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Commissioner, Lake, who always kept open house when in residence, and more cheerful gatherings can hardly be imagined. The general tone of the conversation was always such as to do one good, and I remember being much struck at the time at the invariable habit of closing the evening with scripture reading and prayer. I can now understand the secret of the nobility of character of these great men. They feared God and were not ashamed that all within the circle of their influence-European and Native-should know it'
While the time was passing thus quietly at Dhurmsala, momentous events were taking place elsewhere. Lucknow had fallen; Jhansi and Bareilly had been captured ; the mutineers had been severely punished in many encounters ; on September i the political power of the East India Company had ceased to exist, and on November i Her Majesty the Queen had been proclaimed throughout all British India. The terrible crisis was over; the embers were nearly burnt out.
On the first day of the new year another change was made in the administration of the Punjab; it was constituted a Lieutenant-Governorship, and the man who had controlled the country for so many years as Chief Commissioner became for a short time its first LieutenantGovernor.
Early in the same year (1859) Reynell Taylor was offered the Commissionership of the Derajat. To leave the beautiful climate of the hills at the very beginning of the hot season, and to take wife and three little children for a third son, Reynell, had been born on the 24th of the previous November—to the burning plains Trans-Indus, required no small effort on Taylor's part, but the offer meant promotion and could not be refused, so in March he set out for the country he had left seven years previously, and a month later was joined by his wife and children in Bunnoo." Here,' writes 'Mrs. Taylor, 'we stayed with General and Mrs. Coxe until rain had fallen on the hili called Sheik Budeen, when we all moved to the station there. Reynell remained with us until a small mud-house had been built, for we were in tents before this, and then he left us for Derah Ishmael Khan, which we always made our headquarters in the Derajat.'
Many changes and improvements had taken place in the district during Reynell Taylor's absence, and the country was now in a far more settled condition. • The civil routine of the Administration now worked smoothly and regularly,' writes General Coxe, then Deputy Commissioner of Bunnoo; 'there were no more treasury agonies ; summary settlements of the revenue had been effected, and the Government demand was paid easily and without pressure. Civil suits were increasing in number and importance, a sign, though an unwelcome one, of increasing prosperity. The Wuzeerees who cultivated within our limits were orderly and paid their revenue with regularity. The Nar, the waste which Taylor had colonised, was now largely cultivated, and if, as remarked above, increased litigation is a token of advancing prosperity, the Nar furnished a good example by the number of suits instituted from that quarter for irrigation rights.
*The military force in the district was ample for all internal requirements.'
Taylor went in the first instance as Acting Commissioner of the Leia Division, as it was then called, his appointment as Commissioner of the Derajat being confirmed shortly after his arrival.
Most of the Wuzeeree tribes on the border had become more peaceably disposed, and though murders and robberies occurred now and then, the nightly incursions and wholesale plunder of villages had in a great measure ceased altogether. Only in the case of the Muhsoods on the Tank border was there any great cause for complaint. Here, it is true, the petty attacks had been almost continuous, and there was no security for life or property anywhere within their neighbourhood. But punishment was shortly to overtake them, and in the next chapter I shall have to record their signal chastisement.
* Many of Taylor's old followers,' continues General Coxe,' were to be found in the irregular levies occupying the smaller frontier posts, and in the mounted police. His former lieutenant and friend Gholam Hassan Khan was at Derah Ishmael Khan, enjoying the jageer he had so richly earned by his gallant conduct in the second Sikh War. Foujdar Khan, Edwardes's great ally during the Mooltan campaign, was also at Derah, rejoicing now in the title of Nawab, and many old friends among the Gundapoors, Esa Khailees, and others were glad to welcome their old leader among them again.'
So Reynell Taylor settled down in his old quarters, and for a time at least he was able to carry on the affairs of his immense district without interruption.
THE MUHSOOD EXPEDITION—THE DERAJAT MISSION.
FOR a time, as I have said, nothing occurred to interfere with Taylor's routine of duty. Derah Ishmael Khan was his headquarters, but he made periodical visits to Derah Ghazee Khan and Bunnoo for session cases, and in these marches from place to place his wife often accompanied him.
Towards the close of the year 1859 a circumstance occurred which brought out in a peculiar manner the influence his name still had with the border tribes.
Captain Mecham, an officer of the Bengal Artillery, was proceeding from Bunnoo to Kohat, and being ill and unable to ride, was travelling by bearer dak. Midway in his journey he was suddenly attacked by a party of robbers; his escort, consisting of two sowars, fled, the bearers dropped the dhoolie, and Mecham, being unable to defend himself, was set upon and murdered.
Inquiries were at once instituted, and it was determined to hold the Cabul Khail Wuzeerees responsible for what happened. There were two well-known bands of robbers on the Bunnoo frontier, the principal one being headed by a man named Zungee, a member of the Cabul Khail tribe The second gang was composed chiefly of Hatee Khailees, who, though they belonged to a different tribe to Zungee, generally acted under his orders. The Cabul Khail tribe who, it was known, sheltered the robbers were therefore called upon to give them up; but this they declined to do, and early in December a force was sent to coerce them. Reynell Taylor took no active part in this expedition, and it is therefore unnecessary to refer to it here. When, however, the Cabul Khail tribe had been punished, Reynell Taylor brought pressure to bear upon the Hatee Khail, much of whose land lay within our border. It had been discovered that the leader of the gang which attacked and murdered Mecham was one Mohubbut by name, belonging to the Hatee Khail tribe, and Taylor demanded that search should be made for him and that he should be given up at
Within a few weeks Mohubbut was actually seized by the chiefs of the tribe to which he belonged and handed over to Reynell Taylor, and I believe that in the whole history of our connection with border tribes no parallel is to be found for such an act, and never was a tribe known before to hand over one of their own members to justice.
Reynell Taylor subsequently tried the case, and Mohubbut was hanged on the spot where the murder was committed.
In February 1860 the Governor-General held a Durbar at Sealkot, which Reynell Taylor, nowa Lieutenant-Colonel, attended, taking with him several frontier chiefs, and among others Shah Newaz Khan, Nawab of Tank. While he was away, and no doubt taking advantage of the absence of the Nawab, a most determined attack was made on
Taylor was gazetted Lieutenant-Colonel December 21, 1859.