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GOOD SPORT WITH A HERD.
at an undulating country covered with small rocks and grass about four feet high, which made the pace dreadfully fatiguing; still we dared not slacken the speed for an instant lest the elephants should distance us. This was the time for rifles. to tell, although their weight (15 lbs.) was rather trying in so long and fast a run. I was within eighty paces of the herd, and I could not decrease the distance by a single yard. I halted and took a shot at the ear of a large elephant in the middle of the herd. The shot so stunned him that, instead of going on straight, he kept turning round and round as though running after his tail; this threw the herd into confusion, and some ran to the right and others to the left, across some steep hollows. Running up to my wounded elephant, I extinguished him with my remaining barrel; and getting a spare rifle from Wallace, who was the only gun-bearer who had kept up, I floored another elephant, who was ascending the opposite side of a hollow about forty yards off: this fellow took two shots, and accordingly I was left unloaded. V. had made good play with the rifles as the herd was crossing the hollow, and he had killed three, making six bagged in all. The re
maining two elephants reached a thick jungle and escaped.
We returned to the tent, and after a bath we sat down with a glorious appetite to breakfast, having bagged six elephants before seven o'clock
In the afternoon we went to the cave and sent out trackers. We were very hard up for provisions in this place: there were no deer in the neighbourhood, and we lived upon squirrels and parrots, both of which are excellent eating, but not very substantial fare.
The whole of this part of the country was one dark mass of high lemon-grass, which, not having been burnt, was a tangled mixture of yellow stalks and sharp blades, which completely destroyed the pleasure of shooting.
In this unfavourable ground we found a herd of ten elephants, and after waiting for some time in the hope of their feeding into a better country, we lost all patience, and resolved to go in at them and do the best we could. It was late in the afternoon, and the herd, who were well aware of our position, had all closed up in a dense body, and with their trunks thrown up, they were trum
END OF THE TRIP.
peting and screaming as though to challenge us to the attack.
Pushing our way through the high grass, we got within six paces of the elephants before they attempted to turn, and the heavy battery opened upon them in fine style. Levelling the grass in their path, they rushed through it in a headlong retreat, V. keeping on one flank while I took the other; and a race commenced, which continued for about half a mile at full speed, the greater part of this distance being up hill. None of these elephants proved restive; and on arriving at thick jungle two only entered out of the ten that had composed the herd; the remaining eight lay here and there along the line of the hunt.
Out of four herds and three rogues fired at, we had bagged thirty-one elephants in a few days' shooting. My mishap on the first day had much. destroyed the pleasure of the sport, as the exercise was too much for my wounded leg, which did not recover from the feeling of numbness for some months.
REWARDED. A GLORIOUS BAY. — END OF A
OLD SMUT'S" BUCK. -BOAR AT HACK
In describing so many incidents in elephant-shooting, it is difficult to convey a just idea of the true grandeur of the sport: it reads too easy. A certain number are killed out of a herd after an animated chase, and the description of the hunt details the amount of slaughter, but cannot possibly explain the peculiar excitement which attends elephantshooting beyond all other sports. The size of the animal is so disproportionate to that of the hunter, that the effect of a large herd of these monsters flying before a single man would be almost ridiculous, could the chase be witnessed by some casual observer who was proof against the excitement of
EXCITEMENT OF ELEPHANT SHOOTING. 293
the sport. The effect of a really good elephant shot in the pursuit of a herd over open country is very fine. With such weapons as the doublebarrelled No. 10. rifles, a shot is seldom wasted; and during the chase, an elephant drops from the herd at every puff of smoke. It is a curious sight, and one of the grandest in the world, to see a fine rogue-elephant knocked over in full charge. His onset appears so irresistible, and the majesty of his form so overwhelming, that I have frequently almost mistrusted the power of man over such a beast; but one shot well placed, with a heavy charge of powder behind the ball, reduces him in one instant to a mere heap of flesh.
One of the most disgusting sights is a dead elephant, four or five days after the fatal shot. In a tropical climate, where decomposition proceeds with such wonderful rapidity, the effect of the sun upon such a mass can be readily understood. The gas generated in the inside distends the carcase to an enormous size, until it at length bursts and becomes in a few hours afterwards one living heap of maggots. Three weeks after an elephant is killed nothing remains but his bones and a small heap of dried cases, from which the flies have emerged when the time arrived for them to change from the