CHAPTER X. Kuderent jungle.--Charged by a pig.--The biter bit.--'Mac' after the big boar.--The horse for pig-sticking.--The line of beaters.--The boar breaks.--'Away!
First along one fork he went, and then another, applying every test that his wonderful junglecraft was cognizant of; but again and again he was baffled, for the scent had been washed away by the heavy downpour, in every exposed place.
* * * * * A whole month of that voyage, from May the 15th to June the 13th, I wasted at the Andaman Islands near Malay: for that any old Chinaman could be alive in Pekin began, after some time, to seem the most quixotic notion that ever entered a human brain; and these jungled islands, to which I came after a shocking vast orgy one night at Calcutta, when I fired not only the city but the river, pleased my fancy to such an extent, that at one time I intended to abide there.
At such times she would break her haughty quiet with fierce sallies upon her sisters; but Withers stung her back into silence with sharp and telling retorts,--as you may have seen a practised beast-tamer in a cage flog an angry tigress, when her eyes flashed, and her ears were set back, and she unsheathed her horrid claws, and lashed her sides, and growled with all the appalling fee-faw-fum of the jungle,--flog her back into her corner, with nought more formidable than a lady's riding-whip, dainty, slender, and sharp.
--Exciting chase.--The Morung jungle.--Magnificent scenery.--Skinning the tiger.--Incidents of tiger hunting.
--Firing the jungle.--The line of fire at night.--Foolish to shoot at moving jungle.--Never shoot down the line.--Motions of different animals in the grass.
"O God, my heavenly Father, with Your help I have made a beginning in the jungles of Okoyong.
Gray, an old resident in the jungles.--Description of her surroundings.
The Koosee jungles.--Ferries.--Jungle roads.--The rhinoceros.--We go to visit a neighbour.--We lose our way and get belated.--We fall into a quicksand.--No ferry boat.--Camping out on the sand.--Two tigers close by.--We light a fire.--The boat at last arrives.--Crossing the stream.
The instant, however, it had dipped its tongue in blood, something like madness seemed to have seized upon the animal; a destructive principle, hitherto dormant, was awakened--it darted fiercely, and with glaring eyes, upon its prey--tore it with fury to pieces--and, growling and roaring in the most fearful manner, rushed off towards the jungles.--London Weekly Review.
We start for a tiger hunt on the Nepaul frontier.--Indian scenery near the border.--Lose our way.--Cold night.--The river by night.--Our boat and boatmen.--Tigers calling on the bank.--An anxious moment.--Fire at and wound the tigress.--Reach camp.--The Nepaulee's adventure with a tiger.--The old Major.--His appearance and manners.--The pompous Jemadar.--Nepaulese proverb.--Firing the jungle.--Start a tiger and shoot him.--Another in front.--Appearance of the fires by night.--The tiger escapes.--Too dark to follow up.--Coolie shot by mistake during a former hunt.
With all their intense individuality, they remain animals, each one true to his kind, hating or loving men, thinking mainly through their instincts, and surpassing human schoolmasters in teaching Mowgli the great laws of the jungle,--that obedience is "the head and the hoof of the Law," that nothing was ever yet lost by silence, that, in the jungle, life and food depend on keeping one's temper, that no one shall kill for the pleasure of killing.
--'Naka,' or scout ahead.--Usual time for tiger shooting on the Koosee.--Firing the jungle.--The line of fire at night.--Foolish to shoot at moving jungle.--Never shoot down the line.--Motions of different animals in the grass.
--A spined tiger.--Boldness of young tigers.--Cruelty.--Cunning.--Night scenes in the jungle.--Tiger killed by a wild boar.--His cautious habits.--General remarks.
"De songs we used to sing in old days when I was a kid after de War wasn't no purtier dan what we used to sing wid our own minstrel show when we was at our best twenty-five and thirty years ago; songs like 'Jungletown,' 'Red Wing,' and 'Mammy's Li'l Alabama Coon.'
--Description of a beat.--Disputes among the shooters.--Awarding tigers.--Cutting open the tiger.--Native idea about the liver of the tiger.--Signs of a tiger's presence in the jungle.--Vultures.--Do they scent their quarry or view it?--A vulture carrion feast.