This singular and deplorable accident occurred as described, to an officer of my own regiment. I was myself in the field at the time. If my memory serves me right, the shock put the officer's arm out of joint, and the movement of dismounting re-set it.
The two incidents recorded at the above pages were contributed by my brother, Major D. F. Newall, R.A.
The ludicrous scene with the bears here referred to, has been already described in the " Eastern Hunters," and accordingly I have not repeated it.
The text and illustrations sufficiently describe the modus operandi of this, the greatest and most essential acquirement of the native shikaree, and one by no means devoid of use and interest to the English hunter. He, however, cannot expect to attain to the skill and accuracy of the practised native.
The Indian crane, or coolen of the natives, and called " cullum " by many English sportsmen in the Bombay Presidency, is met with in vast flocks in the northern parts of India.
On the western side it is not, I believe, found south of Kattiawar and Guzerat; at least, I do not remember ever to have seen it in the Deccan, or in the country about Bombay.
It is migratory, and arrives in India about September, or later, according to the season.
On referring to my sporting note-book, kept during a three years' residence in Cutch, I find the following remark in one of those years, written apparently in the end of September.
" I first heard cullum calling in passing over Bhooj, about the 23rd September, after which they seem to be coming in, as they are generally heard every day. They are reported to be on some of the tanks in the neighbourhood towards the end of the month."
And in another year is the following :—
" Cullum were first heard calling in flying over camp on the 26th September, after which they regularly come in."
But I have shot them in Rajpootana as early as the 4th
These anecdotes were communicated to me by a brother officer, the late lamented Lieut. S-, and in the scenes described he himself took part. I have derived them from an old letter, detailing to me the whole proceedings.
September. This occurred at Dunaitur, in Jodhpore, when travelling from Mount Aboo to Nusseerabacl. I shot three one morning before breakfast, many flocks being then scattered over the country. They were in fair condition. That may have been an exceptionally early season ; for I had previously killed a couple of snipe, and an officer with whom I was travelling a couple of common not rain teal, on the 1st September, and by their condition we conjectured that they were not perfectly fresh arrivals.
I remember seeing snipe in Upper Scinde, in the end of August, but I never, at any other time, or elsewhere, saw them so early. They are not looked for, usually, before October. .
Coolen must destroy an immense deal of grain before it is gathered in, where they exist in such numbers as in Cutch. I have seen the country quite covered with them when assembling preparatory to migration in the end of February. I find the following remark in the journal of a trip made with a companion in the latter part of February— "Killing nine cullum, the first day, although from the myriads about the country we could have bagged any number, whole fields being perfectly white with them."
I remember an officer of my regiment killing a sufficient number before breakfast, near Mandavie, to supply all the officers who were about to embark with the corps in separate country boats to cross the Gulf of Cutch into Kattiawar.
They are very good eating when plump, in the middle of the cold season. There are two kinds, but their habits appear similar. I recollect in the month of March, when steaming down the Red Sea on my voyage to India, seeing vast flights of large birds as far as the eye could reach, passing in endless succession overhead. At the time I was unacquainted with the species of bird, but I now believe them to have been cranes.
At certain seasons, especially soon after their arrival, they resort to the neighbourhood of tanks during the heat of the day, and remain there on some large open piece of ground in the vicinity of the water. I have shot them in early December by stationing myself in the line of flight about 7 or 8 o'clock a.m., about which hour they left their feeding-grounds and resorted to Ehoda tank as mentioned.