The planter, then, has to be constantly over his villages, looking out for good lands, giving up bad fields, and taking in new ones. He must watch what crops grow best in certain places. He must see that he does not take lands where water may lodge, and, on the other hand, avoid those that do not retain their moisture. He must attend also to the state of the other crops generally all over his cultivation, as the punctual payment of rents depends largely on the state of the crops. He must have his eyes open to everything going on, be able to tell the probable rent-roll of every village for miles around, know whether the ryots are lazy and discontented, or are industrious and hard-working. Up in the early morning, before the hot blazing sun has climbed on high, he is off on his trusty nag, through his Zeraats, with his greyhounds and terriers panting behind him. As he nears a village, the farm-servant in charge of that particular bit of cultivation, comes out with a low salaam, to report progress, or complain that so-and-so is not working up his field as he ought to do.
Over all the lands he goes, seeing where re-ploughing is necessary, ordering harrowing here, weeding there, or rolling somewhere else. He sees where the ditches need deepening, where the roads want levelling or widening, where a new bridge will be necessary, where lands must be thrown up and new ones taken in. He knows nearly all his ryots, and has a kind word for every one he passes; asks after their crops, their bullocks, or their land; rouses up the indolent; gives a cheerful nod to the industrious; orders this one to be brought in to settle his account, or that one to make greater haste with the preparation of his land, that he may not lose his moisture. In fact, he has his hands full till the mounting sun warns him to go back to breakfast. And so, with a rattling burst after a jackal or fox, he gets back to his bungalow to bathe, dress, and break his fast with fowl cutlets, and curry and rice, washed down with a wholesome tumbler of Bass.
How to get our crop.—The ’Dangurs.’—Farm servants and their duties. —Kassee Rai.—Hoeing.—Ploughing.—’Oustennie.’—Coolies at work. —Sowing.—Difficulties the plant has to contend with.—Weeding.
Having now got our land, water, and buildings—which latter I will describe further on—the next thing is to set to work to get our crop. Manufacture being finished, and the crop all cut by the beginning or middle of October, when the annual rains are over, it is of importance to have the lands dug up as early as possible, that the rich moisture, on which the successful cultivation of the crop mainly depends, may be secured before the hot west winds and strong sun of early spring lick it up.