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nounced to the colonel my intention of appearing in my " war-paint” at the place of rendezvous (the village of Shemoga, 150 miles from hence) on the day appointed—I have already despatched my servants and baggage, whom I shall overtake by starting on horseback to-morrow; and having done so, begin to feel, as Brother Jonathan terms it, “ very wolfish about the head and ears"_blood-thirsty exceedingly.
The only horse I brought with me from Bangalore being old and rather shaky on bis fore legs, my brother, not liking the idea of my marching through an enemy's country so ill mounted, has generously made me a present of a favourite Arab colt, named “Turquoise;" he is not yet four years old, but is a very promising animal, of the purest blood, remarkably fast, and quite master of my weight. In return, I have made over to my brother my venerable steed, “ Captain Head," so named on account of the numerous beautiful impressions of his own and his rider's skull, which he has left on the soil in this neighbourhood. The Captain has been a splendid horse in his day, and is still “ a good one to go,” but the man who would ride him across country, with any feeling of security, must needs have limbs of caoutchouc, and a skull of iron. I may here mention, that after a month's trial, my brother found it impossible to stand the wear and tear of hunting-caps and collar-bones occasioned by “the Captain's," inveterate habit of "taking casts,” and accordingly presented him to a neighbouring jaghierdar, who kept a breeding-stud, and was glad to get a horse of " the captain's” blood and figure into his establishment.
Dharwar, May 25th.—It was with a heavy heart that I this day bade adieu to Dharwar and my agreeable companions. We all had tiffin together, after which I mounted my new nag, quaffed the stirrupcup, and with many a “God speed you," proceeded on my way, accompanied by a sewar, or native trooper, whom the collector of the district has been good enough to allow me as a guide and escort as far as Hurryhur.
Rode thirty miles to the village of Inglegy, where I overtook my servants and baggage. Much pleased with my little horse-he did the thirty miles at a hand-gallop, in a little more than three hours, and came in fresh and playful as a kid. Halted for the night at the travellers' bungalow. These public bungalows, which, of late years have been erected by government at almost every stage along the principal roads, prove a great convenience to travellers by doing away with the necessity for carrying tents. They generally consist of two large rooms, with a bath-room attached to each, and have a compound, or enclosed space at the back, containing stables, cook-houses, and other offices. Pensioned sepoys are appointed to take charge of these buildings, and the cotwall, or head-policeman of the village, is bound to furnish supplies to travellers, at prices regulated from time to time, by the collector's tariff, a copy of which is generally hung up in some conspicuous part of the bungalow. The only furniture they contain is a barrack-table, two chairs, and a rattan couch to each room. To a European eye, a large apartment with bare, whitewashed walls, thus scantily furnished, does not present a very inviting appearance, and in any other climate would appear cold and cheerless. But after a long march, exposed to the sickening glare of an Indian sun, shade and a refreshing bath are the luxuries chiefly coveted. The colder a room looks
the better, and the appearance of a savoury dish of curry, flanked by a couple of wax-candles, and a bottle of cool claret, soon reconciles even a griffin fresh from the comforts of an English hotel, to the naked walls, mud floors, and unglazed windows of an Indian bungalow.
May 26th.—To Savanoor, 14 miles.—Reader, have you ever attempted—I say attempted, for no one can ever have succeeded in the attempt to sleep on a bare rattan couch infested with bugs, the thermometer standing at about 100° of Fahrenheit, and the atmosphere perfectly alive with those stinging, buzzing, aggravating little fiends, disguised as insects, and calling themselves mosquitoes; or, as my friend the doctor describes them, “ lang-nebbit things, sanguinivorous, gregarious, and garrulous !" If you have had this misfortune, you will no doubt retain a lively recollection of the fearful degree of mental and physical irritation occasioned by such a state of affairs, and believe that after passing last night in such company, I availed myself of the first peep of dawn to proceed this morning on my journey. My route lay through a flat, uninteresting country, composed entirely of that black alluvial soil, commonly called cotton-ground. Passed numerous herds of antelope, and got several good shots, but owing, I suppose, to the irritation of my nerves, I only succeeded in killing one, a fine black buck, which I “ tailored,” by hitting him in the haunch, although within a range of seventy yards. He, however, furnished an excellent dinner for myself and followers, including my attendant sewar, who, with an eye to business, took the precaution of muttering a prayer over the animal, and cutting its throat the moment it fell, thereby rendering the fresh hulal, or lawful to be eaten by himself and other true believers.
The sewars of India are irregular cavalry, levied and supported like the feudal vassals of the middle ages. Each jaghierdar or landholder, is bound to supply a certain number of soldiers to his liege lord, and to arm, clothe, and feed them, during the time their services are required. The jaghierdar is, in general, ready enough to furnish his proportion of men—this costs him nothing—but feeding and clothing are very different matters, and so little is the commissariat department attended to, that the men are taught to forage for themselves, as a matter of course; they are apt scholars, and seldom fail to get their own at least. In the field, indeed, sewars are little better than armed banditti; they plunder friend and foe indiscriminately; and, although well mounted and armed, and capable of being made efficient troops, if properly organized, their irregular habits and insatiable thirst for plunder, render them a serious nuisance in a friendly country, and a very inefficient force in that of an enemy.
A troop of sewars is generally placed under the orders of the collector of each district, for the purpose of carrying despatches, escort duty, &c., and to this class belongs my present guide. He is a Mussulman, young, and rather good-looking, and, like all young Mussulmans with any pretensions to good looks, he is a finished dandy, and professed lady-killer. His whole soul seems to be wrapped up in the decoration of his own proper person and his horse's trappings; and so entirely is he satisfied with himself, and all belonging to him, that nothing ever appears to disturb the equaninity of his temper. Sunshine and storm, good fare and bad, are all alike to the happy " Mohadeen.” Whether sweltering under the heat of an Indian sun, or fighting his way against wind and rain, Mohadeen sits his horse, and handles his spear with the same jaunty, devil-may-care air, singing scraps of Persian love-songs, and ogling every pretty girl he passes with a patronizing air, and a twirl of his well-trimmed mustaches, that seems to imply he confers an honour on her by so doing; or when no such attractive object presents itself, he appears almost as much interested in the contemplation of his own legs and handsome accoutrements. His intercourse with Europeans appears to have divested him of some of his native prejudices, and instead of riding with bare legs and sandalled feet, he has learned to encase his nether limbs in white leather-breeches and jack-boots, armed with silver spurs; a piece of refinement which contrasts strangely enough wirh the Oriental character of his other garments. His turban, formed of the finest muslin, is at all times, and in all weathers, arranged with scrupulous neatness; and his glossy black beard is such as a rajah might envy. His alkhalak, or upper garment, composed of scarlet cloth, edged with gold lace, is bound round his loins with a Cashmere shawl; and into this is thrust a dagger and steelhilted Mahratta sword, richly inlaid with silver. His horse's trappings, too, of red and yellow velvet, studded with cowrie shells, are “ got up regardless of all expense, and even his spear comes in for iis due proportion of ornament. In short, my friend Mohadeen is the most dashing fellow of his class I have ever seen; and when mounted on his showy, high-actioned Kutch horse, is a fine soldier-like fellow, well calculated to find favour in the eyes of the fair sex, by whom, if we may take his own word for it, is looked upon as a perfect Roostum. How he became possessed of the various expensive articles of dress in which he glories, I have not presumed to ask ; but any one acquainted with the predatory habits of the sewar, may make a shrewd guess.
On arriving at the end of a march, Mohadeen, like a good soldier, devotes his first attention to his horse and accoutrements, on the good appearance of which he particularly prides himself. He then, with a military salaam, demands, " Kya hookum, sahib?" (What orders, sir?) and having received his instructions, proceeds to the grand business of the day, the purification and adornment of his person. This is a very elaborate performance, occupying considerably more than an hour. Having divested himself of his riding-dress, he proceeds to the nearest tank, with no other covering than a rag tied round his loins, and carefully washes himself from head to foot, muttering his prayers as he does so. He then devotes at least half an hour to trimming, oiling, and arranging his cherished moustaches and flowing beard, occasionally calling in the aid of a native barber to shave his head and shampoo his limbs; and having satisfied himself that ample justice has been done to the lavish gifts of nature, proceeds to equip himself in an elegant undress, consisting of a fine white muslin robe, and wide-trousers of flowered silk. His next care is to gird the cashmere shawl round his loins, tight enough to make his figure appear like that of a wasp; an embroidered skull-cap is stuck jauntily on one side of his head ; his feet thrust into red-morocco slippers; and sticking a lighted cheroot in the corner of his mouth, he shuffles off with an air of inimitable selfcomplaisance to seek adventures, and make conquests among his fair country-women in the bazaar.
A good deal of thunder and lightning this evening_heralds of the approaching monsoon.
May 27th.—To Mootee Bennore, 22 miles, halting half way, at Devigherry, for breakfast. A good bungalow at both places. At Devigherry I found the verandah of the bungalow guarded by a stuffed tiger, which coming unexpectedly in sight on turning a corner, so terrified my horse that he reared up on end and nearly fell back upon me.
We encountered, this morning, one of the severest storms of wind and rain I have ever witnessed. The rain came upon us like water from a cataract, driven with blinding fury before a perfect hurricane of wind that bent the trees almost to the earth ; our horses fairly turned tail, obstinately refusing to face it; and even Mohadeen appeared somewhat disconcerted, and uttered an involuntary • bismillah” as he watched the gradual rise of the water in his capacious boots, till they began to run over at the top like over-filled buckets. A few minutes sufficed to convert the dry water-courses into foaming torrents, and by the time the squall had passed the whole country was flooded ; the plain, which a few hours before was scorched and baked into deep fissures by a long continued drought, now reflecting back the rays of the morning sun like a huge lake.
On the march from Devigherry to Mootee Bennore, I fell in with a small herd of antelope, and shot a black buck with twenty-inch horns, hitting him in the neck, while feeding, at a distance of 140 yards. The foot-prints of another buck which I missed while passing me at his utmost speed, were so distinctly marked on the wet ground, that I had the curiosity to measure several of his bounds, and found that they averaged twenty-five feet, an enormous stride for an animal not much larger than a roe. This, combined with great rapidity of stroke, fully accounts for the wonderful speed which the antelope is capable of exerting
May 28th.-To Ranee Bennore, 14 miles - cloudy morningflat, uninteresting country, partially cultivated—a good bungalow. I witnessed, this morning, a curious instance of wolfish generalship that interested me much, and which, in my humble opinion, goes far to prove that animals are endowed, to a certain extent, with reasoning faculties, and have means of communicating their ideas to each other.
I was, as usual, scanning the horizon with my telescope at daybreak, to see if any game was in sight. I had discovered a small herd of antelope feeding on a field from whence the crop had been lately removed, and was about to take the glass from my eye for the purpose
of reconnoitring the ground, when, in a remote corner of the field, concealed from the antelope by a few intervening bushes, I faintly discerned in the gray twilight, a pack of six wolves, seated on their hind quarters like dogs, and apparently in deep consultation. It appeared evident that, like myself, they wanted venison, and had some design upon the antelope ; and, being curious to witness the mode of proceeding adopted by these four-legged poachers, I determined to watch their motions. I accordingly dismounted, leaving my horse in charge of the sewar; and creeping as near the scene of action as I could without being discovered, concealed myself behind a bush. Having apparently decided on their plan of attack, the wolves separated; one remaining stationary, and the other five creeping cautiously round the edge of the field, like setters drawing on a shy covey of birds. In this manner they surrounded the unsuspecting herd, one wolf lying down at each corner of the field, and the fifth creeping silently towards the centre of it, where he concealed himself in a deep furrow. The sixth wolf, which had not yet moved, now started from his hiding-place, and made a dash at the antelope. The graceful creatures, confident in matchless speed, tossed their heads, as if in disdain, and started off in a succession of flying bounds that soon left their pursuer far behind. But no sooner did they approach the edge of the field than one of the crouching wolves started up, turned them, and chased them in a contrary direction, while his panting accomplice lay down in his place to recover wind for a fresh burst. Again the bounding herd dashed across the plain, hoping to escape on the opposite side; but here they were once more headed by one of the crafty savages, who, in his turn, took up the chace, and coursed them till relieved by a fresh hand from an opposite quarter. In this manner, the persecuted animals were driven from side to side, and from corner to corner, a fresh assailant heading them at every turn, till they appeared perfectly stupified with fear, and crowding together like frightened sheep, began to wheel round in diminishing circles. All this time the wolf, which lay concealed in the furrow, near the centre of the field, had never moved, although the antelope had passed and repassed within a few feet of him, and had, perhaps, even jumped over him; his time for action had not yet arrived. 'It now became evident that the unfortunate antelope must soon be tired out, when it appeared probable that the surrounding wolves would have made a combined attack and driven the terrified herd towards the centre of the field, where the wolf who had hitherto been lying in reserve, would have sprung up in the midst of them, and secured at least one victim. I, however, did not allow matters to proceed so far-I was satisfied with what I had seen, and resolved to turn the tables on my friends the wolves, by making a slight change in the last act of the tragedy, which was now fast approaching. Accordingly, just as the antelope appeared to be driven to a stand-still, I put a stop to further proceedings on the part of their ravenous assailants, by sending a rifle bullet through the body of the nearest skulker, who incontinently gave up the ghost; and his sagacious companions seeing that their game was up, now that the man with the gun” had taken a hand, made a precipitate retreat, leaving me undisputed master of the field. I might easily have brought down an antelope with my second barrel—for the poor things appeared stupified with fear—but after having so far espoused their cause, I felt it would be treachery on my part to avail myself of this advantage, and accordingly allowed them to depart in peace.
And now, let me ask the philosophic reader, was it mere instinct, or was it a certain power of combining ideas, and drawing inferences, that enabled a pack of wolves to plan the combined and well-arranged attack I have attempted to describe?
We all know that the natural instinct of the wolf prompts these animals to assemble in packs, and hunt down their prey, either by scent or by speed of foot, and, as long as this succeeds, no other expedient is resorted to. I have no doubt that, in the first instance, the