« السابقةمتابعة »
cumstances, and return if he was obliged to do so; as I had determined to push on, and if nothing else could be done, to find the exit from this tract to Assam, of which I had heard from Toolaram Raja and the Munipoorees. Notwithstanding their ignorance of the existence of a road pretended to by the Nagas, with only one day's provisions I started for Malhye, a village six miles off. I had no guide, but trusted to a path which the Báláka people had pointed out before they ran away as the direction to be pursued. I was rather anxious about meeting any villagers at Malbye, imagining that the Báláka people had communicated our having seized their chief. We found the Malhye people assembled and prepared to protect their village had there been any attack from us; but with a hog and some grain laid at the entrance we pacified them, and got what we wanted. It was rather amusing to see them assembled with their spears, looking very fierce and warlike, whilst we were aware one shot would have sent them Aying over hill and dale, and proved to them their weakness. They are however very persevering in their mode of fighting, viz. wandering behind bush and stone, on the look out for an opportunity to spear their enemy when off his guard. Whilst standing making inquiries for a convenient encamping place, Keereebee, chief of Jykama, or Yueekhe, bounded down the hill side and presented a piece of cloth and a spear. A finer specimen of a wild mountaineer was never before me; he wore the blue kilt, ornamented with cowries, peculiar to the Angamees, which set off his fine, powerful figure very much. I told him to come to camp and receive some presents, which he did ; but he refused to accompany me to Ikkaree's village, as he said he was at enmity with that chief, and if he caught him he would kill him.
March 4th. Lookakee, chief of Unggileo, came to pay us a visit, and left us to get some grain ready. Healuckeng, chief of Ungolo, came and gave a black cloth as an amicable offering, and brought some coolies to relieve our Kookees; the men he brought were all fine strapping fellows. Left camp at 7° 30' A. M. and ascended to near the Ungolo village, which consists of about 30 or 40 houses situated on the top of a lower hill of the great range. We found two baskets of rice at the path leading to their village; the path from this was newly cut, and therefore not a good one. We skirted the great range, which from Onggong took an easterly direction. We met with no bamboos, our route being through forest trees with small underwood. sed the bed of a mountain rivulet, which was now hardly trickling sufficient water to allow of a good draught, but which in the rainy season must discharge a considerable body of water, and going over several low hills reached Unggililee, where the coolies from Ungolo dropped
their loads and ran off. We got a couple of baskets of rice from the people of the village and a small pig, but the total of to-day's supplies was not more than sufficient to allow of half a seer per man, and all the salt had been expended, which made the privation greater.
March 5th. Sent the Mohurir Ram Doss to the village with ten Shans who had accompanied me, to get some rice ; but the people assembled with spears, and said our intention was to burn their village; but on being assured that we only wanted rice they gave some, though a small quantity, and we marched off. At 9° 50' A. M. went over a hill and ascended to Umponglo, the chief of which seemed very friendly, and offered to accompany us and bring Ikkaree to terms, which offer I gladly accepted. We had some difficulty in getting sufficient rice to admit of each man's getting his half seer ; we succeeded only by hard pressing, and remaining under the village for some
We descended thence and passed a good sized river, flowing in a northern direction towards the Tamáke into which it falls; it is called here the Unnuruce ; passing it we ascended and came to a fine flat space of clear rice land, on the top of a hill; winding over several heights we descended to a small stream, on which we encamped in rather stony ground.
March 6th. Broke ground at 5° 45' A. M. and went a short way through the forest, when we came to a wide rocky space with scattered jungle, apparently the course of a considerable body of water in another season, but now confined to a clear stream of little magnitude; on its right bank there is fine encamping ground amidst topes of the large Kakoo bamboos. We passed no less than four or five streams in the course of our journey this day, and ascended a very high hill on which were the remains of an old village. The great range became more broken in its regularity here, and we ascended over several hills and reached the valley beneath Tukquogenam, a village of about sixty or seventy houses, written in Captain Pemberton's map, Takojunomnee. We encamped in a triangular-shaped rice cultivation, which was raised by steps (the highest about thirty feet) above the level of the valley, for the purpose of retaining the water to nourish the rice crops. Through the centre ran a clear rocky stream of about twenty or thirty yards broad, with which they could irrigate at pleasure. On our arrival we found Bahoota, a lad who called himself Impaisjee's nephew, but who was merely an adopted son of that chief, and who had promised to bring in Impaisjee and Ikkaree at Beren, but broke his promises as easily as he made them. I had fortunately taken the precaution to send the interpreter with the chief of Umponglo before us to calm any fears the villagers might have had, and lucky it was I did
So, for they found them all ready to fly at the first signal of our approach. The chief and his two sons came and brought eggs and grain, not more however than would allow of the old allowance of half a seer. They informed me that the head man of Ikkaree's village was up in their village and would come down if I would not molest him, which being guaranteed he came down and offered a spear, and said Ikkaree was most anxious to come to terms, but feared coming to camp from dread of being seized again, which I assured him would not be the case, and that he might depend upon our word, as it was our custom to act as we spoke, which appeared to satisfy him, and he departed with a promise to bring Ikkaree the next day.
March 7th. Sent our Cachar Naga interpreter with the Tukquogenam Angamee interpreter to Cheremee to fetch grain, which he succeeded in getting, to the delight of the coolies, who had had none the day before. He informed me that at the village he had met with two men from Sumoogoding, whom he wanted to come and see me; but they replied, that a body of troops were on their way from Dhejna, and that they must return to their village to get grain ready for them. This fable served my purpose most admirably, and I told them to tell Ikkaree that if he did not come in soon, I should give him no terms, but advance and burn his village directly the Dhejna troops arrived. This threat brought him to the village of Tukquogenam, and a promise to come down and accept terms next morning. The people of this village had the insolence to say they could drive us out of the country, but they feared the other troops that were coming from all directions to attack them.
March 8th. Ikkaree sent word to say he feared coming into camp, on which I sent the Mohurir Ram Doss and the chief of Umponglo, who had been trying to allay his fears. They returned after about an hour's absence, and said they could not persuade him to come down to camp, but that he would meet me half way between the village and the
Seeing that we had no grain for that day's consumption, and fearing that if I should be obliged to attack any of their villages I should only be put in possession of an empty place, as all the grain had been previously secreted in the jungles (as indeed it had been in those we had passed, for they had long been aware of our coming) I determined on going to meet him in his own den. Placing a pistol in my pocket and a sword by my side, and giving a pistol to the Mohurir, I sallied forth with an Assamese Mohurir to take down the questions and answers; a quarter of an hour brought us through an open vale to five or six men watching on a slightly rising ground, beyond them were more men scattered about in an open plain or dale of about five hundred or six hundred yards wide; in our front stood the village on a hill, behind which were the high peaks of the great range; on our left were more low hills, and on our right, a wood with a river behind; in the centre of the plain there was a stone Chubootar to which I advanced and sat down. I then perceived Ikkaree, whom I knew immediately by the red collar round his neck edged with human hair. I had heard that this was the distinguishing marks of these chiefs, from their villagers. Ikkaree was sitting on a heap of stones ready to fly up the hill, if there was occasion ; he did not however come till after many calls from his people and my threa. tening to return, when he came up rather sulkily, with a red spear in his hand, which I commanded him to leave behind. This being done, he came along cautiously and sat on the Chubootar, continually looking behind for a clear coast for a bolt, and had I given but a single halloo, he would have been off like a shot; his own men even abused his timidity. On getting a little confidence he commenced boasting of his cunning, &c. which I soon stopped, by telling him that if I chose at that moment I could walk him off to the camp, but that I had promised him safety, and that he need have no fear; on this he seemed very anxious to depart, but I made him take oath not to mo. lest in future the Honorable Company's subjects, which ceremony was administered in the most simple and the rudest manner, for it merely consisted in his holding one end of a spear and I the other whilst it was cut in two, each retaining his bit. Ikkaree was wanting to be off before it took place, but I made him remain, and thrust the bit of iron into his hand when half cut, and made him hold it till it was cut through, so that he might have the full benefit of the sanctity of the oath ;-it is considered one of the greatest oaths amongst these savages. He promised to send rice next day, and departed much like a jackall, looking round every second step. He is a fine specimen of a brigand, tall and slight, and made for activity, of a brown colour; he has small black eyes, in one of which there is a cast, black whiskers and mustaches, and a savage sneer always playing on his lips. He is at variance with many of his own tribe, and is a most cold blooded mur. derer; he wore on his neck a collar made of red coloured goat hair, and ornamented with conch shells and tufts of the hair of the persons he had killed on his expeditions. I returned to camp, and the Tukquoge. nam people brought us rice, but said they could not afford any more.
March 9th. Bahoota came down, and said something about Impaisjee having arrived, which proved false. On the Mohurir Ram Doss going up, he reported that he had met the interpreter on the road, who feared to go up to the village as there was a body of men
on the road who threatened him ; Ram Doss however went on with Bahoota and the interpreter, and met 200 men armed with spears, who attempted to obstruct the passage, but Ram Doss pushed on, and they retired
. Ram Doss said they belonged to Ikkaree, and that that chief had sent word to say, he would give us grain if we went to his village , but that he would not
, or could not, send it, (as he had promised to do) if I did not move forward. My chief object being accomplished, viz. that of settling affairs amicably, and discovering the locality of these brigands, moreover having found the exit to Assam, viâ Sumoogoding, and deeming it a rather dangerous experiment remaining any longer in a country where the roads ran chiefly in the beds of rivers sure to be stopped up in the rains, which had already commenced on the upper parts ; doubting also the word of Ikkaree to supply us with grain, and the consequent likelihood of a quarrel had we gone to his village, I determined to return.
We had not a grain of rice for that day, so I marched off towards Sumoogoding, where it was most likely we should get provisions, that village being in communication with Toolaram's Cacharee subjects at Dheghna, leaving a message to the two chiefs Impaisjee and Ikkaree to
as they had taken oaths not to molest the Honorable Company's subjects I should not trouble their villages, and hoped they would attend to their oaths. We left camp at 9 A. M. and by a very good path reached Cheremee at 11 A. M. it being about five miles from Tukquogenam. It is a small village of about fifteen houses, situated upon a middling sized hill; the silly people assembled to prevent our going into their village, armed with spears, little imagining that one volley as they stood would have blown them of their hill. We pacified them, and got a little rice, but it not being enough, I threatened them if they did not bring more to camp, to return. From the hill several other villages were pointed out to the east, but I did not observe them, Papamee, and Jingpen were among their names. The great range seemed to take a turn to the south of east from beyond Tukquogenam. The directions of Moongjo and Sookamjo were also shown, the former a village of Ikkaree's, consisting of five hundred houses, and the latter belonging to Impaisjee of eight hundred houses.
Leaving Cheremee we descended to a small river bearing the Naga name of Ompoa; we continued down its bed for about a mile, and then encamped on its left bank in a newly burnt jungle, opposite the village of the same name, which stood about a mile off on a hill, and was hid by the tree jungle. In the valley we were in the huts had
the effect that,