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THE TIGER OF MYSORE
DICK AND SURAJAH MAKE A DESPERATE DEFENCE.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
A STORY OF
THE WAR WITH TIPPOO SAIB
G. A. HENTY
Author of With Clive in India," Through the Sikh War," Beric the Briton,"
Held Fast for England," For Name and Fame," etc.
WITH TWELVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY I. H. MARGETSON
AND A jfAP
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
COPYRIGHT, 1895, BY
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
PRINTING AND BOOKBINDING COMPANY
While some of our wars in India are open to the charge
that they were undertaken on slight provocation, and were
forced on by us in order that we might have an excuse for
annexation, our struggle with Tippoo Saib was, on the other
hand, marked by a long endurance of wrong, and a toleration
of abominable cruelties perpetrated upon Englishmen and our
native allies. Hyder Ali was a conqueror of the true Eastern
type; he was ambitious in the extreme, he dreamed of becom-
ing the Lord of the whole of Southern India, he was an able
leader, and, though ruthless where it was his policy to strike
terror, he was not cruel from choice. His son, Tippoo, on the
contrary, revelled in acts of the most abominable cruelty. It
would seem that he massacred for the very pleasure of mas-
sacring, and hundreds of British captives were killed by famine,
poison, or torture, simply to gratify his lust for murder. Pa-
tience was shown towards this monster until patience became
a fault, and our inaction was naturally ascribed by him to fear.
Had firmness been shown by Lord Cornwallis, when Seringa-
patam was practically in his power, the second war would
have been avoided and thousands of lives spared. The blun-
der was a costly one to us, for the work had to be done all
over again, and the fault of Lord Cornwallis retrieved by the
energy and firmness of the Marquis of Wellesley.
The story of the campaign is taken from various sources,
and the details of the treatment of the prisoners from the
published narratives of two officers who effected their escape
G. A. HENTY.
I. A LOST FATHER, II
II. A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS, 29
III. THE RAJAH,. 47
IV. FIRST IMPRESSIONS, 66
V. WAR DECLARED, .. 86
VI. A PERILOUS ADVENTURE, .II
VII. BESIEGED, . 129
VIII. THE INVASION OF MYSORE, 147
IX. NEWS OF THE CAPTIVE, 163
X. IN DISGUISE, 82
XI. A USEFUL FRIEND, .. 197
XII. A TIGER IN A ZENANA, .208
XIII. OFFICERS OF THE PALACE, 225
XIV. A SURPRISE, .240
XV. ESCAPE, 258
XVI. THE JOURNEY, .. 276
XVII. BACK AT TRIPATALY, . .294
XVIII. A NARROW ESCAPE, 312
XIX. FOUND AT LAST, ... 328
XX. THE ESCAPE, ... 346
XXI. HOME, .. 369
DICK AND SURAJAH MAKE A DESPERATE DEFENCE, Frontispiece, 139
THE CAPTAIN AND BEN LASH THEMSELVES TO THE SPAR, 12
THE "MADRAS" BEATS OFF TWO FRENCH PRIVATEERS, 42
THE RAJAH TELLS THE STORY OF THE WAR, .72
BATTLE OF PORTO NOVO, .79
DICK AND SURAJAH MAKE THEIR ESCAPE, 9
THE CAPITAL OF MYSORE,. 1. . I69
" DICK TOOK STEADY AIM, AND FIRED AT THE TIGER," 211
THE WHITE SLAVE-GIRL THANKS DICK FOR SAVING HER LIFE, 251
DICK POURS OUT SOME WINE AND WATER FOR ANNIE, 284
DICK AND SURAJAH ARE ATTACKED BY THUGS, 322
DICK AND SURAJAH VISIT THE FORT DISGUISED AS MERCHANTS, 332
DICK AND HIS FRIENDS ESCAPE FROM THE HILL-FORTRESS, 353
A HEARTY WELCOME AWAITS DICK ON HIS RETURN, 386
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
A LOST FATHER
B HERE is no saying, lad, no saying at all. All I
know is that your father the captain was washed
ashore at the same time as I was. As you have
heard me say, I owed my life to him. I was
pretty nigh gone when I caught sight of him holding on to a
spar; spent as I was, I managed to give a shout loud enough
to catch his ear. He looked round. I waved my hand and
shouted, Good-bye, Captain !' Then I sank lower and
lower, and felt that it was all over, when, half in a dream, I
heard your father's voice shout, Hold on, Ben I gave one
more struggle, and then I felt him catch me by the arm. I
don't remember what happened, until I found myself lashed to
the spar beside him. That is right, Ben,' he said cheerily, as
I held up my head ; you will do now. I had a sharp tussle to
get you here, but it is all right. We are setting inshore fast.
Pull yourself together, for we shall have a rough time of it in
the surf. Anyhow we will stick together, come what may.'
"As the waves lifted us up I saw the coast with its groves
of cocoa-nuts almost down to the water's edge, and white
sheets of surf running up high on the sandy beach. It was
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
not more than a hundred yards away, and the captain sang
out Hurrah! There are some natives coming down; they
will give us a hand.' Next time we came up on a wave he
said, When we get close, Ben, we must cut ourselves adrift
from this spar, or it will crush the life out of us; but before
we do that I will tie the two of us together.'
He cut a bit of rope from the raffle hanging from the
spar, and tied one end round my waist and the other round
his own, leaving about five fathoms loose between us.
'There,' he shouted in my ear. 'If either of us gets
chucked well up and the natives get a hold of him, the other
must come up too. Now mind, Ben, keep broadside on to
the wave if you can, and let it roll you up as far as it will take
you; then, when you feel that its force is spent, stick your
fingers and toes into the sand and hold on like grim death.'
Well, we drifted nearer and nearer until, just as we got to the
point where the great waves tumbled over, the captain cut
the lashings and swam a little away, so as to be clear of the
spar; then a big wave came towering up; I was carried along
like a straw in a whirlpool. Then there was a crash that
pretty nigh knocked the senses out of me. I do not know
what happened afterwards. It was a confusion of white water
rushing past and over me. Then for a moment I stopped,
and at once made a clutch at the ground that I had been roll-
ing over. There was a big strain and I was hauled backwards
as if a team of wild horses were pulling at me. Then there
was a jerk, and I knew nothing more till I woke up and found
myself on the sands, out of reach of the surf.
"Your father did not come to for half-an-hour; he had
been hurt a bit worse than I had, but at last he came round.
Well, we were kept three months in a sort of castle place, and
then one day a party of chaps with guns and swords came
into the yard where we were sitting. The man who seemed
the head of the fellows who had been keeping us prisoners,
walked up with one who was evidently an officer over the
THE CAPTAIN AND BEN LASH THEMSELVES TO THE SPAR.
A LOST FATHER
chaps as had just arrived. He looked at us both, and then
laid his hand on the captain; then the others came up.
The captain had just time to say, We are going to be parted,
Ben. God bless you If ever you get back, give my love to
my wife, and tell her what has happened to me, and that she
must keep up her heart, for I shall make a bolt of it the first
time I get a chance.' The next day I was taken off to a place
they call Calicut. There I stopped a year, and then the rajah
of the place joined the English against Tippoo, who was lord
of all the country, and I was released. I had got by that time
to talk their lingo pretty well, though I have forgotten it all
now, and I had found out that the chaps who had taken your
father away were a party sent down by Tippoo, who, having
heard that two Englishmen had been cast on shore, had in-
sisted upon one of them being handed over to him. It is
known that a great many of the prisoners in Tippoo's hands
have been murdered in their dungeons. He has sworn over
and over again that he has no European prisoners, but every
one knows that he has numbers of them in his hands. Whether
the captain is one of those who have been murdered, or
whether he is still in one of Tippoo's dungeons, is more than
I or any one else can say."
Well, as I have told you, Ben, that is what we mean to
I know that is what your mother has often said, lad, but
it seems to me that you have more chance of finding the man
in the moon than you have of learning whether your father is
alive or not.''
Well, we are going to try, anyhow, Ben. I know it's a
difficult job, but mother and I have talked it 'over, ever since
you came home with the news, three years ago, so I have
made up my mind and nothing can change me. You see, I
have more chances than most people would have. Being a
boy is all in my favour; and then, you know, I talk the lan-
guage just as well as English."
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
"Yes, of course that is a pull, and a big one; but it is a
desperate undertaking, lad, and I can't say as I see how it is
to be done."
I don't see either, Ben, and I don't expect to see until
we get out there; but, desperate or not, mother and I are
going to try."
Dick Holland, the speaker, was a lad of some fifteen years
of age; his father, who was captain of a fine East Indiaman,
had sailed from London when he was nine, and had never
returned. No news had been received of the ship after she
touched at the Cape, and it was supposed that she had gone
down with all hands, until, nearly three years later, her boat-
swain, Ben Birket, had entered the East India Company's
office, and reported that he himself, and the captain, had
been cast ashore on the territories of the Rajah of Coorg, the
sole survivors, as far as he knew, of the Hooghley. After an
interview with the Directors, he had gone straight to the house
at Shadwell inhabited by Mrs. Holland. She had left there,
but had removed to a smaller one a short distance away,
where she lived upon the interest of the sum that her husband
had invested from his savings, and from a small pension grant-
ed to her by the Company.
Mrs. Holland was a half-caste, the daughter of an English
woman who had married a young rajah. Her mother's life
had been a happy one; but when her daughter had reached
the age of sixteen she died, obtaining on her deathbed the
rajah's consent that the girl should be sent to England to be
educated, while her son, who was three years younger, should
remain with his father. Over him she had exercised but little
influence; he had been brought up like the sons of other
native princes, and, save for his somewhat light complexion,
the English blood in his veins would never have been sus-
Margaret, on the other hand, had been under her mother's
care, and as the latter had always hoped that the girl would,
A LOST FATHER
at any rate for a time, go to her family in England, she had
always conversed with her in that language, and had, until
her decreasing strength rendered it no longer possible, given
her an English education.
In complexion and appearance she took far more after her
English mother than the boy had done, and, save for her soft,
dark eyes, and glossy, jet-black hair, might have passed as
of pure English blood. When she sailed, it was with the
intention of returning to India in the course of a few years;
but this arrangement was overthrown by the fact that on the
voyage, John Holland, the handsome young first mate of
the Indiaman, completely won her heart, and they were
married a fortnight after the vessel came up the Thames. The
matter would not have been so hurried had not a letter she
posted on landing, to her mother's sister, who had promised
her a home, received an answer written in a strain which
determined her to yield at once to John Holland's pressing
entreaties that they should be married without delay. Her
aunt had replied that she had consented to overlook the con-
duct of her mother in uniting herself to a native, and to re-
ceive her for a year at the rectory, but that her behaviour in
so precipitately engaging herself to a rough sailor, rendered it
impossible to countenance her. As she stated that she had
come over with a sum sufficient to pay her expenses while in
England, she advised her to ask the captain-who, by the way,
must have grossly neglected his duties by allowing an intimacy
between her and his mate-to place her in some school where
she would be well looked after until her return to India.
The Indian blood in Margaret's veins boiled fiercely, and
she wrote her aunt a letter which caused that lady to congratu-
late herself on the good fortune that had prevented her from
having to receive under her roof a girl of so objectionable and
violent a character. Although the language that John Hol-
land used concerning this letter was strong indeed, he was well
satisfied, as he had foreseen that it was not probable Mar-
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
garet's friends would have allowed her to marry him without
communicating with her father, and that the rajah might have
projects of his own for her disposal. He laid the case before
the captain, who placed her in charge of his wife until the
marriage took place. Except for the long absences of her
husband, Margaret's life had been a very happy one, and
she was looking forward to the time when, after another voy-
age, he would be able to give up his profession and settle
down upon his savings.
When months passed by and no news came of the Hooghley
having reached port, Mrs. Holland at once gave up her house
and moved into a smaller one; for although her income would
have been sufficient to enable her to remain where she was,
she determined to save every penny she was able for the
sake of her boy. She was possessed of strong common-sense
and firmness of character, and when Ben Birket returned with
his tale, he was surprised at the composure with which she re-
"I have always," she said, had a conviction that John
was still alive, and have not allowed Dick to think of his
father as dead.; and now I believe as firmly as before that
some day John will be restored to me. I myself can do
nothing towards aiding him. A woman can do little here;
she can do nothing in India, save among her own people. I
shall wait patiently for a time; it may be that this war will
result in his release. But in the meantime I shall continue to
prepare Dick to take up the search for him as soon as he is old
enough. I hear once a year from my brother, who is now
rajah, and he will be able to aid my boy in many ways. How-
ever, for a time I must be patient and wait. I have learnt to
wait during my husband's long absences; and besides, I think
that the women of India are a patient race. I trust that John
will yet come home to me, but if not, when it is time we will
try to rescue him."
Ben said nothing at the time to damp her courage, but he
A LOST FATHER
shook his head as he left the cottage. Poor creature," he
said. I would not say anything to discourage her, but for
a woman and boy to try to get a captive out of the claws of
the Tiger of Mysore is just madness."
Each time he returned from a voyage Ben called upon Mrs.
Holland. He himself had given up every vestige of hope
when it was known that the name of her husband was not
among the list of those whom Tippoo had been forced to re-
lease. Margaret Holland, however, still clung to hope. Her
face was paler, and there was a set, pathetic expression in it;
so when she spoke of her husband as being still alive, Ben
would sooner have cut out his tongue than allow the slightest
word indicative of his own feeling of certainty as to the cap-
tain's fate, to escape him, and he always made a pretence of
entering warmly into her plans. The training, as she con-
sidered it, of her son, went on steadily; she always con-
versed with him in her father's language, and he was able to
speak it as well as English. She was ever impressing upon
him that he must be strong and active. When he was twelve
she engaged an old soldier, who had set up a sort of academy,
to instruct him in the use of the sword and in such exercises
as were calculated to strengthen his muscles and to give him
strength and agility. Unlike most mothers, she had no word
of reproach when he returned home from school with a puffed
face or cut lips, the signs of battle.
I do not want you to be quarrelsome," she often said to
him, but I have heard your father say that a man who can
use his fists well is sure to be cool and quick in any emergency.
You know what is before you, and these qualities are of far
more importance in your case than any book learning; there-
fore, Dick, I say, never quarrel on your own account, but
whenever you see a boy bullying a smaller one, take the op-
portunity of giving him a lesson while learning one yourself.
In the days of old, you know, the first duty of a true knight
was to succour the oppressed, and I want you to be a true
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
knight. You will get thrashed sometimes, no doubt, but don't
mind that; perhaps next time you will turn the tables."
Dick acted upon this advice, and by the time he was fifteen
had established a reputation among not only the boys of his
own school, but of the district. In addition to his strength
and quickness, he had a fund of dogged endurance and imper-
turbable good temper that did not fail him, even on the rare
occasions when, in combats with boys much older than him-
self, he was forced to admit himself defeated. The fact that he
fought, not because he was angry, but as if it were a matter of
business, gave him a great advantage, and his readiness to take
up the cause of any boy ill-treated by another was so notorious
that I will tell Dick Holland" became a threat that saved
many a boy from being bullied. Ten days before his conver-
sation with Ben his mother had said,-
Dick, I can stand this no longer ; I have tried to be pa-
tient for six years, but I can be patient no longer. I feel that
another year of suspense would kill me. Therefore I have
made up my mind to sail at once. The voyage will take us five
months, and perhaps you may have to remain some little time
at my brother's before you can start. Now that the time is
come, I think that perhaps I am about to do wrong, and that
it may cost you your life. But I cannot help it, Dick; I dream
of your father almost every night, and I wake up thinking that
I hear him calling upon me to help him. I feel that I should
go mad if this were to last much longer."
I am ready, mother," the boy said earnestly. I have
been hoping for some time that you would say you would start
soon ; and though I have not, of course, the strength of a man,
I think that will be more than made up by the advantage I
should have as a boy, in looking for my father; and at any
rate, from what you tell me, I should think that I am quite
as strong as an average native of your country. Anyhow,
mother, I am sure that it will be best for us to go now. It must
have been awful for you, waiting all this time, and though
A LOST FATHER
you have never said anything about it, I have noticed for a
long time that you were looking ill, and was sure that you
were worrying terribly. What would be the use of staying
any longer ? I should not be very much stronger in another
year than I am now, and a year would seem an age to father.''
And so it was settled, and Mrs. Holland at once began to
make preparations for their departure. She had already, with-
out saying anything to Dick, given notice that she should give
up the house. She had, during the six years, saved a sum of
money amply sufficient for the expenses of the journey and out-
fit, and she had now only to order clothes for herself and Dick,
and to part with her furniture. Ben, on his return, had heard
with grave apprehension that she was about to carry out her
intention; but as he saw that any remonstrance on his part
would be worse than useless, he abstained from offering any,
and warmly entered into her plans. After an hour's talk he
had proposed to Dick to go out for a stroll with him.
"I am glad to have a talk with you, Ben," Dick said.
"Of course, I have heard from mother what you told her
when you came home, but I shall be glad to hear it from you,
so as to know exactly how it all was. You know she feels
sure that father is still alive; I should like to know what your
opinion really is about it. Of course it will make no differ-
ence, as I should never say anything to her ; but I should like
to know whether you think there is any possibility of his being
To this Ben had replied as already related. He was silent
when Dick asserted that, desperate or not, he intended to
carry out his mother's plan.
I would not say as I think it altogether desperate, as far
as you are concerned," he said thoughtfully. It don't seem
to me as there is much chance of your ever getting news of
your father, lad; and as to getting him out of prison if you do
come to hear of him, why, honest, I would not give a quid of
baccy for your chance; but I don't say as I think that it is an
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
altogether desperate job, as far as you are concerned yourself.
Talking their lingo as you do, it's just possible as you might
be able to travel about in disguise without any one finding
you out, especially as the Rajah, your uncle, ought to be able
to help you a bit, and put you in the way of things, and per-
haps send some trusty chap along with you. There is no
doubt you are strong for your age, and being thin and nothing
but muscle, you would pass better as a native than if you had
been thick and chunky. My old woman tells me as you have
a regular name as a fighter, and that you have given a lesson
to many a bully in the neighbourhood. Altogether there is a
lot in your favour, and I don't see why you should not pull
through all right; at any rate, even should the worst come to
the worst, and you do get news somehow that your poor father
has gone down, I am sure it will be better for your mother
than going on as she has done for the last six years, just wear-
ing herself out with anxiety."
I am sure it will, Ben. I can tell you that it is as much
as I can do sometimes not to burst out crying when I see her
sitting by the hour, with her eyes open, but not seeing any-
thing or moving as much as a finger-just thinking, and think-
ing, and thinking. I wish we were going out in your ship,
I wish you was, lad; but it will be five or six weeks be-
fore we are off again. Anyhow, the ship you are going in-
the MAadras-is a fine craft, and the captain bears as high a
character as any one in the Company's fleet. Well, lad, I
hope that it will all turn out well. If I could have talked the
lingo like a native, I would have been glad to have gone with
you and taken my chances. The captain saved my life in
that wreck, and it would only have been right that I should
risk mine for him, if there was but a shadow of chance of its
being of use ; but I know that in a job of this sort I could be
of no good whatsoever, and should be getting you into
trouble before we had gone a mile together."
A LOST FATHER
I am sure that you would help if you could, Ben ; but of
course you could be of no use."
And when do you think of being home again, lad ? "
"There is no saying, Ben-it may be years; but however
long it takes I sha'n't give it up until I find out for certain
what has become of my father."
And ain't there a chance of hearing how you are getting
on, Dick? I shall think of you and your mother often and
often when I am on deck keeping my watch at night, and it
will seem hard that I mayn't be able to hear for years as to
what you are doing.'
The only thing that I can do, Ben, will be to write if 1
get a chance of sending a messenger, or for my mother to
write to you to the office.'
"That is it. You send a letter to Ben Birket, boatswain
of the Madeira, care of East India Company, Leadenhall
Street, and I shall get it sooner or later. Of course I shall
not expect a long yarn, but just two or three words to tell me
how you are getting on, and whether you have got any news
of your father. And if you come back to England, leave
your address at the Company's office for me, for it ain't an
easy matter to find any one out in London unless you have
got their bearings right."
Ten days later Mrs. Holland and Dick embarked on the
Mfadras. Dick had been warned by his mother to say noth-
ing to any one on board as to the object of their voyage.
I shall mention," she said, that I am going out to make
some inquiries respecting the truth of a report that has reached
me, that some of those on board the Hooghley, of which my
husband was captain, survived the wreck, and were taken up
the country. That will be quite sufficient. Say nothing
about my having been born in India, or that my father was a
native rajah. Some of these officials-and still more, their
wives-are very prejudiced, and consider themselves to be
quite different beings to the natives of the country. I found
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
it so on my voyage to England ; at any rate, we don't want
our affairs talked about; it will be quite sufficient for people
to know that we are, as I said, going out to make some in-
quiries about the truth of this rumor.'
"All right, mother. At any rate, the captain has told
you that he will look after you and make things comfortable
for you, so we need not care about anything else."
We certainly need not care, Dick; but it is much more
agreeable to get on nicely with every one. I was very pleased
when Captain Barstow called yesterday and said that, having
heard at the office that the Mrs. Holland on the passenger list
was the widow of his old shipmate, John Holland, he had
come round to see if there was anything that he could do for
her, and he promised to do all in his power to make us com-
fortable. Of course, I told him that I did not regard myself
as Captain Holland's widow-that all we knew was that he
had got safely ashore, and had been taken up to Mysore, and
as I had a strong conviction he was still alive, I was going out
to endeavor to ascertain from native sources whether he was
still living. Well, ma'am, I hope that you will succeed,' he
said. All this is new to me. I thought he was drowned
when the Hooagley went ashore. Anyhow, Mrs. Holland, I,
honour you for making this journey just on the off chance of
hearing something of your husband, and you may be sure I
will do all I can to make the voyage a pleasant one for you.'
So you see we shall start favourably, Dick, for the captain can
do a great deal towards adding to the comfort of a passenger.
When it is known by the purser and steward that a lady is
under the special care of the captain, it ensures her a larger"
share of civility and special attentions than she might otherwise
As soon as they went on board, indeed, the captain came
up to them.
"Good-morning, Mrs. Holland," he said. "You have
done quite right to come on board early. It gives you a
A LOST FATHER
chance of being attended to before the stewards are being
called for by twenty people at once." He beckoned to a
midshipman. Mr. Hart, please tell the purser I wish to
speak to him.- So this is your son, Mrs. Holland? A fine,
straight-looking young fellow; are you going to put him in
the Service ? You have a strong claim, you know, which I
am sure the Board would acknowledge."
Do you know, Captain, it is a matter that I have hardly
thought of-in fact, I have for years been so determined to go
out and try and obtain some news of my husband, as soon as
Dick was old enough to journey about as my protector, that I
have not thought, as I ought to have done, what profession he
should follow. However, he is only fifteen yet, and there
will be time enough when he gets back."
If he is to go into the Service, the sooner the better, ma'am
-one can hardly begin too young. However, I don't say
there are not plenty of good sailors afloat who did not enter
until a couple of years older than he is-there is no strict rule
as to age. Only fifteen, is he ? I should have taken him for
at least a year older. However, if you like, Mrs. Holland, I
will put him in the way of learning a good deal during the
voyage. He might as well be doing that as loafing about the
deck all day."
Much better, Captain. I am very much obliged to you,
" d I am sure that he will be, too."
I should like it immensely, Captain," Dick exclaimed.
At this moment the purser came up.
Mr. Stevenson," the captain said, this is Mrs. Holland.
She is the wife of my old friend John Holland-we were mid-
shipmen together on board the Ganges. He commanded the
Hooghley, which was lost, you know, five or six years ago,
somewhere near Calicut. There were two or three survivors,
and he was one of them, and it seems that he was taken up the
country; so Mrs. Holland is going out to endeavour to ascer-
tain whether he may not be still alive, though perhaps de-
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
trained by one of those native princes. Please do everything
you can to make her comfortable, and tell the head steward
that it is my particular wish she shall be well attended to.
Who is she berthed with? "
The purser took the passenger list from his pocket.
She is with Mrs. Colonel Williamson and the wife of Com-
The captain gave a grunt of dissatisfaction. The purser
went on. There is a small cabin vacant, Captain. Two
ladies who were to have it-a mother and daughter-have, I
hear this morning, been unexpectedly detained, owing to the
sudden illness of one of them. Their heavy baggage is all in
the hold, and must go on, and they will follow in the next
ship. Shall I put Mrs. Holland in there ? "
Certainly; this is most fortunate. I don't think that you
would have been comfortable with the other two, Mrs. Hol-
land. I don't know the colonel's wife, but Mrs. Larkins has
travelled with us before, and I had quite enough of her on that
Thank you very much, Captain. It will indeed be a
comfort to have a cabin to myself.'
Dick found that he was berthed with two young cadets,
whose names, he learned from the cards fastened over the
bunks, were Latham and Fellows. Half-an-hour after the ar-
rival of the Hollands on board, the passengers began to pour
in rapidly, and the deck of the Madras was soon crowded
with them, their friends, and their luggage. Below, all was
bustle and confusion. Men shouted angrily to stewards;
women, laden with parcels, blocked the gangway, and appealed
helplessly to every one for information and aid; sailors carried
down trunks and portmanteaus; and Mrs. Holland, when she
emerged from her cabin, having stowed away her belongings
and made things tidy, congratulated herself on having been the
first on board, and so had not only avoided all this confusion,
but obtained a separate cabin, which she might not otherwise
A LOST FATHER
have been able to do, as the captain would have been too busy
to devote any special attention to her. After having handed
her over to the care of the purser, Captain Barstow had spoken
to the second officer, who happened to be passing.
Mr. Rawlinson," he said, this is the son of my old
friend, Captain Holland. He is going out with his mother.
I wish you would keep your eye upon him, and let him join the
midshipmen in their studies with you in the morning. Possi-
bly he may enter the Service, and it will be a great advantage
to him to have got up navigation a bit before he does so; at
any rate it will occupy his mind and keep him out of mischief.
A lad of his age would be like a fish out of water among the
passengers on the quarter-deck."
Ay, ay, sir. I will do what I can for him." And he
Dick saw that, for the present, there was nothing to be done
but to look on, and it was not until the next morning, when
the Madras was making her way south, outside the Goodwins,
that the second officer spoke to him.
"Ah, there you are, lad! I have been too busy to think of
you, and it will be another day or two before we settle down
to regular work; however, I will introduce you to one or two
of the midshipmen, and they will make you free of the ship."
Dick was indeed already beginning to feel at home. The
long table, full from end to end, had presented such a contrast
to his quiet dinner with his mother, that, as he sat down be-
side her and looked around, he thought he should never get to
speak to any one throughout the voyage. However, he had
scarcely settled himself when a gentleman in a naval uniform,
next to him, made the remark:
Well, youngster, what do you think of all this? I sup-
pose it is all new to you? '
It is, sir. It seems very strange at first, but I suppose I
shall get accustomed to it.'
"Oh, yes. You will find it pleasant enough by-and-bye.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
I am the ship's doctor ; the purser has been telling me about
you and your mother. I made one voyage with your father;
it was my first, and a kinder captain I never sailed with. I
heard from the purser that there seems to be a chance of his
being still alive, and that your mother is going out to try and
find out something about him. I hope most sincerely that she
may succeed in doing so; but he has been missing a long time
now. Still, that is no reason why she should not find him;
there have been instances where men have been kept for years
by some of these rascally natives-why, goodness only knows,
except, I suppose, because they fear and hate us, and think
that some time or other an English prisoner may be useful to
them. Your mother looks far from strong," he went on, as
he glanced across Dick to Mrs. Holland, who was talking to a
lady on the other side of her; has she been ill ? "
No, sir ; I have never known her ill yet. She has been
worrying herself a great deal; she has waited so long, because
she did not like to go out until she could take me with her.
She has no friends in England with whom she could leave me.
She looks a good deal better now than she did a month ago.
I think directly she settled to come out, and had something to
do, she became better."
That is quite natural," the doctor said. There is noth-
ing so trying as inactivity. I have no doubt that the sea air
will quite set her up again. It performs almost miracles on the
homeward-bound passengers. They come on board looking
pale and listless and washed out; at the end of a month at sea
they are different creatures altogether.'
The purser had taken pains to seat Mrs. Holland at table
next to a person who would be a pleasant companion for her,
and the lady she was now talking to was the wife of a chaplain
in the army. She had, a year before, returned from India in the
Madras, and he knew her to be a kind and pleasant woman.
Dick did not care for his cabin mates. They were young
fellows of about eighteen years of age ; one was a nephew of
A LOST FATHER
a Director of the Company, the other the son of a high Indian
official. They paid but little attention to him, generally ig-
noring him altogether, and conversing about things and people
in India in the tone of men to whom such matters were quite
In three or four days Dick became on good terms with the
six midshipmen the Madr-as carried; two of them were younger
than himself, two somewhat older, while the others were near-
ly out of their time, and hoped that this would be their last
trip in the midshipmen's berth. The four younger lads studied
two hours every morning under the second officer's instruction,
and Dick took his place at the table regularly with them.
Mathematics had been the only subject in which he had at all
distinguished himself at school, and he found himself able to
give satisfaction to Mr. Rawlinson in his studies of navigation.
After this work was over, they had an hour's practical instruc-
tion by the boatswain's mate, on knotting and splicing ropes,
and in other similar matters.
In a fortnight he had learned the names and uses of what had
at first seemed to him the innumerable ropes, and long before
that had accompanied one of the midshipmen aloft. On the
first occasion that he did so, two of the topmen followed him,
with the intention of carrying out the usual custom of lashing
him to the ratlines until he paid his footing. Seeing them
coming up, the midshipman laughed, and told Dick what was
in store for him. The boy had been as awkward as most
beginners in climbing the shrouds, the looseness and give of
the ratlines puzzling him; but he had for years practised climb-
ing ropes in the gymnasium at Shadwell, and was confident in
his power to do anything in that way. The consequence was,
that as soon as the sailors gained the top, where he and the
midshipman were standing, Dick seized one of the halliards
and with a merry laugh came down hand over hand. A min-
ute later, he stood on the deck.
"Well done, youngster," said the boatswain's mate, who
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
happened to be standing by, as Dick's feet touched the deck.
" This may be the first time you have been on board a ship,
but it is easy to see that it isn't the first, by a long way, that
you have been on a rope. Could you go up again ? "
"Yes, I should think so," Dick said. "I have never
climbed so high as that, because I have never had the chance;
but it ought to be easy enough."
The man laughed. "There are not many sailors who can
do it," he said. Well, let us see how high you will get.''
As Dick was accustomed to go up a rope thirty feet high,
hand over hand, without using his legs, he was confident that,
with their assistance, he could get up to the main-top, lofty
as it was, and he at once threw off his jacket and started. He
found the task harder than he had anticipated; but he did it
without a pause. He was glad, however, when the two sailors
above grasped him by the arms, and placed him beside them on
Well, sir," one said, admiringly, "we thought you was
a Johnny Newcome by the way you went up the ratlines,
but you came up that rope like a monkey. Well, sir, you
are free up here, and if you weren't it would not make much
odds to you, for it would take half the ship's company to capt-
"I don't want to get off paying my footing," Dick said,
pulling five shillings from his pocket and handing them to the
sailors ; for his mother had told him that it was the custom on
first going aloft to make a present to them, and had given him
the money for the purpose. I can climb, but I don't know
anything about ropes, and I shall be very much obliged if you
will teach me all you can.'
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
DICK was surprised when, on descending to the deck, he
found that what seemed to him a by no means very diffi-
cult feat had attracted general attention. Not only did half a
dozen of the sailors pat him on the back with exclamations ex-
pressive of their surprise and admiration, but the other mid-
shipmen spoke quite as warmly, the eldest saying, "I could
have got up the rope, Holland, but I could not have gone up
straight, as you did, without stopping for a bit to take breath.
You don't look so very strong, either."
I think that it is knack more than strength," Dick re-
plied. I have done a lot of practice at climbing, for I have
always wanted to get strong, and I heard that there was no bet-
When, presently, Dick went aft to the quarter-deck, Captain
Barstow said to him, You have astonished us all, lad. I
could hardly believe my eyes when I saw you going up that
rope. I first caught sight of you when you had climbed but
twenty feet, and wondered how far you would get at that pace.
I would have wagered a hundred guineas to one that you
would not have kept it up to the top. Well, lad, whatever
profession you take to, it is certain that you will be a good
They had now been three weeks out, but had made slow
progress, for the winds had been light, and mostly from the
south-west. This is very dull work," the doctor said to
Dick one day at dinner. Here we are, three weeks out,
and still hardly beyond the Channel. There is one consola-
tion : it is not the fault of the ship; she has been doing well
under the circumstances, but the fates have been against her
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
thus far. I have no doubt there are a score of ships still ly-
ing in the Downs, that were there when we passed; and,
tedious as it has been beating down the Channel, with scarce
wind enough most of the time to keep our sails full, it would
have been worse lying there all the time."
Still, we have gained a good bit on them, sir."
If the wind were to change round, say to the north-east,
and they brought it along with them, they would soon make
up for lost time, for it would not take them three days to run
here. However, we shall begin to do better soon; I heard
the captain say that he should change his course to-morrow.
We are somewhere off Cork, and when he makes a few miles
more testing, he will bear away south. If we had had a
favourable wind, we should have taken our departure from the
start, but with it in this quarter we are obliged to make more
westing before we lay her head on her course, or we should
risk getting in too close to the French coast; and their priva-
teers are as thick as peas there.'
But we should not be afraid of a French privateer,
Well, not altogether afraid of one, but they very often
go in couples; and sometimes three of them will work to-
gether. I don't think one privateer alone would venture to
attack us, though she might harass us a bit, and keep up a
distant fire, in hopes that another might hear it and bear down
to her aid. But it is always as well to keep free of them if
one can ; you see, an unlucky shot might knock one of our
sticks out of us, which would mean delay and trouble, if no
worse. We had a sharp brush with two of them on the last
voyage, but we beat them off. We were stronger then than
we are now, for we had two hundred troops on board, and
should have astonished them if they had come close enough
to try boarding-in fact, we were slackening our fire, to tempt
them to do so, when they made out that a large craft coming
up astern was an English frigate, and sheered off. I don't
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
know what the end of it was, but I rather fancy they were
taken. The frigate followed them, gaining fast, and, later on,
we could hear guns in the distance.'
"You did not join in the chase then, doctor ? "
Oh no ; our business is not fighting. If we are attacked,
of course we defend ourselves; but we don't go a foot out of
our way if we can help it."
Three weeks at sea had done wonders for Mrs. Holland.
Now that she was fairly embarked upon her quest, the expres-
sion of anxiety gradually died out; the sea air braced up her
nerves, and, what was of still greater benefit to her, she was
able to sleep soundly and dreamlessly, a thing she had not
done for years. Dick was delighted at the change in her.
You look quite a different woman, mother," he said.
" I don't think your friends at Shadwell would know you if
they were to see you now."
I feel a different woman, Dick. I have not felt so well
and so bright since your father sailed on his last voyage. I
am more convinced than ever that we shall succeed. I have
been trying very hard for years to be hopeful, but now I feel
so without trying. Of course, it is partly this lovely weather
and the sea air, and sleeping so well; and partly because
every one is so kind and pleasant.'
As soon ast he Mdraas had been headed for the south, she
began to make better way. The wind freshened somewhat,
but continued in the same quarter. Grumbling ceased over
the bad luck they were having, and hopeful anticipations that
after all they would make a quick passage were freely indulged
in. On the fourth day after changing her course, she was off
the coast of Spain, which was but a hundred and fifty miles
distant. At noon that day the wind dropped suddenly, and
an hour later it was a dead calm.
We are going to have a change, Dick," the doctor said,
as he stopped by the lad, who was leaning against the bulwark
watching a flock of sea-birds that were following a shoal of
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
fish, dashing down among them with loud cries, and too in-
tent upon their work to notice the ship lying motionless a
hundred yards away.
What sort of a change, doctor ?
Most likely a strong blow, though from what quarter it is
too soon to say. However, we have no reason to grumble.
After nearly a month of light winds, we must expect a turn of
bad weather. I hope it will come- from the north. That will
take us down to the latitude of Madeira, and beyond that we
may calculate upon another spell of fine weather, until we
cross the Line."
As the afternoon wore on, the weather became more dull.
There were no clouds in the sky, but the deep blue was dimmed
by a sort of haze. Presently, after a talk between the captain
and the first officer, the latter gave the order, All hands take
The order had been expected, and the men at once swarmed
up the rigging. In a quarter of an hour all the upper sails
were furled. The light spars were then sent down to the deck.
You may as well get the top-gallant sails off her too, Mr.
Green," the captain said to the first officer. It is as well to
be prepared for the worst. It is sure to blow pretty hard
when the change comes.'
The top-gallant sails were got in, and when the courses had
been brailed up and secured, the hands were called down.
Presently the captain, after going to his cabin, rejoined Mr.
The glass has gone up again," Dick heard him say.
That looks as if it were coming from the north, sir."
Yes, with some east in it; it could not come from a better
quarter." He turned and gazed steadily in -that direction
"Yes, there is dark water over there."
So there is, sir ; that is all right. I don't mind how hard
it blows, so that it does but come on gradually.'
I agree with you. These hurricane bursts when one is
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
becalmed are always dangerous, even when one is under bare
Gradually the dark line on the horizon crept up towards the
ship. As it reached her the sails bellied out, and she began
to move through the water. The wind increased in strength
rapidly, and in half-an-hour she was running south at ten or
eleven knots an hour. The thermometer had fallen many de-
grees, and as the sun set the passengers were glad to go below
for shelter. Before going to bed Dick went up on deck for a
few minutes. The topsails had been reefed down, but the
Madras was rushing through the water at a high rate of speed.
The sea was getting up, and the waves were crested with foam.
Above, the stars were shining brilliantly.
Well, lad, this is a change, is it not ? the captain said,
as he came along in a pea-jacket.
We seem to be going splendidly, Captain."
Yes, we are walking along grandly, and making up for
It is blowing hard, sir."
It will blow a good deal harder before morning, lad, but
I do not think it will be anything very severe. Things won't
be so comfortable downstairs for the next day or two, but that
is likely to be the worst of it."
The motion of the ship kept Dick awake for some time, but,
wedging himself tightly in his berth, he presently fell off to
sleep, and did not awake again until morning. His two cabin
mates were suffering terribly from sea-sickness, but he felt per-
fectly well, although it took him a long time to dress, so great
was the motion of the ship. On making his way on deck, he
found that overhead the sky was blue and bright, and the sun
shining brilliantly. The wind was blowing much harder than
on the previous evening, and a heavy sea was running; but as
the sun sparkled on the white crests of the waves, the scene was
far less awe-inspiring than it had been when he looked out
before retiring to his berth. The ship, under closely-reefed
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
main and fore top-sails, was tearing through the water at a
high rate of speed, throwing clouds of spray from her bows,
and occasionally taking a wave over them that sent a deluge of
water along the deck.
What do you think of this, lad? Mr. Rawlinson, who
was in charge of the watch, asked him, as, after watching his
opportunity, he made a rush to the side and caught a firm hold
of a shroud.
It is splendid, sir," he said. Has she been going like
this all night? "
The officer nodded.
How long do you think it will last, sir ? "
Two or three days."
Will it be any worse, sir? "
Not likely to be; it is taking us along rarely, and it is
doing us good in more ways than one. Look there; and
as they rose on a wave, he pointed across the water behind
Dick. The lad turned and saw a brig running parallel to
their course, half a mile distant.
"What of her, sir? "
That is a French privateer, unless I am greatly mistaken."
But she has the British ensign flying, sir ? "
"Ay, but that goes for nothing. She may possibly be a
trader on her way down to the Guinea coast, but by the cut
of her sails and the look of her hull, I have no doubt that she
is a Frenchman."
We are passing her, sir."
Oh, yes ; in a gale and a heavy sea, weight tells, and we
shall soon leave her astern ; but in fine weather I expect she
could sail round and round us. If the French could fight
their ships as well as they can build them, we should not be in
it with them."
Why don't we fire at her, Mr. Rawlinson ? "
The officer laughed. How are you going to work your
guns with the ship rolling like this? No, lad, we are like two
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
muzzled dogs at present-we can do nothing but watch each
other. I am sorry to say that I don't think the fellow is alone.
Two or three times I have fancied that I caught a glimpse of
a sail on our starboard quarter. I could not swear to it, but I
don't think I was mistaken, and I called the captain's atten-
tion that way just before he went down ten minutes ago, and
he thought he saw it too. However, as there was nothing to
be done, he went down for a caulk ; he had not left the deck
since noon yesterday."
But if she is no bigger than the other, I suppose we shall
leave her behind, too, Mr. Rawlinson ? "
Ay, lad, we shall leave them both behind presently ; but
if they are what I think, we are likely to hear more of them
later on. They would not be so far off-shore as this unless
they were on the look-out for Indiamen, which of course keep
much farther out than ships bound up the Mediterranean ; and
having once spotted us they will follow us like hounds on a
deer's trail. However, I think they are likely to find that
they have caught a tartar when they come up to us. Ah
here is the doctor. Well, doctor, what is the report below ? "
Only the usual number of casualties,-a sprained wrist, a
few contusions, and three or four cases of hysterics."
Is mother all right, doctor? Dick asked.
As I have heard nothing of her, I have no doubt she is.
I am quite sure that she will not trouble me with hysterics.
Women who have had real trouble to bear, Dick, can be
trusted to keep their nerves steady in a gale."
I suppose you call this a gale, doctor? "
Certainly ; it is a stiff north-easterly gale, and if we were
facing it instead of running before it, you would not want to
ask the question. That is a suspicious-looking craft, Rawlin-
son," he broke off, catching sight of the brig now on their
Yes, she is a privateer I have no doubt, and unless I am
mistaken she has a consort somewhere out there to starboard.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
However, we need not trouble about them; travelling as we
are, we are going two knots an hour faster than the brig.'
So much the better," the doctor said shortly. We can
laugh at one of these fellows, but when it comes to two of
them, I own that I don't care for their company. So the
longer this gale holds on, the better."
The mate nodded.
Well, Dick," the doctor went on, do you feel as if you
will be able to eat your breakfast? "
I shall be ready enough for it, doctor, but I don't see how
it will be possible to eat it, with the vessel rolling like this."
You certainly will not be able to sit down to it-nothing
would stay on the table a minute; there will be no regular
breakfast to-day. You must get the steward to cut you a
chunk of cold meat, put it between two slices of bread, and
make a sandwich of it. As to tea, ask him to give you a
bottle and to pour your tea into that; then, if you wedge
yourself into a corner, you will find that you are able to man-
age your breakfast comfortably, and can amuse yourself watch-
ing people trying to balance a cup of tea in their hand."
Not more than half a dozen passengers ventured on deck for
the next two days, but at the end of that time the force of the
wind gradually abated, and on the following morning the
Madras had all her sails set to a light but still favourable
breeze. Madeira had been passed, to Dick's disappointment;
but, except for a fresh supply of vegetables, there was no oc-
casion to put in there, and the captain grudged the loss of a
day while so favourable a wind was taking them along.
"Do you think we shall see anything of that brig again,
doctor ? Dick asked, as, for the first time since the wind
sprang up, the passengers sat down to a comfortable breakfast.
"There is no saying, Dick. If we gained two knots an
hour during the blow (and I don't suppose we gained more
than one and a half), they must be a hundred and twenty
miles or so astern of us; after all, that is only half a day's run.
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
I think they are pretty sure to follow us for a bit, for they will
know that in light winds they travel faster than we do, and if
we get becalmed while they still hold the breeze, they will
come up hand over hand. It is likely enough that in another
three days or so we may get a sight of them behind us."
This was evidently the captain's opinion also, for during the
day the guns were overhauled, and their carriages examined,
and the muskets brought up on deck and cleaned. On the
following day the men were practised at the guns, and then
had pike and cutlass exercise. None of the passengers partic-
ularly noticed these proceedings, for Dick had been warned
by the captain to say nothing about the brig; and as he was
the only passenger on deck at the time, no whisper of the
privateers had come to the ears of the others. The party
were just going down to lunch on the third day when a look-
out in the maintop hailed the deck,-
A sail astern."
How does she bear? "
She is dead astern of us, sir, and I can only make out her
upper sails. I should say that they are her royals."
Mr. Green ran up, with his telescope slung over his shoul-
der. I cannot make much out of her, sir," he shouted to
the captain; she may be anything. She must be nearly
thirty miles astern. I think, with Pearson, that it is her
royals we see.'
Take a look round, Mr. Green."
The mate did so, and presently called down, I can make
out something else away on the starboard quarter, but so far
astern that I can scarce swear to her. Still, it can be nothing
but a sail."
Thank you, Mr. Green; I daresay that we shall know
more about her later on."
When the captain joined the passengers at table, one of the
ladies said, "You seem interested in that ship astern of us,
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
Yes, Mrs. Seaforth; one is always interested in a ship
when one gets down as far as this. She may be another
Indiaman, and although the M/adras has no claim to any
great speed in a light breeze like this, one never likes being
The explanation was considered as sufficient, and nothing
more was said on the subject. By sunset the upper sails of
the stranger could be make out from the deck of the MaLdras.
Mr. Green again went up and had a look at her.
She is coming up fast," he said, when he rejoined the
captain. She keeps so dead in our wake that I can't make
out whether she is a brig or a three-master ; but I fancy that
she is a brig, by the size and cut of her sails. I can see the
other craft plainly enough now ; she is eight or ten miles west
of the other and has closed in towards her since I made her
out before. I have no doubt that she is a large schooner.'
Well, it is a comfort that they are not a few miles nearer,
Mr. Green. There is no chance of their overtaking us before
morning, so we shall be able to keep our watches as usual, and
shall have time to get ready for a fight if there is to be one."
The sooner the better, sir, so that it is daylight; it is
quite certain that they have the legs of us."
In the morning when Dick came up he found that the wind
had quite died away, and the sails hung loosely from the
yards. Looking astern, he saw two vessels ; they were some
six miles away, and perhaps two miles apart. As they lay
without steerage way they had swung partly round, and he
saw that they were a brig and a schooner. The former he
had no doubt, from her lofty masts and general appearance,
was the same the Ma dras had passed six days before. As the
passengers came up they were full of curiosity as to the vessels.
Of course, we know no more actually than you do your-
selves," the captain said, as some of them gathered round and
questioned him, but I may as well tell you frankly that we
have very little doubt about their being two French priva-
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
teers. We passed them during the gale, and had some hopes
that we should not see them again ; but in the light breeze we
have been having during the last few days they have made up
lost ground, and I am afraid we shall have to fight them."
Exclamations of alarm broke from some of the ladies who
heard his words.
You need not be alarmed, ladies," he went on. We
carry twelve guns, you know, and I expect that all of them
are of heavier metal than theirs. The Madras is a strongly-
built ship, and will stand a good deal more hammering than
those light craft will, so that I have no doubt we shall give a
good account of ourselves."
After breakfast the hatches were opened and the gun-cases
belonging to the passengers brought on deck. Scarce one of
them but had a rifle, and many had in addition a shotgun.
The day passed without any change in the positions of the
vessels, for they still lay becalmed.
Why don't they get out their boats, and tow their vessels
up ? Dick asked the doctor.
Because they would be throwing away their chances if
they did so. They know that we cannot get away from them,
and we might smash up their boats as soon as they came
within range. Besides, their speed and superior handiness
give them a pull over us when fighting under sail. They may
try to tow up during the night, if they think they are strong
enough to take us by boarding, but I hardly think they will
The night, however, passed off quietly, but in the morning
a light breeze sprang up from the east, the sails were trimmed,
and the Madras again began to move through the water. By
breakfast time, the craft behind had visibly decreased their
distance. The meal was a silent one. When it was over the
captain said, "As soon as those fellows open fire, ladies, I
must ask you all to go down into the hold. The sailors have
already cleared a space below the water-line large enough for
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
you, and they will take down some cushions and so on to
make you as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.
Pray do not be alarmed at any noises you may hear ; you will
be below the water-line and perfectly safe from their shot, and
you may be sure that we shall do our best to keep the scoun-
drels from boarding us ; and I will let you know from time to
time how matters are going."
The unmarried men at once went up on deck ; the others
lingered for a short time behind, talking to their wives and
daughters, and then followed.
,* The wind has strengthened a bit, Mr. Green," the cap-
tain said. and I fancy we shall get more."
SI think so too. Captain."
Then yo may as well get off the upper sails and make
her snug. Get off everything above the top-gallant; then, if
tie wind increases, we shall not want to call the men away
from the guns."
The crew had, without orders, already mustered at quarters.
The lashings had been cast off the guns, the boatswain had
opened the :,ia ici. and a pile of shot stood by each gun,
together with cases of canister and grape-shot for close work.
Boarding-pikes and cutlasses were ranged along by the bul-
warks. The men had thrown aside their jackets, and many of
those at the guns were stripped to the waist. Some of them
were laughing and talking, and Dick saw, by their air of con-
;1-,. .. that they had no doubt of their ability to beat off the
assault of the privateers.
The latter were the first to open the ball. A puff of smoke
burst out from the brig's bows, followed almost instantly by
one from the schooner. Both shots fell short, and for a quarter
of an hour the three vessels kept on their way.
We have heavier metal than that," the captain said cheer-
filly, h and I have no doubt we could reach them; but it is
not our game to play at long bowls, for it is probable that
both of them carry a long pivot gun, and if they were to draw
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
off a bit, they could annoy us amazingly, while we could not
Presently the privateers opened fire again. They were now
about a mile away, and the same distance from each other.
Their shot fell close to the Indiaman, and two or three passed
through her sails. Still no reply was made. The men at the
guns fidgeted and kept casting glances towards the poop, in
expectation of an order. It came at last, but was not what
they had expected.
"Double-shot your guns, men," the captain said.
Scarcely was the order obeyed when the brig, which was
now on the port quarter, luffed up a little into the wind and
fired a broadside of eight guns. There was a crashing of wood:
the Madras was hulled in three places ; two more holes ap-
peared in her sails ; while the other shot passed harmlessly
just astern of her. There was an angry growl among the
sailors as the schooner bore away a little and also fired her
broadside. Except that a man was struck down by a splinter
from the bulwarks, no damage was done.
Bear up a little," the captain said to the second officer,
who was standing by the helmsman. I want to edge in a
little towards the brig, but not enough for them to notice it.
Now, gentlemen," he went on to the passengers, I have no
doubt that most of you are good shots, and I want you, after
we have fired our broadside, to direct your attention to the
brig's helmsmen. If you can render it impossible for the men
to stand at the wheel, we will make mincemeat of this fellow
in no time. Directly I have fired our port broadside, I am
going to bring her up into the wind on the opposite tack, and
give him the starboard broadside at close quarters. Don't fire
until we have gone about, and then pick off the helmsmen if
you can. Get ready, men." The brig was now but a little
more than a quarter of a mile distant. Aim at the foot of
his mainmast," he went on. Let each man fire as he gets
the mast on his sight."
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
A moment later the first gun fired, and the whole broad-
side followed in quick succession.
Down with the helm Hard down, sheets and tacks "
The men whose duty it was to trim the sails ran to the
sheets and braces. The Madras swept up into the wind, and
as her sails drew on the other tack she came along on a course
that would take her within a hundred yards of the brig. As
she approached, three rifles cracked out on her poop. One of
the men at the helm of the brig fell, and as he did so, half a
dozen more shots were fired; and as his companion dropped
beside him, the brig, deprived of her helm, flew up into the
wind. Three men ran aft to the wheel, but the deadly rifles
spoke out again. Two of them fell; the third dived under
the bulwark, for shelter.
Steady, men 1 the captain shouted. Fetch her main-
mast out of her "
As they swept along under the stern of the brig, each gun
of their other broadside poured in its fire in succession, raking
the crowded deck from end to end. A moment later the
mainmast was seen to sway, and a tremendous cheer broke
from the Madras as it went over the side, dragging with it
the foretopmast with all its gear.
"Down with the helm again!" the captain shouted.
"Bring her head to wind, and keep her there! "
The first officer sprang forward to see that the order was
carried into effect, and a minute later the Indiaman lay, with
her sails aback, at a distance of a hundred yards, on the quar-
ter of the brig.
Grape and canister the captain shouted, and broadside
after broadside swept the decks of the brig, which, hampered
by her wreckage, was lying almost motionless in the water.
So terrible was the fire that the privateer's men threw down
the axes with which they were striving to cut away the float-
ing spars, and ran below.
Double-shot your guns, and give her one broadside be-
TE MADAS BEATS OF TWO FRENCH RVATEERS
THE MADRAS" BEATS OFF TWO FRIKNCH PRIVATEERS.
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
tween wind and water the captain ordered. "Haul on
the sheets and braces, Mr. Green, and get her on her course
again-the schooner won't trouble us now."
That craft had indeed at first luffed up, to come to the as-
sistance of her consort; but on seeing the fall of the latter's
mast, and that she was incapable of rendering any assistance,
had again altered her course, feeling her incapacity to engage
so redoubtable an opponent single-handed. Three hearty
cheers broke from all on board the Mfadras, as, after pouring
in a broadside at a distance of fifty yards, she left the brig be-
hind her and proceeded on her way.
Then you don't care about taking prizes, captain? one
of the passengers said, as they crowded round to congratulate
him upon his easy and almost bloodless victory.
"No, taking prizes is not my business; and were I to
weaken my crew by sending some of them off in a prize, I
might find myself short-handed if we met another of these
gentlemen, or fell in with bad weather. Besides, she would
not be worth sending home."
The brig is signalling to her consort, sir," Mr. Green said,
Ay, ay; I expect she wants help badly enough. I saw
the chips fly close to her water-line as we gave her that last
They are lowering a boat," one of the passengers said.
"So they are; I expect they haven't got more than one
that can swim. I think she is settling down," the captain
said, as he looked earnestly at the wreck astern. See how
they are crowding into that boat, and how some of the others
are cutting and slashing to get the wreckage clear of her."
"She is certainly a good bit lower in the water than she
was," the first officer agreed. The schooner has come
round, and won't be long before she is alongside of her."
There was no doubt that the brig was settling down fast.
Men stood on the bulwarks and waved their caps frantically to
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
the schooner; others could be seen, by the aid of a glass,
casting spars, hen-coops, and other articles, overboard, and
jumping into the water after them; and soon the sea around
the wreck was dotted with heads and floating fragments, while
the wreckage of the mainmast was clustered with men.
When the Madras was a mile away, the schooner was lying
thrown up head to wind fifty yards from the brig, and her
boats were already engaged in picking up the swimmers.
Suddenly the brig gave a heavy lurch.
"There she goes! the captain exclaimed. A moment
later the hull had disappeared, and the schooner remained
By this time the whole of the ladies had ascended from their
place of safety to the poop, and a general exclamation broke
from the passengers as the brig disappeared.
"The schooner will pick them all up," the captain said.
They must have suffered heavily from our fire, but I don't
think any will have gone down with her. The boat which
has already reached the schooner must have taken a good
many, and the mainmast and foretopmast and spars would sup-
port the rest, to say nothing of the things they have thrown
overboard. There is one wasp the less afoat."
No further adventure was met with throughout the voyage.
They had a spell of bad weather off the Cape, but the captain
said it was nothing to the gales they often encountered there,
and that the voyage as a whole was an exceptionally good one;
for even after the delays they had encountered at the start, the
passage had lasted but four months and a half. They touched
at Point de Galle for news, and to ascertain whether any
French war-ships had been seen of late along the coast. A
supply of fresh vegetables and fruit was taken on board, as the
vessel, after touching at Madras, was to go on to Calcutta. A
few of the passengers landed at Point de Galle, but neither
Dick nor his mother went ashore.
"You will have plenty of opportunities of seeing Indians
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS
later on, Dick," Mrs. Holland had said; and as the gigs
will not take all ashore, we may as well stop quietly here. I
heard the captain say that he would weigh anchor again in
Dick was rather disappointed, but as they would be at
Madras before long, he did not much mind. Ten days later
they anchored off that town. Little was to be seen except
the fort, a number of warehouses, and the native town, while
the scenery contrasted strongly with that of Ceylon, with its
masses of green foliage with hills rising behind. For the last
fortnight Mrs. Holland had been somewhat depressed. Now
that the voyage was nearly over, the difficulties of the task be-
fore her seemed greater than they had done when viewed from
a distance, and she asked herself whether, after all, it would
not have been wiser to have waited another two or three years,
until Dick had attained greater strength and manhood. The
boy, however, when she confided her doubts to him, laughed
at the idea.
Why, you know, mother," he said, we agreed that I had
a much greater chance as a boy of going about unsuspected,
than I should have as a man ; besides, we could never have
let father remain any longer without trying to get him out.
No, no, mother, you know we have gone through it over and
over again, and talked about every chance. We have had a
first-rate voyage, and everything is going on just as we could
have wished, and it would never do to begin to have doubts
now. We have both felt confident all along. It seems to me
that of all things we must keep on being confident, at'any rate
until there is something to give us cause to doubt."
On the following morning they landed in a surf-boat, and
were fortunate in getting ashore without being drenched.
There was a rush of wild-looking and half-naked natives to
seize their baggage ; but upon Mrs. Holland, with quiet deci-
sion, accosting the men in their own language, and picking
out four of them to carry the baggage up to one of the vehicles
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
standing on the road that ran along the top of the high beach,
the rest fell back, and the matter was arranged without diffi-
culty. After a drive of twenty minutes, they stopped at a
It is not like a hotel, mother," Dick remarked, as they
drew up ; it is more like a gentleman's house, standing in
its own park."
Almost all the European houses are built so here, Dick,
and it is much more pleasant than when they are packed to-
Much nicer," Dick agreed. If each house has a lot of
ground like this, the place must cover a tremendous extent of
It does, Dick; but as every one keeps horses and car-
riages, that does not matter much. Blacktown, as they call
the native town, stands quite apart from the European quar-
As soon as they were settled in their rooms, which seemed
to Dick singularly bare and unfurnished, mother and son went
out for a drive in one of the carriages belonging to the hotel.
Dick had learned so much about India from her that, although
extremely interested, he was scarcely surprised at the various
scenes that met his eye, or at the bright and varied costumes
of the natives. Many changes had taken place during the
seventeen years that had elapsed since Mrs. Holland had left
India. The town had increased greatly in size. All signs of
the effects of the siege by the French, thirty years before, had
been long since obliterated. Large and handsome government
buildings had been erected, and evidences of wealth and pros-
perity were everywhere present.
" OW, mother, let us talk over our plans," Dick said, as,
After dinner, they seated themselves in two chairs in the
veranda, at some little distance from the other guests at the
hotel. How are we going to begin ? "
In the first place, Dick, we shall to-morrow send out a
messenger to Tripataly, to tell my brother of our arrival here.'
How far is it, mother? "
It is about a hundred and twenty miles in a straight line,
I think, but a good bit farther than that by the way we shall
How shall we travel, mother? "
I will make some inquiries to-morrow, but I think that
the pleasantest way will be to drive from here to Conjeveram.
I think that is about forty miles. There we can take a native
boat, and go up the river Palar past Arcot and Vellore, to
Vaniambaddy. From there it is only about fifteen miles to
Tripataly. I shall tell my brother the way I propose going.
Of course, if he thinks any other way will be better, we shall
go by that."
Are we going to travel as we are, mother, or in native
That is a point that I have been thinking over, Dick ; I
will wait and ask my brother which he thinks will be the best.
When out there I always dressed as a native, and never put on
English clothes except at Madras. I used to come down here
two or three times every year with my mother, and generally
stayed for a fortnight or three weeks. During that time we
always dressed in English fashion, as by so doing we could live
at the hotel and take our meals at public tables without excit-
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
ing comment. My mother knew several families here, and
liked getting back to English ways occasionally. Of course,
I shall dress in Indian fashion while I stay at my brother's, so it
is only the question of how we shall journey there, and I think
I should prefer going as we are. We shall excite no special
observation travelling as English, as it will only be supposed
that we are on our way to pay a visit to some of our officers at
Arcot. At Conjeveram, which is a large place, there is sure
to be a hotel of some sort or other, for it is on the main road
from Madras south. On the way up by water we shall of
course sleep on board, and we shall go direct from the boat to
Tripataly. However, we need not decide until we get an
answer to my letter, for it will take a very short time to get
the necessary dresses for us both. I think it most likely that
my brother will send down one of his officers to meet us, or
possibly may come down himself. You heard what they were
all talking about at dinner, Dick ? "
"Yes, mother, it was something about Tippoo attacking
the Rajah of Travancore, but I did not pay much attention to
it. I was looking at the servants in their curious dresses."
It is 'very important, Dick, and will probably change all
our plans. Travancore is in alliance with us, and every one
thinks that Tippoo's attack on it will end in our being engaged
in war with him. I was talking to the officer who sat next
to me, and he told me that if there had been a capable man
at the head of government here, war would have been declared
as soon as the Sultan moved against Travancore. Now that
General Meadows had been appointed governor and com-
mander-in-chief, there was no doubt, he said, that an army
would move against Tippoo in a very short time-that it was
already being collected, and that a force was marching down
here from Bengal. So you see, my boy, if this war really
breaks out, the English may march to Seringapatam and com-
pel Tippoo to give up all the captives he has in his hands."
"That would be splendid, mother."
At any rate, Dick, as long as there is a hope of your father
being rescued in that way, our plans must be put aside."
"Well, mother, that will be better in some respects, for of
course if father is not rescued by our army I can try after-
wards as we arranged. It would be an advantage in one way,
as I should then be quite accustomed to the country and more
fit to make my way about."
A week later, an old officer arrived from Tripataly.
"Ah, Rajbullub," Mrs. Holland exclaimed, as he came up
with a deep salaam, "I am indeed glad to see you again. I
knew you were alive, for my brother mentioned you when he
wrote last year."
Rajbullub was evidently greatly pleased at the recognition.
"I think I should have known you, lady," he said; but
eighteen years makes more changes in the young than in the
old. Truly I am glad to see you again. There was great joy
among us who knew you as a child, when the Rajah told us
that you were here. He has sent me on to say that he will
arrive to-morrow. I am to see to his apartments, and to
have all in readiness. He intends to stay here some days
before returning to Tripataly."
Will he come to this hotel ? "
No, lady, he will take the house he always has when he is
here; it is kept for the use of our princes when they come
down to Madras. He bade me say that he hopes you will
remain here, for that none of the rooms could be got ready at
such a short notice; he has not written, for he hates writing,
which is a thing that he has small occasion for. I was to tell
you that his heart rejoiced at the thought of seeing you again,
and that his love for you is as warm as it was when you were a
boy and girl together."
This is my son, Rajbullub. He has often heard me speak
Yes, indeed," Dick said warmly. I heard how you saved
her from being bitten by a cobra when she was a little girl."
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
"Ah! the young lord speaks our tongue," Rajbullub said,
with great pleasure. We wondered whether you would have
taught it to him. If it had not been that you always wrote
to my lord in our language, we should have thought that you
yourself would surely have forgotten it after dwelling so long
among the white sahibs."
No, we always speak it when together, Rajbullub. I
thought that he might some day come out here, and that he
would find it very useful; and I, too, have been looking for-
ward to returning for a time to the home where I was born."
There were many questions to ask about her brother, his
wife and two sons; they were younger than Dick, for Mrs.
Holland was three years senior to the Rajah. At last she
said, I will not detain you longer, Rajbullub. I know that
you will have a great deal to do to get ready for my brother's
coming. At what time will he arrive? "
He hopes to be here by ten in the morning, before the
heat of the day sets in."
I shall, of course, be there to meet him."
"So he hoped, lady. He said that he would have come
straight here first, but he thought it would be more pleasant for
you to meet him in privacy."
Assuredly it would," she agreed.
I will bring a carriage for you here at nine o'clock, and
take you and my young lord to the Rajah's house."
At the appointed time a handsome carriage and pair drove
up to the door of the hotel, and in ten minutes Mrs. Holland
and Dick alighted in the courtyard of a large house. Four
native servants were at the door, and the old officer led the
way to a spacious room. This was carpeted with handsome
rugs ; soft cushions were piled on the divan running round the
room, the divan itself being covered with velvet and silk rugs ;
looking- glasses were ranged upon the walls; a handsome
chandelier hung from the roof; draperies of gauze, lightly em-
broidered with gold, hung across the windows.
Why, Rajbullub, you have done wonders-that is, if the
house was unfurnished yesterday."
It is simple," the Hindoo said. My lord your brother,
like other rajahs who use the house when they come down here,
has a room upstairs in which are kept locked up everything re-
quired for furnishing the rooms he uses. Four of his servants
came down here with me. We had but to call in sweepers to
clear the house from dust and wash down the marble floors, and
then everything was put into its place. The cook, who also
came down, has hired assistants, and all will be ready for my
lord when he arrives."
In half-an-hour one of the servants ran in and announced
that the Rajah was in the courtyard. There was a great tramp-
ling of hoofs, and a minute later he ascended the stairs and
was met by his sister and Dick at the door of the room. Mrs.
Holland had attired herself handsomely, not so much for the
sake of her brother, but that, as his sister, those with him
would expect to see in her an English lady of position, and
Dick thought that he had never seen her looking so well as
when, in a dress of rich brocade, and with a flush of pleasure
and expectation on her cheeks, she advanced to the door. She
was still but a little over thirty-three years old, and although
the long years of anxiety and sorrow had left their traces on her
face, the rest and quiet of the sea voyage had done much to re-
store the fulness of her cheeks and to soften the outline of her
figure. The Rajah, a young and handsome-looking man of
thirty, ascended the stairs with an eagerness and speed that
were somewhat at variance with Dick's preconceived ideas of
the stateliness of an Eastern prince.
My sister Margaret he exclaimed in English, and em-
braced her with a warmth that showed that his affection for
her was unimpaired by the years that had passed since he last
saw her. Then he stood with his hands on her shoulders, look-
ing earnestly at her. I know you again," he said; you
are changed, but I can recall your face well. You are wel-
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
come, Margaret, most welcome. And this is my nephew ? "
he went on, turning to Dick, and holding out both his hands
to him. You are taller than I expected-well-nigh as tall as
I am. You are like your mother and my mother, and you are
bold and active and strong, she writes me. My boys are long-
ing to see you, and you will be most welcome at Tripataly. I
have almost forgotten my English, Margaret "-and indeed he
spoke with some difficulty, evidently choosing his words-" I
should quite have forgotten it, had not I often had occasion to
speak it with English officers. I see by your letters that you
have not forgotten our tongue."
Not in the least, Mortiz. I have for years spoken noth-
ing else with Dick, and he speaks it as well as I do."
That is good," the Rajah replied, in his own tongue, and
in a tone of relief. I was wondering how he would get on
with us. Now let us sit down. We have so much to tell
each other, and, moreover, I am ravenous for breakfast, as I
have ridden forty miles since sunrise."
Breakfast was speedily served, the Rajah eating in English
I cling to some of our mother's ways, you see, Margaret.
As I have grown older I have become more English than I
was. Naturally, as a boy of thirteen, as I was when you last
saw me, I listened to the talk of those around me and was
guided by their opinions a good deal. Among them there
was a feeling of regret that our father had married an English
woman, and I of course was ever trying my hardest to show
that in riding, or the chase, or in exercises of any kind, I was
as worthy to be the son of an Indian rajah as if I had no white
blood in my veins. As I grew up I became wiser. I saw how
great the English were, how steadily they extended their do-
minions, and how vastly better off were our people under their
sway than they were in the days when every rajah made war
against his neighbour, and the land never had rest. Then I
grew proud of my English blood, and although I am to my
people Rajah of Tripataly, a native prince and lord of their
destinies, keeping up the same state as my father, and ruling
them in native fashion, in my inner house I have adopted
many English ways. My wife has no rival in the zenana. I
encourage her to go about as our mother did, to look after the
affairs of the house, to sit at table with me, and to be my
companion, and not a mere plaything ; I am sure, Margaret,
your stay with us will do her much good, and she will learn
a great deal from you."
You have heard no news since you last wrote, Mortiz ? "
A slight cloud passed across the Rajah's animated face.
"None, Margaret. We have little news from beyond the
mountains. Tippoo hates us who are the friends of the Eng-
lish as much as he hates the English themselves, so there is
little communication between Mysore and the possessions of
the Nabob of Arcot. We will talk later on of the plans you
wrote of in your last letter to me.'
You do not think that they are hopeless, Mortiz ? Mrs.
Holland asked anxiously.
I would not say that they are hopeless," he said gently,
" although it seems to me that, after all these years, the chances
are slight indeed that your husband can be alive; and the peril
and danger of the enterprise that, so far as I understood you,
you intend your son to undertake, would be terrible indeed."
We see that, Mortiz; Dick and I have talked it over a
thousand times. But so long as there is but a shadow of a
chance of his finding his father, he is ready to undertake the
search. He is a boy in years, but he has been trained for the
undertaking, and will, when the trial comes, bear himself as
well as a man."
"Well, Margaret, I shall have plenty of opportunities for
forming my own judgment, because of course he will stay with
us a long time before he starts on the quest, and it will be
better to say no more of this now. Now tell me about Lon-
don. Is it so much a greater city than Madras ? "
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
Mrs. Holland sighed. She saw by his manner that he was
wholly opposed to her plan, and although she was quite pre-
pared for opposition, she could not help feeling disappointed.
However, she perceived that, as he said, it would be better
to drop the subject for a time, and she accordingly put it
aside and answered his questions.
Madras is large-that is, it spreads over a wide extent;
but if it were packed with houses as closely as they could
stand, it would not approach London, in the number of its
How is it that the English do not send more troops out
here, Margaret? "
Because they can raise troops here, and English soldiers
cannot stand the heat as well as those born to it. Moreover,
you must remember that at present England is at war, not
only with France and half Europe, but also with America.
She is also obliged to keep an army in Ireland, which is
greatly disaffected. With all this on her hands she cannot
send a large army so far across the seas, especially when her
force here is sufficient for all that can be required of it."
That is true," he said. It is wonderful what they have
done out here with such small forces. But they will have
harder work, before they conquer all India-as I believe they
will do-than they have yet encountered. In spite of Tippoo's
vauntings, they will have Mysore before many years are over.
The Sultan seems to have forgotten the lesson they taught him
six or seven years back. But the next time will be the last,
and Tippoo, tiger as he is, will meet the fate he seems bent on
provoking. But beyond Mysore lies the Mahratta country,
and the Mahrattas alone can put thirty thousand horsemen
into the field. They are not like the people of Bengal, who
have ever fallen, with scarce an attempt at resistance, under
the yoke of one tyrant after another. The Mahrattas are a
nation of warriors; they are plunderers if you will, but they
are brave and fearless soldiers, and might, had they been
united, have had all India under their feet before the coming
of the English. That chance has slipped from them. But
when we-I say we,' you see, Margaret-meet them, it will
be a desperate struggle indeed."
"We shall thrash them, Uncle," Dick broke in; "you
will see that we shall beat them thoroughly."
The Rajah smiled at Dick's impetuosity.
So you think English soldiers cannot be beaten, eh ?"
Well, Uncle, somehow they never do get beaten. I don't
know how it is. I suppose that it is just obstinacy. Look
how we thrashed the French here, and they were just as well
drilled as our soldiers, and there were twice as many of them."
The Rajah nodded.
One secret of our success, Dick, is that the English get
on better with the natives here than the French do-I don't
know why, except what I have heard from people who went
through the war ; they say that the French always seemed to
look down on the natives, and treated even powerful allies
with a sort of haughtiness that irritated them and made them
ready to change sides at the first opportunity, while the
British treated them pleasantly, so that there was a real friend-
ship between them."
Dick, finding that the conversation now turned to the time
when his mother and uncle were girl and boy together, left
them and went downstairs. He found some twenty horses
ranged in the courtyard, while their riders were sitting in the
shade, several of them being engaged in cooking. These
were the escort who had ridden with the Rajah from Tri-
pataly-for no Indian prince would think of making a journey
unless accompanied by a numerous retinue. Scarcely had he
entered the yard than Rajbullub came up with the officer in
command of the escort, a fine-looking specimen of a Hindoo
soldier. He salaamed as Rajbullub presented him to Dick.
The lad addressed him at once in his own tongue, and they
were soon talking freely together. The officer was surprised
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
at finding that his lord's nephew from beyond the sea was
able to speak the language like a native. First Dick asked
the nature of the country and the places at which they would
halt on their way; then he inquired what force the Rajah
could put into the field, and was somewhat disappointed to
hear that he kept up but a hundred horsemen, including those
who served as an escort.
You see, Sahib, there is no occasion for soldiers. Now
that the whites are the masters, they do the fighting for us.
When the Rajah's father was a young man, he could put two
thousand men under arms, and he joined at the siege of Tri-
chinopoly with twelve hundred. But now there is no longer
need for an army; there is no one to fight. Some of the
young men grumble, but the old ones rejoice at the change.
Formerly they had to go to the plough with their spears and
their swords beside them, because they never knew when
marauders from the hills might sweep down ; besides, when
there was war, they might be called away for weeks, while
the crops were wasting upon the ground. As to the younger
men who grumble, I say to them, 'If you are tired of a peace-
ful life, go and enlist in a Company's regiment; and every
year some of them do so. In other ways the change is good.
Now that the Rajah has no longer to keep up an army, he is
not obliged to squeeze the cultivators ; therefore they pay but
a light rent for their lands, and the Rajah is far better off than
his father was ; so that on all sides there is content and pros-
perity. But even now the fear of Mysore has not quite died
My position, Margaret," the Rajah said, after Dick had
left the room, is a very precarious one. When Hyder Ali
marched down here, eight years ago, he swept the whole
country from the foot of the hills to-the sea coast. My father
would have been glad to stand neutral, but was, of course,
bound to go with the English, as the Nabob of Arcot, his
nominal sovereign, went with them. His sympathies were,
of course, with your people, but most of the chiefs were at
heart in favour of Hyder ; it was not that they loved him, or
preferred the rule of Mysore to that of Madras. But at that
time Madras was governed by imbeciles; its Council was com-
posed entirely of timid and irresolute men. It was clear to all
that before any force capable of withstanding him could be
put in the field, the whole country beyond reach of the guns
of the forts at Madras would be at the mercy of Hyder. What
that mercy was, had been shown elsewhere. Whole popula-
tions had been either massacred or carried off as slaves. There-
fore, when the storm was clearly about to burst, almost all of
them sent secret messages to Hyder, to assure him that their
sympathies were with him, and that they would gladly hail
him as ruler of the Carnatic.
My father was in no way inclined to take such a step.
His marriage with an English woman, the white blood in my
veins, and his long-known partiality for the English, would
have marked him for certain destruction; and as soon as he
received news that Hyder's troops were in movement, he rode
with me to Madras. At that time his force was comparatively
large, and he took three hundred men down with us. He had
allowed all who preferred it to remain behind; and some four
hundred stayed to look after their families. Most of the
population took to the hills, and as Hyder's forces were too
much occupied to spend time in scouring the ghauts in search
of fugitives, when there was so much loot and so many captives
ready to their hands on the plains, the fugitives for the most
part remained there in safety. The palace was burnt, the
town sacked and partly destroyed, and some fifteen hundred
of our people who had remained in their homes, killed or
"My father did some service with our horse, and I fought
by his side. We were with Colonel Baillie's force when
it was destroyed, after for two days resisting the whole
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
of Hyder Ali's army. Being mounted, we escaped, and
reached Madras in safety, after losing half our number. But
all that I can tell you about some other day.
When peace was made and Hyder retired, we returned
home, rebuilt the palace, and restored the town. But if
Tippoo follows his father's example and sweeps down from
the hills, there will be nothing for it but to fly again.
Tippoo commanded one of the divisions of Hyder's army last
time, and showed much skill and energy, and has, since he
came to the throne, been a scourge to his neighbours in the
north. So far as I can see, Madras will be found as unpre-
pared as it was last time; and although the chiefs of Vellore,
Arcot, Conjeveram, and other places may be better disposed
towards the English than they were before-for the Carnatic
had a terrible lesson last time-they will not dare to lift a
finger against him until they see a large British force assembled.
"So you see, sister, your position will be a very precarious
one at Tripataly, and it is likely that at any time we may be
obliged to seek refuge here. The trouble may come soon, or
it may not come for a year; but, sooner or later, I regard it
as certain that Tippoo will strive to obtain what his father
failed to gain-the mastership of the Carnatic. Indeed, he
makes no secret of his intention to become lord of the whole
of southern India. The Nizam, his neighbour in the north,
fears his power, and could offer but a feeble resistance, were
Tippoo once master of the south and west coast. The Mah-
rattas can always be bought over, especially if there is a pros-
pect of plunder. He relies, too, upon aid from France; for
although the French, since the capture of Pondicherry, have
themselves lost all chance of obtaining India, they would
gladly aid in any enterprise that would bring about the fall of
English predominance here.
"There are, too, considerable bodies of French troops in
the pay of the Nizam, and these would at any rate force their
master to remain neutral in a struggle between the English and
Tippoo. However, it will be quite unnecessary that you
should resume our garb, or that Dick should dress in the same
fashion. Did I intend to remain at Tripataly, I should not
wish to draw the attention of my neighbours to the fact that
I had English relations resident with me. Of course, every
one knows that I am half English myself, but that is an old
story now. They would, however, be reminded of it, and
Tippoo would hear of it, and would use it as a pretext for
attacking and plundering us. But as I have decided to come
down here, there is no reason why you should not dress in
"We would remain here, brother," Mrs. Holland said,
" rather than bring danger upon you. Dick could learn the
ways of the country here as well as with you, and could start
on his search without going to Tripataly."
Not at all, Margaret. Whether you are with me or not,
I shall have to leave Tripataly when Tippoo advances, and
your presence will not in any way affect my plans. My wife
and sons must travel with me, and one woman and boy, more
or less, will make no difference. At present this scheme of
yours seems to me to border on madness. But we need not
discuss that now; I shall at any rate be very glad to have you
both with me. The English side of me has been altogether
in the background since you went away; and though I keel)
up many of the customs our mother introduced, I have almost
forgotten the tongue, though I force myself to speak it some-
times with my boys, as I am sure that in the long run the
English will become the sole masters of southern India, and
it will be a great advantage to them to speak the language.
However, I have many other things to see about, and the
companionship of Dick will benefit them greatly. You know
what it always is out here. The sons of a rajah are spoilt
early by every one giving way to them and their being allowed
to do just as they like; naturally they get into habits of in-
dolence and self-indulgence, and never have occasion to exert
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
themselves or to obtain the strength and activity that make
our mo her's countrymen irresistible in battle. They have
been taught to shoot and to ride, but they know little else,
and I am sure it will do them an immense deal of good to
have Dick with them for a time. If nothing comes of this
search for your .husband, I hope you will take up your resi-
dence permanently at Tripataly. You have nothing to go
back to England for, and Dick, with his knowledge of both
languages, should be able to find good employment in the
"Thank you greatly, brother. If, as you say, my quest
should come to nothing, I would gladly settle down in my
old home. Dick's inclinations at present turn to the sea, but
I have no doubt that what you say is true, and that there may
be far more advantageous openings for him out here. How-
ever, that is a matter for us to talk over in the future.''
The Rajah stayed four days at Madras. Every morning the
carriage came at nine o'clock to fetch Mrs. Holland, who
spent several hours with her brother, and was then driven back
,to the hotel, while Dick wandered about with Rajbullub,
through the native town, asking questions innumerable, observ-
ing closely the different costumes and turbans, and learning to
know at once the district, trade, or caste, from the colour or
fashion of the turban and other little signs.
The shops were an endless source of amusement to him, and
he somewhat surprised his companion by his desire to learn the
names of all the little articles and trinkets, even of the various
kinds of grain. Dick, in fact, was continuing his prepare,
tions for his work. He knew that ignorance of any trifling de-
tail which would, as a matter of course, be known to every na-
tive, would excite more surprise and suspicion than would be
caused by a serious blunder in other matters, and he wrote
down in a note-book every scrap of information he obtained,
so as to learn it by heart at his leisure. Rajbullub was much
surprised at the lad's interest in all these little matters, which,
as it seemed to him, were not worth a thought on the part of
his lord's nephew.
You will never have to buy these things, Sahib," he said;
" why should you trouble about them ? "
I am going to be over here some time, Rajbullub, and it is
just as well to learn as much as one can. If I were to stroll
into the market in Tripataly, and had a fancy to buy any tri-
fle, the country people would laugh in my face were I ignorant
of its name.''
His companion shook his head.
They would not expect any white sahib to know such
things," he said. "If he wants to buy anything, the white
sahib points to it and asks, How much ? Then, whether it is
a brass iota, or a silver trinket, or a file, or a bunch of fruit,
the native says a price four times as much as he would ask
any one else. Then the sahib offers him half, and after pro-
testing many times that the sum is impossible, the dealer ac-
cepts it, and both parties are well satisfied. If you have seen
anything that you want to buy, Sahib, tell me, and I will go
and get it for you ; then you will not be cheated."
The start for Tripataly was made at daybreak. Dick and
his mother drove in an open carriage that had been hired for
the journey; the Rajah rode beside it or cantered on ahead;
his escort followed the vehicle. The luggage had been sent
off two days before, by cart.
The country as far as Arcot was flat; but everything was
interesting to Dick, and when they arrived at the city, where
they were to stop for the night at the house the Rajah had
occupied on his way down, he sallied out, as soon as their meal
was over, to inspect the fort and walls. He had, during his
outward voyage, eagerly studied the history of Clive's military
exploits, and the campaigns by which that portion of India
had been wrested from the French ; and he was eager to visit
the fort whose memorable defence by Clive had first turned the
scale in favour of the British. These had previously been
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
regarded by the natives as a far less warlike people than the
French, who were expected to drive them, in a very short time,
out of the country."
Rajbullub was able to point out to him every spot associated
with the stirring events of that time.
'Tis forty-six years back, and I was but a boy of twelve;
but six years later I was here, for our rajah was on the side of
the English, although Tripataly was, and is now, under the
- Nabob of Arcot. But my lord had many causes of complaint
against him, and when he declared for the French, our lord,
who was not then a rajah, although chief of a considerable dis-
trict, threw in his lot with the English, and when they tri-
umphed, was appointed rajah by them; and Tripataly was
made almost wholly independent of the Nabob of Arcot. At
one time a force of our men was here with four companies
of white troops, when it was thought that Dupleix was likely
to march against us, and I was with that force and so learned
all about the fighting here."
The next day the party arrived, late in the evening, at
Tripataly. A large number of men with torches received
them in front of the palace, and on entering, Mrs. Holland
was warmly received by the Rajah's wife, who carried her off
at once to her apartments, which she did not leave afterwards,
as she was greatly fatigued by the two long days of travel.
Dick, on the contrary, although he had dozed in the carriage
for the last two or three hours of the journey, woke up thor-
oughly as they neared Tripataly. As soon as they entered
the house, the Rajah called his two sons, handsome, dark-faced
lads of twelve and thirteen.
This is your cousin, boys," he said. You must look
after him and see that he has everything he wants, and make
his stay as pleasant as you can."
Although a little awed by the, to them, tall figure, they
evinced neither shyness nor awkwardness, but, advancing to
Dick, held out their hands one after the other with grave cour-
tesy. Their faces both brightened as he said in their own
I hope we shall be great friends, cousins. I am older
and bigger than you are, but everything is new and strange to
me, and I shall have to depend upon you to teach me every-
We did not think that you would be able to talk to us,"
the elder, whose name was Doast Assud, said, smiling. "We
have been wondering how we should make you understand.
Many of the white officers, who come here sometimes, speak
our language, but none of them as well as you do."
You see, they only learn it after they come out here, while
I learnt it from my mother, who has talked to me in it since I
was quite a little boy; so it comes as naturally to me as to
In a few minutes supper was announced. The two boys sat
down with their father and Dick, and the meal was served in
English fashion. Dick had already become accustomed to the
white-robed servants at the hotel at Madras, and everything
seemed to him pleasant and home-like.
To-morrow, Dick," his uncle said, you must have your
first lesson in riding.'
The two boys looked up in surprise. They had been accus-
tomed to horses from their earliest remembrance, and it seemed
to them incredible that their tall cousin should require to be
taught. Dick smiled at their look of astonishment.
It is not with us in England as it is here," he said.
Boys who live in the country learn to ride, but in London,
which is a very great town, with nothing but houses for miles
and miles everywhere, few people keep horses to ride. The
streets are so crowded with vehicles of all sorts, and with peo-
ple on foot, that it is no pleasure to ride in them, and every
one who can afford it goes about in a carriage. Those who
cannot, go in hired vehicles, or on foot. You would hardly
see a person on horseback once in a week."
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
I do not like walking," Doast said gravely.
Well, you see, you have no occasion to walk, as you al-
ways have your horses; besides, the weather here is very hot.
But in England it is colder, and walking is a pleasure. I have
walked over twenty miles a day many times, not because I
had to do it, but as a day's pleasure with a friend."
Can you shoot, cousin ? "
"No," Dick laughed. "There is nothing to shoot at.
There are no wild beasts in England, and no game birds any-
where near London."
Dick saw at once that he had descended many steps in his
Then what can you find to do ? the younger boy asked.
Oh, there is plenty to do," Dick said. In the first place,
there is school; that takes the best part of the day. Then
there are all sorts of games. Then I used to take lessons in
sword-exercise, and did all sorts of things to improve my
muscles and to make me strong. Then, on holidays, three or
four of us would go for a long walk, and sometimes we went
out on the river in a boat; and every morning early we used
to go for a swim. Oh, I can tell you, there was plenty to do
and I was busy from morning till night. But I want very much
to learn to shoot, both with gun and pistol, as well as to ride."
"We have got English guns and pistols," Doast said. We
will lend them to you; we have a place where we practise.
Our father says every one ought to be able to shoot, don't you,
father ? "
The Rajah nodded.
Every one out here ought to, Doast, because, you see, every
man here may be called upon to fight, and every one carries
arms. But it is different in England ; nobody fights there, ex-
cept those who go into the army, and nobody carries weapons."
What not swords, pistols, and daggers, father? Doast
exclaimed, in surprise ; for to him it seemed that arms were as
necessary a part of attire as a turban, and much more necessary
than shoes. But when people are attacked by marauders,
or two chiefs quarrel with each other, what can they do if they
have no arms ? "
There are no marauders and no chiefs," Dick laughed.
In the old times, hundreds of years ago, there were nobles
who could call out all their tenants and retainers to fight their
battles, and in those days people carried swords as they do
here. There are nobles still, but they have no longer any
power to call out any one, and if they quarrel they have to go
before a court for the matter to be decided, just as every one
This seemed to Doast a very unsatisfactory state of things,
and he looked to his father for an explanation.
It is as your cousin says, Doast. You have been down
with me to Madras, and you have seen that, except the officers
in the army, none of the Europeans carry arms. It is the same
in England. England is a great island, and as they have many
ships of war, no enemy can land there. There is one king over
the whole country, and there are written laws by which every
one, high and low alike, is governed. So you see, no one has
to carry arms: all disputes are settled by the law, and there is
peace everywhere ; for as nothing would be settled by fighting,
and the law would punish any one, however much in the right
he might be, who fought, there is no occasion at all for
weapons. It is a good plan, for you see no one, however rich,
can tyrannise over others ; and were the greatest noble to kill
the poorest peasant, the law would hang him just the same as
it would hang a peasant who killed a lord. And now, boys,
you had better be off to bed. Your cousin has had a long day
of it, and I have no doubt he will be glad to do so. To-morrow
we will begin to teach him to ride and to shoot, and I have no
doubt that he will be ready, in return, to teach you a great
deal about his country.''
The boys got up. But Dcast paused to ask hi.; father one
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
But how is it, father, if the English never carry weapons
and never fight, that they are such brave soldiers ? For have
they not conquered all our princes and rajahs, and have even
beaten Tippoo Sahib and made him give them much of his
The answer would be a great deal too long to be given
to-night, Doast. You had better ask your cousin about it in
THE next morning Dick was up early, eager to investigate
the palace, of which he had seen little the night before.
The house was large and handsome, the Rajah having added
to it gradually every year. On passing the doors, the great hall
was at once entered; its roof, of elaborately carved stone, was
supported by two rows of pillars with sculptured capitals. The
floor was made of inlaid marble, and at one end was raised a foot
above the general level. Here stood a stone chair on which
the Rajah sat when he adjudicated upon disputes among his
people, heard petitions, and gave audiences ; while the massive
door on the left-hand side gave- entrance to the private apart-
ments. These were all small in comparison with the entrance
hall. The walls were lined with marble slabs, richly carved,
and were dimly lighted by windows, generally high up in the
walls, which were of great thickness. The marble floors were
covered with thick rugs, and each room had its divan, with
soft cushions and rich shawls and covers. The room in which
they had supped the night before was the only exception.
This had been specially furnished and decorated in English
fashion. The windows here were low and afforded a view
over the garden. Next to it were several apartments, all fitted
with divans, but with low windows and a bright outlook; they
could be darkened during the heat of the day by shutters.
With the exception of these windows, the others throughout
the house contained no glass, the light entering through innu-
merable holes that formed a filigree work in the thin slabs of
stone that filled the orifices.
The grounds round the palace were thickly planted with
trees, which constituted a grove rather than a garden, accord-
ing to Dick's English notions. This was, indeed, the great
object of the planter, and numerous fountains added to the
effect of the overhanging foliage. Dick wandered about, de-
lighted. Early as it was, men with water-skins were at work
among the clumps of flowers and shrubs that covered the
ground wherever there was a break among the trees. Here
and there were small pavilions whose roofs, of sculptured stone
were supported by shafts of marble. The foliage of shrubs
and trees alike was new to Dick, and the whole scene delight-
ed him. Half-an-hour later his two cousins joined him.
We wondered what had become of you," Doast said," and
should not have found you if Rajbullub had not told us that
he saw you come out here. Come in now ; coffee is ready.
We always have coffee the first thing, except in very hot
weather, when we have fruit sherbet. After that we ride or
shoot till the sun gets hot, and then come in to the morning
meal at ten.
On going in, Dick found that his mother and the ranee
were both up, and they all sat down to what Dick considered a
breakfast, consisting of coffee and a variety of fruit and bread.
One or two dishes of meat were also handed round, but were
taken away untouched.
Now come out to the stables, Dick," the Rajah said.
" Anwar, the officer who commanded the escort, will meet us
there. He will be your instructor."
The stables were large. The horses were fastened to rings
along each side, and were not, as in England, separated from
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
each other by stalls. A small stone trough, with running
water, was fixed against each wall at a convenient height, and
beneath this was a pile of fodder before each horse.
"This is the one that I have chosen for you," the Rajah
said, stopping before a pretty creature, that possessed a con-
siderable proportion of Arab blood, as was shown by its small
head ; it is very gentle and well trained, and is very fast.
When you have got perfectly at ease upon it you shall have
something more difficult to sit, until you are able to ride any
horse in the stable bare-backed. Murad is to be your own
property as long as you are out here.'
A syce led the horse out; it was bridled but unsaddled, and
Anwar gave a few instructions to Dick and then said, I will
help you up, but in a short time you will learn to vault on to
his back without any assistance. See you gather your reins
so, in your left hand, place your right hand on its shoulder,
and then spring ull."
I can do that now," Dick laughed, and, placing his hand
on the horse's shoulder, he lightly vaulted into his seat.
Well done, Dick," the Rajah said, while the two boys,
who had been looking on with amused faces, clapped their
Now, Sahib," Anwar went on, you must let your legs
hang easily. Press with your knees, and let your body sway
slightly with the movement of the horse; balance yourself
rather than try to hold on."
"I understand," Dick said. It is just as you do on
board ship when she is rolling a bit. Let go the reins."
For half-an-hour the horse proceeded at a walk along the
road that wound in and out through the park-like grounds.
" I begin to feel quite at home," Dick said, at the end of
that time. I should like to go a bit faster now. It is no
odds if I do tumble off."
Shake your rein a little; the horse will understand it,"
Dick did so, and Murad at once started at a gentle canter.
Easy as it was, Dick thought several times that he would be off.
However, he gripped as tightly as he could with his knees, and
as he became accustomed to the motion and learned to give to
it, acquired ease and confidence. He was not, however, sorry
when, at the end of another half-hour, Anwar held up his hand
as he approached him, and the horse stopped at the slightest
touch of the rein. As he slid off, his legs felt as if they did
not belong to him, and his back ached so that he could scarce
straighten it. The Rajah and his sons had returned to the
palace, and the boys were there waiting for him.
You have done very well, cousin," Doast said, with grave
approval; you will not be long before you can ride as well
as we can. Now you had better go up at once and have a
bath, and put on fresh clothes."
Dick felt that the advice was good, as, bathed in perspira-
tion, and stiff and sore in every limb, he slowly made his way
to his room. For the next month he spent the greater part
of his time on horseback, For the first week he rode only in
the grounds of the palace; then he ventured beyond, accom-
panied by Anwar on horseback; then his two cousins joined
the party; and, by the end of the month, he was perfectly at
home on Murad's back.
So far, he had not begun to practise shooting. It would
be of no use," the Rajah said, when he one day spoke of it;
" you want your nerves in good order for that, and it requires
an old horseman to have his hand steady enough for shooting
straight after a hard ride. Your rides are not severe for a
horseman, but they are trying for you. Leave the shooting
alone, lad ; there is no hurry for it."
By this time the Rajah had become convinced that it was
useless to try and dissuade either his sister or Dick from at-
tempting the enterprise for which they had come over. Pos-
sibly the earnest conviction of the former that her husband
was still alive influenced him to some extent, and the strength
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
and activity of Dick showed him that he was able to play the
part of a man. He said little, but watched the boy closely,
made him go through trials of strength with some of his troopers,
and saw him practise with blunted swords with others. Dick
did well in both trials, and the Rajah then requested Anwar,
who was celebrated for his skill with the tulwar, to give him,
daily, half-an-hour's sword-play, after his riding lesson. He
himself undertook to teach him to use the rifle and pistol.
Dick threw himself into his work with great ardour, and
in a very short time could sit any horse in the stable, and came
to use a rifle and pistol with an amount of accuracy that sur-
prised his young cousins.
"The boy is getting on wonderfully well," the Rajah said
one day to his sister ; his exercises have given him so much
nerve and so steady a hand, that he already shoots very fairly.
I should expect him to grow up into a fine man, Margaret,
were it not that I have the gravest fears as to this mad enter-
prise, which I cannot help telling you, both for your good and
his, is, in my opinion, absolutely hopeless."
I know, Mortiz," she said, that you think it is folly on
my part to cling to hope; and while I do not disguise from
myself that there would seem but small chance that my husband
has survived, and that I can give no reason for my faith in his
still being alive, and my confidence that he will be restored to
me some day, I have so firm a conviction that nothing will
shake it. Why should I have such a confidence if it were not
well founded? In my dreams I always see him alive, and I
believe firmly that I dream of him so often because he is think-
ing of me. When he was at sea, several times I felt disturbed
and anxious, though without any reason for doing so, and each
time, on his return, I found, when we compared dates, that
his ship was battling with a tempest at the time I was to
troubled about him. I remember that the first time this hap-
pened he laughed at me; but when, upon two other occa-
sions, it turned out so, he said, There are things we do not
understand, Margaret. You know that in Scotland there are
many who believe in second sight, as it is called, and that
there are families there, and they say in Ireland also, where a
sort of warning is given of the death of a member of the fam-
ily. We sailors are a superstitious people, and believe in things
that landsmen laugh at. It does not seem to me impossible
that when two people love each other dearly, as we do, one
may feel when the other is in danger, or may be conscious of
his death. It may be said that such things seldom happen;
but that is no proof that they never do so, for some people
may be more sensitive to such feelings or impressions than
others, and you may be one of them. There is one thing,
Margaret: the fact that you have somehow felt when I was
in trouble, should cheer you when I am away, for if mere
danger should so affect you, surely you will know should
death befall me; and as long as you do not feel that, you
may be sure that I shall return safe and sound to you.'
Now, I believe that firmly. I was once troubled-so troubled,
that for two or three days I was ill-and so convinced was I
that something had happened to Jack, and yet that he was
not dead, that when, nigh two years afterwards, Ben came
home, and I learned that it was on the day of the wreck of
his ship that I had so suffered, I was not in the least sur-
prised. Since then I have more that once had the same
feelings, and have always been sure that at the time Jack was
in special danger; but I have never once felt that he w\as
dead, never once thought so, and am as certain that he is still
alive as if I saw him sitting in the chair opposite to me, for
I firmly believe that, did he die, I should see his spirit, or
that, at any rate, I should know for certain that he had gone.
So whatever you say, though reason may be altogether on your
side, it will not shake my confidence one bit. I know that
Jack is alive, and I believe firmly, although of this I am not
absolutely sure, that he will some day be restored to me."
You did not tell me this before, Margaret," the Rajah
THE TIGER OF .MYSORE
said, and what you say goes for much with me. Here in
India there are many who, as is said, possess this power that
you call second sight; certainly some of the Fakirs do. I
have heard many tales of warnings they have given, and these
have always come true. I will not try, in future, to damp
your confidence, and will hope with you that your husband
may yet be restored to you."
One evening Dick remarked : You said down at Madras,
Uncle, that you would some day tell me about the invasion by
Hyder Ali. Will you tell me about it now ? "
The Rajah nodded. His sons took their seats at his feet,
and Dick curled himself up on the divan by his side.
( You must know," the Rajah began, that the war was
really the result of the intrigues of Sir Thomas Rumbold, the
governor of Madras, and his council. In the first place they
had seriously angered the Nizam ; the latter had taken a French
force into his service which the English had compelled Basult
Jung to dismiss, and Madras sent an officer to his court, with
instructions to remonstrate with him for so doing. At the
same time they gave him notice that they should no longer
pay to him the tribute they had agreed upon, for the territory
called the Northern Circars. This would have led to war,
but the Bengal government promptly interfered, cancelled
altogether the demands made by the Madras government, and
for the time patched up the quarrel. The Nizam professed to
be satisfied, but he saw that trouble might arise when the Eng-
lish were more prepared to enforce their demands; he there-
fore entered into negotiations with Hyder Ali and the Mah-
rattas for an alliance, whose object was the entire expulsion of
the British from India.
The Mahrattas from Poonah were to operate against Bom-
bay; those in Central India and the north were to make
incursions into Bengal ; the Nizam was to invade the Northern
Circars; and Hyder was to direct his force against Madras.
Hyder at once began to collect military stores, and obtained
THE RAJAH TELLS THE STORY OF THE WAR.
large quantities from the French at Mahe, a town they still
retain, on the Malabar coast. The Madras government pre-
pared to attack Mahe, when Hyder informed them that the
settlements of the Dutch, French, and English, on the Mala-
bar coast, being situated within his territory, were equally
entitled to his protection, and that if Maha were attacked, he
should retaliate by an incursion into the province of Arcot.
In spite of his threat, Mah6 was captured. Hyder for a time
remained quiet, but the Madras government gave him fresh
cause for offence by sending a force in August 1779 to the as-
sistance of Basult Jung at Adoni.
To get there this detachment had to pursue a route which
led for two hundred miles through the most difficult passes,
and through the territories both of the Nizam and Hyder.
The Council altogether ignored the expressed determination of
both these princes to oppose the march, and did not even ob-
serve the civility of informing them that they were going to
send troops through their territory. I do not say, Dick, that
this made any real difference in the end ; the alliance between
the three native Powers being made, it was certain that war
would break out shortly ; still, had it not been for their folly
in giving Hyder and the Nizam a reasonable excuse for enter-
ing upon hostilities, it might have been deferred until the
Madras government was better prepared to meet the storm.
The Bengal government fortunately again stepped in and undid
at least a part of the evil. It took the entire management of
affairs out of the hands of Rumbold's council, and its action
was confirmed by the Board of Directors, who censured all the
proceedings, dismissed Sir Thomas Rumbold and his two chief
associates from the Council, and suspended other members.
The prompt and conciliatory measures taken by the Bengal
government appeased the resentment felt by the Nizam, and
induced him to withdraw from the Confederacy. Hyder, how-
ever, was bent upon war,-and the imbecile government here
took no steps whatever to meet the storm. The commissariat
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
was entirely neglected; they had no transport train whatever,
and the most important posts were left without a garrison. It
was towards the end of June that we received the news that
Hyder had left his capital at the head of an army of ninety
thousand men, of whom twenty-eight thousand were cavalry.
He attempted no disguise as to his object, and moved, confident
in his power, to conquer the Carnatic and drive the English
into the sea. My father had already made his preparations.
Everything was in readiness, and as soon as the news reached
him, he started for Madras, under the guard of his escort, with
my mother and myself, most of the traders of the town, and
the landowners, who had gathered here in fear and trembling.
It was a painful scene, as you may imagine, and I shall
never forget the terrified crowds in the streets and the wailing
of the women. Many families who then left reached Madras
in safety, but of those who remained in the town all are dead
or prisoners beyond the hills. Hyder descended through the
pass of Changama on the 2oth of July, and his horsemen
spread out like a cloud over the country, burning, devastating,
and slaughtering. Hyder moved with the main army slowly,
occupying town after town and placing garrisons in them.
You must not suppose that he devastated the whole country ;
he was too wise for that. He anticipated reigning over it as
its sovereign, and had no wish to injure its prosperity. It was
only over tracts where he considered that devastation would
hamper the movements of an English army, that everything
was laid waste.
On the 21st of August he invested Arcot, and a week later,
hearing that the British army had moved out from Madras, he
broke up the siege and advanced to meet them. Sir Hector
Munro, the British general, was no doubt brave, but he com-
mitted a terrible blunder ; instead of marching to combine his
force with that of Colonel Baillie, who was coming down from
Guntoor, he marched in the opposite direction to Conjeveram,
sending word to Colonel Baillie to follow him. Baillie's force
amounted to over two thousand eight hundred men, Munro's
to five thousand two hundred. Had they united, the force
would have exceeded eight thousand, and could have given
battle to Hyder's immense army with fair hope of success.
The English have won before now with greater odds against
them. My father had marched out with his cavalry one hun-
dred and fifty strong, with Munro. Of course I was with him,
and it was to him that the English general gave the despatch
to carry to Colonel Baillie. We rode hard, for at any mo-
ment Hyder's cavalry might swoop down and bar the road;
but we got through safely, and the next morning, the 24th,
The encampment was within twenty-five miles of Madras,
and with one long forced march we could have effected a
junction with Munro. The heat was tremendous, and Baillie
halted that night on the bank of the River Cortelour. The
bed was dry, and my father urged him to cross before halting.
The colonel replied that the men were too exhausted to move
farther, and that as he would the next day be able to join
Munro, it mattered not on which side of the river he en-
camped. That night the river rose, and for ten days we were
unable to cross. On the 4th of September we got over; but
by that time Tippoo, with five thousand picked infantry, six
thousand horse, six heavy guns, and a large body of irregulars,
detached by Hyder to watch us, barred the way.
Colonel Baillie, finding that there was no possibility of
reaching Conjeveram without fighting, took up a position at
a village, and on the 6th was attacked by Tippoo. The
action lasted three hours, and although the enemy were four
times more numerous than we were, the English beat off the
attacks. We were not engaged, for against Tippoo's large
cavalry force our few horsemen could do nothing, and were
therefore forced to remain in the rear of the British line. But
though Colonel Baillie had beaten off the attacks made on
him, he felt that he was not strong enough to fight his way to
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
Conjeveram, which was but fourteen miles distant, and he
therefore wrote to Sir Hector Munro to come to his assistance.
For three days Sir Hector did nothing, but on the evening of
the 8th he sent off a force composed of the flank companies of
the regiments with him. These managed to make their way
past the forces both of Hyder and Tippoo, and reached us
without having to fire a shot.
Their arrival brought our force up to over three thousand
seven hundred men. Had Munro made a feigned attack upon
Hyder, and so prevented him from moving to reinforce Tlippoo,
we could have got through without much difficulty. But he
did nothing; and Hyder, seeing the utter incapacity of the
man opposed to him, moved off with his whole army and guns
to join his son. Our force set out as soon as it was dark on
the evening of the 9th ; but the moment we started we were
harassed by the enemy's irregulars. The march was continued
for five or six miles, our position becoming- more and more
serious, and at last Colonel Baillie took the fatal resolution of
halting till morning, instead of taking advantage of the dark-
ness to press forward. At daybreak fifty guns opened on us.
Our ten field-pieces returned the re until our ammunition
was exhausted, No orders were issued by the colonel, who
had completely lost his head; so that our men were mowed
down by hundreds, until at last the enemy poured down and
slaughtered them relentlessly.
We did not see the end of the conflict. When the colonel
gave the orders to halt, my father said to me, This foolish
officer will sacrifice all our lives; does he think that three
thousand men can withstand one hundred thousand, with a
great number of guns? We will go while we can ; we can do
no good here,' We mounted our horses and rode off; in the
darkness we came suddenly upon a body of Tippoo's horse-
men, but dashed straight at them and cut our way through,
but with the loss of half our force, and did not draw rein un-
til we reached Madras. The roar of battle had been heard at
Conjeverarn and the fury and indignation in the camp, at the
desertion of Colonel Baillie's detachment, was so great that
the general at last gave orders to march to their assistance.
When his force arrived within two miles of the scene of con-
flict the cessation of fire showed that it was too late, and that
Baillie's force was well-nigh annihilated. Munro retired to
Conjeveram, and at three o'clock the next morning retreated,
with the loss of all his heavy guns and stores, to Madras.
"The campaign only lasted twenty-one days, and was
marked by almost incredible stupidity and incapacity on the
part of the two English commanders. We remained at Ma-
dras. My father determined that he would take no more
share in the fighting until some English general, possessing the
courage and ability that had always before distinguished them,
took the command. In the meantime Hyder surrounded and
captured Arcot after six weeks' delay, and then laid siege to
Amboor, Chingleput, and Wandiwash. In November Sir
Eyre Coote arrived from England and took the command;
confidence was at once restored, for he was a fine old soldier
and had been engaged in every struggle in India from the
time of Clive; but with the whole country in the hands of
Hyder, it was impossible to obtain draft animals or carts, and
it was not until the middle of January that he was able to
move. On the i9th he reached Chingleput, and on the 2oth
sent off a thousand men to obtain possession of the fort of
Carangooly. It was a strong place, and the works had been
added to by Hyder, who had placed there a garrison of seven
hundred,men. The detachment would not have been sent
against it, had not news been obtained on the way that the
garrison had fallen back to Chingleput.
Our troop of calvary went with the detachment, as my
father knew the country well. To the surprise of Captain
Davis, who was in command, we found thegarrison on the walls.
What do you think, Rajah?' Captain Davis, who was
riding by his side, asked. My orders were that I was to
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
take possession of the place, but it was supposed that I should
find it empty.'
I should say that you had better try, with or without
orders,' my father replied. The annihilation of Baillie's
force and the miserable retreat of Munro, have made a terribly
bad impression through the country, and a success is sorely
needed to raise the spirits of our friends.'
We will do it,' Captain Davis said, and called up a few
English engineers and a company of white troops he had with
him, and ordered them to blow in the gate.
My father volunteered to follow close behind them with
his dismounted cavalry, and when the word was given, forward
we went. It was hot work, I can tell you. The enemy's
guns swept the road, and their musketry kept up an incessant
roar. Many fell, but we kept on until close to the gate, and
then the white troops opened fire upon Hyder's men on the
walls, so as to cover the sappers, who were fixing the powder-
bags. They soon ran back to us. There was a great ex-
plosion, and the gates fell. With loud shouts we rushed for-
ward into the fort ; and close behind us came the Sepoys, led
by Captain Davis.
It took some sharp fighting before we overcame the re-
sistance of the garrison, who fought desperately, knowing well
enough that, after the massacre of Baillie's force, little quarter
would be given them. The British loss was considerable, and
twenty of my father's little company were among the killed.
Great stores of provisions were found here, and proved most
useful to the army. The news of the capture of Carangooly so
alarmed the besiegers of Wandiwash that they at once raised
the siege and retreated, and on the following day Sir Eyre
Coote and his force arrived there. It was a curious thing that
on the same day of the same month Sir Eyre Coote had,
twenty-one years before, raised the siege of Wandiwash by a
victory over the army that was covering the operation. Wandi-
wash had been nobly defended by a young lieutenant named
,, ..- V ,:
V n, .- -
II *'. __ -- rk- .:AAA^f\tA^^^
i 1"_"'" ^. ~' / '' '''- ''
The enemy's masked batteries, placed to oppose our march to Cuddalorc.
First and second positions of the English advancing.
First English line during the cannonade.
Second English line during the cannonade.
A chain of Hyder's irregular horse posted as a decoy to the masked batteries.
First position of the Mysoreans.
Second position of Hyder's infantry, over whom his guns fired from the
Position of Hyder's horse during the cannonade.
Attempt by Hyder's grenadiers to gain the hill.
Attempt by Kiram Sahib to charge our line, where he and most of the
party were killed.
Hyder's station during the action.
An armed ship firing upon the enemy.
English camp after the battle.
I, 2, 3-
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
Flint, who had made his way in through the enemy's lines a
few hours before the treacherous native officer in command had
arranged with Hyder to surrender it, and, taking command,
had repulsed every attack, and had even made a sortie.
There was now a long pause; having no commissariat
train, Sir Eyre Coote was forced to make for the sea-shore,
and, though hotly followed by Hyder, reached Cuddalore.
A French fleet off the coast, however, prevented provisions
being sent to him, and, even after the French had retired, the
Madras government were so dilatory in forwarding supplies
that the army was reduced to the verge of starvation. It was
not until the middle of June that a movement was possible,
owing to the want of carriage. The country inland had been.
swept bare by Hyder, and, on leaving Cuddalore, Sir Eyre
Coote was obliged to follow the sea-coast. When he arrived
at Porto Novo, the army was delighted to find a British fleet
there, and scarcely less pleased to hear that Lord Macartney
had arrived as governor of Madras.
Hyder's army had taken up a strong position between the
camp and Cuddalore, and Sir Eyre Coote determined to give
him battle. Four days' rice was landed from the fleet, and
with this scanty supply in their knapsacks the troops marched
out to attack Hyder. We formed part of the baggage guard
and had, therefore, an excellent opportunity of seeing the
fight. The march was by the sea. The infantry moved in
order of battle in two lines. After going for some distance we
could see the enemy's position plainly. It was a very strong
one ; on its right was high ground, on which were numerous
batteries which would take us in flank as we advanced, and
their line extended from these heights to the sand hills by the
They had thrown up several batteries, and might, for
aught we knew, have many guns hidden on the high ground on
either flank. An hour was spent in reconnoitring the enemy's
position, during which they kept up an incessant cannonade,
u. IL new
-vl aL- '4uAr
-if, jorec Ch- at I. ( `ve .
Te M.: erI.l)n~i..r:r
oc jJ'cat; r
,j1 11*'' q-ii e /
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M AP OF
SOUTHERN INDIA Gl
AT THE TIME OF THE WAR WITH M
T c L rj r
to which the English field-guns attempted no reply. To me
and the officers of this troop it seemed impossible that any
force could advance to the attack of Hyder's position without
being literally swept away by the cross-fire that would be
opened upon it; but when I expressed my fears my father said,
'No; you will see no repetition of that terrible affair with
Baillie's column. The English have now got a commander
who knows his business, and when that is the case there is
never any fear as to what the result will be. I grant that the
look-out seems desperate. Hyder has all the advantage of a
very strong position, a very powerful artillery, and has six or
seven to one in point of numbers; but for all that I firmly be-
lieve that before night you will see us in possession of those
hills, and Hyder's army in full flight.'
Presently we saw a movement. The two lines of infantry
formed into columns, and instead of advancing towards Hyder's
position, turned down towards the sea, and marched along be-
tween it and the sand hills. We were at the same time set in
motion, and kept along between the infantry and the sea, so as to
be under their protection if Hyder's-cavalry should sweep down.
All his preparations had been made under the supposition that
we should advance by the main road to Cuddalore, and this
movement entirely disconcerted his plans. The sand-hills com-
pletely protected our advancing columns, and when they had
reached a point almost in line with Hyder's centre, the artil-
lery dashed up to the crest of the hills and the first column
passed through a break in them and moved forward against
the enemy, the guns above clearing a way for them. A short
halt was made until the artillery of the second line came up,
and also took their position on the hill; then the first column,
with its guns, moved forward again.
Hyder had in the meantime moved back his line and bat-
teries into a position at right angles to that they had before
occupied, and facing the passage through the sand-hills by
which the English were advancing. As soon as the column
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
issued from the valley a tremendous fire was poured upon it,
but it again formed into line of battle, and, covered by the fire
of the artillery, moved forward. It was a grand sight. My
father and I had left the 1. i..- -.I which remained by the sea,
and had ridden up on to a sand-hill, from which we had a
view of the whole of the battle-ground. It was astonishing to
see the line of English infantry advancing, under that tremen-
dous fire, against the rising ground occupied by the dense
masses of the enemy. Presently there was a movement oppo-
site, and a vast body of cavalry moved down the slope. As
they came the red English line suddenly broke up, and, as if
by magic, a number of small squares, surrounded by glistening
bayonets, appeared where it had stood.
Down rode Hyder's cavalry. Every gun on our side was
turned upon them. But though we could see the confusion in
the ranks caused by the shot that swept them, they kept on.
It seemed that the little red patches must be altogether over-
whelmed by the advancing wave. But as it came closer, flashes
of fire spurted out from the faces of the squares. We could
see the horses recoil when close to the bayonets, and then the
stream poured through the intervals between the squares. As
they did so, crackling volleys broke out, while from the bat-
teries on the sand-hills an incessant fire was kept up upon them.
Then, following the volleys, came the incessant rattle of mus-
ketry. The confusion among the cavalry grew greater and
greater. Regiments were mixed up together, and their very
numbers impeded their action. Many gallant fellows, detach-
ing themselves from the mass, rode bravely at the squares, and
died on the bayonets ; others huddled together, confused and
helpless against the storm of bullets and shot ; and at last, as
if with sudden impulse, they rode off in all directions, and,
sweeping round, regained their position in the rear of their in-
fantry, while loud cheers broke from our side.
The squares again fell into line, which, advancing stead-
ily, drove Hyder's infantry before it. As this was going on,
a strong force of infantry and cavalry, with guns, was moved
round by Hyder to fall on the British rear. These, however,
were met by the second line, which had hitherto remained in
reserve, and after fierce fighting were driven back along the
sand-hills. But as they were retiring the main body of Hy-
der's cavalry moved round to support the attack. Fortunately
a British schooner, which had sailed from Porto Novo when
the troops started, had anchored near the shore to give what
protection she could to the baggage, and now opened fire with
her guns upon the cavalry as they rode along between the
sand-hills and the sea, and with such effect that they halted
and wavered ; and when two of the batteries on the sand-hills
also opened fire upon them, they fell back in haste.
This was Hyder's last effort. The British line continued
to advance until it had gained all the positions occupied by
the enemy, and these were soon in headlong flight; Hyder
himself, who had been almost forced by his attendants to leave
the ground, being with them. It was a wonderful victory.
The English numbered but 8,476 men, of whom 306 were
killed or wounded. Hyder's force was about 65,000, and his
loss was not less than io,ooo. The victory had an immense
effect in restoring the confidence of the English troops, which
had been greatly shaken by the misfortunes caused by the
incapacity of Munro and Baillie ; but it had no other conse-
quences, for want of carriage, and a deficiency of provisions
and equipment, prevented Sir Eyre Coote from taking the of-
fensive, and he was obliged to confine himself to capturing a
few forts near the coast.
On the 27th of August the armies met again, Hyder hav-
ing chosen the scene of his victory over Baillie's force to give
battle, believing the position to be a fortunate one for himself.
Hyder had now been joined by Tippoo, who had not been
present at the last battle, and his force numbered 80,000 men,
while the English were II,ooo strong. I did not see the
battle, as we were at the time occupied in escorting a convoy
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
of provisions from Madras. The fight was much better con-
tested than the previous battle had been. Hyder was well
acquainted with the ground, and made skilful use of his oppor-
tunities, by fortifying all the points at which he could be
attacked. The fight lasted eight hours. At last Sir Eyre
Coote's first division turned the enemy's left flank by the capt-
ure of the village of Pillalore, while his second turned their
right, and Hyder was obliged to fall back. But this was done
in good order, and the enemy claimed that it was a drawn
battle. This, however, was not the case, as the English at
night encamped on the position occupied by Hyder in the
Still the scandalous mismanagement at Madras continued
to cripple us. But, learning from the commandant at Vellore
that, unless he were relieved, he would be driven to surrender
for want of provisions, Sir Eyre Coote marched to his help.
He met the enemy on the way. Hyder was taken by surprise,
and was moving off when the English arrived. In order to
give his infantry time to march away, he hurled the whole of
his cavalry against the English. Again and again they charged
down with the greatest bravery, and although the batteries
swept their ranks with grape, and the squares received them
with deadly volleys, they persevered until Tippoo had carried
off his infantry and guns, and then, having lost five thousand
men, followed him. The English then moved on towards
Vellore. Hyder avoided another encounter, and Vellore was
relieved. Sir Eyre Coote handed over to its commandant
almost the whole of the provisions carried by the army, and,
having thus supplied the garrison with sufficient food for six
weeks, marched back to Madras, his troops suffering greatly
from famine on the way.
Nothing took place during the winter, except that Sir
Eyre Coote again advanced and revictualled Vellore. In
March a French fleet arrived off the coast, landed a force of
three thousand men to assist Hyder, and informed him that a
much larger division was on its way. Fortunately, this did
not arrive, many of the ships being captured by the English
on their way out. In the course of the year there were several
fights, but none of any consequence, and things remained in
the same state until the end of the year, when, on the 7th of
December, Hyder died, and Tippoo was proclaimed his suc-
cessor. Bussy arrived with fresh reinforcements from France
in April, and took the command of Hyder's French con-
tingent, and in June there was a battle between him and a
force commanded by General Stuart, the successor to Sir Eyre
Coote, who had been obliged to resign from ill health, and
who had died in the spring.
The French position was a very strong one, and was pro-
tected by numerous field-works. The battle was the most
sanguinary fought during the war, considering the numbers en-
gaged. The English carried a portion of the works and capt-
ured fourteen guns, and, as the French retired during the
night, were able to claim a victory. Their loss, however, was
over a thousand, while that of the French was not more than a
third of that number. During that year there was little fight-
ing down here. A Bombay force, however, under the com-
mand of General Matthews, captured Bednore; but Tip-
poo hastened against him with a great force, besieged Bed-
nore, and forced it to surrender after a desperate defence.
Tippoo violated the terms of capitulation, and made the de-
fenders prisoners. Mangalore was next besieged by him,
but resisted for nearly nine months, and only surrendered in
Tippoo had, by this time, lost the services of his French
auxiliaries, as England and France had made peace at home.
Negotiations between Tippoo and the English went on till
March, when a treaty was signed. By its provisions, Tippoo
should have handed back all his prisoners. He murdered
large numbers of them, but i,ooo British soldiers and I,6oo
Sepoys obtained their liberty. No one knows how many were
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
retained of the number, calculated at 200,000, of natives car-
ried off from the countries overrun by Hyder's troops. Only
2000 were released. More British would doubtless have been
freed had it not been for the scandalous cowardice of the three
men sent up as British commissioners to Tippoo. They were
treated with the greatest insult and contempt by him, and, in
fear of their lives, were too glad to accept the prisoners he chose
to hand over, without troubling themselves in the slightest
about the rest, whom they basely deserted and left to their
THAT gives you a general idea, Dick, of the war with
1 Tippoo. I saw little of the events after the battle of
Porto Novo, as my father was taken ill soon after, and died at
Madras. Seeing that there was no probability whatever of
the English driving Hyder back until they had much larger
forces and a much better system of management, I remained
in Madras until peace was made; then I came back here, re-
built the palace, and have since been occupied in trying to re-
store the prosperity of my poor people. It is, I feel, a use-
less task, for it is certain that ere long the English will again
be engaged with Mysore, and if they are, it is well-nigh cer-
tain that Tippoo's hordes will again sweep down from the hills
and carry ruin and desolation everywhere.
He would, as Hyder had, have the advantage on his side
at the beginning of the war. He has a score of passes to
choose from, and can descend on to the plain by any one he
may select. And even were there a force here capable of giv-
ing battle to the whole Mysorean army, it could not watch all
the passes, as to do so the army would have to be broken up
into a dozen commands. Tippoo will therefore again be able
to ravage the plains for weeks, perhaps, before the English can
force him to give battle. But there is no army at present in
existence of sufficient strength to meet him. The Madras
force would have to wait until reinforcements arrived from
Calcutta. It was bad before, but it will be worse now.
Hyder, no doubt, slaughtered many, but he was not cruel by
nature. He carried off enormous quantities of people, with
their flocks and herds, but he did this to enrich Mysore with
their labour, and did not treat them with unnecessary cruelty.
Tippoo, on the other hand, is a human tiger ; he delights
in torturing his victims, and slays his prisoners from pure love
of bloodshed. He is proud of the title of Tiger' ; his foot-
stool is a tiger's head, and the uniforms of his infantry are a
sort of imitation of a tiger's stripes. He has military talent,
and showed great judgment in command of his division-in-
deed, most of the successes gained during the last war were his
work. Since then he has laboured incessantly to improve his
army; numbers of regiments have been raised, composed of
the captives carried off from here and from the west coast.
They are drilled in European fashion by the English captives
he still holds in his hands.'
But why, Uncle, instead of giving time to Tippoo to
come down here, should we not march up the passes and com-
pel him to keep his army up there to defend Seringapatam ? "
Because, Dick, in the first place, there is not an army
strong enough to do so; but even were there a force of fifty
thousand men at Madras, they could not take the offensive in
time. An English army cannot move without a great train
to carry ammunition, stores and provisions and to get such
a train together would be the work of months. As I have
been telling you, during the three years the last war lasted,
the Madras authorities were never able to collect such a
train, and the consequence was that their army was unable to
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
go more than two or three days' march from the city. On
the other hand, Tippoo could any day order that three days'
supply of rice or grain should be served out to each soldier,
and could set out on his march the following morning, as,
from the moment he reached the plains, his cavalry would
have the whole of the resources of the country at their mercy."
"I see, Uncle. Then, if war broke out, you would at
once go to Madras again ? "
There would be nothing else to do, Dick. I should send
everything of value down there as soon as I saw that war was
inevitable. The traders here have already begun to prepare;
the shops are half empty, for they have not replaced goods
they have sold, and a very few hours would suffice for every-
thing worth taking to be cleared out of the town. The coun-
try round here is comparatively uninhabited, and but a small
portion of it tilled, so great was the number carried off by
Hyder. Next time they will take to the hills at once, and I
believe that many have already stored up grain in hiding-
places there. This time it may be hoped that a few weeks, or
months at most, may see Tippoo driven back, and for that
time the peasants can manage to exist in the hills. No doubt
the richer sort, who have large flocks of goats, and many
cattle, will, as soon as danger threatens, drive them down co
Madras, where they are sure to fetch good prices for the use of
the army. I have already told all men who have bullock-carts
and teams, that they can, if forced to leave home, earn a good
living by taking service in the English transport train. 1
hope, therefore, that the results will not be so disastro-u as
before.- The town may be burnt down again, but unless they
blow up my palace, they can do little harm to it. When I
rebuilt it, seeing the possibility of another war, I would not
have any wood whatever used in its construction. Therefore,
when the hangings are taken down, and the furniture from
these rooms cleared out, there will be nothing to burn, and
they are not likely to waste powder in blowing it up. As to
the town, I warned the people who returned that it might be
again destroyed before long, and therefore there has been no
solid building. The houses have all been lightly run up with
wood, which is plentiful enough in the hills, and no great
harm, therefore, will be done if it is again burnt down. The
pagoda and palace are the only stone buildings in it. They
did some harm to the former last time by firing shot at it for
a day or two, and, as you can see for yourself, no attempt has
since been made to repair it, and I do not suppose they will
trouble to damage it further. So you see, Dick, we are pre-
pared for the worst."
"Will you fight again, as you did last time, Uncle? "
"I do not know, Dick. I show my loyalty to the English
rule by repairing to the capital; but my force is too small to
render much service. You see, my revenues have greatly
diminished, and I cannot afford to keep up so large a force as
my father could. Fortunately, his savings had been consider-
able, and from these I was able to build this palace and to
succour my people, and have still enough to keep up my
establishment here, without pressing the cultivators of the soil
for taxes. This year is the first that I have drawn any revenue
from that source; but, at any rate, I am not disposed to keel)
up a force which, while it would be insufficient to be of any
great value in a war like this, would be a heavy tax on my
Even the force you have, must be that, Uncle."
Not so much as you would think, Dick, with your English
notions. The pay here is very small-so small that it would
seem to you impossible for a man to live on it; and yet many
of these men have wives and families. All of them have
patches of land that they cultivate, only twenty, who are
changed once a month, being kept on duty. They are neces-
sary ; for I should have but little respect from my people, and
less still from other rajahs, did I not have sentries at the gates,
and a guard ready to turn out in honour of any visitor who
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
might arrive, to say nothing of an escort of half a dozen men
when I ride through the country. Of course, all can be
called out whenever I want them, as, for example, when I
rode to Madras to meet you. The men think themselves well
off upon the pay of three rupees a month, as they are practically
only on duty two months each year, and have the rest of the
time to cultivate their fields. Therefore, with the pay of the
officers, my troop only costs me about four hundred rupees a
month, which is, you know, equivalent to forty English pounds;
so that you cannot call it an expensive army, even if it is kept
for show rather than use."
No, indeed, Uncle It seems ridiculous that a troop
of a hundred men can be kept up for five hundred pounds a
"Of course the men have some little privileges, Dick.
They pay no rent or taxes for their lands; this is a great thing
for them, and really costs me nothing, as there is so much
land lying uncultivated. Then, when too old for service,
they have a pension of two rupees a month for life, and on
that, and what little land they can cultivate, they are com-
"' Well, it does not seem to me, Uncle, that soldiering is a
good trade in this country."
I don't know that it is a good trade, in the money way,
anywhere. After all, the pay out here is quite as high, in
comparison with the ordinary rate of earning of a peasant, as
it is in England. It is never the pay that tempts soldiers:
among young men there are always great numbers who prefer
the life to that of a peasant working steadily from daylight to
dark, and I don't know that I altogether blame them."
Then you think, Uncle, there is no doubt whatever that
there will be war ? "
Not a shadow of doubt, Dick-indeed, it may be said to
have begun already ; and, like the last, it is largely due to the
incapacity of the government of Madras."
I have just received a message from Arcot," the Rajah
said, two months later, and I must go over and see the
I thought," Mrs. Holland said, that Tripataly was no
longer subject to him. I understood that our father was made
independent of Arcot ? "
No, Margaret, not exactly that. The Nabob had involved
himself in very heavy debts during the great struggle. The
Company had done something to help him, but were unable
to take all his debts on their shoulders; and indeed, there
was no reason why they should have done so, for although
during most of the war he was their ally, he was fighting on
his own behalf, and not on theirs. In the war with Hyder it
was different. He was then quite under English influence,
and, indeed, could scarcely be termed independent. And as
he suffered terribly-his lands were wasted, his towns besieged,
and his people driven off into slavery-the Company are at
present engaged in negotiations for assisting him to pay his
debts, which are very heavy. It was before you left, when
the Nabob was much pressed for money and had at that time
no claim on the Company, that bur father bought of hin a
perpetual commutation of tribute, taxes, and other monies and
subsidies, payable by Tripataly ; thus I am no longer tributary
to Arcot. Nevertheless, this forms a portion of the Nabob's
territories, and I cannot act as if I were an independent
I could not make a treaty with Mysore on my own ac-
count, and it is clear that neither Arcot nor the English could
allow me to do so, for in that case Mysore could erect fort-
resses here, and could use Tripataly as an advanced post on
the plain ; therefore I am still subject to the Nabob, and could
be called upon for military service by him. Indeed, that is
one of the reasons why, even if I could afford it, I should not
care to keep up a force of any strength. As it is, my troop is
too small to be worth summoning. The Nabob has remon-
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
strated with me more than once, but since the war with Hyder
I have had a good excuse, namely, that the population has so
decreased that my lands lie untilled, and it would be impossi-.
ble for me to raise a larger force. I have, however, agreed
that, in case of a fresh war, I will raise an additional hundred
'' I expect it is in relation to this that he has sent for me to
Arcot. We know that the English are bound by their treaty
with Travancore to declare war. They ought in honour to
have done it long ago, but they were unprepared. Now that
they are nearly ready, they may do so at any time, and in-
deed the Nabob may have learned that fighting has begun.
The look-out is bad. The government of Madras is just as
weak and as short-sighted as it was during Hyder's war.
There is but one comfort, and that is that Lord Cornwallis at
Calcutta has far greater power than his predecessors, and as he
is an experienced soldier, and is said to be an energetic man,
he may bring up reinforcements from Calcutta without loss of
time, and also set the troops of Bombay in motion. I expect
that, as before, things will go badly at first, but hope that this
time we shall end by giving Mysore so heavy a lesson that she
will be powerless for mischief in future."
"And release all the captives," Mrs. Holland exclaimed,
clasping her hands.
I sincerely trust so, Margaret," her brother said gravely;
"but, after what happened last time, we must not be sanguine.
Scattered about as they may be in the scores of little hill-forts
that dot the whole country, we can, unhappily, never be sure
that all are delivered, when we have only the word of a treach-
erous tyrant like Tippoo. We know that last time he kept
back hundreds of prisoners, among whom, as we may hope,
was your husband, and it may be that, however completely he
may be defeated, he may yet retain some of them, knowing
full well it is impossible that all these hill-forts and their dun-
geons can be searched. However, doubtless if an English
army marches to Seringapatam, many will be recovered, though
we have reason to fear that many will, as before, be murdered
before our arrival."
When the Rajah returned from Arcot on the following day,
he brought back the news that General Meadows had moved
to the frontier at Caroor, fifty miles beyond Trichinopoly, and
that the war was really about to begin.
"You know," he said, how matters stand up to now.
Tippoo, after making peace with the Nizam and the Mahrat-
tas, with whom he had been engaged in hostilities for some
time, turned his attention to the western coast, where Coorg
and Malabar had risen in rebellion. After, as usual, perpe-
trating horrible atrocities, and after sending a large propor-
tion of the population as slaves to Mysore, he marched against
Travancore. Now, Travancore was specially mentioned in
the treaty of Mangalore as one of the allies of the English,
with whom Tippoo bound himself not to make war ; and had
he not been prepared to fight the English he would not have
attacked their ally. The excuse for attacking Travancore was
that some of the fugitives from Coorg and Malabar had taken
Seeing that Tippoo was bent upon hostilities, Lord Corn-
wallis and his council at Calcutta directed, as I learnt from an
official at Madras, the authorities there to begin at once to
make preparations for war. Instead of doing so, Mr. Holland,
the governor, gave the Rajah the shameful and cowardly ad-
vice to withdraw his protection from the fugitives. The
Rajah refused to comply with such counsel, and after some
months spent in negotiations, Tippoo attacked the wall that
runs along the northern frontier of Travancore. That was
about six months ago. Yes, it was on the 28th of December
--so it is just six months. His troops, fourteen thousand
strong, made their way without difficulty through a breach,
but they were suddenly attacked by a small body of Trav-
ancore men. A panic seized them; they rushed back to
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
the breach, and in the wild struggle to pass through it,
no less than two thousand were either killed or crushed to
It was nearly three months before Tippoo renewed his at-
tack. The lines were weak, and his army so strong that re-
sistance was impossible. A breach, three-quarters of a mile
in length, was made in the wall, and marching through this
he devastated Travancore from end to end. His unaccount-
able delay before assaulting the position has been of great ad-
vantage to us. Had he attacked us at once, instead of wasting
his time before Travancore, he would have found the Carnatic
as defenceless and as completely at his mercy as Hyder did.
He would still have done so had it depended upon Madras,
but as the authorities here did nothing, Lord Cornwallis took
the matter into his own hands. He was about to come here
himself, when General Meadows, formerly Governor of Bom-
bay, arrived, invested by the Company with the offices of
both governor and of commander-in-chief.
He landed here late in. February, and at once set to work,
to prepare for war. Lord Cornwallis sent from Calcutta a
large amount of money, stores, and ammunition, and a battal-
ion of artillerymen. The Sepoys objected to travel by sea,
as their caste rules forbade them to do so, and he therefore
sent off six battalions of infantry by land, and the Nabob tells
me they are expected to arrive in four or five weeks' time.
The Nabob of Arcot and the Rajah of Tanjore, both of whom
are very heavily in debt to the government, are ordered, dur-
ing the continuance of the war, to place their revenues at its
disposal, a liberal allowance being made to them both for their
personal expenses. Tippoo is still in Travancore-at least, he
was there ten days ago, and has been endeavouring to negoti-
ate. The Nabob tells me he believes that the object of Gen-
eral Meadows in advancing from Trichinopoly to Caroor, is to
push on to Coimbatoor, where he will, if he arrives before
Tippoo, cut him off from his return to his capital; and as