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wouldn't come. His benefactor seemed to under- he said. “Now, good night, and take care of your stand it, and dismissed hiin at the corner with a bird." kindly pat.
Take care of it! wouldn't he? There was no “Do your duty always, whether it's easy or not, gladder face in the city than Will's, as he went my boy, and all the rest will be right with you,” | home with his long-waited-for friend. E. K. O.
THE BHEEL ROBBERS OF INDIA.
of India, who have obtained group of trees immediately were transformed into
country which they infest. This took place in the days when the tricks of the Fly One of their methods of avoiding Bheels were not so generally known as they now
capture shows a degree of ingenuity are; fortunately their tactics have become well
that one can only regret is so utterly understood, and though this tribe ranks as the misspent. They usually select nightfall cleverest and most scientific among the robbers for their expeditions, for then their dusky of India, their villainous occupation is almost bodies are not easily noticeable, and
gone. they lie in wait for any party journeying Loving plunder-excursions and warfare, and thus across the plains. They are often pursued by leading an active life, the Bheels have little leisure men on horseback, and when unable to reach
and less taste for industrious occupations. Their the jungle in time to escape capture, they rapidly huts in the forest are of the rudest description, throw off their scanty clothing, scatter it over consisting simply of boughs and sticks thatched the ground along with the plunder which they and bound with long grass. Beyond these humble may have secured, and then snatching up a few dwellings, and an enclosure for their cattle, the sticks and dead branches they stand immovable in remainder of their property is strictly personal. various attitudes, like so many stunted and withered With a view to their common protection the huts trees, until their pursuers ride off, having failed to are generally constructed close to each other, and detect them. Many of these plains having been should a stranger enter the precincts of the village, cleared by fire, there are plenty of blackened trunks the inhabitant who first notices the intruder rushes and leafless branches standing and lying about to aid to the nearest hovel, and uttering a loud cry of the Bheels in turning themselves into human trees. terror, the note of alarm is caught up by the ad. When the pursuers have galloped away, the rob- jacent huts, and soon the whole community, and bers pick up their booty, and make for their re- even the neighbouring hills, echo the shout. In treats without delay. They are thieves by pro- this manner the tribesmen are warned of the apfession, and make all their preparations with proach of danger, and they very soon determine, great deliberation, well anointing themselves with according to the circumstances of the case, whether oil, in order that, even when arrested, they may, to fight, fly, or remain indifferent—this last decision if possible, slip out of the clutches of their being arrived at in the event of the strangers captors.
proving friendly. It is related that a small body of these ma- When they are unable to capture cattle, owing rauders chased by a party of soldiers took refuge to the animals being too well protected even behind some rocks. When the soldiers came up, against their excessive cleverness in stealing, they the Bheels were found to have mysteriously dis- resort to a stratagem of a different but more objecappeared. After a fruitless search, the officer tionable character. Ascertaining where the grazing ordered a halt beside a clump of withered trees, ground of the cattle is situated, they procure a and as the day was hot he took off his helmet quantity of poison and drop it upon the leaves of and hung it upon one of the branches. This the plantain bushes among which the poor beasts particular branch happened to be the leg of a feed. In due course the oxen die, and their car. Bheel, who with a shriek of laughter threw the cases are cast aside as useless. Useless to their owners perhaps, but not to the Bheels, who do service, I placed them as a guard over treasure, not fail to return without loss of time to secure which had a surprising effect, both in elevating the dead animals, for it is the skins and not the them in their own minds, and in those of the other flesh that they have all along been anxious to people of the community." obtain.
The Bheels, though eager for the fray, are neither Barbarous as the Bheels are, however, it must vindictive nor inhospitable, and for a trifling renot be supposed that they are utterly bad. Bishop muneration used in bygone days to guide British Heber once passed through their country, and his officers on fishing and hunting excursions. They escort was mainly composed of Bheels. They con- excite the horror of high-class Hindoos by eatducted him safely across a most perilous territory, ing the flesh of buffaloes and cows, a practice which abounded in ravines overgrown with jungle that is altogether abominable in the eyes of these that afforded safe hiding for hostile natives or savage natives, who look upon the cow as
a sacred tigers, and when he reached his destination these animal. terrible hillsmen watched his camp throughout the They are adepts at the use of the bow and arrow, night, acting their parts as sentinels with the ut. which they shoot in a curious manner, lying conmost loyalty and diligence. The bishop met cealed in the long grass, and holding the bow with during his travel caravans of Brinjarries, a wander- their feet. This ancient weapon they handle with ing race who spend their time in conveying grain, surprising skill, even shooting fishes with great and who are often guarded on these occasions by dexterity. Heber described their district as being armed Bheels hired for the express purpose of like Rob Roy's country ; but he awarded the palm securing them from the attacks of the bands of to the people of the latter as being more formarauders that waylay unprotected carriers. Sir midable enemies than the Bheels. Now it was John Malcolm once raised a corps of Bheel the opinion of cautious Andrew Fairservice that soldiers, and the results of discipline were in there were many things too bad for blessing, and this case highly successful, affording a striking in- too good for banning, like Rob Roy ; so that if stance of the truth of the proverb that there is the Bheels were less dangerous than the clanshonour even among thieves. For, says Sir John, men of that bold chieftain, it seems to follow that " before these robbers had been a month in the they were a tolerable set of savages after all.
By I.. C. Silke,
glimpses of some deer in the distance, which HE following day, made her long to go nearer, whilst a handsome
in accordance with peacock perched on the stone balustrade excited
caresses and kisses.
like best to do." “I thought at first of bringing Charlie and “She would like to see the dogs, I should think, Minnie with me ; but they are apt to get tired of or have a ride on my pony,” said Charlie. so long a drive, so I decided it would be best for “I am sure she would like to see the doll's them to be ready to welcome you on your arrival, house," asserted Minnie confidently, evidently conThey are looking forward to having a little visitor." sidering that the crowning delight of all.
Mrs. Lang, like Mrs. Hope, was a very young “Oh, bother the doll's house !" ejaculated Charlie grandmother, and, like her, was a real lover of chil. with boyish contempt. “That is all very well for dren. Mabel felt at home with her at once, and a wet day, when you can't do anything better, but much enjoyed her drive through the beautiful it's ever so much jollier to race about in the park, scenery. The weather was fine and bright, though or have a ride on Jack.” the sky looked unsettled, and the rising clouds “I dare say Mabel may like to take a turn at all seemed to foretell rain.
these different amusements, and after luncheon she At length, when Mabel was beginning to wonder shall decide which shall come first,” said Mrs. how much farther they would have to go, they Lang. “But now she must take her things off, and turned in at some lodge gates, which admitted them you must all get ready, for the bell will ring in a into a park of apparently very large extent. The few minutes." road now was all up-hill, and they still drove on a Mabel, meantime, had been making her observagood distance before the house came in sight. It tions upon her young friends, and had come to the was a castellated building, with a sort of tower at conclusion that she should like them very much. either end, and an arched entrance in the centre,
Charlie was a fine manly boy, of about seven years the windows having massive stone mullions, whilst of age ; and Minnie, who seemed a couple of years the roof was battlemented. Standing in the centre younger, was a pretty child, with long flaxen hair of the park, away from all other habitations, and and dark blue eyes : a loving little thing, ready to shadowed by sombre trees, it did not look a cheer- make friends with every one. Putting her hand ful dwelling, and Mabel secretly decided that she confidingly into Mabel's, she led her into the much preferred Heylands, with its sunny aspect nursery, where her hat was removed and her rum. and extensive views over the beautiful lake. If | pled hair made smooth. only Aunt Alicia could be transformed into another At luncheon Mabel did not feel shy and awkward, Mrs. Lang! Here there seemed to be nothing as she did when Miss Alicia's eye was upon her, but the park to look out upon, but she caught but laughed merrily at General Lang's jokes, and
Minnie had brought down her whole family of dolls, three in number. Lady Geraldine, the last addition, was a beautiful creature, with face and arms of wax, blue eyes, light hair, and a benign unruffled expression of countenance. Then came Miss Judith Lang, who was supposed to be her younger sister, though no one could trace the slightest family likeness. Moreover, she had the appearance of being so overwhelmed by the grandeur and pretensions of the Lady Geraldine as to have but little spirit left. She seemed to have resigned herself meekly to her fate of wearing old dowdy dresses and battered hats ; whilst the consciousness of having a flattened nose-the tip of it having been knocked off in a skirmish with Charlieand no hair, so to speak, left on her head, appeared to add to the depression of her spirits, and gave her a woe-begone aspect, that was increased by the dinginess of her complexion, suggesting the idea of its not having been washed for a long time. However, if she could not boast much of her personal attractions, she still retained her place in the affections of Minnie, for she was her oldest friend of the trio : a fact that perhaps accounted for the loss of some of her charms.
But even Miss Judith looked aristocratic by the side of Sally, who was supposed to be maid-of-allwork in the establishment of Lady Geraldine, and who—perhaps because she was of wood-suffered from a certain stiffness of the joints, and indeed of the whole figure, which made her rather resemble a scarecrow, so long and lank was she, with clothes that hung on her instead of falling gracefully around her, as did those of her mistress.
Besides all this, she showed a lamentable want of taste in dress, with a negro's love of bright colours, having a yellow and red striped under petticoat, and some sort of short upper garment of blue calico.
Such was Minnie's family, and Charlie proceeded to explain what his ideas were with regard to them.
“Let us dress them up as soldiers, and pretend they are defending a castle, and we have come to take it, like a story grandma was telling me this morning. It was so pretty-about a king called Edward, who besieged town called Calais ; but the people were so brave, they held out a long time. He took it at last, though, and then some of the men came to the queen, his wife, with halters round their necks, and she begged for them, and so their lives were spared. I'll be King Edward, and one of you shall be Queen Philippa."
“That will be a capital play," said Mabel. And what shall be the castle or town?"
“Let us see ;” and the boy glanced around. Suddenly his eye fell upon a low screen, which
winter stood near the fireplace to shield Mrs. Lang from the draught, but which now was standing back near a window at the far end of the room.
“How jolly! This will be the very thing,” he cried, pouncing upon it. “The screen will do for the walls of the fortress, and we can make the dolls hang on like this, by putting their arms well over the top and leaning their bodies a little forward.”
“ Are you sure they are safe like that?" asked Minnie anxiously, trembling for them in their insecure position.
“Oh, quite,” returned Charlie carelessly. “There, now they are manning the walls.
But stay ; we must dress them up like soldiers first. No one ever saw a soldier in a white muslin dress and pink sash.”
He had Lady Geraldine in his arms, and his eye was roving round the room in search of something suitable for his purpose.
A piece of scarlet cashmere, which Mrs. Lang was braiding, was lying on her little work-table.
“Hurrah !” he cried, pouncing upon it eagerly. “Hurrah ! that's the very thing ;” and he hastily wrapped it round the doll, fastening it with a great darning-needle he found on his grandmamma's pincushion.
“But look, Charlie, how clumsily you have put it on,” exclaimed Minnie, who, young as she was, liked to see things tastefully arranged. “You've huddled it all up round her neck, and hidden her nice curls. Let Mabel do it."
“No, no ; it's better like that—a soldier doesn't wear curls, you know. And we'll call her General Lang,” he announced, with a total disregard of any nationality; “and Judith shall be a captain. But Sally must be a private soldier, for she doesn't look like an officer, does she ?"
“Of course not, because she's only a maid-of-allwork. She doesn't set up to be anything grand."
“But what can we dress these two in ?” said Mabel.
“Let me see. I think Sally might do as she is, in her blue jacket, because some soldiers have blue coats. But we must find something for Judith. I suppose that mat would be rather hot, and rather heavy too,” he said doubtfully, pointing to a crimson one lying in front of the window.
“Oh, Charlie, the idea of putting a mat round her !” laughed Minnie. “I'm sure she wouldn't like that."
"I see something that will do famously," exclaimed her brother eagerly, as he seized upon and held up in triumph a half-finished scarlet comforter which his grandmamma was in the course of knitting. Coolly pulling out the needles, which he explained "might stick into her," he bound it