Exaggerated yams-—Man-eating tigers—An easy prey—"On the
watch" — A common tragedy-—"Mourning in some lowly hut"—The Pertauhgunj
tiger—Shifting camp—An obstinate elephant—River-side scenery—Revolver
of servants-—A halt —Enquiry—We form line—The beat—Elephants uneasy—The
man-eater breaks cover—A tame termination—False security—" Look out, boys;
dying effort and a costly bite—An instance
of cool heroism- -Iu the jaws of a tiger—A plucky rescue—Moral: " Never
trust a tiger."
not be supposed that scenes of thrilling, I might
almost say sensational excitement, such as I have been describing, are of
frequent occurrence. These are the incidents that stand out prominently on
memory's page, and when the conversation turns on hunting topics, it is
" The moving accidents, by flood and field,
The hairbreadth 'scapes,"
that first present themselves, and are recounted
"By the fitful watch-fire's gleam."
An Indian shikar expedition
is indeed organised on such a scale of completeness, game of all kinds is so
abundant, and a popular man in a good district, who knows how to utilise
native assistance, can muster such an array of elephants, beaters, weapons
and other indispensable accessories of the chase, that success more or less
pronounced is almost inevitable ; yet even then there are many blank days,
and commonplace incidents, which are scarcely worthy of chronicle, and a
good deal of sameness is experienced, as day after day the heat for tiger
The most wonderful stories of tiger hunting as told by men
who have had only occasional experience of the royal pastime; and the Griff
who has perhaps been only in at the death of a half-grown cub, and even then
merely as a spectator, will, in course of time, and by a natural process of
indulgence in imaginative retrospection, gradually invest the incident with
a series of elaborate details, which do more honour to his powers of fiction
than of sober unvarnished historical accuracy. It is from such men we hear
the wondrous tales of gigantic man-eaters, measuring eleven and twelve feet
from the point of the nose to the tip of the tail. •Some would even fain
continue the measurement backwards, and make out the animal to be
twenty-four feet anything, to magnify their prowess and importance.
In reality, the tiger is not the audacious foolhardy animal
the generality of tiger-stories pourtray. He is more commonly a cunning
sneaking rogue, keen to perceive when the chances are against him, and ever
mindful of the good old ?aw,—
"He who fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day."
As a ride, in heavy jungle, with a big line of elephants, the
tiger will try to "make tracks," and slink away at the first intimation of a
concerted movement against his customary haunt. A man-eater is in many cases
an old brute, whose youthful vigour has fled, whose fangs have been worn
down to the stump, whose active bounding agility has failed under the
insidious attacks of the edax
who can no longer battle successfully with the fleet hog deer, the savage
wild boar, or the wary nimble cattle of the jungly herds. By accident or
design he discovers the fact that an unarmed human being falls an easier
prey than the other animals he has been accustomed to hunt, and very
possibly be finds a collop from the genus
be as toothsome as his more natural and accustomed diet of venison, pork, or
Nearly all man-eating tigers are old animals. Their skin is
generally mangy; they are very cunning; will lie in wait near the village
tracks; will stalk the unwary herdsman as a cat will stalk a hedge sparrow;
they know the habits of the village population as minutely as does the
tax-gatherer, and once they take up their quarters near a jungle village,
they become indeed a terrible scourge.
It must be remembered too, that the habits of the villagers
make the role of
man-eater a peculiarly easy one, if once the unholy appetite for human flesh
has been awakened. Ordinarily the village husbandman goes forth at early
morn to till his patch of paddy, or tend his cattle in the tall growing
jungle, and the men work singly or in little groups of twos and threes. The
women, wending their way to the weekly bazaar, go forth, indeed, in a
string, all chattering, laughing, and laden with the produce of their little
garden patch, or small holding, for sale or barter. At the bazaar, however,
some dispose of their wares more quickly than others; some have purchases to
make, over which a deal of chaffering is indispensable. So it is that a few
of the poor things find the swift twilight suddenly descend upon them when
they are yet a weary dangerous mile or two from home. 'Tis then the cruel
whiskered robber is on the watch. The hushed affrighted women hurry on,
their hearts thudding with trepidation, and, as they hang on to each other's
skirts, they cast uneasy startled glances into every bush, and start at
every rustle in the tall feathery swaying grass.
Dogging every footstep, watching every movement, the silent
hungry man-eater is crawling swiftly and noiselessly alongside the path. It
is marvellous with what celerity and absolute silence such a huge animal can
glide through close jungle. After all, they are but cats; they have all the
proverbial attributes of the feline species, and not even a snake can wind
among the grass as softly and silently as the slouching man-eater hungering
for human blood. The tragedy is indeed a common one in many of these
villages. A basket gets overturned perhaps. A thorn enters the foot. The
wretched loiterer must perforce linger a moment to pick up her little
scattered purchases, adjust her dress, or stoops to extract the thorn from
her foot. Then, with a swift silent bound—for the man-eater rarely betrays
his presence by a roar—-the fierce animal makes his awful onslaught on the
terror-stricken hapless victim, and next morning a few scattered, crunched
and mangled bones are the sole evidence of the ghastly tragedy that has been
enacted. There is mourning in some lowly hut. A deeper dread settles on the
haunted hamlet, but the daily routine must go on, and the daily wants must
be supplied. The apathetic fatalistic doctrine resumes sway, and so the tale
is repeated. In planting districts, the factory manager is generally
apprised of the presence of the scourge, and in the end succeeds in adding
another grisly skull to his collection; but in the lonely, secluded parts of
the country, a man-eating tiger is a very incarnation of destruction. No
wonder that the cowering terror-stricken natives try to propitiate him by
sacrifices and prayers. I have even known them withhold information as to
his habits and whereabouts, from a superstitious dread, that they will
thereby incur the hostility of their enemy, and bring upon themselves swift
Occasionally a few villages will combine, and organise a
beat, and try to drive their grim oppressor from the neighbourhood. In such
a case, badly equipped as are the peasantry, the chances are that a few are
frightfully mauled, if not killed outright; and the vile brute may simply
shift the scene, of his operations to a neighbouring village, ere long to be
back again, bolder and more bloodthirsty than ever. I have known whole
tracts of fertile country allowed to relapse into untilled jungle, from the
presence of a single man-eating tiger. I have seen villages entirely
deserted from the same cause; and when we therefore heard that near the
village of Pertaubgunj a
man-eater had taken up his abode, and was levying his terrible blackmail on
the terror-stricken inhabitants, it needed little incentive else, to make us
determine to beat him up, and free the neighbourhood from his diabolic
Pertaubgunj was on the southern bank of the stream, and
having made arrangements for a start early in the morning, we found that the
dining tent had been struck when we awoke, and that the whole camp was
enveloped in the confusion attendant on a change of quarters. Already the
bullock drivers had brought up their patient, mild-eyed oxen, and while some
were busily splicing the tattered frayed grass ropes that bind the sides of
their primitive carts, others were oiling the axles and winding hemp and tow
round the naves of the wheels. Already the coolies had packed up their pots
and pans, had put away the cackling skinny poultry in hampers and baskets,
and the whole camp was littered with tent pegs, dhurries or
carpets, nets full of Bhoota for
the bullocks; and smouldering piles of ashes and damp straw on all hands
showed where the servants' camp fires had been already used to cook the
early morning meal of rice.
We had ample store of cold pastry and other debris of
the-previous night's dinner, and washed our cold refection down with fresh
milk and hot coffee. Some of us preferred the: more inviting glories of
Bass, bottled by Hibbert or Stone, and it was yet grey dawn, and the fiery
sun was still beneath the horizon when we mounted the pad elephants, and
started off to ford the swift river, in quest of the most cruel and
implacable foe of the poor Hindoo villager—the dreaded man-eating tiger.
Looking back over the level trampled plain, amid the thin
wavy lines of clinging smoke, and detached columns of mist, we could see the
white tops of the sleeping tents one by one sway and fall, and soon the
noise of the bustling dismantled camp was left behind, and we jogged along
towards the ghat. Beaching
the miserable collection of boatmen's huts on the brink of the river, with
the tall bamboo poles each flying a triangular tattered white rag by way of
a pennon, to guide the traveller through the lonely jungle to the welcome
ford— we found boats in readiness, and hastily piled up the pads and
accoutrements on the largest of these, and were poled across.
It took some time to get all the elephants to take to the
water, for the river was swift and deep, and the banks rotten and steep. One
obstinate Hatni, or
female elephant, indeed refused point blank to wet her feet, and had to be
shoved in head over heels, nolens
two stalwart policemen, in the shape of two of the mighty tuskers that
carried howdahs. Eventually, however, all got across in safety. The village
was some three miles from the ghat, and
there was little cover on this side of the river. The banks were lined with
a short stunted growth of jovah bushes,
and beyond this lay a succession of undulating ridgy sandbanks, with deep
reaches of back water from a former flood, intervening. The ground was nasty
walking for elephants, being treacherous and full of quicksands. This caused
the hue to open out and straggle somewhat, and it was truly an Oriental
sight, to see nearly thirty huge lumbering elephants toiling heavily over
these ridges, plunging into the still bayou-looking lagoons, and, with the
picturesque puggrees, bronzed
naked skins, and polished spears of the natives, who were clinging to the
ropes like so many great monkeys, the scene was altogether a striking one.
Beyond the sandy dimes, marking the site of the river bed and
the limits of its flood waters, stretched an undulating expanse of rather
lone country, pleasingly broken at intervals by clumps of mango trees,
plantains or bamboos. Here and there a rude hamlet clustered round a dingy
white temple, whose cracked and crumbling dome and breached walls betokened
very forcibly either the extreme poverty of the peasantry or their
indifference to the ancient Pagan faith of their ancestors. In the far
distance rose the dark shadowy line of the silent mysterious Terai, the
brooding impenetrable forest belt that clothes the lower flanks of the
mighty Himalayas, whose towering crests even now loomed weird and grand in
the far-off haze, and gathered to themselves the floating vapours and mists
of the plain; and as the sun rose, became enshrouded in an impenetrable veil
of filmy clouds, that hid their snowy grandeur from our gaze.
Deeply embedded in one of the sandbanks, we came upon the
rotting timbers of a hulking old river boat, one of the great lumbering
structures that carry down the country produce of the border territory to
the marts of Patna or Calcutta. The bleached and battered old hulk, after
long years of traffic up and down the teeming Ganges, had here been cast
high and dry in some impetuous flood, and now mouldered away into
nothingness beside the frail tenements of an unknown fisherman's hamlet. The
carcase of an overworked, worn-out bullock lay festering in the shade of the
rotting ribs of the old unwieldy craft. And two mangy jackals snarled over
the ghastly meal, disputing its possession with a bevy of horrid-looking
vultures and common crows. On our approach, these unlovely scavengers
stalked off to a safe distance, and one of the jackals gave utterance to his
disapprobation by a prolonged demoniac howl, as if in protest at our
intrusion. This seemed to give umbrage to Butty, who, drawing his revolver,
commenced an ineffectual ball practice at the unmusical ghoul.
quickly man's sense of emulation is roused. Butty's action seemed to actuate
each of us with an itching desire to display his accuracy of aim and the
merits of his six-shooter. For a few minutes a very hail of leaden pellets
buzzed around the unlucky getdur, until
a well-planted ball from George settled his account, hushed his melody, and
"cooked his hash" for ever.
As we neared the village we were met by several of the
leading villagers, all of them seeming poverty-stricken, and having a
depressed subdued hunted look about their betokening misery and an
ever-present sense of insecurity and fear. A few trays of rather unsavoury-looking
sweetmeats and some guavas and plantains were presented to us; and each head
man presented a rupee in his open palm for us to touch, which we did. This
is a very touching (I mean no pun), and an almost universal custom in these
parts. Let a village be ever so poor, it is a point of honour with the head
men to present "salamee," as
the little tribute is called; and in many estates it forms a large item in
the gross annual revenue. Now-a-davs, the proffered rupee is generally only
touched by the European visitor to whom it is brought, and the villager is
allowed to retain it. In cases, unfortunately of too great frequency, where
a sahib has
rapacious and unscrupulous retainers, they generally contrive to secure the
miserable coin of the poor ryot, under threat of using their influence with
their masters adversely to the villagers' interests.
The rapacity and cruelty shown to the peasantry by these
underlings and hangers-on is deplorable, and is a despicable trait in the
character of these understrappers who hang about in the retinue or take
service with the planter, civilian, or official in the East. It used
formerly to be much more shameless than it is now. The planter, with his
strong sense of fairness and scorn of meanness, has set his face against a
continuance of these exactions, and many of the old feudal tributes of
grain, poultry, goats, oil, and produce of various kinds, "furmaish,"
as they were called, are now discontinued. In estates under native
superintendence, they are still extensively levied, but the general plan now
is, to commute them into a money payment; and though the average rent of
land may be, in fact is, higher than formerly, I believe the peasantry are
as a rule, less harried and -worried by these legalised extortioners than
used to be the case.
All reforms come slowly, and when we consider the all-potent
force of "dustoor," or
custom, in the East, the intense conservatism of the people, their apathy
and mutual distrust of each other, one can realise that even now much
injustice is perpetrated, and much cruel oppression and extortion is
practised. Still the general tendency on all indigo plantations is to bring
the relations between ryot and landlord into a much more harmonious state,
and to protect the former as-much as possible from all undue interference,
and extend to him kindly sympathy and support. The relations between planter
and cultivator are, in fact, as far as is practicable, reduced to a strictly
commercial footing, and though it will be years yet before all the old
soreness disappears in many districts, it must be conceded that the European
planter has-perhaps done more to consolidate our empire in the East than
many of our prejudiced Bureaucrats would allow.
However, this is too wide a subject for me to enter into
exhaustively here; suffice it to say, that in the present instance our
advent was joyfully hailed as that of friendly deliverers, bent on ridding
the villagers of a dreaded and deadly foe.
Joe called a halt, and the pad elephants gathering round the
one on which he was seated, we held a council of war and interrogated the jhet
man) of the village as to the whereabouts of the man-eating tiger.
"We could get little precise information out of him. He was
rather a stupid fellow, and displayed a more than usual amount of ingenuity
in skirmishing round a question, and giving vague, higldv coloured,
imaginative answers. Happily for the temper of our chief, the village chowhydar—a
stalwart young gwallah (the
cowherd caste)—came to the rescue, and informed us that an old man, a grass
cutter, had been carried off only recently, and he believed he could guide
us to the very spot which the tiger was then supposed to be frequenting.
was accommodated with a perch at the back of Joe's howdah. The line was
brought up. We clambered into our howdahs—examined our guns—took a pull at
the water bottles, and were soon marching down in stately array upon the
supposed haunt of the evil-reputed brute who had long been holding the
trembling villagers in terror, and we determined, as we heard of all his
ravages and of the many victims he had struck down, that we would settle the
score with him to the full, if we were lucky enough to encounter him.
We swept round the village in line, and noticed with pity the
untilled appearance of many of the fields; many of the rice khets were
fast relapsing into jungle. The cow-houses were ruinous, and the granaries
rickety and ominously empty-looking. The children even seemed to have a
scared look, as if a dead weight was on their spirits, and the whole aspect
of the place betokened desolation and decay.
Our guide, now leaving a likely-looking piece of jungle to
the right, directed our line on to a wide level expanse of green patair jungle,
with here and there a trodden-down patch of scrubby elephant grass. In fact,
the place looked as if it would not afford cover for a boar, and Joe,
turning, again asked the man if he were sure he was not misleading us.
"Bagh oos pur hy khodawand! " said
the chowkeydar. "The
tiger is over there, my lord!" and he pointed to a small patch of dog-rose
jungle, on the far side of a sluggish shallow nullah or
creek, which was now almost dry.
Just then one of the elephants began to show symptoms of
unsteadiness, and the feeling seemed to be communicated by some mysterious
magnetic sympathy to the rest of the sagacious animals. Their trunks were
uplifted and curled high above their heads. The mahouts had
to urge them on and apply the goad rather forcibly.
Some began rocking and shuffling the fore-feet backwards and
forwards uneasily. This is a sure sign of the vicinity of tiger. The
experienced elephants had evidently scented the taint of the man-eater.
Several began to make a low rumbling sound from their insides.
My mahout whispered
to me, "There is certainly a tiger here, sir."
We were inclined to be incredulous. There scarce seemed to be
cover enough for a cat, let alone a tiger.
We were now close up to the clump of bushes, still, however,
on the near side of the nullah, when
one of the elephants gave a shrill trumpet, and as if by preconcerted
arrangement, forth sprang a long gaunt mangy-looking tiger, and proceeded to
lob leisurely along the plain. He came forth so calmly and quietly, that for
a minute we doubted the evidence of our eyesight.
But there he was sure enough—a great hulking unsightly brute.
We were now all excitement. Joe's rifle rang out a challenge first, and
immediate on the report the others answered along the line.
The tiger dropped. Not a kick—not a roar—not a quiver. It was
about the tamest thing I had ever been at. Was tbe brute only shamming ?
These old man-eaters are very cunning. Was this only a ruse to delude us ?
to lure us within charging distance ?
Not a bit of it. No playing 'possum here. The dark blood was
already welling out in a crimson stream from a round little hole behind the
powerful fore-arm. The dreaded man-eater was dead.
" What a beastly seB," muttered Bat.
."A regular cur," snapped Mac, whose bullet had flown wide of
"The skin's not worth having," said Joe, and so on all
through the gamut of disgust, disappointment, and wondering speculation.
"We were soon collected in a circle, gazing down at the
prostrate man-eater. No more now would tlie village maiden tremble as she
hurried back from the bazaar. No more now would the tottering old crone
cower beside the dried cow-dung fire of a night, and hush the awed children
into silence by telling of the dreaded man-eater.
The man-eater was dead.
Pat was the first to alight. ITe was riding an elephant but
recently purchased by the Kajali, whose estates were administered by Mac,
and wishing to accustom the animal to the sight and smell of a tiger, he
called the mahout to
gently urge his charge forward, close to the warm, bleeding carcase of the
One or two of us were already lolling back in our liowdahs,
charging our pipes preparatory to a whiff. Pat was now leaning over the
prostrate foe, talking reassuringly to his elephant, who trembled and seemed
rather dubious about its near proiipiity to such a formidable-looking dead
All of a sudden, with a yell of absolute dismay, Pat howled
"Look out, boys—it's alive!" and fairly tumbled head over
heels in his sudden bewilderment.
At the same moment, the dead tiger opened wide its
greenish-yellow great cruel eyes, gave a convulsive gasp, which disclosed
its grinning horrible fangs, and rolling over on its side, gasping and
frothing blood and foam at the mouth, its great claws stretched out rigid
and threatening, it got hold of the hapless elephant just above one of the
toe-nails, and, with a dying effort, it sent its yellow fangs deep into the
poor brute's foot.
Tim elephant screamed with anguish, the others piped shrilly.
The mahouts yelled
and jabbered like so many apes. In an instant the whole line was in wild
commotion. The poor brute of an elephant, mad with pain, piped and screamed
most piteously, and the driver, gathering up his legs as if the tiger were
upon him, yelled aloud in a mortal funk to his fathers and his gods to save
It was all the work of an instant.
It was the last dying effort—the last supreme ami crowning
attempt at vengeance. But it was a costly bite.
The wound, although carefully washed and tended, inflamed,
gangrene set in, and in three days the elephant was dead. It cost us each
three hundred rupees to make up the loss, as we could not allow the owner to
suffer for our sport.
The moral is—never trust even a dead tiger. Or rather, more
strictly speaking, a seemingly dead one. It was a dear lesson to learn, hut
it was a salutary one. In all my after experiences, out large game shooting,
I first made very certain my quarry was really dead, before I would allow
man or Least belonging to me to approach within yards of it.
Innumerable instances might, be cited of the absolute folly
of trusting to appearances with seemingly dead tigers. Their vitality is
marvellous. Their cunning is no less most dangerous. I have seen them hide
down as flat as a hare in even light cover, and allow a whole line of
elephants to tread leisurely almost over their bodies, and then sneak off in
the rear of the lint.
A tiger is, in fact, gifted with all the wonderful
adaptability to circumstances of his prototype, the domestic cat, and as we
have just seen, even at the last gasp his power for mischief is to be
feared, and under every circumstance it is the height of foolhardiness to go
near him until the question of his absolute death be put beyond a doubt.
But for this tragic ending, the whole affair would have been
one of the tamest description. The brute showed no more light than a
half-starved mongrel before a bull terrier. I have been in at the death of a
good many tigers of this sort. The best sport is given by your half-grown
young cub, who has never experienced a reverse, and who will come down at
the charge, roaring like a fiend, whenever his royal privacy is intruded
Old tigers as a rule, and especially man-eaters, are the
veriest cowards when a hold front is shown, or when they see that the odds
are against them.
It is no uncommon feat for a party of jungle, herdsmen, armed
only with their ironhound lathees, or
quarter-staves, to boldly show fight to the royal robber, and, by sheer
pluck and gallant dariny, beat liim off from some member of their herd that he may have attacked. Too frequently, to be sure, some
one or more of the number may pay dearly for their temerity, but it is an
apt 'Illustration of the fact that men get inured to a commonly incurred
danger, and it seems also to illustrate the contention of those best
acquainted with the personal prowess of the stalwart peasantry of India,
that they are not the abject cravens those would make them out to be, who
are only acquainted with the enervated, obsequious, emasculated dwellers in
the towns, who possess much of the cunning, stealthy feline attributes of
the tiger himself, without his dash, courage, and fierceness.
T recently came across an incident of cool heroism and
bravery on the part of a few of our own kith and kin, which shows that the
good old qualities of our race are not wholly wiped out yet, and which is
such a capital illustration of the dangers of tiger shooting I have just
been referring to, and the opportunities it affords for individual courage
and daring, that it may fitly close this present chapter.
I extract the account from the narrative of an eye-witness (Oriental
Snorting Magazine for
"In February, 1858, my old chum, A. II., was tiding back to
his factory (Doorgapore) from Salgamoodea, when he met Ben T., who assured
him a tiger (no leopard) had killed and eaten a girl, and severely wounded
other people close by in the Jowdeah village. As tigers had not been heard
of for many years there, they cautiously walked to the place.
There they yaw, surely enough, an enormous tiger lying near
the side of a native's hut, coolly sunning himself on a nice bed of straw.
"On this A. H. wrote off to Joradah to E. P. S. to come and bring Win. S-ff with him. He also wrote to me, to Dooleah, to canter over at once, and while he galloped back
to Salgamoodea to get old T. K. and his elephant, he left Ben to watch the
tiger, and keep the villagers from making a noise so as to disturb him.
"After about an hour or so, E. P. S. and Wm. S-ff arrived with the Joradah elephant, and not believing that a tiger could
be there, but perhaps a leopard, they asked where the brute was, and on
being shown a small piece of Putteal jungle not more than forty feet square,
they got on their elephant and put him into it. A movement was noticed, but
no Mr. Stripes showed. After a bit, the noble brute was seen some distance
off, near the banks of the river, having jinked round some houses
unperceived by the gentlemen.
"On their trying to near the tiger, he swam the river (the Coomar), and calmly walked across the opposite sandbank, evidently not
knowing what to do or where to go. To get the elephant across was a work of
time, but when done, Mr. Stripes was seen to have made a turn, and was again
facing to the river, at a place higher up than where he had previously
crossed. After a little while he again took to the water, and while going up
the bank a shot was fired, I think by E. P. S., which seemed to take effect,
as the brute fell backward down the bank, but immediately recovering
himself, he jumped up the crumbling bank and quietly lay down.
"Again the three sportsmen on the elephant recrossed the
stream, and here E. P. S., fancying he had done for the tiger, descended,
and without even reloading his discharged barrel, he followed up close to
"On approaching the place near which they knew the tiger to
be lying down, out jumped Stripes with a roar and made for the elephant.
This was too much for the nerves of the stately pachyderm. He suddenly swung
round, making it impossible for either men or Wm. S-if to get even a snap shot, and bolted away as if the devil himself was at his
tiger then seeing E. P. S. near the bank of the river, charged him, when E.
P. S. jumped over the bank, but in an instant the tiger must have been on
him, gripped him by the left thigh, threw him down on the very brink of the
river, and then squatted down twenty yards off higher up the bank, with his
face turned from the wounded man.
"Now came the tug-of-war. "Where was E. P. S.? He must be
wounded, if not killed—if only the former, or under any circumstances, he
must be released.
"But there are often brave men in these emergencies, and so it proved, for Wm. S-ff ordered the elephant to kneel down, when he and Ben T. got off, leaving the elephant; they
collected two or three plucky natives, went down, and actually carried off
their poor wounded comrade, while the tiger made not a movement.
"E. P. S. was awfully mauled on the left thigh, which, however, was not broken. "Wm. S-ff then tore off his shirt, tied up the wound as best he could, and carried the
nearly insensible E. P. S. off to Salgamoodea, that being the nearest place
where European medical aid was procurable.
"Shortly afterwards A. H. and old T. K. came up upon the
elephant, determined to do or die; but to make a long story short, the
tiger, on seeing the hetfhee, charged
nobly for fully sixty yards in the open, roaring as only a tiger can. He
was, however, doomed, for he got a pill from both gentlemen, and, a second
after, fell to rise no more, and their wounded comrade was amply avenged."
The narrator very pertinently asks, "How often, sir, would
you hear of greater or cooler bravery than this?
Imagine a tiger (then believed to be wounded) lying twenty
yards from a badly maimed friend, and see how many men will coolly go and
relieve and carry off the wounded man!"
It is also added, "Of eleven men (natives) that the tiger
wounded, four died shortly after."
Now this simple and truthful narrative illustrates one or two
points which are of interest in discussing the nature of the tiger and the
risks attendant on his destruction—
First. It is popularly supposed the tiger, like all of the
cat tribe generally, will not take to the water. Nothing is more common than
for them to do so, as I will presently show.
Second. As a
will not face a resolute body of men who advance boldly against him. To this
there are exceptions, and this brings me to
Third. Never trust
a tiger. Always reload
in jungle shooting before you advance; and,
Fourth. Make proper arrangements and mature your plan of
attack before you go on a tiger shooting expedition. It is too dangerous a
game to trust to wayward luck or blind chance. Do not undervalue your foe.
In many cases he will prove an absolute craven, and turn out to be an easily
subdued antagonist; but if he is at all disposed to fight, the greatest
glutton for excitement will be likely enough to have his most unbounded
appetite amply satisfied.