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in consequence of the continued state of warfare in those parts, the villages and towns are strongly fortified, and capable of making a defperate resistance against the attacks of their predatory neighbours.
The walls of the town aforementioned were nine feet thick, with a ditch twenty feet in depth, and the garrison numerous. Mr. Thomas, therefore, without loss of time, made preparations for storming before he could be, attacked by the enemy. By a vigorous assault, he carried the place with the loss of only eighty of his own people, though with upwards of five hundred of the enemy; and though he exerted every means in his power to prevent a continuance of the slaughter, he was unsuccessful : the rancorous enmity which sublifted between his own troops, who were moosulmauns, and the Seiks being so great, that the former never omitted any opportunity of revenging themselves on the latter in the feverest manner.
The town's people who survived the affault were ransomed by a large sum of money. Mr.
Thomas's views were now directed to dividing the enemy's force, which consisted of ten thousand men, to raise contributions in the neighbouring districts, and also to explore the country. To effect these objects, he encamped in a centrical position between the towns of Pattialah and Sonaum. Desirous however of punishing Tarah Sing, whom, as we have before seen, had come to the assistance of the rajah, Mr. Thomas now determined to advance towards Malhere Kotela, the enemy's principal residence.' This town is situate on the Punjab frontier ; the road lay through a thick jungle, -well adapted for an ambuscade. He was marching quietly along, when a smart firing was heard in the front of his line. Inftantly repairing to the spot, he found that a party who had advanced to reconnoitre were attacked by a superior body of the enemy. By the time Mr. Thomas arrived, the party attacked had got out of the jungle to the entrance of an extensive plain ; and he now perceived that the present assault had been made only with a view to call off his attention from he large and populous town of Bhaut. .
This town was garrisoned by the troops of Tarah Sing, to the amount of three thousand
Mr. Thomas nevertheless resolved to storm it. The walls of the fort were twelve feet thick and thirty in height; four strong bastions, well fortified with cannon, commanding the town below, as well as the plain adjoining, it was in all respects a place difficult of access. Mr. Thomas himself, at the head of a select body of his troops, entered nearly opposite the centre of the town; whilft Mr. Hopkins, the son of a field officer in the East India Company's service, now in Mr. Thomas's employ, led on his party to storm the eastern angle. The affair was desperate; and though the town was foon fet on fire, the enemy made a brave and determined resistance. Mr. Hopkins gallantly advancing to the attack, stormed in the quarter assigned him, though at the moment of success he was unfortunately shot through the body, and several other officers were killed or disabled, the enemy ftill keeping up a treniendous fire from the fort. The affair presented a doubtful afpe&. A large
body of cavalry making their appearance without the town, Mr. Thomas's troops, though in possession of the place, whether from the excessive heat occafioned by the surrounding flames, or the severe fire they sustained from the enemy in the fort, were inclined to retreat. At that critical instant Mr. Thomas, having with the greatest presence of mind brought up a six-pounder close to the gate of the fort, by repeated discharges almost demolished it; the enemy then gave up the contest, and by submission saved a further effufion of blood on both sides.
The lives of the people within the fort were granted, but Mr. Thomas compelled them to pay him fifty thousand rupees.
- The chief of Malhere Kotelah now thought proper to change sides ; and being like other Patans, adopted the practice of his countrymen by connecting himself with the party from whom he expected to derive most advantage.
He agreed to pay Mr. Thomas a sum of
money, and moreover fent a body of troops under the command of his nephew to join him.
Kurrum Sing a Seik chief, and ruler of the district of Shahabad, had for some time been hostile towards Mr, Thomas ; and though at his first settlement he had made professions of
friendship, very soon altered his conduct. To , encourage his enmity towards Mr. Thomas, the
rajah of Pattialah offered his daughter in marriage to the son of Kurrum Sing, and their union was followed by an open declaration of war. The troops of Pattialah were reinforced with five thousand Seiks. On the junction of these troops, a grand council of war was held ; and it was there resolved that a general combination of the Scik chiefs should be formed, to expel Mr. Thomas from the country. They considered him as a dangerous person, and well knew that if he was successful on the present occasion, they might hereafter expect the most serious ill consequences to their tribe from his future incurfions.
· Mr. Thomas, by his fpies in the enemies'