Enclosed, I send you a view of the north front of Kelat, shewing the gate by which we entered. It gives you a pretty good idea of the place, and was drawn by Lieutenant Creed, of the Engineers.
I went yesterday to see a tank, about seven miles from this place, in which are a great quantity of alligators, half tame. The tank in which they are belongs to a Mahomedan temple, which is considered a very holy one, and much resorted to, and these animals are kept there by the priests of the establishment, in order to induce a greater number of visitors. A calf was killed and thrown in among the scaly gentlemen, who very soon demolished it. I never saw anything so loathesome and repulsive as these monsters.
This letter goes by the “Hannah” packet, which sails this evening for Bombay, and will, I hope, reach that place in time to go by the “overland packet.” I suppose you know that this is classic ground, and the place from which Nearchus, Alexander’s admiral, started on his return to the Euphrates. I have no time for more. So, with love to all at home,
Believe me your affectionate son,
Deesa, April 21st, 1840.
MY DEAR FATHER,—I received your letter, dated January 18th, about the beginning of this month, while on our march from Mandavie to this place. I see by the papers that the news of the taking of Kelat had readied England, as I find my name mentioned in the “Western Luminary,” which came out in this overland. I wrote you last from Curachee, about the beginning or middle of February. We stayed there till the 20th. A few days before we left, Lord Keane and suite arrived, bringing with him Hyder Khan, the captured chief of Ghuzni. While there, Lord Keane presented new colours to the 40th regiment, which we had an opportunity of witnessing. He and all his party have since gone home.
On the 20th, I, with my company under my command, embarked for Mandavie, in Cutch, where we arrived in two days, in Patamars, and waited till the whole regiment came down, which they did by companies, so that it was the 10th of March before we were able to start for this place.
We arrived here on the 4th of this month, pushing on as fast as we could, as the commanding officer was anxious to get the men under cover, on account of the great heat. There was excellent shooting the whole way up; and if it had been the cold season, I should have enjoyed the march amazingly; but it was too hot to venture out. On arrival here we found about three hundred recruits, who had arrived since we went on service, and about fifty of the men we left behind us; also seven new officers. As I have a company under my command I have scarcely had a moment to myself since I have been here; what with fitting and getting the recruits in order, and new clothing the old hands, you have no conception what tedious work it is getting into quarters.