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قراءة كتاب The Taming of the Jungle

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‏اللغة: English
The Taming of the Jungle

The Taming of the Jungle

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1




Copyright, 1899
by J. B. Lippincott Company

Printed by J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U. S. A.


For a better understanding of this story, it will be necessary to say a few words concerning the people of the Terai,—the great tract of jungle that skirts the foothills of the Himalayas, in the Province of Kumaon. They are a simple, primitive folk, and migratory in their ways: inhabiting the interior valleys of the hills in the hot weather and the monsoon, and the foothills and the Terai during the winter.

In official reports they are described as "low-caste Hindoos;" but they are as far removed from the low-caste Hindoos of the plains, on the one hand, as they are from the high-caste Rajpoots, who are the gentry of Kumaon, on the other. The monstrous Pantheism of the Brahmin is unknown to them, and the ritual and severe limitations of caste that shackle the former in all the relations of life have no influence on the Padhans of Kumaon. Tending their flocks and their herds, and cultivating their terraced fields in the summer and their patches of rye and corn in the winter, they pass lives of Arcadian simplicity among scenes that surpass Ida and Olympus in beauty, and which vie with the glades of Eden, as Milton and Tennyson described them.

"Me rather, all that bowery loneliness,
The brooks of Eden mazily murmuring,
And bloom profuse, and cedar arches charm."

Tennyson might have written that of the Terai in midwinter. And its people conform, as might be expected, to their environment. Life among them is found at first hand: their loves and hates are ingenuous, and present social aspects that must vanish before the march of civilization.

The critics may object to the manner of the courtship of Tara, as not being in accord with the marriage customs of the natives of India. To them I would reply, that the experience of a dozen years spent in intimate relations with, and in close observation of, the Kumaon Padhans, has satisfied me that these children of nature are guided strongly by their natural feelings; and that, in the selection of their wives, they are as often swayed by their affections as we are.

C. W. Doyle.
Santa Cruz, California, January, 1899.


CHAPTER I. A Jungle Vendetta
CHAPTER III. The Hunting of Cheeta Dutt
CHAPTER IV. The Spoiling of Nyagong
CHAPTER V. The Woman in the Carriage
CHAPTER VI. For the Training of Biroo
CHAPTER VIII. One Thousand Rupees Reward
CHAPTER IX. The Rope that Hanged Bijoo
CHAPTER X. Cœlum, non Animum Mutant
CHAPTER XI. The Lame Tiger of Huldwani
CHAPTER XII. How Nandha was Avenged
CHAPTER XIII. An Affront to Gannesha
CHAPTER XIV. A Daughter of the Gods
CHAPTER XV. "Ich Liebe Dich"
CHAPTER XVI. The Smoking of a Hornets' Nest


A Jungle Vendetta

"This was the way of it," said Ram Deen to a circle of listeners sitting round a fire by the side of the jungle road near Lal Kooah. Ram Deen drove the mail-cart in its final stage to Kaladoongie, and with his relay of fresh horses was awaiting the arrival of the mail. He was, next to the Assistant Superintendent of the Forest Department of the District, a power on the road, and his audience, accordingly, listened to him with due respect. "This was the way of it: I owed Bheem Dass one rupee and six annas for flour and pulse and ghee, and my donkey fell sick, so that he could not be forced by goad, nor by the lighting of a fire beneath him, to rise; and I could not convey my earthenware to Moradabad and sell it, and so remove the galling of Bheem Dass's tongue.

"Then the Thanadar came, and read script to me that was written on government paper, whereof I understood but little, save that the words were Urdu, and sounded very terrible to me, who speak Gamari only, and am a poor man. And he took my potter's wheel from me, and bade his chuprassi beat me then, and daily thereafter at noon—twelve strokes each day—till I made restitution to Bheem Dass.

"Brothers, we be all poor men here, and ye know that God hath not given us understanding save to suffer stripes like beasts of burden, and to sleep and eat when we can, and beget children to succeed to our