Man-Eaters of Kumaon
|Man-Eaters of Kumaon (1944) by Jim Corbett|
Introduction by Linlithgow:
These jungle stories by Jim Corbett merit as much popularity and as wide a circulation as Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books. Kipling's Jungle Books were fiction, based on great knowledge of jungle life; Corbett's stories are fact, and the fact is often stranger than fiction.
These stories should prove of entrancing interest to all boys and girls who like exciting yarns; they should be of equal interest to all who take any interest in the wildlife of the jungle; they should prove of great value to any genuine sportsman who wishes to earn by his own efforts the credit of shooting a tiger; they will be of interest even to the so-called sportsman who feels some pride in killing a tiger when all that he has done is to fire straight from a safe position on a machan or on the back of a staunch elephant when all the hard work involved in beating up a tiger to his death has been done by others. Corbett's description of his campaign against the man-eaters of the Kumaon Hills shows the qualities that a successful shikari needs, physical strength, infinite patience, great power of observation, and power not only to notice small signs but also to draw the right inference from those signs. To these must be added great courage.
I will not make quotations from the book to prove this statement. Read the book for 1 yourself; you will soon see the truth of it; these qualities were exhibited by Corbett himself, by his friends who helped him in some of these campaigns, by the villagers whom he went to protect, and by his big-hearted and faithful companion Robin. Jim Corbett's name is already a household word in Kumaon; I hope that as a result of this book it will get still wider fame stories are the true account of Major Corbett's JL experiences with man-eating tigers in the jungles -' of the United Provinces. I am most glad to commend them to all who enjoy a tale well told of action and adventure.
The sportsman will find much to entertain and inform him in Major Corbett's book. If every beginner would study it before tackling his first tiger, fewer persons would be killed or seriously injured when hunting these creatures. For something more is required than courage and good marksmanship for the successful pursuit of a dangerous game. Forethought, preparation, and persistence are indispensable to success.
Over wide areas of the United Provinces, the author's name is familiar to the village folk as that of the man who has brought them relief from the great fear inspired by a cruel and malignant presence in their midst. Many a District Officer, faced with the utter disorganization of rural life that attends the presence of a man-eating tiger or panther, has turned to Jim Corbett for help never, I believe, in vain. Indeed the destruction of these abnormal and dangerous animals is a service of great value both to the afflicted population and to Government.
The reader will find in these stories many proofs of the author's love of nature. Having spent in. Major Corbett's company some part of such holidays as I have contrived to take during my time in India, I can with confidence write of him that no man with whom I have hunted in any continent better understands the signs of the jungle. Very often he has told me of the intense happiness he has derived from his observations of wildlife. I make no doubt that it is in large part the recollection of all that his own eyes have brought him that moves him now to dedicate this first edition of his book to the aid of soldiers blinded in war, and to arrange that all profits from its sale shall be devoted to the funds of St Dunstan's, the famous institution
Man-eaters of Kumaon in which men who have given their sight for their country and for the great cause of human freedom may learn, despite their affliction, to lead useful and happy lives; and whose beneficent ministrations are extended now to the armed forces in India.
Edward James Corbett was a British hunter, tracker, naturalist, and author who hunted a number of man-eating tigers and leopards in India.
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