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passed away. I turned my mattress, got dry clothes out of a box, and slept pretty well till morning.

We next encamped at Injala, where tigers were reported to be ; but this was a mistake. There was no regular jungle, but an immensely thick cover of date trees, about a mile long by half a mile wide, and in this was a family of panthers. In this cover the natives would not, or could not, beat, and, though I got the elephants into it, they could scarcely move along. The panthers were there, and I saw for a moment one pass close to my elephant's feet, but I had no time to fire; its spotted coat showed bright among the dark green date leaves for half a second, and was gone.

At this place I heard a number of “ mainas” (the Indian starling) making a great noise in a tree, and, going up to it, saw a snake creeping into a hole in one of the branches. I shot his tail off, and he drew in what remained of himself with a jerk. I do not suppose that he ever agitated the mainas any more! After this I shot nothing more, except a neilghye and an antelope on my way back to Kamptee, where I arrived on the 2nd of May, only to pack up for Bombay and England.

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CHAPTER XI.

The Man-eater of the Pench Villages.-Ambush of Shikarries and Death of Man-eater.-Seeonee Man-eater.-Gun-bearer killed.--Man-eater's Death.-Khyraghur Tiger kills a Dogboy, and is shot.-Doings of the Dhawa Leopard.-The Natchingaum Panther.-An Idiot killed.-Panther trapped. -Woman seized by a Hyæna.-Boy eaten by Pariah Dogs. -Boy killed by a Python.-Statistics of Wild Animals in Central Provinces.-Deaths by Snake-bite.-A Pack of Panthers.

URING the time I was at Kamptee I became acquainted with many interesting facts and stories regarding man-eating tigers and panthers. One tiger infested a jungle about fifteen miles from Kamptee, up the river Pench, and destroyed half the population of some small villages. The scared remnants of the unhappy villagers at last deserted their homes, and sent for shikarries to destroy the dreadful beast. The story went that this tiger would walk up to a village in broad daylight, enter house after house where doors were open, and, if the houses were deserted and he found no game, would break all the earthen cooking-pots, and return, grumbling fiercely, to the jungles. The band of shikarries, three or four in number, perched themselves, well buried in the thatch, on the roofs of some of the highest houses in one of the deserted villages, and for several weary

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days watched in vain for the arrival of the maneater.

At last their perseverance was rewarded. One evening, just as the last rays of the setting sun threw their gleam on the neglected fields and gardens of the silent village, the tiger made his appearance, thin and mangy as a man-eater should be. On he came, looking hungrily around, and staring suspiciously at any bush or cover which might hide a man. One hut after another did he enter, and the smashing within earthen pots and pans betokened his disappointmer At last he came opposite the taller house of the he man of the village. A sharp report, and yet anothe and another, from the hiding-places in the roof, an the outwitted man-eater fell over and gasped his last in fury as he saw the exulting shikarries emerge from the loosened thatch. The usual reward for destruction of a man-eater, viz. one hundred rupees, was paid to the successful shikarries; and very royally did they and their friends celebrate the occasion in a grand drinking bout when they touched the tiger's blood-money!

A friend of mine, a first-rate sportsman and tigerslayer, was so fortunate as to kill two infamous maneating tigers while he was stationed in the Central Provinces. One of these had for a long time infested a jungly tract near Seeonee. My friend was shooting in the neighbourhood, and had, of course, heard of the presence of the destructive brute. One morning, as he was out in the jungle, with his gun-bearer with spare gun behind him, and was walking quietly down the bank of a very tigerish nullah, a sudden rush, and a despairing cry from the native, startled him, and he turned round, only to see the tiger leap into the deep

KHYRAGHUR MAN-EATER.

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nullah, with the gun-bearer in his jaws. He fired instantly and wounded the tiger, which thereupon left the unfortunate man and retreated into the depth of the jungle. The victim's chest was crushed in, and he lay a corpse in the nullah. The sportsman returned to camp for his elephant, and followed up and killed the tiger.

The other adventure was as follows :

He, with a companion, was returning to Kamptee from a successful shooting excursion into the heavy jungles north-east of Nagpore, and, somewhere near Khyraghur, passed through a tract of country where a tiger was known to have become a confirmed maneater, and to have killed a great many people; they therefore marched in a body, with their followers and their one elephant, which was a timid and unreliable animal, and they arrived, quite late in the morning, at a nullah which was crossed by the road they were travelling on. The sportsmen, on ponyback, descended into the nullah, and with their syces (native grooms) mounted the opposite bank; their other followers, among whom was a dog-boy, passed down into the nullah after them.

Just as they had mounted the bank, and several of their men were in the nullah, a terrified shout of the natives caused them to turn round, and they saw a tiger in the midst of the party, with the dog-boy in his jaws, with whom he sprang, like a streak of yellow light, into the high grass which fringed the nullah. One of the men who was carrying a loaded gun

fired it off, and in a few seconds the dog-boy staggered back, vainly trying to speak, for the tiger had torn his throat open, and he fell and died in a few minutes.

The elephant, which was only a short distance behind, laden with their tent and other baggage, now came up; the load was quickly lifted off, and they mounted on the pad, having no howdah. The tiger was traced into a thick patch of grass and bushes, and they put the elephant into the cover. They found the tiger and wounded it directly it moved ; but at its consequent roar and rush the cowardly elephant turned tail, and was with great difficulty brought up again to where the tiger lay growling. The tiger charged out, and their demoralised elephant again bolted, with a fine scratch on her hind leg to hasten her movements. This attack and retreat was repeated several times, with sometimes a hit, but more often a miss. The elephant grew more and more unruly, and more difficult each time to bring up to the scratch. At last a more fortunate bullet-from which of their two guns was doubtful—laid the enemy low, and the dog-boy's murder, and those of some scores of harmless villagers and travellers, were avenged.

Nor were man-eating panthers and leopards less numerous and destructive in the Nagpore Province. One leopard, described as being but a small beast of its kind, infested a tract of country about forty miles south of the city of Nagpore for more than two years, and was known to have destroyed over a hundred women and children. The villages in general are situated close to watercourses, which are fringed with bushes and high grass; very often, also, patches of thick jungle extend close up to a village ; or the village itself may be built on the skirt of a rocky, jungly hill, for the sake of a dry and well-raised site. In either case there is good cover for maraud

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