PIG-STICKING IN THE BRAHMAPOOTRA CHURS 481
my two nags, Pekoe and Elgin, would do fairly well, even with a heavyish weight on their backs.
The jemadar of the mahouts was directed where to take the elephants (we had ten with us) at daybreak next morning, and to beat in a certain direction towards us. As I have said, we were hunting under difficulties, for we had no spare spears and were inadequately mounted ; but there is a charm in hog-hunting which is impossible to resist, if you have once been entered to it.
Williamson was an out-and-out sportsman, plucky to a degree, a splendid shot, a good rider, and under thirty, while I was over forty. He weighed about ten stone, I twelve or more. His mare was well bred and about 15 hands, and had been ridden to pigs; mine had had no such experience and were a hand and a half lower, so the handicapping was all against me. In a straight run I should be nowhere; but in hog-hunting even the slowest of steeds has a chance, particularly if the boar turn out a jinker.
I was tired of being eternally on the back of an elephant, and welcomed the chance of a gallop, even if I failed to draw first blood. To get to work early, we crossed over from the right to the left bank over-night, sleeping in an unused cattle-shed, so we were ready for the fray at dawn.
The jemadar, on a small elephant, received our orders and
went off to execute them, and in about half-an-hour we could
see the line of elephants advancing towards us. Williamson
was ensconced behind a patch of long grass on the right; I
was similarly concealed a little to the left, an interval of about
So yards between us, having agreed that we were to ride
boars only, and to let them pass us and get well ahead before
laying in. The space before us, although not quite a plain,
was ridable for fully three miles. These boars lead an idle life
and have their food at hand, so do not take much exercise
and get very fat and disinclined to run, and will as often
charge at once as seek safety in flight. So fearless are they
that I have in these churs put them out of the same patch of
grass as a tiger, the two having been lying within thirty or
forty paces of one another. The mahouts were told to
advance in line and silentlya only to shout when a boar