Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Man Eaters of Kumaon

I'm reading Jim Corbett's book.  Man Eaters of Kumaon.  He did great service on the sub continent tracking down man-eating tiger's and leapords.

I'm not done, but I wanted to note this detail.

In quite a few of his tales he runs out of ammuntion.  He goes hunting mountain goat for a hetman for meat, and only brings a single clip of 5 for his .275.  He goes hunting great cats with his .400/.450 and has 2 in the gun and one extra for 'emergencies'.  Then he ends up missing once, or a bear shows up or, surprise surprise, the tough majestic animal that he has described as essentially being a bullet sponge takes a few not-well-placed rounds and still has some fight left...  Imagine that...

Here's a thought wily and respected old timer... be a little more wily and pack a spare clip or 3 extra 'emergency' rounds for that double rifle.  Especially since it appears India was crawling with game the first half of the 20th C.


John said...

I have read and re-read Corbett's books.Bear in mind that the Champawat tigress was his first man-eater: he was learning the hard way. Also, in those days Corbett seems to have been often short on cash. He was working for the railway far away, sending money home to support his mother, his sister, and his cousin. Ammunition was expensive, and he had been taught from boyhood to be stingy with it. He tells his stories frankly and tries to be very clear about his mistakes. If you read the rest of his stuff, I think you'll agree he was human: an astoundingly skillful, awesomely brave, outstandingly kind and generous human who made some human mistakes.

Windy Wilson said...

I forget who wrote about writing for the pulps on something like 3 cents per word. He said there was tremendous temptation to "empty the gun" in print. Other than that, what John writes makes a lot of sense. To be honest, even if I were a good shot, I'd be scared to hunt these animals without 3 or four magazines. Knowing I had the extra shots might make my shots hit the mark before emptying the gun.