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The Red Year A Story of the Indian Mutiny   By: (1863-1928)

The Red Year A Story of the Indian Mutiny by Louis Tracy

First Page:

THE RED YEAR

A STORY OF THE INDIAN MUTINY

BY LOUIS TRACY

AUTHOR OF "THE WINGS OF THE MORNING," "THE PILLAR OF LIGHT," "THE CAPTAIN OF THE KANSAS," ETC., ETC.

NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1907 BY EDWARD J. CLODE

Entered at Stationers' Hall

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I PAGE THE MESHES OF THE NET 1

CHAPTER II A NIGHT IN MAY 19

CHAPTER III HOW BAHADUR SHAH PROCLAIMED HIS EMPIRE 39

CHAPTER IV ON THE WAY TO CAWNPORE 54

CHAPTER V A WOMAN INTERVENES 72

CHAPTER VI THE WELL 91

CHAPTER VII TO LUCKNOW 110

CHAPTER VIII WHEREIN A MOHAMMEDAN FRATERNIZES WITH A BRAHMIN 131

CHAPTER IX A LONG CHASE 151

CHAPTER X WHEREIN FATE PLAYS TRICKS WITH MALCOLM 169

CHAPTER XI A DAY'S ADVENTURES 190

CHAPTER XII THE SWING OF THE PENDULUM 210

CHAPTER XIII THE MEN WHO WORE SKIRTS 227

CHAPTER XIV WHY MALCOLM DID NOT WRITE 247

CHAPTER XV AT THE KING'S COURT 268

CHAPTER XVI IN THE VORTEX 290

CHAPTER XVII THE EXPIATION 309

The Red Year

CHAPTER I

THE MESHES OF THE NET

On a day in January, 1857, a sepoy was sitting by a well in the cantonment of Dum Dum, near Calcutta. Though he wore the uniform of John Company, and his rank was the lowest in the native army, he carried on his forehead the caste marks of the Brahmin. In a word, he was more than noble, being of sacred birth, and the Hindu officers of his regiment, if they were not heaven born Brahmins, would grovel before him in secret, though he must obey their slightest order on parade or in the field.

To him approached a Lascar.

"Brother," said the newcomer, "lend me your brass pot, so that I may drink, for I have walked far in the sun."

The sepoy started as though a snake had stung him. Lascars, the sailor men of India, were notoriously free and easy in their manners. Yet how came it that even a low caste mongrel of a Lascar should offer such an overt insult to a Brahmin!

"Do you not know, swine begotten, that your hog's lips would contaminate my lotah?" asked he, putting the scorn of centuries into the words.

"Contaminate!" grinned the Lascar, neither frightened nor angered. "By holy Ganga, it is your lips that are contaminated, not mine. Are not the Government greasing your cartridges with cow's fat? And can you load your rifle without biting the forbidden thing? Learn more about your own caste, brother, before you talk so proudly to others."

Not a great matter, this squabble between a sepoy and a Lascar, yet it lit such a flame in India that rivers of blood must be shed ere it was quenched. The Brahmin's mind reeled under the shock of the retort. It was true, then, what the agents of the dethroned King of Oudh were saying in the bazaar. The Government were bent on the destruction of Brahminical supremacy. He and his caste fellows would lose all that made life worth living. But they would exact a bitter price for their fall from high estate.

"Kill!" he murmured in his frenzy, as he rushed away to tell his comrades the lie that made the Indian Mutiny possible. "Slay and spare not! Let us avenge our wrongs so fully that no accursed Feringhi shall dare again to come hither across the Black Water!"

The lie and the message flew through India with the inconceivable speed with which such ill tidings always travels in that country. Ever north went the news that the British Raj was doomed. Hindu fakirs, aglow with religious zeal, Mussalman zealots, as eager for dominance in this world as for a houri tenanted Paradise in the next, carried the fiery torch of rebellion far and wide... Continue reading book >>




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