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trained from childhood in forest that are put up for the use of the signs. At last, as we arrived on forest officials while the timber is the crest of a small hill, we saw being selected for felling; but as HIM, not more than 150 yards wood-cutting for the year had not distant, in all his noble propor- yet commenced, it would be empty, tions in the valley beneath. Only and the neighbouring forest quite a momentary glimpse. With a undisturbed. And here let me resnort of contempt he plunged again mark how advisable it is, when in into obscurity, followed by a vain a malarious jungle, to live in a hut, and harmless snap-shot. It was however rude, in preference to a now nearly dark. Afsul said that tent; and if a tent must be used, further chase was useless, as the. that it should be a small thick one, bull was travelling well and strong- instead of the large one of comly,--leaping over the broken down paratively open material generally trees instead of blundering through used in India. them. Reluctantly I made up my Having se my bullock-cart well mind that my first essay had not on its way on an almost undistinbeen a success, and that I had guishable track on the following

I better turn my steps homewards. morning, I started myself with This I did through the darkling Abdul Rahman, the forest ranger, forest, having at any rate the con- to walk by a shorter cut. Nothing soling thought that, in the shik- can be more lovely than an early day arri's opinion, the bull was only in an Indian jungleslightly wounded, and would soon recover.

There pipe anthems of all Probably he had only

the birds, been hit on his massive shoulder, The köil's fluted song, the bulbul's and the bullet had glanced off the hymn, bone.

The morning, morning' of the painted Serious was the council of war

thrush,

The twitter of the sunbirds starting that evening as to the best plan of

forth action for my few available days. To find the honey ere the bees be out, Long and earnest was the consul- The grey crow's caw, the parrot's tation with the trusty Afsul over scream, the strokes a camp-fire, after dinner and a Of the green hammersmith, the myna's

chirp, soothing cigarette had softened

The

finished love-talk of the the bitterness of the day's failure. doves." Should we plunge deeper into the forest from our present quarters To a European—even to the man and look for other bison, which, whose Indian experiences have been the village herdsman said, were confined to cities and cantonments wandering near? Or should we —everything is strange, everything leave our quarters altogether, move has an interest and a charm; and to a hut in a more central position, in the fresh morning air, with the and recommence operations in an cool jungle-grass under foot, a entirely new district? Finally we morning walk is an unmixed pleadecided on the latter, and march- sure. So it is; but may there not ing orders were issued for the fol- be a discordant note of — shall I lowing morning.

say— funk, suddenly thrust into The forest hut that we were to your satisfaction? Or shall I momake for was between five and six dify the feeling into slight nervousmiles off. It was one of the few ness? Abdul Rahman and I were

never

we

strolling along, pleased, mutually ground, a most necessary precaution I trust, with our society, when we for natives as much as for Eurocame to a streamlet crossing our peans from the feverish malaria. path. My friend gave a start, and The fates were against me that his cheery face grew long and seri- afternoon, and it was not till the ous. There at his foot was the next day that I was able again to footmark of a large tiger, only go on the war-path. We started lately pressed into the mud-s0 between six and seven Afsul, lately, that the water all round i: the peon, and myself. As had not had time to ooze into the dived into the forest-path, the impression. A step or two further, night mists were rising slowly, and we came upon more most un- and still hung on the tree tops. mistakable signs of the tiger's re- The long grass, soaked with moiscent presence, and we knew that ture, almost met overhead, and he must then be in the wood within made us carry the rifles with a few yards of us. I began to re- every precaution, to keep them at gret that I had only a walking- least dry, while the rising sun stick instead of a rifle; and Abdul glimmered through the branches, quickened his pace, while glancing and was greeted by the cheery right and left at the thick bush all crow of the jungle-cock. We had round us. However, I believe we a walk of three or four miles, had nothing to fear. I afterwards marking en route many tracks of heard that the tiger was an old ac- chitul, sambur, bison, and elequaintance-almost a confidential phant, but seeing nothing but one friend--of the district, and was small barking deer, who stood probably only lurking near the provokingly close and stared at village in hopes of picking up us, as if he knew that we dared some stray cattle from the village not fire a shot, for fear of disturbherd--a toll which he no doubt ing the mightier game. considered his right. He probably No tracks presented themselves knew the herdsmen by sight, and sufficiently fresh to tempt a purwas not foolish enough to jeopar- suit. After much devious search, dise his character for harmlessness we entered a little glade, where by eating man—even an unwary lay, half-buried by vegetation, an stranger in the land—as long as old rotten moss-grown trunk, an bullocks were plentiful.

overthrown tree, which had once We arrived at the forest lodge, towered among the giants of the a mud hut of one room, in the forest. Afsul's professional eye middle of a small clearing. A detected a solitary bee, issuing from swampy stream trickled past with- a crevice to meet the warmth of in a few yards, and fed a clear the now glowing sun, and suddenly burn that sparkled through the plunging his arm up to the shoulder trees on the edge of the woodland. into the recesses of the trunk, he Everywhere the ground was stamped pulled out a large handful of honeywith the great tread of the wild comb, cooly brushing off a dozen elephants which had passed and bees, that stuck to him, and which repassed the clearing, careless of seemed either to have forgotten to occasional human visitors. The sting or to find the skin of the hut itself, with its two or three honey-collector proof against their subsidiary sheds, was built with weapons. While he was muncbthe floor raised three feet off the ing his comb and marking the

a

store with a view to a future visit, bull (a wantaga” in the jungle the peon and I passed ahead. dialect), with horns ringed at the There was a slight noise in the base from age, and battered and jungle, a little gentle crackle of chipped at the points from fighting. branches. Afsul sprang from be. He was measured carefully on the hind, clutched me by, the shoulder, spot, by pulling his fore legs out and, with a face full of excitement, straight and placing a stake in the hissed out “ Koolga !We moved ground at his feet and another at stealthily on, Afsul parting the his shoulder, and passing a string branches carefully to get a clearer fairly between them clear of his view. A vast form showed indis- body. He measured just 6 feet tinctly through the trees. The in height, and from the point of peon whispered Anay" (elephant). the nose to the tip of the tail, But there was a sudden snort and ft. 6 inches. a half whistling low, which could So much exertion deserved reonly come from a bison. Afsul freshment, which I took in biscuits dashed forward from one cover to and cold tea, just tempered from another, dragging me with him. my pocket-flask, while my attendWe saw the great beast moving ants squatted aside contentedly slowly towards us, half hidden by and chewed betel. I offered them the trees and bamboos. I tried to each a dram, but Afsul, the Mussulmove to one side, as Afsul was man, declined, while the Hindoo rather in my way, when the bison peon took his down with the smack turned to make off. I took a of satisfaction of a Highland gillie. fairly careful shot, and (as we At length we roused ourselves, afterwards found) hit him behind marked where our bison lay, and the elbow. He moved on, how- struck off in an untried direction, ever, and we followed warily, after to see if the afternoon would emuI had reloaded. About 300 yards late the morning's good fortune. further on, we could just see him We descended to a lower level, and standing in the middle of thick got into yet thicker and darker jungle, and I fired both barrels jungle than we had hitherto tradeliberately where his great side versed. I made my first acquaintloomed through the branches. This ance with the jungle-leech. I was finished him, and we heard the aware of a small thread-like being, crash as of the fall of a tower. which had dropped from a leaf and “ Profundit humi bos." Afsul was wriggling on the sleeve of my clutched my hunting-knife, dropped coat, vainly struggling to make his blanket and headgear, rushed at way through the strong linenthe mighty fallen, sprang upon the another on my wrist, which was heaving side, and seizing a horn, pushed off with difficulty, leaving plunged the knife in his throat. a drop of blood behind. This was What a moment of satisfaction ! most discomposing.

I was preand yet not altogether unalloyed. pared for the bison's charge and Who could look at the corpse of for any of the other legitimate the gallant slain without some chances of shikar, but I was not feeling of remorse, however slight prepared for the attacks of these and feeting, and regret that he insinuating miscreants. There is would roam his forest solitudes, something more than disagreeable his home for many long years, no in the abiding thought of tiny more. He was a grand solitary bloodsuckers, and fancied ticklings

all over my body introduced the The chucklers of the nearest "amari aliquid" into the excite- village were sent for, and desment and pleasure of the sport. patched into the jungles to secure

It would be tedious again to de- the trophies of the chase. These scribe the search for fresh tracks, are nien of the lowest caste, who the long and exciting stalk, and have none of the scruples about the final knowledge that the game working with any dead animals, was almost within reach ; but clean or unclean, skinning them now the density of the jungle was and preparing leather, which are against us, and an unlucky bam- common among most Hindoos. boo, hidden in the long grass, gave The shikarri was with me, and a warning crack, not, I am glad to therefore could not assist, but say, under my foot, but that of the eight stout and most hideous men, careful Afsul, and the small herd almost quite black, and wearing a of three beasts that we were fol- minimum of clothing, under the lowing bolted just as we caught a guidance of the peon, brought in glimpse of them. I fired, however, my bull's head in triumph, skinned at a young bull on chance, and it artistically, and prepared it for when we followed to the spot the final manipulation of the great where they had been sheltering, Mr Ward. we found blood. Then came a two I could describe two more days hours' chase, with all its varied of the most thrilling and delightagitation and alternations of hopeful sport, but in bison-stalking, as and fear. On we went and still in everything else, history repeats on, and, though I could not help itself. Bison are not monarchs, seeing that the shikarris showed whose destinies thrill the world, less and less confidence, my spirits nor are shikarris statesmen and were kept up by the constant large generals, whose powers of speech drops of blood which I could see and onliness can be discussed by adon my track. At last the trackers miring thousands; so I spare the threw up their heads, like hounds details of pursuit, triumph, and at fault, declared that the bison failure. I may say that the bull's was only slightly wounded, and head did not travel to the station that further pursuit was useless. alone, and that I left the reputa

I was confounded. Whence tion in the forest of being a lucky were the blood tracks which I had sahib. How important that repumarked so confidently and with tion is to those who intend to such satisfaction ? Alas ! I saw tread the same paths, and employ the men picking the wretched the same shikarris again, all old leeches from their bare legs, and I sportsmen will know. knew that it was the blood which One word before losing the atten. dropped from them, as they pre- tion of the reader, if I have kept ceded me, which had stained the it so far, on the supposed dangers jungle-grass and wofully deceived. of jungle life, which I have heard The sun was sinking, and there many expatiate upon. No doubt were five miles to cover before we there are deadly snakes in the could reach the hut. So ended forest; but I never heard of any of the sport of a day to be marked the jungle men being bitten, and I with a white stone—the day of my myself have only once seen one, first bison, and that a big solitary upon which I narrowly escaped bull.

treading in the ardour of a stalk.

Poor chap! he was in a greater funk this respect. But with reasonable of me than I was of him, and his precautions, the danger is reduced beautifully ringed form disappeared to a minimum. The hunter who in flight at once. I have never is in fair health to begin with, lives suffered from anything more deadly well and temperately, takes care than my enemies the leeches, and after a day's work to put on dry to find your stockings full of blood clothes at once, and sleeps in as at the end of a day's work is the comfortable a bed and in as good worst evil they can inflict upon a shelter as possible, has little to you.

fear. I have always taken a daily No doubt bison will charge ration of quinine as prophylactic. sometimes, but the hunter who is It may be a good thing to do, and careful, after he has fired, to reload as I have never had jungle fever, before moving, may move with con- I suppose I ought to say that it is fidence. If a bull does show fight, a good thing. a steady shot, even if it does not Let me finish by making use of hit him in a vital place, will always the oft-quoted words of the immorfloor him, or at any rate turn him tal Jorrocks, and say that I have from his attack.

found that stalking the bison is The bugbear of fever is much "the sport of kings, the image of overestimated. Of course, no one war without its guilt, and only can suppose that a damp forest in five-and-twenty per cent of its a tropical country is wholesome in danger."

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