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We rode through the Khyber and Gomal Passes, visited Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, and Quetta, looked into the Kohjak tunnel, and attended some interesting manoeuvres, carried out with a view of testing, in as practical a manner as possible, the defensive power of the recently-finished Takatu-Mashalik entrenchment. The principal works were fired upon by Artillery and Infantry, and, notwithstanding the excellent practice made, infinitesimal damage was done, which proved the suitability of the particular design adopted for the defences. Lord Lansdowne expressed himself greatly interested, and much impressed by all he saw of the frontier; and he was confirmed in his opinion as to the desirability of establishing British influence amongst the border tribes. With this object in view, His Excellency authorized Sir Robert Sandeman (the Governor-General's Agent at Quetta) to establish a series of police posts in the Gomal Pass, and encourage intercourse between the people of the Zhob district and ourselves.

It was high time that something should be done in this direction, for the Amir's attitude towards us was becoming day by day more unaccountably antagonistic. He was gradually encroaching on territory and occupying places altogether outside the limits of Afghan control; and every movement of ours-made quite as much in His Highness's interest as in our own for strengthening the frontier and improving the communications, evidently aroused in him distrust and suspicion as to our motives.

CHAPTER LXVIII.

NEW YEAR'S DAY, 1890, found me in Calcutta, where I went to meet Prince Albert Victor on his arrival in India. On my way thither I received a letter from Mr. Edward Stanhope, Secretary of State for War, telling me that he had heard from Lord Cross, the Secretary of State for India, that there was a proposal to ask me to retain my appointment of Commander-in-Chief in India for some time after the expiration of the usual term of office; but that, while such an arrangement would have his hearty approval, he thought the question should be considered from another point of view, and that it would be extremely agreeable to himself, and he felt to the Duke of Cambridge also, if he could secure me for the post of Adjutant-General in succession to Lord Wolseley. Mr. Stanhope went on to say he would like to know whether I would be willing to accept the appointment, or whatever position Lord Wolseley's successor would fill, should the report of Lord Hartington's Commission cause a change to be made in the staff at the Horse Guards.

I was pleased, though somewhat surprised, at this communication,

and I replied to the Right Honourable gentleman that I would gladly accept the offer, and that I could arrange to join on the 1st October, when the appointment would become vacant, but that, as Lord Lansdowne had expressed a wish that I should remain in India over the next cold season, I hoped, if it were possible, some arrangement might be made to admit of my doing so. The idea of employment in England, now that I allowed myself to dwell upon it, was very attractive, for dearly as I loved my Indian command, and bitterly as I knew I should grieve at leaving the country, the peoples, and the grand army, which were all sources of such intense interest to me, I felt that the evil day at longest could only be postponed for a few years, and that there is a limit to the time that even the strongest European can with impunity live in an eastern climate, while I was glad to think I should still be in a position to work for my country and for the benefit of the army.

From Calcutta I travelled north to Muridki, where a large force of Horse Artillery and Cavalry was assembled for practice, and where we had a standing camp, at which Prince Albert Victor did us the honour of being our guest for the final manœuvres. I think His Royal Highness enjoyed the novelty of camp life, and was greatly attracted by the picturesque and soldier-like appearance of the Native troops. The Native officers were very proud at being presented to the grandson of their Empress, and at His Royal Highness being appointed Honorary Colonel of the 1st Punjab Cavalry.

Towards the end of April I returned to Simla for what I thought was to be our last season in that place; and shortly after I got up there, a telegram from Mr. Stanhope informed me that my appointment had been accepted by the Cabinet, and that my presence in England was strongly desired in the autumn. It was therefore with very great surprise that I received a second telegram three weeks later from the Secretary of State, telling me that, as it was then found to be impossible to choose my successor, and as the exigencies of the public service urgently required my presence in India, the Cabinet, with the approval of Her Majesty and the concurrence of the Duke of Cambridge, had decided to ask me to retain my command for two more years.

I felt it my duty to obey the wishes of the Queen, Her Majesty's Government, and the Commander-in-Chief; but I fully realized that in doing so I was forfeiting my chance of employment in England, and that a long and irksome term of enforced idleness would in all probability follow on my return home, and I did not attempt to conceal from Mr. Stanhope that I was disappointed.

At the latter end of this year, and in the early part of 1891, it was found necessary to undertake three small expeditions: one to Zhob, under the leadership of Sir George White, for the protection of our

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FIELD-MARSHAL LORD ROBERTS ON HIS ARAB CHARGER VONOLEL.'

From an oil-painting by Charles Furse.

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newly-acquired subjects in that valley; one on the Kohat border, commanded by Sir William Lockhart, to punish the people of the Miranzai valley for repeated acts of hostility; and the third, under Major-General Elles,* against the Black Mountain tribes, who, quite unsubdued by the fruitless expedition of 1888, had given trouble almost immediately afterwards. All these were as completely successful in their political results as in their military conduct. The columns were not withdrawn until the tribesmen had become convinced that they were powerless to sustain a hostile attitude towards us, and that it was their interest, as it was our wish, that they should henceforth be on amicable terms with us.

While a considerable number of troops were thus employed, a fourth expedition had to be hurriedly equipped and despatched in quite the opposite direction to punish the Raja of Manipur, a petty State on the confines of Assam, for the treacherous murder of Mr. Quinton, the Chief Commissioner of Assam, and four other British officers.

Notwithstanding its inaccessibility, two columns, one from Burma, the other from Cachar, quickly and simultaneously reached Manipur, our countrymen were avenged, and the administration of the State was taken over for a time by the Government of India.†

Towards the end of January the Cesarewitch came to Calcutta, where I had the honour of being introduced to our august visitor, who expressed himself as pleased with what he had se of the country and the arrangements made for His Imperial Lighness's somewhat hurried journey through India.

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In April my military colleague in the Viceroy's Council for five years, and my personal friend, General Sir George Chesney, left India, to my great regret. We had worked together most harmoniously, and, as he wrote in his farewell letter, there was scarcely a point in regard to the Army in India about which he and I did not agree.

Sir George was succeeded by Lieutenant-General Brackenbury, who had been Director of Military Intelligence at the War Office. I was relieved to find that, although in some particulars my new coadjutor's views differed from mine, we were in accord upon all essential points, particularly as to the value of the Indian Army and the necessity for its being maintained in a state of preparedness for war.

From the time I became Commander-in-Chief in Madras until I left India the question of how to render the army in that country as perfect a fighting machine as it was possible to make it, was the one which caused me the most anxious thought, and to its solution my most earnest efforts had been at all times directed.

The first step to be taken towards this end was, it seemed to me, to

*The late Lieutenant-General Sir W. K. Elles, K.C.B.

† A detachment of the Calcutta Volunteer Rifles, at the particular request of the regiment, took part in the expedition, and did good service.

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