Travels and Adventures in the Province of Assam, During a Residence of Fourteen Years

9780217735704: Travels and Adventures in the Province of Assam, During a Residence of Fourteen Years

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1855. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... PAET III. THE DISTBICT OF NOW-GONG. CHAPTER XIII. Field-sports in Assam--Specimens of Assamese music--Assamese customs, &c. From the vast extent of waste or jungle land everywhere met with in Assam, there are, perhaps, few countries that can be compared with it for affording diversion, of all kinds, for the English sportsman. A shikang or sporting elephant is indispensable; and when seated on the animal's back in a well-secured howdah--a kind of square wooden tower containing shelves for four double-barrel D guns--all wild animals of the forest may be fearlessly encountered and overcome. But the reader must not imagine a field-day in Assam unattended with danger, or less exciting than fox-hunting; for at no time would it be safe or prudent to go alone on a solitary elephant, to beat through dense, high, and almost impenetrable reed and grass jungle: though keen sportsmen frequently do so, and enjoy excellent sport. To ensure success and avoid danger, a party is generally formed of from three to twenty elephants; making a grand line in this way, tigers,-buffaloes, rhinoceroses, deer, and hogs, are all beaten out of their lairs, and can seldom escape death except by flight. On many occasions, buffaloes rush down with awful fury upon the nearest elephant, when, unless the sportsman happens to be an expert shot, the elephant is generally gored and lacerated in a frightful manner, and the mahout or driver of the elephant not unfrequently severely injured. Sometimes the howdah, or tower, is thrown off the elephant's back by the shock sustained from the buffalo's charge, and the sportsman with his guns is hurled prostrate on the ground with the elephant. In this predicament nothing but the immediate assistance of another elephant prevents inevitable destruction. It is ...

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