In previous Chapter 19: Two Days From Bebara, the advance of the Imperial Army was recounted. Its mission: to recapture the village of Bebara and thereafter defeat and/or push the inscrutable foe back into Surajistan. The following recounts the earlier loss of Bebara - the reason for the march of the Army. The story begins with fugitives from Bebara. Photos will fill your screens by clicking on them. And now....
On 10 September 1899/2009 the Rajah of Bebara arrived at Outpost #3. See Chapter 18.
Lieutenant Bracegirdle inquired about the visit. The Rajah revealed his sad story....
"During the month you name August, I was called to the top of my palace because...."
"An unexpected host appeared in the distance."
"I sent my trusted standard bearer to make inquiries even as the host continued coming forward in great, greater and even greater numbers toward Bebara."
"An officer came forward named KHAN, a giant man on a very large stallion.
"My officer asked, The Rajah of Bebara humbly inquires how his poor village might be of service."
"KHAN only said, Your Rajah will depart Bebara within two hours taking his family, palace staff, you, supplies and a few guards. Resistance is impossible -- as you can see."
"Words of protest were futile because...."
"KHAN'S host never ceased its forward movement. My officer departed to return to me."
"On they came, never hesitating, never faltering, never stopping...footmen, horsemen and canons."
"In even greater numbers they flooded the plain. My meagre guards, half armed with ancient matchlocks, swords and only a few rifles could not resist."
"And so I mounted my elephant to meet KHAN saying...."
"By what authority do you desire me to abandon my village to you."
KHAN: "By the authority you see and by command of our Supreme Leader Muljadhe. You now have only one hour to depart as explained before and save your village."
"My wife and chief counselor awaited my return."
"My few swordsmen and some villagers attended me. Within the hour we departed Bebara."
1. The next chapter (#21) will restore contemporary story time.
2. Return to see the Imperial Army closing on Bebara
3. Muljadhi, himself, may also appear.
4. Natives in grey and civilians fleeing to Outpost #3 were professionally painted by Reinforcements By Post.
5. Remarks welcome below. Click on comments. Thank you.