By marching by night and resting during the day Wilson had conserved the strength of his white troops. As the dawn broke Krishnapur came into view a few of the Rani’s rabble could be seen on the walls.
She knew he was coming. He would be relieved when the gold changed hands it had been guarded by the Ghurkhas and kept in a bullock gari. No one was supposed to know about it but the army leaked like a sieve. Once inside the city the 53rd had been ordered not to leave the gate house. He would do the diplomatic with the Rani, hand over her present and before she knew it he would hold the great gate.
Now in the shadow of Krishnapur’s walls he noticed at the rear of the column a bottle neck at the bridge and that the city gate was closed. Perhaps the Rani was about to provide a dramatic welcome in the native style.
He saw the muzzles of the cannon appear before he heard the roar. Then the air was full of canister and when the smoke lifted the Sikhs were gone. A bugle rang out and the walls were suddenly lined with Pandies giving volley after volley.
He ordered up the guns and shook the sailors and the 53rd out into a firing line intending to supress the Pandies and batter the gate down before taking the gate house at bayonet point. Then mutineer sowars had appeared out of nowhere and cut down his gunners before riding off again.
That was it, the position was untenable and he had retreated back over the bridge. He had to leave the guns behind-there would be trouble over that. The Ghurkhas though, mindful of their orders had saved the gold. The 53rd and what was left of the sailors formed face but the Pandies had not attempted a pursuit.
In Field of Battle terms Wilson simply ran out of Army Morale Points and had to withdraw. The Rani got the cards she needed when she wanted them and rolled high for firing.