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in the hollows between these slopes, in which were swamps here and there; also small water-courses, dry except in actual rainy weather. On the tanks, and in the swamps and rice-fields, were water-fowl of all kinds, and equally numerous waders, snipe, &c. On the dry moorlands were hyænas and wolves, and innumerable antelope; also hares, partridge, rock-pigeon (sand-grouse), and quail of many species; also a few floriken. The snipe came in early; usually one or two were shot in the latter days of August, and in the middle of September fair bags might be made. It appears to me, on long observation, that snipe do not now come in so early as they did forty years ago. The fact is that they are more bullied, and are not so numerous as they were. The duck, of all kinds, come about a month later.


At a village, by name Beemarum, about a mile south of Samulcottah, is a large piece of water, which held great numbers of duck and teal; and on the marshy borders of which cranes, storks, &c. &c., and also snipe, were plentiful. On this tank we maintained a very crazy old boat, which we cobbled up, from time to time, in a rough way, but which was very nearly the means of putting an end to myself and three others, who were sailing in her, one fine morning. A plank worked loose, and the water rose over our feet in the boat, and we had only just time to get into shallow water, when she foundered under us, and left us, nearly up to our necks, to make the best of our way to land. On this tank a native used to set snares for cranes, &c., and I once watched his proceedings. He pegged nooses across and across in swampy places, so arranged as just to take the legs of the wading birds; and during the hour, or more,

that I watched his manoeuvres, he caught a spoonbill, an ibis, and two white egrets.

Once, while snipe shooting, I saw four wolves walking along the narrow "bunds," i.e. the bankedup paths between the irrigated rice-fields: they were busily engaged in catching and eating the little crabs which abound on all wet land in India. Antelope, also, frequented the large plain between Beemarum and the sea; and I made a most remarkably lucky, though not very creditable, shot at them. I fired at a doe antelope, which was standing within easy range, perhaps eighty yards, of me; missed her clean, and killed a fine black buck which was grazing about a hundred yards farther away! The ball, no doubt, went over the doe's back, and ricochetted; and, the buck's "luck being bad," as the natives would say, it plugged him in the ribs; and, to my delight and astonishment, he fell over, dead! I did a very griffinish thing while sitting in our boat on Beemarum tank. Wishing to fire off my gun at the end of our day's shooting, I fired it off my knee: the gun, held loosely, kicked like fury. I thought my knee-cap was broken, the pain was so intense; and I became quite faint for a few minutes. I need hardly say that I never again fired a gun from my knee!

Another, and ugly, accident happened to me at Samulcottah. I was walking along the bottom, and on the land side, of the high embankment of a tank; and a brother sub., seeking what he might shoot, was walking on the top of the bank, just over me. A snake scurried down between us; and, as my friend lifted his gun, I saw down the muzzle, and shouted "Don't fire"; but he did! Luckily, he shot lower than his first aim; but he put thirteen small shot

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into my legs and thighs, and I had to get the Doctor of the regiment to pick out the shot when I returned to my house. My friend was in a considerable fright. On receiving the shot, I sat down, pulled off my trousers and investigated the injury, swearing at him the while; and he threw down his gun, and declared that he would never again take one up; but he did not keep this resolution very long, as may be imagined.

There is a village, Rajahnagrum, and a travellers' bungalow, about twenty miles south of Samulcottah, on the high road to Rajahmundry heavy jungle surrounds this village; and we used, now and then, to make up parties whenever we heard that there was a panther roaming about the jungle. On one occasion, when we sat, at night, in pits dug on the border of the village tank, we killed two jackals which came sneaking up in the moonlight to the kid which we had picketed for the panther. One evening, while sitting after mess, we received news of a panther said to be near a little road-side tank, about ten miles out of cantonment on the same road; and three subs., myself included, got leave from our Colonel, and rode out, arriving at the tank at about 11 o'clock. As we had nothing and nobody with us, except our guns, our horses, and their attendants, we had to bivouac on the grassy border of the tank, with our saddles for pillows; and, it being a dry, warm night, we slept very comfortably in our clothes.

Next morning, just as it was getting light, we saw a hyæna shambling along close to us, but he was out of sight before we could get a shot at him. The day advanced, no signs of servants or coolies on their way, though our friends in cantonment had faithfully promised to see to their timely despatch; so

we sent a syce to forage in a neighbouring village, and he returned with a bundle of fire-wood, three dozen eggs, and two earthen cooking-vessels, usually, in India, called "chatties." We soon had the eggs boiled hard, and as my camp cot, with the usual brass basin strapped on it, just then came up, we had the hard eggs served up in the basin, and enjoyed this very "one horse breakfast exceedingly. I rather fear that I ate more than my share of hard eggs on this occasion! Soon afterwards our full equipage, tents, &c. came up.


We stayed two days in this place, and saw the fresh marks of the panther, but not the panther itself. We had holes dug on the margin of the tank, and sat patiently in them till midnight, but saw nothing except night-birds, stalking and flitting over the yellow water. One of our party was a nervous individual, and had great ideas of the number and ferocity of all noxious animals and insects appertaining to India; so, after we had relinquished all hope of the panther, we captured an immense toad, and took it very quietly to where our friend was sitting, with his gun before him, and his head bent forwards on his knees, and we dropped the toad on his neck. I suppose that he was half asleep, for he jumped up with a frightful yell, and shouted for help for full five minutes. I also, afterwards, got a sort of scare, or, more correctly, was taken in, at this place. Passing with my gun over a field of young grain, I saw, about a half gun-shot off, what appeared to be the hooded neck and minacious head of a cobra standing up among the grain. To aim, and put a charge of small shot into it, was the work of a moment; but there the cobra stood, threatening as before. This was



strange. I am not such a very bad shot, and, when I advanced to within five or six paces of it, I saw that it was an admirably carved and painted image of a cobra in wood. No doubt it was stuck there by the "ryot," for the purpose of averting the evil eye from his flourishing crop. It certainly did entice my eye from his grain; but he had the trouble of carving another snake, for I carried this presentment of a cobra away with me as a curiosity.

Soon after this little excursion, a shocking accident happened at a parade of the regiment. We were at regimental exercise, with twenty rounds of blank cartridge. The regiment was armed in those days with flint-and-steel muskets: we did not get percussion arms until about four years afterwards. After several manœuvres, and firing off fifteen of the twenty rounds of ammunition, the Colonel took us back to the place of arms by a wide road which, running between two hedges, led from the large parade-ground to the barrack-square. On entering this road, we were faced to our proper front by the Colonel, and then he ordered "street firing and retiring." We were then "left in front," the movement having been a retirement led by the grenadiers, rear rank in front. My company, the light, delivered its fire and retired, in half companies, round both flanks of the halted column, to its rear, where we reformed and faced. Each of the other companies in succession delivered fire, and did as we had done, and formed in our rear. At last it came to the turn of the grenadiers. They fired their volley. I was on the right of the light company, and saw the grenadiers fire and then break up near the centre.or the company, as if a shell had burst among I re

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