The climate of this place is delightful; it is about 6000 feet above the level of the sea; and although this is the hottest month in the year, still we do not find it at all unpleasant, living in tents: a delightful change from Candahar. There is the most beautiful clover here I ever saw, and lots of fruit.
We have just received intelligence of Runjet Sing’s death; he has been reported dead several times before; but they say this time it is really the case; if so, we are still only at the beginning of our work, as we shall most likely have something to do in the Punjab. The government, it is said, have guaranteed the succession of Runjet’s son, who is little better than a natural idiot. The chiefs of the Sikhs, who are very warlike people, and have often licked the Afghans, say they will not consent to be ruled by such a person,—thereon hangs the matter. A large force has been gradually concentrating at Delhi, Meerut, Loodiana, and all the north-west stations in Bengal, ready to march into the Punjab in case of Runjet’s death, which has been long expected; and we very likely shall make an advance by the line of the Cabool river to Peshawur, and Attock, on the Indus. It is rather late to begin a campaign after marching more than a thousand miles, and not meeting an enemy except robbers. If I ever do get home safe and sound after all this work, I shall consider myself very lucky.
July 31st.—Here we are, our first day’s march to Cabool. Reports still flying about as to whether Dost means to fight. I wore the pistols you gave me in London at the storming,—they are a capital pair! The post goes directly, so I must conclude, with best love to all, your very affectionate son,