Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

6.  A small principality, detached from the Panna State.  Its chief town is about one hundred miles north-east of Jubbulpore, on the route from Allahabad to Jubbulpore.  The state is now traversed by the East Indian Railway.  It is under the superintendence of the Political Agent of Baghelkhand, resident at Riwa.

7.  This pass is sixty-three miles south-east of Allahabad, on the road from that city to Riwa.

8.  These myths are based on the well-known facts that man-eating tigers are few, and exceptionally wary and cunning.  The conditions which predispose a tiger to man-eating have been much discussed.  It seems to be established that the animals which seek human prey are generally, though not invariably, those which, owing to old wounds or other physical defects, are unable to attack with confidence the stronger animals.  The conversations given in the text are excellent illustrations of the mode of formation of modern myths, and of the kind of reasoning which satisfies the mind of the unconscious myth-maker.

The text may be compared with the following passage from the Journey through the Kingdom of Oudh (vol. i, p. 124):  ’I asked him (the Raja of Balrampur), whether the people in the Tarai forest were still afraid to point out tigers to sportsmen.  “I was lately out with a party after a tiger”, he said, “which had killed a cowherd, but his companions refused to point out any trace of him, saying that their relative’s spirit must be now riding upon his head, to guide him from all danger, and we should have no chance of shooting him.  We did shoot him, however”, said the Raja exultingly, “and they were all afterwards very glad of it.  The tigers in the Tarai do not often kill men, sir, for they find plenty of deer and cattle to eat,"’

CHAPTER 21

Burning of Deori by a Freebooter—­A Suttee.

Sarimant had been one of the few who escaped from the flames which consumed his capital of Deori in the month of April 1813, and were supposed to have destroyed thirty thousand souls.  I asked him to tell me how this happened, and he referred me to his attendant, a learned old pundit, Ram Chand, who stood by his side, as he was himself, he said, then only five years of age, and could recollect nothing of it.

‘Mardan Singh,’ said the pundit, ’the father of Raja Arpan Singh, whom you saw at Seori, was then our neighbour, reigning over Garha Kota;[1] and he had a worthless nephew, Zalim Singh, who had collected together an army of five thousand men, in the hope of getting a little principality for himself in the general scramble for dominion incident on the rise of the Pindharis and Amir Khan,[2] and the destruction of all balance of power among the great sovereigns of Central India.  He came to attack our capital, which was an emporium of considerable trade and the seat of many useful manufactures, in the expectation of being able to squeeze out of us a good sum to aid

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Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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