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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

The Story of the Greased Cartridges

The Story of the Greased Cartridges.

The Brahmin carried the story of the greased cartridges to his comrades, and it was soon known to every Sepoy at the depot. A shudder ran through the lines. Each man to "whom the story was told caught the great fear from his neighbor, and trembled at the thought of the pollution that lay before him. The contamination was to be brought to his very lips; it was not merely to be touched—it was to be eaten and absorbed into his very being. It was so very terrible a thing, that if the most malignant enemies of the British government had sat in conclave for years, and brought an excess of devilish ingenuity to bear upon the invention of a scheme framed with the design of alarming the Sepoy mind from one end of India to the other, they could not have devised a he better suited to the purpose. But now the English themselves had placed in the hands of their enemies not a fiction, but a fact of tremendous significance, to be turned against them as a deadly instrument of destruction. It was the very thing that had been so long sought, and up to this time sought in vain. It required no explanation. It needed no ingenious gloss to make the full force of the thing itself patient to the multitude. It was not a suggestion—an infer-once—a probability, but demonstrative fact, so complete in its naked truth that no exaggeration could have helped it. Like the case of the leathern headdresses which had con- page 52 vulsed Southern India half a century before [Velore mutiny] it appealed to the strongest feelings both of the Mahometan and Hindoo; but though similar in kind, it was incomparably more offensive in degree, more insulting, more appalling, more disgusting,