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sedate and unruffled countenance, that the reason of this extraordinary change was manifest, as the great founder of their religion had chosen this method to evince his resentment of their late impious conduct, in concluding a treaty with Moofsulmaun chiefs, who were the acknowledged enemies of their own faith.
This harangue, however impudent, would have been attended with the desired effect, had not Kurrum Sing at that instant stepped forth from the crowd of chiefs, by which the impostor was encircled, and in the most public manner, accompanied with sarcastic observations and much levity, exposed the whole of the deceit which he had caused to be practised the preceding night.
The charm was now diffolved ; the remaining chiefs, ashamed of having submitted to an imposition so gross, now abandoned him to his fate, and he was left with only about 1000 of his own people; but the peasantry of the country, who from restlessness of spirit are
always ready to change their rulers, still adhered to his interests, and having joined him in great numbers, brought with them an abundant
visions and other neceflaries.
The Rannee, without protection, was in no condition to resist; and the Seik chiefs, although they would no longer embrace the impostor's cause, were nevertheless unwilling to fight against him ; he, therefore, soon got posfeffion of the Rannee's country, and had formed the siege of Lodhana,* about the same time that Mr. Thomas, as we have before related, made himself master of the fort of Bhaut.
It was in this situation of her affairs, when reduced almost to extremity, that the Rannee determined to apply to Mr. Thomas for his afsistance in expelling the impostor from her territories. With this intention the dispatched a confidential servant to his camp, who, on her part, promised him a remuneration of a lack of rupees, if he would espouse her cause, and re
* Consult the map.
instate her son, the young rajah, in his authority.
She promised moreover to send him an annual tribute of 50,000 rupees, if he would guarantee her son in the undisturbed poffefsion of it.
*Mr. Thomas, though well aware that by accepting the present offer he should draw on himself a procrastinated war, nevertheless observes with that humane consideration which always marked his character, that the fallen condition of an ancient and honourable family had great weight with him in forming his resolution on this head.
In the mean time the impostor, hearing of the negotiations betwixt the Rannee and Mr. Thomas, sent the latter a letter, in which he stated, that having called to his assistance Runjeet Sing and others, the most powerful among the Seik chiefs, he was now on his march against Mr. Thomas, and advised him, if he wished for quarter, to send a vakeel directly to
his camp. In this letter, arrogating to himself the title of successor of Nanick, and sovereign of the Seik nation, he recommended implicit obedience to his commands. Equally indignant at the style of the impostor's address, as he was regardless of his menaces, Mr. Thomas replied, that had he feared the power of the Seiks he would not have penetrated thus far into the Punjab; that he was accustomed to receive and not to send vakeels; and that if the impostor wished to live on amicable terms, he must not only pay a sum of money, as others had been compelled to do, but likewise immediately evacuate the territories which he had so unjustly usurped from the infant rajah.
The boldness of this answer only contributed to incense the impostor, and he prepared to attack Mr. Thomas..
Meanwhile the young rajah, despairing of profiting by a longer stay with the chief of Pattialah, of his own accord took leave, and came straight to Mr. Thomas's camp. “ The “ comely appearance (says he) of this youth, ” his fallen condition, and, above all, the con. OF [A. D. 1800. “ fidence he shewed in placing his whole re* liance on one against whom he was fo lately “ leagued in enmity, altogether influenced me “ in his favour, and determined me to use “every exertion in support of his cause.”
The impostor, who by this time had reinforced his army with the troops of Pattialah and others, was encamped in the neighbourhood; but, on Mr. Thomas's advancing, he thought proper to retreat; and his people having no artillery, evacuated the different posts much faster than Mr. Thomas could advance to take poffeffion. So rapid was his march, that in one place he found the bed, palankeen, tent, and baggage, belonging to the impostor, who by a timely retreat saved himself from being made prisoner, and never afterwards occasioned any disturbance,
The Rannee and her son were put in poffefsion of their country, the most active of the rebels were seized, and it was not long before the rajah's authority was completely re-established.