Your most affectionate son,
P.S.—I must trust this to the captain of the vessel, giving him instructions to put it into the Bombay post when he returns, so that it is equally doubtful when you may receive it. He is an excessively good fellow, the captain; and we are going to make him a present of a silver goblet, worth 35l., for his attentions to us whilst on board his ship.
Perminacote, five miles from Vicur,
right bank of the Hujamree,
one of the branches of the Indus,
December 8th, 1838.
My dear Kitty,—I wrote to my father, about ten days ago, from the ship in which we came here, stating what I then knew about this expedition; but having since received your letter, and my father’s, dated Sept. 4th, I cannot think of going on this bloody campaign without first answering yours. Things look now a little more warlike. The Ameers have endeavoured to cut off everything like a supply from this part of the country, and we have to depend in a great measure, at present, on the supplies brought by the shipping. We have nothing in the shape of conveyance for our baggage. We expected two thousand camels and five hundred horses here for sale; but they are not to be seen at present, and where they are, or when they will arrive, no one knows. News has been received, it is said, from Pottinger, the Company’s political agent at Hydrabad, the principal town of the Ameers, that they have called in their army, consisting of 20,000 Beloochees, as they tell Pottinger, “for the purpose of paying them off;” but he says it looks very suspicious, and that they are also fortifying the various towns on the Indus. He has been expected here for the last two or three days, but has not yet arrived. Report also says that he has been fired at in his way down.
We are kept in the most strict discipline, and have a great deal to do. Out-lying and in-lying pickets every night, the same as if we were in the presence of an enemy. This is a very pleasant climate at present, though excessively cold at night-time, as we feel to our cost when on picket, sleeping in the open air, with nothing but our cloaks to cover us; and some nights the dew is excessively heavy, which is very unhealthy, and has laid me up for the last few days with an attack of rheumatism. However, I hope to be out of the sick list to-day. There is such a sharp, cutting, easterly wind, that I can hardly hold my pen. It averages from 80 to 84 in the shade during the hottest part of the day, but that is only for about two hours. However, in the hot season it is worse than India; and we have proof here, even at this time, of the power of the sun occasionally; so I hope that we shall push on for Shikarpoor, and join the Bengal army, under Sir H. Fane, as quickly as possible, as we shall then have some chance of getting to Cabool, which is said to be a delightful climate.