« PreviousContinue »
necessity of bringing this affair to a speedy conclusion, in the evening of the same day gave orders for an assault, and carried the place by storm. The commandant, his son, and most of his adherents, were cut to pieces.
Having arranged the affairs of Samli, and appointed a civil governor on the part of the Mahrattas, Mr. Thomas repaired to the camp of Bappoo Scindia, with whom, by order of Appakandarow, he now acted in concert.
Bappoo Scindia, when joined by Mr. Thomas, was employed in the reduction of Lucnowty, a place of considerable strength. A practicable breach being effected, preparations were made for storming; when the commandant, seeing he was likely to be unsuccessful in defending the fort, to save a further effusion of blood, came privately to Mr. Thomas's tent, and there made terms for the delivery of the place, which, on the ensuing morning, were performed with punctuality.
A circumstance now arose which had considerable effect not only with regard to the im
mediate situation of Mr. Thomas's affairs, but in changing the future fortune of his eventful life.
Two days previous to the reduction of Samli, he received a letter from Appakandarow, in which that chief informed Mr. Thomas, that from continued illness his pains were augmented to a degree which had now become intolerable, and no hopes appearing of recovery from the cruel distemper under which he laboured, he had determined to put a period to his misery by a voluntary death! For this purpose he was on his way to the Ganges, but requested of Mr. Thomas to come and see him once more before the scene was closed for ever.
On receipt of this intelligence, Mr. Thomas set out immediately to meet, and, if possible, afford consolation to his desponding chief; but he had not advanced far, when the melancholy intelligence reached him of Appakandarow's having voluntarily drowned himself in the river Jumna
Such was the end of Appakandarow, a chief
intrepid and enterprizing, who, amid the tranfactions of later times, and the various revolutions of Mahratta politics in Hindooftan, had borne an active and distinguished part.
The death of Appa was on several accounts unfavourable to Mr. Thomas's interests. Vavon Row, his nephew and successor, was a youth vain and inexperienced, and better adapted to the life of an accomptant than that of a general.
Instigated by the suggestions of persons who surrounded him, the incautious youth was persuaded to demand reftitution from Mr. Thomas of the districts which had been given him by his uncle, as an honorable reward for the services he had performed. Agreeably to this resolution, he had the weakness to order his troops to take possession of the districts in question.
Mr. Thomas, indignant at a conduct he so little merited, peremptorily refused compliance with the order. He represented to that chief, by letter, the impropriety of his present proceeding; declared his firm resolution to main
tain possession of the districts ; pointed out to him the fatal effects that must necessarily arise to both parties if the quarrel was pursued further; and, finally, for the sake of peace, and to prevent future disagreements, acquainted Vavan Row that he was willing to pay a sum of money if left in quiet possession,
These remonftrances, however founded on reason or justice, were of no avail : Vavon Row would listen to no terms but the implicit cefsion of the whole. The matter could there. fore only be decided by an appeal to the sword.
On Mr. Thomas's arrival at Hoffellee, a large village forming part of his poffeffions, he perceived it in the hands of the enemy; and Vavon Row, prepared to defend it, encamped under the walls of the fort.
Unwilling to push matters to an extremity, if by any means it could be avoided, Mr. Thomas drew off his force to a small distance, and gave particular orders to his own people to forbear all acts of hoftility on their part. This mode of conduct was of no avail; for the troops of Vavon Row coming daily from their own camp, insulted and fired upon Mr. Thomas's men, by which several of them were severely wounded.
The enemy, reinforced by a large body of the peasantry, and headed by the zemindars of their respective villages, were now become so formidable, that Mr. Thomas resolved to bring the business to an issue. He accordingly attacked them. The affair was quickly decided; the enemy fled in all directions; and the greater part, having taken shelter in the fort of Kufsollee, were followed by Mr. Thomas, who immediately commenced the fiege of that place. Having erected batteries, he ordered the grates for heating shot to be got in readiness; which being done, he fired fo fuccessfully with red-hot hot, that he quickly compelled them to surrender at discretion.
- It was now agreed that an interview betwixt Mr. Thomas and Vavon Row should take place at Kanond, whither the former had
marched for that purpose. On his arrival, · however, Vavon Row, pretending to be fearful