A Narrative of the Siege of Delhi eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about A Narrative of the Siege of Delhi.

The man guided us to the house in question; but after searching in every imaginable place, no signs of the gold cloth could be found.  From the name of the merchant and certain other well-known indications we felt convinced that his goods were concealed underground, and we commenced tapping the floor of the largest room with our hammers.  Presently, in the very centre of the apartment, there came a hollow sound, and digging down about a foot, we found a trap-door.  This was lifted, disclosing a wooden staircase leading down to what seemed to us an apartment concealed in Cimmerian darkness.  Lighting the wax candles we always carried about with us, we for some distance descended the steps which seemed to lead into the bowels of the earth.  The room turned out to be about twenty feet square and ten feet high, and ranged around, piled one on top of the other, were scores of large boxes.  One of these we opened, and found it to contain kincob of the rarest kind; others that we looked into were full of the same gorgeous material, and we came to the conclusion that here, spread about, there was a treasure the value of which amounted to a lakh of rupees.  Four large carts were loaded with the boxes and taken to the prize agents, the contents selling afterwards for a very large sum.

And thus ended in a most successful find my connection with the loot of Delhi.  Though many years have elapsed, the events of those three weeks seem as vivid in my memory as though they had happened yesterday—­the brightness of the jewels, the dazzling gold, the nerves wrought to the highest pitch of tension while waiting in eager expectation for the result of a search.  These episodes of my life appear more like a fairytale or a legend of the “Arabian Nights” than true history and sober reality.  What opportunities of accumulating a small fortune were thrown in my way!  The treasure lay at my feet, only wanting to be picked up, and many will say that I was a fool not to take advantage of the prize!  I can, however, certainly aver that I showed great moderation in possessing myself of only a small portion of the plunder—­the amount I appropriated was but an infinitesimal part of the Delhi prize money.  It is very unlikely that Delhi or any other rich city in India will be given over to sack and pillage, during this generation, but the remembrance of the days of 1857, and of the traditional wealth of the country, still exists amongst the nations of the East, and only recently, during the scare arising out of the Russian occupation of Merv, it was stated that the Turkomans, now feudatories of that Empire, cast longing eyes on Hindostan, “where gold and diamonds could be picked up in the streets of the large cities.”

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A Narrative of the Siege of Delhi from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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