October 26th 1941 – On the Indus

I leave last night on 9.20 train, Moulding drives me in, arrive Jand 11.10, depart 2am, arrive Mari Indus 05.50. I meet Jerry Springheel and Harman Singh at Kohat station and old Freeland himself (JDW: My father’s former commanding officer, the one he referred to as ‘that old shite’ for refusing him initial request to transfer to the RAF) in Mari Indus waiting room. He commands Razmak Brigade and greeted me very affectionately. Had breakfast in the waiting room and then found Amar Khan, SSO’s mali, who is the shikari. He takes me round Kalabagh and we buy eggs and wood but nothing to buy in the salt factory. My boat is a small salt boat with a room rigged in the centre, of chattai (JDW: palm fronds) lined with cloth. For’ard in a sort of fo’castle live five boatmen, Amar Khan and two chokras. Aft under a small poop in a sort of well, my bearer Ghulam Rasal does the cooking.

We are now a few miles down river and have stopped to gather clay and stones to build a fireplace. I sit in the sun on the ‘bridge’ and am regaled with the local gossip by Amar Khan. I shoot a turtle after lunch and Ghulam Rasal cuts his finger on the first tin of bully (beef). We tie up for the night at Ganda and I shoot two black partridges with the help of two local villagers and an able piedog retriever.

Hot at night and many mosquitos, but two blankets on before dawn.


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