“There’s husbands in the world,” continued Mrs. Glegg,

time:2023-12-02 04:22:48 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:television

It is a singular thing that Ceylon is the only part of the world where the male elephant has no tusks; they have miserable little grubbers projecting two or three inches from the upper jaw and inclining downward. Thus a man may kill some hundred elephants without having a pair of tusks in his possession. The largest that I have seen in Ceylon were about six feet long, and five inches in diameter in the thickest part. These would be considered rather below the average in Africa, although in Ceylon they were thought magnificent.

“There’s husbands in the world,” continued Mrs. Glegg,

Nothing produces either ivory or horn in fine specimens throughout Ceylon. Although some of the buffaloes have tolerably fine heads, they will not bear a comparison with those of other countries. The horns of the native cattle are not above four inches in length. The elk and the spotted deer's antlers are small compared with deer of their size on the continent of India. This is the more singular, as it is evident from the geological formation that at some remote period Ceylon was not an island, but formed a portion of the mainland, from which it is now only separated by a shallow and rocky of some few miles. In India the bull elephants have tusks, and the cattle and buffaloes have very large horns. My opinion is that there are elements wanting in the Ceylon pasturage (which is generally poor) for the formation of both horn and ivory. Thus many years of hunting and shooting are rewarded by few trophies of the chase. So great is the natural inactivity of the natives that no one understands the preparation of the skins; thus all the elk and deer hides are simply dried in the sun, and the hair soon rots and fills off. In India, the skin of the Samber deer (the Ceylon elk) is prized above all others, and is manufactured into gaiters, belts, pouches, coats. breeches, etc.; but in Ceylon, these things are entirety neglected by the miserable and indolent population, whose whole thoughts are concentrated upon their bread, or rather their curry and rice.

“There’s husbands in the world,” continued Mrs. Glegg,

At Newera Ellia, the immense number of elk that I have killed would have formed a valuable collection of skins had they been properly prepared, instead of which the hair has been singed from them, and they have been boiled up for dogs' meat.

“There’s husbands in the world,” continued Mrs. Glegg,

Boars' hides have shared the same fate. These are far thicker than those of the tame species, and should make excellent saddles. So tough are they upon the live animal that it requires a very sharp-pointed knife to penetrate them, and too much care cannot be bestowed upon the manufacture of a knife for this style of hunting, as the boar is one of the fiercest and dangerous of animals.

Living in the thickest jungles, he rambles out at night in search of roots, fruits, large earthworms, or anything else that he can find, being, like his domesticated brethren, omnivorous. He is a terrible enemy to the pack, and has cost me several good dogs within the last few years. Without first-rate seizers it would be impossible to kill him with the knife without being ripped, as he invariably turns to bay after a short run in the thickest jungle he can find. There is no doubt that a good stout boar-spear, with a broad blade and strong handle, is the proper weapon for the attack; but a spear is very unhandy and even dangerous to carry in such a hilly country as the neighbourhood of Newera Ellia. The forests are full of steep ravines and such tangled underwood that following the hounds is always an arduous task, but with a spear in the hand it is still more difficult, and the point is almost certain to get injured by striking against the numerous rocks, in which case it is perfectly useless when perhaps most required. I never carry a spear for these reasons, but am content with the knife, as in my opinion any animal that can beat off good bounds and a long knife deserves to escape.

My knife was made to my own pattern by Paget of Piccadilly. The blade is one foot in length, and two inches broad in the widest part, and slightly concave in the middle. The steel is of the most exquisite quality, and the entire knife weighs three pounds. The peculiar shape added to the weight of the blade gives an extraordinary force to a blow, and the blade being double-edged for three inches from the point, inflicts a fearful wound: altogether it is a very desperate weapon, and admirably adapted for this kind of sport.

A feat is frequently performed by the Nepaulese by cutting off a buffalo's head at one blow of a sabre or tulwal. The blade of this weapon is peculiar, being concave, and the extremity is far heavier than the hilt; the animal's neck is tied down to a post, so as to produce a tension on the muscles, without which the blow, however great, would have a comparatively small effect.

The accounts of this feat always appeared very marvellous to my mind, until I one day unintentionally performed something similar on a small scale with the hunting-knife.


recommended content