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DEATH OF BRUIN.

121

again without disturbing them; and a couple of wild dogs under such circumstances being anxiously wished for, and my rifle being known to rarely, if ever, miss its object, it was proposed that I should again go alone accompanied by my two keepers.

Approaching the party once more very cautiously, and getting within two hundred yards of them, I found the wild-dogs had not been idle during the twenty minutes of my absence. The bear was now sitting down on his torn and disfigured breech, making awful faces, and roaring hideously. My rifle was soon at my shoulder, and over rolled two wild-dogs to my right and left barrel, and away scampered the rest of the pack. On descending I found Bruin incapable of moving from the spot. He seemed almost inclined to welcome my appearance, but one of my keepers, a wicked rascal called “Bucktoo,” threw a stone at him, upon which he tried to charge us, and I was obliged to put a stop to his intentions by shooting him dead. On examining him, I

VOL. I.

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found his hind quarters sadly disfigured, and his skin so much torn, as to render it unfit for anything but a memento of the occurrence.

I have said above that the fish in the Nepaul rivers is abundant. The principal kind which inhabits the Raptee, is the sehr, a fish much resesembling the roach and greatly esteemed, and the gaoleer or trout.

The manner of fishing may be described in a very few words. The channel of the river is intersected by seven or eight casting nets, united together by being hooked at their extremities to poles, or sticks erected in the water for that purpose. To each net there is a man or boy, who has a second net fixed to his waist and hanging behind him, in which he deposits the fish he catches. This he does by diving. The fishermen dive head foremost, though in water not deeper than their middle, throwing up their feet nearly quité erect, and seizing the fish either with their teeth or their hands. After remaining some time at a particular spot, all the nets are dragged together further down the stream, when the fishermen renew their operations

INSECTS AND REPTILES.

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These being over, they draw the casting nets separately; some of which, as well as those round their waists, are often quite full. In the river Tadi, which, augmented by the waters of the Sindoora and Bailhote rivulets, winds round the south point of the Chardi-baisi hill, there are eels of a very large size, and of excellent flavour. The usla, a fish not unlike the British salmon in taste, is also found in the Tadi, and the phaketa abounds in the stream. The phaketa is a species of small fish, remarkable both for the swiftness with which it glides through the water, and the singular construction of its superior fins, which resemble a fan both in form and in the manner in which they open and close.

Of the entomological tribe of Nepaul, nothing need be said. The insects and reptiles correspond with all those of Hindostan ; the only exception being the bee, which is numerous in the valley, providing excellent honey, and supplying the wax which forms so important an article of

commerce.

CHAPTER V.

THE INHABITANTS OF NEPAUL, ESPECIALLY THE

MILITARY TRIBES.

The inhabitants of Nepaul consist chiefly of Brahmins and Ketries, with their various subdivisions of Newars, Dherwars, Mhargies, Bhootias, and Bhamas. The former of these compose the army, engross all situations of trust, whether civil or military, and are dispersed promiscuously throughout the country. The Newars are confined almost to the valley of Nepaul. The Dherwars and Mhargies are the husbandmen and fishers of the western districts; and the Bhootias, though some families of them

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are planted in the lower lands, occupy, generally speaking, such parts of the Kachâr as are inincluded in the Nepaul territories. The Bhamas are a sort of separatists from the Newars, supposed to amount to five thousand; they shave their heads like the Bhootias, observe many of the religious rites, as well as civil costume of their idolaters, in a dialect of whose language they are said to preserve their sacred writings. To the eastward of Nepaul some districts are inhabited by Limboos, Naggunkotes, and others.

The Newars are divided into several casts or orders, most of which derive their origin, like those among the more ancient Hindoos, from a primitive classification, according to trades and occupations.

The peasantry of the Parbattiahs, or hillpeople, are divided into four classes, denominated Onwals, Doems, Scoons, and Chaurems. These are Persian terms, and denote first, second, third, and fourth. The Onwals are those peasants who possess five ploughs and upwards; the Doems, such as have from one

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