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wounds upon his best hounds, the boar rushing through the jungle covered with dogs, and he himself becomes the immediate object of his fury when observed.
No time is to be lost. Keeping behind the boar if possible, he rushes to the bloody conflict, and drives the hunting knife between the shoulders in the endeavour to divide the spine. Should he happily effect this, the boar falls stone dead; but if not, he repeats the thrust, keeping a good look out for the animal's tusks.
If the dogs were of not sufficient courage to rush in and seize the boar when halload on, no man could approach him in a thick jungle with only a hunting knife, as he would in all probability have his inside ripped out at the first charge. They are wonderfully active and ferocious, and of immense power, constantly weighing 4 cwt.
The end of nearly every good seizer is being killed by a boar. The better the dog the more likely he is to be killed, as he will be the first to lead the attack, and in thick jungle he has no chance of escaping from a wound.
BRUSH WITH A BULL. AN AWKWARD VIS
A MONSTER CROCODILE. DEATH OF A CROCODILE.
THE foregoing description may serve as an introduction to the hill sports of Ceylon. One animal, however, yet remains to be described, who surpasses all others in dogged ferocity when once aroused. This is the "Buffalo."
The haunts of this animal are in the hottest parts of Ceylon. In the neighbourhood of lakes, swamps, and extensive plains the buffalo exists in large herds; wallowing in the soft mire, and passing two thirds of his time in the water itself, he may be almost termed amphibious.
He is about the size of a large ox, of immense bone and strength, very active, and his hide is almost free from hair, giving a disgusting appearance to his india-rubber-like skin. He carries his head in a peculiar manner, the horns thrown back, and his nose projecting on a level with his forehead,
thus securing himself from a front shot in a fatal part. This renders him a dangerous enemy, as he will receive any number of balls from a small gun in the throat and chest without evincing the least symptom of distress. The shoulder is the acknowledged point to aim at, but from his disposition to face the guns this is a difficult shot to obtain. Should he succeed in catching his antagonist his fury knows no bounds, and he gores his victim to death, trampling and kneeling upon him till he is satisfied that life is extinct.
This sport would not be very dangerous in the forests, where the buffalo could be easily stalked, and where escape would also be rendered less difficult in case of accident; but as he is generally met with upon the open plains free from a single tree, he must be killed when once brought to bay, or he will soon exhibit his qualifications for mischief. There is a degree of uncertainty in their character, which much increases the danger of the pursuit. A buffalo may retreat at first sight with every symptom of cowardice, and thus induce a too eager pursuit, when he will suddenly become the assailant. I cannot explain their character better than by describing the first wild buffalos that I
I had not been long in Ceylon, but having arrived in the island for the sake of its wild sports, I had not been idle, and I had already made a considerable bag of large game. however, I was guilty of one
Like most novices, great fault. I de
spised the game, and gave no heed to the many tales of danger and hair-breadth escapes which attended the pursuit of wild animals. This carelessness on my part arose from my first debût, having been extremely lucky; most shots had told well, and the animal had been killed with such apparent ease, that I had learnt to place an implicit reliance in the rifle. The real fact was, that I was like many others; I had slaughtered a number of animals without understanding their habits, and I was perfectly ignorant of the sport. This is now many years ago, and it was then my first visit to the island. Some places that were good spots for shooting in those days have since that time been much disturbed, and are now no longer attractive to my eyes. One of these places is Minneria
I was on a shooting trip accompanied by my brother, whom I will designate as B. We had passed a toilsome day in pushing and dragging our ponies for twenty miles along a narrow path through thick
jungle, which half a dozen natives in advance were opening before us with bill-hooks. This had at one time been a good path, but was then overgrown. It is now an acknowledged bridle-road.
At 4 P. M., and eighty miles from Kandy, we emerged from the jungle, and the view of Minneria Lake burst upon us, fully repaying us for our day's march. It was a lovely afternoon. The waters of the lake, which is twenty miles in circumference, were burnished by the setting sun. The surrounding plains were as green as an English meadow, and beautiful forest trees bordered the extreme boundaries of the plains like giant warders of the adjoining jungle. Long promontories densely wooded stretched far into the waters of the lake, forming sheltered nooks and bays teeming with wild-fowl. The deer browsed in herds on the wide extent of plain, or lay beneath the shade of the spreading branches. Every feature of lovely scenery was here presented. In some spots groves of trees grew to the very water's edge; in others, the wide plains free from a single stem or bush stretched for miles along the edge of the lake; thickly wooded hills bordered the extreme end of its waters, and distant blue mountains mingled their dim summits with the clouds.