: a I had with me a short, stout spear, leaded at the end, one I had specially made up for such an occasion as the present, where a decisive blow was required, and a stick strong enough to withstand an ordinary charge desirable. This I now took from my ghorawallah, and prepared myself for action, for the men declared that the pug was now quite fresh and the pig must be near.
" ' There he goes, the old deceiver !' burst from the lips of my excited shikarees, as the huge old boar rose from a stunted bush, apparently hardly large enough to shelter a squeaker, and lumbered across the plain. As the black mass rolled along in the rays of the declining sun, my gallant old horse, who was the least done of the party, cocked his ears, and hardly needed the pressure of calf, as I settled myself to ride, to set him going.
" I dashed past the men, who were shouting in great excitement, and rattled away in pursuit. The old boar had felt the heat of the day, and his unusual exertions at a time which he was wont to spend in dignified repose as much as any of us, and in three or four hundred yards I was close upon him. He eyed me savagely out of the corner of his eye as I neared him, and was evidently meditating the right time at which himself to become the aggressor. Twice he slightly swerved from his line, but I kept my game little Arab well in hand, and let the old boar for a short time hold his own. This seemed to give him a little confidence in his own endurance, and possibly, if he considered the matter, he may have deemed the distant line of bushes which marked the Dooree jungle yet attainable. I allowed him, however, but scant time for consideration. Letting my horse go, I sent him up alongside at full speed, and drove my spear down into the pig's back with all my strength and with the full impetus of our onset.
"As the unprepared old fellow felt the steel, he gave a surly grunt of disapproval, and made an effort to turn upon me; but it was too late. I pressed the spear in deeper, and, being unable to withdraw it, left it standing upright in his body, eased my horse to the left, and shot ahead. I soon pulled up and wheeled round, and saw that he had got it very severely. He trotted on for about thirty or forty yards, and then, giving a lurch, recovered himself; again he staggered, and then rolled over, and with an expiring gasp or two was gathered to his fathers.
" The sun was just dipping behind the hills on the mainland as my men clustered round the long-sought prize, and wah' wah'd his great size. So firmly was the spear imbedded, that it required considerable exertion on the part of one of the men to withdraw it. I measured his height on my spear, and cut a notch to mark it, but somehow never entered it in my notebook, and the spear was subsequently broken ; but he could not have been less than forty inches. His tusks were much worn, but very thick, and when extracted measured just eight inches and a quarter. I suspect he must have proved the victor with the other and rather larger boar, for his body had numerous gashes on it, some but partly healed, and his being with the sows, proved, I fancy, that he kept the other at a distance.
" I divided nearly all that remained of my flask of brandy among the men, and cantered off towards some trees indicating the presence of a village among the line of bushes which loomed like a low, indistinctly seen shore in the yellow haze of the setting sun. Thence I despatched water for the men, and a cart to bring in the dead boar, and rode into Bhooj, which I reached after dark, after about as fatiguing a day's hunting as I ever had.
" Such, gentlemen, was the first single-handed encounter I ever had with a boar, the first pig I ever killed with a single thrust, and a finer exhibition of pugging than took place that day I don't ever expect to see.
" It was a very satisfactory conclusion, however unfortunate the commencement," said Stewart. " Since descriptions of solitary hunts seem to be the order of the evening, I will give you an instance of my own experience, more especially as it somewhat resembles yours, but happened in quite a different style of country.
" About fourteen or fifteen miles from Mandavie, in the neighbourhood of Nowenal, the shore of the Gulf of Cutch is lined with mangrove, to which pig resort in great numbers, coming inland to feed at night. I have heard that on high tides, the beasts have regularly to cling to the bushes; but sometimes they remain in the fields and bits of jungles about Karkur, Deesulpore, and other villages, and at some seasons appear to desert their marine residences and take up their quarters inland.
" While at Mandavie, during the month of October, we heard that pig were then in the habit of thus remaining among the fields and high thorn hedges of the interior; so another fellow and myself sent on shikarees, a tent, and our traps, and rode out one evening with the object of having a look for some next morning.
" About eight o'clock khubber was brought in that three or four pig were marked clown each in a separate place, and we sallied out full of hope. But it proved delusive : each one might have been there at some time, but lie certainly was not when we arrived, and about twelve, not having seen one pig, we returned to our tent, hot and weary, for an early October sun is no joke.
" My friend was so troubled with prickly-heat that he determined to go back to Mandavie, leaving me alone to try my chance once more on the following clay.
" About the same hour next morning, news was brought me that one large boar had been pugged to a strip of jungle, and was then enjoying his midday repose there.
" I was soon en route, and joined my men who were keeping watch over the sleeping game ; and I was shown the spot in which he was believed to be indulging his natural propensity for sleep.
" Taking one man with me, I sent the other five or six to the further side. At a short distance in that direction were numerous enclosures, from which it was an object to keep him. They pelted and shouted, and soon stirred the boar, who, however, stupidly persisted in breaking on that side, and necessitating my galloping back round the bit of jungle, which was very thick. I was obliged in my progress there to cross a narrow lane, which passed between steep banks, one of which was crowned with a hedge. I jumped in and scrambled out, and then saw the boar, a very good one, about half-way across a fallow field, making for some exceedingly stiff enclosures.