482 WILD SPORTS OF BURMA AND ASSAM
broke. In less than a quarter of an hour there was a hubbub all along the line, the mahouts shouting, prodding their elephants, who were crying aloud and endeavouring to break back and showing all the signs of being in a stew. We at first thought that the commotion had been caused by a tiger, but presently a sounder of fifteen or sixteen pigs appeared. We let them go for a couple of hundred yards, and then W. shouted, a Ride ! a I was just about to ram in the spurs, but looking backwards for a moment, I saw a grey old boar trotting along leisurely, champing his tushes and giving glances backwards, as if more than half inclined to charge the leviathans that had disturbed him from his beauty sleep. The sounder that had gone ahead contained two largish boars, but the one now coming up was a veritable Goliath. Williamson had a good start, and in a straight run my nags had not a ghost of a chance with his mare, so I determined to go for the grey boar. I had to restrain my steed, who, generally placid enough, had plenty of pluck in him, and he got excited at hearing W.a s cry and seeing his mare go off full speed, and naturally wished to follow.
By the time the veteran had passed me, my comrade was half-a-mile away; I gave the quarry a hundred yardsa grace and then started in pursuit. a Pekoe a was very fresh, and galloped along, pulling double. Hearing a clatter behind him, the boar looked back with his wicked old eyes, hesitated a moment, seemed half inclined to bring our encounter to an issue at once by charging, but the array of elephants was fast approaching ; he changed his mind and resumed his flight at an accelerated speed; with his bristles on end he looked nearly as big as a Pekoe,a and although not going full speed, for he did not hurry himself, he got over the ground wonderfully. I let my nag go his best; but after going a quarter of a mile I only gained a little, he was still 50 yards ahead. There was a small patch of grass in front into which he bounded, and I too, a second or two after him. Unused to carrying the short spear, which is held with the blade downwards, I was somewhat bothered, but I was fairly ready, though not expecting to come across the enemy for another 200 or 300 yards; but I had not been in the cover above