I must say, however, that under his tuition I had become highly expert at all manly exercises ; I could use a gun, throw a spear, wrestle, knew the exact use of every description of sword, straight or crooked, single or double-edged, long or short, and in all these exercises there was not a lad of the village, and I may say of the country round, who could in any way compete with me.
" It is necessary to your fully understanding this, said he, " that I should give you an outline of our belief in the Divine origin of our profession, which is intimately connected with the faith of the Hindoos, and by whom we Moosulmans have been instructed in the art of Thuggee."
“ This is wonderful indeed," said I ; " how do yon reconcile any connection between the faith of unbelievers and that of the blessed prophet ?"
“I cannot pretend to solve the difficulty, said my father ; " but as their religion is far more ancient than ours, and no doubt had a Divine origin, there are many points in it which one of the true faith may follow without offence, so that he does not join them in all their forms and professions. Indeed, this is impossible, as no one can become a Hindoo ; but, as I told yon before, Thuggee is one of the means, by which Alla works out his own ends ; and as the profession of it has been handed down to ns from ages, and becomes the fate of those who are called to follow it^ there is no possibility of avoiding the profession though one desired to do so ; and, as a direct consequence, no sin in assodating with Hindoos in the practice of it, from whom it has had its origin. Do you understand me ?"
" Perfectly," said I ; "it was not to question its propriety that I asked the question, but only to know how it was that Hindoo festivals were acknowledged and kept by us Moosulmans."
" The Dusera is the only one," said my father, " which is observed; and the reason of this is, that it is the fittest time of the year to commence our enterprises, and has been invariably kept sacred by all Hindoo Thugs. But I must tell you of the origin of Thuggee, that you may judge for yourself how ancient it is, and how well the instructions then given by Divine command have been followed up. In the beginning of the world, according to the Hindoos, there existed a creating and a destroying power, both emanations from the Supreme Being. These were, as a matter of consequence, at constant enmity with each other, which still continues. The creative power, however, peopled the earth so fast, that the destroyer could not keep pace with him, nor vras he allowed to do ; but was given permission to resort to every means he could devise to effect his objects. Among others, his consort Devee, Bhowanee, or Kalee, for she is known under these names and many others, constructed an image, into which, on this occasion, she was empowered to infuse the breath of life. No sooner was this effected, than she assembled a number of her votaries, whom she named Thugs. She instructed them in the art of Thuggee ; and to prove its efficacy, with her own hands destroyed before them the image she had made, in the manner which we now practise. She endowed the Thugs with superior intelligence and cunning, in order that they might decoy human beings to destruction, and sent them abroad into the world, giving them, as the reward of their exertions, the plunder they might obtain from those they put to death…