Campaign of the Indus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about Campaign of the Indus.
began to be the talk of the whole camp.  However, we speculated that the worst that could have happened to them was being taken prisoners by a party of Beloochees, and kept as hostages, or something of that sort.  At twelve, General Willshire became so alarmed and anxious about them that he sent out a troop of the 1st Light Cavalry to scour the jungles, and discover what they could of them; another officer sent out a party of six natives, with the promise of a reward of two hundred rupees if they could find any tidings of them.  Well; the day went on; and at mess, at six o’clock, nothing had been heard relative to their fate, except that a little dog belonging to poor Nixon returned to camp about four o’clock.  About eight o’clock I was in Dickinson’s tent, smoking a cheroot, &c., previous to turning in, when one of our servants rushed in with the dreadful intelligence that the bodies had been found in the jungle by the Light Cavalry.  It struck us at first so unexpectedly, and as being a thing so dreadful, that we would hardly believe it; however, all doubt was soon changed into horrible reality by the arrival of the bodies within our lines.  I was determined not to see them; but there was a horrible fascination which drew one along with the rest to the hospital tent, where they were lying.

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Twelve o’clock.—­Well; I am just returned from seeing the last honours paid to their remains; it is a melancholy business a military funeral; every officer in camp attended; and, after all, they have had the satisfaction of a Christian burial, which may not be our luck in a short time.  I do not know why, but this sad event has made me an old woman almost!  They lie side by side on a hill just in the rear of our camp; “no useless coffin enclosed their corse;” but there they lie together, wrapped in their cloaks.  Peace to their manes!  We intend erecting a monument to them, if possible.  I learned that some of the staff had been to the jungle to investigate it thoroughly to-day, and from various circumstances, have come to the conclusion that they had climbed up some high trees, which surrounded the place where they fell, in order to shoot the game as they came out, and that before they had time to make their escape, a breeze came, which brought the smoke, and which most likely stifled, or at least rendered them senseless.  Let us hope that this was the case, as I should think that so their death would not have been very painful:  the position in which their bodies were lying when found seems to warrant this supposition.  A porcupine was found close to their trees, burnt to a cinder.  It blew very hard last night, and I passed an almost sleepless night in thinking of these poor fellows.  It gives a man an awful shake in going through life, seeing the very fellows you have lived with for the last two years, in whose proceedings you have borne a part, brought suddenly before you in such a state:  a man in these situations thinks more in two hours than he does in the whole course of his natural life under ordinary circumstances.  It proves what helpless beings we are; how little we can control our own actions:  truly, “in the midst of life we are in death.”

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Campaign of the Indus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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