was the 35th
Native Infantry and the battery of Artillery, and
at this time Brigadier Brind had the option of
disarming the 46th Native Infantry and 9th Cavalry
before dispatching the English troops. This he
would not do; but expressed his full confidence in
them. Captain Balmain (who lived with him) told
me that up to the morning of the mutiny at
Sealkote the brigadier still felt this confidence in the
sepoys' loyalty, and that when a native officer of
the 9th Cavalry galloped up to the house and
informed the brigadier that the men were mounting
their horses he looked perfectly dazed, on which
Balmain got his own and the brigadier's horses, and
they both mounted with the intention of riding to
the fort; but being overtaken by the mutinous
troopers, the brigadier received a shot in the back
near the loins, and was just able to reach the fort,
while Balmain managed to shoot one of the troopers,
and escaped the bullets of the others. The brigadier
died in a few hours, and most bitterly must he have
felt the mistake he had made, as from an entire
want of preparation for an outbreak many valuable
lives were lost; whereas had there been an
agreement to assemble with arms at some
convenient house centrically situated all might
have escaped, as the chief object of the
mutineers was to make off speedily for Delhi.
Some of the Cavalry behaved very well to
their commanding officer, Colonel CampbeU, and
taking him and Mrs. Campbell to the quarter-guard,
they protected them from the more violent and
murderously-inclined men of the native regiment.
It was just the same at many other stations where
the attacks on the officers were made solely by the
Mahomedan troopers, and not at all by the sepoys.
Several other officers had been killed by the
Cavalry, but the ladies had not been touched;
neither did the 46th Native Infantry commit any
violence, but actually spoke in civil terms to their
officers before marching off for Delhi. They offered
the command to Colonel Farquharson, their colonel,
and said he might have 1,000 rupees a month, and
permission to Hve on the hills during each hot
season if he would remain with them. The colonel
was married (irregularly) to a native lady, and
had some children by her, and report had it that
she went off with the colonel's head table attendant
or khansaman, a very hot rebel. Mr. Monckton, the
head civil officer at Sealkote, escaped from his
house lying on a native bedstead, and was carried
(with a sheet over him) by four natives into the
fort on the pretence that they were taking a
corpse from a village near to the town. He had
a narrow escape. The hanging of the native
officers was a ticklish business, as the loyal garrison
of the fortress, on whom our sole dependence rested,
were mostly Sikhs, and the ressaldar of the mounted
police was an old Sikh who had been condemned
for misconduct almost entirely on the evidence of
the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Monckton. The man
met his death bravely, as did all the others, with
the exception of the native officer of the foot
poHce, and he showed much distress. The gaol
darogah (a Brahmin) when brought to the foot of
the gallows made a run for his life and jumped
down into the road below the fort, a drop of more
than thirty feet.     A soldier  of the  52nd Queen's,
who was on the walls of the fort, managed,
however, to hit him in the leg with a bullet from
his rifle as he was running up the street. This
soldier was one of about half-a-dozen who had
been left behind in hospital when his regiment
marched to join the movable column. When the
darogah was suspended from the gallows the rope
broke, and he was shot dead whflst lying on the
ground by the Sikh guard, and I never saw a
man die harder, or shower out such fearful curses
upon anyone than that man did upon . myself,
Major Lawrence, and all foreigners, whilst the
Sikhs were shooting at him. I have mentioned
that the condemned men met their deaths in a
plucky manner, and I may say that such was
very generally the case, with the sepoys at all
stations, and I heard of only one at Jhelum
who gave signs of fear and begged for his life,
saying to the English officer who was standing
near that "he was quite ready to become a
Christian if the Sirkar* so wished it;" which
shows how mistaken these deluded men were
as to the intentions and wishes of the British
Government. <m tmi
At Sealkote there was a nunnery, and when
the men of the Cavalry were riding up to the
house bent on mischief they were met by the
head priest and all the nuns in procession, the
priest carrying a large cross; which sight so
astonished the troopers that they at once rode off
without molesting the party or touching any of the
property. An old woman, the wife of an officer's
washerman, saved her master's property by
crying out near the gateway of the compound,
when the Cavalry mutineers arrived, that her
master's house had been plundered and her goods
taken by the Infantry; and when the Infantry
appeared she told a like story against the Cavalry;
so that both branches of the mutineers abstained
from entering the house. Major Lawrence and I
left Sealkote after a couple of days, as Captain
Elliott, who had been appointed Deputy
Commissioner, had arrived and taken charge from
Mr. Monckton, who through illness was obliged to
give up work.
In a record written so many years after the
events, it is but natural that some occurrences should
be mentioned out of their proper order; for instance,
I must mention now what occurred a very short
time before the Mutiny broke out, as it excited
some interest at Lahore and other parts of the
Punjab. Mr. Roberts was then my Commissioner,
and one day a messenger from him brought
me a confidential communication to the effect
that the bearer was a trustworthy man and had
important information to give about concealed
property of the Ex-Ruler of Mooltan (Moolraj the
rebel chief), and his story was—" That he was a
discharged police officer, and knew that a short
time before the seizure of the Mooltan fort and
city, and the capture of Moolraj, the chief had
sent about five or six lacs (£50,000 or £60,000)
worth of gold, silver, and ornaments to one
Dabee Dyal, a merchant residing at Akalgurh,
about fifteen miles from Goojranwala; Dabee
Dyal being a near connection and a great
friend of Moolraj." The statement received
corroboration from another man, the informer's
companion, so I started off for Dabee DyaFs
house the same night with about thirty mounted
police under a native officer; and at early
morning we reached the town. Dabee Dyal was
at home, but denied having any concealed treasure.
Afterwards, however, on my saying that search
would be made, he admitted that he had property
to the value of perhaps one-and-a-half lacs of
rupees (£15,000) buried in the corner of an
ante-room; but that all this was his own. On
search being made, treasure consisting of gold
bricks, English sovereigns, Indian gold mohurs
and rupees, and gold and silver ornaments to
about the alleged value were discovered in copper
vessels about a foot below the floor of an ante-room.
A list of all this property was made over by Dabee
Dyal, such list being on a very small piece of
paper taken out of a golden amulet worn on
the neck by his wife. The old trader declared
he had no further treasure concealed in the house
or elsewhere; but the informer recommended more
search, so the flooring of most of the rooms was
dug up; but nothing more discovered. The
property was then locked up in a large box
and placed under a guard, and every enquiry
made as to the truth of the informer's
statement; but there being nothing to convince
me that the property was Moolraj's, and therefore
liable to confiscation, I reported at once to
Government,   sending   the   whole   proceedings   for
their information. I got no instructions till a few
days after the massacres at Meerut and Delhi,
when orders came for the restoration of the
treasure to Dabee Dyal, who of course was very
grateful, and his young son, just arrived at his
majority, was delighted to find his father possessed
of so much property. I may remark that the
Mutiny made the Indian Government very
circumspect about their behaviour to native chiefs,
and by Lord Canning's very proper and considerate
policy the days of confiscation are gone. Had the
case of the Nawab of Mumdot occurred after
instead of before the Mutiny, he would not, I
believe, have lost his territory. It was Lord
Dalhousie who so greatly encouraged the East
India Company in annexing the territories of rulers
who had misgoverned, and the case of Oude made
the British rule very unpopular; whilst Lord
Canning's just and sensible policy has greatly
increased the strength of our hold on India, so
that there is now no grievance of a burning
nature to agitate the native mind. I may mention
that old Dabee Dyal proved himself a loyal
subject throughout the Mutiny, and was afterwards
made    an   honorary   magistrate    by   the    Punjab
Government. He always expressed great gratitude
to me for what he styled my very fair treatment
of his case and considerate conduct in the days
of his distress and humiliation.
I found that wolves in the Goojranwala district
were far more destructive to human and animal life
than was the case at Ferozepore, at least to judge
by poHce reports. One day when Agnes and I
were standing near some laden carts just before
the house at evening time, prior to their despatch
into the district, a wolf seized a kid close to us
and carried it off through the garden and over
the wall. I remember also at Wuzeerabad, a town
in the northern part of the district, a large wolf
jumped over a low wall into a courtyard of a
native house, and seized a baby lying on a cot;
on hearing the noise the mother ran out, when
•the wolf dropped the infant which it had killed,
and running through the room seized and carried
off another small child which was on the floor of
the room, and the child was never seen again.
This reads almost like romance, but it is strictly
true. I had only one tour in the district with
Agnes  before   she  went to  Meean  Meer with   the
children, and we visited the wildest parts near
Shaikhpoora first, where there was a curious old
Mahomedan tomb, which was held as very sacred by
both Mahomedans and low caste Hindoos, and our
servants did not at all like the idea of encamping
at so sacred a spot, as it worried the spirit of the
saint, who would be sure to show his anger
afterwards in some way, and told us how
young civil officer when in camp there a year or
so before had for fun jumped over the tomb of
the saint, and that in a few days he was attacked
with a bad fever which killed him after a short
illness. It was true that a young officer had caught
a fever and died after enjoying a few days?
shooting near the place; but I insisted upon our
tents being pitched at the place for a night, and
so afraid were the servants that after dark they
nearly all found their way to the tomb with some
small offerings to propitiate the soul of the saint.
It was about the close of 1856 that we had invited
my youngest sister Sophia to join us in India, as
also Carry Blackburn, Agnes' younger sister. I had
sent £200 for Sophia's journey to Calcutta and
outfit, and afterwards money for her journey up
country, as there was no leave obtainable to allow
of my meeting her. All Carry's expenses had been
provided for by her father, and he was to pay
me for her expenses in India. Sophia was, however,
to be our guest free of expense.
Carry joined us at Goojranwala before the
Mutiny broke out, and went to Meean Meer with
Agnes; but poor Sophia never got beyond AUygurh,
where at the dak bungalow she was told of the
outbreak at Meerut, and by advice of some English
traveller returned to Cawnpore, as the road to
Meerut was considered unsafe, and at Cawnpore
she was killed, with so many others, by order of
the Nana when Sir Hugh Wheeler's force was
destroyed. Poor girl, I only had two or three
letters from her after her arrival in India; the
last having been written at Cawnpore, the others
at Calcutta, when she was staying at the Turnbulls'
(friends of mine), who had received her. Her
Cawnpore letter was written after the force had
gone into the entrenched positions. I never heard
any particulars of her death; but Major Tytler
(afterwards General Tytler) who was on the staff
of General Havelock when Cawnpore was recovered
from   the   mutineers,   wrote   me   word  that  it  had
been clearly ascertained that she had been shot
down on a boat which was just about to leave
the ghat,* and that she had a child of Major
Wiggins in her arms. If this was the case, she
escaped all the horrors of the slaughter-house, as
it was called.
Mr. Wood, my assistant at Goojranwala, was
taken ill, and Mr. Blackall succeeded him, being
a wild spoken, excitable man, and of very little
real use to me, except for Treasury work.
After the 9th Irregular Cavalry had mutinied
on the Trans-Indus frontier, I was warned that
it was very probable the mutinous regiment, or
part of it, would pass near Goojranwala en route
for Delhi, and I should do what I could to rouse
the country people against them. All this I
communicated to Blackall, and a few days
afterwards he came to me in the middle of the
night, saying in a very excited way that the 9th
Cavalry was then passing along the trunk road,
which was a few yards beyond my garden wall.
He declared he had .seen them himself, so I took
my loaded   gun, as  he   did   his,   for   defence  not
* Landing-place on the Ganges.
defiance, and we both went to the end of the
garden, the night being a clear one; when, lo!
and behold! all we saw was a large number of
laden bullocks passing down the road towards the
city. Poor Blackall was dreadfully ashamed; but
it was a proof of how excitement can overshadow
all the reasoning faculties.
As an instance of how little Mr. Blackall was
fitted to act independently, I must mention that
on the day I took the men to Jhelum to aid the
authorities when, the 14th Native Infantry broke
out, a detachment of about fifty Hindustani
soldiers of a Ghoorka regiment on its way to
Delhi arrived at Goojranwala en route for
Abbotabad. Mr. Blackall jumped at once to the
conclusion that being Hindustanis they must be
mutinously disposed, and would therefore be certain
to join the 14th Sepoys, so with the aid of the
Sikh levy he at once disarmed them in a very
rough way, for the Sikhs were not contented tfeafc
they had appropriated all the silver and copper
coins to be found on the sepoys, but also took
possession of the native officers' ponies. All were
likewise  placed in  gaol   in   irons.     On  my  return
I had of course released all from prison, and made
restoration of what property I could recover from
the plunderers. Mr. Blackall got a very severe
reprimand from the Government for his injudicious
and harsh conduct; but so excited had his rather
weak brain become, that he always viewed his
proceedings as very meritorious and deserving of
high praise.
I luckily was getting the full salary of Major
Clarke, for whom I was officiating, viz.: 1,500
rupees a month, or I could never have managed
the great outlay in the hot season of 1857, for
so many officers were constantly passing through,
as also ladies, that I was obliged to keep almost
open house, and there was also the cost of the
second establishment at Meean Meer. I, however,
was fortunate in having a capital jemadar of
orderlies, who kept my accounts and looked well
after everything. One night I heard a row near
the sitting room, and on going to the small
entrance room from the verandah I found this
jemadar struggling on the ground with a man
whom we succeeded in capturing, and discovered
that he was a discharged table attendant of Captain
Chalmers, and had come after a small box in
which rupees were kept, and which the jemadar
always placed under his pillow. Just to the front
of the house there was a good sized reservoir about
-five feet deep, in which some fountains played,
and these latter I removed and made a capital
bathing-place of the reservoir, which was always
kept full of fresh water, and greatly added to the
comfort of myself and visitors.
Shortly after the mutiny at Sealkote, a Miss
Graham (a young girl nineteen years old, and
daughter of a Doctor Graham who had been killed
at Sealkote) stayed with me a few days on her
way to Lahore. When the troops mutinied her
father took her in his buggy and drove off
towards the fort, but was confronted by some
troopers who at once shot him down by her side,
ciying out that "she would not be harmed, but
they were determined to kill every officer." The
poor girl, in a half fainting state, managed to drive
on to the fort with the body of her father in the
buggy, • and when with me her nerves were in
that state that she seemed to dread even the sight
of  a native  to  such  an extent that when starting
for Lahore she begged me not to send the
mounted police with her who had been told off
to escort her dooly. So to quiet her I allowed her
to start without them, telling the men to keep
the dooly in sight, but not to ride very near it,
for to have allowed her to go alone would have
been dangerous at that turbulent period.
Our eldest boy, CharHe, having been suffering
from bowel complaint, was sent early in the hot
season to Simla to Mrs. Knowles, an old friend,
where he seemed very happy; but at the panic
there about the Ghoorka regiment at Jutog a few
miles off, Mrs. Knowles with many other Simla
inhabitants fled to Kussowlie to be near EngHsh
soldiers, and doubtless the rapid journeying did much
harm to Httle Charlie, then about three years of
age; and in the autumn Agnes went to him from
Lahore with Grace (the baby), leaving Emily with
her aunt Carry at Meean Meer, where I joined
them in the cold season after being reHeved by
Major Clarke, who had returned from England.
I made but a short stay at Lahore with Gussy,
and then journeyed with Carry and little Emily
to Ferozepore  to  take  up  my appointment  there,
having observed that Gussy and Carry were on
more than friendly terms. I had on going to
Goojranwala sold my Ferozepore house to a
Captain Raynor of the Ordnance Department, so
I had to look out for one to rent, and succeeded
at last in getting a good one on the mall, after
a month or more's stay in rather a poor one near
the cutcherry.* When the Mutiny broke out
Captain Raynor still owed me a good part of the
purchase-money for the house, and as he had been
reported as killed at the Delhi massacre, being
attached to the magazine there, I had naturally
felt very anxious about the money. It afterwards
appeared that he had escaped in a wonderful way
after the explosion at the? magazine, and eventually
found his way to Meerut, which place his wife
with her family had reached after undergoing
great hardships besides great perils. Agnes soon
joined me at Ferozepore, with baby (Grace) and
dear little Charlie, who, alas! was in a dying state;
lingering on for a few days* only, and breathing his
last on the 8th November, 1857. It was a dreadful
blow to us, as he was such a very fine boy, and
of  a most engaging disposition, being a little more
 than three years and six months old. He did not
seem to suffer much, but had been fearfully reduced
by the  complaint (dysentery).
I find that I have omitted to make any mention
of the destruction of my regiment, the 26th Native
Infantry, so I now supply such omission. The
regiment had been disarmed at Meean Meer, as
already mentioned, at the commencement of the
Mutiny, and for more than three months had shown
nought but good behaviour, nay, were held to have
shown a good spirit in offering their great coats
for the use of the troops at Delhi when the cold
season was approaching. I think it was early in
September, 1857, before the fall of Delhi, that one
morning a soldier in undress, and with a naked
sword in his hand, ran from the 26th lines through
the camp of the Sikh regiment of which my
brother Gussy was adjutant, and waving about
his sword called upon the Sikhs to join him.
Major Rawlins (the commandant of the Sikhs)
took a shot at him with a revolver, and so
did my brother, both missing him; the man then
ran back to his Hnes, which were about 200 yards
distant.     Major   Spencer,   commanding   the   26th,
accompanied by Captain White (26th), on receiving
a report that the men were assembling on the
parade in an excited state, went to the Hnes.
Major Spencer was cut down by some men of the
second company who attacked him at once, and
the native sergeant-major (a Hindoo) was killed
when trying to protect his commanding officer; the
English sergeant-major also fell in a like attempt.
Some men approached Captain White apparently
unarmed, but somebody from behind a wall called
out " Beware of those men," and on this they drew
swords from under their loose clothing and cut at
White, who was however too quick for them, and
being mounted got off with a scratch on the back
and with his horse's flank cut pretty deep.
According to my brother's account it was then
that the Sikh soldiers, without orders, rushed into
the lines, shooting down every sepoy they came
across, and appropriating their brass cooking utensils
and other property; whilst the rest of the 26th
(except a few native officers who escaped to the
quarter-guard) fled to the jungle, and were eventually
destroyed by a large body of police, who followed
them up under the directions of Mr. Cooper, Deputy
Commissioner of Umritsur, who afterwards boasted
of his harsh doings in a most unbecoming manner
in a pamphlet written for his own glorification.
The whole affair was a strange one, for most of
the sepoys were cooking their food, and it seemed
as if a few scamps had resolved on compromising
the entire regiment, and succeeded most effectually
in their malevolent  object.
Chapter   VIII.
IT this period Delhi xhad fallen before the
assault of our troops, who were then
-ss^y^ driving away the mutinous bands in
glorious style beyond Agra, and towards Lucknow
and Central India. We in the Punjab of course
felt immense relief after the heavy strain of nearly
six months, and had not the Sikhs and Punjabees
generally kept friendly with us, matters would
indeed have gone badly with the English in India.
The people of the Punjab it was clear, almost up
to the last part of the struggle, had never really
known how hard pressed we had been, or that we
had lost our hold of such a very large extent of
territory. They used to say—" Oh, if it is merely
a mutiny of troops, then quiet will soon again be
restored;" as outbreaks on the part of the soldiery
had been only too common in the Punjab under
Sikh rule. It was also very luckjr for us that the
Sikhs bore an old grudge against the Mahomedans
of  Delhi, who in times of  old had treated one of
their   gooroos, or   chief   high   priests,   with   great
indignity   and cruelty,   and   this   they   had   never
At first when the news of outbreaks at station
after station arrived, our feeling against the natives
was no doubt very strong and bitter, so that all
mutineers or rebels were dealt with in a harsh and
rather unjust style by officers who ought to have
known better; but such feelings gradually got
softened, and the more thoughtful felt that the
greater portion of the sepoys had been misled by
the artful and designing, who had aroused their
religious bigotry and prejudices to serve their own
selfish ends; and at last we saw clearly that our
bitterest foes were to be found in the intolerant
Mahomedans, and not in the tolerant and usually
docile  Hindoos.
I have already remarked that Ferozepore had
been greatly improved as a cantonment since I was
there in 1841, and within the period of seventeen
years a most marked improvement could also be
seen in the manners of the officers of the
Government,   who   were   now   very   much   oftener
married to English ladies—and had thus abandoned
the custom of forming alliances with native women.
Again, there was not the excessive drinking that
used to prevail, and duelling had altogether become
a thing of the past. I was never directly concerned
in a duel, though on two occasions I had been
engaged as a principal in quarrels where seconds
had to be employed, and these might easily have
led to duels had not the seconds effected amicable
settlements; and in both these cases I had at first
been called upon to apologise for my alleged
conduct, but declined with firmness to do so, feeling
I had been in the right, as eventually was shown
to be the- case by the seconds agreeing that no
redress was due from me. I had also been engaged
as a second on two occasions, but both these
quarrels had been amicably settled by concession
on either side; and I feel confident that in almost
all cases of quarrel, if the seconds only behaved
with impartiality and coolness, there would not
have beeii a necessity for resorting to the final
remedy—viz., an exchange of shots. In my owTn
regiment on one occasion Captain Gahan had
insulted Lieutenant Duncan by calling him a "dirty
Scotchman,"   and   had   refused   to   apologise.      He
 to Duncan. He then asked Tritton, a very easygoing man, to assist him, and got his consent on the
understanding that the parties should only exchang
shots once; to this Gahan agreed, but after being
placed in position and getting the signal, his pistol
missed fire and Duncan's shot had gone wide of
its mark; on this Gahan said he was entitled to
another exchange of shots, but Tritton refused to
remain on the ground; so the duel ended, much
to Gahan's disgust, as he was an excellent shot, and
hating Duncan, wished much to what he called
"wing him"—viz., hit him in an arm or leg. The
48th Native Infantry, which was at Loodiana
with my regiment in 1844, had about the most
quarrelsome set of officers I have ever seen; and
many of them had been out either with their
brother officers or with those of other regiments.
Affairs came to a climax with them at Cawnpore
when Sir Charles Napier was Commander-in-Chief,
and on that occasion it was shown that a quarrel
had in a measure been forced on one young officer
by three others, and in the duel which came off
this   young   officer  was  badly  wounded.     All   four
were tried by Court Martial, and three were
dismissed the service—Lieutenant Smith, Lieutenant
May, and Lieutenant Litchford. I knew them all,
and they were certainly no loss to the army. The
officer named Smith was always known as "Smith
of London;" there was a second Smith in another
regiment at Loodiana known as "Smith of Lincoln;"
a third known as " Gentleman Smith;" whilst a
fourth was styled "Blackguard Smith." As one
instance of the fighting qualities of the 48th
Native Infantry, I remember that an officer named
Burmester (an old schoolfellow of mine) had to
engage in a duel with Lieutenant May, known as
the "fighting cock" of the regiment; and on
arriving at the ground Burmester made Over to
his second a small bag of bullets, saying "that
his servant was making more at his house should
they be required." As a rule, however, not more
than three shots were ever allowed. Lieutenant
Montague of my regiment had a very good pair
of duelling pistols—viz., long thick barrelled ones,
and of very small bore, with hair triggers and
saw-shaped handles, so as to ensure a steady grip.
These pistols were given by him to Captain Duffin,
and  by the  latter to me  as a present for having
afforded him assistance in one of his quarrels, which
did not end in a fight but in a written apology
from his antagonist, an officer of the Horse Artillery.
I used to practice in the hills with these pistols,
and to make very good shooting. I have forgotten
what became of them, but most likely they were
sold when I went to the Cape.
In duelling times there was of course a good
deal of pistol practice, and one of the best shots
I came across was Lieutenant Hockin of the 48th
Native Infantry. A most notable performance of
his being to hit a cigar held up by someone
between the two first fingers at twelve paces, with
the arm straight from the shoulder and the fingers
sideways. Mr. Tandy, an indigo planter near
AUygurh, had on more than one occasion thus
held cigars for Hockin, and after a luncheon party
at his house one day he asked Hockin to repeat
the feat before his guests. Hockin objected at
first, as he had driven a pulling horse that morning
and his hand might prove unsteady. Tandy would
not listen to such an excuse, so Hockin was
persuaded to try on the lawn outside, and did so;
but the result for Tandy was very unsatisfactory,
as the top joints of his two first fingers were shot
off, and Hockin had at once to drive him to the
station, where the surgeon dressed the wounds.
Hockin was once with me in camp, and we were
standing under the awning of the tent practising
with pistols, when a young native woman passed
within twenty paces carrying on her head an
earthen pot of water, and wras extremely astonished
to find the water suddenly pouring over her
shoulders from a small hole made by a bullet of
At the close of 1857, Carry Blackburn was
married to my brother Gussy at Ferozepore from
our house, and in the ruined church without a
roof, as the building had been fired by the
mutineers of the two regiments before they started
for Delhi. One of my assistants was Mahomed
Sooltan, a Mahomedan gentleman of good family,
and a very intelligent man. He was a keen observer
of the doings of the English in India, and was
very fond of talking with me on all subjects—
social, political, or religious. He evidently had no
high idea of English morality; and on one occasion
mentioned a long list of names of wives of English
officials who had figured in the divorce courts, arguing
therefrom "that very great freedom to women led to
immoral courses," The Affghans at Cabul also used
to say that we were certainly a brave people, but
we had no respect for female virtue; and most
certainly during our occupation of Cabul before
the massacre, the people had good grounds for
classing the English as highly immoral; for the
attractions of the fair-faced Cabulese damsels had
been irresistible, and led to great mischief, some
of the political officers, according to common report,
being the chief offenders. This native assistant
was a constant reader of Oordoo newspapers, which
of course were nearly filled with translations from
English papers, and he was fond of picking out
laudatory passages showing that the moral tone of
the English was superior to that of the natives
of India; and after quoting some such article one
day he said in a cynical way—" I suppose in
England the people are so upright and free from
crime as to render it needless to have magistrates,
judges, or gaols?" He also asked me "if all false
speaking was not condemned by the Christian
religion, and if an untruth was allowable under any
circumstances?"    I replied  "Most  certainly not!"
Then said he—"Major Marsden, your predecessor,
who is considered a perfect gentleman, most
certainly told a falsehood, for during the Mutiny-
he assembled some armed horsemen and footmen,
and gave out publicly that he intended to take
them to the south of the district to watch the
fords there, and this he took the trouble to tell
me himself; but when he marched off with his
following he went to the northern part of the
district, and afterwards allowed to me that such
from the first had been his intention—for fear that
the mutineers from Jullundar should hear of his
movements, and so be able to pass through the
district." He seemed to rejoice at having caught
Major Marsden in a falsehood, as that officer was
held in great estimation, and most deservedly so,
by natives as well as Europeans.
Agnes went with the children for a few months
to Simla in 1858, and Carry joined her there, all
living with Mrs. Mercer in a very good house.
I went to Loodiana with my tents to meet her in
October, and with Carry and the children we all
had some camp life, which is one of the greatest
enjoyments  of   civil   officers   in   the   cold   seasons,
and in those days the supply of good tents to
district officers was on a more Hberal scale than
now prevails. The custom is to send on a good
sized tent for breakfasting in over-night to the
new encamping ground (perhaps ten or twelve
miles off), and then to get up early and have a
good two hours' ride before breakfast with perhaps
some shooting on the way, and by the time
breakfast is finished the office tents have been
pitched, and soon the other tents also have been
prepared for the day. Our children generally
travelled in doolies carried by bearers, as they
thus avoided chills from exposure.
It was during this march that I saw the large
comet so clearly. Carry was with us, as Gussy's
regiment (the newly-formed Sikh one) was on
service in Rohilkund, where the mutineers were
holding out. The district of Ferozepore had
furnished a very large number of carts for the
carriage of ammunition to Delhi from the arsenal
at the station, and as a large per-centage of these
carts had been lost or destroyed in the trenches, I
had allotted to me the difficult task of settling all
claims for compensation;   and this I found a long
and troublesome business. These carts had all been
pressed into the service of the Government, and
the unfortunate cart-men had to drive them to the
tranches near the batteries of Artillery, or as close
to them as their courage allowed, and there the
oarts were taken over by the artillerymen; and
often neither the carts or bullocks were ever seen
again, and in some instances the cart-men never
turned up, having been killed by the shot from
Delhi, or having vanished from the scene through
fear. If it had not been for the Ferozepore arsenal,
matters would indeed have gone hard with us, as
our largest store of war materiel had been lost at
Delhi, and Ferozepore was only considered as an
expense magazine; but luckily it possessed a siege
train and a very large supply of ammunition.
Early in 1858 there was one day a sudden
panic at Ferozepore, and whilst I was at the office.
An orderly came running into my room with a
report that the troops were assembling on the
parade and the ladies were all on their way to
the fort, as the country people (moolkia log) had
risen in rebellion and were on their way to sack
the cantonment.    I at once sent a mounted police-
man to the city, two miles off, to ascertain the truth
of this strange report, and ordering my horse I rode
off to the brigadier (after assuring Agnes there was
no real danger), who I found going to the parade
ground. He said no order had been given by him
for the assembling of the troops, though they had
certainly turned out. It was found to be a most
absurd alarm; and yet no one could discover how
it arose. Agnes, like a wise person, had remained
at the house; but many ladies had gone to the fort
in great alarm.
When the native regiments mutinied and left
Ferozepore in 1857 the fort was garrisoned by
English soldiers, and of course an English guard
was over the Civil Treasury, which was in the fort;
though before this the cash had always been kept
in the cutcherry compound under a guard of native
soldiers. Shortly after I arrived at Ferozepore it
was discovered that three bags of rupees, each
containing 2,000 rupees (£600 in all), had been
stolen from one of the treasure boxes, which were
heaped up just outside the Treasury building in the
fort, as the treasure room was full. The general
ordered  a   Court of   Inquiry to   sit,  and  a   most
thorough investigation was made; but the theft
was not brought home to any particular soldier
or soldiers, so that the general opinion was that
the whole sergeants' guard had shared in the
plunder. It was a most disgraceful business, and
I got permission from the Government to place a
Sikh guard over the treasure for the future. There
is an old saying in India that the English soldier
cannot be trusted to guard treasure or liquor; and
I am sorry to say that there were some other
instances during the Mutiny year of like robberies
of treasure by the English soldiers. One I
remember at Lahore, and another I think was at
Allahabad. During the whole of my official career
I had never lost a rupee by theft when a native
guard was over the Treasury.
It was towards the close of the cold weather
of 1858 that Sir John Lawrence (afterwards Lord
Lawrence) passed through my district in tents on
his way to Delhi, where he was going for the
purpose of looking into the complaints of oppression
against the prize agents, who were said to be
acting in a way to arouse the hatred of the
people.     I  accompanied  Lawrence's  camp through
the Ferozepore district, taking my meals with him;
His staff consisted of Major Black, his military
secretary, and Mr. Kirke, his assistant - secretary,
Civil Department. I had often met Sir John
Lawrence before, and had at Peshawur been in
camp with him for some few days; but I saw
more of him on this occasion than heretofore. He
always gave me the impression of a man of much
force of character, though he was not what is called
a man of high culture. In figure he was strongly
made, and he rode well, always keeping some
serviceable nags. His features were massive and
rugged looking, without any lines of beauty in
them; but his forehead showed power, and his
eyes were deep set and bright. He was wanting
in refinement, and this fault to me seemed too
frequently coming to the front. In telling a story
he was good. For work he was a glutton, and
exacted much from his subordinates—a trait which
certainly made him unpopular, as he was considered
a hard man. When in camp with him I observed
that he always worked for some hours of a morning
before starting at sunrise. One evening we were
talking of the sufferings of some of the poor ladies
who had to flee  from   Delhi at the time  of   the
outbreak, and on a certain lady (the wife of a
major) being mentioned, who was known to be a
woman of poor reputation, he said that when he
met her at Lahore she declared she had been
violated by six lumburdars, or head men of villages,
on the occasion of her flight from Delhi to Kurnah
This story he said he did not believe. He also
told us that a well-known major of Artillery had
sent him a long letter trying to prove that the
Pope had been at the bottom of the Mutiny. This
letter he showed to me; and it came out afterwards
that the excitement of the Mutiny had driven the
poor man mad, necessitating his being sent to
England under the charge of two soldiers.
That John Lawrence was a capital man for
the crisis of 1857 there can be no doubt; but only
those behind the scenes can tell how much he was
indebted to some very .able subordinates—especially
Mr. (afterwards Sir Robert) Montgomery, Sir
Herbert Edwardes, Major Nicholson, and General
Chamberlain: all these may truly be said to have
been towers of strength. Of Sir Herbert Edwardes
some mention has already been made, and I had
seen much of him.    He came to India later in life
than most cadets, and had the look of a man of
delicate health; but his face showed much intelligence. He first brought himself to notice as a
writer in the Delhi Gazette, in which paper at
about English mail time letters used to appear
periodically from Brahminee B»U in India to John
Boll in England. These were eagerly looked for,
as containing very racy notices of passing events
in 1844—45. I have heard him say that his great
ambition in those days was to enter the Advocate-
General's Department; and I can remember when
his regiment was at Subathoo he gave his services
to a friend (Captain Gayner, of the 9th Queen's),
and advocated his cause when arraigned before a
Court Martial at Kussowlie for being intoxicated at
a sergeants' ball, and it was solely from Edwardes'
clever style of defence that Gayner owed his
verdict of acquittal, as the Government prosecutor
was made to look foolish before the court through
the badgering he got from this very clever nonprofessional counsel. Edwardes told me that
whilst the trial was going on in the Mess room he
happened to look out of the window, and saw a
large crowd of perhaps 300 soldiers ascending the
hill.    Suspecting something wrong, he at once went
out to meet them, when a spokesman came forward
saying they had come to swear " that Captain
Gayner was perfectly sober at the ball." It was
with difficulty that Edwardes persuaded them to go
back, but it gave proof of how Gayner was liked
in the regiment, and of Tommy Atkins' very crude
ideas of serving the ends of justice. In 1845,
when the Sikh War broke out, Edwardes was
appointed by Sir Hugh Gough, the Commander-in-
Chief, as an extra aide-de-camp; and after the
war, when Henry Lawrence, the newly-appointed
Resident at Lahore, offered Edwardes a situation
as one of his political assistants, the latter
abandoned the idea of becoming a military law
officer, and gladly entered on that career which
afterwards offered such opportunities for coming to
the front, not only as a statesman but as commander
of irregular levies in very ticklish times,—and as
those services have been so fully recorded in the
pages of history, there is no occasion for my
alluding to them further in these Recollections,
though my own opinion is that Edwardes was a
poor Civil judge, but a first-rate ruler of men in
turbulent times.
When General Chamberlain went to Delhi as
Adjutant - General, relinquishing the command of
the movable column, it was a master - stroke of
policy on the part of Lawrence to appoint Major
Nicholson to succeed him, though the supercession
by Nicholson (a young major) of so many colonels
gave bitter- offence. A commander, however, was
required who had a very cool head and determined
courage, as well as a thorough knowledge of
native character; and all these quaHties were met
with in Nicholson. I knew him in earlier days,
and even then thought he was one well fitted to
command his fellows. Towards showing somewhat
his style of working, I will mention one of many
instances of his energy when in charge of a
Trans-Indus district. He was at the very northern
part of the district at about the hottest time of
the year, when a man preferred a complaint against
an influential police officer who had charge of a
post at the extreme southern end (about 100 miles
distant), and the complaint was that often men had
been illegally and unjustly detained in confinement;
and of such doings the people were afraid to
complain for fear of consequences. Nicholson said
that "perhaps the complainant bore personal dislike
to the officer;" to which the man replied that
"even then there were two men in confinement,
and they had been so for ten days, and no report
made to headquarters." The names and dates were
at once written down, and ordering his horse
Nicholson- immediately mounted and rode off, and
by taking fresh horses at the police posts en route,
he reached the spot in a few hours and found
affairs exactly as reported. As to the punishment
dealt out to the native officer, we may be sure it
was severe and not more than he deserved. The
natives of those parts will talk of this among
many other instances of the thorough manner of
Nicholson's work, and how he always liked to see
for himself, and that for the ends of justice he
did not for a moment shrink from a very long
and tiring ride in broiling weather on horses
picked up at hap-hazard. Like many other men
of strong will and great force of character, coupled
with superior ability, Nicholson was great as a
commander, but troublesome as a subordinate.
Some years after the Mutiny, when I had
charge of the Goorgaon district, I heard from
natives a rather good story in illustration of John
Lawrence's vigorous rule as a magistrate and
district officer many years ago when he was
holding office there. It seemed that some wealthy
traders (natives), when journeying by boat on the
Jumna river from Delhi to Muttra, had been
attacked by robbers and plundered of a quantity
of valuable property. Lawrence on receiving the
news rode out to the scene of the robbery, and
strong suspicions fell upon two men as leaders of
the band who had long been suspected of belonging
to a body of dacoits ;* and on visiting their village,
not being found at home, and no information being
given as to their whereabouts, Lawrence at once
had their wives and children apprehended, as also
some other near relations, male and female. All
were sent to the police lock-up at Goorgaon, and
a proclamation issued the following day—"That
unless the stolen property was all given up within
three days, then he (Lawrence) would assuredly
have the hair of all the females shaved off, and
after being stripped of all their clothing they would
be paraded naked through the streets seated on
donkeys."     This threat, the narrator said, had such
Highway robbers.
an effect that in two days all the stolen property
was recovered, and the seizure of the suspected
persons also effected. On meeting Lord Lawrence
(then Viceroy) at Delhi in 1864, he asked me
about the Goorgaon people, and wished to know
if they remembered him; on which I told him
the above story, most of which he said was
correct, but would not admit the truth of that
portion relating to the threatened exposure of
the females. Anyone, however, who knew his
rough-and-ready style of doing business, might
well believe the story in its entirety. It was told
of him in 1857 that he expressed an opinion that
officers for such a crisis required " guts as well as
brains," meaning of course that vigorous bodies
were requisite for arduous campaigning work and
exposure in the hot season. He was very untidy
in his dress and did not care at all for appearances
in his household arrangements. It was remarked
that he became of a far more serious turn of
mind after the Mutiny, and gave much more
attention to religious observances; and though I
may be wrong, yet it seemed to me that he was
deeply impressed with the feeling that divine
providence had meant the Mutiny as a chastisement
for our shortcomings, and yet had mercifully spared
us from utter destruction; and this view I knew
was held by many pious people, though any
impartial person who might give a calm consideration to the course of events would at once
see that the chastisement which fell upon the
natives of India was fully fifty-fold greater than
what befel the ruling race, for looking at Delhi
alone, the fate of the many thousand Mahomedans,
exclusive of the mutineers, who were driven out
of the city must have been something very dreadful,
as the outlook for them was naught but utter ruin
and starvation.
Lawrence was considered a first-rate revenue
officer, and in his younger days had been employed
much in settlement work—viz., in assessing the
Government demand on the agricultural population,
a duty on which the ablest officers of the
Government are employed — and he thus had
opportunities of seeing much of the Zemindars,*
whose cause he always favoured more than that
of the native aristocracy; and whilst his brother
Sir Henry was in favour of upholding most of the
* Land-owners.
free grants claimed by the upper classes of the
Punjab after annexation, John Lawrence advised
resumption of a large proportion of such grants,
and it was on this question that the brothers
disagreed when both were on the Board of
Administration; and both having sent in their
resignations, Lord Dalhousie accepted that of Sir
Henry and transferred him to Rajpootana as
political agent, whilst John remained in the Punjab
as chief commissioner, and during his tenure of
that high post he was considered to be a most
impartial ruler, never yielding to temptations
towards jobbery and nepotism; though afterwards,
when Viceroy, he is said to have yielded a good
deal to aristocratic influences, and shown a tendency
also to favour his connections.
Though so sturdy in figure, yet Lawrence was
subject to serious attacks of illness, in which head
symptoms prevailed ; and he would tell in an
amusing strain how on one occasion his wife being
very anxious that he should consult a medical man,
he sent for the head civil doctor at Lahore, who
duly punched and pinched almost every part of his
body, and shaking hands with his wife and himself,
walked to the verandah and stepped into his buggy.
Mrs. Lawrence then whispered to her husband,
" Ask him about your complaint, as he has said
nothing." Lawrence did so; on which the doctor
took up the reins, and, turning to Lawrence, said
in a rather pompous tone—" Organic disease of the
heart, the liver, and the brain," and then whipping
up his horse drove off. " There, my dear," said
Lawrence, turning round to his wife; "that is all
the satisfaction you have got, and now how do
you like it?"
I have mentioned that Sir John Lawrence was
going to Delhi to stop the harsh proceedings so
rampant there, and it was high time for him to
interfere, as many officials had gone rather wild
in their hatred of the Mahomedans; and it was
said that Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, the chief
magistrate, had summarily hanged no less than
364 of the hangers-on of the courts of the Ex-
King, as he had cause to view them as concerned
in the massacre of many English and Eurasian
inhabitants. He had been assistant-magistrate at
Delhi at the time of the outbreak, and had managed
to escape by the speed of his horse.    A gentleman
(traveller) who had come to see Delhi after its
re-capture, said that he was staying with Metcalfe
at his country house near the Kootub, a few miles
from the city, and one morning when riding out
Metcalfe told the mounted policeman to seize a
man they had met on the road, as he was known
as one of the palace orderlies. After breakfast the
traveller said to his host—" Oh, I suppose you are
going to examine the man you apprehended this
morning ? if so, I should like to be present." His
host replied—" Oh, that man ;' why, there he is
on that tree! " And sure enough, on looking out
of the window, he was to be seen hanging by the
neck from a large branch of a tree just outside in
the back garden. Such was known as summary
justice; and it was said that Metcalfe regretted
he had not hanged enough to make one for every
day of the year, instead of one short of that
number. He had been a great sufferer by loss of
property at Delhi.
Civil officers in the Punjab in 1857 had been
granted large powers as judges, and two magistrates
sitting as a commission could sentence to death if
both were for a conviction, and this  after a very
summary style of inquiry. This at first appears
harsh; but at such a crisis we were like rats in a
corner, and it was very necessary to check the
spread of disaffection by summary and stern
measures. General Van Cortlandt, who commanded
a force of irregular troops in the Hissar division,
and who was also officiating as Commissioner, told
me the following story about the summary actions
of Mr. Ricketts, the Deputy Commissioner, who
sent up for confirmation the proceedings of the
trial of a man who was found loafing about near
the canal. Ricketts, in summing up the case, had
recorded as follows:—"The man was caught near
the canal, and looking like a sepoy from Delhi, he
was called upon to account for his doings. He
has done so in a very unsatisfactory manner, and
admits he has a brother in a Bombay regiment,
though he denies being a sepoy. I recommend
that he be hanged." Van Cortlandt said he could
not conscientiously confirm such a sentence, and
directed that the man be kept in confinement
pending further inquiry; and at this order Ricketts
had been much offended, saying " Such non-
confirmation of his sentence would tend to weaken
his   authority."     At   Rohtuk,  near  Hissar,   a   Mr.
Wedderburn, Deputy Commissioner, had been killed
at the commencement of the Mutiny, together with
his young wife and infant (first and only child).
I had known and liked him much. Ricketts I
heard hunted up very keenly for the murderers
of these unfortunates, and report had it that a
great number of suspected men were hanged from
having in their houses small articles of baby
clothing. Ricketts is said to have hanged
Mahomedans after wrapping them in pigskins. I
have before mentioned that it was my task to
settle the claims of cart-men to compensation; but I
also had to enquire into, and report to Government
upon the claims of English officers and others who
had suffered from the destruction of their houses
and loss of other property in the station and
neighbourhood of Ferozepore, and this I found to
be rather an unpleasant job, as some of the
claimants had rather elastic consciences, and the
wife of one officer (if her statement was true)
must have possessed jewellery that a peeress might
have coveted, though she was only the wife of a
captain in an infantry regiment. I need hardly
say that   several   of   the   claims   had   to   undergo
great reductions before they were finally reported
on and passed by the Government.
On the 2nd February, 1859, our fourth child
(Alfred) was born, and Agnes went to Simla during
the hottest part of the year, I joining her for a short
stay towards the close of the season, returning to
Ferozepore before it was cold enough to bring the
children down; but as soon as the weather was
suitable she joined me, and we had a long spell of
camp life.
It was in the cold season of 1859 that Lord
Canning, the Governor-General, held a grand durbar
at Lahore. I marched with Agnes from Ferozepore
to Umritsur to meet the large camps of the
Governor-General and Sir Robert Montgomery,
Lieutenant-Governor (Sir John Lawrence having
retired to England). We marched into Lahore with
the two camps, and at the durbar or assembly of
chiefs and officials Lord Canning made a very good
speech in EngHsh, which was however poorly
translated by the Foreign Secretary, Colonel
Durand. The chiefs were told by Lord Canning
that in coming up country from Calcutta he had
been introduced here and there to a chieftain who
had done the Government good service in the
Mutiny; but here at Lahore, he said, "I find a
nation loyal."
My assistants during the year were Captain
Hall and Lieutenant Lewin, besides natives.
Lewin was a very agreeable man, clever, and well
read, but thoroughly worldly and rather too selfish.
He was a bachelor, but Hall was married, and
had a family. Mr. Temple, afterwards Sir Richard,
was the Commissioner of the division, and he was
undoubtedly clever and a good administrator, with
a most facile pen. In face he was very plain, but
at the same time exceedingly vain, and had an
idea that he resembled Louis Napoleon. I never
cared much for him, as he always seemed to me
a most self-seeking person, entirely interested in his
own worldly advancement. This is probably the
aim of most clever, ambitious men, but somehow
Temple showed it too much. For instance, Sir
Herbert Edwardes was, doubtless, a very ambitious
man; but then he had other good qualities, which
prevented you always seeing the ambition so
prominently as in Temple. He had always
professed to  be imbued with very liberal ideas  as
a politician, but when Lord Beaconsfield, in 1879,
was at what seemed the height of power and
the Tories thought themselves sure of a long
possession of the loaves and fishes, Temple felt
that his opportunity had arrived, and came forward
at the Election of 1880 as a Tory candidate for
Worcestershire; and I am glad to say most signally
failed in his attempt to oust the eldest son of Mr.
Gladstone, In 1859, after the proclamation of the
downfall of the East India Company, and the
assumption by the sovereign of the government of
India, there was great discontent in the ranks of
the European Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry of
the Company, as the soldiers thought that their
wishes had not been consulted in their transfer to
the Queen: which was really an illegal act, as
they had specially enHsted for the service of the
East India Company. This was called the European
Mutiny, and as civil officers in charge of districts
had the power to open suspected correspondence, it
was soon clear that the troops had entered into a
combination to rise against what they considered
most unfair treatment. Eventually the authorities
saw that a mistake had been made, and all who
wished were  allowed to   take   their discharge;   of
which offer many hundreds availed themselves, and
after a few months in England re-enlisted and
secured a second bounty.
At the commencement of 1860 I again became
a sufferer from bad headaches such as I had felt
at Simla in 1851, and at the recommendation of
the doctor I took leave to England on medical
certificate ; and by March we had managed to
dispose of our carriage and horses and all our
furniture at fair prices, and left for England via
Calcutta, at which place we had to stop a full
fortnight, as suitable berths could not be procured
on the steamer which left just after our arrival.
This was annoying, but the hotel (Spence's) was
comfortable yet very expensive; and as exercise
was necessary, we had to hire a carriage and pair
of horses for morning and evening drives with the
three children, and nice games Emily and Grace
used to play by climbing on to the back of the
seats, then on to the coach - box, and so on
throughout the drives. Lieutenant Lewin, who was
also going to England, came with us once for a
drive, but civilly declined further offers; and a
mutual friend told me that Lewin mentioned the
young ones as too lively for his tastes.
We had a warm voyage at the close of April
to Suez in a P. and 0. steamer well filled with
passengers, a goodly proportion being children
(sixty I think). I should have mentioned that
when at Calcutta Temple, my late Commissioner,
was also there as secretary to Mr. Wilson, who had
been sent from England as Financial Member of
the Council to remodel the system of finance, and
if possible to introduce extra taxes, as owing to the
Mutiny the finances had got sadly disarranged.
A great deal of treasure had been plundered by
the mutineers from the Civil Treasuries, and though
the real and personal property of many wealthy
rebels had been confiscated, yet very large grants,
perhaps equalling if not exceeding the confiscations,
had to be made to loyal chieftains and many other
loyal men of lower social standing, who had greatly
aided the Government when so hard pressed, and
amongst the chiefs the Putteala Rajah came out
exceedingly well, as did the Rajah of Jheend,
Mr. Wilson, to whom I have alluded, introduced
the income tax into India, which I always thought
unsuitable for the country, and felt that it would
never work well; and in a few years my prediction
proved true, and with almost universal approval the
tax was abandoned, having proved vexatious to a
degree; and it is a tax only suited to a free people,
who understand what State necessities are and can
put up with vexatious demands from the tax
collector, or rather what to the uncultured appear
as vexatious.
But to return to the P. and 0. vessel, which
was carrying me to the old country after an absence
of more than twenty years. We made the regular
short stays at Madras and Point de Galle, and at
the latter place were entertained by Mr. Forbes,
the Government Agent who had succeeded my
Uncle George in that appointment. They were
agreeable people, and had a good house beautifully
situated on the hills near, and which had been
built by my uncle. Sir James Outram came with
us so far, and he was looking very unwell, and as
it proved was breaking up. He was my beau
ideal of a civil administrator and soldier, and
had been styled the " Bayard of India" by Sir
Charles Napier, who was a good judge of a man,
though he and Outram afterwards had a grievous
quarrel about the annexation of   Sindh: *   but  this
* Outram thought the annexation so unjust that he gave
away his large sum of prize-money, half to the Lawrence Asylum
and half to the Byculla School at Bombay.
was years before the time I am writing of. I slept
on deck every night between Calcutta and Suez, as
the heat in the cabin to me was intolerable.
Agnes, however, managed in her berth, which was
close to the port-hole. The children also slept on
deck, and disliked very much going down of a
morning when at a very early hour the washing
of the decks commenced. The captain was very
disobliging, and always had the awning taken
down at night—so all of us sleepers got covered
with blacks before morning unless the wind blew
from us, which it usually did not. The skipper
when remonstrated with declared that if the awning
remained up at night the man at the helm could
not see ahead, and I suppose there was something
in such excuse, as in those days there were no
bridges in the ship's centre from which the steering
could be arranged.
Our ayah unfortunately was far from a good
servant for children, and thus Agnes had more
trouble and worry than she expected. The ayah
had been engaged in a hurry at Calcutta to replace
a very good one we had brought with us from up
the country, but who died at Calcutta of cholera
after a very brief illness.     The disease was not at
the time very rife, but it was in the town, and the
ayah most imprudently went to the bazaar one day
and ate a lot of tamarinds, perhaps about the worst
thing she could have taken.
After landing at Suez we went by rail to
Cairo, and remained at Shepheard's Hotel for one
night, starting for Alexandria the next day after
jbreakfast. I well remember the wretched night at
Cairo, as the hotel was very full, and consequently
we being late arrivals got very poor accommodation,
and there being no mosquito curtains to the beds
those lively insects worried us all night. At
Alexandria we went from the carriages to the
steamer, and in due time reached Southampton,
after a voyage which had no feature of particular
interest beyond the fact that many of the children
were very lively, and ours were perhaps not the
quietest of the lot. One old Indian civilian was
often very grumpy about the doings of the small
fry, as they could perceive his antipathies, and
when opportunities offered teazed him in secret,
having on one occasion dissected his wonderful
Chinese arm-chair; and on seeing this he was heard
to say that "until he came on board he had held
a bad opinion of Herod, but now he saw reason to
change it." One boy, a son of Captain Ogilvie, of
the Commissariat Department, was called " Naughty
Jimmy," from the numerous tricks he played. At
Southampton we stayed at an hotel for one nighty
and I can well remember the children crying out
at four a.m. for their "doodh" (milk), as it being
the beginning of May it was of course quite light
then ; but no " doodh" could be obtained till
seven a.m.
I was delighted on our journey to Stone with
the May just coming into blossom, and with the
neat - looking green fields; but everything looked
very bright and fresh on that day, though the
houses looked small after Indian dwellings. We
remained at Stone with my mother, Charles, and
Helen during our stay in England—with the
exception of a short time at Southsea in lodgings,
where we met Aunts Sarah and Jane, as well as
Uncle William Turner, the admiral. After twenty
years I should certainly not have recognized my
mother, Charles and Helen, or Emily, had I met
them casually in the street. On the 5th of August
a little  girl  was  born to  us,  and was   christened
Louisa Ann: she caught whooping cough, Agnes
being troubled with it, and in a few days the
little thing died—viz., on 2nd of September, 1860.
To try and save Emily from the troublesome
complaint after Grace had caught it, I took her
to Weston-super-Mare; but in a few days she had
it, but not badly; so after a short stay I brought
her back to Stone with her small servant, Annie
Stinchcomb, who had accompanied us. A few
months after our arrival Gussy turned up at Stone,
Carry having gone to her father and mother at
the Cape of Good Hope. We remained in England
till February, 1861, when we left for India—the
children remaining under the care of my mother
and Helen. Our route was via Paris and Marseilles
to Alexandria, and then by rail to Suez via Cairo.
At Suez we got on board the P. and 0. ship the
" Nemesis," which took us to Calcutta without
any incident worthy of note, and of course we
did not feel in very good spirits after leaving all
three children in England. It is the dreadful
necessity of separation from either the wife or the
children which causes so much misery to Anglo-
Indian married couples; and when the wife is not
very   steady,  too   frequently   brings   about   great
unhappiness. It must always be a question whether
it is better for the wife to remain with the children
or stay by her husband. My mother thought that,
the married pair should never part, and I agree
with her; for if the children who are long away
from their parents entirely forget them, and there
is none of that close sympathy which ought to
exist between parents and their offspring, yet
such want of sympathy, deplorable as it may be,
will not break up the home—but when the husband
and wife get out of sympathy with each other,
then the home is indeed broken up and tho
mischief   is irreparable.
On board the "Nemesis" there was the usual
quantum of flirtation, and a P, and 0. steamer I
imagine is hardly ever free from scandal about
grass widows and idle officers, who have no
amusement but cards and flirtation. Pages might
be filled with such recollections, all showing the
great evils which result from the separation of
husbands and wives; and I mean not only the
long separation when the wife goes to England,
but also the shorter ones in India when the plea
of   ill-health takes   the not  over-fond  wife  to   the
hills for the hot season, and where her vanity and
love of admiration will soon make her the subject
of gossip. The old "Nemesis" was rather slow
and could not carry her ports well, so we were
rather stuffy when below. There was one young
married lady on board who was going to join her
husband, and it was discovered that she drank
about a bottle of brandy daily, and was subject
to attacks of delirium tremens. Once at dinner she
asked me if I did not find the rats very troublesome
in my cabin, as they disturbed her greatly by
crawling over her berth. Now as such an animal
had not been seen by me on board I suspected
something, and took a look at her eyes, which I at
once saw had the wild look which comes on from
drink. The stewards said that on one occasion
she had come into the saloon at midnight and
danced about in her shift. She was a pretty young
woman, and looked about twenty years of age.
Her husband I heard was a military man, holding
a good staff appointment in the police of the
Central Provinces. I never met her afterwards.
There were three nice-looking girls on board,
who were going to Madras to join their father; the
captain had been entrusted with the charge of them,
and showed his impartiality by flirting with all three*
These girls would not put out their Hghts at night
at the proper time, though repeatedly told to do so
by the second officer, who at last threatened that
if they continued to disregard his request he would
enter their cabin and himself put out the lights;
and the very next night he carried his threat into
execution, being pelted with shoes and slippers
by the romping wild girls. The cabins of the
P. and O., as a measure of safety, have no bolts
on the doors inside, and by such arrangement, if
ports have been left open in bad weather or fire
breaks out, access is at once obtainable. From
Calcutta we proceeded by rail to Cawnpore, beyond
which we had to take dak gharrees to Ferozepore,
to which I had been again appointed; and we
managed to get a better house there, just opposite
our old one. I omitted to mention that before
leaving for England Sir Robert Montgomery, the
Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, stopped with
us for a day and night with his secretary, Mr.
Davies (afterwards Sir Henry Davies and also
Lieutenant-Governor), when on their way by camel
carriage to the southern part of the district and
on to  Sirsa and Hissar*     This way  of   travelling
is excellent for sandy roads, and Sir Robert's
carriage was drawn by four camels, which kept up
a speed of six miles an hour for a long distance.
I always liked Sir Robert, as he was an intelligent,
gentlemanly man of courteous demeanour, and one
who I think always wished to act fairly towards
his subordinates. At the beginning of the Mutiny
he showed courage, a readiness of resource, and
clear insight into the situation; for at the meeting
of heads of departments at Lahore, after the arrival
of the dreadful news from Delhi, it was Sir Robert
Montgomery who recommended that the ammunition
should be taken from the native soldiers; and on
General Corbett advising that they should be
entirely disarmed, Sir Robert, as chief civil officer
(in the absence of Sir John Lawrence at Murree), at
once said he would take the responsibility, and the
general's proposal was sanctioned. It came out
afterwards that Sir John Lawrence did not quite
approve of the disarming policy, and thought that
Brigadier Brind had acted wisely at Sealkote in
allowing the sepoys to retain their arms; but
events soon showed how far deeper Sir Robert
Montgomery's insight into the sepoys' schemes was
than  Sir John Lawrence's:
Throughout 1861 we remained at Ferozepore,,
and on the 16th of January, 1862, our sixth child,
Was born, and christened Arthur William. I don't
remember anything particular worthy of note at
Ferozepore during that year or the next. There
was the regular heavy office work for me, and
the society was very pleasant all the time we were
at the station. I had always written a good deal
for the papers in my leisure -hours, especially for
the Lahore newspaper, and I still continued to do
so, chiefly on the proposed State measures or any
changes in the system of administration. Officers
of the Government have always been in the habit
of giving this assistance gratis to editors, and Sir
Richard Temple and Sir George Campbell rather
distinguished themselves in this line, though of
course their names did not appear.
In 1863 we went to Simla for some months, and
on the 11th of October of that year our seventh
child (Lionel) was born. Cholera was very bad that
year at Meean Meer, and the mortality amongst
the English troops was so exceedingly great as to
necessitate a searching inquiry into the system of
hospital   management,   when   the   most   disgraceful
disclosures were made; and so bad were they that
the entire report of the Commission was never
published. One thing was known, that there had
been quite a panic amongst the men mainly from
the bad arrangements at the hospitals; and on
hearing that the EngHsh soldiers rather shirked the
work of nursing their sick comrades, the soldiers of
a Sikh regiment then at Meean Meer volunteered
for the unpleasant duties. Some brave young officers
also used to sleep in the cholera wards to cheer up
the men. At the close of this year there had been
a rather unpleasant correspondence between Mr.
Forsyth, the new Commissioner, and myself, and as
we could not get on well together, I was transferred
to the Goorgaon district about twenty miles from
Delhi; and I was not sorry for the change, being
rather tired of the Ferozepore district. Agnes
also had never liked the water there, as it did not
quite agree with her; moreover, the Commissioner
was a conceited and much over-rated man.
We stayed a day or two at Delhi on our way
to Goorgaon, and I remember having my first
vapour bath at that place — all the arrangements
being  quite  native,  and  the   rooms very Oriental
in fashion. I found Delhi greatly changed for the
better, as such a vast clearance of hundreds of
shabby dwellings had been made around and about
the old palace; new roads also had been opened
out and metalled; added to which, the raUway
had been completed to the city.
The Jumma Musjid or Great Mosque is a truly
grand structure of the Imperial period, and nothing
can be more impressing than when its vast
enclosure is filled with thousands of worshippers
(Mahomedans) all engaged in prayer under the
lead of the head moolla,* and all decked out in
apparel of varied hues. Such sights are to be seen
on the occasion of the great festivals of the Eed
or Moharram; but it would take much time, and
also require an expenditure of much ink, to
describe with any effective detail the numerous
objects of interest to be seen in Delhi and its
suburbs, and I can safely say that any one would
be well repaid who took a journey from England
to see them and nothing else.
On our onward journey we stayed a day at the
Kootub (half way to   Goorgaon),  and went to  the
top of the magnificent pillar, up which I carried
Arthur, and since the steps numbered 378 it was
no light job. This structure might well be
considered one of the wonders of the world. Both
Hindoos and Mahomedans claim the distinction of
being the creators of this magnificent tower; but
General Cunningham, the great archseologist, gives
the palm to the Mahomedans; yet the Hindoos
assert that merely the outer crust, which is covered
with Arabic sentences cut in the stone, is of the
Mahomedan period—:all the inner part having been
built by order of a Hindoo king to enable his
daughter to see the river Jumna every morning
after her ablutions, and a very tiring job it must
have been for her to walk up the 378 steps every
morning before breakfast.
In the large courtyard adjoining the Kootub,
the buildings of which are all of the Hindoo
period and very old indeed, there is a curious iron
pillar of beautiful manufacture, which Hindoo
tradition asserts to be resting on the back of a
tortoise or serpent. The great conqueror, Nadir
Shah, tried to burn down this pillar, but failed;
though the pillar for some feet from its base has
been much disfigured by the action of fire.
When, I was at Delhi,the campaign against the
Bonair and Swat people on the northern frontier
was in^ progress under General Chamberlain, and as
our troops had met with a check there were all
kinds of sinister rumours afloat regarding the
disaffection amongst the native troops, which were
listened to by the croaking class and doubtless
caused mischief, though quite groundless. The
Bonair tribes on the Eusufzai frontier had been
originally offended with us for invading their
country when General Chamberlain was about to
punish the fanatics of Sittana, who had given us
so much trouble. Their suspicions against us had
been aroused by false reports as to our intentions,
and they managed to obtain the support of the
Akhoond* of Swat in the adjoining territory, and
so made the affair a rather formidable one, for the
Akhoond was one who exercised immense influence
amongst the hill tribes, and was highly revered for
his sanctity and general high character.
When at Peshawur in 1854—55 I heard a
good deal about this Akhoond, and every one spoke
in   high   terms   of    his   kindliness   of    disposition,
* A sort of high priest.
tolerance, and self-denial. He rose from the low
position of a shepherd's boy, and when I was
at Peshawur was looked upon as ruler of the
Swat country, a very mountainous tract adjoining
Eusufzai. He had never been raised to the
throne, as the people would not have borne with
a monarchy; neither had the Akhoond ever
aspired to so dangerous an elevation, being
contented to live in a very lowly abode with
lowly surroundings ; but as honest poverty is
respected in Eastern countries (though rather
despised in Western), this man was universally
sought by the people, high and low, as a judge
in all troublesome disputes, and his decisions as
arbitrator accepted as final not only by the Swatees,
but by neighbouring tribes of Mahomedans and by
people from British territory. He had no landed
estates or any other property, but was most
liberally supplied with grain and all articles of
food by very frequent offerings; and those who
sought his advice or came to show their respect for
him, were invariably hospitably entertained out of
such offerings. Unfortunately he was misled by
rumours equally with the Bonair people respecting
our  objects   in   assembling   an   armed   force ;    but
having soon found out his mistake he returned
to his home, on which the opposition weakened and
gradually collapsed. In 1877 he gave a very cold
reception to an Envoy from the Sultan, and refused
to accept the costly presents offered. The object
was to use his influence with the Cabul Ameer
against the Russians; but the Akhoond said he was
a man of peace, and the Envoy returned much
disappointed, but evidently deeply impressed with
the simple and unpretentious character of the
There is a metalled road from Delhi all the
way to Goorgaon, which was a small station with
a very limited society, consisting of Major Smith,
the head police officer, who was an old acquaintance
of mine; his assistant, Mr. O'Connor; my assistant,
Mr. Bulman (a competition wala); and a native
extra assistant; likewise a subordinate officer of
the Public Works Department, together with Doctor
Poole, a half-caste surgeon. The best houses were
the thatched ones, and the most comfortable of all
was Major Smith's. Ours was a flat-roofed one,
and therefore warmer than if thatched. There
was a good billiard table kept up by subscription,
and a public garden with a good swimming bath
in ■ it, enclosed and roofed. Major Smith was
married, and had a daughter -about ten years of
age at Goorgaon, and two older boys in England
at school. Doctor Poole was also married. My
head clerk was a particularly intelligent man,
possessing a good knowledge of engineering, which
was very useful to me; there being such a constant
demand for hew buildings of sorts—viz., school-
houses, road bungalows, police buildings, tuhseel
ditto for revenue collectors, etc., etc. I soon made
a tour in tents all over the district, so as to get
acquainted with my subordinates in all five subdivisions. The district was a highly interesting
one, being about sixty miles long by perhaps forty
in breadth, and was nearly divided from north to
south by a low range of hills averaging in height
about 500 feet, over which the roads were very
bad, and to the repair of which my early attention
was given. There were parts of the district to
the south which had not been visited by any
European for more than a generation, and the
people flocked out in hundreds of a morning to
see Agnes and myself riding past. These villages
were mainly occupied by a tribe called Mewattees,
who had in old times given much trouble. The
story is told of them that in 1857, when the
English officials had been driven out of the
Goorgaon district and native officials arrived
from Delhi to collect revenue by order of the
newly - proclaimed king, these sturdy Mewattees
declined to pay a single rupee, saying that " if
the officials appeared in their villages, they would
hang them on the nearest trees." This was not
from any loyal feeling towards us, but simply from
a dislike to paying any revenue to anybody.
When Mr. Ford resumed charge of the district
after the fall of Delhi he was supported by a
strong detachment of troops, and dealt out summary
justice to all offenders with a firm hand; and
amongst those hanged were a goodly number of
Mewattees, as this tribe had not only refused to
pay revenue to the new Mahomedan king who had
been set up at Delhi by the rebel troops—for such
would only have been laudable—but they had
taken the opportunity to plunder the villages of
tribes not so lawless or warlike as themselves, and
thus added greatly to the state of misrule and
disorder that prevailed. On the district being
abandoned   by   the   English   officials,   the   treasury
was plundered and the court-house and records
were all destroyed. Toola Ram, who in old times
had owned large estates in the district, but whose
property had been nearly all attached and sold
under decrees of the civil courts, at once assumed
the reins of government, and according to native
report he managed the district extremely well,
retaining as much as possible the English system
of village accounts; and it was likewise shown
that he had behaved justly to the people, whom
he never plundered or otherwise maltreated. His
only offence against the British was that he had,
on demand, sent money to aid the usurper at
Delhi; and on the return of Mr. Ford he at once
fled from his home and managed to reach Cabul,
the Affghanistan capital, where he shortly afterwards
died. Toola Ram had built a handsome durbar or
court-house at his native town Rewaree, and this
was destroyed by Mr. Ford when he reached the
town; though it would have been wiser to have
left it as a rest-house for the district  authorities.
I never came across so many snakes (chiefly
cobras) as I did at Goorgaon, and one day the
gardener   came   to   me   in   an   excited   state,   as a
large cobra had taken possession of his hut in
the garden, and was in such an angry state
that all were afraid to tackle it. I went with
my gun loaded with small shot, and found the
snake (a very large cobra) in the middle of
the floor, erect and waving its head (hood spread)
from side to side. I stayed at the door looking
at it for a few minutes; but it showed no
intention of moving off, so I shot it in the head,
and found that it measured close on six feet.
I think it must have had eggs or young ones
near by, and thus showed such pluck—for snakes,
as a rule, make off very quickly when people
approach them. Natives think that English people
escape being bitten by snakes from the noise
their boots or shoes make in walking, and so
give the snakes warning, whilst natives go about
so much with naked feet, and are thus apt to
tread on snakes. On coming down a hill at
Abbotabad I actually trod on a large cobra, but
it did not turn on me, and seemed as glad to
get  away  as  I  was.
Chapter  IX.
IHEN I had nearly finished my first tour in
the district of Goorgaon, I received a
**$<$*§>*** note from my assistant, Mr. Bulman,
asking permission to go on a shooting expedition
for a few days—making over charge of the treasury
to the native extra assistant, a well educated man,
who spoke and wrote English well. I agreed to
this; but on the following day a letter came from
Bulman reporting a defalcation in the treasury of
Rs.30,000 (£3,000). This information brought me
at once to head-quarters; and it appeared that the
native assistant, on taking charge of the cash and
counting the bags, had found thirty short, each of
which should have held Rs. 1,000. The agent of
the head treasurer was at once apprehended by my
orders, as he was the person in direct charge of
the cash, and he made a full confession, saying
how he had managed on three separate occasions to
keep back ten bags of rupees when cash remittances
arrived from the customs officers on the salt line.
The head treasurer, who resided at Delhi, and who
had lodged heavy securities with the Government,
was sent for; and on being called upon to
make good the deficiency complied at once with
such order—at the same time protesting that Mr.
Bulman, by his careless procedure, had in a way
given encouragement to the nefarious agent; and
there was some truth in this; but Bulman was
quite a young officer, and the affair was doubtless
a good lesson to him—for he was supposed to see
every bag locked up in the big chests, which were
kept in a locked-up strong room. The agent was
tried by me, and sentenced to imprisonment with
hard labour for seven years, and also fined to an
extent which would somewhat compensate the head
treasurer. On further inquiry it was discovered
that most of the embezzled money had been lent
out to residents of the station, and Major Smith
had borrowed about Rs.3,000, and my head clerk
some also. Of course these borrowers had supposed
that the agent was possessed of private funds; and
his personal appearance being rather imposing, and
his style of dress expensive, they might well have
thought so.
We found the bath-house a real luxitry in the
hot months, and Agnes soon learnt to swim about
in it of a morning. The depth was seven feet,
and with the help of empty gourds strapped to
her back she managed to learn in deep water.
When touring in the southern part of the district
near the Ulwur territory, I managed to capture a
leopard, full grown. It had been seen to enter
a eave in the low hills; and I had a large wooden
cage made up very quickly and placed at the
cave's mouth the same afternoon, and then, by
enlarging a small hole which we found at the top
of the cave, and by throwing in some lighted straw,
the animal was forced to spring into the cage—I
standing by with a loaded gun ready to let fly
should he succeed in breaking the bars, which he
nearly did. With some ropes, however, we managed
to strengthen the weak parts, and the animal was
brought in triumph to Goorgaon on a cart. When
the leopard became a little tranquil and somewhat
accustomed to imprisonment, I made him over to
the Zoological Society of Delhi, and I daresay he
is still in the gardens there. I also when at
Goorgaon secured a white crow—the only one 1
ever  saw.    This  I  also  made over to the   society.
It was quite a healthy bird, and the man who
caught it alive said there was another one with it,
which the people would not allow him to catch, as
there was some superstitious feelings about these
birds. One day in camp, at about thirty miles
from Goorgaon, I heard a loud report as if a big
cannon had been fired a mile or so off in a
western direction, and next day I found that a
meteoric stone of large size had fallen about a
mile from camp. A large piece (about the size of
two fists) was sent in to me, and I despatched it
with a report to the Calcutta Museum. These
meteors are said to burst on reaching our atmosphere; and it was some years afterwards, in 1868,
at Mooltan, when lying on my bed at midnight
outside in the hot season, that I saw a splendid
meteor, looking the size of a school globe, pass
across the heavens; and in a day or two it was
reported that a large meteoric stone had fallen
that night near a village four miles off, and a
great piece was sent in to me by the head-man.
It was of the same black appearance as the
Goorgaon one, and was said to have buried itself
about two feet in the earth when it fell with a
loud explosion.    These were the only two meteoric
stones   I   can   distinctly  speak   of,   though   I   had
often seen specimens.
My brother Gussy came to us in the hot season
of 1864 with Carry — she had joined him in
England in 1861, after we left. Gussy was looking
very thin and ill, yet he took a great deal of
exercise; and after leaving us, he died on the
28th of August the same year. His chief complaint
was looseness of the bowels, which had troubled
him ever since he had a bad attack of cholera at
Dacca in 1863. He was of an extremely nice
disposition, and was universally liked. His regiment
was then at Morar (Gwalior), where he died and
was buried; the officers erecting his tomb.
There were several very good schools in the
Goorgaon district, much better than at Ferozepore
or Goojranwala, and the people took much more
interest in education than was the case in the
Punjab proper, north of Delhi; more especially in
the Rajpoot villages did I observe this eagerness
for learning, even to the extent of schools for the
girls, and the old head-men have often asked me
to examine the girls' schools, showing thereby a
confidence very far   from   common   amongst  other
castes, as they are generally very shy of any
interference by civil officers for the spread of
female education. Agnes learnt to read the Oordoo
characters, so as to assist somewhat at the girls'
schools, where sewing was also taught. The
influential natives showed a desire to have their
boys taught English, and willingly subscribed to
meet the cost of capable teachers, all of which
was very pleasing to see; though the Mahomedans
as a rule held back from the movement, being far
more bigoted than the Hindoos, and very much
afraid of any scientific teaching that might tend
to make their chUdren doubt the historical truth
of their reHgious books. One of the most
enlightened natives I ever met was the head
master of the Rewaree School, who had been
educated at the missionary college at Agra. He
was a Hindoo of good caste, and always spoke
in the highest terms of the missionaries, whose
teaching he admitted had led to his throwing aside
all his childish beliefs; but still he found it
impossible, after a deep study of the Bible, much
as he admired the excellence of the moral doctrines
found there, to take up the belief in Christianity
as  a revelation;   urging   in   conversation   one  day
that " he failed to see how any well
thoughtful man could do so: for," said he, " the
missionaries taught us to use our reasoning powers
in judging of the authenticity of our religious
books, as expounded by the Brahmin priests, and
whether such accounts of the deities as they
contained were worthy of any credit or not; and
then, after such superstitions had been thrown off,
we were told to abstain from using our reasoning
powers, but to allow faith to exercise full control on
the imagination, and to take up as historically true
the astounding story of Christ's miraculous birth
and His miraculous doings—though the proofs are
seen to be so extremely meagre." I give this as
the well-considered opinion of a cultured Hindoo
gentleman, and any thoughtful person must see
the great difficulty with such highly - educated
natives, eager to find the truth, and yet not
knowing where to look for it; for on points of
doctrine they very soon see what diversities exist
amongst Christian sects, and well may they fight
shy from jumping to any hasty conclusion on an
abstruse question that is still puzzling the greatest
intellects of the age. A great deal of good work
is  done   by the   missionaries   throughout   India   in
the educational line; but in the parts of India
where I have lived their success in gaining converts
has been very slight. In the Madras Presidency,
and in Chota Nagpore and Bengal, they can point
to far greater success; but there the people who
have come under their influence are of a low
caste, and by turning Christians their social position
has been much improved: for instance, in the
Travancore territory, which is under an independent
chief, the low caste people were a very downtrodden race, and their women were not even
allowed by the State laws to wear any covering
over their bosoms—the chaddar, or shoulder cloth,
being allowed only to women of the higher castes.
When these people were converted to Christianity,
the missionaries very soon managed to get this
restriction removed, and there is no doubt but that
the low caste tribes have greatly benefited by the
change. Amongst the educated upper classes the
success has been very trifling in the Punjab, and
all outdoor preaching appears to have been left to
the native converts, amongst whom there are
doubtless some very earnest men. As a rule the
native Christians that I have come across were
not a nice lot, and those few that I have tried in
official posts turned out failures.* In the course of
time the Hindoos must throw off their superstitions,
but I can hardly imagine that they will ever
accept the Christian dogmas in their entirety. The
Church they will form would most likely be one
of a Unitarian character; though there is no saying
with the least certainty what sort of Church the
future will bring forth, as the majority of the
well educated and thoughtful laity in England
and Europe are in a state of doubt regarding
religious dogma. The missionary is often a poorly-
educated man, and is therefore unable to argue
successfully with the highly-educated Hindoos and
Mahomedans, who admire his self - denial and
zeal, but rather despise his method of discussing
the religious question—as they so often find that
he is ignorant of the doctrines which underlie
their systems, as well as of the history of their
people. The Indian missionary generally lives in
the   cantonment   or   civil   lines   in   a   comfortable
* One convert recommended his son as being " very fond of
reading his Bible, and also an excellent judge of a horse;"
and as I was then engaged in selecting horses for the Oude
Mounted Police, he evidently thought the second qualification
would touch me.
 house, comfortably furnished, and keeps a conveyance—many of them being able to send their
families to the hills in the hot weather; and I
found amongst Protestants nothing like what I saw
amongst the Catholics in Bettiah, near Segowly,
where two priests were living in truly humble
style amongst the villagers. Near Goorgaon there
lived an old native gentleman of rank named
Tofuzzal Hossain, who had stood by us most
loyally in 1857 when residing in the Nagpore State,
having been rewarded with a grant of land rent
free besides a pension. This chief had thrown up
all belief in Mahomed as a religious teacher, but
had not taken up the Christian faith. He used
to sneer at all beliefs, but considered the Christian
the best; and told me that a missionary at Agra
(the present Bishop of Lahore) had convinced him
of the absurdity of supposing that what went
into the mouth could defile a man, so he took to
drinking champagne and eating pork and bacon,
etc.—thus showing his contempt for Mahomedanism,
the religion of his forefathers. He was an old
man and had three wives, to whom he introduced
me one evening after dinner, as also to his mother,
who   must   have   been   of   a   great   age,   yet   he
asserted that she managed all his affairs in a most
capable manner, and was very active. The old
man drank a good deal too much spirituous
liquors, though I never saw him intoxicated. Near
his country house at Furruknuggur, there was
an immense quantity of salt manufactured by
evaporation after the water from the saline wells
had been conveyed into the large shallow reservoirs,
of which there were a great number. All this
salt had to pay a heavy duty to the Government;
and right across the district was a line of customs
stations, at which were located officials of the
Excise Department with their constables, who kept
guard to prevent the smuggling of salt from
foreign territory—viz., Rajpootana and some other
localities; and a very high and thick thorny
hedge connected all the stations without the least
break, beyond gates at important places, so as to
form an effective barrier. All these arrangements
wore a cumbersome appearance; but the officials
said that no other system would secure the
Government interests against the unscrupulous
portion of the village communities, who lived at
such a convenient distance from the customs line.
The  officers  were most   of   them  Englishmen,  but
not gentlemen; and got about Rs.200 a month each
for what was rather arduous work if properly
There were several very good rest houses in
the district for the use of the district officers, and
one I liked much was situated at a place called
Taorop, about twenty-five miles from the station
on high land, and near some curious old tombs
of Mahomedan notables; these buildings being
perhaps more than 500 years old, and yet in
capital preservation. Taoroo was thought to be a
very healthy locality; its water being held in
great estimation—especially that from a well which
tradition said had once upon a time been closed
because it made the women so strong that the
men were unable to control them. At Sonah, one
stage from Goorgaon, there were some hot sulphur
springs, where bathing-places had been made very
many years ago for the general public, who
resorted to them very readily—men, women, and
children remaining seated in the hot water up to
their necks for hours, the temperature of the water
being about ninety degrees near the springs. The
Government   made   some   bathing - places   for   the
English soldiers from Delhi who might be afflicted
with what are called Delhi boils, and the men
were said to have derived much benefit from the
baths. I tried them once, and found the water
too hot to be pleasant. A Doctor Turton was in
medical charge of the soldiers at the baths, and
he lived with his wife in an old Mahomedan tomb.
They had only just been married; yet somehow
did not get on well. She had been a widow,
young and frisky,, with a hot temper. He was
a tall good-looking man, perhaps about her own
age—clever, fond of his profession, and of rather
determined character; thus the fight for power
very naturally came on at an early date after
the junction of two such persons. She hated the
dulness and quietness of the place, and wished him
to go back to head-quarters. He, zealous and
kind-hearted, was very desirous of working out
the experiment to the full extent, and being
confident that cures could be effected by the hot
bathing, was determined to stay on. His wife
took to her bed, declaring she would not get up
till the order for the march came. He gave her
to understand that her only ailment was a fit of
the  sulks,   and  that  he  intended  to  visit  her just
as he would an ordinary patient; and so far the
quarrel had progressed when we passed through
Sonah, and had Doctor Turton to dine with us—his
wife writing that she was too unwell to come.
We never came across the couple again, so cannot
say if their differences were ever made up; but it
was very amusing at the time to hear Doctor
Turton recounting all his differences with his
newly-married wife.
Early in 1865 Bishop Cotton, from Calcutta,
paid us a visit of a couple of days, and consecrated
the little church and graveyard. He was attended
by his own chaplain and Mr. Matthews, the chaplain
from Delhi. Bishop Cotton was a quiet spoken and
I should say good man: he came to an untimely
end in Assam—having fallen into the river when
walking over a long plank fixed from the shore
to the steamer. The body was never found.
We went to Mussourie for two months in the
autumn of 1865, and Godfrey (our eighth child)
was born there on the 19th of October. I did
not think Mussourie nearly equal to Simla as a
sanatorium; but the view of the dhoon (or low
land) was very pretty, as also the snow view from
the high hill of   Landour.
In 1866, early in the year, Carry stayed with
us for a few days—together with her new husband,
Lieutenant Cock, whom she had married at the
Cape. They were on their way to Kaugra to
join the Goorkha regiment to which he had been
appointed. Cock was a very tall man, and devoted
to sport. I never met with a man more eager after
game; and during his short stay he was out every
morning very early till night, and always brought
home some deer or neelghai.* I liked what I saw
of Cock; but he did not give me the impression
of a clever man, though he was very fond of
natural history—and knew a good deal on that,
his favourite subject. His collection of birds' eggs
was also a valuable one. Before going to the
Cape he had been a good deal in Assam, and the
records in his journal showed what a very keen
and successful hunter of the large game of India
he had been at that time, and such bags of
elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, and buffaloes have
been made by very few sportsmen. It was in
Assam that his health broke down and necessitated
a trip to the Cape, where he had intended to seek
for  sport   in  the wildest parts—all such aspirations
* A kind of deer which natives call a "blue cow."
having been blocked by his marriage. Close to the
station of Goorgaon there is a small Hindoo temple
dedicated to the goddess Debee, who is supposed to
preside over small-pox, and by her influence to spread
it or cause its decrease. To this temple at certain
seasons (more especially when small-pox is about)
the people resort in great crowds, the majority
being women, who bring their children to make
offerings of silver and gold, or jewellery, to
propitiate the goddess; and these offerings are a
source of much wealth to the village head-men
(where the temple is situated), who by some
ancient rule divide the spoils according to their
shares in the land. The women, who are generally
afraid of their children losing their eyesight from
small-pox, make offerings also of gold and silver
eyes worked up as ornaments.
As an instance of the superstitious feelings of
the natives, I remember that at Rewaree, which is
a large town, it was very desirable that the
dispensary should be enlarged, but in the only
direction where an additional room could be built
there was a very ancient tree, whose branches
on   the   further   side   sheltered  an   old tomb  over
the body of a man considered a great saint, and
who had died several hundred years ago. On my
telling the native collector that the old tree would
have to be cut down he looked rather troubled in
mind, and on the next day when I went to the
dispensary to point out to the builder exactly what
I wished to have done I found a large Crowd
assembled, and one of the leading men of the
town said that the people were excited and would
be much grieved if the tree on so sacred a spot
was felled, as the saint would assuredly be very
angry at such sacrilege, and some disaster would
certainly happen to the town. I pointed out to
the people what great benefits were derived from
a good-sized dispensary, and that any addition to
the present rather small one was impossible so long
as the tree (which was certainly not ornamental)
remained on the ground; I then asked them if
the saint when he was alive was not considered
a very kind-hearted good man, who always wished
well to his fellow creatures, and they replied,
"Yes, that such was the tradition." Then I said,
"Why should you suppose that since he left this
world he has become an irascible, cold-hearted man,
and   entirely  have   changed   his   character?"    The
people could not help smiling at this remark, and
I soon gained my point, promising to have the
tomb put into good repair.
On the south-western border of the district
there was a fair-sized village, occupied almost
entirely by a tribe called Meenas, who for
generations had been known as subsisting by
robbery. Most of the houses of the village were
substantial brick buildings, but the owners possessed
no land, neither were they known to have any
ostensible means of making an honest living, and
their character being so notoriously bad it became
necessary to place the whole village under police
supervision, and as a measure of prevention it was
ordered by the Punjab Government that there
should be a roll - call of all adult males every
morning and evening, and any absentee who could
not account satisfactorily for his non-appearance
was liable to severe punishment by the magistrate.
These robbers were in the habit of carrying on
their depredations at great distances from the
village, on information obtained from their brethren,
in villages chiefly in independent territory; and
so   cunningly  were   their   plans  arranged,   and   so
swiftly could they journey on their costly riding
camels, that their success in baffling the police
was very great; though most undoubtedly in my
time the policy of the Government had struck a
severe blow at their evil machinations. There were
other notorious tribes in the Punjab who had to
be watched in somewhat similar ways, but the
Meenas were far superior to any others for
courage, powers of combination, and intelligence.
In those days the system of Thuggee had almost
received its death blow, and the special
establishment for its suppression had been greatly
reduced, and the few cases which now occur are
in the native protected States. In 1863, when at
Simla on leave, our house was adjacent to that
occupied by Colonel Hervey, the Superintendent
for the Suppression of Thuggee, and he always had
several Thuggee approvers about the house holding
the position of orderly chupprasses. These were
men who had years ago been seized as notorious
thugs, but having supplied most valuable information
towards incriminating the leaders of the association,
had escaped condign punishment and been retained
as approvers, and ofttimes were invaluable in
recognizing   suspected   men  and   in  giving  aid   to
the department. Colonel Hervey told me that he
had the fullest trust in them, though the hands
of each were doubtless imbrued with the blood
of murdered traders and wealthy travellers. He
said they had often served as bearers and
attendants on his children, and as detectives in
criminal cases other than Thuggee had often
rendered   excellent  service.
The Indian police are rather distinguished for
their capacity as detectives; and I remember how
the wife of a wealthy merchant at Calcutta had
a valuable diamond ring stolen from her dressing
room, and information of the loss was at once
given to the poHce by her husband, but nothing
openly resulted from the inquiries made, and the
lady gave up all hope of recovering her ring. A
fortnight or so after the theft a smart-looking
young man applied to the merchant for the post
of an assistant table attendant, as a vacancy had
just occurred, and as his testimonials were very
good, and his appearance greatly in his favour, he
was duly engaged. He performed his duties well,
and also became very attentive to the ayah of the
lady  of  the  house, who it was  evident was weU-
pleased with his attentions, and after a short time
consented to marry him. He expressed great joy
at being accepted, but said his means were small,
and he should not be able to marry until he had.
put by a small sum from his pay, as it was his
intention when married to set up a shop. She
replied that she had some jewellery, to which he
was welcome, and amongst other things a valuable
diamond, which he might be able to dispose of up.
country, as she did not wish it to be sold at
Calcutta. It is not necessary to say more than that
the ayah was speedily apprehended and convicted,
after a full confession; and the young policeman
(soi-disant table attendant) was well rewarded for
his smartness.
I should have mentioned that, according to our
servants (who spoke on the subject in subdued
voices), the Superintendent of the Thuggee Department was held by the natives generally to be a
most wonderful personage, and amongst other
stories rife about him was that of his power as
a sorcerer, especially in manufacturing a wonderful
curative ointment out of the bodies of small
children, which were boiled down in out-of-the-way
places with most peculiar ceremonies.
I feel bound by a strong sense of friendship
and gratitude to mention what an excellent man
I had at Goorgaon as sheristidar, or Superintendent
of the Vernacular Office on the judicial side. He
was a Hindoo of the Brahmin caste, but holding
broad and charitable views, more especially on
popular education, giving to it a great stimulus by
his advice and exhortation throughout the district.
He must have been nearer fifty than forty years
of age, yet he had taught himself English in
middle life quite sufficient to write a fair letter,
though the grammar might be perhaps weak; and
his young son had commenced his education in
English at a very early age. As an official he
was an indefatigable worker, having a capital
knowledge of law and procedure in the Civil and
Criminal Departments; and by close attention to
his heavy duties he most undoubtedly shortened his
life, being attacked by consumption and general
wasting during my last year at Goorgaon, closing
his life at Delhi shortly before I left the district.
I certainly owe a deep debt of gratitude to
the majority of native officials who worked under
me so intelligently, honestly, and patiently during
my long career as a civil officer, and though there
were occasionally instances of misconduct, yet the
quiet, smooth way in which the machinery worked
as a rule in my own and other Punjab districts,
spoke most strongly for the efficiency of the native
staff, upon whom of course the chief burthen fell.
My other sheristidar at Goorgaon, in the
Revenue Department, was also of high caste, but a
much older man, with extreme Conservative views.
I often talked with him when the day's work was
over; and much would he groan and lament over
the reckless way in which the younger generation
were throwing off their ancestral beliefs, and thus
introducing sad discord into so many Hindoo
families throughout the land. I tried to console
him with the assurance that this was no new thing,
and that the like happened to every nation at
some time or other, as religious feeling was
progressive, and in most families there would be
some of more advanced opinions, political and
religious, than others; and thus fathers and sons,
mothers and daughters, would mutually find themselves opposed to each other, as in an imperfect
world, occupied by imperfect beings, matters could
never be expected to always go on smoothly.
Scepticism I also assured him was an absolute
essential for progress, as without it we should now
be falling down in adoration before stocks and
stones. The old gentleman would listen, but look
quite unconvinced; and on taking leave would
sometimes express his satisfaction at being near
life's close, so that he would never live to see
the very  great  change  he  so  dreaded.
In June, 1866, I had to go to Kussowlie to
take up the duties of additional commissioner, in
order to clear off the heavy arrears in the
Commissioner's office, where the civil and criminal
appeals had accumulated to more than 1,000 in
number; and as this gave me a hill station for
six months in the hot season, and a good deal
more pay, it was a very pleasant change from-
Goorgaon—more especially as we were able to
procure a comfortable house not far from the
court-house, where I had to work. Kussowlie is
at about the same height above the sea as Simla,
but much nearer to the plains: the society was
rather limited, as there was only a depot (and not
a  regiment)   of   English   soldiers;   but   several   of
the official residents of Umballa were there on
short leave, and a good deal of croquet went on
at the houses of the civilians. It is said to be
healthier than Simla, being free from low jungle,
and with a better water supply, Reynell Taylor
was the Commissioner of the division, and I had
been sent to clear off his arrears. We had known
him and his wife well at Murdan, when he was
commanding the Guide Corps. He was known for
a very chivalrous officer, and on the frontier in
old days had much distinguished himself, and
gained the appellation of the "Bayard of the
Punjab;" and from what I saw of him I gathered
that he was a high-minded man, possessed of good
ability; but at civil work he was very dilatory,
from constitutional disability to form an opinion,
perhaps from over-conscientiousness: but be the
cause what it may, the results of such style of
working were very unsatisfactory to litigants, and
also to the Government, which did not like to
deal hardly with so distinguished a man, and so
gave him assistance in getting through the work.
I always got on extremely well with" him; but in
illustration of his manner of working, I remember
that  he   sent   me   a very voluminous  record  in  a
civil appeal case, which he said he had gone
through some time ago and had actually begun to
write out a decision, but from pressure of work
had put it aside. When in regular order this
case came up for decision, and I was about to
tackle it, Taylor wrote to say "it was one he felt
bound to decide, and therefore hoped I would
send it to him so that he might dispose of it at
once." This I did; but lo! and behold! when I
came back (a year afterwards) to Umballa to clear
off more arrears, I found this identical case still
undisposed of, and had to decide it myself. It
was in the winter of 1866 that Lord Lawrence,
the Viceroy, held a grand durbar at Agra," and I
had to do the Commissioner's work for Taylor,
occupying his house at Umballa for the time of his
absence. One of our friends at Kussowlie was a
Captain B., who had a wife and some children, the
wife being rather plain; and a story was rife that
when on leave some years before in England, he
had fallen in love with the third daughter of a
country clergyman, and the girl was rather pretty,
there being in all five daughters (unmarried); he
did not declare his love, as he was not in a
position   to   marry.     On   his   return   to   India   he
managed to get a good appointment, so wrote at
once to the clergyman proposing for the third
daughter. A reply came that the proposal was
viewed favourably; but as it was against the rule
of the family that a younger daughter should be
married before the elder, he had considered the
proposal as one for his eldest daughter, and she
would leave for Calcutta by the next mail. The
story seemed too strange for belief; but my
informant declared it was quite true, and that B.
felt himself obliged to go to Calcutta and marry
the eldest—who was also the plainest sister; who,
however, as far as I could judge, made him a
very good wife.
At a secluded part of the station of Kussowlie
near where four roads met, there was a small pillar
that had been erected by a military man to the
memory of his deceased wife, who had been
cremated by him on that spot some few years
before we were at the station. It is said that
he carried out the cremation at night-time without
previous notice to any one, and at the distinct
request of his wife. The officer commanding was
greatly   annoyed   when   he   heard   of   it,   but   as
there was nothing in the articles of war forbidding
cremation he was obliged to let the matter pass
over, and very wisely too, for there could be no
better way of disposing of dead bodies, more
especially in India, where disease spreads so
quickly from the germs which get abroad from
bad gases. In Central India, when a railway was
in course of construction, the workmen had to cut
through an old Mahomedan graveyard in which
some years previously many bodies had been
buried of people who had died from cholera, and
sad to say, very shortly after the cutting had
been commenced cholera of a most virulent type
broke out amongst the native workmen, who died
by hundreds, at least so said the newspapers. In
the churchyard at Stone there is a portion where
it is said some bodies were buried at the time
of the Great Plague, and to this day that part
lies untouched by the sexton's spade, and yet, so
short-sighted are the majority of English men and
women, that they are foolish enough to protest
against cremation, some actually being stupid
enough to say that it might interfere with the
resurrection of their bodies at the end of the
world.    This argument was,  however,  very easily
disposed of by Lord Shaftesbury, who wished to
know "if the martyrs who had suffered death by
being burned alive were likely to be thus doomed
to eternal death!!"
In 1867, at early spring, Sir Donald Macleod,
the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, marched
through the Goorgaon district from south to north
when returning from the grand durbar at Agra.
I accompanied his camp, taking all my meals
with him daily, as did all his staff. The camp
was large and imposing, his tents being of a larger
size than any I had yet seen except such as were
used by the Viceroy; and his military secretary
told me there were 300 tent-pitchers attached to
the camp, one half of them going on ahead daily
with the duplicate tents. Sir Donald was a well
read, clever man, and what may be styled "very
pious," having been brought up in the Baptist
persuasion, though he always attended our Church
services. He gave away large sums in charity,
and when he left the service had saved very little.
He was killed on the Metropolitan Railway, through
missing his footing when about to step into a