The first event after being settled in our new quarters was the arrival of a sheep, presented to us by the Kardar, or chief dignitary of the town, as a mark of affection and distinction. This, according to the strict letter of the law, we should have refused to accept; twenty days marching, however, while it had sharpened our appetites, had rather diminished our stores.
The impudence of the request was almost worth the bottle, but brandy was too scarce and precious a commodity to justify us in pleasing the Kardar, so that all I could do was politely to decline sending the corkscrew or the bottle either. In the afternoon we explored the Bazaar, where we found abundance of dogs, dirt, and idlers, but little else.
Having finished his stock of information, which I received thank-fully in default of better, he told me, with delightful coolness, that it was the proper thing for me to give him a bottle of brandy for the Kardar, and that it would be necessary to send also a corkscrew with the bottle, to enable him to get at it!
After seeing the last of the hockey we pitched our camp under a grove of trees, and had an audience of the Kardar, with a view to obtaining information as to our new line of march, which here branches off from the old route.
The natives also were averse to eating it, and only one man acknowledged to have seen it before. Caught by seine, by Corporal Emms of the 51st regiment, 7th April, 1841. No. 48. AULOPUS PURPURISSATUS. Richardson, Icones Piscium, p. 6, pl. 2, f. 3. Native name, KARDAR. "Rays, D. 19; A. 14; V. 9; P. 10." Very rare. Caught by hook, on a rocky shore, by Mr. Sholl of Albany, 14th July, 1841.
That dignitary was upon his legs again to-day, and Rajoo convalescent once more. Arriving about three P.M. at our old ground at Pushkoom, we found the peaceful, quiet-looking little spot we had left, a scene of the greatest noise and bustle imaginable. We were now received in due form by the Kardar, and Thanadar of Kurgil, not to mention the Wuzeer, or Vizier of Pushkoom.