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though year by year in fast lessening numbers. Chindwarra stands about a thousand feet higher than Kamptee, an elevation which gives it a great advantage in point of climate. Hot winds are not known in the intensity with which they sweep over the glowing plains of the low-country; and the nights, even in the hot season, are comparatively cool and pleasant.
From Chindwarra we rode to Moothoor, mostly over a rugged and jungly country. At the foot of the mountain we encamped at the burnt and ruined village of Jamboye, where, a year or two before, the famous and clever rebel Tantia Topee made a raid, and hanged up all the considerable people of the village to their own roof-trees.
At Jamboye commenced the ascent of the Moothoor mountain, the height of which above the sea is about 3,400 feet. As Kamptee is about 1,100 feet, and Chindwarra about 1,000 feet, perhaps, higher than Kamptee, the climb from Jamboye to the Moothoor plateau cannot be more at most than 1,400 feet. There is also a small rise, probably, from Chindwarra to Jamboye.
On the ascent we heard on all sides the familiar voice of the cuckoo; but there was no other special indication that we were gaining a cooler climate. The trees and flowers were the same with those of the plains. There was, however, one remarkable addition to the insects usually met with in the low-country, i.e. a curious kind of aphis, which infests the shrubs in great quantities. It is about half an inch in length, in colour snow white, is covered with a white powder or pollen-like substance, and has a most absurd tail of white filaments, mostly forked at the top, and
spread out like a turkey-cock's train! It hung in clusters on the upright stems, and covered the lower branches with a saccharine excretion which exactly resembled white wax. On looking it out afterwards I discovered it under the fine name Flata limbata.
The ascent of the mountain was at first very steep, but afterwards the road went both up and down. We covered about five miles before we reached the village of Moothoor. From this village we proceeded about two miles along the table-land before we reached the narrow valley which had been proposed for a sanatarium. The view from Moothoor northward is very fine. The north side of the mountain being precipitous, the eye is at once carried over a valley about eight miles in width and nearly two thousand feet deep, and covered with forest, to the great Mahadeo range which faces Moothoor. The Mahadeo, otherwise known as the Puchmurree mountains, are about the same height as Moothoor. On their south side they present one almost unbroken line of sandstone cliff, apparently over 1,000 feet in perpendicular height, based on a shelving mass of débris piled up against the cliffs. Toilsome and painful access to the park-like plateau is gained by one or two narrow gorges, which at wide intervals break the uniform line of cliff. The forms of the peaks which stand out here and there from the flat-topped mass of mountain are exceedingly rugged. High above the rest tower the twin crowns of the Mahadeo clump. Massive, and rounded at top, they are extraordinarily similar one to the other in size and shape. The Mahadeo cave, which is the object of pilgrimage, is high up on the face of the sandstone cliff. The pilgrims encamp below, on the banks
of the small river Dainwah, which winds through the wild valley.
While at Moothoor we made an excursion to this spot. The descent is very steep, and probably nearly two miles in length. The valley is filled with treejungle, much of it teak and bamboo. We camped on the left bank of the Dainwah under the shade of some large trees. By the aneroid we found this valley to be 1,600 feet above the sea, i.e. something lower than Chindwarra. The track we passed over was disagreeably marked by the numerous remains of pilgrims who had perished, three months before, in the cholera epidemic. We passed great numbers of skulls and bones lying about, and bodies slightly covered with heaps of stones. There were also men's cloths and women's cloths strewn along the paths in great numbers: the smell in some places was horrible. While we were in this camp a "dust storm" came on, with thunder and lightning, followed by hail and sleet: in half an hour it reduced the temperature from 100° to 73°; but this delightful coolness did not last long. After having stayed here two days, we returned to Moothoor, where we remained nearly a month.
There were many bears here, and a good many sambur and barking-deer. We often went out, skirting the north edge of the mountain. This side was scarped in terraces, one under the other, and with occasional breaks and ravines giving access to those below. We could thus see anything which moved on the terrace next below that on which we stood-a great advantage in shikar explorations. One day, a barking-deer jumped out of a bush, and stood within five yards of me, uttering its hoarse cry of alarm,
which is more like the shriek of an angry bear than anything else. I blew it up! and it was much appreciated at our dinner that evening.
On the 26th May I went out at daybreak and watched for a bear. In about a quarter of an hour I heard something moving on the carpet of dry leaves with which at this season the jungle is thickly strewn ; and presently the Paddy Bird, who was perched on a tree just over my head, whispered hoarsely that a bear was coming! I soon saw it, and fired: it roared and fell over for a moment, and then made off down the hill. The shikarry had seen a quarter-grown cub following it through the bushes; but I had not seen this cub. We tracked by the blood, which was so plentiful that we came to no check on the trail for over a mile. At last we came to the bear, moving very slowly and feebly. The cub was with her. I opened fire, and the old one died at the first shot; and the cub was then severely hit, but it got into a den under some rocks, and we had much trouble with it, and all in vain. We could stir it up with a flexible bamboo, and this made it snap and growl; but we could not get it out. The entrance to its den was only just wide enough to admit it, and was round a corner of the solid rock; so the cub would not move for anything we could do. I returned by a different route, along the left bank of the Pench river, and saw a good deal of game here and there—wounding one large bear and bagging another and a spotted deer and arrived at Kamptee after a pleasant excursion which lasted about six weeks. Before quitting the subject, I may note that the Moothoor plateau is strewn with shattered fragments of chalcedony, quartz crystals (both amethystine and pure white), and with
beautifully marked agates. I picked up a large collection of these stones.
There is not much to record for the year 1861. Requiring a change of air for my family, we all went out for a fortnight in January, and roamed about the Seldoo plain, changing camp every few days. At Ajungaum I went out to look for sambur, which are numerous there. Just as day was breaking, and when we had gone about a quarter of a mile from the tents, we heard something moving over the loose stones between us and the hills, and, directly afterwards, we saw two bears waddling along; but they were immediately lost to our view in the high grass and bushes. At the same time, a large herd of hog went off, snorting, and clattering over the stones in front of us. Soon afterwards we entered a long valley between two spurs of the hills, and immediately became aware that animals were moving in the tall grass. We remained quite still at the foot of a tree into which the village shikarry climbed; and he immediately made signs that animals were in sight. Presently I saw a sambur cross a watercourse in front of me it was half hidden in the long grass, and I went quietly towards it. Soon this sambur, and two others which were in the nullah, took the alarm, and all three scrambled up a bank, and stood at about sixty yards' distance. One was a stag. I fired at it; but all three disappeared in the cover. Presently the two does appeared on the side of the hill; but the stag was nowhere to be seen. While we were looking at them we heard a scrambling noise nearer to us, as if an animal were trying to keep its feet; but we did not then go up to it, as we saw, just at that moment, an immense black stag, with very big horns, and a large full ruff of