Gobind Pant Bundela, foraging near Meerut with 10,000 light cavalry, was surprised and slain by Atai Khan at the head of a similar party of Afghans. The terror caused by this affair paralysed the Bhao's commissariat, while it greatly facilitated the foraging of the Shah.
On one occasion 20,000 of their camp-followers, who had gone to collect provisions, were massacred in a wood near the camps by this vigilant force. The Bhao's spirit sank under these repeated blows and warnings, and he sent to the Nawab Vazir, Shujaa-ud-daulah, to offer to accept any conditions that might still be obtainable.
This general had learned French discipline as commandant de la qarde to Bussy, and bore the title, or nickname, of "gardi," a souvenir of his professional origin. The Bhao's progress was joined by Mahratta forces under Holkar, Sindhia, the Gaikwar, Gobind Pant, and others. Many of the Rajput States contributed, and Suraj Mal brought a contingent of 20,000 hardy Jats.
Soon after the despatch of the Bhao's note, the Mahratta troops broke their fast with the last remaining grain in camp, and prepared for a mortal combat; coming forth from their lines with turbans dishevelled and turmeric-smeared faces, like devotees of death. They marched in an oblique line, with their left in front, preceded by their guns, small and great.
He did not evidently know what were the Bhao's real feelings, but probably judged him by the rest of his conduct, which was that of a bold, ambitious statesman. From what he saw in the other camp, he may well have concluded that Najib had some far-seeing scheme on foot, which kept him from sincerely forwarding the proposed treaty.