RHINOCEROS AND THEIR HABITAT 87
and lost, and I should have known nothing of it, had the men not quarrelled over the spoils, and one run back and told the Deputy Commissioner, but the man was over our frontier before he could be overtaken and seized.
The lesser rhinoceros is distinguished by being somewhat shorter in height and their shields being less prominent, and the skins at times are covered with square angular tubercles. This animal extends throughout Assam, down Sylhet, the Garrow Hills, Tipperah, Chittagong, Arrakan, and Burma to Malaya, and probably into Yunan and the western provinces of China. The Burmese assert that it devours fire.
The two-horned rhinoceros extends from Chittagong downwards. It is not known further north. Its skin is as smooth as a buffaloa s; the anterior horn is fairly long, the posterior generally a mere stump. I do not see why they should not be utilized, as they are easily domesticated. A dhooby in Gowhatty used to take his clothes from the wash about on one (R. indicus, R. unicornus), but I think he sold it to an Afghan, who was one of Jamracha s agents.
The variety obtained by Mr. Hood had tasselated ears. It got bogged in trying to cross a river, and was secured by means of Keddah elephants.
Doctor Mason asserts that the larger single-horned rhinoceros (.R. indicus) has been caught in Arrakan, and that he has also seen it along the banks of the Tenasserim river. The Burmese have told me the same, but Blyth declared that they had mistaken the smaller Sondaicus for the Indicus.
The bigoted Hindoos store their horns in their Namghurs, the point downwards, the base forming a kind of bowl in which they pour water and use as a charm. The Chinese also put a fictitious value on them. Knowing how valuable they were, Major Cock1 bought up a lot of the white African rhinoceros horns, which are at times 3 feet long, which he saw for sale in the Bazaar in Calcutta, and sent them to Becher in Assam for sale, but the natives would not look at them, not believing that they were what they professed to be!
1 A rare good sportsman ; afterwards killed in one of the fights in the Naga country.