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So we set to, pitching the tent; and soon
the savoury smell of a couple of hares we had
shot, by the way, gave the villagers an idea of
the destruct ive propensities of their unwelcome
visitors. Whilst we were smoking our after-
dinner cheroots, a volunteer from the village,
having heard, no doubt, that we were good
pay, came in, and offered to show us the best
ground and pools or tanks, and said he would
bring a companion with him at gun-fire next
morning. He was a small, well-made fellow,
his hair fastened in a jaunty club on the side
of his head, instead of behind it, as is the
Cingalese fashion, which the Malabars of the
Northern Province only adopt when married;
his dress, as usual, nothing but a cloth bound
round his loins, with the usual accompaniment
of a beetle-cracker and pouch. Having come
to a satisfactory agreement with this hero, we
rigged out our iron beds, blew up our air
mattrasses, and in less than ten minutes were
deep in dreams of waltzes and polkas with
the fair nymphs of our island capital.

At four next morning, having got our
rifles and double-barrelled guns ready, we sat
down, expecting the arrival of our last night's
friend. He came, after sundry messages had
been sent after him, and with him his fidus
Achates. The head of hair which this fellow
had defies all description. It was curled into a
thousand little corkscrews, each consisting of
about twelve hairs and varying from three to
six inches in length, darting out at all angles
from his head like the quills of an angry
porcupine. Giving each of these guides a spare
gun, we started in silence, and nothing but
the cracking of some ill-natured stick, or the
cry of a wild bird we had startled from its
roost, gave warning of our progress.

The excitement we felt cannot be
described, when we first got sight of our game
feeding in a tank, about a quarter of a mile
from us. Imagine a herd of sixty or more
spotted deer grouped in every imaginable way
in a grassy bottom, some under the branches
of stately tamarind trees, some drinking at
the edge of the water; some lying down,
little dreaming of the greedy and remorseless
eyes so eagerly watching their repose. Our
gun-bearers now altered our direction in
order to gain the lee of their position; and a
few anxious moments brought us again in
sight of the deer, and not more than two
hundred yards from a stately stag, the
outlying piquet of their troop. Looking to our
locks, we now took the place of guides, and
began cautiously to advance.

By this time it was past five. The sun had
not yet risen, but the light was quite sufficient
to distinguish every twig and blade, and
the increased noise of the awakening spoonbills
and water-fowl served considerably to
conceal our careful approach. A hundred
yards are now passedtwenty more would
make success a certaintywhen crash went a
dead branch under a leathern sole, and the
whole herd at once are roused from their careless
attitudes. The stag I had just marked, at
once prepared for flight; but, stopping to sniff
the wind, fell under my first bullet. My
friend's gun also brought down a fine buck,
just as he was starting at the report of my
shot. The herd are now off; but still two
fall as they press forward; one, never to rise.

Thus ended our first morning's sport, and
having gathered our game together, we left
a fellow in charge, to drive off the jackals,
and other wild beasts, while we joyfully
wended our way back to the encampment
to despatch a dozen of our men to bring in the
spoil, and to recruit ourselves with a hearty
breakfast.

As we had expected, we found the whole
village, ladies and all, at the tent, looking
with curiosity at our apparatus, and bringing
scanty supplies of milk, eggs, and fowls, which
they exchanged for a few charges of powder,
and a bullet or two. Here money is of little
value, for they grow all the food they require
in the Palmyra tree and paddy-field. A few
yards of cloth last them for years, and what
taxes they pay to government are generally
brought in, in kind.

The sun between nine o'clock and four is
too powerful to allow of our being out, so we
read and talked till the lengthened shadow of
the tent showed us that the time of action
was again come. I took a stroll with my
rifle as companion, and returned about seven
o'clock with a fine doe. My friend had not
shot any deer; but a young pea-fowl and
some hares made a goodly show at our dinner.
As we had another kind of sport for the night,
we did not waste much time over this meal,
and were ready by eight, P.M., to take possession
of our olies, or watching-places.

Each was provided with a bottle of very
weak grog, blankets, guns, and a small piece
of ember; for the natives are afraid to be out at
night without fire to keep away devils. Thus
fortified, we proceeded to the edge of the tank,
which had proved so fatal in the morning to
the deer, and found a round hole dug in the
ground, between the water's edge and the
jungle; it was about two feet deep, with the
earth it had contained thrown up as a breastwork,
and some loose branches strewn before
it, so as to screen the hunter from sight, and
make the ground look natural. This was to
be my sleeping place, so into it I crept, and
curling myself up to adapt myself to its shape,
began meditating on the comforts of a four-
poster at home, and on the luck my friend
would meet with, at his watching-place, which
they told me was half a mile distant. Gradually
my thoughts began to give way to faint
images of bygone scenesI was riding a
hurdle-race at Colombodancing the deux-
temps at Government Houseshooting ducks
at Bolgoddaplaying whist at the mess when
"Ani, Ani," struck on my ear, and sure enough,
there they weresixteen splendid elephants
standing on the other side of the tank, drink-
ing its thick waters, or filling their trunks

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