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adventurous career cast a spell over us, did Saxon. Many years of gallant making us almost wish that the end of service stood to Dilawar's credit, and the bold highlander could be other than the day was not far off when the three a shameful death on the gallows. stripes on his arm were bound to be
At last, one evening, the orders ar- replaced by the stars of the Jemadar, rived for Sikandar to be marched un- or native subaltern, on his shoulders, der strong escort to the headquarters for it had practically been decided that station of the district to stand bis he should fill the next vacancy in the trial. All the necessary preparations commissioned ranks of the Afridi comwere made for an early start on the pany. But, alas for human hopes! morrow. On the whole, we were re- Dilawar fell a victim to Sikandar—the lieved to think that our responsibilities last that the outlaw could claim. with regard to so valuable a prisoner Had he remained amongst the mounwere nearly at an end, though these tains of Tirah instead of entering the feelings were not entirely untinged service of Government, Dilawar would with a somewhat illogical regret. undoubtedly have become a mullah.
That last night of Sikandar's sojourn He would have preached jehad for amongst us was hotter than usual. the glory of Allah and his Prophet. Not a breath of air stirred, and the He might even have turned ghazi himmud walls of the fort seemed almost self, and crowned death with martyrto glow with heat after the sun had dom. For the fires of his faith burned set. We all slept sub love. The guard, fiercely within him, and it was only the as usual, had the prisoner tied into his iron will of the man that kept them unbed, which was placed within a circle der restraint. For an Afridi he was of others occupied by the sentries' re- well educated. He had sat at the feet liefs. The bavildar of the guard slept of a mullah of great repute when a on the bed next to that of Sikandar. youth, and from him had imbibed eduThe guard consisted, as was the cus- cation and enthusiasm for the faith. tom, of a mixture of Afridis and Sikhs. A family quarrel. however, changed It is thus that the maxim divide et im- the current of his life, and the hotpera receives practical interpretation in headed youth forsook home, kindred, the Indian Army. Sikh and Pathan, and master, and took service under the Dogra and Punjabi Mahomedan, stand banner of the Great Sirkar. shoulder to shoulder, ready to repel the spicuous ability, dash, and the influKing's enemies, but equally prepared ence he exerted over his comrades, to drive bayonets into each other at soon marked him for promotion, and His Majesty's command,—for oil and he rapidly ascended the ladder till the water will commingle sooner than Hin- topmost rungs were practically in his doo and Mahomedan will love one an- grasp. other or share one another's ambitions, On this eventful night Dilawar came be these political, social, or profes- face to face with the second crisis of sional.
his life, and this time he was called The commander of the guard that upon to choose between his faith and night was Dilawar Khan, a havildar his duty. On the one side the life of a of the Afridi company.
He was a fellow Moslem lay in the hollow of his striking-looking man, with a fair com- hand; on the other was loyalty to the plexion and blue eyes, a handsome nose Government whose salt he ate. One and a long flaxen beard of wbich he path led to a blissful hereafter; the was extremely proud. In European other to wealth, honor, and all that a garh he would have passed for a splen- soldier holds dear on earth. The
strenuous piety of the wily Sikandar that he had seen a white figure make a had raked up the smouldering fires sudden dash from amongst the beds of within Dilawar, and it needed but that the guard, climb on to the wall, and last whispered appeal from the doomed leap over. He fired just as the fugiman to his fellow Mahomedan, as they tive balanced himself for an instant on lay side by side in the still, dark night. the crest of the parapet, and he felt to fan the embers into flame. But if sure he had hit him. The second shot Dilawar was a zealous Moslem, he was seemed to him to come from the direcalso a Pathan, and a desire to run with tion of the guard. Here Dilawar the hare and bunt with the hounds is interrupted the speaker, and explained a weakness with every Pathan. So that, awakened by the sentry's shot Dilawar decided upon a compromise. and at once realizing what had hapHe would acquire merit by rescuing a pened, he fired his rifle to give the true Believer, but, at the same time, alarm. he would contrive that appearances Without delay a party of men hurwould in no way jeopardize his credit ried out to search for the escaped with the Infidel. It was the will of prisoner. They had not far to look. Allah that he should be on guard this Sikandar lay dead close under the paranight, and, if the prisoner escaped, that pet, shot through the back. He had too would be the will of the All Mer- cheated the gallows after all, ciful.
Again the telegraph instruments Silence lay over the fort, broken only were set a-ticking, and the news of by the monotonous tread of the sen- Sikandar's death was known from tries as they measured their beats Harai to Peshawar before the sun was along the walls. There was no moon, over the hills. but the night was clear and starlit. There followed the inevitable Court The white-sheeted beds of the sleeping of Inquiry, the military Coroner's Ingarrison stood about in clusters in all quest which deals with all the accidirections, and gave the courtyard of dents which can befall the soldier, the fort the appearance of a badly ar- from the loss of his boots to the loss ranged graveyard.
of his life. After the usual amount Suddenly a shot rang out, accompan- of brow beating and cross-questioning ied by a piercing yell. A second shot on the part of the court, and the cusfollowed immediately after. In an in- tomary contradictions, subterfuges, stant every bed was empty, and the and prevarications on the part of the men who slept with their rifles buckled native witnesses. Havildar Dilawar to their wrists, were doubling to their Khan was deprived of his belt and alarm-posts. The guard had already side-arms and was placed under close stood to arms, and Dilawar, a smoking arrest. Then came the court-martial, rifle in his hand, was making towards and the truth, or rather, as much one of the sentries on the wall. The thereof as was necessary to convict sentry was leaning over the parapet Dilawar of permitting, if not aiding peering down into the darkness below. and abetting, the escape of a prisoner
There was no need to ask what had confided to his care, was dragged out happened. Sikandar's bed was empty of the witnesses. For it would indeed and the rope with which he had been be rash to suppose that any judicial inbound lay beside it. The Command- quiry in India, be it ever so skilfully ant at once joined Dilawar and the conducted, can be expected to elicit the sentry who had fired. The man was whole truth. Gunga Singh, the Sikh. His story ran In due course the finding and sen
tence of the court were confirmed, and, peace for the time being. with military promptitude, promul- men, bereft of their chief, dispersed to gated at a parade of the whole garri- their homes amongst the mountains, son.
Dilawar was the central figure, and, no doubt lived luxuriously on the and the cup of bitterness was surely fruits of more strenuous days. The filled to overflowing when the drum- stirring events connected with the capmajor of the regiment, a 'Sikh, ad- ture and attempted escape had ceased vanced towards the unhappy man and to be the all-absorbing topic of conpulled the stripes from his arm, re- versation in the fort, and our minds moved the regimental badges from his began to be occupied with alternate shoulders, and cut off the buttons of hopes and fears regarding the aphis jacket. Next day the regiment proaching winter reliefs, which, we knew Dilawar Khan no more.
fervently prayed, would see us moving But sometimes "the evil that men do to more congenial surroundings as far lives after them"; and so it was with removed from the frontier outposts as Dilawar. As far as the regiment was possible, If there was anything that concerned he no longer lived; but he might have struck a close observer as had left behind him, amongst his inti- being a departure from the normal, it mate friends and admirers in the Af- was the improvement in the behavior ridi Company, as a legacy, a burning of the Afridis. They seemed to have desire to square accounts with the turned over a new leaf and to have young Sikh whom in their childish and become models of military virtue. But vindictive unreason these hot-headed if any one gave it a second thought, partisans blamed for the downfall of the improvement was probably attribtheir hero. That an unbelieving dog of uted to the sobering effect which Dilaa Sikh should have killed a gallant- war's fall might have had upon them. albeit outlawed-Pathan
bad No doubt it would soon wear off! enough; but that he should, further, Then a strange thing happened. One have been instrumental in bringing ig- night, soon after "lights out" had nominy and ruin upon another Pathan sounded, and we were all snug in bed, who (and here the shoe pinched hard) a series of shots in rapid succession was shortly to become their patron and sent us hurrying to our alarm-posts. a source of many good things—includ- Again it was Gunga Singh, the Sikh. ing promotion and unlimited leave- who had fired. He happened to be on was more than flesh and blood could duty at the same post as when he shot endure. If only they could have Sikandar. This time he explained smuggled that Sikh across the border that, hearing the tread of feet, accomin to Yagistan, how simply and even panied by the clatter of loose stones, pleasantly the whole affair could have in the ravine beneath his post, he had been adjusted! But, alas! in the woe- challenged. Receiving no answer, he fully law-inflicted realms of the Sirkar had fired at a dark object which he cumbrously slow and laborious meth- saw, or thought he saw, moving toods would have to be employed, and wards him. All was, however, now even then the satisfaction to be derived still, and the enemy or thieves must would probably be more than doubt- have either withdrawn finding ful.
themselves discovered, or were waiting However, days, weeks, and months till the alarm should have subsided bepassed without anything happening to fore making another advance. A disturb the even tenor of our lives. strong patrol was immediately ordered Sikandar's death had given the frontier out and the parapet manned. The
patrol cautiously felt their way down back to the regiment prepared to take the ravine, but could discover no trace up the thread of life where he had left of an enemy. After a long and care- it. This, however, he was not allowed ful search they were about to return to do. He met with no overt hostility; to the fort, when one of the flank men no one abused him or threw the past in reported that he thought he heard the his teeth, yet Gunga Singh found it groans of some stricken creature. Fol- impossible to settle down in his old lowing the direction from which the place. It was not that his brother sounds appeared to come, the patrol Sikhs had not forgiven him; they had discovered a cow lying mortally received him back into their midst with wounded among some boulders. The every token of good comradeship. and mystery was therefore solved, and a even his stern old company officer had titter ran round the walls as the leader bade him a gruff but kindly welcome. of the patrol shouted out the news. Nevertheless, even the British officers
But for Gunga Singh there was no could not but be sensible that a subtle humor in the situation. He, a Sikh, influence was at work throughout the had killed a cow-that is, had commit regiment—that strange indefinable ted the foulest sacrilege of which a suggestion of "something wrong," Hindoo can be guilty. He would which none know so well how to inthenceforth unclean-a pariah spire as the natives of India-and amongst bis brethren. The native of- Gunga Singh became daily more misficer of his company asked permission erable. for him to be relieved at his post, and, The Afridis meanwhile remained having obtained it, snatched the rifle steeped in what might be termed abfrom the unhappy man and pushed him solutely obtrusive virtue. from the place with curses calculated At last the strain became more than to wither him on the spot.
the proud young soldier could bear, and The old Sikh priest of the regiment Gunga Singh left us to woo fortune then took Gunga Singh in hand, and afresh, still beneath the banner of the immediately instituted rigorous Great Sirkar, but under far distant course of purification. After certain skies. preliminaries had been duly fulfilled, On his departure the Afridis regained Gunga Singh was given leave in order their normal high spirits, and once that he might betake himself to the sa- more the "defaulter's call" sounded cred Ganges and wash and be clean. through the lines with monotonous regMany were the penances that were re- ularity. quired of him, heavy the fees he paid "Gunga Singh's Cow" has become a before he was permitted again to regimental legend, and any newcomer share the cup and platter. But he ful- who seeks enlightenment on the subfilled all that was required of him ject, or is curious to know "how the without a murmur and with the stead. cow got there," is advised to ask the fast courage of a true Sikh, and came Afridi Company!
THE GARDENS OF CHAUCER AND SHAKESPEARE.
May is the poet's month, and when it in the plays of Shakespeare, while opened under the Old Calendar, some Chaucer, and many another writer, fourteen days later than it has done tells us of glad garden-closes long besince 1752, it was perhaps a little fore the days of gardening had begun nearer the poet's ideal than it often is in the Dutch lowlands. Who can forwith us, who jibe at May, and wear get the garden in the Knightes Tale, the surcoats in June. To Chaucer, indeed, Athenian garden planted in England, May was the perfect month of the where the shining Emelie, the young year. He never wearies of singing sister of Ipolita the Queen, walked on its praise. In a land still thickly for- a fair May morning in sight of those ested and undyked, winter wore woeful prisoners Arcite and Palamon? sterner aspect, and spring a diviner ra- If we look with their eyes from the diance than with us. The month of
square barred window in the keep May gleams through the gladness and down into the garden, we light on a the sadness of the Knightes Tale. happy picture:
0 Maye, with all thy floures and thy
Emelie, that fairer was to sene grene,
Than is the lilie upon his stalke grene Rigbt welcome be thou, faire freshe And fresher than the Maye with floures Maye.
(For with the rose color strove hire And this superb romance, one of the hewe greatest inventions of an English pen, In'ot which was the finer of hem two). opens, after a necessary prologue, with an exquisite description of a garden
She was walking there to do honor to in the prime of May. Mr. Sieveking, May morning and the sunrising. А in the charming introduction to his edi
child, as fresh as any rose, as songful tion of various essays on gardens by
as any bird, she walked in the dawn:the great stylists of the seventeenth
Hire yelwe here was broided in a century, draws attention to the state
tresse, ment in The Legacy of Gardening, pub
Behind her back, a yarde long I gesse. lished in 1651, that “Gardening is of And in the garden at the sonne uprist few years' standing in England." The She walketh up and doun wher as she passage, quoted at length by Mr. list. Sieveking, apparently only refers to She gathereth floures, partie white and what is called by our modern garden
To make a sotel garland for hire hed, essayist "the kitchen or utilitarian
And as an angel hevenlich she sang. garden,” though this is not altogether clear. But in any event, both the au- The dungeon' keep lay beside the garthor of the Legacy of Gardening, and den wall, and thence, looking down, Thomas Fuller, who followed his lead, the woeful pr oner Palamon, as the are wrong if they meant to do more day broke over the noble city, saw the than tell us that at the end of the six- garden-close and its happy warbler, teenth century Dutch gardening was
And eke the garden, full of branches giving encouragement and
grene sources to our own gardeners. This
Ther as this freshe Emelie shene is clear enough, even in the case of the Was in hire walk, and romed up and kitchen garden, from various passages down. LIVING AGE. VOL. LI.