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MAY 10 1893


MAY, 1893.



of alien blood in the steady gaze of CHAPTER X.

a pair of brown eyes, and a white A COLD wind swept down the Peirâk line of clean skin where the fur collar valley, driving the last leaves from met his neck. It was our old friend the birch trees, which, filling the Dick Smith, and he was on the watch gully, crept some short way up the for the last British regiment which steep ascent to the Pass, where the was to cross the Pass in order to ridges of grey-blue slate seemed almost strengthen the little garrison beyond, a part of the staring blue sky against before winter set her silver key upon which they showed like a serrated line the mountains. His companion carof shadow. Nearer at hand the slopes ried his nationality in his face, for of withered bent were broken by even when Afzul Khân had condesharp fang-like rocks gathering them- scended to wear the uniform of a Sikh selves in the distance into immature soldier no one could have mistaken the peaks and passes.

Here and there a evidence of his long, straight nose and patch of dirty snow, having borne the cruel, crafty expression, in which, burden and heat of summer, lay await- however, lurked little hint of sensuing a fresh robe of white at the hands ality. of the fast-coming winter. Already “ You are deeply interested in this the round black tents of the pasture particular regiment,” remarked Dick seeking tribes were in full retreat in fair Pushtu. “ What's up, to the plains, and the valley lay still Afzul ?" and silent, without even the sweep "Nothing, Huzoor. A fool who

hawk in its solitary circle, called himself my relative took service or the bird-like whistle of a marmot once with your Sirkar. Mayhap in sunning itself on the rocks. Ere long this regiment-God knows! It does the snow would wrap all in its soft not matter if it was." white mantle, and the bunting, paired The studied indifference made his with its own shadow, flicker over the hearer smile. “You are a queer lot, glistening drifts.

you Pathans," he said lazily. “Not Notwithstanding the lateness of the much family affection; not much season the Peirâk was not utterly welcome for a long-lost brother, eh, deserted. In a sheltered bit behind Afzul ?a cluster of rocks sat two young men.

“ The Presence should remember One, despite the sheepskin coat and there are Pathans and Pathans. He turban-wound peaked cap of the has not seen my people ; they are not Afghan, showed unmistakable signs here." He spread a well-shaped nerre

No. 403.- VOL. LXVIII.

of a


over success.

He gave


ous hand emphatically east, west, and finest fight you ever were in. Don't south.

be modest; out with it!" “Tarred with the same brush north, “ Wherefore not? Victory is Fate, I expect," muttered the Englishman and only women hang their heads to himself.

The best tight, you say? Afzul Khân frowned. “These are 'Twas over yonder to the north. There my enemies," he went on. " But for is a dip; but one way up and down. the Sirkar, chk !"

Twenty of us Barakzais and they were curious sound, half click, half gurgle, fifteen; but they were ahead of us in and drew an illustrative finger across count, for, by Allah! their wives were his throat. It was rather a ghastly so ugly that we didn't care to carry performance.

them off.” " Then why stop?"

Why should you ?Afzul Khân plucked at the withered ro'Twas a feud. Once, God knows bents carelessly. “Because— because when, a Budakshân Nurzai carried off it suits this slave; because the merci- one of ours and began it. If the ful Presence is my master; because women ran out, we killed the men inI may as well wait here as anywhere stead. So it was a moonlight night, else.”

and the fifteen were fast asleep, snor“What are you waiting for ?” ing like hogs. By Allah! my heart

He showed all his long white teeth beat as we crept behind the rocks on in a grin. “ Promotion, Huzoor. It our bellies, knowing that a rolling should come speedily, since but yester- stone might waken them. But God day the sahib said I was worth all the was good, and chk! they bled to rest of the gang."

death, like the pigs they were, before “ I must be more careful. Where their eyes were wide open.” the dickens did you pick up English, Dick Smith stared incredulously. Afzul ?"

“ You call that the best tight you ever “ From you, Huzoor.A statement were in ! I call it

The epithet so irredeemably fictitious that it made remained unspoken as he started to Dick thoughtful.

his feet with a shout. “By George! “You're sharp enough, Heaven I see the glitter. Yonder, Afzul ! by knows; but I don't understand why the turn. Hurrah ! hurrah!” you wanted to learn signalling. Are He was off at long swinging strides, you going to give up your jezail and careless of the fact that the Pathan become a babu ?

never moved. The latter's keen eyes Afzul Khân fingered the matchlock followed the lad with a certain regret, which lay beside him. “I have and then turned to the straggling file changed my mind," he said shortly. of soldiers now plainly visible. “I will leave it to the Presence to “ Marsden sahib with the advance bring down tire from Heaven; I bring guard,” he muttered. “ Why did I it from this flash-in-the-pan.”

give in to those cursed hawk's eyes “Now what can you know about when my bullet was all but in his Prometheus ?

heart! Wah-illah! his bravery made He shook his head. 6. The Presence me a coward, and now my life is his. speaks riddles. The tire comes to

But I will return it, and then we some folk, to many of the sahibs- shall cry quits. Yonder's the subadar. to you, perhaps. God knows! The By God! my knife will be in his big Pathans are different. Our work is belly ere long, and some of those tighting.”

gibing Punjabis shall jest no more.” Dick, looking at his companion's So he watched them keenly with a sinewy strength, thought it not un- fierce joy, while Dick tore down the likely. “ While

are waiting, hill, to be brought, by an ominous Afzul,” he said idly, “tell me the rattle among the rifles below, to a


my head.

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remembrance of his dress. Then he enables you to tap the wires anywhere waited, hands down, in the open, until with speed and certainty." the advance guard came within hail of Dick gave a fine blush. “I beg his friendly voice; when he received your pardon, but these things get into the whole regiment with open arms,

It will work though, I'm as if the Peirâk were his special sure of it.

I'd show you if it was property. Perbaps he had some right here, but I left it at the other shanty. to consider it so, seeing that he was There's a stretch of low level line the only Englishman who had ever across the Pass where I was testing attempted to make those barren heights it." bis head-quarters. But, as he ex- The half-aggrieved eagerness in his plained to Philip Marsden, while they voice made Philip smile. They were climbed the narrow gully hemmed in sitting together under the lee of a by perpendicular rocks which led to rock on the summit while a halt was the summit, the breaks in communi- called, in order to give time for the cation from storms and other causes long caravan-like file, encumbered by had been so constant, that he had cut baggage ponies, to reach the top and so himself adrift from head-quarters at ensure an unbroken line during the Jumwar in order to be on the spot, descent. For in these mountain and so avoid the constant worry of marches the least breach of continuity small expeditions with an

escort ;

is almost certain to bring down on without which he was not allowed to the detached portion an attack from traverse the unsettled country on the robbers who are always on the either side.

watch for such an opportunity. “Here I am safe enough,” he said • You had best come with us, Dick," with a laugh ; " and if I could only get said Philip, returning to the point after my assistant, a Bengali babu, to live

a pause. at the other hut I have built on the No! The fact is I want to be northern descent, could defy certain of the communication until all difficulties. But he is in such a you are safe in Jumwar. Those two blind funk that if I go out he retires marches, between your next camp to bed and locks the door. The only and the city, are risky. I have my time he is happy is when a regiment doubts of the people." is on the road."

“ Doubts shared by head-quarters "Then his happiness is doomed for apparently, for the chief got a telegram this year,-unless you use discretion yesterday to await orders at Jusraoli. and come on with us to Jumwar. I I expect they are going to send to doubt your being safe here much meet us from Jumwar." longer.”

“I wish I'd known in time,” replied Dick shrugged his shoulders. Dick lightly; "in that case there is * Perhaps not, and of course I shall not much reason for staying. Yet I have to cut and run before the snow ; don't know; I'd rather stick on till but I like the life, and it gives me I am forced to quit.” time. I've been at work on a field- “ That won't be long; the snow's instrument,” here his



and due already, and you are coming on his tongue ran away with him over with us

so far in any case, aren't insulators and circuits.

Major Marsden looked at the lad Dick sat idly chucking stones and approvingly, thinking how different

watching them leap from point to point he was from the slouching sullen boy of the cliffs below him. "I don't of six months back. “I'm afraid I think I shall, if you are to be in camp don't understand, Dick," he said with Jusraoli for some days. You see, my a half-smile ; “but I've no doubt it bâbu is no use, and something might will be very useful, if, as you say, it

I'll see you across the Pass



turn up

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