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time:2023-12-02 03:58:27 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:law

Whether or not it was because I did not feel in brisk health, I do not know, but somehow or other I had a presentiment that the natives had misled us, and that we should not find the elephants in the tank, but that, as usual, we should be led tip to some dense, thorny jungle, and told that the elephants were somewhere in that direction. Not being very sanguine, I had accordingly taken no trouble about my gun-bearers, and I saw several of my rifles in the bands of the villagers, and only one of my regular gun-bearers had followed me; the rest, having already had a morning's march, were glad of an excuse to remain behind.

younger, and rode a capital black mare — as pretty a

Our rate lay for about a quarter of a mile through deserted paddy-land and low jungle, after which we entered fine open jungle and forest. Unfortunately, the recent heavy rains bad filled the tank, which had overflowed the broken dam and partially flooded the forest. This was in all parts within two hundred yards from the dam a couple of feet deep in water, with a proportionate amount of sticky mud beneath, and through this we splashed until the dam appeared about fifty yards on our right. It was a simple earthen mound, which rose about ten feet from the level of the forest, and was studded with immense trees, apparently the growth of ages. We knew that the tank lay on the opposite side, but we continued our course parallel with the dam until we bad ridden about a mile from the village, the natives, for a wonder, having truly described the distance.

younger, and rode a capital black mare — as pretty a

Here our guide, having motioned us to stop, ran quickly up the dam to take a look out on the opposite side. He almost immediately beckoned us to come up. This we did without loss of time, and knowing that the game was in view, I ordered the horses to retire for about a quarter of a mile.

younger, and rode a capital black mare — as pretty a

On our arrival on the dam there was a fine sight. The lake was about five miles round, and was quite full of water, the surface of which was covered with a scant, but tall, rushy grass. In the lake, browsing upon the grass, we counted twenty-three elephants, and there were many little ones, no doubt, that we could not distinguish in such rank vegetation. Five large elephants were not more than a hundred and twenty paces distant; the remaining eighteen were in a long line about a quarter of a mile from the shore, feeding in deep water.

We were well concealed by the various trees which grew upon the dam, and we passed half an hour in watching the manoeuvres of the great beasts as they bathed and sported in the cool water. However, this was not elephant-shooting, and the question was, how to get at them? The natives had no idea of the sport, as they seemed to think it very odd that we did not fire at those within a hundred paces' distance. I now regretted my absent gun-bearers, as I plainly saw that these village people would be worse than useless.

We determined to take a stroll along the base of the dam to reconnoitre the ground, as at present it seemed impossible to make an attack; and even were the elephants within the forest, there appeared to be no possibility of following them up through such deep water and heavy ground with any chance of success. however, they were not in the forest, being safe, belly and shoulder deep, in the tank.

We strolled through mud and water thigh-deep for a few hundred paces, when we suddenly came upon the spot where in ages past the old dam had been carried away. Here the natives had formed a mud embankment strengthened by sticks and wattles. Poor fellows! we were not surprised at their wishing the elephants destroyed; the repair of their fragile dam was now a daily occupation, for the elephants, as though out of pure mischief, had chosen this spot as their thoroughfare to and from the lake, and the dam was trodden down in all directions.

We found that the margin of the forest was everywhere flooded to a width of about two hundred yards, after which it was tolerably dry; we therefore returned to our former post.


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