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With these feelings sport is an amusement worthy of a man, and this noble taste has been extensively developed since the opportunities of travelling have of late years been so wonderfully improved. The facility with which the most remote regions are now reached renders a tour over some portion of the globe a necessary adjunct to a man's education, and a sportsman naturally directs his path to some land where civilisation has not yet banished the wild beast from the soil.
Ceylon is a delightful country for the sporting tourist. In the high road to India and China, any length of time may be spent en passant, and the voyage by the Overland route is nothing but a trip of a few weeks of pleasure.
This island has been always celebrated for its elephants, but the other branches of sport are comparatively unknown to strangers. No account has ever been written which embraces all Ceylon sports anecdotes of elephant shooting fill the pages of nearly every work on Ceylon; but the real character of the wild sports of this island has never been described, because the writers have never been acquainted with each separate branch of the Ceylon chase.
A residence of many years in this lovely country,
where the wild sports of the island have formed a never-failing and constant amusement, alone confers sufficient experience to enable a person to give a faithful picture of both shooting and hunting in Ceylon jungles.
In describing these sports I shall give no anecdotes of others, but I shall simply recall scenes in which I myself have shared, preferring even a character for egotism rather than relate the statements of hearsay, for the truth of which I could not vouch. This must be accepted as an excuse for the unpleasant use of the first person.
There are many first-rate sportsmen in Ceylon who could furnish anecdotes of individual risks and hairbreadth escapes (the certain accompaniments to elephant shooting) that would fill volumes; but enough will be found in the few scenes which I have selected from whole hecatombs of slaughter to satisfy and perhaps fatigue the most patient reader.
One fact I wish to impress upon all. That the colouring of every description is diminished and not exaggerated, the real scene being in all cases a picture, of which the narration is but a feeble
Wild Country.- Dealings in the Marvellous. - Enchanting
Elephant Slaughter. Thick Jungles. - Character of the
Country. Varieties of Game in Ceylon."Battery for
Ceylon Sport."-The Elk, or "Samber Deer.". · Deer
Brush with a Bull. — An awkward Vis-à-
vis. A Bright Thought.-Bull Buffalo receives his Small
Change. What is Man?- Long-shot with the Four-ounce.
Charged by a Herd of Buffalos. - The Four-ounce does
Service. The "Lola." A Woman killed by a Crocodile.
Crocodile at Bolgoddé Lake. - A Monster Crocodile.
Equipment for a Hunting Trip. In Chase of a Herd of
from the Muzzle. · A Black with a Devil -
a Tank Rogue. An exciting Moment. Ruins of Polla-
Rogue. - Dangers of
Character of the Veddahs. — Description of the Veddahs. — A
Monampitya Rogue. Attacking the Rogue. - Breathless
Excitement. Death of a large Rogue. - Utility of the
Four-ounce. A curious Shot. - Fury of a Bull Buffalo.
Character of the Wild Buffalo. - Buffalo-shooting at Min-
Capabilities of Ceylon. - Deer at Illepecadéwé. - Sagacity of
a Pariah Dog. Two Deer at one Shot. Deer-stalking.
- Hambantotte Country. Kattregam Festival. - Sitra-
wellé. - Ruins of Ancient Mahagam. - Wiharéwellé.
Night Attack upon Elephants. Shooting by Moonlight.—
Yallé River. Another Rogue. - A Stroll before Break-
A Morning's Deer Coursing. Kondawataweny. - Rogue at
Kondawataweny.-A close Shave.-Preparations for catching
an Elephant. Catching an Elephant. - Taming Him. —
Flying Shot at a Buck. Cave at Dimbooldéne. - Awkward
Excitement of Elephant-shooting. An unexpected Visitor.
- A long Run with a Buck. - Hard Work rewarded.
A glorious Bay. - End of a hard Day's Work. - Bee
Hunters. Disasters of Elk-hunting. - Bran wounded.