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determination to escort the traitor to their own camp.
His escape was easily effected, Mr. Thomas being in no condition to punish him; and on his departure, a party from camp was ordered to take possession of the fort ; but by the desertion of Shah Tab Khan the face of affairs was altered considerably for the worse. The matchlock men were now deserting the camp in crowds and in all directions; a few of the officers of the whole regiment being the only persons who remained.
Mr. Thomas's sole reliance was now on the attachment of the regiment which had been commanded by the gallant but unfortunate Mr. Hopkins, at the commencement of the campaign. It was seven hundred strong; but during the late severe service had been reduced to one third of the original number. « These “ (fays Mr. Thomas, in the bitterness of his “ anguish, occafioned by so many desertions) " were the only men that stood true to my
But even with this force, though comparatively so insignificant, had there been provi, fions and forage in the place, he might still have defénded the fort of George Ghur ; but excepting the small portion allotted for the sustenance of the sick and wounded men, not a seer of rice or grain could be procured ; to complete their distress, the enemy, perceiving their forlorn situation, prepared to advance and overwhelm them with numbers; nothing now remained for Mr. Thomas but to attempt a retreat, and, if possible, carry into effect his former determination of throwing himself into Hansi
Agreeably to this determination, having ordered the cavalry to hold themselves in readiness, he about nine o'clock in the evening quitted his camp
Not long after, he fell in with a party of the enemy, who attacked him with vigour : his men, disheartened by the late events, having lost their accustomed fpirit, gave way, on all sides, and he was compelled with a few followers to fly for his life.
The enemy continuing the pursuit, he was compelled to make a circuitous route in order to avoid falling in with straggling parties, by which means, though Hanfi was not more than forty coss from George Ghur, he was compelled to travel nearly double that distance.*
Arrived at length in safety at Hansi, Mr. Thomas's first care was directed to its des : fence.
* In this retreat Mr. Thomas rode a favourite Persian horse of a very superior breed and the highest spirit. On this generous animal, without allowing any intermission on the road, he performed a journey of one hundred and twenty miles within twenty-four hours. This horse, which Mr. Thomas brought with him down the country, is now in the possessíon of Sir Frederick Hamilton, Bart. of Benares.
+ Hansi, according to the Ayeen Akberi, is included in the Soobah of Delhi. Speaking of the rivers contained within this Soobah, the author of the Ayeen Akberi observes, “ There are also many lesser streams, and amongst o them the Kenkkar, vulg. (Cuggur). Hansi is an ancient “ city, where reposes. Sheik Jumal, successor of Sheik Fe“ reed Shuker Gunj (of whom we have spoken in our de« tail of the Battee country). The city of Hissar was ** founded by Sultaun Ferose, who dug a canal which
Warned by past experience of the treacherous disposition of the Moofsulmans, he commit, ted the charge of the fort and city to his faithful Rajepoots, whom on all occasions, and in the most trying situations, he had ever found worthy his confidence.
He was not mistaken in his conjectures, as daily instances occurred during the siege of the inconstancy and treachery of the others.
Two pieces of artillery were all that remained in the fort fit for service. The dilatory march of the enemy to invest the town afforded Mr. Thomas sufficient time to cast and mount eight additional cannon. The enemy advancing by easy stages possessed themselves of the wells in the neighbourhood of Hansi, and at length commenced the fiege. .
“ brings the water of the Jumna near this city. This ca“ nal passes the town of Sersah. Hissar has very few ri“ vers, and in order to make wells, the inhabitants are “ obliged to dig to a great depth."-See Mr. Gladwin's Translation of the Ayeen Akberi, Calcutta edition . article Delhi, vol. ii.
• The Rajepoots who still adhered to Mr.
Thomas, by this time reduced in their numbers to three hundred men, were stationed within the fort; the remainder of his force, consisting of about nine hundred men, were distributed for the defence of the city and the out-posts, Aware of his very critical situation, Mr. Thomas himself remained within the fort, taking care to keep a strict guard during the night.
The troops destined for the security of the out-posts had scarcely occupied their respective stations, when, in a manner most dastardly and treacherous, they delivered them over to the enemy; and the fort and city were thus left to be defended by a handful of men.
This even was rendered impracticable by the treachery of fome Rohillas, who invited the enemy to advance to the attack. The af. sault was accordingly made : on the entrance of the enemy into the town, a desperate conflict was maintained on either side, Mr. Thomas’s remaining troops fighting with the most determined valour: three different times the enemy were repulsed with loss, but numbers at