Discussion on the subject of the first spear when boars may be speared, lost, and refound—Necessity of being present at death —Cases in point—Division of tushes—Example—Spearing pig on foot—Seeking an old solitaire—His first escape—Again found and attacked with dogs—The slaughter thereof—His own death —Following up wounded pig on foot—Pursued becomes the aggressor and severely rips one of the pursuers—Overthrown— A pluckless boar—The hill-side at Kassersai—Engaging a sow a la Tom Sayers—Morgan to Maggiore's little affair with pig— Fig and cattle.
The party which collected round the log-fire that evening regretted their reduction in numbers, but managed to enjoy themselves pretty much as usual.
"Has anyone heard how the ripped buneea is?" asked Hawkes.
" Oh ! he's getting all right," said Stewart, who, in the absence of Norman, had been temporarily nominated pay-master and general manager of the expedition. " I sent him a few rupees, and a splendid lump of Hollo way's ointment, together with some pills, for which the latter especially he expressed great gratitude. It is strange what an idea they have of anything in the shape of medicine."
" Such a universal panacea as Professor Hollo way s compounds is, I should think, equally good for all diseases/' said Dan vers. " I don't suppose it would make much difference if he swallowed the ointment and rubbed in the pills a circumstance by no means unlikely."
"By-the-bye," observed Melton, "supposing Mowbray had speared the pig slightly just before it escaped into the sugar-cane the first time, and Stewart, as he did, got it after the beast was forced to bolt, whose spear would it have properly been ? It occurred to me as being a nice question ; for the first prod might have been quite harmless so far as affecting the future proceedings of the boar was concerned."
" I should most assuredly have claimed it," said Mowbray.
" No doubt," Melton remarked. " But after all it is a question how far it could always be justly claimed.
Suppose, for instance, you had gone away; or, from some cause been absent when the boar was again turned out and killed. The run would have been a new one, unaffected by a mere prick. You could not have claimed it had the boar been unmolested till, and again found on, the following day. Besides, to my mind, a man should always be present at the death of any pig he has first speared supposing him not prevented from being so by accident."
" Yes ! There is certainly a good deal in what you say," was the reply. " In some cases, I allow that the first spearer might not be entitled."
" I remember," said Stewart, " a case in point which just meets your objections, Melton ; and on that occasion I thought much as you do. It occurred at Dongwa, a place I have introduced several times, in fact it was a celebrated meet in Guzerat. We had turned up a fine boar, which was just touched by a man of the name of H-, but effected its escape without being any further wounded. We afterwards pugged it up. But as the day was waning, and the trail led near the tents, many, including H-, left, and only three of us eventually continued on the pug. Fortunately we found the beast some hours having elapsed since it had been wounded and after a good spurt, killed it, fighting pluckily. Now I certainly think that the man who first speared it in the second run was entitled to the tushes ; for the other, though having it in his power to be present, was not so. It would have been lost to him, had we three not then stuck to the trail and again found the boar. By voluntarily giving up all chance of recovering it, he remitted his claim."
" And suppose that the boar had been very severely wounded, or the original first spearman was away after another pig ! How in that case ?" asked Danvers.
" If the boar was so badly wounded as to be unable to run, why no other man would care to claim the spear. And if a fresh pig were started while in pursuit of the first, everyone would probably have gone after it. But in case of the puggees and all the hunters being together, and number one deserting the trail, my opinion is certainly in favour of number two. Norman proposes drawing up a code of rules for future guidance; and this is one point which should, I think, not be lost sight of. It might be more fully discussed before any rule on the subject were framed."
" Yes," said Mowbray, " I remember a man once, at a meet of the Nuggur Hunt, spearing two or three pig in rapid succession out of one sounder. He was mounted on an ex-racer in high training, and galloped away from us, just pricking one pig and rushing after another, leaving them to be killed by anybody who came up. If all had pursued that plan, numbers might have been wounded and none killed."
" It would have served him riorht to have left them alone," said Stewart. " In most cases a man ought to be present at the death of any pig off which he has taken first spear; and rules should be founded on that requirement. A division of the spoils might be made where accident or some justifiable reason prevented the fortunate spearman in run number one from being present at number two."
" I once myself did that at Aliwan, in Scinde," said Danvers. " It was on an occasion when another man and myself had so close a set-to that we speared at about the same moment, We had brought the animal across the rooted up ground and nullah I have formerly referred to, and after crossing one or two other water channels, got him on a bit of open rather cut up. I was running the pig; and he, who was mounted on a faster horse, gradually overhauled me on my spear hand. I had the pig of course most directly in front, but was barely within reach. As he forged a little ahead, I made a tremendous effort to reach the boar, and at the same time he also endeavoured to spear over the left shoulder of his horse. We were both- successful.
And so near a thing was it, that we both considered the fairest way was for each to take a tush for after the 6 double first/ we, with the rest, soon polished off the boar. We had run him almost to the Mahara, however, before he was accounted for.