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NO,t ROBBERY,

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NO,t ROBBERY,

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"Are yon an enemy or a friend P demanded the colonel, coming to the front. "Neither," replied the mysterious indhftjtial; but I am attached to the British cause. I came is warn you. Don't go into the village yonder-you will be killed." Thank you for the hint if it is honestly meant," replied the colonel. "Whoareyou," No one you know, Colonel Deane," replied the man, who could scarcely be distinguised in the darkness. Go forward at your peril! A path here will lead you to the main road to Delhi. There you will find your camp." Without another word the mysterious individual disappeared, leaving the little wearied troop of officers in much doubt and perplexity. Shall we take his advice, colonel ?" asked the adjutant. "He seems to be honestly disposed." 11 Yes, we had better, I think," replied the colonel. 11 What say you, gentlemen P" The others agreed to accept the well-meant counsel which had been tendered to them, and turn- ing aside, they with much difficulty found the path, and pursuing it at about three in the morning, were again challenged. This time they had only a single horseman to deal with, and in answer to their questions got for reply- Sowar," which means horse-soldier or trooper. The man turned out to be one of Hodson's Horse, and he carried a letter for Colonel Deane, who read it by the gleam of his cigar, which was lighted by flint and steel t-nd smoked for the purpose, the matches having given out. There was good news the rebels had been for the time beaten, and driven into De'hi. The army was encamped outside. So far so good. The weary officers were warmly welcomed, and entertained as well as circumstances admitted of. Having made their report, they were permitted to retire, and seeic the repose they so greatly needed. Colonel Deane's inquiries for the mysterious indi- vidual who had warned them failed to elicit any reply. Captain Hodson, whose name became subse- quently so celebrated, asserted that none of his men had been in the direction indicated, so far as he was aware. He had sent out his scouts, but none an- swered to'the description; and the colonel was com- pletely puzzled. I I Well, T'o !son," he said, when he had procured from his friend some necessary articles of clothing, this seems to me to be a serious business. What will be the next step, do you think ? On our part, or on that of the mutineers do you mean, colonel ? On th, ir part, our line is pretty clear." Well, if they're plucky they'll make a da h at our guns, and we must be prepared for them about the Flagstaff yonder. But my idea is-" he paused as if in deference to the senior officer, 11 for the truly brave are always really modest. "'Your idea is to attack first, I presume ? said the colonel. Certainly. The Pandies maybe overawed now by ajbold stroke; they have not yet quite flung off old associations. Let them once shake themselves free from the discipline, and feel they are their own masters, and we shall have trouble. Take Delhi; that's my idea, and take it at once." This was bold advice, and was, perhaps, the best under the circumstances. But it was ordered other- wise. The fortifications were pretty formidable to look at, at any rate, and the city was supplied with stores and ammunition of every kind. We must remember that our own troops, men who knew every "call" and signal, 'were in hundreds within the walls, and day by day more were flocking in. At daybreak, on the 12th of June, there was an attack made on Metcalfe's house near the Flagstaff, as had been anticipated by the gallant captain, but the 60th Rifles coming up and the ;:Fusiliers, soon gave a good account of them, and pursued the P&ndies to the walls, An error of some corps in mistaking the rebel cavalry for the Guides, led to the former being let off easily. But Hodson was not to be put off his idea. He, with the engineers, sought an interview with the General, and put before him the plan they had con- cocted. The idea was approved, and about three o'clock in the morning, the word was passed round for assault. It had become apparent that to remain seated before Delhi, under the circumstances, would be needless. The smallness of the force, the constant reinforcement of the enemy, the want of train and requisites for an investment, all pointed to the .necessity for a COUll de main. Certainly Take Delhi." This was the watchword, so to speak. So the orders were issued, and the men marched pilently down, the 60th Hitles well to t e front, as usual. Silently the columns advanced in the darkness. Not a movement within the walls betokened that the enemy had any notice or suspicion of our coming. The 1st Bengal Fusiliers came along as boldly as their comrades. All was ready. Hodson was certain of success then if ever, was the time. Then if ever; but now here were the majority of the troops waiting within a few hundred yards. The powder bags were ready by the Lahore Gate. Where was the other Brigadier? The pickets had not come up as directed. Mur- murs began to be heard; the eastern sky promised dawn, and to attack the town with such a force un- aided would have been madness. Where is ? Why doesn't he come ?" were a few of the questions asked, or, at least, a moderate version of the questions men put to each other. But the precious minutes went by, the Brigadier did not come, the attack was countermanded, and the troops were sent back. O f The uproar—the storm of anger that was poured upon the head of the absent commander — was enough to turn one's hair grey. Whether one-third of the condemnation to which the absent officer was consigned ever reached his ears maybe doubted; but the attack was abandoned, amid universal disappointment. Colonel Diane rode leisurely back to the canton- ments, and after a few days there was fighting enough to satisfy all parties. But as the colonel was riding to his quarters, a trooper of irregular cavalry passing him saluted, and passed rapidly on. "Hi, you Sowar," cried the colonel in an excited tone. Hair! I command you." The man either heard not or heeded not. He was a tall, fire swarthy fellow, and yet the manner of his salute and the cast of his fine features were familiar to the English officer. That fellow is no native," he exclaimed, as he paused hi? horse. Halt, dye hear, sir r" But the Sowar was deaf apparently, for he con- tinued his rapid course, and the colonel had the mortification to see him pass on towards the canal near the ridge of rocks which terminates by the Jumna. "That fellow is a any." muttered .the_ colonel,

NO,t ROBBERY,