There was a small bush within a few paces of the main jungle, exactly opposite that in which the elephant was concealed, and we determined to hide behind this, while a few Moormen should endeavour to drive him from his retreat, in which case, he would be certain to make for the main forest, and would most probably pass near the bush, behind which we lay in wait for him. Giving the Moormen a gun, we took to our hiding-place. The men went round to the tank side of the patch of jungle, and immediately commenced shouting and firing; securing themselves from an attack by climbing into the highest trees. A short interval elapsed, and not a sound of the elephant could be heard. The firing and shouting ceased, and all was as still as death. Some of the Moormen returned from the jungle, and declared that the elephant was not there; but this was all nonsense; the fact was, they did not like the idea of driving him out. Knowing the character of these 'rogues', I felt convinced that he was one of the worst description, and that he was quietly waiting his time, until some one should advance within his reach. Having given the Moormen a supply of powder, I again despatched them to drive the jungle. Once more the firing and shouting commenced, and continued until their supply of powder was exhausted: no effects had been produced; it was getting late, and the rogue appeared determined not to move. A dead silence ensued, which was presently disturbed by the snapping of a bough; in another moment the jungle crashed, and forth stepped the object of our pursuit! He was a magnificent elephant, one of the most vicious in appearance that I have ever seen; he understood the whole affair as well as we did; and flourishing his trunk, he paced quickly backwards and forwards for a few turns before the jungle he had just quitted; suddenly making his resolution, he charged straight at the bush behind which we had imagined ourselves concealed. He was about eighty yards off when he commenced his onset; and seeing that we were discovered, I left the hiding-place, and stepped to the front of the bush to meet him with the four-ounce rifle. On he came at a great pace, carrying his head very high, and making me the sole object of his attack. I made certain of the shot, although his head was in a difficult position, and I accordingly waited for him till he was within fifteen paces. At this distance I took a steady shot and fired. A cloud of smoke, from the heavy charge of powder, obscured everything, but I felt so certain that he was down, that I looked under the smoke to see where he lay. Ye gods! He was just over me in full charge! I had not even checked him by the shot, and he was within three feet of me, going at a tremendous pace. Throwing my heavy rifle into the bush, I doubled quickly to one side, hoping that he would pass me and take to the main jungle, to which I ran parallel as fast as my legs could carry me. Instead of taking to the jungle, he turned short and quickly after me, and a fair race commenced. I had about three feet start of him, and I saw with delight that the ground was as level and smooth as a lawn; there was no fear of tripping up, and away I went at the fastest pace that I ever ran either before or since, taking a look behind me to see how the chase went on. I saw the bullet-mark in his forehead, which was covered with blood; his trunk was stretched to its full length to catch me, and was now within two feet of my back; he was gaining on me, although I was running at a tremendous pace. I could not screw an inch more speed out of my legs, and I kept on, with the brute gaining on me at every stride. He was within a foot of me, and I had not heard a shot fired, and not a soul had come to the rescue. The sudden thought struck me that my brother could not possibly overtake the elephant at the pace at which we were going, and I immediately doubled short to my left into the open plain, and back towards the guns. The rogue overshot me. I met my brother close to his tail, which position he had with difficulty maintained; but he could not get a shot, and the elephant turned into the jungle, and disappeared just as I escaped him by a sharp turn. This was a close shave; had not the ground been perfectly level I must have been caught to a certainty, and even as it was, he would have had me in another stride had I not turned from my straight course. It was nearly dark, and we returned to the tent, killing several peacocks and ducks on our way, with which the country swarmed.
We passed a miserable night, not being able to sleep on account of the mosquitoes, which were in swarms. I was delighted to see the first beam of morning, when our little winged enemies left us, and a 'chatty' bath was most enjoyable after the restless tossings of a sleepless night. The Moormen were out at dawn to look for elephants, the guns were cleaned, and I looked forward to the return of the trackers with peculiar interest, as we had determined to 'catch an elephant.' The Moormen were all full of excitement and preparation. These men were well practised in this sport, and they were soon busied in examining and coiling their hide ropes for the purpose.
At about mid-day the trackers returned, having found a herd about five miles from the village. We were all ready, and we set off without a moment's delay, our party consisting of my brother, myself, four gun-bearers, and about thirty Moormen, each of whom carried a coil of finely-twisted rope made of thongs of raw deer's hide; these ropes were each twenty yards in length, and about an inch in diameter.