" Mentioning Aliwan, recalls to my mind some circumstances connected with spearing pig on foot recently communicated to me by a brother officer. He told me that the jungle had now grown so much over the open ground about Aliwan and other places since Shikarpore was done away with as a station that riding the pig there was an impossibility; and I presume, though he did not mention it, that the Mahara wall had also been suffered to go to pieces.
"He happened to be at Sukkur in the month of October, with some other officers on 'Court of Inquiry' duty. A frequent adjournment of the Court was necessary, and on the non-sitting days the members indulged in shikar, a relaxation no doubt their arduous duties rendered necessary. Fortunately the gallant colonel an officer of one of her Majesty's regiments— who was President of the Court was a keen sportsman, and joined the others in their shikar trips.
"As they found riding impossible, they built muchans in the jungle, and had pig and para (hog-deer) driven towards them, shooting the former as well as the latter without compunction in that wide waste of brushwood. But they introduced a novel element into the sport, which certainly more than compensated, in point of risk, for their inability to spear from horseback.
" When a pig was wounded by gunshot, instead of following up with their rifles, they tracked him on foot through the grass and jungle, armed only with thick strong spears, and with those weapons brought him to bay. As might have been expected, this was accompanied by considerable risk and not without some occasional personal damage," *
"On one occasion they were following up a wounded boar a four-year-old through dense tiger grass and jungle, near a place called Drage, not far from Aliwan. Most of them were moving through it cautiously, tracking by the blood, but, for some cause, Colonel Igot separated, and came unexpectedly right on to the boar. To use my friend's words in describing the affair, ' It was between his legs in a brace of shakes, and toppled him over,' ripping him in the leg in three places. Unfortunately my informant neglected to tell me if the pig was subsequently killed. It is to be hoped he was, for Colonel I--was severely hurt and laid up for a long time.
** Appendix, Note Q.
" That was one anecdote he related, but another was equally or more interesting.
" Near old Sukkur there were a few small gardens en-closed by walls of mud, six feet or so in height, and into one of these an old boar had found his way, and there established himself, charging the gardener or whoever approached him. This was reported to Captain W-, another friend of my own, in civil charge of the district, and who was one of the spearmen mentioned before, and a great advocate for polishing off pig on foot. Accordingly, one night when it was ascertained that the boar was still in the garden, he directed all the entrances to be stopped up, and at daylight, accompanied by my informant, went down to the spot.
" The old boar had, it was reported, been very uneasy for some time, evidently smelling a trap, and had trotted about from one to the other of the closed entrances in a state of much excitement. The two now entered with their spears at the charge. But—I think most fortunately for them the boar shirked the encounter, rushed at the wall, and got clean over, and so for the time escaped. His doom was, however, sealed.
"It appeared that these gardens the one in question especially were great attractions to some of the old boars in the neighbourhood. So my friend Wdetermined to come to a more satisfactory trial of skill with the intruder. He had the mud wall built up a couple of feet higher, and thorns piled all round on the top. After a considerable lapse of time, the same old boar was reported to have again established himself there. On this occasion four officers were present. But, before themselves going in, they dispatched a pack of savage shikar dogs used by the natives for the purpose of hunting in Upper Scinde to commence the attack. There was a tremendous row, and the scrimmage was fearful. But above the noise caused by the grunting of the boar, and the growling of the dogs, an occasional death-note rung out sharp and distinct, and it was evident that it was going hard with the light brigade, as my friend denominated the canine skirmishers sent in as the advance. Some assistance from the heavy brigade, or reserve of spearmen became, therefore, necessary.
" The order, accordingly, was given to advance into the field; and over a field of battle, strewn with dead and wounded, the assailants approached the boar. The animal's attention was so occupied by the attacks of the surviving dogs, that he allowed the heavy brigade to arrive on the scene of action undetected, or at any rate unchecked. S--was the first to get his spear into the beast, who was surrounded by the dogs.
He was immediately followed by W--, and with such effect, that the badgered animal soon bit the dust without having an opportunity of resenting the intrusion of the spearmen.
"The list of casualties was, however, great, and not confined alone to the dogs. In the scrimmaging and turmoil of the encounter, B--had contrived to insinuate his spear into a fleshy portion of the man who immediately preceded him, G--. Of the dogs it was found that ten or twelve were either killed or wounded; but they had despoiled the boar of all the more prominent portions of his body, including the ears, tail, and other parts, which may perhaps have accounted for the poor resistance he made after the arrival of the reserve. The animal's tushes were of great size, and the upper ones quite curled round."
"It might have gone hard with them if the first two had succeeded in bringing the boar to bay," said Stewart.** " A friend of mine told me that once he and two others, got off their horses, like Melton and Mowbray to-day, to polish off a wounded boar. It charged and they received it on their spears, but were all three of them upset. I cannot recollect if either were at all ripped. Probably the spears killed the beast, though the shock and brief struggle placed them temporarily hors-de-combat, and at its mercy."