'If we are taken prisoner, I shall be hanged as brother to the Governor-General, and you will be hanged for being found in bad company.'
RECOVERED FROM the Malabar Itch, Colonel Wellesley returned to Seringapatam in more cheerful mood than his companions might have expected in so disappointed a man. But he was still not very well, one of them thought; and, although he was no more than thirty-two years old, his closely cropped, wavy, light brown hair, parted in the middle, was already touched with grey. 1
He never wore powder [one of his staff recorded], though it was at that time the regulation to do so. I have heard him say he was convinced the wearing of hair powder was very prejudicial to health as impeding the perspiration . . . His dress at this time consisted of a long coat, the uniform of the 33rd Regiment, a cocked hat, white pantaloons, Hessian boots and spurs, and a large sabre, the handle solid silver. 2
Having taken ship south from Bombay he rode towards Mysore ahead of his escort, nonchalantly observing to Captain Elers who accompanied him, 'If we are taken prisoner, I shall be hanged as brother to the Governor-General, and you will be hanged for being found in bad company.'3
One night the two men were sitting drinking wine after dinner and, as Elers recalled, 'congratulating ourselves that we had arrived safely . . . in the country of the Coorga Rajah . . . when, looking through the tent doors, we saw the forest suddenly illuminated with torches and many men carrying all sorts of game on Bamboos', including cheetahs, jackals, tigers, foxes, a boa constrictor sixteen feet long, eleven elephants' tails and three carp.
The next day the Rajah's green and red striped tents were pitched nearby and from these were sent over to the British officers presents of 'backgammon boards of the handsomest sort, inlaid with ebony and