IN COCK-PIT AND BULL-RING 51
brane of its face, and its short gills and comb swollen and bloody, with one eye put out, and the other only kept open by the thread attached to its eyelid, yet makes shift to strut, with" staggering gait, across the cock-pit, and to notify its victory, by giving vent to a lamentable ghost of a crow. Then it is carried off followed by an admiring, gesticulating, vociferous crowd, to be elaborately tended and nursed, as befits so gallant a bird. The beauty of the sport is that either bird can stop fighting at any moment. They are never forced to continue the conflict if once they have declared themselves defeated, and the only real element of cruelty is thus removed. The birds in fighting, follow the instinct which nature has implanted in them, and their marvellous courage and endurance surpass anything to be found in any other animals, human or otherwise, with which I am acquainted. Most birds fight more or less 5 from the little fierce quail, to the sucking doves which ignorant Europeans, before their illusions have been dispelled by a sojourn in the East, are accustomed to regard as the emblems of peace and purity ; but no bird, or beast, or fish, or human being fights so well, or takes such pleasure in the fierce joy of battle, as does a plucky, lanky, ugly, hard-bit old fighting-cock.
The Malays regard these birds with immense respect, and value their fighting-cocks next to their children. A few years ago, a boy, who was in charge of a cock which belonged to a Raja of my acquaintance, accidentally pulled some feathers from the bird's tail. c What did you do that for ? Devil ! ' cried the Raja.
c It was not done on purpose Ungku ! ' said the boy.c It was not done on purpose Ungku ! ' said the boy.