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Confessions of A Thug (A Novel)
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Confessions of A Thug (A Novel)
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About The Book

Be firm, be courageous, be subtle, be faithful; more you need not. These are the highest qualifications of a Thug . . . and lead to certain success and high rank.

Welcome to the feudal India of the early nineteenth century where a band of thugs cold-blooded, ruthless assassins, and dacoits are rampaging on the streets, luring unsuspecting travellers only to kill and loot.

But the most notorious of their band, Ameer Ali, has been imprisoned, and he has a lot to confess. Responsible for 719 murders, he recounts his extraordinary life story which begins on a grave evening when he is the victim of a Thuggee attack. And the events unfold to envelop him in the lives of his perpetrators . . . till he becomes one of them.

A gut-wrenching memoir, Confessions of a Thug, which offers a glimpse into the feudal history of India, is one of the most sensational crime novels of its time.

Preface

As nearly twenty years have elapsed since the original publication of this Work, a revised edition might, but for the present absorbing interest of Indian affairs, be considered unnecessary.

On its first appearance-received as an exciting romance-the generality of readers little knew how much of melancholy and revolting truth lay beneath the surface. At the present time it may deserve a more attentive study; recent events will have too well prepared the Reader's mind for implicit belief in all the systematic atrocities narrated: they are true, and most of them found their first record in legal and official documents brought under the notice of Captain Taylor, who from an early age possessed the rare advantage of long study and intimate knowledge of the languages, manners, and customs of the natives, Mahomedans as well as Hindoo. In fact, it may safely be affirmed, that the Reader will find no characters introduced, no scenes delineated, nor customs and manners of the East described, which have not been faithfully drawn from objects with which the writer was perfectly familiar.

It will scarcely fail to be remarked, with what consummate art such numerous bodies of men were organized, and for a long time kept absolutely unknown, while committing acts of cruelty and rapine hardly conceivable; countenanced too, and secretly supported, by men in authority, and even by Priests, Brahmins, and Fakeers*, eager to share in their unhallowed gains.

The Reader is particularly requested to peruse Captain Taylor's Introduction, as affording a valuable key to the subsequent narrative. It may also furnish some clue to the successful concealment of a rebellion, in the existence of which many of our oldest and most experienced officers, and men high in authority, absolutely withheld belief, till too late and too cruelly convinced of their fatal error. Whatever can help us to arrive at a full and precise knowledge of the causes and the extent of this singular conspiracy, which must have resulted in the destruction of our Eastern Empire, had it not been upheld by constancy and heroism yet more extraordinary, is of the utmost value, and merits a deeper interest and more serious attention than any romance can claim.

Introduction

The tale of crime which forms the subject of the following pages is, alas! almost all true; what there is of fiction has been supplied only to connect the events, and make the adventures of Ameer Ali as interesting as the nature of his horrible profession would permit me.

I became acquainted with this person in 1832. He was one of the approvers or informers who were sent to the Nizam's territories from Saugor, and whose appalling disclosures caused an excitement in the country which can never be forgotten. I have listened to them with fearful interest, such as I can scarcely hope to excite in the minds of my readers; and I can only add, in corroboration of the ensuing story, that, by his own confessions, which were in every particular confirmed by those of his brother informers, and are upon official record, he had been directly concerned in the murder of seven hundred and nineteen persons. He once said to me, "Ah! Sir, if I had not been in prison twelve years, the number would have been a thousand!"

How the system of Thuggee* could have become so prevalent, unknown to and unsuspected by the people of India, among whom the professors of it were living in constant association, must, to the majority of the English public not conversant with the peculiar construction of Oriental society, be a subject of extreme wonder. It will be difficult to make this understood within my present limits, and yet it is so necessary that I cannot pass it by.

In a vast continent like India, which from the earliest periods has been portioned out into territories, the possessions of many princes and chieftains, each with supreme and irresponsible power in his own dominions, having most lax and inefficient governments, and at enmity with or jealous of all his neighbours, it may be conceived that no security could exist for the traveller upon the principal roads throughout the continent; no general league was ever entered into for his security; nor could any government, however vigorous, or system of police, however vigilant it might be in one state, possibly extend to all.

When it is also considered that no public conveyances have ever existed in India (the want of roads, and the habits and customs of the natives being alike opposed to their use)-that journeys, however long, have to be undertaken on foot or on horseback-that parties, previously unknown to each other, associate together for mutual security and companionship-that even the principal roads (except those constructed for military purposes by the Company's government) are only tracks made by the constant passage of people over them, often intersecting forests, jungles, and mountainous and uncultivated tracts, where there are but few villages and a scanty population-and that there are never any habitations between the different villages, which are often some miles apart-it will readily be allowed, that every temptation and opportunity exists for plunderers of all descriptions to make travellers their prey. Accordingly freebooters have always existed, under many denominations, employing various modes of operation to attain their ends; some effecting them by open and violent attacks with weapons, others by petty thefts and by means of disguises. Beyond all, however, the Thugs have of late years been discovered to be the most numerous, the most united, the most secret in their horrible work, and consequently the most dangerous and destructive.

Travellers seldom hold any communication with the towns through which they pass, more than for the purchase of the day's provisions: they sometimes enter them, but pitch their tents or lie under the trees which surround them; to gain any intelligence of a person's progress from village to village is therefore almost impossible. The greatest facilities of disguise among thieves and Thugs exist in the endless divisions of the people into tribes, castes, and professions; and remittances to an immense amount are known to be constantly made from one part of the country to another in gold and silver, to save the rate of exchange; jewels also and precious stones are often sent to distant parts, under the charge of persons who purposely assume a mean and wretched appearance, and every one is obliged to carry money upon his person for the daily expenses of travelling. It is also next to impossible to conceal anything carried, from the unlimited power of search possessed by the officers of customs in the territories of native princes, or to guard against the information their subordinates may supply to Thugs, or robbers of any description.

**Contents and Sample Pages**










Confessions of A Thug (A Novel)

Item Code:
NAX553
Cover:
PAPERBACK
Edition:
2018
ISBN:
9789388369107
Language:
English
Size:
8.00 X 5.00 inch
Pages:
614
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.41 Kg
Price:
$28.00   Shipping Free
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About The Book

Be firm, be courageous, be subtle, be faithful; more you need not. These are the highest qualifications of a Thug . . . and lead to certain success and high rank.

Welcome to the feudal India of the early nineteenth century where a band of thugs cold-blooded, ruthless assassins, and dacoits are rampaging on the streets, luring unsuspecting travellers only to kill and loot.

But the most notorious of their band, Ameer Ali, has been imprisoned, and he has a lot to confess. Responsible for 719 murders, he recounts his extraordinary life story which begins on a grave evening when he is the victim of a Thuggee attack. And the events unfold to envelop him in the lives of his perpetrators . . . till he becomes one of them.

A gut-wrenching memoir, Confessions of a Thug, which offers a glimpse into the feudal history of India, is one of the most sensational crime novels of its time.

Preface

As nearly twenty years have elapsed since the original publication of this Work, a revised edition might, but for the present absorbing interest of Indian affairs, be considered unnecessary.

On its first appearance-received as an exciting romance-the generality of readers little knew how much of melancholy and revolting truth lay beneath the surface. At the present time it may deserve a more attentive study; recent events will have too well prepared the Reader's mind for implicit belief in all the systematic atrocities narrated: they are true, and most of them found their first record in legal and official documents brought under the notice of Captain Taylor, who from an early age possessed the rare advantage of long study and intimate knowledge of the languages, manners, and customs of the natives, Mahomedans as well as Hindoo. In fact, it may safely be affirmed, that the Reader will find no characters introduced, no scenes delineated, nor customs and manners of the East described, which have not been faithfully drawn from objects with which the writer was perfectly familiar.

It will scarcely fail to be remarked, with what consummate art such numerous bodies of men were organized, and for a long time kept absolutely unknown, while committing acts of cruelty and rapine hardly conceivable; countenanced too, and secretly supported, by men in authority, and even by Priests, Brahmins, and Fakeers*, eager to share in their unhallowed gains.

The Reader is particularly requested to peruse Captain Taylor's Introduction, as affording a valuable key to the subsequent narrative. It may also furnish some clue to the successful concealment of a rebellion, in the existence of which many of our oldest and most experienced officers, and men high in authority, absolutely withheld belief, till too late and too cruelly convinced of their fatal error. Whatever can help us to arrive at a full and precise knowledge of the causes and the extent of this singular conspiracy, which must have resulted in the destruction of our Eastern Empire, had it not been upheld by constancy and heroism yet more extraordinary, is of the utmost value, and merits a deeper interest and more serious attention than any romance can claim.

Introduction

The tale of crime which forms the subject of the following pages is, alas! almost all true; what there is of fiction has been supplied only to connect the events, and make the adventures of Ameer Ali as interesting as the nature of his horrible profession would permit me.

I became acquainted with this person in 1832. He was one of the approvers or informers who were sent to the Nizam's territories from Saugor, and whose appalling disclosures caused an excitement in the country which can never be forgotten. I have listened to them with fearful interest, such as I can scarcely hope to excite in the minds of my readers; and I can only add, in corroboration of the ensuing story, that, by his own confessions, which were in every particular confirmed by those of his brother informers, and are upon official record, he had been directly concerned in the murder of seven hundred and nineteen persons. He once said to me, "Ah! Sir, if I had not been in prison twelve years, the number would have been a thousand!"

How the system of Thuggee* could have become so prevalent, unknown to and unsuspected by the people of India, among whom the professors of it were living in constant association, must, to the majority of the English public not conversant with the peculiar construction of Oriental society, be a subject of extreme wonder. It will be difficult to make this understood within my present limits, and yet it is so necessary that I cannot pass it by.

In a vast continent like India, which from the earliest periods has been portioned out into territories, the possessions of many princes and chieftains, each with supreme and irresponsible power in his own dominions, having most lax and inefficient governments, and at enmity with or jealous of all his neighbours, it may be conceived that no security could exist for the traveller upon the principal roads throughout the continent; no general league was ever entered into for his security; nor could any government, however vigorous, or system of police, however vigilant it might be in one state, possibly extend to all.

When it is also considered that no public conveyances have ever existed in India (the want of roads, and the habits and customs of the natives being alike opposed to their use)-that journeys, however long, have to be undertaken on foot or on horseback-that parties, previously unknown to each other, associate together for mutual security and companionship-that even the principal roads (except those constructed for military purposes by the Company's government) are only tracks made by the constant passage of people over them, often intersecting forests, jungles, and mountainous and uncultivated tracts, where there are but few villages and a scanty population-and that there are never any habitations between the different villages, which are often some miles apart-it will readily be allowed, that every temptation and opportunity exists for plunderers of all descriptions to make travellers their prey. Accordingly freebooters have always existed, under many denominations, employing various modes of operation to attain their ends; some effecting them by open and violent attacks with weapons, others by petty thefts and by means of disguises. Beyond all, however, the Thugs have of late years been discovered to be the most numerous, the most united, the most secret in their horrible work, and consequently the most dangerous and destructive.

Travellers seldom hold any communication with the towns through which they pass, more than for the purchase of the day's provisions: they sometimes enter them, but pitch their tents or lie under the trees which surround them; to gain any intelligence of a person's progress from village to village is therefore almost impossible. The greatest facilities of disguise among thieves and Thugs exist in the endless divisions of the people into tribes, castes, and professions; and remittances to an immense amount are known to be constantly made from one part of the country to another in gold and silver, to save the rate of exchange; jewels also and precious stones are often sent to distant parts, under the charge of persons who purposely assume a mean and wretched appearance, and every one is obliged to carry money upon his person for the daily expenses of travelling. It is also next to impossible to conceal anything carried, from the unlimited power of search possessed by the officers of customs in the territories of native princes, or to guard against the information their subordinates may supply to Thugs, or robbers of any description.

**Contents and Sample Pages**










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