The Adventures of Kathlyn (Chapter 4, page 1 of 15)


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Chapter 4

Meantime Lal Singh was hurrying on a racing camel toward the railway,
toward Simla, more than a thousand miles away. He was happy. Here was
the long delayed opportunity for the hand of the British Raj: a captive
white woman. What better excuse was needed? There would be armed Sikhs
and Gurhas and Tommies near Rawal Pindi. Ai! how time moved, how fate
twisted! How the finest built castle in schemes came clattering down!
At the very moment when he had secretly worked upon the king to throw
himself into the protecting arms of the British Raj--assassinated! The
council? Umballa? Some outsider, made mad by oppression? The egg of
Brahma was strangely hatched--this curious old world!

Ahmed remained hidden in the bazaars, to await the ordeals. Nothing
should harm his mistress; he was ready now and at all times to lay down
his life for her; in this the British Raj came second. He had sent a
courier to Bruce Sahib's bungalow, but the man had returned to report
that it was still unoccupied.

And while he bit his nails in futile wrath and smoked till his tongue
grew bitter, some miles away there was much confusion in the jungle by
the water. Tents were being set up, native bearers and coolies were
running to and fro, building fires, carrying water, hobbling the pack
elephants. Wandering in and out of this animated scene was a young man,
clean shaven, deeply tanned, with blue eyes which were direct, small
pupiled, yet kindly. Presently he called to one of the head men.

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