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camp, received correct information of all their deliberations, but had no apprehension for the event; being well convinced, that a body of men, though ever so numerous, being under the command of so many different leaders, each of them influenced by their own separate interest, were incapable of executing any plan with that degree of promptness which in military transactions can alone ensure success.

A circumstance now arose that turned the fcale much in the enemy's favour.

Roy Kellaun, an independant chief on the north-western frontier of the Punjab,* and whose revenue amounted to five lacks of rupees, had lately died, and was succeeded by his eldest son Roy Elias, then a youth.

The Rannee, his mother, in consequence of the tender age of her son, thought proper to assume the reins of government; and though desirous of doing all the justice in her power, was, from inexperience, wholly unfit to transact

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THOMAS. the affairs of her country. The neighbouring Seiks, who, during the life-time of the late rajah, had, through his policy and good management, continued on friendly terms, now perceiving the unprotected state of his infant fon, joined in invading his territories; which having plundered and overrun, they soon, with the exception of a few forts (from their natural strength deemed inaccessible) brought under subjetion the greater part of the country. About this time Zemaun Shah, king of Cabul, arrived at Lahore, a city fifty cofs distant from the young rajah's capital. This proximity induced the princess regent to implore the assistance of that monarch, in reinstating her son in his authority; and for that purpose the accordingly dispatched a vakeel to Lahore.

The Sieks, whether it rose from a dread of being attacked by Zemaun Shah, or they were apprehensive that assistance would be brought from another quarter, Nortly after this event thought proper suddenly to evacuate the coun. try, when the peasantry returned to their allegiance. But now a new obstacle arose, which not only prevented for the present a continuance of the Rannee's tranquillity, but plunged her into still deeper misfortunes than those the had before experienced.

CHAPTER XIII.

Singular account of an iinpostor among the Seiks

His pretensions ; he is detected by a Seik chiefThreatens Mr. Thomas -is compelled to fly-reduction of Kanhori-attack of Sefeedoo-termination of the campaign.

TN the Seik army was a man of the Cuttry -tribe, ambitious, artful, and intriguing, and whose knowledge of mankind, from long and deep reflection, had convinced him it was no difficult matter to render his countrymen the dupes of his own artifices : this man, who pretended to trace his lineage from the great prophet Nanick, the founder and lawgiver of the Seiks, had a regular correspondence with someof his creatures in the Abdali camp, and from time to time received intelligence of the motions and intentions of Zemaun Shah. Informed by his emissaries that the Shah had determined to return to his own dominions, and the exact time being specified for his setting qut, this artful impostor assembled the chiefs of the Seik army, and pretending to the gift of inspiration, acquainted them that during the preceding night he had been favoured with a visit from their prophet; who after lamenting the hardships under which his favourite tribe had laboured by the invasion of Abdallis, he had, through the permission of the Almighty, been enabled to prevail on Zemaun Shah to return to his own country, and that at the moment they were now discoursing that prince had actually commenced his march.

Surprised at the apparent absurdity of this declaration, many of the chiefs treated the information with deserved ridicule ; but when at three o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, intelligence arrived of the actual march of the Shah, as predicted by the impostor, the whole army appeared struck with contrition for their error, and insisted on their chiefs deprecating the anger of this descendant of Nanick, by expiatory offerings, and presents of all kinds.

Fully satisfied with the success of his stratagem, he now affected a lofty deportment, and

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