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of the independent Frontier tribesman, who acknowledges no master. Then

"What brings you into Dauda bad?" he said, in a purposely casual tene.

"I come to tell a tale, Sahib. If you wish me to speak before the Tehsildar, I will do so; but this is a tale which must go no further, or there will be little profit in the telling of it."

"You may speak," was the reply. "There is nothing you can tell that the Tehsildar Sahib may not hear, nor much you can tell that he does not know already."

"Aye, Sahib. He knows much, and many go to him who fear to go to you. For me, I have come straight to you, and my tale he does not know, nor any on this side of the border but myself alone."

"Say on then," replied the Englishman, and, seating himself on the edge of a dry irrigation runnel, he leant forward with his chin on his hand and his eyes fixed on the narrator as he told his story.

"You know, Sahib, the village of Tut Kalan? The Hindus of the village are rich beyond the ordinary, and of the Hindus, Jiuna is the richest. Many a raider has thought longingly upon him, but he has been well protected by the malik, Khajir Khan. Now, it has lately come to our ears across the border that Khajir Khan is absent on a visit to his uncle at Mian Wali. His eldest son is with him, his brother, Shah Sowar, is dying or dead. A raid on Tat Kalan has therefore been arranged for to-morrow night,

and the meeting-place is in a nala which leads up from the river to the Paran Pass. The men are to be there before dawn to-morrow morning, and will lie up in a cave at the head of the nala during the day and start out for Tut Kalan as soon as it is dark to-morrow night. The details of the place I can tell to any of your men who have been in that part."

"Yes," said the DeputyCommissioner, "I myself know the nala, and can follow all you say. But tell me, who is the leader of the gang, and who are going with him?"

Faiz Ullah hesitated a moment before replying, and then, in a sullen shamefaced manner, he said—

"Makhmad Shah leads them, and with him are fourteen men of his old gang, and it may be one or two strangers.

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"Makhmad!" ejaculated the Tehsildar quickly; "Makhmad is your wife's brother, is he not?"

"Aye, he is my wife's brother as you say, but what has that to do with you? I have told you what will be, and it is for you to say whether you will act on it and what the information is worth to you. You have all the plan as it was arranged in my own courtyard at Raghza. What I have told you is true. Now, give me what is mine and let me go."

"Not so fast," said the Englishman, who had sat thinking during the latter part

of the conversation. "You have come of your own free will, and you may go when

you like. Your news is of the best, if it is true, and you know that your reward will be both ample and prompt when it has been proved; but if I am to act on what you say, I must have the whole story, and also the reason why you, who are closely connected with Makhmad, and who have raided with him before now, should have come to betray him. Nay"-as the Wazir started with a muttered exclamation-"think nothing of the word. I am but speaking plainly, that we may the sooner have done with talk and get to deeds. Tell me then your whole mind, that I may judge of the truth of your story."

"Very well, you shall have it. It is true that Makhmad is my wife's brother. Never have I walked in any but a straight path. You say I have raided with him, but be that as it may, I have fought with him, have shared my food and my blanket with him, and never thought to turn on him. But little has he treated me as a brother, and now would take from me what I have left."

He stopped speaking and walked a few paces this way and that across the shady lawn, as if to collect his thoughts, and then went on.

"He lent me money many years ago-lent it on interest on a bond, as if I had been a stranger and not his near relative. I was glad to have it at the time, and the terms were no worse than I could get from the bania. Then things went wrong with me. My


enterprises whatever they were, it matters not now brought more danger than gain. My fields were irrigated and rain was scarce just then. I had to sell a field to pay my interest and live. Then I planned a kareze, a subterranean water-out, from the stream to my fields, which would make me independent of rain. It was to have cost me three hundred rupees, and once more I borrowed from Makhmad. The kareze cost me, not three hundred, but five hundred rupees. The water came, but so did the rain, and prices were low, and again I could not pay my interest. And then came Makhmad to me to say that he was hard pressed for money-before Allah he lies—and must have principal and interest of some, if not all, his money. He gave me a week for my answer, and I went and sat on the hill. top above my tower and thought and thought, looking down on the fields which were my father's and his father's before him. You used the word 'betray,' but what was I to do?"

He put the question, not as one who wants an answer, but as one who has put it to himself again and again, and to whom ever the same answer has come.

"Listen, Sahib, and I'll tell you the plan I thought of. I knew well the condition of things at Tut Kalan. I would urge Makhmad to make a raid in which I would join, telling him that if we succeeded in capturing Jiuna or any rich

Hindu, there would be money enough to tide over the evil day, and that if we did not succeed, I would sell or hand over to him such land as would pay what he wanted. But I knew that however well we did, it would only put off my difficulties, and I had my own plan. Makhmad has no heir nearer than my wife. I would let the gang assemble, but I would not be there. In my place would be the Government troops. The cave is a fine hiding-place and is little known. It has a convenient bolt-hole at the back. If, however, the hiding-place is known and the back door is stopped, there is little chance of escaping. Makhmad will be killed; or if captured, he is a British subject and has committed many murders. I and my land then will be free, for all he has comes to my wife, and if there is little else, there is my own indebtedness to him. There is the reward, too, whatever it may be. And so I have come, Sahib, and have told my story -that is all."

There was a silence of some moments when he had finished, which was broken by the Englishman.

"Well," he said, "I believe you and I will act on your information. But tell me, how did you get away without exoiting suspicion, and what will you now do?"

"I am supposed to be buying a cow at Kai Khel, Sahib. It was known at Raghza that I had been bargaining for it, but I must be back at my home this evening, with a tale that

the owner of the cow would not accept my price. It will then be easy to say I am tired with my walk and will follow those of the raiders who go from Ragbza to the rendezvous. The only difficulty is how I am to get back in time, and for that, Sahib, you must help me by sending me out in a motor-car as far as the road goes. From thence, Allah helping me, I can cross the border and come into Raghza from the direction of Kai Khel, and none will know that I have not been there."

Some more conversation ensued, chiefly to ascertain the exact position of the cave the raiders had selected as their meeting-place, and to settle the amount and date of payment of the reward. The Wazir W88 then despatched in the Deputy-Commissioner's car, in charge of a police non-commissioned officer.

As the car turned out of the gate and passed from view down the road, the Tehsildar swung round, moved behind a bush and spat disgustedly: he was a Pathan at heart, in spite of the veneer of education and civilisation that had made him the right-hand man of his master in many a difficult and elusive inquiry. As he came back to his superior, he said in English

"Forgive me, sir-but that such a man should come into your presence! Sir, you do not know all about that man, but I may tell you. For years he has lived on Makhmad, has borrowed money from him and never repaid him. It is for his

cause that Makhmad is now a

poor man. He has ruined him, and now he has sold him. In the mission-school I heard the story of the man, Judas, who sold his master: here is another Judas, as bad as the one the Padre Sahib told us about,"

"You do not doubt the story?"

"No, Sahib, the story is true without doubt, and you may give orders to get the constabulary ready. Even he, the son of a pig, was ashamed when he spoke. No, no, the story is certainly true."


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been exchanged earlier in the day, and they had now met to settle the final details of the plan. A troop of cavalry, fifty infantry, two machine-guns, and one mountain-gun were the contribution of the regular force. The Constabulary would turn out forty rifles. Their rôle was to block the rear exit of the eave, while the regular infantry advanced up the nala at its front. The cavalry would be in waiting in oase they were needed: the gun would save much loss of life by making the cave, a mere waterout hole in the earthen bank of the ravine, untenable for the fated raiders. These latter were certain to be in cover some time before dawn. troops, therefore, would wait until daybreak, and would


then move up from the positions close by, which they had reached during the night. The regulars, who would attack up the nala, would defer their advance until they learned by signal that the Constabulary were in position. No reconnaissance had been possible, but reliable guides were easily obtainable. The dispositions were such as had been talked over and carried out many a time. The whole operation was little more than a matter of routine in that Station, whose chief responsibility was a long line of much-raided border, and a short conversation settled such points of doubt as remained to be discussed.

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dropping down the steep clay side of the nala, he turned towards its upper end and halted before the black mouth

of the cave, giving a low whistle, which he repeated twice. The answer came in three short whistles, and, without further hesitation, he entered the cave mouth, and, with a gruff greeting, sat down. Half the gang had already collected, and the remainder kept dropping in, in ones and twos, until the number was complete, with one exception. Day was beginning to dawn, and still one man was missing. A look-out had been posted at the mouth of the cave, and another at the second exit, and the rest of the party were sitting grouped near the entrance, some talking in quiet tones, others lying stretched in sleep.

Makhmad Shah was speaking to an oldish man a little apart from the rest.

"Faiz Ullah should have been here ere this," he was saying. "He did but remain behind to eat and rest a while after his journey to Kai Khel. He knows the road. What then has happened to him?" "Did he mean to come?" the other asked shortly.

"Aye, surely he did. He has never failed me, and this raid is of his own devising."

"Why, then, is he not here, unless he knows that which makes him feel that it is safer to be away? I do not like it, Makhmad. He should be here. Say, are you sure you can trust him?"

"As myself," replied the


leader without a moment's pause. "I have tested him, and can swear to him as to a well-tried knife. We have been as brothers these many years. He may come yetthough, indeed, it is late for that

or something has turned him from his him from his purpose, but there is no doubt of him."

He spoke emphatically, as if to point his words, but a careful observer would have said that the emphasis was forced, and that it belied the troubled look that crossed his bold features; but almost at that moment there occurred that which turned his thoughts from the subject until later, when it came back to him with redoubled force.

"Makhmad, Oh, Makhmad!" came the voice of the outlook at the cave mouth in low insistent tones, tones, which quickly brought the leader to his feet.

He made his way to where the other man crouched among the olay fragments that littered the floor.

"What is it?" he asked.


Sepoys. I saw two puggris at the side of the nala. They showed a moment and then disappeared, but I saw them plainly-khaki with fringes of yellow and black. It is the regiment from the Station.”

"Aye. They may know nothing about us though, and be but passing through on the way to Spin Killa post. Many a party has drunk at the stream here on its march."

"But these knew, Makhmad. They were hiding; one of them rose too high, and the other


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