This Raj will not be talked down; and he who builds on the present madness of the Sahib-log, which, O Naik, covers great cunning, builds for himself a lock-up. My father's uncle has seen their country, and he says that he is afraid as never he feared before. So Strickland Sahib's boy will come back to this country, and his son after him. Naik, have they named him yet?"
Oh, everything was ripe in the state for murder and loot and the reaching, holding hand of the British Raj. As Kathlyn advanced to the canopied dais upon which she was to be crowned, a hand filled with flowers reached out. She turned to see Ahmed. "Bruce Sahib," she whispered. Ahmed salaamed deeply as she passed on. The impression that she was dreaming again seized her.
The Mohammedans had no love for the British, but they hated the Hindus, and they saw in the British Raj a bulwark against the potential menace of hereditary enemies who outnumbered them nearly five to one. Thus the Mohammedans denounced Hindu nationalism and proclaimed their loyalty to the Raj.
The Captain, looking into the drawn face, had a curious feeling that Hodson was at least a hundred. There was a floaty wonderment in his mind why the fifty-five-years'-service retirement rule had not been enforced in the Colonel's case. Then he heard the other's words. "I've had but two gods, Barlow, the British Raj and Elizabeth; that's since her mother died.
We are camping about a mile from the town in a corner of Mr. Lister's compound. It is pretty, with well-kept grass and flower-beds, and opposite is the Guest House of the Raj, where we would be staying now were it not that its roof is not quite safe, and it cannot be used. I went through it, and a great neglected place it is, with tawdry Early Victorian furniture and awful oleographs.
"Knowing that he dares begin and can accomplish what he threatens, I am sorry; because I know it is said how many services you have rendered of old to the government I serve. We who serve one raj are One one to remember one to forget one to help each other in good time. "I have not been idle. Some of Muhammad Anim's men are already mine.
Day by day he waited for the report from Lal Singh, but so far he had heard nothing except that the British Raj was very busy killing the followers of the Mahdi in the Soudan. It was a subtle inference that for the present all aliens in Allaha must look out for themselves. "Sahib," he whispered, "I have learned something. Day after day I have been waiting, hoping.
You are the paid creature of the British Raj, or you are a leader of free men. Brother, speak!" As in a dream the Judge approached the waiting crowd. His mouth was parched, his heart beat fitfully. He wanted that piercing voice to wake the echoes again, to take up the story of the old blood-feud, to goad him into doing that which he had not the courage to do.
Hearken, then, to what I have to say. "'There is a rajah in the northern provinces who has much wealth, though his lands are small. Much has come to him from his father, and more still he has set by himself, for he is of a low nature and hoards his gold rather than spend it. When the troubles broke out he would be friends both with the lion and the tiger, with the Sepoy and with the Company's Raj.
I heard men among the mutineers declare that all had been accounted for, save only three women and a child, and me. Those four I myself had hidden, and as for myself I too was accounted for, and not without credit to the Raj for whom I fight!" "I believe you, Juggut Khan! Did you have to cut your way out?" The Rajput smiled. "There was a message to deliver, sahib! What would you?