« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
clarionet rang out on the breeze! It was a band--a military band-belonging to an English regiment!
The old war-horse, feeble and wayworn, lifted its head to catch the inspiriting strains, and snorted with delight! Carlo's standard went up joyously, as he yelped and barked in his doggish glee. The Colonel embraced his wife and child, while the tears ran down his cheeks as he cried, “We are saved! We are saved !” and Tara clasped her hands together in true Oriental fashion as she muttered, “ Allah be praised! It is the English who have come !"
They could scarcely wait for Boxoo, he seemed to stay so long; but when he appeared at last, their rejoicings were increased by hearing they were only a mile or two from the troops, whose white tents were spread on the plains just outside the city they had seen.
How they made their way out of the jungle, and so on to the camp! How they embraced and were embraced by the officers! And how they thanked God for ending their sufferings by this blessed rescue! All this may be better imagined than described !
Henceforth, the remainder of their journey would be comparatively easy and devoid of peril.
They were saved !
But, however gratefully they accepted the shelter of the gallant commander and his men, yet the troops must press forward to continue their work against the foe, and the fugitives were still desirous of prosecuting as rapidly as possible the rest of the way to Calcutta, not feeling themselves at liberty to cast away all fear and anxiety before reaching that haven of safety. So, under the care of a military escort, they pushed onwards bravely.
The common modes of conveyance were interrupted, and they had to travel as they could. Often they found it needful to go out of their way to escape strong parties of mutineers who blocked up the road. A great part of their journey was made in one of the bullock-carts common in that district of the country, with an awning over the top to screen them from the terrible heat of the sun. Of course their progress was slow, for the bullocks cannot travel more than about three miles an hour. But they found the quiet very refreshing after the terrible excitement of the last few weeks. At other times they found a boat to convey them on their journey. At length, as they approached the capital, where good order had been kept, they travelled more swiftly, and at
length came within sight of the city of palaces, as Calcutta is called.
Thus, after many hair-breadth escapes, and weary marches beneath burning skies and a fiery sun, worn out, and almost dying from over-exertion, they arrived at the Fort in Calcutta.
A curious sight they certainly presented, with clothes tattered and torn, without shoes to their feet, with faces scorched by the sun's rays. In this guise they entered the very place from which, but a few months before, they had departed in comfort, in luxury, in wealth.
Almost the first person they met was Ensign Fanshawe, the young officer they had known at the up-country station.
Lifting his hands in amazement, he exclaimed,
“Colonel !—Colonel Ogilvie-never! I am surely mistaken! Why, I heard you had all been killed, like the Chaplain and his wife.”
“Thank God, we escaped their sad fate," said Mrs. Ogilvie.
Like wildfire the news spread abroad that they had returned, refugees from the mutiny.
The officers turned out en masse to greet their old comrade. And now, safely housed with their kind friends, a feeling of devout