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the only consistently and uni- general favourites wherever formly loyal race in the native they went. They, on their army. Not a single soldier part, thoroughly appreciated cast in his lot with the muti- the kindness with which they neers. Though worshippers of were treated, and their wonderSiva, they proved their trust in ful and delightful experiences their officers by requesting that in Europe still afford an endless the greased cartridges be served topic of conversation. The out to them, that they might little Himalayans
inshow their opinion of the agi- tensely interested in everything tation.
they saw, the sea and the ships A native of the independent proving a source of great dekingdom of Nepal, Johnny light. Flying - fish, however, Gurkha considers himself as they could not at all undermuch a foreigner in Hindu- stand. To such great wielders stan his British officer. of the rod this mode of piscine The higher ranks not locomotion seemed most imalluded to as "native” but as
proper. One of these fish hay“Gurkha” officers, and the ing fallen on board the ship, private is not a “sepoy" but was immediately pounced upon a “rifleman." The recently- by Karbir and Amar Sing. proposed No. 9 (Gurkha) Being asked what their friends Mountain Battery would have in the regiment would think had “ first-class” and “second- when told that fish could fly, class” gunners in place of the the Gurkhas naïvely replied “gunners
" and "drivers" of that they hadn't the slightest every other battery of her intention of mentioning the Majesty's forces, had not the fact, as their reputations for scheme fallen through. The veracity were at present good, term “driver" evidently smacks and should they try their too much of the non-combatant comrades' credulity with this for our little fire-eaters. And traveller's tale, no
one would these men would not have been believe a word they might say the isl Gurkhas at all, but the for the rest of their service. taller Limbus and Rais of Major Lucas relates his anNepal, for Magars and Gur- ticipation of their astonishment ungs are too short of limb at the sights of London. But for either cavalry or artillery. they would never own to wonA further distinction is that derment. When he asked what the Gurkha, alone of Asiatics they thought of the size of the in India, is addressed as “sahib” great city the Gurkhas casually by men of other races.
replied, “Oh, it's a large place; Three men of the 5th Gurk- very like the capital of our own has were trained by experi- country, only we haven't the enced Swiss guides—one with railways !” Now know Lieutenant Bruce in the early that nineties, and the others with
“The wildest dreams of Kew are the Sir Martin Conway in 1894.
facts of Khatmandu "; Good-tempered, cheerful, keen, and full of fun, they became but these two Nepalese, unless
utterly devoid of all sense of face, came one of the travellers proportion, must have belied and with great glee informed the national reputation for his officer that he had bagged veracity. For, unlike
For, unlike most “two rabbits," the “rabbits" Orientals, Magars and Gurungs being Waziri snipers whom he bear a good name for honesty had successfully stalked. In and truth.
this expedition the scouts did Their great delight was to go good work, and won the apabout the streets on the top of proval of the authorities, but a bus, smoking contentedly and were not actively employed looking down on the teeming again until the year 1897. On population — the “street - bred September the 29th of that people” the boundaries of year a telegram was received whose mighty empire it was at Abbottabad, ordering the theirs to extend and to protect. 5th Gurkhas to send 90 men, Their efforts to learn English under Captain Lucas and Lieuprovided much amusement. The tenant Bruce, to join the Tirah mistress of the house where Expeditionary Force as scouts. they were staying inquired of Many and deep were the heartthe cook, “ Well, cook, how are burnings before the required the Gurkhas getting on?” number was finally selected, for “Oh, they're gettin' on very all the men of both battalions well, ma'am, and they're learn- of that fine regiment were wild in' English fine," was the reply, to go on active service. On given in a rather astonished October 1 these two officers, tone. “I gave them with 51 men, marched from cakes and milk just now, and Abbottabad amid a
scene of when they'd finished they said, great enthusiasm, and 41 men * Very good! So I said, were ordered down to Kohat • Will you have some more ? from the wing of the 1st Batand they answered, “No, we'll talion, then in the Kurram bust!'" The cook's render- Valley. A fortnight later the ing of “No, bas" (we've had 92 scouts of the 5th, and 40 enough), whilst flattering their from the 1-3rd Gurkhas, had linguistic attainments, was most assembled at Shinawari (the uncomplimentary to Gurkha advanced base), and on the very manners.
next evening messages and inGurkhas are born shikharis, vitations from the Afridis began and the two were enabled to to drop into camp.
rabbit - shooting ualties occurred among during their sojourn here. They Gurkhas, though two became very fond of the sport, found bullet-holes through their at which they excelled. When pillow. At 4 A.M. the scouts Conway brought them back
them back arose to accept the challenge from their tour through the by heading the force told off to Alps, they found Lieutenant make a flank attack on Dargai. Bruce waiting to take them A most tedious climb in the straight to the Waziristan cam- dark followed, for the track paign. One morning, back from soon disappeared and the way scouting with a grin on his lay up a ravine full of big
boulders. Just after dawn a of retreat, and batches of the party of the enemy was seen, more faint - hearted could be evidently making for a peak seen moving off before the about 1500 feet above the val- frontal attack had fired a single ley, whence the line of advance shot. The knowledge that a was completely commanded. strong flank attack was develThe Scouts were ordered to oping certainly hindered them checkmate this move, and a from defending Dargai with the grand race ensued, the lengthy obstinacy and determination Afridis having the advantage displayed two days later. in distance. But the active When the decision to withlittle Nepalese, joining in with draw from Dargai was formed, the esprit de corps for which General Kempster's brigade was they are justly renowned, and summoned to cover the retirewith all the earnestness of Brit- ment. The enemy, however, ish schoolboys, won by a neck. had been on the watch, and the Then were fired the first shots moment the withdrawal compreceding the two days' hard menced they swarmed up in fighting around Dargai and the thousands and attacked with Chagru Kotal. A small village great vigour. But Highlanders, lay a few hundred yards from Sikhs, and Gurkhas behaved the point occupied by the with a steadiness that could not Scouts, whose rapid advance have been surpassed. Retiring must have taken the enemy with coolness and deliberation, completely by surprise, for the they not only kept the foe at women were still in the houses. bay, but inflicted such severe The cunning of the Pathan was
losses that the retirement was at once illustrated. Observing soon allowed to proceed unthat the women were not fired molested. The first and last upon, an Afridi forced his wife shots of the day were fired by to accompany him across an the Scouts, who, thanks to their exposed piece of ground, barely adroitness in working through 500 yards from the Scouts, difficult ground, escaped withwho, fearing lest a bad shot out casualties. A particularly should inconvenience the lady, bad place traversed during courteously abstained from the the retirement had stopped tempting “pot.” The
all the animals except one osity was misplaced: no sooner ammunition mule which the had the. man reached cover Scouts had managed to bring than he opened fire, mortally along. The Afridis recognised wounding a rifleman of the 2nd the boxes and concentrated their Gurkhas
who stood by the side fire on the animal struggling of Colonel Travers.
behind, hoping to tumble him The Scouts, advancing, down the hillside and so secure a cleared another peak about 2000 welcome haul. The Scouts had yards from the main Dargai reached cover, but seeing the position. Their arrival evi- driver fall, Rifleman Motiram dently disconcerted the enemy, Thapa pluckily dashed back for a Pathan is keenly alive to over the most exposed ground, the danger of a threatened line and though the sling of his rifle was cut, his arm bruised, and traversed by the main column the ground spattered with was a necessary preliminary. bullets, yet he succeeded in Taking every advantage of bringing the mule to cover and cover, the little men pushed so saved the ammunition. For
For rapidly up the hill under a fairly this courageous and useful act smart fire from three small he was awarded the Order of sangars, which were promptly Merit of the Third Class. rushed by Captain Lucas and
On October 20 Lieutenant 35 men. In the meantime 20 Tillard with the scouts of the scouts under Havildar Kaman 3rd Gurkhas led the famous Sing Burathoki had been told attack on Dargai, and were the off to check a body of Afridis on first over the fire-swept zone. the right flank. This duty was Joined in the cover they had most admirably carried out by reached by three companies of the havildar, who drove back “The Prince of Wales' Own,” and inflicted heavy loss on the they sadly watched their enemy without suffering any countrymen of that famous casualties himself. That night regiment shot down in making the force bivouacked in the fields gallant attempt after attempt of the Mastura Valley, and, to cross the fatal spot.
thanks to the non-arrival of the A few days later large bodies baggage, by no means an unof Afridis were seen streaming common incident, a most cheeracross the Khanki river, ap- less night was spent. parently making for heights Sir William Lockhart recommanding the camp. The solved to capture the Arhanga 5th Scouts were ordered to seize Pass on the 31st, and instructed the hill, and turning out as they the Scouts to seize a hill on the were, they raced for the top and right overlooking the pass. reached it in an incredibly Covered by rapid fire from the short time. And none too soon! artillery, the Nepalese skirmishThe summit was barely secured ers dashed forward, breasted before the enemy appeared from the hill
, and were the first to the other side, but being greeted view the Afridi Tirah — the by an effective and deadly Promised Land of whose very volley, they did not wait for existence many had doubted, more.
and which, so ran the boast, General Gaselee's brigade had never before been gazed having been ordered to advance upon by unbelieving eyes. from Gandaki in the direction Having now penetrated the of the Sampagha Pass, the heart of the enemy's country Scouts moved out at dawn on and forced the main passes, all the 29th to determine the hoped that opposition would enemy's position. This accom- soon cease; but how different plished, they were
were detailed, was the result ! From that supported by two companies of moment a harassing guerilla the “Queens,” to cover the right warfare commenced, and conflank of the advance. To effect tinued without intermission this, the capture of a spur run- until the arrival of the 2nd ning parallel to the ground Division at Swaikot on December 14. As may readily be the two were reported “missguessed, this ceaseless worryinging," and were given up for brought out the Scouts almost lost by officers and comrades, every day as well as on many who feared they had ventured nights, and the camp would too far. In the early morning, sleep the more securely when it however, they strolled into camp, was known that the Gurkhas evidently as well pleased with were on the alert.
themselves as usual, and duly On more than one occasion reported their arrival to the the Scouts, moving out at dawn, officer who had told them off would come across an English for the duty, with the words, picket who had been all night “Dūstă pāyo” (got 'em both). without food. Out would come All night long they had stalked the day's rations and be pressed and chased the snipers, and on the hungry Tommies, the finally silenced them for ever. generous Gurkhas remaining On November 1 it was noticed without food themselves until that the enemy were carrying evening. They, in their turn, off their Lares and Penates would be met after the day's from villages in the vicinity of work with“Ram-Ram, Johnny!” the Maidan camp.
the Maidan camp. To prevent or, “What cheer, Johnny? Come this a brigade was despatched, an' 'ave a drink,” to which the the Scouts covering the right Gurkhas would invariably reply flank as before. The ground, “Good-morning !” and straight- cut up by numerous deep nulway accept. Once after a long lahs and dotted with fortified day on the hill-tops, a scout was houses, was most difficult, and greeted with, “'Ullo, Johnny, an exciting skirmish ensued. where 've you come from ?” That the Scouts, who contrived Johnny, more or less under- to lay an unusually successful standing, cheerfully replied, ambuscade, escaped without loss “Păhār sē āyā” (I've come seemed no less than miraculous. down from the hill). Tommy, But though the bullets poured who was a wag, continued the in, raising little spurts of dust conversation for the benefit of on either side, a moving man is his appreciative mates. “Oh, not easy to hit, especially if that bin to see yer pa, ’ave ye, man chance to be a GurkhaJohnny? Well, I hope ye’ve facile princeps as regards taking seen yer ma too.” The Gurkha advantage of the cover of every grinned. “Hān do, tin māră blade of rank grass or shelter (Yes, killed two or three). of casual pebble. The compara
Another anecdote relating to tive immunity of the Scouts this period runs as follows: A becomes the more wonderful column being harassed by a when we realise that the Afcouple of snipers far up the ridis were not only much more steep hillside, two Gurkhas numerous, but frequently the were despatched to drive them better armed. For the Scouts away. When
camp was reached fought with Martinis and black
1 The pronunciation of “påhār” (a hill) and of “māră” (killed) would somewhat resemble “pa” and “