“Forward!” shouted the Russeldah. “Follow me! I will soon unkennel the foe. May the grave of his fathers be accursed, and his bones be burned,” and, after uttering this anathema, he drove the rowels of his spurs into his horse’s flanks, springing him, at least, two lengths in advance of his followers, and making a dash for the bush from whence the smoke of the rifle was seen to issue. But ere the scoundrel reached it, a bullet from Arthur’s rifle went crashing through his brain. A second brought another to the earth with a broken thigh bone. The others reined up in time to avoid the accident they had before experienced. On finding their leader to be quite dead, and only five of their number fit to carry on the contest, they consulted together as to the expediency of any further pursuit; besides, they could not understand being attacked from both sides of the road. They had seen no one cross, and never dreamed of the passage under the bridge, and imagined there must be others concealed in the jungle. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Arthur returned the way he came as quickly as possible, and, mounting his horse, regained his beloved Edith, who had witnessed the whole affair. She was about to thank, with ardent words of gratitude, her gallant lover, when he silenced her with a motion of his hand, and whispered to her to follow him. They proceeded slowly for a time, carefully avoiding the overhanging branches, lest they should attract the attention of either of the troopers, who were still halted on the high road at no great distance, and as Carlton afterwards affirmed, a chance shot from one of their carbines might have proved fatal to one or perhaps both of them. After riding some distance they had the satisfaction, on looking back, of seeing that their cowardly pursuers were returning the way they came, carrying their dead and wounded with them. But still they had a very long ride before them, under a scorching sun, before they could consider themselves safe from further pursuit; and the deep shadows of the dark jungle had closed around them as they pushed their way along the dusty road. And it was not until the moon had risen in all her splendour, high above their heads, that Edith, worn out with the excitement and fatigue of the day’s journey, attended by a gallant cavalier, reached Rutlaum.
Fortunately, they experienced no difficulty in tracing the whereabouts of the Bartons, who had not, as yet, left the place. The news of the disaster at Goolampore had not reached Rutlaum, the mutineers having cut the telegraph lines, and the intelligence would not, in all probability, be received for a couple of days; and it was agreed that it should be suppressed as long as possible. It was arranged that the family should leave on the following evening by the Palkee Dawk for the coast. Carlton, of course, called on the officer commanding the post, and explained to him all he knew concerning the outbreak, and exactly how things stood when he left the station.