Campaign of the Indus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 158 pages of information about Campaign of the Indus.
Ghiljees all the way up:  out-lying pickets to take care of camels, &c.  With regard to the climate of this country I can say little, as we have only been here during the hot weather, and hot we have found it with a vengeance; but then we have been living in tents.  One man of ours has died by a coup de soleil; he was one of the camel guard.  I do not consider the climate an unhealthy one.  It is a very lucky thing for us that we were not left in Sinde:  the troops left there have suffered terribly.  Sinde is one of the hottest places in the world, and very unhealthy; in fact, I consider it to be about one of the most disgusting countries in the world.  The 17th regiment lost an officer there under very melancholy circumstances.  He was coming up to join his regiment, having been only lately appointed to it, and lost his way in that dreadful desert I told you of, where he wandered in a wretched state for two days, during which time the simoom came on, and he died from its effects a short time after reaching his tent; the simoom was still so violent that his servants were obliged to dig his grave inside his tent:  his body turned black immediately after death.

We have had excellent European fruit here, and the gardens about the place are very large and beautiful—­peaches, apricots, cherries, apples, grapes, and mulberries.  I never tasted anything more delicious than the melons here.  You cannot imagine, in your temperate climate, how refreshing they are on a hot day; but, then, they are said to be very dangerous.  The vegetables, too, are good, particularly to those who had been without them so long as we had.  There are peas, beans, salad, cucumber, but, unfortunately, no potatoes; what would we not give for a nice mealy murphy! we have not tasted one for four months; however, in all these respects Cabool is much superior.  What we shall do when we reach that place I cannot imagine,—­one thing, the Hindoo Koosh, prevents our marching further.  The report is, that if everything goes smooth we shall go back again this year; but this I do not believe, as I hardly think it probable that the government would be at such expense in marching us such a distance just to keep us at Cabool for a month, and if we overstay that it will be too late, and the snow and severity of the climate will hinder our returning.  Moreover, Runjet Sing is very ill, and, they say, is likely to kick, in which case there will, I take it, be a regular shindy in the Punjab; and John Company, when he has once put his foot into a country, does not withdraw it very soon.  Besides, there is Herat and Persia to be looked to.  For my part, I have no objection to a winter in Cabool; and if we can only get up our supplies in the liquor line, we shall, I have no doubt, make ourselves very comfortable.  The 16th Lancers have an excellent pack of foxhounds with them, and horses are very cheap.  There are to be races &c. on a grand scale also when we get there; and if we can get our supplies up by that time, we may look forward to spending a merry Christmas even in such a distant country.  How curious all this must sound to you in your quiet, lovely home of Brookhill.  I have often thought of you all during this campaign, particularly the other day, when I had the fever; and I hope and trust my life maybe spared that I may see you all once more, particularly as I have never seen you at Brookhill.

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Campaign of the Indus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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