Bengal Dacoits and Tigers

Bengal Dacoits and Tigers

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Project Gutenberg's Bengal Dacoits and Tigers, by Maharanee Sunity Devee This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Bengal Dacoits and Tigers Author: Maharanee Sunity Devee Release Date: January 18, 2010 [EBook #10928] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BENGAL DACOITS AND TIGERS ***
Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/Million Book Project)
Bengal Dacoits and Tigers
by Maharanee Sunity Devee, C.I. of Cooch Behar
Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Co. 1916
Printed by N. Mukherjee, B.A., at the Art Press, 1, Wellington Square, Calcutta
Contents Dacoit Stories The Jhee’s Discovery Trapped by a Cobra Saved by a Bear Raghu Dacoit Girl as Kali-Ma The Deputy Magistrate All for Nothing A Punjabee Dacoit A Child’s Experience Two Chinese Dacoits An Unfaithful Servant Tiger Stories The Bearer’s Fate Through the Roof Earning the Reward A Burmese Monster The Palki and the Tiger AnAssamAdventure A Thrilling Story A Cachar Tiger A Maharajah’s Adventures
Dacoit Stories
The Jhee’s Discovery It was the month ofJaishta(May-June) in Bengal, and the earth languished under the scorching rays of the sun and sent up a voiceless prayer to the Rain God to come soon and refresh the fields and jungles with the welcome“barsat”(rainy season). Yet, in spite of the intense heat, a young and delicately nurtured Bengali lady was travelling. She was on her way to pay a visit to her parents-in-law, for after marriage the bride returns to her childhood’s home and remains there, paying visits from time to time to her husband’s home until the day comes when she goes to live there. It is a Bengali custom that ladies, especially young ladies, must always wear their jewellery, even when travelling. Arms, wrists, neck and ankles, bare of jewels, are a sign of widowhood or dire poverty. Out young heroine was accordingly adorned with jewels and she was also richly attired. Was she not the dau hter of a wealth man and oin to visit her mother-in-law? So her mother had lovin l dressed her
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in an exquisite gold-embroidered Benares silksareeof finest texture and superb workmanship, and the jewellery, which adorned her graceful arms, neck and ankles, was in keeping with the richness of her costume. Twelve bearers took turns in carrying the covered palanquin orpalkiin which she travelled. They had been in her father’s service for many years and were known, to be trustworthy. A faithfuljhee(maid) accompanied her, sometimes walking beside thepalkiand at other times sitting within, to fan her young mistress and help to enliven the weary journey with tales of former travels. Two men-servants, whom in Bengal we calldurwansand who are permitted to bear arms in defence of their masters’ goods, completed the party. One of them walked on either side of thepalanquinand each carried a naked sword in his hand. These two men were tried and trusted retainers of the young lady’s father, and were prepared to defend their master’s daughter even at the cost of their lives. The route lay through a lonely country district with stretches of rice-fields scattered between, and villages nestling here and there among groves of trees. At. one of these villages the party halted awhile for rest and refreshment, and then on again in the fierce heat of a close Indian day. Thus many miles had been passed; and the evening shades were beginning to cool the wearisome day, when the travellers drew near to a group of trees not far from a small tank (artificial lake). Thepalki-bearers sighted this ideal resting-place and asked thejheeto inform their young mistress of it, and beseech that they might stop there and refresh themselves with a draught of water, after which they would be able to travel still faster, A gracious consent was readily given by the fair one within thepalanquin. She had found the heat almost beyond endurance, and pitied the bearers who had the weight of herpalkiand herself added to their sufferings. Thepalanquinwas gently set down under a large and shady tree, and thedurwansrespectfully withdrew a little distance to permit of thejheeraising the covering, so that their kind mistress might also enjoy the grateful shade and coolness of the grove. The spot was lonely and their responsibility great, so the men decided among themselves that they should divide into two parties. Six should remain with the guard to protect their fair charge in case of any untoward happening while the other six refreshed themselves at the lake. This plan was no sooner agreed upon than the first six trooped off gleefully towards the tank. The others stretched themselves in the shade and relaxed their limbs in the interval of waiting. Time passed unheeded till it dawned upon some of those who waited that they still thirsted and that the first six seemed too long away. They asked thejheeto obtain leave for them to go and hurry the others up and refresh themselves at the same time, so that the journey might soon be resumed as the evening sun was nearing the horizon, and if they delayed further night would overtake them. The young lady gave the desired permission and the second six soon disappeared towards the tank. They too were long away! Thejheefelt uneasy but kept her fears to herself. Suddenly she too disappeared. Without a word to her mistress she had decided to see what the bearers were doing at the tank. Climbing up a tree, she crept along an overhanging branch and a dreadful sight met her horrified gaze. Some of the bearers lay dead in the shallow water and the surviving ones were fighting desperately for their lives with a small band of outlaws. Rushing back to thepalkiwith the utmost speed and regardless of onlookers, she flung wide the door, screaming frantically, “Dacoits! dacoits! run,didi(elder sister), run. With these eyes of mine I saw them. I climbed a tree and saw them. Some of our bearers lie dead and they are killing the others. Fly! fly for your life!” With these words she turned and led the way with swiftness impelled by fear. The lonely occupant of thepalanquinreceived the awful tidings with horror and dismay. Often had she heard tales of dacoits and their ruthless deeds. For a fleeting instant the thought, that she must fall a victim to such desperados, paralysed her with fear; but only for an instant. Her woman’s wit and ingenuity moved her to action. Quickly she divested herself of her heavy jewelled anklets. How could she run thus weighted? and might not their value satisfy the greed of the highwaymen? Flinging them down in the palanquin think she was, she hastily closed the doors and dropped the covering over its sides. Let them within. The search of thepalkiwould delay them awhile. Then tucking up her richsateeshe too started to run for her life. She had gone but a few steps when the voices of the twodurwansarrested her. They had heard thejhee’sdistracted cry, and their only thought was for their young mistress. “Didi,”they said, addressing her affectionately and respectfully by the endearing name of sister, which is a custom permitted in Bengal to the servants of every household. In the home of her girlhood a girl is addressed as“didi”(sister) and in her father-in-law’s house as“bow”(son’s wife). Sons of the family are addressed as“dada”(brother, strictly elder brother) and sons-in-law as“jamai”. Didi,these bodies we will defend you. If the dacoits overtake us,fear not! As long as there is breath in we will uard ou. No harm shall come to ou.”
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 hws dowane hodsurt no e yroa siittle st. This lvdneutert ehria ra Tl.gaen Bins yad dlo eht ni sl waraveus tgerod naa dnuctlfiif ehttsapof ,ht rtsar t anghif  oi  son wnim napyvelling by palkio krowteawliar fheetog t n abyr ebnii  sknde gilole e whinceProv gmano g,th diniches of the branof s dnuehj aw ehe tpo soscltoe ehd net teewhgbtacoind dns aurwa dah ehS .eert afie thd seestnwi her mistress. Weh nobhtr aehcde ats tnd fheghlina tup diusrfo thourull th vs wia ccvidi sfouotngaeaom he th, inlif eehjd pu del