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.
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.