" I should mention that on the previous day I had beaten unsuccessfully the bed of a river and the range of hills above it, in the neighbourhood of Ruttunghur. I had on that occasion been accompanied, to my great dissatisfaction, by the principal civil functionary and a fat jemadar of police, who, from a highly strained sense of duty, considered such a compliment to me necessary. The former was most respectably, but, for sporting purposes, somewhat too conspicuously clad in an entire suit of white clothing. Verily, I think if a tiger had appeared near them, somebody would have been the sufferer. I posted them, of course, far away from myself, and eventually had the gratification of leaving my native friends, who were decidedly out of condition, dead beat in the jungles.
" On this occasion I told the functionaries of Sin or-howlee, that if they insisted on accompanying me to the field, they must do so in a costume befitting the jungles. This they promised to do, and kept their word.
"The men who had killed the panther in the morning were a lot of sporting jogies, or some other tribe of religious mendicants, and many of them were armed with matchlocks. These fellows I engaged to assist in the beat.
" After breakfast I rode off to a village near the foot of the hills, with my retinue, jogies and all. From that and neighbouring villages we managed to collect about fifty or sixty beaters, and I issued a small supply of powder to my matchlock-men, with strict injunctions that on no account were they to load with ball. My object was to have them placed in or near some of the outlets, and by keeping up a continuous fire drive anything attempting to break there back towards me.
"The first place we tried was one of the 'koondahs,' and a very sweet, gamy-looking spot it was. It was, as I have explained, cut clean out of the face of the hills. Some portions of its sides were rent and fissured walls of rock; other parts, less precipitous, were accessible, though steep. A nullah received the drainage of the land above by various channels, and escaped into the plain through the neck of the gorge. It was here I was posted, sending the men by a circuitous route to the table-land above, with the object of beating from the tops of the cliffs and head of the koondah, which there became embayed behind a projecting spur of hill. My position was in a tree about midway between the two shoulders of the hill, which were divided by a space of less than a hundred yards. Some of the jogies were posted in trees near likely ways of exit from the jungle, while the rest kept up a fusillade along with the beaters.
" I had, from my position, a good view of a portion of the operations, and watched with interest blocks of rock rolled down crashing into the gorge below, and the large stones hurled further in among the bushes.
" Soon after the beat commenced, a prolonged howling, followed by several shots, announced that something was on foot. I thought one or two of the shots sounded rather sharp and distinct for blank powder; indeed, once I fancied that I detected the pinging of a bullet; still I fondly hoped that my ears deceived me, and that my instructions were merely being carried out with regard to blank charges. Nothing came past my post, but the extra yelling still continued, and the excited beating of the tom-toms proclaimed that game was yet astir. Presently this diminished, and a single shot was fired far away up the hill, where the precipitous wall beyond became merged in a slope. This was succeeded by a solitary yell, which was caught up by the beaters, and a great uproar ensued. For some time I couldn't make out what had taken place ; but I was ere long relieved of my uncertainty by being told, with every mark of satisfaction and triumph, that the tiger was killed.
" The gleeful native who informed me of this circumstance, and probably thought that it would be equally a matter of rejoicing to me, evinced a trembling surprise when, instead of praise, I poured unlimited abuse on the devoted jogie who had polished the tiger off. It appeared that, utterly regardless of my instructions, most of them must have loaded with ball, for the tigress, as it proved to be, had been viewed creeping up the hill, and fired at without success. One of them, however, had stationed himself in a tree, or on a rock, directly in the animal's path, and bringing the end of his long matchlock within a few yards of the beast, had, with a single bullet, then and there shot it dead.
" I was greatly annoyed, and ordered the culprit jogies to be brought before me, which, of course, they took good care should not be done. I refused, at first, even to permit the tiger to be brought down from the hill-side ; but on reflection, when my anger had somewhat cooled, I countermanded this order, signifying at the same time that I would not give one rupee of reward. It was a very fine tigress, and proved to be in young with no less than five cubs.
" But this was not my only piece of ill-luck on that occasion. We now made an adjournment to a small pool of water, shaded by some fine trees, in the neighbourhood of which stood an old moss and grass-grown ruined temple, dedicated to Lukshmee, a strange memorial of man in the jungle solitude. After the men had satisfied their thirst, I moved to another koondah, which, I was assured, was also a likely find.
" This time I went to the table-land above; and before the beaters had reached their stations, and while I was looking about to select a spot for my position, a couple of bears were disturbed, and charged upon a small knot of the men.* A perilous but most ludicrous scene ensued, which, however, terminated without any detriment to the skins of the beaters, if I except, indeed, that of the tom-tom wallah, whose cherished drum was smashed to pieces by one of the bears. His fellow, as. luck would have it, afterwards made in my direction, and gave me a chance. I wounded him severely with a snap-shot, and was running in his tracks to try and get a view of him, when cries of " nuhur, nuhur," (for so they call tigers in those parts) arrested me, and I returned to the koondah. Arrived there I had the mortification to see tiger No. 2, crawling over some rocks at the head of the ravine, but out of shot; and he shortly afterwards made his exit and escaped. I subsequently beat for the wounded bear, but without success.