THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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DICK AND SURAJAH MAKE A DESPERATE DEFENCE.
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"
J "Held Fast for England", "For Name and Fame", &c.
WITH TWELVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY W. H. MARGETSON
AND A JAP
BLACKIE & SON, LIMITED, 50 OLD BAILEY, E.C.
GLASGOW AND DUBLIN
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. Patience
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 Seringapatam
was practically in his power, the second war would have been
avoided and thousands of lives spared. The blunder 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, . . . 11
II. A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS, . ... .28
III. THE RAJAH, . . . 46
IV. FIRST IMPRESSIONS, . . 64
V. WAR DECLARED. . . . 84
VI. A PERILOUS ADVENTURE, . . 107
VII. BESIEGED, ................ 125
VIII. THE INVASION OF MYSORE, . . 143
IX. NEWS OF THE CAPTIVE, . . 159
X. IN DISGUISE, . ....... 177
XI. A USEFUL FRIEND, ........... 191
XII. A TIaER IN A ZENANA, . . .202
XIII. OFFICERS OF THE PALACE . . 219
XIV. A SURPRIBE, ................. 233
XV. ESCAP ................. .251
XVI. TH JOURNEY, . . ..... 268
XVII. BACK AT TRIPATALY, . . .. 286
XVIII. A NARROW ESCAPE,. .. .... ... 303
XIX. FOUND AT LAST, . . . 318
XX. THE ESCAPE .. . . ... 3.36
XXI. HO, .. . ........358
DICK AND SURAJAH MAKE A DESPERATE DEFENCE, Fronts. 135
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,. . ... 70
DICK AND SURAJAH MAKE THEIR ESCAPE, . .. 116
"DICK TOOK STEADY AIM, AND FIRED AT THE TIGER" .205
THE WHITE SLAVE-GIRL THANKS DICK FOR SAVING HER LIFE, 244
DICK POURS OUT SOME WINE AND WATER FOR ANNIE, 276
DICK AND SURAJAH ARE ATTACKED BY THUGS, ...... 313
DICK AND SURAJAH VISIT THE FORT DISGUISED AS MERCHANTS, 322
DICK AND HIS FRIENDS ESCAPE FROM THE HILL-FORTRESS, .. 343
A HEARTY WELCOME AWAITS DICK ON HIS RETURN 375
Map of Southern India at the time of the War with Tippoo Saib, 71
Plan of the Battle of Porto Novo, . . .. .77
Plan of the Siege of Seringapatam, . . .. .165
Q ~an4 r~
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
A LOST FATHER.
IHERE 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
12 THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
of cocoa-nuts almost down to the water's edge, and white sheets
of surf running up high on the sandy beach., It was 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 youcan, 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 rolling 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
THE CAPTAIN AND BEN LASH THEMSELVES TO THE SPAR.
SA LOST FATHER.
with one who was evidently an officer over the 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 insisted
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
"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 language
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
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
boatswain, 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 inter-
view 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 granted
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 suspected.
Margaret, on the other hand, had been under her mother's
care, and as the latter had always hoped that the girl would,
at any rate for a time, go to her family in England, she had
always conversed with her in that language, and had, until
A LOST FATHER.
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 conduct
of her mother in uniting herself to a native, and to receive her
for a year at the rectory, but that her behaviour in so pre-
cipitately 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 Holland
used -concerning'this letter was strong indeed, he was well
satisfied, as he had foreseen that it was not probable
Margaret'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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
voyage, 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 received it.
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. However, 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
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
A LOST FATHER.
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
release. 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 captain's
fate, to escape him, and he always made a pretence of entering
warmly into her plans. The training, as she considered it,
of her son, went on steadily; she always conversed 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
opportunity 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
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-
2 (s84) B
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
turbable good-temper that did not fail him, even on the rare
occasions when, in combats with boys much older than himself,
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 conversation with Ben his mother had said,-
"Dick, I can stand this no longer; I have tried to be patient
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 advan-
tage 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
1,iov. It must have been awful for you, waiting all this time,
and though 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
A LOST FATHER.
make preparations for their departure. She had already,
without 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 outfit, 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 remon-
strance 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
"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 difference, as I
should never say anything to her; but I should like to know
whether you think there is any possibility of his being alive."
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 altogether desperate job, as far as you are concerned your-
self. 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 perhaps send some trusty chap along with you. There
is no doubt you are strong for your age, and being thin and
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 wearing 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
thinking, and thinking. I wish we were going out in your
I wish you was, lad; but it will be five or six weeks before
we are off again. Anyhow, the ship you are going in-the
Madras-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 whatsoeverr. and should be getting
you into trouble before we had gone a mile together."
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
A LOST FATHER.
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 I
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
Ten days later Mrs. Holland and Dick embarked on the
Madras. Dick had been warned by his mother to say nothing
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 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 inquiries about
the truth of this rumour."
"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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 comfortable.
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 endea-
vour 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
Hooghley 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 card of the captain, it ensures her a larger share of
civility and special attentions than she might otherwise obtain."
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 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
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
A LOST FATHEr.
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
Much better, Captain. I am very much obliged to you,
and 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
ascertain whether he may not be still alive, though perhaps
detained by one of those native princes. Please do every-
thing 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
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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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.
Holland. 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 voyage."
"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
arrival 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
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.
Possibly 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."
A LOST FATHER.
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
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
beside her and looked round, 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
suppose 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.
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 isgoing 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
TRE TIGER, O MYSORE.
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
nothing 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
Dick did not care for his cabin mates. They were young
fellows of about eighteen years of age; one was a nephew
of a Director of the Company, the other the son of a high
Indian official. They paid but little attention to him,
generally ignoring him altogether, and conversing about
things and people in India in the tone of men to whom such
matters were quite familiar.
In three or four days Dick became on good terms with
the six midshipmen the Madras carried; two of them were
younger than himself, two somewhat older, while the others
were nearly 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
A LOST FATHER.
regularly with them. Mathematics had been the only sub-
ject in which he had at all distinguished himself at school,
and he found himself able to give satisfaction to Mr. Rawlin-
son in his studies of navigation. After this work was over,
they had an hour's practical instruction by the boatswain's
mate, in knotting and splicing ropes, and in other similar
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
climbing 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 minute later, he stood on the deck.
Well done, youngster," said the boatswain's mate, who
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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 :the main-top.
"Well, sir," one said admiringly, "we thought you was
a Johnny Newcome by the way you went up the ratlines,
but Fyou 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
"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.
DICK was surprised when, on descending to the deck, he
found that what seemed to him a by no means very
difficult feat had attracted general attention. Not only did
half a dozen of the sailors pat him on the back with exclama-
tions expressive of their surprise and admiration, but the
other midshipmen 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
replied. "I have done a lot of practice at climbing, for I
have always wanted to get strong, and I heard that there was
no better exercise."
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS.
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, what-
ever profession you take to, it is certain that you will be
a good sailor spoilt."
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 con-
solation: it is not the fault of the ship; she has been doing
well under the circumstances, but the fates have been against
her thus far. I have no doubt there are a score of ships still
lying 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 westing, 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
privateers are as thick as peas there."
"But we should not be afraid of a French privateer,
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
Well, not altogether afraid of one, but they very often
go in couples; and sometimes three of them will work together.
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 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
expression 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
"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
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS.
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 ioon as the Madras had been headed for the south,
she began to make better way. The wind freshened some-
what, 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
fish, dashing down among them with loud cries, and too intent
upon their work to notice the ship lying motionless a hundred
"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 in sail."
The order had bben 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
You may as well get the top-gallant sails off her too, Mr.
32 THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
"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 riot 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
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 runningsouth
at ten or eleven knots an hour. The thermometer had fallen
many degrees, 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, ands the
waves were crested with foam. Above, the stars were shining
"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, Captai'."
"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
'A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS.
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 wake again until morning. His two cabin
mates were suffering terribly from sea-sickness, but he felt
perfectly 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 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 gye, 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."
(""", ?; a ^
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
"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
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 attention
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."
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS. 35
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,
Rawlinson," he broke off, catching sight of the brig now on
their port quarter.
"Yes, she is a privateer I have no doubt, and unless I am
mistaken she has a consort somewhere out there to starboard.
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
manage your breakfast comfortably, and can amuse yourself
watching 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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
occasion to put in there, and the captain grudged the loss
of a day while so favourable a wind was taking them
"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. 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
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 fol-
lowing day the men were practised at the guns, and then
had pike and cutlass exercise. None of the passengers parti-
cularly 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 shoulder.
"I cannot make much out of her, sir," he shouted to the
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS.
captain; "she may be anything. She must be nearly thirty
miles astern. I think, with Pearson, that it is her royals
"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,
"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 Madras 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 made out from the deck of the Madras.
Mr. Green again went up and had a look at her.
"She is coming up fast," he said, when he rejoined the cap-
tain. 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 be-
fore. 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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 Madras had passed six days before. As the pas-
sengers 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 abott their being two French
privateers. 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
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 shot gun.
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
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS. 39
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
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
scoundrels 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 captain
said, and I fancy we shall get more."
I think so too, Captain."
"Then you may as well get off the upper sails and make
her snug. Get off everything above the top-gallant; then, if
the 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 magazines, 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 bulwarks. The men had thrown aside their jackets, and
many of those at the guns were stripped to the waist. Some
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
of them were laughing and talking, and.Dick saw, by their
air of confidence, 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
cheerfully, "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 off a bit, they could annoy us amazingly, while we
could not reach them."
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
appeared 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
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS.
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 main-
mast," he went on. "Let each man fire as he gets the mast
on his sight."
A moment later the first gun fired, and the whole broadside
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 !" the captain shouted. Fetch her mainmast
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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
her sails aback, at a distance of a hundred yards, on the quarter
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 between
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
assistance 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 Madras, as, after pouring in a
broadside at a distance of fifty yards, she left the brig behind
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-han'ded if we met another of these gentlemen,
or fell in with bad weather. Besides, she would not be worth
"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,
THE MADRAS BEATS OFF TWO FRENCH PRIVATEERS.
I A BRUSH- WITH PRIVATEERS.
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 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 support
the rest, to say nothing of the things they have thrown over-
board. There is one wasp the less afloat."
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.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
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 four
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 before 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."
A BRUSH WITH PRIVATEERS.
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
decision, accosting the men in their own language, and pick-
ing out four of them to carry the baggage up to one of the
vehicles standing on the road that ran along the'top of the
high beach, the rest fell back, and the matter was arranged
without difficulty. After a drive of twenty minutes, they
stopped at a hotel.
"It is not like a hotel, mother," Dick remarked, as they
drew up; it is more like a gentleman's house, standing in its
"Almost all the European houses are built so here, Dick,
and it is much more pleasant than when they are packed
"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
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 prosperity were everywhere present.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
" OW, mother, let us talk over our plans," Dick said, as,
After dinner, they seated themselves in two chairs in the
verandah, 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
"How far is it, mother 2 "
"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
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 exciting 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. How-
ever, 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 compel
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."
48 THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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."
Ah I 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; aid I, too, have been looking forward
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 comestraight
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 yevet and silk rugs; looking-
glasses were ranged upon the walls;* a handsome chandelier
hung from the roof; draperies of gauze, lightly embroidered
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,
( 84 ) D
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
has a room upstairs in which are kept locked up everything
required 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 whef 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
trampling 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 restore 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 embraced
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, looking earnestly
at her. "I know you again," he said; you are changed, but
I can recall your face well. You are welcome, 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 longing 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 chdosing 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 nothing
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 dominions, 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, agnative 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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
us will do her much good, and she will learn a great deal from
"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 English
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 under-
stood you, you intend your son to undertake, would be terrible
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 London.
Is it so much a greater city than Madras ? "
Mrs. Holland sighed. She saw by his manner that he was
wholly opposed to her plan, and although she was quite
prepared for opposition, she could not help feeling disap-
pointed. 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
"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 "
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 sur-
prised 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 dis-
appointed 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
Trichinopoly 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 peaceful 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 prosperity. But even now the fear of Mysore
has not quite died out."
"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 composed 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 populations
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
had been either massacred or carried off as slaves. Therefore,
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 carried off.
"My father did some service with our horse, and I fought by
his side. We werewith Colonel Baillie's force when it was
destroyed, after for two days resisting the whole 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 unprepared 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
Mahrattas can always be bought over, especially if there is
a prospect 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 Iin 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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 keep up many of the customs our mother introduced,
I have almost forgotten the tongue, though I force myself
to speak it sometimes 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
indolence and self-indulgence, and never have occasion to exert
themselves or to obtain the strength and activity that make
our mother'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 residence
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 Company's
"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 Imore advantageous openings for him out here.
However, 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 innu-
merable, observing 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
preparations for his work. He knew that ignorance of any
trifling detail which would, as a matter of course, be known to
every native, 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
trifle, 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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
any one else. Then the sahib offers him half, and after pro-
testing many times that the sum is impossible, the dealer
accepts 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 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 district,
threw in his lot with the English, and, when they triumphed,
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
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
thoroughly 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 or awkwardness, but, advancing to
Dick, held out their hands one after the other with grave
courtesy. Their faces both brightened as he said in their
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 you."
In a few minutes supper was announced. The two boys sat
down with their father and Dick, and the meal was served in
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 people
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."
"I do not like walking," Doast said gravely.
"Well, you see, you have no occasion to walk, as you always
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 anywhere
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, except those who go into the army, and nobody carries
"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 TIGER OF MYSORE.
the whole country, and there are written laws by which every
one, high and low alike, are 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 Dbast paused to ask his father one
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
country ? "
"The answer would be a great deal too long to be given
to-night, Doast. You had better ask your cousin about it. p
THE next morning Dick was up early, eager to investigate
Sthe place, 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 a massive door on the left-hand side gave entrance to the
private apartments. 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 innumerable 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, according to
Diok's English notions. This was, indeed, the great object of
the plafit6r, and numerous fountains added to the effect of the
overhanging foliage. Dick wandered about, delighted. 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 delighted 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
( 84) E
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
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
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
4 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 up."
"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 hands.
"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
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 per-
spiration, 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,
accompanied by Anwar on horseback; then his two cousins
joined the party; and, by the end of the month, he was per-
fectly at home on Murad's back.
So far, he had not begun to practise shooting. It would be
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
attempting the enterprise for which they had come over.
Possibly the earnest conviction of the former that her husband
was still alive influenced him to some extent, and the strength
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
Sin 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
surprised 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
enterprise, 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
thinking 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 com-
pared dates, that his ship was battling with a tempest at
the time I was so troubled about him. I remember that
the first time this happened he laughed at me; but when,
upon two other occasions, 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 family. 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
wb-eu 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 surprised. Since
then I have more than 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 was dead, never once
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 what-
ever 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 abso-
lutely sure, that he will some day be restored to me."
You did not tell me this before, Margaret," the Rajah
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
English were more prepared to enforce their demands; he
THE RAJAH TELLS THE STORY OF THE WAR.
therefore entered into negotiations with Hyder Ali and the
Mahrattas 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
large quantities from the French at Mahb, a town they still
retain, on the Malabar coast. The Madras government
prepared to attack MahA, when Hyder informed them that the
settlements of the Dutch, French, and English, on the Malabar
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 this threat, MahA 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 assistance 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 ev6n observe
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 entering
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 TIGER OF MYSORE.
the proceedings, dismissed Sir Thomas Rumbold and his two
chief associates from the Council, and suspended other members.
The prompt and conciliatary 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
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 thoiuand 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 20th of July, and his horse-
men 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
AT THE TIME OF THE WAR WITH
II A 1
G L lf o '
M a n a a
JlACKIE & S U, LIMITED LOP ON, OLASaOW & -EDITBURGH
broke up the siege and advanced to meet them. Sir Hector
Munro, the British general, was no doubt brave, but he
committed a terrible blunder; instead of marching to combine
his forde with that of Colonel Baillie, who was coming down
from Guntoor, he marched in the opposite direction to Con-
jeveram, 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 suc-
cess. The English have won before now with greater odds
against them. My father had marched out with his cavalry
one hundred 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
moment 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 encamped.
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.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE
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 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 Tippoo,
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 darkness to press forward.
At daybreak fifty guns opened on us. Our ten field-pieces
returned the fire 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 horsemen, but dashed
straight at them and cut our way through, but with the loss of
half our force, and did not draw rein until we reached Madras.
The roar of battle had been heard at Conjeveram, 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 conflict 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
Madras. 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; con-
fidence 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 19th he reached Chingleput, and on the 20th
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 cavalry went with the detachment, as my
father knew the country well. To the surprise of Captain
Davis, who was in command, we found the garrison on the walls.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
"' What do you think, Rajah ?' Captain Davis, who was
riding by his side, asked. My orders were that I was to take
possession of the place, but it was supposed that I should find
'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 explosion, and the
gates fell. With loud shouts we rushed forward 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. Wandiwash had
been nobly defended by a young lieutenant named Flint, who
1, 2, 3. The enemy's masked batteries, placed to oppose our march to Cuddalore
4, 5. First and second positions of the English advancing.
6. First English line during the cannonade.
7. Second English line during the cannonade.
8. A chain of Hyder's irregular horse posted as a decoy to the masked batteries.
9. First position of the Mysoreans.
10. Second position of Hyder's infantry, over whom his guns fired from the sand-
11. Position of Hyder's horse during the cannonade.
12. Attempt by Hyder's grenadiers to gain the hill.
13. Attempt by Kiram Saib to charge our line, where.he and most of the party
14. Hyder's station during the action.
15. An armed ship firing upon the enemy.
16. English camp after the battle.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 Jane that a movement was -possible,
owing to the want of carriage. The country inland had been
swept bare by Hyder, and, on leaving Ouddalore, 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
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,
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 positionwithout
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
believe 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 Ouddalore, 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 artillery
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
batteries 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
issued from the valley a tremendous fire was poured upon it,
but it again formed into line of battle, and, covered by the fire
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
of the artillery, moved forward. It was a grand sight. My
father and I had left the baggage, 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 tremendous
fire, against the rising ground occupied by the dense masses of
the enemy. Presently there was a movement opposite, 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
batteries on the sand-hills an incessant fire was kept up upon
them. Then, following the volleys, came the incessant rattle of
musketry. 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 a sudden impulse, they rode off in all directions,
and, sweeping round, regained their position in the rear of
their infantry, while loud cheers broke from our side.
The squares again fell into line, which, advancing steadily,
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 Hyder'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
"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 10,000. 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
offensive, 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
having 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 11,000 strong. I did not
see the battle, as we were at the time occupied in escorting
a convoy of provisions from Madras. The fight was much better
contested than the previous battle had been. Hyder was well
acquainted with the ground, and made skilful use of his
( M 8 )
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
opportunities, 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
capture 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, ahd 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
Yellore. 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 Yellore. 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 contingent,
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 protected
by numerous field-works. The battle was the most sanguinary
fought during the war, considering the numbers engaged. The
English carried a portion of the works and captured 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 fighting down here.
A Bombay force, however, under the command of General
Matthews, captured Bednore; but Tippoo hastened against
him with a great force, besieged Bednore, and forced it to
surrender after a desperate defence. Tippoo violated the terms
of capitulation, and made the defenders prisoners. Mangalore
was next besieged by him, but resisted for nearly nine months,
and only surrendered in January 1784.
"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 1000 British soldiers and 1600
Sepoys obtained their liberty. No one knows how many were
retained of the number, calculated at 200,000, of natives carried
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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 fate."
HAT gives you a general idea, Dick, of the war with Tippoo.
L 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, rebuilt the
palace, and have since been occupied in trying to restore the
prosperity of my poor people. It is, I feel, a useless task,
for it is certain that ere long the English will again be engaged
with Mysore, and if they are, it is well-nigh certain 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 giving 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 footstool 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-indeed,
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 compel 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
Strain 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 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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
country 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 to 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. I
hope, therefore, that the results will not be so disastrous 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
prepared 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 keep 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 purse."
"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 necessary;
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 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 when-
ever 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 year."
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
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
Sof 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 our father bought of him a perpetual com-
mutation 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 prince.
"I could not Inake a treaty with Mysore on my own
account, and it is clear that neither Arcot nor the English
could allow me to do so, for in that case Mysore could erect
fortresses 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 remonstrated
with me more than once, but since the war with Hyder I have
had a good excuse, namely, that the population has so de-
creased that my lands lie untilled, and it would be impossible
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 Travaicore 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 indeed
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
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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
treacherous 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
dungeons 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 Mahrattas,
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, perpetrating
horrible atrocities, and after sending a large proportion of the
population as slaves to Mysore, he marched against Travan-
core. 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 refuge
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 advice 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 Travancore men. A
panic seized them; they rushed back to the breach, and in the
wild struggle to pass through it, no less than two thousand
were either killed or crushed to death.
"It was nearly three months before Tippoo renewed his
attack. The lines were weak, and his army so strong that
resistance 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 unaccountable
delay before assaulting the position has been of great advan-
tage 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 Bombay, arrived,
invested by the Company with the offices of both governor
and of commander-in-chief.
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
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 battalion 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, during 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 negotiate.
The Nabob tells me he believes that the object of General
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
Meadows has a force of fifteen thousand men, he ought to be
able to crush the tyrant at a blow.
I fear, however, there is little chance of this. The Mysore
troops move with great rapidity, and as soon as Tippoo hears
that the English army is marching towards Caroor, he is sure
to take the alarm, and by this time has probably passed
Coimbatoor on his way back. With all his faults, Tippoo
is a good general, and the Nabob's opinion-and I quite agree
with him-is that, as soon as he regains the table-land of
Mysore, he will take advantage of the English army being far
away to the south, and will pour down through the passes into
this part of the Carnatic, which is at present absolutely
defenceless. This being the case, I shall at once get ready
to leave for Madras, and shall move as soon as I learn for
certain that Tippoo has slipped past the English.
"The Nabob has called upon me to join him with my little
body of cavalry, and as soon as the news comes that Tippoo
is descending the passes, I shall either join him or the
English army. That will be a matter to decide afterwards."
You will take me with you, of course, Uncle ? Dick asked
"Certainly, Dick; if you are old enough to undertake the
really perilous adventure of going up in disguise to Mysore,
you are certainly old enough to ride with me. Besides, we
may hope that this time the war is not going to be as one-
sided as it was the last time, and that we may end by reaching
Seringapatam; in which case we may rescue your father, if
he is still alive, very much more easily than it could be
managed in the way you propose."
The news that the English army had marched to Caroor,
and that there was no force left to prevent the Mysoreans from
pouring down from the hills, spread quickly, and when Dick
went out with the two boys into the town, groups of people
were talking earnestly in the streets. Some of them came
up, and asked respectfully if there was any later news.
"Nothing later than you have heard," Dick said.
"The Rajah is not going away yet, Sahib ? "
"No; he will not leave unless he hears that Tippoo has
returned with his army to Seringapatam. Then he will go at
once, for the sultan might come down through the passes at
any moment, and can get here a fortnight before the English
army can return from Caroor."
"Yes; it will be no use waiting here to be eaten up,
Sahib. Do you think Conjeveram would be safe ? Because it
is easy to go down there by boat."
I should think so. Hyder could not take it last time, and
the English army is much stronger than it was then. Besides,
there will be six thousand men arriving from Bengal in a
month's time, so I should think there is no fear of Conjeveram
It is little trouble getting there," the trader said, but it
is a long journey to Madras. We could go down with our
families and goods in two days in a boat; but there would
not be boats enough for all, and it will be best, therefore, that
some should go at once, for if all wait until there is news
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
that Tippoo is coming, many will not be able to get away in
"No, not in boats," Dick agreed; "but in three days
a bullock-cart would get you there."
Next day several of the shops containing the most valuable
goods were shut up, and day by day the number remaining
open grew smaller.
It is as I expected," the Rajah said one morning, as he
came into the room where the family was sitting. "A mes-
senger has just come in from the Nabob with the news that
sickness broke out among the army as soon as they arrived
at Caroor, and in twenty-four hours a thousand men were
in hospital. This delayed the movement, and when they
arrived at Coimbatoor they were too late : Tippoo and his army
had already passed, moving by forced marches back to Mysore.
Finish your packing, ladies; we will start at daybreak to-
morrow morning. I secured three boats four days ago,
and have been holding them in readiness. Rajbullub will
go in charge- of you; there is not the least fear of Tippoo
being here for another fortnight at the earliest. I shall ride
with the troop; Dick and the boys will go with me. We shall
meet you at Conjeveram. I have already arranged with some
of our people, who have gone on in their bullock-carts with
their belongings, and will unload them there, to be in readiness
to take our goods on to Madras, so there will be no delay in
By nightfall the apartments were completely dismantled.
The furniture was all stowed away in a vault which the Rajah
had had constructed for the purpose, when the palace was
rebuilt. Access was obtained to it through the floor in one of
the private apartments. The floor was of tesselated marble, but
some ten squares of it lifted up in a mass, forming together a
trap-door, from which steps led down into the vault. When the
block was lowered again, the fit was so accurate that, after
sweeping a little dust over the joint, the opening was quite
imperceptible to any one not aware of the hiding-place. The
cushions of the divans were taken down here, as well as the
furniture, and all the less valuable carpets, rugs and hangings,
while the costlier articles were rolled up into bales for
The silver cups and other valuables were packed in boxes,
and were, during the night, carried by coolies down to the
boats, over which a guard was placed until morning. Pro-
visions for the journey down the river were also placed on
board. The palace was astir long before daybreak. The
cushions that had been slept on during the night were carried
down to the boats, the boxes of wearing apparel closed and
fastened, and a hasty meal was taken. The sun was just rising
when they started. One boat had been fitted up with a bower
of green boughs, for the use of the two ladies and their four
attendants; the other two carried the baggage. After seeing
them push off, the Rajah, his sons, and Dick, returned to
the palace. Here for a couple of hours he held a sort of
audience, and gave his advice to the townspeople and others
who came, in considerable numbers, to consult with him. When
this was done they went into the courtyard, where all was
ready for their departure.
The troop had, during the past week, been raised to two
hundred men, many of the young cultivators coming eagerly
forward as soon as they heard that the Rajah was going to
increase his troop, being anxious to take a share in the adven-
tures that might be looked for, and to avenge the sufferings
that had been inflicted on their friends by Hyder's marauders.
They were a somewhat motley troop, but this mattered little,
as uniformity was unknown among the forces of the native
princes. The majority were stout young fellows. All pro-
vided their own horses and arms, and although the former
lacked the weight and bone of English cavalry horses, they
were capable of performing long journeys and of existing on
rations on which an English horse would starve.
All were well armed, for any deficiency had been made up
from the Rajah's store, and from this a large number of guns
THE TIGER OF MYSORE.
had, three days before, been distributed among such of the ryots
as intended to take to the hills on the approach of the enemy.
Ammunition had also been distributed among them. Every
man in the trqop carried a shield and tulwar, and on his back
was slung a musket or spear; and there were few without pistols
in their girdles. They rode half-way to Conjeveram, and
stopped for the night at a village-the men sleeping in the
open air, while the Rajah, his sons, and Dick, were entertained
by the chief man of the place. The next afternoon they
rode into Conjeveram, where, just at sunset, the boats also
The troop encamped outside the town, while the Rajah and
his party occupied some rooms that had been secured before-
hand for them. In the morning the ladies proceeded in a
native carriage with the troop, an officer and ten men follow-
ing, in charge of the bullock-carts containing the baggage.
On reaching Madras, they encamped on the Maidan-a large
open space used as a drill-ground for the troops garrisoned
there-and the Rajah and his party established themselves in
the house occupied by him on the occasion of his last visit.
The next day the Rajah went to the Government House and
had an interview with the deputy-governor.
"I think," the latter said, after some conversation, "that
your troop of cavalry will be of little use to the Nabob. If
Tippoo comes down from the hills, he will not be able to take
the field against him, and will need all his forces to defend
Arcot, Vellore, and his smaller forts, and cavalry would be of
no real use to him. Your troop would be of much greater utility
to the battalions from Bengal when they arrive; they will be
here in three weeks or so, and as soon as they come I will
attach you to them. I will write to the Nabob, saying that
you were about to join him, but that, in the interest of the
general defence, I have thought it better at present to attach
you to the Bengal contingent. You see, they will be entirely
new to the country, and it will be a great advantage to them
to have a troop like yours, many of whom are well acquainted