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his waist-band. Mussals (torches) were quickly procured. The old hag made a point-a little puddle of blood—and then, under a heap of boosa, or chaff, the damning evidence of Misree Lal's crime—the mangled body of a young and beautiful woman!
I had fallen into an uneasy slumber in my tent, when a sound of measured footsteps, and the peculiar grunt of native Indian carriers under a burden, aroused me. I sallied out into the bright moonlight. Never shall I forget the procession.* First came the Kotwal, smoking his hookah, as the red-tailed pony ambled along under the palm trees which skirted Mudunpoor. Then two burkundaz with matchlocks and long swords. Then, on a rude charpoy or native bed, the dead body, carried by four peasants, whining and grunting a dull monotone under their burden. Then the wretched Misree Lal, his hands chained and padlocked, the waist-band still clutched by the eagle-eyed Jemadar; and four more burkundaz, blowing the lighted matches of their clumsy guns. A little white dog, with a collar of bells, creeping sadly behind the body of his late mistress, closed the scene. Slowly they vanished, and I returned to my bed. I tried to sleep-I read and read a bundle of letters, which had just reached my camp, from my dear English home. I tried again to sleep. But that murdered girl—the first human being so slashed and bloody, that I had ever seen—that face, so beautiful in death, haunted me. The carly dawn found me once more on the banks of the nullah. The procession had, by this time, subsided into a shapeless bivouac. All were in a sound sleep, except the red-tailed pony,
Misree Lal, and the Jemadar ; the two last cowered by the embers of a fire. Even the little white dog was fast asleep on the body of his mistress.
It came out at the trial, that Misree Lal, a rude domestic tyrant, had, in a fit of jealousy, seized his tulwar and cut his young wife almost into shreds, sparing only the beautiful face and bosom of his victim. There were some circumstances, which I need not detail, which might seem to palliate his crime. Griping and sordid, he had refused to pay Nunkoo the usual gratuities due to the village watchman, and this official had been glad enough to throw suspicion upon one whom he considered his oppressor. Such a character was not the subject for much morbid pity. Yet, in my daily visits to the district prison, which, during the illness of the Joint-magistrate, was put under my charge, I could not see Misree Lal without some keen feelings of sorrow for his position. I could not help thinking that the gloomy silence which he maintained, bis obstinate refusal to take food, (he would taste nothing until force was threatened,) his constant counting of the beads round his neck, that all this melancholy abstraction told of remorse for the past, rather than fear for the future. I was surprised, too, to find that the well-to-do natives who came to call
* The bodies of persons who have suffered a violent death were sent in to the chief station of a district, for report by the surgeon, to the magistrate, as to the apparent cause of death. I have been in districts where the civil surgeon had often to make two or three such reports in a morning.
upon me, made little secret of their sympathy with the accused. One old Mahomedan gentleman, in particular, who was usually full of moral sayings, and whom I could not suspect of any partiality with a Hindoo malefactor, made very light of the sugar-merchant's crime. · Womenfolk,' said he, stroking his beard, 'women-folk are bad. Misree Lal is, no doubt, a murderer-but women folk are bad.'
The district judge had found the sugar merchant guilty, had sentenced him to death, and sent the proceedings for confirmation to the Sudder Nizamut Adawlut, or high court of criminal judicature. I dreaded every day to receive orders for the execution which it would fall to my lot to see carried into effect. Somebody's dictum kept ringing in my ears, 'The worst use to make of a man is to hang him.' It was therefore with a feeling of relief that one morning in my now crowded cutcherry I got the warrant sentencing Misree Lal to imprisonment for life in transportation beyond the seas. The convict was duly brought into court. Silence was proclaimed, and the sentence read. Misree Lal looked me full in the face, and thrice made a formal salaam. He then said, 'Your slave is to go to the Kala Panee.' (Black Water.) * He then stalked off, surrounded by the prison guards; and the ordinary business of the court went on.
I was soon deep in a case of cattle theft, the prosecutor screaming at mc, the accused loudly denying his guilt, when a sort of electric shock seemed to pass through the crowd in my front. Thre was a general rush towards the doors. Outside, a cry of 'Run, run, get a rope! The head jailer, a punchy Hindoo, rushed in. “Sahib,' said he, the prisoner is gone. Misree Lal has escaped.' In a moment I was out in the cutcherry garden: the serishtadar, or head scribe, tumbled off the bench ; the nazir (sheriff) pulled off his spectacles, and drew his sword. • Where is he gone?' I cried, as I rushed out amongst the crowd. Nobody answered. There was a general scramble going on under the trees by the road-side. Everybody calling upon everybody else to do something which nobody did. I kicked and fought my way to the spot. Reaching the grove, the truth flashed upon me. Misree Lal had jumped down the well! A path being made for me at last, I could see his turban ; there was a gurgle- -a movement. “It is not too late ; quick, bring that rope, fasten it round your waist. Fifty rupees for you, Mudaree, if you bring up the merchant alive!'
It was too late. The civil surgeon did his best to restore animation, but Misree Lal had gone to the court of last appeal.
The depositions of all concerned were taken, to be sent up to the Sudder Court. Misree Lal had asked leave to take one drink of water before returning to jail, and on nearing the well had taken his deathplunge and cheated his jailers.
(To be continued.)
* Kala Panee, or the black water, is the term familiarly applied to the ' beyond the sea,' to which Indian convicts are usually banished, if their sentence is one of imprisonment for life. It has singular terrors to the Hindoo mind in general. VOL. 9.
TRADITIONS OF TIROL.
NORTH TIROL—THE INNTHAL.
(RIGHT INN-BANK.) UNTER-PERFUSS SELRAINTHAL-THE MELACH —ROTHENBRUNN-FATS
CHERTHAL - THE HOHE VILLERSPITZ SONNENBERG — MAGDALENENBRÜNDL-CHARACTER OF THE SELRAINERTHALERS -OBER-PERFUSS, PETER ANICH-KEMATEN-VÖLS, THE BLASIENBERG, S. JODOK-TIE GALWIESE—THE SCHWARZE-KREUZKAPELLE, Hölzl's voW-FERNECKBERG ISEL-NOISE OF THE RIFLE PRACTICE-COUNT V. STACHEL-NATTERS AND MUTTERS—WAIDBURG--THE NORKSPITZE-GÖTZENSSCHLOSS VÖLLENBERG, OSWALD V. WOLKENSTEIN—BIRGITZ-AXAMSTHE SENDERSTHAL.
In returning from Zirl to Innsbruck, you should cross the bridge, and take the road bordering the river; you come thus to Unter-Perfuss, another bourne of frequent excursion from Innsbruck, the inn there having the reputation of possessing a good cellar, and the views over the neighbourhood being most romantic, the Château of Ferklehen giving interest to the natural beauties around. Hence, instead of pursuing the return journey at once, a digression may be made through the Selrain, which in the dialect of the neighbourhood means the edge of a mountain ; and it is indeed but a narrow strip bordering the stream—the Melach or Malk, so called from its milk-white waters—which pours itself out by three mouths into the Inn at the debouchure of the valley. There is many a cluster of houses, as German expresses a settlement too small to be dignified with the name of village, perched on the heights around, but all reached by somewhat rugged paths. The first and prettiest is Selrain, which is always locally called Rothenbrunn, because the iron in the waters, which form an attraction to valetudinarian visitors, has covered the soil over which they flow with a red deposit; small as it is, it boasts two churches, that to S. Quirinus being one of the most ancient in Tirol. The mountain paths through the Fatscherthal, though much sought by Innsbruckers, is too rough travelling for the ordinary tourist, but affords a fine mountain view, including the magnificent Fernerwand, or glacierwall, which closes it in, and the three shining and beautifully graduated peaks of the Hohe Villerspitz. At a short distance from Selrain may be found a pretty cascade, one of the six falls of the Saigesbach. Some four or five miles further along the valley is one of the numerous villages named Gries; and about fire miles more of mountain foot-path leads to the coquettishly .perched sanctuary of S. Sigismund, the highest inhabited point of the Selrainthal. It is one of the many high-peaked buildings with which the Archduke Sigismund, who seems to have had a wonderful eye for the picturesque, loved to set off the heaven-pointing cones of the Tirolese mountains. Another opening in the mountains, which runs out from Gries, and is provided with a somewhat easier path, is the Lisenthal, in the midst of which rises the Sonnenberg, with the summer villa of the monastery of Wilten, serving as a dairy for the produce of their pastures in the neighbourhood, a hospitable place of refreslıment for the traveller and alpine climber, and with its chapel constituting a grateful object both to the pilgrim and the artist. Before reaching this, there is by the wayside a striking fountain, founded for the weary, called the Magdalenenbründl, because adorned with a statue of S. Magdalen, the image of whose penitence was thought appropriate to this stern solitude by the pious founder.
The Selrainthalers are behind none in maintaining the noble national character. When the law of conscription, one of the most obnoxious results of cession to Bavaria, was propounded, the youths of the Selrain were the first to shew that though ever ready to devote their lives to the defence of the fatherland, they would never be enrolled in an army in whose ranks they might be sent to fight in they knew not what causeperhaps against their own brethren.
The generous stand they made against the measure constituted their valley the rendezvous of all who would escape from it for miles round, and soon their band numbered some five hundred. During the whole of the Bavarian occupation they maintained their independence, and were among the first to raise the standard of the year 1809. A strong force was sent out on the 14th of March to reduce them to obedience, when the Selrainers gave good proof that it was not cowardice which had made them refuse to join the army; they repulsed the Bavarian regulars with such signal success, that the men of the neighbourhood were proud to range themselves under their banner, which as long as the campaign lasted was always found in the thickest of the fight. No less than eleven of their number received decorations for personal bravery. In peace, too, they have shewn they know how to value the independence for which they fought, though their labours in the field are so greatly enhanced by the steepness of the ground which is their portion, that the men yoke themselves to the plough, and carry burdens' over places where no oxen could be guided. Their industry and perseverance provides them so well with enough to make them contented, if not prosperous, that 'in Selrain hat jeder zu arbeiten und zu essen'(in Selrain there is work and meat enough for all) is a common proverb. The women, who are unable for the reason above noted to take so much part in field-labours as in some other parts, have found an industry for themselves in bleaching linen, and enliven the landscape by the cheerful zest with which they ply their thrifty toil.
The path for the return journey from Selrain to Ober-perfuss-or foot of the upper height-is as rugged as the other paths we have been traversing, but is even more picturesque. The church is newly restored, and contains a monument, with high-sounding Latin epitaph, to one Peter Anich, of whose labours in overcoming the difficulties of the survey and mensuration of his country, which has nowhere three square miles of plain, his co-villagers are justly proud; he was an entirely self-taught man, but most accurate in his observations, and he induced other peasants of Ober-perfuss to emulate his studies. Ober-perfuss also has a mineral spring. A pleasant path over hills and fields leads in about an hour to Kematen, a very similar village ; but the remains of the ruined huntingseat of Pirschenheim, now used as an ordinary lodging-house, adds to its picturesqueness ; near by it may also be visited the pretty waterfall of the Sendersbach. A shorter and easier stage is the next, through the fields to Völs or Vels, which clusters at the foot of the Blasienberg, once the dwelling of a hermit, and still a place of pilgrimage and the residence of the priest of the village. The parish church of Vels is dedicated in honour of S. Jodok, the English saint, whose statue we saw keeping watch over Maximilian's tomb at Innsbruck. Another hour across the level ground of the Galwiese, luxuriantly covered with grano turco,' brings us back to Innsbruck through the Innrain; the Galwiese has its name from the echo of the hills, which close in the plain as it nears the capital; wiese being a meadow, and gal the same form of Schall-resonance, which we have in Nachtigall, whence our own nightingale.' At the cross-road (to Axams) we passed some twenty minutes out of Völs, where the way is still wild, the so-called Schwarze Kreuz-kapelle ; one Blasius Hölzl, ranger of the neighbouring forest, was once overtaken by a terrible storm; the Geroldsbach, rushing down from the Götzneralp, had obliterated the path with its torrents ; the reflection of each lightning flash in the waste of waters around seemed like a sword pointed at the breast of his horse, who shied and reared, and threatened to plunge his rider in the ungoverned flood. Hölzl was a bold forester, but he had never known a night like this; and as the rapidly succeeding flashes almost drove him to distraction, he vowed to record the deliverance on the spot by a cross of iron, of equal weight to himself and his mount, if he reached his fire-side in safety; then suddenly the noisy wind subsided, the clouds owned themselves spent, and in place of the angry forks of flame which had bewildered him before, only soft and friendly sheets of light played over the country, and enabled him to steer his homeward way. Hölzl kept his promise, and a black metal cross of the full weight promised long marked the spot, and gave it its present name; the accompanying figures of our Lady and S. John having subsequently been thrown down, it was removed to the chapel on Blasienberg. Ferneck, a pleasant bathing establishment, is prettily situated on the Innsbruck side of the Galwiese, and the church there was also once a favourite sanctuary with the