Far Off eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about Far Off.

The citadel was a place very difficult for an enemy to enter; for the entrance was through a narrow dark passage underground.  Into this passage the British soldiers poured, but soon they came to a door, which they could not get through, for Beloochee soldiers stood there, sword in hand, ready to cut down any one who approached.  “Look at my back,” said one soldier to his fellow.  The other looked, and beheld the most frightful gashes gaping wide and bleeding freely.  Such were the wounds that each soldier, who ventured near that door, was sure to receive.

At this moment a cry was heard, saying, “Another passage is found.”  When the Beloochees heard this cry, they gave up all hopes of keeping the enemy out of the citadel; so they left off fighting, and cried “Peace.”

But their king was already dead; he had fallen on the threshold of the passage last found.  The first man who tried to get in by that way the king had killed; but the second had killed the king.  The British, as they rushed in by this new way, trampled on the body of the fallen monarch.  He was a splendid object even in death; his long dark ringlets were flowing over his glittering garments, and his sharp sword, with its golden hilt, was in his hand.  The British hurried by, and climbed the steep and narrow stairs leading to the top of the citadel, and the enemy no longer durst oppose their course.

On the terrace at the top of the citadel, in the open air, stood the nobles of Beloochistan.  There were princes too from the countries all around.  It was a magnificent assembly.  These men were the finest of a fine race.  Some were clad in shining armor, and others in flowing garments of green and gold.  Thus they stood for a moment, and the next—­they were rolling on the ground!!

How was this?  Had not peace been agreed upon on both sides?  Yes, but a British soldier had attempted to take away the sword of one of the princes.  The prince had resisted, and with his sword, had wounded the soldier; and instantly every British gun on that spot had been pointed at the nobles of Beloochistan.

This was why the nobles were lying in the agonies of death.

Our young soldier was not one of those who slew the nobles.  He was standing on another part of the terrace, when, hearing a tremendous volley of guns, he exclaimed to a friend, “What can that be?” Going forward, he beheld heaps of bleeding bodies, turbans, and garments—­in one confused mass.  The dying were calling for water, and the very soldiers who had shot them, were holding cups to their quivering lips, though themselves parched with thirst.  But water could not save the lives of the fallen nobles:  one by one they ceased to cry out, and soon—­all were silent—­and all were still.  The VICTORY was WON!  But how awful had been the last scene!  How cruelly, how unjustly, had the lives of that princely assembly been cut short!

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Far Off from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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