32 WILD SPORTS OF BURMA AND ASSAM
He will not only feel no ill effects, but he will positively be better for the exercise he has taken. But avoid stimulants during the heat of the day, and whilst toiling through mud and water under a broiling sun, for snipe can best be shot with advantage during the hours of ten to four. Before and after that, the birds get wild. The less spirits a man drinks in India the better. There is no harm in his taking a fair modicum of the liquor which best pleases him with his evening meal after the day's fatigue is over, nor indeed a moderate allowance of claret-cup or shandy-gaff (beer and ginger-beer mixed) or even a bottle of Lager beer with his late breakfast or tiffin, but it is best as a rule to avoid drinking anything, water not excepted, whilst actually shooting. The more you drink, the more you want. Tea is a fair substitute, but drink as little as possible. Men who wish to lead a healthy life in India must not be molly-coddles, but be given to out-door sport, be it shooting, riding, cricket, rackets, lawn-tennis, and the like, but they must at the same time lead a sober life. Drink used to be the curse of India, but since the habit has died out Indian lives are accepted by insurance offices as good as those of others who live in more favoured climes. Now that European troops are being gradually concentrated on Hills, single stations for native troops are getting more numerous, and I think in choosing a place where six or eight officers are to be bottled up for several years, thought ought to be had for their amusement and recreation. If a lot of officers get together in a locality devoid of sport, and with nothing to distract them except their daily routine of drill, it is placing them at a great disadvantage, and the chances are, however efficient and good they were when first they arrived at such a station*, they will soon deteriorate. If there be neither shooting nor riding to be had, then I think the Government should provide a racket-court, a swimming-bath, and lawn-tennis grounds. For be sure that all work and no play never answers anywhere, least of all in India.
How can a man who takes no exercise ordinarily be fit to take part in such a campaign as that of the North-West, where we have met more than our match in the wild savages who are at home in their crags, and to whom climbing moun-