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The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan William Makepeace Thackeray

Chapter III: A Peep Into Spain--Account Of The Origin And Services Of The Ahmednuggar Irregulars

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"The officer who had brought this precious epistle (it is astonishing how Holkar had aped the forms of English correspondence), an enormous Pitan soldier, with a shirt of mail, and a steel cap and cape, round which his turban wound, was leaning against the gate on his matchlock, and whistling a national melody. I read the letter, and saw at once there was no time to be lost. That man, thought I, must never go back to Holkar. Were he to attack us now before we were prepared, the fort would be his in half-an-hour.

"Tying my white pocket-handkerchief to a stick, I flung open the gate and advanced to the officer: he was standing, I said, on the little bridge across the moat. I made him a low salaam, after the fashion of the country, and, as he bent forward to return the compliment, I am sorry to say, I plunged forward, gave him a violent blow on the head, which deprived him of all sensation, and then dragged him within the wall, raising the drawbridge after me.

"I bore the body into my own apartment; there, swift as thought, I stripped him of his turban, cammerbund, peijammahs, and papooshes, and, putting them on myself, determined to go forth and reconnoitre the enemy."

* * *

Here I was obliged to stop, for Cabrera, Ros d'Eroles, and the rest of the staff, were sound asleep! What I did in my reconnaissance, and how I defended the fort of Futtyghur, I shall have the honour of telling on another occasion.

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The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan
William Makepeace Thackeray

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