July 6th 1941


Out at 3.30am in tonga to the Nullah by the cantonment water supply. Off on foot for black back, in the woods north of Barana village. I do one stalk but find there are no spikes or buck so leave it, and am following some more through the scrub, when suddenly they turn and come bounding back. Have just time to step behind a bush which they all come past. giving a violent leap on sighting me. I watch the heads flash past and see a pair of horns, so swing with him and fire, bringing down a 2 year old (red) buck at about 10 yards, with a bullet from my .423 Mauser straight up his arse.

The shikari produces a 10″ knife, cleans it, and ties its legs for carriage back to the tonga. Then off we set, determined to get a “Black” black buck this time. I see a herd but nothing black and reach the tonga at 9.30pm, carrying one shoe. I am wearing my new sambhar boots and they pinch so much I have to take one off.

Allan off for the third weekend running to Naini Tal. Am shown dive bombing and told mine is too steep – they do 5-3000′ here. Saw a lot of fox-like animals, locally called “longris”. Give the shikhari Rs13/- and the tonga walla Rs7/- for the day’s outing. Wish I had my .22 which must still be in Habbaniya.

Have hired a small electric fan and sleep out with no net, and fan at half speed blowing straight from the foot of the bed, and get a very good sleep out of it. Have taken on a local bearer since the first day for Rs25/- and 3/- commission, instead of Attham Khan’s 32/- and 5/-. Wonder when I shall next get out of India, not this war time I expect. Does anyone ever get drunk in this Mess?

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