W. H. Allen and Co., Limited,
Text on page 158
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hours the camp was plunged in profound silence ; the remaining troops being kept under cover, ready at a moment's notice for any emergency.
And so we remained until the shadows of the trees began to lengthen considerably, when one of the troopers galloped up with a despatch, from which it appeared that, as our force appeared in sight, the Burmese had fled for their lives, leaving only a few decrepid old men and women, some pariah-dogs, and a number of cooking utensils. Thus was extracted this thorn from the Commissioneras side without a shot having been fired. He out-Caesarad Caesar, for he came and conquered without even seeing ! Those who were not needed to garrison the place returned to camp that evening, while other elephants went with provisions, and c., for the new occupants.
From this it would appear that the Burmese were totally ignorant of our approach until we were within a dayas march of their stronghold, and then in all probability only by the merest accident.
Some woodcutter in the vicinity may have spied us out that morning and, seeing so many laden elephants and armed men, conveyed a very exaggerated report of our strength. On the backs of these pachyderms must be large guns; at all events he fancied he saw them, and reported them.
He must any way have piled on the agony, else the enemy would scarcely have evacuated a position already strong by nature, and rendered still more so by art, without striking so much as a blow.
Such conduct indeed could only be accounted for on the supposition that they imagined us in possession of large cannon; the range and power of our guns may have been known to some of them, and, having alreadySuch conduct indeed could only be accounted for on the supposition that they imagined us in possession of large cannon; the range and power of our guns may have been known to some of them, and, having already