Vellenaux eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Vellenaux.

CHAPTER XI.

The hour of eleven was ringing from the gurries or gongs at the different guard rooms, as Arthur Carlton left the quarters of the Brigadier commanding the station, for unlike most A.D.C.’s he did not reside with his chief, but occupied snug little quarters in the staff lines near the Suddur Bazaar.  He was both annoyed and excited as he mounted his horse to return home; but he soon became calm and thoughtful, and his noble charger, as if knowing the mood of his master, slackened its speed to a walk.  “General D——­ is an obstinate and self-willed man, and his policy anything but what it should be at so critical a time,” muttered Arthur half aloud; “but was I wise to cross him, and in the heat of the moment to throw up my appointment on his staff; I who have nothing but my pay to depend on and no interest at the Horse Guards to push me on in the service?” and his thoughts flew back to Vellenaux, Sir Jasper Coleman and Edith Effingham.  As her image crossed his mind his countenance brightened, and his spirits rose.  “Yes, I will rejoin my regiment.  She must return to Rutlaum in a day or two.  I will see her to-morrow and beg her to allow me to be her escort, that I think she will not refuse; and when I get my troop I will seek her hand, for her heart I know is mine already.”  He was aroused from his reverie by the sudden stopping of his horse, and on looking up found that he had arrived at the gate of the Compound which surrounded his dwelling.  Immediately on entering he summoned his butler, and gave him instructions to pack up everything without delay, and to start with his baggage and the other servants at an early hour on the following morning, en route for Rutlaum; to halt at the first Dawk Bungalow he came to, and that he would follow on horseback in the evening.  Then calling Pedro, a Portuguese, who had entered his service on his first arrival in India as a Kitmagar or Valet, he dispatched him to the Bazaar to procure from the Kotwell the necessary hackarries, or baggage carts and cattle; then, after enjoying several puffs from his hookah, he flung himself on a lounge to snatch what sleep he could before the grey dawn of day appeared.  He was aroused at an early hour by the hurried entrance of his Portuguese servant who, after carefully closing the door, communicated the following startling intelligence:  It appears that Pedro, after executing the commission entrusted to him, called on a friend in the Bazaar, who, like himself, was a Christian, to bid him farewell, and remained for two or three hours; that on his way home he heard voices in the angle of a small compound, which excited his curiosity.  Approaching the spot noiselessly, through a hole in the prickly pear hedge he, by the light of the moon, saw four persons conversing together, two of whom he recognized; one was a Jemidar of Cavalry, the other, Soobadah, Major of one of the native regiments, the remaining two

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Vellenaux from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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