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proceed from the motion of the insect in th« stomach, but on examining one after it had been discharged, I perceived it without life, though but a very short time deprived of its natural air. The intense heat of the stomach indeed, must speedily cause the suffocation of so small an animal.
Our situation in the Bellaspour camp was disgusting and incommodious. The heat was in the extreme, with a compound of smells arising from the filth of the people, that grossly tainted the air: and I became so anxious to escape, that I had determined to embrace any mode of operation which might lead to a change of quarters. This eagerness had almost produced a measure, which probably would have caused a material failure of my plan. Two messengers who were to convey proposals of peace to the Kan grab camp, promised to conduct our party thither in safety, and I had resolved to commit myself to their charge, though much opposed by my associates, who decidedly said, that these men would betray us. The chiefs chobedar* a brother Mahometan, also endeavoured to impress me with an ill opinion of these messengers. Had they formed any scheme of mischief, it was happily frustrated on the evening
• A person who carries a silver stick beforemen in high station.
previously to our intended departure, by the arrival of a drove of asses, laden with iron, who were pursuing our route. On the 29th, the joint party moved, and had arrived at the boundary of Bellaspour, eight miles distant from the camp, when our troubles came thick upon us. Two of the Kangrah horsemen appeared in front, and passing me, , went towards the rear, where they plundered the ironmongers to the amount of one hundred rupees, which is accounted a large sum in these parts. They seized also on a Kashmirian, who was lagging behind, and were in the act of stripping him, when he loudly cried out, (which was not true,) that he was my servant, and that I was a person of some distinction. This intelligence induced the horsemen to follow me; but on approaching, one of them observed that I had the appearance of a balla audimee", and should not suffer any molestation; that only stragglers, and single travellers fell under their notice. Seeing them disposed to this civil treatment, I procured the Kashmirian's release, as also that of my own servant, who had come up during the parley, and had been likewise taken in custody. It was, I believe, a fortunate event for the prisoners that I returned, for our cavaliers were then in quest of prey, nor did they seem nice in the distinctions of persons; for whilst I remained, some stray passengers were laid under contribution, from one of whom, an ass-driver, they took a pair of shoes. We were informed that two hundred Sicques who had been lately entertained in the Kangrah service, would soon appear. Aware of the licentious manners of the disciples of Nanock", especially when employed in foreign service, I would then willingly have sacrificed a moiety of my property to have had the other secured. There was no other remedy than assuming the look of confidence and ease, which, Heaven knows, ill corresponded with my heart; so, pushing my horse into a quick trot, I was speedily conveyed into the midst of this formidable corps, who received me very attentively, but without offering any violence. Imagining our approach to have been that of the enemy, the Sicques were preparing for the fight, to which they loudly exclaimed, in the tone of religious ejaculation, that their prophet had summoned them. In token of respect, I had dismounted, and was leading my horse, when a Sicque, a smart fellow, mounted on an active mare, touched me in passing. The high-mettled animal, whether in contempt of me or my horse, perhaps of both, attacked us fiercely from the
* In the Hindostany language, any person above the ordinary class, is so densulinated.
observe, with sincere thanks for the blessings of a hale constitution, that, though I have, in the course of this journey, endured much severity of weather, my health has hitherto received no injury.
A Continuance of the rain detained us at Bompal until the Sd of April, when we arrived at Chumbah—eight cosses ;—a small village, depending on the chiefship of Jessoul. At a . short distance from Bompal, we were stopped by the collector of Nadone, who had come three miles from his house, in defiance of the troubled state of the country, to receive from us a toll duty of a few pence. At about mid-way on the right-hand side of the road is seen a place of Hindoo worship, at the foot of which runs the Byas Gunge *, with a rapid stream of about one hundred yards broad f. A great part of tbe road from Bompal to Chumbah lay through a valley, watered by the Byas, on the north side of which is seen the level and fertile district of Huriepour. The territory of Kangrah, or Ktochin, is limited on the north, and north-west by Huriepour; on the east by Chumbay; on the south by Kalour; and on the west by the Punjab. The ordinary revenue, estimated at seven lacks of rupees, has been much diminished by the chief's alliance
* The scrond of the Punjab rivers from the eastward. .
with the Sicques, who spread destruction wherever they go. These marauders are now acting the part of the man whom fable represents to have been invited by the horse, to aid his contest with the boar; and you know the uses to Avhich the thoughtless horse was applied, when victory was decided in favour of the combined forces.
This day, our little party, which had been joined in the Bellaspour camp by the Kashmirians, xesolved, from a dread of the Sicques, who had invested the common track, to quit the kafilah, and through detached paths endeavour to reach Jumbo. A native trader of India, it is to be observed, holds hit time in small estimation, and would rather halt for two or three months, than incur even a common risk.
On the 3d, at Dada—ten cosses; dependent on the chief of Sebah. From a stream running through the village, we procured some excellent fish, of the size and something of th« taste of trouts. This district, by its approach to the head of the Punjab, lies wholly at .the mercy of the Sicques, who are, I think, the plainest dealers in the world. The fort of Sebah *,
* Situate about three cosses to the south-west of Dada, and the only fortified residence I have seen among the mountains. The vicinity of the Punjab has perhaps induced the mountaineers to fortify this place.