434 WILD SPORTS OF BURAIA AND ASSAM
reported that the Government buildings were in danger of being swept away by the river, which was encroaching on its banks. The season was late, as the rivers begin to rise in June, so I sent on elephants ahead, and then dropped down by boat to Tarah-barie-ghat, but no elephants had arrived; but they turned up that afternoon. It was reported that there were many tigers about, and some of them man-eaters; certainly their footmarks were very plentiful.
So on the nth I started at daybreak, hoping to find one, if not more. The country in the immediate neighbourhood was fairly open, with very short grass and bushes. I saw a broad track, and told my mahout to go along it. It was too dark to see what had caused the trail. When we came to a marshy bit, I found we had been following two rhinoceros. I soon came upon a mound of their droppings; they always deposit their ordure in one spot, until quite a large mound is formed, so I knew the beasts must be pretty close. My elephant began to show signs of funk, but the mahout kept her pretty straight. At last, in front of me, behind a bush, stood a rhinoceros, intently listening to the noise made by the elephant splashing along. Neither the mahout nor elephant saw the game ahead. I tapped the mahout on the head, and he stopped his beast at once. I fired into the mass before me, and as the smoke cleared away, a very large rhinoceros rushed into the open and got another bullet in its shoulder. He pulled up. I dropped the discharged weapon and took up another, and gave him two pills in the chest; he swerved and ran off, squealing awfully. On hearing this noise my steed right-about faced, and raced for her life, and could not be stopped for some time. So I went back to the bheel and took up the trail, and soon came upon the rhinoceros stone dead. Its horn was not long but very massive, weighing if seers. We got men from the nearest village, who were thankful to get the flesh, cut off the head and took off the shields, and reached Burpettah about twelve, where I put up with Boyd. I examined the river banks, and sent for men to shore up the side nearest the bungalow, and next day went for a few daysa trip into the Dooars. I followed a rhinoceros for some way, but it had got into a tangled brake, where it was safe. I then