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Sheikh terests, and sent a confidential messenger earnestly inviting me to repair to that city. vites Baber The motive of this invitation was a wish to detach me, by any device, from the Khans, to Akhsi. |)eing persuaded that after I left them they could no longer maintain themselves in the country. It was done by him on an understanding with his elder brother Tambol. But to separate myself from the Khans, and to unite myself with them, was a thing to me altogether impossible. I let the Khans understand the invitation I had received. The Khans advised me by all means to go, and to seize Sheikh Bayezid one way or another; but such artifice and underhand dealing were totally abhorrent from my habits and disposition, especially as there must have been a treaty, and I never could bring myself to violate my faith. But I was anxious by one method or another to get into Akhsi, that Sheikh Bayezid might be detached from his brother Tambol, and unite with me, till some plan should offer, of which I could avail myself with honour. I therefore sent a person to Akhsi, who concluded an agreement with him, when he Baber re- invited me to the place, and I accordingly went. He came out to meet me, bringing ther. my youngest brother Nasir Mirza along with him, and conducted me into the fort,
where he left me. I alighted at the apartments which had been prepared for me in my father's palace in the stone fort. Tambol Tambol had sent his elder brother Beg Tilbeh to Shebak Khan, proffering him his
sheibani allegiance, and summoning him to his assistance. At this very time he received letKhan. ters from Sheibak Khan, by which he was informed that the Khan was about to come The two to join him. As soon as the Khans received this intelligence, they were disconcerted, and titebv Kho- broke UP from before Andejan in great alarm. The little Khan himself had a high jend. character for justice and piety; but the Moghuls whom he had left in Ush, in Mar
ghinan, and the other fortresses of which I had gained possession, instead of protecting, had set about oppressing and tyrannizing over the inhabitants. As soon, therefore, as the Khans raised the siege of Andejan, the men of Ush, Marghinan, and the other fortresses, rose on the Moghuls who were in garrison,seized and plundered them, and drove them out of the towns. The Khans did not immediately cross the river of Khojend, but retreated by way of Marghinan and Keudbadam, and passed the river at Khojend. Tambol followed them as far as Marghinan. I was now greatly distracted; I had no great confidence in their adhering staunchly to me, but I did not like to fly off from them without evident necessity. Jehanglr One morning Jehangir Mirza came and joined me, having fled from Tambol, whom
from Tain- ne had *eft at Marghinan. I was in the bath when the Mirza arrived, but immediately bol and received and embraced him. At this time Sheikh Bayezid was in great perturbation, 'quite unsettled what line of conduct to pursue. The Mirza and Ibrahim Beg insisted that it was necessary to seize him, and to take possession of the citadel. In truth the proposition was a judicious one. I answered, "I have made an agreement, and how • can I violate it?" Sheikh Bayezid meanwhile entered the citadel. We ought to have placed a guard at the bridge, yet we did not station a single man to defend it. These Tambol blunders were the effects of our inexperience. Before the dawn, Tambol arrived with AVhsT at two or tnree thousand mailed warriors, passed by the bridge, and entered the citadel. I had but very few men with me from the first, and after I came to Akhsi, I had dispatched many of them on different services; some to garrison forts, others to take charge of districts, and others to collect the revenue, so that, at this crisis, I had not with me in Akhsi many more than a hundred. However, having taken to horse with those that remained, I was busy posting them in the entrances to the different streets, and in preparing supplies of warlike stores for their use, when Sheikh Bayezid, Kamber Ali, and Muhammed Dost, came galloping from Tambol to propose a pacification. Having ordered such of my men as had stations assigned them to remain steadily at their posts, I went and alighted at my father's tomb, to hold a conference with them. I also sent to call Jehangir Mirza to the meetmg. Muhammed Dost returned back, while Sheikh Bayezid and Kamber Ali remained with me. We were sitting in the southern portico of the Mausoleum, engaged in conversation, when Jehangir Mirza Jehangir and Ibrahim Chapuk, after consulting together, had come to a resolution to seize zes shdkh them. Jehangir Mirza whispered in my ear, "It is necessary to seize them." I an- Bay^'dswered him, "Do nothing in a hurry: the time for seizing them is gone by. Let us try if we can get anything by negotiation, which is much more feasible, for at present they are very numerous, and we are extremely few: besides, their superior force is in possession of the citadel, while our inconsiderable strength only occupies the outer fort." Sheikh Bayezid and Kamber Ali were present while this passed. Jehangir Mirza, looking towards Ibrahim Chapuk, made a sign to him to desist. I know not whether he misunderstood it, or whether from perversity he acted knowingly; however that may be, he seized Sheikh Bayezid. The men who were around closed in on every side, and, in an instant, dragged away and rifled these two noblemen. There was now an end of all treaty. We, therefore, delivered them both into custody, and mounted for battle.
I intrusted one side of the town to Jehangir Mirza; as the Mirza's followers were Baber atvery few in number, I attached some of my own to him. I first of all went and put ^^ to his quarter of the town in order, visiting all the posts, and assigning each man his Akhsi. station; after which I proceeded to the other quarters.1 In the midst of the town there was an open level green, in which I had posted a body of my men, and passed on. They were soon attacked by a much superior number of horse and foot, who drove them from their ground, and forced them into a narrow lane. At this instant I arrived, and immediately pushed on my horse to the charge. The enemy did not maintain their ground, but fled. We had driven them out of the narrow lane, and were pushing them over the green, sword in hand, when my horse was wounded in the leg by an arrow. He bolted, and springing aside, threw me on the ground in the midst of the enemy. I started up instantly and discharged one arrow. Kahil, one of my attendants, who was on a sorry sort of steed, dismounted and presented it to me. I got on it, and having posted a party there, proceeded to the foot of another street. Sultan Muhammed Weis, observing what a bad horse I had got, dismounted and gave me his own, which I mounted. At this very instant Kamber Ali Beg, the son of Kasim Beg, came to me wounded, from Jehangir Mirza, with notice that Jehangir Mirza had been attacked for some time past in such force, that he was reduced to the last extremity, and had been compelled to retreat out of the town, and take to flight.
1 It would appear that the town was open and without 'walls on the side of the citadel.
While still disconcerted by this accident, Syed Kasim, who had held the fort of Pap, arrived. This was a strangely unseasonable time for coming; for, at such an extremity, had I retained possession of a fortress of such strength as Pap, there had still been some resource. I said to Ibrahim Beg, "What is to be done now?" He was a little wounded, and I know not whether it was from the irritation of his wound, or from his heart failing him, but he did not give me a very distinct answer. An idea struck Retreats to- me, which was to retreat by the bridge, and breaking it down behind us, to advance gate; ' towards Andejan. Baba Shirzad behaved extremely well in this exigency. He said, "Let us attack and force a passage through this nearest gateway." According to this suggestion, we proceeded towards the gate. Khwajeh Mir Miran also spoke and comported himself in a manly manner, in this extremity. While we were entering the street, Syed Kasim and Dost Nasir, with Baki Khiz, maintained the action, and covered our retreat; I and Ibrahim Beg, and Mirza Kuli Gokultash, had rode on before them. We had no sooner come opposite the gate, than we saw Sheikh Bayezid, with a quilted corslet over his vest, who just then entered the gateway with three or four horsemen, and was proceeding into the town. In the morning, when, contrary to my wish, he was seized along with those who were with him, they had been left with Jehangir's men, who, when forced to retreat, carried off Sheikh Bayezid with them. They once thought of putting him to death, but fortunately they did not, but set him at liberty. He had just been released, and was entering the gate, when I met him. I immediately drew to the head the arrow which was on my notch, and discharged it full at him. It only grazed his neck, but it was a fine shot. The moment he had entered the gate, he turned short to the right, and fled by a narrow street in great perturbation. I pursued him. Mirza Kuli Gokultash struck down one foot-soldier with his mace, and had passed another, when the fellow aimed an arrow at Ibrahim Beg, who startled him by exclaiming, Hai! Hai! and went forward; after which the man, being about as far off as the porch of a house is from the hall, let fly at me an arrow, which struck me under the arm. I had on a Kalmuk mail; two plates of it were pierced and broken from the blow. After shooting the arrow, he fled, and I discharged an arrow after him. At that very moment a foot-soldier happened to be flying along the rampart, and my arrow pinned his cap to the wall, where it remained shot through and through, and dangling from the parapet. He took his turban, which he twisted round his arm, and ran away. A man on horseback passed close by me, fleeing up the narrow lane by which Sheikh Bayezid had escaped. I struck him such a blow on the temples with the point of my sword, that he bent over as if ready to fall from his horse, but supporting himself on the wall of the lane, he did not lose his seat, but escaped with the utmost hazard. Having dispersed all the horse and foot that which he were at the gate, we took possession of it. There was now no reasonable chance of success; for they had two or three thousand well-armed men in the citadel, while I had only a hundred, or two hundred at most, in the outer stone fort: and, besides, Jehangir Mirza, about as long before as milk takes to boil, had been beaten and driven out, and half of my men were with him. In spite of all this, such was my inexperience, that, posting myself in the gateway, I dispatched a man to Jehangir Mirza, to request him to join me if he was near, and that we might make another effort. But, in truth, the business was over. Whether it was that Ibrahim Beg's horse was really weak, or whether the Beg was fretful from his wound, I cannot tell; but he said to me, "My horse is useless." Immediately, Suleman, a servant of Muhammed Al i Mobasher, dismounted and gave him his horse of his own accord, without anybody suggesting such a thing to him. . It was a fine trait of character in the man. While we remained waiting at the gate, Kuchik Ali, who is now collector' of Koel, displayed great bravery. He was then in the service of Sultan Muhammed Weis. He, on another occasion, performed good service at Usi. We continued at the gate, waiting for the return of the messenger whom I had sent to call the Mirza. He did return, and informed us that Jehangir Mirza had already been gone some time in his retreat. It was no longer a season to tarry, and we also set off. Indeed, my halting so long was andrctreati. very ill advised. Not above twenty or thirty men now remained with me. The moment we moved off in our retreat, a great hand of the enemy's troops came smartly after us. We had just passed the drawbridge when they reached the town side of it. Bend Ali Beg, the son of Kasim Beg, who was the maternal grandfather of Khamzeh Beg, called aloud to Ibrahim Beg, "You are always boasting and bragging: stop and let us exchange a few sword-cuts." Ibrahim Beg, who was close by me, answered, "' Come away, then: What hinders us 7" The senseless madcaps! in such a moment of peril and discomfiture, to think of adjusting their rival claims. It was no time for a trial of skill, nor for delay nor loss of time. We retreated with all speed, the enemy being in full pursuit of us. They brought down man after man as they overtook us.
Within a kos2 of Akhsi there is place called Gumbid-e-Chemen (or the Garden- Is warmly dome). We had just passed it, when Ibrahim Beg called out to me for assistance. I *)ursu looked round, and perceived him engaged with a home-bred slave of Sheikh Bayezid. I instantly turned my bridle to go back. Jan Kuli Bian Kuli, who was by me, exclaimed, "What time is this for turning back?" seized my bridle-reins, and hurried me on. Before we reached Sang, they had unhorsed the greater part of my adherents. Sang may be about two kos from Akhsi. After passing Sang, we saw no more of the enemy in pursuit. We proceeded up the river of Sang, being at this time only eight in all—Dost Nasir, Kamber Ali Kasim Begj Jan Kuli Bian Kuli, Mirza Kuli Gokultash, Shahim Nasir, Abdul Kadus Sidi Kara, and Khwajeh Hussaini; I myself was the eighth. A sort of path leads up the river amidst broken glens, remote from the beaten road. By this unfrequented and retired path we proceeded up the river, till, leaving the river on the right, we struck into another narrow path. It was about afternoon prayers when we emerged from the broken grounds into the level country. A blackness was discernible afar off in the plain. Having placed my men under cover, I myself, on foot, ascended an eminence to spy what it might be; when suddenly a number of horsemen galloped up the hillock behind us. We could not ascertain precisely how many or how few they were, but took to our horses and continued our flight. The horsemen who followed us were not in all above twenty, or twenty-five; and we were eight, as has been mentioned. Had we but known their number when they first came up, we should have given them warm play; but we imagined that they
1 Shekdar, a sort of military collector. s shirai, rather more than a mile and a half.
His follow era taken one after another.
were certainly followed by a detachment sent in pursuit of the fugitives. Impressed with this notion, we continued our flight. The fact is, that the fliers, even though the most numerous, can never contend with the pursuers, though the inferior number. As it is said,
(Persian Verse.)—The shout of Hui is sufficient for vanquished bands
Jan Kuli said, " We must not go on in this way, or they will take us all. Let you and Mirza Kuli Gokultash, therefore, select the two best horses of the party,1 and galloping off together keep one another's horses at speed; perhaps you may escape." The advice was not a bad one; for, since we could not engage them, this presented a possibility of escape; but I could not consent in such circumstances to leave any of my followers dismounted in the midst of the enemy. At length, however, the party began to separate and fall behind each other. The horse on which I was mounted began to lag. Jan Kuli dismounted and gave me his horse. I leaped from my own and mounted his, while he mounted mine. At this very instant Shahim Nasir, with Abdal Kadiis Sidi Kara, who had fallen behind, were dismounted by the enemy. Jan Kuli also fell behind; but it was no season for trying to shield or assist him. We, therefore, pushed our horses to their utmost speed, but they gradually flagged and fell off. The horse of Dost Beg too began to flag, and fell behind; and the horse which I rode likewise began to be worn out. Kamber Ali dismounting, gave me his own horse. He mounted mine, and presently dropped behind. Khwajeh Hussaini, who was lame, turned off towards the heights. I now remained alone with Mirza Kuli Gokultash. Our horses were too weak to admit of being put to the gallop; we went on at a canter; but the. horse of Mirza Kuli began to move slower and slower. I said to him, "If deprived of you, whither can I go? Come, then, and be it death or life, let us meet it together."—I kept on, turning from time to time, to see Mirza Kuli. At last, Mirza Kuli said, "My horse is completely blown, and it is impossible for you to escape if you encumber yourself with me. Push on, and shift for yourself. Perhaps you may still escape." I was in a singularly distressful situation. Mirza Kali also fell behind, and j>ml pursued I was left alone. Two of the enemy were in sight; the name of the one was Baba SeiSeirami and rami, that of the other Bandeh Ali; they gained upon me; my horse began to flag. There was a hill about a kos off, and I came up to a heap of stones. I reflected with myself that my horse was knocked up, and the hill still a considerable way off. What was to be done? I had about twenty arrows left in my quiver. Should I dismount at this heap of stones, and keep my ground as long as my arrows lasted? But it occurred to me again, that perhaps I might be able to gain the hill, and that if I did, I might stick a few arrows in my belt, and succeed in climbing it. I hadg reat reliance on my own nimbleness. Impelled by this idea, I kept on my course. My horse was unable to make any speed, and my pursuers got within arrow's reach of me; I was sparing of my arrows, however, and did not shoot. They also were somewhat chary, and did not come nearer than a bowshot, but kept on tracking me.
About sunset, I got near the hill, when they suddenly called out to me, "Where
Is left alone,
1 He seems to have wished them to take each a spare horse, as is usual in the forays of the Turks.