Vellenaux eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 259 pages of information about Vellenaux.
aperture and stood erect and for a few seconds remained at the foot of Arthur’s bed, and listened to the heavy breathing which he effected; then, with a gliding motion, moved towards the trunk containing the rupees, but still keeping his face half turned in the direction of the bed so that he could observe the slightest alteration, should any be made in the position of its occupant, he then endeavored to force open the lid with his creese, but finding he could not succeed in this, he took from behind his ear a small piece of wire, with which he attempted to pick the lock, but in order to effect this he had to rest his eye on the key hole for a second or two.  This was the moment for which Arthur had been anxiously waiting.  Instantly the eyes of the Bheel were withdrawn from him.  He brought his revolver from under his pillow, and passing it beneath the light coverlet, placed the barrel across his left leg, which he gently raised, at the same time removing the cloth clear of the muzzle, brought it in line with the ribs of the robber and fired.  The bullet went straight to the heart, and the ruffian Bheel fell dead without uttering a groan or sound.

“What is the matter,” enquired the sentry, stopping at the door of the tent, which had been closed to keep out the night dews.

“Nothing,” Arthur had promptly replied, “I have discharged my pistol by accident, and am going to reload it, that is all.  But when the Nique comes with the relief tell him to send the Havildar to me, I wish to speak to him.”  The sentinel then resumed his walk up and down his post.  Arthur then with his hands quietly enlarged the hole by which the robber had entered, into which he pushed the body and covered it with the sand which had been thrown up, and the tent resumed its original appearance; then, after washing his hands and refilling the empty chamber of his revolver, he dressed himself for the march.

At twelve o’clock the Havildar made his sallam at the tent door.  “Come in, Havildar,” said Carlton, “I have changed my mind; instead of marching at four a.m., the usual hour, I wish to start with as little delay as possible.  Go round, wake up the cart men and have the cattle put to with as little noise as practicable, fall in the guard, and, when we have moved off some distance, I will tell you the reason of this change in the hour of marching.  Let everything be done as quietly as may be; also tell the Syce to bring my horse round directly.”  The Havildar received his orders (native like) without remark, saluted and went to see them carried out.  When the escort had got about a mile from where they had encamped, Arthur related what had taken place in his tent the night previous.  This was a sufficient inducement for them to accelerate their speed to the utmost in order to get beyond the precincts of the Bheel, as they well knew that in the event of the discovery of the body the whole village would turn out en masse to revenge his death, but having some four hours start Arthur and his party arrived at the station—­where he was to part from them—­without molestation or pursuit, as far as he was aware of.

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Vellenaux from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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