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very wolves I saw this morning, had attempted to hunt down antelopes in the usual manner. Baffled however in the chase, instinct was at fault, and the wolf, if left solely to its blind guidance, must, in the absence of other game, have perished.
But hunger, that proverbial sharpener of the human wits, appears also to call forth certain dormant reasoning faculties in the animal, which, under ordinary circumstances might never have been developed. The wolf, finding that instinct has deceived him, refuses to be longer guided by a blind impulse, and begins for the first time to think. He abandons the natural habits of his race, and, in concert with his fellowwolves, plans and executes an ingenious stratagem, worthy of the reasoning powers of man himself; a complicated manæuvre, not only arguing considerable sagacity on the part of individuals, but implying that a mutual understanding exists among the performers, which it appears to me can only be accounted for on the supposition that animals possess some power unknown to us, of communicating their ideas to each other. See to it, ye naturalists.
May 29th.—To Hurryhur 15 miles, crossed the Toongabudra river, commonly pronounced Tumbudra, on the right bank of which stands the small and lately established cantonment of Hurryhur. The sandy bed of the Toongabudra is a quarter of a mile in bieadth, and during the rains is filled by a wide and rapid river, which, however, at this season, dwindles down to a mere stream, fordable on horseback. A group of coy Hindoo maidens were disporting themselves in the transparent water as we passed. Their slight drapery, saturated with wet, and clinging to their graceful forms as they shrank with instinctive modesty from the unhallowed gaze of the “ Feringhee,” displayed to the greatest advantage that flowing outline and classical contour of figure for which the women of India are so justly celebrated. And as I sat admiring the picturesque group-I could not well avoid doing so, fair reader, for my thirsty horse would insist on drinking-the comparison I drew between the flowing drapery of these nut-brown water nymphs and the whalebone ribbed garments of my fair countrywomen, was any thing but favourable to the latter. One of them-a dancing girl from Cachmere, perhaps, for her complexion was very fair, and her arms loaded with massive bangles-was strikingly handsome, so much so, that even Mohadeen the invincible, condescended to smile upon her, and twirled his moustaches with a less supercilious air than usual. On riding into the cantonment, I found that the regiment (the 36th native infantry) were in the field, and that the garrison consisted of one company, under the command of Captain B--, by whom, although a perfect stranger to him, I was received with that hearty hospitality so characteristic of Anglo-Indian society.
Hurryhur, like all newly-established cantonments, is a bare, desolate-looking spot, but has the advantage of being situated in a fine sporting country, the jungles on both sides of the river being plentifully stocked with tigers, bears, wild hog, and deer. This I had previously learned from my brother, who has hunted over the ground, and was astonished to find that my friend the captain was profoundly ignorant of the fact, neither he nor his brother officers having any taste for “burrah shikar,” and being quite satisfied to keep the pot boiling with a few pea-fowl and partridges.
We spent a pleasant evening, and, in the course of conversation over a bottle of cool claret, I learned from Captain B-that our des. tination is Nugger or Bednore, a strong hill fort among the western ghauts. In the time of Tippoo, Bednore was a place of great strength and importance. It was taken by General Mathews in 1783, with treasure to the amount of many lacs of rupees, but was shortly after retaken by Tippoo, and the garrison made prisoners.
It appears that a revolt has taken place in the northern parts of My. sore. Our subsidiary force has been called out to aid the rajah against his rebellious subjects. He and Mr. C—, the Resident, have hitherto marched triumphant through the country, retaking forts, burning villages, and wreaking their vengeance on the unfortunate inhabitants by an indiscriminate slaughter of innocent and guilty. Bednore, however, has checked their further progress. The rajah and his subsidiaries, after a fruitless attempt to take it, were repulsed, with the loss of their baggage; and our two flank companies, with a brigade of twelve-pounders, have consequently been ordered up to reinforce them. The force under Colonel E-- is to assemble, the day after to-morrow, at Sheemoga, a village on the outskirts of the forest, about fifty-tive miles from hence, and we march against Nugger immediately.
It being reported that the country through which I am to march tomorrow is infested by marauding bands of the enemy, and that the principal road is stockaded, Captain B--has kindly procured for me an escort of six native troopers, and a guide to conduct us across co
country, by paths where our progress is less likely to be opposed. I have dismissed my friend Mohadeen with a gratuity of a few rupees. I felt quite sorry to part with the fellow, who, in spite of his dandyism, is the most soldier-like specimen of a seuar I have seen, and makes himself exceedingly useful on a march. The regret at parting is evidently mutual; but whether the feeling on his part is occasioned by the loss of my society, or disappointment at not being allowed to share in the plunder and massacre of the unfortunate Mysore villagers, I shall not venture to say; perhaps there is a mixture of both feelings.
May 30th. -To Honhully 30 miles. Marched at daybreak. My guide, or guides—for they relieved each other at every villagebeing on foot, our march was, of necessity, slow and tedious, and we did not reach our halting-place till four in the afernoon. The heat was intense, and both my horse and I were completely knocked up, neither of us having tasted any thing but a draught of muddy water since three o'clock yesterday. l'intended to have breakfasted half way, but my servants, with the provisions, lagged behind, and after waiting for an hour without seeing any signs of them, I was obliged to proceed on an empty stomach. I was a young campaigner in those days, and carried pistols in my holsters, but I soon learned to turn these useful appendages to better account, by thrusting into one a flask of brandy, and into the other a cold fowl or tongue, carefully wrapped in paper with a couple of hard biscuits on the top of it; and, depend upon it, gentle reader, that in campaigning, you will quite as often find occasion for such munitions of war as for the more legitimate furniture of your holsters.
The moment we arrived at our ground, my undisciplined escort dismissed themselves without waiting for the word of command, -probably to go in search of plunder, for I never saw more of them; and before I had time to look round me, I found myself without a single follower, sitting on my tired horse in the middle of the bazaar, the gazing-stock of a hundred gaping natives. In vain did I try to make myself understood in broken Hindostanee. Hindostanee was not the language spoken in that district, and my gaping audience merely shook their heads with a look of wonder, totally unable to comprehend how a " Sahib Logue" came to be there so dust-begrimed, and without any attendants; for even my horse-keeper, an active fellow in general, had been unable to keep up with me, in consequence of having run a thorn into his foot.
Finding it impossible to make myself understood, or at least to derive any benefit from talking, I pushed through the crowd in no very amiable mood, and began to seek about for some place of shelter from the merciless rays of the sun--for this being a part of the country unfrequented by Europeans, there are no public bungalows. I soon discovered a choultry, or open shed, supported by stone pillars. To one of these I tied my horse, and having unsaddled him, proceeded to rub him down, much to the amusement of a crowd of idle natives, who lounged about with cheroots in their mouths, or squatted on their heels, inhaling the fumes of the fragrant kalyoon, and marvelling greatly at the unwonted sight. Having made my horse as comfortable as circumstances would permit, and thrown my cloak over his loins to protect him from a stroke of the land-wind, I tightened my belt a couple of holes, in hopes of relieving that disagreeable feeling of inanition which nature so properly abhors, seated myself in a corner of the choultry, and lighting a cheroot, prepared to wait with the patience of a Mussulman, till the finger of destiny should point to food.
It was an hour after nightfall-still no signs of my followers, and I was about to lie down in the desperate hope of sleeping off my hunger, when, to my no small satisfaction, some charitable pagan, a respectable looking man, who fortunately understood my broken Hindostanee, came to the rescue, and kindly asked if he could be of any service to me. I replied, that food for myself and forage for my horse would be most acceptable, as neither of us had broken our fast for upwards of fourand-twenty hours. The forage was speedily produced, and in half an hour my charitable friend returned with a blazing torch, an earthen vessel full of water, and a glorious mess of curry and rice, neatly arranged on a plantain-leaf. Never was a mess of curry more welcome. I rewarded my benefactor with thanks and rupees, both of which he appeared to like exceedingly; and having eaten to my heart's content, 1 laid myself down in a corner, with my saddle for a pillow, and was soon in the land of dreams; the last sounds I heard being the satisfactory champing of my horse's busy jaws.
I was aroused from my slumbers about midnight, by the apparition of a native horseman, armed to the teeth, who, to my astonishment, handed me a little three-cornered billet. By the light of a torch I read the contents, and found it was a note from the major commanding our detachment, informing me that he had sent a small party of the rajah's cavalry, in command of the bearer, to escort me into camp next morning. A sleepy “ all's right," with an order to parade at daybreak, dismissed the trooper, and in five minutes I was again snoring on my saddle.
May 31st. To Shemoga, twenty-five miles.—My missing followers arrived a little before daylight, declaring that they had marched all night. This may be true, but if so, they must have slept all yesterday. I accordingly administered a little wholesome chastisement to rouse the dormant energies of my maty-boy and interpreter, surnamed “ Heels" -an unmitigated rogue, and lazy withal--and mounting my horse, I leave my belongings to follow as they may. When I shall see them again, Heaven only knows.
Having no occasion for a guide to-day, we cantered merrily along, and reached Shemoga in time for breakfast.
My escort consisting of six sewarees, are well mounted on tall, active, native horses, and armed with swords and long Mahratta spears. Their bodies are protected by a peculiar sort of defensive armour, formed of pads of quilted cotton, in the form of a back and breastplate, sufficiently thick to resist a sword cut; and their heads are equally well defended by a heavy turban, bound under the chin by a scarf. During the Mahratta war, this head-piece proved a complete puzzle to our dragoons, who strove in vain to make any impression on it with their sabres, till some cunning old trooper hit upon the expedient of dexterously pushing the turban aside with the point of his sword, and immediately bringing down the edge on the exposed part of the skull; after which the unhorsing of a Mahratta warrior became a comparatively easy task,
The quilted cuirass, although an effectual defence against sword cuts, often proves fatal to the wearer, particularly when wounded, by accidentally taking fire, in which case it is next to impossible, without the aid of water, to extinguish the inflammable materials of which it is composed. And on a battle-field in India, it is no uncommon thing to see wounded wretches writhing in torture, while their cotton armour, accidentally ignited by the flash of a pistol, or the burning matches of those who lie around them, is consuming them in a smouldering fire.
An officer, who had served with “ Skinner's Horse" during the Mahratta and Pindaree wars, related to me a curious instance of such an accident occurring.
He was in chase of a party of native horsemen which they had charged and routed. On coming up with the nearest fugitive, he drew a pistol from his holster, and discharged it within a few inches of the man's back. It appears that the bullet, which he afterwards found in the holster, had dropped out in the act of galloping, and the shot, of course, did not take any iminediate effect. But, unfortunately for the poor Mahratta, the Aash of the pistol, or the wadding, ignited his quilted armour, which, by the rapid motion of the horse, was soon fanned into a blaze. His course was easily traced across the plain by the line of smoke that streamed behind him, and before he was out of sight, he was seen to drop from his horse, apparently insensible, and no doubt perished miserably. So much for the defensive qualities of cotton armour.
The country through which we marched this morning, bore fearful
traces of the sanguinary style of warfare that has been carried on. No quarter to men bearing arms, and a dog's death to those taken without them. Every village deserted-many of them reduced to ashes-the fields uncultivated—the cattle running wild—and mangled corpses lying exposed by the road-side, or dangling in clusters from the horizontal branches of the banian trees. Such sights are at all times disgusting, but become doubly so when contrasted with beautiful scenery
I was particularly struck by the painful contrast thus afforded by one of the deserted villages we passed. It was a lovely spot, situated in a valley surrounded by wooded hills, flanked on one side by a luxuriant mango tope, and on the other by an extensive tank, or artificial lake, formed by damming up the waters of the valley. Countless flocks of wild-fowl sported on the surface of the sparkling water; the scarlet-winged flemmings waded in the shallows; and the stately pelican, his cumbrous beak reposing on his well-filled crop, sat brooding on the bank with a grave and thoughtful air, as if-after having gorged himself to satiety with the good things of this life-he was moralizing, like an “unfledged biped," on the vanity of worldly pleasures in general, and the sensual indulgence of appetite in particular. Herds of cattle, fast relapsing into their primitive state of wildness, were browsing on the green herbage; the morning air was filled with perfume, and all appeared peace and happiness.
Such was the aspect presented by this romantic spot, as I scanned it with my telescope from a neighbouring height. But, on a nearer approach, how sadly was the scene changed !
As we advanced, the perfumed air became tainted with the smell of carrion ;—the startled wild-fowl flew screaming from the presence of man, the destroyer; and the terrified cattle, with distended nostrils and tails erect, dashed wildly into the surrounding jungle. And well might they do so, for fearful traces of man's ferocity were there.
The mud walls of the huts, roofless and deserted, were blackened by the action of fire; and, from the branches of the mango grove, hung the bloated corpses of the wretched inhabitants who had once luxuriated in its grateful shade. I counted some fifty of these loathsome objects, and remarked that many of them were gray-headed old men, long past the age for bearing arms, and beardless boys who had not yet attained it; but to the credit of humanity-or inhumanity rather—be it recorded, there were neither women nor absolute children among them. Their fate had probably been violation and slavery.
The bodies blistered and swolien by the heat of the sun, and mottled with livid spots, indicating an advanced stage of decay, presented a ghastly spectacle. The feet and legs had been gnawed away by jackals and pariah-dogs as high as they could reach; the eyes had been picked from their sockets, and the upper parts of the body mangled by the carrion vultures. And flocks of these obscene birds roosted on the branches overhead, or hopped along the ground, so thoroughly gorged as to be incapable of flight.
I was turning with disgust from the unhallowed spot, when I observed the emaciated figure of a man creeping down the dry bed of a neighbouring water-course, and evidently striving to gain a place of