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brute adversary go from my death unharmed. I stood holding my musket in my left hand, with the bayonet in the air, and I had just time to raise my right to grasp the piece firmly, and to give it a direction towards the animal. In doing this I suppose that I involuntary made a step backwards towards the river, which brought me close upon the steep edge of the bank, where the soil was somewhat broken. The tiger had made his leap with unerring precision, and, as he descended, he received the bayonet between his fore-legs in the breast. At the very moment that I felt his weight upon the weapon, the ground beneath me suddenly gave way. I remember a mingled sound of shrieks and groans from those about me, a rapid downward motion, a feeling as of some heavy body passing over me, a sense of suffocation, mist and darkness; and all was over.
When I came to myself, which, judging from circumstances, must have been shortly afterwards, I was at first doubtful to which world I belonged. I cast my eyes upwards, and a pure bright sky was above me; to the east, and there was the sun. I turned my head to see if it was actually on my body, and moved, one after the other, my legs and arms to assure myself that they still belonged to my person. I passed first right and then my left hand over my breast and
sides, and then held them up to my eyes to see if they were not covered with my own blood. I raised myself on my elbows and found that I was lying in the dry bed of the river. A kind of wide path, reaching upwards to the edge of the bank, over the low shrubs which were crushed close to the earth and covered with sand and loose stones, showed where the tiger had rolled with me down to the very spot where I lay. I then rose, and standing on my feet, found myself not only unwounded, but almost unhurt. I looked about me for the fierce animal with which I had lately been in such fearful contact, but he was no where to be seen. My musket was lying at the distance of a few paces from me. I took it up, and found it covered with blood. Near it were the prints of the tiger's feet where he had walked away, and these were moistened with blood also. Several of our party, all of whom had fled and abandoned me to my fate, now showed themselves on the bank above me, and uttered a shout of joy at seeing me alive. They rallied their companions, and I found myself strong enough to join them in renewing the pursuit.
We soon came in sight of the tiger, moving on heavily and slowly, and staggering with the loss of blood from his wound. Before we reached him he had fallen to the ground. We despatched
him without difficulty; and the natives who belonged to our party, having produced some strong cords, made of the bark of the cocoa tree, which they had brought with them, tied them about the neck of the huge creature, and dragged him back in triumph to Madras. As we entered the city, a large crowd of all complexions of mankind, Hindoos, Parsees, Moors, Malays, Englishmen, Germans, and Frenchmen, gathered about it, and increased at every step.
Even the timid Chinese artisan came to his shop-door to gaze upon the spectacle of so much fierceness tamed and so much strength overcome, and to catch a look at the man who had met the leap of a royal tiger and escaped unhurt.
The procession stopped at a kind of open square in the city. Here the animal was measured, and found to exceed fifteen feet in length, from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. All who knew any thing of me in the city flocked eagerly about me; it seemed as if they could not be satisfied of my identity, until they had grasped my hand. I received the cordial congratulations of my European friends. My acquaintances among the Hindoos were profuse of their florid compliments and felicitations; and as for the multitude, I thought they would never be satisfied with pressing around me and gazing at me.
I withdrew as soon as I was able, and sought at my lodgings the repose I so much needed. The bounty of three hundred pounds, which was the reward offered by the government of the country for killing a tiger, was paid me the next day.
If any man had ever cause of gratitude to Divine Providence for deliverance in an hour of signal danger, I am that man. I have never since the incident I have related, ceased to cherish this feeling, and, I trust, it will not diminish in intensity to the last day of my life.
BANKS OF THE HUDSON.
Cool shades and dews are round my way,
All, save this little nook of land,