December 16th 1943


The scheme finishes and I meet Phillips (14/10 Baluchis) who used to be Staff Captain Kohat, and he takes me back to lunch. This includes curry and one Captain asks me kindly if I have ever eaten chapattis before?! That evening I climb a hill and see a cheetah. Next day with Brigadier O’Carroll Scott to Mysore to meet S.A.S.O. and fix up some air co-operation for smashing Jap bunker positions. Then back to Sultan’s Battery where 25 Division are and I stay in the Gunners Mess and enjoy a good few whiskies.

This morning we drive out into the Maharaja of Mysore’s game preserve where the gunners are shooting and where I have business to do. A great dark striped tiger leaps across the track ahead of our jeep and the Brigadier stands up with his shotgun, which he had previously loaded with ball, and looks fierce. Much teak forest round here, and the jackals were noisier last night than I ever heard before. Now sitting in my 180lb-er (JDW: tent) on my camp bed which has again given way at the sides. I wear my blue battle dress of nights and it is damn cold. I visit a jungle craft school today where the troops are taught to make shelters etc and the most fearful booby traps, with sharp fire hardened bamboo dipped in poison meat.

I love this country and the High Range better even than Assam. A Christmas card airgraph arrives from Mhairi and a letter from Tony Irwin, saying that Reggie Wall was missing at home.

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