" After getting the thorns out of my face and washing off the blood, I solaced myself with a glass of beer and a bit of tiffin.
" But our sport was not yet over. A man told us that pig were often to be found in the open undulating country which lay outside the tract of jungle. It was composed of alternate ridge and plain, well covered with a low scrub said to afford a favourite cover for pig, and was altogether a most promising riding ground.
" In fact, only accident, or extreme ill luck on the part of the hunters, could allow the pig, if started, to escape in most parts of it.
" In this open ground, which was quite waste, and, save for the scanty pasture it afforded to a few flocks of sheep, useless, we formed an extended line and beat right out into it. For a long time nothing was seen, and we had reached and taken our stand along the crest of a ridge of low hills a mile or more out in the plain before any pig were started. A small sounder of about half a dozen was, however, here tally-ho'ed, and we soon viewed them.
" I had determined not to ride unless there was a large boar, and this I at once saw there was not. They were all small, so I restrained the eagerness of both myself and horse, and for once determined to be a looker-on. No such reason as weighed with me influenced my companions, who had most of them joined our camp expressly for sport, so they were soon in full chase. Most of them were cavalry officers and shikarees of mark, and I had the pleasure of seeing a very pretty set-to.
" My late antagonist had, on the whole, rather the best of it during the principal portion of the run, and first turned the active young boar which he had separated from the sounder. The pig crossed the ridge, and after making play a little way out into the plain on the other side, swept round as if loth to leave the little hills. Unfortunately, just at the critical moment, when the riders were closely pressing the boar and struggling for the spear, they disappeared behind the corner of a hill, where the boar was soon after killed.
" I learned on their return that B-had kept the running, and very nearly speared; but a turn let in S--, who was not slow to avail himself of his chance, and he obtained the spear.
" After this, as it was getting late, we were obliged to make for our camp, to which, accordingly, we rode off.
" It was subsequently ascertained that we had not, in the first instance, visited the right hog-hunting ground, which was in the plain, in the neighbourhood of that last beaten. There those of the party who did not permanently belong to and continue on with our camp had, I afterwards heard, some excellent sport a few days later, though I cannot recollect the precise number of pig which bit the dust.
" Such, gentlemen, is my last hog-hunting experience in Bajpootana."
" I have heard of that part of the country," said Stewart. " Large bags have been made there. It must be a sort of porcine Elysium.
" I remember once, like you, Mowbray, being very nearly sent right on to the top of the boar. I will relate the facts. It happened in the Vinjule jungle, near Ahmedabad, in the hot weather month of April. I was out with a couple of companions, and on that occasion we polished off two heavy boars, both, by great good fortune on my part, falling to me.
" The cover consists of a belt of thorny jungle, interspersed with trees, the whole surrounding an open, sandy, and gravelly hill. A river washes one side of the jungle; and on the other bank rises another hill, which forms a capital station when the beat is going on. In every direction outside the jungle is cultivated land, and the railway now passes close to one end of it.
" In my time the railway was only in course of construction. I fear it must have ere this destroyed the place as a cover for pig.
" We began by having a boar marked down in the jungle, which, though stiff and close, is, to some extent, practicable for an active horse, provided he goes along leaping over bushes as a hunter would do in thick, high gorse at home; but it is very trying, and a horse gets wofully torn. We were taken up to the very spot where some markers in trees had baithoo'ed the pig ; and peering in among the bushes. I saw two one large one, and one very little one. They were reposing contentedly side by side, or, rather, the smaller one was lying against the more massive frame of* its companion. Our approach, of course, soon startled them, and away we went.
" I was riding a very active colt, which had only recently been entered to pig, and the way he went through the bushes or rather over them* for it was simply a continued succession of bounds and leaps— was about as difficult a thing to sit as I have ever experienced. However, Lottery* was a rare one at that work, and that day he proved himself a naturally clever hunter. The boar was a heavy one ; and getting so good a start, we pressed him close, though one of my companions came to grief very early and had a rattling fall.
" My horse was fast, and I soon got the lead and ran up to the boar, who was forced from the jungle and took over the bare hill, which was intersected by several nullahs. He had rather the best of it for a while; but just as he had completed the descent of the slope on the other side, and was about to re-enter the belt of jungle there, I again got on close terms, ran him into the jungle, and there speared him behind. He then made a turn and galloped down the belt. Again I closed, and my horse, making a mistake in a deep rut, almost came down, and I was very nearly shot off right on to the boar. I fairly lost my seat, for I was tired with the exertion of sticking so tight through such a continuity of bounds. Lottery, however, managed to recover himself without, I must confess, much help from me, and tilted me back into the saddle. When quite re-established there, I again took the colt up, and actually forced the boar from the jungle into an open field. There I again speared him, —this time severely, and he came to bay. My com-panion now joined me, and we had a very respectable little battle before the boar succumbed, which he shortly did after charging repeatedly.