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Long unsigned manuscript letter, with two coloured illustrations, from an Englishman to his niece, describing sitting in wait to shoot a tiger from a machan (hunting platform) in North Kandesh, India.

Tiger hunting in India, 1928; Henry Staveley Lawrence (1870-1949), Acting Governor of Bombay 1926-28; William Augustus Henry Miller (d.1927), Divisional Forest Officer, West Khandesh, Central Circle]

Editorial: Poona India. 11 February, 1928
Librería: Richard M. Ford Ltd (London, Reino Unido)

Librería en AbeBooks desde: 20 de noviembre de 1997

Cantidad: 1

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5pp., 8vo, including one full-page sketch and one half-page one. Good, on five leaves of lightly-aged and worn paper. Neatly and closely written. Addressed to 'My dearest one and only Niece'. Complete in itself, but possibly only the first five pages of a longer letter. The author is a British colonial administrator in Kandesh (Acting Governor of Bombay H. S. Lawrence?), and from the tone of his letter his niece (in England?) is still a young girl. On the reverse of the third leaf, initialed 'S', is the following: 'WE CAN TALK TO HER ABOUT YPRES when the others are Gone to Confession.' He begins by apologising for his 'negligence in not writing for such a long time [.] The fact is - we - that is my wife & I - have been travelling hard - for the last 3 months - and mail day always catches me unawares'. He has been 'clearing up poor Mr Miller's affairs. He was one of my Divisional Forest Officers - and he suddenly died. His wife was about to sail for India when Mr Miller first fell ill [.] I had the terrible business of having to cable to her at Marseilles that her husband had died. | It was a frightful blow to everyone - but you can imagine what it must have been to his family! I've had to go through all his belongings - settle his bills - pack things to go home - and sell the remainder - and it has been an awful job.' He now changes the subject: 'During our tour in North Khandesh - my wife had the pleasure of seeing a very large Tiger for about 10 minutes - and according to her its the largest Tiger there ever was!' The writer had left his wife 'in a small camp at Dara - a place miles away from a Railway, & on the borders of the Akrani - which is a tract of Jungle land between the Nerbudda River & the Tapti - north of Dhulia in the West Khandesh District'. The day before his return, his wife was informed 'at 6pm that a Tiger had pounced on a Cow about 2 furlongs from our tents - & had killed the Cow. So she took a Revolver & went out with the men to have a look. It was very foolish of her - as a revolver would have been useless against a Tiger. | Anyhow - the Tiger was not there - and the 2 furlongs turned out to be 3/4 of a mile.' The writer directs that a machan be built: 'A machan is merely a platform of poles built in a tree. It was a very tall & wobbly tree we had to climb - and we settled ourselves as comfortably as we could.' The writer had his 'big double barrelled .577 rifle & a small rifle', but 'nothing happened': '4 oclock - 5 oclock 6 oclock 6.30pm. It got dark - and I could not see my rifle sights. At about 7pm I whispered to my wife - "No luck old thing - I'll whistle" - meaning - whistle for the men to come & help us down. | She hissed "Hes come!"!!' The writer 'froze still' and 'stared towards the hill', before realising that his wife was 'gazing at a spot behind me!' He hopes his sketch (full-page, in blue, on leaf four) will help her understand why he 'could not see to fire at the animal'. 'Then we heard a yawning snarl - Aooughhrr - & nothing more! Apparently the brute had come up behind me - and stopped in the open ground 20 yds away fr. 10 minutes & had then gone into some thick scrub jungle & laid down - not feeling hungry!' Eventually the author - with mosquitoes biting and feeling 'a touch of fever' - gets his wife 'to turn the torch on where she had last seen the Tiger - and as the electric torch clicked on - we heard another fed up snarl - and a rustle - but could see nothing at all. The brute had gone.' He now explains 'the smudgy sketch (by the way - the blue atmosphere is meant to indicate "night"!)', before concluding 'The Tiger came again & took the rest of the kill into a nullah - & next day we got a lot of villagers & "beat" the nullah - but nothing was driven out of it - except a lot of Peacock. Then we had reluctantly to leave the place. The lower half of the fifth leaf carries another blue sketch, with a panther outlined in red, captioned 'This shows the episode when I got a Panther out of. N° de ref. de la librería 13150

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Long unsigned manuscript letter, with two ...

Editorial: Poona India. 11 February

Año de publicación: 1928

Descripción de la librería

Private premises. Autographs, manuscripts and archives on any subject. Particular interest in publishing and bookselling history. Occasional catalogues. Company number: 03785276

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