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Full text of "Hunting grounds of the old world"



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TiGKH Head. 



THE 



HUNTING GllOUNDS 



THE OLD WORLD. 



THE OLD SHEKARRY," 

AUTHOR or 
'THE FOREST AND THE FIELD," "THE CAMP FIRE," "WRINKLES," BTC. 



i^Eto ©lii'ti'on. 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY E. LAW. 



LONDON: 
GEORGE EOUTLEDGE A- SONS, 

THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE ; 
NEW YORK : 416 BROOME STREET. 
1871. 



PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND COMPANT 
EDINBURGH AND LONDON 



PREFACE. 



The following pages, descriptive of different inci- 
dents in a Hunter's life, are selections from the 
journal of a wanderer over many lands, wbicli, hav- 
ing excited a certain degree of interest amongst a 
class who have themselves participated in similar 
scenes, the Author has laid before the Public ; in 
the hope that some of his comrades, many of whom 
are " mighty hunters," and abler with the pen than 
himself, will follow his example, and disseminate 
the knowledge they have acquired by experience 
during their sojourn in "the pathless woods," as 
their accounts cannot fail to be of intense interest 
to their brother sportsmen, and a great assistance 
to the uninitiated who aaay wish to follow in their 
footsteps. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



T. Tiger Head, 
II. The Speak Won, 

III. The Death of the Man-Eatee, 

IV. The Old Shekarry and his Gang, 
V. A Close Shave, 

VI. Retribution, 

VII. The Death op a Bull Bison, 
VIII. Bruin's Charge, 



PAGE 

Fi'ontispiece. 
36 
. 130 

249 
279 
304 
320 
383 



CONTENTS. 



PART I -INDIA. 



SECTION I.— THE DECCAN. 

CHAPTER I. 

HTDBABAD. — MY FIRST DAY's DEER-STALKING. 

Leave of absence obtained. — My mentor. — Departure. — Abdulla- 
ben-Ali, the Killidar. — A Banian. — The hill-fort of Bhoonghir. 
— Old cannon. — Native hospitality. — Visions of deer. — The 
start. — Plenty of "slots," but no deer. — The sambur described. 
— His habits. — A deer-stalker's qualifications. — Hints. — The 
trail. — Walter's companion. — ^Tracking. — The sambur's in- 
stinct. — The bark of a buck-elk. — The game in view. — An 
anxious moment. — My first stag. — Two harts die, a third hard 
hit. — The chase. — Ponto brings him to bay. — A good shot. 
— Return to camp, ..... Page 1 

CHAPTER II. 

HOG-UUNTING IN THE DECCAN. 

The fortress of Golconda.— The Tombs of the Kings. — The 
gardens. — Persian inscriptions. — The gathering. — Plan of 



VI CONTENTS. 

operations. — Reminiscences of the past. — The start.— The 
rendezvous. — My nag " Lai Babba. " — A moment of suspense. 
— The find. — We 're away. — The chase. — The first blood. — 
A purl. — The advantages of being on good terms with one's 
nag. — The tug of war. — Exciting moments. — The struggle for 
the spear. — It is won. — The charge. — Mischief ensues. — The 
death of the boar. — The wounded hog-hunter. — The death of 
an old friend. — The try sting- tree. — The trophies. — The return 
to cantonment, ..... Page 21 



CHAPTER III. 

MULKAPOOR. 

Our camp. — Mulkapoor. — The Patel. — Good news of shekar. — 

W 's family. — Scheme for a Nautch. — The Begum. — Her 

love of good liquor. — The prescription. — Chineah and my 
Shekar -gang. — The doctor's ruse. — News of a man-eater. — 
Departure of the gang, . . , . ,40 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE man-eater's LAIR. 

The start. — The man-eater's depredations. — His habits described. 

— His last victim. — His trail. — We are on his track More 

game. — The scent becomes warm. — The lair. — The remains of 
many victims discovered. — The plan for the morrow. — A re- 
solution. — W 's idea of shekar. — We arrive in camp. — 

The Pill's garden. — The bath. —Dinner. — The doctor's visit to 
the Begum. — Effect of his medicine. — My future husband. — 
The nautch arranged, ..... 54 

CHAPTER V. 

A BATTUE. 

Preliminary arrangements for the beat. — The doctor's great 
appearance.— His famous feat. — W falls in with tigers. — 



CONTENTS. VI I 

Fatal accident.— The death of a tiger.— The game warms. — 
The battue. — Another tiger dies.— The bag of the day. — The 
doctor again. — The ceremonies of my gang, . Page 72 

CHAPTER VI. 

THE GANG. 

The Begum's invitation accepted. — My shekar-gang.— Qoogoo- 
loo's history and the discovery of the Yanadi caste.— Googoo- 
loo's gifts. — Insinuations, . . . .86 

CHAPTER VII. 

THE NAUTCH. 

The Nautch : its fascinations. — Indian dancing-girls.— Oriental 
eyes. — Their dress and jewels. — Soaping the Begum.— Indian 
jugglers and their tricks. — The celebrated mango-tree. — The 
sacrifice to Bowanee. — Explanation. — The doctor's wonder, 103 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE DEATH OF THE MAN-EATER. 

News of the man-eater again. — We are once more on his trail. — 
The Bcent lost. — Googooloo gives tongue. — It warms. — My 
plan. — Preparation. — Execution. — A ticklish moment. — 
Death of the man-eater. — Ceremonies of the shekarries, 122 



SECTION II.— SOUTHERN INDIA. 



CHAPTER IX. 

TRICniNOPOLT. 



Trichinopoly.— The evil influence of caste in India.— The return 
of Chineah, and our prospects of sport. — My shooting-cart and 
battery described.— Preparations for a start, . . 134 



VIU CONTEJTTS. 

CHAPTER X. 

THE SHEVEKOYS. 

Departure of the gang. — Our start. — The journey. — Salem. — 
The Sheveroy hills, and our reception. — Anglo-Indian hospi- 
tality. — Claret cup. — News of bison and bears. — Googooloo 
on trail. — We follow. — A bull-bison lost. — The news of bears 
confirmed. — Their habits described, . . Page 150 

CHAPTER XI. 

BEAK-HUNTING. 

We start for the Bear Hill. — The reconnaissance. — Bears afoot. 
— Their strongholds invested. — A foraging party surprised. — 
Two bears die. — Three more afoot. — Another couple yield 
their spoils. — Desperate encounter with an enraged vixen, 
who almost proved a Tartar. — " The Old Shekarry" in a fix 
for a time, but wins the game at last. — The bag of the day. — 
The return, . . . • . . 163 

CHAPTER XII. 

BOWANI. 

Sankerrydroog An adventure with hyenas. — Bowani.— Alli- 
gator-fishing. — We start for Andior. — " Gooty," my shooting- 
pony : his pedigree and achievements. — Small-game shooting. 
— Antelope-stalking. — Andior. — The monkeys and the Brah- 
mins. — Murr el-fishing, . . . . .172 

CHAPTER XIII. 

THE COMBEI JUNGLE. 

Early rising. — " Tiger's milk." — A sloth-bear started. — Combei. 
— Our encampment. — A salt-lick. — Great bag of deer by 
night. — Ding-ding. — A strange rencontre whilst peafowl- 



CONTENTS. ix 

stalking. — Leg-bail. — The death of the tiger. — B 'a sport. 

— A glorious chase. — The bull-nilghau. — The bag. — A black 
panther. — Strange mode of catching deer. — Return to Bowani. 
—Finale, ..... Page 185 



SECTION III.— THE MOUNTAIN RANGES. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

THE NEILGHERRIES. 

Index. — Pleasing recollections. — The deep forest described. — 
The pleasures and excitement of a hunter's life. — The requi- 
site qualifications. — The Neilgherries and their productions. 
— Variety of game. — Ootacamund. — Englishmen and their 
love of Sport. — Dawson's Hotel. — Burnside Cottage. — Mala- 
njund. — The Todas : their women, habitations, and strange 
customs. — News of elk. — The start : preliminaries. — The 
drive. — Game afoot. — A capital shot. — Three deer bite the 
dust, and Bruin yields up his spoils. — A stag at bay. — The 
return. — Convivial gathering. — The Major's story, . 200 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE NEILGHERRIES, Continued A NIGHT AFFAIR. 

News of a tiger. — His last depredation. — The ambuscade. — Lying 
in wait. — A night attack. — Exciting moments. — The spoiler 
vanquished. — The return. — News of ibex, and an expedition 

to the Koondah range. — Ibex-stalking. — B 's wonderful 

shooting. — The game nearly lost. — The ibex described. — Re- 
turn to Ooty ...... 219 



X CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

ELEPHANT-nUNTING IN THE FOREST AROUND THE BASE OP THE 
NEILGHERRIES, 

The elephant-hunter's qualifications, " Mighty Hunters." — The 
start. — The Coonoor Pass. — The trail — Signs of a tusker. — 
The herd. — A bull-elephant dies. — A cow and calf fall. — 
The bivouac, ..... Page 238 

CHAPTER XVII. 

EliEPHANT-HUNTING IN THE ANNAMULLAY FOREST. 

Coimbatore. — News of elephants. — A Poojah to propitiate the 
Hindoo deities meets with no satisfactory results. — A court- 
martial held on the recusant Sawmy. — Sentence and execu- 
tion. — The ghost of the injured Sawmy appears to the Gooroo. 
— His threat. — The laying of the spirit. — Result obtained. — 

The start. — M 's hut at Tunnacuddoo. — His hospitality. 

— A bison wounded, — Taketty. — News of a herd of elephants. 
— Our bivouac. — A night alarm. — Elephants astir, — A bull- 
elephant yields up his spoils. — An immense snake caught. — 
We follow up the spoor of the herd. — Beautiful forest scenery. 
— Tracking by torchlight. — Difficulties surmounted. — We 
swim a nullah. — The trail. — The herd in view. — A bull- 
elephant anchored. — A second tusker wounded. — A charge. — 
A predicament. — A lucky shot decides the day. — The result of 
a pat from an elephant, .... 250 

CHAPTER XVIII 

THE GREAT ANNAMULLAY FOREST. — TIGER-HUNTINO. 

Our plan of operations. — The hunting-grounds. — Preparations. 
— The journey. — Jungle travelling. — Our bivouac. — A lonely 
glen. — Signs of game. — The ambuscade. — Foreign signs and 
jungle melody. — Ooogooloo gives tongue. — The spoiler 



CONTENTS. XI 

spoiled. — An unexpected rencontre. — A wounded tigres.s. — 
Her retreat stormed. — Fatal accident. — lletribution. — The 
Shekarry's grave, .... Page 281 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE GREAT ANNAMULLAY FOREST, Continued. — BISON-HUNTING. 

Our hut. — A gigantic carp. — Fiah-shooting. — His dimensions. — 
Discovery of a cave ; an exploring party. — The tiger's spoils. 
— His dimensions. — "Away with melancholy." — Chineah's 
reconnaissance and bag. — Our open council. — Jungle harmony. 
— Our proceedings and plan for the morrow. — The turn-out. 
— The start. — A hard fag. — A fresh trail of bison struck. — 
Googooloo has the ear of a hare. — Two buck-elk and a hind 
bite the dust. — We follow up the bison's trail. — Heav^y work. 
— Land-leeches. — The find. — A heavy bag and a good day's 
work.— The gigantic dimensions of the patriarch of the herd. 
—The game bushed. — Again en route. — A teak-forest. — The 
head of the fall. — Magnificent views. — Our bivouac, . 306 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE GREAT ANNAMULLAY FOREST, Continued. — A ROGUE 
ELEPHANT. 

Naga's party join us. — News of a rogue elephant. — Chineah 

despatched for the bison's spoils. — B 's luck. — The start. 

— We strike a fresh trail. — Fall in with the tusker. — Our pro- 
ceedings. — B 's excellent shot. — The ivories. — A discus- 
sion on " rogues." — The cutting-out of the tusks. — Return to 

the low country. — Arrival of our guests. — Dinner. — B 's 

adventure of a " grifiin." — The lion and tiger compared. — My 
first lion. — We again ascend the Ghaut. — Good cheer. — Con- 
sultation. — Elephant-spoors. — The trail followed up. — K 'a 

rashness. — An escape.— A small tusker falls. — Return to the 
hut. — B 's bag.— A storm.— Return to cantonment, 329 



Xll CONTENTS. 



PART II.-CIRCASSIA. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Omer Pacha. — My followers. — Bashi-Bazouks. — Houssain the 
Arnout. — Ahmed the Koord. — All the Nubian. — Mahomed 
the Arab. — Sied Cassim the Dervish. — Abdulla the guide. — 
Captain Dymock's grave. — Godova. — Wild-fowl. — A heavy 
bag. — The climate of Circassia. — The inhabitants : their man- 
ners, customs, and dress. — Circassian women. — The Illori chief- 
tain. — The " Faithful," and the " forbidden indulgence." — 
Omer Pacha a humbug. — His reputation amongst the Turkish 
officers. — His wound accounted for. — His acquisitiveness and 
plunder. — A fearful chase by wolves. — The Turkish Colonel's 
advice. — SuUeiman Pacha. — His purchase. — Revolt of the 
Hareem. — The catastrophe and finale, . . Page 351 

CHAPTER XXII. 

CIRCASSIA — continued. 

Circassian scenery.— A false alarm. — The Bey's konak. — Rifles 
and revolvers. — Circassian cuisine. — A goose cooked h, la Mrs 
Harris. — Uninvited company. — News of a bear. — A night 
prowler.— A huntsman's toilet.— The route through the 
ravines. — The lair. — The Bey's dogs give tongue. — An enor- 
mous bear wounded. — A man mauled. — The Bruin bites the 
dust.— The bivouac. — Horses stolen. — Mussulman apathy. — 
The pursuit. — The trail. — The plunderers surprised and 
taken. — Their punishment, .... 373 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

CIRCASSIA — continued. 

On the sale of Circassian females, and extenuating circum 
stances. — Their character.— An exploring trip premeditated. 
— The start. — A Russian fort.— Bustard -shooting. — Forest 
scenery, —Difficulties en rowie.— Trout-fishing.— Mosquitoes. 



CONTENTS. Xili 

— A lovely valley. — Wild-cattle hunt. — An awkward predica- 
ment. — A bull and cow slain.— Mode of preserving the flesh. 
— More game afoot. — The ascent of the first range. — Moun- 
tain scenery. — Mount El-Bruz in the distance.— Difficult 
travelling. — A bear started. — A long shot. — Strange feelings. 
— A frightful chasm, and exciting moment. — Journey along 
the ridge.— The descent. — Wolves. — A Circassian hamlet. — 
Hospitality. — A noble race. — A Durbar, and the result of our 
consultation, ..... Page 390 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

ciRCASSiA, continued, — the ascent of el-bruz. 

Forest scenery.— The first halt. — A glacier. — A beautiful pano- 
rama. — Sunrise. — A lammergeier slain. — Glacier travelling. — 
Eternal snow. — Avalanches. — The lower summit attained. — 
Our exultation.— A description of the higher summit.— The 
impossibility of reaching it. — Grand scenery. — Intense glare. 
— The descent commenced.— A sudden death.— Kuchuk's last 
resting-place. — Fatigviing fag. — The bivouac in the pine- 
forest. — An ibex killed. — Return. — Finale, . . 409 



PART III.-ALGERIA. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

A SPORTING RECONNAISSANCE IN ALGERIA. 

The origin of the Expedition. — The start.— Paris Difficulty 

about the importation of gunpowder. — A ruse.— Marseilles. — 

The voyage. — Stora.— Bone French hospitality. — Lake Fed- 

zara. — Ain-Mokra. — Convivial evening.— Songs.— The trail of 
a lion. — Small-game shooting. — Lions afoot. — Night-watching, 
— Uncomfortable position. — The lion again. — His currishness. 



xiv CONTENTS. 

— Preparations for a trip inland. — Philippeville, — Roman 
remains. — The kindness of the French authorities. — Our 
journey. — A strange Jehu. — Constantine. — The game of 
Algeria, ...... Page 425 



PART IV. 

PRACTICAL HINTS ON FIREARMS AND 
THEIR USE. 

CHAPTER XXVL 

The advantages of breech-loading guns and rifles. — The different 
systems. — Advice on purchasing firearms. — The theory of 
rifle practice. — Aiming, position, judging distance, and prac- 
tical hints on shooting.— On the colour of sportsmen's dress. 
— Table, Experiments with targets, . . 466 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS 



THE OLD WORLD. 



PART I.-INDIA. 
Section 1. — The Deccan. 



CHAPTER I. 

HYDKABAD. — ^MY FIEST DAY'S DEER-STALKING. 

Leave of absence obtained. — My Mentor. — Departure. — Ab- 
dulla-ben-Ali, the Killadar. — A Banian. — The hill-fort of 
Bhoonghir. — Old cannon. — Native hospitality. — Visions of 
deer. — The start. — Plenty of "slots" but no deer. — The 
Sambur described. — His habits. — A deer-stalker's qualifica- 
tions. — Hints. — The trail. — Walter's companion. — Tracking. 
— The sambur's instinct. — The bark of a buck elk. — The 
game in view. — An anxious moment. — My iirst stag. — Two 
harts die, a third hard hit. — The chase. — Ponto brings him 
to bay. — A good shot. — Return to camp. 

In the year 184 — I was a jolly sub. in the old 
— th Regiment, then forming part of the Hy- 
drabad subsidiary force, and having got over the 

A 



2 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

early troubles of my griffinage (i.e., the goose 
step, adjutant's drill, &c.) in a weak moment after 
dinner I obtained three days' division leave from 
my colonel (a regular Tartar) who during the tem- 
porary absence of General A n, was in command 

of the garrison, in order to accompany my great 
chum, "Walter M., in a sporting expedition to the 
Jaghir of the Killadar* of the hill-fort of Bhoonghir, 
which was about twenty miles from our canton- 
ments. 

Walter, who commanded the company to which 
I was attached, had been my Mentor in all duty 
matters from the day I first joined the regiment, 
and he now undertook to initiate me in the mys- 
teries of " Shekar," in all its branches, a task which 
he of all others was well qualified to perform, being 
well known as the most fearless hunter and unerring 
shot in a country pre-eminent for the excellence of 
its sportsmen. 

.Years have rolled since poor Walter went to 
" that bourne from whence no traveller returns ; " 
and the kindest heart that ever warmed human 
bosom has ceased to beat, for my friend sleeps his 
last under the shade of a giant forest tree, and his 
name is seldom called to mind, save when, at the 
close of day, his old comrades assemble round the 
social board and speak of " moving incidents by 
flood and field;" of hair-breadth " 'scapes," of mighty 
feats and daring deeds, and an old hand pointing to 

* Killadar, the governor of a fort. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 3 

some grim trophy of the chase hanging in the mess- 
room, will tell how the daring spirit that is gone 
plunged in some angry torrent, " and did buffet it 
with lusty sinews" after his quarry, bearded the 
tiger in his lair, and slew him single-handed, or 
saved a comrade from inevitable death by the fatal 
accuracy of his deadly aim. 

Mais revenons a nos inoutons. AVe left canton- 
ment at the first indication of dawn, and accom- 
panied by all our people and baggage, which was 
furthermore escorted by a corporal and three sepoys, 
as the country was hardly deemed safe, on account 
of predatory bands of Rohillas and Puthans, we pro- 
ceeded along the bank or embankment of the Hus- 
sain Sanger Tallow, an artificial lake which was up- 
wards of thirty miles in circumference in the rainy 
season, and passing by the princely palace of the 
Resident of Hydrabad, we arrived at the bungalow 

of Captain M , the Assistant Resident, with 

whom we breakfasted ; and having rested a few 
hom's, until the heat of the day was past, we again 
set out, leaving the city of Hydrabad behind, 
crossing the Moosa river by a ford, and after a 
ride of three hours arrived at Shajehanpoor, where 
we remained for the night, and from which 
place the lofty hill-fort of Bhoonghir was pointed 
out to us, looming high above the surrounding 
hills. 

At daybreak the next morning we were again in 
the saddle, and after a pleasant ride through low 



4 THE HUNTING G.SOUNDS 

jungle arrived at an immense banian tree, where we 
found AbduUa-ben-Ali, the Killadar, and his son, 
waiting for us with " Saindee " (the sap of the date 
palm, which, when fresh, is a delightful beverage) 
and trays of fruits and sweetmeats of different 
kinds. 

He offered us accommodation, for ourselves and 
followers, in the fort, but we preferred encamping 
under this magnificent banian tree, which in itself 
was quite a grove, being of amazing size. Contrary 
to most other vegetable productions, this tree seems 
to be exempted from decay ; for every branch from 
the main body throws out its own roots, at first in 
small tender fibres several yards from the ground, 
which continually grow thicker, until by a gradual 
descent they reach its surface, where striking in they 
take root, and receiving nourishment from the earth, 
increase to large trunks, which themselves become 
parent trees, shooting forth other branches; thus 
continuing in a state of progression, independent of 
the first parent of them all. A banian tree, with 
its many trunks, forms the most beautiful walks, 
vistas, and cool recesses that can be imagined, foi- 
the leaves are large, soft, and of a lively green, and 
the grateful shade it affords is infinitely preferable 
to that of any building. The fruit is a small fig, 
which is of a bright scarlet colour when ripe, afford- 
ing sustenance to monkeys and birds of various 
kinds, which dwell among the branches. We killed 
several dozen green pigeons, besides others of dif- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 6 

ferent kinds, the morning of our arrival, but the 
next day they came just as numerous as ever. 

Having seen that our tents were properly pitched 
and our horses firmly picketed, we accompanied the 
Killadar to his quarters in the fort, the ascent of 
which is very steep, and almost impracticable for 
horses, and he took us round the fortifications, which 
were tolerably strong for a native fort, consisting, 
as usual, of a loop-holed wall, with square bastions 
of masonry, and a kind of fausse brae, with a line 
of interior defences, which form the citadel. He 
appeared to thmk the place impregnable, and neither 
Walter nor myself cared to undeceive him, although 
we both made up our minds that it would take 
our troops somethmg less than an hour to get into 
it. 

He showed us some curious old native guns, one 
of which was of very large calibre, being formed of 
bars of iron welded together and fastened with large 
iron hoops, and the shot, which were of stone, we 
found to be rather heavier than we could lift. 

After our inspection we adjourned to the Killa- 
dar's house, which appeared to have been formerly 
the gateway of an old Hindoo temple, but all the 
images had been destroyed and replaced by stone 
slabs bearing Persian inscriptions. We were shown 
into the " dewan-khana," or guest-room, where a 
very nice dinner, in the native style, was served, and 
our host conversed with us whilst we partook of 
his hospitality, and appeared much amused at my 



6 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

awkward attempts to convey the food to my mouth 
with my fingers, a feat which I was not then ac- 
customed to perform, although it is the ordinary 
mode of eating among all classes and castes in India, 
I had my turn when he came to visit us afterwards, 
and attempted to eat with a knife and fork for the 
first time. 

After we had dined, sherbet and sweetmeats were 
handed round, with hubble-bubbles and hookahs 
(water-pipes,) and the Killadar informed us that 
his shekarries * had not returned from the jungles, 
whither he had sent them to try and find out the 
whereabouts of a large tiger, who had been commit- 
ting a good deal of depredation among the herds in 
the low country ; but that if we would like a day's 
samburf shooting, he would accompany us on the 
morrow, and show us a place where we should be 
nearly certain to find. 

Of course we were agreeable, and after expending 
a good deal of breath in interchanging compliments, 
&c., we took our leave and returned to our tents, the 
Killadar having promised to be with us before day- 
break with masaltjies or torch-bearers, as it was 
some short distance to the jungle where we were to 
hunt, and early dawn was the best time to catch the 
deer feeding. 

I had never killed a deer, or, indeed, any other 

large game (except a hyena, that ventured into my 

compound, or garden, one night, after my dogs, and 

* Shekarries, hunters. t Sambur, elk (Rusa Aristoteles.) 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 7 

which I managed to knock over with a charge of 
buck-shot,) and consequently I was in too excited a 
state to rest much during the night, for visions of deer 
came and vanished amidst broken slumbers, and I 
awoke dreaming that, after a long and weary chase 
over mountains and across ravines, I came upon a 
monstrous stag, put up my rifle and pulled, but all in 
vain — it would not go off, 

I had only just dropped into a refreshing sleep, 
when I was awakened by Walter beating the "British 
Grenadiers" with his hair-brush on a huge brass 
basin, which was formed out of one of the gongs 
taken from the Pagoda at Rangoon. I sprung from 
my bed as if the deer were already before me, and 
donning my toggery, which was of moleskin of most 
approved colour and cut, buckled on my spurs and 
examined my rifles, whilst my servant poured out 
some hot coffee, flavoured with but just a "threaten- 
ing of cognac," and in a few minutes we were joined 
by the Killadar, his son, and three or four ''juwans," 
(young men in attendance,) and, mounting our 
horses, we wound round the scarped side of the hill- 
fort, and entered a long narrow defile between two 
hills, by a narrow path running along the banks of 
a mountain stream then nearly dry. 

After a tedious ride of about two hours' duration, 
by torchlight, the gray dawn broke over the mount- 
tain tops, and a gentle breeze arose, just moving 
with its refreshing breath the leaves of the loftier 
trees ; now and then a hare or a covey of partridges 



8 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

sprang np on either side, and vanished amid the 
gloom of the surrounding thickets, alarmed at the 
noise made by the feet of our horses over the rocky- 
path. 

At last the ravine opened into a beautiful glen, in 
which there were small patches of cultivation, and 
here the Killadar begged us to dismount and keep 
quiet, as the dun tenants of the waste were in the 
habit of quitting the dense jungle during the night, 
and browsing upon the young cholum (Indian corn) 
in the early morning. 

He sent two of his people that knew the ground 
to reconnoitre, who, after a few minutes, came back 
with the information that they had seen a sounder 
of hog, but that there were no sambur on the ground, 
although there were several places covered over 
with fresh slots (the marks of a deer's tread.) showing 
that they had been there during the night. 

The Killadar gave vent to his disappointment by 
a volley of strange oaths, and was for returning 
home, but Walter begged him to remain and enjoy 
a quiet smoke under the shade of a tree, whilst we 
followed up tracks and attempted to stalk them. 
This he was delighted to do, as he did not like the 
thoughts of following up the game through the 
thick jungle, being a stout, thick-set, phlegmatic 
individual, hardly fit for such work. 

Walter divested himself of his extraneous cloth- 
ing, substituting a pair of thin elk-skin shoes for his 
ordinary riding-boots, and I followed his example ; 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 9 

then unloosening the girths of our saddles, we gave 
strict injunctions to our people to remain quiet, and 
sallied into the glen, accompanied by one of the men 
who had seen the fresh slots. 

I was so impatient to get on the trail, and plunge 
at once, as it were, in medias res, that I have omit- 
ted to describe the sambur, and also to point out the 
properties requisite for a deer-stalker. This species 
of deer, which is to be met with in almost all the 
large jungles throughout India, is considerably- 
larger than the Scotch red deer, and cannot be 
mistaken for the same species. The horns are 
rather upright, having two short brow antlers only, 
and at three years old two points at the extremities 
of each beam ; the eyes are large and very pro- 
minent ; the ears rounded ; the tail longer, and the 
arm more muscular than our red stags. The hair 
immediately next to the jaw is longer than any 
other part of the neck, and when he is alarmed or 
excited it stands on end, and forms a kind of ruff, 
sometimes called the mane. The colour varies 
slightly, but is usually of very dark slate, mingled 
with gray, nearly black about the face and points, 
and a light buff between the haunches and under- 
neath. The female is much smaller than the male, 
and is of a lighter colour. 

The horns vary in size, according to the age of 
the animal, and are cast annually, not, however, 
always at the same time, for one generally drops a 
day or two after the other. The new horns attain 



10 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

their full growth in about three months, appearing 
about a week after the old. ones are shed, and are 
covered with a thick, leaden-coloured skin, called 
the velvet, which, after a time, begins to fall off. 
At this period the horns are very sensitive, and 
the stags avoid bringing them into collision with 
any substance. 

The period of gestation in the hinds is eight 
months. She drops the fawn in some secluded and 
shady spot, making it lay down by pressing her 
nose and forehead against it, after which it will 
never stir until she comes again, for she leaves it 
until the close of day, remaining a short distance to 
windward, so as to be at hand in case it should be 
found out by foxes or jackals. 

The natives say, and I believe with some truth, 
that if you find a young fawn that has never fol- 
lowed its dam, take it up and breath in its nostrils, 
allowing it to suck your fingers for a few moments, 
that it will follow you for miles, becoming instantly 
tame ; but if it has once followed its dam, for ever 
so small a time before you found it, it will never 
follow a human being. 

The female does not cohabit with the male until 
three years old, and never has more than one fawn 
at a time. During the rutting season, which period 
lasts about a week, the harts are extremely vicious, 
and may be heard roaring all over the forests, call- 
ing and answering each other. When they meet 
they engage in savage conflicts, rearing themselves 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 1 1 

on their hind legs, sparring with their fore-feet, 
and butting each other with their antlers, until one 
feels himself worsted, and leaves the herd ; the hinds, 
who generally watch the engagement with the ut- 
most nonchalance, bestowing their favours on the 
conqueror. 

There is no animal more shy or solitary by 
nature than the sambur. He takes alarm from 
every living thing in the forest; the slightest sound, 
be it only the fall of a leaf or the scratching of a 
jungle fowl, will scare and set him off in a mo- 
ment. Except in certain embarrassed situations, 
they always 7'im up wind, their great security lying 
in their extreme keenness of scent, for they can 
smell a taint in the air at an almost incredible dis- 
tance. 

When a hart is disabled or run down by dogs, 
and he feels that he cannot escape by speed, he will 
choose the best position he can, and defend himself 
to the last extremity with his antlers. Powerful 
dogs may pull down a full-grown stag when run- 
ning and breathless, but not a cold hart (one that 
has not been wounded) when he stands at bay, for 
he takes such a sweep witb his antlers that he could 
exterminate a whole pack, should they attack in front 
only. 

The sambur, like many other animals, seems to 
foresee every change of weather, for they leave the 
hills and descend into the plains whenever any rough 
weather is about to take place. 



1 2 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

The deer-stalker should not only be able to run 
like an antelope, but he should possess the bottom 
of an Arab horse, to enable him to keep the game 
in view ; he should be able to creep like a leopard, 
and to run with his back bent almost double, and 
at a pinch to wriggle himself along the ground, 
ventre a terre, like an eeL He should be able to 
wade or swim torrents, to keep his footing on sKp- 
pery water-worn stones, remembering, if he does 
fall, to keep his rifle dry, whatever becomes of his 
wretched carcass. He should never go rashly to 
work, keeping always cool, wary, and steady, never 
allowing any untoward circumstances to interfere 
with his equanimity and self-possession. 

Before commencing operations, he should carefully 
survey his line of route, marking any cover that 
inequalities in the ground, or bushes, rocks, &c., 
might give. I need not add, that temperance and 
moderation go a long way to keep the hand in and 
the nerves steady. When I first began deer-stalking, 
my Mentor endeavoured to instil the following gene- 
ral rules in my mind, and several years subsequent 
experience has proved to me that his theory is cor- 
rect. Be on your ground betimes in the morning ; 
consult the clouds, and keep well to the leetvard, 
even if you have to make a circuit of miles ; he 
silent as the grave; when you step on stones or dry 
leaves, &c., tread as lightly as a ghost ; keej) under 
cover ; exercise extreme judgment in approaching 
your game, which is a happy mixture of wary 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 13 

caution combined with prompt decision and boldness 
of execution. Memo. All this is useless, if you do 
not use straight j^oiuder. 

When we arrived at the cultivated ground in the 
bed of the glen, we found marks showinir tliat a 
large herd of sambur had been very lately feeding 
on the young shoots of the Indian corn, for the slots 
were quite fresh, and Walter pointed me out the 
difference between the tread of the harts to that of 
the hinds, the former being much larger and broad, 
and round at the point, whereas the latter is long 
and narrow. 

One impression, which was very deeply indented 
In the ground, measured three inches and a half at 
the heel, and the hind feet appeared to have been 
brought up to the same mark as that made by the 
fore, on which account Walter concluded the slot 
to belong to a heavy hart, who was most likely the 
leader of the herd ; so we agreed to follow it up. 

We were accompanied by a curious nondescript 
kind of dog, a cross between an English foxhound 
and a Bringarry greyhound, which had its ears and 
tail cropped close to the roots, to enable it to get 
through the jungle. He was Walter's inseparable 
companion, and the most highly educated dog I ever 
saw ; like his master, being perfectly aufait at every 
kind of sport. In the jungle he never left his 
master's heel except when set by him on the trail. 
On scent, no jungle, however thick, or rocks, how- 
ever steep, could check his course ; no stream, how- 



14 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

ever rapid, would discourage him ; he would enter 
without splashing, cross and double about until he 
recovered the scent and came up with his quarry, 
which he would keep at bay until his master came. 
He was also first-rate after small game as a retriever, 
and was very successful in putting up florakin, (or 
the lesser bustard), which bird generally makes a 
practice of running when disturbed, 

Walter was an adept at tracking, and under his 
guidance we had no difficulty in following up the 
trail, the slots not being more than an hour old. I 
remember being much struck with the extraordinary 
facility he had in discerning the trail over the most 
difficult ground ; the slightest mark, an upturned 
stone, a bruised leaf, or a bent twig, being sufficient 
to indicate the route pursued by the game with the 
greatest certainty. 

The gift of tracldng ov following up spoor, appears 
to be innate, or a kind of instinct, in the red men of 
the "Far West," and to certain jungle tribes of 
Hindostan ; but it takes careful study, great obser- 
vation, and long experience, before "dwellers of 
cities " are able to mark and understand /ores^ signs 
with any certainty. 

We found the elk had left the cholum fields and 
made for a steep ravine, at the bottom of which 
wound a mountain torrent, sometimes creeping 
silently among mossy stones, and at others dashing 
down over huge boulders of greenish granite, with 
a roar like distant thunder. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 15 

*' The deer evidently know this ground well, Hal," 
exclaimed Walter, breaking silence after an hour's 
heavy pull up and down hill, " for see, they have 
gone up stream to find a more convenient ford, as 
the current here is so strong that the fawns, not, 
being able to keep their legs, would have been swept 
away in crossing, so if you are not out of breath, we 
will after them at once, as the quicker we get over 
the ground the less will we have to cover, provided 
we go about it quietly and cautiously." 

On we went, sometimes on our hands and knees, 
creeping through dense underwood, and at others 
climbing rocks or wading watercourses, until we 
came to place where the stream was a shallow, and 
here it was evident that the deer had crossed very 
lately, as water was still flowing into the deep 
imprints made by their feet in the soft sands near 
the banks. 

"Take care not to make any splash as you go 
over, and tread carefully, Hal," whispered Walter ; 
"the trail is warm, and the herd cannot be far off, 
for the slots indicate they have been going slowly, 
browsing as they went, so they cannot have taken 
alarm." "Go ahead," I replied, feeling, I must 
own, rather nervous and excited, as who would 
not be, when after his first stag ; and on we went, 
creeping along with the utmost caution for a quarter 
of an hour, when suddenly we heard a sharp noise, 
like the barking of a dog, which seemed to come 
from a dense thicket some short distance in our front. 



16 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

Walter pulled up at once, and I noticed Ponto, 
his canine friend, had also caught up the sound, 
for he had his head knowingly cocked on one side, 
as if he was listening carefully, and his nose ele- 
vated, as if he was trying to sniff the air, whilst a 
small stump — an apology for a tail — made sundry 
eccentric movements, indicating that something was 
in the wind. 

After a moment's pause, Walter touched my 
shoulder, and whispered below his breath, " That 
was the bark of a buck elk, so cock your rifle and 
step in front, as I want you to kill him ; he cannot 
be far off, therefore keep a bright look-out, and 
be very careful not to make the slightest noise." 

I stole noiselessly along the run, following the 
slots, which were distinctly visible, until I came to a 
more open spot, where the jungle had been burnt 
the preceding year, and, crouching behind a thick 
bush, I had the extreme satisfaction of seeing the 
herd, consisting of three harts and fourteen or 
fifteen hinds, some of which had fawns at heel, 
quietly cropping the herbage about two hundred 
yards distant. 

It was a glorious sight, and I felt my heart 
thump against my ribs as I gazed for some seconds, 
too full of admiration to think of firing, when 
Walter, touching my shoulder, whispered, "They 
are too far off to make certain, so try and crawl 
under cover of the bushes to that thick clump, and 
you will get an easy shot. If you go carefully you 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 17 

will not be discovered, as the wind blows strong 
from them to us, and I will follow when I see you 
safely posted." 

I did as he desired, and we were now about a 
hundred and twenty yards distant from the herd, 
which, still unaware of our presence, continued 
browsing on the young wood and tender shoots. 

This was tlie anxious moment — everything 
hitherto had succeeded ; much time had been 
spent in tracking ; the game was before us ; and 
all now depended on a steady hand. " Take the 
nearest, Hal," whispered Walter, "and leave the 
further one to me — fire when I whistle. Are you 
ready ? " 

I had covered the shoulder of a stately stag, with 
towering antlers and a large black ruff round his 
neck, and on the signal being given, let drive. He 
made a bound, staggered, then fell forward, and 
was instantly dead. 

Walter, who had a very much longer shot, 
brought another fine hart to the ground, hitting 
him through the hind quarters, and paralysing 
them, and as the herd rushed by, wounded another 
as it sprang from an adjoining thicket, where it 
must have been lying down unobserved. I heard 
the " thud " as the ball struck against his dun side, 
and, jumping on a rock close by, let fly with my 
second barrel, but the shot was too high, it only 
cracked against his horns and stunned him for a 
moment, for he soon recovered and went off with 

B 



18 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

the rest, seemingly as well as ever. " A splendid 
shot, by Jupiter ! " exclaimed "Walter, " for he was 
a good three hundred yards when you fired, but 
you were not quick enough, and as it has failed to 
stop him, we will first 'pay the last ofiices to the 
fallen,' and then send Ponto on his track, for I feel 
sure he is hard hit, and if we do not urge him 
whilst the wound is fresh, but give it time to 
stifien, he will be obliged to slacken his pace and 
fall out from the rest of the herd." 

Walter had shot his stag through the small of 
the back, and although completely disabled, so as 
not to be able to drag itself along, it was not dead, 
and it was with some difficulty that he managed, 
with Ponto's assistance, to plunge his long knife 
in his chest and finish him. After we had bled, 
opened, and " gralloched " both, we covered the 
carcasses over with thorny bushes and stones, to 
preserve them from the vultures, without which 
precaution we should only have found the bones 
when we returned with the coolies to carry away 
the game ; and having refreshed the inner man 
with a nip of " brandy panee," we reloaded our 
rifles and tracked up the hart Walter had wounded, 
which, from the size of the slots, appeared to be 
larger than either of those we had kUled. 

Here and there we found the ground dyed with 
drops of blood, and where he rolled over when my 
l)ullet struck his horn there was a bright crimson 
pool, which showed that he was hard hit. "He 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 19 

cannot travel far, Hal, in that state," said Walter, 
"so we will set the dog after him, and I do not 
doubt but that he will soon brin.2; him to bay. 
Hey, Ponto! fetch him, boy." The intelligent 
animal looked up in his master's face, as if he 
could there read what was required of him, then 
made a cast with his nose along the ground, until 
he got scent of the wounded deer, when off he set 
at speed. 

We followed at our best pace, and after a sharp 
run, had the gratification of hearing Ponto's deep 
tongue echoing among the rocks. " Bravo, my 
dog ! " cried Walter ; " keep up, Hal, for five 
minutes longer, for by that cry I know the stag 
is at bay." We tore down the slope of the hill 
leading to the river, and there he was, standing 
in the torrent, every now and then menacing 
Ponto with bis antlers, who was swimming in the 
stream, and had enough to do to evade his frantic 
rushes. 

I was quite out of breath and powerless with the 
run, but Walter, standing up, at once firm and col- 
lected, took a deliberate aim with his unerring 
rifle ; an echo was heard rumbling among the 
rocks, and the stag, taking a mighty spring, 
plunged into the stream, shot through the brain, 
and rose a lifeless thing. 

The current, which was extremely rapid, bore 
the carcass down for some distance, dashing it 
amongst the rocks and whirling it in the eddies, 



20 THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 

and we had considerable difficulty in getting down 
to drag it out, as the ravine was very steep and 
full of precipices and huge rocks. At last we 
managed to haul him high and dry on the bank, 
and having gralloched and covered him over with 
branches and stones, we set off for the spot where 
we had left the Killadar some five or six hours be- 
fore. Just awakened from sleep, he had no idea 
that we had been away so long, and fancied we 
were joking when we told him of our sport. 

He sent his people, guided by Ponto, to sling 
the venison on poles and bring it in, and " there 
was a sound of revelry by night" in his little for- 
tress, for after sending a couple of haunches into 
cantonment, we divided the rest among his fol- 
lowers. I turned in that night very tired, and con- 
siderably bruised with sundry falls, but delighted 
with the success of my first day's deer-stalking. 

On the following morning the Killadar got us up 
a beat in the ravine where a tiger had been seen 
some days previously, but it proved " a blank ;" and 
the day after, " our leave being up," we had to bid 
adieu to our native friends and return to canton- 
ment. 



CHAPTER II. 

HOG-HUNTING. 

The fortress of Golconda. — The Tombs of the Kings. — The 
gardens. — Persian inscriptions. — The gathering. — Plan of 
operations. — Iteminiscences of the past. — The start. — The 
rendezvous. — My nag Lai Babba. — A moment of suspense. — 
The find. — We're away. — The chase. — The first blood. — A 
purl. — The advantages of being on good terms with one's nag. 
— The tug of war. — Exciting moments. — The struggle for 
the spear. — It is won. — The charge. — Mischief ensues. — The 
death of the boar. — The wounded hog -hunter. — The death of 
an old friend. — The trysting-tree. — The trophies. — The re- 
turn to cantonment. 

It was evening ; the oppressive glare and over- 
powering heat of the day were gone, and the 
sun was setting with that gorgeous magnificence 
which is rarely to be seen e?:cept in " land of the 
cedar and vine." His last expiring rays tinged 
the whole of the heavens, from the western horizon 
to the zenith, with indescribably beautiful gold and 
crimson hues, and striking upon the numerous gilt 
pinnacles of the mosques and minarets which rose 
above the castellated walls of the hill- fort of Gol- 
conda, formed a contrast with the deep verdure of 
the mango groves and the lighter foliage of the 



22 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

graceful tamaxind, on which the eye rested with 
delight. 

On the one hand lay Golconda, with its lofty 
rock-built citadel, bastioned walls, and loop-holed 
battlements ; and on the other rose those magni- 
ficent structures of ancient days, the tombs of the 
kings, with their massive domes, gigantic cupolas, 
towering minarets, and stately piazzas. 

Many changes have taken place since the last 
of the Kootub Shawee dynasty was placed in his 
regal sepulchre. His kingdom has passed away 
into the hands of strangers, and his very name is 
now forgotten in the land where he was once pre- 
eminent ; still, these time-worn but stately monu- 
ments will attest to many succeeding generations 
the splendour and magnificence of the ancient rulers 
of Hindostan. 

No such works are carried on in the present day ; 
and what makes these buildings more remarkable 
is, that the immense blocks of granite with which 
they are constructed have had to be transported 
from long distances, none being procurable in the 
immediate vicinity. The stupendous domes of 
these royal mausoleums were formerly ornamented 
with inlaid enamel of difierent colours, forming 
beautiful arabesques ; but time, aided by the de- 
predations of the ignorant, has succeeded in ob- 
literating a great part, and it is only in the more 
sheltered and out-of-the-way places that this beau- 
tiful enamel can be seen in the same freshness of 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 23 

colour as it exhibited when first laid on. The 
wilful damage these relics of the past have sus- 
tained is the more to be regretted, as the very art 
of making this beautiful enamel has been forgotten. 
The gray granite walls in the interior are beauti- 
fully carved, and in some places the doorways and 
ornamented niches are of highly-polished black 
granite. 

The largest of the tombs will contain about 8,000 
people, it being built in the shape of a square, 
having a verandah with forty-eight arches all round. 
Some of the pillars are carved out of single blocks 
of granite ; and I noticed slabs with which the in- 
terior is paved upwards of sixty feet in length. 
Under the centre of the dome is the tomb itself, 
hewn out of a solid piece of black granite, highly 
polished as the finest marble, and covered with 
beautifully carved arabesques, Persian inscriptions, 
and verses from the Koran. 

At each corner of the building is a small arch- 
way, and a circular staircase in the thickness of 
the wall, leading to the tops of the minarets, from 
the upper galleries of which the Moussins used to 
call " the faithful " to prayer at five certain times 
during the day. In capacious vaults below are 
the tombs of the wives, favourite mistresses, and 
children of the kings, also of black polished 
marble, covered with inscriptions. Besides the 
seven large tombs there are several smaller ones, 
also numerous Mosques, Eedgahs, Shrines, Tanks. 



24 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

Baths, Durm-salahs, (almshouses), Caravanserais, 
and Choultrees, for the accommodation of pilgrims 
and travellers, which are falling to ruin from 
neglect. 

There is a very tolerably kept up garden round 
one of the tombs, in vrhich the mangoe, orange, 
lime, citron, pumelow, fig, jack-fruit, pomegranate, 
plantain, cocoa-nut, vine, and betel-nut flourish. 
It is a delightful place, and quite in the Oriental 
style, having long shaded avenues, with stone 
borders, numerous fountains, and streams of run- 
ning water on each side, to irrigate the plants. 
Parterres of roses and Indian jessamine load the 
air with the most delicious fragrance, and at in- 
tervals are beautiful "kiosks" or garden-houses, 
of the most elaborate and delicately carved Sara- 
cenic architecture, profusely ornamented with ara- 
besques and quaint Arabic and Persian inscrip- 
tions, some of which I took the trouble of deci- 
phering, and found them to be guzzels, or verses, 
in which some fair beauty is described " as having 
dark, almond-shaped eyes, in which the purity of 
her heart was reflected : hut which committed more 
destruction among the hearts of men than the 
double-edged sword of Bustum ; whose voice was 
like the evening song of the Bul-hul, mingled with 
the distant m,urmu7'ing of many waters; whose 
beauty made the rose turn pale with envy, and the 
passion flower drop to the ground from jealousy ; 
whose gait was graceful as that of the silver moon 



OF TEE OLD WORLD, 25 

sailing through the firmament; whose lips were 
more delicious to taste than the rosy wine of 
Slieraz: whose smile gladdened the heart of all 
beholders, which became water in the presence of 
the lovely one." Numerous fountains to cool the 
air, and places for streams of running water, en- 
circled many of these retreats; but the former 
would not play, and the latter were choked up, 
from neglect, and falling into ruin. 

The large tomb was appointed the rendezvous 
for a party of hog-hunters, of which I formed one ; 
and the number of cots stowed away in the numer- 
ous recesses round the interior of the building, 
showed that the "meet" would be well attended. 
Almost under the centre of the cupola, numerous 
gaily dressed attendants were engaged in laying out 
a table for dinner, and in the verandah, knots of 
Anglo-Indian officers, of all ranks, were sitting, with 
their feet resting against the stone pillars, or on 
tables, enjoying the comparative coolness of the even- 
ing breeze. A light and airy costume, consisting 
of silk long drawers, shirt sleeves, and slippers, was 
the order of the day — some of the dandies amongst 
us indulging their penchant by " coming out " in 
gorgeous smoking caps, fancy muslin shirts, gold 
or silver kinkob pajamas (loose drawers,) and em- 
broidered papouches (slippers.) 

"We were a motley gathering of all arms. There 
were Light Cavalry and Light Bobs, Queen's and 
Company's, Kegulars and Irregulars, old weather- 



26 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

beaten veterans, bearded like the Druids of old, who 
had passed a quarter of a century in the country ; 
and smooth-faced youngsters, who had not yet passed 
the first year of their griffinage ; yet all were in 
the same state of excitement at the thoughts of the 
morrow's sport. 

As we sat, waiting until dinner was announced, 
enjoying the murmuring, gurgling melody of our 
hookahs, or the fragrant weed in the shape of a 

Manilla or Trichinopoly cheroot, N , who was 

the originator of the expedition, proceeded to unfold 
the programme of the morrow's sport. 

We were to partake of an early breakfast at three 
A.M., and mounting our hacks, were to proceed to 
the scene of action, near Raneepet, a village about 
twelve miles distant, where our tents and best cross- 
country horses had been despatched the day previous. 
Our shekarries and beaters had marked down several 
sounders (herds) of hog in a long strip of low jungle 
contiguous to some tolerable riding ground, and had 
formed a chain, so as to prevent them making their 
way back into the denser cover. 

As the moon was nearly at the full, and the dis- 
tance but short, beating was to commence at day- 
light, and first-rate sport was anticipated, for we 

had some old hands amongst us — such as J) , 

S , N , C , and , who were well 

known as the best spears and the boldest riders in 
the Deccan, where hog-hunting, ever the favourite 
sport, was carried on in the greatest perfection, so 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 27 

that the first sportsmen of India came from far-off 
stations to display their skill, and the goodness and 
courage of their cattle, at these meetings. 

As it became dusk, some one sounded the dinner- 
call on a key-bugle, which had a very fine effect, as 
the sound was echoed in the dome several times, 
as also among the other tombs. We sat down, 
nearly thirty, to table ; and after the clattering of 
knives and forks, and the popping of corks, had 
subsided, we withdrew to one of the kiosks or 
pleasure houses in the garden, where songs and 
brandy panee* passed round freely until a late 
hour. 

Since that night many long years have glided on, 
and I have wandered over half the globe ; still, 
when I hear those old, familiar airs, the scene often 
comes before my eyes, and I think I see the well- 
remembered features of my old associates, in the 
forest and the field, who used to sing them, al- 
though I know that many sleep beneath the sod, 
having fallen on the field, or been cut off by pesti- 
lence in the flower of their years, and the few sur- 
vivors are scattered, and I have lost sight of most 
of them. India is not, perhaps, a land to live in 
from choice, still my heart clings to it with a kind 
of unhallowed love ; for it ever appeared to me to 
possess a peculiarly fascinating charm, which I have 
found wanting elsewhere. Memory takes me back 
to those happy days I passed in that glorious land ; 
* Brandy .ind water. 



28 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

and as I look around my boyhood's home, in my 
native land, (which to me long absence has given a 
novel freshness,) and see the trophies of many a 
hard-fought field, and the spoils of my rifle and the 
spear hanging against the wall, I often think with 
affectionate regret of my old companions, and dream 
of the land 

" Where the maidens are soft as the roses they twine, 
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine." 

In the morning, at the time appointed, a bugle 
again rang through the place, and we were soon 
round the breakfast-table, equipped in leathers and 
boots. Some of the old hands had also samhur 
(elk) skin jackets, and all wore hunting-caps. We 
were soon in the saddle, and after a couple of hours' 
canter by the light of the moon, arrived at our tents, 
which were pitched under a stately banian, under 
whose widely spreading arms some sixty Arabs were 
picketed, each being groomed by his respective syce 
(horsekeeper.) 

Coffee, brandy and soda water, and cheroots, &c., 
were handed round, and half-an-hour was allowed 
for the saddling, when a messenger came from the 
head man of the village (who was with the beaters) 
to say that the hogs were undisturbed, and that all 
was in readiness. 

The tree under which our encampment was pitched 
must have been of great age, for underneath were 
the ruins of a small Hindoo temple, which bore traces 
of great antiquity. Some of the shoots of the trunk 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 29 

had insinuated themselves amid the masonry, and 
appeared to grow out of the roof. 

The scene around was very picturesque ; craggy 
hills were towering above the sea of forest in every 
direction, and a beautiful lake lay between us and 
the village, on which water-fowl of different kinds 
were distinctly heard. Partridges were calling all 
around as we mounted, and the first streaks of dawn 
were visible in the East. 

I was mounted on a very favourite chestnut Arab, 
called Lai Babba, (Lai signifies red, and Babba is a 
term of endearment, generally used towards children,) 
full of fire, and who seemed to be as eager for the 
sport as any of us. He was of a very high caste, of 
great courage, yet exceedingly docile, having a good 
mouth — an essential quality in a hog-hunter, and 
a famous cross-country horse, although small, not 
being over fourteen hands two inches ; but ex- 
tremely active, very swift, and of great endurance, 
and I felt, as he bounded under me, that he was in 
first-rate working condition, and would not disgrace 
me. 

We cantered out to the scene of action, which 
was about half-a-mile from our tents, mustering 
twenty-seven well-mounted horsemen, and as soon 
as we had all taken post, two and two, some short 
distance from each other, like videttes, in the dry 
bed of a nullah, or watercourse, the banks of which 
hid us from view, the signal was given, and the beat 
commenced. 



30 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

"We waited some twenty minutes without being 
able to distinguish anything, although we heard the 
distant sounds of tomtoms (a kind of drum,) and 
cholera horns, (a huge brass trumpet shaped like the 
letter S.) 

After some time we began to discover, here and 
there, a long line of men slowly advancing through 
the bushes, and when they got near enough for us 
to distinguish their turbans and black faces, the 
yells and ferocious shouts, together with the wild 
flourishes of the cholera horn, the rolling of tom- 
toms, and the constant discharge of matchlocks and 
rockets, made them appear like some wild horde 
advancing to attack us, with some slight show of 
discipline. 

As they closed upon us the din became horrid, and 
their screams and yells were more discordant than 
ever, when suddenly loud cries were heard along the 
line of " Soor ! soor ! (hog ! hog !) Kalee j an war ! " 
(black beasts) and each horseman stood up in his 
stirrups and strained his eyes to ascertain which 
way the game had broken. It was an anxious 
moment, and intense excitement was depicted on 
every face, as we waited impatiently in our hiding- 
place for the signal bugle which was to announce 
the start. 

At last the long-wished-for note rang forth ; each 
horseman grasped his spear, crushed his hunting- 
cap firmly on his head, dug in his spurs, and sprang 
from his cover at speed upon the plain. A sounder 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 31 

of seven hog were seen scouring over the ground at 
a tolerable pace, some four hundred yards from the 
cover from which they had broken. 

As soon as they heard the tramp of our horses 
approaching, they increased their speed, and a huge 
gray boar fell back to the rear, champing his tushes 
and tearing up the ground in a most threatening 
manner. As our object was to force them further 
into the plain, so as to cut them off and prevent 
their returning into the jungle, we rode slowly for 
the first quarter of a mile, then our pace increased, 
and we went fairly in at them. When we ap- 
proached they separated, and some of the youngsters 
of our party made after four sows which kept off to 
our left. 

Although the pace was now becoming severe for 
some time, we appeared to gain but little on the 
boar, who, with a couple of sows, dashed away in 
a gallant style, clearing en o^oute a nullah, (water- 
course,) which brought many of the field to a check. 

Lai Babba was doing his work well, although 
he had become so excited with the chase that I bad 
some little trouble in keeping him in hand. We 
cleared a yawning chasm which, though not more 
than nine feet wide, was difficult, as the opposite 
bank was two feet higher than the near one. Hear- 
ing a burst of laughter behind from , I turned 

my head, and saw five or six of our number rolling 
in the dust, and one seemed hors de combat. 

Still on we tore, the field becoming more select. 



o2 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

not numbering more than a baker's dozen. We 
now had a good burst, and one of the sows lagging 
behind, bit the dust after having twice charged in 

a most gallant manner. N claimed the first 

blood of the day. 

The pace was now becoming tremendous, and 

the second sow was rolled over by S , 

and D , whose spears were applied several times 

before we heard the final squeal (the signal of dis- 
solution), 

I kept steadily after the boar, and by this diver- 
sion gained a couple of lengths ahead, when my 
horse put his foot on the loose stump of a tree 
and rolled over, giving me a header which made 
me see a considerable number of stars, and left me 
rather confused for the moment. On swept the 
field, which I could see was " tailing off" very con- 
siderably ; and after I had ascertained that no bones 
were broken, and Lai Babba had given himself a 
shake, I sprang into the saddle again, and was once 
more en route. 

I was very much thrown out by this spill, and had 
lost ground, but, as luck would have it, the hog made 
for a deep ravine, having a drop of more than a 
dozen feet, which brought our field to a check. 
The boar managed to scramble down, and running 
along the bottom of the nullah for some distance, 
climbed up the opposite bank. 

After riding some distance along the edge of the 
chasm, which was overgrown in places by stunted 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 33 

bush, I found a place which was a little more practi- 
cable, though the drop was still about eight feet 
deep, and the slope of the bank very steep. One 
more chance, thought I, springing from my horse, 
taking off the saddle and tying up the bridle — Lai 
Babba and I were old friends, and he would follow 
me like a dog — I threw the saddle into the bed of 
the nullah, and scrambled down afterwards myself. 
I then called liim by naine several times, and lie 
came trotting along the bank as if he was seeking 
a more suitable place to descend. He then returned 
to that part of the bank down which I had scrambled, 
and stood pawing the edge hesitatingly. I again 
called him, and pretended to turn away down the 
bed of the nullah, when I shall never forget his ap- 
pearance as he stood cocking his ears and laying his 
head on one side, as he watched my motions with 
evident distress. He remained motionless a mo- 
ment, as if he was considering what was to be 
done, then gave a loud whinny, sprang, and in 
a moment was rubbing his nose against my 
shoulder. 

I patted him on the shoulder, and talked to him 
as I adjusted the saddle, and from his intelligent 
looks one would have thought he understood every 
word I said. I then walked along the bed of the 
nullah for some little distance, and we managed to 
scramble up the opposite bank, at a place which was 
not so steep. 

I then looked around for the hog, and at length 

c 



34 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

discovered him jogging along at a very easy pace, 
about a quarter of a mile off, in the plain. I made 
after him, having first dipped my pocket-handker- 
chief in a pool of the nullah, washed the dust from 
the mouth and nose of Lai Babba, and given him a 
mouthful of water in my hunting-cap to refresh 
him ; and, in a short time, found myself within fifty 
yards of the boar, who evidently exhibited signs of 
distress, for he reeled from side to side, as he ran 
with his head strained forward, and his flanks heaved 
and were covered with foam, 

I was now joined by N , , S , 

D , C , and W , who came up with 

their horses nearly " pumped," as they had had to 
ride nearly a mile down the nullah before they could 
find a place to cross. 

We were perceptibly gaining upon our prey, when, 
with a burst of recovered speed, he swerved off to 
the left, and in a moment I saw amid a few bushes 
a break in the ground, about a hundred yards in 
advance. I knew another "yawner" was ahead, 
and took a pull of my horse, so as to get him more 
in hand, and gather him together for the leap. 

This let N and C get a couple of lengths 

ahead, and S and T were neck and neck, 

closely followed by , J)- , and W . 

The hog cleared a deep chasm like a bird, and we 
all followed except W , whose horse fell on land- 
ing, giving him a heavy fall, and rolling over him. 
The ground now became firmer, the pace was terrific ; 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 3) 

and now came the tu<; of war for the honour of the 
spear — suddenly the hog, which was not more than 
a dozen horses' lengths in advance, disappeared. 
" What 's that ? " cried some one behind. " God 

knows," cried N , ramming his hunting-cap 

down over his eyes, and in another moment we had 
leaped the steep bank of a nullah, (a perpendicular 
drop of about seven feet,) and were floundering in 
sand and water. 

D got an ugly fall, his horse rolling over 

him, and putting him hors de combat ; S also 

found his horse sprained in the stifle, and he had 

also to pull up. N , C , , and myself, 

managed to scramble up the opposite bank, and 
were once more on terra firma. 

The pace was very severe, and began to tell ; and 
although Lai Babba appeared less distressed than 
the other horses, I knew he could not last much 
longer. Still, on we went. I was neck and neck 

with N , and C and were close 

behind. We were evidently fast closing with the 
hog, when we came to another yawning chasm, of 
which he made " an in and out." " Never say die," 

cried N , and over it we both flew, landing safely 

on the other side, (it was a good thirteen feet from 

bank to bank.) 's horse fell with him, and 

C 's was fairly done up to a stand-still, so we 

left them both behind. 

The game now lay between N and myself. 

He rode a splendid large-made Arab, of high caste. 



S6 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

called Bidgeley, (lightning,) well known throughout 
the Deccan as a hog-hunter. My horse was smaller, 
but I had the advantage in weight of at least a stone, 
besides which, Lai Babba had been spared the 
long run down the banks of the ravine, and had not 
had the lost ground to make up, which told severely 
on the other horses. 

We were now upon a bit of very fair riding ground, 
and the boar was not more than a couple of spear- 
lengths ahead. The pace was too good to last long, 

and I could see it was telling severely on N 's 

horse, who was doing all he knew to keep him 
together. We were neck and neck, and now came the 

" struggle " for the spear. N made a vigorous 

attempt to hustle his horse, but without avail. Sit- 
ting steadily in my saddle, I gained the lead and 
kept it easily, Lai Babba following every twist and 
turn of the boar, like a greyhound after a hare. 
The tusker, now evidently nearly done, was slacken- 
ing his space, and reeling from side to side as he 
ran. Another moment, and the point of my spear 
was among his bristles — a touch of the heel — a lift 
of the bridle — a chiffney rush — and the victory was 
won. The blade of my spear was planted deeply 
into his loins. 

With a ferocious grunt, a rolling of the eyes 
which portended mischief, and a champing of his 
tushes, he turned short round and charged. I 
wheeled Lai Babba round on his haunches, just in 



OF THE OLD WORLD. ^7 

time to evade his frantic rush ; he passed me like a 

sliot on the near side, and attacked N , who was 

a couple of lengths behind, who received the charge 
on the point of iiis spear ; I saw the bamboo shaft 
bend like a wand, and then fly high up into the air ; 
another second — I heard a crash, and horse and man 
were rolling in the dust. 

In the twinkling of an eye I was alongside the 
infuriated animal, who was indulging in a series of 
grunts of defiance, preparatory to another charge, 
and, watching my opportunity, I buried the blade of 
my spear behind the shoulder-blade, and drove it 
out of his breast. He uttered a faint squeal, (the 
note of departing life,) gave a sudden twi^st, (his ex- 
piring eilbrt,) which wrenched the spear from my 
hand, struggled a few paces further, fell, and bit the 
dust, dying game to the last. 

I dismounted and drew my hunting-knife across 
his throat to let out the blood, loosened the girths of 
my saddle, and then went back to see what had be- 
come of N . 

I found him sitting on the ground, with his face 
buried in his hands, in great distress, for his horse 
was struggling in the agonies of death a few paces 
from him. The boar, in charging, had ripped up his 
belly, his tushes cutting like a knife, and the intes- 
tines, also much injured, were protruding from the 
wound, I saw at a glance that it was a hopeless 
case, and tapping N on the shoulder, I give a 



38 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

significant look to a small pistol that I always carried 
loaded in my belt on such occasions, in case of 
accidents. 

He understood what was passing in my mind, 
walked up to his dying serviteur, and patted his 
neck. The poor animal, in spite of his agony, recog- 
nised his master, for he raised himself up partly 
from the ground, and rubbed his nose against his 

shoulder in a most affectionate manner. N 

kissed his forehead, and, passing his hand across 
his eyes, rushed into the jungle, saying, " Do not let 
him linger." When his back was turned, I placed 
the muzzle of my pistol to the suffering animal's 
temple, and pulled the trigger — a slight quiver of 
the body followed the report, and " Bidgeley " was 

dead. N cut off some of the hair of his forelock 

and tail for a souvenir, I slung his saddle and bridle 
over Lai Babba's back, and we slowly retraced our 
way towards the tent. 

We soon fell in with and C , who were 

reclining under a tree, as their horses were quite 
done up ; and in a short time our syces (grooms) 
came up with fresh mounts. After having directed 
them where to find the hog, we mounted and rode 
into camp — a distance of eight miles ; the boar 
having led us a chase of at least seven. 

We had a fearfully hot ride, as the sun had risen 
high above the horizon, and there was not a cloud to 
intercept his rays ; the sultriness was getting more 
and more oppressive, and we found the wind scorch- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 39 

ing. To add to our distress, every now and then a 
"pishash," cr whirlwind of dust, came twirling 
amongst us, filling our eyes and mouths. 

At last, as our encampment came in view, we 
could distinguish six hogs hanging to our trysting- 
tree ; and shortly afterwards the boar was hoisted 
up alongside of them. He was a huge brute, 
measuring thirty-eight inches in height at the 
shoulder, and his tushes were nearly nine inches in 
length. 

We sat down to a substantial breakfast, (pork chops 
forming one of the items,) and in the cool of the even- 
ingwe returned to cantonment, some of us with aching 
bones and curious bumps on the cranium, which would 
have puzzled Gall or Spurtzheim ; others with strips 
of diachylum plaster on the face ; and all of us with 
cracked lips and sunburnt faces. Our horses, too, 
showed their work, and " our gayness and our gilt 
were all besmerched." Still every one was content 
with the sport, and the incidents of the day afforded 
us ample topics of conversation when we met at 

Mess, when N was heard consoling himself for 

his loss, by ob.serving that Bidcgley had died as his 
master hoped to do — " on the field in the moment 
of victory." 



CHAPTER III. 

MULKAPOOR. 

"Here couch'd the panting tiger on the wal^*h; 
Impatient but unmoved, his fire-ball eyes 
Made horrid twilight in the sunless jungle 
Till on the heedless buffalo he sprang, 
Dragg'd the low bellowing monster to his lair, 
Crash'd through his ribs into his heart — 
QuafF'd the hot blood, and gorged the quivering flesh 
Till drunk he lay, as powerless as the carcass." 

Our camp. — Mulkapoor. — The Patel. — Good news of shekar. — 

W ^"s family, — Scheme for a Nautch. — The Begum. — 

Her love of good liquor. — The prescription. — Chineah and 
my shekar gang. — The doctor's ruse. — News of a man- 
eater. — Departure of the gang. 

It was a fine morning, soon after sunrise, in the 
month of March, 18 — , when I arrived at the little 
village of Mulkapoor, two days' march from Hydra- 
bad, in the Deccan, in command of some irregular 
cavalry which, with two companies of native in- 
fantry, formed the travelling escort of a begum (a 
lady of rank) and her daughter, who, with a large 
suite of followers and attendants of both sexes, was 
en route for the Presidency. The cavalcade con- 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 41 

sisted of numerous elephants, camels, palanquins, 
tonjons, hackeries, and vehicles of every description 
and colour, accompanied by a large body of gaudily- 
dressed mounted attendants. 

The principal personages occupied the public 
bungalow, round which high canvas walls had 
been placed, and sentries posted, so as to prevent 
intrusion, and render it entirely private ; besides 
which numerous black eunuchs guarded the fold, 
and seemed to take a jealous care 

"That none should pierce the secret bower, 
But those who watch the women's tower." 

The troops and camp-followers halted on the 
open ground in front of the traveller's bungalow, 
and in a few short moments tents of every descrip- 
tion uprose as if by magic ; elephants, camels, and 
horses were eating quietly at their pickets ; and 
In less time than it takes me to write, this little 
clearing from the surrounding jungle was con- 
verted into a busy camp. 

The scenery about Muikapoor is very wild and 
beautiful. On all sides are ranges of hills, some 
covered with luxuriant jungle, others presenting 
bold scarped rocks and naked fantastic peaks, 
whilst in every direction from amongst the dense 
foliase noble forest trees towered like giants above 
the lower waving jungle. 

The scene in camp, though of everyday occur- 
rence in India, would appear curious enough to a 



42 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

stranger, and merits description, for the noise of 
the trumpeting of elephants, the jingling of the 
camels' bells, the neighing of horses, the lowing 
of carriage bullocks, the bargaining of sepoys and 
camp-followers with the bazaar men, was only 
heightened by the chase of a stray capon, whose 
errant ways were calling forth the indignation of 
my raaity (cook) " Five minutes," (a cognomen he 
had acquired from the invariable answer he gave 
when anything was wanted,) who, joined by half 
a dozen sepoys, was shying his slippers at this 
victim devoted to " sudden death " for our break- 
fast, and venting their spleen by abusing its fe- 
male relations up to the tenth generation. Three 
English oflBcers belonging to the detachment of 
infantry, and a Scotch doctor, who had medical 
charge of the party, had taken refuge under a 
large tamarind tree from the rays of the sun, that 
was rising high on a sky which had not a cloud 
upon it to intercept his beams, and were discussing 
brandy panee, tea, and manilla cheroots, waiting 
until their tents were properly established. 

As I joined the group, the old patel, or head 
man of the village, came up, and having presented the 
customary lime, performed a series of low salaams 
to each of the party. He then drew up his hands 
too-ether in token of respect, and begged us to ex- 
cuse his not having made more preparations for 
our reception, stating " that he had only received 
intimation of our coming the day before, and that. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 43 

on account of this short notice, he had become 
* lachar ' (desperately miserable) when he thought 
that, perhaps, we might want something that he 
had not had time to provide." 

As the old man had provided plenty of " gram " 
(beans) and forage for our horses, with a fine table 
sheep and fat fowls for ourselves, we declared our- 
selves satisfied, ujion which his face brightened up, 
and stroking down his long gray beard, he ex- 
claimed several times in a very complaisant manner, 
"Allah talah!" "Al-hunida lillah ! " (thank God! 
God be praised !) 

" I should much like to halt a few days here," 
said Mac, the senior subaltern, addressing Captain 

W , who commanded the infantry detachment, 

" for there must be splendid shooting in those dense 
ravines." 

" Yes," answered W , " it looks quite ' a 

tigerish spot,' What say you, old man ? Have 
you not plenty of 'shekar'* here?" continued he, 
addressing the patel. 

" Yes, sahib," answered he, " there is plenty of 
shekar to be found in these jungles. Tigers, bison, 
bears, panthers, elk, milghau, antelope, and spotted 
deer are to be found, besides all kinds of small 
game ; but if the ' sahib log ' (gentlemen) wish to 
be successful, they must take some one with them 
who knows the haunts of the animals ; so, with 
your permission, I will take my leave for the pre- 

* " Shekar," sport. 



44) THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

sent, and fetch Kistimali the peon (policeman) and 
Veerepah the dhoby, (washerman,) both of whom 
are good (' shekarries ') hmiters, and will be useful to 
your honours." So saying, he made a profound 
obeisance, and retired gracefully. 

As he strode away, I heard him muttering audi- 
bly, though rather sotto voce, " Oh, fool of an old 
man that you are, what have you done ? Your face 
will become black before the sahib log, if neither 
the peon nor the dhoby are to be found ; and if, 
' God helping,' they should be at home, still, per- 
haps, those jungle animals of defiled fathers will 
not allow themselves to be seen, and again I shall 
eat dirt. Abah ! Abah ! Toba ! " 

" Well, my chickens ! " exclaimed W , " as 

the old Moslem gives so favourable an account of 
the place, I think we cannot do better than halt a 
day or two, provided the old begum raises no ob- 
jections to the proposition, for I have another 
strong reason for wishing to remain here a short 
time, which is, that our supply of liquor will not 
last the trip, if we get on as fast as we have done, 
for when it was ordered, I did not think we should 
have made it quite such thirsty weather. By stop- 
ping here a few days, I shall be enabled to send a 
coolie to the Mess for a couple of chests more of 
Bass's pale; for, between ourselves, this hot and 
dusty weather, beer is as necessary to keep one up 
to the mark, as my grass-cutter's wife's milk is to 
my bereaved Brinjarry pups, whose canine mother 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 45 

(lied in convulsions, leaving her orphan progeny to 
my paternal care, and I, like a good guardian, have 
turned them over to the care of my grass-cutter's 
wife, who nurses and suckles all six, with her own 
little animal ; and as they tumble about in her lap, 
howling, squalling, and caterwauling, I think the 
father would have some difficulty in swearing as to 
which was his own. He, however, looks upon his 
wife's services as a good speculation, as I feed her 
well, and he pockets an extra pagoda * a month ; 
for the other day the scoundrel came up to me, 
grinning and showing his teeth, with the request to 
be permitted to provide another wife to bring up 
the Poligar greyhound's litter ; and when I did not 
agree to his proposal, he had the impudence to try 
and persuade me that his wife's family were all 
growing ' berry handsome ' about the face, on ac- 
count of the good milk." 

" Well," answered Jock, " I must say they appear 
to be a very thriving family, and do credit to their 
' bringings up,' But what do you say to my pro- 
posal of politely insinuating to the begum, that 
time hangs heavily on our hands in the evenings, 
and that a nautch (dance) now and then would be 
much appreciated, for I am quite sure some of her 
dancing girls would prefer enlivening our spare 
hours to wasting their sweetness on the desert air. 
Do you not think a gentle hint, or a polite intima- 
tion of the general wish, with our united salaam 
* Pagoda — three rupees and a half. 



4G THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

would have the desired effect with the khanum 
sahiba (lady) ? " 

" Hout awa, luon," put in the doctor ; " if that 's 
your game, I should just guess you'd be better 
leaving the leetle delicate affair to me, as I 'm in- 
vited to visit her ladyship this morning." 

" What ? Eh ? What 's that, Saw-bones ? " ex- 
claimed W . " You going to visit the begum ? 

Why, you old reprobate, you have got the start of 
us all." 

" Yees ; and this child intends to keep it, too," 
replied the doctor, with a knowing grin, and a suc- 
cession of very audible grunts, which, with him, al- 
ways denoted intense satisfaction. 

" Whatever can be up ? Is she ill ? " asked 
Mac. 

" No — not vary — that is, I couldna just say that 
she 's doun-right ill," answered the doctor ; " but 
she sent for me last night, after dinner, and made 
me to understand that she was uneasy about her 
insides, hinting that she thought she had been 
struck with the evil eye. Weel, ye must know 
that I didna just remember what the vade mecum 
prescribes for sich like a disease, and as the medi- 
cine chest was made up, an' I didna think it was 
worth while to unpack it, by way of an experiment, 
I sent her negresship a good big bottle o' stiff gin 
toddy, a trifle stronger than I was then imbibing, 
and I reckon she found this potent remedy so 
conducive to her feelings, that early this morning 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 47 

she sent that ugly black henchman, of the neuter 
gender, with a mouthful of compliments, and what 
I esteemed verra much better, a basket of fine 
grafted mangoes as a present to your humble ser- 
vant; and that dark ill-looking functionary in- 
formed me, in that queer squeaky voice, peculiar to 
the third sex, that his mistress was so much better 
for the clever hackeem's (doctor's) medicine, that she 
wanted to see him again personally some time during 
the morning ; so ye see, boys, there is some good in 
the profession after all, for oft-times it gives us the 
means and ways of ingratiating ourselves wi' the 
fair sex, e'en though we are not, maybe, just so 
young and smooth-skinned as we might ha' been. 
Ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! " 

" Well done, Bones," said I. " You have indeed 
commenced the attack well, but the trail must be 
closely followed if good is to come of it. Now 
listen, and I will unfold a plan which must, if pro- 
perly carried out, ensure success, or I resign all 
pretensions to strategy in managing old women, 

" It is evident, from your account, that your 
patient has acquired a liking for your resusticating 
fluid, and has confidence in your ^tn-eopathical 
genius. Taking this for granted, 'Go, thou, oh 
learned man, at once, and prepare a good quart 
bottle of the same stiff stuff, taking care to mix it 
strong enough to make her wince again, and cause 
her oculars to condense water in the same quantity 
as Mrs Parasina's did, when her infuriated hus- 



4S THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

band, Azo, ordered his hobstreperous and houda- 
cious * hof spring,* Mr Hugo, her dewoted lovier, 
to have his head amputated for a heart complaint, 
vide the Poets. Leave me to write the directions 
on the label of the bottle in Hindostani, and give 
the spell time enough to work, which it will do 
after she has swizzled a few glasses more or less, 
then you drop in upon her, and if her heart will 
not have become sufficiently softened to grant you 
any little request or favour you may have to make 
— oh, you sly dog, doctor ! — call me — too late for 
dinner." 

" Oh, ye bauld chiel o' the deil 1 ye Irregulars are 
maist as bad as ranting wild Irishmen t " exclaimed 
the doctor, when I had concluded my oration ; " but 
I do not just know at present what better to pro- 
pose, so boy come here, ye ne'er-do-weel, and fetch 
me the gin." 

" Weel, weel ! " he continued, as the flask was 
produced, " that '11 do ; there 's maist two-thirds o* 
the bottle left, and she '11 just fill up the rest wi' 
strong tea, to disguise it, so that she '11 no be 
suspected o' having only one salubrious concoction 
in the shop, as that old skinflint, Duncan McQuae, 
the auld Glasgow medicaster, where I performed 
the rudiments at twa and saxpence a week, used to 
prepare for the poor townsfolk, wha got their ain 
bottles filled for twopence. 

"Ah, gentlemen, you'll hardly believe" — here the 
doctor made a fearfully wry face — " that this child 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 49 

had when a growiug loon, to swallow a good gill of 
the washings o' a molasses cask, seasoned wi' jalap, 
every Monday morning of his apprenticeship, to lay 
the worm in his stomach, and to prevent him from 
eating too much during the week. Oh ! Duncan 
McQuse, Duncan McQua? ! I do not wish ye any 
waur, where ye are noo, than to be swimming in 
your own ' regimen for all disorders, from elephan- 
tiasis to tape-worm.' Oh, the verra recollection 
makes me feel ill and squeamish. Now," he con- 
tinued, screwing up his dry old countenance, as he 
tasted the brew ; " come here, and make out a pre- 
scription to this effect, in your best Hindostani — 
' One glassful to be taken every quarter of an hour, 
or oftener if required' Ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! Let 
me see — that'll just allow sax glasses, by rule, for 
the hour and a half I shall be at my breakfast, and 
that 's' no allowing for the little requirings. Ugh ! 
ugh ! ugh ! " 

I wrote the label as directed, and the draught was 
despatched to the begum, with plenty of salaam fi-oni 
the doctor, who grunted and purred like an old 
torn cat, from extreme satisfaction, until he fell 
asleep in his chair. 

Almost at this moment the patel returned with 
the two villagers, accompanied by Chineah, my head 
shekarry or huntsman, with the rest of my gang, 
which numbered about a dozen at that time. 

Chineah was quite a celebrated character in his 
way, and merits description. He was middle-sized 



50 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

of dark olive colour, rather slightly made, with 
small quick eyes, placed very much apart, a strag- 
gling moustache, and an apology for a beard, in 
the shape of a few stiff hairs, sticking out like cat's 
whiskers, from the point of his chin, which he 
pulled and twisted about most violently whenever he 
got excited. 

He wore an old cast-off green shooting-coat, a 
dirty brown langooty or waistcoat, untanned deer- 
skin gaiters, and soldiers' ammunition boots, which 
were oftener slung over his shoulders than worn 
on his feet. His long coarse black hair was twisted 
round his head, being partially covered with a skull- 
cap of some strange looking material, of which the 
kind and quality were perfectly undistinguishable 
from grease and dirt. 

Round his waist was a broad leather belt, hung 
round with numerous pouches, containing ammu- 
nition, a small axe made by the celebrated Aruat- 
chellum of Salem, a huge shekar knife, and a chuck- 
muck, or leather bag, with flint, steel, and tinder. 
To complete his appearance, a telescope and brandy 
flask hung from each shoulder, and in his hand 
he carried my favourite double two-ounce rifle, a 
masterpiece, by Westley Richards. From his cocky 
mien and jaunty swagger, our friend evidently 
thought no "small beer" of himself, and he was, I 
must own, an invaluable personage in his way, being 
a first-rate tracker, cool and steady in the time of 
danger, a wonderful supporter of fatigue, and the most 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 51 

persevering follower after large game, besides being 
entirely devoted to me. His only fault veas his love 
of rackee, (spirit made from the sap of the Palmyra 
palm, date, or cocoa-nut tree.) 

The rest of the gang, who were almost naked, 
with the exception of the waistcloths, leather skull- 
caps, and their sandals, carried my other guns and 
light short bamboo spears. Each had a bill-hook 
stuck in his waistcloth behind, which they used with 
great dexterity in cutting their way through the 
jungle, and two carried large American backwoods- 
man's axes slung at their back, and another a mnshalc 
or leather bottle containing water. Both the village 
shekarries were in similar costume, and each carried 
a long native matchlock on his shoulder, and a huge 
knife in his belt. 

"Well, Chineah," said I, "what news of shekar 
have you got ? " 

"Boht utcha kubber hy, sahib" (there is very 
good news, sir.) •'All people tell that, near Botta 
Singarum, one village two coss* off, there got one 
burra bagh (big tiger,) who kill plenty men, sahib ; 
Kistimah, this man here, he tell, eat one old woman 
yesterday. Boht shytan hy, sahib (he is a great 
devil, sir,) for though all shekarmen, and village 
people, plenty, plenty looking, never can find, when 
all come home, tiger go kill one man. Wo burra 
char hy, sahib (he is a great thief, sir.) Ah, sahib, 
this very good shekar country. All jamuars (beasts) 

* A coss is about two miles. 



52 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

plenty got ; suppose master stop here few days, 
plenty, plenty shooting. This dhoby man, very 
good shekavry, know all this country, shoot plenty 
years in this jungle ; other day kill one cheeta, now 
bring master skin, suppose some gentleman want 
buggy mat." 

"Well ! that will do," said I ; "go all of you to 
the tent, and Yacoob Khan (my head-servant) may 
give each of you a glass of rackee and some to- 
bacco ; after which you will all go to the village of 
Botta Singarum, and there find out all you can 
about the haunts of this tiger. Promise the vil- 
lagers plenty of huchsheech (presents) if they assist 
you, and I will come with Kistimah, the peon, after 
I have had breakfast. Chineah, take care that no 
shot is fired at deer or peafowl. Do not loiter on 
the road, for I shall not be long after you ; and 
keep a bright look out for the tiger's pugs (foot- 
prints.) Well, gentlemen," continued I, to the other 
ofiicers, " you have heard the news ; who is going 
after the man-eater with me? I intend starting 
immediately after breakfast for the village, near 
which he is said to prowl ; then, what steps I may 
take, will depend upon the information I may there 
receive." 

" Oh ! we will all go, except the doctor," exclaimed 

W , " and he will take charge of our camp, as 

he does not shoot, and has an engagement, which as 
there is a lady in the case, must not on any account 
be put off. What say you, 'Sawbones,' will you 



OF THE OLD AVOKLD. 53 

superintend the catering for dinner, and arrange 
matters about the nautch ? " 

" Yees, yees," replied the kind-hearted old Scotch- 
man, " gang yere ways, gang ycre ways, and tak' ye 
care and kill the tiger, and dunna let him kill ony 
o' ye ; for though there's not mucli more use o' sich 
like folk than a pack of wild Irishmen, I do not 
want to hae' ony o' ye scragged." 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE man-eater's LAIE. 

The start. — The man-eater's depredations. — His habits described. 
— His last victim. — His trail. — We are on his track. — More 
game. — The scent becomes warm. — The lair. — The remains of 
many victims discovered. — The plan for the morrow. — A reso- 
lution. — W 's idea of shekar. — We arrive in camp. — The 

Pill's garden, — The bath. — Dinner. — The doctor's visit to the 
begum. — Effect of his medicine. — My future husband. — The 
nautch arranged. 

During breakfast, sundry modes of proceeding with 
regard to this tiger were discussed, but no particular 
plan was settled upon. 

When the meal was finished, we donned our 
shekar gear, mounted our nags, and started for 
Botta Singarum, each followed by a horsekeeper, 
carrying a gun, rifle, or boar spear. Kistimah led 
the way, and as we went along, I asked him what 
he considered the best plan to follow. 

He answered in a remarkably shrewd manner 
that he hardly knew what to advise, as this was no 
common tiger, or it would have been easy enough 
to arrange matters ; "but," added he, " these man- 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 55 

eaters are so desperately cunning that one can 
hardly ever be up to their moves. It is of no 
use picketing bullocks in the places he frequents, 
for he will not touch them. I have frequently 
known him to carry off the man who was watching 
the cattle, and leave the herd untouched. One is 
never sure of his movements ; he is so cunning 
that he very seldom shows himself, and although 
after he has carried off some one, I have frequently 
followed his trail for miles, yet his lair has not yet 
been discovered, and I believe he never remains two 
nights in the same place. They say he has killed 
more than forty people within the last six months ; 
and as I know myself that sixteen post-runners 
have been missed within that time, I have no doubt 
but that he has carried them off. The dauk * post 
runners will not go alone now ; they carry the 
tappal bags in bands of five or six, armed, and 
with fire-sticks, and even then so great is the fear 
inspired by this brute, that they often choose to go 
by an out-of-the-way road rather than run the 
chance of meeting him. He would be a lucky man, 
indeed, who killed this beast, for great rewards 
are offered for his skin. I have followed his trail 
many a long day, and once got a sight of him as 
he was drinking; but Avhen I tried to steal near 
enough to be certain of my aim, he got wind of 

* DauJc or tappal. — Indian post. The letters being carried 
in leather bags, on men's shoulders, who are relieved every five 
miles. 



56 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

me, and sprang into tlie thick jungle. I saw him 
very distinctly, as the sun was fast setting, and 
he appeared to me to be of a different colour to 
other tigers, being of a dirty yellow, the stripes not 
showing." 

" AYell, Kistimah," said I, " the only way to make 
sure of the colour of his skin is to bag hhn ; and 
this is the way I propose setting about it. When 
we arrive at the village, I shall order the tassildar 
(head police authority) to assemble as many beaters 
as he can, to be ready at the earliest dawn to- 
morrow, and we will try and beat him out. To-day 
we will follow up his trail, and visit some of the 
places where he has been lately seen ; perhaps by 
good luck we may come across him." 

" Well, sahib, your plan is good ; you speak like 
a book, and I have nothing better to propose ; still 
I am not very sanguine of success, for he is a very 
old and cunning devil ; but, Inshallah, (please God,) 
I '11 burn his whiskers for him yet. Who is the 
tiger of defiled fathers, that he should cast dirt on 
our beards ? " 

By this time the village appeared in view, and I 
sent on to Kistimah to warn the head man of our 
arrival. 

He came out to meet us as we entered the village, 
and we dismounted and seated ourselves under the 
shade of a large tamarind tree, in front of the 
tannah, or police station. 

After the usual compliments and salaams, he pro- 



OF THE OLD AVOIILD. 57 

ceeded to tell us of the great devastation this man- 
eater had caused in all the villages round about, and 
he offered to give every assistance in his power to 
enable us to find his haunts and destroy him. 

Having arranged all about the beaters to be col- 
lected from the neighbouring villages, and ordered 
them to be ready to take the field before dawn the 
following morning, we went out with a party of 
villagers to a well, about a hundred and fifty yards 
from the village near which a woman was said to 
have been carried off by the tiger the day before, 
as she was drawing water in the evening about dusk. 

I examined the place attentively, and although 
the marks of the tiger's pugs were effaced near the 
well from a flock of goats having passed by, yet, 
near a tamarind tree, some little distance off, they 
were plainly visible, and even the marks of dried 
blood, and' some long hair were left on the roots. 

I also noticed the place behind a bush, where 
the herbage was pressed down, and the marks still 
left in the dust showed that the cunning brute had 
lain for some time on the look out, before he 
seized his prey. 

Here I found Chineah, the dhoby, and the rest 
of the gang in deep consultation, and was just in 
time to hear the fag-end of a long string of curses, 
maledictions, and prophecies, in which it seemed to 
be allowed, by all parties present, that this tiger's 
female relations were anything but a chaste lot, and 
that he would be sure to come to a bad end. 



58 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

I noticed that the trail of his retreat did not lead 
in the same direction as that from whence he came, 
and he seemed to have made the circuit of the 
village two or three times before he fell in with his 
victim, I followed the marks of his pugs through 
some rather open custard-apple jungle, to the dry 
sandy bed of a nullah, or watercourse, where the 
trail was very plain ; and although there were no 
marks of blood to be seen, yet I knew that he had 
still carried his victim, as the pugs of his fore feet 
were more deeply imprinted in the sand than those 
of the hind, from the extra weight he carried in his 
mouth, whereas I have observed that the marks of 
the hind feet are generally the plainest. 

A little further on, I perceived a large patch of 
dry blood, round which the flies were buzzing, and 
from the marks in the sand I knew that the brute 
had lain down the body of his victim for a moment, 
in order, perhaps, to get a better gripe. 

Whilst showing this to W , I noticed marks 

in the sand which made me believe that his victim 
had not been quite dead at this time, for there 
were impressions as if she had made convulsive 
clutches with her hands. 

I tracked him down this nullah for upwards of a 
mile, until we came to a pool of water. The banks, 
which had become steeper and higher, were covered 
with dense thorny jungle, which waved darkly over- 
head. Here the pugs of the tiger were much 
obliterated by the marks of other wild animals. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 59 

amongst which I noticed those of two bears, a 
cheeta, and innumerable signs of spotted deer, pig, 
and jungle sheep. 

Near the other side of the pool I observed marks 
as if he had again laid the body down, whilst he 
drank, for there were impressions in the sand, round 
which swarms of flies were buzzing, and although 
there were no stains of blood to be seen, I knew 
something!: must have attracted them ; besides which, 
there were two distinct trails, which showed that 
he had gone to the water, drank, and returned to 
the body. 

As we continued on trail down the nullah, at 
times we disturbed herds of spotted deer and 
" sounders " (herds) of pigs, and an old female bear 
and two half-grown cubs were seen trotting along 
in"* front of us ; but we let her go undisturbed, for 
we were after nobler game. 

On we went for about two miles further, when 
we came to a place overgrown with high grass, where 
the nullah divided into two courses for about eighty 
yards, when it joined again, forming an island, which 
was covered with long dry grass, reeds, and brush- 
wood. 

There the man-eater's trail was crossed by that of 
a tigress and her two half-grown cubs. We were 
still enabled to distinguish the pugs of the man- 
eater from their peculiar form, and continued to 
follow them for about half-a-mile further, when the 
trail quitted the nullah, and led us into dense thorny 



GO THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

jungle, through which we made our way in Indian 
file ; and as we went along I pointed out to Jock 
small pieces of rag and long hair sticking on the 
thorns of a bush, proving that the tiger had brought 
his victim that way. 

" Gentlemen," said I, " as the scent begins to 
warm, please look to your guns, and be ready in 

case we may surprise him. W , I wish you 

would take the rear, and prevent the people from 
straggling. Chineah, keep near me with my second 
gun, and Rungasawmy, do you cut the way in front 
with as little noise as possible. We may very pos- 
sibly come across him sleeping somewhere in this 
thick cover after his feed, so keep a bright look out 
on all sides, and take care and make as little noise 
as you can in getting through the bushes." 

We were in single file, I leading, with much diffi- 
culty, through the thick jungle, which had become 
very dark from the dense foliage overhead. 

The intense silence which reigned around was 
broken now and again, as we moved slowly on, by 
the crackling of a twig underfoot, or a low grunt 
from some one of the gang, as a sharp thorn 
entered his naked and unprotected shoulder. At 
times was heard the distant bark of the elk, or a 
pattering of feet, as a herd of deer or a sounder of 
pig got scent of us, and skirled away frightened 
through the thickets, or a peacock rose with a loud 
cry, scared by our movements. 

On we went, the trail still distinctly visible, when 



OP THE OLD WOKLD, fil 

suddenly I fancied I heard a slight noise. I halted 
the gang, and whispered, or rather made signs to 
them, to lie quiet, for we were almost on our hands 
and knees, and laid my ear to the ground to listen. 
We distinctly heard grating sounds, like the gnaw- 
ing of bones, accompanied by low snarls and growls. 
I noticed Chineah's eyes sparkling with excitement, 
as he lay listening to the ominous noises ; and the 
convulsive grabs he made at the few bristles which 
adorned the point of his chin told me what was 
passing in his mind. Not a word was spoken, 
though I saw the eyes of the gang were following 
my movements. 

I examined the nipples of my rifle to see that the 
powder was well up, and making signs to Chineah 
with my spare gun, and Mac, who was next me, to 
follow, I cautioned the others to be perfectly quiet, 
until they heard a shot, and stole gently forward 
on my hands and knees, moving with the greatest 
caution, and stopping every now and again to re- 
connoitre. 

We made our way with great difficulty through 
the dense underwood for about a hundred yards, the 
noise becoming plainer and more distinct as we ad- 
vanced, until at last we emerged into an open glade, 
with a large black rock on one side, surrounded with 
jungle. 

Here, looking cautiously around, I found the noise 
proceeded from two jackals, who were munching and 
tearing the flesh from some half-stripped human 



62 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

bones. These immediately got wind of us, and slunk 
away growling into the bush. After examining the 
place thoroughly, to make sure that the object of our 
search was not there, I gave a low whistle, which 
brought up the rest. 

This was evidently the hecatomb of the man-eater, 
for I counted, from skulls and remains of half-eaten 
bodies, about twenty-three victims of both sexes, as 
we could see, from the hair, clothes, broken bangles 
(armlets,) and gold and silver ornaments belonging 
to native women. 

We picked up two massive silver bracelets be- 
lono-insf to his last victim, whose fresh remains ex- 
hibited marks of tattooing, which were recognised 
by one of the villagers who was with us. We also 
found two gold teekas, or neck oraaments, which 
mark the "married" woman, and a knife, which 
the dhoby assured us he knew as having belonged 
to a post-runner who had been killed about a month 
before. 

The stench from the decayed animal matter was 
almost insupportable, and we were glad to leave it 
and breathe the fresh air once more. I gave orders 
to the gang to collect the remains, but not to bury 
them, until they had been seen by the village autho- 
rities ; as I thought that some would be recognised, 
and their friends might wish to inter them with their 
" caste " ceremonies. 

"What a fearfully sickening sight it is!" said 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 63 

Mac. " I declare it has made me feel quite queer, 
and given me an all-overishness I shall not get over 
for a week." 

" 1 wish we had brought some beer with us," said 

W , with something very nearly approaching to a 

sigh, " for I want a draught to wash my throat after 
the tainted air I have been inhaling, which has half 
suffocated me. Come, Chineah, produce your master's 
brandy-flask, and let us have a little refreshment after 
our exertions." 

" Poor little woman," exclaimed Jock, " look, here 
is a long lock of her hair attached to a piece of scalp, 
that I found sticking to my boot as I came out, — 
I shall keep it as a souvenir." 

" Well," said I, " the only souvenir that I should 
care to keep, to remind me of this day's scene, would 
be the skldl of the man-eater ; and if my right-hand 
has not forgotten its cunning, and my grooved bore 
does not fail me — which, all praise to the Bishop 
of Bond Street and Westley Eichards, it never has 
done yet — that trophy shall yet adorn my domicile, 
for I do not intend to leave a &tone unturned until I 
bag the brute. My gang shall sleep at Botta Sing- 
arum to-night, so as to be ready for work at dawn 
to-morrow ; and I vote we ask for volunteers among 
the detachment, and allow the steadiest men to take 
their muskets with them, so as to defend the line of 
beaters. It must, however, be an understood thing 
that no one is to fire a shot at any other game until 



04 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

our object is attained, or all chance of finding him 
is over ; when we will finish the day by a general 
beat, bagging everything," 

"Yes," said W , "you are perfectly right; 

there must be no firing at deer or hog. That is the 
only way of doing the thing so as not to lose a chance ; 
but, as it is now getting late, let us go back to the 
village, caution the police authorities again about the 
beaters, mount our nags, and be in time for the 
Doctor's catering — for, between ourselves, I am 
powerfully peckish, ' By the piper that played 
before Moses,' it is worth while going out shekar, 
were it only for the appetite it creates, and the relish 
it gives one for beer." 

On arrival at the village, we arranged all matters 
with regard to the number of beaters required. The 
ameldar, or head man of the viDage, sent to all the 
neighbouring hamlets to collect men ; the gang esta- 
blished themselves for the night in a choultry or 
caravanserai, after having begged some coin from us 
to buy sheep and fowls on the plea of sacrifices being 
necessary to certain " Sawmies " (Hindoo deities) to 
ensure good luck on the morrow ; and mounting our 
horses amid the " Salams," " Mashallahs," and 
" Inshallahs " of the villagers, we rode back to camp 
— the scene we had that day witnessed, our hopes of 
the morrow, and sundry hazardous speculations as 
to the doctor's success with the begum, forming the 
chief topics of our conversation en route. 

We arrived in camp just before sunset, and were 



OF THE OLD WORLD. G5 

delighted to see the old Pill carefully watering what, 
to the uninitiated, must have appeared like a garden 
of straw, but we knew that a goodly store of " long 
corks" (claret) and "Bass's" nectar, "may his shadow 
never be less," was cooling in the wind for our even- 
ing repast. 

We all adjourned to our different tents to enjoy 
our bath, which the day's fag rendered particularly 
refreshing. In no part of the world is the real luxury 
of a bath so appreciated as it is in India. There you 
bathe the first thing you get up in the morning ; 
again, when you come back tired after a hot morning 
parade ; again, before you sit down to dinner ; and, 
in the hot weather, if you want to sleep well, you 
will plunge into your bath just before you turn in 
for the night. Are you overcome and oppressed by 
the hot weather ? Take a bath. Do you return 
tired to your tent after a hard day's fag under a hot 
sun? nothing in the world serves sooner to dispel 
fatigue and lassitude, than a few chatties (earthen 
pots) of cold water thrown over the body. Trust an 
old soldier, my gentle reader, there is some truth in 
the cold water cure. 

Eefreshed and enlivened by our ablutions, we all 

met at dinner, "hungry as hunters," and the doctor's 

catering met ^vith our universal approbation. After 

the clattering of dishes and the popping of bottles 

had somewhat subsided, Mac astonished the doctor's 

weak nerves with an account of the tiger's lair, and 

at last worked up the old Scotchman to such a state 

£ 



66 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

of excitement that he jumped up, gave his thigh a 
tremendous slap with the palm of his hand, and ex- 
claimed, "Dom, but this child will gang wi' ye in 
the morn just to ha' a crack at the bluid-thirsty auld 
cannibal ! " 

" Bravo, doctor ! We shall be most happy to have 
your company," answered I ; " but, old Sly Boots, 
what about the visit to the begum ? How fared you 
there ? Eh?" continued I, giving him a sharp dig in 
the ribs with my forefinger, which made him grunt 
again. 

" Yes ; out with it, doctor ! " cried W . " Don't 

mince matters, but give us a full account." 

"Husht your whisht, and I'll tell ye all about it," 
replied the doctor. "You must know that I went 
to the bungalow about two hours after you left camp, 
and that black gentleman of no sex, who had evidently 
previously received his instructions, conducted mc 
at once into the centre room, where I saw a figure, 
closely veiled in a chedder (cloth) which concealed 
everything but a pair of sparkling eyes, sitting tailor- 
fashion on a carpet, wi* two or three decent-looking 
lasses attending her. 

" "When I entered, and she saw who it was, she 
waved her hand, inviting me very graciously to seat 
myself near her, which I did. She sent the other 
women away, and then, with a knowing wink, pull- 
ing the cloth away from her face, passed me the 
hubble-bubble she was smoking when I first went 
in. I found her to be a guid ' auld has-been,' that 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 67 

is, the remains of a fine woman, with a veiy pleasing 
and comfortable cast of countenance. As I was 
puffing away, with my understandings twisted in 
such a knot that I started the seams of my galligas- 
kins, she kept smiling and nodding in such a way 
at your humble servant, that I fairly thought that 
I should ha' had to cut and run, for she seemed to 
ha' made a dead set at me, so I just told her I was 
a married man, wi' fourteen sma' bairns at hame ; 
but even the prospect o' sae mony incumbrances did 
not seem to discourage her — she was as sweet on me 
as ever, and presented me with betel-nut and some 
sweetmeats, both of which I refused. She then 
offered me the identical flask I had sent her in the 
morning, which I took, and just to show her that I 
was no' afraid o' my ain drugs, I raised the bottle to 
my lips, lifted it higher and higher, but de'il a drop 
o' the creature was there in it. 'Twas as dry as a 
bone. I gave the old lady a look from the corner 
of my eye, but what was my astonishment when I 
saw her apparently in a fit, on the broad o' her back, 
almost burstino; wi' laughter. When she came to 
herself and could speak, she gave me a gentle hint 
that a full bottle was better than an empty one, and 
that the stuff was good, and agreed with her con- 
stitution ; so I couldna do less than promise her 
more. 

" We then got talking together quite familiar- 
like, and she told me that her daughter was as 
beautiful as a peri, and was about to be married 



68 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

to the Nawab of , at the same time asking me 

if I had ever seen her intended son-in-law. De- 
termined to pay out the daughter, whom I heard 
joking at my expense wi' the ither lasses, behind 
a purdah (screen) in the next room, and com- 
menting on my personal appearance in no verra 
flattering terms, I pretended to be intimately ac- 
quainted wi' the gentleman in question, whom I 
described to be rather less in stature than myself 
and not nearly so good-looking. I also said he 
was much to be pitied, for he had the misfortune to 
have a curious-shaped lump (sometimes running) in 
the middle of his face, with a great black patch o' 
hair underneath, and I never heard tell that any 
doctor had been bold enough to offer to remove it, 

"As I said this, the giggling behind the curtain 
ceased suddenly, and I knew the shot had gone 
home, from a faint cry of horror, which I conclude 
came from the affianced bride. The black factotum 
seemed to be very grievously affected at my recital ; 
he cocked his head on one side, winked both eyes, 
screwed up his blubber lips, wrung his hands, and 
then, as if he could not contain himself, burst into 
a loud yell, threw himself his whole length on the 
floor at the begum's feet, and in great agitation 
and trembling began, in a voice something like the 
higher notes of a jackal's howl, broken by frequent 
bursts of sobs and great overflow of tears, which 
actually drenched his face, to inform her that he, 
the most miserable of her slaves, had once seen an 



OF THE OLD WORLD. C9 

individual labouring under a similar misfortune ; 
that he was always fearfully vicious and cranky, 
especially at certain times of the day when the pain 
from the tumour drove him mad ; and he conjured 
his mistress not to send her faithful servant to the 
harem of such a terrible bud-surut (ugly man,) who 
would make him eat dirt all the rest of his miserable 
existence. 

"The old lady, herself, did not seem to care 
much about it, the potion had done its work, and 
she continued to smUe very benignantly on her 
humble servant, so I gave her a gentle hint that 
time hung very heavily on our hands in the even- 
ings, and that a nautcli, now and then, would much 
enliven us ; upon which she desired me to invite 
you all over to the bungalow to-morrow evening, 
and, at the same time, clapping her hands, her 
servants entered and she gave them orders to 
prepare a grand ' tamasha ' (entertainment.) I 
then took my ' rooksut ' (permission to depart,) 
and, as soon as I got back to the tent, despatched 
a flask of gin with * boht salam ' (many compli- 
ments.") 

" Why, you old reprobate !" said W , " what- 
ever did you mean to insinuate about the Nawab 
having a lump, and hair in the middle of his face ? 
I have seen him scores of times, and never observed 
it. 

"Weel! You ha' na' guid eyesight," answered 
the doctor, " that 's certain, for the last time I 



70 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

saw him he wore both a nose and a moustache, 
and I dunna ken hoo I've exaggerated onything 
in my description o' his personal appearance. Can 
I help it if the young lady chooses to take it in a 
wrong lio-ht ? Sarve her weel right too. Did. I no' 
hear her jeering at me as I first came in the room, 
and telline; the other lasses that the Fehringees 
(Europeans) were a clever and wise people, for they 
always choose the smallest and ugliest old men 
to make doctors of, as then there was no fear of 
the women falling in love wi' them ? Ugh ! Ugh ! 
Ugh ! But I paid her out in her own coin." And 
the doctor's grunts reminded me of a cat well- 
pleased. 

" Bravo ! doctor," I exclaimed, " you have done 
remarkably well, and deserve a leather medal for 
your gallantry in the attack ; as, besides getting us 
the nautch, you have done your best to disgust the 
young lady with the thoughts of her future husband, 
which perhaps may prove to our advantage, for she 
may now feel disposed to take a more favourable 
view of mankind in general, as up to the present 
time she has certainly been, like the flower, 'doomed 
to blush unseen/ and waste her sweetness upon such 
disgusting lumps of humanity as the begum's blubber- 
lipp'd guardians of the fold." 

"Yes," said Jock, "I think old 'Bones' has 
played his game with a great deal of management, 
and shown that, although he is perhaps a rum one 
to look at, he is a good one to go. So here 's your 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 71 

health ! Stick to your present mode of treatment, 
and I '11 warrant you '11 soon gain the patronage of 
the whole sex." 

It was now late, and, as we should have to be in 
the saddle some time before dawn, the party broke 
up, each retiring to his tent. 



CHAPTER V. 

A BATTUK 

Preliminary arrangements for the beat. — The doctor's great 

appearance. — His famous feat. — W falls in withtigera. — 

Fatal accident. — The death of a tiger. — The game warms. — 
The battue. — Another tiger dies. — The bag of the day. — The 
doctor again. — The ceremonies of my gang. 

The next morning we all assembled in my tent an 
hour before the slightest appearance of dawn, and 
after having partaken of a hurried collation which 
my invaluable servant, " Five minutes," always ma- 
naged to have ready at the proper time, we mustered 
about eighty sepoys and troopers with their muskets 
and carbines, and about twice that number of vil- 
lagers, well supplied with matchlocks, tomtoms, and 
dubties,* cholera-horns, and other melodious instru- 
ments of music of that description ; and mounting 
our nags, preceded by masaltjees or torch-bearers, 
we started for Botta Singarum. 

• Dubties — native drums. 



TUE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 73 

As we approached the tannah, or police-statiim, 
wg found all the head men of the surroundin<^ 
villages waiting for us, each attended by several of 
his people, armed with matchlocks, swords, spears, 
clubs, or any weapons they could lay hands upon, 
As we approached the entrance, the crowd of vil- 
lagers surrounding the building made way for us, 
and I proceeded to explain to them the arrange- 
ments for the battue ; which, were that a large half 
circle of four miles in diameter was to be formed, 
having for its base the river, which was broad and 
deep, and along the opposite banks of which I had 
the evenino- before given directions that a chain of 
matchlock-men should be posted, to observe and be 
prepared to resist the tiger should he attempt to 
swim over. The nullah, or watercourse, and the 
lair we visited the day before were enclosed, and I 
distributed the armed sepoys and the village autho- 
rities among the beaters to see that the line was 
properly kept ; sending the other officers (with the 
exception of the doctor, who chose to remain with 
me) to different places, where I thought they would 
have a good chance when the game broke. 

One of my gang accompanied each ; the rest, with 
most of my suwars, or irregular cavalry troopers, 
remained with me, and I chose my place in the part 
of the line that would pass over the nullah and the 
lair we had seen the day before. 

As it was almost impossible to beat that part of 
the forest, on account of the dense underwood, I 



74 THE HUNTING GE0T7NDS , 

had provided my troopers with two hundred rockets 
in order to drive the game into the more open 
junoie. 

In an hour I received intelUgence that the line 
was formed ready to advance, and, it being now 
broad daylight, I gave the signal to move on by a 
ferocious flourish of cholera-horns, which sound was 
immediately taken uj) by all the tomtoms, horns, and 
dubties ; and this discordant music was only sur- 
passed by the unearthly howling and shouting of 
the beaters, who seemed to outvie with each other 
as to who could utter the most fiendish yells. 

The doctor, who kept near me, was armed With a 
heavy single four-ounce rifle which he had taken 
from one of the gang ; and as he marched along he 
shouted at the top of his voice, in a most ferocious 
and threatening manner, something that appeared 
to me to be some very ancient Gallic war-cry, until 
his breath failed him. His route was perfectly well 
marked by strips of his old blue regimental frock- 
coat, which were left hanging on the thorns of the 
bushes as he passed. 

As we advanced, sudden crashes every now and 
again in the jungle let us know that the game was 
a-foot. Now a herd of deer, or a sounder of hog 
were visible for a moment, as they bounded through 
the thicket in front of us. Sometimes a flock of 
peafowl passed over our heads, or a swarm of mon- 
keys went jabbering away in the trees above us, 
shrieking and making faces at us as we passed, and, 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 75 

perhaps, thinking the Millennium was at hand, from 
the terrific noise made by the beaters. 

Suddenly, cries were heard along the line of 
" Eeech, Eeech ! " " Yellago bunte ! " (a bear, a 
bear !) And almost immediately a large female 
bear and her two cubs came rolling along the line 
of beaters towards us. 

The doctor gave a fiendish yell, and, unable to 
restrain his impetuosity, let drive and hit one of 
the cubs which passed within six paces of him — the 
recoil of the piece, for which he was not prepared, 
knocking him down on the broad of his back. The 
enraged mother charged right at him, overturning 
a beater in her course, and in a moment more she 
would have given him a severe mauling, if I had 
not tumbled her over, dead, with a ball behind the 
shoulder, as she was in full career towards her fallen 
enemy. Bones picked himself up, and, though con- 
siderably shaken by his fall, rushed frantically to 
secure his prize, which was struggling in the agonies 
of death. The other cub was caught alive by one 
of the beaters. 

I reloaded my rifle, and then took the doctor to 
task for firing on the lesser game ; but it was of no 
use talking to him, he evidently considered he had 
performed a great feat, and, although tears ran 
down his good-natured old face as he wrung my 
hand and thanked me over and over again for my 
lucky shot, still he felt he was quite a hero, and 
shouted at the top of his voice for the rest to hear 



76 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

him, " I Ve killed a bar ! I Ve killed a bar ! Jock, 
mon, do ye hear ? I 've killed a bar ! " After much 
difficulty, I persuaded him to relinquish his much- 
esteemed trophy to the charge of a beater, and 
Chineah having reloaded his gun, the line moved 
on. 

The old man went along, delighted as a child ; and 
amid a succession of grunts, which with him denoted 
satisfaction, I heard him muttering something about 
preserving the skeleton, tanning the skin to make a 
muff, and boiling down the fat to be sent to an old 
sister, &c., although the wild animal he had killed 
was but little larger than a sucking-pig. He strode 
along perfectly happy, as if he had done his work. 

Very shortly afterwards we heard several suc- 
cessive shots on the right, where I knew W 

was posted, and almost immediately a beater came 
running up with the news that three tigers were 

afoot, and that W had wounded one severely, 

but that it had taken refuge in the high grass we 
had passed through yesterday. 

Ordering the line to halt, and taking three 
troopers with me, loaded with rockets, to drive them 

out, should it be necessary, I went to join W , 

who had just reloaded his guns as I came up. 

He told me that he had seen three tigers, one of 
which he had wounded, after having fired five shots 
as they were bounding through the long grass and 
brushwood. 

I examined the pugs and found them to be the 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 77 

same as those that had crossed the trail of the man- 
eater the day before, and which I had supposed to 
have belonged to a tigress and her two cubs. Several 
of the beaters saw the wounded tiger linger after the 
others, and had marked it take refuge in the small 
island caused by the dividing of the nullah. 

It was a kind of bank, raised about three feet 
above the bed of the watercourse, and, perhaps, 
eighty yards long, by thirty wide, being covered 
with grass and reeds about five feet high, and so 
overgrown with low bushes, and tangled underwood, 
that it would have been impossible for the beaters 
to have made their way through it. 

I posted the doctor, W , and some of the 

gang, with fire-arms, so as to command a view on 
all sides, cautioning each how to fire so as not to 
hit any of the rest, and when all was ready Chineah 
struck a light with his flint and steel, and standins 
to windward, fired the high grass, which was as dry 
as tinder from the long drought, and blazed up., 
roaring and crackling, in an instant. 

I then took post by a hole in the bank, where the 
grass bore traces of having been recently disturbed 
and trodden down, it being, I thought, a likely place 
for the tiger to break. 

Everything promised well; we were all ready with 
our arms, and waited with impatience for the ap- 
pearance of the tigers. 

The devouring element had burnt half through 
the patch ; still we could perceive no signs of their 



78 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

presence, or, indeed, any movement in the grass. 
The fire roared and crackled like the file-firing of 
musketry, dark and dense volumes of smoke rose in 
a huge column against the cloudless sky, and I 
besan to be afraid that the beaters had been mis- 
taken in supposing the brute to have taken refuge 
in the cover, when suddenly the air resounded with 
a fearful roar, and immediately a magnificent tigress 
and a half-grown cub sprang into the sandy bed of 
the nullah, from a place close to where the fire had 
reached. I heard a simultaneous discharge of half- 
a-dozen shots, and through the smoke I just dis- 
cerned the brute make a second spring, which was 
immediately followed by a piercing yell. I knew 
that some calamity had taken place, and sprang for- 
ward just in time to see the infuriated brute tear 
away the flesh from the thigh to the knee of 
W 's poor horsekeeper, who was lying motion- 
less. The tigress, who appeared wounded, was 
stretched half-leaning over her victim ; she turned 
her head as I approached, and couched, as if to 
make a spring ; I raised my rifle slowly, fearing 
to injure the poor fellow, and then let drive. The 
ball went crashing into her brain, and she fell dead 
on her side, the blood streaming from her mouth 
aud nostrils. 

The poor horsekeeper did not appear quite dead, 
though I saw at once that there was no hope for 
him ; for the whole back part of his head was 
carried away by the first blow from the paw, which, 



r 

OF THE OLD WOELD. 79 

at the same time, bad torn down the flesh from the 
back of the neck between the shoulders as if it had 
been done with an iron rake. The hands were 
beating the ground with a nervous, palpitating 
motion, and two or three tremulous shudders passed 
over the whole body ; but soon all was over, and I 
gave orders to a couple of coolies to carry the 
corpse to the village for burial. 

One of the shekarries had killed the cub with his 
matchlock, and the remains of the other was found 

partially burnt by the fire, W having wounded 

it so severely in the hind-quarters, as to prevent it 
being able to move away on the approach of the 
line of fire ; and the tigress appeared to have re- 
mained with her ojBTspring until the fire had actu- 
ally reached her, for I afterwards remarked that the 
skin was much singed and burnt in places. 

W was much affected at the loss of his 

horsekeeper, for he had been in his service for some 
years, and had always proved himself a faithful 
servant. However, as nothing could be done, we 
retook our station in the line, and the battue was 
continued. 

On approaching the lair discovered the day 
before, we discharged several rockets into it, and 
a fine bull-neilghau and two cows charged boldly 
asainst the line of beaters. Mac broke the shoulder 
of the bull with a well-directed shot, which stopped 
him in his mad career, and, stepping up, despatched 
him with the second barrel as he lay upon the ground 



80 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

before he could pick himself up. He was a very fine 
specimen, with a long, flowing mane. The two cows 
broke through the line of beaters and escaped, though 
one of them appeared severely wounded by a volley 
from 'the beaters. A young cheetah was killed by 
the dhoby, as he attempted to sneak away through 
the bushes. 

We had now driven the game into a large patch 
of jungle running along the river, on one side of 
which was a piece of tolerably open ground, and here 
we posted ourselves behind trees or rocks, in the 
most favourable places when the game broke. I also 
formed a second chain of men armed with muskets 
and matchlocks, as I knew that an immense quantity 
of game had been driven into that patch of jungle, 
and that some of it might escape our first line of 
guns. 

When we were all ready I gave the signal, and 
the beaters began to drive the game towards us. 
Sounders of pig and herds of elk and spotted deer 
burst several times to the edge of the jungle, but 
always broke back again, as if they dreaded danger 
in the open ground and feared to cross it. 

At last a sturdy bear showed the way into the 
plain, and was rolled over by Mac with a single ball. 
Soon afterwards a herd of sambur (elk) and a sounder 
of hog broke ; and a fine buck, two does, and a sow 
bit the dust from the united volley poured in from 
all sides. 

Then two cheetahs came bounding into the plain 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 81 

followed by another bear ; and one of the former 
fell by a ball from Kistimah's matchlock, and the 
other was badly wounded by one of my troopers, 
and afterwards despatched by the matchlock-men 
on the second line. The bear was killed by Jock, 
having made several ferocious charges after he had 
been wounded, in one of which a cooly was slightly 
mauled by his claws. Then another cheetah broke, 
and charged through our line scathless, though several 
shots were fired at him. 

The beaters were now heard approaching very 
near, and I thought everything in the shape of large 
game must have been driven out of the inclosed 
patch of jungle, when suddenly I heard a cry of 
" Bagh ! Bagh ! " (a tiger ! a tiger !) from one of my 
troopers, and almost immediately I saw a magnificent 
full-grown tiger stealing quietly across a little open 
glade or break in the jungle. 

He was almost broadside on to me, but I was 
afraid of firing as I saw a group of my people were 
beyond him in the line of fire. 1 let him go on a 
little, threw up my rifle, and took a steady aim just 
behind his shoulder, pulling the trigger just as he 
moved his fore arm whilst walking. 

When the smoke cleared away a little, I had the 
pleasure of seeing him stretched lifeless on his side ; 
my ball having passed through his heart, death was 
instantaneous. He was a fine, full-grown male tiger 
whose beautifully marked skin measured eleven feet 
four inches from the tip of the nose to the end of the 



82 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

tail. I got anotlier shot at a buck spotted deer, 
which I wounded in the hind quarters, paralysing 
them, and W finished him for me. 

The beaters now made their appearance ; they 
had killed four deer, three pigs, and a bear, and 
reported that two other tigers, some neilghau, and 
several herds of deer and hog had burst through 
their line. 

One of their number was severely wounded in 
the thigh by a huge boar, which charged and knocked 
him down after he had been wounded. The flesh 
of the thigh was cut as clean as if it had been done 
with a knife, so we bandaged it up as well as we 
could, the doctor devoting a certain part of his 
nether clothing for the business, which performance 
caused us no little amusement, as we could not for 
some time make out what the old gentleman was 
after. 

Constructing a litter with the branches of trees 
was the work of a few minutes, and we sent him to 
the village carried by coolies. Although he must 
have sufiered a good deal of pain, he kept up his 
spirits in a remarkable manner, and seemed quite 
satisfied when he saw his antagonist brought in dead. 
We halted by the side of the river, where we bathed 
whilst the beaters were collecting the game, of which 
the following is the list : — Two tigers and two cubs, 
three cheetahs and one cub, three bears and two 
cubs (one taken alive,) five elk, four spotted deer, 
four pig (four small squeakers, taken alive,) one 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 83 

porcupine, and one bull-neilghau — total, thirty-two 
head of game. 

I then despatched the gang to cut some stout 
poles, which, being thrust through the back sinews 
of the game, the coolies were enabled to carry it 
away slung on their shoulders, after having disem- 
bowelled the neilghau and deer. The total weight 
of our bag may be fancied, as over two hundred 
stout coolies were employed to carry it, and even 
then they went but slowly, had to rest often, and 
were frequently relieved by their comrades. 

My gang went in front with their bill-hooks and 
axes, cutting down the branches so as to enable the 
loaded coolies to pass, and as the jungle was thick in 
some places our course was necessarily slow. 

As we approached the village of Botta Singarum 
all the cholera horns, tomtoms, and dubties, form- 
ing up in procession, poured forth their notes of 
triumph ; and, joined by the voices of the united 
company of beaters, bearers, coolies, servants, 
sepoys, and villagers, the row was something 
fearful, and better to be imagined than heard. 
When we came near our camp the procession 
was re-formed ; my gang and some of the sepoys 
amused themselves by dancing in front of the dead 
tigers, before which our guns were carried decked 
out with flowers, and singing an extemporary song, 
the burden of which was something to this effect : 
— " That great and gallant deeds had been per- 
formed that day ; that four tigers of burnt fathers 



84 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

having eaten dirt, and the brave and generous 
gentlemen being satisfied with their day's sport, 
plenty of buksheesh and inam (rewards and pre- 
sents) would, as a matter of course, fall to the lot 
of their well-wishing followers, whose mouths were 
watering and stomachs panting with the thoughts 
of how they would be filled by the sheep which 
the well-known charitable and generously-minded 
gentlemen would certainly distribute." The chorus, 
being taken up by the whole party, was something 
deafening. 

The game was laid down on the open space of 
ground in front of the bungalow, and the ceremony 
of breaking up was commenced by the oldest shek- 
arry present burning the whiskers of the dead tiger, 
whilst he sang a monotonous song, in which he 
abused the whole race, and finished by spitting on 
his face and right paw. 

The begum, who, it appears, was watching the 
performance with great interest from the bungalow, 
sent one of her followers to me with plenty of 
salaam, and a request that I would send her a 
tiger's heart and liver, with some of the blood, 
for medicine : which I did, to her great satisfac- 
tion. 

The game being now all broken up and cut into 
pieces, a fine haunch of venison was sent to our 
tents, and a young doe, which, when wounded, had 
been properly " holloUed " by a Mussulman, (that is 
to say, had its throat cut whilst the operator mut- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 85 

tered a certain text of the Koran, asking a blessing 
on the meat,) sent for the acceptance of the begum ; 
the rest was divided among the whole number of 
troopers, sepoys, beaters, and camp-followers. 

We also made a subscription amongst us, which 
was divided as buksheesh, and every one went to his 
home satisfied and happy. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE GANG. 

The begum's invitation accepted. — My shekar gang. — Qoo- 
gooloo's history and the discovery of the Yanadi caste. — 
Googooloo's gifts. — Insinuations. 

As I was standing superintending the preparation 
of the skins, which my gang were pegging down 
tightly on the ground and rubbing with cocoa-nut 
oil and turmeric to preserve them, the black aide- 
de-camp of the begum came up, and, with many 
compliments on the part of his mistress, informed 
me that she would only be too happy if we would 
do her the honour of attending a nautch that even- 
ing. 

I accepted the invitation on the part of us all, 
bidding him tell the Khanum sahiba "that her kind- 
ness had made a deep and lasting impression on our 
hearts, and that, ere the evening gun boomed through 
the camp, our shadows would cross her hospitable 
threshold," and then joined the other officers, who 
were sitting smoking in front of my tent and dis- 
cussing the sports of the day. 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS. ETC. 87 

" Do you think, Harry," asked W , as I came 

up, " that the tiger you killed to-day was the man- 
eater who has committed all these depredations 
lately?" 

" No," I replied, " Eastimah assures me that it is 
not ; and I have no reason to doubt his assertion, as 
tigers are common enough in this part of the country. 
I shall, however, again try for him, for I hear we 
shall be detained here three or four days longer, as 
the begum expects some one coming from Hydrabad. 
You are aware that I have sent the best of my gang 
to follow up his trail, so we have not heard the last 
of him ; for if Googooloo and Naga are at fault and 
cannot find out his whereabouts, I do not believe 
that there is a man between this and Cape Comorin 
who can." 

" I readily believe you," answered W . 

" There is not such another shekar-gang in the 
country, and Googooloo is certain as a bloodhound 
if he once gets on trail ; I have seen him track a 
bear over rocky ground when I could not observe 
the mark of a single pug — it must be innate 
instinct." 

" Yes," said Jock, " he is a wonderful fellow. 
But what astonishes me most is the extraordinary 
manner in which he watches his master's eye, as if 
he could there read what was required of him ; and 
when he speaks I can only understand a word or two 
now and then, although I have a tolerable knowledge 
of the different lingos." 



88 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

" You must give us a history of the gang after 

dinner, Harry," said W , "for we have not 

time now, as the first bugle has sounded some 
time." 

" Yees," put in the doctor, who just joined us, 
" and ye had all better be quick, too, as my stomach 
has been crying cupboard this long time, an' this 
child will no be answerable for his actions 'gin ye 
come not soon after the viands are placed on the 
table. Ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! " 

So we all rose and returned to our tents, and 
after a refreshing bath again met at the table. 
We were in good appetite for our dinner after the 
day's fag, and " Five Minutes," whose ordinary 
colour was a bright black, assumed quite a greenish 
tinge, as he blushed at the praise his cuisine called 
forth. 

The old doctor was in great spirits, and became 
actually uproarious when Mac, alluding to his feat 
with the bear, proposed his health as a sportsman 
who that day had made his debut, and he actually 
crowed and purred again when I advised him now to 
adopt a bear for his crest, with the motto, " Ursus 
Vinci." 

" Now, Harry," said W , when dinner was 

over and cheroots and brandy panee (water) cir- 
culated, "you must give us the history of the 
gang." 

" Yes, yes ! " vociferated the rest, " let us have 
it. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 89 

"Very well, gentlemen," said I, drawing in a long 
pull at my hookah ; " I shall begin with Chineah, 
my head shekarry. He is the son of ray old water- 
man, and has been in my service since he was quite 
a boy, when he used to carry my powder and shot, 
and act as a beater when I went after snipe. I found 
him very clever in marking down birds, and he 
seemed to take such an intense delight in going out 
with me that I bred him up to the work, and taught 
him to clean and look after my guns, which you 
know he does now to perfection. This is seven years 
ago, and now I should hardly know what to do with- 
out him. 

" He is devoted to my interests, very cool and 
steady in time of danger, a first-rate hand in picking 
up news of game, and never so happy as when out 
in the deep jungle. His only fault is, that he is at 
times too fond of rackee (spirits,) and has too large 
an establishment of the fair sex, who are always 
squabbling and fighting for him in the servants' out- 
houses." 

" Oh, yes," said W , " I know him of old ; 

but tell me about Googooloo, and let us hear where 
you picked him up." 

" Googooloo's history is a strange one," I answered, 
" and I came across him in an extraordinary way. 

You may all perhaps remember poor old M of 

the — th, the kindest-hearted fellow, the best shot, 
and the coolest sportsman who ever pulled trigger, 
and who came to such an unfortunate end. We 



90 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

were great chums, and were always out together in 
the jungle ; and to his intuition I must attribute my 
knowledge of forest life, for, although always fond 
of sport, I must confess I was but a griffin until he 
took me in hand. Well, we were out together in 
the Chettagunta jungles, about five years ago, in the 
very hottest weather, and had fagged for three days 
with very little success. There was no possibility of 
' stalking,' for, in consequence of the great drought, 
the leaves and twigs on the ground had become so 
very dry and brittle that every step we took they 
cracked underfoot so loudly that the game always 
took the alarm before we could get witliin shot. 
On account of the great heat, we had been expecting 

the monsoon to break every day, and M had 

observed that it was that day the 6th of June, and 
that for several years past the hospital register showed 
the monsoon had broken between the 6th and the 
10th. As there was not a cloud to be seen on the 
deep cerulean sky, I stated my opinion that we 
should have no changg of weather that day, and 
away we went far into the deep jungle, where we 
intended to sit up at night by a pool of water, near 
which a tiger was said to lurk, and where bison 
often drank. We had come into a beautiful open 
glade in the jungle, in the centre of which, on a 
rising ground, stood a magnificent ' banian,' whilst 
clumps of huge forest trees were scattered about in 
groups here and there, giving the place much the 
appearance of a gentleman's park in England. In 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 91 

a ' jheel ' or swamp, which was nearly dry, orchideous 
plants of every form and hue formed such a parterre 
that Chiswick itself could hardly equal ; and never 
did I behold such luxurious vegetation. Yet this 
was in the centre of dark and almost impenetrable 
jungle, and at least twenty miles from the nearest 
habitation we knew of. Whilst we were remarking 
on the extreme beauty of the scene, suddenly I 
observed that the sky had become overcast, and 
thunder was heard rumbling in the distant hills. 
Presently large drops fell, and we had every indi- 
cation of a heavy fall of rain. I gave orders to 
my people to pitch a small hill-tent we had with 
us as soon as possible, so that at any fate we might 
keep the guns and ammunition dry, and in the 
meantime we took shelter under the banian tree, 
where the people were employed in cutting tent- 
pegs and gathering firewood. M was reclining 

smoking on a carpet, close to the main trunk of 
the tree, when suddenly we thought we heard a 
rustling above our heads, about ten feet from the 
ground, just where the branches and arms began 
to shoot, and almost immediately we heard an extra- 
ordinary kind of sneeze coming from the same quarter. 
We started up and seized our guns, but could see 
nothing, for the whole fork of the tree was covered 
with masses of various kinds of parasitical plants 

' Look out, Harry !' cried M , 'there is some beast 

in that tree ; most likely a leopard lying in wait for 
deer.' Having warned our people to move out of the 



92 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

way we walked carefully round, trying to discover 
where the brute lay hid; but all was now still, and we 
could see nothing from below. I got up one of the 
many branches thrown out by the parent stem, and 
looked carefully among the mass of vegetation which 
rested on the fork of the tree, still I could perceive 
nothing. I then got down and climbed upon the 
shoulders of a stout cooly, with a couple of men 
holding me by the calves of my legs, so as to keep 
me steady, and rifle in hand I made them walk up 

close to the foot of the tree, M standing near 

ready to cover me with his fire should any beast 
make a spring. Still I could see nothing. Bidding 
one of the coolies hand me up some stones, I 
threw them in the thickest parts of the masses of 
creepers, when I distinctly heard a low grunting. 
I desired the coolies to go to that part from whence 
the noise appeared to proceed, and, after a careful 
investigation, I thought I saw a pair of bright eyes 
twinkle, and something black moving about, which 
at first sight looked lilj;e the hair of a bear. I put up 
my gun and covered the object, but did not like to 
fire, as I was afraid of only slightly wounding the 

beast. M , who saw the motion I made with 

my gun, asked me what I saw. I told him I 
thought a bear was concealed in the tree, as I could 
distinctly see some long black hair. ' A bear,' said 
he, ' perhaps it is ; these gentry often climb trees on 
the look-out for honey, yet I think it is much more 
likely to be a black monkey. Fire at it, however, 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 93 

whatever it is, I am ready to look out for squalls, 
and perhaps it may be a black panther.' With any ' 

other man than M I should have hesitated to 

lire, considering the awkward position I was in, 
perched on the shoulders of a man who I knew 
would bolt at the first sign of danger, and expose 
me not only to a nasty fall, but also to the mercy 

of a wounded brute. But with M I felt quite 

safe, knowing his extreme coolness in time of danger, 
and the fatal accuracy of his aim. Again I raised 
the rifle to my shoulder and was about to pull trigger, 
when I bethought me that if it was only a bear he 
could not spring on me, and that I could fire with 
more fatal effect from the tree itself. I accordingly 
got on to the fork of the tree, and as soon as 
I got a steady footing I raised my rifle to fire. 
Again I put it down, thinking that I might only 
slightly wound the brute by firing in this way, so I 
gave the black mass of hair a poke with the end of 
the barrel of my gun in order to stir it up. Imagine 
my astonishment when I saw the upper part of a 
human face and a pair of eyes bob up and then go 
down again ! To hang my rifle on a broken branch 
and whip out my shekar knife was the work of a 
moment, and thus armed I clutched the supposed 

animal by the hair, and shouted to M and the 

rest to come up ; when the thing I was holding began 
to moan and struggle, and shortly a curious kind of 
paws, with huge claws, emerged from below and 
fastened on my hand, and it was only by frequent 



94 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

blows with the handle of my knife that I could pre- 
vent them from tearing the flesh. At that moment 
I was not sure whether I had not got hold of some 
kind of chimpanzee or ourang-outang, and I shouted 

out lustily for help. M , the shekarries, and 

coolies soon got up into the tree, and with their 

assistance I di-agged up from a hoUow in the trunk 

two most extraordinary creatures in human shape. 

One was old and wrinkled, the other quite a child, 

and both belonged to the weaker sex, but whether 

of the genus ' man ' or ' monkey ' I was not at all 

sure. They were of a dark olive colour, and the 

tallest was nothing like four feet high. She just 

was a beauty, without a stitch of clothing except a 

piece of creeper tied round her hair to keep it out 

of her eyes, which were small and very piercing 

when she opened them, but she kept them shut, just 

taking a peep now and then like a frightened ape. 

She grunted very hard, and I saw a couple of tears 

rolling down her weather-beaten and wrinkled cheeks 

as the gang tied her by the leg to the root of the 

tree to prevent her running away. The child hung 

close to the mother, keeping its face hid in her lap, 

and I had a dog-chain passed round its ancle, and 

fastened with a padlock to a root also. We looked 

at them for a long time before we were quite sure 

whether they were human. I fancied at first that 

they were some kind of hybrid, for I never beheld 

such strange objects. The nose was nearly flat, the 

mouth most capacious, and full of large yellow teeth. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 95 

The arms were long, attenuated, and wizened ; and 
may Jove defend me from such nails as were at- 
tatched to the extremities of the digits, which re- 
sembled more the claws of a huge vulture, both in 

colour and form, than anything else. M said 

that the existence of these wild people of the forest 
had been often questioned, but that he had always 
believed that there were such tribes, having come 
across their traces in the dense forests to the south 
of the Neilgherri Mountains. 

" A heavy shower of rain fell in the afternoon, 
but towards evening the weather cleared up again, 
and we pitched our tent, built a hut of branches for 
the people, and lit a huge fire, round which all were 
assembled, preparing the evening repast. One of 
the shekarries brought a piece of hard wood with a 
sharp point, and three or four wild jungle yams, 
which he said these wild people must have dug up 
just before we surprised them, as they were quite 
fresh. I gave the yams to the child, who, after a 
little hesitation began to eat, in which operation the 
mother assisted. I then sent for some raw potatoes, 
which both ate with great relish, though they still 
evinced great fear of us, and watched with suspicion 
every movement we made, with their little twink- 
ling eyes. When our dinner was served we threw 
them bits of meat and some boiled rice, which see- 
ing us eat, they followed our example. When we 
took our coffee after dinner I gave them some 
sugar, at which they evinced their satisfaction by 



96 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

clapping their hands on their thighs as they sat on 
their heels, smacking their lips and uttering some 
curious grunting sentences to each other, which 

neither M , myself, nor any of our people could 

understand. Towards evening they appeared to 
have gained more confidence, and I made one of 
the servants unfasten the old woman. He had 
hardly done so, when, finding herself at liberty, she 
gave herself a shake like a dog on coming out of 
the water, and with a grunt and a yell sprang into 
the jungle before any of our people could stop her. 
Finding, however, that the child which was stiU fas- 
tened, did not follow her, she returned, and again 
crouched down by its side. I made the people take 
no further notice of them, and gave her more sugar, 
which she took and ate without hesitation. She 
now seemed to have made up her mind that we did 
not intend to do her any harm, for she began to 
examine us more closely, and even to finger our 
clothes, which she must have imagined to be of 
Nature's own providing, for she slunk back alarmed 

when she saw M pull off his cap, as if she 

thought his head would have followed. At dusk we 
were all sitting round an immense log-fire. The 
usual glass of rackee and allowance of tobacco had 
been distributed to each of the gang, and we were 
discussing the prospect of the morrow's sport, for 
we were not inclined to sit up for game that night, 

when suddenly M sprung up and shouted in 

Hindostani, ' Look out, men ! those jungle wallahs 



01' THE Ol.D WORLD, 97 

are about.' I seized my rifle, and listened atten- 
tively, but could hear nothing, M said, ' I am 

sure they are near at hand, for I distinctly heard the 
chiri^ing of a squirrel, which sound, you know, is 
never heard after nightfall, and I noticed the old 
woman's eye glisten as she caught up the sound.' 
He was right, for almost immediately four or five 
arrows fell about our fire, though without hurting 
any one. I took one to the old woman, and, giving 
her a lump of sugar and some raw potatoes, told 
Chineah to lead her towards that part of the jungle 
from whence the arrows appeared to come, I follow- 
ing at some little distance with my gun and one or 
two of my people, to protect him should it be neces- 
sary. When we got out of sight of the fire she 
made a queer noise, like the cooing of the imperial 
pigeon, which sound was almost immediately taken 
up in two places from behind some clumps of 
bushes. Again she uttered a curious note, and 
shortly afterwards I saw other figures join her in 
the gloom. At first I felt rather apprehensive for 
Chineah's safety, but, as they did not seem inclined 
to offer him any violence, I did not join their party, 
fearing to give them alarm. After a consultation, 
which seemed to last nearly a quarter of an hour, 
between the old woman and her people, they fol- 
lowed her towards our fire. When I came up I 
foimd the group consisted of three men, two women, 
and a child, all in the same state of nature as those 
we had discovered in the tree. The men were but 

G 



98 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

little over four feet, and the women considerably 
shorter, and they all wore their hair tied with a 
piece of creeper at the back of their head, and 
spreading out behind like a peacock's tail. They 
had short bamboo bows, the strings of which were 
formed of the sinews of some animal, and the arrows 
were reeds hardened by fire, and tipped with the 
quills of pea-fowls. They were in great fear when 
we first approached, but seemed to get over it by 
degrees, and ate sugar, raw potatoes, and rice with 
great relish. They held a long communication with 
the old woman, in a strange guttural language which 
none of us could understand ; and she must have 
allayed their fears, for they all laid down by the 
fire and slept, or rather pretended to sleep, for every 
now and then I saw one or the other open his eyes 
and look suspiciously round. Some of my gang 
kept watch during the night, and I still kept the 
first child chained by the leg. In the morning when 
I got up, I found them squatting on their hams in 
deep consultation. I showed them the skin of a 

bear which M had killed a few days before, 

and they evidently knew what the animal was at 
once, for they imitated the noise of his grunting 
exactly. I pointed out the bullet-holes in the skin, 
and showed them my gun, which, much to their con- 
sternation, I fired against a tree ; and, when their 
fright had a little subsided, I showed them the hole 
in the trunk which the bullet had made, and one of 
luy people cut it out with an axe. This instrument 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 99 

seemed to surprise them more than anything else. 
They could not understand it at all at first ; but, 
after they had seen it used a few times, nothing 
would please them so much as to set them to work 
chopping up firewood. They amused themselves 
thus for hours together watching the chips fly, laugh- 
ing and grunting to each other, and conversing in 
their curious guttural language. 

" I shot in those jungles nearly a month, and then 
it was that I found what invaluable shekarries the 
Yanadi tribe make ; for as trackers none equal 
them. Day by day they acquired more confidence 
in us, and in a short time they began to fall into 
our ways, and joined my gang. Googooloo attached 
himself to me like a dog, and has been with me ever 
since ; the others are still in their old haunts. We 
speak a jargon of our own that no one understands 
but ourselves ; it is a medley of Hindostani, Mala- 
bar, Tellegoo, and his own peculiar grunts. He 
can, however, now make himself tolerably imder- 
stood by my people, though we are sometimes at a 
loss to know what he means. Chineah and he are 
great friends, and each in their way are unequalled 
as shekarries. Googooloo used to look upon me as 
a superior being for some time, but now I think his 
adoration has been transferred to my huge bone- 
smasher, (a six-ounce rifle,) to which he has fre- 
quently been seen to salaam and pray, laying the 
choicest flowers before it, much to my gardener's 
indignation. I have since heard that these abori- 



100 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

gines of the forest have been found in all the deepest 
jungles throughout India, and are called Yanadi, 
Crumbers, Mulchers, Yaks, Carders, Morats, and 
Coons. They live upon roots, fruit, and any small 
animal they can catch in the jungle having no habit- 
ations of any kind, but generally living in trees or 
caves. From constant practice, their senses of see- 
ing, hearing, and smelling are developed in an ex- 
traordinary way. Googooloo has the eye of a hawk, 
the ear of a hare, and the nose of a hound. Often, 
whilst going along in the jungle, have I seen him sud- 
denly halt, stand a moment with his nostrils dilated, 
as if he was snuffing the air, and then, drawing his 
axe, rush into the jungle, from which he would pre- 
sently return with a honeycomb, which he had dis- 
covered in some hoUow tree by the scent alone. He 
is wonderful in this way, and you may fancy what 
a useful follower he is in the deep jungle." 

" I can, indeed," said W , " but your fellows 

are all the same ; they seem to consider you and 
everything belonging to you as part and parcel of 
themselves, and when anything is required they go 
to work with a will. You never seem to have any 
trouble in looking after them, yet your horses are 
always in the best condition, your dogs are well 
cared for, your guns are kept so clean that one 
might rub them with a cambric handkerchief with- 
out soiling it ; your cob, saddles, and harness are 
always in first rate order, and you always sit down 
to a comfortable table. I cannot imagine how you 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 101 

get everything done, exactly as it should be, with- 
out giving any orders or directions ; I am always 
changing my servants, and still never get any to suit 
me." 

"Just the very reason why you are always un- 
settled and uncomfortable," I replied. " I have had 
almost all my servants for a long time. My head 
boy has been with me ever since I arrived in the 
country, and knows all my ways ; the same with my 
hooka-badar, (pipe-bearer,) and Abdulla, my hor.se- 
keeper. My dressing boy is the grandson of an old 
native ofificer, who fought at Assaye and Seringa- 
patam under Wellesley Bahadoor, (the brave ;) and 
"Five Minutes," my cook, Chineah, Googooloo, 
Naga, and sundry other of my retinue, have been 
with me for years, and will, I think, stop until the 
end of the chapter. They all required some little 
teaching and breaking in at liist, but now they 
know what is to be done. I have very little trouble 
with them." 

" You are somewhat right there," said the doctor, 
'' and ye certainly have a weel managed household ; 
but there 's mair in it than a' that. Flunkies are 
somewhat like the brute bastes of the field ; they 
know right well when they are kindly treated, and 
they are easier led than driven, but from certain 
strange coincidences, this child is of opinion that 
there is a third party behind the scenes who rides 
the roast. Tell me, oh, ye Irregular ! have ye not a 
pair o' bright eyes, belonging to some gentle Lallbee, 



102 THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 

Amirbee, or Zenobee, who has taken a kindly in- 
terest in the management o' your affairs for the sake 
o' the master ? or what are ye doing wi' palanquins 
and covered carts in a bachelor's establishment, 
when you belong to a moss-trooping order, ' whose 
word is snaffle, spur, and spear ' ? Ugh ! ugh ! 
ugh!" 

" Spare Hal's blushes, and let us adjourn to the 
begum's nautch, for I hear the sound of native music 
in that direction, and I suppose they are only wait- 
ing for our attendance to begin," said W , rising 

from his chair. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE NAUTCH. 

The nautch : its fascinations.— Indian dancing-girls. — Oriental 
eyes.— Tlieir dress and jewels. — Soaping the begum. — Indian 
jugglers and their tricks.— The celebrated man go -tree. — The 
sacrifice to Bowain. — Explanation. — The doctor's wonder. 

" Xo treacherous powder bids conjecture quake, 
No stiff starch'd stays make meddling fingers ache ; 
No damsel faints when rather closely press'd, 
But more caressing seems when most caress'd." 

— Byron. 

As we entered the garden or compound round the 
bungalow we found great preparations had been 
made for the nautch. The verandah was enclosed all 
round with fine mat tatties or screens, behind which 
tiie begum and her attendants sat, and through 
which they could see the performance without being 
exposed to the gaze of the public. In front were 
placed about a dozen chairs, the centre ones being 
left vacant for us, and the others occupied by the 
native officers of the detachment. In the centre of 
a large circle of troopers, sepoys, camp-followers 
villagers, and attendants, who were seated in rows 



1 04 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

ou mats placed on the ground, was stretched a large 
carpet, round which several huge brass candelabra 
were placed. Overhead a large red and white 
chaniiana was stretched, sheltering the spectators 
from any dew that might fall ; and in the rear was 
placed an open tent, containing the musicians, who 
were about twenty in number. 

The instruments consisted of sarindas, (a kind of 
guitar,) clarionets, several queer-shaped fiddles, 
cholera horns, (trumpets about five feet long, shaped 
like an S,) hautboys, tomtoms, dubties, dolkies, and 
drums of every size and shape ; besides small bells, 
which were used as castanets. 

Large brass and wooden trays piled with betel-nut, 
pawn-leaves, mangoes, oranges, figs, plantains, limes, 
grapes, melons, pomegranates, custard-apples, and 
every kind of fruit of the country, were scattered all 
round, besides cakes and sweetmeats, which were 
served up ad lib. to the spectators. 

As we entered the music struck up, and the whole 
company rose and saluted us, remaining standing 
until we were seated, and the begum's black aide- 
de-camp paid us many compliments on the part of 
his mistress. 

The tinkling of the bangles and gungroos * was 
now heard, and about forty handsomely -dressed 
dancing-girls entered the circle, and salaamed grace- 
fully to the company. Half-a-dozen of the young- 

• Feet-ornaments, and strings of small bells of various tones, 
woiQ ruuud the ankles when dancing. 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 105 

est and prettiest then stepped forward and placed 
garlands of double jessamine flowers round our 
necks, at the same time presenting each of us with 
a lime and a curiously-fashioned bouquet, tied to a 
short stick of sandal wood. They then deluged us 
with rose water, and scented us with otto of roses 
and oil of sandal, and tripped away to the rest of 
the performers in the centre of the circle. 

The music, which up to this time had been rather 
monotonous, now broke forth into that extremely 
beautiful Persian air, by the immortal Hafiz, " Taza 
ba Taza, Now ba Now," and each of the fair min- 
strels, taking up the words of the song one by one, 
it gradually swelled into a full chorus ; so, in a like 
manner, one by one they commenced their graceful 
and voluptuous measure until all were in movement, 
and at last their beautiful sylph-like forms seemed 
to flit before us as in a vision. 

As I reclined upon the sedan, inhaling the fragrant 
narcotic from my hookah, which at the same time 
soothes and exhilarates, and drank in the words of 
the songs, I felt a strange delightfully ravishing sen- 
sation stealing gently over my senses, such as I never 
before experienced ; and as I gazed on the graceful, 
fawn-like carriage of the exquisite figures, cast in the 
purest mould of elegance, before me, I thought of the 
prophet's seventh heaven, and the green-kerchiefed 
damsels who ever attend " the Faithful " in Para- 
dise. 

Their regular features, soft skins, and full swim- 



106 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

niing eyes glancing througli their glossy raven hair, 
gave them, in my eyes, an interest which the colder 
beauties of northern climates have never raised. 
Gentle reader, have you ever visited the land of the 
sun? If so, you, too, must have marked that 
languid, expressive voluptuousness issuing forth 
from the gazelle-like eyes of her daughters, which 
you seek for in vain in other less favoured lands. 
You, too, may have been captivated by some one of 
the many fair maidens of Hind ; and, perhaps, as 
you have gazed intensely into the depths of her dark 
and ever-changing eyes, which, sparkling with their 
brightness, lovingly refracted back your own, you 
have felt they spoke a language your heart has well 
understood ; and perhaps at such a time, as you have 
gently put away those thick jet-black and glossy 
tresses from her fair brow, you have whispered softly 
in her ear, " Mera Jan, tera waste mera dil panee ho 
gia ! " (My life ! on account of you my heart has 
become water;) and when her fond, expressive glance 
has met your gaze, and she has twined her snow- 
white arms around your neck, you have " ta'en her 
answer from her murmuring lips," and felt, as you 
pressed her delicate and yielding form the closer to 
your bosom, that e'en the much lauded beauty of 
your own loved though far-distant land was cold 
and tame compared to hers. But I am wandering, 
and bygone scenes and happy days passed long ago 
in those fair lands " flit o'er my mind like blissful 
summer's dreams," and as my thoughts veer back 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 107 

to days of yore and long-lost friends, I feel those 
bright recollections stealing vividly back to memory 
like sunny spots and pleasant oases in my varied 
life's career. 

Mais revenons d 7ios moutons. The ordinary 
dancing of the kunchnees (or dancing girls) consists 
more of dififerent changes of position than any defined 
step or figure ; and in the elegant attitudes and 
graceful postures with which they advance and retire, 
the arms, hands, feet, neck, and eyes, moving in uni- 
son with the music ; and I think they ought rather to 
be called singing than dancing girls, for it has always 
appeared to me that their dancing is only a graceful 
and expletic accompaniment to their songs, which, 
treating, as they generally do, of love, often assume 
rather a lascivious character. The interior edges of 
the eyelids are darkened with " soormah," a prepara- 
tion of antimony, which heightens their beauty, and 
gives them a peculiarly fascinating and bewitching 
appearance. 

The nautch has charms which possess a powerful 
and almost irresistible influence on the affections and 
passions of the inhabitants of the East, and forms 
the principal recreation and amusement both with 
high and low. The European stranger who does 
not understand the language, and is unacquainted 
with the habits and customs of the country, may 
look upon a nautch as a monotonous aud unmeaning 
performance ; but to one who can understand and 
appreciate the beauties of Sadi and Hafiz, it has an 



108 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

inexplicable and alluring charm, and many a live- 
long niglit have I passed most delightfully, whilst 
my regiment was quartered in the Nizam's dominions, 
in the kiosk (or garden house) of one of my native 
friends — an Emir of Hydrabad, where, lulled by the 
sounds of gurgling waters and flowing fountains, 
which cooled the air, deliciously impregnated with 
the fragrance of groves of roses and jessamines, I 
have remained until gray dawn broke, listening 
with rapture to the flowery language of the Persian 
poets, and gazing on the elf-like forms that flitted 
before me. 

The ordinary costume of the Moosulmaunee danc- 
ing-giiis consists of a "choice" or boddice, fitting 
tight to the form, and cut low in front down the 
breast, with short sleeves. It is generally made of 
bright- coloured silk, richly embroidered with gold, 
and is supposed to answer the purpose of stays, 
corsets, and all such abominable gear with which 
European damsels are in the habit of distorting their 
form into what they call shape, and which must, 
I fancy, (I am not a Benedict,) prove a consider- 
able obstruction towards their lover's advances ; 
for clasping one of those stiff, whalebone-sided 
damsels round the waist must give one nearly the 
same sensations as embracing a lamp-post or a mile- 
stone. 

The " loonga," similar to the Persian " peshuajh," 
a richly-embroidered petticoat, is gathered round 
the waist, and seldom falls far below the knee, show- 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 109 

ing the graceful swell of the leg and beautifully- 
turned and slender ankles. Oh ! ye fair maidens of 
the North, with what envy would you behold the 
delicate forms of the daughters of " the Faithful," 
whose full-flowing garments are confined round 
their naturally taper waists by a silver or gold zone, 
of less than eighteen inches in circumference. The 
" kurtnee," a vest of the finest and most transparent 
muslin, without sleeves, with the edges richly em- 
broidered, is worn over the "choice," reaching to 
the waist. Over all is the " sarree," a bright gauze 
scarf, often of gold or silver thread, which is passed 
round the waist, having one end thrown gracefully 
over the shoulder. 

The hair, which is almost always very long and 
silky, and of raven black, is worn in the INfadonna 
fashion in front, but gathered up in long plaits be- 
hind, often falling to the ankles. 

The edge of the hair from the centre of the fore- 
head to the back of the head is often adorned with 
a fringe of seed-pearls, or small gold chains, which 
hangs parallel to the arch of the eyebrows, and has 
a beautiful effect on their clear skin. This ornament 
is also worn to this day by the Jewish women ot 
Constantinople and Syria, and many of their other 
jewels are of great antiquity, and resemble those de- 
scribed by the prophet Isaiah as having belonged 
to the daughters of Zion ; more particularly " the 
tinkling ornaments about their feet, and the round 
tires like the moon, the nose jewels " — which latter 



110 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

ornameDt is called the "boolaq," and is generally a 
golden crescent, set with rubies, diamonds, or eme- 
ralds, and worn in the cartilage of the nose, through 
which a hole is bored, falling to the ^^pper lip with 
very pretty effect. 

Round the ankles, heavy massive silver or gold 
" gungroos " are worn, of curious construction, re- 
sembling three double curb-chains, to which rows 
of small fuschia-shaped bells are attached, of different 
tones, which jingle as they walk, and with which 
they keep time to the music when they dance. 

Ear-rings are worn all round the ears, but from 
the lobes hang beautifully-formed bell-shaped drops, 
fringed round with seed-pearls. 

The neck and arms are covered with all kinds of 
necklaces, bracelets, armlets, bangles, and silver or 
gold rings, besides numerous charms and amulets, 
which are supposed to shield the wearer from mis- 
fortune, and to avert the influence of the Evil Eye. 

The fingers and even the toes are ornamented with 
rings, and the nails of both are stained a bright red 
with "maindee," or the juice of the "henna," 

During the nautch several curious feats requiring 
great suppleness of body were performed. For in- 
stance, a row of girls stood fronting us, standing with 
their feet about six inches apart, between which was 
placed a rupee or a needle with the point upright ; 
they then all bent backwards together, and intro- 
ducing their hands between their feet, picked up the 
money with their lips, or the needle with their eye- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 1 1 1 

lids, regaining their standing position without having 
moved their feet. 

Various kinds of fruit and sweetmeats were 
handed round to us, the latter having been ex- 
pressly prepared for us by the begum herself, as 
her factotum informed us. As they were realiy 
famous in their way, I broke out in a rhapsody, 
in which I declared "that the Nawab with the 
lump on his face was indeed born under a lucky 
star, and was much to be envied, in spite of the 
misfortune with which Allah had afflicted him. Was 
he not to get into his harem the same day a young- 
wife, beautiful as a peri, and a mother-in-law who 
must have made her studies of the cuisine in heaven. 
The only thing that astonished me was that the cho- 
badar or gatekeeper ever allowed her to leave the 
abode of the blessed." 

The begum, her daughter, and female attendants, 
could hear everything I said, they being seated on 
the raised verandah just behind our sedan, a fine mat 
screen preventing them from being seen ; and the 
old lady took the whole of the compliment to her- 
self, and warmly reproved her followers for tittering 
at my speech, assuring them all in a very grave 
manner, " that the Mogli sirdar (Mogul officer) with 
the long black beard (meaning myself) was a very 
respectable man, and knew what was what ; and 
that when a man was hungry, a group of peris from 
heaven would be but a poor exchange for one good 
cook." 



112 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

On hearing this I drew in my breath, gave a deep 
sigh, and declared " that the gifted woman who was 
hid from my sight by the cruel screen spoke like a 
book ; and that although pretty women were as nu- 
merous as the hairs of one's beard, yet an observant 
man might travel from country to country until his 
hair was white without finding or even hearing of 
such a paragon of perfection as she whose hospi- 
tality we were then enjoying." 

Just at this moment two jugglers entered the circle, 
during an interval between the dances ; and one of 
them placed before him a large earthen jar, over the 
mouth of which a piece of skin was tightly stretched, 
so as to form a kind of drum, which he beat with 
two small sticks, keeping time to a curious mono- 
tonous song, in which he exhorted his companion 
to display the utmost of his talents, so as to amuse 
the noble gentlemen, if he did not wish to eat dirt 
and have his face blackened. 

The other replied that, Fate helping him, he 
would receive great presents from the truly chari- 
table gentlemen on account of the great feats he 
would perform ; and, after having beaten his breasts 
and uttered sundry cabalistic incantations, he rum- 
maged in a bag containing the implements of his 
profession and produced a queer-shaped doll, which, 
when touched with his wand, appeared to utter 
curious squeaks and groans. 

This he designated Madras Eamasawmy, and he 
proceeded to inform us that it was by means of his 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 113 

aid that he was going to amuse us, for that he was 
a great jadoo-wallah, (magician.) I noticed, how- 
ever, that, during the course of the performance, he 
(the doll) received several cuffs if some of the feats 
of skill did not succeed the first time. 

The juggler then passed round a common-looking 
white stone for our inspection, and then gave it to 
a pretty little dancing-girl who was sitting close to 
me. She closed her hand on it, and, after he had 
touched her with his wand, he told her to open it, 
and it was found full of white sand. 

He then called a very black musician, and remov- 
ing his turban, made him sit down near him ; then 
taking a pinch of the sand, rubbed it down his 
forehead, leaving a bright yellow mark. A second 
pinch produced a blue, a third a red, and so on, 
every pinch producing a different colour. He then ■ 
told the girl to close her hand, which he again 
touched with his wand, and the sand was turned 
into a small live snake, which the little woman 
threw down with a loud cry, which awoke the 
Doctor, who had fallen asleep on his chair near me, 
and caused him to stretch his legs and arms, and 
rub his eyes for some time before he knew where he 
was. " Ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! " he exclaimed, starting 
to his feet with a grunt of amazement, " I must 
surely ha' been dreaming, for I thought that auld 
vixen of a bear was after me, and, ugh ! but she 
was no just a cannie customer, coming tearing and 
rampaging after a puir body wi' her lugs in th' air 

H 



114 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

an' her jaws open like a bluid-thirsty cannibal, look- 
ing for a' the world, as if she thought no more o' 
swallowing ane o' the faculty than a blue pill. Och, 
the varmint ! but what can you expect when one o' 
the profession goes blackguarding about the country 
wi' a real gun in the company of the likes o' ye 
Irregulars ? Ugh, ! ugh ! ugh ! " 

The juggler then caught the snake, and tapping 
it with his wand appeared to turn it into a stone 
again, which, after having passed round for exami- 
nation, he swallowed. Then, stroking his stomach, 
he made us understand that this hard living did not 
agree with his constitution, but that, with the pro- 
ceeds of the generosity of the sahib log, (gentlemen,) 
he hoped to live well in future, and not to be ob- 
liged to make such meals as he had done that morn- 
ing, the nature and quality of which he proceeded to 
show us ; for, striking his chin with his wand, and 
opening his mouth, he produced some pounds' 
weight of pebbles, followed up by a quantity of 
small shells, then long strings of paper of different 
colours, and finishing off by ejecting a huge black 
scorpion all alive, round which he danced, testifying 
his joy, as he proceeded gravely to explain to us that 
this bold reptile having got into his stomach in some 
water which he had drunk from a well on which 
the Evil Eye had fallen, he had had no peace ever 
since, as it devoured all the food he put into his 
stomach, and prevented his appetite ever being 
satisfied. 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 1 ] 5 

He now handed round for our inspection a dry 
maugoe-stone, which he afterwards buried in the 
ground, muttering imprecations against all evil 
spirits as he did so, and pouring a little water over 
the spot, which he assured us came from the blessed 
Ganges. 

He then produced a small stone image of the 
goddess Bowanee,* to which he prayed that he 
might live to eat of the fruit of the tree of which he 
had just planted the seed. Immediately afterwards 
he dug up the stone, and finding it in tlie same state 
as when he had buried it, pretended to be in a great 
rage, and commenced abusing the goddess in not 
very measured terms, revealing certain antecedents 
to her memory, which, if true, did not speak much 
in favour of the general morality of the Hindoo 
divinities. His ire even led him to forget common 
politeness to the sex, for he struck her repeatedly 
with his wand, but finished off by promisino- to 
break cocoa-nuts in her name, provided she assisted 
him to please the gentlemen; and after having 
effected a reconciliation, he again dug up the seed 
and showed it to us, with little white germs grow- 
ing out of one end. 

He again buried it, and recommenced coaxing 
the image to assist him, promising to sacrifice a 
cock to her, provided she listened graciously to his 
prayer, then covering the spot with a basket, to 

* Bowanee or Kalee— the Hindoo goddess of destruction, the 
deity of the Thugs. 



1 1 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

prevent the influence of any evil spirit from inter- 
fering with the working of his spell ; in the mean- 
time he showed us some very clever sleight-of-hand 
tricks with cups and small cloth-balls, something 
like thirable-rig. 

When this was over he removed the basket and 
showed us a young mangoe-plant growing, it having 
put forward the two first leaves ; and at our request 
he dug it up from the ground and showed us the 
roots with the stone still adhering to them. This 
he again planted and covered it over with the bas- 
ket, after which he showed us some very clever 
juggling with knives and balls. 

When he again uncovered the plant it was 
covered with blossom, which we examined carefully 
before the basket was replaced. 

He then showed us a very interesting feat, in 
which there was really no deception. He made his 
comrade lie down on his back, and placed on his 
bare stomach a double betel-leaf; then, taking a 
sharp sword, he made a ferocious drawing cut, en- 
tirely dividing the leaf and making a line on the 
man's stomach, yet not dividing the skin. He then 
placed a lime on the palm of a man's hand, and cut 
it in two with a stroke, so that both halves fell on 
the ground, making a mark with the edge of the 
sword on the man's hand, yet not cutting the skin. 

When this feat was ended he asked the Doctor to 
remove the basket, and when he did so, lo 1 and 
behold, the tree was bending from the weight of five 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 117 

fine mangoes, which were plucked and offered for our 
inspection. 

The performance was deservedly much applauded, 
but the operator was looked upon with niucli dis- 
trust and suspicion by the natives, who imagined he 
did everything by supernatural agency ; for when 1 
cut the mangoe he presented to me and offered half 
of it to the little Mussulman nee girl who sat at my 
feet, she actually shuddered as she put it away from 
her, begging me in the name of Allah not to eat any 
of it, as it could not be otherwise than bad, coming 
from such a source. 

I however ate it, and found it very good, though 
I could not persuade any of the natives lo taste it. 

The next trick was also exceedingly good, and 
merits description. He crouched down before the 
stone image of the goddess, and, making a most pro- 
found obeisance, thanked her for the favour he had 
found in the eyes of the honourable company then 
assembled, and declared himself her most humble 
votary from that moment ; and in confirmation of 
which solemn vow he declared that he would im- 
mediately sacrifice his only daughter, and hencefor- 
ward devote himself to her service. He told his 
intentions to a beautiful little girl, about six years 
old, who was sitting near, and she began to cry and 
struggle in a most natural manner ; but he seized 
her, and, after stripping off all her jewels and ujtper 
clothing, and loosening her long black hair, which 
fell over her little naked breast and shoulders, de- 



118 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

liberately bound her bands and feet, covering ber 
with a thick black veil. 

He then swept the ground, on which he sprinkled 
some of the holy Ganges water, and laying her down 
covered her with the basket he had used "with the 
mangoe trick, spreading a white cloth over all. He 
then commenced a prayer to the goddess Bowanee, 
prostrating himself before the stone image and in- 
voking its aid, and finished by breaking a cocoa-nut 
as a sacrifice, and placing the pieces before it. 

Then breaking out into a long wild cry, he rolled 
his eyes, foamed at the mouth like a maniac, and 
seizing a double-edged sword, plunged it into the 
centre of the cloth, through the basket under 
which he had placed his child, repeating the 
stroke twice in different places. Dark streams of 
blood were seen running from underneath the cloth, 
the sword being also stained ; and at each blow 
shrieks and groans appeared to rise from under 
the basket. For a moment all was still, and every 
face transfixed with horror at the supposed crime ; 
loud murmurs were heard among the men, and cries 
of alarm arose among the females, who rushed wildly 
about screaming and beating their breasts ; then the 
juggler coolly made an obeisance to the idol, and 
lifting up the bloody cloth and basket, displayed 
to the excited spectators only the veil pierced in 
three places, and the cord with which the child was 
bound. The child had vanished. 

All were thunderstruck, and some of the by- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 119 

fitanders seized tlie jug<^ler and threatened him with 
their veniteance if he did not restore the child he had 
spirited away by magic. He shook them off, and 
bowing again to the image, called thrice the name of 
Chandbee, and the little girl came tripping in from 
somewhere outside the circle and embraced her father. 
Our applause was long and loud, and when the little 
maid went round with the plate, the numerous dona- 
tions placed upon it announced the satisfaction of all 
the spectators. 

The old Doctor, who had been rubbing his eyes 
and twisting himself uncomfortably in his chair for 
some time, now burst out into a dolorous grunt, and 
with a serio-comic expression of countenance ex- 
claimed, " Ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! "Weel ! weel ! Dinna 
ye believe in the de'il and a' his works noo, as yere 
catechism says ? but I reckon that was no a part o' 
the bringing up o' the likes o' ye. But, oh ! dear 
mon, was it no just a fearfu' sight? This chiel felt 
his e'en maist greeting, an' his temples bursting, 
when the auld heathen streck'd his guUie wi' sic a 
like thud into his sonsie little bairn as coolly as if he 
was opening a haggis, and she just felt as if she 
couldna thole it ; for brimstane smelt right strong, as 
the auld bleezin' hornie went down on his marrow- 
banes to the little ne'er-do-well stane kelpie ; and 
whilst the carle was in that position this half-scared 
infant just peeped twice at his nether end so as to 
mak' sure there was no dark, ill-looking appendage 
attached or hid in the folds o' his cloth." 



120 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

" It was a magnificent trick," said W , " for 

though I knew what was to follow, having seen it 
before, and studiously watched every motion, I have 
not gained the slightest clue towards finding it out, 
and I cannot understand it at all." 

" It was certainly an extraordinary deception," I 
replied, "but the mangoe-trick puzzles me most. I 
have a shrewd suspicion that I know how the child 
vanished from under the basket, although I must 
confess that I did not see it move ; but do you not 
remember that, when he struck the first blow through 
the cloth and drew out the sword reeking with blood, 
several women rushed frantically round with shrieks 
and cries of horror, causing some confusion: well, I 
imagine that at this time the child must have crept 
from under the basket, and slipped away concealed 
under the flowing drapery of a female accomplice. 
I remember I fancied the outrageous grief of one 
old Mussulmannee woman was got up for the occa- 
sion to divert our attention, for I noticed that, al- 
though she was wailing and beating her breasts 
most vehemently, no tears fell, and she raised her 
hand and put a piece of betel-nut and a paun leaf 
into her mouth, which action impressed me with the 
idea that she was a confederate, and that her grief 
was ' all my eye.' " 

" It must have been as you say," says Jock, " if 
Sawbone's friend ' Old Hornie ' did not play a part 
in the performance, which, in my eyes, at first bor- 
dered on the supernatural, I must confess." 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 121 

The jugclers then withdrew, and the nautch con- 
tinued until the gray of the morninL(, when our ris- 
ing from our seats was the signal for the sports to 
cease, and the spectators to retire. 

We, the European officers, having distributed our 
largess to the dancing- girls, proceeded to a tent close 
by, where a handsome native supper was served in 
the Mussulman style of cooking, and here we re- 
mained chatting and smoking our hookahs until 
intimation was given us that the sun had risen, 
when each retired to his tent 



CHAPTER Vlir. 

THE DEATH OF THE MAN-EATEK. 

N"ew3 of the man-eater again. — We are once more on bis trail. — 
The scent lost. — Googooloo gives tongue. — It warms. — My 
plan. — Preparation. — Execution. — A ticklish moment. — 
Death of the man-eater. — Ceremonies of the shekarries. 

As I was preparing to turn in for an hour or two, 
my head shekarry, Chineah, came up grinning, and 
told me that the patel of the village of Botta Sin- 
garum had sent to say that the tiger had been seen 
skulking near the outskirts of the village a short 
time after our return to camp. 

I immediately sent for the dhoby and Kistimah, 
and despatched them, with Chineah and the gang 
with my guns, to the village, to find out all the par- 
ticulars ; and, having questioned the villager who 
brought the message rather closely, for I had some 
doubts as to the trutti of the report, I appointed a 
place of meeting, and after a couple of hours' 
repose, a bath, and a hurried breakfast, I mounted 
my nag without disturbing the other officers, who 
were still sleeping, and joined my people at the 
Botta Singarum police-station. 



THE HUxN'TIXG GROUNDS, ETC. 123 

Without dismounting, I went, guided by a 
villager, to the place where the tiger had been seen 
the evening before, and there I found unmistak- 
able signs of bis presence, as the pugs were plainly 
visible. 

I sent my horse back to the village, and, accom- 
panied by tlie gang, followed his track through a 
narrow ravine densely wooded. 

Here the trail became exceedingly difficult to 
follow, as the brute had evidently been walking 
about backwards and forwards in the bed and along 
the banks of a dry nullah, and we could not distin- 
guish his last trail. 

I caused the band to separate, and for half-an- 
hour or so we were wandering about as if in a maze, 
for the cunning brute had been describing circles, 
and often, by following the trail, we arrived at the 
place we started from. 

Whilst we were all at a loss, suddenly I heard a 
low "Coo" twice repeated, and I knew that Goo- 
jrooloo, who was seldom at fault, was now on warm 
scent, and from his call I was as certain that the 
game was afoot as any master of hounds would 
have been, while breaking cover, to hear his favourite 
dog give tongue. 

The gang closed up, and, guided by the sound, 
we made our way through thick bush to where Goo- 
gooloo was standing by a pool of water in the bed of 
the nullah. 

Here were unmistakable marks of his having 



124 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

quenched his thirst quite lately, for when we came 
up the water was stUl flowing into the deeply-im- 
printed pugs of his forefeet, which were close to the 
edge of the pool, and I noticed that the water had 
still the appearance of having been disturbed and 
troubled. 

After having drunk, the brute had made his way 
to some very thick jungle, much overgrown with 
creepers, through which we could not follow with- 
out the aid of our axes. 

Thus, stalking with any hope of success was out 
of the question, so I held a solemn consultation with 
Kistimah, Chineah, Googooloo, and the dhoby, as to 
the best means of proceeding. 

I felt convinced that the brute was still lurking 
somewhere near at hand in the jungle, for, besides 
the very recent trail we were on, I fancied I heard 
the yelling of a swarm of monkeys, which I attri- 
buted to their having been frightened by his appear- 
ance ; besides, this was just the kind of place that a 
tiger would be likely to remain in during the heat 
of the day, as it afforded cool shade from the sun, 
and water. 

All the gang were of my opinion, and Kistimah 
observed that, on two different occasions, after a 
post-runner had been carried off, he had remarked 
that the trail of the tiger led from this part of the 
jungle to a bend in the road, where he had been 
known frequently to lie in wait for his prey. 

"These man-eaters," added he, "are great devils, 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 125 

and very cunning, and I should not at all wonder if 
even now he was watching us from some dark 
thicket." 

As he said this I carefully examined the caps of 
my rifle, and I observed some of the gang close uj) 
with a strange shudder, for this brute had inspired 
them all with a wholesome fear, and prevented their 
straggling. Two or three spoke almost in whispers, 
as if they were afraid of his really being sufficiently 
near to hear thera conspiring for his destruction. 

At length Kistimah said that he had been think- 
ing of a plan which, though dangerous in the execu- 
tion, might be attended with success. It was for 
me to go, with a man dressed as a runner, down the 
main road at sunset, being the time the tiger gene- 
rally carried off his victims, and to run the chance 
of getting a shot. 

At this proposition sundry interjectional expres- 
sions, such as "Abah!" "Arrez!" "Toba!" 
" Toba ! " escaped from the lips^ of the by-standers, 
and, from sundry shaking of heads and other un- 
mistakable signs, I could see that it had not found 
much favour in their eyes. Chineah, the dhoby, and 
one or two of the gang, however, approved of the 
plan, and Kistimah offered to accompany me as the 
post-runner. 

This, however, I objected to, for I thought that I 
should have a better chance of meeting the tiger if 
I went alone than in company ; besides, I preferred 
having only myself to look after. The plan of action 



126 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

once settled, I returned to the village and obtained 
from the patel the bamboo on which the tappal- 
runners sling the mail-bags over their shoulders. 
To the end of this is an iron ring with a number of 
small pieces of metal attached, making a jingling 
noise as the man runs, which gives warning of the 
coming of the post to any crowd that might be ob- 
structing the path, allowing them time to get out of 
his way. Having broken off the ring, I fastened it 
to my belt, so as to allow it to jingle as I walked ; 
and, arming myself with a short double rifle by 
Westley Richards, a brace of pistols and a huge 
shekar knife, I made Kistimah lead the way down 
the road towards the place where the man-eater was 
said to lurk. 

About a mile from the village I made the gang 
and the villagers who accompanied me halt, and 
went on with Kistimah, Chineah, and Googooloo to 
reconnoitre the ground. 

The road was intersected by a narrow valley or 
ravine, along the bottom of which was a dry, sandy 
watercourse, the banks of which were overgrown 
with high rank grass and reeds, intermixed with 
low scrubby thorn-bushes. To the left was a low, 
rocky hill, in some places bare and in others covered 
with thick jungle, with wild date or custard-apple 
clumps here and there. 

Kistimah pointed me out a clump of rather thick 
jungle to the right of the road, where, he said, the 
tiger often lurked whilst on the look-out for his prey, 



OF THE OLD WOULD. 127 

and here we saw two or three old trails. He also 
showed me a rock from behind which the brute had 
sprung on a post-runner some weeks before, but we 
saw no signs of his having been there lately. 

It was, however, quite what an Indian sportsman 
would have termed "a tigerish spot," for bold scarped 
rocks and naked fantastic peaks rose in every direc- 
tion from amongst the dense foliage of the surround- 
ing jungle. Here and there noble forest trees 
towered like giant patriarchs above the lower ver- 
dure of every shade and colour. 

Not a breath of air was stirring, nor a leaf mov- 
ing ; and as the sun was still high up, without a 
cloud to be seen to intercept his rays, the heat was 
most oppressive, and respiration even was becoming 
difficult, on account of a peculiar closeness arising 
from the decayed vegetation underfoot, and the 
overpowering perfume of the blossoms of certain 
jungle plants. 

After having reconnoitred the country I felt 
rather overcome with lassitude, and returned to the 
rest of the gang, whom I found sleeping in a clump 
of deep jungle, a little oft" the roadside. Here I laid 
dovra to rest, protected from the piercing rays of 
the sun by the shade of a beautiful natural bower 
formed by two trees, which were bent down with 
the weight of an immense mass of various kinds of 
parasitical plants, in addition to their own foliage. 

The mournful silence and strange stillness that 
reigned was only broken at times by the distant 



1 28 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

scream of peafowl, or the shrill crowing of a jungle- 
cock, who, unsuspicious of our presence, was scratch- 
ing up the ground and clacking to his hens in an 
adjoining thicket. The shrill and peculiarly wild 
notes of these birds seem as if they were ordained by 
nature to accord with the calm, still solitude, and 
sublime grandeur of scenery of " the deep jungle." 
They inhabit that deep jungle of which Ferishta 
says truly, "That death dwells in the water, and 
poison in the breeze ; where the grass is tough as 
the teeth of serpents, and the air fetid as the 
breath of dragons." For so it is : the deadliest fevers 
lurk in these places most beautiful to the eye, the 
air being poisoned and impregnated by the exhala- 
tions of decayed leaves and other decomposed vege- 
table matter. 

I must have slept several hours, for when I awoke 
I found the sun sinking low in the horizon ; how- 
ever, I got up considerably refreshed for my nap, 
and, giving myself a shake, prepared for the task I 
had undertaken. 

I carefully examined my arms, and having ascer- 
tained that nothing had been seen by any of my 
gang, some of whom had kept a look-out, I told my 
people to listen for the sound of my gun, which, if 
they heard, they might come up, otherwise that they 
were to remain quiet, until my return. 

I ordered Chineah, Kistimah, Googooloo, and the 
dhoby to accompany me down the road with spare 
guns, in case I might want them, and when I ar- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 129 

rived at a spot which commanded a view of the 
ravine, I sent them to climb different trees. 

Kistimah begged hard to be allowed to accom- 
pany me, as he said this tiger never attacked a man 
in front, but always from behind ; but I would not 
permit him, as I thought that two people would per- 
haps scare the animal, and his footsteps might pre- 
vent me from hearing any sound, intimating his 
approach. 

The sun had almost set as I proceeded .slowly 
down the road, and, although I was perfectly cool 
and as steady as possible, I felt cold drops of per- 
spiration start from my forehead as I approached 
the spot where so many victims had been sacrificed. 
I passed the rock, keeping well on the look-out, lis- 
tening carefully for the slightest sound, and I re- 
member feeling considerably annoyed by the chirp- 
ing made by a couple of little bulbuls, (Indian night- 
ingales,) that were fighting in a bush close to the 
roadside. Partridges were calling loudly all around, 
and as I passed the watercourse 1 saw a jackal skulk- 
ing along its bed. I stopped, shook my jingling 
affair, and listened several times as I went along, but 
to no purpose. 

Whilst ascending the opposite side of the ravine 
I heard a slight noise like the crackling of a dry 
leaf : I paused, and turning to the left, fronted the 
spot from whence I thought the noise proceeded. I 
distinctly saw a movement or waving in the high 

I 



130 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

grass, as if something was making its way towards 
me : then I heard a loud purring sound, and saw 
something twitching backwards and forwards behind 
a clump of low bush and long grass, about eight or 
ten paces from me, and a little in the rear. It was 
a ticklish moment, but I felt prepared. I stepped 
back a couple of paces, in order to get a better view, 
which action probably saved my life, for immedi- 
ately the brute sprang into the middle of the road, 
alighting about six feet from the place where I was 
standing. I fired a hurried shot ere he could gather 
himself up for another spring, and when the smoke 
cleared away I saw him rolling over and over in the 
dusty road, writhing in his death agony, for my shot 
had entered the neck and gone downwards into his 
chest. I stepped on one side and gave him my 
second barrel behind the ear, when dark blood 
rushed from his nostrils, a slight tremor passed over 
all his limbs, and all was still. The man-eater was 
dead, and his victims avenged. 

My gang, attracted by the sound of my shots, 
came rushing up almost breathless, and long and 
loud were the rejoicings when the tiger was recog- 
nised by Kistimah as the cunning man-eater who 
had been the scourge of the surrounding country for 
months. 

He was covered with mange, and had but little 
hair left on his skin, which was of a reddish brown 
colour, and not worth taking. I made Chineah 



,.. ; »«A.v.,>r,ri.- . .v^frvJi'^v:;" ..' J i^imy\iW'4' 







OF TUT. OLD WORLD. 131 

cut off the right paw with iiis axe, and sent a post- 
runner into camp with it to announce my success. 
A bullock-cart was then fetched from the village, on 
which the carcass was with much difficulty hoisted, 
and dragged oft' in triumph by the villagers, for the 
bullocks were so frightened by his smell that they 
would not allow themselves to be harnessed to the 
cart ; all force and coaxing being in vain to get 
them sufficiently near to place the yokes on their 
necks. . 

All the villagers turned out to witness onr entry, 
poojahs (religious ceremonies) were performed, sheep 
and cocks sacrificed, and prayers offered up to sundry 
Sawmies (Hindoo gods) in my name. I was the 
centre of attraction of all the young girls of the 
village, whose dark sparkling eyes flashed kindly on 
me as they stood waving their hands on either side 
of the road. As for the old women, I really had 
some difficulty to get out of their clutches ; they 
kissed the hem of my old green baize shooting-coat, 
cracked their knuckles over my forehead for luck, 
stroked my face and beard, patted me on the back, 
and at last became so vehement in their attentions 
that I had to beg of my gang to keep them off 

All the men in the village turned out with torches 
and firesticks to escort me home to camp. Rockets 
and fireworks were burnt, matchlocks discharged, 
and tomtoms, dubties, and cholera horns poured 
forth their notes of triumph before the dead 



132 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

tiger, whose head was carried in the front on a 
spear. 

^ly gang marched at the head of the procession, 
and five ancient dancing-girls from the village were 
pirouetting before the cart, howling and yelling as 
they whirled on the •' light fantastic," in such a 
manner that they reminded one strongly of the 
witch scene in Macbeth. The whole camp turned 
out to view the carcass of the man-eater, and many 
were the congratulations I received from all parties 
that evening. 

I gave a few sheep and fowls to my gang, with 
some rackee, and throughout the night " tliere was 
a sound of revelry." The next day the mutilated 
carcass was paraded on a cart in all the neighbour- 
ing villages by Kistimah and the dhoby, who, by 
levying contributions either in coin or kind, realised 
a little fortune for themselves. 

I have killed many tigers both before and since, 
but I never met with such a determined enemy to 
mankind, for he was supposed to have carried off 
more than a hundred individuals. He fully exem- 
plified an old Indian saying, " that when a tiger 
has once tasted human blood he will never follow 
other game, men proving an easier prey." On the 
spot where the tiger was killed a large mausoleum 
now stands, caused by the passers-by each throwing 
a stone until a large heap is formed. Since that 
day many a traveller who has passed that way has 
been entertained by the old pensioned sepoy who 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 133 

is in charge of the public bunnralow, with a lonfr 
account of the death of the celebrated Adniee 
Khanna-wallah, (Man-eater,) and old friends have 
told me that many anxious and kind inquiries have 
been made as to the health and welfare of the black- 
bearded cavalry officer who slew him. 



SECTION IL— SOUTHERN INDIA. 



CHAPTER IX. 

TRICHINOPOLY. 



Trichinopoly. — The evil influence of caste in India. — The re- 
turn of Chineah, and our prospects of sport. — My shooting- 
cart and battery described. — Preparations for a start, 

I WAS quartered for some time at Trichinopoly, one 
of the dullest of our military stations in Southern 
India, which city certain learned authorities aver 
has only a single sheet of brown paper between it 
and the infernal regions. Every Anglo-Indian will 
tell you that it is famous for three things — viz., 
magnificent snipe-shooting, unrivalled cheroots, and 
delicate and exquisitely wrought gold chains. 

Trichy, (short for Trichinopoly,) like most other 
Indian cities, possesses a stone citadel, formerly an 
old pagoda, built on an almost inaccessible rock, 
which rises isolated out of the plain and commands 
the neighbouring country. This is surrounded by 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 135 

a pettah or native town, fortified by double bas- 
tioned walls of solid masonry, a deep ditch, (which 
can be filled from the Cauvery, that flows at a short 
distance from the northern face,) a covert-way and 
glacis. This place was the scene of some severe 
fighting in the year 1753, when the French 
attempted to assault the place by surprise, without 
success. Within the walls are the ruins of a hand- 
some palace, which was formerly the habitation of 
Ameer al Oomra, also several Mussulman mosques, 
and Hindoo pagodas, dedicated to divers Sawmies 
(images) of uncouth appearance and very question- 
able character, if we axe to believe the history of 
their lives, which is generally carved on the exterior 
of their temples. The mainguard, commanded by 
a European officer, is in one of the principal gate- 
ways of the fort, which also contains an arsenal, 
(formerly an old pagoda,) barracks, magazines, 
storehouses, and a well-stocked bazaar, in which 
everything may be bought, from a handspike to an 
elephant. Outside of the wolls are extensive suburbs, 
and at a short distance is the military cantonment, 
where are quartered a European regiment of foot, 
either of Her Majesty's or the East India Company's 
service ; a regiment of Native Light Cavalry, some 
Artillery, and three battalions of Native Infantry. 

Trichinopoly is situated on tlie south bank of 
the river Cauvery, and is considered a holy city by 
Hindoos, being to the Madras Presidency what 
Benares is to the Bengal. Almost opposite the town, 



136 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

upon an island formed by the division of the stream, 
is the celebrated temple of Seringam, the outside 
wall of which contains an area of more than a 
mile square. It is the very hotbed of Brahminism, 
and here congregate from all parts of the south of 
India those fat, lazy, greasy cumberers of the earth, 
who live upon clover, by the sweat of other men's 
brows, and thrive and grow rich upon the offerings 
which they wring from poor deluded Hindoo pil- 
grims by working upon their credulity and supersti- 
tious fears. 

It was in the latter end of the month of April, and 
our old stagers declared they had never felt anything 
like the heat. We were all nearly baked, and, as old 

Paddy S , of the — th, used to say, " looked like 

carefully dried resuscitated mummies ;" for our faces 
were burnt almost coffee-colour from constant ex- 
posure to the sun whilst out snipe-shooting. 

I felt thoroughly disgusted and worn out with 
the changeless monotony of an Indian garrison life, 
and was heartily sick of parades, drills, guard- 
mountings, inspections, courts-martial, courts of in- 
quest, inquiry, request, committees, meetings, and 
boards of every kind. Mainguard and regimental 
duty seemed to come round oftener than usual, and 
nothing was stirring except the mosquitos, which 
are one of the plagues of India, and those of Trichy 
are celebrated as galleynippers. 

I was sitting, after dinner one evening, in the 
verandah of the mess-house, conversing with three 



OF TUE OLD WORLD, 137 

or four of my brother-officers, listening to the regi- 
mental band, and cogitating upon the vapid life I 
was leading, when suddenly my chochra (a young 
Mussulman lad, whose office it was to assist me to 
dress and wait at table) rushed up with frantic 
haste, exclaiming, " Sahib, sahib, Chineah iya hy ! " 
(Sir, sir, Chineah has come !) Now Chineah was my 
head shekarry or huntsman, who had been out on a 
reconnoitring expedition after large game, and a 
great man in my establishment. 

" Let us have him in at once," said B , " and 

hear where he has been, and what shckar-khubber 
(hunting news) he has brought." 

So Chineah was sent for, and in a few minutes 
was salaaming before us. 

" Well, Chineah," said I, " what great news have 
you brought, that you have been away so long? 
From not having heard from you, I have been ex- 
pecting yoii back every day for the last fortnight, 
and at last began to imagine that some accident 
had happened, for three or four of your women 
came up to me declaring that they had heard in 
the bazaar that you had been eaten by a tiger." 

" Women no good, master," answered he, " tell 
plenty lies, go too much to the bazaar ; plenty, 
plenty talking, never do any work. I go away 
nearly two months, then come home, find no cloth 
in ffo-down,* no rice, no nuffin. To-morrow make 
plenty bobbery, (noise), plenty floggee. Ah, sahib ! 

* Go-down — servants' quarters, generally out-offices. 



138 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

karree log kuch fida na, (Ah, sir ! womenkind are 
of no good.") 

"Never mind them," replied I, "let us hear 

what news of game you have brought, for B 

sahib and I are going out on a shekar trip in the 
course of a few days, and we want to hear what our 
chances are." 

" "Well, sahib, master knows very well I went to 
Putchee Mullah and Koolee Mullah Hills, where I 
only see a few chetel, (spotted deer,) so I went on 
to Salem, and on the sides of the Sheveroy Hills 
I saw some sambur, chetel, and old trail of jungle 
bice, (bison.) I stop at Mulliarry village, five, six 
days, and there I meet one man, Naga, very good 
shekarry, so I bring with me ; suppose master want 
other shekar man. This man tell me that there 
plenty shekar got in Bowani Jungle, so I go there 
with him, and all over the Combei Jungle, where I 
see plenty janwars, (wild beasts.) There got tigers, 
panthers, bears, bison, elk, spotted deer, and ante- 
lopes, and near the Hassanoor Pass I saw plenty old 
marks of elephant and some neilghau, (literally blue 
cow.) Suppose master go to Bowani, get plenty 
good shekar. Naga knows that jungle very well ; 
and I tell all Mulcher men (a jungle tribe) that 
master coming soon ; and suppose master get plenty 
shooting, Mulcher men get plenty, plenty bucksheesh, 
(presents.") 

"Well, Chineah," said I, "you have done your 
work very well, and in the course of a few days. 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 139 

Inshallah, (please God,) we shall try our luck in that 
part of the country. Now go to Yacoob-Khan, and 
tell him to give you a gold mohur (about 30s.) for 
yourself and the gang to make merry with, but take 
care none of you get into trouble ; for if any of you 
find your way into cholcee (quod) and are brought 
up before the gora sahib, (white gentleman, a name 
often given to the European magistrate,) I shall ask 
him not to fine you, but to take the change out of 
your backs." 

" Me nebber want to see that gentleman till me 
goes to ' Jehanum,' " * exclaimed Chineah, as he 
withdrew, grinning and showing his teeth — " him 
no good." 

"Well, B ," said I, "I do not think we 

can do better than try the Bowani Jungle, for I 
anticipate good sport from Chineah's account of 
the country, which you may rely upon is correct, 
as he has been with me a long time, and I have 
never yet found him deceive me. I shall go at 
once to H , and ask him to forward my appli- 
cation for two months' leave of absence, and I will 
then ask the general to give me permission to start 
at once in anticipation of leave from army head- 
quarters." 

I found Major H , who was then command- 
ing the regiment, in conversation with old S 

of the Commissariat, and he consented at once 
to forward my application, at the same time tell- 

* Jehanum — " tbe infernal regions.'' 



140 THE HUNTING OxEOUNDS 

ing me that he had no doubt but that it would be 
granted. 

The next three days were devoted to preparations 
for my sporting campaign, which I shall describe for 
the benefit of the uninitiated. 

I had constructed, according to my own plan and 
fancy, what I should advise every Indian sportsman 
to possess — that is, a very comfortable teak-wood 
bullock-cart, on springs, and fitted up for travel- 
ling. Mine was seven feet long by four broad, 
and contained three large watertight boxes or 
compartments, to hold my kit and comestibles en 
route, with a fourth, copper-lined and fitted with a 
screw-top, which fastened with a lock, for my 
ammunition, besides a rack for eight guns. The 
wooden sides were about two feet and a half in 
height, and from them sprang six bamboo hoops, 
on which the white painted canvas top was ex- 
tended ; the whole of which gear was movable, 
and could be cleared away at a moment's notice. 
The bottom of the cart was slightly bevelled off 
round, caulked and sheathed with copper, so that, 
by taking out the linchpins and putting the wheels 
into the cart, my trap served me as a boat to 
transfer myself and goods across rivers otherwise 
impassable. When in cantonment I took out the 
pole and bullock-yoke, and fitted in a pair of 
shafts ; and although it was not a very light 
vehicle, an old Australian mare I had used to trot 
alonsr with it with ejreat ease. The whole length 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 141 

of the bottom of the cart was fitted with a hair 
mattress, and the sides were well padded, so that 
I managed, when travelling, to get along pretty 
comfortably. 

With posted bullocks I could generally average 
about four miles an hour; and as I halted only 
during the heat of the day, I managed to get over 
the ground pretty quickly for India. 

My battery, on which I prided myself very 
much, consisted of a brace of ten-gauge rifles by 
Purdey ; a double rifle and two smooth-bores eight- 
gauge by Westley Richards ; a double rifle by 
Burrows of Preston ; two fowling-pieces, sixteen- 
bore ; a Purday and a long Joe Manton, botli 
clipping shot-guns ; a long four-bore duck-gun by 
Fullard, (after a single discharge of which I have 
picked up seventeen duck and teal ;) and a German 
pea-rifle. 

A large Yankee backwoodsman's axe, a couple 
of bill-hooks, an adze, and other tools, were fitted 
against the side of my cart, so as to be ready at 
hand in case of a break-down, which is an event 
of frequent occurrence in Indian travelling. An 
obstreperous bullock or a careless driver is very 
liable to smash a pole or a yoke en route; and, 
in many parts of the country where game abounds, 
village smiths are difficult to be met with, and I 
have often been saved hours, and even days' delay, 
by having the means of repairing them at hand. 

A well-supplied medicine-chest, in which the qui- 



142 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

nine bottle loomed very large, was carefully stowed 
away in one of the compartments — a very necessary 
precaution in a country where disease makes such 
rapid progress. Besides having often found this 
chest extremely useful, the mere fact of having it 
with me inspired my people with confidence, and 
overcame their fear of the malaria of the dense 
jungle. 

My supplies consisted chiefly of tea, coffee, sugar, 
spices, curry stuff, brandy, tobacco, biscuits, and 
kiln-dried flour, (country flour will not keep.) As 
bread soon gets dry and spoils in a hot climate, I 
used to prepare a kind of rusk for travelling, by 
cutting up loaves in small pieces, and having them 
baked until they became of a light brown colour. 
Prepared in this way, if they are carefully kept in 
tin cases, they remain fresh and palatable for many 
weeks, and are a great improvement upon Indian 
biscuits for breakfast. 

My boy was very clever in preparing chapaties or 
hoppers, which are a kind of girdle-cake baked on 
an iron plate, and generally made of rice-flour. The 
materials being always to be procured, even in the 
smallest village, these cakes are much used in India 
as a substitute for bread. 

My time for three days was occupied in preparing 
for the trip, hiring coolies, and superintending the 
casting of bullets for my different guns. In case of 
meeting with elephants I had some brass bullets 
cast, besides others, which I now infinitely prefer, 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 1 iV> 

made of a mixture of lead and zinc. Bullets of this 
material are much heavier than if they were made 
of brass, and are sufficiently hard for any purpose. 
I generally put in one-third of zinc to two of lead ; 
and often, when I could not get zinc, I have used tin 
in the same proportion, which I found equally good. 

For my large smooth-bores I used round balls, 
and generally put a couple in my second barrel ; 
for, although I have frequently heard people anim- 
advert upon this practice as dangerous, I never 
found any evil effects resulting from it : nor are the 
guns shaken, although I have used them upwards 
of a dozen years, generally firing from four to five 
drachms of powder. For close shooting (when I have 
a gun by a maker whom I can depend upon) I pre- 
fer to have a brace of balls in my second barrel ; 
and although I do not advocate this as a principle, I 
have found it more effectual in stopping the charge 
of an infuriated wounded animal. 

I may, however, observe that I go to a good gun- 
maker, pay a fair price, and see that I get a first- 
class article for my money. I have always found it 
cheaper in the end to have a first-class arm, and I 
think that success in the field often depends upon 
the degree of confidence which is placed in the guns. 

Having given some account of my shooting-cart 
and battery, I shall go on to describe the rest of my 
equipment, as perhaps a few wrinkles on the proper 
dress for a sportsman might be useful to young 
hands. 



144 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

The first great rule to be observed is to have all 
your dress as nearly as possible of the same colour 
as the general aspect of the country you are going 
to shoot over. Thus, when you are deer-stalking 
or tracking large game in woods before the leaf has 
fallen, green is the best colour ; when the trees are 
bare, dark brown — the colour of the trunk and 
branches ; are you after antelope on the plain or ibex 
among the rocks, drab is the best colour. Should 
you be waging war against the grisly bear or ibex 
in the snow, you would be able to get much nearer 
to your game unobserved if you, as I have done, 
wore a shirt outside. Even in duck-shooting on the 
coast of England, in winter, you stand a much bet- 
ter chance of making a heavy bag if you follow this 
plan of dressing. 

The second rule is, having all your clothes made 
to fit well. The most convenient costume for large- 
game shooting is a long jacket, reaching a little over 
the hips, with pockets outside, and sleeves like a 
shirt, fastening at the wrist with a couple of buttons. 
It should be loosely made, so as to allow the greatest 
ease and freedom to the limbs. A long waistcoat, 
with pockets, and breeches fitting loosely over the 
knee but rather tightly over the calf. 

The gaiters, which I like to fasten with leather 
buttons down the outside, should fit tightly to the 
leg and well over the boots. The best material to 
have them made from is corduroy, fustian, or mole- 
skin, when you cannot get properly dressed deerskin. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 145 

1 always found laced-up ankle-boots of deerskin 
the most comfortable wear for bard fagging, and I 
prefer substantial single soles, double ones being too 
heavy to run in. 

A leather hunting-cap is the best protection to 
the head for large-game shooting in tlie jungles of 
India, and I prefer to have peaks both before and 
behind, as the one saves the eyes and face from 
thorns, and the other prevents anything from falling 
down the back of your neck. In jungles where the 
tree-leech abounds this is a great consideration, for 
those animals often drop from the branches as you 
shake them in passing and alight upon your person, 
when they seem all to make for the back of your 
neck by instinct. When in such jungles it is abso- 
lutely necessary to wear leech-gaiters, or long closely- 
woven cotton stockings, over your socks, (which 
should be of lambswool,) under your boots and 
gaiters, and over your breeches, as far as they will 
go. Even with this safeguard I have sometimes 
found my boots and stockings drenched with blood 
in the evening, though I could not ascertain how 
they got in. 

I found velveteen, corduroy, or moleskin, the most 
comfortable for wear whilst out after large game, 
and I had entire suits made of different colours, so 
as to suit the ground I was going to shoot over. 

Eound my waist I always wore a stout, broad 
leather-belt, with an iron ring substantially fastened 
at the back, to which I could fasten a strong silk 

K 



1 tC THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

cord. This I found of great use as a safeguard in 
case of having to descend any steep slope or narrow 
ledge of rock when in the pursuit of game. 

In my belt I carried a small double-barrelled 
pistol, (a revolver would have been preferable,) a 
double field-glass, a small-pouch for ammunition, a 
leather case containing flint, steel, and tinder, and a 
straight double-edged hunting-knife, which, with the 
glass and pistol, had small rings attached, so as to 
enable me to fasten them by thin cords to my belt, 
to prevent their being lost. 

In my pocket I carried a pricker, a nipple wrench, 
turnscrew, spare nipples, and a little instrument for 
filling the nipples with fresh powder. 

Chineah, my head shekarry, carried a telescope, 
by Dollond, and a brandy flask slung over his 
shoulders, a shekar knife, and small axe in his belt, 
and my favourite rifle, with its ammunition. Be- 
sides which, he always managed to stow away for 
me a pair of clean socks, which I found a great 
luxury after a severe fag. 

Googooloo, who was my best tracker, always kept 
at my heels, with ray second gun, and carried in his 
belt a knife, a bill-hook for cutting the way through 
thick jungle, and a few rounds of ammunition. 

jMootoo, (short for Choury Moottoo,) Veerapah, 
Narinah, and Rungasawmy, trackers, each carried a 
spare gun with its ammunition, and a knife with a 
saw, bill-hook, or axe in his belt. 

Ramasawmy (a preparer of skins) carried a large 



OF THE OLD WORLD- 147 

backwoodsman's axe, as well as the implements of 
his profession, and Perriatumbee, who usually went 
by the abbreviation of " the Gooroo," on account of 
his havincr some pretensions to priestcraft, carried a 
large leather " musliuk" or skin containing water. 

To Naga, the Mulliary whom Chineah had en- 
listed in his late reconnaissance, I entrusted a gun, 
and furnished him with the bill-hook and short 
spear, with which weapons all my people were armed, 
as they served not only as a protection, in case any 
of them were detached, but also as a kind of badge 
which showed they belonged to the shekar gang. 
Besides my own regular shekarries, I engaged four 
coolies to carry my traps through jungle-paths where 
carts or ponies could not go. 

I had given orders to my head servant to see that 
every man was provided with a new pair of " chup- 
ples" or sandals, a dark " langooty" or waist-cloth, 
and a " combley jule" or country blanket, made of 
coarse wool, as I could not afford to have any of 
them laid up with sore feet or illness ; and the day 
before they were to start I had an inspection parade, 
at which each man appeared in his new tog, equipped 
for the road. 

B did the same with his followers, and we 

had our tents pitched, our horses and dogs picketed, 
and our coolies, baggage-ponies, and bullocks ex- 
amined, so that we might be certain that nothing 
requisite was left behind, and everything in order. 

We had a large double tent for ourselves, whilst 



148 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

en route, fitted with cuscus-grass tatties, a liill-tent 
and a bachoba (a tent without pole) for jungle work, 
two bell-tents for our people, and a large " shamiana" 
or canvas screen, to sling between trees or fasten on 
poles, so as to shelter our horses from the intense 
heat of the midday sun. 

My stud consisted of two Arabs, (first-rate horses 
for cross country after hog,) " Gooty," a Mahratta 
shooting- pony, who could do everything but speak, 
and an Australian mare, which I generally rode on 
the march, and sometimes, when the road was good, 

drove in the cart. B had two horses and two 

ponies, and we had besides hired four baggage-tat- 
toos and four carriage-bullocks for our tents and 
baggage. 

My servants, who were almost all Mussulmans, 
consisted of Yacoob Khan, my head man, " Five 
Minutes," my cook, Hassan, a hooka-badar, Cassim 
Bey, and Lall Khan, two youngsters who waited at 
table and helped me to dress, a waterman, a tent- 
Lascar, four " syces" or grooms, four grass-cutters, 
two dog-boys, and two soldiers, who, in cantonment, 
were supposed to keep my regimentals in order, but 
when on a shekar expedition made themselves gene- 
rally useful. 

B 's followers numbered more than a dozen, 

so that altogether the gang, our servants, coolies, 
and camp-followers, amounted to about forty indi- 
viduals. 

They all paraded in marching trim, to receive a 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 140 

small advance of pay to be left with their families, 
and I gave them a trifle to be expended in making 
caste ceremonies, and offering Poojahs to their fa- 
vourite deities, so that each might propitiate his 
Savvmy for good luck on the expedition. 

The Gooroo rendered himself very conspicuous by 
killing a sheep in front on an image of Cajasoura- 
mardanam, (the god of Hunting,) who is represented 
with four arms, having a lance in two hands and 
curious reptiles in the others, clad in a tiger's skin, 
and seated upon that of an elephant. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE SHEVEROYS. 

Departure of the gang. — Our start. — The journey. — Salena.— 
The Sheveroy hills, and our reception. — Anglo-Indian hospi- 
tality. — Claret cup. — News of bison and bears. — Googooloo 
on trail. — We follow. — A bull-bison lost. — The news of bears 
confirmed. — Their habits described. 

All were in good spirits, and it would have been a 
curious sight for a stranger from Europe to have 
witnessed the departure of our party as they filed 
through the gateway in front of my bungalow, sing- 
ing an extemporary song descriptive of the great 
sporting feats they were going to perform. 

First came our eight horses in their head-stalls 
and jules, (stable - clothing,) with their saddles 
loosely girthed, each led by his respective syce or 
groom and followed by the grass-cutter, who carried 
the head and heel ropes, gram, (a kind of bean,) 
and cooking-pots, &c. Then came my two dog- 
boys, one with a couple of Anglo-Persian grey- 
hounds, and the other with four huge creatures of 
the Poligar breed, famous animals to lay after a 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 151 

wounded deer, or to bring a bear or hog to bay. 
These were followed by the gang, with Chineah at 
their head, each carrying a gun or rifle and short 

spear, and numbering with B 's followers close 

upon a dozen strong and wiry fellows, fit for any 
kind of work. Baggage - ponies, bullocks, and 
coolies, laden with tents, boxes, &c., with a troop 
of servants and hangers-on, brought up the rear. 

Our people were all going on three marches in 
advance to the village of Tottcyum, (about thirty- 
five miles from Trichy, on the Salem road,) where 
they were to await our arrival, as, our leave not 
having yet appeared in orders, we were unable to 
quit cantonments until the next day. Tlie police 
authorities had been previously warned to have 
carriage-bullocks posted for us every five or six 
miles, as we determined to lose no tinae on the 
road. The next day being the 1st of May, we 
attended a muster parade, and, after paying a few 
visits P.P.C. to the ladies of our acquaintance, and 
biddino; adieu to some " of the kindliest men who 
ever drew sword," at about 3 p.m. we attired our- 
selves in the light and airy costume of muslin 
shirts, silk long- drawers, and slippers, and stepping 
into my cart, in a few moments we were rolling 
alonor at the rate of five or six miles an hour on 
the northern road leading to Salem. 

For some time we amused ourselves by chaf- 
fing and poking fun at the wayfarers, particu- 
larly with some pilgrims who were carrying two 



152 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

encased chatties (earthen pots) of Ganges water* 
which we taxed them with having taken from 
some tank on the road, and which at last they 
avowed. 

When it grew dark we lighted our lamp, and 
chess and 4carU served to pass away the time until 
we grew sleepy, when we rolled ourselves in the 
coverlids, and were soon in the arms of Mor- 
pheus. 

About 2 A.M. we were awoke by the flashing of 
torches and the sound of voices, and found our- 
selves halted in front of the Travellers' Bungalow 
at Totteyum, surrounded by our people, who had 
arrived the evening before. After hastily swallow- 
ing a cup of coffeo-, and lighting cheroots, fresh 
bullocks were yoked, and we were soon again en 
route, surrounded by the gang, our tents and bag- 
gage having gone on before. 

At about 8 A.M. we arrived at the Travellers' 
Bungalow of Namkul, (distance twenty miles,) 
where we found our servants, a bath, and breakfast 
awaiting us. After having arranged these pre- 
liminaries to our satisfaction, we strolled out with 
our guns, shot a few teal and snipe under the bund 
or embankment of a tank, and visited a fine old 
hill-fort, which is close to the town, and which was 
built by the inhabitants in former years as a refuge 

* The water of the Ganges, being considered holy, is much 
used by the Hindoos in the performance of their " caste cere- 
monies," and is an article of commerce in the south of India. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 153 

against the Mahratta hordes and other predatory 
bands which then ravaged the country. 

As our people had not yet got quite into march- 
ing trim, we slept at Namkul, starting the next 
morning for Moonoo-Choudy, distance fifteen miles, 
where we remained during the heat of the day, 
going on in the cool of the evening to Malloor, 
distance eleven miles, in which place we passed the 
night, and rode into Salem the following morning, 
putting up with Captain S , who was command- 
ing the detachment of native veterans which garri- 
soned the station. 

After breakfast we visited the shop of the cele- 
brated Arnatchellum, whose well-balanced boar- 
spears, axes, and hunting - knives are renowned 
throughout India for the temper of the steel and 
the superior finish of the workmanship. He 
charges European prices for everything, and I found 
him as overreaching a rogue as any other nigger. 

Salem, though a large and densely -populated 
town, possesses very few attractions, and as the 
weather was fearfully hot, and cholera was carry- 
ing off great numbers of natives daily, I did not 
care about exposing my people to it more than 
necessary, so I sent them off at once with the bag- 
gage to Bowani, there to await our arrival. 

I kept "Five Minutes," Googooloo, a couple of 
servants, and the pony with me, together with one 

of B 's hor«es and the cart, and directed 

Chineah and the rest of the gang to try and gain 



154 THE flUNTING GROUNDS 

all the information they could about the country 
round about Bowani, 

As soon as we had seen them eii route we made 
preparations for ascending the Sheveroy HUls, which 
rise from the plains about five miles to the northward 
of the town of Salem, and are about six thousand 
feet above the level of the sea. 

The magistrates, judges, and collectors reside 
here during the greater part of the year, and we 
were fortunate enough to be able to engage a fur- 
nished bungalow belonging to Mr B , a coffee- 
planter, where we resolved to stay for a few days, 
as B had been ailing, on account of the exces- 
sive heat. 

A short time before sunset we began to ascend 
the ghaut, (pass,) by a rather steep winding road 
cut through the jungle, so that it was almost dark 
by the time we got to the top. The air was de- 
lightfully cool, and we appeared to inhale quite 
a different atmosphere to that we had lately left 
in the low country. We found a very comfort- 
able bungalow prepared for us, and, being rather 
tired, we turned in early, and enjoyed a most re- 
freshing night's rest, the first we had had for some 
time, as in the very hot weather, unless the 
" punkah " (fan) is kept going over the bed un- 
ceasingly, but little sleep is obtainable — one tosses 
about from side to side all night, and gets up in the 
morning exhausted, and overcome with lassitude and 
languor. 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 155 

I rose quite a new man the next morning, and 

finding B still asleep, strolled out into the 

garden to enjoy the fresh air, which was mild and 
cool, as on a ]\Iay-day in England. 

The cottage we occupied is built on a little hill 
or knoll, and surrounded by beautifully kept coffee- 
plantations. The sides and roof were literally 
covered with odoriferous creepers, among which I 
noticed the woodbine, honeysuckle, jessamine, pas- 
sion-flower, and a tall climbing fuchsia with very 
large scarlet bloom. Flowers which I never saw in 
the low country appeared to grow indigenous. I 
noticed the primroses, violets, and crocus in the 
parterres round the house, besides lilies, roses, and 
geraniums, of all kinds and colours. The kitchen- 
garden was full of European vegetables, and the 
cabbages, cauliflowers, turnips, carrots, lettuces, 
peas, artichokes, radishes, and mustard and cress 
forcibly recalled to mind my boyhood's home in Old 
England, 

B joined me in the garden, and we were 

engaged in gathering the materials for a salad for 
breakfast (which in India is considered a great 
luxury) when we heard the clattering of horses' 
hoofs on the road, and almost immediately two 

coflee-planters, D and B , rode up to the 

cottage-door, and introduced themselves. 

In no part of the world, and I have travelled 
over a good deal of it, have I met with that free 
courtesy and affable urbanity which is invariably 



1 56 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

to be found amon.i^ the British residents in India. 
A stranger passing through the country meets 
with the most generous and open-handed hospi- 
tality wherever he goes, and the supposed charac- 
teristics of an Englishman — " stiffness and cold 
hauteur of manner " — are rarely to be met with in 
the East. On the arrival of a stranger at an up- 
country station, it is the custom for all the residents 
(whatever may be their rank) to call upon him ; 
hence arises that kind and friendly intercourse 
which exists everywhere in Anglo-Indian society, 
and is rarely to be met with elsewhere. 

" We heard you had come up," said D , a 

fine specimen of an open-hearted, good-tempered 
Englishman, " and not knowing whether you had 
thought of laying in a supply of provisions from 
the low country, as you can procure nothing here, 
I have taken the liberty of bringing you half a sheep 
of my own breeding, a few fattened fowls and ducks, 
some eggs and cream, a leash of hares, and a few 
brace of partridges, which ought to eat tender, as 
they were killed nearly a week ago." 

"Thanks old fellow!" said B . "They 

will indeed prove a treat, for we have been obliged 
to eat mutton and fowls almost immediately after 
they have been killed, lately, as nothing will keep 
throughout the day in the low country this 
weather. Here, Harry, do you concoct for us 
one of your insinuating 'claret cups,' whilst I 
see ' Five Minutes ' about the breakfast, for I think 



OF THE OLD WORLD. ]57 

we shall be six, as I expect R the collector, 

and the sub-judge, their horse-keepers having ah-eady 
arrived." 

Whilst he was speaking they rode up, and in a 
few moments we were all sitting in the porch dis- 
cussing the brew ; which was so highly approved 
of by all parties that I will give the recipe, for the 
benefit of my readers, as it was prepared by the 
factotum of the late Brigadier of Hydrabad, Arab 
Mac, (a celebrated old Indian general, of great 
racing and sporting notoriety,) who gloried in 
having the finest stud and the best kitchen in 
India : — " To a bottle of claret add three wine- 
glasses of cognac, a couple of large tablespoons of 
sugar, the rind of a lime cut thin, a dozen cloves, 
the seeds of three cardamum-pods, a quarter of a 
nutmeg, one green chili, a small sprig of burrage, 
a dozen leaves of mint, and a threatening of lime- 
juice, or, what is perhaps better, a lime cut into 
thin slices. Let it stand for twenty minutes, and 
then add three bottles of cooled soda-water, stirring 
it up well, and serving it out with a ladel whilst in 
a state of effervescence." 

After breakfast, at which sundry shekar projects 

were discussed, D and I rode out to a Mul- 

liarry village, followed by our horse-keepers and 
Googooloo carrying guns, in order to hold a con- 
sultation with two men who were said to know the 
country well. 

On the road I shot a brace of spur-fowl and a 



158 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

hare weighing nearly ten pounds — almost twice the 
size of the ordinary Indian species, which rarely 
averages more than six. I also enjoyed the wild 
raspberries, which grew in the woods in great 
abundance. 

On arriving at the village we soon found the men 
we were looking for, and learnt that bison had been 
seen the day before in the jungle on the side of the 
hills. I accordingly sent Googooloo and one of the 
Mulliarries to follow their trail, and find out if they 
were there still ; and accompanied by the other, we 
went to a second village, where a man resided who 
knew some hill full of caves which were inhabited 
by several bears. 

From the account he gave, we determined to try 
our chance the day after ; and after having waited 
some time for Googooloo, who did not make his ap- 
pearance, we returned to our cottage. 

Whilst we were at dinner he came in and told me 
that he had tracked a herd of fine bison (a bull and 
four cows) to a small detached hill, a short distance 
from the foot of the Sheveroys, where he came up to 
them whilst they were feeding, and, after watching 
them for some time, he retired without disturbing 
them. 

As this was not very far from the place where the 

bears were said to be, B , D , and myself 

agreed to start early the following morning to try 
and beat the bison out. The collector sent some of 
his " peons " (police) to prepare beaters, and D 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 159 

sent down a small tent to a village where we in- 
tended to sleep the following night. 

The next morning we started at daybreak ; de- 
scended the ghaut, and wound round the base of 
the Sheveroys for a distance of nearly seven miles, 
when Googooloo pointed us out the place where 
he had come up with the bison. Had I been 
alone, I should undoubtedly have preferred to try 
stalking rather than beating, but with three (and 
one a green hand, D ) it was out of the ques- 
tion. 

We found the peons had collected about forty 
Coollies and villagers, whom I sent with Googooloo 
to the further side of the hill, as I felt convinced 
the herd, if it was still there, would endeavour to 
make for the thick jungle on the sides of the She- 
veroys. 

There were two likely-looking places for the bison 

to break, at one of which B posted himself, and 

D and myself took the other. Both places were 

by a broad stony watercourse that wound along the 
valley which separated the hill where the bison were 
said to be, from the Sheveroy range, and the herd 
would have to cross it in order to gain the opposite 
jungle. 

D was very anxious to kill a bison, and I 

promised to give him the shot should the herd 
break into the open near us. He annoyed me very 
much, however, by his fidgety movements, for he 
could not sit quiet a moment, and kept handling 



160 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

the lock of an old rifle, until I made up my mind 
that he would either shoot me or some of the half- 
a-dozen people whom, in spite of my remonstrance, 
he would have sitting near us, to my intense dis- 
gust ; for my olfactory organs received a shock they 
did not get over for some time, from the offensive 
smell that was emitted by the exhalation from their 
bodies, the cocoa-nut oil in their hair, and the garlic 
and sour rice they had been eating. 

At last the bison broke, and a fine bull came 
tearing down right in front of us, and, when about 

twenty paces distant, D put up his piece ; but 

being an old and unserviceable piece of goods, it 
snicked, and away went the quarry in the thick 
jungle on the other side the watercourse. 

I caught a glimpse of his hinder quarters as he 
was tearing along the rising ground on the opposite 
side of the ravine, and I let drive with my rifle, 
hoping to stop him by a chance shot. I heard the 
" thud " of the ball as it struck him, and doubled 
liim up for the moment, but he was not hit in a 
vital place, and I heard him bellowing as he tore 
through the dense jungle that covers the sides of 
the hills. 

Both D and I tracked him for some dis- 
tance, and in some places large gouts of blood were 
visible ; but on coming to a watercourse, which bore 
the marks of his having cleared at a bound, I gave 

over the pursuit, and went in search of B , 

whom we heard fire a double shot. We found him 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 161 

taking out the offal of a doe spotted-deer he had 
killed, and preparing it for carriage. He had seen 
three bison break, but they were out of range of his 
rifle. 

The beaters now made their appearance, and, 
slinging the deer on long poles, which they carried 
over their shoulders, took it to the place where we 
had left our horses. I chose a dozen of the most 
intelligent-looking of the number to accompany us, 
and dismissed the rest with a bucksheesh, telling 
them they would be well paid if they brought us 
news of large game. Then mounting our horses, we 
rode off to the village where our tent had been sent, 
which was about six miles further, and found "Five 
Minutes " anxiously expecting our arrival, dinner 
being nearly ready. 

We had a most refreshing bathe in a tank, on the 
bund or stone embankment of which our tent was 
pitched, under the shade of a beautiful banian-tree, 
and afterwards did ample justice to his entertain- 
ment. Poor D was in a dreadful way about 

his old piece, and I spared him the roasting I had 
fully intended to have given him for the nervous 
agitation he had shown whilst waiting for the bison 
to break. 

After dinner was over I sent for the head man of 
the village, and told him our intention of setting 
out very early the next morning after bears, and 
we were agreeably surprised to find he had already 

L 



162 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS, ETC. 

prepared people who knew their haunts to accom- 
pany us. 

We assembled all our people in a circle, distri- 
buted the usual allowance of grog and tobacco, and 
afterwards heard all they had to say about the game 
to be found in the country, and the most effective 
manner of pursuing it. After I heard all their 
opinions, I made up my mind to start an hour 
before the first appearance of dawn for the hill 
where the bears were said to be, which was about a 
coss, or two miles, from the village, and to await 
their returning to their caves ; as in this part of 
the country, during the hot weather, bears roam 
about the jungle in search of food all the night and 
return to their caves in the morning, where they 
remain during the intense heat of the day, issuing 
forth again at sunset. They live chiefly upon the 
wild fruits of the jungle and white ants, which 
latter insect they devour in thousands, by scraping 
a hole with their claws, and sucking them out of 
their nests. They are also passionately fond of 
honey, and show themselves wonderfully sharp in 
finding out wild bees' nests, climbing lofty trees in 
search of them. 



CHAPTER XI. 

BEAE-HUNTING, 

We start for the Bear Hill. — The reconnaissance. — Bears afoot. 
— Their strongholds invested. — A foraging party surprised. — 
Two bears die. — Three more afoot. — Another couple yield 
their spoils. — Desperate encounter with an enraged vixen, 
who almost proved a Tartar. — " The Old Shekarry " in a fix 
for a time, but wins the game at last. — The bag of the day. — 
The return. 

The next morning we are all up and equipped for 
sport by 2 A.M., and, after a substantial feed, started 
for the Bear Hill on foot, as the villagers said the 
route was difficult for horses. 

At this season of the year the night is not at any 
time dark, and we managed to get along very well 
in Indian file, although the path was very narrow, 
and in some places we had to crawl along on our 
hands and knees. We arrived at the foot of the 
hill some time before sunrise, and here I halted the 
party, which numbered about twenty coolies and 

villagers, and telling B to prevent any of them 

from straying, and to keep as quiet as possible, I 
went forward to reconnoitre, accompanied by Goo- 



164 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

gooloo, the Mulliarry, and two villagers who knew 
the bears' caves. 

Although the hill was not more than 800 feet in 
height it was very steep, and the ascent was the 
more difficult on account of numberless rocky crags 
which were entwined with thick bush. At last we 
managed to climb up the dry bed of a watercourse, 
in which we noticed the fresh traces of bears in 
many places, and after a good deal of scrambling 
and climbing up ledges of rock, we arrived at the 
summit, which was a small table-land covered with 
tufts of coarse grass and large boulders of rock. 

As we were going along Googooloo suddenly 
stopped, gave his usual grunt to attract attention, 
and tapping me on the shoulder, pointed me out 
two bears at the foot of the hill. With the aid of 
my glass I could see they were very busily engaged 
in digging up the earth ; so, setting the Mulliarry 
to watch their movements, I went on to the caves, 
and, after a careful examination, found seven en- 
trances, five of which bore marks of being inhabited 
by bears. 

I sent one of the villagers and Googooloo to bring 
up the rest of the party as quietly as possible, so as 
not to disturb the game we knew was afoot, and by 
the time they arrived, I and the other villagers had 
managed to block up the two smallest entrances 
(which did not seem to have been frequented of 
late) with stones and pieces of rock. 

I posted B on a rock which commanded the 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 165 

two entrances of the largest cave, and D by 

another. The other two I guarded by some of the 
villagers wiio were armed with matclilocks, and I 
despatched half-a-dozen others to different elevated 
peaks, from which they could survey all the sur- 
rounding country. 

When all were in their places I went with Goo- 
gooloo to the MuUiarry, who was watching the two 
bears, and he pointed them out to me in the same 
place we had first seen them. 

Accompanied by Googooloo, carrying my second 
gun, (an eight smooth-bore,) I stole down the hill 
as gently as I could, making for a large rock which 
appeared to me to be within a short distance of the 
place where I had seen the bears. 

I was some time before I could make my way to 
it, as the bush and underwood were thick, and we 
had to make our way through dense masses of en- 
tangled creepers. At last we gained the rock, and 
Googooloo's quick eye soon discovered our friends 
still hard at work scraping up the earth of the ant- 
hill. 

We stole gently up, seeking the cover of rocks 
and bushes, until I got within fifteen paces of them, 
still undiscovered. Watching their movements until 
I got a fair opportunity, I planted a rifle-ball be- 
hind the shoulder of one, which rolled over and 
over on the ground in the agonies of death, and 
then gave the other the contents of my second 
barrel, which took effect about the small ribs. 



166 The hunting grounds 

tumbling her over for the moment. She, however, 
soon got up again, raised herself on her haunches, 
uttering a peculiarly melancholy cry, and looked 
round in a most woe-begone manner. This posi- 
tion oflFered me a splendid shot, and I finished her 
career with a ball from my second gun. 

Having ascertained that both were dead, Googoo- 
loo climbed a large tree that was near, and fastened 
the Mulliarry's turban-cloth, like a streamer, to one 
of the highest branches, in order to serve as a land- 
mark for the coolies when they came to collect the 
game. He also cut off a claw from the right fore- 
paw of each bear, so as to mark it as mine, a pre- 
caution the gang always took, in consequence of an 
individual having obtained a deer which I had un- 
doubtedly shot at a battue some time previously, 
and, to the intense disgust of all my people, allowed 
him to appropriate and carry off. 

As we were leisurely returning up the water- 
course towards the caves where B and D 

were posted, I heard a rolling of stones and a 
curious grunting noise close behind us. I jumped 
on a large boulder of rock, and saw three bears 
making their way slowly up the watercourse in the 
same direction we were going. I immediately made 
signs to Googooloo and the Mulliarry to hide, and I 
crouched behind the rock until they were past, as I 
wished my friends to get a shot, and they were 
evidently bound their way. 

These three had hardly passed when Googooloo 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 1 G7 

pointed me out two others making their way up the 
hill by the same route. Standing behind a rock so 
as not to alarm them, I let drive right and left as 
they passed within a few paces of me. • They were 
both badly hit behind the shoulder, and each must 
have imagined the other was the cause of his injury, 
for with a ferocious noise they immediately attacked 
each other, and closing in a hug, rolled down the 
hill some short distance. I followed with my 
second gun, and found one dead and the other 
leaning over him in a very deplorable condition. He 
was too far gone to take any notice of my approach, 
although he continued to make a fearful moaning, 
which I put a stop to by giving him a quietus in 
the shape of a pill behind the ear, which finished 
his career. 

I had just commenced reloading, when I heard a 
loud straggling volley from the top of the hill where 
my friends were posted, and almost immediately it 
was followed by a shriek from the Mulliarry, whom 
I saw make a spring into the jungle just in time to 
avoid the charge of a huge female bear who came 
rushing down the watercourse in a most ferocious 
manner. I was directly in her path, and with a 
roar she made right at me ; I let drive at her head 
with my only barrel that had not been discharged, 
but it failed to stop her, and she had knocked me 
down and w^as on me in the twinkling of an eye. 

The slope of the hill was steep, and we both of 
us rolled over and over several times ; I was almost 



1(58 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

breathless, when Googooloo rushed on her with his 
bill-hook and endeavoured to attract her attention. 
Luckily she could not bite at all, as my shot had 
smashed her snout and lower jaw to pieces ; but 
she kept me locked in her embrace, and squeezed 
me more roughly than aflfectionately. 

My head was well protected with a bison-skin 
cap ; and getting a tight grasp of her fur on each 
side, with my arms underneath hers, so that she 
could not do me much injury with her claws, I 
regularly wrestled with her for some time ; and 
although I brought my science to play, and threw 
her on her back several times " by giving her the 
leg," she never let go her hug, and I was almost 
suffocated with the quantity of blood and froth that 
came from her wound and covered my face, beard, 
and chest, 

Googooloo made frantic hits at her from time to 
time with his bill-hook, (the only weapon he had, 

having lent T> his knife,) but I ordered him to 

desist, as his blows did not appear to do the bear 
much harm, and I was afraid of catching one. At 
last Bruin appeared to be getting weaker, and I saw 
her wounds and loss of blood were telling; and 
after a little trouble I managed to draw my knife, 
and drove it up to the hilt in her body under the 
armpits. She gave me an ugly hug, and fell over 
on her side, pulling me with her. It was her last 
efifort, and I picked myself up quite out of puff, but 
not much injured, having only received a slight 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 169 

claw on the loins and another ratlier more severe 
on the instep. I drew my pistol, which I could 
not manage to get at before, to give her a settler, 
but it was not required — the game was over, my 
antagonist was dead. 

Being covered with blood and dust from head to 
foot, I must have presented a comical appearance 

to B and D , who came rushing down in 

pursuit of the bear, which D had slightly 

wounded before she fell in with me. They had 
met the Mulliarry en route, who said that he had 
seen me killed ; and no sooner did Googooloo get 
sight of this individual, than he sprang on him like 
a tiger for his cowardice in running away, and we 
had some difficulty to prevent him from strangling 
him and in releasing him from his clutches. 

One of the coolies brought me the water-skin, 
and I washed the blood away from my person and 
threw off a part of my soiled clothes. I then tore 
off a part of my shirt and bandaged up my loins 
and foot, which latter bled considerably, and was 
very painful when I walked, as the claws had pene- 
trated gaiter, boot, and stocking, entering the flesh 
to the depth of half an inch. Having arranged 
matters as I best could, I managed to scramble up 
the hill, though I had some difiiculty in doing so, 
as the back of my head and my arms, shoulders, 
and knees were considerably bruised ; and I felt 
rather shaken and tired after my encounter. 

When I arrived at the caves I found B had 



170 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

killed the two bears, and D had caught a 

young one alive. We remained there about half an 
hour longer, when another female and two half- 
grown cubs came rolling along, all of whom bit the 

dust before our united volley. D also went 

after two others which were seen coming up the 
hill, but were deterred from coming near the caves, 
having taken alarm at the firing. He killed one 
and severely wounded the other, but somehow or 
another managed to lose it. 

The sun had now risen high above the horizon ; 
the breeze had died away, and not a breath of air 
was stirring ; a mirage was seen spread over the 
plain, out of which the wooded hills rose like dis- 
tant islands. The sultriness was getting more and 
more oppressive, and it was piping hot before our 
coolies had managed to collect the game at the foot 
of the hill, which consisted of four male bears, five 
females, two half-grown cubs, and a very young one 
caught alive. 

A number of village people, hearing of our sport, 
came to carry the game in ; and my servant 
thoughtfully brought my pony, which I was glad 
of, as my foot gave me considerable pain. 

I superintended the preparation of the skins, (as 
my own man who usually did that kind of work 
was with the gang at Bowani,) by seeing them 
stretched tightly and pegged down on the ground, 
exposed to the heat of the sun, whilst wood-ashes, 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 171 

cocoa-nut oil, hulde, (turmeric,) and arsenical soap 
were rubbed in. 

Finding myself rather stiff and sore from my 
bruises, I mounted my pony "Gooty" and rode 
back to our bungalow at the top of the Sheveroy 
Hill, where I arrived late in the evening, leaving 

B and D to continue their sport with the 

bears a few days longer, whilst I had my foot 
looked at by the doctor, and got fit for work 
asain. 



CHAPTER XII. 

BOWANI. 

Sankerrydroog. — An adventure with hyenas. — Eowani. — Alliga- 
tor-fishing.— We start for Andior.— " Gooty," my shooting 
pony : his pedigree and achievements. — Small-game shooting. 
— Antelope stalking. — Andior. — The monkeys and the Brah- 
mins. — Murrel-fishing. 

A FEW days after our encounter with the bears, I 

received a note from B telling me that he had 

heard of rare sport near Bowani, and begging me to 
join him at the public bungalow at Sankerrydroog, 
which is two marches from Salem, and about half- 
way between that place and Bowani. As the wound 
in my foot was not quite healed I borrowed a palan- 
quin from the collector, and starting the next even- 
ing at 4, arrived at Sankerrydroog at 6 a.m., dis- 
tance thirty-five miles, having stopped a couple of 
hours for refreshments at M'Donald's choultry. 

I found that the trophies of two bears and a fine 
buck spotted-deer had been taken during my ab- 
sence, and B informed me that a large cheeta 

had been seen prowling about the old hill-fort for 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 173 

some days previous, and that at last, after some 
trouble, it had been tracked (the evening before) by 
some of the villagers to a cave, half-way up the hill, 
and large stones had been placed at the entrance, so 
as to prevent its coming out. 

After breakfast we began to ascend the hill, B 

and D on foot, armed with rifles, and I mounted 

on my favourite little nag " Gooty," with a boar- 
spear and my famous dogs "Ali" and "Hassan," 
which were half Poligar, half bloodhound. We soon 
came to the entrance of the cave, which was about 
four feet in diameter, and, after a fruitless examin- 
ation for pugs and trails, some of the villagers who 
were with us pulled down the stones built up at the 

mouth, and D , B , and a massauljee with a 

couple of lighted torches entered, but were almost 
immediately obliged to return on account of the foul 
air and stench within. We then placed a bundle of 
straw inside, and set fire to it, hoping to drive the 
brute out with the smoke, but no good result was 
obtained, although B thought he heard a moan- 
ing kind of noise inside. We also fired off several 
rockets and crackers, which had the effect of dis- 
lodging some of the inhabitants, for hundreds of 
curious little four-eared bats came out. 

Finding that none of these annoyances would 
bring out the cheeta, I sent in my two dogs, and 
immediately knew that game was a-foot, as Ali gave 
tongue the moment he entered, and very shortly 
afterwards dismal howls and stransre rumbling noises 



174< THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

were heard issuing from the bowels of the earth, and 
I began to be alarmed for the dogs, when suddenly 

I heard a row, and saw my poor friend D (who 

in spite of my remonstrances would stand right in 
front of the mouth of the cave) knocked over on the 
broad of his back by a huge male hyena, whilst in 
the twinkling of an eye the female, a couple of cubs, 
and my two dogs passed over him as he lay almost 
helpless on the ground, and made the best of their 
way down the hUl and across some cultivated fields ; 

B let drive a couple of shots as they passed, and 

doubled up the female, and I descended the hill as 
well as I could, and after a burst of a few minutes, 
Gooty brought me alongside of the male, who was 
vainly struggling to get away from my two dogs, 
one of whom had hold of him by the ear, and the 
other on the opposite side by the throat. As I did 
not wish to run the chance of having either of them 
mauled or bitten, I drove my spear home between 
the shoulders, and finished the game, after which I 

went to look after poor D , whom I found much 

shaken with the fall, his chin and throat being con- 
siderably damaged by the claws of the brutes as they 
passed over him. 

We returned to the bungalow, convinced that the 
villagers had mistaken the hyena for a cheeta ; and 

after D had washed, and plastered up his face, 

we all three got into my bullock-cart, and arrived 
at Bowani soon after sunset, where we found Mother 
Garrow and her dusky train of dancing nymphs 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 175 

from the Pagoda awaiting our arrival at the public 
bungalow, which is very pleasantly situated on the 
ruins of an old fort, which, with a large and rather 
celebrated pagoda dedicated to the worship of the 
Goddess Bowani, (the deity of the Thugs,) is built at 
the sungum or conflux of the rivers Cauvery and 
Bowani. 

Chineah and the gang were delighted with the 
place, and described the Andior and Samungalum 
jungle as being alive with game of all kinds. 

The next morning we strolled along the banks of 
the river with our rifles, as Chineah had seen several 
alligators basking in the sun on a sandbank the day 
before ; and although we saw plenty of marks of 
their huge claws imprinted in the sand near the edge 
of the water, none were to be seen. 

In spite of Dr Johnson's reflections on anglers, I 
determined to try a piscatorial experiment, so I re- 
turned to the village, and got the " lobar " (black- 
smith) to forge two large barbed hooks on the ends 
of a couple of strong English dog-chains, which I 
made fast to the storm-ropes of my tent, attaching 
large logs of very light mangoe-wood as floats. I 
then got a village " chucklar," (shoemaker,) a Pariah 
of the lowest caste, to accompany me with a couple 
of young pigs, and my servant brought a quantity of 
raw mutton to serve as bait. Having made all my 
arrangements, I returned to the spot where I had 
left B and D , couched behind bushes wait- 
ing for the chance of a shot, and explained my in- 



176 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

tentions ; then passing the ropes over the forks of 
trees, so as to give me additional purchase, I baited 
my hooks and flung them into the river. The 
" chucklar" soon caught up my idea, and by chew- 
ing the end of the pigs' tails he elicited the most 
melodious music, which soon had the desired effect, 
and attracted the alligators to that part of the river. 
I threw several pieces of mutton into the stream, 
and in a very short time there were upwards of a 
dozen of these immense brutes splashing about and 
scrambling with each other for the meat. 

At last one of my floats gave a bob, (it was more 
than a nibble,) and then disappeared under water. 
My gang and a number of villagers seized the rope, 
and with some difficulty we hauled the brute to the 
bank of the river, when he began rolling about in 
the sand, trying to disgorge the bait, and knocking 
about with his tail, so that I began to be afraid he 
would cut the rope and escape, 

I ran down with my rifle, and with some difiSi- 
culty slipped a bowline knot over his head, and in 
a few moments the gang had fastened up his mouth 
with a roll of strong cord, and doubled his legs over 
his back, and in this manner he was dragged along 
in triumph. 

In less than two hours we had caught four more, 
the largest being a little over eleven feet in length. 
We afterwards let them loose on the plain, and, 
mounting our horses, killed them with our boar- 
spears, which entered the throat behind the shoulders 



OF THE OLD WOULD. ]77 

and the under parts of the body easily enougli ; 
and we found that a hardened rifle-ball would 
enter any part of the back or head, which have 
been stated to be shot-proof by some writers. In 
the eveniiifi: we had another nautch, which was 
prolonged until the " short hours/' when we distri- 
buted our " largess " to the votaries of Terpsichore 
and turned in. 

On the morrow we started for Andior en route 
for Combie Jungles, and as the distance was not 
much over twelve miles, and small game was said 
to be abundant, we determined to shoot our way, 
having our horses following in case any of us being 
tired. 

My little nag " Gooty " was a thoroughly broken 
shooting-pony, and, although the Earian system had 
not then come out, a perfect understanding existed 
between us : he would come at my call or whistle ; 
stand perfectly quiet when ordered ; allow me to fire 
from between his ears, without flinching ; would take 
the water like a duck ; was famous in a scrambhi 
across country ; had no fear, and could almost do 
everything but speak. He came into my hands in 
a strange way ; I was encamped outside the village 
of Nandeir, being en route from Hydrabad to See- 
tabuldee, and tired and overcome with lassitude, 
having ridden from Mudnoor, a distance of fifty- 
two miles, in the heat of the day ; I was lounging 
on a carpet stretched in front of my tent, enjoying 
the soothing fragrance of my hookah, and amusing 

M 



178 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

myself with talking to some handsome Mussiil- 
mauni damsels who constantly passed to and fro^ 
as they went to draw water from a ghaut on the 
Godavery river, when a venerable-looking old man 
with a huge silver beard rolling down his chest, 
and clad in a fakeer's or dervish's garb, came up 
leading a chestnut mare, and accosting me with the 
usual salutation, begged " Aallah ka nam se " (in 
the name of Allah) that I would assist him. He 
evidently took me to be one of the " Faithful," 
for besides speaking the language fluently, I wore 
a native dress, consisting of a muslin ungreka, 
embroidered silk long-drawers and turban, and 
my naturally dark complexion was considerably 
deepened by constant exposure to the sun. He 
told me that he had given up the world, i.e., his 
wives and family, and had devoted the remainder 
of his days to the service of Mohammed, but that 
lately " dark clouds had been hanging over' the 
garden of his fate, and the hlossoms of hope were 
almost withered." He was en route from Bore- 
gaum on the Wurdah river to Hydrabad, in order 
to be present at the Mohrum festival in that famous 
Mussulman capital, but he had been detained by 
illness on the road, his cash was nearly gone, and 
moreover, the back of his mare, which had been 
presented to him by the Oomraootee Nawab, on 
the occasion of his son's recovery from illness, was 
so galled that he could not ride her, and did not 
know how to proceed on his journey. 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 179 

His mare was a blood-looking little creature of 
the Mahratta caste, with a running sore on her 
withers nearly the size of the palm of my hand ; 
and although at the time I thought the wound was 
incurable, and she would never again be fit for 
work, I offered ten rupees for her, which the old 
man very gladly accepted. I had an old Arab syce 
who was famous for his knowledge of herbs, and 
under his care she got rapidly well, doing me good 
service for several years. " Gooty " was one of her 
progency by "Chunda lal," (the Eed Moon,) formerly 
the property of the late celebrated Dewan of the 
Deckan, of that name, a magnificent chestnut Arab 
of remarkably pure caste, well known in the Nizam's 
dominions as the winner of the great Moul Alii 
steeple-chase. 

Gooty proved a " chip of the old block," and 
commenced his career by carrying off the pony 
races, Galloway stakes, and hurdle-race (weight 
for inches) at Hydrabad, under the name of the 

" Red Rover," afterwards beating General "W 's 

celebrated black pony " D. I. 0." in two matches, 
and distinguishing himself at Bellary and Banga- 
lore, where he put a good many gold mohurs in 
the pocket of his master, ever proving a thorough 
good ou?. His greatest achievement was, how- 
ever, performed at Gooty (which name he has 
since borne,) where he carried his master safely 
up the steep rocky scarp of that celebrated hill- 
fort to the round-house on the extreme summit, 



180 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

and down again ; a feat wliicli, althougli it has 
often been attempted, was never accomplished in 
the memory of the oldest inhabitant, or of the old 
Nawab who had been confined there as a state- 
prisoner for upwards of five-and-twenty years. A 
gallant officer of the 4Stli had a brass plate fixed on 
a rock about half way up, to commemorate his hav- 
ing ridden a horse named " Firefly " up to that point. 
" Gooty," although he measured barely thirteen 
hands two inches, was famous in diflicult country, 
and would follow a boar con amove, doubling like 
a greyhound after a hare. " 3Iais revenons a nos 
moutons." We passed through a good deal of low 
brush jungle and rumnah grass, alive with small 
game ; for in less than four hours we were satiated 
with our sport, having killed three couj)le and a 
half of " fiorikin," (or lesser bustard,) the finest bird 
for the table in India, thirteen leash of hares, nine 
brace of gray partridge, and three of gray quail; and 
as the sun's rays were burning intensely powerful, 
and our beaters began to show unmistakable signs 
of distress, we adjourned to the shade of a widely- 
spreading peepul-tree, and were enjoying our "kieff," 
(a Turkish word signifying a state of dreamy exist- 
ence, when the body is motionless, all the senses 
are at rest, and the mind dormant,) and discussing 
cheroots and brandy-panee, when a villager who 
was passing by informed us that he had just seen 
a large herd of antelope on a " maidaun " or plain 
about two miles further on. 



OF THE OLD WOULD. 181 

We loaded our rifles, and after a few minutes' 
canter arrived at the plaee indicated, wliere we saw 
a lierd consisting of about sixty does and seven or 
eight bucks, which were easily distinguishable, on 
account of their long spiral horns and much darker 
colour. They caught sight of us almost immediately, 
and our sudden appearance caused some consterna- 
tion ; for the does collected in a body behind the 
bucks, who stood as if on sentry, carefully watching 
our movements, although we were at least six hun- 
dred yards distant. I saw at once that they were very 
wild, and that the utmost caution would be neces- 
sary in stalking so as to get within shot : we there- 
fore rode slowly away, until I could see by my field- 
glass that they had ceased to take any notice of us. 

I then directed B and D where to take 

post under cover of some bushes, whilst I under- 
took to stalk the leader, a fine black buck with a 
beautiful pair of antlers, and to draw the herd if 
possible towards their ambuscade. I divested my- 
self of my white pith hunting-cap, substituting a 
head-dress formed of creepers, and cutting a number 
of pliable twigs I interwove them into a kind of 
basketwork screen, in which I fastened green 
boughs, so as to make it resemble a bush as much 
as possible, leaving an opening through which I could 
point my rifle. When this was completed I sallied 
forth, taking care to get to leeward, and seeking 
any cover I could find, either behind bushes or from 
any slight undulations of the ground, until I got to 



1S2 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

within five hundred yards of the herd, who were 
quietly browsing, unconscious of danger. 

Here I lay for some time at full length on the 
ground behind my screen so as to give my com- 
panions time to get posted, and taking out my tele- 
scope I surveyed the herd for some time before I 
could make out the position of the leader, whom at 
last I twigged lying down and chewing the cud, 
under the shade of a bauble-bush, some short dis- 
tance from the others. I stole gently forwards, 
sometimes stooping and walking, and at others 
creeping on my hands and knees, (which is ex- 
tremely laborious work,) until I got within two 
hundred yards of him, when, feeling out of breath 
and rather unsteady, I rested for some time. As 
soon as I had recovered my breath, I slowly com- 
menced my onward progress until I got within a 
hundred and twenty yards, when, from the motion 
of the herd, I saw that my walking bush had ex- 
cited some suspicion, for they began to close up, 
and crane their necks in my direction ; which 
movement was immediately perceived and under- 
stood by their leader, who sprang on his feet, 
stamped, and advanced some five or six paces to- 
wards me, snuffing the air as if to reconnoitre. 
This position offered me a fair shot — I raised my 
rifle and pulled the trigger just as a low bark escaped 
him, (the signal of alarm to the herd.) It was his 
last warning, for my grooved-bore was true — the 
bullet sped, and entered his heart ; he sprang high 



OF THE OLD WORLD. IS^ 

into the air and fell dead. I fired my second barrel 
at the herd, which was in full retreat, bringing 
down a doe, my ball entering the small ribs near 
the spine, and paralysing her hind-quarters ; and, 
after drawing my knife across her throat, I jumped 
on Gooty, who was brouglit up by my syce, and 
followed the herd, driving it towards the spot where 

B and D were posted. Both got shots. 

B rolled over a young buck at a long distance ; 

and D bagged a doe, missing two other fair 

shots. 

We collected the game, tied it np in front of our 
saddles, and then made the best of our way towards 
Andior, where we found our tents pitched under 
the shade of a beautiful mangoe tope, in front of 
which was a large square tank, full of water-lilies, 
and an old dilapidated pagoda, on the walls of 
which some scores of the common green-tufted 
monkey sat grinning, jabbering, and making mouths 
at ns as we passed, 

A curious tale is told of a detachment of the 
— th Native Infantry having made a colony of these 
monkeys revenge an insult which was offered them 
by the inhabitants of Trippasore, the greater part 
of whom consist of Brahmins. It appears that the 
military were en route to the Presidency, escorting 
treasure, and the Bunnias, or grain-sellers, raised 
the price of rice very considerably the day before 
they passed through their town, which conduct 
aroused Jack Sepoy's indignation, who, however. 



184 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS, ETC. 

smothered his resentment until his return from 
Madras, when each man filled his haversack with 
rice and dhal, (a kind of sweet bean,) and on re- 
passing through the town he threw it on the roots 
of all the tiled houses, on which lived hundreds of 
monkeys, occasioning a most ludicrous scene — for 
immediately the tiles were seen flying in clouds 
into the streets, until the greater part of the town 
was imroofed ; for the monkeys, finding the grains 
slip under the tiles, Kfted them up, and threw them 
into the street, and as they took one up the rice 
slipped under the next, and so on, until a good 
roof was demolished in a few minutes, to the utter 
disgust and mortification of the Brahmins, who dare 
not molest the monkeys, considering these animals 
sacred, as being the incarnation of their powerful 
god, Hanimann. 

After we had imbibed some cooled Bass, the best 

beverage for India, B , who was a fisherman, 

went down to the tank with his rod, and in the 
course of half an hour landed over a dozen fine 
murrel, (a voracious kind of fish, somewhat resem- 
bling the jack,) from four to eight pounds in weight. 
On cutting them open we found the inside full of 
leeches, so we declined having them put upon our 
table, to the great satisfaction of Chineah and the 
gang, who pronounced them delicious. 



CHAPTER XIIL 

THE COMBEI JUNGLE. 

Early rising. — " Tiger's milk." — A sloth-bear started. — Combei. 
— Our encampment. — A salt-lick. — Great bag of deer by 
night. — Ding-ding. — A strange rencontre whilst pea- fowl 

stalking. — Leg-bail. — The death of the tiger. — B 's sport. 

— A glorious chase. — The bull-nilgbau. — The bag. — A black 
panther. — Strange mode of catching deer. — Return to Bowani. 
— Finale. 

Getting up early in the morning, after a hard fag 
the day previous, is at all times a painful operation, 
more especially during the intensely sultry weather 
preceding the downfall of the monsoon in India ; 
when sleep, balmy sleep, is banished from the couch 
of the weary one, and he tosses and rolls about, 
feverish and restless, in an irritable state of mind, 
with aching bones, overcome with lassitude and 
fatigue, the whole night long, unable to obtain 
even a doze until the cool refreshing breeze of .the 
morning sets in, when to be awoke suddenly is 
indeed a martyrdom, and to arouse a man without a 
cause at such a time is to render him unaccountable 
for his actions. 



186 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

My servant, "Five Minutes," upon whom tlie 
task of getting us up in the morning usually de- 
volved, was well aware that at this period " sahib- 
log" (masters) are somewhat in the same humour 
as " bears with sore heads ; " for many a boot, 
candlestick, and empty soda-water bottle had he 
dodged in his time whilst attempting to rouse some 
heavy sleeping " sub " for parade after a public 
night at mess ; and, being a wide-awake nigger, he 
now never exposed himself in this somewhat peril- 
ous undertaking without having first provided him- 
self with some emollient and resuscitating mixture 
calculated to better the human feelings, such as 
well-cooled claret-cup, soda and brandy, or " tiger's 
milk," which served better than any " soft words," 
the nigger knew, "to allay wrath." As the latter 
concoction was considered the most effective, I give 
the recipe ; and if ladies with surly husbands 
would only try " Five Minutes's " dodge, of admin- 
istering a dose of " tiger's milk " before they asked 
for " the needful " to settle the little account of 
crinoline, &c., they would find it acted upon the 
milk of human kindness far better than all the 
wheedling and soft sawder which husbands (too 
soon, alas !) get accustomed to. Eecipe — Beat up 
the yolks of three eggs well with half a pint of 
brandy, a wine-glass of sugar, a bit of lemon-peel 
cut thin, and a dozen cloves and cardamums ; add 
a quart of new milk, mix well, grate in the third of 
a nutmeg, and serve it in a tankard, of which the 



or THE OLD WORLD. 1 87 

bottom should be seen before it is removed from the 
lips. 

When " Five Minutes " thought his master was 
tired overnight, and would be reluctant to move in 
the morning, he would carefully prepare a bowl of 
this insinuating mixture, and, creeping with noise- 
less steps to the head of the bed, would there 
remain, bowl in hand, whilst the " cochra," or dress- 
ing-boy, turned up the coverlid, put on the uncon- 
scious sleeper's socks and boots, and shampooed his 
limbs until he awoke, when, as soon as he began to 
rub his eyes, the soothing draught was applied ; 
and its kindly effects would almost immediately 
demonstrate themselves, for he would allow himself 
to be dressed " like a good child," and after a che- 
root was as mild as new milk. 

Antelope-stalking the day before had somewhat 
knocked me up, and I felt rather stiff on first 
rising ; but after my matin cup, a plunge in the 
tank of the pagoda, and a few whiffs of the 
"fragrant narcotic weed," the lassitude wore off, 
and we all three mounted our nags and started 
for Combei, distant from Andior fourteen miles, 
where we intended to sojourn for a few days, as 
a herd of bison was said to be in the neighbour- 
hood. 

As we rode along, D twigged a female sloth- 
bear climbing leisurely up the side of a rocky hill ; 
so slipping the two Poligar dogs, Ali and Hassan, 
we gave chase with our boar-spears, but the old 



1S8 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

vixen was close to her cave, and gave us the slip, 
to D 's intense disgust. 

On arrival at Combei, which we found to be a 
small deserted viHage, abandoned by its original 
inhabitants on account of fever, and occupied only 
by four families of the Mulcher caste, (a jungle 
tribe,) things did not appear very promising, so we 
pitched our camj) under a large peepul-tree by a 
beautifully clear stream full of fish. 

When all was arranged to our satisfaction, we 
strolled out in different directions to look out for 

bison. D and B came across fresh trails, 

but returned immediately, as it was too late to 
follow them up. I was not so fortunate, although 
I killed a young spotted-deer, and found, out a salt- 
lick, where there were innumerable fresh marks of 
elk, spotted-deer, jungle-sheep, and some old ones 
of bison. These animals come for miles round 
about to eat the earth which they find here and 
there in the jungle, strongly impregnated with salt, 
of which they are extremely fond. 

At dinner I mentioned the salt-lick I had dis- 
covered, and, as it was not more than half a mile 
from our tents, we resolved to try the Burmese 
experiment of shooting deer by aid of an artificial 
light, as the moon did not favour us. Accordingly, 
Chineah made a lamp with pieces of rag, and a 
quantity of fat, oil, and tar, which he got from the 
cook, and fastened it to a bamboo pole about fif- 
teen feet in height ; then, providing ourselves with 



OF THE OLD WORLD. ] 89 

several guns, a carpet, brandy-panee, &c., wo went 
to the salt-lick, a little before dusk, and, Laving 
erected a kind of screen with bushes and branches, 
comfortably established ourselves in front and to 
leeward of an open space of ground, which w^as 
covered with the footprints of different kinds of 
deer. Our pole w^as planted in the ground some 
half dozen paces in front, and when it got dark the 
lamp was lighted, and a piece of bright tin (the lid 
of a cowrie-box) placed behind, to serve as a re- 
flector, and also to prevent the light from revealing 
our ambuscade. 

We waited for nearly an hour without hearing or 
seeing anything, when suddenly I thought I saw a 
pair of bright eyes shining like stars from the thicket 
in front of the light, and in a moment a low bark 
informed me that my plan had succeeded, and that 
a buck-elk was at hand. I whispered to the others 
not to fire until I gave the signal — for I knew, from 
the cry of the buck, that the herd was at hand ; and 
in a few moments he stepped forward, barking, 
stamping his hoofs, scratching his back with his 
antlers, and staring at the light ; and almost imme- 
diately he was followed by the rest of the herd, 
which must have numbered nearly twenty. The 
light engrossed all their attention, and they came 
to within a dozen paces of it before I gave the 

signal to fire by a low " Coo." B , D , Chi- 

neah, and myself let drive double shots, and our 
volley threw tlic herd into such confusion that some 



190 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

of US had time to make use of second guns before 
those that were unwounded could get away. 

When the smoke had cleared, we found five dead, 
and four others wounded, which we despatched. 

Both B and myself felt that it was a poaching 

kind of game, so we did not care to continue it, and 
returned to the tent ; but D and Chineah re- 
mained in the ambuscade all night, and managed to 
bag another buck-elk and four spotted-deer, besides 
which the gang, with the dogs' assistance, next 
morning brought in five other deer, which they 
found dead or wounded some distance off in the 
jungle. The game proved very acceptable to the 
Mulcher tribes who roam about these jungles ; and 
the gang jerked a considerable quantity of venison, 
or rather converted it into what they term " Ding- 
ding," by cutting the meat into long strips, which 
they rub with salt, ground spices, and dry in the 
sun, until it becomes as hard as a board. When 
required for use, it is allowed to soak in water for a 
couple of hours to soften, and is then broiled over 
embers, when it is not at all unpalatable, and often 
constitutes the principal part of a Shekarry's fare 
whilst on trail. 

During the next three days, although we con- 
stantly made long excursions into the jungle, we 
were very unsuccessful in meeting with large game, 
only killing a few deer for food. One evening, as I 
was returning towards the tent after a long weary 
fag, during which I had not pulled trigger, Chineah 



OF TIIK OLD WOKLD. 191 

and one or two of tlie gang who were with rae asked 
me to shoot a peacock for tlieui tliat was screaming 
in a thicket close by, I bid them remain perfectly 
quiet where they were, whilst I followed it up, guided 
by the cry, and at last I got so near that I could 
hear the old birds scratching up the ground, and the 
young ones chirping or rather whistling ; but the 
underwood was so dense that I could not get sight 
of them, although they must have been within a few 
paces from me. I clambered down the dry sandy 
bed of a nullah, and was peering between the trees 
in the expectation of getting a glimpse of the brood, 
when, turning stealthily round a large jummona- 
bush, (a kind of willow,) I suddenly came face to 
face upon an immense tiger, who had evidently been 
taking his " siesta " under the cool shade of the 
shelving bank, for when I first caught sight of him 
he was stretching himself and yawning as if only 
just awake. Doubtless it was a mutual surprise, 
but I was the first to recover my self-possession, for 
without a moment's hesitation I swung round, and 
notwithstanding we were barely six feet apart, and 
my gun (a double eight-guage by Westley Eichards) 
was only loaded with No. 4 shot, I let drive right 
and left full into his face. Before the smoke cleared 
away, the tiger, uttering an appalling shriek of rage, 
sprang clear over my head, and fell with a crash 
against the opposite bank: whilst I, without waiting 
to watch his further movements, jjave "leff bail," and 
ran in a contrary direction down the nullah. Find- 



192 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

ing tliat I was not pursued, I reloaded with ball, 
and " Eichard was himself again," for I must own 
my serenity of mind was somewhat disturbed at such 
an unlooked-for rencontre, Chineah, attracted by 
the double report, now came up, and, having taken 
my pet rifle from him, I slung the smooth-bore over 
my shoulder, directed him to remain quiet in a tree, 
and again made my way to the scene of action. I 
soon came across the tiger's pugs, and followed them 
up to a pool of water where there were marks of his 
having quenched his thirst a few moments before. 

The double charge of shot I administered at such 
close quarters had evidently taken effect, for the 
trail was marked with large crimson drops, and I 
knew that his sight was partially if not entirely de- 
stroyed, as from time to time he had struck his head 
ao"ainst the steep banks on each side of the nullah, 
leaving large gouts of blood behind him. In a few 
minutes I heard sundry strange noises in a patch of 
reeds and corinda-bushes by the side of the nullah, 
and from the " swearing " of a troop of monkeys in 
the trees overhead on each bank I knew what to 
expect. I clambered up a boulder of rock, from 
whence I could see the tiger going round and round 
evidently quite blind, for every now and then he 
knocked his head against stones and bushes, when 
he would give a short angry roar, tear up the ground, 
and bite at everything within his reach. I saw at 
a glance how matters were, so stealing gently up I 
aimed just behind the shoulder, and the ball passing 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 193 

through the heart immediately put him out of his 
misery, for he sprang high into the air and dropped 
stone dead. On examination I found the whole of 
the upper part of the face was blown to pieces, and 
both eyes destroyed with the effect of my first shots ; 
indeed, the head was a mass of congealed blood, 
none of the features being distinguishable ; however, 
such is the tenacity of life in tlie feline race, that he 
managed even in this condition to make his way for 
upwards of half a mile, although totally blind. 

A whistle brought up my followers, and we imme- 
diately commenced denuding the tiger of his spoils, 
in which operation we were overtaken by darkness, 
but by lighting a huge fire we managed to accom- 
plish our purpose, and afterwards made the best of 

our way to the tents, where I found B and 

D deeply interested in exploring the interior of 

a huge marrow-pie, the former having that mornini,' 
killed a fine nilghau within a few hundred paces of 
our encampment. After dinner we superintended 
the pegging down of the skins, and retired early to 
rest, as the Mulchers had tracked up the herd of 
nilghau, and we determined if possible to drive them 
into the more open country on the morrow, and ride 
them down with our boar-spcars. 

I sounded the "reveille" through the camp an 
hour before dawn, and after having fortified the 
" inner man " and partaken of a " stirrup cup," we 
lighted our cheerots, mounted our nags, and under 
the guidance of the Mulchers set out for the cover in 

N 



194 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

which the game had been marked. It was a glori- 
ous morning, and we were all in the best of spirits. 
As we rode along, accompanied by the gang and 
the greater part of our followers, who were to act 
as beaters, every now and then we put up coveys of 
quail, partridge, or rock-pigeon, and once or twice 
we caught sight of troops of antelope and spotted- 
deer bounding through the more open jungle. After 
a cursory survey of the country, which was anything 
but fair riding-ground, being covered with low scrub 
jungle and intersected with innumerable nullahs and 
gullies, we took our post some little distance from 
each other, whilst our people extended themselves 
in a large semicircle, and advanced slowly, shouting 
and beating tom-toms. In the course of a few min- 
utes a tremendous yell informed us that the game 
was afoot, a crashing of underwood was heard, and 
a herd of nine nOghau, consisting of two bulls and 
seven cows, broke into the plain. 

We immediately laid the dogs into them, and, 
after a smart burst of about a mile, two of the hin- 
dermost cows were brought to a stand-still, Hassan 
and Slogee pursuing one, whilst Bran and Ali fast- 
ened on the other ; the greyhounds yelping and giv- 
ing tongue, but not having the pluck to lay hold. 

Leaving the fallen to the care of D , who, being 

but indifferently mounted, was pounding along in 

the rear, B and I each selected a bull, and 

after sundry purls and divers charges, in which we 
were often the pursued, both of us managed to 



OF TEE OLD WOELD. 195 

" bring our game to grass." The one I was after 
charged repeatedly, and, notwithstanding I was ad- 
mirably mounted on my pet hog-hunter, Lall Babba, 
it was not until we had covered a good four miles 
of ground that I managed at last, when the quarry 
was swerving about from side to side, breathless and 
exhausted, to drive my spear in behind the shoulder 
and out of the chest, when he saccumbed and bit 
the dust. 

The bull-nilghau (from the Hindostani nil, blue, 
and c/hau, cow) is about the height of a galloway, 
and somewhat resembles what a hybrid would be 
between a deer and a cow ; he has curved pointed 
horns, a short mane, but hardly any dewlap. The 
cow is smaller, and of a dun fawn-colour. Both 
have beautiful black eyes, like those of the deer. 

On rejoining the gang we found that D had 

despatched the two cows seized by the dogs, and 
wounded a third with his rifle, which latter the dogs 
vvere still chasing. We accordingly loosened the 
saddles of our nags, and reclined under a tree whilst 
our syces rubbed them down ; and after some time 

D returned, having killed the third cow, when, 

as the sun was extremely powerful, we remounted 
and made the best of our way to the tents, leaving 
the gang to break up the deer and bring in the skins. 
The flesh of the uilghau somewhat resembles venison, 
but is coarser ; the hump, however, when salted and 
spiced is not to be despised, and the marrow is one 
of the greatest delicacies to be had in India. 



196 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

lu the evening, just as we were going to sit down 
to dinner, one of our people, who had been bathing 
in the stream a short distance below our camp, came 
running in with the information that he had seen 
two bears drinking, close to. We immediately sal- 
lied forth in pursuit, and B had the luck to fall 

in with them, killing one outright with the first shot, 
and disabling the other, which Chineah despatched. 
After this little episode we dined, and sat round the 
camp-fire discussing the events of the day until a 
late hour, when we turned in, highly satisfied with 
our sport, for slaying a bull-nilghau single-handed 
with the spear is not an everyday occurrence, even 
in an Indian sportsman's career. 

The next day we moved on to Eaupoor, distance 
nine miles, where we pitched our tents, having heard 
that a herd of elephants had been seen by some 
Mulchers a few days before ; but after a couple of 
days' search, during which we found no fresh trails, 
we advanced to Dewara, where, as we were beating 
a very thick and likely cover, a black panther started 
up from a cleft in the ground close under my feet, 
and I had the good fortune to roll him over with a 
single ball, which took effect just behind the ear. 
The skin was magnificent, the spots being distinctly 
visible when held up to the light, appearing of a 
deeper black than the rest. The gang declared that 
the black panther was a much more dangerous animal 
than the ordinary species ; and as I had on a previ- 
ous occasion seen one, that Walter M had 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 197 

wounded, charge most desperately several times, 
perhaps their assertion is correct. The one I killed 
certainly was a most formidable-looking customer, 
having great yellow eyes and long black whiskers, 
but the fur was soft and silky as velvet. The next 
four days afforded us no sport except an old she- 
bear, which was killed by B and D whilst 

enf^aged in eating the fruit of the " mowra " tree ; 
but I was very much struck with the singular and 
ingenious manner in which the Mulchers of this 
part of the jungle catch spotted-deer and antelope. 
They cut strong pieces of the creeping-bamboo about 
a quarter of an inch in diameter and four inches in 
length, leaving the curved sharp-pointed stout thorn 
that grows out of the joint. In the other end of this 
is a notch, in which is fastened a piece of strong fibre 
made from the aloe, about eighteen inches in length, 
to the end of which is attached a small round pebble 
by a hole drilled in the centre. In some parts of 
the jungle is found a small sweet-tasted gourd, 
somewhat shaped like a cucumber, and of this both 
spotted-deer and antelope are particularly fond. 
The natives, being aware of the fact, bait a number 
of these hooks with this fruit and throw them 
in the runs ; the deer unsuspiciously begin to eat 
them, and finding the string and pebble knocking 
about, they bend down their head and attempt to 
break it off by treading on it witli their fore feet, or 
striking it with the hind. In either case, the chances 
are that the cord gets between the division in the hoof, 



198 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

and, being arrested by the stone, tliey are irretrievably 
caught, as the hook fastens in the mouth or throat, 
and the more they struggle the firmer they are held. 
They generally struggle so violently that death from 
exhaustion follows in a very short time, although I 
have seen both spotted-deer and antelope brought in 
alive, having been caught in this manner. 

Our leave was now nearly expired, so we were 
obliged to commence a retrograde movement, nnd, 
having packed up our trophies, we returned to 
Bowani, where Mother Garrow, a very Paphian 
queen, was awaiting our arrival with a formidable 
array of dusky nymphs. For three days we kept 
up a continuous nautch, and even after that time 
we were not tired of gazing upon the graceful 
pirouettes of the fair votaries of Terpsichore, or 
listening to the warbling of the dark-eyed song- 
stresses as they sang on the old subjects, " Love and 
War ; " and when the time came for us to take our 
departure, more than one shed tears as the farewell 
words were spoken ; indeed, if " Eumour with her 
many tongues " spake true, it was discovered, soon 
after our departure, that there were vacancies to 
be filled up in the Pagoda of the dark mysterious 
goddess. 

D , " I could a tale unfold " that would 

raise up a spirit on thy fireside, that all the soft 
sawder of thy oily tongue would never calm ! But 
1 11 spare your feelings for the sake of " auld lang 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 199 

syne," and the jolly days we spent together in the 
merry green woods. 

We got into Trichy just in time, for two days 
afterwards the monsoon broke, and there was a con- 
tinuous downfall of rain, which inundated the whole 
country. 



SECTION III.— THE MOUNTAIN RANGES. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE NEILGHEKKIES. 

" Primseval woods, and forests vast aud rude, 
Where reigns a deep unbroken solitude : 
Eternal teaks, who 've wider stretch'd their arms 
And deeper struck their roots amid the storms." 

Index. — Pleasing recollections. — The deep forest described. — 
The pleasures and excitement of a hunter's life. — The requi- 
site qualifications. — The Neilgherries and their productions. 
— Variety of game. — Ootacamund. — Englishmen and their 
love of Sport. — Dawson's Hotel. — Burnside Cottage. — Mala- 
mund. — The Todas : their women, habitations, and strange 
customs. — News of elk. — The start : preliminaries. — The 
drive. — Game afoot. — A capital shot. — Three deer bite the 
dust, and Bruin yields up his spoils. — A stag at bay. — The 
return. — Convivial gathering. — The Major's story. 

The Neilgherries. How many pleasing recollec- 
tions of heart- stirring events are associated with 
that name ; how many glorious days' sport does it 
recall to mind; how many a dear friend does it 
bring before me, with whom I have bearded the 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 201 

tiger in his lair, tracked the mighty elephant to liis 
haunt in the pathless forest, and there despoiled 
him of his trophies, or pursued the watchful ibex 
from crag to crag, over precipices, chasms, and 
ledges of rock which men dared not look down 
in their cooler moments ! Many a hand I then 
clasped has become cold, many a voice I loved to 
listen to is hushed for ever ; he witli whom I have 
often scoured the plain and struggled for the spear 
after the mighty gray boar, fell a shattered wreck 
before my eyes in the van of the fight that murky 
morn when " the Six Hundred " charged. There 
are times when the past comes before me with sadly 
painful distinctness, and my heart yearns to return 
once more to that land where I have passed the 
happiest years of my life, and to revisit those scenes 
which are engraven in my memory in strong and 
ineffaceable colours, although I know that my 
merry companions are gone, and that their places 
are occupied by strangers. Who among us have 
not some sunny spots in their existence, some 
remembrance of happier days gone by which they 
love to look back upon with pleasure, however 
bright future prospects may appear? Almost all 
of us have some fondly-cherished souvenir or trophy 
upon which we love to gaze and think of the past, 
until the soul-stirring scenes of " auld lang syne " 
again come vividly to mind ; and although we 
feel that they may never come again, we look back 
Avith pleasure upon the time when sunshine illumined 



202 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

our path. With some the golden age appears to 
have been passed at school — with others, later in 
life. Here a stately old general tells of the glorious 
time he passed as a jolly sub in the days of powder 
and pigtails ; and there a sturdy old squire of the 
last generation recounts with glee the doings of his 
time, " when hounds could run and huntsmen went 
the pace ; " yon phlegmatic-looking old divine, with 
blanched locks and rubicund nose, which bespeaks 
his love of the pleasures of the table, relates, with 
intense satisfaction, the roistering days he spent as 
a young man in a fast regiment of Light Dragoons, 
when it was considered a " crying sin " for any one 
to quit the social board until he had disposed of a 
couple of magnums under his belt ; and that 
shrivelled-up old relic of mortality, who seems to 
stand before us as a specimen of what the hand of 
time can effect on our mortal frame, will prate by 
the hour of the jolly dogs of his day, and the 
fascinations of town when he was a gay Lothario. 
Each and every one has some period of his life on 
which he loves to look back and think upon, 
although, perhaps, he may talk much more about 
the future. The soldier loves to recall to mind the 
scenes of many a hard-fought day ; the sailor, his 
adventures on tlie heaving main ; the wanderer 
delights in the reminiscences of travel in many 
lands ; and the fox-hunter in the stiff bursts and 
glorious runs of bygone times ; but the sportsman 
who has visited the Neilgherri mountains and 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 203 

stricken the mightiest denizens of the jungle, muses 
by day and dreams by night of the dark deep 
Wynaad forest. 

Those who have never explored a primeval forest 
can have but a very faint conception of the myste- 
rious effect that absence of light and intense depth 
of gloom have upon the human mind. The un- 
broken silence and utter stillness that everywhere 
l)ervades its leafy arches, creates a strange feeling 
of awe and loneliness that depresses the spirits and 
appals the heart of those who are unaccustomed to 
wander in its solitudes ; and even the stoutest heart 
feels overpowered with a strange sensation he can 
neither account for nor explain the first time he 
enters, for the voice of man resounds with a strange 
and startling echo, and even the very hound whines 
with fear, and couches close to his master's side, 
afraid of being left alone. Solitude is too insuffi- 
cient a term to convey an idea of the intensely 
overpowering sensation of desolation and loneliness 
that pervades these regions ; yet to the hunter, who 
is accustomed to sojourn in their deepest recesses, 
the wilderness is a home which he would not ex- 
change for any other ; and as he roams through its 
boundless expanse of verdure, with no other com- 
panions but the silent trackers and his dogs, and no 
guide but a pocket-compass and certain jungle signs 
not to be understood by the dwellers of cities, he 
imbibes certain feelings that cannot be entered into 
save by those who have themselves experienced the 



204! THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

charms and fascinations of "forest life," and en- 
joyed its pure and heartfelt pleasures. To him it 
possesses a peculiar spell, not to be found elsewhere ; 
and, far away from the haunts of man, he gives no 
care to the turmoil and bustle of the busy world, 
but loves to study Nature in her grandest forms, 
and silent unsullied beauty, whilst his heart glows 
with thoughts that bear him untiring company. 
There is a peculiarly exhilarating delight passing 
all description in the wild excitement of this life, 
wliich dispels all anxiety, and strengthens the men- 
tal and physical energies for the ever-changing 
scene, delights the eye, and gives pleasure to the 
intellect ; whilst, at the same time, the constant ex- 
citement arising from the varied incidents of such a 
state of existence invigorates the mind and stimu- 
lates the powers of thought and observation. The 
body sustained in continued exertion by constant 
exercise, enables the hunter to maintain his course 
for days together through the pathless woods, 
with that dogged stubbornness and inflexibility 
which is necessary to insure success in the pursuit 
of the game he seeks. He moves noiselessly along, 
without a care as to what he may encounter, for he 
has implicit confidence in the power of his trusty 
rifle ; and his vigilant eye, piercing the shadowy 
depths of the jungle, leaves no hollow unsearched, 
for he and his followers are dependent for their 
subsistence on their exertions in the chase. No- 
thing is so conducive to the keen development of 



OF TUE OLD WORLD. 20.J 

the senses as the constant exertion of the different 
faculties during a sojourn in the jungle ; quickness 
of eye (an indispensable quality in a hunter) and 
unceasing watchfulness are there attained ; habits 
of observation are engendered, for anything out of 
the common immediately attracts attention, and the 
ear is habituated to catch the slightest sound. The 
hunter should have a thorough knowledge of the 
habits of the wild animals he seeks, bearing in 
mind how suspicious they are, and how quickly 
their attention is attracted by unusual noises, 
strange traces in the jungle, or even the taint in 
the air which the presence of man always leaves 
behind it. The ranger of the forest experiences a 
thorough feeling of independence and a freedom 
from restraint in these wilds, that contrasts most 
favourably with the desagrements of artificial exist- 
ence, and few of those who are fitted to enjoy it 
ever quit these scenes to return to civilised life 
without deep feelings of regret that their unalloyed 
pleasures are at an end ; and in after life the mur- 
muring of waters and the sighings of the wind 
through the trees will recall to mind moments of 
intense interest, and they will ever feel at heart that 
there is no music so sv/eet as the wild voices of the 
woods. 

All forests are gloomy, but they have their com- 
parative degrees of shade, and none present a 
greater diversity of appearance than that round the 
Neilgherries. The tall feathery bamboo contrasts 



206 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

most delightfully with the stately teak, ebony, 
blackwood, and other gigantic trees of the primeval 
forest, where the air, being confined, is generally 
close and suffocating. The surface of the ground is 
everywhere thickly strewn with decayed leaves or 
dead branches, and underneath the trees may be 
seen the green of young seedlings which spring up 
by thousands during the rains, but for the most 
part pine and die, being deprived of light and 
heat. 

The climate on the tableland is about the finest 
in the known world — exempt alike from the ex- 
tremes of heat and cold, it realises as near as any 
land " eternal spring," for its great alevation (8000 
feet above the level of the sea) tempers the heat 
generally felt in these latitudes, and gives the air a 
pureness and bracing elasticity peculiarly grateful 
to Europeans after a lengthened sojourn in the 
scorching plains ; indeed, if cloudless skies, con- 
tinual sunshine, and pleasant weather were the 
only essentials to human happiness, the Neilgherries 
would be the most likely place to seek it of any that 
I have yet met with in my wanderings over land 
and sea. 

In its peculiar style of beauty nothing can exceed 
the scenery of the hills. Stupendous peaks, groups 
of gigantic forest-trees, hanging woods and foaming 
cascades, alternate with clumps of rhododendrons, 
covered with crimson bloom, wild camellias, jessa- 
mines, and high waving ferns, whilst vines and 



OF TUE OLD WORLD. 207 

other climbing-plauts hang in festoons from branch 
to branch ; and here and there tlie landscape is 
diversified with verdant lawns of velvet turf, natural 
parterres of scarlet geranium, or orchids of luxu- 
riant groveth. Where a view of the low country 
can be caught through an opening in the thick 
woods, it is equally grand and impressive, for a 
blue haze spreads over the scene, softening and 
blending its beauties, and giving it a dreamy 
appearance peculiarly enchanting. Wild rasp- 
berries and strawberries, noted for their excellent 
flavour, are to be found everywhere in the woods ; 
and the ferns, buttercups, and daisies that grow on 
the banks of the numerous rills and burns that flow 
rippling on every side, present a similarity of ap- 
pearance that recalls visions of dear old England. 
Birds of gaudy plumage dart amid the branches, 
gay butterflies hover about, insects of metallic hue 
glitter on the leaves, and all nature seems glad in 
this highly-favoured spot. 

I have never yet met with any hunting-grounds 
to be compared with the great Wynaad Jungle for 
diversity of game, which includes elephants, bison, 
elk, spotted-deer, jungle -sheep, hog- deer, tigers, 
panthers, leopards, cheetahs, bears, hyenas, tiger-cats, 
boars, wolves, jackals, wild dogs, porcupines, hares, 
pea-fowl, jungle-fowl, spur-fowl, partridges, quail, 
and snipe, whilst on the hills are found ibex and 
woodcock, which are never seen in the low country. 

Ootacamund, the principal station, is the most 



208 THE HUNTINa GROUNDS 

delightful place of residence in Hindostan, It 
possesses a handsome church, well-established club, 
two first-rate hotels, several handsome shops, which 
are chiefly kept by Parsees, a well-stocked bazaar, 
and many hundred excellent houses and bungalows, 
some of which are perfect mansions. The canton- 
ment occupies a great extent of ground, as, the 
country being extremely undulating, most of the 
houses are picturesquely situated on slight emi- 
nences, and surrounded with large gardens, which 
are generally extremely well kept up. Apples, 
pears, quinces, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, 
currants, and most European vegetables, thrive 
well ; whilst fuchsias, honeysuckles, woodbine, jessa- 
mine, clematis, passion - flowers, and geraniums 
grow in the wildest luxuriance, and require little 
care. In the centre of the cantonment is a beauti- 
ful artificial lake, round which is the drive or pro- 
menade, the ''Rotten Row" of Ooty, where in the 
afternoon may be seen several hundred Anglo- 
Indians, either on horseback or in vehicles of every 
description, from the stylish barouche to the hum- 
ble " bullock-garree," listening to the band or driv- 
ing about to gain an appetite for dinner. 

The Neilgherries being considered among the 
healthiest spots in Southern India, have been con- 
stituted a sanitarium; and here may be seen 
invalid officers from all parts of the Madras and 
Bombay Presidencies, who have obtained leave of 
absence from their regiments, for periods varying 



OF THE OLD WOULD, 209 

from six montlis to two years, in order to recruit 
their health, during which time they draw their 
full pay and allowances, which, from some stupid 
fancy of the East India Board, is not the case wdien 
they are obliged to return to Europe. The conse- 
quence is, that Ooty somewhat resembles a fast 
watering-place, and is extremely gay ; balls, parties, 
and picnics being of common occurrence. 

Surrounded by splendid hunting-grounds, it is 
the head-quarters of sportsmen ; for wherever there 
is anything to hunt that promises sport. English- 
men are sure to set out in pursuit. As a nation 
we are essentially sportsmen, for the chase in all 
its branches seems indigenous to the country. 
Taking, for example, the officers of our army and 
navy, who are scattered all over the face of the 
globe, thousands of miles from their native land, we 
find that neither a burning sun and the enervating 
influence of a tropical climate, nor an icy tempera- 
ture, can damp their ardour for field-sports, which, 
notwithstanding every disadvantage, they endeavour 
to keep up. Such being the case, it is not therefore 
surprising that in Ooty there is a well-established 
subscription pack of hounds for hunting the fox 
and jackal, besides several private ones of beagles, 
spaniels, and cockers for driving the covers. In no 
part of Great Britain are woodcock more eagerly 
followed than on the hills, and every year large 
sums of money change hands in wagers as to what 
sportsman will kill the first cock. The season 





210 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

begins in October and ends in March, although soli- 
tary birds may be found a month earlier or later. 

On my first arrival, Ooty was very full ; and as 
vacant bungalows were scarce, I put up for some 
time at Dawson's Hotel, where I had every reason 
to be highly satisfied with the accommodation, for 
my quarters were extremely comfortable, and the 
living first - rate ; indeed, I have seldom come 
across such a cuisine. There was certainly only 
another like it on the Madras side, that of the Club 
of Secunderabad, where the mighty Tatiah ruled the 
roast. 

Having all my establishment with me, including 
my celebrated hunting-gang, which comprised some 
of the best trackers in the country, my old chum 

B and I took a snug compact little box called 

Burnside Cottage, with good stabling, outhouses for 
servants, and a well-stocked garden ; which was 
most delightfully situated just below the crest of a 
hill, and overlooking the glen of the Mala-mund, 
a village inhabited by the Todas, a strange race of 
people, who are supposed by some to be a remnant 
of " the lost tribes." The men are generally above 
the common height, well made, athletic, and with 
open prepossessing countenances. They have a 
decidedly Jewish type of nose, large oriental eyes, 
fine teeth, and oval faces, the lower part of which 
is generally covered with a fine jet-black beard. 
They wear no head-dress, but the hair, which grows 
in great profusion, is parted in the centre, and flows 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 211 

in curls all round the head. Their dress consists 
of a waist-cloth and a kind of cotton sheet, which 
they wear like a Roman toga, thrown over the body, 
leaving the arms and legs bare. The men are de- 
cidedly the finest-looking race in Hindostan, having 
a noble independent bearing, and none of that 
cringing and fawning obsequiousness which is 
observable in every other caste of native. The 
women are tall and commanding, with figures for 
the most part fiiultless ; erect but remarkably 
graceful, somewhat slight perhaps, but exquisitely 
rounded ; every line full of softness and beauty, 
every limb in fine symmetry, supple, and delicate. 
The head is peculiarly small and elegant, the face 
oval, and generally of the Israelitish type. The 
features are small and finely chiselled ; the mouth 
beautifully formed, and graced with pearl-like teeth ; 
the eyes large, lustrous, wild, soft and gazelle-like ; 
the eyebrows are much arched and finely pencilled ; 
the lashes very long and full ; the hair of the head 
abundant, full of natural waves, and flowing in 
ringlets over the neck and shoulders. Their skins, 
of a softness beyond that of other women, are of a 
rich, clear, olive colour, several shades lighter than 
the men, in consequence of less exposure to the 
weather ; and their hands and feet are comparatively 
small and beautifully formed. They arrive at ma- 
turity at a very early age, and it is no uncommon 
thing to see outside the huts a pretty little girl, 
under twelve years of age, with an infant on her 



212 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

hip ; but as they arrive speedily to womanhood, so 
their beauty decays ; at sixteen they are in the 
prime of life, and at thirty aged, when they retain 
no trace of their former beauty. The women have 
a plurality of husbands, the brothers of a family 
generally marrying one wife, which practice is also 
common among the Nairs and other castes on the 
western coast. Their huts are built in the shape 
of the tilt of a waggon, of bamboos thatched with 
turf. They are about ten feet long, seven broad, 
and six high, and the door (the only aperture in the 
building) is only about two feet square, so that the 
inhabitants have to crawl in and out on all fours. 
Half a dozen huts constitute a " mund " or village, 
which is generally situated on the side of a hill, in 
the most picturesque spots on the hills. They are 
a pastoral people, possessing large herds of the 
finest buffaloes in India ; having a strange language 
of their own, but no character to express it. The 
men sometimes wear small gold earrings, and the 
women silver or brass armlets, and a rude kind of 
zone, which is worn loosely round the hips. The 
Toda men call themselves the lords of the soil, and 
look down with supreme contempt upon the Bur- 
ghers, another hill race, who are of inferior stature, 
and cultivate the ground, for which they have to 
pay the former a certain tribute. 

One morning as B and I were engaged in 

superintending the laying out of a piece of ground 
as an addition to our kitchen-garden, a Toda, to 



OF THE OLD WOELD. 215 

whom I had one day paid some slight attention, 
came to inform us that he had seen a large herd of 
elk in a wooded ravine about three miles distant. 

I immediately wrote oflF to Major S , who had a 

pack of dogs, and W , K , C , and B , 

then staying at Dawson's, informing them of the 
news; and in half an hour they all assembled in their 
hunting-togs at my crib, with two or three other 
fellows whom they had picked up en route. In the 
meantime Chineah, my head " shekarry," had mus- 
tered the gang, with a dozen extra beaters ; and 
after having partaken of some refreshment, we 
mounted our nags, and, accompanied by horse- 
keepers and gunbearers, set off for the cover under 
the guidance of the Toda. An hour's ride brought 
us to the spot, and, dismounting, we reconnoitred the 
ground, so as to make sure the game had not stolen 
away. No slots were seen to lead us to suppose 
this had been the case, so we took post along the 
edges of the cover, whilst the gang-beaters and dogs 
descended the ravine by a circuitous route, so as to 
drive the game up the hill, and force it to break 
towards that side where we were lying concealed. 
I also ordered the Gooroo and Ali to remain with 
my polygar dogs on the high ground, so as to be 
ready in case any of the deer should get away 
wounded, which afterwards turned out a lucky hit. 
After nearly half an hour's suspense, certain sounds 
issued from below which informed us that the 
beaters and dogs had entered the lower end of the 



214. THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

cover, and presently a low yelp told us that one of 
the pack had taken up the scent. ' Hark to old 
Ponto!" cried the major, who was ensconced behind 
a rhododendron-bush a few paces distant from me ; 
and a smile of contentment gleamed over the time- 
worn and weather-beaten physiognomy of the old 
sportsman as he recognised the voice of his favourite 
hound. " Hush ! hark ! there he goes again. The 
game 's afoot, take my word for it. He never gives 
tongue without a cause, so pass the word along the 
line to keep a bright look-out. There goes Rupert 
and Gelert chiming in." Shortly after this prelude, 
hound after hound opened on scent and took up the 
cry, until at last the harmonious chorus burst forth 
from the ravine, and awoke the echoes of the sur- 
rounding woods. I need not describe to sportsmen 
the intense excitement and pleasurable sensations 
this melody raised in our hearts ; for we knew that 
the deer were afoot, and each internally wished that 
they might break sufficiently near to give him a 
shot. From time to time the crashing of branches 
informed us that the herd were close at hand, and 
each prepared to raise his deadly weapon, but again 
and again they broke back. At last an enormous 
buck-elk, with widely-spreading antlers, summoned 
resolution to leave the cover, and came tearing 
through the bushes with mighty elastic bounds 
some distance to my right, and within easy range 

of W and K , who let drive double shots 

with apparently little effect, for he continued his 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 215 

course without relaxing his speed for a moment. 
I tried to get a shot as he was bounding away, but 
could not catch sight of him on account of inter- 
vening bushes, when the old major, who was quietly 
seated on his right heel, with his left knee thrown 
well forward, and his left elbow resting upon it, 
(the best position for steady shooting,) let fly right 
and left ; and although I could not see the stag, 
I knew from the double " thuds " I heard that both 
shots had taken effect. " Hurrah ! he 's down, 
boys i " vociferated the gallant old soldier, as he 
sprang to his feet, and picked up his second rifle ; 
but before he could raise it the stag had regained 
his legs, and a slight undulation in the ground 
prevented his getting another shot. " Bravo, ma- 
jor ! " I exclaimed ; " you ' wiped the youngster's 
eyes ' beautifully, and made a couple of excellent 
shots, for both were over two hundred yards distant. 
We will now loose Hassan and Ali, and I 'II warrant 
you they will soon give a good account of the 
quarry." I accordingly gave the necessary orders 
to lay in the dogs, when just at the moment I heard a 
crash in the jungle, and two young bucks with velvety 
horns, and seven does, broke cover, followed by an 
old she-bear. I brought down one of the bucks, 
and three of the does fell before a combined volley, 
whilst the bear received two or three gentle re- 
minders of our presence that did anything but 
increase her stock of good-humour, for she growled 
most savagely, and made a serious charge at W 



216 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

and K , who could only give leg-bail, as their 

rifles were empty. Luckily the dogs caught sight 
of her, and Hassan seized her by the hind-leg, 
which brought her up, and g^ve Ali the oppor- 
tunity of pinning her by the ear on the opposite 
side. Both were immensely powerful dogs, (a cross 
between the bloodhound and polygar,) and poor 
Bruin stood no chance of doing mischief, although 
she seemed most maliciously inclined. As soon as I 

came up I called off the dogs, and B gave her 

a coup de grace behind the ear. The beaters and 
the major's pack now made their appearance ; and 
after the dogs had been collected, I laid Ali and 
Hassan on the trail of the stag that had been 
wounded by the major. Large drops of blood 
marked his course ; and as we were following it 
up a loud deep bellow in a patch of high fern 
close at hand told us that the stag was at bay. 
When we came up we found him covered with 
blood and foam, struggling desperately with the 
dogs, who had seized him by the throat and held 
him fast. His bloodshot eyes rolled savagely as we 
approached, and he lowered his head as if to make 
a stroke at us with his horns ; but he was weak 
from loss of blood, and stumbled, which gave 
Chineah the opportunity of drawing his knife across 
his throat, when he made a feeble attempt to re- 
gain his knees, but staggered, reeled, and fell, utter- 
ing a deep groan. A convulsive tremour passed 
over his limbs, and all was still. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 217 

As soon as the venison was broken up and slung 
upon poles, we mounted our nags and returned to 

Ooty, where we all met round Major S 's social 

board in the evening ; when, after the cloth was 
removed, songs went round, and many animated re- 
citals of hairbreadth escapes and perilous encounters 
with the grim monsters of the forest were related 
by the old hands, which caused our sitting to last 
until a late hour. Just as we were about to sepa- 
rate, W happened to mention something about 

a cantonment ball that was to take place shortly ; 
when our worthy host, pricking up his ears, asked 
if any of us had heard of the direful effects matri- 
mony had upon Geordie S , a connexion of his. 

" He was before your time, but no one who knew 
could ever forget him, for a better or keener sports- 
man never breathed. It was a pleasure to see him 
dashing across country after the gray boar, or hear 
his merry laugh, pithy saying, and jolly song in the 
evening, round the camp-fire when the sports of the 
day were over. * A change came o'er the spirit of 
my dream,' Geordie got ' touched,' was led to the 
altar, ' tied up ;' and I met him again after a lapse 
of years — but oh ! how changed ! The jovial sun- 
burnt face had become long; his laughing eyes, 
that once beamed with mirth, shot out melancholy 
glances; the formerly strong arm had become flabby; 
and the legs no better than broom-sticks ! He re- 
ceived me kindly as ever, but looked, I must own, 
rather sheepish and glum. After some conversa- 



218 THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 

tion, in wliicli I brought 'old times' to his recollec- 
tion, he brightened up a little, his old smile returned, 
and for a moment he looked somewhat like himself 
again. It was but a temporary glimmer, for a shrill 
harsh voice in an adjoining chamber, followed by a 
smart slap and a lengthened squall, reminded him of 
his wretched situation ; and as I rose to avoid meet- 
ing his (can I say) better half, who was evidently 
getting herself up for the occasion, he pressed my 
hand in his old affectionate manner, muttering with 

a deeply-drawn sigh, ' S , my dear fellow, you 

see the unfortunate mistake I made, and what it has 
brought me to ; take warning, steer clear of wed- 
lock, and you '11 be a happy man.' * I '11 be if 

I don't,' I replied, feeling at the same time a chok- 
ing sensation, as I mounted my nag, and rode off 
just as the temptress was sailing into the room." 
After a hearty laugh at the major's anecdote we bade 
him good night, and each made his way home. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE NEILGHERRIES CONTINUED. — A NIGHT AFFAIR. 

News of a tiger. — His last depredation. — The ambuscade. — Lying 
in wait. — A night attack. — Exciting moments. — The spoiler 
vanquished. — The return. — News of ibex, and an expedition 

to the Koondah range. — Ibex-stalking. — B 's wonderful 

shooting. — The game nearly lost. — The ibex described. — Re- 
turn to Ooty. 

Time passed most pleasantly on the hills, for the 
days were spent in exploring parties and field sports 
of every description ; the evenings in social gather- 
ings, enlivened by the presence of female society ; 
and the nights in deliciously sound repose, which in 
itself is one of the greatest luxuries an Anglo-Indian 
can enjoy, for in the low country during the hot 
season the unsupportably close and oppressive period 
between sunset and early dawn is more distressing 
and enervating than the intense heat of the day ; 
for during this time not a breath of air agitates the 
branches of the highest trees, candles burn in the 
open air without flickering, the atmosphere is suf- 
focatingly close, and unless the punkah is kept con- 



220 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

tinually going the European can obtain no sleep, but 
tosses about restlessly on his couch, and gets up in 
the morning feeling as weary, tired, and overcome 
with lassitude as when he laid down. This want of 
rest is more trying to our soldiers than any privation 
or fatigue they may exj^erience during their sojourn 
in tropical climates ; and of late years officers com- 
manding regiments have been empowered by the 
Indian Government to employ coolies to keep the 
punkahs going day and night during the hot months, 
which has been found to have an extremely salutary 
effect. One day I was superintending the manu- 
facture of a batch of "goorakoo"* for my hookah, 
according to a recipe I obtained from one of the re- 
tainers of Mah-rajah Chundalal, the late Dewan of 
the Deccan, when Chineah came with the intelli- 
gence that a tiger had struck down a bullock be- 
longing to some Mulchers about five miles distant, 

* Goorakoo, from the Sanscrit word " goor," sugar, and tlie 
Telegoo " akoo," a leaf, is the compound used in the hookah. 
The following is the best recipe I ever met with : — " Take of 
tobacco four seers, (16 lbs.,) common treacle four seers, wood- 
apple (feronia clephantum) half a seer, preserved apples, plan- 
tains or pineapple, half a seer, raisins half a seer, and ' goolgund' 
(conserve of roses) half a seer. Pound these ingredients well 
together in a large wooden mortar, adding cardamums, sandal- 
wood, otto of roses, and spikenard, according as you want it 
mor» or less scented. When it is well mixed, and has assumed 
the consistency of a thick paste, add a seer of dried rose-leaves, 
then put it in an earthen pot, the mouth of which must be 
made perfectly airtight by being waxed over, and bury it for 
three months, after which it is ready for use." 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 221 

and after having sucked the blood had left the car- 
cass, which Naga and Googooloo had gone to watch, 
to prevent its being carried away by the Cbucklurs 
(shoemakers) or Pariahs, (low caste people.) 

B had gone out to reconnoitre some ibex 

ground on the Koondah range, and as I did not ex- 
pect him to return until late in the evening I made 
preparations to start alone. Tiffin eaten, I set out 
for the spot accompanied by Chineah, the Gooroo, 
and a horse-keeper who carried my rifles, and after 
an hour's ride arrived at a little patch of cultivation 
surrounded on three sides by dense wood, where we 
found a fine white bullock lying dead in a pool of 
blood, with his throat torn and shoulder dislocated. 
I saw at a glance that the marauder was a large 
tiger, for besides the holes made in the throat by his 
fangs, and the marks of his claws in the back of the 
neck, which had torn up the flesh in ridges, there 
were several immense "pugs" deeply imprinted in 
the soft ground, near which the struggle had taken 
place. 

Googooloo and Naga had built an ambuscade in 
a tree, about ten feet from the ground, which com- 
manded an excellent view of all approaches from the 
cover ; but as I did not imagine that the tiger would 
return to his prey in the earlier part of the evening, 
and I should not have the advantage of the light of 
the moon until late, I determined to await his ap- 
proach at close quarters, and made the gang dig a 
hole about four feet deep under a low overhanging 



222 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

bush, much overgrown with creepers and parasitical 
plants, which was about half a dozen paces to lee- 
ward of the carcass. By making my place of con- 
cealment in the ground, I knew I should have a 
better chance of getting a sight of the tiger, and 
takinfj more certain aim in the dark, than if I was 
perched in a tree above him, besides which it seemed 
something more like fair play. Having lined my 
place of ambuscade with a carpet, so as to make it 
more comfortable, I carefully loaded my weapons, 
which were two double ten-bore rifles, a double two- 
ounce gun, and a brace of large double holster- 
pistols ; arranged my comforts for the inner man, 
consisting of a stone bottle of strong green tea, a 
flask of brandy, and a huge pile of sandwiches ; and 
ordered all my followers to return to Ooty, with the 
horse, excepting Chineah and Googooloo, who were 
to keep watch in the tree so as to be at hand in case 
they might be wanted. 

All being prepared, as soon as the shadows of 
evening began to lengthen we took post, and during 
the few remaining hours of daylight I carefully 
noted every bush and undulation in the ground, so 
as to be better able to perceive anything in the 
dark. As the day declined, the last rays of an un- 
clouded sunset threw a rich purple haze over the 
whole scene, and the many-tinted foliage of the sur- 
rounding woods glistened with golden tints in the 
light of departing day. 

The tuneful songsters ceased their warbling, and 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 223 

the woods no lonf;ei' resounded with tlic sharp 
strokes of the woodpecker ; but the ni::^ht-hawk was 
on the wing, and darted swiftly to and fro after the 
moths, which at that hour were flitting about in 
great numbers. The air became redolent with the 
fragrance of numberless flowering shrubs, which 
seemed to emit a double perfume towards the close 
of day. The evening deepened into twilight, the 
twilight darkened into night, and the stars with 
their mild radiance seemed as if they strove to 
eclipse the lingering rays of sunset. At length the 
mighty forest became silent, and no sound reached 
our ears save the occasional chirping of a cricket, 
the dismal hooting of the horned owl, the howling 
of troops of jackals, or the melancholy booming of 
the great hill-monkey. As the night wore on, the 
tall trees could hardly be distinguished one behind 
another, as they loomed darker and darker against 
an indefinable background. 

Time passed slowly, the night air became chilly, 
and at last I began to fancy the tiger, having 
satiated his thirst with blood, had no intention of 
returning for the flesh, (a frequent occurrence ;) so 
I wrapped myself up more closely in my " combley," 
(a blanket made of goats' hair, impermeable to wet,) 
and set to work at my pile of sandwiches and cold 
tea, with occasional nips of brandy, when suddenly 
I thought I caught the sound of a rustling of leaves, 
followed by the snapping of a dry twig. I set down 
the bottle of tea I was in the act of raising to my 



224 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

mouth, noiselessly grasped my rifle, which I raised 
with the muzzle directed towards the spot from 
whence I thought the noise proceeded, and listened 
attentively ; but I heard nothing save the palpita- 
tions of my own heart, that seemed to be thumping 
violently against my side ; and as to seeing anything, 
it was out of the question, for the night was so dark 
and gloomy, that I could scarcely even recognise the 
outline of the dead bullock. A long anxious hour 
passed, and I repeatedly heard the tearing of flesh 
and crunchincf of bones close in front of me, but the 
sky was so overcast that I could not distinguish any- 
thing, although now and then I caught sight of a pair 
of greenish-looking eyes, and heard a low purring. 
At last, finding there was no prospect of getting a 
fair shot, I resolved to risk a chance one, and having 
waited until I again caught sight of his eyes, I gave 
a whistle, which immediately attracted his attention, 
for he raised up his head, uttering a low savage 
snarl, and I saw his eyeballs glare as if he was peer- 
ing through the gloom in my direction. This was 
the opportunity I wanted. I took deliberate aim 
between the glittering orbs that shone like burning 
coals, and pulled both triggers almost simultaneously. 
A hoarse roar followed the double report, which was 
re-echoed by the distant hills — something dark 
passed overhead, and I heard a crashing and rending 
of wood in the bush immediately behind me, with a 
loud whine and peculiar grunt which told me that 
the tijjer was hard hit. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 225 

I grasped my second gun, stuck my pistols in my 
belt, so as to be ready for immediate use, and turned 
towards the spot where the tiger appeared to be, at 
the same time calling to Chineah and Googooloo, to 
prevent them leaving their post on any account, for 
I well knew how dangerous a wounded tiger is at 
any time, more especially in the dark, when he can 
see, and man cannot. On receiving the contents of 
my rifle, he must have sprung clear over the ambus- 
cade, for I heard him strugs^Iing in the bush just 
behind it, grinding his teeth, and emitting strange 
moaning noises. Every now and then he seemed to 
be moving restlessly about, and at times I thought, 
from his hard breathing, (which somewhat resembled 
a loud snore,) that he was close to me ; indeed I 
fancied once or twice that I felt the bushes shake, as 
if he was trying to get at me. Although prepared 
for all emergencies, I remained perfectly quiet, list- 
ening intently to his movements, for the darkness 
was so profound that I could not see my hand before 
me. Ciiineah gave a signal to me once or twice, 
but I dared not answer it, lest I should attract the 
enraged animal's notice towards the place of my 
concealment. After a lengthened period of anxious 
and exciting suspense, I heard the wounded tiger 
heave a long deep-drawn sigh, which was followed 
by a succession of smothered groans and gaspings 
for breath ; then came a heavy fall, another violent 
6truggle, a gurgling bubbling sound in the throat as 
of suffocation, a hollow rattle, and all was stilJ. 

p 



226 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

I knew my antagonist was dead, but to make sure, 
I waited a few minutes before leaving my ambus- 
cade, when, hearing nothing, I lighted a bull's-eye 
lantern I always carried about with me, which fast- 
ened by a spring to the front of ray belt, and, rifle 
in hand, I took a cursory view of the bullock, the 
hinder part of which was half eaten, and then exa- 
mined the bush, where I found the tiger stretched 
lifeless on the ground, in some low cover about 
fifteen paces behind the place where I had been 
lying in wait. I called down Chineah and Googooloo, 
who lighted a torch, and we found that both of my 
shots had taken efiect ; the first had struck him in 
the centre of the forehead, ploughed up the skin, 
and glanced off the bone ; the second entered the 
chest, and apparently traversed the lungs, for the 
ground about was covered with blood and froth that 

O 

had issued from the mouth. He proved to be mag- 
nificently marked, although not so large as I ex- 
pected, from the large imprints of his paws. 

We now lighted a large fire, wrapped ourselves 
carefully up in our blankets, and indulged in a brew 
of hot punch and the " fragrant weed," which never 
appeared more grateful than on that bitterly cold 
morning. After some time the summits of the op- 
posite hills began to appear more distinctly against 
a clearer sky, and presently the moon slowly emerged 
above the horizon, and her silver rays lighted up the 
whole scene. After having cut off the centre claw of 
the tiger's right foot, by way of marking the game. 



OF THE OLD WOELD. 227 

we collected the carpets, blankets, &c., and leaving 
Googooloo on the platform to watch the body, 
Chineah and I shouldered our rifles, and made the 
best of our way to the bungalow, where we arrived 
just as the first faint streaks of gray in the east pro- 
claimed that day was about to break. After having 
given orders to the " gooroo " to go with some of 
the people and bring the skin, I turned in and en- 
joyed several hours' refreshing sleep, tiffin being on 
the table before I made my appearance, when I was 
warmly congratulated on my success by several 
friends who dropped in to admire the spoils. 

B gave a very good account of the ibex on the 

Koondahs, having seen two herds on the summit of 
an isolated ridge overlooking the low country, which 
he forbore to follow, on account of the weather 
threatening fog in those altitudes. We determined, 
however, to make an attempt, and ordered the 
people to be ready to start with a tent before day- 
break the next morning, we intending to follow 
soon after. 

The following morning B and I mounted our 

nags soon after breakfast and sallied forth from the 
glen of the Mala-mund, equipped in suits of drab 
moleskin, which colour is the best adapted for ibex- 
stalking, as at a short distance it is scarcely distin- 
guishable from the bleak crags among which they 
dwell. 

The pursuit of the ibex, although an intensely 
exciting sport, is the most difficult of all deer- 



228 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

stalking, and proves the severest test of the qualifi- 
cations of a hunter ; for not only are these animals 
exceedingly shy and watchful, but they are also 
gifted with remarkably keen sight, and their senses 
of smelling and hearing are developed to an extra- 
ordinary degree. From the almost inaccessible na- 
ture of the ground on which they are found, he who 
would take their spoils should be endued with great 
strength, perseverance, and endurance, besides which 
be must have the agility of a mountaineer and a 
steady head, or he can never follow up his game to 
their haunts along narrow ledges of scarped rocks 
and beetling heights, where a false step or a mo-- 
ment's giddiness would entail certain destruction. 
There can be no doubt but that intense excitement 
takes away all dread of danger, for I have seen it 
exemplified many times, not only on the hunting- 
ground but also on the field of battle. The same 
spirit which animates a " dare devil" in the front 
rank of the hunting-field at home accompanies him 
in the van of the fight abroad, and in both cases, if 
his career is not stopped by " a fall," he will be 
found " well in at the death." An ardent hunter, 
like a daring soldier, possesses a mental energy 
superior to all thought of peril ; for, seeking only 
the attainment of his purpose, he pursues his course 
with that dogged stubbornness, inflexibility of pur- 
pose, and recklessness of self-preservation that make 
him invincible and ensure success in the end. In 
my opinion, the greatest compliment the British 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 229 

army ever received was when the ;;reat Napoleon 
said that " the men never knew when they were 
beaten." The saying marked the discrimination of 
the man, as it was that feeling that gained us 
Waterloo, Inkermann, and numberless other glori- 
ous days ; for our soldiers, in the words of our 
greatest bard, — 

" Could for itself woo the approaching fight. 
And turn what some deem danger to delight." 

But, gentle reader, I crave your pardon for 
digressing, having wandered from my subject by 
musing upon bygone days and the many hard- 
fought fields that I have seen won. So now to 
describe the Neilgherry ibex, which is, I believe, of 
a species peculiar to the range, differing in many 
respects from those found on the Himalayas or the 
Caucasus. In shape they somewhat resemble the 
common Indian goat, but the body is much shorter 
in comparison with the height. The largest I ever 

saw — which was kiUed by B on the precipitous 

heights of the Koondahs, overlooking the low coun- 
try — measured G feet 8 inches in length from the 
point of the nose to the end of the tail, 50 inches 
in height at the shoulder, and weighed, I should 
think, over 200 pounds, as it was in first-rate 
condition, the rutting season not having commenced. 
The horns are dark olive with black points, about 
10 inches in length, ringed, and 4i inches in cir- 
cumference at the base, gradually diverging until the 



230 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

points become nearly 6 inches apart. These ibex 
are uniformly of a light ash, deepening to dark 
brown on the hind-quarters and forepart of the 
legs, with an almost black stripe running along the 
ridge of the back. The head is fawn-colour, part 
of the face being of a rich brown, and the muzzle 
nearly black. The back is furnished with a shaggy, 
stiff, upright mane, running along the neck and 
shoulders, which gradually grows shorter on the 
hind-quarters. The smell of this animal is parti- 
cularly rank and offensive, and the flesh is scarcely 
eatable at any time, being so strong-tasted and coarse. 
Ibex are found in troops, rarely exceeding a dozen 
in number, amongst the rugged crags of the highest 
and most inaccessible mountains, their food consist- 
ing chiefly of the different mosses and short, crisp, 
delicate herbage indigenous to great altitudes. A 
wary old buck who has often quite a patriarchal 
appearance, is generally chosen as the leader of the 
herd ; and if he sees anything suspicious, or catches 
a taint in the air, a peculiar whistle alarms the rest, 
causing them to collect together and remain on the 
alert, and on a repetition of the signal away they 
scamper, always ascending or descending a slope in 
an oblique direction. Sometimes I have seen an old 
female lead the herd, and on such occasions I have 
always found it extremely difhcult to get within 
range, as they are doubly cunning. 

Six hours' ride over most picturesque-looking 
country brought us to our encampment, which 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 231 

Chineah had chosen close to a small mountain- 
stream that took its source in a cavern on the side 
of a lofty peak, which stood out in bold relief, and 
towered high above the rest. Its rugged summit, 
round which wreaths of white fleecy-looking clouds 
were floating in a deep blue azure sky, had the 
reputation of being the most likely ground to meet 
with ibex, as from its extreme inaccessibility it had 
rarely been trodden by man, and the game had been 
but little disturbed. Having taken a cursory survey 
of the mountain, in order to endeavour to form some 
judgment as to the best side to commence the ascent 
on the morrow, we adjourned to the tent, where we 
found a dinner waiting to which we did ample jus- 
tice ; and, after making a few preparations, turned 
in soon after sunset, so as to have a good night's 
rest previous to the morrow's fag, which we well 
knew would prove a trying one. 

Rising at dawn we found the cold severe and 
piercing ; and, on looking out of the tent door, we 
saw that the whole range of hills was enveloped in 
mist, a dense white cloud entirely obscuring the 
summit of the peak we intended to explore. This 
was not encouraging, to say the least of it ; but to- 
wards sunrise the vapours began to open and dis- 
unite, and in the course of an hour portions of clouds 
separated themselves from the main body and moved 
slowly and majestically down the mountain, some 
remaining stationary on its side, whilst others hung 
suspended over the neighbouring densely-wooded 



232 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

ravines and valleys. Seeing that there was every 
prospect of a fine day we set out, having each 
selected oiir favourite rifles, Chineah only being 
entrusted with a spare gun, whilst Googooloo, Naga, 
and Hassan carried long ropes and short spears, 
which were to serve us in the ascent as " Alpen- 
stocks." For some short distance the route was not 
very difficult, but it soon changed its character and 
became full of obstructions ; for we had often to 
crawl along the smooth slabs of rocks on our hands 
and knees, and sometimes were obliged to take off 
our sambur-skin shoes (which were made purposely 
with very light soles) in order to get a better foot- 
ing. The scenery was extremely wild, and a solemn 
silence reigned around, which was only broken at 
times by the deep gnmt of some one of the gang 
when he came to a scarped rock or gully more diffi- 
cult than the rest. On slopes here and there the 
mountain's vegetation was spangled with dew-drops, 
which sparkled like diamonds in the reflected rays 
of the morning sun. 

After a severe fag we rested on a ledge of rock to 
take breath, and, being from constant exercise in 
rather better training than the rest, I pushed on a 
short distance in order to reconnoitre the ground, 
which seemed to be getting more and more difficult 
as we ascended. Whilst so engaged I heard a slight 
rustle, followed by a sound like the rolling of a 
pebble, and to my surprise saw a fine buck-sambur 
rise from his lair, just below the boulder of rock 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 233 

against which I was leaning, and gaze majestically 
round with erected head. I noiselessly took up my 
rifle, and, as he was leisurely trotting along the side 
of the mountain, brought the sight to bear just be- 
hind his massive shoulder and fired. When the 
smoke cleared away I saw him stretched lifeless on 
the ground, shot through the heart. The report 
soon brought up the gang, and having little time 
to lose, we merely hoisted our quarry — which proved 
to be a full stag with fine branching antlers — on to 
a huge boulder of rock, where, having fastened a 
pocket-handkerchief to one of the tines of his horns 
to scare away the vultures, we left him until our 
return. After several hours' clambering over broken 
ground, scarped rocks, and deep gullies, without 
seeing any indication of animal life, except a few 
butterflies, Naga called our attention to something 
moving along the scarped edge of a high ridge of 
clifl" which frowned like a wall high above our heads, 
and with the aid of my field-glass I discerned a fine 
buck-ibex, evidently the sentinel of a herd, poised 
on a pinnacle of rock nearly half a mile distant. 
As his head was turned toward us, and he seemed 
to be watching our movements, I took it for granted 
that our presence was discovered, so I told Googoo- 
loo, Naga, and Hassan to remain quiet where they 

were, whilst B , Chineah, and myself made a 

detour so as to circumvent him. 

After intense labour we clambered up the face of 
the cliff", having frequently to crawl along ledges of 



234 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

rock overhanging precipices down which we dare 
not look, and with a good deal of manoeuvring 
managed to get above our wary quarry, who was 
still apparently intently observing the movement of 
our party below, whilst seven others, confident in 
his watchfulness, were carelessly browsing on the 
short crisp herbage close by. By dodging from crag 
to crag, after some intensely-exciting stalking, we 
crept behind an isolated boulder of rock about a 
hundred and twenty paces to leeward of the herd, 
who were still grazing unconscious of danger; and, 
as the nature of the ground was such that we could 
not hope to steal any nearer without great fear of 
discovery, we prepared for immediate ofiFensive ac- 
tion. Having taken the precaution of putting fresh 

caps on our rifles, B aimed at a fine buck that 

was carelessly receiving the caresses of a couple of 
does, whilst I took the sentinel, and firing almost 
simultaneously, both fell to our shots. I wounded 
a doe with my second barrel, but it got away with 

a broken leg ; B , however, was more fortunate, 

for he stopped a second doe with a ball through the 
spine, and kiUed a young buck with the second gun, 
as it was bounding along a ledge of rocks at least 
four hundred paces distant. " Well done, indeed, 
Ned ! " I exclaimed, rather taken aback with this 
splendid display of marksmanship ; " that was a 
shot I envy you for having made, as I have rarely 
seen a bounding deer bagged at such a distance, not- 
withstanding I have hunted with the crack sports- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 235 

man of the day. It would have gladdened old Wal- 
ter's heart to see one of his pupils do such credit to 
his ' bringings up.' " 

" Yes, Hal, it was indeed a long shot, aiid I could 
hardly believe my eyes when I saw him drop, but 
the credit of it, if any there be, must be given to 
old Purdey, the maker of your rifle ; for never do I 
think that grooved bore threw lead so true, and I 
now do not wonder at your luck in bringing down 
the hatties (elephants) right and left. It 's the gun, 
man ; it's the gun ! Look after the game, whilst I 
pace the distance for my own satisfaction." 

This was done, and it proved to be five hundred 
and forty-six paces, or allowing for inequalities in 
the ground, about four hundred yards. Whilst 
Chineah was despatching with his knife the still 

struggling doe that B had wounded, and 

B had gone to gather up his game, I went 

to look after the sentinel, which, to my surprise, 
was nowhere to be found, although I saw him drop 
the moment I fired, apparently lifeless. Whilst 
looking about, I crept on my hands and knees to- 
wards the edge of the precipice, and, lying my full 
length, looked over, when, to my astonishment, I 
saw the carcass on a narrow ledge of rock jutting 
out of the scarped cleft about thirty feet from the 
top. With the aid of my glass I could see that it 
was a fine specimen with splendid horns, which I 
determined, coute qui co'dte, should not be lost. 
I scrambled carefully back, and explained the case 



236 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

to B , who advised me to give it up as "lost 

game," it not being worth while risking life for the 
sake of a pair of horns ; but I did not like to return 
empty-handed, and my determination was soon taken, 
for I despatched Chineah for the rest of the gang. 
As soon as they arrived, I took the strong silken 
ropes they carried, on which I made a few knots, 
so as to enable me to get a better hold, and prevent 
myself from slipping, then fastening one end securely 
round the base of an immense boulder of rock, I 
threw the other down the abyss, taking the pre- 
caution of placing my coat and the turban-cloths 
of some of the people over the rough edge of the 
cliff, so as to prevent chafing. All being prepared, 
in spite of the remonstrance of my people, who 
feared some accident from the snapping of a rope 
which I knew would sustain a ton in addition to 

my weight, I commenced the descent, even B 

turning away, as the thought made him feel giddy. 
To me it was easy work enough, although I must 
own that I felt rather nervous as I first swang my- 
self off, and hung suspended over a precipice, six 
hundred feet in depth, by a cord not three-quar- 
ters of an inch in diameter, which, not being steadied 
at the bottom, kept turning round and round, now 
and then knocking me against projections in the 
face of the rock. However, my " suspense" was of 
very short duration, for I soon found firm footing 
upon the ledge of rock where the dead ibex lay, 
which luckily turned out to be much wider than I 



OP THE OLD "WOKLD. 237 

had at first imagined from its appearance from the 
top. I soon fastened the rope round the buck's 
head, and on giving the preconcerted signal of a 
whistle, he was hauled up by the gang, who again 
threw down the cord for me. I climbed up the rope 
easily enough, but had great difficulty in scrambling 
over the crest, as my eyes were nearly filled with 
sand, which fell from the sides. At last I managed 
it, and we commenced the operation of skinning, 
that occupied us nearly an hour, after which we 
commenced our descent, and taking the head and 
skin of the sambur en route arrived at the tent just 
before sunset. During the next five days we hunted 
over these grounds, bagging thirteen ibex and a 
couple of bison, a herd of which animals came early 
one morning close to our tent, after which we re- 
turned to Ooty. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

ELEPHANT-HUNTING IN THE FOEEST ABOUND THE 
BASE OF THE NEILGHEREIES. 



'• Trampling his path through wood and brake, 
And canes which, crackling, fall before his way, 
And tassel-grass, whose silvery feathers play, 
O'erlapping the young trees. 
On comes the elephant to slake 
His thirst at noon in yon pellucid spring." 



The elephant-hunter's qualifications, " Mighty Hunters." — The 
start. — The Coonoor Pass. — The trail.^ — Signs of a tusker. — 
The herd. — A bull-elephant dies. — A cow and calf fall. — 
The bivouac. 

Any sportsman who is a fair shot, cool, steady, per- 
severing, and active, may count upon killing heavy 
bags of most kinds of game with tolerable certainty ; 
but he who would slay the elephant in his trackless 
jungle-home must have other qualities combined, or 
he will fail in his attempt. 

The elephant-hunter must have a thorough know- 
ledjie of the nature and habits of that sagacious 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 23U 

animal, whose keenly-developed senses far exceed 
that of any other denizen of the forest; he must 
be well acquainted with its peculiar structure and 
anatomy, or his bullet, however true, will never reach 
the vital part with any certainty ; he must be an 
adept at " tracking," or following spoor, and in the 
understanding of jungle signs, which, although a 
natural gift to the red men of the Far West and 
Indian jungle-tribes, is only acquired by intense 
study and long practice ; he must be patient and 
enduring, satisfied with hard fare and short com- 
mons, as he will often have to subsist wholly 
upon his gun, with the ground for his bed, and a 
forest-tree for his canopy. He should feel with the 
great poet, that "there is a pleasure in the path- 
less woods," and " society where none intrudes :" 
for he must often be content with nature and his 
own thoughts as companions, and he must not let 
his spirits be depressed by the solitude and intense 
stillness of the deep jungle. 

The hunter must sleep like a hare, always on the 
alert, ever prepared and watchful ; for he never 
knows what he may meet, or the danger a moment 
may bring forth. Inured to peril, he must never 
be cast down or faint of heart ; or he had better 
not attempt to follow up the spoor of the elephant 
to his haunts in the dense, deep jungle, where the 
rays of the sun seldom penetrate, and the wood- 
man's axe was never heard — where the deadliest 
of fevers lurk in places the most beautiful to the 



240 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

eye ; and where, with the exception of certain times 
in the year, the air and the water are poisoned by 
malaria, and impregnated by the exhalations of 
decayed leaves and decomposed vegetable matter, 
entailing certain death to the hunter, were he 
tempted to follow up his perilous calling out of 
season. 

Notwithstanding the danger of elephant-hunting, 
it has ever been a favourite sport amongst the cove- 
nanted servants and officers of the Indian army; 
and the names of Oswall, Kogers, Godfrey, Garrow, 
Michael, and one or two others, are " as familiar as 
household words " throughout India, on account of 
their numerous daring feats and perilous escapades. 

Sometimes herds of elephants are tempted to 
roam, and leave their homes in the deep jungle to 
devastate the sugar-cane plantations and rice-fields 
of the ryots, where they commit great damage ; and 
on such occasions the Anglo-Indian sportsman is 
enabled to get amongst them without being obliged 
to penetrate the dense forests so pernicious to 
health. 

One evening, on my return to my domicile at 

Ooty from a very jovial picnic given by P , a 

sporting collector of Coimbatore, at the celebrated 
Dodabetta Peak, (which rises to the height of 8700 
feet above the plains,) Chineah, my head shekarry, 
informed me that a party of Mulchers whom I had 
sent out to look for game had come, up fiom the 
low country with the news that a herd of elephants 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 241 

had been seen near the Colunda nullah, a small 
mountain-stream a few miles to the north-east of 
the hills. 

My gang did not need any orders to prepare ; for 
as I entered the garden, I found them all assembled 
in front of the gate in full shekar costume, ready to 
start, and many a knowing look and broad grin they 
gave me as I passed to don my leather hunting- 
gear and prepare my battery and ammunition. The 
cylindro-conical bullets of my rifle, as well as the 
round ones I used in the smooth-bores, were made 
of a mixture of lead and zinc, which amalgamation 
1 prefer to any other for elephant -shooting, as 
leaden balls are too soft, and flatten on striking a 
bone, and brass balls, which are generally used, are 
too light to carry truly. My preparations did not 
take long to make, and in the course of a few 
minutes I mounted my favourite nag, "Gooty," 
accompanied by Chineah, Googooloo, Mootoo, and 
the Gooroo, carrying my guns, axes, spears, tele- 
scope, &c., a couple of Mulchers to show the road, 
and a horse -keeper, who led a baggage- tattoo, 
loaded with a large "combley^' blanket, which 
served either as a covering or a tent, as occasion 
required, a change of clothing, some prog and 
tobacco. 

The moon was favourable, being at its zenith 
as we passed the village of Coonoor, making the 
niglit clear as day, and allowing us to enjoy the 
magnificent scenery of the celebrated Coonoor Pass, 

Q 



242 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

where " fern flowers and grasses creep, fantastically 
tangled," amid gigantic forest trees, and the grace- 
ful bamboo contrasts with the darker foliage of the 
wild fig, and the thickets of rhododendron and 
wild camellias. The wave-like looking sea of deep 
forest was diversified with white lichen- covered 
precipices, and darkly-frowning crags of every ima- 
ginable form and shape, some thousands of feet in 
height, which seemed to shake their fern -fringed 
foreheads at the passing traveller as he followed 
the winding road leading down the ravine, every 
bend of which, like a turn of the kaleidoscope, re- 
vealed something new and pleasing to the eye. 

Upon the summit of a rugged and almost inac- 
cessible peak, which cast its dark shadow on our 
path, is the small hill-fort, Hulli kul Droog, built 
by Hyder All, which long since has been abandoned 
to the birds and beasts of the forest. 

As I rode along I frequently heard the sharp bark 
of the elk above the murmur of the mountain-stream, 
which glistened like silver in the rays of the moon 
as it glided over rounded masses of granite and 
smooth angular pieces of green stone, or, leaping 
in little cascades, dashed foaming down the steep 
ravine ; and at times I distinguished the distant 
hoarse roar of the tiger reverberating through the 
woods, which was immediately followed by a dismal 
howling chorus from a troop of jackals. 

It was past midnight when we arrived at the 
bungalow at Metrapolliam, a village on the right 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 243 

bank of the river Bowanl, and after a few hours' 
repose, started for the place where the elephants 
were said to be, just as the first streaks of gray in 
the east proclaimed the dawn of day ; and after a 
tramp of about twelve miles, some part of the way 
through very dense jungle, we arrived at the huts 
of a Mulcher tribe, where I left my horse and 
baggage-pony under the care of the horse-keeper. 
They could hardly make their way through the 
bush. 

The Mulchers gave us to understand that the 
herd could not be at any gr-at distance, as some of 
their tribe had seen them the evening before, in a 
valley close to the foot of the hills, and they had 
been heard trumpeting during the night. 

"We rested for an hour, and broke our fast by the 
side of a beautiful little stream, which we followed 
for some distance, when the Mulcher who served as 
our guide pointed out to us the spoor of an elephant 
about three days old, and shortly afterwards we 
came upon the trail of a herd of eight, which I 
made out to be about twenty-four hours old. 

It was now noon, and the rays of the sun were 
intensely hot, so we sat down for an hour under a 
tree, whilst the Gooroo and the Mulcher went to 
consult with some of the tribe, whom he had left 
watching the movements of the herd. They re- 
turned shortly, accompanied by two other Mulchers, 
who informed us that they had seen a herd, con- 
sisting of a tusker, eight females, and some young 



244 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

ones, passin!]j over one of the lower spurs branching 
off the Neilgherries the evening before ; and under 
their guidance we soon came upon their trail, which 
consisted of several footprints of all dimensions, from 
six to twelve or fourteen inches in diameter. 

I held a brief consultation with the gang, and it 
determined nem. con. to follow up the spoor as 
expeditiously as possible ; so we continued on trail 
through dense jungle, over hills, and almost im- 
penetrable ravines, until the sun had almost sunk 
below the western horizon, when we collected some 
dry logs, made a fire to keep off the tigers, &c., dis- 
tributed some provisions and tobacco, and turned 
in, two keeping watch by turns whilst the others 
slept, until the moon had risen high enough to enable 
us to see the spoor, and continue the pursuit. 

A sloth bear {Prochilus lahiatus) and a half- 
grown cub were descried by the Gooroo as we went 
along, and a bull-bison was heard bellowing in a 
thicket close by ; but we left them unmolested, 
continuing our course by the track made by the 
herd bursting through the jungle and treading 
down the brushwood otherwise impenetrable. Huge 
boughs and branches had been broken off, and trees 
uprooted or torn up in their passage ; in places 
they had remained for some time browsing on the 
young wood, tender branches, and succulent plants, 
and as we passed a watercourse, it was evident from 
the marks that some of their number had been 
rolline: in the sand. 



OF THE OLD WOELD. 245 

Here it was I made sure that there was a bull in 
the herd with large ivories ; for I perceived marks 
in the bank where he had thrust his tusks under the 
root of a large jungle-tree, covered with creeping 
oleaster, full of rich bunches of sour scarlet plums, 
which had resisted all his efforts to tear up. 

I saw, from the freshness of the spoor and other 
traces which remained, that we had gained very con- 
siderably upon the herd, and as we all felt rather 
fatigued, we lay down to repose for a couple of 
hours, continuing our course when the day broke. 

Towards noon, after crossing several densely- 
wooded ravines and rocky hills, where the elephant, 
in spite of his great weight, scarcely leaves any trace, 
the spoor being only indicated by a broken leaf, 
bruised twig, or a lately-upturned stone, we entered 
some thick bamboo jungle, and here we found a 
" jheel," or swamp, where they had remained during 
the night, and which bore traces of having been very 
recently occupietl The trail was warm. 

Being inspired with fresh vigour, fatigue was for- 
gotten, and after having made our way through a 
wide ravine, and crossed a stony watercourse, where 
the spoor was certainly not an hour old, at about 
three o'clock in the afternoon, we began to ascend a 
long ridge of low rocky hills — a difficult route, one 
would think, for such unwieldy-looking animals, but 
the spoor was plain, so on we went ; and after an 
hour's clambering up a steep and rather difficult 
ledge of rocks, we arrived at the summit, where I had 



2i6 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

the indescribable pleasure of beholding the broad 
backs of the objects of our search, who were quietly 
browsing, unconscious of danger, under the shade of 
some tall forest trees. I sent Mootoo, the Gooroo, 
and the Mulchers, to a high peak, by a circuitous 
route, from whence they would be enabled to watch 
the movements of the herd, should they take alarm. 
After resting for a few moments to reconnoitre the 
ground and take breath, and having tried the wind, 
which was favourable, a light air blowing from them 
to us, I carefully examined my guns, ascertained 
that the powder was well up in the nipples, and then 
stole gently forward, taking advantage of any cover 
or undulation I could find, until I got behind a thick 
tree, with a patch of low bush at the foot, from 
whence I could distinctly see the herd about sixty 
yards distant. The tusker was standing on three 
legs, swinging his huge carcass to and fro, and 
fanning himself with the branch of a tree, which he 
held in his trunk, and near him two females were 
reposing, whilst several others were standing a short 
distance off. 

I remained a few minutes to make sure that I was 
well to leeward, and not in any immediate danger of 
being discovered by their remarkably keen scent, 
and then making signs to Googooloo to remain con- 
cealed, I crept forward with my rifle, followed by 
Chineah, carrying my other two big guns. 

After some very careful and exciting stalking I 
reached a tree about thirty paces from the group, 



OF THE OLD WOKLD, 247 

which, unconscious of our approach, were still in the 
same position, and taking a moment to draw breath, 
and wipe my eyes from the perspiration which 
streamed down my forehead, I crept under the cover 
of some low bush to a clump of bamboos, within 
pistol shot of the tusker ; which I had hardly 
reached when I saw that I was discovered, for one 
of the females sprang up suddenly with a strange 
wild cry, and rushed a few paces forward, tail on end. 
The bull also made a simultaneous movement, 
stretching out his trunk with a grunt to catch the 
wind, and giving me a fair shot — not a second was 
to be lost. I threw up my rifle, took a deliberate 
and steady aim at the hollow above the trunk, 
(which is about the size of a saucer,) in the centre of 
his forehead, and pulled the trigger. A heavy fall 
immediately followed, but before the smoke had 
cleared away, and I could see the result of my shot, 
the female rushed frantically forward, nearly cap- 
sizing me in her course, and tore up a wild date 
within three yards of the spot where I was standing. 

As she did not appear, however, to notice me, but 
went off trumpeting in an opposite direction to that 
taken by the rest of the herd, I did not molest her 
at the time, for I felt too anxious to secure the 
tusker, whom I found stone-dead, with his fore-legs 
doubled under him, his hind ones stretched out, and 
his tusks deeply embedded in the ground with the 
fall. 

I had hardly made sure of his being dead when 



2 iS THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

Googooloo called my attention by a signal, and turn- 
ing round I saw my quondam friend, the female who 
gave the alarm, helping a young one over some rough 
ground about a couple of hundred yards distant. 
As she was going off at a shuffling trot that forbade 
any hope I might have of overtaking her, I took a 
steady aim at the young one, hitting it severely and 
rolling it over. The smoke had hardly cleared 
away, and I had just snatched a loaded gun from 
Chineab, (who ran like a cat up a tree,) when down 
she came on me with a hoarse roar of vengeance. 
I let her charge to within twenty paces from me, 
when I gave her a right and left full in the fore- 
head, which stopped her career and brought her to 
her knees, and Googooloo, who stood steadily by my 
side, handed me my second gun, with which I gave 
her a "finisher" as she was attempting to regain 
her legs. A convulsive tremor passed over her 
body, and all was still. 

I reloaded the guns, and despatched the young 
one, which could hardly drag itself along, and as 
there was no other tusker in the herd, I did not care 
to follow it up further, so I gave directions to 
Chineah and the rest of the gang, who came up, to 
build a hut, whilst I and Googooloo went out to try 
and kill a deer for food ; but after a hard fag our 
only bag was a large porcupine, a peafowl, a wild 
cat, and three black monkeys, which latter proved 
very acceptable to the Mulchers. 

On my return to the gang, I found a very com- 




^ ^ 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 249 

fortable hut constructed, a soft bed of leaves pre- 
pared, and a tolerably savoury dish ready for me, 
consisting of an elepliant's foot baked in a paste of 
clay amongst the embers ; after having partaken of 
which, a large fire was made, and we all sat round 
enjoying " tiie fragrant narcotic weed," whilst the 
Gooroo and Chineah by turns chanted an extempo- 
rary song in a very monotonous tone, commemorat- 
ing the exploits of the day, and all the rest took up 
the chorus. 

Being very tired, and perhaps not musically in- 
clined at the time, I fell asleep, and did not awake 
until broad daylight the next morning, when I found 
the gang busily emj^loyed with their axes in cutting 
out the tusks, which weighed ninety-four pounds the 
pair. This job took them about six hours, so that it 
was nearly noon before we commenced our home- 
ward route, and late at night when we arrived at the 
Mulcher huts, where we had left the horses. There 
we slept, returning to Ooty the night afterwards. 



CHAPTER XVir. 

ELEPHANT-HUNTING IN THE ANNAMULLAY FOREST. 

Coimbatore. — News of elephants. — A Poojah to propitiate the 
Hindoo deities meets with no satisfactory results. — A court- 
martial held on the recusant Sawmy. — Sentence and execu- 
tion. — The ghost of the injured Sawmy appears to the Gooroo. 
— His threat. — The laying of the spirit. — Result obtained. — 

The start. — M 's hut at Tunnacuddoo. — His hospitality. 

— A bison wounded. — Taketty. —News of a herd of elephants. 
— Our bivouac. — A night alarm. — Elephants astir. — A bull- 
elephant yields up his spoils. — An immense snake caught. — 
We follow up the spoor of the herd. — Beautiful forest scenery. 
— Tracking by torchlight. — Difficulties surmounted. — We 
swim a nullah.— The trail.— The herd in view.— A bull 
elephant anchored. — A second tusker wounded. — A charge. — 
A predicament.— A lucky shot decides the day.— The result of 
a pat from an elephant. 

Coimbatore has ever been considered one of the 
most desirable of our miKtary cantonments in 
Southern India, not only on account of its proximity 
to the Neilgherry and Annamullay Mountains, and 
its comparatively cool and salubrious climate, but 
because it is a single station, where one regiment 
only is quartered, consequently the duty is extremely 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 251 

light, and " leave " easily attainable. The town itself 
stands about 1400 feet above the level of the sea, 
in dry, well-cultivated country ; is neatly built, and 
consists of twelve wide and well-ventilated streets. 
Tippoo Sultan, the Rajah of Mysore, occasionally 
resided in the old palace, the ruins of which are 
still standin(]j, and built a handsome mosque. 

The officers' quarters are substantially built and 
delightfully situated outside the native town, by a 
lake three miles in length, which in the season is 
covered with waterfowl of every description, and in 
the reeds and paddy-fields adjoining snipe are to be 
found in thousands. To the lover of large game 
this station offers peculiar advantages, as the virgin 
forest jungle surrounding the Neilgherry and Anna- 
mullay ranges are celebrated as being the haunts of 
all kinds of large game, besides containing abund- 
ance of teak, (Sectona grandis^ blackwood, {Dal- 
hergia satifolia, boxwood,) sandal-wood, (Santalum 
album,) and other valuable timber, which is, how- 
ever, unfortunately too remote from water-carriage 
to permit of easy exportation. 

The end of December (when the north-east mon- 
soon rains are over, and the sun has gained his most 
southern declination) may be considered the coldest 
season of the year in all those countries north of the 
equator, for at this period the range of the ther- 
mometer in the shade is from sixty-two to eighty 
degrees, and the climate is there delightful, the 
north-east wind proving enlivening and bracing, 



252 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

and at this time the jungle is considered free from 
fever, the greatest danger to which the Indian sports- 
man is exposed. 

1 had left my eyrie, " Burnside Cottage," near 
Ooty, having received information that a herd of 
elephants were said to have been seen near one of 
the collector's spice -gardens in the Bolanputty 

Valley, and was staying with M , who was in 

the regiment then quartered at Coimbatore, whilst 
my gang went out to gather intelligence. After 
an absence of five days they returned, their search 
having proved a blank, no fresh trails having been 
discovered. 

As was my general custom before the departure 
of my gang on an expedition, I had distributed 
some few rupees to purchase sheep, fowls, &c., for 
sacrificial offerings to their "Sawmies," so as to 
propitiate the deities, and bring good luck on the 
enterprise, and on this occasion it appears that the 
non-success of the reconnaissance had excited the 
indignation of the whole gang against a certain 
stone image of Haniman (the monkey-god) in the 
neighbourhood of the lake, as sheep had been sacri- 
ficed, cocks immolated, cocoa-nuts broken, and in- 
cense burnt before him, and yet the search for game 
had proved a failure. 

I was enjoying a weed after dinner with M 

and B , when loud discordant vociferations were 

heard in the servants' outhouses, and going out to 
see what was the matter, we found the whole gang 



OF THE OLD WOPwLD. 253 

holding a court-martial on the recusant Sawmy ; 
to which we listened, keeping out of sight. The 
Gooroo was gesticulating in an extraordinary man- 
ner, and holding out somewhat in this style : — 
" Soono, Bhai, (listen, brothers,) here we are all very 
tired, with our feet broken, and our legs and arms 
full of thorns with tramping for five days through 
the jungle, and all to no purpose, for the elephants — 
may their fathers be burnt ! — were not to be found, 
and we had to come back, ' with blackened faces,' 
before the gentleman and ' eat dirt,' (literally, get 
abused.) Is not this vile conduct on the part of 
that monkey-faced Sawmy, to whom we went to 
the expense of offering sacrifices of sheep and cocks ? 
Are we to suffer him to laugh at us in our trouble, 
and throw dirt on our beards in this manner ? No, 
brothers, we will pay him out. Heigh ! Ali Beg, 
you are a Mussulman, and do not fear the evil eye 
of a Hindoo Sawmy, so take the cursed son of 
burnt fathers and defiled mothers who has dared to 
bring all this evil upon us, cast dirt upon our 
beards, and make the master turn his face away 
from us, break off his nose and ears, put out his 
eyes so that he can never find his way back, and 
fling him into the lake." Tlie whole gang highly 
approved of this sentence, and amidst the hootings, 
groans, and expletive execrations of the party, the 
image was dug up from the spot where it had per- 
haps rested for centuries, and after having been 
mutilated by Ali Beg, and subjected to the vilest 



254 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

abuse and ridicule, was thrown in the lake ; none 
of the Hindoos, however, venturing to lay a finger 
upon it. 

We slipped quietly away without any of the gang 
discovering our presence, and after turning over the 
aifair in my mind, knowing the character of my 
people, I resolved to work upon their superstitious 
fears to my own advantage ; and some few days 
afterwards, whilst out deer-stalking, I watched an 
opportunity, when the Gooroo was separated from 
the rest of the gang, and approaching tolerably near 
unperceived, hid myself under a large mass of para- 
sitical plants, and called out in a disguised low 
sepulchral voice, "0 Perriatumbie, Perriatumbie ! " 
(his real name, " the Gooroo," being a cognomen 
given to him by the gang, on account of his having 
some pretensions to priestcraft and sorcery,) am I 
not the god Haniman, whom you and your wretched 
associates caused to be defiled and thrown to the 
bottom of the tank ? I am not dead, as you will 
find, although I have been eight days in the water ; 
I can see you, although Ali Beg tried to put out my 
eyes ; I can hear, although my ears are disfigured ; 
I can smell your vile carcass, although the end of 
my nose is ofi"; and I can hardly keep my hands 
away from your throat, although they are maimed." 
At the first sound of my voice the Gooroo tried to 
make a bolt, but in his mad terror he stumbled over 
the ro©t of a tree, falling heavily his whole length 
on the ground, when he began writhing about in a 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 25 o 

convulsive manner, as if wrestling with some ima- 
ginary enemy, groaning and keeping his face covered 
with a cloth. Taking advaiitage of his terror, I con- 
tinued in the same tone of voice, " Perriatumbie ! 
are you not ashamed of having so ill-used your 
good Sawmy Haniman ? Did you not tie seven 
tails of male elephants shot by your master as a 
lignum (the sacred thread worn round the body 
Duly by the Brahmins) round the image of that pert 
god, Ganesea ? Perriatumbie ! my evil eye will 
always be upon you, and the rest of those who ill- 
treated me, to work you evil, until I have also a 
lignum of elephant tails on me, and my wounds are 
anointed with the fat and blood of many tigers. I 
want no sacrifices of sheep and cocks, for the price 
of them comes out of the pocket of your master, on 
whom be blessings and good luck, for he never did 
me any harm, and must not suffer for your ill- 
doings. Go and show him the fresh trails of ele- 
phants and tigers, that ho may kill them, and bring 
me their spoils as offerings, that I may not destroy 
you all, as your crimes deserve." I then stole 
quietly away and joined the rest of the gang, but in 
the course of half an hour I saw the spell had begun 
to work, for the people collected in groups, and 
whispered mysteriously to each other ; and every 
now and then tlie names of Haniman and the 
Gooroo caught my ears, which proved that a great 
sensation had been caused by this supernatural 
visitation, which I increased to an awfully exciting 



256 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

pitch by telling them that as I was passing an 
aspen-leaved peepul (a sacred tree among the Hin- 
doos) I heard a sweet voice, like that of a young 
girl, exclaim, " Why, master ! do you hunt in 
these jungles, when the elephants, bound by fate, 
are waiting for you on the Annamullay Mountains, 
where you can now follow them well, as there is no 
fever?" And that, although I looked everywhere 
to find whence the voice proceeded, I saw no one 
except an old, queer-looking black monkey, which 
hobbled away out of my sight in a moment. I 
told this tale with the greatest gravity and com- 
mand of countenance, and the effect was prodigious 
— ^the whole gang instantaneously exclaiming, shak- 
ing their heads, and nodding significantly at each 
other, that the voice had only spoken truth, and 
that we had better immediately prepare for an 
expedition to that part of the country. This was 
all I wanted ; for although at this season of the 
year the jungle is said to be free from fever, such 
was the dread of the deadly effect of the malaria of 
those trackless and unknown forests, that up to this 
I could never bribe or induce any gang to undertake 
any very lengthened expedition in those parts, not- 
withstanding it was known that elephants swarmed, 
and large game of all kinds was abundant. Hav- 
ing, therefore, attained my object by working upon 
their credulity and superstitious fears, "I struck 
whilst the iron was hot," and having consulted with 
B , who proposed to accompany me, the mor- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 2o / 

row was destined for preparation, and the day after 
for departure. 

During the night I heard the shrill notes of the 
cholera horn and other discordant Hindoo music, 
and my head servant, Yacoob Khan, a Mussulman, 
informed me that the gang had that evening fed 
twenty Brahmins, and that they were then perform- 
ing Poojah (religious ceremonies) in honour of the 
god Haniman. The next morning, on my way to 
the racket-court, as I passed by the lake, I saw the 
image of the god in its original position, decked 
out with wreaths of jessamine, and other fragrant 
flowers, and gaudily painted with yellow ochre and 
tinsel. Some of the gang must have had a cool dip 
during the night, for the water was deep where the 
idol was thrown in. 

We were very busy all the next day in getting 
supplies, casting hardened bullets, and arranging 
our baggage, all of which was carried on ponies or 
coolies' shoulders, and in the evening, as soon as the 
moon rose, the traps started, escorted by the gang, 
for Annamullay, a considerable village about five 
miles from the ghaut or pass leading up the moun- 
tain. B and I rode on at daybreak, and passed 

the greater part of the day in hunting up villagers 
who knew something of the hills, in which search, 
through the agency of the curnum, or head police 
authority, we were tolerably successful, as we secured 
the services of three men, whose employment was 
hunting in the deepest jimgle for cardamums. Un- 

K 



258 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

der their guidance, we ascended the mountains by 
a steep pass, extremely difficult for our baggage- 
animals, and after a hard day's fag, arrived at the 

hut of M , the celebrated elephant shot, who had 

established his head-quarters on a little clearing he 
had made in the heart of the jungle close to the 
Tuunacooddoo waterfall. 

He is the Government agent appointed to collect 
the revenue of this wild district, and also superin- 
tendent of the teak-forests, no tree being allowed to 
be cut without the payment of a certain tax. The 
timber when felled is allowed to remain on the 
ground a certain time to season, after which it is 
dragged by elephants, who are trained for the pur- 
pose, down slopes and slides of the mountain to the 
low country, were it is collected, and floated down 
the Ponani Kiver to the town of Ponani, on the coast, 
from whence it is embarked for Bombay, where 
aiuch is exported for the purposes of ship-building. 

M received us with great hospitality, and gave 

me a map of his explorings in the surrounding forest. 
He also deputed six Carders (some people of a wild 
jungle tribe he has domesticated) to accompany us 
in our trip. We lighted a huge box-fire outside his 
hut, and had a good warm, for the night was very 
chilly ; after which we dined, had a " jaw " as to 
our future proceedings ; and turned in. 

The next morning went out after bison, soon 
found a fresh trail, and M got a shot, wound- 
ing a bull, which was found dead some days after by 



OF TUE OLD WORLD. 250 

the Carders. He recommended us to go to Taketty, 
and there build a hut as head-quarters, as it was a 
famous place for elephants, he having killed five 
tuskers near there atditferent times. As the jungle 
was impenetrable for our baggage-animals on the 
top of the mountains, a part of the gang had to go 
down into the low country, and ascend the moun- 
tains again by a different ghaut. They, however, 
managed to do this in one day, arriving at Taketty, 
which consists of three or four wood-cutters' huts, 
just before sunset. 

The next day the gang constructed two huts, one 
for ourselves, and the other for our servants and the 
ponies, which would have been taken away by tigers 
in the night had we left them picketed outside. 

M having some magisterial duty to perform in 

the low country, could not accompany us, so we bade 
hiui adieu, and, under guidance of some of his Carder 
tribe, joined the gang, whom we found very com- 
fortably established. The next day, sent down into 
the low country for six bullock-loads of rice and 
curry stuff, a dozen sheep, a couple of milch goats, 
and a gross of fowls, for whose reception we pre- 
pared places ; after which we made a reconnaissance 
of the jungle lound about our hut, near which sev- 
eral old elephant spoors were distinctly visible, and 
one of the wood-cutters, who accompanied us, told 
us that some of his people had seen a herd a short 
distance from their huts at Cawderpuddy, where tin-}- 
were engaged in cutting timber two days previously. 



260 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

I therefore arranged with B , who was suffer- 
ing from dysentery, and hardly fit for hard work, 
that I should start with Chineah, Googooloo, and 
two others of the gang, ear^y on the morrow, to 
reconnoiti^e, leaving him, with the rest of the people, 
to get everything ship-shape in the huts. Accord- 
ingly, at daybreak we started, under the guidance 
of the wood-cutter, and a couple of Carders carrying 
axes, provisions for three days, and large comblies, or 
goats'-hair blankets, to serve as coverings. 

We soon arrived at Cawderpuddy, where we found 
about twenty men engaged in cutting timber. Here 
we learned that a herd of fifteen elephants, amongst 
which were two tuskers, had been seen quietly 
browsing in a valley some three miles off*, the morn- 
ing previous, by some women, who had gone there 
to pick " barjee," a kind of wild spinach, and for 
the inducement of some tobacco one of the men 
offered to show us the spot. After a couple of 
hours' fag through thickish jungle, we came upon 
an open glade, at one end of which was a swamp, 
where a sounder of hog were wallowing, and here 
we found the trail of a large herd, not many hours 
old, which we followed until the sun began to get 
low in the horizon, when, arriving at a watercourse, I 
eave the order to halt and prepare the supper, whilst 
I looked out for a suitable place to pass the night. 

Being an old forest-ranger, and used to camping 
out, I was not very particular, my great object being 
to secure a flank defence, so as to avoid the possi- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 261 

bility of being taken unawares by wild beasts ; and 
a dry bed of sand, under a high shelving bank, from 
which projected two high boulders of rock, about 
ten feet apart, seemed to offer a natural fortress, as 
by making a huge fire in front we were unassailable 
from without. Chineah and Googooloo spread one 
of the comblies over two bamboos, so as to form a 
kind of awning to shelter us from the dew, whilst 
the Carders collected heaps of dry leaves for our 
beds, and a sufhcient stock of logs to keep a large 
fire burning throughout the night. Our supper, 
consisting of curry and rice, was soon ready, and 
discussed ; a cheroot followed, after which the watch 
was set, arms carefully examined, and we turned in 
for the night, every one rolled up in a combley 
blanket. 

I had slept for some hours, when suddenly I was 
awakened by Chineah laying his hand on my 
shoulder, with a significant low whistle, which 
signal with the gang denoted that "something is 
stirring." I immediately sprang to my feet on the 
alert, and, after listening attentively for a moment, 
heard a loud crackling of bamboos, as if some large 
animals were forcing their way through the jungle, 
accompanied by a curious blowing noise, which at 
first I thought was the grunting of a bull-bison, 
but shortly afterwards I distinctly recognised the 
" trumpeting " of elephants, and the continual crash- 
ing of trees at no great distance left no doubt on my 
mind but that a herd was near at hand. I put fresh 



202 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

caps on my guns, for fear the old ones might have 
been injured with the dampness of the night air, and 
taking Chineah (on whose pluck I knew I could 
fully depend) with me to carry my spare guns, I 
cautioned the rest to lie quiet until my return, and 
sallied forth to reconnoitre, 

A full moon was nearly at its zenith, so that, 
except where the foliage was very dense, or under 
the deep shade of the mighty forest, we had no diffi- 
culty in discerning our way, guided by the strange 
noises and frequent crashing and rending of trees, 
which sounded at times almost as loud as the report 
of musketry, as these huge denizens of the forest 
rushed through the thickets, snapping and tearing 
up everything before them. 

As we were going along, I heard a rustling and a 
low hissing, and I felt rather startled by seeing a 
liuge snake, which appeared to be of the boa species, 
coiled round a date-tree, close to which I had passed ; 
as, however, it did not appear to move, I left it un- 
disturbed, and, after a tramp of about half an hour, 
arrived at a jheel or swamp, at one end of which 
was a large pool, where three elephants were amus- 
ing themselves by sucking up the water in their 
trunks and spouting it into the air or over their 
bodies. After a careful reconnaissance I made sure 
there was no tusker among them, so I left them un- 
molested, and crept gently round the shady edge of 
the cover, taking care to keep well to leeward, so as 
to prevent their getting wind. Passing the swamp, 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 2(;3 

I entered a rather open baniboo-junc,4e, when, from 
the peculiar noises on all sides, I knew I was in the 
middle of a laruje herd. 

I saw several groups of females browsing about, 
and threaded my way amongst them, with Chineah 
close at my side, keeping a sharp look-out for a 
tusker. We were several times very nearly dis- 
covered, although we kept in the shade as much as 
possible, and always strove to get to leeward. I had 
counted sixteen elephants without having distin- 
guished any with tusks, when my attention was 
arrested by hearing a low grunt, and on turning a 
cover of dense thicket, I perceived a stately bull, 
with a fine pair of " ivories," swinging himself to 
and fro, whilst a female was caressing his neck with 
her trunk. 

I stole gently forward, closely followed by Chi- 
neah, and, after a little careful and exciting stalking, 
managed to conceal myself behind a clump of bam- 
boos near which he was standing, which fortunately 
was to leeward. I remained without stirring for a 
few moments, the bull not giving me the chance of 
a fair shot, altliough I could have doubled up the 
female half a dozen times over, as I got a full view 
of her forehead within fifteen paces. At last he 
swerved round, fronting me, but his head turned 
towards the female, who just at this moment seemed 
to have caught scent of us, for she raised her trunk 
in a very inquisitive manner, and tore down one of 
the bamboos in front of us. No time was to be lost ; 



2G4 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

I cave a shrill whistle, which caused the bull to 
extend his ears, and turn his head in my direction, 
presenting me with a full view of his forehead. 
Now was my time ; I took a steady aim between 
the eyes, and gave him both barrels, right and left, 
at a second's interval. A hoarse scream followed 
the report, awakening the echoes of the forest, the 
huge beast staggered back a couple of paces, and 
reeled like a drunken man, then his sturdy legs 
gave way under him., and he sunk to the ground in 
a kneeling position. I snatched a second gun from 
Chineah, and fearing he might only be stunned, 
stepped up to him, and sent a ball crashing into his 
eye, but it was not required, he never stirred, he 
was dead. The female who was with him rushed 
frantically through the jungle, trumpeting, and the 
rest of the herd, taking alarm, dashed down a 
densely crowded valley at a pace which defied 
pursuit. 

Chineah cut off the tail as a trophy, and after 
we had examined our prize, whose tusks appeared 
to weigh heavily, we rejoined the rest of the gang, 
who were anxiously awaiting our arrival, and once 
more rolling ourselves in our blankets were soon in 
the arms of Morpheus. 

He who sleeps with a forest tree for his canopy, 
a stone for his pillow, and the ground for his bed, 
is not likely to play the sluggard, and I was up and 
astir as soon as the soft blue light of morning 
became perceptible along the eastern horizon. A 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 2G5 

few hours of repose had had the desired efifect — 
restoring both strength of body and vigour of mind 
— I awoke full of healtli, and fit for another day's 
hard fag. 

After a hurried ablution in the nullah, I lighted 
a cheroot, and, guided by my own footprints, pro- 
ceeded with the gang towards the scene of last 
night's operations. En route, I perceived the snake 
which had so startled me in the dark, still in the 
same place, coiled round the date-tree, evidently 
fast asleep, in a state of repletion. I saw at a 
glance that it was a beautifully marked " damian " 
or rock-snake, (a kind of boa,) which is not venom- 
ous, and I determined, if possible, to capture it 
alive, it appearing an excellent specimen. This 
was soon effected. Chineah fastened a slip-knot to 
a stout bamboo, and, passing it over its head, 
pulled, whilst some of the rest of the gang struck 
the tail with sticks until it unloosened its coil from 
the tree, and wound round the bamboo, to which it 
was tied with the stalks of creepers. It proved 
about eleven feet in length, and over a foot in cir- 
cumference. A wicker-basket was soon constructed, 
and in a few days it became quite tame, not attempt- 
ing to escape when handled.* 

Our captive secured, we soon made our way to 
the spot where the dead elephant was lying, and 

* The author subsequently gave it to A. Bain, Esq., of 
Madras, who transferred it to the Liverpool Zoological Gardens, 
where it is now, much increased in size. 



266 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

whilst some of the gang worked by turns with the 
axe to cut out the tusks, (a tedious and lengthy 
operation requiring much care,) and others pre- 
pared our morning repast, I strolled about with 
Googooloo, and examined the trail of the herd, in 
order to ascertain whether there were any other 
large tuskers in it worth following up. 

Our search proved successful, for the troop was 
evidently much larger than I had at first imagined ; 
and we found the spoor of a very large elephant* 
which, from the size, I concluded must be a buH 
with weighty ivories. From the trail, which I fol- 
lowed up for some distance, I perceived that the 
panic occasioned by my shots, had not been general 
among the herd, for some of them could hardly 
have been alarmed, as they had broken off branches 
and browsed on the young wood, within half a mile 
from the spot where I had killed one of their 
number. I therefore made up my mind to pursue, 
and returned to the gang to hasten them in their 
work, so as to be sooner on their heels. The tusks, 
which weighed about 70 lbs. were cut out, and, 
with the snake, given in charge of Mootoo, Verapah, 
and three of the Carder tribe, for conveyance to the 
hut, to which I intended to return on the close of 
the present expedition. 

After a couple of hours' tracking, we came to a 
purling mountain stream, meandering through dense 
forest jungle, where we filled our " mushucks," (large 
leathern bottles,) in case of not meeting with water 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 2G7 

further on, and continued our course, the spoor 
leading along the bank. 

As we advanced, the woods became more and 
more open, here and there alternating witli beauti- 
ful green glades, which much reminded me of the 
park scenery of " merrie England." On every side 
were clusters of magnificent teak-trees, interspersed 
with peepul, jack, and acacia, their branches twined 
with wild vines, and covered with bunches of de- 
liciously-sweet purple, or rather nearly black, grapes, 
many coloured convolvuli, or other beautiful flower- 
ing parasites. It was a wild garden of Nature's 
own planting, and, struck with the strange and 
almost supernatural beauty of the scene, I sat down 
to contemplate her handiwork. Every sense was 
gratified. The eye wandered with delight through 
numerous vistas amid the foliage, and on verdant 
glades, diversified with parterres of orchids, in full 
bloom, of every hue and shade, whose presence filled 
the forest round with fragrant aroma, and loaded 
the breeze, which was delightfully cool as it played 
round our heated temples, with pleasant perfume. 
The bulbul (the Indian nightingale) vied with the 
other feathered songsters in melody, soft, clear, and 
harmonious; and for some moments I felt so struck 
with the transcendent beauty of the scene before me, 
(so like what I imagine the garden of Eden must 
have been,) that I became absorbed in thought — 
imagination, for the time, led me away, and even 
the elephants were forgotten : short-lived sensations, 



2G8 THE HUNTING GEOTJNDS 

almost instantaneously passing away, for my eyes 
soon returned to earth, and my reverie was broken 
by Cbineali laying before me several bunches of 
delicious grapes that grew temptingly on every 
side. 

After having rested some little time, Googooloo 
and Naga took up the trail, and we continued the 
pursuit. As they pressed forward, with bodies half- 
bent and eyes gliding along the ground, they re- 
minded one of hounds running by scent ; but, un- 
like these, the trackers made no noise, seldom or 
never speaking when on trail, and then only in a 
subdued whisper. Tireless, used to constant war- 
fare with the elements, and struggles with the wild 
denizens of the forest, as the bloodhound loves the 
trail so did they, and hunger, thirst, weariness, all 
must be felt to an extreme degree before they would 
give it up. 

We continued the pursuit for many long and weary 
hours, until at last night set in and arrested our pro- 
gress, as the spoor was no longer to be discerned. 
Halting simultaneously, we held a brief consultation 
as to what was best to be done, and, after some deli- 
beration, my gang, who were all men of jungle expe- 
rience, and well versed in forest signs, were unani- 
mous in their desire to follow up the trail hy torch- 
light, for it was yet early in the night, and many 
hours must intervene before we should have the 
light of the moon, as it would not rise until nearly 
midnight, and during this time the herd, which, from 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 2GD 

the freshness of the spoor, were evidently not very 
far ahead, might travel a long way. 

I therefore determined to be at once on their 
heels, and lighting a large bull's-eye lanthorn (which 
one of the gang always carried) and branches of 
dry resinous wood, we continued the pursuit, follow- 
ing the trail almost as fast as before. I counted 
that we should get over many miles before morning, 
and perhaps even come up with the herd ; at any 
rate, we might expect to fall in with them before 
the next night. 

Notwithstanding we were tired and hungry, we 
did not linger, but followed up the spoor with every 
precaution, keenly scrutinising the ground in ad- 
vance of us, in the hope of perceiving the objects of 
our search. 

After some time we descended into a deep valley, 
and there encountered an obstacle that proved not 
only a serious barrier to our progress, but almost 
brought our tracking to a termination. This was a 
tract of dense bamboo-jungle, with thick underwood, 
which we could hardly penetrate without the con- 
stant use of our axes. Our lights also proved very 
insufficient, and for several long weary hours we 
followed the trail, the greater part of the time crawl- 
ing on our hands and knees. At last the long- 
wished-for moon shone forth, lighting up the forest 
with her cheering rays. Darkness passed away, and 
the night became clear as day. 

Extinguishing our torches, on we pressed with 



270 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

renewed vigour. The roar of water sounded in our 
ears from the direction towards which the trail was 
leading us, and after a short time we came to a for- 
midable torrent, which, freshened by recent rains on 
the mountains, came tumbling down its rocky bed 
in a succession of foaming cataracts. 

To my surprise, I found from the spoor that the 
herd had crossed, although by what means was not 
evident either to myself or any of the gang, as the 
stream,was extremely rapid and appeared too deep 
to be forded. Here and there, amons: the boiling 
frothing eddies, broken rocks of greenish hue were 
seen above the surface, but they were only the crests 
of large boulders, and between them the stream ran 
dark and rapidly. How the young elephants, of 
which there were several in the herd, had managed 
to get over I could not imagine, as no swimmer, 
however strong, could have stemmed the torrent for 
a moment ; he must have been swept down and 
(lashed to pieces against the rocks. 

At last I bethought me that perhaps the " fresh " 
had come down only lately, and that the herd had 
crossed before the torrent became so swollen, and by 
placing sticks by the edge of the. stream I found my 
opinion was correct, and that the volume of water 
was still increasing. This was certainly not satis- 
factory, to say the least of it, but " Never say die " 
was ever my motto, and we knew the elephants 
were on the other side, and that if we intended to 
be amongst them, we must go too. How ? was the 



OF THE OLD "WORLD. 271 

question. To cross where we wore was imiDOssible, 
but after some reconnoitring we found that below the 
falls the current ran much less rapidly, forming a 
kind of pool about a hundred yards across or more. 
This was not the first time that either I or my fol- 
lowers had crossed a river without a ford, and many 
a stronger current had I stemmed in my time than 
that then before me ; tlie only difficulty was to get 
the guns and ammunition over dry. 

After a moment's consideration, I made the gang 
collect a number of dry logs and bamboos, and with 
the aid of the stalks of creepers, which served as 
ropes, I tied them together and made a small raft, 
on which I securely tied the guns, tools, &c. I then 
stripped, and throwing my clothes on the top, cau- 
tiously entered the stream, and by laying hold of the 
raft, with the assistance of Chineah and Googoo- 
loo, pushed it before me. Plunge, plunge, plunge, 
I heard behind me, until the last of my gang had 
taken to the water, and was swimming silently to a 
smooth ledge of rocks on the opposite side, where, 
one after another, we landed, donned our toggery, 
and made sure that our arms had not got wet ; after 
which we clambered up the bank, and by keeping 
along the stream soon recovered the trail. 

Feeling considerably refreshed with our bath, we 
made short work with what little cold provision we 
had left in our wallet, and forgetting our fatigue, 
once more pushed on at a rapid rate. 

Hours rolled by, and daylight found us still on 



272 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

trail ; hunger, fatigue, and weariness were all for- 
gotten in the excitement attendant on the pursuit, 
for from the freshness of the spoor, and other un- 
mistakable signs, we knew the herd could not be 
far distant. 

The utmost care was now necessary in following 
up the trail, as the slightest noise might have given 
the alarm : indeed, I felt apprehensive lest the ele- 
phants should get wind of us, as their senses are 
more acute in the early part of the morning than at 
any other time. 

We had crossed a broad belt of open teak-forest, 
and were once more in dense bamboo-jungle, when 
suddenly I saw Googooloo, who was half a dozen 
paces ahead, make a stand and turn his head as if 
to catch a sound ; a low grunt (a sign of satisfac- 
tion) was followed by an expressive hiss, (his ordi- 
nary mode of attracting attention,) and then I felt 
as sure that game was afoot as any English sports- 
man could be on seeing his favourite dog point. I 
laid my ear to the ground but heard nothing, and 
the jungle was too thick to allow me to see any 
distance round ; I therefore carefully followed up 
the spoor, creeping along as cautiously as possible, 
when again one of Googooloo's peculiar sounds 
attracted my notice, and after listening attentively 
a few moments, I heard a distant, low, rumbling 
noise, which I immediately recognised as being that 
made by eleohants from the water rattling in their 
stomach. 



OF THE OLD WOULD, 273 

I ordered Chineah and the rest of the gang to 
halt, and having looked to the powder in my nipples, 
and made sure of the direction from which the 
sounds proceeded, stole noiselessly forward, accom- 
panied by Googooloo only, who carried a couple of 
spare guns. AVe soon came up with the rearmost 
of the herd, a group of five females, who were 
browsing upon the young and tender shoots of tlie 
bamboo and other succulent plants which abounded 
in that part of the jungle. As they were beneath 
my notice, I gave them a wide berth, and Googooloo 
and I separated, in order that we might have a better 
chance of finding the trail of a bull. 

I soon came across a spoor larger than any of the 
rest, and Googooloo not being in sight, I followed it 
up alone. After half-an-hour's tracking, in which I 
passed a young male and three other females, I saw 
a huge tusker standing alone by several large boul- 
ders of rock, against one of which he was rubbing 
his hind-quarters. 

Immediately I caiight sight of him I dived into 
the deeper jungle, and, by making a circuitous route, 
got well to windward of him. I then regretted that 
Googooloo was not with me, as I had no spare gun, 
and I felt nervous lest my prey might escape. 
However, there was no help for it, so, after carefully 
reconnoitring the ground, in order to avail myself of 
any cover it afforded, I crept forward on my hands 
and knees, and, after a few minutes' intensely ex- 
citing stalking, managed to ensconce myself behind 

s 



274 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

a low ledge of rock, from whence I could observe 
every motion he made. 

He was standinsj on three leo;s, the 'off hind-foot 
being raised from the ground, and leaning carelessly 
against the other, whilst the fore-part of his body 
was swinging to and fro. Although he was not more 
than twenty paces distant, I could not get a fair shot, 
as his head was turned directly away from me. I 
waited nearly ten minutes for a chance of his alter- 
ing his position, during which I had ample time to 
admire his stately proportions and magnificent tusks, 
but he never moved an inch. I could not get round 
in front of him on account of the wind, and as I did 
not like to risk the chance of losing so fine a fellow 
by an uncertain shot that might not prove mortal, 
after a few seconds' deliberation, I determined to try 
another plan, which, as I had not a spare gun, was 
attended with considerable danger. 

I examined the ground carefully, so as to be pre- 
pared in case I had to make a run for it, and then 
taking off my leathern gaiters and extraneous cloth- 
ing, so as to have my limbs as free as possible, 
noiselessly crept on my hands and knees behind 
him, and placing the muzzle of my gun almost 
close to the centre of the hind-foot which was raised, 
I pulled both triggers almost simultaneously, and 
sprang out of the way. A shrill shriek of agony 
followed the double report, and I just escaped a 
ferocious blow aimed at me with his trunk, being 
fortunately out of reach. I ran round to the back 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 275 

of the rock before I ventured to look over my shoul- 
der, when, finding he was not on me, I re-loaded as 
quickly as possible ; this done, I felt secure, and 
again approached the scene of action. 

I found my plan had proved completely successful, 
for my antagonist was entirely disabled. ^My gun 
(which was a double two-ounce smooth-bore, by 
Westley Richards) had been heavily loaded, having 
about six drachms of powder in each barrel ; and the 
bones of the foot were so completely shattered by 
the double shot, he could not put it to the ground, 
and every time he attempted to make a step forward 
he fell heavily. He must have suffered intense 
agony, for he uttered most piteous cries between his 
bursts of rage. As I approached, he strove to 
charge with a shriek of despair, but he fell heavily 
to the ground, and, as he was rising to his knees, I 
stepped up and discharged both barrels into the 
hollow over the trunk, the contents of which pene- 
trating the brain, he fell " never to rise again." 

After having taken a cursory survey of "the 
spoils of the fallen," and made an estimate in my 
own mind as to the probable weight of the ivory, I 
hastily reloaded, and retraced my steps towards the 
spot where I had left Googooloo. A shrill whistle 
twice repeated soon brought him to my side, and I 
learnt that my shots, being so far distant, had hardly 
disturbed the herd, for most of them were still 
browsing in the same place. He showed me the 
spoor of another bull, which we followed for nearly 



276 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

a mile up a narrow ravine, or rather gorge, in tlie 
mountain, where we found him drinking in a rocky 
nullah, and accompanied by two females. After 
having watched his movements for a few moments, 
I saw that it was advisable to gain the opposite 
bank, as it was much higher, and afforded good 
cover. This I accomplished, after some trouble, for 
the underwood was very thick, by making a cir- 
cuitous route, crossing the stream some distance to 
leeward, and creeping along the banks of the nullah 
until I got behind a tree, about thirty paces from the 
group. 

Although I kept well under cover, I could see, 
from the elephants' movements, that their suspicions 
had been aroused, for they kept sniffing about with 
their trunks, as if they were aware that " there was 
something strange in the wind." 

At last the bull moved forward a couple of paces, 
and stretched out his trunk, as if to discover from 
whence the taint in the air proceeded, at the same 
time fully presenting his broad forehead to my view. 
This was the opportunity I sought. I took a steady 
aim at the vulnerable spot, just over the root of the 
trunk, and dropped him with a single ball, like a 
rabbit riddled with buck-shot. 

The females, taken aback at the fall of their com- 
panion, rushed trumpeting down the stream, when 
just at this moment a cry from Googooloo attracted 
my attention to a crashing of underwood in the 
jungle close at hand, and I had hardly time to 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 277 

snatch up my second gun as a mighty bull and 
seven females dashed hurriedly past at a distance 
of about fifty paces. I threw up my rifle, and, 
aiming behind the ear, let drive a couple of snap- 
shots for the chance of stopping him, the last of 
which took effect, for it brought him to his knees ; 
but he immediately regained his legs, and, separating 
from the females, tore frantically through the forest, 
which he made resound with his angry roar. 

I snatched my second spare gun from Googooloo, 
(a heavy two-ounce double rifle,) and, jumping down 
the bank, ran with all speed to cut him off at the 
gorge, which was extremely narrow, as the torrent 
made its way between a huge cleft in the rock, 
through which I knew he must pass in order to 
join the rest of the herd. I was running down the 
bed of the stream, on either side of which rose high 
banks, when I heard a rattling noise among the 
stones behind me, and on turning my head I saw 
the wounded bull tearing after me, with his eyes 
flashing fire and his tail straight on end, about forty 
paces distant. 

Speed I knew would not avail me ; he would have 
been down upon me before I could have clambered 
up the bank, so I swung round and dropped on my 
knee, to take a more steady aim. 

On he charged with a fiendish shriek of revenge ; 
I let him come to within fifteen paces, when I let 
drive, aiming between his eyes (my favourite shot) ; 
but whether it was that I was unsteady, being 



278 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

breathless from my run, or that my rifle, which 
weighed sixteen pounds, was too heavy, I know not ; 
but my left arm dropped the moment I pulled the 
trigger, (not from nervousness, for I was perfectly 
cool, and never lost my presence of mind for a 
moment,) and my shot took effect four inches too 
low, entering the fleshy part of the root of the trunk 
instead of penetrating the brain. It failed to stop 
him, and before I could get out of the way the huge 
brute was on me ; I saw something dark pass over 
me, felt a severe blow, and found myself whizzing 
through the air ; then all was oblivion. 

When I came to, I found myself lying on my 
face in a pool of blood, which came from my nose, 
mouth, and ears. Although nearly choked with 
clotted gore, a sense of my perilous situation flashed 
across my mind, and I strove to rise and look after 
my antagonist, but he was nowhere to be seen. 

I picked myself up, and although fearfully bruised 
and shaken, found that no bones were broken. I 
was lying on the top of the bank, although quite 
unable to account to myself how I got there.* In 
the dry bed of the nullah I saw my rifle, and after 
much painful exertion managed to crawl down and 
get it. The muzzle was filled with sand, which I 
cleared out as well as I could ; and then, sitting by 
the edge of the stream, began to wash away the 
blood and bathe my face and head. Whilst so em- 

* The elephant must have flung me a considerable distance 
with his trunk, as the bank was upwards of six feet high. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 279 

ployed I heard a piercing shriek, and saw Googooloo 
rushing towards me, closely followed by the infuri- 
ated elephant, who was almost mad from the pain 
of his wounds. Luckily a hanging branch was in 
his way, and with the agility of a monkey he cauglit 
hold of it, and swung himself up the steep bank, 
where he was safe. 

The elephant, balked of his victim, rushed wildly 
backwards and forwards two or three times, as if 
searching for him, and then, with a hoarse scream 
of disappointment, came tearing down the bed of 
the nullah. I was directly in his path, and power- 
less to get out of the way. A moment more and I 
saw that I was perceived, for down he charged on 
me with a fiendish roar of vengeance. With diffi- 
culty I raised my rifle, and taking a steady aim be- 
tween his eyes, pulled the trigger — it was my only 
chance. When the smoke cleared away I perceived 
a mighty mass lying close to me. At last I had 
conquered. Soon after this I must have sunk into 
a swoon, for I hardly remember anything until I 

found myself lying in my hut, and B leaning 

over me. 

It appears that Chineah and the gang had carried 
me in on a litter, and, finding my body very much 
swollen from the severe blow I had received, my 
iaack being black from the waist upwards, had ap- 
plied a native remedy, and covered the bruised part 
with leeches, which had the effect of counteracting 
the inflammation, although I shall carry their marks 



280 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS, ETC. 

to the grave. As it was, I was entirely laid up, and 
had to return to Ooty to recruit. 

B sent a part of the gang to fetch in the 

ivory, which altogether weighed nearly three hundred 
pounds — not a bad bag for three days' "shekar," 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE GREAT ANNAMULLAY FOREST. — TIGEE- 
HUNTING, 

Our plan of operations. — The hunting-grounds. — Preparations. 
— The journey. — Jungle travelling. — Our bivouac. — A lonely 
glen. — Signs of game. — The ambuscade. — Foreign signs and 
jungle melody. — Googooloo gives tongue. — The spoiler 
spoiled. — An unexpected rencontre. — A wounded tigress. — 
Her retreat stormed. — Fatal accident. — Ketribution. — The 
Shekarry's grave. 

Towards the latter end of May, having become 
somewhat weary of the commonplace routine of 
ordinary cantonment-life in Ootacamund, I deter- 
mined, before the monsoon broke, to have a fort- 
night's hunting with my old chum B , in that 

immense tract of virgin forest which lies to the 
south of the Neilgherry mountains, and extends 
over the Annamullay range, and along the Western 
Ghauts. This region, which in the most recent 
maps is still left blank as an " unexplored district," 
is one continuous wilderness of mountains and dense 
waving forest, veined with broad rivers and streams, 
extending over an area of several hundreds of square 



282 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

miles, inhabited only by a few wild, uncivilised 
tribes, said to be the aborigines of the country, who 
for ages have shrunk from intercourse with the rest 
of the world, living in hollow trees or caves, and 
subsisting upon wild fruits, jungle-roots, and such 
small animals as they can bring down with their 
arrows. 

These woods, in which the sound of an axe is 
seldom heard, are the haunts of the largest denizens 
of the forest. Here vast herds of elephants and 
bison (Bos gaurus) wander through the leafy soli- 
tudes unmolested ; and tigers, panthers, and bears 
are so numerous, that after nightfall they may be 
heard in different parts of the jungle howling and 
calling to each other, with those peculiarly wild and 
deeply melancholy intonations which appal and 
strike awe into the hearts of those who are not 
accustomed to such serenades. 

The natives in this part of the country have a 
strange superstition about these hunting-grounds. 
They say that in the inmost recesses of the forest, 
where the eye of man has never yet penetrated, 
there is a lake, to the banks of which elephants, 
when they feel the approach of dissolution, go to 
die. Perhaps this popular belief may in some mea- 
sure be accounted for by the fact, that the body of 
an elephant that has died a natural death has rarely, 
if ever, been found in the woods. Some say that 
the remains of the dead are buried by their com- 
panions in the herd. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 283 

Hunting trips being every-day occurrences, but 
little time was required for preparation either by 
myself or my companion. I examined my battery 
(which consisted of a pair of double rifles of ten- 
gauge by Purdey, a pair of double smooth-bores by 
Westley Richards, carrying two-ounce round balls, 
and a couple of fowling-pieces), and saw that all 
were in perfect order, and fitted with ammunition. 

I then paraded my " Skekarries," or hunting- 
gang, which comprised Chineah, Googooloo, Naga, 
Veerapah, Hassan, the Gooroo, Ali, and Ramasaw- 
ney, eight stalwart fellows, all well tried and true, 
and inspected their hunting-gear, clothing, and 
equipments, so as to make sure that all were in 
perfect marching trim, and fit to commence a 
jungle campaign. My baggage ponies having been 
re-shod, then passed muster with their burdens, 
consisting of a small hill-tent, carpet, blankets, 
cooking-apparatus, rice-bags, &c., and finally my 
dogs, four huge creatures, any two of which would 
bring a bear to bay, or a hog to a standstill. 

In the meantime B paid a visit to Framjee's 

celebrated emporium for what the French term 
'^comestibles," and filled out two pairs of large 
" cowry " * baskets, with everything necessary for 
the support of the " inner man," at the same time 
engaging a couple of stout coolies to carry them. 

All being in readiness, I gave orders to Chineah, 

* Round wicker-baskets, which are slung at each end of a 
bamboo, and carried over the shoulder. 



284j the hunting grounds 

my head shekarry, to proceed at once, with the 
gang, guns, and baggage, to a hut I had built on a 
previous hunting expedition at the top of the 
Taketty Pass, which was four marches from Ooty, 
and there await our arrival. 

Although this was the hottest season of the year, 
the temperature on the table-land of the Neilgherry 
Hills was rarely much over 80°, but knowing from 
experience that it would be at least 40° higher in the 
plains, we determined to get over that part of the 
journey by night, in palanquins, with posted bearers, 
so as to avoid any unnecessary exposure to the sun, 
and get fresh to our ground. 

Having made arrangements with the police Ameen 
to this effect, on the next day but one after the de- 
parture of our people, we left my snug little domicile, 
Burnside Cottage, at about three in the afternoon, 
arriving at the travellers' bungalow, in Metrapol- 
lium, at the foot of the Coonoor Pass, by sunset, 
dined, and afterwards proceeded to Coimbatore, 
where we remained only a few minutes, and again 
started for the Annamullay Hills, the base of which 
we reached by 10 A.M. 

Here, to my surprise, I found Chineah, the Goo- 

roo, and one of B 's followers with our rifles, 

who informed us that they had come across a couple 
of Mulchers, (a jungle tribe,) who had taken them 
to a ravine alive with game of all kinds, which they 
begged we would tiy before ascending the Ghauts. 
At first I did not care to alter my former plan of 



OF THE OLD WOULD. 2S5 

exploring the table-lands of the Annamullay range, 

but after a consultation with B , it was resolved 

to follow Chineah's advice ; so, having donned our 
hunting-gear, we dismissed our bearers, who re- 
turned with the palanquins, to Ooty, shouldered our 
rifles, and struck off by a jungle-track leading along 
the base of the hills. 

The heat was intense in the extreme, and we 
perhaps felt it the more, liaving so lately left the 
vernal freshness of the hills; but signs of game 
were to be seen on every side, which encouraged 

us to proceed, and after what B called "a moist 

tramp " of nearly four hours, we arrived at the dry 
bed of a mountain torrent, which we followed for 
nearly three miles through a narrow gorge between 
two densely-wooded hills. During this part of 
our route we were entirely sheltered from the op- 
pressive beams of the sun by overarching trees, 
which were so densely covered with convolvuli, and 
similar delicate climbers of every colour, as to form 
an impervious shade overhead ; indeed it seemed as 
if we were traversing a vast leafy bower. 

At last, aftar a good hour's clambering over huge 
boulders of granite, ledges of rock, and loose shingle, 
we came to a bed of sand, where we recognised the 
pugs of two full-grown tigers, and innumerable 
slots of deer, hog, and jungle-sheep. Here, from a 
small open glade in the forest, I got a glimpse of 
our route, and found that we were approaching an 
apparently insurmountable barrier of mountains by 



286 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

a ravine so deep that nothing but the cloudless blue 
sky was to be seen overhead ; whilst on each side 
frowned perpendicular cliffs and stupendous peaks, 
so high that it strained the eye to look upwards to 
their summits. Whilst we were admiring the im- 
pressive grandeur of the scenery, a dull roaring, 
like distant thunder, caught my ear, and on inquiry 
Chineah informed me that the sound proceeded 
from a cascade near which we were to bivouac. 

Having rested for a few minutes, we again pushed 
on, and shortly afterwards fell in with the rest of 
the gang and a party of Mulchers, who were busily 
engaged in the construction of a bamboo hut under 
an overhanging rock, which formed an impervious 
shelter against the piercing beams of the sun. 

Feeling exhausted with our fag, after having paid 

a visit to B 's investment in the cowry-boxes, 

and partaken of sundry refreshing drinks, we re- 
solved to look out for a suitable place for a bathe, 
and strolled along the tortuous and winding bed of 
the watercourse for a short distance, until we came 
to a huge plateau of granite overlooking a wild, 
rocky glen, or cleft in the mountain, which looked 
as if it had been torn asunder by some convulsion 
of nature, for on three sides rose perpendicular 
cliffs, so high that the gigantic forest-trees which 
fringed the scarped edge of their summits looked 
diminutive as ferns. From the rugged side of one 
of these giddy heights, a mountain stream came 
aushinG: down, roaring like distant thunder, as it 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 287 

fell foaming and boiling upon massive boulders of 
rocks below, and causing a misty vapour to arise, 
in which numberless mimic rainbows appeared and 
vanished with magical rapidity. At the base of the 
fall was a clear pellucid pool, about two hundred 
yards in diameter, surrounded by live rocks of gray 
granite, rising high above the water's edge, except 
upon the side near which we were standing, where 
there was a shelving bank of sand. 

"What a glorious place that is for a dip, in the 

shade of those overhanging rocks!" cried B , 

after we had gazed for some moments upon the 
romantic beauty of the scene. 

" Yes," I replied, " if we are sure that it is not 
infested with 'muggers/ (alligators,) but I must 
confess I should not like to venture the first plunge 
until I have made a careful examination of the 
bank, for I never saw a more likely-looking spot 
for such kind of vermin." 

" You do not say so," replied he. " By Jove ! 
how lucky it is that you are with me, for, had I 
been alone, I should most assuredly have taken a 
header into that clear part without ever dreaming 
that such horrid brutes could be concealed in so 
lovely a spot." 

" I have often met with them in such places," 
said I. " However, we can soon find out if there 
are any trails or prints of their claws upon the 
sand, where they are most likely to bask when the 
sun enters the ravine at mid-day, and if we do not 



288 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

find any, we will send in the dogs to make sure ; 
but until this has been done I should advise you to 
confine your ablutions to ' chatties ' (earthen pots) 
of water on shore." So, sending Chineah for the 
dogs, we clambered down the rock, and strolled by 
the sand along the edge of the water. 

Here we saw the fresh pugs of two tigers, a 
cheetah, and several bears, besides the old spoors 
of elephant and bison, with innumerable slots of 
different kinds of deer, including the " Sambur " or 
black Rusa deer, commonly called the Indian elk, 
(Rusa Aristoteles ;) the " Chetel " or spotted deer, 
{Gervus Axis ;) and the "Muntjac" or jungle- sheep, 
{Gervus Muntjac;) besides the marks of a sounder of 
hog, a pack of jackals, peacocks, and jungle-fowl ; 
but I could not distinguish any trail of alligators. 

It was evident that this was the place where most 
of the wild animals of the surrounding jungle came 
to slake their thirst, so I determined to build a 
moat, or place of ambuscade, on a huge isolated 
boulder of black rock, which commanded all ap- 
proach to the water within easy range of our rifles. 
As the sides were scarped we had some trouble to 
get to the top, which was covered with bush, thorny 
brambles, and creepers, but with the aid of our axes 
we soon cleared a space sufficiently large for three 
or four of us to lie down at full length, on which 
we constructed a kind of hut, by stretching a 
"combley" blanket over poles, and covering the 
outside with creepers, so as to make it resemble 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 289 

a bush from below, leaving loopholes all round to 
fire through ; we then manufactured a rest for our 
rifles, and a bamboo ladder to go up and down 
more easily, after which we carpeted the interior, 
and furnished it with a couple of mattresses, pil- 
lows, and sundry refreshments. 

Whilst we were busy preparing our aml^iiscade, 
a young buck spotted-deer came out of one of the 
" runs " leading towards the water, within pistol- 
shot distance, and was leisurely proceeding to drink, 
when he caught sight of some of our people down 
below, which startled him. He stopped, threw back 
his head, pawed the ground, and coolly retraced his 
steps, apparently but little alarmed at the sight of 
man. Had our rifles been near at hand, he might 
not have got back so easily, for venison is always 
desirable, especially when there are many mouths 
to feed. 

I forbade any of our people to go near the pool 
on the side frequented by the jungle animals, but 
made them draw what water they required in 
leathern buckets from the rocks, fearing lest their 
footsteps might betray our presence. 

Our work being completed, we had a refreshing 
bath, and adjourned to the hut, where we saw the 
stores distributed, so that each man received his 
allowance of meat, rice, curry-stuff, "ghee," (clari- 
fied butter,) and tobacco. 

Having dined, we inspected the arrangements 
that had been made for the comfortable housing of 

T 



290 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

our people and baggage-animals, and then returned 
to the ambuscade ; Chineah, Naga, and Googooloo 
accompanying us, to keep a look-out for game, as 
we ourselves felt too fatigued with our day's fag to 
depend much on our watchfulness. 

As a light air was blowing from us across the 
water, and we were perfectly concealed from view, 
some ten feet above the level of the ground, there 
was no danger of the scent of tobacco being 
" winded " from the jungle, so we lighted our che- 
roots, (a most unorthodox proceeding when lying 
in ambuscade for large game,) and amused our- 
selves with observing the different species of animal- 
life that frequented that lonely spot. 

The margin of the lake was visited from time to 
time by different kinds of aquatic birds and water- 
fowl ; amongst which I noticed a flock of flamingoes 
with their magnificent rose-coloured plumage, stately 
pelicans, besides ibises, storks, herons, egrets, plovers, 
sand-larks, and crows, which latter birds assembled 
in noisy groups, and seemed to revel in the luxury 
of a bath. A toucan, with its awkward flight, was 
seen wending its way from tree to tree in search of 
the reptiles and small birds on which it feeds, and a 
jungle-cock, whose plumage gleamed like gold in the 
rays of the declining sun, came with his consorts, 
and scratched on the ground for food within a 
dozen yards of our hiding-place. 

Each period of the day has its accustomed visitants, 
every hour has its " certain signs/' that can be read 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 291 

and understood by those only to whom jungle voices 
are familiar, and who, from long habit and expe- 
rience, have been enabled to observe and mark the 
systematic order of Nature's handiwork. 

Duwng the intense heat of the day, whilst the 
sun is still high above the meridian, all animated 
nature seems to yield to his overpowering influ- 
ence. A strange stillness, a profound silence, reigns 
throughout the jungle, wdiich in early morning 
seemed to teem with life and motion. Every living 
creature disappears into the deepest shade of the 
woods, in order to escape from the exhausting heat 
and oppressive glare ; except, perhaps, the eagle, 
hawk, and falcon, who are seen hovering overhead in 
circles, like specks in the cloudless sky, or skimming, 
with strange, wild cries, over the tops of the jungle 
in search of their prey, and the green enamelled 
dragon-flies that still flit over the water from leaf to 
leaf. Then the sturdy hunter, overcome wdth lassi- 
tude, suspends his toil, and seeks the grateful shade 
of some gigantic forest tree or overhanging rock, 
where he reposes until the mid-day heat is passed, 
whilst his dog, also sharing in the universal lan- 
guor which seems at that hour to oppress the whole 
face of nature, lies panting upon the ground, with 
his legs extended to the utmost, and his tongue 
hanging far out of his mouth. 

The weary hours roll on, and nature revives ; the 
woods again resound with the melody of the voice 
of birds ; butterflies of varied hue flutter across 



292 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

the open glades ; bees flit from flower to flower ; 
and lustrous beetles, exhibiting metallic hues of 
i^reen and blue, that rival the deepest shades of the 
emerald and the sapphire, hover round in circles, 
making a peculiar booming noise from the flutter 
of their wings. Myriads of insects keep up a per- 
petual hum in the solitudes of the jungle, and other 
gentle sounds murmur softly from every side, like 
spirits in the air, and produce an effect singularly 
strange, soothing, and dreamy. At times, above 
this jungle melody, may be distinguished the dis- 
tant cry of the peacock, the shrill wild note of 
jungle-fowl, the call of the coppersmith, the tapping 
of the woodpecker against some hollow tree, the 
chattering of a troop of monkeys as they pass in 
the distance, bounding from bough to bough : the 
peculiarly soft and melancholy note of the turtle- 
doves, as they flutter in pairs from tree to tree ; or 
the shrill screams of flights of paroquets, whose 
brilliant plumage shines with exquisite lustre in the 
light of the sun, as they dash close past, unconscious 
of danger in their forest home. 

As the day declines, birds of all kinds are seen 
returninff homeward from their distant feeding- 
grounds ; pelicans rise heavily on their unwieldy 
wings from the marshes, and wend their way to their 
nests on the highest trees in some secluded spot. 
Flying-foxes leave the shady grove where they have 
hung suspended during the heat of the day, and are 
seen in numbers darkening the sky as they roam 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 29o 

tlirongli the twilight; whilst multitudes of bats flit 
about in all directions in search of the insects on 
■which they feed. 

As the sun sets, moths of all kinds issue from 
their retreats, and mosquitoes are constantly heard 
buzzing about, increasing in the audacity of their 
attacks as the night wears on. The shrill voices of 
innumerable crickets, the croaking of frogs, and the 
continual hum of other insects, keep up a perpetual 
serenade long after darkness has covered the earth. 
Then is heard the whooping of the great rock-mon- 
keys, the bark of the elk, the mournful howling of 
the hyena, the unearthly shrieking of jackals, the 
trumpeting of elephants as they crash through 
the underwood ; at intervals the distant roar of 
a prowling tiger is re-echoed among the hollow 
arches of the forest, as he leaves his lair, in its 
inmost recesses, to search in the plains for prey ; 
and great horned-owls flit past on muffled wings 
with strange sepulchral cries, like evil spirits of 
darkness. 

All these nocturnal animals rel ui'n to their haunts 
in the deep jungle on the first aj)pearance of dawn, 
when the jungle-cock sounds the "rt^veille," and 
pea-fowl are heard in all directions calling to their 
mates. Herds of bison and deer retire slowly from 
the open glades where they have ^iustured during the 
night, and again seek the shade of the thick cover. 
As hght increases, the notes of the earliest of the 
feathered songsters are heard ; and herons, cranes. 



294 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

and waders, may be seen on high, soaring away in 
the direction of their feeding- grounds. 

At this early hour there is generally a cool breeze, 
and the morning air is fresh and bracing ; but very 
shortly the whole of the eastern horizon glows with 
ruddy lustre, and the sun bursts forth in a blaze of 
living light, and seems to travel on his way in the 
heavens with much more rajiidity than in northern 
climes. This is the moment for the lover of the 
beautiful to see the forest, for the dew-drops on the 
leaves and ground sparkle like brilliants, and at no 
other time are the varied colours of the verdure so 
vivid. The lights and shade show to the best ad- 
vantage, and a peculiarly harmonious charm reigns 
over the whole face of nature, which must strike 
upon the heart even of the most apathetic spirit, and 
make him feel, with the great poet, that 

" There is a pleasure ia the pathless woods." 

But I am digressing, and must return to our am- 
buscade, where we were lying at our ease, whilst 
Chineah and Googooloo kept watch. Numbers of 
pea-fowl, jungle-fowl, and spur-fowl came to drink 
from time to time, and their wild cries were heard 
on every side of the deeply-wooded valley. Pre- 
sently we heard the low bark of a buck-elk calling 
to his hinds, and as the sun was sinking below the 
horizon the roar of a tiger awoke the echoes of the 
surrounding hills, and was immediately answered by 
another, at no great distance from the lake. Pea- 



OF THE OLD WOULD. 295 

fowl took up the cry on every side, and the wood 
resounded with the voices of wild animals. Chineah 
and Googooloo smiled grimly at each other as they 
caught up each cry, and named the animal that it 
came from, and each gave me a significant look as I 
proceeded to put fresh caps on my pet rifle, which I 
Viad previously carefully loaded. 

" Yon forest music goes cheerily, Hal, and does 
one more good than all the sol-fa-ing we have lately 
heard at Ooty," whispered B , 

" Yes, Ned, it strikes upon the heart of a ranger 
of the woods like an old well-loved strain upon a 
wanderer's ears ; but I imagine that we shall have a 
view of the performers before morning, as the ]\Iul- 
cliers say there is no other water about here nearer 
than the Bowani, and it is evident from the pugs we 
saw on the sand that they frequent this place." 

Just at this moment we heard a movement in the 
bushes, and an old gray monkey, evidently a scout, 
came creeping cautiously into the plain. After 
peering about a few moments in a very inquisitive 
manner, seeing all appeared clear, he turned towards 
the woods, uttering a sharp cry, and immediately a 
whole troop of his followers came leaping and swing- 
ing themselves from the trees, screaming, chattering, 
fighting, and making grimaces at each other, as they 
rushed frantically to the water's edge to quench their 
thirst. Then, after gambolling about for a little 
time, and picking up a few berries, they again dis- 
appeared in the woods. Towards dusk two jungle- 



296 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

sheep followed, and remained for some time, but we 
allowed them to retreat unmolested. Shortly after- 
wards my attention was attracted by a low grunt 
from Googooloo, whom I saw cautiously putting his 
head forward and raising his body, so as to get a 
better view of something, whilst he motioned to 
Naga to hand me my rifle. 

" Kya hy ? " (what is it ?) whispered I. Googooloo 
made no answer, but still continued to strain his 
eyes in the direction of a large low bush about 
thirty yards from the place of our concealment, at 
the same time making a sign with his hand for me 
to wait. We remained for some minutes in the 
utmost silence, all of us keeping a look-out through 
the loopholes, but nothing was to be seen. 

"Kuch na hy," (there is nothing,) at length 
whispered Chineah, who was rather jealous of Goo- 
gooloo's having drawn attention to a sound which 

his quick ear had not caught up, and B again 

laid down, fancying it was a false alarm. I, how- 
ever, remained on the alert, having the same con- 
fidence in the Yanadi's warning as a huntsman 
would have when his best hound gave tongue or a 
sportsman when his favourite dog made a dead 
point. I had often previously trusted to his natural 
instinct and quickness of hearing, and scarcely ever 
found him wrong, so I kept my eye upon him, pre- 
pared to act. Although he maintained a dignified 
silence, I could see by the contemptuous curl of his 
lip that he was evidently disgusted with Chineah's 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 297 

remark and vexed at B 's mistrust ; but when 

he saw, as his eye cauglit mine, that I believed in 
him, lie gave his accustomed grunt of satisfaction, 
and continued to peer into the dark-tangled forest 
before us. 

A few minutes passed, when he again turned his 
head on one side, as if to drink in some fancied 
sound, and I noticed a grim smile of satisfaction 
illumine his expressive face as he raised both hands 
over his eyes as if to get a better view of some- 
thing. At this moment I cauglit sound of the light 
crackling of a twig, and a rustling as if some ani- 
mal was moving amongst dry leaves, and again was 
heard Googooloo's low grunt as he pointed to the 
bush which had before attracted his attention, whis- 
pering beneath his breath, " Bagh hy ! " (there is a 
tiger !) I cocked both barrels of my rifle, moved 
noiselessly forward, and kept it pointed in the direc- 
tion indicated, but nothing was to be seen, al- 
though we waited for many moments in anxious 
suspense. 

Chineah, who twigged the noise this time, now 
took the Yanadi's right hand and pressed it to his 
own forehead, a silent acknowledgment that he had 
been in the wrong, and from the satisfactory smile 
that passed over Googooloo's face, I could see that 
peace was made between the two friends and rivals 
in " forest lore." 

" Do you think it was a tiger, Hal ? " whispered 
B . " I rather suspect it must have been a 



298 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

jungle-fowl scratching up the ground, or a snake 
gliding amongst the leaves," 

" It might have been the latter," I replied, " but 
jungle-fowl are all gone to roost by this time, and I 
have often heard a tiger or a panther steal along 
with as little noise." 

For a time an intense quiet reigned, not a leaf 
stirred, and no sound was heard but the dull mono- 
tonous roar of falling waters, or the plaintive cry of 
a stray plover in search of his companions. The 
sun had been gone down some time, and the moon, 
which was then at the full, had not risen sufficiently 
high for her silvery light to penetrate the deep 
ravine in which we were. 

Both B 's patience and his cheroot were well- 
nigh exhausted, and as I saw he could hardly keep 
himself awake, I bade both him and Chineah sleep 
whilst Googooloo and myself kept the first watch. 
We remained for nearly a couple of hours listening 
anxiously to every sound that issued from the jungle, 
and although during this time we distinctly heard 
the growling of a bear just below us, and could dis- 
tinguish in the gloom the dark forms of a sounder 
of hog wallowing in the pool, still there was not 
sufficient light to take aim, and I did not pull 
trigger. At last the moon appeared over the 
scarped crest of the mountain, sailing in a cloudless 
sky — a flood of light glistened like silver on the 
lake, and caused every object to be seen as distinctly 
as at noon-day. 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 299 

Struck with the fairy-like beauty of the scene be- 
fore me, I became absorbed in thought, from which 
I was roused by Googooloo laying his hand on my 
shoulder and pointing to something standing in the 
shade of a lofty forest tree. At the same moment 
I heard the low short bark of a spotted deer, and a 
fine buck with broad-spreading antlers came forcing 
his way through the tangled brushwood, and stood 
before us in bold relief. I threw up my rifle, 
brought the sight to bear upon his shoulder, and 
was just about to pull trigger when a huge monster 
of a tiger sprang from the very bush that Googooloo 
had been so attentively watching, and fastened upon 
his shoulder with a low growl. Like a flash of 
lightning my trusty rifle belched forth its deadly 
contents right and left : a roar, a smothered whine, 
followed the double report, and the stricken brute 
rolling orcr and over was gasping in its last agonies. 
A convulsive movement was succeeded by a stifled 
groan, a moaning cry, a bubbling sound, and all was 
still. 

"Wliat have you killed, Hal?" cried B , 

awakened by the shots, and cocking his rifle. 
" Ha ! ha ! I see — a fine pair of horns too — but he is 
not dead," he continued, raising his piece and putting 
an end to the poor buck, who was still struggling on 
the spot where he had been struck down. 

'* Look a little to the right, Ned, under the shade 
of the bush," replied I, " and you will see the result 
of my shots — he felled the deer." 



300 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

" A y Ciller liair, by the powers ! " exclaimed 

B . "Well, you are in luck ; but it serves me 

right for not believing in the Yanadi's warning." 

" Yes, Googooloo was not mistaken, for the tiger 
must have been lying in wait in that bush for some 
hours before," I replied, as I finished reloading. 
"We then descended from our place of conceal- 
ment, and were examining the dead tiger, when 
Naga, whom I had sent to the hut to call up some 
of the people to help to carry away the carcass, 
came rushing back with fear depicted on his 
countenance, exclaiming that he had seen another 
tiger. 

Beckoning Chineah and Googooloo to follow with 
spare guns, we both rushed down the pathway that 
the people had cut through the bush, as a short 
way to the hut, in which Naga said he had come 
face to face with the tiger, and sure enough there 
were the pugs close to the prints of Naga's toes. 
The tiger must have been as much astonished at 
the rencontre as the man, for he had evidently 
turned back, as we could tell by the trail. 

Whilst we were examining the pugs, in order to 
note which direction he had taken, my attention 
was attracted by a low whimper, followed by a 
yawn, which appeared to proceed from the bed of 
the watercourse, and after some little trouble we 
forced our way through the thick underwood to the 
bank, from whence we saw a tigress coolly picking 
her way among the stones, in the bed of the " nul- 



OF TIIR OLD WORLD. 301 

lab," (watercourse.) We put up our rifles and both 
fired at tlie same moment ; uttering a deep angry- 
growl, she fell forward, evidently hard hit, although 
the distance was nearly two hundred yards, and the 
light none of the best. When she rose, I thought 
her foreleg seemed to dangle from the shoulder as 
if broken, but she still went on, notwithstanding we 
let fly again and evidently hit her, for she gave a 
terrific roar and turned short round as if to charge, 
but her heart seemed to fail, and she slunk into 
some cover close at hand in the centre of the nullah. 

" The light is not good enough for accurate shoot- 
ing at this range, Hal," said B , as we were re- 

loadinjr our rifles, " but I do not think she can 
travel far, I am sure she carries lead in her." 

" Of that there can be no doubt," I replied, " as I 
heard the soft ' thud' of the bullet distinctly; how- 
ever, we will follow her up, for I saw her enter that 
isolated patch of bush in the nullah, from which it 
would be an easy matter to drive her out with a 
few rockets. I was only considering whether we 
had not better wait until daylight, when we could 
almost make sure of her, for the moon will only 
favour us a short time longer, as the gorge will be 
in darkness as soon as she sinks below yon wall of 
rock." 

"No time like the present, Hal," cried B , 

climbing down the steep bank into the bed of the 
nullah ; " so send Naga to the hut for rockets and 
some of the people, whilst you, I, and Googooloo 



302 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

watch the cover in case she may attempt to steal 
away." 

Knowing from experience the difficulty of making 
accurate shooting by the light of the moon, which 
is very deceitful, it was with some reluctance that I 
ordered Chineah to take a rifle and go with Naga 
to the hut for the rest of the gang, and I regretted 
it almost as soon as I had done so, for I felt a 
strange presentiment of some accident occurring, 
being aware of the extreme danger of beating out 
a wounded tiger from thick cover in such an un- 
certain light ; however, I determined to take every 
precaution, and clambering down into the nullah, 
followed by Googooloo, we watched each side of the 
cover in which the tigress had been seen to enter, 
imtil Chineah and the rest of the gang, accompanied 
by our coolies, joined us. We then formed up in 

line, B taking the right and I the left flank, with 

Chineah well provided with rockets in the centre, 
and all the rest armed with the short spears they 
generally carried when beating the jungle. 

Having distinctly warned them not on any ac- 
count to straggle or separate, and seen that our 
spare guns were at hand, we moved into the cover, 
which, although not more than fifty yards long by 
twenty broad, was very dense, being covered with 
low tangled bushes and coarse grass about four feet 
high. We could easily have driven the tigress out 
by firing the grass, but I did not do so as the blaze 
would have scared all the game away from the sur- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. fS03 

rounding jungles. We had beaten our way steadily 
through almost half the patch, when we heard a low 
grumbling, which appeared to proceed from a large 
bush much overgrown with creepers and high spear- 
grass. 

" Dekho ! sahib, dekho ! " (look, sir, look !) cried 
Chineah, throwing a couple of lighted rockets into 
the retreat, which evidently annoyed her, although 
they had not the effect of causing her to break — for 
she set up a low angry growl which lasted some 
time. Two or three times I thought I saw the 
bush shake as if she was about to spring, and once 
I caught a hurried glimpse of her outline, and 
threw up my rifle, but I put it down again as I did 
not like to fire a chance shot with uncertain aim. 

Again Chineah's rockets flew hissing about her, 

and one of them caused her to move, for B 

caught sight of her, and let drive right and left 
when out she sprang with an appalling roar, and 
struck down poor Ali, who, notwithstanding my 
orders, had separated himself from the rest in order 
to pick up a stone to throw into the bush. His 
piercing death-shriek rang through the night air, 
striking terror on every heart ; and, although I felt 
that I was too late to save him, I determined he 
should be amply revenged, and dashed forward to- 
wards the spot where the infuriated tigress was 
savagely growling, as she still shook the senseless 
but quivering body of her victim. No sooner did I 
get a glimpse of her than I knew that I was per- 



304! THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

ceived, for with a short angry roar she left the 
corpse and crouched low to the ground, with her 
head down, her back arched, and her tail lashing 
her heaving flanks. At this moment, before she 
could make a spring that might have proved fatal, 
carefully aiming between her eyes, which glared 
upon me like balls of fire, I let drive — she reared 
up full length on her hind-legs, pawed the air, and 
fell back dead. 

Vengeance satiated, I went up to poor All, whom 
I found shockingly mutilated ; his death must have 
been Instantaneous, as the tigress, with the first blow 
of her paw, had crushed in the skull (for the brains 
lay scattered about the place) and then made her 
teeth meet in his throat and shoulder, breaking the 
arm in two places, and lacerating the fleshy part of 
the thigh. 

B and the gang came up shortly afterwards, 

and long and loud were their lamentations, for Ali 
was much liked by them all, and a great favourite 
with his master, to whom he had ever proved a will- 
ing and devoted follower. 

We bound up his head, covered his face with a 
cloth, and by the aid of our axes constructed a litter 
of bamboos, on which we carried him towards the 
hut, where Yacoob Khan, Hassan, and Cassim, 
B 's " kidmudjar," (butler,) who were also Mus- 
sulmans, performed the last rites of " the Faithful ;" 
and we buried him in a deep grave, under an over- 
hanging rock near the lake, in which the nose, whis- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 305 

kers, and claws of the tigress bad been previously 
thrown. 

To show our respect to the memory of the she- 
karry who had come to such an unfortunate end, 
we all attended, and, at the request of the gang, 
three volleys were fired over his grave. Strange to 
say, that hardly had the echoes of the last report 
died away, rumbling amongst the hills, than the 
roaring of another tiger was distinctly heard several 
times. 

Whilst the grave was being filled in, many of the 
gang were much affected, but not a word was uttered 
by any except Chineah, who, with his eyes still 
streaming with tears for the loss of his companion, 
pronounced the following oration : — " Bold utcha 
Sheka7'ry tha, lakin murgia, kya kurna ? Nusseeh 
hy." (He was a very good Shekarry, but he is dead 
— what can we do? It is his fate.) Then each 
man fetching a large stone, placed it reverentially 
over the grave, so as to form a kind of cairn, and 
making salaam to both of U3, returned to the hut, 
we following with heavy hearts. As it still wanted 
some hours to dawn, we turned into bed ; but that 
fearful death-shriek still rang in my ears, and, al- 
though tired and weary, I could not sleep. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE GKEAT ANNAMULLAY FOEEST — continued. 
BISON-HUNTING. 

Our hut. — A gigantic carp. — Fish-shooting. — His dimensions. — 
Discovery of a cave; an exploring party. — The tiger's spoils. 

— His dimensions. — "Away with melancholy." — Chineah's 
reconnaissance and bag. — Our open council. — Jungle harmony. 
— Our proceedings and plan for the morrow. — The turn-out. 

— The start. — A hard fag. — A fresh trail of bison struck. — 
Googooloo has the ear of a hare.— Two buck-elk and a hind 
bite the dust. — We follow up the bison's trail. — Heavy work. 
— Land-leeches. — The find. — A heavy bag and a good day's 
work. — The gigantic dimensions of the patriarch of the herd. 
— The game bushed. — Again en route. — A teak forest. — The 
head of the fall. — Magnificent views. — Our bivouac. 

Being fatigued with our night adventure and the 
previous day's fag, it was late in the afternoon be- 
fore either B or myself made our appearance 

outside the tent, which, notwithstanding the intense 
heat of the weather, was comparatively cool and 
comfortable, being completely shaded from the 
scorching rays of the sun by the overhanging rocks 
above. 

Chineah, Googooloo, and a couple of Mulchers 
had gone into the forest to reconnoitre and look 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 307 

out for trails, aud the Gooroo and the rest of the 
gang were busily engaged in denuding the dead 
tigers of their spoils. 

After breakfast we strolled towards the lake, 
where we found Hassan, who attracted our atten- 
tion to an enormous fish which lay basking as if 
asleep on the surface of the water, whilst several 
others of the same species, but smaller, kept rising 
from time to time in different parts of the pool. He 
informed us that he had been trying for several 
hours to catch one of these monsters with a rod, 
but that they were too cunning to take any bait. 
Knowing from experience that Hassan was a first- 
rate fisherman, I felt sure that I (who at the best 
of times am but a bungler with the rod) should 
have a poor chance of succeeding if he could not, 

so I left B to amuse himself with bait and fly, 

whilst I returned to the hut to make preparations 
more in my line. 

I took a common musket which Chineah used for 
wild-fowl shooting, and to the centre of the iron 
ramrod I firmly attached a piece of double wire, 
about two yards in length, to the end of wliich I 
fastened a strong log-line. This done, I loaded the 
piece with powder and a thick felt-wadding, and 
then inserted the ramrod, with the flat head down- 
wards, keeping it in its place in the centre of the 
bore with a second wad which fitted tightly in the 
muzzle. 

My preparations completed, I returned to the 



308 TEE HUNTING GROUNDS 

pool, and creeping up as cautiously as possible, I 
got to within twenty paces of the huge fellow who 
was so coolly enjoying his " siesta," took steady aim 
and fired. The ramrod flew like an arrow true to 
the mark, passing through the fish and dragging the 
wire and part of the line with it. Immediately the 
creatm'e found itself wounded it sprang high out of 
the water, and then dived, pulling so hard that our 
hands were badly cut with the cord running so fast 
through them as we gave him play. 

Eor some time it raced round and round the pool, 
but at length seemed to grow exhausted, and allowed 
us to pull it to the surface of the water, when, as if 
endued with fresh vigour, it gave another great spurt, 
and again spun round and round, until at times I 
felt afraid that the cord would break. After a good 
hour's play it turned on its belly and gave in, and 
w^e managed to land it with some trouble, on account 
of the great weight. 

It was evidently of the carp species, having large 
round scales, one dorsal fin, forked tail with rounded 
lobes, and yellow olive sides, deepening to black on 
the back. Not having any scales at hand, we could 
not determine its weight exactly, but I constructed 
a rude pair with some ropes and a bamboo accu- 
rately suspended in the centre, and by that we made 
out the weight to be about sixty-three pouTids, as it 
weighed down two bags and a quarter of shot, which 
were supposed to hold twenty-eight pounds when 
full The flesh proved to be coarse, rank, and tough. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 309 

but some of the gang, who made part of it into a 
curry, said it was not bad eating. 

As we were strolling about the ravine with our 
rifles whilst the gang were engaged in skinning the 

dead tigress, B discovered the entrance of a 

cave in the scarped overhanging cliff near our hut, 
and having nothing better to do we determined to 
explore it, Naga and Ramasawmy were accordingly 
despatched for torches, blue-lights, matches, &c., 
and after carefully examining our rifles so as to be 
ready in case we found it tenanted by bears or 
hyenas, (not an unlikely occurrence,) we crept in, 

Naga leading with a torch, I following with B , 

and Eamasawmy with another torch bringing up 
the rear. 

The entrance was about four feet high and three 
broad, but it shortly became much more lofty, and 
from the light of our torches we saw numbers of 
pointed stalactites hanging from the roof in every 
direction, which threw perplexing shadows as we 
advanced, and every now and then made us think 
that some animal was moving towards us. 

After proceeding for about forty yards, we came 
to avast chamber, where we were very much annoyed 
by myriads of small bats that, alarmed at our intru- 
sion, came dashing up against our faces, and almost 
put out the torches. 

Having peered about carefully to make sure there 
were no beasts of any kind likely to molest us, I 
lio-hted a couple of blue-lights, which enabled us to 



SIO THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

see every part of the grotto distinctly. The cavern 
appeared to be about seventy yards long by forty 
wide, and varying from ten to sixty feet in height ; 
it was vaulted with live rock covered all over with 
elegantly-formed stalactites which glittered like bril- 
liants from the reflection of the blue-lights. The 
ground was very uneven, and covered with fine 
sand, except on one side, where there were enormous 
boulders of black granite. We saw several fissures 
and crevices, which appeared to be passages stretch- 
ing out further in difierent directions into the bowels 
of the earth, but did not care to explore them on 
account of the close heat and insupportable stench, as 
well as for fear of snakes and scorpions, several of 
which reptiles we discerned moving about the place. 

We therefore wrote our names and the date on a 
huge slab of smooth rock with charcoal, for the 
benefit of any one who might come after us, and 
retraced our steps into daylight, glad to breathe the 
fresh air once more. 

We found that the Gooroo and Veerapah had 
finished skinning the tigress, and were busily en- 
gaged in searching for our bullets ; she had received 
five wounds, besides the last, which entered between 
the eyes and penetrated the brain, causing instan- 
taneous death. The tiger had been skinned in the 
morning, having been previously carried some dis- 
tance away from the lake for fear the scent of blood 
might taint the air, and prevent other animals from 
approaching the spot to drink. He proved to be a 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 311 

fine specimen, his dimensions being as follows : — 
Length from tip of nose to point of tail, 10 feet 2 
inches; length of tail, 3 feet 1 inch ; girth of body, 
6 feet 1 inch; girth round fore-arm, 2 feet 10 
inches; height at shoulder, 3 feet 9 inches; circum- 
ference of head, 3 feet 5 inches. The tigress was 
much less, not measuring more than 9 feet 5 inches 
from the tip of the nose to the point of the tail, and 
her limbs smaller in proportion. 

The melancholy fate of poor Ali had spread a 
gloom upon us all, and the eamp, which usually 
resounded with mirth, seemed strangely still and 
silent ; so, to give the people something else to think 
about, I ordered a couple of sheep to be killed and 
distributed with an extra allowance of tobacco, which 
had the desired effect, for in the course of a short 
time cooking-pots and brass curry-dishes were boil- 
ing and bubbling on every side, and the busy hum 
of voices was heard throughout the bivouac as usual. 

Towards evening, Chineah and his party returned 
from their reconnaisance with three young " squeak- 
ers," (hog,) which the dogs had captured alive, and 
they reported that they had come across a large 
herd of bison, browsing in some bamboo-jungle half- 
way up the hill, and had left them undisturbed, so 
that we should most likely find them near the place 
on the morrow. 

After having dined substantially upon a prime 
haunch of roast venison, and grilled sucking-pig, we 
adjourned to our camp-fire, which was lighted in a 



312 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

deep cleft of the rock, where it could not be well 
seen at any distance from the surrounding jungle ; 
and here we found the gang and all our people as- 
sembled, according to their usual custom when out 
in the jungle on a "Shekar" expedition. The 
Gooroo and Veerapah were enlivening the party 
with some extemporary chanting, and at the same 
time accompanying themselves on the " sitarr" and 
" sarinda, "* whilst Chineah and the coolies per- 
formed on tomtoms, and Eamasawmy gave occa- 
sional discordant flourishes on the cholera horn, 

which we were obliged to decline, as B declared 

it would make his dinner disagree with him. 

As we took our seats on a carpet spread over a 
heap of dry leaves which had been prepared for us, 
the concert ceased, and each man produced his pan- 
nikin or cocoa-nut shell, for it was my custom to give 
every one in camp a glass of rakee, and tobacco or 
cheroot, when we assembled in council round the 
camp-fire in the evening to consult as to the mor- 
row's proceedings. As soon as the grog had been 
served out, and all were enjoying the fragrant weed, 
I opened the proceedings by expressing my regret 
that such an imtoward event should have befallen 
the cano; as to lose one of their number ; but I ex- 
plained to them that poor All had lost his life by 
disobeying my positive orders in foolishly straggling 
from the rest, and I hoped his sad fate would be a 
warning to the gang to be more careful in future. 

* Rude iuotruments somewhat resembling the violin and guitar. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 31 3 

I also suggested that the gang should each subscribe 
some small sum towards making up a purse for his 

father, (an old pensioned KaviLlar,) to which B 

and I would contribute a hundred rupees ; and I 
was glad to see that when Chineah went round with 
his cocoa-nut shell, every one present, even to the 
coolies, put in his rupee or whatever he could afford. 

We then proceeded to deliberate on the plan for 
the morrow, and to detail each man his duty. Vee- 
rapah and Naga, with two Mulchers, were to ascend 
the Ghaut on the left, to find out if the Carders (a 
jungle tribe who inhabited that side of the moun- 
tain) had seen any elephants lately, and afterwards 
to join us at the head of the fall. Hassan was to go 

into Coimbatore with notes from B to K 

and C , informing them of our whereabouts, in 

case they could manage to join our party. Eama- 
sawmy was to continue the preparation of the skins, 
and Chineah, Googooloo, and two IMulclicrs were to 
accompany us in a trip up the side of the ravine, 
where the herd of bison had been seen. These 
matters being settled, we sat smoking and chatting 
for a couple of hours, and then turned in. 

Next morning the moon had only just set, and 
there was but a slight tinge of gray in the eastern 
sky, when my factotum " Five j\Iinutes" entered the 
hut with hot coflfee flavoured with eau-de-vie, which 
is the best morning-cup for a sportsman when in the 
jungle, as it prevents any ill eflfects arising from in- 
haling the vapour which still hangs upon the ground 



314 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

at that early hour. Our toilet was soon completed, 
and on stepping outside the hut we found the gang 
all wrapped up in their combleys and couched over 
a wood-fire, for the early morning was damp and 
chilly ; so I ordered a glass of grog to be served out, 
and Chineah distributed the spare guns, blankets, 
stores, &c., that each had to carry in case of our 
being benighted in the jungle, which was a common 
occurrence. 

In tropical climates the interval between the first 
faint glimmering of dawn and daylight is very short, 
and as soon as we could distinguish objects pretty 
clearly we entered the forest, where we heard jungle- 
cocks already crowing merrily. 

The first living creatures we encountered were 
two great hooded-owls, who, like drowsy revellers 
after their nightly carouse, sailed hooting past, lei- 
surely flapping their wings as they returned to their 
haunts in some hollow tree. Shortly afterwards we 
surprised a troop of monkeys who were evidently 
making their way towards the pool for a morning 
draught, but who fled, skipping from branch to 
branch, chattering and showing their teeth as soon 
as they detected our presence. Every now and again 
the dun sides of deer flashed for an instant before 
us, as they bounded across the open vistas of the 
forest and disappeared in the dense cover. The 
fresh morning air was loaded with the perfume of 
different flowering jungle-plants, and the forest re- 
sounded with the melody of feathered songsters. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 515 

"We followed the trail that Chineah's party had 
made in their reconnaisance the day before, and 
after an hour's painful climbing up the dry bed of 
a mountain-torrent, filled with loose round stones 
which rolled from under the feet at every step, and 
somewhat tried our powers as mountaineers, we 
arrived at a natural clearing in the midst of the 
dense forest, where the gang had seen the bison 
browsing the day before. We examined the ground 
carefully, and found numbers of old marks, but no 
fresh ones, so we continued our route up the side 
of the mountain, and after a couple of hours' severe 
toil found ourselves in a patch of bamboo-jungle, 
where Chineah detected the fresh trail of a herd of 
bison. 

Being thoroughly exhausted and done up with 
our exertions, we sat down upon a ledge of rock to 
regain our breath and rest ourselves before follow- 
ing up the trail, and were indulging in the inde- 
scribable luxury of weak brandy-panee and cheroots, 
never more enjoyed than in the jungle, when an ex- 
clamation from Googooloo caused us both to jump 
on our feet and seize our rifles that were leaning at 
our heads against a tree. I made a motion to our 
people to lie flat on the ground, and listened for a 
couple of minutes without hearing anything ; but a 
glance at Googooloo's speaking features told me that 
he had caught sound of something, and I remained 
on the alert. 

Just at that moment we heard a sharp bark, 



316 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

whicli I knew came from an elk, and, stealing as 
gently as possible to a ledge of rock which com- 
manded a view of the slope, I had the satisfaction 
of beholding a herd of sambur feeding in a glade 
about eighty yards below us. A fine stag with 
sweeping antlers was grazing, unconscious of dan- 
ger, witliln easy range, and a second was lying down 
in the shade chewing the cud, surrounded by hinds. 

" Now, Ned," whispered I to B , who had 

johied me, "take that fellow well behind the 
shoulder, and he 's your own/' 

He raised his rifle, took deliberate aim, fired, and 
the stag, leaping with a convulsive bound high into 
the air, fell dead. The second hart, startled by the 
shot, sprang on his feet, and threw up his head with 
a wild snort, which gave me a fair shot, and I sent 
a two-ounce ball crashing into his brain, when he 
tumbled heavily forward in the high grass ; and, 
without removing the rifle, I brought the sight to 
bear upon a fat doe, and dropped her with a broken 
shoulder ; But she immediately regained her feet, 
and would have given us a long run, or perhaps 

have got off" altogether, if B had not given her 

the contents of his second barrel, which again rolled 
her over, and, whilst she was struggling, Chineah 
.sprang forward and buried his long knife in her 
chest. Her dark, languid eye rolled wildly round 
for a moment, and distending her wide nostrils, she 
gasped painfully for breath, heaved a convulsive 
sigh, stretched out her limbs, and all was still. 



OF TUE OLD WORLD, 317 

"We immediately set to work and broke up the 
deer ; and, after reserving a portiou for present use, 
sluDg the remainder by creepers to the branch of a 
tree, tying a red pocket-handkerchief like a streamer 
to keep off the vultures, who otlierwise would soon 
have scented it out and left us nothing but the 
bones. I also despatched one of the Mulchers with 
the heads to the hut, as the horns were good, giving 
him orders to collect some of his tribe to carry 
down the venison, and leave the skins with my 
servants. 

This little matter arranged, we followed up the 
spoor of the bison, and in a little time fell in with 
the trail of ' a large herd, which, from unmistakable 
siftns, we knew could not be far in advance. 

It was very lucky that we came provided with 
leech-gaiters, made of very fine long stockings, which 
we wore over our ordinary hose and breeches, and 
under the gaiters, as we found the land-leeches 
swarming in the damp grass and rank vegetation. 
These pests of the jungle are very insignificant in 
size, not being above an inch in length, or thicker 
than a knitting-needle, but when distended with 
blood they attain double that length, and are about 
as thick as a good-sized quill. They have the power 
of planting one extremity on the ground, and poising 
themselves erect to watch for prey, towards which 
they advance rapidly by doubling up the body and 
holding on with their head and tail. They are of a 
yellowish-brown colo-ir, streaked with black, with 



318 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

one greenish line along the whole length of the back, 
and a yellow one on each side. Their bites scarcely 
give any pain at the time, the punctures being so 
small as hardly to be perceptible, but they cause an 
uncomfortable irritation, and with persons in a bad 
state of body often occasion nasty ulcers, which are 
slow to heal. The gang were accustomed to smear 
their naked legs with some peculiar kind of grease 
mixed with ashes, the scent of which prevented the 
leeches from biting, otherwise they would have been 
seriously inconvenienced by their attacks. 

After following the trail for some miles, Chineah 
and Googooloo, who were creeping along a ragged 
hollow, which appeared to have been the pathway of 
an impetuous torrent, some little distance in front, 
made a sign to us to keep silent, and shortly after- 
wards they beckoned us to advance. With great 
caution we crept noiselessly forward, stopping from 
time to time to listen, and after crawling on our 
hands and knees for nearly a hundred yards, we 
trained the crest of the hill, where we had the 
satisfaction of seeing a large herd of bison quietly 
browsing on the green herbage in a patch of open 
teak-forest. 

Having satisfied myself that we were well to lee- 
ward, and in no danger of being discovered by their 
remarkably keen scent, I raised myself cautiously 
behind the trunk of a tree to reconnoitre ; and after 

pointing out to B a fine bull, who, surrounded 

with cows, was lazily nibbling the young and tender 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 319 

shoots of a clump of bamboos, about a nundred 
yards distant, I begged him to reserve his fire until 
he heard my signal, as I intended to try and stalk 
the patriarch of the herd, a stately fellow with 
enormous dew-lap and immensely deep shoulders, 
who was pawing the ground fretfully, and uttering 
deep cries as if impatient for the herd to retire to 
the depths of the jungle for shelter from the rays 
of the sun, which were beginning to feel oppressive. 

I descended a short distance down the side of the 
hill, and crept along the brow until I got under the 
cover of a clump of bamboos, whence I again caught 
sight of him. Here I had nearly been discovered, 
for two cows and a young calf sprang up close to 
me, and rushed tail on end towards the rest of the 
herd, who lifting up their heads seemed to gaze 
anxiously in my direction. I therefore remained a 
few moments perfectly quiet, keeping my eye upon 
the mighty bull who was standing about three hun- 
dred yards distant ; and when I saw that their alarm 
had in some degree subsided, I crept gently forward, 
and, taking advantage of any cover I could find, 
managed to ensconce myself behind a large rhodo- 
dendron-bush within a hundred and twenty yards 
of him. 

I then blew a shrill blast on a silver call I always 

wore round my neck, as a signal to B , and 

shortly afterw^ards heard a double shot, followed by 
three others. The first report attracted the bull's 
attention, and he trotted forward a few paces to 



320 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

reconnoitre, tearing up the turf with his hoofs, and 
lashing his tail as if indignant that his sylvan re- 
treat should be intruded uj^on. Whilst in this 
position he offered me a fair view of his brawny 
shoulder, and I planted a heavy cylindro-conical 
bullet just behind it, which brought him to his 
knees with a surly roar. Mad with pain he re- 
gained his feet, and staggered forward on three 
legs, when I gave him the contents of my second 
barrel in nearly the same place, which rolled him 
over. Chineah now handed me my other rifle, and 
I quitted the cover ; when no sooner did he catch 
sight of me than again' springing up, with a deep 
tremulous roar, he charged headlong at me, tail on 
end, his eyes flashing fire, and mouth covered with 
blood and foam. I let him come to within six 
paces of where I was standing, when I stopped his 
mad career with a ball in the centre of his broad 
massive forehead, which again made him bite the 
dust : he gave a desperate plunge forward, and 
rolled heavily over on his side dead. The others, 
alarmed, were now tearing frantically over the plain, 
so I slipped behind the cover of a bush to reload, 
and again stealing forward, managed to bowl over 
a cow and wound another badly, before the terrified 
herd sought safety in flight by rallying in a body 
and crashing through the dense bamboo-jungle 
which clothed the side of the hill. After reloading, 
I despatched the second cow with a bullet behind 
the horns, as she was lying disabled by my first 



OP THE OLD WOELD. 821 

shot, which had passed through the small of her 
back and paralysed her hind-quarters. 

I now looked out for B and Googooloo, who 

were nowhere to be seen, but a dead cow and a 
young bull-calf showed that they had not been idle. 
Whilst I was examining the latter, and cogitating 
upon veal-cutlets and marrow-bones, I heard two 
double shots in the cover just below the crest of the 
hill, which were immediately followed by a loud 

whoop from B ; and on running up I found 

him standing breathless over the carcass of a huge 
bull, which was evidently just killed. 

" By Jove ! Hal," exclaimed he, as I approached, 
" I 'm regularly done up ; this brute has led me 
such a chase. I hit him fairly between the eyes, 
and doubled him up like a rabbit with buck-shot, 
for he dropped without a struggle, dead, as I 
thought, and I paid no more attention to him ; but 
letting drive at the herd as they bolted away, I 
killed a cow and a calf and wounded a third, when 
suddenly my friend picked himself up, shook his 
head savagely, gave an angry grunt, and charged 
right at me. Every barrel being discharged, I 
stepped on one side and got out of his way, when 
he directed his attention to Googooloo, who dodged 
him amongst the trees easily enough ; for, half- 
blinded with blood from his wound, he reeled and 
tumbled about as if he was groggy, every now and 
then falling heavily. As soon as I had reloaded I 
gave chase, but all at once missed him, and it was 

X 



322 THE HUl^TING GKOUNDS 

only just now that the Yanadi pointed him out 
to me in this clump of high grass, where he had 
cunningly lain down to conceal himself. As I came 
up he again charged, when, stepping aside, I allowed 
him to pass, and gave him the contents of both 
barrels well behind the shoulder, which brought 
him up, and to make sure of him this time I ad- 
ministered a couple of pills in the back of the head 
as lie lay writhing and gasping upon the ground ; 
and here he is safe enough. But what have you 
done?" 

" About the same as yourself," I answered ; " I 
have killed the big bull and a couple of cows, which 
makes six bison and three elk bagged. Not a bad 
day's work for two guns." 

" No, indeed," replied B ; '•' would it nou 

make the folks at home stare ? " 

" Mulcher log hoht kush honga, Sahib ! " — " The 
Mulcher people will be very happy, sir ! " exclaimed 
Chineah ; " there will be meat in their huts for 
many days to come, and the gentlemen's great 
shekar will be spoken of for a long time in far off 
jungles." 

" Yes, Chineah," I replied ; " I dare say we shall 
soon have more mouths to fill, but remember you 
impress upon the minds of the Coorchi moopen* 
of the Carders, and the head men of the Mulchers, 
that in return for the game we give them I shall 
expect to hear of elephants." 

* A high priest, or rather " holy-man" of a tribe. 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 323 

"Ho ba-shuck, Sahib!" — "Yes, without doubt, 
sir; the tribes will build 'jopreys' (Imts made of 
branches) near our camp, and we can send the men 
into the jungle every day to look out for trails." 

" All right," I replied, " that 's your affair ; in the 
meantime hand me the tape, and come and help me 
to measure the other kulgha, (bull-bison,) as I think 
it is the largest I have ever killed." 

So saying we retraced our steps to the big bull, 
and, with the aid of a straight bamboo, I took the 
exact dimensions and entered them in my note-book 
as follows : — 

" Perpendicular height from the bottom of the 
hoof to the top of the shoulder, not following the 
curve of the body, 6 feet 4 inches ; height to the 
top of hump, 6 feet 9 inches ; length of body from 
the tip of nose to insertion of tail, 11 feet 4 inches ; 
length of tail, 3 feet 4 inches ; girth of body, 9 feet 
3 inches ; girth of fore-arm, 2 feet 10 inches ; girth 
of neck, 4 feet 10 inches ; breadth of forehead, 2 
feet o inches ; circumference round base of horns, 1 
foot 9 inches ; length of horns, 1 foot 4 inches ; 
colour, black along the back, light dun under the 
belly and inside the thighs, the legs below the knees 
and hocks dirty white ; the cows much less in pro- 
portion, with hardly any hump or dewlap, the head 
smaller and more graceful." 

" Well, Hal," exclaimed B , as we finished 

measuring the gigantic animal ; " I think there are 
few finer fellows than this even in the whole Wynaad 



324 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

Jungle: he is fiilly two inches higher than any we 
have hitherto met with, and both you and I have 
tumbled over a good few in our time too. What a 
farce to compare the American buffalo with this 
stately fellow, nineteen hands at the shoulder, and 
twenty and an inch extreme height. I wonder what 
the folks at Smithfield would think of him." 

" I wish we had the little stock we have bagged 
this morning, Ned, in that neighbourhood," I 
answered; "they would be worth a twelvemonth's 
pay and allowances to us, and as a contrast we 
might also exhibit at the same time a ' Yak,' — for 
the smallest as well as the largest of the genus Bos 
are to be found in Hindostan, — the bison being 
over twenty hands and the yak not exceeding nine. 
But, Ned, we have yet a good trudge before we 
reach the head of the Fall, and I do not think we shall 
have more than four or five hours' daylight, so we 
had better set the people to cut thorns and bamboo- 
stakes at once to cover the animals, so as to scare 
away the jackals, and then make the best of our 
way." 

" All right," replied he ; " we 'U blow a cloud 
whilst they are at work, for it would be a pity to 
have the skins spoiled, they would cover us such a 
famous basket-boat to float down to the coast in, by 
the Bowani and Cauvery ; " which latter flows into 
the sea near Tranquebar, passing through the towns 
of Trichinopoly, Tanjore, and Combaconum en route. 

After having cut out the tongues, which we gener- 



OF THE OLD WOULD. i52o 

ally salted, and packed up a few marrow-bones, we 
superintended the "bushing" of the game, and 
shouldering our rifles again made a start, AVe 
followed a course parallel to the crest of the ravine, 
taking care not to go too close to the edge, as the 
turf was smooth and slippery, and in some places 
we might have fallen several thousand feet before 
reaching the ground. 

We now entered a forest of gigantic teak-trees, 
so dense that the rays of the sun never penetrated, 
and the light resembled faint and dubious twilight. 
None but those who have explored an Indian forest 
could have any conception of the depth of gloom 
and strange silence that pervades these solitudes. 
Emerging from the dense forest-jungle that covered 
the high ridge along which our course had hitherto 
lain, we descended through a rocky gorge into a 
beautiful valley clothed with short luxuriant emer- 
ald-green grass, through which a softly-murmur- 
ing stream of clear pellucid water glided smoothly 
along until it plunged over a jutting cliff, when, 
bounding from ledge to ledge, it formed a succes- 
sion of foaming cataracts, and at last, rushing in its 
headlong course down the almost perpendicular 
slope of the mountain, swept over the scarped pre- 
cipice at the end of the ravine in which we had 
built our hut. 

We made our way to the first fall, and lying flat 
upon the ground, crawled to the edge of the preci- 
pice, and peeping cautiously over, we beheld a scene 



326 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

which amply repaid all our toil. The glowing plain 
of the low country lay stretched like a map before 
us some thousands of feet below, and we could 
trace the winding course of the Bowani river for 
some scores of miles as it gleamed in the rays of 
the sun like a silver thread. To our right, rose a 
grand amphitheatre of frowning heights, every por- 
tion of which, save only the scarped face of some 
perpendicular cliff, was covered with primeval forest, 
and far off could be discerned the fringed outline 
of more distant ranges, blue and indistinct in the 
fading light of departing day. It was a landscape 
of transcendent beauty, which has left a vivid im- 
pression on my mind, for perhaps the gorgeous sun- 
set, which gilds all eastern scenery with a beauty 
peculiarly its own, may have rendered this more 
charming, by casting those rich golden tints upon 
the lofty peaks and rugged cliffs whicn the painter 
loves to throw over his picture. 

The day was fast drawing to a close, and it was 
time to think of preparing our bivouac for the 
night, so we selected a rising ground for our en- 
campment, under the lee of a huge boulder of moss- 
covered rock, flanked by two strange-looking trees, 
whose dark dense foliage, gnarled branches, and 
tortuous roots, reminded us much of those ancient 
yews that are so often met with in the country 
churchyards of old England. This arcadian nook 
was embellished by natural parterres of orchideous 
plants, wild camellias, rhododendrons, and other 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 327 

flowering shrubs, whilst here and there were 
scattered chimps of stately forest-trees, from which 
hung festoons of the pusivel creeper {Entada j)ur- 
swtha) with its gigantic pods nearly six feet in 
length, and other blooming parasites. 

Chineah and the people were not long in con- 
structing two huts (one for us and the other for 
themselves) by sticking bamboos into the ground, 
bending their tops together, which they fastened 
■with creepers so as to form an arch, and wattling 
the sides with twigs. A trench Avas then dug, the 
earth heaped up all round, and the whole covered 
with a combley which was well pegged down, 
making an impervious shelter. In our tent a 
carpet w^as spread over a bed of dry leaves, a rest 
for our rifles constructed, and a bull's-eye lanthorn 
hung up ready for lighting. 

I was accustomed to make myself at home and 
comfortable when in the jungle, being always very 
careful in the selection of my sleeping-place, for 
although, after many long years' campaigning, my 
constitution has become more hardy and less suscep- 
tible of injury from cold and damp, still I have seen 
so many fine fellows succumb to dysentery and 
fever, the seeds of which diseases were laid by care- 
less exposure to the night air, after extreme heat 
and exhaustion, that I always take care of myself ; 
besides which it is wretched beyond description to 
be shivering beneath a scanty covering, and feel the 
niffht air cut throuirh one until the life-blood is 



328 THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 

almost frozen, wlien a little care and forethought 
would have prevented it. 

The sun had now gone down, and the fast expiring 
twilight was deepening into night, and barely sufficed 
to disclose the beauties of the surrounding scenery, 
so we adjourned to the camp-fire, where all were 
busily engaged in preparing the evening meal ; and 
the consequent bustle which ensued presented a 
strange contrast to the dreamy stillness that a few 
minutes before pervaded this romantic sylvan dell. 
After a smoke and a chat round the fire, we set the 
watch and turned in, well satisfied with our day's 
sport. 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE GREAT ANNAMULLAY FOREST — continued. 
A ROGUE ELEPHANT, 

Naga's party join us. — News of a rogue elephant. — Chineah 

despatched for the bison's spoils. — B 's luck. — The start. 

— We strike a fresh trail. — Fall in with the tusker. — Our pro- 
ceedings. — B 'a excellent shot. — The ivories. — A discus- 
sion on " rogues." — The cutting-out of the tusks. — Return to 

the low country. — Arrival of our guests. — Dinner. — B 's 

adventure of a " griffin." — The lion and tiger compared. — My 
first lion. — We again ascend the Ghaut. — Good cheer. — Con- 
sultation. — Elephant-spoors. — The trail followed up. — K 's 

rashness. — An escape. — A small tusker falls. — Return to the 
hut. — B 's bag. — A storm. — Return to cantonment. 

Shortly after we had retired to rest, I was 
awakened by an extraordinary noise and bustle 
outside our hut ; and, on caUing for Cliineah, found 
that Naga and Veerapah, with a party of Carders, 
had come in, having missed their way until attracted 
by our fire. Naga reported that the Carders had 
told him of a bull-elephant, with large tusks, that 
had been seen several times lately in a wooded 
ravine about two coss (four miles) distant ; and that 



330 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

he and Veerapah, under the guidance of the party- 
then in camp, had been to look for him, and whilst 
they were following up his trail, and talking as they 
went along, he made his appearance and charged 
right at them, but that they had made their escape 
by climbing into trees, where they remained until 
he moved away. The Carders also knew of the 
whereabouts of a herd at no very great distance 
among the hills ; and they reported that bison were 
to be found at any time in the teak-forests. Having 
made up my mind to go after the solitary tusker, 
whom I suspected to be a " rogue " that had been 
driven out of a herd by his companions, from his 
vicious attack on the people, I turned over and slept 
until called by Chineah in the morning. 

A venison-steak broiled on the embers of our fire, 
a cup of cofifee, and a couple of chapaties (girdle- 
cakes made of rice-flour) formed our breakfast ; 

during which meal I informed B of Naga's 

news, as he had not heard it, being asleep at the 
time. I then despatched Chineah, Veerapah, and a 
party of Carders and Mulchers, for the bisons' skins 
and horns, which they were to take down to our hut 
in the low country, and there remain until our re- 
turn. As there was only one elephant, according 
to our usual custom in such cases, we tossed up for 

the " shot," and B won, as he generally managed 

to do ; after which we set out and followed the 
course of the valley for about a mile, when we 
entered a beautiful open forest of magnificent teak- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 331 

trees, where we soon came upon tlie old spoor of an 
elephant, which we followed into a patch of higli 
waving bamboo-jungle, that had evidently been his 
place of abode for several days, as we could tell by 
the number of trails we met with on every side, all 
of which appeared of the same size, and varying 
from one to ten days old. 

Finding, from the freshness of the spoor, that he 
could not be very far off, I ordered all the party, 
except Googooloo and Naga, who carried our spare 
guns, to mount into trees, so as to be out of the way 
in case we met with him ; and shortly afterwards 
we came to a sandy watercourse, which he had 
evidently only just crossed, as the water was still 
flowing into the imprints of his mighty feet. Whilst 
examining these marks, Googooloo, whose every 
muscle quivered with excitement, whilst his ex- 
pressive countenance was lighted up with intense 
animation, made a sign for us to listen ; and above 
that strange, indescribable, low buzzing hum caused 
by the insect-world, from the depths of the forest 
on every side, I plainly heard a low "urmph," 
" urmph," which noise I knew was caused by the 
elephant blowing through his trunk. "We now took 
the spare guns from Naga and Googooloo, which we 
flung over our shoulders, first taking the precaution 
of putting on fresh caps, so as to ensure against 
miss-fires. 

Having made signs to our attendants to mount 
into trees, which was much against their inclina- 



832 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

tions, as they wanted to see the fun, we crept as 
noiselessly as possible towards the spot from whence 
the sound proceeded, and in a little while had the 
gratification of seeing a very fair-sized tusker rub- 
bing himself most energetically against the trunk 
of a large teak-tree. We made a circuit through 
the wood in order to get well to leeward of him, and 
then, cocking our rifles, cautiously approached, taking 
advantage of whatever cover we could find from 
clumps of bamboo and natural undulations of the 
ground, he seeming so much engrossed in his occu- 
pation (that of scratching himself) that he did not 
perceive our approach, and allowed us to get close 
behind him, where we stood watching his move- 
ments for a few moments. Seeing that B wa3 

perfectly ready, I gave a shrill whistle, which imme- 
diately attracted his attention, for his ears distended, 
and he swang heavily round, with a hoarse grunt, 
fully exposing his broad forehead to our view. Quick 

as thought, B threw up his rifle, and fired a 

double shot. A heavy fall, a subdued sigh, fol- 
lowed the report, and when the smoke cleared away 
I saw he had pitched heavily forward, and buried 
his tusks nearly a foot deep into the ground. I 
stepped up to give him a " coup de grace" but it 
was not required, both bullets had struck the vul- 
nerable place immediately above the trunk, within 
an inch of each other, and, penetrating the brain, 
death was instantaneous. 

" Hurrah \" cried B , as he threw up his cap, 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 333 

"those 'ivories' must weigh heavily, ami will help 
to replenish the shot in my locker, for old Franijee 
will give mc a pagoda * a pound for them. Was it 
not neatly done?" 

" Yes," I replied, " most scientifically, for he 
dropped to your shot like a stone ; however, you had 
better superintend the cutting-out of the tusks your- 
self, as he has fallen in an awkward position to get 
at ; and, if you do not take care, the fellows will 
chip the ivory with their axes, which will spoil the 
appearance of the tusks." 

" All right, Hal, I '11 see to it ; but do you think 
this fellow was really a rogue, for he does not look 
as if he was particularly vicious, judging from the 
cut of his 'physog,' although he has several old 
scars, barely healed, over his hind-quarters?" 

" I do, for several reasons," I replied. " First 
because the Carders, who are generally tolerably 
truthful, say so; secondly, because of his solitary 
habits ; and thirdly, because I fancy these scars are 
the results of encounters with others of his species, 
who will not allow him to associate with them. An 
elephant who has once lost his herd or family is an 
outcast from the rest of the race, for he is not per- 
mitted to join any other troop, although he may fre- 
quent the same feeding-places. I fancy that their soli- 
tary life causes them to become morose and vicious ; 
for rogues, whether male or female, are always 
found alone. I think I told you that the old rogue 

* A pagoda, three rupees and a half — about seven shillings. 



ooi THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

with a broken tusk, that I killed in the Ballyrim- 
<:;um Hills a short time ago, used to attack every 
animal he came near, and did not fear man in the 
least, for, whenever he heard the sounds of an axe 
in the part of the jungle he inhabited, he would rush 
shrieking, and chase the woodcutters ; who went 
about their work in fear and trembling until I rolled 
him over with a single ball as he charged me, when 
I caught him bathing in a small pool of water." 

" I remember it well," answered B ; " but 

here come the men with the axes, so bear a hand, 
and we will show them how to begin ourselves." 

When the people came up, we set to work cutting 
out the tusks ; which task, even with the aid of 
heavy axes, a saw, and fresh relays of operators, took 
us nearly three hours before it was accomplished, 
when, cutting off the end of the tail and the tips of 
the ears and trunk to send to the " Cutchery"* for 
the Government reward, we slung the ivory on bam- 
boos, and the Mulchers carried it on their shoulders. 

We descended the Ghaut by a shorter route than 
the one we came by, and arrived at our hut by sun- 
set, where we had the gratification of finding K 

and C enjoying a bath in the lake. We joined 

them, and, after a most refreshing dip, sat down to 
a famous dinner, in which my chef de cuisine, " Five 
Minutes," outvied all his previous performances by 
indulging us in a most delicious pie made of the 
bison's marrow. After due justice had been done to 

* Cutchery — the collector's office. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 335 

the good clieer, and we had received tlie hearty con- 
gratulations of our guests on our shooting achieve- 
ments, we adjourned outside the liut, to indulge in 
the "fragrant weed" and the cup that cheers but 

does not inebriate, and B much amused us by 

relating an account of Paddy Lynch's first rencontre 
with " wild bastes." Paddy landed as a cadet at 
Madras, and was very shortly afterwards despatched 
to join a party of " griffins" * at Poonamallee, who 
were going up-country to join their respective regi- 
ments. Pat sent on his traps the day before, and 
early the next morning commenced his march, ac- 
companied by his horsekeeper, who had a smattering 
of English. He had heard of bears and tigers up- 
country, so he went fully armed and equipped. 
After he had got a few miles from Madras, he came 
to a tank, in which he saw two strange black-look- 
ing creatures swimming about, that he took to be 
alligators or hippopotami, (he was not sure which.) 
He immediately dismounted, drew his shot, and, 
loading with ball, stole as gingerly as he could to- 
wards his game, which, to his surprise, allowed him 
to approach tolerably near, when they snorted in his 
face. Pat, taking a fair aim at the head of the first, 
let drive, and immediately the animal sank ; he then 
blazed away at the other, and wounded it so severely 
that it began spinning round in the water. He 
loaded again, and after some more discharges, he 

* GrifiBns — officers wlio have not completed their first year's 
service. 



336 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

" cooked its goose," and was in great glee at having 
killed his first " large game!' He, however, forbore 
going into the tank to fetch them out, as he said 
" he felt a bit scared-like for fear there might be 
any more o' the craturs at the bottom of the wather," 
so he called upon some villagers to help him. "When 
he had pointed out his game, to his great surprise 
they began a series of vociferations and lamentations, 
beating their breasts, and howling in a most frantic 
manner. " By the Powers ! " says Pat, " sure it 's 
one of their sacred alligators I 've been shooting V 
So, mounting his horse, he set off at full speed to 
Poonamallee, where he arrived just as they were 
sitting down to breakfast. He immediately told his 
adventure. The grififins listened with wonder, but 
a cloud passed over the face of the officer in charge, 
who, turning round in a very grave manner to Pat, 
said, " Mr Lynch, I am afraid you have killed a brace 
of niggers, and got yourself into a mess." Pat de- 
clared he had not, but remained very glum all the 
rest of the time at breakfast, when suddenly a row 
was heard outside. Pat recognised his horsekeeper's 
voice, flew out of the door, and in a moment re- 
turned shouting, " Sure, Captain, they am't niggers 
at all, but just a fine brace of sea-cows I 've bagged, 
for they 're being brought in slung on poles." Need 
I say that Pat had killed a couple of tame buffaloes 
as they were swimming in the tank with their noses 
just above water, and he only got out of his mess by 
the prompt payment of some forty rupees, and a 



OF THE OLD AS'ORLD. 337 

good " wigging " from the commanding officer of the 
station. 

After B 's story, which was deservedly much 

applauded, whilst we were discussing brandy-panee 
and cheroots, and talking over the events of the day, 

B and K had a lively discussion regarding 

the relative size and strength of the lion and the 
tiorer, and as I had had some experience with both, 
the question was referred to me. I gave it as my 
opinion that the tiger was the larger and more 
powerful of the two, but that the lion, generally 
speaking, showed the most pluck. 

" That is just what I have been contending, Hal," 

exclaimed B ; " but give us a Cape yarn to pass 

away the time, and afterwards we will have a song 
or two, and turn in, so as to be up betimes in the 
morning." 

" All right," I replied, wetting my whistle, " I '11 
give you an account of my first lion. I was rusti- 
cating at Natal, with an old chum who had given up 
the service to turn settler, a little way up-country, 
and was about to convert his sword into a pruning- 
hook, when one day, as we were sitting under a mat 
awning in front of the house smoking our manillas 
after breakfast, a Dutch pedlar, of the name of 
Vanderhalt, (a well-known character in that colony,) 
came up and informed us that he had seen a herd of 
spring-buck in the Berere, a large belt of jungle 
some few miles distant. S , who was also very 

foml of sport, gave him some tea and a bundle of 

Y 



338 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

cheroots, provided he would accompany us and show 
us their trail, and mounting our nags we set out with 
our guns and rifles, and, after a ride of five hours, 
came upon the slots of the herd. These animals, 
which take their name from the amazing springs 
they make over bushes, or any obstruction that lies 
in their path, are rather less than the common deer, 
and about the same colour, with a white stripe on 
each side; and a black stripe or mane along the back, 
which they have the power of closing or expanding. 
They are sometimes caught with greyhounds, but it 
takes a good doo- to run them down. Confident in 
their fleetness, it is very amusing to see the con- 
temptuous way in which they treat their pursuers ; 
as they allow them to come near, and then, giving a 
bomid and a snort, expand the hair on their backs, 
and change colour, appearing white. They are ex- 
tremely graceful creatures, jumping beautifully, with 
the head thrown back, the legs doubled quite under, 
and the body curved, so that they appear for the 
moment as if suspended in the air. 

" We were all, the Dutchman included, well 
mounted on beautiful Cape horses belonging to 

S , and accompanied by a native servant, who 

had followed his master's fortunes over the ' Kala 
Panee,' (Black Waters,) and a Hottentot boy of the 
name of Ilans Kleine, (John the Lesser,) who was 
quite a liisus naturce, for — 

' His back went in, and his belly stuck out, 
And Ms lips resembled a grunter's snout.' 



OF THE OLD -WOULD. 33D 

But he rode well, and carried a goat's skin full of 
water, some grog, and a couple of bottles of cognac, 

S was armed with a double fowling-piece ; the 

Dutchman with a huge antediluvian single rifle, 
nearly six feet in length, called a ' roah ;' and I had 
my pet double rifle (ten-gauge), loaded with Jacob's 
cylindro-conical balls, and a smooth-bore of the 
same calibre, besides pistols in my holsters. "We 
followed the trail for some time, passing through 
a series of grassy plains, separated from each other 
by copses of the delicate-leaved mimosa, covered 
with golden-yellow blossoms, which emitted a de- 
lightful perfume, until we came to a river, the banks 
of which were covered with reeds, twenty yards in 
breadth ; and as the stream was low, there havinrr 
been a drought for some time, we managed to find a 
ford, the water coming up to our saddle-girths. 
When we arrived at the other side, we perceived 
from the slots that the herd had scattered over the 
plain, as if they had been suddenly alarmed ; and, 
on closer investigation, we found the pugs of two 
full-grown lions and a pair of half-grown cubs, 
which fully accounted for the panic that had taken 
place. It was evident that these animals had been 
im-king in a mimosa-grove, by the side of the river, 
and lying in wait for their prey as they came to 
drink ; and, from the freshness of the pugs, I felt 
sure they could not be far ofi", so I followed their 
spoor for about a mile over the plain, (which was 
hard, firm, and good riding-ground,) until I came 



340 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

to a low cone-shaped hill, which I ascended, to 
get a better survey of the surrounding country. 
I was sweeping the horizon with my field-glass, 
which was not of much use on account of a 
mirage that obstructed the view, and made all 
distant objects look dim, when ' Kleine,' the 
Hottentot boy, tapping me on the shoulder, 
pointed out a flock of vultures that were cir- 
cling in the air at some short distance, saying, 
' Dar ist der verdamt tau ! ' (There is the 
cursed lion !) I turned my glass to the spot, 
without distinguishing anything, but on cantering 
ahead, I soon had the gratification of seeing a full- 
grown lion and lioness, with two half-grown cubs, 
feasting on the remains of two spring-bucks. I 
looked to my nipples, to see the powder was well up, 
and rode towards them ; but my horse did not at all 
like the sport, and became so extremely violent and 
restive, from fear, as to be almost unmanageable, 
and finding that I should have had no chance of 
firing from the saddle with any precision, I had to 
return to S , who, with the Dutchman and ser- 
vants, had pulled up, on observing the lions, which 
were game none of them seemed inclined to attack, 

for although S was a fearless hunter, he had 

been sufiering from an inflammation and weakness 
of the eyes, caused by the excessive glare of the sun 
reflected from the sand, and his sight was so much 
affected that he could no longer depend upon his 
aim as in days of yore. I therefore dismounted, ami 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 341 

prepared to open the campaign on my own hook — 
trusting to a steady hand and good weapons to see mu 
safely through it. On my retreat, on account of tho 
restiveness of my horse, the lion had advanced nearly 
two hundred yards from the spot where the dead 
spring-bucks lay, leaving the lioness and cubs still 
feeding, and he was now coolly surveying our party, 
stretched out at full length on the grass, with his 
paws out before him, and yawning listlessly, about 
four hundred yards distant. On perceiving me ad- 
vancing towards him, he made a long, low moaning 
noise, like thunder rumbling among distant hills, by 
which he thought perhaps to intimidate me ; but 
finding it had not the desired effect, he got up and 
sat on his haunches like a dog, making curious whin- 
ing noises, and turning his head every now and 
again to look at his mate and cubs, who understand- 
ing from his growling, which was becoming more 
and more savage, that something was up, withdrew 
to some low sand-hills, a short distance away, which 
I was rather thankful for.. When I got to about 
two hundred and fifty yards distant, I stopped to 
unsling my second gun from my shoulder, so as to 
be ready ; on which my friend sprung to his feet, 
and made three or four huge bounds towards me, 
lashing his tail from side to side, showing his teeth, 
and giving a tremendous roar, which seemed to 
shake the earth, and caused the horse I had been 
riding to break from the grasp of the Hottentot, 
who was holding it, and scour over the plain. On 



342 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

seeing me advance, he again stopped, and, coucliing 
low on his belly, growled in a most savage manner. 
I felt that ' the die was cast,' and there was no re- 
treating; it was a regular duel between man and 
beast, and was beginning to be rather serious work, 
for we were barely sixty yards asunder. The lion 
still lay with his head couched between his paws, 
although every now and then he appeared to rise, 
and tear up the earth with his hind claws. His 
eyeballs glistened with rage, his mane stood erect, 
his tail lashed his flanks, and I felt he was watching 
my every movement, and that further delay was 
dangerous. T therefore quietly cocked my second 
gun, laid it by my side on the ground, and then gave 
a loud shout, at the same time flinging my pith 
hunting-cup towards him. This had the desired 
efifect ; he sprung upon his feet, and at this moment 
looked grand beyond conception. Now was the 
moment . I threw up my rifle , took deliberate aim 
at his broad and massive breast, and let fly. I heard 
the soft ' thud ' of the ball as it entered his chest, 
saw him spring high into the air, and fall upon his 
back. I rushed up to give him a coup de grace, but 
it was not needed ; a convulsive tremor passed over 
his sturdy limbs, blood gushed from his nose and 
mouth, the under-jaw dropped, and my first lion 
was dead. He was a noble animal, measuring over 
eleven feet from the tip of his nose to the end of the 
tail. The lioness and cubs, on hearing the shot, 
made for a small copse about a mile distant ; and 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 343 

as it was too late in the day to pursue them, after 

S had caufi^ht my horse, we skinned the lion, 

cut off his head as a trophy, packed them behind 
Kleine's saddle, and made the best of our way back 
home, where we arrived late in the evening." 

After my yarn, songs passed round until a late 
hour, and as my old hunting-chaunts had begun to 
be very stale from frequent repetition, and new ones 
were not obtainable, I extemporised the following 
words, and sang them to old English airs, when my 
turn came round : — 

THE BRITON'S SONG* 

There 's a magical charm in the land of our birth, 
Which, seek where you will, is not found else on earth ; 
You may search till you tire, from the pole to the zone. 
But where will you find such a land as our own ? 
Her daughters are fairest, and what nation dare brave 
The Isles' -men of Britain, the Queen of the Wave ? 
I have roam'd through the world, but I cannot compare 
Any men with her sons, any maids with her fair. 

CnoRU°, 
Then fill up your bumpers, and drink to my toast ! 
I pledge ye " The Island" we all love the most : 
The gem of the ocean, the pride of the earth. 
The bulwark of freedom, the Land of our birth ' 

The red cross of Britain is the pride of the main, 

An emblem of freedom, a flag without stain ; 

Go search through creation — on the land, o'er the wave — 

That standard ne'er floats o'er the head of a slave. 

* Afterwards set to music by H. W. A. Beale, Esq. 



344 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

Like a meteor it shines, for 'tis borne to the field 
By those who may die, but who never will yield ; 
Go search in Fame's volume, you '11 find there its story. 
And Britain's fair name, midst a halo of glory. 

Chorus. 
Then fill up your bumpers, and drink to my toast I 
I pledge ye " The Island" we all love the most : 
The gem of the ocean, the pride of the earth. 
The bulwark of freedom, the Land of our birth ! 



THE OLD SONG.* 

There 's something in the well-known tone 

Of ancient ballad lays. 
That calls to mind, though years have flown. 

The friends of early days. 
I 've seen them cause the tears to start 

From sternest soldier's eye ; 
No modern strains could touch his heart 

Like those of days gone by. 

Chorus. 
Then sing to me the songs of yore ! 

For, though they make me sigh, 
They bring to mind dear friends once more. 

And happy days gone by. 

I love to hear the ancient lays 

My mother used to sing ! 
They tell mo of my childhood's days, 

And fond thoughts backwards bring. 
I dream of days of hope and joy, 

Whene'er I hear that strain ; 

* Afterwards set to music by H. W. A. Beale, Esq., and 
published by Messrs Ollivier, Bond Street. 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 345 

I thiuk that I am still a boy, 
And hear her voice again. 

Chorus. 
Then Bing to me the songs of yore ! 

For, though they make me sigh, 
They bring to mind dear friends once more. 

And happy days gone by. 

The echoes of the wood were several times 
awakened by our rattling choruses, which rever- 
berated in a most strange manner against the face 
of the cliff overhanging our retreat, and the moon 
was high in the heavens before we turned in for 
the night. 

We slept long and soundly, as hunters generally 
do after a hard day's fag, but as soon as the gray 
light of dawn appeared, the stirring strains of 
K 's bugle rang through the valley, and, obey- 
ing its cheerful summons, we hastily arrayed our- 
selves in our hunting-gear, assembled round the 
fire, and partook of a hurried collation previous to 
ascending the Ghaut. The coolies accompanied us 
with supplies, as it was our intention to remain for 
a day or two at my former bivouac at the head of 
the Fall, in the hope of falling in with the herd of 
elephants reported to have been seen by the Carders 
some days previously. We entered the jungle as 
day was breaking, and, after a tedious ascent, ar- 
rived at the head of the Fall about noon, where we 
immediately commenced building a commodious hut, 
as our former one was too small. As soon as our 



346 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

arrangements were completed, B and I started 

on a pot-hunting expedition, K and C 

being too much done-up to accompany us, and, 
after half an hour's beating, managed to bag a 
couple of jungle-fowl and five hares, which latter 
were very much larger than those found in the low 
country. On our return to the hut with our game, 
we found such a feast awaiting us that we hardly 
knew what to commence with, ^^.n immense round 
of Dawson's celebrated spiced beef was backed up by 
a Yorkshire ham, a roast squeaker, and a marrow- 
pie ; besides which, cakes smoking hot from the oven, 
pilau, curry, and piles of wild raspberries and straw- 
berries garnished the board. Having done ample 
justice to our good cheer, we withdrew to the watch- 
fire, where all our people were assembled, and, after 
distributing the usual allowance of tobacco and grog 
to every man in camp, we held a consultation, in 
which it was determined that we should divide into 

two reconnoitring parties on the morrow : B 

and C , with Chineah and four of the gang, 

forming one ; and K , myself, with Googooloo 

and three others, the second. This settled, we re- 
tired to the hut, and after a rubber of whist 
turned in. 

We were up long before the sun the next morn- 
ing, and, after a hearty breakfast, started at a good 
pace towards the spot where the Carders had fallen 
in with the elephants. After half an hour's tramp 
we came across an old trail, which B 's party 



OF THE OLD WORLD. ^47 

followed up, whilst mine continued our route 
through beautiful open teak-jungle, carpeted with 
green turf, most deliciously soft and elastic under 
foot. 

There were plenty of bison-tracks everywhere to 
be seen, some of which were quite fresh ; and Goo- 

gooloo pointed out to K a tuft of herbage that 

had been very recently torn up by one of those ani- 
mals, as saliva was still remaining on it. We fol- 
lowed up the trail for a short distance, in the hope 
of obtaining a shot, but could not get a glimpse of 
them. Towards noon we fell in with the spoor of 
an elephant, that appeared to be about twenty-four 
hours old, and we continued to track it up until late 
in the afternoon, when, my companion giving evident 
signs of fatigue, we made j^reparations for passing 
the night, by building a couple of huts close to a 
small rivulet, which looked clear and sparkling as 
a trout-stream in Scotland. It was a beautiful spot 
for a camp, as on all sides rose hills covered with 
dense deep-green forest, intersected with innumer- 
able mountain-streams, which emerged from the 
trees, and glistened like silver threads in the light 
of the setting sun. 

Our day's fag told upon us ; for within half an 
hour after our dinner we were all coiled up in our 
blankets fast asleep, and did not stir until Googooloo 
informed us that da^Ti was breaking, when, giving 
ourselves a shake, we adjourned to the brook to per- 
form our ablutions whilst breakfast was preparing. 



348 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

This finished, we again started on trail ; and as we 
were following up the spoor of the day before, I 
found unmistakable signs that a herd of elephants 
had passed by within a very short time. We imme- 
diately followed up at our best pace, and in a couple 
of hours fell in with the rear-guard, consisting of 
three females, which I had some difficulty in pre- 
venting my companion from firing at, as they were 
the fii'st wild elephants he had ever seen. I never 
cared to pull trigger at the " gentler sex," and, as 
the herd appeared to number about eleven, I con- 
cluded there must be a bull amongst them. I told 

K to wait under cover as quietly as possible, 

whilst I went forward to reconnoitre ; but I had 
hardly left the spot, when I heard a double shot, 
followed by a scream of rage, and, turning back, to 
my horror I saw my companion running for his life 
through the jungle, with a tusker closely following 
him tail on end. The elephant, notwithstanding 
his apparently unwieldy shape, gets over the ground 
much faster than one would suppose, and poor 

K would have had no chance if he had not 

been able to dodge him, by running round trees. 
I could not for the moment get a fair shot at any 
vulnerable part ; but, seeing that the elephant had 
got so near that he could almost have reached him 
with his trunk, I let drive a double shot at his ear, 

and brought him to his knees, which gave K 

time to clamber up into a tree. It was a very near 
touch, for he was breathless, and another few seconds 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 3 4 9 

would have seen him trampled under foot ; as it 
was, I was able to despatch the tusker ^'ith my 
second gun, which Googooloo handed to me just as 
he began to recover himself, and was getting on his 

knees. K told me that the moment I left him 

he heard a slight rustling in the cover close to 
where we were standing, and almost immediately 
the tusker made his appearance, coming directly 
towards him, when he fired a couple of hurried 
shots and took to his heels, seeing that he did 
not drop. I fancy that he must have lost his pre- 
sence of mind when he saw the huge brute advanc- 
ing towards him, as only one of his shots had taken 
effect, and that high up in the forehead. I con- 
gratulated him upon his escape, which was certainly 
due more to good luck than good management, as, 
in the position I was in, and the distance, it must 
have been entirely a chance shot of mine that 
dropped him. The sound of our guns caused a 
great panic in the herd ; and they rushed about 
crashing through the jungle at a great pace, which 
led me to suppose that they would not pull up until 
they had covered a good deal of ground ; and as 

K found he had sprained his ankle in his 

flight, which prevented him from walking comfort- 
ably, we gave up all thoughts of further pursuit. 
Leaving two of our people to cut out the tusks, 
which were small, not exceeding thirty pounds in 
weight, we made the best of our way back to the 
hut, where we found B 's party busily occupied 



350 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS, ETC. 

in preserving the skins of two bison, which they had 
killed the day previous. 

During the afternoon, heavy banks of dark clouds 
arose, which I knew prognosticated a storm ; so we 
strengthened our hut, and spread extra combleys on 
the weather-side, so as to make it impervious to the 
weather. Hardly were our preparations completed, 
when the sky became uniformly black and gleam- 
less, except when illuminated at intervals by the 
flashes of bluish-white lightning, and the thunder, 
reverberating among the mountains like the rolling 
of distant artillery, now came nearer and nearer, 
until it seemed to peal directly overhead, whilst the 
rain, in a perfect deluge, poured down upon the hot 
earth with that peculiar hissing sound heard only 
in the tropical climates. Later in the evening, the 
storm passed over, and the night became bitterly 
cold, dense vapours rising from the ground, which 
could not be otherwise than unhealthy ; so it was 
determined to commence a retrograde movement. 
We accordingly started early the next morning for 
our hut in the valley below, packed up our traps, 
and halted for the night at the public bungalow 
near the village ot Annamullay. The next day we 
pushed on to Coimbatore, where we remained a 
couple of days, as B— — was suffering from diar- 
rho3a, and then returned to my domicile at Ootaca- 
mund 



PART II.-CIRCASSIA. 



CHAPTER XXL 

Omer Pacha. — My followers. — Bashi-Bazouks. — Houssain the 
Arnoiit. — Ahmed the Koord. — Ali the Nubian. — Mahomed 
the Arab. — Sied Cassim the Dervish. — Abdulla the guide, — 
Captain Dymock's grave. — Godova. — Wild-fowl. — A heavy 
bag. — The climate of Circassia. — The inhabitants : their man- 
ners, customs, and dress. — Circassian women. — The Illori 
chieftain. — The " Faithful," and the "forbidden indulgence." 
Ompr Pacha a humbug. — His reputation amongst the Turkish 
officers. — His wound accounted for. — His acquisitiveness and 
plunder. — A fearful chase by wolves. — The Turkish Colonel's 
advice. — Sulleiman Pacha. — His purchase. — Pi,evolt of the 
Hareem. — The catastrophe and finale. 

After the fall of Sevastopol, I was attached, with 
several other British officers, to the general staff of 
that part of the Ottoman army under the command 
of Omer Pacha, which was destined to relieve Sir 
William Williams and the brave garrison of Kars, 
then closely invested by General Mouravietf ; but, 
disgusted with the dilatory and vacillating conduct 



352 THE HUNTING GEOrNDS 

of a leader whose cowardice or treachery allowed 
the sole object of the expedition to fail, 1 obtained 
leave to throw up my appointment and return to 
the Crimea, where I hoped again to partake of more 
stirring deeds. But it was not to be — "the de'il 
confound the ministry ! " they began to make peace 
at the time we had just warmed to our work, and 
when we were best able to carry on the war the 
armistice was signed, peace concluded, and "Othello's 
occupation gone." Finding it was uncertain when 
a steamer was likely to touch at Tchamshira, the 
nearest point of embarkation to Sugdidi, where ihe 
head-quarters of the army were established, I re- 
solved to go to Suchum Kaleh by land, amusing 
myself with shooting amongst the lower spurs of 
the Caucasus en route. 

Besides a guide, I had five well-tried followers, 
whom I had picked up from amongst the Bashi- 
Bazouks during the campaign of the Danube : a 
fearless set of men, ever true to their salt, who 
cared neither for laws nor Pachas, and who, being 
used to campaigning and foraging, were just the 
fellows to have about one in a country where " might 
is right," and " he may take who has the power, and 
he may keep who can ;" for, although the Russians 
liad vacated those districts some time previously, 
predatory bands of Abassians, Mingrelians, and 
Circassians were continually prowlmg about, not 
particularly nice as to whom they plundered. We 
were all well armed and mounted on Arabs, or 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 353 

sturdy little Kurdish horses, besides having three 
shaggy mountain ponies to carry our baggage, or 
rather to carry whatever we might pick up, for a 
Bashi-Bazouk always returns heavier laden than 
when he set out, if he knows his trade. 

The cognomen " Bashi-Bazouk " is a composite 
Turkish word for a class of individuals who would 
be allowed to exist in no country in the world save 
Turkey, or perhaps Central America, where the 
term " filibuster " appears to be almost synonymous. 
It is derived from " Bash," a head ; " ba," without ; 
" zouk," bra{7is — literally, though not in reality, " a 
head without brains : " certainly not an appropriate 
name for men who have to live by their wits. 
Among the horde I commanded on the Danube 
before our troops landed at Varna, I counted men 
of twenty-seven different nations and castes. 

My troop were a queer set, and merit a slight 
description. Hoossain, an Arnout, had been a 
" chaus " or sergeant, in one of the Turkish regi- 
ments engaged at Silistria, and having been de- 
puted to wait upon me by Moosa Pacha, (the gallant 
Arab leader who was afterwards killed on the ram- 
parts by the explosion of a shell during the siege,) 
found my service preferable to soldiering, at the 
nominal pay of twenty piastres per mensem, (then 
twenty-two months in arrears,) and, as he was a 
plucky, honest, and useful fellow, I kept him always 
with me. Fortune had dealt kindly with him ; and 
as he had managed, by hook or by crook, to amass 

z 



35-i THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

a suflBcient quantity of gear and sundries to enable 
him to smoke his pipe in comfort for the remainder 
of his life, he had given up all intentions of joining 
his regiment again. In camp before Sevastopol, 
during the siege, he was a well-known character, 
glorying in the name of " Ingleese Jonnie," for, by 
dint of " turinkles " picked up from an old corporal 
of Zouaves, my chef de cuisine, and sundry lessons 
from poor old Soyer, now, alas ! gone to " kingdom 
come/' he was no despicable cook, and formed a 
great addition to any party " sub tegmine fagi," 
whether out foraging in front of the enemy near 
Baidar, or picnicking with amateur campaigners at 
the Monastery of St George. 

The second, Ahmed, was a Koord, one of the 
followers of the Princess Kara Fathama, and a 
" mulassim," or lieutenant, of Bashi-Bazouks ; a 
fearless, devil-may-care kind of fellow, who, having 
received some fancied insult and extortion from a 
Pacha, hated all Turkish authorities like poison, 
and seemed to glory in setting them at defiance. 
He was strikingly handsome, a splendid horseman, 
a famous fellow in a brush, and the beau-id^al of a 
Bashi-Bazouk. 

The third, Ali, commonly called " Kutchuc," (the 
Little One,) was a Nubian of colossal proj^ortions 
and gigantic strength, who was devoted to me, I 
having saved him from the Cossacks in an affair on 
the Danube, after he had been disabled by several 
severe wounds, and abandoned by his comrades 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 355 

which service he amply repaid afterwards, when I, 
in my turn, was laid on my back, by his constant 
attention and unwearied care for my wants. 

The fourth, Mahomed, was an Arab, or rather a 
Khabyle by birth, who had fought with the P>inir 
Abdel-Kader against the French, and, having been 
obliged to fly his country, had entered the corps of 
Bashi-Bazouks, from whence I took him to look 
after my horses, he being a first-rate groom. 

The fifth, Sied Cassim, was a Hindostanee from 
Northern India, who, being of a roving disposition, 
had turned " Fakeer," or dervish ; and, after having 
performed the " Hadj," or pilgrimage to Mecca, had 
wandered all over Asia Minor and Persia, and at last 
enrolled himself in the ranks of the Bashi-Bazouks. 
He was a trustworthy fellow, and, being a good 
scholar in Persian, Hindostanee, Arabic, and 
Turkish, used to act as paymaster, or rather as the 
divider of the spoils, and keep the accounts, from 
which he usually went by the name of the " Vakeel," 
or secretary. He claimed also to be a descendant 
of the prophet, and always wore the significant 
badge, a green turban. 

Our guide, Abdidla, was likewise a Hindostanee 
by birth, but had left his country when a child with 
an Arab cloth-merchant, who had sold him to the 
Circassians, by whom he had been adopted as one of 
themselves. He was a great chum of Cassim's, and 
I took him into my service, as he had a good know- 
ledge of the Circassian and Abassian languages, as 



356 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

well as the various dialects of the different moun- 
tain tribes, and was well acquainted with the country. 
Being quite a youth, he generally went by the name 
of " Chojack," (the Young One.) His office was 
that of interpreter, and he was charged with the 
care of five very handsome greyhounds and a pointer, 
which fell into my hands by the fortune of war, and 
furnished me with many a game dinner when nothing 
else was procurable. 

We left Sugdidi early in the morning, crossing 
the Ingur by the redoubt which was thrown up by 
the Ottoman troops after they had forced the pas- 
sage on the morning of the 7th November, when 
poor Captain Dymock fell, shot through the heart, 
whilst he was leading the column to the attack. 
We buried him close to where he fell, under two 
beautiful trees, covered with festoons of wild vine. 
I stayed a few moments to take a hurried sketch of 
a brave comrade's last resting-place, and then rode 
on to Godova, on the coast, where we arrived about 
three p.m. 

I was most hospitably received by an old colonel 
of infantry, who, with his regiment, was left in charge 
of some stores ; and in a marsh near the village I 
killed a couple of pintail ducks, three couple of snipe, 
and a bittern, and "Guimish," (Silver,) one of my 
greyhounds, caught a hare. 

The country round about Godova is densely 
wooded ; oak, ash, chesnut, walnut, and most kinds 
of European fruit-trees seeming to grow indigenous 



OF THE OLD WOULD. 357 

and ill the wildest luxuriance, whilst the loveliest 
flowers bloom in perfection ; amongst which I noticed 
the tulip, anemone, hyacinth, ranunculus, rose, pink, 
jasmine, and violet, besides numberless other species 
with which I was not previously acquainted. The 
lower spurs of the Caucasus, the grandest of mountain 
ranges, rise about seven miles to the eastward of the 
village, and run parallel to the coast. The lower 
ranges are clothed with dense and almost impene- 
trable primeval forest, whilst the higher are covered 
with perpetual snow, and generally enshrouded by 
mists. 

The heavy falls of rain, and the melting of snow 
and ice on the momitains, in the summer, when the 
power of the sun is strong, swell the numerous rivers 
and watercourses into mighty torrents, causing them 
to overllow their banks and inundate the surrounding 
country ; forming large marshes or bogs, which, at 
certain seasons of the year, are almost alive with 
waterfowl of different kinds, whilst snipe and wood- 
cock are to be found in thousands. 

It is my belief that swans, ducks, and geese of all 
kinds, besides snipe and woodcock, choose these 
secluded and almost inaccessible spots to breed in, 
migrating here for that purpose from all the other 
comitries of Europe. I have killed seventeen dif- 
ferent species of duck and teal in one j heel, the water 
in places where the weed abounded on which they 
feed being black with them. Tliey were evidently 
unaccustomed to the sound of a gun, for, when the 



358 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

echoes of the report died away in the distant hills, 
they would settle down in the same place without 
taking alarm, although each discharge brought down 
about a dozen of their number. The bag that might 
be made may be estimated from the fact that 1 killed 
in one day in a jheel near the foot of the Abassadagh 
Mountain, fourteen miles from Tshamshira, thirty- 
four brace of woodcock, eleven couple of snipe, seven 
geese, and sixty-one ducks ; and could have continued 
the slaughter, were it not that the villagers, for whose 
benefit it was intended, declared that they could not 
carry more away. I think I must have flushed that 
day at least a hundred brace of cock, besides snipe 
innumerable. I hope my reader will not imagine 
from this account that I at all countenance or am in 
favour of such wholesale destruction as a general 
thing ; but it must be remembered that at this time 
I had many mouths to feed, that food of any kind 
was at a premium, and I had nothing in store ex- 
cept mouldy Turkish ration biscuit, full of weevils 
and other such indescribable animalculse. 

The climate, soil, and magnificence of scenery 
render the east coast of the Black Sea one of the 
most beautiful and interesting countries in the world. 
It is abundantly irrigated by numberless rivers flow- 
ing from the mountains, and the valleys are extremely 
fertile, producing cotton, rice, wheat, millet, Indian 
corn, hemp, flax, and quantities of excellent grasses, 
with little labour ; yet the inhabitants are generally 
poor, holding in contempt agriculture and all em- 



OP THE OLD WORLD. 369 

ploymcnts of a peaceful kind. They are divided into 
several nations, tribes, and castes, which arc a^^aiii 
subdivided. The principal are the Tclierkesses, the 
Kabardines, the Abassians, the Mingrelians, and the 
Georgians. The Tcherkesses, or Circassians, said to 
be derived from the Tyches, (who settled in the 
country several centuries ago,) are essentially moun- 
taineers, and have many qualities in common with 
the Scottish Highlanders of the olden day. Their 
element is war, and they possess all the characteristics 
peculiar to the inhabitants of lofty regions, being 
divided into tribes and clans, each of which is 
governed by a chief invested with the power of life 
and death over his followers. They chiefly profess 
the Mohammedan religion, but, having no written 
language, their faith diff'ers considerably from that 
of other Mussulmans ; a traditionary history and code 
of laws, which has been transmitted from age to age, 
and become hallowed from its antiquity, being sub- 
stituted for the Koran. The old men act as judges, 
and settle all the affairs of the community, subject 
to the supreme authority of the chief, whose will is 
law They are an exceedingly fine and handsome 
race, the men being tall, well-made, and muscular, 
though rather of slight build, with pleasing features, 
flowing beards, and remarkably small hands and 
feet. 

The dress of the common people in some respects 
resembles that of the Tartars, but is more elegant ; 
it consists of a sheepskin cap with high peak of gray 



3G0 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

cloth, white or yellow linen tight-fitting trousers, 
yellow boots, and shirt-like tunic, bound with gold 
or silver lace, having on each side of the breast 
cases made of morocco for holding cartridges. 
Their arms are a kind of rifled matchlock, pistol, 
sabre, and broad, heavy, double-edged poniard. 
Their chiefs or nobles, however, present a much more 
brilliant spectacle when in full dress, being clad, 
like our knights of old, in coats of mail composed 
of rings of steel joined together with the most 
beautiful workmanship, and armed with damas- 
cened sabres, daggers, and richly-ornamented pis- 
tols, often inlaid with gold. 

Their women have long been celebrated for their 
extreme beauty, the harems of Constantinople being 
kept supplied from the descendants of slaves, though 
not, as is generally supposed, from the families of 
the free tribes. They are of slender and elegant 
figures, with regular features, white skin, and dark 
brown or black hair, with blue eyes. They are in 
general neither reserved nor confined, but at the 
ao-e of ten or twelve years they are incased in a 
broad leathern band tightly sewn round the waist, 
which they wear until marriage. Over a low-cut 
chemise they wear a long laced jacket with wide 
trousers, and they heighten their beauty by paint- 
ing their eyebrows with a preparation of antimony 
called "soormah," and stain the nails of the toes 
and fingers with henna. Their hair is generally 
plaited and falls down the back, and a small sheep- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 3G1 

sliin cap, with the upper part embroidered, is com- 
monly worn. 

Their villages consist only of "konaks" or log- 
huts, plastered with clay inside, and seldom con- 
taining more than one room. A wooden bench or 
sedan runs all round, and one part, covered with 
matting, serves as a bed. The only furniture or 
garniture are the saddles, arms, and a few brass or 
copper cooking utensils. 

The customs of ancient Sparta are in some de- 
gree in force amongst them, the youths being 
brought up in all bodily exercises calculated to in- 
crease strength and agility — such as riding, run- 
ning, wrestling, shooting, and they are accustomed 
to endure hunger and fatigue. To fall in the field 
is considered an honour, and to kill an enemy a 
triumph ; stealing is also allowed and encouraged, 
that is, provided it is not found out, for if the cul- 
prit is detected, he is bound to restore the stolen 
property sevenfold. Murder or crime is generally 
punished by fine, more or less, according to the 
rank of the victim. 

Some of the Kabardines and Abassians profess a 
kind of Christianity, but they are a more degenerate 
and treacherous race than the Circassians, who, 
though cruel crafty enemies, are extremely hospit- 
able and more to be depended upon. 

A petty chieftain, who lived with his tribe in the 
mountains to the northward of Illori, dined with us:, 
and as he spoke Turkish tolerably well and was 



362 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

exceedingly communicative, I gleaned a good deal 
of useful information about the country and the 
kind of game that was likely to be met with. Ac- 
cording to his account, bears of an immense size, as 
well as wolves, hyenas, and jackals were to be found 
on the mountains, besides red-deer, wild cattle, hog, 
wild goats, and sheep, (which latter proved to be 
ibex and chamois.) He invited me to visit his 
''konak" en route, and undertook to show me game 
of different kinds, which offer I was glad to accept. 

"When the repast was over, coffee served, and the 
servants out of the way, I produced a little keg of 
brandy ; and notwithstanding we were all supposed 
to be good Mussulmans, it went round merrily, and 
opened the hearts of " the Faithful." 

The "cratur" made the eyes of the old Osmanli 
colonel glisten again, and as the keg passed round 
pretty often, it soon began to show its effects, ren- 
dering him extremely loquacious, and he recounted 
several very amusing incidents of his early service, 
besides expatiating, in the strongest of Turkish Bil- 
lingsgate, against the Sirdar Ekrem Omer Pacha, 
whom he denounced as an arch-humbug, who has 
usurped the credit of other men's acts, and gained 
the position he held by cringing servility, base in- 
trigue, and despicable chicanery — being totally 
destitute of all those qualities which he ought to 
possess, not only as a general, but a man. He was 
said never to have been under fire except on one 
occasion when he could not help himself, (at Eupa- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 363 

toria ;) and the small scar he has on his wrist, 
which he often brags about, and shows to strangers 
as a wound, was thus accounted for : — During one 
of the outbreaks of the " Eyahs " or Christian sub- 
jects of the Porte, in Southern Turkey, he was sent 
in command of a body of troops against a walled vil- 
lage not very far from Monastir, whicli was vigorously 
defended by the inhabitants, armed only with match- 
locks and ataghans. A long-continued drought had 
dried up most of the wells in the enceinte of the 
place, and the besieged had to obtain their supply 
from a spring in the ditch outside the walls, which 
task was generally imdertaken by the women and 
children after nightfall. This fact was communi- 
cated to Omer Pacha by some of his sycophants, 
and he ordered the small brass rifled mountain- 
piece, which he always keeps in front of his tent, to 
be pointed so as to command the source on a risino- 
ground far out of range of the small-arms of the 
garrison. During the night a noise was heard in 
the ditch by some of the advanced sentries, and the 
Pacha was informed that the villagers were drawing 
water : he immediately rushed to his gim and loaded 
it, not knowing that one of his staff had previously 
made it all ready for him. When he applied the 
match, the piece, being doubly charged, recoiled 
violently, knocking down the Pacha on the broad 
of his back, with half a dozen of his hangers-on, 
and injuring his wrist. Thus is the only wound 
Omer Pacha ever received accounted for, and it is 



364 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

not to be wondered at if he never mentions how 
and when he got it. 

Omer Pacha had appropriated to himself the whole 
of the plunder of Princess Dadien's palace at Sug- 
didi, despatching for his own use, at Constantinople, 
a magnificent collection of furniture, consisting of 
chairs and couches covered with crimson velvet, 
beautiful inlaid tables, magnificent chandeliers, and 
articles of virtu, which looked like recent importa- 
tions from Paris. The tame deer and peafowl were 
killed for his table, and the exotic plants trans- 
ported to his garden at Stamboul. 

Story-telling is a great amusement amongst the 
Turks, and each of us in his turn had to contribute 
some anecdote for the amusement of the rest. 

The Abassian chief gave us a very thrilling 
account of the loss of five of his tribe, with some 
prisoners, by wolves, during the winter of 1852, 
when the whole country lay covered with snow for 
months together. It appears that a force had been 
collected and sent out in the plains to harass and 
annoy the Russians, but having met with a reverse, 
they scattered, and each tribe made the best of their 
way homeward. The Abassian party, to which the 
narrator belonged, consisted of eleven men fairly 
mounted and armed with matchlocks, pistols, and 
swords, with five prisoners — four Eussian soldiers 
and a woman. As they were traversing a vast 
steppe or plain they perceived a pack of seven wolves 
slowly following them, of which number they killed 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 30') 

two or three with their matchlocks, for the sake of 
the fur, and, dispersing the rest, continued their 
journey. Shortly afterwards a strange howling noise 
was heard in the reai-, whicli at first sounded like 
the roaring of the wind, but afterwards increased to 
such a pitch, that they thought Jehannura (the in- 
fernal regions) was turned loose, and that the cry 
they had heard was the exulting laugh of the " gins '' 
and " afrits," (evil spirits,) whom they believe to 
inhabit the impenetrable snows of j\Iount El-bruz. 
At length their attention was called to a dark mass 
of black objects spreading over the snow, like a cloud 
on the horizon, and the full extent of their danger 
now burst upon them, for they knew they were pur- 
sued by a horde of wolves. 

Their horses were already fatigued with a long 
day's journey, but terror seemed to give them wings, 
for they tore along as if they knew their peril, and 
for a while seemed to hold their own. The nearest 
" konak" or hamlet was at least two " saat" or seven 
miles distant, and the ground was in many places so 
deep with drifted snow that their horses could hardly 
get along. The crisis was now evidently fiist ap- 
proaching, for the advanced troop were almost within 
gun-shot, howling and yelling as wolves only can. 
A brief consultation was held, and it was determined 
to sacrifice the prisoners one by one, so as to gain 
time for the rest to escape. The woman met her fate 
first. One of their number stepping behind, drew 
his sabre across the hocks of her horse, hamstringing 



S66 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

it, and causing both to fall heavily to the ground. 
Her shrieks, as well as the cry of the horse in his 
death agony, rang through their ears for a moment, 
and then all was still. They anxiously looked back, 
and found that this desperate expedient had enabled 
them to gain a considerable distance on their pur- 
suers, but it was not for long ; they were soon again 
on their heels, when a Eussian soldier was sacrificed 
by shooting his horse ; a second, third, and fourth 
followed, and much time was gained and a consider- 
able distance covered : still their insatiable foes 
pressed on, apparently more ferocious than before, 
for their appetite was whetted with the taste of blood. 
They now commenced discharging their firearms 
amongst them, but it was of no avail, for although 
many fell, the rest rushed on, and the course of the 
horde was not stayed. The horses of two of their 
number now gave up, and fell with shrieks that told 
they knew the fate that awaited them ; and although 
their riders were swift of foot, they could not keep 
up their speed for any length of time in the deep 
snow, and soon became fatigued, so bidding their 
comrades farewell, they resigned themselves to their 
" kismet," (destiny,) drew their yatagans, and shout- 
ing their battle-cry, died like men, fighting to the 
last. The survivors were now within a couple of 
miles from shelter,' but their horses were almost worn 
out, the leading wolves hardly a pistol-shot behind, 
and gaining upon them rapidly — another moment, 
and they expected to feel their fangs, when an old 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 1567 

man, whose two sons were also present, seeing the 
hopelessness of the case, bade his comrades farewell, 
and shouting out the " imaun " (Moliammedan 
creed) as a death-song, felled his horse to the ground 
with the heavy butt of his pistol, as he could not rein 
up the scared animal, and oflered himself a willing 
sacrifice to save the rest. On tore the survivors, now- 
reduced to eight in number, and on followed their 
relentless pursuers, now again only half a dozen 
horses' length behind. In spite of all their eftbrts, 
their doom seemed sealed, and their case hopeless, 
when their chief, giving an expressive look to the 
narrator, drew his pistol and shot the man nearest 
to him through the head. He threw up his arms 
and dropped the reins, but although stone-dead he 
sat firm in the saddle, the affrighted animal carrying 
him until a second discharge brought both to the 
ground. Again the pursuit was checked for a time, 
and the konak appeared in view ; luckily the door 
was open, for it was deserted, men and horses rushed 
in, the door was closed, and a ponderous bar drawn 
across inside, when suddenly a loud heart-rending 
yell was heard from without, above the howling of 
the wolves, and they saw through the chinks be- 
tween the logs, one of their comrades whose horse 
had broken down and lagged behind, unperceived 
by the rest, surrounded by the horde and fighting 
desperately — a moment more and he was pulled from 
the saddle, and both man and horse devoured before 
their eyes. Then the wolves surrounded the hut. 



368 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

and, finding themselves balked of their prey, began 
to fio-ht with each other, at times endeavouring 
to scratch away the earth under the logs or force 
their ways through the crevices, but the hut being 
substantially constructed resisted all their efforts, 
and a deadly discharge of firearms was kept up from 
the interior, which thinned their numbers, and re- 
venged their fallen friends, but the dead wolves were 
speedily devoured by the survivors, who remained 
howling and shrieking round the hut until the night 
of the second day, when a violent storm arose, and 
they took themselves ofi" in the dark, much to the 
relief of the six survivors, who, seeing the coast clear, 
made the best of their way to their homes. 

"Allah kereem, (God be merciful,) but you had 
a wonderful escape ! " exclaimed the old colonel, 
when the Illori chieftain had finished his story. 
" I thank Kismut (fate) that I was not with you on 
that day, or I should have stood but a poor chance 
in your desperate race for life, (he weighed at least 
eighteen stone,) and a shudder comes over me when 
I think of it ; and if I were you, Ingleese Bey ! 
(so he termed me,) I should give up all idea of 
rambling about this desolate country, where one 
sees nothing but mountains, trees, rivers, and mud ; 
may go a moon's journey without falling in with a 
ca/^, and where fighting comes oftener than one's 
dinner. Be advised, and embark at once for Stam- 
boul, where you may enjoy your ' kieftV (a dreamy 
state of listless idleness, peculiar to the Turks,) and 



OF THE OLD WOELD. 369 

smoke your chibouk, surrounded with dark-eyed 
beauties, whose voices are more melodious than the 
cries of jackals, whose kisses are more desirable 
than the bites of wolves, and whose embraces are 
preferable to the hugs of bears. Heigh Allah ! 
when shall I see the blessed place again ? " 

" Shabash ! (Bravo !) Bey Elfendi ! " I exclaimed ; 
" you are too greedy, and it is fortunate that every 
one is not of your opinion, or some would come 
poorly off; for where are all the women to come 
from, if every man required a troop ? I am more 
moderate, being content with one at a time ; be- 
sides which, I do not like having a continual ' kara- 
balik' (disturbance) in the house, which is always 
the case when women get together ; for I am of the 
same opinion as the sage, who says that it is an 
easier task to rule a thousand men than to control 
two women ; and to prove that my theory is cor- 
rect, I will relate to you the sad fate of a man you 
all knew, who owed all his misfortunes to taking 
one woman too many in his establishment. 

" Sulleiman Pacha, late commandant of the first 
brigade that landed in the Crimea, was formerly a 
collector of customs in the Pachalik of Widdin, and 
subsequently held some lucrative civil appointment 
at Stamboul. Tax-gathering, for a number of 
years, had made Sulleiman Aga a rich man ; and 
through the interest of Mehemet AH Pacha, backed 
up with a large packet of ' kaima,' (paper-money.) 
the Aga was made a Lever Pacha, (General of 

2 A 



370 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

Brigade,) and things went on swimmingly for a 
time. One day, however, the horizon of his destiny 
was darkened with the cloud of misfortune ; for as 
he was enjoying his chibouk at a caf6 near the 
'Buyuk Chouk,' (Grand Bazaar,) he was accosted 
by an old friend, and in an evil moment accepted an 
invitation to accompany him to a slave-merchant's 
'khan,' in order to select a Nubian eunuch as a 
guardian for his harem. This matter settled, the 
slave-merchant took them to see a magnificent 
Georgian damsel, who was considered to be the 
finest importation for many years. Her price was 
eighty thousand piastres, (about six hundred pounds 
sterling,) and Sulleiman Pacha became so captivated 
with her appearance that, notwithstanding he was 
an elderly man, and had three wives at home, he 
became the purchaser ; and the object of his affec- 
tions was ordered to be conveyed to his garden- 
house near Scutari, on the extreme quiet, so that 
his other wives might hear nothing about it. The 
Pacha thought he observed a diabolical twinkle in 
the eye of the slave-dealer when, after he had re- 
ceived his money, he wished him ' every felicity ; ' 
but at the moment he merely thought he had been 
cheated out of some piastres, which, being rich, he 
did not care about, never imagining that he would 
have such cause to repent his bargain. The cun- 
ning old fox then went home, and informed his 
wives that he was obliged to start on a journey, 
and after taking an afiectionate farewell he set off 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 371 

for his country house. His reception could not 
have proved very satisfactory, nor did he ever dis- 
close to me what actually passed, for although he 
has often related his grievances to me, at this point 
he invariably worked himself up in such a rage, 
that I could make out little but a lon^^ strinf of 
curses against a cat-like fiend who must have 
escaped from ' Jehanum,' (the infernal regions,) so 
I concluded he got his face clawed. However, he 
admitted that he spent the night in a neighbourinf^ 
cafe, and when he went home the next morning he 
found a mutiny had taken place in his harem ; for 
whether his scratched face and disordered appear- 
ance told tales, or some maliciously inclined persons 
had given his wives an insight into the affair, he 
knew not, but he was received with torrents of 
abuse. One knocked his turban off, a second 
pulled his beard, the third spat in his face, and 
they all left the marks of their nails on his person, 
besides belabouring him with the heels of their 
slippers until he was almost insensible, when the 
guardians of the fold of the ' third sex ' came to the 
rescue, and enabled him to get out of their clutches. 
Finding himself driven out of house and home, he 
grew desperate, and, being weary of his life, went 
for a soldier, thinking to terrify the household into 
subordination, for he had no idea of going to fight ; 
and the Seraskier (Minister of War) gave him the 
command of a brigade of 'redifs,' (militia,) which, 
unfortunatelv for our hero, were the first troops 



872 THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 

ordered out on active service in the Crimea, and he 
was obliged to go. Although not actually engaged, 
he saw quite enough at the battle of the Alma to 
turn his stomach against the profession he had 
chosen, and satisfy himself that the smell of powder 
did not agree with his constitution ; so, after a 
solemn consultation with his second in command. 
Colonel Haleem Bey, as great a poltroon as himself, 
both parties decamped one fine morning, without 
beat of drum, and found their way to Stamboul ; 
for which act the Seraskier Eiza Pacha brought 
them up before the Mejlis (Council of War) on a 
charge 'of having cowardly abandoned their post 
in the field before the enemy ; ' and in the presence 
of all the troops they were degraded from their re- 
spective ranks, and are now vegetating in prison. 

" This finale was, however, against my interests, 
as one evening before the Pacha left the Crimea, 
when we were talking about the chances of an 
engagement at an early period, he said, 'You are 
an Englishman, and like fighting, and cannot be 
afraid of a woman ; so what do you say to taking 
my eighty thousand piastres' worth off" my hands ? 
She is as good as when I bought her, and I will 
give you a house and garden with her, and adopt 
you as a son.' Of course I closed with his offer at 
once, but our little arrangement was put an end to 
by his sentence ; so you see, my friends, that the old 
adage is true which says, ' Wherever there is misfor- 
tune, a woman is sure to be at the bottom of it.' " 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Circassian scenery. — A false alarm. — The Bey's konak. — Riflea 
and revolvers. — Circassian cuisine.— A goose cooked ii la Mrs 
Harris. — Uninvited company. — News of a bear. — A night 
prowler. — A huntsman's toilet. — The route through the 
ravines. — The lair. — The Bey's dogs give tongue. — An enor 
mous bear wounded. — A man mauled. — The Bruin bites the 
dust. — The bivouac. — Horses stolen. — Mussulman apathy. — 
The pursuit. — The trail. — The plunderers surprised and taken. 
— Their punishment. 

The next morning we all set out with the Illori 
chieftain, and after a four hours' ride through a 
densely-wooded country, arrived at the gorge of a 
romantically picturesque valley, which appeared to 
wind its way for several miles between two lofty 
mountain ridges, forming a part of the chain of the 
Caucasus ; a tortuous path, so narrow that we were 
obliged to ride in single file, and keep a sliarp look- 
out that we did not come in contact with overhang- 
ing rocks or branches of trees, wound along the edge 
of a chasm, in which a foaming mountain-torrent 
dashed impetuously ; and at times we passed along 
the brinks of precipices which made the head giddv 



374 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

to look over. Here and there gigantic forest trees 
stood out in bold relief, and towering crags of 
castellated form rose in every direction, whilst 
patches of gorgeous flowers of various colours were 
seen among the luxuriant herbage, adding their rich 
tints, as if to harmonise with the exquisite beauty 
of the surrounding scenery. 

As we were picking our way over the strong bed 
of a mountain-stream which had cleft a wide open- 
ing through the forest, I was rather startled by 
hearing the sharp crack of a rifle, and the " ping" 
of a bullet high over our heads, which, from the 
streak of smoke, evidently came from a high rocky 
crag commanding the ford on the opposite bank ; 
and, instinctively, both myself and followers, appre- 
hensive of treachery, unslung our rifles, and pre- 
pared for action by springing from our saddles and 
taking advantage of the cover of huge boulders of 
rock that were scattered about in every direction. 
But the Illori Bey, who was much amused by our 
proceedings, informed us that we were approaching 
his "konak," and that the shot we heard was 
merely a signal from one of the outlying scouts of 
his tribe, who, being at feud with their neighbours, 
were obliged to keep a strict watch on the defile 
leading to their hamlet. One of his followers 
answered the signal by discharging his pistol, and 
in a few moments a number of young men came 
galloping up on rough mountain-ponies, who gave 
us a cordial welcome, and saluted us by touching 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 375 

our feet with the tips of their fingers, and then 
raising thera to their foreheads. 

On the slope of a hill, surrounded by a small 
patch of Indian corn, stood the hamlet, which con- 
sisted of about half a dozen log-huts, each contain- 
ing a single apartment ; and one of the largest, by 
the orders of the Bey, was cleared out of its occu- 
pants, consisting of an indiscriminate medley of 
men, women, children, ponies, sheep, goats, cows, 
buffaloes, geese, fowls, &c., and given up for the 
accommodation of my people and horses, being suffi- 
ciently roomy to contain all comfortably. 

I was conducted to the " dewan-khana," or guest- 
house, and introduced to the elders of the tribe as 
the " Ingleese Bey," where, after pipes and sherbet 
had been handed round by boys, I had to undergo 
a long series of cross-questioning as to the recent 
events of the war. 

At last ray revolvers, which I aways wore loaded 
in my belt, in case of accident, attracted their atten- 
tion, and they all jumped up thunderstruck when I 
explained their action ; but I was not believed until 
I had exhibited their powers by lodging ten bullets 
in a small circle of a walnut-tree about twenty paces 
distant from the door of the hut. In order more 
strongly to impress upon their minds the nature of 
our armament so as to guard against any attempt 
at treachery, I directed one of the boys to hang a 
dry gourd, which served as a water- vessel, on a 
stalk of Indian corn about a hundred yards distant, 



o7G THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

and sent a couple of bullet shots through it with 
my double rifle ; and, wliilst they were examining 
the weapon, I slipped, the extra loaded chambers in 
my revolvers and again fired them off, much to 
their consternation and wonder : indeed, they looked 
upon me as very closely allied to the " the name- 
less one," for I heard them congratulating them- 
selves in an undertone that none of their enemies 
had demon-inspired pistols that were of fatal aim 
and never required loading. 

When we again adjourned to the hut I found 
that breakfast had been served, consisting of several 
dishes, but I was most woefully disappointed in the 
cookery, which was wretched in the extreme, I may 
say execrable ; for, although hungry, I could hardly 
manage to swallow half a dozen mouthfuls • the 
bill of fare consisting of rank goat's-flesh boiled 
up with millet-seed, black broth, sundry prepara- 
tions of sour milk, smoked kouskous, and pillaf 
made of rancid butter, roasted Indian corn, and 
black-looking maize cakes. At last the repast was 
over, and, making some excuse about looking after 
the horses, I bolted to my people, whom I found 
comfortably established and supplied with all they 
required. 

One of them had managed to get hold of a goose, 
and, as I felt nearly ravenous, I devoted him to 
" sudden death," converted him into a savoury mess 
in less than ten minutes, by an old campaigning 
receipt which, for the benefit of future foragers, I 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 377 

give a la Mrs Harris's : — " First catch your goose, 
cut off the head, pull off the feathers with the skin, 
cut the meat from off the bones in small square 
pieces, and chuck them into a frying pan, with 
butter, pepper, and salt, if you have any, letting 
them stew until they assume a rich bro^vni colour, 
when you may begin to eat." Bread or biscuit 
fried up with the fat is a considerable adjunct. 

!My hunger satiated, the gang, according to their 
usual custom, made a huge fire of dry logs on a 
piece of open ground a short distance in front of the 
hut ; and, spreading my carpet to windward, I pre- 
pared to enjoy the " fragrant weed," and cogitate 
upon the programme for the morrow, whilst our 
tents d'abii (of which each of us carried a part in 
front of his saddle) were being pitched : it being 
considered preferable to sleep under canvas to re- 
maining in the hut, on account of vermin ; fleas hav- 
ing been found so large and numerous that Kuchuk 
declared that he was afraid of molesting or annoying 
any of the race, for, if they made a combined attack, 
and all pulled one way, he felt sure they would be 
able to drag him bodily out of the hut. 

There is no time more pleasant in the life of an 
old forest-ranger than the setting in of the night 
after a good day's sport, when the hunters recline 
round the log-fire, shaded from the evening dew by 
the canopy of some gigantic forest tree, and talk 
over the events of the day or the hopes of the mor- 
row. Then the soothing cheroot and comfortincc 



378 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

can of grog are indeed luxuries, and old familiar 
airs and stirring tales go round cheerily, carrying 
the heart back to happy bygone scenes of home, and 
dear old friends, far away in " Merrie England." 
None of my sporting chums caring to accompany 
me in this trip to regions marked in the best maps 
as "unknown tracts," I was without companion, 
and time hung heavily on my hands when not en 
route, or on the look-out for game, so I was very 
glad when the Bey EfFendi came to consult me as 
to the most suitable arrangement for the morrow's 
battue. He was accompanied by a very intelligent 
young fellow of his tribe, who, whilst watching the 
cattle out at pasture, had discovered the lair of an 
immense bear, whose depredations had been severely 
felt during the winter months, when, emboldened 
by hunger, he had carried off horses picketed close 
to the "konac." 

I decided to beat him out, if possible, and, after 
a long smoking-match, and some talk with the Bey 
as to the best plan of proceeding, he went to warn 
his people to be in readiness to start at the first 
appearance of dawn on the morrow, and I crept into 
my tent, rolled myself up in my blankets, and, being 
tired, was soon in a sound sleep, from which I was 
awakened by some one, as I thought, unceremoni- 
ously shaking me by the shoulder ; but the visitor 
proved to be a half-famished prowling jackal, who 
was trying to drag away the buffalo-robe which 
served as an outer covering. I scared him away 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 379 

by shouting, and he vented his indignation by setting 
up a melancholy howl, which started a most infernal 
chorus from half a dozen packs in the neighbouring 
woods; but being well accustomed to such "jungle 
melody," I turned over, and once more composed 
myself to sleep. 

When I awoke the next morning, I found my 
followers busily employed in rubbing down the 
horses, and the whole of the male portion of the 
tribe, with the exception of a few left to guard the 
village, preparing for the field. I gave myself a 
shake like a spaniel, and washed out my mouth, (the 
ordinary toilet of a hunter of the deep jungle, who 
generally performs his ablutions in the first stream 
he comes to,) and after hastily swallowing a cup of 
cofi'ee and a biscuit, I mounted my horse, and hastened 
the departure of the party, which consisted of about 
forty individuals, most of them mounted on rough 
mountain-ponies, and armed with matchlocks, pis- 
tols, attaghans, &c. 

The track lay through a gorge in the mountains, 
and, when day broke, presented a magnificent scene, 
as the sun dispelled the fog and mists which seemed 
to cling to the gigantic masses of rock piled on each 
other in endless variety of shape and extraordinary 
confusion ; but I felt too much absorbed in sur- 
mising upon the diflferent kinds of large game that 
were likely to be met with in such a vast extent of 
virgin forest, to pay very much attention to the pic- 
turesque beauties that lay in my path. 



3S0 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

After about three hours' riding we came to a 
large log cattle-shed, used only in the summer 
months, -when the best pasturage is to be found on 
the lower spurs of the mountains ; and here we had 
to leave the horses under the charge of a guard, as 
the track became impracticable for them. 

The Illori chief described this bear to be a terrible 
animal, standing as high as a pony ; but, as I had a 
double-gun and rifle, and a brace of revolvers, I con- 
sidered myself more than a match for him. 

The herdsman now led the way, and under his 
guidance we climbed, in Indian file, a steep rocky 
hill, which caused us to puff and blow, and made 
our knees tremble before we got to the top ; where, 
by dint of scrambling on our hands and knees, creep- 
ing along the edges of break-neck presipices, and 
hanging on to perilous ledges, we managed to work 
our way along the crest until we came to a deep 
rocky ravine on the other side, which appeared to 
have been denuded of the dense bush that generally 
covered the face of the country, by the violence of 
numerous mountain-torrents, which, when swollen 
by the rains, or the melting of the snow, dashed 
down the steep descent with immense force, and 
swept away all the underwood in their course. 
Here our guide assured us the lair was, and, in- 
deed, it looked a likely place to meet with queer 
customers, for in all my peregrinations I never saw 
wilder country. 

After an hour's careful investigation, during 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 381 

which I came across several trails of red and roe 
deer, hoijs, wolves, jackals, and foxes, as I was 
crossing a patch of sand in the dry bed of a stream 
I perceived the fresh footprints of a bear, which I 
instantly saw must be a very large one from his 
long stride and the size of his pngs, niy hand hardly 
covering them. 

I followed up the trail for some distance, but lost 
it on some rocky ground, and was making casts in 
different directions in order to regain it, when some 
of the Bey's dogs, which had gone on some short 
distance ahead, gave tongue, and immediately after I 
heard a sullen roar, followed by four or five drop- 
ping shots. I sprung upon a boulder of rock and 
discovered an enormous, dirty, white-looking bear 
in full pursuit of four or five Abassians, who were 
running shrieking up the hill-side about two hun- 
dred yards distant. One of them, in his frantic 
flight, tripped over a stone, and before he could 
rise the brute was upon him. Although the hinder- 
quarters of the animal only were presented to me, 
I threw up my rifle and let drive ; whether it was 
that my hand was unsteady that morning, or that I 
feared hitting the man, I know not, but the first 
bullet fell short ; the second, however, struck fair, 
and the bear, with a sharp hoarse cry of pain, 
quitted the fallen man, and again made after the 
rest. I reloaded as quickly as possible and ran up 
towards the wounded man, when I again saw Bruin 
for a moment, and got a couple of snap-shots at 



382 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

him as he bolted into some cover, having been 
turned by a straggling volley from some of my 
gang and the Bey's people. I found the youth who 
had fallen into the bear's clutches severely bitten in 
the shoulder, besides having his side clawed, and 
being considerably bruised and shaken, though not 
dangerously hurt ; so, after bandaging his wounds 
as well as I could, I collected the people together, 
and prepared to make another effort to dislodge 
Bruin from his shelter. 

One of my people had seen him enter some thick 
underwood between two large rocks, and I tried to 
coax the dogs to go in and drive him out ; but it 
was of no use, they only ran yelping round the 
thicket. Two of their number had been killed in 
the first onset, and some of the others severely 
mauled, which damped the courage of the rest ; so, 
finding that nothing could be effected with their 
assistance, I posted all the people in groups as 
safely as I could at one end of the cover, in case 
the game might break without showing fight, and 
followed up the trail, which was very plainly marked 
with blood, alone. 

The brushwood was very thick, and much im- 
peded my movements, so I got on but slowly ; but, 
by dint of creeping on my hands and knees and 
scrambling, I managed to get some distance into 
the cover, when I heard a savage growl, followed 
up by a low grunting noise, evidently not far from 
me. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 383 

I peered through the bush, but could see nothing ; 
so, resting my rifle against the trunk of a tree, I 
endeavoured to swarm up in order to have a better 
look round. I had hardly raised myself a couple of 
feet from the ground when, with a terrific roar, the 
brute, which must have got wind of me, charged. 
Luckily, the bush was so thick in front that he 
coidd not get at me very easily, but had to make a 
turn which gave me time to seize and cock my rifle; 
and as his monstrous head, with flashing eyes and 
open jaws, appeared about a couple of paces from me, 
I gave him the contents of both barrels, which 
almost stunned him, for he spun round and round, 
and I had time to follow it up with my smooth-bore, 
both bullets taking effect in the head ; but such was 
the enormous tenacity of life that he managed to 
tear out of the cover, rolling over and over as he 
went. 

After reloading carefully, I followed up and found 
him sprawling about on the gromid, moaning pite- 
ously. As I got out of the bush he caught sight 
of me, and made another headlong charge, reeling 
from side to side as he came ; but I stopped him 
with another bullet in the head, which made him 
bite the dust. He rose again, and got up on his 
hind legs as if to look round, and whilst in this 
position he looked a fearful object, standing, as he 
did, with his fore-paws raised about seven feet high 
and the blood pouring in torrents out of his mouth. 
I now had a fair shot at his chest, and inflicted a 



384 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

mortal wound, for lie rolled over and over, making 
his teeth meet in the root of a tree with his last 
dying effort. 

He proved to be the largest bear I ever met 
with, standing over four feet high at the shoulder, 
and, from the number of men it took to lift him, I 
should think he could not have weighed less than 
eight hundred pounds. He appeared to be of the 
same species as the hill-bear of Circassia and the 
Himalayas, being covered with long whitey-brown 
hair. He had received eleven wounds, six of which 
were in the head ; but I found that the round 
leaden balls from my smooth-bore had flattened on 
the skull without penetrating, whilst the conical pro- 
jectile from my rifle splintered the bone. By the 
time the skin was taken off, the carcass cut up, and 
the flesh divided among the people, the sun had 
sunk low in the west, and we had to beat a hasty 
retreat in order to reach our bivouac (the cattle- 
shed) before nightfall. Here we found a supply of 
sheep, fowls, and forage had been brought in during 
our absence ; so, after we had pitched our tents and 
made the "inner man" comfortable, our battle 
with the bear was fought over again as we reclined 
round an immense fire, until some of us began to 
nod, when we rolled ourselves up in our blankets 
and turned in for the night, well satisfied with our 
day's sport. 

I was awakened some time before dawn by 
Kuchuk, who informed me that my baggage-pony 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 385 

and three horses belonging to the Bey's people were 
missing, and it was suspected that a predatory party 
of Kabardines, known to be lurking in the neighbour- 
hood, were the culprits, and had paid us a visit in 
the night. 

The loss of a good baggage-animal is, at any time, 
a serious inconvenience when travelling ; but in a 
wild and desolate country, like that of the eastern 
coast of the Black Sea, it is almost an irremediable 
misfortune, so I jumped up immediately to consult 
with the Bey as to the best measures to take for the 
recovery of the stolen property. I found him still 
encased in sheepskins, but puffing furiously at his 
chibouk, and giving vent to his indignation in a long 
string of curses, loud and deep, against the marauders, 
whom he designated as " vile dogs of Kaffirs (un- 
believers) of unchaste parentage," &c. 

When I coidd get in a word, I advised him to 
send some of his people to follow up the trail as 
soon as it became light enough to see the marks left 
by the horses' feet ; but he, with true Mussulman 
apathy, declared that a pursuit would be useless, as 
the plunderers had got too long a start. 

Of this I did not feel at all sure, knowing the 
extreme difficulty of getting over the ground in the 
dark, in a wooded country ; so I determined to give 
chase with my own people, accompanied by the 
herdsman who had shown us the bear's lair the day 
before, and a couple of young men of the tribe, wiio 
professed not only to know the country well, but 

2 B 



386 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

also imagined they could hit upon the haunts of the 
cattle-lifters. 

Having buried our superfluous baggage, we set off 
in light marching order as soon as the day broke ; 
and falling upon the trail almost immediately, fol- 
lowed it up in Indian file, as fast as the rocky nature 
of the ground permitted. It appeared that the cul- 
prits were six in number, as there were marks of 
two having remained in charge of six horses some 
short distance off, whilst four others prowled about 
our bivouac in search of plunder. 

After a fatiguing ride of several hours' duration, 
over hill and dale, through woods and across rivers, 
we came to a marshy swamp which bore the appear- 
ance of having recently been disturbed by horses' 
hoofs ; so on we pushed with renewed vigour, and 
I refrained from letting drive at seven gigantic 
cranes, who, regardless of our presence, continued to 
wade less than two hundred yards distant, which was 
a sore temptation, as they appeared of a rare kind, 
and I would have got them all in line with a little 
judicious stalking. 

There could be no doubt of our being on the track 
of the right party, as in several places I perceived 
the trail of my baggage-pony, which was shod with 
the broad Turkish shoe on the fore-feet,, whereas 
none of the other animals had any. Towards noon, 
after clambering up the steep rocky side of a low 
ridge of hills, I perceived, in the ravine below, a 
light column of smoke curling up from some broken 



OF THK OLD WORLD. S87 

ground, and, after a careful investitjation with my 
field-glass, I saw several horses with their fore-feet 
hobbled, grazing by the banks of a small stream, 
which, I had no doubt, belonged to the marauders. 

After a brief consultation with my followers, I 
directed Kuchuk and three others to accompany me 
in a reconnaissance, whilst the rest of the party took 
charge of the horses and kept a look-out on the road. 
As my men were well-armed, and I could fully 
depend upon their pluck, I did not much fear the 
result of a contest, but was rather afraid lest the 
pillagers, knowing the country, might slip through 
our hand with their booty, so I struck off from the 
track, and made a circuitous route by crossing the 
ravine some distance below the place where I saw the 
smoke, and again gaining it on the opposite height, 
from whence, with the aid of my glass, I could see 
the objects of our search reclining round a fire, ap- 
parently very jolly on the strength of their success. 

After having made as careful a survey as the 
wooded nature of the ground would allow, we ad- 
vanced towards them as noiselessly as possible, 
keeping well under cover, until we came to the edge 
of the open where the horses were grazing, from 
whence we got a full view of the party, which 
appeared to be five in number ; one of whom was 
washing his mouth in the stream, a second super- 
intending the cooking, and the others smoking and 
lolling about on the ground, evidently quite unsus- 
picious of danger. 



388 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

Knowing the effect of a surprise, I determined, 
if possible, to accomplish our purpose without blood- 
shed, and observing their rude firearms resting 
against a boulder of rock, I resolved to get as near 
as possible by stalking, and then make a simul- 
taneous dash. 

By dint of creeping on our hands and knees, and 
taking advantage of the cover of bushes, rocks, and 
undulations in the ground, we got to within a dozen 
yards of the three fellows lying down, on whom we 
made a rush, and, after a momentary struggle, over- 
powered by laying about us with the butt-end of our 
rifles. The two others bolted into the jungle on the 
first alarm, where further pursuit was useless, and a 
sixth, who was acting as scout a short distance in 
the rear, fell into the hands of our other party 

Having disarmed and pinioned our prisoners, one 
of whom had his arm broken in the scufiQe, and 
secured the horses, (ten in number, including our 
own re 'aptnred,) we rejoined the rest of the party, 
and after a hasty meal set out on our return. 

Our captives, who were a sullen, "ill-favoured, 
hang-dog looking " set of fellows, proved to belong 
to a mountain tribe from the other side of Pitzounda, 
who were returning from an unsuccessful foray in 
Mingrelia, when they caught sight of our cattle and 
attempted a razee. 

We arrived in camp late in the afternoon, and 
great was the old Bey's joy at the recovery of his 
animals, which be had made up his mind he would 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 389 

never see again. The prisoners were all recognised 
as being old offenders ; and, according to the law 
of the tribes, as the mildest punishment, would have 
been sold as slaves in the interior ; but this I would 
not allow, as I intended, by making an example, to 
deter another attempt being made on my cattle : so 
the gang, after branding each of them indelibly with 
a heated horse-shoe, on the right shoulder, turned 
them adrift, minus their arms, horses, and kalpacs, 
(high caps of black sheepskin,) warnmg them that 
they might expect no mercy if found again anywhere 
near our camp. 

The Bey had heard of another bear, and had sent 
out some of his people to make sure of his where- 
abouts ; but, a'^ the haunt was said to be nearer the 
" konak " than where we were, it was determined to 
return there on the morrow. I selected one of the 
captured horses for my own use, presented another 
to the Bey, a third to the herdsman who showed me 
the bear's haunt, and then gave the others, with the 
captured arms, as prizes to the best marksmen in 
the tribe. 



CHAPTER XXIIL 

CIRC Assi A — CO 71 tin ued. 

On the sale of Circassian females, and extenuating circumstances. 
— Their character. — An exploring trip premeditated. — The 
start. — A Russian fort. — Bustard-shooting. — Forest scenery. 
— Difficulties en route. — Trout-fishing. — Mosquitoes. — A 
lovely valley. — Wild-cattle hunt. — An awkward predicament. 
— A bull and cow slain. — Mode of preserving the flesh.— More 
game afoot. — The ascent of the first range. — Mountain scen- 
ery. — Mount El-Bruz in the distance. — Difficult travelling. — 
A bear started. — A long shot. — Strange feelings. — A frightful 
chasm, and exciting moment. — Journey along the ridge. — 
The descent. — Wolves. — A Circassian hamlet. — Hospitality. 
— A noble race. — A Durbar, and the result of our consulta- 
tion. 

A.MONGST the various localities to which erratic fate 
has directed my steps, there are few that have so 
many agreeable souvenirs associated in my recollec- 
tion as Circassia ; and I wonder that more travellers 
and sportsmen do not turn their wanderings towards 
a country which, although pre-eminent throughout 
the world for magnificence of scenery, is yet a terra 
incognita. In these days of steam and rail, it were 
an easy matter for the lover of the picturesque, or 



THE HUNTING GEOUNDS, ETC. ^91 

the sportsman — instead of forming one of that horde 
of sight-seers annually discharged on the Continent 
— to take his lounge one afternoon in Rotten Row, 
and that day fortnight to find himself sipping coffee 
in the midst of a circle of mountaineers, in one of 
the romantic gorges of the Caucasus ; where a man's 
worth is nut estimated by the length of his pocket, 
but according to the gifts bestowed upon him by 
Nature, and the manner in which he makes use of 
them. Yes, my gentle reader, notwithstanding the 
tales you may have heard of the barbarity of the 
Circassians, in selling their daughters to tlie pander.s 
of Osmanli harems, and the maidens' passive apathetic 
resignation to such a fate, I maintain that it is the 
force of circumstances alone that has brought thi& 
revolting custom about. It must be remembered 
that the gallant tribes of the mountains have been 
engaged in a bloody war, against fearful odds, for 
the last eighty years : consequently there has been 
a continual drain upon the male population — the 
number of men falling annuady in battle against the 
invaders far exceeding the number of male children 
born. Such having been the case for nearly a cen- 
tury, naturally enough there is a great disproportion 
between the sexes, and, notwithstanding that poly- 
gamy exists, it is a matter of difficulty for all the 
"gentler sex" to obtain protectoi's ; and, as "anti- 
quated sjyinstos " are of a genus unknown in the 
Caucasus, it is not to be woniered at that the 
inhabitants are willing to dispose of their extra 



392 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

produce, not required for home consumption, to the 
Turks ; who make good husbands, are of the same 
faith, and much akin in habits and manners. The 
custom of admitting foreigners and prisoners of war 
into the tribes, was doubtlessly adopted in order to 
make up for the loss of men killed in battle, and 
not from any great partiality towards strangers. 
During my sojourn in the country — to which time 
my mind often reverts as being the happiest of my 
life — I found that, among these unsophisticated 
people, the possession of large hoards of the " yellow 
metal " does not constitute the value of the man ; 
and the most beautiful maidens of the world esti- 
mate their lovers' worth by the qualities they dis- 
play — not their possessions. There, a bold spirit, a 
cool head in the time of danger, a good shot, a skil- 
ful horseman, and a strong arm that can defend 
his own, is looked upon as a rich man and a suit- 
able " partie ; " if, withal, he possesses a kind heart, 
nothing more is required to make a home happy 
in Circassia. But, Heigh Allah ! I must check 
myself upon such subjects, and put the curb upon 
my pen, or it will run upon other reminiscences of 
the past than those connected with " The Hunting 
Grounds." 

I had passed many happy days in the konak of 
the Bey and amongst other friendly tribes, when 
one afternoon, as I was returning from a successful 
deer-stalking expedition, I fell in with a young 
mountaineer who was en route to his home, close to 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 393 

Mount El-Bruz. After some conversation, I made 
up my mind to take a trip to that part of the 
country, under his guidance, and, if possible, to 
make an ascent of the " Father of Mountains." 
The same evening I communicated my intention to 
my followers, who made their preparations accord- 
ingly; and the next morning, after quite a tender 
leave-taking from our worthy host and his people, 
to whom we promised to return, a start was effected. 
For the first four or five miles after leaving the 
konak, we had the advantage of a bridle-path, which 
had been formed many years ago by the Russians, 
for the purpose of keeinng up a communication 
with one of their outposts, a small fort, or rather 
redoubt, constructed on an isolated hill which com- 
manded the entrance of a deeply-wooded gorge. 
The work, in which embrasures and platforms for 
eight pieces of cannon were still visible, had evi- 
dently been intended to prevent the aggressive 
incursions of the mountain tribes, but it did not 
appear to have been inhabited for some years, as 
the barrack was roofless and the flagstaff had rotted 
away. Our guide told me that this had been the 
scene of many a hard conflict between the Musco- 
vite troops and the mountaineers, and his statement 
was confirmed by the numerous graves, some of 
which were marked by tombstones bearing Greek 
or Russian inscriptions, and others by rude wooden 
crosses. 

On the slope and round the base of the hill were 



394- THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

clearings in the low scrub-jungle, whicli at one time 
liad evidently been fenced in and cultivated, having 
perhaps served the garrison as pasture-lands and 
corn-fields. As I was taking a sketch of the little 
stronghold from one of these places, the " Hadjee '"' 
informed me that he had seen several very large 
birds go down in a patch of low jungle close at 
hand. From his description, I imagined that they 
were cranes, having seen several of a very large 
species wading in a swamp en route, and being 
desirous of obtaining a specimen, I loaded my gun 
with a couple of Eley's green long-range cartridges, 
and accompanied him to the spot where he had 
marked the birds alight. I had beaten about the 
place for some time without seeing anything, and 
was about to give up the pursuit, when, as I was 
turning round a low copse, a covey of bustard {Otis 
tarda) suddenly got up from a small undulating 
plain close to a watercourse, and I had the good 
fortune to bring down a couple of them, right and 
left, before they could get fairly upon the wing. 
One, a hen, fell dead, the shot having taken effect 
in the back part of the head and neck, but the 
second, a fine old cock, was only winged, and ran 
at an immense pace. Luckily " El Moro," my 
pointer, attracted by the report of my gun, came 
up and assisted me, otherwise I should have had no 
chance of catchiug him, notwithstanding I was in 
fair running condition. He proved to be a splendid 
specimen, the wings measuring more than four feet 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 395 

and a lialf from tip to tip. His weight I imagined 
to have been but little short of forty pounds, as he 
was in excellent condition, and by far the largest 
bird of the species I have hitherto seen, although I 
have killed many on the plains in India. 

Having dined, we started again en route, and, on 
leaving the fort, made our way along tracks with 
which both Cassim and our guide appeared familiar, 
but which it would have been hazardous for a 
stranger to have attempted to follow without the 
aid of an experienced guide, as the country is so 
intersected by innumerable watercourses, meander- 
ing through dense labyrinths of wood, each of which 
so closely resembles the other, that a traveller once 
bewildered could hardly ever extricate himself, 
landmarks of any kind being few and far between. 
Now and then even our guide appeared puzzled, 
and had to climb some huge boulder of rock, or 
lofty tree, in order to make sure of the route, by 
observing the appearance of the mountains which 
formed the horizon of this sea of woods. On such 
occasions as these, had I not been an old forest- 
ranger accustomed to pilot my way by compass 
through trackless woods, I might perhaps have 
shared in the feelings of some of my followers, who, 
from time to time, showed symptoms of uneasiness 
as we wandered through apparently boundless depths 
of forest. The route was wild in the extreme, often 
leading across long extents of marshes, unhealthy 
swamps, and iimumerable small rivers and streams, 



396 THE HUNTING GROTJNDS 

which our horses were generally able to ford, but 
sometimes had to swim. Now and then we had 
a good deal of trouble to cross, on account of the 
force of the current ; and on one occasion we nearly- 
lost one of our number, who got into a quicksand, 
and was only saved by our throwing him branches, 
with which he supporteu himself until we managed 
to draw him out with a rope. 

We rode for ten or twelve miles along the base 
of thickly-wooded hills, until we came to a good- 
sized stream, running between high steep banks, 
fringed in places with willow and large trees, some- 
what resembling the sycamore, which our guide 
informed us was a branch of the River Kodor, the 
same we had forded near the embouchure when 
accompanying the Turkish army from Suchum 
Kaleh. Here we determined to bivouac, and whilst 
my people were engaged in culinary operations, I 
strolled up the river with Ahmed and Kuchuk, on 
the look-out for a chance shot at deer, as I had 
seen a few slots during our march. Suddenly turn- 
ing round a bend in the liver, I observed some 
smoke a short distance ahead, which, after a care- 
ful reconnaissance, we approached, and found a 
party of Abassians catching fish in ingenious traps 
made of willows, which are laid in the most likely 
places in the stream. They had upwards of two 
dozen very fine fish, chiefly trout, which seemed 
exactly to resemble the English species, being formed 
and speckled without any distinguishable difference. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 397 

I got two glorious fellows, weif>liing about five 
pounds each, in exchange for a silver quarter-franc 
piece, which made a welcome addition to our supper. 
Our camp this night appeared to be the head- 
quarters of the mosquito tribes , for they settled 
upon us in myriads, keeping up a perpetual hum, 
and not allowing a moment's rest. It was posi- 
tively amusing at times to hear the exclamations 
and growling of some of the people who were 
driven almost wild with continued torture. Strange 
to say, they scarcely molested me, although the 
faces of some of the others were much swollen by 
the multiplicity of their stings. With those sleep 
was out of the question, so they made a huge fire, 
round which they got some relief. 

Sunrise saw us again en route, and after a most 
delightful ride of about ten miles up the river, 
through glorious woods of gigantic oak, beech, and 
walnut, or glades of rich nutritious grasses, we 
entered a most picturesque valley, which for beauty 
of scenery and rich fertility far exceeded anything 
that I had hitherto seen. On each side rose densely- 
wooded hills, here and there broken into gorgeously- 
coloured cliffs and dark winding ravines, whilst 
every turn displayed lovely vistas, stately avenues, 
groves of blossoming shrubs, clumps of gigantic 
forest-trees covered with festoons of the wild vine, 
and green slopes clothed with delicious verdure, 
forming a park-like scene far surpassing any of our 
finest demesnes in Old Endand. 



o98 THE HUNTING GROUND 

As I looked aroupd, I noticed many objects that 
brought " home scenes " vividly to mind, for, 
amongst the vegetation indigenous to southern 
climes, I noticed the wild plum, cherry, white- 
thorn, daisy, clover, larkspur, primrose, violet, and 
forget-me-not; besides which the full round notes 
of the blackbird and the warbling of the missel- 
thrush were heard high above the melody of the 
other sylvan choristers. An exclamation of sur- 
prise from Ahmed recalled me from this very agree- 
able reverie, directing my attention into a widely 
different channel, for, on passing close to a small 
piece of dense cover, I distinctly heard the snapping 
of sticks, followed by the tread of some heavy 
animal over dry vegetation, and almost immediately 
a mighty wild bull and three cows tore across the 
plain. To loosen my rifle and spring from my 
saddle was the work of a moment, and, taking a 
steady aim, I planted one bullet in his hind-quarter, 
the only part visible, as he was bolting away, and 
the second in his broad massive shoulder as he 
swerved round on receiving the first wound. This 
last made him bite the dust ; but he soon regained 
his legs, and with a loud bellow and roar of rage 
made direct for the opposite height. I immediately 
gave chase, and, after a sharp burst, got up along- 
side my quarry, from whose side a stream of blood 
was spurting as he ran. Drawing my revolver from 
my holster, I aimed behind the ear ; but my horse 
being fidgety and not accustomed to such kind of 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 399 

work, shied round at the moment, and the shot did 
not take effect. In the twinkling of an eye, before 
I could recock the pistol or get my horse out of 
his way, the bull charged, rolling us both over from 
the violence of the shock, and falling himself on his 
knees with the exertion. Luckily, although my 
horse was slightly gored in the shoulder, I was not 
in the least hurt with the purl ; and before my 
antagonist could repeat his little game I sprang to 
my feet, and plunging my long hunting-knife into 
his chest, he staggered forward a few paces, and 
dropped on his side dead. In the meantime my 
followers gave chase to the rest of the herd, and a 
young cow, in first-rate condition for the table, fell 
after a desperate charge, in which she unhorsed one 
or two of their number, althougb without doing any 
serious damage. These cattle, which much resemble 
in appearance the largest of our Scotch oxen, gene- 
rally go in herds of eight or ten, and the people of 
the country say that they are the most formidable 
animals in the forest, neither the bear nor the wolf 
ever daring to meddle with them. The bull I killed 
(which was the only one seen during my sojourn in 
that part — although we several times came across 
their trails) was a most savage-looking brute, having 
an immensely broad chest, deep shoulders, muscular 
fore-arms, short thick curved horns, and large dew- 
lap. The general colour was black, with dirty white 
under the belly and inside the thighs and legs, and 
the height at the shoulder nearly sixteen hands. 



400 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

Having now much more flesh than we could con- 
sume before it became tainted, I thought it advis- 
able to halt where we were and "jerk" some of the 
meat, which we did, by cutting it in strips and 
hanging it for several hours over a large wood-fire. 
We grilled some steaks on the embers almost before 
they became cold, and to my surprise they were re- 
markably tender. We salted the tongues as well as 
we could, keeping them for the ascent — and the 
marrow Hoossain made into pasties that would have 
excited the admiration of poor old Soyer himself. 
During the night our fire attracted some deer ; but 
Ali, who first perceived them, and fired a couple 
of shots, did not manage to bag any, although 
they did not go away unscathed, as when day 
broke blood was found upon their trail, which we 
did not follow up, as it led in a contrary direction 
to our route. 

For some hours our course lay parallel and almost 
on the same level as the bed of the stream ; but it 
now began to ascend gradually, and at last we found 
ourselves scrambling up the face of a steep scarped 
cliff, from a chasm in the base of which the torrent 
burst, as it were, from the womb of the mountain. 
Our guide evidently knew the country well, for the 
route was admirably chosen, and he led us up the 
steepest ascents with an easy inclination that wofld 
have done credit to the most able engineer. The 
surface of the rock, without being so very smooth 
as to render our horses' footing insecure, presented 



OF THE OLD WOELD. 401 

no very serious obstacle, so that we got on famously, 
and by noon reached a natural clearing in the woods, 
carpeted with rich indigenous grasses and flowers of 
the most delicate tints, and intersected with numer- 
(jus small streams of crystal clearness, that flowed 
in little murmuring cascades down the side of the 
mountain. 

We continued to ascend until dusk, when we en- 
camped for the night under the lee of a huge mass 
of black granite, which exposure to the weather had 
made as smooth as if it had been artificially polished. 
Kising with the sun the following morning, and in- 
vigorated by the bracing air, we gained the table- 
land on the summit, after a tramp of about four 
hours' duration. 

It was from this spot that we got the first imin- 
terrupted view of the mighty El-Bruz, on whose 
snow-clad summit the sky seemed to rest. It ap- 
peared so distinctly defined that I did not imagine 
it was more than fifteen miles off, and was much 
surprised when our guide assured me that it was 
nearly twelve saat, or about three times that dis- 
tance. 

Our route now became much more difficult for 
the horses, as we had to make our way for several 
miles in an easterly direction along the tortuous 
ridge of this range, sometimes clambering up craggy 
cliffs so steep that every moment I was afraid of my 
horse losing his balance and falling backwards with 
me, and at other times having to descend rocky 

2c 



402 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

slopes and ledges with scarcely any inequalities in 
their surface to afford foothold. Often the men had 
infinite trouble with their animals before they could 
get them to attempt some of the descents ; and fre- 
quently one of them, slipping, would come sliding 
against the rest, knocking others off their legs, 
which it required great exertion and floundering 
to regain. I took care to avoid such accidents by 
keeping well ahead ; but sometimes even my horse, 
which was remarkable for its sure-footedness, would 
come on to his knees, and remain a fixture, fearing, 
if he stirred, to roll down the whole way. We 
avoided all the higher peaks, which were covered 
with snow, and tried to preserve our level as much 
as possible, although at times we traversed valleys 
so walled-in that the rays of the sun could never 
penetrate except at noonday. As we were descend- 
ing a steep ravine of this kind, Abdulla pointed out 
to me an enormous bear, scrambling, hand over 
hand, up the stumps and bush on the other side ; 
and, jumping ofl" my horse, I made use of a slab of 
rock as a rest, and gave hira both barrels simul- 
taneously. Although the distance was nearly five 
hundred yards, my shots evidently took effect, for 
he rolled over several times before he could regain 
his legs, when he looked fiercely round and growled 
most savagely. I hastily reloaded, but he had in 
the meantime given leg-bail, so I directed two of 
the gang to remain where we were to mark the 
place, and direct me in case I should not be able to 



Of the old world. 403 

make straight for it, and then gave chase. It was 
no easy work to scramble up the rocky slope ; but 
at last we got upon his trail, and soon found gouts 
of blood which, although not sufficient to lead me to 
suppose that he was mortally wounded, proved that 
my shots, even at that long range, had taken effect. 
As the trail diverged considerably from our route, 
we gave up the pursuit ; and, after halting a short 
time to cook a meal, by a beautiful stream gushing 
out of the live rock, the water of which was so cold 
that it gave me a violent toothache, again pushed 
forward. 

After a weary march and much slipping and 
scrambling over most difficult ground, we ascended 
from a ravine to an elevated ridge covered with 
stunted grass, along which we travelled ten or 
twelve miles, enjoying a magnificent prospect on 
each hand of apparently boundless ranges of snow- 
capped mountains and interminable forest. An in- 
expressible feeling of silent contemplation and awe 
seemed to pervade the entire company, as we rode 
along for miles without exchanging an observation ; 
indeed, the solemn silence of uninvaded nature gave 
birth to strange emotions bordering on fear, which 
seemed inexplicable, considering the scenes that each 
and every one of my party had gone through. 

From this we ascended a ridge of high rocks, in 
some places covered with low scrub, where we en- 
camped for the night, as we found some difficulty 
in crossing a mountain-torrent that came tumbling 



404 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

over a bed of huge boulders of green and black 
granite with a roar like thunder. 

The next morning, having crossed this obstruc- 
tion, we clambered over the last crest of the moun- 
tain, a deep valley only lying between us and the 
El-Bruz, and commenced our descent in single file 
by a long spur, along the back or ridge of which we 
pursued our course for some miles without any feel- 
ing of insecurity, as the sides, though steep, were 
densely wooded, and obscured the terrors of the 
view. Suddenly, as we were skirting a scarped 
cliflF, we came to a sharp angle where we had to pass 
a narrow ledge or shelf jutting out of the live rock, 
on which there was scarcely room for a goat to turn. 
I was leading, my horse being the most sure-footed, 
but here he stopped dead short with a strange snort 
and shudder, that first made me feel the imminence 
of my danger, throwing out his legs as if bent upon 
going no further. A foaming river was roaring 
some hundreds of feet below, so that we could 
hardly hear ourselves speak ; and if I could I would 
have dismounted to reconnoitre, but this was per- 
fectly impossible. I could not turn, and must ad- 
vance : but auri sacra fames, quid non mortalia 
2)ectora cogis ? What looked impossible was soon 
made practicable. Delay was dangerous, so I 
loosened the reins, gently urged my horse forward, 
and at the same time gave him the spur. With a 
grunt of despair, and eyes distended, he craned his 
neck forward, and, after a fearful efibrt, managed 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 405 

to gain a place where the pass became broader, 
when he broke out into a profuse perspiration from 
terror. As soon as I was able to draw a full breath, 
I ordered my followers to dismount and go over 
first, leading their horses with a cord, in which 
manner all managed to get over safely. It was an 
anxious moment, and I do not think any induce- 
ment would cause me to repeat the feat; for, 
although a fearless horseman, and endued with a 
sailor's eye, my heart often palpitates when I think 
of that perilous scramble. 

We continued to descend until nearly dusk, when 
we halted for the night in the dense forest that 
clothes the lower spurs of these mountains, lighting 
huge fires to keep away the wolves, which kind of 
" vermin " were to be met with in packs, and bears' 
tracks were not at all uncommon. Frequently dur- 
ing the night we were alarmed by their infernal 
howling close at hand, but they did not dare to 
approach our fire. The next morning we got into 
the plain, and towards noon arrived at a Circassian 
konac, where we were made extremely welcome, 
more especially when our guide, who was well 
known in the hamlet, told them that I was an 
Englishman who had fought against the Eussians, 
both in the Crimea and in Asia Minor, for at first 
they had taken me for one of " the Faithful." A 
comfortable log-hut was placed at my disposal, with 
a shed for the horses, and Iloossain obtained a 
bountiful supply of fowls, eggs, corn-flour, and half 



406 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

a sheep, which was soon converted into a savoury 
raess. After we had refreshed the inner man, we 
held a " durbar," at which all the elders, and indeed 
most of the inhabitants of the hamlet attended; 
and never, either in civilised or savage life, have I 
seen a finer-looking race than the specimens then 
before me. The men were all of noble stature, 
stalwart, and muscular to a degree, with highly in- 
telligent countenances and strikingly handsome 
features, the lower part of which were generally 
covered with long flowing beards. The women 
were extremely beautiful, with finely-chiselled fea- 
tures, lustrous eyes, and pearly teeth, which they 
disclosed in gracious and fascinating smiles, that 
lighted up their faces with the most bewitching 
radiance. They wore no head-dress, generally speak- 
ing, except their luxuriant tresses, which flowed in 
unconfined freedom over their shoulders, although 
during my stay among them 1 noticed some in 
jaunty-looking scarlet caps. Their hands were 
beautiful, and when they walked their flowing 
drapery revealed the exquisite symmetry of their 
legs and feet, which throughout the world are un- 
rivalled. We all sat down in a semicircle in front 
of the door of my hut, the women a little distance 
behind the men, and, after Hoossain and Abdulla 
had served the greater part of the assembly with 
coffee, "chibouks" were lighted, when, with an air 
of great ceremony, I commenced a speech in Turkish, 
eked out with Hindostanee, which was translated 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 407 

by Abdulla, for the benefit of that part of my 
audience who could not understand the former 
lan<i;uaG:e. 

I explained my views, announcing my intention 
of exploring the El-Bruz, (which I could see caused 
supercilious smiles amongst some of the party,) and 
finished off by presenting the chief with a pair of 
brass-mounted pistols, a looking-glass, some scarlet 
cloth, and a piece of gold-lace for his harem. 
Although evidently much pleased with my little 
attention — for he was profuse in his thanks and 
offers of service — he shook his head and looked 
grave when I aojain brou2;ht the El-Bruz on the 
tapis, assuring me that the ascent was impossible, 
not only on account of the depth of snow, but also 
because it was inhabited by evil spirits, such as 
" gins," " afrits," and " gholes," who would not allow 
any mortal to penetrate into their sanctuaries. I 
made light of his fears, repeating the Mussulman 
creed — "Allah e Allah, Mahomed Roosool il hum 
du lilla" and declared that I would make the at- 
tempt even if I knew the place to be the haunt of 
all the shytans of Jehannum.* This was a 
" clincher," and after some discussion between 
Ishmael, (our guide,) Cassim, and some of the 
elders of the tribe, it was settled that two of their 
number should accompany us, as they knew more 
about the mountain than any one else, having been 
obliged at one time to take refuge there when pur- 

• Shytans of Jehannum — demons of the infernal regions. 



408 THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 

sued by a predatory hostile party. These gave me 
to understand that there was a deserted konac some 
distance up the mountain, up to which point our 
horses could go, so I resolved to make the necessary 
preparations that evening, and start for the place 
early the next morning. What little superfluous 
baggage I had I left in charge of the chief, and then 
ordered Hoossain, Kuchuk, and Cassim to accompany 
me with the two young men of the tribe, as I did 
not care to have too many about me, and the rest 
were to take charge of the horses at the foot of the 
mountain. 

This being arranged, and provisions, ropes, 
i^lankets, and waterproof-sheeting being packed and 
divided, so that each had about equal weight, I had 
poles cut so as to serve as " alpenstocks ; " and early 
the next morning we started, accompanied for a 
short distance by the greater part of the tribe, who 
wished us God-speed and luck on our undertaking. 
After a ride of about six hours' duration through 
the woods we began to ascend, and in the afternoon 
arrived at the deserted konac, which was situated 
on a projecting spur. Here we put up for the night, 
making ourselves as comfortable as possible ; AH 
and his party keeping watch whilst mine slept, so 
as to be fresh for work on the morrow. All my 
followers wanted to accompany me, but it could 
not be, so after a plentiful breakfast we bade them 
adieu, and set out on our perilous expedition. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 
ciRCASSiA — continued. — the ascent of mount 

EL-BRUZ. 

Forest scenery. — The first halt. — A glacier. — A beautiful pano- 
rama. — Sunrise. — A lammergeier slain. — Glacier travelling. — 
Eternal snow. — Avalanches. — The lower summit attained. — 
Our exultation. — A description of the higher summit. — The 
impossibility of reaching it. — Grand scenery. — Intense glare. 
— The descent commenced, — A sudden death. — Kuchuk's last 
resting-place.— Fatiguing fag.— The bivouac in the pine-forest. 
— An ibex killed. — Return. — Finale. 

The forest glowed with the most vivid autumn tints ; 
the foliage of tlie different trees exhibiting every 
shade, from the brightest ora,nge to the deepest red ; 
and contrasted strangely with the peculiarly rich 
colouring of masses of rocks here and there inter- 
mingled, forming a picture, of Nature's painting, 
which surpassed all the efforts of an artist to depict. 
Ferns nearly six feet in height, and of a species I 
had not previously seen, grew in the greatest pro- 
fusion, whilst indigenous myrtle, box, laurel, rhodo- 
dendron, and gigantic heath-bushes, grew in the 
greatest profusion on every side. The ground was 



410 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

carpeted with the most exquisitely beautiful flowers, 
amongst which I noticed bracken {Pteris acquilina) 
of a deep orange colour, blue, purple, and white 
monkshood, heath-bells, columbine, anemones, for- 
get-me-nots, pansies, ranunculi, violets, and a deli- 
cate-looking creeper with scarlet bloom which grew 
amid the rocks, most of which were covered with 
mosses of every hue and shade. After several hours' 
severe toil, the appearance of the forest became 
very much changed ; the oak, beech, sycamore, 
poplar, walnut, chesnut, ash, birch, and other trees 
of the plains, giving place to lofty pines, covered 
with many-coloured lichen, larch, and gigantic 
cedars, some of which, evidently of a great age, had 
at last succumbed to the violence of the storms, for 
many were lying prostrate. Day was now drawing 
to a close, so we began to make the necessary pre- 
parations for passing the night, which were not 
difficult to men like mine, the greater part of whose 
lives had been spent in the open air. Following up 
a foaming torrent that came tumbling down the 
side of the mountain, over huge boulders of granite, 
with a roar like thunder, we came to a cleft in the 
rocks, which was soon converted into a fortress 
impregnable to either bears or wolves, the only 
assailants likely to be found in these wild regions. 
Our blankets and waterproofs were unrolled, and 
we were soon all reclining round the blazing logs of 
an immense camp-fire, on the side of which two 
brass kettles, containing our evening repast, were 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 411 

bubbling away merrily. Mine were a motley crew, 
a rough and reckless lot of desperate men, of differ- 
ent race and creeds, bound by no tie, and heeding 
no law, yet perfect unanimity existed amongst them. 
Wild songs were sung, strange tales were told ; and 
many a hoarse peal of merriment rang through the 
night air, as the jest went round. Loudly they 
laughed, and little they recked for the morrow. 
The moon was nearly at the full, and her silver light 
made the open parts of the forest as clear as day ; 
but I set the watch early, and bid my followers take 
what repose they could, as I knew that they would 
have a hard fag on the morrow. 

The queen of the night was still high in the 
heavens, when we began to make preparations for a 
start by packing up our baggage in the smallest 
space possible, and after a cup of hot coflfee and eau 
de vie to keep out the night air, we were again en 
route. We soon left the forest behind, and, after 
crossing a belt of dwarf-pine, with an undergrowth 
of savin and juniper bushes almost waist-high, we 
came to a wilderness of rocks and beetling crags ; 
having every now and then to clamber up steep 
slopes covered with huge boulders of granite and 
masses of fallen d^hns^ which were readily set in 
motion. We were obliged to be very careful, and 
ascend like skirmishers in extended order, as, every 
few yards we went, huge fragments came rolling 
down, which would have caused severe injury had 
they struck any of us. After several hours' severe 



412 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

toil we clambered a ridge of broken rocks piled on 
each other in great confusion, which up to this time 
had entirely hidden the higher part of the mountain, 
and the overwhelming sublimity of the scene that 
then broke upon our view for the first time, amply 
compensated for the fatigue we had undergone. 
We had reached the edge of a huge glacier, which, 
like a mighty river suddenly frozen, appeared to 
flow down a gorge in the side of the mountain, and 
extended for some miles both above and below the 
ridge on which we were standing. Dense foliage 
and huge masses of rock intervening, had prevented 
our getting a glimpse of it before, notwithstanding 
we had attained an altitude much above the lower 
part, which seemed to have cleft its way far into the 
heart of the forest. 

The panorama from this point was magnificent, 
for at the end of the glacier — which in some parts 
was dazzling white, and in others of the colours of 
the sapphire and the amethyst — where it appeared 
to blend with masses of eternal snow, rose the stu- 
pendous summit of the "Father of Mountains," 
towering in silent majesty like a glittering mass of 
cold alabaster. Seating ourselves on a smooth slab 
of rock, we spent some time in gazing on the sur- 
passingly-beautiful scene s>pread below and around, 
and I made a futile attempt to sketch it ; but it was 
labour under difficulties, for the cold became so in- 
tense that I could scarcely hold my pencil, and had 
to jump and caper about every moment in order to 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 413 

prevent my limbs from becoming benumbed. Be- 
sides this, the longer the eye dwelt upon the scene, 
the vaster and more magnificent became its gigantic 
and stately proportions ; and again and again I put 
down my pencil, feeling the impossibility of doing 
justice to it. At last, after a great trial of patience, 
I managed to complete a tolerably correct outline, 
which I filled in with the aid of niy glass, en- 
deavouring at the same time to impress the scene 
so correctly on my mind that not a single important 
feature should be forgotten. 

Whilst so employed, the rays of the rising sun 
were just beginning to tinge the summits of the 
loftiest ranges on the eastern horizon (where our 
guide pointed out to me Mount Kazbek towering 
high above the rest,) and by degrees each peak, 
precipice, and ridge assumed a delicate rose-colour, 
which deepened every moment until it became tinged 
with a gorgeous golden tint that gradually paled as 
the glorious luminary of day ascended in the heavens, 
when after a short time the virgin snow was again left 
in its unsullied whiteness. 

No description could convey an idea of the intense 
grandeur of the scene before us, which displayed a 
richness of colouring far surpassing the painter's art 
to depict. Mountains divided by deep, dark, densely- 
wooded ravines lay beneath us, and the valley from 
Avhich we commenced the ascent was bathed in a rich 
violet hue. Castellated peaks and masses of rock of 
every shape and form rose in all directions, and 



414 THE HT7NTING GROUNDS 

many foaming torrents and cascades glistened like 
silver on the rugged sides of the mountain. The only- 
sounds that broke the intense silence that reigned 
over the whole face of nature, were the roaring of 
distant avalanches, the melancholy cry of the eagle, 
or the shrill whistle of the marmot as, alarmed at 
our intrusion on his domains, he scrambled into his 
burrow under the rocks. 

The bracing freshness of the air and the magni- 
ficence of the scenery had the effect of enduing us 
all with an exuberant overflow of joyous animation 
and exhilaration of spirits, as for several minutes we 
amused ourselves in testing our strength by seeing 
who could throw farthest over the glacier, or hurl 
the largest fragments of rock down the steep slope. 
Whilst so amusing ourselves, a pair of immense 
lammergeier came soarincj over our heads, I im- 
mediately unslung my rifle, which I carried across 
my back, and let drive a couple of shots, but both 
were without eff'ect, the distance being too great. 
A lucky thought flashed across my mind, which 1 
immediately put into execution. I took a red silk 
pocket-handkerchief, and, fastening a stone in the 
centre, I threw it into the air several times ; and 
when I saw that it had attracted their attention, I 
threw it as far as I could down the slope before me. 
It hardly fell when both made a swoop towards it, 
and came well within distance. I threw up my 
rifle, hit the leading bird hard with the first barrel, 
and brought him down with the second ; but I had 



OF THE OLD WORLD, 415 

a difHcult task to get to him, as the descent was 
very precipitous and covered with loose stones and 
shingle. He proved to be a magnificent specimen, 
his wings measuring nearly ten feet from tip to tip, 
I plucked out his wing-feathers and cut off the 
head and claws as trophies, but I had not time to 
take his skin, which I felt extremely sorry for. 
Whilst engaged in this task, the female kept hover- 
ing round about, uttering strange sad cries, and 
several times I thought she would have attacked me, 
so I gave her a shot which made her go to the 
right-about. 

We now clambered down upon the glacier, which 
by its appearance from the height would, I thought, 
prove easier travelling than along the craggy side of 
the mountain ; but I soon found out my mistake, as 
the surface, which I imagined to be tolerably even, 
proved undulating, rugged, and much broken up by 
crevices and chasms of immense depth and perpen- 
dicular wall-like sides, which varied from a few 
inches to many yards in width. After a wearisome 
tramp of about a mile we came to a line of masses 
of rock, piled one upon another, over which we 
had great difiSculty in making our way. As these 
obstructions appeared frequent, and we lost much 
ground by seeking to avoid fissures that we dared 
not leap, I determined to return once more to the 
rocky ramparts on the side, and after a difficult 
climb was once again on terra firma, and felt more 
at home than on the surface of the glacier, whose 



416 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

continual cracking, creaking, and heaving, made us 
feel nervous lest it might open directly under our 
feet and engulf us, which seemed very possible, 
as we twice saw the ice sink, give way, and tear 
asunder, forming fearful yawning chasms of un- 
known depths. 

After several hours' continued exertion we got to 
an altitude high above the head of the glacier, and 
the aspect of the scenery became entirely changed ; 
deep snow lay in all the gorges and ravines, and no 
vegetation was seen except here and there a patch 
of gentian or a few flowers of such intensely-bril- 
liant blue that they seemed to reflect the colour of 
the sky overhead. The slope of the ridge up which 
we made our way was furrowed with deep fissures 
and gullies, presenting a stern and monotonous ap- 
pearance, and here and there covered with huge, 
shapeless boulders of detached granite, piled one 
upon another in wild confusion. A strange depres- 
sing sense of desolation and dismal solitude reigned 
in this wilderness of rocks and beetling crags : even 
our voices seemed to re-echo with a strange un- 
earthly sound. After a fatiguing climb up a nar- 
row fissure in the mountain, filled with loose stones 
and fragments of rock, that rolled from under the 
feet at every step, we gained a grass-covered slope, 
which, although steep, afforded great relief after our 
fag up the bed of the watercourse. As we plodded 
along we saw a troop of ibex scampering along a 
craggy ridge many hundred feet below us, yet the 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 417 

air was so rare that we distinctly heard tlie clatter 
of their hoofs against the rocks, and the rolling of 
the pebbles they displaced, and shortly afterwards 
we saw a flight of butterflies that followed our course 
for some distance, frequently alighting on our per- 
sons. The ibex were the last we saw of animal 
life ; flowers became extremely rare, and no in- 
sects were to be seen, for very shortly afterwards 
we reached the eternal snow, which, to our surprise, 
proved far easier travelling than the naked rock. 

We now tied ourselves together with ropes pro- 
vided for the purpose, allowing about ten feet be- 
tween each man, which proved a very necessary 
precaution, as every now and again one or another 
of our number would sink up to his middle in holes 
concealed by the snow, notwithstanding we endea- 
voured to find them out by sounding the way with 
our staves. For several hours we continued to 
make our way up the height, only stopping for a 
moment now and then to refresh ourselves with a 
mouthful of brandy, until at last we all of us began 
to feel more or less affected with a difficulty in 
breathing, more particularly Kuchuk, the Nubian, 
who was by far the most powerful man amongst us. 
This feeling wore off' after a time, returning at in- 
tervals ; and the extreme elasticity and pureness of 
the air prevented us from then feeling the fatigue 
attendant on our continued exertions. I myself, 
although often breathless from flounderino- in the 
snow, did not at any time feel exhausted : a few 

2 D 



418 THE HUNTING GE0UND3 

minutes' rest would recruit my strength, and excite- 
ment kept me from flagging. 

The only interruption to the solemn silence that 
reigned in that high altitude was the continual 
rumbKng and roaring of avalanches, from which at 
times our route became extremely dangerous. Once 
I thought it would be all up with us, as the entire 
side of the mountain seemed to be giving way, and 
an enormous mass, containing thousands of tons of 
earth and rock, came tearing past us with a roar 
far exceeding that of the artillery at Sevastopol, 
increasing in velocity, and overwhelming everything 
in its course. It was a moment pregnant with 
peril, more especially as, immediately afterwards, 
huge boulders of rock and debris broke away and 
came spinning down the slope as if the invisible 
gigantic fiends, who are said to reside in these 
regions, were playing at bowls. However, my com- 
panions were Mussulmen and fatalists, and — if my 
lono; residence in the East had not imbued me with 
the same feelings — I was reckless and insensible to 
fear, for as soon as the storm had passed we con- 
tinued our route. Another long and tedious fag, 
and we had attained our object, for we stood upon 
the "loiuer bluff" of the summit of the El-Bruz, 
being most likely the first of the human race who 
had ever set foot upon it. 

It was a moment of intense gratification, far sur- 
passing every preconceived idea, for the panorama 
that suddenly burst upon our eyes was so grand, so 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 419 

overpoweringly sublime, that inexpressible feelings 
of awe and strange emotions, impossible to define, 
seemed to pervade tlie whole of our number. I 
was the first to scramble np, and gave vent to the 
exuberance of my exhilaration by a loud huzzah, the 
Briton's cry, 

" Whene'er" his " soul is up and pulse beats high — 
Whether it hail the wine-cup or the fight, 
And bid each arm be strong or bid each heart be light." 

It is heard when he expresses his devotion and greets 
his Queen ; — it rings through the air in the van of 
the fight, above the pealing of death-shots or the 
shrieks of the dying; — it is the shout of victory 
when the field is won, and may be heard round the 
social board when friend meets friend, and tlie glor- 
ious past is brought to mind. It rang throughout 
the country as the final adieu of thousands as they 
marched to embark for the seat of war, and after a 
lapse of years it was re-echoed by the few who re- 
turned, covered with wounds and honour, but broken 
down in health and spirits, when they Avere welcomed 
home by their Sovereign and grateful countrymen. 
My gentle reader, my voice has swelled that cry on 
all of these occasions, but never did it burst from 
my bosom with such an intense feeling of satisfac- 
tion without alloy as when I first placed foot upon 
the mighty El-Bruz. 

I mounted a heap of rocks that lay piled in con- 
fusion along a craggy ridge jutting out of the snow, 



420 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

as it appeared to be the highest point, and surveyed 
at leisure the wonderful scene before me. The higher 
summit still towered like a mass of sparkling ala- 
baster, some three thousand feet above the crest 
upon which I was standing, but even had the day 
not been So far advanced I could not have made any 
attempt to reach it, as a scarped precipice over six 
hundred feet in depth, an inaccessible glacier, and a 
ridge of bluff peaks divided us, although it looked 
almost within the range of my rifle. Could I even 
have descended and made a circuit of the lower sum- 
mit, the glacier was an obstacle that would have been 
insurmountable, as in it were stupendous icebergs 
and wave upon wave of precipitous ridges with steep 
scarped sides, apparently inaccessible to the foot of 
man, which gave me the idea of numberless rocky 
islands in a tempestuous ocean suddenly frozen. In 
the valleys and undulations between were innumer- 
able blue and violet streaks, which, with the aid of 
my glass, I made out to be deep fissures and yawning 
chasms so wide as to appear perfectly impassable, 
although some seemed arched over with natural 
bridges of ice. Here and there, scattered over the 
surface, dark masses of rock and fantastically-grouped 
aiguilles and pinnacles appeared like the domes, 
spires, and minarets of far-distant Eastern cities, 
whilst the massive ridges of ice forcibly reminded 
me of lines of defence and fortifications on the largest 
scale, the efi'ect of which was somewhat heightened 
by the continual cracking and breaking of the ice. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 421 

which often resembled a well kept-up file-firing, 
varied by rolling volleys of musketry, whilst at in- 
tervals the roaring of avalanches sounded like salvoes 
of heavy artillery. 

Those who have not witnessed cannot conceive 
the solemn grandeur of the scene then before us, and 
description can convey but a very faint idea of it. 
The firmament was of that intensely-deep blue pecu- 
liar to the waves of the jMediterranean at certain 
times, and contrasted strangely with the dazzling 
whiteness of the eternal snow, which lay spread out 
like the vast winding-sheet of a dead world. The 
sun, too, shone with a peculiarly strange unearthly 
light, more like that of the moon, as if his rays were 
not'sufficicntly powerful to penetrate the atmosphere. 
For some time I was too much bewildered and over- 
powered by emotion to fix my mind attentively on 
the grand panorama stretched before me, but after a 
time I distinguished, in the south-east, the lofty peak 
of Mount Kasbec, towering high above rano-es of 
mountains, rising one behind another, and diversified 
with the richest colouring. To the westward, over- 
looking the ranges of mountains we had passed, lay 
the blue expanse of the Euxine, glistening in the 
light of the sun like a sheet of burnished silver ; 
and far away, in a north-easterly direction, over 
fields of eternal snow, vast glaciers, and a sea of 
mountain-ranges, intersected by deep, dark, densely- 
wooded ravines, were the plains of the Kuban, veined 
by sliming rivers. To the south-east, on the verge 



422 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

of the horizon, was a dense mist, which, notwith- 
standing the distance, I have no doubt hung over 
the Caspian. It was a glorious sight ; and I re- 
mained gazing as long as I could endure the biting 
cold, notwithstanding that I felt half blinded by 
the strange reflection of the sun from the- snow, 
for the broad peak of my hunting-cap had no 
effect in keeping out the glare ; and we were each 
obliged to fasten a strip of my silk handkerchief 
across our eyes, in order to enable us to see the 
way. Having refastened the ropes we commenced 
the descent, and had made our way a consider- 
able distance down the first ridge, by following 
our own tracks, when suddenly I heard a cry of 
alarm behind, and simultaneously felt the cord jerk. 
I turned and saw Hoossain supporting the Nubian, 
who was stretched senseless on the snow. At first I 
thought he was in a fit, and rubbed his forehead with 
snow, but on further examination I found breathing 
suspended, the pulse and heart still, and I knew all 
was over. I always carried a knife in which there 
was a lancet, so I opened the veins in his arms and 
temples, but could hardly squeeze out a drop of blood. 
He was dead, and I believe the cause to have been 
an affection of the heart. It was a melancholy end 
to our hitherto successful enterprise, but nothing 
could be done. We unfastened the cord which 
attached him to the others, and laid him gently down 
to take his last sleep, en a ledge of rock, where his 
body would remain as undisturbed as if buried in 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 423 

the deepest grave, for we were still far above any 
indications of animal life. After a long weary 
tramp we regained the ridge of rocks overlooking 
the glacier, by which time the sun was nearly down, 
and we had to wait some time before the moon got 
sufficiently high to light us on our way. Once we 
missed the track, and found ourselves clambering up 
the smooth face of a rock, where a false step or a 
slip would have precipitated us into a dark yawning 
chasm below, so deep that we could not hear huge 
rocks, which we saw rolling down the slope, when 
they struck the bottom. Luckily it was o;loriously 
clear night, and the moon shone with a brilliancy 
rarely seen, except in the tropics. Now and then 
a meteor darted across the firmament, leaving a long 
train of light after it, and then vanished from our 
sight. 

At last we reached the first vegetation, and to- 
wards midnight entered a belt of pine-forest, where 
we felt so utterly done-up with fatigue that we were 
obliged to halt. After some trouble we made a huge 
fire, and, having divided what brandy we had left 
amongst us, rolled ourselves up iji our blankets, too 
tired even to eat or prepare coffee. Towards morn- 
ing, having somewhat recovered, I felt ravenous, 
and, although so stiff that I could hardly crawl, 
managed to awake Hoossain, who got some water 
and made coffee, which, with biscuits and the re- 
mains of our provisions, once more set us on our 
legs. 



42-i THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 

"We did not, however, think of moving until the 
sun was high in the heavens. As we were skirting 
the belt of pines, endeavouring to find out our old 
track, I caught sight of a magnificent solitary old 
buck-ibex, perched on a peak some short distance 
below us, and, after some careful stalking, managed 
to roll him over. He proved a splendid specimen, 
his coat being very silky nearly white, and fifteen 
inches in length. His horns measured thirty-four 
inches. I cut off his head and skin, and we made 
the best of our way to the deserted konac, where we 
arrived just before sunset. We all lay down round 
the fire, whilst All and his party prepared our food, 
and, after a long sleep, got up much refreshed, 
though still fearfully stiff — indeed that feeling did 
not entirely wear off for a fortnight. 

Towards noon we mounted our horses and rode 
into the hamlet, where the old chief welcomed us as 
if we had risen from the dead. Here we remained 
a few days to recruit, and had every reason to be 
highly satisfied with our stay, for we were most 
hospitably treated by the whole tribe. 

We then returned to our old friend the Illori 
Bey, with whom we passed a merry week ; after 
which we made our way to Souchum Kaleh, where 
we embarked in a steamer for Constantinople. 



PART III -ALGERIA. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

A SPORTING RECONNAISSANCE IN ALGERIA. 

The origin of the expedition. — The start. — Paris. — Difficulty 
about the importation of gunpowder. — A ruse. — Marseilles. 
— The voyage. — Stora. — Bone. — French hospitality. — Lake 
Fedzara. — Ain-Mokra. — Convivial evening. — Songs. — The 
trail of a lion. — Small-game shooting. — Lions afoot. — 
Night- watching. — Uncomfortable position. — The lion again. 
— His currishness. — Preparations for a trip inland. — 
Philippeville. — Roman remains. — The kindness of the 
French authorities. — Our journey. — A strange Jehu. — Con- 
btantiue. — The game of Algeria. 

The origin of this expedition was as follows : — 
Monsieur Jules Gerard of the French army, the 
celebrated " Taeur des Leons," having formed the 
nucleus of the Algerian Sj^orting Club, (in which 
are to be found the names of most of the sporting 
noblemen and gentry in France,) kindly sent me a 
prospectus, and I thought it was a pity that the 



426 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

British public should not be aware of the splendid 
field for sport of all kinds that was within four 
days' journey of their shores. Although I con- 
sidered that the formation of a club for sportsmen 
of all nations, on a permanent and substantial foun- 
dation, was an extremely desirable project, yet I 
foresaw that there were certain difiiculties in the 
way which nothing but what military men would 
term a " reconnaissance in force," would ever be 
able successfully to surmount. I therefore proposed 
the present trip, and, joined by a few gentlemen 
who had the same object in view, made every pre- 
paration for a start. Unfortunately Monsieur Jules 
Gdrard (who would have been of great assistance) 
was unable to accompany us, so that we had many 
disadvantages to labour against on arrival in the 
country ; and the weather proving unfavourable 
during the greater part of our sojourn, "the bag" 
was small in comparison with what might have 
been made under more favourable circumstances. 

On Sunday afternoon, the 7th of February, 1858, 
a number of four-wheelers were seen drawn up in 
a row in front of a certain house, not a hundred 
yards away from the statue of the great Napier, 
round which a gaping crowd were assembled, and 
from the soito voce conjectures that were made, 
it was evident that the public had not decided 
whether there was to be a wedding or a funeral 
procession. 

Their suspense, however, was not of long dura- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 427 

tion, for almost immediately after the arrival of the 
cabs, sundry watermen and individuals of that 
genus proceeded to load the exterior of each vehicle 
with portmanteaus, camp-beds, and other divers- 
shaped packages, among which gun-cases appeared 
to predominate. Some of the bystanders, more 
curious than the rest, scrutinised the directions and 
labels on the boxes, and expressed their astonish- 
ment on seeing on each a lion and the words, 
" Algerian Sporting Expedition, Philippeville, 
Algeria, vid Paris and Marseilles." 

When the traps were all arranged, a number of 
gentlemen entered the cabs, and the word being 
given, " To the London Bridge Railway Station," 
away they drove, and the explorers of the new 
hunting grounds were fairly started. After a short 
consultation with a very civil superintendent, tickets 
were taken to Paris, via Newhaven and Dieppe, 
and the baggage registered throughout, so as not to 
be subject to any troublesome inspection from either 
custom-house officers or gendarmes, until arrival at 
its destination. 

At six P.M. we took our places in the carriages, 
the signal whistle was heard, the engine gave a re- 
sponsive grunt, and we had begun our journey 
to Algeria. 

At half-past eight we arrived at Newhaven, and 
put up at the Loudon and Paris Hotel, where we 
found the people not the most civil in the world, 
and the sheets of our beds unquestionably damp. 



428 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

The refreshments were very so-so, but we found the 
charges extremely moderate. 

Monday, 8th. — After an unsatisfactory break- 
f\ist, left Newhaven by the " Dieppe" steamer, at a 
quarter to ten, and, after an unpleasant voyage 
over a nasty chopping sea, we arrived at Dieppe 
at four P.M. 

Put up at the Hotel de Londres, where we got 
some refreshment, and at seven P.M. started by train 
to Paris, via Eouen. 

Arrived at Paris at midnight, and put up at the 
Hotel des Deux Mondes, Eue d'Antin, where we 
got very handsomely furnished suites of rooms, and 
a very fair supper before we turned in. 

Tuesday, 9th. — Sir William F , the President 

of our Association, a jolly old Baronet from the 
north of England, and another member joined us, 
having gone on a couple of days in advauce. He 
rather shocked our nerves by telling us that the 
French authorities had seized his English powder, 
and would not allow him to have it on payment of 
any duty. It was in vain he showed a letter from 
the French ambassador in London, authorising the 
carriage of arms and ammunition through France ; 
they ignored his authority, and kept the powder. 
This piece of news made us all look very blue, for 
we had a hundredweight amongst our traps, which 
we looked upon as our greatest treasure, and we 
held a consultation as to what had best be done 
under the circumstances. We also had a letter to 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 429 

the chef an douane (head of tlie customs,) but as 
the first one had i)roved useless, we had no faith 
that ours would prove of more avail. 

All our traps were still at the custom-house, and 
ten A.M. was the time appointed for the exami- 
nation. The hour was fast approachinj^, and as 
yet no plan had been fixed upon to elude the 
vigilance of the gendarmes, when I proposed to 
reconnoitre the ground ; and accordingly got into a 
trap, drove down to the custom-house, and de- 
manded a portmanteau containing uniform, clothes, 
&c. This, with several gun-cases, was given up 
after a slight examination, and carried off in 
triumph to the hotel. I then donned my uniform, 
which is decorated with sundry bits of H.lM.'s 
" Silver," and, accompanied by our worthy Pre- 
sident in full Highland costume, and the other 
members of the Association, with chasseurs and 
gillies in Lincoln-green and kilts, we started off in 
a body to the " Douane." 

On entering the railway station we evidently 
caused some excitement, for the ofiicials seemed 
rather taken aback at our appearance. I asked at 
once for the chef, and, acting as spokesman for the 
rest, demanded that all our baggage might be de- 
livered up as soon as possible. The officials were 
all extremely polite, and in a few moments it was 
before us. Then came the momentous period — 
bunches of keys were presented, which were most 
courteously declined with sundry bows and scrapes. 



430 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

Two of the chasseurs opened a carpet-bag contain- 
ing clothes, a hamper of saddlery, and a camp- 
bed or two ; the goods were chalked with simdry 
hieroglyphics, and, after another series of saluta- 
tions, were mounted on vehicles, and the game was 
played and won. 

On arrival at the hotel, three cheers were given 
by all hands on account of the success. 

Went to the theatre in the Boulevards des Italiens, 
and finished up the night at a hal masque, where 
our worthy president, whose kilt caused intense 
sensation, astonished the natives in a pas seul, 
(a Lancashire jig,) and obtained unboimded ap- 
plause. 

Wednesday, lOth. — Got our ammunition safely 
packed in a large case, which we labelled Comes- 
tibles " to escape observation, and drove about the 
town paying sundry visits. 

After dinner set off by the eight o'clock p.m. express 
for Marseilles, via Lyons. Arrived at Lyons at seven 
A.M., (on Tuesday, 11th,) got a tolerable breakfast, 
arrived at Marseilles at four p.m., put up at the Hotel 
de Bristol, got a very decent dinner, and went to 
the Cafe Alkazer, a first-rate establishment of the 
sort, where we heard some very good music. Ad- 
journed from there to the theatre, and finished off 
at a ball, where the Con. Con. seemed to be the 
order of the evening. 

Friday, 12th. — After some little trouble regard- 
ing our passports, we took our passage by the 



OF TUE OLD WORLD. 431 

Messagerics Imperial steamer Oasis, from Marseilles 
to Bone, via, Pliilippeville. Embarked at half-past 
eleven, got under weigh at twelve, with a wind from 
the S.E. dead in our teeth. Coasted along the 
French shore as far as Toulon, and then made direct 
south. Had rather a rough night, there being much 
wind and a heavy swell. 

Our fellow-passengers were chiefly French officers 
returning from leave ; very few of whom appeared 
at dinner, they being but poor sailors. Some of our 
party, too, looked uncommonly white about the 
gills, whilst with others the sea air had only the 
effect of sharpening their appetites ; and they made 
up for the rest. 

Saturday, \Mh. — A good deal of sea on, and 
strong adverse winds from the east. Rolled about 
a good deal, much to the dissatisfaction of many of 
the passengers. The living on board very good, 
and the captain and officers extremely civil and 
polite. 

Sunday, 14!th. — Made the land, distance twelve 
leagues, at eight a.m., which proved to be Cape 
Atia ; came within a mile of it at noon, and kept 
along tlie mountainous coast of Kabylia, until nearly 
four P.M., when we rounded a bluff point, and 
entered the Gulf of Stora ; and the lighthouse, on a 
small rocky island, came in view, with the little 
town of Stora. Philippeville (built on the site of 
the old Roman town Rusicada) was about two and 
a half miles to the eastward. 



432 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

A large barracks and hospital form conspicuous 
objects on entering ; and the town, which is built 
upon a slope, has a very picturesque appearance, as 
it Kes at the foot of steep and well-wooded hills. 
Maltese boatmen soon surrounded the vessel ; and, 
after much confusion, most of the passengers landed 
at Stora. Our party remained on board, as it wa? 
growing dusk. 

3Ionday, 15th. — "Went on shore in a Maltese, 
boat; found the town remarkably clean, and well 
provided with very fair shops. Put up at the 
Hotel de France, which we found very comfortable 
quarters. 

Were engaged nearly all day in going from office 
to office, procuring our permis de chasse or game- 
certificates. Found all the French authorities ex- 
tremely civil, polite, and ready to help us. Heard 
very good accounts of game, and were altogether 
much pleased with the appearance of the country. 
Returned on board to dine and sleep. 

Tuesday, IGth. — Sketched the coast from the 
deck. Our good steamer, the Oasis, remained 
for two days to discharge, and take in cargo for 
Tunis. 

The instructions of M. Jules Gerard were laid be- 
fore the party, and followed to the letter. They 
were to the effect, " that if the party found the 
weather fine on arrival at Philippeville, they were to 
proceed at once to Bone, (which is some eighty 
miles further to the eastward,) and, taking a guide 



Of the old world. 433 

from the Chef du Bureau Arabe, were to establish 
themselves in the Caravansary of Ain Mokra, on 
the border of the Lake Fedzara." 

Tlie weather was beautiful at Philippeville, like 
May in England ; so, after having looked about the 
place, we re-embarked once more, and, at six p.m., 
started for Bone, where we arrived at about two 
A.M. on Ash Wednesday, the 17th of February. 

We were very much struck with the beautiful 
scenery about Bone when we got up at sunrise. On 
an abrupt cliff, (Cape de Garde,) projecting into 
the sea, is the lighthouse, and near it a handsome- 
looking country-house, which we afterwards found 
to be a caf4. 

On another eminence is a Mussulman marabout, 
or shrine, erected to the memory of some holy man. 
On a commanding height is the Fort of Bone, in 
which are about three thousand felons, who are con- 
demned to hard labour. They were busy making a 
winding road from the sea to the fort, and swarmed 
on the height thick as bees, guarded by a large 
number of French soldiers. 

Below the fort, to the eastward, is situated the 
town of Bone, encircled by the old Moorish walls of 
other days, which the French keep in excellent 
repair. The most conspicuous buildings are a large 
barracks, facing the sea, and a government stores, 
rising high above the houses of the town, which are 
mostly built with terraced roofs. Farther to the 
eastward of the town is an old ^loorish bridcre, of 

2 E^ 



434 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

several arclies, said to have been built by the 
Eomans, which connects the town with the beauti- 
ful olive-covered hill of St Augustin, at the foot of 
which are several substantially-built country houses 
and farms, besides a mosque, a small barracks, and 
a depot for cattle and baggage animals for the use 
of the French army. 

We landed at six A.M., and, entering the town by 
a gate which is evidently of French construction — 
as there are still traces to be seen of the old Moorish 
one close to, — proceeded to the Customhouse, where 
our baggage was passed at once without the slightest 
examination or hindrance. 

We then ascended a rather steep and narrow 
street, leading to the Grande Place, and took up our 
abode in the Hotel de France. After breakfast, we 
left cards on General Perigot, commanding the sub- 
division of Bone, on M. le Marquis de Gantes, the 
Sous-Prefet, and Captain Guyon Vernier, Chef du 
Bureau Arabe, (the heau-id^al of a Light Cavalry 
officer,) from each of whom we received the greatest 
kindness and attention. They proffered their ser- 
vices in any way in which they could assist the 
party. M. Guyon Vernier provided us with an 
interpreter and a cook, both very necessary adjuncts 
to our establishment, and in the afternoon lent us 
horses, and took us over the town and the adjacent 
country. Dined at the Hotel de France, which we 
found to be an establishment needing many reforms, 
as both the bedrooms and salle d manger are dirty, 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 435 

the attendance bad, and the living abominable. The 
charges are moderate. We found the cuisine of the 
Cafe Ourse (kept by a good-looking damsel, weigh- 
ing some eighteen stone more or less, whom we 
designated " the Stout Party ") much better ; indeed, 
we had every reason to be satisfied both with the 
cleanliness of the place and the cooking. 

Thursday, 18^/t. — Was engaged the whole day in 
purchasing wine, spirits, and supplies of all kinds 
for our expedition. Heard from some of the officers 
of the 70th Regiment de Ligne that woodcocks had 
been extremely scarce this season in comparison 
with other years. 

Visited the town, and strolled about the public 
promenade outside the walls, where the baud of the 
70th played several pieces from different operas in 
an efficient manner. Bands of French regiments 
are much stronger than English ones. That of the 
70th consisted of fifty performers, exclusive of the 
drums. Had a wretched dinner at the Hotel de 
France. Visited a cafe chantant in the evening, 
where we heard some tolerable singing. 

Friday, Idth. — The Chef du Bureau Arabe kindly 
procured for our party a large open carriage, saddle- 
horses, and baggage-mules, and M. de Burg, a large 
landholder, kindly lent us a large waggon, with a 
fine team of six mules, to carry our supplies ; and 
at about noon we left Bone for the Caravansary of 
Ain Mokra, accompanied by M. Guyou Vernier and 
a party of mounted Arabs. 



436 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

The road, which was tolerably good, wound along 
a valley about a couple of miles broad, some portion 
of which was cultivated, but the greater part was 
overgrown with a curious kind of wild bulbous 
plant, which much resembles our daffodil, and lilies 
of different kinds. 

On either side rose hills some six hundred feet in 
height, covered with low jungle and brushwood, 
which M. Vernier informed us were composed chiefly 
of iron-ore, which yielded eighty-six per cent, of 
metal, fully equal to that imported from Sweden 
On one of the hills, to the left of the road, a mining 
company has been established, and a tramway 
formed to convey the metal to Bone. 

We started three or four hares and a partridge 
en route, as we rode along. At a short distance 
from the town is a large loop-holed building, which 
was formerly the limit of the French jurisdiction, 
and M. Vernier informed us that he had been pre- 
sent at several skirmishes with the Arabs at that 
point some fifteen years ago. 

After a pleasant ride of about two hours, a turn 
in the valley gave us a view of the Lake Fedzara, 
and we were all much delighted with the scenery 
and with our prospects of sport, for clouds of duck 
were seen hovering over the reeds, which were at 
some distance from the edge of the water. The 
lake is about sixteen miles in length, and varies from 
four to ten in breadth. The road winds along the 
northern bank between the lake and a long range 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 437 

of wooded hills, some small portions of wliicli are 
cTiltivated, The edge of the lake is surrounded by- 
rushes, averaging nearly three feet in height, and 
here and there are patches of brushwood and thorn- 
bushes. We rode along the edge of the lake for 
about two hours, the only houses we passed being 
those of two invalid French soldiers, who are em- 
ployed in mending the road. 

We passed three Arab encampments, all at some 
short distance from the road, and were considerably 
annoyed by their numerous dogs barking and yelp- 
ing at our horses' heels. 

At sunset we arrived at the Caravansaiy of Ain 
Mokra, where we sat down to a substantial dinner, 
provided by the maitre d'hotel, a Frenchman of the 
name of Bosquet, who is in charge of the building. 
Our ride had sharpened our appetites, and we did 
ample justice to our good cheer. After dinner we 
had a brew, and singing was the order of the night. 
Our vivandi^re particularly distinguished herself on 
this occasion, and was warmly applauded Another 
of our party, from the north of the Tweed, was not 
behindhand. The president's hunting-song was very 
justly encored, and brought forth roars of laughter. 
As the rule of the house was that every one should 
chant when his turn came round, or take a dose of 
Epsom salts hot, there was no escape. I insert the 
words of my songs, which I composed when laid up 
on my back from wounds in hospital, and time hung 
heavily on my hands : — 



438 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 



HOMEWARD BOUND* 

The sun was sinking in the west 

Below the deep blue sea; 
His rays still gilt the billows' crest. 

And land lay on our lee. 
Darkly it loom'd above the wave. 

As twilight gather'd round ; 
Each heart was sad, each soldier grave, 

Though we were homeward bound. 

For one all loved lay on the deck, 

Who never would rise more ; 
His eys were fix'd on that dark speck 

They said was England's shore. 
His brow was chill — all pain was past — 

Tears stood in every eye ; 
The shades of death were gathering fast— 

His time was come to die. 

His heart was in his father's hall. 
He fancied friends were nigh ; 

At times he 'd on his mother call, 
And bid her not to sigh. 



* The preceding lines were written from an incident during 
the late war, an account of which appeared in one of the Eng- 
lish newspapers, A transport, conveying the wounded soldiers 
from the Crimea, had been telegraphed as having arrived at 
Spithead. No sooner was the anchor down than the vessel was 
crowded by the friends and relatives of the invalids, and among 
them came an old gentleman to look after the disembarkation 
of his only son, a youth of eighteen, who had been reported 
among the severely wounded. On arrival on board, the afflicted 
father was told that his son had breathed his last the evening 
before, within sight of land. The shock was too great for the 
old man to bear, and he died suddenly on hearing the news. 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 439 

We heard him try to breathe the prayer 

Which she perchance had taught : 
Veterans wept as they stood there, 

With whom that boy had fought. 

The night closed round — a mournful wail 

Was heard along the deep ; 
To all on board it told the tale — 

Our friend had sunk to sleep. 
Bright morning broke — the freshening breeze 

Our good ship onward bore ; 
We saw the cliffs and stately trees 

Of dear Old England's shore. 

The anchor fell with grating sound, 

Our perils now were o'er, 
And dear ones greet the homeward-bound 

They 'd thought to see no more. 
Friends crowded round : one hale old man 

Gazed on with troubled air; 
Each soldier's face he seem'd to scan, 

But no one knew him there. 

A-t last he breathed the lost one's name — 

Each soldier turn'd away. 
Again he ask'd — the captain came, 

But knew not what to say. 
A tear roU'd from the sailor's eye — 

He pointed o'er his head, 
Where Britain's banner, half mast high, 

Proclaim'd that one was dead. 

He took the mourner by the hand, 

And led him to the corse ; 
Surrounded by our weeping band, 

He told him of his loss. 
The old man kiss'd the pallid cheek, 

And knelt down by the dead, 
As if in prayer : he did not speak. 

He rose not — life had fled. 



4^40 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

SONG.— THE BASHI-BAZOUK TO HIS HORSE, 
"DESERT-BORN."* 

Come, rouse thee, my charger, prepare for the fray ; 
For trumpets are braying, and we must away ! 
The booming of cannon sounds loud on the wind ; 
When fame 's to be won, we must ne'er be behind. 
Let those who prefer it dwell in a fix'd home, 
But we, my heart's treasure, together will roam ! 
For Islam is threaten'd — the Sultan has need 
Of the Bashi-bazouk and his brave Arab steed. 

Chorus. 
I 'm mounted ! I 'm mounted ! I 'm away like the wind ; 
No steed in the desert can leave me behind. 
Al-ham-du-lillah ! t— I fear not a foe ; 
I 'm free as the breezes that o'er the sands blow ! 

My own '* Desert-born," dost remember the day, 
When Cossack hordes hover'd around us at bay, 
And we charged through the mass like a whirwind's blast, 
And gain'd the vast steppe when the danger was past ?J 
How the foes howl'd with rage as they watch'd our flight, 
And f ollow'd our course till the fall of the night ? 
I laugh'd at their efforts — for, unmatch'd in speed, 
I knew none could reach us, my brave Arab steed ! 

Chorus. 
I 'm mounted ! I 'm mounted ! I 'm away like the wind ; 
No steed in the desert can leave me behind. 
Al-ham-dulillah !— I fear not a foe ; 
I 'm free as the breezes that o'er the sands blow ! 



• " Desert-born," a favourite Arab charger, killed at the battle 
of Inkermann. 
+ " Thanks be to God ! " a common Arabic expression. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 441 

We've traversed the land, and we've sail'd o'er the main — 

Now the hour 's near at hand to set forth again. 

Fearless of danger, we roam in all weather ; 

No peril can daunt us while we are together. 

No maiden so fair but she causes remorse : 

I have known none with thee, my own gallant horse I 

I never found friend in the hour of my need 

True as thee, " Desert-born," my brave Arab steed ! 

Chords. 

I 'm mounted ! I 'm mounted ! I 'm away like the wind ; 
No steed in the desert can leave me behind. 
Al-ham-du-lillah ! — I fear not a foe ; 
I 'm free as the breezes that o'er the sands blow I 



THE WOUNDED HIGHLANDER. 

RECITATIVE. 

The eve the Alma's heights were won, 

As o'er the field I trod, 
I mark'd a wounded Highlander 

Lie bleeding on the sod. 
His brother strove to stanch the wound ; 

Alas ! it was in vain : 
Dark crimson streams flow'd on the ground ; 

And he sang this sad strain : — 

" Ye maunna weep for me, Willie 1 

Oh dinna greet sae sair : 
Ye '11 follow me ere lang, laddie, 

When we shall part na mair ! 
Like yonder setting sun, Willie, 

E'en sae my course is run ; 
But he will rise again, laddie, 

And I shall then be gone ! 



442 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

" Maybe when ye '11 gae back, Willie, 

To our hame by the burn. 
Ye '11 tell them a' the tale, laddie, 

0' him wha'U no return. 
Ye '11 tell them how I fought, Willie, 

Like sodger true and brave ! 
'Twill ease my mither's heart, laddie, 

When I am in the grave. 

" There 's ane wha sair will greet, Willie— 

The news, oh ! gently brek. 
For she was a' in a' to me ; 

Ye '11 lo'e her for my sake ! 
Oh 'tis sair hard to dee, Willie, 

And leave her a' alone ! 
It 's but for her I greet, laddie — 

For her when I am gone. 

" Oh dinna mind my words, Willie, 

And dinna, dinna sigh ; 
I wadna ca' life back again — 

'Tis for my Queen I die I 
And 'tis a glorious day, Willie, 

As e'er yon sun set on. 
Ye '11 comfort a' at hame, laddie, 

When I am deid an' gone ! 

" Now fauld me to your heart, Willie, 

The nicht air 's f earf u' keen ! 
And kiss me ere I gae, laddie ! 

There 's darkness o'er my een. 
I ken I 'm sinking fast, Willie, 

The cauld strikes to the bone ! 
Ye '11 comfort a' at hame, laddie, 

When I am deid an' gone ! " 

Close in his brother's arms, 
Lock'd in his fast embrace. 



OF THE OLD WOELD. 443 

He paBs'd away as if in sleep, 

A smile upon his face. 
We cut a lock of curling hair, 

That o'er his brow did wave ; 
Then by the Alma's rippling stream 

We dug the soldier's grave. 

Saturday, 20i/i.— Sir William, M. Guyon Ver- 
nier, and I rode out to reconnoitre the country, and 
visited the " douar " (encampment) of an Arab 
tribe, about five miles from Ain Mokra, where we 
saw the pugs of a lion who had carried off a sheep 
the night previous, and tracked him to a hill 
covered with low wood. Here we bade adieu to 
M. Guyon Vernier, who had to go on duty 
towards Cape de Fer, and returned to Ain Mokra 
by the lake, where we saw thousands of duck, 
teal, and snipe; bagged twenty snipe, one hare, 
three partridges, two teal, two quail, and a water- 
rail. 

At night we watched by a watercourse, which 
the lion had passed twice the evening before ; and 
heard him roaring at the distance of a quarter of a 
mile, but did not get a sight of him. The night 
dark and showery. 

Shot, along the borders of the lake, forty snipe, 

one duck, and two water-rail. Mr A watched 

for the lion, and heard him roar during the night, 
but did not see him. 

Monday, 2-2d. — After breakfast, was preparing 
my gear for a day's snipe-shooting on the lake, 



444 THE HUNTING GROmTDS 

when an Arab Sheikh came to the caravansary, and 
informed me that a lion and lioness had killed two 
cows in his douar the night previous. I immedi- 
ately mounted, and, accompanied by Mahomed 
(my servant and interpreter) and a " spahi/' (Arab 
irregular cavalry trooper,) who carried my spare 
guns, galloped to the scene of action. The douar 
consisted of about thirty gourhis, or huts, some 
thatched, and others made of black camel's-hair 
cloth, forming the habitation of men, women, chil- 
dren, cattle, and dogs of every description, from 
the well-bred " sloghee," (Arab greyhound,) to the 
yelping, snarling cur. 

About a hundred paces from the douar several 
vultures were busy picking what remained of the 
carcasses of the two cows, and, on examination of 
the ground, I found the footprints of two lions, a 
hyena, and several jackals and dogs. 

Accompanied by the " wakeef," or head man of 
the douar, I went to a hill, about eleven miles' dis- 
tance, where they said the lion» had been seen to 
go; but after a long search found no pugs, so I 
returned once more to the douar. Here I got a 
drink of sour milk, and again examined the ground 
where the cattle had been killed. After some little 
difficulty, I got upon the trail of the two lions, 
(which was in places partially obliterated by the 
footprints of men and cattle,) and followed it up 
hill and down dale for some eight miles, when, in a 
deep and densely-wooded ravine, I found the lair. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 445 

Had I been alone I might, perhaps, have got a shot, 
for the place where they liad been sleeping after 
their feast was warm with the heat of their bodies 
when I arrived, and unmistakable signs showed they 
had been there very lately ; but the noise made by 
the Arabs, who would talk among themselves, in 
spite of my remonstrance, scared them away. 

I tracked them through dense wood for a short 
distance, when my olfactories informed me that a 
putrid carcass was not far off, and, guided by the 
smell, I made my way through the underwood, and 
came across the dead body of a young lion, some- 
thing more than a year old. It bore the marks (as a 
coroner would say) of a violent death, for the neck, 
chest, and belly were gashed and ripped open as if 
with a knife. On examining the ground round 
about, I found the footprints of a large boar, who 
had evidently intruded into the lair and killed " the 
youthful scion of the Eoyal House," though not 
without a violent struggle, for the grass and herbage 
was trodden down, and bore the marks of a severe 
fight. I cut off the forelock and some claws, and 
made the Arabs cut off the head. It was too far 
gone to skin. 

I then retui-ned to the head of the ravine, where 
there were several old marks of the lions having 
frequently passed, and constructed a kind of rifle-pit, 
which I concealed with branches of trees, at a point 
which commanded two paths, on both of which I 
could perceive lion-pugs. Here I remained all 



446 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

iiight, and, although I heard the lions roar at a dis- 
tance, I saw nothing on either of them, I twice 
heard a hog pass during the night, but it was very 
dark, and I could not get a shot. I also heard the 
cry of a hyena, and several packs of jackals. 

Tuesday, 2od — I returned to the douar early in 
the morning, and made a breakfast of eggs and gal- 
lets, (a kind of wheaten cake made of flour and 
milk, and baked on an iron plate.) Shot three hares 
and a brace of partridges for food, and strolled about 
the jungle until near sunset, when, having made a 
game-dinner, I took post in the same place as last 
night, and, about ten o'clock, I heard the unmis- 
takable sounds which told me the king of beasts was 
afoot. 

At first the sound appeared to come from the 
bottom of the ravine, but afterwards it seemed much 
nearer, and I lay very still on the qui vive, fully 
expecting I should hear his footsteps before long, 
though the night was so dark that I hardly hoped 
to get a fair shot. I lay listening for nearly an hour 
to no purpose, when suddenly I heard him roar on 
the hill behind the place where I was posted, though 
how he got there I do not know. The night was 
very dark and showery, but as I had first-rate arms, 
and a Cording's waterproof-sheet to keep all dry, I 
did not fear any miss-fires. I remained at my post on 
the crest of the hill until nearly three o'clock in the 
morning, at times hearing the lion roar, more or less 
distinctly, as he roamed about, when, becoming im- 



OF THE OLD WOELD, 4 4 7 

patient, and feeling an old wound ache from change 
of weather and my cramped position, I wrapped my 
waterproof round my gun, and placed it against a tree, 
and, armed with my double rifle and revolver, sallied 
out towards the point where I fancied the lion was. 

Guided by his roar, which very much resembles 
the noise made by a bull, followed by several grunts, 
though, of course, much louder, I scrambled through 
the brushwood until I got so near that I could dis- 
tinctly hear him breathe, or rather snore, as he 
moved along. 

Rain was now falling very heavily ; my clothes 
were wet through and through, and the night was 
so dark that I could hardly see two yards before me. 
I lay down and placed my ear to the ground every 
now and then, creeping on with the greatest caution, 
fearing that my footsteps might betray me, 

I could distinctly hear the lion making a curious 
moaning sound and grunting, within fifty paces from 
me, and at times I thought I heard a rustling among 
the bushes as if he was coming towards me, but I 
saw nothing. 

This game must have lasted nearly an hour, and I 
was getting nearly tired of it, when, as I was creep- 
ing along on my hands and knees, I suddenly fell 
down a steep ravine, about six feet deep, among a 
lot of thorny bushes, A stream of water, nearly a 
foot in depth, was flowing at the bottom, and I again 
fell into this, rifle and all, as I was striving to re- 
gain my footing. 



448 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

Whilst in this predicament I heard a crackling of 
the brushwood, and a loud roar close to, and I saw 
the dark outline of the lion scrambling up the op- 
posite bank. I threw up my rifle and pulled -the 
trigger, but the charge was wet, and the caps only 
exploded. What would I then have given for a 
breech-loader, when, had I even suspected the first 
charge to be damp, I could have substituted a fresh 
cartridge in two seconds. 

The noise of my fall must have alarmed the lion, 
for I heard him no more that night. My face, 
hands, and legs, were full of thorns, my clothes were 
soaking wet through, my left wrist felt sprained^ 
and all my bones ached with fever, so I groped 
about for the bank of the ravine, against which 
I leaned till morning, when I examined the 
ground. 

Wednesday^ 24:th. — The lion's pugs were very 
distinctly imprinted in the mud, and at one time he 
had cleaned his claws against the trunk of a cork- 
tree, not twenty yards from where I must have been 
standing. I found my rifle-pit again, after some 
trouble got my gun and waterproof-sheet, and re- 
turned to the douar, where the Arabs made a bush- 
fire, at which I dried my clothes. I then mounted 
my horse and rode down to Ain Mokra, and, the 
weather having cleared up, strolled along the edge of 
the lake, and killed twelve and a half couple of snipe, 
of which I lost four couple in the rushes for want of 
a dog. Found two of the party had killed fifty- two 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 449 

head of small game in my absence, viz., snipe, duck, 
hares, and partridge. 

Thursday, 25th. — Got up rather feveri.sh, bones 
aching, and unfit for work. Two of the party went 

with Monsieiu' D , a French officer, after hog. 

They saw two, but could not get a shot. Killed 
twenty-two head of small game, and a mungoose, 
or ratton. 

One of the party (Mr C ) fired at a panther 

with small shot as it was skulking through the 
bushes. 

Fnday, 2Gth. — At three p.m. an Arab came from 
the douar of the " caid" (chief) of the Lachdar tribe 
with the news that a lion had carried off a cow in 
the night, and begging me to come at once. Ac- 
companied by Mr B , I mounted my horse and 

galloped off towards the place, and as we were go- 
ing along the main road, at about four miles from 
Ain Mokra, we met a man and a woman, with the 
utmost fright depicted on their countenances, who 
told us that they had just seen a lion cross the 
road. On examination of the ground his pugs were 
distinctly visible, and we tracked them on horse- 
back for some distance, until the sun had nearly 
gone down. 

We then made the best of our time to get to the 
douar, where the caid received us very hospitably, 
and offered us food, which we declined, as we had 
already dined. 

We had not been more than half an hoiir in the 

2 F 



450 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

encampment when the roar of a lion was distinctly 
heard, and shortly afterwards we heard another 
answering in the distance. 

The caid sent his French servant and two Arabs 
with us to a small clearing near the douar, where, 
he said, the lion had been seen prowling about for 
three nights previous. 

On arrival we found two Arabs posted in a tree 
for the chance of a shot, should the lion make his 
appearance. As we imagined that they might 
"make game" of us in the dark, we ordered them 
down and sent them back with the French servant 
and the other Arab to the douar. We then care- 
fully reconnoitred the ground, and took up our post 
behind a bush in the centre of the plain, from 
whence we could see all around. The moon was 
rising fast, and the night was beautifully fine, and 
almost as light as day. We heard a lion and 
lioness roaring near, and at times a third answering 
in the distance. 

We remained until nearly eleven p.m., waiting 
impatiently for his appearance, but he did not 
come. 

A lynx was crying close to us, and a pack of 
jackals twice rushed howling across the clearing, 
but the lion was still far off as ever, as we could tell 
from his voice. 

His roar seemed to come from a low and densely- 
wooded hill about half a mile's distance. We held 
a short consultation, and agreed to follow up by the 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 451 

sound of his voice, and after a good deal of scram- 
bling through the wood we got to another small 
plain, where we waited until we heard him roar. 
There was a continual barking of dogs and lowing 
of cattle from the Arab douars, and at times we 
heard the distant discharge of firearms. I noticed 
the lion roared immediately after a donkey brayed 
or a bull made a louder noise than usual. We 
listened attentively for the roar, and then made our 
way as quietly as possible towards the spot from 
whence we imagined it to proceed. At last we 
came pretty near, as his breathing and grunting 
were distinctly heard, and the lioness was moaning 
in a rather higher key. A dense wood was before 
us, and they seemed about fifty paces distant. I 
put fresh caps on my rifle, slung my gun over 
my left shoulder, and crept forward as noiselessly 
as possible to the place where I thought the lions 
were lying. Their grunting seemed to proceed from 
behind a large bush some ten paces distant, and 

once both Mr B and myself thought we could 

perceive a pair of eyes. I stole forward, making as 
little noise as possible, but could perceive nothing. 
I dropped my rifle into the hollow of my arm and 
picked up a large stone, which I threw into the bush, 
where I was pretty certain he was, fully expecting 
him to bound out and give one of us a shot. 

The stone fell with a crash in the bush ; a low 
growl and a rustling were heard, but nothing ap 
peared, and, after waiting about a quarter of an 



452 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

hour near the place, we had the mortification of 
hearing him roar about half a mile away. The 
brute had stolen off like a cur. 

Again and again did we follow him up, but he 
always got wind of us, and bolted without giving us 
the chance of a shot. At last, after much difficulty, 
we got close to him once more ; and this time we 
thought he seemed inclined to show fight, for we 
heard him growling in a most savage manner from 
some deep cover at the bottom of a ravine. I 
posted Mr B on a small eminence, which com- 
manded a view on all sides, and then crept forward 
as noiselessly as possible to try and cut off his 
retreat. Whilst so doing, the lioness came to re- 
join the lion, (whose growling must have been a 
summons for her attendance,) and I caught a 
glimpse of her as she was bounding through the 
bushes, and could have fired a snap shot, (which I 
wish now I had done), but that I wanted to bag 
the lion, which the Arabs said was a large one, 
with a fine black mane. 

I crawled on my hands and knees for some time, 
until I came to the edge of a steep chasm, about 
ten feet deep, at the bottom of which was dense 
cover. There I remained for nearly ten minutes 
listening to the noise, which appeared to come from 
some thick bush, behind which, when the clouds 
rolled away from the face of the moon, I could per- 
ceive a dark body, in which at times I thought I 
saw a slight movement. I watched for some time. 



OP THE OLD WOKLD. 453 

but could see nothing, though the growling was still 
heard now and again; and at times I fancied I 
saw something stirring. I drew my pistol, and 
fired a double shot at what I thought was the body 
of the lion, in order to make him show face ; a loud 
growl followed, we heard a crashing among the 
underwood, and the brute had stolen away without 
showing fight, for in about ten minutes we heard 
him roar about half a mile off. 

The moon now became overclouded, and our 
chance was up for the time, so we returned to the 
douar, where the caid had prepared a tent for us, 
in which we slept very comfortably rolled up in our 
blankets. 

The third lion was heard roaring in the distance, 
as he lurked round a neighbouring douar. 

Saturday, 27th. — The caid sent us a substantial 
breakfast, which consisted of hard-boiled eggs, hot 
gallets, made of fine white flour, milk, butter, and 
a huge dish of " kouskous," the staple food of the 
Arabs, which is made of wheaten flour, damped and 
rolled into small grains like millet-seeds, which are 
afterwards dried, and boiled up with mutton and 
fowl, or with milk and sugar. Strolled about the 
jungle all day, visiting the trail of the lions we had 
been after in the night. The pugs of the lion were 
nearly eighteen inches in circumference, those of 
the lioness about fourteen. The jungle in this part 
of the country is chiefly composed of a beautiful 
heather, (now in flower,) the myrtle, of which tlie 



454 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

Arabs eat the berries, (now ripe,) the laburnum, (in 
flower,) and several kinds of thorny shrubs, one of 
which bears a yellow flower, and is called by the 
French " Jaune d'Espagne." 

There is no large timber: cork-trees, few of 
which are more than a foot in diameter, are the 
most common. 

The Arab who lost his cow the night before our 
arrival came to us with a doleful story, saying that 
he was a poor man, and that his brother would 
make him pay for it, if he did not kill the lion, as 
it was his turn to watch the cattle on that night. 

His real name is Taib, but Mr B christened 

him " Corbeau," (on account of our having found 
him perched in a tree last night,) and the Arabs 
have confirmed the cognomen. 

During the next fortnight we had a good deal of 
wet weather, and did little but shoot small game, of 
which we killed heavy bags. Nothing more was 
heard about the lions, and although we daily took 
long walks in the most likely places, we saw no 
fresh tracks. 

Wednesday, 10th March. — Had a consulation as 
to our future proceedings, at which it was deter- 
mined to start at once for Constantine, and from 
thence towards the southward, via, Melila, Bathna, 
and Biscara, should the weather permit. Engaged 
a diligence, said to be capable of containing twenty- 
three passengers, for our party, and made arrange- 
ments to start at six A.M. on Friday morning. 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 455 

Visited the Circle des OJficeurs, an establishment of 
recent date, most delightfully situated on the crest 
of a hill overlooking the sea, containing a reading- 
room well supplied with French newspapers and 
periodicals, a tolerably well-stocked library, and a 
Buvette, where ecarte, piquet, and whist, well 
moistened with vermuth and absinth, seemed to be 
the order of the day. Our party were made honor- 
ary members of the establishment, and experienced 
the greatest hospitality and kindness from the French 
officers. 

Some Roman antiquities are to be seen in the 
environs of Philippcville , the cisterns at Stora are 
worthy of a visit; and every now and then one 
meets with a column or block of marble which 
bears traces of the sculptor's hand. 

Some short time ago, in excavating the founda- 
tion of a house in the main street, a marble statue 
of the Emperor Vespasian was found, beautifully 
carved, and well proportioned, but, unfortunately, 
one arm is broken, and the face is partially dis- 
figured ; otherwise it is in a very good state oi 
preservation, and forms a conspicuous object in the 
Grande Place, opposite the church. 

Thursday, llth. — M. Lapasset, Lieut.-Col. d'Etat 
Major, commanding the subdivision of Philippc- 
ville, called after breakfast, and offered our party 
every assistance to facilitate our departure on our 
journey southward ; indeed, his kind advice, and 
that of Captain Cousin, Chef du Bureau Arabe, 



456 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

and Monsieur le Commandant Lebarte, of the 71st 
regiment of the line, were of the most material ser- 
vice. 

Took a box at the theatre for a ball given by the 
town for the benefit of the poor, where we spent a 
very agreeable evening. I counted forty-nine ladies 
who danced, besides many others in the boxes. Ob- 
served that crinoline has not gone down in Algeria, 
whatever it may have done in Paris. 

Friday, 12tJi. — At six a.m. " our trap," if I may 
so call the clumsy, rumbling, creaking vehicle which 
came rolling down the street like a ship in a storm, 
groaning as if it was aware of the rough treatment 
it would receive before arrival at Constantine ; and 
at seven our goods and chattels were hoisted on the 
top, our vivandiere stowed in the coupe, and our- 
selves snugly packed outside and in. Too-too-too ! 
went a hunting-horn, crack went the whip, round 
went the wheels, and our seven horses set off at a 
hand-gallop, which lasted for a few hundred yards 
past the barrier gates, when their pace sunk by 
degrees into a shuffling walk , and at about four 
miles from the town we were brought to a stand- 
still, the ruts being nearly two feet deep. Our 
driver, the queerest fish for a son of Jehu that ever 
mounted a box, did not appear in the least discon- 
certed : he flung down the ribbons, and, coolly dis- 
mounting from his seat, opened a boot and took out a 
quantity of pickaxes and spades, which he distributed 
among the passengers, all of whom were expected to 



OF THE OLD '^ORLD. 457 

try their hands at road-making. Some gatliered 
stones from the wayside to till up the ruts, others 
dui,^ up the road so as to make it as level as pos- 
sible ; and at last, with the assistance of eight extra 
mules, making a team of fifteen in all, and the com- 
bined force of our whole party pushing and pulling, 
amid the shouts, oaths, prayers, protestations, groans, 
yells, and frantic shrieks of our conductor and driver, 
we managed to extricate the wheels, and were once 
more en route. The passengers were, however, 
obliged to walk in many places ; and some of them 
accomplished many miles on foot, to avoid, the dis- 
agreeable jolting of our unwieldy machine. 

We passed through a most beautiful country, the 
road winding amongst well- wooded hills, to St 
Charles, a small fortified village about fifteen miles 
from Philippeville, on the confluence of the rivers 
Saf-Saf and Oued Zerga. 

Our driver assured us that lions were very numer- 
ous in this part of the country, that on two occa- 
sions within the last month he had fallen in with 
them on the road during the night, and once one 
followed the diligence for three miles, to the great 
consternation of the horses and passengers. Leav- 
ing St Charles we passed through the villages of 
Gastonville and El Arrouch, where we changed, 
horses ; and about one P.M. we arrived at El Kan- 
tour, (the Gap,) where we dined. 

Should the proposed railway be constructed be- 
tween Philippeville and Constantine, the cost be- 



458 THE HU?rTING GROUNDS 

tween El Arrouch and El Kantour will be something 
enormous, ou account of the fearful cuttings, ex- 
cavations, and tunnellings that will have to be made. 
The winding of the road round the ravines and hills 
makes the distance more than three times that by 
which the crow flies, and even then some of the 
heights are very steep, so that we had to get out 
and walk, as the horses could not pull us up. 

The aspect of the country completely changes 
after passing El Kantour. The hills are bleak and 
rocky, and there is no wood to be seen. We passed 
a few roadside inns and cabarets en route, but the 
country appeared thinly populated until we arrived 
within a few miles from Constantine, where we saw 
a few ill-cultivated farms and gardens, in some of 
which we noticed a few date-palms for the first 
time. 

The ascent leading to the ancient capital of the 
Numidian kings is very steep, and it was dark be- 
fore we passed through the Port de la Breche and 
pulled up at the Bureau des Diligences, where we 
were evidently expected, for we were immediately 
surrounded by touters and agents from all the dif- 
ferent hotels, who annoyed us so much by pulling 
about our luggage, poking cards in our faces, 
quarrelling, fighting, and abusing each other, that 
we were obliged, in self-defence, to keep them at 
a distance with the drivers' whips. 

We put up at the Hotel des Colonies, a new build- 
in or on " La Place," where we found tolerably clean 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 459 

rooms, but a very poor supper, after having par- 
taken of which we "turned in," being extremely 
tired and shaken with our journey. 

Saturday, 13th. — When we got up this morning 
we were most disagreeably surprised to find that a 
complete change had taken place in the weather, 
frost having set in during the night ; and the wind 
was bitterly cold and raw, though yesterday in 
the plains we had experienced the heat of summer 
in England. Towards noon the sun came out, and 
we walked about the town, which is most curiously 
placed on a perpendicularly-scarped height, which is 
divided from another mountain by a steep chasm or 
ravine about fifty yards broad and two hundred feet 
in depth, at the bottom of which flows the river 
Oued el Eummel, (the Eiver of Sand.) 

An old Roman stone-bridge, of two rows of arches, 
formerly connected the town with the surrounding 
country ; but it was carried away a short time ago, 
having stood for centuries, and the funds of the 
town not being in a sufficiently flourishing state to 
repair it, the soldiers have constructed a kind of 
steep winding road down the sides of the ravine, 
which enters the town at the ancient gateway El 
Kantara, (of the Bridge.) There are two other gates, 
one the Port de la Breche, by which we entered, 
and the other a small postern, leading down into 
the ravine by a steep path, impassable for car- 
riages. 

The town is surrounded by an old ^Moorish ere- 



460 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

nated wall, which bears the unmistakable marks of 
the French cannon when they took the place. The 
streets are extremely narrow, dirty, and badly paved, 
and the houses ill built, with flat roofs, much re- 
sembling those of the worst parts of the suburbs of 
Stamboul. The French have constructed a hand- 
some fortified barracks, called La Casbah, and 
several cafes and shops : otherwise Constantine is 
but little changed, and much resembles a third-rate 
town in Turkey ; and, although the second capital 
of Algeria, would be considered but a paltry village 
were it in India, 

The evening wet and raw. Sat round a wood-fire 
in the hotel with much pleasure. 

Sunday, \Uh. — The weather cold and disagree- 
able ; snow and rain falling all day. 

Called on General Gastu, the Commandant of 
the Division of Constantine, who Kves in the old 
Moorish palace formerly belonging to the Bey of 
Constantine. 

It is a low irregular building, having a courtyard 
in the centre, with an oriental verandah all round, 
supported by small columns of very fine marble of 
different colours. It is, however, altogether but a 
poor specimen of Moorish architecture. 

In the courtyard the General has some fine speci- 
mens of ostriches and gazelles, from the deserts near 
Biscara, which latter much resemble our Indian 
antelope in form, except that they have not such 
fine horns. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 401 

In the evening some of our party attended a 
hal masque, where they were much amused l)y the 
diversity of costume. 

Monday, loth. — The weather wet and disagree- 
able ; remained in the hotel the greater part of the 
day, Keceived an invitation to a ball given by the 
General at the palace. Visited the house of M. 
Jules Gt^rard, the lion-slayer, one room of which 
is very curiously painted in the oriental style, with 
Arabic inscriptions and devices; and were shown 
the arms of honour presented to him by the ex- 
royal family of France, the Emperor of Austria, and 
divers sheiks and Arab chiefs, by whom he is much 
beloved and esteemed, not only for his coolness 
and address in lion-hunting, but also on account 
of his knowledge of the Mussulman character, and 
his familiarity with their language, habits, and 
customs. 

His kindness, integrity, and anxious solicitude for 
their welfare, whilst employed in the Bureau Arabe, 
were very justly appreciated by the sons of Ishmael; 
and in the goorbis of the douars a stranger is often 
interrogated as to the happiness of the " conqueror 
of the lion," and as to his probable return. 

Tuesday, IQth. — The weather still unpropitious ; 
snow and sleet falling in the morning. It, however, 
cleared up a little in the afternoon, and we visited 
the tomb of the old Eoman banker, which was dis- 
covered some short time ago to the left of the Port 
de la Breche, by the side of the scarp. 



462 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

The tomb consists of two stories, the lower about 
ten feet below the surface of the ground, and is in 
the form of a square, which is covered with some 
very fine tesselated pavement, in very good preser- 
vation, with arched vaults all round, containing 
bones. On a huge stone slab, which had covered a 
coffin, with much difficulty I copied the following 
inscription, which was not an easy task, there bemg 
no division between the words : — * 



aiCEGOQ\TTACEOVEESIBVSMEA-|-)-TADEMONSTIlOLVCEMCLARArRVI 

TVSITTEMP0RASVTiaIAPRiECrLIVSCIKTENSILAEEABGE2JTARI 

AMLXIBVIABTEMTyDlSlIJMEMIRArV'II^EMPERErVERrrASOMNISOM 

KIBVSCOMMVNISEGOECVliraoaiSERTVSVBIOVHUTVSrVXVillASEMPERrRVrrTSCTM 

CAKISAMICISTAl-iaiPOSTOEBITVMDOMINAEVALEIlIAENONINVENIPVTIICiEVrrAMCVNPOTVI 

GEATAMHABVICVSCOSlVGESANCTAMNATALESHONESTEMEOSCElfTVMCELEERAVlFELICES 

ADVianTPOSTF.EMADlESVTSPFjmXSlTV^rNAlJIA5IEMPP.ARELIQrAlTlTV10SQVOSLEGESVIVVSMEK 

M0RTIPARAVTV■01fyI-H'T+F0RTrNAMK0^-AMaEDESEKVr^IP3ASE0TI^^ITAIJSE^C^'0SE-(-0RE•CT0VE^•rrAB— 



After a sojourn of a week at Constantine, a letter 
was received from M. Jules Gerard stating that he 

* The Rev. Mr Blakesley, who visited the tomb some months 
after us, being a first-rate classical scholar, was able to make 
out the epitaph, notwithstanding the numerous mistakes of the 
stone-cutter. It should have been :— " Hie ego qui taceo ver- 
sibus mea fata demonstro, lucem claram fruitus et tempora 
sumana. Pr^cilius, Cirtensi Lare, argentariam exhibui artem. 
Fides in me mira fuit semper et Veritas omnis omnibus com- 
munis. Ego cui non misertus ubique ? Risus luxuriam semper 
fruitus cum caris amicis, talem post obitum Dominse Valeriae 
non inveni. Pudice vitam cum potui gi-atam habui cum conjuge 
sancta. Natales honestse meos centum celebravi felices. At 
venit postrema dies ut spiritus inania membra relinquat. 
Titulos quos legis, vivus mese morti paravi ut voluit Fortuna. 
Nunquam me deseruit ipsa. Sequimini tales : hinc vos exspecto. 
Venite." 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 463 

would not be able to join our expedition, as he could 
not get an extension of his leave of absence, so, 
the weather still continuinf^ extremely unpropitious 
for shooting excursions, we resolved to go about and 
see as much of the country as we could, and I believe 
we were all highly satisfied with our trip, feel- 
ina- convinced that Algeria is a splendid field either 
for the sportsman, the tourist, or the invalid. 

The probable expenses of a trip will be as fol- 
lows: — Travelling expenses (first-class throughout) 
from London, £20 ; hotel expenses for three months, 
£60 ; hunting expenses, comprising beaters, track- 
ers, horse hire, boat hire, (for wildfowl on the lakes,) 
and sundries, £20 : probable total of expenditure 
for three months' sport, £100. The probable addi- 
tional expense with a servant Avill be rather more 
than one-third of the above, say £40. I need hardly 
observe that this does not include the items Cha- 
teau Margot or Lafitte ; but each can make his own 
arrangements, so as to suit his inclination or his 
means. 

The sportsman need only carry his arms, ammuni- 
tion, and personal baggage. He will find everything 
else he requires in Algeria. 

Small game of all kinds is to be found at a very 
short distance from the town, so that the sportsman 
need not go farther daily than ten miles, (or even 
less,) returning to sleep at the hotel. In order to 
shoot at greater distances, he should provide himself 
with a tent, if he wishes to do the thing comfortably. 



464) the hunting grounds 

Large Game. 

The following animals are to be met with in this 
part : — The lion, the panther, the wild-boar, deer, 
antelope, and the jungle-sheep ; also a kind of 
mountain-deer. 

The Lion. — The best manner of pursuing this 
sport is by tracking his footprints to his lair, and 
killing him when he charges. The Arabs are fair 
trackers, and will conduct the sportsman to his 
usual haunts. Then everything depends on the 
hunter's own steadiness, shooting, and the goodness 
of his arms. 

The Panther. — This animal may be killed by 
tracking, or hunted with dogs, that attract its at- 
tention and give the sportsman opportunities of 
taking fair aim. 

The ^Vild-hoar is found in great abundance. Ten 
hunters, accompanied by people who know the coun- 
try, may kill fifty in a day. Alone, they may not 
see a tusk in a week. The boar avoids the neigh- 
bourhood of the lion and panther. Hog-hunting 
is followed in this country either by tracking, or 
with greyhounds, on horseback, or by beating. It 
remains for the English sportsman to ride down 
the gray boar, spear in hand, as is done in India. 
Hog are to be found close to the town ; they even 
sometimes enter the gardens during the night. 

Deer are to be found of various kinds , they are 
best killed by stalking. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 465 

Antelope and Jungle-sheep are killed either by 
stalking or forming a battue. 

The Mountain-deer is found in the mountainous 
districts only, and is killed in the same way as the 
chamois, which it very much resembles in its habits. 

Small game is very abundant throughout the 
country, and consists of red-partridge, hares, jungle- 
fowl, (poule de Carthage,) bustard, and quail, which 
are to be found in great quantities. On the lakes 
all kinds of water- fowl are to be found, from the 
duck to the swan; besides which, woodcock and 
snipe are very numerous in the season. The sports- 
man may fill a cart with waterfowl ; it is only a ques- 
tion of how much ammunition he has got with him. 

The abundance of game in this country is very 
easily accounted for. In the first place, the inhab- 
itants — the Arabs — shoot little or nothing, and the 
French in Algeria do as the Arabs ; so that all kinds 
of game, large and small, live in a state of undis- 
turbed peace, and multiply accordingly. 

Large game, such as lions and panthers, have 
been driven into the wildest part of the country by 
the advance of civilisation, and the sportsman may 
lose much time in finding out their haunts, if not 
accompanied by those initiated. M. Jules Gdrard 
spent upwards of six hundred nights in the forest 
before he killed his twenty-sixth lion ; so whoever 
would tread in his footsteps should not be dis- 
couraged by want of success in the first instance. 

2 G 



PART IV. 



PRACTICAL HINTS ON FIREARMS 
AND THEIR USE. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

The advantages of breecli-loadiug guns and rifles. — The different 
systems. — Advice on purchasing firearms. — The theory of rifle 
practice. — Aiming, position, judging distance, and practical 
hints on shooting. — On the colour of sportsmen's dress. — 
Table of experiments with targets. 

At a time when cannou and rifles form the subject 
of so much discussion and conversation in every 
circle, it were well if sportsmen would give some 
consideration to the breech -loading system, as 
adapted to sporting-arms. Cannon and small-arms 
are both in a transition state, and in the course of 
a few years we may expect to see great changes in 



THE HUNTING GKOUNDS, ETC. 4G7 

the armament of our land and naval forces, for Sir 
William Armstrong and Mr Whitwortb, of Man- 
cliester, have satisfactorily proved that rifled cannon 
on the breech-loading system exceed all others iu 
length of range, jwwer of penetration, and accuracy 
of fire ; and all our first-class guumakers — amongst 
whom I may enumerate Purdey, Lancaster, Lang, 
Westley Eichards, Boss, ]\Ioore, Terry, Needham, 
Whittou and Daw, and Leetch — are manufacturing 
small-arms (both guns and rifles) that load at the 
breech, of one description or another, Lancaster, 
Westley Richards, Terry, and Leetch have peculiar 
systems of their own invention, but most of the 
others have adopted that of La Faucheux, which, 
although it has been invented for upwards of five- 
and-twenty years, was very little known in this 
country until that excellent shot and practical me- 
chanic Mr Lang, of "Old Red House" notoriety, 
took it up ; and it is to him that we are indebted 
for the efficient carrying out and improvement of a 
principle, which is almost as great an era in gun- 
making as the invention of the copper cap. 

The following are some of the great advantages 
that the new system has over the old for fowling- 
pieces. 

I shall begin with the extreme facility and quick- 
ness in the loading, whereby any person armed with 
a breech-loader can load and fire at least six shots 
in the same time that another with a common gun 
takes to load and fire two, with much greater com' 



4G8 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

parative safety, as with a breech-loader the muzzle 
of the gun can never by any chance be directed to- 
wards the person of the loader ; no mistake can be 
made, such as putting two charges of powder or 
shot into one barrel ; there is no chance of losing a 
hand by pouring powder from a flask down the 
muzzle of a gun recently discharged, in which, per- 
haps, a bit of lighted tow, or, what is oftener the 
case, a small piece of cork (got among the powder 
in opening the canister) may remain — an accident 
which may happen to the most careful sportsman. 
Again, one is always enabled to see clearly through 
the barrels, and can be certain that no dirt or ob- 
struction has got in, which is a great advantage, as 
many people have been injured by guns bursting 
from the muzzle being accidentally plugged up with 
clay, which may have got in whilst jumping a ditch, 
climbing over a fence, or stumbling in an uneven 
turnip-field. The sportsman can never meet with 
an accident by loading one barrel whilst the other 
is on full-cock, which the ramming down of a wad 
or the catching of a twig might cause to go ofi"; and 
when game is abundant, in the hurry of reloading 
or the excitement of the moment, accidents from 
this cause frequently occur : also there is no danger 
of an unlucky cap flying and endangering the eye- 
sight — not a very uncommon occurrence. 

As to the pleasantness of shooting, both to self 
and company, there can be no doubt ; for what an 
advantage it is for sportsmen, when beating country, 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 4G9 

to be able to load without haltinf;; or breaking the 
line, and making all the rest of the company wait 
until the operation is finislied. Who has not been 
put off his shooting by having to wait whilst some 
nervous, fidgety old gentleman hunts in a dozen 
different pockets to find his powder-flask, wadding, 
shot-bag, and caps, which are all dispensed with by 
using a breech-loader? What an advantage it is, 
when shooting in fens or swamps, to be able to load 
without putting the butt of your gun in the mud or 
water, whereby you soil your clothes when you put 
it up to the shoulder and make yourself uncomfort- 
able for the rest of the day. Also, what sportsman, 
after a heavy day's shooting, has not found his 
hands blackened and sticky from exploded gun- 
powder, and sometimes raw and blistered from con- 
stantly ramming down the charge? And in cold 
weather who has not found loading with a common 
gun, and putting on the caps, distress him beyond 
measure, more especially if he has been obliged to 
pull oft" his warm gloves before he is able to effect 
it at last ? 

Another great advantage is to be able to change 
the charge in a moment, according to the game to 
be met with, instead of the old tedious method of 
drawing the shot with the screw of the ramrod ; and 
also to be able to load without noise, as, when game 
is plentiful, the noise of ramming down an obstinate 
wad frequently puts up birds on all sides. 

A sportsman armed with a breech-loader can re- 



470 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

load almost as soon as a keeper can hand him a 
second gun and receive the one discharged, which 
does away with the necessity of having a man at 
one's heels with a loaded gun — an objectionable 
practice, as a trip or stumble might so easily occa- 
sion an accident. 

Breech-loaders foul very little, as the thick elastic 
mercurial waddings which enter the breech are fully 
a size larger than the bore of the muzzle ; conse- 
quently, being forcibly driven through the barrel 
with the force of the powder, each discharge carries 
away any refuse or accumulation that may have 
been left by the one previous, and at the end of a 
long day's shooting the barrel is just as free from 
foulness as at the beginning ; also, the explosion of 
the charge does not take place in the breech, but 
in the paper cartridge, which comes out uninjured, 
containing the d^hris ol the burnt powder, which 
in the ordinary gun is driven into the chamber 
and nipple every time it is reloaded, until the 
latter becomes clogged up, and miss-fires are the 
consequence. 

The ease of cleaning is also very apparent, for 
nothing is required but the passing of a little tow 
through the barrel once or twice, and afterwards 
wiping with an oiled rod ; whereas, with an ordi- 
nary gun, the dirt is ■ forced in the breech and 
through the nipple, and frequent washing out of 
the barrels is required, which is never the case 
with a breech-loader. 



OF THE OLD WOr.LD. 471 

There is less recoil in a breech-loader than in a 
muzzle-loader of the same size and weight, which I 
account for by its construction rendering it neces- 
sary to have more weight of metal at the breech ; 
and also because at the bottom of the cartridge of 
the breech-loader there is a tight roll of j^aper, about 
one-eighth of an incli in thickness, which (like the 
buffer of a railway carriage) gives with the action of 
the powder and lessens the recoil. 

After five years' experience with breech-loaders, 
during which I have made a series of practical 
experiments, I have come to the conclusion that 
they shoot rather harder than ordinary muzzle- 
loading guns ; and my way of accounting for this 
fact is, that all luindarje is prevented, (l)y the wad- 
ding used being a size larger than the bore ;) be- 
sides which, I think they will hum more jJOiuder, 
and of a larger grain than that in general use for 
percussion-guns, which is stronger, because there 
is more air that facilitates combustion between the 
grains. I also consider that they shoot quicker, 
because there is no long communication (the nipple) 
between the point of ignition and the charge, the 
explosion of the cap taking place in the centre of 
the powder, which is inflamed almost simultane- 
ously ; for it is an error to suppose that gunpowder 
explodes instantaneously, as, however rapid its pro- 
gress, it takes a certain time in travelling from the 
first grain to the last. 

The sportsman can easily make up his own car- 



472 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

tridges at tlie rate of about half a gross in an hour, 
or, if he prefers it, he can purchase them all ready 
from any gunmaker. 

When all the advantages of the breech-loader are 
contrasted with the known disadvantages of the 
muzzle-loader, it is difficult to account for the pre- 
judice that has existed against them for so many 
years ; for, notwithstanding that the present system 
was introduced by La Faucheux a quarter of a cen- 
tury ago, it is only lately that it has come into 
general use amongst sportsmen. Numerous objec- 
tions have been urged against the system, but none 
appear to have had any substantial foundation ; and 
I shall not enter into them, although I am aware 
that there are many sportsmen of the old school 
who, from prejudice, will not even deign to give it 
a trial : with them arguments and facts are both 
equally lost. 

In the pursuit of large game, breech-loading arms 
are infinitely preferable ; for until the last few years 
the hunter was always obliged, when waging war 
with the denizens of the forest, to keep up a battery 
of several guns and rifles, which, to say nothing of 
the expense of the first outlay, and the continual 
wear and tear, &c., was attended by several serious 
disadvantages, some half-dozen of which I shall enu- 
merate. In the first place, Two or three gun-bearers 
are required to each sportsman, whose duty it is to 
pass up the spare guns as fast as those in hand are 
discharged : now it is a great disadvantage for a 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 473 

hunter, when on trail or stalking, to have a number 
of persons at his heels, on account of the extra noise 
they must necessarily make in forcing their way 
through cover, which often gives alarm to the game 
and prevents him from getting a shot. Secondly, It 
is a great drawback, when in the pursuit of some 
dangerous animal, when a faux 'pas might [be at- 
tended with fatal consequences, to have any other 
than yourself to look after. Thirdly, It is not jjlea- 
sant to have loaded firearms carried in the rear by 
inexperienced hands, with whom an accident from 
carelessness is as likely to occur as not. Fourthly, 
It is not a comfortable feeling to have to depend 
upon the coolness and courage of your followers ; 
and many a sportsman has found himself in an awk- 
ward position by his gun-bearers having been seized 
with a panic, and bolted, leaving him, with both 
barrels discharged, in the presence of a wounded 
and infuriated animal, when nothing but some lucky 
chance can prevent a catastrophe. Fifthly, It fre- 
quently happens, in hunting in different parts of the 
country, that the sportsman (if he does not keep in 
his pay a shekar-gang of his own, which is expensive 
work) has to intrust his spare guns to men of whom 
he knows nothing, who may be tempted to decamp 
with them — not a very unfrequent occurrence.* 
Sixthly, It is a great annoyance to a tired sportsman, 
after a hard day's fag, to have to clean four or five 

* Lieutenant Rice, of the Bombay army, lost all Lis guns iu 
this manner. 



474 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

double guns and rifles, which task he dare not in- 
trust his followers to perform, as there are times 
when a miss-fire might be attended with the most 
serious consequences. Happily for the sportsman of 
the present day, all these disagreeable contingencies 
may now be avoided by making use of rifles on the 
breech-loading system. Now, independent of gun- 
bearers, he may roam through the forest alone, care- 
less as to what animal he may meet, for he knows 
that, should his first shots not take deadly eS'ect, he 
can reload in the twinkling of an eye, and keep up a 
running fire, against which nothing can stand, in- 
stead of having to bolt under cover to reload, (in 
case a spare gun is not at hand,) returning breath- 
less, and often with unsteady hand, from having to 
use sheer force in jamming an obstinate ball down a 
foul barrel. When mounted, a rifle on the breech- 
loading system has immense advantages, as it can 
be easily reloaded, without in any way interfering 
with the management of the horse ; whereas with 
the old muzzle-loader the sportsman was entirely 
powerless whilst drawing his ramrod and ramming 
home the bullet. He who has once used a breech- 
loading gun or rifle will no more think of going 
back to a muzzle-loader, than the crack marksman 
at Hythe would return to old " Brown Bess," 

Lang's breech-loading rifles have either three or 
four broad grooves, (I prefer the latter ;) and the 
projectile used is of a cylindro-conical shape, very 
similar to that used by General Jacobs, of the 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 475 

Scinde Horse. With one of his double rifles, forty 
bore, and 7?; lbs. in weight, a bull's-eye three inches 
in diameter has been struck thii-teen times in eighteen 
shots, at a hundred yards, firing right and left bar- 
rels alternately, and the other shots were all within 
four inches from the centre. At three hundred 
yards, bullet after bullet was put in the area of a 
foot square, which is almost as close shooting as can 
be got out of a double rifle. For gi'cat precision at 
long distances, single ones must be used; as in 
every double rifle, where one sight has to serve, the 
barrels must converge, consequently the lines of tra- 
jectory must cross at some point, and although up 
to five hundred yards the lateral deflection may not 
be very material, they can never exhibit the precision 
of single barrels at long distances. 

Mr Westley Eichards, of Birmingham, has in- 
vented a breech-loader that has been highly approved 
of by the authorities, and it is a most excellent weapon 
either for mihtary or sporting purposes, although 
the system of Messrs Terry and Calisher has been 
preferred ; for, by order of the Secretary of State 
for War, a contract has been entered into with that 
firm for the immediate supply of their carbines for 
the use of several cavalry regiments. The T'tmes^ 
speaking of its great advantages over the old system, 
says : — " The Small-arms Committee have sub- 
mitted the carbine to the severest tests, making a 
most favourable report on its peculiar advantages, 
and hence its adoption in the army. Only some 



476 THE HUNTING GEOUNDS 

few months ago Terry's rifle was subjected to a 
test by Captain Eichard Hewlett, of the Excellent 
gunnery-ship, and one thousand eight hundred 
rounds were fired without the carbine requiring to 
be cleaned or missing fire. The same carbine was 
tested on South Sea Common, by order of the 
Lieutenant-Governor, Major-General the Hon. Sir 
James Yorke Scarlett, and twenty-five rounds were 
fired at three hundred yards' range from the butt ; 
and the General himself made a centre hit. An 
ofiicer on the ground, one of the instructors of 
musketry, then took the instrument, and struck the 
target afloat twice out of three times, at a distance 
of one thousand and fifty yards ; yet the barrel is 
but thirty inches in length." It is my opinion that 
this rifle is one of the most serviceable weapons that 
an Indian officer could possess, as it is a most for- 
midable instrument, whether in the field, against an 
enemy, or in the dense deep jungle, the haunts of 
the tiger and the elephant. 

Arms are still in a transition state, and it is yet a 
matter of doubt as to which principle is the best. 
From the numerous experiments I have made and 
witnessed, I consider that, for accuracy of fire, 
nothing equals the system of Mr Joseph Whitworth 
of Manchester, his rifle with the hexagonal bore and 
elongated projectile having " distanced " every other 
at long ranges in a course of experimental trials 
lately made at the School of Musketry at Hythe ; 
besides which the trajectory is lower than any other 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 477 

system. He uses a short barrel, having a hexag- 
onal bore and a very quick turn ; for whereas the 
Enfield rifle has only one turn in 6 feet G inches, 
and therefore only half a turn in the barrel of the 
Enfield, which is 3 feet 3 inches, he has a 4o-inch 
bore, with one turn in twenty inches, which rotation 
is sufiicient with a bullet of the requisite specific 
gravity. Mr Whitworth has reached such a pitch 
of accuracy, that in a shed excluded from the influ- 
ence of wind, and firing from a beautifully-contrived 
rest, at five hundred yards he can put any number 
of consecutive balls within a space less than that 
occupied by a five-shilling piece ; and it is said that 
he will not be contented until he can throw a bullet 
from the barrel of one rifle into the barrel of another 
placed at five hundred yards' distance. His ordinary 
rifles are guaranteed, in the hands of a good marks- 
man, to be true at the same distance within eight 
inches. When his rifle was tested at Hythe with a 
Kegulation Enfield, the eflSciency of the one as com- 
pared with the other was as twenty to one : Colonel 
Wilford saying the Whitworth was better at eight 
hundred yards than the Enfield at five hundred. 
Beyond one thousand one hundred yards the Enfield 
must cease firing even at large masses, while Whit- 
worth's can do business at two thousand. Indeed, 
rifling seems to be in its infancy, and range must 
only cease with the power of the human eye to take 
an aim. If Mr Whitworth applies his peculiar prin- 
ciple of rifling and extreme accuracy of boring to 



478 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

a breech-loader, he will produce the most finished 
weapon of the day. Next to the Whitworth I ap- 
preciate the advantages that Mr Lancaster's eliptical 
rifling has over other systems, as it gives excellent 
practice, and, the bore being smooth, is not liable 
to harbour rust or wear away. This rifle has given 
admirable results, and has the great advantage of 
not fouling nearly so easily as the Regulation and 
other pieces, and also admits of being cleared far 
more easily. 

I shall conclude my remarks by observing that 
the market in the present day is deluged with arms 
that are made to sell, and not to shoot ; and the 
public should be on their guard, so as not to allow 
themselves to be taken in by spurious imitations ; 
for there are unscrupulous vendors who do not hesi- 
tate to engrave the names of first-class gunmakers 
upon guns of inferior workmanship, and sell them 
to the uninitiated as "bargains." Young sports- 
men, in selecting a gun, should always go to a 
maker of note, who, for the sake of his own credit 
and reputation, would not allow an arm that is un- 
sound, or of inferior workmanship, to leave his 
establishment bearing his name, which, in first-class 
work, is always engraved in full, with address. He 
may have to pay a long figure in comparison with 
the cost of the inferior article, and, perhaps, some- 
thing for " the name ;" but he is sure of a good 
w^eapon, which will prove far better worth the 
money in the long run, and need not be appre- 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 479 

hensive of accidents fioin defective workmanship 
or unsound material. Inferior ftuns, " made to sell," 
are now-a-days got up so well, that at first sight 
they resemble A 1 guns of best material and first- 
class workmanship; but the practical sportsman, on 
taking them in hand, soon discovers the counterfeit. 
There is no "music" in the locks ; the strength of 
the mainsprings, as well as the pull of the triggers, 
is unequal ; the barrels are imperfectly bored, or 
rough and unpolished in the interior, and perhaps 
the gauge shows that they are not of exactly the 
same calibre. Again, the lock-plate and mountings 
are not fitted and let in with that peculiar nicety 
that distinguishes first-class London work ; and the 
stock, in spite of a thick coat of French polish and 
varnish, betrays "greenness" being made of un- 
seasoned wood. I have seen some of these inferior 
.guns throw shot pretty fairly to begin with, but 
after a short time they invariably fall off, both in 
their strength and regularity of shooting, become 
shaky, and even dangerous ; for the locks (being 
made of soft metal instead of the best tempered 
steel) begin to wear, and are no longer to be de- 
pended upon. It is a mistaken policy, and false 
economy, to purchase any other than a first-class 
gun, which, with ordinary care, will last longer 
than half a dozen cheap ones of inferior workman- 
ship, and give infinitely more satisfaction, to say 
nothing of the great additional security against 
accidents. 



480 THE HUNTING GEOTJNDS 

Perhaps the following hints on rifle-shooting may 
prove useful to those who have not had the benefit 
of an efficient instructor. 

Eiflemen are not made in a day, but it is an 
established fact that any one gifted with perfect 
vision can, with instruction and jyractice, become 
an efficient marksman ; therefore, none should be 
discouraged or despair, as perseverance must lead 
to ultimate success. 

First commencing with the theory of rifle prac- 
tice, which must be fully understood before the 
rifleman can hope to be an expert shot at all ranges, 
I shall afterwards enter upon the 2>'^o,ctical part of 
his initiation. 

The first point for consideration is the barrel of 
the rifle, which, (ia the Enfield pattern,) it may be 
observed, has three spiral grooves cut in the interior, 
or bore, at an equal distance from each other, of 
even depth, and making half a turn in the length 
of the barrel, which is three feet three inches. 
These grooves, otherwise termed the rifling, give 
the bullet (an elongated cylindro-conical projectile) 
a spiral motion, sometimes called the spiii or tivist, 
as it flies through the air, point foremost, rotatory 
on its own axis. This very much increases the 
accuracy of the flight of the bullet, as it serves to 
keep it in its true course, and prevents any inclina- 
tion it may have to deviate from it, owing to irregu- 
larity in shape or weight. 

The diameter of the bore of an Enfield rifle ip 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 481 

•577, but that of the bullet is rather less, in order 
to facilitate the loading. This difference in size — 
i.e., the difference between the circumference of the 
bullet and the bore — leaves a space between the 
bullet and the bore, termed the windage, which 
was the principal cause of the inefficiency of the 
old " Brown Bess/' for two reasons : the first, be- 
cause a great part of the explosive force, or gas 
generated by the ignition of the powder, was lost, 
as it escaped by the space between the bullet and 
the side of the bore ; and, secondly, because this 
irregular escape caused the ball to rebound from 
side to side in the barrel, instead of passing evenly 
through the bore, and the consequence of this was, 
that it took an erratic impetus throughout its flight. 
The Enfield bullet is, however, so constructed as 
to do away with these objections. Although the 
circumference is much less than that of the bore, so 
as to enter the barrel easily in loading, all luindage 
is effectually prevented, as in the base of the pro- 
jectile is a hollow, into which is fitted a small wooden 
cup, or plug, which, by the force of the explosion of 
the charge, acts like a wedge.* and expands and 
enlarges the lower part of the bullet, making it fit 
the barrel tightly, and take the rifling, so that in its 
passage through the barrel it is constrained to tuni 

* This theory, although adopted by the School of [Musketry at 
Hythe, is contradicted by several competent authorities ; and I 
believe there is reason to doubt its accuracy. Vide Major John 
Boucher's excellent work for the use of Volunteer Riflemen. 

2ii 



482 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

with the grooves, and thus receives the spinning 
movement on its longer axis, which not only ensures 
accuracy of flight, but also always keeps its point 
forward. By the bullet being thus expanded, and 
so much enlarged as to fit the barrel and grooves 
tightly, none of the explosive power of the gas en- 
gendered by the ignition of the charge is allowed to 
escape, but the whole propelling force acts upon the 
projectile. There is also a much better chance of 
the whole of the powder being burnt. 

The barrel is a tube of iron, of which the sides of 
the interior, or bore, are parallel, but those of the 
exterior converge, it being necessary that the metal 
of the breech-end should be very much thicker than 
at the muzzle, towards which it gradually tapers, as 
it has to stand the force of the explosion of the 
charge. In consequence of this contraction, every 
barrel has in itself a certain degree of elevation — 
but of this more anon. 

The axis of the barrel is an imaginary line drawn 
through the centre of the bore, and parallel to the 
interior sides. 

The line of fire is the continuation of the axis in 
a straight line, and marks the direction the bullet 
would take on leaving the barrel, 'propelled hy the 
explosion of the charge, were it not that it is also 
acted upon by the power of gravity, which attracts 
it towards the earth, and the resistance the air offers 
to its passage, which is always in direct opposition 
to its flight. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 483 

The trajectory is tlie actual course of the bullet, 
which always describes a curve — a fact easily ac- 
counted for, as, from the moment it leaves the 
muzzle, the force of the gunpowder drives it forward, 
and gravity draws it downward, so that by yielding 
to both forces — i.e., by moving onwards and down- 
wards at the same time — it must travel in a curve 
diverging more and more below the line of fire, 
until at last, the propelling power being expended, 
it falls to the earth. Hence it follows, that if the 
axis of a barrel is directed upon the bull's-eye of 
a target, at one hundred yards' distance, the bullet 
will strike about one foot five inches below ; the 
power of gravity naving made it deviate from the 
line of fire, and drawn it towards the earth, one foot 
and five inches, in a Hight of one hundred yards. 
Therefore, if the barrel were as thick at the muzzle 
as it is at the breech, it would be necessary to aim 
one foot five inches above the mark in order to hit 
it ; but this is not the case, for, as I have before 
observed, every barrel has in itself a certain degree 
of elevation, on account of the increased thickness 
of metal at the breech-end. The Enfield rifle-barrel 
has elevation in itself for about seventy-five yards. 
The iwint-hlank range of a rifle is the distance 
that it will throw a ball before grazing the ground, 
the barrel being held with its axis parallel to the 
ground at the height of four feet six inches above it. 
The point-blank range of the Enfield rifle is about 
two hundred paces. 



484 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

The line of sight, or aim, is an imaginary straight 
line taken from the pupil of the eye through the 
centre of the back-sight, along the top of the fore- 
sight, to the object intended to be hit. The back- 
sight is so arranged as to give the proper elevation 
for different distances. The farther the object is 
to be aimed at, the greater the elevation required ; 
and this is given by raising the sliding bar of the 
back-sight, which is marked with lines up to nine 
hundred yards. 

Accuracy of shooting is greatly dependent upon 
the sights being carefully adjusted, and fitted exactly 
parallel to the axis of the barrel. If the back-sight 
Is too much inclined to the right, or the front-sight 
too much to the left, the rifle will shoot to the right 
of the mark aimed at ; in the same manner, if the 
back-sight is placed too much to the left, or the 
fore-sight too much to the right, the gun will carry 
to the left ; and the greater the distance, the greater, 
in proportion, will be the deviation. Every rifle, 
therefore, ought to be carefully sighted and shot be- 
fore it is placed in a novice's hands, as non-success in 
practice on account of an ill-sighted weapon would 
not be his fault, and might serve to discourage 
him. 

The mechanical routine necessary to be gone 
through before the tyro can become an efficient 
marksman consists of Aiming Drill, Position Drill, 
Judging Distance Drill, and Practice in Firing. 

Aiming Drill is necessary to familiarise the un- 



OF THE OLD WOKLD. 48o 

initiated with the use of the sights, teaching him how 
to " ali(jn " his rifle, or " aim " correctly at a mark. 
The practice of this drill exercises the eye, strength- 
ening and develojjing the sight in the same manner 
that continued exertion increases the power of the 
limbs. The following standard rules should be care- 
fully observed : — 

I. — The rifle should alivays he held luith the sifjhts 
'perfectly uprigltt, as it is only in this position that 
the line of sight, the line of fire, and trajectory, are 
in the same vertical plane. If the butt of the rifle 
is not held vertically, but is " canted " either to the 
right or the left, so that the perpendicular of the 
back-sight with the axis of the barrel is not pre- 
served, the ball will strike to the rifi;ht if the siefht 
inclines to the left, and vice versa ; and in firing at 
long ranges, a very slight deviation in this respect 
will cause a wide deflection. 

II. — The " aim " or " line of sigJit " should be 
taken along the centre of the notch of the back- 
sight and the top of the fore-sight, which should 
cover the centre of the object aimed at. 

III. — The eye should be fixed steadfastly on the 
mark aimed at, and not on the barrel or fore-sight, 
which latter will be easily brought into the align- 
ment if the eye is fixed as directed. 

IV. — In aiming, the left eye should be closed. 
Aiming drill is generally taught with a " traversing- 
rest," or, if that is not at hand, a tripod with a 
sandbag on the top, standing about four feet eight 



486 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

inches from the ground (or the average height of a 
man's shoulder) will answer every purpose ; and the 
novice is required to align his rifle with the proper 
elevation upon objects at distances varying from fifty 
to nine hundred yards. Each time he has aligned his 
rifle he steps aside, in order that the instructor may 
take his place and see if the aim be correct. This 
practice should be continued until the novice has no 
difiiculty in aligning his rifle on the bull's-eye at all 
distances. Up to three hundred yards, the bull's-eye 
is eight inches in diameter, and above that distance 
two feet. 

Position Drill is absolutely necessary to ensure 
good practice at long ranges. It habituates the 
novice to correct positions, and enables him to fire 
steadily in all situations. It gives him a perfect 
command over his weapon, and enables the eye and 
hand to act together, so that the left hand raises the 
rifle at once to bear upon the object, for the eye to 
take aim ; and at the same moment the fore-finger 
of the right hand acts upon the trigger. 

To establish the natural connexion between the 
eye and the hand, constant practice is required ; and 
the novice should be accustomed Eo handle his rifle 
both with and without the bayonet, being put through 
all the motions of firing standing and kneeling, with 
the same precision as if actually practising with ball- 
cartridge. 

At the School of Musketry at Hythe, recruits are 
taught to fire standing at all distances up to three 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 487 

hundred yards, and kneeling at every longer range. 
The best position for taking a steady aim without 
artificial appliances is by kneeling on the right knee 
and sitting on the right heel, the rifle being firmly 
grasped and steadied by the left hand, the left elbow 
resting on the left knee so as to form a support. 

Should the novice meet with any difficulty in aim- 
ing correctly, the inspector should cause him to snap 
caps at a lighted candle placed about a yard distant, 
when, if the aim is properly directed, the candle will 
be extinguished. The novice should be attentively 
watched during this practice until all tendency to 
wink or flinch is overcome, and his countenance 
shows that he has become indifi'erent to the re- 
port. 

This practice is most excellent for forming 
" marlcsmen," for besides saving ammunition, it 
may be continually resorted to, even in a room, the 
bull's-eye being a small black wafer on the wall at 
one end and the stand taken at the other. By 
snapping caps only the young beginner is enabled 
to see whether the muzzle of the barrel wavers 
when he presses the trigger, which he cannot pro- 
perly ascertain when firing ball, on account of the 
smoke of the discharge. The constant handlinjr of 
the rifle in a proper manner, by aiming at various 
objects at different distances, enables " the finger to 
work in unison with the eye," and gives great 
steadiness of position before, during, and after 
pressing the trigger, which is all that is required in 



488 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

making good ball-practice at a target of wliicli the 
distance is known. 

Blank-Carteidge Firing. — Before the novice 
be allowed to fire a baU, he should practise a certain 
routine of blank-cartridge firing, in order to further 
the same object for which he was exercised in snap- 
ping caps, as well as to the " recoil " or " kick," 
which is a backward motion caused by the force of 
the explosion of the powder acting against the breech 
of the barrel at the same time as against the bullet. 
The force of the recoil depends upon the charge of 
powder, the weight of the bullet, the weight of the 
rifle, the windage, the rifling of the barrel, the bor- 
ing of the barrel, (whether purely cylindrical or 
otherwise,) the friction, and the foulness, which much 
increases the resistance ofi"ered by the air to the 
bullet passing up the barrel. The instructor should 
impress upon the novice the necessity of pressing the 
heel of the butt well and firmly into the hollow of 
the shoulder, as the more confidently a man " stands 
up" to his rifle, the less likelihood there is of ran- 
dom shooting. 

The position of the body, arms, and hands, and 
the manner of pressing the trigger, as also the posi- 
tion of the head when taking aim, are to be duly 
watched both in this and the former exercise, in 
order to discover and correct those errors which are 
fatal to good shootino-, and which cannot be so sue- 
cessfully corrected when firing ball. 

Judging Distance Drill. — One of the greatest 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 489 

essentials in a well-trained marksman is the capa- 
bility to estimate distances correctly, as good 
shooting cannot be made unless the distance is 
previously ascertained and the proper elevation 
given to the back-sight. At long ranges it requires 
great practice to judge distance accurately ; but 
there is always a ready method of ascertaining it 
practically, by firing, and watching whether the 
bullet strikes the ground over or under the object 
aimed at. If over, he will lower the sliding bar of 
the back-sight ; if under, he will raise it. Practice 
over all kinds of ground is the best means of teach- 
ing a novice how to judge distance correctly by the 
eye, and any one possessing good vision may train 
himself most effectually in this art for all practical 
purposes. This, however, can only be accomplished 
by continual practice and careful observation. 
When engaged in ball-practice at a target placed at 
known distances, the tyro should carefully notice the 
apparent height of the markers at each range, remem- 
bering that in fine clear weather objects standing in a 
strong light will appear much nearer than they really 
are, and vice versa in cloudy and damp weather. 

At fifty yards, the features of a man may be 
clearly identified, and his complexion, arms, ac- 
coutrements, and dress distinctly perceived, the 
buttons and the badge on his forage-cap being 
distinguishable. At one hundred yards, the features 
become indistinct, the buttons appear in a line, and 
the badge can be only faintly discerned. At two 



490 THE HUNTING GROUNDS 

hundred yards, the face appears like a whitish ball 
under the line of the cap, and the buttons and badge 
become invisible. These distances should constitute 
the first practice , the second would embrace dis- 
tances from two to four hundred yards; and the 
third, from four hundred to one thousand yards or 
more. At five hundred yards no features are visible, 
and the head looks like a ball upon the shoulders, 
the neck being hardly visible. 

The instructor will desire the novice to mark the 
size of the men at each distance, and point out any 
difierence he may discern m their appearance. He 
will also desire him to take notice of the position of 
the sun, the character of the background, and the 
state of the atmosphere at the time, in order that 
he may be accustomed to their altered appearance 
under different circumstances. 

After some days' exercise in Judging Distance 
Drill, the proficiency of the novice may be tested by 
his being practised to judge the distance of objects 
placed at unknown ranges. 

Target Practice. — The novice having been 
thoroughly instructed in "aiming" ^'position," and 
"judging distance" drill, can commence "target 
2)ractice," when his efiiciency will be tested. 

The following hints may prove useful to the 
novice : — 

At the moment of p>'>^^ssing the trigger the act of 
respiration should be suspended, to ensure greater 
steadiness of aim. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 491 

When once the aim is clearly taken, all delay in 
pressing the trigger is prejudical to good shooting, 
as, if the rifle is held at the " present" too long, a 
" wavering'' of the muzzle takes place, and an un- 
certain shot is the consequence. 

In taking aim at a target, fix the eye steadfastly 
on the bull's-eye, grasping the rifle firmly luith the 
left hand " well forward," (according to its balance,) 
the butt being pressed home into the hollow of the 
shoulder ; the right hand, with the exception of the 
forefinger, lightly clasping the small of the stock 
behind the trigger-guard, so as to steady and pre- 
serve the butt in a vertical position ; then, holding 
the breath, place the forefinger well round the trigger, 
feeling it lightly, and raise the muzzle gradually and 
steadily until the fore-sight is seen through the centre 
of the notch of the back-sight covering the centre of 
the bull's-eye, when the motion should be arrested, 
and the trigger simultaneously pressed without the 
slightest jerk, the eye being rigidly fixed on the 
object aimed at, and the whole of the body immobile. 

The great " knack " in rifle-practice is to accustom 
the hand and eye to work together, so that the trigger 
be pressed simultaneously with the object being 
" covered," as it is almost an impossibility to retain 
an aim. 

Care should be taken that the aim is not lost in 
pressing the trigger, which, if the lock is well made, 
should not " pull too strongly." 

After the trigger is pressed — keeping the rifle to 



492 THE HUNTIXG GEOUNDS 

the shoulder — a perfect immobility of body should 
be retained, and the eye kept steadfastly upon the 
object aimed at, and the deflection noted. 

In aligning a rifle at a mark, the position of the 
head with reference to the butt will vary according 
to the range and the elevation required. At short 
distances the shoulder is a little raised and the head 
bent forward, (not sideways,) the cheek resting 
against the small part of the butt, so that the 
object aimed at is seen through the notch in the 
back-sight. At longer ranges, the head must be 
raised and the shoulder lowered ; and at the farthest 
distances, if the stock of the rifle is too much bent, 
the heel of the butt may rest against the breast or 
side instead of the shoulder. As heavy firing in 
this position is inconvenient, it is perhaps better 
in this case to allow for the necessary elevation by 
firing high, or aiming above the object intended to 
be hit, as the recoil is often felt severely when the 
heel of the butt only rests against the shoulder. 

Careless loading is conducive to irregular firing. 
The exact charge of powder that the rifle will burn 
should be correctly ascertained and strictly adhered 
to, for a little more or a little less will cause a 
great vertical deviation in the flight of the bullet. 
Care should be taken to keep the barrel upright 
when pouring in the charge, so that the grains of 
powder may not adhere to the sides of the barrel, 
which would foul and impede the passage of the 
bullet. 



OF THE OLD WOELD. 493 

The bullet should not fit too loosely, nor yet be 
so large as to require hammering, in order to force 
it down, as in the former case it is liable " to strip," 
(or pass out of the barrel without taking the rifling, 
and gaining the spiral motion,) and in the latter 
it will have ragged edges, which will cause it to 
diverge from its true direction in its flight through 
the air. 

In pressing down the bullet, although great care 
should be taken to drive it properly home, much 
force should not be employed, as by ramming and 
jamming with the ramrod the shape of the bullet 
is altered and spoiled, which much affects its true 
flight, and the powder is "mealed" and "caked," 
by which the strength of the charge is much 
diminished, as a certain amount of air is necessary 
to ensure thorough combustion. 

The base of the bullet should rest evenly upon 
the powder, and its axis be in line with that of the 
barrel. 

For fine shooting, care should be taken that there 
is no hidden defect in the bullet, for if any part be 
hollow or imperfect, the centre of gravity will not 
be in the line of the axis, and consequently there 
will be a deviation in its flight. 

I shall now notice the causes of irregular firing, 
over which the rifleman can have no control, but 
which may, to a certain extent, be rendered less 
injurious to " the score," if the following observa- 
tions are carefully attended to : — 



494' THE HUNTING grounds 

First, the witid affects the flight of the bullet to 
a considerable extent in firing at long distances, 
diverting it from its true course, and accelerating 
or retarding its progress according as it blows with 
or against it. When the wind blows from a 
quarter exactly o-pposiie to the direction of the 
bullet, it experiences a greater resistance m its 
flight, and accordingly more elevation should be 
rriven. Should the wind blow exactly from the 
shooter to the target, the resistance will be les^ 
than ordinary, and consequently less elevation than 
ordinary is required. Allowances should be made 
according to the strength of the current of air. If 
the wind blows from the right, aim to the right, as 
the deflection will be to the left, and vice versa if 
from the left. 

If the course of the wind forms an angle to the 
direction of the bullet, aim must be taken, and 
allowances made accordingly. Thus, if the wind 
blows from the right and contrary, the deviation 
will be to the left and loiu : therefore, in order to 
strike the bull's-eye, aim should be taken to the 
right and high; and to the left and high if the 
current of air is contrary, and from the left. 

If the wind blows from the right and rear, on 
aiming direct at the bull's-eye, the deflection of the 
bullet will be to the left and high : therefore, in such 
a case, aim should be taken to the right and low ; or 
to the left and low, if the current of air comes from 
the left and rear. 



OF THE OLD WORLD. 495 

Correct judgment in making the proper allow- 
ances for the efifect of various winds upon the flight 
of the projectile, can only be gained by practice in 
all kinds of weather, but the above hints may assist 
the novice. 

The state of the atmosphere considerably affects 
the range of the bullet. In damp weather, when 
the atmosphere is dense, its resistance to the flight 
of the bullet is increased, and consequently greater 
elevation should be given. In fine clear weather, on 
the contrary, the resistance is less, and the bullet 
7'ises, therefore less elevation is required. Humidity 
in the atmosphere also affects the range of the bullet 
in a different manner, as it has a certain influence 
on ignition of gunpowder, which in damp weather is 
not so rapid as in fine ; therefore, on such days, larger 
charges should be used than in hot summer days. 

The positioJi of the sun is sometimes liable to in- 
fluence the correct aim, as if it shines from the right 
it lightens up the right side of the front-sight, and 
the left side of the notch of the back-sight, throwing 
the left of the front-sight and the right of the back- 
sight into the shade ; therefore, if the firer is not 
careful in aiming properly, the " line of sight " is 
liable to pass from the left of the centre of the notch 
of the back-sight and the I'ight of the front-sight, 
the effect of which would be that the bullet would 
strike to the left, and vice versa if the sun shines 
from the left. Sun-shades are sometimes used to 
obviate this difficulty. 



496 THE HUNTING GKOUNDS 

It must be obvious to all, that the flight of the 
bullet occupies a certain time, and in firing at mov- 
ing objects a certain allowance should be made 
accordingly, and great judgment is required in this 
point when firing at long ranges. For instance, in 
deer-stalking, if a deer is running transversely either 
to the right or left, a sportsman aiming directly at 
the shoulder would most likely either strike the 
hind-quarter or miss by shooting behind, as, in the 
time between the discharge of his rifle and the im- 
pact or striking of the bullet, the quarry would have 
moved forward a certain distance. The following 
hints on this point may aid the novice : — 

In firing at anything moving, it is advisable to 
" cover" the object and allow the muzzle to follow it 
for some distance before pulling the trigger, in 
order to ascertain the velocity of the motion and 
the allowances required to be made. 

If the object is directly approaching the person 
firing, the muzzle of the barrel should be gradually 
lowered, the finger feeling the trigger all the time, 
and aim should be taken low. 

If the object is retiring, the muzzle of the rifle 
should be raised, (more or less according to the dis- 
tance and the velocity of motion of the object,) and 
aim taken high. 

If the object is moving across, either to the right 
or left, aim should be taken well forward, after 
having followed the motion with the object well 
covered for some time. 



OF THE OLD WOULD. 



497 



Should the object be ascending a hill, fire high ; 
if descending, fire low ; if diagonally, in front 

The best colour for the dress of a sportsman is 
gray or brown, being less distinguishable than any 
other. 

The following tables were constructed with great 
care from a series of experiments I made with tar- 
gets of diflPerent coloured cloth, under various cir- 
cumstances and at different distances, in order to 
serve the newly-raised volunteer corps in the selec- 
tion of the most suitable colour for their uniform. 
The figure 1 denotes the most visible, 7 the least so, 
invisible : — 





At Three Hundred Yards. 


At Six Iluudred Yards. 














to 


§ 
















c 














i£ 
















■> 


3^ 












































!*. 












^ 




>, 










o 


.^ 








































Colours. 


3 

o 

a 

a 


a 

■o 
o 
■a 

8 


'9 

3 
2 
o 
>> 

o 


u 

o 


u 
> 


>> 

to 


'3 


o 
ir 


S 


5 
Q 

3 
•a 

o 
o 


■3 
§ 
p 

5 

o 






a 
'3 


'3 


o 

a 
o 

1, 


_c5 




O 


^ 


K 


m 
3 


O 
2 


< 
4 


<! 
5 


< 
4 


o 

4 


— 


5 


3 


o 


3 


< 
5 


< 
4 


O 
5 


Scarlet 


4 


3 


4 


Green (Rifle) 


3 


6 


5 


4 


4 


2 


4 


3 


3 


7 


4 


5 


4 


4 


4 


3 


3 


Blue (Royal) 


2 


4 


4 


3 


5 


3 


3 


2 


2 





3 


4 


6 


4 


3 


•i 


2 


White 


1 


1 


1 





1 


4 


1 


a 


1 


1 


1 


1 


1 





i 


2 


1 


Gray 


1 


6 


7 


7 




ti 


6 


7 


(5 


7 





7 


U 


7 





7 


fi 


Brown (dead 




































leaf) 


V 


7 


7 


t> 


6 


5 


7 


() 


7 








6 





6 





() 


7 









2l 



498 



THE HUNTING GROUNDS, ETC. 







At Three Hinidred Ya«-ds Distant. 






On a Clear Day. 




On 


X Cloudy Day. 




"fen 








































to 
c 






Culour?. 


^ 








.M 












o 








■ 


t>. 






■ 


>-. 








































">> 




■6 




•?, 


a 


t3 


c 


a 


a 


.a 


"5 




P 






02 


^ 


3 


S 


02 


K 


K 


W 


M 


Scarlet 


4 
3 


3 

4 


3 
4 


4 
3 


4 

7 


3 

7 


4 
3 


6 



3 
4 


3 

4 


4 
3 


5 
4 


Green (Rifle) 


Blue (Royal) 


2 


6 


3 


5J 


6 


6 


3 





4 


4 


3 


4 




1 

7 



1 

6 
7 


1 

7 
6 


1 
5 
6 


1 




1 





1 

5 
6 


1 




6 


6 

7 


1 



7 


I 


7 


Gray 


Brown (dead leaf) 





6 



By these tables it will be seen that gray and 
brown are colours that are the least distinguishable 
%t a distance, and consequently the most suitable 
for light troops. 



THE END 



rRINTED BY BALLANTVNE AND COMPANY 
EDINBURGH AND LONDON 



?/dl52 



.,.auB^«iSr 




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