A Peep into Toorkisthhan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about A Peep into Toorkisthhan.
the approach of our party to Koollum was known in the city several days before our arrival.  It was now evident to us that on our approach the Meer Walli was undecided whether he should treat us as friends or foes; it seemed that for the present he had determined in our favour, but distrusting his capricious disposition we were only the more anxious to get out of his reach, though we both agreed that the wisest and safest plan would be to carry our heads very high and put a bold front upon all our proceedings.  This decision we came to whilst sitting in the garden in the presence of the Meer.  Suddenly we heard a confused murmur behind us, and the heavy sound of the butt end of several muskets striking the ground as in “ordering arms;” we turned sharply round, and perceived with astonishment, not unmingled with satisfaction, that six or eight of our Affgh[=a]n guard, notwithstanding the numerous followers round the Meer, had entered the garden of their own accord and placed themselves immediately in our rear with bayonets fixed.  The Meer appeared to take no notice of this extraordinary intrusion, and after a few compliments permitted us to withdraw.

On returning to the caravanserai we inquired why the guard had acted thus without orders; they told us they had secretly heard that treachery was intended by the Meer towards us, and that therefore they had deemed it their duty to protect us from any surprise; moreover, that ten more of the guard had been stationed close outside the garden ready to support them at a moment’s notice.  Our own opinion was that at that time nothing of the kind was in contemplation, but it was satisfactory to view the determined spirit which animated our men.  Strange anomaly that these very men who now came voluntarily forward to protect our persons from insult at the imminent risk of their lives, should have been found amongst those who, with their arms and accoutrements, had deserted in a body from the British to the side of the Ex-Ameer at the battle of Bamee[=a]n a few months after.

CHAPTER XIV.

Pursuant to our plan of appearing to have full confidence in the Meer Walli’s integrity of purpose, we affected to lay aside all personal precaution and courted his society, of which, to say truth, he seemed disposed to give us plenty.  We had several interviews with him,—­indeed, hardly a day passed without his sending for and honouring us with his presence for several hours.

During these meetings we used every endeavour to sound the chief as to his intentions with respect to us, without betraying an undue anxiety on the subject, but could make very little out of him.

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A Peep into Toorkisthhan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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