In Clive's Command eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 515 pages of information about In Clive's Command.
of our clothes, an’ waved our hats to set the air a-movin’; which ’twas hard enough work, ’cos we was packed so tight.  I en’t a-goin’ to tell you all the horrors o’ that night, sir; I’d like uncommon to forget ’em, though I don’t believe I never shall.  ’Twas so awful that many a poor wretch begged of the Moors outside to fire on ’em.  Worst was when the old jamadar put skins o’ water in at the window.  My God! them about me fought like demons, which if I hadn’t flattened myself against the wall I should ha’ been crushed or trodden to death, like most on ’em.  For me, I couldn’t get near the water; I sucked my shirt sleeves, an’ ’tis my belief ‘twas on’y that saved me from goin’ mad.  A man what was next me took out his knife an’ slit a vein, ’cos he couldn’t bear the agony no longer.  Soon arter, I fell in a dead faint, an’ knowed no more till I found myself on my back outside, with a Moor chuckin’ water at me.  They let me go, along with some others; and a rotten old hulk I was, there en’t no mistake about that.  Why, bless you, my skin come out all boils as thick as barnacles on a hull arter a six months’ voyage, all ‘cos o’ being in sich bad air without water.  And then the fever came aboard, an’ somehow or other I got shipped to the mounseers’ hospital at Chandernagore, which they was very kind to me, sir; there en’t no denyin’ that.  I may be wrong, but I could take my oath, haffidavy, an’ solemn will an’ testament that a mounseer’s got a heart inside of his body arter all, which makes him all the better chap to have a slap at if you come to think of the why an’ wherefore of it.”

“But how came you on board the Tyger?”

“Well, when my boils was gone an’ the fever slung overboard, I got down to Fulta an’ held on the slack there; an’ when the ships come up, they sent for me, ‘cos havin’ sailed up an’ down the river many a time, they thought as how I could do a bit o’ pilotin’, there not bein’ enough Dutch pilots to go round.  An’ I ha’ had some fun, too, which I wonder I can laugh arter that Black Hole and all.  By thunder! ’tis a merry sight to see the Moors run.  The very look of a cutlass a’most turns ’un white, and they well-nigh drops down dead if they see a sailor man.  Why, t’other day at Budge Budge—­they ought to call it Fudge Fudge now, seems to me—­the Jack tars went ashore about nightfall to help the lobsters storm the fort in the dark.  But Colonel Clive he was dog tired, an’ went to his bed, sayin’ as how he’d lead a boardin’ party in the mornin’.  That warn’t exactly beans an’ bacon; nary a man but would ha’ took a big dose o’ fever if they’d laid out on the fields all night.

“Anyways, somewhere about eleven, an’ pitch dark, a Jack which his name is Strahan—­a Scotchman, by what they say—­went off all alone by himself, to have a sort of private peep at that there fort.  He was pretty well filled up wi’ grog, or pr’aps he wouldn’t ha’ been quite so venturesome.  Well, he waded up to his chin in a ditch o’ mud what goes round

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In Clive's Command from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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