What is the cause of all this bustle and war I hardly know myself, and, at all events, it is too long to make the subject of a letter; I must therefore refer you to the papers for it; but I have heard from old officers that for the last twenty years the Company have been anxious to establish themselves west and north of the Indus. It is not likely, therefore, now that they have such an opportunity, that they will let it slip, so that perhaps we may be quartered there for the next two or three years. How it will turn out I know no more than the man in the moon: a soldier is a mere machine, and is moved by his superiors just as a chessman by a chess-player. Should there be any skrimmaging, our men are in high spirits, and will, I think, soon make the Ameers put their pipes in their pockets. Ours is the first European army that has been on the Indus since the time of Alexander.
I was obliged to sell my horses and other things on leaving Belgaum, at a dead loss. I intend buying another horse when we land in Sinde, as I am told we can get good ones very cheap there. This is a regular case of here to-day and there to-morrow: perhaps my next letter may be dated from Cashmere—who knows? I felt rather sorry at leaving Belgaum; we were all of us excessively rejoiced to get out of Bombay. The report at first was, that we were to garrison it for the next two or three years, and we were therefore very glad when we found that was not to be the case. Now, it is said, there is a chance of our going into Persia; but I do not think that we shall. The man waits to lay the cloth on the cuddy table, where I am writing, so I must conclude for the present.
Nov. 28th.—The regiment is beginning to disembark right in front. The Grenadiers are now going into the boats of the natives that are to take them up the river. Since I wrote yesterday, I have heard all the news relative to our disembarkation. We are to go fifteen miles up the river in native boats to a place called Vicur, where we form our first camp ground. We are to remain there for a week or ten days, in order to collect camels, bullocks, &c., for the transportation of our baggage. We have to pass a very dangerous bar in getting to this place, where several boats have been wrecked; but we have fine large ones. From all accounts, the Ameers are now peaceably disposed, except one fellow, who, we hear, is inclined to be rather obstreperous; but I think the sight of our force will soon bring him to his senses. There are, however, a set of men who live on the mountain borders of Sinde, called Beloochees, the eastern inhabitants of Beloochistan, who are a robber, free-and-easy kind of people, who may give us some trouble in endeavouring to walk off with part of our baggage, &c.
I intend to keep a journal of what occurs, and will write by every opportunity. I think I have now mentioned everything that I have heard relative to this grand expedition; except, by-the-bye, that Sir Henry Fane has denominated the force as “The army of the Indus,” and ours, the Bombay branch of it, as “The corps d’armee of Sinde.” There is a grand title for you! I have nothing more to say; and as I must be looking after my traps previous to disembarking, I must conclude with best love to you, and all at home.