" My shikarees had been for a few days after one or two very large boars which were roving about this neighbourhood, and sent into Bhooj one night to say if I came out on the following morning, they confidently expected to show me them by pugging, and without the expense of beaters. Unfortunately, two or three fellows who were to have been my companions were, for some reason or other, prevented from joining me ; and, as heavy boars are not always to be caught napping in rideable ground, I was unable to postpone the trip, and accordingly rode out early next morning by myself. I had sent on my little hunter to a village two or three days before, so it was ready for me.
" A ride of about a dozen miles brought me to Koo-reea, two or three miles from this place, where I found my horse all right. After breakfasting off some sandwiches I had brought with me, a man came in from my shikarees to say that they were on the track of an enormous boar, and that I had better come on to a certain place which my informant would show me. I accordingly went there ; and before long, another man arrived with the news that the shikarees were bring;-ing on the pug in my direction, and a look-out in a tree soon after beckoned us to him, and I joined the shikarees. . .
" We were among those clumps of bushes and nullahs which lie just under the hills, different portions of which all you fellows must have seen to-day. Into one of these thick pieces of cover I found they had ringed the pig, and after we had pelted it for about five minutes, out went a tremendous and very grey old solitaire, the biggest I think I ever saw. The lazy old beast could not run a bit, and I soon rattled up to him ; but he dodged about from clump to clump without my getting an opportunity to spear, except once, when I shot in front of him in a bit of rideable jungle. A right-minded boar would have charged; but, whether pluck had died away from old age, or for some other reason, he showed no fighting propensity whatever, and dodged behind my horse, who was very fresh, and rather violent.
" After this, he got into a thick strip of jungle, and I galloped to the further end, there to await his exit.
But he seemed loth to quit his cover; and my shikarees, who were close at hand, arrived on the scene without his showing. I directed them to pelt the thicket, which they did unsuccessfully, and at last found, to my inexpressible chagrin, that the wary old boar had quietly slipped into a little nullah on the other side of the jungle, and got away undetected. We pugged him to a place which I call the 'black spring,' in the hills there close at hand, and found that, after chinking, he had gone right into the worst part of them.
"This was a great sell; but it had the effect of making me determined to persevere, so long as a chance remained, and not return empty-handed. It was useless attempting to follow the old fellow we had lost, and as my shikarees said there was another large boar lying with a sounder near the swampy ground on the edge of the Runn, I determined to beat up his quarters. My men, disheartened at the loss of our first boar, deemed it was of little use, as the jungly ground was so unfavourable; but I was not to be denied. " Accordingly, we took up the pug, and after a short and clever piece of tracking, turned up the sounder on the very edge of the snipe ground.
" There was a whacking boar here also, only second to the one I had lost; and, having a capital start, I soon separated him from the rest, and got on good terms with him. He skirted the deeper portions of the swamp itself, but crossed some marshy bits, and in one of these my horse came on to his nose, deceived by the treacherous black mud. Fortunately, I retained my seat, so we just managed to make a save of it. Recovered from this, I ran up to my very weighty friend, who was soon blown, and was in the very act of preparing to thrust, when crash we went into one of the interminable jow bushes among which I had been riding.
" When I recovered myself the pig was invisible. He had disappeared in the most unaccountable manner, as if the earth had swallowed him up. I rode on ahead, but there was nothing to be seen of him • and when I again got the puggees on the trail, they found that he had doubled right back, at the very point where I was thrown out, and then slipped into the swamp.
" My men now wished me to desist; but such a combination of luck, that of finding two such tremendous boars, and ill-luck or, as regards the latter, perhaps want of judgment on my part was enough to irritate a saint, which I was not. So I sternly refused to give in, and insisted on then- carrying on the trail afresh.
" We tracked that beast, sir, for hours. Right through the jungle, and amongst all the broken cover in its neighbourhood, we carried on the pug till my men were well-nigh exhausted. It was a very hot day in a very hot March, and the sun was exceedingly powerful. More than once they told me our labour was useless, for it would be almost impossible to kill him in the thick jungle even if found. But still I insisted on continuing, for I had heard an observation of one of them, attributing the loss of the first boar to my own want of skill as a shikaree.
" I am bound to say, dispirited though they were, they worked capitally. The boar had made a temporary rest once or twice, and wandered about the scattered jungle in evident search of a convenient resting-place. His pugs crossed and recrossed each other as he roved here and there, till at last, after many windings, they deserted the woodland, and led us right into the Runn, which there was quite bare, save for small tufts of grass and low scrub. It was, however, occasionally, a-favourite resort of pig, and my men plucked up spirit, and became much more confident, as the track showed unmistakable symptoms of the boar s intention to seek the secluded refuge of the waste itself.
" The afternoon was now well advanced, and it was fearfully hot out on the shadeless desert. I found myself getting rather done, for the sun struck down with pitiless intensity on that saline surface. I was forced at one time to get off my horse and hide my head in a small bush, for there was nothing large enough to give shade to my whole body. I took a little weak brandy and water, poured a little of the latter over my head, and divided the most of the rest between the men. Thus refreshed we continued on, and shortly the shikarees proclaimed their belief that the boar must be lying close at hand. He had been jogging along at a very slow pace, and had lain down more than once, evidently desirous of bringing himself to anchor ; but there appeared, to my idea, no bush sufficiently large to conceal his recumbent form.