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STORY OF A CAMPAIGN.

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with incessant rain, and swarms of land-leeches which it called into activity, also a paucity of game at this damp and uncomfortable season, I was only too glad to get back to Trichinopoly. Soon after my return, a disturbance in the country of the Poodoocottah Rajah, about thirty miles south-east of Trichinopoly, took me out again.

I cannot do better than transcribe an account of this affair from the pages of the former Indian Sporting Review, in which it appeared, some time afterwards, as the " Story of a Campaign." In this account, the names Trichinopoly and Poodoocottah are travestied into "Pokerapooram " and "Kullerputty." I may note that the Rajah and all his subjects are of the "Kuller" caste, the "Thief Tribe " already adverted to by me.

Great was the bustle in a cantonment, which I will call Pokerapooram, in a hot month in the year of grace 1854. News of a row at Kullerputty, the residence of a neighbouring rajah, and a consequent application for military aid, having been received on the evening of one day, a party of both British and native soldiers, with a large allowance of officers, and a perfectly horrifying quantity of surgico-medical adjuncts, all under command of a field officer, left Pokerapooram, en route to Kullerputty, on the afternoon of the next.

The quarrel, between the Rajah and his people, was on account of some clever, but rather unscrupulous, financial dodges invented by that potentate, against whom his lieges had, likewise, other causes of complaint, into which it is by no means necessary to enter. One of the principal leaders of the rebellion had made himself scarce; the other, a near relative of the Rajah, was encamped in a grove not more than two miles from the royal residence, and had with him a following variously estimated by the natives, according to the degree of funk of the informants, at from two thousand to five thousand men, of whom four hundred, at most, were armed with guns and matchlocks of sorts; the rest addressing themselves to war with a provision of blunt swords and spears, and even clubs and

slings! The British Resident, or Government Agent, was on the spot; but not even to his charming would these deaf adders incline their ears, not scrupling even to march in battle array, and with martial and discordant music, past the Residency, a very handsome and commodious building erected for the use of the Government Agent when he visits Kullerputty, and likewise available for the accommodation of English travellers who may be drawn, by business or pleasure, to visit His Highness the Rajah.

On the morning of the 24th July we arrived at Kullerputty, to the evident great admiration of the townspeople, who lined the road in multitudes, as we marched in with "all the pomp and circumstance" of war. The field force encamped within the precincts of the Residency, where several large tents, belonging to the Rajah, were pitched for accommodation of the officers; and in the Residency itself a good breakfast had been prepared by the servants, of whom a regular establishment is kept up for the service of guests. Some of the Rajah's sepoys were on duty on the premises, and were great fun : their "present arms" was perfectly unique. At midday, the Rajah's militia, and the black Barons who owe him suit and service, arrived. The great men were dressed magnificently, shining in "barbaric pearl and gold": the troops they commanded were not dressed at all. The chiefs, arrayed in "kincaubs" and turbans of gold and silver tissue, had flaming standards and red-scabbarded swords borne before them, and were attended by little pages carrying large muslin scarves, which were waved before the heroes as they came on. It was really a pretty and characteristic bit of Orientalism, and such as I had not before had an opportunity of witnessing. We had a good dinner, at which the Rajah's champagne flowed freely, in the evening. The fashionable wear, at Kullerputty, appears to be the silk trouser, of loud colours; even the fat Brahmin Tahsildars (collectors of district revenues) and the "Sirkele" (Prime Minister), an immense fat Brahmin, wear them. The rebels have been invited to come in and be punished; but, as yet, the ducks do not respond to the cry of "Dilly, dilly!"

25th. This morning, the chief man of the insurgents delivered himself up at our camp: he was dressed in silk and gold, like the other people who came yesterday; but was unarmed, and entirely without attendants. He, of course, told

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the Resident that he was quite innocent of the offences laid to his door; and, after a few minutes, he was removed to a detached bungalow, round which sentries were placed. The remainder of the culprits, headed by a famous rebel with a long name, still hold out; but they cannot keep up the game much longer. Nothing more than an exchange of messages, and divers attempts to serve warrants upon the chief malefactors, occurred till the evening. About six o'clock, the Sirkele suddenly made up his mind to beat up their quarters with his horde of armed riff-raff; so we all turned out to support him. The detachment was under arms in about two minutes; but, as the rebel camp was at least two miles off, there was not much chance, or perhaps much intention, of doing great things before dark. The Rajah's militia were collected in the road, about half a mile on; and as soon as they found themselves backed by the troops, the chiefs gave the word, and all hands set off at a smart double. Spears jingled, mustachios curled of themselves, tattoos trotted, and palanquins (for some of the chiefs went to battle in these conveyances) toiled along in the midst of the rabble.

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Just as it was getting dark, the grove where the rebels were encamped came in sight: the wretches were cooking their dinners, and their fires shone brightly. A rush, with terrific yells, was made into the grove, which was emptied of its garrison in the twinkling of an eye. I saw a great number of people running into the jungle just as we came up; but immediately afterwards it became quite dark. About ten unfortunates were captured in the grove, and their brave captors immediately commenced to thrash them most unmercifully! A tremendous hubbub arose, owing to the gradual collection of the Rajah's braves with their prisoners; torches were lighted, and we moved back to camp in grand procession. First went the irregulars, their chiefs looking like gilt gingerbread dolls in the torchlight each great man with his sheathed sword carried upright before him; and his ragamuffins, with twenty-foot spears, old muskets, matchlocks, &c., around him. Then came the native infantry; and the rear was brought up by the sturdy party of Highlanders. After we had gone a short distance, a row commenced in some houses near the road, which ended in five more rebels being captured, duly beaten, and placed in the procession with the rest. In this state and pomp did we return

to our camp, which we reached soon after 8 o'clock. We heard that "Suniassee Sholialagum," the famous rebel with the long name, had bolted out of the grove first of all, and, of course, escaped in the dark.

26th. We passed this day in eating and drinking the Rajah's excellent breakfast and dinner and tolerable champagne, in playing bagatelle on the Rajah's table, and in turning over his somewhat antique and musty library.

27th. Early this morning, nearly all of us went out into a jungle near Kullerputty to see the famed, but very tame, sport of catching, or trying to catch, antelope with a hunting cheetah. We galloped out seven miles of very finely varied country, partly cultivated, and partly low jungle, under guidance of a native police officer, who rode before us on a very good horse, which he sat right well; and cut a gallant figure, clad as he was in a shiny dress, which looked exactly as if he had robbed a tea-caddy of its inside and robed himself in its spoils ! At the end of this long gallop we came to a large village, at which we picked up some very fierce and truculent spearsmen; and then we rattled on three miles farther, and found the cheetah sitting in his cart, with his blinkers on, very restless, and evidently anxious for a run. He was a handsome animal, and the Rajah had given Rs. 500 for him three years ago: he had a guinea worm in his tail, which rather blemished him. We found antelope almost immediately; but could not for some time get any to stand. At last we slipped the cheetah at two antelope, and saw the way in which he went to work, and which has been described a hundred times: he did not sneak so much as I thought he would, but bounded off at once like a greyhound. When, however, he got near the antelope, he went "ventre à terre" at a tremendous pace. The course was a failure, and the beast lay in a bush until he was picked out of it by his keeper. We had another run, which also failed; and we all agreed that we had seen enough of this sport, and cantered back to the village, where two of the Rajah's carriages were waiting for us, and so back we went to breakfast.

Now this day was to be devoted to visiting the Rajah, and receiving his return of the compliment; so I must invoke the best efforts of my pen to do justice to the strangely mingled magnificence and squalidity of the court of Kullerputty. Soon after midday we were ready, and drove off in a procession of

GRAND RECEPTION BY A RAJAH.

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five carriages, some horsed and some bullocked, to the palace, a distance of about two miles. When we arrived at the outer gate, we were received and saluted with a hideous rout of tomtoms and collery horns, by the irregulars, of whose deeds I have already made mention; and then by a mob of the Rajah's sepoys, in full dress, and drawn up in what, by courtesy, must be termed a line. Getting out of our carriages, we entered another courtyard, where about twenty men, in old Light Cavalry uniforms, but on foot, received us with carried swords and a cracked trumpet, on which latter a most portentous and maddening point of war was blown. Passing through this court, and a narrow passage beyond it, we emerged into an inner court, surrounded with an open square of pillared buildings, crammed with all kinds of natives, and reverberating to the thundering music (not so bad, by the way) of the Rajah's band. We were met by the Rajah and his brother at the steps of the Hall of Audience, a mean-looking building, adorned with many rows of painted pillars. The Rajah then took his seat on his throne, a common-looking couch, or sofa, covered with red velvet and ornamented with gold, or, more likely, gilt mouldings.

The great man was dressed out in all his jewels, valued at some £50,000 or £60,000. Some of his diamonds were splendid: his bracelets, set with large diamonds, were worth £5,000 each, and his tiara was one glittering mass of brilliants. He had on, likewise, a magnificent jewelled "stomacher," and very fine emeralds pendant from the tiara, which was crowned with a plume of feathers of a Bird of Paradise. On his left hand and arm was a gauntlet of precious stones, and strings of large pearls were hanging round his neck. And what was the kernel of this dazzling shell? A very short, stout, personage, very dark in colour, and mean in appearance; certainly not looking in person, whatever he may have been in dress, like the Eastern prince we have all seen in the pantomime. We sat during a tedious half-hour, the band playing all the time, and then were presented with betel-nut, and garlanded with flowers; and, after this ceremony, we took our leave.

At six in the evening the field force was paraded, forming a street for His Highness to pass through on his return visit. Soon after six we saw and heard the great man, and his court,

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