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of all except of one village, Longki, accused the Angamees of being the guilty persons in the late murderous attacks on their villages. The people of Longki stated that the inhabitants of Deelong and Kollering were the aggressors in the incursion on their village. The people of those villages, however, most positively denied having done so when summoned at Semker.
On the 26th, having collected a sufficient number of coolies, I set out for Semker from Goomegogoo with the detachment of Sebundees and the part of the levy that came up with me, who were joined here by about twenty more men from the Jumnah, who had come up previously under their commandant, Doogaram Subadar, who had arrived from Doodputtee. We started at 8 A. M. by a good path over a ridge of low hills, in an easterly direction, skirting the Goomegogoo mountain. At 9° 30' A. м. passed the former site of the Naga village called Nerlasso, which was deserted three years ago in consequence of an attack on them by the Boesompoe Nagas, who killed several of them. At 10° 30′ A. M. we came to a mineral spring on the banks of the Mootee, a small stream running towards the Dyung, into which it falls. Ascending and gradually winding round some hills, and leaving the village of Hassung-Hagoo to our right, we descended to the Mahoor, a good sized stream flowing north to its junction with the Dyung below Aloogong, and forming a good boundary line of Toolaram Sanaputtee's country. We crossed and went down its bank, and halted at 2 P. M. after a march of about thirty miles.
January 27th. Leaving our encampment at 8 A. M., we crossed over some low hills by a good path, and crossing two streams, the Yah and Yhoo, which empty themselves into the Mahoor, passed some more low hills and entered the bed of the river Hah, the banks of which were covered with the foot-prints of wild elephants and deer. Along this stream we continued for an hour, and then ascending a very steep hill reached the large Naga village of Rangai, then completely deserted in consequence, as I was informed, of the Angamees having attacked it, and having, it is stated, killed 107 persons and carried away 30. I however think the number stated to have been killed is exaggerated. A fine view of the country is obtained here, and the hills towards the Assam side appear mere undulations in comparison to the gigantic ranges on our right. From this we had a fine view of the Deoteghur mountain, which hitherto had appeared to be a part of the main range, but now we had a full sight of it, shewing itself independent of any other hills. Large patches of brown clearances for cotton cultivation were visible; the wind was very high and cold on this mountain. We went along its summit, and descended winding round another very
high hill till we came to cultivation, from whence we looked down upon Semker, on the foot of a hill beneath us. By a very steep path we descended to the encamping huts erected by Toolaram Sanaputtee, who had previously arrived with the Shans I had attached to him. He had not been up to Semker for many years, and therefore was ignorant till now where the Angamees were located, which to my astonishment I found to be eight days journey further on. I applied to Toolaram Rajah for a statement of the depredations committed by the Angamees on his people, and found several of his Naga villages had also been sufferers; and on inquiring the reason of these attacks, I was informed that they were merely to extort conch shells, cloths, &c. and that the Angamees seized as many people as they could, to obtain ransom from their relatives, and killed all that attempted to escape, cutting off their heads (with the blade of their spears) which would be ransomed by their relatives also, this being one of the barbarous customs of the Nagas. I also applied for a statement of the sufferers of the village of Rangai, but the Rajah could not furnish one, as the people had all fled into the jungles, he knew not whither. I was told that the people of Semker also were thinking of leaving their village for another place, till they heard that troops were going against the Angamees, for they also were in daily fear of being cut up, which they certainly would be the moment they refused to bribe them with salt, dried fish, &c. The Semker people are not great cultivators, but live chiefly by the produce of their salt springs, and by traffic with the peaceful Nagas around them. They bring dried fish, beads, conch shells, and brass ornaments from Oodarbund Haut, and barter them for cotton, wax, ivory, chillies, &c.; and an extensive and infamous trade is carried on in slaves, who are stolen indiscriminately by all in that quarter, and sold to the Bengalli merchants who go up for cotton. I hear that a slave can be procured for twenty packets of salt, seven of which are to be had for one rupee. I saw many Muneeporees, who had been thus seized whilst young, and sold both amongst Kookees, Cacharees, and Nagas.
There are 140 houses of Cacharees, and five or six of Nagas, but the Semker Cacharees are demi-Nagas, and many of them have married Naga girls. They have lost the good qualities of the Cacharee, and resemble more the meaner and more cowardly Nagas of the lower hills of Cachar. I found here Ohkonah of Umbawlo, or Inghong, and Hajootoe, on the part of Equigimpo of Beren, two chiefs of independent villages who had heard of the approach of the troops, and both came to offer submission, and to seek protection from the Angamees. They seemed much afraid lest we should not attack
the Angamees, and return, and leave those who had sought protection, and afforded assistance to us, to the vengeance of their cruel neighbours; they also seemed anxious in regard to their villages, but I assured them we would not go near them, if they could cut a road by which we might avoid them, and that they had not the least cause to fear; on which they appeared much satisfied, and said many other villages would come in after they had heard of the kind treatment they had received. I gave them presents, and dismissed them, and told them to prepare grain for us, which they promised to do. I found here the following friendly chiefs, besides those above alluded to, viz. Kaptao of Kareabong, Kamtao of Galiga, Katalong of Ohong, whose villages were on our right, in the direction of the Angamee mountains. They also agreed to furnish grain as we passed their respective villages, and each received presents. Immediately on arriving at Semker finding that I could only calculate upon 100 Kookees, who were as bad as Nagas themselves for throwing away their burdens and running off, I applied to the Bura Bundaree, who farmed the Cachar hills, to furnish 300 men, which he could easily have done, and which he promised to do. Delay occurred, however, and so I wrote to him again and again informing him that if the expedition was kept much longer from advancing, through his dilatoriness, it might prove of serious consequence. I learnt that he was not collecting the men as he wrote to me to say he was doing, but that he had sent a petition to Captain Burns, Superintendent of Cachar, stating that he found great difficulty in complying with my request. At the same time that I received Captain Burns' letter informing me of the difficulty stated, two Kookee chiefs joined me, and informed me of the injustice the Bura Bundaree exercised towards their tribes, in pressing all the Kookee population and not calling upon Cacharees, on whose account the expedition was undertaken. I was told that many of those excellent ryots the Kookees had left the Hills in consequence of bad treatment, and their being employed and worked on every occasion, whilst the Cacharees were never called on for their service. I ordered the Bundaree to furnish an equal number of men from each tribe, but deeming it imprudent (from the lateness of the season) to remain any longer at Semker, disputing with one who instead of throwing obstacles in the way ought to have been the first to have put his shoulder to the wheel, I resolved not to run the risk of being again put off with his falsehoods, and informed Captain Burns of his misconduct; then collecting all the Naga and Cacharee men I could, I sent off the Shan detachment and Ram Doss Morhuir to Beren, with instructions to collect as much grain as they could get, no coolies having arrived. I left Semker with forty Cacharee
and Naga coolies of that village at 12 P. M. I was obliged to leave Doorgaram Subadar behind with part of the levy, as there were no means of carrying provisions for them. The Subadar had instructions to follow when he could get coolies. Passing over two ravines we crossed the Kondekong river, flowing in a north-west direction towards the Langting. This latter river rises near Semker, and falls into the Dyung. Our route here being up the bed of the Kondekong was very unpleasant; after continuing this for two miles we crossed over a small hill in the middle of the valley, which brought us to the Dikkan river where we encamped, some in huts which the Shans had erected; the distance we travelled was about five or six miles.
February 16th. Started at 7 A. M. and passing a few inconsiderable ravines, formed apparently by mountain torrents, we came to a small hill from which there is an extended view of the valley beneath, and of the great range which runs north-east. From thence we descended to the Sorebackee river; following its course a short distance, we left it to cross over a small plain to the Par river, a stream of about thirty or forty yards broad, flowing northerly. Leaving it we crossed over another plain to a river of similar size called the Aungootee, which is joined here by the Harikondee, a small stream, along the bank of which we continued our course. These streams all flow from the Bura-Ail range, as do indeed all rivers tending from the north to Assam. The ground over which we passed was partly free from very heavy jungle, and appears to have been at one time under cultivation, and of a rich nature. Shortly after leaving the Aungootee we ascended a hill and passed the site of an old Naga village, and then descended to the encampment of the Shans on a tongue of land formed by the junction of the Tomkee and Toolongkee rivers. The distance we travelled to-day was about twelve or thirteen miles. We were obliged to remain to-day, as the torrents of rain prevented our stirring, and we found the inconvenience of the wild plantain-leafed houses, which let in the rain in every direction.
February 17th. The Naga coolies having run away during the heavy rain of the previous day, we were obliged to divide the party, and leave six men in charge of the baggage. Started at 11 A. M. and ascended to the deserted village Ekkenja, which I intended to have reached the day before, but had been deterred from doing so by the accounts of there being no water. This village was said to have been attacked by the Angamees some years ago, and the inhabitants had gone and settled across the valley, under the great range. This new village is called Sergi; the road was tolerably good, excepting in some places where it was impeded by fallen bamboos. After gradually
descending we reached a small winding stream, over which we crossed several times, and which ran through a fine flat country composed of rich reddish clay, and lightly covered with forest and the very large Kakoo bamboos. Passing over the plain we came to the Támákee, or as it is called by the Assamese, Dhunsiree, a good sized river flowing in a northerly direction, but the depth was not very great; indeed none of the rivers I had met with were very deep, and the shallowness of their banks leads one to imagine that no considerable body of water remains in them any length of time. The Dhunsiree was filled with round stones, and an opening in the great range to the south from whence it flows leads one to believe that it originates at some distance within the range. After quitting it we almost immediately ascended a middling sized hill, which we passed over and ascended to a small streamlet. Bordering it we came to the hill on which Kareabonglo is situated; it is of a moderate height. Ascending it we found the village deserted, and the guard who had gone on with grain snugly stowed away in a capacious house; the Semker coolies had dropped their loads and run off one and all. Kareabonglo is a Naga village of about twenty-five houses, on a hill that commands a good view of the surrounding country, as also of the two villages called Galaga and Harapalo, of about equal size. These Nagas, who speak the same language as the Cachar Hill Nagas, are quite distinct from the Angamees, who speak a different language, and would rejoice in the subjugation of the Angamees, who force them to give them conch shells and other things to purchase the preservation of peace. The chief Kaptoa, to whom I had given presents, brought us grain, for which he was duly paid; other chiefs who brought any thing had the money always tendered to them in payment; some however refused it, but when I told them it was our custom, they carelessly took the money as if it was not of the least value to them; some again indignantly refused. The view from the place last described was good, the huge range of mountains one mile to the southward stretching out in a north-east direction, and apparently terminating in large mountains. On the north-east were two hills heavily clothed in dark green, to the west the same, but broken by a plain or two. To the north, the first part was the same description of country, till an opening in a distant ridge of hills brought to view an extensive plain, which is Toolaram Senaputtee's country: a mist generally hung over the land, which was against any distant prospect being obtained. The Cacharee coolies that had accompanied us from Semker, under pretence of going to dine by the stream-side at the bottom of the hill, ran off, and left us with