84 WILD SPORTS OF BURMA AND ASSAM
low down, the ball penetrates the heart. If behind the shoulder the lungs are perforated, and the beast succumbs after about five minutes, and can easily be recovered by its stertorous breathing, which it utters before it gives up the ghost. This noise, once heard, can never be forgotten.
Although the horns are almost useless as trophies, for many of them are but knobs, the natives prize them very much, and will buy them, giving as much as Rs. 45 a seer (2 lbs.). The young ones are easily caught after the mother has been killed, and though very savage at first, soon get tame, and are worth a lot of money. They cost next to nothing to keep and rear. The footmarks much resemble those of an elephant; but they are a little smaller, and a little longer, and have but three toes against the elephanta s five. Although many castes in Indiaa Brahmins and Marwaries in particulara partake of only grain, they have asked me to dry the tongue for them ; this they pulverize and bottle, and take a pinch of it when ill.
The Assamese, bigoted Hindoos as they are, used to follow us about in gangs like flocks of vultures, and directly they heard shots, rush up, all fighting for certain tit-bits; not a morsel would be left; even the hide they cut into lengths and roast over embers, and eat as some people eat the crackling of a pig.
Considering the value put on the flesh and horns of this animal by the natives, I am surprised there is one left alive, as it deposits its ordure 1 at one spot only until a mound is formed, sometimes several feet in height, and as it visits that spot night and morning, by digging a pit near, nothing could be easier than to shoot it.
Whenever I went into the dooars I was followed by native shikaries who kept out of my ken, but hovered about near; as I had seldom time to hunt up wounded beasts, they would trace them up, and either shoot them, or, if they found them
dead_as was oftener the casea they would appropriate the
horns and flesh. They thus stole a magnificent horn (for Assam), 18 inches long, off a beast I had severely wounded
1 My colleague states he has not noticed these dung-heaps. 1 have seen them, I may say, always, where either variety of rhinoceros have taken up their residence. He has since come across them in the Arrakan Yomahs.a F. T. P.