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department, were quite inoffensive in Firstly, because I know that the the regenerated portions. The moun larch grows fast on the south-west tains in a very short time became pro wastes of Ireland if not too much ductive. Where formerly sheep had exposed to westerly winds, and that found a scanty subsistence, abundant from twenty-two to twenty-five years crops capable of being mowed with the of age it is capable of yielding scythe were now to be found. The a valuable return as material for population, essentially pastoral, found pit wood,—the properties on which henceforth nourishment and bedding it has been grown having meanfor their flocks and herds either in while been fertilised by the dropthe grass or in the leaves of the trees. ping of the “needles.” Secondly, beThe acacias, moreover, gave them cause it would be an act of true poles suitable for the cultivation of political wisdom if we assisted in the the vine. Thus these people, who had improvement of waste lands, even formerly been most hostile, became although the return for such outlay the staunchest supporters of the should not be immediately forthcoming. Forest Administration. And, while I can wish the proposed Board of all this indirect good was effected, the Forestry, when and if it is constituted, proprietors found that they had not no higher honour than the contentonly been relieved of the necessity for nient and gratitude of an appreciative providing expensive and precarious peop'e, for some of whom it may here means of defence agaiust floods, but to find useful employment, which is that their lands, formerly worthless, now denied them by the present state had acquired a considerable value. of agriculture in this country.
I have given this story, which is taken from official sources, at con
GEORGE CADELL. siderable length for two
(Late Indian Forest Department.)
SOMETHING LIKE A BAG.
(SOME EXPERIENCES OF AN ELEPHANT-KRAAL IN CEYLON.)
The possibility of enjoying new elephant-kraal ranks infinitely higher amusements is rapidly lessening, as in the way of sport; and at the same facility of communication increases time affords one of the most picturand universal travel becomes the esque sights, one of the most entertain marked characteristic of the age of ing studies of native manners and steam. To catch gigantic salmon in the jungle life, that it is possible to streams of Norway, to shoot a grizzly imagine. bear in the Rocky Mountains, or to The scene of our kraal is laid in so enjoy a tiger hunt in the jungles of the unapproachable and unpronounceable Maharajah of Kooch-pa-warna, has be a part of an unknown district of come as common an occupation with the Ceylon, that the only way of describing traveller as the slaughter of partridges it shortly is to say that it is at least on English stubble or the ascent of forty miles from anywhere. After Snowdon in August. But one may leaving the skirts of civilization, a surely claim for an elephant-kraal on long day's and night's struggle over a large scale an element of rarity dusty tracks and across obnoxious mingled with excitement which it water-courses brings us at last to the would be hard to match ; while the spot where our camp has been pitched. very size and value of the game in Not an uninteresting place in itself; view raises the sport at once above for half-way up the queer cylindrical the ordinary level. There are more rock that overhangs our tents a over two other sides to the enterprise, Singalese potentate of old days built which certainly do not characterize all himself a great palace.
This was forms of sport: there is, if it is pro afterwards adopted as a temporary perly managed, a complete and re abode by one of the many fugitive freshing absence of cruelty; while kings whom the vicissitudes of Singathere is on the other hand a wide field lese politics turned out of their perfor the exercise of pluck, endurance, manent residences; but he was wise skill in woodcraft, and knowledge of enough to carry with him in his flight the habits of the animal to be cap that world-famous palladium, the tooth tured. For whatever may be said or of Buddhå, and rich enough to build thought by the writers of sporting for it a beautiful shrine, the great books, there is undoubtedly something stairway of which has lately been revolting about the mere slaughter restored under the enlightened policy of an elephant. Of course there of the present governor of Ceylon. is just the possibility of a spice There is something weird and startling of danger : just the off chance of the in coming across these beautiful reanimal's charging you in a blind, blun mains of an early civilization in so dering sort of way, and bowling you remote and desolate a spot. The fino over in his stride ; but he is not really upward sweep of the stairway, the a hard animal to come up to: a skilful delicate chiselling of the ornamented tracker and ordinary precautions will balustrade, the life-like posturings of bring you to within ten yards of him, the quaint dancers on the frieze, once and then to shoot him is about as pleased the eyes and excited the wonbrave and skilful a deed as to shoot a der of a teeming population, long since milch cow in a farm-yard.
gone down into dusty death; and are
now scarce noticed in their decay by and an officious determination to assist the casual villager in search of honey has turned out to be the most complete or herbs, or by the solitary hermit at hindrance imaginable. This time the the little Buddhist shrine near the native is to be allowed to work his hill.
wicked will in his own particular way; But just at present the secluded and the result will doubtless testify to spot is alive with an absolutely un the wisdom of the self-sacrifice. But precedented bustle. Carts and tents by the third day human nature and and elephants and servants are arriving English impatience could stand it no every hour : huts are being rapidly longer. All our novels had been read, erected with leaves of the cocoanut and the amount of tobacco consumed and talipot palm ; and the hair of the was something appalling to estimate: a old hermit, if he had
would flattering assurance from the captain stand on end at hearing the sound of of the hunt, that “ could do no English ladies' voices, and the pop
of harm now,” armed us with the necesexuberant soda-water bottles. Our
sary permission; and off we set in the camp looks very picturesque as we early morning for a day with the reach it, weary and travel-stained, in beaters. the cool of the evening (if indeed cool But perhaps before describing the ness is ever a possible attribute of sights we saw, it may be as well to these arid regions) passing through give some account of the method in rows of little shops that have sprung which elephants are captured. A up like mushrooms on the roadside ; kraal is an extremely simple thing in descrying the dim form of a huge tame theory. The only difficulty lies in its elephant, a future gladiator of the manipulation. The first point is to final fight, calmly browsing in a neigh- fix upon the place—the kraal or corbouring clearing; and hailing with ral-into which the game is to be contentment the sight of the fires that finally driven. This is usually contell of a possible dinner and a hot structed artificially by means of a bath-though truly the colour of the square wooden stockade lined with water is very suggestive of buffaloes, musket-men: in the present case and severely tests all our vows of Nature had provided the corral free cleanliness. And from time to time of charge. Close to the road along we can hear afar off some scattered which we travelled, two gigantic reefs shots and dim, confused shouting, tell of abrupt rock run parallel to one ing us that the great game we have another for about a quarter of a mile. come to see captured is at least They enclose some six or eight acres within ear-shot.
of jungle : their sides are almost preThe first day or two we settle down cipitous, and the entrance and exit in camp, and amuse ourselves as best narrow and concealed in trees. we can with such intellectual pur Legend says that the old Singalese suits as rounders and Aunt Sally, kings held royal kraals here in days highly impromptu concerts, and the of old: eliminate some twenty Euroheartiest of midnight suppers : religi- peans, add a little gaudy state and ously resisting every temptation to go ceremonial, and it is not very
difficult near the
scene of operations; and to recall the scene. Having settled on contenting ourselves with such scraps your kraal, it is logically necessary to of news as we can glean from natives find your quarry; and here again no passing to and from the field of great difficulty occurs, as many a poor battle. For former kraals have always cultivator will tell you, who has to been delayed, and often spoilt, by the spend long nights and much firewood anxiety of the British visitor to prove in driving away the marauders from that he knows more of the elephant his little patch of grain. The searchand his ways than the native hunter; parties came upon three convenient
herds very soon after their quest be are based on a semi-military formagan, gradually drove them together, tion, which perhaps, for antiquity, and succeeded in enclosing between throws the Macedonian phalanx into fifty and sixty. This feat, which might the shade. Whatever the exact scienappear to the unitiated to be the con tific name may be, the civilian mind summation, is really only the com would describe it as a movable obmencement of the business. It is a long; and one in which, contrary to difficult achievement to drive a herd most military precedents, the post of of English cattle along the streets of honour is in the rear, the reason being a town on market-day: it is a difficult that the back line does nearly all the achievement to conduct an Irish pig, beating, and that wild elephants alafter purchase, to his new quarters : most invariably charge back and not multiply these difficulties by fifty, and forwards. The length of the front and it is possible to conceive some notion of the back line is about a quarter of a of the trouble involved in forcing a mile, that of each side line very nearly herd of wild elephants towards a given a mile ; and as the component male spot. For, to begin with, there are elements of the line are stationed very certain requisites as regards the line close together, for the joint purpose of country to be chosen. In the first of conversation and safety, the number place the drive must be through thick of men employed is obviously considerjungle: once get the herd into the able. Add to the actual beaters the open, and the game is up; for mystery sutlers and camp-followers of the little and covers beget success, while fami army, the mere spectators, and the liarity, say both copy-books and
and enterprising array of hawkers, and shikaris, breeds contempt. Let the the computation rises with astonishing mammoths get a fair view of the rapidity. pigmy forces distracting them with A visit to the “lines
in the early such hideous noises, and a fair field to morning fully repays you for the thorny operate in-and the result would be struggle of three miles through the too obvious to be worth discussing. low, close jungle. The camp is awake So, too, all roads, village-paths, open and stirring-has been stirring, in water-courses, and habitations of man fact, since the very earliest sign of must be carefully avoided ; while at the dawn appeared—and is fully occupied same time the country chosen must in that most important duty, the precontain a sufficiency of fodder and paration of the morning meal. You water, or the ultimate result will be pass along one continuous row of the disastrous in more ways than one. neatest little huts imaginable, formed Secondly, although it would be com of nothing but four sticks and a few paratively easy to drive a herd of dried leaves of the talipot palm ; and, elderly male elephants, it is not these, in front of the huts, an equally conbut the females, and more especially tinuous row of fires, for the enemy the youngsters, which form the really cooped up within the inclosure is far valuable part of the herd, and, as if more afraid of flame and smoke knowing their own value, give all the than of his human opponents. On trouble. It is nearly always a female the safe side of the fires, then, it is that leads the forlorn hope and heads possible to eat, drink, and be merry the most reckless charges ; and she and with perfect composure, and very her progeny must be kept at all costs savoury are the simple messes that within the charmed circle, however are steaming and simmering on every hard she may seek to prove that, in
side. But two features at once strike the elephantine as in the human world, you as peculiar, in a Singalese crowd it is in vain to speculate, furens quid the utter absence of the female sex,
and the presence of the most extraThe operations of a Singalese kraal ordinary collection of fire-arms that
mortal eye ever beheld. The courage portrait of the Queen's most excellent necessary to enable you to face a and most travestied Majesty. Such raging elephant in his native jungles as cannot read (still perhaps the is no doubt considerable : the nerve majority) are endeavouring, with the required to fire off one of these old help of their neighbours, to recall world weapons is infinitely greater. certain potent charms against furious Here is an aged single-barrelled horse- elephants, which they have learnt pistol, such as one dimly remembers to from their wise men; while those have seen in cheap illustrated editions two invariable characters, the oldest of Dick Turpin's Adventures or The inhabitant and the village wag, have Life of Jack Sheppard : there a mar each a little knot of admirers, hanging vellous and equally venerable musket respectively on the utterances of gray with a barrel several yards long, the wisdom or grinning folly. metal of which is worn so thin that But the sun is well up by this time, you could easily squash it between and a sort of instinctive sensation or two fingers. The guns being danger rumour, carried no one knows how, ous enough in themselves, the native runs round the camp that the mornmethod of loading does not render ing drive is to commence; so while them less so. The great point of the the neat little huts are being rolled charge appears to be quantity, regard- up into equally neat little bundles, to less of proportion and result. You be carried, with the precious cookingmay only have one shot in the day, utensils, to the next halting-place, we so let it be a good one; and if, as make our way to the back line, and often happens in the early morning, are not long in finding ourselves in you are not quite sure whether the the presence of the captain of the gun is loaded or not, ram in another hunt. He is a fine brawny specimen charge or two, to make
of a Singalese gentleman, and on great doubly sure. Moreover wads are an occasions, when he is attending a absurd and costly luxury in the jungle: Governor's levée, for instance, or wel. a piece of rag torn from the end of coming a new revenue-officer, is a your cloth does intinitely better; and very smart, bedizened personage inif you
can't borrow or steal the village deed. At present bis costume is rather ramrod, which the headman insists on adapted to circumstances than remarkmonopolising, bump your stock on the able for abundance. A handkerchief ground so as to give the charge a fair round his head, the suspicion of a chance of settling.
cloth round his loins, sandals on his The "early birds” of the camp, feet, and the rest-as Nature made it, having already finished their "little with the exception of a huge meerbreakfast,” are gracefully reclining in schaum pipe, from which he is enjoythe shelter of their cabins; and, their ing a few final puffs; while near him weapons being loaded in the efficient
stands a trusty and lusty henchman manner described and lying ready to with his Winchester repeater and his hand, are (mark the advance of civi
The news lisation !) loading their minds in a he has to give us is chequered with somewhat similar manner with lite evil tidings, Last night a bold attempt rature. For the book-hawker, with was made to drive the elephants by his queer little tin box full of cheap torch - light, but, like other nightpamphlets, almost as miscellaneous as attacks not unknown to history, it the contents of a kraal musket, is a ended in partial failure, which might camp follower of the first importance; have been total discomfiture. A and the local booksellers are doing glorious success attended the first a roaring trade this morning in a rush, and then unluckily the back Singalese account of the Queen's
of the Queen's line, confused by darkness and thick Jubilee, garnished with a gruesome jungle, took up too forward a position,