February 11th 1944


Yesterday evening I go out with C.P. Gouldsbury after jungle sheep but do not get a shot. We see a couple of red mongeese, with bluish grey heads and tail underparts – looks more like an otter. This morning we ride up to about 7200’ amongst the grassland switch blades where there is a shooting camp. We have lunch and then I am left with Poosari and a houseboy for the night. We go out at 5.30 and sit on a hillside looking for sambhar but only see a small stag about a mile away. The sun goes in, it gets rather cold, and we return to camp about 7.30.

Whilst discussing tomorrow’s order of battle I ask what time we go off and the boy points to the moon. I think this is a bit odd, when he says ‘big stag’ and there is a stag with its family on the skyline about 200-300 yards behind us. We stalk it and I try a shot with the .303. The sambhar is below the crest and it’s so dark at 7.55pm that I have difficulty in getting a bead (JDW: bead sight). I see the strike in front of his nose and he goes onto the skyline where I get in another at his behind. I hear no dull smack, but he leaps in the air and vanishes – quien sabe?

I return to a bath and some whisky. The hut is wood and grass, daubed over with “matti”, with bedroom, bathroom and saloon.

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