A Journey to Katmandu eBook

Laurence Oliphant
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about A Journey to Katmandu.

CHAPTER IV.

A picnic on the Nepaul frontier—­A boar-hunt—­The Terai and its resources—­Our shooting quarters—­Incidents of sport—­A tiger-hunt—­The great elephant exhibition of 1851—­Camp Bechiacor.

Pitched under the shade of some wide-spreading mangoes are a variety of tents of all sizes, from the handsome and spacious marquee to the snug sleeping tent; near them are picqueted a number of fine-looking Arab horses in prime condition, while the large barouche, which is standing close by, might have just emerged from a coach-house in a London mews; a few servants are loitering about, and give life to this otherwise tranquil scene.

Nobody can for an instant suppose that this is the camp of Jung Bahadoor; his tents are green and red and generally surrounded by soldiers; his horses do not look so sleek and fresh as these; he has not got a barouche belonging to him, far less a piano, and I think I hear the music of one proceeding from yonder large tent.—­No—­this is an Indian picnic—­none of your scrambling, hurried pleasure parties to last for a wet day, when everybody brings his own food, and eats it uncomfortably with his fingers, with some leaves for a plate and an umbrella for a roof, and then persuades himself and others that he has been enjoying himself.  Let such an one come and make trial of a deliberate, well-organized picnic of a fortnight’s duration, such as the one now before us, with plenty of sport in the neighbourhood, while the presence of the fair sex in camp renders the pleasures of the drawing-room doubly delightful after those of the chace.

Boar-hunting, or, as it is commonly called, pig-sticking, is essentially an Indian sport, and I could not have partaken of it under more favourable auspices than I did at Hirsede, when, having obtained intelligence of a wild boar, and having been supplied with steeds, some five or six of us proceeded in pursuit of the denizen of the jungles.  We soon roused and pressed him closely through the fields of castor-oil and rare-cates.  The thick stalks of the former often balked our aim.  He received repeated thrusts notwithstanding, and charged three or four times viciously, slightly wounding my horse, and more severely that of one of my companions.  After being mortally wounded, the brute unfortunately dodged into a thick jungle, where, hiding himself in the bushes, he baffled all our efforts to dislodge him.  In their attempts to do so, however, the beaters turned out a fine young boar, who gave us a splendid run of upwards of a mile at top speed—­for a pig is a much faster animal than his appearance indicates, and one would little imagine, as he scuttles along, that he could keep a horse at full gallop.  However, he soon became blown, and, no friendly patch of jungle being near for him to take refuge in, was quickly despatched,

Our revels having been kept up to a late hour, I left Hirsede in the small hours of the morning, and came up to Jung Bahadoor’s camp on the Nepaul frontier.

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A Journey to Katmandu from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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