Part 4 out of 7
desire peace at any price, but peace only for England's welfare.
The patriotic tendencies of our people have been directed into
their proper channel by my predecessor Chamberlain. And has not
the Government for the last thirty years hearkened to these
patriotic feelings, in that, whether led by Disraeli or Gladstone,
it has brought about an enormous strengthening of our defensive
forces both on land and sea? These military preparations, whilst
not only redounding to the advantage of the motherland, but also to
that of the colonies (which they shall ever continue to do) have
saddled the mother country with the entire burden of expenditure.
But how shall the enormous cost of this war be met for the future?
How shall the commerce of the English world-empire be increased in
the future and protected from competition, if the colonies do not
share in the expense? I vote for a just distribution of the
burdens, and maintain that not England alone but that the colonies
also should share in bearing them. The plan of Imperial
Federation, a policy which we are pursuing, is the remedy for our
chronic disease, and will strengthen the colonies and the mother
country in economic, political, and military respects. Certainly,
my lords, such utterances will appear to you to be somewhat
impertinent, at a time when a Russian army has invaded India and
our army has suffered a severe defeat, but I should wish to remind
you that every war that England has yet waged has begun with
defeats. But England has never waged other than victorious wars
since William the Conqueror infused Romanic blood into England's
political life and thus gave it a constitution of such soundness
and tenacity that no other body politic has ever been able
permanently to resist England. We shall again, as in days of yore,
drive the Russians out of India, shall force the fleets of France,
Germany, and Russia who are now hiding in their harbours into the
open, annihilate them, and thwart all the insolent plans of our
enemies, and finally raise the Union Jack as a standard of a world-
power that no one will for evermore be able to attack."
THE YOUNG RUSSIAN CAPTAIN OF DRAGOONS
The news of Edith's kidnapping--for, in Heideck's opinion, this was
the only explanation, because she would otherwise have left a
message for him--fell upon Heideck as a crushing blow.
He remembered the terrible cruelties narrated of the period of the
Sepoy mutiny. And he only needed to remember his own experiences
in Lahore to be convinced that all those horrible stories were no
exaggeration, but, rather, well within the actual truth of the
But if it was not a like fate that awaited Edith Irwin, yet perhaps
another ignominious lot would be hers, and this could not fail to
appear, to the man who loved her, more terrible even than death
His alarm and deep despondency had not escaped the notice of the
Prince. He laid his hand sympathetically on Heideck's shoulder,
"I am really quite miserable, comrade! for I now see what you and
the lady are to each other. But perhaps you make yourself uneasy
without cause; the departure of the lady is capable, perhaps, of a
quite simple explanation."
Heideck shook his head.
"I do not entertain any hope in this respect, for everything points
to the fact that the Maharajah of Chanidigot is the man who has got
the lady into his power. This sensual despot has for months past
schemed how to obtain possession of her. What, in Heaven's name,
is to be done to free the unhappy creature from his clutches?"
"I will inform the General, and doubt not that he will institute an
inquiry. If your supposition is correct, the Maharajah will, of
course, be compelled to set the lady free. But I doubt if this is
the case. The despot of Chanidigot is at present far away."
"That would not prevent others from acting on his orders. And do
you really believe that your General would, for the sake of an
English lady, offend an influential Indian prince, whose alliance
would at this present moment be very advantageous for Russia?"
"Oh, my dear friend, we are not the barbarians we are held to be in
Western Europe. We do not intend to be behind the rest of the
world in chivalrous actions, and we certainly should not begin our
rule in India by allowing execrable deeds of violence to take place
before our very eyes. I am convinced that the General does not in
this matter think differently from myself."
"You do not know what a great comfort it is to me to hear that; for
I shall myself be unable to do anything more for Mrs. Irwin. Since
I know that Germany is engaged in the war, I can have no further
interest but to join my army as quickly as possible."
"Of course! A soldier's duty first. But how shall you manage to
get to Germany? It will be a devilish hard job."
"I must try all the same. Under no circumstances could I remain
"Well, then, let us consider matters. The best plan would be for
you to return by sea from Bombay or some other port, like Calcutta,
Madras, or Karachi. Karachi is nearest. It has even been given
the name of the Entrance Gate to Central Asia. And from Lahore,
Quetta, or Mooltan, Karachi can be most readily reached by the
railway. Steamship communication between Karachi and Europe is
only possible by way of Bombay; there is thence no other direct
line of steamers than that plying up the Persian Gulf. You must
accordingly go by one of the English steamers of the P. and O.
line, which start twice a week. The French Messageries Maritimes,
which usually sail between Karachi and Marseilles, will, of course,
have long since discontinued their services. You could, therefore,
just as well go by railway to Bombay. Via Calcutta or Madras would
be a roundabout journey."
"And I should be entirely dependent upon the English steamship
"I consider it quite out of the question that the ships of the
North German Lloyd or the Austrian Lloyd are still running."
"Then I shall have to give up the idea of this route altogether.
For if I am not to make use of a forged passport, which, moreover,
will be very hard to obtain, no English steamer will take me as a
"That is certainly very probable," the Prince rejoined, after some
thought. "And then--how are you to get to Bombay? The English
are, of course, destroying all the railways on their line of
"Well, so far as that is concerned, I could go on horseback."
"What! right through the English army? and at the risk of being
arrested for a spy? Are you not aware that the conquered are, as a
rule, smarter at shooting those whom they regard as spies than are
Heideck could not suppress a smile.
"In this respect the promptness of the Russian procedure could
scarcely be excelled. But I allow, that your fears are quite
justified. Accordingly, only the road to the north remains open."
"Yes, you must go to the Khyber Pass on an empty train or with a
transport of English prisoners, and then on horseback through
Afghanistan to the frontier, and thence again by railway to
Kransnovodsk. Your journey would then be across the Caspian to
Baku or by railway by way of Tiflis to Poti on the Black Sea and
thence by ship to Constantinople. But, my dear comrade, that's a
very long and arduous journey."
"I shall have to attempt it all the same. Honour commands; and you
yourself say that there is no other route than that you have
"Right!--I will take care you are provided with a passport, and
will request the General to furnish you with an authority which
will enable you to have at any time an escort of Cossacks upon our
lines of communication through Afghanistan--But--"
A gleam of pleasure in his face showed that in his view he had hit
upon a very happy thought--"Might there not, perhaps, after all be
found some solution which would save you all this exertion? The
Germans and the Russians are allies. In the ranks of our army you
would also be able to serve your fatherland. And an officer who
knows India as well as you, would be invaluable to us at the
present time. I will, if you like, speak at once with the General;
and I am certain that he will not hesitate a moment to attach you
to his staff with the rank that you hold in the German army."
Heideck shook his friend's hand with emotion.
"You make it difficult for me to thank you as you deserve. Without
your intervention, my existence would have come to an inglorious
close, and the proposal you now make to me is a new proof of your
amiable sympathy. But you will not be vexed if I decline your
offer--will you? It would certainly be a great honour to serve in
your splendid army, but you see I cannot dispose of myself as I
would, but must, as a soldier, return to my post irrespective of
the difficulties I may have to encounter. I beg you-- Lord!
what's that? in this land of miracles even the dead come to life
The astonishment that prompted this question was a very natural
one, for the lean, dark-skinned little man who had just appeared at
the entrance of the tent was no other than his faithful servant
Morar Gopal whom he had believed to be dead. Round his forehead he
wore a fresh bandage. For a moment he stood stock-still at the
entrance to the tent, and his dark eyes beamed with pleasure at
having found his master again unharmed.
Hardly able to restrain his emotion, Morar Gopal advanced towards
Heideck, prostrated himself on the ground, Hindu fashion, in order
to touch the earth with his forehead, and then sprang to his feet
with all the appearance of the greatest joy.
But Heideck was scarcely less moved than the other, and pressed the
brown hand of his faithful servant warmly.
"These lunatics did not kill you after all then? But I saw you
felled to the ground by their blows."
Morar Gopal grinned cunningly.
I threw myself down as soon as I saw that further resistance was
useless. And, because I was bleeding from a wound in the head,
they thought, I suppose, that they had finished me. Directly
afterwards the Cossacks came, and in front of their horses, which
would otherwise have trampled upon me, I quickly scrambled to my
"You have great presence of mind! But where did you get this fine
suit of clothes?"
"I ran back to the hotel--through the back door, where the smoke
was not so stifling--because I thought that sahib would perhaps
have taken refuge there. I did not find sahib, but I found these
clothes, and thought it better to put them on than to leave them to
"Quite right, my brave fellow! you will hardly be brought up for
this little theft."
"I looked for sahib everywhere, where English prisoners are; and
when I came to Anar Kali just at the moment that Mrs. Irwin was
being driven away in a carriage, I knew that I was at length on the
track of my master."
Heideck violently clutched his arm.
"You saw it? and you know, too, who it was that took her away?"
"Yes, sir, it was Siwalik, the Master of the Horse to Prince
Tasatat; and the lady is now with him on the road to Simla."
"Simla! How do you know that?"
"I was near enough to hear every word that the Indians spoke, and
they said that they were going to Simla."
"And Mrs. Irwin? She didn't resist? She didn't cry for help? She
allowed herself to be carried off quietly?"
"The lady was very proud. She did not say a word."
An orderly officer stepped into the tent and brought the Prince an
order to appear at once before the Commander-in-Chief.
"Do you know what about?" asked the Colonel.
"As far as I know, it concerns a report of Captain Obrutschev, who
commanded the file of men told off for the execution. He reported
that the Colonel had carried away a spy who was to be shot by order
of the court-martial."
Heideck was in consternation.
"Your act of grace is, after all, likely to land you in serious
difficulties," he said. "But, as I need now no longer conceal my
quality as German officer, I can, in case the field telegraph is
working, be able to establish my identity by inquiry at the General
Staff of the German Army."
"Certainly! and I entreat you not to be uneasy on my account; I
shall soon justify the action I have taken."
He disappeared in company of the orderly officer; and Heideck the
while plied the brave Morar Gopal afresh with questions as to the
circumstances connected with Edith's kidnapping.
But the Hindu could not tell him anything more, as he had not dared
approach Edith. He was only concerned with the endeavour to find
his master. He had learnt that Heideck had been carried off by
Cossacks and indefatigably pursued his investigations until at
last, with the inborn acumen peculiar to his race, he had found out
everything. That he, from this time forth, would share the lot of
his adored sahib appeared to him a matter of course. And Heideck
had not the heart, in this hour of their meeting again, to destroy
After the lapse of half an hour Prince Tchajawadse returned. His
joyous countenance showed that he was the bearer of good news.
"All is settled. My word was bond enough for the General, and he
considered an inquiry in Berlin quite superfluous."
"In truth, you Russians do everything on a grand scale," exclaimed
Heideck. "A great Empire, a great army, a wide, far-seeing policy,
and a great comprehension for all things."
"I also talked to the General touching my suggestion to include you
in the ranks of our army, and he is completely of one mind with me
in the matter. He also considers the difficulties of a journey to
Germany under the present conditions to be almost unsurmountable.
He makes you the offer to enter his staff with the rank of captain.
Under the most favourable conditions you would only be able to
reach Berlin after the war is over."
"I do not believe that this war will be so soon at an end. Only
reflect, half the globe is in flames."
"All the same, you ought not to reject his offer. We could, to
ease your mind, make inquiries on your behalf in Berlin. The field
telegraph is open as far as Peshawar, and there is consequently
connexion with Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Berlin."
"I accept without further consideration. I should be happy, if
permission were granted, to fight in your ranks."
"There is no doubt of that whatever. I will at once procure you
our white summer uniform and that of a captain of dragoons; and
this sword, comrade, I hope you will accept from me as a small gift
"I thank you from my heart, Colonel."
"I salute you as one of ours. I might even be in a position to
give you at once an order to carry out."
"But not without permission from Berlin, Prince?"
"Well, then, we will wait for it; but it would be a great pity if,
contrary to our expectation, it were to be delayed. The commission
that I was on the point of procuring for you would certainly have
greatly interested you."
"And may I ask--"
"The General has the intention to send a detachment to Simla."
"To Simla, the summer residence of the Viceroy?"
"But this mountain town is at the present moment not within the
sphere of hostilities; the Viceroy remains in Calcutta."
"Quite right; but that does not preclude the news of the occupation
of Simla having a great effect on the world at large. Moreover, in
the Government offices there there might possibly be found
interesting documents which it would be worth while to intercept."
"And you consider it possible that His Excellency would despatch me
"As the detachment to which my dragoons, as well as some infantry
and two machine guns, would belong is under my command, I have
begged the General to attach you to the expedition."
Heideck understood the high-minded intentions of the Prince, and
shook his hands almost impetuously.
"Heaven grant that permission from Berlin comes in time! I desire
nothing in the world so earnestly as to accompany you to Simla."
ON THE ROAD TO SIMLA
Almost quicker than could have been expected, considering the heavy
work imposed upon the telegraph wires, the communication arrived
from Berlin that Captain Heideck should, for the time being, do
duty in the Russian army, and that it should be left to his
judgment to take the first favourable opportunity to return to
He forthwith waited upon the commanding general, was initiated into
his new role formally and by handshake, and was in all due form
attached as captain to the detachment that was commanded to proceed
The next morning the cavalcade set out under the command of Prince
Their route led across a part of the battlefield lying east of
Lahore, where the battle between the sepoys and the pursuing
Russian cavalry had principally taken place.
The sight of this trampled, bloodstained plain was shockingly sad.
Although numerous Indian and Russian soldiers under the military
police were engaged in picking up the corpses, there still lay
everywhere around the horribly mutilated bodies of the fallen in
the postures in which they had been overtaken by a more or less
painful death. An almost intolerable odour of putrefaction filled
the air, and mingled with the biting, stifling smoke of the funeral
pyres upon which the corpses were being burnt.
The greater part of the Russian army was in the camp and in the
city. Only the advance guard, which had returned from the pursuit
of the fleeing English, had taken up a position to the south of the
city. The reinforcements which had been despatched from Peshawar,
and which had been impatiently expected, had not yet arrived.
Heideck heard that about 4,000 English soldiers and more than 1,000
officers were dead and wounded, while 3,000 men and 85 officers
were prisoners in the hands of the Russians. The losses of the
sepoy regiment could not at present be approximately determined, as
the battle had extended over too wide an area.
Prince Tchajawadse, although showing the same friendly feeling
towards Heideck, now adopted more the attitude of his military
superior. He narrated during the journey that the Russian army was
taking the road through the west provinces, and would leave the
valley of the Indus, and the country immediately bordering it,
"We shall march to Delhi," he said, "and then probably advance upon
Cawnpore and Lucknow."
The detachment was unable to make use of the railway which goes via
Amritsar and Ambala to Simla, because it had been to a great extent
destroyed by the English. But the rapidity of the march naturally
depended upon the marching capabilities of the infantry. And
although Heideck could not fail to admire the freshness and
endurance of these hardened soldiers, they yet advanced far too
slowly for his wishes.
How happy he would have been if, with his squadron, he had been
able to make a forced march upon the road which the unhappy Edith
must have taken!
On the second day after their start, the blue and violet peaks of
the mountains were silhouetted in the distance. It was the
mountainous country lying beneath the Himalayas, whose low summer
temperature induces the Viceroy and the high officials of the
Indian Government every year to take refuge from the intolerably
hot and sultry Calcutta in the cool and healthy Simla. Moreover,
the families of the rich English merchants and officials living in
the Punjab and the west provinces are accustomed to take up their
quarters there during the hot season.
The vegetation as they advanced became ever richer and more
luxuriant. Their way led through splendid jungles, which in places
gave the impression of artificially made parks. Hosts of monkeys
sprang about among the palms, and took daring leaps from one branch
to the other. The approach of the soldiers did not appear to cause
these lively creatures any appreciable fear, for they often
remained seated directly over their heads and regarded the
unaccustomed military display with as much inquisitiveness as they
evidently did with delight. Parrots in gay plumage filled the air
with shrill cries, while here and there herds of antelopes were
visible, who, however, always dashed away in rapid flight, in which
their strange manner of springing from all fours in the air
afforded a most strange and delightful spectacle.
On the third day a gay-coloured cavalcade crossed the path of the
detachment. They were evidently aristocratic Indians, who in the
half-native, half-English dress were seated upon excellent horses,
a cross-breed between the Arabian and Gujarat. At their head rode
a splendidly dressed, dark-bearded man upon a white horse of
He halted to exchange a few words of civil salutation with the
Russian colonel. When he had again set himself in motion with his
lancers, soon to be lost to view in the thick jungle, the Prince
motioned Heideck to his side.
"I have news for you, comrade! The aristocratic Indian with whom I
just spoke was the Maharajah of Sabathu who is on the look-out for
his guest and friend, the Maharajah of Chanidigot, who is engaged
on a hunting expedition."
"The Maharajah of Chanidigot?" Heideck exclaimed with sparkling
eyes. "The rogue is then really in our immediate neighbourhood?"
"The hunting-camp that the two Princes have formed lies directly in
our line of march, and the Maharajah has invited me to camp this
night there with my men. I have really more than half a mind to
accept his kind invitation."
"And did you not inquire about Mrs. Irwin, Prince?"
The Colonel's face assumed at Heideck's question a strangely
serious, almost repellent expression.
"But it is more than probable that she is in his camp."
"Possibly, although up to now every proof of that is wanting."
"But you will institute inquiries for her, will you not? You will
compel the Maharajah to give us news of her whereabouts?"
"I can, at most, politely ask him for information. But I cannot
promise you even that with certainty."
Heideck was extremely surprised. He could not explain in any way
the change in the Prince's demeanour. And he would have been
inclined to take his strange answers for a not too delicate jest,
had not the frigid, impenetrable expression of his face at once
excluded any suggestion of the sort.
"But I don't understand, Prince," he said, surprised. "It was only
a few days ago that you were kind enough to promise me your active
support in this matter."
"I am to my regret compelled to cancel that promise; for I have
received strict instructions from His Excellency to avoid
everything that can lead to friction with the native Princes, and
that my superiors laid great stress upon a good understanding with
the Maharajah of Chanidigot was not known to me at the time of our
conversation. He was the first who openly declared for Russia and
whose troops have come over to our side. The happy issue of the
Battle of Lahore is perhaps in no small degree due to him. You
understand, Captain, that it would make the worst possible
impression were we to come into conflict with a man so needful to
us for such a trifling cause."
"Trifling cause?" Heideck asked earnestly, his eyes sparkling with
"Well, yes, what appears to you of such great importance is, when
regarded from a high political point of view, very trifling and
insignificant. You cannot possibly expect that the political
interests of a world empire should be sacrificed for the interests
of a single lady, who, moreover, by nationality belongs to our
"Shall she then be handed over helpless to the bestiality of this
Prince Tchajawadse shrugged his shoulders, while at the same time
he cast a strange side-glance at Heideck, who was riding beside
him, which seemed to say--
"How dense you are, my dear fellow! And how slow of
But the other did not understand this dumb play of the eyes; and,
after a short pause, he could not refrain from saying in a tone of
"Why, my Prince, did you so generously procure for me permission to
take part in this expedition if I was at once to be doomed to
inaction in a matter, which, as you know, is at present nearer my
heart than aught else!"
"I do not remember, Captain, to have imposed any such restraint
upon you. It was purely my own attitude as regards this matter
which I wished to make clear to you. And I hope that you have
completely understood me. I will not, and dare not, have anything
officially to do with the affair of Mrs. Irwin, and I should like
to hear nothing about it. That I, on the other hand, do not
interfere with your private concerns, and would not trouble about
them, is quite a matter of course. It entirely suffices for me, if
you do not bring me into any embarrassment and impossible
That was, at all events, much less than Heideck had expected after
the zealous promises of his friend. But after quiet reflection he
came to the conclusion that the Prince could, as a matter of fact,
scarcely act otherwise, and that he went to the utmost limits of
the possible, if he did not absolutely forbid him to undertake
anything for the advantage of the unhappy Edith. Heideck's
decision to leave not a stone unturned to liberate the woman he
loved was not thereby shaken for a moment, but he knew now that he
would have to proceed with the greatest circumspection, and that he
could not reckon upon anyone's assistance--an admission which was
not exactly calculated to fill him with joyous hope.
After a short march the detachment reached the spot lying
immediately at the foot of the first hill, a wide space shaded by
mighty trees, upon which the Maharajah had erected his improvised
hunting-camp. A great number of tents had been pitched under the
trees. A gay-coloured throng of men surged amongst them.
It was perfectly clear to Heideck that he could not himself search
the camp for Edith Irwin without exciting the attention of the
Indians, thereby at once compromising the success of his venture.
And he had no one to whom he could entrust the important task,
except the faithful Morar Gopal, who, in spite of all the terrors
of war, had also followed him on this march to Simla, although
Heideck had offered him his discharge, together with the payment of
his wages for several months more.
Accordingly, after the signal had been given to halt and dismount,
he took him aside and communicated to him his instructions, at the
same time handing him a handful of rupees to enable him to give the
The Hindu listened with keen attention, and the play of his dark,
clever face showed what a lively personal interest he took in this
affair nearest his master's heart.
"Everything shall be done according to your wishes, sahib," he
said, and soon afterwards was lost to view among the innumerable
crowd of the two Indian Princes' servants and followers.
A FRIEND IN NEED
Whilst the Russians were digging their cooking trenches somewhat
aside from the main camp, and making all necessary arrangements for
bivouacking, Heideck had an opportunity of admiring the
magnificence with which these Indian Princes organised their
The tents of the two Maharajahs were almost the size of a one-floor
bungalow, and on peering through the open entrance of one of them
into the interior, Heideck saw that it was lavishly hung with red,
blue, and yellow silk, and furnished with most costly carpets.
About half a hundred smaller tents were destined to receive the
retinue and servants. Behind them again was a whole herd of camels
and elephants, which had carried the baggage and material for the
tents. The bleating of countless sheep mingled with the hundred-
voiced din of the Indians as they busily ran hither and thither,
and Heideck computed the number of buffaloes and tethered horses
which grazed round the camp at more than three hundred.
The Maharajah of Sabathu regarded the Russians, who had here made
halt at his invitation, as his guests, and he discharged the duty
of hospitality with genuine Indian lavishness. He had so many
sheep and other provisions placed at the disposal of the soldiers
that they could now amply compensate themselves for many a day's
privation in the past. But the officers were solemnly bidden to
the banquet that was to take place in the Maharajah's tent.
Heideck's hope of meeting on this occasion the Maharajah of
Chanidigot once more, and of perhaps finding an opportunity of
conversation with him, was disappointed.
On returning from a walk through the camp, in which he did not
discover anywhere a trace of Edith, back to the Russian bivouac,
Heideck learnt from the mouth of Prince Tchajawadse that the
Maharajah of Chanidigot had met with a slight accident in the
hunting excursion that day, and was under surgical treatment in his
tent, whither he had been brought.
It was said that the tusks of a wild boar, which had run between
his horse's legs, had inflicted a severe wound on the foot, and it
was in any case certain that he would not be visible that day.
On this occasion Heideck also learnt the circumstances to which the
meeting with the two Indian Princes was due.
The Maharajah of Chanidigot, who knew full well that the English
had sentenced him to death for high treason, had fled from his
capital. With a hundred horse and many camels, carrying the most
precious part of his movable treasures, he had advanced northwards
out of the sphere of British territory into the rear of the Russian
advancing army. He had visited his friend, the Maharajah of
Sabathu, who was likewise a Mohammedan, and both Princes had for
their greater safety proceeded hither to the foot of the mountain
chain, where, for the present, despite the exciting times, they
could pursue the pleasures of sport with all the nonchalance of
real gentlemen at large.
The treacherous despot of Chanidigot would probably have preferred
to have gone direct to Simla, and it was only the intelligence that
had reached the Russians, that English troops were still in Ambala,
that probably caused him to stop half-way.
Prince Tchajawadse was also induced by this intelligence to abandon
his intended route via Ambala, and to proceed in a direct line
through the jungle. In this way he could confidently hope to reach
Simla without a battle, and, moreover, should it turn out that the
garrison of Ambala was not over strong, he might deliver a surprise
attack upon the English from the north. In time of peace Ambala
was one of the larger encampments, but now it was to be expected
that the main body of the troops stationed there had been ordered
The whole opulence of an Indian Court was unfolded at the
Maharajah's banquet. At the table covered with red velvet and
luxuriously laid with gold and silver plate, the Russian officers
sat in gay-coloured ranks with the chiefs of the Prince's retinue.
The viands were excellent, and champagne flowed in inexhaustible
streams. The Russians required but few invitations to drink, but
the Mohammedan Indians were not in this respect far behind them.
It is true that the drinking of wine is forbidden by the tenets of
their religion; but in respect of champagne, they understand how to
evade this commandment by christening it by the harmless name of
"sparkling lemonade," a circumlocution which of course did not in
the slightest counteract its exhilarating effects. The Indians who
were less proof against the effects of alcohol were much more
quickly intoxicated than their new European friends; and under the
influence of the potent liquor universal fraternisation inevitably
The Maharajah himself delivered a suggestive speech in praise of
the Russian victors who had at last come as the long-desired
saviours of the country from the British yoke. Of course he had to
employ the accursed English language, it being the only one that he
understood besides his own mother tongue; and Prince Tchajawadse
had to translate his words into Russian in order that they should
be intelligible to all the Russian heroes.
In spite of this somewhat troublesome procedure, however, his words
roused intense enthusiasm, and embracings and brotherly kisses were
soon the order of the day.
When the universal jollity had reached its height, two Bayaderes,
who belonged to the suite of the Maharajah of Sabathu, made their
appearance, Indian beauties, whose voluptuous feminine charms were
calculated to make the blood even of the spoilt European run warm.
Dressed in gold-glittering petticoats and jackets, which left a
hand's breadth of light brown skin visible round the waist, with
gold coins upon the blue-black hair, they executed their dances to
the monotonous tone of weird musical instruments upon a carpet
spread in the middle of the tent. The bare arms, the bones and
toes of their little feet were adorned with gold bracelets set with
pearls and rings bedizened with jewels. Though their motions had
nothing in common with the bacchanalian abandon of other national
dances, yet the graceful play of their supple, lithe limbs was
seductive enough to enchant the spectators. The Indians threw
silver coins to the dancers, but the Russians, according to their
native custom, clapped applause and never tired of demanding amid
shouts of delight a repetition of the dance.
Amid the general wantonness there was only one who remained morose
and anxious, and this was Heideck, the newly-made captain in the
He knew that it would be easy for Morar Gopal's shrewdness to find
him in case he had something to report. And that the Hindu did not
make his appearance was for him a disheartening proof that his
servant had not hitherto succeeded in discovering Edith's
whereabouts or in obtaining any certain news of her fate.
What did it avail him, that after much thought he had already
evolved a plan for her liberation, if there was no possibility of
putting himself in communication with her!
Believing her to be kept prisoner in a harem tent, his idea was to
send Morar Gopal with a letter to her, fully convinced that the
wily Indian would succeed by stratagem and bribery in reaching her.
Before the banquet he had negotiated with one of the Indian rajahs
for the purchase of an ox-waggon, and if Edith could by his letter
be prevailed upon to make an attempt at flight, it would not in his
view be very difficult to bring her under Morar Gopal's protection
to Ambala, where she would again find herself among her English
But this plan was unrealisable so long as he did not even know
where Edith was. Incapable of bearing any longer this condition of
uncertainty, he was just on the point of leaving the tent in order,
at all risks, to hunt for the beloved lady, when a Russian dragoon
stepped behind his chair and informed him with a military salute
that a lady outside the tent wished to speak to the Captain.
Full of blissful hope that it was Edith he jumped up and hurried
out. But his longing eyes sought in vain for Captain Irwin's
widow. Instead of her whom he sought he perceived a tall female
form in the short jacket and short-cut coloured dress which he had
seen on his journeys among the inhabitants of the Georgian
mountains. The hair and the face of the girl were almost entirely
hidden by a scarf wound round the head. Only when, at his
approach, she pushed it back somewhat he perceived who stood before
"Georgi--you here!" he exclaimed with surprise. "And in this
He had indeed reason to be surprised, for he had not again seen the
handsome, blonde page, to whom he chiefly owed his life, since
their meeting on the way to the place of execution.
When on the evening of that for him so eventful day he asked Prince
Tchajawadse about Georgi he had received only a short, evasive
reply, and the Prince's knitted brows showed such evident anger
that he well perceived that something must have taken place between
them, and so it appeared to him to be best to him not to mention
again the name of the Circassian girl.
When the detachment started he had in vain looked for the page who
had hitherto been inseparable from "his master," and only the
anxiety for Edith, which was so much nearer his heart, was the
cause that he had not thought much about the inexplicable
disappearance of the disguised girl.
He had certainly least of all expected to find her here, so far
from the Russian headquarters, and in woman's dress to boot. But
the Circassian did not seem inclined to give him detailed
"I have begged you to come out to see me, sir," she said, "because
I did not want the Prince to see me. I met your Indian servant.
And he told me about the English lady whom the Maharajah of
Chanidigot has carried off from you."
"He did not carry her off from me, Georgi, for I have no claim upon
her. She only placed herself under my protection, and therefore it
is my duty to do all that I can to set her free."
The girl looked at him, and there was a glance as of suppressed
passion in her beautiful eyes.
"Why do you not speak the truth, sir? Say that you love her! Tell
me that you love her and I will bring her back to you--and this
"You, Georgi, how in all the world will you be able to manage that?
Do you know then where the lady is to be found?"
"I know it from your servant, Morar Gopal. She is there, in that
tent of the Maharajah of Chanidigot, before whose door the two
Indians are standing sentry. Take care and do not attempt to force
your way in, for the sentries would cut you to pieces before
allowing you to put a foot in the tent."
"It may be that you are right," said Heideck, whose breast was now
filled with a blissful feeling at having at last learned with
certainty that the adored woman was close by. "But how shall you
be able to get to her?"
"I am a woman, and I know how one must treat these miserable Indian
rogues; the Maharajah of Chanidigot is ill, and in his pain he has
something else to think of than of the joys of love. You must make
use of this favourable moment, sir! and in this very night whatever
is to happen must happen."
"Certainly! every minute lost means perhaps a terrible danger to
Mrs. Irwin. But if you have a plan for saving her please tell me--"
The Circassian shook her head.
"Why talk of things that must be first accomplished? Return to the
banquet, sir, that no one may suspect of you. At midnight you will
find the English lady in your tent, or you will never set eyes on
She turned as if to go; but after having taken a few steps came
back once more to him.
"You will not tell the Prince that I am here, do you understand?
It is not time yet for him to learn that."
With these words she disappeared, before Heideck could ask another
question. Little as he felt inclined after what he had just
experienced to return to the mad riot of the banquet, he perceived
that there was scarcely anything else open to him, for any
interference with the unknown plans of the Circassian would
scarcely be of any advantage to Edith.
But if the minutes had hitherto appeared endless, they now crept on
with quite intolerable slowness. He scarcely heard or saw anything
that was taking place about him. The rajah who had the next place
to him tried in vain to open a conversation in his broken English,
and at last, shaking his head, abandoned the silent stranger to his
musings, which in the middle of this riotous festivity must
certainly have appeared very strange to him.
Shortly before midnight, before Prince Tchajawadse and his other
comrades thought of moving, Heideck once more left the state tent
of the Maharajah and turned his steps towards the Russian camp,
which was far away visible in the red glare of the bivouac fires,
around which the loudest merriment was also taking place.
In reality he entertained very little hope that the Circassian
would be able to fulfil her bold promise, for what she had taken
upon herself appeared to him to be absolutely impracticable. Yet
his heart throbbed wildly when he thrust back the linen sheet that
covered the entrance of the tent which had been assigned to him.
On the folding-table in the middle of the little room were two
lighted candles beside a burning lantern. And in their light
Heideck discerned--not Edith Irwin, but instead, the handsomest
young rajah who had ever crossed his eyes under the glowing skies
For a moment Heideck was uncertain, for the slender youth, in the
silken blouse tied round with a red scarf, English riding-breeches
and neat little boots, had turned his back to him, so that he could
not see his face, and his hair was completely hidden under the
rose-and-yellow striped turban. But the blissful presentiment
which told him who was concealed beneath the charming disguise
could not deceive him. A few rapid steps and he was by the side of
the delicate-limbed Indian youth. Overpowered by a storm of
passionate emotions, he forgot all obstacles and scruples, and the
next moment clasped him in his arms with an exultant cry of joy.
"Edith! my Edith!"
"My beloved friend!"
In the exceeding delight of this reunion the confession which had
never passed her lips in the hours of familiar tete-a-tete, or in
the moments of extreme peril which they had endured together,
forced its way irresistibly from her heart--the confession of a
love which had long absorbed her whole life.
It was a long time before the two lovers were sufficiently composed
to explain to each other fully the almost fabulous events that had
Heideck, of course, wanted to know, first of all, how Edith had
contrived to escape without making a disturbance and calling for
the aid of those about her. What she told him was the most
touching proof of her affection for him. The Maharajah's creatures
must have heard, somehow or other, of Heideck's imprisonment and
condemnation, and they had reckoned correctly on Edith's attachment
to the man who had saved her life.
She had been told that a single word from the Maharajah would be
sufficient to destroy the foolhardy German, and that her only hope
of saving him from death lay in a personal appeal to His Highness's
clemency. Although she knew perfectly well the shameful purpose
this suggestion concealed, she had not hesitated, in her anxiety
for her dear one's safety, to follow the men who promised to
conduct her to the Maharajah, full of hypocritical assurances that
she would come to no harm. She had had so many proofs of the
revengeful cruelty of this Indian despot that she feared the worst
for Heideck, and resolved, in the last extremity, to sacrifice her
life--if she could not preserve her honour--to save him.
The Maharajah had received her with great courtesy and promised to
use his influence in favour of the German who had been seized as a
spy and traitor by the Russians. But he had at the same time
thrown out fairly broad hints what his price would be, and, from
the moment she had delivered herself into his hands, he had treated
her as a prisoner, although with great respect. All communication,
except with persons of the Maharajah's household, was completely
cut off; and she was under no delusion as to the lot which awaited
her, as soon as the Prince again felt himself completely secure in
some mountain fastness unaffected by the events of the war.
Feeling certain of this, she had continually contemplated the idea
of flight; but the fear of sealing the fate of her unhappy friend,
even more than the ever-watchful suspicion of her guards, had
prevented her from making the attempt.
Her joy had been all the greater when, the same evening, Morar
Gopal appeared in the women's tent with the Circassian, to relieve
her from the almost unendurable tortures of uncertainty as to
The cunning Hindu had managed to gain access to the carefully
guarded prisoners for himself and his companion by pretending that
the Maharajah had chosen the Circassian girl to be the English
lady's servant. He had whispered a few words to Edith, telling her
what was necessary for her to know for the moment.
After he had retired, it roused no suspicion when she asked to be
left alone for a few moments with the new servant. With her
assistance, she made use of the opportunity to put on the light
Indian man's clothes which the Circassian had brought with her in a
parcel. The guards, who were by this time intoxicated, had allowed
the slender young rajah, into whom she had transformed herself, to
depart unmolested, and Morar Gopal, who was waiting for her at a
place agreed upon close at hand, had conducted her to Heideck's
tent, where she might, for the moment at least, consider herself to
"But Georgi?" asked the Captain with some anxiety. "She remained
in the women's tent? What will happen to her when her share in
your flight is discovered?"
"The idea also tormented me. But the heroic girl repeatedly
assured me that she would find a way to escape, and that in any
case she would have nothing to fear, as soon as she appealed to
"That may be so; but that hardly agrees with her wish to keep the
fact of her presence in the camp a secret from the Prince. The
girl's behaviour is a complete riddle to me. I do not understand
what can have induced her to sacrifice herself with such wonderful
unselfishness for us, who are really only strangers to her, in whom
she can feel no interest. Certainly she was not actuated by any
thought of a reward. She has the pride of her race, and I am
certain that she would consider any offer of one as an insult."
"I think the same. But perhaps I can guess her real motives."
"And won't you tell me what you think?"
Edith hesitated a little; but she was not one of those women who
allow any petty emotion to master them.
"I think, my friend, that she loves you," she said, with a slight,
enchanting smile. "Some unguarded expressions and the fire that
kindled in her eyes as soon as we mentioned your name, made me feel
almost certain of it. The fact that, notwithstanding, she helped
to set me free, is certainly, in the circumstances, only a stronger
proof of her magnanimity. But I understand it perfectly. A woman
in love, if of noble character, is capable of any act of self-
Heideck shook his head.
"I think your shrewdness has played you false on this occasion. I
am firmly convinced that she is Prince Tchajawadse's mistress, and,
from all I have seen of their relations, it seems to me
inconceivable that she would be unfaithful to him for the sake of a
stranger, with whom she has only interchanged a few casual words."
"Well, perhaps we may have an opportunity of settling whether I am
wrong or not. But now, my friend, I should first of all like to
know what you have decided about me."
Heideck was in some embarrassment how to answer, and spoke
hesitatingly of his intention to send her to Ambala with Morar
Gopal. But Edith would not allow him to finish. She interrupted
him with a decided gesture of dissent.
"Ask of me what you like--except to leave you again. What shall I
do in Ambala without you? I have suffered so unutterably since you
were carried off before my eyes at Anar Kali, that I will die a
thousand times rather than again expose myself to the torture of
A noise behind him made Heideck turn his head. He saw the curtain
before the door of the tent slightly lifted, and that it was Morar
Gopal who had attempted to draw his attention by coughing
He called to the loyal fellow to come in, and thanked him, not
condescendingly, as a master recognises the cleverness of his
servant, but as one friend thanks another.
The Hindu's features showed how delighted he was by the kindness of
his idolised master, although there was no alteration in his humble
and modest demeanour even for a moment. As respectful as ever, he
said: "I bring good news, sahib. One of the Maharajah's retinue,
whose tongue I loosened with some of your rupees, has told me that
the Maharajah of Sabathu is going to give the Russians forty
horsemen to show them the best roads to Simla. The country here is
under his rule, and his people know every inch of ground to the top
of the mountains. If the lady joins these horsemen to-morrow in
the dress of a rajah, she will be sure to get away from here
The excellence and practicability of this plan was obvious, and
Heideck again recognised what a treasure a lucky accident had
bestowed upon him in the shape of this Indian boy. Edith also
agreed, since she saw how joyfully Heideck welcomed the proposal,
although the prospect of being obliged to show herself in broad
daylight before everybody in man's dress was painful to her
feelings as a woman.
She asked Morar Gopal whether he had heard anything of Georgi in
the meantime. He nodded assent.
"I was talking to her half an hour ago. She had escaped from the
women's tent and was on the point of leaving the camp."
"What?" cried Heideck. "Where in the world did she intend to go?"
"I don't know, sahib. She was very sad, but when I asked her to
accompany me to the sahib, she said she did not want to see him and
the lady again; she sent her respects to the sahib, and begged him
to remember his promise that he would say nothing to Prince
Tchajawadse of her having been here."
Heideck and Edith exchanged a significant look. This singular
girl's behaviour set them riddles which for the moment they were
unable to solve. But it was only natural and human that in their
own affairs they very soon forgot the Circassian.
Edith had to consent to Heideck leaving his tent at her disposal
for the rest of the night, while he himself spent the few hours
before daybreak at one of the bivouac fires. But Morar Gopal was
to take up his quarters before the entrance to the tent, and
Heideck felt confident that he could not entrust his valuable
treasure to a more loyal keeper.
. . . . . . .
Fortune, which had reunited the lovers in so wonderful a manner,
still continued favourable to them. Very early on the following
day, Heideck had purchased a neat little bay horse, already saddled
and bridled, for Edith's use. When the troop of Indian horsemen,
who were to serve as guides and spies for the Russians, started on
their way, the boyish young rajah joined them, and no one made his
strange appearance the subject of obtrusive questions. The Indians
probably at first thought he was a very youthful Russian officer,
who wore the native dress for special reasons, and on that account
preserved a most respectful demeanour. Tchajawadse, who
accidentally found himself close to Edith before starting, said
nothing, although he certainly looked keenly at her for a moment.
The bad reports of the health of the Maharajah of Chanidigot, which
spread through the camp, were sufficient explanation why he made no
attempt to regain possession of the beautiful fugitive. He was
said to be suffering from such violent pain and fever, caused by
his wounds, that he had practically lost all interest in the
Having taken a hearty leave of their Indian hosts, the Russian
detachment advanced further into the hilly country, and at noon
spies reported to Prince Tchajawadse that the English had
completely evacuated Ambala and had set out on the march to Delhi.
Probably the strength of the Russian division, whose advance had
been reported, had been greatly exaggerated at Ambala, and the
English had preferred to avoid a probably hopeless engagement.
With a woman's cleverness, Edith managed, without attracting
observation, to keep near Heideck, so that they often had the
opportunity of conversing. Her tender, fair skin must have
appeared striking amongst all the brown faces, but the will and
caprice of Russian officers demanded respect, and so no one
appeared to know that there was an English lady in the troop
wearing the costume of a rajah. Besides, the march was not a long
one. The hunting-camp was only about 150 miles from Simla,
situated below Kalka. On the next morning the column arrived
before Simla and found that Jutogh, the high-lying British
cantonment to the west of the far-extended hill city, had been
Prince Tchajawadse quartered his infantry and artillery in the
English barracks, and marched with the horsemen into the crescent-
shaped bazaar, the town proper, surrounded by numerous villas,
scattered over the hills and in the midst of pleasure-gardens. He
at once sent off patrols of officers to the town hall, the offices
of the Government and Commander-in-Chief, while he himself made his
way to Government House, a beautiful palace on Observatory Hill.
Although it was spring, Simla still lay in its winter sleep. It
had been deserted by the lively, brilliant society which, when the
intolerable, moist heat of summer drove the Viceroy from Calcutta,
enlivened the magnificent valleys and heights with its horses and
carriages, its games, parties, and elegant dresses. Only the
resident population, and the servants who had been left to look
after the buildings and keep them in good order, remained, English
Society being kept away by the war.
The hills were about a mile and three-quarters above the level of
the Indian Ocean, and frequent showers of rain made the climate so
raw that Heideck rode with his cloak on, and Edith flung a
dragoon's long cloak over her shoulders to protect herself against
The officers were commissioned to search the Government buildings
for important legal documents and papers, which the English
Government might have left behind in Simla, and which were of
importance to the Russian Government.
Heideck had to examine the seven handsome blocks of Government
offices, especially the buildings set apart for the Commander-in-
Chief, the Quartermaster-General, the general railway management,
and the post and telegraph offices.
He found none but subordinate officials anywhere until he came to
the office of the Judge Advocate General. Here he found a
dignified old gentleman, sitting so quietly in his armchair that
Heideck was involuntarily reminded of Archimedes when the Roman
soldiers surprised him at his calculations.
As the officer entered, accompanied by the soldiers, the old
gentleman looked at them keenly out of his large, yellowish eyes.
But he neither asked what they wanted, nor even attempted to
prevent their entrance. Heideck bowed politely, and apologised for
the intrusion necessitated by his duty. This courteous behaviour
appeared to surprise the old gentleman, who returned his greeting,
and said that there was nothing left for him but to submit to the
orders of the conqueror.
"As there seems nothing to be found in these rooms but legal books
and documents," said Heideck, "I need not make any investigation,
for we are simply concerned with military matters. I should be
glad if I could meet any personal wishes of yours, for I do not
think I am mistaken in assuming that I have the honour of speaking
to a higher official, whom special reasons have obliged to remain
"As a matter of fact, my physicians were of opinion that it would
be beneficial to my health to spend the winter in the mountains.
You can imagine how greatly I regret that I took their advice--I am
"Is your family also in Simla?" asked Heideck.
"My wife and daughter are here."
"Sir, there is an English lady with our column, the widow of an
officer who was killed at Lahore. Would you be disposed to let her
join your family?"
"An English lady?"
"She is the victim of a series of adventurous experiences, as to
which she can best inform you herself. Her name is Mrs. Irwin.
Would you be disposed to grant her your protection? If so, I
should certainly be the bearer of welcome news to her."
"My protection?" repeated the old gentleman in surprise. "My
family and I need protection ourselves, and how can we, in the
present circumstances, undertake such a responsibility?"
"You and your family have nothing to fear from us, sir. On the
contrary, we intend to maintain quietness and order."
"Well, sir, your behaviour is that of a gentleman, and if the lady
wishes to come to us we will offer no objection. Can I speak to
her, that we may come to an understanding?"
"I will make haste and fetch her."
In fact, he did not hesitate for a moment. As he expected, Edith
was very grateful to him for his friendly proposition.
Mr. Kennedy was extremely astonished to see a young rajah enter the
room, and did not seem quite agreeably impressed by the masquerade.
"Is this the lady of whom you spoke?" he asked in surprise. But
his serious face visibly cleared when Edith said, in her sweet,
"A countrywoman, who owes her life to this gentleman here, and who
has only escaped death and dishonour by the aid of this disguise."
"Mrs. Irwin, if you decide to join Mrs. Kennedy," said Heideck, "I
will send your belongings to Mr. Kennedy's house. I must now leave
you for the present. I have other official duties to perform, but
I will return later."
"In any case I am glad to welcome my countrywoman," protested the
old gentleman. "You can see my house from the window here, and I
beg you will call upon me when your duties are over."
It was not till after sunset that Heideck called at Mr. Kennedy's
house. He stood for a moment at the garden-gate and saw the snow-
clad heights glowing in the fire of the evening light. Long chains
of blue hills rose higher and higher towards the north, till at
last the highest range on the distant horizon, bristling with
eternal glaciers, mounted towards the sky in wondrous brilliancy.
Mr. Kennedy lived in a very imposing villa. Heideck was received
with such friendliness by the master of the house and the ladies
that he recognised only too clearly that Edith must have spoken
warmly in his favour. She must also certainly have told them that
he was a German. She was dressed as a woman again, and had already
won the hearts of all by her frankness. Mrs. Kennedy was a matron
with fine, pleasant features, and evidently of high social
standing. Her daughter, about the same age as Edith, appeared to
have taken a great fancy to the visitor.
Heideck sat with the family by the fire, and all tried to forget
that he wore the uniform of the enemy.
"I wish we could manage to leave India and get back to England,"
said Mrs. Kennedy. "My husband wants to remain in Calcutta to
perform his duties, but he cannot stand the climate. Besides, how
could we get to Calcutta? Our only chance would be to obtain a
Russian passport, enabling us to travel without interference."
"My dearest Beatrice," objected her husband. "I know that you,
like myself, no longer care what happens to us, at a time when such
misfortune has overtaken our country. Amidst the general
misfortune, what matters our own fate?"
"I should think," interposed Heideck politely, "that the
individual, however deeply he feels the general misfortune, ought
not to give way to despair, but should always be thinking of his
family as in time of peace."
"No!" cried Mr. Kennedy. "An Englishmen cannot understand this
international wisdom. A German's character is different; he can
easily change his country, the Englishman cannot. But you must
excuse me," he continued, recollecting himself. "You wounded my
national honour, and I forgot the situation in which we are. Of
course, I had no intention of insulting you."
"There is some truth in what you say," replied Heideck, seriously,
"but allow me to explain. Our German fatherland, in past
centuries, was always the theatre of the battles of all the peoples
of Europe. At that time few of the German princes were conscious
of any German national feeling; they were the representatives of
narrow-minded dynastic interests. Thus our German people grew up
without the consciousness of a great and common fatherland. Our
German self-consciousness is no older than Bismarck. But we have
become large-hearted, generous-minded, by having had to submit to
foreign peoples and customs. Our religious feeling and our
patriotism are of wider scope than those of others. Hence, I
believe that, now that we have been for a generation occupied with
our material strength and are politically united, our universal
culture summons us to undertake the further development of
civilisation, which hitherto has been chiefly indebted to the
French and English."
The old gentleman did not answer at once. He sat immersed in
thought, and a considerable time elapsed before he spoke.
"Anyone can keep raising the standpoint of his view of things. It
is like ascending the mountains there. From each higher range the
view becomes more comprehensive, while the details of the panorama
gradually disappear. Naturally, to one looking down from so lofty
a standpoint, all political interests shrivel up to insignificant
nothings, and then patriotism no longer exists. But I think that
we are first of all bound to work in the sphere in which we have
once been placed. A man who neglects his wife and children in the
desire to benefit the world by his ideas, neglects the narrowest
sphere of his duties. But in that case the welfare of his own
people, of his own state, must be for every man the highest objects
of his efforts; then only, starting from his own nation, may his
wishes have a higher aim. I cannot respect anyone who abandons the
soil of patriotism in order to waste his time on visionary schemes
in the domain of politics, to wax enthusiastic over universal peace
and to call all men brothers."
"And yet," said Edith, "this is the doctrine of Christianity."
"Of theoretical, not practical Christianity," eagerly rejoined the
Englishman. "I esteem the old Roman Cato, who took his life when
he saw his country's freedom disappearing, and England would never
have grown great had not many of her sons been Catos."
"Mr. Kennedy, you are proclaiming the old Greek idea of the state,"
said Heideck. "But I do not believe that the old Greeks had such a
conception of the state as modern professors assert, and as ancient
Rome practically carried out. Professors are in the habit of
quoting Plato, but Plato was too highly gifted not to understand
that the state after all consists merely of men. Plato regarded
the state not as an idol on whose altar the citizen was obliged to
sacrifice himself, but as an educational institution. He says that
really virtuous citizens could only be reared by an intelligently
organised state, and for this reason he attached such importance to
the state. A state is in its origin only the outer form, which the
inner life of the nation has naturally created for itself, and this
conception should not be upset. The state should educate the
masses, in order that not only justice, but also external and
internal prosperity may be realised. The Romans certainly do not
appear to have made the rearing of capable citizens, in accordance
with Plato's idea, the aim of the state; they were modern, like the
great Powers of to-day, whose aim it is to grow as rich and
powerful as possible. We Germans also desire this, and that is why
we are waging this war; but at the same time I assert that
something higher dwells in the German national character--the idea
of humanity. With us also our ideals are being destroyed, and
therefore we are fighting for our 'place under the sun,' in order
to protect and secure our ideals together with our national
At this point a servant entered and announced dinner.
At table the conversation shifted from philosophy and politics to
art. The ladies tried to cheer the old gentleman and banish his
despair. Elizabeth talked of the concerts in Simla and Calcutta,
mentioning the great technical difficulties which beset music in
India, owing to the instruments being so soon injured by the
climate. The moist air of the towns on the coast made the wood
swell; the dry air of Central India, on the other hand, made it
shrink, which was very injurious to pianos, but especially to
violins and cellos. Pianos, with metal instead of wood inside,
were made for the tropics; but they had a shrill tone and were
equally affected by abrupt changes of temperature.
After dinner Elizabeth seated herself at the piano, and it did
Heideck good to find that Edith had a pleasant and well-trained
alto voice. She sang some melancholy English and Scotch songs.
"I have never sung since I left England," she said, greatly moved.
Heideck had listened to the music with rapture. After the fearful
scenes of recent times the melodies affected him so deeply that his
eyes filled with tears. It was not only the music that affected
him, but Edith's soul, which spoke through it.
"What are you thinking of doing, Mr. Kennedy?" he asked the old
gentleman. "Shall you remain in Simla and keep Mrs. Irwin with
"I have thought it over," he replied. "I shall not stay here. I
shall go to Calcutta, if I can. It is my duty to be at my post
"But how do you intend to travel? The railways still in existence
have been seized for the exclusive use of the army. Remember that
you would have to pass both armies, the Russian and the English.
You would have to go from Kalka to Ambala, and thence to Delhi."
"If I could get a passport, I could travel post to Delhi, where I
should be with the English army. Can you get me a passport?"
"I will try. Possibly Prince Tchajawadse may be persuaded to let
me have one. I will point out to him that you are civilian
. . . . . . .
Prince Tchajawadse most emphatically refused to make out the
passport for Mr. Kennedy and his family.
"I am very sorry, my friend," said he, "but it is simply
impossible. The Judge-Advocate-General is a very high official; I
cannot allow him to go to the English headquarters and give
information as to what is going on here. The authorities would
justly put a very bad construction upon such ill-timed amiability,
and I should not like to obliterate the good impression which the
success of the expedition to Simla has made upon my superiors by an
unpardonable act of folly on my own part."
Heideck saw that any attempt at persuasion would be useless in the
face of the Prince's determination. He therefore acquainted Mr.
Kennedy with the failure of his efforts, at the same expressing his
"Then I shall try to return to England," said the old gentleman,
with a sigh. "Please ask the Prince if he has any objection to my
making my way by the shortest road to Karachi? Perhaps he will let
me have a passport for this route."
Prince Tchajawadse was quite ready to accede to this request.
"The ladies and gentlemen can travel where they please in the rear
of the Russian army, for all I care," he declared. "There is not
the least occasion for me to treat the worthy old gentleman as a
On the same day Heideck had a serious conversation with Edith about
her immediate future. He inquired what her wishes and plans were,
but she clung to him tenderly and whispered, "My only wish is to
stay with you, my only plan is to make you happy."
Kissing her tender lips, which could utter such entrancing words,
he said, deeply moved: "Well, then, I propose that we travel
together to Karachi. I am resolved to quit the Russian service and
endeavour to return to Germany. But could you induce yourself to
follow me to my country, the land of your present enemies?"
"My home is with you. Suppose that we were to make a home here in
Simla, I should be ready, and only too glad to live here for the
rest of my life. Take me to Germany or Siberia, and I will follow
you--it is all the same to me, if only I am not obliged to leave
For a moment Heideck was pained to think that she had no word of
attachment for her country; but he had already learnt not to
measure her by the standard of the other women whom he had hitherto
met on his life's journey, and it ill became him to reproach her
for this want of patriotism.
"Mr. Kennedy has assured me that he is ready to take you under his
protection during the journey," said he. "I will speak to the
Prince again to-day, and, as he has no right to detain me, it will
be possible for me, as I confidently hope, to start with you for
"But I shall only accept the Kennedys' offer if you go with us,"
declared Edith in a tone of decision, which left no doubt as to her
As a matter of fact, Prince Tchajawadse put no difficulties in his
"I sincerely regret to lose you again so soon," he declared, "but
it is for you alone to decide whether you go or stay. It was
arranged beforehand that you could leave the Russian service as
soon as it became worth your while. Women are, after all, the
controlling spirits of our lives."
Of course the Prince had long since been aware that the Kennedys'
visitor was Edith Irwin, but this was the first time he had alluded
to his German friend's love affair.
As if he felt bound to defend himself against a humiliating
reproach, Heideck hastened to reply.
"You misunderstand my motives. It is my duty as a soldier which
summons me first of all. Hitherto I have had no prospect of
getting a passage on an English steamer. But, in the company of
Mr. Kennedy, and on his recommendation, I have hopes that it will
not be refused me."
"Pardon me. I never for a moment doubted your patriotic sense of
duty, and I wish you from my heart a happy voyage home. Of course,
notwithstanding the alliance of our nations, it is not the same to
you, whether you fight in the ranks of the Russian or the German
army. And if the prospect of travelling in such pleasant society
has finally decided you, you have, in my opinion, no reason at all
to be ashamed of it. Certainly, for my own part, I am convinced
that it is better, for a soldier to make the female element play as
subordinate a role as possible in his life. He ought to do like
most of my countrymen, and get a wife who will not resent being
thrashed, with or without cause. It may be that I am mistaken on
this point, and I have been severely punished for it."
His countenance had suddenly become very grave, and as he could
only be alluding to his lost page, Heideck thought he might at last
venture to ask a question as to the whereabouts of the Circassian.
But the Prince shook his head deprecatingly.
"Do not ask me about her. It is a painful story, which I do not
care to mention, since it recalls one of the worst hours of my
life. It is bad enough that we poor, weak creatures cannot atone
for the mistakes of a moment."
Then, as if desirous of summarily cutting short an inconvenient
discussion, he returned to the original subject of conversation.
"From my point of view, for purely practical reasons I must regard
it as a mistake that you should so soon give up your career in the
Russian army, which has begun under the most favourable auspices.
A brilliant career is open to capable men of your stamp amongst us,
for there is more elbow-room in our army than in yours. But I know
that it is useless to say anything further about it. One word
more! You need not at once take off the uniform to which you do
honour before you leave Simla. To-morrow I am returning to Lahore,
and during the march I beg you will still remain at the head of
your squadron. It will be safest for your English friends to
travel with our column. At Lahore you can do as you please. Since
the course of the campaign is in a south-easterly direction, the
west is free, and you may possibly be able to travel by train for a
considerable portion of the journey to Karachi."
In this proposal Heideck recognised a fresh proof of the friendly
disposition which the Prince had already so often shown towards
him, and he was not slow to thank him most heartily.
The idea of being obliged to travel under the enemy's protection
was, of course, not a very pleasant one to Mr. Kennedy; but in the
interests of the females who accompanied him he was bound to
acquiesce in the arrangement, since there was really no better
chance of reaching Karachi quickly and safely.
"You cannot imagine," he said to Heideck, "how hard it is for me to
leave India, so dearly purchased. I have devoted twenty years of
my life to it, years of hard, unremitting toil. And now my work,
like that of so many better men, is rendered useless at a single
"You have spent two whole decades in India without a break?"
"Yes; I could not make up my mind to accompany my wife and daughter
on their occasional visits to Europe for a few months' relaxation.
I was passionately fond of my work, and I can hardly get over the
idea that all is lost. And it IS lost; I am under no illusion as
to that. After the Russians have once set foot here, they will
never give up the country again. Their rule will be more firmly
established than ours, since they are at heart much closer to the
Indians than we are."
. . . . . . .
On the following day they set out.
Mr. Kennedy and the ladies rode in a mail-coach drawn by four
Australian horses, which had been originally intended for driving
to the Anandale races. He had brought with him his own English
coachman, an English servant, and an English maid; he had paid off
and discharged his numerous Indian servants before starting.
The march proceeded by way of Kalka, the last station on the
railway to Simla, without any incidents, as far as Lahore. Here
Prince Tchajawadse was informed that the Russian army had started
on the previous day for Delhi, and that he was to follow as rapidly
as possible with his detachment.
During the entry into the streets of Lahore, the sight of which
awoke in him so many painful recollections, Heideck was suddenly
roused from his reverie. Behind the pillars supporting the balcony
of a house he thought he caught sight of the form of a woman, who
followed with staring eyes the march of the glittering, rattling
troop of horsemen with their clattering swords. Although her face
was almost entirely hidden by a veil, he felt instinctively that
she was no other than his own and Edith's preserver--the page
Georgi. He turned his horse and rode up to the house. But the
vision disappeared as he drew near, as if the earth had swallowed
it up. He accordingly was driven to assume that it was merely a
delusion of his senses.
He took leave of Prince Tchajawadse with a heartiness corresponding
to their previous relations. The Prince embraced him several
times, and his eyes were moist as he again wished his comrade a
prosperous journey and the laurels of a victorious warrior. Nor
was Heideck ashamed of his emotion, when he clasped the Prince's
hand for the last time.
"If you see your page again, please give him my own and Mrs.
Irwin's farewell greeting."
The Prince's face clouded over.
"I would do it with all my heart, my friend, but I shall never see
my page again. Let us speak of him no more. There are wounds of
which a man cannot feel proud."
With this they parted.
Heideck, who had resumed his civilian attire, slept at the hotel,
and then took the place Mr. Kennedy offered him in his carriage.
He had found out that the railway between Lahore and Mooltan from
Montgomery Station was still available for travelling.
The English, with their peculiar tenacity, still continued the
regular service in the parts of India that were not affected by the
war. The enormous extent of the country confined the struggle
between the two armies in some degree to a strictly limited area.
In the west, the east, and the interior of India there were few
traces of the conflict. Only the troop trains between Bombay and
Calcutta revealed a state of war.
Since the retirement of the English army from Lahore, no more
troops were to be seen on the western railway, and this section was
again perfectly free for ordinary traffic.
Even the Indian population of this district showed no particular
signs of excitement. Only the actual presence of the Russian
troops had disturbed the patient and peaceful people. The
travellers even passed through Chanidigot without any interruption
of their occupations or meeting with any unexpected delay.
The weather was not too hot; the stormy season had begun, and
travelling in the roomy, comfortable railway carriages would have
been in other circumstances a real pleasure.
The travellers safely reached Karachi, the seaport town on the
mouths of the Indus with its numerous tributaries, where Mr.
Kennedy's high position procured them admission to the select Sind
Club, where the attendance and lodging were all that could be
desired. The club was almost entirely deserted by its regular
visitors, since, in addition to the officers, all officials who
could be dispensed with had joined the army. But neither the
Kennedys nor Edith and Heideck had any taste for interesting
society. Their only wish was to leave the country as soon as
possible, and to see the end of the present painful condition of
affairs. As the result of inquiries at the shipping agency, they
had decided to travel to Bombay by one of the steamers of the
British India Company, and to proceed thence to Europe by the
Caledonia, the best vessel belonging to the P. and O. line.
In the afternoon, before going on board, Heideck hired a
comfortable little one-horsed carriage and drove to Napier mole,
where an elegant sailing-boat, manned by four lascars, was placed
at their disposal at the Sind Club boathouse. They sailed through
the harbour protected by three powerful forts, past Manora Point,
the furthest extremity of the fortified mole, into the Arabian Sea.
"Really, it is hard to leave this wonderful land," said Heideck
seriously. "It is hard to take leave for ever of this brilliant
sun, this glittering sea, and these mighty works of men's hands,
which have introduced luxury and the comforts of a refined
civilisation into a natural paradise. I have never understood Mr.
Kennedy's sorrow better than at this moment. And I can sympathise
with the feeling of bitterness which makes him shut himself up in
his room, to avoid the further sight of all this enchanting and
Edith, clinging to his arm and looking up fondly into his face only
answered, "I only see the world as it is reflected in your eyes.
And there its beauty is always the same to me."
THE ETHICS OF ESPIONAGE
The steamer from Karachi to Bombay had about twenty officers and a
larger number of noncommissioned officers and men on board who had
been wounded in the first engagements on the frontier. The sight
of them was not calculated to relieve the gloomy feelings of the
English travellers, although during the three days of the voyage
the weather was magnificent as they proceeded through the bright,
blue sea along the west coast of India, so lavishly supplied with
the beauties of Nature.
The harbour of Bombay, one of the most beautiful in the world,
presented a singularly altered appearance to those who had seen it
on previous visits. There was a complete absence of the French,
German, and Russian merchantmen, which usually lay at anchor in
considerable numbers; besides English steamers there were only a
few Italian and Austrian vessels in the roadstead.
The steamer from Karachi cast anchor not far from the Austrian
Lloyd steamer Imperatrix, from Trieste, and the passengers were
taken from the Apollo Bandar in small boats to the landing-stage.
Heideck took up his quarters with his new English friends at the
Esplanade Hotel. The admirably conducted house was well known to
him, since he had stayed there a few days on his arrival in India.
But the appearance of the hotel had altered during the interval as
completely as that of the European quarter of the city, from which
all life seemed to have disappeared. The ravages of the plague
might have had something to do with it, but the main cause was the
war, which made its presence felt in the absence of various
elements of life which at other times were especially remarkable.
Formerly the meeting-place of fashionable society, nearly all its
guests at the present time were connected with the army; the few
ladies were in mourning, and an oppressive silence prevailed during
Mr. Kennedy, immediately on his arrival, had paid a visit to the
Governor in Heideck's interest and returned with good news. He had
obtained permission for the young German to leave India by the
Caledonia, which was starting in a few days with a considerable
number of sick and wounded officers. The route to be taken was the
usual one by Aden and Port Said. Those passengers who intended to
travel further by the railway would be landed at Brindisi, the
destination of the steamer being Southampton.
"So we shall have the pleasure of your company as far as Brindisi,"
said Mr. Kennedy, turning to Heideck. The latter bowed, to show
the old gentleman that he had interpreted his intentions correctly.
An expression of violent alarm overspread Edith's face, when the
contradiction which she might assuredly have expected did not
follow. She got up to go to her room, but, passing close by
Heideck, she found an opportunity to whisper, "To-night on the
balcony! I must speak to you!"
After dinner Heideck and Mr. Kennedy sat smoking on the terrace in
front of the dining-room. A warm sea-breeze rustled through the
banyan trees, with their thick, shining arch of foliage. Heideck
again thanked the old gentleman for his kindly efforts on his
"I have only repaid to a very moderate extent all you have done for
us," replied Mr. Kennedy. "Besides, there was no difficulty in the
matter. I told the Governor that you were a German and a friend of
my family, who had rendered most valuable service to an English
lady and myself. Certainly, I thought that I might with a good
conscience say nothing about your being a soldier, which might
easily have caused all kinds of difficulties. With all my
patriotism, I do not reproach myself very severely for this
reticence. For what military secrets could you disclose in Berlin?
Our disasters are plain for all to see, and the papers are filled
with news and conjectures."
"Certainly. The real purpose of my journey has been overtaken by
events and rendered pointless."
"And this object--if I may speak without mincing words--was
espionage. Is not that the case, Mr. Heideck?"
"Espionage in the same sense that the despatch of ambassadors,
ministers plenipotentiary, and military or naval attaches is
espionage," replied Heideck, visibly annoyed.
"Oh, I think there is a slight difference in their case. All these
gentlemen's names and duties are known beforehand, and they are
expressly accredited in their character of diplomatists."
"Mr. Kennedy, I could never think of justifying myself to you, for
I have not the least reason to be ashamed of my mission. The
military authorities of every country must have information as to
the military condition of other powers, even though war is not
definitely expected or contemplated. In order to be equipped
against all eventualities, it is necessary to know the forces and
resources of other powers, no matter whether, in case of war, they
would be enemies or allies."
Mr. Kennedy, evidently irritated, replied: "It almost seems as if
we English had grossly neglected this precaution. The Russians
would hardly have surprised us, if we had known how to calculate
with German astuteness."
"Well, I hardly believe that the English method in this respect is
different from ours. Your Government, like the German, doubtless
sent officers everywhere to obtain information. Just as the
General Staff in Berlin collects information about all foreign
armies, fortifications, and boundaries, I have no doubt that the
same thing happens in London. Besides, it is a purely theoretical
procedure, just like the drawing up of schemes of war to suit all
cases. In reality, things usually turn out quite differently from
what is expected. The present war is the most convincing proof of
this. I was sent here to study the Anglo-Indian army and the
Russo-Indian frontiers, although we had no presentiment that war
was imminent, and had made no plans for attacking India. The folly
of such an idea is obvious. Further, if you regard me as a spy,
Mr. Kennedy, I beg you will have no scruple about informing the
Governor of my real character. I am ready at any time to justify
myself before the English authorities."
Mr. Kennedy held out his hand to him.
"You have misunderstood me, my dear Mr. Heideck. Your personal
honour is to me so far beyond all doubt, that I should never think
for a moment of putting you on a level with those spies who are
tried for their lives when caught."
At this moment one of the barefooted waiters, dressed in white,
came running and shouting into the saloon, "Great victory near
Delhi! total defeat of the Russian army!" at the same time
triumphantly waving a printed paper in his hand.
Mr. Kennedy jumped up, tore the paper from the boy's hand, and read
the news given out by the Bombay Gazette.
"Yes, it is true," he cried, his face beaming with joy. "A
victory, a great, decisive victory! Heaven be thanked--the fortune
of war has changed."
He gave the bearer of the joyful news a piece of gold and hastened
to inform the ladies. Heideck, however, remained behind, immersed
in thought. The hotel soon became lively. The English ran here
and there, shouting to one another the contents of the despatch,
while a growing excitement gradually showed itself in the streets.
In the so-called fort, the European quarter of Bombay, torches were
lighted and feux-de-joie fired. Heideck took one of the traps
standing in front of the hotel and ordered the driver to drive
through the town. Here he observed that the rejoicings were
confined to the fort. As soon as the conveyance reached the town
proper, he found that it presented the same appearance as on his
first visit, and that there was nothing to show or indicate the
occurrence of extraordinary events. In spite of the lateness of
the hour, the narrow streets were busy and full of traffic. All
the houses were lighted up, and all the doors open, affording a
view of the interior of the primitive dwellings, of the artisans
busy at their work, of the dealers plying their trade, of the
housewives occupied with their domestic affairs. Evidently the
inhabitants troubled no more about the war than about the terrible
scourge of the Indian population--the plague. The despatch
announcing the victory, although no doubt it was known in the
native quarter, had evidently not made the slightest impression.
About eleven o'clock Heideck returned to the hotel, where he found
the Kennedys and Edith still conversing eagerly on the terrace.
"Of course we shall not leave now," he declared. "As soon as the
Russians have evacuated the north, we shall return to Simla."
Heideck made no remark, and since the openly expressed and
heartfelt joy of the English affected him painfully, he soon took
leave of them, and went up to his room, which, like Edith's, was on
the second storey.
According to the custom of the country, all the rooms opened on to
the broad balcony which ran round the whole floor like an outer
corridor. As a look from Edith had repeated her wish that he
should wait for her there, he stepped out on to the balcony. His
patience was not put to a severe trial. She must have quickly
found an opportunity of escaping from the Kennedys' society, for he
saw her coming towards him even sooner than he had expected.
"I thank you for waiting for me," she said, "but we cannot stay
here, for we should not be safe from surprise for a moment. Let us
go into my room."
Heideck followed her with hesitation. But he knew that Edith would
feel insulted if he expressed any scruples at her request, for her
firm confidence in his chivalrous honour relieved her of all
apprehension. Only the moon, shining faintly, shed a dim light
over the room. The clock on the tower of the neighbouring
university struck twelve.
"Destiny is playing a strange game with us," said Edith, who had
seated herself in one of the little basket chairs, while Heideck
remained standing near the door. "I confess that since the arrival
of the news of the victory I have spent some terrible hours, for
the Kennedys have, in consequence, abandoned their idea of leaving,
and seem to take it for granted that I shall remain with them in
"And would you not, in fact, be forced to do so, my dearest Edith?"
"So then you have already reckoned with this contingency? You
would not, surely, think of travelling without me? But perhaps you
would even feel relieved at being freed from me?"
"How can you say such things, Edith, which, I am sure, you do not
"Who knows? You are ambitious, and we poor women are never worse
off than when we have to do with ambitious men."
"But there is probably no necessity for us to torment ourselves
with the discussion of such contingencies. I have never for a
moment believed in any alteration of our arrangements for the
"That is to say you doubt the trustworthiness of the report of the
"To speak frankly, I do. I did not wish to mortify the old
gentleman and spoil his shortlived joy. That is the reason why I
did not express my distrust in his presence. But the despatch does
not really convey the impression of being true. It does not even
contain a more exact statement of the place where the battle is
said to have taken place. It must, at least, strike the
unprejudiced observer as being very suspicious."
"But who would take the trouble to obtain the melancholy
satisfaction of deceiving the world in such a manner for a short
"Oh, there are many who would be interested in doing so. In the
course of every war such false reports are always floating about,
in most cases without their origin being known. It may be a money-
"So you think it quite impossible that we can beat the Russians?"
"Not exactly impossible, but extremely improbable--at least while
the military situation remains what it is. Again, it is the
absence of definite information that surprises me. A victorious
general always finds time to communicate details, which the
vanquished is only too glad to defer. I am convinced that the bad
news will soon follow, and that, as far as our plans for the
journey are concerned, everything will remain as before."
Edith was silent. Her belief in Heideck was so unbounded that his
words had completely convinced her. But they did not restore the
joyful confidence of the last few days.
"Everything will remain as before?" she said at length. "That
means you will leave us at Brindisi."
"Certainly. There is no other way for me to reach the army."
"And suppose you abandon the idea of returning to the army
altogether? Have you never thought that we might find another
foundation on which to build our future happiness?"
Heideck looked at her in amazement.
"No, dearest Edith, I have not thought of it. It would have been a
useless and foolish idea, so long as my duty and honour prescribe
most definitely what I have to do."
"Duty and honour! Of course, I ought to have known that you would
at once be ready again with fine words. It is so convenient to be
able to take shelter behind so unassailable a rampart, if at the
same time it falls in with one's own wishes."
"Edith! How unjust the melancholy events of the last few weeks
have made you! If you think it over quietly, you will see that my
personal wishes and my heart's desires are not in question at all.
And really I do not understand what you think I could possibly do."
"Oh, there would be more than one way of sparing us the pain of a
separation, but I will only mention the first that occurs to me.
Couldn't we very well remain together in India? If it is the
question of money that makes you hesitate, I can soon make your
mind easy on that point. I have enough money for both of us, and
what is mine is yours. If we retire to a part of the country which
the war cannot reach, a hill station such as Poona or
Mahabeleshwar, no one will trouble you with questions or think of
following you. And if you live there and devote yourself to your
love instead of slaying your fellow-men, it will be more acceptable
In spite of the seriousness with which she spoke, Heideck could not
help smiling as he answered: "What a wonderful picture of the world
and its affairs is sometimes drawn in a pretty woman's little head!
It is really fortunate that we sober-minded men do not allow our
heart to run away with our head so easily. Otherwise we should
come badly off, for you yourselves would certainly be the first to
turn away from us with contempt, if we tried to purchase the
happiness of your love at any price--even at the price of your
Edith Irwin did not contradict him. Silent and sorrowful, for a
long time she looked out upon the bright moonlight Indian night.
Then, when Heideck approached her, to take leave of her with tender
words, she said in a voice which cut him to the heart: "Whether we
understand each other or not, in one thing at least you shall be
under no delusion. Whereever you may go--into a paradise of peace
or the hell of war--I will not forsake you."
With passionate impetuosity she flung herself into his arms and
pressed her burning lips upon his. Then, as if afraid of her own
heart's passion, she gently pushed him towards the door.
As Heideck had foreseen, the announcement of the victory was
followed by disastrous tidings for the English. Up to noon on the
following day Bombay had waited in vain for confirmation of the
despatch and fuller particulars. Very late in the evening, amidst
a general feeling of depression, the Governor published the
following despatch from the Commander-in-Chief:--
"The enemy having been reported in great force yesterday to the
north of Delhi, our army took up a favourable defensive position,
and a battle was fought with great honour to the British arms. The
Russians suffered enormous losses. The approach of darkness
preventing us from following up the advantages we had gained, I
ordered the main body of the army to carry out a strategic retreat
on Lucknow, chiefly along the railway. Simpson's brigade remained
behind to defend Delhi. The heavy guns of the Sha, Calcutta gate,
and north gate bastions were very effective. All arms
distinguished themselves, and deserve the highest praise. The
bridge over the Jumna is intact and affords direct communication
with General Simpson."
While Mr. Kennedy was sitting pondering over this despatch, Heideck
came up to him.
"A decisive defeat, isn't it, Mr. Heideck?" said he. "As a
military man, you can read between the line, better than I can.
But I know Delhi. If the Jumna bridge batteries have been firing,
the Russians must be on the point of capturing this passage. The
north gate bastion is the head of the bridge."
Heideck was obliged to agree; but he had read more in the despatch,
and drew the worst conclusions from the general's retreat on
No more despatches from the theatre of war were published during
the day, since the Governor was desirous of concealing the