On the 1st of March, while Mr. Robertson with his escort was in Chitral and active hostilities had not yet commenced, a native officer had started from Mastuj with forty men and sixty boxes of ammunition for Chitral. He had proceeded for a couple of marches and had reached Buni, when he found the road broken and rumours reached him that he was to be attacked. He accordingly wrote to Lieutenant Moberly, the special duty officer with the Kashmir troops in Mastuj telling him of the state of affairs and asking for instructions.

Rumours had by now reached Mastuj that Sher Afzul had entered Chitral territory and that large numbers of the Chitralis had joined him. But he was said to have friendly intentions towards the British and all the local head men reported to Lieutenant Moberly that no organised attack upon a party of troops was at all likely. Still there was evidently a feeling of unrest abroad, and as a detachment of the 14th Sikhs under Captain Ross and Lieutenant Jones were now at Laspur, two marches on the Gilgit side of Mastuj, on their way up, Lieutenant Moberly wrote to ask Captain Ross to come on into Mastuj in a single march instead of two. This Captain Ross did, and on the evening of the 4th of March he started from Mastuj with fifty men to reinforce the Subadar, who was blocked at Buni. On the same day a detachment of twenty Sappers and Miners under Lieutenant J. S. Fowler, R.E., accompanied by Lieutenant S. M. Edwardes also arrived in Mastuj. The party were on their way to Chitral with engineering stores, and without halting at Mastuj they left on the following morning, March 5th, with the intention of overtaking the Subadar at Buni and with the combined party continuing the march to Chitral. That evening Captain Ross returned to Mastuj reporting that everything was quiet at Buni, and that Lieutenants Edwardes and Fowler were to leave Buni on the 6th for Chitral with the ammunition escort. On the evening of March 6th Lieutenant Moberly received a note from Lieutenant Edwardes dated noon of the same day from Koragh, a small hamlet a few miles below Buni, saying that he heard he was to be attacked near Reshun, the first stage beyond Buni. Upon hearing of this Captain Ross at once moved from Mastuj, and also wrote to the officer commanding at Ghizr, the nearest post on the Gilgit side of the Shandur Pass, asking him to send up as many men as he could possibly spare to reinforce Mastuj. The strength of Captain Rosss party was
2 British officers
1 Native officer
6 Havildars (sergeants)
3 Naiks (corporals)
2 Buglers
82 Sepoys
I Hospital-Assistant
8 Hospital followers
2 Cooks
2 Water-carriers
I Lascar
1 Sweeper
2 Dhobis
Nine days' rations and 140 rounds of ammunitiori per man were carried.

Leaving Mastuj on the morning of March 7th, Captain Ross reached Buni, eighteen miles distant, at II P.M. the same day. Here he left one native officer with thirty-three rank and file, while with the rest he and his subaltern, Lieutenant Jones, started for Reshun, the place, about thirteen miles lower down the valley, in which Lieutenant Edwardes*' party were detained. Captain Ross s men took with them three days' cooked rations, and at about i p.m. the party reached the small hamlet of Koragh, about half way to Reshun, and a short halt was made here. What occurred after that may best be told in Lieutenant Jones's own words.

About half-amile after leaving Koragh [he says] the road enters a narrow defile. The hills on the left bank consist of a succession of large stone shoots, with precipitous spurs in between; the road at the entrance to the defile for about one hundred yards runs quite close to the river; after that it lies along a narrow maidan, some thirty or forty yards in width, and is on the top of the river bank, which is here a cliff ; this continues for about half a mile ; then at the Reshun end it ascends a steep spur. When the advanced party reached about half way up this spur, it was fired on from a sangar which is across the road, and at the same time men appeared on all the mountain tops and ridges, and stones were rolled down all the shoots. Captain Ross, who was with the advanced guard, re- called the point of the advanced guard and fell back on the main body, with which I was. All our coolies dropped their loads and bolted as soon as the first shot was fired. Captain Ross, after looking at the enemy's position, decided to fall back upon Koragh, as it would have been useless to go on to Reshun, leaving an enemy in such a position behind us. With this object in view Captain Ross ordered me back with ten men to seize the Koragh end of the defile, to cover his retirement. By the time that 1 had reached within about one hundred yards of the sangai: at this end I had only two sepoys left with me unwounded, and it was therefore impossible for me to proceed any further. I sent back and informed Captain Ross accordingly. Captain Ross in the meantime had occupied two caves in the river bank, and he ordered me to come back to him, which I did. Captain Ross then informed me that it was his intention to wait till the moon rose, and that he would then try and force his way out. We stayed in the caves till about 8 p.m., and then we started to try and force our way out to Koragh.

When Captain Ross had got about half way across the stone shoot under the sangars at the Koragh end he decided to retire, as there was such a torrent of rocks coming down the shoot, that he thought that his party would be annihilated if he attempted to go on. Thereupon we again retired to the caves mentioned above. After reaching here. Captain Ross thought that he would try and get to the top of the mountain above us, and we started up the spur nearest above the caves. We had got some way up, when our road was completely barred by a precipice, and we could get no further, as we had no native of the country to guide us, and the ground was extremely dangerous. One of the sepoys, falling here, was killed. After looking about in vain for a path. Captain Ross again decided to retire to the caves, and we reached them about 3 A.M. As every one was now tired out, Captain Ross decided to remain here for the present. We remained in the caves all the day of the 9th. The enemy, meanwhile, did not molest us further than firing a few shots into the cave, and, as we had built up breastworks there, they could not do us much damage. During the 9th Captain Ross and myself both agreed that the only thing remaining for us to do was to cut our way out back to Koragh at all costs, and we decided to make the attempt about 2 A.M. On the loth, when we thought that the enemy would least expect it, we started accordingly, and we attacked their sangars and drove them out of them ; they retired a short distance up the hill and kept up a brisk fire from behind rocks. There was also a heavy fire kept on us from the sangars on the Tight bank of the river. A large number of sepoys were killed, or so severely wounded as not to be able to move, by the stones down the shoot which ran right into the river, and Captain Ross himself was killed in front of one of the sangars. I and seventeen rank and file reached the maidan on the Koragh side of the defile in safety, and when I got there I halted and re-formed the men, and stayed there some ten minutes, keeping up a heavy fire on the sangars on both banks of the river, in order to help any more of the men who could get through. While halting there, two bodies of the enemy's swordsmen attempted to charge us, but were checked by volleys and losing heavily. As the enemy now showed signs of again cutting our line of retreat, I considered that it was time to retire, especially as two more of my party were killed, and one mortally wounded, while I had been waiting here. Of the remaining fifteen, I myself and nine sepoys were wounded. We retired slowly to Buni, where we arrived about 6 a.m. It was quite impossible to bring any wounded men who were unable to walk with us, and it was equally impossible to bring their rifles, &c. Therefore a certain -number, about forty of these, fell into the hands of the enemy. I estimate the enemy's numbers at about 1,000, and think that they must have lost heavily. > I spent from the loth to the 17th March at Buni, having occupied a house there and put it into a state of defence.

On the 17th he was relieved by Lieutenant Moberly, as will be subsequently told.

We now have to follow the fortunes of the party under Lieutenants Edwardes and Fowler, to whose assistance Captain Ross had set out. This party, as will be remembered, had marched from Mastuj on the 5th of March before any news of an outbreak of hostilities had reached that place. They were escorting ammunition and engineering stores for the troops at Chitral, and their party consisted of twenty Bengal Sappers and Miners, forty- two Kashmir Infantry, an orderly, three officers' servants, and two followers. On the 6th they reached Reshun, a large, but straggling village situated on a sloping plain between the left bank of the Chitral river and the steep mountain sides which rose behind. The houses are detached and dotted over the plain, each surrounded by an orchard. On the edge of a cliff which over- hangs the river was a sangar, which the detachment now occupied, and here they stored their kit and ammunition, while a small party consisting of Lieutenants Edwardes and Fowler with twenty Bengal Sappers and Miners, and ten Kashmir Infantry started out to repair a break in the road a few miles below Reshun. Immediately after leaving the village the road to Chitral ascends a spur to a height of about 1,000 feet, and descending again to the level of the river passes for half a mile or so over a plain, and then enters a narrow defile with the un- fordable river on one hand and inaccessible cliffs on the other.

The British officers were unaware, though the siege of Chitral had commenced three days ago, that the Chitralis had risen in arms against the British, but they saw sufficient evidence of a hostile spirit to induce them to take every precaution on entering this defile. All the hill-sides were carefully examined with telescopes, and, as some sangars were observed. Lieutenant Fowler was sent to scale the heights on the left bank so as from there to be able to look down into the sangars on the opposite bank. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Edwardes remained with the rest of the party close outside the defile. Lieutenant Fowler with some difficulty found a way up the hill- side, and was engaged in examining the opposite cliffs, when suddenly a shot came from them, and about two hundred men rushed out from a village where they had been concealed and began swarming into the sangars. Lieutenant Fowler kept up a heavy fire on them, as he was well above the sangars, and did considerable execution.

But the enemy had now begun climbing the hill- sides behind him so as to cut him off from Lieutenant Edwardes, and he was forced to retire. His position indeed was now a very precarious one, for the Chitralis had succeeded in getting above him, and were hurling down stones upon his party, besides firing upon them. Lieutenant Fowler himself was wounded in the back of the shoulder, the corporal of the party was also shot, and two other men wounded.

Scrambling and jumping down he succeeded, however, in bringing his party with the wounded men down the hill-side again and on to the plain where Lieutenant Edwardes with the main body was covering his retreat. The Chitralis with Lieutenant Edwardes had been trying to induce him to enter the defile, in which case he would without doubt have suffered as Captain Ross s ill-fated party had done. But Edwardes had prudently waited till Fowler could report the hill-sides clear, and then, finding that instead of their being clear the enemy were now swarming on to them, he saw that his only plan was to retire to Reshun ; and this, when Lieutenant Fowler had rejoined him, he accordingly did.

But they were nearly two miles from the village : they had an open plain to cross and the spur nearly a thousand feet high to climb. One British officer and several men were wounded, and the enemy were gaining ground along the hill-sides. Disaster seemed imminent, but by holding the crest of the spur, and by firing steadily on the enemy to keep them at a distance, the retirement was effected without serious loss, and the sangar near the village of Reshun, where the rest of the party had been left, was reached before the enemy could cut them off.

There is one little incident in this retirement which should be recorded and remembered, for the principle it illustrates is the secret of our rule in India. It has been said that Lieutenant Fowler was wounded. Now awaiting him in the plain at the foot of the hill side up which he had been climbing was his pony. A steep hill a thousand feet in height had to be ascended on the way back to Reshun, and it might have been supposed that Fowler would have mounted his pony and ridden up it. But there were also some sepoys wounded ; and these in Fowler's opinion had to be looked after before himself So he mounted a sepoy on his pony, and walked himself. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that when the native soldiers see their officers ready to make such sacrifices for them, they should be willing to follow them anywhere, and stand by them to the last as indeed these very soldiers were now called upon to do.

For now the first blood was drawn the people rose excitedly and surrounded the little British party in the quarters they were occupying. The British officers found it impossible to hold the original sangar on the cliff by the river, for it was exposed to fire from the opposite bank, and had no head-cover. They therefore decided upon occupying some houses by the pologround, and curiously enough the very spot where Mr. George Curzon and myself had camped without a single man as escort, only five months previously. In this batch of houses, cover and fire- wood could be obtained, and a certain amount of supplies also. The only drawback in occupying them was that they were more than a hundred yards from the river, and consequently there was considerable risk of their water supply being cut off. The officers hoped, however, to be able to keep the road to the river open by their fire.

Immediately upon returning to Reshun, the officers set to work to make the position defensible, and the following account of their brave resistance against overpowering numbers of the enemy is compiled from the report they subsequently submitted to Government. The first work to be done was the construc- tion of sangars on the roofs of the houses (the houses being flat-roofed), the loopholing of the walls, blocking up entrances, and knocking out passages of communication. The materials available for making the sangars were the mud bricks of which the houses were built, roof timbers and other pieces of timber lying about, and boxes, grain bins, &c. An attack was fully expected that same night, and every possible precaution had to be taken before darkness set in. Before dusk the ammunition and the wounded had to be transported from a sangar near the river to the house. Some Kashmir sepoys volunteered for this work, and though they had to run the gauntlet of a heavy fire in crossing the space of a hundred yards which separated the sangar from the end of the garden wall round the house, they carried it out without losing a single man. Already dead tired, these men behaved splendidly," say the British officers in their report.

The enemy had been firing all day upon the party while they were at work, but at sunset their fire slackened and they went off to eat the evening meal, for this was the month of the Ramzan when Mohammedans have to fast all day and eat nothing between sunrise and sunset. Every man on the defending side was now posted in his place, and told to strengthen his cover for himself. And so the first night fell on the little party, now at bay, in the heart of an enemy's country, with their retreat cut off, and impossible defiles on either side of them. Out of the sixty-two men, they had already lost one corporal killed, two men mortally and eight others less severely wounded, and one of the two British officers was also wounded. The men had had. hard work the whole day long, they had had no food and little water, and now at night they could take no rest, for the enemy commenced firing again, and the defenders had to expect a rush from the houses and garden walls close by at any moment. The defenders' position was indeed surrounded by these houses, walls, and trees, which gave ample cover to the enemy ; and the demolition of these was undoubtedly a matter of the first importance. But beyond those * immediately round the house, there was more cover occupied by the enemy's sharp-shooters, and the British officers considered that it would have been too risky to have taken men from their places to demolish these, and so expose them where they might have been cut off at any moment. There was a difficulty, too, about burning the houses, for large quantities of kindling wood would have been required for the purpose, and from whichever side the defenders should burn fires, the enemy would attack from the other, and thus have them between themselves and the light.

All night long the garrison remained at their posts, and when day dawned on the morning of the 8th they were all utterly exhausted. But the fear of immediate attack being over, half the men were brought down from their posts, and a meal was cooked from the flour which had been found in the houses. Water, which had of course to be now carefully husbanded, was also served out ; and after the men had refreshed themselves, they were al- lowed to sleep in turns. During the day the enemy kept up a continuous fire from sangars which they had thrown up on the hillsides. At twilight the remainder of the baggage was brought in from the sangar, and the garrison then had to think of replenishing the water supply. Two large earthen- ware vessels were lashed on poles, and Lieutenant Fowler with the volunteers and a bhisti (water- carrier) set out for the river. The men carried water-bottles and the bhisti his mussuck (skin). Fortunately no enemy were met with, and the party were able to make two trips, and so fill all the storage vessels at the disposal of the garrison.

That night, as on the previous one, the defenders stood to their posts expecting an assault at any moment ; but the night passed by quietly until just before dawn on the morning of the 9th, when the moon had gone down and night was at its darkest. The enemy then charged down through the houses, and got behind the garden wall in large numbers. Lieutenant Edwardes and his party at once opened fire at about twenty yards range, while the enemy were shouting and urging each other on to the assault. There was a tremendous din of tom-toms ss they were beaten furiously to encourage the assailants, but none of the men could approach to within twenty yards of the deadly fire poured out by the defenders, and as the dim light of early dawn grew clearer, it became evident to the garrison that the enemy had no stomach for further assault. Some Pathans among the assailants were still seen urging on the Chitralis and hurling abuse at the defenders, but at about 9 a.m. they all retired, and contented themselves for the rest of the day with beating tom-toms and howling in the village. During the attack the native soldiers of the defence showed the utmost steadiness, but four of them were killed and six others wounded. On account of the darkness, it was impossible to estimate the number of the enemy or their losses. But there must have been several hundreds, and a very large portion were armed with Snider and Martini-Henry rifles.

After the assault had been thus successfully repulsed water was served out, a meal was cooked, and the men allowed to sleep in turns. In the evening it was seen that the enemy had barred the road down to the water. At dusk the defenders still further strengthened their sangars, and fully expecting another attack, kept up a vigilant outlook. But "'we and the men were terribly weary," say the. officers, '' and it was very difficult to keep the sentries awake, although they were posted double."

The night passed off quietly, however, and in the morning it was seen that the enemy had cleared off the hills, though sharpshooters still surrounded the defenders in sangars from fifty to two hundred yards distant. Lieutenant Edwardes dressed the wounded, who had so far only been bandaged. '' Never a groan or complaint was heard," says the report, though there were no medical appliances, and though not sufficient water was available with which to thoroughly wash the wounds. Bandages, crutches, and splints had to be improvised, and the officers used a weak solution of carbolic and carbolic tooth- powder for the purpose of dressing the wounds. The corpses of the six dead men were also brought out and prepared for burning. At dusk an attempt was made to procure water again, and Lieutenant Powler with twenty sepoys started down towards the river. But the enemy had now built and occupied sangars along the cliff at the river s edge, and the work of getting down to the river was one of extreme risk. Lieutenant Fowler succeeded in getting to within ten yards of the first sangar and within five yards of the sentry without being observed. About twenty men could be seen sitting round a fire in the interior with their rifles lying by their sides. A volley was poured into these men^ and then Lieutenant Fowler charged down on the top of them. A few men only succeeded in escaping down the cliff to the river bed. Meanwhile the enemy in a second sangar, roused by the firing, lined the walls and began firing to their front. But Fowler had got round them behind a wall on their flank, and he now charged right up the wall, poured a second volley into these men over the fires, also knocked over about six of them, then bayoneted a few more, while the remainder fled. And so- successful had Fowler been in surprising these parties, that not a single man of his was scratched. The way down to the water was now open, but Fowler now heard heavy firing and the Pathan cry of attack in the direction of the post. So having collected his men, he retired at once to rejoin Lieutenant Edwardes. The enemy's attack was repulsed by this latter officer before Fowlers return but the attempt to obtain water had to be abandoned for the night; occurred, and that night the defenders succeeded in reaching the river and bringing back water, the supply of which was still further replenished by •collecting the rain in waterproof sheets. A well was sunk to a depth of twelve feet, but as rock was then struck, the attempt to procure water in that manner had to be abandoned.

On the morning of the 13th a white flag was shown by the enemy, and a Pathan shouted out “ Cease firing !” The defenders also hoisted a white flag, and sent out Jemadar Lai Khan to parley with the Pathan while every man stood to his post. After some talk, the Jemadar returned with the report that Mohamed Isa, Sher AfzuFs right-hand man, had just arrived from Chitral with a following to stop the fighting and speak with the British officers. Lieutenant Edwardes sent word in reply that if Mohamed Isa would come to the defenders' side of a gap in the wall of the polo ground, situated only sixty yards from the wall of the houses held by the British officers, and entirely under fire from the defenders, one of the British officers would go out and meet him. Mohamed Isa agreed to do this : he came to the gap, and Lieutenant Edwardes then went out to talk with him, while Lieutenant Fowler remained inside the post with his men standing ready to arms in case of treachery.

When Lieutenant Edwardes met Mohamed Isa, that prince informed him that he had just arrived from Chitral, where Sher Afzul and Dr. Robertson were corresponding with a view to the former being" recognised as Mehtar. Mohamed Isa said that all fighting had ceased, and that he was most anxious to be friends with the Indian Government. After some talk between the British officer and the Chitral prince, the conditions of an armistice were arranged,, and it was stipulated that the British force should remain within their walls, that no firing should take place, that no Chitralis were to approach the walls,, that water-carriers'were to be allowed to go down to the river, and that supplies were to be provided by the Chitralis. Lieutenant Edwardes also wrote a letter to Dr. Robertson in Chitral, and to the officer commanding at Mastuj, stating in English that an armistice had been arranged, and adding in French what his losses had been, and expressing^ very great doubt of his being able to beat off any further assault. Having arranged these conditions, Lieutenant Edwardes returned to the post.

The bhistis were sent down to fetch water, and supplies were brought to the fort wall by the Chitralis. The night following passed in quiet,, but vigilance was not relaxed. Rain fell heavily during the night, and a quantity of water was collected in waterproof sheets. In the afternoon of the 14th of March a further parley was asked for,, and on the arrival of Mohamed Isa, accompanied now by another Chitrali prince named Yadgar Beg, at the former place of meeting, Lieutenant Edwardes again went out to confer with him, while Lieutenant Fowler remained, as before, inside the fortified post. Yadgar Beg confirmed to Lieutenant Edwardes the story previously told by Mohamed Isa, and both the princes were full of protestations of friendship. Yadgar Beg said he had a large following who desired to be friends, and not enemies, of the British. The same afternoon the bhistis were again sent to bring in water and having to go for some distance through the village, they reported that the houses were full of Pathans. They were not, however, ill-treated in any way, and Mohamed Isa sent in a sheep and other supplies to the British officers. Lieu- tenant Edwardes sent another letter to inform Dr. Robertson of the presumed strengthening of the enemy, and to let him know that the rations would not last beyond the 17th of March, i,e, three days hence.

So far the relations between the British officers and the Chitralis had been conducted upon an apparently friendly footing, the aim of the Chitralis being to lull the British into a sense of security. On the afternoon of the following day, the 15th of March, occurred that act of treachery by which the two officers were captured, and the greater number of their men lost their lives. In the after- noon, Mohamed Isa sent in word that now peace was restored, he and his men wished to amuse themselves, and he asked permission to play polo on the ground immediately outside the post which the British party were occupying. It seemed to the British officers that there could be no harm in granting this permission, for no man riding on the polo ground could escape their fire, and they therefore decided to grant Mqhamed Isas request. The Chitrali prince then sent to ask that both officers would come and look on, as so far he had only seen Lieutenant Edwardes. He also offered to lend the officers ponies on which to play polo. The British officers considered that as they had trusted the Chitralis so far, they might trust them further; so when Mohamed Isa and his men arrived upon the polo ground, both Lieutenant Fowler and Edwardes, having previously ordered their men to their posts which commanded the entire polo ground, went out to meet the Chitralis. A bedstead was placed in the gap in the wall of the polo ground, on the spot where the former meetings had taken place, and Mohamed Isa sat next to the officers until the men were ready to begin the game. The British officers were asked to play polo, but refused. Mohamed Isa, however, joined in the; game, while Yadgar Beg sat with Edwardes and Fowler. A third arrival from Chitral, speaking to the British officers, confirmed the story of Mohamed Isa and Yadgar Beg, that peace between the British and the Chitralis had been made.

The polo ground at Reshun is about fifty yards broad and one hundred and twenty yards long, and slopes away from the post occupied by the. British, the further side of the ground not being covered by the fire of the British garrison. Lieutenant Edwardes asked Mohamed Isa to order the men, who numbered about one hundred and fifty, and who were armed with rifles and swords, to go to the further side of the ground. The officers had some tea made and brought out for the Chitralis to drink. After the polo was over, Mohamed Isa asked if the men might dance, as is the custom of the country at the conclusion of a game. The British officers consented, and the dance began. Then under the excuse that there was a wet place in front of the officers, the bedstead on which they were seated was moved to the right, bringing it under cover of the end of the wall and the polo ground. The officers found it difficult to object to this, as it seemed that any attempt at treachery could be unattended by heavy loss to the Chitralis. As the dance proceeded, more men began to collect and to press forward in a ring round the dancers, and the officers observed that a number had come over to the wall side of the polo ground. At a pause in the dance the officers stood up and said that they were tired, and would now go back to their post. On this Mohamed Isa himself suddenly seized the British officers, and a rush of men was made upon them, and they were dragged under cover of the wall. A volley was immediately fired by the British garrison ; but the Chitralis kept under the wall, and none of them seemed to have been hit. Firing then became general for a short time, till it gradually died down into single shots fired at intervals. The officers in the meantime had their feet and hands bound, and were dragged by the legs along the ground away from the gap. All their buttons, badges, etc., were violently torn off and their pockets rifled, and Fowler's boots and stockings were taken off. In about half an hour the officers saw the enemy carry off some of their dead and wounded and men came out laden with loot. They also saw at least one Kashmir sepoy being driven along with a load. With their arms still bound, the officers were taken off to the house in which Mohamed Isa lived, where they were seated in a verandah. What happened to the garrison of the post they could not at the time ascertain ; but they subsequently met twelve of their men in Chitral, and it appears that the Chitralis rushed the place, killed numbers of the men, and carried these few off as prisoners.

In remarking upon the defence, the British officers say they had frequently considered the question of destroying a portion of the ammunition in their charge. This ammunition had now fallen into the hands of the enemy, and was a great advantage to them. It would have been well, therefore, if the British officers could have managed to have destroyed it ; but they say that in the hurry of improvising the defence on the first night of the siege, they had been compelled to build the ammunition boxes up into a rude parapet, to afford a cover to their men. Subsequently these boxes had been covered up with beams, bricks, kits, and ^^^^V, and it was consequently very difficult to get them out without pulling down the cover so much needed. The moonlight nights^ too, had rendered the removal of them very risky, as the long beams necessitated making large gaps, and any noise inside the post immediately drew^ the fire fi-om the enemy, which was very effective in the -moonlight. Moreover, the ammunition was intended for the use of local levies who were expected from Gilgit, and these levies without the ammunition would have been perfectly useless.

The British officers determined therefore to keep it till they could hold out no longer, and to then destroy it. Lieutenant Edwardes had also to con- sider the advisability of making sorties ; but though he could have doubtless driven off the enemy for a time by such sorties, yet he recognised that he would have lost men in doing so, and with the small number at his disposal he could not afford to lose a single man. The subsequent adventures of the two officers form a thrilling tale. After passing the night bound at Reshun, with a man holding on to a rope fastened to each of them. Lieutenant Fowler was sent towards Chitral, led at the end of a rope and under the escort of two, Pathans and two Chitralis. On the following day Lieutenant Edwardes, who was at first to have been sent to Mastuj, was sent to join Lieutenant Fowler. On the way there they were met by a sergeant and ten men of Umra Khan, who, after quarrelling with the ()hitralis, insisted upon taking them on as their prisoners. On the 19th of March the two officers reached Chitral, and were met there by a colonel and about a hundred men of Umra Khan!s army. They were led into the presence of Majid Khan, Umra Khan's representative and half-brother, and now his successor in the rule of the Jandul State. The two officers were received civilly, and the Janduli prince expressed regret at the course of events, and of the treachery which had been practised on the British officers. He assured them of good treatment, and after a short interview the officers were marched with an escort of forty men to see Sher Afzul, the claimant to the throne of Chitral. The escort accompanied the British officers into the room in which they found Sher Afzul sitting, sur- rounded by a strong escort, and with a loaded rifle in his lap. He received the British officers civilly, and gave them tea and cakes. He also talked to them at great length of the negotiations which had taken place between him and Dr. Robertson. He further expressed sorrow at the treachery which had been used to them, and said that he would see to their comfort, and arrange for supplies as far as possible, though supplies were difficult to obtain, as everything had been taken into the fort. Both Sher Afzul and Majid Khan, at the earnest request of Lieutenant Edwardes, promised to make strict search for all men of their party who might still be alive. The two officers were permitted to communicate with the British garrison besieged in the fort, but were not allowed to visit them. It was the object of the besiegers to let the defenders know, without doubt, the disaster which had befallen the British detachment, in order to depress as far as possible the spirit of the defence.

On the evening of March 20th, Lieutenants Edwardes and Fowler saw the native clerk of the political agent, who had been allowed to come out from the fort for the purpose of communicating with the officers, but all conversation had to be carried on in the presence of the Pathans and Chitralis. No talk in English was permitted, and the officers were only allowed to ask in Hindustani for clothing, plates, knives, forks, etc.

On the 2 1 St of March the officers received from their beleaguered comrades in the fort some clothing and necessaries, and they again saw the political agent's native clerk in the presence of Sher Afzul and Majid Khan and others. These princes explained to the British officers their view of the situation, which was that they did not wish to fight the British if they would retire to Gilgit or Peshawur, and they asked Lieutenant Edwardes to ask one of the officers in the fort to come up and meet them. A letter was accordingly written to Lieutenant Gurdon inside the fort, telling him that if he met them under the walls of the fort they would give him some useful information. But no reply was received from' Lieutenant Gurdon, and there is no doubt that the only object of the besiegers was to capture the other officers of the garrison in as treacherous a way as they had seized Lieutenants Fowler and Edwardes.

On the 24th of March the two captured British officers were sent towards Drosh to meet Umra Khan, the Pathan chief. Here on the following day they had a long interview with this important ruler. Umra Khan they found to be of a tall and manly appearance, with a straightforward, commanding manner of speaking, and with a great influence over his men.' On these, and on all other occasions, he treated his captives with civility and consideration. He now gave them a choice of returning to Chitral, or of going with him to his native country of Jandul, some seven or eight marches to the south. As the chief would not allow the sepoys to go with the British officers to Chitral, they decided upon accepting the alternative of accompanying Umra Khan to Jandul, and started for that place on the following day.

Umra Khan had given orders that everything that could be obtained should be given to them before himself, but his followers did not carry out these orders, and the officers suffered much from bad food and bad quarters on the way. From the Chitral fort they had obtained a bag of sugar and a pound of tea, which they considered great luxuries, and they cooked food with the assistance of the sepoys who from Chitral onwards were atcompanying^ them. The officers were never in any way threatened, but they knew that they were always liable to be killed by some fanatic who might have ' a blood feud against the British. A strong guard, armed with loaded rifles, accompanied them, however, and never for a moment allowed them to go more than a few yards from them, and this was doubtless as much for their protection as to prevent their escape. The guard always had in it some men who had served in our Indian army, and although many of them were extremely ruffian-like in appearance, and probably were thorough scoundrels, yet hey mostly treated the officers in an easy and friendly manner, and were always willing to share with them the scanty rations they obtained on the march. The officers on the way occupied the ordinary country houses, which were very dark and dirty, and full of smoke and insects. The guard of ten men or more always slept and lived in the same room as the officers, and as most of them had colds and coughs, and were incessantly spitting on the floor, the prisoners had little quiet. The sepoy prisoners were given the same food as was served out to Umra Khan's men. But this ration on the march was a very small one.

The three Hindu prisoners were made to learn the Kalin, and their hair was cut ; but they were not made to publicly declare themselves Mussulmans, and they never really changed their faith. No attempt was ever made to induce the officers to become Mohammedans, nor was any fanatical feeling dis- played by the people whom they met. The men would eat the officers' bread, and gave them some of theirs. The Pathans would often ask the officers how they managed to exist without wine, and while in Chitral the officers were offered the contents of all the medicine bottles taken in the hospital outside the fort as a substitute. This delicate attention was however declined.

The prisoners were naturally an object of great curiosity to the people, and crowds gathered to see them. These people specially delighted to see the .officers eat with knife and fork, and laughed at their attempts to eat with their fingers. This curiosity on the part of the populace the British officers, how- ever, found to be somewhat annoying, and the guard soon discovering that they did not like visitors at meal times, kept them off while the officers were eating ; but at other times the prisoners received the public, and sat to be inspected whilst conversing with the people through interpreters. Umra Khan him- self, as has been said, always treated his captives with civility, and was much interested in talking with them, as long as he was with them and had leisure sent for them every day. He twice took them out hawking, and asked them to walk alongside him. The officers were not allowed to communicate with any one, except through the chief, nor were they allowed any writing materials, but they had obtained some paper and a pencil in Chitral, and managed to keep a short diary of each day hid in their clothes. They were allowed to purchase materials with which to make clothes for themselves and their sepoys, and the traders gave them credit on their written acknowledgment.

Marching towards Jandul, the party on the 28th of March reached the Lowarai Pass, 10,000 feet in height, and now covered deep in snow. Leaving Ashreth, the last Chitrali village on the north side of the Pass, they ascended the deep narrow rocky valley to the pass. At four miles from the summit they had to send back their ponies as the snow was now too soft to allow of their being taken over. They then had a very stiff pull up on foot, and on the top were caught in a violent storm of hail and snow. The wind was bitterly cold, and they were almost blinded by the driven snow. On the other side one of their sepoys complained of pain in the stomach, and he was left behind with another sepoy to look after him, but he died at night. Soon after dark the officers reached Dir, having marched twenty-four miles and crossed a difficult pass. Here at Dir, however, they were given better quarters and better food. On the 30th of March they marched to Barwa, Umra Khans chief fort, crossing the Jhanbatai Pass, 7,000 feet high, from which they could obtain a view over the Pathan chiefs own native valley. Here at the summit Umra Khan seated the British officers beside him, and, giving them food and sweetmeats, asked them how they liked his country. For a long time he sat there with the officers at his side gazing over his native valley stretched out at his feet, and then proceeding down the hillside he was met by crowds of men on horseback and on foot as he marched into Barwa. Here the officers remained about a fortnight ; but on April 1st the Mussulman sepoys were told that they could consider themselves at liberty, and the guard over them was removed. A native officer accordingly left and proceeded to Peshawur, where he brought the news of the disaster to his party. News now began to come in of the fighting between General Low's force and the Pathan tribes, and great excitement prevailed. Numbers of men began clearing out, taking all their goods with them to hide on the hill sides. It is a remarkable point that as the panic increased, the officers received greater attention, and at the approach of our troops they were supplied with two fowls, flour, rice, butter and milk daily. On the 1 2 th of April both of the officers were taken to Munda, Umra Khans strongest fort. There they met a native political officer who had been sent by the British authorities to treat with Umra Khan. A long conversation took place between Umra Khan and the native official, the upshot of which was that Lieutenant Edwardes was made the bearer of two letters to the British General, and released. Umra Khan explained to him his views at great length, and under an escort he left at midnight, taking a circuitous route to avoid a collection of ruffians in the valley, arrived at 10 a.m. at Sadoo, the headquarters of the British forces now advancing to the relief of Chitral. Umra Khan hoped by delivering up the British officers to stave off the punishment which the British forces were now at hand to inflict upon him, and it was with this object that he had released Lieutenant Edwardes. But General Low did not stay his advance for a moment. He pushed steadily on towards Umra Khan's stronghold at Munda, and on April the i6th Umra Khan played his second card, and released Lieutenant Fowler, though still without the effect of staying the advance of the British.

Both officers had now unexpectedly obtained their release. They had suffered the greatest hardships, and lived in daily peril of their lives, but they spoke with something like enthusiasm of the good treatment they had received at Umra Khan s hands. It was sometimes no easy matter for that chief to keep off those who had wished to injure the British officers ; and on one occasion after Lieutenant Edwardes had left, Fowler had had an anxious time owing to the presence of many fanatics from outside in gaining an entrance into the fort. There had nearly been a pitched fight between Umra Khan's men and these wild ruffians, and a few days after- wards when we both stood together in Umra Khan's fort. Lieutenant Fowler, standing in the doorway of the house he had occupied as a prisoner only three days before, had shown me the spot where these fanatics came clamouring round his guard, and trying to obtain access to him. But Umra Khan succeeded in protecting him through- out. He gave back to Lieutenant Edwardes his own sword which had been seized at Reshun, and which Umra Khan had received as a present from Chitral ; and he promised to obtain Lieutenant Fowler s also, if it could be found. " We both consider," say the British officers, at the close of their report, “that Umra Khan treated us very well indeed, and that he never intended to be the direct cause of injury to us under any circumstance."

So ended the wonderful adventures of the two British subalterns. At the time when they were holding out at Reshun, and making their last stand in a mere village house against overwhelming numbers of the enemy ; again, when they were treacherously captured by a deceitful foe ; and lastly, when they were in the hands of men in the fever- heat of rebellion against the British, no one would have supposed that they could ever have escaped alive. But they had survived every peril, and were now once more in safety among their fellow country- men.

The account of General Low's advance to the relief of Chitral will now be given.