Digital Library of Georgia Logo

The sunny South. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1875-1907, October 19, 1878, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page.

ME FLOWERS VOL. IV. J. H. & W 33. SEALISJp^r K Vo N Ks ATLANTA, GA., SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1878. TERMSmS EK ANNUM ADVANCE. .NO, 174 CfliSEO BTIHISEPOH; -UK,— CHEEKY PIllEOSOrilY. Search along the path of life For the hidden flower or iruit, Even on the stoniest soil, A fair blossom may find ro< t, Jleserts have their fertile spots. Hope may flower out of tears And the violet sprint; from dust That is watered by our tears. Sunshine cannot always gleam. Else the stars could not lie seen; Boses fade that we may prize The less showy evergreen. Blossoms that we loved in May Ere November tire you know. Light that slept so sweet on flowers Now gleams fairer .111 tin-snow. Atlanta. Lskklohn. TIh* Idols Head. A Thrillinii Story of the In (iian Mutiny. The Mutiny in India ! Ah, that was a time of horror. 1 was in the thick of it. I, Edward Harley, Colonel in the l.tth liegiment compos ed mostly of natives under English olilcers. It was in 1 s.Vi, we were stationed at Jubbalpore in the very heart of India. The town has become of importance since—made so by the Horn bay railroad; then it was an out-of-the-way station, but a very pleasant one—splendid boating on the deep Nerbudda, and magnificent fanning for big game in the vast outlying forests .;nd jungles, My great friend was a man named Simmonds. He was just of my own standing. Wo had come out in the same ship, bad marched up the coun try together, and were almost like brothers. He was an Etonian, and as fond of the water and of sport as I was. We had great times togetln r, i it ; Mot of that I or going to t.U von nr," ■ j ne p ople m the.n ’hills are e’lllea (jor, s, they are a true Liil tribe; that is to say abor,.fi nes, belonging to the negro tyfe. The chiefs are of mixed blood, but the people are almost black. They are supposed to be Hindoos in point of religion, bnt are utterly superstitions and ignorant. Their priests are a sort of cross between a Brahmin priest and a negro fetish man, and used to charm away the tiger from the villages with incantations. Here, as in other parts of India, were a few wandering fakirs, who had an extraordinary reputation for holiness and wisdom. The people would go to them from great distances for charms or predictions, and believed in their power with implicit faith. At the time when we were at Jubbalpore, there was one of these fellows, whose reputation complete ly eclipsed that of all his rivals, aDd nothing could be done until his opinion had been asked and his bkssiDg obtained. All sorts o 1 marvel ous stories were constantly coming to our ears of the unerring foresight with which he pre dicted the termination of disease, both in men and animals, and so generally was he believed iD, that the colonel ordered that no one con nected with»the regiment should consult him, tor these predictions very frequently brought their own fultiiment; for those who were told thaj an illness would terminate fatally, lost all hope, and literally sat down to die. However, many of the stories that’we had heard could not be explained upon these groands, and the fellow and his doings were often talked over at mess; some of the men scofling at the whole business, others maintaing that some of these fakirs cer tainly had the power of predicting events; citing many well authenticated anecdotes upon the subject. The older oliicers were the believers, we young fellows were the scoffers. But for the well known fact that it is very seldom in deed that these fakirs will utter any of their predictions to Europeans, some of us would have gone to him to test his powers. As it was noneot us had ever seen him. He lived in an old ruined temple, in the mid dle ot a large patch of jungles at the foot of the hills, some ten or twelve miles away. I had been at Jubbalpore about a year, when Iwas woke up one night, at about two o’clock, by a Dative who came in to say that about eight o’clock, a tiger had killed a man in his village and had dragged off the body. Simmonds and I were constantly out after tigers, and the peo ple in all the villages within twenty miles, knew that we were always ready to pay for early in formation. This tiger had been doing great daarnge.and had carried off’thirty or forty men, women, and children. So great was the fear of him,indeed,that people in the neighbouraoods he frequented scarcely dared stir out of doors, except in parties ot five or six. We hat) had several hunts after him, but like all man-eat rs, he was obi and awfully crafty, and although we* had got several snap shots at him,he had always managed to save his skin. In a quarter-of-an-hour after the receipt of the message, Charley Simmonds and I were on the back ot the elephant, which was our joint property, our shikaree, a capital fellow, was on foot beside us, and with the native trotting along in front as guide, we went off at the best pace of old Begaum. The village was fifteen miles away,but we got theresoon after daybreak, and were received with delight by the popula tion. In half-an-honr the hunt was organized, all the male population turned out as beaters with sticks, guns, tomtoms, and other instru ments for making a noise. The trail was not difficult to find. A broad path, with occasional smears of blood, showed where he had dragged his victim through the loDg grass to a clump of trees, a couple of hundred yards from the village. We scarcely expected to find him here, but the villagers hung back while we went forward with cocked riffes. We found, Thomas Carlisle. however,nothing bnt a few bones an l a quantity of blood. The tiger ha 1 mile off at the ap proach of daylight to the jungle, which was about two miles off’. We traced him easily enough, and found that he had entered a large ravine from which several smaller ones branched off'. It was an awkward place, as it was next to impossible to surround it perfectly with the number of men at our command. We posted them at last all along the upper ground, and told them to make up in noise what they want ed in number. At last all was ready; we went back to the month of the ravine and gave the signal. However, lam not telling you a burn ing story, and and need therefore only say that do what we could we could neither disturb nor find him. In vain we pushed Begaum through the thickest of the jungle, which clothed the bottom and sides of the ravine, while the men shouted, beat their tomtoms, and showered im precations of all kinds against the tiger himself and his ancestors to their remotest generation. The day was tremendously hot, and after three hours' search, we gave it up for awhile, and lay down in the shade, while the shikarees made a long examination of the ground all round the hill side to be sure that he had not left the ra vine. They came back with the news that no traces could be discovered, and that, beyqwl»R doubt, he was still there. A tiger will crouag^ up in an exceedingly small hole, and will some times almost allow himself to be trodden on be- l ire moving. However we determined to have one more search, and if that should prove un successful, to send off to Jubbalpore for some more of the men to come out with elephants, and to keep him a prisoner until the arrival of our reinforcements. Our next search was no more successful than our first had been, and having, as we imagined, examined every clump and crevice in which he could have been con cealed, we had just reached the upper end of the ravine, when we heard a tremendous roar, followed by a perfect babel of yells and screams from the natives. The outburst came from near the mouth of the valley, and we felt at once that our prey had escaped, Wo hurried back to find, as we expected, that the tiger was gone. He had burst suddenly out from his hiding place; had seized a beater, torn him terribly and made across the open plain. This was terribly provoking, however there was nothing to do for it but to follow. This was easy enough, and we traced him to a detached patch of wood and jungle two miles distant. This wood was four or live hundred yards across, and the ixclamations of the peo ple at once told ns that it was the one in which stood the ruined temple inhabited by the fakir of whom I have been telling you. I should tell yon that as the tiger broke out, our shikaree who was stationed there had fired at him, and, he declared, wounded him. It was already getting late in the afternoon, and it was hopeless to attempt to beat the jungle that night, we therefore sent a runner with a note to the colonel,asking him to send the work ing elephants and to allow a party of volunteers to march over at night to help surround the jun gle when we commenced beating it in the morn ing. We based our request upon the fact that the tiger was a notorious man-eater, and had been doing immense damage,' We then had a talk with our shikaree, and A xA off to bring pro visions for the people out with ns, and set them to entting sticks and grass to make a cordon of fires. We both felt considerable uneasiness respect ing the priest, who might, at an moment, be siezed by the enraged tiger. The natives would not allow that there was any cause for fear, as the tiger would not dare to touch so holy a man. Our belief in the reverence of the tiger for sanc tity was bv no means strong, and we determin ed to go in and warn him of the presence of the brute in the woods. It was a mission with which we could not entrust any one,as no native would have entered into the jangle for untold gold; so we mounted the Begaum again and moved into the woods. The path was pretty wide, and as we went along almost noiselessly, for the Bega um was too well trained to tread upon fallen sticks, it was just possible that wo might come upon the tiger suddenly, so we kept our riffes in readiness in our hands. Bresoutly we came in sight of the ruins. No one was at first visible; bur almost at the moment the fakir stepped out from the temple. He did not see or hear us, for we were rather behind him, but at once pro ceeded in a high voice to break into a sing-song prayer. lie had not said two words before his voice was drowned in a terrific roar, and in an other moment the tiger had sprung upon him; struck him to the ground; seized him as a cat would a mouse, and started off with him in a trot. He evidently had detected our presence for he came right towards ns. We halted Bega um, and with our fingers upon the trigger,wait ed for the favorable moment. He was a hundred yards from us when he struck down his victim, he had lessened the distance by some five and twenty when he saw us. He stopped for an in stant in surprise, and Charley muttered: 'Both barrels, Harley,’ then the beast turned to plunge into the j tingle, but as we got sight of his side we sent lour heavy bullets crashing into him and he rolled over lifeless. We went up to the spot, made the Begaum give him a kick to make sure he was perfectly dead, and then got off to exam ine the unfortunate native. The tiger had seiz ed him by the shoulder, which was terribly torn, and the arm broken. He was still perfect ly conscious. We atouce fired three shots, our usual signal that the tiger was dead, and in a few minutes were surrounded by the villagers, who hardly knew whether to be more delighted at the death ol their enemy, or grieved over the injury ot the fakir. We proposed taking the latter to our hos pital at Jubbalpore; this he altogether refused, bnt we finally persuaded him to allow his arm to be set and bis wound dressed in the first place by our surgeon, after which he could go to one ot the native villages and be treated in accord ance with his own notions. A litter was soon improvised, and away we went to Jubbalpore which we reached soon after eight o’clock. The fakir refused to allow himself to be taken into the hospital, so we brought out a couple of tres- sels, put the litter upon them, and the surgeon set his arm and dressed his wound by torch light, when he was lifted into a dhoolie, and his bearers again prepared to start ior their village. Hitherto lie had scarcely spoken a word, but he now brieffy expressed his deep gratitude to Sim monds and myself. We told him that we would come over to sou him shortly, and hoped to find him gottiug on rapidly. Another minute and he was gone. It happened that we had three or four fellows away on leave or on staff duty, and several oth er.-, knoekod up with fever just at that time, so that the duty foil very heavily on the rest of ns, and it was over a moDth before we had time to ride over to see him. M e had heard that he was going on well, but we were surprised to find, on reaching the village, that ho had ulroa-_ dy returned to his old abode in the jungle. How eve, we had made up our minds to see him, es pecially as we agreed that we would endeavor f ! to persuade him to do a prediction for us, and so we turned our horses’ heads towards the jun gle. We found him sitting on a rock in front of the temple, just where he had been seized by the tiger. He rose when we rode up. ‘I knew that yon would come to-day, sahibs, and was joyful in the thought of seeing those who have preserved my life.’ We are glad to see you looking pretty strong again, though your arm is still in a sling,’ I saia; for Simmonds was not good at Hindostanee. ‘How did yon know that we were coming ?’ I enquired, when we had tied up our horses. ‘Siva has given to his servant to know many things,’ he said, quietly. •Hid you know beforehand that the tiger was going to seize you?’ I asked. •I knew that a great daDger threatened; and that Siva would not let me die until my time had come.’ •Could yon see into our future ?' I asked. The fakir hesitated, looked at me for a mo ment earnestly,to see if I was speaking in mock- erv, and then said: •The sahibs do not beiieve in the power of Siva or of his servants. Tnev call his messen gers imposters, and scoff at us when we say what will happen.’ ‘No, indeed,’ I said; ‘my friend and I have heard of so many of your predictions coming true that we are really anxious that you should tell us something of the future. If you feel grateful to us for that tiger business you will do as we ask you.’ The lakir nodded his head, went into the tem ple, and returned in a minute of two with two small pipes, used by the natives for opium smoking, and a brazier of burning charcoal. They were already charged. He made signs to us to sit down, and lay down on the ground in front of each ot us. Ihen he began singing in a low voice, waving a stick which he held in his hand. Gradually his voice rose and his ac tion became more v^Dlenh As tar as I could make out, it was an invocation that Siva would give some glimpse of the future which would benefit the sahibs who bad saved the lire ot his servant. Presently he darted forward, gave us each a pipe, too.-*, two red-hot pieces ol charcoal in his fingers without seemiDg to know that theywere hot,put them upon the pipes,and ere reaay to carry t e -u.uugu, uuu mw put the i ipo to my lips. j. telt at once teat it ,’as opium, of which I ha-.- once before made an xperiment, but mixed With some other sub- tanoe, which was, I imagine, haschish, a pro bation ol hemp. Three or four pnffs, and I tit a drowsiness creeping over me. I saw. as hrough a mist, the fakir swaying himself back wards and forwards, his arms waving and his ace distorted as if in a tit. Another minute nd the pipe slipped from my fingers, and I fell aack insensible. How long I lay there Ido not now. I woke with a strange and not nnpieas- nt sensation, and presently became conscious uat the lakir was gently pressing, with a sort of bampooing action, my temples and head. i'Len he saw that I opened my eyes he left me, nu performed the same process upon Charley. a a few minutes he rose from his stooping po- itio n waved his hand in token of adieu, and aiked slowly hack into the temple, \s he disappeared I sat up. Charley did the ‘ e We stared at each other for a minute About speaking, and then Charley said: •This is a rum go, and no mistake, old man. •You’re right. Charley, My opinion is we’ve ade two fools of ourselves. Let s be off out ot We staggered to our feet, for we both felt like unken men, made our way to our horses, ured a mussuck of water over our heads, took Irink of brandy from our flasks, and then, -ling more like ourselves, mounted and rode t of the jungle. For some time neither of us spoke, and then arley said, with a slight laugh: •Well Harley, it’ the glimpse ot futurity which ,ad is true, all I can say is that it was extreme- unpleasant.’ , ‘That was just my case, Charley. ‘My dream, or what ever you uke to call it, s about a mutiny of the men. •You don’t say so, Charley?’ I exclaimed; ‘so ,s mine. This is monstrously strange, to say s least ot it; ‘however,you tell your story hrst, d then I will tell you mine.’ ■It was very short,’ Charley said. ‘Me were mess—not in our present mess-room Ue iel- ,vs of some other regiment with us. Sudden- without any waraing, the wul ^ 8 Z® r ® i “E 1 ‘ a crowd of Sepoys, who opened fare right to us Half the fellows were snot down at ce the rest of ns made a rush to our swords st as the niggers came swarming in ax the ndows. There was a desperate tight tor a rno- “nt I remember that Subadar 1’iran, the ladiest fellow in the regiment, by the way. de a rush at me, and I shot him through the ad with a revolver; at the same moment a ball t me and down I went. Just then a Sepoy I dead right upon me, sheltering me trom ,M The light lasted a minute or two longer. ! ancv a few fellows escaped, for I heard shots tside and then the place became quiet. In other moment 1 heard a crackling, and saw it the devils had set the mess-room on fare, man who was lying close to me got up and iwled to the window, but was shot down from a outside he moment he showed himself. 1 is hesitating whether to do the same or to lie II and be smothered, when the thought fiash- across my mini that there was a place under e mess-room, half cellar, halt ice-house, built keep wines, soda water and so °n, cooi, and as to bring them in without taking them rough the air. The entrance was by some !ps, through a sort of trap ni tho uinu-room. ith the greatest difficulty I rolled the dead be- Se, crawled along into the next loom, ised the lid of the trap, which was very be >, d stumbled down the steps the P olosmg er my head with a bang, lhat is all 1 remem