Schlagwort-Archiv: ride

Katni, 20 March 1893

The natives and namely their leaders had explained to us already the day before that the continuing rains made a dismantling and transfer of the camp impossible as all camels and wagons would get stuck in the mud and furthermore the wet tents would be damaged during the packaging. As they had to agree that the ground where we were offered little special hunting opportunities, especially no tigers,  and hunting results could only be expected at the next camp location, I insisted to break camp and to attempt to reach the next location, Katni, in any condition. After long discussions, I managed to persuade the hunting masters and early in the morning, they started dismantling the camp. The toughest outlook was the upcoming, long march of 23 km in a South-eastern direction; in compensation, the sun made an appearance and dried our soaking wet clothes.

We rode with the riding and hunting elephants in advance as a tiger had killed near the new camp location. The caravan was supposed to follow us. During our long ride we saw with apprehension the damage caused by the continued rain to the forest tracks. Everywhere there were puddles of water and mud so that our elephants sank in deeply. The otherwise dry gorges that crossed the tracks were at places filled with water to a height of a meter.

At the camp in Katni the message soon arrived that the caravan had become completely stuck in the mud and could not advance. As everything had to be packaged differently, it would certainly not arrive earlier than the next morning. The camels especially were slipping in the muddy terrain, so that they could not continue and the weak and badly fed oxen and bulls lacked the strength to draw the impractically built two-wheeled carts.

Sitting on bundles of straw, we were waiting while the shikaris went out with the elephant to confirm the reported tiger. Now and then arrived the first advance parties of the column, the coolies with their load and some soldiers of our escort. Thus we might have waited for about five hours, when the good news arrived that the shikaris had found the tiger and had encircled it. In the quickest pace possible for elephants we went to the location where we arrived completely shaken, but to our great satisfaction the circle was in perfect order. Quickly the positions were assigned and the usual work of the shikaris started.

The hunting ground was a very beautifully situated thick green grass jungle surrounded by tall shala trees and other trees unknown to me which had fragrant, pink butterfly blooms. The tiger soon ran away from the elephants, sneaked around in the jungle for some time and then advanced towards Kinsky who missed, only to retreat back into the thick grass; after some minutes it burst out again with a roar and attacked my elephant. I fired at the tiger now at the feet of my brave „Hathi“ that had not moved. The tiger then which had been hit in the shoulder and lay on the ground turned its head towards me, opened its mouth and showed me its teeth with a roar. A splendid view which made me forget to finish off the tiger with another shot, so that the mighty animal suddenly stood up again and, despite being hit by a second bullet from me, retreated back into the grass jungle.

This started a very exciting chase as the heavily wounded tiger defended itself very energetically and attacked everything that came within range. We were not allowed to leave our position in the circle as this would have opened up gaps through which the tiger might escape. Thus the shikaris rode into the grass to drive the tiger out. It was however already too weak to leave the spot where it lay and was defending its life only in a sitting position. An especially brave elephant attacked directly with a shrill battle cry which these animals trumpet out on such occasions. The elephant charged the tiger and inflicted a deep tearing wound with its tusks on the leg. But the tiger had enough strength left to jump at the elephant and bite its foreleg so that blood was gushing out in streams. After a few attacks of this kind the roar and the fight ended. The tiger had finally perished.

We could only observe the scene as a spectator and could not fire a the elephant with its mahaut and the tiger were so close to each other and we feared hitting either the elephant or the mahaut. The tiger, an old male of over 3 m, was the strongest one we had yet bagged; only after it had perished, could we observe the gaping wound in its flank which the elephant’s tusks had inflicted. But it too was in a bad state and held up its foot in pain and drank its own gushing blood with its trunk.

After the tiger had been photographed, we returned to camp where once more a tiger alarm in the evening provided a talking topic. The supposed appearance of a tiger created great excitement among the coolies until it became clear that the „tiger“ happened to be only an escaped bull that was fighting with another bull in the darkness.

Links

  • Location: Katni, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 20.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The Empress made a stop in Lugano, Switzerland, on her way to Genoa.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Bernhard Lenz“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Massenet’s „Manon“.

Guleria, 17 March 1893

The camp in Dechta Boli was dismantled early in the morning and then the whole caravan moved 13 km to the new camp at Guleria.

Immediately after our arrival, the shikaris set out looking out for tigers with a group of elephants, only to return three hours later with the message that they had looked in all suitable places without finding any tigers. By the way, the natives had predicted that Guleria would be more of a rest stop than a hunting terrain and added that the likelihood was small despite the inviting jungles.

In view of the advanced hour and the great tiredness of the elephants we made a day of rest in Guleria, which greatly aided the pachyderms much strained by the previous days‘ exertions. The involuntary pause of our hunting life — not without reflections about the respective advantages of the writing pen and the gun — was used to complete the mail.

With the approaching darkness came heavy clouds and a downpour started. Even if the tents proved to be impermeable to rain, we still had to suffer from this  disagreeable meteorological phenomenon, as all objects inside the tents, especially the clothes and underwear became completely wet.

Links

  • Location: Guleria, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 17.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Hamlet“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing „Hernani“.

Shingle Creek — Penticton, 15 September 1893

As if our memories of the hunting expedition to the Gold Range should be especially imprinted and the departure from the Rocky Mountains made quite difficult, we enjoyed one of rare beautiful days today. A deep blue cloudless sky arched itself above us. The sun sent warming rays and the delightful fresh mountain air was filled with balsamic pine and fir scent. Numerous butterflies were flying around enjoying the last days of their lives. Colorful gleaming bugs were crawling on the bark of the fallen trees.

Until noon we still stayed in camp and took various photographic images. Then we mounted and off we went towards Penticton; it was quite hot, the path sincerely bad and our otherwise wild but no already tired mustangs were only made to go forward by the constant use of spurs and whip.

In the Indian village, I asked Charley to show me one of the houses and soon I was led by him into his own home where I was received by his very corpulent better half who was wearing some sort of negligee and carried a child on her back in a canvas strap. How astonished was I, however, when entering the log house I saw, instead of the expected weapons, hides and scalps of slain enemies, a sewing machine and a coffee mill and the walls plastered with illustrations cut out of newspapers so that my beautiful ideas which I had developed by reading famous stories about the Indian people had led me astray. Charley’s marriage seems to be particularly blessed as children of all age ranges were crying, shouting and running around in the small room while the eldest daughter was using the sewing machine. The good folk did apparently not consider cleanliness highly. That’s way I did not dare to touch the objects that had made me curious and soon left the living room escaping from the sticky air. In front of the house a couple of old wives had assembled in the mean time, true shrews, that showed themselves highly pleased with our visit, pointing at us with their fingers and were vividly talking among themselves in their guttural language.

The catholic missionary of the place, an old Frenchman who has spent the last 25 years in these regions arrived in a hurry on his horse and not only fully praised the parishioners but knew much interesting things to tell about the Indians, adding many remarks about his life and his new homeland. He especially praised the intelligence of the redskins, that I however never doubted without having by the way given a good impression of it even though or because I had been observing them with a scientific mind.

The Indians of North America, the aboriginal people of the land, had been numerous and powerful still during the last century but have seen an unstoppable decline during the present era, as the prospering of the redskins as hunter, fishermen and warrior peoples seemed incompatible with the rapid advance of modern civilization. Forced to put away their weapons and displaced from their hunting grounds once so rich in game to designated places, reservations,  this people is decaying more and more and faster, for whose blossoming apparently freedom is a vital requirement as the evils of civilization have reached it much faster than the blessings of civilization. Illnesses of all kinds, alcoholism and corruption made a quick entrance and gained distribution among the redskins in the modern period of North America. In contrast only in a limited way were efforts successful to civilize the Indians, to convert them to Christianity, to make them sedentary and turn them into efficient tillers.

In Canada, by the way, the situation of the Indians is much more favorable and their progress in civilization much greater than in the United States. This expresses itself not only in the numerical, moral and material relations of the Indians but also through their attitude they display towards the owners of the territories. While insurrections of Indian tribes in Canada, such as that of the „Blackfoot“ in 1886, against the Whites are happening only rarely, the United States has been almost continuously in small wars against the redskins during the last decades. Here too in the North-east and the Rocky Mountains the fire of insurrection is stoked from time to time.

As in the United States, Indians are also restricted to reservations in Canada. Whereas, however, the 423 Canadian reservations represent mostly productive land valued by the Indians, the Indian reservations in the United States are mostly in worthless or still poor and inhospitable lands whose area is furthermore reduced from time to time. In total numbers, as stated before, the Indians in North America are in a constant decline.

It needs to be mentioned that this dwindling is experienced especially by those tribes known to Europeans through history and novels. Who would not think about Huron, Iroquois, Mohawks, Tuscarora etc. if he reads about the English and French wars in North America during the years from 1744 to 1748 and 1754 to1763? The famous „six nations“ have shrunken so much in numbers that in 1892 there were only 13.621 Indians in the United States, an a mere 8508 living in Canada who were descendants of those tribes whose names are familiar to us from the struggles of Chingachgook and Uncas, the last of the Mohicans, as friends or enemies of the immortal Nathanael Bumppo, the pathfinder and leatherstocking.

The steamer „Aberdeen“ arrived towards 5 o’clock at the wooden pier in Penticton and I then immediately went on board and soon afterwards to bed.

Links

  • Location: Penticton, Canada
  • ANNO – on 15.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Der Prophet“.

Black Mountain — Shingle Creek, 14 September 1893

Due to the stormy cold night spent in the open my cold had grown worse again and, upon the advice of my gentlemen, I had to accept to give the order with a heavy heart to march back as in fact we could not have stayed here for long. We had actually planned to stay two more days on Black Mountain, and I wanted especially to go for a hunt with Charley to a distant rocky mountain. But I believe it myself that I would have been unable to do it given my current condition. Thus we went back to Shingle Creek. I planned to hunt with Wurmbrand along the way down, while Clam was to get down to the valley from one and Imhof and Prónay from another nearby ridge. Slowly we went down to the valley until the path split and Charley explained that it would be better for me to take the more comfortable path on the left, while Wurmbrand and the hunters who carried the rifles and were on foot would take the other path that was in any case rejoining the other one soon.

In an unknown wild region one should never separate oneself from one’s companions and foremost never leave one’s rifle. This was proved right here too. One could hardly speak about a reunion of the paths. The Indian led me across unbelievable slopes and ledges so that I had to admire the dexterity of my dun horse. Soon we met high game but I had no rifle. All calls for Wurmbrand and the hunters were in vain.  Furthermore during this rifleless hunt a dozen grouses sat down only a few paces in front of me and looked at me with wonder. Now my patience was at an end and I ordered Charley in not a very delicate tone to take me the fastest way possible to the camp at Shingle Creek where I found Wurmbrand awaiting me. Without a guide, he too had lost his way for some time.

After the train arrived, the camp was set up. In longer intervals did first arrive Imhof and Prónay with some grouses and then Clam with a bagged mule deer.

To describe the extreme stupidity of the grouse one has to add that some of the Indians accompanying the train column managed to hit some grouses with sticks from their horseback.

Cooking again required our full attention and we composed with united forces a splendid meal of six courses that in our view tasted much better in the wilderness than the finest dinner at Sacher. Apart from the tins there were game cooked in all possible ways, namely however grouse that taste even better than our hazel grouses. As I personally had not yet made much progress in the noble art of cooking, I was mostly asked to pluck the grouses and to compose a stylish French menu while Imhof proved himself as an excellent chef. At a large fire kept up by mighty blocks of felled balsam firs we spent a very agreeable evening. Hodek had to give a speech and so many hunting story from home entertained us. The night was not as cold as the one spent on Black Mountain.

Links

  • Location: Penticton, Canada
  • ANNO – on 14.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Die Rantzau“.

Penticton—Shingle Creek, 12. Sept. 1893

Die Nachrichten, welche wir erhalten hatten, waren sehr günstig; man sprach von ausgezeichneten Erfolgen, die uns nicht ausbleiben könnten, ja es verlautete, dass ein Rudel von 100 Bergschafen durch Indianer bestätigt und ein Mann eigens beauftragt sei, dieses seltene Wild zu beobachten. Gegen derartige, übertrieben scheinende Anpreisungen verhalte ich mich, durch die mannigfachen jagdlichen Misserfolge bei verschiedenen Völkern gewitzigt, sehr reserviert, da mich die Folge noch jedesmal gelehrt hat, dass es mit dem gerühmten Wildreichtum nicht so weit her ist.

Es war beschlossen worden, die Bagage — Gewehre, Zelte, Proviant und die notwendigsten Kleidungsstücke — gleich bei Tagesanbruch auf Pferden verpackt abzusenden, während wir gegen 10 Uhr vormittags folgen wollten. Leider schien auch hier die Pünktlichkeit eine unbekannte Tugend zu sein; denn als ich nach 9 Uhr meine Kabine verließ, waren weder Packpferde noch Indianer zu entdecken. Endlich kamen die Rothäute einzeln, ganz gemütlich herbeigeritten, und auch Mr. Ellis, der einzige Grundbesitzer dieser Gegend, welcher für die Beistellung der Pferde und der als Führer und Jäger erforderlichen Indianer sorgen sollte, schien es keineswegs eilig zu haben und über unsere ganze Expedition recht ungehalten zu sein. Diesem Herrn Ellis, einem gebürtigen Schotten, gehört der ganze Umkreis, ein Tausende von Quadratkilometern umfassendes Gebiet; alle in der Nähe befindlichen Indianer stehen zu ihm in einer Art von Untertanenverhältnis, und er liebt es, sich als König dieses Ländchens zu fühlen und zu zeigen. Mit scheelen Augen beobachtet er das Vordringen und die Erfolge der Canadian Pacitic-Bahngesellschaft in dieser unermesslichen Wildnis, in der er bisher alleiniger Herrscher war und durch 28 Jahre völlig ungestört walten konnte, was begreiflich erscheinen lässt, dass er jeden Fremden als Eindringling betrachtet. Seine Ungnade erstreckte sich daher auch auf uns; wir mussten aber, mit der Beistellung von Mann und Pferd ausschließlich auf ihn angewiesen, gute Miene zum bösen Spiele machen und bei dem Gewaltigen die eindringlichsten Bitten und schönsten Phrasen vorbringen. Gegen 10 Uhr wurde schließlich die Trainkolonne flott und ging unter Kommando unseres Reisemarschalls und Hodeks in die Berge ab; mehrere Indianer, die ihren Tieren schier unglaubliche Lasten aufgebürdet hatten und jene mit Lassos vor sich hertrieben, folgten.

In angemessenem Verhältnisse zu der Verspätung des Bagagetrains kamen auch unsere Leibrosse erst nach 11 Uhr herbei, so dass lmhof hinlänglich Muße hatte, einen der vier unser Schiff umkreisenden Fischadler mit einem glücklichen Schuss herabzuholen. Der Tod eines aus ihrer Mitte schien die Genossen wenig anzufechten, da sie immer von neuem herbeistrichen.

Doch konnten wir ihnen keine weitere Aufmerksamkeit schenken, weil wir aufbrechen mussten.
Jedermann wählte eines der keineswegs schönen, aber kräftigen Indianerpferde aus und trachtete so gut wie möglich, sich mit dem mexikanischen Sattel vertraut zu machen, einem Marterinstrument, welches das Sitzen keineswegs zu einer Annehmlichkeit macht und selbst einem passionierten Reiter einen langen Ritt verleiden kann. Das hohe Sattelgestell, an dem sich vorne der Knopf zum Befestigen des Lassos befindet, zwingt den Reiter, ganz steif und nach Art des von mir perhorreszierten sogenannten „alten Husarensitzes“ in der Gabel zu sitzen; die nur handbreiten Seitenblätter gehen nicht vom Sattel aus, sondern hängen an den Bügelriemen; die Bügel selbst sind unförmlich groß; die Befestigung des Sattels geschieht durch Gurten. ähnlich jenen unseres Damensattels; die Pferde sind mit Stangen aufgezäumt, die bei den einzelnen Rossen die denkbar verschiedensten Formen aufweisen.

Unsere Führer, die für die nächstfolgenden Tage auch als Jäger dienen sollten, waren Vollblutindianer und Mischlinge von dem etwa 150 Köpfe zählenden Stamme der Okinagans, welche die umliegende Gegend bewohnen und sich angeblich durch Arbeitsamkeit und gutes Verhalten auszeichnen; auch sind sie fast sämtlich zum katholischen Glauben bekehrt. Zwei Cowboys, die uns ebenfalls begleiteten, waren den Indianern ziemlich gleich adjustiert; sie trugen breitkrämpige Filzhüte, Wollhemden und lange, mit Fransen besetzte Lederhosen, lederne Mokassins und merkwürdigerweise auch dicke Lederhandschuhe, die an Fechthandschuhe aus Hirschleder gemahnten und Verzierungen in grellen, gestickten Dessins aufwiesen.

Unsere Karawane setzte sich nun durch ein am Rande des Sees gelegenes, auenartiges Terrain bis zur Farm des Mr. Ellis in Bewegung, der hier die nötigen Instruktionen an die führenden Indianer erteilte. Die Farm, aus mehreren kleinen Häusern und Stallungen bestehend, liegt, von Wiesen und einzelnen Feldern umgeben, sehr hübsch unter hohen Bäumen in einem freundlichen, grünen Tal am Ufer des Okinagan-Flusses, dessen besonders klare Wässer eilenden Laufes vorbeiströmen. Mr. Ellis beschäftigt sich hauptsächlich mit der Zucht von Rindern und Pferden, die sich das ganze Jahr hoch in den Bergen aufhalten und daselbst ein halbwildes Leben führen; ein großer Prozentsatz geht durch Abstürze oder als Opfer der Bären zugrunde, so dass man allenthalben Skelette verendeter Tiere sieht; aber immerhin dürfte Mr. Ellis seine Rechnung finden, da ihm die Erhaltung seiner Herden fast keine Kosten verursacht.

Bis zu den höchsten Stellen der steilsten Berglehnen sieht man die Tiere emporklettern, die sich an den Bächen und den sonstigen Trinkwasser bietenden Stellen in größeren Rudeln sammeln. Ich war über das gute Aussehen der Herden in hohem Grad erstaunt, da ich annehmen musste, dass die Tiere in den versengten und verdorrten Lehnen kein genügendes Futter finden könnten; doch hat die Natur hiefür gesorgt, da zwischen den gestürzten Baumstämmen manches Alpenkraut und in den tieferen Lagen eine unscheinbare, blaugraue Pflanze sprießen, die besonders zur Winterszeit ein gesundes und vom Vieh gesuchtes Futter liefern. Bedarf der Farmer einer größeren Anzahl Rinder oder Pferde zum Verkauf, so sendet er seine Cowboys und Indianer beritten in die Berge, damit dieselben die erforderlichen Tiere einfangen und abtreiben. Die Feldwirtschaft wird nur in dem für den Bedarf der Farm erforderlichen Umfang betrieben; als wir Mr. Ellis fragten, ob er auch Weizen baue, bejahte er dies mit dem Zusatz, dass er dies nur seinen Hühnern zuliebe tue.

Am jenseitigen Flussufer drangen wir in das Indianerdorf, das teils aus Hütten, teils aus Wigwams, das ist Zelten, besteht; erstere sind einfache Blockhäuser und mit Rasenziegeln belegt, letztere zeichnen sich nur durch die in ihrem Innern vorherrschende Unordnung aus. Die Haupterwerbsquelle bildet die Viehzucht, welche in derselben Weise wie vom Farmer betrieben wird und einzelnen Indianern bereits ein ansehnliches Vermögen eingetragen haben soll. Rings um die Hütten liegen kleine Felder und sogar Obstgärten, in welchen wir zu unserer Überraschung schwer mit Früchten behangene Bäume erblickten.

Auf einem schmalen Viehpfad, welcher die Lehne entlang führte, ritten wir den Bergen entgegen. Dieser Teil unserer Route war ziemlich eintönig, da die Nadelbäume, zumeist Kiefern, auf dem gelben, sandigen Boden in großen Abständen verteilt stehen und nirgends geschlossenen Wald bilden; erst nach einiger Zeit kamen wir in ein schmales Tal, woselbst sich schöne Ausblicke auf die entfernter liegenden Bergketten erschlossen. Manche steil eingeschnittene Schlucht, in welcher klare Bäche Rossen und Reitern willkommenen Labetrunk boten, musste passiert werden; des schlechten, schmalen Pfades wegen konnten wir fast nur im Schritt reiten und bloß auf einigen kleinen Plateaux war es möglich, für kurze Zeit zu galoppieren. Unser scharfes Auslugen nach Wild hatte keinen Erfolg, da wir außer einigen Falken und Vertretern einer grauschwarzen Hühnerart nichts entdecken konnten; dagegen wurde der Anblick der Gegend wieder freundlicher, und von dem Glanz der sinkenden Sonne schön überstrahlter, dichter Wald zeigte sich uns. Bald darauf überholten wir unseren Train, der sich nur sehr langsam und mit Schwierigkeiten kämpfend vorwärts bewegte, weil die eben erst eingefangenen Mustangs sich, an das Tragen von Lasten nicht gewöhnt, jeden Augenblick niederlegten, so dass unsere Weinvorräte, die Gewehre und der photographische Apparat in arge Gefahr kamen.

Zwei Stunden später erreichten wir ein kleines Tal, wo unter vielhundertjährigen Tannen und Kiefern, am Rand eines Bächleins im Shingle Creek das Lager aufgeschlagen wurde. Nach dem Abpacken der Pferde schritt man an das Aufstellen der Zelte, und bald entwickelte sich ein äußerst reges und fröhliches Leben; Bäume wurden gefällt. Holz gespalten, und in kürzester Zeit loderte ein mächtiges Feuer auf, an dem mehrere Mitglieder der Expedition ihre Kochkunst versuchen mussten, weil wir kein fachkundiges Individium angeworben hatten. Während tagsüber recht angenehme Temperatur geherrscht hatte, wurde es abends empfindlich kühl, weshalb wir recht nahe ans Lagerfeuer rückten.

Die der Lasten und Sättel entledigten Pferde weideten, in ein Rudel zusammengetrieben, das unter den Bäumen spärlich wachsende Gras ab; denn Körnerfutter erhalten die Tiere auch bei den größten Anstrengungen nicht. Überhaupt war die schlechte Behandlung, welche die Pferde durch die Indianer erfahren, auffallend; zu mangelhafter Fütterung trotz harter Anforderungen gesellten sich bei jeder Gelegenheit Fußtritte und Schläge, da der Indianer eben keine Liebe für seine Pferde zu besitzen scheint und sie nur so viel als möglich ausnützt. Wenn man demungeachtet und obgleich die Pferde schon in früher Jugend, oft als Füllen, Dienste leisten müssen, mitunter auffallend gute Exemplare findet und die Tiere im allgemeinen nicht nur reine Füße, sondern überhaupt kein schlechtes Exterieur besitzen, so spricht dies für die Rasse. Die Rothäute bedienen sich nicht immer eines Sattels; sie sitzen häufig nur auf einer Decke ohne Gurte und ziehen dem Pferd als Zaum bloß einen Strick durch das Maul oder begnügen sich mit einer Halfter, so dass es ein fremdartiges, stets fesselndes Bild ist, einen Reiter mit Hilfe derart primitiven Reitzeuges über Stock und Stein rasen zu sehen.

Seitwärts von uns lagerten die Indianer, welche mit ihrer Kochkunst rascher ans Ziel kamen als wir, da es uns noch an Übung fehlte und wir viel Zeit mit Versuchen verloren. Eine ungemein versalzene Suppe und ein ebensolches Gulyas, beides ein sprechender Beweis für die Richtigkeit des bekannten Sprichwortes, dass viele Köche den Brei versalzen, waren das heutige Ergebnis unserer kulinarischen Bildung; doch genossen wir dasselbe lachend und scherzend und saßen dann noch lange beim Lagerfeuer, welches gespenstige Lichter auf die alten Tannen warf, während die Sterne hell zu uns herniederfunkelten.

Derartige Expeditionen haben ihre eigenen Reize; denn man lernt, sich in jede Lage zu schicken, sich allenthalben selbst zu helfen und ist beständig bei Mutter Natur zu Gast. Wenn ich vor die Wahl zwischen einer offiziellen Reise, bei welcher nach endlicher Bewältigung einer langen Reihe von Empfängen und Feierlichkeiten ein vorzügliches Diner, ein bequemes Bett sowie aller erdenkliche Komfort winken, und einem fröhlichen Jagdzug, wie wir ihn derzeit unternehmen, gestellt bin, so werde ich mich wohl ohne Zaudern für letzteren entscheiden.

Für mich, meine Herren und die Diener war je ein Zelt bereitet worden; da aber das Zelttuch ganz dünn, ohne Doppellage und hauptsächlich darauf berechnet war, einem Pferd aufgeschnallt zu werden, so mussten wir uns gut in unsere Pelze einhüllen, um während der kühlen Nacht nicht zu frieren.

Links

  • Ort: Penticton, Kanada
  • ANNO – am 12.09.1893 in Österreichs Presse.
  • Das k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater macht Sommerpause bis zum 15. September, während das k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater die Oper „Romeo und Julie“ aufführt.

Hunting camp at Laroki to Port Moresby, 18 June 1893

Early in the morning we set off from the shore of the Laroki and started the ride to Port Moresby in beautiful clear weather. Our people, the taxidermist who was still occupied with yesterday’s catch and the female corps of baggage carriers would follow in an hour. During the cool morning the ride home was quicker and much more agreeable than the march to the hunting camp. After only 3 hours we had reached the heights above Moresby which offered a wonderful panorama on the harbor, the native settlements, the barrier reef and the blue ocean. The picture was all the more impressive as we suddenly saw this enticing panorama after a monotonous ride of multiple hours through the plain.

In Port Moresby we made our preparations for the upcoming excursion to the Vei Maori river. First „Elisabeth“ would take me to the mouth of the river in the Redscar Bay 46 sea miles out of Port Moresby. The hunting party would then follow with smaller vehicles the Vei Maori river upstream. In the meantime, „Elisabeth“  would anchor in a nautically safe place in front of Yule Island to the Northwest and come and get me on 20 June in the Redscar Bay. In Yule Harbour „Elisabeth“  would also greet in my name the Catholic mission there in which one Dutch and many Belgian missionaries as well as some pious sisters of the congregation of the divine heart perform their beneficial works. I had met, during our stay on Thursday island, one of the missionaries from Yule Harbour and had most friendly been invited by the pater during my voyage on New Guinea. As I could not come personally, I wanted at least that „Elisabeth“ paid the missionaries a visit.

As the coast of New Guinea has many cliffs, reefs and shallow waters in the South and South-west just like everywhere else and the naval maps of this territory still are very imprecise and soundings have not been made in sufficient numbers, the rest of the day was completely spent in meetings with the governor and his officials and the gentlemen of the staff about the planned route.  The sailor who would serve as pilot was an already old man who is employed by a merchant house as captain of a schooner. For 28 years he has been navigating the coasts of New Guinea but was a bit ill. Due to the medicines administered by our chief medical officer the patient was recovering sufficiently to undertake the journey.

The supplies were restocked by buying tins and other provisions. Finally everything was ready for „Elisabeth“ to set out the next morning.

The rearguard of the expedition to the Laroki river returned on board totally exhausted from the march only around 5 o’clock in the afternoon. The people had to cover the distance again during the hottest hours of the day. Some members of the caravan had picked up a fever during the hunting expedition. On board too, this mean illness had claimed  victims as a part of the crew and almost all of our servants were laying sick in bed.

Mallinarich had used the time of our absence to assemble a very nice collection of butterflies and another one of corals. In the latter one there were also again a few new forms very different from those that had been fished out before. Thanks to the activities of Mallinarich specimens of the most original species wandered out of the harbor of Moresby that was full of fishes into alcohol containers.

The loading of coal had been completed long ago and the coaling ship had already departed in the direction of Sydney the day before. Our ship’s condition did not create any problems for the commander to receive a few members of the tiny group of Europeans in Moresby  on board where our music band played happy melodies.

Links

  • Location: Port Moresby, New Guinea
  • ANNO – on 18.06.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Feodora“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

Tanggeng to Buitenzorg, 26 April 1893

At 1 o’clock in the  night the rain finally relented a bit. A short time after the joyful message arrived that it would be possible after all to cross the river as it had rained not as much up in the mountains and the water was falling fast. This message was naturally received with great pleasure. At half past 3 o’clock in the morning we were already ready to mount but as the natives did not seem to be early risers  it took some time until our night caravan started moving. As the horses needed first to be saddled, the drivers awoken and finally lanterns and torches were missing without which it would be impossible to move in the pitch-black night. Energetic sometimes not very courteous words helped to assemble the drowsy people in the place and some time after 4 o’clock in the morning we were riding one after another out of Tanggeng with a torch bearer spaced between every fourth or fifth rider. The expression of torch bearer is somewhat euphemistic as the torches were but burning kindling — naturally once again made out of bamboo!

The heavily swollen Tji Buni was crossed over a bridge; then it went up into the mountains where we often had to dismount as the horses had trouble moving over the smooth steep trails while they were burdened by riders. Thus we advanced reasonably and when we came to the ford at the next river whose crossing was said to be especially dangerous, it was already dawning so that we noticed with real joy how much the water level had fallen in the mean time. The crossing thus did not prove especially difficult. The horses still sunk down deep into the water but reached without troubles the other shore. As quickly as the mountain streams on Java rise into torrents, as quickly the water drains off,  so that the river soon took his usual course. The next and last ford was strangely a bit lower than the first time we crossed it.

After we had successfully crossed a number of rivers  namely Tji Buni, Tji Lumut and Tji Djampang, our mood improved greatly as the most beautiful part of the ride now lay in front of us, namely the route of Tji Djampang to the plantations in Sukanagara.

While climbing a ridge I discovered on a tall tree covered with all kinds of climbing plants multiple monkeys of which I bagged one specimen.This one had a rare, very beautiful long-haired grey coat similar to that of a silky pinscher, a black face and black extremities. After I had handed over the bagged monkey to a coolie and had ridden on some distance I heard again on a tall tree the voices of monkeys and saw a group of the large black Budengs that were sitting quietly in the branches. In spite of the height at which the animals were, I shot and bagged with four shots one of the monkeys, an especially large male that seemed to be the leader of the tribe. The monkey had just crushed down with a heavy fall from a branch, when the whole group started to move vividly. The monkeys jumped wildly around in the branches and rushed from tree to tree. Partly they used lianas that connected the different trees as bridges partly they jumped the wide distances to the next tree, holding on to its trunk only to rush on in an instant. Having lost their leader, the monkeys did not seem to know where to flee and jumped around without a plan so that I succeeded in bagging another six beautiful specimens.

In Sukanagara we were hospitably received again for a short time by Mr. Vlooten. Not yet 3 o’clock in the afternoon, we happily arrived at Tjibeber station. Our horses had performed admirably as we could not spare them in order to arrive on time and thus were required to continuously drive them on the long bad route.

That part of the baggage that had already reached its destination was quickly loaded onto the wagons. The rest of the baggage had not reached Tjibeber and was to be sent after us the next day. At the set hour our train whisked us away to Buitenzorg.

Midway in the route, Mr Kerkhoven, Baron van Heeckeren and Mr. Borrel left the train to return to their plantations. The three gentlemen had been very pleasant hunting companions during the whole expedition thanks to their natural and jovial character. I had learned to esteem them greatly and thus saying good-bye was very heartfelt.

In Buitenzorg whose main street was still populated by many pedestrians I entered the palace of the governor general where we dined talking about the expedition to the camp about Tjipandak.

Links

  • Location: Buitezorg (Bogor), Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 26.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Die Zauberin am Stein“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Die Rantzau“.

Sindangbarang to Tanggeng, 25 April 1893

In tolerable weather we started as usual from Sindangbarang. The routes to Tanggeng, much ruined by the continuing rain, still made it very difficult for our horses. Part of the route — the steep descent down the last ridge — we had to complete on foot as the horses managed to climb down only without load.

The arduous ride was more than compensated by the joys of seeing the splendid landscape again. At the border of the districts of Tjidamar and Djampang wetan we said affectionately good-bye to the chief of the former district; the territory of this dignitary did not offer us much in hunting terms at Tjipandak but he himself had been very courteous and had performed admirably namely in the organization of the hunt.

During our entrance on horses in Tanggeng the sky changed menacingly and soon opened up all sluices; the rain poured down more heavily than we had up to now seen. The flood fell upon the earth no longer in drops but in thick jets, in a moment everything was under water. Around our house a deep lake formed itself. The streams and rivers rose mightily in a short time.

When the storm began the coolies who had been sent ahead with the baggage had already marched beyond Tanggeng and we lamented that probably all our objects, all rifles and catridges would become completely wet. Furthermore Mr. Kerkhoven voiced concerns that the carriers would be unable to wade through the two rivers as the crossing had already proved difficult on our ride to the coast. In fact part of the coolies returned in the evening — the rain still had not diminished in intensity— with completely wet baggage to Tanggeng; the carriers explained that the first river to be crossed had risen so much that it was impossible to cross it. The other part of the coolies that had set out earlier had still managed to cross this river.

Now it was hard to know what to do; as under such circumstances we couldn’t cross the river on horses either. A longer stay in Tanggeng, however, would disrupt the whole planning of the journey, as the next day a special train would be waiting at Tjibeber station and a dinner with the governor general was planned as well as „Elisabeth“ was to be ready to depart under steam in the harbor of Tandjong Priok. But we could not inform anyone of them, neither the railway director, nor the governor nor the ship captain as we were cut off from Tjibeber and thus from Buitenzorg and Batavia. As the railway lines on Java close down for the night at the approach of darkness — there are no night trains here — the third hour in the afternoon would be the latest time of departure for the special train out of Tjibeber. In order to arrive at that time in Tjibeber we would have to ride 47 km on horseback from Tanggeng to the station just mentioned and be ready to depart from Tanggeng at 3 o’clock in the morning which currently seemed impossible.

Thus we sat on the veranda of our inn in a very depressed mood during the whole evening and constantly observed the weather with the same result every time as it was continuously raining heavily and the roaring of the river close by was increasing more and more.

Our mood became worse when Mr. Kerkhoven told uus that the baggage would not reach the train station in time even if we managed to reach Tjibeber on horses the next day. Finally we had seen enough of the weather and went to sleep.

Links

  • Location: Tanggeng, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 25.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Rosenkranz und Güldenstern“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Der Prophet“.

Tjipandak to Sindangbarang, 24 April 1893

Already at 5 o’clock in the morning our rest was interrupted by the coolies who started early to move the baggage to the next way station at Sindangbarang. Later we left the beautiful hunting camp at Tjipandak that had grown on us and followed the train on horses on the same route that we had taken to the camp. At first we thought about hunting some peacocks during the ride but had to drop this project and rode without halt to Sindangbarang where we arrived toward noon.

Some of the horses had been injured during the arduous rides of the last few days and had to be led by the reins in the caravan.

As long as the route led along the sea cost, the temperature was still tolerable thanks to the strong breaking waves. The more we withdrew from the coast the more severe became the heat. The atmosphere was filled with muggy weather that was released in a heavy storm in the afternoon. Our activities in Sindangbarang were not particularly notable; as we slept the whole afternoon while the evening hours were spent preparing the mail.

Links

Sindangbarang to Tjipandak, 19 April 1893

A consequence of the unwelcome Ramelan feast was that we, unfortunately, were absolutely unable to get our horses in the morning and neither horse keepers nor coolies nor village elders could be found. Everybody was still at rest after the joys of the day before and we were finally  starting to move towards 6 o’clock in Sindangbarang, despite being ready for departure since half past 4 o’clock. Sleepily the caravan moved towards the sea.

The ride in the soft sand of the dune was very attractive as the prescribed route led almost all alongside the coast and we had the wide blue sea with its mighty waves crashing into the shore to our right and the green coastal hills on the left. The morning before sunrise was agreeably cool and the fine water mist of the crashing waves was refreshing us and the horses. After two hours the tide increased more and more and the outliers of the waves were splashing under the feet of our horses. The crashing waves on the Southern coast of Java that approach in giant waves from the open sea only to foamingly break against the insurmountable wall is one of the noble sights of nature which the eye never tires to look at, which the memory will forever preserve. Enormous, boundless, holy is the power of the elements; how small and weak is man in comparison!

Thousands of crabs were running back and forth on the warm sand in which we found large pieces of pumice which the sea has disgorged and which are said to come from the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883.

Near a cadaver of a dead horse I observed a sea eagle with a fully white breast and head in the same color. Later I saw a second specimen sitting on a barren palm tree.

At one place rocks were barring the way to the beach so that we had to take a detour deep into the shore land- Even there we were faced with many obstacles, especially the rather wide Tji Udjong (Oedjong) that lay in such turns that we had to cross it three times in a very short distance. The first time on an improvised raft on which the horses were loaded too. the other two times wading across whereas we were submerged rather deeply in the water. An especially stubborn pony jumped from the raft into the river and swam happily to the other shore so that this intermezzo had no other disadvantage than the fact that the rider of that pony had to sit on a water-soaked saddle.

The wading of the river offered a pretty view due to the depth of the water: In front rode always our local guide, then followed I on my white mare which by the way behaved very sensibly in the water, then the other gentlemen and at the end the hunting baggage train on ponies which advanced partly swimming partly splashing and sometimes only keeping the head above the water.

We became in fact completely wet during each crossing but considered this an agreeable bath as the heat was intense. The sun mean very well, it sent its vertical hot rays down upon us. The temperature was today for once suitable for an equatorial zone!

Again at the beach we finally turned after a ride of 20 km to the north and stood after a short while in front of the camp in Tjipandak which we would occupy during the next few days. Something more habitable and cosy one could not find. With loud shouts of joy and appreciation we greeted Mr. Borrel, a  friend of Kerkhoven, who had rushed ahead a few days before to create this camp here. At the shore of the glittering blue Tji Pandak that rushes similar to a mountain river were huts between green trees, built airily completely out of bamboo while  palm leaves formed the walls and the roof. In the center of the camp stood some kind of platform on poles under a palm leaves roof which was to serve as our dining room. To the right was my accommodation, to the left those of my entourage. In the background were huts intended for Hodek and the servants. For the horses there were provided open barns. In front of the camp there was a small hut in the water to allow taking a bath or sunning oneself without the danger of catching a sunstroke.

This was all but just the right kind for a camp in the jungle. Mr. Borrel had fully taken into consideration the climatic and local relations and left out every unnecessary comfort; one could thus live completely out in the open but was protected against the sun and enjoyed the agreeable refreshing night thanks to the river nearby.

Thus we intend to live truly in an Arcadian way in our small valley cut off from the world. The hours not devoted to hunting we wanted to spend in conversation and rest in the dining hut, dive from time to time into the water of the mountain river whose clear cool water offers a delicious bath and would refresh us. No mail, no telegraph, no steaming locomotive would interrupt the pleasant calm. I greet you, virginal nature that surrounds us here in such a lovely manner! Today still, a hunt was planned. The result of my desires namely should be to bag a Banteng and bring its splendidly horned head back as a trophy.  Bantengs (Bos sondaicus) which live in herds are truly the largest wild cattle of the present era in the Indian islands, Siam and Burma. Mr. Borrel reported that all was ready and placed himself as a guide on a Sandelhout pony  at the front of the column. Close to the camp fresh tracks of Bantengs had been found and thus two drives were to be undertaken from there. The ride to the place was again very tiring for the horses as we had to pass over very steep ridges and the river had to be waded across three times. The first two crossings went rather well, at the last one we had to go so deep into the rapidly flowing water that the small ponies came across only with difficulties.

The ground we wanted to hunt in had a different character than the areas we had up to now crossed. The formation, however, was the same, but here the highlands cut by valleys and filled with gorges was not covered equally with woods anymore but had extended green areas  with Alang grass between patches of woods. Apparently large forest fires had raged here some time ago and laid bare the ground in numerous places.

This spot was the favorite place of the Bantengs that stay in the thickets of the woods during the day and venture out towards evening to those spots where the Alang grass offers saplings for grazing.  The only possible art of hunting Bantengs here is the drive, a chase through the impenetrable thickets is not possible. After the end of the rainy season, that is the beginning of May,  the natives ignite the dry Alang areas so that then the game can be easily discovered in forest clusters and confirmed. Drives can then be immediately undertaken. Unfortunately my presence on Java was still during the rainy season, which made hunting extremely difficult due to the tall and still green Alang grass. The discovery of game was nearly impossible and even game that emerged out of a thicket was only visible from a few paces away in the tall dense grass — The Alang grass was in many places so high that not even a horse could be seen in it, the points of the grass stalks could even rise higher than the head of a rider.

Hunting Bantengs is performed in the current era in the following matter: The drivers surround a clearing and defend it in creating great noise with bamboo rattles after the lifting shot, while individual hunters enter into the clearing and as soon as they have found a track, send out the dogs that will bark as soon as they discover the game. If this method is unsuccessful, all are ordered to advance into the clearing if this is possible but usually without much success due to the hunting methods used everywhere in the southern regions.

Disorder, carelessness and waste of time by the drivers was very noticeable today. In a systematic and correct drive it should not have been too difficult in my opinion to bag some Bantengs. But then this rare species would soon go extinct. Apparently it is only due to the deficiency of the hunting organization that this mighty wild cows had not yet been eradicated.

As our chief hunter served a Mohammedan preacher (Haji) who was considered the best authority on hunting matters here and forcefully took charge of the affair.

The first drive ended completely without a result. Originally it was intended to follow-up the first drive with a second drive but Mr. Kerkhoven believed to desist as the drive had made all game escape so that there was no hope to achieve better results in the second attempt. Thus we returned, crossing the river three times again, to our palm huts where a meal cooked by a Javanese cooking artist was awaiting us. After the conclusion of the meal we went to rest at an early hour of the night.

I was already sleeping when a loud noise woke me as close to my rest an animal voice was heard. I jumped up and soon noticed the animal whose sounds had awoken me so abruptly. It was a gecko, one of these large lizards whose loud screams might mislead a novice to  think that it was a large animal. The light of a few matches which I had quickly ignited chased away the intruder that did not appear again during the night.

Links

  • Location: Tji Pandak, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 19.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Das Heiratsnest“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Der fliegende Holländer“.