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Katheler, and the troops of Rajah Ramdial, and Neen Sing, from the northern parts of the Dooab, completed this formidable aggregate.
Thirty thousand men, and a train of one hundred and ten pieces of artillery, had now surrounded Mr. Thomas on all sides : they so much overawed the neighbouring' peasantry, that they not only immediately submitted, but discontinued their usual supplies of provisions for his camp, by which means his difficulties were so severely augmented, that all he could hope for, was an immediate attack on his camp, thereby to afford him an opportunity of evincing the bravery of his small force, by a vigorous and decisive encounter.
But being too weak to draw out his force in the open field, he was compelled to remain within his lines, and fortify the camp in the best possible manner, by drawing round it a hedge of the same kind of thorn-trees he had made use of when under fimilar embarrassment in the Jypoor dominions.
Having provided for the security of his camp, and possessing a stock of provisions sufficient for a month's consumption, he determined to remain in his present position until assistance
could arrive from Luckwah, who, on the commencement of hostilities, had given him afsurances of coming to his support.
On the right of his encampment, a division of Mr. Perron's force had thrown up some entrenched works; but Mr. Thomas, by a brisk fire from his guns, quickly compelled them to abandon it, which, favoured by the darkness of the night, they accomplished.
Skirmishes between the armies daily took place, in which the troops of Mr. Thomas, though much inferior in point of numbers, had manifestly the advantage.
The enemy's cavalry constantly hovered round his camp to annoy his foraging parties, and prevent supplies of provisions from getting in. Though inferior to the enemy in point of numbers, Mr. Thomas's cavalry, from active and constant service, had a decided advantage; and so very alert were his people, that two of
the principal commanders of the enemy narrowly escaped being made prisoners in an attempt to surprise his camp.
Warned at length by experience that nothing was to be gained by thefe defultory attacks, and that Mr. Thomas ftrenuously persevered in his system of keeping close within his lines, they endeavoured to effect by corrupt and treacherous means, what they had vainly hoped to accomplish by open and manly warfare. ;
It must here be remarked, that the families of several of Mr. Thomas's officers resided within Mr. Perron's districts. He, in order to avail himself of their dependant situation, and accelerate Mr. Thomas's ruin, had, at the commencement of hostilities, placed a guard over their respective houses. . Among the principal were the families of Shah Tab Khawn and Khirrate Khawn, the former a collector of Mr. Thomas's revenue, and the latter the commandant of his first matchlock regiment.
These men, who had been at first confined
by Mr. Perron, were afterwards liberated and sent for by him to the fort of Coel, his place of residence. . '
He there, by present bribes and still larger promises of reward in future, perfuaded them to join in effecting the ruin of their principal. The ungrateful men, although they had on various occasions experienced the greatest proofs of kindness and benevolence from Mr. Thomas, and whom he had raised from low situations in his army to authority and command, scrupled not to desert him in the hour of his distress, and to join with his enemies in hastening his downfal.
Their opportunities to effect this were too favourable. Shah Tab, Khan, who commanded in the fort of George Ghur, had caused some stacks of hay within the fort, which formed the chief support of his cattle, to be treacheroully set on fire. The small supply of grain also, which now constituted the support of the garrison, was privately made away with by means equally nefarious.
Not content with the effect already produced on the minds of Mr. Thomas's people by circumstances so untoward, these perfidious men were constantly instilling into the minds of the troops the perilousness of their fituation, and apparent impossibility of ever extricating themfelves, except by submission to the enemy and uniting with them. Of these treacherous designs Mr. Thomas was not informed until it was too late to frustrate their effe&t by any exertions on his part. Luckwah, whom he impaticntly expected, did not arrive ; and other chiefs who had promised their affiftance, not only withheld it, but actually joined this epemies. About this time, likewise, Colonel Helsing, the commandant of Agra, arrived, and added himself to the number of Mr. Thomas's focs.
Several of his officers, whose habitations were in Mr. Perron's districts, deferted from his camp. His cattle were either killed or disabled, his grain had failed, and his ammunition fell Toft. With the utmoft exertion he was scarcely able to procure grain by dekaching parties fecretly at night, who brought