This and the following anecdote were related to me by my brother, Captain F. Newall, late H.M.'s 8th regiment of Foot, then in the Indian army, he himself being the actor in both.
Twenty-four inches is a very fine pair. This, it is true, is occasionally exceeded, but not frequently. Out of every half-hundred, probably not more than one will reach twenty-four inches. I have never killed one exceeding that length, though I have in my possession several closely approaching it. The horns make pretty ornaments for a hall or sportsman's sanctum, especially when polished.
The cut will give the inexperienced reader a notion of the sort of ivory which garnishes a large hog's lower jaw. This pair is, as described, that of the last which fell to my spear, and is, I think, about the most perfect I ever killed. In former years I sent home a number of various sizes mounted in silver as bottle labels. The large ones are, however, too big and cumbersome for that purpose; but they make very pretty ornaments when hung against the back of the sideboard.
If not attended to, the hot, dry winds in India soon cause them to split, and they very soon fall to pieces, and are thrown away.
The plan I latterly pursued with them, as also with tigers' fangs, was to fill the hollow portion with melted wax. This I also applied externally, leaving a thick coating all over. I then bound twine round each, in a number of turns, and thus prepared, they withstand for a long time the influence of heat and dryness.
Nine inches is remarkably long. From six to seven is nearer the average of a full-grown boar, though they occasionally reach a length of nearly ten inches. Such, however, is very rare. I don't remember ever seeing any quite of that length. The tush is extracted from the jaw by boiling it, or it becomes loose by being for some time buried in the earth. The former plan occasionally makes them split. One accustomed to extract them will, however, manage to do so without resorting to either method; but an inexperienced man, not knowing the depth to which they sink in the jaw-bone, will break them if allowed to try. I have occasionally had fine ones destroyed by trusting to servants.
I am sorry to be unable to give the weight or dimensions of any boars I have killed. I do not remember, at any rate I cannot find in my journals, any record of the measured proportions set down in order. I usually cut a notch on my spear-stick to mark the height, and, that ascertained, probably thought no more about it, and the sticks eventually went the way of all sticks, and were broken and cast aside or lost. Were I to state the actual size which I believe some of the slain boars to have attained, I fear I should be deemed as indulging in exaggerated retrospection. I refrain, therefore, from -here recording my impressions. Enough to say that some do become very large.
Buadbuky, Evans, And Co., Printers, Whitefriars