CHAPTER I. Colombo - Dullness of the Town - Cinnamon Garden - A
Cingalese Appo - Ceylon Sport - Jungle Fever - Newera Ellia -
Energy of Sir E. Barnes - Influence of the Governor - Projected
CHAPTER II. Past Scenes - Attractions of Ceylon - Emigration -
Difficulties in Settling - Accidents and Casualties - An
Eccentric Groom - Insubordination - Commencement of Cultivation -
Sagacity of the Elephant - Disappointments - "Death" in the
Settlement - Shocking Pasturage - Success of Emigrants - "A Good
Knock-about kind of a Wife".
CHAPTER III. Task Completed - The Mountain-top - Change in the
Face of Nature - Original Importance of Newera Ellia - "The Path
of a Thousand Princes" - Vestiges of Former Population -
Mountains - The Highlands of Ouva - Ancient Methods of
Irrigation - Remains of Aqueducts - The Vale of Rubies - Ancient
Ophir - Discovery of Gold-Mineral Resources - Native
CHAPTER IV. Poverty of Soil - Ceylon Sugar - Fatality of Climate
- Supposed Fertility of Soil - Native Cultivation - Neglect of
Rice Cultivation - Abandoned Reservoirs - Former Prosperity -
Ruins of Cities - Pollanarua - The Great Dagoba - Architectural
Relics - The Rock Temple - Destruction of Population - Neglected
Capabilities - Suggestions for Increasing Population - Progress
of Pestilence - Deserted Villages - Difficulties in the
Cultivation of Rice - Division of Labor - Native Agriculture.
CHAPTER V. Real Cost of Land - Want of Communication -
Coffee-planting - Comparison between French and English Settlers
- Landslips - Forest-clearing - Manuring - The Coffee Bug - Rats
- Fatted Stock - Suggestions for Sheep-farming - Attack of a
Leopard - Leopards and Chetahs - Boy Devoured - Traps - Musk Cats
and the Mongoose - Vermin of Ceylon.
CHAPTER VI. "Game Eyes" for Wild Sports - Enjoyments of Wild Life
- Cruelty of Sports - Native Hunters - Moormen Traders - Their
wretched Guns - Rifles and Smooth-bores - Heavy Balls and Heavy
Metal - Beattie's Rifles - Balls and Patches - Experiments - The
Double-groove - Power of Heavy Metal - Curious Shot at a Bull
Elephant - African and Ceylon Elephants - Structure of Skull -
Lack of Trophies - Boar-spears and Hunting-knives - " Bertram" -
A Boar Hunt - Fatal Cut.
CHAPTER VII. Curious Phenomenon - Panorama of Ouva - South-west
Monsoon - Hunting Followers - Fort M'Donald - River - Jungle
Paths - Dangerous Locality - Great Waterfall - Start for Hunting
- The Find - A Gallant Stag - "Bran" and Lucifer" - "Phrenzy's"
Death - Buck at Bay - The Cave Hunting-box- "Madcap's" Dive - Elk
Soup - Former Inundation - "Bluebeard" leads off - " Hecate's"
Course -The Elk's Leap - Variety of Deer - The Axis - Ceylon
Bears - Variety of Vermin - Trials for Hounds - Hounds and their
Masters - A Sportsman "shut up"- A Corporal and Centipede.
CHAPTER VIII. Observations on Nature in the Tropics - The Dung
Beetle - The Mason-fly - Spiders - Luminous Insects - Efforts of
a Naturalist - Dogs Worried by Leeches - Tropical Diseases -
Malaria - Causes of Infection - Disappearance of the "Mina" -
Poisonous Water - Well-digging Elephants.
CHAPTER IX. Instinct and Reason - Tailor Birds and Grosbeaks -
The White Ant - Black Ants at War - Wanderoo Monkeys - Habits of
Elephants - Elephants in the Lake - Herd of Elephants Bathing -
Elephant-shooting - The Rencontre - The Charge - Caught by the
Tail - Horse Gored by a Buffalo - Sagacity of Dogs - "Bluebeard"
- His Hunt - A True Hound.
CHAPTER X. Wild Fruits - Ingredients for a "Soupe Maigre" -
Orchidaceous Plants - Wild Nutmegs - Native Oils - Cinnamon -
Primeval Forests - Valuable Woods - The Mahawelli River - Variety
of Palms - Cocoa-nut Toddy - Arrack - Cocoa-nut Oil -
Cocoa-nut-planting - The Talipot Palm - The Areca Palm - Betel
Chewing - Sago Nuts - Varicty of Bees - Waste of Beeswax - Edible
Fungi - Narcotic Puff-ball - Intoxicating Drugs - Poisoned Cakes
- The "Sack Tree" - No Gum Trees of Value in Ceylon.
CHAPTER XI. Indigenous Productions - Botanical Gardens -
Suggested Experiments - Lack of Encouragement to Gold-diggers -
Prospects of Gold-digging - We want "Nuggets" - Who is to Blame?
- Governor's Salary - Fallacies of a Five Years' Reign -
Neglected Education of the People - Responsibilities of Conquest
- Progress of Christianity.
CHAPTER XII. The Pearl Fishery - Desolation of the Coast - Harbor
of Trincomalee - Fatal Attack by a Shark - Ferocious Crocodiles -
Salt Monopoly - Salt Lakes - Method of Collection - Neglect of
Ceylon Hides - Fish and Fishing - Primitive Tackle - Oysters and
Penknives - A Night Bivouac for a Novice - No Dinner, but a Good
Fire - Wild Yams and Consequences -The Elephants' Duel - A
Hunting Hermitage - Bluebeard's last Hunt - The Leopard -
Bluebeard's Death - Leopard Shot.
CHAPTER XIII. Wild Denizens of Forest and Lake - Destroyers of
Reptiles - The Tree Duck - The Mysteries of Night in the Forest -
The Devil-Bird - The Iguanodon in Miniature - Outrigger Canoes -
The Last Glimpse of Ceylon - A Glance at Old Times.
EIGHT YEARS' WANDERINGS
Colombo - Dullness of the Town - Cinnamon Garden - A Cingalese
Appo - Ceylon Sport - Jungle Fever - Newera Ellia - Energy of Sir
E. Barnes - Influence of the Governor - Projected Improvements.
It was in the year 1845 that the spirit of wandering allured me
toward Ceylon: little did I imagine at that time that I should
eventually become a settler.
The descriptions of its sports, and the tales of hairbreadth
escapes from elephants, which I had read in various publications,
were sources of attraction against which I strove in vain; and I
at length determined upon the very wild idea of spending twelve
months in Ceylon jungles.
It is said that the delights of pleasures in anticipation exceed
the pleasures themselves: in this case doubtless some months of
great enjoyment passed in making plans of every description,
until I at length arrived in Colombo, Ceylon's seaport capital.
I never experienced greater disappointment in an expectation than
on my first view of Colombo. I had spent some time at Mauritius
and Bourbon previous to my arrival, and I soon perceived that the
far-famed Ceylon was nearly a century behind either of those
Instead of the bustling activity of the Port Louis harbor in
Mauritius, there were a few vessels rolling about in the
roadstead, and some forty or fifty fishing canoes hauled up on
the sandy beach. There was a peculiar dullness throughout the
town - a sort of something which seemed to say, "Coffee does not
pay." There was a want of spirit in everything. The
ill-conditioned guns upon the fort looked as though not intended
to defend it; the sentinels looked parboiled; the very natives
sauntered rather than walked; the very bullocks crawled along in
the midday sun, listlessly dragging the native carts.