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- In Times of Peril - 1/55 -


IN TIMES OF PERIL A TALE OF INDIA.

BY G. A. HENTY

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Life in Cantonments

CHAPTER II.

The Outbreak

CHAPTER III.

The Flight

CHAPTER IV.

Broken Down

CHAPTER V.

Back Under the Flag

CHAPTER VI.

A Dashing Expedition

CHAPTER VII.

Delhi

CHAPTER VIII.

A Desperate Defense

CHAPTER IX.

Saved by a Tiger

CHAPTER X.

Treachery

CHAPTER XI.

Retribution Begins

CHAPTER XII.

Dangerous Service

CHAPTER XIII

Lucknow

CHAPTER XIV.

The Besieged Residency

CHAPTER XV.

Spiking the Guns

CHAPTER XVI.

A Sortie and its Consequences

CHAPTER XVII.

Out of Lucknow

CHAPTER XVIII.

The Storming of Delhi

CHAPTER XIX.

A Riot at Cawnpore

CHAPTER XX.

The Relief of Lucknow

CHAPTER XXI.

A Sad Parting

CHAPTER XXII.

The Last Capture of Lucknow

CHAPTER XXIII.

A Desperate Defense

CHAPTER XXIV.

Rest after Labor

CHAPTER I.

LIFE IN CANTONMENTS.

Very bright and pretty, in the early springtime of the year 1857, were the British cantonments of Sandynugghur. As in all other British garrisons in India, they stood quite apart from the town, forming a suburb of their own. They consisted of the barracks, and of a maidan, or, as in England it would be called, "a common," on which the troops drilled and exercised, and round which stood the bungalows of the military and civil officers of the station, of the chaplain, and of the one or two merchants who completed the white population of the place.

Very pretty were these bungalows, built entirely upon the ground floor, in rustic fashion, wood entering largely into their composition. Some were thatched; others covered with slabs of wood or stone. All had wide verandas running around them, with tatties, or blinds, made of reeds or strips of wood, to let down, and give shade and coolness to the rooms therein. In some of them the visitor walked from the compound, or garden, directly into the dining-room; large, airy, with neither curtains, nor carpeting, nor matting, but with polished boards as flooring. The furniture here was generally plain and almost scanty, for, except at meal- times, the rooms were but little used.

Outside, in the veranda, is the real sitting-room of the bungalow. Here are placed a number of easy-chairs of all shapes, constructed of cane or bamboo--light, cool, and comfortable; these are moved, as the sun advances, to the shady side of the veranda, and in them the ladies read and work, the gentlemen smoke. In all bungalows built for the use of English families, there is, as was the case at Sandynugghur, a drawing- room as well as a dining-room, and this, being the ladies' especial domain, is generally furnished in European style, with a piano, light chintz chair-covers, and muslin curtains.

The bedroom opens out of the sitting-room; and almost every bedroom has its bathroom--that all-important adjunct in the East--attached to it. The windows all open down to the ground, and the servants generally come in and out through the veranda. Each window has its Venetian blind, which answers all purposes of a door, and yet permits the air to pass freely.

The veranda, in addition to serving as the general sitting-room to the family, acts as a servants' hall. Here at the side not used by the employers, the servants, when not otherwise engaged, sit on their mats, mend their clothes, talk and sleep; and it is wonderful how much sleep a Hindoo can get through in the twenty-four hours. The veranda is his bedroom as well as sitting-room; here, spreading a mat upon the ground, and rolling themselves up in a thin rug or blanket from the very top of their head to their feet, the servants sleep, looking like a number of mummies ranged against the wall. Out by the stables they have their quarters, where they cook and eat, and could, if they chose, sleep; but they prefer the coolness and freshness of the veranda, where, too, they are ready at hand whenever called. The gardens were all pretty, and well kept, with broad, shady trees, and great shrubs covered by bright masses of flower; for Sandynugghur had been a station for many years, and with plenty of water and a hot sun, vegetation is very rapid.

In two of the large reclining chairs two lads, of fifteen and sixteen respectively, were lolling idly; they had been reading, for books lay open in their laps, and they were now engaged in eating bananas, and in talking to two young ladies, some three years their senior, who were sitting working beside them.

"You boys will really make yourselves ill if you eat so many bananas."

"It is not that I care for them," said the eldest lad; "they are tasteless things, and a good apple is worth a hundred of them; but one must do something, and I am too lazy to go on with this Hindoo grammar; besides, a fellow can't work when you girls come out here and talk to him."

"That's very good, Ned; it is you that do all the talking; besides, you know that you ought to shut yourselves up in the study, and not sit here where you are sure to be interrupted."

"I have done three hours' steady work this morning with that wretched Moonshi, Kate; and three hours in this climate is as much as my brain will stand."

Kate Warrener and her brothers, Ned and Dick, were the children of the major of the One Hundred and Fifty-first Bengal Native Infantry, the regiment stationed at Sandynugghur. Rose Hertford, the other young lady, was their cousin. The three former were born in India, but had each gone to England at the age of nine for their education, and to save them from the effects of the climate which English children are seldom able to endure after that age. Their mother had sailed for England with Dick, the youngest, but had died soon after she reached home. Dick had a passion for the sea, and his father's relations having good interest, had obtained for him a berth as a midshipman in the royal navy, in which rank he had been


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