His Majesty proceeds to Amerkote,* and the circumstances which occurred on the journey. A. H. 949—A. D. 1542.

When his Majesty had obtained a hint of the intentions of Maldeo, he resolved to set out for Amerkote; he, therefore, ordered two of the officers to go on and seize some guides; they did so, and brought in two camel drivers. The King ordered their animals to be tied with the royal camels, and the men to be disarmed and confined: he also sent to them the Kazy Mehdy Aly to explain, that no injury was intended them; but that if they would shew the route to Amerkote, they should be well rewarded: the two rustics pretended they knew nothing about the road, and would give no information. Some time after, they drew their daggers and killed one of the attendants who was sentinel over them; they then proceeded to where their camels were tied, stabbed them, and also a favourite horse and mule belonging to his Majesty, which reduced the royal stud to two horses and one mule. When the servants saw this, they rushed on the villagers and cut them to pieces.

This event, and other unfortunate circumstances, caused great dismay among the followers, and several of them talked of quitting his Majesty, who said to them, “if you leave me, whither will you go? you have now no other refuge.” Notwith­standing this, Khoja Kebyr, and two others of the most confidential attendants deserted, and went to Maldeo. In this scene of distress the King deter­mined on marching to the westward, and ordered that some of the chiefs should move on in front, and that he would follow them at a short distance with the females and servants. In this manner we proceeded till morning; but at the dawn of day we discovered three parties pursuing us, each of these parties might consist of five hundred cavalry; and to add to our consternation, we at this time had lost sight of our advanced division.

The King then enquired of some of the atten­dants whether they thought our pursuers were friends or enemies; and when it was agreed that they were the latter, he ordered all the baggage to be taken off the horses and placed on the camels, and that the foot soldiers should mount the horses; by these means we mustered in all sixteen troopers. His Majesty then consulted with Shykh Aly Beg, what was advisable to be done: the Shykh replied, “we are now just in the situation of the martyr Imam Hussyn:* nothing remains but to sell our lives as dearly as possible. Pardon me all the offences I have committed against you, and give me a few men with me, that I may go and bring you an account of these people.” His Majesty pro­nounced the form of forgiveness, gave him his bless­ing, and sent seven horsemen with him.

The Shykh then said to his companions, “we are but few, and our enemies many; let us act separately, and when we approach them discharge our arrows simultaneously on their line, and let us trust in Providence for the consequences.” The men did so, and when near the enemy let fly their arrows; and as “the decree of God is all powerful,” two of their chiefs were mortally wounded, and fell from their horses; on seeing which the others all fled, and left the field to the victors. Shykh Aly then caused the two heads to be struck off, and sent them by a Chobdar (wand bearer) with hearty congratulations to his Majesty. When the King saw a horseman approaching, he asked his people if they knew who it was; they replied, “it is Bhebud* the Chobdar.” The man then rode up, and having untied the heads from his saddle bow, presented them to the King, who considered the circumstance as a fortunate omen.

The King then recalled Shykh Aly, and con­sulted with him what was further requisite to be done; the Shykh said, “if your Majesty will be pleased to move on a short distance in front, I with my seven horsemen will protect the rear.” This was agreed to, and we marched on.

I omitted to mention that, on our entering the Jesselmere district, his Majesty had detached a small party to collect provisions and bring them to the camp. It appeared that these people, hav­ing collected several cows and buffaloes, lost their way, and not knowing where to find the camp, had halted and refreshed themselves at a pond in the Desert; in this situation we fortunately found them; and their officers had again the honour of paying their respects to the King. When they heard of our miraculous escape, they were profuse in their excuses for having been absent at such a critical time, and hoped that the shadow of his Majesty would be for ever suspended over their heads, in the name of the Prophet and of his illustrious descendants.

At this place two messengers arrived from Maldeo, the Rajã of Joudpûr who stated, “that the King had entered his territory without any invitation; and although it must be known that the killing of kine was forbidden in Hindû districts, we had nevertheless killed a number of these sacred animals; that the King having intruded himself into these parts, he was now completely in the Rajã’s power, and must take the consequences.”

His Majesty consulted his friends what answer he should give to this message; they replied, “that as there was no chance of coming to an amicable arrangement, the only mode was to put a bold face on the matter and confine the messengers.” This was done, and we marched on; but on passing one of the forts of Jesselmere, the garrison came out and attacked us: the skirmish lasted for several hours; during which time they severely wounded several of our people; at length they returned to their fort. At the distance of ten miles from this spot, we came to a village where we found plenty of grain and water, but no vestige of any human being.

About this period the Rajã ordered his son, who was also named Maldeo, to precede our march, and to fill up all the wells with sand, so that we might perish for want of water. The son obeyed these orders; so that after we left the above mentioned village, and had arrived at the next stage, we found all the wells choked up with sand: we were there­fore compelled to proceed on a second stage. Here we experienced the same difficulty; but as we were too much fatigued to proceed further, we were obliged to halt there during the night.

On this occasion the King ordered the camels to be placed in a circle round the horses and tents, directed that the people should be on the alert, and said, “he would himself keep watch by walk­ing round the circle all night.” Shykh Aly would not consent to this proposal; but insisted on his Majesty’s lying down, and that he himself should keep watch. On this the King went and lay down; whilst he was asleep, a thief came into the camp, took the sword from under his Majesty’s head, and drew it half out; but being alarmed, left it in that situation and went away.

When the King awoke, he saw that his sword was half way drawn from the scabbard, and was much astonished; he therefore called to the servant, who was sleeping at the foot of the bed, and asked him if he had drawn the sword; who replied, “that he would not have ventured to do so for the world.”

In short we marched from that place, and arrived at a stage where there were four wells, in three of which we found water, but the fourth was choked up. In order to secure an equal division of the water, his Majesty assigned one of the wells for his own household; the second he gave to Terdy Beg and his followers, and the third to Khaled Beg and attendants; as we had no buckets to draw the water, a copper pot was let down, and pulled up by a camel; but as the well was very deep, and the pot a long time coming up, in order to prevent the people from crowding round the mouth of the well, they were directed to keep at a distance till a drum was beaten to give notice of the proper time, when they should be regularly served in turn: notwithstanding this precaution, in conse­quence of the anxiety to be first served, much quarrelling took place among the people; at length the domestics of his Majesty came and complained that Terdy Beg had given water to his own horses and camels, but would not let them have any for their animals; they also swore, that if he did not supply them they would fight for it, and either have water, or be killed. On this his Majesty, fearing conten­tion, rode to the well, and said to Terdy Beg in the Tûrky language, “be so good as draw of your people for a short time from the well till mine are served, which will prevent disputes.” Terdy Beg complied with his Majesty’s command, and the servants procured a scanty supyly of water; in short the misery we suffered at this stage was intolerable.*

About this time the son of the Rajã of Joudpûr, having in his hand a white flag, came in sight of our party, and sent a messenger to request an audience of his Majesty; the man having been admitted, delivered the following message: “You have entered this country without any invitation; and although you well knew that in all Hindû countries it is forbidden to kill kine, your people have frequently done so; if you had acted with due politeness, you should have informed me of your wishes to pass through my country; I should then have performed the rights of hospitality towards you, as is the custom of all Hindû princes, or Zemindars. Now, if you choose to halt here for some time, I will send bullocks to draw the water, and will give you some buckets; but it was very unkind and improper in you to confine my two messengers; I therefore desire you will release them.”

After some consultation the King ordered the two messengers to be released; and having learned that at the next stage there was only one well, he gave orders that we should move in three divisions, at a day’s interval; the first party to consist of the royal family, escorted by Terdy Beg; the second party to be under the command of Munaim Beg, and the third under charge of Shykh Aly: notwith­standing this precaution, a number of people died on this journey through thirst.

At length we arrived within twenty miles of the fort of Amerkote; but here a very distressing circumstance occurred, viz. the horse of an officer, named Rûshen Beg, having been knocked up, he insisted on taking one which he had lent the Queen; when his Majesty was informed of this transaction, he immediately alighted from his horse, sent it to the Queen, and, after walking some distance, mounted a camel belonging to the Ewer depart­ment; in this manner we proceeded three or four miles; when Khaled Beg rode up and presented his horse to his Majesty. Some hours after this the King entered Amerkote, attended by only seven horsemen. The Ranâ Pursaud sent his brother to wait on his Majesty with a polite message, “that the day was not a fortunate one, but hoped that on the following day he would mount the throne.” Provisions were then supplied for the whole party, all of whom joined us during the course of the day.

On the following morning the Ranâ Pursaud had the honour of paying his respects, and congratulated his Majesty on his safe arrival; he then represented that he had 2000 horsemen of his own tribe, and 5000 cavalry belonging to his allies, all of whom were devoted to him with heart and soul: these troops were at his Majesty’s service, and by their aid he might easily conquer the districts of Tatta and Bhiker.

The King replied, “that he had no money to pay the troops with, but probably he might raise some from his attendants.” On hearing this, Shâh Muhammed whispered “that he knew where they, the servants, had hidden their valuables.”

Soon after the Ranâ had retired the King undressed, and ordered his clothes to be washed, and in the meanwhile he wore his dressing gown; while thus sitting, a beautiful bird flew into the tent, the doors of which were immediately closed, and the bird caught; his Majesty then took a pair of scissors and cut some of the feathers off the animal; he then sent for a painter, and had a picture taken of the bird, and afterwards ordered it to be released.

About this time the King ordered all the officers to assemble in the tent, and while they were there seated, he sent some of his confidential domestics under the direction of Shâh Muhammed to search the baggage of the officers, and to bring to him whatever valuables or money they might find. The servants went, and having examined all the portmanteaus and bags, and opened the camel saddles, found some money and other valuables, which they laid down before his Majesty. It happened that an old woman, having a small box, gave it in charge of Hussyn Kurchy to take care of till we should arrive in a place of safety; on seeing what was going forward, Hussyn endeavoured to conceal the box, but he was seized with it in his hands, and brought before the King. When the box was opened, it was found to contain three (Bricks) ingots of pure gold, forty-two gold Mohrs, and several golden and inlaid trinkets. Kafûr, one of the eunuchs, was ordered to cut the end of Hussyn’s ear as a punishment for his treachery, but the eunuch mistaking the order, cut off the whole ear; on seeing this the King was very angry, sent for a surgeon, and had the ear sewn on again, assisted in the operation, and apologized to the sufferer. When all the plunder was collected, his Majesty ordered that one half of the money should be restored to the owners, the other half to be divided among the servants and followers; but of the clothes he took one half for his own use and the other half he gave back to the proprietors.

After some time his Majesty again consulted the Ranã on what was most advisable to be done. The Ranã advised that the King should proceed to Tatta,* or go on to Jûn, where he might depend upon being joined by all the people of that district. Having adopted this advice, his Majesty waited for a fortunate hour, and then commenced his journey, leaving all his family in the fortress of Amerkote: the first day we marched twenty-four miles, and encamped on the banks of a large pond.