And that was such a good stalk!
A story from the Raj from Diggory Hadocke’s Vintage Gun Journal.
The letter we are about to read was sent by a soldier of the West Riding, stationed at Mhow, in India, to his sister, in Bradford, on 7th April 1926.
At the time, Britain was at the height of its powers in India and ruled over a third of the globe. British soldiers and administrators had access to wonderful sporting opportunities and it is on one of these outings that our story unfolds.
The subject of the letter is the unfortunate Major George Pritchard Taylor D.S.O, M.C. M.B of the Royal Army Medical Corps, in which he served form 1909 until 1926.
His career took him to South Africa, France, Russia and India on active service and he was well-decorated and considered an expert revolver and rifle shot. He was an experienced big game hunter and as well as a good polo player and horseman. He was nick-named â€˜Dare-devil Taylorâ€™ during the First World War.
7th April 1926
What a week of adventure! Itâ€™s nearly taken by breath away. As I told you last week, I went out fishing during the holidays and had quite a good time on the first and second days (Friday & Saturday). I caught 24 fish on Friday and 14 on Saturday; not too bad for one man especially when you know the smallest weighed a pound and a half and the biggest (a carp) five and a quarter pounds.
Well, anyway to get on with the yarn, Iâ€™d just nicely got settled on Sunday when I saw a boat put out over the lake with and officer and his wife going over the other side for a bit of shooting.
Everything went on alright for about an hour, when suddenly two shots went off almost together, followed after a second or two by by a third and then there came such a scream, I have heard it ever since.
Naturally, I looked across to where the sound came from. I saw the woman signalling to me so I ran round to her and she told me she and her husband had come across a tiger and without being fired at or anything the damned thing had sprung at them. The officer was only loaded with duck shot but he let it have both barrels of that at its head and then tried to load again but got a jam and, by this time, the tiger had grabbed his right arm.
He managed somehow or other to to slip a lethal cartridge into the barrel and let it have that from the left shoulder with one hand and then it got him. That was when he screamed.
His wife picked up the gun and smashed it across the tigerâ€™s back and the tiger slunk away so she left her husband and called me. Well, we found him, or rather what was left of him. He was practically eaten up.
When we were in Kurdistan I saw a fellow with twenty nine bullets in him, but he didnâ€™t look a hundredth part as bad as this poor blighter did.
Anyhow, we managed to get him to the boat and rowed him to the other side, where we managed to get hold of some niggers to help lift him to his car. We got a charpey (native bed) and used it as a stretcher right across the car and took him down to Mhow.
I have never seen a woman show such superb nerve as his wife, firstly by smashing the gun over the tigerâ€™s back, and then by driving the car a distance of eleven miles to the hospital, without even crying, although she cracked-up as soon as we got him there.
The most pathetic part about the whole think was the manâ€™s pluck.. Although he must have lost quite three parts of the blood in him he kept on talking the whole me.
He said to me â€œBy God, corporal, that tiger gave me the finest five minutes of my life.â€, and then he said to his wife â€œIt was damned good while it lasted, wasnâ€™t it old lady.â€ However, Iâ€™m sorry to say that neither of their pluck was any good – he died on Tuesday.
The tiger was afterwards found dead a hundred and fifty yards away from where I was fishing.
EAGLE PASS, TX — A tiger has been spotted in the Rio Grande today, according to social media rumors.
The pictures first surfaced by a social media page from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. …
According to the Eagle Pass News Leader, the images have not been confirmed to be in the Rio Grande, but many believe it to be in Laredo.
Many questions have been buzzing around Facebook about where the tiger came from and many of them have named the tiger “El Tigre Del Sur” or the tiger from the south.
A year ago today, the Washington Post reported that Federal agents peered into a duffel bag on the Mexico border. They found a tiger cub. So, the idea that a tiger was hanging out on the banks of the Rio Grande is not that far-fetched.
The original photos are on Facebook here.
Buddha told a parable in a sutra:
A man travelling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming at a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed after him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw on the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
A white tiger at the New Delhi Zoo has attacked and killed a young man inside the tiger enclosure.
There are mixed reports as to whether the young man jumped, or has accidentally fallen into the enclosure, and even the age of the individual. However, the most credible reports indicate the young man was an Indian student who slipped while taking photo’s.
National Zoological Park spokesman Riyaz Ahmed Khan said the man ignored repeated warnings that he should not get too close to the outdoor enclosure and climbed over a knee-high fence and small hedges.
Authorities eventually frightened the tiger into a small cage inside the enclosure. Police arrived on the scene “very quickly”, but could not save his life. The man, whose body remained in the outdoor enclosure two hours after the attack, was dead by the time help reached him, Mr Khan said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police M.S. Randhawa identified the man only as Maqsood and said he was thought to be about 20 years old…
The Daily Mail says that Maqsood was drunk.
Hunting is strictly banned in post-Imperial India, but the progressive administration of that country makes the occasional exception, in the case of man-eaters.
Outside magazine reports that, in Uttar Pradesh, hunting has been authorized for a man-eating tiger.
Officials in Uttar Pradesh, India, have issued a shoot-to-kill order for a tigress that has killed 10 people since early December. The four-year-old Royal Bengal tiger has attacked villagers of all ages, prowling an 80-mile area in the Binjor District.
The situation has placed the livelihoods of local villagers at stake, as people are afraid to work in the fields harvesting sugarcane, mustard, and wheat. “We will starve if this situation persists,” Sahuwala village resident Mithilesh told CNN.
Tigers that have turned man-eater rarely go back to hunting wildlife, and itâ€™s clear this tigress is no exception. “She’s gotten used to killing people,â€ wildlife conservationist Nazim Khan told CNN. â€œThis is easy prey for her. She’s going to kill again.”
Both conservationists and hunters are tracking the tigress, riding atop elephants through impenetrable jungle and terrain. Though conservationists would rather see the tigress tranquilized and transported to a zoo, hunters and most villagers are in support of seeking vengeance via rifle.
Only 11 percent of tigersâ€™ natural habitat remains, according to the Wildlife Trust of India, and there are only 1,706 tigers left in the wild.
Safest way to hunt tigers is from a howdah, eh?
The actual story referred to in the title of Lieut.-Colonel Frank Sheffield’s How I Killed the Tiger (1902) amounts to only 36-pages (including numerous, highly evocative, illustrations), but even the second edition is not easy to find and will cost you something in the neighborhood of $100.
But we happily live in the age of marvels, in which even such esoteric treasures are already scanned in and sitting there available in electronic form at the touch of a fingertip.
Col. Sheffield’s yarn is quite a story.
I would not myself want to take on a fully grown Bengal Tiger with an unreliable percussion fowling piece, even if I had a couple of General John Jacob’s explosive bullets in my pocket. But, if I had been so foolhardy as to do so and wound up once knocked down and mauled by a tiger, I’d like to hope that –like Col. Shefield–, faced with another charge, I’d still have “some kick in me” and stand there, Bowie knife in hand, “determined to make a hard fight for it.”
“How I Killed the Tiger” text
“How I Killed the Tiger” plates
Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.
Cougar Mountain Zoo, Issaquah, Washington, October, 2011, Taj, a 370-lb. Bengal Tiger responds to toddler pressing her hands on the glass of his cage with obvious feline gestures of affection.
At zoos, one sometimes sees a side of large, dangerous animals which is essentially identical to the behavior of your pet at home. One day, at the Chicago Zoo, I watched with amazement as a White Rhino the size of a delivery van manifested recognizable ecstacy while a teenage zookeeper stroked her back with a large push broom.
Via Fred Lapides.