Siriska to Alwar, 27 February 1893

At half past 4 o’clock there was a big fire alarm in the camp as one of tents in the second row that had been abandoned the day before was ablaze and was consumed by the flames within minutes. Fortunately, there was no wind, so the fire did not spread.

The day was marvelous and made the separation from our beautiful camp at Sariska very difficult. We had spent such agreeable days in the camp that I will always remember my time spent there — namely my first two tigers. The official travel program strictly required me to depart. The maharaja of Jodhpur was expecting me the next morning and one has to treat Indian princes with care, especially if they are  in favor of the English government. So we said farewell to our hunting companions, the mahauts, shikaris and drivers and rode away in the fresh clear morning.

Halfway through the journey we met Mrs. Fraser, the resident’s wife,  to whom I let myself be introduced and with whom I rode for some distance thanking the lady for her amiable care during our stay in the camp. Mrs. Fraser who had participated repeatedly in tiger hunts originally had the intention to pitch her tent in our camp too as she deemed her presence useful to care for a sick person of the expedition or to arrange the flowers on the table. As I wanted to spare the lady the uncomfortable life in camp, I had asked General Protheroe already quite some time before the arrival to the camp to dissuade Mrs. Fraser from her idea. This turned into a prolonged diplomatic negotiation between the general and the resident which ended in the compromise of Mrs. Fraser pitching her own camp at some distance from ours. From there she bound and wove sweet little somethings for our hunting life — rewarding evil with kindness in noble female manner — adding sweets to the menu, decorating the tents with her own sketches, sending booklets for us to sign.

Our caravan from Sariska to Alwar was of considerable length. in front rode the mounted guard followed by us on horses then the servants, the scientists, partly on elephants partly in two-horse carriages then the camels and finally the huge baggage train with the kitchen, ammunition and the rifles on ox carts. In honor of the expedition leader it must be said that all went according to plan. When we arrived towards 11 o’clock in the morning at Alwar station, our baggage was quickly stowed while our chef Wutzier announced with satisfaction that a hot breakfast was ready in the dining wagon.

At the station the youthful maharaja Jai Singh paid his respects to see me off, presented me with his well done portrait, inspected my wagons and then had himself informed about the expedition where he displayed vivid satisfaction about the success of our tiger hunt.

The special train took us to Jodhpur where we were due to arrive the next morning. The Rajputana-Malwa part of the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway which we first used runs south to Bandikui. From this intersection of the line leading east to Bhartpur and Agra and in the other direction towards Jodhpur the railway continues west to Jaipur and Phulera, then South-west by the way of Ajmir to Marwar. Here it is connected to the narrow gauge Jodhpore Bikanir Railway which leads to Jodhpur in a northwestern direction.

We had entered the train in Alwar which we had already used on our trip from Agra to Bhartpur. The train was staffed with the same crew which had shown its interest in hunting during the trip to Bhartpur which was the cause that shortly after departure from Alwar towards Bandikui we made an abrupt halt in open space. The hunting friends reported that they had seen gazelles nearby. I now advanced a few hundred meters and bagged a female gazelle as well as a  fawn while Wurmbrand shot a strong male. After this exciting success we continued our cheerful railway hunt in which we made three further stops to hunt black-bucks, so that I bagged a strong male and Clam a female. We stood on the platform of our wagon and fired at full speed on sitting, fleeing or flying game whereas we had to aim and fire differently than the common way. This incredibly entertaining way of hunting resulted in a booty of 130 pieces among which were one jackal, one brown eagle, various falcons and harriers, partridges, doves and parrots. The locals looked surprised and even more so did the station keepers when they saw the moving train out of which rang out shots without interruption until the approaching darkness made us return from the platform to the coupes.

Links

  • Ort:  Alwar, India
  • ANNO – on 27.02.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater plays a drama „Kriemhilde“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater presents the ballet „Tanzmärchen“.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*

Solve : *
12 − 4 =