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Masque Of Mutiny

by C Lestock Reid

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MASQUE OF MUTINY BY C. LESTOCK REID CONTENTS: MOON MADNESS SUN BLINDNESS MAUD GOES TO MEERUT ... AND ROBIN WISHES SHE HAD NOT A COLONEL LOSES HIS TEMPER ... ... AND A CORNET CROSSES THE RUBICON DIALOGUE IN DELHI LOVERS REUNION CONFERENCE IN CALCUTTA RED SKY AT NIGHT MIDNIGHT IN MEERUT PARTY AT PANCHHATGAHR DELHI : THE CALCUTTA GATE DELHI I THE CASHMERE GATE SIR HENRY READS A LETTER REFLECTIONS OF A RENEGADE RIDLEY REJOINS HIS REGIMENT THE MARRIAGE OF MAUD INTERVIEW WITH A CONSPIRATOR WILL YOU WALK INTO MY PARLOUR ? THE BATTLE OF THE BUNGALOW MRS. MORRISON MOVES END OF AN IDYLL ANYTHING BUT A RIVER PICNIC LOVE IN THE WILDERNESS THE INDECISION OF DUNDOO PUNT JUNE 29TH CURTAIN ON CAWNPORE OUT OF THE FRYING PAN ... . . . INTO THE FIRE SIR HENRY MAKES HIS LAST MISTAKE AND EVER UPON THE TOPMOST ROOF . . . . . . THE BANNER OF ENGLAND BLEW A SORT OF OMEN RELIEF LENVOI FOREWORD The difficultya nd the fascination of writing an historical novel is, or seems to be, to determine to what extent it is per missible to mingle fact and fiction. One can place a set of purely fictitious characters against a historical background one can take historical characters and attempt to clothe, so to speak, the bare bones of biography with flesh and blood of fancy or one can try to combine the two methods. This, the combination of the two methods, is the course I have adopted against the grim and splendid background of the Indian Mutiny which for some quite inexplicable reason has been so seldom used in fiction: and for the benefit of the conscientious reader, who likes to know where he is, I have given in appendix a list of the characters who are historicalno one ever reads an appendix anyhow. In only two cases have I presumed to play tricks with history. Delaceys exploits, both of appearing as a native before superior officers in order to test the efficacy of his disguise and of making his way through the rebel lines outside Lucknow, were actually performed by a civilian, Kavanagh, who was, very rightly, awarded the Victoria Cross. The battle of Chinhut actually took place two days after the massacre of Cawnpore: but as it would have been quite impossible under the circumstances for my party of fugitives to leave Cawnpore after the massacre and reach Lucknow before the battle. I have ventured to postpone the latter a few days. Otherwise all the major events in the book are fact and the lesser events at least founded on fact. A Rajput landowner, Hurdeo Buksh, did send his brotherinlaw down river with a party of fugitives: there was an English renegade, said to be an officer of good family, fighting on the side of the mutineers: Sir Henry Lawrence did receive his fatal wound in the manner described though in different company: and so on. As for the Brahmins, the priestly and highest of the Hindu Castes, it has never been proved that they were the prime movers of the Mutiny but the whole of their history for 3,000 years makes it a fair assumption.



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