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AWKWARD GROUND.

253

maining portion of the herd were concealed. Two of the elephants were looking at us, and as there was no time to lose we walked straight up to them. They stood quietly watching us till we were within twenty yards, when they came a few paces forward; one immediately falling dead to my shot, while the other was turned by a shot from my brother; the rest retreated to the jungle over the most difficult ground for both man and beast. Immense rocks lay scattered in heaps over the surface of the ground, forming chasms by the intervening crevices of five and six feet in depth; from these crevices the long lemon-grass grew in dense tufts, completely hiding the numerous pitfalls, and making the retreat of the elephants and our pursuit equally difficult. I was close to the tail of a large elephant, who was picking his way carefully over the treacherous surface, and I was waiting for an opportunity for a shot should he turn his head, when I suddenly pitched head first into one of these rocky holes. Here I scrambled for some seconds before I could extricate myself, as I was carrying my heavy four-once rifle; and at length, upon recovering my footing, I found that all the elephants had gained the jungle, except the one that I had been following. He was about

twenty yards from me, and was just entering the jungle, but I got a splendid shot at him behind the ear and rolled him over.

It was very nearly dark, and we could not of course follow the herd any further, we therefore reloaded and turned towards the direction of the cave, which was plainly shown by a distant blaze of light from the night fires, which were already lit. We were walking slowly along parallel to the jungle, into which the elephants had retreated, when my man Wallace, who is a capital gun-bearer, holloed out "Here comes an elephant," and in the dim twilight I could see an elephant bowling along at a great pace towards us, but close to the jungle. He was forty yards from me, but my brother fired at him and without effect. I took a quick shot with a double-barrelled rifle, and he dropped immediately. Hearing him roar as he lay in the high lemon-grass by the edge of the jungle, I ran down the gentle slope to the spot, followed by my trusty gun-bearer Wallace, as I knew the elephant was only stunned and would soon recover. Upon arriving within a few feet of the spot, pushing my way with difficulty through the tangled lemon-grass I could not see where he lay, as daylight had now vanished. I

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was vainly looking about when I suddenly heard a rush in the grass close to me, and I saw the head and cocked ears of the elephant within six feet as he came at me. I had just time to fire my remaining barrel, and down he dropped to the shot. I jumped back a few paces to assure myself of the result, as the smoke hanging in the high grass, added to the darkness, completely blinded me. Wallace pushed the spare rifle into my hand, and to my astonishment I saw the head and cocked ears again coming at me. It was so dark that I could not take an aim, but I floored him once more by a front shot, and again I jumped back through the tangled grass just in time to avoid him, as he, for the third time, recovered himself and charged. He was not five paces from me, and I took a steady shot at him with my last barrel, and I immediately bolted as hard as I could run. This shot once more floored him, but he must have borne a charmed life, as he again recovered his legs, and to my great satisfaction he turned into the jungle and retreated. This all happened in a few seconds; had it been daylight I could, of course, have killed him, but, as it happened, I could not even distinguish the sights at the end of my rifle. In a few minutes afterwards it was pitch

dark, and we could only steer for the cave by the light of the fire, which was nearly two miles distant.

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The next day we found a herd of eight elephants

very favourable ground, and succeeded in killing seven; but this was the last herd in the Park, and after a few days spent in beating up the country without success, I returned to Newera Ellia, the bag being twenty-two elephants during a trip of three weeks, in addition to deer, hogs, buffalo, and small game, which had afforded excellent sport.

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BEARS.

COVER A HERD.-DEATH OF THE HERD.-A FURIOUS CHARGE.
CAUGHT AT LAST. THE CONSEQUENCES. -
-A
ROGUE. -ANOTHER HERD IN HIGH LEMON-GRASS.
-A FIGHT BETWEEN A MOORMAN AND A BEAR.-A MUSICAL
HERD.-HERD ESCAPE.-A PLUCKY BUCK.-DEATH OF KILL-
END OF THE TRIP.

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GOOD SPORT WITH A HERD.

ABOUT twelve months elapsed without my pulling a trigger. I had contented myself with elk-hunting in Newera Ellia and the vicinity, but in November, 1850, the greyhounds were again in their palanquin, and, accompanied by my brother V., I was once more in the saddle on my steady-going old horse Jack, en route for the Park.

It was 5 P. M., on a cool and lovely evening, that we halted and unsaddled in this beautiful country. Our tents and coolies were far behind, our horsekeepers were our only attendants, and we fixed upon a spot as the most eligible site for the tents. A large open park lay before us interspersed with trees and clumps of forest. A clear stream flowed from some low rocky hills upon our right, and several detached masses of rock lay scattered irre

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