tame buffaloes more THAN HALF FERAL 81
he wends his way, in the hopes that it will fall on him and impale him, which it sometimes does. But if any one (European) is near, they go to him and ask him to shoot the intruder, which I have done for them many a time; but as that has generally to be done on foot, it is somewhat dangerous, and some hairbreadth escapes have been recorded in Incidents A f Foreign Sport. The very big bulls are not so numerous now as formerly, yet still bulls with horns close up to 12 feet measurement from one tip to the other round the outer curve and across the narrow forehead are still to be found; the cows have longer horns, but not so thick. The largest on record is, I believe, one I gave to Lord Mayo when Viceroy A f India; the measurements of which were 13 feet 8 inches and 6 feet straight across between the tips. Although not so numerous as formerly, yet there are vast herds of Bubali roaming about the dooars and churs (islands in Assam). Archie Campbell, for years in the Assam Commission, had the elephant he was riding knocked down by a bull, and who followed him up by scent, as a hound might have done. Just in time he came to a small tree, and climbed it as the enemy bore down upon him.
Once near Tseben, a favourite site of mine for snipe, I found an albino cow, belonging to a villager, that had immensely long horns; when she threw back her head each horn lay alongside the dorsal ridge nearly to her croup. I offered the maximum price in those days for a cow, namely, 50 rupees, but her owner, seeing how anxious I was to possess her, raised her price to 200 rupees, which I declined to give. I tried to get her horns measured, but although quiet enough with the natives generally, yet when she felt them handling her horns she became restive, and so the measurements were never taken.
So alike are the tame and wild buffaloes, that once we came across a herd far, far away from any village. I did not like their looks and declined to fire, but my comrade killed two, and had to pay 50 rupees each. They had been let loose for breeding purposes. Huge and strong as are these beasts, the cowardly Assamese catch them in nets, the string of the meshes being of hemp twisted of the size of one s little finger. The adult bulls they kill, and also full-grown cows, selling the