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ARRIVAL AT SUKKUR.
to lie down and die. This I of course refused, telling him we had only fifty miles more to accomplish; and thus I got him on, and brought him safely. to Roree, but in a burning fever. The quantity of oil expended in getting his breeches off was great After great attention he recovered.
On arriving at Sukkur, and reporting my-, self to the commanding officer, I found that the Major-General had not arrived, nor did he reach the place for a fortnight afterwards. I shall not readily forget his surprise when I called upon him. He would hardly at first credit the means by which I had anticipated him. “Well,” said he, "you are the man for me !" I had hardly recovered from my toilsome journey, when I was appointed Commandant of a wing of that splendid and oft-tried Irregular corps of Cavalry, the First Local, or Skinner's Horse. Their services in all our Indian campaigns have been so well and properly described, that I could add little to their glory by recording the results of my own observations. They soon
had an opportunity of distinguishing themselves at Dadur, where poor young Lieutenant Loveday was brutally murdered. Many were killed and wounded in that memorable encounter with the Beeloochees. And here I recall a circumstance which serves to show the esprit de corps of the distinguished regiment.
Skinner's Horse, all Indian officers know, wear yellow cotton jackets, well padded with cotton, and then sewn closely, an arrangement which not only fits them to the figure, but almost makes them sword-proof. There were very few of the men employed at Dadur whose jackets, during their numerous charges, had not come in contact with a Beelooch sabre : the consequence was, the cotton immediately burst out, and gave them, with their now white gashes on yellow ground, a rather odd appearance.
One day after parade, I requested the native officers to have the men's jackets repaired. They replied,
Very well, Sir.” In about an hour afterwards, however, several Ressildars and Duffedars (native officers) waited on me, and said they
had a favour to ask. I wished to know what it was, when the senior, old “Zubberdust Khan,' answered, “ We beg for ourselves and the men that you will allow the jackets to remain as they are, until we return to Hindostan and get
We all wish to keep these jackets to show how sharp Beelooch swords are, and what they got for damaging our jackets the Gazette will show.” Their request was complied with, and they were pleased.
Our affairs in Scinde, in November 1840, were, as we have said, anything but satisfactory. The gallant Brown had just brought his handful of men from Kahun, after being beleaguered by the Beeloochees for many weeks; the Murrees were up in arms; the Bhooghees and Jhakeeranees ditto ; Nusseer Khan had evacuated Khelat, and taken up a strong position near our post at Kotree, and threatened it with four thousand picked men; Colonel Marshall, who commanded at Kotree, had only thirteen hundred bayonets, sixty Irregular Cavalry, and two guns-six-pounders--wherewith to oppose this
force. It was soon found that a large Beeloochee army, seven thousand strong, had assembled at and near Khunda, to cut off all intercourse
between Colonel Marshall and General Brooks. Several attempts had been made to communicate with Marshall's force, but had failed. His imminent danger soon became known to the political agent, Mr. Ross Bell, and General Brooks commanding the field army,—and fortunate, indeed, was it that so • able, gallant, and sagacious an officer as Brooks commanded at such a crisis. He well knew that the destruction of Marshall's force would be the signal for a rising among all the hill tribes; and as surely would the Ameers of Hyderabad and Khyrpoorhave thrown off the mask, and risen en masse. A diversion was consequently necessary. We had not troops enough in Scinde for any counter operations, so the General at once, therefore, determined
Colonel Marshall's acting on the offensive, and attacking the Khan of Khelat in his position. A difficulty arose
as to the
Å DANGEROUS TRUST.
means of communicating his orders. The several attempts to convey instructions had all been frustrated; the parties despatched either returning baffled in their enterprise, or getting cut up by the enemy.
The General at last sent for me, and told me he had a most arduous and dangerous trust to commit to me; that much, indeed everything, depended on its successful execution; that if Marshall's force were destroyed, a general insurrection would take place, and the consequences be most disastrous. I asked him what I could do, saying I was most willing to undertake any enterprise. He said “I have fixed upon you as the most likely man to carry my despatches, from the endurance you displayed in making your way from Neemuch to Sukkur, through the Beccaneer Desert. I want you to carry out my orders to Colonel Marshall, at Kotree, to attack the Khan of Khelat in his present position, before he is reinforced by the large bodies of Beeloochees now moving towards him.”
I told him I was quite prepared to make the