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l5th-~Wetup, about eight miles west; road good, and similar to that throughout all parts of the Kubo valley. Just after starting I was joined by my suwaree elephant, the mahout still trembling from the effects of a fright he had received about three hours before. His story was, that being tired with riding, he had dismounted to recreate himself with a walk, having put his coolie to supply his place on the elephant; he had got about twenty paces ahead, and was jogging along merrily, when he heard a rustling in a thick bush on the road side: thinking it caused by a deer, his curiosity led him to take a peep, and pushing aside some of the branches, a deer was there sure enough, but it was a dead one, and also a live tiger, which he was not prepared to expect; the latter on being disturbed at his meal, gave a growl and raised his phiz to within a few inches of that of the terrified mahout, who retreated as fast as his fright would permit to the elephant, and took up a position on its tusks. The coolie also saw the tiger, and was in an equal fright with the mahout. The parties remained reconnoitring each other for about five minutes, when some sepoys and Kubos coming up, the tiger retreated, casting many an anxious look towards the bush which contained the remains of the deer, which were seized on as a good prize by the Kubos. The deer could only have been killed a few hours, as it was perfectly fresh and still warm. The tiger had made a breakfast on one hind-quarter and part of the other; a tolera
ble lunch, however, as the deer was avery large one of the species call-'
ed in Hindustan “ Bara Singhi." l6th——Num-muldah nala; this road, having already been frequently
reported on by Lieut. PEMBERTON, renders it unnecessary for me to say
any thing about it.
l7th—Pausa ditto; ditto ditto. A village has been established here, since visited by Lieut. Psmnmvron, of six families, or about forty inhabitants. Just previous to my arrival, a poor Naga had been frightened entirely out of its wits, and half out of his life, by a tiger ; he was on his way from the hills to the village, close to which he had arrived, when he was surprized by a smart slap from behind on his most prominent and fleshy part, and at the same time a basket which he was carrying pulled from him. On turning round to see who it was that was taking such liberties, he saw a tiger walking off with the basket ; he did not stop to reclaim it, but made the best speed he could to the village, bearing marks of the truth of his story on the part before men
tioned. The head-man of the village told me, with a very serious face,
that he was fearful the “ Lace” was displeased in consequence of some omission of the proper respect and attention due him, and took
this means of showing it: but he hoped to be able to appease him by
proper oiferings; which he proceeded forthwith to prepare in the shape of some of the best rice and vegetables procurable, cooked with great. care and many prayers. The mess when ready he placed under a. banyan tree on the outside of the village. If the “ Laee” partook of it within the two succeeding days, it would be a sure sign his anger had evaporated. As he knew I was anxious, he said, regarding the welfare of the village, he would let me know in a day or two how matters stood.
l8th-—Tummoo ; here I was‘ detained for three days in deciding a case, or rather three cases of witchcraft 1 Motives of humanity induced me to undertake the business, as persons labouring under such an accusation become regular outcasts ; whom no village will receive within its precincts ; with whose children, male or female, no other family will intermarry; the whole of whose property is seized bythe village from which they are expelled. Exclusive of the above, the husbands of two of the women who were accused had been of the utmost service to me as guides in my difl'erent trips through Kubo, and otherwise useful from their intelligence and knowledge of the country. The favour with which I consequently treated them was I doubt not one of the causes of their misfortunes, and induced a wily old Kubo to
intrigue to get them out of the way of his own prospects. Part of the‘
penalties had already been inflicted previous to my arrival ,- they had been turned out of the village, and the greater part of their property seized. On the morning after my arrival I assembled the whole village, the accused being also present, and tried to reason with them on the absurdity and folly of believing in witchcraft. I was laughed at for my pains, and told by one or two of the elders that I might as well try to convince them, there was no sun in heaven, as no witches. Finding all remonstrances and arguments were vain,Iproposed the ordeal by water usual on such occasions, and called on the persons who were suffering under the supposed witches’ incantations to stand forth, that they as well as the witches, as is customary, should undergo it. This caused a demur and whispering, which ended in a request, begging me to defer farther proceedings till next day, to allow them to consult together on the subject, in which I acquiesced. I was almost assured that the same superstition Which led to the belief in witchcraft would prevent any persons from coming forward to stand.
the proposed test, as the accuser, they say, unless actually convinced in‘
his own mind of the truth of his accusation, is sure to draw down sig. nal punishment on himself and family for having made it; besides he is heavily fined by the village, should the result of the ordeal be contrary to his assertion. Even were I disappointed in the hope, that no per.
sons would come forward, I had no doubt the result of the ordeal would be favourable to the witches, as I should be present at it to see fair play. On the next morning, the villagers avowed that none of them would undergo the ordeal, and that consequently the accusation was unfounded : they returned all their property to the accused, re-instated them in their houses, paid a small fine for having brought forward the charge without sufllcient grounds, and gave a written acquittal, which 1 signed, to the supposed witches. Thus the matter was settled satisfactorily to all parties, except the old rascals who originated it and were obliged to return their ilhacquired spoil. I thought the persons who were accused would of course agree with me as to the absurdity of believing in witchcraft. I was however mistaken, as even they expressed their firm conviction of its existence with others, though themselves innocent. The ordeal on such occasions is as follows: The accuser and accused are bound separately, hands and feet, together, so as not tohave the power of moving either ; they are placed on the inner edges of two canoes, which are placed a foot separate ; after some formalities, prayers, &c., are gone through, the canoes are suddenly pulled from under them ; if the accused be really a witch, she floats, and the accuser sinks : the case is reversed should the accusation be false. One end of the rope with which the hands and feet are bound, is sufliciently long to allow of its being held by a person in the boat, in readiness to pull up the party that sinks.
The route from Turhmoo to Manipur has already been reported on by Lieut. PEMBEB-TON; it is only therefore necessary to observe, that since he travelled it, villages have been established at most of the places on the line of road, for the purpose of facilitating the communication.
Having recently received a fine female specimen of the Chiru Antelope of Tibet, besides two more very complete spoils of the male of the species, I conceive I cannot do better than throw into the form of a synoptical character (to avoid prolixity) all the leading and distinctive marks of this most rare and singular animal. *
Subgenus GAZELLA, H. Smith.
Gregarious on open plains.