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DURING my fifteen years in Oudh I enjoyed a fair amount of sport other than that of the Terai. My official duties while I was in that province involved a six months' tour through the twelve districts into which Oudh was divided, and into every portion of them, where there might be an office or distillery to inspect or a jheel to shoot over. Every year I rode and drove a distance of about 3000 miles; and this nomadic life gave me opportunities of visiting all the best shikar country, whatever the distance from my headquarters might be. Unfortunately for me, I could not always ensure being first in the field at every point. It frequently happened that other men, similarly inclined with my self, arrived before me, and got the first and best of the shooting. These rivals sallied forth from every district sudder station, many of them from many quarters, and, single-handed, I could not cope with them in the race; so went the cream of the shooting to them, and the skim to me who followed.

But when fortune was good enough to smile upon me, I made fairly good bags of snipe between November and March while the season lasted. I did not expect to beat that Kanchrapara record of 51 couple: 20 couple satisfied me, and when I reached 30 couple I considered that there was nothing left to wish for immediately in the way of snipe. And very frequently I shared the good things of the jheel with friends who came from Lucknow or elsewhere to join my camp; and a possible big bag for a single gun became a very modest one for three or four.

Fairly good quail-shooting was


to be had in the wheat and grain fields, and in dry grass cover of a certain kind, from December to April; but in this branch of sport the shooter had to compete with the man of nets-the native who caught the birds alive for the quaileries of Anglo-Indians. And one may well pardon the purchasers of these netted fowl; for when in the summer solstice the Anglo-Indian is a close prisoner within the kus-kus tattied walls, and below an ever-swinging punkah; when his eye cannot bear the light of mid-day, and his jaded appetite cannot tolerate the gramfed mutton or gun-bullock beef of his healthier days-the quail, round and tender, served in a vine-leaf wrapper, comes as an appetising delicacy, and saves that man from sheer starvation. The teal or wild duck, similarly kept and fattened in a tealery, is another possible article of food when the luxurious Anglo-Indian feels that without some tremendous tonic he is unequal to the consumption of a roast butterfly-wing. Oh, they are truly a luxurious people, those AngloIndians, as so many Englishmen believe! Even if they have not as everyday incidents of their daily life the plashing of cool fountains, the waving of fans by ox-eyed houris, and other delights of the kind commonly credited to them, they have quail and teal as aforesaid, and the splashing of the water upon the tatties, and much disturbance of moistened air by waving punkahs, and rheumatism incidental to that artificial moisture, and prickly heat, and mosquitoes, and white ants in that final stage of their existence when, rising from the floor on ephemeral wings, they

knock against and fall upon or into everything, and shed their wings everywhere before they perish. All those delectable things, and others of much the same sort, are given to the Anglo-Indian, and yet he does not understand that his life is full of delight and sensuous joys ('Arabian Nights' passim), and allows thoughts of furlough and the decline of the rupee to cast their shadow upon him.

Those white ants, by the way, if not sportive themselves, are the cause of sport to others--the crows and kites, to wit. They are not intellectual things, even to the moderate level of the elephant, and in the absence of any restraining instinct they often swarm out of their earthen homes while it is yet light; and while they are fluttering in the air seeking for something to knock their heads against, the birds of prey assemble, and swooping hither and thither among the insect battalions, devour them wholesale. This comes by way of just retribution to the white ant, in that that insect shares with Time the discredit of being edax rerum. It devours the beams and roof, and walls and floor, and mats and furniture of the Indian household. It is said to have devoured the rupees in a Government collectorate—that is, the native treasurer alleged that this had happened when his balance in hand showed a considerable deficit.

Revenons à nos cailles. In Oudh the gunnist was satisfied with the moderate bags of quail that came to him in the ordinary course. He did not resort to the employment of call-birds, as is the fashion of the Punjab, where these decoy-birds are put down overnight to attract all the wild quail within earshot. Bags of 50 and 100 brace are the consequence of

this practice: we in Oudh were satisfied with 15 to 30 brace that fell to us haphazard in the course of much patient beating of cover, and, after two or three years' modest shooting of this kind, I only shot quail when they rose from my path to a snipe jheel, or when, during the last hour of the day, five to ten brace were to be got out of the grain or wheat fields close to my tent.

Hares, black and grey partridges, and (in the Transgogra districts) florikan, were occasionally to be got in small numbers, and of larger game antelope, neelghai, and hog-deer.

Black-buck (antelope) shooting I found very fascinating for a time. It is a form of shikar that generally exercises all one's patience, and accuracy of hand and eye, and frequently exercises all one's muscles. Native shikaris stalk them from behind a cow with eminent success; but it is not given to every European to be competent to manage an Indian cow, and I never tried that method. I have shot them from behind my horse, with rifle rested upon the saddle, but mostly I followed them on foot; and I think the more open attack, when made with due caution, is the more efficacious. My plan was that of oblique attack. When I sighted a blackbuck at a distance, I walked straight for it, until it took notice of me (say at 200 yards' distance); then I faced slightly away from it, and walked for a point that lay a hundred yards to right or left of it: when for a few moments it resumed grazing, I made a crablike advance that brought me something nearer to it on a direct line, but always with averted face and when that black-buck started, I brought my rifle (hitherto held concealed behind me) to the present, and


fired a snapshot, aimed, for choice, at a point just behind the shoulder. I found that I succeeded better with this snapshooting at a running buck than with the more deliberate sighting of a standing one; and, at any rate, I succeeded so well in my judgment, that I sickened myself of black-buck shooting on any large scale. I became blasé as to this form of sport after killing twenty-two buck in three consecutive days. I might possibly have escaped from this feeling but for the result of the third day of those three; albeit, on the second, suspicion whispered within me that I was converting myself into the meat-purveyor for the villagers round about. But on the evening of that third day, when the carcasses of eight blackbuck and a doe (killed by a bullet that first penetrated and killed a buck)-nine carcasses in all-were hanging from the branches of trees around my tent, I felt that I was a butcher undisguised, and that my slaughtering hand had converted that tranquil grove into a butcher's shambles. From that time out I never made a business of pursuing them, but shot them only, one at a time, when I or my followers wanted venison.

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And however ardently the Briton's longing to kill something may burn in one's breast however much one may see red"-one may well be spared the pain of seeing some of the black-buck's death agonies. It is well enough when the animal falls dead at the first shot; but when it flies before one on legs broken by ill-directed bullets, running on the stumps of those shattered limbs, the sight is apt to sicken one, and bring shame upon one's handiwork.

As for neelghai, I was wild to kill one when I went to Oudh, if only because I had never as much VOL. CLVI.NO. DCCCCXLVII.

as seen one in Deoghur. But very little neelghai went a long way with me in every sense: as meat it was only a partial success when none other was to be had; as an object for the rifle it was only preferable to that domestic buffalo which I killed, in that it could be killed for nothing; as a creature to be ridden down it was, when, after its habit, it got into heavy tussocky ground and swamp, and the thick-growing reed, distinctly a disappointment, and, moreover, a disappointment that caused me one or two heavy falls. I gave up neelghai after killing two or three of them.

This animal known as neelghai (or blue cow) in Oudh, and deemed by Hindoos of that province to be sacred, as one of the bovine tribe, was known in Deoghur as Ghoraroz, and counted by the local Hindoos as one of the deer species, which it was lawful to kill and eat,-as a fact it is, I suppose, one of the antelopes. This divergence of views, entertained by Hindoos of different localities, is nothing, as an anomaly, compared with the varying treatment extended by Hindooism universally to different members of the bovine kind: on the one hand, the veneration for the cow, which makes that animal's life something sacred, and only permits of the twisting of the venerated creature's tail; on the other hand, the general practice at the Doorjah Poojah, and on other occasions, of sacrificing buffaloes to the gods by beheading them before the altars.

Among the game (?) that I permitted myself to shoot, or shoot at, during my wanderings in the Oudh districts, were alligatorsthe ghurrial, or long-nosed saurian, whose prey was fish, and the muggur, whose prey was man or cow, or any animal that it could catch,

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with fish on fast days. Neither of these is of attractive appearance, but I think the latter is the most repulsive member of the animal creation. Of the muggur it may be said, indeed, monstrum horren dum informe; all the epithets signifying forms of ugliness may be fairly applied to this brute: shapelessness is the main characteristic of its blunt head, the bloated carcass, and those legs that, curtailed of their fair proportions, are merely flappers. When it lies stretched along the ooze or sand of a river bank, or by some stagnant pool, it may well be taken for a harmless, if hideous and very dirty log, but it is not harmless or as useful as that derelict timber, and its disposition is evil as its body. Yet has that monstrous form something in it which is precious to somebody, even as the less ugly toad is said to bear a jewel in its head. There is a portion of the internal structure of the muggur which is greedily seized upon by natives as a charm, whenever the muggur is given over into the native's hands for autopsy.

When I corrected the term "shooting" into "shooting at” into "shooting at" muggurs, I did so advisedly, because shooting seems to convey the idea of bagging the creature shot, and this is by no means the ordinary result of firing at an alligator; for, as far as my experience goes, the alligator is never to be seen save in the water or on the edge of it, and even when it is lying asleep on a sand or mud bank some feet from the water, no bullet that does not paralyse it on the instant will prevent it from lumbering (the word gliding would convey the idea of too graceful movement) into its aqueous home. A bullet in that point where the head and body join, and where a

neck would be if this saurian had a neck, will stop an alligator, and it is by such a shot that I have killed and bagged them.

Muggurs and ghurrials, with an occasional wild goose, were the only things I had to shoot what time I went down the Ganges in a small covered boat to visit certain trade registration posts on the Oudh frontier. Alligators abounded there: small ones were to be seen by the score on the churs and sand-pits, and every now and then a big one-a muggur of 16 feet, or a ghurrial of 20 feet-was to be observed, all of them with noses pointed towards the river, and most of them doubtless much more wide awake than they looked. There, upon the sand, these reptiles basked in the genial warmth of a December mid-day sun, and there I now and again killed and landed


But the place for shooting at them was the bridge of boats across the Gogra, on the Bharaich road. I have stood on that bridge (not at midnight) and fired at twenty or thirty of them within the hour; but always I had to take them as they rose out of the depths, and when they presented only their heads as targets. Over and over again I have seen them sink in response to my shot, and the clear water of the river incarnadined by what might well have been their life's blood; but only once did I bag one in that way, and then I succeeded as a consequence of bad shooting. I hit a ghurrial on the projecting jaw instead of in the head: instead of sinking in the water to die, it emerged upon the bank, and there was disposed of by a shot in the vital spot.

But the shikar of each year from 1863 to 1876 (save 1869, when I was home on sick-leave) to which I always looked forward with the


keenest interest and anticipation of enjoyment was that of the Terai. Would that I had kept some sort of diary in those days, to which I could refer at this juncture, for my memory, challenge it as I may, utterly declines to serve me in some particulars that might be deemed worthy of mention. By a process of exhaustive analysis I can affirm that I made thirteen expeditions into that region, and I arrive at that positive result by a process which is as simple as exhaustive, for I went to the Terai regularly every season from 1853 to 1876-save that of 1869, when I was not in India. Then, as I usually spent from four to six weeks there, I make out with tolerable accuracy that I gave in the aggregate some sixteen months to the pursuit of tigers thereaway; but when I try to recall the total number of tigers killed on those occasions, I am utterly at a loss. I can remember that in 1863 I got ten, and I suppose that score remains indelibly fixed in my mind because at the time it seemed to me highly satisfactory for a novice in the Terai methods; but I cannot fix any total for any subsequent year, and can only say in that regard that the annual total was more than once below ten, and, indeed, as low as five or six.

Another point as to which my memory will not be jogged to any purpose is as to my companions in some of those thirteen expeditions. Two or three times I went out alone, but even as to ten or eleven occasions I cannot make up my parties; and in addition to those I have already named as my companions of the Terai, I can only think of Colonel M'Bean, chief of the Lucknow commissariat, E. J. Lugard, aide-de-camp to the General commanding the Lucknow

Division, Westmorland, R.E., and Mitchell (who was doing India with Sir William Ffolkes). But then some whom I have named were with me more than once,-Peters, for instance, three times, and Jacky Hills even more frequently.

My memory is green enough, however, when I think of the pleasant life and splendid sport that it was my good fortune to enjoy so often under the shadow of the Nepaul hills; and although, doubtless, the more agreeable features of those jaunts are most prominent in my reminiscences, I can without difficulty recall those that may be regarded as drawbacks, and, having arrayed all the disagreeable characteristics before my mind's eye, I should even now be glad to encounter them all for the sake of one more month after tiger.

For many of the minor trials of Terai sport not yet mentioned the intelligent elephant is directly or indirectly responsible. It is weary work riding one, whether on pad or howdah (pad-riding being the easier of the two), for eight or ten hours at a stretch; and starting from our camp at 10 A.M., it often happened that our home-coming was delayed till 8 P.M. Perhaps we had to travel eight or ten miles to reach the swamp where our day's work was to be commenced. Possibly we were drawn away from camp by a tiger's trail or something incidental to the business in hand which drove that camp out of our minds; or, worst of all, it chanced now and again that we lost our way in the forest.

With what gruesome import the announcement fell upon my ear that the way was lost when, being benighted in those trackless forests, we were ten miles from our tents and dinner and bed, and some unknown distance from any other

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