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he might as well have spared himself the
latter expense; for the documents were left
quietly in the official's turban or his pouch
until the dustur was forthcoming. Some of
these zemindars were very rich and very
stingy, and now and then gave my friend
Lallah a little trouble.

Some people would have been disconcerted
if the powerful zemindar of the next division
gave no token of the usual fee. But not so
Lallah. He was prepared for every contingency,
and was always cool and resolute. He
did nothing. The writ never left his pouch,
and at the end of many days the plaintiff
complained that no summons had been served.
The chuprassie, on being questioned, declared
by all the sacred spots in Hindostan, that
the plaintiff's agent had refused to indicate
the party to him, and what was he to do?
There was no help for it but to issue a warrant
of apprehension, for which the zemindar had
to pay in addition, and who, aware at length
of the impossibility of proceeding without
dustur, came down handsomely to the process-

Lallah became less particular as he moved
onwards in his career; and, provided a handful
of coin was to be the reward, never flinched
from any daring act of villany. It was of no
use doing things by halves. A greedy
zemindar wished to dispossess a poor cultivator
of a tract of fine land held by the latter
under a pottah, or lease, for which the ryot
had paid handsomely some time before. The
wealthy scoundrel trumped up a case of
arrears of rent against the cultivator, and
obtained a simple summons against him.
This document he placed, with some weighty
considerations, in the hands of Lallah the
obsequious, who undertook not to serve it.
At the end of some days a return was made
to the Sahib magistrate to the effect that the
ryot would not show himself, but lay hidden
within his hut so that his summons could not
be served. This is one of the most unfavourable
offences a native can commit, in the eyes
of a company's magistrate; it is never
forgiven, and is always visited with severity.
The irate justice instantly made out an order
to dispossess the cultivator of his lands and
make them over to the plaintiff. This was
as a matter of course done, to the ruin of
the villager, the delight of the zemindar, and
the replenishment of Lallah's overflowing

It need not be wondered at, that by a long
continuance of such practices, carried on by
night and day, at all seasons, and with all
classes, my hero was enabled to amass a
considerable sum, which was placed snugly
out at usurious interest. A more lucrative
field, however, lay before him in the department
of Opium and Salt revenue, in which
he obtained admission by the usual means.
The salary attached to this post was very
small considering the large amount of
revenue placed at his mercy. It was but
two pounds a month, and for this, he paid
to the English deputy collector ten pounds

One of the chief duties of the officers of
this department is to search for contraband
dealers in opium; all of whom are heavily
fined. The right of sale is farmed out
annually; and, naturally enough, these
farmers are always on the look out for
contrabandists, especially since they come in for
a lion's share of the fine. The indefatigable
Lallah was waited on one fine morning, whilst
sipping his coffee and smoking his hookah
like any other great man, by the opium
farmer of the district; who prefaced his
mission by most humble salaams and a
douceur of ten rupees slipped under his
hookah-stand. Of course the wary officer
took no notice of this little piece of pantomime,
but knew that his services were in
requisition. The hookah was finished; and,
without asking any troublesome questions,
Lallah followed the farmer as meekly as a
lamb. Arrived at the suspected house,
accompanied by a posse of the farmer's
people and officers, an entrance was demanded
and obtained. The owner of the house was
a respectable and wealthy trader, and
appeared quite conscious of his innocence; so
much so, that he paid small attention to the
proceedings of the party.

The search went on, and Lallah, while he
seemed most inattentive, was really most
watchful, saw one of the farmer's servants
conceal something under a heap of rubbish in
a corner. Presently another of the searchers
turned over the identical heap, and of course
dragged from it that which had been placed
therea quantity of the forbidden opium.
It was in vain for the trader to protest his
innocence; equally vain to declare that the
whole thing was a plot, Lallah asked him
with an air of offended dignity whether he
thought that he, Lallah, would be a party to
any knavery? The whole thing was
conclusive. The trader was rich, and could
therefore afford to pay the fine of one
hundred and fifty rupees, which were shared
between the government, the opium-farmer,
and Lallah,

Sometimes it happened that the farmer
would not or did not "make things pleasant;"
in which case my hero generally contrived to
show him the folly of his Conduct by siding
with the suspected parties, and thus foiling
the attempts of the informers. It mattered
very little to him on which side he was
enlisted, provided the ways and means were
supplied; indeed, he rather liked a little
opposition to the regular course of things,
seeing that it usually had the effect of bringing
back his former friends with stronger proofs
than ever of their regard for him.

From this department of the service
Lallah managed to climb a little higher on
the bean-stalk in his old callingthat of
the police. He was now a Thannadar, or

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