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choprasees, masolgees, and so on, had all crowded on the platform at the sound of my shouting, and dreadful was the consternation, shrill, the screaming, occasioned by my words. The men stood irresolute and mute with terror; the women trembling, knew scarcely whither to fly for refuge. "Who are yonder ruffians ?said I ; a hundred voices yelped in reply-some said the Pindarees, some the Marhattas, some vowed it was Scindiah, and others declared it was Holkar-no one knew.
• Is there any one here,' said I, who will venture to reconnoitre yonder troops ?” There was a dead pause.
“A thousand tomauns to the man who will bring me news of yonder army!' again I repeated. Still a dead silence. The fact was that Scindiah and Holkar both were so notorious for their cruelty, that no one dared venture to face the danger. 'Oh for fifty of my brave Ahmednuggarees !' thought I. “Gentlemen,' said I, “I see it-you are cowards-none of you
dare encounter the chance even of death. It is an encouraging prospect know you not that the ruffian Holkar, if it be he, will with the morrow's dawn beleague our little fort, and throw thousands of men against our walls ? know you not that, if we are taken, there is no quarter, no hope, death for us—and worse than death for these lovely ones assembled here?' Here the ladies shrieked and raised a howl as I have heard the jackalls on a summer's evening. Belinda, my dear Belinda! flung both her arms round me, and sobbed on my shoulder (or in my waistcoatpocket rather, for the little witch could reach no higher). “Captain Gahagan,' sobbed she,' Go-Go-Goggle--iah!'
My soul's adored,' replied I. “Swear to me one thing.' "" I swear.'
“That if-that if-the nasty, horrid, odious, black Mah-ra-a-a-attahs take the fort, you will put me out of their power.'
“I clasped the dear girl to my heart, and swore upon my sword that, rather than she should incur the risk of dishonour, she should perish by my own hand. This comforted her; and her mother, Mrs. Major General Bulcher, and her elder sister, who had not until now known a word of our attachment (indeed, but for these extraordinary circumstances, it is probable that we ourselves should never have discovered it), were under these painful circumstances made aware of my beloved Belinda’s partiality for me. Having communicated thus her wish of self-destruction, I thought her example a touching and excellent one, and proposed to all the ladies that they should follow it, and that at the entry of the enemy into the fort, and at a signal given by me, they should one and all make away with themselves. Fancy my disgust when, after making this proposition, not one of the ladies chose to accede to it, and received it with the same chilling denial that my former proposal to the garrison had met with.
" In the midst of this hurry and confusion, as if purposely to add to it, a trumpet was heard at the gate of the fort, and one of the sentinels came running to me saying that a Marhatta soldier was before the gate with a flag of truce !
“I went down, rightly conjecturing, as it turned out, that the party, whoever they might be, had no artillery; and received at the point of my sword a scroll, of which the following is a translation:
*** To Goliah Gahagan Gujputi. “Lord of Elephants, Sir:- I have the honour to inform you that I arrived before this place at eight o'clock P. M. with ten thousand cavalry under my orders. I have burned since my arrival seventeen bungalows in Furruckabad and Futtyghur, and have likewise been under the painful necessity of putting to death three clergymen, (mollahs) and seven English officers whom I found in the village; the women have been transferred to safe keeping in the harems of my officers and myself.
“As I know your courage and talents, I shall be very happy if you will surrender the fortress, and take service as a Major General (Hookabadar) in my army. Should my proposal not meet with your assent, I beg leave to state that to-morrow I shall storm the fort, and on taking it shall put to death every male in the garrison, and every female above twenty years of age. For yourself I shall reserve a punishment, which, for novelty and exquisite torture, has, I flatter myself, hardly ever been exceeded. Awaiting the favour of a reply, I am Sir,
"Your very obedient servant,
"Jaswint Row HOLKAR. “Camp before Futtyghur, Sept. 1, 1804.
«N. S. V. P.'” “The officer who had brought this precious epistle (it is astonishing how Holkar had aped the forms of English correspondence), an enormous Pitau soldier, with a shirt of mail, and a steel cap and cape round which his turban wound, was leaning against the gate on his matchlock, and whistling a national melody. I read the letter and saw at once there was no time to be lost. That man, thought I, must never go back to Holkar. Were he to attack us now before we were prepared, the fort would be his in half an hour.
“Tying my white pocket-handkerchief to a stick, I flung open the gate and advanced to the officer ; he was standing, I said, on the little bridge across the moat. I made him a low salaam, after the fashion of the country, and, as he bent forward to return the compliment, I am sorry to say I plunged forward, gave him a violent blow on the head which deprived him of all sensation, and then dragged him within the wall, raising the drawbridge after me.
“I bore the body into my own apartment, there; swift as thought, I stripped him of his turban, cummerbund, peijammahs, and papooshes, and, putting them on myself, determined to go forth and reconnoitre the enemy.”
Here I was obliged to stop, for Cabrera, Ros d'Eroles, and the rest of the staff, were sound asleep! What I did in my reconnaissance, and how I defended the fort of Futtyghur, I shall have the honour of telling on another occasion.
G. O.'G. G., M. H. E. I. C. S., C. I. H. A.
AN INDIAN TRADITION.
RELATED TO THE AUTHOR BY ONE OF THE PENOBSCOT TRIBE
IN THE YEAR 1836.
BY JAMES SHERIDAN KNOWLES, ESQ. “That's Eastman coming down the road,” said an old man to his companion ; " let's stop and see what he has to say of the theft committed upon old Smith's property.” And the two seated themselves on the greensward to wait till he came near.
" He seems uncommonly thoughtful for one that has nothing to trouble him. With plenty of money and no family, he is thought to be the merriest fellow in the village.'
“Perhaps he has lost
Eastman, who had come within hearing distance, interrupted the speaker by saying mournfully—“ Yes, I have lost, and that, too, which cannot be replaced very easily.”
“ What is it? You're not bankrupt, I hope?"
"Not in purse, but in spirits : little Lucy, my merry little playmate, a child I loved with a father's love, is lost. Stolen by the Indians yesterday afternoon while gathering strawberries just at the back of her father's house." What! you
don't mean that they have dared to take one of our children ?-and one, too, so much beloved as she is by all the villagers ?”
“Yes, the dear little innocent, whose sweet face has cheered me in my loneliness, was borne away by a party of the Penobscots to the 'knotted oak,' from which, with a number of others who went in pursuit, I arrived just in time to see them take her to their canoes and paddle down the swift current of the Saeo. It was horrible to see the father when he beheld them receding and heard the screams of his child. He stood upon the brink of the river with arms and eyes straining after her-I see him now, with parted lips and pale face, as he fell forward into the stream."
“ He was not drowned ?”
“No: Simpson and Stickney sprang in after him, and brought him to the shore more dead than alive. After a time he was restored sufficiently to be brought home in a litter. But I must not stop here ; it is my painful task to prepare the afflicted family for his return : so good bye;" and Eastman hurried on, leaving the two a new and painful theme for meditation, so absorbing that the theft from Smith's for a while was entirely effaced from their minds, and they arose from their seat and wended their way to their own home buried in sad reflections. When the father and son reached the door they were met by the old man's wife, her eyes filled with tears, for she, too, had heard the melancholy intelligence of Lucy's abduction, and wept for her as for her own child.
The evening repast was swallowed in silence, the strong shutters closed and barred, and the rusty fire-arms taken from their brackets on the wall, loaded, and placed in a convenient corner, when a neighbour, whose knock and familiar voice gained him instant admission, entered the neat and hospitable cottage of the Jones's. He took his seat at the plain deal table, which the hostess, with the assistance of a little soap
and sand, had brought to a tint almost as light as the paper on which I write.
The two cottages of Jones and his guest were situated about a quarter of a mile from each other, and nearly a mile from the village, which rendered them not the safest place for the inhabitants or their property; and the visitor, whose family had gone to the village for security, had come with his rifle to offer his assistance in protecting the house of the other, though, if the truth were known, protection for himself was what he most desired. Jones, if he supposed this, was too kind-hearted a man to show his neighbour so, and therefore thanked him for his consideration, and requested his wife to have the only spare bed prepared for his reception. This being done, and a large pan of apples placed upon the table, with the huge jug filled with cider as bright and sparkling as champagne, she resumed her chair just in time to hear from the lips of Ripley
“ He mourns continually for her, and it is feared the poor boy will be ill from the loss of his playmate. He goes about calling · Lucy! Lucy!' constantly: they were never separated even for two hours before." “ What say the people at the corner ?” asked the younger Jones.
Why, they swear to kill every savage that dares to show himself in the neighbourhood. The Penobscots have broken their treaty, and the whites have nothing now to restrain them from taking their just revenge, not only for the child's abduction, but for twenty other depredations on our property which none but that tribe could have committed.”
“ What's that? what's that?" cried the good dame, starting from her chair.
Her son grasped his gun. “ There it is again.'
“Oh! that's only the growl of a wolf,” said George, carelessly, as he dropped his musket into its place, and the conversation was resumed. George's father regretted that there was an end to the few years' peace which they had enjoyed with their savage neighbours; but Ripley was of opinion that while an Indian lived there was no safety, and his eye glanced wildly, and his brow contracted, as he thought of the desperate battles in which he had fought against them.
Cruel as this judgment may appear, it was not the less true ; but the former remembered not that the white men were the first aggressors that they were growing powerful, and that the Indians saw that soover or later they would be driven from their hunting-grounds or be subject to the stronger party.
As the cider passed round the trio became elated, then drowsy, and then they went to bed, and the fear of the savages was soon forgotten in a deep sleep by all save Dame Jones: she, poor woman, had but little rest; the thought of the red men being in the vicinity was sufficient to keep her awake, and the howling wolf or the screeching owl startled her to her feet several times during the night. When the morning dawned the men awoke not a little surprised that their fears had not been realised. Thus passed night after night, till their fears, if not their wrongs, were entirely effaced from their minds.
But now let us return to Eastman, who, after he had parted from the
Jones's by the way-side, proceeded to perform his melancholy task. The wretched mother saw from a glance at his countenance that he had for her no hope of the recovery of her lost one, yet she dreamed not of the condition of her husband, who would soon be brought home in a state of partial derangement. Eastman shrunk from the task. The deep despair of the mother, the utter wretchedness of her two boys, Albert and Henry, made him regret that he had ever undertaken it, and he went on trying to console her with the hope that Lucy would soon be returned in safety, till, casting a glance through the window, he saw the litter approaching at a distance, and he ventured to say, “ Your husband will be here soon, he has seen her.” These words illumined the countenance of Mrs. Elliot, but that light was quickly dispelled by the news that he was ill.
Eastman had not the courage to inform her that Elliot was no longer sane; the knowledge of which she gathered from his incoherent ravings and wild laugh when the name of Lucy was mentioned. The mother saw the necessity of great exertion to bear up under her accumulated afflictions ; her two children were left to her; she must watch over her husband. She did watch, but her health failed. What mattered it? her husband was restored to reason. The neighbours were constant in their attentions, and Mrs. Elliot herself soon gained her wonted strength. Eastman, who was a constant visitor, saw that a settled despondency hung over the once happy family, and used every endeavour to inspire them with hope and cheerfulness. But, while he undertook the task of comforter to the aflicted, it was difficult to say which stood most in need of consolation. He had lost all his former gaiety, he sought no society save the family of his little pet; while not with them his own cottage found him its only inhabitant.
One evening when the last rays of the setting sun struggled through the lattice of the apartment where Eastman sat, his eye wandered over the places where he had so lately seen little Lucy as merry and as happy as a bird; tears ran down his cheek at the thought. He pondered upon the loneliness of her little brother, whose altered counten. ance and frequent sighs told how much he missed the blossom that had budded and bloomed by his side; and, as he mused, Henry glided through the half-open door, and stood before him. Seeing his friend in tears, the first question was
“ Are you crying for Lucy?”
“ Yes,” he answered : “ I am crying for Lucy, and for you, too. I don't like to see you look so pale and lonely."
“Lucy is lonely too, and she will be so till she comes home to gather berries with me,” replied Henry. “Why don't she come, Mr. Eastman?”
The good man could bear it no longer; he set the boy down from his knees, and, rising from his seat, he said, “She will come, I will go fetch her to you, Henry," and, calling his only domestic, he bade her take to his chamber a chest containing an Indian dress complete, and then prepare some corn-bread that he might have it by the morning.
“But you can't fetch her; Albert says she is among the Indians. Will the Indians give her whortleberries and milk when they are ripe ?"
Eastman could make no reply to these touching and simple questions,