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cavalry, brattled up, and for a minute or two the rain came down in torrents, to pass on, and be succeeded by other storm-clouds of the like kind.
On my return journey from Beypore, I took a different route after passing Paulghaut, and travelled via the Walliaur jungle and Coimbatore. The Walliaur jungle is a famous one, and was once one of the best for game in Southern India. Now, the railway has been driven right through it, and its glories as a sure find for elephant, bison, &c. have departed. In the year of my visit to it, there were ominous embankments and miserable clearings of jungle going on; but as yet there were many animals in the depths of the lonely forest. The elephant and bison had departed, retiring shyly from before the clang and crash of the odious axe; but bears, hog, and spotted deer still remained.
Some years before I saw this jungle, a very serious accident happened to a party of sportsmen who were sitting up at night for game in the forest. Three of them had built a platform up in a tree, and, while they were sitting on it, a furious storm came on. The platform was blown to pieces by a fierce gust of wind, and the whole party, guns and all, came with a crash to the ground: one of them, afterwards a most distinguished officer in the Punjaub Field Force, was desperately wounded by the discharge of one of the falling guns. The story is that all the guns exploded in falling certain it is that this sportsman was shot through the upper part of his arm, and that half the thickness of the arm-bone was smashed. The surgeons declared for extraction at the shoulder joint as the only chance of saving his life; but he stood out against their dictum, and prevailed. He made a won
derful recovery; and when I saw him, many years afterwards, he had a fairly serviceable arm (I think it was the right arm), though there was a scar of great size, and an absence of muscle on the upper part of the limb.
We halted here for two days, in the little bungalow pleasantly situated on the verge of the jungle. On the first morning I lost a bear through carelessness; that is, I lost a good chance of shooting him. We were sitting on a bare rock in the jungle; and I was examining with my binocular some caves on a hill close by. My people, i.e. the Paddy Bird and two or three" Mulchas" (Unclean), as the Hindoos have considerately named the aboriginal tribe which inhabits this district, were, of course, staring at me and my glasses instead of keeping a proper look-out. Imagine my surprise when, on turning my binocular in order to inspect another clump of rocks very near our own position, I saw a bear where no bear should be! He quietly walked into the field of the binocular and stood!
To throw down the glasses and seize a rifle was the work of half a second, but Bruin was even more prompt; and, although I fired as he was disappearing down-hill, the bullet glanced idly from a boulder just under his retreating tail. We then tried to turn a tiger out of a cave, at the mouth of which his fresh footmarks indented the brown sand; but we entirely failed: come out he would not, though all means, rockets, pistol-shots, and blazing bonfires at each crevice of the rocks, were used.
On our way back I wounded a large hog, and it was wonderfully well tracked by the Mulchas for about two miles the "unclean" men were far too much
for the unclean beast! and took me up to the bush in which, at last, he had lain down. It was done in excellent style. They took me pretty close to the bush, and then, with a wave of the hand as much as to say "We have done our part, now do yours," they retired behind me, and then heaved a great stone at the bush. Out rushed the hog, with deprecatory yet angry grunts: the next moment he rolled lifeless on the ground. The following morning we saw nothing, and resumed our journey, the last sixty miles of which were in basket-boats down the river Cauvery.
Having been appointed Assistant QuartermasterGeneral of the Nagpore Force, I left Trichinopoly for Kamptee, via Madras, on the 15th December 1857. As I had become a Benedict soon after my return from Beypore, we had to journey in a style very different from that to which I, as a bachelor, had been accustomed. We travelled to Madras with bullock relays roped to our own carriage; thence we embarked, with servants, horse, and also a palanquin and set of bearers, in a steamer for Masulipatam, from which port we made our land journey of about five hundred and thirty miles to Kamptee. The voyage was pleasant, and over what proved, though in December, a summer sea. The only drawback to the enjoyment of the voyage was that the steamer was infested by an army of bugs! They swarmed in every berth, and their scaly remains, as also the living horrors themselves, were visible in every crack and crevice.
Our journey from Masulipatam to Secunderabad was without incident. I rode, morning after morning, alongside the palanquin, and we generally reached the bungalow, at the end of a stage of from twelve
BEARS AT PERICAIT.
to twenty miles, at about 8 a.m. At Secunderabad we halted two days: the Nizam's country, never absolutely safe at the best of times, was now still less so, owing to the mutinies which were still smouldering in Upper India: so I obtained from the British Resident an escort of irregular (very irregular) horsemen to see us safely through His Highness's dominions. We were a march or two in rear of a troop of horse artillery, which was pressing on to Central India to aid in coercing the turbulent tribes of Bundlecund and Rewah.
At a stage, by name Pericait, the Quartermaster of the troop, arriving very early in the morning to lay out the camp, found seven bears in quiet occupation of the ground! When, two days afterwards, we arrived at Pericait, I noticed the very bearish look of the country. The hills are mere heaps of basaltic rocks, standing on a wide plain filled with broad patches of jungle amid cultivation, and with thick date groves fringing the stony water-courses. Here, and near this, it is that a renowned Madras sportsman, the late Colonel Nightingale, speared, from one favourite horse, nearly twenty bears soon after the time of which I am writing. We heard nothing of these bears we did not arrive till the sun was high in the heavens, after a journey of about eighteen miles; and I made no inquiries for large game. Near Pericait is a large town and fort, by name Awmroor; and I was much amused, though not edified, when we passed within sight of it, to hear the rough troopers chuckling and calling to mind the incidents. of a raid upon the town which they were present at some years before. Why this raid was ordered by the Nizam I do not know; but my escort were relating,
with great glee, the "loot" they had made and the enormities they had committed on the occasion! and licked their lips at the reminiscence. Soon after this we crossed the Godavery river, and I rode across it in a foot deep, or little more, of water.
At the northern point of the Nizam's territories we dismissed our escort. As it was necessary to give each man a present, and also very necessary not to offend their gentlemanly feelings for the ruffians, being cavalry-men, and owners of the miserable. "screws" on which they were mounted, considered themselves to be perfect gentlemen-I had to request each of them to visit me in my tent, one after the other, without any witnesses; and there, in a low voice, I lamented that, being in the jungles, I could obtain no articles of dress worthy of the Gentleman sitting with me to enable him to keep me in remembrance; but (suiting the action to the word, and insinuating five rupees into his not unwilling hand) "would he accept this, and, on arrival at a decent bazaar, buy a kerchief, or something of the kind, for my sake"-and so we had a most friendly parting. My shikarry was outside, and perfectly cognizant of what was going on; and, after the last of the four warriors had departed, I asked him whether they seemed pleased. "Pleased!" said he. "Yes; they will all be drunk to-night!" The Paddy Bird is, I am sorry to say, a great hand himself at drinking, as all shikarries are, and his tone was somewhat tinged with envy.
From this point we had a prosperous journey to Kamptee, our home for the next six years, mine for a year longer. Kamptee is a fine cantonment; and, though we had heard very bad accounts of it, I grew