Tjipandak, 21 April 1893

The outlook of catching Bantengs was not very good. Mr. Kerkhoven did not feel well in the morning and decided to stay in camp. Our chief hunter, the Mohammedan Haji, had received news that his daughter had died during the night from fever, an illness that had broken out only nine hours before. The poor man immediately departed to his far away home village to attend the funeral of his dead child.

Thus  we rode under the guidance of Baron van Heeckeren into the hunting ground where we had already hunted the day before and where we would hunt on the opposite ledge of our hunting stands of the day before. The drive again took up three hours. I had a very beautiful stand with good open space. In front of me lay a valley which looked very inviting, but unfortunately nothing emerged out of it. I believed however once hearing noise of breaking. The drivers too claimed to have seen a Banteng. As no shooter noticed anything, this bull must have been a mythical one.

The heat was not as sweltering hot as the day before but still  severe, so that upon my insistence another drive was improvised. The drivers ignited the grass from all sides and entered a certain distance into the jungle  but soon re-emerged out of the thickets. Due to the tiredness of the drivers and their lack of engagement this drive too ended without success.

After the usual bath while wading the river we were already at 4 o’clock in the camp where we failed to meet Mr. Kerkhoven as he had gone out for a peacock hunt, a good sign for his recovery.

It still seemed to early to stay at home and thus we picked up our pellet guns and hunted in the thickets close to our camp to complete the ornithological collection. Even though it was very difficult to advance in the jungle and the nearly impenetrable Alang grass so that we had to struggle at nearly every step, we nevertheless bagged in a relatively short time a quite respectable quantity of birds, among them some interesting species such as the multi-colored Javanese pink-necked green pigeon (Osmotreron vernans); then the green imperial pigeon (Carpophaga aenea); furthermore brown large cuckoo dove (Macropygia emiliana); lineated barlet (Cyanops lineata), red minivets; Java sparrows (Munia oryzivora) and multiple specimens of a glittering dark-green glossy black mynah (Calornis chalybea), as well as various species of swallows. In the evening Mr. Kerkhoven returned from his hunt with a beautiful Javanese peacock hen.

When we assembled in the camp, a heavy rain comae down, that even pierced the roofs of our huts. Still we passed the time in a  very cozy manner: Our hunters yodeled and Hodek presented famous poems of Stieler in Upper-Austrian dialect.

No wonder that I was taken by a quiet reminder of homesickness, that in the midst of this gorgeous tropical world my thoughts flew towards my home, that many memories of the beautiful days spent in Upper Austria were recalled — especially now were recalled when spring entered into the land at home and nature starts blooming anew after the winter’s rest, the ground starts ornamenting itself with young grass and the mountain cock high up in the mountains, sitting on an old weathered fir tree starts singing his amorous song until the hunter’s bullet throws him off, the shoot echoing like thunder breaking against the mountain face and the joyful shout is sent down to the valley veiled in mist.

In the tropics nature reveals to the astonished eye the luxurious splendor of its wonders, intoxicates the senses, when we feel surrounded by the jungle’s magic in the sweltering mugginess — in the mountains at home, nature is met veiled by its poetic charms, talks to the heart when we look up out of the dark coniferous woods to the firns bathed in a hint of pink, announcing dawn.

Links

  • Location: Tji Pandak, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 21.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Kriemhilde“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Der Troubadour“.

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