“That is young Carlton of the Dragoons, the new A.D.C. He only arrived this morning. Capital fellow I am told; a tip top sportsman; goes in strong for tiger shooting and all that kind of game,” was the reply.
“He appears to go in—as you call it—pretty strong for another description of game. Why, this is the third time he has danced with that young lady. Rather strong, that, I should say for a first introduction,” responded the Colonel, about to move off, when his friend continued:
“Oh, they are old acquaintances. I met him at the Bartons this afternoon, where he appeared quite at home, turning over the music and accompanying la belle, Edith, in one of her favourite songs, apparently very much to each others satisfaction. But the next waltz is about to commence,” said Captain Hopkins, “and I must claim my partner,” and the man who knew everything and everybody was soon waltzing with great assiduity.
“You will allow me the pleasure of attending you in your morning and evening rides, whenever my duties will admit of it, dear Edith,” whispered Arthur as he handed her to the carriage at the close of the festivities. With a sweet smile the promise was given, and the carriage whirled off.
The new A.D.C. soon became a general favourite. Courteous and gentlemanly in the drawing room, and ever ready to attend the ladies en cavalier, he could not fail to win the esteem of the fair sex. He was a first-class swordsman, a bold rider, and a keen sportsman; therefore held in great repute by his companions in arms. He had scoured the jungles for thirty miles around Goolampore, and knew the haunts of the tiger and cheetah better than any man in the station. This was proved by the numerous trophies in the shape of skins and heads that he brought in. So our young friend, basking in the smiles of beauty, and especially of hers whom he loved so well, was consequently envied by others less fortunate in this respect than himself; and in this delightful manner weeks passed away. But dark clouds were rising in the distance which were gradually closing around them to destroy the tranquility of the station.
Reports began to arise of the disloyalty and insubordination of some of the native regiments; but at first little notice was taken of the circumstance, it being believed that the rumours were greatly exaggerated, and that, if there was anything really in it, the matter would soon be put to rights by the Government, either by proclamation or by force of arms. But report followed report and the mutiny continued, when the massacre at Cawnpore took place, and the affair at Lucknow, and the horrors enacted at the Star Fort of Jansee, where the officer commanding, after doing everything that could be done to protect the unfortunate inmates, just as the mutineers were in the act of bursting open the gates, well knowing what would be the result