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On the 18th February, 1854, I was at Alexandria, on my return from Upper Egypt, waiting for a passage to Malta, when the Peninsular and Oriental Company's steamer, Indus, arrived with the mails, bringing intelligence that an English force of ten thousand men would be sent to Malta forthwith ; and that their future destination would be Constantinople. The news, of course, created great
excitement, and made me doubly eager to start.
The Indus, a ship of 1800 tons, arrived in harbour about ten a.m., and discharged her mails, cargo, and passengers. She was coaled, her cabins were cleaned, she received on board the homeward-bound mails and passengers, and a fresh cargo, and went to sea again in twentyfour hours !
I, with the rest of the passengers, proceeded on board in the evening, but the incessant stamping and screaming of the gangs of Arabs, employed in coaling, effectually prevented sleep. After a stormy passage of four days, we arrived at Malta, where I landed, with the intention of remaining for a time, to await the arrival of the troops, and watch the progress of events. The excitement in this usually dull island was great; and all the authorities were busily employed in providing accommodations for the regiments expected to arrive.
The first to make their appearance were the second battalion of the Coldstream Guards, who came out in the Orinoco, and reached Malta on the 4th of March. From that time