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were in the bheer on the opposite bank, a bullock and two buffaloes were picketed in the river-bed, among rocks and tamarisk bushes. Early next morning the people came and told me that the bullock had been killed, and dragged into a creek on the river-side. After breakfast we set out with two elephants, one with a howdah, on which I rode, and one with a pad only, and about thirty beaters; several of the beaters were posted on trees overlooking the river-bank and grass jungle, and we went up the stream to the very end of the bheer, and commenced to beat the heavy fringe of jungle which clung along the riverside. Vultures were sitting on the trees, and we soon came to the half-eaten carcase, and passed on. As the vultures had not ventured down, we well knew that the carcase was watched by something which the foul birds did not care to come near; and, after going on a little way, a leopard ran out of the tall grass and made for the river. I fired, and he rolled over, gasping, and throwing his tail in the air. He was mortally hit in the shoulder. I gave him another ball to "make sicker," and went on again. Scarcely had we commenced to move on, when the people in the trees said that another leopard was on foot; and, immediately afterwards, a great shout arose that the tiger had broken ground; the people on the trees signalled the course that the tiger was taking, and both elephants were put to their best pace. We could not see puss, but she (for it was a tigress) doubled backwards and forwards ahead of us; and, at last, the look-outs pointed to a strip of rather high grass in the middle of the bheer, where she had squatted. I made the mahout drive his elephant up close, not very much to his liking, and presently we saw what



looked like a patch of dead leaves among the yellow grass, which, though high, was not thick. This patch-like object was the head of the tigress, and its variegated colouring was exactly like that of the dry herbage of the jungle. She was crouched, facing us, with her head between her fore-paws, and I expected every moment that she would charge. I did not give her much time to make up her mind; for, the moment I made her out, I gave the word "dutt" (stop!) to the mahout, and fired. The tigress barely moved. I was not certain at first, and in the smoke, what had become of her; but then I saw the tail twirl, and knew by that that she was in extremity. Moving the elephant a little forward, I was delighted to see the stripes lying at full length on the trampled grass. It was a very large and handsome tigress, and did not utter a sound; the bullet had gone in from above, between the neck and shoulder, killing her stone dead. She evidently had no cubs. No doubt the villagers had seen the pugs of the leopard mingled with those of the tigress, and, not being careful observers, had come to the conclusion that they were the footprints of tiger cubs.

At one

We now kept on with the beat, in hopes of getting the other leopard; but the beast, though glimpses of him were occasionally obtained by people up in trees, kept in the very thickest cover, through which the elephants could scarcely force their way. part of the beat, I was, on the elephant, close to the river, and the leopard was in a mass of thorny creepers within three yards of me. One of the beaters stooped down to look under the creepers : this the leopard regarded as an unpardonable insult; and, in a moment, with an angry double grunt,

rushed out, and upset the old man, leaving the marks of its claws on his chest and shoulders. The leopard bolted back into the cover before I could even raise my gun. We drove him thus from bush to bush; but I could never see him, as he kept along the river-bank, which was densely overgrown with luxuriant jungle and herbage. At last we traced him, by his footmarks, into a den, hollowed in the bank, which appeared to be that of a hyena, and which was burrowed, with half-a-dozen entrances, on the shelving ground. Here we had to give it up, and we returned to the place where the tigress was lying. We placed her on the little pad elephant, and then the leopard, which I had first shot, was picked up. It was a small male, and two men carried it on a pole, and we got back quite early in the afternoon, well satisfied with the day's sport.

From Chankee Copra we went to Seldoo, and I shot a barking-deer there, on a hill; and from that hill saw a congregation of vultures in the low jungle, evidently engaged upon interesting business. On going to the spot, we found the remains of a doe sambur, which had been killed by a tiger; and we saw the tiger's footmarks up and down a sandy nullah close by. We beat a portion of the thick jungle, but without seeing anything. I shot nothing more during this excursion, except another barking deer, a neilghye, and some pea-fowl; also a hare, which I shot, by moonlight, from my tent-door. On returning to Kamptee, I had the tiger and leopard skins tanned; but Indian tanners usually spoil skins given over to them, and these were no exception to the rule. By far the best way is simply to dry the skins, and rub in wood-ashes, and arsenical soap if


procurable; and so, to send them to a furrier in England.

The leopard which I shot was a very handsome animal; dark in colour, but beautifully marked. There are two distinct species in India; the large yellow one, which should always be named as a panther, and which can, with ease, knock over and kill a bullock, and which is nearly as big as a tigress, though much lighter in build; and the small dark one, or leopard, such as I had just shot at Chankee Copra, which, though powerful, and abominably vicious, is not a third, or, at most, a half of the size and weight of the panther, and lives on goats, and village dogs when it can get them, and also upon the small game animals of the jungle.

My shikarry told me a story which shows the fierceness of these spotted cats. A native shikarry sat up, one moonlight night, in a small thick tree close to a tank. A leopard came to drink, and the man fired at it with a percussion gun and missed, and the leopard disappeared. The next night the shikarry sat up again; but, "his fortune being good" (as my man observed), he did not sit in that tree, but chose one which was a few yards away from it. The leopard came again, and the man essayed to shoot it; but the cap "snicked," and the gun did not go off. Immediately upon hearing the crack of the cap, the leopard made a bound, climbed up into the tree whence the shikarry had fired the night before, and tore the smaller branches in pieces, roaring furiously all the time, and evidently searching for the enemy who had so unwarrantably upset his nerves the night before. Clearly, the beast connected the noise of the snicking cap with the former gun-shot; and the shikarry was


fortunate not to have sat up in the same tree two nights running.

About this time there was a tame panther, nearly full grown, at Kamptee, belonging to an officer who kept it usually chained up. Sometimes, however, being an amiable and good-dispositioned pet to all appearance, it was indulged with a run; but one day, when thus let out, it was seen carefully stalking a small child which was playing at its master's stable, and which, if not seen in time, it would certainly have made a prey of. After this it was never purposely let loose; but it did once get away, chain and all, and promptly sprang upon a calf which came in its way, and strangled it. After this it was ordered out of cantonments.

To these remarks upon "panthers" and "leopards," I need scarcely add that the third large spotted animal of prey in India, known as the "cheetah," "hunting cheetah," or "hunting leopard," is not a true cat at all, having no retractile claws, but paws with toes and claws like those of a dog. The best way of distinguishing it from the true spotted cats is to appropriate the name "cheetah" to its sole and exclusive use.

I was not allowed to remain quiet at Kamptee after this expedition, for, on the 12th May, I started for Moothoor, having been ordered to meet Mr. Temple, the Chief Commissioner, there. The party, comprising five or six civil officers and myself, started from Chindwarra with relays of posted horses, and arrived at Moothoor in about four hours, allowing a halt, for tea, half-way. Mr. Temple was a stark rider, of iron constitution and endurance; and some of the older and less active members of the Central

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