While he was undergoing a more critical inspection, Norman held brief discourse with him.
" Is the khubber good ?" was the first inquiry.
" The khubber is good, sahib,' was the reply the one invariably made without much regard to its truth. This was spoken in a deep, sepulchral voice, worthy of the form from which it issued.
" Do many pig resort to the Runn, and shall we get them to-morrow ?" Norman asked more pointedly.
" Sahib, many pig go out into the Eunn. I have both pugged them and seen them. I hope the sahibs have brought many spears, they will be required."
" But shall we get more than one day of it ? They soon scent the blood of the slain on an open plain like the Runn," remarked Norman.
" The sahib's knowledge is great," was Natta's polite rejoinder. " I could not say speaking a true wordó that pig will be found there a second day, for there is water in the well pits cut in the Bunnee,^ and some Rabarree people with flocks are there. The pig do not lie out very far."
" Are there any good dant-wallahs (tuskers) among them, and do you know anything of the lungra-wallah (lame one) ? "
" There are one or two fair dant-wallahs, sahib, with tusks of about three finders ; but I have not come across the pug of the lungra-wallah.
*Appendix, Note E.
" What is a lungra-wallah 1" asked the sailor, whose knowledge of Hindustanee was exceedingly limited; "and what does this queer old cock mean by connecting dant-wallahs with fingers V
" The lungra-wallah," explained Mackenzie, to whom he had addressed his queries, "is an old boar which inhabits these parts, and is reported to have killed more than one man. ' Dant-wallah' means a boar old enough to have a good tush, which the natives measure externally with the breadths of their fingers, and so calculate its length."
Natta was now dismissed, and the party separated, each to his tent, to prepare for dinner. Before doing so, however, the greater number visited their horses at their pickets, slid their hands down the legs of their pets, and gave directions to the syces as to their evening management.
A moderate-sized single-poled tent had been pitched for the mess, and as a general rendezvous. Around this were clustered, in irregular fashion, the smaller tents, which served as dormitories. These were of various sizes and descriptions, from the roomy and convenient " single-poled," to the " bechoba" and " rowtee." The party had not met to spend their time in luxurious ease and the indolent enjoyment of spacious dwelling-places, and were therefore perfectly satisfied with the by no means excessive accommodation afforded. Most of them chummed in pairs, and found a bechoba, with a small outlying connat for bathing, quite sufficient for purposes of lodging. Besides the tents of the sahibs, numerous rowtees and little impromptu dwellings had been raised, and completed the canvas village.