Well; to cut the matter short, yesterday, the 7th of December, we arrived at this place, which is the same that we halted at for a week in our march up. Here, at length, we are in the land of plenty, and enjoy such luxuries as fresh eggs, butter, milk, vegetables, &c., with a gout that those only can feel who have been so long without them as we have. We find the climate, however, very hot, and I am sorry to say that we are losing many fine fellows from the effect of the change. It is very painful to witness these poor fellows going off in this miserable manner, after surviving the chances of fire and steel, and all the harassing duties they have had to perform during the campaign, now when they have arrived at nearly the very end of it.
Larkhanu, Dec. 24th.—I have delayed sending this till our arrival here, as the communication between this and Bombay is perfectly open, which might not have been the case at Kotra. We have been here about a week, and report says that we are to finish our marching here, and drop down the river to Curachee in boats. I hope this may prove the case, as I am sure we have had marching enough for one campaign. Another report, however, says, that there is a kick-up in the Punjab, and that we shall be detained in this country in consequence; but I do not think it likely.
That part of our force which was not employed at Kelat went down by the Bolan Pass, and have suffered considerably from cholera, which luckily we have as yet escaped. The men that we have lost since our arrival in this low country have all died from complaints of the lungs, from which they were perfectly free in the cold country above the hills. Since writing the former part of this letter, I have received a letter from Kate, dated September 10th, which I will answer as soon I have finished this letter to you.
December 25th, Christmas day.—I hope to spend this evening more comfortably than I did last year, when I was on out-lying picket, the night before we commenced our first march. Now, I trust, we have finished our last. We have luckily met all our mess supplies here, which have been waiting for us about six months, having never managed to get further than Bukkur. So now it is a regular case of—
“Who so merry as we in camp?
Live in clover,” &c.
I have just heard that the order is out for our marching the day after to-morrow to the banks of the river, there to remain till the boats are ready. Now the campaign is so near its close, I feel very glad that I have been on it, as it is a thing that a man does not see every day of his life in these times; and I consider it to be more lucky than otherwise that I have four holes in my body as a remembrance of it; but I cannot say that I relish a longer sojourn in India, unless we have the luck to be sent to China, which I should like very much, (fancy sacking Pekin, and kicking the Celestial Emperor from his throne,) as I do not think the climate has done me any good, but on the contrary.