November 3rd 1941 – On the Indus


My last three pigeons have gone bad, which has rather put my calculations out, as I had hoped to take some game back to Kohat. I shoot some more partridge and another quail. Also a “Kunj” which the crew fancied for their dinner. I go out 9-10pm in a village after pig (Bhik) but though I see them in the fields they don’t come near enough for a shot by moonlight. Reading Somerset Maugham’s ‘Altogether’ again, and as usual it sets one thinking. No duck seen for two days now, and nothing bar that first mugger.

Then, all of a sudden, three partridge with six shots at Norang, where the Lambardar’s son (JDW: Punjabi word meaning ‘village head’) took us round. Next morning two more, making 5 for 13. Certainly an improvement. The 15lbs of potatoes have run out, so now it’s only game and chappatis. They all drink ‘lassi’ down here, sour milk churned up with ghee, but if you pour it straight down like medicine and don’t worry about the taste, it’s quite refreshing.

Chased duck yesterday at long range with the.22, and though I could place a shot amongst them, they never seemed to come to any harm.

I hope I haven’t been recalled! Wonder how the war’s going? They measure distance in “Kos” here, 1.5 miles, which I never heard before. (JDW: The kos is an ancient mathematical unit of distance that has been in use in the Indian subcontinent for over three thousand years. My father was a bit out – it measures 2.25 miles. See Kos)

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