PROLOGUE: THE STORMING OF SERINGAPATAM (1799)
1. CHAPTER I
Extracted from a Family Paper
I address these lines--written in India--to my relatives in England.
My object is to explain the motive which has induced me to refuse
the right hand of friendship to my cousin, John Herncastle.
The reserve which I have hitherto maintained in this matter has been
misinterpreted by members of my family whose good opinion I cannot
consent to forfeit. I request them to suspend their decision until
they have read my narrative. And I declare, on my word of honour,
that what I am now about to write is, strictly and literally,
The private difference between my cousin and me took its rise
in a great public event in which we were both concerned--
the storming of Seringapatam, under General Baird, on the 4th
of May, 1799.
In order that the circumstances may be clearly understood,
I must revert for a moment to the period before the assault,
and to the stories current in our camp of the treasure in jewels
and gold stored up in the Palace of Seringapatam.