One hundred Indian troops of the
British Army have arrived at Kabul
Afghanistan after a four months'
march from Constantinople. The men
were captured in Flanders by the
Germans and were sent to Turkey in the
hope that being Mohammedans they
might join the Turks. But they
remained loyal to Great Britain and
finally escaped heading for Afghanistan.
They now intend to join their
regimental depot in India so it
New York Times July 1915
Let a man an arrow and an answer each go straight. Each is his own
witness. God is judge.
A Sikh who must have stood about six feet without his turban--and
only imagination knows how stately he was with it--loomed out of the
violet mist of an Indian morning and scrutinized me with calm brown
eyes. His khaki uniform like two of the medal ribbons on his
breast was new but nothing else about him suggested rawness.
Attitude grayness dignity the unstudied strength of his
politeness all sang aloud of battles won. Battles with himself they
may have been--but they were won.
I began remembering ice-polished rocks that the glaciers once
dropped along Maine valleys when his quiet voice summoned me back
to India and the convalescent camp beyond whose outer gate I stood.
Two flags on lances formed the gate and the boundary line was mostly
imaginary; but one did not trespass because at about the point
where vision no longer pierced the mist there stood a sentry and
the grounding of a butt on gravel and now and then a cough announced
others beyond him again.
"I have permission" I said "to find a certain Risaldar-major
Ranjoor Singh and to ask him questions."
He smiled. His eyes betraying nothing but politeness read the very
depths of mine.
"Has the sahib credentials?" he asked. So I showed him the permit
covered with signatures that was the one scrap of writing left in my
possession after several searchings.
"Thank you" he said gravely. "There were others who had no permits.
Will you walk with me through the camp?"
That was new annoyance for with such a search as I had in mind what
interest could there be in a camp for convalescent Sikhs? Tents
pitched at intervals--a hospital marquee--a row of trees under which
some of the wounded might sit and dream the day through-these were
all things one could imagine without journeying to India. But there
was nothing to do but accept and I walked beside him wishing I
could stride with half his grace.
"There are no well men here" he told me. "Even the heavy work about
the camp is done by convalescents."
"Then why are you here?" I asked not trying to conceal admiration
for his strength and stature.
"I too am not yet quite recovered."
"From what?" I asked impudent because I felt desperate. But I drew
"I do not know the English name for my complaint" he said. (But he
spoke English better than I he having mastered it whereas I was
only born to its careless use.)
"How long do you expect to remain on the sick list?" I asked
because a woman once told me that the way to make a man talk is to
seem to be interested in himself.
"Who knows?" said he.
He showed me about the camp and we came to a stand at last under