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NOTES TO THE REPORT ON THE DEHRA DOON.
sa) to para. 40.—Although practical jokes are, generally speaking, only to be tolerated among school boys, yet I used to play off one connected with this well, which will be allowed to be fair enough. It was to persuade my friends to descend the well in a bucket under the assurance that the depth was so great that from the bottom the stars were visible in day light. Yet there was a large shed over the well projecting many feet all round beyond its edge: it is surprising how many descended the well without recollecting the shed, although standing under it just before they went down.
ft. J to para. 43.-The black bear is not ordinarily carnivorous; nor will it injure a man unless occasionally when disturbed while eating or when with its young. But sometimes a madness seems to come over this animal, when it will devour flesh in preference to any thing else; and I have known instances of its being caught in traps baited with flesh for leopards. The natives call it churruk when in this state. At other times they show little ferocity even when disturbed with their young, as the following anecdote will show, which was well authenticated by the parti's present. Six or seven men who were out hunting porcupines, came to a cave large enough for a man easily to crawl in on his hands and knees, at the month of which were marks of its being a haunt of these animals : one of the men crawled in with a stick in his hand, but instead of a porcupine, found a she bear with her two cubs. He had just time to call out, when the bear rushed at him : he mechanically turned his head on one side, when the bear seized him by the shoulder, dragged him some way into the cave, dropped him and returned to her cubs. The man lay motionless watching the glistening of the bear's eyes as she fondled her cubs, for about three hours, after which both bear and cubs went to sleep i and the man creeping out lackwards as gently as possible, made his escape. The melancholy part remains to be told. On his being seized the others ran off calling out Punchum is killed by a bear : his mother, who was a widow, hearing this, said “my only son is now killed; I have no one left to take care of me,”—went off seven miles to the river, threw herself in and was drowned. Three hours afterwards her son came back very little hurt.
The natives have an absurd idea that a bear meeting a woman alone will carry her off to his cave for his wife. This is not confined to the lower orders: the Rajah of Teree told me a tale of a bear having kept a woman five days, at the end of which she was found upon a tree, by her husband and a party of friends,--which story the Rajah firmly believed.
The mode of hunting bears in the hills just above the Doon, is by large parties on foot, armed in every possible way, but chiefly with swords, spears and sticks, accompanied by dogs; at which sport the villagers shew great courage. A bear cannot spring in the least: his mode of attack is to rear on his hind legs and use his fore claws and teeth. At such times, when the animal is within a few feet, a man who is cool, with a good gun, may shoot him through the heart with great ease. The whole scene, including the previous hunt over the rugged hills, is glorious sport.
(c) to para. 44.—The mode of catching elephants is chiefly by pits. Each pit is about 12 feet long, 9 broad, and 9 or 10 deep; it is covered over with branches of trees and grass. Nevertheless, so cunning are these animals. that I do not believe they ever fall into the pits, when walking quietly along ; the catastrophe happens when running away in consequence of having been frightened, or when browsing the branches of trees, particularly of the bamboo, they step backwards into the pit If left alone, those of a tolerable size, would soon break down the side of the pit and escape, but within a short time after one is caught, the pit is surrounded by men with long spears, who drive the animal back at every attempt he makes, while others fasten his legs and neck, with ropes secured to neighbouring trees. He is usually taken out and carried away to the owner's residence the next day. This is effected by the pit being filled with grass and branches, which gradually rises the animal to the surface, when he is tied to a large tame elephant and walked off.
I once came by in the morning after a fine mukna had been caught. He was more than seven feet high and very savage. After a considerable time a rope was fastened round his hind leg and attached to a tree : he turned round and pressing his head upon it, without apparently the slightest exertion, snapped it asunder as if it had been pack-thread; another rope he seized in his trunk and putting it into his mouth bit it in two. He then made a desperate effort to get out of the pit, and in spite of spears worked himself so high up as to be lying on his side on the edge of the pit, with his hind legs some way off the ground. The men thought it was now past hope, and away we went to get upon trees for safety from the enraged animal ; but as he lay still, they made another rush at his forehead with their spears. He made another effort, lost his balance and fell back into the pit. He then stood quiet, apparently exhausted, and the men succeeded in lashing twelve ropes, one after the other, round his left hind leg, and fastening them to a tree. I then left, but heard afterwards that they had been unable to secure his neck, and that during the next night, he broke the ropes, beat down the side of the pit, and finally made his escape. These ropes are usually made of leather, and are each about an inch and a half in diameter.
Formerly men who made a business of elephant catching, were in the habit of keeping up pits and main. taining an establishment to watch them, but the expense of this more than swallowed up the profits. The villagers bordering on the jungles now keep up and watch the pits, which costs them nothing but the employment of a little leisure time; and when an elephant is caught, he is usually sold as he stands to one of the regular trainers. The price is about one-fourth of what the elephant will sell for when trained, but as nearly one half die under the discipline necessary, considering the expenses, the profit is but moderate. Tigers, bears, leopards, and deer are sometimes caught in these pits. In some parts the villagers keep up pits solely to catch these animals; the deer they eat, and for the others, who are easily shot in the pits, they get the Government reward. A full grown leopard or tiger will leap out of the pit although 9 or 10 feet deep,
A curious and melancholy instance occurred not long ago. A man having a little money left him by a relation, determined to try his fortune as an elephant catcher. He dug several pits and was so fortunate as to catch a fine elephant within a day or two afterwards. Not having proper means to secure him, the animal broke down the pit, got out, and as usual in such cases ran to attack the man. The latter in endeavoring to escape fell into another of his own pits; the elephant being too close to stop fell in upon him, smashed the man to atoms by his weight and broke his own loins in the fall. To prevent other elephants from being frightened away, the other hunters shot the one in the pit, and immediately filled it in with earth, and so ended the poor man's life and hopes
Elephants are sometimes hunted down by tame ones and aus caught. Three or four men, each mounted on a swift tame elephant, go into the forest till they perceive a herd of wild ones. They raise a shout, which drives the herd off in different directions; (a herd will always run off at the shout of a man ; a single elephant, particularly if it be a male, is usually very dangerous) and selecting one, pursue that until they overtake and surround it; when it is secured with ropes and brought home. Only very young elephants can be caught in this way. Keddas are unknown in this part of the country.
Not long ago an occurrence happened which would indeed have been a splendid sight to have witnessed ; a fight between two wild male elephants of the largest size, until one was killed. No one actually witnessed it, but in one spot the ground was found covered with blood, and trampled for a large space by elephants, and one fine male lay dead, gored to death by his antagonist, who had left the spot.
The following are a specimen of the prices at which elephants caught in these jungles have lately been sold. One only four feet high, but two months caught, sold for Rs. 400; one six feet and a half high, six months caught, sold for 1,300; one six feet high, eight months caught, for 1,250; a young male, five and a half feet high, seven months caught, for 930. A man named Jooma Khan, of Juwalapoor, near Hurdwar, after taking horses to Calcutta a short time back, went to Silhet, where he bought two good sized elephants for Rs. 450. He took them to Hurdwar, where he sold them to Sikh chiefs, one for Rs. 1,600, the other for 1,800 ; a fortunate speculation as it turned out, but the risk was great; for elephants brought suddenly to the upper provinces from the moist climate of Eastern Bengal, frequently die. An anecdote is told in illustration of an English gentleman at Delhi, who once sent a confidential servant to Silhet, to purchase several elephants for himself and friends. When anxiously expecting the arrival of the animals, the servant walked in one morning, followed by several porters, bearing the tails of the elephants, who had all died on the road; and he had brought the tails, together with as many certificates from different police officers, to prove that they had really died, and prevent any suspicion of his having sold them. About seven or eight months are in general sufficient time to break in an elephant.
(d) pare. 47.-It is beautiful sport to sit on a tree to watch for a tiger: nor is it any sacrifice of time. If a tiger kill a bullock in the morning, and do not eat it then, he will generally return for that purpose about sunset. In these cases the people used to make a platform in some neighbouring tree, and send me word if the place was within a short distance of my house or tent. I usually went down about 3 p. m. and took my post in the tree; at first I have sat up half the night, but after killing several I became less keen, and returned home if the animal had not come by the time it was dark.
If a person sits quiet, animals of all kinds will pass close to the tree, and birds will settle on it without appearing to be aware of the presence of man. Jackalls and village dogs will begin to gnaw the carcase, while vultures are standing round and perched upon the trees. But all the animals seem to know instinctively how the carcase came there and to be on the watch for the tiger. After every bite, or at the least shaking of the leaves, the dogs or jackalls start and look round, sometimes run off for several yards, when the carcase is immediately attacked by the vultures, who are driven off by the dogs on returning to their meal.
In one instant the dors and jackalls vanish, and the vultures rise from the ground, and then we know that the tiger is approaching. When there is a clear spot near, he walks majestically across it without the least appearance of ferocity, to his evening meal; but as he nears the carcase, approaches it crouching, why, I cannot pretend to say, for he does not spring upon it; but it has always been the case with every tiger or leopard which I have watched in this way. He generally begins upon the breast or stomach, and when fully engaged, then the sportsman takes aim at the tiger's heart and pulls the fatal trigger. If struck they usually roar, but not if you miss them, which frequently happens in firing in the dark, even though the animal be only a few yards distance; they start, look about astonished as if a thunderbolt had fallen, but do not appear to know that a man is near them. If hungry they will sometimes again attack the carcase; but if not struck the first time, a person will almost always obtain a second shot before the animal leaves.
In this mode of shooting them there is no danger at all. In returning from the lurking place in the dark, if the tiger has not come, which he does not always do, all that is necessary is to have three or four men waiting in some safe spot to come at your signal with large torches. On one occasion I took my drawing materials and quietly sketched the tiger while he was eating his supper, and then took my gun and shot him.
* In attacking them in large parties on foot there is considerable danger; but this is only done in particular cases when a tiger has taken up some post and makes a practice of carrying off men: in which case it is an object to destroy him even at the risk of two or three casualties; for many more lives would otherwise be lost. But whether by good fortune or good management, the casualties in this sort of sport are very few. On one occasion a large party of us went out, for of course we cannot send the men without accompanying them to share whatever risk there may be, and killed one tiger one day and three on the next, within four miles of Dehra; and only one person was hurt.
(e) para. 64.—I am told that Lieut. Kirke, Adjutant of the Sirmoor battalion, has proved this idea to be correct; and that by care and attention he has produced fruits and vegetables of the first quality.
(f) para. 63--" Seeing is believing” is a common proverb : stinging will sometimes produce the same results. I was mentioning this to an acquaintance who was on a visit to me, and who I perceived by his face was incredulous. In the evening I asked him to take a ride, and conducted him to a place where the nettles were of the height specified. A pathway lay through them, and by constant use the smaller twigs had all been worn away, the stems being almost bare to the height of a man; above which the twigs well covered with leaves met over the path. I went first, and having prepared myself with a thick pair of gloves, pushed the branches aside away from my face as we rode along, and escaped without damage. My friend not being aware of what I was about, allowed many of the leaves to strike against his hands and face, and presently exclaimed “Is the place full of mosquitoes, or what is it that is biting one at such a rate 2" “Oh,” said I, “ you will believe me next time I tell you of nettles twelve feet high.” “Zounds,” retorted he, “I will believe any thing wou please, only let us get out of this.”
(g) para. 67.-All along under the head cucha seer to cucha bigah, pucka to pucka, three of the former, one of the latter. The seer is rather more the quast ; the bigah is to the best of my recollection, (I have mislaid my memoranda) rather more than half a statute acre.
(h) para. 76. –The want of roads in the hills is strongly exemplified by the prices of grain at Sreenugur, and at Hurdwar. When 80 seers or two maunds of wheat can sometimes be procured at the former place for 1 rupee, only 15 seers can be obtained at the latter. Yet the distance between the two places is not above twenty five miles crow-flight.
(i) para. 80.-I gave a copy of this to Capt. Herbert, lite geological surveyor in the Himaleyah, which he sent to the Gleanings in Science. In the transcribing, however, several errors have been committed, for the statement in that periodical is not correct.
(j) para. 92 –A friend (Col. A –) and myself, once went several miles down the Jumna on one of these rafts. The raft was about sixty feet long, and not above eight or nine broad, fitted up with a couple of small oars, but the men depended more on their poles to prevent the raft running aground. We shot down the rapids with great velocity, in several of them at the rate of seven or eight miles per hour, and in one or two for a few seconds I think we must have gone at the rate of full ten miles; the raft grating along the stones of the rapid like the rumbling of slight earth-quake. At the tail of these water falls, as one may almost call them, the eddy would sometimes whirl the raft some three feet under water; and although at the recommendation of the raftmen we had taken the precaution to have a frame erected to sit upon, we could not avoid getting wet. At these moments the expression of the Colonel's face was highly interesting The scenery of the rocky hills covered with luxuriant vegetation, through which the river wound its way in a narrow stream as clear as crystal, was most beautiful. There is one rapid called the “Dhola panee,” or “foaming water,” which is so violet, and the eddy at its foot so strong, that only one man remains on the raft whilst it shoots down; all the rest leave it above and get on board again below the rapid. Such is the state of the navigation of the Jumna for thirty or forty miles from the foot of the Budraj mountain; yet a few years ago a proposition was set on foot to supply Dehli with ice from Budraj, to be carried down the Jumna in boats. To say nothing of the navigation, it would cost full as much to make and collect the ice in the first instance at Budraj as at Dehli itself. So much for speculators who make proposals without knowing what they are about.
(k) para. 95.-Forster mentions a ledge of rocks in the Ganges near the village of Jamba or Djemah, which reached half across the river, and over which the water broke with great violence. This is a mistakc ; there neither i- or ever was any such ledge of rocks: Forster must have been deceived by the appearance of a rapid where however the water only breaks over stones and pebbles. These rapids not unfrequently shift their places during a rainy season, the force of which carries the stones away from one place, leaving smooth water where the rapid existed, and accumulates them in another.
(l) para. 116.-From the enquiries I had made in the western Provinces and the Doon, I entertained a strong conviction that suttees might, at least in those parts of the country, be prevented by order, without creating any disturbance; and I determined on the first opportunity to take the responsibility on myself and make the experiment. In order to pave the way, I took every opportunity of telling the people that I would prevent these human sacrifices; in general little or no remark was made in reply ; but sometimes an old man would observe “ I have seen the Mohummedan, the Mahratta, the Sikh, and the Gurhwall rule in this province; they have all done as they pleased with us, and issued what orders they liked : I suppose the English will do the same.” In May, 1826, I was encamped near the village of Bhogpoor, when a suttee was about to take place : the village watchman came to inform me, and by him I merely sent a message to say that if the suttee took place any where, (for it was on the borders of an independent Hindoo Prince's territory, and I feared they might cross the boundary and complete the suttee) I would impose a fine upon the whole village. Nothing more was done; the villagers collected together, prevented the widow fron, leaving her house, and carried away her deceased husband's body to be burnt with the usual ceremonies. No suttee, disturbance, or complaint occurred.
(m) para. 132. —The hill men are sometimes seized with fits of indigestion, which seem to bid defiance to medi. cine. To one man I gave an oz. of black salt; five hours after another oz. without any effect, some time after 8 grains of calomel and 20 of rhubarb, after that 5 grains of tartar emitic, before any effect was produced.
To another, I gave in the morning 4 grains tartar emetic; in the afternoon an oz. of black salt; at night 10 gros. calomel; next morning 10 grns, calomel and 30 of jalap; in the afternoon 8 grns. tartar emetic and a glyster; but it was not until after several glysters had been administered (for as they gave him ease from the great pain he complained of I continued them) that any effect was produced. After all in neither case was the purging or vomiting violent.
Woun ls are speedily cured at most seasons. I once set a boy's arm which had been broken by a kick from a cow; and in a fortnight it had joined, Living so much away from other Englishmen, and being constantly solicited for medicine by the people, induced me to read medical books; which has enabled me, by the help of practice, to be of use to many.
(n) para. 147 –The native era is the Fuslee.
(o) para. 161.-Since altered to black facings,
(p) para. 167.—When the people have become acquainted with an officer, they are very free and unreserved in their communications, and the scenes and conversations that occur are amusing.
As I was one day returning to my tent from a ride near Hurdwar, I overtook a man walking along at a terrible rate with his face swelling like a turkey cock: as soon as he saw me, he called out “I was just coming to you, Sir, to ask you to punish that rascal Choona Sing.”
“Your honor, he has owed me seven rupees for this year past, and just now when I went to ask him to pay me, he abused, beat me, and took my sword away i” seeing the man was in a fury of passion I could not help joking a little with him, and observed—
“But Choona Sing is not near so stout a man as you, how is it you allowed him to treat you in this way ?” “..I am not afraid of Choona Sing, but of your honor. Oh if your worship will only give me leave I will engage to slap him to death before you with my open hand.” “But my friend Choona Sing is a respectable man and rents a village; if you kill him whence am I to get the rent f’” “He respectable ! He pay rent he does nothing but cheat and abuse every honest man he comes across; and I hope you will trounce him severely for his infamous conduct to me.”
“Oh, certainly, but we will send him a summons first and hear what he has to say.”
On another occasion as I was sitting under a tree in the jungle, smoking a pipe after a long ride, a wood-cutter who was employed there came up, and after a little chatting began—
“Oh, Sir, you committed great injustice the other day.”
“Indeed 1 I am very sorry to hear it; how was it !”
“Why, when you decided Baloo's cause against me.”
“But my friend it is impossible to please both parties, and I dare say that Baloo will tell me I gave a most admirable decision.”
But of all horrors it is to be obliged to listen to a complaint by an old woman ; it is amusin r also to hear her rant, and rave, and cry, and wander away from the point in question, to which it is the most difficult thing to keep her. e. g.
“I’m ruined—I'm plundered —I have nothing left but to throw myself into the river –Justice "justice Will no one hear my complaint?
“But what is the matter, my good woman 3”
“Matter here have I been telling you how I am ruined and plundered, and no justice can I get: poor people are never attended to.
“But do tell me what has happened; how can I do anything till you do?”
“If you will not give me justice I can't help it: a pretty Government this: it is that of Kullooa (a noted bandit) not that of the English as far as I am concerned.” &c. &c.
And after about half an hour of this work one gets at the cream of the story, which is perhaps the delay of a day in the payment of a few pice for some vegetables which the old woman has sold, or some such trivial matter. And all the time the old hag is looking as spiteful as if she were ready to tear the eyes out of any one who approached her. When once enraged these old creatures never for a moment reflect on the probability of the story they are telling, and will, without any hesitation, make the most incredible accusations. It would not in the slightest degree surprise me to hear an old woman of eighty, accuse a man of a hundred years old, who had been bedridden half that period, of having ravished her. The young ones are bad enough, but heaven defend one from encountering an old native woman when in a passion 1
The Boksas are fine free spoken men when encouraged, and I have been much delighted when hunting with them, to see the spirit with which they enter into the sport, and the ease with which they talk to a superior. They unfortunately are fond of liquor, and like all natives of India who once adopt the taste cannot refrain from excess. On one occasion after a hard day's sport I offered a knowing old hand a bottle of brandy, which he joyfully accepted,
“Perhaps I should ; but can you not divide it into three or four portions, and drink one each day; the pleasure would last longer, and you would avoid getting tipsy.”
“Oh, Sir, that would be no pleasure to have a cup merely, without getting comfortably jolly;” and comfortably jolly the man got, and got his head half broke too in a scuffle, as I afterwards learnt,
THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM OF
REpoRT of CHARLEs H. CAMERON, ESQ., ONE OF
His MAJesty's commissioners of INQUIRY, UPow
The Judicial establish MeNTS AND PRoceDURE IN ceylon; DATED 31st JANUARY, 1832.
SPECIAL objecTS OF JUDICIAL ESTABLISHMENTS AND PROCEDURE in CEYLON.
The condition of the native inhabitants of the Island of Ceylon imposes upon a government which has their improvement at heart, the necessity not only of providing cheap and accessible judicatures for the relief of those who have suffered injury, and the punishment of those who have inflicted it, but also of guarding with peculiar anxiety against the danger that the judicatures themselves should be employed as the means of perpetrating that injustice which it is the object of their institution to prevent.
It is obvious that the importance of a good system of judicature increases in proportion to the deficiency of those other restraints upon the bad passions of mankind, which pass under the general name of morality, and in Ceylon these restraints are deficient to such a degree, that each individual owes nearly all the security he enjoys to the protection of the law.
But if the protection of the law is to be granted at all to the great mass of the native population, it must be granted gratuitously, that is to say, the expense, without which the intervention of judicial power cannot be obtained, must not be imposed upon any individual until it becomes apparent that he was not entiled to that intervention.
The smallest sums are of great importance to the natives of Ceylon, not only on account of their general poverty, but also on account of the high value of money; so that fees of stamps, which from their small amount would seem to oppose scarcely any obstacle to the attainment of justice by the poor in England: must frequently operate as a complete denial of it in Ceylon.
At the same time, however, that the greatest facility must be afforded to every man who is really seeking redress, the utmost vigilance must be exerted to prevent legal proceedings from being perverted to purposes of vexation and oppression.
The disregard of an oath, and of truth in general among the natives is notorious; not less so is their readiness to gratify their malignant passion through the medium of vexatious litigation.
Before, therefore, any man is permitted to direct the process of a court of justice against another; before any man is permitted to cast upon another the burden of defendin himself; before any part to a suit is j to cast upon his adversary any burden of proof, every possible means must be adopted to ascertain that he has probable grounds for doing so.
Those judicial establishments, and that scheme of procedure which I am about to recommend to your Lordship, have therefore two principal objects in view, and for the attainment of each of these objects two distinct sets of means seem to be essential. The first object is— I. To render it as easy as possible for any man to enforce his rights through the medium of a court of justice. That two sets of means for its attainment are1st. The establishment of a sufficient number of courts to which the suitor may apply with the least possible expense and delay. 2d. Such a constitution of the courts as will insure, in the highest possible degree, correctness of decision. II. To render it as difficult as possible for any man to inflict injury upon another through the medium of such courts as have been indicated above. The two sets of means for its attainment are1st. A rigorous investigation into the truth of c, ery allegation upon , which a court of justice is required to lend its aid to a suitor. 2d. The infliction of punishment upon every suitor who wilfully attempts to mislead
the court. B