I get 14 days leave and go up to stay with C.P. Gouldsbury, a planter in the High Range, at Yellapatty, some 18 miles from Munnar. I travel up in the train with one Daphne Acton whom I met in a “conga” at Coonoor the other day. I spend the first night at the Club at Munnar and Mrs G. Collects me the next day.
We have quite a party the night before with the two Boyd daughters and a couple of R.A. majors, breaking o/s gramophone records on each other’s heads. Yesterday morning I walk out with a .22 in “Whipsnade”, a prolific patch of jungle opposite the bungalow, and bag three Malabar red squirrels, one of which I lose as it falls onto the top of a dense thicket. I also miss an eagle of sorts, and see a couple of black monkeys which are getting scarce about here. Yesterday evening out with Poosari, the shikari for Sambhar, but I only see a couple of hinds and get back about 8.20. It gets damn cold waiting from 5.30 to 7.30 for them to come out of the jungle into the tea.
Today I go out with a .22 in the morning, unsuccessfully, and am now (4.55pm) sitting on a mountain spur spying out the land – i.e. the jungle and tea below. I am about 7000’ and below me is a saucer shaped valley of 6000’ or so, with the factory lines and much tea in it. Above me towards the grassy heights where the ilex live and away over the ridge lower down I can see the plains 40 miles away or so. I come up here on the back of a horse with two lads carrying my guns (.430 and a borrowed .303), sweaters and the tea. Poosari is now glued to the thin end of a telescope. I could buy me a wife and live here I think!
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