Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed.
Glenora Single Malt Whisky

Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.
Scottish Review

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

Tent Life in Tigerland
Chapter VII - Never trust a Tiger


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 practice—Salamee—Rapacity 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; it's alive!"—A 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."

It must 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 naturally

" 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 progresses.

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 rerum, and 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 homo to be as toothsome as his more natural and accustomed diet of venison, pork, or rump steak.

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 retribution.

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 attentions.

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 volens, by 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.

How 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 ryot (head 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.

He 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 mark.

"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 tiger.

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 cat.

All of a sudden, with a yell of absolute dismay, Pat howled out—

"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 his life.

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 upon.

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 .Tune, 1879):—

"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 the elephant.

"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 heels.

The 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 rule he 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.


Return to Book Index Page

 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast