"My regiment had just arrived at Ahmedabad, and there being a scarcity of houses in the regimental lines, my chum and myself took a very nice bungalow on the banks of the river, a quarter of a mile or more away from the lines.
" One day some of my servants reported to me that they had just seen a small muggur, lying on a sandbank in the river; so I loaded a single-barrelled rifle, ' and sallied forth. The river flowed at the end of the compound, and it had then in the cold season— dwindled to a stream about thirty or forty yards across at that sj3ot, the rest of the bed being occupied by an extensive waste of sand. The muggur I found lying as described just on the other side of the water, and taking aim, I put a bullet nicely behind its shoulder, in the soft part below where the elbow touches. It should have penetrated the heart, if muggurs possess any, and, at any rate, took such effect that the beast turned over on its back, apparently as dead as a herring. Seeing this, some of my people wacled through the water, seized the animal by its tail, lugged it through the stream and up the bank, and finally deposited it in front of the door of the bungalow, where my chum, self, and all the servants carefully inspected it.
" Mine was evidently not the first attempt which had been made on the animal's life ; for we found that the snout, and front part of the upper jaw, had been cut clean off, leaving the lower teeth fully exposed. We conjectured that some native had stolen upon it when asleep, and probably with an axe made an attempt to crush its skull, but with only the partial success of depriving it of its snout. This must have happened long before, for the wound was quite healed.
" The lower teeth were very sharp, and I was remarking this to my friend having at the time placed my foot on them when what was left of the upper jaw opened, and the beast's eyes at the same time rolled with a glassy glare of returning life.
" I need hardly say my foot was removed at once, and I started back. Whether the dras; through the water had revived the beast, or our manipulation of its body recalled it to life, I know not; but it set-to, charging about the compound after any one that came in its way, as if possessed of pretty considerable vigour yet. I reloaded and put another bullet into it, but it seemed to have little effect.
" Its movements were, certainly, not quite so active as they might have been had it been untouched, but yet it seemed possible that it might get to the river and escape after all. One of the servants now brought me a rope, in which I made a running noose, and tried to fling it over the animal's head. But we were convulsed with laughter, for its movements were irresistibly comic, and the natives skipping about here and there, more than half frightened, added to the humour of the scene. At last, I succeeded from behind in slipping the noose over the head on to its neck, and we pulled at it with the object of getting the rope hitched round a tree. A bough, however, hung temptingly near, and over this I threw the end of the rope, and my friend and others caught it, and hauled away till we had the muggur fairly suspended.
" There it remained till life became extinct, which it shortly after did, no doubt assisted by the previous wounds ; but still it died, a hung muggur. Now, you unbelievers, isn't that a likely enough circumstance to have happened?"
All admitted that it certainly might be — as it actually was a fact.
" I suppose there are no muggurs in the swamp here V9 observed Melton, inquiringly. " Your little fellows of five or six feet long may not be generally dangerous customers, but I have no idea of falling over such monsters as we have in the large rivers and swamps of Bengal. I thought I saw to-day one or two deep creeks in the black mud."
" There are some deep pools," replied Norman, " but they don't contain muggurs. I don't suppose they and the pig would agree very well together. A good boar would certainly be the most active on land ; but in swimming the creeks he would have no chance. He couldn't do much in deep water, an element only adapted to him when quite shallow."
" No, that he certainly couldn't," said Danvers. " I remember hearing of a party who were out in Scinde during the time of the inundation, and regularly went in for a water hunt. Pise were driven towards a large tract of inundated land, and they fairly took to soil. The hunters, who were arrayed for the purpose, and if I remember right riding bare-backed, had a grand piece of fun, killing several, without the pig being able to damage them. But I have forgotten the particulars. I remember, however, that once, when I was myself out with a party at that season, an old boar was actually captured and bound.
" We had beaten a thick jungle and forced some pig out, which we rode. Another fellow who couldn't swim and myself, overhauled them on the brink of a deep and broadish nullah. They never hesitated for a moment, but with a mighty bound jumped as far into the water as they could, and then commenced swimming.
" I, who could swim, followed as a matter of course; but I heard sounds of lamentation and woe from my companion behind, mingled with a request for help in case of need. We were obliged to swim our horses for a short distance ; but both stuck to them, and safely reached the opposite bank, where, with others who joined us. we satisfactorily accounted for a couple of pig.
" On our return to the village, a large live boar was carried in tightly bound with thongs and withes. On inquiry, we found that he had been seen swimming across a sheet of water with one or two dogs hanging on to him. These dogs are of a very savage breed, and some of the men had brought them that day to help in turning the pig out. Seeing the pig in this helpless state, a number of the beaters plunged in and actually succeeded in binding him. At least, this was their story, and we saw no reason to doubt it. He was quite quiet now, but his twinkling little eyes gave token of the rage within.