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The large brewers have produced a great number. The names of Calvert and Hanbury have been celebrated for many years, but have, I believe, now retired from the field, and were in their zenith before
Mr. Harvey Combe has been a Master of Fox-hounds a great many years, and is still the possessor of Osbaldeston's famous pack: he has also been an extensive breeder of blood stock, and at his annual sales of yearlings at Tattersall's many have produced large prices. All his hunters nearly are of his own breeding. Old Ferdinand, a chesnut, by Friday, was the most beautiful goer in dirt I ever beheld; and Tom Thumb, a mere pony, by Whalebone, was the gamest creature ever taken into a field. believe, however, there is some doubt about his being quite thorough-bred; but if not, his dam was the only mare of doubtful pedigree ever put to Whalebone; but from his performances and extraordinary bottom I should be inclined to think he must be quite full blood. He was rather awkward, and it was some time before they could make anything of him as a hunter ; but a season or two slaving as a servant's horse in the kennel brought him to his senses. I believe Mr. Combe might have had a very large sum, £500, for him from old Mr. Anderson, had he been inclined to part with him.-Mr. C. has been mentioned before in your pages as being remarkable for getting about the country long distances in a gig, and he still continues the practice. The horses for that purpose are, I believe, supplied on job by Tilbury.
Mr. Maberly was long a Master of Hounds.
Mr. Haigh, in business in the city, is a most capital Sportsman ; and, at seventy years of age, making an unruly runaway horse is a circumstance worthy of record.
Mr. Theobald, the owner of Camel, Rockingham, and many stallions, is a hosier in the city, and has been for many years a very extensive breeder of blood-stock. His stallions stand at Stockwell, about four miles from town on the Brighton road, where he has also paddocks for mares; but when I saw the latter, about three years ago, they struck me as being susceptible of great improvement: indeed, I should have been very loth to send a mare to such a place; but it is to be hoped the accommodation for them has been much better.
The Messrs. Bainbridge, the large distillers and bankers, are very keen Sportsmen, and possess some most superior hunters, giving any price for a nag they fancy. They now, I believe, have their horses standing at Northampton and Leicester, going down by railway.
Mr. Marjoribanks Robertson, the owner of Olympic, Lucifer, &c., was for some time a fox-hunter with the Surrey hounds, and possessed some clever horses. He went gallantly, and seemed highly delighted whenever hounds got near their fox and were running him hard : his usual expression on such occasions was, “ Now, Tom, they are getting angry with him!”
VOL. XIX.SROOND SERIES.- No. 111.
SCENES AND SPORTS IN FOREIGN LANDS.
NO, X.-DEEP JUNGLE SHOOTING CONTINUED THE PERKHAL LAKE.
“A lake there was, with shelving banks around,
Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd."-OVID.
“Rouse up, my lads ! or you'll have the tents about your ears !" was M—'s morning salutation ; and the noise of the Lascars outside warned us that this prophecy would soon be fulfilled : therefore, without more delay than was required for a “ privateer wash, our traps were bundled on, and a quarter of an hour saw us assembled in the small bichovah, or breakfast tent, where our morning cup of coffee already awaited us.
Who at has ever campaigned in the East can forget the delights of that fragrant morning cup, followed, as you vault into the saddle at two or three o'clock in the morning, by the soothing companion, a cheroot, whose genial vapour renders innocuous the heavy mists of night still floating around, as you slowly pace along, wrapped up in your own thoughts and a warm boat-cloak-maybe occasionally nodding in the unconsciousness of a half nap over your saddle-bowstill the glorious sun, suddenly rising, dispels at once the shades of night and your own drowsiness !
As our campaign was one of pleasure, we had given a little more law to the drowsy god, and it was broad day-light when, sipping our coffee, we held a consultation on the intended operations of the day. The Shekarees (Native hunters) who were to accompany us, wrapped up in their dark "cumlays” (a coarse brown blanket worn by the lower orders of Natives), squatted on their haunches, and, leaning on their long matchlocks, had all the appearance of the dusky looking figures of Hindoo mythology which adorn their pagodas and places of worship. One of these was the man who had brought us intelligence of the wild buffalo, and was altogether an intelligent fellow, spoke a little Hindostanee, and professed to be perfectly well acquainted with the whole jungle between our present station and the Perkhal Lake. He said we were certain of falling in with a sambre or two (elk), and that by proceeding into the depths of the forest, and making a slight detour to the north, we might perhaps hit on the track of wild elephants. We had already been informed that they were sometimes to be met with in the vicinity of the Lake, and therefore determined to send the people with the tents and baggage direct to the shores of the Perkhal, whilst, trusting to the fortune of the chase, we put ourselves under the directions of our dusky Nimrod.
On leaving Seevaporam, we took a northerly course, and as we silently advanced in “extended” order (the large game of the deep jungle requires no beaters), the woodland scenery at every step assuming a more imposing appearance, we were insensibly led into the deepest recesses of a primeval forest composed of the greatest variety of to us unknown trees, some bending under fruits of the most tempting appearance, others waving with the most graceful foliage--the whole often connected by lianas and a variety of creepers, which formed overhead
a canopy impervious to the sun, and afforded a secure footing to flocks of large monkeys who carried on their gambols aloft. We were often tempted to put a stop to their fun through the medium of a bullet, but the Hindoo has always a great respect for this fac-simile of humanity, and the repugnance expressed by the Shekarees whenever we shewed symptoms of pinking any very conspicuous gentleman, deterred us from the attempt, more particularly as quarrelling with our guides in the midst of an unknown and boundless wilderness would certainly not have been a proof of wisdom. This consideration, together with our having nobler game in view, prevented us from committing monkeycide, although the temptation was always in sight.
We had proceeded two or three hours with few shots and fewer successful ones, and were consequently, as is generally the case, getting rather careless. D- was on the extreme right of the line; one of the Shekarees was holding his rifle, whilst he and I blush to record it was lighting a cheroot, when from under his feet sprang a magnificent elk. The noble animal, shaking his wide-spreading antlers, bounded off to the right, and, before D- could regain his rifle, was out of sight. I just got a glimpse of him as he shot down a hollow which hid him from our view, and, at the risk of putting out the cheroot-smoker, let drive at him, but apparently without effect, as he neither stopped nor cried “die.” After lavishing as much abuse on the vile weed as our good King Jamie did of old, all that remained for us to do was to pursue our course, remaining a little more on the qui vive.
We proceeded accordingly, but so exciting was the return of our occupation, together with the novelty of the scene, that we had no idea time had stolen a march on us, until one of us, consulting his watch, found it was long past noon. A halt was immediately voted, and accordingly at the first rivulet we came to, under a shady clump of waving bamboos, our frugal repast was displayed, and we proceeded to take an account of the killed and wounded. The latter, being a mere matter of conjecture, we shall say nothing about; and of the former we had rather a “ beggarly account of empty bags :” a small hog-deer, one fawn, a large brown squirrel of the size of a rabbit, and a fine eagle, was the sum total, as well as I can recollect, of our day's sport. The capture of the latter afforded us the best fun. I viewed him on the top of a high tree, and my bullet, merely “barking” the tip of a wing, brought him to the ground. He happened to fall in the midst of some thick underwood, into which one of the Niggers immediately dashed: our attention was soon called to the spot by the most hideous yells proceeding from the Shekaree, whom we found engaged in very unequal combat with his feathered foe, who, having both talons firmly fixed into his naked legs, was making with his hooked bill great play on the poor devil's thighs! The scene was ludicrous in the extreme; but we hastened to put both combatants out of pain, by a few gentle raps on the head-piece of the quarrelsome bird, from whom his antagonist took the earliest opportunity of disengaging himself, I believe, more frightened than hurt. The eagle now holds a conspicuous station in a glass case and snug mansion in Old England; but not having stuffed t'other gemman, I have completely lost sight of him,
But return we to our tiffin. However simple our fare, need it be said that we did justice to it? The learned Franklin somewhere remarks, that, since the modern improvements in cookery, man eats twice as much as is requisite for his sustenance ; but had the old Doctor been seated by a cool stream, in the midst of the Cummermait Jungle, after a hard day's fag, in the presence of a cold leg of mutton, hump sandwiches, and two or three brandy-flasks containing ......not water...... he would, I can venture to say, have proved himself a glutton, and without the aid of sauces or a French cook. And in good sooth it was a good tiffin, and the scene a good subject for a painter in which to have tried the “ cunning of his craft”-a scene that I have perhaps in subsequent years beheld almost equalled amidst the wild sierras of Spain, but certainly nowhere surpassed. The appearance of our companions I have elsewhere attempted to describe our own was certainly not what would have exactly suited Bond Street; whilst the fine bronzed and nearly naked forms of our guides, our fowling-pieces resting on the slaughtered game, the bamboo waving over our head as we lay ensconced under the fan-like leaves of the wild turmeric plant, with the clear stream murmuring at our feet, across which had fallen the decayed trunk of a gigantic tree, formed the foreground of a picture framed by the “ brown horrors” of the eternal forest. These beauties, I must confess, only disclosed themselves in proportion as the substantials vanished before us, and as our brandy-flasks in course became lighter.
Then came the reflection of whereabouts we might be, and where we were to find our tents. These cogitations being communicated to our guide, he perfectly agreed with us as to the propriety of bending our steps homewards--for such we considered our canvas walls—and further added, that he did not think it likely we should on that day fall in with the elephants. In this we had never been very sanguine, and consequently our disappointment was not great; and as the shadows were perceptibly taking an easterly direction, we lost no time in getting together our traps. This done, our guide inquired what was the hour; and then, after looking at the sun, proceeded without the least hesitation to the source of the stream on whose banks we had just made such an agreeable repast.
In following its winding course we perhaps encountered more obstacles than we had hitherto met with to impede our progress, which was further delayed by an occasional shot and the concomitant operation of loading : however this be, it was getting late; there were yet no signs of the Lake, and we began to feel proportionably uncomfortable at the idea of going to bed supperless under the canopy of heaven. Our guide, however, shewed no symptoms of uneasiness. “ Kooch purwah nay et Bhotatchia hy (never mind, 'tis all well !) was all he deigned to utter, as he still followed with elastic steps the to us interminable rivulet. Evening was fast approaching, and we were getting exceedingly tired; but what could we do? To follow our gwarthy companion was our only plan ; and we did so until suddenly brought up by a high and steep embankment out of which the stream appeared to flow.
Our guide exultingly took the lead, and, on surmounting the eminence, the Perkhal Lake suddenly burst on our view. In one
respect we were disappointed : from the bund or embankment on which we stood, the Lake was evidently artificial, and produced by an extensive valley being dammed up at one extremity: still, when we reflected on the time and labor requisite for such a stupendous undertaking, we could not withhold our admiration of the industry of a people, perhaps in the universe alone capable of completing such works as these and the caves of Elephanta and Ellora. But, although the work of man, the effect of this vast sheet of water, embosomed in hills covered with noble forest trees, whose shadows were thrown by the setting sun on its smooth unruffled surface, was truly grand, and, tired as we were, we could not help waiting in silent admiration whilst the descending luminary gilded with his last rays the opposite mountains ; and it was not until the whole scene had assumed the more sober garb of twilight that we proceeded to our tents, scarcely a quarter of a mile from the spot at which we had “ debouched.”
On our way to camp we observed several alligators floating lazily on the smooth water, but they did not deter us from taking a refreshing dip, though I must confess we did not venture far from the shore, before we sat down to a dinner prefatory to one of the agreeable evenings we always spend. On the present occasion we were entirely engrossed by the sport we anticipated in spite of that bird of ill omen, Cassim) in cruizing on the Lake on board our little vessel “ The Black Joke," and scragging alligators innumerable. Amongst many other anecdotes of the water tiger,” we laughed heartily at a story one of the party had heard related by Colonel who by the bye was commonly known in the Madras Army by the name of “ Lying Charlie.”
“ It was during the Mahratta War," went Charlie's story," and our division in an out-of-the-way part of the country, somewhere between Godavery and Nerbuddah, lay in camp on the banks of a large tank swarming with alligators. Every effort had been unavailingly made to shoot the monsters, when, recollecting my boyish exploits in cat hunting, I suggested the following plan :-There were numerous bamboos growing round the tank; a strong stalk of one of them, possessing all the elasticity of a yew-bow, was to be bent to the ground and fastened to a tent peg, driven in sufficiently to make it retain that position. That done, a dog was next to be tied down close to the peg, and a rope with a running knot fastened in such a manner to the bamboo that the alligator must insert his head into the noose before he could reach the cur, whom he would seize, and, attempting to bear away, tear up the tent peg—the bamboo, released from its hold, immediately rebounds with such violence as to carry aloft the whole trio-dog, peg, and crocodile !
“ The idea was eagerly seized, and in the evening we proceeded to carry it into execution by baiting twenty or thirty bamboos; and so successful was the experiment, that not an eye was closed that night in camp from the dreadful bell
ing of the monsters as they swung to the winds of Heaven. Next morning we were gratified by the sight of the finest crop of bamboo fruit ever witnessed, every tree bearing its burden of a tent peg, a pariah dog, and an alligator, some already dead, others in their last agonies. The disturbance caused by their roaring had, however, been so great that the General put a stop to the sport in next day's orders."