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The Rifle and The Hound in Ceylon by Sir Samuel White Baker

Part 3 out of 5

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light upon the surface of the water chequered by the dark shadows of the
surrounding trees. Suddenly the hoarse bark of an elk sounded within a
short distance, and I could distinguish two or three dark forms on the
opposite bank. The shrill and continual barking of spotted deer now
approaching nearer and nearer, the rustling in the jungle, and the
splashing in the water announced continual arrivals of game to the
lonely drinking-place. Notwithstanding the immense quantity of animals
that were congregated together, we could not distinguish them plainly on
account of the dark background of jungle. Elk, deer, buffaloes, and hogs
were all bathing and drinking in immense numbers, but there were no

For some hours we watched the accumulation of game; there was not a
breath of air, although the scud was flying fast above us, occasionally
throwing a veil over the moon and casting a sudden obscurity on the dim
scene before us. Our gun-bearers were crouched around us; their dark
skins matching with the ground on which they squatted, they looked like
so many stumps of trees. It was nearly ten o'clock, and my eyes ached
with watching; several times I found myself nodding as sleep took me by
surprise; so, leaving a man to look out, we sat quietly down and
discussed a cold fowl that we had brought with us.

We had just finished a pint bottle of cherry brandy when I felt a gentle
touch upon my shoulder, and our look-out man whispered in my ear the
magic word 'alia' (elephant), at the same time pointing in the direction
of the tank. The guns were all wrapped up in a blanket to keep them from
the dew, so telling W. to uncover them and to distribute them to the
respective gun-bearers without noise, I crept out and stole unperceived
along the margin of the tank to discover the number and position of the
elephants. So deceitful was the moonlight, being interrupted by the dark
shadows of the jungle, that I was within ten paces of the nearest
elephant before I distinguished her. I counted three--one large and two
others about six feet high. Being satisfied with my information, and
having ascertained that no others were in the jungle, I returned to my
companions; they were all ready, and we crept forward. We were within
ten paces of the large elephant, when a branch of hooked thorn caught W.
by the clothes; the noise that he made in extricating himself
immediately attracted the attention of the elephant, and she turned
quickly round, receiving at the same moment an ineffectual shot from W.;
B. at the same time fired without effect at one of the small elephants.
The mother, hearing a roar from the small elephant that B. had wounded,
immediately rushed up to it, and they stood side by side in the water
about fifteen yards from the bank. The large elephant now cocked her
ears and turned her head from side to side with great quickness to
discover an enemy. I ran close to the water's edge, and the mother
perceiving me immediately came forward. I could hardly distinguish the
sights of my rifle, and I was, therefore, obliged to wait till she was
within four or five paces before I fired. She gave me a good shot, and
dropped dead. The young one was rushing about and roaring in a
tremendous manner, having again been fired at and wounded by B. and W.
By this time I had got a spare gun, and, wading into the tank, I soon
came to such close quarters that I could not miss, and one shot killed
him. The other small elephant escaped unseen in the confusion caused by
the firing.

The following evening we again watched the pool, and once more a mother
and her young one came to drink. W. and B. extinguished the young one
while I killed the mother.

This watching by moonlight is a kind of sport that I do not admire; it
is a sort of midnight murder, and many a poor brute who comes to the
silent pool to cool his parched tongue, finds only a cup of bitterness,
and retires again to his jungle haunts to die a lingering death from
some unskilful wound. The best shot must frequently miss by moonlight;
there is a silvery glare which renders all objects indistinct, and the
shot very doubtful; thus two animals out of three fired at will
generally escape wounded.

I was tired of watching by night, and I again returned to the
neighbourhood of Yalle. After a long ride through a burning sun, I went
down to the river to bathe. The water was not more than three feet deep,
and was so clear that every pebble was plainly distinguishable at the

I had waded hip-deep into the river when my servant, who was on the
bank, suddenly cried out, 'Sar! sar! come back, sar! Mora! mora!' and he
pointed to some object a little higher up the stream. It was now within
ten or twelve yards of me, and I fancied that it was a piece of drift
timber, but I lost no time in reaching the shore. Slowly the object
sailed along with the stream, but as it neared me, to my astonishment, a
large black fin protruded from the water, and the mystery was at once
cleared up. It was a large SHARK about nine feet long.

In some places the water was so shallow that his tail and a portion of
his back were now and then above the surface. He was in search of grey
mullet, with which fish the river abounded; and at this season sharks
were very numerous, as they followed the shoals for some distance up the
river. My servant had been in a great state of alarm, as he thought his
master would have been devoured in a few seconds; but the natives of the
village quietly told me not to be afraid, but to bathe in peace, 'as
sharks would not eat men at this season.' I was not disposed to put his
epicurean scruples to the test; as some persons may kill a pheasant
before the first of October, so he might have made a grab at me a little
before the season, which would have been equally disagreeable to my
feelings. The novelty of a white skin in that clear river might have
proved too strong a temptation for a shark to withstand.

I never saw game in such masses as had now collected in this
neighbourhood. The heat was intense, and the noble forest in the
vicinity of Yalle river offered an asylum to all animals beneath its
shade, where good water and fine grass upon the river's bank supplied
their wants. In this forest there was little or no underwood; the trees
grew to an immense size and stood far apart, so that a clear range might
be obtained for a hundred yards. It was, therefore, a perfect spot for
deer-stalking; the tops of trees formed an impervious screen to the
sun's rays; and I passed several days in wandering with my rifle through
these shady solitudes, killing an immense quantity of game. The deer
were in such masses that I restricted myself to bucks, and I at length
became completely satiated. There was too much game; during the whole
day's walk I was certainly not FIVE MINUTES without seeing either deer,
elk, buffaloes, or hogs. The noise of the rifle did not appear to scare
them from the forest; they would simply retreat for a time to some other
portion of it, and fresh herds were met with in following up one which
had been disturbed. Still, there were no elephants. Although I had
upwards of fifty coolies and servants, they could not dry the venison
sufficiently fast to prevent the deer from stinking as they were killed,
and I resolved to leave the country.

I gave orders for everything to be packed up in readiness for a start,
after an early breakfast, on the following morning. The servants were
engaged in arranging for the departure, when a native brought
intelligence of a rogue elephant within four miles of the tent. It was
late in the afternoon, but I had not seen an elephant for so long that I
was determined to make his acquaintance. My friend B. accompanied me,
and we immediately started on horseback.

Our route lay across very extensive plains, interspersed with low thorny
bushes and wide salt lakes. Innumerable wild hogs invited us to a chase.
There could not be a better spot for boar-spearing, as the ground is
level and clear for riding. There were numerous herds of deer and
buffaloes, but we did not fire a shot, as we had determined upon an
interview with the rogue. We traversed about four miles of this style of
country, and were crossing a small plain, when our guide suddenly
stopped and pointed to the elephant, who was about a quarter of a mile
distant. He was standing on a little glade of about fifty yards across;
this was surrounded upon all sides but one with dense thorny jungle, and
he therefore stood in a small bay of open ground. It was a difficult
position for an attack. The wind blew directly from us to him, therefore
an advance in that direction was out of the question; on the other hand,
if we made a circuit so as to get the wind, we should have to penetrate
through the thorny jungle to arrive at him, and we should then have the
five o'clock sun directly in our eyes. However, there was no
alternative, and, after a little consultation, the latter plan was
resolved upon.

Dismounting, we ordered the horse-keepers to conceal the horses and
themselves behind a thick bush, lest the elephant should observe them,
and with this precaution we advanced, making a circuit of nearly a mile
to obtain the wind. On arrival at the belt of thick jungle which divided
us from the small glade upon which he stood, I perceived, as I had
expected, that the sun was full in our eyes. This was a disadvantage
which I felt convinced would lose us the elephant, unless some
extraordinary chance intervened; however, we entered the thick jungle
before us, and cautiously pushed our way through it. This belt was not
more than fifty yards in width, and we soon broke upon the small glade.

The elephant was standing with his back towards us, at about forty paces
distant, close to the thick jungle by his side; and, taking my
four-ounce rifle, I walked quietly but quickly towards him. Without a
moment's warning he flung his trunk straight up, and, turning sharp
round, he at once charged into us. The sun shone full in my eyes, so
that I could do nothing but fire somewhere at his head. He fell, but
immediately recovered himself, and before the smoke had cleared away he
was in full retreat through the thorny jungle, the heavy ball having
taken all the pluck out of him. This was just as I had expected; pursuit
in such a jungle was impossible, and I was perfectly contented with
having turned him.

The next morning, having made all arrangements for starting homewards,
after breakfast I took my rifle and one gun-bearer with a
double-barrelled gun to enjoy one last stroll in the forest. It was just
break of day. My first course was towards the river which flowed through
it, as I expected to find the game near the water, an hour before
sunrise being their time for drinking. I had not proceeded far before
immense herds of deer offered tempting shots; but I was out simply in
search of large antlers, and none appearing of sufficient size, I would
not fire. Buffaloes continually presented themselves: I was tired of
shooting these brutes, but I killed two who looked rather vicious; and I
amused myself with remarking the immense quantity of game, and imagining
the number of heads that I could bag had I chosen to indulge in
indiscriminate slaughter. At length I noticed a splendid buck lying on
the sandy bed of the river, beneath a large tree; his antlers were
beautiful, and I stalked him to within sixty yards and shot him. I had
not been reloaded ten minutes, and was walking quietly through the
forest, when I saw a fine antlered buck standing within thirty yards of
me in a small patch of underwood. His head was turned towards me, and
his nostrils were distended in alarm as he prepared to bound off. I had
just time to cock my rifle as he dashed off at full speed; but it was a
murderous distance, and he fell dead. His antlers matched exactly with
those I had last shot.

I turned towards the direction of the tent, and, descending to the bed
of the river, I followed the course of the stream upon the margin of dry
sand. I had proceeded about half a mile, when I noticed at about 150
paces some object moving about the trunk of a large fallen tree which
lay across the bed of the river. This stem was about five feet in
diameter, and I presently distinguished the antlers and then the head of
a large buck, as they appeared above it; he had been drinking in the
stream on the opposite side, and he now raised his head, sniffing the
fresh breeze. It was a tempting shot, and taking a very steady aim I
fired. For a moment he was down, but recovering himself he bounded up
the bank, and was soon in full speed through the forest with only one
antler upon his head. I picked up the fellow-antler, which the
rifle-ball had cut off within an inch of his skull. This was a narrow

I did not reload my rifle, as I was not far from the tent, and I was
tired of shooting. Giving my rifle to the gun-bearer, I took the
double-barrelled gun which he carried, and walked quickly towards
breakfast. Suddenly I heard a crash in a small nook of thick bushes,
like the rush of an elephant, and the next instant a buck came rushing
by in full speed; his long antlers lay upon his back as he flew through
the tangled saplings with a force that seemed to defy resistance. He was
the largest spotted buck that I ever saw, and, being within thirty
paces, I took a flying shot with the right-hand barrel. He faltered for
a moment, and I immediately fired the remaining barrel. Still he
continued his course, but at a reduced speed and dead lame. Loading the
rifle, I soon got upon the blood-track, and I determined to hunt him

There were many saplings in this part of the forest, and I noticed that
many of them in the deer's track were besmeared with blood about two
feet and a half from the ground. The tracks in the sandy soil were
uneven--one of the fore-feet showed a deep impression, while the other
was very faint, showing that he was wounded in the leg, as his whole
weight was thrown upon one foot. Slowly and cautiously I stalked along
the track, occasionally lying down to look under the bushes. For about
an hour I continued this slow and silent chase; the tracks became
fainter, and the bleeding appeared to have almost ceased; so few and far
between were the red drops upon the ground, that I was constantly
obliged to leave the gun-bearer upon the last trace, while I made a cast
to discover the next track. I was at length in despair of finding him,
and I was attentively scrutinising the ground for a trace of blood,
which would distinguish his track from those of other deer with which
the ground was covered, when I suddenly heard a rush in the underwood,
and away bounded the buck at about fifty yards' distance, apparently as
fresh as ever. The next instant he was gasping on the ground, the
rifle-ball having passed exactly through his heart. I never could have
believed that a spotted buck would have attained so large a size; he was
as large as a doe elk, and his antlers were the finest I have ever seen
of that species. It required eight men with two cross poles to bring him

I reached the tent to breakfast at eight o'clock, having bagged three
fine bucks and two buffaloes that morning; and being, for the time,
satiated with sport, I quitted Ceylon.


Beat-hounds for Elk-hunting--Smut--Killbuck--The Horton Plains--A Second
Soyer--The Find--The Buck at Bay--The Bay--The Death--Return of Lost
Dogs--Comparative Speed of Deer--Veddah Ripped by a Boar--A Melee--Buck
at Black Pool--Old Smut's Ruse--Margosse Oil.

The foregoing description of sporting incidents closed my first visit to
Ceylon. I had arrived in the island to make a tour of the country and to
enjoy its sports; this I had accomplished by a residence of twelve
months, the whole of which had been occupied in wandering from place to
place. I now returned to England; but the Fates had traced ANOTHER road
for me, and after a short stay in the old country I again started for
Ceylon, and became a resident at Newera Ellia.

Making use of the experience that I had gained in wild sports, I came
out well armed, according to my own ideas of weapons for the chase. I
had ordered four double-barrelled rifles of No. 10 bore to be made to my
own pattern; my hunting-knives and boarspear heads I had made to my own
design by Paget of Piccadilly, who turned out the perfection of steel;
and I arrived in Ceylon with a pack of fine foxhounds and a favourite
greyhound of wonderful speed and strength, 'Bran,' who, though full of
years, is still alive.

The usual drawbacks and discomforts attendant upon a new settlement
having been overcome, Newera Ellia forms a delightful place of
residence. I soon discovered that a pack of thoroughbred foxhounds were
not adapted to a country so enclosed by forest; some of the hounds were
lost, others I parted with, but they are all long since dead, and their
progeny, the offspring of crosses with pointers, bloodhounds and
half-bred foxhounds, have turned out the right stamp for elk-hunting.

It is a difficult thing to form a pack for this sport which shall be
perfect in all respects. Sometimes a splendid hound in character may be
more like a butcher's dog than a hound in appearance, but the pack
cannot afford to part with him if he is really good.

The casualties from leopards, boars, elk and lost dogs are so great that
the pack is with difficulty kept up by breeding. It must be remembered
that the place of a lost dog cannot be easily supplied in Ceylon. Newera
Ellia is one of the rare climates in Ceylon which is suited to the
constitution of a dog. In the low and hot climates they lead a short and
miserable life, which is soon ended by a liver complaint; thus if a
supply for the pack cannot be kept up by breeding, hounds must be
procured from England at a great expense and risk.

The pack now in the kennel is as near perfection as can be attained for
elk-hunting, comprising ten couple, most of whom are nearly thoroughbred
fox-hounds, with a few couple of immense seizers, a cross between
bloodhound and greyhound, and a couple of large wire-haired lurchers,
like the Scotch deer-hound.

In describing the sport, I must be permitted to call up the spirits of a
few heroes, who are now dead, and place them in the vacant places which
they formerly occupied in the pack.

The first who answers to the magic call is `Smut,' hero of at least 400
deaths of elk and boar. He appears the same well-remembered form of
strength, the sullen growl which greeted even his master, the numerous
scars and seams upon his body; behold old Smut! His sire was a Manilla
blood-hound, which accounted for the extreme ferocity of the son. His
courage was indomitable. He was a large dog, but not high, considering
his great length, but his limbs were immense in proportion. His height
at the shoulder was 26 1/2 inches; his girth of brisket 34 inches. In
his younger days he always opened upon a scent, and the rocky mountains
and deep valleys have often echoed back his deep notes which have now,
like himself, passed away. As he grew older he became cunning, and he
ran entirely mute, knowing well that the more noise the elk heard behind
him the faster he would run. I have frequently known him to be out by
himself all night, and return the next morning blown out with food which
he had procured for himself by pulling down a doe single-handed. When
he was a young dog, and gave tongue upon a scent, a challenge was
offered, but never accepted, that the dog should find, hunt, and pull
down two buck elk, single-handed, within a fortnight, assisted only by
his master, with no other weapon than a hunting-knife; there is no doubt
whatever that he would have performed it easily. He then belonged to
Lieutenant Pardoe, of the 15th Regiment.

He had several pitched battles with leopards, from which he has returned
frightfully torn, but with his yellow hair bristled up, his head and
stern erect; and his deep growl, with which he gave a dubious reception
to both man and beast, was on these occasions doubly threatening.

I never knew a dog that combined superlative valour with discretion in
the degree exhibited by Smut. I have seen many dogs who would rush
heedlessly upon a boar's tusks to certain destruction; but Smut would
never seize until the proper time arrived, and when the opportunity
offered he never lost it. This rendered him of great value in these wild
sports, where the dog and his master are mutually dependent upon each
other. There was nothing to fear if Smut was there; whether boar or buck
you might advance fearlessly to him with the knife, with the confidence
that the dog would pin the animal the instant that it turned to attack
you; and when he once obtained his hold he was seldom shaken off until
in his old age, when he lost his teeth. Even then he was always one of
the first to seize. Although comparatively useless, the spirit was ever
willing; and this courage, poor fellow, at length caused his death.

The next dog who claims a tribute to his memory is `Killbuck.' He was an
Australian greyhound of the most extraordinary courage. He stood at the
shoulder 28 inches high; girth of brisket, 31 inches.

Instead of the surly and ferocious disposition of Smut, he was the most
gentle and affectionate creature. It was a splendid sight to witness the
bounding spring of Killbuck as he pinned an elk at bay that no other dog
could touch. He had a peculiar knack of seizing that I never saw
equalled; no matter where or in what position an elk might be, he was
sure to have him. When once started from the slips it was certain death
to the animal he coursed, and even when out of view, and the elk had
taken to the jungle, I have seen the dog, with his nose to the ground,
following upon the scent at full speed like a foxhound. I never heard
him bark at game when at bay. With a bulldog courage he would recklessly
fly straight at the animal's head, unheeding the wounds received in the
struggle. This unguided courage at length caused his death when in the
very prime of his life. Poor Killbuck! His was a short but glorious
career, and his name will never be forgotten.

Next in rotation in the chronicles of seizers appears `Lena,' who is
still alive, an Australian bitch of great size, courage, and beauty,
wire-haired, like a Scotch deerhound.

`Bran,' a perfect model of a greyhound.

`Lucifer,' combining the beauty, speed, and courage of his parents,
`Bran' and ` Lena,' in a superlative degree.

There are many others that I could call from the pack and introduce as
first-rate hounds, but as no jealousy will be occasioned by their
omission, I shall be contented with those already named.

Were I to recount the twentieth part of the scenes that I have witnessed
in this sport, it would fill a volume, and become very tedious. A few
instances related will at once explain the whole character of the sport,
and introduce a stranger to the wild hunts of the Ceylon mountains.

I have already described Newera Ellia, with its alternate plains and
forests, its rapid streams and cataracts, its mountains, valleys, and
precipices; but a portion of this country, called the Horton Plains,
will need a further description.

Some years ago I hunted with a brother Nimrod, Lieutenant de Montenach,
of the 15th Regiment, in this country; and in two months we killed
forty-three elk.

The Horton Plains are about twenty miles from Newera Ellia. After a walk
of sixteen miles through alternate plains and forests, the steep ascent
of Totapella mountain is commenced by a rugged path through jungle the
whole way. So steep is the track that a horse ascends with difficulty,
and riding is of course impossible. After a mile and a quarter of almost
perpendicular scrambling, the summit of the pass is reached, commanding
a splendid view of the surrounding country, and Newera Ellia can be seen
far beneath in the distance. Two miles farther on, after a walk through
undulating forest, the Horton Plains burst suddenly upon the view as you
emerge from the jungle path. These plains are nearly 800 feet higher
than Newera Ellia, or 7,000 feet above the sea. The whole aspect of the
country appears at once to have assumed a new character; there is a
feeling of being on the top of everything, and instead of a valley among
surrounding hills, which is the feature of Newera Ellia and the adjacent
plains, a beautiful expanse of flat table-land stretches before the eye,
bounded by a few insignificant hill-tops. There is a peculiar freedom in
the Horton Plains, an absence from everywhere, a wildness in the thought
that there is no tame animal within many miles, not a village, nor hut,
nor human being. It makes a man feel in reality one of the 'lords of the
creation' when he first stands upon this elevated plain, and, breathing
the pure thin air, he takes a survey of his hunting-ground: no
boundaries but mountain tops and the horizon; no fences but the trunks
of decayed trees fallen from old age; no game laws but strong legs, good
wind, and the hunting-knife; no paths but those trodden by the elk and
elephant. Every nook and corner of this wild country is as familiar to
me as my own garden. There is not a valley that has not seen a burst in
full cry; not a plain that has not seen the greyhounds in full speed
after an elk; and not a deep pool in the river that has not echoed with
a bay that has made the rocks ring again.

To give a person an interest in the sport, the country must be described
minutely. The plain already mentioned as the flat table-land first seen
on arrival, is about five miles in length, and two in breadth in the
widest part. This is tolerably level, with a few gentle undulations, and
is surrounded, on all sides but one, with low, forest-covered slopes.
The low portions of the plains are swamps, from which springs a large
river, the source of the Mahawelli Ganga.

From the plain now described about fifteen others diverge, each
springing from the parent plain, and increasing in extent as they
proceed; these are connected more or less by narrow valleys, and deep
ravines. Through the greater portion of these plains, the river winds
its wild course. In the first a mere brook, it rapidly increases as it
traverses the lower portions of every valley, until it attains a width
of twenty or thirty yards, within a mile of the spot where it is first
discernible as a stream. Every plain in succession being lower than the
first, the course of the river is extremely irregular; now a maze of
tortuous winding, then a broad, still stream, bounded by grassy
undulations; now rushing wildly through a hundred channels formed by
obtruding rocks, then in a still, deep pool, gathering itself together
for a mad leap over a yawning precipice, and roaring at a hundred feet
beneath, it settles in the lower plain in a pool of unknown depth; and
once more it murmurs through another valley.

In the large pools formed by the sudden turns in the river, the elk
generally takes his last determined stand, and he sometimes keeps dogs
and men at bay for a couple of hours. These pools are generally about
sixty yards across, very deep in some parts, with a large shallow
sandbank in the centre, formed by the eddy of the river.

We built a hunting bivouac in a snug corner of the plains, which gloried
in the name of 'Elk Lodge.' This famous hermitage was a substantial
building, and afforded excellent accommodation: a verandah in the front,
twenty-eight feet by eight; a dining-room twenty feet by twelve, with a
fireplace eight feet wide; and two bed-rooms of twenty feet by eight.
Deer-hides were pegged down to form a carpet upon the floors, and the
walls were neatly covered with talipot leaves. The outhouses consisted
of the kennel, stables for three horses, kitchen, and sheds for twenty
coolies and servants.

The fireplace was a rough piece of art, upon which we prided ourselves
extremely. A party of eight persons could have sat before it with
comfort. Many a roaring fire has blazed up that rude chimney; and dinner
being over, the little round table before the hearth has steamed forth a
fragrant attraction, when the nightly bowl of mulled port has taken its
accustomed stand. I have spent many happy hours in this said spot; the
evenings were of a decidedly social character. The day's hunting over,
it was a delightful hour at about seven P.M.--dinner just concluded,
the chairs brought before the fire, cigars and the said mulled port.
Eight o'clock was the hour for bed, and five in the morning to rise, at
which time a cup of hot tea, and a slice of toast and anchovy paste were
always ready before the start. The great man of our establishment was
the cook.

This knight of the gridiron was a famous fellow, and could perform
wonders; of stoical countenance, he was never seen to smile. His whole
thoughts were concentrated in the mysteries of gravies, and the magic
transformation of one animal into another by the art of cookery; in this
he excelled to a marvellous degree. The farce of ordering dinner was
always absurd. It was something in this style: 'Cook!' (Cook answers)
'Coming, sar!' (enter cook): ' Now, cook, you make a good dinner; do you
hear?' Cook: `Yes, sar; master tell, I make.'--`Well, mulligatawny
soup.' 'Yes, sar.'--'Calves' head with tongue and brain sauce.' 'Yes,
sar.'--' Gravy omelette.' 'Yes, sar.'--'Mutton chops.' 'Yes,
sar.'--'Fowl cotelets.' `Yes, sar.'--'Beefsteaks.' 'Yes, sar.'--'Marrow-
bones.' 'Yes, sar.'--'Rissoles.' 'Yes, sar.' All these various dishes he
literally imitated uncommonly well, the different portions of an elk
being their only foundation.

The kennel bench was comfortably littered, and the pack took possession
of their new abode with the usual amount of growling and quarrelling for
places; the angry grumbling continuing throughout the night between the
three champions of the kennel--Smut, Bran, and Killbuck. After a night
much disturbed by this constant quarrelling, we unkennelled the hounds
just as the first grey streak of dawn spread above Totapella Peak.

The mist was hanging heavily on the lower parts of the plain like a
thick snowbank, although the sky was beautifully clear above, in which a
few pale stars still glimmered. Long lines of fog were slowly drifting
along the bottoms of the valleys, dispelled by a light breeze, and day
fast advancing bid fair for sport; a heavy dew lay upon the grass, and
we stood for some moments in uncertainty as to the first point of our
extensive hunting-grounds that we should beat. There were fresh tracks
of elk close to our 'lodge,' who had been surveying our new settlement
during the night. Crossing the river by wading waist-deep, we skirted
along the banks, winding through a narrow valley with grassy hills
capped with forest upon either side. Our object in doing this was to
seek for marks where the elk had come down to drink during the night, as
we knew that the tracks would then lead to the jungle upon either side
the river. We had strolled quietly along for about half a mile, when the
loud bark of an elk was suddenly heard in the jungle upon the opposite
hills. In a moment the hounds dashed across the river towards the
well-known sound, and entered the jungle at full speed. Judging the
direction which the elk would most probably take when found, I ran along
the bank of the river, down stream, for a quarter of a mile, towards a
jungle through which the river flowed previous to its descent into the
lower plains, and I waited, upon a steep grassy hill, about a hundred
feet above the river's bed. From this spot I had a fine view of the
ground. Immediately before me, rose the hill from which the elk had
barked; beneath my feet, the river stretched into a wide pool on its
entrance to the jungle. This jungle clothed the precipitous cliffs of a
deep ravine, down which the river fell in two cataracts; these were
concealed from view by the forest. I waited in breathless expectation of
'the find.' A few minutes passed, when the sudden burst of the pack in
full cry came sweeping down upon the light breeze; loudly the cheering
sound swelled as they topped the hill, and again it died away as they
crossed some deep ravine. In a few minutes the cry became very distant;
as the elk was evidently making straight up the hills; once or twice I
feared he would cross them, and make away for a different part of the
country. The cry of the pack was so indistinct that my ear could barely
catch it, when suddenly a gust of wind from that direction brought down
a chorus of voices that there was no mistaking: louder and louder the
music became; the elk had turned, and was coming down the hill-side at a
slapping pace. The jungle crashed as he came rushing through the
yielding branches. Out he came, breaking cover in fine style, and away
he dashed over the open country. He was a noble buck, and had got a long
start; not a single hound had yet appeared, but I heard them coming
through the jungle in full cry. Down the side of the hill he came
straight to the pool beneath my feet. Yoick to him! Hark forward to him!
and I gave a view halloa till my lungs had well-nigh cracked. I had lost
sight of him, as he had taken to water in the pool within the jungle.

One more halloa! and out came the gallant old fellow Smut from the
jungle, on the exact line that the elk had taken. On he came, bounding
along the rough side of the hill like a lion, followed by only two
dogs--Dan, a pointer (since killed by a leopard), and Cato, a young dog
who had never yet seen an elk. The remainder of the pack had taken after
a doe that had crossed the scent, and they were now running in a
different direction. I now imagined that the elk had gone down the
ravine to the lower plains by some run that might exist along the edge
of the cliff, and accordingly I started off along a deer-path through
the jungle, to arrive at the lower plains by the shortest road that I
could make.

Hardly had I run a hundred yards, when I heard the ringing of the bay
and the deep voice of Smut, mingled with the roar of the waterfall, to
which I had been running parallel. Instantly changing my course, I was
in a few moments on the bank of the river just above the fall. There
stood the buck at bay in a large pool about three feet deep, where the
dogs could only advance by swimming. Upon my jumping into the pool, he
broke his bay, and, dashing through the dogs, he appeared to leap over
the verge of the cataract, but in reality he took to a deer-path which
skirted the steep side of the wooded precipice. So steep was the
inclination that I could only follow on his track by clinging to the
stems of the trees. The roar of the waterfall, now only a few feet on my
right hand, completely overpowered the voices of the dogs wherever they
might be, and I carefully commenced a perilous descent by the side of
the fall, knowing that both dogs and elk must be somewhere before me. So
stunning was the roar of the water, that a cannon might have been fired
without my hearing it. I was now one-third of the way down the fall,
which was about fifty feet deep. A large flat rock projected from the
side of the cliff, forming a platform of about six feet square, over one
corner of which, the water struck, and again bounded downwards. This
platform could only be reached by a narrow ledge of rock, beneath which,
at a depth of thirty feet, the water boiled at the foot of the fall.
Upon this platform stood the buck, having gained his secure but
frightful position by passing along the narrow ledge of rock. Should
either dog or man attempt to advance, one charge from the buck would
send them to perdition, as they would fall into the abyss below. This
the dogs were fully aware of, and they accordingly kept up a continual
bay from the edge of the cliff, while I attempted to dislodge him by
throwing stones and sticks upon him from above.

Finding this uncomfortable, he made a sudden dash forward, and, striking
the dogs over, away he went down the steep sides of the ravine, followed
once more by the dogs and myself.

By clinging from tree to tree, and lowering myself by the tangled
creepers, I was soon at the foot of the first fall, which plunged into a
deep pool on a flat plateau of rock, bounded on either side by a
wall-like precipice.

This plateau was about eighty feet in length, through which, the water
flowed in two rapid but narrow streams from the foot of the first fall
towards a second cataract at the extreme end. This second fall leaped
from the centre of the ravine into the lower plain.

When I arrived on this fine level surface of rock, a splendid sight
presented itself. In the centre of one of the rapid streams, the buck
stood at bay, belly-deep, with the torrent rushing in foam between his
legs. His mane was bristled up, his nostrils were distended, and his
antlers were lowered to receive the dog who should first attack him. I
happened to have a spear on that occasion, so that I felt he could not
escape, and I gave the baying dogs a loud cheer on. Poor Cato! it was
his first elk, and he little knew the danger of a buck at bay in such a
strong position. Answering with youthful ardour to my halloa, the young
dog sprang boldly at the elk's face, but, caught upon the ready antlers,
he was instantly dashed senseless upon the rocks. Now for old Smut, the
hero of countless battles, who, though pluck to the back-bone, always
tempers his valour with discretion.

Yoick to him, Smut! and I jumped into the water. The buck made a rush
forward, but at that moment a mass of yellow hair dangled before his
eyes as the true old dog hung upon his cheek. Now came the tug of
war--only one seizer! The spring had been so great, and the position of
the buck was so secure, that the dog had missed the ear, and only held
by the cheek. The elk, in an instant, saw his advantage, and quickly
thrusting his sharp brown antlers into the dog's chest, he reared to his
full height and attempted to pin the apparently fated Smut against a
rock. That had been the last of Smut's days of prowess had I not
fortunately had a spear. I could just reach the elk's shoulder in time
to save the dog. After a short but violent struggle, the buck yielded up
his spirit. He was a noble fellow, and pluck to the last.

Having secured his horns to a bush, lest he should be washed away by the
torrent, I examined the dogs. Smut was wounded in two places, but not
severely, and Cato had just recovered his senses, but was so bruised as
to move with great difficulty. In addition to this, he had a deep wound
from the buck's horn under the shoulder.

The great number of elk at the Horton plains and the open character of
the country, make the hunting a far more enjoyable sport than it is in
Newera Ellia, where the plains are of much smaller extent, and the
jungles are frightfully thick. During a trip of two months at the Horton
Plains, we killed forty-three elk, exclusive of about ten which the
pack ran into and killed by themselves, bringing home the account of
their performances in distended stomachs. These occurrences frequently
happen when the elk takes away through an impervious country, where a
man cannot possibly follow. In such cases the pack is either beaten off,
or they pull the elk down and devour it.

This was exemplified some time ago, when the three best dogs were nearly
lost. A doe elk broke cover from a small jungle at the Horton Plains,
and, instead of taking across the patinas (plains), she doubled back to
an immense pathless jungle, closely followed by three
greyhounds--Killbuck, Bran, and Lena. The first dog, who ran beautifully
by nose, led the way, and their direction was of course unknown, as the
dogs were all mute. Night came, and they had not returned. The next day
passed away, but without a sign of the missing dogs. I sent natives to
search the distant jungles and ravines in all directions. Three days
passed away, and I gave up all hope of them. We were sitting at dinner
one night, the fire was blazing cheerfully within, but the rain was
pouring without, the wind was howling in fitful gusts, and neither moon
nor stars relieved the pitchy darkness of the night, when the
conversation naturally turned to the lost dogs. What a night for the
poor brutes to be exposed to, roaming about the wet jungles without a
chance of return!

A sudden knock at the door arrested our attention; it opened. Two
natives stood there, dripping with wet and shivering with cold. One had
in his hand an elk's head, much gnawed; the other man, to my delight,
led the three lost dogs. They had run their elk down, and were found by
the side of a rocky river several miles distant--the two dogs asleep in
a cave, and the bitch was gnawing the remains of the half-consumed
animal. The two men who had found them were soon squatted before a
comfortable fire, with a good feed of curry and rice, and their skins
full of brandy.

Although the elk are so numerous at the Horton Plains, the sport at
length becomes monotonous from the very large proportion of the does.
The usual ratio in which they were killed was one buck to eight does. I
cannot at all account for this small proportion of bucks in this
particular spot. At Newera Ellia they are as two or three compared with
the does. The following extract of deaths, taken from my game-book
during three months of the year, will give a tolerably accurate idea of
the number killed:

March 24. Doe . . Killed in the Elk Plains.
30. Two Does . Killed in Newera Ellia Plain.
April 3. Doe . . Killed at the foot of Hack Galla.
5. Buck . . Killed at the foot of Pedro.
8. Doe . . Killed at the top of the Pass.
13. Buck . . Killed at the foot of the Pass.
16. Buck . . Killed in the river at the Pass.
19. Doe . . Killed on the patinas on Badulla road.
21. Buck . . Killed in the river at the base of Pedro.
23. Buck . . Killed in Matturatta Plain.
25. Doe . . Killed in the Elk Plains.
25. Sow . . Killed in the Elk Plains.
27. Boar . . Killed at the Limestone Quarry.
May 3. Sow . . Killed in the Elk Plains.
6. Two Does . Killed in the Barrack Plain.
10. Two Does . One killed in the Barrack Plain, and
the other at the bottom of the Pass.
12. Buck . . Killed in Newera Ellia Plain.
19. Buck . . Killed in the Newera Ellia River.
22. Doe . . Killed at the Pioneer Lines-Laboukelle.
31. Two does . Killed in the Barrack Plain.
June 5. Buck . . Killed at the foot of Pedro.
8. Buck . . Killed in the Barrack Plain.
11. Two Bucks . Killed on Kicklamane Patina.
24. Two Does . Killed on Newera Ellia Plain.
28. Boar . . Killed on Elk Plains.
29. Doe . . Killed at the ` Rest and be Thankful bottom

Total--28 Elk (11 Bucks, 17 Does), and 4 Hogs.

This is a tolerable show of game when it is considered that the sport
continues from year to year; there are no seasons at which time the game
is spared, but the hunting depends simply on the weather. Three times a
week the pack turns out in the dry season, and upon every fine day
during the wet months. It must appear a frightful extravagance to
English ideas to feed the hounds upon venison, but as it costs nothing,
it is a cheaper food than beef, and no other flesh is procurable in
sufficient quantity. Venison is in its prime when the elk's horns are in
velvet. At this season, when the new antlers have almost attained their
full growth, they are particularly tender, and the buck moves slowly and
cautiously through the jungle, lest he should injure them against the
branches, taking no further exercise than is necessary in the search of
food. He therefore grows very fat, and is then in fine condition.

The speed of an elk, although great, cannot be compared to that of the
spotted deer. I have seen the latter almost distance the best greyhounds
for the first 200 yards, but with this class of dogs the elk has no
chance upon fair open ground. Coursing the elk, therefore, is a
short-lived sport, as the greyhounds run into him immediately, and a
tremendous struggle then ensues, which must be terminated as soon as
possible by the knife, otherwise the dogs would most probably be
wounded. I once saw Killbuck perform a wonderful feat in seizing. A buck
elk broke cover in the Elk Plains, and I slipped a brace of greyhounds
after him, Killbuck and Bran. The buck had a start of about 200 yards,
but the speed of the greyhounds told rapidly upon him, and after a
course of a quarter of a mile, they were at his haunches, Killbuck
leading. The next instant he sprang in full fly, and got his hold by the
ear. So sudden was the shock, that the buck turned a complete
somersault, but, recovering himself immediately, he regained his feet,
and started off at a gallop down hill towards a stream, the dog still
hanging on. In turning over in his fall, the ear had twisted round, and
Killbuck, never having left his hold, was therefore on his back, in
which position he was dragged at great speed over the rugged ground.
Notwithstanding the difficulty of his position, he would not give up his
hold. In the meantime, Bran kept seizing the other ear, but continually
lost his hold as the ear gave way. Killbuck's weight kept the buck's
head on a level with his knees; and after a run of some hundred yards,
during the whole of which, the dog had been dragged upon his back
without once losing his hold, the elk's pace was reduced to a walk. With
both greyhounds now hanging on his ears, the buck reached the river, and
he and the dogs rolled down the steep bank into the deep water. I came
up just at this moment and killed the elk, but both dogs were
frightfully wounded, and for some time I despaired of their recovery.

This was an extraordinary feat in seizing; but Killbuck was matchless in
this respect, and accordingly of great value, as he was sure to retain
his hold when he once got it. This is an invaluable qualification in a
dog, especially with boars, as any uncertainty in the dog's hold,
renders the advance of the man doubly dangerous. I have frequently seen
hogs free themselves from a dog's hold at the very moment that I have
put the knife into them; this with a large boar is likely to cause an

I once saw a Veddah who nearly lost his life by one of these animals. He
was hunting 'guanas' (a species of large lizard which is eaten by all
the natives) with several small dogs, and they suddenly found a large
boar, who immediately stood to bay. The Veddah advanced to the attack
with his bow and arrows; but he had no sooner wounded the beast than he
was suddenly charged with great fury. In an instant the boar was into
him, and the next moment the Veddah was lying on the ground with his
bowels out. Fortunately a companion was with him, who replaced his
entrails and bandaged him up. I saw the man some years after; he was
perfectly well, but he had a frightful swelling in the front of the
belly, traversed by a wide blue scar of about eight inches in length.

A boar is at all times a desperate antagonist, where the hunting-knife
and dogs are the only available weapons. The largest that I ever killed,
weighed four hundredweight. I was out hunting, accompanied by my
youngest brother. We had walked through several jungles without success,
but on entering a thick jungle in the Elk Plains we immediately noticed
the fresh ploughings of an immense boar. In a few minutes we heard the
pack at bay without a run, and shortly after a slow running bay-there
was no mistake as to our game. He disdained to run, and, after walking
before the pack for about three minutes, he stood to a determined bay.
The jungle was frightfully thick, and we hastily tore our way through
the tangled underwood towards the spot. We had two staunch dogs by our
side, Lucifer and Lena, and when within twenty paces of the bay, we gave
them a halloa on. Away they dashed to the invisible place of conflict,
and we almost immediately heard the fierce grunting and roaring of the
boar. We knew that they had him, and scrambled through the jungle as
fast as we could towards the field of battle. There was a fight! the
underwood was levelled, and the boar rushed to and fro with Smut, Bran,
Lena, and Lucifer all upon him. Yoick to him! and some of the most
daring of the maddened pack went in. The next instant we were upon him,
mingled with a confused mass of hounds, and throwing our whole weight
upon the boar, we gave him repeated thrusts, apparently to little
purpose. Round came his head and gleaming tusks to the attack of his
fresh enemies, but old Smut held him by the nose, and, although the
bright tusks were immediately buried in his throat, the staunch old dog
kept his hold. Away went the boar covered by a mass of dogs, and bearing
the greater part of our weight in addition, as we hung on to the
hunting-knives buried in his shoulders. For about fifty paces he tore
through the thick jungle, crashing it like a cobweb. At length he again
halted; the dogs, the boar, and ourselves were mingled in a heap of
confusion. All covered with blood and dirt; our own cheers added to the
wild bay of the infuriated hounds and the savage roaring of the boar.
Still he fought and gashed the dogs right and left. He stood about
thirty-eight inches high, and the largest dogs seemed like puppies
beside him; still not a dog relaxed his hold, and he was covered with
wounds. I made a lucky thrust for the nape of his neck. I felt the point
of the knife touch the bone; the spine was divided, and he fell dead.

Smut had two severe gashes in the throat, Lena was cut under the ear,
and Bran's mouth was opened completely up to his ear in a horrible
wound. The dogs were completely exhausted, and lay panting around their
victim. We cut off the boar's head, and, slinging it upon a pole, we
each shouldered an end and carried it to the kennel. The power of this
animal must have been immense. My brother's weight and mine, together
being upward of twenty-four stone, in addition to that of half-a-dozen
heavy dogs, did not appear to trouble him, and had we not been close to
the spot when he came to bay, so that the knives came to the instant
succour of the dogs, he would have most probably killed or wounded half
the pack.

In this wild and rough kind of sport, the best dogs are constantly most
seriously wounded, and after a fight of this kind, needles and thread
and bandages are in frequent requisition. It is wonderful to see the
rapid recovery of dogs from wounds which at first sight appear
incurable. An instance occurred a short time ago, when I certainly gave
up one of the best dogs for lost. We had found a buck, who after a sharp
run, came to bay in a deep part of the river known by the name of Black
Pool. My youngest brother* {* James Baker, late Lieut.-Colonel of
Cambridge University Volunteers.} (who is always my companion in
hunting) and I were at some distance, but feeling certain of the
locality of the bay, we started off at full speed towards the supposed
spot. A run of a mile, partly through jungle leading into a deep wooded
ravine, brought us to the river, which flowed through the hollow, and
upon approaching the water, we distinctly heard the pack at bay at some
distance down the stream. Before we could get up, the buck dashed down
the river, and turning sharp up the bank, he took up the hill through a
dense jungle. Every hound was at fault, except two, who were close at
his heels, and being very fast they never lost sight of him. These two
dogs were Merriman and Tiptoe; and having followed the whole pack to
their track, we soon heard them in full cry on the top of the high hills
which overlook the river; they were coming down the hill-side at full
speed towards the Black Pool. Hiding behind the trees lest we should
head the buck, who we now heard crashing towards us through the jungle,
we suddenly caught a glimpse of his dun hide as he bounded past us, and
splashed into the river. A few seconds after, and Tiptoe, the leading
hound, came rushing on his track, but to our horror HE WAS DRAGGING HIS
ENTRAILS AFTER HIM. The excitement of the chase recognised no pain, and
the plucky animal actually plunged into the river, and in spite of his
mangled state, he swam across, and disappeared in the jungle on the
opposite side, upon the track which the elk had taken. The pack now
closed up; swimming the river, they opened upon a hot scent on the
opposite bank, and running parallel to the stream, they drove the buck
out of the jungle, and he came to bay on a rocky part of the river,
where the velocity of the torrent swept every dog past him and rendered
his position secure. The whole pack was there with the exception of
Tiptoe; we looked for him among the baying hounds in vain. For about
twenty minutes the buck kept his impregnable position, when in a foolish
moment he forsook it, and dashing along the torrent, he took to deep
water. The whole pack was after him; once Merriman got a hold, but was
immediately beaten off. Valiant, who was behaving nobly, and made
repeated attempts to seize, was struck beneath the water as often as he
advanced. The old veteran Smut was well to the point, and his deep voice
was heard loud above the din of the bay; but he could do nothing. The
buck had a firm footing, and was standing shoulder-deep; rearing to his
full height, and springing at the dogs as they swam towards him, he
struck them beneath the water with his fore feet. The bay lasted for
half an hour; at the expiration of this time, a sudden thought appeared
to strike old Smut; instead of continuing the attack, he swam direct for
the shore, leaving the buck still occupied with the baying pack. The elk
was standing about fourteen feet from the bank, which was covered with
jungle. Presently we saw the cunning old hero Smut creeping like a
leopard along the edge of the bank till opposite the elk; he slowly
retreated for a few paces, and the next moment he was seen flying
through the air, having made a tremendous spring at the elk's ear. A
cloud of spray for an instant concealed the effect. Both dog and buck
were for a few moments beneath the water; when they reappeared, the old
dog was hanging on his ear! Merriman at once had him by the other ear;
and one after another the seizers held him. In vain he tried to drown
them off by diving; as his head again rose above the surface, the dogs
were at their places: his struggles were useless, and the knife finished

We now searched the jungle for Tiptoe's body, expecting to find him dead
where we had last seen him enter the jungle. Upon searching the spot, we
found him lying down, with his bowels in a heap by his side; the
quantity would have filled a cap. The hole in his side was made-by a
blow from the buck's hoof, and not being more than two inches in length,
strangulation had taken place, and I could not return the bowels. The
dog was still alive, though very faint. Fortunately we had a
small-bladed knife, with which I carefully enlarged the aperture, and,
having cleaned the bowels from the dirt and dead leaves which had
adhered to them, I succeeded in returning them; although I expected the
dog's death every instant. Taking off my neck tie, I made a pad, with
which I secured the aperture, and bound him tightly round with a
handkerchief. Making a sling with a couple of jackets upon a pole, we
placed the dog carefully, within it, and carried him home. By dressing
the wound every day with margosse oil, and keeping the pad and bandage
in the place, to my astonishment the dog recovered, and he is now as
well as ever he was, with the exception of the loss of one eye, which
was knocked out by the horn of an elk on another. occasion.

The margosse oil that I have mentioned is a most valuable balsam for
wounds, having a peculiar smell, which prevents the attacks of flies,
who would otherwise blow the sore and occasion a nest of maggots in a
few hours. This oil is very healing, and soon creates a healthy
appearance in a bad cut. It is manufactured from the fruit of a plant in
Ceylon, but I have never met with it in the possession of an English
medical man. The smell of this oil is very offensive, even worse than
assafoetida, which it in some degree resembles. There are many medicinal
plants in Ceylon of great value, which, although made use of by the
natives, are either neglected or unknown to the profession in our own
country. One of the wild fruits of the jungle, the wood-apple or wild
quince, is very generally used by the natives in attacks of diarrhoea
and dysentery in the early stages of the disease; this has been used for
some years by English medical men in this island, but with no very
satisfactory effect.


A Morning's Deer-coursing--Kondawataweny--Rogue at Kondawa taweny--A
Close Shave--Preparations for Catching an Elephant--Catching an
Elephant--Taming Him--Flying Shot at a Buck--Cave at
Dimbooldene--Awkward Ground--A Charmed Life.

IT was in July, 1848, that I pitched my tent in the portion of Ceylon
known as the 'Park,' for the purpose of deer-coursing. I had only three
greyhounds, Killbuck, Bran and Lena, and these had been carried in a
palanquin from Newera Ellia, a distance of one hundred miles. The grass
had all been burnt about two months previously, and the whole country
was perfectly fresh and green, the young shoots not being more than half
a foot high. The deer were numerous but wild, which made the sport the
more enjoyable. I cannot describe the country better than by comparing
it to a rich English park, well watered by numerous streams and large
rivers, but ornamented by many beautiful rocky mountains, which are
seldom to be met with in England. If this part of the country had the
advantage of the Newera Ellia climate, it would be a Paradise, but the
intense heat destroys much of the pleasure in both shooting and
coursing, especially in the latter sport, as the greyhounds must be home
by 8 A. M., or they would soon die from the effects of the sun.

It was in the cool hour of sunrise, when the dew lay thickly upon the
grass, and the foliage glistened with the first beams of morning, that
we stalked over the extensive plains with Killbuck and Lena in the
slips, in search of deer. Several herds winded us at a distance of half
a mile, and immediately bounded away, rendering pursuit impossible; and
we determined not to slip the dogs unless they had a fair start, as one
run in this climate was quite work enough for a morning. After several
disappointments in stalking, we at length discovered a noble buck
standing alone by the edge of a narrow belt of jungle; the instant that
he observed us, he stepped proudly into the cover. This being open
forest, my brother took the greyhounds in at the spot where the deer had
entered, while I ran round to the opposite side of the cover, and took
my position upon an extensive lawn of fine grass about half a mile in

I had not remained a minute at my post before I heard a crash in the
jungle, as though an elephant were charging through, and in another
instant, a splendid buck burst upon the plain at full speed, and away he
flew over the level lawn, with the brace of greyhounds laying out about
fifty paces behind him. Here was a fair trial of speed over a perfect
bowling-green, and away they flew, the buck exerting his utmost stride,
and the greyhounds stretching out till their briskets nearly touched the
ground; Killbuck leading with tremendous bounds, and Lena about a length
behind him.

By degrees the beautiful spring of the greyhounds appeared to tell, and
the distance between them and the buck gradually decreased, although
both deer and dogs flew along with undiminished speed. The plain was
nearly crossed, and the opposite jungle lay within 200 yards of them. To
gain this, the buck redoubled his exertions; the greyhounds knew as well
as he did, that it was his chance of escape, and with equal efforts they
pressed upon him. Not fifty paces now separated the buck from the
jungle, and with prodigious bounds he sped along; he neared it; he won
it! the yielding branches crashed before him, but the dogs were at his
haunches as the jungle closed over them and concealed the chase.

I was soon up; and upon entering the jungle, I could neither hear nor
see anything of them, but, by following up the track, I found them about
fifty yards from the entrance of the bush. The buck was standing on the
sandy bed of a dry stream, endeavouring in vain to free himself, while
the greyhounds pinned his nose to the ground, each hanging upon his
ears. The knife finished him immediately. There never was a more
exciting course; it had been nobly run by both the dogs, and well
contested by the buck, who was a splendid fellow and in fine condition.

On my way to the tent I wounded a doe at full speed, which Lena followed
singly and pulled down, thus securing our coolies a good supply of
venison. The flesh of the spotted deer is more like mutton than English
venison, and is excellent eating; it would be still better if the
climate would allow of its being kept for a few days.

There is no sport in Ceylon, in my opinion, that is equal to
deer-coursing, but the great difficulty attending it, is the lack of
good greyhounds. The spotted buck (or axis) is an animal of immense
power and courage; and although most greyhounds would course him, very
few would have sufficient courage and strength to hold him, unless
slipped two brace at a time, which would immediately spoil the sport. A
brace of greyhounds to one buck is fair play, and a good strong horse
will generally keep them in view. In two weeks' coursing in the Park, we
killed seventeen deer with three greyhounds; at the expiration of which
time, the dogs were so footsore and wounded by the hard burnt stubble of
the old grass that they were obliged to be sent home.

When the greyhounds had left, I turned my attention to elephants. There
were very few at this season in the Park, and I therefore left this part
of the country, which was dried up, and proceeded to Kondawataweny, in
the direction of Batticaloa.*(*The jungles have now been cleared away,
and a plain of 25,000 acres of rice cultivation has usurped the old
resort of elephants.) Kondawataweny is a small village, inhabited by
Moormen, situated on the edge of a large lake or tank. Upon arrival, I
found that the neighbourhood was alive with game of all kinds, and the
Moormen were excellent hands at elephants. There was accordingly no
difficulty in procuring good gun-bearers and trackers, and at 4 P.M. of
the day of our arrival, we started to make a circuit of the tank in
quest of the big game. At about 5 P.M. we observed several rogues
scattered in various directions around the lake; one of these fellows,
whose close acquaintance I made with the telescope, I prophesied would
show some fight before we owned his tail. This elephant was standing
some distance in the water, feeding and bathing. There were two
elephants close to the water's edge between him and us, and we
determined to have a shot at them en passant, and then try to bag the
big fellow.

Although we stalked very cautiously along the edge of the jungle which
surrounded the lake, divided from it by a strip of plain of about 200
yards in width, the elephants winded us, and retreated over the patina*
(*Grassy plains) at full speed towards the jungle. Endeavouring to cut
them off before they could reach the thick cover, we ran at our best
pace along the edge of the jungle, so as to meet them at right angles.
One reached the jungle before us, but a lucky shot at a distance of
sixty paces floored the other, who lay struggling on the ground, and was
soon extinguished. Having reloaded, we went in quest of the large rogue,
who was bathing in the tank. This gentleman had decamped, having taken
offence at the firing.

Close to the edge of the lake grew a patch of thick thorny jungle of
about two acres, completely isolated, and separated from the main jungle
by about eighty paces' length of fine turf. The Moormen knew the habits
of this rogue, who was well known in the neighbourhood, and they at once
said, "that he had concealed himself in the small patch of jungle." Upon
examining the tracks from the tank, we found they were correct.

The question was, how to dislodge him; the jungle was so dense that it
was impossible to enter, and driving was the only chance.

There was a small bush within a few paces of the main jungle, exactly
opposite that in which the elephant was concealed, and we determined to
hide behind this, while a few Moormen should endeavour to drive him from
his retreat, in which case, he would be certain to make for the main
forest, and would most probably pass near the bush, behind which we lay
in wait for him. Giving the Moormen a gun, we took to our hiding-place.
The men went round to the tank side of the patch of jungle, and
immediately commenced shouting and firing; securing themselves from an
attack by climbing into the highest trees. A short interval elapsed, and
not a sound of the elephant could be heard. The firing and shouting
ceased, and all was as still as death. Some of the Moormen returned from
the jungle, and declared that the elephant was not there; but this was
all nonsense; the fact was, they did not like the idea of driving him
out. Knowing the character of these 'rogues', I felt convinced that he
was one of the worst description, and that he was quietly waiting his
time, until some one should advance within his reach. Having given the
Moormen a supply of powder, I again despatched them to drive the jungle.
Once more the firing and shouting commenced, and continued until their
supply of powder was exhausted: no effects had been produced; it was
getting late, and the rogue appeared determined not to move. A dead
silence ensued, which was presently disturbed by the snapping of a
bough; in another moment the jungle crashed, and forth stepped the
object of our pursuit! He was a magnificent elephant, one of the most
vicious in appearance that I have ever seen; he understood the whole
affair as well as we did; and flourishing his trunk, he paced quickly
backwards and forwards for a few turns before the jungle he had just
quitted; suddenly making his resolution, he charged straight at the bush
behind which we had imagined ourselves concealed. He was about eighty
yards off when he commenced his onset; and seeing that we were
discovered, I left the hiding-place, and stepped to the front of the
bush to meet him with the four-ounce rifle. On he came at a great pace,
carrying his head very high, and making me the sole object of his
attack. I made certain of the shot, although his head was in a difficult
position, and I accordingly waited for him till he was within fifteen
paces. At this distance I took a steady shot and fired. A cloud of
smoke, from the heavy charge of powder, obscured everything, but I felt
so certain that he was down, that I looked under the smoke to see where
he lay. Ye gods! He was just over me in full charge! I had not even
checked him by the shot, and he was within three feet of me, going at a
tremendous pace. Throwing my heavy rifle into the bush, I doubled
quickly to one side, hoping that he would pass me and take to the main
jungle, to which I ran parallel as fast as my legs could carry me.
Instead of taking to the jungle, he turned short and quickly after me,
and a fair race commenced. I had about three feet start of him, and I
saw with delight that the ground was as level and smooth as a lawn;
there was no fear of tripping up, and away I went at the fastest pace
that I ever ran either before or since, taking a look behind me to see
how the chase went on. I saw the bullet-mark in his forehead, which was
covered with blood; his trunk was stretched to its full length to catch
me, and was now within two feet of my back; he was gaining on me,
although I was running at a tremendous pace. I could not screw an inch
more speed out of my legs, and I kept on, with the brute gaining on me
at every stride. He was within a foot of me, and I had not heard a shot
fired, and not a soul had come to the rescue. The sudden thought struck
me that my brother could not possibly overtake the elephant at the pace
at which we were going, and I immediately doubled short to my left into
the open plain, and back towards the guns. The rogue overshot me. I met
my brother close to his tail, which position he had with difficulty
maintained; but he could not get a shot, and the elephant turned into
the jungle, and disappeared just as I escaped him by a sharp turn. This
was a close shave; had not the ground been perfectly level I must have
been caught to a certainty, and even as it was, he would have had me in
another stride had I not turned from my straight course. It was nearly
dark, and we returned to the tent, killing several peacocks and ducks on
our way, with which the country swarmed.

We passed a miserable night, not being able to sleep on account of the
mosquitoes, which were in swarms. I was delighted to see the first beam
of morning, when our little winged enemies left us, and a 'chatty' bath
was most enjoyable after the restless tossings of a sleepless night. The
Moormen were out at dawn to look for elephants, the guns were cleaned,
and I looked forward to the return of the trackers with peculiar
interest, as we had determined to 'catch an elephant.' The Moormen were
all full of excitement and preparation. These men were well practised in
this sport, and they were soon busied in examining and coiling their
hide ropes for the purpose.

At about mid-day the trackers returned, having found a herd about five
miles from the village. We were all ready, and we set off without a
moment's delay, our party consisting of my brother, myself, four
gun-bearers, and about thirty Moormen, each of whom carried a coil of
finely-twisted rope made of thongs of raw deer's hide; these ropes were
each twenty yards in length, and about an inch in diameter.

Having skirted the borders of the tank for about three miles, we turned
into the forest, and continued our route through alternate open and
thick forest, until we at length reached a rough, open country,
interspersed with low jungles. Here we met the watchers, who reported
the herd to be a few hundred paces from us in some patches of thick
jungle. Taking the wind, we carefully approached their position. The
ground was very rough, being a complete city of anthills about two feet
high; these were overgrown with grass, giving the open country an
appearance of a vast churchyard of turf graves. Among these tumps grew
numerous small clusters of bushes, above which, we shortly discovered
the flapping ears of the elephants, they were slowly feeding towards the
more open ground. It was a lovely afternoon, the sky was covered with a
thin grey cloud, and the sun had little or no power. Hiding behind a
bush, we watched the herd for some time, until they had all quitted the
bushes and were well out in the open. There were two elephants facing
us, and the herd, which consisted of seven, were tolerably close
together, with the exception of one, who was about thirty yards apart
from the main body; this fellow we determined to catch. We therefore
arranged that our gun-bearers and four rope-carriers should accompany
us, while the remaining portion of our party should lie in reserve to
come to our assistance when required, as so large a body of men could
not possibly stalk the herd without being discovered. Falling upon our
hands and knees, we crept between the grassy ant-hills towards the two
leading elephants, who were facing us. The wind was pretty brisk, and
the ant-hills effectually concealed us till we were within seven paces
of our game. The two leaders then both dropped dead to the front shot,
and the fun began. The guns were so well handed up, that we knocked over
the six elephants before they had given us a run of twenty yards, and we
all closed up and ran under the tail of the retreating elephant that we
had devoted to the ropes. He was going at about seven miles an hour; we
therefore had no difficulty in keeping up with him, as we could run
between the ant-hills much faster than he could. The ropes were in
readiness, and with great dexterity, one of the Moormen slipped a noose
over one of his hind feet, as he raised it from the ground; and drawing
it tight, he dropped his coil. We all halted, and allowed the
unconscious elephant to run out his length of line; this he soon did,
and the rope trailed after him like a long snake, we all following at
about the centre of the length of rope, or twenty paces behind him. He
was making for the jungle, which was not far distant, and we were
running him like a pack of hounds, but keeping a gun in readiness, lest
he should turn and charge. He at length reached the wooded bank of a dry
river, and thick rattan jungle bordered the opposite side; he thought he
was safe, and he plunged down the crumbling bank. We were a little too
quick for him, by taking a double turn round a tree with the slack end
of the rope just as he descended the bank; the effect of this was to
bring him to a sudden standstill, and the stretching of the hide rope
threw him upon his knees. He recovered himself immediately, and used
extraordinary efforts to break away; tightening the rope to its utmost
length, he suddenly lifted up his tied leg and threw his whole weight
forward. Any but a hide rope of that diameter must have given way, but
this stretched like a harp-string, and at every effort to break it, the
yielding elasticity of the hide threw him upon his head, and the sudden
contraction after the fall, jerked his leg back to its full length.

After many vain, but tremendous efforts to free himself, he turned his
rage upon his pursuers, and charged everyone right and left; but he was
safely tied, and we took some little pleasure in teasing him. He had no
more chance than a fly in a spider's web. As he charged in one
direction, several nooses were thrown round his hind legs; then his
trunk was caught in a slip-knot, then his fore legs, then his neck, and
the ends of all these ropes being brought together and hauled tight, he
was effectually hobbled.

This had taken some time to effect (about half an hour), and we now
commenced a species of harness to enable us to drive him to the village.

The first thing was to secure his trunk by tying it to one of his fore
legs; this leg was then fastened with a slack rope to one of his hind
legs, which prevented him from taking a longer stride than about two
feet; his neck was then tied to his other fore leg, and two ropes were
made fast to both his fore and hind legs; the ends of these ropes being
manned by thirty men.

Having completed these arrangements, he was released from the ties which
hobbled him, and we commenced the arduous task of driving him towards
the village, a distance of five miles. The only method of getting him
along, was to keep two men to tease him in front, by shouting and waving
cloths before his face; he immediately charged these fellows, who, of
course, ran in the right direction for the village, and by this repeated
manoeuvre we reached the borders of the tank by nightfall. We were still
at least two miles from the village, and we were therefore obliged to
tie him to a tree for the night. The next morning we succeeded in
driving him to the village. He was a fine elephant, but not full grown,
and for this reason he had been selected from the herd for capture, as
they are more valuable at this particular period of their growth, being
easily rendered docile. He was about sixteen years of age; and by
starving for two days, and subsequent gentle treatment, the natives
mounted and rode him on the third day of his capture, taking the
precaution, however, of first securing his trunk. This elephant was then
worth fifteen pounds to be sold to the Arabs for the Indian market.

After a stay of a few days in this neighbourhood, during which we had
good sport in elephant-shooting, we returned to the Park country. The
first evening of our return, we heard elephants roaring in the jungle
within a short distance of the tent. At daybreak the next morning we
were on their tracks, and after a walk of five miles we found them in
thick thorny jungle, and only killed three. We had a long day's work,
and we were returning home in the afternoon when we suddenly observed a
herd of deer grazing in the beautiful park. The headman of this part of
the country is a first-rate sportsman, and has always accompanied me in
shooting through this district. This man, whose name is Banda, is the
only Cingalese that I have ever seen who looks like a man of good birth
in his nation. Strikingly handsome and beautifully proportioned, with
the agility of a deer, he is in all respects the beau ideal of a native
hunter. His skill in tracking is superb, and his thorough knowledge of
the habits of all Ceylon animals, especially of elephants, renders him a
valuable ally to a sportsman. He and I commenced a careful stalk, and
after a long circuit I succeeded in getting within seventy paces of the
herd of deer. The ground was undulating, and they were standing on the
top of a low ridge of hills. I dropped a buck with my two-ounce rifle,
and the herd immediately disappeared behind the top of the hill. Taking
one of my double-barrelled rifles, which Banda gave me, I ran to the top
of the hill as fast as I could, just in time to see the herd going at a
flying speed along a small valley at a long distance. Another buck was
separated from the herd by about forty paces, and putting up the second
sight of my rifle, I took a shot at him; to my delight he plunged
heavily upon the turf. I fired my remaining barrel at the herd, but I
must have missed, as none fell. I immediately stepped the distance to
the dead buck, 187 paces. I had fired a little too high, and missed his
body, but the ball struck him in the neck and had broken his spine. A
successful flying shot at this distance has a very pretty effect, and
Banda was delighted.

There were very few elephants at this season at the Park, and the
numberless 'ticks' which swarmed in the grass, spoilt all the pleasure
of shooting. These little wretches, which are not larger than a small
grain of gunpowder, find their way to every part of the body, and the
irritation of their bites is indescribable. Scratching, is only adding
fuel to fire; there is no certain prevention or relief from their
attacks; the best thing that I know is cocoa-nut oil rubbed daily over
the whole body, but the remedy is almost as unpleasant as the bite.
Ceylon is, at all times, a frightful place for vermin: in the dry
weather we have ticks; it the wet weather mosquitoes, and, what are
still more disgusting, 'leeches,' which swarm in the grass, and upon the
leaves of the jungle. These creatures insinuate themselves through all
the openings in a person's dress--up the trousers, under the waistcoat,
down the neck, up the wrists, and in fact everywhere, drawing blood with
insatiable voracity, and leaving an unpleasant irritation for some days

All these annoyances form great drawbacks to the enjoyment of the
low-country sports; although they are afterwards forgotten, and the
bright moments of the sport are all that are looked back to, they are
great discomforts at the time. When the day is over, and the man,
fatigued by intense heat and a hard day's work, feels himself refreshed
by a bath and a change of clothes, the incurable itching of a thousand
tick-bites destroys all his pleasure; he finds himself streaming with
blood from leech-bites, and for the time he feels disgusted with the
country. First-rate sport can alone compensate for all these annoyances.

There is a portion of the Park country known as Dimbooldene. In this
part there is a cave formed by a large overhanging rock, which is a much
cooler residence than the tent. Here we accordingly bivouacked, the cave
being sufficiently large to contain the horses in addition to ourselves
and servants. After a delightfully cool night, free from mosquitoes, we
made a day of it, but we walked from sunrise till 5 P.M. without seeing
a sign of an elephant. At length, from the top of a high hill on the
very confines of the Park country, we looked across a deep valley, and
with the assistance of the telescope we plainly distinguished a large
single elephant feeding on the grassy side of an opposite mountain. To
cross the deep valley that separated us, and to ascend the mountain,
would have taken several hours, and at this time of the day it was
impracticable; we were thus compelled to turn our backs upon the game,
and return towards our rocky home. Tired, more from our want of success
than from the day's work, we strolled leisurely along, and we were
talking of the best plan to be adopted for the next day's work, when I
suddenly observed a herd of eight elephants going up the side of a small
hill at their best pace within 200 yards of us. They had just quitted a
small jungle at the bottom of a ravine, and they had been alarmed by our

Off we started in pursuit, down the rugged side of the hill we were
descending, and up the opposite hill, upon the elephants' tracks, as
hard as we could run. Just as we reached the top of the hill, the
elephants were entering a small jungle on the other side. My brother got
a shot, and killed the last of the herd; in another moment they had
disappeared. It had been a sharp burst up the steep hill, and we stopped
to breathe, but we were almost immediately in pursuit again, as we saw
the herd emerge from the jungle at the base of the hill, and plough
their way through a vast field of high lemon grass.

Upon arriving on their tracks, they had fairly distanced us. The grass,
which was as thick as a hedge, was trodden into lanes by the elephants,
and upon either side it stood like a wall ten or twelve feet high. Upon
these tracks we ran along for some time, until it became dusk. We
halted, and were consulting as to the prudence of continuing the chase
at this late hour, when we suddenly heard the cracking of the branches
in a small jungle in a hollow close to our left, and upon taking a
position upon some rising ground, we distinctly saw several elephants
standing in the high grass about a hundred paces before us, close to the
edge of the jungle in which the remaining portion of the herd was
concealed. Two of the elephants were looking at us, and as there was no
time to lose, we walked straight up to them. They stood quietly watching
us till we were within twenty yards, when they came a few paces forward,
one immediately fall ing dead to my shot, while the other was turned by
a shot from my brother; the rest retreated to the jungle over the most
difficult ground for both man and beast. Immense rocks lay scattered in
heaps over the surface, forming chasms by the intervening crevices of
five and six feet in depth; from these crevices the long lemon grass
grew in dense tufts, completely hiding the numerous pitfalls, and making
the retreat of the elephants and our pursuit equally difficult. I was
close to the tail of a large elephant, who was picking his way carefully
over the treacherous surface, and I was waiting for an opportunity for a
shot should he turn his head, when I suddenly pitched head first into
one of these rocky holes. Here I scrambled for some seconds before I
could extricate myself, as I was carrying my heavy four-ounce rifle; and
at length, upon recovering my footing, I found that all the elephants
had gained the jungle, except the one that I had been following. He was
about twenty yards from me, and was just entering the jungle, but I got
a splendid shot at him behind the ear and rolled him over.

It was very nearly dark, and we could not of course follow the herd any
farther; we therefore reloaded, and turned towards the direction of the
cave; this was plainly shown by a distant blaze of light from the
night-fires, which were already lit. We were walking slowly along
parallel to the jungle, into which the elephants had retreated, when my
man Wallace, who is a capital gun-bearer, halloed out, `Here comes an
elephant!' and in the dim twilight I could see an elephant bowling at a
great pace towards us, but close to the jungle. He was forty yards from
me, but my brother fired at him and without effect. I took a quick shot
with a double-barrelled rifle, and he dropped immediately. Hearing him
roar as he lay in the high lemon grass by the edge of the jungle, I ran
down the gentle slope to the spot, followed by my trusty gun-bearer
Wallace, as I knew the elephant was only stunned and would soon recover.
Upon arriving within a few feet of the spot, pushing my way with
difficulty through the tangled lemon grass, I could not see where he
lay, as daylight had now vanished. I was vainly looking about, when I
suddenly heard a rush in the grass close to me, and I saw the head and
cocked ears of the elephant within six feet, as he came at me. I had
just time to fire my remaining barrel, and down he dropped to the shot!
I jumped back a few paces to assure myself of the result, as the smoke
hanging in the high grass, added to the darkness, completely blinded me.
Wallace pushed the spare rifle into my hand, and to my astonishment I
saw the head and cocked ears again coming at me! It was so dark that I
could not take an aim, but I floored him once more by a front shot, and
again I jumped back through the tangled grass, just in time to avoid
him, as he, for the third time, recovered himself and charged. He was
not five paces from me; I took a steady shot at him with my last barrel,
and I immediately bolted as hard as I could run. This shot once more
floored him, but he must have borne a charmed life, as he again
recovered his legs, and to my great satisfaction he turned into the
jungle and retreated. This all happened in a few seconds; had it been
daylight I could of course have killed him, but as it happened I could
not even dis tinguish the sights at the end of my rifle. In a few
minutes afterwards, it became pitch dark, and we could only steer for
the cave by the light of the fire, which was nearly two miles distant.

The next day, we found a herd of eight elephants in very favourable
ground, and succeeded in killing seven; but this was the last herd in
the Park, and after a few days spent in beating up the country without
success, I returned to Newera Ellia, the bag being twenty-two elephants
during a trip of three weeks, in addition to deer, hogs, buffalo, and
small game, which had afforded excellent sport.


Another Trip to the Park-A Hard Day's Work-Discover a Herd-Death of the
Herd-A Furious Charge-Caught at Last-The Consequences-A Thorough
Rogue-Another Herd in High Lemon Grass-Bears-A Fight between a Moorman
and a Bear-A Musical Herd-Herd Escape-A Plucky Buck-Death of `Killbuck'
-Good Sport with a Herd-End of the Trip.

ABOUT twelve months elapsed without my pulling a trigger. I had
contented myself with elk-hunting in Newera Ellia and the vicinity, but
in November, 1850, the greyhounds were again in their palanquin, and, ac
companied by my brother V., I was once more in the saddle on my
steady-going old horse Jack, en route for the Park.

It was 5 P.M. on a cool and lovely evening that we halted, and unsaddled
in this beautiful country. Our tents and coolies were far behind, our
horse-keepers were our only attendants, and we fixed upon a spot as the
most eligible site for the tents. A large open park lay before us,
interspersed with trees, and clumps of forest. A clear stream flowed
from some low rocky hills upon our right, and several detached masses of
rock lay scattered irregularly here and there, like the ruins of an old
castle. Large trees grew from the crevices of these rocks, and beneath
their shade we turned our horses loose to graze upon a soft sweet grass,
with which this part of the Park is covered. We had the greyhounds with
us, and a single rifle, but no other guns, as the servants were far
behind. Having given directions to the horse-keepers to point out the
spot for the tents on the arrival of the people, we took a stroll with
the greyhounds to get a deer, as we depended upon this chance for our

Just as we were starting, we noticed two large elephants feeding on the
rocky hills within a quarter of a mile of us; but having no guns up,
with the exception of one rifle, we were obliged to postpone the attack,
and, cautioning the horse-keepers to observe silence lest the game
should be alarmed, we left the elephants to their meal, while we struck
off in another direction with the greyhounds. We found a herd of deer
within half a mile of our starting-place; they had just come out from
the forest for the night's feeding; and when I first saw them, they were
barking to each other in a small glade within sixty paces of the jungle.
Dinner depending upon success, I stalked them with the greatest caution.
Taking Killbuck and Lena in the slips I crept from tree to tree without
the slightest noise; I had the wind, and if any dogs could kill a deer
in the difficult position in which the herd stood, these two would do
it. I got within sixty yards of the herd before they observed me, and as
they dashed off towards the jungle, I slipped the straining greyhounds.
A loud cheer to the dogs confused the herd, and they scattered to the
right and left as they gained the forest, the dogs being close up with
them, and Killbuck almost at a buck's throat as he reached the jungle.
Following as well as I could through the dusky jungle, I shortly heard
the cry of a deer, and on arriving at the spot I found Killbuck and Lena
with a buck on the ground. No deer had a chance with this wonderful dog
Killbuck. When he was once slipped, there was no hope for the game
pursued; no matter what the character of the country might be, it was
certain death to the deer. We gralloched the buck, and having fed the
dogs with the offal, we carried him on a pole to the place where we had
left the horses. On arrival, we deposited our heavy burden; and to our
satisfaction, we found all our people had arrived. The tents were
pitched, and the night-fires were already blazing, as daylight had
nearly ceased.

In the course of an hour, we were comfortably seated at our table, with
venison steaks, and chops smoking before us--thanks to the dogs, who
were now soundly sleeping at our feet. During the progress of dinner I
planned the work for the day following. We were now eight miles from
Nielgalla (Blue Rock), the village at which Banda resided, and I ordered
a man to start off at daybreak to tell him that I was in his country,
and to bring old Medima and several other good men (that I knew) to the
tent without delay. I proposed that we should, in the meantime, start at
daylight on the tracks of the two elephants that we had seen upon the
hills, taking Wallace and a few of the best coolies as gun-bearers.
Wallace is a Cochin man, who prides himself upon a mixture of Portuguese
blood. He speaks six different languages fluently, and is without
exception the best interpreter and the most plucky gun-bearer that I
have ever seen. He has accompanied me through so many scenes with
unvarying firmness that I never have the slightest anxiety about my
spare guns if he is there, as he keeps the little troop of gun-bearers
in their places in a most methodical manner.

At break of day on the following morning we were upon the tracks of the
two elephants, but a slight shower during the night had so destroyed
them that we found it was impossible to follow them up. We therefore
determined to examine the country thoroughly for fresh tracks, and we
accordingly passed over many miles of ground, but to little purpose, as
none were to be seen.

We at length discovered fresh traces of a herd in thick thorny jungle,
which was too dense to enter, but marking their position, we determined
to send out watchers on the following day to track them into better
country. Having killed a deer, we started him off with some coolies that
we had taken with us on this chance, and we continued our route till 3
P.M. We had lost our way, and, not having any guide, we had no notion of
the position of the tents; the heat of the day had been intense, and,
not having breakfasted, we were rather anxious about the direction.
Strolling through this beautiful expanse of Park country, we directed
our course for a large rocky mountain, at a few miles' distance, at the
base of which I knew lay the route from the tent to Nielgalla. To our
great satisfaction we found the path at about 4 P.M., and we walked
briskly along at the foot of the mountain in the direction of our
encampment, which was about four miles distant.

We had just arrived at an angle of the mountain, which, in passing, we
were now leaving to our left, when we suddenly halted, our attention
having been arrested by the loud roaring of elephants in a jungle at the
foot of the hills, within a quarter of a mile of us. The roaring
continued at intervals, reverberating among the rocks like distant
thunder, till it at length died away to stillness.

We soon arrived in the vicinity of the sound, and shortly discovered
tracks upon a hard sandy soil, covered with rocks and overgrown with a
low, but tolerably open jungle at the base of the mountain. Following
the tracks, we began to ascend steep flights of natural steps formed by
the successive layers of rock, which girded the foot of the mountain;
these were covered with jungle, interspersed with large detached masses
of granite, which in some places formed alleys through which the herd
had passed. The surface of the ground being nothing but hard rock,
tracking was very difficult, and it took me a considerable time to
follow them up by the pieces of twigs and crunched leaves, which the
elephants had dropped while feeding. I at length tracked them to a small
pool formed by the rain-water in the hollow of the rock; here they had
evidently been drinking only a few minutes previous, as the tracks of
their feet upon the margin of the pool were still wet. I now went on in
advance of the party with great caution, as I knew that we were not many
paces from the herd. Passing through several passages among the rocks, I
came suddenly upon a level plateau of ground covered with dense lemon
grass about twelve feet high, which was so thick and tangled, that a man
could with difficulty force his way through it. This level space was
about two acres in extent, and was surrounded by jungle upon all sides
but one; on this side, to our right as we entered, the mountain rose in
rocky steps, from the crevices of which, the lemon grass grew in tall

The instant that I arrived in this spot, I perceived the nap of an
elephant's ear in the high grass, about thirty paces from me, and upon
careful inspection I distinguished two elephants standing close
together. By the rustling of the grass in different places I could see
that the herd was scattered, but I could not make out the elephants
individually, as the grass was above their heads.

I paused for some minutes to consider the best plan of attack; but the
gun-bearers, who were behind me, being in a great state of excitement,
began to whisper to each other, and in arranging their positions behind
their respective masters, they knocked several of the guns together. In
the same moment, the two leading elephants discovered us, and, throwing
their trunks up perpendicularly, they blew the shrill trumpet of alarm
without attempting to retreat. Several trumpets answered the call
immediately from different positions in the high grass, from which,
trunks were thrown up, and huge heads just appeared in many places, as
they endeavoured to discover the danger which the leaders had announced.

The growl of an elephant is exactly like the rumbling of thunder, and
from their deep lungs the two leader, who had discovered us, kept up an
uninterrupted peal, thus calling the herd together. Nevertheless, they
did not attempt to retreat, but stood gazing attentively at us with
their ears cocked, looking extremely vicious. In the meantime, we stood
perfectly motionless, lest we should scare them before the whole herd
had closed up. In about a minute, a dense mass of elephants had
collected round the two leaders, who were all gazing at us; and thinking
this a favourable moment, I gave the word, and we pushed towards them
through the high grass. A portion of the herd immediately wheeled round
and retreated as we advanced, but five elephants, including the two who
had first discovered us, formed in a compact line abreast, and thrashing
the long grass to the right and left with their trunks, with ears cocked
and tails up, they came straight at us. We pushed forward to meet them,
but they still came on in a perfect line, till within ten paces of us.

A cloud of smoke hung over the high grass as the rifles cracked in rapid
succession, and the FIVE ELEPHANTS LAY DEAD in the same order as they
had advanced. The spare guns had been beautifully handed; and running
between the carcasses, we got into the lane that the remaining portion
of the herd had made by crushing the high grass in their retreat. We
were up with them in a few moments; down went one! then another! up he
got again, almost immediately recovering from V.'s shot; down he went
again! as I floored him with my last barrel.

I was now unloaded, as I had only two of my double-barrelled No. 10
rifles out that day, but the chase was so exciting that I could not help
following empty-handed, in the hope that some gun-bearer might put one
of V.'s spare guns in my hand. A large elephant and her young one, who
was about three feet and a half high, were retreating up the rugged side
of the mountain, and the mother, instead of protecting the little one,
was soon a hundred paces ahead of him, and safely located in a thick
jungle which covered that portion of the mountain. Being empty-handed, I
soon scrambled up and caught the little fellow by the tail; but he was
so strong that I could not hold him, although I exerted all my strength,
and he dragged me slowly towards the jungle to which his mother had
retreated. V. now came up, and he being loaded, I told him to keep a
look-out for the mother's return, while I secured my captive, by seizing
him by the trunk with one hand and by the tail with the other; in this
manner I could just master him by throwing my whole weight down the
hill, and he began to roar like a full-grown elephant. The mother was
for a wonder faithless to her charge, and did not return to the little
one's assistance. While I was engaged in securing him, the gun-bearers
came up, and at this moment I observed, at the foot of the hill, another
elephant, not quite full grown, who was retreating through the high
grass towards the jungle. There were no guns charged except one of my
No. 10 rifles, which some one had reloaded; taking this, I left the
little 'Ponchy' with V. and the gun-bearers, and running down the side
of the hill, I came up with the elephant just as he was entering the
jungle, and getting the earshot, I killed him.

We had bagged nine elephants, and only one had escaped from the herd;
this was the female who had forsaken her young one.

Wallace now came up and cut off the tails of those that I had killed. I
had one barrel still loaded, and I was pushing my way through the
tangled grass towards the spot where the five elephants lay together,
when I suddenly heard Wallace shriek out, 'Look out, sir! Look out!--an
elephant's coming!'

I turned round in a moment; and close past Wallace, from the very spot
where the last dead elephant lay, came the very essence and incarnation
of a 'rogue' elephant in full charge. His trunk was thrown high in the
air, his ears were cocked, his tail stood erect above his back as stiff
as a poker, and screaming exactly like the whistle of a railway engine,
he rushed upon me through the high grass with a velocity that was
perfectly wonderful. His eyes flashed as he came on, and he had singled
me out as his victim.

I have often been in dangerous positions, but I never felt so totally
devoid of hope as I did in this instance. The tangled grass rendered
retreat impossible. I had only one barrel loaded, and that was useless,
as the upraised trunk protected his forehead. I felt myself doomed; the
few thoughts that rush through men's minds in such hopeless positions,
flew through mine, and I resolved to wait for him till he was close upon
me, before I fired, hoping that he might lower his trunk and expose his

He rushed along at the pace of a horse in full speed; in a few moments,
as the grass flew to the right and left before him, he was close upon
me, but still his trunk was raised and I would not fire. One second
more, and at this headlong pace he was within three feet of me; down
slashed his trunk with the rapidity of a whip-thong! and with a shrill
scream of fury he was upon me!

I fired at that instant; but in a twinkling of an eye I was flying
through the air like a ball from a bat. At the moment of firing. I had
jumped to the left, but he struck me with his tusk in full charge upon
my right thigh, and hurled me eight or ten paces from him. That very
moment he stopped, and, turning round, he beat the grass about with his
trunk, and commenced a strict search for me. I heard him advancing close
to the spot where I lay as still as death, knowing that my last chance
lay in concealment. I heard the grass rustling close to me; closer and
closer he approached, and he at length beat the grass with his trunk
several times exactly above me. I held my breath, momentarily expecting
to feel his ponderous foot upon me. Although I had not felt the
sensation of fear while I had stood opposed to him, I felt like what I
never wish to feel again while he was deliberately hunting me up.
Fortunately I had reserved my fire until the rifle had almost touched
him, for the powder and smoke had nearly blinded him, and had spoiled
his acute power of scent. To my joy I heard the rustling of the grass
grow fainter; again I heard it at a still greater distance; at length it
was gone!

At that time I thought that half my bones were broken, as I was numbed
from head to foot by the force of the blow. His charge can only be
compared to a blow from a railway engine going at twenty miles an hour.

Not expecting to be able to move, I crept to my hands and knees. To my
delight there were no bones broken, and with a feeling of thankfulness I
stood erect. I with difficulty reached a stream of water near the spot,
in which I bathed my leg, but in a few minutes it swelled to the size of
a man's waist. In this spot everyone had congregated, and were loading
their guns, but the rogue had escaped.

My cap and rifle were now hunted for, and they were at length found near
the spot where I had been caught. The elephant had trodden on the stock
of the rifle, and it bears the marks of his foot to this day.

In a few minutes I was unable to move. We therefore sent to the tent for
the horses, and arrived at 6 P.M., having had a hard day's work from 5
A.M. without food.

On arrival at the tent we found Banda and the trackers.

There could not be a better exemplification of a rogue than in this
case. A short distance apart from the herd, he had concealed himself in
the jungle, from which position he had witnessed the destruction of his
mates. He had not stirred a foot until he saw us totally unprepared,
when he instantly seized the opportunity and dashed out upon me. If I
had attempted to run from him, I should have been killed, as he would
have struck me in the back; my only chance was in the course which I
pursued--to wait quietly until he was just over me, and then to jump on
one side; he thus struck me on the thickest part of the thigh instead of
striking me in the stomach, which he must have done had I remained in my
first position; this would have killed me on the spot.

I passed an uncomfortable night, my leg being very painful and covered
with wet bandages of vinegar and water. The bruise came out from my
ankle to my hip; the skin was broken where the tush had struck me, and
the blood had started under the skin over a surface of nearly a foot,
making the bruise a bright purple, and giving the whole affair a most
unpleasant appearance. The next morning I could not move my leg, which
felt like a sack of sand, and was perfectly numbed; however, I kept on a
succession of cold lotions, and after breakfast I was assisted upon my
horse, and we moved the encampment to Nielgalla. On the following day I
could just manage to hobble along, my leg being at least double its
usual size, and threatening to spoil my sport for the whole trip.

We were seated at breakfast when a native came in, bringing intelligence
of a herd of elephants about four miles distant. I was not in a state
for shooting, but I resolved to mount my steady old horse Jack, and take
my chance of revenge for my mishap. The guns were accordingly loaded,
and we started.

We had ridden through the Park for about three miles, and had just
turned round the corner of a patch of jungle, when we came suddenly upon
a large rogue elephant, who was standing in the open, facing us at about
seventy yards. The moment that he saw the horses he turned sharp round,
and retreated to a long belt of fine open forest which was close behind
him. There was no resisting the invitation upon such favourable ground,
and immediately dismounting, we followed him. I now found that my leg
was nearly useless, and I could only move at a snail's pace, and even
then with great pain. Upon reaching the forest, we found that the rogue
had decamped, not wishing to meet us in such advantageous ground. We
followed his tracks for a few hundred yards through the wood, till we
suddenly emerged upon a large tract of high lemon grass. Into this, our
cunning foe had retreated, and with my decreased powers of locomotion, I
did not wish to pursue him farther. I was at length persuaded by Banda
to make a trial, and we accordingly left the track, and pushed our way
through the high grass to some rising ground, from which we could look
over the surface of waving vegetation, and find out the exact position
of the elephant. While forcing our way through the dense mass, I
momentarily expected to hear the rush of the rogue charging down upon
us, and I was glad to find myself at length safe in the position we had
steered for.

Upon scanning the surface of the grass, I distinguished the elephant
immediately; he was standing close to the edge of the jungle in the high
grass facing us, at about 150 yards distant. He was a picture of intense
excitement and attention, and was evidently waiting for us. In the
position that we now occupied, we unavoidably gave him the wind, and he
of course almost immediately discovered us. Giving two or three shrill
trumpets, he paced quickly to and fro before the jungle, as though he
were guarding the entrance. To enter the high grass to attack him, would
have been folly, as he was fully prepared, and when once in the tangled
mass we could not have seen him until he was upon us; we therefore
amused ourselves for about ten minutes by shouting at him. During this
time he continued pacing backwards and forwards, screaming almost
without intermission; and having suddenly made up his mind to stand this
bullying no longer, he threw his trunk up in the air and charged
straight at us. The dust flew like smoke from the dry grass as he rushed
through it; but we were well prepared to receive him. Not wishing him to
come to close quarters with my useless leg, I gave him a shot with my
two-ounce rifle, at about 120 paces. It did not even check him, but it
had the effect of making him lower his trunk, and he came on at
undiminished speed. Taking the four-ounce rifle from Wallace, I heard
the crack of the ball as it entered his head at about 100 yards. He was
down! A general shout of exclamation rose from Banda and all the
gun-bearers. I reloaded the four-ounce immediately, and the ball was
just rammed home when we heard the supposed dead elephant roaring on the
ground. In another moment he regained his legs and stood with his
broadside exposed to us, stunned with the heavy ball in his head. Taking
a steady shot at his shoulder, I gave him a second dose of the four-
ounce; he reeled to and fro and staggered into the jungle. I dared not
follow him in my crippled state, and we returned to the horses; but the
next day he was found dead by the natives.

I much feared that the shot fired might have disturbed the herd of
elephants, as they were reported to be not far distant; this, however,
proved not to be the case, as we met the watchers about a mile farther
on, who reported the herd to be perfectly undisturbed, but located in
the everlasting lemon grass. At this time the greater portion of the
Park was a mass of this abominable grass, and there was no chance of
getting the elephants in any other position, this serving them at the
same time for both food and shelter. How they can eat it is a puzzle; it
is as sharp as a knife, and as coarse as a file, with a flavour of the
most pungent lemon peel.

We shortly arrived at the spot in which the herd was concealed; it was a
gentle slope covered with dense lemon grass, terminated by a jungle. We
could just distinguish the tops of the elephants' heads in several
places, and, having dismounted, we carefully entered the grass, and
crept towards the nearest elephants. The herd was much scattered, but
there were five elephants close to each other, and we made towards
these, Banda leading the way. My only chance of making a bag lay in the
first onset; I therefore cautioned Wallace to have the spare guns handed
with extra diligence, and we crept up to our game. There were two
elephants facing us, but we stalked them so carefully through the high
grass that we got within four paces of them before they discovered us;
they cocked their ears for an instant, and both rolled over at the same
moment to the front shot. Away dashed the herd, trumpeting and screaming
as they rushed through the high grass. For a few moments my game leg
grew quite lively, as it was all downhill work, and I caught up an
elephant and killed him with the left-hand barrel. Getting a spare gun,
I was lucky enough to get between two elephants who were running abreast
towards the jungle, and I bagged them by a right and left shot. Off went
the herd at a slapping pace through the jungle, V. pitching it into
them, but unfortunately to very little purpose, as they had closed up
and formed a barrier of sterns; thus we could not get a good shot. For
about a quarter of a mile I managed to hobble along, carried away by the
excitement of the chase, through jungles, hollows, and small glades,
till my leg, which had lost all feeling, suddenly gave way, and I lay
sprawling on my face, incapable of going a step farther. I had killed
four elephants; six had been killed altogether. It was very bad luck, as
the herd consisted of eleven; but the ground was very unfavourable, and
my leg gave way when it was most required.

A few days after this, the tents were pitched on the banks of the broad
river of Pattapalaar, about eight miles beyond Nielgalla. Elephants were
very scarce, and the only chance of getting them, was to work hard. We
were on horseback at break of day, and having forded the river, we rode
silently through plain and forest in search of tracks. We refused every
shot at deer, lest we should disturb the country, and scare away the

We had ridden for some distance upon an elephant path, through a
tolerably open forest at the foot of a range of rocky mountains, when
Banda, who was some paces in advance, suddenly sprang back again,
crying, 'Wallaha! wallaha!' (Bears! bears!) We were off our horses in a
moment, but I fell sprawling upon my back, my leg being so powerless and
numbed that I could not feel when I touched the ground. I recovered
myself just in time to see a bear waddling along through the jungle, and
I pushed after him in pursuit at my best pace. V. had disappeared in the
jungle in pursuit of another bear, and I presently heard two or three
shots. In the meantime my game had slackened speed to a careless kind of
swaggering walk; and the underwood being rather thick, I was determined
to get close to him before I fired, as I knew that I could not follow
him far, and my success would therefore depend upon the first shot. I
overtook him in a few moments, and I was following within a foot of his
tail, waiting for a chance for a clear shot between his shoulders, as
the thick underwood parted above his back, when he suddenly sprang
round, and with a fierce roar, he leaped upon the muzzle of the gun. I
fired both barrels into him as he threw his whole weight against it, and
I rolled him over in a confused cloud of smoke and crackling bushes. In
a moment he was on his legs again, but going off through the thick
underwood at a pace that in my helpless state soon left me far behind.
His state must have been far from enviable, as he left portions of his
entrails all along his track. V. had killed his bear; he weighed about
two hundred pounds, and measured fourteen inches round the arm, without
his hide.

The Ceylon bear is a most savage animal, constantly attacking men
without the slightest provocation. I have seen many natives frightfully
disfigured by the attacks of bears, which they dread more than any other
animal. Nothing would induce my trackers to follow up the wounded beast.
I followed him as far as I could, but my useless limb soon gave way, and
I was obliged to give him up. I once saw a Moorman, who was a fine
powerful fellow and an excellent elephant-tracker, who had a narrow
escape from a bear. He was cutting bamboos with a catty or kind of
bill-hook, when one of these animals descended from a tree just above
him and immediately attacked him. The man instinctively threw his left
arm forward to receive the bear, who seized it in his mouth and bit the
thumb completely off, lacerating the arm and wrist at the same time in a
frightful manner. With one blow of the bill-hook the Moorman cleft the
bear's skull to the teeth, at the same time gashing his own arm to the
bone by the force of the blow; and he never afterwards recovered the
proper use of the limb.

The Ceylon bear feeds upon almost anything that offers; he eats honey,
ants, fruit, roots, and flesh whenever he can procure it: his muscular
power is enormous, and he exerts both teeth and claws in his attack.
They are very numerous in Ceylon, although they are seldom met with in
any number, owing to their nocturnal habits, which attract them to their
caves at break of day.

After strolling over the country for some miles, we came upon fresh
elephant-tracks in high grass, which we immediately followed up. In the
course of half an hour, after tracking them for about two miles through
open country, we entered a fine forest, in which the herd had retired;
but our hopes of meeting them in this favourable ground were suddenly
damped by arriving at a dense chenar jungle in the very heart of the
forest. This chenar extended for some acres, and rose like a hedge,
forming a sudden wall of thorns, which effectually checked our advance.
The elephants had retired to this secure retreat, and having winded us
they kept up an uninterrupted roaring. I never heard such a musical
herd: the deep and thunder-like growls, combined with the shrill trumpet
and loud roars, as they all joined in concert, had a particularly grand
effect, and a novice in elephant-shooting would have felt his heart beat
in double time.

There was a rogue consorting with this herd, and it was necessary to be
particularly cautious in the attack. It was impossible to enter such
thick jungle, and I've waited for some hours in the forest, close to the
edge of the chenar, trying every dodge in vain to induce the herd to
quit their stronghold. They were continually on the QUI VIVE. Sometimes
a tremendous rush would be heard in the thick jungle as the herd would
charge towards us; but they invariably stopped just upon the borders,
and would not venture into the open forest. On one occasion I thought we
had them: they rushed to the edge of the thick jungle, and suddenly
filed off to the left and halted in a line within a few feet of the
forest. We were within six paces of them, concealed behind the trunks of
several large trees, from which we could discover the dim forms of six
elephants through the screen of thorns, which had a similar effect to
that produced by looking through a gauze veil. For some moments they
stood in an attitude of intense attention, and I momentarily expected
them to break cover, as we were perfectly still and motionless in our
concealed position. Suddenly they winded us, and whisked round to the
thick jungle, disappearing like magic.

We now tried the effect of bullying, and we sent men to different parts
of the jungle to shout and fire guns; this stirred up the wrath of the
rogue, and he suddenly burst from the thick jungle and rushed into the
open forest right among us. We were both standing behind the trees; and
the gun-bearers, with the exception of Wallace, had thrown the guns down
and had bolted up the trees when they heard the rush of the elephant
through the jungle; thus, upon his arrival in the open forest, he could
see no one, and he stood gazing about him with his ears cocked and tail
on end, not knowing exactly what to do, but ready to charge the first
person that showed himself. He was an immense elephant, being one of the
largest that I have ever seen, and he had as fine an expression of vice
in his appearance as any rogue could wish for. Suddenly he turned his
trunk towards us, but he was puzzled as to the exact position of any
one, as so many men were scattered among the trees. I was within twenty
yards of him, and he turned his head towards the spot, and was just on
the move forward, when I anticipated his intentions by running up to him
and knocking him over by a shot in the forehead, which killed him.
Unfortunately the herd at the same moment broke cover on the opposite
side of the jungle, and escaped without a shot being fired at them. It
was nearly dusk, and we were five miles from the tent; we were therefore
obliged to give them up.

The next morning, at daybreak, I rode out with the greyhounds, Killbuck,
Bran and Lena, to kill a deer. The lemon grass was so high at this
season that the dogs had no chance, and I was therefore compelled to
pick out some spot which was free from this grass, and employ beaters to
drive the jungles, instead of stalking the deer in the usual manner. I
tracked a herd of deer into a large detached piece of cover, and,
sending the beaters round to the opposite side, I posted myself with the
greyhounds in the slips behind a clump of trees, upon a small plain of
low, soft grass.

The noise of the beaters approached nearer and nearer, and presently two
splendid bucks with beautiful antlers rushed from the jungle about two
hundred yards from me, and scudded over the plain. I slipped the
greyhounds, and away they went in full fly, bounding over the soft turf
in grand style.

Mounting old Jack, who was standing at my elbow, and giving him the
spur, I rode after them. It was a splendid course; the two bucks
separated, Bran and Lena taking after one, and Killbuck following the
other in his usual dashing manner. Away they went with wonderful speed,
the bucks constantly doubling to throw the dogs out; but Killbuck never
overshot his game, and as the buck doubled, he was round after him in
fine style. I now followed him, leaving Bran and Lena to do their best,
and at a killing pace we crossed the plain--through a narrow belt of
trees, down a stony hollow, over another plain, through a small jungle,
on entering which Killbuck was within a few yards of the buck's

Now, old Jack is as fond of the sport as I am, and he kept up the chase
in good style; but just as we were flying through some high lemon grass,
a fallen tree, which was concealed beneath, tripped up the horse's fore
legs, and in an instant he was on his nose, turning a complete
somersault. I was pitched some yards, and upon instinctively mounting
again, the sparks were dancing in my eyes for some seconds before I
recovered myself, as we continued the chase with unabated speed.

We pressed along up some rising ground, having lost sight of the game;
and as we reached the top of the hill I looked around and saw the buck
at bay about a hundred paces from me, upon fine level ground, fighting
face to face with the dog, who sprang boldly at his head. That buck was
a noble fellow; he rushed at the dog, and they met like knights in a
tournament; but it was murderous work; he received the reckless hound
upon his sharp antlers and bored him to the ground. In another instant
Killbuck had recovered himself, and he again came in full fly at the
buck's face with wonderful courage; again the buck rushed forward to
meet him, and once more the pointed antlers pinned the dog, and the
buck, following up his charge, rolled him over and over for some yards.

By this time I had galloped up, and I was within a few feet of the buck,
when he suddenly sprang round with the evident intention of charging the
horse. In the same moment Killbuck seized the opportunity, and the buck
plunged violently upon the ground, with the staunch dog hanging upon his
throat. I, jumped off my horse, and the buck fell dead by a thrust with
the knife behind the shoulder.

I now examined the dog; he was wounded in several places, but as he bled
but little, I hoped that his apparent exhaustion arose more from the
fatigue of the fight than from any severe injury.

At this time Bran and Lena came up; they had lost their deer in some
high lemon grass, but they also were both wounded by the buck's horns. I
now put Killbuck and Lena together in the slips, and with the buck,
carried upon cross-poles by six men, I rode towards the tent. I had not
proceeded far when the man who was leading the greyhounds behind my
horse suddenly cried out, and on turning round I saw Killbuck lying on
the ground. I was at his side in a moment, and I released his neck from
the slips. It was too late; his languid head fell heavily upon the
earth; he gave me one parting look, and after a few faint gasps he was

I could hardly believe he was dead. Taking off my cap, I ran to a little
stream and brought some water, which I threw in his face; but his teeth
were set, his eyes were glazed, and the best and truest dog that was
ever born was dead. Poor Killbuck! he had died like a hero, and though I
grieved over him, I could not have wished him a more glorious death.

I was obliged to open him to discover the real injury. I had little
thought that the knife which had so often come to his assistance was
destined to so sad a task. His lungs were pierced through by the deer's
horns in two places, and he had died of sudden suffocation by internal
haemorrhage. A large hollow tree grew close to the spot; in this I
buried him. The stag's antlers now hang in the hall, a melancholy but
glorious memento of poor Killbuck.

In a few days my leg had so much improved that I could again use it
without much inconvenience; I therefore determined to pay the cave a
visit, as I felt convinced that elephants would be more numerous in that
neighbourhood. We started in the cool of the afternoon, as the distance
was not more than eight miles from our encampment. We had proceeded
about half-way, and our horses were picking their way with difficulty
over some rocky hills, when we came upon fresh tracks of a herd of
elephants. It was too late to go after them that evening; we therefore
pitched the tent upon the spot, resolving to track them up at daybreak
on the following morning.

We were accordingly out before sunrise, and came upon the tracks within

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